Thursday, October 24, 2013
The Miseducation of Selena - Chapter Four
Hi! So it's been a while since I've posted anything. That's because I haven't really written anything, sorry. However, a friend of mine gave me a picture for my birthday with the instruction to write a story about it. As I sat contemplating the picture, I realized that he fit into a story I'd already started! SO - after working out the logistics and the backstory - I managed to finish the chapter I had already started a long time ago. :-D
If you want to reread the story so far, start here.
If you don't want to reread everything but would like to understand what is going on, well:
Meet Selena! She was innocently tanning on a rock next to a pond on her family's secluded property when a bandit came along and stole her virginity. After it was discovered that she was with child, her father did the only thing he could; he threw her out of their home in dishonor and shame. Alone, she had no choice but to find someplace to survive until she had her baby.
Eventually, her father and brother come looking for her, finding her a couple of months after the baby was born. Her father feels terrible about what he did - even though he was only doing what was expected of him by society. He apologizes and asks her to come home. In relief, she agrees, but inside her, something has changed...
I woke up just before the sun started poking its nose above the horizon in the distance. Bom was fussing, and I knew he had to visit the bushes. If I managed to notice his clues before he made a mess in his nappies, it was so much easier on me! I slipped out of my shelter and walked behind the nearest bush.
I held him in a squatting position as he relieved himself, and then tucked him in the sling so that I could relieve myself. It occurred to me that I was leaving today, and would never again see the best part about living here. The reason I chose to make my shelter here as opposed to anywhere else in this huge forest!
There was a warm pond surrounded on three sides by rocky formations. It was small, probably only 2 or 3 times bigger than my shelter, but it had a continually warm and bubbly supply of water from underneath it. I utterly loved swimming in it!
Carefully shedding my clothes and the carrier, I held Bom to me and slipped into the pond. He didn't seem to care in the slightest the we were now submerged in near bliss, all he did was take advantage of the fact that I held him close enough to my breast that he could nurse. I swear! All this baby ever did was drink from me!
My father and brother were sound asleep when I emerged from my shelter, but they would probably wake soon. I should really hurry up and get clean so that I can make something for breakfast and then pack my saddlebags. I washed my hair the best I could, and then couldn't help but lay back and relax as I simply floated for much longer than I planned to.
I started singing to Bom. I sang songs that I remember my mother singing to me when I was little. Songs that falsely made it sound like everything would always be wonderful. I knew better now, but I still loved thinking that my son's future really was going to be wonderful.
“I can't believe that you can sing after all that's happened to you,” my brother remarked, drawing my attention to him. He was standing a few feet away from the pond with his back to me. “I don't think I would stop being angry long enough to sing if I were in your situation.”
I shifted until I was no longer floating. Bom protested when my jostling interrupted his nursing, but he was able latch on again right away.
“I'll admit that there are times when I get angry, but most of the time I'm simply too busy to even think about it,” I replied. “Then there are times like this when I'm calm and at peace.”
I'm not sure what Sebastian's expression was because he was facing away, but he shrugged with a vague nod. “I know it's not freezing like it would be at home, but still, it can't be good for you or the baby to linger in a pond in the middle of winter.”
“It's actually warm in here. Warm enough that I dread getting out into the cool air.”
“Warm huh?” Sebastian asked with interest.
I purred happily. “Almost perfect.”
“In that case, let me give you a few minutes of privacy to get out so that I can take a bath!” Sebastian exclaimed.
“It'd be faster if you held Bom for me,” I told him. “Take him and put him in the carrier so that he doesn't get cold, and then hold him while I get dressed.”
Sebastian thought about this for a moment and then nodded. He picked up the carrier from my pile of clothing, and then sat at the edge of the pond with his arms out. Three sides of the pond were rock formations, but the fourth side wasn't a shore or a sandy beach; it was more like a ledge. The water didn't quite cover my breasts as I stood right next to the ledge, then got deep enough to have more than a foot of water over my head in the middle of the pond.
I carefully lifted Bom – detaching him from my nipple with a soft popping noise – and handed him to Sebastian. Sebastian took him and quickly put him in the carrier as he turned around and scooted a few feet away from the pond. Bom was not happy and announced this for everyone to hear.
I was tempted to croon as I watched Sebastian gently bounce him, but decided that it would just be quicker to get dressed and take him back. Lifting myself out of the pond, I was careful not to splash my clothes or my twin. My pants were pulled on quickly, but took a moment to lace up. The cold made my hands start shaking as I buttoned up my shirt, which made the process take longer than it would have otherwise.
I was astonished to discover that Bom had stopped crying. My first thought was that something terrible had happened to him, but a glance over my shoulder proved me wrong. Sebastian had simply arranged the carrier so that Bom could stare at him.
My father arrived just as I got my last button fastened. He sighed in relief, his eyes on Sebastian and the baby.
“When I heard crying, I thought something might be wrong!”
I laughed. “Babies cry.” I knew this all too well these days. It made sense to me that – because it was the only way he could communicate – Bom would cry whenever he wanted to tell me something.
“Thanks for holding him,” I stated as I kissed Sebastian on the cheek and took Bom back. “I'll cook something for breakfast while you take your bath.”
It was my father's turn to laugh. “I already started on that. I got the fire going again, and cut up some chunks of meat.”
Sebastian prevented me from answering by swearing in appreciation. “You weren't joking. This water feels wonderful!”
“Wait until more than just your hand's in it!” I exclaimed with a grin at the way he was leaning over the pond to test the water. With a wave, I turned to return to my shelter.
I placed my flat cooking rock into the fire, uncovered the meat my father had prepared and then hastily covered before abandoning it, and then tossed it onto the rock to cook. I had purposely positioned the rock so that the meat would cook more slowly. This gave me time to slice up some wild onions and mushrooms I'd set aside yesterday morning and then toss them onto the rock too.
A prickling along my spine made me pause to look around. I had the distinct sensation that someone was watching me, but it didn't feel malevolent, simply... watching... It took me a few minutes to locate the general direction the sensation was coming from, and then I realized that my friend Wolfie was keeping an eye on me from the relative privacy of the forest.
Wolfie noticed me watching him in return and decided to slowly walk closer to me. He licked his lips hopefully as he watched the food cooking over the fire. Smiling, I retrieved some of the raw meat from where I had stored it. Wolfie accepted it from me with an almost wistful sounding sigh, and then licked my cheek with something akin to fondness. And sadness...
Ruffling the fur on Wolfie's head, I rested the side of my head against his ear. “I'm going to miss you too,” I stated with a sigh.
“Fenrir,” I growled unhappily.
“Boy,” he growled in return.
I felt the fur along my spine raise angrily in response to his word. “I am over 300 years old! I am not a boy!”
He snorted in mixture of amusement and derision. “You don't seriously expect me to call you by the name you did not earn and then abused so thoroughly, do you?”
I sighed in frustration and then sat to lick my fur until it lay flat once more. My fur was so much more complexly colored that a typical fox, but that was because I myself was not a typical fox. I am the son of Loki.
As I gather, my father was not generally one to sleep around with human women – he far preferred Goddesses, Giants, and... a stallion... A big strong stallion of great legend, but that's not important to the story. What is important is that my father apparently became besotted by a human woman one night and conceived me.
I was a joy to my mother in my youth, and she named me after my father to honor him for his precious gift. So, you see, I was not lying when I went around telling everyone that I am Loki! I am... I'm just not THE Loki...
My mother died in an accident just shortly before I reached adulthood, and so I was left to my own devices. As I am sure you can imagine, with who my father is, I was not inclined to do hard work. I mean sure, I would perform intensive manual labor if the occasion called for it, but far more often, I would simply sweet talk my way between a warm and willing pair of legs.
I roamed across the land, bedding every woman I could, until one day, I happened to catch the eye of a princess. When I say princess, I am sure you are thinking of a prim and proper young thing too naïve of the ways of the world to know anything about men, but I assure you, this was not the case. She was an older, married woman with a King for an overprotective brother.
The King had married his sister to a loyal but timid man who treated her like a fragile porcelain doll – too frail to do anything strenuous. She once confessed to me that he made love to her in a way that barely touched her so that she couldn't claim that he harmed so much as a hair on her head. He was obviously afraid of what her brother would do to him if she complained!
With my gold tinted coppery red hair and well defined muscles, I was exactly what she was looking for in a lover. She was fascinated by the tattoos on my leg, arm, and back, and positively adored my piercings! I had a piercing right on the head of my shaft that she just loved to tickle with her tongue... Gods! I miss that!
Our bedplay was so exciting that I actually stayed in one place longer than anywhere I'd ever lived before, aside from growing up with my mother. I was her lover for at least a year before anyone found out, but then... Her brother caught us in the act, and took serious umbrage to the fact that I had tied his sister to my bed and was whipping her – with the silk whip she had provided me!
He immediately sentenced me to execution, and was fully prepared to carry out that execution right on the spot! I had no choice but to try and bluff my way out of the situation.
“You wouldn't strike a God, would you?” I asked cryptically.
“Which God?” The King asked, his eyes narrowing in suspicion.
“Loki,” I stated, then made absolutely certain that he couldn't misunderstand me. “I am Loki.”
“You?” He asked in incredulous disbelief. “You're Loki???”
“Yes,” I confirmed with a confident nod. His sister also nodded frantically in agreement, a ball in her mouth muffling the words she was trying to say.
Grumpy – the overbearing King – crossed his arms with a harrumph. “Well... If what you say is true, then you have nothing to worry about.”
A moment later, a long and sharp scimitar raced towards my stomach. I held out my hands in an attempt to protect myself and cried out in shock and horror! Never in my life had I imagined that I would be executed for bedding a woman!
Time stopped abruptly, or at least that's the way it seemed to me. I stared at the King in fascination as he stood there frozen before me. His scimitar was literally a hair's breadth from jabbing me in the gut, making me desperately long to step back and to the side, but I couldn't move either.
“I should leave you to your fate,” a voice rumbled out in displeasure. “But I cannot bear to see any child of mine harmed in any way. And so... I shall come to your aid, just this once. You are forever after transformed into a fox. You may live out your long life in a forest where you cannot do anything more harmful than creating a family of foxes.”
I gasped in dismay and then cried out in protest as I felt my body start to change, but it was already too late. My father – the real God Loki – had already changed my life forever, and he wasn't going to change his mind no matter what I said or did. I could not help but cry, mourning the loss of the life I loved so much!
My father turned to look at an empty spot next to me. “Fenrir, bring him someplace that he can live in peace.”
A large but otherwise unremarkable wolf stepped out of thin air to stand next to me. “Yes father, it shall be done.”
Unlike me – with a human for a mother – Fenrir had a type of divine parentage that allowed him to live with our father among the Gods. His mother was a Giantess – a divine being that freely intermingled with the Gods and lived among them if the so wished. For example, Fenrir's mother also gave birth to Loki's daughter Hel, and she was given – by Odin, King of the Gods – Dominion over the land of the dead. Had her mother been human like mine, I doubt that Odin would have ever even given her the time of day, but I digress.
Fenrir had let me stew in silence for a few minutes but now decided that he may as well get comfortable and tell me why he was here. I continued to groom myself, feigning disinterest in what he had to say.
“I want you to do me a favor,” Fenrir stated, coming directly to the point. “I want you to watch over and protect someone for me.”
My plan to feign disinterest was utterly ruined when I sat up straight and gaped at him in astonishment. “You want me to do what?!”
Fenrir chuckled at my reaction, amused by my surprise. To be fair, Fenrir only ever seemed to check up on me to make sure that I wasn't doing anything disgraceful to dishonor our father. Never once had he asked for my help with anything, and by the fact that he was my older brother and fully divine, he could order me around all he wanted. The fact that he was asking me for a favor meant that he would owe me a favor in return.
I closed my mouth and stared at him in cold calculation. I wonder if I can get him to make our father turn me back into a human? If anyone could persuade our father, I think it would be Fenrir.
“Just who do you want me to watch over, and why?” I asked, wondering what kind of divine being garnered such fondness from this fierce son of Loki's.
“As you know, I have made my home in a peaceful place as I wait for the inevitable day when Ragnarok arrives and I must kill Odin,” Fenrir began, sort of shrugging his shoulders in a way that let me know that not even he fully believed that prophesy. “In my forest, I do everything I can to maintain the peace and tranquility. In the many centuries that I have lived there, never once have I let a human live in my forest! Until now...”
I couldn't help but be intrigued and jumped to my feet so that I could prod Fenrir's face with my nose. “Until now? Why now?”
Fenrir sighed gravely. “I just didn't have it in me to kill or drive away a lone and desperate woman round with the child she carried. So, I tolerated her presence, watching her from a distance at first. She struggled so hard just to survive that I found myself wanting to help her.”
Annoyed by my teasing of him, he growled once and then swatted me away. I wasn't seriously hurt, but I moaned and groaned and just generally milked it for all it was worth. It was fun to annoy him!
A thought occurred to me that made me abandon my pretense and sit up straight once more. “You mean to say that you actually fell in love with her?!”
“Love? No. Not as you mean it. It's true that as I watched her, I realized that I longed for companionship with more intelligence than the forest animals can provide, but that's all she ever meant to me. A friend; a companion to take the edge off the loneliness. Someone I wish happiness to.”
My expression probably showed that I didn't believe him in the slightest, but he simply shrugged again.
“Maybe this will convince you: She's leaving. If I loved her like you think I do, I would have no qualms about abandoning my home and going with her wherever she went, but I love my home. I never for even one second considered leaving my home to go with her. Yet neither do I wish to see her harmed in any way. So...”
I jumped up and started hopping back and forth in front of my brother. I was unbelievably excited to know what he had to say, especially since it involved owing me a favor to cash in at some point in the future. “So? So what?” I prompted.
“So, I was hoping that you would be willing to keep an eye on her for me. If she's ever in danger and needs me, you can call for me to come help her,” Fenrir finished explaining, and I'll admit that I was a tiny bit disappointed. I was hoping that he was going to reward my compliance with the power to transport anywhere I wanted to go, like he had. Not that I am sure he even has the capability of giving me such a gift.
With a morose sigh, I sat down and started cleaning my fur again. “Why would I help you?” I wondered grumpily.
“Because...” he growled menacingly. “You can either help me in exchange for the ability to ask me for a favor someday, or I can pummel you into mincemeat and eat you right here and now!”
Oh! Right... I had forgotten that little detail. Our father had promised Fenrir that he would get to eat me if I ever misbehaved. Like I said, I don't know why Fenrir would bother to ask me for a favor when he could quite easily order me around. It's not like I could disobey him and live...
With a reluctant groaning sigh, I nodded. “Fine, I'll help you... But you're gonna owe me big time!”
Fenrir rolled his eyes. “Sure sure...”
“Selena? You ready to go?” Father asked me. Considering that I was nearly worn out from riding my horse and nursing my son for the past four hours, I wasn't that eager to come out of hiding and do it some more. Only three days of this, and already I felt like I was going to die from exhaustion! How do most women get through motherhood without dropping dead from sleep deprivation?!
I sighed reluctantly. “Yes father...”
Bom had already done his business and was now cooing happily from his carrier. I had been relishing the break from nursing him almost as much as I was happy to be still for a few minutes. Standing up from my hiding spot in the bushes, I carefully jiggled my pants back into place and made sure that they would stay put. I was a bit thinner than I should be, and the pants had been roomy enough to accommodate the first half of my pregnancy. This meant that I needed a belt pulled tight to keep them from falling down around my ankles at the most inconvenient of moments.
Father helped set me atop my horse, and then stood by as I shifted one leg over her back. I think he was afraid that I would lose my balance and fall off Goldie, which was ridiculous since I have been riding horses since I was a babe in arms! I suppressed the urge to roll my eyes and sigh. I swear! Ever since he found me, he's been hovering over me like a mother hen!
Once they were ready to go too, we kicked our horses into a fast and steady trot. Sebastian was anxious to make it to the next town by nightfall so that he didn't have to sleep outside on what promised to be a frigidly chilly night. I couldn't exactly blame him since I hated the cold too!
We had traveled maybe 100 feet before my father and brother's horses stopped short at the sound of a lone wolf howling from somewhere nearby. The horses looked around cautiously, both afraid and ready to defend themselves. Goldie simply snorted as she stood behind them. It felt like she was mentally crossing her arms and leaning against a tree as we waited for the lone wolf to attack us or move on.
A few moments later, the lone wolf could just barely be seen coming towards us through the thick woods. The three of us had also been looking around defensively, just because I had one wolf friend, didn't mean that all the wolves would be friendly to me. Now, we braced ourselves for action if necessary.
Once I could see him clearly, I exhaled in relief. “Wolfie! Don't scare me like that!” I commanded him with a laugh.
He made a whuffing noise that made me wonder if he was laughing at me too. I tilted my head to the side with a curious frown as I realized that it wasn't just my imagination... He really did have a gorgeous fox on his back!
My hand unconsciously stroked my bow where it rested in a carrier attached to my saddle. That fox – if skinned properly – would probably bring me a lot of money for his pelt! Not to mention feed us for a few days...
The strange laughing Wolfie was making got louder and more hearty, like I had just told the best joke ever. I noticed the fox whimper and try to hide in Wolfie's fur. Realizing that I was making the fox uncomfortable, I stopped stroking my bow – even though I was more than half sure that Wolfie was bringing me a gift of food to repay me for the many times I had fed him.
Wolfie got close enough to me that he could nudge my leg with his nose. I carefully held Bom so that I could reach down and pet him on the head. “What's wrong, Wolfie?”
Wolfie whuffed softly, licking my hand. He then turned his head to the fox on his back and barked just once. It was a short and throaty bark, which sounded a lot like he was commanding the fox to go. The fox jumped as if startled, but then leapt up onto my lap.
I was probably in shock as I stared at the fox in my lap. My mouth hung open and I didn't know what to say. His clearly purple eyes stared right back at me, and if I didn't know better, I'd swear he was gaping at me in astonishment too.
“Wow...” I exhaled reverently. “Aren't you just beautiful?!”
The fox started wagging his tail at my words and carefully pressed his paws on my chest so that he could somewhat stand up and not hurt Bom. He got his face as close to mine as he possibly could, looking me in the eyes as if searching for something. I'd swear I saw a smile stretch his little fox mouth for a second before he licked me. Twice. First on the cheek, and then directly on my lips.
I chuckled and then gently forced him to sit on my lap. I'm not sure that he will be comfortable or stable on my lap during the ride, but so far, he seemed fine. He still stared up at me with this little smile, which made me shake my head at my silliness. Animals can't smile!
I returned my attention to Wolfie. “Are you trying to tell me that I should bring your fox friend with me?”
Wolfie barked just once. It was a definitive bark that sounded a lot like he was saying yes. I laughed and shook off how silly I must be to think that these animals could actually talk to me. With another laugh, I grinned.
“Well, alright, if you insist!”
With a whuff and a nod, Wolfie confirmed my statement, and then turned to leave. I waved, calling after him: “Goodbye Wolfie! You are the strangest wolf I have ever known! I'll miss you!”
Wolfie turned to look at me and I swear it sounded like he was chuckling. A moment later, he took off running in the direction of my shelter, and then vanished almost as if he had literally disappeared into thin air, but I was certain that was just my imagination getting the better of me.
“What was that all about?” Sebastian asked, his horse finally calming down enough for him to get close to me again. My father also got closer for a better look at my new fox friend.
I shrugged. “I have no idea, but it looks like I have a new... Hmm...” I tilted my head to the side as I tried to figure out what word described him best. Pet didn't seem right. I really couldn't think of anything better than: “Friend.”
Fox snorted and leapt up so that he could cover my face in a thousand little kisses. I giggled as my brother and father laughed at my predicament, and turned my head side to side as I unsuccessfully tried to push him away. I couldn't squirm too much because I didn't want to fall off Goldie or jostle my baby.
Speaking of, Bom start to cry, protesting the sudden activity and noise that interrupted his delight at the fox. He had been trying to capture handfuls of hair, but apparently didn't have much luck. He caught one now and yanked on it so hard that Fox yipped in surprise. He stopped licking me and stared at Bom as if wondering whether or not he'd be allowed to bite the infant.
“No,” I stated firmly, nipping that idea in the bud. I gently forced Bom to let go of Fox's hair. After that, I petted Fox until he settled down on my lap.
“I guess we are ready to go,” I announced, feeling a whole lot better than I had just a few minutes ago.
“I guess we are,” Father replied with an amused grin.