The House

The House

Basic Info

Current Name of the House

Madame Marigold’s House of Respite

Year of Completion

1822

Architecture Style

Queen Anne

More to the story…

The Hughes house originally belonged to town founder Martin Hughes back in the 1800’s. Martin was warned not to build it on that property because strange things had a tenancy to occur in that area, making it thoroughly uninhabitable. All previous builders eventually gave up on civilizing the area, leaving only a foundation in tact. However Martin was determined, and the property spanned over two hundred acres of pristine forest. So he payed an ungodly sum to get contractors and architects and get the place built. Rumor has it that Martin had made his money through clever investments in shipping industry. Having grown up on board a vessel, Martin had a knack for knowing when the best times to sail were, and had amassed a small fleet of sea worthy vessels. These ships carried lighter cargo, but could return quicker than a large ship, allowing for a speedy turn around on profit.

For a time, everything seemed to be going well. The contractors worked cautiously, as if they could feel eyes on their back. In 1822, the house was completed on scheduled and Martin moved in with his wife Abigail and their three children; Clark, Abigail Marigold (who went by Marigold), and Robin. The family was reportedly delighted with the house, a big change from their urbane apartments in London. Abagail quickly set about finding staff for the expansive grounds, but her progress was harried by rumors of the estate and it’s past. Eventually she had to hire from out of town, and the house was expanded to include servants quarters.

Years passed, and it seemed as if the house had settled. Martin and Abigail quickly became pillars of the community, helping to build the town meeting hall as well as the church on main street, funding it’s large glass window entirely from their own pockets. Martin was often seen at the docks, where he had begun plans to build a shipping port. As building begun, the area went through a boom in business, and the town expanded. Photographs from the time show that Martin was an active participant in the carpentry, and his children were usually in tow. Most notably, his middle child Marigold. She became a favorite of the workers, who dubbed her Merry Mary for her pleasant and convivial personality.

It was in 1825 that the troubles began.

Their youngest child, Robin, took sick with tuberculosis and passed away that winter. The doctor said he had never seen a sickness take hold with such ferocity on an up till then healthy child. Their eldest. Clark, began seeing things stalking them in the shadows, threatening the family with ill intentions. A maid’s diary, which was found in the side table and donated by Abigail Marigold to the Town Historical Society some years later, tells the poor boy’s tragic hallucinations:

~Diary of Lisset Jones, 1825~

Young Clark has always been likely to take after his father in personality and scope. He is a studious young man and most courteous even to us serving folk. So it comes as some shock to see the young sir taken to such flights of fancy that they wake him screaming in the middle of the night.

Last night I had risen to make use of the water closet when I heard a terrible sobbing carried through the wind. I took my candle and traced the source to Clark’s room. I opened the door and saw the boy clutching his blankets, staring up into the corner of the room, shaking as if freezing cold. I entered, and at the creak of my footsteps I heard a foul, hoarse voice scratch through the room and vanish. I shone my candle about to dispel the child’s worries, but he sobbed and clutched my skirts, begging me not to go. And this from a boy of sixteen!

I stayed the night in the rocking chair and kept the candle lit, which seemed to help him sleep. I saw nothing more that night, but I have begun to wonder if perhaps Clark’s imagination is not in fact the cause of his distress.

Their luck was to continue to fail. On midsummer in the year 1826,  Martin’s wife, Abigail, went missing. She was last seen by the gardener by the old willow tree on the property, even though it was quite late at night and she was in her night dress. The police investigated, arresting several vagrants and homeless folk in the area as suspicious persons, though there was no evidence to indicate she had been taken in a struggle. Rumors abounded that she’d run off with some of her husbands money and one of the servants, though a quick check at bookkeeping shows that none of the staff had left their job during that time. Then, on All Hallows Eve the same year, Abigail turned up, bedraggled, raving mad, ranting about the little folk and women with bug eyes and men with ears like bats who fed her from flowers cups.

Martin tried to keep things private, but when Abigail’s behavior got out, he had her committed to Bellehews Asylum, where she would spend the rest of her days in a quiet but well maintained suite he donated for her comfort. It was at this time that Marigold was sent off to boarding school in the Scottish countryside. Martin felt sure that separating her from the grief of her family would protect her precious Merry Mary from any more suffering attached to the family. It would be the last time he would ever see his daughter.

In 1828, Martin Hughes was found hung from the willow tree where his wife had once vanished. Ravens had begun to pluck the flesh from his body, and the local coroners had a difficult time getting him down from the branch. It was noted that there was no sigh of a ladder, or evidence that Martin had managed the hanging himself. Several odd objects were found beneath his body, including an iron candlestick holder, a rosary of rowan berries, and a bouquet of rosemary, dill and St. John’s Wort. Martin Hughes was buried on the property. The next summer his wife followed him to the grave. Young Clark, who by now seemed to have inherited his mother’s madness, was committed to the same room in Bellehews where she had been given hospitality. He would remain there for three decades.

For thirty-four years, the house remained abandoned and untended, turning into an eyesore in the now prosperous community. Until one bright spring day in 1862, a large, fancy automobile showed up carrying a fine young woman with papers claiming that the house belonged to her late father. Upon inspection by a notary and lawyer, everything was found to be in order. Shortly afterwards, Abigail Marigold began to move into the Hughes Estate, fixing up the property. The town did not view this with pleasure, as they were sure her return portended tragedy. They waited to hear that Merry Mary had suffered the same fate as her poor, bedeviled family.

As the months passed, everything seemed to go well. The house was being repaired, the grounds were being maintained. Marigold even went so far as to buy more property, expanding her estate out into the mountains surrounding the westernmost part of the estate. Of course her activities drew the attention of the locals, who began snooping around. Most of them didn’t see anything and were quickly chased off by either her servants or on one occasion an albino peacock!

But as all things must, eventually someone did find something most curious. A group of boys, including Alfred Hospiel, and his friends Thomas Greckle and Peter Lorde; snuck into the property to cause mischief. The night might well have ended with a few overturned trash receptacles and shattered windows. But on that night, all three boys went missing.

Marigold was noted by the police as being quite generous in allowing them to search the property. But by now the three hundred acres of land was by no means easy to pick through! Though every building on the property was searched and hunters and trackers were called in to investigate the woods, no trace of the boys was found nor even evidence that they had ever been there in the first place. Marigold Hughes was investigated, but it was at the time they were set to arrest her for suspicious charges that all three boys turned up in the woods.

Alfred and Peter babbled incoherently, wide eyed and frightful as they tried to explain to the police what they had seen and experienced. But it was only Thomas who seemed to have the words to fully describe the events, though he rocked back and forth like a frightened child as he did so.

~Statement taken from Thomas Greckle, 1863~

We wents in through a gap in the gate. We weren’t out to do much harm. Jus curious. Our parents talked ya know? Bout all that stuff that happened in the house when they were kids. We went round the back of the house and Alfie, he saw a light over by the willow tree. We went to go see what was on, and it…what we saw didn’t make no sense! There was Miss Marigold, right? Dressed prim and proper as if she was going out to a party. And there was this fellow beside her, looked half mad. Kept talking to himself and pointing at things. But that wasn’t the strangest sight. There were…things there. Things that weren’t people. Miss Marigold was talking to one of them. She was sitting under the willow tree, reclining on two gravestones like they were her throne. She had skin red as ocher, and I could swear there were gold flakes coming off of her like salt off a seaman. We got scared, I got scared, and I went to run, but Alfie and Pete wouldn’t move. They couldn’t move! I tried to make them run with me, I swear I did! But somebody must have heard us. I saw eyes like a dragonfly, bejeweled and multi-fasceted, and…and after that…I don’t remember anything more.

It was later discovered that earlier that same year, Clark Hughes, Marigold’s elder brother, had been discharged from Bellehews Asylum under the care of his younger sister.

In 1864, Marigold Hughes held a grand fete and invited the towns populations to come and see the beautifully refurbished home and gardens. Much to the surprise of the wealthy and well placed of society, Marigold had turned her families estate into a house of oddities and curios. Apparently, in the thirty years of her absence, Marigold had set herself to world travel and education. She sported collections of strange and unusual items. It made for quite the story, and she allowed the guests to roam freely about, enchanting them with her delightful laughter, unusually masculine dress, and free way of speaking on subjects most well bred ladies of the time avoided. She was an avid supporter of the Union, and given her way of treating the servants she hired for above average wages and the frequency with which they changed, it was thought that perhaps she was a participant of the Underground Railroad.

These parties continued on a yearly basis, Marigold inviting people into her home to show off her newest additions and rare items which she’d not allowed to the public before. Like her parents, she became a community supporter and contributor. But these times were not without incidents.

There were no fatalities, however guests would occasionally come back from her fete’s not quite the same as before they left. One young woman returned home after one of Marigold’s parties, capable of speaking only in iambic pentameter. Another went blind in both eyes, but could tell when someone was lying and to what extent. One poor young man was found with claw marks up and down his back, and a feral look in his eyes. Marigold paid for his hospitalization, but within a month afterwards he went missing. That fall, a group of hunters claimed they saw him wandering the woods on Marigold’s property with a wild looking group of unruly fellows. But before they could approach him, the group vanished into the underbrush, and the howling of wolves was heard all through the night.

One particularly tragic event involved the young Edith DeMoines who kept coming back, month after month, carrying love letters and begging the lady of the house to give them to someone she called “Horatio”. She eventually tried to overdose on sleeping pills when Marigold refused to accept her letters anymore. She recovered and was sent away to her Aunt Justine in France in hopes it would cure her melancholy.

After that incident, people became too terrified to go to the house, or to even be seen anywhere near it! Tales of Martin Hughes and his wife began to circulate once more, and suspicion cost Marigold some amount of good clout in the community. How did she make her money? Where did she go when she took her holidays? Why did these terrible events only happen to others and never to her or her staff? Most importantly to the ladies of society, why did Marigold, who by now was in her late forties, still look no older than her early thirties? Marigold’s house became shunned, and her good standing within the community died regardless as to how much she helped in renovating the shipping industry and infrastructure.

In 1871, the House of Curiosities changed it’s business practices and became, for better or worse, a house of ill repute. It seemed if Marigold was going to be shunned by the very town her family had helped build, she was going to accept that label and design it to her liking. Brought perhaps by curiosity or the allure of sex, Marigold’s business booms. True to form, the people who visit her home leave in strange condition, but in far less dire circumstances. Whatever she offered, it was by far more captivating than the whore houses in the near by cities, and far more conveniently located.

Every year at midsummer, she continued to host her Grand Fete, inviting every member of society and their wives! Most wouldn’t dare risk their reputation by being seen at a common brothel, but the few who do, come back with secret smiles and brash daring not unlike Marigold herself. Their husbands seem no worse off for knowing what their wives have encountered, and indeed it seems some relationships may have been much improved by the transaction.

~Diary of Jocasta Shaw, 1875~

I have never thought that my life was lacking in any manner. Indeed I had thought myself content in my husband and our lives together, for we are a well placed family and he keeps me well. I have had little to complain about in my life, though his frequent visitations to the ill mannered Marigold’s house have plagued my mind. What she provides to him is surely not the province of a good wife and I had resolved to put this from my mind entirely.

My resolve was put to the test when my husband approached me and asked for me to attend him during that arrogant woman’s summer party! I could not conceive of being seen at such an event, and I pleaded with him not to have me go. He was most adamant however, and pressed me to put on my finery and join him. I have never denied my husband a request, and he seemed so excited for me to join him that I realized it would be quite impossible to refused. I am an honorable woman and I told myself I would not permit myself any enjoyment from this indulgence of his.

Never before have I found less cause to regret my acquiescence to his demands! I do not dare write of what occurred later in the evening, for fear that some spying eyes might see and disgrace me! But after the feast and dancing, my husband took me into the gardens and made a confession to me. My dear Bernard told me that while he had tried to be a good husband to me and to keep me as befitted a woman of my station, he had betrayed me in his heart and body. He now wished for me to meet the companion who had kept so much of his time. I was of course aghast, as any proper lady should be! But he stole me to the Greenhouse on the property, warning me to not be fearful nor to look directly into his eyes until we had been properly introduced. He swore to me there was no danger, and opened the door.

I find myself blushing now to think of what happened, of what I allowed to occur! I consider myself to be a lady. I have always conducted myself in a demur and fitting manner. But upon having met my husbands lover, I confess, I could not help but fall perhaps a little bit in love myself! After my fear abated, I found him to be a charming and capable host. It is in it’s own way very endearing to know my husband trusts me enough to confess himself to me in this manner. I became resolved to return from time to time to enjoy his company and his excellent tea.

Our relationship has much improved since then, and my dear Bernard and I seem to have come to an accord with one another. When he visits Marigold’s house, so do I. As he finds himself drawn to the Greenhouse and his silky tongued lover, I allow myself a bit of indulgence in the company of Marigold’s capable staff. It seems I am quite the flighty creature given the opportunity! My current favorite is the dapper fellow who calls himself Ignatius, and I hope to let him keep me company for some time yet.

As the business continued, much of it was ignored by the population. So long as life continued as it should, it was better to simply let things stand without causing trouble. Marigold withdrew from the public eye, but still ventured out on her holidays from time to time. Always returning for the Grand fete and ensuring her household was run according to her specifications.

In 1929, the stock market crashed.

Many of the towns most prominent members lost everything, and by 1930 the town had become a haven for migrant workers trying to scratch out a living. Though Marigold, (by now in her early hundreds by any reckoning) had long ago sold her stock in the shipping industry, she seemed untouched by the destitution effecting the rest of the town. Her household remained solidly in tact, and she lost not one half acre of land on her property. Despite having been shunned by most of the population, Marigold continued to show her generosity by having a soup kitchen built and funded entirely through her own account. Many of the town buildings had fallen into disrepair, and it was through Marigold’s Hughes foundation that they were kept in tact and given the badly needed upkeep through out most of the depression. Through out this decade of scarcity, Marigold continued to keep her business open, and the town maintained largely due to her.

In such dire circumstances, generosity can provoke jealousy.

In 1937, the Hughes mansion became the victim of an arson attack.

Marigold survived, as well as most of her staff. But the woman ran from the house in a flagrant red robe with a feathered trim, shrieking in rage at the gathering neighbors. “What have you done? You fools! What have you done?” When the flames had died and the magnificent house was nothing but ash, Marigold demanded an investigation, but just like that, the town had turned on her. The police wrote a report and filed it away, claiming no evidence that it had been arson and that Marigold might well have done it herself for the insurance claim. After all, how could she possibly afford to keep up such a lavish lifestyle in the face of economic downturn? In light of this, the bank refused to loan her the money to rebuild, bringing Marigold Hughes to a near destitute level.

It was then that the bad luck of Martin Hughes hubris spread to the rest of the town like a plague in London.

The local parish pastor awoke one morning, speaking in verses from Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream in perfect 15th century English. He was entirely unable to stop, even repeating the Puck’s line from Act 3, Scene 2: “Lord what fools these mortals be.” Over and over again until he passed out and had to be remanded to a doctors care.

A vagabond, who called himself Hamelin, came to town at midnight and played music on the street corner. The local school children flocked to listen to him every day. They stood there, hypnotized by the music. He never harmed them or even seemed to acknowledge them openly. But they refused to eat or sleep as he played unceasingly. Their parents came to drag them home, but they would creep back out in the dead of night to crawl back to the haunting melody.

The hunting club would not dare the woods any longer, no matter day or night. They had become unwelcoming in every way. Three men were lost going after a prize buck, wandering off and never returning despite having tracked in the area since they were children. Wolf sightings began to increase and they became uncommonly brazen in their attacks. Teams were mounted to hunt them down and eradicate the problem, but no matter how they searched the mongrels seemed to have vanished.

There are vultures in the sky. Massive, ungodly sized vultures that never seem to land. Area pets begin to go missing in droves, and their bloody remains are found scattered about the rooftops days later. Small children are no longer safe playing outside after a young boy goes missing and the parents have to be called to identify the remains found on a church spire.

Finally, after three years of this insanity, the then town mayor Gavin Trayews came to call upon Marigold Hughes. He spent a week in her company and in the small flat she had rented in a neighboring city. Whatever was discussed between them remains a closely guarded secret, and neither Mayor Trayews nor Marigold have ever discussed the matter publicly. But in 1940, on Midsummers Eve, Marigold Hughes hosted a party on her families property, which she had refused to sell despite multiple offers. Everyone in town was invited to attend, and Marigold strongly advised that everyone capable of coming did so.

Within weeks, the state of things began to improve. Though dazed and confused, the people of the town had come to an understanding. Money was allocated and the bank ensured that the Hughes house was returned to it’s original state down to the very last tile in the garden.

In 1978, the Heritage Society, in recognition of Marigold’s contributions to the town and it’s stability, and partially in apology, awarded the house and it’s estate a plaque which proclaims it a Historical Site.

Since then, the Marigold House of Respite has maintained the same hours:

Open for Business:
Thursdays
Fridays
Saturdays

Closed: 
Sundays
Mondays

Tuesdays and Wednesday by Special Appointment ONLY.

 

Every Midsummer, Marigold Hughes hosts her Grand Fete, inviting two or three dozen of the towns people into her estate to enjoy it’s architectural glory, strange oddities, and friendly company. No one in the town is required to attend, but it is something of a rite of passage to come to the party at least once in their lives. It is also considered to be a rule of thumb not to discuss what goes on in the house. After all, privacy still means something to the residence. Since this tradition has begun, there have been no casualties and no overwhelming incidents resulting from the houses unusual business practices.

Madam Marigold

Madam Marigold

Basic Info

Character Name

Madam Marigold

Species

Human

Found in Chapter…

Chapter one

Storyline Includes:

  • This character does not include sex scenes

More to the story…

Marigold was eight years old when she was brought to the ill fated Hughes Mansion along with her siblings and mother. She immediately took a liking to the expansive house and it’s many rooms, often vanishing for hours to explore every last nook and cranny. Being a delightful and good natured child, she was easily her parents favorite, and they indulged her eccentricities. She would build forts in the attic, hunting “boggarts” in the woods, and climbing the big willow tree in the backyard till she gave the maids a panic! She settled quickly into the new life there, and was eager to become known by the town. While her elder brother Clark had no head for business, Marigold insisted on following her father to the docks, even sneaking into the back of his buggy if he refused. Eventually he realized there was no point in denying her demands and began to educate her on the ins and outs of running a business. She even traveled with him on short voyages, learning to love a life at sea.

It was in the summer of 1825, when Marigold was eleven, that she returned home after one such voyage to find her brother in poor health. He had begun to see things. At first their parents took it to be a child’s game, and a very immature one given Clark’s age. But Marigold listened, and comforted Clark, convincing him to confide in her. He insisted that there was a strange man in the house, taunting him and threatening to hurt the family. He had horns and a patched face, and Clark swore that he had been visited by the devil himself.

But Marigold had her own theories. Her mother was Scottish, and as such had been raised on tales of strange and unusual happenings. She did her best to console her brother, but she kept her thoughts private and waited.

In 1826, when her mother went missing on midsummer’s eve, it was Marigold who went to the great willow tree on the property and left offerings of milk, honey, bread, and beer. She asked for her mother to be returned, over and over again, but no one answered. When Abigail turned up the following All Hallow’s Eve, seemingly as mad and wild-eyed as her son, Marigold went to the tree once more and demanded to speak to whomever had taken her mother! When no one answered again, the little girl took a can of motor oil and a matchbook and threatened to light the tree of fire of someone did not come to speak to her now!

He came with long twisted horns, a dappled face, and a grin almost too friendly. He called her a naughty child, and an ungrateful thing, as they had only borrowed her mother and brought her back in excellent condition, all things considered. But Marigold was not put off. She scolded the horned man furiously, and told him he had no right to treat her family this way! After all, what had they ever done to him?

“Oh but tis not me you need fret about, little miss, but my mistress.” He confided in her. “Your father, in his arrogance, set himself to building on her property, her rightful land. As such, it is her whim to vex him most terribly till he is distressed and destitute.”

“Her property? Well then, where are her papers?” Marigold insisted in a business-like manner. “Show me your mistresses deed to this land and I shall show it to my father. I am sure if there has been a misunderstanding we can come to some method of payment over it.”

“Payment? Oh, how delightful! You coquettish thing!” He cackled. “Yes. I will go to my mistress and tell her you offer payment for your father’s transgressions. She is not unreasonable. I am sure she will send me to you with her offer!”

Did little Marigold know with whom she was offering to bargain? Perhaps. She was a clever young thing, and she knew something of the good folk from her mother’s stories. But she did not get her meeting then. Abigail had gotten her husband to listen to her ravings, insisting that Marigold be taken away from the household before the same foul fate happened to her. Marigold was sent away to boarding school in 1827. In 1828, she received word of her father’s death by post. Her mother and elder brother had been confined to Bellehews Asylum, and with her younger brother long deceased, that left Marigold the sole heiress of the cursed house and grounds. The bank agreed to keep it for her until she came of age.

But Marigold did not return to the house at eighteen. Not at twenty five. For thirty some-odd years, Marigold took it upon herself to make some good of her education and wealth. She took to traveling the world, furthering her understanding of mythology, folk-lore, magic, and the difference between what people believe and what is true. She had a great many encounters, and found herself adept at making friends in strange places. But the world got a little smaller every year, and while she enjoyed the transient life, she began to see that some day it would become necessary for there to be a means of preserving life.

In 1862, at forty-nine years old, Marigold Hughes returned to her family estate. Her very first action was to return to the willow tree and insist upon a meeting with the horned ones mistress. For several weeks she received no answer. Until Midsummer came around, and she found someone kneeling at the foot of her bed.

“You were very rude last time, you know. When my mistress makes an appointment, she expects it to be kept.”

Marigold was older now, more cautious and less prone to cute tantrums. Besides, she had learned much. “Tell your mistress that I wish to convey my most sincere apologies…”

“Oh no. Oh drat.” He exclaimed, sounding terribly put out. “You’ve gone and grown up and gotten boring.”

“One does not have to be grown up to be boring. After all, you’re boring me a great deal right now and you do not seem very grown up at all.”

This startled the creature, and he thrilled to hear her mouth off at him so glibly! “Delightful! Positively delightful! Shall I tell my mistress you wish to speak with her?”

“At her earliest convenience, yes. And do let her know I will be bringing a gift with me to make up for my previous absence.”

The next year, Marigold stood at the foot of the Willow Tree and presented herself to a woman who draped herself in gold and had the baring of a queen. As pucca’s and goblins and hags danced about, mocking her and giving distractions, Marigold offered a treaty with with the Golden Lady in exchange for her protection and sponsorship in turning the house from a mere estate into a kind of biological preserve for rare species.

In exchange, once a year she would host a Midsummer Fete, inviting the well to do of the town to play among the house and grounds. And if someone, foolish, drunk, and ill advised, happened to fall under the sway of the folk there and provide them with an amusement or two, well so long as they came back within a reasonable amount of time, then no one was really going to look too deeply into it, now were they?

The Golden Lady

The Golden Lady

Basic Info

Character Name

The Golden Lady

Species

Fae

Found in Chapter…

Chapter one

Storyline Includes:

  • This character does not include sex scenes

Art Gallery

More to the story…

There is an unseen world. It exists alongside our own, shrouded by mists and the human arrogance that theirs is the only world worth living in. There are many portals, some of which only open at special, liminal times of the year. But those who dwell in this unseen world are always there. Watching. Waiting.

They call themselves the free folk, yet they are bound by rules older than darkness. They thrive on chaos, yet there must be a structure for even the wildest of societies to survive. And the oldest of these structures are the laws of fealty which bind the courts together. Even though their competitive nature and endless intrigues, the structure remains, and everyone is content so long as no one breaks this hierarchy. Rebellion is an unspoken word, and the ambition to step out of ones place is squashed before it can rear its head. Be wild, be feral, be free, but through it all, know your place in the world of the fairy.

In this world, there are many factions, each one led by a mighty and unwavering monarch. Eternal and ageless, they cling to their entourages with possessive fanaticism. They spend their immortality forever plotting against one another in an endless system of reprisals and intrigues to distract from the cold reality of their kind. They are immortal and thus have no soul. They must linger knowing that beyond their death lies nothing but the void, which waits without mercy.

While the Courts challenge one another out of sheer capricious nature, there are three Kingdoms which stand at odds to another, finding new allies within their expansive empires. The Kingdom of the Dawn, which holds sway over the bright and joyful fae who cling to the green and verdant world of life. They are sprightly and fair creatures, who count among their numbers the likes of elves, piksies, gnomes, wisps, and other forms of sightly and the lovely fae that most humans would associate with the folk. The Kingdom of the Dusk holds dominion over the dark and terrible ones who prefer shadows and secrets. They are twisted and strange folk, prone to maliciousness for the sheer joy of it. Kobolds, goblins, banshee, hags, and kelpies are only a few of their kind, and it is unwise to provoke them.

Between these two lies a kingdom which is not quite a kingdom at all, but rather a massive and unruly hoard of fae who have sworn tithe to no faction or ruler. They do what pleases them, when it pleases them, though it is not unknown for them to sell their services to Dawn, Dusk or both. They are by are by far the more horrific of the three, mostly because if caught by them, there is no telling what they will decide to do with you. They form a thousand little troops in which the leader is always the folk who frightens the others into obedience. They can turn on one another at a moments notice, as chaos is in their nature. The two greater Kingdoms ignore them for the most part since it is better to let such rabble squabble among themselves than bother over it.

There was, however, one occasion during which the respective monarchs of the two greater kingdoms were forced to contend with their intemperate numbers. In a time which is beyond reckoning in human years, there arose among the untithed a Golden Lady. The fae folk will never give you their true name if they can help it, so they will use a thousand little names to tell you who they are without ever revealing themselves. Each one is a facet of the truth, and so they garner a reputation without ever having to let the world have too much control over them. So it is saying something unusual when it is said that no one had ever heard of the Golden Lady before she came onto the scene with the intention to unite the untithed fae folk under her banner. She claimed no noble heritage or powerful birthright but gained respect and admiration as she traveled from ring to ring, defeating their leaders and gaining their followers as her own. As the centuries wore on, rumors began to collect of a terrible warrior in a golden battle helm who had begun establishing borders, creating a revelry of the folk big enough to compete with any court.

At first, the rightful monarchs tried to ignore her. It was nothing unusual for an upstart untithed to call themselves a warlord or some such nonsense. But inevitably their own turned against them and they were quashed from within. If not, it was simple enough to put gold into the right hands and ensure it was accomplished. But when a new castle began to rise, it’s foundations shook the very world in which they shared, and the respective rulers were forced to contend with the Golden Lady.

They tried to meet her in honorable combat, sending massive armies against her on the battlefield. But the Golden Lady refused to fight by their means. She used undisciplined hoards and guerrilla fighting tactics, employing thefts, assassination, and all manner of dark and dire magics to ensure her victory. It seemed there was no end to what she was capable of. It became clear that some other methods would have to be used in order to deal with her.

Both the Kingdom of the Dawn and the Kingdom of the Dusk sent envoys to treat with the Golden Lady. In their accords, they promised to respect the borders of the new Kingdom, provided that she allowed for no more expansions. They swore to recognize the Golden Lady as a fellow monarch and to tithe her followers as they did their own. They bid her to attend a grand fete on the Midsummers Eve, bringing with her a selection of her followers to ensure her safety as well as present herself in a queenly manner. The fete was to be held under the boughs of a sacred willow tree, through which many of the folk believed their world connected to others. It was held to be divine in origin, and any vow sworn under it to be sacred. The Golden Lady accepted and traveled with a few hundred of her followers.

But she was deceived.

In their eagerness to be rid of the troublesome lady, Dawn and Dusk had come to their own accords. As the Golden Lady arrived, they opened a massive portal to another realm. They banished the Golden Lady and her followers into it, sealing them away from the world they had sought to make a place for themselves in. Then, in an act of unmitigated cruelty, they led their armies into battle against the once formidable legions under her banner. Divided, leaderless, they had no chance. Rumor says that a thousand times a thousand wild and untithed fae were slain, turning the very roots red with their blood. The land between the Kingdoms was called forbidden, and it is believed to be violently haunted for all time. To trespass there means certain death, even for an eternal folk.

But the Golden Lady and her followers did not die.

They were dropped into the human world, during a time in which people still believed in spirits and entities which were not and never would be human dwelled in the dark places. What went through the Lady’s mind, no one could say. Betrayed, banished, denied a throne she had been promised, abandoned in a world from which she could not escape. Perhaps she went a bit mad. Who could blame her? But she had lost none of her might, and so the Golden Lady began to establish a new realm.

Humans were and are far easier to trick than another fae. At times they called her a goddess, other times she was considered to be a monster. But no one dared crossed the borders of her realm without being forced to contend with her fury. Strange tales were told of the deep forest that belonged to her, and of what would happen should you be lucky enough to survive an encounter with the creatures who dwelt there.

It was only when Martin Hughes and his family began to build on the property that things changed. The Golden Lady allowed her servants to torment the family in any way it amused them. The gave the children terrible nightmares, caused the staff no end of trouble by causing painful accidents. Many times they attempted to switch the infant son with a changeling, but the wife of Martin Hughes prevented this. A woman born in Scotland, she knew well enough what the folk were capable of, and set herself to protecting the household from their wily tricks. When their treachery led to the poor child’s death, Abigail began to seek them out actively, even threatening to burn down the willow tree if she was not allowed to speak to their leader.  The Golden Lady found herself intrigued by the woman’s ingenuity and determination. She demanded that Abigail Hughes be brought to her, and when she discovered that the woman had the gift of sight, kept her as a pet for many months until her mind broke. She dumped the poor woman on her husband’s doorstep just to further trouble him and then began to set her sights on the younger daughter, dubbed Marigold.

Before Abigail could be sent to an asylum, she begged her husband to fulfill her last coherent wish. “She is coming for Marigold. She will drag her away into her court deep, deep beneath the willow trees roots. If she stays here, on this land, she is as doomed as the rest of us. Send her away Martin. Please! If you ever loved me, send Marigold away!”

Robbed of little Marigold, the Golden Lady continued to permit her servants to harass and bedevil the family until Martin hung himself from the willow tree and their remaining child, Clark, descended into madness, having been the one who found his father’s body. While it frustrated her to find the girl out of her reach, the Golden Lady contented herself with the knowledge that the land was hers again, and no more humans would be so foolish as to trespass it for some time.

That was until the day Marigold Hughes returned from abroad, determined to reclaim her families home.

 

Puck | The Fae

Puck | The Fae

Basic Info

Character Name

Puck

Species

Fae

Found in Chapter…

Chapter one

Storyline Includes:

  • Multiple scenarios
  • Chastity cage
  • Edging and denial
  • Oral
  • BDSM
  • Dom/sub
  • Game play
  • voyeurism
  • Manipulation

Artwork Gallery

More to the story…

Elves, piksies, brownies, puccas, hobgoblins, gnomes, kelpies, spriggans, banshees, changelings, hags, wisps and redcaps are only a few of the strange and awful creatures the human world knows as fairies.

They abide in every culture across the world, and the folklore concerning them is so diverse that there is no telling what the truth of it is. In fact, you would be hard pressed to prove that there is any truth behind them whatsoever, as the nature of fairies seems to be as unfaithful and quixotic as the creatures themselves. What little can be gleaned from folklore and mythology is uncertain, and so it is considered best to avoid association with the good folk in any way, even down to refusing to acknowledge them by the word ‘fairies’ as it is thought to draw their attention.

However, should you find yourself among these terrible and flighty beasts, there are things which you would do well to commit to memory. They might just save your life, though, after a meeting with the fae, there is no telling what kind of condition your life will be in.

The most important thing to remember is names have power. Never, ever give one of the folk your real name for any reason. You will need to employ trickery in order to do this, as they can be very clever in sussing it out. Give them something else to call you, but don’t lie either. They can tell if you lie directly, and it will almost certainly enrage them. For instance, if you are a redhead, tell them they can call you Ginger. You are, after all, ginger-haired, so you aren’t telling them to call you something which you are not. They will not give you their real names either, so don’t expect it. But if you can trick them into revealing their true names, you have just been given a gift more precious than gold! You can invoke their names to demand their obedience to you but use it wisely. Fae folk have been known to go to extreme lengths to rid themselves of someone who abuses the privilege.

The second most important thing to remember is that the folk do not lie. But they do not always tell the truth either. They work their words in such a way as to beguile and confuse you, seemingly for no other purpose than to enjoy your dismay and anxiety over the situation. Do not trust them, but listen closely to what they tell you. Often they will hide information in limericks or riddles in order to get you to earn what you are after. It’s been said that the folk will amuse themselves by trying to confound one another with riddles. After all, if you can confound a fae, you will have earned its respect at the very least!

Something to know is that the folk like to play games. In an eternal life span, there must be plenty of boredom, which can lead to melancholy or capricious behavior. Wars have been started because factions got bored after nothing to do for centuries and decided to stir up trouble. If you find yourself trapped among the fae with no escape, challenge them to a game for your freedom. They will never refuse, and will almost always let you pick the game and the rules, as they are prone to arrogance. They will insist on a bet, which as far as they are concerned is a binding contract. If you are clever, be very clever, as you may be surprised as to their method of extracting payment. A young woman, when ensnared, once gambled half her life away to the fae if they would let her go. They accepted the offer but took the half from the beginning. She lost all memories from the first fifteen years of her life and had to relearn everything as if she were an infant. Never bet anything you are not willing to lose.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are offered food or drink, do not accept it under any circumstances! Even if you are parched with thirst or starving, do not eat or drink while under their attendance. For one thing, the fae have been known to trick humans. They will make you think you are eating grapes only for the glamour to wear off and find you have been crunching live beetles! But even that is preferable, as insects could be argued not to count as food. If you eat from the table, you will not be allowed to leave until you have repaid the meal set by your host. Often times the repayment comes in the form of servitude for an extended period of time, normally longer than most humans live.

The folk have factions, like any group of ‘civilized’ folk. A solitary fae is untithed, owing no loyalty or allegiance to anyone. They have a tendency towards selfishness and impulsive decision, as the outcome affects only themselves. This can be turned against them, but will usually end in them seeking some form of retribution, as there is no one to reign them in and enforce the rules.

A group of fae is often called a ring, and of course, every ring has a ringleader. They are usually untithed fae who have banded together out of a desire for company. The ringleader is whoever they fear the most, or whoever is the most powerful of the group. If caught in a ring, you can always appeal to the ringleader by promising to do them a favor in exchange for your freedom. However, this can’t be trusted to be upheld, as the position of ringleader is subject to change depending upon the fluctuation of the group dynamics. Today’s ringleader may be tomorrows corpse. Make your deal, make it fast, and get out of the territory as soon as possible.

A large group of fairies is called either a revelry or a court, both of which are respective to who is presiding. A revelry is essentially a gathering of untithed fae who have come together under a more powerful and threatening leader. The leader will often come up with a name for themselves which alludes to nobility but do not be fooled. They owe no allegiance to any of the respective Kings or Queens of the realms and will do as they please. Some known nom de plumes are the Lord of Stags, the Crag-faced Woman, and the Golden Lady. If you become trapped in a revelry, you have two choices. One is to be as amusing and pleasing to them as possible. The untithed are always sick for amusements and if they find you to be enjoyable, they will be more likely to show favor. However, since what they consider amusing is all too often lethal for humans, your second option is to appeal to the leader of the group and offer your service in some way. You stand a much better chance with this as a more powerful leader is more likely to stay in charge.

A court, on the other hand, is a large group of folk who have sworn their loyalty and allegiance to one of the noble fae that presides over the factions. A court often prides itself on it’s seeming order and civility, and so it’s more likely that you will survive an encounter depending upon which faction they are sworn to. If you get picked up by a court, you don’t have to worry until you are presented to their presiding Host. You can always offer your services, but they are far more easily swayed by gifts and flattery, as they have plenty of underlings to serve them. If you can sing or play an instrument, you’ll be quick to get on their good side, especially if the song is composed in dedication to them. A clever person might ‘invent’ a sport to keep them entertained, as they are as prone to gambling and games as all of their ilk.

There are many factions of the folk, but they can largely be split into two groups; Seelie and Unseelie. The Seelie faction is what most humans would associate with fairies. They are bright, pastoral and radiant folk, often beautiful to behold. They are proud and romantic creatures, dwelling in a realm of sunlight and eternal summer. They are well known for passing blessings to humans who please them, as they see themselves as being very kind and generous fae who disdain all the repugnant and unpleasant things that plague humanity. But do not be fooled. They are no less capricious, and sometimes far more malevolent behind their glowing masks of carefree brilliance. A King or Queen of the Seelie is the ultimate power in any realm, or so they will tell you, and to defy them is to ensure your own demise.

There was once a tale of a young man who found himself within the midst of a summer picnic hosted by none other than a Seelie Queen. He fell in love with her at first sight and pledged his undying fealty to her if she would but permit him to kiss her hand. The queen allowed for them, because he was very handsome, and allowed him to dine with them for the night. When morning came, the young man found himself alone and addle-brained. He returned to his family, whispering tales of a beautiful woman who he had promised to wait for until she returned to him. He would not eat, would not drink, would not clean himself until she returned.

His wife and children left him, and eventually, he died of pining for the mysterious Queen. At his wake, a strange woman appeared. She refused to enter a building where death was, and could not be persuaded to come to the church the next morning. But around his grave, a swatch of poppies grew, even in the dead of winter. Everyone knew then what had happened to their young man, and they warned their children for decades after what came of falling in love with unknown women.

The Unseelie court is no less fae, but far less fairy than what one would expect. From a kinder viewpoint, the Unseelie have an abiding appreciation for the dark and terrible things of the world. They find beauty in a peat bog and content in a bat-filled cavern. They are prone to drunken, licentious behavior, and often can be found cavorting with untithed revelries on moonlit nights. They are amused by the sufferings of the world and take enjoyment in increasing them whenever they have an excuse. They are a torment to fae and human alike, especially when they have been given a reason to be cruel. Cannibalism is not unknown among them, especially if their King or Queen has been moved to fury. They find most attempts at flattery to be sickeningly sweet and will claim it an insult if you try to gain their favor in such a manner. Be wary, because if you offer them service or a gift, they will demand something you can’t bear to part with.

There was a story passed around about a woman who found herself in amid an Unseelie court. All manner of wights and hobgoblins sat about her, gnashing their teeth and making threatening motions as they tore at her skirts. She was drug up to the host of the group and beheld him sitting on a throne made of gnarled oak. He demanded that she give him something to make up for her trespassing into his realm. Now she was a good woman, who had long ago decided that she would be going into a life of service as a nun. Thinking that she was being clever, she offered the host her first born child if he would just let her live. The Unseelie host accepted, and she was escorted to the edge of the wood. However, by the year she came of age, the young woman had fallen in love with a lively hunter, who married her that summer. As thing will, she became pregnant, and as her belly began to swell, she heard a knock at the door. She opened it to find a hobgoblin there, sharp teeth clicking about. He’d come to inform her that her husband had died while hunting in the woods, and the Unseelie host had sent him to ensure she would want for nothing while she carried the child. After all, said the hob, it belonged to her gracious host.

For nine months she tried everything she could to trick her way out of the situation. She killed a chick and collected its blood, pretending that she had miscarried in the night. The hob poked her belly with a sharp stick, and when she defended it, he laughed. “Whot you protectin iffen there ain’t nothun in there missy?” She had a woodcarver make a baby out of birch and swaddled it, making crying and howling noises until the hob came to snatch it away. Once he had the false infant, she climbed out through the window and tried to saddle the hose, but the hob and made it lame and she could still not escape.

Finally, when the day came and she had no choice but to give the child over, she held it in, determined that any child of her’s would not be given over to become a plaything of the Unseelie host. The hob, at his wit’s end, left. But he returned the next evening, and with him came the woman’s husband.

“It can no be possible. You died.” She insisted, guarding the newly born child with an iron knife in her hand.

“I did not. For in fact the man you knew never lived.” And then he changed shape, becoming the Unseelie host. “The child you protect with such ferocity is mine, who you carried well and now protect with teeth bared as a mother bear protecting her cubs.” His smile was like a firebrand, and his eyes were like mirrors. “Such tenacity does not go unappreciated by me and mine. And if you so choose sweet mother, you can come with the child, and dwell in my court.”

The next morning the house was found to be empty, mother and child gone. Blood stained the mattress, which was to be expected after an unattended pregnancy. But the village never knew what became of the young woman and her child.

There are ways to protect yourself, though they should be used with caution. Be especially wary around the times of Midsummer and Halloween. The folk are known to be on the prowl during these nights. Beware of the woods during the full moon, rivers shrouded with fog, and strange lights flitting between the trees. Iron and rowan berries are said to ward them off, and no fey can abide the sound of a church bell in their ears. In fact, they can not seem to stand being on any hallowed ground, though you may find yourself unable to leave as they will prowl around the outskirts until they can catch you. Seelie, in particular, abhor death and disease, and will even avoid going near anyone with a black dog as that can be associated with omens of death. If you suspect yourself being harassed by the fae for no purpose but amusement, leave buttermilk, wine or honey and bread outside for them, and they will likely let you be.

Octavius | Minotaurs

Octavius | Minotaurs

Basic Info

Character Name

Octavius

Species

Minotour

Found in Chapter…

Chapter one

Storyline Includes:

  • Daddy kink
  • Gapping
  • Milking
  • Dirty talk
  • Huge Cock
  • Blow job
  • Deepthroat
  • Edging and Denial
  • Aftercare

Artwork Gallery

More to the story…

The Minoan Civilization held a secret. One which they guarded with caution and reverence for thousands of years before the myth of King Minos and his wifes’ infidelity. Nestled in the high peaks of Mt Idea, there lay a village where dwelt the children of Rhea, the Titan mother of the Olympian gods. These children were called the Minotaurs, and for many centuries they were worshiped as minor gods living among humans.

According to their cult followers, when Rhea’s husband, Cronus, devoured her children, Rhea went into a spiral of mourning. She sought revenge against her husband by many avenues, one of which told her of the god Hapis in far off Egypt. Rhea came to him and made a promise, that if her plan succeeded, their children would become gods, and spread the worship of their father to Greece. Hapis agreed to the terms and lay with Rhea for seven days and seven nights. He then hid her in Egypt while she remained pregnant so that her rightful husband would not suspect. When the time came, Rhea found the secret valley and gave birth to her new offspring, the Minotaur. She warned them to remain in hiding until they had grown strong enough to challenge her husband. She spoke to the people who live close by and persuaded them to keep the secret and keep it well.

The humans who first saw these magnificent, powerful creatures immediately saw them as divine beings and worshiped them. They made offerings and welcomed them as the children of a powerful Titaness. The Minotaurs welcomed this treatment and in turn, blessed the people with abundance in all things. Crops, animal husbandry, children, and trade. The village prospered under their influence, and when Rhea chose another plan to conquer her husband’s tyrannical rule, she left her bull faced children to their small cult on the island of Crete.

The Minotaur people kept to their mountain valley for the most part, and their culture developed alongside of the humans who dwelt nearby. But it was well understood by the humans that they lived alongside of gods. Minor gods, but gods none the less. Due reverence was expected. Every seven years, seven men and seven women were sent to serve the Minotaur’s in repayment for the abundance that had been given. During times of war, it was not uncommon for these people to be spoils of conquest. While later mythology holds that these people were slaughtered mercilessly, village lore speaks of the offerings serving in much the same way as a household staff might. Cooking, cleaning, tilling the field and of course, tending to their lord’s desires in the bedroom. It was considered a high honor to be chosen to serve, and some of the Cretian villagers would even offer themselves up when the time came.

Even when the old ways began to transition away from traditional worship and Christianity began to be the faith of the land, the reverence for the minotaur people remained. Fourteen people going missing would be noticed quickly, but it was not unknown for a few people to wander up into the mountains now and again, never to be heard from again. Tourists, hikers, and of course the occasional daring youth who’d heard stories. As the reminders of the old ways faded, the passage between the human town and the Minotaur village began to close up. Soon, it was utterly impassable save for by the most ardent of climbers.

The Battle of Crete changed everything.

On May 20th, 1941, Nazi Germany began an airborne invasion of Crete. In the onslaught, the hidden village was destroyed and their location became compromised. While some of the Minotaur’s were determined to remain in the homeland and fled to the high mountains in small family groups, many knew they would have to flee or risk exposure to the new human world. They made arrangements through their human servants to be smuggled to mainland Greece. But the continent was embroiled in it’s own struggles against the Axis powers, and there was no safe haven there. Left with little alternative, they split into small family group and obtained passage to the Americas, deciding it would be easier to hide if they could be shipped as ‘livestock’. They divided into Canada, the U.S, Mexico and South America, dispersing into territories where the human population was low and they could be relatively unnoticed. Oregon and Colorado ended up very popular destinations due to their huge expanses and towering mountains.

Tolise | Satyrs

Tolise | Satyrs

Basic Info

Character Name

Tolise

Species

Satyr

Found in Chapter…

Chapter one

Storyline Includes:

  • BDSM
  • Rope bondage
  • Nipple torture
  • Edging and denial
  • Rimming
  • Facial
  • Blow job

Art Gallery

More to the story…

~From the Diary of Elaine Porter, 1987~

Monday 17th

I never imagined anywhere could be so beautiful. I learned that this area was once called Thrace by the ancient Greeks. Now it’s just a part of the Turkish coast line. I’ve never seen water this blue, nor a sea that seems to stretch on forever beyond the horizon. The little bungalow we’re renting for the summer is just perfect as it overlooks the ocean to one side, the village to the next, and the mountains to the last. It’s so much fun to have coffee on the terrace and watch the goat herders drive their animals out to the pasture to graze. You can hear their happy little baas all through the day. We plan on staying through the end of the month. It turns out we picked a good time to come. There is some kind of festival happening in a few days, and we’re excited to know our guides have agreed to show us around!

Wednesday 19th

The festival has been going strong since midnight last night! These people sure know how to party! The hotel owner sent us out this morning, insisting we drink a glass of raki to get us started. Since then, I don’t think we’ve gone five minutes without someone pushing a glass of something into our hands, cheering along as people dance in the streets and cheer! I’m having a little bit of difficulty figuring out what exactly is being celebrated, but I think it must have something to do with the farming trade around here being mainly goat focused. Everywhere we turn there are clever little goat masks, clay figures, and little dolls. I’ve bought dozens more than I probably need. But they’ll make cute gifts for my nieces and nephews when we get back.

Thursday 20th

Today a group of people dressed up in goat costumes, chests bare and faces covered, harassed women in the streets. They never touched them, and the women laughed and swatted at them with switches, yelling insults at them to make them leave. I think it’s a play of some kind. But every time I ask anybody what it means, all I get are smiles and head shakes. Is it some kind of local secret? Something they don’t tell the tourists? I’ve asked the hotel owner, but she won’t say anything to us either. Whats the big deal? Her daughter, who’s about my age, overheard us talking and approached once her mother was out of hearing range. She told us if we wanted to, there was some kind of private festivities going on up  in the forests on Friday night. She said if we were willing to bring booze and go on a five mile hike, we’d learn everything we wanted to know about the festival. Robert says she’s going to lead us out there to rob us. He has no sense of adventure! He wanted to take our holiday in Brighton! As if anywhere in Brighton would be hospitable this time of year. I told her I would buy a couple bottles of wine and some beer if she’d show me where to go. Robert said he’d stay behind in case I didn’t turn up by morning.

Friday 21st

I’ve never felt so nervous before! Damara and s few of her friends met me outside by the backdoor, dressed in breezy clothing with good hiking boots on. If they’re planning to rob me blind, they’re doing a good job of hiding it. Everyone has a pack with food in it, and Damara even has her’s in neat tupperware containers so it won’t go bad. Her boyfriend tells me we can drive about half the way, but after that it’s a two hour hike before we reach the glen. As we pile up into the back of his truck, I can see blankets and pillows, as well as a lot more booze. Seems we’re all out for a good time tonight. The truck ride is bumpy once we get out of town, more so once we start heading down dirt roads barely big enough for the automobile to fit! Damara helps me hold on with a much more solid standing than I have! Once we got to the end of the street, everyone piles out, lifting up lanterns to help light the way. Damara’s boyfriend took the lead, and as we began to hike, they started singing. I’ve not got a tongue for languages myself, but I could make out the words well enough.

Hey hey Mr. Goat, tonight we come to play!
Dance around and drink with us, tonight
Morning will wait for another time

Here, here Mr. Goat, don’t’ you want to play?

Don’t we make for a fancy sight?
We can’t stay long so come and join us!

Goats again. I’m going to be very disappointed if we end up getting drunk in a goat field and I have to go back and tell Robert about it. We started out from town around dusk, and now it’s dark enough out that if I hold back a moment and let the lanterns go in front of us, I can see nothing above me but a vast sea of stars and the vague outline of the mountainside. I thought the sea here was beautiful. It’s nothing compared to this sight.

After a two hour hike, I see a huge bonfire has been set up in the middle of a glen. Apparently we aren’t the only ones who know about this place. About a dozen others have already arrived and lie about on blankets, passing bottles of booze around. Most of them look like the locals, but they don’t seem to mind me being there in the least. I brought alcohol. That makes me a welcome guest. I don’t expect this to end up as more than just a nice story to tell to my friend back home. I spent a night in the woods drinking with the locals! Better than Brighton at any rate! As the evening continues, someone pulls out a guitar. Within moments a flute and drums make an appearance. They start up with the cute little goat song once more, and some of the women start dancing.

As we all begin to get quite drunk, I notice the amount of clothing is becoming scarce! I’m starting to wonder what exactly it is I’ve been invited to partake in, when I begin to hear strange noises in the woods around us. It takes me some time to discern it’s origin. The sound is woodwind based, but much lower and more reedy. I don’t know it. But it calls to me somehow. Like a melody I can hear in the back of my skull.

I don’t hear the first shriek. It sounds high and delighted, and is followed by the rustle of bushes. What turns my head is the heavy baa of a goat echoing around us. Now everyone is up and moving around, drunk and dancing. I turn back to the party, woozy and trying to figure out why there are more people now than there were before. In my stupor I saw someone dark from the thicket in one of those tacky plaster goat masks, grab one of the men, and make off with him into the bush with a hardy baa! Goodness me, what have I gotten myself into! I started to run for the trail, thinking that if I could make it away from the fire, I could surely find my way back to the truck and wait for  Damara and her friends to come and find me. Behind me I could hear the thrilled shrieks and laughter amid the rustling of bushes. The sound of heavy breathing echoes around me and I can’t help but turn to see…

I don’t remember what happened next. I know I fell. I know I was grabbed and lifted up over a broad set of shoulders, the pressing of a horn in my back holding me in place! I struggled for a moment, only to be clapped on the ass and drug off through the brush, the deep, ruddy scent in my nose. I could feel curled and thick fur in my hands, and as the light of the bonfire dimmed, I could not see who had decided to abscond with me! Moments later I found myself flung down on a thick bed of sweet grass and blankets, a heavy form standing above me.

“Don’t be afraid.” He rumbled with a deep baa, shaking his shoulders and chuffing as his body got close to mine. “You’ll like this. They all do.”

Around me I could hear the sounds of others enjoying themselves enthusiastically. I can not see anyone else. Thought of Robert vanished from my mind as a velvety soft muzzle came down and nipped playfully at my neck. I can only blame the alcohol! But as the hands settled around my wrists, holding me firming in the earthen bedding, I parted my legs and moaned out loud in an enthusiastic invitation.

Saturday 22nd

I woke up the next morning, still cradled by the strange nest like bedding I had been dropped in. I can’t help but feel a sense of shame. My body is sore and my thighs ache, but there is wetness staining the blankets under me, and most of it is from me! I can never let Robert know what happened! I barely remember everything! But it seems my mystery affair is nowhere to be found! As I stumble on legs like jello back to the bonfire, I see others making their way from the woods, all with the same drowzy, hungover look. Damara found her boyfriend and though it seems they both spent their night apart,  neither seems upset about it! Everyone starts a search for clothing and grabbing a bit of food before we pack up and start our way back to the truck. No one says much, exhaustion apparent on everyones face as we load up and start the long drive back. Damara turns to me, offering me some fruit and a bottle of water. “Your fiancee, he can’t know.” She explains simply. “You only get to know if you come. And he chose not to. Do you understand?” As if I would want to share my drunken affair with him! I promised her not to say a thing. We stop at river to clean ourselves up and wash our clothes before getting back. I start concocting a story for Robert. It’ll be easy enough to tell him we got a bit drunk, played music, and fell asleep in the woods overnight. The real problem will be telling him we can’t do anything until my body starts to feel normal again.

Thursday 27th
I am a terrible fiancee.

I swore to myself to forget that night in the woods. Damara has said nothing about it since then. Even with the festival gone and my body no longer sore, I can not let go of the feeling of that night. I tried to make love to Robert, erase that memory from my brain. But even as I let him take me and pushed myself to adore it as I used to, I find Robert to be horribly…less than usual. It weighs on my mind. I always enjoyed it when we were together! Why is it different now? Why does it feel like he’s not even inside of my anymore? I think he knew. He insisted on licking me after we finished to try to get me there too. But it didn’t do any good. I think I’ve hurt his feelings.

Wednesday 1st
We’re do to leave in a few days. I have to know what happened before we go, but I can’t get Damara to talk to me about it. She just waves her hands and tells me it’s a festival thing. I can see the worry in her eyes that I might have told Robert. I can’t. I couldn’t! But I have to know what happened! I’ve tried every night since then with Robert, even with myself. But it won’t work. Nothing feel good enough. Is it guilt weighing me down? Did something awful happen in the woods? I’m determined to go back before we leave and see if I can find out anything. I’ll have to sneak out again, so I’ve slipped Robert a sleeping pill. He uses them sometimes to help with his allergies. A little in his evening tea does the trick. I’m fairly certain he didn’t notice. Once he starts snoring, I’m sneaking back out. I remember the way well enough. No matter what happens, I’m not coming back until I know for sure.