From Har to Maternity

From Har to Maternity
A Collaborative Round-Robin

Story Notes

This story was created as a round-robin back in 2001.

Here be parody and mayhem, caricatures and bejewelled livestock. Here be all manner of unsavoury ruffians and their wenches. Thou hast been warned. The characters in this ensemble bear no resemblance to any persons I know, nor do they bear that much resemblance to any of Storm’s characters; but that be a minor quibble.

From Har to Maternity

In the ballroom of Phaconia…

Cal twitched. Then he fidgeted. Pell shot him a sideways look. Cal sat still. When Pell looked away again, Cal scratched his crotch. He took another swig from the bottle he’d earlier purloined from a passing waiter, ignoring Pell’s dread look. He hated parties. No. Scratch that. He hated these parties. He liked good parties. This was not one of those. All the poseurs and wannabees preening and parading like prized bulls before the judges. How did Pell manage to keep a straight face. He watched one particular buffoon floating around amongst the guests, trying to impress.Rolling his eyes at the performance, he nudged Rue and indicated the overdressed har. Rue sniggered and Pell gave them both another of those looks. When he saw the object of their derision,however, Pell couldn’t contain himself and a tiny smile crossed his face.

All three of them felt the etheric blow as Thiede whopped them all upside the head.

-Behave yourselves.- He growled. -Or do I have to come down there?-

That’s not fair, Cal thought, idly rubbing his sore forehead. I’m forced to come to these things when I’d much rather be chasing Ashmael around the bed, and now, I’m not even allowed to think? The disembodied hand returned, patting him condescendingly on top of his blond head.

-Don’t think, Cal.- Thiede said soothingly. -You know it gives you a headache.-

Ah well. Perhaps Thiede was right. Maybe he should just go back to his second favourite sport, after Ashmael-chasing; people-watching. Cal pinched another bottle from the same waiter,who was returning from the distant kitchens where he’d gone for a reload. The harried waiter favoured him with a sour look on behalf of his sore feet and turned 180 degrees, heading back to the kitchens yet again. Now, Cal thought. Who’s who in Phaconia tonight?*

She was tall, that’s the first thing he noticed. Regal and aloof. Her black, wavy hair hung loose down her bare back, tied up at the sides with silver, ruby encrusted slides. Her eyes were black, with long lustrous lashes. Her garments were made of a shimmering, red material, that clung to her slender thighs and her ample breasts threatened to tumble out of their small covering. Her whole body was covered in sparkles, that reflected and shimmered in the bright lights of the ballroom. She came up to where Pell was seated and curtsied, never once lowering her eyes from his. Pell smiled and made a soft remark to Rue, who was completely unimpressed with this Kamagrian, who seemed to place herself above everyone else. Cal sitting on the other side asked who she was. “Parage. Her name is Celestial Firewalker.”

Hmmm, interesting. The Kamagrians were out of hiding. Ever since that little incident with Opalexian, the Garridan warrior and the stalk of rhubarb, the Kamagrians had been noticeable by their absence. It was good to see them back. Cal had begun to think they’d never get over the shame. As he took another swig, he noticed his waiter enter the room via another door. Cal decided he’d better slow down on the wine. He might not get a chance at another bottle.

Now, who else was here? Cal looked around.* He entered quietly, nodding courteously to guests as he passed them. Lithe, silent steps that sauntered coolly yet with purpose as he made his way towards the Triad. Calanthe’s eyes narrowed imperceptively………Thea?…….and then relaxed as he realized who it was and smiled wryly. This har always reminded him of Thea, he thought to himself and idly wondered whether Thea himself would be here tonight with his old friend Zack. The har made his way impressively towards the Trinity, turning heads as he went. He wore black leather trousers that hugged his lean hips sensuously and went on forever to disappear into thick, black, leather boots that reached just below his knees. A heavy but netted cream cotton shirt covered in silver embroidered symbols hung open at his throat where a necklace made of large opals nestled. The baggy sleeves of the shirt fluttered gently as he walked, clasped firmly around his wrists by large, sleek silver bracelets. He reached the dais and presented himself, bowing deeply, long luscious black hair falling forward. He straightened, looking up to see Cal grinning at him and he grinned back with mock annoyance on his face. It was plain to Rue that the har and Cal were obviously acquainted. Calanthe turned to Rue and Pell. “This is Ramestton Ava from the Ferike tribe. Met him when I was there with Thea.”

He then gestured for Rue to move in closer and they whispered for amoment while Pell’s attention was diverted elsewhere. The Tigron and Tigrina then glanced up, amusement glinting in their eyes and Cal addressed Ramestton, beckoning for him to come closer. The har smiled and came nearer.

Cal bent forward to whisper in his ear…. “Your zip’s undone, mate”.

Cal had the priceless joy of seeing the smile on Ramestton’s face collapse in double quick time.

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Freedom

Freedom
by Paula Clements

September 2001
pellsfan@yahoo.com

Disclaimer: The characters in this story all belong to Storm Constantine and her publishers. Storm is a very unique individual who actually encourages spec writers and will actually help when asked. She is a real person, who answers her email. Love you Storm. I am not making a cent, and if I were, I would send it all to you.

Spoilers: All three books of the Wraeththu.

Freedom

Pellaz walked wearily back to his chambers, his shoulders drooping slightly. Behind him walked two silent members of the palace guard who seemed to be glued to his side whenever he left his rooms. Had he ever heard either of their voices? Whenever he spoke to them, they simply bowed or saluted in acknowledgement. He tended to feel his isolation even more keenly when they were around.

The day had been long and frustrating. He had finally managed to get the heads of all the major tribes to convene in Immanion to discuss a system of laws, which would govern them all. Each tribe would retain its distinct beliefs and customs but would allow room for the beliefs of travelers in its territory. How much leeway should be allowed had proved to be a sticking point; especially with tribes like the Maudrah, whose customs were notoriously rigid and strict. Today, it had taken all his considerable abilities to prevent several of the leaders from coming to blows.

The large double doors to his rooms opened silently as he approached. His servants had been watching for him. Again without a word, he was stripped of his ceremonial robes and then left in solitude. This too, had become routine. He had expressed his desire to be alone only once and they had obeyed instantly. Now, no one breached the quiet of his sanctuary without invitation; no one but Cal, of course.

Pell winced at the thought. Lately, Cal’s visits had become less frequent, the latter preferring to spend more time with Rue and with his horses. It was not uncommon for Cal and Rue to take an impulsive ride into the countryside, leaving their guards frantically searching for them. The last time, Pell had confronted Cal about his recklessness.

“How can you be so thoughtless? Something could happen to you and we wouldn’t know about it.”

Cal had stared at him for a moment and then chuckled. “Pell, you know very well that I can take care of myself. Besides, you would know.”

Pell couldn’t refute that final statement. They had become so close, mentally, that they could usually sense each other’s presence and moods. He had glared angrily at his lover and had finally stridden from the room in defeat.

“When did I start to lose him?” Pell asked himself softly as he stripped the remaining clothes from his body and walked into the bathroom. Lying back in the hot, scented water, he let his thoughts drift.

One of the things that had always drawn him to Cal was his lover’s innate sense of recklessness and love of adventure. He had always envied Cal that freedom. Even as a mortal child, Pell had been restricted by his family and by his own shy nature. “By the gods, I must bore him to death!” Angrily, he dashed the tears from his face. He had seldom indulged in self-pity and he wouldn’t start now.

Slowly, a plan was forming in his mind. Of course! Cal was also Tigron. Why did he, Pell, have to shoulder all the responsibilities of the office? He climbed from the bath and briskly dried himself.

Grinning, he quickly penned a note, placed it in an envelope and sealed it. Turning it over, he wrote Cal’s name in large bold letters. Lifting the bell, which lay conveniently close, he summoned a servant.

“This is be delivered to the Tigron tomorrow morning at 7:00. Not one minute before or after. Is that understood?”

Attica bowed with a twinkle in his eye. “Of course, Tigron. And will you need any assistance in packing what you need?”

Pell laughed heartily. “You know me too well, my friend. Just give me your word that you will not tell anyone before it is too late to stop me.”

Attica pulled himself to his full height, indignantly. “Tigron, I am offended!”

Pell sighed. “Forgive me. You have always been loyal. I was merely trying to impress how important this is to me. I would rather not have anyone know where I am going.”

“I will tell no one your destination, my lord.”

“Thank you. Now, can you find me a traveling bag of some sort?”

Attica nodded and left the room, returning quickly with a leather satchel large enough to accommodate anything Pell might need, along with another bag full of food and a large canteen of water.

Pell quickly donned a pair of tight leather trousers, a gauzy pale blue shirt and a leather jacket. Like most of his casual clothing, he had never worn these items. Pulling back his black hair and securing it with a tie, he noticed the approval in Attica’s eyes.

“I have also arranged for your horse, Tigron.”

Pell chuckled at the size of the bag. “I am surprised you haven’t hidden a cook in here.”

The har frowned and then realized that Pell was teasing him. “Take care, my lord. May you find the answers you seek.”

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A Culture Shock

A Culture Shock
by Addie & Paula

Introduction & Disclaimer

This is collaborative story with each writer writing from the POV of a different character. Addie is Magpie and Paula is Rondo.

All items contained on these pages are non-profit amateur fiction. The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit, The Bewitchments of Love and Hate, The Fulfilments of Fate and Desire and all characters named in those books are the copyright of Storm Constantine and her publishers. No infringement on the copyrights are intended.

To contact the authors, email Addie (addief@usermail.com) or Paula (pellsfan@yahoo.com).

A Culture Shock

– 1 –

Magpie

I felt like I had been running for hours. Perhaps I had. My lungs were about to burst, and my legs felt like jelly. But I had to get away from them. Whatever they were.

Freaks…perverts.

I only stopped because I had come to the edge of the sea. For a few moments I considered just walking into the surf and drowning myself. But I couldn’t do it. Something stopped me. Probably a fear of dying. But I should have died after they had done *that* to me…the pain was enough. There were times in those few days when I had prayed for my life to end.

I looked out into the tumbling waves, at the kids tousled in them, body boarding and swimming into the shore like salmon on their last ride up the river. So happy they were…carefree…enjoying life. I flopped down into the soggy sand, letting the water ripple over my aching and burning legs. They looked normal enough…my legs that is. A bit skinny, with very fair hair, five toes on each foot. I held my hands up to my face. Yep…five fingers on each one, but there were hardly any lines on my palms. They looked new. I felt new. In fact I had so much energy that I felt as though I could run for another few hours.

I touched my face, which felt smooth and unblemished. That’s one good thing I thought, the two or three pimples on my chin had gone, but so had the few whiskers I had been nurturing. Shit! What else did they do to me? Shave all my body hair off! My arms were as smooth as a baby’s bum. I looked down at my body, trying not to appear too obvious about checking myself out. One little kid, making a sand castle on the edge of the waves was already looking at me funny.

I smiled at him, and he chortled to himself, then went back to his pile of slushy sand.

It was worrying me, now that I had stopped being terrified and angry and confused, just how else had I changed? I flicked my hair behind my ears…well at least they hadn’t shaved my head…I hated the thought of being bald. My dad was bald…well nearly. Although he wouldn’t admit it.

It was all Dane’s fault. This whole fiasco. My best mate Dane. Together since kindy. Since that first day when I wet my pants and he did the same, just so I wouldn’t feel bad. All through primary school, then high school. Mucking about together, getting drunk, trying to play football…checking me out in the shower. That’s what gave it away really, I suppose, when I come to think of it. Dane, being more interested in looking at my bum, than at Sarah, with the blonde hair and big boobs.

But he was still my mate even if he did like the fellas. Through thick and thin. He wasn’t a prissy boy…he was strong and tall, with black hair, one blue eye and one green…excellent physique. It was me they thought was gay. Me with the slender frame, almost too pretty face, blonde curls. God how I hated my curls. I always tried so hard to prove that I wasn’t gay. Acting macho, trying to be cool. Taking all the knocks on the football field just to be one of them. One of the guys.

Yeah, it was all Dane’s fault. If he hadn’t talked me into going to that party, it wouldn’t have happened. I should have known they were a bit suss. They weren’t our normal mates. Dane wanted to come out. He had decided he wanted the world to know…so he had begun to hang out with this group of real weirdos.

Very strange bods. Some of them looked more like birds, and I thought they were transvestites or something. And some of them…well I couldn’t work out what some of them were. Tian was OK. He was friendly and smart. I think he was studying electronic engineering at university. But some of the others…well weird was actually too tame a word for them. Sometimes Spider – yeah, he swore it was his real name – looked feminine, sometimes he looked like a bloke. And they were all off with each other all the time. Sick!!

I was just thinking about the argument Dane and I had had about going to this party the weirdos had organised, when the little kid in the shallows threw wet sand into my face. I swore at him, splashed some water over him and walked up towards the loo. I needed to take a piss and I was nervous. You see, when the pain had gone, and the weirdos plonked me in the bath again, I didn’t open my eyes. I still had them squeezed shut when they dressed me, their soft hands touching me all over, ooohhing and aahhing. Perverts.

I had sat in that darkened room, with just a single candle in the windowsill, when Tian came in to talk to me. At least, at first I thought he had just come in to talk to me, but I reckon he had something else on his warped brain. He kept smiling at me and trying to get me to calm down. Perhaps I should have listened to what he was saying…but when he leant forward and tried to kiss me…I panicked. I fled, that’s what I did…ran and ran and ran. And here I am…about to take a piss and nervous as all hell.

The toilet block smelt like the beach, probably because half of it was in there on the floor. Sand and water all over the place, and little kids under the shower, plugging up the hole, causing even more water to flood the floor. Not really a very conducive place to discover oneself, now was it? But I was desperate, just about to pee my pants in fact. For some reason, maybe it was a premonition, maybe it was something Tian had told me and I hadn’t taken in at the time, but I decided to go into the stall and not piss in the urinal. Just as well.

I unzipped my pants and took hold of myself. Can you imagine what it would be like to find that what you normally thought you had between your legs, had been transformed. Not transformed as in grown…but literally, fucking changed…like in having petals and being purple and glowing. Fuck….I was glowing. If I hadn’t had to pee so badly, I would have turned and ran…but the damn thing would only have followed me. I stuck my fist in my gob and forced down the scream. I still gurgled though and groaned, as my piss came out of *that* thing.

When I had finished, I stuck it back in my trousers and zipped it up tight, then leant back against the door. I was breathing so hard and still making these funny little snufflng sounds. Oh God!!! I was deformed. I was a weirdo. I had a bloody flower in my pants.

Someone was banging on the door asking me if I was all right. No, I wasn’t all right, I may never be all right again. But I didn’t tell them that. I mumbled something incoherent and ran out of the toilet, and guess what? I kept running. This was getting ridiculous. But at that moment it was all I could think of doing. It kept my mind off my body and that *thing* and made me concentrate on not running into traffic, or into a ditch, or off a cliff.

But a weirdo cannot live on running alone, so I eventually stopped again when I realised I had run from the beach right into the city, which is about 15 miles. I was puffed, and the mucles in my calves were hurting, so I decided to find a quiet place to sit down. Perfect! I was at the library…my favourite place in the world, and it was open. Even better. I flashed my card at the librarian, asked if any computers were free…they were, found one and sat down.

The guy next to me said hi and winked. If I hadn’t been so knackered, I would have sworn at him and left. But just to not feel my feet pounding on the pavement and to rest my back against the chair, was bliss…so I ignored him. For a few moments I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. I needed to talk to someone, but not just anyone. My friend Rondo. He always seemed to understand me, was always happy to hear from me…so I typed in my net name, Magpie, then Rondo’s email address. My fingers were trembling as the words began to flow out of me.

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