Posted by C on January 28, 2001 at 14:37:34:

This is Part II in my Ropemaker/Fairy saga. Enjoy.

King Ropemaker and the Revenge of the Fairies
By C

I. The Crisis

Under his wise and benevolent rule, Ropemaker's kingdom had grown rich and happy. His favorite pastime was, and remained, fairy hunting. On many a day, the people of the kingdom would see him and his men riding back to the castle with a line of caught fairies stumbling behind them, their wrists and wings bound, their lovely faces red and wet from crying. Each one knew that soon she would be kicking at the end of a rope, either in public for the entertainment of the people, or in a private audience with the king and queen.

Over the years, King Ropemaker amassed an abundance of fairy lore and became ever more adept at bagging the elusive beauties. One crisis, however, nearly defeated him. It happened like this.

Ropemaker and his queen had a daughter, whom they loved very much. One day, when she was eighteen, the girl cut her hand on a thorn bush and fell into a strange, wasting sickness. She took to her bed and would not leave it. At about the same time, the crops began to fail, and the water in the kingdom turned brackish and bitter. Others grew sick, and some died.

It wasn't long before the king realized that fairy enchantment was to blame. How then to counter it? He read anxiously through every book and scroll for a sign or incantation that would heal his daughter and his kingdom. Often he stood over her bed, accompanied by Elaine, the chief Lady-in-Waiting, and ran through every charm and spell he'd found that day. Nothing worked. The girl grew sicker and sicker, and so did the kingdom.

After months of this, only one faint shadow of hope remained. The king had heard of a wise woman who dwelt on a mountaintop many miles away. She was reputed to have been the world's greatest fairy hunter in her younger days, and to know more about the subject than anyone else. Did she even exist? The king meant to find out.

II. The Quest

In secret, he summoned his three bravest knights and commanded them to find the old wise woman. In secret they set out, and it took them many days of perilous adventure before they came to the top of her mountain. When they got there, they discovered that the old woman did indeed exist. She welcomed them into her home and explained the full gravity of their situation.

"Your king is a great threat to the fairies," she said, "almost as great a threat as I was before I retired. So much do they fear and hate him that they have pooled much of their power and bestowed it on a band of chosen emissaries. These emissaries are now among you, disguised as mortal women. The disguise isn't perfect, and you'll have no trouble knowing them for what they are once you're pointed in the right direction. What you need is something that can sniff them out and then destroy their greatly augmented power. I have what you need."

With these words, she brought them a big wooden box. From inside it came muffled sounds of snuffling and whimpering, something like the whimpers of a dog, yet different. The woman told them a few things about the denizens of the box and then cautioned them: "Don't let them out before you get back to the castle. If you do, they'll catch fairies, but not the ones you want." They thanked her and offered her gold, which she refused.

Then they set out on the long, dangerous journey back. They were three nights from home, seated around their campfire, when several fairies appeared. They had, as always, the likeness of beautiful, lightly clad women with insect wings. They smiled, but their faces were cold. They began to beckon, and one of the knights got up and left the campfire to join them. His friends fought fiercely to hold him back, but he brushed them aside as if they had no strength at all. The next morning, they found him dead, the blood drained from his body.

The following evening, the fairies came back. Another knight left the campfire, despite every effort by his friend to restrain him. In the morning, the remaining knight found this man in the same condition as the first: lifeless and bloodless. "Oh, what will I do?" said the sole survivor. "What will I do?"

Just one night from home, as the survivor huddled near the fire for warmth, the fairies returned. Before they could work their spell on him, he desperately opened the box--just a crack, so that nothing could escape. From inside came the strangest howling he had ever heard. The fairies heard it too, and their cold smiles changed to looks of astonishment and terror. They shuddered and covered their trembling breasts and groins with their hands. A few shrieked, as if pierced by sharp teeth. Then they all disappeared. Sobbing, the surviving knight threw himself on the box lid and just barely got the latch back in place.

III. The Capture

When he at last arrived at the castle, the knight found that things were even worse than before. The princess was further gone in her illness. Many had fled to escape what they thought was a contagion. The queen was in seclusion and would see no one. When he was brought to the throne room, the knight saw that the king slumped while sitting, as if wearied by a great weight.

"Your Majesty," the knight said, "I found the wise woman."

"What . . . ?" said the king.

"The wise woman. She gave me this."

"I see," he said. "Well, what is it?"

"First, Your Majesty, may I ask: have any women left the castle since last night?"

"Why, yes, Elaine, the Lady-in-Waiting, and four of her maidservants. Early this morning
. . . they left suddenly in a wagon. She said they were afraid of disease . . . and . . . ."

"And you let them go, Sire?" asked the knight.

"Yes I did; I was . . . I was . . . good Lord, I was bewitched!"

"I'm afraid so, Your Majesty. The fairies learned of our new weapon last night. I'm sure they warned their agents here at the castle."

"Agents? How could I have been so blind?"

"They had more power than any other fairies we've encountered. But there's no time to discuss that now, Sire." As he said this, he unfastened the lid on the box and waited. One by one, five odd little creatures climbed out onto the floor and began to sniff here and there. They looked like wolf cubs, but were thinner, with sharper-pointed noses.

"What in God's name . . . ?" said the king.

"Please, Your Majesty, wait a moment," said the knight.

As they looked on, the five little wolflets began to grow. Within minutes, they were as big as fair-sized dogs, very lean and with wickedly sharp teeth. They kept moving back and forth, sniffing the floor and the air. Then suddenly, as if by agreement, they all looked in the same direction and took off running.

"We need to follow them, Sire!" said the knight. "They'll take us to those fairy spies, if it's not too late."

The two men dashed out of the throne room and ran from the castle to the main gate. There, soldiers on duty informed them that the dog-like, wolf-like critters had gone loping up the north road just moments before. The king called for horses and additional men, and then they all set out at a gallop.

They rode for several miles, until they came to a place where the road forked left and right. Which way to go now? Had the strange creatures left a trail? No matter. From the left, they heard a thin, high, despairing scream--surely the cry of a woman. This was followed by another, and yet another. They took off galloping in that direction, entered a forest, and came round a sharp turn. Here the road passed through a large meadow in the midst of the forest. What they now saw filled them with amazement and fear.

As the men learned later, the five impostors had gotten as far as the meadow. Then their wagon stuck in a huge mud puddle, and their team of horses could not pull it free. They were still in human--partly human--form and would remain that way for several weeks; thus they could not fly away. They had no magic for stuck wagons, and no physical strength to speak of. So they had waited by the road, hoping for another wagon or carriage to come along. Surely they'd get a ride, dressed as they were in aristocratic finery: lovely bell skirts that flared out well above their knees, snow-white crinoline petticoats, and high-heeled pumps. (Why hadn't they taken more practical outfits? Women in the castle didn't have practical outfits.) They knew the danger their sisters had warned them of last night only by rumor. They had no idea how swiftly it would descend on them.

When the men arrived, they saw, first, the stranded wagon. The horses that had drawn it had evidently broken their harness and fled. About thirty feet beyond the wagon was a pair of big oak trees. Backed up against each tree was a maidservant, her blouse and skirt in disarray. The girls were shielding their breasts and groins with their hands while they kicked out frantically at the two wolflets that were lunging at them, now from the left, now from the right. Every now and then, one of the dog-like critters would nip, coaxing a shrill scream from his victim each time.

"They're playing with them," said the king.

Beyond the oak trees to their left they saw Lady Elaine (she was closest) and the two other maidservants. They were on their backs in a kind of trophy line. A wolflet stood at attention near the feet of each girl.

The knight turned to the king and said: "Your Majesty, these animals have a venom in their saliva. After a while, the prey succumbs to it, falls, and then she's lined up alongside her friends, like this."

"Remarkable," said the king.

The three girls were kicking, weakly, but the wolflets, doglets--whatever they were--hardly seemed to notice, even when a high-heeled foot connected. The girls' big bell skirts and crinolines had been shoved back past their waists. As the men watched in fascination, Elaine's captor seized her panties in his jaws and slowly worried them down to her knees. She tried to stop this, but the beast just brushed her hands away and kept on tugging. They could see now that Elaine had a pubic triangle of flame-red hair, very different from the auburn locks on her head. This was her true color. The true colors of the girls next to her were soon revealed as well: violet and leaf green. The wolflets now started nipping and nuzzling at the softness they'd uncovered.

Each girl was sobbing broken-heartedly. The king approached, and Elaine turned to him with a look of such anguish on her face that he felt pity in spite of himself.

"Please lord," she said. "Do whatever you like with us; just make them go away."

"I'll do whatever I like with you whether they go or not," said the king. But he turned to the knight and asked: "Is there a way to call off the beasts?" "Yes, Majesty," the younger man said, and then repeated words the old woman had taught him. The five critters did not look pleased, but they immediately retired to a point about fifty feet away. The two maidservants who had not been brought down now fell weeping to their knees.

The king commanded his men: "Secure them, clean them up, and question them. If they're able to walk again within three hours, bring them before me." The soldiers sprung to work and carried the five injured fairies off.

When three hours had passed, the fairies, all of whom could walk haltingly now, were brought back, their clothing tidied up to some extent, their wrists bound firmly behind them. In the meantime, their wagon had been pulled, with great effort, from the mud and wheeled under a strong limb of one of the oak trees. This limb now sported five nooses. The fairies were made to stand in a line in front of the king. They held their heads down in shame and fear, for they were utterly vanquished, utterly undone.

"Show them all for what they are," said the king. Men came from behind and tore away their skirts, crinolines, and panties, so that they all stood exposed as fairies. "Red, violet, green, blue, and white," said the king. "Very pretty, like everything else about you. But your beauty won't save you. Have you any last words, Elaine?"

Her voice and body shaking, Elaine spoke: "I . . . I've been captured twice in one day, lord: first by those . . . beasts, a second time by you. I've led my sisters into disaster. Our hopes our dead, our . . . " (here she gave a bitter sob, then composed herself as best she could) "our panties are down. Please . . . do it quickly."

"Very well," said the king. "Take them up."

The soldiers led the women, trembling and weeping quietly, over to the wagon. They were then made to stand on one edge of it (not easy in high heels!) while the nooses were drawn tight around their necks. After a few minutes, at a sign from the king, the wagon was pulled away. You would have thought the dog-like critters had taken most of the kick out of them, but they found their stride once again. Still, they were tired, and it was over very soon. When they were done, King Ropemaker came over to Elaine and slipped his fingers into the wetness of her pussy. Then he tasted them. "Delicious," he said. He then turned to the knight. "Will my daughter be all right now?"

"The old woman thought so, Your Majesty."

"Where did those creatures go?"

"Back to their mistress, Sire."

"Good. It's too easy when they're around. Takes the fun out of everything. By the way, what in God's name are they?"

"She called them Co-yo-te, Your Majesty. They're from a magic land to the southwest, where the fairies are a lot tougher than ours."

"Well, let's find a way to thank the old dear," said the king. He gave Elaine a swat on the rear, and left her swinging there.

The End
(For El Coyote, who I think would be an eager fairy hunter.)