Posted by C on October 21, 2002 at 17:42:13:

Here's an older story, somewhat reworked. It's similar in theme to the last one I posted, but the tone is completely different.

THE STING OF THE SERPENT (based on a drawing by Preston)
By C

A heavy-set man sat in a leather armchair in a book-lined study. He was wearing pajamas and sipping a brandy. Today he had lost what was left of his company. His wife and children had abandoned him the week before. His thoughts, such thoughts as he still had, turned to suicide. But how? He hated messes, and he hated people who left messes. And so, for the time being, he'd stay alive, not yet caring enough one way or the other.

It was at this juncture that the strangest creature he had ever seen opened the door of his study and walked in. Strange, but not unbeautiful. She was a woman, or something very like a woman. She had skin as white as fresh snow, black hair, and lips as red as a spurt of arterial blood. Her firm breasts were contained by a filmy black shift, reaching only to her waist. She wore black panties and black high heels. Much stranger than her clothing were her extra appendages: two webbed black wings, like the wings of a bat.

"Who . . . what are you?" he asked.

"I'm a Dark Fairy of course, you silly man, and I've come for you."

"I can't have had that much brandy," he said. "Perhaps I'm going insane. Now that would be a blessing . . . . "

"Enough of that,” said the fairy. “Self-pity doesn't become you. No, I'm as real as you are, and I've come for you."

"What do you mean?" he said.

"I mean, silly, that the fairies of my tribe must all take human lovers if they hope to breed. I want to make you a being similar to myself: full of dark power. I'll be your lover, and bear your children, and obey you as a good wife should. And I'll help you to take vengeance on all who've wronged you: your incompetent and dishonest business partners; that disloyal bitch who used to call herself your wife; and your ungrateful children. How else can I put it? I'm here for you."

"I am going mad!" he shouted, and jumped up out of his chair. "You're just a drunken fantasy, nothing more!" As he said this, he reached out his hand in the belief that it would pass through her and prove her merely a figment. Instead, it came to rest on the soft, warm skin of her shoulder. "Oh God, God, God," he mumbled, and fell back into his chair, clutching his head as if it might explode.

She walked up to where he sat and stroked his head with her hands. He took hold of these and looked closely at them. The nails were scarlet like her lips. After assuring himself that her hands were corporeal, he touched her face. This seemed real as well, the skin as soft and warm as that of her shoulder.

"If I'm going out of my mind, I'm doing such a good job of it that it all looks real. So why should I care?"

"That's the spirit," she said with a mirthful smile that stirred something in him he thought long dead.

"Assuming that you're here for me, as you put it, my next question has to be: Why? Aren't there at least a few handsomer--not to mention more successful--men out there?"

"Oh you silly fellow, you've let them make you forget how handsome you are! And you're strong, too. And besides, you have depths of rage and violence that appeal to me. And . . . and there's something else about you that I can't quite place my finger on. Anyway, I saw you and I felt . . . I felt a sort of tremor . . . right down here." With these words, she seized his right hand and placed it on her groin. "Oh dear, I'm feeling it again. Do you feel it too?"

"Yes," he said, his voice thickening.

"Anyway, I knew then that I wanted you. So here I am."

"What do you want me to do?"

"Just tell me you want me as well."

"It's--it's not so simple. I need to think. I'm . . . confused."

"Of course you are, you dear man! A strange supernatural walks into your study and proposes to you. Who wouldn't need to sort things out? Would you like some more time?"


"Yes dear, that's what I said. Would you like some more? A week maybe?"

"Please," he said. "Please . . . give me three weeks. Three weeks, and I'll have an answer."

"Ooooohhhh! I don't know if I can wait three weeks! It'll be hard, very hard. Can't you let me know in a week and a half?"

"Three weeks," he said, "and I'm sure the answer'll be yes. I just . . . need to get my affairs in order; that's it: put some order in my affairs."

She smiled, and her smile made her even more enchanting than before. "Very well. That sounds like a good enough reason. Just keep in mind a few things. If you reject my offer, I can never again repeat it. And think, once more, of what I'm offering you: love, and power, and vengeance on the others."

"You said you'd be obedient, too."

"Oh yes. You'll be my master. Do you need some proof of it?"

"Well," he said. "Not that you aren't beautifully dressed; you are. But when you come back, could it be in somewhat more, uh, conventional attire? I'm a conservative man, with boring, conservative tastes. So, if you mean what you say, perhaps you’ll humor me here?"

"I'll dress anyway you want me to. I'll take any shape you want me to take."

"Nothing so drastic as the latter!" he laughed. "I like cocktail dresses, and attractive hose, and I like women to pin their hair up . . . so that I can take it down later. And I wouldn't dream of asking you to clip your wings, but is there maybe some way you could, uh, hide them . . . just till I'm a little more used to them?"

"Of course!" she said, and as she spoke, the wings disappeared. "I'll save the ensemble you described for my next visit."

"Great . . . . That's great," he said, and wondered how long this waking dream would last.

She then walked up to him, took hold of him, and passionately kissed him. "Just a taste," she said, "until I have your final answer." Then she was gone.

He sat in a kind of trance,--for how long he never knew. Then the cool, rational part of his brain--the part that he had tried to drown tonight, the part that had bought him three weeks--reminded him of his grandfather's books. There was research to do.


Three weeks later, at exactly the same time, she stepped into his study. Her wings were nowhere to be seen. She wore a tiny gray cocktail dress that barely contained her, with matching pumps, and sheer hose. A string of cultured pearls adorned her neck. Her hair was pinned up tastefully.

He had not yet arrived. She walked over to one of the shelves and began perusing a book on the Sanskrit verb. Next to that was a study of potatoes in nineteenth-century Ireland. Next to that: a history of the Byzantine fleet. He has marvelous tastes for a furnace manufacturer, she thought. She had witnessed the Potato Famine; she spoke Sanskrit fluently; and she'd once been mistress to the captain of a dromond. (How those Arab sailors had shrieked when the Greek Fire poured over them! It still made her hot.) We'll have the most interesting chats about history, she thought. At least until I know I'm pregnant. Oh well . . . .

Where could he be? She tapped her foot with impatience. If he gets cold feet,I'll have to kill him right away. And I am rather fond of him.

Then the door through which she'd come opened once again, and there he was, dressed in a black dinner jacket. "Oh, you darling, darling man!" she said and ran over to kiss him. His lips were cool, very different from the flushed feeling she'd gotten the last time she'd put her mouth to his. "Are you all right, dear?" she asked. He smiled and nodded.

"Don't you feel like talking?" she said. He put his hand to his throat, made a rasping sound, then shrugged. "A sore throat, eh? Poor man,--so many misfortunes lately. Well, I'm here to change all that! What do you think of my outfit?" As she said this, she lifted her dress for him. (Her hosiery was held up by a garter belt, and her panties were crotchless.) He clapped enthusiastically.

"Well, dear," she said. "Not that I want to rush you, but you’ve had three weeks. Do you want what I'm offering?" He nodded and gave her a big smile. "Oh I'm so happy!" she chirped, then ran up to him for another kiss. She decided she liked the cool feel of him.

He now put his hand on her left thigh and gently stroked her hose. "Looking for something in particular?" she asked. "Feel free to continue." So he did, running his hand up beneath the hem of her dress. "Keep going," she said in a husky whisper. "That's it. Oh yes, oh yes, yes, yes."

He then got down on his knees and lifted her dress, much as she had before. He seemed to notice something for the first time, and he gave her a quizzical look. "Yes, dear," she said. "We Dark Fairies are hairless below our heads. But I can grow a pelt there if you want. Just say the word."

He shook his head and started to work his way into her with his tongue. She began to whimper with pleasure. Her hands clenched and unclenched on the bunched-up dress. Her breasts and stomach trembled. She looked up to the ceiling and shuddered with the delight of it all.

She looked down again, this time into a face with yellow eyes and long, needle-like fangs. Its mouth closed, and the fangs punched deep into her groin. She screamed and fell back, her legs kicking up at the air. She now saw neither a man nor a man-like monster, but instead a middling-size green snake, wrapped around her left thigh, its head poised just above the juncture of her legs. It flicked its forked tongue, then pierced her a second time in the same
place. She screamed once more.

At this point, the man walked into the room. "A little subterfuge," he said. "You see, my grandfather was a sorcerer. I was never his equal, never even close, but he taught me a few things and he left me his books. Would you believe it: he owned a book on Dark Fairies! It seems they take mortal men as their mates, pamper them, serve them, bow down to them,--then devour them as soon as they're inseminated. I thought I might have had enough of living, but the prospect of being devoured perked up my instinct for self-preservation in no time."

"It's not . . .true . . .it's not . . . ." she gasped.

“Please, dear," he said, "a little honesty. You can understand my problem: how was I to deal with you and survive? I pondered the matter, and then I sought out the creature that frightens Dark Fairies the most: you know, of course, that the little fellow wrapped around your leg is a fay-snake."

"I . . . I know . . . ."

"Part of your problem, dear, is that you've spent too much time living with us humans. You're out of touch with a lot of the fairy skills that might have kept you safe. For instance: when you were a little fairy girl and (I hope) wore more respectable-looking panties than you've got on tonight, didn't your fairy mum teach you a charm to keep the fay-snakes away from those panties? When was the last time you used the charm? A hundred years ago? A thousand? And you didn't get a proper danger signal regarding me. You said there was something about me--you couldn't put your finger on it--that attracted you. Of course it's that I come from wizard stock: attractive maybe, but
dangerous for a supernatural seductress. A bit of a balls-up from your point of view, wouldn’t you say?”

"Please . . . " she gasped. "D-don't kill me . . . . I'll go away and . . . never come back . . . ."

"Exactly what I'm insuring, dear, by siccing the little green fellow on you. No, when you spoke of vengeance, I could see you were wetting your pants thinking about it. I don't choose to look over my shoulder the rest of my life."

She found now that she could no longer speak. Strange tremors wracked her body. She kicked convulsively, and her bladder emptied.

“Oh, you poor thing," he said. "What you're feeling now is the little fellow's venom going to work. You've been bitten twice, and you might still have a chance, unless he bites you one more time. You may have forgotten that the third bite is inevitably fatal. Bite her again, little guy." And the snake did.

Although she could no longer talk, she could still scream: a long, shrill wail of heartbreak and desolation. The tremors increased in force. She kept kicking, kicking at nothing.

"Tisk, tisk,” he said, “but It's not all downside, is it? Don't all fays get what my grandfather's book called 'the sweet death'? You'll actually go out enjoying it. Well, I'll wait here until you do." With this, he sat down in his armchair and watched as she kicked her life away. It didn’t take long.

He now addressed the snake: "She's all yours, my squamous friend. This should make us even." The creature unwrapped itself from the dead fairy's leg and stretched out, pointing its nose at her feet. Its jaws opened wide. And now the fairy began to change. Her body became a shifting, mist-like mass, which slowly poured into the reptile’s mouth until it was all gone. When the snake had finished, it, too, disappeared in a puff of yellow smoke.

The man got a brandy and sat back in his chair. For years, he had resolved never to deal with his troubles by magical means. His recent foray into sorcery had changed all that. He had solved one problem tonight. Why not some others?