The Talisman of Odan
By Vic James
Copyright 2013 by Vic James
All Rights Reserved
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There was a knock on their door. Tig opened it. It was Heck.
"Hello, Heck," Erin said.
"I asked her not to do it, but Beck told two men that you helped us."
Erin was alarmed. "Two strangers?" What if they were not people who should be helped? Would he know?
"Yes, I am afraid so. They are having a peculiar problem."
"What is it?" Tig asked.
"Do you care to meet them?" Heck asked.
"Come with me. They took a room here after speaking to Beck. They had come just for a meal."
Beck joined them and they walked down a short hall. Heck knocked. A handsome man with a beard opened the door. Erin had seen him somewhere before, but he had never met him.
"Oh, Heck! Are these the two men?"
"Please come in," Alain said.
Tig and Erin walked into the room. Another very attractive young man was sitting. He stood.
"I am Tig, and this is my mate, Erin."
"I am pleased to meet you. I am Alain, and this is my wife Jean," he said, pointing to the other man. "Jean, my wife, changed into Eugene, my best friend. I have no idea where Eugene is!"
"You see our problem," Alain said.
"No. I'm afraid I don't," Erin said, thoroughly confused.
"That is my wife, Jean!" Alain said.
"This is Tig, my husband," Erin said.
"If I might explain," Heck said. "An enchantment was placed on Jean, changing her into a man."
"I explained that badly," Alain said. "Jean took over Eugene's body. Eugene is no longer in his body. Jean's body and Eugene's mind are both missing."
"Now I understand. Are you trying to get pregnant, Jean?" Erin asked.
"No. Is that all your magic can do?" Jean asked. "We were afraid of that. Our problem is nothing like Beck's. We were simply looking for a wizard—or anybody—who could help."
"It might help if we knew who transformed you, and why," Tig said.
"Yes, that may be so," Alain said. "But we don't know."
"I woke the day after our wedding and found Jean was a man. Also, I found out my best friend, Eugene is missing."
"And Alain hates me!" Jean said, in her deep voice.
"I don't hate you!"
Tig wondered. Could Jean be Eugene? That would explain what had happened. Had Eugene perhaps gotten an enchantment to appear to be a woman?
"Alain, may we speak to Jean, alone?"
"Certainly." Alain and Heck left the room.
"Jean, were you ever really a woman?"
Jean looked down. "No. How did you know?"
"You wanted Alain, so you purchased a spell to change your appearance."
"Yes. I love him so. He had no interest in me as a man."
"He has to be told. The marriage is not valid, you know."
Erin watched tears drip down Jean's face.
"Jean, what exactly do you want to do—in bed, I mean, with Alain?"
"I want him on top of me."
"He loves me. The real me. He just can't bear to have sex. I heard him crying when he realized Eugene was gone. He is as upset about that as he is about my appearance. He wants us to go looking for him! He said he would never rest until he found out what happened to Eugene. He feels guilty for spending so much time with me after we met and ignoring Eugene. He is afraid Eugene took his own life." He shook his head. "It's just getting deeper and deeper."
"We need to tell him. I may be able to help in one way. It may allow you to keep him, but it seems like a slim chance."
"Any is better than none."
"Where you planning to deceive him forever?" Erin asked.
"I planned on telling him after we had sex. I wanted just one time with Alain."
Erin sighed. He could understand that, but was it right? He didn't think so. Although, Triesse changed Tig's appearance, and that wasn't a bad thing. He decided that was because he knew. Otherwise it would be deception. Of course, he might have lived an entire, happy live with the deception. Should he then complain? Maybe it was making the other person happy that was important. If Alain were completely happy, maybe deception was a small price to pay.
Tig went to the door and called Alain.
Alain walked in.
"We cannot change Jean's appearance, but we can make sex extremely pleasurable for you, Alain. I had eight orgasms within an hour earlier. Each one was as pleasurable as the first. I think that is the only way we can help you," Tig said.
"Please, Alain? Will you at least try?"
"Eight?" Alain asked.
"Yes. I stopped because I wanted to give Erin pleasure. I could have continued having them."
"So you top Erin?" Alain asked Tig.
"What is it like?"
"Really? It isn't dirty?"
"Please, Alain?" Jean asked, again.
"Alain, you could get your marriage ruled invalid if you would rather find a female to marry."
"No. I don't want to do that," Alain said.
"What if Jean always looks this way?" Tig asked.
Alain looked miserable.
"I suppose I should try the sex. I don't know how."
"We may need to be present while you have it, anyway. I can tell you what to do."
"We will leave you," Heck said.
"Thank you, Heck," Jean said.
Heck and Beck went back to their room.
"Erin, do you want to try doing it the way you did Beck?"
Jean got undressed and then Alain did. They were both attractive men, Erin thought.
"Would you like me to fuck Erin? You could see how I do it?"
"Jean, do you mind?" Alain asked.
"No. I don't mind."
"Erin, will you get in bed?"
Erin and Tig undressed as well.
"Do you have oil?" Jean asked.
"I don't think you will need any. Magic is involved," Tig said.
"A magical fuck," Alain said.
Erin and Jean were on their backs with their legs pulled up.
"Are you going to touch them?" Tig asked Erin.
Erin put a hand on Jean and wished for fantastic sex. He thought the word, `Nado.'
Erin reached for Alain. Alain was soft. Erin took his soft cock in his hand, as Alain flinched. He wished for fantastic sex. Alain's erection grew quickly.
"Get on your knees and place the head of your cock at Jean's hole," Tig said.
He did the same thing to Erin.
"Now push slowly inside."
Both Alain and Jean moaned.
"Does it hurt, Jean?" Erin asked.
"No! It feels great."
"How about you, Alain?"
"It feels incredible."
Tig pushed inside Erin and began fucking him.
Alain began fucking Jean. Erin noticed his eyes were closed. That was a shame.
After fucking them for a couple of minutes, Tig and Alain came
Alain moaned, loudly.
"How is it, darling?" Jean asked.
Jean sighed and Tig could see the relief on his face.
Alain came again a few minutes later. Then again, again and again.
Tig continued fucking Erin. He had several orgasms, as well.
"How do I please Jean?" Alain asked. "I shouldn't be the only one having pleasure."
"I love having you inside me, Alain. I love you."
"I love you, Jean."
"Do you love me as much as you loved Eugene?"
Tig stopped thrusting. He watched tears drip from Jean's eyes.
"Alain, you will hate me, but you must know I did it because I love you so much."
"Did what, my love?"
"I am Eugene."
"I had a spell placed on me to appear to be a woman. I have always been Eugene."
Tig watched rage appear on Alain's face.
"Alain?" Tig said.
"What do you want?"
"Some people go through life without love. Yours is not what you wished, but love is a good thing. You were deceived and you are angry. You have a right to be angry. But try to remember why you were deceived. It was because your best friend loved you too much."
Tig pulled out of Erin. They got their clothes and left.
When they were back in their room, Erin said, "Well, that was weird. Did we do the right thing, Tig? Did we help Eugene deceive Alain?"
"I'm not sure. I wished I knew."
Erin yawned. Tig smiled. "It has been a long day."
Erin nodded. They got under the covers. Tig pulled Erin to him and they slept.
Erin woke in the middle of the night. Some things were bothering him. He couldn't get back to sleep. He needed to speak to Triesse.
He got out of bed and put on his pants.
"Triesse?" he said, softly, as he thought the word, `Nado'. He had no idea if she would hear him. But it was worth trying. He didn't want to leave Tig, and his worries were keeping him up.
Triesse appeared before him in her natural form.
"Thank you for coming. I need to ask you some questions."
Triesse put a sleeping spell on Tig.
"You can speak normally. Tig will sleep."
"I used your magic to help heal two centaurs yesterday."
"Oh, that is nice."
"But a woman asked for help for her husband. I found out before I helped him that he was evil."
"I want to help people, but what if I came upon the Siren eating Elgath, and didn't know him. I might use magic to save him, not knowing he should be destroyed."
"Your aura would decrease each time Elgath killed someone after you saved him."
"How will I know whether it is safe to save a stranger? When I first met Elgath in the market, he seemed like a nice person to me. He wasn't though."
"Now you know why magical folk don't spend all their time helping anyone who asks. Granting wishes can be dangerous."
"So an act of kindness can turn out to be evil?"
"No. But you would lose aura. What it would amount to was all your magic would eventually disappear. It would not make you a bad person, it would not kill you, and I suspect it would not affect your fate in the Afterlife, but you would lose your magic. People's aura can be stolen from them. A witch almost stole mine once. It would have made her powerful and me powerless. I would say that helping an evil person with good intentions would amount to the same thing."
"So should I not help strangers?"
"I am going to ask someone. Wait here. I won't be gone long."
Triesse entered the Talisman.
She opened the same door as before.
"Hello, Triesse. I am in your debt. Erin is a wonderful person."
"Yes, he is. He asked me if it was safe to save strangers when he did not know whether they were good or not."
"I am not surprised. He was asked to help a particularly evil man yesterday. I was able to let him know he shouldn't."
Triesse smiled. "That is exactly what I hoped to hear. He wants to help people, but he is now afraid. I will tell him not to worry. Can you warn him even when you are visiting one of the other realms?"
"Yes. Part of me is always in the talisman. You know, I can speak to him."
"I am not certain that is a good idea. If he finds out about the talisman, others might."
Odan thought for a moment. "I have an idea. Why don't we give him something, a bauble, and tell him that is the source of his power?"
"Oh, I can see some poor thief trying to make it work!"
Odan chuckled. "Yes. He will probably spend years at it."
Triesse laughed for a while.
"I will do that. I will give him something and you can claim you are from it."
"I would like it to be something that doesn't seem worthless, but we both know what creating a gem would entail." Creating wealth through magic drained aura very, very quickly.
"Find an old necklace or ring. It doesn't need to be valuable, just old. It can even be battered. The fact that it is old will make it seem more valuable."
"That is an excellent idea! Thank you, Odan."
"I am in your debt, Triesse. A merely average person would be a joy after Elgath. Erin is not average."
"No. But I worry he is going to get little fun out of life."
"I can help there. If I can speak to him, I can offer advice. I want him to be happy, too. Helping others is wonderful, but he needs to live his own life, as well. I will make sure he has fun."
"You are a strange wizard, Odan."
"I'm getting stranger by the day," Odan said, thinking of his new lust for males. But he smiled at Triesse. He had nothing to complain about with Erin. He hadn't been planning to have sex with any females, so other than the mental adjustment that was necessary, it was not important.
"I will get back to Erin. What name will you use?"
"Why not Nado?"
"That's fine. Goodbye, Odan."
"Goodbye, Triesse. Stop in anytime. I enjoy your visits."
She smiled and disappeared.
Triesse remembered an old ring she had found under her willow tree. She flew there and got it. She cleaned it magically. Then she flew back to Erin.
She appeared before him.
"Erin, this ring contains the magic I have given you. Because the magic is in an object, it has a personality. The ring can tell you whether it is safe to help someone." Triesse didn't like lying to Erin, but it was for the best. Deception was never a good thing, but sometimes it was necessary.
"Oh, thank you, Triesse! Thank you!"
He put the ring on. She magically adjusted it to fit.
"I have one more question."
Erin explained about Jean and Alain.
"I wondered if I should have changed Jean's shape to a woman. Would your magic have allowed it?"
"It might, but you did the right thing. What you did was better than changing her appearance."
"But Tig's appearance was changed to make him appeal to me. Was that wrong?"
"No. When Erella first suggested changing Tig's appearance, I said it should only be done after you knew what Tig really looked like."
"Is that why he changed after we had sex?"
"I understand. Do you think I should change Jean's appearance now?"
"I really think you did the best thing. I would say, leave them alone. If Alain decides he wants Eugene's appearance altered, he can buy a spell like Eugene did. They can spend more for a permanent spell."
"You are welcome. Now helping people is good, but you are on your honeymoon. Have some fun, too."
"I'm not good at that—at having fun."
"Oh, Erin. I know. You haven't had enough."
"Meeting the centaurs was fun."
"Then why don't you and Tig go on a tour to see different kinds of beings."
Erin got excited. "That's a great idea!"
"I'm going to get back to Lars."
"Were you sleeping with him?" Erin asked, grinning.
"Yes. I will be your stepmother soon. Maybe in a month."
"That's wonderful. I would hug you if you didn't look so fragile."
Triesse took on a human appearance and Erin did just that.
Then she disappeared. Erin got back into bed with a much lighter heart.
As long as Triesse was out of the house, she decided to see if anyone near needed her help. Her aura still needed rebuilding. Magically changing Sanit into Sani drained much of her aura. She flew to her willow tree. Underneath it, she cast a spell to find the fearful and the unhappy.
There were two who were very unhappy near Erin. She guessed it was the two men Erin had described. There was no one else near. Despite what she said to Erin, she wondered if she should offer to help them. It wouldn't help her aura, but it was a kindness. They were both miserable. And after all, they were on their honeymoon. She decided to do it.
She flew back to the inn. She changed into her human appearance and knocked on the door to their room. No one answered, so she knocked again.
One of the men opened the door a little and looked out.
"Erin told me of your problem. I can probably help you."
"Wait while I put on pants."
She heard movement in the room and then the door opened. One of the men was lighting a lamp.
"Please come in."
She walked into the room.
"I am Triesse. I will be Erin's stepmother soon. I have magic."
"I am Alain and this is Eugene."
She smiled at them.
"Erin was able to help a little."
"I can change your appearance, Eugene, if that is your wish."
Eugene looked at Alain. "Can you love me as a wife, knowing it is me?"
"Yes, I think so." Alain looked down. "I miss Jean terribly. I know it was you, but—"
"Yes, I would like to be Jean again."
"Alain, I would like to get your memory of how she looked. It will save time. Having you describe her to me would take a while."
"Of course! Please do!"
"Give me your hand."
He held it out. She took it in hers and went into a trance. She found the image from their wedding ceremony. She came out of the trance.
"I need some things that Jean wore. It would be best if they were things Eugene has not touched, if you have them."
"My wedding dress," Eugene said. "I don't think I have touched it since I changed."
"I have touched it many times since then," Alain said. Eugene was surprised.
Alain looked at him. "I told you I missed her."
Eugene looked a little sad, but nodded.
"Get it for me, please."
Alain went to a trunk and pulled it out. He handed the dress to Triesse.
"Are you both certain of this?"
"Yes. I will be happy as a woman, as long as I have Alain. I will have you?"
"I swear that, Eugene."
"Very well." Triesse put her hands on the dress and closed her eyes to see what else she needed for the spell.
"I need a piece of rope and a hairbrush, also, one other item of Jean's would help, but isn't essential."
Alain looked surprised, but he went after them. He had a belt made from a rope. He gave her that and Jean's hairbrush. "Would a hair ribbon do?"
"Yes. That would be fine.
"Jean, I'm curious. How long did you practice at being a woman? You convinced Alain and he knew you."
"It came naturally, once I was female. I didn't have to struggle at it."
"Stand up, please Jean, over here. On the dress. You need to be naked."
"Oh." He pulled off Alain's pants he was wearing and threw them on the bed,
Triesse lay the dress on the floor. Eugene stood on it.
She tied a knot in the rope to signify the change was permanent. She put it, the hairbrush, and the ribbon on the floor and spaced them evenly around Jean and the dress.
"Do you want only your appearance changed, or do you want to be a woman?"
"I don't know what you mean?"
"Do you want children?"
"Yes," Alain said.
"Jean? Triesse asked. "Do you want them? Be honest. Children deserve to have two parents who want them."
"If Alain wants them, I do, too. I am sure."
She bit on her tongue and drew a circle around Jean using her blood. She connected the three items using her blood.
Alain watched, nervously.
"Are you sure about this, Eugene," he asked him.
"Yes, Alain. If you can love me, I want to do it. Your love is all I care about."
"You won't miss your prick?" Alain asked.
"I'll have yours to enjoy, won't I?"
"You sure will, Jean. As often as you like. I hope."
Triesse and Alain laughed as Eugene turned red.
Triesse closed her eyes and concentrated on the image of Jean she got from Alain's mind. She spun in a circle and said, "Fetirra vendra lecalo sem." Then, with her eyes closed, she wiped a bit of her blood on Eugene's forehead.
Alain watched as Eugene transformed into Jean.
He smiled at his lovely wife.
Jean looked down at her body. She smiled at Alain.
"Now I have both of you. Jean and Eugene," Alain said.
Jean nodded her agreement.
"Come out of the circle, Jean."
She stepped out. She went to the trunk and pulled out a nightgown. She put it on.
"I don't know how to thank you," Alain said to Triesse.
"You don't need to. If you see Erin, tell him I changed my mind."
"Thank you, Triesse! I can get pregnant, now?" Jean asked.
"Yes, you are completely female now."
"Will it last for the rest of my life?"
"Yes, but I believe you will be Eugene in the Afterlife."
"By then, I will probably be delighted to see him again, Triesse. And who has sex in the Afterlife?"
"I want a baby, Alain."
"You changed your mind."
"Yes. I think it's the body."
"I'm glad, my love."
"That is very possible, Jean." Triesse said. "Before you only appeared to be a woman. Now you are one, with female needs and desires.
"I must go. I wish you both luck and happiness."
Triesse changed back into her natural form and flew away. She flew back to the farm, changed into her human appearance, and climbed back into bed with Lars. She fell asleep feeling good about what she'd done. It didn't help her aura, but she made two people happy and that was a reward, as well.
She woke not too long after that as her aura suddenly increased. She tried to imagine what happened to cause it. It wasn't changing Eugene to Jean. It didn't increase when she changed him and she didn't expect it. She remembered Jean saying she wanted a baby. She wondered if the baby was conceived and that caused it. But that wouldn't account for the size of the increase to her aura. She thought for a moment. What if the baby grew up to be a force for good? If he saved people's lives? That could account for it.
Elgath awoke in agony. His hands were gone. He looked down. His cock and balls were gone, too. He struggled to his feet. He saw an incredibly beautiful woman sleeping on his bed. The ground around the bed seemed to be soaked with blood. Pieces of what looked like bone and bits of skin with hair attached were lying around the bed. Neeson's head lay upside down on the ground. Elgath didn't see Neeson's body. For some reason, he was certain that the woman had eaten him, even though he had no memory of it. He had to get away. He was naked, but with both hands gone, he didn't see how he could dress. He stumbled before he found his footing. He began running. He tried to remember. He had the boy tied up, then—the magical bird! He remembered that! He wondered if the sleeping woman ate the idiot bird girl. It seemed likely. He stopped to think about his destination. He saw a stream up ahead and stopped for a drink. He lowered himself and resting on his forearms, lowered his mouth to the water. He saw images of people in the water. He looked up and around. There was no one there. He looked at the water again and saw them. They were all staring at him. It was odd. They were all young people. Some of them looked familiar to him. He assumed it was a hallucination. After what his body had been through, it wasn't surprising. He drank. As he drank, he wondered how he would eat with no hands. He was helpless! He, the most important person in the world, was helpless! He would force someone to feed him! But how? They would laugh at him. For the first time in his life, Elgath cried. It was unfair! Terribly unfair! He screamed in rage.
Driggor sat on the ground next to his horse. He wondered what he should do. Should he go home and tell them what he and his cousin Festin had done? They were horrific things, and all because of Festin and Elgath. Festin was dead. He hoped Elgath was, too.
Sani woke and stretched. She felt a slight bit of hunger, but despite that, she felt wonderful. However she was horny. She reached down and played with herself. She found the places in her opening which gave pleasure. She needed a man. Sanit would be horrified at the thought of being fucked by a man, but Sani craved it. She would find a man who could fuck her. She looked around the tent for Elgath. She tried to remember if she had eaten all of him. No, she remembered she decided to keep him alive as a sort of living snack. But where was he?
Elgath ran. He saw a horse in the distance. If he could mount the horse, he could travel much faster. In his peripheral vision, he caught fleeting glimpses of the people he had seen in the water. They moved with him. They weren't real—he could see through them. He ignored them. As he drew closer, he saw a man next to the horse. He smiled when he recognized the man.
He ran up to him.
"Driggor! I need food!"
Driggor looked at Elgath and smiled.
"You look terrible," Driggor said.
"What? I don't have time for this! Feed me!"
"What?" Elgath screamed.
"Do you not understand the word?"
"I order you!"
"What will you do if I refuse? Kick me?"
Elgath screamed in rage.
"That is a good idea. She will hear you and come for you," Driggor said.
Elgath was terrified. Driggor was right.
"I need food!"
"I really doubt that, Elgath. I believe you are food Do you wish to fatten yourself up to make a better meal for her?"
Elgath fell to the ground and cried.
"Are you afraid, Elgath?"
"Are you terrified you will die? That someone will use your body to stay alive?"
"How many virgins did you terrify?"
The people he imagined crowded closely around Elgath. He could see them more clearly. Some of them were no longer transparent. He looked around at them wildly. They looked angry.
"How many virgins did you kill to stay alive?" Driggor asked.
Elgath looked at the faces in his hallucination. They were all young. Then he recognized some of them. They were the virgins he had killed. It was Driggor's fault he was seeing them. He made him think about them. These people were nothing. They were dead. They served their purpose by keeping him alive, like a hen killed for dinner.
"I think it would be appropriate to tie you up for her," Driggor continued. "You tied the virgins up and listened to their cries of fear. I can't say I will enjoy your crying, but it is very appropriate."
"You are mad! And your madness is affecting me!"
The virgins were coming closer.
"Away! All of you!" Elgath shouted.
"It is only me, and the woman. I wonder if she is Fate." He shook his head. "No, Elgath. You are mad. I have come to my senses."
Elgath tried to stand, but it was difficult. It hurt terribly to touch the ground with the stumps of his wrists. Before he could get up, Driggor stood and got a rope from his horse. He quickly tied Elgath's legs together.
"You will regret this! I promise you! I will make you suffer days of agony before you die!"
"Are you going to bite me? I think that is about all you could do. You can't kick me with your legs tied. No one will help you. You don't have a friend in the world."
The virgins were smiling. They weren't pleasant smiles.
Elgath screamed again.
"I love listening to your screams. It makes me feel so alive!" Driggor said, quoting Elgath.
Elgath screamed more before wondering if his talisman could help him. He needed magic badly. With no hands, magic might be the only way he could survive. But that would mean going back to the camp—and her.
"I will pay you. Go back to the camp and get my money bag and my wooden case, Driggor."
"Why struggle, Elgath? You will die soon. Did you drink virgin blood last night?"
Elgath had forgotten all about that! Why didn't he drink the boy's blood quickly? He should have drained him immediately and consumed him. But how was he to know he needed to hurry? He liked to take his time with his virgins, to savor every moment of their fate. He began sobbing.
"Oh, god! Help me! I need help!"
Driggor chuckled. Imagine Elgath appealing to a god for assistance! He didn't think there was a god of murder, fear, or pain—Elgath's specialties.
"Elgath, do you recall—you must—what you said when your victims prayed for help? You laughed. `Pray to me. I am the only one who can save you!' Tell me, did you ever save even one? Perhaps before I joined you?"
Elgath grew cold. He realized he was living out what he had done. This time, he was the powerless one. He was the victim. He was tied up, fearfully waiting for death. Someone would consume him. Who would have guessed last night, at the height of his powers, that his end would come so soon?
Elgath realized they had come for him. The virgins. What would they do to him? Would they have power over him, now? As much power as he had over each of them as they died?
"Did you do this, Driggor? Did you plan this?"
"No. I just left when the woman started eating you and your men."
"You all crowded around her, waiting in line to be eaten. She seemed to think you were especially delicious, Elgath."
Sani left the tent. She sniffed and took in Elgath's delicious scent. She could tell he was about three miles northeast of her. She didn't want to walk. She approached one of the horses and spoke softly to it. He let her touch him. She petted the horse by the ear and it calmed down completely. It was really a beautiful animal. She had never thought that before. She jumped onto it.
"Something is happening to me," Elgath said to Driggor, before moaning.
Driggor watched as Elgath's hair whitened. Elgath continued moaning. Next, Driggor watched wrinkles appear, and then deepen on Elgath's face. Elgath aged in front of him. His flesh wrinkled and sagged. Flaps of skin hung off his arms and legs. His ribs became prominent. Liver spots appeared. Cataracts appeared in his eyes. In perhaps three minutes, he looked forty years older.
Elgath looked around. The virgins looked completely real now. There was no transparency about them. One of them squeezed his ankle. It burned like it was on fire. He gasped in pain.
"Unfair!" Elgath said, in a raspy voice.
"Oh, it is completely fair, Elgath!" Driggor said.
Elgath looked at one of the virgins who was looking closely at his face. It was a pretty young girl. "You are nothing," he said to her.
The virgin laughed. It was a horrible laugh that sent terror into Elgath's heart. It joined the terror of being helpless and of waiting for the woman to eat him. She touched his chest and the most intense pain he ever felt made him scream. Another one touched him and he screamed again. Several of them touched the wound at his crotch and he shrieked in pain.
Driggor looked away and saw a horse approaching. As it drew close, he saw the woman was on it. There to eat Elgath, no doubt.
"Hurry! He's dying!" Driggor called to her.
She jumped off the horse.
"Thank you, Driggor! I want to eat him while he lives!"
"I think that is best, also."
"Look at all of them!" Sani said, looking at all the people crowding around Elgath.
Driggor didn't understand what she meant.
Elgath lifted his head weakly.
"Oh, my precious! You may be old, but you are still evil. You will still be delicious!" Sani said to him. "Then your friends can have you."
"Who are you and how do you know my name?" Driggor asked Sani.
"I am Sani, but I was Sanit."
"Sanit? What happened?"
"A fairy transformed me into this." She sniffed Driggor. He didn't smell good at all. "She told me to eat evil men. That is all I can eat. You smell terrible to me, Driggor. I suppose you aren't evil enough."
Driggor smiled. "That is wonderful!"
Sani laughed. "Wonderful that I will eat evil men or that you smell terrible?"
Sani got down off her horse and pulled Elgath to her.
"It is wonderful, isn't it?" Sani said to Driggor. "She made me immortal and set me on this task. I have been thinking about it. I will need to travel to find my meals."
"Have you tried to fly?" Driggor asked her.
"What? Why do you ask that?"
"You seem to have some sort of wings folded flat against your back."
Sani tried to look, but her head wouldn't turn around far enough to see.
"I don't suppose you have a mirror," Sani said.
Driggor chuckled. "No. Why don't you try to fly? Maybe the thought will unfurl them."
Sani nodded. She thought about flying, but nothing happened. She tried jumping into the air. That worked! They unfurled and began flapping. She turned and could see them. The wings were feathered. The feathers were the color of her skin. She found her feet remained off the ground.
"Thank you, Driggor!"
"You are welcome. You won't need a horse or a boat if they carry you far enough."
"True! But now, I think I should eat. Elgath doesn't appear to have long to live. Eating a corpse seems repulsive. And he should suffer, shouldn't he?"
She landed and pulled Elgath's arm inside her. She bit it off at the elbow and swallowed. He gasped and blinked his eyes. He didn't look good and she didn't want to miss the best part. She pulled his head inside her and bit. His body jerked and was still. Driggor turned away.
Sani watched Elgath's spirit rise up out of his corpse. A demon appeared. It had the look of a human man, only without eyes. It was dressed in black. The empty eye sockets were disturbing, even to Sani. It had no lips and its mouth didn't seem to close, so its teeth were always visible. It made the demon seem to have a horrible smile. Elgath tried to back away from it, but the children prevented it. The demon touched Elgath on the forehead. The skin under the demon's hand began smoking, and then caught fire. Elgath screamed. She was fascinated to see that even though his head was back on his shoulders, that Elgath's hands and penis were still missing, even as a spirit. She wondered why. The demon stepped back and seemed to admire him, albeit without eyes. It tilted its head one way, then the other, as if making plans. The demon stretched a finger out and pointed at the ground. Sani watched amazed as Elgath's victims dragged his spirit away. He screamed and tried to pull away, but he was surrounded. His screams faded as they all descended underground.
Odan sensed Elgath's end. Odan had been with Elgath long enough to be aware of it. He was happy for the elf that his curse was not the thing that killed him.
Triesse screamed as her aura increased enormously. It burned. She went into a trance to find out why. She saw hundreds of children dragging Elgath away. He was screaming. There were so many children! So very many! She began crying at the thought of all their deaths. One of the children, a boy who looked about fourteen, turned to her.
"Thank you. You saved the lives of almost three thousand people, including four hundred and seventeen children. You have given every one of us killed by Elgath peace, as well."
Triese nodded and wiped the tears from her cheeks.
"Good luck, Sani."
"Thank you, Driggor. I hope you find what you seek."
Driggor started to ride off. Before he was fifty yards away, he turned and headed back to her. "Where will you go next?" Driggor asked her.
"I smell something delicious directly west of here. Perhaps twenty miles away."
Driggor wondered if he should accompany her. The men she would eat would have victims nearby who would need help.
"Sani, would you consider allowing me to accompany you? I could help the people these men have made suffer. I wish to atone for some of the things we did with Elgath."
"Hmm. An interesting idea. You already smell even worse than you did two minutes ago. I have no desire to be alone, however, and I have no desire to converse with my meals. They don't seem to be capable of it, anyway when I am near. We can try it. I may ask you to travel downwind of me."
"If you get their money from them, I can distribute it to their victims."
Sani had no particular desire to do good, but she thought it would be useful to have help in her quest. She had never been a loner. She didn't actually object to doing good, as she would have when she was Sanit. But her life was different. She was ready to try new things. And doing good would definitely be new for her. Also, Driggor could arrange things, like buying them a boat. She was no longer a mortal. It seemed wrong somehow for her to have to haggle over prices like some farmer's wife. Driggor could do all that. While she could fly, she didn't trust her flying abilities enough to try her wings over water. Who knew how far she could fly? She might end up halfway over a sea when her wings gave out. She didn't think she would need help with her meals, but you never knew! What if a man was deaf? Her song wouldn't attract him. Then she had a thought. What if she could not get close enough to her victims for them to hear her? If one was hidden away in a castle, unless the guards were evil and came under her spell, she would not be able to get to him. Driggor was good with weapons. He could definitely help there.
"Yes. It is a good plan. I will eat the evil men, get their gold, and you will use it to help their victims." Sani paused. "Oh, my!"
"What is it?"
"I just suddenly felt amazingly good! I feel—powerful; like I could fly around the world!"
"That was because you decided to do something good."
"Really? I had no idea! Driggor, your plan is an excellent one. We shall be companions on my quest to rid the world of the deliciously evil! Now, I think I will eat what's left of Elgath. Will you hand me that pointed rock on your left? I forgot to bring the knives. This is all new to me."
Driggor handed her his knife.
She sliced Elgath open and started eating his organs.
Driggor decided he didn't need to watch. He led his horse over to a stream for a drink. He sat on the bank and looked around. It was a beautiful area. He had a very good feeling about accompanying Sani. It seemed like fate was providing him with a method of atoning for all he'd done at Elgath's command.
Odan appeared on sphere three near his former lover, Spressa. She was seated on a grassy bank, next to a swiftly flowing stream.
"Hello, Odan! It is good to see you!"
"You too, Spressa."
Spressa looked about thirty. She was quite attractive. Odan didn't feel much attraction to her, however.
A man walked up to them.
"Odan, this is Mikel."
Odan found him very attractive. Evidently Erin was changing him into a man-lover.
"Are you and Mikel lovers?"
"Yes," Spressa said.
"I am happy for you both."
"Mikel, Odan and I were lovers for a very long time. It was so long ago, I can't really remember it that well."
Odan couldn't help but feel disappointed that he remembered their time together more than she, but she was right. It was almost three thousand years ago. He had been inside the Talisman a long time.
"This is a lovely spot," Odan observed.
"Yes, it is. I love to come here when I get bored with everything. For some reason, this spot seems to invigorate me."
"Well, I must be going. It was good seeing you, Spressa. Have a pleasant day, Mikel."
Odan walked away. As he walked, he wondered whether his new inclination was something he should try to change. He appeared in front of an old friend of his, Galen. Galen was a man-lover. He found Galen standing next to a lake looking at a small group of swans.
"Odan, my friend! It is wonderful to see you again!"
"Thank you, Galen."
"You look very fine," Odan said. And he did. Odan had never noticed how attractive Galen was. He had wavy dark hair, a dimple on his chin, and beautiful blue eyes. He wore a short beard on his chin.
Odan sat. Galen sat next to him. Suddenly they were in a house.
"I hope you don't mind," Galen said.
"Not at all."
They both sat.
"We have spoken about my life in the Talisman," Odan started. "I have a new owner."
"Is he as bad as they usually are?"
"No. He is a fine young man. A fairy suggested placing the Talisman inside his body to keep it from being noticed or stolen."
Galen looked impressed.
"And how is that working?"
"Well, with one problem. He is a man-lover, and his inclination is affecting me."
"Affecting you? Do you desire him?"
"No. He has a mate. They are happy. What I mean, is I am suddenly finding males attractive."
"Oh. And that disturbs you?"
Odan paused. "Yes. I don't think it is a catastrophe, by any means, but it is a definite change. How would you feel if you woke up and suddenly desired women?"
Galen nodded. "Disturbed, is how I would feel."
"I am not sure what to do, or whether to do anything at all."
"I hope you will forgive me for being blunt," Galen said. Odan nodded. "You weren't the most sexual man when you were young. You never seemed to give that much thought to sex, did you?"
"No. I found relationships time-consuming," Odan said.
Galen chuckled. "And sex?"
Galen laughed. "Well, if you thought sex with a woman was messy—"
"The thing is, I believe I have finally developed a libido. That, or I am sharing Erin's. That is the young man's name."
"It is fascinating, but you certainly have more free time, now. Maybe you can enjoy it. Surely you aren't as driven as you were before."
"No." Odan smiled. "I am mostly retired."
"What will you do?"
"Get advice from you, Galen. That is what I would like."
Odan knew that Galen understood people far better than he did. Over their long friendship, Odan had offered Galen magical advice and Galen had helped Odan understand the people around him.
Galen looked at his friend for a while. "Have you ever wondered why you had so little interest in sex while you lived?" Galen asked.
"I assumed it was because I enjoyed other things more. Learning, especially."
"Or maybe women didn't excite you very much," Galen said.
Odan frowned. Could that be right?
"Maybe you had a slight inclination towards men all along, and you never explored it."
Odan thought about that. He supposed it could be true. Now that he thought about it, he usually entered relationships for the company, not the sex.
"And Erin has simply strengthened it," Odan speculated. "I suppose it is possible. It actually makes more sense than his changing my orientation completely."
"Was I one of your closer friends, Odan?"
"Yes, Galen. You were by far my closest friend."
"Do you wish to explore the inclination now?"
"Would you be willing?"
"I would be delighted, Odan! I always found you attractive."
"I never knew that."
"Well, I didn't want to risk it damaging our friendship. To be honest, I always wished we were more than friends. But I knew you did not have the same desire."
Odan nodded. "But you are young and very handsome, now." Galen grinned at his friend. "While I am not young," Odan said.
"I still desire you. I see you in my mind even now, as you looked when we first met. I loved you then and I love you, now."
"I want to give it a little more thought, first."
"Certainly. As you said, it is a big change."
"Thank you, Galen."
Galen took Odan in his arms. He hugged him.
"Did that bother you, Odan?"
"No. Of course, not."
Galen was taller than Odan. He brought his face close to Odan's. Odan could feel Galen's breath. Odan wondered if Galen would kiss him. He wasn't sure if he wanted him to, or not. Odan had an erection. He wasn't sure how he felt about that, either. But Galen didn't move closer. Odan leaned up, and was about to kiss Galen on the lips when Odan brought his lips to Odan's. They kissed, briefly. Galen smiled at him.
"I need to think," Odan said. Galen nodded. "I will see you soon."
Odan disappeared back into his castle to think. His cock was so stiff, it was painful. He was more aroused than he had ever been. He suddenly understood why almost everyone else loved sex so much.
Galen thought about Odan. He could still feel where Odan's erection had pressed against his leg. He had given Odan that erection. He moved instantly to a favorite spot under an enormous oak tree. He hoped Odan returned soon.