Morose and unkind,
Unfeeling, unheeding, blind;
The winds laugh and moan;
- The Canticle of Menkeret
Night. I am alone in my cell in the house of Heshuzius. I am one of his possessions; a thing to be used, like a ladle. Or so he thinks. But I am no ladle, I am a sword, I am a rod of iron. Heshuzius does not know me, nor do any of these Darrakhai. I am a thing as foreign to them as snow is to the howling desert.
I am alone yet I am never afraid; my gods are ever with me and though I may perish in the darkness, I will always be their child. Menkeret and his kin are good to their children. There will be talk of me in Mentrassanae, my home. Talk of the wayward shaman’s daughter, the cunning sorceress.
I have killed a Darrakhai, whose name already escapes me, even though only a mere handful of days have passed. I escaped punishment too – why punish the ladle if the diner burns himself with the broth. A smile passes my lips but it does not linger long. Already there are sounds in the house. Dawn must be rapidly approaching; a key turns, a door opens, footsteps going up, quieter footsteps descending, a mouse scuttles over the kitchen flagstones and incense is lit. My mind is ever alert but it wearies me. Better to think of other things, to dream of the past, as perhaps the moth does in its chrysalis, before it is reborn.
I head waves breaking
Upon a deserted beach;
A place as distant
As the mountains of the moon.
Yet, to me, it seems like home.
I see myself now in the polished mirror of my mind. I am beautiful, as I have oft been told. We of Mentrassanae hold false modesty to be as contemptible as any other lie. Indeed I am possessed of beauty; I am tall and my back is straight, my shoulders are broad, for they have already borne many burdens and borne them well. My face is fair and my hair is darker than the storm clouds, my mouth has full lips and my eyes are as green as the southern sea. My legs are as fair and as shapely as any, my breasts shake and there is thunder, my hips are the embodiment of flame, my mouth is the crucible of desire and what there is between my legs men and women alike would give much to possess. But more than this; my passion and my power both glow inside me like the fires of creation, spinning a veil of light that these ignorant Darrakhai cannot see.
Now faces crowd me as I fall deeper into my reverie. I see the golden, jewel encrusted visage of Menkeret the kindly, my father the wise, my brothers, the young women of my retinue – brave and beautiful are they all. But one face comes to the fore as all others slowly recede; Oltos, my lover.
He was the son of old Kakryllion the fisherman. I remember well the day I first saw him; I was seventeen and had already enjoyed several lovers, all of whom my parents had picked.
It was a hot summer’s day at noontide and Oltos was at the quayside hauling his catch out of a tiny boat. I stopped, to the great consternation of old Ultaa, my maid. I watched him haul the fish from the tiny craft. He was naked, not an unusual sight in summer by the quay, but his rippling muscles under deeply tanned skin, his shoulders bearing the swirling black tattoos of the fishermen of Mentrassanae and his hair; long, raven black and glistening with the sweat of toil, all this made my heart beat faster, my eyes widen and the inner depths of my body stir. For a long while I watched him, feasting my eyes on his powerful back, his legs with their every muscle defined, his perfect, smooth buttocks and the compact package of his hips that hinted at the power they might contain. Still he had his back to me.
Deaf to her protestations, I left Ultaa the old crone, behind and walked up to the water’s edge. The smell of the boats, of the sea and salt come back to me now and are more wonderful that the costliest of scents. I said nothing to him, my eyes simply continued to drink in his beauty then he turned and caught sight of my sandaled foot. He looked up, doing nothing to conceal his nudity.
“Can I help you my lady?”
But his words were lost to me, like a breath is to the wind. I saw eyes of fierce turquoise blue, large eyes that glowed with honour and with nobility far above his humble station. I saw a face tanned by the sun and sea, stubbled, strong and glistening. Here was a man of surpassing beauty. I stood firm even though my legs were trembling and an ache had developed in my inner depths.
“What is your name fisherman?” I asked at last.
“I am Oltos, son of Kakryllion.”
Suddenly the screech of a passing gull made me look at his wrists. He did not wear the sacred matrimonial thread. My heart stirred again and gave me added courage.
“How much for your catch Oltos son of Kakryllion?”
“All of it my lady?”
“Aye, I never do anything by halves.”
Now he did something that I will recall and treasure all my days; he leant back against the mast of the boat and swung his hips to one side. At first I thought this was a mark of disrespect but as I looked at his manhood, my heart melted like beeswax in a fanned flame.
“One hundred oboli, my lady.” He said firmly.
“Ultaa, give me two hundred and fifty oboli.”
Again I was deaf to Ultaa’s cacophony of complaints. I took the money from her and jumped down into the boat. Fearing that I would fall, Oltos went to catch me but I am sure footed. He smiled modestly as I paid him.
“My lady is most generous.”
“Not at all. I may have paid for the fish but it is not fish that I want.”
I smiled at the puzzled look on his dark features.
“When do you sail tomorrow?”
“At dawn, my lady.”
“From this same quay?’
“Aye my lady.”
“Good. Do you sail alone Oltos?
“Good. Now give these fish to whoever you think needs them.”
“Aye, if my lady so desires.”
I left him without another word and without looking back. That night I prayed fervently to Menkeret, that my quest would succeed and I slept soundly but my dreams were crowded with of visions of Oltos. I awoke long before dawn. Having stolen a maid’s homespun dress, scarf and cloak, I dressed quickly and slid out of the back of the house. My father’s guards saw me but thought nothing of a maid walking through the herb garden at that early hour. I climbed over the wall and jumped silently down. As the house of my father is close to the sea, I did not have far to go. Then, as often happens, lines from the sacred canticle entered my mind; a gift from the gods. I recited them,
The sea sighs softly,
Touched by a cold breeze at dawn;
The sun, her lover
Having long forsaken her.
Several minutes later I was by the quayside once again. It was busy, as the city’s fishermen all prepared to depart on the morning breeze. I drew the broad collar of the maid’s cloak about my face and walked down past the many moored boats.
There was Oltos. He was busily coiling rope and wore a short kilt and an amulet around his throat: the Eye of Menkeret, he of propitious omens! This was an auspicious sign indeed; my quest may well succeed. Without the slightest hesitation, I jumped down onto the deck of Oltos boat. He turned and saw me as I stepped into the tiny cabin and shut the door. Inside it was clean and tidy and there was a small bed. I was surprised at how comfortable it was as I sat upon it with crossed legs. I drew my scarf around my face, leaving only me eyes uncovered. I expected him to follow me into the cabin but he did not. Instead I felt the sensation of motion as the boat responded to the gentle push of the breeze. I strained and swerved as several minutes passed. I waited impatiently and slid my hands down to my inner thighs and across my pussy to check again the work of the maid who had shaved me the previous night. As soon as I found that all was smooth and well, there came a knock at the door.
Oltos entered and smiled upon seeing me sitting cross legged and veiled on his bed.
“If it pleases my lady, we have sailed from the harbour and at the hour we will be beyond sight of the outermost barrier. The sea surrounds us.”
His voice was deep and commanding but he spoke gently and quietly lest he frighten away the timid deer that he then thought me to be.
“May the Goddess of the Winds be kind.”
“Indeed, may she ever be so.”
I took off my veil and untied my long hair, shaking it loose. I saw his beautiful eyes widen with delight and this, more than all the polished praises that I was used to, won him to my heart. I took his hand and he knelt before me. I smiled to reassure him,
“Oltos, be not afraid. The Gods of the Sea have sent me here for your pleasure.”
Well, that was only a half truth.
I removed the scarf and the cloak; throwing them over his head. I then unbuttoned the maid’s dress and let it fall from my shoulders. I looked up at him slyly, tossing my hair back to leave my breasts uncovered. He was amazed as he took in my nudity and drew a deep breath. I giggled and took his hand slowly. I rubbed his palm over my soft breasts and across my nipples. His hands were strong and hard but surprisingly smooth. I lay back slightly, relaxing as he played with my breasts. I could tell that his hands were experienced.
I lunged forward to kiss him, holding his hand so that he could not escape. His mouth was as sweet as spiced mead. His lips had the savor of almond blossom and as he bit my lips and explored my mouth with his tongue, I felt liberated, like a feather in the breeze floating over a warm and tranquil sea. I gripped his head and ran my nails through his long hair as my mouth savored his lips. My hands found tight muscle, and sinew, rippled like the furrows of the boundless sea; they found firm, cool flesh and skin like fine damask. At length I reluctantly pulled away from him and bade him stand.
“As my lady commands.”
With one dexterous stroke I removed his fisherman’s kilt. He took two steps back but not out of modesty; Mentrassan fisher folk are well accustomed to their own nudity. Nay, it was so that I could see him in full. If he sought my approval; he had it, well and truly, by now. Beneath a sharply triangular torso with six chiseled abdominals, between a set of narrow hips and above a pair of long muscular thighs, the gods had hung his magnificent cock.
I rested my head on my shoulder to admire it; framed by his tanned thighs and crowned with as little curly black hair. Already my pussy tingled with expectation.
I drew him close with a wave of my hand and looked up into his face. He blinked and rolled his eyes like a high diver about to plunge into unknown water from a great height.
“Oltos my brave fisherman, you have nothing to fear from me….. Only my teeth getting in the way occasionally.”
He laughed as I grasped his manhood. I could smell scented oil on him. So he might have been expecting my return visit today after all. This also indicated a sincere desire to impress me. I was glad. I stopped short of asking him if he always wore scented oil to go fishing.
Now, at last, he relaxed noticeably as I took hold of his cock. In my hand it quickly came to life. I looked at it greedily as I felt it swell. I pumped its base where his heavy balls hung like rare fruit – fruit I would later devour. I ran my hand over his whole shaft, from the shining head all the way down. Now his cock curved upwards and I could already imagine it filling me to my inner depths. I licked my lips and brought his cock into my mouth. I had tasted nothing better in all my years of eating fine food. Oltos’s cock was hard and toothsome. With my tongue, I explored and savoured its tip, its every side and fold. I squeezed its base and massaged its head with my full lips and the inside of my mouth. I paid particular attention to the sensitive underside of it, running my tongue all over it repeatedly. Finally, I licked his balls in the same way that my two cats lap up milk. With growing satisfaction I watched these luscious fruits tighten and retract. His lap was my plaything.
All the while, I could feel him breathing hard as his hands held my head. From time to time, he brushed my hair back so he could see my mouth hard at work on his manhood. Soon his cock was dripping wet with juices from my mouth and I could feel him thrusting into me gently every time I locked my lips around him. Now I paused, whilst still pumping his shaft with my hand, and met his fierce eyes.
“Oltos, I want your mouth between my legs, but be gentle.”
“Of course, my lady.”
I lay back upon the bed as he removed the homespun dress. The bed was soft and fragrant with lavender and wild thyme from the hills. On the wall beside it, Oltos had hung many amulets and talismans. One of these was a bag of herbs, embroidered ornately and with much skill, to depict the Eye of Menkeret. I looked up to see a wide-eyed expression cross his face. He ran his eyes up and down my body and he liked what he beheld. Now I felt his warm hands gently part my legs and his tongue caress my inner thighs, kissing me softly as he slowly worked his way up. I held the embroidered bag and gazed at the Sacred Eye of Menkeret.
Salty-sweet her kiss,
So soothing her caresses;
Walking to the sea,
Her cool waters welcome me
Like a lover’s embrace.
His tongue was a tool of exquisite love-craft. He lapped at my thighs as though they were honeycomb; edging ever closer to my dripping little hole. I was impatient, as always, but allowed him ample time to demonstrate his skill. When he finally parted my lips I found that he had skill indeed. Finding all my points of pleasure, Oltos paid them each the attentions they were due. He ran his glistening tongue all the way around my lips and plunged it in to my inner depths as far as it could go. The caress of his cool tongue against my hot flesh was a marvel equal to those sung of by the bards. Last of all he circled my love-button with his tongue; gently at first then with growing intensity. I had never felt such pleasure; I had never experienced such delight. Before long, I found myself bucking like an unbroken colt and, with one hand; I pushed his face deeper and deeper into my wetness until, I am certain, he had trouble breathing. I had tormented my poor fisherman enough.
I pulled him up, almost laughing at his dripping wet chin and the slightly bemused look upon his face. I wriggled my hips enticingly and pulled him closer. I wiped my juices from his chin and looked down. He was still erect and hard and I gave his cock a few encouraging strokes. What it may have lacked in length it made up for in width and solidity. Again, my pussy quivered with the expectation that this beautiful instrument of pleasure would soon be filling her.
“Oltos, my beautiful fisherman, make love to me.” I whispered.
He grinned broadly like a little boy who had unexpectedly received a delicious sweet.
Holding his cock in his palm, he positioned it at my threshold. Even though I was more than ready now, I made him rub the head of his cock all over my lips and across my slit for several minutes. This made me wetter still, so that when he did enter me, it was with the utmost ease. Oltos now took control. As was my intention, I had inflamed his passions to the point where he lost all inhibition.
Spreading my legs, I felt his whole length fill me instantly. He kissed me wildly as he thrust into me with complete abandon. I reciprocated by returning his kisses hungrily and matching his every stroke. I dug my nails into his shoulders and wrapped my legs around his back; holding him tight. In very little time I was in ecstasy. My pussy rattled as waves of intense pleasure suffused my entire body. Oltos was not prepared for the din of my moans, my sighs and my invocations of the gods. I’m sure he thought that he had hurt me, but nothing could have been further from the truth.
After the tempest of pleasure subsided, I opened my eyes to see him smiling above me.
“Have I pleased you my lady?” He asked earnestly.
I could feel how tightly my inner muscles now gripped his cock. I have it a long, reassuring squeeze.
“Yes, indeed.” I whispered. “Yes, indeed.”
“But now I want you to fill me to the brim with your juices. I want you to feel the same delight that you have so kindly given me.”
“My lady is generous.”
With that he bowed his head and I held him close. The intensity of his thrusts filled my body with indescribable pleasure yet again, but now my mind was elsewhere. I shut my eyes and ran my hand tenderly down his spine; from the base of his skull to his lower back. I did this repeatedly as he thrust into my body and tenderly rubbed my sides. In my mind I could see a glowing spindle of energy around him; golden and iridescent. This was his power; his vortex of light; whence came passion, pleasure and joy. I plunged my hand into it and felt the golden light react to my presence. Now, little by little, I added my own energy to it, making it glow more brightly, with countless colours of the most beautiful hue.
I heard him groan with pleasure and breathe heavily as the fire now took hold of his loins. Feeding it with my own fuel, the forces of lust and desire increasingly took hold of Oltos. I felt his body tense; I felt his cock reach the very summit of its hardness. I felt him hold his breath and, as he came, I felt him lock his hands tightly around my shoulders. A full minute passed while he was caught in my web of pleasure – like an insect ensnared. I could have held him there longer but I thought it best not to frighten him. As I felt the last drop of come drain from him I let him go.
He was breathless, my poor Oltos, and collapsed on top of me for a moment. I had rendered him almost senseless so I stoked his long hair until he had recovered sufficiently to ask,
“Are you a sorceress……my lady?
I smiled enigmatically.
“I have…..gifts. Gifts that I can bestow.”
With that, I drew him near and we shared a long, tender kiss.
That day was one of the most idyllic of my life and it remains etched in my memory to this day. I found that Oltos was a month younger than I and I asked him many other questions, some very personal;
“Aye…. I have been with some of the daughters of the fisher folk but never with a fine lady such as you. You …honor me”
I smiled at his modesty. Then shed the scarf that I had draped around my shoulders. He was concerned that the sun would burn my skin but I assured him that Menkeret and my ‘gifts’ would protect me. I climbed the rigging and dived into the water. He joined me immediately and we swam around the boat; diving as deep as we could and luxuriating in the cool water. Oltos was an excellent swimmer and later that morning, as we lay dripping wet in each others arms on the deck; he taught me some of the lore of the sea.
“I’m hungry,” I said.
“I have only simple fare, my lady.”
“It will suffice.”
We shared a rustic meal of bread, cheese, potted sardines and pomegranates but to me, on that halcyon day, it seemed far finer that the food of the gods.
“Can you read and write?” I asked him afterwards.
“Enough to ply my trade. But of fine speech I have precious little.” Eagerly he then added, “I do know the songs of the fisher folk.”
I was delighted.
“Sing for me.”
“Dear heart that beats next to my own,
Whose pulse I feel when all alone;
Where in the silence of the night
Do your eyes glow with hidden light?
Where among the moon’s gentle tears
Does your own weeping fill the ears
Of the uncaring winds above
Who cry but know not pain or love?
O where are you that I might know
Where my poor entreaties go?
I ask you as though I ask the sea:
Why do you hide yourself from me?
I tell you as though I tell the sky:
No one loves you more than I!”
I was silent, touched as I had never been touched before and could only gaze into his shining eyes.
“Did the song please my lady?”
I nodded slowly.
“It was melancholy and……. beautiful, my Oltos.”
“I am glad my lady.”
“Please, do not call me ‘my lady,’ I am called Kayla.”
“A noble and beautiful name.”
I kissed him and during the rest of that jewel-like day we made love again and again.
In the days and weeks that followed I paid our servants small bribes to enable me to leave the house at dawn and join Oltos on his boat. My father would have disapproved of me taking a lover from among the lowly fisher folk but to me he was a demigod; a heroic son of the sea such as the bards never tire to sing of.
I see his smiling face still, as though he were before me now and I was not a slave in the land of the Darrakhai; but sailing as free as the breeze in his boat on a day when we caught no fish.
Alas, he is lost to me, my Oltos. He fell bravely some three years ago in the perpetual war waged by Mentrassanae against the Sea Robbers – brigands of the waves; they deserve no better name. The sea possesses his body now – it is perhaps as he would have wished.