Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Big Bad Wolf

Marjorie Miller: Queen of the Night (1931)

Today I'm moonlighting (heh!) over at Jennifer Denys' blog where she is asking various authors about the lure of the werewolf theme. I haven't actually written all that much on the subject (and I now consider it too well-trampled a path to go anywhere near) but one of my very first short stories was Renaissance, which was a historical fantasy all about a troubled young medieval woman sent on pilgrimage, to pray for a cure for her undiagnosed affliction.

Here's an excerpt. Annette has reached the isolated shrine of St Veronique, where she meets a peasant girl...

"What are you praying for then, lady?' Claudette enquired teasingly.

'I'm ill,' Annette said with caution. 'I'm praying for healing.'

Claudette bit her lip, her eyes huge with secrets. 'Oh, I'm sure you'll find it,' she said. 'St Veronique is very kind.'

Annette gave a token smile, wondering if the Chatelaine Marguerite's aristocratic hands had ever cupped Claudette's big brown breasts. She did not doubt that Gaspard had hauled her into the hayloft and parted those rounded thighs, many times. How could he resist, after all? She looked away down the valley, her mental picture of Gaspard rooting blindly up Claudette's wanton passage kindling a warmth in her that her husband had never evoked in three years of marriage.  Her voice sounded strange as she asked, 'What does the picture on the altar mean?'

'Hmm? That is the saint herself,' Claudette said, rolling a black olive over her lower lip and biting it neatly. 'Have you not heard the legend? When she fled from the wicked lord who wanted to ravish her, the wolves of the hills came to her assistance and fed her.'

'No. I hadn't heard that.'

'So you don't know about the Miracle of the Wolves?' asked Claudette, her eyes glinting. 'No? Sometimes all the wolves come down off the hills and into the chapel to pray to St Veronique. Nobody knows when they will choose to come. It might be tonight. It might be when you are here.'

Annette stared at her and then at the chapel. There was no door to the doorway. 'You are fooling with me!' she said quickly.

Claudette pursed her lips wickedly. 'Are you afraid of the wolves, pilgrim?' she asked, then burst into a throaty chuckle. 'Don't worry, lady -  they are good Christian beasts, come to pray for their souls. They wouldn't eat a pilgrim; not a pure, pious lady like yourself.' She wriggled with delight at the thought, and Annette shook her head in disbelief.

''If I were you,' Claudette confided, getting up on her knees and leaning toward Annette so that her breath was warm on her cheek, 'I would not worry about anything while I was in the chapel, so long as I knew my heart was pure.' As she finished those words she stretched forward just enough to allow her red lips to brush Annette's cheek, and then silently drew those lips in a feathery stroke over to her earlobe, which she took gently between her teeth.

Annette held very still.

Kindle US : Kindle UK
Also available in paperback.

You can also read all about my Victorian gothic werewolf erotic romance novella Bound in Skin (including a naughty excerpt) in this archive post at Lust Bites.


Jo said...

That's a great story.

I wish I had a photo of the picture I painted on my wall when I was a teenager. I think that's who it was, though I didn't know it at the time.

Cora Zane said...

I remember reading Renaissance. Great story, and my favorite from Cruel Enchantment. I still have a copy of that book. You signed it, I think.

Jennifer Denys said...

Thanks for the plug for my blog article. And thanks for contributing. It was really interesting seeing the different reasons why people choose to write about werewolves!

Janine Ashbless said...

Thank you Jo and Cora!

Thanks for asking me, Jennifer!