For personal reasons (of which, more at a later date), today's excerpt is from my novel Wildwood, which is about two modern day mages fighting over a wood with a huge secret, and over the female tree-surgeon who works there.
In this excerpt aborist Avril is doing some extra-curricular night-time tree-climbing:
With one last look around, I pulled off my top and dropped it on the grass, relishing the whisper of the breeze across my skin. My nipples tightened as if in anticipation. I stretched my arms up and jiggled my boobs, bathing them in starlight, intoxicated with my own daring. I dropped my trousers next, leaving them where they lay, creating a trail across the lawn from my back door toward my goal. Grass stubble scratched my ankles. I shook my behind playfully at the moon. Scents of flowering woodbine and cow parsley and elderflower flowed over me, washing from an area of longer grass and shrubs beyond the tree: a perfume of early summer that I adored.
My knickers were the last item of clothing to go and then I strode forward naked but for my shoes. I kicked even those off when I got under the canopy of the beech, feeling the husks of last year’s mast prickly beneath my bare soles. I cinched on my harness more by touch than sight and tossed the rope-end over a branch. Climbing naked, I then discovered, wasn’t nearly so comfortable as in padded trousers. Luckily it was a well-furnished tree and after the first scramble I didn’t need the ropes. I kept the harness on though; I liked the feel of the tight belt about my waist and the leg-straps that fitted snugly about my arse-cheeks and between my thighs. The torch I had hanging from a side-loop slapped against my right cheek as if in appreciation of the way the straps framed my backside.
By the time I got right into the high crown I admit I wasn’t just flushed from the exertion, I was feeling wickedly horny too, adding the thrill of vertigo to the dizzy surge of sexual arousal. Adding to the scents of the night was the perfume of my own body. I found a place where I could plant my feet wide apart on two radiating limbs and hook one arm over a branch near my head. My back was to the trunk and my legs were spread wide, beneath them nothing but a drop of fifty foot to the ground and the cool air that licked at the inside of my thighs. It was as if I were inviting the whole of the night into my open sex.
Go on, touch me.
I let my free hand drift down to my clit, stirring the wet itch there to further torment. My lips needed little coaxing to part; I was a night-flowering blossom, heavy with nectar. Shudders of pleasure mounted quickly through my body. I imagined what would happen if I should let go and slip; how they would find my body in the morning stark naked and legs spread. How shameful that would be, I told myself teasingly. Perhaps Michael Deverick would be the one to find me. I imagined his face stooping over mine, his eyes blazing with dismay and frustration. I imagined what it would be like to be working in the shrubbery alone one day, and then to turn and see him watching me with that lancing gaze. How he’d step forward and peel the tight lycra up my breasts and bend to bite my salty, grateful nipples. How he’d wrench my jeans down and slam me up against a tree-trunk and fuck me long and hard. Sex with him, I was sure, would be deliberate and prolonged; he was a control-freak. My bare arse brushed the bark. Maybe he’d make me get down and lick his cock clean when he’d come. Maybe he’d tie me to the tree with my own ropes and screw me as I strained against my bonds. Maybe he’d bend me over a fallen trunk and fuck my splayed pussy while my hands clawed at the leaf-mould and I screamed for more until the woods rang and everybody on the whole estate knew I was finally getting it, getting it, getting it.
I came then, riding the storm-surge of chaotic imagery. ‘Woah,’ I breathed, blinking. An owl hooted its wavering call from the wood edge.
Glowing with pleasure, I worked my way back down to a larger branch and settled myself comfortably. The smooth beech-bark felt cool against my hot pussy. I flicked away a spider that had the cheek to run across my thigh. My feet dangled in space and I swung them idly.
From here I could see through a broad gap between the leaves, down onto the long weeds that had once been a lawn. The moon had turned it silver, but the shadows beneath the shrubby elders and the far tree line were jet black. When someone came into sight wading through the grass he was clearly visible, and left a dark furrow of bent grasses in his wake.
I held my breath. For a brief moment – my head addled with moonlight and sensuality - I thought that I’d somehow summoned Michael Deverick. Then I recognised my ginger tree-hugger from Grange Wood. His dreadlocks were unmistakable. He was shirtless, and under that moonlight so pale that he seemed to glimmer, except on his left shoulder where there was a big dark patch.
‘What are you up to?’ I muttered under my breath, leaning forward to get a better look. His hands trailed through the flower-heads caressingly. Then my eyes widened as I realised that he wasn’t just shirtless; the waist-high foliage had been hiding the fact that he was naked. At this distance I couldn’t make out any details, but a momentary glimpse of the unbroken line of flank and hip made me certain.
Bloody hippie, I thought with tolerant disdain. Of course: it was Midsummer’s Eve, wasn’t it? No doubt he was indulging in a bit of pagan nudity for the occasion. If I kept him in sight then I might spy on a bit of sky-clad Morris dancing or whatever it was these people did. Of course the fact that I was butt-naked myself made it difficult to feel really superior. Then I caught sight of his companions, and I forgot to feel superior at all. My spine crawled.
|Hilde Hechle, Moonlight Phantasy (1930)|
They came through the grass as he did, many of them, on either side, but they left no tracks behind them. Some danced, some skulked, and some slithered along barely cresting the grass. They were the same colour as the moonlight on the dappled foliage and it was hard to make them out; my peripheral vision caught the flicker of their movements easily enough but the poor light made them difficult to focus on if I looked directly. I thought some were doglike, some hunched and muscular as buffalo, some slender as gibbons. My eyes itched as I strained to pick them out against the silvery froth of the meadow and through the gaps between the clumps of beech leaves. I could only be certain of glimpses; the scimitar curve of a horn, the flick of an angled ear, the green glint of a pupilless eye. Only Swampy himself seemed to be truly solid. They were absolutely silent, not even the grass whispering as they passed.
I’m dreaming this, I told myself.
As they reached the edge of the long weeds and slipped out onto the shorter grass I lost sight of most of them behind the banks of beech leaves, though I was certain that one was a bear with a ruff of grizzled fur. It lifted its blunt muzzle to the air and sniffed and grunted before lumbering onward, out of sight.
There’ve been no bears in England for centuries.
The man with the red ’locks seemed in less of a rush than his companions, or perhaps it was only his own crude materiality than caused him to lag behind. One shadowy form dawdled to stay with him, dancing around him in circles that left no trail of bruised grass. She was easier to see as she came close to him, as if he loaned her some focus; a naked girl, whip-thin, with wild hair down to her shoulders and something twiggy protruding from that hair over her temples. I thought it might be a tiara until I realised it was branched horns she wore on her head, like the horns of a roebuck. He laughed and brushed her face with his fingertips. She twirled for him, head thrown back, blocking his progress with her slim body, twining her arms about his neck then turning her back to bump her arse against his groin. The invitation was unmistakable and he put his hands about her waist. She wriggled up against him, arching her back and grinding her bum into his crotch, writhing her head back against his shoulder. What man could resist that sort of offer?
I felt warmth flicker into renewed life in my own sex. They were up to their hips in grass and I couldn’t see any detail, but from the set of their bodies it was clear enough what was going on. He braced his thighs and took what was being offered to him, hoisting her hips so that he could sheathe himself in her from behind. I squirmed on my branch. She arched forward and he had to lean back to balance her, his hands gripping hard on her hips, his thighs working with deliberation. She made a noise like the yawn of a cat and writhed her bum in ecstatic circles. I drank in the sight with furtive, guilty fascination: the shimmy of her tiny breasts, the gape of her lips, the smooth hollow between his hip and thigh, the hunch of his strong shoulders as he pumped into her.
Bereft of those baggy clothes he was a lot more toned than I’d given him credit for. Good, strong arms, I thought. He was almost beautiful.
She was bent right forward now, nearly double, her arse thrust high under the moon. I’d never hope to be so lithe myself. It gave me a good view of his naked torso though, and the sheen on his taut belly as he thrust. He shifted one hand from her hip to clap it against her bum-cheek, clearly relishing the sound of skin on skin.
Dirty boy, I breathed. My pubic mound was pressed against the unyielding branch and leaking onto the bark. This voyeurism was entirely new to me, and the fact that spying on them was making me hot filled me with delicious shame. I could actually hear both of them panting. I watched each thrust and imagined what it might feel like as he quickened toward his goal, his movements jagged and frantic until he groaned and lurched, grabbing her tight, his muscles locked.
He was one of those blokes who really show it when they come. I like that so much in a man.
Then she changed. I didn’t see the moment of transformation; I only know that when she lifted her head next there was nothing human about it. It was the head of a hind on the long neck of a deer, her fur as white as her skin had seemed only a moment before. Her velvet-tipped antlers tossed skittishly. For a moment he froze – as shocked, I assumed, as me. I forgot how to breathe. She kicked and bucked and danced out of his grasp so that he staggered and nearly keeled over, skipping around him in ever-widening circles, and from one spring to another I couldn’t tell if it was a deer or a woman tossing her antlered head and laughing at him in great silvery peals.
I shut my eyes and pressed my forehead to the tree, clinging to its solidity.
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