Today, because we've finally been able to switch from grumbling about the heat to grumbling about the rain here in the UK, I've picked an excerpt from my soggiest story to date: At Usher's Well.
My Mistress is wrestling with God, and will not give an inch.
I watch her from the floor of her chamber, as I squat over the fireplace trying to get the logs to blaze properly. We’re using birch because it’s the only thing that’ll catch when wet, but it burns through so fast, and with so little heat, that I’m forever traipsing up and down the stairs with the log-basket on my back. She’s wrapped in a fur-lined pelisse to make up for my lack of success. Her face, thinner now after all these weeks of half-starving herself, catches the grey light along her cheek bone.
Oh Lord, but she looks like Finlay from that angle. My heart clenches inside me, a spasm of loss.
Finlay. Sweet Finlay with the curly brown hair and the fluff of beard on his lean cheeks. Finlay who would follow me into the dairy and press me against the shelves and call me his sweet Meg, his pretty Margaret, his windflower and his kitten and his little white dove. Who’d kiss my hands and my lips and hold me close, nuzzling my hair. Who swore he loved me, even when I laughed him off and pushed him away.
Gently. I was gentle with him. I didnae want to hurt his feelings. He said he loved me and would marry me and we would have beautiful bairns together, three of each, and the lassies would look like me and the lads would look like him.
It was all lies of course—no, not lies, but thistledown dreams. He was the smart one, the son who had learned his letters. He was destined for Oxford University far away down south, and so to take Holy Orders. He would never marry anyone. Besides, my Mistress would never countenance any one of her sons marrying a mere serving maid. Marriage is for equals, and I’d never be theirs’.
That hadnae stopped Finlay’s older brother Rory tumbling me of course—and taking my maidenhead, in fact. Rory was a big, straightforward fellow with a boisterous, ever-eager cock. He rummaged his way through every wench of beddable age in the household, but I doubt that anyone resented him for it, for he was always generous with his coins, and an easygoing master who often intervened with his mother to make sure there were extra portions at dinner for the servants, or to turn away her wrath at some domestic transgressor. Unlike my Mistress, Rory never complained that I was late lighting his fire in the morning, or slow serving at the table. He would only wink and smile at me and pat my rump, and when he came upon me in private he’d pull up my skirts and bend me over a press and slip me his length, strong and easy. On feast days he’d dance me on his broad lap until his prick was as hard as a pole and I was red and flustered, and then he’d touch me secretly under my skirts until I was running as wet and slick as a crock of butter left too close to the oven, and ready to do anything he wanted. That was how he had me, the first time.
|Henry Matthew Brock, 1934|
‘Are you a woman, yet, Meg?’ he’d murmured in my ear as he dandled me. He could have shouted it and no one would have heard over the ruckus.
‘No, Master Rory,’ I’d said, blushing, feeling my blood soar and my skin flame and my bones loosen.
‘Are you ready for me to make you one?’ His fingertips had stroked my purse until it gaped, begging for him to steal what lay within.
I’d moaned then, and shuddered on his lap.
‘Och, this medlar is ripe, I think,’ he’d said. His other arm was around me, his other hand stroking and squeezing my maiden breasts through my bodice. I was losing all sense; nothing in all the world mattered as much as that devastating tease between my thighs.
‘Aye,’ I’d whimpered. And as that wicked fingertip had circled the plump little pip of my medlar, I’d said ‘Aye!’ again and shut my eyes and pressed my face to his neck as I’d slithered helplessly over into paradise—right there in front of the whole household, his brothers and his mother and all the guests. I didnae cry out, but I heard the catch of Rory’s breath and then his long exhalation. I dinnae ken if anyone paid any attention. Well—I know that my Mistress saw, because she shot me a narrow-eyed glare as Rory eased me from his lap, patted my rear, and pushed me out of the hall in front of him.
It was the Midsummer feast. Rory led me out into the unmown hayfield and laid me down in the long grass, lifting my skirts. His length looked smooth as wood in the moonlight. He wet his thumb in my juices and placed it over my pip, and he kept that there, pressing and stirring, as he laid his cock to my gates and broke them down.
He was heavy, and the smell of wine and crushed grass made my head spin. I wondered why anyone did anything else but this all their lives.
My poor Mistress at the window there disnae look like Rory, and never has. I suppose he takes after his father, who was dead before I came to this place. Certainly he’s her favoured son.
Was her favoured son. It’s hard sometimes to remember that he’s dead, she denies it so adamantly. They’re all dead, drowned in the deep.
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