The Lion, the Witch, and the Woodsman, No. 2

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Chapter 6 Slave to Lovecraft

Even before he came to the clearing in the woods, even before he caught the first whiff of the tantalizing tart, Bruce knew something was just around the corner. After so many years alone in the forest, he’d learned to trust his intuition.

So why hadn’t he turned and headed in another direction?

Simple.

Curiosity.

Something around the corner could be anything. It could be a fire-breathing dragon with a vendetta or it could be a traditional mermaid mating ritual in need of a seventh. There’s no way of knowing unless you go around the corner is the point.

And so he did. The narrow, thorny path he’d picked out through the smoke trees opened onto a small clearing in the forest. A perfect ring of stones encircled a garden and an ivy-covered cottage. Bruce sniffed at the air and caught the scent of warm, sugared fruit and something else he couldn’t quite put his finger on—a secret ingredient that only the witch and her familiar would know. His mouth watered, and his dowsing rod rose to attention. It pointed the way through an iron gate that allowed entry to the small, succulent estate.

Bruce paused at the threshold to run his hands over the ultrasupple moss, and he thought of Moira Thistle and the thousand and one electrical impulses that light the way to her gated paradise. His rod thumped in sympathy with the memory.

The tart’s golden crumb and ruby red filling were on full display, precariously balanced on the kitchen windowsill. Bruce licked his lips and slipped up the moss-covered path to the front door of the cottage. He knew it was a man trap, but he didn’t care. If a witch was luring him in with enchanted pastry, she must have her reasons. Anyway, he may as well knock the dust off his magic wand if he was heading back into civilized society. He could stand to limber up after so many years of neglect.

He rapped at the door and waited patiently for the witch of the house. When it swung open, he realized he’d miscalculated. This wasn’t a one-witch household. Two ancient crones were on the other side of the door. One wore her long white hair pulled into an untidy braid that fell over her shoulder. The other had wild curls the color of black pepper.

“Come in, my boy. Come in. Welcome to our home!” the first sister said, ushering Bruce through the portal. “It’s Bruce, I believe. We’ve heard quite a lot about you through the whispervine.”

“Nothing too salacious, I hope. Tell me, dear ladies, what are your names and what need have you of a humble woodsman?”

“Gentle Ginger is my name. My sister is Rough Annie,” she replied. “And in response to your second question, we have no need of a humble woodsman. We are independent witches. We need no man at all, most certainly not a humble one. However, we would enjoy riding your legendary broomstick if you have time to spare for a couple of old crones.”

Bruce practically purred. “Ladies, aside from my legendary broomstick, I have nothing but time.”

The wizened women clapped their hands in delight and steered him into their kitchen, a warm, inviting room. Rough Annie pulled the tart down from the window and placed it on a wooden table by the fireplace.

“Sit,” Gentle Ginger said, guiding Bruce to a chair. “Oh, my. This is much too small for a brawny specimen of a woodsman like yourself, I’m afraid.”

“I’ve squeezed into much tighter spaces, Gigi,” he said with a slippery smile. The crone cackled and admired his virile physique as he wedged himself into the elfin chair.

“Eat! Eat!” Ginger said.

“I don’t suppose you have a fork?”

“Pick it up with your fingers, fancy lad,” Rough Annie said. “I’m not washing dishes on your account.”

And so he did. He picked up the warm tart and sank his teeth into its tender, buttery crust. Gooey, red fruit spilled out, dripping down his arms and forming a sticky puddle on the tabletop. The sisters watched with voyeuristic pleasure.

The sweetened pomegranate was syrupy and thick, and his tongue tingled as he licked his fingers. That faint prickling was the first sign of spell-induced desire. It quickened his appetite, and he gobbled up the rest greedily.

He wanted more. He wiped the remains of the tart’s perfumed nectar from his face with the sleeve of his shirt and eyed the two sisters lasciviously. Rather than subsiding, his erection had grown in size and rigidity, and he was now fully in the grip of the tart’s magical mayhem. He pulled Rough Annie into his arms, but she pushed him away with a grunt.

“Not before you’ve had your bath, muskrat!”

“I thought you liked my manly aroma,” Bruce said, playfully tugging at her apron string.

“From a distance,” she said. “Up close you smell like a bull in heat. And not in a good way.”

“Shush, Annie,” Ginger scolded. “Don’t worry, young Bruce. The pot’s already nice and warm.”

She pointed to a large black cauldron in the fireplace.

“In there?” Bruce said.

He wasn’t eager to jump into a witch’s cauldron unless “witch’s cauldron” was being used metaphorically to describe a witch’s cave of wonders, which was not the case in this case. But he padded over sheepishly because he couldn’t do otherwise. He was well and truly under their spell. Just before he climbed in, Gentle Ginger cried out for him to stop, and he felt a wave of relief. But she only wanted him to take his clothes off before he got in. Slowly.

And so he did. He removed his rucksack and lay it on the table, careful to avoid the puddle of tart drippings, and then he pulled off his woodsman’s vest and hung it neatly over the back of the chair. The witches admired the smattering of salt and pepper curls on his firm chest. They cooed softly. Next, he pulled the drawstring of his homespun pants. He let his hands fall to his side. The trousers stayed put, held up by his throbbing cock. The spectacle inspired Ginger to perform a joyful jig.

“Care to do the honors, Gigi?” he asked.

Gentle Ginger stepped up to uncover the pulsing, plum-purple pendulum. The pants fell to the floor, and Bruce’s famous broomstick was dramatically unveiled. The sisters licked their thin lips as Bruce stepped out of the abandoned trousers. He took a twirl upon request, and they ogled his muscular buttocks and his fuzzy family jewels.

“Hurry! Into the cauldron with you before I change my mind and take you right now—foul odor, be damned!” Rough Annie said, with a harsh thwack on his backside and a mad cackle.

Bruce obediently climbed up the wooden steps that led to the lip of the cauldron and stuck a toe in. The bubbling brew wasn’t boiling oil and toads after all. It was soapy water perfumed with lemon and rose and something woody and resinous. Bruce slid in and felt his muscles unwind, though his erection remained as insistent as before.

Ginger followed Bruce up the ladder and scrubbed him with a long-handled brush tipped with Moira’s ultrasupple moss. Once more, he was transported to the evening of his last orgy, where moonbeams revealed the slick passage that led to Moira’s cave of wonders. He shivered under the barely perceptible tickle of the moss as Ginger scoured him clean of road dirt and solitude.

Occasionally, Annie would climb up the steps to take a whiff and determine whether Bruce was done. He had nearly fallen asleep when she finally pronounced him “done enough.” The two crones helped him down the steps and dried him off with soft towels.

“Now, come along, young Bruce,” Gentle Ginger said.

She guided him by his legendary broomstick down a flight of stairs into a dark cellar beneath the cottage. His shaft pulsed in her warm hand, and his heart pounded. Four walls of the underground room were lined floor to ceiling with shelves containing thousands of potions, unguents, and canned fruits. The glass jars and decanters sparkled in the pool of light cast by Annie’s lantern.

The fifth wall was stone. It was slick with more of Moira’s moss as well as a cultivar of poisoned heart vine that Bruce had never seen before. The leaves were blood red, and the flowers emitted a fragrance that reminded him of sweet wine tapped from its cask at summer’s peak. It was a wanton, warm scent.

The witches led Bruce to the fifth wall, and the vines embraced him, quickly enveloping his strong thighs and his lean waist. The invisible hairs that lined the leaves and the stems were ultrasupple, like the moss. The sisters had created a hybrid. Bruce felt weightless in the cocoon woven around him by the vines. That heady sensation, combined with the pomegranate seeds in his belly, rendered him completely subdued—right up until the moment it became clear the sisters intended to leave him there alone with an enchanted erection.

“Ladies,” he said as they turned to abandon him.

Gentle Ginger looked back over her shoulder.

“Gigi, sweetheart, you wouldn’t leave old Bruce down here alone in this condition, would you?” He nodded at the engorged shaft, which poked through the red mass of leaves.

Ginger smiled warmly. “Well, dear, we do have chores to finish up, don’t we?”

“But…” Bruce sulked.

“Listen up, muskrat,” Rough Annie said. “We were on the verge of a new concoction when your manly aroma distracted us. We only took a quick break to lure you in as a treat for later. Now that we’ve got you, it’s back to the lab. We have important research to conduct. Your broomstick can wait for a more convenient hour.”

“But…” Bruce said again.

“We’ve waited more than a millennia for an enchanted broomstick like yours,” Gentle Ginger said sweetly. “And it’s not every day a man has the opportunity to conjure two thousand-year orgasms in one day, after all. And at one time? Oh my, dearie! Why, it’s never been done, I tell you! I can only imagine the ecstasy you’ll experience.”

Bruce shuddered as he, too, imagined the ecstasy he’d experience.

“We don’t want to be preoccupied with potions and worried about witch’s work when we’re riding your beautiful broomstick. That would tarnish your prestige and besmirch your reputation. We want to be able to fully appreciate your masterful skills and your Platonically-perfect pecker. Let us just finish up in our laboratory, and then we’ll come back down and take care of our honored guest. Hekate as my witness.”

Mollified by the idea of two thousand-year orgasms in one day, Bruce relented. “Could you at least provide your honored guest with some entertainment while he waits? Something to pass the time? Even cutthroat barbers and sadistic dentists put out magazines.”

Gentle Ginger reached between her ample, swaying breasts and pulled out a looking glass.

“Breathe on it,” she said.

When he did, a thin veil of condensation hovered over the surface. She polished it on the hem of her apron and put it in his free hand.

“Have fun, dearie,” she said, and the two sisters left him alone to make the most of his time in their canning cellar cum sex dungeon.

And so he did.

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