Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week.
I’m continuing the story of Willem and Torrey, who are being torn from each other on an alien world. This week the prompts were: “If you wish upon a star” or use pea soup in your story or have your character make some sort of comfort food or “When I'm away from you, I feel...” or use an overdue book fine at the library or “My .... is bigger than your ...” or “round and round the mulberry bush” or “She slid her thumb gently across my lips and I thought I'd melt” or have your character Google something.
Just for fun, I used two of the prompts this week.
Sealed in Stone #6
Torrey knew he’d entered the nom when the palanquin’s red curtains ceased to glow. Luminous paint on the palanquin’s beams provided cool filigrees of light as new odors assailed him. He had lived his life among humans and had never smelled nomari bodies in great numbers. And there was something else, something new, cloying and sweet wafting on the oppressive air. The palanquin continued, rolling on the shoulders of its bearers, until little by little the air grew fresh again. Because of the veil he wore, Torrey saw little other than shadows.
The curtains brightened again shortly before the palanquin was lowered. Sovesa waited a long moment before she opened the curtain.
When Torrey stepped out, he saw no human faces. The only face he saw was Hers. Cyrrhi’s large body occupied a throne atop a dais of red jasper. Gleaming cave crawler fangs and panels of polished chitin graced her regal seat while smooth topazes glowed from her crown. The crown, fashioned from the jaws and carapace of a giant river beetle, trailed amber jewels into her long golden hair. From her crimson silk gown, cascades of priceless damsel eyes winked with sparks of inner fire. Pesht’s Queen rose and slowly descended the steps.
“Son of the Bhesarim,” she greeted. Her voice was rough and low. She lifted the veil that concealed Torrey’s face. Determined to show no fear, he looked Her in the eye. He had known she would be much older than he. Her cold gaze warmed. She slid her thumb gently across his lips and he thought he'd melt as her pheromones took hold.
“Exactly as promised. I am pleased.”
The ceremony took place immediately and was over within minutes. Cyrrhi clasped a heavy bracelet of gold upon his wrist, locking it to his body to mark him as Her Chosen. A yavnath mate. Sacred. He spoke the words drummed into his brain, about how he belonged only to her… his heart to her heart. It was all very flowery and false, because he had no heart to give her and it was not his heart for which she had bartered. The kumbh women, including Torrey’s mother, departed without speaking.
Sovesa guided Torrey’s veiled form back to the palanquin and it was with her that he rode to the Queen’s Chambers.
* * * *
“These chambers are for Her Chosen.”
The nomari female speaking was named Ypa. She was not a queen. She might have been one had she been fed differently during gestation, but she had not been and so her eggs produced only workers or warriors. Workers and warriors were not very smart. Ypa’s large, unblinking yellow eyes followed Torrey’s movements about the room.
“Thank you,” he said. His quarters were luxurious, filled with light.
“If there is anything Her Chosen wishes—”
“I wish to be with my friend.” As soon as he spoke the words, he wanted to take them back. He’d let slip the gender marker.
Ypa lifted her head. “You will not be lonely. She will want you often.”
There was no point in discussing anything with Ypa. To her he was but one of Cyrrhi’s possessions. She’d helped him remove his veils and heavy ceremonial robe moments before. He now wore only a light tunic and the ridiculous cock sheath, within which his erection had mercifully abated. Ypa told him he would be summoned later that night and must wear the cock sheath until his Queen saw fit to remove the device upon her first use of him.
After Ypa left, he dismissed three diminutive nomari domestic workers who watched his every move. They scurried off to curtained alcoves hidden in the walls that separated the different rooms of his apartment. As long as he was in the nom, he would never truly be alone. He stood in the center of the main room and looked up at the high windows. His only view was of the sky.
“Just enjoy it.”
He froze at the voice. No other human should be in his room. He turned around to see a tall, well-muscled youth with perfect creamy skin, honey bright hair, and eyes green as bog glow. A girdle crafted of dark burnished chitin and smooth beetle wings graced slim hips and a jeweled pouch cupped his genitals. Torrey had never seen a more beautiful man.
“I wanted to see Arton’s replacement.” The visitor spoke nomari but not like someone born to it. He was not from the kumbhs.
Torrey drew a breath and waited. He was the Queen’s Chosen and status, among the nomari, was everything. It was for him to guard his by prompting the interloper to concede rank.
His visitor’s eyes narrowed. “My name is Hari.”
It was a slave name, not even his own. Torrey felt a twinge for a man who had no better name to give. “I am Torrey Davir Bhesari Prim.”
“Arton’s brother.” The youth’s gaze raked him. “I expected more. My nose is bigger than your cock.”
“And next you’ll say your cock is bigger than my arm.”
Hari snorted. “Just ask Cyrrhi when you see her tonight—and leave her wanting more.” He walked to the center of the room and flung himself onto the scattered cushions. The erection distending Hari’s genital covering looked thick and long.
The blatant power move caused Torrey’s gut to go cold. Hari had just asserted control of the room. His room. Torrey already knew enough about Hari to be careful. He could take back what Hari had just seized, but that would just shift the Queen’s attention to Hari instead of himself on the night of his own Choosing. Better to play into the ploy and disarm it. Hari knew very little about him.
If Willem were here…Willem would have jumped on Hari with his fists for that taunt. He would have liked to see that.
Instead, Torrey waited before saying, “If She did not want more, She would not have chosen me.”
Thanks for reading! If you’re looking for more fun, free fiction, use the links below to visit the blogs of the other Wednesday Briefers.