The long-awaited third part to this 'choose your own adventure' story.
Algameth peers over the side of the root. The girls have been dragged almost all the way to the tree; and even from this distance she can see long trails of saliva glob out of the monster’s mouth as it anticipates its meal.
She’s no stranger to death. She deals with it regularly; hell, she creates the instruments that kill hundreds, if not thousands; and she’s dished it out herself frequently to men who cross her lines. But this isn’t right; these two girls are someone’s daughters. They’re too young to end like this. They have more suns to see.
A plan takes murky shape: Go for the weak parts. It’s rough, but it’ll have to do.
She starts by jogging several steps away from the drama, into the wood. She needs air, lots of it. With a small sniff she tests for the deathly fragrance. It’s clear. Good. Her mighty chest swells as she sucks in a huge lungful; and when she thinks she can’t take in any more, she forces several short gasps to fill the remaining pockets—a trick she uses when diving for fish.
With a cursory glance of her surroundings she can’t see any useful sticks or rocks, so decides her hands will have to do. The vines shouldn’t be too hard to break anyway, she thinks as she turns and plunges out into the field, into the blazing sunlight, which she wishes would go away so she wasn’t so conspicuous.
The tree doesn’t seem to have eyes anyway—it probably just feels its way around. Or maybe it’s so big that it can no longer move, and just spends its time waiting for food to stumble across its sprawling feet.
Alga sprints straight towards the girl closest to the tree: the one being dragged by purple hair. She reaches the body and grips one of the villainous vines with both hands. She pulls it sideways. It doesn’t budge from its course; not an inch.
She pulls harder, tries to jerk it, digs her heels into the earth and puts all her weight into dislodging it. The muscles across her wide back ripple and strain. Nothing.
She sweeps her hair back from her face and then stomps on one of the vines.
It felt like a rock—solid and unyielding. And to add insult to her poor, possibly-injured foot, there’s not a dent to be seen on the round, green surface. They continue sliding.
This isn’t gonna work!
She glances back at the girl to check for signs of life (maybe they don’t need saving, after all...). Through the writhing mass of lazy snakes she sees a full, luscious bosom which has come loose from whatever dress the kid is wearing. That’s odd. And her sleeping face can be seen clearly: it’s small, but not a child’s—the structure is too well-formed, and... beautiful!
Are they pointed ears?
A sharp shot of pain hits the side of Alga’s chest before she can wonder any further. She cries out. Looking down she sees a red trickle seep from a straight cut across her ribs and the side of her breast.
What the fuck was—
Another! A whip cracks across her hamstring.
Alga doesn’t cry out and waste precious air this time. She was expecting it. She grips the back of her leg in pain, but watches her long, green assailant. More agile than the slow vine dragging the girls, this one slings out in a wide, high-speed arc, low to the ground, slicing grass as it flies.
It retracts back to the tree, which Alga realises is even uglier from this range. It’s tree-like, but the texture of the bark, and the posture of the branches, and even the shape of the leaves, are all not quite right: grotesqueries—crippled, and poorly copied. The sideways mouth—glistening with blood-stained teeth and bits of old, rotting flesh—almost grimaces. It opens. Alga ducks and covers her ears, anticipating another curdling screech that lasts long and shakes the air. Several vines fly out from the trunk in different directions.
Alga is too quick. She flips backwards, dodging a missile aimed straight at her stomach. She swivels to miss another, and then jumps a sweeping shot to her shins.
Thud! One slams into her back and forces a gasp. Another, aimed at her head, scrapes her cheek as she regains her footing.
Fuck! Too many!
She continues dodging and running and sliding, escaping most of the shots, but her air is running out. She’s already fighting the urge to take a breath.
Algameth glances at the sliding bodies of the girls. Did an arm just move?
She runs at the tree. She knows she can’t defeat it by getting slashed to pieces in the middle of a field, so at the very least she’s going to give it an unpleasant memory to go with its meals.
The tree makes a sickening wail as she runs up the side of its trunk (keeping her distance from the cavernous mouth). She latches onto a lower branch and swings up onto another, landing on an unsettlingly crusty and warm surface. The tree bucks and shakes. The branches bend towards her as she holds on; but they’re not flexible enough to reach the trespasser.
The vines erupt into a frenzied whipping and slashing: a violent, screaming windstorm. They attack Alga and their host indiscriminately, slashing her skin and the bark. Both bleed red.
She climbs from one branch to another, higher and higher, trying to escape the whipping razors. Her brain is drained of oxygen and the surrounding world is turning fuzzy; her base instincts have taken over: just get away from pain and death.
All this for a couple of lousy kids! I should have just fucking left them. What the hell are they anyway?
Before she falls into a death-dream about the origin and fate of the strange girls, Alga’s knee strikes a bulge on one of the highest branches. It spins, and opens. Alga nearly loses her footing. She looks at it, and it looks at her. It has a husky lid, which is wide open, revealing the unmistakable whites and black circle of an eyeball. The iris, as big as a fist, grows and shrinks as it focuses on the woman.
A vine grips Alga’s ankle with vice-like strength and tries to drag her off her perch. In a moment, her initial plan flashes vividly to her mind: go for the weak parts. She twists back, recoiling her arm, and then lets fly at the blinking lump with a punch that would dint one of her best shields.
Her fist rips through. It pops. Goo and blood erupt over her body and face, and the monster howls. Alga only hears the start of the tremendous sound, but her ears quickly go numb. The vine releases her ankle, and the tree lifts several feet into the air. It shakes madly, trying to spin her out like a dog drying itself after a swim.
She commits. She knows she’s not getting out of this, so she’s going to give the girls below a chance to escape. She’s taking this beast with her. (Another slight pang of guilt hits her stomach as she wishes she just stayed in the rock pool to have one more orgasm before her untimely and most unexpected death.)
There it is!
She’s spotted another bulge in an even higher branch, shuddering, and turning this way and that. She swings and scurries towards it like a large naked monkey.
She’s close. She dodges a desperate vine, then kicks herself off a branch, launching at the blinking ball with her knee. Direct hit. It explodes. Alga tumbles. Covered in slippery goo, and having spent the last of her coordination, she can’t catch any of the branches.
She hits one on the way down. Maybe two.
Dark. It’s so dark.
It’s been too long. Where am I?
Fire. It’s inside.
It’s burning. Blazing!
Algameth jolts awake, sitting upright. She slaps her arms, her legs, her body, putting out the hot flames.
There are none: just skin. Pure, smooth skin.
And fabric, covering her body. It’s shiny and white. She touches it—it’s silky and light and cool—and then she realises it’s some sort of fancy robe, and that she’s on a soft bed, and she wonders what sort of stupid dream she’s in.
“You’re safe,” says a high-pitched voice, smoother and silkier than Alga’s bedclothes.
The smithy’s defences kick into action. She spins out of her bed in an instant, crouches, protects her face with balled fists, and prepares to fight her way out. She sees her assailant standing at the foot of the bed: it’s a child, standing no higher than Alga’s hips. She has purple hair. No, she’s not a child; the light from the window shines through her flowing yellow gown and reveals womanly hips and a generous bust. And her face, although small with a cute button nose, is decidedly mature.
“Who the fuck are you?” Alga hisses. “Where am I?”
The woman is frozen. Her mouth opens but no sound comes out, and her big, almond-shaped eyes look ready to burst. Then Alga’s mind finally fills the gaps in her memory. Destruction and fear and pain come rushing back. She drops her fists and stands straight.
“Wait. Wasn’t I…?” She runs her hands over her arms, her chest, stomach, the back of her legs; she bends this way and that, testing her back.
The small woman smiles.
“I was dead,” Alga says, disbelieving her own words as they leave her mouth.
“Not for long,” the small woman says in that high-pitched, honey voice. “The queen fixed you! Come, she wants to see you.”
The woman holds out a tiny hand. Alga, transfixed on her size and beauty, and suddenly acutely aware of how strange and intricate this room is—with grassy walls, and carvings of sunsets and battles across the ceiling and floor—accepts the hand. The woman gently holds two of Alga’s thick fingers and leads her out of the room and into a new world.
Everything is glowing. That’s her first observation. And everything is different. The shapes, the colours, the light, the size. She feels like a newborn. She quickly focuses back on the one familiarity: the tiny woman who is leading her, just so she can get her bearings. Even the ground on which they walk is unusual: it’s soft, and gives with each step, like a living cushion. It’s also blue. Alga guesses it’s some sort of moss.
With a deep breath, she looks back out onto the scenery. Mighty trees as tall as mountains surround her on all sides, and fade into the unknown, misty distance—great pillars holding up the blue sky. Their branches, mostly bare except for the dense foliage right at their tips, stand almost straight out from the vast trunks, and themselves are bigger than any tree Alga has seen. They are round except for the top surfaces, which are almost perfectly flat.
She realises she’s standing on a branch of one of these trees. It’s wider than a main road in her hometown. She isn’t worried about falling off; but the edges drop off to nothingness, so she sticks close to the centre of the blue, mossy path. She looks back and sees that her room is actually some sort of honeycomb nest, attached to the trunk of the tree, which is so broad it might as well be the side of a mountain.
There are other honeycomb-type structures above and below, and far over on the other trees. There are also floating discs, of all different sizes, radiating brilliant and colourful light. Red, blue, bright green, and colours Alga can’t name because she’s never seen them before. They’re all around, in the air. Some are hovering by themselves in random space, some are close together and form steps up to other branches, some are moving slowly across the emptiness between trees. There are people standing and sitting on some of them.
“Welcome to my home.”
Alga looks down. The woman is smiling up at her, and she continues to lead her forward. Her small feet cause the moss to glow with each footstep, and Alga realises her feet are doing the same to the ground below.
“It’s very beautiful, no?”
“Err…” Alga tries to remember what words are, and just nods.
“Come.” She leads her further along the branch, and to Alga’s horror she sees that they’re heading towards a large red disk which is sitting in the open space right next to the drop-off. “It’s OK,” the woman says, feeling the big fingers tighten; “it’s safe.” She places another hand on Alga’s forearm, and the warm, soft touch sends a wave of pure calm through her whole body.
Alga then watches herself, almost as an external observer, as she walks right up to the edge, and steps out onto the hovering, glowing object. It dips a little, and her heart stops, but it stays in the air, taking her weight, and then the weight of the small woman.
The woman says some strange words (something like “akuf ahtum evom” to Alga’s ears, but it sounds like two voices mixed together—one high and sweet, the other huskier and deep). Instantly, the disk departs into the empty space away from the branch. The movement is smooth, but Alga drops to her hands and knees to make sure she doesn’t topple off the edge, and she thinks about the sort of sturdy rail she would construct if this was her flying disk. She clenches her eyes shut and imagines the ground. And she waits.
“Come, open your eyes, warrior,” Alga hears, and feels a soft touch on her shoulder; “we approach the queen.”
Again, the soothing touch makes Alga’s eyes open by themselves—first one, then, reluctantly, the other. Nothing but blue sky. “There,” the woman says. Alga follows the line of her graceful, pointed arm, and above them she sees the flat underside of a round green disk hovering in space. As they move towards it, Alga sees that this disk is possibly a couple of hundred feet wide; and, risking a peek over the edge, she sees that they are high above the pointed tops of even the tallest of the trees.
They draw level to the large disk. A mini-land greets them. Green slopes and hillocks cover the expanse. Smallish trees and shrubs sprout from the surface; and the whole thing would almost look like a natural grassy glade if it wasn’t glowing. As they approach the edge, Alga also notices that the plants are strangely symmetrical, and completely green with no hint of bark on the trunks or branches, as if the mossy substance on the disk had decided to grow into counterfeit forms of plants.
To Alga’s unbelievable belief, their transport pulls up quite a distance onto the vast circle, and sets down on the ground. The small woman cartwheels off the disk onto the green surface, flashing her bright white thighs. "This is where the queen lives!" she squeaks. "Come, come!" She beckons with a large smile. Alga can't help but smile at this person's youthful excitement, and steps out, wondering what the queen is like.
They stroll—the large, muscled human in the out-of-place, soft, white garment, and her petite partner whose head only reaches Alga’s hips—across the green surface; up and down the gentle slopes and past various shapes of trees.
A cool breeze meets them, and in the side of her vision Alga catches sight of her guide’s long purple hair flowing behind; her loose gown flutters, revealing the tender white of the side of her torso: the curve of her supple breast makes Alga bite her bottom lip.
“Yeh!” the woman cries out in that strange double voice she used earlier. Alga quickly averts her gaze, but then realises she was calling to someone else: another small woman is sitting on a branch of one of the larger “trees” in front of them. Her slender legs dangle and swing casually, with her achingly cute, high-arched feet dangling above Alga’s head (as if she isn’t high enough in the world already?!). “Yeh!” she calls in reply, smiling and showing the back of her hand in some sort of wave, Alga guesses.
She drops from the branch and lands without sound in front of them.
"This is the queen," Alga's guide whispers from the side of her mouth.
"This is the queen," Alga's guide whispers from the side of her mouth.
Algameth drops to one knee; one, because she thinks that’s what she needs to do when greeting a queen (so she’s heard in stories), and two, because the piercing, huge eyes of the woman in front has caused her knees to weaken and heart to race.
Somehow, astonishingly, this being is even more beautiful than the purple-haired host. Her skin radiates and is covered in colourful images of flowers and beasts; her hair is lush and brown, with streaks of white and silver, and it’s tied back with an elegant arrangement of small flowers. Her ears and nose are pointed; and a single piece of gold, which was forged with skill unknown to Alga into a tiara worthy of a queen in the sky, sits upon her forehead. She wears a simple dark-green gown with a silver thread tied around her tiny waste. The airy material flaps in the breeze. The sun easily passes through and shows Alga every curve of her perfect form. Blushing, her eyes dart to the ground.
Soft laughter, like rain in the forest, breaks the silence. Alga looks up and both women are laughing. They quickly exchange words in their own language, and then the woman steps forward and holds out her hand to Alga. “Please, do not bow in my land,” she says. “You, mighty warrior, gave your life to save ours. We are forever in your service, and we have brought you here to finally meet you and to honour you!”
More blood rushes to Alga’s face. She’s not used to reverence or honour; at best, she normally receives a grunted “good” for her flawlessly crafted weapons and shields. She takes the queen’s tiny hand and stands.
“The rest have arrived,” the purple-haired woman says. Alga turns, and indeed a host of people have quietly arrived on various coloured disks. All tiny. All women. They whisper and giggle as Alga looks around at them with wide eyes.
Finally it occurs to Alga to say something, but the thousand things she wants to know combine to result in a stammered “Wh… Wha… Whe…”
“To answer your first question,” the queen assists, “I am Carsie, ruler of this land, Karb. Our peoples we call Ylleves." She motions to the gathering crowd. "And this”—nodding towards the other woman—“is Stavie. She is a princess in Karb—my servant and next in line to lead.” Stavie stands tall but her cheeks glow. “She has grown quite attached to you while you slept.” Her cheeks erupt scarlet. “In fact, we all have. Very few of us have seen a human, and none before have entered Karb.”
The crowd of several dozen Ylleves has formed a loose semi-circle around Alga, the queen and the princess. They’re all women, Alga notices; or at least, they all look like women—maybe males are beautiful here as well?
“What is your name, fair warrior?” the queen asks.
“Um… I’m Algameth,” she says quietly, looking down, unused to speaking to crowds, and intensely nervous in front of this particular crowd. “You can just call me Alga. But I’m not a warrior, or even a soldier, or nothin’ really. I just, ah, make swords and things.”
Queen Carsie doesn’t reply. Instead, she closes her eyes and shows Alga the back of one of her hands, as when she greeted them earlier. She hums quietly. It grows, and slowly separates into two noises—a low, guttural sound and a sweet, high note. Stavie, who is now also facing Alga, has her hand up and has also started making this strange sound; and it spreads through the crowd.
Alga can just stand and watch, and listen. They open their mouths to release the noise and still it grows; and it begins to fill her with calm and excitement at the same time; and her head grows warm; and the warmth spreads down her neck, her back, her chest, down her limbs and across her skin. Her eyes close and her arms open wide as she savours the feeling, and soon she realises she’s not touching the ground, but she doesn’t care: the warmth is turning into waves of pleasure, flowing through her whole body and mind.
“We welcome you, Algameth, guardian of the queen!” The queen’s bitonal voice booms over the chorus of Ylleves. Alga opens her eyes. Holy shi— She’s floating above the crowd, and Carsie has both arms outstretched above her head towards Alga’s upright, motionless body. They all do. And they’re all glowing with a faint tinge of blue!
“Ew won ronoh reve rof yeh!” This statement from the queen causes the singing to erupt to an impossible volume. The reverberating base runs through Alga’s nerves and the high, smooth notes cover her in aural honey. She feels it in her core, and her loins. Her fingers and toes start to tingle. Holy fuck, I think I’m gonna come!
And she does. Floating high in the sky above a group of strange creatures, wave after wave after wave of intense, comfortable orgasm pounds through Alga’s body. The voices of the women massage her from within. She cries out; but the singing is so loud she can’t hear herself. Her hair floats in a red halo above her, as if she’s underwater. The thick muscles of her legs and calves contract and convulse. Her hands and feet clench.
And as her climax fades, so do the voices, dropping off one by one until only a few are left humming. Alga slowly descends back to the disk and slumps softly onto the surface. Her face flushed, she lies on her back. “Whew!” She takes a deep breath, and feels more content than ever before in her life.
The Ylleves giggle and chat amongst themselves. Suddenly self-conscious, Alga sits up and brings herself up onto her jelly knees. The queen smiles broadly. “For forty days you have slept,” she says. “Stavie found you after the monster’s spell passed. Your legs she saw—bloody and broken—coming from under the ghastly tree. With great effort we managed to free you, and we realised what you had done. You gave yourself to save us—complete strangers to your land.
“Stavie wept over your corpse, and pleaded for me to reignite your life; but I had not the strength. We had to return. Being many centuries younger than me, the princess is somewhat rebellious.” A smirk spreads across Stavie’s face. “She insisted that we bring you here to heal you. I agreed, and broke the laws of this land by allowing you entry. But the princess in completely answerable for you, at the price of her head should you cause any harm to my people. But,” she adds, seeing Alga’s dismay, “we have seen into your mind and we are not afraid. You are a true warrior, and have a noble heart.”
“But I’m really not a warrior—I already said,” Alga interjects.
“But you are,” Carsie says; “and we wish to reward you for your brave act.”
“Didn’t you already reward me? You gave me life! And… that,” she says, motioning with a thumb towards her climax in the sky.
Carsie walks up to Alga; their faces level. She reaches out with her small hand and brushes Alga’s cheek. “You deserved to be brought back; and that was just how we greet visitors.” The queen looks deep into her eyes. “Ask of us three gifts, and you will have them. Anything you want or need. Anything.”
Alga is lost in the queen’s deep blue eyes, and her smooth touch is intoxicating.
I guess I could use a new ox, she considers. I’m sick of dragging my shit around like an animal.
Or maybe a new hammer. These guys must have some pretty good tools if they made that tiara.
What I really want, though, is to kiss this goddess in front of me! Ah, those sweet lips—like a damn rose. And the princess—oh man! In fact, I could lie with every damn one of these women here. That’d be something! They’d probably appreciate the size of my tongue… Oh fuck, stupid mind! Focus!
Alga snaps out of her daydream and sees that the queen’s face is red, as is Stavie’s; and their little mouths are agape.
Oh fuck, did I say that out loud?
“Nay,” Stavie says, “we Ylleves can speak and listen with just our minds. It helps when we want to show each other our more… intricate… thoughts. It’s how we already know much about you and your deeds.”
“But do not care!” Carsie adds quickly. “We are a loving peoples; and celebrate the body and soul with all that we have. And as I said, you may have anything you desire.”
Alga takes a deep breath and exhales loudly. Anything?
a) A strong ox, and a new cart to go with it.
b) An awesome Yllevish hammer. Maybe even a whole set of their tools?
c) To become a man so she can go back and date women without defying society’s rules: especially the hottie from her village with the curly hair.
d) A kiss from the queen and the princess. (To thank them for the hospitality.)
e) Random suggestion from comments…
Leave your vote in the comments below ;)