Tags: capricious, julie cox, serialized fiction
Welcome to Fox Pass, Texas, a small community where the people are friendly and the mythical creatures aren’t so mythical after all. Capricious by Julie Cox follows the adventures of satyr Luke and his fellow myth-folk in a town that borders a whole lot more than Mexico. (Do you need to start at chapter 1?)
The drive to Sally’s parents’ home was tense and quiet. The released prisoners were dehydrated and weak, more fit for a hospital than a showdown with a group of deranged trolls. Brent suggested that a detour to the hospital might be the right course, but Luke pointed out that questions would inevitably rise about how they got in such a state, and when left unanswered, would certainly delay their return to Sally and company and might even result in a search of the car. Including the trunk, which contained a dead goblin in a cracked blue tarp. All discussion was tabled.
Orson slowed as he approached the yellow double-wide, painfully cheery in the clear fall light. “How do we tell if the wards are still up?” he asked August.
“They’re up. But that doesn’t tell us anything, since I was possessed when I was doing the magic. I might not have warded out the trolls at all. They certainly knew the magic broke, since Alan found us at the storage place. Strange that he was the only one.”
“The rest might have come here. Though I don’t see any unfamiliar cars,” Luke said. “We could give it a wide berth and drive around back first. Pity there’s no cover between the house and the barn.”
The words were barely out of his mouth before the front door opened a crack and shotgun pellets peppered the side of the sedan. They were fortunate it was bird shot and not a heavier pellet. They were fortunate also that Sally’s mother’s sedan was a steel-bodied suburban tank from the eighties and not a modern fiberglass model. The windows shattered, and everyone but Orson dropped as low as they could. Orson floored the gas pedal and made for the barn. There was blood and glass all over them, and they were thrown about in their seats as the sedan thundered over rough-trod, rocky pasture. Orson hit the metal pole gate that closed off the barn at full speed and skidded to the other end of the barn, the gate clinging like a great, twisted hand to the front end of the sedan.
“Get out,” Luke barked, kicking the council members nearest him. Their wounds from glass and bird shot could wait. “Get out, there’s a storm shelter in the first stall. No, left! Other left!” He herded them to the storm shelter, jerked on it, and found it locked. His fist hammered the door. “Hey! It’s Luke!”
Behind him, Orson and August took up positions on either side of the broad doorway, occasionally firing when they saw something to fire at. The door to the storm shelter opened, and Luke stared down at Cormick and Allison. “Where’s Sally?” he said.
Cormick came up the stairs to allow the others to descend. “She and Charlie are still in the house. They took on the trolls at the front door; Allison and I went out the back. We’ve phoned for help, but I don’t know when anyone will get here. We’ve only been down there a few minutes.” He looked down at the people in the shelter. “I’ll deal with being shocked and appalled at the condition of my fellow myth-folk, and relieved at their recovery, shortly. Glen?”
Luke shook his head. “Get in the shelter and stay there. The three of us will see if we can stall for time until reinforcements get here. Who’d you call?”
“Paul, Kristin, Jerri, and your mom.”
“Boy, that will be fun to explain. OK, hole up now.” He shut the door behind Cormick, wiped blood from his forehead, retrieved his rifle from the car, and joined Orson at the entrance to the barn. He arrived just in time to see Sally and Charlie emerge from the house, bound at the wrists, with two figures behind them, herding them at gunpoint.
“We want the satyr,” one of them called.
“It’s nice to want things. I want your head on a pike,” Orson replied.
“Here’s how it’s going to play out. You put down your weapons and surrender. We take the satyr, everyone else lives. Or, we kill the man. You get another chance to surrender. Then we kill the woman. You get another chance. Then we set fire to the barn and you can all burn alive while we shoot whoever runs out.”
Luke looked pleadingly at Orson. “No,” Orson said. “We can’t trust anything they say.”
“We can trust that they’ll kill us.”
“They don’t know you have a weapon. You’d put it away before Alan found us. Give it to Cormick.”
Luke passed the rifle down into the storm shelter, shut the door in Cormick’s face as he started to argue, and walked out into the broad aisle of the barn with his hands up. Orson and August walked into the open too, looking disgusted about slowly, deliberately laying their guns on the ground. Sally gave a cry of alarm, which surely would have turned into angry yelling if she had not been so frightened.
Mae walked out from behind Sally and Charlie. She was wearing a black silk robe far too short and conscious of its appeal to belong to anyone but her. She was barefoot, and her black curls flew around her face in wild locks, far from her usual coiffed mane. She wore no makeup; dark circles ringed her eyes, and her lips were as pale as her drawn cheeks. She looked, Luke thought, like a woman possessed.
As she entered the barn, she pulled on the robe’s belt, and it slid open. She was naked beneath it, and she drew the sides open to show her breasts. There was no pretense, no opening gambit this time. She raised her arms, and the lust-magic of the nymph hit Luke like a physical blow, breaking upon him and knocking him off his feet. His body writhed on the red dirt floor, completely out of his control, suddenly mad with want. Blood rushed through him as his heart pounded a frenzied rhythm; he choked, couldn’t speak or breathe, couldn’t even focus his eyes. Bodily pleasure wrenched him backward, making him arch his back and cry out, incoherent and babbling.
Mae stood over him. She took his hand and drew it between her legs. He entered her with his fingers, found her clit with his thumb, and she tossed back her head with gasping delight as he rubbed and worked her. Somewhere in the distance, Sally screamed. He barely registered it. He fumbled with the button on his jeans; he freed his cock, stiff and aching with want, and began to stroke himself. There was not room in his mind for who was around him, for whether he wanted what was happening. She poured her magic into him and consumed his will.
And that of his companions. Orson appeared at his side and took her in his arms, biting her neck and grasping her breasts roughly. He fell to his knees and took one, then the other nipple in his mouth, sucking and moaning. August was behind her, his pants open, rocking his hips as he rubbed against her bottom through the fabric of the robe. He murmured in her ear, nipping and licking, and pulled the robe off of her entirely. Her eyes rolled back in her head; she was entirely lost. They all were.
Julie Cox lives in Texas with her husband, children, and ever-expanding menagerie of animals on their farm. She runs a small online yarn business and teaches yarn spinning. She has numerous stories published with Circlet Press and elsewhere. For her full list of published works, see her website at www.lazypifarm.com.