“The Traveler’s Tale”
by Vinnie Tesla
What’s the weirdest thing I ever saw in three-space? That’s tricky–there is some freaky shit down there. There was a time a few years ago… You know Elizabeth, right?
Yeah, she’s awesome. So I was just on a walkabout, checking out the sights, you know, and I find this one plane where they’ve got this giant, whitish moon in the sky. Just one, but big, and super-bright. And there were these big, stiff plants everywhere, with branches all over them, so when the wind blew it made this sort of spooky whistling noise.
And there’s this building made out of the stems of the plants, with a bit pointy thing on top. It was painted white at some point, but most of the color has flaked away, and a bunch of the windows are smashed, so it looks kind of abandoned. But there’s this weird rhythmic noise coming from inside. So I float in through one of the windows to check int out, and there are the freakiest looking endoskeletal bipeds you every saw in your life in there. Dozens of them in these flowing black robes, and they’re chanting through, I guess, their cloacas in the front of their heads.
Yeah, I know. This is just the start of the weird. The eerie chanting keeps on swelling and swelling, and at a peak of it, one of the bipeds throws off its robe. Underneath it’s all pale, dry skin with little patches of fur here and there, and some kind of glands in the front. It gets up on this little table in the front of the room and it spreads its limbs out like a starfish or something, but instead of doing something normal like everting its stomach, it just writhes while the other mammals cluster around it and start feeling it with–I guess their trunks?–each of which has five little feeding tentacles on the end.
So I’m like, “ew, ritual cannibalism, so out of here.” And I turn to go, but I’m stuck!
I know, right? It was a Binding! Which means that whatever was going on on that table was some kind of sex. It looks like I got summoned without even noticing, and I realize that I could be in some pretty serious trouble here. The 3-Ders who get to worshiping us are a pretty creepy bunch, by and large.
The biped on the table is wiggling and moaning. A couple of the others have attached their cloacas to its glands, and the others are still doing this creepy-ass chant.
One of them looks up and SEES me! Stops doing the chant, points one of its trunks at me, and starts making this high, annoying shriek instead. Apparently some combination of their Binding and the light from this crazy giant moon has made me visible, which is extremely awkward, to say the least. Several others look and stop chanting too, and I can feel the binding loosening. Apparently they catch onto this because they start up the chanting, louder than ever. I work 20 or 30 of my tentacles as hard as I can, but I am STUCK, and the more worked up I get, the more excited they seem to get too.
The mammal on the table is moaning and throwing her head around, shiny with some sort of liquid, so at least her surface isn’t so horrifyingly dry anymore. One of these cultists gets all five of its feeding tentacles up inside the naked one’s…marsupium? I guess? And she’s bouncing up and down on that table, and the Binding is spiraling in to its center–they’re about to make me an offering I literally can’t refuse, and I’m really scared that these 3-D weirdos are about to make me do something unethical, possibly even illegal.
Another of the cultists puts his feeding tentacles over the naked one’s cloaca, and she starts bucking and twisting and straining so I’m thinking maybe she is going to evert her stomach after all. Then she comes, and the Binding is complete, and I know the task I have been summoned to perform.
I gesture, and I speak the words of power. Two of the remaining windows in the structure shatter. The biped on the table throws off the other cultists effortlessly, sits up, and sees me for the first time. For an instant, her eyes go very wide, then the transformation hits her. As the tentacles start to extrude, these weird cultists start screaming and running for the exit. What the heck, isn’t this what they summoned me for? What did they expect?
At any rate, in a couple minutes, she’s a pretty decent-looking slime-dripping radially symmetrical Dimension Beast. And, if I may praise my own work, she’s even better looking in the upper dimensions. “Hi,” I say. “I’m Oazvhtsshah!a.”
“I’m Elizabeth,” she says.
That’s right–Elizabeth spent the first thirty-odd years of her life as a 3-D endoskeletal biped! That’s how she got that bizarre name. Don’t tell her I told you, though–she’d be mortified.
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