Astrid's Rise Ch. 01byhoneyblondenymph©
Astrid Langsommer untied the sash from around her waist and let her robe fall from her body to her straw bed. Naked in the drafty confines of her husband's quaint mill hut, she shivered. Moonlight seeped through the cracks in the shutters dashing icy white against the vicious makeshift altar she'd made for herself - to the Dark Mother.
The steel dagger on her left was sticky, glossy with nightshade nectar. The wood carving on her right bid her thoughts be dark. Three candles stood in the middle looking over a tattered book with faded pages. Astrid had all but memorized the book, which she kept stored beneath the loose floorboard beside her bed - the floorboard her husband kept promising to fix but never had. Thankfully. Crowning her altar - the altar she'd thought so hard about she'd dreamed of it - was the skull of an elk.
It was an elk familiar to her. Since three summers prior, the same elk had been coming to chew on the grass surrounding their wheat field. Well, actually it had munched on the wheat the first year, so Astrid and her husband had taken to pissing around the garden. It seemed to work. She had grown very fond of the elk since then.
The day her husband Dagrun had left for harvest market in Whiterun, Staring at the stag's skull, she recalled how the life thrilled through her - a darkness through which she was the light - while she'd run after the stag. She'd heard it crashing through the forest better than she'd seen it. And when she'd happened upon him again, he'd been squalling pitiably. And she'd almost given in.
For a moment, they'd stared daggers at each other. Astrid had shot and killed many a beast since the time of her first moonsblood. She'd learned to soften her heart to the death of the creature she killed. But in the woods that morning, with the wounded stag staring at her, all she had felt was hard determination. She'd raised her bow, taken aim, and shot the beast in the eye.
That same day, she'd hewn a limb from a milling log and begun the carving.
Her heart pounded, and in the deadly midnight stillness, she heard the warm sound of running blood - her own blood, safely kept in her own skin. Thoughts of hypocrisy crossed her mind. How could she say that another's should spill when she felt comfort at her own? Yet, the ritual must be performed. She'd done all this work, for one. Found the book, saved for the book, hidden the book, carved the effigy, bought the knife, picked the nightshade, hunted the stag. She would have her freedom if her blood ran cold of it.
Astrid knelt before her altar on the packed earth floor of her meagre home. She picked up the flint and steel in front of her and struck a spark toward the tinderbox. A spark lit in her own tinderbox as she did it: the reality of her intent. Another strike, another spark that banked off the sharp sliver of moonlight. The earth beneath her knees burned like ice. A third, and the straw in the tinderbox began to smoke. She could smell it well before the moonlight showed her. And then she could smell herself.
With another few strikes, the straw was lit. Astrid took the left-most candle from in front of her and dipped the wick in the yellow flame. Then she covered the burning straw with the stone lid of the box to snuff it. Once she'd lit all the candles, she looked at the leather bound book before her. And she wondered again just what kind of creature had leant its flesh to that leather.
It wasn't part of the ritual, but she wanted to do it anyway. She needed to do it for her own peace of mind. There was a reason she was performing the Dark Sacrament against her husband, and she needed to say it out loud. So with her right hand, she picked up the wooden effigy she'd made of him and spoke to it.
"Dagrun, you sick shit. Even if you weren't whoring your way through the taverns in Markarth, endangering yourself and me with the pox, I'd still perform this ritual. With any luck, the Dark Mother will hear my plea before you return and I'll be free from your disgusting perversions. Never again will you have me in back. Never again - never again! - will I suck my own dirt from your foul root, you monster. You may be stronger than me, but you're not stronger than a silent arrow in the eye. I hate you! I hate the way you treat me like a tanning rack!"
She picked up the dagger beside her and raised it high above her head. With her skin crawling with cold and fear and hot, hot rage - her tweaking nipples, her tweaking bud - she plunged the tip of the dagger into the pulp of her effigy. Hate dripped from between her teeth and fell from her lips as she spoke the invocation she'd been memorizing for a year.
"Muetterlein, ach Muetterlein!"
She unstuck the blade from the pulpy innards and stabbed again.
"Sende Deine Kinder zu mir!"
Another harsh stab, deeper, and she continued the invocation through gritted teeth.
"Weil nur die Suender ohne Wuerde sind, Sie muessen mit Blut und Furcht getauft werden!"
With the last word finished, she took a deep breath and looked at her wood-be husband with the steel sticking out of his chest. She wished that simply doing the ritual would kill him where he stood - a steel girder on its way to a mine, toppled from a carriage, splitting open his chest. And she wondered if it had, in fact, killed him because there was blood dripping from the back of him. And then she felt the pain in her palm.
Realising what she'd done, she removed the blade and watched the blood trickle from her hand. It landed on her thigh, dark and ichorous in the inadequate light. The ritual was done. She'd shed blood for her own husband's death. Her own blood. She'd need to wrap that. And be careful none of it got on the table or the stairs. She couldn't have Dagrun coming home to find his house a mess with his own wife's blood.
She was in the loft, rubbing salt in her wound when she heard it. The sound of the carriage. Dagrun home early. Her wish had not been granted. The man who'd sold her the book was right. There was no Dark Brotherhood anymore. Generations gone, and no one had heard of them. And the desperation she'd felt when she'd bought the rare book downstairs sitting on the altar she'd made in order to beg someone to kill her husband who was just now returning to find his wife bleeding from the palm at her own desperation to kill him - that desperation flooded her body. She felt lightheaded, but through it she heard the voice. It was the voice of a man, but not a man.
Go, Astrid, Spinnlein. Take the dagger. Hide behind the door.
Suddenly arachnidine, Astrid crept down the stairs listening to Dagrun tethering the horse outside. She bit her lip as she slipped into position. Her heart pounded. She made herself stay, though her mind told her to open the shutters and bolt. Naked and cold, teeth clenched tight to keep the chattering from arousing him, knuckles white around the leather hilt of the dagger.
Minutes were hours. She could not wait. She'd go blind! With rage. Was he even coming in the house?
The door cracked open and Dagrun stepped quietly in. He stopped short at the threshold, looking at the candles burning on the altar on the floor beside the bed. Astrid's side of the bed.
"Astrid!" he called, stepping through the door. She held her breath as he closed the door behind her and tracked him step for step as he moved toward the altar. He didn't see her, didn't feel her. Part of her felt like he wouldn't recognise her if he turned around, whether or not she was holding the dagger that was about to end his life.
"Hircine?" he muttered, bending down to pick up the book. He shut it, and looked at the cover. As he rose, Astrid struck him in the side of the neck. The steel blade that had been baptized in blood and sweat from her own hands sank with a sickening ease into his skin. She watched, time slowed. The blade moved his skin aside so it could touch the hot blood within. The way he'd spoken of her arse the first time he'd taken her there - forced her there.
Shining, claret blood dripped onto his collarbone in the candlelight. Astrid gritted her teeth and turned the blade. He would have cried out, but he couldn't. And when she removed the blade, her husband's hot redness warmed her body. It splashed first against her breasts and ran down the valley between them, and ran over them and would have pooled at her grotto if he hadn't fallen against her.
But he did fall against her and clung to her waist, looking up at her eyes, begging her - his wife, his killer - for help. The blood fell from his body and onto hers - her hips and thighs, and right at her grotto. It was warm, and sticky and on her. When he fell to the floor, Astrid's husband sputtered on the ground, staring up at her, staring through her, unbelieving, unseeing. She put out the lights and listened to him gurgle his way to Sovngard. She was a killer. It was in her.
That's right, Spinnlein. You're a hunter.
Astrid felt a presence in her house entering the same way her husband's had left. She felt the weight of the steel in her hand. And she felt her body scintillated by the gravity of what she'd done. Without thought, Astrid put the pommel of the naked blade against the vein of pleasure at her secret grotto, and rubbed.
She was gentle. The steel was gentle. It was warm with her body's own heat. Finding her nub ready and responsive, she quickly became impassioned, but the gentleness never stopped. She felt pressure in her chest and was happy the steel knew what she liked. Gentle, insistent pressure on the magic shrine in that grotto of hers. A grotto where she hunted pleasure when her husband - now dead - was away. She could live alone, now, forever.
Sitting on her bed, with her red legs wide, feet resting on the struts of the frame, she watched the still scene before her. Her husband lay dead, in a pool of his own blood - blood that was on her skin, making her feel warm, and become sticky and solid as she worked herself. Her breathing was heavy as she looked at all the killing she'd done - the stag, the effigy, her husband. She twisted the hilt against her slit and groaned in the wintry silence. Only the wind responded, but she knew that a presence was watching her. That presence had freed her.
She was free to live as she would - free to love the stickiness of the blood that stuck to her, free to watch the blood seep into the floor. Free to run through the woods without barriers or obstacles. And as she watched the unmoving scene, as she moaned at the death, and felt the presence (Hircine?) watch her, she knew she was free to kill.
She replayed the scene in her head again. Following him, stalking him, watching him almost come to the realization of what she'd done. She was powerful, and he - was it Hircine? - was her power. And she frigged her bud for Him. She invited him to look closer at the amazing tightness of her nubbin and help her cum.
Vaguely, she was shocked at the way the scene made her feel. The scent of the spring from her grotto melded with her blood that was her husband's. And she was shocked at the way that made her feel too. She placed the pommel beneath her opening and pushed the rough steel inside. Lying back, she groaned, fucking herself with the murder weapon. In and out it went, stirring blood and slick woman's juice.
She bucked at the feeling of such a hard tool sliding, all gentleness, inside her home. The hardening blood on her body pulled and gripped at her flesh, grasping her diamond-like nipples. Her free hand mashed her bud at the top of her slit. She took care not to thrash, but focused on the pleasure and on the memory of the scene still in front of her red, spread legs. If she were a hunter, as Hircine had said, she could think of no better concoction to show the Dark Mother her gratitude, wherever She was. And now she was certain that Hircine was watching her.
She could almost feel his stag's head snuffle at her sticky sanguine slit, imagined his antlers wider than her legs, and then felt the rush of warmth and blood into her legs, her freezing feet. She cried out in the darkness, in the cold. The blood warmed her. She had killed her husband. Killed her husband! He lay dead in front of the canal he would never again ford, the grotto he would never again clear. His life had gone from him by the hands that were now pleasuring her, and now she was blessed by a Daedra.
"Oh, yes! Hircine! Ah!"
Astrid fell back onto the bed. She lay there sideways in the daze of afterglow, feeling the sluice of slickness mingle with the drying blood. And then she felt Hircine's spirit leave her. She was alone in the millhouse and a new imperative overcame her. Without another glance at the scene she'd caused, she jumped up like a hare and bolted.