Temple of the Bat-GodbySabledrake©
"Noooooo!" Faith howled.
Her father's eyes, hazel and befuddled, met hers one final time as the men released him. He toppled slowly, mouth working, and fell dead on the floor of the temple he had searched for all his life.
The priest turned from his sprawled body and raised both hands, which were wet with blood. He began to chant. Other voices picked it up.
Faith wept, tears running as hot and copiously as had her father's blood. They were going to die here, all of them, and their deaths would be terrible.
Yet even as her soul felt torn in two with grief, her body still hummed and throbbed, and when the priest knelt on the slanted slab between her knees, some part of her tensed in eager anticipation.
But he did not ravish her. He knelt over her with his member in his bloodstained hand, gripping it and rubbing up and down in short, hard jerks. His chanting voice grew huskier. Pearly drops oozed from the end of his erection.
"Get off her!" Nick rattled the wooden frame again. He had been abandoned by Zivia, the bat-woman having left him waving stiff and indignant in mid-air as she crouched avidly to watch the priest. "I'll kill you, you son of a bitch!"
Ignoring Nick, ignoring Faith's frantic struggles, the priest continued chanting and massaging himself, hand moving faster, leaving crimson smears. His back arched, and he convulsed, and the woman with the bowl used it to catch the gouts of thick white fluid.
The semen and blood swirled together, milky-red. The woman offered the bowl to each of the bat-things in turn. They dipped their tongues, sampling the delicacy, and their eyes burned with a feverish new intensity.
As this monstrous rite went on, Faith's father's remaining blood oozed from his body. It joined together and flowed in rivulets and patterns through the mortar joint channels between the stones.
Her eyes met Nick's. "Can't you do something? Can't you get us free?" she sobbed.
Nick looked away. Guilt and shame suffused his features. "He didn't ... hurt you," he said haltingly. "Maybe he ..."
Somehow, she knew what was in his mind. The priest hadn't "hurt" her, indeed ... and now Nick was thinking, perhaps even hoping, that the two of them would be made to enact whatever perverse sacred marriage was taking place. Perhaps the yellow-clad men would cut him down and bring him to the altar-slab. The handmaiden of Zotz had prepared them both, after all ...
If that were to be the case ... another unwelcome throb of liquid heat in her loins made Faith squirm on the altar. Yes, oh, yes ... to have Nick kneeling over her ... to have Nick guiding himself ... that purpled, bulbous head nudging between her folds ... and then piercing her, inch by inch ...
The priest took the bowl from the young woman and brought it to Faith. She recoiled, thinking that he meant her to drink from it – his seed and her father's blood – and almost gagged. But rather than tilt the bowl's brim to her lips, he tipped it over her body.
The milky-red mixture splashed over her breasts, her stomach, her thighs. It was still body-temperature, and the smell of it was ripe and earthy and awful.
Stepping back, the priest spoke a single word and waved his hand. At once, the bat-things swarmed over Faith, in a voracious frenzy.
It was Zivia and the fruit juice again, but tenfold, as they licked and lapped with their many hot, flickering tongues. Their wings rustled, their fur brushed her bare skin, their greedy mouths suckled her nipples and delved between her legs.
Faith screamed again, a long and loud peal that rang to the heights of the chamber. It was a scream of horror, but also of unimaginable lust. The tongues, worming into her most sensitive places ... slippery red-pink erections rubbing against her sides, her legs, as the bat-things crowded close.
One of them leaped high with a flap of its wings and landed with clawed feet clutching the upper edge of the tilted slab. It squatted over Faith, leaning forward with inhuman suppleness to lap up the milky-red drops that stippled her upper chest and neck. Its organ touched her cheek. If she moved her head even a little, the vile thing would be against her lips.
She dimly heard Nick, but his bellows, curses and threats were almost entirely drowned out by the squeals and chitters of the bat-things and the ongoing chant.
They licked her, licked her, slithered their tongues into her, rubbed against her. Faith wailed with lips pressed tight-shut, wailed wordlessly for them to do it and get it over with, to take her, she couldn't bear it any longer.
She wriggled her hips and splayed her thighs as wide as they would go, sure that one of them must, any moment now, crawl atop her and bury itself with one rough thrust.
Once more, her body hurtled toward that precipice, and she strained for it with all her might, needing to get there, needing it before she died in her frenzy of depraved passion.
And suddenly, shockingly, the bat-things abandoned her. Faith stared around incoherently, her breath in heaving gasps, her body cleaned of blood and semen and cooling as the air evaporated the bat-things' warm saliva.
The priest's obsidian knife flashed twice. Faith expected pain and felt nothing, and then her wrists were released, the cords lashing her to the altar severed and hanging in loose loops.
Before she fully understood that her feet had also been freed, that her limbs were her own again, two of the bat-things flew down and seized her by the arms. Their wings beat furiously, and Faith was lifted from the slab. The crushed and rumpled remains of her floral garlands fell away in a petalstorm. She saw Nick, watching as she was borne up, up, over the heads of the yellow-clad humans and the other bat-things.
Carried high ... carried toward the looming, scowling statue of the bat-god. Zotz's jeweled eyes reflected the fires, lending a bizarre life to the stony features.
She didn't know what was happening until the bat-things began to lower her toward the sculpture. Faith grasped wildly and caught hold of the upper edge of the statue's spread wings. Her toes found precarious purchase on ridges.
The bat-things let go, and there Faith was, clinging desperately on tip-toe, her arms and legs already shaking from the strain of trying to hold herself up and avoid being impaled on the enormous stone phallus of the bat-god.
As it was, she couldn't lever herself high enough to avoid touching it completely. The swollen round head nudged between her legs, pressing into the soft tender folds. If she tried to relax her feet from their tip-toe pose, or if she unbent her elbows, she would sink down onto it.
The more she moved, shifting her weight and trying to maneuver herself into a less vulnerable position, the more she caused the smooth-polished knob to slide and rub in agonizingly tantalizing ways.
She was moist and slippery from the ministrations of the bat-things, and her own body's juices slicked the stone phallus. Her shoulders were on fire, her arms aching. An impending cramp nagged at one of her calves. Her toes had already gone white and numb from the pressure.
"Hold on, Faith!" Nick called from the chamber floor. "Don't let go!"
More tears blurred her vision as she tried to look down. This was the most fiendish torture yet! She had been ready for them to take her, the priest or the bat-things or even Nick ... she had been bound and helpless and couldn't have fought them if they wanted to tear away her precious virginity. But this ...
Nick was just visible, still in his wooden frame, and the sight of him filled Faith with an unaccountable anger. He would blame her, because if her arms or her legs – thrumming now like live wires, and her fingers had gone as numb as her toes – failed, it would be Faith Calloway's own fault for being unable to hold on.
But how could she hold on? No one was going to rescue her. All she was doing was delaying the inevitable. Sooner or later – sooner, by the white-hot pain searing her limbs – she would lose. She would either plummet backwards, breaking her neck and back and skull on the temple floor below, or she would have to impale herself.
And it was unbearable, the hard push of Zotz's eternal erection poised just so, taunting her. Hadn't she wanted, needed penetration? Hadn't she craved it?
"Faith! Faith, be strong! You're better than this."
There were conveniently-placed ledges where she could rest her knees, and she had no doubts that many other virgins before her had been in this very spot, faced with this very choice. To surrender and accept and perhaps even enjoy her fate, or to fight a futile battle and then be possessed by the bat-god anyway.
She looked down at Nick, hoping to make him understand that she could no more resist this than she could have fended off the priest or the bat-things. She couldn't hold on. Her arms were weakening.
When she saw him, her earlier anger came back in an incensed fury.
Not only was Nick still rock-hard, but Zivia stood in front of him, positioning herself so that he could – if he chose – enter her from behind. Nick's eyes darted from Faith to the bat-woman to Faith again.
Then, with a throat-tearing cry, he rammed his hips forward to plunge his length into Zivia. The bat-woman shrilled in triumph as Nick, his expression one of utter madness now, thrust savagely in and out, grunting through clenched teeth each time his pelvis pounded against Zivia's furry backside.
The hypocrisy of it ... and she was supposed to be better than this? She was supposed to be strong, hold on, resist ... when he couldn't?
"Aaaah!" Faith cried, and sank down, down.
The smooth, thick stone opened her, deflowered her. The pain was barely noticeable through the quaking rush of relief that flooded her agonized arms and legs. She felt stretched, filled, the breath knocked from her lungs in an explosive gust.
For a moment, she only rested there, knees braced, arms around the bat-god's neck. Her pulse thundered, and she felt it most strongly down low. Being filled wasn't enough. She wanted to feel more, to move. The ache in her limbs was quickly forgotten as she tried rocking her hips. The movement sent ripples of sensual euphoria through her body.
She raised and lowered herself in a quickening tempo, riding the immense phallus. She was aware that she was moaning aloud in a sheer blissful ecstasy, aware but heedless. It felt too good to care about anything else. Her father was forgotten, Nick nearly so.
The only thing that mattered was the climax she felt building in her, that precipice, and this time she would be allowed to reach it, to throw herself over. And if there was only darkness and death on the other side? What of it?
As it began, as spasms wracked her body and wrung delirious cries from her, she heard a strange and brittle crackling sound. The solid mass of the statue moved, the mighty wings flexing. Shards of thin stone fell away. The yellow gemstone eyes blinked, and when they opened again, they were eyes, glowing golden living eyes.
Her hands, which had been resting on stone, now touched thick fur and warm skin. She felt the change inside, too, as the stone phallus transformed into hot, firm flesh.
Despite this new and sudden horror, she could not stop the throes of orgasm. And as Zotz thrust into her, his erection now throbbing with life, Faith was sent into even greater realms of hitherto unknown delight.
The bat-god folded his vast wings around her, enveloping her in his leathery, musky scent. His talons gripped a perch below, and he swung down and away from the wall to hang head-down like a roosting bat. Clinging by his feet, wings wrapped snug around Faith, the bat-god drove into her again and again.
Dizzied by the tumultuous rush of blood to her head, and by the succession of shattering climaxes, Faith was swept away into darkness.
The rainy season lived up to its name, with an all but ceaseless downpour for weeks on end. Drywashes became creeks, creeks became rivers, rivers overflowed their banks. The green of the trees and plants glimmered like emeralds under the deluge.
But in the caverns below Tzikatal, everything was cozy and dry. There was ample firewood, and food, and warm, soft bedding.
Faith sat with Zivia and Camila, a large platter of fruit and fish resting between them.
Camila did not speak. She hadn't spoken a single word in the months that had passed since the attack. She only stared blankly off into space, sometimes rocking back and forth, sometimes trembling.
Of the half-dozen women at the camp, only Camila and Marcela had survived ... and Marcela had slit her wrists months ago, when the curve of her pregnancy had begun to show. Camila had never made any similar attempts, but Faith wondered what the girl would do when her time came. It wouldn't be long now. Only a few days, at most. Even if Camila did not deliberately harm her infant, she was in no state to be a good mother.
In Zivia's lap, a sleepy bundle of fur yawned and gurgled, opening granite-grey eyes to gaze adoringly up at her mother. Faith wondered what Nick would have thought, had he lived to see his daughter.
She ran the palm of her hand over her stomach, felt a lively kick, and smiled. She hoped it would be a boy.