tagRomanceAncient Love At Midnight

Ancient Love At Midnight


Author's Note: This story is not intended to be pornographic. If you are looking for something that will titillate you sexually, you should just move on.

The story is meant to be romantic in nature and I hope it will appeal to older people who may wonder if love and romance are lost to them. I firmly believe that love endures when all else fails, and this story reflects that.

Kindly note that my references to Cherokee culture and tradition reflect my own experiences only, and are not intended to be anthropologically definitive.

I wish to offer sincere thanks to my editor, LadyVer, whose help has been invaluable. Any remaining mistakes or inconsistencies are solely my own.

I would appreciate your vote, of course, as this is a contest entry. I also appreciate comments and will respond to them.


Part One: Anna

"Time for your medicine, sweetie," Nurse Andersen said, bustling into Anna's room with her tray of neat little paper cups.

"Urrrkhh," Anna Rattlingourd said.

Anna's mouth was so dry her tongue was literally stuck to the roof of it. She waived feebly at the cup of stale water that was just out of reach on her nightstand.

"I know," Nurse Andersen said soothingly. "We're almost ready for the big Halloween Costume Ball! Everyone is so excited! It's always such fun. Open wide now, dear." Seizing Anna's lower jaw with a claw-like hand, she dumped the contents of a paper cup into her mouth.

"Now, you just swallow your pills and you'll get all better. Your water is right there if you need it."

If I need it? You lazy witch! Anna thought as the evil creature left the room. She spit the pills into one trembling hand. Poison, all of it, and the witch was stupid enough to think she'd swallow it voluntarily.

Some of their pills were worse than poison. She could feel the witchcraft in them. They would bring demons, even raven mockers to her bedside, where they would leer over her, fangs glistening, hoping to devour her conscious soul and steal what was left of her allotted time. She would have to bravely sing the old songs until they left, hours later. So far, she had held them off.

She needed to smudge the room with cedar. She needed to go to water. Water. She needed water to drink.

She scrabbled weakly at the nightstand, but she couldn't reach the cup of water with its accordion-like straw. Perhaps if she left her hand there, the next witch that came in would notice she couldn't reach her cup. Unless that was going to be the next torture they had planned. Cut off the water. They could keep their shitty food. It too was poison.

She wished Bill would stop by. Damn him, anyway. When he'd been courting her, you couldn't have driven him off with a stick. It was the Depression, but nobody in Cherokee County really noticed much difference. You ate what you grew and spent most of the summer stocking up for winter. Then you sat around and waited for spring. Told stories. Played games with the kids.

As for going places, well, where the hell would you want to go? And with gasoline at ten cents a gallon, how could you afford it?

Bill figured out how to afford it, though, when it meant he'd get some time with her. Every Sunday afternoon he'd show up in his daddy's old Ford and he'd have some kind of little gift for her. Maybe a peppermint stick or a little sack of horehound drops. Sometimes a bunch of pretty flowers tied up with a ribbon, and you just knew he'd paid cash money for that instead of picking them himself.

Once he'd brought her a kitten so tiny it could fit in the palm of Bill's calloused hand. She could remember that day like it was yesterday. Better, really. Yesterday was already pretty hazy.

It had been late spring in Cherokee County, and the world was full of hope and promise. There were new babies everywhere, the dogwoods were in bloom . . . new wildflowers blossoming every day, too, and the air was full of bees and the scent of growing things. Nobody knew or cared much about the stock market or some crazy German half a world away.

And on that bright, clear Sunday about noon, Bill had brought her a kitten. Still sleepy, having danced until four that morning, Anna's legs had ached from the heavy tortoise shell shackles she'd worn all night.

She had waddled stiff-legged to the door of her mother's cabin, slightly irritated with Bill for waking her up, and there he stood on the porch with a big, goofy grin on his healthy bronze face. His long black hair was oiled and tied back with a scrap of leather, and the thick tail hung to the middle of his back.

"Wanna swap pussies?" He chuckled, extending his hand. A tiny little gray and white kitten crouched on his palm, its big blue eyes meeting hers plaintively.

"You pig," Anna said reflexively. "Oh, it's so cute!"

She lifted the tiny creature by the scruff of its neck and held it to her bosom. Its litttle heart was beating as fast as a hummingbird's wings. So soft and fragile . . . almost impossible such a thing could be alive.

Anna could almost feel Little Tom's velvety fur right then. Much softer than velvet, really. Softer even than the beaver and otter her father trapped along the river.

She wished she could pet Little Tom. Even after he became Old Tom, he still would sit in her lap every evening, calming her with his rumbling purr. She knew Old Tom was gone, long gone, but Bill wasn't. She wished she knew why he never visited her. He used to visit . . . every Sunday . . . and he couldn't keep his eyes, or his hands, off her.

The day he gave her the kitten was the day she knew she was in love with him and would give him what he'd been pestering her for since they were kids. She knew too many girls who had babies when they were sixteen, or even younger, and the herbs didn't always work. If you did it, you were going to get a baby sooner or later, plain and simple. Then for the next three years while you had a baby on your breast you could do it as much as you wanted, but Anna wasn't willing to make that kind of sacrifice.

Now she was eighteen, had a diploma from the Government School—a first in her family—and she was ready to face the world. Maybe she'd even go to California; you could get rich there just by picking grapes.

Anna wished she had some grapes right now. Her mouth and throat were so dry she could barely breathe.

When Anna made up her mind, she didn't waste time, even in those days when she was little more than a girl. She was ready to make love for the first time and there was no point in fiddling around.

"You have money?" she asked Bill. "I need fifty cents."

"Damn, woman! I done gave you a cat." He rummaged in his pocket and withdrew a little silver mixed with Indian Head pennies. "Why you need fifty cents anyways? Gonna build you a cat house?" He snickered.

"If you must know, I need it for the Blue Clan Mother. I want her to fix me some monthly herbs, and I want it done right."

"Oh. Ohhhh! So you mean—"

"I mean the sooner I get over there, the sooner we can swap pussies. So maybe we ought to leave right now. Unless you want to wait a week or two."

"No! I'm ready to go when you are. Really, really ready." Bill glanced down at the crotch of his Bib-Alls where a generous swelling was beginning to appear.

"You have a one-track mind," Anna said, eyeing his crotch. She'd been hoping it wasn't as unusually large as she'd heard from a couple of her friends. Not that they'd seen it, but apparently it was legendary among the boys, to the point that Bill's nickname was Snake, or I-na-duh, in Cherokee.

She'd felt it pressing against her more than a few times, and it hadn't seemed all that huge to her, but what did she know? Daddy's stud horse was a whole lot bigger and the mares weren't complaining.

She knew she'd be seeing it soon, though, and a delicious little shiver ran down her spine. She'd had a lot of restless nights of late, especially after lying out in the long grass with Bill between dances at the grounds.

The first time he kissed her, she was shocked. She'd never really thought of him that way.

It hadn't taken her long to start thinking about him that way. She made him work for her favors every step of the way. She wouldn't allow him to touch her breasts for months, and when she finally did, it was only briefly, through her layers of clothing. Gradually getting to her bare skin kept him busy for another couple of months, and when he did get there Anna began to share his frustration. His ministrations to her nipples would bring her so close to orgasm that she wanted to scream and she would have to wait hours for the opportunity to bring herself off.

At Granny Terrapin's shack, Anna got out, leaving Bill in the car. She could smell the honeysuckle that covered Granny's rickety little outhouse as she stood waiting respectfully for Granny to notice she had a customer. It was a most glorious spring day and joy bubbled in her heart.

The screen door groaned open and Granny Terrapin stumped out onto the narrow front porch. She was nearly as wide as she was tall, her face like a withered apple, her long white hair loose and tangled.

"Whatchoo want?" she croaked.

"Medicine, U-li-si," Anna said.

Inside the shack, dimly lit by a single small window, Granny Terrapin busied herself by heating water on the sooty wood stove and scooping dried herbs out of clay jars into a small pot.

"I need something to—" Anna began.

"I know what you need," Granny said. "You need something to stop that boy from putting a baby in you. Well, the best way to do that is to not let him put anything else into you. You know that, don't you?"

"Yes, Ulisi."

"But you're going to do exactly that, just as soon as you leave here, aren't you?"

"Yes, Ulisi."

"Of course you are. Hot enough to burn toast." The old lady snorted. "This medicine does not work overnight. I want you to drink this tea every day for the next moon, you understand? Then you come back here and we'll fix some medicine to make your first time a little easier."

"We have to wait another month!"

"I know, child. It won't be easy, but you can do it and have fun, too. Now, here's what I want you to do. . . ."

When they drove away from Granny Terrapin's place, they were both too nervous to talk. Anna was a little relieved that she wouldn't have to go through with it today, after all, but she didn't relish the prospect of informing Bill. If Granny Terrapin were correct, though, he'd be pretty happy by the time she got around to telling him.

"So where you wanna go?" Bill said. He sounded like his mouth was as dry as hers.

"My daddy's fishing arbor out on 14-Mile Creek. Nobody will be around until sunset."

She moved closer to him on the car seat and put her hand on his thigh. He did the same to her as the car jounced along the rutted dirt road. She kept her skirt tucked tightly around her legs as she traced the outline of his swollen cock through his overalls and wondered if she would enjoy doing what Granny had told her to do.

They finished the drive in silence and got out at the fishing arbor. A rudimentary bed of fresh pine boughs covered with a few tattered deer hides occupied one end of the crude shelter. The spot was cool and shady, even in early afternoon, and was fragrant with the scent of pine sap.

They held hands and looked at the bed, both unsure of how to proceed.

"I think it would be a good idea if you kissed me now," Anna said. "I'm starting to forget why I wanted to come here."

Bill pulled her into his arms and kissed her then, and she remembered with her entire body, not just her mind. When they were both breathing hard, she led him to the bed, her knees trembling. They lay down together and kissed eagerly, almost frantically, Bill gently kneading her breast, finding the nipple, rolling it between thumb and forefinger.

She sat up and stripped off her simple gingham shift. He had the hem up to her waist anyway.

He gazed at her nearly naked form with awe, then took one of her swollen nipples into his mouth. She moaned and unbuttoned his fly.

When Anna could take no more, she pushed his head away from her breast. "Granny Terrapin says you have to kiss me here," she said, pointing toward her panties with her chin. "And do it until I tell you to stop."

"Bless Granny Terrapin," Bill said, kneeling between her spread legs. He carefully untied the cord holding her drawers up and slid them over her hips. There was a bit of awkwardness in getting them off, but they managed it, and he buried his face between her thighs.

Anna felt faint, then energized, as his tongue traced her moist slit. As Granny Terrapin had predicted, Bill did not have the faintest idea what felt best to her. She pulled off the leather thong holding his long hair back and combed her fingers through it, shivering as the silky strands caressed her naked thighs.

After a few minutes she whispered, "Put your finger inside me. Carefully."

Bill replaced his tongue with a moistened fingertip.

"Ow! Slowly! And lick me, only higher up. A little higher. Oh God! Yes! Right there!"

When she came, she nearly lost consciousness. The intensity was much stronger than anything she had before experienced. Every muscle in her body contracted, her back arched, and even her toes curled up and cramped almost painfully.

Anna sat bolt upright in her hospital bed, gasping for breath, her tongue thick and swollen in her mouth. So dry . . . need water . . . she scrabbled for the water cup, almost had it . . . It tipped and fell off the nightstand onto her breast, the improperly fastened lid popping off and spilling the precious liquid onto her cotton gown.

Cold. She was always cold now, but once she'd been the hottest thing in Cherokee County. Everyone had been jealous of her and Bill. For over seventy years they had never spent a night apart, and then one day she'd woken up in this horrible place of death and suffering, and she didn't know how or when she'd come here.

She missed Bill and asked for him so often that people soon began to ignore her. They smiled their fake smiles and told her she would be seeing him soon. She knew they thought they were lying, but she could sense that he was near. Perhaps, in a way the witches didn't understand, she would be seeing him soon . . . in the Nightland.

Anna managed to pull the wet portion of her gown up to her mouth, where she sucked out a few drops of water before falling back onto her pillow, exhausted.

Part Two: Bill

"Well, Mr. Goingsnake," the doctor said jovially, glancing at Bill's chart. "How are we doing today?"

"Laasht," Bill mumbled. He meant to say "Like shit," but his mouth didn't work so good these days. It felt completely dead on one side, like he'd been whacked in the face with a ball stick. In fact, the whole left side of his body felt that way.

"Excellent!" the doctor said. "Do you know what day it is, Bill?"

"Whyanchoo buy a fuggin calendar," Bill said mushily. He never had been able to understand why these assholes came around asking him such stupid questions every day. How the hell would he know what day white people thought it was? And why would he care?

"Right. The big Halloween Ball. October 31st, every year, right, Bill? But I need you to speak English, OK? My Cherokee is not real good."

"Sugmahdigh," Bill said.

"Mmm hmm," the doctor said, scribbling on Bill's chart. "You remember who the President of the United States is, Bill?"


The doctor laughed. "You got that right. They're all cocksuckers. I need a name though."

What the fuck am I, the Encyclopedia Britannica? Seems like this dipshit would be able to remember Ronald Reagan was in the White House from day to day.

"Bonzho," Billed slurred.

"That was awhile back," the doctor said, smiling. "Before I went to medical school, even. But it's good that you remember that much." He scribbled on the chart again.

After the imbecilic doctor left, Bill relaxed against his pillow and closed his eyes. Damn fool son of a bitch. He needed to get the hell out of this place. Trouble was he didn't know exactly where 'this place' was, or how he'd gotten here. He'd get out sooner or later. Get out on the highway, hang his thumb out, and get somebody to take him home.

Anna would be there, waiting for him, probably worried sick about his absence, and they'd go see Granny Terrapin for some medicine. She'd put him right in no time. It was probably a witch who had done this to his body. Granny could fix that, and make the bastard sorry he'd ever messed with Bill.

Granny Terrapin had given him Anna and he'd never stop being grateful for that. He'd gone to her one spring morning after a stomp dance, heartsick and horny as a billy goat, and she'd made medicine. He drank seven sips of it, grimacing at the foul taste, and then she'd dragged a mewling kitten out from under her kitchen stove and sprinkled the rest of the tea onto its fur.

"Give her this," she told him. "Make sure she pets him to get the medicine on her. But you better think about if she's the one you really want, because once she gets it you're going to be bound together for life, whether you like it or not. Ain't nothin' nobody can do to change that, once it's done."

He hadn't hesitated for an instant, and after he'd given Anna the kitten they had gone right back to Granny Terrapin for Anna's medicine. And then they'd gone to the brush arbor on the creek bank.

He remembered the taste of her, that day under the fishing arbor. The salty, sweet musk of her on his tongue, her slender hips writhing in his hands as he held her to his face. When she had had enough, he was ready to fuck her, but she'd pushed him away, making him lie on his back while she pulled off his overalls.

"Granny told me I have to do this," Anna said doubtfully, grasping his rigid cock in her small hand. Her fingers could not quite encircle his swollen girth. "But I don't know if I really want to . . ."

"Please," Bill groaned, "just do whatever she said."

Anna stroked him awkwardly a few times with her hand, watching his face. "She told me to take it in my mouth," she whispered. "You want me to do that?"


"Mmm . . . I'm not sure . . ." He shuddered and thrust his hips upward to meet her hand.

"You really want this, don't you?" She bent her head and gingerly licked the tip of his cock, tasting him.

He moaned, his eyes rolling back in his head.

"Open your eyes, Bill. She said you need to see this."

Anna pulled the skin of his cock back to expose the glistening purple head and closed her lips around him, enveloping him with the hot wetness of her mouth. She held him there for long moments before lowering her head further and taking him deeper until he lodged against the back of her throat. When she slowly pulled back, it felt like she was drawing his souls out of his body through the end of his engorged staff.

She began bobbing her head while continuing to stroke with her hand. He thought he would come quickly, but he reached a plateau where he was not quite there, but so close. He tried to relax and let her take him where she would, but it was difficult to lie still.

After a time she let him slide out of her mouth. "Am I doing it right? How will I know—"

With a strangled cry he erupted in her hand. "That!" he gasped.

"Oh, now I see." She giggled before capturing the pulsating head of his cock with her mouth again and sucking him dry.

He felt as if she had pulled him inside out and was suddenly too sensitive to bear her touch. He shuddered and collapsed back onto the makeshift bed. She stretched out beside him, pillowing her head on his shoulder. She draped one soft thigh over his, and he could feel the moist heat of her center against his leg.

"She told me to swallow a little of it," Anna whispered, lifting her face to look into his eyes. "I was a little nervous about that . . . but it was hot, like soup. And I liked it. Do you mind?"

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