Moth Ch. 023byellynei©
Posted on literotica.com with permission of author: Nanna Marker; literotica ID ellynei.
"You sure took your good time," snarled Kokata, the moment Lei landed on the branch they had agreed on. He had beat her to it.
"They are absolutely wonderful," exclaimed his Lei and spun her arms around his neck, completely ignoring his tone and mood. "You wouldn't believe how wonderful they are."
In spite of his mood, Kokata couldn't resist hugging her back. Every second she had spent surrounded by beetles had been gut-wrenching for him. He'd been worried to the point of cutting extra furrows in the bark.
"They were so nice to me," said Lei, still hugging his neck.
By all means, the scene had looked very friendly, even from Kokata's hiding place. But if something should have suddenly changed, he would have taken seconds to reach her. She could have been hurt.
"They gave me all the cake I could eat!" His Lei sounded absolutely ecstatic. "And cookies, and sweets, and... and... everything!"
"I saw," snarled Kokata. He had never seen her eat like that. Some of the time he had feared she would choke on something. And, every single moment, he had been looking for signs that someone down there, should suddenly have a change of mood and...
"And they don't mind that we are crossfucking!"
"You weren't supposed to tell them about that," he snarled, furious that she had taken such a risk on the first visit. "Not yet."
"I know." His Lei didn't sound repentant at all. "It slipped out."
"You promised to be careful," snarled Kokata.
"Baltin promised that we wouldn't get any trouble from anyone for our choice of mate. He referred to us as mates!" Lei was all joy and exclamations.
"You should have been more careful," snarled Kokata.
"Maybe when we know them a little better, we can ask them to hold a mating ceremony for us." His Lei was completely unperturbed by his reprimands.
"No!" snarled Kokata and pulled her out, to glare into her eyes. "We will not ask them to hold a mating ceremony for us."
His Lei, finally shutting up about the beetles, furrowed her forehead.
"What's the matter, Black?"
"The matter?" snarled Kokata. "The matter? I should lift up your skirt and spank you like the little girl you are acting."
"Excuse me?" snapped Lei, narrowing her eyes.
"People are dangerous," yelled Kokata, and shook her by her shoulders. "What were you thinking?"
"Let go," yelled Lei. Fury in her voice.
Kokata released her.
"How dare you shake me," snapped Lei.
In spite of himself, Kokata cowered. Even as he did it, he gritted his teeth for being so pussy-whipped, as whispering men would call it.
"I was worried," snarled Kokata, angrily, but kept his eyes averted.
"That does not give you a right to shake me, nor to threaten me with spanking."
Kokata ground his teeth hard against each other. If he loved her just a little less he'd do more than threaten.
"They are nice people."
Kokata closed his averted eyes and took a deep breath to calm himself.
"And tomorrow afternoon," continued his Lei, "we are going to visit them together."
Kokata's breath stuck in his throat as if a tinybug had gotten stuck in it. He coughed and sputtered to free his airways of the thing that wasn't there. Then turned his face back to his woman.
"Have you gone utterly insane?" he snarled.
"We've been invited to a feast," said his Lei, her chin high with moth pride. "Both of us. And we are going."
"We are not," snarled Kokata.
His Lei locked eyes with him.
"No," snarled Kokata, holding his ground. He might be pussy-whipped, but he did have a will of his own, and he wasn't insane.
His Lei crossed her arms across her chest.
"No," insisted Kokata. "And you're not going either."
"I guess they aren't coming," said Baltin. The day had gone too far into evening for even the most stubborn to call it late afternoon.
"Let's wait just a little longer," begged Rebekka in a very quiet voice, and lightly squeezed his hand. "Maybe they just got delayed."
Baltin knelt in front of the girl and looked her eye to eye.
"Do you remember when I first brought you here?" he gently asked.
"You didn't want to come here," said Baltin.
"I was scared," said Rebekka. "I was afraid they would hurt me."
"Well, Lei's mate has never been here before. He might be scared, just like you were."
"But Lei said they would come," objected Rebekka.
"Lei's mate is an adult," explained Baltin. "He is probably too big for her to lift into her arms and carry here against his will."
Rebekka's eyes watered, but sooner than Baltin could pull her into a hug she had spun away and run off to hide.
Baltin shook his head and got back on his feet. Then he walked to the village to announce that the feast would commence. If not with their guests of honours, then at least in their honour.
Most of the afternoon-delights hadn't fared well with being kept warm for far too long, but it was still a good feast. Children laughed and chased each other, pairs danced, the musicians were spirited, and the freshly lit emberpoles sparkled as festively as ever. At sunset only the smallest of children were in a mood to sleep.
Intellectual property of Nanna Marker.
Rebekka was nowhere to be seen, and that dampened Baltin's mood somewhat. Even if all the village had adopted her, he still felt for her as a father would. Yet, a feast had been well overdue, so Baltin kept the musicians going, encouraged both men and women to dance, and kept close eye on the too young couples who might, dazed by the festivities, dare act too far beyond their age, if he allowed them to slip into the shadows.
The feast was so lively, even past sunset, that Baltin had no clue how long their guests of honour had, at the edge of the village, stood under an emberpole before he noticed them.
The moth wore the same dress she had the previous day, the spider, it seemed, wore no clothes. Baltin moved his eyes from them, sooner than any could notice. Pretending he hadn't seen them, he yelled at a benchwarmer to ask up another for a dance, and joked with an old man who teased the shy two.
He was buying himself time to get used to what he had seen.
Baltin had expected someone like Rebekka, just adult, male, and with spidery features. The spider was far more spider, and far less man than he had imagined. The only manly feature was its face. Baltin clapped his hands in tune with the music. He couldn't allow himself to think of the spider as 'it'.
No matter how the moth's mate looked, he had a mind. He was a man. Baltin needed to know that to his very core before he could get up and greet him as an equal.
He came to think of Rebekka. She too had probably imagined the spider would be a lot like her. Baltin grabbed a cup of mak and sipped to rid himself of the lump in his throat. Poor Rebekka. He came to think of the state Rebekka had been in when he found her. All the cruelty she had been exposed to for being what she was.
He took a larger sip to down a new lump. The evil inside normal people was sometimes unbelievable. Then he came to think that the spider too had once been as small as Rebekka. Considering the way he looked...
Baltin closed his eyes and emptied the cup in one long draught.
It wasn't a wonder that they had been late. It was a wonder that they had come at all. The moth's mate had to be the bravest man he had ever seen to dare set foot in a village full of strangers. It didn't really matter if he didn't have feet.
Baltin rose, took a detour to empty his bladder and not draw attention, and then approached the guests. He could only hope the rest of the village would remember what Rebekka had been like when she had first arrived, and would show due consideration when they discovered the guests.
"Hello there," said Baltin and waved, when he was ten paces from the pair. "I'm glad you could make it." He kept his pace slow.
"Hi, Baltin," said the moth and waved back.
"That's close enough," snarled the spider.
Baltin stopped where he was, five steps of flat ground between him and the pair. He stood as leisurely as if the distance had been of his own choosing, and kept his smile as friendly as it had been before the command had been spoken.
"Black," scolded the moth. "I asked you to be nice."
"You also told me to be myself," snarled the spider, not taking his eyes of Baltin.
"Black," said Baltin, tasting it. "What a suitable name. I see you have the same shade that I do." Baltin rubbed his cheek, which as the rest of him, was shiny black.
"Always a hit with the women," added Baltin and winked.
"Not always," snarled Black.
"Oh," Baltin openly ran his eyes up and down the moth next to the spider. "Seems to me it has hit well enough." Baltin winked at Lei, who, shy as a teen, huddled closer to her mate.
Baltin cleared his throat, he hadn't realised the moth was too sensitive for such a joke. Apparently she was more shy when she wasn't gorging sweet things.
"I'm really glad you came," reiterated Baltin. "I hope you don't mind that we started without you."
"We don't mind," said the moth.
"We only came by to say hi," snarled the spider. "So... Hi."
"Hi," replied Baltin, and waved as if arriving anew.
"I shouldn't have made a promise on Black's behalf," said the moth. "I'm sorry."
"There's no need to be sorry," said Baltin. "I know how... overwhelming... it can be to be introduced to a whole village."
"Sure you do," snarled the spider, and moved backward a step, one leg around his mate. "Now, we've made an appearance, Lei. Let's go."
"Black isn't comfortable around strangers," apologised the moth. "I'll come visit tomorrow. Alone."
"I understand. Not everyone likes crowds," said Baltin and offered, "Maybe we can arrange a smaller feast sometime. Just us three and a trey full of cupcakes."
"I don't like cupcakes," snarled the spider.
"I said 'a trey'," said Baltin and smiled broadly. " Your mate likes cupcakes; there wouldn't be any left for you and me."
The spider's lips widened a notch. Not enough to be called a smile, but enough to prove that Baltin's joke had hit the mark.
"Have a nice feast," snarled the spider, and circled on the spot till his back was to Baltin. "Let's go, Lei."
"I'll see you tomorrow, Baltin," promised the moth.
"I'll be looking forward to it," said Baltin and waved.
The moth waved back. The spider didn't bother to even look back. Baltin chose to appreciate the display of trust in that gesture.
The pair started walking. Baltin remained where he was, gazing after them.
They had moved maybe ten of the moth's steps, (the spider's eight-legged movement couldn't really be counted into steps,) when a small blanketed form rushed past Baltin.
Baltin raised an arm and opened his mouth to call back the child, but changed his mind and remained silent.
The spider spun with unbelievable speed, two legs raised in aggression, and Baltin again raised his arm, this time in alarm.
Rebekka stopped in her tracks. She was a few steps from the pair, and more than ten steps from Baltin.
Written by Nanna Marker; literotica ID ellynei.
Baltin could hear her hiccup with fright all the way from where he stood. His heart was pounding with shock. He yearned to run to the child and pull her out of harms way. Yet, he remained where he was. If the spider was going to harm the child, Baltin couldn't get there in time, and if the spider didn't intend to harm her, there was no reason for Baltin to interfere with a confrontation that Rebekka had sought out herself.
Sometimes being like a father was the hardest thing in the world.
The spider slowly lowered his legs.
"What do you want," he snarled.
"Get lost," snarled the spider.
Rebekka hiccupped again.
The spider made a move as if to attack, and Baltin's heart nearly jumped into his throat.
Rebekka hiccupped again, but didn't move.
"Are you an abomination?" she asked, and hiccupped.
"I am a spider," snarled the spider. "What are you."
"I'm a scorpid," said Rebekka, and hiccupped.
Baltin blinked back tears. Rebekka's voice sounded as tiny as her form looked.
"Really?" asked the spider, for the first time not snarling.
The spider reached out and took hold of Rebekka's blanket. The child hiccupped but allowed him to pull it off her.
The spider slowly circled Rebekka, getting a good look at her clothed front and her plated back.
"You've got poison?" asked the spider, pointing to the stinger at the end of her tail.
Rebekka's tail was fully plated and grew from the base of her back and part of her bum, and was longer than her body was from toe to head.
"What does your poison do?" asked the spider.
"It makes them go numb," replied Rebekka.
"Nice," said the spider and nodded. "Do you catch your own food."
Rebekka glanced back at Baltin with a guilty look in her eyes, and Baltin, pretending he hadn't heard the spider's question, realised that she did.
The child turned back to the spider, who had lowered his face to her eye-level, and whispered something in his ear. The spider listened, and nodded.
Baltin glanced at the moth. The woman had moved away from the two and was busying herself by studying the ground and prodding it with her feet. That seemed like a good occupation, but Baltin couldn't make himself take his eyes of the child.
Rebekka showed the spider her two scorpid arms, which were closer to the armpits of her man-arms than Baltin's beetle arms were to his man-armpits.
When the child pointed to the sharp ends of her scorpid arms, the spider nodded appreciatively, and then raised one of his legtips to the child's eye-level. He held it there a moment.
"Wow," exclaimed Rebekka, her voice filled with awe.
From where he stood Baltin couldn't see what had inspired the exclamation.
Rebekka raised her hand toward the legtip, and the spider instantly pulled it out of her reach.
"Don't touch sharp things with your fingers," snarled the spider.
Rebekka hiccupped and lowered her hand.
The spider reached behind himself to his spider-butt, and pulled out a length of white silk.
"Wow," exclaimed Rebekka again.
"Try to break it," offered the spider and handed the silk to the child.
Rebekka grabbed hold of it with both hands and tore separate ways. It didn't break. The child then spun it around both hands and tried again. Then she took the tightened length to her mouth.
"Don't pull out your teeth," snarled the spider.
"I won't," said Rebekka, and then started gnawing on the string. After a few moments she gave up. "My teeth aren't sharp enough."
"Feel my legtip." the spider offered the legtip he had pulled away before.
Rebekka did as told.
"It's soft," she commented, stroking the underside of the legtip.
"And now don't touch it."
Rebekka withdrew her hand.
"Hold out the silk," instructed the spider.
Rebekka held out the string and tightened it.
The spider brought down his legtip and the string cut in two.
"Wow," exclaimed Rebekka. "Do it again!"
The spider shredded the two halves of string into half.
The child reached for his legtip, but the spider pulled it away.
"Do you hate your fingers?" snarled the spider. "Don't touch it while its sharp."
"I just wanna see," objected Rebekka, reaching for the legtip which the spider held higher than she could reach.
"Are you stupid?" snarled the spider. "Eyes are for seeing. Hands are for touching."
The girl giggled.
Baltin couldn't believe his ears. Rebekka could laugh, if you tickled her long enough, but he had never heard her giggle.
The spider lowered his legtip, and Rebekka grabbed it.
"It's normal again," she sounded disappointed. "Make it sharp again."
"No way, stupid," snarled the spider.
"Please," begged Rebekka, the way any beetle-kid in the village could beg someone to repeat a magic trick.
Baltin had never heard Rebekka do that.
"No," snarled the spider.
"Please," insisted the child.
"If you try to touch it again I'll let you," snarled the spider. "And then I'll drink all the blood you spill." The spider licked his lips. "I bet scorpids are tasty."
Baltin raised his eyebrows. Maybe the reason he couldn't make her giggle was that he had been telling her the wrong kinds of jokes.
The spider again held a legtip out to Rebekka. The child stared at it with fascination but she didn't try to touch it.
"That's so much more awesome than poison," she said and sighed.
"I have poison," said the spider.
"Really?" Rebekka bent over and looked under the spider. "Where's your stinger?"
"My poison is in my teeth." The spider smiled wide, displaying his fangs.
"Wow," sighed the child. "What does your poison do?"
"It makes them happy," said the spider.
"Happy? What good does that do?"
"They relax and stop fighting."
The spider nodded.
"Wow," said the child and reached for the spider's mouth.
The spider pushed her away.
"Why would I want your dirty fingers inside my mouth," he snarled.
The spider glanced toward Baltin, and behind him.
"Go home," he said to the child, and circled to leave.
Baltin looked behind himself, he was no longer alone, some others had come and was now looking at the scene from a bit behind him.
Copyright of Nanna Marker 2010.
"Don't go," pleaded Rebekka. "Lei promised you would come to the feast."
"I don't eat cooked food," snarled the spider, and started moving.
"I caught a fly-beast for you," persisted the child.
"I don't eat dead things."
"It's not dead." Rebekka's voice was thick with guilt, shame, and desperation. "I don't like dead things either."
The spider stopped in his tracks.
"I don't like people," he snarled. "And people don't like me."
"I do," said Rebekka, again sounding tiny.
Kokata remained where he was. He couldn't tell if the girl had meant to say that she liked people, or that she liked him, or both, but he could tell that she was desperate for him to stay.
All the times he had wished for someone who could appreciate the advantages to his predatory form... All the times he had yearned for someone who understood what it was like to drink the blood of still living prey...
Kokata had grown past the need of meeting someone like that.
The little scorpid was still a child. She was still being torn between what she was and what she thought she ought to be. The tiny Rebekka was living with beetles. Beetles killed beasts for food as naturally as they dug up roots, or gathered herbs, and whatever else the bed of the forest had to offer. But beetles cooked their meat with fire and heat till every shred of life and taste had left it.
The girl had not grown past the need of meeting someone like him.
Kokata spun to the girl.
"I don't care what you like," he snarled.
The child hiccupped and looked at him with hurt, desperate eyes.
Beetles were massing up behind the one called Baltin. Kokata's skin was crawling with memories of rocks, and batshit, and anything else that could be picked up and thrown.
The easy choice would be to walk away.
"I'm hungry," snarled Kokata. "Bring me that fly-beast."
The girl nodded, then spun and ran off.
"Hey, tiny," snarled Kokata.
The girl stopped and turned to him.
"Tell them not to bother me," snarled Kokata, pointing at the beetles.
The girl again nodded, and spun, and ran off.
"Don't bother him," she yelled, as she ran past Baltin.
Kokata kept his eyes on the large crowd of beetles while waiting for the child to return. They were all staring at him, but none made a move to bother him.