tagSci-Fi & FantasyThe Fiend's Tongue

The Fiend's Tongue


There are many curses still lingering from the ancient world, in an era when mankind understood that the universe was meant to be understood not as a matter of reason, but through the articles of faith – which is to say, not understood very well at all. It was an era of gods and goddesses, inimitable blessings and unfathomable horrors, artifacts and monsters and, of course, curses.

It is said that of all the curses to color the world in those days, there are few so wondrous and terrible as that of the fiend's tongue. The tales – legends, some – of the mischief and chaos it wrought happily died out in time immemorial.

Had they not, this would have been one of them.

"I can't believe that asshole!" Erika exclaimed as she hung up her phone. "This is the third time Austin's stood me up in the past two weeks! Always with some bullshit excuse. Last weekend he said he got called into work, but I drove by his house and saw his car in the driveway. I called him on it and he claimed he was car-pooling, which he has never done before. Then Monday he said he had a thing at his church, but I think he was playing poker with his idiot friend Tyler – his wallet was flush with cash the next day for sure."

The girls were walking around in the uppermost reaches of the campus library, where Carina, Erika's best friend and roommate, was picking up some primary sources for her master's thesis. Erika was tall and gangly, having inherited all of her father's height but none of her mother's curves; Carina was short and rather pudgy, only spared a ghastly pale complexion by her Latin heritage. Despite their opposite appearances, they were alike in that neither one could have carried the stack of heavy tomes by themselves. Erika was quietly somewhat envious of Carina's successes, but she was quite a student herself. This time next year, she'd be working on her own master's degree.

"What was it this time?" Carina asked as she picked up a book in a language Erika couldn't even guess at.

"Migraine, he claims. Except he didn't bring it up until I reminded him he was supposed to meet us for dinner, and then suddenly his voice got all quiet and whiny. I swear, half the stuff that comes out of his mouth is pure bullshit!"

"I don't know why haven't dumped him already, Erika," the stout Latina replied as she walked with her friend to a dusty and unused corner of the library. There was a statue there in the Gothic fashion, something that looked like a gargoyle but with a serpentine tongue that stretched nearly a foot out of its mouth. Creepy thing, that.

"I know, I know, you always say that when I vent to you," Erika said with a sigh, sitting down on the edge of the pedestal atop which sat the statue.

"Because every time you mention Austin's name, you're venting about him. I just don't get why you put up with it." She set down her armload of books atop the one Erika had already dropped.

"I know, I know, but... you know how I like a project. He just seems so fixable! Like, everything is so close to being right. He's not romantic, but he's flirty. He's not hot, but if he put in some effort into dressing nice, maybe hit the gym a little and work off the waist line, he could be pretty attractive. He's not great in the sack, but he tries, usually. He's not smart, but he manages decent grades. I just know if I push him a little, I can turn him into a winner. He's kinda cute," she insisted. "Sometimes."

"See? Ten seconds ago you were furious with him, and now you're defending him – on the basis of his mediocrity."

"Hey now, he's better than average. Though to hear him tell it, that'd be a grave insult," Erika said, leaning her head back wearily on the extended tongue. "Never has an unkind word to say about himself."

"Ugh. Erika, just dump that dipshit story topper already," she said, readying her laptop for note-taking.

"I don't want to break up with him – yet, at least. I don't know, maybe I do. I'm just sick of his lines. I just... I just wish he'd speak the truth, ya know? Just one damn day where there was none of the usual b.s. flowing out of his mouth." She twitched, looking behind her – had the statue moved? She shuddered at its creepy expression, and moved to a nearby chair. With her back to it.

"Anyway, let's buckle down. You have a thesis to write, and I have my own boat-load of studying to get to." The girls opened their books, and put themselves to their studies.

Meanwhile, in Fitzpatrick's sports bar not far off-campus, Austin was returning from the bathroom, where he'd fielded a call from his girlfriend Erika. He sat back down opposite his idiot friend Tyler with an apologetic smile. "Sorry, buddy – old ball and chain calling, didn't want her to know I was hitting up the bars."

"Yeah, yeah – Erika calls like four times a day, man, and texts twice as often. Bright as she is, you'd think she'd have figured out when to give it a rest at some point."

Their waitress brought them their opening round of drinks. She was cute, for a girl a little on the heavy side, with the generous helping of T&A God gave those girls to make up for their other short-comings. Austin eyed her openly, and she smiled back in a banal fashion. "If you guys need anything, just flag me down, m'kay? I'm Melody."

"Melody – lovely name for a lovely girl," Austin said. This wasn't really true – or at least, depending on how one felt about the name, it was at best half-true. She was wearing a top at least two sizes too small for her, and a skirt that was even worse. A serious muffin top was impossible to miss between the two, and her legs looked like a slightly tanned version of cottage cheese.

"Thanks," Melody said disingenuously before disappearing quickly enough that the road runner would've been envious. Apparently even girls like her didn't want to get hit on by random guys at the bar. Austin was decidedly the better-looking of the two, even if he had a bit of a young-guy version of a dad bod going on; Tyler was just doughy and homely through and through, though at least he didn't hit on every girl with a functioning pussy that he came across like Austin did.

"You know, I think I totally tapped that ass freshman year," his friend boasted. "I was pretty drunk, but I remember the good parts, at least. Girl did stuff you wouldn't believe. Wouldn't mind another piece of that."

Tyler sighed. "See? This is what I don't get – you're dating this Erika chick, but here you are dodging her and hitting on waitresses. Sure, Smelly Melly there is probably a 3, but Erika's not really any cuter, man – a total 4, at best. Cut her loose already."

Austin made a face that expressed just how dense he considered Tyler. "Dude, whatever. Maybe Erika doesn't radiate hotness, but that's just how she dresses most of the time, all those baggy sweaters and loose jeans and all."

"Yeah, because she's like eighty pounds soaking wet, ass barely visible and boobs nonexistent, and she's trying not to look like it," Tyler said.

For a fraction of a second, too small a span of time to even be called an entire instant, there was a shimmer in the air, a red bolt-of-lightning-in-miniature that raced across the room and ended in Austin's mouth as he opened it to take a swig of his beer. It arrived and entered and pulsed and faded all before anyone could even notice it had happened.

But it had happened. Be sure of that.

Austin, as oblivious as anyone to what had just transpired, just laughed at his buddy's cluelessness. "You just don't get it, do you man... she just dresses like that because she doesn't like the attention, man."

Tyler arched an eyebrow skeptically. "Attention? What the fuck attention are you talking about?"

"I swear I'd told you this before – Erika does modeling, dude."

"Aw, you're full of it. A hand model, maybe."

"No way – she's a swimsuit model – dynamite body on her under those frumpy clothes," Austin said earnestly.

Tyler paused. "Really?" He conjured his mental image of Erika. Tall, leggy, intriguing little lumps under those loose-fitting sweaters. Face not much to look at, but he could imagine, underneath those clothes...

"Totally, dude. Does catalogs and stuff."

"Huh. With that face, I never would've figured," Tyler said.

"Her face isn't so bad – she's actually really pretty, when you see her all made up and everything."

"Huh, yeah, I guess I could see that. Bikini model, eh? Man, you sure lucked out – should have her fine ass around more often."

"Yeah, I know – we were gonna do dinner tonight, if she and her buddy Carina got back from their little modeling competition in time, but no dice."

"Hey, didn't you try to set me up with Carina? That name rings a bell."

Austin nodded. "That's the one."

"And she's a bikini model, too?!"

"Yep, most of Erika's friends are models of one kind or another – bikini and lingerie, mostly. They make good money at it, too."

"Damnit! You told me Carina was kind of a fatty, you prick!"

Austin considered. "Well, she's curvy, you know – Erika's got the whole Kathy Ireland kinda bod going on, that minimalist kind of sexy. Carina's more of a Salma Hayek type, and loves to show it off. Bit shorter, maybe. Even kinda looks like her – complains about getting mistaken for her sometimes," he said.

Tyler scowled over his beer. "Yeah, you know me, always going on about what a fatty Salma Hayek was. You fuck," he said bitterly.

"Sorry, man. Next time it comes up, I'll put in a good word for ya."

"Yeah." Tyler turned his attention to the basketball game on the TV and away from his asshole of a friend.

Erika forced her face into a smile even as the judge announced the competition winner – once again, it was Francesca. That Brazilian bitch had won the last three contests in a row. Not that Erika actually expected to win herself – busty figures were back in and she was anything but. Intense discipline in diet and exercise had accentuated her breasts to the extent she could, but still, without surgery she'd never be more than a B cup, and her agent had advised her against going that route.

Carina, meanwhile, had once more captured runner-up, and after the final remarks, the girls went through the usual shaking hands with the rich guys and minor celebrities who always flocked to these things, congratulating her best friend along the way. There was a lot of envy there – Carina and her gorgeous face, huge knockers, perfect skin...

"Good job, Carrie. You totally deserved it."

"Thanks, Erika. You were great out there today – you're having an amazing hair day."

They shared a smile, and the tension faded as they went about the rest of the meet-and-greet. Loads of pervy guys were here, like usual, asking for the girls' autographs on pictures they'd brought in. Erika's most popular was one of her in a cream-colored one-piece that was just two straps covering her nipples and an inch or two on either side, meeting down near her tummy. Just a hint of her labia was noticeable if you squinted. Her face had been air-brushed and she had full makeup on, just enough to take her north of merely "pretty." It took effort, that was for sure. Erika regretted that shoot – it had been way more risque than she usually went for, but she had to acknowledge it had been a boost for her career. (Not that she was going to be a full-time model after college; she had more serious aspirations.)

She knew full well Carina had no such modesty, though. Her fans had a hard time finding bikini shots of her in anything but two-pieces, and many of them so skimpy that some public beaches wouldn't have allowed her to parade around as such. It was frankly, to Sarah's mind, pornographic; still, it had paid Carina's way through her undergrad and was more than paying for her master's now. Between the two endeavors, the poor girl hardly had a spare moment to herself to maintain a social life. Even Sarah's full-time professional model friends weren't as taxed as her roommate.

After things wound down and they got changed, the girls packed up their things in Carina's car. It was a convertible, though it was nearly time for her to trade it in as it had been almost two years already. "I can't believe Austin missed your competition, again," the busty blonde criticized as she buckled in. Erika wondered what most guys would give to trade places with that seatbelt for an hour, to be nestled between Carina's stupendous pillowy tits. Then the car started, and their drive home began. Carina kept it pretty fast; they had a lot of studying to do this weekend, after all. She picked up her phone to touch base with Austin.

"I don't know what you see in that guy," Carina said.

Austin glanced down at his text. "Oh hey, Carina got runner-up at the competition," he shared aloud.

"Bully for her? I don't know why you ever thought a girl like that would be interested in a guy like me. Or what a girl like Erika's doing with a bum like you, for that matter."

"Hey now, easy there," Austin said defensively.

"Though I guess she's kind of a butter-face herself," Tyler teased, laughing.

"Screw you, dude, Erika's crazy pretty – her face was what got her the attention of her modeling agency in the first place."

Tyler nodded. It was a dumb thing to try to tease Erika about, honestly. He tried not to think too hard about his friend's insanely hot girlfriend. "Which is all the weirder about what she's doing with your ass," he laughed.

"Hey, you just gotta know how to talk to girls. It's a skill. It's not even about what you say, it's all about how you say it. I just turned on the charm and soon enough, bam, bitch can't get enough of me. Head over heels, body and soul."

Erika was getting pretty tired of Carina bad-talking her boyfriend. "You just don't understand, Carina."

"Explain it to me, dear," Carina said as she breezed by a little Volkswagen.

"He's just... he's such a romantic. Some men just know how to talk to girls, and he's just... mmm, such a poet." She sighed dreamily, remembering how he'd come on to her in her algebra class.

"Damn, girl, you are one seriously hot hottie," her poorly-groomed classmate said to her. She looked him over – not especially attractive, not well-dressed. Just confident enough to approach her, and something in the way he said it just... She introduced herself, and he told her his name – "so you'll know what to scream tonight after our first date." Erika had laughed – he was just so funny! – and gone along with it.

Sure enough, she had screamed it – everything he said was just so charmingly delivered that she couldn't help but fall for him. When he nervously asked her for sex that night in the back seat of his '03 Plymouth, she'd enthusiastically said yes. Erika had given him the first blowjob she'd ever given a boy after he told her how her lips would look great wrapped around his cock. He'd probably been joking, but she'd already made up her mind to keep him. She'd sucked him off, then fucked him until he couldn't get it up any more. Then called him the very next day to ask him for a second date.

"I'll grant you that, he's a great conversationalist. He's flirted with me a time or two, and yes, I see his charm. But still – he's not even in your league. I mean, Erika, you're one of the sexiest girls at the entire university, and he's at best in the top 70%."

"That's an awfully specific figure, Carina. You have something to say to me? Are you asking me to choose between the two of you? Because I will always, always choose my man. He's the love of my life!" Erika said emphatically.

"Easy there – nobody's asking you to choose. I just... I don't get it is all. I think you could do better."

"Just drop it, OK? I love him, and nothing you can say will make me change my mind. Now I got my tablet here; I'll quiz you for your exam on Monday – make good use of our time."

"Well, what about you, man?" Tyler asked, trying to look for Melody to order another round. She was nowhere to be seen, but the bar was doing good business this Saturday night. Mostly other college guys like them, coming out for wings, beer and basketball.

"What do you mean, 'what about you'?"

"I mean, Erika's in love with you – do you think she's the one?"

Austin shrugged. "I don't know. She's great, don't get me wrong, but you said yourself, she's kinda clingy. I need me some room to breathe."

"What, you got a lot of other gorgeous, smitten swimsuit models lined up, do ya?" Tyler rolled his eyes. "Oh, and brilliant, too, just in case you felt like you were on her level in any way."

"First off, Erika's definitely not 'brilliant' – some booster for the football program who tossed a scholarship at her in the hopes she'd be a recruiting tool for 'em – she couldn't even get accepted to the school on her merit."

"Really?" He was surprised. She'd always struck him as being rather articulate – annoyingly so.

"Yep. She hides it well in public, but let me tell you – very little going on upstairs."

"Thanks for showing me how to turn it on, Carrie. These things are so tricky!"

"You just hit the power button," Carina teased. Gently. Erika had always been almost as sensitive about the gap between their IQ as she was about the one between their chest sizes.

"Well ya, but like, how was I supposed to know where it was?"

"It's the one with 'on/off' written next to it."

"See? So it could've turned it off."

Carina sighed. The girl was lucky she was such a stunner or she'd be eating out of dumpsters somewhere, surely. She painstakingly guided her simple friend on how to open up her class notes she'd typed up. "Just take the stuff I wrote and turn it into questions, OK? Nothing too fancy."

Erika nodded. She could do this. Questions were just like normal sentences, but backwards. "All righty tighty, Carina the Beana. First question: explain the basic idea behind... behind... there's a word here, but..."

"Sound it out, hon."

"Nye... nye... nye-shuh? Nysh? I dunno. It's a weird name."

"Nietsche?" Carina asked.

"Yeah! Explain the basic idea behind Fred Neeshuh's plan of... there's another one here... nye..."


"Wow, yeah, what you said. Hard word."

Carina ignored the girl's impressed look. It was commonplace during their study sessions – which were really tutoring for Erika disguised as helping Carina. (As if a girl of Erika's pathetic scholastic talents could be of any help to her.) "There is no truth," she began.

"Nuh uh, there are three truths. You made bullet points!"

Carina nodded patiently. "And the first one says...?"

Erika squinted. "There is no truth, only perspective – OH I SEE!" She giggled.

"Anyway, even aside from that, just because she's a 'gorgeous, smitten swimsuit model' doesn't mean she's perfect. Variety is the spice of life," Austin continued. "Take our waitress, Melody."

"Her again? Bit of a step down, don't you think? Or maybe like seven steps down?"

"Sure, she's not as hot as Erika, but I think people would agree she's plenty hot. Besides, girls like her are so grateful for any male attention that they'll agree to anything when a guy shows interest in 'em."

Tyler finally located her across the bar. Big, D-cup tits busting out of her too-tight top, mid-riff on display over two handfuls of well-rounded booty... Austin was right. She was no Erika, but still. He waved until he got her attention, and she started coming over.

"Another round for my friend and I," Tyler said, raising his voice over the din.

"You got it, fellas," she said. Both guys took the liberty of watching her big old ass sway away to another table on her way back to the bar, some group of frat guys by the looks of them.

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