A Box, a Woman and Time Ch. 02byLavared©
The next three weeks were hell.
Scarcely a moment passed when you did not think about Anne and what you so briefly had, then lost.
When your wife returned home you had quickly hidden the box and run upstairs, locking yourself in the bathroom. You knew you couldn't possibly face her until you had time to come to grips with what had happened. Had it been real or imagination?
You lifted your hands to your nose. Her scent was still on them.
It had been real.
A long hot shower erased her scent but not her memory.
One night you began researching – did Anne Morella Leighton truly exist? After an hour online you managed to find a couple of references to her and to Dr. James. There was a picture of him, but he looked nothing like you. There was a photograph of her too, taken in 1971. She was smiling and happy, standing beside her husband as they donated a large check to the hospital. Where would she be now? Possibly still living but an elderly woman. What possible good would it do to contact her, especially given that Dr. James looked nothing like you?
Would she remember him or you?
Your wife informed you of her plans to be out of the house the next Sunday and you knew you would once more be home alone.
You began to think about the box. Would it work again? Where would it send you? Would you go back to Anne or somewhere new?
Should you go?
The last question was difficult. You spent the week turning it over in your mind but there was never any real doubt. Your curiosity was too overwhelming to resist.
You retrieve the box from the coat closet and set it on the kitchen table. You nervously rub your hands together and realize that your palms are sweating. Knowing what the box can do has made you slightly fearful of it but you cannot resist using it again, still hoping that you will be returned to Anne.
The box opens.
Sitting as you are you cannot see within it but the top is clearly open. You stand up and lean over to peer within.
There is something...
You are in a large room. The acrid smell of wood smoke assails your nostrils and your eyes immediately begin to burn. Dim sunlight filters through the small, high windows and some light flickers from the huge fireplace to your right but it takes a moment for your eyes to adjust to the light and smoke. The tall, stone walls are covered in tapestries.
You are in a castle.
The room has two long tables and at the end of one of them is a loud group of quarrelsome dirty men: very large quarrelsome dirty men. You decide to exit quietly from the room before they notice you and with that thought in mind begin edging towards the entrance opposite the great fireplace.
Halfway there a woman enters the room through the doorway you have chosen and walks towards you. Her swaying hips and pretty face look familiar and when she is close enough that you can see her clearly through the smoke you realize who she is.
"Master, I have been searching for you. Please come with me."
She is wearing a long blue velvet gown, cut low enough in the front to display her ample charms, and they are far more ample than you realized when you saw her in a nurse's uniform. Her hair is unbound except for a thick braid circling the back of her head and the brown tresses hanging through it reach almost completely down her back. When the two of you exit the smoky hall and you are able to see more clearly you realize that she is prettier even than she was before; the blue of the gown accents her eyes.
You take her hands in yours, feeling grounded by the familiar sight of her face and touch of her warm hands.
"Betty, where are we?"
She cocks her head, gazing at you with the same earnest expression you remember from before.
"In the hallway. Master, why do you call me Betty? Have I not lived within your household and served you long enough for you to honor me with the remembrance my given name? Was it not just this morning that you called me Betta as you broke your night's fast?"
"Indeed Betta," you reply. "You have served me long and well. I thought that given our long association I would call you by a nickname, as a sign of my affection and esteem for you."
"Nick name?" She furrows her lovely brow. "I do not understand what you mean by nick name. It is not meant as an insult, then?"
"Do you truly have affection for me?" Her eyes gaze steadily into your and her soft lips part slightly as she leans closer towards you. "Am I to be... will you let me... can I begin to serve you in any other way?" She blushes. "It has long been my hope to serve you as one of your Maidens of the Chamber."
You begin to wonder what type of situation you have walked into. Did she say one of my Maidens of the Chamber?
This raises some interesting thoughts. The box appears to have sent you much further into the past than 1964 and it appears that you have once again stepped into someone else's life – the life of the Master of this castle, whoever he is. She did say one of didn't she? Intriguing. What does the master of a castle do anyway?
"Are we currently at war?"
"Having any kind of altercation with our neighbors?"
"Foreseeing any invasions on the near horizon?"
"Have I by chance any younger brothers or cousins who are not already settled on their own land?"
"Is there a tournament on the schedule?"
"No, Master, naught but the harvest which is to begin soon."
You are relieved. Swords and armor sound romantic in books but you imagine that the Surgeon General would declare them to be very dangerous to your health. And life. Your curiosity is getting the better of you.
"How many maidens of the chamber have I?"
"At this moment, Master?"
"Hmmm, give me a moment, Sir." She begins to count on her fingers. "Rowena, Cynethryth, Angelline, Edwynne, Nerienda, Catharina, Ysabel, Mildrede and Beornwynne."
"Those are your nightly maiden's, Master. Then there are your fortnightly maidens: Sibilla, Splendora..."
"Splendora? I have a Maiden named Splendora?"
"... Petronella, Rose, Anora, Paulina, Wulueua, Catin, Tiecia, Leticia, Aunphelice, Muriel, Linniue, Melodia, Geva, Isolda, Hyssmaye, Immine, Joan, Roana, Beatrix, Elizabeth, Reyna, Dayluue, Letselina, Estrild, Theda, Juete, Amiable..."
"Is she nice?"
"... Aicusa and Seild." Betta finishes counting on her fingers. "Forty, Master. No, wait. I forgot to count the triplets, Emelin, Emelot and Emeluna so you have forty-three Maidens of the Chamber." She sighs. "At this moment."
"And they all are between the ages of eighteen and twenty and spend their days making beautiful underwear," you mutter to yourself. "It's a wonder I can walk."
Betta watches you patiently. She is the calmest woman you have ever known. Patient, serious and earnest almost to a fault but ... those rounded globes are distracting you. They are so perfectly round and you can so easily imagine slipping your fingers between them, then pulling down the velvet fabric to expose the brown (they must be brown like her hair) nipples and running your tongue over them before you take them into your mouth and...
"Master, it is time to go now," she says, breaking your pleasant reverie. "I have your sword ready."
Whoa. Did she say Sword? Uh oh.
"Betta, you assured me that all was well and that I would not be needing any swords in the near future!"
"But Master! What of the Witch?"
Your dumbfounded expression answers for you.
"The horrible, evil witch from the east, Master! Surely you must remember her. She has already cast her evil spells on the fields and beasts. Now she has threatens to unleash the worst of her powers on Harvest Moon!" Betta's face twists in anguish. "On the morrow, Master. You must dispatch her. No other Lord has the strength to oppose her. We stand so much to harm if she is not overwhelmed. It is you, Master, who must save us." She hangs her head for a moment, and then lifts her woebegone face to yours, "Master... you must. We have no other hope."
Her eyes, swimming with tears, her thick wet lashes and her solemn but hopeful expression undo you. Why do this woman's tears always move you? Knowing that your answer is madness and that all you are likely to do is cause your own death, you find that you cannot bear to disappoint her. Fighting your intense desire to pull her into your arms and smother her with kisses, you speak instead.
"Betta, bring my sword."
An hour's sore ride later you are facing a low cave, cut into a rocky hillside. It is a relief to dismount from your horse, no doubt a fine animal, but lacking even the outmoded shock absorbers of your Geo Prism.
"Is there anything you can tell me, dear, which will help me vanquish this evil witch? Are there any weaknesses that you are aware of? Anything whatsoever I can use to my advantage?"
"I have heard that she can change shapes and take on any appearance that she desires. But it is only as her true self that she can be vanquished. More than that I fear I do not know except her name, Suhaylah, and that she comes from the land near Babylon where they have strange gods and ways."
Betta puts her hand over her eyes to shield them from the noonday sun and peers into darkness of the cave. She looks down at you. You reach up to her and she somberly takes your hands, kissing them tenderly first on one side and then the other.
"I will wait for you, Master."
"Not too close by, Betta. If I do not come to you by sunset you must leave without me."
She nods gravely and pulls the reins, turning away. You hear the slow, steady steps of her mare fade until there is no sound or presence around you but the wind. Your sword, absurdly large, clanks against your thigh as you walk across the rocky ground into the cave.
Now that Betta has gone and you're alone, fear grips you. It was easy not to think about the forthcoming confrontation when you were riding with her; admiring her angelic face, watching the way her long tresses caressed her back, talking quietly and stealing glances at the tops of her full breasts; the outline of her slender thighs. It was easy to feel brave and in charge in her presence but now you feel alone and frightened, unsure of your next move, knowing only that if your life depends on using the heavy sword, you will surely die.
You enter the cave.
Once your eyes adjust to the dark interior you see a woman before you. She is stooped over, frail and grey haired. . As you enter she turns towards you and you notice that in contrast to the rest of her, her eyes are black and shining, full of life.
"Eh, what do you want here? Do you think you can wield that sword against me? It's larger than you are."
Then something crosses her face and you sense that she has just realized that you are an imposter, not the master of the castle at all but someone else from far and time away.
"Who are you?" she asks querulously. "Why are you here?"
In the few seconds that she has questioned you you've had an epiphany. The sword is useless. You have no skill with it and attempting to use it against her will prove disastrous. You must use, find, another method. You test her.
"Why do you want me to be here?"
"Stranger, I did not ask you to come."
"But here I am. Surely it was you who called me, else why would I be here? Are you not the mistress of all you purvey?"
"Truly I am that and more. But tell me now; to what purpose have you come? From whence have you come?"
"Most certainly I am come from great distance at your command. Why else would I be here and not elsewhere?"
She studies you for a moment, her face a picture of puzzlement.
"You are from far. I cannot see your past. You do not know or believe in me. Are you ... a God?"
"Would I tell you that I was a God if I were? Would I not, like Zeus, come upon you as a bull or swan, to mate with you at my pleasure?"
"What pleasure would a mortal or God have in an old woman like me? Answer me that."
"Would not a God see beyond that empty carcass to the beauty that lies within? Are you not a creature of magnificence and loveliness hiding beneath that stooped and wrinkled exterior? Or is it your true face that I see: old, ugly, and repulsive beyond belief? Are those sagging teats truly yours or should they be taut and firm? Is that hideous face truly yours or should it be youthful and lovely? Have I wasted my time coming here to see you? Time I could better spend on another, more agreeable female? I take my leave of you, old woman. It seems that I was misinformed when I heard the tales of a beauty named Suhaylah, hiding here in disguise. You must not be she. I will seek my, and her, pleasure elsewhere."
You turn to go, scarcely daring to breathe, and feeling the midpoint of your back itch, expecting at any second to feel a dagger or other weapon piercing your skin.
"You are not a God! A God would know for certain if I were ugly or beautiful."
You swing about and stare into her raven black eyes, keeping your own face as unemotional as possible, knowing that an enigmatic expression will drive her crazy because she is just the egotistical type of woman who has to know at all times what men are thinking.
"You bore me with your endless prattle."
And you say not another word.
She is clearly rattled by your lack of response.
"You... how dare you speak to me thus? I... you..." she stamps her foot in frustration "I am beautiful beyond compare!"
"Oh yes the thinness of your white hair so offsets the beauty of those deep folds and mottled skin. It is all I can do to restrain myself from taking you at this very moment." You say dryly, your arms folded across your chest. You spread out the fingers of one hand, gazing at your nails to check for the dark crescents that would indicate dirt. Carefully keeping your eyes from her you begin to clean them out, slowly, one by one. Then you unsuccessfully stifle a yawn.
The yawn is her undoing.
She stamps her feet, screeches and casts about for objects to throw. A pot hits the wall, breaking free a large sliver of rock as it hits. Bones begin to fly and you use all of your concentration not to wince as they wing within inches of your head. Retaining your bored expression, you watch her fling every object within the cave until she finally settles upon pulling her own hair in aggravation. It comes out; tufts at a time in her gnarled hands, and you watch her with the expression of a man observing fruit flies during a particularly dry scientific experiment.
She rushes towards you until her face is within inches of yours. "I... am... beautiful... and... desirable... beyond... belief!"
The sound of it bounces off the walls of the cave. You place your right hand beneath her chin, lifting it slightly, so that you are gazing directly into her dark eyes.
"Beyond belief. Your words, not mine, but I couldn't have said it any better, old crone. And now, forgive me, but there are other, much more attractive, women waiting who can please me far more than an ugly hag."
If it were possible for blood to boil hers would be bubbling. Her eyes narrow into venomous slits and drops of blood drip from her clenched fists.
"You will acknowledge me as the most beauteous woman who ever lived or, God or not, I will kill you and cast your bones to the four winds!"
She steps back and begins her transformation. Her scraggly white hair begins to darken and thicken before your eyes, while the wrinkles in her skin smooth out and disappear. Her posture straightens, stomach tightening, breasts lifting until every inch of her body is altered from old and decrepit to youthful and vigorous. At first you are totally mesmerized by the morphing process but as her final shape takes being you find yourself staring in awe and lust.
She is drop dead gorgeous.
Where Anne was beautiful, this woman is sex incarnate. Her silky long hair is as black as her eyes. Her olive skin is smooth and flawless. Her black eyes snap with fire and her lips are full, wet and red. But it is her body that draws you. The tattered, burlap-like cloth of her dress hangs in shreds from her womanly curves, only serving to offset the smoothness of her skin. She is of greater than medium height and statuesque with full, dark-nippled breasts. Your eyes are captivated by their plump shape. They are perfectly round and large enough that in another time you would suspect a surgeon's knife had perfected them. One is partially covered but the other isn't and her nipple, almost black, is long and juts out towards you, begging to be touched. She has a long, flat stomach and from beneath the ragged cloth hanging from her rounded hips you glimpse the shiny black hair covering her mound. You feel an erection rising that could lift and hold a hundred pound barbell.
All you can think of is grabbing her and sinking into her flesh, pounding deeply into her while you run your hands all over her round, smooth surfaces. You want to fuck her now, this instant, and at this moment you don't care if she likes it or not. Her opulent, enticing body overwhelms you with need.
Then she opens her mouth.
"Acknowledge it, now! I am as beautiful as any Goddess or mortal you have ever seen and all men who see me are filled with wanton lust for me."
You cannot believe how coolly you manage to answer. Thankfully she hasn't looked any further down than your face or she would see the very clear evidence of your wanton lust for her. You want her but she is a witch. Perhaps using her body as you wish could prove difficult, or even dangerous. Yet there is hope. She is, after all, so incredibly vain and perhaps, with luck, not too intelligent.
"Hmm. You do look better than before, but it is so difficult for me to truly compare you with a Goddess when every Goddess I have ever seen has been constrained. I am not accustomed to seeing any of them standing freely as you are. It makes a judgment difficult."
"Constrained? Why would a Goddess let herself be constrained?"
"Surely you don't believe that they go about as mere mortal women, wandering where they will? Oh no, they are far too lovely and valuable for that. We tie them up. Oh, they are so delightful when bound that we Gods cannot resist them. It makes them far more beautiful than they could ever be if they were not."
"I am as beautiful as a Goddess!"
"So you say, but alas, I cannot confirm it. Looking at you now, standing with your arms and legs so unrestricted I could never say that you are as beautiful as one of the divine few. Of course, if you were to let me bind you, say to that table in the corner, I would be able to make a true comparison."
She tosses back her hair, "HahHah! I will show you then," and stomps over to the corner where the table sits. Then she turns (her body in motion is incredible) and says petulantly, "Alas, I have no rope. How shall you be able to bind me?"
"Then I will use that ragged cloth you are pretending is a dress. Removing it will allow me to more fully view your beauty anyway."
You easily rip the cloth from her body, uncovering the remaining flesh. Her pointed nipples are inches from your chest and you reach up to cup her breasts in your hands. They are warm and heavy and her skin is buttery soft. You run your hands over the front of her breasts, feeling her long nipples slide across the center of your palms. Closing your eyes for a moment you move your hands down her sides until they grasp her hips. You pull her body in, feeling delicious pressure on your cock as you grind against her. For a few seconds you forget how dangerous she is as you slide your hands even further down until they are cupping the taut cheeks of her ass. It feels wonderfully soft and smooth under your fingers.