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Heathen Stories and New Myths ~
This is the story of young Andrew McLain, of oaths taken at twilight, faery
dating, sacrifice, and the healing power of love.
Andrew loved Jenny with all of his heart, and most of his lower regions.
liked Andrew, but had been known to be fond of Kurt, and his lower regions as
On this fine Mayday, Andrew had called upon Jenny with a diamond ring,
only to discover
Jenny taking Kurt for a vigorous canter across the sofa.
"Damn all women anyway," he snarled as he stumbled out into the twilight of the
first of May.
He stopped at the forest edge and howled out his youthful pain to the listening
"Screw women, screw springtime, and SCREW LOVE!"
He staggered into the woods, not heeding where he went. Opening the bottle of Champagne
he´d brought along and still had in his hand, he poured the foaming liquid
into a ring of
mushrooms at the base of an old oak muttering,
"This was supposed to toast our love, but now there's not a woman born I'd share
Then, with a cry he hurled the diamond ring into the woodland stream, screaming:
"Take that love, and screw you too! I say, screw every inhuman one of you!".
Dangerous words already on a Mayday evening, made worse by how he ended it......
"Gods, I'd rather die than love again. Let love just take the heart she ruined
There are strange things that lurk in the forest deeps.
There are things that
walk the borders between the night and day, things ancient and inhuman; just
listening and ever so hungry.
There are two powers that even gods must bow to: Love and fate.
This is a story of both.
Andrew stomped his way further into the campus forest, kicking mushrooms and ferns as
Little noting the sun dipping below the horizon, he stalked into the
Mayday night, into the dark primeval forest, and another age.
On certain days,
when the world hangs between dark and night, between the seen and unseen, the
and the paths to Alfheim open again. In the dark of Yule, the knights
of the Wild Hunt ride behind the coursing wolves
of the Allfather, but in the
wild night of Mayday, on Walpurgsnight, it is Freya who leads the ladies of the
in a wild hunt of passion, the stuff of dream and nightmare.
Andrew stopped and turned, aware at last that something was amiss.
He heard a
sound like sirens in the near distance. Not quite sirens, not like trumpets,
more like the conch shells he had heard in Hawaii.
The sound came again, this
time with the baying of hounds and the faint strains of laughter.
like the fox hunts you saw in some old movies, but what would something like
that be doing in the
With a start, Andrew saw a dozen slim silver steeds with belled and richly
tooled harnesses sweep into the clearing.
Gowned ladies of eerie beauty and cold
perfection sat easily in split skirts in high saddles with lances sheathed by
the right knee.
Inhumanly cold beauty stared at him from all sides, cold white
faces and bloodless lips in a smile that could teach a cat cruelty,
that burned with smouldering passion.
“Look,” rang a voice like a silver bell ,“The night’s stag!”
While slim white hounds circled him, Andrew protested he was no stag but a
Each denial made the perfect inhuman beauties smile wider. Finally,
surrounded by stags and mounted ladies with drawn lances,
a final figure rode
astride the neck of a golden boar the size of a rhino. More beautiful than the
pale elfin beauties,
this woman burned like fire in the night. Shining white
skin, with a golden necklace burning bright in the hollow of her half-bared
her laughter rang like birdsong at dawn, and her smile brought a
stammering blush to Andrew’s angry features.
“Now then, young man,” purred the golden woman with a sensuous smile,
“You poured out an offering at the Faery ring, and threw a golden offering in my
sacred waters, and made strong oaths before us.
You summoned my ladies on my holy night, and you promised to 'screw my women, to
screw the springtime, and to screw love'.”
Laughter rang from the inhuman beauties around him, and set the hounds to
“My women ride, the spring is newborn and hungry this evening, and I am love.
If you would play stag in these woods, little man, you will need more than rage.
You will need Hoof and Horn!”
Her voice echoed strangely and the women began circling and chanting, “Hoof
and Horn, hunt till the morn!”
Over and over they chanted and circled until
Andrew fell down, confused and burning.
His hands and feet merged into stags
split hooves, and proud antlers sprung from his brow.
With a shout Andrew sprang
from the circle and burst down the trail, desperately fleeing the spears of the
women, and fangs of the hounds.
On through the forest Andrew bounded, his muscles bunching and stretching
with effortless power.
All the rage of frustrated love burned within him, and he
fed on the thunder of his blood, growing in power and rage with every bound.
Soon his pride and power could not abide the chasing hounds, and he spun at bay.
Flicking his antlers left and right, he smashed two hounds
against the looming
trees, and spun with his hoof to catch the hamstringing third. He charged among
the hounds with the fury of his frustration
and humiliation, reclaiming his
manhood in fury and blood. At last he stood at bay in the clearing, the living
hounds slinking behind their mistresses.
“The stag is come!” shouted the golden goddess on her gleaming boar.
“Come to me!” she called, throwing off her cloak and shining in naked glory
Maddened with rage and lust, Andrew lunged. In a cat-like move, the boar
danced aside, and Andrew’s proud antlers
became stuck in the tree, with his legs
raised in the air in his aborted lunge at the naked rider.
One by one the circling ladies cut at him shallowly with their lances as they
passed. Roaring his rage, Andrew wept,
once again tricked and humiliated by
women, he waited for the final thrust that would end his pain.
One by one the maidens slipped from their gowns and from their horses.
Trailing fingers in the wounds they dealt him,
they stroked his strong thighs
and heaving chest. With burning kisses and lightning touches they transformed
and enflamed him
until he stood, a naked man, blooded but unwounded, crowned
with a proud stag's crown.
Down they pulled him to the earth, and the golden goddess brought him low
with a single kiss.
She whispered to his fevered ears in tones of honeyed fire,
“Love is death and rebirth, love is pain and healing, love is forgetting and
forgiving, love is my gift and my worship both.”
With a cry she mounted him, with a cry he answered. With laughing maidens
kissing and caressing,
he did as stag’s duty, and knew a man’s healing. As the
night ended, and twilight again lit the trees,
Andrew cried at last, and let go
his rage. He whispered her name softly, and she smiled.
Freya stood with her elfin maids, and looked down at her lover, her prey, and
“You will know a long hunt, my stag, before you
find your mate.
Run you as hard for her as you ran from me, and you may yet find her.
Fight half as
hard to get her as to flee me, and you may win her. Love her just as fierce as
me, and you will please her.”
Dawn found Andrew standing by the Faery ring. He looked down on the Champagne bottle
he had thrown to the ground;
thougthfully he picked it up. Dropping to his knees, he also retrieved the
cork and wire from the green ground, and other bits of garbage.
Finally standing up and stepping away, he made one last heartfelt, if clumsy, bow
to the now unseen powers he had known.
a smile he turned and walked into the dawn and his future, whistling a love song.
John T Mainer
This work by John T Mainer is licensed
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives License.
Press of the
Heathen Freehold Society of BC:
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