A couple find that their genders have been switched

I drifted between sleep and wakefulness. My skin was
dotted with sweat, and the sweat smelled of rum. I was
dreaming drunken dreams in the sultry morning humidity.
It was that hour before dawn when the human beast is at
his weakest; when most people take their last breath;
when magic happens.

One minute I was there, semi-aware of my skin soaking
the cotton sheets, and the next…

*Elsewhen, Elsewhere*

The next minute, I was standing and awake, my familiar
bedroom nowhere to be seen. I was naked – I always sleep
naked – and I was surrounded by a thick mist. I couldn’t
see what kind of a room I was in, but my feet were
telling me the floor was like fine carpeting. I looked
around, but everything seemed indistinct, save for what
I could see of myself. My mind was strangely
unquestioning.

Another figure slowly appeared out of the mist. A woman,
with chestnut hair down to her shoulders, wearing
something white. She came closer, until I could see her
face. Blue eyes, lighter and clearer than my own. A
vaguely triangular face that spent a lot of time
smiling. A pert nose and a mouth surely made for
kissing… I knew her. In fact, I worked for her.

Laura McAllister, my boss at Lifeline, whom I’d taken my
leave of mere hours before, when I left the office’s New
Year bash. It looked like she’d been snatched from her
bed, too, because she was wearing a t-shirt with a teddy
bear motif, bikini panties, and nothing else. She had
great legs, I noticed.

‘George? Is that you?’ she asked. Then she saw that I
was unclad, and turned her head away, embarrassed. I
figured that this had to be a dream, so I kept right on
leering at her. There was definitely an attraction
between us. She was a divorcee; so was I, only it wasn’t
yet official. We’d spent some time at the party gently
flirting with each other, but I didn’t want to shit in
my own nest by dating my boss, and I figured she was too
professional to get involved with a subordinate.
Flirting could be a lot of fun, though. No big surprise
that I might dream about her.

Then the fairy appeared. Well, I didn’t know what else
to call it – call her. She looked female, I thought.
About three feet tall, in proportion like a scale model
adult, hovering in the air on little gossamer wings,
doing little dances and aerobatics in miniature, perfect
grace.

Fascinated, I edged closer to her. She had short red
hair, straight, with a ragged fringe, albino-pale skin,
and eyes… oversized, clear, lovely pools with violet
irises. She seemed naked, I could see no garment on her,
but she had no visible nipples or genitalia. It was as
though the female form was only a coat she was
wearing… not her real body. She actually had two pairs
of insect-like wings attached to her back.

I closed my eyes, and laughed. ‘Cool dream… I’m never
going to mix OP rum and red wine again!’

Then the fairy spoke. ‘I am Moire. My gift is to control
the form of flesh… and you, my Chosen… your stench
offends me.’ She performed a swift, intricate aerial
dance, and I felt something strange, as if my kidneys
had jumped out of my body and were cleansing me from the
outside. There was no pain, just that weird feeling, and
when it was over, I felt clean. Clean and sober.

‘Whoa’, I reacted, ‘Instant hangover cure. If you could
bottle that you’d make a fortune.’

Moire didn’t seem amused. She flew closer to Laura,
executed an Immelmann and a pirouette, and addressed
her. ‘Approach him’, she said. ‘Look at him. And be
still.’ Commands. It seemed ludicrous. Laura was an inch
taller than myself. She could have plucked the little
fairy out of the sky with ease. Instead, she walked
towards me, her eyes locked on my torso. A skitter of
fear ran down my spine as I saw the almost pained
expression on her face.

‘George, I’m frightened. I don’t want to do this, but…
I can’t seem to stop myself.’

‘Don’t worry about it’, I replied, my voice deliberately
light. ‘It’s only a dream. We know it’s a dream, so
we’re about to wake up. You’ll laugh about it soon.’ I
hoped.

There was a sound like the tinkling of tiny bells.
Eventually I twigged that this was Moire’s laughter.
‘This is no dream. It is far more real than your own
world. Accept your fate, my Chosen. It will not be
unpleasant.’

That was twice she’d called me Chosen, and she hadn’t
addressed Laura by name at all. Something to keep in
mind. I didn’t have long to think about it though, as
Moire dashed up in a zoom climb, turned back down in a
split-s, and turned her commanding tone on me. ‘Tear
those ridiculous garments off her body.’ Just like that.

I knew she’d tell me to do something, and I was tensed,
prepared to resist. I didn’t know what to expect, but
I’d envisaged some kind of battle of wills, something I
could at least fight, if not defeat. I couldn’t have
been more wrong. My limbs started moving of their own
volition. I was trying to call them back, but it was
like she had a direct link to my central nervous system,
and my brain was disconnected from my body. She had
control, I didn’t, and that was that.

Laura looked terrified as my hands clutched at her
shirt. ‘I’m sorry’, I said, ‘I can’t help it.’ The cold,
sick horror of it sank in the pit of my stomach. I’d
been robbed of my free will… no, that wasn’t quite
right. I could still think, and even still talk. I just
couldn’t act.

I could still think. My mind started to race furiously.
How specific were Moire’s commands? Did I have any room
to move?

I was having trouble tearing the shirt. My hands reached
to the seam at the left armpit, and tore at it. Laura
was sobbing. ‘Don’t move’, I begged her, ‘I might hurt
you by mistake.’ The seam was giving. The shirt was
beginning to tear. I looked down at my legs. Could I
move them at all?

I tried to make my left leg fold underneath me, lose my
balance and fall. No dice. It wouldn’t move. Then I
tried something less ambitious. I swiveled my foot about
ten degrees. Success! Did that mean gradual movements
were possible?

I had to figure this out more quickly. I’d finally
started a tear in the fabric of Laura’s shirt. I watched
helplessly as a stranger’s arms tore the shirt to
pieces. Then my knees flexed, as they would not before,
and my hands reached for the panties. If I could turn
just one hand slightly… but no. I couldn’t command
them at all.

Laura was pleading now for me not to do this. All I
could do was apologise. She yelped with pain as I tore
the panties off. My task complete, I stood again, and
realised at once that it had been my idea to do so. If
she made no command… after I’d completed her last
command… my body was mine to control. File it away.

There are about fifty old Star Trek episodes where Kirk
and Co. are captured by godlike aliens, and they’re all
the friggin’ same. Kirk’s playing for his life, he’s
holding a busted flush, and he bluffs like crazy, hoping
to at least find out something about his captors that he
could turn to his advantage later. It seemed like a
plan, and what else did I have?

I turned away from Laura, who was still paralysed, to
confront Moire. ‘I know what you’re planning. You want
me to rape her, don’t you? For your own twisted
amusement. In fact, you want to rape us both.’

Her voice was softly mocking. ‘What I want is for you to
love your woman. You won’t admit it, but you want her.’

I shook my head. ‘Not like this.’

‘Then do not resist me. She wants you, too. Why do you
mortal mayflies spend so much of your meagre spans
denying yourselves? Love her. You will attain your
desire, and amuse me at the same time.’

‘No.’

‘Then I will force you. Do not bring me to anger. I
could easily make you kill her.’

‘You can force me, I know. But I can still fight. I’ll
try anything I can think of to thwart you. I will find a
way, somehow. I will harm myself before I harm her.’

Moire had, almost, a respectful expression. ‘Let me show
you what I mean when I say that I control the form of
flesh.’ She paused to think, then started her aerial
ballet again. ‘Turn to face her. Then cease all
movement.’

I had to obey. There was absolutely nothing ambiguous
about that order.

‘Both of you. Look at each other.’

There came a kind of shimmer in the air. Laura’s body
became slightly indistinct. Her skin was starting to
move and flow as I stared in open- mouthed horror.

She was changing, and so was I.

She became larger overall. Her shoulders and arms became
larger, while her hips shrank. Hair started appearing
where none was before. Her breasts shrank, then
flattened completely. A penis was growing rapidly from
her loins. She was changing from a lovely woman to a
handsome man.

I couldn’t see myself, but I could feel many changes in
my own body. The first thing I noticed was my skin
becoming more sensitive. My hair was tumbling down to my
shoulders. I felt physically weaker. My equilibrium
changed, so I knew my body’s shape was changing. I could
feel my new breasts pulling at my chest.

Then the emotional rush hit me. I had a woman’s body,
and that came with a completely different balance of
hormones. My mind, on an intellectual level, was still
me; but my body was trying to shout that it was someone
else. I feared I was going to go mad. Desperately, just
for the sake of something to think, I mused that I
wasn’t Captain Kirk after all… I was the poor bastard
in the red shirt who gets to demonstrate how the monster
works by getting himself killed.

I could see that Laura now had an erection. God help me,
my own body was responding to the sight! It was like a
warm glow, spreading from my belly through all of my new
body. Was this the way it was for women? It felt…
good.

Laura was fully transformed. Her… his erection was…
big. Bigger than mine ever was. I was very, very
frightened. In fact, and I’m ashamed to admit it, I was
on the verge of panic. I was biting my tongue to avoid
screaming, and tears were running down my cheeks. Laura
was licking her/his lips absently. Moire must have seen
this; she laughed, and told Laura s/he could move
freely. Laura started to slowly approach me, and I was
still completely unable to move.

‘Don’t,’ I pleaded. ‘Please, Laura!’ I was shocked by
the sound of my own voice, a smoky, sexy mezzo-soprano.
Then I heard Laura’s new voice – a quiet, low baritone –
and something warm and moist started happening to me.

‘How… how do you deal with it, George? Is it like this
all the time for men? The urge… is so strong… and
you’re… so beautiful.’

Beautiful? Me? The sheer absurdity of the idea helped me
to concentrate. I found I was able to speak. ‘The urge
is strong, but you’re stronger. Remember who you really
are. You are Laura McAllister, and you don’t have to do
this.’

Big fat hope. I didn’t believe it myself, so how could I
expect him to? He was going to stick that thing in me,
and when he did, there’d be nothing left of my identity.
I was terrified. I could feel my grip on sanity
loosening.

Then he touched me. A hand on my cheek, the other in my
hair, and oh lord, it felt so good. He towered over me,
but he was gentle, and I almost let go, and the only
thing that saved me was that thing of his poking me in
the belly. The fear returned, and it cleared my head,
and I decided it was better to bend than to break.

‘Moire’, I called, ‘I’ll be good. I’ll do as you ask.
Willingly. Change us back… please… and I’ll love her
for you.’ I was sobbing. ‘Please… I’m begging you. I
can’t…’

When it happened, it surprised both Moire and me.
Laura’s face darkened, his teeth bared, and his hand
moved quicker than I could see, and there was a red
explosion in my face, and I fell to the floor, such as
it was.

I was curled up in a fetal position, trying to deal with
the wave of pain from my cheek, and the blood from where
my teeth had betrayed me, tearing the soft flesh. I
couldn’t see. I was crying like a baby. I could move
again, but I was no less helpless than before. Laura
could break my neck like a twig with that new body, if
he’d a mind to. I was sure he did have a mind to.

I waited for the end. Such a stupid, worthless, hopeless
way to die.

The despair that was running through my veins like
poisoned blood lasted only as long as it took for me to
realise that Laura wasn’t going to hit me again. It was
quickly replaced by shame and self-loathing. Where the
hell were my balls, I asked myself, lying here waiting
to be beaten? Then I thought about what I’d said… and
I actually started to giggle.

Enough. I had to get to my feet. I had to act, rather
than just think, for that way lay madness. I rose, and
blinked the tears out of my eyes.

There was Laura, now a big strong man, with his hands up
over his mouth in a very feminine expression of shock.
His erection was gone, but the damn thing was still a
monster, even on the slack. I was envious.

‘George, I’m so sorry! I… I wanted to… and then it
was like you’d rejected me, and I just kind of… oh
God, it’s just so… hard. Look how I’ve hurt you. Your
poor face… I’m a …’

I rushed to him, and took one of his hands between mine.
‘It’s not your fault. You weren’t in your right mind.’ I
kissed his hand to try to show that I forgave him, and
left a bloody smear on his fingers. ‘It really isn’t
your fault’, I repeated. ‘Think about it… you’ve been
a woman all your life, and now, suddenly, you’re flooded
with male hormones. Umm… lots of male hormones,
judging from your… build. And no years of learning to
deal with it, like I had. No wonder you lost control.
But you got your control back… thank God for that. Are
you all right now?’

‘Am… am *I* all right? Ohh, George… how can you be
so… so…’

We were interrupted by the sound of Moire’s voice from
beside us.

‘I trust that you both understand the point of the
lesson.’ And with that, and another of her little ballet
routines, we got our own bodies back. I raised my hand
to my mouth. It was intact. I felt a chemical wave of
strength and confidence suffusing me, and that made me
brave enough to face Moire again.

‘Is there any way I can persuade you to leave Laura
alone? I know that I’m the one you want to torment.
Well, you can. I can’t stop you. If you send her back…
I’ll… cooperate with you. Please.’

‘Why do you persist with this?’ Moire’s expression
darkened. What is she to you, to make you risk your
all?’

‘I… I care about her. I don’t want to see her suffer.
I…’

A warm hand touched my own. Another hand gripped my
shoulder and turned me around. Laura embraced me, and
pressed her soft, warm breasts against my chest. Her
eyes threatened to brim over with tears. Her lips were
parted. ‘What are you doing?’ I asked.

‘Saving your life. Both our lives.’ Then she kissed me.
Her tongue slipped between my lips. It was a promise.
She drew her face away and spoke again. ‘You’re a good,
decent man, and I love you for trying, but… stop
trying. Let’s give her what she wants.’

She kissed me again, harder, deeper, and things started
happening in my body. Familiar, masculine things. Things
that made me want to rejoice that I had my old body back
and that it still worked. Things that made me want to
celebrate this woman who was wiser than I. Of course she
was right. We were in a hopeless position, being unable
to resist the little voyeur-pixie, and having nothing to
bargain with, and it was only my pig-headed refusal to
compromise on principle that had kept me fighting for
this long. It was time to surrender. To each other.

Slowly we sank to the floor of this odd place. Its
texture was fine and soft, like the finest lawn… like
lying on a putting green. It had enough give in it to
make us comfortable when we lay upon it. Laura had
initiated this, but she lay back, passively inviting me
to sample her buffet of feminine charms, her eyes closed
and a half-smile on her lips.

Propped up on one elbow beside her, I ran a hand through
the luxurious thickness of her chestnut hair while I
placed a tender kiss on each of her eyelids. My
fingertips brushed her face, running down the contours
like a blind man’s would. One finger traced down over
her full, crimson lips – she’d never need lipstick – and
as it parted them, she moved her head forward a fraction
and trapped my finger between her teeth. Her tongue
touched my finger for a second before she released me.
Another promise.

My freed finger splayed her lips apart as I moved my
face to hers and kissed her again, slowly exploring her
mouth with my tongue. Sliding over her own tongue,
playing and exploring, with the intimate contact sending
surges of blood and power through my body, preparing it
for the passionate contest to come.

I ended the kiss, panting. My hands started moving
again, along the base of her ribcage, my palms moving
under her firm, medium-sized breasts. She was a good few
years younger than I, and in better shape. Her skin was
taut under my hands. Her own fingers had found my
scrotum, and she was absently playing with it.

‘I want you to know,’ she started, ‘that I want to do
this. Not because of… her… but in spite of her.’

I nodded. ‘Me too.’ My heart was full. It was under the
worst possible circumstances… but we’d found each
other. We’d get through this, leave this place, and
then, in our own place and time we would look into each
other’s eyes again. Until that very moment, I didn’t
believe in love at first sight. Maybe it was just that
I’d never looked hard enough before.

‘Touch me’, she implored. I knew exactly what she meant.
Whatever light source illuminated this strange place was
enough for me to see the dew of arousal beginning to
show in Laura’s pubic thatch. My hand moved to it, and
stroking, encouraged it further. With every little
stroke, every little probe, she muttered and groaned,
adding fuel to my desire. For several minutes I
continued to touch her, learning the mysteries of her
secret garden, and she slowly rocked and moved under my
fingers. She was moist now. The hand I wasn’t using to
explore her sex was on a roving commission around her
body. This hand was stroking an erect-nippled breast
when she shook all over and gasped.

‘Did you…?’ I asked.

She smiled. ‘A little one’, she replied. ‘Are you
ready?’ she asked, and moved her legs into a welcoming
posture. By way of answer, I propped myself above her
and allowed her to take hold of my erect cock and guide
it into her. I entered her slowly, savouring every
little bit of this sweet invasion.

Once I was all the way in, I paused, feeling her all
around me, and let myself fall slowly on to her,
touching skin to skin all along our selves. I kissed her
again, and with our mouths working in concert, I started
thrusting. In this strange, timeless place, we reached
for our moment, and found it, and I know that when we
were finished, at least one of us had tears in his eyes.

We looked at each other, smiled, and rose to our feet. I
took her hand in my own like it was the most natural
thing in the world.

Moire was there. I questioned her silently with my eyes.

She spoke, and I was sure some of her imperiousness was
gone. ‘Your part in this is now over, Laura’, she said.
‘It is time for you to return to your own world. You
will remember this only as a fleeting dream.’

Laura was rocked by this statement. ‘May… may I speak
to George for a moment before I go?’ she asked. Moire
nodded. ‘Be quick.’

I burned the location of Moire into my memory before I
turned to Laura. ‘I’ll be fine, sweetheart… don’t
worry. Go before she changes her mind.’

‘George’, she answered, ‘If you come out of this okay…
and you remember what happened… come and get me. Be
direct… be firm… and don’t take no for an answer. I
like that… but I don’t let anyone know it. Please…
if we can, let’s find each other again.’

We embraced, and kissed. Possibly my last kiss, if the
desperate idea I’d conceived didn’t work. I treated it
like my last kiss, in any event.

Take your whole life in your hands and squeeze it into a
ball.

I didn’t want to let her go, but I didn’t want her to
have to stay either. I looked Laura in the eyes and
said, ‘I love you. I’ll come back for you.’

We parted. Laura approached Moire and said ‘I’m ready.’

Moire executed one of her little dances, and the figure
of the woman I loved folded in on itself, becoming a
flat figure, like a cut-out, then just a vertical line,
which shrank to a point, then… nothing.

It looked like that little stunt had wearied Moire; she
lost a little altitude and hovered for a moment about
seven feet from the ground. It was now or never.

Take your whole life in your hands and squeeze it into a
ball. Squeeze damn hard. Bowl your best ball, make it a
wrong ‘un, and hope like hell she doesn’t pick it, ‘cos
you’ll only get one chance.

Moire turned toward me, and was about to say something,
but I’d already leapt toward her. Frantically, she
flapped her wings and tried to evade me, but she was
just a moment too slow. One of my hands found her arm
and seized it. My sheer mass brought her down; her
little wings couldn’t support us both.

If I was right, she had to be free to dance her aerial
patterns to work her magic, so if I held on to her, she
was helpless. If I was wrong… there’d be no telling
what she’d do to me. The next seconds would tell the
tale.

She struggled, flapped her wings, and wailed a keening
noise of pain. But I was still me. I was feeling
triumphant and mean. So when she begged me to loosen my
grip on her, I told her to shut up or I’d pull her
little wings off. She gasped in horror, and her huge
violet eyes filled with tears. Her voice was tiny as she
said, ‘You may as well tear me limb from limb. It would
kill me just as surely.’

And then the past hit me between the eyes, as I
remembered the most shameful thing I’d ever done. As a
small boy, I had once trapped a small bird – a sparrow –
in the garage and battered it half to death. Just one of
those things that curious small boys do. Life was such a
mystery that I had to try to explore the other side of
it.

I realised that the bird was in terrible pain, that I’d
maimed it, and I hated myself so much that I was sick.
Then my father found out, and he forced me to put the
bird out of its misery by killing it. It just may have
been the most valuable lesson he ever gave me – that
actions have consequences, and that a thinking human
being should accept responsibility for his actions.

The vicious little sadist that I always knew was lurking
under the surface of my soul had come out. I was ashamed
of myself. But I couldn’t let her go; I was sure she’d
destroy me if I did. I looked at her, and I could see
awful bruises under my fingers. I was sickened by them.

As I was debating my next move, there came a shimmering
light in the air not ten feet away from me. A sort of
hole started to appear in the very air, and a second
fairy stepped through it. This one resembled Moire
somewhat, but had an altogether different air about her.
While she wore no badge or other mark of station, she
was undeniably regal in her bearing.

‘I would appreciate it, sir, if you would unhand my
daughter.’

Out of the frying pan. Into the blast furnace.

My problem is that I think quickly and I have a lot of
imagination. Usually, I count these things as strengths;
but, at that moment, they were definitely liabilities.
Had I been slower-witted, the prospect of immediate
death might have been easier to deal with.

As it was, I could feel despair clutching at me with icy
fingers. I was going to die, of that I was certain. I
still had my grip locked on Moire, but the second fairy,
who identified herself as Moire’s mother, no less, was
free to act. Moire was capable of transforming my body
from male to female, so a little feat like, say,
pulverizing my heart inside my chest would be no
problem. Like I implied, I have too much imagination.

I had threatened Moire with dismemberment. I therefore
had two chances of survival – none and Buckley’s.

Never again would I walk along a beach in the middle of
a hot summer night and feel the water lapping at my
toes. Never again would I taste really good ice cream,
the kind made with buttermilk. I promised Laura that I’d
come back for her, and now I never would. I’d never get
to look into her eyes and tell her I love her all over
again.

I would never, ever see my unborn child’s face.

Linda would come to term and give birth wondering what
had ever happened to me. The world would keep on
turning. People would go about their lives. Life would
go on.

Without me.

Oh, God, being alive was so sweet. So damn sweet that I
couldn’t bear the thought of losing it. It was only some
scintilla of pride that stopped me from prostrating
myself and begging for mercy.

I released Moire. What did it matter anymore? I’d taken
my best shot, but it wasn’t enough. I wanted to crawl
into my shell and give up. I had lost. Everything.

But somehow, near the very bottom of my plunge, I found
the words I needed to stop it.

To give in to despair is the greatest betrayal of all.
Betrayal of self. All men die in their time, and it
isn’t the when, it’s the how one dies that matters. And
a man with nothing left to lose has absolutely nothing
left to fear.

I think I lost it a little at that point, because I was
sure I had a fierce grin on my face when I faced the two
of them and dared them to do their worst.

The elder fairy turned to Moire and said, ‘Do you see?
He knows. He knows what all warriors come to know. He
knows now what the Thunderer knew when he faced the
Serpent. You chose well, daughter.’

Moire looked devastated. ‘It has come to naught. He has
escaped me. All has come to ruin.’

I was still alive. It made me bold. ‘Talk to me, not
about me. Tell me what’s going on.’

Moire was reduced to a near whisper as she replied, ‘You
had me at your mercy. Then you released me. By our laws,
I have no power over you now. And so, my life is almost
over.’

Over?

I turned to the elder fairy. ‘So what’s stopping you…
I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name.’ Not bad going,
insolent and courteous at the same time.

She actually favoured me with a warm smile. ‘I am
Clodagh. And I have no interest in harming you, or
coercing you.’

I didn’t understand what was going on, but I did
understand that I wasn’t going to die after all.
Suddenly my strength deserted me and I wanted to sit
down. I drew my knees up in front of me and leant my
forehead on them, shaking. I was going to live.

After a moment or two I stood up and approached Moire.
She wasn’t afraid of me, but she seemed gripped by
despair. I shouldn’t have done it – not after what she’d
done – but I was euphoric and I felt generous. I took
her hand between thumb and finger. I said, ‘I’m sorry I
hurt you. I wish I could make it better.’

Before my eyes, the black bruises retreated, shrank, and
finally disappeared. I couldn’t quite believe it.
‘Did… I do that?’ I asked.

Clodagh answered, ‘In this place, honest desire is very
powerful.

You wished her less pain, so it came to pass.’

Moire chose that moment to turn on her mother. ‘Why did
you tell him to release me? You have doomed me.’

Clodagh shook her head. ‘Daughter, it was over as soon
as he seized you. From there, he could only slay you or
release you. Do not blame me for preferring you alive.’
She waited a moment, pondering, then continued.
‘Besides, your doom is far from certain.’

I’d had enough of trying to glean meaning from this
babble, and I told them so.

Clodagh nodded. ‘Yes, you deserve to know the whole
story. Perhaps you should get comfortable.’

I sank to the floor again. Clodagh gestured, and a
portion of it formed into a shape somewhat like a chair.
Pretty neat trick. I sat.

Clodagh started speaking. ‘When I was young your
ancestors lived in caves. Moire is younger, but is still
over a thousand of your years old. There are few of us
left, since the great bargain was struck and magic left
your world, and those that remain need men such as you
to sustain our lives. We are immortal… but immortality
has always come at a price.’

‘Men such as me? Do you mean any men? Or particular
ones?’

‘The latter. Your mother’s bloodline is very strong.
Your forebears were men and women of power… druids,
skalds, warrior poets. Kings. Your blood has the
potential for magic. Not in your own world, not any
more, but here… very much so. Your healing of Moire
simply proved that.’

I didn’t understand any of it, so I decided to tackle
one question at a time. ‘So why did you drag Laura here?
Why did you treat us so cruelly? What was the purpose?’

Moire replied. ‘I had to provoke strong emotions from
you in order to find out if you were suitable to sustain
me. I brought Laura here because I had to taste the
colour of your ecstacy.’

‘And was I… suitable?’

‘Yes. Quite. The mere taste that I received extended my
life by over a year.’

‘And if I hadn’t been suitable?’

‘That is why so few of us remain. I have been watching
you all your life. I chose you before your birth. Had
you turned out to be petty, selfish, vain or cowardly, I
would not have been able to sustain myself from you. And
so, in a few of your years – a blink of the eye to such
as we – I would have passed on. As… I will pass on.’

I jumped to the wrong conclusion. ‘So you sacrifice men
to extend your own lives?’

Moire laughed; a bitter, ironic bark. ‘You have not been
listening.

When you were with your woman, did I say I tasted your
blood?

No. Your flesh? No. What did I say I tasted?’

‘My… ecstacy?’

‘Correct. The energy that you liberate at the peak of
your pleasure.’

‘You feed… on orgasm? That’s the source of your
immortality?’

‘Correct again.’

‘I’m sorry’, I said, ‘but that doesn’t make sense. You
couldn’t derive enough energy to live for a day from one
sexual act, let alone a year or more.’

Moire was looking frustrated and annoyed. Clodagh flew
near me and tried to explain.

‘Our realm does not work on the same principles as
yours. Your paradigm – your “laws of physics” – is
egalitarian in nature. Your natural laws affect everyone
the same way, and so they are filled with limiting
factors, like your quaint ideas about “conservation of
energy.” We work by different rules, and since we don’t
have a decade to instruct you, please merely accept the
truth of what I say.’

‘What does it matter?’ Moire snapped. ‘Enough of this.
We should send him back to his world, and I should waste
no more of my last days.’

The silent tableau lasted for a long moment. I stood
again, and looked at the two of them. Moire’s face was
the image of despair. Clodagh, by way of contrast,
showed only patient expectation.

Perhaps she knew what was going through my mind.

I knew what Moire was feeling. I’d felt it all myself,
all too recently. Maybe I was the world’s biggest
sucker, or maybe I was just curious; or maybe I felt
compassion for her, or maybe it was just that I believed
in life. Whatever it was, I turned to her and said,
‘What do I need to do to… sustain you?’

The look on Moire’s face was worth the price of
admission. I’d cracked her cool facade and put a look of
astonished surprise there. ‘Do you really mean that?
But… why?’

I’d had a moment more to think about why, and I told her
what I’d concluded. ‘Because my world is a little bit
more wonderful now that I know such creatures as you
exist. It would sadden me, now, to know you were going
to die and that I could have prevented it. Having said
that… this isn’t going to kill me or anything, right?’

I thought I saw tears starting from her eyes. She shook
her head and said, ‘No. It won’t kill you. There is some
danger if I am careless, but… I will ensure you are
not harmed. I… thank you.’

She landed a dozen steps away from me. Then she started
to change… to swell. Her little wings vanished and she
grew ito the size and shape of a woman. A human woman.
And not just anyone.

Moire had become a perfect copy of Laura. She asked,
‘Does this form please you? Or would you prefer
another?’ She stepped slowly toward me, and as she did,
her features and form flowed like quicksilver.

She became Linda. Then Angela. Then Jane. Each one a
woman that I’d loved, some with my heart, all with my
body, all within the last few months. What’s the male
version of ‘slut’? Whatever it was, I guess I was it. My
heart was doing little flips in my chest… and then she
changed again, and I felt pierced to my core.

Standing there, staring me in the face, and stark naked,
was Kate. My wife of eight years, who walked out six
months ago. I clenched my eyes tight and said, ‘No. Not
her. It’s too hard to look on her.’ I waited a moment
and then opened my eyes again, and the face I saw was
Moire’s own; a little rounder, the features a little
softer. It was Moire as a human being. I looked upon her
and decided that drowning in those huge violet eyes
wouldn’t be such a bad way to go.

I looked down, and saw that Moire had adopted a body
that was like my ideal female form. Her hair, still red,
was down to her shoulders. Her neck was longish and
fine. She was petite. Her breasts were firm, large-
nippled handfuls, her waist small, her buttocks tight
and muscular, her legs slim, her pubic mound hairless.
In short, she was purpose-built, quite literally, to
derive arousal from me. In turn, my body was telling her
just how successful she was in her ambition.

She looked on my erection and smiled, then turned to
Clodagh. ‘Mother’, she asked, ‘I cannot fly in this
form. Would you prepare my Chosen?’ She then turned back
to me and said, ‘This won’t harm you. It’s just a
necessary change to your body.’

Clodagh did her own little dance while I looked down on
myself to see what the result would be. I wondered
briefly. A bigger dick? Or maybe a set of washboard abs?
Then I realised that the elder fairy had finished her
dance, and that it appeared that nothing had changed,
except that I had a curiously warm feeling in my lower
abdomen. My erection felt stronger than ever, so I
supposed it had something to do with that.

I looked at Moire. I wanted to take her immediately. She
said as if in answer, ‘Many times, my Chosen. As many
times as we possibly can. The more of your seed that I
can cajole from you, the longer I will be sustained.’

It sounded like a program to me. I took her face in my
hands and kissed her, deeply and long. It lasted for a
minute or so, then she pulled away, grinned, and slowly
brought herself down to her knees. She grasped my cock
in one hand and started to move her fingers along the
length of it.

She knew just exactly how to apply the right amount of
pressure with her fingers; it was feeling very good
indeed. Then she opened her mouth and engulfed me. Her
lips closed on the shaft, applying gentle, tantalizing
suction, and her tongue slid on the underside of it.

I breathed in deeply, sharply. I was getting a blowjob
from out of some carnal legend of antiquity. For a
creature that went around most of the time without any
genitalia, Moire was an utterly superb fellatrix. I
started to groan. She was deep-throating me, those lips
of hers right up against my pelvic bone.

I wanted this to last so badly; hell, I wanted a movie
of it I could take home to keep me warm on lonely
nights; but I wasn’t getting either. Moire was
determined to make me cum. She was slurping and sucking
along the length of my shaft, back and forth, adding a
little extra suction when her lips met my glans.

She must have tasted the precursor to ejaculation coming
from me, because I could swear she was purring as I
panted. She started sucking just on the end, and fisting
the length of my shaft, pumping as she sucked. I closed
my eyes and let go, crying out inarticulately in utter
pleasure. While I came, she kept me in her mouth,
drinking up every last spurt of my seed. I was almost
sobbing as she licked me clean and finally withdrew her
mouth from my cock. Then she winked, grinned, and
swallowed my load. As she swallowed, she shuddered as if
having an orgasm herself.

‘Mmm’, she breathed, ‘Your ecstacy is so… pure.’

I didn’t answer. I couldn’t. I was still reeling.

‘Ohhh’, she continued, ‘It feels so good. It is the
feeling of being charged with life… so good.’ She was
practically glowing with vitality.

‘I bet you say that to all the guys’, I replied. She
shook her head.

‘No. It is seldom, if ever, as good as this. I did
indeed choose wisely. I wish there was some way I could
properly reward you.’

Was she joking, or what? I was about to ask her when the
odd feeling came over me. My body was acting strangely.
I could still feel the familiar post-coital tingle in my
loins, but there was something else.

I could have sworn that I was ready to ejaculate again,
as much as before. I could feel – almost hear – my
prostate filling up. I couldn’t decide if it was
exciting or frightening, so I compromised by laughing
nervously. It seemed that Moire was going to get her
money’s worth- and then some.

Then I was distracted again by Clodagh, flying near me.
‘There is something I can do to express a mother’s
gratitude’, she started. ‘I can only have very slight
influence on your world, but there is something I can
affect.’ She paused, seeking my attention, and then
realising she had it, she continued. ‘Your friend
carries your unborn daughter in her womb.’

Linda. She was talking about Linda. My… daughter?

‘Your child is unformed, and able to be affected by my
influence. I give her my blessing, and this is no small
thing. Your child shall have beauty, grace and wit. She
will be healthy and strong, and take the best aspects of
both her parents.’

‘In other words’, I said, ‘she’ll be the image of her
mother.’ We looked on each other. Our eyes met, we both
grinned, and I knew that Clodagh was as good as her
word. Then I fully realised the value of her gift, and I
breathed, ‘Thank you.’

‘It is I who thank you, O man, and now I will take my
leave of you both. Look after him, my child, and
farewell.’

Then she was gone.

***

Moire was on her hands and knees, urging me on with
obscene and inventive imprecations learned who knows
where as I fucked her roughly, dog-fashion. Need I say,
her pussy felt incredibly silky, moist and tight? Of
course it did! I knew by know that she could read my
mind, or at least the part concerned with desire, so
everything about her was perfectly made to satisfy me.
Her knowledge of me and her shape-shifting ability made
it so.

She wasn’t much for foreplay, though. She wanted sex,
pure and simple, and she wasn’t much concerned about how
long each act took. I laughed to myself. She was using
me. Boo hoo, my feelings were hurt. Like hell. I was a
male slut and loving it.

I grasped her hips harder, and thrust hard and deep into
her, making us both gasp. I went faster, knowing I was
near to orgasm, and whispered to her, ‘How do you like
that, you horny little bitch?’

She responded in kind. ‘Yesss… fuck me harder… oh!
yes, HARDER, you fucking bastard, cum in me… cum in
me… now.’

Sure enough, on the word ‘now’, I came inside her with a
tremendous surge. I shouted, cursed, and shook as I
spewed my load into her. She shrieked with her own
pleasure, which was, I was sure, not your actual orgasm
but instead, the feeling of being fed new life.

I stayed inside her for a minute or so after my orgasm;
then we separated and lay near each other. I held her,
and once again I could feel that my body was ready to go
another round.

‘You swear like a sailor’, I said, pleased. I liked
women who were ‘verbal’ in bed. ‘I suppose you learn a
few things in a thousand years.’

‘My Chosen, it all comes from you. From that
delightfully obscene, inventive mind of yours, where I
can see so many pleasures you wish to explore with me.’

Uh-oh. Busted. Up till then I was strictly ‘MF, Cons’,
but, after all, Moire wasn’t human, so what we were
doing was, strictly speaking , bestiality. So, I’d blown
it already. Why not get some more ‘story codes’ into the
mix? Why not indeed. It wasn’t like there were going to
be any hurt feelings or other consequences, after all.

I held her down, her back to me, and wet a finger with
saliva. I probed her anus, and said, ‘This might hurt’,
in a mock-menacing tone. She squealed in anticipation.

***

Well, it went on for quite a while. I took her anally.
Curious to see if she was fully functional, I ate her
bald pussy, to find that she was quite satisfactorily
orgasmic. I lay back and let her ride me. We screwed
standing up, sitting down, and lying down. I stopped
counting after the first ten ejaculations, and I was
going just as strong as I was before the first.

I was a perpetual motion sex machine, the envy of porn
stars everywhere; no fatigue, no soreness, no limit to
the semen supply. I had no real feeling for Moire, not
love like I had for Laura, at least, but that was okay.
From fearing and hating Moire, I’d come to like her.
She’d only been trying to survive, like we all do, and
it was quite pleasant after all.

The only disturbing thing was that the tingling feeling
in my loins was building with each new orgasm, and that
my chest seemed to be getting a little tight; not
physically, you understand, but emotionally. It wasn’t
unbearable, or even unpleasant yet, but it was different
to my normal experience. I had to keep an eye on it.

I decided I wanted to make Moire helpless and tantalize
her body, but the landscape, of course, was devoid of
anything I could use. Once again, Moire answered my
unspoken question. ‘Remember what you did before to heal
me’, she said. ‘In this place, your blood gives you
power.’

‘So,’ I answered, ‘if I desire something enough, I’ll
get it?’

She nodded. ‘Try.’

I closed my eyes and imagined what I wanted. The picture
in my mind’s eye took shape and form. After a moment, I
opened my eyes. Several lengths of what appeared to be
raw silk were there for me, as well as a convenient,
sturdy tree.

Too cool. I bound the smiling Moire to the tree,
blindfolded her, and teased her mercilessly until she
screamed her release.

***

We’d gone another round or so, and then Moire decided
that turnabout was fair play. The tree and the silk
bindings were still there, so she tied me to the tree
just as I’d tied her.

She’d done a good job with the blindfold. I couldn’t see
a thing, and it wasn’t for want of trying. Something was
happening… it was like a feathery touch along the
length of my cock. It wasn’t her fingers, and it wasn’t
her tongue. It was tentative, then insistent, teasing,
then gripping. The texture of it didn’t change… it was
still that odd, feathery sensation. Whatever it was, it
was going to bring me off again quickly. The many
orgasms I’d had had done nothing to reduce my
sensitivity; if anything, that had increased instead.

This was driving me nuts. My curiosity was getting the
better of me.

‘Moire’, I called, ‘I want to see what you’re doing,
babe. Take the blindfold off me, please.’

‘No fucking way’, she laughed.

Okay, Miss Smarty-Bitch, I thought, we’ll just see. I
tried to close myself off to the pleasure running
through me enough to concentrate on making the blindfold
disappear. It wasn’t easy, but I managed it, feeling the
silk vanish off my face, then seeing again.

Moire was still a full sized human, but she had her
wings back, and with her back to me, she was using them
to milk my cock. They were prehensile. She had perfect
control over them, and their tips were caressing me like
the finest fingertips.

To think I’d threatened to tear them off. The sight,
combined with the feeling, and the kink factor, gave me
probably my biggest orgasm of the whole session. I
moaned. I sobbed. I came like a volcano over her wings
and back, making her shudder again in a familiar
paroxysm all her own.

I slumped, only the bindings holding me up. My heart was
palpitating. I was wheezing. My skin was tingling all
over, like pins and needles. I felt like there was a
huge clutching hand in my chest, and emotionally, I was
in turmoil. Obviously, something was very wrong. I
fought to catch my breath.

Moire walked up to me and touched my face. ‘It is time
for you to return, my Chosen. It would be dangerous for
us to continue.’

I didn’t want it to end. I was addicted. And there was
something left for us to do that we hadn’t yet done.

‘Once more’, I asked.

‘I can feel the storm building in your soul, my Chosen.
While I can keep your body able and safe, your inner
self is something I cannot touch. There’s a limit to how
much ecstacy you can feel in a short time before you
just… fray. I owe you too much to let you be harmed
like that.’

‘My name’s George’, I observed. ‘And just how long have
I given you so far?’

She smiled. ‘Centuries. By the time I need further
sustenance, your people may have exterminated
themselves.’

‘So… I’ll never see you again?’

‘Perhaps in your dreams.’

‘Then I’m begging you. One more time. There’s something
that I’m so curious about… something I’ll only ever
get this one chance to experience, and you can do it for
me. Please. You owe me.’

‘Your sense of self is extraordinarily strong. You
should be able to weather one more. But I can’t read
your desire, such is your current state. What do you
want?

‘Can’t you guess? You turned me into a woman before. I
want to know what it’s like. Make me a woman. Then make
love to me.’

‘No. That would be too hazardous to your psyche. You
nearly lost yourself when I did it before, just at the
threat of being penetrated.’

‘That was different’, I argued. ‘I was panicking. I was
about to be raped. I was afraid. Here and now, I’m safe.
I’m comfortable. Please… I just want to know.’

Somehow I talked her into it. She turned back into a
fairy and started flying around, and I felt myself
changing. As I became smaller, the silk bindings reacted
as though alive, keeping me bound tight to the tree.

‘Can… can I see myself?’

Moire gestured, and the mist in front of me turned solid
and reflective, and I could see the damsel in distress
that I’d become.

My hair was the same colour, a very dark brown. My eyes
were the same; a dark, deep blue. Otherwise, I was
unrecognizable. As a man, my looks were average. As a
woman, I was sensational. ‘Is this… what I looked like
before?’ Moire nodded.

No wonder male Laura couldn’t resist me. I looked at
Moire, and saw that she was shifting her own shape. I
gasped as the fairy became Adonis. My new body was
reacting to the sight. I could feel the fist starting to
form in my chest again.

He was beautiful, and he was kissing me… caressing me.
I closed my eyes, but I couldn’t stop a pair of tears
forming tracks down my cheeks. He untied me, but I was
still helpless in his arms. Slowly he lowered me to the
‘ground.’

He splayed me, opened me, and I was in turmoil. Part of
me was ashamed, the rest wanted to beg for his cock. I
couldn’t talk, couldn’t think, and I knew I’d made a
terrible mistake. The essential ‘me’ was drowning in a
female ocean. I was fraying, just as Moire had
predicted.

Then he was inside me, fucking me gently and slowly, and
it was so good, and so bad, and so much I couldn’t…
couldn’t hold… my… thoughts. I was splintering; the
‘me’ was like a shattered raft trying to ride out a
storm.

I went away. From a tremendous distance, I heard myself
crying uncontrollably. Then I felt a hand on my cheek,
gentle and warm, and a voice whispering, ‘Farewell…
George.’

***

I sat up with a start. My mouth was wide open in a
silent cry. I was hyperventilating. I was covered in
sweat which I knew was only partly due to the heat.

A dream. A nightmare. Had to be. Didn’t it?

I stood and ran out of the bedroom. I was already
starting to forget details. I had to write this up. It
was too important to lose. I had to write it up.

I knocked at Laura’s office door. It was ajar. Laura was
working on something.

‘Oh, hi, George. I’m really busy right now… can it
wait?’

‘No. There’s something I’ve got to tell you. It’s very
important.’

The door closed behind me with a slight, definite click.

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