This is based on 'Hercules and the Lost Kingdom,' The characters of Deianeira and the blue priest of Hera belong to MCA/Universal. I just borrowed them. This is a not-for-profit general fiction tale.
This story has graphic violence, explicit male/female sex and sexual violence. Please skip this story if these subjects disturb you.
Pamela's stories can also be found at XENADOM.
Send feedback to HeronW@aol.com
Pamela A. Lord
The blue-skinned priest of Hera felt a faint disturbance in the air. The girl had entered the keep. It had taken him several years to make sure Deianeira believed she must sacrifice herself to save her people. The culmination of that work had come to bear a lovely flower. His eyes held a predatory gleam as he moved his hand over a wide golden basin filled with water. The enchanted liquid clouded, then cleared, and he saw her.
The determined young woman approached a group of masked acolytes, one of which held out a lush silk gown of purest white. Deianeira shivered as they began to undress her, even though their efficient touch was deferential and gentle. Boots, jacket, skirt, blouse, an under tunic, all showing signs of much mending and washing.
She sat as they bade her, still in silence. The belt was tied up and silk wrapped around her lower body as yet more skillful hands undid her braids and brushed the wealth of red-gold hair behind her. The layers of material were lifted as she put her arms through the upper parts. Ribbons attached the sleeves to her wrists. She tied the bodice laces herself. The cut of the gown left her breasts more than halfway, the back dipped low as well, though covered there by her hair hanging in a glowing mass. The men bowed and stepped back.
Deianeira's steps were steady and full of purpose as she ascended the stairway. Her bare feet felt the layers of dust that had lain undisturbed for years. This had been her home until she was seven, a decade ago. Her people deserved to come back here to their homes, their fields and gardens. She went through the arched stone doorway and saw the familiar figure.
The blue priest turned and smiled at her, inclining his head. He was just as she had remembered from her dreams, the central crest growing from the bridge of his nose back over his head. His slanted eyes were bulging like a fish's, with elliptical pupils. His hooded robe was of a rough weave of a blue slate color. Though the hem and sleeves were frayed, his demeanor was as if he wore gold and jeweled vestments.
Several torches gave light to hold back the night, though dawn was almost upon them. This sunrise would see her people free and safe. All that she had was herself, all that she was she would give. This was her destiny, to finish her time on earth at the hands of the priest of Hera.
The three gill slits on either side of his neck fluttered as he spoke softly: "Welcome, my child." Her eyes lowered to his hands, a paler shade than his face, but coarsely scaled. She saw the ivory dagger tucked under his belt. The blade was toothed on both sides like some exotic saw or the backbone of a fish.
"Is that the knife you will use?" Deianeira tried to keep the fear out of her voice.
"If you give your life for theirs. To die, that is so easy, so quick. What if you could give more?" His voice was deep with sonorous inflections, yet still low and quiet.
"What more do I have? I have no home, no family. Even the clothes I wore here were borrowed. What else can I give?"
"How many children are there among your people?"
"I don't know, forty or fifty."
"What would you do to keep them safe from future harm? To keep them free from marauders who would catch them, enslave them and carry them away in chains?" The priest waved his hand over the bowl and the water swirled in a gray maelstrom that faded to show the walls and courtyard below.
Children ran; their mouths twisted with silent screams, the vision in the bowl did not allow sounds.
Cuffs and fists forced iron collars and manacles to be attached, then each child was dragged before a firepit and branded on the arm. Children with broken fingers moved chunks of rock in a mine. The young slaves scrabbled on filthy straw for moldy bread and gristly pieces of meat. A wolfhound took exception to a girl taking a bone with a bit of meat on it. He bit into her throat and shook her, the men at a table laughed and placed bets. A smaller dog took the opportunity to snatch the piece that fell from the girl's hand. A soldier barked a silent command and the wolfhound began to feed on the still twitching form.
"No more!" Deianeira sobbed, her hands covering her eyes. She looked up at the tall priest. "What must I do?"
"One stroke to save a child, only fifty to save them all." He pulled some dark lengths from a wide sleeve and unfurled a long black bullwhip. It rested; still and full of menace like a viper upon the stones.
"Will Hera spare them? You swear to this, Priest?" Her eyes blazed in righteous anger.
"In Hera's name, it shall be done."
"Swear by the Styx, you must hold to that oath."
The priest nodded his assent. "I swear by the Styx. But you must choose. You must offer your pain, I cannot take it otherwise."
Deianeira swallowed hard and looked around, "Where shall I—"
"Upon that platform," He pointed to a small stage set at mid-thigh height with one sturdy post at the center. A fluttering blue cloth was knotted around the top. "Hold tight to the scarves, for I cannot bind you. But remember my child, if you let go before we are finished—"
"No, I will not let even one child be harmed." She went up the three stairs and reached for the blue material.
"Let your back be uncovered," said the priest softly. Deianeira glanced over her shoulder then lowered first one side then the other, to let the waves of silk rest at her hips. The white braided belt kept her from losing the dress altogether. She twined the narrow blue bindings about her small wrists. She gave a small gasp as his hands parted her titian tresses and lay each half over her breasts, leaving her graceful shoulders bare.
"Ready." Not sure that the blue-skinned priest heard her, Deianeira opened her lips to speak again when the whip struck. She gasped at the burning trail of fire over her back and down her smooth skin. She was almost able to take another breath when the second lash fell.
The girl was stronger than the priest suspected, although her body jerked with every impact, she held back her cries as much as she could. Whimpers began to slip out as her skin was striped by deep gouges. Those sounds gave way to a sort of keening from the supple leather's hellish caress. She shivered deliciously as scarlet streams wound slowly over the planes of her flesh, first staining then saturating the folds of silk below.
Each breath was a battle before the pain clawed repeatedly. Deianeira had lost count as she was propelled again and again into the post. The scarf began to slip from her grasp; her palms became slick with sweat as the insidious lattice of agony grew over her flesh. She mustn't let go, each lash was to save a child, she could do this. She heard short ragged screams and couldn't figure out where they were coming from. A tiny part of her mind realized it was her. Sweet Gaia! Don't let me faint—
"No—" She said, as the priest unwound the blue strips from her hands.
"It is over my child. Rest." He carefully uncurled one finger after another and eased her to the edge of the platform. He gently guided her arms into her sleeves and tied the bodice lacing. Her legs hung over the edge, her shoulders bowed as she tried to hold back the pain. The coppery scent of her blood hung in the air like sweet perfume.
"Your courage is so great, your heart so pure. I wonder…"
Deianeira looked up at the figure before her, "What?"
"One last gift, it could save so many. But, that would be too much to ask."
"Tell me." Even through gritted teeth Deianeira's voice was commanding.
"Sometime in the future of this place, an army will come, ruthless, cruel men who will ravage the young women. They will rip open their wombs and leave them gutted and dying. Would you give—"
A blue callused knuckle brushed the silk over her heart and the small erect tip of her breast, "—Your innocence?"
"If I do, swear by the Styx, that these women too shall be safe."
His lidless eyes stared into hers. "By the Styx, I swear."
The young woman bit her lip, then whispered, "How many men must I—"
"Only me, my child. Give yourself to me."
Deianeira leaned up to touch his cheeks but he withdrew a step back.
"What? Am I doing something wrong?"
"Follow my directions, of your own free will." He saw how her sea-green eyes pleaded with him where her voice would not. How long would she submit to this degradation? "Lean back, and open your legs, move the robe aside." In his nonchalant tone he might have been speaking of the weather. She almost would have preferred him forcing her rather than this blatant exposure. Her back felt each lash anew as she reclined on the stage. The wood was rough beneath her legs, catching on the thin silk.
Deianeira closed her eyes, and with shaking hands revealed her nakedness. She dared not speak, she could only bite back the tears of shame. She felt a cool breeze between her legs but her shivers had nothing to do with the chill air.
"Now part your nether lips. Look at me. This is your offering, your innermost self. Have you ever given yourself to a man? Are you still a virgin? Let me touch you."
"No! Yes… yes!" Her eyes were moist with unshed tears. A small gasp escaped her as he reached out and drew a forefinger through her cleft pushing a short way inside. A tender resisting membrane met his probing touch.
"Very good my child, this makes your sacrifice all the more honorable. Now touch yourself—here."
He withdrew his finger and moved up, his nail flicking back and forth over the tiny bundle of nerves.
Deianeira gasped, her eyes wide as a jolt shot through her.
"Don't be afraid, it's only pleasure, my child. Know yourself, indulge your senses."
She began to make small circles with her fingers, varying the pressure as the throbbing pearl grew more and more sensitive. Her hips began to lift and fall of their own accord, as her legs parted even wider. A storm built up inside her, waves pushing her further and further even as the misery of her shredded back flared anew. Ecstasy and agony battled for exquisite dominance.
"Finish it, let yourself fall, finish it!"
"Oh—Oh—AHHhhhh…" Lightning exploded within her as the orgasm crashed down, intense pleasure overcoming the pain of her flogging, if only for a few moments.
"Sit up, open your mouth." The blue priest stood directly in front of her. Deianeira struggled to get upright. The priest moved his robe aside revealing his engorged member. It pointed at her, waiting expectantly at the apex of his massive gnarled thighs. It was a thick greyish green, finely scaled like an eel. Low ridges ran the tumescent length. The girl hesitantly opened her mouth as he pushed inside.
Deianeira tried to shake her head to let go, but the blue priest held her close, hands on either side of her head.
"Use your tongue, and lips and teeth, gently now."
She came close to gagging as he moved in and out. He smelled like something long dead and rotting, she felt a series of bumps rise up under her inexperienced ministrations. He swelled and lengthened, filling her mouth. She gasped in relief when he pulled out.
"Now get on your hands and knees."
"Would you condemn those young women to their fate?"
This time she couldn't stop her tears. Slowly, Deianeira turned over, crying softly at the pain of her back, the clotting blood on the silk pulling at the fresh wounds. He lifted the skirt, draping it over her lower back.
"Open your legs wider," he ordered as he adjusted her position. Once more he felt for her moist opening; grabbing her hips, he rammed inside, tearing through the delicate tissue.
She screamed shrilly as he filled her, rocking back and forth in a torturous rhythm until he released. His semen burned like acid, a gushing volcano scorching her intimate inner walls. Deianeira wailed aloud as he withdrew after his climax. Drops of his spent fluid dripped onto her inner thighs as she fell over crying. The skin reddened and blistered.
The priest smiled at the blood coating his shaft. His skin absorbed the slick burgundy. The tiny curved hooks receded from the protuberances; the spiny ridges sunk below the surface as he pulled his robe closed and fastened his belt.
Oh, the scent of her now. Almost but not quite broken. Just a little more.
"Time to finish it."
"Yes." She swallowed a sob and strove to gain what little composure she could. Deianeira plucked at the gown with shaking fingers, trying to regain some semblance of decorum. She held out a hand to her tormentor, trusting the blue priest, despite everything.
"Come child." The satisfied priest helped Deianeira to her feet. She stumbled and would have fallen if not for his support. He brought her to a structure of planks near the edge of the parapet. He pushed her back until she could go no further, then fastened her wrists and ankles into thick manacles at the corners. Her breasts rose and fell, as she breathed deeply, her eyes closed, preparing herself for death.
"They're safe, they're all safe," she whispered to herself, almost smiling.
A sharp pain made Deianeira open her eyes. "They shall see you and know who betrayed them to Hera's army." The priest cut through her belt into her skin.
"Never— You swore by the Styx! You can't go back on your oath."
"That vow is for the Gods, not for mere servants. You shall bear the sign of Hera to Tartarus." He drew the tip of the blade across her stomach then cut three deep lines upwards, one to each breast, the third in the center. Ignoring Deianeira's screams he carved three circles off-centered at the top of the lines, two to the right, one to the left. Blood flowed freely over her abdomen and legs, drenching her.
"Why…" She gasped between great wrenching sobs. He pushed the wooden frame to the edge overlooking the courtyard thirty feet below.
"Your father insulted the Queen of Heaven, he died before his impiety could be punished. I am your Nemesis, to render judgement for your father's sins." The priest murmured, "It is an art, to slowly mold a nobility of purpose as I have in you. Then at the peak, when you are so convinced of your own righteousness and redemption of the less fortunate, to take it all away. You played a dreamer, a fool and a whore for nothing."
"No, I did it for my people. You promised." A red haze of agony surrounded Deianeira as her life's blood drained away. She strained to hold on, looking out over the city, her peoples' home. Her home.
"Oh, they will return to their homes, the children will not be slaves, nor the women raped. They'll all be crucified, nailed to the trees of death; your body will be their last sight. They'll curse you with their dying breaths."
"For them… I forgive them…" Deianeira's head bowed for the last time.
"No! She wasn't supposed to believe, she wasn't supposed to forgive!" The blue priest's gills bulged in his fury, red infusing his eyes.
"Hera! Deianeira has escaped you, my Queen!" The priest roared, his rage echoing through the empty streets. Blue-black clouds rolled and twisted overhead as a woman's imperious voice shook the very foundations beneath his feet.
"There will be another, a young woman from Amphipolis. My son has an interest in her. We will destroy her soul, piece by piece."
The priest bowed and turned away from the girl's body. He didn't see how the red-gold hair caressed the lovely serene features. Elysian fields welcomed her whole and loving soul.