You join me again once my initial surprise at the vixen’s words in my last tale has died down a little….
How do you know us and why do you call us those things, and who are you? “I realise you have many questions but for the moment, be content that all will be revealed in its due time. I am going to answer your last question first and to do so I need to tell you my tale. We may as well be comfortable and safe, might we re-enter the place you appeared from, I understand you have a circle of power here, I sense the veil drawn across it.” I have a reasonable reluctance to do so but after all, there are 4 of us and only one of her so I agree and we re-enter the sacred space of the circle.
As we enter the circle the Guardians of the Watchtowers come forward to challenge the newcomer, they examine her quite closely and, sensing no threat, they return to their posts. It seems I was lucky and my decision to allow the vixen entry was not a bad one. I locate my usual log which I sit on when meditating by my altar and seat myself, Quoth flies up to land on my altar with Joe following suit albeit in a haphazard manner, part flapping, part scrabbling with his claws and Agnes curls up by the base of the altar stone. The vixen takes a place in front of us and rests back on her haunches, finally looking at ease.
“Where to begin? I have long rehearsed the words I am going to say and I still feel they may lack a little something but I shall tell my tale as best as I can and the best way to start a tale is at the beginning so I shall start by telling you my background and how I came to be in this shape you find me in now.” I feel at this point it is only proper for the tale to be in her words and take a back seat in proceedings.
I was born many years ago So long since that the monarch was not the one you know now, nor the one familiar in the memory of your companions. I was born to William and Anne and it was George the second on the throne of England. It seems as much as I am stuck in this form, which is indeed the case, I am stuck in this life also. I am not immortal though, once I break free of the spell that binds me to this shape I will return to my own form and my own age and continue as a mortal once more to live out my natural lifespan. You will all find if you continue your shapeshifting that you age less in your human form than you would expect. I am 279 years old, I was born, as I said, under the reign of George the second, It was October the third, 1733. Walpole was Prime Minister. I think the lack of ageing has something to do with not using your human form whilst shapeshifted, your natural form ceases its normal functions including ageing and thus dying. Now, where was I? Ah yes, Walpole was Prime Minister. Nothing much happened in his time in office to change the way my life would go. The flying shuttle was created, there were wars, I vaguely remember King George’s War, I was 11 when it started. My brother, who was only a few years older, joined the navy and was called to that war, but he returned safe and well though battle scarred. He married a local girl and settled down. She was barren so there were no children from that union. My parents had also borne another daughter. We will come back to her in due course. I grew up as a pagan under the guise of being a Christian. It was not safe to be seen to practise witchcraft, you could still be hung for it in those days. In fact one of the women in a neighbouring village was tried for witchcraft after the local farmer lost his entire herd of cattle to foot and mouth. We were enlightened but not enough, not enough to save her from the gallows. But enough of that, I am sure you want to know how I ended up like this.
I was 24, unmarried and in all honesty I was quite the whore. I think I had taken every man of the village to my bed other than those related by blood. It didn’t sit well with my parents, nor my siblings, nor indeed the majority of the womenfolk for obvious reason. Though I was pagan and most of the village were pagan also, my family and I had never been part of a coven. We were happy to study herbs and be the ones to come to when your mother was ill or your child had fallen out of a tree and broken a limb. Traditional healing was more readily available than conventional medicine in the village and was affordable, being paid for in labour or pots and pans or food rather than hard earned coin. I think our standing as the village healers saved me from being ousted form the village. I was very skilled. More so than the women who made up the village’s coven. That autumn a new family arrived in the village and took residence in the house closest to ours. I had tried over the course of that year to curb my appetites in part to save my family’s blushes but also in part because I had wanted to settle down and start my own family. Oh but the sons who came with the family were just too much to resist. I took each one to my bed over the course of a month, left them too exhausted to be of much use to their father in his trade as a blacksmith. And that was just the start. The boys had a voracious appetite that matched mine and possibly surpassed it. They were not content to bed me individually but began coming to my bed in pairs. They were, thankfully, only four brothers. The first time I had been taking the one to my bed for the week but the second joined us halfway through. His appetite and strength rekindled from being abstinent for just over three weeks being the first son I had taken to my bed when they arrived. Then the fourth took his leave and the second one joined and so on and so forth over the course of another month until I had bedded each brother twice around, once alone and a second time with a brother. The matriarch of the household finally could take no more when I invited her husband to join his sons and he had lustily agreed. She had found us, in flagrante delicto, one son in front of me, one behind, her husband underneath, in her family’s barn, it being a small holding of substantial size.
Her fury was complete and I feared for my life as I felt such power amass in her that I thought she would obliterate me completely. her husband and her sons fled the barn leaving me to grasp my clothing, for once ashamed of my body and its nakedness. She stormed towards me quite literally, sparks flew from her fingers and her hair stuck out at all angles and wind blew in front of her so hard it took my breath. She stood towering over me, her eyes ablaze, her fingers stretched out but crooked like the claws of a great bird of prey ready to take the fleeing rabbit. She drew back her hand ready to hit me across the face, and as she did so she said “What am I to do with you, you little vixen?” her hand making contact with my face at the instant she said vixen. I felt all her power hit me like a bull and I cowered away trying to sob, but all that came from my mouth is the sound I make now, the strange and eerie bark of the fox.
I think it would be a good time to find a more permanent story arena, might I venture to ask for shelter in your homes while I gather my thoughts for the next part of my tale?