Genres: Classics, Fantasy, Heterosexual
Collections: Modified for Pleasure, Monstrous Desire, Swords and Sandals, Turning Tricksters, Undying Passions
Editor(s): Lon Sarver
Cover Designer(s): Siol na Tine
Cover Art Credits: Adapted from photo © Les3photo8 at Dreamstime.com.
Production Editor(s): Erika L. Firanc
Proofreader(s): Todd Michaels
Length: Short Story (6,600 Words)
Publication Date: April 14, 2015
Serialization Date: August 19, 2018
Archive(d) on September 1, 2018
Content Labels (What they are and why we use them)
Sitting up, his gaze roamed over the interior of Circe’s main room. Everything seemed as it always had. Embers crackled in the hearth and steaming water boiled in a cauldron hanging over the ashy logs. A caged bird chirped from the far corner. Circe was nowhere to be seen. Tilting his head to the side, he listened for sounds of her from the garden or from her menagerie behind the garden. Nothing.
He hauled himself to his feet and began to search the rest of the house for her. Perhaps she was asleep, though he had never known her to stay in bed past the sunrise. Checking a small bedroom and a then her well organized pantry—it was the only space left for her to be hiding—he returned to the hearth. She was gone.
Her absence made him wary. The island where she lived was vast for one person, with any number of dangers lurking about. Dangers not even a witch could magic her way free from.
Absently, he juggled two items he had found on a side table. A linen bag of scented herbs tied off with a leather band and an attached note, and a jar of creamy unguent, also with an attached note. Both notes bore his name.
He looked down as he toyed with the items. She must have made them while he slept, although he didn’t think he’d told her what he had wanted before he’d gone to sleep. Had she guessed?
Glaucus read the notes. Apparently, she had. These were just what he had wanted. Special herbs and a potion to make Scylla fall in love with him. The nereid-queen was an obstinate beauty, demanding gifts, passionate words and his never-ending worship, but always holding back. She refused to return his love. Not any more, not with these. He lifted the gifts and inhaled the aroma. Circe had outdone herself; there was no way Scylla would refuse him this time!
Shaking his head, he still wavered. Should he stay or go? Glaucus looked down at the things in his hands again. Go. He should go. Scylla was waiting for him. No doubt, Circe was fine. She was probably off picking more herbs in the island’s verdant jungle. Who knew when she’d be back? He knew from experience she could spend an entire day lost in her mind as she collected the herbs.
Having made up his mind, he shut the door behind him as he marched back down to his boat. It rocked gently in the waves.
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