Vol. III

    Demora was keeper of the scorned and avenger to the wronged. In this way she was death and came to be known as goddess of destruction. She took many forms. One being her livery, the burning crow, whose fire was smoke and darkness. She was the matron of war. In her grace, shadows spread forth from her back and became wings of night. Any who looked upon her mortal shell would see flame and shadow. Her hair was long and wispy, smoking as though it burned black fire. And her eyes could be the red of blood when her wrath was sought but a soft amber when healing was desired.

    Among man she took the form of the war matron, feathers black as night with eyes of fire. She was destruction and she heralded death. And those who sought vengeance and knew suffering and grieved, knew her name. Those who made war and ravaged the land knew her as well. When women spoke her name they begged shelter. When men spoke her name, they invited violence. Wars were won with her might.

    “Oh lady of the night,” came a plea, feminine, hollow and distant.

    Demora stood in her temple, at a grey, stone pedestal whose top was carved into a bowl to hold dark waters. The voices drifted from these waters, prayers and cries that begged for their goddess. Demora looked down into these waters, but did not see herself. Instead, the surface rippled and reflected darkness and tiny pinpricks of light, twinkling.

    “Lady of the night, avenger. Mistress of the war spear, who smites her enemies and leaves nothing but fire in her wake, I beg you,” said the voice.

    Thousands joined her, but Demora could hear them all and at once, listen and understand.

    “Free me from my king’s tyranny, from his hate, his jealousy, his whims and desires. Free my soul and my body. I am not his concubine, but a slave to his will.”

    Demora heard her cry. She went to the pond at the center of her sanctuary and walked into the waters. She sank into the liquid till she was no longer seen, departing for the next world, the world of Man. In her absence, her creation’s hearts would weep and miss their mistress. They guarded her temple till her return. On Earth, she arrived from a great quake. The Earth shook and Man cowered, fearing the Earth would open and swallow them up. The ground cracked and widened from the force and power of the shake, splitting and releasing Demora’s dark form.

    She took the shape of a bird, a crow with eyes of red flame. She took to the sky and flew across entire lands, to the woman who sought her. She found herself upon the great walls of a palace where humans dressed in sheets of white, wrapped about their forms and pinned at the shoulder. They drank wine, took pleasure of the flesh and feasted till their bellies were full. They called themselves the Greeks.

    Demora watched these people and learned their ways and their language. This took what seemed like a short time for a being like her, but weeks to Man.

    She knew when she came upon the woman who called her. From a window, she watched the woman dragged to the king’s feet. He made her strip. Her lovely hair was brown and wavy, cascading down her naked form. His hall was filled with others, but it was there that he raped her. Demora’s eyes burned. Vengeance would be had.

    Night fell and she changed her shape into that of a woman’s, dark hair and skin, like Grecian chocolate with red-orange eyes that reflected light in the darkness. She crept into the king’s chambers, filled with rugs, cushions and drapes that hung around his bed. Sweet scents and moans filled the room. He was accompanied by many women, but when he saw her entrance, he cast them aside, entranced by Demora’s beauty.

    “You there, come to me,” the king said.

    Demora smiled, lips soft and full. She wore a simple silk gown, a dark jade and black, that would wisp around her like smoke out the corner of one’s eyes. She stopped before the king and bowed.

    “What is your name? Are you a slave of mine?”

    She nodded. Her gown was cut down the middle, revealing a long triangle of silken flesh, from the hollow of her neck, to her navel. The king licked his lips.

    “I care not who you are. I must have you.” He shooed at the other women. “Get out. Get out now.”

    Naked or nearly so, the women happily hurried out.

    “Come to me. Take off your clothes and let me feast my eyes upon your beauty,” he said.

    Demora did not hesitate. Her gown receded; crawling shadows that melted away from her body with but a command, to leave her nude. She was tall, with long legs and a full bosom.

    “How did you do that?”

    Demora did not answer. Instead, she swayed her hips and twirled her fingers in dance. She spun slowly, black hair dancing around her. She suddenly dropped to her knees, eyes on the king as she ran fingers down her body. He followed with his gaze.

    “Come to me now. Now,” he said urgently.

    Demora crept towards him on hands and knees. The king had his robes pulled back. He was a round man, hairy and pale. His manhood sat under his stomach, small and insignificant. Demora crawled to him and he panted with need. She smiled.

    “Will you continue to take what is not given willfully?” she said.

    The king looked confused then angry.

    “We are in Athens and all is mine. Your body does not belong to you, it belongs to me. I take what is my right, whore,” he said.

    “So be it.”

    Demora reached out to him, trailing her finger tips over his chest. The king gave a shudder, which soon turned to a shaking. He looked down at his body. Wherever Demora touched, bumps and boils rose. She crept closer and pressed her mouth to his stomach and kissed her way down, leaving a rash of red skin, boils and bumps filled with pus. The king began to scream his panic. Demora’s eyes burned crimson. She straddled him and her thighs brought plague to his legs. She was not smiling now.

    “Please, I beg you, stop,” he said.

    But he did not stop when he raped the women under his rule.

    She could hear the guards now. Demora took the king’s manhood in her hand and he screamed, scratching at her and shoving at her, but she did not budge, nor did she bleed. His hands turned to swollen, blistered things and he ceased his attack. She could feel the hardness of him in her hand go limp and bumpy with boils. The king gave one last whimpering cry and Demora was satisfied. The sickness would spread in him, with no cure. He would not die, but he would not be able to function as a man any longer.

    The guards broke through the door to find their king, naked and broken. He laughed and cried, babbled about witches and women. Demora was gone. She was the shadows cast upon the floor, the darkness of the night and the cry of the crows.

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