Feature Writer: LydiasLinens

Feature Title: Bride of Bone and Wishes

Published: 17.12.2019

Story Codes: Erotic Horror

Synopsis: Neodesha is traded in a deal with an ancient entity

Author’s Note: Hello Beautiful Literoticans! At first, I wasn’t sure which category this story was supposed to be in, but after much thought, I felt non-consent with some romance was its home. This isn’t a short story; this is a whole story, where the sex will come later, but some building up to it is how I felt the story should go. Chapters will be posted frequently if my antihistamine-induced ramblings are any good (I had a strange dream after taking cold medicine from getting Flu type B, that’s where this idea came from). This story is dark and some may find bits disturbing. Other than that, I hope you beautiful Literoticans have a magical Holliday.


Bride of Bone and Wishes

Outside, rain fell ceaselessly in sheets of grey. A rumble of thunder shook the walls. Violent wind stirred the tops of trees, turning the hills into an undulating sea of green.

I sat, staring out the windows into the storm, my mood matching the weather. The rains continued as it had for weeks, rotting the seeds of our crops, brewing the most ghastly of diseases—effectively killing the season’s bounty, turning the outermost layer of the earth’s crust into sludge. I kept my stinging eyes from producing tears as I watched our livestock outside stumble and slide in the mud. Crying meant nothing; crying, to my family, was a sign of weakness.

But I had a lot to cry about.

“I see you are sulking.”

It was my father’s voice. I didn’t turn to face him. His eyes burned holes into the back of my head. Of course I was sulking—how else would he think I would react to being married off to a wealthy tyrant for a sum of money to better the losses of their crops? My family—as poor as they were—were trying to climb the social ladder, and because of my beauty, I was their significant advantage. My family were always invisible, grasping at the royal’s robes, trying to win their favor—until I blossomed from a child into a woman.

But I didn’t give a damn about my beauty.

I kept my eyes on the flaking splinters of wood on the window’s frame, folding my arms. A tear, after all, did fall, as much as I didn’t want it to.

“I told you once and I will tell you again—you will marry Lord Darnley and be a dutiful wife, an obedient wife. You will not bring dishonor into this family if you refuse—there is no choice, no other option for you.”

I swallowed the lump in my throat. Trying to be discreet, I wiped away a tear, tucking a red curl behind my ear. I had been too headstrong and argumentative, but that’s what I was known for.

“Father, you know I would do anything for our family—anything for my brother, especially. But I can’t marry Lord Darnley. He is a brute. A man that has many mistresses, a man who would not think I am his only. Do you really—”

“Enough! Lord Darnley has offered five thousand for you! That is a gift in itself. We have fallen on hard times, Neodesha. You are nineteen—you should have married already, of which men of our own village have asked and you refused, embarrassing us, but we let you have your way. But a Lord has offered—you should accept, for this could be the turning point in our family’s lives.”

He was right. Five thousand could support my family for the next few years—they have never seen coin like that. How selfish could I be for turning Lord Darnley’s offer down? I loved my family and I loved my brother. My brother was already seen as the town fool—he did not deserve that title, for he was strong in battle and smart when it came to taking care of me.

I most certainly didn’t want to be married to such a brute as Lord Darnley. If I had to, I would run away. I knew that would bring great shame to my family, and most certainly leave my family in a difficult place; I tended the sheep and cows, milking them, rounding them up and cleaning their stables. Without me, life would be much difficult.

“Alright, father. I will marry Lord Darnley.”

The lie tasted like unripe figs on my tongue.

I met his stare. His dark brown eyes were like two round beads of onyx, but a fire grew within them. He was angry. His face was flushed and his brown hair disheveled. Wrinkles clung delicately to his face—no doubt the creation of stress my brother and I caused him combined with age. I lowered my head, my stomach doing a flip.

How could I leave my family behind?

Downstairs, my mother yelled. I stood, wiping my hands on my dress. I rubbed them together nervously. My father was the first to leave my room, slamming the door open and making his way down the stairs. The back of my neck was on fire when I heard my brother’s voice arguing with Mother. I raced downstairs as well, because I hadn’t heard my brother’s voice in three days.

I nearly tripped over myself making it down the stairs. There, at the door, Russell stood, his clothes streaked with mud and soaked with rain. The relief of his presence was replaced with horror as I saw his left eye was swollen, as well as his lips—his forehead sported a scrape and was bleeding.

My voice was shaky. “What happened?”

Mother was yelling at him, as always, but she stopped when she heard my voice. There was pain in my voice—anger, disbelief. My heart thumped painfully in my chest.

“Sister,” he whispered, a look a relief washing over his features. “No need to worry. I am alright, you see? No need for alarm.”

“You have made our hearts heavy,” I said.

“I understand. Would you mind if I speak to you alone? I heard about the marriage proposal… the whole town is speaking of it.”

I swallowed. He had heard. Of course he had heard. I bit my lip in anger, restraining myself to respond. Because I had more pressing issues-like what on earth had happened to him, for instance. I nodded to my brother, meeting the gaze of my father once more, almost as if I were asking permission. He nodded back. His face looked… tired. Like years had been sucked away from him because of my brother’s antics and my refusal to marry.

I almost felt guilty.


Father eyed Russell. “And after that, I should have a word with you as to why you disappeared for three days. Do you have any idea how your mother and I worry? You have days worth of neglected chores; your sister had to do them for you!”

“It doesn’t matter, so long as he comes home safe,” I stated.

“Doesn’t look like he was being safe to me—look at him!”

I shook my head, getting between the two of them. I needed this fighting to stop. I didn’t want to do as he said, to look at Russell, because seeing him in that shape hurt my heart.

“We shall talk. Now,” I told him before any fights were to ensue.

He nodded, his eyes never leaving mine. For a brief moment, I thought I saw sadness in those eyes or perhaps a bit of regret. Before Mother could yell at him again, before I could step forward to check the extent of his wounds, he disappeared into the other room, shutting the door loudly behind him.

I motioned our parents not to follow. I could handle this. I entered the room.

“What happened to you?” I asked when I shut the door behind me.

His lips were in a thin line as he cast his eyes to the floor. A few moments passed and he didn’t say anything. Sighing, I moved to place more sticks into the fireplace that kept the downstairs area warm. The coals were nearly dead. I poked them back to life with a fire tender, waking the slumbering blaze.

I watched the flames grow, dancing beautifully over the crackling wood. I heard the squeak of a chair as Russell sat behind me. I didn’t want to force anything even though I desperately wanted to know what happened. I wanted to yell and scream at him for leaving us, and yet I didn’t want to fight. So many emotions tossed and turned with turmoil inside my head.

“It is impossible to move up in the world,” he sighed after a long bit of silence.

I nodded, playing with a loose string on the sleeve of my dress, refusing to look at him. Pitiful it was to act as a child and not acknowledge him, but if he weren’t going to talk much, I wasn’t going to grant him the liberty of meeting his gaze.

“We do not have much here. We were born poor, therefore we will always remain as such. We do not possess magic like the Lords and Kings of this world; we have always been on the lowest rung of a ladder. Stepped on. Used. I grew tired of it, Neodesha. The only chance we have at redemption and making our way into the glistening halls of court is through you—through marrying Lord Darnley. But, it was he and his men who ruffled me up—I was playing cards for money, you see. One of Darnley’s best soldiers were there drinking. I thought he were a commoner, I swear! I—”

“No,” I whispered, gripping the top of the fireplace for support. “Brother, please tell me you do not owe this man money.”

Nothing would be more dangerous.

“I do. Not much, but I do.”

The blood drained from my face. “What money do we have to pay him back? Do you seriously think gambling will bring our family to glory?”

“Not at all! But we don’t have to worry about paying him back.”

“What do you mean?”

I was sure he was going mad. Maybe he had always been that way. That would explain him always getting into trouble, buying into schemes to make our family rich; he was so blinded by his delusions that no woman wanted to marry him. It was very important that he found a wife, somebody who could take care of our parents when they grew old and I was away with my own family.

But I loved him still. He was the only true blood I had—we were both orphans from the same mother. If I lost him, I had nothing.

He pulled something out of his blood-splattered linen shirt. It was a piece of paper. His hands shook as he unfolded it. As my eyes focused on the paper, I felt the world tilt and my heart slam against my ribcage.

No, no, no…

On the front of the paper, painted in black ink, was a magic symbol. And not just any symbol, but a forbidden one; one made of dark magic. I put as much space between him and I as I could, my lips turning ice cold.

“I summoned a Gancanagh.

I almost thought I would faint. My ears rang. I sat on the chair beside him, looking into his eyes—seeking any sign that he were being funny. The guilt I thought I saw earlier was there, but stronger this time. His forehead creased.

He wasn’t lying. I could see it in his face.

“Do you have any idea… what they would do to you, to our family, if you were found to be playing with dark magic?” I whispered. I wasn’t even sure if the words could be heard—it was hard to hear anything other than the roaring heartbeat in my ears.

He didn’t answer. His silence only angered me.

“They would burn you at the stake! They would burn me too, destroy our home—what you have done is put our family in great risk.”

“I didn’t think it would work!” he shouted. I flinched. “You know most spells are ridden with lies and rumors. I was drunk; an old hag gave it to me when she found me passed out after those fiends roughed me up. For no good reason!”

“Probably some damn witch,” I spat. “Do you have any idea how dangerous a Gancanagh is? I have heard legends, but we aren’t even allowed to speak of it because it is so evil! You make a deal with one of those demons who come from the deepest pits of hell, and in return, you have to give something of meaning to them—something you cannot live without.”

He wiped sweat off his brow, for the fire was blazing angrily now. The windows were fogged. I couldn’t help the tears that fell down my cheeks—tears of betrayal, tears of humility. My parents would disown him; the town would burn him. How could he?

“You know that I love you, right?” he asked.

“Of course,” I responded, despite the pain in my chest. I knew that he loved me, even if he made childish decisions and put us in danger. I would have to find a way to get him out of this.

“I summoned one because I am tired of the way our family is treated. I summoned one because I was scared and I didn’t know what else to do.”

I reached out to him, putting a shaking hand on his. I didn’t fully believe in the Gancanagh, but I knew wishing to use such dark magic was dangerous and forbidden. It wasn’t what our parents raised us to be. I closed my eyes, breathing in through my nose. The smell of burning wood and my own sweat filled my lungs. Shaking my head, I gave his hand a squeeze.

He was remorseful, that much I could see. But if we kept this a secret…

“We have to keep this in secret, brother. We have to go on as if nothing ever happened—”

“The Gancanagh visited me, there is no escaping this. I am so sorry… I know there is no way you can forgive me—”

“It visited you?” I asked, my voice breaking in surprise.

“Yes. I asked for prosperity. And coin. And status for our family.”

“And in return?” I urged, for he did not continue. He didn’t answer, so I said it again. His bottom lip almost trembled in synchronization with his hands.

“I am so sorry,” was all he said.

“Tell me!”

Suddenly, I couldn’t control myself. I crossed the space between us, balling my hands into his sleeves. I shook him, wanting to shake the poor sense out of him. But that only made him grit his teeth and his eyes flash. For a moment, I almost didn’t see my brother in those eyes. Almost like he were a different person.

He snarled a stream of curses under his breath, grabbing my hands and forcing me to let go of him. He put my hands by my sides. “Let go of me!”

“Tell me what you offered in return!”

His eyes grew dark then. His chest swelled with a deep breath and he let it all out at once. I thought I saw my brother back in the reflection of his eyes, but only for a moment.

“I offered… I offered you.”


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