Samhain by Trey Gallant Copyright 2000, by Trey Gallant, all rights reserved. All characters herein are products of the author’s fevered imagination, and any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Likewise, the religious doctrines and rituals described are the creation of the author, and any similarity to any actual beliefs and ceremonies is not intentional.
“Uncle Ron, we’re tired!”
At last, thought Ron Thomas. He had kept going on this trick-or-treating expedition with his niece and nephew at their insistence
alone for the last hour or so. It was *way* past their bedtime, but in their excitement they had insisted on continuing later and later. Now the autumn chill was starting to cut through the warm clothes their mother had made them put on under their costumes. It had already got to him. He enjoyed taking care of the kids, and not just to give his sister a break so she and Art could go out to that costume party, but enough was enough. The streets were almost deserted now, just a few older kids trying to collect one final bag of candy, one last mug of cider or homebaked cookie.
“OK kids,” he told them. “This house on the corner will be the last, and then we must head back.” That they agreed, without the argument that had marked any previous suggestion by him that they had collected enough loot, told him that they really were ready to quit.
The last house was pretty far back from the street, and partially obscured by a tall hedge and some ornamental weeping willows. If it hadn’t been for the decorations, including a row of miniature jack-o-lanterns lining the walk, Ron wouldn’t have known if the people in this house were keeping the Halloween tradition of trick-or-treat. But at about the time he and the children reached the gate, a few older boys and girls came out of the door, called cheerful farewells, and rushed giggling down the walk to the street. Apparently this was one of the houses in the neighborhood where the ‘treat’ included being invited in for refreshments, and a chance to warm oneself. The thought encouraged him to lead his two young charges up the walk. They were spurred on by a sudden cold breeze, and the beginnings of a light but icy shower. It felt good just to get to the wide, old-fashioned front porch, partial shelter though that was. They rang the door bell, and waited.
“Trick or Treat!” the youngsters shrilled when the door opened. Ron, standing back a little to indicate his status as fond adult, not really participating in all this you understand, just chaperoning the kids, carefully arranged his face into an indulgent half-smile. That smile slipped a good deal when he saw the person who had come to the door. She was a tall woman, as tall as he at least, and since she was standing on the stoop, while he was one step down on the porch, she positively loomed over him. She had long wavy auburn hair, falling down past her creamy white shoulders. The porch light reflected in her green eyes, picking out the amber flecks in their depths. She was dressed in a peasant blouse, of the sort which is gathered at the neck by a drawstring; she had loosened the drawstring until the top of the blouse was falling off her shoulders, exposing them, and a considerable expanse of soft, full cleavage as well. The fabric had a silky sheen, rose colored when the light hit it one way, gold when it shone on it
another. Her full russet skirt was gathered around her waist by another drawstring. Combined with her voluptuous figure, the garments made him think of some autumnal goddess of harvest plenty and fertility.
“Oh my,” she exclaimed in a vibrant coloratura. “Who have we here? A princess and a pirate! Why it’s Susan and Tommy Smith! Come in, children, come in!” She stepped back and held the door open for them. She looked Ron straight in the eye, and gave him a warm, welcoming grin. “And you must be Carol’s brother R.T. Please come in out of the cold, and make yourself comfortable.” As if to reinforce her invitation, the wind picked up a bit, and the light shower became gusty rain.
Ron stepped inside, and the woman closed the door behind him, locking it and flicking off the outside lights with the comment, “Well, I guess that rain will finish the trick-or-treating for tonight.” She extended her hand and gave him another high voltage smile. “I’m Bridget Walsh, and you’re very welcome to wait here until this weather lets up.” Just a hint of Celtic inflection shaded her speech, giving poetry and music to her most commonplace statements.
Well, he thought, if she knows Carol and Art well enough to know my nickname, I guess it will be all right to wait here. “Thanks for the invitation. If I could use your ‘phone, maybe I should leave them a message letting them know where we are.” He took her hand, noting how warm, and soft yet strong it was.
“Ah, no hurry,” she trilled her r’s. “They won’t be back from the party for quite some time. There’s a good chance that you’ll have the children home before then.” She continued to hold his hand, gazing into his eyes steadily as she spoke. “Won’t you come in and make yourself comfortable?”
“Sure,” Ron acquiesced, and allowed her to lead him into the living room. Susie and Tommy were already perched on an overstuffed sofa, eyeing a waiting repast of miniature dishes spread out on the coffee table. There were small, bite-sized cakes, and candied fruits and nuts. A decanter held an amber fluid, and a couple of small cauldrons contained faintly steaming liquids next to a collection of small cups and goblets. Considerable headway had been made into the food by previous guests, but a great deal remained.
The room was large, and lit only by candles and a bright fire burning in an enormous fireplace. In front of the fire, lay what appeared to be a genuine bearskin rug, complete with snarling head. If it was real, the animal must have been huge when alive.
Bridget seated him in a matching love seat at right angles to the sofa. Then she moved gracefully about, placing a selection of the dainty foodstuffs on small plates and serving them to Ron and the children. He was intrigued to note that, from the way the fabric of her blouse and skirt moved against her body, that she did not seem to be wearing anything under them. Between that observation, and the delightful view she presented to him when she bent towards him to give him the plate of delicacies she had fixed for him, he found himself becoming somewhat aroused. He maneuvered the plate and shifted his sitting position in an attempt to conceal his state.
“Would you like cider or cocoa, children?” Bridget asked as she picked up a tiny cup and saucer. “Cocoa, I think, don’t you?” Susie and Tommy nodded, their attention apparently as caught by Bridget’s graceful bustling as Ron’s was. She dipped a ladle into one of the cauldrons and poured out a cup of hot chocolate and handed to Susie, then did the same for Tommy. “And cider, I think, for you, Ron,” she went on, dipping out a faintly steaming brew from the other cauldron into a small mug for him.
“Do you know,” she asked as she handed him the mug with a knowing smile, “how the Halloween custom of ‘trick-or-treat’ came about?” She turned back to the children. “Have you ever heard the story?” They shook their heads. “Long, long ago, when the people called the Celts lived all over Europe, they divided the year into two seasons. The first was Summer, and it began in May and lasted to the end of October. The second season was Winter, and it lasted from November though April.” As she spoke, Bridget’s voice took on a rhythmic quality. “They celebrated the end of Summer with a harvest festival called Samhain. They believed that on Samhain, the gods and the sidhe, or elves and faeries, moved from their summer homes to their winter houses.” Her gestures flowed to the music of her speech, and even her body swayed in time to her words. “It was a magical night, when the spirits of the land and water and sky were abroad, and any thing could happen. And therefore, if a stranger came to your door on Samhain, you should, you must give them hospitality, for it might be one of the sidhe, it might even be Maeve or Oberon, the Queen or the King of the Fair Folk themselves. Do you see?” The children nodded gravely, completely fascinated. Ron himself felt scarcely less captivated.
“Poor children,” she said in a velvet voice, “I think your Uncle Ron and I have kept you up too late. I bet if you both just sat still for a minute or so, you would fall fast asleep … just drift right off to dreamland. Watch this!” Seemingly from out of thin air, she plucked two ribbons, one orange, and one black. Slowly, she tied them into an elaborate knot, while walking around the coffee table to stand in front of the children. Fluidly she melted into the floor, for all the world as if the spot she was standing on was a concealed elevator which lowered her gradually until her eyes were level with the seated youngsters. While she was sinking, she raised the knotted ribbons up over her head, then slowly and dramatically lowered them to the floor between Susie’s and Tommy’s feet. Their eyes followed her gesture as if magnetized. She then gently picked up one of each child’s arms, and raised them so that their hands were at eye level, then lowered the hands again, close to each child’s body. As she did so, Susie and Tommy followed the motion of their hands with their eyes, their eyelids drooping as Bridget slowly, gently lowered their hands into their laps. As she let their hands come to rest in their laps, they closed their eyes, gave deep sighs, and obviously fell asleep.
Ron blinked and shook his head. Apparently some little time had passed, for the children where not only asleep, but profoundly relaxed, bonelessly melted into the cushions of the couch. Bridget was now coming around the table towards him. “What did you do?” he asked, confused.
“Ah, just a bit of non-verbal child hypnosis,” Bridget replied matter-of-factly. “They were tired, but over stimulated, so I helped them to relax and sleep,” she continued as she approached him. “Besides, I wanted to have a moment or two of privacy with you.”
“What…,” he stammered. “Why?”
“Because, there is more to the story of Samhain than is proper to tell in front of the little ones,” she replied. “Here.” She extended a goblet towards him that he had not noticed she was carrying. He almost accepted it, before caution stayed his hand. “It is just heather ale,” she protested, smiling in amusement at his suspicions. She gracefully sank into the other side of the loveseat. Her nearness reminded him why these short couches were called that. “Look,” she said, and drank from the goblet. “Satisfied that I’m not going to poison you?” She extended the drink towards him again.
He accepted the goblet and peered inside. It contained an amber fluid similar to that in the decanter. He looked up to find himself gazing right into her green eyes. The amber flecks he had noticed before quite matched the heather ale in his hands. For a moment, he could say nothing, nor move. At last, he handed the vessel back to her and said, “I think I had better take the kids and go home.”
“Susan and Thomas will not wake until I tell them to,” she informed him. “And I cannot let you go now until I have explained to you why I have done what I have done. Please,” she pleaded, reaching out with her free hand to touch the nearest of his, “hear me out.”
What in the hell have I gotten myself … and Carol’s kids … into? he thought. But her warm grip on his fingers seemed to tip some kind of balance in his head. Might as well find out what is going on, a voice seemed to say in his mind, she doesn’t look like she means any harm. Still, the memory of what she had done to the children caused him to withdraw his hand. “All right,” he told her. “But this had better make some sense.”
“It’s a long story, and a thirsty one,” she said, sipping from the goblet. “Are you sure you won’t have some heather ale? No? Well, it won’t make a difference.” She sipped again, looking at him over the rim. “What I told the children is true, but there is more to it than that. At Samhain, and again at Beltain, the festival which brings in the new Summer each May, the sidhe change their dwellings. In the Summer, the Queen of the sidhe, the Great Goddess, lives on the Earth, and blesses the fields and the flocks of man. In the Winter, it is her husband, the Hunter, the Horned God, who rules the Earth, having power over the beasts of the forest, the deer, the elk, the wild boar. Now the only time they are together is at the times of the changes, at Samhain and Beltain. If their meeting is a happy one, if they take pleasure in each other’s company for the one night each six months they are together, then the next season will be a happy and a prosperous one. If they do not come together joyfully at Samhain, then the Hunter will be grim all Winter, and he will drive the game of the forest far from the reach of man with his Wild Hunt, he will freeze the waters and frost the fields, and it will be a hard Winter indeed for the sons of man.” She paused to take another sip, her glowing eyes gazing steadily into his over the rim of the goblet. It was as if she were moved by her own recitation. Her cheeks were flushed, her lips had become more red and full. Perhaps it was just the ale.
“And … ?” Ron prompted.
She lowered the cup, and tossed back her long red hair with a movement which caused his heart to give a leap … and his manhood to leap up joyfully as well. She surely wasn’t wearing anything under that blouse, and by now, the neckline had slipped so low that very little was left to the imagination … and he had a really *good* imagination in these circumstances, he found.
“And there are … certain persons who are responsible to see to it that the God and Goddess meet merrily on the appointed day. This charge has been handed down in my family from mother to daughter since time out of mind.”
“How …” Ron croaked. Damn! His mouth was dry. She had been right, it was a thirsty tale. “How do you do that?”
She handed him the goblet, and unthinkingly, he drank. The taste was pleasant, like honey wine scented with flowers. “Why, by example, of course,” she purred. “By the sympathetic magic of like begats like. It is my task to open my house on Samhain to any who accept my hospitality, and to offer them bed and board. Ye have eaten my food, ye have drunk the sacred heather ale, and now ye will lie with me. And as the Goddess possesses me, so the God will possess you, and through the joining of the twain of us, Their Holy marriage bed shall be made, insuring happy Gods, and so abundant fruits of the season to all.”
“What?” His head was spinning. The sight of her, the scent of her, the warm fire of the ale in his belly, the vibrant sound of her voice, and the silken whispers of the fabric of her clothes against her bare skin all conspired to confuse his thoughts. “No, wait…you can’t be serious. You’re saying you want me to participate in some sort of pagan, ritual sex, to please the gods? Lady, have you got the wrong guy! I’m an Anglican …”
“You are the stranger who came to my door, to ask and accept my hospitality,” Bridget corrected him. “As such, you are the one the Gods themselves have chosen. You cannot refuse the honor.” She reached out to lay her hand on his knee. “Nor can you deny that my offer is attractive to you.” Her hand crept up to his groin. “I can tell you find me *very* attractive.”
“Yes…I mean, no … I mean, wait a minute…”
“The sacred moment approaches, this is no time to wait.” Her hand moved in gentle circles, … no, … gentle inwardly tending spirals in his lap. She leaned forward, placing her other hand on his chest, holding his mind in her eyes. “Just relax and let it happen. Look at me. Is what I am suggesting so unpleasant? Am I not fair to look upon?”
“Well, yes, but…”
“Hush!” She touched his lips with her finger. “Just listen, and nod in agreement.” She had gently pushed him back against the arm of the loveseat. “Breathe in deeply,” she commanded. “Breathe in the scent of me, the essence of me. Can you not tell that I am ready…” She had moved closer, and since he was being borne down by her weight, her face hovered inches above his. In response to her words, but even more to her nearness, he inhaled sharply. She smelled of herbal soaps and warm woman flesh. If he were any judge, she wasn’t kidding about being ready. But as she gazed lustfully into his face, her expression changed. A slight hint of disappointment flitted across her features, followed by a look of amusement, a challenge accepted. Both were quickly replaced by a concerned and sympathetic composure.
Bridget straightened up slightly, while still remaining disconcertingly close to him. “But I see that you are not.” She paused, and right as he let out the deep breath she had encouraged him to take, said, “*Relax*, Ron. I would not make love to any man who did not want to. That would hardly suit the needs of the magic, and it would not pleasure me at all. If we join tonight, or any other time, I will make sure you are very, very ready and willing.” She paused again, timing her speech to his breathing. “So you can *relax* on that score,” she said softly as he exhaled again. The slightly panicky look was leaving his eyes; the tension in his body, ready to fight or flee, began to subside.
“That’s right,” she purred in the same velvety tones she had used on the children, “just *relax as you exhale and let go.* Now be honest, I am not that frightening, am I?” Ron started to answer, but she laid a finger on his lips again, and all he could do was shake his head.
She moved closer, her bosom pressing against his left arm. “Feel me, Ron. Feel my breast pressing against your left arm … warm and soft and heavy against your left arm … warm and heavy … your left arm is warm and heavy … relax and let it go, that’s right,” she murmured as his arm measurably went limp. He gazed into her eyes, transfixed. She moved even closer, well inside his personal space, but he was no longer drawing back or resisting. “Now can you feel my thigh brushing against your left leg? Pressing now heavily against your left leg … heavy and warm against your left leg … heavy and warm … your left leg is heavy and warm. Relax and let it go.” The breath sighed out of him. He slumped a little bit more.
She rose and moved to stand in front of him. She placed her hands on his shoulders, and bent forward to peer into his face. As he exhaled again, she pressed down on both shoulders. “Relax and let go, Ron. Open yourself to the experience, to the sensations. Now your right arm is heavy and warm … your right arm is heavy and warm,” she repeated, timing her suggestions to his breathing. “Your right arm is heavy and warm … Relax and let it go.” His right shoulder sagged just as his left was.
She smiled. “That’s right. Open yourself to the sensations, to the look and feel and smell of me, to the sound of my voice. And your right leg is so heavy and warm, now… your right leg is heavy and warm … your right leg is heavy and warm.” As he sighed, she pressed down on his shoulders again. “Relax and let it go, ronnie,” she deliberately used the diminutive. “Open yourself to the sound of my voice, and to the helpful and pleasant suggestions I am giving you. Open yourself to *me*.”
She stepped back half a step, and began to unfasten the drawstring on her skirt. “Your left side is heavy and warm, now … your left side is heavy and warm … relax and let it go … relax and open your mind to me.” The skirt dropped to the ground at her feet. What had appeared to be a blouse was revealed to be an almost floor length shift, almost a robe. “Your right side is heavy and warm, ronnie … your right side is so heavy and warm … relax and let it go … let yourself go … open your mind to me … open your heart and soul to me.” She began to untie the drawstring which bearly held her robe up. “Your whole body is heavy and warm, ronnie … it feels so good … Your breathing is slow and regular … your heartbeat is steady and strong … Your forehead is agreeably cool and dry …” Ron’s head had nodded down to his chest.
The shift slid down her body to join the skirt on the floor. “Open your eyes and look at me, ronnie,” she commanded in a soft vibrant whisper. Slowly he raised his head. “You can see I am beautiful, can’t you?” He nodded slowly. “You desire me, don’t you? Tell the truth, I can see that you do.”
“Oh, yess…” Ron breathed.
“That’s right. Just keep looking at me, and imagine how it would be to lie with me, right over there on the bearskin rug, by the fire.” She knelt and quickly removed his shoes. She stood again and held out her hands. “Put your hands in mine, ronnie. Put all your fears and inhibitions and hesitations in your hands and give them to me.” Hesitantly, he reached out and let her take his hands. “That’s right, give it all to me … give yourself to me completely.”
She drew him to his feet, and stepped in close, her naked flesh so near that he could feel the heat of her. He face was just inches from his own. Ron could feel her breath on his cheeks and all he could see were her eyes. She began unbuttoning his shirt. “Your religion, your morals, your scruples, that is all on the surface, ronnie. Like your clothes, that covers the real you, the naked animal underneath.” She was now unbuckling his belt and unzipping his pants. “Let it all go, ronnie. As I strip your clothes off your body, I remove the layers of civilization and ethics and morality, until there is just the two of us, two naked, aroused human beings, a man and a woman, ready to mate … eagerly … joyously … lustily….” Her voice had sunk to a feral growl of passion, as his clothes joined hers in a pile at his feet.
A matching cry rose in his throat, wordless, instinctive. He reached for her, but she slipped out of his grasp. Standing just beyond his reach, she moved like a cat stretching, mindlessly, maddingly sensual, and beckoned to him. “Come to me, my warrior. Open yourself it it. Feel the divine energy, all around you. Open yourself and let it flow into you.” She stepped back as he stumbled forward, leading him to the bearskin in front of the fire. Fluidly she sank to the fur surface, beckoning him with her hands, with her arms outstretched to receive him, with her whole body. “Feel it flow though your body, like blood through your veins, like fire along your nerves. Let it possess you. Let it bring you to me. Come to me, NOW!”
A part of him which remained Ron Thomas noted that his blood was certainly pounding though his veins, although a lot of it seemed to be concentrating in the obvious place, and passion surely was running like fire along his nerves. However, he, Ron himself, didn’t seen to be more than an observer here. He was so overwhelmed by the sensations, by Bridget’s words and naked beauty and raw animal sexual scent, that it didn’t seem to be really happening to him. His body was on auto-pilot, acting and responding without his direction. Falling now into the embrace of her arms and legs, so that to sight and sound and smell was added the enveloping sensation of touch, of her soft, smooth, warmth surrounding him.
Her voice had changed. It was deeper, huskier, even more strongly accented. “Come to me, my warrior, my Hunter. Join with me. Let us explore the mountains of pleasure together. Higher and higher…” His body seemed to melt into hers. Sensations became confused. He could no longer tell if he were mounting her, or if she were mounting him. The room, even the fur covered floor beneath them seemed to disappear. From time to time, all consciousness faded out, only to return to the immediate physical presence of her. At last, he came to himself, lying in her embrace, her legs wrapped around his waist in a way that both held him in her and held him above her, looking down into her eyes. The green was almost gone from them, replaced by glowing amber. She rocked him in her body, gently, soothingly, insistently. “Give it to me,” she half purred, half growled. “Don’t hold back, let yourself go.” Her movements became swifter, more insistent. He felt his mind falling into her eyes. “Give it to me, NOW!” His consciousness disappeared in an incandescence, a total sensuous experience that was to the orgasms he had ever experienced before as Niagra to a running tap.
Ron came back to himself, and realized he was clothed and standing. Bridget was handing him his coat. A drowsy pair of moppets clutched their bags of loot at his side.
“Happy Halloween, children,” Bridget purred. “I certainly enjoyed having you stop by for trick or treat.” What the…? Had he dreamed all this? It had the quality of a dream, hazy and fantastical. Bridget turned to him, looked him in the eye, took his hand and smiled warmly. “And I truly enjoyed … meeting you, R.T. We must do this again sometime.” He caught her scent, herbal soaps and the warm essence of a healthy woman … and a hint of muskiness. His eyebrows shot up by themselves. She smiled the smile of two persons sharing a secret, and nodded slightly.
“Ah…Er…It was nice to meet you, too, Miss Walsh,” Ron answered lamely. “I hope we do get a chance to see each other again … soon.” She held his hand for a long second more, before allowing him to reclaim it, and shrug into his coat. Once freed, he led his charges down the walk, turning once to wave good bye.
“This was the bestest Halloween ever,” declared Tommy. Ron could not but silently agree.
“Sow-e’en,” corrected Suzie solemnly.
Light a candle and stare at the sky knowing that every single person will experience this full moon, just like you. You are not one. We are all connected.
For the next few nights, my senses are on high alert. Where are you? Who are you? Then it happens again. I spring to the door of my office and just catch a glimpse of your white coat as you round the corner. Aha, you’re from the lab. I take the stairs down, not really knowing where to go. I get to the R&D floor. As I open the door, out of breath, I catch the faint scent of you, but I can’t tell where it’s coming from.