As befitted a servant of Nergal, Lord of the Underworld, Agushaya took mortal form as the western sky faded from deep purple to full black. Though she knew what it meant to have a body, her true form was that of a sexless mihpares, the underworld’s dark analog of a seraphim. Tonight, she had been granted a mortal avatar, that of a human female. In place of claws she had fingers, in place of cloven hooves, feet. Her black wings were gone as well, the small hills of her breasts unlikely replacements for the power and freedom of flight.
The darkness that surrounded Agushaya had an unnatural quality, one she had the power to overcome. A search revealed the curtains that would show her the universe. Through an act of will, her eyelids rose, and Agushaya felt her soul settle fully into her new body. A shiver passed through her, and her tangled senses separated as, at the creation, light had separated from gravity.
Looking up, Agushaya saw the two moons of Earth. The large one, pale white and pocked with craters, the mortals called Matron. The small one, smooth and unblemished, its form a swirl of pink and blue, was Twink. Tonight, both were full, arranged with the smaller moon trailing the larger, a conjunction known as Confusion. When Twink caught Matron, the conjunction was called Revelation. And when Twink pulled ahead, Flight.
The empty space around Agushaya had substance, pressing warm upon her, tickling her nostrils as her chest rose and fell.
Lifting her head, Agushaya began to fall. Was Nergal recalling her so soon? It seemed impossible that she had displeased him already. But she wasn’t falling. This was the effect gravity had on her new body. The ground held her up, making her take notice of her shoulder blades, buttocks, calves, and heels.
Looking down at her body, Agushaya saw a long stretch of alabaster white skin interrupted by the pink spires of her nipples and a patch of black hair that marked the spot where her legs joined her torso.
Gaining control over her new shell, Agushaya wiggled her toes then bent her knees, pleased at the sensations that came to her, the tickle of grass under her feet, the flex of her muscular thighs, the shifting of her haunches.
Hands raised, Agushaya flexed her fingers, then touched her face, feeling at her lips, nose, and chin. Her tongue snaked out to wet her lips, and Agushaya smiled. The mortal form pleased her.
Agushaya touched her breasts next, palms sliding over her nipples, the strange rush of sensation startling her. Not only had she felt the touch in her breasts, but it had also reached between her legs.
Of course, Agushaya knew of mating rituals, though she understood them only vaguely, they had always been so alien and hypothetical.
In her moral form, she was expected to spread the fame of Nergal, most likely by aiding those in need and performing acts of heroism. As well, Agushaya’s time on Earth would better prepare her for the Final Battle, which took place every few hundred years whenever the stars came into alignment. Understanding the ways of mortals would make her a better general in her Lord’s service.
Given her assignment, the sensitivity of her breasts made no sense.
But she was still just getting used to her new form. Perhaps with exercise her senses would reach maturity. This seemed plausible, so Agushaya rubbed her hands again across her nipples. Instead of dwindling, though, the sensation of pleasure increased, enough so that without Agushaya’s volition, the large muscles of her buttocks clenched, as if some other spirit sought to wrest control of her body from her.
As she tried to make sense of her body’s strange behavior, Agushaya remembered how Nergal’s wife, Ereshkigal, had entered the Chamber during the avatar ritual. Ereshkigal’s appearance had been both a surprise and suspicious, because she arrived only after some urgent matter called Nergal away. Ereshkigal and Nergal were always at war with each other. It was a way the gods had of enduring eternity.
Had Ereshkigal done something to taint Agushaya’s mortal form? Whether she had or not, surely Agushaya couldn’t proceed with her mission if she lost control over her body every time something brushed against her breasts.
Focusing her attention, Agushaya touched her breasts again, commanding her haunches to remain relaxed. They obeyed, but instead her toes curled up, while desire flowed up from her inner thighs into her shrine of mating.
Determined to gain control of her unruly body, Agushaya assayed another brush of her breasts. This time, her hips lifted up toward the sky and the place between her legs began to feel wet.
Confused, Agushaya moved her hands away from her breasts. Why should she need to avoid touching her own body? But Agushaya began to recognize another danger: desire. Her breasts felt lonely now, and they called for the return of her hands.
Agushaya prayed to Nergal for guidance but received no answer. Though she served him as priestess, now she was far away in the world of mortals, and he expected her to solve difficulties on her own rather than cry to him at every turn. Still, her prayer had seemed reasonable, since it appeared some flaw had entered her new form.
If this was Ereshkigal’s doing, though? Might Nergal even now be wagering that Agushaya would overcome this impediment?
Trying to distract herself from the ache of her breasts, Agushaya sniffed the air, identifying the sweet smell of myrrh and nightshade, the green-life aroma of palm and fig trees, and the faint fresh odor of water, though there were other smells for which she had no name.
Wanting to know the extent of her predicament, Agushaya reached down to where the dark hair marked the location of her shrine of mating. Other words came to her for that place, the variety bewildering, as if each thing must have five names, or ten. Her fingers slid over the curve of her padded mons, pushing through the curly hairs. A tingle of expectation and excitement rose between her legs, causing her to hesitate. But how could she proceed with her mission, unless she became familiar with her body? She must know the extent of her flaw if she was to master it.
So Agushaya pushed her fingers further on, and the tingling of expectation erupted in a burst of pleasure. Agushaya’s hips rose, her haunches clenched, her toes curled, and after a halted breath, she cried out.
Listening to her own heavy breathing, Agushaya told herself that the touch had not been pleasurable at all, but painful. Or rather, the pleasure had crossed over into pain. But in any event, she had no interest in repeating the experiment. The place between her legs, clitoris was one of its names, that was a part of her body she would be careful to ignore.
Even as she thought this, another part of her grew doubtful. Had it really hurt?
Fighting against the desire to assay another test, Agushaya mollified herself by touching her breasts again, but they now seemed more sensitive than before, making her eyelids go limp, drawing a whimper of desire from her throat.
After some thought, Agushaya decided upon a plan. Instead of single, separated touches, she began fondling her breasts, discovering as she did ways of catching her nipples between two fingers, or between the pad of her thumb and a finger. Not only the nipples, but the spongy tissue around them enjoyed being massaged, and she did this too, determined to deaden the sensations through overuse.
The need between Agushaya’s legs grew stronger, the feeling of wetness increasing. But still she kept on, noticing now something like a sphere of energy taking shape inside her.
A premonition of disaster gripping her, Agushaya told herself she must stop. What if this were indeed a stratagem of the Lady Ereshkigal? What if the only escape was to ignore and deny these impulses? What if this ball of energy represented some sort of victory, so that if Agushaya released the energy, Ereshkigal would win a skirmish against Lord Nergal?
Agushaya needed to stop and consider what she was doing, but already the sensations were so powerful, so wonderful, she told herself she would stop in a moment. A single caress more could surely do no harm. Anyway, no doubt she blamed Lady Ereshkigal unfairly, which meant her body was as Lord Nergal intended, which meant for her to renounce or ignore this aspect of her form, that would be blasphemy.
Agushaya’s debate with herself was still going on when the ball of energy flashed inside her, intense pleasure mixing with the sudden opening of forbidden pathways in her nervous system, to again make the pleasure mimic pain. Though she touched only her breasts, fertile juices sprayed out from between her legs, coating her inner thighs in a glistening liquid that flowed not in drops but in stringy tendrils.
Gasping for air, struggling against a gray fuzz that tried to drag her into unconsciousness, Agushaya also felt guilt, sure now that she had performed a forbidden act. Why hadn’t she stopped when she saw the danger?
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Genre – Erotic Fantasy
Rating – NC17
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Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.