[authors note]: hi there.
this isn't the official author's note. it's more like a warning of what to expect from this story, because it differs somewhat from the other things i have been writing. [more in form than content.]
this *is* a vore-story, but instead of the standard single ending that most of my tales have this one should [if i manage to get to the second half ;)] have two endings. the idea being that you, the reader pick either the one or the other.
[or, you could cheat and read both ;)]
anyhow, thanks for reading this story.
after my mother died there wasn't much point in my staying in the house she'd left behind. for one, there were too many memories, also it was far too big for one single person to look after, so i packed up my things, sold the house and left, making my way south, towards the city of yeosotor.
in case you're wondering, my name is shepherd. shepherd kane. yes, i suppose it is a silly name, but it's the name that was given to me and i'm loyal to my kane heritage - i wouldn't trade it for the world, so i don't mind being thought of as the keeper of white, fluffy things. in fact, i sometimes wish that i could just head for the hills like that sometimes...just go somewhere safe, where the stresses arise from nature. wolves, natural storms, mothers giving birth. i'd like to do that, i think. unfortunately, though, i can't.
you're probably amused by our world. i can see it in your eyes. we have our magic and we have our science and we're still rushing around looking for something. some god. some truth - while you...you don't need that, do you? i wish i could be like you.
he came walking through the forest, not carrying much, just a backpack and the clothes he was wearing. i'd seen him before sometimes, chopping wood, but i'd never made my presence known.
it's funny how i could smell the death-smell on him, even before his eyes started clouding up and he started taking all his frustration out on the trees, hammering them down with his anger and not with his spirit. i felt sorry for the trees and the hamadryads that had lived in them, but even more than that i felt sorry for the young man in pain. i didn't know what he was in the process of losing, but i knew it was something that he loved.
that fateful day, when he came out of the town and never went back, the death-smell was about as pungent as it was going to get. i realized then that whatever he'd been holding onto had gone and, sniffling around a little, i found her spirit in the grove of ghosts. she was scared and lonely, not understanding what had happened to her. i stayed with her for two days until she understood, watching in rapture as her soul departed into the white light, knowing that now she was safe.
as many times as i've seen that ritual - death, misunderstanding, going home, it never fails to awe me, to humble me to the point where i feel small...even for one as large as myself.
i would have been content to let him go, to hope that he'd come to the woods one day, even if only to chop wood, but that wasn't to be, because i could smell a storm brewing and i knew that he was going to get trapped in the snow, ice and rain. so i did the only thing i could do. i rescued him.
sometimes...sometimes i suppose i get afraid. there seem to be too many paths to go down, too many things that i feel that i can do, but i don't know which one is the right one. i don't know where i belong anymore.
sometimes i read magical runes and i think, 'i can do this,' but there are other times, like when i'm chopping wood where i feel that i'd be better off doing that. there's a myriad of tunnels and no bright light.
when summer comes again i'm going to have to start making up my mind - being twenty-two and being part of too many guilds is not a good idea. maybe i could join the librarians - or...i just don't know anymore.
when the storm came, i knew winter had arrived, i also knew that it wasn't going to be long before i would need to start sleeping. i was going to have to find him quickly and direct him to where he was meant to go, because the hamadryads had told me that he was getting more lost by the day...and both of us were running out of time.
i love and hate the forest for being so big. on the one hand it makes it nearly impossible for hunters to find me and my kin, on the other hand it makes searching for specific things incredibly difficult, so, when i found him it was the second day of the storm.
he was lying on his side. he'd probably fallen like that after sitting against the tree behind him, his clothes unable to protect him from the bitter cold. i licked at his fingers and face, gently, noticing that they'd gone a slight shade of blue, as if the cold were making an icicle out of him...
trying to remember the forms of humanity i knelt down and picked him up in my large arms, cradling him to me as i stood up on my hind-paws and nearly overbalanced. very tenderly i put my nuzzle to his face and licked, hoping that my tongue might keep him warm for just a little while longer...i needed just enough time to take him to my home. once i got him there i could keep him safe from the cold quite easily, but right now...right now i needed to hurry.
the young man kneels in front of the sleeping bear. he can't leave here, because he doesn't know his way home, doesn't know his way anywhere. the bear wakes, moves and looks into his intense grey eyes with it's own, sad, brown eyes. very gently it opens out its arms and invites the youngster into them. there's a soft rumbling and the bear rolls onto its back, with the naked form of the young man on top of him.
after the third day in the cave he'd put his clothes into a corner of the cave, knowing that they weren't going to be of much use in the winter outside, at least not until the summer, when he could find his way out of here.
his voice tired and husky from disuse, the little man on the bear's belly talks, telling it all about himself, his life, his dreams, his hopes, his fears and slowly, the bear comes to love him, knowing that this is one of the strange ones from the human tribe.
he doesn't know how to keep the young man warm and fed...he's always so cold, but he never complains, knowing that there's nothing either of them can really do until the winter lets up. so, despite his hibernation, the bear wakes every day at dawn, going out to forage for the young man whom he has come to regard as a cub of sorts.
on one of the really cold nights, the human boy curls up against the bear's gut, the bear gently lapping at his ears. the boy breaks down and cries for his lost mother and for his directionless existence and for everything wrong with his world. as the bear hears these soft, sad sounds, he begins to add his own tears to the music the young man is making, very softly, the bear turns the boy to him and begins to kiss him, marking him as his cub.
as winter rolls on, i know i can't keep him here indefinitely...my natural urge to sleep is taking over everything i do. i go out into the blanket of white one last time, sniffing around and knowing...tonight the storm comes that'll stop me from being able to go out for good and i pine. i don't know what to do for my cub.
the hamadryads watch me. they know what's coming. angry now, i tear through the forest until i come across the first dead tree i can find. i can smell the death-smell on me and i don't like why it's there. remembering my cub and how he'd hammer at the trees when his mother was dying, i do the same. for the longest time i tear at the bark of the dead tree, screaming in my anger.
it's only when the tree falls to the ground that my anger subsides and i go in search of the meal i hope i'll find. high and low i search, high and low. nothing. sleep is coming, but i sit down in the white sand and cry.
my father-bear comes back empty-handed. he won't look at me and i know that my time is running out. fast.
time stops being anywhere near relevant. every now and then my father-bear will wake up and nose the entrance clear of snow, so that we can both breathe, but he still won't look at me.
by the second or third day, i can't tell which anymore, i wake up from sleep and see him rocking in a corner of the cave. he's keening softly to himself...the noise that woke me from sleep.
i look over at him, taking in his beauty...he's a large bear, taller than any man i've ever met, with large, expressive eyes that are a deep shade of brown, just like his fur. lately, though, his eyes have got more and more sad...i half want to know what he's thinking, but am not always sure of that. he is still fat from his pre-hibernation binge, but that fat will slowly be converted to energy over the next two months as he sleeps...only right now i'm keeping him from the sleep he desperately needs.
i move closer to him and for the first time i smell something i've never smelt before. he's emanating fear and there's something...some sort of death-feeling...i can't quantify it. he doesn't look at me as he gets up and lumbers away from me.
Feeling lost, i curl up on the floor, crying softly, so that he won't hear me. why is my father abandoning me?
before i close my eyes and sleep, i look over at my cub one last time. i don't like the way out i've chosen, but see it as the only real alternative to our situation.
i've been thinking that i can either move and leave him here, to die, or i can help him...and i've decided that i want to help him die, because that's the outcome of this scenario from whatever angle i look at it.
as i dream, i still see him, his slight frame, kneeling in front of me that night i was asleep. he's not tall, but not short either, somewhere average. in my dreams i look into his eyes and see the indecision there, his eyes are a startling gray, which is in contrast with the rest of his fur, which is brown. by now he's grown a beard which has patches of grey in it, even though he says he's only twenty- two. it's shocking how old he looks for the age he claims to be.
i roll over.
father forgive me, for i know exactly what i do.
my cub is finally asleep, i pad over to him and kiss him one last time, softly, so as not to wake him, then i tumble him out in front of me, touching my paws to his legs to get them to stretch out. he doesn't wake up. the lack of food must be beginning to affect him. lying down on my belly i lift his legs and open my mouth wide.
sliding his legs over into my open mouth, i begin to coat them with saliva. licking the balls of his feet with my rough, but gentle tongue, i tug, gently, getting both of his feet completely into my mouth, continuing the gentle licking motions. thankfully the floor of the cave is smooth, otherwise i might have inadvertently woken him. resisting the urge to press the backs of his feet up against my palate, i swallow, taking the tips of his toes into my waiting throat. he must be completely exhausted, because he hasn't noticed what is happening to him yet, but i know he will. sooner or later. now i occupy myself with his calves, reaching my paws up, i tug, as quietly as i can, trying to keep with the rhythm of his gentle snoring, knowing that when he snores his body moves. i swallow, feeling the balls of his feet enter my throat. i've never done this before and i don't know if i'm going to be able to accommodate his whole body, but i try not to think about that now. it'll sort itself out, eventually. when i get half-way up the backs of his legs, he trembles suddenly and i know he's awake.
at first he just lies there, his lower half nearly all the way into my mouth, then he turns and looks at me. he doesn't squirm, doesn't struggle to be out of my mouth, he doesn't beg, doesn't sob. his eyes are filled with pity. i think he understands how difficult this is for me. softly, at first, he begins to chant. i close my eyes and see him doing this as a mage's apprentice, the fine white tunic flowing down his lithe body, the blue ball of flame that they call the focusing ball illuminating his beard and face. hands straight out in front of him and those grey eyes, radiating power. the chant grows and swells. it's been too long since i've heard these patterns and i don't know what they do, but i open my eyes again and concentrate on my task. placing my paws around his waist i gently lick the partition between his legs before drawing them deeper into my maw. my throat is now being filled with the lower half of his calves. lifting him closer to me, i concentrate on the rhythm of his chanting, realizing, only now that he's casting a spell of calm. i swallow him down to his behind, drawing him ever downward and into me. now that he's awake i no longer need to be lying on my gut, but not wanting to disturb his chanting, i stay as i am. through sheer force of will i resist the urge to stick my tongue into his cleft, knowing that if i do i'll break his concentration and that's the last thing i want to do at this stage - the calm that he's bringing for both of us is utterly necessary at this point. if he stops...somehow, by keeping my tongue focused on stroking his thighs as they enter my jaws, i miss catching his penis with my tongue, but it is the most uncomfortable way of eating i can think of. instead of pointing my tongue straight ahead, i have to curve it, trying to stop myself from touching anything that'll make him lose the concentration he needs to keep chanting. his lower legs have started to make their way down into my throat and i can feel the tips of his toes half-way into my chest and reaching for the opening to my gut. while i concentrate on swallowing him, he keeps on chanting, changing the cadences slightly now...the memory trickles back and i remember this particular spell. he's...removing the smell of death from me...somehow replacing it with the smell of life, fertility. suddenly i realize that he's not only directionless, but godless as well. he'd studied any and every spell that came across his path, seeking no affiliations. the mental connections come back, the spell of calm for the god of mercy. the spell of the life-giver for the god of life. swallowing again, his thighs are now making their way down, his slender stomach is in my mouth, being stroked by my tongue. i don't understand how, exactly, but my mouth is wide-open and ready to take this, the largest part of him. my paws have pinned his arms to his sides. now he sounds a little shaken, his voice cracking a little. as my mouth works over his hands, i feel them balling into fists and i understand that even though he's cast a spell of calm, he's still utterly terrified. starting from his hands and then working their way down my throat his body emits little tremors of fear...not knowing whether or not it's going to work, i start thinking the chant, augmenting his voice with my voice - or, at least, the way my voice used to be. at first i get the cadences and the feeling wrong, but then, as his voice guides mine, i begin to manage, sorting through his fear and gently replacing it with tranquillity. i swallow again, keeping my mind on the chant and my paws at his sides, slipping the forearms into my open mouth. his toes have hit my stomach and are now being followed by his legs. as his terror recedes, i begin to remember more, drawing on a magic i thought i'd lost years ago. no pain...i remember how that goes...and so i begin that chant as well, making sure he doesn't feel any pain on the way down, or inside of me. he turns to look at me, his eyes no longer full of pity, but full of surprise that i should know these chants. somewhere past whatever he's feeling, a smile touches his lips and i know we're over the worst. the pressure of chanting lifted from his shoulders, he does something i've never heard him do. staying with my cadences and rhythm, he begins to sing, softly, letting the melody wash over both of us...i get to the upper part of his stomach and feel him beginning to kneel down in my belly, which has now bulged outwards even more than its ordinarily vast size. then, swallowing hard, i begin to pull the whole of him into my mouth, so that i'm collaring his neck with my maw. knowing that i can get up now, i do so, feeling, with my paws, how his lower half has expanded my gut outward. i listen to his song until it finishes, knowing that this is going to be the last time i hear his voice. i wish i could look into his eyes...realizing, suddenly, that i can, i stop my chanting, which immediately starts him up struggling inside of me. his legs begin to kick and though there isn't that much space, his arms begin to flail...i understand that i've made a mistake and start the chant up again...which one was it i wanted? remembering, i start singing, combining the calmness and movement spell all into one. i feel a bit uncomfortable as he turns around inside of me, but the combination has the right effect. he is now looking down into my deep, brown eyes and i can see his gentle grey ones, staring back at me. i make eye contact one last time with my cub and then swallow, closing my mouth around his head. patting my stomach, i begin to help him edge his way down my throat, swallowing and then waiting, until, finally, he's curled up in a ball inside of my distended, low-hanging belly. i continue chanting, inside of my mind...remembering to keep him from harm at the same time, but knowing that i'll have to go to sleep at some point...and the pain of digestion will be upon him then...but hopefully he'll fall asleep before that. as i rub my stomach, patting him and making sure that he's ok, i feel his movements begin to cease, waiting for the inevitable. when it comes, i lie down on my back and keen...crying myself to sleep, understanding that there could be no other way...but hating the futility of what had to happen.
for the next two months i drift in and out of sleep, sometimes remembering... on those days i go to the pile of clothes in the corner and sniff at them, wanting him to come back, but knowing that he can't, he's now a part of the fat on my gut...
when spring comes i go back out to the trees and apologize to the hamadryads. they understand about the tree...understand the whole situation more perfectly than even i can. maybe gaia has told them something she hasn't told me.
she comes into my life one day as i'm fishing. standing there resplendent in her brown furry coat...like the gentle, but obnoxious creature that she is, she wades into the stream and begins tossing water [and fish] at me, mocking me, subtly.
much like i fell in love with my cub, i fall in love with her...as the months turn into years i find a steady kinship with her...and in our first year together we have a singular pup...he's a little male cub and he falls all over everything in his haste to explore. too many unfinished patterns for him to run after and wonder at...
for a long time we don't know what to call him, until one day he leads us into a meadow...and there, before me, i see the fluffy white things my cub once told me about...the sheep. sitting back on my haunches, i cry...and for the first time i call shepherd kane back to me. my son never left me, he just became part of the order i understood better...
over the next few months i have dreams...sometimes dreams of my cub, but other times, dreams of the people i left behind...and slowly i change...
upon waking, in the spring, i find that i have shrunk - that i am no longer *ursus* but *humanus,* i have come full cycle. i still have some of the bearish attributes that my ursus self had...the big gut and the large arms. sadly, i reach for his clothes, knowing that they'll never fit me. for a few days, i stay in the forest, trying to remember how to make the human noises - talking...i keep wanting to grunt and growl, but with patience, i remember the words...practising on the trees, who no longer answer...i can no longer see my mentors, the hamadryads.
on the third, or fourth, day out of the cave i begin to walk until i come across a little village, where one of the farmers kindly gives me some clothes, but it is the white, fluffy things that draw my attention...the sheep that my cub so wanted to tend...it is only then that i realize that his sweet, soft voice hasn't left me. sitting down, as my ursus self might have done, i cry and call to shepherd kane, whom i can feel all around me...
[authors note:] [date:18 may 1998]
hm...another one. and a week apart from the cure too...goodness... :)
when i started writing this i hadn't actually had that much time to build up any mental pictures at all. the one *big* picture that stuck in my head was that of a bear carrying a [wounded?] man to safety.
my question that needed answering during the course of this writing was, 'i've come across some vore where the predator assimilates the prey and it becomes a part of the prey...its body gets strengthened by that meal, right?'
well...yes, and no. that's why this had multiple endings. in this [particular] scenario, i wanted to get across that maybe because the bear and his 'cub' had spent so much time with each other, each of them took something from the other and that 'feedback' created a sort of loop, whereby neither one nor the other was particularly dominant...
anyhow...hope you enjoyed the idea. :)
*hugs* 'n stuff...
[further note:bastardized version:31 may 1998] thanks to sagebear for bastardizing this one...i think he's getting the picture now. he's stopped trying to question me about why i'm writing stuff like this ;0
there were the ordinary little semantic errors that got edited out of version 1.00. [to produce version 1.01] probably the biggest difference between this version and the previous version is the fact that gaia has had a sex-change ;)) - in the original gaia was male, but due to a discussion prompted by sagebear we allowed gaia her dress back. [all, cheer.]
thanks for being a reader :)
even *more* hugs 'n stuff.
copyright (c) 1998, julian comley, nicodemus caine, greywolfe