John slogged through the swamp with increasing unease. His boots squelched with every step, and nearly came off a time or two. The fog in the air kept him from seeing more than a few feet in front of him. He made no effort to hide his movement. Monsters weren’t his concern. Alligators, snakes, other wretched things in the murk, these were his prime fears. He had been traveling only the gods knew how long.
He needed to make it to Vasherton, to warn them. The Jewel of the North, the Final City, was in horrible danger. And only he could save it. The Demon Lord’s forces had already gone through the mountain passes if the scouts were to be believed. His only hope was to make it through the lowland swamps, between the mountains. Otherwise he would not make it in time.
John cursed loudly as he fell face first into the swamp, his boot caught on an unseen tree root in the cold water. He scrambled out of the green murk quickly, sputtering and spitting out the putrid taste of swamp on his tongue. He decided that was enough for today.
He craned his neck to the sky above, barely visible past the knarled tangle of tree branches. It was a golden hue, the clouds seemed ablaze. The sun was setting anyway. And he wasn’t going to be caught in the water with all the beasts of the swamp. They were even fiercer with darkness to aid them. He wanted no part of that.
He made his way to a relatively dry area of the swamp, slightly elevated from the water canals that spread out over miles. He took his axe from his side and got to work.
The sun’s final rays were leaving the sky when John’s shelter was complete. A wooden hovel hastily made with a roof and three walls. John settled in for the night, fully clothed and caked in mud.
As he dreamt, he left the miserable swamp, his miserable body. The aches and pains, the bruises and sores, all of it melted away. He wasn’t John anymore, he was Jonny, the fisherman’s son.
Life was safe, calm, boring. But a relaxing kind of boring. His father, tall, scrawny and scraggly-bearded, taught him how to hook a worm, gut a fish, and enjoy waiting. He had been so impatient as a child. He wanted to be like his father, but never could manage it. He just didn’t have the same mindset. His mother had always called him a handsome lad, but he never believed it. brown headed, brown-eyed, skinny and short. His attempts at wooing girls always going awry. No one wanted to befriend a boy smelling of fish. He grew bitter, eager to fight the other boys, eager to prove himself. His father passed away while he was still a boy. His life ceased to be boring then.
Everyone in the village mourned him. Jonny’s house even received the occasional visits from people of neighboring villages, and some folks from the city. All of them paying respects to Jonny’s father. Jonny’s father had lived a long life, and had been grey-haired for as long as Jonny could remember. His mother grew ill not long after, and passed away before Jonny turned 16. Jonny became John, left the village, and joined the Order. He was too old to squire, not rich enough to buy a station. He became a scout. It was more exciting than being a fisherman’s son. It impressed the occasional prostitute at a pub.
It wasn’t exactly as he imagined.
John woke with a start. He remained motionless for several seconds, unsure of what awoke him. But as he listened he heard a faint nose outside of his shelter. Something was moving outside, something close.
His first thought was a wild pig, but soon discounted that. The creature was silent save for the soft “plop plop plop” of its footsteps. He moved quickly, grabbing his knife and exiting the ramshackle shelter. But nothing greeted him. The faint starlight barely allowed for any visibility, but John stayed calm. He grabbed a long stick from his shelter and began feeling around his shack, thinking an alligator might be lurking in the dark.
As he poked about, seeing what might clamp its jaws about the stick, he found nothing. He found a few frogs leaving the bank and going off into the dark water, but nothing else. Convinced it was nothing, he went back to his shelter, a few more hours of sleep and he’d head out at first daylight. Most monsters could see in the dark, and he would be woefully behind. But he could not risk wandering the swamp in the dark. It was far too dangerous.
As he went back to his mud, and darkness took the edges of his vision, he thought he saw something in the shack with him, with two glowing green eyes.
John woke in the morning in a foul mood. His dreams far too pleasant for the morbid duties he was trained for. He shook his head to rid himself of the memories of his childhood, not wanting to dwell on better times. It would only make his current situation that much worse. As he left his sticks, he found something that formed a lump in throat and a sinking feeling in his stomach.
Though light permeated the landscape, the source was not the sun. A blood-red moon hung over the sky, in a macabre display. The twisted branches of the trees overhead had flowered, five-petaled flowers in white, blues, and purples that he recognized only by the illustrations he’d seen in his training. Demonic Lamp Flowers, in full bloom all about the previously dead trees. The water was a strange blue color, seeming clear and inviting to drink. Not at all like the brown and green sludge and slurry of yesterday.
The land had become a Demon Realm.
His knees grew weak at the revelation. He looked about and saw more of the same. The swamp was too… pristine, colorful. The soil too black, the lights luminescent, giving off faint glows, and some shimmering like silver.
All of it was a lie. Like the Demons themselves, it had grown one hundred times more beautiful, and one thousand times as deadly. He wasn’t sure if the red moon was positioned as the true sun, but did his best to continue his journey in the same direction. Time was running short.
He didn’t bother to dismantle the shack as he normally would to prevent suspicion. A monster would be able to smell him out anyway. He focused on one thing, distance. He had to get to Vasherton quickly. If the swamps were already being converted, then this army was far larger and more powerful than the other scouts had predicted. He admitted to himself that the travel was easier, the water easier to glide through, the mud less irritating. The trees swayed gently in the breeze, shimmering like glitter-bombs on parade. But he knew what lie beneath the surface. The beauty was the cheese in a mousetrap. It enticed, it beckoned, it played to a man’s nature. But the only thing waiting for you was a brief moment of happiness, and then a quick end.
He continued onward.
As he traveled, he found himself growing increasingly paranoid. He felt as if he was being watched, could hear the same “plop plop plop” that he had heard last night. But every time he stopped to listen the sound would vanish. But the feeling remained.
Finally, as he was passing through some bushes, ripe with a pink heart-shaped fruit he dared not pluck, he hid briefly. He could hear the noise now, it continued toward the bush.
As glad as he was to be validated, adrenaline burst though his system at the realization he was being followed, and given the circumstances, it was no pig. He brandished his knife and leapt out of bushes quickly, catching sight of his pursuer at last.
It fell backward, surprised it had been found out. It didn’t stay on the ground long. As it flipped itself backward and a good ten feet in the air. It landed with the familiar “plop” that John had been hearing all day.
It was, as all monster are, shaped like a woman. A very curvaceous, and well-endowed woman. It wore no clothes that John could make out. But it was so inhuman, he could detect no genitalia either. It resembled a giant frog, with green slimy skin, pink-tinged on its chest, stomach and groin. It had darker green coloring in mottled patterns along its arms and legs, both of which ended at large webbed hands and feet. It did not seem concerned at being found out. Instead it looked up at him with a smile, a long slimy tongue escaping its lips and fondling one of its breasts.
John held back the urge to vomit.
“Well hello there! Seems you aren’t completely clueless huh?”
John knew monsters could speak, but it still startled him to see the frog-creature talk.
“Well don’t just stand there all slack-jawed. What’s your name Mr.Scout?”
John quickly weighed his options. He had been briefed on all “flee on sight” category monsters, and this thing wasn’t one of them. He might be able to take it out. Monsters liked to gang up on victims when they could he read, so if she was the only one here, maybe he could rush her, take her out and be on his way…
Suddenly his hand jerked forward, and his knife was dislodged from his hand. Startled he could only stare blankly as the Frog-woman retracted her tongue, knife at the other end. It flicked its tongue backward, sending his knife tumbling behind her into the swamp. John’s mind went blank. That was his only weapon.
“Now that that’s out of the way, tell me your name! I’m eager to start and my Daddy taught me to ask names first.”
John wheezed out a response.
The Frog-girl smiled wide, before jumping high up into the air, nearly fifteen feet, and landed on top of him. He was flattened against the soft black soil and could barely think, his thoughts seemingly stalled on that last image of knife sinking into the swamp-water below.
The creature on top of him didn’t seem to mind, and began to remove his clothing. He tried fighting her off, but she was covered in so much slime his hands would just slip off. The more he struggled the more she seemed to enjoy it. Finally his shirt was off, as well as his boots and sack. He was nearing exhaustion, the creature far stronger than it looked. Finally, he slumped to the ground, unable to resist any longer.
The monster on top of him looked him in the eyes, a curious expression on her face. She gave him a soft smile, not at all wicked or conniving as he imagined a monster’s smile. It was like what he’d seen the little girls at the village do to their objects of fancy, like what he’d always wanted directed at him. He flushed a bit, and began to look, really look at this creature.
Her eyes were large and beautiful, a vibrant shade of green that he recognized. She’d been the creature he’d seen last night, the one he thought a dream. Her bosom rested on his chest, soft and pleasant. Why hadn’t he noticed before? She had one hand on his breeches, tugging, and one behind his head, holding him up slightly. Her legs straddled him, groin smashed against groin. The close proximity and gentle pressure was enough to excite him.
Suddenly, his training, his duties, everything that had been taught to him seemed to fade. All he could remember was being Jonny, enjoying his family, envying others for petty reasons. He remembered a time, a brief time when he had wanted children. When he wanted to be a father. To continue on his father’s legacy, to make his mother proud. He looked at this creature, and could no longer see the monster. He spoke as the woman removed his last bit of clothing.
“What’s your name?”
She looked over him before smiling that same smile again, making him blush.
“I’m Bridget! Nice to meet you!”
He smiled, but didn’t have much time to do anything else. Bridget took hold of his member, now so hard as to be painful, and thrust it inside her. John immediately began thrusting, his body reacting purely to the stimulus. She grabbed hold of him and pinned him once more to the ground, extending her long tongue and began to lick his chest. He found himself trying to escape again, but stopped himself. He fought his training, not wanting to escape. Bridget’s warm slick body was paradise, better than any woman he’d had to pay to pretend to love him.
She fought to keep him pinned, and seemed to enjoy it when he squirmed. She began bouncing vigorously, jumping up and down on his throbbing erection. He reached out as she attempted to sit atop him, but he wanted the feeling of her chest on his. He held her down, and it was her turn to squirm.
They struggled with each other for a bit, until they locked eyes. Bridget seemed confused at first, but after a few seconds smiled broadly once more and attacked John’s face with the same ferocity as his groin. Her long sticky tongue kissed him with such sincerity, it surprised him. He returned the favor in earnest, now fully engaged in the love-making.
It felt as if a dam had broken, one he had never been aware of. This seemed, more than just the carnal.
As John held Bridget close, all thoughts of stopping the invasion melted from his mind. Old desires resurfaced, and his eternal dread and gloom seemed lifted. He didn’t have to be miserable anymore. And he didn’t want to be.