“That’s everything we have on the shapes of heads.” An old man with blazing eyes dropped a large leather-bound tome upon two others, echoing throughout a long, dark oak table. “If you need anything more, you’ll have to consult the king’s bibliophylacium.”
Seated at the table was a much larger figure, broad and wide, with a velvet hood covering its stooping head, except for level horns on either side. “Dis, no good. Dis, more humans. Cannot use.” He pronounced it hoo-mans in a deep, gruff voice.
The old man sneered, resting upon the table. “Of course it’s humans! What else would it be? We don’t study the skull-shape of dandelions or pinecones, least of all catt−” He only barely caught himself, with a flicker of mortification. “Catfish, of course.”
The larger figure turned to face him, drawing back his hood with two thickly muscled and hairy hands. Slowly he rose from the beleaguered wooden stool, causing the old man to clutch the pommel of his dagger beneath his own coarse, brown robe and retreat a step. In full, the larger figure stood a head taller than the man, though most of that was hump: his broad bull’s head hung nearly to eye-level with his host. “You say dat again,” he said, gusting humid air through large nostrils.
“My apologies for the inadequacy of our library, Magos Eikenboom, but I’m afraid our interests are rather specific to our studies.”
“You say dat again, Burgess.” Thick, glossy black lips parted to reveal a sneer of large molars. Eikenboom wrapped his fist in the man’s robe and drew him near; Scolere Burgess wrenched his head away to avoid his breath. “You say dat to m’face.”
“Enough.” A taller man in violet robes at the other end of the chamber clapped his book shut. “Magos Eikenboom, you will release him with my apologies. Scolere Burgess, you will apologize promptly.” Something in his glossy black hair exposing a hard brow discouraged either from protest.
Burgess’s spindly hands fluttered on either side of the Bullonmagos‘s meaty fist. “Of course I’m quite sorry, Magos, my deepest apologies. In no sense did I intend to slight your proud heritage, though of course it’s patently obvious to me, why, to any reasonable person how you would have−”
Eikenboom released his grip, and the smaller man fell against the table, a touch dramatically. “Can’t use, no good,” he said, sliding one of the tomes toward him. He flipped through the large book, as though hoping to be surprised. “No good for physiognomy, no good for phrenology.” He swung his heavy head toward the taller, imposing man in violet. “Tæcan Ravinger, how far to the king?”
An older Bullonmagos beside Ravinger began to speak, stilled by a slight gesture from the tall man. “Fret not, Magos Eikenboom. Within a fortnight we shall be on the move again. Without wishing to inconvenience my honored guests, we have a window of opportunity to study a certain phenomenon here, and then Torr Seolfor will be on its way.”
Eikenboom exchanged dark, glassy, inscrutable glances with his elder, Magos Arbeider, then snorted in assent.
Three floors above, another wizened old man trained a brass spyglass out of a high, thin window. He muttered to himself, stifling a cough. The slightly younger old man beside him asked if he wouldn’t repeat what he said. “I can’t make out who she is, Scolere Maitland,” he rasped. “It looks like she’s being chased off by the farmers.”
“Why wouldn’t they leave her alone, Scolere Hawthorne? I can’t imagine who you’re seeing out there.”
“Big girl,” Hawthorne said. “Not Lieke, hair’s different. Lieke’s blonde. This one, ginger I think.”
“I hope we’re not in trouble. You wouldn’t say that, would you?”
Hawthorne coughed something up and said it was too soon to say.
In the chamber beneath theirs, another heavyset mage with a bull’s head was scrutinizing posters on the wall with a stern-faced blond man. “There, that’s the constellation Pallas’s Cat! See? See that? That’s Pallas’s Cat!”
“Yes, I get it,” said the Bullonmagos.
“And next to that, that’s the Kakapo! Kakapo! You see that, Magos Grieve? It’s leaning over! It’s le-e-e-aning over to eat!” The blond mage thumped his finger into the chart.
“Yes, the Kakapo. Very nice, Scolere Winter.”
“Some of us got a Kakapo on our hand. See? See?” He held up his palm, tracing a misshapen oval in his wrinkles. “Kakapo! That’s a Kakapo, just like in the sky!” He pointed to the chart again.
“Very interesting. But what I came here to ask you was whether you were familiar with anyone who claimed to see a significant success rate in scrying, say, tasseography or ceroscopy—”
Winter snapped his fingers repeatedly between Grieve’s wide-set eyes. “Hey! Hey! Up here! See this? This group of stars makes the Aardwolf! Aa-aa-aardwolf! Yeah? The Aardwolf?”
Grieve balled his fists and drew a long, echoing breath.
Hawthorne wiped his mouth. “Scolere Maitland, the journal, if’n ye don’t mind.”
“You don’t think this is worth recording, do you?”
“Two years ago, this month. Think we were in this region. *hack-hack!* See if you can find anything about reuzins named Lieke or Milou, any mention.” Hawthorne peered out the window and focused the spyglass. “Oh, that pissed off the fishermen. What’s she doing? Destroyed two of their boats.”
“I’m not seeing anything, Scolere Hawthorne. You weren’t thinking of someone in particular, were you?”
“Shadow and Hell, she ate ’em…”
The dark-haired man looked up, aghast. “She wouldn’t! She didn’t, surely?”
“Scooped ’em up, *hack-hack!* tossed ’em right inside. Looked unhappy about it, though. Strangest damn thing.”
Maitland walked over to the window, trying to peer at the action unassisted. “Not much better than were she happy about it, I shouldn’t think.”
“You hold still for him.” The tall man in violet robes folded his arms as Arbeider looked on with interest.
“Of course, Tæcan Ravinger, but I’m unsure what this is supposed to achieve.”
“Start at the front, if you would, Magos Eikenboom. Thumbs here, just before the temples.”
“Feel strange. No horns. Smooth, oily.”
“Well, of course we lack the noble pelts of your people, er, clan? Tribe?” Burgess’s eyes flitted between the Bullonmagos and his superior. “But it’s what I’m born with, of course, and that wouldn’t feel so strange to me, as a matter of course.”
“Follow the ridge around his eye sockets, running up to the large knobs on either side of his frontal lobe.”
“They’re not actually knobs, of course.”
“And then the hollow behind them. Place your thumbs in those hollows and your fingers here, here, and here upon his scalp.”
“Not as hard as that, of course!”
Ravinger nodded. “Well done. Now, with this preliminary map in your mind, what can you tell me about Scolere Burgess?”
Eikenboom closed his huge eyes, long lashes folding as if in prayer. His huge nostrils flared, and his leathery, whiskered lips nudged against each other in concentration. “Asshole,” he pronounced. Burgess had some difficulty in finding the humor in this, of course, as Ravinger and Arbeider enjoyed a laugh.
“She’s seen us. *hack-cough!* She’s looking this way.” Hawthorne lowered his glass and looked at Maitland gravely.
“But Torr Seolfor isn’t charged and primed for transport! That won’t be for another nine or ten nights.” Maitland nodded at the glass urgently. “She’s not considering us?”
Slowly Hawthorne raised the spyglass to his eye once more, grimacing through a rattling cough, and muttered to himself. “Lieke was the towhead, Milou was the brunette who liked the wreath. Benthe was that big, round girl with the gap in her teeth.” He nearly dropped the spyglass with another coughing fit. “I don’t recognize this ‘un. Fetch ye a quill and write down what I tell ye.”
“No! No! What are you doing? Magos Grieve, get back here right now!” Balancing on a stool, he pulled off his boot and traced an acute angle in the sole of his foot, right below the ball. “That’s the Marten’s Head! Ma-a-arten’s Head! You see? Here, hey, hey, look at this. This is the Marten’s Head!”
“Scholere Winter,” rumbled Grieve’s deep voice, “put your boot back on and watch your tone, or I’ll juxtapose my podomancy so deep into your rumpology, your grandchildren will be born third-degree scatomancers.” His hooves thudded quietly about the round chamber as he pored over book titles.
Winter frowned and tugged his boot back on. “Easy there, Magos Grieve. Easy, easy. Okay, you want to look at the books a little while? That’s okay, we can do that. You can look around for five minutes, and then it’s right back to the interdisciplinary somatomancy.” He stalked behind Grieve, leaning over his shoulder. “That’s good, huh? That’s a good book. Look at that book. Oh, what book did you find? That’s a great book.”
Grieve wheeled around, wide teeth bared. “Are you trying to get yourself killed, Scolere Winter? Are you purposely trying to push me into trampling you? If so, by the High Ghost, keep up what you’re doing!”
“Whoa, easy, easy there.” Winter raised his empty palms and took a step back. “There you go, easy there. We’re all friends here, Magos Grieve. You thirsty? You want something to drink? Let’s go get some water, how’s that sound? How’s that?”
Grieve’s large eyes swept the room for a ceremonial dagger or a nice, heavy cudgel, when two old men came stampeding down the circular staircase, one clutching a large book and a brass spyglass, the other coughing violently as they passed. Grieve glanced at Winter and they chased after them.
Ravinger looked up indignantly at the intruders. “Scolere Hawthorne, Scolere Maitland? What do you two think you’re doing down here? Is there anyone on watch right now?”
Hawthorne strangled on his own phlegm, so Maitland stepped forward. “We wouldn’t have come down without a good reason, Tæcan! Torr Seolfor has been spotted by an errant reuzin!” The scoleren in the room gasped, but for Ravinger. All the large, deep, black eyes of the Bullonmagos turned toward him.
“What dis means?” asked Eikenboom.
“Everyone shut up! Now!” Winter barked. “Tæcan’s about to explain! Listen!” He faced Ravinger directly, his face contorted with almost ecstatic concentration.
Ravinger turned to Hawthorne. “We have pacts with the reuzins in this region, do we not?”
“That we do,” the older man said in a strangled voice, “but this ‘un don’t show up in the register.”
“Benthe, Milou, none of those?”
“None, Tæcan. Got a wild one on our hands.” Hawthorne gripped his knees to cough.
“And the Torr’s engines are depleted after the last jaunt?”
“They aren’t full,” said Maitland. “Last trip wasn’t a short one, won’t be a little time before they’re full and ready to go again.” He’d spread a tome of records on a table, which Grieve was very anxious to get at but for the short blond scolere yanking on his sleeve.
“What are the contingencies in such a situation, Tæcan Ravinger?” asked the august Arbeider. Eikenboom and Grieve flicked an ear in his direction, the former having forgotten to remove his meaty fingers from the pallid skull of Burgess.
Before he could speak, a sequence of distant explosions faded into hearing. They were low and powerful, their shock evident in the stone ground-floor chamber of Torr Seolfor. Above the booms, the echo of an incredibly loud woman’s voice reverberated against the Torr: “What a handsome-looking tower! So tall, so stout and strong… the perfect place to let off some steam.”
If Ravinger was pale before, he was positively ashen now. All scoleren and magos were trained upon him, and he spoke but two words: “Battle stations.”
Winter grabbed Grieve’s shaggy arm and, surprisingly, hauled him to the spiral stairs. “Come on! We’re going to the third floor! That’s our post! That’s what we gotta do! Come on, here we go!” Behind him, Maitland nodded to Burgess, who was unable to nod back due to the heavy paws that held his head. Maitland took the stairs and Hawthorne stumbled after him, hacking and wheezing, to station the second chamber.
“What we do now?” grumbled Eikenboom, looking around the abruptly empty room.
“Well, of course I’d be happy to show you, just as pleased as I could be, if you were able to see your way clear to releasing my head, of course.” This done, Burgess sprang from his stool and dug through a pile of large tomes on the bottom shelf of a heavy, dark bookcase. “I’m sure you’re competent in the major disciplines of your people, of course,” he stammered, flinching under the Bullonmagos‘s hard gaze. He clapped a broad book, apparently covered in thin sheets of granite and trimmed in iron. “But I’m compelled to ask: how’s your geomancy?”
No sooner did Ravinger and Arbeider reach the fourth floor than the voice, sweet for all its booming depth, reverberated around Torr Seolfor. “Okay, guys, it’s your lucky day!” The earth shuddered with her footsteps. “Don’t worry, I’m not going to kill you. I just need to use your tower for a bit.” Ungodly giggling rained upon the shingled peak to the Torr. “You might want to open all your windows and treat yourselves to a once-in-a-lifetime show, you lucky little bastards! I don’t mind if you look, really: we’ll call that my price for you letting me use this handsome little tower.”
Ravinger cantripped his voice to transmit in all four chambers: “Close all the windows! Immediately!” Wooden shutters slamming rang up and down Torr Seolfor, and the scoleren sealed them with more cantrips. Outside, the reuzin continued to compliment herself and assure them what a treat they were in for.
“I’ll just knock off that silly roof of yours, first. Don’t need to get any splinters up my hoo-haw!” The ceiling exploded above Ravinger and Arbeider, who gaped at the gigantic woman. Her bare belly and gently swelling breasts glowed in the afternoon sun, flecked with clumps of earth and the limbs of the foolhardy farmers and the luckless fishermen. Beyond all this, ringlets of copper writhed and swayed around her goofy grin. “Well, hello you two! Oh, don’t look so scared, I’m not going to hurt you. In fact, if ou stay put, you’re going to get the best show in your life!” The sun shone off her wide teeth. “Am I blushing? I don’t know why I would…”
Ravinger stage-whispered, “Magos Arbeider, you’re an aerolater, are you not? Can you seal this room?”
Two muscled arms of graying fur rose and waved and churned the atmosphere until a dense layer of air hardened above them, like an imperfectly smooth pane of glass. The wide bull’s head nodded at the taller man, his face struggling to achieve the calm he needed to sustain this spell.
“Exemplary, my friend.” He kicked up his voice once more. “Scolere Winter, you hold fast all the windows in this damned Torr. Scolere Hawthorne, if you can coax the stones and mortar into some flexibility, that would be appreciated; Scolere Maitland, I must ask you to run restorator between the chambers. Repairs of fractures and weak spots will be Scolere Burgess’s responsibility. Esteemed Magos Eikenboom, I must implore you to anneal the very structure of the Torr at every point, to the best of your ability.”
Ravinger paused, bolstering himself. “And Magos Grieve, is there anything in your vast and respectable repertoire that would allow you to imbue the exterior of Torr Seolfor with… slipperiness?
“By the High Ghost, here she comes,” he added, before he remembered to dampen his voice.
Grieve looked at Winter with a heavy brow. “The hell did he mean, slipperiness?”
“No, Magos Grieve! No questions! Make it slippery! Come on!”
Gritting his teeth at Winter, Grieve nonetheless called upon the Torr’s exterior masonry to imagine objects gliding past other objects, to think of near misses and repulsion. “Good boy,” said Winter, who spread his arms, muttered in hard consonants, then crossed his chest with his forearms and dug his nails into his shoulders.
The sun that bathed the fourth chamber suddenly fled as one immense thigh swung around, and Ravinger and Arbeider were flanked by lean, muscular legs. Ravinger stared up into long, thick folds of flesh, topped in a coppery grove as Arbeider held their shield. He spoke up to the Torr: “Brace yourselves for impact in three, two…”
The agony of stones flashed up and down the Torr, ringing in everyone’s ears. “Whoa, this tower’s wiggly,” echoed the reuzin‘s voice. “I hope it’s stronger than I thought!”
The fourth chamber was plunged into darkness, prompting Ravinger to ignite the lanterns that hung on every ceiling in the Torr; for his room, he supplemented the air shield with a dull glow. He watched as the thick layers of flesh spread over the shield, and the Torr began its entrance. “By the High Ghost,” he gasped, apologizing to Arbeider who was struggling to remain focused.
“Oop, there it goes,” the woman chirped. “Nice and strong. You must really like me!”
Eikenboom growled, bulging arms extended, his fingers straining to reach out and lock the walls in his arcane influence. Nearby, Burgess swayed on his feet, eyes rolling back in their sockets as he attuned to the Torr and sensed its weaknesses, redirecting his own energies toward the fourth chamber where the walls were getting rather wobbly.
“Easy does it, *hack-hack!* Conform and bend, my friends, roll with it.” The wizened old man on the second floor appeared to be engaged in a dreamy, slow waltz. “Pitch and sway, that’s the way, easy as she *hack-cough!*” A jagged cough drew one of his legs up short and he tripped on a move. “Oh, Shadow and Hell.”
Ravinger flung out his arms and impelled the walls not to collapse upon them. “We’ve got to get something for his cough,” he muttered.
“Can brew… metheglin… not far…” Arbeider gasped and his fingers knotted. Viscous fluid began to seep and run down the walls. Immediately the air in the room changed to a sharper musk.
“Verdammt,” Ravinger spat. “Scolere Maitland! Where are you?”
The dark-haired man was already climbing the stairs, glancing around the tops of the walls in alarm. “Don’t you fear this, Magos Arbeider, and if you wouldn’t mind to not clench your mouth quite so closed…” The bullish mouth opened, and into it Maitland dumped the contents of a small glass cylinder. After an initial grimace, Arbeider’s expression calmed quickly. With a deep breath, he gestured encouragingly to the ceiling and the air shield strengthened, cutting off any further flow. Ravinger assured the alchemist this was exemplary as Maitland practically threw himself down the stairs.
Through the thick stone walls, the woman’s voice boomed: “Oh my, that feels good. I don’t think I can take all of you in at once, but I can definitely make some headway. The walls are nice and smooth! How do you do that? This is really nice!”
Winter’s head snapped up. “Very good! Very good, Magos Grieve! Good job!” Grieve could only chuckle to himself, until he noticed the thick, milky fluid welling between the shutters and sills. He glared at Winter, who yelped and clutched himself, struggling and swearing, until the windows sealed once more. Grieve watched the juices trickle down and pool around the edges of the floor, glittering in the lantern light, and then his ears flickered at the shutters. Something heavy and long rasped over the barriers, grinding quietly, patiently over the windows and on down the walls. He drew the back of one hand slowly toward the ceiling, lowering the palm of the other to the floor, then switched the maneuver as though his hands were fish drifting in a still pool; the heavy rasp abated somewhat.
“Is everyone getting a good look at the inside of a goddess? It’s okay, I’m not really a goddess. But I might as well be for you, huh?” Laughter throbbed throughout the air they breathed. “A gift from your goddess! I bet you’re really loving this.” The woman swore and informed them it was getting good, and she had to adjust herself.
Beads of sweat burst all over Burgess’s bald head. He strengthened his stance, but the Torr’s condition caused his shoulders to scrunch up and contract. “Don’t unclench unless you don’t want this,” whispered Maitland, and Burgess slowly opened his mouth to receive the restorant.
Ravinger watched the deep cracks in the wall grow narrower and narrower, pebbles and powdered mortar rolling up the walls to fit neatly into the seams. “You’re all doing exemplary,” he said, louder. “We’re in good shape, holding up very well. We cannot thank our visiting Bullonmagos enough for their invaluable support at this time.” He quieted himself and wiped his brow with one draping violet sleeve. “Lieke was playful but she was quick. Benthe lost interest by this time. Milou…” He squinted, struggling to recall. “Well, it’s not Milou, anyway. Who is this? Why didn’t we see her coming?”
Arbeider peeked with one eye rolling upward. “Poor choice of words, my friend.” Startled, Ravinger glanced at the magos, then looked up into a yawning canal of rippled flesh, pink and orange in the glow of the air shield.
“Oh, my goodness, it’s getting good.” The woman’s voice sounded strained to the first and second chambers; above that, all they could hear was the heavy rasp outside their windows and the deafening slurp of churning liquids. Quickly Ravinger muted the walls to protect the occupants’ ears. “I just have to adjust myself,” she said, groaning. “My legs are getting weak. I think I need more exercise. I should visit you people more often! Not that you’ve done anything to deserve something as glorious as this… except, gosh, I really love this tower.”
The tower canted to the side, and Eikenboom bellowed with effort to right it. The mortar shattered between floors, and Burgess clutched himself in agony, before resonating with the walls to soften, moisten, and mend. Maitland found something for Hawthorne’s throat, who was then able to resume his dance. Were the men in the Torr not battling tenaciously to concentrate, they would have noticed how the walls in each chamber shifted and bent slightly, twisting to accommodate the demands of the muscular canal that slowly consumed it. Winter controlled his breathing and was able to hold the windows solid, and Grieve found his own job less demanding as supplementary materials coursed down the Torr walls.
The voice of the reuzin thrummed in the first chamber. “Oh, my Goddess, here it comes… Am I breaking this stupid tower? It feels softer, somehow. It’s not resisting. Did I hear it crack? Oh, this stupid tower! Just a few more minutes!”
Burgess and Eikenboom locked gazes, nodding once through fierce grimaces. Burgess curled his fingers into hooks, and his wrists and elbows began to wrench into unnatural positions; Eikenboom stamped his hooves fearfully upon the basalt floor, his shoulders flexing as though he were lifting all of Torr Seolfor by himself. Far above, Ravinger tore his eyes from the bulging pink sphere slowly coming into view, a fat, fleshy node depression in the center, only just large enough for him to fit his head inside, he bet. Instead, he clenched his eyes shut and drew a deep breath and redirected what energy he had to the hardworking souls in the first chamber.
“Whoop, there you go. I think you actually got harder! Did you get bigger? Oh Goddess, right there, right… yes, here it… so big… you lucky, lucky little bugs…”
Her cries pealed across the countryside, scattering flocks of small birds from the forests, startling deer into the plains. Nearby villages glanced with fear and unknowing into the sky, women hustled their children indoors, men shoved furniture against the doors. Despite Ravinger’s aural dampening, despite being embedded in yards and yards of dense feminine flesh, all scoleren and magos alike heard the reuzin bellowing her ungainly climax. The Bullonmagos lowed and stomped, shoving their energies around, and the humans narrowed their focus to a slim, diamond rod of intensity, as Torr Seolfor shuddered. Large books fell off of shelves, bookshelves toppled and crashed. Maitland froze on the stairs, glass vials slipping from his arms and shattering upon the steps.
Ravinger, spent, collapsed to the floor and stared helplessly as the gigantic cervix grew closer, larger, and flattened against Arbeider’s air shield. The elderly Bullonmagos winced and cried out in pain, glancing up to see what was assaulting his defense, and in that moment the shield shattered. The two mages shrieked in horror as a tide of milky fluid spilled into the chamber and the bulging cervix spread and descended, crushing desks and shelves, swelling until it nearly touched them.
The base of Torr Seolfor shattered with an explosion, and all the occupants were pitched from the floor and thrown against a wall. They sprawled upon priceless charts and manuals. Winter, Hawthorne, and Burgess scrambled to extinguish the lanterns on their floors, before their oil spilled and sent each chamber up in flames.
They heard the enormous woman outside the Torr. Her voice was softer, her breathing was heavier. “I just need to rest here a minute. My leg’s cramped. Just my luck, huh?”
Slowly the ball of flesh receded from the fourth chamber. Ravinger and Arbeider lay perfectly still, absolutely sopping in the reuzin‘s juices, pages of books plastered up and down the lengths of their bodies. They stared at each other, wordlessly assessing the other’s condition.
“If I couldn’t take care of that cramp,” said Maitland to himself, “I shouldn’t be worth very much, I don’t think.” He cantripped several vials into repairing themselves, then crawled awkwardly down the sideways staircase into the first chamber. Burgess barely noticed him fumbling for the door.
The reuzin‘s voice was louder, as Maitland hauled himself out the opened door. “You know what, guys? You should build a little balcony up near the top, like, somewhere between the middle and the top. And then maybe one or two of you could stand there and watch me rub it against myself. Wouldn’t you love that? You bet you would! Goddess, if you built a balcony, you wouldn’t be able to keep me away. So we’ve got a deal?”
The door of the first chamber slammed shut, and Burgess and Eikenboom heard a man cry out. Then they heard Hawthorne hacking his lungs out in the next chamber. In the third chamber, Winter told Grieve, emphatically, what a good boy he was, and Grieve tolerated it with a little amusement.
Arbeider breathed heavily. “How many times has this happened to you?” Ravinger said not many. “But you’re going to need better defenses, or else a less appealing tower.”
“I wish to assure you, Magos Arbeider, that the repairs will not affect the charging of our engines. If there’s a way to shorten our jaunt from one week, I will find it.”
Arbeider waved this off and iterated his call for better defenses. “Being crushed or drowned inside the… you know, of one of your human women… that is not how I intend to depart this world.”
Without much spirit, Ravinger only commented that most women weren’t like this.
“Oops, something’s squirming down there,” they heard her say. “You little weirdos are into some strange stuff. Well, I’m not going down there after you, you can find your own way out. I’m just going to stretch out in the sunshine and enjoy this lovely afternoon.” A deep yawn echoed throughout the chambers. “And you know what, you’ve got such a lovely tower, I don’t feel like pulling you out just yet. You don’t mind, do you? Of course not: this is a special treat for you… you’ve been so good to your goddess…” She let out another roaring yawn and wished them all nighty-night.
It was some time later before the heavy oak door to the first floor chamber creaked on its hinges, being laboriously opened by a bedraggled Maitland, who dropped into the room. “Not one word,” he cautioned Eikenboom and Burgess, as their expressions showed they detected more than a whiff of feces about him.
“Of course,” said Burgess.
One end of the firmament glowed in a red scrim, unwilling to extinguish just yet; the other saw pinpoints of light just beginning to twinkle. The twin moons, pale blue and pale green in the dusky heavens, were waxing past half full, casting their light upon the rollicking bodyscape of Reuzin Fenna. Her chest rose and fell slowly, with one arm wrapped around a grove of trees and legs splayed, her heel damming a creek.
With one deep snore too many, the giantess startled herself awake. She dragged bits of the landscape in her huge ginger ringlets as she struggled to sit up. She thrust her chest and spread her long arms into the cool night air, relishing a deep and prolonged yawn.
“Begob, how long was I out?” She blinked at the darkened sky, then swept her gaze about the hills and plains all around. “I’d better head back to that river and scrub up a bit before I pay that stupid ol’ king a visit. I’m famished! He better not be churlish with his orange orchard.”
Fenna drew up her knees and flexed her toes. Abruptly she had the sense something was different. She cupped her vulva, then looked around. “Look at that, the tower’s back up! How’d you guys manage that? That’s quite industrious! Oh, and look at you in the moonlight: you’re all covered in my juices. Quite lovely, if you ask me.” She giggled and hauled herself up to her full height. “You’re very welcome, you strange little people. Didn’t we have a lovely time? Sure, we did! I’m taking off, but don’t you worry, I’ll find you again soon. Think about that balcony, okay?”
Several tiny faces peered through Torr Seolfor’s shutters to observe the colossal legs striding away, the wide buttocks jiggling and dancing across the kingdom, glowing in the moonlight. They waited a long time before they shared a sigh of relief.