The Grand Masquerade

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. The views, opinions, and religions described here are not the author’s. They are only here because, the author believes they work in this story. This is not meant to insult anybody’s view, opinions, ore religion. Be the adults we are.

The Grand Masquerade
By Quadhouse

Somewhere in the aether, beings once known as gods gathered. They were from multiple pantheons.

“Our time comes once again,” Tyr said.

“It’s about time,” roared Zeus. “I can’t wait to get back to the mortal realm.”

“And do what, Zeus,” Ra asked. “Impregnate every attractive mortal female you see? What would Hera say to that?”

“They should be honored I would visit them so,” spat Zeus.

“Peace,” Enki said. “There is no need to fight as we have yet to return.” He scanned the gathered gods. “We seem to be all here. Shall we discuss what our plans will be when the way is opened?”

The gathered gods agreed and settled in. There were some grumbles from the more hot headed of the group, but nothing serious. As they talked, the gods didn’t notice that there were few of the goddesses with them.

* *

Elsewhere in the aether, the goddess gathered.

“The males are already talking like they own the mortal world,” one said.

“That is true, Gaia,” another replied. “They are ignoring the fact that the mortals have changed.”

“Most of the males do not appreciate the ingenuity of the mortals,” Gaia said. “They choose to believe that things haven’t changed since we were in power. But, we know better.” She looked around at the gathered goddesses. She hid a smile when she noticed a few gods as well.

Athena stepped up. “I trust you have a plan,” she said.

Gaia nodded. “I do. We need an emissary,” she said. “Someone to gently re-introduce us to the world. Someone to convince the mortals that we don’t want to take over, like so many of the males want to do.”

“What of Jehovah,” Wadjet, Egyptian goddess of protection asked. “Do you know what his plans are?”

“He is with us,” Gaia said. “But he also said not to count on him. His hands will be full sorting out his followers. He is thinking about going back to the Old Testament way of doing things.”

Most of the attending goddesses winced. Jehovah was very wrathful in those days. Only the war and death goddesses nodded their approval. But, even they did not want a full return to those days.

“It’s about time he did something about his followers,” Pakhet said. “I approve of war. But, even I, a war goddess, believe they have gone too far.”

“Vengeance has its place,” a voice hissed. Out of the nowhere a darkly beautiful female appeared. “But the mortals don’t know when to stop.”

“Nemesis,” Gaia said. “Do you want to join our group?”

Nemesis looked at the others. “I will watch from the shadows,” she said. “Whoever you choose to be the emissary, will need protection. Nothing escapes my sight.” With that, she turned and vanished.

“I do not feel comfortable with her watching our emissary.”

“Do not worry Ma’at. I will be watching over the emissary.

“Perhaps, Kali, we should pick our emissary,” Gaia said. “It would make things easier.”

“There are billions of mortals,” Wadjet said. “How do we pick one?”

One goddess made her presence known. “Cerridwen, do you have a suggestion,” Gaia asked.

“Yes,” Cerridwen said. “I have a possible suggestion. One who has great potential. They only need to be, changed, a little to achieve this potential.”

* * *

Matthew stared listlessly at the television. It was the worst time of the year for him. Halloween. The day his parents died. Eight years ago, they were ran over by a drunk driver while taking him trick-or-treating. He hasn’t celebrated the holiday since. His girlfriend wanted to stay with him, but he told her to go and have fun. He appreciated her concern, but didn’t want to ruin her night. Besides, his aunt and uncle needed somebody to watch the house. Being openly practicing Wiccans was not easy. The neighbors still looked at them funny. And complained to the police constantly. Luckily, the chief of police knew the details and didn’t take the complaints seriously.

A commercial started showing and Matthew stood up. The movie marathon was okay, but he really didn’t see why ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ was supposed to be scary. Maybe, when it first came out it was. But, now, with all the better special effects, it wasn’t. But it was the best he could find. Most of the other channels were showing family friendly movies. He really wasn’t in the mood for those. He went into the kitchen to get himself a snack.

Matthew thought about what his Aunt Carol and Uncle Donald did for him earlier. They held a memorial service for his dead parents. It was held in front of the small stand in the corner of the den. It really helped him looking at the pictures and some of the personal belongings of his parents. But he would never celebrate Halloween again. He didn’t have anything against Halloween. He just couldn’t celebrate on the anniversary of his parents’ death. No matter the manner of the celebration. Which is why he was alone on this night.

Snack and drink in hand, Matthew went back to the television. Maybe the movies got better latter on. Without realizing it, he drifted off to sleep. Once he was sound asleep, his body slowly started to glow.

* *

Carol Bridges relaxed as the rhythm of the ceremony washed over her. She really needed this. This last month has been very stressful. With her family being openly Wiccan, all the so called Christian groups were all over them. Very few of them wanted to understand that Wicca was a spiritual religion. It was not about worshiping demons. And the anniversary of her sister’s death wasn’t helping.

The death of Carol’s sister and her husband weighed heavily on her family. But not more than for her nephew. Unfortunately, he witnessed the drunk driver running over his parents. She didn’t blame him for not wanting to celebrate the season. But it wasn’t healthy for him to not be with his friends. She needed to get with Donald to see how and if they should start to encourage him to spend more time with his friends this year.

The sudden commotion stopped Carol’s thoughts. Instead, she focused on the high priestess. Instead of leading the ritual, she was ramrod straight. Every muscle was tensed to the point where Carol feared she’d tear something. After a moment of shock, those closest to her rushed to her side. No matter what they tried, they could not get her to leave her rigid stance.

“Call an ambulance,” somebody called from the crowd.

“That’s just great,” somebody else said. “No matter what we say, people will think she OD’d on some drugs.”

“Who cares about that,” a third person spat. “As long as Rebecca is okay.”

Carol couldn’t believe what the second speaker said. And she was glad she didn’t recognize the person. Unfortunately, she didn’t know the third speaker either. It didn’t matter any way. Somebody should call for an ambulance. Looking around, she didn’t see anybody on a phone. Carol started to turn to where she left her purse when things changed.

Rebecca suddenly threw off the people who were trying to aid her. Her body then stretched. Growing both taller and wider. Her toned body grew softer. Her curves filling out. Suddenly her eyes snapped open. Revealing softly glowing white orbs. Her right arm raised and pointed a finger at Carol.

“Carol Bridges,” she intoned. Her voice quiet, but carrying to all present. It was Rebecca’s voice, yet, not. Somehow it was deeper, richer. “Wife of Donald Bridges. Stand and attend.”

Carol stiffened as she turned to face the priestess. Somehow, she knew that this wasn’t the woman she knew. Impossible as it seemed, she knew that a god had possessed the woman. She was vaguely aware of everybody moving away from her. She could feel her husband and two children approaching from behind.

“The time has come for magic to return to the world,” the god possessed woman intoned. Excitement flashed through Carol and the watching crowd. “But the world is not yet ready for magic. To prepare the world, an emissary has been chosen. You, Carol Bridges, have been chosen to protect and teach the emissary.”

Carol gasped when she heard this. She had been chosen by the gods! She was going to help change the world. She took several deep breaths to calm herself down. The goddess, she was sure it was a goddess, was still speaking.

“Even now,” the possessed woman continued. “The emissary is being placed in your home. You must not fail in your task. The future of the world rests on how well you teach the emissary. I, Cerridwen, have spoken.” With that, Rebecca’s body returned to its normal size and proportions and started to collapse. Several people rushed up to catch her.

Carol stared at the unconscious woman in shock. She couldn’t believe it. Cerridwen had chosen her. The goddess of prophecy had chosen her. She was going to guide the gods’ emissary in the world. It was an unbelievable honor. She had to. . . Her eyes widened in shock. She had to get home. Now!

Frantically, Carol looked for her husband. “Donald,” she shouted when she saw him. “Grab the kids. We need to get home now!”

“But, Rebecca,” Donald said.

“The others will take care of her,” Carol insisted as she struggled to put her shoes on. She was very thankful that they no longer went sky clad during the ceremonies, only barefoot. “We need to get home right now.”

Seeing that he didn’t understand, Carol stopped and grabbed him by the shoulders. “Cerridwen said that the emissary was our responsibility,” she said. “She also said that the emissary was being placed in our house. We left Matthew at home. Now, I love Matthew like he was my own son. But I know the boy. How do you think he’d react to some strange person just appearing in our house?”

Donald stared at her for a moment. “Kids let’s go,” he said. “Grab your shoes. You can put them on in the car.”

Startled, some of the more self-important members stepped forward to stop the Bridges from leaving. They had heard what the Goddess Cerridwen said and couldn’t let such an opportunity pass them. A weak voice called out them. Stopping them.

“Stop,” Rebecca repeated herself, stronger this time. “Let them go. They have an important job to do.”

“High Priestess, are you all right,” one asked. As if that was a signal, everybody near started asking her questions.

Rebecca raised her hand to stop the flood. “I’m okay,” she said. “Cerridwen is a powerful goddess. She just overwhelmed me when she possessed my body. She didn’t mean me any harm. She just had an important message to give. Now. I want all of you to go home. We all have things we need to do to prepare for the coming events. I don’t know when they’ll happen. Just that they WILL happen. And we need to be prepared for this.”

She took a breath. “We are not the only ones to have gotten this message,” she said. “Not all will be welcoming of magic. Those may target the emissary in order to stop magic from returning to the world. It doesn’t matter if they succeed or not. Magic will be returning. How it’s accepted will be determined by us and others like us. And she will lead the way. Just not how she thinks.”

* *

Matthew slowly woke up. He had a vague memory about the dream he just had. Something about being chosen by a lot of strange people to do something important. It was the first time he had a dream like that. He wasn’t sure if he dreamed that because of his parent’s death or for some other reason. Either way, it couldn’t have been important. He would have remembered it, otherwise.

Putting the dream aside, for the moment, Matthew blinked, clearing his eyes. He realized that he had fallen onto his side in his sleep. And, somehow, there was a massive weight sitting on his chest. He started to sit up, only to freeze as he felt his chest shift. His chest shouldn’t have shifted. He may not be the most fit guy out there, but wasn’t fat. He wasn’t even plump. He looked at his chest to see what was sitting on him.

Matthew found himself gaping at the cleavage of what appeared to be two very large, if not huge, breasts. But they couldn’t be breasts. He was a guy. He shook his head, ignoring how his oddly long hair brushed his shoulders. He raised a hand to poke his chest only freeze, again, at the sight.

That was not his hand. The hand he was staring at was small with long delicate fingers. The rounded, glossy nails were longer than what he let his get. The skin was not skin. Instead, it was small delicate looking bronze colored scales. He followed the hand to the small wrist. Which led to a slim arm. That was lying on a second arm?

He had two right arms. He looked to his left. He had two arms there as well.

Now he knew he what was going on. He was dreaming. It was the only explanation. Why he was dreaming he was an incredibly endowed girl with four arms, he didn’t know. But he did know how to wake himself up. He raised one left arm and one right arm. He then moved that left hand to pinch his right arm.

All four hands slapped over his mouth. They were too late to stop the yelp of pain from escaping. But that wasn’t what occupied his thoughts. He was thinking about the impossible thing that has happened. Somehow, he had been turned into some scaly-skinned girl. His lower hands prodded his chest. With very big, if not enormous, chest. He was not going to call them breasts. Not yet, anyway.

“Think,” he told himself. “Things like this don’t just happen. There had to be some rational explanation.” Try as he might, Matthew couldn’t come up with an explanation. But he did decide that he couldn’t think with his chest pressing down on him. He put his left hands on the back of the couch and his right ones on the cushion. Grimacing at the resulting massive jiggle, he started to raise his upper body.

It was then that he saw the snake. The giant snake. The giant snake that was swallowing his legs.

With a shriek, Matthew pushed away from the snake. Trying to release his legs form its mouth. The snake followed, seemingly not willing to let its prey escape.

Matthew continued to push away from the snake. He didn’t notice as he went over the arm of the couch and crashed to the floor. That didn’t loosen the snake’s grip on his lower body. He started to kick his legs as he pushed away from the snake. This only made the snake more active. He kept going until he hit the wall hard enough to see stars.

As his vision started to clear, Matthew noticed something strange. Through all of this, he never once felt any pain in his legs or hips. He knew he didn’t know much about snakes, but he knew they had some teeth. So, why wasn’t he feeling any pain from the teeth digging in and holding his legs? He opened his eyes and took a good look at the snake.

Matthew couldn’t see the snake’s eyes. Nor, could he see any part of the snake’s head. If fact, it looked as if the snake’s neck merged seamlessly with his body. Shakily, Matthew raised one hand and rubbed where the snake met his body. He couldn’t find a seam.

His screaming didn’t stop until the front door opened and his aunt came roaring in.

To be continued.



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