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The Ritual of Stone

Erotic greek mythology horror story

By Joachim HeijndermansPublished about a month ago 17 min read
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Image by M-ART Productions

Her mother slid her fingers through Lyra’s hair once again, carefully combing the strands to bring more volume to it all but without disturbing the array of flowers woven into it. “Did you have enough to eat?”

“Yes, Mother.”

“Did you give your grandmother your farewells?”

‘Yes, Mother.”

“Then you are ready,” Lyra’s mother said, fighting down the sob in her throat as she continued to comb her daughter’s hair without real purpose other than to lengthen their last moment together.

“Please, Mother. They will come for me.”

Her mother stopped, then wrapped her arms around her child’s head. “I love you. And you make me so proud.” She undid the sash that bound her slightly graying hair up and wrapped it around Lyra’s arm. “I am with you there. If not in body, then in spirit.”

Lyra nodded. Then she heard the gathered crowd stop before their house. “It’s time, Mother.”

The young girl of twenty summers exited their small abode, welcomed by the sight of the entire community brandishing torches and baskets of flowers. Many of the faces were familiar. The high priest. The oracle. The many grape and olive pickers that she’d grown up with The shepherds. Her closest friend Ophelia was there as well, weeping bitter tears at having to watch her be taken away as one of the chosen four sacrifices in the ritual of stone.

“Come forth, child,” said the high priest. “Join your brothers and sister, and let us walk to the temple. Let us honor these young men and women for the great sacrifice they are about to make.”

Without speaking a word, Lyra stepped forward and joined the others, the boys Mikos and Theo and the girl Alina. They took each other's hands and walked together, guided by the crowd towards the long abandoned temple on the hill. Songs were sung. Flowers were strewn before the feet of the chosen four. Some even laughed and let themselves be merry. Had no one known of the inevitable outcome for the four, this would have seemed like a celebration of life, rather than the prelude to their deaths.

Ophelia rushed up beside Lyra and placed a gentle kiss on her cheek whilst stroking her shoulder one last time, then vanished into the crowd. The temptation to break free and rush after Ophelia was strong for Lyra, but the price for trying to renege on the solemn duty of being an offering in the ritual was one too high to pay. She walked on, ignoring the praises and accolades, as she pondered on the burning questions that tormented her deepest thoughts.

Why, Lyra thought. Why do we do this? What horrors are we safeguarding ourselves from by giving four young people to the woman of the temple, to never be seen again? Does she ensure a good harvest for us? Does she keep the wars and soldiers from coming here?

She doubted it. At best, the offering of the four who entered their twentieth year in life was no more than a bribe. Four people sacrificed so that a community of hundreds could live in relative peace. It seemed like a fair trade. But what Lyra was most confused by was not so much the act, but what the woman of the temple wanted with them in the first place.

Another question that burned fiercely was about the very woman herself. Who was she? What did she look like? Images of a monstrous hag came to mind, but no one had ever confirmed any of her questions about the appearance of this creature.

Mystery upon mystery, ones she would get no answers to, for she was about to die.

The crowd reached the borders of the temple grounds, halting by an invisible line that none dared to cross. The songs died down. Only the chosen four walked on, their approach unhalted, as they walked up towards the temple where the dark woman had made her dwelling.

By Matt Seymour on Unsplash

None of the four sacrifices spoke to one another, not even when they passed under the portico and into the near dark of the abandoned temple. Lyra could see that Mikos and Alina had tears running down their cheeks. She gripped their hands tightly, but this was not returned as both were eager to break free as soon as they were inside.

This place had once been constructed for the Goddess Diana, but all symbols made in her honor had long been destroyed by the dark woman that now claimed this as her home. No torches would be lit, with only the light of the full moon piercing through cracks to shine the way. Nor would the usual sacrifices of fruits and sheep be laid on an altar, for they had been replaced with these four.

Theo was the first to break free. Among the many stories of the ritual of stone that circulated, it was told that if any of the sacrifices were to escape the temple grounds before the dark lady would find them, they would be free to leave with their lives. He quickly vanished into the darkness, the sound of his bare feet skirting across marble as the only sign that he was even there.

A hiss echoed through the empty halls. Alina fell to her knees, her hands grasping her hair as she began to pull the flowers from it. “I don’t want this. I don’t want this. I want to go home. I don’t want this.” Heavy sobs broke through her ramblings, as she trembled like a dead leaf. Lyra crouched down to console the girl, releasing Mikos’s hand as she did. He too walked off, frantically looking around in the darkness.

“A weapon! We need to find a weapon.”

“Mikos, we can’t fight her. No one can.” Lyra pulled Alina close to her, silently pleading to the boy to stay with them.

“Maybe no one’s ever tried. Maybe–”

A low-toned grumble from the distance startled them. The sound of a large being slithering through the shadows had them jump and turn their eyes in some vain hope to catch a glimpse of the creature. Then, somewhere in that very darkness, they could hear the sobbing of a young man. Theo’s voice muttered something unintelligible.

Then, another voice spoke. “Face me, boy.” Words accompanied by a constant hiss and the presence of a forked tongue.

“N-no, puh-please–”

“Face me!”

“I-uh-I can’t–”

“Face me!” the creature roared.

Silence followed. The three youths looked at the darkness, hoping to see something of a glimpse of Theo and the woman of the temple.

A scream, cut short in an instant.

Silence once more.

“No no no no no no–” Alina muttered, rolling herself into a ball by grasping her knees and pulling her legs close. Mikos, on the other hand, seemed to gain courage. Perhaps the high certainty of death made him fear it less. Drunk on his newfound bravery, he found a large rock that was nearly the size of his head and grasped it in his hands, with the intent to use it as a bludgeon. Lyra glanced at the stone, and could make out in what little light that entered the temple its odd but familiar shape. Did…this rock have a face?

Her attention to the stone had distracted her, and she could do nothing about Mikos’s sudden departure but reach out with her hand. She gave chase, releasing Alina and following Mikos into the shadows. A fool's errand, as she quickly lost him in the inky blackness of the temple. And now with even less light to guide her way, she felt lost, almost blind.

“You, boy!” the voice echoed through the halls. “Face me!”

“I will! I will fight you! I–” Mikos cried out. He too was silenced mid-sentence.

She knew not what had happened, but Lyra was convinced only two of them now remained. She tried to calm herself, but noticed she was now trembling with abject terror. No, calm your mind. Think of a way out. You are in darkness, so find the path to light. Use the walls. Let the walls guide you to an exit. She began to walk, each step uneasy as she felt the pebbles on the unkempt floors scrape against her soles.

Then, her heart sank as she remembered what she had forgotten.

“Alina! Can you hear me!”

“Lyra! Where did you go?” the other girl yelped, startled no doubt as she only now realized that she was alone.

“Follow my voice. I’m trying to find a path out.”

“I can’t see anything! Please, come back! I’m frightened. It’s so dark.”

Lyra gritted her teeth, as it was much darker where she was. She cried out again. “Follow my voice! We need to move forward.”

“It’s too dark! I can’t!”

“Please, you can find me if–”

‘You follow my voice’ would have been the rest of that sentence, but she was silenced by the return of the hiss, now coming from where Lyra had left Alina. “Face me,” the woman of the temple growled.

“No no no no no no--” Alina repeated, getting louder as she went on.

Lyra was tempted to rush to the other girl's aid. But her legs felt as if they were made of stone. What could she do? She was no warrior. She could barely hoist a basket of grapes onto her shoulders. She was powerless.

"Faaaaace me, girl." The hiss was accompanied by a dark chuckle, as the creature gained a morbid satisfaction from terrorizing her victim.

"Help me, please!" Alina bellowed out.

Lyra walked in the direction of the crying girl and the hissing creature. She could hear the woman of the temple’s body slither across the marble. She could see it now, the woman crawling towards the frightened Alina, huddled on the ground in terror. She would fall victim to the creature at any moment. The only question was why she hadn’t struck yet. Was this part of the ritual? A sadistic elongated wait before the woman would slay the child? Why did it keep demanding its prey to face her? What-?

Then it hit her. Something must be needed. The woman of the temple could not act unless she was seen. She needed an audience. Hence the demands to face her.

“Alina! Hear me! Don’t look at her! Don’t-”

“What?” Alina cried out. “What did-?”

Then, once more, deadly silence. Lyra stopped her approach. For a moment, she let herself believe that Alina did as told. But the deep tenor laugh from within the shadows betrayed the girl’s fate. The third of the creature's victims had been claimed. Lyra was the last, and was about to die as well.

Lyra stood frozen. She held her arms close to her, feeling cold. She sobbed as tears streamed down her face. She, like the others, did not want to die that night. It was the demand that came with the ritual of stone. Her death would promise safety from the creature’s wrath for the community. But she did not care anymore. She wanted to go home. She wanted her mother, thinking of her when her hand touched the sash that was tied to her arm.

Then, an idea hit her.

She acted quickly, undoing the cloth and fixing it elsewhere. She hurried, as she felt the hairs on the back of her neck rise. The sound of scales slithering across the marble grew louder and closer. One last tug, and she was ready.

A dark hiss.

She trembled, waiting for the creature to speak. For a moment she wondered if she had been wrong, and would now be cut down like a blade of grass at the hands of a scythe. Her knees shook while her lips quivered. Would this be it?

The voice spoke. “Face me, girl.”

And unlike the other sacrifices, Lyra immediately did as told. She turned around and held her head high. But she saw nothing. She didn’t even know if she even looked the woman in the eye, as her mother’s sash neatly covered her own and left her in darkness.

A contemplative hiss, followed by a laugh. “My, my, my. Aren’t we clever?”

Lyra did not reply. She doubted it saved her at all, expecting the obstruction of her sight to do no more than temporarily delay her death.

The sound of movement. Breath at the nape of her neck. Lyra felt something flicker just past her ear, while thin fingers went through her hair, gently touching the strands as if inspecting them. “What is your name, child?”

“Luh-Lyra.”

“Lyra,” the woman repeated. “And pray tell, what did you think would happen when you blocked your eyes? What made you think to do that?”

“I…I don’t know. I just did it.”

“Why?”

“Because I did not want to die.”

A dark chuckle. “You do know that there are other ways I could kill you?”

“Then why haven’t you?”

“What?”

“Why haven’t you slain me, then?”

“You forget yourself, child. I am the gorgon of the temple. I am a child of the serpent. I chased Diana from her holy place and took it as my own. Do not think I won’t hesitate to slit your throat.”

“I suppose so. But I don’t think you will. You’ll let me live if you can’t kill me the way you want to. Not as long as I cannot see you.”

A dark laugh thundered through the halls of the temple. “You are right. I would rather not kill you in any other way than I do with all those given to me. But you are clever. In the years we have done this, you are the first to block my power. Such ingenuity should be rewarded. If you would like, you could walk from this place now and I might let you leave.”

“You would?” Lyra asked, hopefully.

“I might. But it would be a shame.”

“Why?”

“Because for one, I would not be able to add you to my collection,” the woman said. Lyra felt something sharp graze against her chin, nearly nicking the skin and drawing blood. “And secondly, I would be denying you.”

“Denying me?”

“I can smell it on you. A natural curiosity. You are one of those who asks ‘why’. Why do I ask for four young men and women every year? Where do they go? What can be so valuable to me that I allow a village to live in peace when I could claim it all for my own?” Lyra stopped trembling. Her natural curiosity was piqued in an instant. And her change in mood must have been apparent, as the serpentine hiss was followed by a delighted, self-assured chuckle. “Come child. Come with me.” The woman took Lyra’s hand.

For a moment, she considered breaking free and making an attempt to find the way out. But the creature was not wrong. The desire to learn the truth was too great.

Without protest, the young woman followed.

Image by Zack Jarosz

They walked, with the air growing colder and the surface beneath them becoming rougher. Lyra’s bare soles were cut by the sharp stones. “Where are we going?” she asked.

“Deeper below the earth, where once the priests stored their wares. It’s where I keep this, my collection,” said the woman of the temple. “Behold.”

“Where?” Lyra asked.

“Take off your blindfold, and find out.” Lyra did not move, keeping her expression stern. The woman chuckled. “See with your hands then.” She took Lyra’s hand and held it out until it pressed against a cold and hard surface.

“Is…is this stone?” Lyra asked.

“Touch it. Tell me what it is you feel..”

Lyra let her fingers caress the surface. At first, she wasn’t sure what she was supposed to take away from it. But when she moved higher, a mental image began to form. Clavicles? A neck. A strong jawline? Abdominal muscles? The contour of lips? The body parts of a human, yet all the same stone texture. Was it a statue of a young man? The craftsmanship was exquisite. But how did she manage to sculpt it down in the darkness of the lower temple?

It was then that she realized what it was she touched, recoiling in horror. “No!”

The woman laughed. “This was my first one, the first boy your village had given me. So beautiful. And grown just for me so I needn’t have to make do with what is available. Back then, I only asked for one a year. But my desire for more led me to increase the cost.”

Lyra could hear the woman breathing near her ear, meaning she was closer now. She heard the subtle flickering of tongues, whilst a cold but smooth texture grazed against her skin. “It is my gift. My curse. All who gaze upon my eyes are doomed to be turned to stone.”

Lyra shivered, realizing that the two boys and Alina now too were frozen in place, cursed to serve as part of a collection of stone youthful bodies.

“This is horrid. Monstrous.”

“Is it? Or am I preserving the most beautiful from your village? Granting them immortality through the ages.”

“You’re killing them!”

“I am saving them. As I hope to save you.” The woman of the temple took Lyra’s hand once more, guiding it to touch another cold surface. “This one was one of my favorites.”

This time Lyra knew exactly what she touched, her face reddening and her heart racing. The contours of a shapely breast and a nipple were unmistakable to her. She had felt her own and those of Ophelia on several occasions. This time, she did not recoil. The terror over the fate she was bound to suffer was balanced by her own arousal, rendered blind and forced to see the shapely body of the previous victim by touch. She lingered too long, not only inspecting the chest but also the face, hips and back of the stone woman. Once again, her actions had betrayed more to the creature of the temple than she had intended.

“So, now we know what it is you like,” she said.

“I’m…I’m just curious about how it can be..”

“You have been curious about many things, haven’t you?” Once again, the woman took Lyra’s hand. Yet this time, she brought it up to her own body. The cold sensation of scales on a face startled Lyra, yet the shape of the cheeks and jawline betrayed a certain grace that surprised her. Her thumb caressed a pair of lips, full yet opened to reveal a set of sharp teeth. Something coiled across her wrist, flickering a small tongue against her skin. She gasped when she felt her thumb enveloped by warmth, so startled that she hadn’t even noticed a hand push her robe aside to reveal her bare shoulder.

“No, please don’t,” Lyra pleaded.

“Why not?”

“I don’t want this. I want to go home”

The woman’s voice grew darker. “You could if you wanted. You could stumble around in the darkness, blinded by your sash, until you found an exit. But you might starve, wither from thirst, and die cold and alone.” The woman moved her hand across Lyra’s shoulder, slipping her robe from it and causing it to fall to the ground. The young woman now stood bare before the creature, shivering from the cold but doing nothing to hide her nakedness. “Or, you could stay. Save the lives of those you love. Be loved one last time as very few get to be in my ritual of stone…and then join my collection, immortalized by my gaze.”

Lyra’s face became stern, doing her best not to react when the woman’s hand grazed across her hip and onto her buttocks. “You’ve given me no real choice at all.”

A dark, gleeful laugh echoes through the halls, while the sound of several snakes flickering their tongues joined her as a chorus. “I’m happy you see things my way.”

The young woman could feel her captor move her face closer to hers. A forked tongue grazed itself against her lips, while warm breath cascaded onto her face. Despite her misgivings, Lyra opened her mouth, letting the woman’s tongue enter. Two arms wrapped themselves around her, one taking her head in hand while the other slid down her spine. Something else began to coil its way around Lyra’s leg, slipping upward until it placed itself on her sex, gently pressing itself against her. It was this that changed things, for Lyra’s mood went from stoic, unwilling to betray any of her sensations…to slowly submitting to her captor, helpless and an eager recipient of her kiss and the caressing of her cunt.

The woman slipped her tongue free from Lyra’s mouth, then moved her head to the youth’s neck. Lyra shuddered as she felt it. Teeth as sharp as daggers grazed against the skin of her neck, teasing her with the threat of being penetrated by them. A clawed finger slid between the cheeks of her ass, while the other placed itself onto her left breast.

She shivered, though she was no longer cold. Smooth fingers without the trace of a callus caressed her nipple while the same texture pressed itself past her folds and against her rosebud, alternating pressure as it coiled. Lyra bit her lip so as not to let out a moan, but even if she had broken skin there was no stopping the sound that escaped her.

“I’m not your first, am I?” hissed the woman. Lyra shook her head no. “Then let me be your best.”

The creature released Lyra’s breast and ass, then moved slightly away. Her tail, which had been nestled onto the young woman’s cunt, moved aside and tugged at Lyra’s leg to spread them. Then, moist lips pressed themselves against the girl’s pussy, pressed closer together by two hands on Lyra’s hips.

“Oh!” the young woman muttered.

A legion of small serpentine hisses came from the woman, though her chuckle was muffled by Lyra’s sex on her mouth. To the creature’s own astonishment, the sacrifice moved her arms and placed her hands on the woman’s head, guiding it along as she pleasured her. Once again, she felt nothing resembling either human skin or even hair. Rather, it felt like a nest of small snakes now slithered their way around her wrists, exploring this new surface with flickering tongues.

Lyra’s knees began to tremble. Fear, excitement, lust and shock were beginning to come together, as the serpentine tongue of the woman caressed her labia and clit with such finesse that she felt like her blood had been turned to fire.

A greater spark brewed within her.

The woman retreated her mouth, using her finger to continue in its place. “Are you close?”

“Yuh-yes…”

“Then remove your blindfold. I want to keep you like this forever,” the woman hissed, not keeping her dark amusement a secret.

Lyra did as told, yet not opening her eyes after the fabric slid from her face.

The woman moved again, her tail coiling itself around Lyra’s waist while smooth fingers slipped past the youth’s folds and entered her. The pace increased. The girl could not stop herself from moaning louder as the creature went on. The woman pressed her body against Lyra’s, with their breasts meeting each other. In this embrace, the creature pleasured the youth by caressing every part of her, never once giving her pussy a moment’s pause.

Then, the fire burst through Lyra’s body. She gasped, fighting for air as she tilted her head back. Her body convulsed, held in place by the woman’s embrace.

“Look at me,” the woman growled.

Lyra opened her eyes.

Even as they adjusted, all she could see was darkness.

Then, two golden serpentine eyes.

Their beauty was breathtaking.

THE END

lgbtqnsfwliteraturefictioneroticCONTENT WARNING
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About the Creator

Joachim Heijndermans

Joachim is a freelance artist and writer. He writes short stories and draws comics. Likes to travel, paint, collect rare toys, and read in his spare time. His fiction writing has been featured in magazines, websites, podcasts and television

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