StaRaven Wolfmage ran barefoot across the field. The warm summer wind played in her hair as she did so. The light of the full moon danced over rock and leaf, illuminating her path through the forest. At last, she reached a clearing. She darted out into the center of it and dropped to her knees, her arms stretched outward.
"Great God of Nature!" she cried out. "It is I, StaRaven Wolfmage, Your Craft Child! It is You I seek on this summer night! Pray hear me and attend!"
Her invocation was met with silence. The only sounds that came in response were the wind blowing through branches and a symphony of far-off crickets.
She tried again. "Great God of All Nature, I call to You! Pray be with me on this night!"
Again, she waited, and again nothing happened. Disappointment filled her heart as it had so many nights before. She began to wonder if she'd ever get the hang of this whole Witchcraft thing. It had seemed so badass when her friend, Diana Peterson, was talking about it in third period. StaRaven wanted in on the magic, the rituals, and the sexy nature gods. Not to mention the power. She imagined what it would be like to cast a spell and steal one of Diana's boyfriends. But now, she began to wonder if Diana hadn't made it all up.
"Damn it," she muttered, rising from the ground. Maybe she should just go home and put on her favorite My Chemical Romance CD, as had become her actual Friday night ritual. She turned to do just that, and the sight that greeted her stopped her in her tracks.
There, before her, stood a man. He was taller than any man StaRaven had ever seen, coming in at seven feet at the very least. He was practically naked, except for a scant loin cloth, allowing StaRaven to see that he was essentially a tower of muscle. Hair, dark and manly, grew from his arms, legs, and chest. It matched the color of his majestic mane which danced sweetly in the breeze. If there had been any doubt as to the man's identity, all such questions were settled by the great pair of antlers that adorned his head.
A moment of stunned silence passed, and then he spoke. "Hello, Eva," he said, calling StaRaven by her birth name. His voice was deep and booming, carrying with it the rumble of an active volcano.
StaRaven suddenly regained her voice. "It's You!" she shouted with elation.
"And who am I?" asked the handsome figure.
"You must be the Great Horned One," StaRaven answered, "the Great God of All Nature!"
The figure chuckled. "I certainly am a horned one," he said.
"Great God," StaRaven went on. "I have been waiting for You for so long!"
"Since the middle of the last school year," said the figure with a patronizing lilt. "Such a long time!"
"Yes," said StaRaven, lost in her excitement. "Teach me! Help me learn!"
"And what shall I teach you, child?" asked the figure.
"The Way of All Nature!" The words were sweet on her lips. She had longed to say them ever since she had heard Diana Peterson describe exactly this sort of encounter.
"Is that what you wish to learn, child?" The figure's eyes gleamed, reflecting the pale moon light. "The Way of All Nature?"
"Yes," StaRaven pleaded. "Teach me like You taught Diana," she said.
"Diana?" The horned one raised an eyebrow. "No," he said. "What I will give you is something better. You must prepare for me your mind, your soul, and your body...."
StaRaven began to shake with anticipation. "My body?"
"Yes, Eva," said the horned one. "Don't tell me you don't desire it."
StaRaven was ecstatic. She could barely contain herself. All throughout high school, she had stood in the shadow of the other girls with their handsome jock boyfriends. She had endured the stories of how they each lost their virginity, going so far as to make up her own encounter just to avoid ridicule. Still, it was clear that they could see right through her. No one was ever fooled. Now, not only would her story be true, but it would trump everyone else's. She was certain that she, Eva "StaRaven Wolfmage" Dawson, would lose her virginity to a god!
"Lie down, Eva," the figure instructed gently. She obeyed. "Close your eyes," he continued. Again, she did so, preparing herself for the sensations she had dreamed so often of experiencing. His voice wafted to her ears once again. "What you are about to experience is the true Way of All Nature."
"I'm ready," she said, waiting to feel the god lower himself onto her.
What she felt instead opened her eyes with a jolt. The very grass began to wrap itself around her wrists and ankles, holding her fast to the ground. The tightness of her restraints began to hurt, but try as she might, she could not free herself. Then, the biting began. She felt it first on her back. Little pin pricks of pain, followed by a crawling sensation that sent shivers through her body. Before long, she could feel the insects all over her, biting and tearing her flesh, and dancing around on the skin that remained. Worms came next. Once the insects had picked their fill of her flesh, a host of earthworms rose from the ground and slithered in and out of her wounds, their slime mingling with her blood.
"What is happening?!" she cried out. "Help me!"
"There is no helping you, Eva," came a voice from all around her. The god was nowhere in sight, but the very air seemed to produce his powerful baritone. "There is no help for anyone or anything. You asked to learn the Way of All Nature. Now you know that all of nature goes but one way!"
The meaning of his words sank in with devastating clarity as she felt the crawling creatures continue to rip her apart. By morning, only bones remained, picked clean and scattered by scavengers.
Written by Jdeschene