Romance Fantasy Horror


The rain pounded the small stone home outside of the city of Corinth. The storm raged and the winds howled, and yet Lamia couldn’t bring herself to acknowledge the storm’s presence. All she could feel was the warm radiance of the god laying in bed next to her. His powerful arms wrapped around her body, making her feel safe and secure in the home. 

“You more than any other mortal, have captured my heart,” Zeus said sleepily, a smile on his face as he gently stroked the hair out of Lamia’s face. 

“My heart is yours, now and forever my lord,” Lamia replied, reaching up and kissing his face gently. Lamia was the most beautiful woman of the village, her golden hair and sun-kissed skin making her desired by all. She was also known to be favored by the gods, most notably Zeus, who arrived at her home in the midst of a storm similar to the one playing out now, in the guise of a giant eagle. 

“For you and only you my love, I am not your lord. I am your love, as you are mine,” Zeus replied, his muscular frame flexing under her soft touch as he moved his mane of curly black hair from his eyes. He found her lips with his own and began to kiss her softly at first, gradually becoming hungrier as they felt the throes of passion overtake them once more. 

“So this is where you have been sneaking off to, my darling husband,” a voice beckoned. The two lovers jumped at the sound of the voice, and Zeus strode forward in the room, anger blooming in his eyes. 

“Who dares disrupt us,” he demanded before recognition took hold in his eyes. 

“Do you not recognize your wife, oh mighty Zeus?” Hera asked, stepping out of the shadows as her own golden glow began to radiate the room. Long flowing red and gold hair hung down her back, as the white sash she wore revealed her toned and athletic body, one bestowed upon to all of the gods. 

“Hera, what is the meaning of this?” Zeus asked. 

“You have the audacity to feign anger at me, husband? You who have left the world with more bastard children than can fill a temple in my honor? How ridiculous, and to debase your godhood by laying with this mere mortal, why that is beyond dishonor. You should feel shame.”

“Shame for what? For loving and being loved? You forget your place Hera. I am the king of the gods, and you will show me the respect I deserve.”

“Save the melodrama for when we return to Olympus. You and I know that you and I have equal power. In fact, let me demonstrate,” Hera replied, pushing past her husband and towards the bed, where Lumia still held her white sash to her naked form. 

“My goddess, forgive me. I did not…” Lamia began to say, her words falling short of spilling out of her mouth as she stared upon the beautiful goddess standing before her. 

“I’m sure you felt obliged to heed your feelings, especially in the presence of my ‘divine’ husband here. Yet an example must be made, and you sadly must pay the price for my husband’s mistake. I pity you mortal. Your mortal life is now at an end, and only hell awaits you,” Hera replied. With the simple touch of her hand to Lamia’s forehead, the young woman’s life changed forever. 

Lamia howled in agony as pain took hold of her. She could feel her skin peeling and cracking in places, while her hair fell out and her bones cracked. Her teeth sharpened and her ears grew pointed, and Lumia felt her humanity shed off of her as easy as a wolf’s skin. 

“Zeus, my love, help me,” Lamia cried, her voice growing heavy and rough as her transformation continued.

Zeus watched in horror as the woman he loved twisted and turned into a hideous beast, and his heart broke at the sight. 

Chapter 1

Quinn Ford woke to the bright light of a California morning streaming in through the blinds of the beach house. The soothing sound of the waves crashing on the shore nearby was relaxing, and Quinn found himself fighting to stay awake. As he turned away from the bright morning light, he came face to face with Iris Walsh, his amazing girlfriend, and the world brightened once more. 

The weekend trip had come together perfectly. Quinn had surprised Iris with the weekend plans and thankfully she had jumped at the opportunity. He needed a break from his latest novel, Baseline, and a weekend not answering another panicked call from his agent Helen was a welcome addition. Now in his thirties, Quinn found himself drawn more to peaceful and romantic weekends rather than the party life most twenty-somethings craved for all week long. 

He’d been lucky to meet Iris in the first place. Iris Walsh was a thirty-year-old photographer and makeup artist living in Los Angeles. He’d been working on his book in a bookshop/cafe, and had noticed her sitting at the table next to him. Her face had been scrunched up as she studied something on her laptop, and he noticed she was drinking the same thing as him. He’d always been shy, and so he had hesitated talking to her at first, not knowing what to say. 

However as he worked on his book, he found himself surprised when she sat down on the couch next to him, setting her laptop down. He looked up to see her looking at him, her emerald green eyes drawing him in immediately. 

“Sorry, the couch looked much more comfortable than the damn chair over there,” she said, her Irish accent punching through and enticing him like music in the air. 

“That’s…that’s alright. Always plenty of room for a fellow vanilla late drinker,” he joked, hoping his face was as blushed as he felt in that moment. He always felt awkward sitting next to a beautiful woman. As a heavyset man, he always worried it would be the only thing a woman would be able to fixate on when talking to him. Yet Iris was different, never once breaking eye contact with him. 

“Aye, these vanilla late’s are delicious. I never had them back home, but damn are they good.”

“Is that an Irish accent I’m detecting? Where in Ireland are you from?”

“Sandymount, a small village outside Dublin on the coast. Just moved here a couple years ago. Names Iris; Iris Walsh,” the young woman introduced herself as. 

“Quinn; Quinn Ford,” he replied, and the rest was history as the saying goes. 

Now looking into Quinn’s beautiful face and trailing his hand down her body, he could honestly say he’d never felt happier. Today was the day he told himself. Today he would ask her to move in with him in his loft in LA. It had been a few months since they’d met, and she brought the best out of him, and he hoped she felt the same way, at least enough to say yes to his idea. 

“Good morning darlin’,” Iris said, smiling without opening her eyes. 

“How do you always know when I’m awake?” Quinn asked, smiling. 

“It’s one of my superpowers, love,” she replied, opening her eyes and smiling. 

“You are my super-woman. Did you get some good sleep?” 

“I always do when I’m next to you. What did you want to do today? Do you have to work?”

“Nope, today I’m all yours. I was thinking we could have a late breakfast/early lunch, lay on the beach and then take a moonlit stroll along the beach before dinner. I thought we’d check out the caves near the Pinnacles National Park. What do you say?”

“I say that sounds a plan. Want to take a shower first?”

“You read my mind,” he replied, following her out of bed as the sheets fell from their bodies and they ran into the bathroom, quickly shutting the door behind them.

Chapter 2

It had been a whirlwind day for the young couple in love. A hearty breakfast buffet followed by a long lounge on the beach in their bathing suits was the perfect recipe for a weekend getaway. Quinn could feel the anticipation building up inside him, wanting the night to come so he could finally ask her to move in with him. The nerves were intense, and he hoped that his instincts were right on this one. 

Yet as they lay together, Iris laying her head on his chest, Quinn couldn’t help but feel like something was bothering her. She felt distant at times, almost like her mind was a thousand miles away. Yet he didn’t let that deter him. Instead he told himself he was just psyching himself out of doing what he had set out to do, and so he moved forward with the day. 

As night descended, the young couple walked hand in hand along the trail of the Pinnacles National Park. The waves nearby crashed against the rocks as they walked, and Quinn breathed in the ocean air around them. 

“Today as been the perfect day,” Iris said, her smile stretching into a grin as she looked up into his eyes. 

“It really has been,” he replied, leaning down and kissing her on the lips softly. Before either one of them could say another word, the night air was pierced by the sound of a low growl. The couple tensed, their hearts stopping in their chests as they turned and saw a large pair of red eyes staring at them from the darkness of the trail they’d just walked. 

“Iris, we have to move,” Quinn said. 

“Whatever that thing is, it’s blocking our path back to the car,” Iris replied. 

“There’s a cave nearby. If we can find some high ground in there maybe whatever it is will move on. I don’t have anything to fight it off with, so we gotta take a chance here,” Quinn replied. 

“I feel like we’re being cornered,” Iris said. 

“So do I babe, but I don’t think we have a choice. That thing is inching closer to us,” Quinn began to say. 

Before either one could make a move, the creature stepped into the moonlight, and they gasped in horror as a massive wolf trailed down towards them. Tufts of black fur and pearly white teeth glistened in the moonlight, and its eyes seemed to blaze with fire as it walked closer and closer to them. Quinn and Iris began to make a move to run, but as they turned they both found themselves caught on a large root, and the tumble sent them falling into the mouth of the cave below.


Quinn opened his eyes as pain shot through the back of his head, stars exploding behind his eyelids as he returned to consciousness. The world around him was blurry, but he could see the outline of a large fire burning in front of him. As he swatted away the cobwebs from his memory, his vision cleared and he saw he was laying inside of a large cave. 

He could still hear the crashing of the waves from the mouth of the cave, and the memory of being chased by the wolf came flooding back. 

“Iris!” Quinn shouted, but before he could sit up pain shot through him once more, and a cold marble finger laid against his lips. 

“Shh, hush now babe. It’s alright now,” a soothing voice called out, and he watched as Iris crawled next to him. She was a vision of beauty, as always. Her flowing white sating dress and porcelain skin seemed to shine in the light of the fire, and her piercing eyes held his gaze as she slowly climbed and straddled him, her soft hands slowly wiping the hair from his face. 

“Iris? Are you…are you alright?” Quinn asked, his voice sounding as if it were coming from a great distance away. 

“We’re both ok my love. Just be here with me now,” Iris said simply, her lips bearing down on his own in a powerful and ravenous motion. He’d never felt such intensity from her, and he felt weak in her presence. As she looked into his eyes however, he saw her eyes change from green to red, and the world came crashing down around him.

“You’re not Iris,” Quinn said in shock, pushing the mystery woman off of him as he pushed himself against the rock wall behind him. 

“More clever than most,” the woman replied, her voice gravelly and a growl erupting from her throat. Quinn watched in horror as Iris disappeared, and in her place, a hideous, monstrous crone stood in her place. Her skin was split apart and cracked, her hair was missing and large, sharp teeth pierced through her lower lip. Her eyes blazed red, and her mouth began to open wide, as if she were unhinging her lower jaw. A large howl escaped from her mouth, and Quinn found himself locked in terror. 

“Quinn!” A voice shouted, and he looked to his right to see Iris, his Iris, sitting along the rock wall a few feet away from him. The creature before him screamed, turning its attention on Iris and crawling quickly towards his girlfriend. Iris let out a scream as the creature got closer, a long, black forked tongue shooting out and running down Iris’s face. The creature suddenly pulled back, a laugh piercing the cavern as it glared down at the young woman. 

“I can smell it. The child has begun growing inside you,” the creature said, laughing all the while. Quinn looked on in shock as Iris met his gaze and tears streamed down her face. 

“I was planning on telling you at dinner. I…I was afraid you’d be scared off. We’ve only been dating a few months, and I thought the news would…” Iris began to say, tears hanging like crystals in the corners of her eyes. 

“Iris, it’s ok. That…that’s the best news you could have ever given me. I was going to ask you to move in with me tonight. I guess your news trumps mine,” Quinn joked, tears and laughs escaping them both as the horror of their situation began to sink in more and more. 

“The child will make you…a much more delicious meal,” the creature hissed, unhinging its jaw once more. Iris screamed as the creature moved to strike, never noticing Quinn leaping forward and pushing Iris out of the way. As he did so, the creature’s teeth ripped out a chunk of Quinn’s side, just as it’s razor-sharp claws ripped into his chest. 

“No!” Iris shouted, just as the creature released Quinn and sent him hurtling to the ground. Iris crawled over and held Quinn in her arms, turning him over so she could see his face. Tears streamed down her face as blood seeped out of his wounds. 

“Why? Why would you do that?” The creature asked, shock and awe taking hold as it stared down at its victim. 

“Because…because I love her. I love her…love her enough to die…to die for her,” Quinn said, his breaths shortening as the blood loss began to set in. 

The sound of his voice and his words pierced the night air, and the creature suddenly began to howl in agony, flinging itself to the ground as pain engulfed it. The creature’s body began to transform suddenly, just as a brilliant light of white and gold engulfed the cavern. Iris shielded her and Quinn’s eyes just as a man stepped out of the light. He was a chiseled specimen, his body glowing and his eyes piercing as he took in the scene around them. 

“Who…who are you?” Iris asked. 

“You modern mortals would not believe me, but I am Zeus,” the man replied, leaning down as the creature before him began to transform. Its hideous appearance began to disappear, and in its place, a beautiful young woman appeared. Iris watched as the creature vanished, and Zeus wiped the blood from the woman’s ruby lips. 

“What is happening?” Iris asked. 

“You two mortals have freed my love from her curse,” Zeus replied. “My wife, Hera, cursed the woman lying here in my arms centuries ago. For my infidelity, she cursed this innocent woman to become the monster you see before you. I helped her the best I could, giving her her powers and a place to hide whenever humanity began to encroach on her home. I searched for centuries for a cure, secluding myself in the heart of Olympus until that time arrived. You two have found that cure for me, however.”

“Cure?” Iris asked. 

“True love. I should have known, but my wife is clever. An act of true love saved my beloved Lamia from her curse. Quinn sacrificed himself for you my dear, and that love pierced the curse entirely. For that, I shall heal your love. I apologize for the pain we’ve caused you, mortals. Lamia, rest now my love. We ride for Olympus. Your pain is at an end.”

Iris watched as the man and woman disappeared in a brilliant glow of light. As they did, Quinn took a massive breath, and she watched as his wounds healed. Looking up into her eyes, he cupped her face in his hands and smiled. 

“Iris,” he said, tears streaming down his face. 

“Quinn,” she breathed, tears pouring out of her. 

“I love you,” he replied, resting his hand on her face and his free hand on her stomach. 

“I love you too, with all my heart,” she replied, leaning down to kiss him and resting her hand on her stomach as well, glad to be alive and well once more. At that moment, love had truly won. 

January 17, 2020 03:00

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RBE | We made a writing app for you (photo) | 2023-02

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