I am, with the permission of my dear heart, going to share a story he wrote as a birthday present for me this year.
I haven’t written much in my Realm of late, and that does need to change for there are so many stories to be told and they need to be…
But for today, for always, my heart has told a tale of the Succubi that made me both smile and cry as I read it, and it’s something that I think should be shared…
But before that, before the story is told, one more huggle and much love to my heart for being part of my life and gracing me with his imagination and words…
To be cherished…
A Librarian’s Tale
By JHB (James)
The Realm Library was one of the wonders of the worlds, whispered about in rumors and rehearsed in fables and legends. Many dismissed the tales of cavernous reading rooms and miles of towering shelves, brimming with manuscripts from over a thousand worlds. They chuckled quietly at what they considered to be the nursery rhymes about carrels that opened into forests, hallways that transcended space and time, and living, breathing volumes that could, when properly read, unlock the building blocks of the universe.
But true, serious scholars from over a dozen realities salivated at the thought of possibly being invited to study there someday. Adventurers hungered for the opportunity of finding a way in there, invitation or no, and scoured deserted pathways, the backs of old wardrobes, dusty rare book rooms, and even the occasional telephone box, anywhere they had heard of a portal opening, to find there own way in. And romantics of all shapes and sizes dreamt of the confluence of circumstances that might find them in that place, in the presence of the absolutely stunning head librarian.
Tera, Queen of the Succubi Realm, reserved the position of Head Librarian for herself. She had loved the Realm Library ever since, as a girl, she had followed her mother around when the then-Queen was preparing special addresses or reminding herself of the history of certain touchy palace subjects. Tera was sure she could still smell her mother’s perfume in some of the books and scrolls. As she grew older, the bubbly, raven-haired red-tail began to explore on her own while mother studied; that was when she had discovered the literature wing, with its endless shelves of fiction and poetry, and the art galleries, with their portrayals of beings heroic, historic, and fantastic. As time passed, she would even steal up to the great hall herself to lose herself in beauty and imagination. When Princess Tera ascended to the throne, she simply knew she must spend regular time in this most wonderful place.
She was the Head Librarian, but she was also the Queen, responsible for the entire Realm and all the places where succubi wandered in other worlds, not just her favorite place. As strong as the temptation was to spend all her time wandering the stacks and interacting with those who found their way in, she had other duties.
So this tale is not about her.
No, there were others who helped tend the Library, brilliant succubi and incubi who had, at some point in their lives, been bitten by the same bug as their sovereign. Whenever possible, Tera would be there with them, cataloguing and shelving and even dusting, getting herself into the work, making herself part of this collection which had such a special place in her heart. But this small platoon of a half-dozen or so colleagues took most of the day-to-day responsibilities, and would report to their green-eyed regent when she stopped in, usually bringing them cookies and Diet Coke (a good librarian keeps her strength up, after all, and encourages her colleagues to do likewise).
Still, this repository was huge, transcending space and time, reaching into multiple realities. The work was constant and could be overwhelming. What’s more, as long-lived as succubi can be, none of them are immortal. The librarians needed help, and needed to train the next generation.
So this story isn’t about them, either.
Miriam was the most recent intern recruit to the Library staff. Like the Queen, Miriam had come to the library with her mother—a teacher—as a little girl and had fallen in love with the place. She had studied, planned, lobbied, and even begged for the position among the interns. It wasn’t that she wasn’t bright enough; she had gotten the second highest score ever on the qualifying exam.
It’s just that she was . . . well . . .
Only one or two yellow-tails appears in a century in the Realm. They are wonderfully warm, cheerful, and supportive of everyone. It was a yellow-tail, almost four centuries ago, who was the first (and so far only) being ever to start an orgy with chocolate chip cookies and milk. It went on for three weeks, and, at the end of it, the American Roanoke colony had disappeared.
She had simply meant to drop off a neighborly “Welcome Wagon” kind of package.
Miriam was a yellow-tail, an even brighter yellow than the one who had visited Roanoke—nobody knew for sure, but the legend was that, the brighter their yellow, the warmer, more cheerful, more optimistic, and more unpredictable they were. Not that they were dangerous per sé—they would never do anything intentionally harmful—but, the brighter the yellow, the more things had a habit of getting away from them.
So, when others saw this young succubi’s almost neon bright horns poking out from under her strawberry blonde bangs (most succubi—even yellow-tails–have hair that nicely contrasts to the color of their horns, adding to their seductive aura) over her rather gangly frame, they immediately braced themselves for whatever might ensue. As she reached adolescence, friends and family had taken to measuring her tail while she slept, so that they knew how far to move the breakables out of her path.
The Library staff had more than a little trepidation about her, sure that she would be too flighty, fearful for some of their more precious artifacts, and concerned that she might prove to be a well-meaning distraction in any number of ways. “Wouldn’t you be happier working with the new-made residents, or maybe out helping to raise the roses? You know, someplace where you could be out in the open, and not cooped up where you can knock things . . . ummmm . . . can’t get any sun?”
They rejected her once, and then again. The staff were all ready to reject her application a third time when Queen Tera, Head Librarian, intervened: “I really do think she could bring a unique perspective to our work here.”
“But, Your Majesty,” they replied, “a yellow-tail?”
“I have come to understand that it is never wise to judge by appearances.”
“But . . . Your Majesty . . . a yellow-tail!”
“The Library is very old, very large, and very strong . . . strong enough to withstand the forces at the nexus of the several realities it transcends. I am pretty sure that one yellow-tailed succubi cannot cause too much permanent damage.”
The Queen almost never raised her voice—something she had learned from her mother—but there was a definite soft tone she took at times that told those around her that the time for debate was over. Not a regal tone, not a condescending tone, but a firm tone. She hated pulling rank on her co-workers, but she had a definite idea about how this would go.
And her colleagues recognized that tone. Perhaps only Keith knew it better.
The next day, Miriam was outside the great oaken doors for half an hour before the Library opened, waiting to begin her orientation. When the staff arrived, they sat her down in a carrel to calm down and wait, then discovered a large plate of chocolate chip cookies on the circulation desk with the faintest whiff of cherries and a note that said simply, “Thank you. Huggles, Tera.”
Over the coming months, Miriam did prove herself to be quite bright, a quick learner, and, when she was focused, she was a first-class librarian. In just a month, she had found a way to modify the library’s famous but idiosyncratic Pitchfork Decimal cataloguing system to work with almost every language—earthbound and not—represented in the collection. Even the most skeptical staffers had to grudgingly admit that the young intern was exceeding all their expectations.
But there were moments when things . . . well, they got away from her. She was overjoyed to assist a group of visiting lepidopterists, and did a wonderful job helping them get situated in one of the less-traveled alcoves. The visitors did find her constant checking on them, including the bowls of jellybeans, just a bit over-the-top, however.
And then there was the matter of one of the “Special Collection” volumes, Monarchs: a Complete View, which Miriam was to bring out for the guests. Items in the Special Collection of the Realm Library were, of course, much more special than in similar collections. For example, when this volume was opened, the reader got “a Complete View” of the butterflies because they would flutter slightly above the page. But, as with most yellow-tails, our heroine had a way of causing things to escalate; within minutes, clouds of multi-hued butterflies were on the wing throughout the facility. Some of them were turning up in corners of the rafters for years. For the next three summers, in the DVD archive, cocoons encased the movie with that name.
Still, the young yellow-tail was doing an excellent job, for the most part, and week by week she seemed to get stronger. She was also blossoming into full-fledged womanhood, with all her succubi potential coming to the fore. At her age, many abandoned their internships and what were thought to be the more mundane aspects of Realm life in order to roam the mortal world, enjoying and refining their playful and seductive skills. Miriam, however, had no desire to leave her work in the library.
“This might not be such a bad thing,” said one of the senior librarians at a staff meeting while having her horns rubbed (Tera strongly believed staff meetings went much better if all the staff were getting massages at the time). “Remember when that yellow-tail named Helen went to Sparta? She batted her eyes at that Trojan boy, and a war started! As I recall, she ended up with some three-dozen suitors before we persuaded her to move to Paris . . . Saint-Seans did write a nice opera for her, though.”
“I never thought I would say it,” a blue-tailed incubi curator chimed in, “but the Library may be the best place for young Miriam.”
The Queen nodded, but touched a finger to her lips as her brow furrowed, even though she was getting a deep-tissue rub at the base of her tail. Still, she knew that it was best to let the intern find her own path and that, if all of them were true to their hearts, things would be fine.
A few more weeks passed, as the Realm fully embraced spring once again. The only Miriam-related incident was the day a group of sophomores from the Academy came to learn about the Library as they prepared for a research project. Most of the incubi and succubi couldn’t be torn away from their yellow-tailed tour guide, not being interested in any of the other staff—of course, the Queen was on a state visit to a mortal land called Toh-Ron-Toe, and her Tail self was teaching self-defense to some Baker—and even started to throw themselves at her feet when their teacher told them the tour was over. Only when the intern spoke to them in her own lilting voice, assuring them that they could come back later, did they get up and return to class.
More library cards were issued that day than in the previous six months.
Finally, the day came for Miriam’s final internship exam, the one that would admit her to the full-time staff. Part of the exam was about physical endurance, for one would be surprised at how much lifting, climbing, walking, and running was involved in a Realm librarianship. In the middle of the night, she was awakened by the tines of a pitchfork under her chin, and opened her eyes to find Tail herself straddling her burgeoning body.
“Get up and see if you can keep up with me!”
Miriam hardly had time to pull on shorts and a t-shirt—Tail had obliged her by ripping her nightie away—before chasing her proctor out the window and through the streets to the Library. Their bare feet never touched any pavement and they did not enter through a doorway. With only light from the Realm’s moons filtering into the collections, the book halls became an obstacle course, as shelving units were climbed and chandeliers treated as trapeze. Except for a moment in the Library forest, where her toe skimmed the duck pond before her tail pulled her back into a Dutch Elm, the intern’s execution was flawless.
In just under two hours, they were back at Miriam’s bed. Tail straddled her again, pulling away her sparse clothing and stroking her yellow tail. “The exam is not yet complete. Your endurance must be tested thoroughly,” the proctor purred.
Miriam gasped, then sighed, then responded.
The first glimmers of dawn were peeking over the Angelkitty Mountains when Tail caressed her subject’s sweaty, smiling cheek, then breathed hotly into her ear as her eyes closed, “My tasty young thing . . . you have done well, but you must not forget to embrace all of your being.”
Sunlight pushed her eyes awake all too soon. The heat of the extra-long shower felt good on her sore curves, and she found it hard to imagine how even her yellow horns were aching a bit. Still, it was the most pleasant twinge she had ever experienced.
She needed to dry her strawberry blonde curls fairly quickly if she was not going to be late, and was still toweling her hair as she stepped out of the bathroom to her dressing table. She caught a faint whiff of cherries and found a note card, bearing the royal ensign—a red heart with horns and a tail—sitting on top of her panties.
Tail tells me she quite enjoyed examining you, and is giving you high marks. Now for the second part of your test:
Part of the purpose of the Library, of course, is providing research assistance for the royal court. I have always wondered about the use of the number “42” in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas sometimes had trouble with his maths, and once had a fellow wearing a long scarf in a television play insist that Einstein’s equation was “E-equals-MC-CUBED.”
So, here is your exam question: what is the meaning of Life?
Huggles from Her Majesty
P.S.—Miriam, darling, please, stop curtseying.
The intern realized that her knee had been bent and her head bowed the whole time she had been reading, and she blushed. Then she took a deep breath: her Queen wanted her to find the meaning of life! Pulling herself together, she got dressed and headed for the library, where she commandeered a study carrel equidistant from literature, applied sciences, and philosophy. She began by speed re-reading Hitchiker’s Guide, spent the afternoon comparing world religions and working out the physics of an optimal regeneration environment, and fell asleep watching the appropriate Monty Python movie. The next day, she began reading poetry on life and love while also scanning volumes on human understanding.
This may not have been the best move.
She wanted to explore every aspect of life and reality, and so had found, among the rare manuscripts and artifacts, a scroll handwritten by the ancient alchemist Zosimos of Panopolis. She also pulled off the shelf, not realizing she had moved from “Love” into “Erotic Literature”, a book of the collected poems of D.H. Lawrence. Miriam was an amazing student, and she could often read and comprehend multiple texts, but she was weary, and her mind was flooded with a number of conflicting ideas . . .
. . . and she was a yellow-tailed succubi . . . with a bright yellow tail . . .
She was lost in thought and had almost drifted off when she heard thunder, or perhaps an avalanche, from the main reading room. Running through the corridors and almost spinning down the spiral staircase, Miriam came upon the most bizarre scene: staff, patrons, and their tail selves all engaged in a wild orgy. They were on top of tables, on top of the circulation desk, and slammed up against the shelving units—evidently the loud noise had been the sound of a shelving unit full of books tumbling into the one next to it, and the one next to that, and the one next to that, twelve in all, fallen like dominoes. The erstwhile librarian could scarcely believe her eyes, and her nose detected the scent of lemons, almost a musk, in a way she had never smelled it before.
Something was terribly wrong. She ran for the doors, stepping over writhing, moaning, sweating entwined bodies while dodging more than a few hands and tails anxious to pull her into their erotic melées.
The scene outside, however, convinced Miriam that help was not going to be coming quickly. In the streets, on the library steps, in shops there were incubi and succubi engaged with their tail selves in a fog of lust. She tried to remember what was wrong with that, but didn’t have too much experience in this area; unlike most of her peers, Miriam had never been in communication with her tail self, and her first sensual experience had been just two nights ago, with Her Majesty’s Tail.
As the yellow-tail roamed the streets, the magnitude of the situation became more and more evident: angelkitties were coiled around one another in the gardens, and syreens had wandered down from the hills to mate, rather raucously, by the lakeshore. And everywhere she went, she inhaled that lemon musk. Her own body was tingling just a bit.
In her private study in the palace, Tera caught a whiff of lemon, took off her glasses, and stepped away from her desk. Suddenly aware in her bones of something terribly wrong, she stepped quickly through her apartment, almost breaking into a run when she passed her special mirror and caught a glimpse of Tail. She stopped, thinking she would draw on her counterpart’s wisdom, but all she could seem to do was stare at Tail’s green eyes. Finally, the Queen shook her head and turned to go, only to have a black tail wrap around her waist, while a manicured nail traced the royal red tail with amazing accuracy. The scent of lemons was heavier. She spun around to see Tail caressing her, knowing better than anyone in the universe, even better than her Eternal, how to arouse her.
“You shouldn’t be here. Not now! Not both of us!” Tera half-exclaimed, half-moaned.
“But I am here. And you cannot tell me this hasn’t crossed your . . . dreams . . . your wettest dreams.”
Of course, Tail knew every moment of Tera’s wildest fantasies. “But, our being together will destroy the balance of things. It will affect all our sisters.”
“All our sisters and brothers are already experiencing the same thing. Every wild, uninhibited, dark fantasy that ever was is becoming alive out there.”
“But . . . if this is true all over the Realm . . .” Tera was trying to form thoughts as Tail tasted her neck and moved down.
“It doesn’t matter, it is what everyone wants.” A new voice—her angelkitty’s—entered the discussion as this being who was supposed to ground her began nibbling up her legs. Tera vaguely wondered about how she had become nearly naked, but didn’t care; Tail was quite adept.
“No . . . it does matter . . . if our sisters and brothers in the mortal Realm are affected, then our presence will become known . . . The balance will be lost . . . the barriers between Realms . . .” With great effort, the Queen endeavored to pull away from the sexual gravity of these perfect lovers.
“We will be blissful, darling.” It was her Eternal, Keith: “Let us enjoy you . . . please.” He grabbed her chin, pulled her mouth to his for a long deep kiss, and Tera melted. Every secret erogenous zone in her being was assaulted simultaneously as the three lovers drew her to the bed.
Miriam realized that the only hope for an answer to all of this, lay inside the library, and so she made her way back. The great doors were now jammed shut, however; remembering her recent exercises with Tail, the intern kicked off her shoes and used the ivy to help her climb the stone walls. While she did pause for a moment as her lemon-fogged mind pondered how wonderfully endowed one of the gargoyles was, she quickly recovered herself and, tapping a window just so to release the lock, just as she had done the other night, slipped inside, landing silently on the marble floor.
She was not alone for long. The tip of a silver tail ran up and down her spine, and she turned to find a succubi with her build, chestnut brown hair, but Miriam’s very violet eyes. “You’re my tail self, aren’t you?”
“Yes, baby,” the silver-tail responded, massaging her breasts. “The name is Marilyn. I am so pleased to finally get to meet you.”
“But we’re not supposed to do this sort of thing, are we?”
“No, love, not at all.”
“Yellow-tailed succubi are amazing creatures, and you are more amazing than most, and the Realm Library, as you well know, is an amazing place. You let things get away from you.”
Even as their tails intertwined, Miriam half-husked, “But we shouldn’t do this. We’ve held out . . .”
“You were the eye of the storm, sweetness. The full effects have hit you last. But it’s time to let what happens happen. Remember what we were told: to embrace all of our being.” Marilyn pulled her in for a kiss.
“But I . . . but I . . .”
“Maybe, at the moment, she would prefer something different.” The male voice belonged to someone who looked like the assistant curator, Irving, but not, with a black horns and tail to replace the blue. “My name is Ike. I seem to have worn Irving out.”
“Embrace all of my being, eh?” The intern raised an eyebrow, pulled loose from Marilyn, and grabbed this well-built man, not even allowing for time to lie down as she wrapped around him. More books hit the floor as Miriam experienced her first orgasm as a sexual aggressor. She liked it very much.
Soon, her head was clearing, and the lemon musk seemed slightly less oppressive. She caressed the cheek of a dreamy-eyed Ike: “Why don’t you go find your counterpart, baby? I have a feeling things will be clearing up soon.”
Then she kissed Marilyn, deep and long. “Now, to continue embracing all of myself, but not the way you think, darling. I want to draw on your wisdom.”
Marilyn took Miriam’s hand, leading her back to her study carrel: “Well, things are clearing, but not back to normal yet. Let’s look at the texts you were reading. Now, see this bit here?”
“I must have muttered this aloud.”
“But, if we both read this . . . here . . .”
“Oooooohhhh! I see what you mean!”
Together, the succubi and her tail intoned an ancient Persian passage. The clouds that had been gathering over the realm parted, a fresh breeze cleared the air, and tail-selves began to slip away . . . for now. Realm residents of all sorts began to shake their heads and slip out of their reverie. Marilyn was gone when the young yellow-tail looked up.
After three hours of reverie, it took the rest of the day to set most things to rights. With all hands on deck, the tired, dusty, sweaty library staff had still just barely reshelved the major works when a familiar voice called from the Head Librarian’s supposedly vacant office: “Miriam!”
The young succubi blanched, but obediently responded. As she entered the door her lip trembled: “Yes, Majesty?”
“You gave us all quite the adventure today. Things got ahead of you, didn’t they?”
Miriam nodded meekly.
“Did you learn anything?” Tera motioned for the yellow-tail to sit next to her.
Her eyes downcast, she complied and replied: “Well, it is important for all of us as succubi to embrace our whole being, including our sensuality and sexuality. And both passion and integrity are what life is all about.”
“That is very good, my dear. And your integrity, balanced with your passion, managed to prevent a cataclysmic event.”
“An event that I started, Majesty.”
“I know, my daughter. Still,” she took Miriam’s chin in her hands and gave her a kiss, “there is a bit of business that must be tended to.”
She had given up all hope of being a librarian as she braced herself for her fate. She would feel so alone without her friends, and without Marilyn, even though they had only just met. But she was sure that, for the sake of the Realm, she must be banished to a mortal, tail-less life.
Queen Tera sat up quite straight as she spoke, “Miriam, your internship is over. First thing tomorrow morning, you are to . . .”
Miriam could not breathe.
“. . . report to the main desk to begin your duties as a Realm Librarian.”
The strawberry blonde squealed, and grabbed and kissed Tera in a most un-royal manner. She gasped, but was relieved when her Queen just smiled.
“I really only expected you to tell me about life and love when I asked you about the meaning of life,” Tera said.
“Well, you were right about Mr. Adams’ answer to the question; 42 is all wrong. Life, especially for succubi, has balance and symmetry.” She hugged Tera once more: “I ran all the equations, Majesty . . .
“. . . the answer is ‘44.’”