May’s breath puffed white in the moonlight, rising like a bride’s lifted veil, misting the absolute forest darkness for a moment, and then passing like a season or a scent. She followed a deer path through the densest bottomland south of Shawnee, deep in West Virginia wilderness untouched by any axe in living memory. She fell often and her long skirt gaped ragged at the right knee, exposed skin oozing thick red, though she felt no discomfort. Her sweater, snagged and torn in a dozen spots, let the October chill seep into her.

Winter waited on the other side of the cold wind. Tonight the earth would freeze, the very last night May might find her way here, bruised and frozen, blinded by the moonlight, aching inside with divine pain.

All she knew was his smell, clover and cinnamon and vinegar, the faintest trace in this frozen forest, vivid as his fingers on her breasts, his cock inside her, so long ago, back in the spring.

The deer path widened into a clearing and the full moon lay like a silver dollar on the pond, beyond her misting breath among the creaking trees. Inside her something kicked.


* * * * *

May stood on the porch of her house and stared at the empty driveway. Mom and Dad had taken the Buick all the way to Charleston.

May had never been alone before. Eighteen and she had never been alone.

Even out here, half a mile from Shawnee, Mom and Dad did not want her to be alone. They watched her like the hens in the yard watched their chicks.

“You don’t trust me,” She told them.

“It ain’t you we don’t trust,” Dad said.

May knew what Dad meant. Dave and the other guys at school looked at her like they wanted to eat her. She knew about Adam and Eve and the sin made by men and women, and she knew exactly what Mom and Dad were trying to keep away from her. She knew what the kids did on Friday nights at the Works drive-in movie theater up in New Martinsville.

Julie, the nastiest girl in school, told May all about it, though May was the crazy girl in ankle-length dresses, thick, shapeless blouses that hid the shame of her breasts, and no lipstick. Lipstick was the scarlet sin. May’s hair had never really been cut, only trimmed at the very ends and the shining golden length of it perched on her head, rolled and pinned, tight as a silken cocoon.

Her parents forbade her the radio. She knew about the Beatles and she heard the girls in gym class singing about Good Loving. May watched Julie dance with Dave, fast dances her Dad called the gyrations of devils and slow ones that made May ache between her legs when she thought about Dave holding her that close.

None of that for May. She was not even allowed to be alone.

But tonight they had no choice, really. Grandma Perry had called them. Grandpa was dying in the hospital down in Charleston and Grandma needed to go there. Mom and Dad would pick her up in Point Pleasant and they would be gone at least a day.

May had to be in school the next day for the senior picture, girl in the long dress, third row. She had begged them, some inner voice crying out the importance of being there at school in the morning, one time, among the other kids, even as strange as she was. Once—stamped on the moment, proof that she had been alive.

No one ever called her. No one ever came out to her home, to the very edge of Shawnee, not the old men and women from the church, not the dancing girls, certainly not Dave.

What would she do if Dave came out tonight, while Mom and Dad were gone?

May knew the word.

Julie had told her. “Fuck.” What animals do, when the rooster tops the hen, a boy and a girl.

The boy fucks the girl.

May watched the night, her breath rising and falling, quickening. Something on the wind made her heart beat faster, a scent, green and fresh at first, cut grass, the blood of springtime.


The rank fresh smell came to her on the breeze, warm, filling her. May shivered and then slipped back inside, closing the door against the night. Mom and Dad were gone.

Truly gone.

She looked around and then she touched her waistband, unbuttoning, unlacing, and she shed her long skirt, left it lying in the living room beside the sofa. She ran her hands over the cool softness of her slip and gathered the hem, rolling it, baring her legs and her big, cotton panties. She wished Dave could see her.


Delicate as a shiver, sharp as a pin, the smell touched May between her legs, and she spun, giddy with the promise of her own fingers, touching sin, stroking it to swelling. She knew the touch, exactly so, from all the other times she had sinned quietly in her room.

She sank back onto the sofa, pushing her blouse up to bunch at her throat, fingers frantic on her clit and under the cotton of her bra. She shed her slip with a whisper, and then kicked her panties away in an ivory arc.

Pleasure and sin took May, washing her in waves of sensation. Her cries echoed in the empty room then settled into silence.


Flushed, she tugged her blouse down, lost in the scent, the cinnamon a red blur in her head, a voice that whispered, come out, come out into the clover, join me in the green. May felt the quickened pulse of blood in the earth, wet and raw. She walked to the front door and opened it again, stepping back out onto the porch, the spring damp kissing her thighs, wetter under the touch of the night, sweet spice and musk.

Rapt, she studied the yard then walked out into it, palely lit by the crescent moon, kept walking, past the driveway, across the road and into the poor fields. The warm breezes caressed her sinful place, bare and open. The clover and the cinnamon held her, drew her out into the night, the house behind her fading. Mom and Dad gone, everything new, the green and good, the perfumes of the night and her own sweat, the wet between her legs.

She began to unbutton her blouse, her breath fast and hard, cinnamon inside her, life inside her. For a moment, horror, doubt, and a sense of sickened awareness halted her steps.

And then certainty came in a rush of wings.

She opened her blouse to the hot warm air, to the dark angel descending, golden in the moonlight, like heaven falling upon her. May saw his wings against the moon, ephemeral, thin as shadows and she knew him.

He was the lord of springtime and he smelled faintly of vinegar and strongly of clover and cinnamon, immense and fragile, a shape like a fluttering cloak against the darkness as he lit before her.

The wind from his wings kissed her, washed over her, his scent overwhelming, turning the darkness green, scattering light in her vision, sparks and then fire. May felt her sex dripping, felt the nipples of her small breasts tight as buds, aching for his touch.

In starlight, he seemed gigantic, almost two feet taller than May, his chest broad and faintly shining in the starlight, his arms thick and sculpted as a wrestler’s. She reached out, hardly daring to touch him and she felt his skin, cool as grass in the spring night. A powdery residue dusted her fingertips and she shivered as he put his hands, three-fingered and oddly jointed, on her shoulders, peeling the thin blouse away, He stroked her breasts through her cotton bra tentatively, as though puzzled by the covering.

May reached back to undo the snap, aching to be naked for him, to have his scent cover her like a robe.

She hardly dared to look at his face. His beauty blinded her. All she saw clearly were his eyes, red and enormous, luminescent as stars. The rest of his features were blurry, shifting, as though concealed behind the mask of his overpowering scent. He ran his hand down the curve of her hip, a place no one had ever touched before, and she trembled with wanting him.

He wanted her too. She looked shyly down at his slender waist, then lower to the thin, hard rod that rose to brush her stomach, soft as velvet and stiff as stone. He began to make a noise, a faint buzzing that seemed to be one with his scent, the voice of springtime, the song of his desire, and she let him lay her down upon the damp, cool grass of the lawn.

Against the sky, she saw the full majesty of him, an angel with burning eyes, and May knew anything he did to her would be holy. He knelt between her legs, wings folding like an umbrella, his hands on her thighs, light as leaves, stroking upward, odd fingers tracing the line of muscle, all the way to her slit, smearing the moisture there, opening her.

She began to breathe hard. There was nothing but his scent and his hands and then the long coil of his tongue, tasting her breasts, wrapping them in a moist band, up the curve of her throat, invading her ear, exploring her.

His male part seemed enormous and she knew what he intended. She wanted it with all her soul. She wanted him to fuck her, wanted his scent on her like anointment. She moved against his strange hand and moaned, inviting him.

Buzzing, he held her under her bottom and lifted her slightly. The long, tapering rod of his penis, serpentine and flexible, touched the lips of her slit. He pulled her to him and pain stabbed, brief and liberating, and then there was only pleasure, the rush of green, of spring, of promise.

He filled her. Everything she had ever known fell away from her, the world of her parents, of the high school, of Shawnee, even Lord Jesus, all trivial beside the wonder of his body, the rapture of his smell and the cool, hard miracle of his angel’s skin.

She opened like a flower to a bee and he dusted her with his shining essence, the long tendril of his tongue probing her lips, slipping between them like the shoot of a green plant. She tasted the cinnamon and vinegar of his scent and she knew the flavors would never leave her.

Moving with him then, she felt something inside her, a sensation far stronger than any she had ever summoned with her own touch, a building frenzy as insistent as a thunderstorm, matched by the sudden intensity of his movements as he lifted her, wings unfurling behind him, like the canopy of heaven. He held her lightly as a doll, driving deep into her, the tenderness gone now, his rhythm savage and urgent as creation.

Pleasure took her, the very heartbeat of life, and she saw his face clearly, the facets of his red eyes, the shifting surfaces of his mouth, the blankness where he should have had a nose, immaculate symmetry, all angles and glass, the face of God.

His penis pulsed deep inside her and then the gush of his spending, endless as spring rain, holy and perfect, and she knew that nothing in her life would ever approach this moment, that she had found a pinnacle and everything hereafter would be shadows.

Withdrawing from her, he stood and turned away, his wings furling again, his immense, strong body seeming smaller. His buzzing grew deeper in tone and May saw him tremble. She sat up and reached out to him, but he stepped back, out of her reach, and then sank to his knees, wings folding around him with a dry rustle.

She stayed beside him through the night, her mind still numb with his scent and his wonder, and she watched him die, stretched out on the grass, his hard body shriveling, turning brittle, red eyes gone dim, then black and empty.

In the first light of morning, he curled like a brown leaf and became ashes that blew away in the rising wind.

* * * * *

Her parents, of course, never knew.

When they returned from Charleston, two days later, lost in their prayers for Grandpa, they hardly noticed May. She had become their girl in the long dress again, quieter even than before, a blessing of a daughter.

But they couldn’t see what she saw, feel the springtime alive like a pulse in her belly, taste the angel’s scent and know the constant arousal of his memory.

She lived that spring and summer in a dream, her mind emerging sometimes to wonder at what had befallen her, though she could not speak of it. She understood that the angel who had visited her was the same creature that had been seen in Point Pleasant months before, that he had been young then, uncertain of his place in this world, lost perhaps, singular and divine.

A moth man they called him. A monster.

He had summoned her, his mate, with the song of his scent, enslaved her will and her desire in the manner of a sacred being, the son of god, a shower of gold fallen upon her like Zeus in a pagan myth.

The swelling in her belly was slight at first, but by summer’s end, her mother noticed she was gaining weight and cast suspicious eyes on her, but May hardly talked to them by then and they left her alone. She hid the thickening beneath her shapeless clothes and sang hymns beside them in the little church, though her hymns were never to their God.

Then, in the first chill of winter, she knew the rest of it, heard his voice in her blood telling her what she must do to nurture the life he had bestowed upon her, and, on the last full moon night of October, she had left her house and gone into the deep woods, walking long miles to this place, where he had been born, the manger of mud and warm decay.

She did not hesitate to step into the shallow pond, feeling the muck pull at her shoes and caress her ankles, her calves. Walking became difficult and she let herself settle into the water, her long skirt floating up around her like a spent blossom tossed onto the pool.

The chill mud beneath her feet felt distant as the stars and she knew that when she lay down she would be warm, entangling herself in roots, binding herself to the earth, a cradle for new life that would grow inside her through the cold months, feeding on her flesh, growing strong enough to come out into the world, in time, singular and sublime.

Eternally renewed as the spring.

© 2008 Angela Caperton. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

Bio: Born in Virginia and later raised on a sailboat, Angela Caperton has traveled extensively and has grown up to appreciate the world in all its forms. Her erotic fantasy, Woman of the Mountain, won the 2008 Eppie for Best Erotica, and she has two other stories available from eXtasy Books. Look for her erotic vampire short story “Understudy” in Black Lace’s Lust at First Bite, and her story “Standing Stone” in Pen Flourish’s soon to be released goddess anthology, Maiden, Mother, Crone. She is currently working on the sequel to Woman of the Mountain and has several other short story projects steaming up her computer screen.
Learn more about Angela at her web page or her blog,

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