This story was written for a challenge on the XNXX forum, the challenge was to write a story using a famous painting, The Nightmare by Henri Fuseli. This was my entry.
Helena slept heavily, her long blonde tresses dangling over the edge of the bed as she sprawled across the double mattress.
A groan escaped from her lips as she woke uncomfortably, the feeling of a weight pressing down on her stomach and ribs disturbing her.
As her eyes flickered open it seemed, in the gloom of her bed-chamber, that a small creature was perched on her torso, its eyes glinting.
Eyes suddenly wide open, she shot upright. The vision of the creature disappeared. She blinked and rubbed her eyes, groaning yet again.
Outside, the horses whinnied and neighed in their stalls. Concerned, Helena pushed back the linen bedsheet and the heavy twill blankets, then rose from her bed and padded quietly to the window, carefully easing the dark red velvet curtains apart and peering out into the stable yard.
In the moonlight Helena could see nothing, but nevertheless the horses continued to protest, their noises now more insistent. Disturbed, she decided to investigate.
In the darkness she slid her feet into her slippers, picked up a shawl from the back of her the chair by her dressing table, wrapped it around herself and, crossing the bare parquet boards of the cold room, stepped out onto the landing which led to the staircase.
From a shelf beside the door she struck a safety match then lit the candle housed in a small metal and glass lamp hanging below it.
Carefully removing the lamp from its hook she made her way downstairs, the shadows cast by the lamp swinging crazily around the walls of the staircase, and across the hallway to the dresser opposite.
Removing a small key from the chain around her neck Helena opened the lock of the top drawer of the dresser and slid it open.
She lifted out the Beaumont-Adams .44 calibre pistol it contained, and hefted it experimentally up to shoulder height. The gun felt heavy, perhaps five pounds in weight, which she knew meant it was fully-loaded, with all five shots in place.
Helena was relieved by the protection she felt the gun afforded, and was glad James had left it there for her. He had privately purchased one of the newer American Smith And Wesson Model 3 pistols, as he preferred it to the standard British Army officer issue Beaumont, describing it as quicker and more reliable.
He had left it behind for her personal protection whilst he was away - their remote smallholding, nestling at the foot of Buckinghamshire's Chiltern Hills was picturesque but isolated, and within a day's ride of London, with the newer, faster steam-trains such as The Flying Scotsman also bringing the occasional footpad, robber or ne'er-do-well into the normally quiet county.
She glanced up at the ferrotype hanging on the wall above the dresser, the picture taken on their wedding day, with James, resplendent in his army Captain's uniform seated, and Helena in her beautiful dress standing behind him, clutching his arm.
How she wished he was here now, he had been away for most of the year in that frightful war in Natal. The newspapers had all speculated that after the victory in the Battle Of Ulundi, and the subsequent capture of King Cetiswayo the war was won, and that the troops would be home soon.
It seemed otherwise though, in his last letter James had written that they were expecting to remain in the country for some time, to oversee its partition.
Holding the pistol in her right hand she picked up the lamp and made her way to the front door, passing the reproduction of that spooky painting which James liked so much, the scary one with the sleeping woman, the impish devil sitting on her chest and a horse poking its head through the curtains.
A portrait of the Queen hanging at the end of the hall looked solemly down at her, her rotund face and stout body making her appear every inch the matriarchal sovereign and empress.
Helena smiled to herself as she recalled the day she and James had visited London, to see the Queen ride through the city in an open carriage en route to the Royal Horticultural Show at Kensington.
The happy memory quickly faded, and Helena carefully set the lamp down beside the door, turned the doorkey in its lock, and flipped the catch up.
Picking the lamp back up she tugged the door open with her foot, then made her way out into the yard, holding the lamp up in her left hand, whilst her right arm hung by her side, carrying the weight of the pistol.
Behind her the wooden door hung, invitingly half open.
A cool autumnal breeze blew thick strands of an erie mist through the yard, seeming to almost glow in the light of the full moon. The cold from the slabs laid across the yard chilled her feet through her thin slippers, and she shivered as she walked, the rough hem of her cotton nightdress flapping around her ankles.
She looked towards the stable block, bordering the right side of the yard outside the farmhouse, and stepped towards it, her stomach tight with nerves.
Buster, her own horse, stuck his head out of his stall and neighed a greeting to her as he always did, but somehow even he seemed nervous. She paused by his door and scratched him gently on the nose, using her right elbow.
"Easy, boy." she said softly to the equine, "Nothing to worry about, silly pony." although she doubted her own words. Something had spooked them and no mistake, she could hear them stamping and shuffling in their individual stalls.
At the sound of her voice a couple more horses poked their heads out and neighed disturbingly.
Helena crossed the yard, towards the open barn opposite. To her left the single storey building which housed the tack room and workshop was in darkness, its doors shut and seemingly undisturbed.
She stepped into the barn, holding the lamp as high as she could to attempt to throw as much light as possible around the stacked bundles of straw and the collection of pitchforks, rakes, brooms and buckets it contained.
Suddenly, the sound of hooves walking slowly in the yard behind her caused Helena to spin round. She gave a gasp of terror as she saw a large black horse, at least eighteen hands high, with a man dressed solely in black upon it.
The horse lifted its head towards her, and Helena's blood felt as if it would freeze in her veins as she saw that its eyes seemed to glow with an unholy white light.
Her own eyes stretched wide in horror.
The horse halted at the entrance to the barn, then the man dismounted and slowly began to approach her.
As he neared the light Helena could see him more clearly. Tall, handsome, with finely chiselled cheekbones and piercing blue eyes. His fair hair was cropped short at the sides, but left a little longer on top. Although he wore a greatcoat, it was open and his body was obviously muscular, the tight sweater he wore displaying a well-built chest and a flat stomach.
His square jaw was set in determination, and his eyes glinted as he regarded Helena coldly. She took a step backwards, and raised the pistol.
"S-S-STOP!" she shouted, "W-who are you, and w-what are you doing here?" she continued. Hastily she placed the lamp on the ground and cocked the pistol, shaking hands struggling to pull back the hammer, ready for firing.
Wordlessly he continued forward. Helena took another step back and screamed "GET AWAY FROM ME OR I'LL SHOOT!" Her hands continued to shake as she grasped the butt of the pistol with both hands and aimed it towards the man's torso.
He took another step forward, and she pulled the trigger.
The loud report of the gun echoed almost deafeningly around the barn. The recoil jolted her backwards, her arms flying up. She staggered back a step, one of her slippers flying off and her foot landing in the wet, cold mud of the barn floor.
The man halted, but his expression did not alter. He took another step forward.
Terror exploded through every nerve in Helena's body. Damn, she had missed! As James had taught her to do, she lifted the pistol and pointed the muzzle upwards as she re-cocked the gun.
Her thumb slipped off the hammer on the first attempt, although on the second she pulled it down and it locked into place.
Detritus from the shot she had just fired fell from the empty chamber and sizzled briefly as it landed in the damp mud. A small particle landed on Helena's nightdress, burning a tiny hole in the cloth.
The man took another step, now he was only a few feet away from her. Helena aimed the gun directly at the centre of the man's chest and pulled the trigger again.
This time she was ready for the recoil, and her arms hardly moved. The flash from the muzzle spat forward directly towards the stranger's chest.
The man took another step forward, as if the bullet had passed harmlessly through him. Helena was petrified, unable to move, her trembling arms still holding the pistol.
With one last step he was before her. With a single brutal sweep of a fist he knocked the gun from Helena's outstretched hands. It bounced on the floor and disappeared into the dark shadows of the barn's recesses.
She stood, paralysed with fear. The man's gaze pierced hypnotically into her eyes, as he grasped her, drawing her close to him and planting his lips across hers, forcing his tongue into her mouth.
She tried to protest, but could manage only a muffled squeal.
The man continued to hold her tightly against his own body, and his tongue continued to explore her mouth.
He continued to stare directly into her eyes. She felt herself transfixed, unable to resist or even look away, as if under some kind of spell.
To her astonishment, Helena found herself becoming aroused by the rough treatment, perhaps as a reaction to the fear and horror she had just undergone, perhaps due to the wants and needs of a young woman left alone for too long, perhaps due to some unconcious desire to be treated that way, but nevertheless she could feel the familiar warmth within the lower reaches of her belly that she always felt when James pleasured her in their bed, the rising moistness inside her.
Her tense body relaxed a little, and the man moved his hands to her shoulders, pushing off the shawl, which crumpled in a heap around her heels, exposing her bare neck, which he kissed.
His hands then grasped the sleeves of her nightdress, pulling them downwards and forcefully dragging her clothing down. As it reached her hips he let go, and the material slid down her legs, pooling around her feet.
The man held her arms and took a step backwards, his eyes steadily travelling down the length of her now naked body, regarding carefully her neck, pert breasts, flat stomach, her pubis, then her thighs, calves and ankles.
His stare travelled back up to her groin, pausing for a moment, then returning his gaze to meet Helena's own eyes.
Finally he spoke, his words calm and level. "You will be mine, and I will be yours. I will fuse your body and soul to my own, I will pour my spirit, breath and strength into you, you will have me and I will have you. And have you I will..."
His accent was mysterious, continental, laden with the tones of Central Europe, and the words filled Helena with a confusion of fear, dread and lust.
She suddenly realised that not only would she allow this man to do anything he desired to her, she wanted him to do so, she wanted to be taken, her body was there for his gratification, and his alone.
The man placed his hands on her shoulders and pushed down. Hypnotically, she responded by slowly supplicating before him, the cold mud of the barn's floor dirtying her knees.
He placed one hand firmly on top of her head and with the other pushed down the waistband of his jodphurs.
His penis sprung out, erect and proud.
Instinctively, Helena opened her mouth, and the man pushed the throbbing member towards it, the bulbous head forcing her lips wider then pressing upwards to the roof of her mouth.
Slowly he eased it back out, then returned it in, a little deeper this time. Sliding it out and in once more, he began a slow pattern of insertion and withdrawal, his hands gently rocking Helena's head forward and back, each gentle thrust going a fraction further back into her mouth until finally reaching the back of her mouth. Helena began to choke a little, but the man simply moved one hand to her shoulder and pushed downwards, whilst the other hand tilted her head backwards, aligning her mouth and throat as one.
He bent his knees, pushed his hips forward, and he found what he sought - deep throat penetration. Helena was powerless to resist as he slid the cock to and fro, from her mouth to deep within her.
Wordlessly he thrust, faster and faster. She could feel the dripping moistness of her vagina and the heat in her belly contrasting with the cold night air on her skin.
Suddenly he stopped and withdrew completely. Helena, gasping for air, fell forward onto all fours, her hands now also in the mud.
Still panting, she was aware of him stepping over her, the leather of his riding boots pressing her flanks, and the rough grip of his hands seizing her around the ribs.
He manhandled her around, turning her the opposite way.
Suddenly the heel of his boot jabbed her buttock, propelling her violently forward onto a bale of straw, the sharp prongs of dry grass stabbing into her erect nipples.
On her muddied knees, bent forward over the bale she was unable to move as she felt the leather of the boots once more, this time between her thighs. His feet forced her legs apart then he too knelt, using her discarded nightdress to prevent his own clothes becoming soiled.
His hands grabbed her around the waist, and she felt the end of his cock begin to probe the lips of her moist vagina, before sliding deeply in.
He began a pattern of alternating thrusts, varying the depth of each - sometimes lightly, gently inside her, sometimes powerfully jabbing deep within, building a steady rhythm.
She struggled her elbows up onto the bale to relieve her nipples from the scratching grass as her body rocked to and fro, but they still throbbed, the pain contrasting sharply with the pleasure the hard cock inside her was bringing.
Helena felt her pleasure begin to rise. Her breaths began to come in short, sharp, draws. She began to give out a series of loud gasps as her orgasm neared when, suddenly, the man withdrew completely.
With a final gasp, she sank beside the bale, her haunches now in the mud. Panting heavily, she spluttered "More... please, more! I beg you, sir...?"
Her vagina ached for the release of orgasm as she sat amid the damp and the slime.
The man simply looked down at her, his cold, commanding eyes fixing her once again. His gaze burned into her soul.
He stepped over her and, grabbing her arms, tried to pull her to her feet. Helena's trembling legs were like jelly and she was unable to stand, so the man simply dragged her along, through the mud, her legs and sides now coated with filth.
The hard stone of the slabs in the yard shocked Helena as she was pulled across them, jolting her to her senses. She scrambled to her feet but was powerless to resist as the man pulled her towards the tack room. He paused by the door, lifting one booted leg and, with a single powerful kick, smashed the door open, towing the unresisting woman in behind him.
The familiar smells of the tack hit Helena's nostrils, the rich scent of the leather of the saddles, the faint stink of equine and human sweat, the warming menthol of linaments, the light odour of mud and excrement all mixing to provide a heady bouquet, but somehow now all in much sharper focus, the fragrant in acute contrast to the malodorus.
In the shadowy gloom the man grabbed a head-collar from its hook and, drawing Helena's arms together behind her back wound it roughly around her wrists, finally using the lead rope to secure her wrists together.
He pulled a book of matches from his pocket and struck one, the sudden whiff of phosphorous and sulphur briefly joining the melee of scents in the air, then lit an oil-lamp on the wall.
The bright yellow glow of the lamp threw the dark woods of the sparse furnishings and the brown leathers of the saddles and tack into sharp relief.
In the centre of the room was the familar saddle stand, with Helena's own saddle draped across it.
The man pushed her firmly towards it and bent her side-saddle across the seat, pushing her forward so that her heels left the floor, only her tip-toes touching the ground and her bare rump pointing upwards, open, exposed.
Her stomach twitched at the feel of the cold leather and her breasts dangled down, her hardened nipples touching the flaps at the side.
Helena waited in nervous anticipation, wondering what the man intended to do next. Seconds seemed to hang in the air, as if minutes were passing, the expectation heightening her excitement
Suddenly she found out. He grasped the collar wound around her bound wrists to hold her steady, then brought down his other hand in a stinging slap across her buttock.
She shrieked, the shock and the pain making her body jerk. A second blow fell on her other buttock.
The man gently caressed her backside with the back of his hand, the smoothness of the touch the perfect counter to the stinging of the flesh, before he raised his hand once more and rained down a succession of slaps alternately to each cheek.
To her own astonishment Helena began to enjoy each crack of the man's hand on her skin, and when he stopped she let out a small groan of disapproval. Her vagina ached inside, longing for fulfilment.
"More?" the man intoned.
"YES!" she begged "Yes, more, more please sir, more, I implore you!"
She heard the man shuffle his feet then there was a brief whistling sound before a sudden crack - the intenseness of the sharp pain in her rear causing Helena to scream loudly.
She realised he was using a riding crop as the second blow tore into her buttock. She screamed again, but this time with pleasure as the burning pangs only served to increase her arousal.
When the blows ceased she felt a cool air as the man gently blew across her behind, then he stooped and carefully planted a succession of light kisses across the throbbing welts on her rear, the softness of the gestures in opposition to the heavy strokes he had just administered only serving to increase her delight.
He released his grip on her bound wrists then grasped her firmly on the hips with both hands.
She felt the bulge of his penis against her moist pussy lips then he thrust deep inside her, causing her to moan in ecstacy, then he began to pump her once more, each thrust bringing her to higher pleasure.
Once more he varied the depth and frequency of the thrusts, once more building a steady rhythm.
The leather of the saddle, now warmed by her body heat and the friction of her writhing began to feel greasy from her sweat as she neared orgasm and, as she came, she screamed out - first for God, but then simply a succession of meaningless noises and snarls as she lost control totally, juices gushing from inside her.
Still the man continued to thrust into her, his strokes now becoming quicker and more regular, until he too cried out and released a stream of hot cum inside her.
Helena felt the torrent within her, and she came again, her second orgasm even more intense than the first.
He continued to hold her, his erection softening only a little as their bodies remained joined. Helena panted, soft moans of pleasure still emanating from her mouth.
Eventually the man released his grip and withdrew from her. Her heels returned to the ground as her body moved backwards, squashing one of her breasts uncomfortably against the pommel.
She stood, aching legs unsteady and turned to face the man.
Inside her, her belly still tingled with the joy of her recent orgasms whilst on the outside her rear stung from the beating and whipping it had received, her nipples ached from the straw that had spiked them, and the hot friction of rubbing on the leather.
She looked up gratefully into his eyes, the strange joy of the bizarre experience still overwelming her.
Smiling flatly, the man spoke, his words echoing his earlier mantra "You are mine now, and I am yours. Forever"
Helena stuttered a reply "B-but...n-no...m-my my my husband-"
The expression on the man's face changed suddenly, his brow furrowing with displeasure "Husband? HUSBAND?" he suddenly roared "No, no-one can have you now, we have fused our bodies and souls together. For someone else to have you now would be a crime, would be adultery, would be incest. None shall have you now!"
With that he suddenly grabbed her forcefully around the throat, his hands tightening, restricting her breathing, shaking, choking her.
Her hands still bound behind her back Helena desperately tried to lash out with her bare feet, kicking at the man's shins but his thick riding boots rendered her attempts useless.
She brought up her knee, to try to contact his groin but his heavy greatcoat hung around him, cushioning the blow.
Terrified, Helena began to feel the life slip from her.
Helena woke with a start, sweating and breathing heavily.
In the darkness of her bedroom she glanced at the alarm clock on her bed-side table. The red LED numbers glowed softly. 5:46.
She struggled with the folds of the duvet which had somehow become entangled around her, wrapping itself around her neck. As she did so her hangover kicked in.
Her head fell back to the pillow and she groaned. Her brain began to piece the events of the previous night together for her.
It had seemed like a good idea at the time; with both their husbands away on active service Helena had invited her sister-in-law Anne around for the evening. Helena's husband James was away with the King's Royal Hussars tank regiment in Afghanistan, whilst his sister's husband Darren was serving with RAF 617 Squadron flying Tornados.
As both women would be alone on Halloween it made sense for them to get together, especially as Anne's house was not too far from a large housing estate notorious for its unruly and occasionally criminal element.
In order to avoid any problems with trick-or-treaters Helena had driven over there, picked her up and the two women had enjoyed a girlie night in together.
Helena's home was a country house and also a working stable several miles out of town, and up a long lane off the main road so it made sense for the two of them to spend the evening there as it was unlikely to receive any visitors, but Helena had wanted to be on hand as sometimes the horses were spooked by the sound of fireworks if any should be set off in the vicinity.
The pair of them had spent the evening drinking wine and channel hopping on satellite television, first a Halloween special of The Simpsons, then a film version of Jane Eyre and finally some creepy old American show that neither of the women had seen before, presented by that chap who had also done The Twlight Zone.
The pair had started off with a bottle of sharp, crisp, bone-dry South African Chenin Blanc, then when Helena served up dinner they'd gone onto a big heavy fruity Shiraz, also from South Africa.
The dark richness of the red wine had been the perfect accompaniment to the meal, Helena had cooked thick twists of pasta spirals with chopped steak in a tasty tomato, chilli and herb sauce.
Before they knew it, the two had drunk a whole bottle of the red and opened a second, causing Anne to remark that "With drinking all this African stuff we should be watching that old film, Zulu!" she laughed "Rear rank, fire! Advance! Reload!" she'd bellowed. The pair had giggled, but a sudden realisation that both their men were also away upon a foreign continent, and in constant risk, had subdued their laughter briefly.
Nevertheless, the giggling and drinking had quickly resumed. Helena had bought in a selection of cheeses, biscuits, grapes and relish which they'd consumed with gusto.
Helena had begun to read out loud extracts from the book she had recently purchased, whilst both she and Anne had screamed with the hilarity,
"Holy Crap! I rip the packet open and the rubbery condom is all tacky in my fingers!" squeals of laughter had rung out
" My inner goddess pole-vaults over the fifteen-foot bar!"
The pair were still laughing when Anne's taxi had arrived shortly after midnight. Helena had waved her off, then stumbled drunkenly up to bed.
Now, she clicked on the electric light beside her bed and swung her feet onto the rich shag-pile carpet, standing up and smoothing down the satin-soft polyester of her shortie nightie. The central heating was already on so the room was warm and comfortable as Helena headed for the en-suite to grab a mouthful of water from the tap to counter her arid and dry mouth.
She shook her head at the memory of the strange and disturbing dream she had just woken from, and went out to the landing, flicking the lightswitch.
A chandelier holding an array of electric candles illuminated the stairwell as she went down the stairs, passing the display cabinets holding James' collection of antique handguns, and past the Victorian dresser in the hall which, tucked into a small compartment, lie hidden the key to the cupboard under the stairs which held the gun case, which in turn housed a pair of pristine Purdys - although they were rarely used James had taught her how to accurately fire the shotguns, in the event of foxes bothering their chicken coops while he was away.
Entering the kitchen and switching the coffee machine on, Helena poured herself a glass of orange juice, which she used to wash down a couple of paracetamols.
Two slices of toast and a black coffee later, her hangover had begun to subside and she went back upstairs for a shower.
As the hot streams of water played across her naked body, Helena began to think about the odd dream. Although it had been terrifyingly horrific at the end, the thought of the kinky sex had been deliciously naughty - all that slapping and whipping, all that mud, all that rough sex.
As she washed herself Helena found her hands beginning to stray across her body, fingers manipulated her nipples, and her hand slipped down her soapy wet body to the crease of her pussy.
Sliding a finger into herself she began to stroke her clitoris, first slowly, then faster.
With her free hand Helena inserted two fingers as deep as she could into her vagina whilst in her mind she replayed the strange perversions of that night's dream.
Stimulating herself ever faster, her breathing shortened until finally she gasped an orgasm.
Breathing heavily, she stood for a while enjoying the jets of hot water caressing her body, then she finished soaping herself.
When she eventually exited the shower, Helena dried herself and dressed. She picked up her mobile phone and thumbed a text message to Anne: "Red wine hangover this morn, hate you atm. Will like you again later lol Great night but too much cheese b4 bed not good, weird dreams! Laters baby lmao x :)"
Returning downstairs Helena went down the hallway to the front door, passing the photo of herself and James taken on their wedding day, she sat on a chair, the skirts of her beautiful white dress to the forefront, and James, in his Captain's uniform behind her.
It pained her to think of all the boys who were out there in Afghanistan. Why were they still there, she pondered. Saddam was dead, Bin Laden was dead, the Taliban had been overthrown - why couldn't all of them come home now, a job well done and all that sort of thing?
Helena had a constant dread of receiving a visit from the Casualty Notifying Officers, she knew that a single knock of the door could mean a visit from a pair of CNO's.
Four hundred and thirty such visits had already been made to the families of troops stationed in that faraway land.
She walked along the corridor towards the door, passing the framed print of Fuseli's Nightmare on the wall. Helena shuddered at the grim picture, depicting a sleeping woman being visited by an incubus, with a horses head thrust through the curtains in the background, the sexual overtones of the horse's head penetrating the gap of the curtain seeming to represent a penis entering a vagina. Strong stuff, for the Eighteenth Century when it had been originally painted.
As she pulled on her wellington boots she glanced up at the portrait of Princess Diana that hung there by the front door.
Helena smiled wistfully, remembering the time when as a seven-year-old, she had been given the honour of presenting the Princess with a posy, when she had visited Helena's school on a Royal trip.
Opening the door, Helena went out into the cold November morning. She liked to be in the yard working before the grooms and stable girls arrived for work, to set a good example as their boss.
Her horse, Buster, neighed a greeting to her, and she walked to the stable block, petting him on the nose.
Crossing the yard towards the barn she glanced sideways at the low building that housed the workshops. As she passed the tack room she smiled, and she could feel her cheeks redden as she blushed with the memory of the dream.
Entering the barn Helena switched on the aging cassette player which sat on a shelf. One of James' old prog rock tapes began to play.
Helena sighed, one of the perils of having a husband ten years older than ones' self was having to listen to all that old music.
It was somehow strangely comforting when he was away though. It felt like having a little piece of him there.
Helena struggled to remember the name of the group who's tape was playing - their name was something to do with Tolkien, she remembered James telling her.
She sang happily along with the words "I, the mote in your eye, I, I, I, I, the mote in your eye, a misplaced reaction..."
So engrossed in her work and the music was she that Helena completely failed to notice a large black horse, at least eighteen hands high, ridden by a tall man dressed solely in black, walk into the yard behind her.
As the horse lifted its head, its eyes glowed with an unholy light.....