Preview of a new story

In the spring, when summer was almost come, the women and girls would get together and make garlands of the earliest flowers, and put them on and dance around the tree, and pour offerings of wine and clean water over its roots, and then hang the garlands on the tree’s boughs when they were done. I danced with them, hearing the tree sing its pleasure in return. It always began to bloom soon after the garlands were hung on it. 

We had always done this. Then one year came a priest in his black robes who threw his holy water at us and burned foul-smelling in a metal pot, ranting and raving at us and calling us witches, demon lovers, daughters of evil, and what not else. My mother and the other women put themselves between him and the girls.

“Away with you!” one woman shouted. “You’re the evil one, seeing badness everywhere!”

“We do you no harm! You’ll still get your congregation and your money!” cried another.

“We have always done this,” said my mother. “The Marcouls have always known and permitted it.”

The priest chanted something in his holy language, and spat toward my mother. “Not for much longer,” he said, and took his holy water and his foul smoke away. 

I crept out to the tree after dinner that night, to put my arms around it and whisper comforting words. “We will not let him harm you,” I said. “We will sing and dance for you and drench your roots just as we have always done.” I felt the tree quiver and embraced it more tightly.

–from chapter three of “Children of the Forest God”, the first two chapters of which can be found here

FIC: “Be like the Rose”

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Image by Josch13 from Pixabay

Be like the Rose (3903 words) by MToddWebster
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Andrew Hozier-Byrne (Musician)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: OMC/OFC, The Musician/The Lady of the Roses
Additional Tags: Inspired by Music, Fairy Tale Elements, Fairy Tale Style, Roses, Apocalypse, Musicians
Summary:

“Be there just as you stand, or be like the rose that you hold in your hand, that will grow bold in a barren and desolate land, and lover, be good to me.” –Hozier, “Be” from his album Wasteland, Baby!

 

A preview of a forthcoming story

He had no interest in the sword or in weapons or in horses. He did not read books except of stories and poetry, and only in the vernacular. He followed after his mother as she managed the household and when she took time to embroider and paint. Secretly he helped the maids in the kitchen and the gardener in the garden, until his father caught him and scolded him for his behavior.

He was a strange and lonely youth, but one day the elderly gardener, who was about to retire, came to him with a thing wrapped in worn silk. “This is in thanks for your help, lad. Once I used to play it sweetly, but my fingers have lost the knack. Perhaps you can teach yourself to play it. Just don’t let your father catch you.” He handed over the thing in silk and walked slowly away.

The mysterious gift, unwrapped, was a thing in an even more worn and battered leather case, and when the youth undid the clasps and opened it, he found that it was a lute. It was old, surely, and yet seemed beautiful to him, without any wear or damage. He drew a finger across the strings, and the sound was sweet and thrilling. It was richly carved, and the head of the instrument bore the face of a beautiful woman crowned with roses.

Another Tale of the Forest God

Children of the Forest God (3495 words) by MToddWebster
Chapters: 1/3
Fandom: Andrew Hozier-Byrne (Musician), Forest God – Fandom
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Forest God & his offspring
Additional Tags: forest god, Parent-Child Relationship, Folklore, Celtic Mythology & Folklore, Pagan Gods
Series: Part 5 of Tales of the Forest God
Summary:

Three children of the Forest God, in three different times and places, seek their true father in the woods.

 

My long career in fanfic

Over the years, the Open Doors project has imported works from numerous older fanfic archives, going back into the 1990s. These earlier archives were usually single-fandom collections, often created and maintained by one individual, albeit with some automation. Thanks to the OD project, I’ve just added over forty stories to my works at the Archive of Our Own, mostly from Down in the Basement, the great slash archive of X-Files fandom, with a handful of Harry Potter works that were once archived at Ink-Stained Fingers. Some of these stories… I hesitate to say it, because wow, do I feel old… but some of these stories are over twenty years old now.  Nevertheless, you can now survey two decades of my writing at AO3. Enjoy! (And if you do, buy me a cuppa?)

FIC: A new Forest God story

The Witch in the Woods (3124 words) by MToddWebster
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Andrew Hozier-Byrne (Musician)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Characters: the forest god, OFC
Additional Tags: forest god, Forests, Puritans, Witches, Witchcraft, Witch Hunts, Sacrifice, Human Sacrifice, Wendigo, European settlers misunderstanding indigenous American spirit lore
Series: Part 4 of Tales of the Forest God
Summary:

The witch must be sacrificed to the god she worships. So the Puritans think, but the Forest God has other ideas when he finds a helpless girl in his woods.

 

FIC: “The Poisoned Gift”

The Poisoned Gift (6492 words) by MToddWebster
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Andrew Hozier-Byrne (Musician), Schneewittchen | Snow White (Fairy Tale), Fairy Tales & Related Fandoms, Den lille Havfrue | The Little Mermaid – Hans Christian Andersen
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Major Character Death
Relationships: OMC/OMC
Additional Tags: background M/M relationship, Poisoning, Attempted Murder, Magic, Dark Magic, Horror, Musicians, Academia, True Love’s Kiss, POV Outsider
Summary:

In which Hozier takes the role of the Evil Queen, so to speak. A shrewd bystander notices something wrong with the relationship between a teacher and a student at a music conservatory, and it’s not what you might think. Who has the fairest voice?

 

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Photo by Bruno Scramgnon on Pexels.com

A tweet from Hozier inspired me and two friends of mine who are as mad about the Irish musician as I am to write three variations on the tale of Snow White, casting Hozier in the three principal roles: Snow White, her prince, and her evil stepmother the Queen. The lot of evil stepmother (?) Hozier fell to me, and this is what I made of it. I urge you to read not only my story but my collaborators’ (theirs are far more romantic).

FIC: The Feast of Saint Hubert

The Feast of Saint Hubert (3695 words) by MToddWebster
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Andrew Hozier-Byrne (Musician)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: OMC/OMC
Additional Tags: Forest Sex, gay forest sex, pansexual forest god, Bisexual Male Character, The Forest God – Freeform, Hunters & Hunting, Deer, Animal Death, Animal Transformation, Sacrifice, Self-Sacrifice
Series: Part 3 of Tales of the Forest God
Summary:

(The Forest God speaks) I have had one true bride over many centuries, yet I have also had many lovers, in different times and places. And I have lived many lives, and also died many deaths. Here is the tale of one of them….

 

All fanfic is midrash, really

At the oaks of Mamre (1008 words) by MToddWebster
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Good Omens (TV), Christian Bible (Old Testament), תנ”ך | Tanakh
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Aziraphale & Crowley (Good Omens)
Additional Tags: Angels, Demons, Theology, Lurking Trinitarian doctrine, Christian takes on Jewish Scripture, Midrash, All fanfic is midrash really
Summary:

1And the LORD appeared unto [Abraham] in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, 3And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: 4Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: 5And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.
–Genesis 18:1-5, Authorised Version

 

I… appear to have written another story

This one is fanfic, and a crossover at that:

Two Serpents Meet in a Bar (1207 words) by MToddWebster
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Good Omens (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Julian Bashir/Elim Garak, Aziraphale/Crowley (Good Omens), Ineffable Husbands – Relationship
Additional Tags: Crossover, Walk Into A Bar, Alternate Universe – Angels & Demons, Wine, Innuendo
Summary:

Crowley and Garak meet in Quark’s bar. That’s it, that’s the story.

 

Behold! a story!

The Forest God (2829 words) by MToddWebster
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Faerie Folklore, Fairy Tales & Related Fandoms, Celtic Mythology, Andrew Hozier-Byrne (Musician)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Rape/Non-Con
Relationships: Narrator/Original Character(s)
Additional Tags: Forest Sex, Past Rape/Non-con, Pagan Gods, Ritual Sex, Beauty and the Beast Elements, Penis In Vagina Sex, Sacrifice, Shapeshifting, Minor Character Death
Summary:

Every year, the tribe offers a bride to the Forest God. This year, I am the chosen one.

FIC: What *is* his job, anyway?

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A tondo from a red-figure kylix depicting Persephone and HadesVulci, c. 440-430 BCE. (British Museum, London)

“Another request to smite someone? Brimo, when will they learn that’s not my job?”

Hekate shook her head. “Probably never, if they haven’t learned it by now.”

Hades buried his head in his hands. “Zeus does the smiting, with a little help from Hera. Persephone does the scaring. Thanatos actually reaps mortal souls. Hermes guides them here. I just–Hekate, what do I do? Why am I here?”

“Somebody has to keep the books.” She patted him briskly on the arm. “Why don’t you get Cerberus and go for a walk in the garden or something? One of the Nice Girls can watch the door for a while.”

“It’s no fun without my wife,” he grumped. “Besides, it’s like winter here when she’s with her mother.”

“You could watch some Netflix? I hear there are some interesting new documentaries on religious aberrations.”

Hades sighed. “I think we’re out of popcorn.”

Hekate clucked her tongue. “Well, I need to go. It’s still dark moon tide and I’ve got crossroads to visit, offerings to sample. If you won’t get out of the house, you should send out a daimon for snacks and watch some movies, something Persephone won’t mind missing.”

Hades flopped backward on his couch. “I can’t even catch up with Brooklyn Nine Nine with her.”

“Oh, Tartaros,” Hekate said. “I’m off for the night, do what you like.”

As she whisked out of the room, Hades threw his arm over his eyes. “I don’t punish people. I just watch the door. I do the paperwork. And it’s all because I drew the short straw….”


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