Like so many stories before this, Mark Ursine's story begins with a journey far from his home. Mark, a gay man with better fashion sense than most of his gender, his slender but wiry body always covered by names like Aero, AE, and Abercrombie, had been invited out of his fabulous home in Cinland, Ohio, down to the more even fabulous resort town of Port Muskingum on the southern bends of the Ohio river.
His best friend and fellow prowler in the bar scene, Oliver King, had made reservations for two at the Sacred Spring Spa and Resort for the “Hunters and Hunted” Theme weekend. Figuring a good time could be had, and more variety found than in the Cinland bar scene, Mark agreed in a heartbeat. As he packed his Vuitton bags, he thought on the adventures the weekend would bring. Men, men, and more men...
The ride down the country roads to southern Ohio was fairly uneventful, barring a few turns into unpaved roads and a near run in with an Amish buggy. And then, like Cibola on the horizon, Sacred Spring rose, showcasing the main lodge and several cottages and yurts designed to hold the influx of gay men coming down for a weekend of cruising. Signs at the check in desk advertised the opening night strip show featuring Daddy Hadron and Alphonse, hosted by the lovely Artisa Misan.
Mark and Oliver unloaded the cherry red Miata and began the process of moving in to their little cabin in the woods for the weekend. A main room with a fire place and a couch lay inside the front door, with two bedrooms and a bathroom branced off in the back. A small kitchenette lay to the left of the fireplace. Mark chose the left bedroom, amused by the plush mattress on a bed frame designed to look like it was made out of logs.
“Ah Heaven!” he exclaimed, as he began unpacking, laying out outfits for the festivities. Tonight, he thought, tight jeans and a jock and a strategically ripped shirt would be good to get on the radar. Best to make the ones you hunt think that you're one of them.
A nap, a quick shower, a spritz of CK One, and then dressing, Mark was ready for the ball. Oliver was ready, going more for basic black. His hair was spiked and moussed, his goatee neatly groomed.
Oliver smirked as Mark primped in front of the mirror one last time. “I saw Artisa perform once when I still lived in West Virginia,” he said. “She's amazing. And she's pretty damn hot out of drag, too!”
Mark laughed. “Never been too big on queens. Always some kind of drama. But hey, the night s young, and the hunt has just begun!”
The duo proceeded over to the main lodge, where the conference room had been remade into a darkened Hall of Sodom. A stage was set directly across from the back entrance, with various platforms rising elsewhere on the floor. Almost everything was illuminated from ground level , track lighting and dimmed spotlights in several hues the only real light. Off to the left of the stage, a DJ sat in his booth spinning the latest dance mixes of top 40 pop. The hall was already crowded with men, all shapes and sizes, hirsute and bald, scantily clad and dressed to the nines mixing. Mark and Oliver made a bee line for the bar, set along the wall by the entrance in a corner. Oliver ordered a Manhattan to appear more sophisticated, Mark settled for a Flirtini.
Men everywhere. Mark split off from Oliver to better see the buffet of options available. Men, everywhere, spinning and dancing and twirling, sweat and pheromones and musk filling the air along with various grades of cologne.
Mark stared hard at the maddening crowd, trying to take in faces and bodies, looking for the best to hunt. He mentally made notes, putting mental bulls-eyes on the ones he liked the most, taking notes on what the best approach would be to nail them. He also took note of the few who seems to be putting targets on him, trying to subtly signal to them that he preferred to hunt, rather than be hunted.
Mark chose what looked like an easy mark to get the night started when the music cut out and a loud voice poured out over the crowd.
“Gentlemen of the Sacred Spring Spa and Resort! Please give a warm welcome to Her Majesty, Lady Artisa Misan!” The light effects started, as everyone turned to watch the stage. A tall Queen with olive toned skin and raven tresses half way down her back strutted out on what must have been 8” heels, in Matt's estimation. He had to admit being impressed with her hunting gown, gray camouflage and fringe with a plunging neckline and a hem that rose well above the knee. He could also see some hint of a well defined musculature underneath the chest padding. No wonder Oliver found her so hot out of drag,
Mark thought to himself. I must simply find a way to meet her after this...
“Good evening, my predators and prey!” she boomed in a deep contralto. “Welcome to my hunting lodge. Rich weirdos are always welcome in my house!”
With that, the music started, and Artisa broke into the first verse of “Sweet Transvestite”, much to Mark's amusement. She's doing ok singing
, he thought, but I can't give her points for originality.
Thankfully, the chorus was as far as she went. “Now, I know I'm not what you all paid to see tonight, although I'm liking the view of what I see up here!” Artisa chuckled, a deep thraoty sound that had Mark forgiving her song choice. “Let me introduce my 'family”... For your entertainment tonight, we have Daddy Hadron!”
A cheer rose as a tall man in knee high leather boots appeared behind Artisa. Mark's jaw dropped as he looked up the books to the leather jock with a zipper running down the from, up the almost grotesquely defined chest, past the chain harness and pierced nipples, to the obsidian beard, well defined nose, eyes covered in sun glasses and a black leather cop hat on closely cropped hair. Mark felt the arousal rising from within. Here was someone he would love to be hunted by, a rarity in his world. The only thing that didn't scream perfection on Daddy Hadron was the paleness of his skin.
The DJ struck up something low and sleazy that Mark didn't recognize, as Daddy Hadron began his gyrations among cheers from the onlookers. All too soon, the music stopped and the spot flashed back over to Artisa.
“I see you all like Daddy!” she thundered. “Just to let you know, Cabin 9 is set up as play space, and Daddy Hadron is more than willing to show people the ropes this weekend!”
Another appreciative cheer rose up. Mark made a mental note.
“And now, let's give Alphonse a big warm welcome!”
Alphonse didn't so much step into the light as much as it seemed to emanate from within him. While Alphonse was as pale as Daddy Hadron, on him, the pale skin had a reflective quality, He was dressed in a sequined thong, and warm blue eyes seemed to glow under a curly mop of blond hair. Much like Daddy Hadron, he had well defined musculature, but he wore it rather wiry, looking buff and slender. Again, music played and Alphonse showed his moved. Alphonse was perfection.
“Alphonse will be sunbathing all weekend if you want to admire him,” Artisa snorted, rolling her eyes. And last, but not least, the assorted other go go boys we imported for you this evening. Make sure you tip them, your bartenders, and me well when the shows really begin!”
With that, ten more average men in thongs came out, climbing on platforms to wiggle for the aroused crowd. The music started up, and Artisa melted back into the stage.
With so much visual stimulation, Mark was at a loss as to where to look. Almost everyone had seemed to turn into a go go boy with the start of the festivities. People who had paid to attend were shedding shirts and pants and rubbing against one another with abandon. As much as Mark enjoyed the view and the occasional grope, it was getting to be overwhelming. He made a bee line for the restroom.
A quick tipout of the hall and into normal lighting was a bit disconcerting. As he enetered the bathroom, though he found himself staring at a handsome man putting on eye shadow. The man was also wearing only a pair of boxers. A quick assessment and he realized this was Artisa.
“Don't worry, I don't bite,” Artisa said, smiling.
“I'm sorry, I..uh..I guessed you'd have a dressing room or something...” Mark stammered. “I needed to get away for a minute.”
“First time here?” Artisa said, turning away from the mirror to face Mark.
“Is it that obvious?”
“Just a little. Pleased to meet you, I'm Art.” Art extended his hand.
“Mark. I'm down from Cinland for the weekend.”
Art reached into a little clutch on the sink, and pulled out a cigarette. He offered one to Mark, who gratefully accepted, pulling a small lighter out of a pocket. Being a gentleman, he lit both cigarettes.
“You know, we're not supposed to smoke indoors in Ohio...” Mark noted.
“Bah, my dad owns the place. As long as we keep a window open, no one will say anything. Besides, most of the folks are busy dancing right now to notice.”
Mark noticed that indeed, a window was open to the outside in the bathroom, and an old fashioned foil Burger King ashtray sat on the ledge.
“You should drop back in after my number,” Art said after a few moments of companionable silence. Mark was noticing that Art was a phenomenally attractive man, and one he would love to hunt, hunt with, or be hunted by. It was a bit odd, since he normally avoided the queens. But Art...Art was somehow different.
“I'll try,” Mark said, nervously flicking ash in the tray.
“Now finish your cig and get out, I have to finish dressing now.”
Mark butted his cig and did as he was asked, returning slowly to the main chamber of events. It was odd, he noticed, that his sense of time was off. Maybe it was all the people, but the night seemed to be extending around him as he walked back into the hall. Inside, it was almost orgiastic, the bodies of men seemed to melt into one another.
And then, He caught sight of Artisa, back towards the back of the hall, putting on her next outfit. Caught up in the moment, he raced towards her, grabbed her and kissed her.
Rather than the enthusiastic response he expected, Artisa's eyes flamed with a silver light.
“How dare you!” She bellowed, throwing him to the ground. “Beast you are, beast you become!”
With that curse, Mark felt his body begin to expand...his gut started sticking out more, his frame and waist expanded. The sudden changed started tearing his clothes to shreds as he suddenly went from about 150 pounds to 250 pounds. Body hair started springing up all over his normally clean frame, and a cropped beard and mustache started to grown on his face.
“Dammit!” Artisa exclaimed looking at her handiwork. “I turned you into the wrong kind of bear! That never used to happen!”
Mark, still in shock from the sudden change, started to notice a subtle change in the atmosphere, as if everyone in the hall had noticed him. He also perceived Daddy Hadron and Alphonse trying to get through the crowd to him.
“Fine, maybe the second half will work better! Hounds, EAT HIM!” With that, the crowd did advance on Mark, shredding the tatters of his clothes even further until he was naked on the floor. Mouths of attendees started to lick and caress, creating unexpected sensual pleasure he could not hide.
“Dammit thrice!” Artisa swore. “Why the hell does the magic not work like it used to?”
Somehow, in his heightened state of pleasure, Mark noticed Daddy Hadron and Alphonse join Artisa in the corner.
Alphonse spoke softly, yet Mark could still hear. “Sister dear, the world has changed. And I might add it's kind of foolish to kill off potential followers.”
Daddy Hadron also spoke in a low voice. “You brother speaks true, impulsive niece. I have not need of that many followers, since eventually everyone comes to me anyway. I might add that this was mostly your idea, after what your Roman alter ego managed to do among the lesbians.”
The men caressing him began to start climaxing on him, and Marks visions became broader. The trio looked much as the did on stage, only bigger. He began to see that Artisa really did have female bits that were somehow covered by an illusion of male bits. Daddy Hadron became paler, and Alphonse began to glow brighter. Somehow Alphonse's illumination seemed to grant him greater perception of what he saw and felt.
“That bitch Diana has it so fucking easy,” Artisa continued. "Everyone loves the Roman. Hell, all the damn planets got named after them. They're nothing but cheap copies of us!” Mark had a sense this was an old argument between them.
“That's not the point and you know it,” Alphonse said. “All of us have proven here that the gay men can still find belief and comfort in us. You made them all hunters tonight. You can do that for them all. Use your chastity to entice and drive them onwards, that we may reap the benefits and grow with them.”
“But what of him?” Artisa said, pointing at the prone form of Mark, who was rapidly approaching a climax of his own. He would have spoken up had his mouth not been full.
“What of him?” Daddy Hadron replied. “Your twin has already given him truer sight. Make him your first priest in this new arrangement. Let him be the one to bring the men to the new Brotherhood of Artemis. And through them, to to the rest of us.”
“Uncle Hades, you speak wisely. It would seem my impulse has worked better than I would have suspected.” She sighed and looked at Mark. “Mark Ursine, You are now my priest. May you go forth and teach the hunt to others, and bring them to me or one of my assorted family members. All actions you take are in my name now, and if you fuck up, I will insert one of my arrows where that nice gentleman has his penis currently. So you understand?”
Mark nodded his understanding around gasps of ecstasy. Artemis, now revealed, bent down and kissed his forehead as he at last succumbed to his own climax.
He blacked out.
He woke the next morning, back in his room at the cabin. Oliver was snoring loudly in the other room, and by the sound of it, not alone. Mark stood and looked in the mirror. His body was back to normal again, but the shredded remains of his clothes remained on the floor.Just a dream, then.
Then he noticed a silver arrow pin on the collar of his ruined shirt.Well then. I guess I have work to do.
Where the hell did that come from?