A cursed young man recalls the women who tried to free him. Based on "Tam Lin."
|The first saw me and ran.
I slithered after her, pebbles worming their way beneath my scales, but she ran as if a nightmare nipped her heels.
The fifth tried. It was the cold, I suppose, and my sweaty hide that made her fall. I felt her fingers scrabbling at my mane, her thighs beginning to slide away. I reared beside a patch of moss so when the inevitable happened, she wouldn’t break her neck.
The last held on. I felt the magic grip my body, twisting my skin and bones like a spinner’s thread, lengthening and shortening and fattening through shifts. Her cheeks were wet and cool against my scales, my fur, my feathers. My mouth opened to vent the pain, and an eldritch cry echoed. I felt her breath ruffle my pinions, and I felt hope.