I ducked my head under the warm aromatic water and back up again. To one side a nymph was stoking the fires to keep the water heated, directly behind me another nymph washed and massaged my scalp. What a lovely way to extend the pleasure of afterglow. Kirke soaked in that spacious bathing pool beside me. Phe playfully splashed water at me and fondled my breasts.
I must admit that I was more concerned that Kirke kept pers promises, than the order in which they were kept. So it was nice to take these moments and enjoy before I once more had to face the demands of my crew.
After I was through soaking, the nymphs dried me off and had me lay on a table where they massaged the tension from all of my muscles with orange and almond scented oils. I was then clothed in a silken tunic and a thick velveteen robe. For my feet I was given fuzzy rabbit slippers with golden bows.
Once a table had been laid with freshly baked bread, smoked salmon, seasonal fruit and vegetables, I asked that Kirke then bring my people in and transform them back to their true forms. I could hardly eat without having them join me.
Phe smiled, then graciously left the hall to return with the herd of swine who were my jolly seafarers. By stroking their backs with a balm, Kirke caused them to grow and re-shape into their human forms; only they had the healthy glow of having been well-fed and their skin was now as soft as a child's.
I must say that Kirke was surprised to find how mannerly these recent veterans were after their transformation, and invited them to fetch the rest of the crew from the shore. Their trials had without a doubt humbled them, not that their hearts were the less stout. Soon we were all enjoying ourselves heartily at a splendid feast with plenty of wine and ale.
Kirke observed the gaunt, spent figures of many of my people. Phe spoke with me of pers concerns, "I know how rough and perilous your journeys may have been. I know too that upon occasion heart and body need respite in order to restore faith and health. Your group are welcome to stay with me until once more you are ready to face what lays ahead."
I turned to per in gratitude and accepted.
Copyright © 1998 Katherine Phelps