"No, stop. Don’t go after them, Kelton. They’re mountain sirens - or as we like to call them in my village, hill whores. That’s not their real forms. They’re illusions. For years this was a place men would sneak off to seek pleasure in other men, and they would watch, and copy their faces, their actions. They’re not real, boy. They’re demons. You go off with them, they’ll hypnotize you with lust, distract you with their holes, and their cocks."
"…Is that really a bad thing?" he asks.
"Well, you won’t notice it at the time but they’ll drain you of your sexual energy. All of it. You’ll never get it back. You’ll never produce another healthy sperm again, your cock will never get hard again. You’ll never penetrate another living thing and enjoy it." I watch him pale.
"…We should move on then."
"Yes, we should. In a couple hours, we’ll be at a town, there will be a brothel, you can find a boy for the night there."
Kelton eyes them, then looks at me. “How will I know he’s not a siren too?”
"Oh that’s easy," I say, chewing on a piece of jerky, "Hill whores don’t leave the hills, they hate being under a roof, and they hate rotten fruit, which is why I’ve been carrying this lemon with me the entire day." I lob it at them. The demons hiss and scatter over the ridge.
"See? Off they go."
Kelton grabs my sleeve. “Come on let’s keep moving. This whole place creeps me out.”
"The world is a scary place, my friend. Don’t worry, by nightfall you’ll be screwing your brains out a happy man and you’ll have forgotten all about this."
"I sure as fucking hope so. One of them looked like my brother."
Text is obviously fictional. Was unable to locate source of photo.
Autumn Mood - Victor Borisov-Musatov
Portrait of a Young Woman in a Hat - Eugeniusz Zak