The Fable of the Incubus of Izhamet
By Charles Moffat, 2017.
Once upon a time there was three sisters, triplets, living in the tiny village of Izhamet in the land of Korovia. Their names were Anastasia, Katya and Valeska.
The three sisters were all beautiful and many villagers remarked and told them so when they came to buy bread from their bakery. Their bakery was known for its thrice folded loafs.
Upon their seventeenth birthday the three sisters were visited by an horrible nightmare and awoke screaming.
"I have claw marks on my neck!" cried Anastasia.
"Someone was in our room!" they said in unison.
There was definite signs of an intruder. Candles were knocked over, a stack of Katya's books had become scattered, and Anastasia's spinning wheel near the window was broken. The window shutters had been left open and a cold wintry breeze was chilling the room.
Anastasia rushed to close the shutters with a dash.
"The latch on the window is broken," remarked Anastasia.
"Somekind of beast or demon broke in!" they cried in unison.
"It got in through the window," said Anastasia.
After all was cleaned and fresh linens placed on their beds, the triplets baked a fresh batch thrice folded bread which they ate with goat butter.
"We should ask the other villagers if they have had similar beasts getting into their homes," determined Anastasia.
And so the three sisters closed up the bakery and instead of selling their bread, decided to deliver the bread to their usual customers instead. On the way they were smart about asking questions about strange scars they saw on the villagers, and making light conversation about legendary monsters. Upon their return they reported their findings.
"The midwife thinks she was attacked by a werewolf while she slept, but werewolves cannot fly," said Anastasia.
"An incubus could get in through the window," concluded Anastasia.
"The swordsman said that incubi come back again and again until the women are pregnant," explained Valeska.
"We cannot have that!" said Anastasia.
"We will need weapons," said Anastasia, heading outside to the blacksmith to buy a sword.
When they returned they had what they all wanted.
"I got a sword, a dagger for Katya and a mace for Valeska," said a determined Anastasia.
Valeska set down a large ceramic jug of acrid smelling acid and several pieces of old silverware.
"Isn't silver for werewolves?" asked Anastasia, worried her sword would be useless.
The two sisters looked downcast. "But..." said Valeska. "I was thinking we could melt some silver and sprinkle it on your sword blade. And is there any acid magic in that spellbook?" At this the two sisters set to work. Valeska meanwhile rigged a trap inside the bread oven using the jug of acid.
"We should pretend to sleep downstairs tonight, near the bread oven to keep warm. The incubus won't suspect anything until it is too late," said Valeska, who then explained her plan.
And so the sisters carried their beds downstairs and set up near the oven. They lay awake waiting, their eyes gently closed so that they appeared to be merely asleep.
"I just heard the shutters rattle upstairs," whispered Anastasia.
"Mwahahahaha!" said the incubus. "Which one should I ravage first?"
"None!" cried Anastasia, throwing her blanket over the demon's head and stabbing him with her silver and steel blade to drive him back.
The shocked incubus writhed about in the oven and then began to laugh. "Mwahahaha! Fires cannot hurt me. I was born in flames. Soon I shall be free of this feeble prison and -"
"Good luck with that plan!" said Valeska. She pulled on a wire that was connected to the acid jug dangling above the incubus. The jug rotated and poured out its contents on to the demon's head.
"Arrrrrrrg! No, no, nooooooooooooo!" screamed the incubus.
And then he died, his body wilting into a pile of ashes which fell through the gaps in the brick oven and into the coals below.
"I guess he is dead," said Anastasia.
In the morning the triplets opened the front window of their bakery and began selling their new fresh bread. "It is a new recipe," they said.
"Mmm... this tastes really good," said a villager.
"How did you get it to taste so good?" everyone asked.
"Teamwork," the triplets said in unison with confidence.
"I kneaded the bread really good," said Anastasia.
And so it was that their bakery prospered and grew famous for their very tasty bread, and although people tried to copy their recipe, it never tasted quite so good.
Many years later the sisters told their story to a passing bard and they wrote it down. "This is really good bread and a good story to go with it," remarked the bard. "But nobody is ever going to believe this story."
"Nobody will ever believe a story that three sisters beat an incubus with brawn, magic and brains?" asked Anastasia.
Special Thanks to Lucy Cope for making a podcast of 'The Fable of the Incubus of Izhamet'. You can listen to the podcast below. Check out her website at lcownbooks.com.
I came up with the idea for a fable early in the morning, the type parents might tell to children (although this story isn't really ideal for children as it is more mature). I woke up, had the idea, and immediately started writing it down. Pretty much wrote itself.
The fable is set in the hamlet of Izhamet, just west of Weyvin. It is a tiny village and seemed like a perfect place for a fable or legend to take place. I feel the end product is a bit similar to Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel, The Three Little Pigs and Big Bad Wolf, and the German story of Struwwelpeter.