tagFetishThe Icelandic Hand

The Icelandic Hand


My duties as an anthropologist had been kept to the classroom for the past year, ever since I lost two of my closest colleagues in the jungles of the Yucatan to what everyone had insisted was nothing but folklore. A slug-like creature had literally consumed them. The reports from some of the local guides were that one of my friends even went in search of the organism, which they called The Worm, alone. Why he would have done something that risky is beyond me. Even when we are digging in our own backyards, anthropologists and archaeologists always have at least one person backing us up.

Having built up an extensive body of work as one of the country's leading anthropologists, leaving the university grounds was not really an issue for me. My students did field work that was based largely on what I shared with them during lectures. My peers around the globe kept me up-to-date with additions to my existing journals, and often sent me notes and photos of their more curious finds as a friendly way of rubbing my nose in their quirky discoveries. Still, I was able to be an academic shut-in without too many repercussions.

One afternoon during a break I found an envelope on my desk in my office from one such friend, Armin, whose area of expertise was Nordic culture. I picked up the crumpled envelope, which had obviously been through many postal systems in order to finally reach me, opened it and pulled out the contents. I had half-expected to read just one more long-winded letter about yet another advancement in the field of anthropology that was going to change everything but all that was inside was what amounted to a scrap of paper with two sentences: "The Icelandic Hand," was the first. The second was "Go to Herdubreid."

If I had received a note like that from almost anyone else I knew in the field I would have simply tossed it into the garbage and figured he or she was just being a pretentious ass. Anyone else would have gone into mind-numbing detail as to why I had to get to a small village in eastern Iceland. Armin was not that kind of guy. Sure, he had always been a little dramatic but for him, two sentences was meant to be enough information to get me on a plane at my earliest convenience. The details, as tantalizing as I am sure they were, would come later.

All I had to do was find a suitable graduate student to cover my lessons for the next few weeks and I could find out what Armin had discovered that he thought I just had to hear about.

Adding to the mystery once I landed in Iceland was the fact that Armin was not waiting for me in the airport. If he had been there, I could have immediately started pressing him for details about why I had to fly almost half-way around the world to find out the meaning behind a two-sentence note. As I said, Armin was dramatic but he was also smart. The guy he sent to pick me up at the airport had nothing but a sign with my name on it and absolutely no command of the English language. Suffice it to say it was a long, quiet drive to Herdubreid.

My driver seemed like a nice enough fellow. He kept pointing at what I guessed were his favourite vistas along our route. We would both smile and nod in agreement that they were in fact quite breathtaking. If had remembered to charge my phone before leaving my office then I would have looked up a translation for "What the hell am I doing here?!" so I could ease the boredom.

Just when my face was about to split from having appreciated yet one more picturesque landscape my driver cranked the wheel and we started to head up a narrow mountain road. I caught a glimpse of the sign for Herdubreid out of the corner of my eye and was about to say something but figured that I may as well let this adventure unfold as Armin wanted it to unfold.

It wasn't long before I saw the small group of vehicles and the familiar set-up for doing field studies. And then Armin appeared. Finally, I thought, I can find out what the fuss is all about.

"You look as tense as ever, my friend," Armin said as I got out of the car. "I guess your desk job didn't settle your nerves as you had hoped."

"My nerves were fine until I had to hop on a plane and go for a drive with your blond mute chauffeur." I smiled at the driver as I said this to camouflage my tone.

He smiled back and then said "I speak English fluently. Armin said I should pretend not to so you wouldn't try to pump me for information."

After a very brief pause both the driver and Armin were almost in tears from laughing so hard. Before I could complain, my friend had taken me by the arm and was leading me past the cluster of trucks to a clearing with yet another gorgeous view.

He wiped the last of the tears from his eyes and looked across the slope.

"What do you see?"

"Iceland at its best, Armin. And a lot of sheep."

"You are getting rusty. Stop thinking like a desk-jockey. Are you sure that is all you see?," he asked.

I looked again.

"I see a bunch of big fluffy sheep over there, a few loner fluffy sheep over there, a bunch of little fluffy sheep scattered in between them, and rocks and branches."

"Are you sure?," he asked again but this time he had a wry grin on his face.


"Yes," he said.

"Give me your damn binoculars."

He slipped them from around his neck and handed them to me.

I scanned the hillside with a more critical eye. The sheep were obviously sheep, their thick fur blowing in the wind. The little sheep were ... headless and legless.

"Why the hell don't the little sheep have arms and legs, Armin?" I kept the binoculars up to my eyes as I went from little puff ball to little puff ball just to make sure all the little sheep that weren't little sheep were actually all not little sheep.

"Keep looking," Armin said. "You still haven't seen the other part of the mystery."

"Can you give me a hint? I am still trying to figure out what the little 'unsheep' are all about?"

Armin pulled my left arm down a bit so I could see where he was pointing.

"Check out the branches."

I aimed the binoculars along the route his finger was directed. The branches ranged from a foot to three feet in length and were between three and eight inches thick. Each one was covered in a spiraling sequence on burls from one end to the other. The wood had a strange texture to it, almost sponge-like and glistened near each end in some cases.

"Those are some very strange branches, Armin. They don't look very dense and they all appear to be hollow with a white moss at each opening and ... ." I couldn't believe my eyes and had to wait a minute before I could say anything. There it was again!

"Armin! That branch over there moved! It started to bend and ... holy crap, Armin, is it walking?! I have to get closer to take a look at this thing."

"I wouldn't advise that," he said, resting his hand on my shoulder. "Just wait. This is about to get very interesting. Keep looking."

As I was watching the one branch that had started to bend, I noticed another close to it begin to move as well. And then the burls began to loosen starting at the end nearest the flock of sheep all the way down its length. Before I could make any comment about this new development, the branch with all of its burls loosened started to bound across the field like a combination of a centipede and a jack rabbit.

A few of the sheep noticed it racing across the grass and started to scatter but one large male had been too busy eating and only picked up on the speeding form when it was too late. As the long tube got within about two feet of the ram it skipped off the ground slapped the sheep right in the chest. Panicked, the animal bounced up and down on its front legs trying to shake its attacker from its long fur but the long fingerlike appendages were buried deep into the curls of the rams underbelly.

The branch, or whatever it was, pulled itself along the length of the ram with a quick and steady purpose and was soon indistinguishable from the long, flowing pelt of the sheep to which it had attached itself. Not long after the branch-thing had disappeared from view, the ram stopped hopping around and just stood perfectly still. I no longer knew what I was looking at.

"Uh, Armin?," I said, lowering the binoculars. "What the hell, Armin?!"

He chuckled a little.

"The best we can figure is that it is some sort of parasite. Large, and able to get around and live on its own, but still a parasite."

"And it ... ." I didn't want to say it and sound like a pervert.

"Yes," my colleague nodded, "it only goes after the males in the flock. And the weak."

I looked over at him.

"What do you mean it goes after the weak?"

"It eats them." He pointed up the hill a little at a large white, fluffy mound. "You see that over there?"

"Yeah," I said, "it's a sleepy sheepy." I wasn't sure how seriously I was supposed to be taking all of this.

Armin shook his head.

"That, my friend, is one of the legless sheep. Or a big branch. Whatever you want to call it."

"They're the same thing?!" I was stunned.

"Yep. When they are in their branch form they can get around rather quickly. When they 'get parasitic' they actually fold themselves inside out and latch onto the sheep's ... sheepliness. The little puff balls you saw are the ones that have gotten what they needed, or in some cases, they are simply playing possum."

"The locals tend to harvest the larger ones before they start decimating their herds since the really big ones goes after even the healthiest of Little Bo Peep's pals." He started walking back to the tent they had set up. "The little ones are not a big problem. Sure they slow down the birth rate a little but once they get to a proper size the pelts fetch a pretty penny. The problem is the bigger ones tend to do more than just latch onto the rams." He pointed up the hill at a large white mass of hair lying in the field away from the flock, the pristine locks swaying in the gentle breeze.

"The big guys like that one tend to eat the sheep. If one of these horned fellas is paying attention then he can outrun one of the little guys, but as they get bigger odds skew in favour of the puff ball. I saw a young farmer not understand the amount of respect he had to give to one of the more senior of the furry futons. The kid got too distracted by petting the thing, which is totally understandable considering how soft their pelts are, but he spent a little too much time thinking about the kill and the next minute he was bounced halfway across the field."

I didn't take my eyes off the flowing fur of the big creature Armin had pointed out. I swallowed hard before I spoke.

"How soft is their fur? I mean, what's the big deal?"

"I'm not sure what sort of furs you are familiar with but it's like a cross between fox and angora rabbit – a little bit of the stiffness of fox with all the softness of the angora except it's about three times as long."

I looked at Armin, then at the flock, and then back at Armin.

"So, what are you doing here? Are you going to write a paper about ... ." I paused and waived my arm at the hillside. "About all of this?"

He shook his head.

"I had to promise that I would only do research for my personal archives. Like in most agricultural industries, parasites are kind of frowned up. The government has an official ban on these little guys but it also knows that the sale of their pelts adds one heck of a boost to the local economy." He smiled. "Pardon the pun, but this is just a pet project."

"So, what am I doing here?"

"To be honest, I heard about how you shut yourself in your office after your friends died last year and I thought something quirky would be the perfect way for you to experience field work again. You have to admit," he said, slapping me on the shoulder, "this beats the heck out of screening soil and looking for tiny bit of pottery."

"True enough." He was right. I had been a shut-in for too long. "How can I help?"

"That we can figure out tomorrow for tonight you look exhausted ... and starved. Let's grab a bite to eat from the cooler in the back of my truck, you can tell me all about how boring it is to be stuck in a classroom from eight until seven, and then I will drive you to your hotel."

"Sounds like a good plan," I said. "What's on the menu?"

Armin looked at me with a deadpan expression on his face. "I hope you like mutton."

It was my turn to slap him on the shoulder.

"You're an idiot, Armin. And you better be kidding."

With a sandwich and a drink in my belly, and what turned out to be a really nice chat with an old friend about nothing of any consequence – no work, no tedious "What's-your-next-paper-going-to-be-about?" conversations – I began to feel refreshed. Jetlagged beyond belief, but refreshed nonetheless.

Armin dropped me off at a little inn on the western edge of Herdubreid where some of the other members of his team were staying. It had a real country feel – old solid furniture, paintings that would have looked staid anywhere else, and a really great fireplace in the main hall just off the foyer.

My room, which Armin said he would pay for (the luxury of university grants and minimal oversight), probably looked like every other room in the place but still made me feel like I was in a home away from home. Someone from the research team had made sure that my luggage had been brought up so there was not much for me to do but unpack my toothbrush and grab a shower before heading to bed.

The soap didn't lather up very much under the hot water (the inn must have been on a well) but it still felt good to wash off the grime of the long flight. I was drying off and I had just begun to think how relaxing it was going to be not having to face the daily grind for a week when I heard something hit the floor in my room. I hung the towel on the hook behind the door and peaked around the corner. Along with the rustic feel when they decorated, the innkeepers also kept the lighting to the bare minimum so it was hard so see more than a couple of feet in front of me as I looked around the room.

I walked out of the bathroom with one hand in front of me and watching the floor every two or three steps to make sure I didn't trip over anything. As I got to the edge of the bed I found what had made the noise I heard when I was in the bathroom. A small picture frame had fallen from the nightstand. Luckily there was no glass in the frame so I picked it up and put it back where the dust outline under the lamplight showed it had been sitting. The tap of the wooden frame hitting the nightstand happened at exactly the same time as a rustling behind me. I spun around and peered back towards the open bathroom door but couldn't see anything except the light above the vanity.

The rustling noise came again, this time from the opposite corner from where I thought I had initially heard it. As I squinted into the darkness to see what was shifting across the floor in the dimly lit room I suddenly saw something rushing at me faster than anything I had seen before. I put up my hands just in time to feel a heavy thud against my chest, knocking me back to the bed. Pulling my hands free I tried to grab hold of whatever it was that was slapping my chin and rib cage as it curled over my shoulder. It slipped easily out of my grasp no matter how tight I tried to hold on.

I managed to raise my head when it lurched sideways out of my reach and saw that it was one of those branch creatures I had seen earlier that evening. It must have been between three and four feet long and about ten inches around and was as agile as all get out. Every time I grabbed one of its fingerlike appendages it simply contracted it and glided out of my hand and trundled down my torso. It was heavier and stronger than it looked and I had to continue the fight while laying on my back as it thrashed from side to side, always able to avoid being pinned down for more than a second or two.

Just as I began to feel its fingers or feet or whatever they were dragging its form across my belly button it lurched forward, like a snake striking at its prey, and I could immediately feel the softest fur all around my cock. I stopped fighting just for a moment as the unbelievable sensation of the white fibre now cuddling my penis sunk in. I shook my mind out of the haze that had come over it and noticed that the creature was no longer whipping itself against my body. I reached out to try to pull it free when all of the appendages started moving all at once scurrying away from my hands like they were running in unison towards my crotch.

I lifted my head again and saw that as the fingers converged at my cock, the white fur was rushing back up my belly towards my head just as quickly. The effect was like watching the sand of an hourglass pour from the top half of the jar into the bottom half of the jar but without the jar being there. The fur surged over my penis as the transformation occurred, causing my pelvis to quake and spasm as the pouring softness rushed over my stiffening cock. The flow of fingers and beige tube into surging, silky hairs was seamless and by the time the process was complete I realized that I hadn't been able to hold onto any part of the creature for anything longer than a nanosecond. Only once it had inverted itself completely did it finally stop moving and that was when I tried again to pull it off me.

The long, snowy tresses gave way effortlessly as I tried to tug at the creature. The more I pulled, the more the fingers danced quickly over my penis, their grip tightening and then ... and then I felt a warmth, a wetness over the entire length of my shaft. The shock of this was just as delightful as the fur when it first sucked me in but I was still freaked out and kept trying to get the creature to release me. My tugging became quite insistent and it didn't take me long to discern the connection between my yanking and the creature's hurried fingering ... its luscious fingering of my cock as it sought to hold onto me. Or was it that the creature was trying to break down my will to fight it. It could have been that it was desperately trying to hold onto me but it definitely had the effect of dissuading me from my efforts to remove it.

As it squeezed and massaged my penis from its tip to its base all at the same time, I had settled into a rhythm myself of stroking the fur, with both of my hands, from where the creature had curled itself in behind my neck down its length to the first tufts of hair in my pubis. Armin had referred to them as parasites but laying there on the bed, my fingers surrounded, enveloped by the incredibly soft, deliciously fluffy fur that would have happily made any man lose his mind to the delights it sent through the skin, flooding every sense with the plushness that covered every inch and more of the sinewy form that flooded over my stomach and chest, the creature's nature seemed more symbiotic than anything else because I was surely getting as much as, if not more, than it was taking from me.

I was still lying on my back, and even though I had thought about moving higher onto the bed so that my legs were not hanging over its edge, there was no way that I could have – the creature's massaging of my penis was all-consuming. The appendages inside the wooly tube were methodical in their rubbing, like they were constantly plotting and replotting a course up and down the shaft of my cock. Sometimes they would draw themselves slowly around the circumference of my penis, and other times they would tap and pull on me like they were trying to grasp a falling pencil. I had to concentrate hard to keep my orgasm at bay. I had almost lost myself several times to the flitting onslaught that raged around my cock, as well as the indulgence and delight of the furred and willingly malleable tube that filled my palms that I nearly came into the orifice that was so amorously engulfing every part of me.

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