It was a dark and stormy night, the wind howled through the leafless trees, stones tumbled down the mountain, dislodged and dislodging others.
The Great Brown Bear stumbled through the forest, full of rage and confusion. Rabbits had scurried deep underground, birds hid in small dark places, the full moon cast an eerie light on the battered mountainside.
On such a night the Orynies rejoiced. They came out of their caves cackling and shrieking excitedly, their maroon locks, grown as long as their thin stretched bodies, flying in the gale. Their fingernails glowed in the moonlight, curled, sharp and long like talons. Their tattered multi-coloured clothing contrasted with the greys and browns of the wind-blown forest. Tonight they would feast on the blood of any creature brave, stupid or careless enough not to have hidden away from the storm. Tonight they would tear their prey to pieces with their long, sharp, cat-like teeth and those strong sharp nails. Tonight they would laugh and dance to watch their quarry bleed and scream in a slow and inevitable death.
The storm was the result of an argument between the Great Goddess, Sylbia, and her lover, Jelstor. She felt he was not giving her enough attention since she had taken on a new handmaiden, Bellapra. She imagined Jelstor harboured secret lust for Bellapra, even though she was deformed by green skin and brown eyes. All the Gods were blessed with brown skin and blue eyes. Anything else was considered ugly and pitiable. Whenever the Gods argued, there was a change in the weather. On this occasion Sylbia was shouting and ranting at Jelstor, who protested his innocence in vain. Bellapra had scuttled away, trembling in fear.
Meanwhile the Orynies had caught the scent of the Great Brown Bear. They lifted their crooked long noses to the wind and whooped in delight. Now for the fun of the chase!
The Bear ran this way and that, lost and bewildered, used to being sovereign in this forest, respected or feared, and now chased, now frightened, now panicked and disoriented.
The Orynies came from all directions, moving swiftly on all fours, using their long, skinny arms and legs to propel them stealthily towards their prey. They could not be heard above the howl of the wind and the tumble of rocks down the mountainside. But the Bear could smell them, that repulsive odour of rotting flesh and sewage water which they emanated.
When they reached him, he fought bravely, but to no avail. There were too many of them; he bled slowly and painfully as they ripped his flesh into tatters, egging each other on with whoops and shrieks and cackling laughter.
Sylbia’s rage was finally spent. She took Jelstor to her bed and instructed him on how to pleasure her most, while the Orynies fed greedily on the dying Bear.
The wind was abating, but the creatures of the forest would not dare to venture from their secret hiding places for several hours yet. They would wait for the Orynies to return, satiated, to their holes deep underground where they would sleep, until the next storm.