You know when a man fancies a woman it’s so simple. He makes an effort to talk to her. She knew I fancied her from the moment I sat down next to her at the bar.
She knew it and I obviously knew it, we both knew it. But did she fancy me? f— knows. Straight away she is at an advantage with the confidence in knowing she is attractive. Im left wondering if she is thinking “Please don’t come over, I think you are about as attractive as stale s—”.
“Hi, Im Matt” I said this obviously as Matt is a boy’s name.
“I know who you are, your from my psychology class” she interrupted. Women can do that, interrupt I mean. But its forbidden for men to, where is the equality in that? To be honest I hadn’t really thought this conversation through and she had blunty said what was the only thing I could think of that we had in common.
“Yeah, how you finding it?”, Oh no what have I said? Im now on course for conversation about our Psychology course and she will think of me as a bore who is talking about their studies on a night out. To be honest I didnt think of all that at the time as I didnt get the chance as her reply was so quick. It was an after thought but I thought I would put it here rather than mention it at the end when you probably have forgotton Ive even said it. Anyway she responded with,
“Good, good”. The repetition of good was very awkward almost just to use up a bit of time, to extend the convo just that little bit longer, trying to give me that little bit of extra time to think of something decent to say. But in the second it took her to say “good” I had thought of nothing, just a rewording of the cliché “Do you come here often”, which went,
“So is this where you come when you aren’t studying?”
“Well its nice and cheap on Tuesday which is the most important thing”
“You right there, Im so broke at the moment”
“Arent we all”
This was a horrible boring conventional conversation that again fixed on the only thing we had in common: we are both students. So we were talking about student issues probably repeated by so many students in conversation across the land. I wanted to appear dynamic interesting and different but I had resulted to small talk. I needed to get flirty. I tried to remember all the rules:
Make eye contact and smile
Make it known in no uncertain terms that you find her sexy
Touch her arms when you talk to her
I gave a stupid grin, touched her shoulder, looked into her eyes and said something that seemed incredibly sexy and complementary at the time:
”Maybe you are spending too much money on making yourself beautiful”
But she took it to mean she needs to spend a hell of a lot of money on makeup to look beautiful. Well that’s what I think judging by the red mark on my face. When I think of it, I think she had a point.
Four witches gather at a crossroads under a full moon. There is a fire burning and the children are sleeping. They bring their brooms and turn off their cell phones. Tonight is for them and the husbands are manning the baby monitors.
It wasn’t like this in the early days. There was a bar called Potions that was built just for them. Drunken revelry and intense rituals lasted until dawn and became herb-gathering expeditions to pick St. John’s Wort wet with morning dew. There were sunrise drum jams on the Indiana dunes.
Now, the bar is gone and too many full moons go by unrecognized. Visits to the dunes are loaded down with buckets and pails and baby sunblock. Equinoxes have become pumpkin farm expeditions and nature lessons for the toddlers.
Tonight is a revival. An old custom is awoken by the making of flying ointment. Solanum dulcamara, garden nightshade, grows riotously in yards across the Midwest and has properties unbeknownst to most. Like Belladonna, it is an ancient narcotic and makes the blood pulse warm and removes inhibitions. When gently steeped and mixed with rendered tallow, it creates an ointment that can make witches fly – even if only in their minds.
A small batch was prepared and the two witches who were able reverently rubbed it onto their temples, wrists, and behind their knees. It didn’t take long to grab hold of them, for their tolerance was not what it had been years before. The pregnant witch and the one still breast-feeding eyed the ointment wistfully, their thoughts on next year when they could partake.
The coven began with Gris-Gris. She’s the oldest and truest of the group. Her face is a voodoo mask of youth that belies her age. She learned magick in New Orleans while shunning an early lifetime of Catholic school. Like all recovering Catholics, she can’t let it all go, but her past and present form an uneasy companionship of sacred and profane within her. All her guardian angels have veves tattooed on their faces and she keeps her dear dead close to her. Their energy fills her charmed, forested house where the coven meets. She is love and light but revels in the dark and strange.
Next is Harvest, who is round like the Willendorf. She eats life. She is the kitchen witch who feeds the children and inebriates the adults. She does everything in excess. She has no middle ground and is outspoken to a fault. She boasts that she can do anything – except run. She is of the cauldron and the loom and the potter’s wheel. Her spoons, knives and spice cabinet are the sources of her power. Art and flavor flow from her almost as often as sharp and sarcastic words.
There’s Gaia, a ninety-pound Earth Mama whose tiny abdomen is swelled up and stretched to inconceivable limits with baby number four. This one will probably be born at home, too, in the same birthing tub, with the same old toothless midwife. The rest of the witches will be in the other room, keeping the children happy and chanting labor songs and contemplating how they all want to be midwives when they become old crones.
Fey is last, because she is the eternal victim. She loves faeries and claps her hands at random moments to save the forever perishing Tink. She sees blue flickers of light riding atop fireflies and trooping faerie tracks in the gardens of the covenstead. Her heart bleeds on a weekly basis and she cries when she stubs her toe. She is the only one who still gets her hair cut at the salon and smells like store-bought perfume instead of homemade soap and essential oils.
There are others, of course, who come and go, but this is the core that comes together again and again to dance beneath the moon, or share a birth, or send a pot of Celtic leek soup to an ailing sister.
They clasp hands around the crackling fire that licks the edges of their capes and skirts. They dance around and sing songs of trees and webs, of hoof and horn. They throw paper napkin bundles of herbs – patchouli, fern, yarrow, mistletoe, clove and mugwort into the flames. The scent becomes heady and entrances the witches. They see visions in the vivid oranges, yellows and blues of the bonfire. They are ready to fly.
Their Renaissance Faire brooms between their legs, they stand together at the top of the hill. Leaving the intoxicating warmth and herbal scent of the fire has not broken their trance. The coolness of November swirls under the thin skirts and the wind thrills them with an intimate caress.
Heads back, trilling their tongues and whooping, they grab their broomsticks and run like hell down the hill. There are holes and roots, but since they are flying, their feet are not touching down. No one ever falls. The steepness of the hill fuels their descent and they throw their heads back and howl as they watch the bright moon grow closer. A spray of gravel and the ride is over. Four women sit on the hard ground and bring their spirits back to earth.
At the bottom, they look up, marveling at the distance and chattering about their flights. The briars in their skirts and their filthy bare feet betray their certainty of actual flight. Gaia suggests that it was astral projection, but Gris-Gris knows she was catching air. Fey is always silent and inward after any magick and Harvest suggests alcohol. She begins to move her short, heavy frame back up the hill to the house for the bottle of Chartreuse she knows is hiding under the sink. When she tells the story later, she knows she will remember flying.
Long years ago I gave pain by saying, with the arrogance of boyhood, that it was foolish to tell one’s dreams. I have done penance for that remark since… I have cultivated, so far as I care to, my garden of dreams, and it scarcely seems to me that it is a large garden. Yet every path of it, I sometimes think, might lead at last to the heart of the universe.
— Havelock Ellis
On the edges of waking, a small and serious man stood beneath an orange umbrella, frayed at the sides, and, amidst the pitter of the rain, said: “Is it at all possible, my dear, to know one thing for sure?”
“Certainly, kind one, I know that I am me and I know that you are you, and the rest is no concern of mine.”
“Tell me then, my dear, what if I am you?”
“Fool! Don’t bother me with your topsy-turveydom. Unrealistic fantasies and childish stories bore me, I will have no more of it in my courtroom.”
“Your honor, with all due respect, and all the respect that is due, can you not see that you are a child.”
The small girl with pigtails and a phony smile proceeded to bang her wooden gavel. She banged and rapped and swung her mallet until it was not a mallet anymore, but a drumstick, until the stand was not a stand anymore, but a giant hollow drum that filled the courtroom with its dominant vibrations.
A taller, more subtle man, hunched in the back of the courtroom, did not seem to hear the roaring drum, nor did he notice when the beat turned into laughter or when the girl and the drum turned into Jackie Gleason. This man found himself more concerned with why the courthouse had no walls, and for that matter, what was holding up the roof. He wanted to turn and see what the commotion was about, but could do nothing but gaze at the Ancient Arabian City of crystal and glass that surrounded the courtroom. The buildings were as clear as tears and stood as tall as the clouds. Atop each tower was what, to him, looked like giant Hershey’s Kisses of exotic colors and flavors, embroidered with gold. Children and parents walked, hands held, under umbrellas that looked comfortably familiar. The sun was setting behind the clouds.
“I beg your pardon, but what are you looking at son?” The looming figure of Mr. Gleason became dominant in the slender man’s vision, he could no longer avoid the inside world.
“It may be none of my business why one pleasures in staring at a blank and boring wall, but I was curious and you looked so enamored.”
“I was looking at the crystal city.” Said the man in a tone that suggested his complete confusion with the situation. He glanced down at his gray pants and wished that they could be as beautiful as the exotic Hershey Kisses he remembered seeing once in a dream.
“Daydreamers, you’re all the same. Wasting your time, I say. Me? I’m a man of the real world. Salt of the Earth, but not as bitter. I was born and raised on a real farm in Kansas, the heart of America.”
“I thought you were from Brooklyn. Aren’t you Jackie Gleason?”
“Jackie Gleason? Heck no, but I’ve heard the comparison before. It’s understandable; the man’s a good-looking fellow. The name’s Kent, Clark Kent.”
“Listen, I’d love to stay and spill my story but I’ve got to be on my way, no rest for the weary, right?”
“Where are you going?”
“Where else? To the moon.”
As soon as the words left his mouth, the door to their cell slid open and twin guards escorted Jackie Gleason Kent far and away from this rotten place. The remaining man sat down on his bed and stared at the s— on the toilet seat less than a yard away. The rum was beginning to wear off and he could feel the universe pulsate and converge again to normalcy.
He heard a voice above him.
“I swear to god, if I have to spend another f—— hour in this hell hole, I’ll rip my eyes out of their f—— sockets.” On the second story of a rickety jail-house bunk bed, a hardened criminal proved that prison works. The creaking and aching of the springs above the lower bunk stung the ears and the mind of the tall and slender man. Every noise was exaggerated and shrill, making the ability to focus on anything nearly impossible.
“I’ll tell you what the problem with these places is: it kills the mind. I mean, what kind of stimulation is there to be had in a desolate f—house like this. Slowly our creativity and style and imagination rot and rust, until we have devolved to the level of hypocrites and beasts. They’re taking away the only thing that is rightfully ours, the ability to be inspired. f—, I don’t even think I dream anymore. What a sad story this is. f—.”
Profound as it was, the lanky gentleman received no message from the criminal’s statement. In fact, he barely understood it. And, in a couple of minutes, if you were to ask him if he had heard anything at all, the slender man would not be able to say so.
Besides, the water in his face was much too distracting. Every time he crashed into a crashing wave, a gunshot of water would slap the man’s face. He should of worn goggles. He had known, somewhere in his mind, that he was going jet skiing today, but he hadn’t accounted for this. Red and sore, his eyes needed a rest and so did he. So the slender man released his hand from the gas handle and waited as the machine came to a floating halt. And when the Jet Ski became still so to did the water of the ocean. What was once choppy and threatening became placid and safe. The man was thoroughly convinced that the ocean was not a liquid any longer, it looked to him like a giant sapphire, spread out and perfectly cut to fit the size of the ocean. The rock smelled of syrup, but when he put his foot down, it did not exhibit any of the sticky qualities that he expected. Instead, the stone was so smooth that he slipped as soon as he took a step, and when he got up to take another, he fell again.
“Here, you’re going to have to put these on if you want any chance of making it somewhere.” said his mother, looking at him without any recognition of relation.
“Thanks, mom.” said the man who was now a boy as he put on his soccer cleats. If the woman knew that this child was her son, she made no mention of it.
“Stories. Little boys love to hear stories, afraid that when they grow up that they will have none for themselves to tell. Silly children. Everyone is a writer and a famous novelist whose epics and dramas are composed in dreams.”
And as her words ceased, so did she. And as the man who was once a boy walked further and farther toward something, he stared at the fish that were stuck, frozen in there place inside the giant sapphire. The motion that defined the ocean was gone, but the man did not wonder why (or, more importantly, how) and continued to walk.
The lean and narrow gentleman soon noticed that he was not alone on the giant crystal. The more he walked, the more populated his surroundings became. He could see men and woman, children and babies, heroes and people who were often misunderstood. He saw knights and housewives, lawyers, gods, things that were real and things that were not. He saw friends walking close to friends but closer to enemies. He looked upon the famous and the trivial, the forgotten and the important. He could see doctors and criminals and mothers and Superman.
They were all there with him smiling, laughing, writing, crying, dry-heaving, throwing and showing. They were all moving.
Suddenly and without warning, a sound, like that of a great drum, roared in the air. And those on the giant sapphire, bewildered at why they hadn’t thought of it before, looked up. In the black of the sky, rested a giant worm of perfectly formed white clouds. The people reacted in different ways. Some, by the sheer force of amazement and ignorance, cheered and reveled, for they thought that it was some commencement for a large celebration. Others, those who knew the true nature of the blast, wept and felt the world change forever. Most stood in solemn confusion, unable to explain what they had almost witnessed, watching bits of something terrible fall to the ground like acid rain trailing tails of smoke.
The tall and slender man, with his inclination to notice everything else, was astonished at the simple blackness of the sky. It seemed to him impossible for anything to be that pure, even in dreams. He closed his eyes and took comfort in the imperfect blackness of his mind. Only in the after-image lingering in the back of his eyelids could he see the monument in the sky. It was when the man opened his eyes that he notice that the scene was only in a photograph that he held in his right hand. He quickly pocketed the Polaroid in his jeans. As he did so, he heard dialogue behind him.
“What? You don’t think the starfish jumped up and killed him?”
“No, of course not. What on earth is the matter with you?”
“Lunacy, I think.”
From the tone of the conversation, the tall man could tell that the two men were friends, if not merely acquaintances with a long history. He turned around and saw three figures, two alive and talking, one dead and not. Judging by the civility and subtle humor of the conversation, the slender man felt no reservations in approaching them.
“Hello.” he said.
“Oh my. I was unaware that anyone else was on this beach with me and my friend. Barring, of course, this unfortunate fellow.” Said the shorter and statelier of the two, pointing to the somewhat recently deceased on the sand. “My name is Dr. Garth and my associate, though not of the medical profession and intensely more detached than I, is Gabriel Gale.”
“Hello.” the tall and lean man said again. Mr. Gale, however, was too preoccupied to reply, he was standing on his head.
“You see, Gale here has a certain pension for solving mysteries and murders in rather unorthodox ways. He fancy’s himself a painter. More of a poet if you ask me, and a bloody weird one too. You should read some of his verse. The whole things incongruous, I can never get the message. Reading Gale’s poetry is like navigating a dream, bloody near impossible. I’m a more practical man myself; I stick to the purely scientific. That’s where the real truth is.”
“Truth, my dear friend Garth, is in the exceptions and objections to the rule.” said the man who was upside down. “How beautiful is the texture of the sand today. You can’t know unless you feel it with your hands and your head.” To the tall man, Gabriel Gale seemed too ridiculous to be real, it was as though he was some character from a detective novel brought to reality, posing as a lunatic.
“Your confusing the boy with your prattling nonsense, Gale. I am sorry, but we must be going now. Come on, Gabriel, let’s wait for the police up at the house.” And the two started to walk down the beach away from the tall and slender man.
“There’s no need for police, Garth, I have already figured it out…” And before he heard anymore, they were gone. He turned to walk in the other direction but, having forgotten it was there, tripped over the dead man’s body and fell face first into the hot sand. The sand enveloped his head and, to him, it felt beautiful and new. He laid in appreciation for a time.
In the momentary blackness that came after he rubbed his eyes of the sand, the lean man thought for a long second that it was snowing. In fact, it was only the TV, temporarily out of order due to someone tripping over the cable cord. Doing what seemed necessary, the man quickly plugged the cord back into the wall and sat on the couch to watch an episode of the Honeymooners. It was the one where Ralph has to memorize all the names of popular songs to be on the 99,000-dollar answer, but when he appears on the show he doesn’t know the answer to the first question. The stunned shock on Ralph’s face makes the tall and slender man laugh. It is a deep and warm laugh, like a drum, uncharacteristic of the man creating it.
Next to the man on the couch, Socrates and the boy Theaetetus argue about knowledge.
“What we have not yet discussed is the question of dreams.”
“That is perfectly true, Socrates.”
“Well then, my lad, what argument is left for the person who maintains that knowledge is perception?”
“I really shouldn’t know how to dispute the suggestion that a madman believes what is false when he thinks he is God; or a dreamer when he imagines he has wings and is flying in his sleep.”
“So then, my friend, can knowledge be perception?”
Then, more suddenly than an explosion in the sky, the tall and slender man turned to the two greek figures and said:
“Perception is beautiful.” On the TV, Jackie Gleason started to laugh as a little girl pounded a branch on the trunk of a tree. A criminal cursed, a mother helped her child, a crowd cried, and somewhere, Gabriel Gale smiled (even though to the rest of the world it looked like a frown).
The tall and slender man ascended into the air, weightless and confused at why Socrates and Theaetetus weren’t surprised by a TV. As they began to talk again, a repetitive boom in the air droned their voices. And soon all he could hear was the drum-like beating of his wings.
My name is Patrick McGoo. The story I have to tell you is frightening. I cannot tell it without hesitating. My heart is trembling this very moment. Listen carefully. Listen well.
A few years ago I worked at the old folks home in Maryville, Tennessee. It was a quiet place normally. Each night I would tuck the old people in at bed time. They would obey because I had a stick and I would beat them with it if they didn’t. Every hall would be silent after ten.
But one night terror struck the house.
I still remember the look on the old man’s face as he ran naked through the corridors. He cried out again and again, screaming things, and the entire house was up in arms. Old people, left and right, shouted things and pointed at me rudely. Dozens of doors opened and hoards of old women emerged like vicious dogs, biting each other and doing poos on the carpet. Luckily I had my tennis racket at the time which I used to batter their knees until they buckled.
One old woman in particular was taking quite a beating from me. She wouldn’t go down. I racketed her again and again. Eventually I realised that she actually wasn’t standing on her own accord, but she was propped up against the wall and I had in fact beaten her to death. Fortunately no one else was on duty that night, and the other patients were too old and crazy to notice me throwing her in the bin before legging it out of there as fast as I could.
Little did I know that this old woman would become the reason I killed myself ten years ago.
SEVERAL MONTHS LATER…
It had been several months since the incident at the old folks home and I was settling into my new life. I had bought a spooky old house somewhere in Michigan. The price was right and the tea was delicious there. So I had decided to buy it.
The house looked like a really scary haunted house. Just imagine a house that you wouldn’t spend the night in for a hundred dollars. That’s what it looked like. It was even scarier on the inside. One of the biggest problems with this house was that the TV faced the window, so in order to watch TV I had to turn my back to the window, and risk being unaware of anything that might decide to glare at me through the cold-hearted glass.
One particular night I had just gotten back from the supermarket. I was just locking the door when all of a sudden, I decided to watch some TV. The weather was eerily quiet outside – almost like a foreboding kind of thing. Pathetic fallacy was on the agenda that night, I tell you.
Some kind of ringing noise echoed in the background but I thought nothing of it. Must have been the creakiness of the place.
As I sat down with some Doritos and salsa dip I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. Something horrifying. But then I looked and it was gone so I was all right.
Once I had sat down I noticed that the TV wasn’t working. I pressed the ON button on the remote but nothing happened. Confused, I got up to investigate and discovered that to turn on the TV you actually had to get up and press a different button that was actually attached to the television itself – then all of a sudden I saw an old hag outside looking at me through the window!!!
I recoiled like a frightened shotgun and knocked my Doritos off the table. The salsa dip hit the floor and cascaded across my carpet. It looked like blood only thicker and with more vegetables. I ran upstairs, into my room, locked the door and cried myself to sleep. I did not dare peek over the covers for fear of the old witch’s ghastly face.
Days passed and I dared not enter the room again, even during daytime. Eventually the event repeated itself. Again.
Until one night when I decided I could take no more and decided my life was going nowhere. The old woman had returned from the grave and would not rest until I had suffered the fruits of my terrible deeds.
THE NEXT DAY…
Bernadette McGintey had been trying to get the man’s attention for days. She had tried the doorbell several times but he appeared to ignore it every time. She could see him clearly through the window as he had never thought to close the curtains at night.
It was important that she talked to him, but every time she tried to warn him through the window he would get startled. She had to warn him…
WARN HIM OF THE GRANNY KILLER THAT LOOKED THROUGH PEOPLE’S WINDOWS AT NIGHT.
She hoped he didn’t know about the granny killer, because if he did, then he would probably think that she was the granny killer, which in fact she wasn’t. She was a totally different granny altogether. So by now there are three grannies in the story.
1. The granny he threw in the bin
2. The granny killer
3. The granny that’s trying to warn him of the granny killer.
Bernadette (granny 3) found that the back door was open, so she ventured inside. She called for someone but no reply came. Eventually she thought there was no one home, until she searched the house and came to a final door at the very top of the house.
She opened it.
Inside she found the man’s body hanging from the ceiling, his face twisted in an expression of sadness and horror.
She was too late. He had killed himself from the fear of the granny killer that she herself had provoked.
Then she noticed the stab wounds in his chest. Stab wounds? Surely if it was a suicide he would not stab himself and then have the energy to hang himself afterwards? She looked in her pocket and found a dagger. It had salsa on it. No! It wasn’t salsa. What was that? She licked it. That taste… that oh so familiar taste of… hot and spicy salsa dip, yes, that’s what it was. Actually, no… it……….. it was…
She had killed him! But how could this be? She tried to control herself but fell on her belly in dismay. Then a scary voice cackled inside her head…
“Ha ha! I possessed you and made you kill him for me! I am the ghost of old woman that was thrown in the bin!! You are the killer! I am the killer! I did it! I even made him think that he killed himself! I DID IT. I got my revenge. MAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”
To Taste The Night (RATED R!!!!!)
« Thread Started on Jan 6, 2007, 9:02pm »
To Taste The Night:
A short fiction about a man’s devotion for his wife and how they keep the passion alive.
I love the way you touch me, soft and timid. I’ve tried before to ease that doubt and encourage you to hold me firmly. Honey, I love you and our passion knows no boundaries.
When I married you, I made a vow, one I intend to honor for my entire life. The desire that burns inside of me is fueled by your selfless ways. The way you strive to please and how you allow me to please you with my skilled hands and tongue, keeps me giving and wanting.
Lay with me now, beneath this full winter’s moon. Let us come together and remind our bodies of the exotic heat that binds us together, keeping us two and one in the same.
With your hair fanned across the pillow, so angelic, I’ll tease your lips with mine, invading you with my tongue. With a tango beat, our tongues will dance, skipping across teeth and nibbling your lips. Your ample breasts call for my hands, erect and heaving, waiting, impatiently for me to fondle. You love the way I tease, don’t you?
Now, honey, let your hands move. My body is a blank canvas. Use your fingers to trace every design imaginable across my flesh. I love how as you move over me, your fingers find my length and draw it to its maximum. And how your teeth remind me that your mouth is there. The sensation sends rockets of pleasure through me!
Have I told you how much I love you today?
Using my tongue to masturbate your sensitive flower, you pulse and pull, pushing against me. Writhing beneath my hands, I hold onto you, refusing to let you go for a second. I delight in the way you whisper my name against the pillow. I have found your weakness. Remember the first time I found this? I brought you to tears and you shoved me aside. For ten full minutes I had to wait while you recuperated. And here I am, twenty years later, doing it again.
Your nectar is as sweet tonight as it was when I first met you, beneath a full winter’s moon. I feel you coming against me and I can no longer hold out. Entering you, I take you fervently. I am your husband. I am your lover. This is something I will not let you forget, as we taste the night.
It was what she loved to do, craved to do. Every now and then she would indulge. The occasional treat made her feel warm inside, a smile just barely graced her soft lips. Her bright eyes twinkled with laughter at the body she straddled.
Slowly, tauntingly, she ran the scalpel just under the young male’s epidermis — every layer. She craved to cut into the meaty muscle.
His delicate mouth was taped shut securly, a rubber ball quieting his sounds. Later, she would carefully dull his senses completely. For now, she wanted him to see it all. His arms were strained muscle as he tried to twist free of his harsh bonds. The ropse and twine, coupled with his vain attempts, would leave scaring for whipping-boys to envy. She knew what she was doing, she had never been caught, ad that terrified him to no end.
His light eyes squeezed shut as she drug the oh-so-sharp blade underneath his pale flesh and cut a large chunk from his chest. The corded muscle glistened with fresh blood and twitched in the cool air. Sadly, she tried to play it safe, keep the gloves on, though they never mattered in the end. She always left enough DNA to put her in the electric chair. But they never talked. She made sure of that.
Her pointed, pink tongue snaked out from between her red-painted lips and flicked roughly across the exposed meat. He whimpered; she moaned longingly. She ran the scalpel along his chest hard, deep, violent. The wound poured blood and she lapped at the warm liquid like a cat.
The torture, the pain and humility she was causing made her want him. She leaned on his bleeding chest, her thin white lingerie soaking through quickly. Her small hand slid downward, past the rise of his hips and down to his flacid p—-. Sensually, she stroked and rubbed him. He’d come with the intention of sex, and that’s what he would get. He just wouldn’t like it.
She removed her hand once he’d started to harden and crushed her pelvis against his. A long, strangled sound escaped her as she closed her eyes. Moving her hips roughly, her precious mouth parted in a gasp, then bit hard on her bottom lip.
He wouldn’t cry, he told himself. He wouldn’t cry as he watched this goddess rape and mutilate him, have her way with his body. He was a man. He couldn’t. Just couldn’t —
Her teeth were sharp and piercing as she bit hard on his Adam’s apple. She closed her teeth around it and worried the chunk between her perfect teeth, severing the right cords, but not removing it completely. He felt her body shake above him in a most violent climax. Her shaky exhales were a hot wind on his new wounds.
She had cut him, raped him, muffled his voice. Now it was time to desenseitize him.
She carefully and tenderly removed the duct tape and rubber ball from his mouth, placing a finger over her lips in warning. She grabbed his tongue strongly and a pair of rusted scissors. Pulling as hard as possible, she began to cut the organ at the level of his lips. Crimson squirted and spattered her hand and arm. When the end of the tongue was completely removed, she let the blood pour like a fountain out of his gaping mouth. Reaching over, she picked up a threaded needle. Pinching his bottom lip between her left thumb and forefinger, she pierced the thick flesh, then did the same through his upper lip. His cries were severly strangled and she just smiled sweetly, covered in his blood. The satisfying and rhythmic pop of the needle piercing made her close her eyes and hum softly in happiness. Cutting the thread at the other end of his lips, she watched for a moment as the blood trickled in thin streams down his chin and the sides of his face. She kissed his freshly sewn lips hard, forcing a gasp and strained cry.
Then, grabbing the bloody scalpel once more, she forced open his left eye. Carefully, as if she knew exactly how, she cut at the corners of his eye, widening the socket. The tears he finally cried were of blood and salt and the cold steel slipped between lid and eyeball, cutting, ripping, tearing and popping the round object out of its rightful place. She licked nicely at his tears and told him that everything was going to be alright in the end. He would live through this night. When she sowed his eyelid shut, she left holes so as to add just a touch of macabre to her work. Lastly, she took the sharp metal and sliced as his other eye, cutting it jsut right to cause blindness.
“Hush,” she cooed like a little girl. “You’re all right.”
(This is part one of a complete short story. I have broekn it in half only because it exceeds the maximum length for a single posting. Part two can be found directly above on this forum. Hope you like it.)
She turned over in her sleep, her arm sliding away from him. Her breath had softened to the point it now resembled a snake hiss. Jesus Christ! He was reading The Great Gatsby for the third time in two weeks. Of all the things to forget, why did it have to be books? Talk about rubbing his nose in it. In a way though, it was perfect that it was Gatsby.
Across the hall, two Arabs were fighting about money. The little Arabic John knew was enough to know the situation was serious enough to turn violent. Thirty thousand dirham had been promised and unpaid for some service. It may as well have been a million dollars. Bulls— Morocco. Bulls— life. Bulls— vacation.
John lit a fresh cigarette from the end of the last. Sweeter than American, wetter than English. Arab smokes gave blue grey fog. He blew it across the sheets. She would complain. Smoking in white bed linen gave him a hard-on. It made him think about Jean-Paul Belmondo in Breathless. He hated Paris. Paris was a bore. Where was Jean Seberg? Where was laughter? Where was the f—ing buzz and crackle? Paris bulls—. Just his wife. Just jazz. Just more boiled potatoes and expensive wine and dead animals prepared by artists called Andre and Jaques. Smoking Gitanes and blowing the smoke over his erect cock and listening to her snore. When was that? A month ago. No, two months. It didn’t matter.
The angry Arab was bringing Allah into the argument. Allah the umpire. Allah the f—ing United Nations. Allah some Solomon in a hotel corridor solving the problems of these two bulls— artists. What day was it? Thursday. Did these sand n—–s have days of the week?
Maybe he should wake her up and try to f— her. She would probably let him. He shuddered and choked on his smoke, stifling a cough. Jerk off, stupid. It’s less hassle. A cockroach ran across the floor from under the bed to a small hole in the wardrobe. John could hear its feet. The patter of tiny feet. f—ing rich. She wanted kids. She never stopped cooing and gooing and chucking the chins of passing babies. Jesus Christ. How f—ing WRONG. He’d rather cut his prick off with a broken bottle than see a baby crawl out of her c—. Spawn.
John smiled. People are just super-inflated spunk. Sperm creatures. Jizz monsters. Wormoids. Worse, chillingly, gut-spasmingly worse, was the idea that he might just actually grow to love the little freak. Like a switch flipped by chemicals, deep within the brain. Like the hunger switch or the must-f— switch. The love switch, governed by milions of years of evolution. What a f—ing thought! A fifties horror movie. No, just the trailer with jagged lightning writing flashing diagonals across the screen. Black and whites. It came from his balls! Flash! It flipped his love switch! Crash! Be amazed! Bash! Be terrified! Shazam! The Baby! Aaargh!
The muezzin startled John and Gatsby lurched forward out of his hands. The muezzin. These dumb Arabs like Pavlov’s dog. Ring the bell and they drop to their knees and f—ing suck Allah’s pecker. It was beautiful noise though, the call to prayer. It was what brought them to Morocco in a way, with its exoticism and its ancient mystery. Christ knows what else brought them here. Raiders of the Lost Ark or something. Crazy sword-wielding towelheads. Or was that Cairo? He couldn’t remember. Casablanca – a kiss is just a kiss. That was around here somewhere. They were supposed to be going there, despite the fact that it was supposed to be a s—hole. Christ knows why? Because she wanted to? John doubted it. She probably didn’t know why either. They were going because it was something else to do. Keep moving, folks, keep trucking. Like a shark. Keep moving or die. So they were going to souless s—house Casablanca so they could sit in the Hyatt Regency bar (Rick’s Cafe Americain, natch) and be served by surly waiters in trenchcoats and fedoras. So they could have their photo taken outside so they could show it to who? They took these thousands of photos all around the world, as though that was the only reason for going, but nobody ever saw them. The only people that ever pretended interest were her parents before they had died and even they didn’t pretend very well. You may as well have shown them Rorshach ink blots.
She moved again in her sleep, her hand snaking dreamily up his naked thigh and resting on his belly. Why had he married her? Boredom, maybe, and fear. Probably because early on she had professed a liking for giving b——s. Four f—ing years.
John farted a great wet fizz and her hand instinctively moved away. He knew she was only half asleep and was mostly there to avoid waking up and having to get involved with him. Since Lisbon, their conversation had sunk well below the normal level of curt politeness. They had drifted through Southern Spain sharing rooms and dining tables as though they were strangers brought together by chance, accepting each other. They f—ed occassionally. He always initiated it and at first she always brushed him off. He would have to press it, kissing her breasts and pushing his hand against the bulge of her crotch. Eventually, she would relax, force herself to relax and he would silently climb aboard, push down her panties and insert himself. She never came like she had before her parents had died. Was it related to that? Who knew? But now she would dig her fingers into his arse and lower back and gently urge him on.
‘Come. Come. Come’, she would say, slapping his buttocks with gentle but persistant taps. When he came, she would wipe the come out of herself with absolute calmness and candour and roll away from him. She was never cold, it occured to John with some relief. Just professional.
It used to be she would ruin him, expecting nothing, sucking hungrily on his cock and balls, jerking him off and sticking her pinkie finger in his ass, the intense agonising periscope of her ecstasy peering into all of his desire, sexual, homosexual and complete. But all of that was over forever. They both knew that.
John lit the third or maybe fourth cigarette in the chain, watching his cock stare back at him. It always reminded him of a girl he had f—ed more than a decade before. Her name and her face were long gone. All that remained were two words. He had pulled his boxers down with one hand and she had looked down as he had steaded himself to penetrate her.
‘Great cock’, she had said and then laid back to be f—ed and forgotten. Great cock. He looked down at his great cock and blew smoke rings around it like hoopla.
John turned his attention back to Gatsby. Great Gatsby. Great Cock. The cover was tricked out like a movie for a Basic Instinct sex thriller, the text faux torn. Fitz ripped from Gerald, Great halfway up the page from Gatsby. On the back, the critic for the Washington Post called it, ‘an autopsy of the American Dream’, while the New York Times suggested it, ‘peeled back the layers of glamor to find a terrifying void at the heart of the Jazz Age’.
Did it? Maybe it did. John had read it five times using these two quotes to help him along, but he couldn’t see the connection between these reviews (which he could understand) and the book itself (which he couldn’t). The truth was he rarely saw any sense in books or movies beyond what the characters said and did, and although he often found himself in the greatest art galleries and most exclusive exhibitions in the world, he couldn’t imagine quite how he was supposed to enjoy himself in them. All the Titians and Rubens and Rembrandts merged and blended as soon as he flicked his eyes away, leaving no impressions or after image. Looking at the Van Goghs his wife professed to love so much, he found himself vaguely wanting to pick off the thick dabs of oil and hurl them across the room.
Whilst attending a funeral recently, I found that after the actual ceremony there wasn’t anything to do or anywhere to go to hold a wake.
This gave me an idea.
A theme pub next to the cemetery! What could be better?
All decked out in various shades of black, not black black, but the black you get on a starlings wing.
The waiters would be be-decked in traditional frock coats with the top hats.
Drinks would be borne to the table at shoulder height with due pomp and ceremony.
Speciality food would be available.
I have thought long and hard about the menu and have decided that it should include Devils and Angels on horseback, chicken in a coffin (chicken in a basket is just so blasé) very char grilled steak and (You’ve had your) chips.
The music for the jukebox has also been chosen. The tracks will include:
Three steps to heaven
Between the Devil and the deep blue sea
Knockin on heavens door
I just died in your arms tonight
I feel that this venture will prove to be a winner with all families of the recently bereaved.
I mean where else could you have a drink, have a meal and still feel that the departed is part of the festivities?
Adverts have been placed in the local press
If you feel down after the loss of a loved one, Die-n here at the ‘Restaurant of Rigor Mortis’
BEFORE THERE WAS one, there had to be another. Odin stretched, the ancient truth sliding through his mind as he looked at the sky, reaching over blindly for one of the many cups of mead strewn about the hall of Valhalla. He blinked his iridescent blue eye and rolled it over to the left, looking at the woman sprawled beside him. He drank deeply of the honeyed drink, listening to the sounds of the morning coming to Asgard.
Scratching his chest he rolled over disregarding the woman who had failed to hold his attention for the entire night. Eventually he had put her to sleep with her continuous whining. He caught a lock of her curly blond hair between his fingers; looking at it thoughtfully and then tossing it aside he got up and walked out of the room unclothed and glorious with his godly proportions. He scratched at his beard as he walked, thoughts whirling around in an endless circle, all colliding into Ragnarok: the end of the world. Damn Mimir, he cursed soundly. It was for this ugly turn of events that he had drunk deep of the well of wisdom; now he could see far and wide. It was most definitely a mixed blessing, that.
Fenrir, he thought angrily; the stupid mongrel.
In the morning light he shuffled passed the halls, eye skimming idly over the hundreds of spears lined up against the wall, and with an air of superiority he stomped toward the kitchen; Geri, his wolf, padded up to him and sniffed at his leg, whining. Odin patted his head before moving on with the wolf at his heels, waiting for his breakfast to fall to the floor. His nose snuffled along waiting as Odin traversed the lonely halls of Valhalla so early in the morning. The men were all asleep and the Valkyres were abed after a night of pleasuring men.
Odin rummaged through the piles of food, throwing things shamelessly on the floor, searching for the mead to slake his everlasting thirst. Geri mopped up his master’s mess, happy enough to even allow his cohort Freki to eat beside him when the other wolf came snuffling about in search of food. They greeted each other with a nod of their heads and a wrinkling of muzzles before their stomachs turned them back to the food at hand.
Rinda, the icy beauty of the barren earth stepped on light feet to look upon her husband, her look of disgust palpable in the air. It was summer, and so it was that the air was moist and warm, Rinda’s hands slacking on the reins allowing herself to be wooed by her most vigorous husband. Still, she resented it, jealousy like the rabid wolves he so cherished churned mercilessly in her gut. She sneered, but went ignored.
Lifting their heads the wolves blinked at the Goddess and snickered amongst themselves, licking their lips and baring teeth, shoulders wrinkling, hackles rising from the quiet growl Then they took off, loping down the hall. Geri finding that Freki was far too close to his body suddenly pitched to the left and nipped at Freki’s ear. The wolves toppled to the side, crashing forcefully into the shining armor and spears aligning the walls. They crashed, the fall scratching many a helm and before any woke the two whined and took off like bats out of hell, their ears flat against their heads, muzzles wrinkling in a silent snarl for any who would get in their path and bar their escape. They would keep away from the halls until the Valkyres woke and took out their vicious anger on the men.
In the kitchen, however, Rinda pierced Odin with the direst look of foreboding, lifting up her nose and saying harshly, “Why do you insist on keeping those mongrels here?”
Ignoring Rinda’s look, Odin shrugged and was shouldering passed her when he slipped his hand under her dress snaking up her body and palming her breast, twisting the n—– playfully between his thumb and forefinger. With an indignant shriek she raised her hand against him and slapped at him, only to find his rumbling laughter receding into the dark and his hips swaying tauntingly, flaunting a near-perfect backside.
Striding into his room he found the beauty still lying boneless on his bed. With a muffled oath he bent over her and picked her up in his arms, her body harmlessly falling against him to be cradled against his chest. Moving over to the window he kissed her soundly one more time, no matter that her flesh was cold and her spirit dwelt with Hel, the elusive mistress of the underworld, and let her slip from his grasp. She plummeted down several floors before the unnerving thud of a body hit the ground with an impact that would jar even the hardiest of men. He watched her sprawled form for a while, making certain that she would not move and walk away the moment he abandoned his vigil at the window. Her broken body laid still, her blood splattering the white stone below.
Once satisfied he strode over to the dresser he had had made especially from the shaved wood of Yggdrasil and rummaged through his clothes. Placing on his undergarments he slid on his lambskin tunic and belted it in place with thick leather made from the goats bred from his son Thor, with a thick clasp that depicted the well of wisdom for which he had given up his eye. After pulling up the moleskin pants he belted the bottom in place with his gilded sandals and put on his helm. He slipped on the armband Draupnir and grabbed his magnificent spear Gungnir before professing himself appropriate and leaving his quarters. He left the hall and entered the stables in the stillness of morning. He went straight toward his mount and patted his faithful beast’s snout before mounting the eight-legged creature and spurring Sleipnir into an easy canter.
In the plains of Asgard Odin felt obligated to visit the gatekeeper of Bifrost and exchanged a few words with Heimdall about its activity before galloping toward Valaskialf and into the small hilltop where Hlidskialf sat. Here, in the cave, he let his mount graze where he would and sat upon his throne of stone. At the conspicuous sound of flapping wings and sharp beaks across stone he held out his arm toward his ravens and beckoned them forward. He coaxed them with a small smile to perch within reach on the small protrusion near his throne.
“Does she know?” he asked gravely, his eye searing into their souls.
Muninn cawed and nodded his head vigorously; Huginn cawed in unison and shook his head, cocking it slightly to the side in a negative gesture. Noting their difference in opinion they cawed at each other, flapping their wings vigorously trying to make the other back down in the ensuing battle of wills.
“QUIET!” Odin’s voice boomed, his fist coming down on the rock arm of the throne, the rocks and shelves ingrained into the walls shuttered and rattled, small particles coming off and fluttering down, coating the ravens’ black coat. They shivered and shook their wings to dispel the dirt that had dulled their shine and twisted their heads to glare resentfully at the other. Uncurling his fist, he lifted it off of the throne and stood, beginning to pace. Huginn hopped onto the throne arm and squinted at the dent his master had made on the throne. His wings shivered and he snapped his beak at the other who pecked him back, drawing blood. They squawked at each other, bickering amongst themselves and bleeding one another in this fashion like children who knew each other too well.
Only when Odin cast them a smothering glare did they fall silent. The incessant noise died down almost immediately and Odin grunted in approval. “Well? Does she know?” , after a moment of awkward silence he sighed in aggravation at their blank stares and advanced on them, anger fizzing in his aura of malignancy, stretching its creeping tendrils toward them, choking them where they perched. He reached through his power and grabbed at their necks; he was rewarded with the frantic flapping of Huginn’s wings as he struggled to breathe from his masters cruel grip. Odin smiled slowly, the small evil that would taint the world and bring Ragnarok upon them one inch at a time. While Muninn settled down on a high perch, preening in superiority, the other was held close to the Allfather’s one eye. “Well?” he hissed.
Instantly images flashed in his mind of a pale Nordic beauty all girlish and smiling, holding her hand protectively over her softly swollen belly, flirting shamelessly with the fat oaf upon whom she sat. Rage made Odin’s breath rush out in a hiss of pure hatred, even as his body responded to her beauty, groin twisting in appreciation of her beauty. The woman flipped her hair over her shoulder, one piercing green eye staring devilishly at him and he knew she had done this to spite him. The man was inconsequential but she was his! His breathing labored he clutched tightly at the raven’s neck, producing a squeal to erupt from the black beak. “More!” he demanded when the vision began to dim.
Another image flashed of the same woman in a different gown, all long legs and lean with small apple breasts boosted up to the best of their ability in an enchantingly taunting bodice, still with the swollen belly of child – far more rounder and protruding than before, he noticed. My child, he thought, wrath like the forsaken snake his son Loki had birthed with that vile giantess. He could feel the poison sinking into his gut. My woman! He tried to shout at the strongly built man who handled her gently, his hands running over the slowly obscuring curves of his wife. He whispered something and she tossed that flaming red hair like a candle flame, laughing prettily, looking at him suggestively and swaying her hips. The man laughed and Odin squeezed the raven’s neck taut, smashing the image into pieces.
“More!” he demanded, yet again.
The raven was hesitant to continue but with one more persuasive clenching of Odin’s fist the image bloomed in his eye.
The woman was breathing heavily, her left hand clutching the bedpost; the right hand, her stomach as she tried not to double over in sheer agony. The man from earlier, now in the bed, rolled over and asked a question toward her, alarm spreading across his handsome features. Even Rinda would melt at the tenderness in the man’s eye and Odin reached out blindly grabbing the first thing that came to hand, squeezing the life out of it in his fury. MY WOMAN! He raged in his head.
The image began to fade but he urged it to life again, “Tell me!”
Huginn squeaked and flashed a picture of the child in the woman’s arms in swaddling clothes giggling, and smiling up with eyes the strangest of colors. His own eye narrowed and he stared at the child. She didn’t look too godly; perhaps it wasn’t his. “Muninn!” he called unclenching his fist from around Huginn’s neck, watching dispassionately as the bird crumpled to the floor into dust. It would be reborn soon enough – at the moment let it be enough to remind him of his place. The death had been as painful as a mortal one.
Muninn launched into the air and stayed out of range from his reaching fingers, fluttering its wings in inquiry. “Check the child.” he commanded and the bird flew from Hlidskialf into the air, flapping its slick wings and gliding on the wind, passing Bifrost without a glance toward its gatekeeper.
Odin waited patiently on his throne, staring at the solid walls, the wheels in his head turning round and round, a plot beginning to form. “Eldrid.” he whispered the sound snaking across the dismal habitation and bouncing back to haunt him. “Eldrid, you are mine.”
* * * * *
TORUNN WAS SCOWLING and her mother found it the most beautiful thing in world. She bent over, her fiery red hair cascading over her thin shoulder and wiped the grime from her daughter’s cheek. “Now, my darling, tell mama what happened.”
With an air of superiority the young child stood as tall as she could in her small 3’4 foot frame. “It was Kormack’s fault!” she said, her voice wavering plaintively.
“Was not!” came the shout from across the field where a young boy in small battle armor came careening toward them on one of the retired horses. Eldrid turned at the shout and marveled, the horse seemed to put everything into coming these last few acres, showing spirit where it hadn’t in years. Eldrid tucked that thought away and hid her smile behind her hair at the glower her young flower shot the boy.
“Yes it was!” she crossed her arms looking all the world like a miniature queen doll come to life and Eldrid was forced to smother her laughter behind a delicate cough. “Are you calling me a liar Kormack Gunner?!” she accused as the horse galloped toward them and skid to a skillful stop.
We’ll make a horseman out of you yet, young one, Eldrid thought appraising the young lad with a skillful eye. You’d be a good lover when you get of age, too, she noted before looking toward her young child. So like her father, she realized, and felt icy claws clench in her gut.
The young one was trembling with barely contained rage at this accusation and dropped from the horse rather dramatically before striding up to Torunn and saying, “It was your idea!” removing the helm to prop it under his arm. Even as a child, Kormack was always meticulous about such things.
“So? You didn’t have to fall!” she said, small compared to the lanky boy, but just as courageous. She shoved his shoulder away, “And why are you standing so close?”
He pulled up straight and ran a hand through his hair, the gesture snaking Eldrid into his periphery. He startled and turned to bow deeply toward Eldrid, a flush of embarrassment coloring his cheeks. Eldrid reached over and ruffled Kormack’s hair, he’d always been kind to her daughter – the little imp that she was – and it gladdened her heart to see one friend among the festering enemies that gathered in the dusty corners of Bionbyr. She grimaced slightly and pushed her mane of red hair behind one shoulder.
“Mama did you know Kormack’s hair is the same as yours?” her daughter asked, all former problems forgotten in her young mind, like a wisp of a dream long gone.
Eldrid smiled, “So it seems.” She replied and felt her heart flutter. It was impossible, but any comment hedging toward the secret about her child caused her heart to creep most uncomfortably.
Torunn, however, seemed determined to further prove the point and dragged Kormack heedlessly toward Eldrid, reaching up to grab a small lock of the boys hair in her fingers and twining it with that of her mothers. Eldrid noticed how the boy’s skin almost matched his hair and laughed.
“Why yes, my darling child! I see it so much better now!” she said with such delight that her daughter couldn’t help but giggle, and giggle more when her mother swept her up and swung around in the air, the entwined hair falling apart seamlessly. “My flower.” she murmured against her daughter’s pale blond hair. Torunn squirmed; trying to get out of her mother’s grasp and Eldrid was forced to yield up the child to the forces that governed her child heart.
With a laugh Torunn beamed a smile at Kormack before grabbing his hand and pulling him along, “Come play with me, Kormack!”
The boy seemed disconcerted and looked ready to balk but Eldrid’s little Tora seemed as determined as ever. “Come on Kormack, you’re the best guard they’ll ever have, but you have your entire life to be a guard and only so few years to come play with me!” she giggled again, the purest sound Eldrid had ever heard, and with an apologetic smile toward her Kormack yielded to Torunn’s demands as everyone always did when faced with her adamancy.
Watching the old horse carry the two toward whatever mischief her daughter had planned, Eldrid sighed, hooking her flaming hair behind her ears. Once she was alone she looked over into the forest, her proverbial hackles rising, her soul blazing. Narrowing her eyes she stared into the unnatural shadow around the garden and frowned. With a harder stare her brow unwrinkled and then a small smile spread across her features as her sight penetrated the false shadows. Eldrid held out her hand, crooning toward the creature stalking in the shadows, “Come here little bird.” she said, “Come to me.”
A great shadow took shape in the trees of the garden and with a great rattling of twigs and wind, took wing, landing heavily on her outstretched hand. “What a pretty bird,” she crooned, petting the raven’s feathered crest. The bird ducked his head, Eldrid smiling at the gesture and took out some dried meat, feeding it to the bird. Muninn grabbed some of her fiery hair in his beak and let go, asking as it always did whether she would leave with him yet. She shook her head and fed it more sweetmeats, not ready to yield to his demand. Satisfied the bird eyed her and then took wing again, for a moment shadowing the sun before disappearing.
The temperature dropped dramatically and Eldrid felt the searing eyes of a God on her. She stared back for a long time before worldly arms wrapped around her. She leaned against the accompanying chest and snuggled against them. “What if I were some miscreant who wanted to fill you with my seed?” her husband whispered against her ear.
She looked up at him and smiled unabashedly, “Will you, Cnaire? Would you really?” Anything to keep her here for a while longer.
His rumbling chuckle warmed her heart and melted the icicles of doubt that had crusted over it. .
“Where’s the child?” he asked mildly, looking around as if he knew exactly where she was at any given time and knew it was not here.
“Off running with Kormack.” she commented, snuggling her back against his chest, rocking slightly with his body.
“The Gunner child?” he asked lifting an eyebrow in inquiry. “Is that appropriate?”
Eldrid shrugged and smiled impishly, “Oh, I don’t know, why don’t you ask her yourself? She picked him, not me.”
His laughter filled the silence and his arms tightened around her, lending a sense of safety she no longer felt outside of them. The only time the despairing sensation evaporated was when her daughter was frolicking about, as if any type of malignant force were expelled by her mere presence. It was a sign of the Aesir blood that must flow in her veins but any thought of that only hardened the fear coiling in Eldrid’s gut like deadly vipers.
“You’re cold.” her husband murmured and rubbed her arms in an attempt to keep her warm from the chills.
“There are other ways to keep me warm.” she said lightly, peeking out from under her eyelashes to see his charming grin – crooked and all, flashing teeth in the darkening world.
“Oh?” he quirked an eyebrow, before looking away into the dying sun, its last rays of the day caressing his face in the most loving manner. Eldrid always thought that Sun had a personally liking for Cnaire; she was always so kind to him.
After a few moments passed Eldrid smiled, “Will you make your wife beg?”
He shrugged nonchalantly looking out into the distance, before rolling his eyes to look down at her, “That depends, what would it look like?” curiosity buzzing palpably in the air.
“Cnaire!” she exclaimed shocked and laughing, pushing once at his shoulder.
“Hmmph!” He staggered back from her, clutching at his shoulder as though a mortal wound, “Och! What type of begging is that? On your knees, woman! On your knees. That’s where you beg.” with a sigh he said, “Look, I’ll even show you.” And he knelt in the muddied garden, grinning up at her with his crooked smile, making her heart ache with the tenderness in his eyes. He reached up and grabbed her waist in both of his hands, pulling her forward. He kissed her flat stomach and nuzzled her, even slipping a hand up her dress to fondle her.
She snatched her skirts and took a step back laughing. “How dare you! Rogue!”
He grinned at her. “No one’s watching.” he said reasonably and spread his arms wide, a disarming expression on his fine features. She looked at this handsome man – a man she could call her own, and knew in her heart that the daughter they both so cherished belonged to another.
His blue eyes grew warm with worry and he stood quickly sweeping her up into his arms as if she were incapable of walking herself. She rolled her eyes skyward at his irrational concern over her well-being and allowed him to carry her across the garden and toward their room.
THE LIGHT FROM the candle lit up his dandelion-colored hair into a glowing white, his blue eyes gleaming in the dark, body heavily shadowed as he watched her, but she knew every crevice, every outline and most importantly every tenderness of her husband. She held out a hand toward him, as she lay sprawled across the thick furs imported from across the continent, her bodice opened and unlaced, waiting for him. He grinned, a quick flash of teeth, and melted into the shadows. The lone candle was no match for the encroaching darkness and he disappeared from her sight. She sat upright, part of her bodice falling off to reveal her left breast with its hardened n—–.
As if on cue, he materialized behind her, kissing her neck with lips, tongue and gently, teeth, scraping over the sensitive spot in the crook between shoulder and column and bared his teeth in a vicious smile when she caught her breath. There were times where she found herself forgetting he was a born hunter, a warrior, a man of physicality; it was definitely not one of those moments.
Especially when she found herself nestled against his bared groin, the curve of his hip cupping her arse as he kissed over her shoulder, holding out her arm and licking every inch of her as if he were addicted to her scent, her taste. The light flickered and for a moment she swore that his eyes flashed but after a split moment discarded the thought in the heavy sensations that made her body feel thick and full with need. “Cnaire.” she groaned and his rumbling laughter vibrated against her back.
He looked toward her, still cradling her body against his and again her breath caught at the sight of him, her heart giving a gentle squeeze. “I love you,” she murmured before twisting and capturing his lips with her.
As though a dam had broken his sensuous kisses lost their gentleness and their teeth clicked with the force of his push, generating a whole new type of sensuousness that made her shudder. She fell against the bed, his body smothering her as he thrust his tongue into her mouth, wet and hot, rendering her near senseless. His hands burrowed under her skirts pulling each layer away with a vengeance, as he pulled away from her mouth and buried his face against her cheek, tongue slithering in the back of her ear, his breath hot on her cheek. Cnaire’s breathing became labored as his hand found the junction between Eldrid’s legs, his phallus swollen and thick against her thigh.
Her squirming made it decidedly more difficult to keep in control. Her hands let go of him and floundered on the sheets above her, twisting the digits of her fingers, wringing her hands together as her face scrunched up in rapture. He petted the node at the top opening her up with his caress before pushing a finger inside of her. Her back arched in reaction to the stimulation, her enthralled expression made his body respond in the most gut-twisting ways, when her n—–s contracted and hardened, her body bared before him.
Fully aroused he slammed into her, pulling her hips toward him and sheathing himself fully and forcefully, having to fight for every inch, watching her eyes fly open. Her breathing harsh, her chest heaved upward and as he withdrew he fondled her breast, taking it in his mouth as he thrust forward. Over the initial shock her hips moved against his, his hands skimming over her curves, caressing the hollows in her hips, burying his thick shaft deep inside of her.
He thrust again, the sound bursting from her lips as he grounded her made his heartbeat race and pleasure to course in pleasing arcs through his limbs. He pulled her legs around him and propping himself up on his arms he pumped into her, his face controlled as he rotated forward in a slightly circular movement that managed to caress a certain spot inside of her that made her nails dig into his shoulders. The pain arched his back, thrusting into her with a warriors strength, and he lost all sense of control, all strokes erratic as he sought fulfillment in the one elusive contraction he craved.
Eldrid’s small whimpering in his ear encouraged him and when her warmth and wetness tightened around him he groaned and within the next three thrusts he convulsed inside of her and felt the orgasm hit its peak before bringing him back down as the last of his seed was pulled from him.
With a grunt he collapsed on top of her, breathing heavy, but evening out slowly; her small sigh tickling his chin made him smile sleepily and when he rolled over he dragged himself out of her and pulled her into the curve of his arms, falling asleep to the sound of her rapid heartbeat.
* * * * *
HEAVY-LIDDED AND content in her husband’s arms it took nearly all of her strength to wake herself when she heard her daughter. At first drowsy she dismissed it as a nightmare that plagues her small flower from time to time; the second time she woke she knew it differently. A familiarly gruff voice jarred her to the bone and she bolted upright, Cnaire squinting up at her, asking a question with his eyes.
She shook her head and got out of the bed, grabbing the closest fur she could find before bolting toward her child’s room. It would be too late by now but she had to try.
As she rounded the corner her heart stopped dead for a split moment as she beheld the giggling child in the man’s arms. If anyone hadn’t known better they would have thought they were father and daughter, so right did they seem together. The only marring of the picturesque scene was the gross scar across the man’s eye where scar tissue twisted in the socket. But, he wasn’t a man.
“Torunn!” Eldrid hissed and held out her arms to the child, begging her with her heart that she would come.
With another giggle the child began to squirm and even the mighty Odin could not keep her in his arms. He frowned as the child managed to get out of his hold and scampered over to her mother. “Eldrid.” he sighed, eyes filling with lust as he beheld his woman.
“What?” she snapped, ire rising to the surface and clutching her child to her breast.
His gaze narrowed, cross when he said, “is that how you greet your lover?”
“You are not my lover!” she hissed and covered her child’s ears against the words she didn’t wish her to hear.
Torunn shook her head viciously and stayed out of her mother’s grasp, dancing about a hairbreadth away from Eldrid’s fingertips. “Mama!” Torunn said plaintively and rubbed at her head.
Odin knelt in front of the child and lifted her chin to him, a smile of triumph lighting his features, “She is mine.” he said to her mother still looking over at the child.
Chartreuse eyes, the blended color that children of mixed races – Aesir and human – attain at birth, gave her away, as well as her hair that seemed spun of silk. He ran his fingers through the silkiness thoughtfully and cupped the child’s cheek in his massive hand. “You are mine.”
The child giggled, unaccustomed to having the full attention of any adult and cocked her head to the side with the same smile as before, “I’m me, silly.” she said before touching Odin’s cheek as he did hers. At the touch her eyes widened in fear and she jerked back, tears welling in her eyes. He reached out to her and she held as still as the bird that sees the snake coming toward the nest.
Then Eldrid swept in like the heroine in any given saga and picked the child up, cradling her. “You are a monster!” she hissed at Odin.
“No I’m a God.” and Odin’s rage slithered along the floors. “Give her to me; she is mine!”
“No!” she held the child protectively and made a symbol in the air, revoking the invocation of Odin and dispelling him. The wind blasted through the room, pulling and pushing at Odin’s body as he was thrust from the room, rage a live manifestation that crawled along their flesh. “Mama?” Torunn squeaked after Odin’s roar of rage settled down into eery silence.
“It’s okay, flower of my heart.” She murmured reassuringly to her daughter.
The words went unheard as Torunn took a deep breath and screamed.
* * * * *
PACING VIOLENTLY, NONE dared enter his lair, and he ravaged the already inhospitable land, everything blazing in his fury. Geri and Freki cowered behind his throne, their muzzles close together, ears flat against their heads as they shivered in fear of their master’s absolute wrath. Huginn hadn’t even deigned to make an appearance, preferring the safety of Midgard over Hlidskialf, even Muninn kept his distance watching with wary black eyes as Odin moved from one corner to the next, his nails digging into stone and bringing down a shower of dust and rocks, as his shouts and screams of impotent rage reverberated throughout Valaskialf.
“Husband.” said the only one who dared intrude, her voice intense in the sudden silence that followed his bellow.
“What?!” he shouted, the word nearly hissed, veins popping in his forehead, his bull neck thick with cords as he glared death at her. “What is it you want Wife?” his voice was sharp with reproof, for all that it bounced harmlessly off of Frigga’s force field created from sheer force of personality.
“I would want a seemly husband, and father.” she said, skewering him with a glare of her own.
“Wife, daughter, who cares what you are; you are queen of Asgard, be at peace and leave me to mine!”
“Was I not once your favorite, husband?” she said innocently enough but he remembered all too well the last time he had trusted in her tone; it had ended up with a defeated Vandal army with his word in question.
“Yes, yes, Frigga, you are my favorite. Be at peace, child.” he sighed, rage dwindling rapidly into lust, and wrapped arms around his second wife’s waist and kissed her right breast, pulling down the dress to do so and sliding his other hand down her body to cup other things. She caressed his scarred face and murmured, “Forget the human, come to bed.”
I reached over to show some affection, but I couldn’t get myself to actually do anything. I balked instead. Held on to her chairs arm for a minute, scratched the engraved wood, took off a film of wax or varnish, which was a good enough reason to bring my arm back to my seat. After picking the grime out of my freshly tended nails I looked quickly over to her and then to the screen. Just like clockwork. Orange socks on her feet still visible from under the cover. f—, didn’t we look awkward, a small room, a large television, two more than comfortable chairs, drawing on the walls, general comfort, sitting in the cold; this ironically symbolizing the state of our relationship.
We entertain each other. And we are completely comfortable together. We love each other. I can be numb around her, and she can be numb around me. Tonight there was her numbness, but I felt sad. I guess I have felt sad for a few days now. Something her and I both need is right here and we acknowledge this, but for some reason refuse to embrace it. I know her reasons vaguely, and she might know why I am so unable to display emotion and care for her, vaguely.
She has been violated, and she doesn’t want to trust love. I would speak to you reader; but this is to her. You’d rather be exposed to exile, and nothingness, and emptiness. Your goal is to just get by for now. You think that if you can just squeak by these next few whiles you’ll be fine. You are hurt, hurting and hoping those pains that haunt you day in and out will scar over and somehow you’ll be able to smile sometime in your mid thirties. Well f— that.
When I reached over I wanted to grab her hand because I knew the movie must be painful. I looked at her looking at the screen and she seemed fine, confined and distant, painless and numb. But if I am sensitive to the situation as a third party, how can she not be in torment as the first person victim of evil and tyranny. I reached over to show some affection, I wish I could just grab her hand and warm it up until I knew it was warm. I wish I could hug her until she was warm. I wish I could look at her and have some assurance that she was not only not unhappy, but happy.
Earlier that day we played poker with friends. At the start of the game there were eight of us, all paying for chips and a chance at a nice big pot of money. Two hours into the contest there now were four of us left.
“Why is it that I don’t find anything enjoyable?” She said
“You like reading” He said
“Do you bet or check Vada?” asked Brake.
“Uhh I check” she said.
He checked, I checked, Brake checked. The flop came up seven, eight, nine of diamonds.
“I bet two.” I said. Brake called my two and raised eight. She called. He folded. I folded. The turn came up jack of clubs.
“Brake, it’s on you” He said.
“Well I bet four.”
“Uhh, I call and add four more.”
Brake called the raise. The last card was turned and it was the two of spades. Brake bet twenty chips. Vada considered, Craig grabbed her cards and looked at them and she folded.
“Why did you stay in that long?” Craig said
As I grabbed the cards to shuffle I saw her queen, five, unsuited black.
“I don’t know okay.” She said. Maybe it was the potential for a straight, maybe she didn’t know why she stayed in.
“Well you just wasted your chips. That is wasted money. All night you’ve been doing this.”
“I don’t care okay? Can you just let me play? God I hate poker.”
Well another functional night. I sat quietly shuffling, dealt, collected chips. Quietly shuffled, dealt, lost chips. It went on for hours. Eventually we split the pot and quit. A few hands before we decided to quit Vada had told us she wanted out. We all did. She proposed that she forfeit her chips so Brake, Craig and I could split all of the money amongst us three. Brake didn’t seem to mind, Craig seemed to support the idea. I didn’t like the idea at all. Jesus! Vada, why do you want to roll over? It took about ten more hands, a lot of conversation that I didn’t want to have, and more logic than emotion but I got what I wanted. We all split the pot, got our money back, Craig and I made a couple bucks because we were chip leaders; Brake got his money back. She had lost dignity, but got her five bucks.
I decided to leave right away, asked her if she wanted me to walk her home, although I had no intention of taking her home. Premeditated plans; all those quiet hands of poker, hoping to find a way to spend some time alone with her. I must make people like her sick. When we left I told her she had done well in poker. She had. She kept her eyes down, chuckled, or at least grinned at a few of my marginal jokes. I want to make her feel comfortable.
I asked “Do you want to watch a movie?” Premeditated plans coming into action.
“I just got Clockwork Orange.”
“Have you seen it before?” why did she ask me that?
“No, have you?”
“Yes, but I’ll watch it again.” Success.
We walked to my place, went upstairs. I opened the apartment door, and the cold greeted us as usual. Her pant bottoms were wet from the walk. Her bare feet left vague footprints in the hall that evaporated quickly. Her pale skin looked frozen, her eyes did too.
“Can I get you some pants? I don’t have pajamas but I do have comfy dress pants.” I went and grabbed a sweater and the pants.
“No, I’m fine.”
“Really?” she nodded. “No I think you need dry clothes Vad.”
“It’s okay, I’m fine.”
It made me uncomfortable. I started the movie, went and grabbed an extra pair of socks; the orange ones. The opening scene was on when I came back into that small, two chaired room. One of the gangs was giving the ‘old in and out’ to a victim. I felt the tyranny.
“Please put these on at least.” I offered the socks.
Her eyes were pasted to the screen.
“Vad, come on, I don’t want you to get sick because I invited you to watch a movie.”
She took the socks, put them on.
“I hate socks” Of course she did.
The room was freezing. I could not help but watch her for a second in every minute. I also had no idea what I was in store for with Clockwork. I went and grabbed the comforter off my bed, I had seen her goose bumps, she must be cold. I spread the comforter over us both; I tried to not touch her when I covered her. Just the idea of me giving her anything she doesn’t ask for makes me sick. I checked the screen, another gang with the ‘in and out.’
She is innocence because she thinks she has lost it. She cries when people call her dumb, she swears she isn’t. She feels unimportant and ugly. She needs to know how I feel. She needs to know I care. She needs to know how intelligent, beautiful and important she is. Here I am again.
I reached over to show her some affection. Me, the animal, the tyrant, the evil and the pain of her world, lending a hand that will only re-slash those deep wounds masking her soul. I can give her all my love and it will only turn to pain. So I balked and scratched the chair. She doesn’t believe that I can not be evil. That any of us can. She has been raped, physically mistreated. I am man, I am the tyranny, I am the rapist.
When she left that night I hugged her. We were standing near the door. I was in the way. She was looking at me. I thought, ‘am I supposed to get out of the way? No, I don’t want her to think that I’ll just leave and let her struggle. That movie must have been tough.’ I spread my arms and leaned towards her. Her purse was strung over her left shoulder, she was wearing my frock coat under it to counter the rain outside… my suggestion. I wrapped my arms around her, and her arms came around my back. The lightest hug ever; it lasted only a second and felt shorter. I felt like she thought she had to hug me, the hug felt forced. So I let go.
How did I get here? I have now forced her into the cold to come and watch this horrible movie, made her wear what she did not want to wear, stood in front of her path when she tried to leave, and asked for her love when she didn’t offer it; I am the rapist, she is being hurt again.
I wish I could offer her more than orange socks. Some sympathy, compassion, some trust. It would be good for her. And she deserves it. I’ll try to give her those things, but no promises. I will most likely turn love into pain for her once again. How can I make her comfortable? Everything I do to comfort her is comfort to me, and does not comfort her. All my love is rape. That is the point of this story. No matter how much I try to care for this girl, I will never be able to make her see past the evil that attacked her. Every action of passion now is intertwined with pain. But every rose comes with thorns and everything that lives dies. So maybe one day her frown will turn into a smile. And maybe one day my love for her will be understood by her. Maybe one day those orange socks will provide some warmth.