Thank you all for coming. I am glad to see you all here, even though you are undoubtedly more concerned for your inheritance than for me. I’ve been a cold-hearted bastard for a lot of years, even more than you know. I can’t imagine that you’ll ever forgive me for what I’ve done, so I only ask that you judge my deeds in the proper context. That is why I have called you here – to tell you about my life and my sin, and to explain why one of you will die with me.
I grew up in a nothing town in the Arizona desert. Not even a Post Office; just a school, a diner, and the last gas station before the highway to Las Vegas. The only thing I had in the world was my friends. There wasn’t much to do, but we had so much fun that I never worried about the future.
I remember one night, desperate for anything to do besides homework, we had a game of hide-and-seek in the cemetery. On the count of ten, we flew in all directions. I ran to the back of the graveyard, past the tombs of the city fathers, to a place where time had wiped away the names of the dead. Searching for the perfect hiding place, I fell over a broken headstone, tore my leg something awful. Must have left half a gallon of blood in that grave, but they never found me.
When the final school bell rang out, my friends scattered to the wind – college, the army, anything to get out of that little town. But turning eighteen took me by surprise. I found myself working at the gas station, watching cars filled with laughing people headed to places I’d never see.
Months passed by like commercials on TV. The bell rang for the trillionth time, and I trudged out to fill up yet another car. This one was a Corvette, canary yellow, shining like candy wrapped in cellophane. Behind the wheel was a pretty, young thing in a tank top and aviator sunglasses. I scrubbed her windshield and out of habit said “Have fun in Vegas.”
She smiled, the sunlight glinting in her glasses. “Actually, Daddy and I just moved to town. I’m headed to work at the diner across the road. By the way, my name is Rosa.” She handed me a few crumpled bills and waggled her fingers goodbye. As I stared at her taillights, I realized I hadn’t told her my name.
After that, I had every meal at her table, trying to work up the nerve to introduce myself and ask her out. I ate slowly, hoping to find the words by the time I’d finished dessert. Only took me six months! Finally, she agreed to spend her next lunch break with me. Thank god she said yes. I was getting sick of rhubarb pie.
But where to take her? The only place to go in town was the damn diner! We ended up having a picnic in the field by the cemetery. That might sound morbid, but this was the desert. There weren’t that many places with nice grass.
She brought some strawberry crepes and I brought a bottle of wine. We exchanged awkward small talk and watched the grass dance in the wind until the wine spread its smile across our faces. She told me about growing up in New Mexico, her pets, her plans for college. I mostly just listened, because the only thing I wanted to say was “I’m lonely.”
We spent the next three months in each other’s arms. Her kindness and her laughter pushed away the dark that had enveloped my heart. This woman could save me. She could be my oasis.
One evening, I traded every dollar I had for a ring I hoped would make her mine. I headed to her apartment, too excited, driving too fast. The wind rose, carrying a summer storm. I drove through miles of water until the cemetery appeared, lurking in the dark. I always hated that curve.
The world exploded, blinding pain. I had slid, crashed through the fence, and the limb of an oak tree had pierced my chest. Everything was blood and broken headstones.
I would never see sweet Rosa’s face again. My joy had turned to ashes. Desperate to free myself from this fate, I cried out to whatever spirits could hear me. “Anything you want! Just save me, and let me share a long life with her.”
Something touched me on the arm. A voice like a flock of crows. “A child will pull the wings from a fly and laugh. So much less does your suffering matter to me.”
“My god…” This was worse than dying alone. I had been found by something that was going to watch me die and smile. I said, “Spirit, don’t I have anything to offer you? Not even my soul?”
“What makes you think such a thing exists?” Hot, putrid breath assaulted my face. “I roam the earth from east to west, devouring those who hear my voice. I steal the hopeful from their lover’s grasp. Why should you see her again, when my only companion is despair?”
This was agony. I had finally found some meaning, some purpose, and one slip had stolen it from me. I had to sacrificed anything to have it back. “Take one of my grandchildren for your own.”
“You will live to 99 with your Rosa, but I shall take the grandchild you love the most. I will sign my name in their flesh, and they shall join in my endless wandering.” The thing’s shrieking laughter still haunts me. “Will you cast them into the darkness? Choose quickly! My hunger grows!”
I said yes. God damn me forever, I said yes! My vision began to fade. The twisted liar! I was dying after all! A foul, choking wind, and something like the sound of wings.
I opened my eyes in the hospital. Rosa was at my side, clutching the ring and weeping. I threw back the bedsheets and felt my chest. No wounds, but every hair had been burned from my body.
A few months later, she would demand a child. At first I refused, but I couldn’t bare to see her unhappy, couldn’t bare the thought of her leaving. One child lead to two, then three, then four.
I did my best to make sure they never found love. I locked them in their rooms, trapped them in the basement, threatened their boyfriends with a knife. They ran from me, scattered, and had children of their own. I spent years trying to deaden my heart, trying to never feel anything for you girls, but I failed.
And now, once more, the light is leaving me. Quickly, search your bodies! You will know the demon has chosen you by the mark of—
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Ever have that feeling that you’re forgetting something? You’re packing for a trip, and you get everything loaded in the car. You walk out of the house and get in the car and you know, you just know, that you’re leaving something important behind. I feel like that a lot. Most of the time it’s just paranoia. Except for last weekend. It was a Friday night, and I had just walked through my front door, when it hit me: my mind was missing again.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, ”Oh, he means he’s lost his mind, figuratively speaking. He’s gone insane.” Or maybe, ”He’s making a joke. His mind was wandering, and it wandered too far and got lost. How amusing.” No, stupid, it’s nothing like that.
You see, I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in the soul or some sort of supernatural essence that you lose when you die. But I also don’t believe that you are just your brain. I mean, if you’re in a coma or something like that, you’re not really you. The real you is your memories and personality and your internal monolog, that voice in your head when you’re thinking. It’s less than spiritual but more than just physical. That’s what I mean by ”mind.”
I was at this New Year’s party at Rebecca’s house, and she was talking to Naomi and pretending that she couldn’t feel me standing there, staring at her. She knows how I feel about her. But, when she looks at me, her face changes. She glares at me like I’m an abstract painting of a toilet covered in boils. She’s disgusted, but she keeps looking because she can’t quite figure me out.
Anyway, I remember thinking about her when I was at the party, so I know I must have had my mind with me then. I even caught Rebecca looking at me a few times, so she must have heard my thoughts, right? But when I got home, I couldn’t hear my internal monolog anymore. My mind was gone. I must have left it at the party.
I went back to Rebecca’s building and stopped at the door. I couldn’t remember what number her apartment was, so I started hitting all the buzzers and asking if Rebecca was there. People yelled and asked me if I knew what time it was. I looked at my watch, but I couldn’t read it in the darkness. I guess it must have been pretty late.
Finally, someone buzzed me inside. I walked through the building until I saw her door. Rebecca had painted her door this soft pink, like her lips and her toenails. I knocked on her door, and it took her a long time to answer. I don’t know how long. I still couldn’t read my watch, even with the light in the hallway. I heard the bolt go back, and the door opened a crack. It was still on the brass security chain. Rebecca was there, in her pale blue nightie and her insipid bunny slippers.
”What the hell?” she wondered. ”What are you doing here?”
”I left something in your apartment,” I said. ”I need it for work tomorrow. Can I come in and look for it?”
”What did you leave?” she asked. She covered her mouth and yawned. I guess I must have been boring her. Apparently Naomi is the interesting one.
”Just shut up and let me look for it, you stupid bitch,” I explained.
But Rebecca didn’t let me look for anything. She just slammed the door. I heard the bolt lock go on, and some other locks, too. And then there was this sound like a chair being dragged across the floor and shoved up against the doorknob. I guess she was worried about being robbed. She doesn’t live in the best neighborhood.
I didn’t know what else to do. I went downstairs and walked to that place where they sell donuts and coffee all night, and I tried to come up with a new plan. But I couldn’t come up with anything. Like I said, my mind was missing. Rebecca had it in her apartment, and she wouldn’t give it back.
I was really nervous and, for some reason, the coffee wasn’t helping me relax. The old man behind the counter looked at me like he thought I was sick or something. He kept wrinkling up his face and asking me if I was alright, and saying I shouldn’t tug my hair like that. I told him to shut up and mind his own fucking business, and then I ordered another cup of coffee. He poured me more coffee, but most of it ended up on my hand. I guess he must have been nervous, too.
After a few hours and about fourteen cups of coffee, this man and his girlfriend came inside. The man was wearing a gray business suit. It was expensive-looking, like the ones at JC Penny’s. His girlfriend was dressed in this incredibly short skirt and a top that barely covered her breasts. I thought it was strange, what with it being winter outside and all, but who am I to judge? Her boyfriend kept buying coffee and they would pass this flask back and fourth and mix whatever was in it with the coffee. I guess they brought their own creamer or something.
So I figured that the man in the suit was rich, so he must be pretty smart, right? So I went over to his table and I sat down next to his girlfriend.
”What the hell are you doing?” he said. He glared at me, like the lights were too bright inside or his head hurt or something. His girlfriend smelled like the body I found in the woods last year. I wanted to poke her with a stick, too, but there weren’t any around.
”You’re smart, right?” I asked the man.
”I’m too smart for this shit,” he said. He put out his hands and pushed me, and I almost fell out of the booth. But I grabbed on to his girlfriend. She was too heavy to move, so he stopped shoving.
”I need your help, then,” I said. ”I left my mind in Rebecca’s apartment, and she won’t give it back. What should I do?”
His girlfriend laughed, but the man slapped her. Then she just rubbed her face where it got red and kept quiet. The man unbuttoned the top button on his shirt and glared at me again. ”You left your brain in some broad’s apartment?”
”No, you idiot,” I explained. ”If I lost my brain I’d be dead. I left my mind in her apartment. The part of me that thinks. And I can’t think about anything until I get it back.”
”I ain’t never seen a mind. How do you know it’s there?”
”Because that’s the last place I remember using it. I was looking at the back of Rebecca’s head, and she was pretending like she couldn’t see me. So I started thinking really hard, telling her to turn around. But then Naomi showed up and she started talking to her instead of me.”
”Oh, I see,” the man said. He ordered another cup of coffee for him and his girlfriend, and they put their creamer in the coffee. His girlfriend’s phone rang, and she looked at it to see who was calling.
”I have to go soon, to see another John,” she said to the man. ”You only have ten minutes left.”
The man just slapped her again. I guess he didn’t like her talking about her other boyfriends. He turned to me and said, ”I think I understand your story, but it don’t make any damn sense. If you can’t think without your mind, how are you thinking right now? You’re thinking about that broad, ain’t you?”
He was right! I was thinking. But the strange thing was, I was only thinking about Rebecca and her apartment. I couldn’t think about anything else, no matter how hard I tried. I even looked at the man’s girlfriend, and I couldn’t think about her. ”I know what’s happening,” I said. ”I thought I forgot my mind at her apartment, but I didn’t. Rebecca took it, and now she’s using it.”
”Well, if you want it back,” the man said, ”you’d better go have a little talk with her.”
I left the donut and coffee place and went back to Rebecca’s building. I knew she probably wouldn’t let me inside, and anyway I had forgotten her apartment number again. So I decided to wait for her to come outside and go to work. I found her car in the lot. It was unlocked, so I crawled in the backseat and curled into a ball. I tried to go to sleep, but I think I had too much coffee so I couldn’t. I closed my eyes anyway.
I could still see things, even though my eyes were closed. I saw a man in an ice cream truck. He drove down the street and hit this little, brown dog. Then I saw the dog lying in the street, its guts spilling out on the pavement. Then the children came outside, but instead of getting ice cream, they stared picking up the bits and pieces of dog.
I always see things like that when my eyes are closed. I think I drink too much coffee.
I was in the back seat for a long time. I couldn’t tell how long, because I couldn’t read my watch. But finally it started getting light again outside, and I knew Rebecca was coming out to her car.
Later, the car door opened and Rebecca got inside. She turned on the car and pulled out to the road. I tried to say something to her, to let her know I was there, but I couldn’t. My mind was missing. After that, Rebecca pulled onto the highway. I sat up and tried to speak again, but it didn’t work, so instead I grabbed her neck and I squeezed as hard as I could. She grabbed my hands and tried to pull them away, which I thought was stupid because she couldn’t do that and drive at the same time.
The car went off the road and into a ditch. Rebecca’s head banged against the dashboard. I climbed out of the car and opened the front door to ask Rebecca if she was OK, but she wouldn’t answer.
I pulled back her head and looked at the dashboard. The dashboard was covered in her blood. There was a piece of her skull stuck to the dashboard, with little bits of skin and hair on it. I looked at her head, and I could see the hole where the piece of skull used to be. I poked my finger in the hole, and when I pulled it back, there was some gray, sticky stuff on it.
”Ah, there it is,” I said. ”It’s always in the last place you look.”Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Kioku knew from the start that it was a mistake to let her dog run loose in the park, because she knew it was only a matter of time before he’d get himself lost in the thick northern forest. And sure enough, he did, and she lost a battle with her conscience to go after him. He was a stupid dog, sure, but he was her stupid dog.
It wasn’t really all that dark yet, but as she delved deeper into the woods, she found less and less sunlight that broke through the canopy. Guess I’ve never been this far before…she thought. She called out a few times, but she got no response, and heard no stirring of steps- dog or human.
“I bet that damn mutt already went back home…and here I am, wasting my time…in a pitch black fucking forest!” She screamed into the darkness, not expecting a reply. But she got one…
“It’s not so bad once your eyes adjust…” A smooth and sinister voice slid into her from behind, and she felt herself jump and her heart nearly stop. She whipped around to see who had spooked her, but she found herself facing someone who did not appear entirely…human. However, as dark as it was, she had some difficulty seeing his entirety.
“Nothing to say?” He asked, stepping closer, his foxfire eyes staring straight into her. She tried to speak, but she couldn’t. She tried to run, but her legs wouldn’t budge. As he came closer into view, she began to see him better. Choppy black hair fell slickly past his neck, and his skin was porcelain fine. His eyes were as dark as the night around them, and his dark coat only hid him better. Finally, she swallowed hard and managed to form her startled thoughts into words.
“Who the hell are you?”
He gave an empty, mirthless laugh. “Like that’s not the most obvious question to ask.”
He showed her an incredibly seductive smirk, showing his fangs glisten in what little light there was. She felt her chest tighten with a strange feeling…
“If it’s so obvious…why don’t you answer it?” Kioku slowly felt her courage come back to her and refill her senses. He laughed again.
“My name is Jouyoku…” His gaze dropped down to look over her hungrily, then looked back up to stare into her eyes. “And you are?”
“Kioku,” she replied simply.
“Kioku? It’s a beautiful name…” he purred, still creeping closer to her.
Then, the feeling slowly flooded back into her legs and she felt herself move back as he moved forward. In a flash, she turned to run, but Jouyoku’s senses were far underestimated. He lashed out and snatched her arm, then pulled her in and pressed her against the nearest tree. She gave a slight gasp as she lost her breath for a moment, and then quickly realized that trying to run was a big, big mistake.
He released her arm and leaned in closer, pressing his body against hers, pinning her to the gigantic trunk behind her. His expression was brutally intent as a terrifying hunger danced in his eyes.
“Does fear excite you?” His voice worked like velvet, but left the sting of a bullet.
Kioku swallowed again and tried to reply. “What kind of a question is that?”
He laughed a silent laugh again. “It’s a very simple question…”
He looked down at her body and lifted his hand, placing the tips of his delicate fingers against the warm flesh of her neck, then trailed them down over her shoulders…onto her chest…across her belly…over her skirt…and finally stopped at the hem of her skirt. He left his hand there and instead looked up at Kioku, a mildly terrifying smirk slid across his face.
“…and I think it does.” She felt her heart thump fiercely, and her breath grew ragged, fearfully anticipating his next move.
He pressed himself against her even more, leaning in close to brush his lips across her neck just barely, sending a shudder down her spine and an eruption of goosebumps across her skin as he spoke.
“I want you…” He pressed his mouth to her neck, kissing her forcefully. She couldn’t stop a moan of unexpected pleasure escape her lips, and soon she gave in to his seduction, tilting her head up slightly and offering him the rest of her neck, not even thinking. As she felt Jouyoku’s fangs gently nibble at the soft flesh beneath her ear, she also felt his hand begin to slide up her thigh. The tips of his fingers teased the sensitive skin of her inner thigh and a strangled whimper slipped from her throat. He pulled himself back a little to give a small laugh.
“You’re awfully warm…” He purred, his hands slowly sliding her panties down over her thighs, letting them drop. She shoved them out of the way, and as she moved, his hands kept her thighs apart and one slipped away and slid higher up her leg, stroking her heated womanhood.
“…And awfully wet…”
Another dizzied moan escaped her lips, unable to say anything, and unable to stop him. And quite honestly…she wasn’t completely sure she wanted to. His lips returned to her neck and shoulders, caressing her skin with passionate kisses and gentle bites.
Suddenly, she felt his fingers slide into her and she gasped as his fingers worked themselves slowly within her, and his thumb stroked her clit. She closed her eyes again, letting her head fall back and rest against the tree. Her heart pounded even harder as his fingers worked faster and faster.
“Oh God…” She moaned. Becoming more excited himself, he slowed his fingers and carefully withdrew them, still massaging her sensitive clit. Overwhelmed with lust and an insatiable carnal hunger, he finally removed his hand completely, and instead used it to unbuckle his pants and slide them out of the way just enough to unsheathe his own massive length.
Moving both his hands back under her skirt, he pushed her thighs apart and positioned himself directly above her slick opening. Her chest grew tight in anticipation, fearing the intense pain that would soon take place within her. She whimpered in fear and wanting, and he pulled back to face her slightly. His expression was besieged with carnal desire, and nothing could stop him. Leaning in, he gently pressed his lips to hers and sucked on her lower lip. Covering her mouth with his own and taking her screams into his, he thrust into her. Her entire body tensed up, feeling his shaft fill her, she wanted to cry out, but couldn’t. He groaned into her mouth, feeling intense pleasure surround him. Her back arched against the tree and his hands slid around her waist, pulling her body as close as possible, and entering her as deeply as possible.
His thrusts grew stronger and faster, bringing both of them closer and closer to release. His lips finally left hers and returned to her neck, his tongue darting out to taste her and make her moan. Unable to take it anymore, he felt his bloodlust grow as strong as any other lust his body couldn’t control. As he held her close to him, he moved within her, his length sliding against her tight walls. In an explosion of the most intense pleasure either of them had ever felt, she contracted around him and he groaned again before finally plunging his fangs deep into her throat.
She cried out in a deadly mix of pleasure and pain, succumbing to him completely. His fangs piercing her soft flesh, he drank her deeply, every one of his senses maxed out. Her body slumped against the tree, hardly able to stand. He withdrew his fangs, and slowly withdrew his manhood from the depths of her sweetness. Her eyes were closed and her mouth slightly open, panting for breath. Jouyoku redressed himself and didn’t even bother giving her panties back. Finally she opened her eyes again and looked at him, her body still clutched in his arms, held tightly to his chest. His foxfire eyes danced with something strange that looked deep into her soul, as he lifted her and a weak gasp escaped her once again. He looked down and smirked at her, then whisked her off into the darkness, away to a world she would soon be intimately acquainted with…
Then the bark of a dog broke the silence.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )