My #WedPeeks post for this week is chapter eighteen of Desiderium, and the end of our journey together. I hope you enjoyed the story!
*Warning: There is violence, sex, and a lot of profanity in these pages.
~ EIGHTEEN ~
Death and Demons
I slept late into the following day. With the curtains drawn it was hard to tell night from day, but when my eyes finally opened a thin crack of brilliant sunshine solved the mystery straight away.
I had a big breakfast—it might be my last, after all—and then I sat down to read. I had eleven hours before the ritual would begin, and about nine hours before I had to start making preparations.
I read some of my favorite book, Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins. I was nervous, though, and couldn’t focus. I flipped on the TV and wasted time watching the SyFy channel, and then Animal Cops Houston. As the sun started setting I fixed myself dinner and watched a marathon of Say Yes to The Dress. Odd, I know, but it was Sophie’s favorite reality TV show and it made me think of her. I wanted to think of her. I wanted her close to me, in the forefront of my mind. I wanted to marry her one day, link our lives together, and see her wearing one of these dresses she so loved. I got up and grabbed one of the pictures off the wall and set it in my lap as I watched the smiling, happily teary women announce “this is the one!” time after time, and fantasized it was Sophie saying it every time.
When it was time, I redid the ritual sweeping and smudging. Not necessary, but I figured it couldn’t hurt. I set a white candle in each of the four corners of the room, and set a black one in the center. I set a mirror face-down next to the black candle and the red satchel on the other side of the black candle. I flipped on my iPod, flooding the room with soft romantic music, and lit the lotus incense. I popped the porn flick I’d ordered off the Internet into the Blu-ray and let it play.
I went into the spare room and double-checked the closet there. It was lined floor to ceiling in mirrors, and all was still there as it had been the last 500 times I’d checked it.
With everything physically in place, I stripped down and hit the bath. I had a long, scalding-hot soak. I let the heat sink into me, relaxing my muscles, and the scent of the purification oil carried my mind away. I focused on building my internal strength and banishing all thoughts of negativity. And then I focused on sex.
Annabel Lee is a succubus. A being that lives on the life force of humans, which they get at through the act of sex. To evoke such an entity requires an intense focus on passion and arousal. The stronger the desire, the more compelled they will be to come. For dinner.
Annabel knew me. She knew how I tasted and how I had filled her. The woman at the occult shop had told me that most often a succubus went after a man only one time. She’d appear one night, have passionate sex, and then she’d be on to another victim the next night. Rarely did they victimize the same man more than once, and it was almost unheard of for them to return again and again until, finally, they had killed him.
Her repeat visits to Blake and then to myself indicated we had a taste she found particularly appealing. She was convinced that given this fact, I would be able to compel her to visit me. I believe she is right. I’m less sure that I’ll be able to resist her when she does come.
I focused on Sophie, on our lovemaking. I immersed myself in the memory of our first kiss, our first touch, the feel of her body pressed against mine, and our first time together. I thought of all our times together in great detail. I put myself there physically, and imagined it was happening right now, right here.
When I was fully aroused, I stepped out of the tub and into the living room. I turned up the porno and turned down the music. I set every picture I had of Sophie between the white candles in each corner of the room. Then I lit each white candle in turn, invoking the elements for their aid and protection as I lit them. I sat down in the middle of that square and with my fingernail I carved a rough penis shape into the black candle with an open chalice around it, framing it. I lit the black candle and pushed it just to the end of my arms’ reach. I set Blake’s sharpened humerus under my naked ass, placed the large amber phallus up against my own, and then traced out a circle around me in amber.
I watched the porno for a while; it turned me on, but not like imagining Sophie did. I returned to my fantasies of our time together, imagined her taste, her feel. I put my hand onto the amber phallus and stroked it as if I were stroking myself. I imagined Sophie’s hand in my hand’s place. My desire was reaching a fever pitch. I craved release. But no sign of Annabel.
I let my desire spread out in a pool around me, circle around the pieces of amber in my protective circle and fill the entire square of my living room. Annabel, I thought, come to me. I imagined the velvety black of my passion filling the entire room around me, creeping up the walls, and fingering out into the city streets around me. I imagined a tendril snaking its way into her apartment, inviting. “Annabel,” I murmured, this time out loud.
I imagined her the way she was when I first saw her. What I remember of our first encounter. I imagined her materializing in front of me now, tasting my desire and gorging on it, wanting more. I visualized her as she had been that first night in the alley, her breasts pressing against the thin fabric of her shirt and her skirt pooling into the V where her legs came together. I visualized her standing before me now, same shirt, same skirt, and imagined the scent of her, the sound of her voice.
The sound, as always, was enough to push me over the edge. Enough to make me throw all caution to the wind and leap. Leap without consideration of cost.
I heard a faint whisper, and realized with a shock that it had come from outside of my own head. It was real. She’d come.
I opened my eyes and saw a smoky blur, a vaguely woman-shaped entity, materializing in the air in front of me. I could feel hunger emanating from that cloud, bottomless, limitless, devouring. The depth of it terrified me, and I wondered that I had never felt it before. But then I had never been in a protective circle before, with powerful elementals at my back and positive energies limiting her control.
Even so, I was as overwhelmed by her scent as ever. I reached out to her and saw her smoky form take a firmer shape. I strained to see her, naked, before me, and take her as we’d taken one another so many times before. I felt the waves of desire wash over me, threatening the carful dams I had built. I felt myself slipping away and thought these would be the last minutes of my life.
I am dying, now. I see the abyss of death and I am standing with one foot in it. If I had one moment left to live, what would I do with it?
My vision cleared just enough for my eyes to focus on one of the pictures of Sophie at the side of the room. “Sophie!” I yelled. And then I reached out and yanked Annabel with every ounce of strength in my body into my circle. Her suddenly solid eyes widened in shock and her mouth opened in surprise, before she had time for anything more I shoved with the same force into the mirror beside the black candle. The mirror that was now shiny-side up.
Her face transformed remarkably fast. The sickly glow leaped into her eyes and her heavily toothed maw expanded as she lunged for me. Her clawed hands came at me from within the mirror, came out of the mirror. With a shout I threw it from me onto the red satchel. I could hear her screeching in fury as I jumped to my feet and frantically worked to wrap the mirror in the satchel. She could not come out entirely from it, but she clawed and screeched and wave after wave of sickly sweet pheromone wafted from the liquid surface of the mirror, threatening to overwhelm my conscious thought.
“Sophie, Sophie, Sophie!” I shouted over and over as I wrestled the mirror into the bag and then collapsed, sweat pouring off my brow and shaking in terror as I tied the top of the bag closed.
“Jesus Christ,” I panted. “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Shit, shit.”
I leaned to the side and threw up what was left of my dinner. I closed my eyes and rested my forehead on the carpet in front of me. I took several deep breaths, focusing on the scent of sage that still lingered in the air around me. Almost done. Almost.
I pinched out the black candle. I knelt back in the circle of amber and lifted Blake’s humerus in my hand. I pulled the red satchel back close to where I knelt and watched in horror at the shapes moving inside of the bag. Thank the powers in this circle that horrible screeching sound was no longer audible.
I knelt like that for quite some time, trying to calm the beating of my heart, and trying to muster the courage for the next and final step.
I looked up in shock at the alien noise. A few minutes later it came again—knocking at the door, and a panicked voice yelling, “Terryn! Terryn! It’s Sophie. What the fuck is going on in there? I need to talk to you but…what the fuck, Terryn!”
The movement in the bag stopped abruptly and I could feel Annabel considering this new development. A sick smell came to my nose and I lost myself in images of animalistic and frantic fucking once more. “No, goddammit!” I yelled, and drove the pointy end of Blake’s humerus straight into the center of the mirror, straight into Annabel’s demonic face.
An ungodly scream tore through the house—ethereal, unattached, horrible, and erotic simultaneously. The mirror exploded into a million pieces, the bag it had been in was ripped to shreds and mirror glass cut and sliced its way to every corner of the room, impaling itself into drywall and flesh alike. I was thrown by the force of the explosion, the white protective candles at the four corners snuffed instantly, and with it their protection. The screaming continued, echoing back and forth across the room for several seconds more, and then blessed silence.
I felt numb and lay still until the cops kicked in the front door of my house and came running in with their guns drawn. I could hear Sophie outside yelling my name over and over and threatening whatever officer was trying to hold her back. I felt bad for that guy.
I didn’t care that they had busted down my front door. I didn’t care that they would likely find Blake’s bone, too, and associate me with the grave robbery from the night before. In fact I laughed in exhausted relief at the confused and shocked look on their faces when they came into the remains of the room and saw me naked and bleeding all over the floor. I didn’t care about any of that. Whatever happened now, I was free. Blake was free.
I swear I felt him there in that moment. A whisper that traveled into the room, through me, and back out into the ether. A sense of gratitude. And forgiveness. And apology, for being the one that brought that thing into our lives. There and gone.
They finally let Sophie in and when she came she didn’t even see the damage in the room around me. She saw only me. She knelt in the remains of the mirror glass, knees cut and bleeding, and kissed my bloody face.
Exhaustion was making my limbs and body heavy, and my flayed eyelids were falling toward closed. I forced them open and looked into her beautiful eyes.
“Sophie,” I croaked, “will you marry me?”
For a complete listing of chapters use the Desiderium category, or click below.
Ch1, Ch2, Ch3, Ch4, Ch5, Ch6, Ch7, Ch8, Ch9, Ch10, Ch11, Ch12, Ch13, Ch14, Ch15, Ch16, Ch17