Category Archives: Fiction

This Sundered World – More than music! Get the whole story

This Sundered World – Get the whole story.

Icarus Machine – the band
This Sundered World – The Album – iTunes
The book.

The Icarus Machine vision is based on the interaction between fiction and music. And as a lyricist and author as well as vocalist, this is such a fascinating concept for me. This album was written alongside the story that is now the companion novel with the same name. Each song on the album has its origin in some part of the story of Gabriel and his companions making their way through “The Sundered World”. The story is available at Amazon. This doesn’t mean that the album can’t be enjoyed without knowing what is inside the head of Bird (As the crow flies), who the fat lady really is (Indestructible), or who the spirit is that haunts Gabriel (Salt From Tears). And it doesn’t mean that the story can’t be enjoyed without the hard driving guitars in Clockwork Guardians, or the crazy bass and angst of Majesty of Waste, or the amazing drum work in Failing Son. But if you are a reader and you found yourself on the Icarus Machine pages, I can recommend experiencing both.
If you are a member of Kindle Unlimited you can already read this book as part of your subscription. For the rest of you, “This Sundered World – A Mother’s Heart” can be yours for less than a semi-fancy cup of coffee. And even if you’re not a reader, get it for a friend and support Icarus Machine while you’re at it.
As Lady Morette once said:

“”I’ll expect a gentleman such as your good self dear Gabriel, could deal with the matter as soon as may be appropriate?” She raised her one eyebrow and waited for Gabriel to nod his agreement.

“Ah. Um. Certainly my Lady.” He said without having a single idea regarding how he would accommodate the lady’s wishes anymore than he knew how to bring a dismembered rock-spindel to life.

“Oh, don’t be daft Boy. I’m no Lady. Mistress Morette will do.” She waved a hand and stepped past Gabriel and Jesse. Without looking back she crossed the little rail with its resilient little automaton guardian and reached the road before Gabriel had even collected his thoughts. Jesse grinned at him and followed the lady who stopped at the side of the road, looking both directions before, without hesitation, turning left and south. Jesse whistled as she passed the drones and Bird came from nowhere and walked beside her as they followed the lady south. Gabriel had sighed and scratched his head. Muttering. “Bath? Okay. Certainly there will be a bath around here somewhere.”

Jenny K Brennan
Jenny Brennan’s Amazon author page.

Icarus Machine – Sundered Records 2016

A Mother’s heart – This Sundered World – The first chapter.

Excerpt from This Sundered World

Chapter 1 – A mother’s heart

“Don’t forget, don’t forget! The heart, the heart. Ticking clicking whirring. Oh poor me, have to see. See this. Don’t forget, don’t forget.”

Bird

“Oh no you don’t. I can’t. Shit, spit god fuck. Shit you don’t do this to me. Oh no, not to Gabriel. Not fucking fair… not fair. Not fair.” The rant exhausted itself in a moan and a sudden hiccup. The outburst of frustration and fear morphed into wordless mumbling. The sounds didn’t even seem his own anymore. Gabriel kept making sounds to stop thoughts about what he was doing from crushing him. Because Gabriel had no fucking clue. He didn’t know. He had never known. So he kept sputtering garbage because it might, on some level, help. Gabriel’s fingers worked quickly but clearly at random where they had never been meant to be working. They prodded and poked at the intricate machinery. Turning one small knob, flipping one switch, prodding desperately at the bundles of wires and pipes grafted into flesh.
He stared intently into the clockwork and willed it to keep going. Each desperate searching touch seared his fingertips as the overheating little engine spewed intermittent bursts of steam. Each leak decreased the pressure in the tiny engine he was trying to get going again. He had to get it right and do it before it failed. It had to be repaired while still running as it would never be restarted. That was the only thought in Gabriel’s head as he scanned the incomprehensible clockwork that was his mothers failing heart.

A ragged cough stilled his fingers and he looked up at his mothers face. Her pale lips were turning a shade of blue that Gabriel had never seen before. He stared at his mothers trembling mouth while avoiding her eyes. A dry tongue prodded outwards from between perfectly manufactured teeth fronting the darkness of her mouth. It waggled weakly in a futile attempt to moisten dry and cracked lips. He stared as another cough racked all of her and a dribble of dark blood joined the already gore spattered chin and neck. Too much pressure will do that to a person, he thought numbly. Failing fucking machines will do that.

The woman on the table drew in breath and smiled weakly. “Mind your words, Son.” Her voice was barely loud enough to make out over the hissing steam and gurgling from her chest. It was no more than whispers of leaves, crackling and buzzing of insects dying. Not the intense fight for survival but the feeble twitching lingering remnant of the same. Accompanied by irregular clicks and incorrectly modulated functions, her words rested in the air between them for a moment before they registered as actual words. The meaning became clear several long moments after that. She slowly shook her head and laughed a rasping huff, wobbled a frail shuddering chuckle, “Gabriel, you idiot. Get your hands off my tits.”

Gabriel blinked in confusion at the unfamiliar words but did look at his hands. And true enough, one of his hands had slid out of the cavity in his mother’s chest and rested on one of her withered sagging breasts. A desperate sound emerged from his chest. It might have been a laugh. It might have been a cry. It was both. How could he feel embarrassed in a time like this? Mother was dying and Gabriel was trying to mend her breaking heart. However, long habit told him he should be feeling shame and so he did. Something that had built up inside him ever since he had found his mother in the state she was in now, wanted to burst out in the open. It felt hot and acidic in his chest, but moved about frail and thin in his mind. He closed his eyes and willed it to stop; that thing that he didn’t want to feel.

He mumbled, “Sorry Mother.” and pulled his hand away from the unseemly touch.
Mother raised her hand and placed it on top of his where it trembled against the blood spattered crumpled fabric that had been her dress. A splayed open corset and neatly unbuttoned shift completed her outfit. She breathed. For the time being she breathed. But he knew it would soon stop. She strained to speak but speak she did. “Don’t worry, silly one. I didn’t expect you to fix me. But you just ruined your vest. You can’t go out like that.” A disapproving wrinkle appeared and disappeared. “Your gloves. Did you lose your gloves again Gabriel?”

Gabriel jerked his head and stared into her eyes. Her hand was cool and sticky on top of his. It was so still. Calm where his trembled. He wanted to say something. That he didn’t understand. That of course he would. That of course he hadn’t lost his… what the hell? What did his gloves have to do with anything? He would mend her up just right. He could fix things. His face burned from the obvious lie even though it hadn’t actually been spoken.

“It can’t be fixed.” she appeared to regain a sliver of energy and she kept talking as her failing clockwork heart kept loosing power, “One too many bad parts got put in to that heart of mine.” She rested for a moment and in the silence her body produced one labored breath, and one heavy unsettling clunk from her chest. Just another part grinding to a halt. She ignored it and breathed again. “I taught you what you need to know. You idiot son of a true bastard. Dead River is not for you.”

Gabriel looked away uneasily at the face that came foggily to his mind. His father had been recycled for so long that the memory barely stirred anything in him anymore. The remade cripple had been Gabriel’s first, and last, lesson in Body work. He hadn’t known what that meant then and he didn’t know now. A machine like any others he had thought. Machines made things happen. Machines wheezed, sputtered, mumbled, transported heavy things from one place to another, worn down, ticked, gurgled, and broke. But what that machine had done with his father after Gabriel hoisted the limp stiff body into the hopper had been something Gabriel hadn’t known machines could do. The machine broke people. Broke them into parts. Some bits to reuse, other bits to process into fertilizer, and some bits to place in glass bowls to look at. He had never figured that one out.

Mother noticed the familiar bemusement and sighed. As much as her ruined apparatus could express exasperation, it did. Two surprisingly powerful fingers pinched Gabriel’s hand and he immediately jumped to attention. Mother was talking. “I wonder…. I wonder if I taught you the wrong thing. You know, stupid child that you are.” She paused as she contemplated words that she should have used a long time ago. She wondered if there was any meaning to telling this boy. This creature … This child. “Listen, you idiot. I know you can’t do shit. You are no repairman.” She drew shallow breaths and seemed to want to say more. So much more. But after some moments, she slowly shook her head and closed her eyes. Gabriel’s own natural heart skipped a beat but his mother was still breathing, just gathering strength.

Finally she said, “I have been remade, repaired adjusted, prodded on for the last time. You hear me? There is nothing you can do Son. Even if you had the…” She coughed up another glob of bits of her mixed with gelatinous slime and blood, grimacing at the taste of her own fluids. “Go.” She said, shaking her head as if that could banish the things she would have said if there was time. She turned her head away and the world seemed to fall in on itself as Gabriel realized he could no longer hear the hiss of breathing. There was a whistle of steam escaping but no human apparatus ever made that sound. Cooling pipes ticked. Cogs slowed, blood no longer had power to move. With just a whiff of air that barely moved vocal chords, Mother spoke so softly that Gabriel had to put his ear next to her mouth to make out what she said. In the stillness he heard it though.

“Go. Away from Dead River. Get out of Crawdin Lands. There is more out there. Outside. More…” Her body shuddered before she told him what she had kept from him for so long, “more people. Find them. I was afraid to see. I was… was wrong.”

The hand that rested on Gabriel’s twitched violently, turned into a grasping claw for a long second, and then grew still along with the rest of her body. Gabriel stared at the failed machinery, the failed body. He was hoping for just one more sound from her. Just a few more words to explain what he had just heard her say. But he was not that dim. He knew she was dead. She should go in the hopper. That’s what he should be doing; recycle her body and all the extra parts that were her. But if… The thought came slowly through resistant patterns of being. Patterns shattered by his mother’s last words. “More people.”

More people. Gabriel spoke the words out loud. Tentatively at first and then louder, “More people?” The air fell quiet and somehow suffocating around him. He felt suddenly calm. He was cold and calm, and to his own surprise not just a little bit angry even if he couldn’t quite point that anger at anything in particular. There was too much to rage at. But there was also so much to revel at. “Outside. More people. Find them.” He used the words as anchors to hold his inner world in check and away from grief.

Clarity came to the young man. It stepped in and stomped all over Gabriel’s mind with brutal knowledge that he couldn’t take in and understand in a hundred years and a million lessons from mother. There was too much. From the overwhelming influx of never thought before ideas and revelations, Gabriel distilled two distinct facts.

One: His mother had lied to him.
And two: His mother had lied to him. Those were two distinct facts. He knew they were. He refined it further:
Firstly: his mother had lied to him and that meant that she was not who he always had thought she was. Now that was bad enough but not that surprising as far as Gabriel’s view of the world went.

Secondly, mother had lied to him. Meaning that they had not at all been alone as she had said. There were others. What others? Had she known them? Who? Where? Why?

Gabriel pulled his hand away from Mothers body and turned from it. He stood motionless and simply listened without hearing what he should have heard from the start. But what he didn’t hear didn’t matter at that moment; instead he was absorbed by another feeling that was so odd he had to grab hold of the edge of the steel table for stability. He felt the world speed up and expand away from him. He sensed his own place within it change. Gabriel shifted from the centre to the insignificant edge. From just the one part to one part of many. Then the world around him rushed back to settle in its new unknown configuration. Gabriel stared at some spot of nothing some place just ahead of him and finally shook his head and blinked furiously. After a moment of that, he started scraping gore and drying blood off his fingers, grimaced, and pulled his newly realized self back to the centre of the universe. He grew taller and the rest of the world came closer. All he had to do was to go get it. Go. Mother had said “Go.”

Go where?

Authors note

“This Sundered world has no release date. It is being written along side the prog metal album with the same name.

Please add your thoughts.
🙂

JennyK

The words telling the events in this wholly fictional story were conjured and transmitted via fingertips, through computer keyboard, and subsequently into digital storage by Jenny K Brennan. All rights reserved.

Sky – A shortstory

Sky

A fantasy short story.

By Jenny K Brennan

Sky

“Hey cutie, you’ve been sniffing that beer for almost an hour now. What’s crawled up your ass?“ Without waiting for an answer, the woman put her frosty drink on the table and sat down on the seat opposite to the sad puppy. She used both hands to pull her hair out of her eyes and let the swell of platinum blond fall down her naked back. She loved that feeling. The soft touch that made her skin tingle and start a shiver down her back.
The puppy-eyed guy across the table was something new. Nice looking was an understatement, but she suspected that the perfect polish and high-class intended casual could get tiresome. Snob. A ‘my shit don’t stink’ guy.

But then again, maybe not. The sad eyes and faraway gaze was nothing if not intriguing. He seemed tired and just a bit wary of her. His eyes were some shade of green, reflecting the light in the bar in a way that made them shimmer with silver, in the next moment streaked in sunset cobalt clouds, wind-torn and fleeting, beautiful and knowing.

The young woman shivered and realized she had lost her smile, actually lost any sensations of the world around her wile losing herself in him. His shredded mysterious eyes, and whatever misery he was just barely hiding. Curious puppy watched her right back.

He frowned suddenly and started spinning the glass, around and around. He didn’t like beer. Why had he ordered a beer? To seem like everyone else. But if he didn’t drink and didn’t make noise, he would never blend in anyways. He let his eyes drop to the luke-warm brew and smiled. He knew it wasn’t much of one. Crooked, halfhearted, pained.

He looked up as if he had just thought of something and pushed the glass to the side. “Buy me something I can actually drink and I’m yours for the night.” He said and meant it. The more he watched this stranger the more his first impression faded. That hair was natural. That was something of a novelty. Interesting. A bright-eyed curiosity that was open and direct in the way she focused on him instead of her appearance. No fiddling with locks of hair or out of place garments. Not that she was wearing much.

She didn’t answer him and the blue eyes darkened slightly as she frowned. Clouds sweeping across the evening heaven, he thought and suddenly he knew. Recognition struck hard and fast but acceptance came just as quick. That was how it had always been for his kind.
And hers. He straightened up and cocked his head raising his eyebrows just a fraction. Her frown deepened just as the curiosity. Flared up into something he would have taken for frustration. And it was too. He let out a short laugh and shook his head slowly, wondering when she would know. The moment stretched as the air around them stilled.

“Sky, snap out of it.”

The blue eyes widened in shock and her mouth opened as if to speak but her remembrance and acceptance came just as quickly as his had. Sky’s world whirled, scattered, and rearranged around her in a flash. Once it settled in the way it had always been and should always be; she barely remembered who she had been for a brief time in human disguise. She shook her head no, but not in denial so much as protest. The hand holding the fizzy drink cramped and shattered the glass in the half second of dislocation of thoughts, memories, and realization.
“I am.” She whispered to the sparkling remains of the glass that lay in front of her in a puddle of drink. She ignored the little rivers probing their way across the Formica for an edge, a crevice, a lower level to settle in. She tore her eyes away from the mess and looked up. Reproachful or relieved to be so abruptly woken from a thousand year dream, she didn’t quite know. A thousand years? It hadn’t been that long surely? She looked at her former, future, forever, lover looking for answers.

He looked back at her. He smiled. And straightened up. His eyes didn’t just look streaked in kobold cloud, they were shredded led, streaked with silver and deep green. He opened his mouth, but said nothing. He looked at the mess of broken glass and alcohol slushy on the table and pointed at it, put a finger on a piece of glass and made it tip and Klink against another. He pulled his hand back and leaned forward and finally said. “You can put that to right, can’t you?” He let his gaze and finger indicate chards and liquid, making a sweeping, collecting motion with both hands as if putting everything in a pile. “I know you can.” he paused and grinned as everything came back to him too. He had been sure, just not certain. Certainty was not how it was in his existence. Certainty was what had led them to this point. Too much certainty, too many assumptions, not enough humility and old fashioned observation and responsibility. But that wasn’t important now. What mattered was that he had found her.
“I know you can, because I showed you how.”

#
They had been on top of the world once. Masters and mistresses of heaven and earth. Dictators of all elements. Sky, Steel, Wave, and Flame. They held the balance of all things and let things become what they would, by pondering possibilities. Then they played with the creations their curiosity made possible; much good came out of fortunate chance, evolution, as well as the natural selection and survival of the fittest made some things better, and some things inevitably inferior. Quality control was never on the agenda.
There was nothing inherently bad about their play with life. All things made could be unmade, they said to each other when abominations surfaced. But nothing was ever made undone, as the process held too much of interest to the four. In the end, one can argue that a harder line would have been more appropriate, but once over a billion of the most flawed creatures chance had ever created lived and breathed, it was too late to rethink their slipshod attitudes. They grew tired of the play, bored by creations that started to grow stale and close-minded; they started creating tales of their own, and all of a sudden the charm of thinking civilizations faded and was replaced with despair over the growing aggression, the frequent territorial disputes, the stubbornness to se beyond self fulfilling prophesies written by mad men.

The four broke apart and scattered across the earth, to ponder, to analyze, to hide from the monster that had evolved from their innocent games and wishes. With time, they all forgot to ponder as the shame grew powerful, and despair did not suit the four. They saw the simplicity of ignorance and wanted the bliss it could give.

So they forgot.

#

Sky looked into Steel’s eyes. She remembered, as if she had never forgotten. Her voice never touched her vocal cords when she spoke to him. “I could. Why should I?” She made a sweep with her hand over the glass and one brow rose. “Why don’t you? I am not as good with stone as you. Why don’t you do it? If you think I should.”

Steel sat back, watching her, still smiling but there was a shadow of apprehension behind his eyes. He put one hand on the table without moving his body any closer, and touched a chard with the tip of a finger. He stared at it, tensed into perfect stillness as his eyes shifted and clouded over in steel gray, copper, deep fertile brown… then he relaxed and pulled back, dropped a trembling hand in his lap. His eyes turned to dull amber and he shrugged and sighed. “You are right. We cannot mend this world, why mend a piece of imperfect glass.”

Sky fixed Steel with a chilling penetrating stare for a moment, mirroring his posture with both hands in her lap. Then the sculptured features softened and she smiled. The ice between them melted and gave life to soil long thought barren. Seeds dried and forgotten started to stir in hidden depths. It wouldn’t take long for them to sprout, to rush into eager growth, bloom, and fruit.

Sky thought, with a moist glint in her clear blue eyes, why not? She caught Steel’s eyes and she saw the same thought, heard the same words echo from within him. Why not?

“We are still young.” She whispered.

“We can try again. Steel replied, holding a hand for her to take.

“Wave and flame will want what we want. They are on their way already. Sky looked up in the heaven she couldn’t see but sense through the corrupted metal and wood, through pollution and the interfering signals crowding the air. “Yes, they are coming.” She squeezed his hand and let out a long pent up breath of frustration and disappointment.

Steel looked into Sky’s hopes and wishes taking form. For one moment that would become forever if they wanted it, he saw a world made again, creatures living with one another, working in harmony, not in constant pursuit of territory. A world swept clean of toxins and second rate sentience. Steel smiled, leaned over the table and kissed the mistress of the sky, sat back to wait for their brother and sister. He took a long lingering look at the shabby bar, its imperfect glass, its sample of flawed humanity. And he knew. Nobody would miss Earth. They could make up a new name, something with a nice ring to it. Undo. Reset. Start over.

Steel smiled and he let the excitement sparkle through his words. “We can do better.”

Thanks for reading. Now, don’t miss other works on Studio Chaotic.


 

Bitchfight Part 3 of 3

Bitchfight

By Jenny K Brennan
Part 3 of 3
Part 2.

Includes violence and a shitload of bad words. Be warned.

Part 3

The ring was thick, hard, and would not open. It pulled at the skin around the scarred knot and tore through flesh and Kris howled , by instinct pulling away and off Denny, and that’s when the ring opened and ripped free in a gush of fresh blood. Forgetting the weapon, Kris rushed to her feet, turned and kicked. Denny rolled away but Kris followed, kicking without aim, at her back, head, anywhere. She had one hand clutched at her bleeding stomach and was unable to aim so she turned and staggered a few steps, stopped several meters from Denny, ragged stuttering breathing slowed, turned shallow and regular, almost inaudible, as she took back a bit of control over muscles and purpose.

She turned, raised the trembling gun and pulled the trigger.

Denny rolled away from the viscious but ineffectual kicks and the ground fell away from beneath her . She scrambled and twisted, stopped falling. Hainging over the edge of the platform with both legs and the lower diagonal of her ass, she stayed for only a second. Glaring adverts looked down at her sprawling agony with bright smiles and suggestive promises. “promotional text for life insurance here.”
. body burned. She couldn’t move. The agony was exquisite, so sharp her stomach turned. Even her shallow breathing spiked the pain for each inhale. She forced herself to lie still, but she knew she had to move. Sounds of steps moved away from her, but not far. They stopped. Other steps moved in another direction, hurried, shuffling. She looked towards the sound. She caught a blurry glimpse of a cowering shape as it moved out of sight up the stairs. The old drunk had made his escape in the momentary stillness. She closed her eyes. Thanks for the fucking help asshole. The thought was bitter, the light too sharp to be stopped by her eyelids, the tile cold and hard, slick with patches of blood. She squeezed her eyes hard but opened them wide as the danger hit her. Where was she?
She fought against a new assault of pain from her back. A wave of nausea burned its way through her body and she broke out in cold sweat.

She had to move. But everything was quiet, or drowned out by hissing air, her own pounding heart. She couldn’t hear her. Where the hell was she? The pain was fading though. Just a bit. She lay on her side and she could see the floor stretching out before her until it ended abruptly. The tracks. Where was the other track? She heard a sound, a step? A breath? A laugh? Denny didn’t think, she rolled away from the kick she knew with absolute certainty would come. It didn’t. The ground fell away from under her. She had rolled onto the very edge of the station platform and one leg was now hanging in mid air, pulling at the rest of her, twisting her back. The pain exploded anew as her spine turned and stretched. She scrambled and clawed at the floor in panic. She turned her upper body to get back on the platform, on the safe surface. It all happened in an instant and the surge of adrenalin and pure panic made her move. She got her leg away from the edge and rolled panting and groaning onto her stomach. Just as the momentum caused her head to drop down on the cold tile, something whistled in her ear and a sharp crack echoed in the large space. She felt a fresh stream of blood run down her face and she raised a hand to the wet warmth as she stared at the shattered tile just centimeters from her face. Her heart pounded as she pulled out a ceramic splinter from the soft flesh just below the right eye. She couldn’t move. Paralyzed, chocked. Not understanding.

“Get the fuck up bitch!”
Kris watched the pathetic creature, the stuck up bitch, pull something out of her face. The forehead had swollen up and most of the face was already smeared in blood. Now there was fresh red stuff oozing out of a brand new hole in that pretty cock-sucking face.
“Not so pretty anymore are you?” Kris spoke with a calm that was long practiced but as false as water. The gun was steady in her hand. It had a perfect grip, it was made for her. Anyone who refused to listen would listen when this baby spoke. Matt black polymer grip. The weight of the gun was perfect for her small hand. She moved the barrel sideways, slowly, along the entire length of Denny. Blue eyes followed the movement, back and forth. Staring silently. She didn’t move.
“That’s right Bitch. You didn’t know I had one did you?” Kris laughed.

She knew that gun. Through her own shallow breathing she could hear a keening sound, a hoarse whine. Someone shouted. Someone else spoke rapidly from some distance away. The voices mattered not. Not through the pitchy sound that seemed to flow out of the darkness of a barrel of a gun. The endless void that stared at her. Kris screamed and the blackness trembled somewhat before it steadied itself into its cold stare. It glared at her. A small black circle in the control of a…. a what? Kris sidestepped, waved the gun, and stepped back into position. The entire front of her shirt was drenched in blood. The baseball cap had fallen off at some point and was not in sight. Kris’s hair was cut short in the neck and sides, left unruly and messy on top and dyed deep purple and black. She was fit. One could see that now. Perhaps she wouldn’t have picked a fight if she had known this woman for what she had become. A fighter. A hateful pit-bull, with a gun. One smiled inwardly at her own stupidity.

Then she was still. Calm and cold. Nothing but a dog, a bitch. Someone who should be put down for her own good and everyone else’s safety.
She knew that gun. She remembered. The other woman wanted her to get up. She would get up. She spread her palms on the cold tile and pushed up. The dislocated disc in her lower back set every nerve on fire, broke every barrier of pain but she ignored it.
She struggled to her feet. Slowly, she got up on her knees, watching the maniacs one-eyed murderer that stared at her, held her in check. Her hand slipped in a puddle of fresh blood and she screamed from the pain. She realized then, that she had been screaming all along. That keening had been her. She bit off the scream and made it up on her feet, forced into a hunching posture as her back didn’t work. She took a steadying breath and stood up as straight as she could and moved her eyes from the gun to a set of blue eyes so like hers, so different from hers. So full of rage. So full of fear. Why was she afraid? She was the one with the gun after all. Denny felt something rise in her. As it rose, something else fell away. Decision. The end result. It was coming. She was coming. Finally. At long last, she found her voice. Calm although ragged.
“Kel-tek p36.” She kept her eyes on the face watching her, noticed the eyes widen in surprise. It showed only for a moment, but it was there, the fear. She knew that what she had never admitted would finally be told.
“Don’t you remember?” Suddenly she smiled. It was a grim sight where only few patches of pale skin remained visible in a mask of glistening and drying blood. Kris took an involuntary step back. . Denny stepped away from the edge— one step, another —towards the weapon and its mistress. The gun trembled again, the barrel lost its perfect aim but it was still point blank deadly.
“You showed it to me that night. Don’t you remember?” Another step, another retreat.

Kris didn’t realize she was backing up to start with. She was too numb. She heard the words. That bitch was talking about that night. That night. Which night? Daddy. She shook her head. No, it was all a lie. The cunt came closer. Too close. She jerked her arm forward and pulled the trigger. But she was shaking. That night. Daddy didn’t mean it. Fresh blood exploded out of a small hole in Ones left shoulder and she reeled back but didn’t stop. The bullet had only penetrated the soft flesh on the outer edge of the shoulder and had done little damage. One gasped and looked down at the ragged hole in her fancy sweater. But she didn’t fucking stop. Shouts were nearer now. Panicked, calming, desperate cursing.
“Call the fucking cops you asshole!” Shrill shouts, frightened whispers.
“There’s no fucking signal in here. Someone has to get someone. Don’t they have security here? Why isn’t anyone coming?”
“I’m not going past those fucking maniacs. Are you stupid? That’s a real fucking gun!” The voices faded in and out. Faded totally.

Denny took another step while tearing her eyes from her ruined sweater. She didn’t look at the gun now. She stared into Kris’s face and a look of mocking disbelief came over her. Her eyes widened and she raised one hand to point at her arm.
“You ruined my favorite sweater you bitch.” She pulled her upper lip back and showed her teeth.
“Now, why would you do that?” She tore her eyes from the other woman for a split second and closed her eyes. Just a blink. Just a moment when all became clear. And it was all so perfectly clear now. It had all been heading this way, moving relentlessly to this moment. Was always the way it would end and nothing could stop this. Not now.
She listened. Heard something. Everything was pain. But physical pain. Physical pain didn’t matter. The body didn’t matter. Perfection and appeal didn’t matter anymore. Perhaps it had never mattered, had only been a mask. She listened again. Yes, it was coming. She listened to Kris’s breathing. It was shallow, had an undertone of a moan, a whining, deep in her throat. The gun trembled.
“You said you would use that gun on your Daddy Kristina, don’t you remember? You would take it and use it for what he did to you.” Denny faltered for a second as Kris gasped and took yet another step back. One staggered, and it brought her closer. Closer to the gun that shook, steadied, exploded in a ringing echo among the screams of people watching in shock. Kris keening increased, louder, a pitiless whine totally out of her control, beyond stopping. A sound from deep within her chest, her body, her mind.

She didn’t stop. The cock-sucking liar kept coming.
“No!” She had missed again. What was wrong with her? What was wrong with her arm? She couldn’t keep it still. She uttered a groan of pain, of frustration, of memories biting its way out of cage after cage of suppressed shame and fear and unconditional love. Unstoppable realization. Forgetfulness shattered. Unaware of her own keening. Not realizing that she could have pulled the trigger many times over by now. But she couldn’t. Something was wrong with her hand.

Denny listened, stepped forward, calculated.
“But you never did anything to your daddy did you? You just let him fuck you didn’t you? And then you let him fuck me you fucking cunt. I thought you were a friend. You let your daddy do….” She had no more voice. She couldn’t talk as something broke inside. She choked off the last words. She closed her eyes for a moment as she calmed her breathing. There was nothing more to say. Nothing more to do. She was lost. They were lost. The rumbling of the coming train increased, grew louder. She listened, waited. She had nothing more to say.

Kris’s keening stopped was replaced with a deafening silence. Even the kids were quiet. One watched the eyes change. She knew what it meant. Cold control had taken charge once more. Back to denial, back to forgetting what couldn’t be forgotten. Yes. She was taking control again. There was not much time. She was getting ready. She had had enough. One kept her eyes on the eyes that narrowed, the mouth that suddenly grinned. She looked at her friend. The edge of the platform, the tracks. The gun stared at her, steady, moving upwards until it once more had a perfect aim. But the gun was pointing at her chest, not her head. One more step and she would have been able to reach out to touch the cold metal. But she didn’t take another step. She wouldn’t have to. She was close enough. Kris tightened her grip, tensed the finger, squeezed. Kel-tec, no double action trigger, there was no more time.

Denny threw herself at her former friend, her former alter ego, her childhood confidant, the betrayer. The traitor. The hate, the resentments stored for all this time. As she threw her body, the trigger made its initial catch, the click that meant imminent firing. Kris took another step back and squeezed, pulled, point blank. The momentum was too strong and although the bullet entered Denny’s chest, it passed through just below the collar bone and only managed to turn the approaching body sideways somewhat.

Then she was over her, arms wrapping themselves around her neck. Held her, pushed her backwards. She pulled the trigger. Denny’s stomach acted as sound suppressant and muffled the fatal shot. But they were already falling. The gun exploded again, killing what was already dead, but the momentum had already taken them both over the edge of the platform. They were falling. The gun fired one last time into Denny’s soft ruined flesh, dying flesh.

Denny’s dying gasps, the shots, Kris’s anguished scream of shocked realization, was all drowned out by the approaching train. In that endless second as they fell towards the tracks, everything was bottomless black grief. The final grief. Kris’s grief. The final moment. She hit the electrified track and her heart burned its last beat as she fried on the rails. The train bore down on them, Kris friends embracing one another for the last time. As the warning whistle roared and tons of steel bore down on them, they could no longer hear it.

Something new stood at the very edge of the platform, looking down on the sad remains on the tracks below, partly concealed by the silent train. Emergency medics, station staff and police officers surged around her, passed her, passed through her. They paid no attention to her. She was not really there. She was only the essence of the Kris recently dead below. Not quite there, not quite gone, but getting stronger. Her hands were loosely clasped in front of her. Shoulder length hair billowed slightly in a wind that was not there. She tilted her head to one side and smiled gently, dreamily shutting her eyes and sighed. It was a sigh as from a million ghosts. Ghosts of fluttering silken wings of memory where the edges had burned away. Dreams, wishes and released resentments. A collected gasp of absolute freedom sounded in the almost there. The place that was void but close, near but unreachable.

An ambulance driver, fed up with waiting in the vehicle and now standing at the bottom of the stairs smoking a cigarette, paused as he moved his nicotine stained fingers to his lips. He shuddered and looked around. He was searching for something he didn’t know existed, feeling it.

A medical doctor, kneeling next to the blackened torso and head of Kristina Andersson, felt his grip on the useless stethoscope weaken and it dropped back on his white clad chest. His breath caught for a moment and he looked around, searching for something that must have disturbed him.

Tad Peters, The teenager that was the only one in the group with a cell phone, a useless cell phone, jerked his head towards something, he didn’t know what. Something had caught his attention. There was something there. At the very edge of the platform. But there was nothing there. He had watched them fall. He had taken a step, a useless step and then he had turned around. He had held his phone, staring blankly at the signal indicator that suddenly went from no bars to Kris, then three. In a moment, the signal had reached full power.

. Something flowed through everyone present, although no one would know what had made their heart skip a beat, or what had caused the shiver, the sudden hesitation, a shudder through bones and earth. Then stillness.

For a few moments, as time held still in reverence, the essence of Denny and Kris came together in a blast of universal energy, fused, melded, and grew into something vaster than the individual parts had ever been.

Time started, remembered its duty. The she who simply was, now took a name; she would be name, so much more than her fragmented selves could have ever imagined, turned and started walking away, moved slowly over the tiled floor and started up the stairs. For each step she became more real. Each second she collected more flesh and blood. For each step she materialized, came together, atom by atom, cell by cell, she became clearer, more solid. At the bottom of the stairs she was only a strange refraction of the light for those who would have seen her. Half way up the stairs, a soft whisper of steps could have been detected if it had been quiet, and she would have been seen by keen eyes if they knew where to look. At the top of the stairs, she reached out to touch the railing and she felt the cold metal against her skin.

Someone did see her then. An old man, worn by a life of addiction, saw a ghostly shape solidifying, each moment becoming clearer. Faded watery eyes watched her colors sharpen for each breath and He raised a bottle to his mouth and drank greedily, getting some but far from all of the clear liquid down his throat. He blamed a life of alcohol for imagining flowing hair suddenly settle around the shoulders, taking on a shine and luster he suddenly and violently wished he could touch. He blamed the poison that was his life for imagining a ghost becoming real before him, skin losing translucency, clothing achieving texture, Shoes friction against floor suddenly creating real sound.

The woman turned her head as she passed him. She stopped and regarded him for a moment, meeting his eyes with hers. The serene look on her face made him stop breathing for a moment, overwhelmed by all that was lost, all that was broken, all that could still be fixed. Hope surged through him when she smiled and put her palm against the side of his face. A warm, living hand. A soft vibrant touch. She looked at him for a long moment, just keeping her hand motionless against his sagging skin, herself not moving, not hearing, or not caring, about the noises around the Kris. People hurried about, some descending the stairs to the place of recent death, some standing in shocked silence or murmured conversation.
She spoke then. Her voice was real, no ghost, no apparition. It was not much more than a whisper but he heard it clearly and he would never forget.

“It is never too late.”

Thank you for reading.

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Bitchfight Part 2 of 3

Bitchfight

By Jenny K Brennan

Part 2 of 3
Part 1.

Includes violence and a shitload of bad words. Be warned.

Part 2

She leaned forward and met the hateful glare without blinking, spoke in a velvety smooth parody of concerned curiosity: “Did you like it?”

The hand came from nowhere and hit Denny in the chest, shoving her back, staggering. Kris shoved again before Denny could even raise her hands and she was forced back further. When Denny glanced around, knowing the platform edge was near but not where, Kris lunged and snaked a hand around Denny’s neck, grabbed a handful of hair and ripped it to the side, twisting her head. She pressed her lips to Denny’s ear and said in a singsong snarl, Liar liar, pants on fire.”

Denny cursed herself and tried to take hold of the hand pulling her forward. The back of her neck burned in pain as hairs came loose. She twisted her body to ease the pull, but she was powerless to do anything but follow. Kris had a good grip and wouldn’t release it, just kept pulling her along, grunting. Denny went where the steel grip led her, gasping for air, clawing at the hand around her hair, staring with unseeing watery eyes at tiles, shuffling feet, and finally a cement wall and the bottom of a filthy steel door.

They had rounded the corner of the utility building and stood between it and the stairs to the world several meters away. Two sets of tracks flanked them with deadly functionality.
Useless things flickered in Denny’s mind, a thousand flashes of faded imagery reborn in Technicolor abstraction, innumerable memories, in a useless search for an end to this. All in an instant everything came to her. Everything was clear now in the midst of pain in the moment that was now. Before could never come again, shouldn’t come again. It was too late. She didn’t understand how it could have taken so long. Everything past suddenly flowed forth, a torrent of what had been and what must be converged in a hard icy knot of understanding. The time for flight was over. So was the hiding.

Kris shoved her, pulled up on the hair she wouldn’t let go of and pressed her sister’s face against the door, caught the flailing arm and pulled it up behind her back.

Denny gasped but choked the cry of pain, she wouldn’t scream, she wouldn’t give her the satisfaction… Kris breathed hot gusts of old pub fair and stale tobacco across Denny’s face, the suffocating smell of marijuana and beer made her gag, revolted despite the pain lancing up her arm.

“Think. You’re. Fucking. Clever?” The beer stench spoke into her ear, one hot breath for each word.

Denny tried to collect her thoughts and grind them into something that could help her. She cursed, silently, as there was no room in her chest for speech. Groaning, she forced herself to stay still; she had put herself there; she would have to get herself out. She clawed uselessly at the hand holding her hair but she was pinned.

Denny was fit but Kris was obsessive, possessed by the power trip of control and the endless need to make someone hurt hurt bad.

Kris suddenly pulled Denny back, jerked her sideways, and pushed. Denny didn’t see the concrete wall rush at her before it hit. The thick layer of paint covering the rough surface did little to protect her. If anything, the uneven application of paint made an excellent scrubber. It shredded the skin on her brow, peeled strips of it away as her face slid sideways. Kris jerked her back, let go of Denny’s arm, and put both hands on the head she wanted to crush, the wall flaunted Denny with a brand new shiny red stain just before it hit again. Kris pushed, grinding her sister into the blood smeared cement using her body to hold her in place. Denny’s arms were free but for how long? She clawed at the hands tangled in her hair with her free one, but there was no time. Kris pulled, jerked her out of balance again and shoved.

She wouldn’t stop. would never stop.

Denny couldn’t see through the blood running into one eye, the flashes of sickly light, and the pain that suddenly registered in her head and shoulder.

She took a small step back, away from the wall, while letting her head stay still in Kris’s grip. She let her knees fold beneath her. She bent her head forward, ignoring the pain in the back of her neck. Kris played along nicely; she followed the sudden movement with a move of her own, reaching the conclusion Denny wanted her to.

“The fuck you do!” Kris screamed in disappointed rage. She let go of the hair and reached to pull the faltering body up. She wouldn’t get away that easy, the bitch, the fucking bitch. She had it coming. This was it.
She grabbed the back of Denny’s sweater with both hands and straightened up, caught for just a moment by the sight of blood, her blood.

One moment was all Denny needed and she pushed herself up as hard as she could, threw her head back toward the growling, panting thing behind her. So fitting, the image that came to mind in that instant: Snarling and foaming, like a bitch with rabies. Time seemed stuck in that moment of explosive movement. She had her; she should learn to shut up. The back of Denny’s skull met Kris’s face with a sickening crunch. Pain shot through her head but it was nothing; the satisfying howl of surprise and pain was all that mattered, and Denny was part of the game now. Distant voices from excited but passive spectators broke through the sudden not quite silence.

Kris’s grip fell away and Denny didn’t know what to do. She hadn’t been thinking, just acted. She nearly smiled at the sudden pleasure of payback but reality snapped back; it wasn’t over yet. She turned and the world tilted, wavered, and resisted being focused before grudgingly deciding to make sense once more. Her head throbbed, legs felt weak, blood flowed into her eye. She rubbed it clean with a sleeve but didn’t touch the rest of her face. The world tilted and she fought the fog. Was she okay? She felt strange. As if her brain figured out something wasn’t right. La dee da., she told herself, don’t fucking fail. Think! She stared at a hunched over and dizzyingly duplicated Kris who had both hands on her face while pushing and pulling air through blood and wreckage.

Kris opened her eyes and stared at her, vibrating and shimmering in Denny’s vision.
She closed one eye. Better. But hell, it’s not fucking funny. She shook her head and almost gagged at the feel of warm trickling down her face and a suffocating coppery smell. She didn’t have time for this. Kris slowly uncoiled, taking her hands away from her face. Her eyes didn’t leave Denny’s. For the first time, since she had been dragged off the bench, Denny was afraid. She pushed at it and made it feel more like anger, something she could use. If she knew how.

Kris couldn’t quite grasp the new twist of things; un-fucking-believable!? Hurt her? Nobody did that to Kris, nobody! Kris watched Denny reel backwards, off balance, and she started to take her hands off her face. The pain was nothing. The bitch would pay for every drop of blood. Every single drop, every single lie, every accusation, every insult. She would pay. She started to straighten. The bitch had no more fight in her. She could tell. She was a chicken. A snotty little preppy slut. She wouldn’t.

Denny threw her body forward. Kris would be fast, but Denny was faster, was on Kris again, caught her in the chest with both palms and landed with all her weight on top, tried to dig a knee in to her stomach, but as it slid away from its suddenly moving target and cracked down on the tile, Kris’s elbow came up and slammed into her face. She rolled away and into airless ringing pain. She lay on her side, heard Kris scramble to her feet cursing under her breath, wondering what was broken in her face, it felt so wrong, like something had moved. A splash on a tile caught her limited awareness and she focused on the red splatter while waiting for the pain to dull, but it didn’t. Waited for the kick she knew would come, but it didn’t. So much blood everywhere— smeared, streaked, —already mixing with dirt, and seeping into humanity-stained grout between tiles; splattered on the shoe that stepped through the mess and stopped before her. She looked up, passed the green with many pockets, the hands opening and closing— so like hers, so different.

All was still. Denny finally looked at the face. What she saw scared her more than the threat of violence had. Emotional void; There was nothing in those eyes, no sign of pain, just cold resolve. Their eyes locked. Denny blinked to clear her eye from blood. All the red.

Maintaining her stare, Kris adjusted her shirt, pulled the sticky fabric away from the skin and held it there for a moment before letting it fall back into place. She grimaced.
Then she dived for Denny. Before the other woman could move, Kris dropped down on top an threw one leg over, straddling the thrashing body before it could roll away, pushed Denny’s shoulders down. She drew back and slapped her, hitting at the waving arms that tried to find something to grab. Kris groped at Denny’s throat, found what she wanted and ripped it loose.

Denny stopped moving and stared at the small pendant and broken chain hanging from Kris’s hand. Kris sneered at her. As if commanded by the dis-coloured links moving back and forth, as from a hypnotist’s gruesome pendant, Denny made to take it back from her sister. She always did that. Kris always took things and broke them. Kris pulled it away, collected the chain in her palm, and slammed it against Denny’s mouth, pushing and grinding the chain down between her lips, trying to force it into her mouth. Denny turned her head from side to side and grabbed Kris’s wrist, but Kris had all the advantages and used her hand as a vice. A hard thumb pressing against something already broken forced Denny’s mouth open.

“Eat your shit!” Kris singsonged, absorbed by the sight of Denny who gagged as the chain slipped down her throat. “Eat up and I’ll feed you more.”, she sang again as she leaned back to watch.

Denny coughed, swallowed convulsively, and resisted wretching. Gasping in pain and cold nausea, she attached her teary glare to Kris. The black cap was gone but absurdly, the IPod still hung at her waist, illuminating its array of endless options . The ear buds were gone. She caught a moving hand and she knew what Kris was after, and what it meant, before the words came to her. Kris started to grin as she opened the flap on her side pocket. “Don’t…” Denny groaned and jerked violently and groped for Kris who leaned back further, grinning wider. The movement exposed her belly; pale and hard, centered by a bellybutton drilled and hung with a puter-black ring. Denny tried to sit up and push, but had no strenghth and Kris started laughing, swatting away her feeble attempts. . Denny’s vision edged with darkness and she shook her head, igniting pain that cleared it for a second. Kris dug her hand into the side pocket, Denny groped and clawed, Kris pulled the gun out, Denny clawed and caught the puter ring and pushed a finger through it. Kris fumbled for a second before the safety clicked off and started turning the gun, Denny bent her finger around the ring, made a fist, and pulled.

Ouch? 🙂 I guess we’ll know in the third and final part.

Don’t miss other nasty stories and whacked posts at Studio Chaotic!


 

Bitchfight Part 1 of 3

Bitchfight

By Jenny K Brennan
Part 1 of 3

Includes violence and a shitload of bad words. Be warned.

Part 1

Denny waited and kept her head down. She listened and shrank in the sudden unease that made her skin crawl, thoughts roil, and fingers flutter uselessly when attempting to turn a page in the book she tried to read. There was nowhere she could go. She was trapped, caught in the open, unprepared. The only protection she knew was within. Feigning superiority, pulling that blanket of numbing arrogance over her and cower below its brittle protection.

Maybe she would go away, the woman approaching. Hope flared, faded. Because Denny couldn’t lie to herself. But she wouldn’t show weakness, because no one could ever be allowed to se the trembling echo of the her that could have been. Never.

Maybe she could run. Maybe she could avoid the confrontation. It would mean revealing her fear. By standing up, closing the book, and walk to the stairs that would take her out of the sub way platform, through the upper level, out into the night. She could catch another train. But she would have to use the stairs to go that route, and that’s where she was, on her way down.

Footsteps, a metallic hollow echo. Denny knew. She shouldn’t have known. They were just steps coming closer. But the vague recollection instantly turned to knowledge. She shouldn’t be surprised. It had always been that way. She should after all know herself.

Even after dying, the sound of boots on stone whispered of fear of its own echo. Kris stood at the bottom of the stairs, lingered for a moment, then stepped on to the tiles. A thin squeak as damp rubber scuffed glazed ceramics cut through the air, intrusive, sharp. There was something about those strides, and then the pause. Something Denny had always hated. A deliberate slowness, the way they seemed to have a goal, yet never hurried.

The lower level of the Stockholm central station kept its peace, chilly, reeking of indifferent infrastructure, rushed humanity in uneasy rest. Stairs descended and dipped down between two parallel train tracks which framed a mosaic tiled floor in grays browns and misty blues. They continued into darkness and destinations determined, scheduled, and mapped. Straight ahead, in the centre of the big floor, a square cube of painted concrete, a utility shack of today, took pride of place. A metal door, dotted with subway art halfheartedly scrubbed and scraped at by unenthusiastic cleaning crews, faced the stairs. A single bench, bolted to shack and floor, faced the south tracks.

A solitary woman and a homeless man, each in their own destitute universe, shared the bench in silence. Denny waited for the next ride home and the old man, seeking a moments haven away from the world above, would be escorted out soon enough, along with his bottle of forgetfulness. Further along the man made cave, a triad of teens stood mumbling, smoking, waiting for their own coach to come and bring them to wherever.

Denny kept her eyes on the tale of horror opened in her lap; but words became Senseless scribbles. What was fiction when existence was fear, gloom, and riddled with “what if”?

She listened, inwardly recoiling from the stride she knew so well.
A low rumble became audible, matured into racket as it approached. Denny trained her eyes on darkness turning bright, watched as the tunnel spewed out its metallic traveler. It wasn’t hers; the next ride to Haninge was still twenty minutes away. It never crossed her mind to get on the train and go somewhere other than there, anywhere. Maybe that was her train. She would get on it and…
The train slowed, stopped, opened all doors with a release of pressure and tension of springs and coughed up its load.

An old woman stepped out and stood still for a moment, adjusting a purse strap. A pinched face permanently etched with apprehension, tightened further in disdain when she noticed the old man, turned to fearful when the triad of young men broke out in laughter.

Denny assessed the gathering of kids for a moment and deemed them harmless. Loud didn’t mean dangerous. If you come across a silent person where thoughts are hidden, intent impossible to extract, then by all means beware. Those kids had a mouth, no brain, no harm. She dismissed them.

She turned to the plump old lady making her way along the platform as the train pulled away.

Annette Larsson glanced at the young woman and the sleeping bum as she passed, meeting Denny’s eyes for a split second before looking away, hurrying past. Click clock, scurrying heels sang, click clock, square hard surfaces replied.

Denny watched her as she approached the bottom of the stairs, the only way out, besides endless dark tunnels of rail, rats and who knows what else. Denny didn’t like it. Kris wouldn’t bother an old woman would she? Oh yeah, she would. Click clock, click clock. As Denny turned to observe, she saw Kris. How long had it been? Not long enough.

Kris couldn’t give a shit. No matter what the subject was, she just simply didn’t give a fuck. A generous portion of skin and a metal studded navel showed between camouflage pant lining and sleeveless top. From one belt loop dangled an I-Pod, one front pocket bulged. Either a cell phone or a huge chunk of pot. No, Denny thought, thinking of all the times Kris had been picked up, questioned by frustrated police, and been set free. They never got her, because she never carried.

She stood with her head bent to the IPod, adjusted a set of ear buds, nodding in sync with what she heard. A wide silver band on the thumb scraped against the plastic. Her lips moved in silent sing along. She let go of the player, straightened up, and noticed the old woman coming toward her. She grinned. Denny froze, wished she could fade back into the pretend world that lay open in her lap.
Kris was the same, just worse. Black T, frayed edges, black cap turned backwards over a short tangle of purple hair. She used to be beautiful. Like Denny, actually exactly like Denny, but Kris had hated the constant comparisons. And now she had done it again. Found something else that would make Kris Kris, and not just Denny’s twin sister.

Her face was clean, from make-up if not from embellishment, Denny noticed, surprised. Kris never appeared in public without layers of protective paint, until now. Denny found it impossible to look away. No makeup could enhance, or restore, Kris’s face. Permanently etched in skin, a blue dragon stretched out lazily on one cheek with its tail trailing down and across her neck in a possessive strangle-hold. The resting dragons head lay high up on the brow while the only visible limb, the front left leg and paw, dug its sharp claws into the edge of Kris’s left eyebrow.

Kris stood still, blue eyes assessing, calculating. Watched the approaching figure. She stood where the old lady needed to pass. She waited, baring her teeth in a predatory grin.

Annette kept walking, deliberately not looking anywhere but at the stairs. She was almost there, almost home free, almost… Hurrying, passing.

Kris liked what she saw. White knuckles on a chubby hand gripping a floral embroidered purse. As if Kris would bother with that crone’s petty cash.
She moved, pushed head and shoulders forward, and shoved her face up close to Annette’s.
“What sup girlfriend?” Loud and mocking it achieved just the reaction she wanted. The little old lady jerked back and gasped, stumbled, nearly crumbling to the floor.
Laughter erupted from the idling teenagers.

Annette released a pitiful shriek as she absorbed the girls beautiful, horrible, face in a split second. She had never seen anything like it. Why would anyone paint something so terrible on one’s face? She stumbled on, cared not for dignity, and hurried up the steps. Up and out, home. Oh dear, oh dear, A hand flew to her chest; calm little heart, Oh dear, calm yourself. It’s only a girl.
Kris chuckled and shook her head, watching the old fraidy-cat disappear from sight. She liked the look of fear, the scent of power, and some bitches were easier than others. Granny was no challenge, but still a quick fix for boredom. Oh, Granny, hope you sleep well tonight.

She sighed and looked around the station, grew still. Just sitting there with her sticky fingers in a book. Why read words on fucking paper when there was music? Movies? Parties? Well, that one did. She went to college to prove she was smart.
Kris stood still for a long moment, frowning. She tilted her head and reclaimed her mislaid grin as she watched Denny pretend she didn’t see her. The bitch sat as far away from the sleeping old drunk as she could. Kris let her eyes glide over the closer figure, ignoring the old man. Denny, fashionable and proper as always, leaned back. Leather pants covered legs that stretched out, crossing at the ankles. Dark brown boots in brushed leather with modestly high heels. Oh, isn’t’ that precious. Little sister learned to dress finally. Kris raised her eyebrows in reluctant admiration that she would never admit to, a feeling shredded and disbursed almost immediately by disgust and a hot flash of contempt. Denny wore a black v-necked sweater, and long mahogany hair fell over her shoulders, placing half her face in shadow.

Denny, you bitch. Surprise at seeing her sister after years of chosen distance, sputtered and disappeared among old feelings. That face, so like hers it was atrocious. It stirred up Sparks from sores of inflamed memories buried deep, but forever smoldering. She checked the blaze with a pinpoint of control beneath a rockslide of resentment. She exhaled, hissed through her teeth, reshaped her features into cold diffidence, and started toward the unavoidable.

Denny heard her approach but refused to look up. She stubbornly kept her eyes on the words in a story she failed to remember. Deliberate steps slowed and stopped. Ear buds produced a tinny beat that Denny recognized as Kris’s own; from an early album. She dug through memories and found the title— Bitch fight —among the cacophony of Kris’s music. Fast, hard and violent. What else was there? It was not only dark and violent; it was a message, a promise. She sighed as she remembered the lyrics, “I heard you’re playing tonight, let’s have some fun, I’ll bring my gun.”

A song about hatred, a song about Denny. She pushed the disturbing thought away.

The tinny beat faded and for a moment, breathing played solo. She tensed. She wished it wouldn’t bother her. Kris stood over her, polluting the air between them with all things untold. She couldn’t pretend to read so she lowered the book and raised her head, focused on the middle distance, avoiding her sister’s eyes, and waited. Denny could wait, Kris didn’t have that ability.

The wall beyond the track, on billboards impossible to avoid, products delivered their sales pitches with beautiful faces, well thought out camera angles, and calculated sticky phrases. Only colors, shapes and useless information.

Kris stared down at the stubborn head. Up close, she noticed a thin gold chain hanging from Denny’s neck, holding a pendant “S”. She stared at the gothic script for a long moment. She put a finger on the gold letter. Denny didn’t twitch. Kris smiled; the tension in Denny was palpable, fake cool nothing but fear. She pinched the little pendant between thumb and index finger, turning and twisting it, felt an urge to dull the mocking shine, scrape polish into ugliness, and break that disgusting glare of perfection. She licked her lips.
“So you’re fucking the word-fag are you?” Denny said nothing. Kris started grinning.

Denny sighed and looked up at her other self. Their eyes locked in communication that needed no words; it was all there, sharp as a knife, but distorted and muddled by time, newer edges, different shapes impossible to unravel. History twisted and disjointed, but after so many years established as fact.

Denny jerked her head up and smiled. “At least I’m getting something real. Not like you.” She let a slow gaze travel along Kris’s appearance and crinkled her face in distaste. Then she closed the book, shrugged and displayed her palms, spreading fingers in exasperation, as if it was self evident and she couldn’t believe it had to be explained, “You know, like someone with a real job? Someone that won’t fuck you just to get that shit you sell.”

Kris sighed. She had heard it all before. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you’re trying to piss me off.” Shrugging. “My shit is the best.”

“I wouldn’t know.” Denny said, straightening up. “I’m not a junkie.” Nice face-paint. Who did you have to blow to get that done?” Kris nodded and grinned, dropped the necklace and pulled on Denny’s bra strap, let it snap back. Denny grimaced. “Is that the best you can do?” She clenched her teeth and forced a smile, keeping her eyes leveled on Kris.
“Maybe…” she said in a low even voice.”Maybe you shouldn’t touch girl’s bras. It might give people the wrong impression.” Kris face darkened. A weak point in that façade had collapsed, an exposed nerve ignited. She rocked back on her heels, scraped the back of her neck with ragged nails, considering. Her eyes fell on the old drunk. “Is that your new daddy?” she asked with quiet menace.

“Yeah, he doesn’t fuck little kids as far as I know.” Denny pushed on, “Speaking of kiddy fuckers, seen daddy lately?” Kris said nothing, but had turned a shade more flammable. Denny moved the thriller from her lap, dropped it on the bench, stood up and faced her identical twin. She knew what not to say and What she said next ranked high on the top ten list of No-no’s.

Don’t miss Bitchfight Part 2.


 

A Gal Eerie of Desire – Part 5 of 5 — Private Exhibit

A Gal Eerie of Desire

By
Jenny K Brennan

Part 5 of 5
Read Part 4 – Saturday exhibit here.

Mild Explicit warning. This is for adult readers and don’t say I didn’t warn you. Enjoy.

5. Private exhibit

I felt, as from far away, my body being pulled back, the door slammed shut in my face, and the nightmare scene vanished from sight, if not from my mind. My world turned end over end as I fought confusion and an urgent need to throw up. I didn’t just see…. That? What?
I stood facing the closed door, absolutely still, staring at dark wood, but seeing beyond the door. I would never forget. My own heart was loud in my head, pounding frantically as if it would leap out of my chest along with the lunch I would surely lose any moment. Digging my fingernails into my palms, I tried to control my ragged breathing, calm down. I had to think.
I had to get away; I needed to leave this place, where one second I had everything I all of a sudden wanted more than anything, and the next all was madness. I was dreaming; must be seeing things.
There had to be an explanation. Some trick of the light, some elaborate joke, smoke and mirrors. Oh hell, holograms. , Just a sick joke. I didn’t believe it. Drugged, yeah, fuck this! If this was what it was like to suck acid, I didn’t want any part of it. What did I say back there? Oh, yeah now I remember; I said run! I said, go home. I said…
It was time to end this, get a grip. Anger finally caught up with me, at the helplessness. I couldn’t let her dig her claws in my brain anymore. I turned to her, raising my hands in defense, protection against a threat I didn’t understand. Her eyes…
Don’t look.

I looked. And I lost myself in wells of pitch and shattered glass, treacherous and sharp, unforgiving and endless. I opened my mouth, but what I had thought I might say stuck in my throat.
They bore into me, those eyes. Stripped me naked, scraped me raw, those misty blue, beautiful eyes. They smoothed my nerves, soothed my mind, and calmed my fear.

“Ash?” I breathed. Thoughts dissolved in a sudden bliss, leaving a gentle curiosity. “Ash, who are you?” I whispered. Who am I?

“You are mine.” Ash said. “And I am she.” she continued, placed her hands don’t touch me on my face, held it so I couldn’t look away. As before, her stare burned into me, probed me, and the gruesome collection on the other side of the door mellowed into normality. A party of brass sculptures, nothing more. What was so strange about that?
Living shadows? Statues that change? No, not strange at all. I didn’t know and didn’t care.
If eyes were windows to the soul, her soul was eternal, infinite, demanding, but oh so sweet. Bits and pieces of rational thought, snippets of memory, and fragments of unease floated around my mind, but they were all so disjointed and vague, could hardly matter.

All was well. I brought my hands up and placed them on top of hers. I thought I heard a brittle sound of glass breaking. It didn’t seem important. A tiny flicker of annoyance flashed across her face; did it? If it did, it vanished just as fast. So beautiful, so lovely.

Slowly, she touched her lips to mine, quick and light like a breath, a breath I craved, sucked greedily from. She stood still for a moment and I breathed her air. She would be mine, I knew it.
What is it really that you know? I ignored the nagging voice of reason.
She drew back, liberated her hands from under mine, and smiled. I came to think of my drink. I held a glass of something sweet and alcoholic. I raised it to my lips and stared blankly at a hand, supposedly my own. It was empty. My mouth was parched, my tongue felt swollen and sticky. In my head, where thoughts usually took form, there was soggy sponge. I couldn’t speak with a mouth full of sawdust and sand.
But that was all right, and so I smiled, because I found the glass —in a pretty hand, supposedly hers. She held it for me and I placed my hand around it, tightened my fingers. Slowly, not too hard, carefully. Then I waited for her to release the treasure. It was ok. I liked having my hand so close to hers.
She frowned and oh such a perfect frown she had. So pretty. She released the glass and I drank, blinked.
I looked at my feet, wondering where those feet had been just a moment ago. I noticed another pair of feet. Naked feet attached to ankles, pretty pretty feet. I had to admire those feet for a little while. So very pretty feet.
Comfortably numb, I slowly raised my oh so heavy head and met her eyes. The perfect frown deepened into a scowl. She snapped her fingers.

I looked her up and down, thinking about leather mini skirts and her perfect tits and sweet sweet ass. I noticed the glass in my hand and drank. Good stuff. Didn’t recognize the taste but it was excellent horse-piss if that’s what it was.
She gestured for me to follow. I glanced back at the closed door, feeling something slither and slip from my mind; not important. I shook my head and drank, emptied my glass. I looked around to find a flat surface to set the glass on but found nothing.

I stood in a hall, not unlike the one where I had entered Ash’s place, but narrower, darker, and not yet completely filled with art. Individual light fixtures above each of the four large paintings along the left wall provided the only light, leaving the rest of the space in shadow. From where I stood I couldn’t see them and I glanced at Ash who raised her glass in a toast and smiled.
“My private little show.” She sipped her drink, watching me intently.
I raised mine and it brimmed with sparkling amber. Nice. Curious, but nice. She must have filled it. But when? She hadn’t move. Had she? Did it matter? Watching her smile, nothing mattered.

She moved to the first large canvas in a massive frame. I joined her, for the first time aware of her perfume, a fresh sweet blend of wild flowers and berries, of dark earth and musk. Decay. I inhaled the scent of her. She motioned to the wall and I pulled my eyes from her, reluctantly turning my head, and that’s when I saw her. A few drops of the drink were lost to the carpet.
My breathing caught; she stood right there. It was her; the sight of her naked shimmering flesh assaulted my nerves, blood, burned its way to my cock, bypassing my brain. I gulped air, felt that I should be embarrassed, but I wasn’t. It’s only a painting, just a fucking picture. You can get worse in any corner store.
No. This was something different. What was depicted in the scene, perfectly captured in oils, was utter desire. The essence of need. In the picture she stood on a small hill, naked feet rooted in a carpet of pine needles scattered with scavenged pine combs. She stood with one arm reaching for a tall, fair-haired man who stood just beyond her reach. He was naked as well and he had his feet firmly placed in dark soil below the hill with arms crossed in front of his face. He stood half turned away, seemed to look at something beyond her, in the distance. Ash’s head was tilted slightly back,with soft nearly translucent lips partly open. A desperate need in her face, her lips, grabbed me, as if I was the target for her grasping hand and not the man in the painting. I’ve seen him before. She pleaded with eyes and body; her nipples, red and hard, begged to be touched. A hand placed below her navel spread fingers in a trembling want to touch. They didn’t quite reach, and never would. Shadow fingers reached further and in defiance, they performed a shadowy caress at the center of her need.
As a loose border around the small hill, yellow tulips grew. Further into the landscape, beyond the humans, millions of daisies surrounded two small piles of soil. Tiny Details too small to be palpable, gradually became unmistakable; they were two very small, haphazardly assembled wooden crosses. A chill ran down my spine and I shuddered. Two small graves. In a sea of daisies. Something tugged at recent memories but dots refused to join. There was something undeniably disturbing about the scene within the scene.

A feathery touch on the top of my hand brought me out, shattered the unease in me and I smiled. “Amazing.” My voice sounded all wrong and I swallowed further comments.
She softly hushed me and ushered me to the next painting. A different man, darker in skin and hair, wiry and lean. Ash was there, still the image of want. The man stood close to her on a different hill. Grass, fragile and fresh, fought for room to grow among thistles and an assortment of rocks and pebbles. He touched her face, gently caressing. His thumb stroked the bottom of her lower lip, fingers spread across the side of her face and tangled in flaming hair. She leaned into his embrace with gaze fixed and intent on what she saw, and lips parted to reveal a tongue tip tasting the air.
A bed of green grey foliage with thousands of small white flowers surrounded the hill. A soft breeze seemed to move through the hall, bringing a whiff of something. I couldn’t quite place it; it faded and disappeared just as it came to me— lavender.
I glanced at Ash; her expression was something between smug and impatient as she observed the art. She frowned, reached out a manicured nail, and scratched lightly on the painting; the nail traced the man’s spine, the dark line splitting a clenched ass, scrotum, and tightly defined thigh. A shiver ran down my spine and I cringed as the nail scraped a thin line of paint off the tip of his semi-erect penis.
“What…”, I managed before I was pulled from the image, wondered what in the hell that was supposed to mean. It suddenly struck me that these were her creations; she was the artist. How did I not see that before? And if she needed to scrape paint off a dick, I shuddered at the thought, then why shouldn’t she be allowed to?
Still, I felt uneasy, and something nagged, something was wrong. My body didn’t ache with desire, in fact, I was cold and clammy. Ill. I wondered if I should take a rain check. I really wasn’t feeling so good.
Ash moved in front of me, searched my eyes, and I was lost once more.

“Just two more, Roger, and then you will know.“ She glanced around. “Yes, these are all mine.” Her voice took on an edge, a sliver of disapproval, “It is hard work, and every piece must be perfect, Roger, don’t you see? I choose with care. But I didn’t choose you. You chose me. I may have made a mistake.” Her face hardened as did her voice. “Did I make a mistake Roger?”

Dazed, I shook my head, turned to the painting.
A woman with skin like smooth chocolate joined her this time. The Ash of oil smiled, soft moist lips opened a fraction. She had her back to me but looked over her shoulder, hands held in front of her chest, out of sight. Hair like a waterfall of ember, fire, and coal, fell free down a slightly arched back. As in defiance, the posture was tense; breasts pushed forward, shoulder blades pulled back. She offered her body to the woman kneeling in front of her.
A dark slender hand gripped Ash’s hip, the other, the soft pale flesh of her inner thigh. A swell of black hair sparkled in cloud-shredded moonlight.
Behind the kneeling woman, a Belladonna towered over a cowering patch of forget me nots, poisonous purple blooms nodded at their subjects.
My eyes lingered at the perfect curve of her spine, where it ended in the dark crack, leading to the dark warm moisture, the place that my imagination couldn’t do justice. Where the woman had her face, her mouth, lips and tongue.
The dark beauty sucked, licked, tasted Ash’s endless desire. Black shiny hair, No, not shiny, not totally smooth, It was tangled, rough and frayed. Those slender fingers… Sliding along a vest lining.

Coco?
A sticky strip of sandpaper aggravated my tongue and I gulped the rest of my drink.
I swallowed. I sucked air, felt dizzy. I Mellowed, forgot.
Ash moved to stand before me and touch my face. Heat surged, and I closed my eyes. Her lips touched mine, softly, gently, before pulling away. I opened my eyes, found her looking at me, inspecting her specimen. What do you want?
She took my hand and pulled me toward the last picture.
Alone on the hill, a matt of blooming rhododendron her bed; Flowers in every color From pure white to deep red surrounded her body, caressing it, turning their petals toward her. Contrasting oddly, a single Krokus at the bottom of the hill wilted, leaning into a sad looking snapdragon bush surrounded by dead petals.
She lay on her belly, staring at me. Alive, they were alive. Her head rested on her arms with hands concealed in the foliage. A smile played on pursed lips. I could kiss those lips. She wants me too. And I could almost taste it. She has teeth. She would bite my Tongue off.
And the lips parted just a little bit. Did they? No. Yes, she wants you to see her
teeth. I shook my head but the buzzing persisted. Marvelous soft lips glistened with moisture and the tip of her tongue pressed against the bottom of her front teeth. Had it looked like that the whole time? Of course it had. Fuck no!
My eyes moved to the previous paintings. Look at them, just fucking look. I didn’t want to look. But there they were, and suddenly I knew them; Tall blond and handsome, Viking, shorter, dark and fit, Squib, hot coco with her dreadlocks and pierced tongue. The jewelry was gone, she was stripped naked, and the hair…. What did she do to your hair?
Something flickered just beyond my peripheral vision and I turned to Ash. She pulled her hand behind her back, too quickly for me to see what, if anything, she had there. I glanced up, felt the strain more than saw it; a tightening of lines, a hardening of curves in her face, a narrowing of eyes. Just a flicker, only a stray shadow.
She is not what she seems. Then it all smoothed, softened, brightened and her smile was back. My hand trembled, moved without me asking it to. No, she can’t do this… The glass was at my lips. Stop it for fucks sake, stop…

I drank. Everything softened, nothing prickled, dark was light, pain was bliss. All was well.
“It must be, Roger, do you not see?”
I nodded. It had to be. No, a feeble remnant of sanity whined. No. It shattered when she spoke.

“You may touch me now Roger.”
At those words, every restraint lifted, and I pulled her toward me, lowered my head and kissed her. She took over. With poorly restrained hurry she took possession of my mouth, teasing, touching, murmuring, and pulling back when I came closer. Arms crept up and around my neck, sharp fingernails raking, scraping my scalp, gripping hair and collar indiscriminately. Probing my mouth with her tongue, drawing back, pressing, and biting, something slicing my lower lip. Biting into me. I knew there should be pain. Her breasts pressed flat against my chest and there was no air. But I had no need for oxygen. She tasted me, nibbling gently on my lower lip to suddenly suck on it, pull pain from deep in my flesh, making it rush through my body, turning to heat. It focused and shoved me hard to the point of orgasm, and I pushed hard, pulled hard, to feel her closer. Pull her into me.
It was so close, but impossible. I would happily let my load go, in my pants, I wanted to, but It wouldn’t. Sucking my blood. My lip numbed although I knew it was shredded, torn open. I gasped and pulled back to breathe and smelled copper mixed with sweat. Warmth dribbled down my chin.
I stared into her eyes, her shining, hungry dark eyes. I pushed forward. Pressed my lips hard against hers, probing her mouth, sucking her tongue, tasting blood. My blood. Drew her breath, her heat, into me. The dress was in the way, the stupid silk refused to be torn. When I pulled the skirt to lift it, it slipped out of my hands. Damn that dress.
Damn her to hell.
She pulled back from me and I gasped for air, struggling to regain some shred of control. The silk in her bodice was like a second skin on her heaving chest. I just looked at her, sucking up the scent of her. It was stronger now, metallic and heavy, intoxicating. Rotting. Closing her eyes, opening her mouth, she stopped breathing for a spell, licking her lips. She stepped back. I tried to follow but my limbs wouldn’t obey.
She opened her eyes, suddenly calm, with a rosy flush on her cheeks, and lips a deeper shade of red. She pursed them and nodded at the painting again.

It took me a long dizzying moment to gather scattered bodily functions, and order my neck and head to follow her lead.
She indicated a tiny brass plaque in the corner of the heavy frame. It said: “Unfinished.”

She brightened the room and the rest of my life with a brilliant smile— one of expectation. She glowed like a child on Christmas morning, too eager to wake up to be able to sleep. And she wanted to show me something. Something amazing, something of hers. There was no question in my mind what that special thing would be, so I took her hand and smiled. A flicker of shadow in the painting caught my eye, and faded from my mind. A sense of a shadow of a shade, twitching, didn’t seem important as I looked into endless depths of deep blue shadow that were her eyes. I heard her speak. For the last time I listened to her voice and knew finally who, what, that voice belonged to. It was too late though. It was so much easier to hear something different, something beautiful.
Something human.
“We must finish it.” she said.
6. Final installment
As Ash led Roger Kyle to a door that he hadn’t noticed, approaching the place where he had known he would end up since the first time he saw her, her smile widened and distorted into wire hard tendency and bone; blackened flesh and skin torn and rotting around a hungry grin. He saw only the woman he wanted to see, the illusion he had embraced.

The dress finally fell away from her body in brittle pieces of cracked skin; rags drenched in perfumes, oils, a variety of beverages, and rubbed with pieces of food. Parts sown together with a braid of hair here, or a slip of stained sheet or clothing there, fell apart. A scrap of tarnished silver and a misshapen gold earring were the last items to fall on the floor. A trail of debris containing all mediums necessary to create the image, to provide the picture with all the elements of illusion, lead from the unfinished painting to a door marked “Studio”.
The figure grew taller, thinner, formed sores and oozing crevices, spots of course black hair and limbs and digits no human would ever get a chance to count.

As the door opened and Roger entered his final nightmare, the woman in the unfinished picture came to life. She turned on her side. Her chest filled once and she parted her lips. What came out of her grotesquely changing mouth was a multitude of voices mixing into a pained choir. It morphed into a shriek of glee that shattered the silence. Shadows shifted and twitched in distress. The sound coughed and gurgled before condensing into shrill staccato laughter, scratchy and hoarse. A sorrowful answer came; a soaring elegy for the one joining the gallery of desire.
Ashtoreth, the painting that was Ash, created by ash, shifted and raised her hands, revealing the tools she had kept hidden. She began her task. Ambient music and echoes from the underworld mixed with sounds of stone on metal, honing it, perfecting the edge, preparing the final scene.
In the gallery, shadows quivered and shrank back into themselves. Frightened whispers echoed through the room, spread to the next gallery of statues, and the next, and the next.
The unearthly chorus of agony swelled and tore at the fragile shell of humanity still lingering in the rest of the building. Restless stirrings, jittery irritation and paranoia touched all of those present.
The tortured howl from captured souls didn’t fade until much later. Not until the ripping and slashing had stopped. Not until the begging and pleading had proven futile and a man’s screams of horror and pain became weak wet keening, then faded.

Silence didn’t fall until the artist at long last completed the preparation of the motif; the still-life that would finish painting number four.
In the studio, among brushes and paints, canvas and unused frames, rags and solutions, in the middle of a pile of clothes recently belonging to a man owning a Toyota, the she fisted her hand at her lips as she let out a delicate little burp. Then she yawned and stretched out, her naked skin shimmering softly in light from a single flickering candle.

She let herself relax and soften, sleepy, satisfied. She yawned again, pinched out the candle with two fingers, and started drifting toward sleep. It had been a tiresome four days after all. And tomorrow she would paint.

***End ***

Hope you like this little creation of mine. Please leave a comment. Good or bad. Tell me what you think.
Thank you for reading and do come back soon. 🙂

JennyK Brennan
Jasper Ontario Canada 2014

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A Gal Eerie of Desire – Part 4 of 5 — Saturday Exhibit

A Gal Eerie of Desire

By
Jenny K Brennan

Part 4 of 5

Part 3.
Part 5.

No real explicit warning this time. Enjoy.

Part 4 — Saturday exhibit

Twenty-four hours later, at a quarter to five; I pulled in to a deserted parking lot in front of Thomas Plaza, and just sat for a while. I looked at myself in the rear view mirror, wondered for the thousands time what I was doing there. I combed through my not too shabby looking sandy blond hair, pulled my lips back; teeth ok. Nice shave. I had checked all of it, and passed inspection on several trips to the hall mirror in my nervous pacing around the flat before leaving home.

I bent my head to sniff my armpits again, when an elderly woman walked past, peering suspiciously through the car window. I smiled and waited until she finally shuffled out of sight. Yeah, I know, but don’t worry; I’m just a perfectly ordinary pervert sitting in a car waiting for old ladies to molest. Nothing to worry about, Granny. I should have known better though. I wondered how the story would go later, in the knitting circle.

I opened the door and stepped out on hot asphalt, hesitated and looked around. I knew it was the place, the street was right; the building was numbered, even named. The apartment building was the only residential building along Thomas Avenue and stood several stories taller than the abandoned warehouse half a block away.
A sad looking strip of forest surrounded the complex. Brush and weed crept along abandoned pathways and invited by cracking pavement, it would not stop at the edge of the parking lot for much longer. Branches, leaves, and miscellaneous trash invaded the empty lot and the small cement playground where a tire swing hung from rusty chains, and painted metal bars in strange configurations had stood in silence for many years.
The street was quiet, and despite the proximity to the city center, I heard nothing. I stood still and strained my ears; I heard traffic, but it sounded far away.

I glanced around. In the distance above low industrial blocks of ugliness, was the tip of the water tower, over the other way, beyond straggly elms poking up behind the warehouse; I saw the top floor of the Radio Tower with its unmistakable crowded roof, where satellite discs and other metal monstrosities chattered ceaselessly in their airwave lingo. I was in the middle of the city, but far from it.
I sighed and headed toward the front door. Although the impression it gave was of neglect and outdated architecture, Plaza, my ass, it didn’t seem abandoned. A fluttering curtain caught my eye, indistinct laughter drifted out from an open window, cut short, leaving the silence more deafening than before.
I pulled open the massive front door and as I stopped to stare, it hit me in the back where I had stopped dead. You’ve gotta be kidding me.

What I had just entered was not, could not, be in the same dimension as the one I had just left. I jerked around and pushed the door wide, glared at the outside. Stilll there, the real world. Filthy concrete slab acting as a front step, a pile of rotting leaves, an empty coke bottle, and a trashed plastic bag. Over there, the Toyota. I turned to the lobby again and stepped all the way through and allowed the door to close behind me.
Before me was Mirror polished granite floors, brass handrails and polished mahogany with details in something that looked like cast iron. Not a speck of dust, not a stain, no trash. The only smell in there was the stink of filthy rich, vague but unmistakable.
“Might I be of assistance, Sir?” a reedy old voice croaked from behind a tray of glasses.

“Refreshment, Sir?”

I almost laughed, but couldn’t quite get it out. The thin little man waited patiently for me to do something.

Ok, if this was the game, I could play too. I grinned, took a glass from the tray and waved him off in my best imitation of eighteenth century upper class snobbery. “I am here to meet with Lady Ash.” I snorted through my chuckle.

The servant didn’t move a muscle. “Of course Mr. Kyle, the lady will be expecting you.” he said and faded into servitude invisibility.

Oh my god. What is this place?
I sipped my drink. Maybe I shouldn’t, it could be anything, but what the hell, and this was just too much.
I searched for hints about who lived in the building, but found nothing. It was nothing if not a mansion, a magnificent staircase ascended to upper levels that lay in darkness. Next to the base of the staircase, esthetically and technically out of place, was the elevator. With its dull metal door, small safety glass window and worn rubber and steel fittings, it stood out like a sore thumb among the elegant luxury. Old mansions didn’t have elevators, but what the hell. I brought out the note, to check the apartment number again. I fingered the paper but found it hard to focus on the words. My eyes kept darting away from them, up and around, sucking up the shine. A chandelier with a million glittering phasets, a gilded frame glowing in the light from a single candle on a small marble table placed below the painting. The motif alluded me. I didn’t want to look. There was something about that picture. I raised the paper again and forced my eyes to move to it. The whispery voice snuck up on me from behind.

“That would be on the fourteenth floor, Sir.”, the old man said and faded again.

“Thanks, I think.” I muttered, not just a little unnerved by the butler guy. I turned to the lift, drained my drink, and got my legs moving. Elevator… Ok, up I go, even if I was a card short of a full deck. Or perhaps all cards were missing but the joker. I sighed, so be it.

For each second riding the elevator, the image of the lobby seemed to dim, dissipate. Could that even exist in the same universe as mine? I looked around the cramped space as it moved laboriously up past gloomy floors. Glimpses caught through the square of glass in the elevator door told me of poorly maintained halls and neglect. I had lived in a building just like it, where broken bottles and discarded syringes were the norm. Where loneliness and desperation lay like a dull layer over everything, even the people. Where were the people? The lobby, the servant, the drink, and then this? I wasn’t sure anymore.

I looked away from the glass, didn’t want to see. I watched my shoes for one breath and without looking at the door again, I turned away from it. I wanted distraction from the disturbing doubts that crawled around in the back of my mind.
The elevator was small and shabby, stank of stale cigarette smoke and piss. A used condom lay crumbled in a corner and various important announcements were available on the walls, scratched, scrawled with marker, scribbled with what was at hand at the moment of inspiration: “Kilroy wasn’t fucking here!”, “All who go up this elevator abandon all hope.. and beer too.”, “Fags need to pack their shit! Oh yeah, they already did”.
Toilet poetry failed to distract me. I felt my stomach sink for every jolt and unidentified noise from the outdated machinery. “Abandon all hope…” I let my fingers glide over the folded note in my pocket but the touch only agitated the insecurity.
She knew my name, and that charade in the lobby. She was apparently a high class stinking rich broad with peculiar habits and a fetish for playing with peoples minds. Or why the elaborate setup? Expensive role playing? I wondered if I had gotten it all wrong. I knew I was being taken for a ride, but couldn’t even begin to understand why. Why me? I wished I could dig my brain out with my fingernails and beat it to a pulp for not working properly.

As the door slid open to reveal a plush carpet, snob elegance and muted footfalls that would be made only by me, everything was back to impeccable and luxurious. Turn back Roger, turn back. Turn around and run. When the elevator groaned shut, took off and left me alone before the door, her door, my heart raced.
“Ash.” I breathed her name. Dizzy. Confused. What the hell was wrong with me?

Roger, you idiot, Get a grip.
Something moved, a flicker of shadow, and I turned my head. Nothing. But all of a sudden it seemed darker, as if the light wasn’t quite able to stay real. What lay beyond, crept forward, and saturated the air without actually gaining enough existence to equal shadows. Just, draining strength out of space. I couldn’t breathe. I had to go. Just go.
I stepped back, blinked, and heard the whirring of machinery. The elevator, moving from floor to floor. It had abandoned me, and now it made another meaningless journey between empty dwellings. Why would they be empty? But I knew they were.
I listened to the strangely comforting hum until I heard a distant clank, and then came nothing but silence beyond the boundaries of my own body. What was I thinking about? Something had moved around up here. Rats? Considering the state of the elevator, I wasn’t too surprised. I whistled a tuneless melody as I walked to the door.
There was nothing to it. I had an invitation from a woman who found me interesting and although that was a first in my life, it still was something that could happen. In an alternate reality maybe, the annoying inner voice said from the gutter. I knew though that I didn’t have much choice. I just had to know. Being in this place, right now, was the only way I could ever learn anything about her— State your full name and sexual preferences if you please Ma’am. All I needed to do now was to knock on that door.

Or, as the case was, push the button. The door revealed nothing useful. Against dark wood, a polished brass plaque gleamed: “Ash Ltd”. Ok, so Ash was not a name? A business? Both? I sighed, tiring of my own internal monologue. The insecurity returned and I wiped damp hands on my pants, before reaching for the doorbell.

My finger never touched the shiny button; the door opened with a silent click. It didn’t swing all the way open so I pushed on it and stepped through. With one hand on the door I looked around. I found myself in a short hallway. Straight ahead, a vaulted opening revealed soft light and shadows of things I couldn’t see from where I stood.
Dark red carpeting connected the hallway with the room beyond. The hall was empty and I took a step forward. The door closed behind me and some little part of me, remembering superstitions I’ve never believed, prevented me from turning around. Just a self closing door, I told myself. Yeah, right you are.
Music, too soft to identify, drifted out from somewhere ahead. I started toward the opening; it was the only way I could go as there were no doors, no windows and nothing else in the entrance hall besides a number of oil paintings.
The art could, on a different day and in a different place, have captured my curiosity but I passed them by in a distracted path toward the next room. All I noticed on the way by was expensive frames and warm vivid colors. Eyes seemed to glide over the motifs without registering the subject matter. They were emotion and vibrant life. If there were people portrayed I didn’t know. They could all be abstracts or finger paintings as far as I knew. They meant nothing to me.

I drifted toward the unknown. It called to me. She beckoned me and I wanted… no, I needed to go to her. The back of my mind piped up again.
Delusional losers never do make second base, so how about you just run along home now, chop chop, on the double, run.

As I listened to the soft music without hearing it, something cracked under my shoe. I had broken something, very nice start for a visit. I raised my foot but saw nothing in the carpet, but under my shoe, stuck to the rubber was a bright red, now cracked, sticky something. A candy. Cute. I used my car key to flick it off my shoe. It hit the wall, dropped and vanished. I stood for a second, but suppressed the part of me that always scanned for garbage pales for any little piece of trash in need of disposal.

I moved on toward the shadows, through the portal, ready to call out a greeting to her, or whoever waited for me. Someone had to be in there. The sight of the room beyond shut me up though.
Past the vaulted opening stretched a living room, just not any kind of room I had ever stepped into before. Paintings filled every wall. These were insistent, called my attention. The instant impression was of life. Vibrant colors, stunning landscapes and stories told. Earth tones and fire, shimmering pale bodies, Secrets and passions hinted at in expressive faces and intriguing shapes. It would take days to see them all if I would ever get a chance. The paintings were not what truly brought me to a standstill though.
Besides a huge comfortable white leather sofa and a glass table, placed dead center in the room, there were no indications of anyone actually living there. I had just stepped into the oddest gallery I had ever seen. I did not often frequent museums, but what I had seen in dusty heritage displays and modern installations around the city had nothing on this obviously private collection. There were no windows, perhaps normal for places with light sensitive pieces, but nor was there any information desk, no exit signs, no “Do not touch the exhibits or we will stare at you with severe disapproval until you crumble to bits.” posters, and no coffee shop.

Concealed light fixtures showed off a flawless carpet with light that seemed to caress shadows into smooth shapes.
Several life-sized statues— seemingly placed at random — stood around the room. Eerily lifelike in postures and facial expressions, they seemed to mingle and chat with each other, a woman of brass held a glass to her mouth, resting a delicate hand on the attentive man next to her. A short man peering at a pocket watch leaned against one of four marble pillars. A party frozen in cast metal. I looked from face to face, from dress to suit to finely detailed jewelry and footwear solidly placed on plinths.
They all appeared to belong there, in companionable chatter or observant silence. They all felt right in the context of luxury and riches but not at all with each other.
The lady with the drink wore hair in a tight bob and knee length straight cut dress with no sleeves. A man laughing at something long since forgotten wore uniform with tails and a saber hanging at his side. A curvy woman in office suit tailored to her build stood bent over to adjust a high healed shoe which I was sure must be a Gucci if I had ever seen one. The twenties, eighties, back as far as the civil war. They all depicted different time periods in an anachronistic gathering of party goers. They looked so alive, trapped in their personal worlds, doomed to display their isolated moments forever, to whom? Who went there? Nobody.

Even a novice, eye recognized them as masterpieces. They should be viewed, not be kept hidden. I fingered the paper in my pocket. What did I know about rich people, really?
I stepped deeper into the room and walked around a happy bride who couldn’t have been more than fifteen. She presented a shy smile, a waist like an hour glass, and way too much fabric, ribbons and lace. Looking away from the poor girl, I came face to face with the only breathing creature in the room.

I just stared; it was her, truly her. Ash. The sight…. I didn’t know what to think, what to say. It didn’t seem to bother her that I had gone mute. The dress was black silk, sleeves in intricate lace reaching her wrists, ankle length skirt, no shoes, no jewelry.
She held two glasses filled with a sparkling amber liquid and offered one to me. I wondered where I had lost the first one. I didn’t remember leaving it anywhere. She threw a quick glance around the room and raised an eye-brow. I opened my mouth but before I could speak she placed a finger over my lips. The touch made my heart quiver, skin burn, and unable to breathe, I nodded.
Ash smiled and lowered her hand, turning toward an open door at the far wall. Guarding the opening was a Second World War lieutenant. She stopped next to the sculpture and waited for me to join her.

“Come Roger, I wish to show you something.”
Numb and exhilarated, afraid of making her wait for a second too long, I started toward her.

Silence broke by a fragile sharp clink somewhere to my left. I turned to the sound but found nothing. Glass breaking I thought, but there was nothing there that could have made it. Perhaps the glass in one of the frames had given in to pressure from the framing. But I saw nothing.

As I scanned the room, Ash made a sound – tap, tap, tap like fingernails on a hard surface, and I turned to face her. The warm smile, tight now, faded completely. Tap, tap, tap; her fingers rapped the soldier’s face.
There was something obscene in the way her fingers traveled across the features— sharp nails probing brow, temple, and the exposed sphere of a wide open eye.

She will gouge out his eye. And when she pressed her nails harder against the sightless metal, brass would give, fluids would spurt, blood, not brass, would be the cause of the coppery smell. Something snapped, a thought released from its bonds, and my own passive behavior came into focus, disturbing in its clarity. I had never been shy, never intimidated by women. But this one, Ash or whatever the hell her name was, made me into a moron mute. Suddenly, the absurdity of the whole thing struck me and I took a half step back.

The woman who’s name may or may not have been Ash, stood at the door she wanted me to enter. What the hell for? She just stood there, expecting me to obey her every command. Why? Suddenly I didn’t know why I was there. “Ash….” I said, trailing off when she tensed.
Then she frowned, relaxed a bit, and stared at me with lips tightly pressed together. How did I ever think you were beautiful? But she was… she… Vipers of indecision crawled around and between the things I had to say. No, hell no. I had to get out of there. I took a deep breath; why was it so hard to breathe?

“I need to go Ash, I’m really… ”

The woman raised her hand in a quick jerky move that splashed red liquid from the glass. Red? “Drink!” She said. Harsh, sharp and definite.

Cool liquid was at my lips before the sound of the voice registered. The glass trembled and tipped, filling my mouth. “Aaag…” Her name turned into choked gurgling as I swallowed… swallowed. I drained the glass and gasped. I hadn’t known I was so…

Thirsty.

Ash smiled. She was so beautiful. And she was waiting for me. I continued toward her. Finally, she would answer my questions. She would tell me all about her.
Giddy with expectation, I felt great. I tried to add just a slight bit of flirt in my smile, just the right amount of testosterone confidence in my stride. I could do anything. Charismatic male magnetism permeated my being. I would seduce the dress off her before the night ended. I smartly saluted the smiling soldier as I came to a stop in front of him, and froze.
My blood ran cold, numb fingers fumbled and splashed drink on my hand. When had it been filled? The soldier didn’t smile. An expression infinitely far from joy marked his face where Lips parted in a pained grimace, revealing teeth pressed together. I almost thought I could see muscles strain and quiver beneath cast skin. A hand held up, not in greeting, but in defense.
It was the image of terror. It was… it wasn’t art; it was a thing. I shivered in a chill that could have come from within me, but it didn’t. It radiated from freezing metal. The temperature in the room dropped fast and I shuddered as my sweat cooled. A film of condensation appeared on the statue. Drops took form and froze, thawed and evaporated in an endless second. I stared at the monstrous work of art. I recoiled from it.

Someone, Ash, touched my arm. Very gently, she gripped my wrist and started to turn me from the lieutenant. For one more moment, frozen in the doorway, I tried to comprehend what I was seeing.
Pooling shadows, once just a deficiency of light below each statue, had turned to something living. They trembled. They darkened and flailed, like wildly gesticulating tentacles of night stretching, contracting. The statues remained still, they were all there, but they were not the same. The shades tried to rip themselves from their source. They could not break free, and however violently they pulled and jerked they couldn’t reach me.
Paralyzed, I watched as they groped and clawed around, struggling to touch… me. My… something. Life? Warmth? A heartbeat? Release.
The grip around my wrist tightened. For one more moment I stood frozen. One by one, each more shocking, more terrifying, the appearance of the statues burned into my mind.

“Roger. Come now.” Ash pulled my arm, pain from nails digging into my flesh seemed distant, just as the sound of her voice seemed far away. Unreal. She pulled and I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist. Unreal. I had to see. I let my eyes glide over them all, and they had all changed.
The laughing soldier with the saber screamed, pleading to the heavens for mercy perhaps. His eyes tore wide open and a leisurely step had become a recoiling from something, or someone. The woman with the drink did not hold it to take a sip as it was tilted and gripped so hard that the slender stem had broken off and lay on the floor, part of the plinth now. The hand that had softly rested on her companions shoulder gripped it hard. Fingers desperately clawing, ripping the seam. The young bride cried brass tears, hunched over as if protecting her thin chest where her arms crossed and hands fisted. The man with the watch no longer checked the time. The timepiece hung frozen from its chain, as limp and lifeless as his arms and head. He was on his way down to the floor in a slide that would never end.
A nightmare. My legs wouldn’t obey. I realized that there was one more shadow, and I was standing on it. I looked down. The darkness cast by the desperate soldier trembled, shivered and stretched. But the tentative movements were sluggish, didn’t reach me. Stunted shades, crippled. They pulled back and faded as they neared the person standing between me and them, recoiling the moment they came too close. Too close…. To her.

Don’t miss Part 5 😀


 

A Gal Eerie of Desire – Part 3 of 5 — Friday Exhibit

A Gal Eerie of Desire

By
Jenny K Brennan

Part 3 of 5
Part 2.
Part 4.

Mild explicit warning. This is for adult readers and don’t say I didn’t warn you. Enjoy.

Part 3 — Friday exhibit

Again, she had company. A woman with skin the color of hot coco, stood close to her. Coco turned to me as I approached the pair on my way to the car. She was stunning. Any other day, I would have stopped to gawk. She was tall, with miles of legs squeezed into black leather pants, High-heeled black boots, and a leather vest covering little. Silver chains wrapped around wrists as well as neck. Dark brown eyes and full dark red lips. More silver adorned an impressive set of dreadlocks.
I barely glanced at her, but stopped, hypnotized by the scene, unsure. Coco grinned and looked me up and down, analyzing my potential. She approved. She chewed on her lower lip and dragged a slender finger along the lining of the vest, opening it a millimeter or two.
I ignored her. Coco wasn’t one to be discouraged. Her grin widened and more of her body met the air, a soft swell of brown skin, the edge of a dark nipple, and the shadow below her breast failed to phase me. I don’t want those. .
I fabricated a smile and turned to my obsession, the only one I wanted. She smiled while shaking her head, but she didn’t take her eyes off me.
Once again I had the sense of being a specimen under a bright light. A specimen who was of specific interest to her but nonetheless only a thing. One that should not speak. Not yet, her eyes seemed to say. I will examine you later, they promised.
Her looks had once more transformed. Today she was in a dark green mini skirt and a minimal top. Her hair had been braided in perhaps a hundred smooth braids and for the first time she wore jewelry, in style matching her friend’s but all in gold. She didn’t need it.
The thought struck me that it could be fun to take them off and play with them on parts of her body that normally didn’t facilitate jewelry.
Coco laughed softly and I turned to her, annoyed at her invasion of my fantasy. She seemed to read my mind. She opened her mouth and extruded a pierced tongue between brilliant teeth. She started playing with the small ball attached to it. Dragging it back and forth on the outside of her front teeth.

I quickly turned back to the other woman and looked into eyes that were still focused on me. She seemed thoughtful. Frowning, she glanced at her friend. She shrugged as if to say, Hay, she’s a friend, what do you do? Turning to Coco, she shook her head. The pierced tongue vanished.
The leather Amazon smiled a bit crookedly, reached for my when had she become my anything? lady, pulled her in and they kissed; soft lips met, bodies moved closer. I caught a glimpse of tongues meeting, a glint of silver.
That’s when I averted my eyes, turned and fled to the car, mentally pounding the bulge in my pants without noticeable result.
No big deal. So she had a girlfriend as well as a boyfriend, and little kids to boot. What the hell was she? Yet somehow I had the fuzzy sensation that she was putting on an act. Creating a scene to entice me. But why me. I was just making things up. Never in my life had a woman affected me in that way. It was more than just being horny, more than just wanting her body. It was something bigger. The only big thing around here is your dick. But I didn’t know what. I couldn’t think straight.
Her teasing woke a beast in me, an ugly part of me I didn’t like. So what? I wanted to know her. Love her. Screw her.

I wondered as I climbed in behind the steering wheel if she teased everyone with her cruel air of sexual mystery or if it was just me. Yeah Roger, you are so special. Aggravated and frustrated, I started the car and watched the two walk away, disappearing around a corner far too quickly. I moved restlessly on the seat and heard a slight crackle. I pulled out a peace of paper from under my ass, stared at it, and my mind went blank as I inhaled. It was a single sheet of white legal paper, folded in half and crumpled after the encounter with my backside. I glanced around and found all windows closed. And the Toyota had been locked hadn’t it? Yes, for sure. Right?
I glanced around; there was no one there, no one on the parking lot. The ice-cream shop seemed abandoned, the street unusually free from both vehicles and people. I looked at the paper again; it wasn’t mine, I knew that much. How did it get in the car? It fluttered as cool conditioned air pushed on it. I unfolded it and found another silent command.
Typed, on an old type-writer judging by the faintly irregular font. Were three lines of text. They told me only what I needed to know and little of what I wanted to learn.

“6262 Thomas Avenue, apt 73
This time tomorrow.
Ash.”

Ash? Ashley? Ashton? I murmured under my breath; “Ash, who the hell are you?” I stared at the letters for a long while. I didn’t know the place, only the street, but it wasn’t far, just across downtown. I still didn’t know who she was. I knew one thing though— I would be there.

Don’t miss the next part.:D


 

A gal eerie of desire Part 2 of 5 – Thursday exhibit.

A Gal Eerie of Desire

By
Jenny K Brennan
Part 2 of 5

Part 1.
Part 3.

Reader discretion is advised. This is for adult readers and don’t say I didn’t warn you. Enjoy.

Part 2 — Thursday exhibit

Fucking hot again, when would this damn summer end? I groaned as the muggy heat enveloped me. I stood still for a second, listened to the door close behind me. My head hurt, either from the heat or from lack of sleep. Or the half bottle of crown Royal I had almost managed to finish last night, that did it. Either way, I felt like shit. And that fucking dyke of a manager had been on my case all day.
Calm down, breathe. I breathed. It’s over, go home.

Go home and do what? Sit and pine for some woman I hadn’t even had the guts to talk to? Dig up one of two porn flicks I had hidden and jerk my poor limb to exhaustion and my brain to oblivion? Hell, if alcohol hadn’t done the trick, why would shooting a load in my hand do it?
I didn’t want to see her. I needed to see her. It was all wrong.
And there she was.

On the same spot, she was real. It hadn’t been a dream. The sight of her was like ice water in a steam cooker. A short lived relief, then the return of pressure building. The restless contents of my stomach tossed and turned, but calmed as I took a few deep breaths. I walked toward my car. The closer I came, my discomfort seemed to ease. The throbbing in my head faded into dull ache, gut rot settled and things looked brighter for every step. I let my shoulders sink and the city-spiced air fill my lungs as I glanced up at the cloudless sky. A fine day. A very fine day. So what if I was delusional and sick in the head? I just needed to look. Just for a moment. Just a little bit. Then it would all be cool.

I stopped at the curb and rummaged through pockets for something that wasn’t there as I took in the apparition. Burned it into my memory, stored it for later exploiting. I spared a split second to glare at the guy next to her. Was that the same one? No, this one was dark. The first one had been a Viking brute, blond and insultingly handsome. Yeah, I remembered now, taller than this little squib.
The squib had his arm around her shoulder, laughing, speaking into her ear. I felt my upper lip twitch. Funny guy eh? I glanced at her. She wasn’t smiling.
Good.
He shouldn’t be allowed to trail his fingers along her collarbone, aught to have his nose broken for touching his lips to her ear as he kept talking, smiling, spreading it on thick. Was she falling for the greasepot? Was he gonna get some?

Not until I quit glaring at the squib did I notice that something was missing. No sign of kids anywhere. And then I finally let my greedy eyes absorb her. The dress had transformed into a pair of blue jeans and a white tank top. I stayed at a safe distance and waited for a little while longer before reluctantly heading to the car. The jeans were a perfect fit, the top tight. Still no shoes. What was it with her and shoes?
I wanted to ignore her, but I was getting excited, annoyed by my inability to control my thoughts, my body. Burning, nagging pressure. A swelling needy cock made me self-conscious. A completely uncalled for feeling of shame over my evident need, made me irritated, at myself, and at her.
The way she looked should be illegal. That’s fucking soliciting. I stared as I made my way past. Her skin glowed beneath the white tank top. A red scrunchie, some old girlfriend had taught me that word, as if it was important, held her hair in a pony tail.
My fingers twitched.
I wanted to stroke her neck, trail the curve of her shoulder with my fingertips. Feel the warmth of skin where fabric covered it, just waiting to be removed, by me. I wanted to grab that hair like a leash, pull her close, push her down to kneel in front of me, and I’d push that need in my pants between her lips. Right there on the pavement, in front of her boyfriend.

Yeah, suicidal are you now?
I took a deep breath and almost laughed. Almost. The sudden violent streak in my thoughts surprised me, the aggression that snuck into the fantasy, where my want turned to need to possess. Possess? No, that was not like me. Couldn’t be my thoughts.
But hell, she was totally begging me to open my pants in her face and pull her head hard to show her exactly what she had done to me. Wasn’t she? It was so easy to imagine holding her head, having her look up into my eyes as she wrapped her lips around me, moaning, gripping my shaft with small hands, working that tongue. She wanted it, or why would she look at me that way. Why would she part her lips and give me that wordless invitation to take her, to force her to suck…
Damn right; the slut is asking for it! What are you waiting for? I shoved the inner voice down in the gutter at the back of my mind where it belonged.

The thought disgusted me. Women disgusted me. No, not true. Women simply didn’t stir emotion in me, nor did men. I was just… Asexual, a long faded voice of another forgotten girlfriend echoed in my memory. I didn’t know if that was true. I didn’t care, I didn’t want this…
Then why are your pants so very uncomfortable if…. I nearly choked on a groan and squeezed my eyes shut tight.

After fumbling with the key and viciously jabbing at the air-conditioning knob, I got the Toyota running, let it idle. The air in the vehicle cooled but the heat in my body wouldn’t be persuaded to let up that easily. She was still there, not ten paces away. I refused to look at her.
What the hell is going on?
I gripped the steering wheel and stubbornly kept my head down. Slowly, forced breathing became less strained, almost effortless. Thinking clicked into a frictionless gear, my irritation kicked up a notch as I evaluated the situation.
I didn’t know her. For sure, she was with someone that was not me, would never be me, and I was wasting energy and nurtured frustration for nothing. Nothing. And she knew it. She was teasing me, making me the fool with all the childish fantasies and silly ideas.
But the images wouldn’t leave me alone. Her mouth, red full lips parting. The body, the way she moved. The things I wanted. All the ways I wanted to fuck her. Fuck? Roger, when did you start using that word? I was losing it.,
When I opened my eyes and looked up, she was gone. Disappointment and relief fought an uneven battle within me, but after only a few more seconds I made my way home, trying not to think. Failing miserably.
How would her skin feel under that top, how would it feel to slide my fingers under the lining of those jeans, finding her hip bone, the stretched skin. Did she wear underwear? Would I find lace? Or nothing but smooth skin.
I shook my head. Damn you, who ever you are.

After failing to get anything done at home, finding myself in a distracted daze, I gave up. I turned on the TV, not bothering to find something to watch. I ate a lukewarm microwave dinner from a tray. Neither mindless reality-TV nor empathy numbing newscasts could do anything to sway my mind from the insistent daydream. It rolled, frame by frame, scene after scene, with only one star. As the TV droned on, I closed my eyes, unbuttoned my jeans and immersed myself in the fantasies.
So vivid, so clear were the images of her perfect shapes and the feeling of smooth yielding yet firm skin under my fingers. She undressed for me, eager and oh so horny, and offered me her body. All the time looking into my eyes, urging me to please her, take her, taste her, possess her.
Slowly stroking myself, leaning back on the couch, my greedy hands grabbed her imaginary hips, turned her around, and pushed her upper body down until she stood bent over the coffee table. Naked, sweaty, shivering in anticipation she stood with palms flat against the table top, exposed. Head down, turned so she could still look at me, she watched me, biting her lower lip, as I grabbed her hips. I stroked her back, circled her waist, gripped her and pulled her closer.

As in any perfect fantasy, I waited, didn’t want to hurry, and when I couldn’t wait any longer I slammed into her slippery warm depth. I pulled her hard, easing off and pulling out, as she protested and squeezed tight to keep me inside her. I slid into her again, deeper and harder for each thrust. Desperately taking possession as she tightened around me, urged on by the pimp/porn flick-producer voice residing in the back of my mind.
Oh yeah, looking good. Fuck that slut. So warm, so wet, so eager.
I heard nothing but her shallow breathing, whimpers of pleasure, and frantic begging. She begged me to fuck her, to hold her closer, harder, to take her. She was mine. All of her, I could do what I wanted to her. Anything. I did as she bid, dug my fingers into her hot damp skin and took her body for mine.

It was over too fast, a blast of exhaled tension and sweet release. Throughout my body, nerves flared in climax that turned into shimmering warmth, fading after each twitching aftershock, leaving me liberated of thought as the images faded. I squeezed my softening cock gently as I caught my breath. A moment passed and I felt free from the spell. One moment of bliss before I realized that she would never totally leave my mind. It was a curse. The fucking witch had put a spell on me. Trapped my mind, made me abuse my body, without even buying me a drink first. I laughed. Stingy bitch.
The laughter cut short when I bit down around it, suddenly scared of its desperate tone. I always thought I was better than that. I thought I had control, thought my life was perfect, but I had been so wrong. I was no better than any guy out there who thought their dick was a compass. I was just like them; I was easy prey; a weak male specimen with brains permeated with sex, sex and more sex. Any kind, any position, any place, just not any one. Damn her. She had gotten to me, chained me to my damn desire. She didn’t even know what she had done. Or did she?

I needed to see her again, just wanted to look. Just once more.

To be continued.

Will he? Can he handle it? What does she want? Or is it only in his mind?

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A gal eerie of desire Part 1 of 5 – Wednesday Exhibit.

A Gal Eerie of Desire

By Jenny K Brennan

Part 2.

Mild explicit warning. This content is for adults. And don’t say I didn’t say so. Enjoy.

Part 1 of 5 — Wednesday exhibit

Another day had passed without incident. It was the way I liked it. Boring and uneventful, worry free and totally uncomplicated.
When the front door to the office building clicked shut behind me and I started toward the parking lot, my thoughts flashed to Angie. I really wished she would stop pestering me. Why I agreed to go out with her was still a mystery. I wasn’t interested in her. Not that way, had said as much. It wasn’t that I disliked her or anything; I just didn’t understand why it had to be so complicated.
Girls. They had so many needs. Romantic dates, cozy evenings with wine and… I shuddered despite the heat. One night she had brought out a tattered book of erotic stories. When I turned to her and asked, “What’s that for?” she had looked at me in that way that only women are capable of, and left. I supposed she had expected me to say something else. Or do something. It was just unfortunate that I had to keep working in the same building as her, where she could give me the look and a snide remark whenever our paths crossed.

I pushed Angie out of my mind and sighed.
The sunlight hit me full force as I rounded the corner and I squinted in the glare.
No, too much bother. I had much more interesting things on my agenda. I needed a cold shower, and all I wanted was to head home, to my one bedroom flat, where half a left over pizza from Gus’s waited for me in the fridge. A package from Amazon might even be waiting in the mailbox. Then there was that buggy Ajax app. That was about as much excitement as I felt like dealing with on an average day. Nothing could beat calm and orderly, organized and scheduled.
And then I saw her.

Still, perhaps nothing at all would have happened, if I hadn’t looked up at that exact moment to point that stupid transmitter at my little Toyota to disengage the lock. Most days I didn’t even do that as I always parked in the same spot. Except this morning as some inconsiderate brute parked across the lot with a huge truck and I had to find another spot.
So as I looked up, the woman just happened to be in my line of sight, watching me.

Her gaze, direct and fixed, hit like a punch in the gut. She didn’t look away, and I couldn’t pull out of the stare. An odd familiarity surged through me, reluctant to surface all the way, as if I aught to know her. I didn’t, but I should.
Suddenly, the damn tie was strangling me and I pulled at it, realizing that it was already hanging loose below the first two open shirt buttons.
Her eyes. I knew them, but she was a stranger. Something hacked away chunks from my mental level and projected it into a wobbly spin. I knew her, but from what? Where?
Without thought, my legs slowed, my body adjusted its path and I stepped toward the beautiful woman.
Somewhere beyond her, the Toyota beeped. Had I pushed the button? I couldn’t remember. The key fob was slick with sweat. I dropped it into a shirt pocket and wiped my hands on the denims.

Those eyes, intense, intriguing. There was a message there I couldn’t understand; something I needed to figure out. At the same time, some little part of me was sure I couldn’t and wouldn’t. And why not? I had no answer, just knew. There was something forbidding, a hard edge in her face.
She stood outside of “The Crone Cone”, a shabby looking ice-cream shop in the corner of the parking lot, on a patch of hot pavement where the air wavered in the relentless sunlight. Only after several moments I noticed the sticky toddlers glued to her hands, each holding a dripping ice-cream cone, blessedly silenced by their melting pleasure.
She kept looking at me, but something in her was changing. She raised her chin a fraction and let her eyes wander over me, curiously assessing, seemingly coming to some kind of conclusion in the short moment it took her to take me in, dissect and analyze me.
She glanced down at the children as if she had never seen them before and frowned, surprised to find her attached to these… creatures. After only a moment, though, her features smoothed and she resumed observing me.
She seemed flustered and moisture dampened her skin, made it shimmer in the heat. A strand of hair was plastered across her chin; another trailed a bridge over one blue … were her eyes blue? Green? … eye. The stray lock formed a static curve toward her ear where it joined a swell of thick dark … was that auburn? Red? Mahogany? … hair falling unchecked and heavy half way down her back.
A simple strapless summer dress in off-white hugged her body. Clinging in fashionable wrinkles it reached mid thigh. She wore no shoes. Bare feet? In the city? Her deep tan would suggest many hours outdoors. She had perfectly shaped toenails on perfect small feet. The rest of her was fit and lean but fragile and soft at the same time.

A drop fell from a leaky cone and made a white and sticky smudge on the top of her foot. She didn’t seem to notice. My imagination made a very vivid show of the translucent substance though. To my horror I realized I had a hard-on and drew hot air through my teeth. I liked feet, sure thing, perhaps more than most, but this was ridiculous. I imagined small soft toes wiggling along a row of fly-buttons. Even after hastily looking away, the image lingered.
If the day hadn’t been so hot, the flush creeping up my neck would have been so much more visible and not just a little embarrassing. I blinked and focused on her face again, feeling both silly and strangely bothered. A corner of her mouth had crept up in a shadow of a smile and perfectly shaped eyebrows moved upwards a tiny bit, just enough to make me certain she knew what kind of images I had fashioned in my dirty mind.
Surely she knew, and she didn’t mind.

I took another step toward her. She tensed and flashed a warning sideways glance and shook her head. I quickly shifted my eyes and altered my steps slightly as a man came up to her. Shit. I made it past them as if that was where I had been heading all along. Some guy. He handed her something. I took care not to glance back at them, unnerved and annoyed by the hollow place in my memory where I knew that this woman should reside.
After getting in to the car, thanking all the benign deities for air-conditioning, I watched the woman who had just become my obsession, the man and two little children, the latter three meaning nothing to me. They walked away along the hot pavement, toward the corner of Helen and Aurora, stalked by their skinny afternoon shadows. I had a funny feeling that she straightened up, held herself tall for me. Just me. She knew I was watching. She moved so smoothly, gracefully, despite the two toddlers pulling and jerking her arms this way and that, chattering and demolishing their afternoon treat.
She paid them no mind, simply looked straight ahead. That lady would radiate serenity walking through a war zone. Nothing would move her.

A toddler stumbled, fell on hands and knees, and mashed the ice-cream against pavement. She leaned down, stayed just like that, for just a few moments longer than strictly necessary. I let out a slow breath.
“You did that on purpose.” I made perfectly clear through my teeth as she soothed the child. I watched her move away and gears in my head spun, smoked, glowed bright red from friction. They didn’t move me forward any.

I knew her from somewhere; I just knew. When had I ever been blessed with such company? Now just face it— someone like that would never even glance at me and even if, it would be while elbowing her friend to make sure she wasn’t the only one laughing.
But she had looked at me. Actually looked at me. Smiled even. Some cruel impulse had for a second almost made me talk to her. Why for Gods sake would I do something so stupid? But she had smiled hadn’t she?
I stole a few moments of watching her ass which was tightly fitted in that skirt, the tanned skin of her arms and the perfectly shaped calves and ankles. No doubt, she knew she made an impression in that dress, although I suspected that with such a body she could walk around in a potato sack and still turn heads, harden soft parts and dampen panties. She was just that fucking hot. How could I not look?

In my traitor of a brain, an image materialized— my hand at the back of her knee, slowly sliding it up toward and then slipping under the skirt, finding the place where that tantalizing shade promised both damp hot skin and slick moisture.

I thought about her on the way home. While checking the mail, fixing the hose to the washer, and while pretending to read the TV-guide, she haunted me. I couldn’t place her, and it was driving me up the walls. Around and around, gears grinding, no movement.
Her face, her body, her need. Need? Holy fuck, the only need going around was mine. Don’t kid yourself you retard. She had kids for fucks sake.
And that guy, I couldn’t quite recall what he looked like. Tall, blond? Yeah, whatever. He didn’t belong with her. A flash of hot sharp jealousy burned in me, an irrational rage toward anyone who would dare touch her, and anyone who had ever been with her in all the ways I could only imagine.

“Slut!” I heard my own voice but I didn’t recognize the whiny squeak. I sat still for a moment to gather up what was left of the sensible me. The feeble chuckle that came out when I realized there was precious little to collect was no more recognizable. Idiot. It was no use; the hamster wheel turned again and I was back where I had started. I knew I had to let it go, if not the stubborn fantasies then the idea that it had anything to do with me. That one look. It had been one look and it was driving me out of my mind. This was not the me I knew.

I ate the pizza, because I had to eat. I showered, because that reek of sour sweat kept following me around, so it had to be coming from me. The TV stayed dark, the PC remained cold and quiet.
I couldn’t dislodge her from my mind even for a second. The lingering feeling of recognition kept nagging. It wouldn’t ease.
Nor would my erection.

To be continued….

Continue reading?
Part 2.

Don’t miss the next awkward and silly thing happening on Studio Chaotic!


 

Cover image: Sculpture by J K Brennan, photo by D G Brennan.

Phobia – A not so irrational fear Part 2 of 2

Phobia – A not so irrational fear.

By Jenny K Brennan

Part 2 of 2
Read Part 1 here.

“Trust me, you little shit!” I said to the bug. I barely recognized my own voice. I drew in air through my nose in short raspy drags as I rraised a heavy boot and drove it down hard. The thing didn’t even twitch before I crushed it and
squeezed its insides from its shell with a sickening wet crackle. White
stringy slime and black flakes appeared around the edge of the boot.
I stepped back, dragging my foot, and scraped the thing off. “If you hadn’t
bothered me, I wouldn’t have bothered you.”

I stared for another moment and walked to the front door, giddy with
delight. I had to tell David. I smiled, threw the door open and rushed out
on the porch. And there I stopped, fought, and failed, to swallow a whimper.

Crawling, turning, shivering, the oily bugs covered every surface. Patio
set, the truck, garden shed, all layered in shiny black beetles. As I
watched, a clump fell from a maple branch, and my bamboo windchime clattered
for the last time, scattering bugs as it crashed to the ground.

“David, where are you?”, I choked on the words and my legs crumbled beneath
me. I turned toward the garage to call again, and I saw him.

He lay just beyond the porch, covered in bugs. Their thick blanket broke up
as I stared; revealing blue cotton, pale skin, a shrivelled limp hand. They
evacuated his body in moments.

“David.”, I tried to say, but it was locked as a scream in my head.

Cold, numb, I somehow found my feet and went to him. As I dropped down
again, all but one creature moved away. It shivered and buzzed madly,
struggling to get free from a thin gold chain that had slipped between hard
shell and flimsy fraying wings, trapping it.

I grabbed it; wrapped my fingers around bug and chain and ripped it loose. I
felt it shudder and crack, before throwing it into the crowd of retreating
bugs, trailed by a sparkle of gold. I released the scream, a horror without
words, in rage without limits. Then, I saw his face and stopped. If I hadn’t,
I never would have. David didn’t like screaming, he was.

Was.

I touched his cold skin. I brushed away his hair and stared at his open
eyes, his slack mouth, waxy white features.

“David.” I whispered. “I killed it, David. I’m not afraid of bugs anymore.”
I looked up from my dead husband, to the house, our house. It was theirs
now.

Thousands, millions of black silent monsters covered every surface. A slow
river of insects poured over doorframe and threshold, taking possession.
That was the final straw. “Evicted am I? You just knock yourselves out you
fucking bastards! Did you forget me? I’m right here!” I screamed. I raged, I
cursed and pleaded until my voice broke.

I lay down beside David and held him, wondering why they wouldn’t come to
take me too, to ease the pain that scraped, clawed, and scratched at me with
its inevitability. “I’m going to wake up soon. Any minute now.”, I told
David as I smoothed out a wrinkle in his shirt.

I pulled my legs up, dragging the heavy boots along the grass, and then I
could smell it. A sharp, sickly bitter scent. It came from the shoes, from
the remains of the one I had crushed. The bastards wouldn’t touch me. I
glared at them, empty of fear. “You fucking cowards!” I sat up and something
eerily like a laugh escaped me, “We’re not having such a great day, are we
honey?” I refused to feel the burning behind my eyelids, and postponed any
recognition of ache.

I eased my feet out of the death-marked work boots, grabbed them both with
my usable hand and threw them. They landed on the porch and bugs nearby
shuffled, jumped, or flew from the scent of death.

In the few seconds remaining, I rolled David onto his back, snuggled close,
pulled his hand on to his chest, and braided our fingers together. I closed
my eyes.

The sharp rustling started, increased, stopped. I knew what they were doing;
they were shifting, preparing, then they would jump.

I waited.

Phobia – a not so irrational fear- Part 1 of 2

Phobia -A not so irrational fear

By Jenny K Brennan

Part 1 of 2
Go directly to Part 2 here.

“Kate, don’t look.”

But, I had to look. I sat on the floor with the vacuum next to me, poking at
sticky cobwebs in a cupboard with the hose. I needed a break anyways, so I
killed the machine and made the mistake of looking up.

David stood rigid at the sink, an expression on his face I had never seen
before. I turned my gaze to see what he stared at and froze; the insect
above him dominated my narrowing vision. I wished to sink into the floor had
it been possible, would have been very comfortable between floor joists.
Until David took care of it. He always did.

Illuminated in unforgiving clarity by the afternoon light, the bug clung to
the cupboard corner. It was the size and shape of a kiwi cut in half
lengthwise, sleek and oily black. I couldn’t see its legs under its dome of
bisected exoskeleton, and didn’t care to.

Without looking away from it, David reached a hand toward me. I placed the
end of the vacuum hose, a hard plastic pipe, in it. He moved it into
position and nodded. I pushed the button, realizing as the machine started
whining that it simply wouldn’t work. The bug was too big, the pipe too
small.

He poked the insect with it; there was nothing wrong with the suction so it
should have, in the least, trapped the flat black thing on the end of the
pipe.

Its reaction was instantaneous: It convulsed and shivered, whirring fast,
its biological motor in overdrive. It jerked away from the plastic and
jumped. I shrieked. The shell unfolded, sprouted wings, and launched my way-
droning, hissing. I screamed, ducked and dived, scrambled on all fours
behind David and then stood. Shuddering and flaying my arms about my head;
I could do nothing but whimper: “Get it! Get it! Get it off me!”

“Hey, easy, honey.” David’s voice registered only when he put his arms
around me. “It’s not on you! Sweetie, it’s not!” I cowered in his arms, and
opened my eyes, allowing my arms to drop away from my head only when I could
see for myself that it was so.

“Holy fuck!” David breathed and held me tight. He reached down, shut off the
vacuum, and sighed. “I guess I need to take care of that, huh?”

The thing sat silently in the corner, where dry wall met drywall, just above
the wayne-scotting, protected by the shallow ledge, a small shelf filled
with crystal trinkets on one wall, and a framed wedding picture on the
other. “I can’t get it there.” David said. “Not without…”, he trailed off.

I knew what he meant. That was not a bug that could be easily squished in
paper towel, nor flattened with fly swatter. This thing was unreal; it was a
bug from hell. I could still hear the vicious humming; still feel the
displaced air as it swept passed. I took a deep breath and nodded.

“I have spray in the garage. It should work. Kills everything.” I chose not
to hear doubt in his voice.

David understood. Spiders, flies, Daddy longlegs, wasps, earwigs, ants. He
accepted my fears. I loved him for not making fun of me when I panicked, for
his patience. And the terror eventually eased. These days I could clean off
cobwebs, and hear a bumblebee fly about without screaming. I understood
David’s oft repeated words: “If you don’t bother them, they won’t bother
you.”

“Do you want to come?” He mumbled. I stood stock still and shook my head. If
I let it out of my sight, I wouldn’t know if it got away… He nodded. “I
know. I’ll just be a sec, ok?”

I trembled, but allowed him to ease from my grip. “If I don’t bother it.” I
said with more conviction than I felt. “Go.”

He kissed my forehead, let a hand linger on my shoulder, and then stepped
through the doorway to the hall.

I pinned the insect with my eyes, daring it to move, begging it not to.

I listened as David opened the front door and stepped onto the porch. The
door closed and I was alone. With that. thing.

I watched it. It still didn’t move.

David’s steps faded. I cursed our decision not to connect the garage to the
house.

The creature shifted, emitted a shrill rustling, and stilled. My heart
hammered, every muscle burned with adrenaline, I was paralyzed by fear.
“David, please hurry.”

It jumped, unfolded its wings, and came at me. I screamed, flung my arm as
I stepped back. A hard thud against my hand silenced its frenzied droning. A
searing pain spread across the top of my hand, but quickly turned numb.
Astonished, I stared at the thing as it sat on the floor like a large black
pimple. I held my arm to my chest and backed away, breathless, as I couldn’t
seem to find air between heartbeats.

Keeping my eyes on it, I reached around the doorframe and grabbed a pair of
boots from a shelf. David’s, big, clunky, bug-crushing work-boots. Just what
I needed. I glanced from boots to bug-too far to throw.

“Now, you just stay right there.” I wheezed. I fumbled, couldn’t seem to
grip the boots, or feel anything below my left wrist. I glanced at my arm
and quickly looked away. There was no time for it now. Fear would have to
wait. I had a job to do. Keeping my eye on the bug, I pulled the boots with
my other hand, and stepped into them.

“Don’t move.” I hissed, taking a step. My left hand grew numb from
fingertips to elbow, skin waxy white. I felt no pain, just an icy tingle.

“This won’t hurt one little bit.” I stepped closer.

Continue reading in Part 2 here.

Doggy snatchers. A NaNoWriMo winner (Unfinished). Chapter 1 – The unmentionables

Doggy snatchers

By Jenny K Brennan

Chapter 1 – The unmentionables

Kent street West – Early Saturday

Out of impenetrable dark came a sound, a chitter chatter, as from a thousand rats. It rose and intensified. One chattering voice said. “How’s that? Can you move?” Several seconds of expectant silence passed where not a single rat even dared breathe. An intake of breath, a clearing of a clogged up throat, then a hoarse male voice answered. “Yeah, I can move eh, but I can’t see. These beings need light you know.” A moment of silence was quickly replaced by agitated chatter.

“Oh.” Rustling, tippy tap of small things moving around in haste.

Click.

“Aaaahhh, shit, cut it out. It hurts, the light, it burns!”

Click.

Darkness returned. Titter tatter, hushed chatter. Heavy breathing, and the Canadian voice muttered. “I have to be careful with that. Ok, my lids are shut now. Turn that light on again.”

Click.

He sat in a chair, naked but for a single sock; semitransparent beige crumpled and twisted around the ankle, its mate nowhere in sight. F3212 shivered in the raw, musty air. He was muscular, tattooed from neck to wrists, topped with a head of blond tangles, and proudly displayed innumerable scars on every limb but his penis. It dangled loose over the edge of the chair where he sat slumped. The man, who in the deepest crevices of his mind knew his name was Calvin Roberts, and not F3212, carefully opened his eyes, and squinted at the light, slowly adapted to it.

The big man blinked grit out of his eyes, and found himself looking at the soft wrinkle of flesh between his legs. “What is that?” And then he knew. The body knew, so F3212 knew. He didn’t quite understand it though. It seemed to serve several different purposes, of which one was to reproduce.

Reproduction F3212 understood. In this specific specimen’s patterns of thoughts though, the relationship with the opposite sex, what apparently was called females, or bitches, or babes, or skanks, or any of the names in this body’s library of vocabulary, was more complex than seemed strictly necessary.

And so F3212 probed and found many hidden places in Calvin’s mind. Places that F3212 did not want to go again. Places that not even Calvin wanted to go.

There were so many conflicting emotions, so many strange preferences. Although F3212 suddenly understood Calvin’s need and also shame over his cross dressing, those ideas and images would take long to ponder. Odd, but intriguing.

A slightly fuzzy ball of multicolored light, with fragmented swirls and streaks of black dancing across its diffuse surface, waited for F3212 to acknowledge successful transfer. The little creature, twenty-seventh of his kind, one of only forty-two qualified for human insertion, stood unsteadily on an undeterminable number of pointy stick-like limbs that moved independently to each other. They propelled the creature in little hops and jumps, skips and spins. But it stayed where it was, on the armrest, next to F3212’s left digit… hand. It paused in its pulsating and spoke, tap, tap, tapping its many feet that were not feet. Titter tatter.
“Something amiss? Your… face changes in a way I believe is agitation. Or something called horror. Is it horror this body makes you… feel?”

Calvin, who wasn’t quite Calvin, screwed up his face, opened his mouth wide, probed parts of his body with strange but familiar digits. He closed his lips, pursed them, and drew them back, working the fleshy muscle inside the mouth in experimental flops and contractions. He gurgled, wheezed, ground the teeth, and moaned. He pinched a red protrusion on his front. Nipple, the body advised, and analysis could be considered complete, if not totally satisfactory. “No, it is confusing. This body is so very… so strange.” He stood up, tried his weight on one foot, then the other. He bent his knees, stretched his arms, felt the rough growth on his face. “Functional, if not optimal. It will do.”

He turned to the little flickering light, which if flickering lights could look apprehensive, looked apprehensive as it tic, tic, ticked away with the many feet and leaned a little ways away from the human that was not a human. Calvin’s face changed, became rubbery with shifting sensations and contradicting impulses. A spastic move seemed to shift everything out of true and a shiver traveled through the body. Then it stopped, leaving the human perfectly still.

F3212 saw through the human’s eyes, could speak using the human’s tongue, but the connection to anything beyond Calvin’s natural perception faded. Stunned by a sensation never experienced before, F3212 watched the lights dim a little bit, felt all other senses dull, and lost control of the body. Not for long, just a short slip that shouldn’t have been possible. But long enough to change everything.

Calvin offered a thumbs up and a splitting of the teeth and lips in something that should represent joy. In this particular body however, the sensation that provoked the grimace had a strong leaning toward malice. Wicked happy. That’s what this body was feeling. Rage mixed with satisfaction. So strange.

He spread the fingers of his right hand, fisted them, spread them again but this time he bent the first finger, placed the thumb on the first finger’s nail, moved it to the small maintenance worker that had arranged this particular snatching, and flicked it off the armrest.

The ball of light exploded in a quick white flash and a series of agitated beeps and squeals. Calvin laughed. When B27 landed on the bare concrete floor, it sprang up and tittered off to the open ventilation shaft and turned, stomping its sharpened limbs in fury. “We do not appreciate such attitude, F3212, we will not accept another failure. You know what to do. Just don’t forget. Humans wear clothes. The runaway must be returned. Report here when successful.”

B27 could have saved itself some trouble, because F3212 didn’t hear. The awareness of many had vanished. The thing that couldn’t happen, had just happened. F3212 was alone.

With a final huffing squeal, B27 turned and rapidly disappeared into the dark shaft. It would lead out. A group of lower level operators, flickering in green instead of white, quickly followed the boss and vanished.

Calvin was alone in his basement, where the unmentionables had found him, passed out on a soiled futon mattress. Why he had gone down there to drink himself stupid, not even Calvin the way he was before, and sober, could have answered.

But Calvin was no longer alone in his head, nor was he even remotely sole master of his flesh, bones, or thoughts. He was strong though.
He stood silent for a long while. Fascinated by a wonderfully complicated view of life, new knowledge, novel sensations. He knew what had happened, and he also knew he should curl up and shriek in terror. Most would. Calvin was strong though, and no little brain sucking alien would take him down without a fight. Nothing would suppress Calvin Robert’s urges.

He relaxed back in the chair, letting his curiosity lessen his resistance. Just for the time being. Because really, what the hell did they want?

The thing inside him suddenly knew with painful clarity that they had made yet another mistake. Yet one more bad judgment. Even as The alien regained control over Calvin the human, it realized that these creatures could not be controlled, not for long. The little parasite was revolted and at the same time, intrigued by all the possibilities the new body could offer, and wary of its power.

For now, F3212 was in control. F3212 would find the runaway and bring him home, away from this terrible place.

But F3212 felt something that his borrowed body wasn’t capable of.

F3212 was afraid.

Sandelina – A childrens story for grownup kids

Sandelina
By
Jenny K Brennan
Copyright 2013 Jenny K Brennan

Sandelina

She wasn’t there. That’s just the way it was. Sandelina was not on the bed. She was not even under the bed. Old Grumbler was there, and the really old Teddy. Teddy was kind of broken though, a little bit blind and deaf and hairless. He had been a good teddy for the longest time, until he started loosing bits and pieces of himself. After that, he started looking at Chrissie a bit loopy-eared and squinty-eyed. Teddies can look a little bit mean when they drop pieces of themselves. But Teddy never looked mean even after losing one eye and other bits. He looked sad. Chrissie didn’t like sad toys.

Anyways, old Teddy could stay under the bed where he couldn’t look at her so squinty-eyed and sad. And Grumbler could stay there too. They could sit under the bed with Chrissies busted up book about blue balls and green houses. Because houses weren’t green, not for real, and Chrissie was too old for baby books anyways. Grumbler and Old Teddy could learn about green houses and purple buckets; what a silly thing, buckets weren’t purple. She guessed that maybe they could be; there were red buckets and blue buckets after all. But Chrissie had never seen a purple bucket so she didn’t quite believe there were any. There were bunnies under the bed too. That was another silly thing. They were just pieces of hair and soft stuff, sometimes little pieces of other things like paper or dirt and grass, but Chrissie knew that real bunnies had legs and a head and a tiny fluffy tail. No dust bunny Chrissie had ever picked apart had any of those. They were just kind of long and almost round, made up of all the things the vacuum cleaner didn’t find.

Dust bunnies. Mommy really was silly sometimes.

But she still couldn’t find Sandelina. Not in the plastic toy box, not under the blankets. She was definitely not on the window sill chatting away with Porky, Tuft-tuft, or Tiny Evelina-Bob. Sometimes Sandelina crawled into the corner behind the big closet, but she wasn’t there either.

Chrissie thought hard and long. After looking through everything she could think of, even inside the closet although Sandelina would never go there, she went out on the landing outside her room and even looked on the floor there. No Sandelina. Chrissie scrunched up her face and scratched her head with one stiff finger.

“Hm.” She stepped over to the table where the upstairs phone stood, surrounded by all kinds of letters, and papers, and pads and pens, and all that stuff that Chrissie wasn’t allowed to even think about thinking about drawing on with her crayons. But no one could stop Chrissie from thinking about something. A little bit of thinking never hurt. She didn’t always have to do what she was thinking about doing, right? Well, she wouldn’t draw on the important papers and letters. Again.

She dropped down on her knees and looked under the table. There was a space there, a dark little corner between the table and a big plant that Chrissie wasn’t allowed to touch. Or eat. She wouldn’t do that either. Not ever again. Sandelina was not in the dark space where she could have been. Sandelina was really good at hiding.

“Hm.”

She scratched her head again and shrugged. It couldn’t be helped; this was a problem she couldn’t fix. She bounded down the stairs with one hand hovering above the round wooden railing. She didn’t need to hold it anymore, Chrissie had good balance. Mommy even said so. She bypassed the last step at the bottom with an elegant hop and pin wheeled only a little at landing. She walked through the hall and into the living room.

Mommy sat on the big sofa with papers all over her legs, a pen in her mouth and the sparkling new glasses almost all the way down on the tip of her nose. The pen wiggled back and forth and papers rustled. Mom took the pen out of her mouth and scribbled something on one of the papers, and then she put the pen back and started moving papers around again.

“Mommy?” Chrissie knew that mommy was working and didn’t really have time to talk. But it was an emergency. And if anyone had answers to everything… well, almost everything, it would be mommy.

“Uh huh.” Mommy didn’t look up, but she was listening, kind of.

“I can’t find Sandelina. I think she ran away.” Chrissie stated her case decidedly and made sure to speak every word carefully, putting just a little bit of emphasis on the running away part. She nodded slowly and wrinkled her forehead to emphasize the seriousness of the situation.

“Again?” Mommy mumbled in that far away way that meant she wasn’t quite listening.

She still didn’t look up, so Chrissie dropped the frown and stepped in front of the paper shuffling mommy. It wasn’t as easy as it may seem. The table and the couch stood close together, and between them, were mommy’s knees and briefcase. Once in position, Chrissie placed her hands on mommy’s knees, bent forward and tilted her head. Her nose almost touched mommy’s nose. She waited. She could see mommy’s eyes move back and forth, looking at a paper lying on the sofa next to her leg. Chrissie leaned that way, and down a bit more, until she could look up into mommy’s eyes. She waited. Mommy’s eyes twitch, blinked, tried to look through Chrissies head and at the paper with all those important things written on them. But Chrissie also saw one corner of mommy’s mouth move a little. Chrissie smiled. “Mommy, can I have a minute of your time?”

Mommy straightened up and laughed. She sat back and looked at her daughter for a long moment. “Where did you learn that, Chrissie?” Resigned but still smiling, she continued. “Oh, don’t answer that. Now, Sweetie-pie, how can I assist you?”

“Sandelina is gone. Really gone. She is nowhere. I looked everywhere. Even under the bed, and in the closet, and on the bed, and the hall table.”

“You didn’t move anything on the table did you?”

“No mommy, just listen. Not in the toy box and not on the floor.”

“Did you look under your clothes?” Chrissie nodded. “Under your pillow?” Chrissie nodded again.” Mommy frowned a little bit. “Well, honey, I can’t really help you look right now.” She sighed and shuffled papers around for a bit. Then she looked at Chrissie again. “Don’t pout. I’ll help you look when I’m done this…” She sighed and didn’t look happy one bit. “It’s a nightmare. It needs to be done tomorrow. But I’m almost ready. We’ll look together when I’m done ok?”

Chrissie nodded but it would feel like forever. It wasn’t like Sandelina to be gone just like that.

“I’ll tell you what sweetie; while I finish this, I want you to look in your room one more time, do it for me. Maybe she came back already, who knows. And you can see if she is hiding in my bedroom if you don’t touch anything. She might have crawled up in my bed. You know she comes with you sometimes right. So my bedroom, your room, and she might even be in the kitchen. Do that, and if you still can’t find Sandelina, I’ll help you when I’m done.”

Chrissie sighed but looking for Sandelina was better than not looking for Sandelina.

She started with the closest room, the kitchen. But there was no way Sandelina would go there. Maybe she had followed Chrissie there for breakfast. She dropped down on all fours and crawled under the kitchen table. She didn’t really have to do that, but making sure Sandelina wasn’t on any of the chairs was easier that way. There were no dust bunnies under the kitchen table, but she found three dried macaroni spirals, a pink hair band, a piece of Barbie, and only one chair had anything sitting on it; a big crooked pile of more papers. She put the little piece of Barbie in a pocket along with the hair band and the three macaroni spirals. She flopped down on her tummy and looked out from under the table, through all the chairs. She could count all the chairs, if they weren’t more than ten, but she thought there were more than ten legs, almost like a cage, but she could escape. It was easy. She crawled out on the floor proper and looked back at the wicked cage that had tried to catch her and maybe eat her too. She looked around the entire floor by way of sliding around on her tummy, head up, kicking feet and pulling with flat palms until she had made a full circle. She made another circle just to be sure, but Sandelina was not on the kitchen floor.

Chrissie stood up and scanned all the counters and flipped the lid up on the garbage bin. “Ew!” Whatever was in the garbage made her nose crinkle up and tickle. She pinched her nose and peeked down at the nasty. “Ew!” She said again. No Sandelina, but why was there a pink sock in there? It lay jammed under an empty jar of icky stuff. She tilted her head and leaned a little bit closer. There was nothing wrong with that sock. She put a finger on the fluffy pink fabric, and then she saw another one. It was one of Daddy’s; black and not soft at all, not like Chrissie’s socks, and it had holes everywhere. She giggled and let go of her nose. “Ew! Extra eeeew!” She said and closed the garbage bin.

She looked around one last time before returning upstairs. She bypassed the door to her room and pushed open the next one. She stepped through and looked around. It smelled a bit funny in there; something that kind of tickled her nostrils but not quite. More like burning. Like when mommy cleaned windows. She looked at the little table next to mommy’s big mirror. “Don’t touch anything.” She remembered mommy saying. With a final longing look at all the different bottles and pretty boxes, she looked away from the crowded table. There wasn’t any room for Sandelina to sit there anyways. And Sandelina was definitely not allowed to look in the drawer either. Absolutely no way. Chrissie sighed.

“Hm.” Sandelina was absolutely positively not on mommy’s bed. It wasn’t very hard to see, because there was nothing at all on it. Mommy and Daddy’s big fat bed was naked. It really was naked. The big fluffy comforter was gone. So were the sheets. The mattress was still on the bed, but it didn’t look comfortable at all. The pillows were gone too, but she found them piled up on the fancy dresser in the corner. They were naked too. They were all white, but they had been blue, Chrissie thought. Blue and silky, with ribbons all around the edges. Chrissie liked the ribbons and picked on them sometimes when nobody watched. But the blue silky pillow cases were all gone.

But if Sandelina wasn’t in the bed… She dropped to her knees and looked under the bed. Funny. Mommy didn’t have any pretend bunnies under her bed. None at all. No Sandelina. She lay down on her back and slid under the bed. She looked up at the wooden boards that held the mattress up. They looked naked too. She slid around on her back, watching the world turn all wrong. It felt funny, so she made another sliding turn and giggled and sneezed. She slid around another half turn and wriggled her way out head first.

She lay absolutely still on the floor, turned her head this way and that; maybe Sandelina was under the dresser. Nope, clearly not there. Her searching gaze fell on the pile of pillows on top of the dresser. Was Sandelina stacked with the pillows and lost?

The pillows; three big and two small. That made five. One by one, Chrissie moved them to the floor. She turned them and patted them to make sure there was nothing hiding in or between them. When all the pillows had been searched and lined up on the floor next to the dresser, Chrissie flopped down on top of them to think for a minute or two.

Where was Sandelina? When had she last seen her? It was so hard to remember. Mommy always told her to think and to concentrate; then it would come to her. But that was so silly. Things didn’t just come to her when she thought about them. That was kind of magic, and Chrissie had tried, actually tried really really hard. Magic wasn’t real at all.

Chrissie hated to try to remember when there wasn’t anything to remember. But maybe she could figure it out if she thought really really hard.

But the only thing she could think of was Sandelina’s soft pretty face, flexible arms, and real plastic shoes with real Velcro. The pretty dress with buttons that mommy had put back on a mega million times at least. They always fell off in the laundry Mommy said

Chrissie frowned. Laundry? She looked at the naked bed, dug the back of her head into one of the naked pillows, and looked up at a very naked window. Chrissie climbed out of the mountain of fluffy nakedness and strolled out of mommy’s bedroom and down the stairs. She avoided the last step again and made a marvelous landing in almost perfect balanced fashion. But instead of turning left after the stairs, she turned right and spent a few moments in the laundry room.

She hop-skipped to the living-room and flopped down on the couch next to mommy, humming under her breath. It was a melody she and Sandelina had made up yesterday. It was just before Chrissies doll tried to dance on the kitchen table, tripped, and fell face first into Daddy’s macaroni spirals.

Sandelina had looked funny with cheese sauce all over her face, but Daddy hadn’t laughed at all. Mommy had given her that look; she remembered now, that look that only a really tired mommy gave to Chrissie after a long day. Chrissie knew what that look meant. So she had picked up Sandelina and held her out to mommy. “I think Sandelina needs a bath Mommy.”

So Mommy had sighed and taken the sticky doll by the hair and said. “I think Sandelina can help me wash curtains and pillowcases tomorrow then. It will do her good.” Sandelina had been gone ever since. Chrissie had forgotten, but now she knew. Sandelina was nice and clean now and had finished tumbling around and around, maybe she was still a little bit warm and dizzy.

Mommy was almost done moving papers around. She was stacking them on the table, and had taken off the glasses. She had put the pen away and now she turned all of her to Chrissie, not just a little bit, and looked at her. “I bet you found Sandelina already.”

Chrissie shook her head. Then she nodded and said. “Kind of found her a little bit almost.”

“What on earth do you mean? Well, where is she then? I know you can remember where you put your things if you just try. So, how can you kind of find Sandelina? Where is she?” Mommy frowned and narrowed her eyes at Chrissie’s widening smile. “What are you not telling me?”

Chrissie shrugged and squinted hard, smiling. She folded forward and rested her head on her knees, peered up at mommy. “It’s ok Mommy. If you think really really hard, you can remember too.”

Mommy went very still and said. “Don’t be bold little missy.”

Chrissie cringed a little. It didn’t go quite the way she had thought it would. But it was alright. Mommy wasn’t angry, even if she had that way of wrinkling her forehead and not blink for a long, long time.

Chrissie sat up on the couch. Sit straight, mommy always said. “Here’s a deal mommy.” She said. “I did a lot of thinking. Very lots of thinking. I looked everywhere. Just like you said.” She continued and looked mommy straight in the eye. But she couldn’t quite stop the giggle. Not until mommy frowned even more. She hurried to finish. “Well mommy can you think a bit too just for me can you? I want you to remember what I remember.”

Mommy curled up her eyebrows and twitched her lips a little as she considered the deal. Finally she sighed, shuffled her important papers a little bit, and looked back at her daughter.

Ok, Chrissie, tell me what I should think about.”

“Sandelina, silly.” Chrissie said quickly.

“Yes. I understand that it’s Sandelina we are talking about. Could you give me a hint?” She held up a hand and measured a tiny space between thumb and forefinger. “Mommy is not as good at thinking as you, Chrissie. So help me out. A little.”

Chrissie giggled for real and pulled her feet up on the couch, hugging her knees. “Think about supper, and daddy, and then you can remember.”

“Supper?” If possible, mommy’s face crinkled up even more.

Chrissie nodded. “Yep. Supper yesterday.“ She pressed her lips together and zipped them shut with a finger. It was hard to giggle with the mouth closed though. Really hard. And mommy looked so funny the giggle would explode any second. She squirmed and rocked back and forth, swallowing giggle after giggle until her tummy felt all wobbly and warm. And mommy’s body didn’t move at all when her eyes and mouth went here and there, and she chewed her lip so hard Chrissie was afraid mommy would bite it off.

“Oh sh—” Mommy’s eyes flew wide open and she clapped a hand over her mouth. Then she hopped off the couch and disappeared into the laundry room. When mommy came back a moment later, she smiled that pretty mommy smile. “Sandelina,” she said to the doll, “I’m sorry I forgot you in the dryer.” Sandelina just smiled as she lay in mommy’s arms. Chrissie reached and Sandelina came to her.

When Sandelina found her place in Chrissies lap, a little bit warm and very tumbled and clean, mommy leaned over and kissed Chrissie on the forehead. She sat down next to her and straightened Sandelina’s hair a little before saying. “Chrissie, you know what?”

“Chrissie returned mommy’s gaze, hugging Sandelina. “What mommy?”

“I think Sandelina has the best mommy ever, ever, ever. I think we could all learn something from her.”