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Latest stories Supernatural Soul Searching
Say what you like about Hell, the place is certainly toasty.
Sure, it gets lonely with just Mum, Dad and me rattling around the caves, but it beats the surface.
I find the world so cold.
Guess Dad would be pretty crap at his job if it was anything else, but right now, stuck on the living room sofa amid one of our father-son ‘chats’, even the surface seems appealing.
Dad has the remote in his hand, eagerly flicking through the channels.
“This one?” I roll my eyes to the screen mounted at a jaunty angle on the rocky wall and shake my head.
” He stabs the button and the feed changes to a young brunette, ample cleavage spilling from a micro pink sundress, pushing a stroller through a leafy park in some corner of the world.
Could be Sydney or Berlin for all I know.
” “Really? With those assets?” Dad sighs and clicks through some more channels.
“Honestly, Bob, you’re too fussy.
When I was your age I couldn’t wait to get out there.
Sample the merchandi-” “Dad.
” He turns to face me.
“Do we have to do this now?” His eyes glow red, tinged the same shade as the stubby horns that protrude from his shock of black hair.
“You have somewhere to be?” He gives a twisted smile, baring neat teeth.
I slump back against the mismatched cushions.
” He continues to scan the channels and I feign interest, my gaze wandering to the PlayStation on the unit beneath the screen.
Stolen, like most of the stuff down here.
Not as if we have real jobs.
Dad had a stint as an investment banker for a “change of pace” as he put it, ironically deciding it was soul destroying.
Me? I don’t go for the whole ‘corrupt the human race’ gig.
They seem to be doing a pretty good job without our help.
Digging up the planet.
The list is endless.
But Dad’s obsessed, proud of our heritage.
Claims we’re an integral part of maintaining balance, tempting the fragile away from the gates of good intentions to prevent overcrowding.
Like we’re doing God a favour.
Honestly, I’d rather be an electrician.
Don’t have what it takes to do Dad’s job.
He makes it seem effortless, but he’s personable like a car salesman, always knowing what to say to tempt someone into the shiny convertible that drives straight to our fiery gates.
I’ve tagged along a few times and just end up looking at my feet or blurting something stupid.
Girls make me nervous.
I think it’s the lack of common ground; I can chat circuits and mechanics with men and it’s easy and comfortable.
Women have feelings and use subtext.
I’ve read Men are from Mars and still wish I understood them.
It’s not that I don’t think about girls.
My right hand will attest to that.
But it’s not like I can develop a bond or invite someone special to dinner.
Nothing spells relationship killer more than, “Hi.
Welcome to Hell.
This is my dad and he steals souls.
” Then again, Mum was one of his assignments and she stuck around, so maybe there’s a slim chance.
Perhaps if I stick to the script instead of fretting about trying to come across witty and clever I’d be as good as Dad.
Maybe with practice comes confidence, which leads to the possibility of connecting with someone.
Caught up in thought, I don’t realise he’s waiting for an answer to the latest prospect until I notice the pause eating away at the living room.
I regard the screen and screw up my nose.
Dad purses his lips and blows out, flicking another five channels in rapid succession.
I watch the imagery dance from girl to girl, varying physical attributes usually on display in one form or another.
“Why does it have to be a woman?” He stares at me like I’ve lost my tail.
“Tempting men is easy, son.
Just show them a flash of T&A and they’ll do anything to beat a path to our door.
No, the true test of our profession is leading a woman astray.
You have to get inside her head, remember?” He taps his temple.
“Corrupt her from the inside out.
” I nod as if the hours of him drumming in the three steps all makes sense.
He shakes his head, “Men, ha!” I nod again and lace my fingers in my lap.
” Satisfied, he returns his attention to the screen and stabs the remote a few more times while I idly observe the floor.
His hand grabbing my forearm startles me.
“Hold the front page.
” Following his gaze, I take her in and shiver despite the heat in the room.
A winter landscape surrounds her, a fresh, crisp layer of snow stretching in all directions.
She’s standing at the edge of a walled field, but the low angle prevents us seeing her viewpoint.
The tip of her turquoise crochet beanie ruffles in the breeze, beneath which blonde braided pigtails tumble over a thick knit rainbow scarf.
Dad zooms the screen in and nudges me.
“Am I good at soul searching or what, eh?” I can see why he’s enamoured.
The hem of her cream pea jacket stops just above a very pert bottom encased in tight black leggings.
” Dad beams.
Raises an eyebrow.
“Well go on then.
” My mouth gapes.
“What… now?” “Yes now.
A vulnerable girl alone in the snow this close to Christmas won’t be there forever.
Get up there and lead her astray.
” “But Dad, I don’t-” He holds up his hand.
“You have to learn, Beelzebob.
The future of the family business is at stake.
” “But…” “Chop chop.
” He stands and hauls me up by my arm, ushering me to the rough-hewn stairs at the back of the room.
I stumble a little and reach their foot, gazing up at the rocky ceiling far above.
From behind me, Dad calls, “You’ll need this, it’s cold out.
” I turn and catch the hat he’s tossed in my direction.
I want to protest more but there’s something in his expression that makes me stop.
He’s visibly excited at the prospect of his only son following his footsteps, embarking solo for the first time.
I can’t bring myself to crush his spirit, despite how I feel.
Tugging the beanie over my horns, I fold the hem up by my ears and give what I hope is a convincing thumbs up.
“You’ll be great.
” He grins and winks.
“Give her Hell.
” Turning to the rocky steps I sigh and begin the trudging ascent.
The stairs seem endless, all six hundred and sixty-six of them winding around the main cave up into the distance.
It still amazes me that the roof we glimpse from below isn’t really there.
The instinct is to duck as the rising thermals are trapped just below the non-roof, but I’ve ventured out enough times to know that I can pass straight through the gateway, the rock shimmering around me.
Then the cold hits.
Right to my core.
I step up into the snow, maybe fifteen feet behind and slightly to her right, taking in a similar vista to the one on the cave screen.
The cloud is low, the sun a hazy blob, already dipping in preparation for nightfall.
My breath fogs ahead of me and drifts, before I take a few crunching steps forward.
She sharply turns her head, clearly startled, and I offer a disarming smile.
Her hand claps to her chest.
“You gave me a fright.
” Her eyes scan me, top to bottom and back.
Skechers, jeans and a black zip-up hoody over a Lamb of God T-shirt that Dad hates.
” I’m taken aback a moment.
” She laughs and nods at my hands.
I mean, you’re actually smoking.
” “Oh, right.
” I look down, somewhat redundantly.
Wisps of steam are rising into the cooler air around me.
I shrug, my nervousness adding to the internal heat.
She tilts slowly off-axis, looking behind me, then returns to the vertical, brow furrowing.
It’s clear the lack of footprints in my wake don’t compute.
“How did you get here?” I give another noncommittal Gallic shoulder lift and offer, “Magic,” doing Jazz hands in the process, as if that’ll somehow deflect my sudden appearance.
It’s something I saw Dad do once, but with far more conviction.
“Ummm, may I…?” She’s justifiably wary as I approach to take in what she can see.
Over the low snow-capped wall lies a sprawling city that appears to have grown organically rather than to any plan, perhaps neighbouring villages gradually swallowed by expansion of the main town.
Despite being built up, it has a rural postcard feel.
Like a scene inside a snow globe.
A cathedral steeple punctures the skyline, low-slung buildings spreading out along haphazard connecting streets into which pinpricks of warm light spill.
Ornate bridges cross a river that curves into the distance, broadly dividing the vista in two.
There’s no obvious direct route to the centre from our vantage point, besides winding lanes that skirt blanketed white fields to the right of the river.
A few livestock brave the elements near dotted farmhouses.
“Picturesque,” I proclaim before glancing at her.
Not much older than me, early twenties I guess, subtly applied makeup accentuating soft European features and dazzling aquamarine eyes.
One hand clutches a map.
Almost subconsciously, I take in the fact she wears a diamond solitaire.
Dad has drilled me to notice small things like that.
The Devil is in the details he’d proudly proclaim.
I recall step one, hearing his voice in my head – Earn trust – and nod at the map.
“Are you lost?” “Not exactly.
My car conked out,” she points East across the field, where a set of her tracks originate from a wooden stile, “so I came up here to see how far it was to walk.
Maybe spot a garage.
” I calm a little.
“I could take a look at the car if you like.
I’m no mechanic.
” She brightens.
“Would you? That’s so kind.
Lead the way.
” She folds the map and sets off at pace.
I hustle to pull alongside as we tramp through the snow in silence, her fur-lined ankle boots far more practical than my trainers.
A bird swoops overhead to its nest, prominent among the snow-dusted branches of a leafless tree.
I let the girl mount the stile first and as she arcs each leg over, I’m suddenly awestruck.
A fluttering sets up in my stomach at being eye level with her curvy rear.
Time seems to slow.
I want to bite her.
I want to do a lot of things, imagining what lies beneath the taut material.
I know I need to get a grip.
Can’t afford to become attached.
But the line of her panties becomes visible as the outer material stretches further, and I stir in my underwear.
Shaking my head to restart time, I step over the stile to join her in the icy lane beyond.
With the central locking disengaged, she swings the lime green passenger door of the stricken Ford open, fumbling under the dash until I hear the bonnet pop.
I skid over and feel under the rim for the latch, hoisting the lid.
Thankfully, the engine is still warm.
I let its latent glow radiate against my face as I stoop in and pretend to know what I’m doing.
It’s a mass of interconnected metal and hoses, most of which mean nothing to me, but there’s steam rising from one area.
I look closer as she joins me, our heads almost touching, and I point to direct her attention.
“Looks like your radiator has sprung a leak.
” It sounds impressive, but I only know because of the wording on the cap above where the steam emanates.
Is it terminal?” I poke around, hoping it appears authoritative.
But I wouldn’t drive it like this.
It’ll seize up in no time, or blow completely.
” She sighs, stands straight and scratches her nose beside a tiny jewel.
“One of those things, I guess.
Wouldn’t be so bad if my phone wasn’t dead, but the adapter worked loose in the car.
Doesn’t it beep to warn you?” “Not loud enough to be heard over the radio.
” She flashes a self-conscious smile.
“And my singing.
I don’t have a phone, sorry.
” “Really? Do you have, like, electricity?” I blink.
“Of course,” before realising she’s teasing.
Glancing up and down the lane, I drop the bonnet lid, puffs of snow launching either side.
“Should probably push it out of the way.
” She agrees and steps to the driver’s side, unceremoniously losing her footing on a patch of ice.
In a flash, I grab a flailing arm and just manage to stop her from hitting the floor, but as she falls against me, I slip too and we both go down in a heap.
I’m mortified and apologise until I notice her shaking from between my legs and realise she’s laughing.
Relief washes over me and I find myself joining in until the sensation of her body rubbing against mine takes the forefront.
I start to fret that she’ll notice my rising hardness pressing against her jiggling bum through the thin material.
Scrabbling from the freezing surface to avoid awkward questions, I help her up, and we steady ourselves.
She clambers into the Ford as I carefully make my way to the rear.
Between some riotous moments of being near horizontal as my feet fight for traction on the icy road, and her with one foot out the door pushing like she’s commandeering an oversized skateboard, we eventually ease the car into the verge, enough that any other vehicles can just about pass.
Panting, I watch her retrieve a small knapsack from the back seat and lock up.
She slides her eyes to mine and opens her mouth to speak.
The cathedral bell interrupts to strike four and she freezes, rolling her eyes waiting for the echoing peals across the rolling landscape to fade.
Sorry, I don’t even know your name.
” “Ah, yeah.
It’s Be… Robert.
” She giggles and extends her hand, soft against mine.
“Pleased to meet you, Brobert! I’m Ellie.
” I find myself colouring again and just nod.
At her touch, it dawns on me I’ve managed to achieve step one, despite it not exactly being a smooth ride.
Maybe the steps do actually work and I should move on – Raise doubt.
But I’m torn.
Part of me knows what I’m doing is wrong or at least immoral.
I understand that the only people offered as prospects are those teetering on the edge anyway, so she’s likely to fall at some point regardless of my input.
To fulfil my obligation to Dad I should set the wheels in motion: find out what she fears and give her a nudge to adjust her path in our direction.
The dilemma is that I shouldn’t take advantage of that nudge.
It could end badly.
I’m not equipped to deal with such power without proper training.
What if I take her soul early? I should walk away while I can, before she gets hurt or I make a mistake.
But she’s achingly pretty.
Her smile lights me up.
And those legs that curve up to that perfect behind, wow.
If the rest of her is as beautifully packaged… I sense a rush of hormones, my cock making its presence felt against my jeans once more.
Confidence grows with it.
I know it’s statistically unlikely but one thought plagues my mind: what if she’s the one? What if I can make an emotional connection with my first assignment? Is it beginner’s luck? Destiny? To not only push her off the path of righteousness but into my arms in the process? Is it wrong to gain? In the contest between libido and logic, is it a failure on my part to succumb, as Dad says, to T&A like a regular man? I convince myself that’s a ridiculous argument.
Creatures like me can’t fall any further, surely? Sometimes I forget that I’m privileged.
I just have to be careful.
Looking up at the sky I narrow my eyes towards where the sun will set.
“It’ll be dark soon.
Are you heading to find a phone or into the city?” Ellie screws up her face a moment.
He doesn’t even know I’m coming.
” “Who?” “My fiancé.
Maybe he’ll come and pick me up.
He’s a couple of towns from here, just outside the city.
” “How about I walk you to that farmhouse we saw from up there? Closest place that probably has a phone.
” She nods.
“You sure? I can get there on my own.
” “I know.
But since I’m here, I can keep you company.
Fight off any cattle that charge.
” She laughs.
“Very chivalrous of you… Brobert.
” We cross the road to another stile that leads to the neighbouring field and I offer her my hand as she steps up.
At her touch, I’m once again consumed by a hunger for her.
I want to rip her clothes off and feast on her soft body.
Taste the saltiness of her skin as she surrenders.
Kiss her all over.
Watch her lose control as she comes.
I shiver as our fingertips disconnect, climbing after the beauty and hopping down into the field.
We forge a diagonal path towards a gate in the far corner, as grumpy looking cows pay us little notice.
“You see your fiancé often?” “Not really.
Uni keeps him busy.
” “A long distance relationship must be hard on you both.
” “It has its moments.
” “I bet.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder.
But they also say: out of sight, out of mind.
” She’s quiet a beat.
“Lately we haven’t talked much.
I’ve been preparing for a trade show; he’s got a dissertation to write.
But I just woke up today and had this… urge to see him.
Jumped in the car and drove all the way up here.
” I whistle in admiration, taking it all in, brain whirling.
Willing to take risks.
And on a day when she craves physical contact, her emotions are likely spiked.
Two things in my favour.
“You think he’ll be okay with you turning up out of the blue and interrupting his study?” “He’d better be! Lectures have finished so he has no excuse.
” My shoes squeak in the fresh snow as the ice packs into the treads.
“If lectures are over, why isn’t he heading home?” “Access to the library.
” She frowns across at me.
“What makes you say that?” “Uhh, no reason.
Just, y’know, with everything virtual these days.
” “You think he has another reason for staying up here in the freezing cold?” I shrug, allowing her to join the fake dots.
“I’m sure he has his reasons.
” We traipse a few paces in silence as I let her stew on the uncertainty.
In a sudden flash of guilt at what I’m doing, I try to take her mind off it.
I run ahead a short distance, scoop up some snow and toss it over my head so it showers her.
“Hey!” She bends and scoops up a healthy dollop of snow, packs it and launches it.
Her aim is true and it explodes off my hoody leaving a white spray pattern on the material.
I retaliate and soon we’re in a full-on snowball fight, laughing and becoming colder by the minute.
Her leggings are peppered with damp spots and as I catch her, I pull her coat hood to ensure the ball of flakes I hold go down the back of her neck.
“That’s freezing, you git!” I back away and she gives chase until I stumble and thump onto my back in a snowdrift.
Ellie pounces and frantically scoops snow over me so I’m half buried.
I’m unable to move, my sides aching with laughter so much.
I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun on the surface.
As I squirm in the freezing conditions with her sitting astride my legs, our eyes lock and something changes.
A click inside.
We both sense it I’m sure and gradually cease laughing.
Coming to her senses, Ellie stands, offering me a very cold hand to haul me out of my predicament.
We’re both soaked, teeth chattering, hands numb.
“Look at you, you’re drenched.
” “You started it!” “Come on, let’s run.
” We race to the gate and clamber over, my fingers barely able to grip the steel as I vault into the road and scramble over the opposite gate into the field of white beyond, Ellie in tow.
From behind me, I hear her call out, “Hey, wait!” I spin and see her pointing.
Off to her right is a shack.
It looks run down and disused, the roof dipping in places.
“Let’s head there to dry off.
We can’t turn up at a farmhouse soaking wet.
What will they think?” “Might be occupied.
” She regards it again.
” We pick our way towards the shack.
The sun peeking beneath the low cloud casts our long, spindly shadows ahead of us.
As we draw nearer, I see the stone walls are solid but the slate roof tiles aren’t in great shape.
Probably more costly to repair than upkeep, left to decay.
I approach the window and rub my sleeve in a rough circle to spy inside.
The interior is largely empty; a dilapidated sofa in the living room, with what looks like a kitchen lying beyond.
Ellie joins me, our breath fogging the circle where I’ve wiped away the grime.
“Come on, I’m freezing.
” She walks ahead of me around the edge of the building and I focus on the way her bum cheeks move in the damp, form-hugging fabric, aching to drop to my knees and lose myself in her curves, her juices drizzling over my chin.
The thoughts of taking her chip away at my mind, infecting me with their clarity.
Reaching the wooden door, she raps it with her fist.
Turning to me, she shrugs and tries the handle; a heavy iron ring that raises a metal latch inside.
It disengages with a clunk and the door swings inward, clearly no need any more for its owners to keep it locked.
Ellie ventures in.
I follow close behind, enough that when she stops at a creaky floorboard I nudge against her.
Light perfume drifts to my nostrils and a thrill courses my body.
I let it consume me.
We stand there in the gloom, inches apart, and I eventually snap from my trance, turning to seal out the winter.
A draught blows beneath the door where it doesn’t quite fit.
Becoming bolder, we move on.
The room has naked beams above us, the apex of the roof visible beyond silvery cobwebs, glimmers of the impending twilight seeping in where tiles have slipped.
A stone hearth and fire grate dominate the short edge of the room, a stack of old wood in a mesh hopper alongside.
“Shall I try and get that going?” Ellie nods and steps to the kitchen to our left through an open frame.
I hear cupboards and drawers opening and closing as I unbundle wood logs and kindling, laying them criss-cross in the grate.
Kneeling in the hearth, I cast a gaze over my shoulder to check she can’t see and focus on my fingertips, channelling what energy I can to the frozen tips.
As I feel the flow begin inside, I snap my fingers near the logs.
The first three sparks fizz and die but the fourth ignites, a flame leaping from my thumb.
I wave it under the logs and wait for the smaller wood to catch before withdrawing as the welcoming warmth spreads from log to log.
I turn when I hear the boards creak behind me.
Ellie stands framed between the rooms, the fledgling fire catching the sparkling crystal in her nose stud.
“Wow, that was quick.
” I do Jazz hands again.
“I’m good with fire.
” The flames build, casting a flickering glow around the room.
A fine layer of dust covers most of it but it’s not been empty long.
The sofa is in reasonable condition beneath a tartan throw, threadbare in a few places, that I gently flip over and spread in front of the hearth.
I sit cross-legged in front of the fire and Ellie joins me, still in her coat and scarf.
In front of us, she places a tin of rice pudding, two spoons and a rusty can opener.
Online Now! Lush Cams Marsell_Louis “Dinner is served.
” “Isn’t that… stealing?” She grins.
“It’s four months out of date.
Nobody’ll miss it.
And people eat canned food, like, years after its sell-by date.
” I agree, watching her fumble the opener onto the can and twist the mechanism, gradually severing the lid from the cylinder.
She gives the contents a tentative sniff and dips in her fingertip, bringing it to her lips and sucking.
It’s probably not meant to be provocative, but my mind fills in the blanks.
“Nothing wrong with that.
Shall we warm it?” She slides it towards the dancing flames.
The heat is wonderful as I outstretch my hands and rub them.
Reminds me of home.
Ellie does likewise and we begin to thaw a little, fingertips tingling as we joke and reminisce about the snowball fight that led us here.
My usual anxiety at being in the company of women melts with the frost in my flesh.
I feel comfortable and at ease.
She’s angelic in the firelight.
The irony of seducing such an angel makes me giddy with excitement, the urge to roam my hands over her supple, naked body growing by the minute.
After stirring and spinning the can a few times to heat the contents evenly, we tuck in.
It’s good, even tepid.
I let the creaminess flow down my throat and wonder if she’ll taste as fine.
Though I’ve only read about sex and what acts are conventionally performed, I’ve imagined taking part on many occasions.
I’m fascinated most by the prospect of eating a woman.
What she’ll taste like.
How she’ll react as I slip my tongue over and between her folds, or when I circle her clit, feeling her respond and moan at my touches.
The fear of failure on my first sexual experience ought to scare me, but it doesn’t.
If anything, I’m empowered by it; confidence growing as we ease further into one another’s company.
I’m desperate to lean in and kiss her.
Taste her lips, inhale her scent and work my way down to sample so much more.
I look across at her, clearly deep in thought, the spoon upside down in her mouth.
She senses my gaze and locks eyes with me, biting her lip instead of the spoon.
“Do you seriously think Martin’s being unfaithful?” Pausing, I reply, “People always find ways to surprise me.
” I risk placing my hand on her knee.
“If you find out he’s uneasy at you being so close, you’ll know.
” “Can’t very well call him now.
” She sighs, staring into the flames, then snaps her fingers.
“Wait, did you see any power lines coming in here?” I tilt my head.
” “Then the place probably has its own generator.
My dad’s cabin did.
” “Good idea.
” I stand and head for the door, pacing out into the cold, clockwise around the house.
Sure enough, behind the back wall is a small dented metal tank on wheels with cables snaking through holes drilled into the mortar.
I brush away the apron of snow and press the Start button.
The motor coughs then sputters to life.
Back in the house, Ellie’s removed her outer layers, her plain red sweater thin and figure-hugging, hair braids brushing the swell of her breasts beneath.
I do a momentary double take and then break the news.
“Not sure how much diesel there is, but it may be enough to make a quick call.
” She springs into action, retrieving her charger and phone from the knapsack and plugging it into a badly mounted wall socket opposite the fire.
The display illuminates and she scrolls through the contacts, pressing green after the briefest glance my way through fluttered eyelashes.
I hear the mechanical purr of the ringtone a few times before he picks up.
Her expression brightens.
How are you doing?” She listens.
What would you say if I was in the area and wanted to surprise you?” She listens some more.
Her face is difficult to read in the low light from the fire but her body language tightens.
Tomorrow’s better for you, huh?” Her voice gains an edge to it.
I’ll try and get there in the morning.
” She pauses.
“Yeah, you too.
” She ends the call and lets the phone hang from her fingertips.
“God, you were right.
” Her voice is hollow.
The excitement steps up a notch inside me and I try hard not to show it.
“You don’t think he’s just busy?” She’s fuming as she returns to kneel on the blanket.
“He can talk the Pope to death but couldn’t wait to get me off the phone.
And I swear I heard a muffled giggle when he said he was studying hard.
” Whether what she heard was real or imagined by her subconscious mind being twisted by my words, my stomach flutters.
I know her conversation marks the end of step two, meaning only the third step remains: Profit.
“I’m sorry, Ellie.
” I put my hand on hers.
It bunches tight into a fist.
“BASTARD!” The word echoes briefly off the stone interior, a tear pricking the corner of her eye that she wipes away.
“Hey, hey, come on.
” I slip her hand in mine.
She’s a lot warmer than when we entered.
My pulse starts to race.
She’s shaking her head.
“How could he? After all this time.
” Her lip wobbles.
“Shhh, it’s okay.
There might be a perfectly innocent explanation.
” The softness of her hand in mine has me quivering.
I can almost taste her in the air.
Despite every instinct to grab her, I wait.
It has to be her decision.
I watch a host of emotions cross her face in rapid succession.
Another tear springs from her eye, trails her cheek and she slumps forward against my shoulder, sniffing.
” I put my hand on the back of her head and stroke her hair, feeling her melt into me.
I can barely breathe from anticipation but know I have to stay focused.
Ellie’s head stays put as she works through whatever is going through her mind.
I don’t know how long we stay that way until I become aware of her moving fractionally.
A tingle in my spine grows as her lips brush my neck and inch up, kiss by micro kiss, working their way around my jawline, picking up speed until our lips brush, then lock.
I shouldn’t respond but I do.
It’s impossible to fight the feverish kiss.
She tastes exotic.
Maybe flavoured lip-gloss.
I’m consumed by lust, my body a tangle of emotions as our mouths move, tongues extend and entwine.
The heat from the fire to my left is nothing to the burning inside me.
Our hands begin to roam, hugging and squeezing.
I lose myself.
Let my guard down.
And that’s the mistake.
Amid the ferociously powerful kiss, she gasps and pulls away, tipping her head back, mouth agape as if in suspended animation.
I panic, knowing what’s coming from Dad’s stories of the olden days and try to reverse, but it’s too late.
I’m locked as her soul rushes from her body like a warm grey mist across the small divide between us and fills me.
I surge and there’s a look of shock etched on her face.
Presumably, the fulfilment I feel is at the detriment to the emptiness in her.
Her eyes find mine, and some kind of knowing passes behind them, the dots and breadcrumbs joining.
Tentatively, she leans in and runs her hand up the back of my head, dragging my hat with it.
Gawping at the protrusions from beneath my mop of hair, she stammers, “Y… you’re the Devil?” I shake my head.
” “No…” her voice is ashen.
“Am I…” she takes a deep breath.
“Am I going to hell?” Slowly, I nod.
She looks broken and in that moment I’m guilt-ridden.
Wish I could give her soul back.
Make it all better.
She’s so sweet and doesn’t really deserve it, but she chose the path, crossed the line and belongs to me, intrinsically linked.
A tear trickles down her cheek and she swipes at it.
“Is there any way back?” “Not that I