I work for realism in most of my stories. (There are exceptions. This is one.) In spite of this, some things are not possible. Nor should they be tried. If you are under 18, or whatever legal age is in your area, please read no further. If you are offended by sex or sexual situations, please see www.pbskids.org. I'm not kidding, it really is an interesting website. Feedback is actively solicited. Please do not post this on any other site without prior author permission. You have permission to archive this on your own machine in a non-public FTP directory. Enjoy.
This story first appeared on the EMCSA in 2000. After a long period of being offnet, I realized that I miss having them up. Then, too, we have new people around the site. Feedback may be posted to the Forum. Please don't ask for my email. Thanks, and blessings.
This is a fragment of a much, much longer work I hope to work into a novel one day. Even though it's a piece of a story, it stands alone as a story as well. Feedback is actively solicited.
Tonight, as on so many nights before, I idly wonder what these children at their game would think if they knew who, and what, is watching them. Lost in their world of make-believe, ordered by hand signs and rules, most of them are oblivious. Only a few, the most sensitive, know there's anything unusual about me. There are the little effects I can't control, of course. Tempers run short, some of your friends get headaches. By and large, though, I pass through you unremarked.
Normally, you're one of the most aware. You would sense me. You would feel my presence. This night, there are important events happening to your alter self. They distract you from your own unease. I can see you apologizing for snapping at someone, putting it down to nerves and the stress of the game. You are unaware of the danger even as I hunt you.
And it is you I hunt, beautiful one. I've been watching you all night. I've been watching you for many nights. Fair enough to the normal eyes of the children around you, to me you shine.
Even from outside, you stand out among all those silhouetted in the windows. It's your height, of course, but it's also something else. I've never been able to clearly define why some seem so alive and vibrant, and some seem so dim to me. They're lifeless and dull, as dead while they walk as a headless mantis. You...you glow with life. Your Prana is strong. You may play one of the undead, but there is no mistaking the vibrancy of your aura.
I have to have you. Forgive me, lovely one.
I take extra pains to mask the desire I feel. I have no wish for you to be aware of my stalking. It would not do to startle my prey. It taints the Prana, and that would mute the enjoyment. I make my way into the room where you stand, speaking and occasionally laughing with one of your friends. He's an attractive young man, but next to you he seems washed out and pale.
You sense me, pausing momentarily mid-laugh to look around. I hold my breath, a habit I can't seem to shake from years long gone, but as your eyes pass over me they do not pause. I am a background figure to you. In a moment, you will forget. It is the way of things.
Sure enough, you turn back to your conversation. Your amusement returns; has someone done something you consider to be ridiculous? I ponder, but do not expend the energy it would take to erase the moment of uncertainty completely from your memory. Using the Blessings carries a price, and I have no desire that you, so bright, so alive, should be the one to make the final payment for my carelessness. If I waste my power now, it might drain you too soon. I want you alive and well, forever if I can make it so. Profligacy with the Blessings and you might sicken.
Throughout the evening I follow you, taking care to remain unobserved. At one point I cannot stand the temptation of my proximity to you. I daringly gather a single hair from the back of your shirt. You turn and half-smile at me, curious at the touch. I apologize, my aura tightly cloaked, and after a moment you turn away. The hair may be dead, a discarded part of you, but it still carries your essence. It warms me as I wrap it around my finger.
It is at times like this I want to revel in my power. It takes an act of discipline to turn away and join in the childrens' game as best I can. It is the strongest test of will to wait, wait, and wait still longer until the game begins to wind to its conclusion. You stay longer than most, which pleases me. There are perhaps ten players left when I finally approach you. The guilt that never leaves me fades slightly in the thrill of the chase.
I have, of course, prepared my camoflage fully. I look like a mere player myself, hair blackened artificially and eyes kohled. A silvery blouse and black denim jeans tucked into suede boots complete the guise. Unlike many who have come and gone this night, I wear no jewelry at all. The tribesfolk who sacked Rome after the abuse they suffered at her hands would protest to see their name associated with this disguise, but only a few of them are left to remember...and none of those of my Line.
I see you restrain your urge to look me up and down. It's part of your charm. Instead you smile at me, ending your conversation with a much shorter young man who then heads to his car. I reach up and curl a lock of my hair around one finger. I summon my acting ability to appear nervous and shy. "Could I...I parked in the wrong lot. It's kind of dark there. Could I get you to walk me to my car?"
The appeal is simple, its allure hard for one such as you to resist. You nod immediately. After a few more comments here and there to the vanishing players, we head for the far parking lot...and your test. I find myself hoping more and more that you might be the one, might have the spark I so desire.
Once away from everyone, once the chatter of the departing storytellers and those heading for late-night coffee is gone, you become silent. It is not for fear of me, no...you don't know me or what I am. I am too tightly veiled. Even if you did, I think deep within your secret self you would be more curious than alarmed. No, this silence is part of who you are. So rare, so different, in this age of brazen openness. It reminds me of a time when I dared to walk openly, when my Line and the Lines of my cousins were free to be ourselves.
You glace at me sidelong as we leave the more familar area for darker shadows. Finally, you venture words. "Where are you parked?"
I'm not proud of myself, but the lie comes easily to practiced lips. "Over there, at the edge of the trees." True, there is a car there. I know it was abandoned a month ago. You are innocent to that fact. The car's presence reassures you, and we head that way.
Now comes the delicate point, my love. This nexus is the hardest part, the critical moment. To break you would be so easy. Any of my kind can utterly crush a will. It's part of what we are. People are such fragile creatures. I know. I was a person once, before I was Reborn. It was the first lesson taught by my Inceptress.
To break you is not what I desire. For this to work, for this to be right, you must come to me. So I stop, patting down my pockets. "Oh...shit!" I exclaim. "I don't have my keys!" I hurry to the car, moving ahead of you, and attempt to open the door. Of course it's locked. As you quicken your steps to catch me, I slam a fist against the door in mock frustration.
You say softly "Do you have anyone who can come get you?" I shake my head, bringing up the false tears. I hate myself for this. If only there were another way. "No," I lie. "My friends went out of town...that's why I came to the game. Now I'm stuck here. I don't have cash for a locksmith. If I could just get home..."
I watch you weigh your options. I don't want to move with the Blessings too soon. You hold out about five seconds longer than I expected. "Well...I could take you to an ATM..."
I shake my head. "Card's at home, see?"
You nod and sigh. "Well, I could..." You shyly leave it unfinished. I look up at you with genuine hope. You have a soft heart. The appeal is too much, and you crumble. "I mean, if you live close..."
One of my toys does. He chose to sleep elsewhere tonight. I think he sensed that I planned to go on the hunt. It's irrelevant in so many ways. He will never match your brilliance, but he can be useful. "Fairly close, yeah," I murmur. I give you the nearest cross streets and before long I'm in your car. I buckle in and close my eyes.
I am finally ready to use the Blessing. This is the part that is most likely to go awry. Too little Prana and my will won't take. Too much, and your colors dim and you're never the same. I'm silent in concentration; you're silent in shyness. The only words we exchange are our names. You don't know what a gift I'm giving you, for more than any holy symbol, Names have Power. Now with the Blessing of power gifted to me by the Rebirth, I touch the fringes of your mind. You are intelligent. I already knew that. It takes only the lightest of nudges to sway a thought, then another. Only two thoughts, the bare kiss of a change...I must hope it's enough.
As we go down the road, the warmth of your Prana leads me back to the stolen hair. I wrap it around my finger, then pull free. It knots. The spell is sealed. I glance at you for the first time. You already look preoccupied, a very good sign. I begin to dare to hope.
At the door, I pull a key from under a stone. You stand and shift your weight from foot to foot, clearly not sure if it's wise to leave me in this neighborhood. I unlock the door and pause. "Why don't you come in and get a Coke or something?" I reach into my pocket again, twining the knotted hair around my finger. You nod, blushing a bit.
You're still keyed up from the game. Going home to a silent apartment is unappealing. You rationalize almost visibly to me, as I gesture you in and close the door. I lock it behind us. Not unusual in this modern day.
I point to the kitchen with a smile. "Coke's in the fridge" I sing out. "Help yourself!" I watch as you make your way and open the door. I kill time by spilling out drawers in a show of looking for a spare set of keys.
I can see as the suggestions of the spell begin to take effect. You yawn a little and make your way to the couch, where you settle in. I smile and put on soft music. "Hey...you want to stay a bit? Take a mini-nap? You look tired."
You hesitate, then murmur "If it wouldn't be any trouble?"
But it's not, of course it's not, and the suggestions really begin their work. You begin to yawn more, eyes fluttering half-closed. I begin to hum quietly, moving around the room slowly and fluidly. Before long, I kneel in front of you. You look so dazed and sleepy. I can see the brilliant colors shifting from waking reds and purples to deep blues and greens. Sometimes the power is so easy to wield, and the mind does my work for me. All it took was to suggest you were thirsty, and that the drink would make you feel sleepy.
I want to see a particular shade of robin's-egg blue. It is a sweet shade, a hypnotic shade, and I want it to filter through your aura. I can already see it speckling the fringes. I reach up to your chin and touch it, guiding your already heavy-lidded eyes to gaze into my own. "Look at me, are you OK?" I breathe.
"Yeah," you say drowsily. "Just sleepy."
I feel the rush thrill me, and fight it down. I keep my hand on your chin. "I love your eyes," I say softly. "Such a beautiful green..."
I blink, and you blink with me. Good. I synchronize my breathing to yours. It's not difficult, since I don't really need air to survive anymore. I feel you lock onto my breath. The blue begins to spread through the other colors and displace them. I lower my eyelids a little, and you follow suit.
"Such a beautiful green...like fields. Like soft grass. I'd like to lie down with you in soft grass. I'd like to sleep next to you in soft grass. So soft. So warm. So sleepy. You're sleepy, aren't you?"
You nod a little, fighting to stir yourself. I hold your gaze. "Think of the fields," I say, slowing my breathing. Yours follows dutifully. "Think of how nice it would be to go to sleep in them. Sleeping so deep...next to me." The blue is spreading, tendrils rippling through the fading purples and other blues. You can feel the power of my gaze now, and I keep whispering to you...whispering so you must listen closely to hear. "Feel the wind blowing through your hair, the sunlight on your face. It's so warm and peaceful here...and you're feeling warm and peaceful. Warm and peaceful, and it's so green. Warm and peaceful, and you're so sleepy, curling up next to me in the green. So relaxed and so calm, so sleepy and warm. I can feel it...you can feel it. We're together curling up in the green."
By now you're blinking a little of your own accord, fighting to stay alert. So often with the brilliant ones the entrancement comes easily. You are no exception. I carefully, carefully reach in and ever so lightly caress your mind. The tendrils of blue expand outward, becoming the dominant color. I keep speaking, but the words don't matter so much now. You're giving in, and you're beginning to enjoy it judging from the electric green that rims the burgeoning blue. I close my eyes for a moment, reopen them, and yours are closed.
I sigh softly, pushing you back against the back of the couch. You slump, totally relaxed and limp now. I deepen your trance, withholding use of the Blessing for now. Words are enough. Simple techniques are all that I require, counting and long passes over your body. Anton would be quite surprised to see the way I use what I was taught. The blue completely envelops your aura, all other colors mere specks. You are open to me. The spell is complete.
I murmur "Do you know why you are here?" softly, caressing your unresisting face. Your skin is warm and soft, clean-shaven as you are.
You nod slowly. In a soft, dazed voice you murmur "You're going to rob me and maybe kill me...I'm scared. I wish you wouldn't, but I can't stop you. I'm drugged."
I sit back in surprise for a moment at the conclusions you've reached. So that's how you interpreted the command that the drink would make you feel relaxed and sleepy. Then I scold myself for being startled. Yes, of course, that is what you would expect. With these times, when my Line is hidden, what other rational conclusion could you draw? To take the simplest explanation is normal. Luckily for you, because of your colors, you are wrong. You are worth more to me than any money you could ever make, any item you could ever possess.
I smile softly. "You want something else, though. What is it you want, pet?" The green in the aura expands for a second. Yes, my instincts lead me correctly. There's more to this than I had perhaps anticipated.
You hesitate, then murmur "I want you to have sex with me before you kill me or whatever. I can't help it, so it won't be my fault." I watch you harden, even in your relaxed state. I don't respond, so you continue. "I want to die happy. I want to serve you."
Amazed, I watch the colors in your aura flicker. This is all true. I stand and grasp your wrists firmly. You let out a soft sigh and slump farther, and the blue and green fight for control of your colors. "You want to be mine," I breathe, making it a statement. "You want to serve me. You want to be marked by me."
I have seen this before, but how long has it been? I cannot remember. I go on "You want to be held by me, trapped by me, and know you cannot fight."
You whisper simply "Yes," and stay still. It's all I can do to keep from tasting you now. You'd never know. I sense more to come, though, and refrain. Instead, I reach into your mind and nudge. There is no need to call for the Blessings. You are too open to me.
You feel the cuffs lock around your wrists, and a moan escapes you. Even though you are unrestrained in reality, you expect to be. Your own mind has captured you. Waves of blue and green race each other across your aura. I lick my lips. I want your Prana.
More words are needed, if this is to last. I croon softly "Little pet, you're being so good by not resisting...by realizing how helpless you are against me." I run my fingers over your groin, feeling the hardness jump against your restraining jeans. "How long have you wanted to be someone's pet, little one? I'm curious, have you been waiting your whole life to belong to someone?"
The trance keeps your breathing slow, but your skin flushes and you moan softly. It's answer enough. I pull away and my voice firms. "Present yourself, pet, make yourself pleasing to me." It's a command rather than a request, and you shudder once, then slide from the couch to your knees. I watch as you bring your arms up slowly, still moving as if they were locked together, and lace your fingers behind your head. "Open your eyes," I order, and you do, looking into mine vacantly. I suppress a shudder as the blue completely takes your aura. You're mine.
The urge to take you, to bleed your aura into dry grey, is pulsing. I push it down. The colors vibrate into me, and I twine the hair around my finger again. I slowly undo the buttons on my blouse, provoking no visible response from those blank eyes. Then I step close to you, holding your wrists, and pull your head to my breast.
Slowly. Slowly. I can't rush this...it must be done carefully, and well. As your breath washes over my chest, the colors begin to leak into my own aura. Mine brightens, even as your Prana dims slightly. You moan, feeling the dizziness of something other than trance wash through you. It feels like a crashing wave to you, I can sense it. You are tumbling in the wake of your colors becoming my own, and slow as it is to me, it's a violent storm to you.
I hold you steady and firm, and you relax, sink, deflate, coming to rest against me. The submission makes your aura regain much of its color. That pleases me. It shows you are still strong within. I whisper words to you, words that make you get even harder, but I can't let you have an orgasm. That would waste the Prana I so desperately need from you, even as it would make your colors sweeter and harder to resist. I must resist the urges just a little longer.
I close my eyes and pace myself. Your colors soak into me, and I take them. I become alive, brilliant, warm. I feel your life in me. Neither of us move. You cannot. I do not dare.
When I step away from you an hour later, we are both spent. I settle you onto the couch with tender care. You sigh and snuggle down, again looking like innocent as a child. I wipe tears away from my eyes as I kneel by you, serving you now.
As I must serve you, as all my Line must serve...a fact so many still choose to forget. You're mine, but I know I can't exist without you. I'm in love with the purity of your colors. I'm in love with the Prana you exude. I wonder if, in time, I can be in love with you.
Once I could have taken you as a priest. I am not so fortunate in these times. I know that I need to mark you as mine and mine alone, soon, before one of the others of my kind spots you. It can't be long in coming. Even drained, I can see the shimmer of your colors beginning to come back, heal, regenerate.
It hurts me to do what I must do. I reach out and draw my fingers across your aura over one shoulder. The colors turn black, and you whimper. I kneel and kiss you, using the Blessing to sterilize the edges so the wound doesn't spread. My mark forms out of the tracing, claiming you as my own. Then I let you sleep for another hour while I clean the apartment. It may not be appropriate according to the ways of the Reborn, but I always feel so much more human after a good feeding. I need to work off the guilt anyway.
Dawn will come, and you will wake. You will not remember how you got to this place. But when I call to you, you will come to me. You will never again be able to resist.
Perhaps you will be the one I seek, the one who will join together others of mine and give me a way to forsake the hunting, the coldness. Perhaps I have drained too much already and you will be as dim as the toy whose couch supports you. As I slip out the door and into the welcoming night, I dash away fresh tears and go to find my rest.
And I will dream of you and your colors.