From the mind that brought us Wild Things, another piece by @edgothboy! Enjoy!

The glance is turning into something else, a lewd, lascivious stare. The unmarked box of groceries hangs between them, their fingers touching underneath, just barely. The moment lasts for a second and the hunger flares and threatens to silence all his reason. And just as suddenly as it came, the moment passes. The delivery man shakes his head as if to clear his head, lets go of the box and backpedals as though the hounds of hell were after him. He shuts the door and slumps to the ground beside his box. He sighs and massages his fingers. They are dewy, a thin layer of pheromones already coating each intricate whorl. He waits out the other subtle manifestations of his curse; pigment pumping out of his scalp subtly changing his auburn locks into a honeyed gold, muddying of his irises from a startling green to a cloudy grey, lips blooming pink. In four minutes the transmutation is complete and he is the very image of a very popular and much lusted after member of a boy band. For the next hour, his skin will not be his own and he’ll see through an alien pair of eyes. He steals a glance at the family portrait framed by a heap of flattened boxes in the living room, at the smiling woman with a baby on her lap. The source of his problems.

*****

“How old are you again?”

“Forty two”

A gasp comes from the other end of the line. Even over the phone, he can sense her initial curiosity grow into admiration.

“You have got to be kidding me? You don’t look a day over 22.”

“Don’t believe it; everyone knows I have an obsession with Photoshop”, He says casually but he is beaming. He can’t believe it worked, he aged.

“Awww! And you’re modest too. This is my first week here so I’m still getting to know the regulars. You’re in amazing shape, mr…”

“Poulos, Tamsin Poulos.”

“Err… Sir, isn’t Tamsin a girl’s name?”

He chuckles mirthless. “My mother had a devilish sense of humor.”

“So you want to renew your appointments with Dr. Shankar?”

“Yes.”

“This will be your fortieth session with Dr. Shankar?”

“That is correct.”

“Will you be coming in for your appointment, or the usual?”

“The usual.”

The sound of a keyboard clacking fills the silence.

“your appointment is in four hours, please be by your phone at that time, because you will be billed either ways.”

“I understand.”

“Alright,” She pauses. “And Mr. Poulos, please get out there. A man as fine as you shouldn’t be shuttered in. If you look half as good as this picture, I’m sure you could get anyone you like.”

He smiles to himself and disconnects the call. If only she knew.

*****

Heavy breathing.

“Tam, are you still there?”

“Yes, Dr. Shankar.”

“You can call me Ranjit. There are no titles here.”

Tam sighs. “Dr. Shankar, I wish I could do that, but the less comfortable I am with you, the safer you are.”

Dr. Shankar’s scoff is barely audible over the static. “I thought we had reached a breakthrough on this.”

“You rationalized, I never agreed.”

As usual, Tam can sense him roll his eyes. “Tamsin, you haven’t left your front gate in two years, the last time you took out the trash was a month ago. You need to convince me that there has been progress, otherwise…”

In spite of himself, Tamsin barks at the receiver. “I’m trying to save people’s lives.”

Dr. Shankar deliberately enunciates each word, in the inadvertently condescending way parents talk to small children.

“I know you want to believe that, but we both know that Schizophrenic-agoraphobes will look for any excuse to justify their actions. Agreed, your explanations almost seem plausible but that doesn’t make them real.”

Tam feels his face flush with anger. “Then how do you explain people’s reaction to me?”

“You fail to realize you are what most people are conditioned to believe is a perfect specimen of beauty. As such, they are immediately drawn to you; this is no fault of yours.”

“Then how do you explain the fact that I haven’t aged a day in 27 years?” Tam counters.

“You obviously have very good genes.” Dr. Shankar replies immediately.

“I can’t go out there, it’s too tempting.” Tam says quietly.

“If you want to move forward with your life, you have to accept that phenomena such as Incubi simply cannot exist.”

Tam feels obligated to tell Dr. Shankar the truth, make him see how dangerous the situation is.

“Dr. Shankar you have to believe me, my father is proof. The She-devil drained him of his youth. When he died, he was 38 but he looked like he was in his sixties. The doctors said he died of old age accelerated by severe lung damage seen only in chronic smokers. He never smoked a single cigarette. She only stayed with us as long as she did because she wanted to see how much she passed on to me.”

Dr. Shankar remains non-committal. “I have seen your father’s medical charts, he had a rare disorder which caused accelerated aging.”

A pause.

“But what really interests me is the relationship between you and your mother? Why do you call her a she-devil?”

“Because she is a demon. Literally.”

Scribbling can be heard as Dr. Shankar puts the phone on speaker.

“For an Atheist Tam, you have such strong belief in a lot of religious figures.”

Tam sighs. “I’m not an atheist; I just don’t see the point of hoping when I know where I’m headed.”

“I see.”

“And which religion do you follow Dr. Shankar?”

A short pause. “I’m Hindu, though I haven’t been devout as is required.”

“Then you believe in your deities, no matter how unrealistic they seem?”

A nervous chuckle. “Tam, I believe our deities are metaphors to explain abstract ideals. A very literal way to make sense of life.”

Despair envelopes Tam, if Dr. Shankar doesn’t give a favorable report in his upcoming psych evaluation, his house will be taken from him and he’ll be locked up in a psych ward. Paranoia grips him and he breaks into a cold sweat. A crazy idea comes to him and his desperation latches onto it like a buoy in choppy waters. It’s something his mother said to him when he was a child, something that he never took seriously but could never seem to forget.

… A succubus who beds a man only steals from his body, but one who seduces a man warps him to her will…

The growing dread in the pit of his stomach dissolves slowly into a ball of warmth. It’s been so long it takes him a while to recognize what it is and embrace it. His senses heighten and he is hyper aware of  the faint rustle of paper coming from the receiver as Dr. Shankar rifles through his case file.

“Dr. Shankar,” Tam says with a voice already altering into a smooth musical baritone. “Just maybe you need to hear what I have to say from a fresh source.”

The doctor’s head swivels towards the phone. It is as though he is hearing Tam for the first time. The voice over the phone sounds nostalgic yet not entirely human, like the voices in a nightmare that feel familiar but you just can’t remember who they belong to.

“Ranjit?” Tam calls. “Are you listening?”

The doctor recoils from the phone toppling over his chair. He scrambles towards the door on hands and knees, frantic to get away from that unearthly sound.

“Ranjit, I need you, you can’t abandon me, let down a patient in need.”

Ranjit stops cold. He tries to focus but his thoughts seem just out of reach. If only I could help Tam, he thinks. Maybe I’d know what to do then.

“But you can Ranjit. You can. Ask your secretary to come in. She’ll tell you what I want, what I need.”

He stands testily and walks to the door. It takes three tries to get the attention of his secretary, a pretty little thing in colored cat-eye glasses and a tartan dress. She asks for a minute and he leaves the door ajar. His breathing is heavy as his mind tries to fight the external impulses, yet…

The secretary slips in and gasps. Ranjit is hunched over the cordless phone on his desk, shirtless and panting heavily, eyes screwed shut, listening to intently to words she can’t make out. She notices buttons scattered across the floor, the chair lying on its side. She’s about to turn around call for help when she hears his voice. It is corporeal, as though someone’s right behind her whispering in her ear. He reminds her of teenage rebellion, Goth make-up and hidden piercings. Her deviant daydreams. Her morbid obsessions with tantric sex and masochism. He urges her to seduce him, to show him how sexual a being she truly is. His words inspire her, she wants to impress him, to please him, to please this man she barely even knows. With a shrug, she slips out of her dress and makes her way to Ranjit. He bristles at her touch but soon relaxes into her arms. They begin the slow seductive dance, Ranjit’s hands tracing the inside of her thighs, her hands wrapped around the back of his head. Their lips meet and all hesitation is lost in a wave of passion.  Ranjit’s head is filled with images of Kali and Vishnu, death and rebirth; heirs of vampires and pretentious virgins seeking immortality. The air is heady with lust fuelled by Tam’s subtle suggestions. He lays her on his office table, violently rips away her panties; she giggles in delight, this is a side of the brooding doctor she’s never seen before. Employer and employee tangle arms and legs on the office table, moaning softly as they play out their deepest desires on each other. Bites, scratches, tongues exploring crevices, hands roving incessantly, hips bucking feverishly, legs holding like a vise, hair pulling, eyes rolling to the back of the head; abandon, release, anarchy. Slowly, she moves Ranjit’s hands from her supple bosom to her outstretched neck, to be reborn eternal the voice tells her, she needs to let go of her fragile existence. He needs no prompting, Kali has offered herself to be cleansed. He begins to squeeze…

 

*****

In that moment, Tam snaps as though out of a trance. Immediately he knows what is happening. He screams into the mouthpiece for Ranjit to stop. But even as the words leave his mouth, Tam already knows that Ranjit has muted his phone. The warmth spreads as Ranjit’s ministrations devolves into something more basic, feral. He can hear the muffled moans and the creaking mahogany table violently scratching the terrazzo floor. Tam’s toes curl and his fingers grip onto the phone for dear life as the warmth spreads to his limbs. Wave after wave of life-force suffuses his body as the doctor’s thrusts intensify. With a howl Ranjit plateaus and a tidal wave of warmth overwhelms Tam. Like a former addict returning to heroin, he convulses, his body struggling to contain the influx of emotions and he topples to the ground, thrashing violently as he experiences the adrenaline and endorphins that course through the secretary as Ranjit’s long wiry fingers squeeze the air out of her lungs and fuels her masochistic orgasm. His body imitates the gurgling sounds that come from her throat, the blood vessels bursting behind her lids, the panic the rational part of her feels, suppressed under so much savage desire. He feels his head turn heavy as her neck snaps and her brain flies into overdrive. He sees her life flash past her eyes, her loneliness well hidden, her longing for acceptance, her grief for lost relationships, her hopes for a long fulfilled life. The three month old life forming in her womb. He feels nothing…

Dr. Shankar is screaming so loud his voice breaks. But he can’t stop. He’s screaming for Adi Parashakti to come take him, for her to cleanse, he is screaming prayers long forgotten, making signs to ward off the evil. But nothing changes, he still feels the longing to obey, the ashen body sprawled over his table doesn’t move. It was true, all he said was truth.

*****

A fifteen year old in a hoodie and a knapsack switches trains. He shies away from touch, averts his eyes when an old lady tries to get him to help her find a seat. The island is just a plane ticket away. Solitude has never been this appealing. A tap on his shoulder. Maybe if he ignores it, they’ll move on. A badge is thrust under his nose.    “Please stand up and address me young man.”

He stands slowly and turns to face the plain clothed detective.

“Please remove your hood.”

“I don’t think so.” comes the gravelly reply.

“You are making the other passengers uncomfortable, please remove the hood or I will remove it forcibly.”

By now every eye in the cab is trained on them, and a horrified gasp travels across the room. Underneath the hood is an unblemished face with a pillow pout, a straight nose and two empty eye sockets decorated with hundreds of little scratch marks. The lips spread in a grin, showing eight missing front teeth and a blackened stump where a tongue should be.

“I did it!” He says. “I’ve stopped the demon inside me.”

The End

(This boy’s too fantastic!..it had to be said -_-)

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