Hello Everyone, I hope the New Year passed nicely for you. I have finally finished chapter 3 of the succubus story (sigh) and am delighted to offer it to you now. Remember, I have only lightly edited it. I appreciate any comment or suggestions you may have.
In this chapter, the succubus makes her first real kill. Who will it be, and how will they meet their end? In case you were wondering, or have not followed along until now, the story is about a succubus who has haunted a family for 350 years. The heir of that family, Kyle, has taken a job as a manager at a university in Richmond, where another manager, Hannah, has fallen in love with him. In his duties, he has also won the affection of a student worker, Rebecca. The only problem is, however, that the succubus does not like competition. So, who will perish in this chapter? Read on to find out.
That evening, only a solitary lamp was lit in Hannah’s apartment. She had returned home frustrated, jaded and vengeful, and with many thoughts viciously circling in her mind, the illumination of her abode was farthest from her thoughts. A shower seemed appropriate, and she subjected her body to the jets of hot water.
Hannah’s apartment was comfortable and newly renovated, it having previously been an old tobacco warehouse on the east side of town. Large, old glass windows stared down at the steady passing of the James River, while brick walls, many of which were decorated with paintings and a few photos, encircled the space she called her own. Hannah had a trendy mindset when it came to interior decorating, and utilized European designs and feng shui techniques in a collaborative effort at making her palace both artful and beneficial to her daily life.
The water turned off, and Hannah, her mind far from the reaction of her body to the cold air, drifted like the steam from the shower. Really? I mean, really? ‘You’ll do well to stay away from me?’ What the hell is he doing? Listen, if you don’t like me, say so. Your little ass won’t hurt this big girl’s feelings. ‘Stay away?’ He has to be joking. But what the hell is his problem? God, why must men be so difficult?
Giving the tiles an angry slap, she slid open the door and dried off. A silk robe covered her as she flopped on her sofa and stared at the empty fireplace. Hannah had wanted a gas fireplace, but in the rush to complete the building before the opening date, the crews hastily left the area open. She refused to burn trees for purely aesthetic reasons, and so was left with a gaping wound in her apartment.
Thoughts as wild as the emotions which created them rummaged through her. Hannah could not shake the conversation with Kyle, nor could she bring herself to be at peace with it. There was still something missing, something she could not figure out. Was he Gay, was he taken? Or, was he simply not interested in her? She could not tell. All her years mastering the art of man-hunting abandoned her, as before this young huntress was a situation she had never encountered. Lame excuses had befallen her before, but nothing compared to the near hysteria presented today. It was as if he were….afraid.
“Why, why?” she asked aloud. The room, silent as the grave, only echoed her words coldly. “And why am I so hung up on this?” she asked herself angrily. Defeat never came easily to Hannah, and no one could accept it worse than her. She saw this as a challenge, a pseudo-defeat, and it tortured her. Then, rising from her couch suddenly, Hannah moved toward the kitchen. Perhaps her mind needed a little help, a little gumption to face the situation. She pulled out a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
Hannah’s kitchen, a stainless steel apparatus with a gleam and shine worthy of Thomas Keller, was her escape from the world. Although a caterer by trade, Hannah was a chef by heart, and her most taxing days found her in the kitchen, preparing Spanish Paella or Italian chicken in a red wine sauce. It was relaxing for her to take various items and make a single item, a meal. But now, despite the comfort afforded by her surroundings, all she could do was sip the citrusy white and gaze into space, her eyebrows knit.
Maybe he’s crazy. That would seem the only possible explanation for his behavior. Or maybe… Hannah thought, the wine resting on her lips. She smiled, and her eyes brightened, like a bulb had been turned on in her mind. Grabbing her cell, bottle and glass, she returned to the couch and dialed a number.
“Hello, love,” came the voice across the phone.
“Steve, I think I have it figured out,” Hannah began.
“Oh, hello Hannah. I’m doing fine; thanks for asking. And yes, my day was wonderful.”
“Smartass, just listen.”
“Okay. What?” Steve’s voice was both empathetic and sarcastic. His relationship with Hannah had always been good and cozy, especially once she learned he was homosexual and stopped hitting on him (although she occasionally made remarks and invitations).
“Alright, the episode with Kyle today-“
“You mean the one you would not stop harping about earlier?”
“Shitface, yes. Now listen!”
“I do love you, Hannah, you know that, right?” and Steve laughed.
“And I would love you more if you would let me finish. Anyway, he totally…declined my invitation for a meeting.”
“You mean rejected, don’t you?”
“Dammit, Steve. Well, yes; you know what I mean! Anyway, what did he say? He said ‘You will do well to stay away from me,’ right? You know what I think; I believe it’s a game to him, and he wants to be pursued. He read me better than I thought. It’s a game, Steve, and now I’m up for the challenge.” Her last line was more triumphant and exhilarating. Sipping her wine and pulling her legs under herself, she reclined and embraced what seemed to be a momentary victory.
“You think so? Honestly, Han, I just think he’s not interested. Oh, and he’s not gay; just sayin’”
“Steve?” Her voice ringing with a tense question in it.
“Never mind. No, I’m telling you, he wants a game of cat and mouse.”
“I don’t know. Maybe just give him time.”
“Steve. Really? Have you known me to be patient? Honestly, sweetie.”
Hannah laughed, knowing she had pinned the situation to the wall. Stretching out her legs before her on the couch, she admired her tanned skin, thinking, he won’t be able to resist me. If it’s a game he wants, then I will be more than happy to oblige his desire. She laughed again.
“What’s so funny?”
“You think you have this thing pinned, don’t you.” It was a given that Steve, more than anyone else, knew the workings of Hannah, sometimes more than even she. Had he not been gay, they would have made a wonderful couple. Steve had the unique ability to read her like an open book, though most of the time it was like reading an erotic novel. On the other end of the line, Hannah knew Steve was shaking his head and rolling his eyes.
They both moved onto work discussions and some light bantering arose from the couch where Hannah had planted herself. She was busy ranting about some of the workers to notice the subtleties around her. Lost was perhaps the best way to describe Hannah and her conversation, as near her, the solitary lamp flickered. It was a new bulb, a halogen bulb; it should not flicker.
Hannah’s voice grew heated when the conversation turned to a botched event. Irritated tones rose and fell like the track of a wild rollercoaster. She was venting when suddenly, the light went out.
“Shit.” Hannah said.
“What?” Steve asked.
“The light went out. Damn, that was a new bulb.”
“Take it back, then.” Steve then listened as his friend fumbled around in the darkness, trying to find the nearest switch. A curse, a swear and a single ‘ouch,’ then Steve heard she had light once more.
“Got it back on?” he asked.
“Yes, but-“ and she stopped abruptly.
“But what? Hannah?” There was only silence over the phone.
“Steve, the cord is unplugged.” She had knelt beside the table and found that the electrical cord had been removed from the floor socket. Cord still in hand, she looked dumbfounded at the lamp.
“Well, that explains why the lamp went out.” He said, smirking to himself.
“Steve, I haven’t been anywhere near this lamp tonight, except to turn it on.” Hannah slowly put the head back in the socket and the lamp, by electrical command, sprang to life.
“Okay, you have a ghost.” Steve burst out with his boyish laugh. There was then a splashing sound heard over the phone, and it caught Hannah’s attention. Pulling the phone away momentarily, she looked at it, half expecting the sound to reveal itself through the apparatus.
“What the hell was that noise? Are you flooding over there?” She asked, mildly amused with her comment.
“No, love. I’m in the tub. Have been the whole time.” That certainly caught Hannah quickly and raised her level of arousal.
“Bathtub, you say? Hmmm, maybe I should stop by.” Her words to any other man would have been like seductive little droplets running down the neck. To Steve, however, it was more of the same.
“I’m good, love, but thanks.”
Playfully now, Hannah continued. “Are you sure? Don’t want you to be lonely. And besides, who is going to wash your back.” Her soft laughter rang in his ear.
“I’m sure. And I’m getting off the phone now before I prune.”
“Bathtubs are always fun. You sure?”
“I’m hanging up now. Goodbye, love.”
She smiled as she tossed the phone onto the couch. Shaking her head, she thought Oh, Steve, if only you weren’t gay. I would be all over you. Now, instead of sitting in the tub with you, I have to find creative and unique ways to win Kyle. Fate is cruel, but I am up to this challenge. Some girls were meant to walk a race, while others were meant to run it. And I can be fast, when I want to be.
Looking once more at the lamp, she shrugged and returned to the kitchen to prepare a light dinner.
Across the maze of downtown Richmond, with its old city streets and dimly lit walkways, Kyle sat in his apartment, doing very much the same thing Hannah had just done; he was pondering deeply, but it was not for romantic purposes. Kyle was in a chair beside the window, his view much different than Hannah’s but still pretty. He looked down into the old fan district of the city, a place where stately mansions are buttressed against one another, and where bricked streets are gallantly protected by the stone faces of Lee, Jackson and Stuart.
Do not think Kyle Creighton took as his residence a smart and stylish mansion; the house he inhabited was on a little side street, just off Monument, and must smaller than any his family had ever constructed, purchased or inherited. Much of the family money was squandered in bizarre and often frivolous manners, leaving the current Creighton’s with little to show for a 350 year habitation in the new world.
Kyle’s apartment was the upper story of an old house, one of those town homes constructed probably when shells were falling on Richmond. The landlady was polite and stayed much to herself, so long as the rent was paid in full and on time. His quarters were spacious and comfortable, and afforded him ample room to indulge his fancy for art collecting. Kyle had no budget for late Renaissance Dutch works, but he could manage more recent canvases from the impressionists, and had a rather natural proclivity for old Florida Highwaymen works. Aside from the paintings, the room was a model of his life: neat, organized and filled with antiques. Kyle haunted the local shops of any town in which he inhabited, always searching for a nightstand, pitcher or mirror that might fulfill some gulf in his life. Now, his collection mimicked a museum, with him its curator.
In his chair, Kyle sat alone with his thoughts, the wings of the chair hiding his face from the outside world. There were trees lining the lane, but occasionally the lights from passing cars would shine up near his windows, remind him that people lived very normal and fearless lives. Nothing close could be said about his existence.
Burying his face in his hands, Kyle allowed all the stories, the legends and old family tales, to come over him. There were stories of mystery and intrigue; gruesome deaths and lost hope. For those old ones in the city, the name Creighton was more synonymous with oddity and strangeness than with grandeur and magnificence. It was a shame, but not without good reason.
Kyle was a logical person, a man of philosophy and reason. He had heard all the stories in his youth and had seen some of the deaths himself, but found that embracing the stories was difficult. It took several deaths, or as the family titled them, killings, for him to finally come to terms with the issue. Reason, he learned, had bearing in the world save for here, for his issue. There was para-normality at work, and all his reasoning could not help him to comprehend what was going on.
The room appeared cluttered, if one had no appreciation for the value of the objects existing alongside one another. Kyle propped his feet on a nineteenth century ottoman and allowed his hands to fall beside. His life was lonely; he was a man without any companionship. Grief, born out of isolation, became his only consort, and for a partner it took agony. Together, the two shaped his life not according to the will of the fates, but to their own miserable doings. But one prompted them, controlling them to her own will. It was she who ruled all.
Another day, Kyle began to think, and nothing changes. He was referring to the incident before, and as much as Hannah would have loved to been called to mind now, Kyle instead thought of the shadow. I saw it; it moved freely, and was not a mirage. I saw it, I know I did. I could be mistaken, but it was too real to be anything else, too real to not be what I thought it was. Oh, God. Am I next? Has it come for me? God, why?
Kyle opened his eyes and looked around the room. All the pieces of furniture, the paintings, the old tapestry which hung beside his 18th century boudoir, all these things were his life, all trophies of his own design. Like all the others, in an instant, it could all be gone, vanishing before him like the snuffing out of his own life. Too many times he frequented the funeral halls; too many times his shadow darkened the tombs of his loved ones. Now, with the appearance, his card had been drawn by a fickle hand of destiny.
In frustration, Kyle stood, or nearly leapt from his chair and began to pace around the room. He made a circuit of the space by navigating around the many and varied objects. When angered or annoyed, Kyle often found himself pacing or walking, if space allowed, great distances as a means of letting off the excess pressure within him. All the days’ thoughts fluttered hauntingly before him, like chilly snowflakes in a graveyard.
“No, it just can’t be,” he began aloud. There was no penchant in Kyle to speak aloud to himself, but on this occasion he had little choice in the matter. “It just can’t. I refuse to believe. No tales of the unknown will frighten me. I have read the reports and seen things myself; all were accidents, some bizarre, yes, but all easily accountable.”
What Kyle referred to was the cloud of death which hung over his family’s crest for the past 300 hundred plus years. Anyone researching the issue would merely chalk up the experiences to poor health, ill luck and ancient methods of living. What Kyle failed to mention, however, were the deaths not so easily categorized: mutilations, beheadings, slit throats, and so forth. Mystery surrounded the family crest, a mystery no
one of the family ever fully understood.
Kyle paced along the row of windows looking into the treetops. He stopped to look out at a jogger who went steadily past; it was then that he felt it. A presence was in the room with him. Kyle had no supernatural abilities, and could not access those restricted parts of the human brain; what he had, however, were memories of his first encounter. Now, that same feeling came upon him again.
Turning his head away from the window, he surveyed the room slowly. He momentarily cursed the abundance in the room, believing a less cluttered space would afford less security for any intruder. Nothing unordinary showed itself to his eyes. All the same works of art hung in their respective places; the rocker still sat beside the hearth; his sofa still looked as uncomfortable as the day he purchased it. Nothing unordinary, but something was still there, something.
Kyle spent much of his life looking over his shoulder, watching and waiting for the family legacy to appear. As a boy it frightened him. As a man, he still had upon his back the scars of the years of paranormal oppression. Those were scars he would probably carry with him forever, or however long his life endured.
In another room, in the back of the house, a presence did move. Kyle was right to feel something, as there was indeed a shadow creeping through the master bedroom. On the nightstand, his smart phone sat charging. It turned on.
The phone log was opened up, and on the screen was listed the last name and number to call Kyle’s phone. It was Rebecca’s.
The phone shut down and went back to charging, while a darkness moved softly out of the room. It passed like a mist through the hall and into the living room, where Kyle had retaken his seat. His hands again pressed against his face, as if he were a little child hiding from a nightmare. Feeling that sensation, he looked up, but could see nothing. The mist had already passed, and he was alone once more.
Richmond could be an exciting town, if one knew where to look for activities. It was a college town, hosting two major university and a host of seminaries. Being a host for such schools, there was an abundance of “vice-oriented” locations where one could party and have a great time, provided what went on behind closed doors stayed there.
Rebecca had taken a night off to spend with her friends in partying and club-hopping. The night was young and they had just started to hit the area around the old Mainstreet Station. Above, the dark shades of the night sky settled neatly on the myriad of railroad tracks and the interstate. The group strolled along, passing Bottom’s Up, and moving from the parking area to the first club.
Streetlights lit their path as the moved along, each louder than one another. If joy were measured in decibels, then this group was at the pinnacle of excitement. They joked with one another and laughed at their jokes while the passing headlights illuminated their march. Rebecca was mixed among them, her taller and more slender frame flanked on either side by shorter but equally vibrant girls. Behind them by a few steps, the boys followed, as if each had a leash held by a lady up front.
“Oh, my God, Rebecca, I can’t believe you passed Hartman’s exam. I mean, did you sleep with him?” And all the girls giggled. Rebecca threw back her head in laughter.
“I am not telling,” she said tauntingly. “It’s our, oh, I mean ‘my’ little secret.” They squealed delightfully, all the girls cackling together in unison. It was a lie, however, as Rebecca’s heart belonged to another, and she would never breach the sacredness of love for mere personal gain. A joke was fun, and a laugh delightful. But it was not the truth.
“So, Miss Opportunistic, what’s with this guy you always speak about? Was he in on your little academic advancement?” More girlish glee.
Rebecca smiled at the thought of Kyle, but rolled her eyes to the latter statement. His memory always comforted her. It had only been a mere few weeks that she worked with him, and had gotten to know him, but already she knew she wanted to embrace him as her soul mate.
“And who would that be?” she asked.
A brunette, her mini skirt fluffing up as she spun around to face Rebecca and walk backwards, said “Really? You know who!” And she pointed her finger at her, believing it would assist in jogging Rebecca’s memory.
“Kyle,” taunted another aloud. They all burst into laughter.
“What about him?” Rebecca asked casually. She knew they all shared her infatuation with the manager, but regarded him as seized property by Rebecca. But who faulted a girl for her dreams?
“Oh, Jesus! Tell us about it all?” Came the response nearly in unison.
“Com’on. Are you sleeping with him yet? Oh, he’s sooo cute. God, I could just eat him up, or he me!” Said the brunette in an explosion of passion. Estrogen was rampant in that group as each of the girls gushed privately and publicly over the property of Rebecca. There were coos and smirks, poking and giggles, like this group of girls had suddenly regressed to early childhood. They were playful, but meant little harm. It was all in the sport of the evening, and Rebecca was their target.
“Bec, really? You normally can’t shut up about him. All the time, it’s ‘omg, did you see his ass in those slacks today,’ or ‘if only he were my shower mate.’ Honestly, girl, open up. And that’s probably what he said.” The brunette was brazen and bold and knew the buttons to push to get Rebecca talking.
“Girls, girls,” began Rebecca, her words sounding as careless and drifty as a breeze. They let out a loud sigh, one which she was certain to extend, then continued. “It’s just, you know how it is.”
“You’re not gonna tell us, are you? You little shit you!” Shouted another girl, laughing as she joking hit Rebecca with her hand bag. In this vein they continued down the sidewalk, with Rebecca thwarting all their attempts at her innermost secret.
The nightclub was from outward appearances a run-down, dilapidated structure whose only source of amusement was housing the rats and giving rest to the pigeons. Small sprigs of grass grew up through the sidewalk. One man, dressed in a bulging leather coat, stood beside the door. It must have been exceptionally bright outside at half past nine at night, because shades covered his eyes. Perhaps the blaring neon sign overhead sunk its rays into his orbs too harshly. He was bald, either out of genetics of self-will; but either way, his head seemed to mirror the burgeoning Buddha belly covered by his Armani shirt.
After a brief interrogation and a display of licenses –which were actually legitimate – the girls and guys made their way through the narrow doorway and through a small, dark tunnel. With the absence of light, the pounding, rhythmic noise acted as guide.
Flashing lights, hot bodies, and the strong scent of alcohol filled the atmosphere as the group amalgamated with the moving mass of dancers. From the outside, the place seemed in disrepair, but only a cursory glance around the interior would reveal otherwise. In the very center of the large, expansive room was the heart of the institution, the dance floor. It was the most crowded of all places, acting like a black hole which sucked all the revelers into its grip. One had to descend a multitude of platforms before reaching it, thus giving the room a tiered effect. On these tiers were tables, booths, the bar (closer to the top), and a variety of dark corners where god-only-knows-what occurred. The inability of many of the partiers to keep their beverages in their glasses gave the floor a sticky feeling.
The group first found their libation at the bar, then the girls took immediately to the dance floor, each grabbing a man from their own group, or finding another on the floor. Rebecca took to a stellar looking companion and ground her body against his, all the while wishing it were her manager.
It was a party atmosphere indeed, with bodies moving in rhythm to the music. For an hour, the little group moved between a table, the bar and the floor, each step increasing the level of intoxication. Slithering like serpents, the ladies moved in and amongst the crowd, carrying drinks and relishing in the adrenaline of the atmosphere. There was a power emanating from each living form, emanating at a rate uncanny to normal and sober minds. Each woman fed off the energy, and gave back to the universe that which it took.
Rebecca had been socializing with many a boy when the thought of her first love came to mind. She felt a yearning for him in this place, imagine his hands around her hips in place of the greasy fellow who now occupied her vision. Slipping away from him and leaving him in dismay, she wandered off the floor and located her purse at the table.
“What ya’ doin?’” asked one of the guys.
“What?” The music was loud enough to penetrate the graves of the dead.
“What-Are-You-Doing,” he enunciated with some sarcasm seasoning his speech.
“Mind your business,” she said with a smile, and turned her back. In her hands was her cell, and she was actively scrolling through her list of contacts. Why Kyle did not possess a number on her speed dial was not clear, even to Rebecca, but she quickly found her manager’s number and called it, again. Before leaving for the night, she made a desperate attempt to gain his company in person. She then tried calling. He did not answer. Now, she was going to try again, the will power with which she placed the call hiding the desperation and longing in her voice.
The phone rang, and rang, and rang. There was no answer, and after a minute Kyle’s message floated into her ear. Rebecca left a brief message of welcome and invitation, then hung up and threw the phone back into her purse. She tried. Maybe he’ll get the message soon, she thought. Walking away, she did not notice her phone’s illumination. It came up with his number, as if it were ringing, but the call did not go through; instead, it went immediately to silent, then terminated quickly, the screen going dark as death.
Rebecca returned to the floor and chose another companion to seductively entertain. The movements of her body mimicked what she wanted to do with Kyle. As she twisted and contorted against her dance partner, she imagined his physique pressing against her. Losing herself in the moment, and her partner, she danced and swayed, the minutes passing quickly like the light beams overhead.
Rebecca, exhilarated and thirsty, vacated the floor and returned to her booth. Some of her friends were present, and certainly intoxicated. The drinks Rebecca consumed had little effect on her, as she spent most of her time on the floor. She was talking with them and laughing loudly when she happened to turn toward the back to the club. There, she saw Kyle.
Rebecca’s eyes brightened as he scanned the floor, no doubt looking for her slender frame. Without saying a word – she wanted no intrusions from the group – she threw her drink on the table and made her way through the maze of booths to where he was standing.
The darkness settling in the corners of the club, when mingled with the hideous rays which shot red, purple and green across the arena, created a surreal glow which cascaded over Kyle’s person. Rebecca watched him sway gently with the beat of the thumping music. She was quickly approaching him when he turned and spotted her. A sly smile, both gentle and enticing, greeted her. Giving him her best and most cheerful expression, she acknowledged him only among the hordes of nameless people.
Through the flashing lights, she saw him, and glancing away only momentarily, he evaded her and vanished into a dark hallway. Her eyes, piercing the darkness, strained to see him where he went, but the bleakness of the hall only obscured his path. Where is he going? And why? She thought as she finally came up to where he had been standing. Perhaps… and with a grin, she moved into the darkness.
“Kyle?” she called out to him. “Where are you taking me,” her words playful and tantalizing.
“Love, come closer,” she heard, his voice echoing softly on her ears, with its tone like the wafting scent of lavender blooming amidst the dark veil of night.
He called me ‘love.’ Oh, god, how my heart is fluttering. I will find you, Kyle, and when I do…” Her thoughts raced wildly through her swooning head as she followed the trail left by his summons. She repeated the phrase over and over as she passed into a dimly lit corridor with multiple doors. As she rounded a corner, she saw a couple making out, their bodies intertwining in a twisted vortex of ecstasy. Disgusted, Rebecca cautiously moved around them and saw, in the distance, Kyle, his faced still smiling at her. He was perhaps twenty feet in front of her, his hand poised to open a door.
“Kyle,” she called out, “where ya’ going?” He did not respond to her, but left his silence as another marker for his female tracker.
Kyle disappeared behind the door, but left it ajar so as to reveal himself climbing a small staircase. Rebecca, quickening her pace, rushed forward in an effort to catch him. Somehow, Kyle managed to elude her once again and vanished on the stairs. The little case was vacant, though she heard his ascending steps thudding above her.
“Rebecca, climb up to me. You got to see this,” came the words from the lips Rebecca so desired to kiss.
“Kyle, where are you taking me,” replied Rebecca, who was by now more puzzled than anything else. The hallway is vacant; hell, why not fondle me here. Didn’t stop that couple. Why do we need to climb up these stairs? Rebecca, girl, I hate to admit it, but this is a little odd. And how the hell does he move so damned fast? She stopped and looked up; above her, Kyle was leaning over the railing, looking down at her from two flights up.
“Not tired, are we?” Kyle asked.
“Tired? I don’t think so, love.” She put special emphasis on the last word, hoping it would express to him a hidden sentiment of her heart.
“Then, come on up.” A sly smirk crossed Kyle’s face as he pulled back into the shadows. Rebecca watched as the darkness gathered at the top of the stairs and filled that vacancy left by Kyle. With a steady, though somewhat uncertain step, she began her ascent. As quickly as her heels would allow, she climbed to the upper level and surfaced in what seemed to be a storage area.
Silence hung like a funeral shroud over the area, and the stillness was so thick it could be felt weighing on one’s shoulders. Rebecca looked around anxiously, not knowing if he had moved on or if Kyle was waiting to scare her. He’s playful, she thought, and started scanning the darkened room with the aide of the marquis lights from outside.
“Oh, I do wonder where Kyle is,” she began playfully, hoping she was acting in accordance with his game. “I suppose he must have moved on.” There was a pause, and she listened intently. A board creaked behind her, and she spun quickly in an attempt to catch him. Nothing greeted her as she turned around.
Rebecca stared at a packed corner of large, cardboard boxes and other paraphernalia. A few bar stools and a dusty table were all the corner cared to have in its confines. She sigh and was about to face the opposite direction when she suddenly felt a body press against her back. She froze.
Hands gripped her arms tightly, though tenderly, and a face pressed against the side of her face, sweet words whispering into the darkness. “Don’t be afraid,” the voice whispered in a tone only the darkness would understand. Rebecca recognized the soft cords of Kyle’s voice, a voice she longed to have utter her name in passion.
Without turning, or allowing herself to be turned, she pressed back into his grip. “So, now that you have captured me, I suppose I am your prisoner,” Rebecca said, her words as devilish as she could make them to be.
“You’ve always been mine,” Kyle returned. At this, Rebecca swooned while his hands began to explore her body. A soft kiss planted itself on her cheek, just below her ear. Rebecca allowed a soft sigh to escape her.
“Now, follow me.” Rebecca felt his grip loosen as he took one hand and started to pull her through the room. Their shadows merged with the surrounding gloom and slid across the dark floor hidden beneath the glow of the outside lights.
“Where are you taking me?” Rebecca asked.
At the far end of the room, a solid metal door greeted them and marked the end of their journey through the maze of scattered debris in the old room. The door was locked, but with a twist of the knob, Kyle opened it with little effort. Turning in front of the open door to face Rebecca, Kyle pushed his face toward hers and allowed his cheek to brush her own. Shivers ran up her spine. She reached out to touch his face, but he pulled away before her hand could caress his flesh.
“The best is just beyond this door.” With that, Kyle pushed it completely open and stepped through. He still held her hand and Rebecca watched as her arm slowly oozed into the darkness. Soon, he was pulled through and found herself in the shadow of the room, and staring at a night sky nearly polluted by the city lights.
“Welcome to the night, love.” Kyle had been quiet and soft spoken through the coarse of their time inside, but Rebecca noticed that once he was free of the confines of the building, a certain animation overtook him. Excitement rang in his voice as he welcomed her to the flat roof of the building.
Rebecca looked around and began to move past him, taking in the roof and the city landscape rising above them. Lights, many from office buildings, and especially the old Mainstreet rail station, glistened brightly, replacing the stars which should have been visible overhead. Rebecca moved around a little, then turned and found Kyle leaning against the side, his eyes cast on the elevated rail tracks near the building.
The roof appeared as any other industrial roof would look, save for its close proximity to the rail station. What does he have planned now? Rebecca thought as she surveyed the area. Is there a blanket up here for us, or maybe a bottle of wine? This is going to be so romantic. I knew he was the type. Oohhh, just look at him over there. She was looking at him, her mind running wild with scenarios for lovemaking under the night sky.
“So, tell me, you come up here a lot?” Rebecca asked as she slowly strolled up to him.
“Only when I have business.” Kyle’s face was icy and graven, as if a grim determination replaced any soft feature he had.
“Business? Is that what I am now?” She traced a finger along his cheek and down his throat, playing with the button on his shirt. She was trying to read him, but a barrier stronger and deeper than any she could imagine existed between them now.
Kyle caught her questioning look and smiled quickly, then, taking her by the hand, spun her around and, raising one hand in a flourish, presented the rail station to her. “It is grand, is it not?” He asked.
“It is beautiful,” she said, her mind not really knowing what was going on. Just then, Kyle rushed past her and leapt up onto a short ladder which connected with a catwalk.
“Let’s take a closer look!” and Kyle began to move out on the walk and away from the building. The walk stretched out into the open, bridging the gap between the roof and the furthest suspended rail track. Built around the same time as the station, the original designers and workers needed a way to maintain this furthest track, and so devised a short structural system to access the rails. Kyle, now sauntering along its metal base, came very near the track before turning around and finding Rebecca hesitant and reluctant to follow.
“What’s the matter?” he called out to her.
“I don’t think we should be out there, Kyle. I mean, it might be dangerous, and it’s probably private property.” She had her arms folded around her, as if her words of rejection were chilling her more than she wanted. God, what the hell is this? He’s just…different.
Kyle approached her slowly, his steps casually taking him back across the bridge. He held the railings and, leaning forward so as to bring his face close to hers, spoke soothingly to her, his lips finally brushing against her cheek. All uneasiness vanished as she inhaled his scent, a collection of lavender and lilies, something she had not noticed earlier.
“Well,” she began, smiling shyly, “I suppose a little danger never hurt anyone.” With that, she stepped up in front of him and onto the platform.
The metal groaned lightly as she added her weight to the bridge. Kyle had already began his crossing, and slowly, Rebecca pushed herself out further, leaving the relative security of the roof, and entrusting herself entirely to the safety of Kyle. Below, the street came into view, with a stray cat streaking from shadow to shadow. A breeze blew softly over her as she continued to scale the gap. Her hands gripped tightly the railings, and her heels made for a stressful passage, but she managed to reach the other side, and Kyle.
“See, how bad was that?” he asked, dryly. Behind them were the tracks, long metal snake-like structures stretching out in either direction, one heading north, and the other crossing the James.
“Wow, we certainly are high here.” She glanced at the tracks and the massive structure keeping the rail above the ground. They were encaged by the metal railings, but a small gate gave entrance to the tracks next to them. With a flick of his wrist, Kyle unsnapped the gate, and it swung open lazily.
“Now, for our next adventure,” he said. At these works, Rebecca felt her stomach tighten. The exhilaration lasted through the crossing of the bridge, but now it faded at the prospect of stepping onto the tracks. She had had enough of this ‘adventure’ and wanted to get back to the roof. Certain situations are more intriguing with the addition of the element of danger; this situation, however, had certainly run its course and Rebecca wanted only to get back downstairs and throw back a drink.
“I don’t think so, Kyle. I’m sorry, but I’m heading back. This is just too much.” Turning, Rebecca reestablished her grip on the handrails and began moving away. There were petitions from Kyle, but she paid them no attention. Her mind was set, and she was leaving. She accomplished two more steps when she felt Kyle’s arms encircling her waist.
“Okay, love, just give me a moment, and I shall reward you.”
Love intoxicates, and feeling him so close to her again swayed her mind. Rebecca did not turn around, but allowed his body to press against hers for a little longer while she playfully thought it through out loud, weighing her options verbally.
“So, will you come back with me? What if I meet your demand for a kiss? Will that be reward enough?” Rebecca was silent a moment, then turn and faced Kyle.
“Okay, deal. You can pay up the remainder later.” And she winked at him.
“Then, after you, love.” Said Kyle, and Rebecca tantalizing slid past him, making sure her body rubbed his where it mattered. Kyle watched her move past and start for the end. Narrowing his eyes, Kyle examined her carefully as her slender form moved farther and farther away. He watched as she turned and smiled at him while reminding him of his promise. He continued to watch as she moved the swinging gate to the side and stepped onto the tracks.
Rebecca felt the subtle triumph over her nerves as she landed on one of the cross beams. She held her head high, not out of success, but of fear of the height and the lack of support railings the track offered. Her eyes twinkled as she marveled at the building, the old rail station, towering above her, and the myriad of highways lanes above it. She was alone on the tracks, her little form standing amidst such openness.
In the distance, north of the station, a bright light illuminated the tracks. It rumbled on with speed, as Petersburg, and not Richmond, was its destination. The tracks shook as it approached, and Rebecca, still staring, turned to see her own figure enveloped in the light. Panic struck deep into her mind and heart as she let loose a shriek. Turning to leap back on the bridge, she found only the large gap, and nothing more.
Another scream roared consecutively as she stared at the empty space where the bridge had just been. The fear took her mind and she could do little save scream, her mind giving up finding explanations. Frantically, she turned wildly, hoping to find a place to move to, but found only a height of three stories, or more, and no where else to go. Her breathing was heavy and tears ran down her cheeks. She turned back to the roof, and saw, perched upon the ledge, a shadow which seemingly fluttered by its own volition. It had shape and design, and looked like a person, though in the moment uncertainty was the only thing certain. It stood there, waiting, and watching.
Rebecca looked up once more, and the light of the train blinded her. One scream, drowned out by the horn, and the train overtook her. What was left of her body fell off the tracks and splattered against the hard and cold cement below.
Across town, Kyle was startled awake. He looked around and found himself in his bedroom chair, still attired in his work clothes, and facing his nightstand. The light on his phone indicated a message, and he checked it, finding the missed calls from Rebecca.
When he called her back, the phone went right to voicemail.