Ghost Story

He began life as a playful ruse, as a figment granted sentience through the repetition of foolish fantasies. I loved him instantly, this man who came into being not by the usual biological means but from my wish for a profound and loving connection. He acts as a child governed by instinct and inspiration. He acts primarily for the joy of exploration, from the sacred space of one who is attuned perfectly to nature. There is a strange viscosity to his movements as if he feels more acutely than others the push and pull of atoms dancing through space. I lie awake night after night watching him pass in and out of the shadows wondering what strange landscapes surround him when he slips out of view. One of these nights I will follow him.

He smiles with his lashes lowered and his chin downturned. His smile is soft and warm like an uninterrupted ray of sunlight. I want to hold it against my own and feel our lips and tongue surrender together in song.

In the beginning he was only this, an expression of mischief. Each night we came together in a dark room, in a bed which of necessity presses two warm bodies into one. I watched him lift the blankets and lower himself down beside me over and over again. His presence tugging at the edges of my soul. His dark, ambiguous form furling and unfurling itself into the shapes of different men. His moonlight-soft smile touching my hair as I waited in silence for his words to kiss me.

As of this moment he has brown hair and green eyes and a long body which is strong enough to carry my weight during even the most rigorous sexual acts. His thick, dark lashes wrestle with fire. Life has seized him fully and I know that he has a lot to teach me. He is always intimate and too innocent for the world as mankind has constructed it. I will enter his world and when I have made him real enough he will enter into mine. His too pretty mouth tastes of honey and serendipity. He has long, graceful fingers and a defined jawline. I am shallow enough to be affected by these features. I am shallow enough to think of his fingers slipping deep inside of my body and I am even shallow enough to study his face, unabashedly and up close. 

His smile is young and buoyant, it dances over my skin, it touches soul-deep. I swallow it between breaths, between doses of moonlight. For him I am the first. The first kiss. The first heart. His eyes are often obscured by his hair. Hair which is permanently disheveled and too silky to confine. Hair which tickles my cheeks and the corners of my lips when he peers affectionately into my face. When I touch his skin I feel my fingers pass through him and I think here is a man who is not afraid of love. Here is a man who believes in something beyond the confines of his own ego. I want to feel his body pass over me like the sea, to crash down and surge forward, to erode my defenses as I succumb helplessly to the motion of his body. There will be no guilt or trepidation in our communion. I can tell that he wants love as much as I do but more importantly I can tell that it is my love he wants. There is still so much we haven’t said to each other. For example, what does he call himself? What should I call this man whose soul overlaps my own?

///

“I love you more.” He responds to my breath, to the unfinished thoughts which struggle endlessly inside of me. I feel his voice in my belly, in my bones, in all four chambers of my blustering, invertebrate heart. We all need to believe in something which reality has not yet broken. I needed him. I needed to be loved. I needed a life which would not crumble the moment I touched it.

“Can anyone really love me?” I hold onto the edge of one duvet while the other floats and twists above me. When he is satisfied he lets it drop back down to the bed.

“If you let them. Anyone can.” His voice gives me goosebumps. “I am the one who’s going to prove it to you.” For a moment I feel his weight, his body curling around me and then he is simply gone.  He is a reminder that life is not a series of tragic accidents but rather a series of absurd miracles. He will come again tonight more substantial than before and I will kiss his cheeks and invite him to play games with me.

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Part 6

(this chapter is a bit more scary/creepy it also contains a bit of innuendo)

The library was filled wall to wall with books. Dak’kon had no idea what he was looking for, at least not specifically. A random search would have taken months. He needed to find a solution to Xyven’s possession and a means of ridding the house of any and all infestations. He decided to start his search with the heavily dog-eared books on the side table. The books, he soon discovered, were filled with illegible notes and more usefully highlighted passages.

Most of the books pertained to exorcisms and cleansings. There was one book that pertained to demons but it was apparent that his grandfather had never quite figured out what type of demon possessed Xyven. He seemed to have narrowed it down to a genre, sex fiend. Dak’kon was going to have to talk/interact with Xyven again if he was ever going to riddle out the monster’s identity. His grandfather had dedicated his whole life to research and Dak’kon wasn’t prepared to sacrifice that kind of time.

“I took you to be a man of science.” Dak’kon’s head snapped up. It was too early. Xyven loomed in the doorway but there was something wrong with him. The man appeared, almost unsteady, like the flicker of a dying street lamp.

“Well there’s not exactly a lot to do around here for entertainment.” Dak’kon said sitting the books to the side. He was going to play this casual and if possible avoid a confrontation.

“It looks like you’ve been redecorating. I don’t like what you’ve done with the windows.” The demon’s tone expressed displeasure. A displeasure so fundamental that it could even be thought a precursor to violence. What started out as a slow out of sync walk across the room escalated rapidly. Before Dak’kon could even rise from his chair Xyven had crossed the room and was bent over him gripping the chair’s arm rests. The demon’s face was close, too close. Dak’kon didn’t flinch, at least not outwardly. Everything was an act, a machinations, and as much as Dak’kon hated playing games everything depended upon his ability to put up a good front.

“I can think of better uses of your time.” Xyven said his grin was wide, serpentine. Dak’kon caught the innuendo and it repulsed him.

“I don’t think I like what you have in mind.” Dak’kon said eyes narrowing. From this distance he thought that Xyven looked pale, almost waxy. Was the demon forcing himself to be awake? In any case he’d learned something important Xyven did not care for the changes he’d made to the house. Did Xyven have issues with natural light? Or was it change?

Xyven’s laugh was deep and unsettling. “That’s too bad…” The demon said and though he rose he remained close. Close enough that Dak’kon couldn’t comfortably get out of the chair. “I think we’d have fun together but who would be on top?” The question seemed to amuse the demon a good deal. Dak’kon did not humor the demon further by proposing an answer. Any answer, even defiance, would have only served to continue that line of discourse.

Instead he changed the subject. “I thought you’d be headed out by now.” Dak’kon commented doing his best to keep his tone and body language relaxed.

“I have a room here didn’t you know that? The weather forecast is threatening snow figured I’d better stay the night encase the roads become impassable.” Xyven seemed disinterested in this particular line of conversation and answered only to keep up the pretense of civility. “So did you ever run into Nikolai?”

“Sorry I haven’t seen him. I guess he moved on.” Dak’kon responded careful not to rush his words and careful not to break his gaze lest it look like he was being deceitful.

“That is unfortunate.” Xyven said more to himself than to his present company. “We’ll be spending a lot of time together in the upcoming months. I would prefer if we got along. You are aware of my reputation. That is all in the past. I had a difficult upbringing. Got mixed up in drugs. Took a bad course. But I’ve put that behind me now.” Xyven seemed oddly sincere, human almost. What was the game? He’d just seen the man move across the floor with unnatural speed. Was it Xyven that was different? Or was it his perception that was warped?

“I only glanced at your resume. I am not one to belabor the past. We’re cool.” They weren’t cool, Dak’kon hadn’t liked Xyven from their very first conversation. The way he’d spoken about Nikolai, denigrated him. He couldn’t deny that they had similarities. He slept around a lot. He was also very forthright with his lovers about his intentions. It was their similarities perhaps more than their differences that caused his revulsion. He’d never referred to anyone as a slut though, that would have been hypocritical.

“You’re alright Daks heh just don’t read too many of these books they’ll rot your brain same way they did the old mans.” Xyven lifted one of the books off the table and let it fall to the floor with what Dak’kon took to be disgust. There was a threat imparted in the demon’s tone that suggested to him some degree of intimidation. Clearly there was something in these books, an answer, a hint, a potential weapon. “Look I am going to turn in early. See you around.” Xyven really did seem to be feeling unwell. The man’s gait was slightly staccato. There was a sound too like static on an old CRT television.

Dak’kon bid the man goodnight and noted that instead of heading toward the back of the house or up the stairs where the bedrooms were located he headed toward the foyer.

The house had no servant’s quarters, all the staff had slept as guests/residents in the house. That of course included the former chef. Maybe there were some clues in Xyven’s room? It was much too dangerous to attempt entry now, what with the demon semi-conscious and besides he wasn’t even sure which room belonged to Xyven. Dak’kon took the books to his bedroom., they were too important to leave behind.

He had to proceed as planned so as not to arouse any suspicion.

Dak’kon locked the door to the bathroom, a precaution he’d not taken on the first night, A precaution he deduced afforded him only the illusion of security. Nothing remarkable occurred during his shower. It wasn’t until he was finished that he noticed the paint on the window (he hadn’t finished all the windows) had run. Fat, black ribbons stood in stark contrast to the white tiles and that wasn’t the only thing amiss in the room. His image in the broken mirror was even more obfuscated than before. All he could see was heavy, black smoke. So strong was the impression that he even smelled it but a quick survey of the room revealed no flames. He dressed in a blue t-shirt, boxers, and a pair of blue and black checkered pajama bottoms and brushed his teeth feigning ignorance of anything supernatural. ‘Keep your shit together’ He thought and that thought became his mantra.

Dak’kon locked his bedroom door behind him for all the good it did him. Nikolai had not yet reopened the portal and so there was nothing to do but read. He read while drinking vodka from a water bottle. If Nikolai didn’t come through in time he figured he ought to get drunk enough to enter on his own. By the time Nikolai arrived he had a pretty good buzz going.