Hunger (Adult Content)

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He hungered. He burned. He – lusted. No other word for it.

Unsatisfied by his pretty, clever wife he took to late nights and sleazy pubs, ever on the lookout, the hunt, seeking that special something that would soothe the ache in his loins.

His wife didn’t know – how could she, occupied as she was with their children, their perfect home, their lovely life, their status.

He wanted them all and so he took them, and yes, they were willing enough. The shy and the wanton – both could be bought for the right price and often it was no more than a couple of kind words. Behind the pub, dark corners in slimy side streets, their own rooms or flats – he wasn’t bothered, searching as he was for something to stop the hunger.

He sank himself between the loins of thin, hungry young men who writhed beneath him like buckets of eels; women, drawn to him by the unspoken promise of something dark in his eyes. He rubbed and fawned and licked and chatted – still he burned.

One evening, after a particularly stressful day, he found he couldn’t face the faintly accusing face of his wife and thought he would spend a pleasant hour or so fishing in a pub he had noticed earlier on in the day. Tucked away down a cobbled alley, it seemed cheery enough with an old-world ambience and plenty of cosy booths for an intimate moment.

He collected his drink and turned towards the formerly empty booth he had chose, only to find it taken.

And how… the voluptuous woman was, at best, kindly described as overflowing. Pillowy breasts threatened to spill from her low cut, frilled top. Above her cavernous cleavage, a wide, generous face, blue eyes with heavy lashes and plump, succulent lips that were ripe for biting.

He inserted himself onto the bench next to her and placed a hand on the broad, sumptuous flesh of her thigh – such legs, wide, cushiony. All at once it became the most urgent priority, the most important thing in the world that he should bury himself in her folds of flesh, grasp her and inhale her.

Later – but not much later, they hadn’t got beyond a mutual sigh of consent between sucking kisses – in her bed he rolled and fondled and fumbled, sweating and slippery as she moaned above him, beneath him, around him.

He pushed between her eager legs and pushed. He pushed and thrust and at the height of his pleasure – nothing. He awoke, it seemed, only moments later to find himself in unfamiliar, yet strangely recognisable surroundings.

A dark corridor stretched before him, ridged and heaving, pulsating with every step he took. He put a hand out to the wall, strangely slick and warm, and jerked back sharply as it shuddered beneath his touch. All around him in the stifling warmth, the walls, ceiling, floor heaved and contracted while a low moaning filled his ears.

He wiped his hand against his leg and began to run.

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Circle

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Hers was the religion of flower and tree, beetle, bird and dew. In every raindrop she saw the smile of the Goddess, in the curve of every branch, the arms of the Mother.

Barefoot, she wandered through the forest, rejoicing in the feel of moss and twig underfoot. Hers were the old ways, lessons learned when the world was young and still learning itself.

The earth sang and thrummed beneath her feet, the wet and the glory filled with a buzzing life, an energy that could be found in the curl of every leaf, a wholeness in every pebble, every rock; the sometimes wildness and cruelty tempered by the knowledge of a never-ending cycle of life and renewal.

She saw the birds hatch their young and the wild cats nurse their kits, hidden away in dens. She witnessed death, brought by swift fang and slashing claw and accepted it as part of the Mother’s ever-turning wheel; watching as remains turned to bones and scraps, carried away by worms, to be returned to the warm wet earth.

She lived in harmony, balance, showing them how to take no more than they needed, always giving thanks and gratitude and love to the Mother.

Then others came.

From far away, they came with crushing foot and rending hand, ripping and tearing the very heart from the land she loved, the trees she cared for. They came, bringing strange bright gods from hot dusty lands, gods that conquered and devoured.

She watched and wept as they cut down the trees, chained her land in stone and iron. People fled, animals died, and there was no renewal, no honour.

Exhausted, depleted, afraid and angry, she fled, deeper into the wild places where the savage side still dwelt. Finally she found what she was looking for, a rent, a natural cleft in the wet red earth.

She crawled inside, deeper and deeper, till the blood pounded in her ears, her head sang and the arms of the Mother enfolded her in the warm red earth. She closed her eyes and waited.

Waited to be reborn.

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Hope

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Thank you Alex for the use of your lovely photo

It was cold. So very cold. The bitter, biting dry cold where the sky was icy bright blue and the very air sang and sparkled with ice crystals.

The little one waited, huddled in the scant shelter of a dark hedge.

The cold was intense, so cold it made your teeth ache and your bones snap. And still the little one waited.

Night came. Someone was near, watching and sad, filled with worry for the little one who waited but whose spark was now very frail. Hope was nearly gone, abandoned before Life was even really started.

The Watcher could bear it no more and stepped down, down from the dark, down in the singing cold as the stars spun in their icy waltz, down in the bleak night to appear before the little one.

She scooped her up, gently, feeling the little life left in its delicate shell and cupped in her hands, and breathed warmth and life into the little one.

Not very far away, a woman lay, sleepless in the dark and the cold, sleepless in the night while tears froze on her cheeks, warm in her bed but cold in her life. Suddenly she thrust back her duvet and thought she would look out into the calm dark, see if it would ease her pain.

She slipped on her dressing gown and went downstairs to open her door into the night, and there on the step lay a little scrap, a tiny thing.

The kitten looked up at the woman and meowed, faintly, hopefully. She bent down to pick her up, and as the little one purred so the frost in her heart began to thaw.

The Watcher returned to her place and told Him what she had done. He smiled and was pleased for although some may be lost there is always Hope.

Pipes

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The little girl sobbed in fright and sat up in her bed, as once again, the old pipes and plumbing of the house began to scream and whine. Her bed shook as the floorboards juddered, and, panicked, she called for her parents.

They arrived, tired and rumpled from their own room, and the little girl tried very hard not to cry as, for the umpteenth time, her father explained with exasperated kindness how it was just water moving through the pipes that made the house shake, that the pipes expanded and contracted in the heat of the day and the cool of the night.

Unconvinced, the little girl let herself be tucked back into bed and given her favourite teddy to hold. She drifted back into an uneasy sleep.

The days passed, the nights too, and the dark circles under the little girl’s eyes grew. Every night she lay awake and trembled in fright as the pipes howled and wailed their screaming demon song.

The blood pounded in her ears as she lay in bed, taking on the rhythm and depth of footsteps, troll footsteps, that thumped in her head till her heart hurt and she grew dizzy from not listening.

Till one night, she couldn’t bear it any longer. She pushed her warm duvet aside, leaving behind the comfort of her teddy, not even stopping to push her feet into her little pink fluffy slippers.

She crept out of her bedroom, and across the landing, avoiding the creaky floorboard that would alert her parents. She placed her palm against the bathroom door and pushed. It opened silently, obligingly, welcoming.

The tiles were very cold under her feet, and were faintly vibrating, or so it seemed. A tiny whistling, ghostly and ethereal, was issuing from the plughole of the washbasin. The little girl could just reach, if she stood on tiptoe, to pull the light cord that illuminated a tiny mirror over the basin. She caught a glimpse of her own pale, tired face and leaned forwards, a little further, over the basin.

The plughole gaped, threateningly and suddenly the whistling howl was louder. A lot louder and as the little girl leaned forwards, the plughole leered and yawned and gaped and –

Gone. Suddenly swallowed. The little girl was gone.

Her parents would never move from that house. Her father blamed himself, and her mother swore that she could her her little girl calling, lost, somewhere in the pipes.

Thank you to Samantha – great name – of Key Image, for the idea for this little story, after a conversation about plumbing… !

Boots

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All my life, I have been haunted by a scene, one particular scene, dream-like and yet so vivid I live it every single time, over and over again.

I’m tired, so very tired, aching to my bones. We’re marching, or walking rather; my eyes are fixed on the back of the man in front of me, the monotonous drag of his feet and slouch of his shoulders.

The straps of my pack are chafing my own shoulders and I hitch them up irritably, the rough green canvas scratchy against my fingers. My rifle is heavy and unwieldy, slung across the front of my body. I’ve had enough now,, how had I ever thought this could be an adventure.

The captain calls a halt, and we slump down gratefully for a minute’s breather and a gulp of lukewarm water from my canteen. I try to adjust my boots – the tough leather has rubbed the skin off in a red angry circle all around my the bottom of my shins.

The man – boy, really, next to me, coughs and spits, the road is dusty and relentless. Up again and onwards, the going’s better now, a country lane, dusty, still, yes but curving round to the left and there’s a farmhouse, yes, a little farmhouse and a yard we’ll be safe there can rest but there’s a shot –

                                                                  *

I woke up, sweating and cold in my own bed, my husband’s warm bulk, snoring gently, next to me.

I shrugged off the remnants of the dream, along with my sweaty pyjamas and got ready for work. Tense and headachy all day, legs sore with phantom blisters, I was only too ready to go to bed when I got home –

                                                                   *

I’m tired, so very tired, aching to my bones. My boots are chafing the skin around the bottom of my shins and it’s red and bleeding. These boots were shiny when we left, shiny and proud, now as cracked and as battered as I feel. How could I have ever thought this would be an adventure?

Sweating, tired, the straps of my pack are digging into my shoulders, and hitch them up irritably. I fix my eyes on the back of the man in front. Captain calls a halt and we slump down, exhausted. I reach for my canteen of water, a lukewarm mouthful and then drop sharply into sleep.

I wake sweating, and uncomfortable up again and onwards the going’s better now a country lane dusty yes there’s a farmhouse a little farmhouse and a yard we’ll be safe there can rest but there’s a shot –

Monster

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Ahh. That time of year again. The crispness of approaching winter in the air, a relief after the slop of soggy leaves underfoot. A sinuous mist that hung and curled, cat-soft around the corners of the city streets.

The veil is thin at this time of year, and as he thought, so he stretched his wings, the grimy sandstone rippling into leathery life. He turned his head, grating and grinding. Perhaps a good year to fly, although the last time he had ventured forth was when good King Richard ruled. He had seen what had passed since and decided, yes, a good night to fly.

Creaking and stretching he extended one scaly leg to his left, balancing, then – away. His powerful wings beat away the layers of time that had settled like a second skin and carried him up. Up, and over the city.

He noted how it had grown, the small mean buildings had given way to brick built structures and gleaming glass towers, far more splendid than his own humble church. Surely these splendid buildings were houses of happiness and joy, and his stony heart swelled with the thought that people had discovered how to live together with love and kindness.

But as he flew, silver threads of thoughts and scenes drifted up to him. He saw:

young men, reeling, drunk

girls, staggering, vomiting

children, crying in pain and fear

dogs whimpering in fright

women, weeping in the cold

And then. He saw a tall man, bending over the body of a woman. He paused, outside the window of the house. He watched, as the man delivered one final punch to the woman’s face, and as he stood upright he licked the blood from his knuckles with relish and saw the silent watcher at the window.

Their eyes met and held and the watcher knew fear, the spine creeping chill of evil and despair. He let his wings carry him away from those eyes, cold and stony dead.

Now who’s the monster

Dance

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He was excited. He’d dressed carefully, skinny jeans, cool shirt and best aftershave. The thumping bass of the music reverberated in his chest from two streets away and he was drawn in by the primal beat that made the blood leap in his veins.

He had intended to go somewhere completely different, but there had been whispers all around the Student Union about this event. Never fixed to one location, it was rumoured to have the best music, the best D.J.’s, the cheapest drink.

So, when he heard the music, he knew – he just knew – that it was this mythical party to end all parties and he had to go.

Plans to meet a friend abandoned, he turned away from the bright warmth of his usual haunts and followed the music down a dark side street. Shadows prowled and darkness lingered; but he was young and strong and the night held no fear for him.

He traced the music, the intoxicating beat to its source, a battered old door. Paint peeling and scraped, a little ajar with grubby tendrils of ivy surrounding it and seeming to beckon him closer, its grandiose dimensions seemed oddly out of place in the sooty little side street.

He reached out to push it further but before he could touch its surface it was snatched open –

You came! Oh I’m so pleased!”

A blonde girl, whose curly hair bounced carelessly across her flushed face, grabbed his arm and pulled him inside. Somewhat bemused, he allowed himself to be hustled along – he knew the girl, he was sure, she seemed familiar, but had no chance to wonder further as a drink was thrust into his hand.

The lights flickered and gleamed, strangely reddish, striking glints off teeth and eyes from other people who swayed in time to the beat, laughing. He sipped cautiously at his drink. Foul. So much for the rumours about the best beer, and the floor was oddly sticky underfoot…

Just as he was about to look down, his new friend seized his arm and tugged him eagerly onto the dance floor.

I love this song!”

A particularly jarring pop song from the eighties started after the drum and bass faded out and he found himself whirled into the heaving mass of sweaty bodies. Minutes passed – how many? He didn’t know and the music changed again to something he dimly remembered from the seventies, and still the people spun and swayed around him.

But now there was something different, darker, decaying. The girl gasped and giggled and clutched at him with bony strength. He tried to pull away, to be released and go away, sit down, get out; but she pulled him closer.

Again the music changed, and again, till finally they were circling the floor to an old, old waltz. With every turn, rot shimmered in the folds of the dresses, maggots fell in showers from hair, flesh melted and teeth gleamed through sunken lips.

He opened his mouth to scream but couldn’t, locked forever in the arms of his grinning partner and his own dark dance of despair.