Monday, 19 January 2009

Sometimes it doesn't even look like you

We emerged into the street, the bright sunlight dazzling me, ducking back inside the house, I grabbed a pair of goggles from the cloakroom emerging to find Nareth sniffing the air, glancing up and down the street.

We moved quickly, passing along the street and down the side alleys to the laboratory. the professor's laboratory. The climbed to the sparse loft where 5 long days ago, Nareth had struck me down, infecting me with this lethal curse and yet now it was to be my home.

It had changed in those few days now passed. In the corner where I'd submitted to her will now stood a simple white bed.Opposite, unchanged, the cold grey stone of the casket and alongside it, the single chaise longe/sofa that served as furnishing.

"Where will I sleep?", I asked. Nareth held up a hand and the door slammed.

"I would have you with me...but there is also the bed. Lina usually sleeps there.". I stared at the casket, cold, unwelcoming, sepulchral. "It is your choice."

"I am no corpse", I answered, still looking at the casket.

" are not. Am I?", Nareth took a seat on the divan and I sat next to her. "The soil in that casket is sacred to us guarded for ages...Handed down."

"I feel no attraction to it Nareth. Is that wrong?"

"You are...different. I do not know what is appropriate for what you have become. But..already I see so many advantages.", Nareth looked about the small room. "Lina must be out hunting. A pity...". I gazed around the lofts four walls and meagre furnishings.

"so this is home now?" I asked unimpressed and somewhat rhetorically.

"For now...They would hunt you, Mistress. They would...I cannot imagine.",
Nareth watched me for a moment, and then stood. I looked back up at her from where I sat, as unsure as ever about where these short pensive moments would lead. Nareth reached out, running her fingers through my hair. "Have your feelings changed...towards me? Is there only spite and hatred?"

I did not have an answer, desire burned in me as it had previously, but was it led by feelings and emotion or simple carnal lust. Spite and hatred? I looked up her, she looked lost, even scared somehow changed from the earlier Nareth, a post feed mood swing? I looped my arm out around her waist and pulled her close she offered no resistance. "I can..I can be your Orchid...Even now...Not her face...but a receptacle for your longing."

"or my professor..."

"Yes...If you so wish. Anything you so wish.". I lifted my face, kissing the underside of Nareth's chin, Nareth closed her eyes and relaxed.

"what would you wish Nareth?"

"Mistress, I am bound to you. My wishes cannot subsume or proceed your own, unless you should wish..."

A knock at the door below silenced us, Nareth raised a finger to her lips to silence me, a setting me giggling like a child. We waited, I stood moving behind her, holding her close, arms around her waist, I nuzzled her neck.

"Mistress...there was something important...", Nareth closed her eyes at the touch of my lips on the nape of her neck.

"how important?", I whispered.

"Something very important...You should know."

"really?", I licked lightly at her neck causing her to moan softly. "please go on", I prompted continuing my exploration. I looked up as she wiggled free of my hug.

"Please, sit.", she indicated down to the sofa and I sat, confused and frustrated at the passion, now inflamed, that had been denied. Nareth, looked down at me and removed her spectacles and I looked up into the deep wells of her eyes.

"Since I first laid eyes on you, there was desire in me. Not hunger...not only hunger. But you know this.", I smiled a little and nodded as she held out a cold hand stroking the side of my face sighed at the warmth as I closed my eyes the cold touch sending a ripple of sensation through cheek to my spine. "You must know what was done to this vessel...that it might contain what I am".

"you are more than a vessel Nareth", I replied trying to offer some comfort but she shook her head.

"I am a vessel...literally. Tepes...he took the body of Sang Li, which by then contained the mind of Nareth Nishi...It was carried deep into his fortress in the mountains." She paused, as though the memories were difficult to recount. was bound. It was bound". I held up a hand to Nareth, an offer of reassurance. "Mina and the others, they came too late...What he guarded...was passed into this vessel. Relics from the dark times...", Nareth glanced down at her belly. He put into me certain artifacts.Into me. Into..her. Deep...into her. That they would be carried in this womb."

"Do you see?", Nareth watched me closely. Looking into my eyes.

"I see but I do not understand why".

"Because, he knew that he was going to die. That he would lose the battle with the Company of Light. Elenore Darwin told him that, and he believed her. The relics had to be kept safe and he looked at your professor, the Impaler did, and he told her, "Now...I will make you perfect. Now," he said, "I will make you even as the angels were made and no man shall ever enter you.". The vessel was..sealed.". Nareth had begun to tremble. A realisation of what she was saying came over me.

"sealed..? Oh ....Nareth", I looked up with pity in my eyes.

"I am...a reliquary. I am..the mother of all Damnation. And no matter the desires he poured into me, I am...unable...", Nareth reached to unbutton her coat, I took her hands in mine and then raising a finger, unfastened her coat, letting it drop to the floor. "You must see this...and you must understand this...Can you look upon such a thing?".

I sat back in my seat "I would look upon you with these fresh untainted eyes".

"Very well.", she whispered. "It is the mark that brands me, even as his kiss branded me.", She pulled off her gloves, removing her vest and somewhat reluctantly, unbuttoning her trousers. I watched her as she undressed, reluctant and shy she was quite different to her normal self. I watched her solemn facing following hers hands down across her pale white breasts and stomach as she stepped from her trousers. "As inviolable...We must know these truths."
Nareth looked around at the scatter of clothing on the floor. Looking up from the clean smoothness, between her legs, I reached out, tenderly, to pull her down to me. Nareth stood back resisting, uncertain.
"There is more than violation, Nareth, and I am no man".

"If that is so, this mind does not recall it. No, you are not...I will not choose men.". I smiled up at her and ran my fingertips across her stomach, looping down, feeling the intriguing smoothness between her legs. She watched me sadly, "I had no *need* of it, after all. No need...". I let my hand slip round behind her, cupping her buttocks and pulling her forward, this time, Nareth did not resist. I pressed my lips against Nareth's stomach. "She is in there, after a fashion. My Lady...".

I reached down unlaced my boots and cast them aside, resting my head once more against her body. "It now...It is become so...strange." she said, as I looked up. Nareth bent down kissing the top of my head and I swung my feet up onto the couch laying down upon the cushions
"You know..there is no love in me.", she continued, smiling down at me as I began to unbutton my jacket. "But...I have made you feel wanted.". I nodded. "When my Lady comes....", she trailed off, her dark eyes watching me as I undressed.

I lifted my body slightly, slipping my trousers off and casting them onto the floor, smiling up at her, she seemed more lost than ever now, overtaken by a kind of innocence. I reached up to her hand and pulling her down, sat her on the edge of the cushion brushing my body against hers. I lifted my arms above my head, pulling off my top, throwing it on to the pile around us. Pressing firmly against her, causing her to flinch at the touch. I looked up into her eyes, grinning, and mimicking her intonation asked,

"would you look upon me Nareth?". She looked back her face unmoving, the simple joke lost in her confusion".

"Yes...I would. My mind...", she smiled. An odd, nervous smile. I pulled off my undershirt

"For one moment, let me not be the Messenger...For one moment.", her voice pleading, though with whom it was unclear.

"would you mind Nareth? remove my panties for me. Please.", I settled back waiting for her, as she nodded and gently leant forward, tugging at my panties, slipping them down across my legs and then off, sniffing them before dropping them to the floor.
I smirked, and ran a finger gently down the side of Nareth's body, then pulled her closer, laying her next to me. I raised my left hand to her hair, as she moved down, licking at my left nipple, the roughness sending sending a pleasant shudder through my body as with my right hand I caressed her back, laughing playfully and tickling her gently with my fingertips, then holding her head to my breast.

I pulled at her hair, drawing her head up pushing her back down, as she smiled briefly before letting her teeth pierrce the flesh of the aureole, and she began to gently suck as I squealed at the shock and relaxed as the sensations of blood sharing replaced any pain
"yes, Nareth, you too can feed", I said, breathing faster. Nareth nodded, and sucked harder, her right hand sliding down between my legs. I let my thighs drift apart, accepting her touch, and started as she stopped sucking, looking up with her pearl black eyes, her lips rouged with my blood, and I felt her fingers slip to the cleft of my vagina

"I must be invited..." she laughed, I chuckled looking down at her.

"You have my personal invitation Nareth".

"Thank you.", she replied, and I sighed as she slipped a finger inside finding me already wet. I craned my neck and kissed the top of her head, running my hands across her shoulders, as she lifter her face to me and we kissed. She broke away quickly, dropping down to my crotch
"", she sighed. I brought my legs up, wrapping them behind Nareth's back, lifting myself slightly from the cushion, as Nareth slipped her cat-like toungue inside me, drawing blood from delicate tissue. I shuddered, my body tensing, then, opening my legs wider moved my pelvis in a rocking motion, pushing down onto her then pulling back as her rough tongue worked and I worked my hands through her hair feeling the roughness inside me. A soft growl rose from Nareth's throat, becoming more like a purr as her tongue probed deeper.

I squirmed with the pulses of peculiar pleasure as the penetration moves inward, and threw my head back, swallowing the saliva in my mouth tasting blood and realising that I had bitten my lip in the course of passion. Nareth's arms ranged along my body and she placed her hands firmly at either side of my hips, holding me firm and still. Then pulling out her tongue, paused for the briefest instant before sinking her fangs into me.
I screamed as the fangs tore into me and Nareth bore down, holding on. Her tongue moved on to my clitoris, and working it carefully. I tensed again, nearing cramp, wrapping my legs tighter still around her feeling blood and saliva run through my vagina, my breath quickening, the surge of beautiful sensation building in my abdomen as Nareth's sharp nail's sank into my thighs. Nareth withdrew her teeth, turning her face up to stare at me, her mouth dripping, I panted, licking my lips
"A kiss?", she asked and I blinked slowly, nodding, releasing her from my legs, guiding her head up to me, rubbing a trail of blood along my body. She raised her head, her mouth lingering but inches from my own, teasing me as I flicked at her lips with my tongue, lifting my mouth towards her.

"It is...the blood...he said, it is the Life.", she called out before leaning back down , to lick away the trail of blood, sending bursts of electricity through my skin.
before returning to hang in front of me. "Kiss me...", she demanded and I did not deny her pulling her close, biting down hard on her lip. She snarled, but did not pull away as I tilted my head, placing my lips over hers, shocking her with the heat of my breath. Nareth pulled away very roughly, blood spilling from her mouth, spattering across my breasts. "No..stop...", she cried, a note of alarm in her voice, "...the breath.". I shuddered at the sudden loss of passion, gasping for air. Nareth shook her head.

"The breath Nareth?", I looked back at her worried and confused a almost equally confused, she leant down and licked away the spilled blood. Nareth raised her head again, her teeth bared.

"Something...I do not are not only alive...", She sat up, wiping at her face, staring at the casket. She spoke then, her voice distant and as if reading, or recalling from memories long buried. "There's always a siren...singing you...", she paused, looking back to me, "Three. And each of us so very different. Yet..each of us...", Nareth closed her eyes and shivered. "Singing you to shipwreck.". She broke away, staring down at ours clothes on the floor. "There is no love in me, nor life..and I am not your Professor."

I looked at her, watching, then shifting my gaze to my own body, watching the torn flesh of my abdomen reform.

"but she is there, Nareth, I feel her"

"Yes...she is in me. Always. I am the Messenger, and you are something..that must go before the coming of our Lady.", Nareth laid a hand on her bare stomach then paused. before speaking in a strangely masculine voice... "My mind is overthrown.". I looked up in shock as Nareth stared blankly at the wall. I wriggled up into the corner of the couch, pulling my knees up in front of me
"I have crossed oceans of time..Oceans of time, and there is always a siren, singing you...", silence, for a moment and when she spoke again, her voice was her own. "Nyarlathotep...*that* is my name. And..this is only a skin I have been given for a time. There must be no forgetting. Nareth stood, gathering her clothes...

"no forgetting", I echoed.

"No...", Nareth walked toward the casket, holding her clothes to her body. "You may lay with me, or take the bed. It matters not.". I stood, walked naked to the casket, running a hand along the surface. Pausing for a long moment, then without meeting Nareth's eye, I turned and walked to the bed. "So be it...", she called after me.

Friday, 16 January 2009

What can never come back?

The final stage of death is generally unobserved, except by the unreliable witness of those rescued from death who often lack the rational thought to distinguish the process from their religious faith.

Reliable...a subjective term. I sit here writing,some weeks after the fact, in these brief stolen moments of lucidity between the despair of understanding the gravity of what I do when this conscience is suppressed and the inevitable return and submission to those overwhelming hungers that drive this thing that I have ... that drive my kind. In these moments hoping, that in their recollection, there will be some small glimmer of hope, some indication of a way out. But even as I write I must wrestle with myself, is this truly me writing or am I suborned to her will, as she in turn is held captive? Is this record to be trusted?

Of course, full true death does not come with the bodily death, with heart's failure, nor with the cessation of breathing, it comes after a period of intense pain as every working nerve in your body screams out its final cry for help, after the last reserves have been exhausted, or when the brain itself, the final repository of life no longer functions. In this last sense, I never died, my eyesight dimmed, through oxygen starvation and the excess of sensation, of pain. I lay insensible to all intents, trapped in a dead body, my mind a flaming smoke filled building. Was this the work of Harmonia? More likely the despicable blood virus itself, I should make a note to ask her when she awakes, for I am different to her in at least this sense, my brain is still fed by oxygen rich blood, not whatever "magick", for I can name no science for this, whatever "magick" binds the rest of my kind to their mockery of life. No, it lives in the regular sense. Is it this that vexes her so, denies her the ultimate control? And yet I fade, each passing week submitting more to these terrible urges, killing, hunting, raping.How long now until these brief respites are gone forever and I am lost beneath the waves of blood lust forever? When that time has come I can but hope that someone end it all, though I know that in all probability I will fight for this existence, it is my instinct.

The silent darkness of the insensible enveloped me, and how long I lay like this I cannot say......

A swirling light, a burning, searing pain tore through my body, my back arched, convulsing violently, as muscles contracted with renewed strength, my heart engorged with blood jumped to life, a strong powerful beat, pulsing through my veins, its echoes thumping away in my mind. The lungs inflated, forcing out the liquid inside, and now full of air, they screamed at the shock.
"hhhhhhharrrgggggggggggghhhhhhhhhh", a monstrous noise, of air forced out across newly living vocal chords.

.... and with an agonized scream Beq Janus was born.


My skin crawled with the stings of 100 million tiny insects, as the blood pumped through the veins feeding it anew. My eyes still open, clearing, still fringed with darkness revealed two people stood at the door as if ready to leave, their faces stained with tears they looked back in shock. Frozen between running away and returning to my side.

"O dear god", Rip's voice low and scared, "This isn't right, Orchid we shouldn't be here".

Across the stairs the balcony doors opened with a bang, and a sudden, violent whoosh of air roared through the entire house. In the back of my mind a burning rage once more took up its place.

"NO!", shouted Nareth's voice from below them.

I growled, a wild, instinctive animal growl, startling Rip and Orchid forcing them to step back from the bed.

"ruuuuuunnnnnnn", I screamed my lungs still driving enormous flows of air through my system.

"Orchid we need to leave NOW!", Rip took Orchid by the arm pulling her to the door as Nareth ran in to the room.

"NO.", Nareth stopped staring in disbelief at the bed, a hitherto unseen rage about her. Orchid unsure whether Nareth was shouting at them or not froze to the spot.

My mind was engulfed in the twin turmoils of Nareth's rage and the throbbing sensational pain of pins and needles throughout every part of my body.

"Move away from her. Now.", Nareth snarled, and the pair backed away towards the door. ""What trickery is this? What magick? It cannot *breathe*".
"Na....r...eth?", my breathing now coming in ragged breathless pants.

"It is *dead*.", she glared at my new body, and screamed, "I am *not* Nareth. You *know* that bloody well."

Hesitantly, Rip started to move down the stairs, as Orchid lingered staring back at the events in the room, dumbstruck

I sniffed the air like a beast, my stomach growling loudly.

"Yessssssss....", cheered Nareth "The hunger comes. Then, all is not lost."

"Orchid... we need to go", Rip nervously tugs at Orchid who seems fixed to the ground outside the bedroom door, her face aghast, nodding silently, unable to tear her eyes away. Nareth turned to face them.

Struggling against the pain of returning life, I pulled my self up to a sitting position, rubbing my limbs. Looking about the room as hawk surveys the fields below it.

"I would start running now, were I you. She is starving.", advised Nareth with a sneer.

"I haven't ever agreed with you more Nareth", replied Rip, pulling Orchid harder, then pushing her in front of him down the stairs. Nareth growled as she watched them leave.

"What has happened.", asked Nareth her voice still enraged and bitter. I stretched my arms feeling the renewed muscle tissue burn with blood."Answer me.", she screamed, shaking with fury.

"This is what you wanted., I spat back.

"You our body draws breath.". This much was evident, I raised a hand to my neck feeling the deep firm pulse. I swallowed realising what had happened.

"The amulet...Yes? Harmonia. The amulet", she laughed, her rage seeming to subside into a wicked mirth. "Oh, what a sweet, sweet twist. What is it I have fashioned? A living vampire?", she laughed again.

The throbbing and confusion starts to subside and my head begins to clear.

"I am hungry Nareth", I sniffed the air again.

"Yes. You are...And what do you want?"

"So thirsty....", I looked down at the meagre fluid in the vial at my neck, but instead Nareth held out her wrist.

"But only a little....", she said smiling. I licked my lips edging forward across the mattress. "Yes..that's it.", she added, beckoning to me. I sat on the edge of the bed and taking Nareth's arm in my hands, then pausing looking up, confused. Nareth watched me, licking her own lips, "Oh, still no frustrating, yes?". I stared up at her mocking smile, a snarl building in my throat. She laughed and a gash opened in her wrist. "There, suckle". I snatched the wrist greedily to my lips, drinking deeply. as Nareth closed her eyes, moaning softly with pleasure. "Yours lips, so warm...". I looked up not lifting my mouth from her wrist, and licked playfully at the wound, causing he to moan louder. "Already, your tongue grows rough and yet,...alive."

"Beq...listen to me...Mistress", her tone more serious now, I kept watching her, as the warm Ecstasy of the feed spread through my body. "When...when you have fed....You must dress, and we must leave this place. They will be back...Police..."

"Leave? home"

"It is now the home of a monster, to those in this city. You must hide, with me, where it is safe."

"safe? where can be safe"

"My haven is safe. It is protected. Lina will watch over us." She assured me and at this I leant back down to the wrist, running my tongue along the flesh one last time, feeling Nareth shudder and hearing her soft growl. "Mistress...I have cannot even comprehend...even now. Do not tempt me."

"Pah, I am done", I replied, smiling, pushing Nareth away as I liked my lips clean. The wound closed. "then I shall dress, help me stand", I paused, "please".

I stand, expecting weakness, dizziness, some remnant of the process I had just emerged from, but instead I found myself renewed, invigorated. Alive.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Say goodbye


I am with you.

I am coming....falling now

Mistress, it's not a fall.
You are flying now.

Nareth was beside me again, I had almost come to expect her presence when I awoke. Pain throbbed and bit through my body as I fumbled with the vial, my hands shaking, unable to release the lid. Stepping closer, Nareth leant forward.

"Do you need me to help?", she asked and I nodded as best I could, "Speak only to my mind. Do not waste your strength.", She reached down, opening the vial and pressing it to my lips. I coughed in an involuntary spasm as the warm liquid hit my parched dry throat, curling up in pain as a shudder ran through my body. Tears welled in my eyes as I stared up at Nareth. "Take all you wish. There is no need to hold back now.". Nareth grit her teeth against the pain she was obviously feeling too. Stepping back slightly she closed the vial.

"you should leave me, I will hurt you too"

"Should think I have a little pain coming to me, yes?"

"I would not wish this on anyone, even you", Nareth's gaze wandered down to stare at my bruised and wasted form.

"I knew far worse...when my time came. If that knowledge gives you comfort...take it."

"no comfort in another's suffering Nareth"

"It is the way I was made to be, Mistress. I cannot now be any other way. You are beautiful in this agony."

"beautiful...agony", I buckled and writhed at the pain in my abdomen now excruciating, probably the effect of Nareth's essence reaching the near dead digestive system. Nareth staggered and took a step back and then taking a further step back from the bed, let a small growl escape her lips, like a wounded animal. I retched every sinew screaming, my mouth filling with dull lifeless blood and bile which dripped from my parched lips. "Nareth.."

"Mistress...No..Beq..." Nareth seemed to be struggling within herself. "If I could...take this...back..."

"Professor", I croaked and at this she shook her head, growling more loudly. Perhaps it was the confusion of pain and fading consciousness, perhaps a simple memory, but before me I saw not the Sang Li incarnation but my own Nareth, the professor. "she would would know how"

"No...", Nareth was firm, her eyes cold. My body was wracked with coughing, and I began to weep openly as blood leaked from my mouth again. "That woman is dead, Mistress. Just as...just as Sang Li is dead."

"dead....its no longer as final as it was.", I faked a smile, throough the veil of pain. A shudder passed through Nareth and I saw blood running from her nostrils.

"I am merely a vessel.", Nareth's voice grew angry and confused."Do not fool yourself. It makes this..harder. Echoes...only echoes.". Nareth cramped, and almost fell, grabbing the wall for support. Her cries undirected seeming more an appeal than an answer

"who are you talking to?", In my declining state, my mind focussed on the bitterness that I held, I sought to anger her, perhaps she would end this.

"I am speaking to *you*, Mistress.", Nareth struggled to stand up straight, sweating blood.

"you are sure? I have been deceived before, you are so good at deception", it felt good to mock her for a change, as she had done to me so many times.

"I am...sure. I deceived you..I cannot be..deceived. I am the Black Pharoh. The Messenger...".

In my mind I laughed to she see Nareth's struggle. My breath was labouring by now throat gurgling with fluid build up. I coughed violently and a gob of blood sprayed the bed sheets and more dripped from my nostrils. Nareth's nose was bleeding freely now too. She looked down at the blood on the bedspread, at my face.

"This is NOT a game, Mistress."

"game is nearly over. check mate, you win."

"Stop fighting. Pain only makes me stronger. Your's *and* mine."

"which Nareth grows stronger?" I questioned. She staggered, cocking her head to one side, looking very confused.

"I..must...I must go. You want to find me, when it is done."

"yes, you are wanted, Nareth, professor....", in my mind I saw my professor again, not the one that stood before me.

"There is no Nareth, Mistress.", Nareth clenched her teeth. "And...your precious...Mr. Wirefly...and his Orchid...they will not be safe from you...when it is done. Take care with them.". She wiped blood from her nose and managed a dry laugh. "When the hunger takes you, no one..will be safe."

"If you say so, Nareth", I sneered as Nareth turned abruptly away, clutching her belly as if in agony.


*"go, leave me, I will find you and this vicious tawdry life that you have given me.".

Nareth stumbled away from me, out of the bedroom and down the stairs, in my mind I saw her leaning against the glazed balcony door for a moment as she gathered her strength. Nareth quickly opened the door. and the air was filled with a roar, like a thousand wings beating at once, my mind assaulted by her rage, with images of Nareth stomping, trudging across snowy rooftops. There are bloody tears on Nareth's face, freezing, turning to rubies, and falling on the snow.

"Mistress...", her voice is vicious.
"No Professor! It is a silly game, Mistress.". Once again I fix in my mind a single image, the professor as she was. Standing outside the museum.

"Yessssss...I knew that woman...I watched her die...I watched the darkness devour her."

"as you will watch me"

"Yesssssss...", My mind leapt to Nareth's projection, the streets of the city, filled with rats. And then of a fire, and the city engulfed in flame. "Do not taunt me. It is all within my grasp.". I burn with pain, my mind rages at the image, seering, burning pain in my mind and coughing takes hold of my body. Nareth observes me, but at this distance, does not feel the pain...

"no taunt, Nareth, just memory"

"Let those memories die. They are useless to you now."

"no! they are me, leave me, leave my mind,let me die in peace"

"Peace...A thousand rats, a million, fill the streets. I will show you peace soon enough."

I'd pushed her away, forced her from my side after all, as I fell into unconsciousness, my inner voice called out, and a single tear ran from my eye. "profeso....."

"Sleep, Mistress. Sleep one last time."

I slept, a broken sleep, threaded with the painful spasms of my failing body, I woke with my head pounding, to hear voices in the house

"Should I check upstairs? I'm worried about her.", a woman's voice, echoing from downstairs, the familiarity lifted my heart but still I could not place it.

"Me too", a man's voice."lets go upstairs"

"Beq?", the woman again

"we should check her room", the man.

The door creaked slightly as it opened

"Beq, it's Or-"

The two new arrivals stood staring for a moment, as I lay with my back to them, the full extent of my decline visible on my skin.

"What has Nareth done to her?", the mans voice a low whisper. "Beq?"

"Nareth?", I mumbled, not fully lucid. The woman moved closer to the bed.

"Beq? Are you alright?" she asked. I stirred, recognition returning to me, I rolled over to face the pair, wincing with the additional discomfort. Looking up I could see Orchid, flanked by Rip, her mouth open as if to speak but finding she had nothing to say. I was taken by a fit of coughing and doubles up in pain, a small thread of bloody spittle running from my lips, tracing the cracked red line of dried blood, evident from previous bouts of coughing.

"Beq, wh..", started Rip, stopping, not knowing what to say as in evident pain I struggled to focus

"", I sighed, letting the escaping breath form the words.

"Beq" said Rip softly peering over Orchid's shoulder

"n...ot , not long now"

"Now beq, you will be ok, you have to", he continued, forestalling acceptance of the mortal state he had found me in. I coughed again, weeping freely with the pain, parting my dry cracked lips in an attempt to smile. Orchid started to reach out a hand to me, then pulling it back it back in, hugged her arms around herself.

"Beq.. this.. this can't be..", She shook her head sorrowfully.Rip, visibly pale looked on in silence

"I ... have paid my price yes?", I ventured, looking up to Orchid, summoning my last strength, realising that I had woken now for the last time.

"But what have you needed to pay for?" replied Rip as Orchid blinked hard, looking away to one side.

"but I ...w...ill...", more coughs, more blood tinged fluids, " n..n.not be a..alone..not", I rocked slightly, resting as Orchid blinked away the tears forming in her eyes.

"Beq, you never were alone!", she protested.


"But what of you, Beq? What do YOU want?". I looked at Orchid, my eyes full of pink blood tinged tears

"n..n.not th this". Rip looked down, unable to look at me

"n..n.never. w.w.wwanted lives..."

"Did she do this to you? Do more than she has done to hurt you already?"

There was a loud thud on the roof followed by the sound of running footsteps....

Rip jumped slightly and looked up, as Orchid and I too turned our eyes to the sky

", isss good, iss there....I.I..feel her"

", I .. I... will see you, do ... do not"

Rip looks saddened and confused as I was taken with a spasm of pain, my skins broke out in a sweat, and I coughed up a glob of blood which soaked into the sheets. Rip lurched forward towards the bed before stopping


"nearly...." I croak, my voice itself failing now, Orchid reached forward again stopping short of touching me, uncertain if she should. I reached out my hand and lay it limply on the mattress

"good bye", Orchid rested her hand atop mine.

"", Rip's protest, becoming tearful. I cry, weeping pink tinged tears freely.

"Beq! No!", enjoined Orchid sobbing, squeezing her fingers around my hand tightly

"You cant leave us beq, you cant"

"must..die, body is ... gone. Help me...she.. f...ears tray...". Orchid McMillan began to sob uncontrollably, fingers still clenched tightly around my limp hand

"Elenore then... you want us to find Elenore?", Orchid asked, as Rip put his hand on her shoulder, tears dropping down his face. I closedmy eyes, coughing, then opened them once more. Orchid McMillan shook my hand, pleading, "Beq... Beq... is that what you want? Beq?"

"help not let .....", I shudder passes across my body, my breathing laboured more heavily, a gurgling, rattle rose in my throat.

"do not let what beq?", Rip stared at me, waiting. I coughed, dislodging something, blood flowing freely from my mouth. Orchid closed her eyes, turning away, unable to look at me any longer

"her win", I gasped.

Orchid McMillan whispers, "Alright Beq."

"all ends", the words merely a gasp. Rip stands with tears rolling down his face.

"She will not win beq"

My body convulsed, shuddering, my chest gripped with the pain as my heart failed...I drew my legs up before forcing my eyes open. Drawing the deepest breath I could, a moment of clarity,

"go, run...not safe now, I am not safe for your... selves", A final violent cough tore threw me. My breath spent, my heart stilled, my body broken and finally at rest, I stared at the ceiling as the world closed in...

... and with a shudder Beq Janus died.

"Beq, we cant leave you, not like this" sobbed Rip as Orchid watched through tearful eyes, clenching my hand in hers, falling to her kness, tears falling in steady streams from her eyes. "Beq?...BEQ?"

Thursday, 8 January 2009

I miss the kiss of treachery...

Throughout my long dying days, Nareth was forever with me when I woke. Yet often it was hard to tell who she was, which of the conflicting personalities, the professor and the beast as I had come to think of them. Was she there to care for me, ease my suffering? Or to ensure that I died, that I was beyond redemption? But in those days I came to look forward to the visits, whether to spar with the beast and goad its anger or to call out to the professor. I felt a certain warmth that for whatever reason might being compelling her presence at my bedside, she would at least be there with me at the end. In this way I would not die alone.

"Mistress...Wake up."

"Of course."

Nareth was by the bedside, smiling down at me. The preceding day's anger and malice removed from her visage, replaced with a look nearing compassion, though she would never admit to entertaining such notions. I lifted my head from the pink spittle stained pillow.

"It is bad, yes?", she peered into my eyes. I nodded weakly. "Have you been using the vial? It's no good, if you dont use it.". I took the vial from around my neck, fumbling with the lid as Nareth pulled off her gloves.

"Yes, I've been asleep though, it is worst when I wake"

"Yes, it would be. I feel it..."

I touched the neck of the vial on my tongue, letting the liquid flow into my mouth. Nareth glanced around the room.



"There is something different"

"Is there? And what is that?"

"come closer". Nareth circled the bed again.

"Is this close enough?", she asked, I smiled.

"you have a vial too?"

"I meant it as a...surprise. No. No vial."

"yet you have colour,"

"It was an unforseen consequence of my changing Lina. Her heritage is...complicated."

"it is, a surprise"

"It is very fortuitous."

"wonderful surprise"
"Yes, wonderful."

Nareth stood in front of me and tied her hair up.

"I have half a mind to cut it all off, truthfully.", I raised a hand

"no, I like it"

"My hair?"

"yes", I replied nodding. Nareth laughed softly. "when all was cold, it was still, alive", I added.

"You look terrible.", Nareth cocked her head to one side, repeating what she's just heard.

"I am ...I have felt better I don't think I have long Nareth"

"I should think not. I am surprised that you've last this long. You need to let go, Beq. Stop fighting."

"give me your hand", I beckoned to her. Nareth smiled and held out her hand and I closed her eyes as I felt the warmth.

"I have just should be fairly warm."

"so it is colour only then, your skin"

"Yes...colour. Complexion. And I can take the sun a bit better."

"I see, but you are warmer than I", Nareth peers through her pince-nez, narrow her eyes.

"I am, aren't I?" her features seem to soften as I sigh, "It hurts, Beq. I feel it, and it is as painful..when I feel it...". Nareth glances about the room again.

"the vial, the liquid, it softens it, blunts it, but it does not leave"

"I think, perhaps, you are hanging on... It will not leave until you are dead.", Nareth bent forward slightly, cramping, the pain worse as she came nearer.

I winced at the pain echoed in Nareth's mind as she stood staring at me, lay out upon the bed my sallow complexion, the signs of death growing by the hour on my skin.

"Echoes...echoes of echoes...". Nareth reached up wiping sweat from her brow, then stared at the blood on her hand, "Let me end it now, Mistress. I can make it fast, easy.". Nareth flinched slightly.

"No, Nareth, I would, I would like to say good bye"

"Good bye. To whom?"

I looked down

"To them"

"Never mind..I see it in your mind...". Nareth almost doubled over, steadying herself on the edge of the bed...I looked up at her a hint of concern in my eyes. "Fine..then...have your tearful good byes. You commanded me not to hurt you again."

"Nareth, please don't be angry, allow me my last human moments", Nareth gritted her teeth and stared at the pattern in the bedspread. "The time for anger has passed, Mistress. I am not...angry.". I winced and smiled a little, then with cramping in my stomach curled in to a ball.

"I would only...ease...the passage...", she cried out and almost fell, then laughed a hard, bitter laugh.

"I .... thank you for that".

Nareth cursed under her breath.

"Ride the pain......", I added, smiling, remembering...

"Indeed.", Nareth looked up, her face slick with bloody sweat. "Mistress, this is..intolerable..."

"I am hurting you? Or is it more?". Nareth held a hand to her forehead and closed her eyes.

"The proximity. The bond.I'd not antocipated this."

"then leave me Nareth, I have the vial to blunt it, only distance can help you"

"May I at least do more to make you comfortable?", I nodded freely. Nareth opened her eyes. "I will offer you my wrist, and you will drink, yes? Drink deeply?". I swallowed and finding my mouth dry, licked my parched lips. "Please?". I watched Nareth, she began to look positively ill.

"Yes Nareth, Please give me your wrist"

Nareth held her wrist to her own mouth, tearing it open with her fangs, then sat on the edge of the bed and pressed it to my mouth.

"Deeply...", Nareth squeezed her eyes shut again and I held Nareth's hand before her palm up.
Nareth whispered, "You are so very near to the precipice now. My Lady is waiting to welcome you."

I pushed out my tongue running it up through the stream of warmth, feeling a shudder run through Nareth. I sighed at the pleasurable warmth that filled me.

"Such a story...the heroes come too late...", Nareth licks at her own lips. My tongue found the tear, licking at it before bringing the wrist to my lips kissing, sucking, drawing down the blood. Nareth's legs buckled and she sat on the edge of the bed. "Deeply as you may.". I closed my eyes and murmured with satisfaction. "Is it not joyous?"

I drank, sucking at the wound feeling a blood run in motuthfuls across my taste buds. Nareth stared at the bedspread, at red drops of her sweat falling and leaving dark spots.Lifting my face, from her wrist I looked up at Nareth. Nareth stop still, as I lifted my face to hers, kissing at the red drops, licking them gently with my tongue. Nareth turned her face to mine, and near tears, returned the kiss before pulling away, standing her face hard and stern.

"Stop it...stop...", I shuddered as Nareth trailed off staring down at me, laying on the bed licking my lips, looking up wide eyed unsure what it was that I had done that was so wrong. Nareth stood up straighter still, fussing with her vest, trying to appear more composed.

"One more day...that is all. If it is not over, I *will* end your suffering."

I looked up with sadness and Nareth took two steps back...

"I must go. Please, do not fight, and remember the vial."

"I am sorry, I...didn't mean to hurt you"

Nareth shook her head.

"We are beyond the place of regret, Beq Janus. And I am only a vessel for pain. It is no matter."

"no, you are so much more Nareth, so much more"

"No...", a confused looks crossed her face. I am what I am required to be. ", she turned towards the door, making to leave.

"is that all it is? just a job?"

"Not a...job. A calling, Mistress. I was called...", I frowned at this gilding ."One does not ignore the pipes.". Nareth cramps again and leans against the door.

"then you are dismissed, thank you Nareth, for easing my pain."

"No matter, Mistress. I serve."

I followed her sadly at Nareth as she left, then in my mind I saw her stumble to the balcony and peer down at the snowy street.

"Please, Mistress, do not fight.", with this thought Nareth vaulted over the balustrade.

"Soon, Nareth, I am coming."
"I am waiting."

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

One more treacherous night

The kidney and liver are early victims, failing fast and, by their very nature, repositories of the putrefying toxins that will soon bring down the remaining organs. The ensuing fever and the unquenchable thirst unite to provide some limited cleansing of the bloodstream through perspiration; urea excreted in one's sweat drying as an unsightly frosting of salt-like crystals on one's skin. The cramps have now begun in earnest, muscles deprived of nutrients atrophy, the stomach and bowel begin to breakdown, the lungs no longer expand as they did, filling slowly with fluid. Externally the most noticeable effect is the discolouration of the skin and the whites of the eyes as Jaundice takes a hold. But for the mind, the living mind existing in a putrefying body, it is the fevers and the nightmares that are the worst of it.

The surging sea of ecstasy from the night before had tossed this body through wave after towering wave of energy and exhilaration before dashing it upon the shore, abandoning the rotting carcass like seaweed cast upon the beach as the tide turns. The fever had come with a vengeance, every muscle ached with the poisons that flowed through my veins, every movement risking cramps. Yet I had found some solace, Nareth had shown me that I was wanted that there was more than friendship, that I could be loved and so despite everything my heart beat faster when I heard her voice the next day as awoke from fevered dreams.

"Mistress....I am with you."
"You are hurting. I felt it when I woke."
"fever, so hot...."

"Yes...fever. Putrefaction has begun, I suspect. Gangrene. Organ failure...". Nareth sniffed at the air, a slightly puzzled look on her face. She had entered as I drifted in the fevered miasma that served for most of my waking hours.

"cramps Nareth,"

"Oh, yes. I should think so. Your body is beginning the purge."

"dying...soo thirsty". Nareth nods slowly, watching me carefully.

"And these things are as they should be...but...something is...wrong.", Nareth sniffed the air again.

"The wound on your throat has healed. How?". Nareth cocked her head to one side, her brows furrowing. I look puzzled, raising my hand to the right of my neck.

“It has”, I mouthed
“How can that be?”, her tone had a bitter edge, a different note to the Nareth I was looking for. No sign now of the love and desire.

“I....I don't...”, I was scared, Nareth's tone, her demeanour conveyed menace.

“Some other force...Something I have not seen. It isn't saving you, but...still...”, Nareth glanced about the room.

I had not even noticed the wound was missing, in fact I could not recall ever having seen it. I thought back to a few days earlier, to the scratches on my neck, those too had vanished overnight, I'd thought no more of it. Then I realised....

"amulet", I struggled. "it will save....preserve"

"What are you speaking of?", Nareth snarled, clearly annoyed. My mind wandered drifting to other images. "What amulet?"

"easier to think"

“Is it...easier. Then I should command you to speak.”

"the necklace, Harmonia it is named"

"Harmonia....And this trinket healed your throat?"

"yeesss it would have"

"But...Mistress..even now you are rotting from the inside out. I smell it. So...what is the point?"

"I simply own it, I do not understand it, Nareth, please believe me.", My strength was ebbing away from me it was futile to speak when the mind could do so much. Nareth's face shifted to a dark look of anger, concern, not for me but for herself, for her plans, she was worried worried that her precious "gift" might be rejected. Then her voice softened.

"Beq...It is no matter. Forget it. We will speak on this another time. When you are...better"

I tried to project my memories, explain what I knew.

"Juliana, drowned, revived, and drowned again", in my head I saw my dreams, my re-imagining of her ordeal, the autopsy. "It only fixes what is broken, I don't know", I looked up apologetically, attempting to shrug, I could only guess.

Nareth flared her nostrils again, her anger returning

"And you did not tell me this."

"So, I am not alone in deception."

"An ..omission.", I returned trying to grin, it was funny to see the tables turned whether deliberately or not. Nareth laughed softly.

"Indeed. Admirable. I have chosen well.", She leant forward on the bed, staring intently at me. "I prepared for you a gift. I had thought to lessen your suffering...but...this omission...well...", I smiled at the suggestion that my pain might be lessened, but catching her tone the smile soon fell from my lips; then, Nareth, striking almost too swiftly for me to even detect the movement, seized me and hurled me across the room, towards the window. I landed hard upon my side, feeling tissues once pliable and alive, crush beneath me with a sickening squelch. I did not have the time or energy to cry out, as the pain dimmed my vision, I simply lay where I landed, watching her, waiting for her to strike again, to finish my fighting. I looked on in disbelief, just a day before she had taken me to a happiness I had not known for years, she had truly wanted me. I saw then the illusion, the deceit once more, there was truly nothing beyond her power, and this time it was my feelings being crushed. I looked on in disbelief.

Nareth stood by the bed observing me.

"Now...As you lie there...or maybe try to crawl back to your bed...Think on my admiration for you."

"Nareth!", the words spat out in spasms of pain and sobbing, "you are hurting me". Pointless words, pleading for some sign of of woman from last night, but her anger swirled in my mind as much as in her own.

"Am I?", her lips curled as she sat beside me, watching me cower at her approach, "Well, your amulet, it will make it all better, no doubt."

"Nareth...", I paused seeking enough breath, would she kill me now before I could finish?


"not again...",

"Not again...what?", she mocked me, I summoned my strength.

"you will not hurt me again, I ....command"

Nareth shuddered, there was silence for a moment.

"Yes, Mistress. My anger...I forget...myself.", She bit down on her lip hard enough to draw blood and reaching out lay a gloved hand upon my shoulder. I lay on the floor not wanting to move, not able to move.

"When I was with you...when I gave you the kiss...It was all so...strange.", she growled softly. "Strange.". She reached into a pocket of her coat and took out a silver chain with something hanging from it.

"how? Nareth, I was not the first. Nothing new"

"I do not understand the question, Mistress. I...felt...", Nareth stopped herself, for a moment, a brief moment I had controlled and perhaps allowed freedom, but it had been clawed back.

"Don't hold back Nareth, I can see your mind still, clouded as it is"

"It is clouded, isn't it? Does that seem right to you?"

"I assumed decay..."

"My mind..does NOT decay....", Nareth glared, more than a hint of anger returning to her for a moment, long enough for me to flinch.

"but mine..." I gasped. "is it dying too?"

"It will survive. The pain merely blurs your thoughts. This will help...", she dropped the chain on the floor in front of me. It comprised a glass vial filled with a red substance attached to the chain along with a couple of charms of an indistinct metal. "It was prepared with the aid of my new girl. It is my essence, distilled. Not merely blood. Unscrew the lid, and merely take the smallest taste. The pain will fade, for a time."

"New girl?", I asked, had she taken someone else as well? Orchid? Despite the promises? But no she would not have been able to conceal her joy at such a betrayal.

"You will meet her.", she assured me, watching as my hand reached out for the vial. "She has sought me out. And she has many uses. I think the two of you shall become quite close, yes?", she gently stroked my neck as I unscrewed the lid of the vial raising the bottle to my lips and letting little of the liquid seep into my mouth.

"yes Nareth".

"Only a small taste, What is contained in that vial could undo this entire city, it is so concentrated.".The tiny amount of liquid filled my mouth with warmth, which flowed into my body as I swallowed. Lina is quite the alchemist. It is enough to see you through. So a kiln, you are.", Nareth pulled her hand back, then sniffing the air again, she stood. As the warmth spread, my discomfort began to subside

"Is it working? Yes...", Nareth looked on, pleased with herself as I pulled myself into a sitting position.

"I cannot linger, Mistress... But..there is something. There will be a man...I do not yet see his name. Only his face". I watched Nareth speak as I fastened the vial about my neck. He comes seeking answers. He is a sort of...hunter, and another man, a priest, I think."

"Both may try to free you. It is too soon to say. The dice are still rolling."

"free me?", I echoed. Nareth nodded slowly, looking at me.

"They cannot, but they will try."

"A euphemism", I muttered, it was clear in my mind the kind of saving these men would have in mind, echoes from history, from the old continent, drownings and burnings, saving the "souls" of the poor possessed. Nareth laughed softly.

"Surely, yes. A euphemism. Mostly, they will seek to destroy me. We shall see.". Nareth crossed the room towards the doors and then pausing, she looked back. "I did as you bade me.", her tone accusatory, she raised her voice, "I did as you bade me. You wanted to feel...wanted. I tried...I...tried to give you that.

"I felt wanted Nareth", felt wanted, and yet how does the feeling of being wanted differ from the reality? I clearly lacked any power to distinguish, perhaps this deceit was beautiful after all. In knowing the deceit you embrace the cold reality that one can never truly know another's mind.

"Then...I did not fail you?", There was a sudden change in Nareth's tone. She seemed almost submissive.

"No Nareth, many things are failing me it seems, you did not fail.", Nareth nodded at this, I...I have not felt like that for a long time".

"I would...", Nareth's voice trailed off. "No matter. There are three of us now. There will be more soon.". I frowned at the lost words, too many times now her mind had clamped down as her heart was speaking. There was much conflict in her, no matter how bitter she may seem it was not without spirit, there was hope for me yet. "Rest. Use the charm for the pain. I will be with you again soon. And always I am in your mind. And you mine.", I smiled ruefully, they would have been such a beautiful sentiment had it not been so literally true, no deceit, just cold fact.

"Nareth....", I called as she turned to the door.

"Yes, Mistress?"

"Did you feel wanted?", Nareth's hand lingered on the door handle.

"The question has no meaning for me...None...none, at all.". My heart sank, this aspect of her at least had no concept of love. This confirmed my fear, the anger, the violence, that had been truth, the rest all illusion, fakery. I stared down at the carpet.

"You may leave", I said sullenly, not looking up.

"Thank you, Mistress. Please, rest."

Friday, 2 January 2009

All I want

In the late afternoon, I rose again, still I had no appetite for food but drank heavily, noting that I had not needed to avail myself of the chamber pot or toilet despite the volumes of water I had consumed. I dressed to go out and wrapping a warm scarf around my neck over my jacket I strolled for a while on the top of the palisade wall. My mind dwelt much upon my life, my former life I guess.

There are many types of love, in my native tongue we have less ambiguity in the concept, many words, each with its own subtlety of love. Would all that be lost to me? Would there be only lust? I could feel even then a lust growing in me a burning warmth in my loins, a contrast to the "butterflies" in the stomach we associate with love. What subtleties existed in lust? But what was it that I sought in love, had not Nareth already shown to me that in at least part what I sought was represented as well by lust as by love? The answer came to me as I returned, it was a guilty selfishness, a need for that love to be reciprocal, it was not enough to love, I needed to be loved, to be needed.

I arrived home quite tired out by such relatively minor exercise. Removing my scarf and jacket and filling my water jug, I headed to my room and laying down upon the welcoming sheets fell straight to sleep.

I awoke as night was falling, the house was becoming dark, in my mind I saw the street lamps outside. She was awake, she was coming.

You are near me, why do you come?

There is the sound of a door opening, soft footfalls on the stair

You hurt. I would have come sooner. There has been much work to do.

You hurt me, I do not hurt by my doing alone

The bedroom door opened and closed, gently.

I brought you pain, yes. I know. But I can also ease the pain.

Nareth stood looking at me for a moment.

"It is a small pain, dear.", I looked up acknowledging the lurking presence at the bedside. "It is only your body dying.". I stared at her, a fury burning in me like nothing I had known, she smiled seeing the look of anger on my face and turned towards the chair. "You are still strong."

"no thanks to you,", I spat back, "why Nareth? This whole elaborate deception just to take me?". I rolled my legs off of the bed where I had lain fully clothed, and stood as boldly as I could muster.

"I do the will of my Lady. Only rarely do I fathom her will. You need to be like me. That is all I know."

"You think that I believe that your lady cares or even knows of me, to what end is this murder?"
I staggered back a little, wavering, Nareth's words hitting home, "to be like me".

"Rest assured, my Lady *does* know your name, Mistress. A small part of her is in you now, growing. I would have taken Orchid, but you stopped me." She smiled as if there was a tiny victory in that for her. "This also suits my Lady."

"I have been laid low, once you saw a great good in me, a burning sun. What now?", I swayed as the anger coursed through me.

"You should lie back down, Mistress. You are not that strong. And yes, there is a great good in you, which makes this all the more remarkable.", her smile revealed her amusement it her "prize". She enjoyed the game. I snarled at her, thinking to lunge, but sensing the weakness in my legs chose instead to sit upon the mattress. "I appreciate the anger. You wear it well. It fine.". Nareth sat watching me closely for a time, motionless.

"your condescending words are not welcome Nareth."

"Mistress...It was not intended as condescension. I am sincere. There is great beauty in anger."

"Mistress? this pretence of servitude. You have destroyed me."

"No. I am only remaking you. Soon, when my Lady comes, you will see the difference. She will destroy me. Nothing will remain. It will be as if I never existed. But you...", she closed he eyes for a moment, "These are only birth pains. And you *are* my Mistress.", her voice firm but oddly sweet, a longing and a despite present in her mind that I didn't fully understand.

"yesterday I felt remorse at that, pity, that your were to be gone.".

"And now?"

"and now I wish ....", whether it was the tone of her voice, a calmness spreading through from her mind or something darker within my own. I could not come to see her destroyed, as the anger rose, the pity from the night before, the vulnerability I had seen prevented me from wishing to strike, I held my hand to my head and Nareth cocked her head slightly to listen.

"What is in you, it should be spoken."

"I wish I had never met you.", I stared at the floor, as she laughed softly.

"If wishes were horses...beggars would ride."

"You mock me in my confusion"

"Please, mistress. Lie down. The pain will ease. I will help."

"is this what you came here for?"

"You, or in general?", she replied obliquely. I ignored the question, looking down at the pillows, contemplating rest, a respite from this torment. I won't lie. Your suffering is beautiful to me. As is your anger at the...betrayal, as you name it. But I opened no doors you did not leave unlocked".

"won't lie, can't lie, all lies, damn it, everything is a game to you."

"Yes. The dice are rolling."

I stood once more, throwing more energy into moving, striding purposefully, the few paces to her chair, Nareth's watched me, unmoving.

"Perhaps, if you loosened your corset you would breathe easier?", the suggestion conjured simple carnal images of desire. I reached out grabbing her firmly by the shoulders with all the aggression I could muster, she did not flinch, there was resistance.

"YOU have done this to me, can you not see it is at an end!", I screamed in her face.

"Do you wish to hurt me now?", she smiled up at me.

"I would hurt you, but..ARGH", I snarled, pausing, understanding the smiles.


"It is what you want, everything, anything, it is all for you", I groaned. Nareth looked towards the window.

"No. It is all for the glory of my Lady.", she turned back looking at me once again as my legs buckled and I sat on the floor in front of the chair, almost as I had those few day before with Orchid. Nareth leant forward and started to knead my shoulders. A deliberate echo of Orchid, mocking me once again? It was too late now I was past caring, I was lost at sea and she controlled the very waves and currents that surrounded me.

"It is only pain, Mistress."

"Only pain, only sensation."


"Soon, you will understand more completely.", She pressed her thumbs at the base of my neck and as I relaxed,tension leaving my body I arched my head back to look at the ceiling. "You have spoken with Orchid."

"I have....and I was weak"

"Weak. Tell me..."

"I thought to drive her from me, to save her from your tricks. But I could not."

"No. I have seen to that."

"I do not think she would have gone even if I had tried."

"I spoke with her and Mr. Wirefly. You may know this.", I breathed deeply as I felt Nareth's hands working."

"I know some yes. I know of your deceit, your attempt to take her too."

"Of course, I know that they mean to try to save you, and hope to find a means to destroy me. To take was a fair offer."

"and of the deceit within that too"

"I was only proving a point. Oh, Mistress...this could be so much simpler. I wish you to see the joy."

"They will find a way. They must, I am not you, I cannot be like you". At this Nareth rubbed a little harder.

"They will try. It is not inconceivable that they will succeed.", I shuffled slightly at a discomfort at my hips. " Lady will still triumph.". The jabbing at my hips continued and I reached down, clipping the offending buckle on my skirt, slipping it free and discarding it to one side. I looked back over my shoulder and Nareth smiled softly.

"Mistress, you must see, I am not like Moriarty. I am not some villain from a dime novel. My Lady has devoured worlds."

"And yet you expect me to believe that she knows of me?"

"Yes. All things may pass within her gaze, both great and small, if they serve her ends."

I leant back against Nareth's legs and she spread her knees slightly letting me settle against the chair.

"I would soothe you. If you would allow me.", my eyelids were starting to feel heavy, as the pain was lost in in the emotions that bubbled inside me. I nodded slightly, "Thank you, Mistress" and with that my mind was filled with a soothing darkness."Now, try to relax. Ride the pain.". I let my shoulders drop further, pushing back against her hands, and the cushion of the chair. "Tell me...what do you feel, physically?"

"tiredness, weakness", I murmured.

"Yes...that is how it begins. In my mind the darkness became speckled with millions of stars, cold white points of light that grew very slowly brighter. "Concentrate on the stars, Mistress.". I closed my eyes. Nareth leant forward, sniffing my hair, then kissing me lightly on the top of the head. I gave a slight sigh. "These two things..light and darkness. The void, and that which is not of the void. But Void is our mother. She cradles us all. And we go back to her."

Nareth continued massaging with her left hand, working the knots of muscle delicately, but raised her right to the side of my face, the gloves on Nareth's hand helped dampen her cold touch. I smiled at the sensation of touch along my cheek, my heart beat faster.

"Watch the stars...", then One by one, the stars grew bright, flaring and burning, then flickering out. "No fear. This is only the Nature of all Things. We need never fear again."

"no fear...", I echoed softly.

"There has been so much fear in your life. I am taking all that away.". In my mind the last stars blinked out, only perfect darkness remained. She slipped a finger across my lips and I bit gently, playfully at it. Nareth laughed softly. "yes, Soon, Mistress, you will have such fine, strong teeth."

I arched my back looking up into Nareth's face briefly, stretching out my legs, through her goggles Nareth stared down at me. "Such beauty.", she sighed, slipping off her goggles, feeling safe in the deep darkness of the night, "You will be even more terrible than am I. You will shine.".

"shine like the sun", I murmured contentedly.

Nareth stopped massaging long enough to remove her gloves.

"Yes...brighter than the sun.", I started at the chill touch, then, adjusting to its soothing coolness, relaxed once again. "They will all stand amazed at the sight of you.". I reached down pulling at the laces and kicking off my boots, working my toes into the pile of the carpet, in mimicry of the kneading of Nareth's fingers and the waves of exhilaration that coursed through my body. Nareth sniffed at the air, flaring her nostrils slightly. "Tell me what to do, Mistress. Guide me.". I knew immediately, I had recognised it that very afternoon, the void, the need.".

"Hold me Nareth, make me feel wanted.", I shifted position, lifting myself from the floor and settling into the chair next to Nareth.

"Oh, that is a simple thing. For only one thing in the Cosmos is more desired by me than are you.", came the reply and my heart and mind were as one.

Nareth slipped her arms around me, holding me tight, but without hurting me. The coldness of her touch even through her clothing a contrast to the heat that raged inside me now. I lay back against her, letting her hands move easily across me. Her head dipped down to my ear, whispering

"Beautiful...". She slipped her hand toward the cleft between my thighs. "Exquisite."

"We are beauty", I stuttered, flinching slightly, at the coldness of the approaching hand, then lifted my right leg slightly , parting my thighs, and draping my leg over the arm of the chair. Opening up, yielding.

"Yes. WE are. In a world of ugliness, we shine.", I felt Nareth grind her teeth slightly, looking down across my body. "Then I may enter?". I leant back, pushing my head against Nareth's shoulder raising my face.

"yesss", a sigh, a pleading. Nareth smiled and slipped a finger past my undergarments, and over the secret folds of my motte.

"Oh, I am so filled with echoes of longing." sighed Nareth and then gently, stroking my pubic hair for a moment, she began working her finger inside. I shuddered, a short moan issuing from my mouth, turning my face in towards Nareth. "Cold..yes? But it will not last. Savour that cold while you can feel it.". I writhed slightly at the insertion, clenching muscles around the finger as Nareth slid it deeper, then withdrawing it slowly pressing against my clitoris.

"This is the passion of the Daughters of Lilith.", she whispered, "This is the beginning.", I convulsed as the sensation sent sparks through me.

"yes Nareth", and the she hesitated as I pressed my lips against the cold skin of her beautiful neck.

"Would you see me, in this moment, destroyed?", I stopped, looking up at Nareth, shocked at the sudden cessation, shaking my head, then suddenly Nareth returns working her finger in very deep. I gasp, my heart pounds, I hold that breath releasing it in shudders of ecstasy.

"You are so very thirsty. Water does not help.", Nareth works her finger steadily in and out. I kissed Nareth's neck, working around her throat, across her body until my tongue found the wound. Sensing my intent, Nareth turned her head to the right, easing my access, opening the seething punctures. My mind was awash with blood, the images drove a hunger and desire, no fear. "Drink as deeply and as long as you wish.".

I lay back across Nareth's lap, across her breasts, resting my head against the opposite shoulder now, my tongue probing the incisions, lapping at the dark red stream oozing forth.

"I am your fountain.", Nareth's voice a whisper, a note of excitement and anticipation. She closes her eyes, gasping as she feels herself flowing in to me. A second finger slides in between my legs as I pull her closer, pressing my lips against the wound sucking, working at the edges with my tongue. My body tenses the ecstasy of feeding courses through my veins.

"Bite, if you so desire. Bite as hard as ever you may."

I shook my head, and mouthed "not yet".

Nareth's voice now seemed less like a voice, and more like strands of music and light swirling about them, elements of an orchestra rising to crescendo.

"Very well. Not until you are ready.", I let go with my left hand reaching to my throat or unbutton the high collar, exposing the flash of my throat. Nareth watched my fingers work. "You give yourself to me?"

"you took me", I breathed the words, ragged, hurried, "but now I come" and Nareth began working her fingers more rapidly, in and out....My breathing became ever more shallow and rapid, I shivered with every pulse of my heart.

Without another word, Nareth leant forward and sank her fangs deeply into my throat, finding my jugular. Hot blood, my blood sent gushing into Nareth. Nareth's teeth gripped furiously, and a growl rose from her throat as I shrieked at the pain; but the ecstasy rising within me, keeps me from struggling, my nipples stood hard and erect against the lace of my blouse. As I arched and writhed in the exquisite thrall of simultaneous pleasure and pain there was a struggle in Nareth's projected mind and I felt her fighting her own hunger; a desire to feed deeply on this sweet sweet blood with a greed that would destroy me. Her free hand rose tracing my ribs and cupping my right breast. I begin to feel light headed.

"The blood-dimmed tide...", her voice in my mind

Nareth growled loudly, withdrawing her teeth.

"Enough", she muttered, blood oozing from her mouth. "You are not yet strong.", Nareth's fingers lingered on the button of my clitoris, a surge of sensation passed up from my groin and I felt Nareth's body warming, the heat of my blood.
"Oh, I wish..I wish I could show you now...what you will see so very soon.", she sighs as I lifts my arm behind Nareth's head, pulling her down to kiss her. "The is all so joyous.". She accepts the kiss, the blood in her mouth leaking into mine. I tasted then the warmth of my own blood as my tongue sought into Nareth's mouth, my eyes closed I could see my face through Nareth's eyes, I feel her own excitement, the beauty of her perception, and I feel both sides of the touch and slick wetness as Nareth's fingers work harder, faster, driving me towards orgasm. I kiss harder, my breath quickens to a ragged frenzy as I feel the passion rising in me. Nareth's tongue brushes the roof of my mouth, and it is so rough, that tongue, that draws more blood.

I tensed as my body reached the zenith of its pleasure, wave after wave of shimmering elation cascading through my every fibre. Nareth closed her eyes, pulling free of the kiss, and as she sensed my climax, she sliced the inside of my vagina with a fingernail.

"Ride the pain.", she whispered in my ear. I shuddered and yelped, " me your delight." and Nareth worked her finger faster...I threw back my head groaning and crying with the sensations that held me now in rapture. Nareth licks the drying blood from her own lips, smiling at the sounds coming from her Mistress, whispering, "The sun...and you are brighter.". I pull at Nareth's hair as surge after ecstatic surge passes through me, Nareth does not resist, relishing the pain. "Delight...It comes into your world." and Nareth withdraws her wet I rise, my back arched is a final crescendo and I cradle Nareth's head in her arms, holding it to my chest.

Looking up Nareth licks lightly at my face, cleaning away drips of blood.

"You are wanted. You shall always be wanted.". I nodded as Nareth now cradled me...waiting for the orgasm to subside, and as I lay panting, my breath recovering, Nareth whispers, "It is good you drank. It will ease your pain. And speed the transformation."

"I am refreshed", I smile, my breath still coming in shudders and we both laugh.

"Yes. But, still, you should rest.". I smiled, licking my lips clean. "May I help you to the bed?"

"Sleep, seems like a good idea", I reply, "I'll be OK" and I untangle myself from Nareth and the chair, and stand up. Nareth nods.

"I am strong in you. You have strength from me.", Nareth turns and goes to the window. "Lie down, Mistress. You are light headed."

"are you staying?", I ask.

"I will, if you wish.".

"I would sleep, I do not command you to stay"

"It would see you sleep. To go down to sleep near you.". We lay on the bed facing one another and Nareth stared into my eyes.

"Would that my demon had been half so careful with me.", she smiled. I stared back at her.

"I am glad it was you Nareth", Nareth hesitated a moment, then whispered, "There is something I would show you, that you might better understand me. What I am. But not if you are too weary.", and then she senses in my drooping eyes that I am nearing sleep. Nareth closes her eyes. She does not sigh, but her face looks like someone sighing with great relief.

"Sleep, Mistress. Sleep and grow stronger.", she mutters as I close my eyes and drift off to sleep. The deep restful sleep of the contented and fulfilled.
Seeing this Nareth leant forward, and kissed my eyelids. "Sleep...I will watch over you."

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Death is a lonely business

The human body does not die quickly from the vampires poisonous infection. The cold parasitic blood invades the carriers own arterial system, spreading it toxins throughout the corpse. The sanguinary dysfunction leads to the decay of the primary organs for supporting life, within hours the effects start with minor respiratory affectations, rapid breathing and shortness of breath, an incredible thirst and peculiarly a lack of urine production. Left to its own devices the body will gradually atrophy, stagnate, and decay, individual organs failing at their own rates leaving their roles unserviced until finally, the pump, the heart, will fail, the only question is whether the brain has been poisoned with toxins before this. It is neither painless nor rapid and until ones eyesight begins to fail the victim can but watch the ravages of the disease as it is reflected in the skin, which pales, discolours with jaundice and a rash of lentigines more commonly associated with the ravages of age or alcohol.

This is the death that awaited me now, but I get ahead of myself.

That first night, through the exhaustion, brought on by the terror and exertions of the act of violation, yielded sleep; though it was a sleep dominated by dark and fearful overtures in my mind. It was not until the morning that the emotional trauma and fear subsided and the tears came. The terror of the moment, the fear of the future, the shame of the violation, the thoughts of what has passed and what is still to come possesses one, crushing the will to go on, but of course that choice, the choice of dying has now been removed. I lay in my bed, a dark coldness in my stomach feeling every bit as dirty and desecrated as the young child I had once been had felt in the early days of incarceration. Back then I went to the safe place in my mind, shutting out the physical world, keeping the Self secure. But now even my mind had been assaulted, there was no place left inviolate, nowhere to hide the desecration complete.

I ran a bath as hot as I could bear. I have no recollection of how long I had sat there, staring, crying, scrubbing but it was here that Orchid found me.

"Beq? Beq where are you...", hearing the sobs and the splashing of water Orchid tentatively opened the bathroom door, peering into the steam filled room."Beq?"

I looked up, my eyes red and puffy from crying.

"Orchid?", I sobbed, wiping my eyes as if to cover the evidence of my anguish. She steeped into the room, not able to meet my gaze directly, biting her lip nervously[6:38] Orchid McMillan bites her lip.

" Beq...what.. I ...Nareth, she..", Orchid stumbled and sputtered, "Beq, I know.". She squeezed her arms around herself, eyes fixated on the floor

"Then leave me, you know what I am, what I will become", I lifted a hand to the back of my neck, to touch the scratches there and pulled it away, puzzled to find that they were not there.

"No! You know I won't do that Beq."

"I know,", I sighed

"I, I honestly have no idea what is happening... how all of this works. Nareth asked Rip and I to hide you both."

"That is the problem. I know you will not leave me and I'm scared, you must not trust me now. Not trust us, She took me, trapped me, I am so stupid."

"I may keep one eye over my shoulder, but I can not let the Beq I know go, not until I know she is gone forever and no, Beq. She is too strong, too sly. Do not blame yourself."

"Orchid", I stopped her, my eyes staring at her.


"I..I am dying, did she tell you that?". Orchid nodded, glancing at the wall, unable to look at me.

"But then... what does that really mean? She has died, yet she is here. I do not understand all of this. She's asked if we would hide you two, from prying eyes. She made it sound as if there was more of a danger, that if I want to keep hope, we must hide you and keep you safe. You both have been welcomed into our home...". She covered her face with her hand. "Beq, have I made the wrong choice?"

"I would have you abandon me, but I know that you would not."

"You are right, I would not. I made every decision last night based on what I thought may bring the best outcome for you, Beq.."

"but she, she has lied, deceived and corrupted me....I do not even know that the bargain I have to save you both stands now. I fear that she will use me, use me to take you because she cannot have you herself."

"She tricked me last night...", I looked up in horror, what had Nareth done? "she made me an offer, to be hers fully for one day and night, in return for releasing you. I almost accepted Beq, I really almost did. After I denied her, she laughed, she had never meant it.". I stared down into the water and sighed.

"It is as I feared. She will twist us."

"You can only imagine what Rip's reaction was as I stumbled to deny her.". I looked up, my eyes full of tears and sorrow.

"Orchid, I am so sorry, I have brought all of this upon you, you would have been better to have never known me.". Orchid knelt down beside the tub.

"Don't you ever say that Beq, I cannot imagine my life in Babbage without ever having known you.", I wept openly at her words.

"thank you Orchid, you are far more than I deserve, you both are."

"You know we will not give up on you Beq, so please, do not give up on yourself.". I wiped my face, washing the tears away and tried to force a smile. Orchid laughed slightly,

"You needn't force a smile when all you feel are tears."

"I will be as strong as I can."

"That is all I ask", Orchid smiled and I smiled back.

"See it is working already"

"You are my best friend Beq. You are the only one I trust as much as Rip.". I looked up awkwardly, aware that the water was cooling.

"would you pass me the towel please?"

" Yes, of course..", Orchid grabbed a towel from the towel rail and handed it to me, turning so her gaze wandered from the tub. "I'll wait in the bedroom.". I stood up, letting the water drop from my body before quickly drying myself and wrapping the towel around me and walking back in to the bedroom where Orchid was waiting. "We're going to get through this, okay?". She smiled weakly. I stood for a moment,watching Orchid.

"I'm so scared", I admitted.

"I can only imagine Beq, I can really only imagine. I hope it gives you even the tiniest bit of solace knowing that we are here for you."

"For weeks now I've lived with the certain knowledge that I might die any day. Now it seems that was all a lie, a deception, those events have passed. The disaster averted, perhaps because She was here, because I commanded it but now the choice is undone, there was no final reckoning, I remain bound to her, and she has violated me. There will be no death, no sacrifice to the world's safety, The price went up, I will not receive my final reckoning now there is eternity."

Orchid shook her head, trying to wrap her mind around it all

"I will never again know love, for there is no feeling, only memory, I will fade, this body will die", Orchid blinked away tears that welled up in her eyes.

"I can't let that happen to you...There must be a way.". I stepped forward, hugging Orchid close to me, I smiled as Orchid returned the hug tightly.

"Listen,in but a few days, I will no longer be able to do that. Not safely". Orchid nodded sadly, her head on my shoulder. I held her, feeling her closeness, holding on to the memory.

"Then now, Beq, while you understand love, I must share something with you. I-I know it isn't what you would've liked, but, it is at least, happier news than all of this...". I released Orchid from my hug and looked into her eyes


"Rip, he's asked me to marry him, Beq."

"Oh Orchid, why do you say it is not what I would want for you. I can think of nothing better. My feelings for you, they should never have been shown."

"Well, because I can only imagine the pain of loving one that does not return the same love, that is all.", she looked saddened at what should have been such a happy moment. She was afraid of hurting me. It brought tears to my eyes.

"come here", I hugged her again, crying. This time with happiness for us, we had got through this, our friendship had survived. Orchid wrapped her arms around me, holding her tightly to herself.

"I would never have wanted to hurt either of you. This is such lovely news, you are going to say yes aren't you?" Orchid laughed, as she rubbed her sleeve across her eyes, wiping way her tears.

"Of course! I already have.". I smiled taking Orchids hands in mine and squeezing them, tightly. I realised then how cold my hands felt. Orchid squeezed back looking nervously down at my hands.

"Maybe you should get dressed, you're chilled..". I walked over to the wardrobe and put on some underwear, selecting something plain, comforting.

"I feel so dirty still.", I said, turning to smile slightly, Orchid nodded solemnly. "There is a pit of cold in me, my body fights it, I try to ...". I closed my eyes. "I force my self to be sick. It will not move.". Orchid looked back and urged me to keep on fighting, I sighed and shivered. "I will Orchid, I have to."

"I cannot tell you how glad I am to hear you say that.", she smiled.

"Who's going to be your maid of honour if I don't make it eh?", Orchid laughed and shaking her head

"I don't know...I guess that means you just have to.".

I moved to the bed and sat down on the edge of the mattress

"Orchid,",she moved closer at my beckon, "I had thought of how I was to have this meeting. I thought to drive you away, to tell you how much I hated you to show you the monster inside me. I was too weak."

"No Beq. I see that as strength."

"Facing this head on? That takes courage."

"Is it? is it not selfish? That hurt, hurt for us all would pass, in time you would forget me, you, Rip, the children", I grinned as best I were able, "I am asking you to risk all that, that is not fair."

"Let me ask you this, Beq...If the tables were turned, and I were in your place, would you abandon me? Would you wish for me to run you out of here?"

"You could try, I'd never accept that. I see that now.", I yawned.

"Perhaps I should let you rest, I imagine you haven't had much since, well, in a while."

"no, I need to sleep, I get tired so quickly it seems. I'm sorry. Thank you for coming to see me, it was brave and selfless.". Orchid moved towards the bed, reaching out to rest her hand against Beq's arm. "I will not give up, you must not forget that. Rest well Beq, I'll be checking in on you again soon.". I looked up at Orchid and reached out for a hug, resting her face against Orchid's chest, listening to the warm beat of her heart. Good bye Orchid. I will see you later I promise". Orchid McMillan wrapped her arms around me again,holding me or a moment. Then she left. I watched her leave, the future Mrs Wirefly, I smiled, the door closed and I was alone once more.

I did not sleep immediately, my throat was dry, and so I poured myself a glass of water from the jug by the bed. Before I realised it the jug was empty, the insatiable thirst had found me. I fell asleep and my dreams filled with blood.