Playing Dead

#SampleSunday “You don’t think I belong amongst the demons?”

“Do you know why the type of men in that place can’t resist you? Because you stand out from the rest of the crowd. You might as well dress all in white and stick a pair of fucking wings on your back. In fact, your wedding ring makes a damn good halo. You represent something forbidden, something….untouchable and when you come across something so untouchable, well, it just makes you want to touch it even more.”
Hands now. His hands. Touching me. We were in that hotel room and his hands were on me.
“Men don’t really want what they are allowed to have. Where’s the fun in that? It’s easy. It doesn’t fuel their ego. It doesn’t turn them on. They want the chase. They want the hunt. They want the battle. They’re all warriors at heart, or at least some like to think they are. They wander around that club, decked out in their battle garb, too much hair gel, way too much cologne, and there are plenty of women who will make it so easy for them, because they want the same thing. But those women blend into one, same clothes, same hair, same make-up, the same faces over and over again. And then there’s you. Tucked away in some corner, so desperate for them not to touch you. And they can sense that, you can see them all, sniffing at the air, trying to find you where that sweet smell is coming from. You don’t belong there, you’re an angel amongst demons.”
I swallowed, wishing my mouth didn’t feel so dry. “Well, no offence to you, but you don’t look like you belong in a place like that either.”
His emerald eyes sparked with interest and he leaned forward again, closer this time. “You don’t think I belong amongst the demons?”
I held my breath for a moment.
His lips were on mine and he was sucking gently on where I had made my mouth bleed.
“It’s just….and please don’t take this the wrong way….it’s just you don’t look like the guys that hang around in there. You’re……” I cast my eyes over his tattooed neck and beard. “Well, you’re just different that’s all.”
“Slightly less hair gel?” he teased.
“Only slightly,” I shot back, smiling now. “Sorry, I’m not being rude, you understand?”
His smile broadened and I felt something tickle in the base of my stomach. He really was very handsome, under all that hair of course. And as for his hair, under the bright Starbucks lights, I could see it was thick, dark and glossy, cut slightly into the neck at the back, but longer at the front. If I was any closer, and if I had dared, I would have leant forward to see if it smelled as good as it looked. Tonight, he wore a grey t-shirt emblazoned with some band name that I didn’t recognise under a black leather biker jacket. And he really did have the longest eyelashes for a guy, something I always thought quite unfair considering the amount I spent on mascara.
“Of course,” he replied. “I admit, it’s not usually the type of place I would hang out.”
“So what were you doing there?” I said, my curiosity burning. “Fancied a change of scene?”
He looked at me from under those long lashes that I envied and he chewed pensively on his bottom lip. “Hmmm,” he pondered. “I want to tell you, but I’m afraid that view over my shoulder will suddenly become irresistible and you’ll run for the door.”
“I’m not sure whether to be intrigued or nervous,” I smiled but I already knew the answer to that one. My heart had picked up a rather frantic beat.
“Okay, well, the first time, I was there on business.”
“What line of business are you in?”
“Removals,” he replied quickly and I wondered if he was lying. After all, why would someone in removals be at a nightclub for business?
“Okay….” I said, trying to ignore the little alarm bells that were now resounding loud and clear in my head.
He hesitated for moment before continuing, exhaling deeply before he spoke as if the confession was a heavy load for him to admit. “Anyway, the truth is, I saw you and I went back this week, hoping that you might be there again.”
I stared at him and quickly dropped my hands into my lap, wiping the moisture on my palms on the skirt of my dress. Okay, so I wasn’t just nervous now, I was downright scared. I didn’t want him to say anything else. And I certainly didn’t trust myself to say anything.
“You want to run, don’t you?” he said, the glint in his eyes challenging me to do just that.
“Yes.” It came out in a whisper. I felt the walls closing in, sweat peppering the back of my neck and I clenched my fists, digging my nails into my palms in an effort to focus and not give into wild panic.
“If you want to, I’ll understand. I won’t stop you.”
“You said this was just coffee,” I said, shooting him an accusatory look. It was a pathetic response and I wanted to curl up into a ball as soon as I had said it. I sounded like a kid, naively piling the blame on him and yet what girl goes for coffee with another guy without knowing it is probably more than just coffee.
“And it is. We’re in a coffee shop drinking coffee aren’t we?” he smiled reassuringly, but the challenge was still there. I could see it, burning across the surface of his eyes.
“But, you said….” I furrowed my brows, feeling confused and embarrassed.
“I wanted to see you again. I want to continue seeing you. There’s no point in me saying otherwise, after all, we’re both adults so why bother pretending?”
“You think I’m pretending?”
“Not at all. On the contrary, you’ve been quite clear. Probably more than you realise.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I met his challenge with one of my own, irritated by the intonation in his voice.
“Well you’re here aren’t you?”
“So in other words you think I’m like all those other girls at the club? An easy target?”
“If I thought you were that then I wouldn’t be here,” he replied, shrugging. “And neither would you for that matter. We’d have no interest in talking to each other over coffee of all things. In fact, we’d have no interest in just talking at all. But I’m not going to lie and neither should you.” He leaned forward again, almost conspiratorially. “I wanted to see you again and I think maybe you wanted to see me too. There’s nothing wrong in admitting that.”
“Yes there is,” I said, wanting to scratch at the guilt that itched under my skin. “You don’t understand.”
“But I do. Really I do and I respect you for your need to stay true to what you think you believe in.”
“I do believe in it. And I don’t think you respect me at all, if you did, you wouldn’t push the issue.” I felt my face flare in anger now and resisted the urge to reach out and slap his arrogant face.
He met my anger with a small smile, but his eyes were serious and flashed darkly as if he sensed the aggression threatening to spill to the surface. “There’s a big difference between disrespect and desire. Experiencing one doesn’t automatically cancel out the other. I do respect you, Megan, but it doesn’t stop me wanting you.”
I flushed furiously at how candid he was being with his words and glanced around anxiously, sure that everyone in here must have frozen and were now listening intently to our conversation.
“No one can hear, Megan. No one cares. You can say whatever you want and the world will continue to turn just as it did before. The heavens will not collapse into the sea. God will not send his armies to battle the legions of the Underworld. Try it out. Just this once, say what are thinking. Let down your guard.”
“I can’t.” I could barely breathe.
“Say it.”
“If you already know, then why do I need to say it?” The panic gripped me now, vice-like around my throat, cutting off air and making my head fuzzy.
“Because I want to hear you say it. Please.”
He reached out across the table, almost imploringly, holding his hand palm up as if he wanted me to put my hand in his. I was scared to touch him and he knew it.
“Megan. Just say it.” His tone was softer now, pleading and when I stared deep into his eyes, I felt my resolve begin to crack and peel away.
Lifting a trembling hand, I watched as it crept tentatively into his, almost as if I were on the outside looking in. This wasn’t my hand. It couldn’t be.
“I want you,” my traitorous mouth confessed.
His fingers interlocked with mine and he turned my hand over, running his thumb gently across my palm, making the skin there tingle furiously.
“You see, even the best of the angels was capable of falling.”
“If I’m an angel, what does that make you?”
His eyes never left mine and for a split second I saw a glimpse of that fire-breathing beast I had seen on the first night we had met. I saw the darkness rippling under his gaze but still I couldn’t let go of his hand. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to let go anymore.
“The one who is going to catch you, Megan.”
The demon smiled and I fell instantly, plummeting, plummeting, no longer wanting to prevent the fall and yet inside I was screaming. Hopelessly, desperately screaming, only I knew that no one would hear me.
No one cared and the world still turned.

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2013

Advertisements
Playing Dead · Wattpad · Writing

And Now For Something Completely Different ……

I’m meant to be finishing Blood Wars. I’m not. As naturally as the writing buzz comes along, it has swiftly left me and to take my mind off of the fact that I’m not writing Blood Wars, I am writing something else entirely. So in the words of the great Monty Python…..and now for something completely different…….

It was one indiscretion.
One small blink-and-you’ll-miss-it indiscretion.
A least that’s what I told myself. Of course, it was way more than that but I never wanted to believe it was anything more.
Four years of marriage and before that two years of dating and not once had I ever strayed. In fact, I had barely cast a glance in another man’s direction. After all, why did I need to? I had everything I could possibly want with the first man I had fallen in love with when I was just seventeen.
But maybe that was the problem.
When someone is all you’ve ever known, isn’t it just a natural thing to let your eyes wander? To let your head get turned? To feel that small tingle of excitement flitter up your spine when someone else – someone new – looks your way?
And that’s just what happened. My eyes wandered. My head turned. My spine tingled. And the moment it happened, I knew deep down that I would regret it. I knew it would cost me.
Little did I know it would cost me my life.

********

I awoke to pure, undiluted darkness. It covered me like some cold claustrophobic bind, pressing down, shrouding every inch of my skin in a way that made me feel like it was crushing my limbs and torso in its great powerful hands; gripping, squeezing, grinding me into the dirt in which I lay.
When I tried to wrench open my eyelids, intense hot pain stabbed at my eyes until I was sure they must be boiling in their sockets. The first thought to hit my conscious brain burned me almost as much as the pain did.
My eyes! My eyes! He took my eyes!
Darkness swam all around me like some impenetrable blackness that seemed to move and shift; undulate and writhe. I sucked in what little breath I had. When I somehow managed to raise a trembling hand to my face, the fact that I was still in possession of my eyeballs did nothing to lessen the panic that was sweeping through me in waves, crashing over me and pulling me under.
Great spasms of pain made me want to scream, but no sound would come out. The howls got stuck in my scorching throat and I choked on them, spewing out a vile torrent of acrid vomit that pooled onto the ground beneath me. Just when I thought there would be no more, my body twisted uncontrollably and out it gushed again, until I lay panting with my face in the foul liquid and unable to lift my head.
I didn’t understand the agony. I was burning. I had to be. No other affliction could be this torturous. Maybe I was nothing but a charred, blackened thing; writhing in the dirt and monstrously scarred. Did the flames still lick at my body? Did they still dance over my skin?
Yet as I burned, I felt the brush of cool air all around me and the darkness continued to consume me. There were no flames. There was no fire. Just me, endlessly aflame.
Snapshots of his face flickered furiously in my head; like the blinding flashes of paparazzi cameras, shutters clicking again and again and again, making me blink erratically and whimper with terror. That smile. That beautiful smile, I know knew to be false. Fingertip touches so light, so sensual; that he made me ache for more, luring me in until I destroyed everything that I had once considered unbreakable. His face changing; becoming something else, something that tugged at the memories of my childhood nightmares. A monster. A myth. Nothing but make-believe. Hammer Horror films and Hollywood fantasy. Graphic novels and goth dreams.
Except this face was real. The monster was real.
A noise emanated out of the blackness; a shuffling, hissing noise and there was a shift in the air that sent my panic into overdrive because I knew it meant only one thing.
He had returned.
A cool hand touched my bare foot. Spider-like fingers crept quickly up my naked legs and then a body above mine – upon mine – turning me skilfully onto my back. When his harsh, shallow breaths tickled at my face, I finally found my voice.
Even when he covered my mouth, I could still hear my screams.

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2013. All Rights Reserved.