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All sins tend to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is damnation.
W H Auden
So let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Cool fingertips pressed against my chest and frozen breath refrigerated my heated façade. The night was serene…not a whisper…not an indication of act. Only thing that could be heard was the pounding of my heart and hers…two drums beating in ecstasy.
Our bodies intertwined as vine would, wrapping, tapering itself around the pillar of an olden house…our bodies. Her sweet, sweet lips; her eyes saturated with hunger and vehemence. I imagine seducing her would set Heaven on fire. Our sex would ignite Mammon, Hades, and Lucifer and a gargantuan severance in Hell would be revealed. All matter outside Earth would plummet into a vast sea of darkness, a darkened, emptied world where the silence was enough to coerce a respectable man into his daftest and most eccentric. The sun would be blackened for forty days and forty nights…this would be a testament of our love.
Poor, ill-fated I as she was in the state of matrimony. Her unconditional love belonged to another. Nonetheless, she always shared the time of day with I behind another’s back. Her seduction went beyond body. The seductress knew how to play with fire without burning herself and others. She toyed with my mind and amused herself with my soul. My mind was expunged when I was in her presence and my mind was expunged once she left my presence.
Vociferous sirens howled through the surrounding darkness, the cryptic streets of Louisiana. Red luminescent lights were the only of their class prominent in the nocturnal ambiance. There was no sign of life in the town. It was quite palpable that an exhale of human air had not been released in a while. Cars, trucks, and pedestrians left not a single hint of preoccupancy; and even the most insignificant signs of life did not leave their trace in the peculiar town. Lights in the fleeting houses were off with the exception of one.
The ambulance pulled up at an inimitable, pallid manor whose pillars so tall it stroked the foundation of heaven. As paramedics ensued their way onto the path leading into the house, the first sign of life appeared a domestic cat whose coat echoed the moon in all her beauty. Gabriel [the youngest of the three paramedics] placed his foot over the threshold and almost turned around entirely as a gust of daunting, demoralizing air blew past them; the wind containing the memories of one sole.
Our bodies entwined as vine would on the beam of an ancient house, it would no longer look white but a vile green. Our bodies…
Danger’s sweet, wet lips; her eyes pervaded with hunger and fervor. I imagine seducing such a beast would set heaven on fire and a large severance in hell would be revealed. All matters outside Earth would plummet down into the unknown, an unpredictable darkness. And the sun, that white star of godly hope would abate each day.
Broken glass multiplied under Gabriel’s feet as he made contact with the hardwood floor in the sitting room. Inside the dimly lit room, the scene displayed in his vision looked horrid. Each and every one of the antique chairs the owner seemed to posses had been used to block a closet whose doorknob was ripped off. A black coffee table that blended within the darkness had capsized, a painting of a dazzling woman had been torn, wax candles on the ledge of the widows were afire (Gabriel had been sure that the house was pitch black), and an analog clock with exquisite features seemed frozen in time at 3:15.
Nigel [the middle aged of the paramedics] who had ventured into the basement on his own took out his flashlight and tried to turn it on. After an endless struggle Nigel threw the object against the wall in frustration, he took out his lighter and tried to turn it on to no avail. The temperature in the crypt unexpectedly slumped and an unidentifiable article crashed onto the stone floor. He felt his blood solidify in its veins and a scream belonging to Nigel elucidated the house, revealing the demons that loomed in the shadows. The corpse of a man contorted to an inhumane, demonic figure sat on the ceiling directly above Nigel’s head and blew soft, sweet air into his ear.
But alas, Danger was in the state of matrimony. And at the 12th hour, on August 17th, 1818 her husband came for retribution.
Death, he frames our lives; controls our actions in hopes of never having to dine with him. Many times before we have dined with his wife and slept with her. We drunk her sweet juices and ate her berries, we’ve tasted the adrenaline and we’ve inhaled her scent yet we evade his wrath. Little do we know that by sleeping with Danger we sleep with Death. However, I was unruffled with the proposal of Death coming to my cottage and expecting hospitality.
He came in a buggy. His ink like, somber bronco rendered the vehicle fleetingly as I, I laid in bed waiting. The organized, chaotic sounds of nature fell silent and the damp Augustus air transpired into a glacial night. I slowly crept from my bed and receded to my window. The skies were black, not a star filled the gaping holes and large masses of meteorite did not set the sky on fire.
The sight, its beauty, its magnificence stole air from my lungs like a mugger. The door of the buggy opened, a tall dark figure wrapped in a long, black cloak was discharged and Death vanished. He was darkness and darkness was him for, he blended in with the night.
The room temperature increased hazardously; I tried to open the window with no luck and instead felt my shoulder burn ferociously and my feet sink into the ground. In a quick second I had about faced and stood only inches away from it. Death was in my fascia.
Rae [the oldest] shoved through Nigel and Gabriel; he ran towards the staircase with the two brothers on his heels. The hallway was a long winding place with mirrors spaced out evenly on the walls. At the end of the hallway was a master bedroom, grasping each other Rae and Nigel stepped over the doorsill. Gabriel however remained shock still; he could not tune out the eerie songs emitting itself from voices that belonged to that of a young woman. The door slammed in Gabriel’s face causing the mirror next to the door to rattle; the reflection of a naked woman with fair porcelain skin, waist-length hair a halo of golden beauty, and soft blood red lips appeared in the mirror. When Gabriel turned to run the impious woman stood only two inches from his lips. She placed her long fingers around his throat and her deep, black eyes dug deeper and deeper into his mind. With one swift motion the two kissed falling into the mirror and started to make love.
Death was in my fascia. His face was indeed death itself (if looks could kill…). Hollow, etched orifices inhabited a fourth of its face where eyes had been. Death did not have a face, but he could smell the fear on one’s body. He could taste the perspiration being released from one’s sweat glands, hear your heart race quicken, and feel your body’s vibration. His decomposed, putrid nose was black from frostbite, and lips ashen. His skin colour was that of something so sickly, so defunct I feared it was Satan himself. He could smell me as I could smell him. Death is a scent that I recognize to be a familiar; it is prominent wherever I may go, even in a smelling shop.
Rae and Nigel banged on the door continuously waiting for Gabriel to open it. A scream silenced the two and Nigel was dragged by his feet into the approaching darkness.
Death’s long, gaunt fingers wrapped around my neck, closing like a vault. He brought his face towards mine and parted his lips, as did I. He took a long protracted breath inward and a bluish, white orb glided out of my mouth. Soulless was I, for now I belonged to him.
Cold nighttime air slapped Rae across the face as he stepped outside. Crack! A shiny piece of glass peaked out from the bottom of Rae’s shoe; picking it up, it turned out to be a mirror. He turned the mirror over and over in his left hand and caught a glimpse of a black-haired, pale young man he recognized to be himself. The only difference was the hint of something sinister lurking behind his eyes. The reflection disappeared and flashes of Death and Danger illuminated the broken piece of mirror. Crushing the glass in his hand, Rae thought, “Fear, something I’ve been living with since I was born. It followed me to school; it follows me to work, home, and to bed. Fear is something I’ve learned to live with.”