Never Have Colourful Outfits Heralded A Hivemind Incursion
By Mr. Scade
Chapter 5: The Town With The Underground Temple
Just as Bor was halfway out of town, he realized that he was not in good enough shape to make the long walk from one town to the other. Deciding that he didn’t want to pass out by a dirt road after dark, he decided to borrow a friend’s bicycle.
“Hey, Bor! My favourite drinking buddy. Say… how long did it take you sober this time?” His friend greeted him.
“You know it takes no time, Fred. Man, can I borrow your bike?”
“Where’re you going, Bor?” Fred asked, to which Bor could only answer “There’s something interesting up north.”
But halfway on the road that led out of town Bor couldn’t say anymore if he was more interested in the landscape of brown-green grasslands, rocks and stones and the occasional tree or whatever he thought he would find in the neighbouring town. Regardless, Bor decided to enjoy the crisp afternoon day even if the sun threatened to hammer him down into submission.
It took him close to two hours of riding up and down hills and then biking for a long stretch of boring flatland to reach Carrera and discover that it was devoid of life. He rode down a couple of dirt roads, around scattered houses, found the pavement road of the town proper and some small parks… but no people. Never people.
“Strange... like a movie.” Bor muttered as he climbed off the bike and began to walk around the streets, shouting greetings every couple of steps only for his own voice to greet him back off the walls around him until his throat grew dry.
It was just like a horror movie.
“Maybe they’re all… No. They can’t all be at the same place.” Bor was starting to get nervous as he strolled right at a crossroad and started down an alley.
How could a town suddenly be devoid of townsfolk? True, Carrera only had about one hundred and fifty inhabitants at any time, but it was impossible for the town to just be completely empty – small towns were famous for always having someone about working or kids running around as if their butt cracks were filled with fire ants. Clearly nothing major had happened, judging by the lack of burnt down buildings, blood or any other sign of social chaos. Perhaps a plague had killed everyone off, but that seemed rather unlikely – people in Fairmouth would’ve heard of a plague, and there were no rotting corpses littering the streets. Besides, plagues no longer existed in such a way. A thousand and one ideas flashed through Bor’s mind, not one remotely sound.
Bor decided to go to the town square; perhaps the busiest spot in town might still have someone around. Bor wheeled up a hill and followed the signs until he reached a town square with want of people. The square was a small thing, and more of a circle than anything. There was a big roundabout, with trees and flowers and small shacks here and there. A church overlooked the round garden, its belfry silently casting a shadow to the east. He saw no movement inside the big building, and wondered why the doors were half closed. That theory is quickly executed, he thought. Some buildings, mostly of concrete and wood, lined the garden; huge signs said that they were bakeries, clothing stores, butcheries or a bank. It made for a beautifully queer sight, the empty square.
As Bor rode out from an alley and into the roundabout he saw that the streets were not completely littered – some papers or cans here and there – and that the gardens were still prim without a reed or unwanted thorn in sight.
“This happened recently… whatever it was.” Bor muttered as he rode over some flowers on his way to find the serpentine stone path inside the garden.
Suddenly feeling exhausted from the ride, Bor left the bicycle near a tree and sat down on a wooden bench inside one of the shacks. Wiping the sweat from his brow, he cursed himself for not bringing a water bottle with him; then again he had not really planned all of this. He cursed again, this time thrice as hard, for being such a fool; what had he wished to accomplish coming to Carrera in the first place?
“Cosette… who is she? Why was she walking from this town?” Bor mused loudly, feeling comfort in the sound of his own voice. “She may be a witch, the way she befriended Amanda was unnatural.” Bor remember his days trying to break Amanda’s suspicious nature, trying to get her to talk to him about something meaningful and the way he had lusted after her. It made him smile to think that even if he was a hopeless seducer and a worst conversationalist he had managed to gain Amanda’s friendship, trust and one or two benefits of a sexual kind.
He looked about the park, at the silent church and the still buildings and stores. Interesting questions, but I believe that an empty town is a more interesting query than a mysterious girl. And more beautiful.
Suddenly Bor’s heart skipped a beat.
Bor’s eyes grew wide and he quickly reached for his cellphone, fumbling with his diminutive pockets and with the loose change in his pocket he finally found it… and was utterly relieved to find that Carrera had a clear and crisp service. At least that little detail was not out of a horror film.
He thought about sending a message to the friend he had burrowed the bike from, but decided instead to inform Lore on his whereabouts. He knew she would be working at the moment, or doing something productive at the very least. He was also sure that she would not gossip his location to Amanda, who would divulge his little trip to the whole wide world. And in that wide world that was the small town of Fairmouth, there was a girl called Cosette whom he wished not to share this information.
Once the message was sent (he omitted the fact that the whole town was deserted) he began to walk around the park. He made for the church first. Such a huge place is a perfect hiding spot, he thought, even if it seems empty. Personally, Bor wasn’t fond of churches or any place of worship; they always had a lingering atmosphere that just felt heavy, as if just being there was blasphemy. So, the idea was not an attractive one for Bor.
He was crossing the street when the sound of tree tops kissing each other; of cans and plastic bottle rattling on the street filled his ears. Before he could tell, the wind picked up with such a sudden strength that a gust of dirt and dust punched his face and eyes. Bor cursed loudly, a crackling word that bounced off walls and seemed to vibrate in the silent air of Carrera. The sound of his voice faded away, like the prelude of a great orchestra, and a new sound, louder, of crashing objects and flesh hitting wood, made a new symphony. The contrast of silence and noise was such that Bor swore the sound could be heard all the way back in Fairmouth. Glass, he then thought, and then he felt elated and confused; it was the first sound he heard since entering town and had no idea what to think of it. Someone crashed into a chair; with teary eyes he quickly turned his head towards the sound and saw someone, or something, moving deeper into a store.
Blinking rapidly and hard, Bor darted towards the building. Three pillars dividded the entrance into three wide entrances littered on each side with giant crates filled with various types of clothes. In his excitement Bor ignored a second sound, this one softer than the last, eerie. Why would anyone move silently if there were no people to hide from? More so, who might be sneaking about?
Inside, the store was well lit, for an abandoned place. It looked like people had escaped or run away or had been abducted in the middle of their shopping; Bor could see some shirts and trousers on the floor, next to the racks that held similar pairs. There were purses here and there, and he saw a boy’s toy car on top of a box of socks.
Bor ventured inside, looking warily this way and that. Whoever or whatever made the sound could be anywhere, waiting for me to turn my back and then stab me with a broken rum bottle, he thought as he crouched to spy under tables and racks to see if he could see any fleshy legs. He saw plastic legs instead.
Bor walked further into the store, crossing a stand with some naked mannequins, past the men’s and children’s sections. He felt queasy about looking inside the lingerie section, but did nonetheless. This place cannot be empty, unless the person went around and got out through the front door, Bor thought just as he noticed the changing rooms to the back of the store. “That might do.” He whispered to himself.
And that proved to do it. As soon as he parted the curtains that separated changing rooms from the rest of the stores Bor realized that someone had just locked himself inside one of the three stalls. He allowed himself to smile and quickly started banging on the door with a closed fist, “Hey, open up. I just want to know what the hell’s going on in this town.”
“Haigure.” Came the answer, in the cracked voice of a man.
“What?” Bor squinted and took a step back. “Okay… ehm. I don’t know what that means but would you just open the door? Or talk, at least?”
A click and the door flew open. A click and Bor wished he had remained back in Fairmouth.
A stick of a man stood before him – thin; pale; with long, bony limbs; a face with sunken cheeks and hollow eyes that looked at everything and nothing. But what gave Bor a bone deep chill was the smile – a blissful, peaceful smile that contradicted the image of the broken man before him. A memory came unbidden, of a book that made him scurry under the blankets when he was a kid: As the god-made plague ate away your bones and your teeth and your nails it tricked your mind, giving you a deep sense of peace. It made you oblivious to your nearing demise while turning you into a blind devotee to this terrible god.
The memory passed as quickly as it had appeared, replaced by disgust that forced Bor to recoil and press his back against a plastered wall. The man’s outfit was disgusting: a tight, female leotard in an appalling shade of green. It shone like the skin of a toad under the store’s neon lights. It was wrapped around his body so tightly that you could see his small nipples poking through what had to be latex. The tell-tale signs of abdominal muscles and, strangely, the shadows of his ribs were apparent too, but the most obvious thing Bor couldn’t peel his eyes away from was his manhood; it stood straining against the latex as if it was full not with blood, but the arousal of a thousand men. It was perfectly framed against the latex, every detail, every vein visible as if it was naked.
“What in the name of fuck!?” Bor all but carved a hole through the wall with his shoulder blades. His eyes finally moved away from the thing one could not help but look at and met the man’s eyes.
“No, no, no,” The man said, voice hoarse and dry yet strangely sensual- for a man. “In the name of haigure.” The man just stood there, that contagious smile on his haggard face.
Bor shook his head, Haigure? Great, I found a nutter. “Alright… What in the name of, eh, whatever that is, is going on here?” Bor had to consciously keep his eyes away from the man’s groin.
“Haigure happened.” The man sighed as if content. Bor doubted anyone could be content when they clearly hadn’t had any food in a long while. “Haigure came… it enlightened us, it brought bliss and pleasure with its coming and filled us with its glory.” The man paused to lick his lips. “It made us like it.” Suddenly the man’s knees bent and his arms darted in front of him. “Haigure made us perfect, made us one. We love each other, lust for each other.” The man’s lower lip began to quiver. “But I can’t hear them. I cannot hear them… no… they left… not the ones that had to leave… but the ones that stayed were silenced.” He looked away, “But you’re here now… you’ll help me hear more voices – you’ll join haigure and then I won’t be alone anymore.”
“Ehm…” Why are crazy people so fascinating? I should get away now. “Of course I’ll… join you, as soon as you tell me what happened in this town.” Slowly Bor began to edge his way away from the changing rooms.
“Haigure happened! That is what happened!” The man yelled and craned his neck forward, but never moved from his crouching position. “It happened… like this,” The man raised his arms until his outstretched palms were inches from his chest, and then darted them downwards, grazing his erect penis on the way. The man moaned, “Haigure.” And then shook all over.
For a heartbeat Bor thought about running or knocking this man off his feet and clobber him till unconsciousness. But something about him – not his disgusting appearance or his mad ramblings – was simply mesmerizing. Bor couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but for some reason the sight of this man, in leotard, squatting as if he was about to take a shit, chanting some nonsense word over and over was very, very fascinating.
Time stood still as Bor’s eyes fell upon the man’s encased cock. His eyes couldn’t move – captured they were by the throbbing member. He wanted to divert his eyes, but there was something, some whispering impossible sound that told him that he would miss on something grand if he averted his gaze. The way light danced over the madman’s hardness, the monotone droning of his voice, the soothing movement of his dance were all contributing towards breaking Bor’s logic. And when you broke Bor’s logic, he would retire into his own thoughts like a tortoise, trapped inside with foreign ideas.
Just as Bor’s thoughts began to slow down he heard someone yell words in a mess of tongue clicks and throat rasps that passed for an accent. Bor didn’t hear the words – there was something in front of him that required his full attention. But he did feel when that someone shoved him to the side with a bump on the shoulder that could’ve broken it.
A thoot sound reached Bor’s ears just as he tried to push away some clothes and hangers and a bit of plaster away from his buried head. The world rang to a high pitch sound for a while.
When Bor looked up there was a tall man standing above the sprawled body of the leotard-wearing person. Two pins were stuck to the person’s chest, about a handspan apart, with a pair of cables going into a gun-like device in the tall man’s hand. A tazer, Bor thought as he sniffed a slight scent just like cooked pork.
“You fucking owe me one, you cunt.” The man said, looking at Bor as if he was talking to the most stupid man on the planet. His accent was melodious, yet heavy enough to sink a ship.
The man was very tall, at least three heads taller than Bor, with a hard face that invited no love: strong jaw, scrub of white beard, hook of a nose, and tired eyes. What remained of his hair was speckled with white around the temples, and the age spots were fairly visible on his great forehead.
Bor just stared.
“What? Speechless now, aren’t you?” The man kneeled to pluck out the metal pins off the man’s chest and then gave him a shove with the heel of his black boot. He was dressed all in black, Bor noticed, with long trousers, black t-shirt, and a long black overcoat. “You weren’t speechless when you woke half the world’s corpses from their graves right outside that church out there.” He placed the tazer inside a holster on his hip. “Though I have to bloody thank you, without your moaning it would’ve taken me too fucking long to find this cunt here.” He kicked the leotard man again.
It was then that Bor found his voice. “Hmm… who the fuck are you?” He said and began to rise but slipped on a hanger and crashed down on his ass. Bor grimaced and looked down to remove a piece of plaster poking right into his anus. When he looked up again he saw the man stretching his hand. Bor took it and rose. “Thanks.”
“No, I thank you, you bloody devil. You helped me find this former man here.” He pointed at the unconscious man with his thumb.
“Well, you’re welcome. But… what the hell was he about?” Bor said as the man wrapped his arms around the unconscious person’s shoulders and legs and hoisted him up on his shoulders. “Ehmm… mister?”
The balding man stared at Bor for a long while and then said, “Paether Grigori.”
“Bor Rodriguez.” Bor greeted and began following Grigori as he made his way towards the store’s front.
“Bor? Like one-eyed bastard’s father?” Grigori huffed. He took the madman’s weight as if he was no heavier than a stick. And perhaps he was, looking at how malnourished he seemed.
“Like the one.” Bor pushed a stack of trousers aside, and looked around the store. Curious, there are no bathing suits or shoes or hats. It was usual for clothing stores of the kind to have one section where they sold horribly tasteless bathing suits, as well as shoes of one kind or the other. The store had none.
A strong wind was blowing when the two men walked out of the store, sending dust and dried leaves and some litter flying like tiny pigeons at the sound of a belfry in the still life picture. It made for an appallingly beautiful sight.
Gregori turned westwards, shielding his eyes from the sunset’s glare with the leotard-clad man’s legs. Bor noticed Gregori’s right hand fingers were constantly moving over the man’s lower back, while his left hand held the man’s knees in a nasty lock.
After a while Bor started to ask Grigori the obvious questions, but he didn’t get as far as the first word before Grigori interrupted. “Why are you here, lad? Don’t you ever watch the bloody movies? Desolated towns be nasty business.”
Bor weighted his words before he spoke. For all I know, he could be the one behind all the people disappearing. For all I know the man he’s carrying could be the only remainder of the townsfolk. A shiver ran down Bor’s back as a thought occurred to him: He might be hunting the people and killing them off. “Curiosity.” When he saw Grigori grind his teeth he added. “Some girl came down from this town into Fairmouth. I want to know who she is and why her story made no sense.”
Grigori’s eyes grew cold. “A girl you say? Hmmm… disconcerting. Did she give you a name? Did you see what she was wearing under the overcoat?”
Bor skipped ahead to meet the man’s eyes. He had a long stride, even if he was carrying a deadweight on his shoulders. “How did you know she was wearing an overcoat?”
What could’ve been a smile appeared on Grigori’s lips. “Easy, lad. You just confirmed it.”
“Tricked you, yes. You’re awfully easy to trick, lad. Shouldn’t be so trustworthy.”
Bor fell silent for a long while as he followed Grigori through a wide street, past stores and bakeries and cafés. “You never answered my question.”
“About this sack of shit here?” He patted the man’s lower back. “I will tell you, but only if you be a good lad and tell me about this overcoat lass that got into your town.”
Bor clicked his tongue. “You’re a bastard, you know that?”
“You’ve known me for the grand total of fifteen cursed minutes and you already think you know me.” Grigori’s sarcasm sounded more like a need to destroy the world. “Now answer.”
We… Bor decided to leave his friends out of it. “I found her walking into town through the graveyard. She was dead tired and practically sleepwalking. I took her back home, fed her and told her she could look around town while I was at work.”
Grigori pursed his lips and he turned right into a dirt alley. “There’s more, lad.”
“Well, her overcoat—“
“No. I want you to tell me the truth, you cunt. You’re withholding information…” Grigori gave Bor a hard look. “There were more people with you.”
“Why should I trust you? You’ve been asking questions and more questions and haven’t answered anything I’ve asked.”
“True, there’s no reason to trust me. Fucking Christ, I could be the source of all the things that have your knickers in a bunch.” Grigori smiled, more to himself than anyone. “But I might be the only one who can tell you what you want. Now, will you answer me, were there more people with you?”
“Bloody hell.” His voice sounded like ice against ice.
Bor licked his lips. “What?” When Grigori didn’t answer he asked again. “What happened? What do you know?”
“Your friends are done for, son. They’re not the same and will never be.” He said, his voice but a whisper. “The people you knew are dead.”
Bor’s eyes grew wide. “What!?” He stopped walking and jerked Grigori’s arm.
Grigori pushed Bor away and gave him a hard stare. “Yes, lad. You brought into your house the end of humanity as we know it, left her close to your friends, bringing her one step closer to the transformation of modern human society.” Grigori spat. “You might as well have killed your friends. Must be a better fate than being this shit.” He patted his load.
Bor’s puppy eyes turned into a rabid wolf’s gaze. “You’re bullshitting me.”
Grigori laughed, a disturbing sound without a trace of merriment behind it. “Of course I be bullshitting you, lad. That’s what it is unless I show you bloody proof, isn’t it? Hah!”
Bor just stared.
“What I said is true.” Grigori said, his voice low. “They’re not physically dead, but… close enough. I am sorry.” With that Grigori turned and continued walking. Six meters ahead he turned to see Bor standing with his arms crossed. For a second Grigori considered just leaving him there, but he just couldn’t do that to anyone. “Come, lad. It is nigh time I explained and answered your damned questions.”
Still Bor just stared.
“Lad, if you stay there you will find out first hand why this cunt here,” He tapped the unconscious man’s rump. “Is wearing this shitty outfit. Now, do you want to know what the fuck’s going on?”
Bor hesitated, his lips twisting downwards. First hand? No thanks. “Okay.” He said and made to follow Grigori.
After about twenty minutes of silent trotting through dirt roads and some sporadic concrete roads, past some very pretty houses and others that could’ve been mistaken for cardboard shacks, Grigori stopped before a granite building about twice as big as he was, stuck in the bottom of what looked to be an excavation. The rock box had crumbling pillars on its four corners, each pillar with a different engraving of the same faceless creature. The carvings on the stone were faded and missing in places, but they seemed to tell a story. There were about six statues arranged on top of the building, each one staring off at something in the horizon. Once they could’ve been beautiful and terrible, but years of rain and wind and being buried had turned them into something closer to excrement piles than statues.
“A temple?” Bor said.
Grigori gave the place a blank stare and then nodded. “Aye, lad. You got a keen eye.” He jerked his head to the side and began the descent towards the building.
Bor stumbled twice as he followed the surefooted Grigori down.
Bor looked about the mausoleum. “This is an excavation.” He remarked, trailing a finger over perfectly cut dirt and stone. They had come from a side weathered by use, where the dirt was smooth and almost like a hill’s side. But the rest of the place had straight walls of dug dirt.
Grigori laughed. “Lad, you’ve got a bloody keen eye, you. You have either done lots, or you’ve read lots.” Grigori guided Bor around the mausoleum to find a makeshift wooden shack attached to the side of the place.
“When am I getting some answers?” Bor asked the silent Grigori as the two entered the shack. Inside there were some eight cots resting against the walls. Only one seemed to be in use.
“Through here, Bor.” Grigori pushed apart a curtain at the bottom of the shack to reveal a door made of blackness. A musty scent of wet dirt filled the room like the foul smell of someone who had farted and closed the door as he exited the room.
Reluctantly Bor walked inside.
From the outside the place looked pitch black, like the bottom end of a boy whore, but once Bor’s eyes got used to the lack of light he realized that there were what appeared to be glowing stones stuck to the walls. He took a step and almost tripped over. He managed to catch himself against the door’s frame and realized he was standing at the start of a stone stair with no railings on the sides.
“Careful, lad. You might fall and break your neck.” Grigori seemed to be chuckling.
“Almost too late for that, you ass.” Bor grumbled, grimaced and began the slow descent. The steps were dusty and covered with dirt, pebbles here and there threatening to throw you off the stairs to fall fifteen feet to a broken femur. “So, Grigori, what is this place?”
Grigori huffed as he walked down the steps, the weight on his shoulders starting to take a toll on him. “This… is an old… temple.” Grigori grumbled and then went on. “We found its location in… some book I found some years ago.”
The mention of a book made Bor perk up, but he ignored it. They descended the last ten steps in silence.
Grigori whistled. “Fucking Christ, I be getting old.”
That could be an understatement, Bor turned to inspect the place. It was unimpressive, really; just one huge room. It looked like the inside of a box, but with some stone coffins here and there. But Grigori kept going, walking towards the opposite wall where he idly pushed a seemingly solid stone that jutted out of the wall. It gave in, just a little. The rock turned out to be a door. A very heavy door at that.
Bor was surprised.
“Come on, lad, here I have all the answers.”
But Bor only found more questions. Beyond the door was what Bor could only describe as a mixture of prison and altar. The room was a semi-circle with seven square cells, each with iron bars as thick as arms that sprouted from the ceiling and dug into the floor. Ten feet from the cells was a pillar about three feet tall with a stone basin filled with water; it stood on a higher slab of stone with steps leading on to it from three sides. The place had a cold, heavy air that seemed to cling to you as you moved, as if old prayers were fighting to force you to speak them again.
As soon as Grigori walked inside the room voices began to moan. Cracked, sore, tired voices that sounded truly broken under the vague hints of joys of their chanting. “Haigure, haigure, haigure.” They chanted with a strange eagerness, but soon enough grew quiet.
Grigori walked to the cell farthest to the right, opened it with a hard pull, and placed the man he was carrying on the stone floor. He then procured a ring of keys from his pocket and locked the cell.
At the sound of the keys the prisoners crawled out from the dark cells. Bor’s brain could not accept what he was seeing. Five pairs of hands wrapped themselves around the bars, thin, skeletal hands. The arms pulled, as if trying to bend the bars and be free, but they only made their owners come closer and grunt in pain. Five people, two women and three men, all clad in similar leotards to the one the knocked-out man was wearing.
They all looked haggard; thin and dirty, yellow eyes staring at nothing from hollow-cheeked faces. Their teeth were yellow, their fingernails broken and dirty, their feet callused and rough as leather. They looked like prisoners from a medieval dungeon, and yet their leotards were impeccable. The leotards looked brand new, with no spots or smears; glossy like calm water and shiny like polished silver. It made for a disturbing sight.
“Griiigori,” One of the women, a thin thing with a huge bosom that would’ve been sagging had it not been covered by purple latex, sang. “You’ve come back. Haigure knew you would come back with more haigure. Haigure.”
“Haigure.” The fat man farthest to the left said in a voice like a croak. His leotard was bright yellow. “Why don’t you come in, Griiigori? Why don’t you keep us company, haigure?”
“We need each other, Griiigori,” The second woman said, her petite, blue leotard-clad frame pressing against the bars. “You free us to be with you and haigure and we’ll show you the true glory of haigure.”
“The glory of haigure, haigure, haigure…” They started chanting, their voices joining in a chorus of like the dying song of birds. Soon enough their voices fell silent.
Grigori lowered his eyes and turned back towards the basin, every step like the walk of a defeated general; shoulders heavy with the deaths of his soldiers. He placed his hand on the basin’s edge and stared at the ripples the steady dripping from the ceiling caused. Bor looked up, seeing the drops filling the basin for the first time, and saw nothing but darkness above. He wondered where the water was coming from, if it was water.
Bor heard a splash and saw Grigori throwing water at the haigure people with his hand. They squirmed in place, shivered, shrieked, moaned… the water seemed to hurt and relieve them. They shied away, then touched it, then drank it, and then curled up in a ball, shuddering happily and chanting that word again.
“What did you just do?” Bor asked.
Grigori stared at his wet hand and said, “The water calms them down, the bloody cunts will just curl up and be content and chant that fucking word until I show up again.”
“Do you bring them food?”
Grigori stared at Bor for a second and said. “No.” A pause and then, “Not anymore, no. I used to, but no more. They don’t eat, they don’t drink… You saw them, lad, they look like shit, but those leotards of them are impeccable.” He licked his lips. “I think it nourishes them.”
“What are they?”
Grigori’s lip quivered before he shook his head. He slumped his shoulders and began walking towards a darkened corner of the room. There he searched for something in the dark. “They are… I don’t know, but they say that word a lot.” A match was struck and soon enough a gas lamp was lit. The shadows receded, like werewolves when the moon hid behind clouds. Grigori was pointing at the wall in front of him; one huge word written with what could’ve been paint or blood.
“Don’t say that word!” Grigori screamed. The prisoners stirred and he stole a glance at them. “Never say that word. Never. Or you’ll end up like them.” He cocked his head.
How? “Again, what are they?” Bor walked towards the desk where Grigori had the gas lamp. There were matches and more gas tanks, some chisels and brushes, several notebooks, a corner littered with books, some old and some new. Bor wanted to know what the books were about.
Grigori took a deep breath, both of his hands resting on the table. “I have no bloody clue, lad.” He grabbed one of the books and threw it at Bor. “That’s the book I told you about, the one that led us to this decadent pisshole.” He grabbed another one, one that looked older and in such a rotten condition that Bor thought that looking at it would make it crumble into dust. But it just made a thud sound when Grigori threw it on top of the other book. “And this is the one we found inside this hole.”
Bor didn’t reach for the books; he wanted to hear Grigori first.
“You must be wanting to know what the fuck this place is and why we were here.”
“We?” Bor raised an eyebrow. There were eight cots upstairs.
“Aye, lad. We.” He pointed at the cells. “Them over there were with me, lad. We were friends and colleagues, working to uncover whatever this bloody place was.” He sighed, heavily. “The truth cost us everything.”
Bor put his hand over the top book; it was old, with a plain leather cover crusting from age. He opened it at random and was surprised to see its contents still intact. Reading over a random line Bor couldn’t help but feel familiarity, like he had seen the phrase before. “I saw eight cots upstairs,” Bor said, voicing his doubt. “I only see seven ‘bloody cunts’ here.”
Grigori had to smile at that, but the smile quickly died. “The lass you met? Cosette? She was with us, the harlot.” Grigori shook his head. “Bloody mad open-legged slut, she was.” Grigori reached for one of the notebooks, a blue one, and handed it to Bor.
“I bloody hate telling stories, lad; I be bad at it.” He smirked. “I be a better writer, though. There you have an account of what the bloody fuck we were doing here.”
Bor opened the notebook and skimmed through the first page. He couldn’t help but smile. This reads like a story. “Grigori.” Bor looked up, only to see that Grigori was already making for the stairs. “Where are you going?”
“To my bloody cot. I’ve been awake for day and a half trying to catch that bloody cunt. You’ve got a problem with that, lad?”
Bor gave Grigoir a hard stare. “Why does it say here ‘Property of Father Paether Grigori, PhD?’”
Grigori smirked again, the lines on his face furrowing. “Read and you tell me. If you need me I’ll be asleep.” He started up the stairs and without looking back said, “Don’t go waking them cunts up or you’ll regret it.”
Bor stared at the stairs for a long while before he sighed heavily. I don’t know if he’s being deliberately cryptic, or just has no idea on how to explain things. Bor thought. Answer one question while giving me a thousand more. He started to look for a chair or a slab of stone to sit on, but found none. Instead he took the gas lamp, placed it on the basin’s edge, and reclined against the slab of stone. He opened the notebook and started reading.
“Let’s finally get some answers.”
Her whole body was drenched in sweat; her t-shirt was sticking to her torso like a bad mole, her hair was a mess, with bits of dust balls and dirt all over. Jo Kleiner was reclining against a tree, some ten to twenty blocks away from FolkLore. She was panting heavily, thinking that she still had a long way to go before she got back home.
People walked by, looking at her with curious eyes and concerned frowns. She waved them all off. She didn’t like when people started to show interest in her, and now she had time only for herself. Jo had to sort her thoughts.
What just happened? Over and over she asked herself the same question. No matter how many times she went over the whole situation it still made absolutely no sense. I got to the studio, apologized, and then I was, what, assaulted? Jo shook her head rubbed her face. It just didn’t make any sense. At least it didn’t if she lacked half the facts.
True, she didn’t know this FolkLore girl – for all she knew she could just be a massive nutter – but there was no way of justifying what that girl did. And the more Jo thought about it, the more she was inclined to believe that the FolkLore girl was actually crazy. What had she been wearing anyway? Jo was busy getting the hell out of that place, but she could swear she was wearing some sort of bathing suit. And the way it felt when Lore was practically riding her…
Jo shivered, and not entirely unpleasantly.
Whatever it was there was no point dwelling on it. Being assaulted by a bathing suit-wearing maniac for being late was not something you put much thought into, unless you wished to lose three days of your life to placid reasoning and then go crazy. Jo’s reasoning would eventually yield the answer she wanted. “But… should I press charges? She did assault me.” Jo whispered to herself as she slowly rose from her spot, back against a tree. Or did she? God, I have no idea what happened! She pressed thumb and forefinger against her brow.
Her eyes stared at the face of a butterfly-shaped cloud. “I should start back home.” She whispered and left the park.
Jo had nothing to do for the rest of the day and decided to take the long route back home, through the beautiful shopping street in the town’s center. At this time of day there weren’t many people around, at least not actively walking – the sun was too unforgiving at this time of the year and people tended to take cover under the small parks between every three stores.
Honestly, Jo didn’t like walking through this part of town. The accumulation of human bodies and sweat and greed was akin to a rash on her skin. She could feel everyone’s eyes on her back, staring daggers and other sharp objects, even if they were looking at a pigeon or their smartphone screens. Today she felt bastard swords digging into her back instead of daggers. A girl completely drenched in sweat and carrying a pink bag half her size made for a sight. How could anyone not stare at her? She shouldn’t have come this way at all.
Jo was about to turn away from the street when something caught her eye – the reflection of the sun off a glass window, or a moving shape, or something pretty. At the other side of the street she saw a sporting goods store, with clear windows displaying mannequins wearing bathing suits. She stood there for a while, staring at the place from across the street. I… think I need a new one? Jo couldn’t recall if she still had her only bathing suit, but something just told her that she needed a new one. It was a strange notion for someone who had no use for swimwear (she didn’t know how to swim). But she just needed one. Jo shrugged and made to keep walking, but stopped three steps ahead. She turned to look at the store again and pouted. There was this nagging feeling she tried to ignore, to just shut out of her mind. She tried to walk again, but this time a wave of dizziness took hold. Jo had to keep her hand on a wall to avoid falling.
“I must be tired,” She whispered to herself. Again Jo looked at the store and what it offered with longing. Do I need one? She asked herself again and before she knew it she was crossing the street towards the store, ignoring her own logic.
After that everything felt… good; dreamlike, misty, surreal. Jo’s world disintegrated and reformed. Images deformed, turning walls and racks of clothing into shadowed half-shapes. MetaSports became a stoner’s preferred nightmare, a terrifying landscape of jumbled atoms.
Jo stood at the center of the store. Or was it a river… or was it a castle? Gold-shiny objects populated the dreamscape, perched on trees and bones. Light shone off of them, mist poured out of them, songs echoed from them. Jo stood before the pots of gold, peering into them, breaking down every speck of matter to see what made them so special. Fingers touched metal, or cloth, or skin. She couldn’t tell. Mist poured into the place, the trees turned metallic, aisles appeared in the dungeon-cave. A raven sang, a maid cried, a man moaned in pain. What was that? A stray thought. Silenced. Another shiny object; gold, silver, gems? No. Sleek, beautiful. Need it. It was a galaxy, a nebula, a realm on itself. Perfect, Jo needed it. Something she had to have, but it was something greater. She couldn’t have it, not for the price of souls. But the guardian of the mines allowed it.
People pass by. Suns and stars on their chests; rocks and water on their bellies; modern fabrics on their backs. A bell, a ring, clinking of coins. Too cheap. Need it. Doesn’t matter. A pack of thoughts. They don’t matter, she needs it. Haze, mist, fog, ghosts, people, trees and walls and glass… Jo grips something tight, it is plastic, not what she needs – it is trapped in the bag. Cold breeze, hot sun, sweat on her brow, on her back. More people, many more, walking about, staring.
Jo stood next to a pile of leaves, some blocks away from MetaSports. She blinked hard, fog and mist turning into a set of buildings, silhouettes turning into on looking people. Suddenly she found herself, “What are you looking at!?” Her shriek made them disappear in an instant.
Jo didn’t want to scream at them but… but what? She had no idea what just happened, or if she did she just didn’t want to think about it. Her sudden frustration was gone as quick as it had come and Jo allowed herself a deep breath.
Weird things kept piling on top of one another.
First the… assault, then whatever made her mind close off the last ten to twenty minutes of her life. Jo had the images in her head, but couldn’t make sense out of them. If things keep getting weirder I’ll have a migraine by the end of the day, Jo thought before abandoning the lonely pile of leaves to the wind and resuming her travel back home. Jo retired into the memories of old songs she loved, a small haven inside her mind free from confusion. She didn’t realize she was clutching a plastic bag.
An hour later, Jo was throwing her baggage on her living room couch. Quickly Jo went into her room, removed her sweaty clothes and threw them down to keep company with the two orderly piles of clothes, one for shirts and the other for trousers. Naked, she walked towards her bathroom and lost herself in a forty minutes long shower; enough time to think about the makings of the universe, the origin of life, and various thoughts of equal depth. But more importantly, time enough to make a speck of sense out of everything that had happened.
The result was barely a speck, but it helped calm her.
Jo walked down to the first story, dressed comfortably, with a towel still wrapped around her long hair that made Jo look like a clothed ice cream cone. The walking cone returned to the living room, looked around to see some books and magazines on the floor next to the coffee table and silently cursed her father. Instead of picking them up as usual, she grabbed her backpack. She had placed her uneaten lunch in the outermost pocket, some fish and salad. Jo weighted her options: eat it now, when it was warm from the sun and the taste all funny, or it eat later after being cooled down and then reheated and when the taste was a stand-up comedy.
Jo decided she was hungry.
It was not until she had finished her fish and was clearing stuff out of her backpack that she could remember that she had acquired something from the dream, store, landscape of dreams, castle at the end of the world… Jo shook her head as a sudden wave of dizziness threatened to make her crash into a wall. Jo steadied herself against a wall just as a strange feeling, like an ice cube sliding down one’s back, gripped her muscles. A cramp? She tensed and ignored the feeling as best as she could.
Jo took her backpack and the plastic bag holding what she needed and skipped up the stairs and into her room, which had once been just an attic. The walls were painted silver and white and black and purple, an amalgam of leftover paint from all over the house. She had a bed and three bookcases, a computer desk, a closet, a couch and even a pool table. What Jo lacked was a tortoise-shaped beanbag she had been dreaming about for years.
She sat on the floor next to her bed, legs crossed. First she opened her backpack and threw its contents on the ground before her: her school uniform, blue on black; a short, almost scandalous evening dress; a change of clothes that would look better as mops than t-shirts. She threw her mobile phone in a corner, a book she had been carrying in another. Finally she put the rolled up money she was going to pay for the photo shoot with on her bed. Once her backpack was clear, Jo was free to check what the hell she got from the store of shiny, perfect needs.
Jo looked at the plastic bag with a bit of reverence. What was in it? What did she get? Why didn’t she know it if she bought it? Jo opened the bag and looked away. Blinking in surprise, Jo slowly moved her head back to the bag. What is wrong with me? Again she tried to look at the inside of the bag, but she quickly closed it before she so much as had a glimpse. It was like she was afraid, truly afraid of what was inside. She tried again and then abruptly looked away again.
The third time was a game of guessing: she touched the bag, pressing her fingers against whatever was inside to figure out what the texture, size, feel, density of the object might hint at. The plastic on the bag rubbed against something plastic and sleek, and the white polymer didn’t allow for any snuck glances. Jo had gone into a sporting shop, maybe she got a pair of jogging bras… but why would she need one? The answer was so close at hand, just at the next stop of her train of thought, yet the train tracks would extend farther and farther off into the horizon the closer she got to it. In other words, there was no way to know what was inside the bag.
Could I be… afraid? She mused to herself. But why?
Jo closed her eyes and tried to remember. What was inside that store? Why did I go into the store in the first place? Senseless blurs that might’ve passed for memories in some old man’s, Alzheimer-eaten brain flashed painfully before her mind’s eye. They were not memories, not for Jo. The simple fact that she just couldn’t remember what had been inside the store was just too much for her.
Muscles tensed and her legs pushed her off the floor with enough force to send her ice cream towel flying. Which is not the force of a crashing plane. Jo all but slammed the plastic bag against the floor in fear-disgust, but she caught herself before she could do it. What if the bag’s contents slid out of it?
To know what the bag contained Jo would have to rely on trickery.
The idea made her smile despite everything.
She quickly jumped the six steps down her attic-room onto the hallway of the second floor, turned right and right again to walk into her sister’s room. Unlike Jo’s, which was orderly in its own chaotic manner, Aizan Kleinner’s room was like walking into a desolated mine field after a three thousand years-long war. Piles of clothing represented rubble, old pizza boxes were the undetonated mines, the copper -wire lines dangling from wall to wall were the barbwire, the photos and drawings hung on them the rotting corpses of the unlucky. The sight was so disturbing for Jo that she all but turned around.
But she had to know what was in the box. Tip-toeing towards Aizan’s bed, Jo made sure not to disturb her sister’s twisted temple – if Aizan Kleinner saw but one moved picture she would know and go on a frenzy of angry rambling. As she had at birthdays before and Christmas past, Jo placed the bag on Aizan’s pillow and left the room. Family tradition dictated that gifts were not given, but placed where they could be seen; and family tradition dictated that Aizan Kleinner would be curious enough to try whatever was in that bag.
Until then Jo only had to wait.
A terrible state of being, waiting for the unknown.
To pass the time Jo scurried back into the living room and turned the television on. She was greeted by the now boring misadventures from an episode of Friends she had watched over three hundred times. Jo quickly changed channels and settled for the soft comforts of one crazy, English Bear as he tried to show you how to survive in some frozen wasteland. An interesting episode of the kind Jo loved to watch. Sometimes she pictured herself in such a place, surviving against all odds. She settled in a comfortable position and paid rapt attention to the show.
It took Jo no more than half-an-hour to fall asleep.
A lock clicked, steps on tiles clicking, and then static when the television was turned off. Aizan Kleinner hovered over the unconscious body of her sister. She sighed heavily, wondering what she was going to do with her little charge. Aizan was three years Jo’s senior, and was perpetually worried about her sister’s uncaring attitude. How is she going to be someone in life if she only cared about silly things like novels and surviving in the wilds?
Aizan placed the remote softly on Jo’s belly, prompting the tired girl to stir and mumble in her sleep. What am I going to do with you, Jo-Jo?
Her steps on the stairs were light and thin, as if she was walking on pins and needles. But that was Aizan’s way; her every step was sure and direct, and more likely to cleanly penetrate your foot if she accidentally stepped on it.
She moved gracefully in her high heels, even inside her own house where she didn’t need to impress anyone but herself. To Aizan, being impressive, tall and unique were the most important things one could show the world. If you showed cowardice, the world would have you for brunch – not even worthy of a real meal. She had to stand out, and to stand out she had to walk like she owned the world. And sooner or later, she would.
Unlike Jo, who was a mismatch of easy-going with worry and someone who barely cared how she looked, Aizan Kleinner was a complete paradox. She carried herself with such grace, such cleanliness that it wasn’t hard to think of herself as a definition of perfection. She always dressed her best: heels, dresses, make-up and hair-dos; with designer shoes, expensive skirts, and shiny jewellery. But this image of a perfect, good girl just made the hammer blow of contrast just as strong as a volcano erupting.
Her room was a landscape of chaos with barely a hint of order. Black and gloomy and dirty, as if a thousand disasters had passed by like a failed comedian on his last tour. Simply put, her room was a mess. It was as if Aizan put so much effort into her appearance and looks that she failed to be her ‘perfect self’ with anything else. And she failed to notice it.
But that didn’t stop her for being obsessed about details to a psychotic level. The moment she opened her door she realized her sister had been in there: the bird photograph dangling from the silver wire was not looking to the door in that angle; the blanket on the floor that kept the marbles and fake nails and other unmentionables from spilling all over the place was flattened on a spot just outside the little footprint road Aizan had made to move around the place. And there was something on her bed.
Aizan squinted her eyes in distaste. We don’t give each other gifts but once a year.
But somehow she managed to ignore that quirk and walk towards her bed and the white plastic bag. She almost screamed when a pile of pizza boxes clattered noiselessly on the blanket.
Aizan stared at the bag on the black pillow with curiosity and suspicion. Could it be a trap? No, it couldn’t be. Jo was not the kind to sneak little pranks or even trick someone. Smiling, Aizan opened the bag and moved a manicured hand inside.
A cold shock ran up her arm as fast as the lies of a politician. Aizan yanked her arm backs and cursed her sister in her mumble, low voice, “What the hell?” She frowned and snuck a glance inside the bag; there was something black and purple and green that reflected light like liquid silver. Aizan looked up and around: the room was practically dark. Curious, she tentatively slid her hand into the bag one more time. This time there was no cold shock, but instead a pleasant sleek softness at the bottom. Whatever colourful thing Jo had given Aizan, it was passing her test so far.
But the smile on her face was replaced by a confused scowl the moment she held the gift in front of her. It was a leotard of some kind, but unlike any Aizan had ever seen. It wasn’t trendy like her usual clothing, but it was in loudly, dead, boring colours she would never wear. It was black, so black that it seemed to drink the light and then shoot it at you; a nebula was painted over it, purples and greens and blues that seemed to spawn from the outfit’s thin crotch line and swim towards the right breast, like a school of fish. High cut and more like a bondage item than a regular leotard, it was just not the sort of thing Jo would buy for anyone, not even as a joke.
Yet it was… beautiful, on itself. The painted nebula was unique, colourful, shiny, and almost gave the illusion of swirling. Whoever designed and painted it knew how to work colours into optical illusions. And whoever had printed the design knew how to work on the fabric. It felt like plastic, but not quite; soft like silk, yet stretchy like a rubber band. Aizan couldn’t figure out what it was.
She sat on her bed, black curtains at her back. Some light crept through tiny holes in the black drapery where she sometimes pinned flowers. The rays danced on the leotard, turning the not so mundane bondage garment into a work of art in Aizan’s eyes. And it was not every day that Aizan took clothing she didn’t approve of as art. Dancing stars, swirling suns and moving constellations twisted on the blackness of the suit, merging and moving and swirling. Always swirling. Around and around. Up and down the suit.
Aizan’s eyes idly followed them, smiling at the illusion. What was Jo thinking when she got this? She all but chuckled at the thought of Jo walking into a store and buying this. I bet she was blushing and mumbling the whole time. But that thought was superfluous compared to just how fun it was to figure out what Jo intended with the gift! What was in her sister’s mind when she got it? Did Jo want her to try it on? Throw it away so she could complain that Aizan never appreciated her gifts – which she rarely did. Or was it just a gift, something she thought Aizan would like? The thought was a surprising one – Aizan believed Jo was unable to show material kindness.
The outfit was completely unlike Aizan, but that just made it more interesting. What if… No! She couldn’t try it on, she couldn’t! It was not trendy or perfect and it wouldn’t show off her assets the way… Wait. Aizan gave the suit a hard stare and realized that it would just do that. She knew how girls looked in leotards – their curves enhanced, their assets offered to the world yet hidden for anyone to wonder about. And those girls didn’t have Aizan’s ego, nor her body for that matter. A leotard would do just what Aizan wanted from her clothes: to enhance her perfect looks.
But it is too tight, she mused, testing the suit’s stretchiness. She pulled at the sides, making the nebula blur. For a second her eyes lost focus and she felt a tingle run down her spine. But Aizan ignored it, placing the suit on her bed and then standing. She considered wearing it again as she looked down on it.
“Should I?” Her voice was soft and croaky. Aizan was suddenly curious about wearing the outfit. How would it feel on my skin? What would I wear it for? Where would I wear it? The material didn’t look like it would stand salt water or sun, so the beach was out of the question, as well as the pool. And she couldn’t wear it to class… or could she? “No, no, no. I can’t!”
Suddenly a thought came unbidden: Perhaps I can wear it to bed and have some fun with Lombardo. She thought back to the first time she had sex with Lombardo, not her first sexual experience but the first time she had experienced bondage. He had kissed and touched her and then he asked her if she wanted to play a game. That game included wearing what he called a hood and being tied to his bed while he gave her the most powerful orgasm of her life. Just thinking about it made Aizan quite excited. She thought how he would be if she showed up at his house wearing only that leotard and begged him to tie her.
Aizan had to control herself from shivering pleasantly.
She had decided: Aizan would surprise her lover by coming up to him wearing nothing but the leotard and a pair of heels. That could only end with either one sprawled on a bed, too used to even think. But first she had to see if it would fit her, and if it would fit her perfectly. Aizan Kleinner couldn’t wear anything that wouldn’t make her look her best.
Quickly she removed her clothes, even her undergarments, and stood naked, holding the leotard at arm’s length. After banishing her last doubts Aizan lowered the garment to her knees and slide her feet through the leotard’s neck. It felt cold and slippery as it kissed her skin up her legs, but the closer she pulled it the more excited she became. If only she had Lombardo’s hands to help her, to touch her… it would all be just perfect.
It was a bit difficult to get the leotard over her thighs, but once she managed Aizan couldn’t be happier. It hugged her buttocks and crotch so snugly that for a moment Aizan’s eyes lost focus and she fell. It was better than the things Lombardo had encased her with. Ten fold. Aizan had to control herself from just rubbing her skin through the material. She continued dressing.
It took longer than expected, longer than it should have, to finish donning the tight garment – constant outbursts of a feeling not unlike orgasms made it increasingly difficult for Aizan to finish dressing. But now that she was completely clad in the leotard she just had no idea what to do. It felt perfect; perhaps even better than Lomabardo’s touches. The thought made Aizan giggle. Few things were as good as his touches.
All of a sudden Aizan wanted to look at her reflection. She just had to know how she looked in such a delicious outfit, but she had no mirror in her room, and the mirror in the bathroom was too small. Her only option was her sister’s. Figuring Jo was still fast asleep, Aizan slipped out of her chaotic room and into Jo’s orderly attic. Curiously, Aizan found Jo’s room to be disorder at its zenith.
Silently, as if she was waiting for Jo to crawl out of the boards and walls to toss her out of the room like some vengeful spirit, Aizan walked towards Jo’s full-body mirror. And the sight all but broke her mind.
Was I ever so curvy? For a second Aizan thought Jo had replaced the mirror with a carnival trick that made things slimmer in the waist and longer, distorted. But the reflection was exactly how Aizan looked; beautifully curved, her breasts framed and pushed upwards, her buttocks hidden yet displayed like gems in a museum. Her somewhat flabby belly had been slimmed down incredibly. All in all, Aizan had never approved such of her own reflection.
Aizan loved her outfit.
A tingle went down her spine, and a pleasant burst of heat filled her loins. Aizan gave her reflection a third stare, and a third burst of heat, like an exploding star, seemed to flare up from her mound. Aizan pressed her lips together, took a deep breath, and enjoyed. Her eyes rolled into her skull, her toes curled, her hands turned into fists. And her whole body shuddered to the sound of a word.
Everything went dark all of a sudden. Did I close my eyes? Why? The thought was lonely. That made Aizan passing sad. It has passed, she thought as the wave of pleasure subsided. It is okay to open my eyes. But a part of her didn’t want to, a small part. If she opened her eyes she knew – somehow, as if someone had told her – that she would lose herself in another nova of heat, this time ten times stronger. But it had felt so good. It reminded her of Lombardo and nights in the beach and of her first orgasm. And things that were just too good and foreign to be hers. Aizan Kleinner had to feel that again.
So she opened her eyes.
Voices and voices and more voices whispered a single word. Over and over it echoed in the empty space that could’ve been her head. She ran to the right, and more voices chanted. She ran to the left, and sense of dread filled her where voices should be. Either she died lonely, or with so many people around her that her self would disappear into nothingness. Just as her naked figure found the light at the end of the tunnel, the salvation, the brick and glass edifice that neither whispered nor remained silent, Jo woke from the dream with a single word slowly fading away in her mind. Haigure, she heard once and then she couldn’t recall the dream.
Yawning Jo went to the kitchen for a drink to take away the ungodly taste in her mouth. While the orange juiced washed inside her mouth she felt something going down her spine and shuddered. She swatted at it with one free hand until the feeling went away. Fuck, I’ve been feeling that for a couple of hours now.
Bored and yawning like a lazy cat, Jo walked up to her room. On the way she noticed Aizan’s door open and wondered where the hell her sister was when she heard her voice coming from her room. Estranged at the idea of Aizan going up into her attic, Jo silently walked up the creaking steps.
Only to have the second most strange experience of the day thrown at her face like a bad dish.
Her sister was standing in front of her mirror, wearing a leotard… that I bought in that store! A shower of memories, cold like mountain water, hard-hitting like a waterfall, broke free. Jo knew what she had bought in that store. Images and thoughts, some not entirely her own, told her what the outfit was and what it would bring. Jo’s heart began to beat faster and a fearful shiver went down her spine.
But Jo was made of sterner stuff.
She took a deep breath and managed to calm herself down. It is all in my imagination, she thought and smirked.
“Hey, Aizan.” Jo hid her quivering voice behind a hand, muffling the sound.
Aizan turned around abruptly, surprise and something Jo couldn’t quite figure painted on her face. The leotard fit her so perfectly that Jo felt nasty just looking at her – Aizan was an undeniably arousing image, no matter your preferences. Even her proud stance was changed into a cocked-hip enticing pose that made her dance without moving.
“Uhmm… hey… Jo!” Aizan began, her voice a surprised purr. “What’re you… doing here?”
Jo had to frown. “My room.” She then smirked. “I see you found my… present.” Did it choose that? Why would I buy something like that? Wait… did I even buy it?
“Hmmm… yes I did!” All trepidation left Aizan, like steam coming out a bowl of bowling water. Her hands were back again over her leotard in the blink of an eye, exploring it and the flesh within. It was Jo’s turn to be surprised. “Thank you so much, Jo! This leotard feels… hmmmm!” A sound and a hand between the legs conveyed more than any word could have.
Jo took a step back. “What- Ehm,” Words were lost and soon found. “What’s going on, Aizan? You… you’re acting like you haven’t had sex in a month and I know that’s not true.” Jo took a deep breath and tried not to dwell in the past; whenever Aizan and Jo had the house to themselves (which was pretty much every couple of days) Aizan would invite Lombardo in. Jo could barely sleep those nights.
Aizan moaned, her hand unable to move away from between her legs. “Oh, I don’t know, Jo! This leotard feels… hmm… so good! So right!” Aizan shook, her eyes closed and a pleasant smile on her lips. “God, Jo, I have no idea how to thank you! This leotard is… so good!”
Jo slowly walked closer to her sister, a fearfully disgusted look on her face; as freaked out as she was, Jo couldn’t just ignore her worry. It wasn’t like Aizan to act this way – something was up with Aizan and Jo knew it was the leotard.
She had to help her sister.
Jo had not taken three steps when a graveyard chill froze her body in place. A feeling of dread, like someone crushing her insides, began to extend all over her body. Aizan’s moan brought her attention back to her sister’s situation. Aizan was shuddering gravely, her whole body shaking, her teeth clattering, her eyes rolled into her skull.
Jo darted towards her sister, two strides of her short legs and she was there, standing protectively next to her. “Aizan!” Her hair was in disarray, her eyes wide with worry. “Aizan! What’s wrong!?”
Aizan whispered something as her body shook with the force of a bull.
Aizan whispered again, the shuddering subsiding. Jo leaned closer to hear and the word that her sister whispered sent a chill down to her very DNA.
“No… no… not you.” She backed away. Why? She couldn’t tell. She just knew that she had to run away from that word, even if it meant leaving her sister to her fate.
“Jo…” Aizan’s voice was a purr. Her eyes met Jo’s and she smiled, an evil, arousing smile.
I cannot leave her here… I cannot leave her! She thought, but she was already backing away to the stairs. But she remembered… what? What did she remember? The images that passed through her mind were foreign and alien, and made her back tingle. And the way she had blacked out when she walked into MetaSports… it all was that word’s fault. She knew it.
But I cannot leave my sister to it.
But as she gave her sister one last stare, she saw her legs part and her arms stretch and she knew, she just knew that there was nothing she could do.
Jo had never run so fast in her life.