A collection of short stories, mostly written for 'Screams!'
He's not hard to capture. Not once I've singled him out. The store is busy enough for me to get closer to his side without him noticing me, but is quiet enough to allow me to linger once I am there.
I can tell when he is about to reach out, what he is about to pick up. I reach out for the same item at exactly the right time for our hands to touch. For me there is no more than a gentle buzzing sensation signalling that the binding has taken place. It will be a much more dramatic feeling for him; he'll feel like he has been slammed by some kind of magnetic force from which there is no chance for him to escape.
Have I given the impression that the capture is unpleasant for him? I didn't mean to, for honestly the thing he is feeling now is the closest a human being can get to bliss.
There's still a hint of confusion on his face as he turns towards me. "I'm sorry," he says. "You take it." Then, as though it is an afterthought, he adds: "Do I know you?"
Already his pupils are starting to dilate. That's good; he won't notice my lack of irises. My eyes will already have become totally black. Like tiny black holes they will hold him in place until it is time to make the transference complete.
Without coming to any formal arrangement, he begins to walk around the store by my side. No one but him will notice me, just so long as I am careful to avoid making any physical contact. There were times, ages ago now, when I made that mistake, and although it is possible for me to assimilate more than one individual at a time, the process becomes far more... messy. And painful for those that I have selected too. They are so much more satisfying when they are in a blissful state.
I drop my shades down at the checkout. I'll pack up my purchases, but honestly, they are no good to me. I might put them into someone else's trolley, or just leave them somewhere for some lucky passer-by to find.
He won't notice that I am suddenly free of my shopping. He won't want to be parted from me either, so I know he is going to offer me a lift.
"Can I..." he says, then seems to become lost for words.
"If you're sure it's not a problem." I don't talk but speak directly to his mind, strengthening the ties that already have been established.
Should he attract the attention of anyone else, that's fine. If they notice me at all it will be as a shadow or as a ripple in the light. I'm quite safe, for no one believes that I could exist, and that simple fact shields me from the sight of all but one. Only my intended, my chosen, will see me, but even then not in my true form. I will take on the appearance of perfection in their eyes.
He holds the passenger door open for me, then climbs behind the wheel and starts to drive. I see the question form on his lips - where do I want to go? But he does not ask it, and that is as it should be for it really does not matter.
I have done this so many times before and know exactly how it will play out. Whether we are in a rural landscape or an urban one, he will find somewhere secluded to park the car and then he will turn towards me.
With a simple inhalation I draw him towards me and his lips will meet the ones that he sees in his mind. He won't be able to resist the pull and will be drawn inside, assimilated to become a part of me, and for a while I will be sated.
Should I feel guilty? Maybe, but I am what I am; something... other. And really, what better way is there to die than in a state of pure bliss? The last thing he would have known, seen, experienced, were the rainbows of light that sparkle and shine. They are always there, a spectrum of color hidden behind my eyes.