by Debbie M
Rough sample of a story I've been struggling over for several years now.
| Silence can be deafening, yes. It was that night. The street was strangely deserted as I stepped across the rain-slicked cobblestones. And he was there…Everywhere…I could feel him with all of my senses long before he approached me.
Suddenly, there was a blade at my throat and his breath on my neck. He did not speak straight away but I knew, somehow, that he was laughing, confident that he had his prey.
Finally, in a rich, mocking whisper, he spoke. “ Good evening, my dear. It would seem that we have both found that which we have sought.”
I opened my mouth to reply with some weak, sarcastic comment. He pressed the back of his blade closer to my throat and leaned his face so near to me that his lips were now almost touching my neck. “ No, no, my love…”, he continued to whisper. “ For moments such as this, words can do no justice. Now come.”
He took me to a waiting carriage whose driver made no move to acknowledge us. Without a pause, my captor said to him, “ I have paid you well for your discretion. I expect you to honor that.”
The driver’s eyes remained focused on the road ahead as he nodded his head slowly in acceptance. The carriage door opened and I startled slightly as a pair of steps fell out to us. My captor moved his blade from my throat to the small of my back. In a low, menacing, strangely seductive voice he , again, leaned close to me and said , “ I imagine you have long envisioned this moment, have you not?” He paused to utter a faint sadistic and almost unbearably vain self – assured sniggering. “ Well, my dear, your torturous and undoubtedly tedious quest is near its end. I am anxious to lay this to rest as well. Let us be off.” He emphasized his anxiety with a quick jab of his blade. I winced and stepped into the carriage.
He sat across from me, and though I could feel his penetrating gaze, my eyes would not, could not meet his. Instead, I looked out of the carriage window at the now foreboding Whitechapel District.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could sense him slowly crossing his legs. He laughed quietly and said , “ Can you not look at me, even now that I am here before you?”
Finally, I found the voice to answer him, difficult as it was to hide my fear from him. No, I could not grant him that satisfaction. Without turning to him, I relied , “ You’ve found me, I’ve found you. Now, whatever it is you intend to do with me, for the moment, please…spare me the gloating witticisms.”
Again, he laughed. “Ah, the lady speaks…Very well, then. I can certainly grant you that courtesy…For now…”
We rode swiftly through the night. Within moments, we were out of the dank, dark streets of London and onto the open country road. The full moon shone brightly now and though the rain continued to pour down, I could see more clearly.
Somehow, I was able to summon the courage to look at my captor now. But his face was turned from me, his unruly, golden, shoulder-length hair concealing his profile. He was humming a haunting, indistinguishable tune as he absently fingered the blade in his black-gloved hands. I found myself staring at that blade, the apprehension mounting within me. He must have sensed this for he allowed yet another quiet snigger escape from his lips. “ Oh, don’t worry, my dear. I have no intention of killing you…That is , unless , you force my hand…”
“ Right,” I retorted, though I knew the anxiety in my voice betrayed my feeble attempt at sarcasm. “ Just what ARE your intentions, then?”
“ All good things to those who wait…”, he responded ominously, his face still turned from me. He resumed humming his maddening tune.
Moments later, we arrived a t a remote cottage overlooking the Atlantic*. When the carriage stopped close to the front door , I leapt up from the burgundy leather seat and grabbed the door handle. Once again, my captor’s blade was at my throat and his now familiar laughter was in my ear. This time, though, his other arm came across my chest and something strange came into my mind : The reports on the recent local murders had been accurate on at least one point…The killer , my captor , was left-handed.
I struggled against his grip although a part of my mind was, to my growing apprehension , beginning to enjoy the feel of his surprisingly strong arm across my chest , his own chest pressing against my back, and his dangerously erotic breath on my neck.
“Anxious, are we?”, he whispered tauntingly. “Have no fear, my love. All will be made clear to you in time. You must have patience.”
I tried once more to pull away from him and he held me that much closer. “Do not attempt to resist me. I would not relish having to end your life this night. It would be such a loss , now that we have come so far.”
I entered the dark cottage ahead of him, prodded once again, gently but insistently, by his ever – present blade, my eyes searching frantically for an escape. But then, as I turned to face him , he shut the front door , lit a lamp nearby and slowly approached me .
His golden hair had taken on an ethereal glow in the lamplight. His eyes were the color of the Yorkshire moors at dusk ; dark, foreboding, mysterious.
His generous lips slowly curved into a seductive smile. He gazed down at the dark suit and coat he was wearing, then into my eyes. “Does this not please you, my dear?”, he asked , his tone incredibly soft and sensual.
I attempted a cynical smile and knew instinctively that I was failing. “ Does it please me…? Why should it concern you what pleases me?”
He regarded me silently , intensely. Then suddenly, he backed me violently to a wall and held his knife to my throat. “ Why must you persist in this charade?”, he questioned me in a menacing, exasperated whisper. “ You and I are one and the same.”
I considered his words and though I shuddered at the thought that he could well be correct in his presumption, I could not allow him to see this in my eyes. I attempted a feeble smirk , rolled my eyes , laughed sarcastically , looked away from him and quietly replied, “ You’d like to think so, wouldn’t you?”
He placed the flat side of his knife gently against my cheek and turned my face to his. “ Deny it if you must, my dear, but you must, one day, realize that you cannot…ultimately…deny…this…” His face drew nearer as he whispered these words, his eyes slowly closing until I felt his lips upon mine, brushing them ever so gently. I closed my own eyes and, much like one whose will has been taken by the intoxicating effects of a potent pint of ale, heard myself moan softly , pulling him to me, deepening the kiss.
He responded by parting my lips with his tongue, exploring my mouth as he ran his blade slowly to my neck , down to my chest. I felt him gently, deftly slice through the laces of my bodice and I sighed with such relief as my breasts were released from their confinement. I bit his lip in frightening ecstasy as he touched them; teased them. I opened my eyes slightly to see that he had returned his knife to a holster at his waist. He pressed me further against the wall , breathing deeply, kissing my lips, my neck and my chest, sliding my dress from my shoulders to the floor.
“ Tell me this is not what has haunted your dreams, consumed your thoughts, and I shall release you ,” he murmured, his hands caressing my thighs, my intimate femininity, touching me with a passionate reverence.
I drew in a sharp breath as I felt a dormant longing begin to posses my body, my heart, my soul. “ No…Please…Stop this…” I felt my words betray my desire for him, my desire betray all that I had believed in and thought myself to be.
His hands moved to frame my face, his eyes penetrating my mind. “ One cannot hope to suppress the dark regions of the soul, my fair beauty. Allow them to surface ; devour you, consume you. Cease this futile battle within yourself.”
I felt myself weep from the intensity of his words, his gaze. I closed my eyes tightly against the tears but could not contain them. He wiped them so delicately from my face, kissed my forehead almost reverently. Brushing my hair away from my face, he said, “ Fear not these thoughts, these emotions which surface now, my love. They are not foreign to your body…to your mind…to your spirit. Deny them no more.”
I gazed at him through drowning eyes. He cleared my vision with his kisses, ran his thumb across my lips, studied my face silently , intensely. I wanted to tear my gaze away from those eyes but they held me there. Then, in a voice that would echo within me till my final breath, he spoke…
“ I love you.”
Seemingly frozen in time, I sought his eyes for a trace of deception of which I could find none. But how could this infamous,predatory creature of a man be capable of such warmth, passion, and depth of emotion? No words would come to me in response.
Slowly, affectionately, he smiled. “You needn’t fear the sincerity of my words nor the depth of their meaning. As I have told you, my love, we are one. There are but a precious few in this contemptuous world who posess the integrity and fortitude to grasp the heinous nature of mortality and correct it. Let us waste no more time questioning ourselves. There is work to be done.”
(Note: What follows is something that I have recently added which shows the narrator/protagonist's inner reflections and conflict with her recently discovered dark thoughts and nature. I am tentatively calling her Lilian Mercy-Hawke and am contemplating writing in part, if not all, of this story as her journal. Forgive the disjointed, confused look of this piece. I am still figuring it out.)
How did I ever come to such depravity? Has this been my nature all along, unbeknownst to myself? I was not raised to behave in such a dark and disturbed manner. Have I been suppressing such thoughts and emotions all along?
I was nurtured, cultured, and sheltered within an affluent society where every man, woman, child, and beast all had their place and knew them well. My father was a wellrespected -and feared- judge of the highest court and caliber. My mother was a formidable presence within the uppermost circles of high society. Nothing to her was of higher importance than keeping up appearances. Image, decorum, priveledge, and propriety were always the highest order of the day and she made damned certain that I, as her only daughter and, indeed, child was always made to be very well aware of this and to follow every rule that applied diligently and without flaw or, God forbid, failure.
Flawless. Virginial. Untainted.
Pure, chaste perfection.
When and how could I have become so attracted to something and someone so evil and corrupt? Was it he who was so unscrupulous, however? Could it not, instead, be society, itself that has become so degenerate and that he is merely a symptom of this? He had certainly suggested as much that night.