Gabriella is haunted by her former lover.
| Featured in the HORROR/SCARY newsletter DTD 6 OCT 2005|
Featured in the SHORT STORIES newsletter DTD 1 FEB 2012
Featured in the HORROR/SCARY newsletter DTD 25 OCT 2022
Gabriella Delgado was dreading the month of October as it approached, now only hours away - especially its creepy, dark holiday Halloween. It was on last October 31st her lover, Aaron Montague died, killed by a gun held by his rival’s hand. Gabriella had been shattered by Aaron’s untimely death. For a month, she was inconsolable. Finally, she put her life together. She went back to New York and her old law firm took her back. She got a high profile case quickly, which paid well, and soon her increased financial status allowed her to buy the penthouse in the old apartment building she grew up in. Sweet revenge, she called it. Savory justice. After living with Aaron in a penthouse, she didn’t want to live anywhere else.
While she had achieved professional success and accolades, her personal life was a mess. She’d been out on a few dates since she’d been back to New York. Casual things. No one could overcome the memories of Aaron. She had a few one-night stands, never the same man twice, since she didn’t want to become emotionally attached. Every time she had sex, it was Aaron she pictured in her mind. Always Aaron.
Yes, her life was lonely but she was comfortable with that.
Gabriella lay in bed reading a book by light provided by the lamp on her nightstand. She glanced over. It would be midnight soon – October 1st and suddenly she felt herself growing sleepy.
“Go to sleep, Gabi…”
She put her book down, as a familiar comfortable feeling overcame her. Why did she want to go to sleep?
“Take your gown off…”
Was she sleeping? Conscious? In a dream state? As if in a trance, she removed her gown and laid on the bed, naked. Suddenly her light turned off, leaving only the starlight to illuminate her dark room.
She tossed and turned, getting comfortable, and suddenly in her dreams, Aaron was there, standing before, flashing a familiar wicked grin. Sweetly reunited at last, if only in a dream. He was naked too, sharing his beautiful body with her once again.
“Aaron…? Is that really you?” she whispered, drinking him in.
“Yes, Gabi. It’s me.”
She swallowed, nervous, vulnerable before him.
“I…I…don’t know…” She was torn between her desires and reality.
“Ssshh…” he said.
Gabriella felt his hands on her. Rubbing them up and down her body. Caressing her. Stimulating her. Making love to her. She felt lips on her skin. She felt him stroking her, playing her body like a finely tuned violin.
There, alone in the dark, her body reacted to the stimulating caresses of Aaron’s hands. She wriggled alone on the bed, as if there really was a man making love to her.
She felt his cradling arms engulf her.
“I love you, Gabi…”
She didn’t understand as she felt the energy of his lips on her neck, and suddenly she felt sharp jabs of pleasurable pulses inside her, stroking her warm sex, arms cradling her, lips kissing her. It was as if Aaron was making physical love to her! Oh! How she tormented herself!
“This…can’t be tormenting, Gabi…”
That voice! Aaron’s voice inside her head.
“It’s true. I’m here, Gabi , making love to you.”
She began to moan as her climax peaked.
“That’s it! Come for me, Gabi…!”
She cried out, thrusting her hips into the empty air, catching a quick glimpse of her lonely, naked body in the mirror. A glowing yellow outline of a man hovered over her and she was suddenly appalled by the phenomenon that was intimately connected to her. She raised herself up on the bed, out of breath from her intense orgasm, finding herself alone in the room.
“What…what…just happened…?” she whispered. Someone had just made love to her and she desperately wanted it to have been Aaron. Starlight bounced off the mirror.
“Aaron…?” she whispered.
“I’m here…” a voice said.
She was growing increasingly nervous. Her pulse raced. What precisely had just occurred??
Suddenly, beside her on the bed, his outline formed in yellow energy. She scampered away to the other side, shocked by what was occurring.
“Don’t be afraid, Gabi. It’s me. It’s Aaron,” said the visible apparition.
How was it possible? Were her eyes deceiving her? There was no such thing as a ghost!
A ghost that could read her mind! It couldn’t be true…it couldn’t…
“Get a grip, Gabi. I’m as corporeal as you right now. Yes, I’m a “ghost” as you think of it. And yes, I’m here. For you…” he said hypnotically, finally moving his mouth.
She swallowed, scared as hell, part of her so excited to see him and part of her was totally dazed, as she tried to understand what just happened to her. She looked into the apparition’s eyes. Soft hazel eyes. Just like Aaron’s. She realized she was naked and grabbed a sheet to cover her vulnerability.
“Gabi, don’t hide yourself from me. I just made love to you…” he said, sitting in front of her.
“It wasn’t… a dream?” she asked.
“I just made love to a ghost?!” she cried, feeling her heartbeat grow faster.
“Oh…God! No! Get away…it’s not possible…” she muttered, trying to back up away from him.
The solid man in front of her lunged out and wrapped his strong, masculine arms around her, trying to comfort her and calm her down. She struggled, but he held her, cradling her close to his body. He knew revealing himself to her would be shocking, that’s why he hoped that after making love to her she would be receptive to his appearance. After all, he was aware of the fact that she thought of him all the time.
“Don’t cry, Gabi…it’s me…it’s really me…let me hold you again…”
She cried in his arms, shivering from the horror. Her long hair dangling into her face. Confused, so confused…
“Listen okay? Listen…it’s this month…October…it’s when the forces of Hell can venture into the physical world…”
“Hell? You’re from Hell?!” she swallowed, rocking back and forth in his arms.
“Not quite,” he chuckled, clinging to her, “But close.”
Finally she looked up into his hazel eyes. They were real. His arms were hard. He even smelled like Aaron in that familiar cologne. His hair was shoulder length, dishelved, his chest was layered with fine, soft, masculine chest hair. Everything was the same.
“It’s you. It’s really you.”
“Yeah, it’s really me…”
“How? Is it possible…?” she choked, looking into her dead lover’s face. He felt real. Hard. His chest moved up and down as if drawing in precious air to breathe. She could feel his bare skin next to hers.
“When I died I went to this place between heaven and hell. They call it Gehenna. It’s dark. It’s hot. It’s hot because it’s so close to hell. It’s where souls like me go…when we die. There’s nothing to do. Some of them pair up. Me? I spent my time looking into this world. Spying on you.”
Her lips trembled, listening to him.
October is the month where the boundaries between this world and Gehenna are the weakest. And on October 31st, the souls of my world freely haunt yours.”
“How is it you feel so real right now? Look so real?!”
“It’s part of my powers, Gabi…”
“Powers?” she choked.
“I can approach you in two ways. One is as pure energy. I had to approach you that way so I could make love to you. Or I can come to you in this solid form but it drains me. Soon, I’ll have to go back. As the month goes on I’ll get stronger and my visits can be longer. I’ll be my strongest on the 31st…” he explained.
“And then I’ll be gone. For another year,” he finished.
Her mouth fell. She couldn’t lose him again. Hesitantly, she raised her hand and cupped his cheek in her palm, “Why this Gehenna place, Aaron? Why were you sent there?”
“You know I raped a woman in college, Gabi. I never hid that from you. And I…was remorseful and contrite about the rape. Melissa and I made peace with it…”he explained, “I’m growing weaker…”
“I can’t. I have to go back…to get stronger…”
She pulled up and he stood up beside the bed. Naked, but beautiful.
“When will you come back?” she asked softly.
“In a day or two…”
She nodded her head.
“If I have to, I’ll haunt you forever,” he said, before he faded before her eyes, “I love you…”
She sat there, shocked on the bed, Naked. Vulnerable. She wanted him. Oh, she wanted him, but could she handle him this way? As a ghost? A bewitching ghost? She gathered a sheet up around her and shivered.
Gabi became accustomed to Aaron’s nightly visits as the dark month marched on, and while he didn’t make love to her in a traditional sense, she was fully satisfied by his love making attempts. She cut her hours at work, going to the library instead to read about Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, and Gehenna, a level of Purgatory before Hell. She tried to find out as much as she could about Aaron’s netherworld. There was a lot of speculation in the books and only the really old ones, which were hard to come by, spoke of Gehenna and the powers of its inhabitants. Gabi couldn’t believe it, but what Aaron had told her was true.
Her co-workers noticed she was a bit “spacey” when she was at work and her boss, Simon Armstrong, was growing increasingly worried about his young, hotshot, up and coming attorney. She began to carry around a Bible, something that was unlike her. He asked her if something was going on in her personal life but she denied it with a sly grin, thinking of her passionate nights in the arms of her ghostly, nocturnal lover.
Armstrong made a point to keep his eye on his young attorney.
Gabi’s penthouse bedroom…
Gabi walked into her bedroom dressed in a slinky negligee where her ghostly lover sat on the bed waiting for her. Aaron always came to her naked and at night. And lately his form was lasting longer. He still had to change into formless energy to make love to her though.
He stood up and with no words spoken, she ran into his arms. At least they could kiss when Aaron was in this form. Their mouths melted into a passionate exchange and Aaron changed into his pure ghostly energy to be with his earthly soulmate.
Gabi breathlessly sighed in her ghostly lover’s now solid embrace as she snuggled into him, satisfied by his lovemaking. It was three in the morning and Aaron would be with her for another two hours.
“Aaron, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about Heaven and Hell…” she started.
He heartily laughed, “Are you trying to set my spirit free, Gabi?”
“I can’t. You know that. Your body…it died, Aaron,” she said sadly.
“I could possess an earthly body you know…” he began, sounding desperate as he knew he would have to leave her soon.
She turned into him, searching his eyes out. “What?”
She was aware that he would be going soon and the thought distressed her greatly.
“But if I do it, they have to be dying. There can’t be a chance they could possess it again and then I take their body. I don’t get mine back…” he explained.
“How do you know this?” she questioned.
“I’ve seen others in Gehenna do it. I’d do it for you…”
“Wouldn’t you damn your soul for all eternity?” she questioned, looking into his soft hazel eyes.
“I’m all ready damned. Damned to watch you on Earth. Longing for you…having you only one month a year…”
She nuzzled his stubble-laden face, “I was all set to hate this month. I was…”
Aaron sighed. It wasn’t going to last. Soon October 31st would be here and the link between his Purgatory and Earth would be broken. After being richly rewarded with Gabi’s love, he didn’t want to part from her again. It would leave his loins aching for her, his energy burning for her. He’d lose his sanity and become one of those crazy pitiful souls who had no control over themselves. Haunting the wrong people. The wrong lives.
“You’re stronger lately, more powerful. Full of endurance…” she remarked.
“My powers grow stronger the closer it gets to Halloween. Gabi, can I tell you something…?”
She rubbed her hands along his stomach, “Anything.”
“Two souls in my world can bind themselves together. They can become one and be together forever…” he started.
She looked up into his beautiful, angst filled face, “What are you saying?”
“I want you to join me in Gehenna. It’s the only way we can be together now.”
Gabi swallowed, “Aaron, darling, but to join you…” she paused, “I have to die. A certain type of death.”
“I know. Suicide would count. Suicide would damn you to Gehenna with me.”
She shivered, speechless.
“I know I want you. If I can’t have you on Earth I’ll take you into the Netherworld with me. You’re my soul mate and we both know it. I’m afraid I’ll lose my mind if you don’t come with me…” he said, taking his arms and embracing her tightly, his voice quivering in pain from his desperate request, “I’ve seen what happens to those souls that do. It’s pitiful.”
He paused, “Join me, Gabriella. Join me in Gehenna. Be my soul mate in Purgatory forever…” he passionately continued.
Gabi was filled with confusion. She wanted to join him. She did. But…she’d have to die. And suicide? She pulled away and wrapped her arms around herself, as she haplessly gazed into the face of her embittered noncorporeal lover.
“I’ll be right by your side when your soul leaves your body and I’ll take your hand, Gabi. You won’t have to be afraid. We’ll be together. Forever,” he continued ardently, hoping against hope she would join him.
“It’s…it’s a big request, Aaron…” she whispered.
“I didn’t ask to die, Gabi. It’s the only way we can be lovers again…for eternity…”
“Will you be here…with me…as my body dies?” she asked.
“I don’t know, Aaron. I don’t know if I have the strength to do what you’re asking…” she admitted.
“Then you’ll damn me to insanity for the rest of eternity…” he said, pulling away, “We don’t have much time, Gabi…a few days…”
She swallowed, “I know.”
“On Halloween, I’ll be so strong and powerful I’ll be able to make love to you in my solid form…then, afterwards…we can leave together…Gabi…” he added, standing up beside the bed.
Gabi got up on her naked knees, the sheets lazily covering her body and looked up at him with confused, pained eyes, “Aaron?” she whispered.
“I need you, Gabriella. I need you for eternity…” he said, before fading from view.
Gabi broke down and cried.
Simon Armstrong walked into Gabriella Delgado’s office only to find her gazing out the window at the Manhattan skyline.
“Gabi, I asked for that brief twenty minutes ago,” he said, a bit frustrated by her obvious silent distraction.
“It’s on my desk,” she replied, without turning away.
He went to her desk, found the brief and spied a physician’s desk reference, next to her Bible. That was it. He’d had enough.
“Gabi, turn around and look at me,” he demanded.
Lazily, Gabi did so. The man in front of her was short and stocky. Nothing like her handsome, powerful, ghastly lover.
“What?” she said, crossing her arms.
Simon noted circles under her eyes, as if she wasn’t getting enough sleep, “What is wrong with you? Why do you have a PDR?”
“Is that really any of your business, Simon? I get my work done, don’t I?” she replied.
“I’m worried about you. You’ve been acting strange all month, Gabi. Is it a man? Did you meet…a man?” he asked, his voice full of concern. After all, she had proven pretty tough and resilient…up until this month. He was aware of the fact that she suffered a terrible heartache when her last lover died. He had a teenaged daughter himself who had just recently acquired a boyfriend and Gabi appeared to be exhibiting the same signs his daughter was.
Gabi nervously bit her lip. She had to tell her boss something to get him off her back. Yes, she could admit to that, but no more.
“Actually, Simon, yes, it’s a man,” she said.
He let out a sigh of relief.
“Look, if you need anything…let me know.”
Simon left feeling a bit more relieved. He was confidant Gabi could work through it.
Gabi sat alone on a bench at the foot of the Statue of Liberty clinging to her PDR. It would be dark soon. Aaron would come to her. Strong. As strong as he could be. He would make love to her with a physical body this time instead of his formless energy and then he would be gone for a year. A year to loose his mind.
She had been so lonely without him. A part of her was missing. But was it possible to be reunited with him…in death? The thought of suicide made her sick but…how else could she do it? What if she was in a car accident? Would Aaron be there to guide her on her journey to him? If she died any other way…there was no guarantee she would be reunited with her ghostly lover. Would the tranquilizers she acquired do the trick? If she took enough would she go to sleep and never wake up?
Decisions. Decisions that would have to be made soon before too much time passed.
Aaron. Aaron was so powerful as this type of ghost. What would it be like to merge her soul with his in Purgatory? Would they truly be soul mates for eternity? All she knew was that she was connected to him and it was a connection that extended past the confines of this Earth. She didn’t want to lose him but could she do it? Could she…die for him?
She cocked her head so she was looking up to heaven, “Help me…make the right decision.”
While she solicited for help, none was forthcoming.
She was on fire as her nocturnal visitor slid his solid manhood into her warm, inviting sex. It was like no other love making experience she ever had. Aaron was so powerful – so omnipotent, evoking such pleasure in her that she had never known before. Stroke after stroke sent pulses of ecstasy through her every limb as Aaron’s tingly lips caressed hers. It had been so long…so long since their last physical love making. She came quickly, but Aaron had no need to stop. His body was composed of pure spiritual energy. He spent all night making love to her, delighting in the multiple orgasms he evoked in her body. Aaron found the experience incredibly fulfilling.
Finally spent, her limbs trembling, Aaron pulled out of her and cradled her in his arms.
“Would it be this good, Aaron…in death?” she asked, his lips nuzzling her tender neck.
He looked up into her eyes and could tell she was scared.
“Yes, when two souls merge, Gabi…they sing…I can’t explain it. We’ll be one forever…” he said in a soft, confident reassuring tone of voice.
Silence overcame her as the clock passed three in the morning. Gabi’s heart was still pounding as she lay in Aaron’s arms.
“Tell me again, you’ll be there…waiting for me.” She desperately needed reassurance.
“Yes. I won’t let you go anywhere else but to purgatory with me.”
She got up and walked over to her dresser pulling out a recent prescription for tranquilizers. She held them up.
Aaron flashed her a seductive grin, “You don’t know how much this means to me.”
“I’m still scared, Aaron.”
“We’ll never make love again like we did just now until our souls are united as one,” he said.
She swallowed, nervously sitting down beside him on the bed. “I have these.”
“Your death will be painless if you use them,” said Aaron, putting his solid ghostly hand over hers, “but it will take a while. You won’t die quickly.”
“I know, but this is the only way I’ll find the courage to do it,” she said.
Aaron gave her a devilish grin and went to the adjoining master bath, producing a glass of water for her.
Her hand shook from fear as she took it while holding the open bottle in the other.
“Have you made arrangements for your things…your body?” he asked, placing his energized hands on her shoulders, looking directly into her eyes.
“Yes,” she cocked her head to a nearby nightstand, which held a recent will.
“I’ll be with you in your dreams, Gabi. I promise. I love you,” he said emotionally.
“I love you too, Querido,” she whispered, and in a dramatic fashion, swallowed a bunch of pills washing them down in the smooth water Aaron provided. She placed the glass and bottle on the bed as Aaron took an arm, and placed it around her back, gliding her onto the bed, snuggling his powerful body of unearthly energy next to hers.
It was now eight in the morning and Simon Armstrong was again concerned about his brash, young attorney. They had to see a client today, but Gabi was a no-show. He knew she had been acting strange, and since she had admitted her behavior was attributed to a man, he bolted out of the office and headed to her apartment. When there was no answer at the door he got the super to let him in. He was horrified to find her naked on the bed and quickly deduced that she had overdosed on prescription tranquilizers. That’s what the PDR was for! He took her pulse. Weak. She was barely alive. He had to call an ambulance.
Suddenly he felt a push and he stumbled back, slamming into an elaborate piece of bedroom furniture. The force kept him pinned there and he was unable to move against it. Suddenly, he was very scared. Of the unknown.
“Aaron, what is it? What’s wrong?” asked Gabi, walking on a plane of gray clouds, “Where are you?”
Only two seconds ago he was beside her, holding her hand, gazing into her eyes, now nothing.
“Have you abandoned me?!” she cried.
“No!” she heard is voice but didn’t see him, “Someone has discovered your body, Gabi! He’s attempting to call for help. I’m trying to stop him…”
She swallowed. Who? Caught in some type of limbo, she was unable to go anywhere else. Aaron had explained that her soul was still attached to her body but now, she was alone and frightened as Aaron dealt with their earthly interloper. Then she spied bright yellow eyes peering at her – souls like Aaron – only they wanted to pick at her!
“AARON!” she cried.
Aaron turned inward to discover the depth of Gabi’s fear. There was still time for her soul to rejoin her body. Damn! Blackbeasts from his world were frightening her. He had a choice – join her at her side to keep her calm to scare away the scavengers of souls, or hold the corporeal interloper down. He chose to join her side.
His presence on the cloud scared the beings away and he held her tight in his arms rocking her, comforting her, assuring her that soon her body would be dead. However now that he could no longer keep his attention on the earthly interferer, he prayed he wouldn’t stop Gabi’s death.
Simon Armstrong was petrified as his back pressed against the furniture. He knew what he felt. Someone – something – some GHOST had kept him from helping Gabi. The ghost wanted her to die! Simon reached inside his suit jacket and dialed 911.
Time marched on. Gabi was very close to death now, Aaron could tell. Her eyes had taken on that familiar yellow tinge and she was lighter in his arms.
“Any minute now, Gabi…you’ll be mine forever…” he whispered into her ear.
She pulled away and looked up into his eyes.
“I feel sick, Aaron. Really sick…”
“You will. It’s just your body dying…releasing your soul to me.” he grinned, pleased.
She hung her head.
Aaron sensed her apprehension and her held her face in the palms of his hands, pulling her into a passionate kiss, to help settle her nerves. A kiss of death.
Paramedics raced into the bedroom and began their life saving endeavors.
Gabi lurched from Aaron’s lips as she felt the tug of the real world.
“NO!!!” cried Aaron, “Fight it, Gabi!!”
“What’s happening?!” she cried, as her presence began to uncontrollably twitch.
Oxygen pumped over her nose and mouth.
Aaron reached out, grabbing her arm, “They’re trying to stop your body from dying! Fight it, Gabi! Don’t leave me! Have the will to die…!”
One and two and three and four and five… Two puffs.
Her body lurched into the air.
Gabi was truly torn as she felt the tug of corporeal earth.
Aaron held out his hand, “Please, Gabi…don’t leave me…don’t damn my soul forever…”
She looked into his eyes. Such soft eyes. Then she looked down onto her body as paramedics tried valiantly to revive it.
She had a choice to make. Her own private Heaven with Aaron in Gehenna or her own private Hell on Earth.
Gabi held out her hand to Aaron. He took it, again pulling her weightless soul into an earthly kiss, giving her the strength she needed to fight the physical forces trying to save her body.
Her body expired and she was reunited with her soul mate in death.
Simon Armstrong just listened as one paramedic said it was as if she lost the will to live. Nervously, he began to pace her bedroom, unable to explain the ghost who held him back from saving her life. There were no such things as ghosts. Were there?