*CONTENT WARNING – scroll to the bottom
of the page for details*
Sinking a shot of rum, I glared out of my bedroom window, watching three women giggle their way along Crow Street. I knew them all, in different capacities. The blonde girl had been in my class at school, the black haired one I had worked with, and the brunette… I’d been married to her.
I could hear her laughing. The closer she got to our house – sorry, my house – the quieter she became, letting the others’ voices rise over hers as if she were trying to use their probably drunken liveliness to conceal her presence from me.
But even if we’d been on opposite platforms in a busy train station, I’d have still been more than able to single out her laugh. You see, it was pretty unique as laughs went. Most people hee’d or haa’d, huu’d, or hoo’d but Emma didn’t. If you imagine someone excitedly yammering the word ‘hip’ over and over again, but take all the P’s out, that’s the sound she made.
Just as they drew level with next doors’ gate, I let go of the curtain, leaving a gap just big enough for me to see her through. She probably wouldn’t look up, but if she did I certainly didn’t want her to think I was watching her. I mean, I was, but that wasn’t the point. As expected, she didn’t even turn her head to see if her beloved beds of flame coloured Helenium were still in flower. They weren’t. They needed water for that.
As much as I hated the very sound of her name, I still couldn’t help but drink her in. Her chestnut coloured hair was a mess, as usual, and in the fading light I could just about see that her make-up was still in the back to basics style she’d adopted not long before she left me. She was still in her work clothes, as were the others – they worked together now – and in her hands she carried a couple of gift bags.
Tracey Larkin’s voice rose to a deafening pitch, and what came out of her mouth irritated the hell out of me. “Oh come on, you know you’re gonna try it. You can’t not, Em, it’ll be fun!”
“Wait, you actually want me to do it?”
“Sure we do!” Tracey nodded with enthusiasm.
Helen Brogan held up a finger, shifting her arm to show she had something tucked beneath her jacket. “I would just like to take this opportunity to remind you that we both thought it was a silly idea. We wanted to get you this mirror, but the old gypsy literally bullied us into buying the spell, so I bought it for myself. That’s why we got you vodka too, just to take the edge of getting such a crap birthday present.”
I scoffed, closing the curtain until not a chink of outside light could be seen. If she was talking about the thing I’d come across them buying earlier, they really couldn’t have picked a worse gift for her if they’d tried.
As I’d made my way home from work a bit earlier on, I’d bumped into Tracey and Helen outside of Chillington Cemetery. There’d been an old hag peddling her wares from an old gypsy caravan. I hadn’t stopped, but I’d heard what they were talking about quite clearly as I’d passed.
Like Helen had just said outside, she and Tracey had been adamant that they didn’t want the spell the witch was hawking, but the old girl had been merciless with her sales pitch. I’d heard her hooting on about true love, happiness forever, full hearts and all that rubbish.
I pulled my mind out of the too recent past, stepping into my shoes, turning my feet this way and that to make sure I hadn’t missed a spot of polish. “Full hearts,” I sniggered.
What a preposterous thought. Emma would have to find a heart before any filling could begin. The bitch hadn’t had one of those for more than a year. Heart was the first thing to abandon our marriage, followed soon by trust, and eventually like. Lust, however, had stayed until the bitter end, and that was the only thing I missed about not having her living with me. That’s what I told myself, anyway.
Grabbing my clip-on tie from the computer desk in the corner, I took a deep breath. No, Emma didn’t have a heart, nor did she have any interest in magic or witchcraft, so her birthday spell was an absolute waste of the scroll it was written on. I, however, had heart and interest, and now it was time to see if either of them were worth anything. It was time to call my date.
There was only a dozen or so steps between my bedroom and the bathroom, but I felt like I’d just ran a race when I pushed the door open. My chest was constricted, my mouth desert dry, and my palms were slick with sweat. Wiping them both on the hand towel that hung above the radiator, I did my best to slow my heart-rate.
If I managed to actually get my date to turn up…damn, who knew what kind of night I’d be in for. I didn’t really know much about her. All I knew was what I’d read, and what I’d been told. From what I understood she was well versed in the arts of the bedroom, and she didn’t go in for all that together forever nonsense.
That was why I’d decided that, if I was ever going to step back into the bed sharing game, it would have to be her. I needed someone transparent, someone who I knew would never hurt me, because I’d know going in not to get attached. Some would say that I was doomed already, that I was too emotional and gave my heart too quickly to ever be safe from getting hurt, but I was in no emotional danger. I knew for a fact that that this particular girl would only stick around for one night.
My hand wrapped tightly around the bunch of roses I’d left soaking their stems a jug of water. It was time. I would call her, and if she came we’d see what happened next.
Switching the overhead light out, I turned to the mirror on the wall over the sink. I could just about make out my small smile in the darkening room. Emma would have been distraught if her friends had given her the gypsy’s mirror for her birthday. It was an exact replica of the one I was looking at now, and that was a replica of the one that had hung on this very wall in the early nineteen hundreds.
My lips were so dry, and my tongue did little to moisten them. But I opened them and called the woman regardless, feeling a little crack appear in the right hand corner of my mouth.
Staring into the two black holes that were my reflected eyes I said, “Bloody Maria.”
I’d spoken softly, hesitantly, the uncertain waver in my voice telling me that I was lacking conviction. She would never come if she thought I was short of confidence. If I didn’t believe in myself, how could I possibly believe in her?
“Bloody Maria,” I said a little louder, keeping my eyes fixed on the mirror, even though I wanted to look at the bath to see why the shower curtain had just fluttered. I was sure all the windows in the house were closed.
Was I doing the right thing? I mean, all things considered, was I really so desperate for just one no-strings sexual encounter that I’d call on the spirit of a dead prostitute rather than ask one of my soon to be ex-wife’s friends out on a date? I thought about that, but not for long. The book I’d read about this kind of thing said it happened all the time. Loads of people had recounted stories of calling on the dead at the sites of their demise and having them actually appear and interact, so why shouldn’t I do it?
Granted, not many – or even any – of them had called on the dead for casual sex, but there was a first time for everything, and besides, if Megan Walker could have a ghostly encounter with a murder victim and live to tell the tale, why couldn’t I?
Mind made up, I focused my will and attention on the mirror, raised my voice and said, “Bloody Maria!”
A bright light flashed above me and something hard hit the toilet seat. Swallowing the terrified yelp I’d almost choked on, I stepped forward, noticing a little glowing coil right in the middle of the white wooden seat.
“For fucks sake,” I sighed.
Feeling my way to the cupboard in the corner, I opened the door and scrabbled around for a new lightbulb. The electrics in this house were so shitty. It wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. I’d never actually had a bulb shatter on me before tonight, but I had lived through a few hair raising power surges that had cut out the electrics altogether, usually when I was in the middle of a shave. Emma once said in one of our many arguments that it was like the house wanted me to cut my own throat. She also said she thought it was a stellar idea.
Bulb located, I dragged the single low step Emma had always used whenever she needed to reach top of the cupboard in to the middle of the room. Using a dry flannel, I pulled out the broken bulb and replaced it with the new one, grumbling incoherent words under my breath.
What the hell had I been thinking? A grown man, saying a dead woman’s name into mirror three times in the hopes that he’d finally get laid. I could just imagine how feverishly Emma would laugh about this. She already thought my interest in the ‘ooh spooky’ as she called it was absurd. Knowing I’d actually gone from obsession to practicing would delight the cruel side of her, especially if she knew how unsuccessful my attempt had been.
Hopping off the stubby step, I reached for the light pull. The bathroom flooded with orange brightness and I turned to face my shame in the mirror.
My back hit the wall. No matter how hard I tried, I could not believe what my eyes were showing me. I’d thought the call had failed, that I’d just made a complete fool of myself. But even before, when I’d been confident that my call would work, I hadn’t expected it to work quite this well. I’d expected to come to face to face with a wispy, luminescent ghost that would put on a show for me while I masturbated. At the very most, I’d thought she might make me feel a few light touches, or maybe some well-placed chills, if I was lucky.
But here she was, right in front of me, and she wasn’t a transparent, floaty ghost. No, Maria Goodwin was leaning against my sink, and she was corporeal.
“What’s the matter, Richie?” she asked with a wink and a razor toothed smile. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
Way to go, Rich, I thought. You sound like a complete moron. I rubbed my chin. Are you drooling? It wouldn’t look out of place if you were. She probably expects there to be something wrong with you, given the fact that you just called her back from the dead. From the fucking dead, Richard!
I was good at these mental monologues. I’d had plenty of practice in my last few months living with Emma. She rarely said to words to me toward the end, and my sister, Rosie, wasn’t any chattier.
“Aah, Emma,” Maria sighed. She looked almost wistful. “That girl is proof that good apples can grow in blighted orchards. It took a while, but it happened. I shouldn’t have doubted, really. My sister was invariably right, after all.”
“Huh?” I was doing a great job of making myself look like a fool. My father would be so proud.
“Never mind. You didn’t call me here to discuss family, new or old, did you? You called to me because you need something only I can give you.”
“I did?” I said dumbly. This wouldn’t do at all, she was going to go poof on me any minute if I didn’t get a grip. Taking a fortifying breath to add strength to my voice I started again.
“I did.” That was better! I sounded much more certain of myself now. “I’ve read accounts of your…your proclivities. The ones you indulged in outside of your…profession. That’s why I called to you.”
Maria turned her back on me, rummaging in the medicine cabinet on the wall to the left of the mirror. I could see her eyes flicking to the dark reflective surface with distaste every few seconds. She mumbled something that sounded like, why can’t they just take it down, before saying, “My proclivities. I like that word. They didn’t used to call what I liked to do proclivities back in my day. Do you know what they did call them?”
I shook my head.
“Sicknesses. Outlandish perversions, born of a warped mind. Acts no woman should have even known existed, let alone performed on a regular basis. Are those the proclivities you called me for, Mr Sweets?”
Were they? Given the harsh smile that did nothing to accentuate Maria’s pretty features, I was starting to think maybe not. I’d read that she was a little kinky, sure, but I hadn’t come across anything that could be considered sick, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to.
I watched my spooky guest drop things into a washbag. What she could be finding in that cabinet that could be of use to her I had no idea. Once she was done she dropped the bag, still open, into the sink. Eyes scanning the floor, she grinned when she spotted the stubby step.
Sweat made the small of my back itch as I watched her move. Her hips swayed in such an exaggerated manner when she walked. It was spellbinding, and I couldn’t help but stare as she bent at the waist to pick up the stool. Spinning around she said, “First things first,” then swung it into the mirror.
Reflective glass rained into the sink, and Maria tossed the step into the bath, cracking the fiberglass side. Then she zipped up the bag and pointed to the door.
If I’d had a tail it would have been firmly wedged between my legs as I slinked into the hall. She pushed past me, heading for the spare room.
“There’s no bed in there,” I stammered, following at a fast clip.
Maria sniggered. “Bed? You’d be better off with an old rug, my little man. Things are going to get messy.”
The minute I’d passed into the spare room, she was on me. Hands tearing at my clothes, tongue in my mouth, breasts pressed up against me. Her cruel little laugh on discovering my tie was clip-on warped her face into something demonic, and I felt real fear for the first time.
“I know you’re afraid,” she whispered, right by my ear. Her tongue slipped into the tiny opening, making my skin crawl. “And I like that. I like the way fear tastes. But don’t let it get hold of you, my dear. I promise that, when I leave, you’ll still be breathing.”
I should have walked away. I should have realised right then that I was in over my head, that I had no control over what happened. Another thing I should have done? Some research about how to banish what I had summoned. But I’d been so excited about the prospect of having my own private porn show, I hadn’t bothered finding out how to stop it.
But as much as I wanted to walk out of the front door and into the safety of the street beyond, I didn’t. I couldn’t, Maria was taking off her clothes. I don’t know what I’d expected. Mottled skin, maybe? Or perhaps an oozing wound from where she’d been stabbed all those years ago, just like Meg Walker had reported about her encounter with Vernon Cleveland in the cemetery.
Maria had neither a death pallor nor an open wound. What she had was unblemished skin, bony arms, small perky breasts and a rounded stomach, with wide hips and fleshy thighs. The shock of black hair at the apex of those thighs was a true surprise. It was wiry, unruly, reaching toward her belly button and curling slightly over her thighs.
When she raised her arms in an ‘aren’t I fabulous’ gesture, I saw that there was more of that black fuzz in her armpits. Strangely, all the rest of her was hairless, so smooth it almost looked like she’d been waxed.
“You like what you see,” she said. It was a statement of fact, not a question.
Playing coy, of all things, I cocked my head and retorted, “And how do you know that?”
“Your cock gives you away, silly boy. And so does the way you lick your lips, the way your hands are grasping something that isn’t there, and the way you’ve lain on the floor without me even telling you to.”
Oh. She was right, I had done all those things. No sooner had I wondered what would happen next than I was finding out. Before I could ask her what she liked, she was squatting over my face. It took me both hands to part the black curtains so I could find her clit, but once I had I didn’t lose it.
Something about the way she tasted woke a hunger in me that I’d never known before. I sucked and circled, straining my tongue into her, trying to coax that delicious flavour to flow into my mouth.
Maria was leaning forward, slowly rubbing her nipples on my belly. I wanted to feel her take me between her plump lips, to feel her teasing my with those freakishly sharp teeth, but she didn’t. She just kept scraping her nipples through the light blonde hair that ran from my chest to my groin, pleasuring herself and not me.
Then I felt it. A quick lick, right over the hole in the head of my cock. She moaned a quiet ‘mmmm’ and I guessed she’d lapped up the first beads of precum. It didn’t persuade her to suck me off though, unfortunately.
She sat up instead, hovering over my face. Her hips swung back and forth, rubbing her pussy over my nose, pulling my bottom lip up and down, revealing then concealing my teeth. I stuck out my tongue, letting her take whatever she needed, and she seemed to need a lot. When she came she lifted higher, letting me see her pussy contract and loosen, sinking back down as soon as the pulsing stopped so I could carry her to the edge once again.
I understood that this would be something new to me, but I was ready for it. That Maria would be different to all the Emma’s I’d had sex with. But the next thing she did made me realise that I hadn’t been ready for her at all.
A loud ‘zip’ caught my attention, and I peered out from beneath those hovering labia. Maria had the washbag in her hands, and she was taking something from it. Unease quickly turned to nausea when I saw what she extracted.
It was the shaving brush from a grooming kit Emma had bought for me for our last Christmas together. It came with a barber’s razor too, and a strap. She’d made her comment about me cutting my throat in the November.
Rising to her feet, Maria turned around and lowered herself straight back down. Straight onto my cock, which she took in one wet go. Her walls were astonishingly tight around me, hugging me, pulling my foreskin right over the tip of my cock when she rose, and peeling it back again until the bare head was rubbing against the deepest part of her.
She rode me slowly, extracting my shaving foam from the bag and covering the stubble on my chin, cheeks and neck with it. Using the brush, she massaged my nipples, before stroking it through the white fluff on my face.
Still rising and falling gently, she showed me the razor. It was the one from the set. Bone handled with sterling silver fittings, and lethally sharp. I don’t know if I was holding my breath on purpose, but I do know I consciously kept deathly still.
The scraping sound of the razor slicing through the hairs on my face made me want to vomit, and when she moved down to my throat? She held the blade there, pressed against my adam’s apple as she bounced a little harder – and quicker – on my cock.
Keeping that fast pace, she tilted my head back. I could no longer see her. All I had to look at was a small stain on the ceiling. I’d never noticed it before. Maybe there was a leak in the roof, or a pipe could need attention. I should probably swallow my pride and get the local roofer – my soon to be ex father-in-law – to take a look at it.
Many people would likely think me strange, thinking about my ex’s father mid-fuck, but I had to. If I let myself feel that lethal metal dragging down my throat I’d go insane. My balls were burning, my cock straining, looking for more space, wanting to be deeper. But Maria had nowhere else for it to go. I’d reached the end of her.
“Yes, you have,” she whispered, tilting my head back down. “You fill me up perfectly, Richard. Your cock was made for a Goodwin, just not the one you married.”
“What?” I asked dumbly. I didn’t understand.
“You will, precious. You will. All you need to know right now is that, for tonight, you belong to me.”
The tin of shaving foam was in her hand again, and she was spraying it in a big mound, right at the centre of my chest. She used her hands to spread it about, splaying them over my nipples and fucking me like her life depended on it. I felt her orgasm this time, and the only reason I didn’t spurt alongside her was because she told me not to.
“Do not dare! You won’t come until I say so. That’s my one rule, Richard Sweets. My men do not come until I am thoroughly finished with them.”
The need to burst inside of her had faded now, so I had no problem with nodding in agreement.
Maria picked up the razor again. Her ass was slapping off my thighs and making my balls jump as she shaved me, but once she was finished there wasn’t even the tiniest nick to be seen, and all of the hair was gone. I hoped that would be the end of the blade play, but to my dismay, it was far from over.
Stilling with my cock deep in her pussy, she pulled something else from the bag. It was a long shard of glass from the mirror she’d broken. Four inches long and two wide with a ragged edge, one terrifying point jutting right out from the end.
She turned it in her hands, finding some red light from somewhere that made it appear bloody. “Do you see this?” she asked in a hushed voice.
I nodded, lifting my hips, prompting her to start grinding slowly back and forth.
“My sister caught me like this, you know. She walked in on me fucking someone, and we looked exactly like you and I do right now. Except I was in the middle of what was probably the most outstanding orgasm of my life. And she killed me for it. She stabbed me in the chest and cut my throat, and I bled out right here in this room. Lulu was a jealous bitch.”
That wasn’t entirely true, and I told her I was well aware of the fact. “Could the reason behind her actions maybe have been that the man beneath you that night was her husband?”
“So? She wasn’t treating him right. She didn’t want him, why shouldn’t I have had him?!”
She started fucking me again, so wildly I didn’t even feel the first cut. But I felt the second, and I screamed.
“Should I stop?” she asked.
“YES! For fucks sake, yes I want you to stop!”
And she did. She stilled, not a finger moving above me. But not all of her had stopped. I glared down at the bloody V on my chest. It would have been upside down to her, so probably not a V at all. But I hated it no matter what it was, and I hated the fact that Maria’s muscles were stroking my cock. Her body wasn’t moving at all, but her cunt was. It felt so good, heightened by the excruciating pain coming from the slash marks on my chest.
“Are you sure you want me to stop?” she asked. Her voice was saccharine. “I promise you that as soon as I place the last line on your chest, you’ll come like you never have before. Are you sure you want to miss that, Richie?”
God, that stroking! Her walls were tightening and loosening, manipulating every inch of me inside of that soft, wet canal. She licked the mirror shard and something about the way the taste of my blood made her moan twisted me. I shuddered, met her eyes, and nodded.
As soon as I did Maria let go of a triumphant hiss, fucking me so fast I’m sure her pussy would have been a blur if I’d cared to look. She shoved the dusty edge of her dress into my mouth to muffle my screams, one hand flattened against my shoulder for support as the other brought the broken glass down on my skin, over and over.
I knew when she’d placed the last cut. I knew when she was finished, and not just because she was bent right back with her head on my knees, mirror shard abandoned on the floor beside us. It wasn’t even the sensation of her pussy wringing out my cock as she came around it.
No, what let me know my ordeal was over was the unbelievable wave of orgasm that was tearing through my body. My balls were throbbing, my ass tightening and twitching to the rhythm of my pulsing cock. I was filling Maria’s pussy in a different way now, and she’d been right. I’d never come this hard in my life.
When I came to my senses, I was surprised to find Maria still there. She was still on top of me, stroking the damp tip of my spent cock over her clit. Her free hand was keeping itself busy, pinching and flicking a nipple. If the angry red colour of it was anything to go by, I’d been blissed out for a while.
But now I was awake and aware, and my cock was getting to be the same way. I watched it grow in Maria’s hand, marvelling at the fact that I was going to fuck twice in one day. I didn’t have a very accommodating body, and usually needed a day’s rest after an orgasm. I’d have thought I’d have needed a week after the one I just had, but it would seem my dick was as aware of my limited time with this wonderful, terrible woman as I was, and it was responding accordingly.
Maria lifted off me, straight onto her knees. I wasted no time in getting behind her, pushing into her yielding body until I found her end again. I fucked that pussy for what felt like hours, sometimes pulling Maria’s hair until her back arched and slipping a thumb into her ass, or holding her tight against me, rubbing her clit and forcing my cock up into her as deeply and cruelly as I could.
And she loved it all.
It was when I was leaning over her with my arms around her waist that I felt the pain in my chest. That she’d been slicing away at me with a piece of glass was something that shouldn’t have slipped my mind, but it had. So I straightened, peering down at the red lines on my chest. I probably shouldn’t have smiled when it registered just what she’d done to me, but I did. She’d carved a word into my skin. Right in the centre of my chest, spreading from nipple to nipple, was her name.
“I’m gonna come,” I gasped in surprise.
Nothing as sick, disturbing, or indeed hot had ever happened to me before. My mind was warped with desire, with a need to possess and to be possessed. By her.
“Do it,” Maria demanded. “Fill my cunt with your come, Richard. I want it. I need it.”
Just as the first pulse rolled through my cock, Maria threw herself forward. Her pussy was spasming again, but that wasn’t why she was screaming. This scream signalled pain, and I tried to pull out but she kept bucking against me.
Finally, she slumped to the side and I saw what it was that had made her scream. Blood dripped from a cut at the front of her neck, and the shard of glass glinted from a hole in her chest.
“What the fuck?” I shrieked. “How? What did you…? How did this happen?”
“It was always going to happen,” she gurgled. “This is how I died, Richard. And I shouldn’t be here, so this is how I must die again. Please try to find it within yourself to forgive Emma in this lifetime. And please forgive me for the last. I should have forgiven you when you were Wendell, but I’m forgiving you now.”
“Wendell?” I whispered. What the fuck was she talking about?
Before I could ask her to explain, the room began to darken. Maria was fading, and the light I hadn’t even realised she’d brought with her was fading too.
The next time I opened my eyes I was in bed, propped up on my puffy pillows. Disoriented wasn’t the word. I stared wildly at the walls, leaping from the bed and racing to the spare room. Nothing. No blood, no glass, no shaving kit. No dead hooker-ghost.
The story was the same in the bathroom. Same old bulb, undamaged bath, unopened shaving kit in the wall cabinet. The roses were in their jar too, and the step was against the wall, right where it should have been.
It took me almost five minutes to pluck up the courage to unbutton my pyjama top to check out my chest. It was stinging, so this would be the proof I needed to convince me I hadn’t just had the wildest wet dream of my life.
But when the last button popped from its hole and I spread the fabric open, I gasped. There was nothing there. The stinging had been coming from a hair that had gotten trapped in one of the buttonholes. No sign of the word Maria ever having been carved into my flesh.
Dazed and confused, I staggered back to my bedroom. There, on the floor by the side of the bed, was a book. There was a silver bookmark sticking out of the top, so I opened it at that page. Staring up at me from a black and white image was Maria. She was standing between her sister and brother-in-law. Lucretia and Vernon Cleveland.
To Lucretia’s left was a man I knew I’d seen before. I racked my brains, trying to think of where I knew him from, but came up with nothing. Then, a name caught my eye, and suddenly I knew where I’d seen the guy before. His name was Wendell Simpson, and I’d seen him right here in this house. In my bathroom, or bathroom mirror, to be exact. Wendell Simpson looked exactly like me.
I laughed, closing the book with a sharp thud. I must have been reading about Maria and Wendell before I’d fallen asleep. If anything was going to cause that kind of dream, it would be reading about two sisters brawling over two men they both clearly wanted yet did not want at the same time.
Switching out the lamp, I snuggled down and closed my eyes. Maybe next Halloween I’d try the whole calling Bloody Maria thing. How exciting would it be if she actually showed up? If I’d spotted the missing shard in the otherwise whole bathroom mirror I probably wouldn’t be thinking that way, but that would be a discovery for the morning. What a rude awakening that was going to be.
**!!CONTENT WARNING – BLADES & CUTTING!!**
Click here to read the next installment in Scandarella’s Halloween Town Tales.