Campaign for Real Fear

So I’m joining the people posting their rejected submissions. This was a lot of fun!

Penance

She drags me out of the bar and I pretend to stumble, pressing her against the wall.

Her face, cast bronze and black in the streetlight, is an inch from mine. Her eyes glow golden and her lips curl up in a wicked, playful smile.

“I’m taking you somewhere very special. Don’t you want to go?”

I fall into her gaze and part of me snags, begging the rest not to agree. She takes my hand, pulls me closer still. I’m already hers.

Crowds part to let us through. We turn down a side street and enter silence. Moonlight, filtered through the fading storm, gives the untrodden snow a pale blue sheen.

“Wow,” I breathe.

“Told you it’s special. But we’re not there yet!” She turns and stares at me. Her eyes glitter. “We were meant to meet tonight.”

I nod and smile, drinking in her curves.

She passes me a bottle and I tip some fire down my throat. As the warmth spreads to my stomach, we move further from the throng of the centre. I don’t look back.

“You like girls don’t you?” Frost has matted her hair and coated her face.

“Yeah.”

“And they like you?”

Her hand is still cold. It should’ve warmed up by now. A corner of my mind ignites, screaming for me to flee, back to the sanctuary of other people.

Instead I shrug, “I do okay.”

She squeezes my hand tight. Cold fire lances up my arm. I want so much to snatch it away, but she squeezes tighter, insulating me from my fear.

The road ends by a canal that shimmers in the pale light. On the opposite bank a wall rises high, covered in rust and moss. We lean on the thin rail and stare into the dark water.

“Look at me.” Her voice is a torrent. She steps closer, her dress crackling, her skin taut and blue. “Am I not beautiful?”

“You are.”

“Am I not magnificent?”

“You are.”

“Am I not perfect?”

Inch by inch the world twists under the weight of my body.

She slips an arm around my shoulders, halting my descent, and pulls my face close.

Our lips collide and her flesh cracks, leaving fragments of ice hanging in the air. Heat races into my mouth, down my gullet, exploding in my stomach. I gasp, as it trickles down my spine. I’m filled.

But, once again, the cold crashes down.

She steps back. I topple forward. The snow on the ground eats into my face.

“For my Lord I do this.” Her words echo through the night. “For my penance I do this. I offer a lover!”

Her boot levers me onto my back, then I’m tumbling into space.

My jacket snags on a rusted mooring, slamming me against the canal wall.

Then it rips free and the water squeezes the breath from my lungs.

Above, twin points of gold fade to darkness.