A HAUNTED SUMMER
Here’s a short story I wrote for Halloween. Have a spooky All Hallows Eve!
Look at her lying there on the old iron bed. They’ve just bathed her and changed the linens, so the room smells fresh and clean as a summer breeze. If only they’d open the window, she could smell the river and the sweet honeysuckle vine growing on its banks. They’ve brought videos to for her to watch other people’s lives when she has none.
I’m the only one who can breathe life into her numb body.
Maribelle would be running down by the river, swimming naked in its cool waters, if I weren’t such a treacherous playmate, leading her a merry dance across the moss slick river rocks. She slipped and hit her head. I cried as they carried her away—to this room, her world now.
Yet, she loves me still. See her eyes searching the room and when her gaze lands on my face, she smiles. She calls me. Pardon me, I shall go to her now. I’ll kiss her, and her pretty mouth will open sweetly for my tongue. I’ll suckle her breasts, caress her, and maybe even give her a good hard shafting. She loves to watch me do it to her. She can’t feel anything else, and she grows tired of the endless videos.
Being with my Mari is the only pleasure in my life. Is it because of my guilt you ask.
Perhaps. Then again, perhaps not.
They’ve gone and left her in peace. A frown has creased her smooth brow. She is remembering. See how a smile has lit her eyes. She relives the days when our passion burned bright and her supple young body would engulf me and leave me weak as a child. Yes, Belle is recalling that summer, less than a year ago, down by the river.
We met in the steamy heat of July. Eight months, she’s lain helpless in that bed. Time once meant nothing to me. Now, I count the days as surely as any mortal man. Last summer was the closest to heaven I’ll ever get . . .
Even now, though she could move only her eyes, Maribelle recalled and treasured the night Devlin first appeared. His beautiful body wearing an aura of moonlight, standing tall and slender, he was male perfection. His hair was true black and longish. His eyes—what could she say of those magnificent eyes—stunning and blue, yes, an enchanting blue she’d never seen before…or since. That blue did not exist in this world.
Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t, call Devlin, but that wondrous night in the grass by the riverbank she learned she could never live without him. With the water whispering over rock, he’d made good the sensual promise he’d made the first time he visited her, loving her slow and deep again and again as the moon rose.
It had been midsummer, the night alive with dancing fireflies and humming crickets. Her window was open to a honeysuckle breeze. Rich, buttery moonlight slatted through the dusty blinds drawing white lines on the bare floor. River scent stalked her as she paced like a caged animal, driven by the need to escape her small town existence. If only she could run away to the city, but she was stuck here with the gurgling, never-ending song of the river. Tonight, she turned eighteen—for all the good it’d do her.
A haunting need sang low in her body, swept up her in throbbing waves. Neither the moonlight nor the sweet summer smells offered any respite. Maribelle was wired and edgy. She coasted to a halt by the window, resting her cheek against the pane to stare at the moon.
“I’m trapped.” Her voice echoed in the silence of the room she shared with her sisters. “I couldn’t stand that old man touching me. I don’t regret telling him I’d rather marry a monkey.”
What would her folks think when they found out her answer to Mr. Jones’ proposal was to laugh? God knows, they had a surplus of daughters and could stand getting rid of one.
The old iron bed creaked as she flopped onto her back, staring at the ceiling. In the living room, the new flat screen TV droned. She resented the expensive purchase. Momma and Dad couldn’t afford it. They’d said it was for their girls. The useless, senseless words on the game show her family were watching coaxed sleep.
Ripe with passion, flushed with eighteen-year-old innocence, Maribelle closed her eyes and sighed. The room, well, I returned her sigh. She wasn’t beautiful but something about her appealed to me more than beauty. If only she’d call me—like her grandmother and her mother before her—I’d ease her pain.
A tear slid down her cheek. “I want out of this godforsaken corner of Mississippi. I want a man–a handsome man to love me–not some old codger everyone says is a witch.”
The clock chimed, warning Maribelle that soon Annabelle and Florence would troop into the room and her precious alone time would end in senseless chatter. Exhaling another heavy sigh, she flipped onto her side. The room sighed its sympathy.
The wind rose, fluttering the white drifty curtains, smelling of a storm. Lightning split the sky, momentarily joining Heaven and Earth. A horrible crescendo of thunder rattled the windows. Was Old Man Jones conjuring up a storm? She laughed at a memory of her rejected suitor’s face. Witch indeed! He was just a lecherous old codger.
The stormy breeze found her lying on the bed and stroked her hair back from her neck, cooling her face. She closed her eyes. Airy fingers explored the contours of her face, her ears. As invisible lips brushed her mouth, she gasped, her eyes snapping open. Insubstantial kisses trailed like butterfly wings over her bare shoulder, to rest briefly on the top of her left breast. Pleasant chills rippled over her. Beneath her pink flannel gown, her nipples peaked. Deep within, a hot pulsing awoke. Her body was alive, needing as she’d never before craved anything and resonating to the phantom caresses.
Slowly, one-by-one, the tiny buttons on her gown opened. The faded fabric parted, exposing her breasts to the searching lips. She shivered as thrills chased over her. Anticipation coalesced into a pulsating between her legs.
Maribelle craved these wondrous sensations more than the next breath. Many times, she awoke in the night drenched in sweat, longing for a lover. Moist and warm, a mouth closed on her nipples. Teeth scraped, bit at the sensitive nub. The delicious pain shot desire through her. She twisted on her bed, moaning. The pleasure was becoming unbearable. Her hips swiveled up to meet . . . nothing. She needed weight pressing her into the feather mattress. She wanted to be filled, impaled. She was so ready. She needed to meet passion head-on.
The invisible mouth trailed to her other breast. Fingers closed, rotating, pinching on the abandoned nipple. Her body melted into the sensual caresses. Hands explored lower, now gripping her hip bones. And then she felt the lips on her stomach, hands cupping her bottom, drawing her hips up to meet the pleasure. Gentle fingers parted her. Other fingers, not gentle, pinched her nipples to unbearable hardness. The excruciating need grew more intense, lifting her, without will, borne solely by instinct. Her body trembled in a prelude to satisfaction.
Maribelle groaned and forced her eyes open. This dream was too real. Too incredibly, wonderfully real.
The arousing attentions of hands and mouth ceased. Her breath caught in her throat. Her scream froze. This was no dream. Silhouetted against the window stood a tall figure fashioned from moonlight and river breezes.
“Mari.” The voice was full-bodied, rich as homemade wine.
She went cold inside, shivering as she reached down to cover herself, but the flannel material draped across her knees. Her shiver of passion became a tremor of fear. She managed to force her words past the lump in her throat. “Who are you?”
“I am Devlin.” Light cascaded down a river of luxurious dark hair and reflected on a high cheek bone.
Maribelle struggled in vain to capture a glimpse of her visitor’s face. “Who are you? What are you doing in my room?”
“You called me. You wanted me.” A low, thrilling laugh sent a shock of arousal through her. “Very, very much.”
“Did Old Man Jones send you? Are you a demon?”
A whispered laugh answered. “I am Devlin. No more. No less.”
Drenched in humiliation, she couldn’t speak, couldn’t think.
“My love.” The words and the spirit materialized above her.
Their gazes locked, and for the first time she saw his enchanting eyes. She drew a long breath to speak, but slim fingers curled around her chin. Her protests melted in expectancy. Unspoken words filled the silence. She knew what was going to happen. Wicked, commanding lust danced in eyes so blue they shamed the sky. There was ample time to avoid the kiss as his face drifted toward hers, but she was mesmerized, each particle of her being poised, waiting.
The storm broke. Through the open window, rain splattered the floor and soaked the filmy curtains.
He kissed her lightly on the mouth, then straightened. “Your sisters come. I’ll return. You have but to call. However, you must tell no one about me. I am your secret. Meet me tomorrow night by the river, sweet Maribelle, and I shall teach you about love. You are mine now. I am yours.”