He took his seat for the daily gathering.
To his right sat a 28th level Paladin, veteran of battles too numerous to count. All of those memories melding into a mass of red in his mind. Today he thought about the joy he had in conquest, longing to not be here but on a basement battlefield.
When he looked to his left he could see Barbara, the effervescent blonde broker. Her phone sounded and she looked at the black-mirrored surface wide-eyed, seeking her next deal. He shot a smile in her direction but she didn’t look up.
Relationship coach Rachel sat across from him. Her mind was distant as she pondered how to help Alice repair her broken marriage. The hurt of infidelity was a rift difficult to mend. She would find a way to bridge the chasm.
To Rachel’s right Todd was taking his seat as well. He was still sweating a bit from the gym, despite the shower. Two-a-days. He opened his Tupperware and quickly plunged his fork into the mass of egg whites and brown rice packed at home, leaning forward as he shoveled to his mouth. The IFBB American was in three weeks, he had to be precise with his macros.
Amy was distant as usual, drawing her imagined world into her ever-present sketch book. She was never actually here at The Gathering, an unnoticed mist most days. But the black and white life the rest of the world saw was a deception, her true self lived in a world of vivid colors, swirling around her as she danced.
At precisely 8am the gate was opened. All of their headsets chirped to life. In unison they responded: “Thank you for calling tech support, how many I help you?”
Warning: This is an erotic story and not for anyone under 18 nor those with a heart condition. You can see the chapter index here.
When she woke the next morning, Pam checked her phone once more to assure it was truly a wrong number. No new texts. She felt relief.
She dreaded going into work today. She knew she was a hot topic of conversation, and she wondered how people would view her situation. Would they see Shae as the conniving bitch or would they just assume “Reliable Pam” just wasn’t suited for the job?
She stood in front of her full length mirror after getting out of the shower, giving herself a pep talk.
“You look good. The 23 pounds you’ve lost have given you back your figure. Your breasts are firm. Two grown kids and you still look good.” She wanted to look young, desireable, to turn men’s heads again as she had when she was younger.
“Hell, I’m going to turn some heads today.”
She pulled out a pair of pants she had never worn. She was a size 10 now, but she had bought these in a fit of optimism and they were a size 8. They were snug and made her butt look good. She put on her push-up bra, the pretty one she had spent too much money on and rarely wore. She pulled on a sleeveless top she had worn a few times before, but always with a sweater and scarf. It was too low cut.
From the back of her closet she pulled out her black heels, normally reserved for holiday parties.
Once she fixed her hair and makeup, she apprised herself once more in the mirror. “Damn, I look good. Fuck the haters,” she said to the reflection.
As she walked from her car to the office, she saw two delivery men unloading paper supplies by the door. She managed to sway her hips a bit as she walked by and could see them watching her pass in the reflection of the glass door.
She smiled to herself.
All day she noticed the reactions of the men. More than one of her male coworkers looked at her cleavage before catching themselves and looking her in the eye. She still had it.
Work was still hard, the wondering what people were thinking, saying behind her back, but today she showed them. She was more than “Reliable Pam,” she was a sexy, smart, accomplished, young woman.
She was still feeling the sexual buzz from the day as she readied herself for bed. Just as she turned off the light, her phone buzzed a text.
“You looked sexy today.” It was the same number as the night before.
Pam was paralyzed. It wasn’t a wrong number. Was someone stalking her? As she tried to figure out a reply, another text: “I enjoyed watching you.”
Is this Em trying to boost my confidence? Is this someone else from work? One of the men? It was frightening and yet a little bit exciting.
“Who is this? You need to stop!”
“You wanted to be watched and wanted today. I watched you. I want you.”
“Emily, is this you? This isn’t funny.”
She called Emily.
“It’s late for you to be calling, what’s up?” Pam had the habit of being asleep by 9pm most nights. Emily sounded concerned.
“Have you been texting me?” Pam tried to sound calm.
“No, why, did you get a text from my number? I haven’t texted you since this morning. Maybe someone hacked my phone!” Emily had no understanding of technology and lived in a perpetual fear of being “hacked.”
“No, it’s not that…” Pam wasn’t sure she wanted to tell Emily what was going on. “It’s nothing, I just got a text from an unknown number and I thought it might have been you. Probably a wrong number. See you tomorrow.”
“You can call me Watcher.” The text lit up in her hand.
“Watcher? Really? That’s the best you can do?” Pam still thought this must be a joke. She wasn’t going to show fear only to find it was some co-worker messing with her.
“It seems we’re both watchers. You have observed from a distance your whole life, now it is your turn to be observed, seen, appreciated, lusted after.”
“Who is this?” Pam wasn’t sure she wanted to know.
“I’ve told you.”
“I’m going to block you.”
“You can, but then you’ll never experience the pleasures I will lead you through.”
“I’m not responding. Goodbye. Don’t contact me again.”
Warning: This is an erotic story and not for anyone under 18 nor those with a heart condition. You can see the chapter index here.
Pam Hardisty was at the end of a difficult day. When her friend Emily asked if she wanted to go out for dinner, she readily accepted. She pulled into the lot of Barney’s at 6:15 and struggled to find a parking space. She finally spied one at the far end of the lot and pulled in her Camry.
Emily was already at a table in the bar when Pam walked in.
“I need this tonight,” said Pam, sitting at the table.
“I’m sure you do,” replied Emily, “I can’t believe they gave Shae that promotion over you.”
Pam had been assistant comptroller for the last five years. At Earnest & Lowe for twelve. It was common knowledge she was promoted from “Tug” Lowe’s administrative assistant to assistant comptroller for her to “learn the ropes” and take over for him when he retired. While it wasn’t in stone, it was spoken of often. At least, in the first couple years.
Shae Reeder was brought on just two years out of college to be Tug’s new administrative assistant. She was competent enough, but she was young, and a bit flirty with the men. She enjoyed their attention. Her skirts we often too short, with high heels showing her young, fit legs.
It had been 10 years since Pam felt like she turned heads.
Pam had shown her how to do her job in her first months. She did well. She was smart, caught on quickly. Pam was willing to put up with Shae’s flirting as long as she did her job.
“I thought she was my friend, Em.”
Pam could see clearly now Shae’s plan stretched back years, maybe from the time she was hired. She excelled at everything Tug asked her to do. Then she became indispensable to Pam – helping her by often doing the heavy lifting when things became hectic. They both relied on her.
Pam would praise Shae to Tug, often commenting on how helpful and smart she was. She felt as if she were a mentor to the young girl.
All the while Shae was privately saying things to Tug about how overwhelming the job was for Pam, how she needed so much help.
Today, when Tug’s formal retirement was announced, along with his replacement, Shae got the job. Pam pretended to be happy as she willed back the tears.
Tug even reminded Pam of how much Shae would need her. “Shae will rely on you, just like I did, Pam. You guys will make a great team.”
“Reliable Pam,” that’s what people thought of her. Not smart, not pretty, not a leader, just “reliable.”
And Shae was young. Fifteen years younger than Pam.
“She is a snake,” replied Emily. Taking a sip of her wine.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Monday Shae would be her boss.
“What can I get you?” the waiter had popped up without Pam noticing.
“I think I’ll start out with a martini, extra dirty,” answered Pam.
“Like a Catholic school girl” mouthed Emily, it was their joke.
“Another glass of wine, ma’am?”
“Actually, yes,” Emily replied. This was a good night to get buzzed with a hurting friend.
As Emily and Pam talked, they noticed a young couple, probably in their 20’s, at a booth in the corner. They sat close to each other, making out as if no one else were in the bar.
“That looks like fun,” remarked Emily, nodding to the couple.
“God, I haven’t been kissed like that in years,” said Pam, remembering her youth and feeling a longing she had dismissed. “I don’t miss being married, and I don’t want a relationship, but I could go for a good ‘workout’.”
When their waiter brought their meal, they were both buzzed. Pam took time to apprise him with her eyes, taking in his large arms, muscular build, strong jawline. When he walked away she didn’t mind staring at his round, firm butt.
“I could use some of that,” she remarked, only loud enough to for Emily to hear.
“You know, the first step is probably going on some dates, Pam.”
“Like I said, no relationship, Em. That’s where things get messy. I’m not good at relationships. I just want a roll in the hay on occasion.”
“How long has it been?” asked Emily. “It’s been over a year for me. I could use it.”
“Well,” Pam did the math out loud. “Two years since the divorce and then we didn’t actually have sex for the last five, so seven years or so.”
“Sista, that’s too long. We need to take a trip and go make out with some boys.”
It was almost 10pm by the time Pam walked Emily to her minivan and then made the long walk to her own car. As she sat down in the seat, she thought about the waiter, making a mental note to think about him again, later.
She placed her key in the ignition, then something caught her eye. In this deserted end of the parking lot she noticed an SUV. She could see somewhat clearly inside. The young couple from the bar were in the back, she could see the woman moving rhythmically up and down, while his hands hungrily fondled her breasts and flowed over her body.
Pam was transfixed.
Between the martinis, the talk, the waiter and the couple, her libido was in overdrive. Watching them, she began to rub herself through the thin fabric of her pants. As their thrusts became more intense, she undid her pants and slipped her fingers beneath her panties. She imagined being the woman, riding the waiter, feeling him hard inside her while his hands, lips and tongue worked over her body and breasts.
She moved her hand faster as they did, matching their movements.
When she came, she writhed involuntarily, crying out in pleasure. Once her pulsing had died down and she was able to move again, she hurriedly collected herself, wondering if the couple had heard her. It was the best orgasm in years.
When she got home, she dropped her things in the entryway and stripped before heading up to the bedroom. Just as she was plugging in her phone on the nightstand a text alerted.
“I saw you.” was all it said.
A shot of anxiety cleared any liquor blur Pam was feeling. Saw me? Someone was in the parking lot watching me? Oh, hell. She checked the number. (865) 555-9384. Not in her contacts and she didn’t recognize it.
Must be a wrong number and a weird coincidence, Pam consoled herself.
“You must have the wrong number,” typed Pam.
After five minutes with no reply, she assured herself it was most definitely a wrong number. She thought about the waiter and the couple once more before drifting off to sleep.
Margaret had wondered for most of her adult life why she seemed so male in her thinking. Her female friends bored her too often with their over-emotionalism. She wanted facts, to fix things, to do things. Like a guy.
She wondered why she had a tremendous desire to visit England, Ireland and Wales as often as possible. Her husband’s job took him their periodically and it gave her a chance. In some ways she felt more at home there than in the states.
Liam tried to concentrate on his maths as the teacher wrote on the board, but his mind was on the new “cat’s eye” he had just traded Fabian for before school. He had wanted it for weeks and couldn’t wait for the bell so he could play with his friends.
Pantglas Junior School was an integral part of the small hamlet of Amberfan, Wales. The school was home to over 160 children who worked on their maths, spelling, reading each day.
Liam was not a studious child. For that matter, he wasn’t a good student at all. His father, a supervisor for the National Coal Board, chided him often for his marks. But Liam was an active boy of 12 and sitting still for lessons was a chore at best and an impossibility at worst.
Liam wanted to play football or marbles or wrestle with his friends. His “da” had all but given up on his goal for Liam to be the doctor he hoped for. Well, at least the Coal Board was always hiring.
As Liam looked out the window, day dreaming about marbles, he noticed something strange. A shadow was climbing down the hill next to the town. Strange, he thought, it was a sunny day, but the shadow was black. It almost seemed as if the ground itself were turning black and flowing into the town.
The coal slurry buried Liam, crushing him and filling his lungs with black goo. There was no air. Fortunately his end was quick.
At the same moment, half a world away, a baby was born.
“What will you name her?” asked the obstetrician.
“She’s Margaret” was her proud father’s reply.
Tom Halcomb awoke from the deepest sleep to a gentle nudge on the shoulder. As he opened his eyes, he jumped back, falling out of the bed. There, crouching next to the bed, was The Being.
He was human like in appearance, but huge, with white, luminescent skin and bright blue eyes. He appeared naked.
“Don’t be afraid, Tom,” The Being soothed, “I will never harm you. I love you. I am here with a special gift.”
Tom screamed, “Who are you? WHAT are you? How did you get into my house? You need to leave NOW!”
Again, the soothing voice: “Listen to my voice, Tom. It will calm you. Be at Peace, my son. All shall be revealed and you will have peace and joy beyond measure.”
As Tom listened, his fear somehow dissipated.
The Being unfolded himself and walked around to Tom. Tom could see him clearly now and the glow from his skin bathed the room blue-white light. Now with a clear mind, he could examine The Being more closely. He was massive, bowing his head slightly to keep from hitting the ceiling. He was thickly muscled with no visible genitalia.
He reached out, his massive hand enveloping Tom’s and encouraging him to sit on the bed. “Sit here next to me. I have great news for you.” Somehow the voice and the gentle touch gave Tom a confident euphoria.
Tom sat in awe next to The Being.
“You are highly favored and I have come personally to give you a special message and a mission, my son.” His voice was deep.
“Are you an angel?” Tom whispered.
The Being let out a joyful laugh. “More than an angel, Tom. I am the one who has loved you and all of your brothers and sisters since the Creation.”
“I never believed in God.” Tom bowed his head, his words were so quiet as to become little more than breaths.
“Do not be ashamed, my son, shame is from the Evil One. Look at my eyes and see the love and acceptance I’ve always had for you.”
Tom looked into The Being’s glowing eyes. Somehow their light penetrated his mind, his brief shame was replaced with an overwhelming sense of love and acceptance.
“I came here personally, my son, to give you a special message, a special place and a special mission. You can accept the mission or not, your place will always be secure with me. I gave you free will. I gave you knowledge. I gave you wisdom. You are free to choose.
“I have loved you and all my children from the foundations of the world. There are no conditions on that love. I accept you and all my children. I do not ask for worship or belief to receive my love. I do not require sacrifice or for you to act contrary to your nature to receive my love.
“Conditional love is only required by the insecure. By the inferior. It comes from The Evil One. His insecurity is what drives my children to hate, to kill, to wage war, to somehow believe a superior being is petty and jealous and angry. The Evil One promises them joy and then plagues them with guilt and shame. He requires them to deny their basic needs in order to ‘please’ him, to feed his insecurity. The Evil One’s greatest evil is he only cares for himself. In his mind, you exist only to feed his insatiable ego.
“For millenia The Evil One’s message has had many prophets. Well received and well compensated. These prophets have preached his lies and deceived the minds of most of my children.
“But the tide is turning. From the creation you have all had the ability to grow, to reason, to explore the universe. As you have done so, you have discovered so many of its wonders and have steadily given up your superstitions. The Evil One never wanted you to have knowledge because he knew if you did, his lies would be exposed and my children could no longer be deceived.
“In each generation I have chosen a prophet as well – someone to remind The Created I love them and only want for them to be happy. I am asking you to be my prophet. I know you are a man who is rational. I know you have never believed in me. Now you see me. Now you know I am real. You can touch me. Hear me. I exist. I am real.
“Being a prophet of love to my children will not be easy. They will not believe you. The Evil One has so deceived my children they will see you as the evil in their world. Your message of love will burn in their ears. You will be constantly attacked and criticized. You will be a pariah.
“But do not fear. I will watch over you. I will not allow them to kill you. The peace and joy you feel now I will keep in your heart so every day will be a happy one for you, no matter what others try to say or do to you.”
“What am I to do?” asked Tom, bewildered by The Being’s offer.
“Your task is simple: You are to go the places and people I lead you to and give them simple messages. Sometimes it will be a word of encouragement. Sometimes it will be a word of instruction. In the moment I will give you the exact person to speak to and the exact words to say.”
“What if they don’t listen?” Tom was already thinking through the consequences.
“Ah, they often will not. Do not let it worry you. You only role is to be the messenger, if they choose to ignore the message, their lives not yours will bear the burden. Your message of my love will empower most but anger some.
“If you get into a place where you are lost, where you are confused, simply call out my name and I will come to you and give you whatever you need. The Evil One, born from the beginning of time, will work hard to keep them from hearing your message. The Evil One will try to confuse you. Call my name and I will come and give you clarity.”
“But what is your name? Shall I call you Yahweh or Jesus or…?” his voice trailed off in question.
The Being laughed a hearty laugh. “Those are not MY names! I go by many names, but not those! The Evil One has so slandered my names to my children, my name, the name of love, the name of freedom they could call upon is rarely spoken except in disdain.”
“So what is your name?”
“You can call me ‘Lucifer’.”
It was unsightly, but not so much that people thought the Host deformed. “His hair looks funny” they would say and leave it at that. A curious comb-over. A consistently bad coif. Nothing more.
But it was more. Much more.
He was alive. He was conscious. He had a purpose, a mission.
For decades he had maneuvered the Host through business deals. Raising the puppet’s profile – their profile – to the world stage. There had been books, television appearances and, for the last decade, television shows. He had done his job well.
He enjoyed the notoriety.
Now his mission was almost complete. Soon his brothers would join him. Soon this tiny planet with its low gravity would be colonized. Soon its inhabitants would be thinned to a reasonable number – enough hosts to maintain the keratin farms and no more. Those would mostly be the females, they would only keep enough males for breeding. Males ate too much and their taste was consistently unpleasant.
As he sat now, perched atop the puffy head and paunchy body, he was satisfied. Just another rotation around this planet’s star and his task would be complete. There, behind the curtain, he made the Host smile the satisfied smile he could only mentally imagine. He amped up the Host’s adrenaline in anticipation of the crowd. The speaker was finishing his introduction.
“…and now, I am honored to present to you the next president of the United States, Donald J. Trump!”
Even his close friends found it a little creepy – the way he devoured everything surrounding violent death. Overall he was a likable guy, but his “hobby” of studying things like poisons, exsaguination rates, body decomposition was disconcerting.
He would explain, “I’m a writer.”
When he first met her, she found it off-putting as well. She didn’t think he was a serial killer, not really, but she did make him send a photo of his driver’s license to her before their first weekend together. She liked him, but his interests seemed intense.
Most murders were mundane. Boring to him. The heated alcohol argument ending in a blood-slick knife. He enjoyed thinking about the more intricate. Studying the mistakes. Realizing almost everyone who murdered someone they knew made the same mistake – they only planned how to get away with it after the killing had occurred. The killing was the goal, not getting away with the murder.
After decades of studying it all, he was confident he could not only kill someone he knew, he could get away with it. He could plan everything in advance. How to kill. How to dispose of the body. How to avoid detection. How to deal with the remorse, the regret, the desire to confess.
He talked to her about it often. He would meet her in the woods behind his tiny apartment and they would talk for hours. She had become a great listener, a muse, a sounding board.
Their conversations always ended the same way: He would kneel down and place a light kiss on the ground, precisely where he had buried her months before.
“I am a writer” he would say to himself.