Echo of Darkness – Episode 6

Published for Kindle as Echo of Darkness
Copyright © Teresa Wymore. All Rights Reserved.
Lesbian erotica | Dark fantasy | 2014


We fed Sophie because we had to, but after she fed, darkness remained. She couldn’t take it all, and we couldn’t keep the darkness from reclaiming us.

Being reclaimed by the darkness in this slow way was blessed by avoiding the rot when we were killed. That long immobile in-between was gone.

Were the precious weeks worth the slow drowning when the darkness again rose and snuffed out the flame of my life? Were the weeks worth the intense but unsatiated erotic embrace when Sophie found my presence briefly compelling?

I put aside thoughts of what Sophie was and came to care only what Maria was. The erotic paradise I had sought with Sophie, I found with Maria.

Our celebration of life filled every moment of every day. We lived in Sophie’s spare bedroom, coming out for food and occasionally for a walk in the sunshine.

I loved Maria. I loved her as I had never loved anyone. She always asked me to love her more. And I always did.

On the first day of spring of our first year together, she crossed her arms over her eyes and rocked her head back and forth among the scattered pillows. Her legs were spread, and I lay between them.

I kissed her thigh, moist with sweat and arousal. Her engorged clitoris peaked out between the plump lips of her dark pussy. The tangle of short black hair glistened.

I touched her clitoris with my thumb.

She gasped, “Don’t stop.”

I smiled and spread the folds and hair to reveal her dark pink skin. A whitish drop formed from the gathering moisture around her slit. I smeared it along the inner folds. The colors of her intimate flesh reminded me of the desert, of sand paintings with blended hues of brown and pink. But there was nothing of the desert in her anymore.

She was wet with life. She was a food I craved that would never fill me. Her musk made me dizzy. I pressed my mouth against her pussy, kissed it as I would her mouth—fully, deeply. I sucked on her pulsing clitoris as I slid a finger into her.

She pressed down, circled her hips, tried to feel more. I pressed a second finger inside, reaching up to the smooth wall and pressing against it. Her panting halted occasionally, followed by a little gasp and groan.

As orgasm approached, she grew quieter. Only a whispered “yes, yes” escaped as she rocked and curled her fingers into my hair. My fingers stroked and stirred and I gently sucked her clitoris across the edge of my teeth.

She grew quieter still. The increasing pleasure stifled her pleading. Want was now a need. She needed me. This was the moment I had embraced in life and in death. This was the moment. This was the moment before.

The silence erupted with a shout followed by a long groan.

“I love you more, Maria.”

***

Sophie’s house was well kept and well stocked. Izzy kept to herself, but she performed her duties. Sophie ate lunch and dinner and slept alone every night. She appeared to be as much a woman as was I. But she craved the darkness as I had craved life.

I watched as she stole the pain from unhappy souls who came to her for relief. She left them alive and at peace. Unlike me or Maria, she was able to free them, with no echo that would later reclaim them. Few ever returned, and if they did, she sent them away as she had tried to send me away.

She was no less driven to satisfy herself than I had been. She and I were amoral at our core, following needs like insects. That meant her crimes were no less than mine. I thought these things because I didn’t want to love her.

Sophie startled me as I sat on the edge of the bed, staring out the window on a spring morning thinking of her.

“Good morning,” she said.

I was pleased to see her, to hear her voice.

She sat down beside me. “You have an echo.”

“You mean Maria?”

She smiled, and I realized I had made a joke. “No,” she said. “Your echo. The one that reclaims you over and over.”

Sophie’s penetrating eyes could still move me. I yearned to brush my hand through the strands of casual hair swaying around her cheeks. I stared at her lips. “I’d give it all to you,” I said. “All the darkness.”

“I can’t take it all from you.”

“You cure others. They leave and never return. The darkness doesn’t reclaim them.”

She was preoccupied and merely shrugged. “You’re different. You returned to me. Since you came to stay here, fewer are coming. They must sense you. They must know. Something about you is keeping them away. The darkness knows what I’m doing.”

“I haven’t done anything.”

“I need more.”

“I told you, I’ll give you all I have.”

“I already have you. I need more. I’m a collector.”

Her words stung, and I looked away. She was a collector. She was a dragon. I had not allowed myself to think about what she was, this thing that threatened yet preserved me.

“Bring me more. Some will follow thinking to change you. Bring them back. Bring them to me.”

“Bring them?”

“Find them. Let them stalk you, follow you. Help me, or I’ll leave and you’ll never see me again.”

My heart felt like it stopped. Then it sped to life again, racing, leaving me panicky. I needed her. “I’ll help. How?”

“Find them.”

“I don’t know where they are.”

“Then I’ll leave.”

“No,” I said. “I know places. Not here. Europe. I know the old world better. I know the places we can go.”

She scowled and left the bed. She stared out the window as she hugged herself. “I’ve been here for fifty-two years.”

“And no one has asked why you don’t age?”

“Neighbors come and go. They whisper.” She shrugged.

“How old are you?”

She glanced back, a twinkle returning to her blue eyes. “I’ve been here since I left the court of the Czar. Before that, I served the courts of Philip and Charles in Spain. I was in Milan, and before that, I rode among the Huns. I don’t recall being born.”

“You don’t look like one of the races from the Steppes.”

She brushed her fingernails across her cheek. “This changes.”

I went to her and wrapped my arms around her. She let me. I kissed her cheek. She smelled of powder and roses. I took her face in my hands and kissed her mouth.

She pushed me away and said carefully, “You’re alive. I need more. Bring me more.”

***

Just the thought of venturing into the cool night frightened me.

Sophie’s house was the first home I had known in a century, and I hated to leave it. I found comfort in Maria’s arms and protection from the darkness. But I would do anything for Sophie.

Though I wanted to believe she was no different from me, that she was a monster following the imperative of a force greater than her own desire, the truth was, she was something more like a savior. She was an angel. She was my angel.

The following evening, as Maria held me in bed, I rested my head on her shoulder. She twirled a piece of my hair with her fingers, while her other hand rested under her head. We discussed Sophie’s proposal.

“Do you think you can lure them to her?” asked Maria.

“Some I ate, some I emptied myself into. I know them all so well, even now.”

Maria shifted. “Like me.”

I rose onto my elbow. “Maybe this is a way to undo what we’ve done.”

She laughed once. “You’re the only one I ever made.”

“And remade. How many times?”

She drew her other hand up under her head. She was a sensual beauty with smooth brown skin, a cascade of black hair over each shoulder, and soft patches of black fur under each arm. Her lips were full and moist, and her intense eyes hid nothing. She smiled at my distraction. “We’re even, then.”

I tried to smile. Although I had known many beautiful women, her beauty always made me nervous. The power I had when I was empty of life was her power now, because I was no longer empty.

“Will you come with me?” I asked.

“To hunt?”

“To be bait.”

“I don’t like that.”

“Neither do I. There are places where dark souls gather and darker souls hunt. We should move there, the three of us.”

“Why stay with her? We can go away, go anywhere.”

“You would leave her?”

“We have each other.”

“She gives us life. We can’t keep it without her.”

“Maybe she’s lying about that. Maybe she just wants to control us.” She sat up. Her naked breasts swayed, their brown nipples soft and round. I wanted to touch one, tease it until it tightened. She gripped my wrist, denying my hand its prize. “You have no sense, Nadzia. You drift on the wind, even now. Don’t you realize that’s why the darkness found you in the first place?”

“The darkness found you, too.”

“Why do you care about Sophie?”

“You’re jealous?”

“I’m scared.”

I knew she was scared, but I didn’t know if she knew what Sophie was. We had never talked about what happened. “Come with us.”

“Us?”

“She gave us to each other. Surely that’s worth something to a woman as principled as you.”

She frowned, but only for a moment. A smirk curled one side of her lip when she released my wrist. I slipped my hands around her breast and squeezed. My thumb rolled her nipple against my finger, and I fell on top of her.

“Listen to your heart,” I whispered into her mouth. “Do you hear that?”

“I don’t hear anything.”

“You will. Because you were dead and now you’re alive.”

***

Maria was beautiful. She was passionate. She was perfect.

I had dragged her from life those years ago when she was fighting to free the citizens of Nicaragua. Later, with Sophie and me, she helped free people from the darkness. Although I helped, I was not like either of them. I clung to death and cultivated the silence.

We left Chicago in the summer of that year and came to Rome.

In Rome, I watched Sophie embrace creatures with a kiss, a touch, hands groping, tongues searching, until the thing that merely looked human became human again. I knew what those creatures felt because I felt it. It was horrifying. It was exquisite.

At times I felt mad, as if my memory were faulty. What was I without Maria? What was I without Sophie? What was I without the darkness?

Maybe I had always been a monster. Or maybe I was never a monster. Perhaps I was not centuries old and had merely read somewhere about a rural life in Poland in the 18th century. I might have been a patient in an asylum, with Sophie as my doctor and Maria as a fantasy the injections couldn’t take away.

I was always shaking off such macabre fantasies and never quite sure if one might be real.

***

After years traveling around Europe, the three of us had settled in Rome for an extended stay. I left Maria at our Roman mansion, thinking of our last night together, of our first night together.

I walked to a street near St. Peter’s Square. I had to avoid the notice of the troops who watched the papal prisoners, since they were still at odds with the fascists.

My purpose out that night was like every night: to feed Sophie. I was bait. This was my life now. This was my work. Maria had once shared this work with me, but I was much better at it.

There’s so much pain in the wanting.

As I walked that night, I realized I had everything. I had Maria. I had Sophie. I had life.

Glancing back, I saw shadows move among the colossal columns surrounding the Apostolic Palace. The ancient colonnade was magnificent, a great structure that blocked the view of everything except the very top of St. Peter’s dome.

My heart raced.

Being with Maria had taught me that where there is life, there is also death. They need each other. They feed from each other.

Sweat broke across my neck.

Being with Sophie had taught me that where there is pleasure, there is also pain. They can’t exist separately, either. Not for long. Not for me.

My mouth went dry.

I knew Maria would be awake when I returned home. She would be waiting to pleasure me. I was alive, after all.

I turned around and peered into the colonnade’s shadows.

The darkness watched me. A moment later, the darkness welcomed me home.

THE END