a short horror story about duality, temptation, & addiction.
“Take it all, whore,” Alan spat while he forced himself into me, my legs spread and restrained by leather straps attached to his four-poster bed. I laid there, bound, except for the gold crucifix around my neck and paper bag on my head. It crinkled with each of his hard thrusts. His words seeped into my ears like poison, yet I laid there, helpless, and silent while he ejaculated inside of me. Growling like a beast and throwing his head back into the darkness of his bedroom, he pushed one last time, making me whimper. Tears fell from the corners of my eyes, dampening the bag.
“Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name…,” I uttered from my trembling lips as I remembered our beginnings.
Alan and I found each other at the Saturday evening meeting for Sex Addicts Anonymous, a safe space for lost souls who sought redemption and forgiveness for their immorality. I arrived at the church that night in a brown pencil-skirt and white blouse, my gold crucifix perched on my collarbone. It was also the first time Alan visited us. He shared his story to the group. It was an alluring tale of sexual deviancy, and I was hooked on every word while the addicts nodded in sympathetically in validation. His mouth moved in slow motion as he spoke and I eyed his athletic frame. Dressed in a corduroy suit with a dingy red tie, he looked unassuming. Tousled black hair, an academic face, yet I was hypnotized. My delicate fingers grabbed and rubbed my crucifix, hoping it would soothe the heat between my thighs.
“I’ve accepted I’m an addict,” I whispered to the group when it was my time to share, hands nervously tousling in my lap. “It’s like I have a monster inside me that I’m constantly trying to keep under control. It gets hard, you know?” The room groaned in agreement.
“Temptation. It’s everywhere,” I continued, my eyes avoiding Alan’s fixated gaze on me, and fidgeting in my seat, uncrossing my legs to recross them. “It’s all I think about, even when I try to be good.” My gaze fell to my lap while my right hand rubbed the little gold cross. Still, all I felt was his hot stare while the moderator spoke about surrendering to God’s will. I nodded with the others; faking having heard his advice. My eyes hesitantly found Alan again and I saw a playful smirk crawl over his lips.
He slipped his phone number into my hand as he headed out of the large wooden church doors. At home, I paced my bedroom back and forth in my stocking-clad feet, knowing what would come from my calling him. The situation had bad news written all over it. And yet, there I was, inputting his phone number into my mediocre cell phone and pressing ‘call’. I stared at my reflection in the full-length mirror in the corner of my bedroom and flopped down onto the corner of my bed.
“What are you doing, Gina?,” I asked myself. I stared my reflection for what seemed like an eternity. She stared right back at me, her face flush with nervousness. But there was something in her eyes. A twinkle of deviousness. The buzzer signaling Alan’s arrival broke my trance.
We fucked for what felt like an eternity, hard and fast, unbridled, and dangerous. No condoms, no words; the sacred loud silence of sex-crazed maniacs. When it was done, we sat on the windowsill, half naked and sweaty, drinking Earl Gray from cracked coffee mugs. I wore only my blouse, open and fluttering against the breeze, and my crucifix. He wore his briefs and nothing else. God, his body was fashioned from an infernal flame, a dark Adonis.
“So,” Alan asked, tracing the index finger on his right hand around the rim of the mug. “Why the meetings?” His chest glistened in the moonlight, beads of sweat twinkling like salty stars.
“I want to be good,” I said after taken a sip. “I’m tired of feeling dirty and bad.”
He chuckled and set his mug down on the windowsill.
“You and I are the same, you know,” he uttered. “Two sides of the same damaged coin.”
“Maybe,” I sighed, intoxicated by his insinuation of us being kindred spirits. “What about you? Why’d you start going?”
Alan’s smile disappeared and his eyes darkened in the moonlight. “I go to meet pretty little things like you.”
“Well, here I am,” I said, laughing flirtatiously. “What happens now?”
He leaned in and grabbed me by my throat, toppling me back onto the floor.
“Just let me have my way with you,” he growled into my mouth before devouring me and leaving me hungering for more.
We both stopped going to group and he grew increasingly more aggressive. No longer seductive but degrading. He’d ignore me for days and then text me to remind that I existed only as his ruined plaything. On the last night we were together, I joined him at his place. His bedroom was converted into a dungeon, with a metal cage beneath his four-poster bed, paddles of various sizes and shapes hanging on the wall, and a flat-screen TV on each of his four walls, broadcasting nothing but BDSM porn and snuff films. The walls were painted obsidian; a black hole in time and space where I was to be his shining star.
Alan panted heavily expelling what was left of his tumescence and pulled himself out of me. My body, naked and ravaged, involuntarily shuddered in fear.
“I knew you’d like that,” he groaned. “We’re the same, you and me. Don’t you forget it!” The bed creaked as he climbed off and yanked the paper bag from my head. He saw me there, hair plastered to my forehead and mascara smeared on my cheeks, muttering the Our Father.
“God isn’t here, babygirl,” he said, spitting in my direction before working on my restraints.
Minutes later, I stood in his normal, standard-looking bathroom, staring at my reflection in his medicine cabinet, his seed dripping between my thighs. Hot tears poured from my red eyes and down over my dirty face. Scars decorated my body like insidious trophies. The only remaining link to my purity was my gold crucifix.
“Pathetic,” a gnarled voice said in my ears.
“Who said that?!,” My eyes shot open and looked around, my raw frame shuddering in fear. Finding no answer for this vicious voice, my frantic gaze fell back onto my reflection. I witnessed myself, but hunched over like a snarled beast, soulless eyes, and a wide fanged mouth dripping with saliva! I recoiled and clamped my hands over my mouth, falling backwards into his towels. Alan banged on the door and my knees buckled. “Hurry up! I have to take a leak!”
I swallowed my fright and pulled myself up from the tiled floor. “Sorry! Just a second!” I called out with a shaky breath. Slowly, I inched back to the medicine cabinet over his round, porcelain sink. There it was, SHE was, snarling at me! I didn’t know how, but she looked both foreign and familiar.
“Who are you,” I whispered, shifting my gaze between this monster and the door.
“I come from you, girl,” the demon snarled with a smile, bloodthirsty fangs in full view. “You want to be good so badly that you sacrifice your body to a monster.” How ironic.
The sound of Alan cracking open a beer and raising the volume to the porn in the bedroom reminded me of the monster behind the door. She was right; he was insatiable and cruel.
“Help me,” I pleaded. “I can’t go back there.” My hand sought the comfort from my crucifix.
My doppelganger’s fearsome stare landed on my neck.
“He’s right about one thing. God isn’t here,” she said, words slithering out of her mouth like a snake. “Take off your crucifix and let me show you how good you can really be.”
I began to weep silently, unsure of whether this was what I wanted. BANG! BANG! BANG! His fists pounded the door viciously!
“Hurry the fuck up, bitch!,” Alan screamed from the other side of the bathroom door. “Or do you want me to show you what real pain is?”
With a shaky hand, I gripped my gold crucifix and yanked it off.
I awoke in my apartment, in my own bed, blurry-eyed and confused, with sunlight dappling across my face. My mind reached for memories of the night’s events, but it was all so foggy. My fingers raised up to rub my temples and a flash of demonic fangs and black eyes flooded my vision. I instantly sat up with a start, eyes widening at the horror in my lap! Alan’s bloody and mangled penis, testicles, and head laid in the crook of my legs! His mouth agape in a horrified death mask, tongue having been ripped out! A scream exploded out of me, and I scrambled off the bed, falling hard onto the now blood-streaked wooden floor. The red-soaked sheets followed me to the corner of my bedroom! Kicking the sheets away, I looked down at my bod, still naked and drenched in blood, like a crimson baptism!
I crawled to the full-length mirror in a panic. Within my reflection, was my doppelganger covered in blood and cackling, and wearing my gold crucifix. There I cried and screamed…until they turned into cries of blistering joy. Good and evil; it’s all relative. Two sides of the same coin.