Haunting Her Dreams

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The following story is not for those under the age of eighteen, if you are LEAVE NOW.

Marsha Stewart thrashed beneath the covers of her bed quickly tangling her legs in the sweat soaked sheets.  Frustrated she snapped the covers and freed up her long limbs from their imprisonment.  She sighed.  Flipping over for what felt like the thousand time she stared at the blank ceiling.  Outside a soft rain fell punctuated by the occasional flash of lightning followed by a roll of thunder.

Why am I so afraid to dream? She asked herself.

For the past two weeks night had become something to dread.  Once it had been a time to recharge her batteries from her long daytime activities but no longer since the nightly visions had begun.

I used to look forward to sleeping.  Now I wish I could replace it with vats of black coffee or a few gallons of energy drink.

She sat up, punched the pillow several times and lay back down.  Closing her eyes she willed her mind to shut the door to her dreams so she could get some rest.  But deep in her heart Marsha knew it wouldn’t work.  Thunder boomed and she felt herself slide towards what had become a terrifying state—slumber.

****

The nightmare started instantly.  Her dream-self found herself in the same hot mildew smelling room with the cracked and pitted dingy gray tile.  Looking around, as she always did Marsha notes long streaks of rust ran on the elderly tile from each pipe in the communal shower.  The hollow echoes of her own breathing swirled around her after bouncing off the walls.  She looked at herself and found she was wearing the white hospital gown with the light blue dots again.  Her bare feet immersed in a small warm puddle of standing water.  The steam in the room faded.

Don’t look in the corner, Dream Marsha thought, but she did anyway.

The wet rubber skinned thing hung there upside down like some trembling fleshy pod.  The creature’s black skin was dark, but not enough so to hide the veins running in some bizarre pattern under the flesh.  Thin long arching bones rustled as the cocooned monster shifted its wings around what she knew to be a very skeletal and hairless body.  It sounded like the rattle of dry sticks.  As usual she couldn’t see any of its limbs, body or face.  It extended in length from ceiling to floor.

Why do I have to go through this every night!  I hate this dream! Marsha screamed to herself.

She moved towards the exit, trying like she had the past two weeks to creep away without making a noise.  Each time she had failed.  But with every nightly visitation to his horrible dreamscape she managed to get closer and closer to the exit.

Step over the toothbrush, avoid the uncovered drain and take careful steps around the soap on the floor.

Her naked feet circumvented the various traps that would cause her to slip and fall.  The sound of her body hitting the floor would awaken the beast in the corner.  As she crossed the shower she felt the usual cool breeze coming from the open doorway.  Biting her lower lip she soon found herself one step away from possible freedom.

There are the dark shapes of the lockers, the low benches in front of them and the glass enclosed office.  I still don’t recognize this place.  I know it’s a high school girl’s locker room but it isn’t the one I remember.

A dry rustle from the monster occupied corner of the room made her freeze.  Marsha looked over her shoulder but saw it hadn’t unwrapped itself from its hanging shape.

So far so good…

She passed over the threshold and tried not to cheer her victory.  Moving slowly she avoided the benches by walking between them in slow careful steps.  The air turned icy.  On her bare legs, arms and where the hospital gown didn’t cover on her back goose bumps erupted on her flesh.

Why am I in a hospital gown in a gym locker room?  I still can’t figure even that part out.

Marsha made it to the halfway point and had to ignore the desire to sit down and rest her quaking legs.  They broke out into painful cramps along her calves.  Taking shallow breaths she halted dead center in the room, her chest heaving.

What’s that sound?

The silence was barely broken by the soft sounds of someone crying.  The noise was faint at first but soon it grew in intensity.  In her mind she shouted at the person to be quiet.  Then more voices joined in.  Soon she was cupping her hands over her ears and shaking her head from side to side.

Shut up!  For God’s sake shut the hell up! She shouted mentally at them.

The voices ignored her.

Marsha stood there not knowing what to do next, her ears ringing with the loud ghostly sobs.  She took a single step towards the office when the lockers all around her, front and back opened with a banging metallic clang.  In the semi-darkness she let out a scream when she spied what was within them.

Every locker possessed a naked woman with blank staring eyes, dead expressions and bleeding profusely from between their legs.  Red rivulets of twisting streams coursed down bone white flesh to puddle at their feet.  It ran out of the base of the lockers and began to trickle onto the mildewed floor.  She scanned the faces but didn’t seem to know any of them.  Her own shriek of surprise startled her when it rebounded off the walls and back into her ears.  Then cold fear rushed over her body.

Oh shit no! she wailed inwardly.

There was a wet splat sound which momentarily rose above the crying and her fading scream.  The beast was aware of her!  She ran towards the door to what she figured was the gymnasium outside but found it locked.  Sprinting towards the office she found it too denied her entrance.  Then she felt something warm and wet running down her thighs.  She looked down to see her menstrual blood darkening the front of the hospital gown.

“What’s going on here?!” she cried out.

A deep rumbling laugh answered her.  She saw the leathery and moist monster dragging itself across the locker room.  The beast’s long bat-like wings and black talons scraped across the ground making a teeth-loosening shriek.

“No!  Stay away from me!” Marsha ordered it futilely.

It only leered at her.

The monster’s long face was decorated with a thin, hooked nose jutting between two deeply sunken and red eyes.  Its thin lips pulled back to reveal a mouthful of gleaming white fangs and a forked black tongue.  The long ears thrust out behind its head and the deep ebony of its skin made her flesh crawl.

“This isn’t happening!  It’s only a dream!” she screeched defiantly.  “You’re not real!”

It lunged at her covering the remaining distance with a flapping and fluttering of its huge wingspan.  Like all the times before she was quickly covered by the membranes of the monster’s wings.  Marsha screamed and shrank from the rubbery and warm touch of the creature.  As its sharp featured face dipped towards her groin she let out one soul-wrenching shriek.

As she had the past fourteen days that is what she was doing when she woke up—screaming and fumbling at both the sheets and her nightgown searching for blood.  She jumped out of bed, crossed her bedroom and snapped on the light.  Another bout of frantic self-examination took place but like all the other times she found absolutely nothing.

“Why is this happening to me?” she blubbered.

She staggered out of her bedroom and went down the short hall of her apartment and into the bathroom.  The harsh light blinded her momentarily and she squinted at the reflection in the mirror.  She didn’t like what she saw.

The red, tear-stained face with the matted sweaty hair made her flinch.  Marsha pushed back the wet strands gripping her face like the tentacles of an octopus and took a deep breath.  She turned on the faucet and splashed her face with cold water.

I don’t want to go back to sleep—but it’s only eleven o’clock in the evening, she told her mirror-self.

But like an innocent yet condemned prisoner she marched back into the bedroom, her heart pounding and her mind awash with a cloying sense of inevitability.

****

“Two weeks you’ve been having this dream?” Sally said in a shocked tone.

“Yeah,” Marsha answered glumly.

“What do you think it means?”

She looked around the coffee shop they were sitting in and tried to find an answer for her best friend.  The two of them had been BFFs (even before the term was coined) over twenty years ago.  Sally Munroe knew all Marsha’s deepest, darkest secrets.

“I have no idea, Sally,” she whispered.

“It sounds like you’re reliving some womanly issue—you know what I mean?” her pal said.  “Maybe it’s just the stress of the divorce and it’s making some minor incident in your life surface.”

“You’ve known me since junior high and I’ve never had an accident in a locker room.  Not when I was a teenager or even now at the gym we both go to.  Your guess is as good as mine on this one but it has nothing to do with having a spill during my period.”

“Maybe you should seek professional help?”
“Jim would love that.  Can you see him bringing that tidbit up in court to use against me?  Well I can—no thank you.”

“You could tell the judge it was because of the emotional stress of the separation.”

“That’d be a lie.  I’ve never been happier in my life than after walking out on that two-timing bastard.”

“Sorry I didn’t think before I spoke.”

She pushed her half empty cup away and put both elbows on the table.  She cupped her chin and stared past Sally and into the parking lot of the café.  Ghostly reflected in the glass behind her friend was Marsha’s visage.  She frowned, the image did the same and she tried not to nitpick at how she looked.  But at thirty-eight and staring forty nearly in the face she wondered if her sleepless nights had anything to do with being on her own for the first time since she married James.

“Whatever it is I have to get a grip on it soon,” she sighed.

“I’ll say—no offense kiddo, but you look like something the cat dragged in,” her friend said in a concerned tone.

“Gee thanks.”

“You know I didn’t mean that to be an insult.”

“I’ve got so much on my plate and I’m afraid to go to the doctor and ask for something to knock me out at night.  Something deep inside tells me I’m waking up just before I get killed and a sleep aid might not let me escape that part of the nightmare.”

Their conversation was interrupted by the playful song from Sally’s cell phone.  Her friend gazed at the caller ID and smiled.

“That’s Marcus I take it?” Marsha quipped.

“Yeah—he’s so sweet,” her friend laughed.

“Oh yes sweet, rich and way too young for you.”

“Jealous much?”

“Only this time.”

“Well if you play your cards right I might just get you invited to his next party.  There are a lot of handsome and wealthy studs looking for a little cougar action.”

“Ah—I’m too young to be a cougar.”

“I said the same thing but Marcus told me I was.  If I can keep him on the line long enough to wring a marriage proposal out of him I don’t care what he calls me.”

“As long as it ends up being Mrs. Marcus Bellasario?”

“Now you’re getting it.”

“You were always pretty quick witted—more than I am.”

“Yet I’m the one getting divorced from a cheater and you’re dating a pampered rich boy.”

“Yeah but the operative word there is boy.  Keeping Marcus’ attention may end up being my downfall since I’m competing with women almost half my age.”

“Life’s tough Sally.”

“Tell me about it.  Well, toodles kiddo I gotta run.  Hey if you need anything just give me a shout out on my cell, okay?”

“You got it—tell Marcus I said hello.”

She watched her best friend saunter off and wondered if it really was the stress of the divorce coupled with some distant memory.  But somehow it just didn’t fit.

****

It was late well past nightfall and Marsha was driving down the street towards the middle-class apartment complex she had moved into after leaving her husband.  She was tired.

Three hours at the gym, the rest shopping and running around the city all in the hopes of trying to wear myself out enough not to dream, she thought.

The nightmare’s true meaning hadn’t come calling yet and she felt stupid and angry at her ability to reason it out.  She had hoped her friend Sally would’ve shed some light on it but she had struck out there too.  No answers were forthcoming.

But I know it has to be something in my subconscious—but what could it be?

She pounded on the steering wheel with her fist.  The frustration of not being able to figure this out momentarily blotted out by the pain shooting up her arm.

Then something white flashed past her headlights.

Marsha screamed and spun the wheel in her hand while stomping on the brake at the same time.  The late model Pontiac began to fishtail and cross the yellow dividing line on the street.  The car spun ass-first into a speed limit sign snapping it off at the very base.  For a second Marsha could only see a large number twenty-five through the windshield before it vanished leaving only a network of spider-web cracks and a loud noise.  The wheel was wrenched out of her hands and the car dropped into the ditch.  Marsha’s head hit the air bag as it deployed.  She lost consciousness briefly.

“W-what the hell?” she slurred into the deflating material.

Pushing herself back into her seat she fumbled with the latch on her seatbelt.  The car was idling as she reached for the handle to the door.  It wouldn’t budge.

“Son-of-a-bitch!” she swore.

Turning to see what was the matter she let out a shocked squeal of terror when she found herself gazing into a younger woman’s face.  The girl was blonde and wore a terrified expression.  Whatever was making her so frightened didn’t stop her from helping Marsha from opening the jammed door.  Once out of her wrecked vehicle she slumped against the side of it and examined her helper.

The girl couldn’t have been more than thirteen.  Her honey blonde hair was plastered to her face and clung to her neck from sweat produced from her efforts to free Marsha.  She only wore a gown, a hospital gown at that.  Shockingly the white fabric was dotted with light blue specks just like in her dream.

“Are you okay?” the teenage girl asked.

“Who are you?” she replied.

“I-I’m Rhiannon.  Look lady are you okay?”

“Was that you who ran in front of my car?”

“Yes—I’m really sorry but I can’t stay to talk.  Do you have a cell phone?”

“I do.”

“Then call the cops—oh shit, I can’t stay!”

The girl ran out of the ditch in a flurry of coltish legs and Marsha watched her scamper wildly through an open gate.  Still a bit groggy from the accident she found herself stumbling up the side of the culvert and onto the sidewalk.  She took a few more steps and found herself standing in front of a tarnished brass sign.

“Hampton Junior High,” it said, “1947 AD.”

“Wait!” she yelled at the girl, “do you need help?”

She could barely see the outline of the white clad teenager flying up the stairs of the abandoned school.  Despite the pain in her head and without thought to any internal injuries she might have suffered Marsha chased after Rhiannon on nerveless legs.

She’s wearing what I wear in that dream!  Now she’s running into an old junior high and I’ll bet all the money I get in the divorce I’ll find her in the girl’s locker room!

Marsha ran up the steps only to find the doors to the school were chained together but not well enough.  There was a gap when she tugged on them.  She could hear the pattering sounds of the girl’s bare feet striking the linoleum floor and echoing off the bare walls.  Turning around she looked back to where her car was sticking out of the ditch in hopes to see what was chasing Rhiannon.  There was nothing in sight.

What the hell is she running from?  There’s nobody chasing her as far as I can see.

Marsha went back to the problem of trying to get into the abandoned school.  Her body, unlike the girl she was pursuing wasn’t slender enough to squeeze past the gap.  Cursing and swearing she ran to the right hoping to find an unlocked window or another door.  She crashed through bushes before reaching the side of the school.  Her legs went out from underneath her when she hit the pile of broken beer bottles presumably left by some underage drinkers or a couple of bums.  Several shards cut through her expensive workout clothes and she felt a stinging pain on her ass.  Marsha jumped up like somebody kicked her and ran her hands over her rump.  Holding her fingers in front of her face she saw they were lightly covered with blood.

“Shit!” she screamed.

All the adrenaline coursing through her body, the pain and the tantalizing possibility of getting an answer to her nightmares lent her enough strength to kick the side door open.  The doors squealed in a shriek of metal and snapped back nearly squashing her nose.  She pushed past them and listened for any sounds.  Nothing could be heard it was all silent.

“Right!” Marsha snapped angrily.  “Let’s do this the hard way.”

She darted into the building, her Nike shoes slapping as she ran.  Reaching the first intersection she slid to a stop, her breath whistling out of her teeth and a stitch beginning to make itself known in her left side.  Marsha looked down each hall hoping for some clue to where the locker rooms were.  While she was trying to deduce this she heard a faint scream and reacted without thought.  Turning down the left corridor she dodged past the debris, chairs and desks that were littering the hall.  Another squeal of fear led her towards the back of the school where she discovered it was pitch black.  Her mind whirled frantically.

Which way?  And if I even figure it out how am I going to see where I’m going? She pondered quickly.

Screwing up her courage she bolted down the right corridor and felt for the wall.  She used her hand and went as fast as she dared but still her shins found hidden objects in the darkness.  Wincing in pain she doggedly continued on her quest.

My legs are going to be black and blue tomorrow morning!

She reached another intersection, this one lit by the streetlights from outside.  It was then she realized it was the parking lot of the building allowing illumination to filter inside.

W-what’s that smell?

Like old perfume, something an elderly woman would wear mixed with the stale scent of sweat and old gym socks let her know she was on the right path.  Looking to her left she saw the big double doors with the grime covered words “Gymnasium” etched above them.  Marsha pushed past the doors trying to make as little noise as possible.  Once inside she was happy to discover the light from the outside still shone through the glass high above her head.

There! That has to be the girl’s locker room!

She ran to the skirted symbol and when she arrived she put her head against it to listen for any noises.  Marsha smiled when she heard ragged breathing and low whimpering just like in her dream.

But this time I know who’s crying and it’s not my breath I’m hearing.

She went into the locker room with her heart firmly wedged in her throat.  The room was as black as pitch, darker than midnight in a mineshaft and other euphemisms came to her mind.  Marsha felt for the wall to her left and summoned up the layout of the room from the many nights her dream-self experienced it.

There’s the office, locked no doubt and if I turn right—yes that’s were the benches and the closed lockers should be.  I wonder if…

Fear fluttered up from the well of her soul and she couldn’t force herself to open the nearest one for fear of seeing some dead, wailing girl who was bleeding profusely from between her gray thighs.  Moving into the center of the room she stopped when she heard a whimpering cry.

“Rhiannon?” she hissed.  “Is that you?”

There was no answer the musty smelling room was silent.  However unlike the nightmare the smell was accented by the smell of old socks and that strange old lady perfume.  Marsha moved forward.

This isn’t exactly like my dream but it’s damned close—what is that additional smell though? What is the connection between a thirteen year-old girl, a vampire creature and menstruation?

Her thoughts whirled around her head until she stepped into something warm and sticky.  She slipped and went down on one knee and the pain shot up into her hip and quickly exploded in her brain.

“Shit!” she swore softly.

Reaching down she wiped a finger in the gooey smear on the floor and held it to her nose.  It smelled of iron.

Blood!  Oh shit am I too late to save Rhiannon?

Marsha stood up and rubbed her aching knee.  After taking a few more nerve-wracking steps in the darkness she detected the unmistakable scent of a shower.  However looking into the tile-filled room she couldn’t see shit.  It was much too dark.

No windows in here either—naturally.  Why am I doing this?  I don’t owe this girl anything, in fact she nearly got me killed.

But despite her barren condition and the fact she never had a child her maternal instincts had to be the only reason for her actions.  The concept singed her consciousness when she realized it yet it felt right and only strengthened her resolve to save this girl.

I don’t know what’s chasing her but I know what’s lurking in the corner of the shower.  I’ll be damned if I let that monster kill Rhiannon!

“W-who’s there?” the girl’s voice said.

“It’s me, the woman from the car,” she replied.  “Are you okay?”

“Go away—please leave me alone.”

“Why are you hiding here?”

“I-I dreamed of this place.  Something just told me to come here and hide.”

“You had a dream about this locker room?”

“Yes.”

“So did I.”

“You have to leave now.  You can’t help me it’s too late for all that and you’ll only get hurt by the beast.”

“I can’t stand by and let it get you either.  Follow the sound of my voice and we’ll get out of here before it wakes up.”

“No I can’t leave,” Rhiannon retorted, “it’s my destiny. I can’t avoid it.”

Feeling her way inside Marsha glided around the side of the shower her mind using all the dreams to avoid the pitfalls.  Suddenly her foot hit something firm.  Extending her hand downward she breathed a sigh of relief when she grasped the girl’s shoulder.

“Come with me,” she whispered.  “We can make a break for it before the fiend wakes up.”

“I told you,” Rhiannon insisted, “this is my destiny.”

“No it isn’t—you make your own fate it can’t be preordained.”

“Y-you don’t understand!”

“Quiet!  Do you want it to hear you?”

“Go away—I don’t want you here.”

She felt the teenager pull away.

“Where are you going?” she asked.

“It’s time,” the adolescent whispered.  “I can feel it now.”

“Feel what?  Oh my God, are you having your first period?  Is that why you’re so scared and unwilling to let me help?  It’s all right Rhiannon every woman goes through this eventually it’s nothing to be afraid of.  But if our dreams are some sort of precognition the beast kills women during this time of the month.  Please you have to come with me.”

“I’ve been trying to avoid this.  But I’ve known it’s unstoppable ever since I felt my body changing the past few weeks.  My adopted mother told me this was natural and I shouldn’t be afraid but the last two weeks the dreams started and I know I’m destined to never be the same.  I have to confront the beast or people will die—girls just like me!”

Marsha gasped from Rhiannon’s comments and blindly tried to locate the girl and avoid the corner she knew the horrible creature was sleeping.  It was tense, this searching.  She was shocked all the noise hadn’t awakened it from its hibernation.  Then she heard the rattle of the beast’s bones and the slither and rasping of the membranes of its wings.  She halted in mid-movement and an icy chill rushed through her body.  It was like her soul had frozen.

“Rhiannon,” she hissed, “it’s waking up!  We have to leave before it kills both of us.”

“It doesn’t matter,” the adolescent muttered.  “If you stay then we’ll both die.”

The fatality of her words and attitude pissed her off so bad she ground her teeth together.  But she smiled since Rhiannon’s words let her know where she had slunk off to.  The sounds of wet leathery movements increased making the time she had to find the sullen teenager that much shorter.   There was another series of wet rubbing noises and a soft sob.  Shocked Marsha came to the conclusion the girl had moved right beside the creature obviously waiting for it to revive and slay her.  Self-preservation kicked in.

I can’t save her dammit!  Well if she wants to die then I guess there’s nothing I can do but take her advise and make a run for it.

Using the nightmare’s landscape once again she began to dodge the toothbrush, open drain and the soap.  Quietly stepping around each and every one she easily reached the edge of the shower room.  With the memory of the bloody puddle foremost in her mind she took a different route to miss stepping in it.  Marsha reached the exit of the locker room when a deep rumbling laugh echoed in the empty room.  The sound terrified her.  It felt as if the sweat beading on her body froze and her body began shaking uncontrollably.  She tried not to whimper and this forced her to clamp her jaws shut tight.  Marsha moved to the door and reached for the  handle when it spoke.

“I see you,” it growled.

She didn’t answer.

“You can run but it won’t matter this was all preordained before you were even born.”

“Where is Rhiannon?” she queried.

“I have consumed her just like you suspect I have.”

“What are you?”

“I am myself—I have no name but the ones the terrified prey I will hunt will give me.”

“Are you a vampire?”

“I’m not sure what I am, vampire, demon or some new form of life.  What difference does it matter to me?”

“But why young women suffering their first periods?”

“I have no idea why that appeared in your dream.”

“Why kill me then?  I’m a fully grown woman not some girl going through puberty.  Am I such a threat to you?”

“Oh dear Marsha you have no idea really, do you?” it rasped with a laugh.

“All I know is you will kill me,” she whined.

“Is that so?  Oh I see now, you’ve never experienced the full vision and woke up too soon.  Oh the delicious irony of it all!”

Marsha yanked the door and ran out of it.  Into the semi-lit gymnasium she ran her fear lending speed to her flight.  She heard the door to the locker room opened.

“You can’t run from me Marsha Stewart,” it called mockingly.  “I will find you and do what is necessary—I promise to make it quick and painless.”

Tears blurred her vision as the unfairness of what was transpiring took command of her mind.

I can’t die now!  My life just took a turn for the better and I’m just starting over!

She ran through the double doors and burst into the hallway with the fiend’s sarcastic laughter chasing after her.  She crashed into the objects hiding in the blackness making her grunt in pain and bounce off of them.  Her legs screamed in agony.  Marsha reached the first intersection and wondered if the darkness would hide her.

“I can still see you, sweet lady,” it chortled.  “You can slink around in the darkness but it will do you no good.”

Turning left she pelted down the corridor.

“Run my little one,” the monster snickered, “run, run as fast as you can but you can’t escape the gingerbread man.”

The use of the children’s poem made her angry but she didn’t bring a halt to her flight.  The next intersection was up ahead when a quick, heavy breeze blew past her almost spilling her to the cluttered floor.

“It’s a shame really,” a shadowy figure said ahead of her, “but my wings have dried and now I can fly.”

Marsha began skidding when she spotted the tall skinny form slowly retracting its bat-like wings.  She lost her balance and landed on her ass.  She shrieked in complete terror when she realized her forward progress would slid her right between the monster’s legs.

“No!  Stay the hell away from me!” she shrieked.

Long taloned fingers closed around each of her biceps and she was hauled effortlessly upward to come face to face with the long nosed leering visage.

“I’ve waited many years for this,” it crooned.  “You have no idea how I’ve longed to finally meet you.  There was times when I thought you wouldn’t show up because the dreams were so intense—but here you are.”

She lashed out with her right foot and connected into the beast’s groin.  She was dropped to the ground and her already sore bottom was once again stinging with pain.

“You dare strike me?!” it roared.

Her feet shuffled upon the floor trying to find purchase and propel her away from danger.  But those clawed digits once more snatched at her drawing stinging cuts on her upper arms.  Screaming and beating her fists upon the beast’s shoulders Marsha fought for freedom.  With a heady and graceful rush of movements the creature flew down the hallway and blew through the side doors.  Marsha screeched in horror as the ground dropped away rapidly.  Before she knew it they were atop the junior high school’s roof.  Unceremoniously she was dumped onto the hot tarred surface.  The streetlights illuminated the fiend as it stalked towards her.

“You seek to avoid your fate, why?” it snarled.  “Don’t you realize this is all for the best?”

“What are you going to do to me?” she sobbed.

“I am your destiny.”

“No!”

The monster’s wings hugged against its back and it was then Marsha saw the fiend’s groin for the first time.  She felt her eyes bug outward.  The creature possessed both sets of genitals and an ample chest bigger than Marsha’s own.

“Y-you’re not male?” she stammered. “You’re a hermaphrodite?”

“Yes I’m both but in order to reproduce I have to find myself a suitable female,” it chuckled.

“Why did you kill Rhiannon?  Was it because she wasn’t able to have children?”

“Silly Marsha you haven’t figured it out?  I didn’t kill her—I am her!  She was the product of an interspecies rape between a foolish mortal woman and the demon she summoned with a Quija board.  You have to consider my human form as nothing more than my larval stage.  This is me fully grown!”

“That’s not possible!”

“Oh yes it is.  The silly teenager didn’t understand those things are a portal and without the proper measures anything, including our father could come through.  Rhiannon was born nine months later and despite all her mother’s efforts to abort or kill the baby she eventually was placed in a foster home after her mother was declared legally insane.”

“Please I don’t want any part of this.”

“My darling, please don’t be that way.  I love you, this was meant to be.  I can assure you when I take you nothing can stop me nor will you regret it.  You will experience the ultimate of sexual pleasures.  Don’t you understand?  Only a woman could possibly manipulate another woman’s body and bring her to the most satisfying orgasm she could ever achieve.”

Marsha scooted across the roof ignoring the rasping pain from dragging her already tenderized butt across the gritty surface.  Rhiannon’s wings snapped forward and enclosed themselves around the older woman’s fleeing body.  The talons ripped and tore at her expensive gym outfit and the horrible, yet beautiful face leaned towards hers.

No this can’t be—I don’t want this! She screamed to herself.

“I’m in the mood for love,” Rhiannon-monster sang.

****

Sally stared into the small window and shook her head.  Her eyes were filled with tears which course down her cheeks and fell onto the mental institute’s floor.

“Is there any hope,” she asked.

“There’s always hope Miss Ross,” Doctor Fillmore stated.  “But it depends on what happens in a few months.”

“I can’t believe this happened to her.  She was so looking forward to a new life, one of her own choosing without the control applied by her ex-husband.”

“Yes it is sad.  Is it true the police think Mrs. Stewart’s ex-husband hired men to beat and rape her?”

“They haven’t said much other than the investigation is ongoing.”

Sally stared at Marsha’s full belly and vacant expression.  The reality that her best friend had been found in an abandoned junior high, naked and comatose made her both angry and deeply sad.  Worse yet her BFF’s hubby had her declared legally insane and had been granted a divorce.  Although Marsha was entitled to a portion of his wealth the courts decreed it would go to the care she would need for the rest of her life.

“It’s so unfair,” she whispered.

****

Marsha saw her friend’s face in the tiny window on the door.  She lowered her eyes to her huge belly and knew the time was quickly approaching when she would be a mommy.  An idiot’s grin spread across her face and she delighted in the contortions of her features.

I’m not supposed to be able to have children, but now I’m pregnant.  I should be terrified but I’m really very happy.  I can’t wait to be a parent.

She heard herself giggle in a maniacal manner and a long thread of spittle oozed out of her mouth to fall onto her straight jacket and soak in.

Rhiannon will be here soon to take me away from these people.  Then we can find a nice place and settle down to raise our child.  I wonder what I should name it?

She looked back at Sally and saw the horror in her eyes.  Raising a hand she waved in a silly manner and wondered if her friend would ever understand what had happened.

I fought it but it was my destiny.

Another bubbling bout of hysterical laughter burst from her mouth making her gal pal’s face disappear from the window.

Rhiannon was right about one thing—that was the best sex I’ve ever had.  That reminds me I really need to help her find an appropriate name—something ancient and fitting.

She began giggling once more and this time she knew there was no stopping it.

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