Darkness. It was always the first thing she saw. She would come home to it and she would leave in it. That was the way it was every time.
Carol walked in the empty apartment and shut the door behind her. She liked it. She liked not being able to see where she was. The rest of her life was so boring; this bit of fantasy was all she had. She could make herself feel just a tinge of fear at first. She would fill her mind with all sorts of gruesome images. Each time to her surprise, she would get to the point where she would feel that bitter taste of real fear. So real that each step to the light switch was one too many.
This night she played the same game. She flipped the light on and laughed a tired laugh. She was back in her life. There was no boogie man and there was nothing lurking in the dark. There was only the end of her day and the promise of sleep.
That was another favorite of hers. Sleeping meant she could dream again. She smiled at the thought of it. Twenty-two and her favorite part of any day was when she was able to dream. She peeled her clothes with anticipation. She stopped at the kitchen, grabbed a cold leftover and quickly devoured it on her way to her bed. She wiped her fingers on her underwear and then removed them as well. She slid into her bed and pulled the cool sheets up to her chin.
The dark was back but in her bed she could never get that same feeling of dread. But she had her dreams. She pulled her knees up close to her chest and let her mind drift away into inky black sleep.
She was there again. In the same place she often found herself. The sky was a pulsating dark, silky wetness that undulated and rolled into a light thunder in the distance. The ground was soft and felt of flesh. It was firm enough to walk on, but it yielded as she imagined flesh would. It had that odd coolness with a hint of heat just beneath her feet.
What she felt around her was darkness. Every so often she could see the sky roll, but that was it. Her own body was perfectly visible. She could see her arms wave in the nothing around her and her naked legs strode through the waters of the darkness.
Far ahead of her she could see something that she had never seen here before. It was another person. She wasn't happy that someone had intruded on her own private place, but she was curious all the same. She quickened her pace and soon found her self in front of what could only be an apparition. It was her, but with no means to reflect. She stared at herself and wondered. She jumped a bit when she saw the reflection reach out for her. It took her hand and began to put it to its mouth. It shook back the long brown hair and smiled a wide knowing smile. They stood there for what seemed like eternity; identical in form and feel.
Maybe because it was a dream, or maybe because it was herself she was there with, but she seemed to know what it wanted. The reflection still held her hand. It brushed her fingertips on its lips and waited.
"Yes," she heard herself say. Her reflection lowered her to the fleshy ground and pushed her gently to her back. The reflection let its fingers drag slowly down the length of her body. Every inch of flesh its own. Carol felt its tongue glide along her feet. She raised up on her elbows and watched her reflection taste her feet and then down the silky path of her legs. It was kneeling with her legs in its hands.
She watched as it slowly turned its head back and forth. Finally it snapped its head to one side and its jaw seemed to pop down lower than it was meant to. Another quick snap to the other side and then back to the middle and the jaw had extended down and the mouth was agape. Brilliant white teeth shone in the dark and behind them was a darkness she had never seen. A darkness like she had never seen.
Would you like to go there? She heard it ask. It was her voice and it seemed to come from within her. But she knew it was the reflection. The massive maw never moved, but the eyes bored deep into her.
"Yes. More than anything." Her voice was weak and barely a whisper, but the reflection heard it. She wanted to be in that darkness more than anything. She wanted to slip into its embrace and dream forever. She watched as her feet were slipped past the white and down into the dark. It's tongue drifted along the passing flesh. She began to lose her focus on any one thing. Her eyes moved from one thing to the next with no action on her part. She caught a glimpse of her slim legs as they were engulfed impossibly. Suddenly it was her thighs that grazed past the wide row of teeth. She could feel herself twisting through the body of her reflection. Its tongue was wetting her body as it passed into its body.
The wide red lips hungrily took in her body. She felt a tinge of the dread she felt in the dark. This was the real thing. Its eyes were wide and full of hunger. Its tongue felt much longer than it should as it caressed her ass as she was engulfed up to her waist.
Suddenly Carol looked deep into its eyes and she was jerked away from the consuming dark and back to her own dark. She found herself not in the embrace of the arms and mouth that were hers but in a tangle of sheets and a sweat drenched bed. She realized that she was breathing rapidly and in forced movements. She staggered out of bed and into the bathroom. She threw on the light and reeled at its brilliance. She could see her body in the mirror. It was drenched and her chest was heaving and lifting her bare breasts quickly.
It was panic. She was having a panic attack. The dream- what was it? She couldn't remember now. All she could remember was one thing. She was still experiencing it. It was an overwhelming feeling of horror and fear.
For over a week she would have that dream. Each time it would be so wonderful and then she would violently come out of it. She was now starting to fear her dream for the sensation it left her with each time she came awake. This night she didn't want that feeling. The excitement and fantasy had been replaced with a fear and despair. It was a culmination of all of her desires. It was total and omnipresent darkness. But when she was finally there, it horrifying and it was everything she thought she wanted. It wasn't. She wanted the safe feeling of the dark again. So she sat in her apartment, alone on her couch, and waited.
She soon heard something that was very uncommon. Someone was knocking at her door. First of all, it was past three in the morning, and second it was her apartment. She felt the latter was stranger than the former. Before she could even look to see who it was, the door clicked and swung noiselessly open.
She got up and was about to run for the bedroom when she stopped. A woman stepped in and carefully shut the door. She turned to Carol and then sat gracefully on the arm of the large chair near the door. Carol stared at the woman. Something felt familiar about her silence.
"What are you doing in here? How the hell did you unlock the door?" Her confusion and wonder turned to anger. But the woman said nothing. She stared at her with luminous and hungry eyes. Her face was calm and even, and her hands were folded casually on her knees. She had the most intriguing hair. It was like ink. It swept back as though wet, revealing those hungry eyes and bright white skin. It hung in strips. One fell over the other and layered gracefully like slippery eels that followed the contours of her skull and neck.
"You've not been to sleep yet," her rich voice sang softly. Perfect white teeth flashed behind dark red lips. Her eyes drank in Carol's lithe frame.
"Do I know you?" She stood up effortlessly and seemed to barely touch the floor as she walked next to Carol. She gave off a sweet dizzying fragrance. Carol felt light headed and her legs, weak.
"Please, who..." The long white fingers of the woman's sleek hand gently stopped Carol's lips.
The woman was tall as was Carol, and she looked her direct in the eyes.
"Why have you not slept?" She brushed her long fingers across Carol's cheek. Her voice was melodious and with the sweet smell of her body Carol felt her limbs give way and down she went.
She looked up at the woman from the floor. She wore a long silk robe tied at the waist. The tiny eels that were her hair slipped about her shoulders.
"I have heard you every night you have called to me," she said softly. "But every night you leave me." She undid the loose belt and let the robe open. Her body was encased in the flowing dark of the silk robe. She had full breasts that swayed slightly as she knelt to the floor. Her smooth belly creased and her long slender legs bent gracefully.
Carol felt her own robe and panties being taken off, but she could not seem to see what was happening. All she could do was breathe that intoxicating scent. And somewhere in the back of her mind she could hear that melodious voice. It was coming as much from within as from the strange woman with her. When finally she drifted back to the room and everything else, she saw the woman slowly twisting her head back and forth; the supple muscles in her slender neck and porcelain breast fluttered momentarily. She snapped it once and her delicate, white jaw slipped down a bit. Again she snapped her head and her jaw popped open even farther. One final movement and she was wide open.
"What are you..." Ever so gently the woman lifted Carol's legs and first licked her feet and then set them in the wide gaping mouth.
"No... stop," she said weakly. Her mind was all a jumble and her thoughts slipped like quicksilver. She slowly, slowly slid across the floor as her legs were swallowed and then her hips.
This is for both of us. I need what you can give me and you want what only I can give you. The voice was like a breeze in her mind. It tickled and licked at her until she understood. She lolled her head around until she found those eyes. They burned like pools of black oil. Her breath was coming in short panicked bursts.
"No. No!" she managed. Her voice was small and had no power behind it. She felt her legs slide down her throat and felt all those nights in the belly of her dream reflection. Now she began to twist and move. Her mind was figuring out what was happening but her body still didn't understand. Desperate to get away, she clawed at the floor. Small worm's trails of blood tracked the wooden panels. She could feel the long wet tongue sliding along her belly. It traced the crevice of her spine and soon she could feel it on her breasts. Her mind was on fire with fear and desperation.
"Oh God, please. Please no. I don't want to." She was crying and soon her eyes were staring into that deep black expanse that lay just behind the teeth. She felt the panic and the fear and she couldn't move. She couldn't feel. All she could do was give in, and let the darkness wrap around her, and her dreams fade away with the last breath in her body.
Among the roiling silk of her robe, Rain lay. She pushed with one hand and slid her jaw back into place and rested the other on her bloated belly. Her eyes were lazy and content. The hunger in them was pushed down and for the first time in a long, long while- she slept. And she dreamed.
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