This is a work of fiction. The characters in the story have no relation to the illustrious characters or persons from literature with whom they may share their name. By reading this story, you are agreeing to Nifty's terms and conditions.
I am quite amazed by this archive. It has writers of all ages visiting it to express themselves with no inhibition and without judgement. It might seem like a place to come to get a cheap thrill or self-pleasure, but the expression of love I have found hiding in this trove is quite fascinating.
This is my first foray into writing anything explicitly erotic, and will probably be my last. I have written this for someone I love, but I dedicate it to Nifty - its writers and its readers.
obtuse UNDERSCORE legend AT yahoo DOT com
Captive of the Eye
Learn from yon Orient shell to love thy foe,
And store with pearls the hand that brings thee woe:
Free, like yon rock, from base vindictive pride,
Imblaze with gems the wrist that tears thy side;
Mark where yon tree rewards the stony shower
With fruit nectareous or balmy flower.
All nature calls aloud, shall man do less
Than heal the smiter, and the railer bless?
- Hafez-e-Sirazi, translated by William Jones
I moved into the villa when I was twenty-six, as a young writer come upon a wealthy inheritance through his uncle. I decided to leave my flat in Paris and move into the villa, against the advice of my family, so I could work on my novel in the quiet of the small England town. Uncle Anatole had been a fascinating figure. He had lived a mysterious, nomadic life and had remained a bachelor with no children. My father would often speak about his trysts with the occult and how it had taken away a normal life from him. He had moved to England when he was very young, and had settled down in this villa till the end of his days, despite my family asking him to move back to Paris as he got older. He had been my favourite uncle by far, because he had been a collector of stories. Stories from all over the world, and he had travelled himself to hear them from the storyteller's mouth. We would all gather around the fireside when we visited him years ago, and he would regale us with anecdotes of the most fascinating kind, complete with accents and mannerisms of the locals he had heard them from. But he had a terrible temper, and we had to be quite careful when we visited. He could lambast you for the slightest displeasure caused while he was in a bad mood, especially if he caught you not in rapt attention when he was telling one of his tales.
The villa had quite the eclectic collection of artefacts from around the globe. Some of the rooms appeared to be conquests from ancient Rome, a parlour downstairs with its fine rugs would have fit into a Persian palace. Even the gardens seemed to be constructed from the world over. I had lived here for a month now, and visited a few times growing up, but still didn't know how many rooms there were. In fact nobody knew. There was a local legend that the villa changed its walls all the time. Of course this was simply nonsense. Unless it was done very secretly and smartly.
I didn't go about the villa much, keeping to my quarters and the library, occasionally finding my way to the kitchen or pantry, but otherwise quite happy to be served my meals in the dining room or my bedroom balcony. There had been strange things I had noticed, like some days it would take me much longer to find my room, or I would notice a new painting or bust where there hadn't been one before. But that was only because there were so many curious nooks and corners in here that there was always something new catching my eye. I was quite happy to escape the bohemian lifestyle of the city and relax in the luxury of this estate, observing the society of the smaller England town.
On one warm summer night, I returned rather late from a carouse and proceeded to my bedroom. Instead, I went right into a dusty little closet, which had just decided to appear. Since I could not swear by my present faculties, I was more annoyed than curious, at least until I spotted a stairway at the back of it. My feet, having a mind of their own, climbed down the dark staircase, with the help of the punctuated moonlight from the long windows which appeared with every spiral. At the bottom was a small room, resembling a study of sorts. There were books strewn everywhere and the moonbeams made their gilded pages sparkle. As I dropped into an armchair, I sat on a rather plush leather-bound diary. Clumsily retrieving it from under me, I opened it and turned on a light.
It was hopeless. There would be no escape. We have been momentarily spared, but even now my pulse is erratic, and I find it hard to write. Last night, I had seen it with my own eyes, he had come upon me as a man possessed. He had smiled at me, a smile that had twisted my stomach. I could see the insanity in it and yet it aroused me instantly. He walked softly towards me and I stepped back until I came to the wall. He then stopped and watched me intently, a glimmer of kindness seemed to pass his face, but then the smile returned, and he could see that he could do what he wanted. He stepped forward and his hands began to roam over my body. At first they hovered over my clothes, occasionally brushing against them and making me shudder. I could feel the heat from his hands singe me through the fabric. Then he took my clothes off one by one and now his hands were caressing strokes all over, lifting just as they stimulated. I stretched and extended my body to keep in touch with his playful hands. When I was almost jerking forward violently, he began kneading me, and it seemed like my body were dough with little bubbles of ecstasy in it. Each time he kneaded a bubble, it burst, and I was unable to think clearly. I only wanted more. He pushed me violently back against the wall and pressed his body hard against mine, almost crushing me, and then gave me the gentlest of kisses. I should not have felt it because my body was on overdrive, but I did, and opened my eyes. He was walking away, but he turned and laughed before he left.
I knew we had to escape, and I tried to explain this to Clara. She was worried that I was being delusional, but she could sense the lust in herself too, a rabid lust which I knew would make us tear each other to satisfy. We decided to hike right back from the cabin to our car, hoping this would be the last we saw of him.
I suddenly heard a rustle outside and looked up through the window. There stood the most beautiful woman I had seen. She was wearing a white dress and her eyes were like black pearls set in white marble, and her hair flowed down with a few tresses gently cascading over her breasts. I don't know if it was my intoxicated state, or the story still in my hands, but I was so aroused that I got up and went to the window, trying to open it. She smiled, but the window didn't budge. I splayed my body against it and tried to get out. I had to. I needed to run my hands all over her and plunge into her. With a thundering crack the glass splintered and it tore into every part of my flesh, even the side of my cheek. I screamed out in terrible agony - a deafening scream.
It woke me up - soaked in my sweat, my heart racing like a speeding train. The diary lay in my lap. With some amusement, I noted that it contained only a collection of cocktails to make one lose their mind. Try as much as I did, I could not find the story that I had read before falling off to sleep. I dragged myself groggily back up the stairs and to my bedroom, taking the diary with me. When I fell into my bed, I realised that I was still extremely turned on. I let my fingers roam over me, trying to remember the ecstasy of the dream.
It had been a few weeks since that night, and I had forgotten all about it until I decided to throw a party, at the behest of my friends. It seemed only proper to invite the townsfolk and introduce myself, and so I began the preparations. There was food to be catered and drinks to be made. That was when I remembered the diary, and I thought I'd share a few recipes from it with the butler. The diary, which I found lying on my desk, had some exotic drinks, with some ingredients I had never heard of before. For example, this was one such entry that intrigued me:
A cocktail of spiced rum with a frozen blend of iced tea brewed from crushed kava root and damiana leaves, crushed using a black coral mortar and pestle.
The invitee list was long, I had probably invited half the town. I was told, though, by my uncle's old friend, Hector, that this was a big exaggeration. But I had done well socially, and made an acquaintance of more people than I knew in all the years in Paris. Or perhaps everyone wanted to be invited into the villa, which had kept its doors shut when my uncle lived in it. Hector had been a little skeptical of changing that habit with a huge party, but I couldn't see the harm in it and felt I needed the company.
The villa definitely proved useful for the party, and for once I felt that its grounds and rooms were duly occupied. There were lanterns in the garden and the trees were draped with festoons, and some had comfortable sofas and party chairs under them. The rooms were lined with corbeils, cheese and crackers and fountains of chocolate. The living room opened to a deck, which faced the rear garden. There was a barbecue on the deck, around which people stood palavering in small groups.
This is where I first spotted him. Mr Crowley was playing in the background, and I had just finished greeting the latest guests, when I stepped out on the deck. He was speaking with a couple, whom I had just ushered in. But I didn't remember letting him in. He looked at me; it seemed like a casual glance in my direction, the type one is bound to make at a party just to make sure they're not missing out on some fun elsewhere. But it didn't feel like a casual glance at all. It tingled my senses and sent a chill down my spine. And then he turned back to his conversation. Why was I reacting like that? I cautiously decided to join and introduce myself.
"Hello Janet, hope you're enjoying yourselves," I said.
"What a wonderful party, it's simply a festive place! A pity your uncle never had people over on the grounds before, Monsieur Dupin," said Janet.
"I don't believe we've met, I'm Auguste," I said, turning to the young man.
"This is Edward Topsell," introduced Janet, and Edward smiled and shook my hand.
"Edward was just telling us about White Stains, and his views on hedonism, weren't you?" Janet continued.
"But it's a different song now and I rather not bore our host," said Edward rather quickly.
Before I could respond, Janet gave a shout of glee, and excused herself, with her starkly quiet husband in quick pursuit. This left me alone with Mr Topsell . He smiled at me, and I looked at him more closely. I could feel the terror rise on my face when I looked at his eyes, those eyes! Those black pearls in white marble!
"Are you alright, Monsieur Dupin?" he asked, his voice tinged with concern.
I tried to find my voice, but my mouth had gone dry. I simply nodded and tried to smile. I had a sip of my drink, the Coral Crush. Then I tried my best to act casual and asked him what he did around town.
He seemed to relax and spoke at length about his occupation. He was a zoologist, and had travelled the world in search of exotic creatures. As he described his latest findings, I couldn't help let my gaze slip over his lithe body. He must have noticed, because he shifted a bit and blushed, and gave me a warm smile that made my stomach flutter.
I smiled back, but had to wonder how much my smile spoke. It definitely said a lot more than the awkward silence that it had left behind.
"Would you like me to show you the villa?" I asked, not out of politeness, but rather from a burning desire to frisk this prize away.
Snapping out of the momentary silence, he immediately smiled and agreed. We walked around the rooms where the guests were, and I spoke with some of them as they enjoyed the revelry. Edward seemed to glibly blend into every group, and I marvelled how warmly people greeted him. Soon we were headed to the upper level, leaving the party behind us. As I opened the door to my study where I wrote, he tapped me on my shoulder.
When I turned around, he pulled me into a hug, and gently whispered, "Why do you make me feel so weak? You're like a Will O' the Wisp, aren't you? Want to leave me stranded and run back to your friends."
I was rather taken aback, especially when it was me who was feeling this way. But I just kissed him gently instead. We just stood there, hugging each other, and I cautiously asked him, "Do you have a sister who lives around here?"
He laughed a gentle and melodious laugh. "Can I not please you?" he joked.
I blushed profusely, and couldn't think why I had put forward such a question. Finally I told him a part of my dream. This seemed to make him a little uncomfortable, though he suggested we should get a cardboard box and transmogrify him into a girl.
"Or how about Mystique?" I joined in the fun, but this seemed to put him into a foul mood and he pulled away, frowning as he tried to walk away.
But I didn't let him, dragging him back into a kiss. This time though, it didn't feel gentle. He kissed me passionately, with a surge of hunger I hadn't felt before. He pushed me back into a loveseat, jumped on top of me and kissed my neck, every piece of it, fervently. I wanted to stop him, but couldn't get myself to do it. Not only was I enjoying it too much, I was scared of angering him. I felt I was duty bound to appease him, show him I wanted him, and him alone. His kisses slowed down after a while, and he gently kissed me on my lips and then broke down into tears.
With every kiss, I had lusted for him in every way, and slowly there was no other thought. I pushed him back while he was still crying and pulled his shirt off. He begged me to stop, but I was heartless. I wanted him and nothing would stop me. I continued undressing him amidst the tears and then I stripped myself. I lifted his legs up and plunged in and began thrusting. With every thrust I looked deeper into his eyes, and as each tear came out, I got closer to the edge. I kissed his salty face, not with any compassion but in an intoxicated trance, mumbling bravados as I reached the climax. For an instant before I broke loose, I saw him as a monster, his body was covered with scales and his feet were hoofs. There were breasts on his chest and his penis was much bigger than before. This vision vanished in an instant, but it was enough to both scare me and thrust me into the most ecstatic orgasm I had experienced.
He was sobbing quietly, and I wanted to angrily ask him to stop. But I suddenly realised what I had done, and I wanted to throw up. I hugged him, and started crying and asked him to forgive me. This seemed to make him stop crying immediately. He hugged me back and calmed me down, assuring me that everything was alright.
But I knew it wasn't. I was too ashamed and tired to argue, so I just fell asleep in his arms.
I woke up the next day, to find myself in my bed, alone, and was left wondering if last night had been yet another dream.
I decided to pay Hector a visit and discuss the nature of my dreams, for he was the only one who would know about my uncle's adventures. He had a lot of questions, but when I mentioned the story from the diary, and the name Clara, he became really quiet. After a long gap of silence, he spoke slowly.
"You should never have opened those memories in this house. Anatole had taken great pains to hide these away, but mischief is afoot that has brought you this vision, or is it a friendly warning? Come, it is better you see for yourself," Hector said, and led me out and into his car.
We drove a few miles and soon I realised we were heading to the cemetery, where only a few months ago my uncle had been buried. We stood at his grave for a few minutes, in silence, before Hector walked ahead and I followed him until we came by another grave.
The gravestone read 'Clara Dawe'. Hector bent down and I leant over him and could see on the bottom of the gravestone was scratched an epitaph, 'Clara Dupin, my loving wife. -Anatole'. Too small to see unless you were looking for it.
"He was married to Clara?" I asked incredulously.
"Yes, they were married only a few short months when she died, and nobody knew, especially not her family. And after she died, Anatole refused to speak about her or admit he was ever married. He never told his family, but moved out here and took up residence at the villa here ever since. After my wife died, I moved to England as well, so I could have the company of my old friend once again in our decrepitude, for Anatole wouldn't hear of moving out. I must presume he wanted to be next to her, just like he had asked for in his will."
I remembered that it requested he be buried here, but that only seemed right and proper as he had taken up residence during his long life in this town. I ventured to ask, "How did she die?"
"The papers said it was a bear attack, a brutal incident - her body was ripped apart. It was on one of their travels together," said Hector and it felt like he was knowingly looking at me with a very intent gaze that was telling me that now I knew there was more to it.
I shuddered, remembering the account from the dream, and couldn't help feeling weak. I almost collapsed on the grass and felt my head swooning. I myself had been driven mad last night. Was I tricked into committing such a terrible act, just like my uncle had been?
"Are you alright?" Hector asked with sudden concern.
"What does it do to your mind?" I asked half in anger, half in fear.
"I do not know, but your uncle hated it. He could never forgive himself after Clara's death, but he did everything he could to keep it away, and he had given every impression that he had succeeded. But he never spoke of it and never had the courage nor desire to be with anyone again. This I know from my own studies - shouting at it helps clear the vision away. It is my belief that your uncle developed his sense of temper for precisely this purpose. Well, at least that is all I have to tell you," and he began walking back to his car.
I got up and followed him, and we drove back in silence.
"Be careful, if you'd rather move back to Paris, I'd be happy to take care of things here," Hector offered as we pulled up into his driveway.
I was tempted to agree, but somehow I knew that this would not help. The place was not haunted, it was I who was the marked one, the captive. And a voice within me spoke with more strength than I felt in my legs.
"It has appeared like a woman and like a man, pray hope it does not appear like the bear. But in this home I have the best chance of staying safe. Here I will be the magician, and all the rabid dogs that wander in will be turned into harmless ducks."
Hector smiled gravely and waved good-bye.
I spent the next few weeks holed up in the villa, searching through my uncle's books and writings and going over all the rooms. I had to use my analytic mind to come up with a plan, but I had more questions than answers. My first problem was I couldn't find the closet with the staircase anymore. I spent a whole day searching for it, and had to come to the conclusion that the villa shifted shapes as easily as my unwelcome guest. It was perhaps his aura that caused the rooms to change and hide after his manner. I was most interested in why it had tried to warn me by showing me the vision, and was hoping the study held more clues.
The second problem I faced was preparing myself for the next encounter. I was determined to be much less excitable by keeping at bay my sexual arousal. And I was determined to rail as much as I could when he visited me again. I was somehow also convinced that I would fail miserably at both. Even thinking of my dreams aroused me in an instant, despite the terrible prospect of dying like Clara, or even worse, doing to someone else what I had done to him. It seemed quite absurd to be able to rail at someone who made me feel that way.
I did come across a curious little story on a piece of paper tucked away in an old book. The book was one of the volumes of The Lives of the Saints, by Sabine Baring-Gould. The piece of paper was tucked into a page that had an account of a Welsh legend, St Collen, and how he dispelled the fairies' glamorous visions with holy water. My uncle seemed to have stumbled on an anecdote that he thought was related, and he had scribbled this down on the piece of paper that he had put away here. It told of how three times the fairy king had tried to seduce a hermit to break his meditation. The first he came as a beautiful nymph and the second as a fair page, but failed to disrupt the hermit, who simply shouted obscenities and refused to be polite. The third time, he came as a monster, half beast and half human, and the hermit was at first terrified. His fear made him lose himself and he was aroused and seduced. Just as he was about to lose his virtue, the stoup of holy water spilt over and the monster immediately vanished.
My uncle had also scribbled a few ingredients (holy water, four-leaf clover, red verbena and salt) below the story, of what appeared to be a potion of some sort, possibly to spray over the monster. I had also found a small wooden cross in the library. It was made of rowan wood and studded with a piece of coral right at the cross. I decided to keep this on me at all times, along with a phial of the potion. After all, saining had been the most common protection against such spirits.
But nothing prepared me enough for what was about to happen.
Late one afternoon, I fell asleep in my study, only to wake up a few hours later to some wonderful music. It was twilight outside and I tried to figure out where the music was coming from. I came downstairs and the music was distinctly louder. I entered the living room, to find him sitting on a stool and playing the lute. I wanted to shout at him and put my preparation to effect, but with every note that come to me, my will was losing its battle and I was put under a spell of intoxication. I found myself quietly sitting down in an armchair and paying rapt attention to the performance, with every intention of applauding the minute it would be appropriate. He smiled at me, and began singing.
There lived a brave and gallant knight
Shining armour he wore
From helmet down to solleret
No one had made a bore
Legend spoke of wonderful spells
Woven into his mail
He never donned anything else
Sunshine or gusty gale
People told of his ruthless heart
Addled by love's deceit
Armour and him never apart
Set to afflict defeat
Noblemen and ladies alike
Sought his secret strength
Was it the sword, was it the pike?
They argued out at length
Never would he seek out some help
Or look for charity
Would shed no tear, would utter no yelp
To get some sympathy
Then one day he beheld those eyes
And had to stop and stare
His hauberk did not stop the sighs
Help! Yelp! he did not care
Eyes of Tiresias keen and true
Hyacinth's figure supple
Lamia to rob him of his virtue
Beorn to tear and mangle
Off came his armour one by one
The eyes had freed the door
There he stood like the naked sun
And had to fight ne'er more
After he finished singing, he put the lute down gently and came and slid into my lap.
"That was for you," he said softly, and kissed me.
I willed myself to push him away and stop the charade, but I couldn't. He began playing with my curls and I simply lost myself in his eyes.
"I know what you are," I found myself speaking after a while, more in admiration than in accusation.
A spark of rage seemed to cross his eyes, but they turned soft immediately.
"Do you want me to release you?" he asked.
It was impossible to say yes, but I seemed to find my voice again.
"If you release me, I will stay."
He laughed. It was a cruel laugh, but the tears and pain on his face told me it was torture for him.
"And who will release me? You should leave," he said and he got up and walked to the centre of the carpet, where he sat and then laid down.
The glamour seemed to fade, the intoxication of the music seemed to be gone. I found myself armed with my presence of mind once again, and the details of my plan came back to me and I reached for my phial and the cross. But something stayed my hand, and it wasn't lust, but rather something that seemed even more primal. The plan seemed as futile as it had seemed while I had lost my will and mind.
After a while, I got up and walked over to him, and lay down next to him. He turned to look at me and I gently caressed his face. He smiled a forlorn smile and spoke softly, almost pleading.
"Don't be afraid of me."
"I'm not anymore," I replied.
Our bodies were soon entwined, as we passionately kissed and greedily sought the affection. Soon he was on top of me and stroked my body with his tongue. I had never felt anything like this. It felt like a sponge bath with a sensory overload. His tongue seemed to be digging down to my nerves and bathing them with a touch of silky delight. I started squirming helplessly when his tongue found my hole. He then held me and entered me, and I opened my eyes, suddenly aware again of where I was. He looked different, his chest was covered with what seemed like feathers. I tried to lift my head to see his legs and they once again seemed to be ungulated. But he pushed me back, and I could feel the terror in me rise as his swelling organ was growing and filling me up. I was ready to tear away and flee, but when I looked into his eyes, I saw the same black pearls set in white marble, and they smiled at me.
He was ravishing me, and if his eyes had not displaced my fear, then how he was making me feel would have. With every thrust there was a guttural growl that seemed to let out the beast, and the more I saw of this, the more aroused I got. His body seemed to shift shapes into horrible monsters, each with a hungrier sound and an uglier body. But each time he got more passionate and drove me wilder. Soon his many hands were fondling me all over, while he continued pumping me mercilessly. His face was now like a serpent, and his forked tongue was licking my nipple. This sent me over the edge, and I passed out. When I woke up, I looked up in terror to see the same fearsome creature over me, and I once again wanted to bolt, having been spent of my passion. My mind was mad with the vision of being torn apart.
Then I looked into his eyes once again, those familiar eyes! I lifted my hand and caressed the terrifying face and smiled weakly. Through the window, the first rays of dawn streaked through and fell upon us. In that instant the monster was gone, and he collapsed over me, weeping and kissing me on my cheek at the same time.