by Klaudia Bara
based on the urban legend
originally published by The Writers Post Journal
The boy with the blue eyes glanced at her nervously as the car climbed the ridge. She smiled in the dark. No mental pictures from him now, though he'd sent a few her way in the past. He just never knew that he did.
He braked as the car neared the crest of the ridge, then turned left in the deserted park. Gravel crunched beneath the wheels, the sound of it coming through the open window. He parked at the far end close to where the trimmed, careful look of the park ended and the natural overgrowth of the forested ridge began. He handed her a bottle of wine and grinned at her when she took a swig.
Ever since she could remember she'd seen things in her head, things that happened to other people running like a movie behind her eyes. If the scene were particularly vivid she smelled odors—the sharp tang of a freshly peeled orange, the clean pine smell of mulch in the spring. Or she felt things. Emotions, even physical sensations.
When she was a little girl she thought everyone had visions. By the time she was six she knew she was different and the visions became a secret, separated from her everyday life with an instinct as routine as breathing.
The mind-movies were mostly mundane. Random events in someone’s day. Occasionally she picked up a memory, as if someone dropped in for a moment’s contact before moving on.
Now she sat with her boyfriend in the dark on the ridge, the lights of the town twinkling far below them. The old white-blue street lamps cast slanting shadows around the small park, spaced few and far apart, and the tower of the nearby television station disappeared above them into the night.
Then his lips covered hers, warm and longing, and she moved into his arms. She wiggled against his body playfully. He nibbled on her neck, laughed at her and pinned her in the corner of the car seat, his long body covering hers, kissing her long and hard. His fingers roamed beneath her sweater to the warm skin beneath her bra. He stroked her nipples and it was as if a wire ran down from her breasts, connecting to her center. Electric. She pushed against the hard bulge in his jeans, the wine buzzing through her head, tasting the sweetness of it on his lips and tongue. He groaned and her insides throbbed almost painfully.
A spark flared in the midst of riotous feeling, a tiny cold flicker in the red chaos of her arousal. She didn't want it there, she pushed it away.
His tongue traced the shell of her ear and she shivered. Her hand crept down to the crotch of his jeans. There was a quiet brrring sound as the zipper parted. His cock jumped beneath her fingers, hot, hard. She grasped the head, rubbing the smooth skin with her fingers. Like velvet. She liked it. She liked how he looked at her, as if she meant everything. She liked how he pushed helplessly against her touch.
A few moments of awkward, frantic fumbling and then they were naked. She giggled, overcome with nerves, and the boy smiled at her, happy as a pig in shit. She lunged forward into his arms, hugging him hard.
"I love you," he whispered impulsively and immediately looked horrified. She had to laugh and it made things worse. He blushed—she saw it even in the darkness.
Something cold. A sliver of frost, sinking into her mind. Not a mind-movie, not a memory. Someone. Something. She gasped and sat upright, fear crowding her throat, cutting off her breath.
"God, I've really blown it," the boy mumbled, unaware. He couldn't meet her eyes.
Hot and cold. Drawn by their heat, what they felt together, cold so blue and frosted and alien it burned when it touched. Burned her mind. It urged her on. It wanted to watch.
She touched the boy’s face. "Don't be sorry,” she whispered. He looked up at her slowly. Then his mouth lowered to hers again.
Spread your legs for him, the voice breathed. It wound its way through her mind like a snake.
She lay back and spread her legs. She wanted it, the voice wanted it, and the voice was very strong. The boy's eyes were vague with wine but trusting, needing her. She pulled him closer and the thing inside her head roared, hungry for the heat. So unloved, such a freak.
The boy pushed his way slowly, carefully inside. He wasn't lying. He loves me.
The thing in her head was frantic. It had touched itself so many times, always alone, eyes squinted tightly together, fresh come on top of old on unwashed sheets, futile, reeking. It wanted more.
Her cherry broke and she rode a giant pain, her desire disappearing like a dampened fire. She tried to push the voice out, but pain swelled through her head, so strong it wiped out the pain of losing her virginity.
The thing, no, he started to run through the trees in the darkness, twigs snapping underfoot, running through a freezing blue mist of his own mind. She tried but she couldn’t make herself move or fight back. She was paralyzed.
The boy kissed her temple, looked at her questioningly. She urged him on with her eyes. He moved again, faster now, desire flaring in them both, his lips trailing warm and wet down her neck and she clung to him, full of terror and a desire so immense it blotted out the world—
obscured its vision—
Fuck him, it urged, voice garbled, an animal trying to outwit its nature and speak. She groaned and writhed against the boy, nails down his back. His eyes were closed, sweat on his forehead. Lost in her.
I'm coming for you—
She couldn't speak. Tears leaked from her eyes as he pushed through the wild overgrowth of the ridge. So hungry. So angry.
The boy felt her tears. His eyes opened, wide clear blue. She surged against him, moving her hips, and he gasped, and he came as she whispered I love you, too, against the strength of the thing in her head.
The car door swung open and the hook slit through the back of the boy’s neck and slid in under the skull, digging into the center of the brain. He gave only a small cry and then slumped to her chest, staring, sinking into her eyes. She wished she could follow.
And then the one who sensed her, smelled her like a dog on a hunt and smashed through the undergrowth to get to her pulled himself free from his clothing and sank into her, took her into hell. Burned her with his awful coldness. Just a monster with visions of his own, never felt anyone's pain but his own, encrusted in his own evil. In what he’d made for himself.
When he tensed in the last moment before orgasm, she spoke to him, assured him everything he feared was all true. Freak, unloved, unwanted, repulsive. He came anyway, came with her murmuring, confiding voice in his ear, through anguish so great it felt as if her insides were lined in slivered glass.
He raised the hook again, bloody, still with a silvery glint. She looked up at it, fear so immense she couldn't breathe, couldn't stop shrieking, crying out to anyone or anything who might listen, who might help her. There was no one. The hook gouged her arm, her chest, blood pouring, agony—and then he plunged the hook into his own heart, impaling it, digging it partly from his own chest before he grew still.
In the dark car, black as shadows, blood flowed from him and mingled with her blood, with the blood of the dead boy. She lay there as dawn lit the sky, blood drying brown until someone discovered them together, the three of them still living in her mind.