Welcome to Part 19 of “Woman of His Dreams”! If you’re new to my dark little erotic tale, you can find the start here!
Enjoy, and remember, dreams often have a life of their own…
by Angela Caperton
Anthony’s heart beat in urgent double-time at the sound of the hidden, dragging bulk behind the shelves. He had a sense of deja-vu, as though this room, this moment were reflected in the fractured glass of memory. This had happened, late one night in Videotopia.
Or he had seen it in a movie.
One shelf shook with a peristaltic wave, rippling from bottom to top, tapes, no, books falling out in a flutter of leaves. Dust rose up like smoke.
He saw his pants and his shirt lying near the end of the range of shelves and he stood up, wavering between the door (But the Goth girl had taken the fucking keys.) and his clothes. He’d run bare ass out into the street if he had to, much less in come-stained boxers, but having the pants at least would be nice and might keep him from being arrested. He had no idea what time it might be but the world looked dark through the shuttered windows of the old store.
The shuffling, dragging noise grew louder and he took a step toward the discarded garments. Torn between practicality and choking fear, he hesitated and then retched as something the size of a human head, but sickly white and glistening, a wet pulsing cone, appeared around the end of the shelf, snuffling close to the floor.
Anthony wished for better light but he also knew what a terrible idea that might be.
It’s the chick, he thought. The Goth girl, Cassie, trying to scare him.
“Okay,” he yelled. “Whatever you want. Anything.”
The white thing made a noise like a woman laughing, the cone opening into a full-lipped mouth. It rose on a shimmering trunk as it cleared the aisle and emerged into the room with Anthony. Behind the rising stalk, more length crept in coruscating ripples.
Only a dream, he said, but he felt the edges of his reason fraying, his heart slamming his ribs now, breath and mind gone to some other world where such things did not crawl. He saw it bend its unspeakable head and sniff at his clothes on the floor.
“Mmmm,” it said, in a voice that mimicked someone Anthony had once known, someone he could not name, but the voice touched something inside him and, amidst the gathering colors of insanity, he felt himself growing hard.
Now, he guessed that most of the monster must have emerged from behind the shelves, fifteen feet or more in boneless, pallid undulation. The head changed, like putty in an animated film. The cone grew eyes and the elongated outline of a face emerged from the waxy slime.
His side stung with sudden pain and he clapped his hand to the bandage on his bare ribs, backing toward the door, praying he had left it unlocked. He couldn’t remember what he had done when he came in. Even if he had left it open, the Goth bitch might’ve locked it.
Even if she was still here. The last traces of reason in his head strained to knit themselves together, trying to see how she might play this trick, make this monster crawl and flow. It’s a movie, he thought. I’m in a movie.
As it wriggled nearer to him, the creature stank, not emitting an overpowering reek but a faint, awful smell, like sickly sweet mildew and soured milk.
Fucking smell-o-vision, he thought, mad laughter erupting from his mouth, threatening to steal his last breath.
The bandage on his side pulsed under his hand and the wound throbbed, a sharp pain, as though it had opened anew.
He remembered more of the past, or the dream that had been like this, remembered being tied to a chair, the worms circling him, three or four of them, like this one but smaller. He had seen this happen. He had lived it. Someone had fucking video-taped it.
That’s impossible, he thought. How did I survive? How am I not insane?
The worm made its laughing noise again and oozed toward him.
He tore at the door and it opened. Something cold looped his ankle and he tripped, sprawling in the open portal, the street ten feet away, dusk at the edge of night, people, the city, safety. He clawed at the hardwood floor as the cold tourniquet about his bare leg tightened, creeping up his calf, caressing his knee.
Anthony forced himself to look and saw the worm had extruded a thin tentacle the color and texture of seared veal to encircle his leg and hold fast. Thin fluid, perhaps blood, began to seep from the wound in his side beneath the bandage, and he fought with all his strength against the creature’s pull, like struggling in a quicksand fantasy. The tentacle entangled his boxers and tore. He felt its tip probing between his butt cheeks, and suddenly escape seemed as necessary as breath to a drowning man.
He pulled himself through the doorway, the tentacle slowly easing its grip as though the outside air repelled it. He kicked once at the white face that breathed upon his feet, and he was out, standing, running down 57th Street naked, not looking back until he had run a block, past people who pointed and laughed.
At the corner, he stopped, breathless, his mind tattering as he tried to push away the reality of what he had just seen, what he had felt against his skin.
Blood had welled beneath the bandage and he looked down at it, wanting to remove it but not daring to.
He was standing there, holding onto the edge of sanity, when the ambulance arrived.
And the police.
Copyright 2010 Angela Caperton. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.