Authors: Ella Norris
Tags: #fantasy, #steamy, #fates, #chocolate addiction, #humour adult, #witty and charming, #mythology and romance, #mythology and magical creatrues, #fun and flirty
My head was pounding, my mouth was dry and my
eyes were gritty. On the plus side, the room stopped spinning, I
got the vomit out of my hair and I made it from the shower to my
couch without retching all over the place.
Now all I had to do was lay still until I
fell asleep, and then hopefully, whenever I woke up, I wouldn’t
feel like complete and total shit with the added bonus of cotton
mouth and a worse headache than I had now. I closed my eyes and
tried to relax.
Of course, it would be so much easier to
relax if my pajama bottoms weren't twisted around my hips helping
my underwear further wedge itself up my ass. Ignoring a fresh wave
of nausea, I lifted my butt up, turned the waistband of my pajama
bottoms to rights, gingerly put my butt back down on the
itchy-looks like denim, but is actually polyester- couch and closed
my eyes, waiting for the bliss of sleep.
Someone started stomping around outside my
Dempsey, Georgia, the town in which I live,
is what we southerners -that would be me- call a one traffic light
town, meaning it's so small there is literally only one traffic
light. The rest of the town, which only covers a little over ten
square miles, is tamed by stop signs and a speed limit of 15 miles
per hour. Dempsey, like most small southern towns, is primarily
made up of old worn down mill houses and antebellum mini Taras with
columns and wrap-around porches a plenty. I live in such a house.
Well, I live in a one bedroom apartment that was previously three
bedrooms and two baths in such a house.
My apartment takes up almost half of the
second floor. Doug Pittard, who lives in the apartment across from
mine, took up the rest. Doug got a second bedroom, and I got the
balcony and claw foot tub. The main floor of the house was divided
into a small studio apartment, a large entryway with a grand curved
staircase, a couple of storage closets and the landlady, Mrs.
Crowell's- wall to wall pink carpet, ugly antique furniture and
pink and gold walls strategically covered with ornately framed
floral oil paintings- three bedroom monstrosity .
Mrs. Evelyn Crowell was an evil Harpy who
insisted on making my life hell, but on one of her best days she
couldn't get her bony, haggard self up the stairs. Apartment 1b,
the little studio, was still vacant, and Doug Pittard was out of
town. I knew because he had asked me to get his mail for him three
different times. So who the hell was in my hallway?
Whoever was outside my door was still
un-rhythmically banging around, so obviously I was going to have to
get up and do something about it. I did a
roll-off-the-couch-into-a-squat move and slowly, because the room
was still spinning with every step, made my way to the front door.
Unfortunately, we don't have doors with peep holes in Dempsey- it
would be rude to spy on your visitors and heaven forbid you use
them to avoid unwanted guests.
Thinking it had to be some kid, the plan-
which really was more of a thought, and a tiny one at that- was to
scream my head off and scare the juvenile delinquent away.
It was not a kid.
"What the hell?" I asked.
He looked around as if he expected someone
else to be standing behind him. "You can see me, pretty?"
"I'm not the one that appears to have vision
problems," I scoffed.
He did call me pretty.
He smiled. It made his little black eyes
"I am not visually impaired." His smile
widened, "And neither are you. You can see me, can't you,
"Yes. I can see you and hear you," and
unfortunately smell you. "So what are you doing in my hallway,
making enough noise to wake the dead?"
He snickered, and it was a little disturbing.
Spit started pooling at the corners of his mouth, making him drool.
He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "I can handle the
dead, pretty." He snickered again, "it’s my eternal work."
"Well, your hours suck."
He continued to smile. The throbbing pain in
my head increased.
"Why are you in my hallway?"
"I had required Mr. Pittard’s
Ahh, he was one of Doug’s geeky buddies.
"He's out of town," I said.
"Yes, but the Fates, bless them, gave me you,
pretty," he said, walking towards me.
I probably should have been scared or
intimidated, but he wasn't a very big guy-not much taller than me,
maybe 5'6”, and he was wearing black boots with a bit of a heel. He
didn't have any weight on me either- the guy was skinny, almost
sickly looking. His long sleeve shirt, torn and filthy, was
literally hanging off his bony shoulders. His jeans, stained with
Georgia red clay, hung loosely, pooling at the bottom of his heeled
boots. Now that I thought about it- not an easy task with my head
pounding- with his darkly circled eyes, hollowed cheeks and greasy
matted hair, he looked half starved and a little desperate.
I should have just slammed the door in his
face. I would have any other day, but I guess my mama had rubbed
off on me a little because, apparently, getting drunk left me with
a soft spot for creepy strays.
"Hey, do you want something to eat? I've got
Lucky Charms, and you look like you could use a meal." It's not
like I had to invite him in, I could just give him a plastic bowl
of cereal, or the whole box to go.
He stopped about two feet in front of me.
"Yes, I am hungry. You will serve me well."
Sheesh, forget the cereal, I think he was
flirting with me. Maybe if I had not grown up with a parade of the
sleaziest boyfriends, lovers, and one-nighters my mama could catch
and bring home, I would have been concerned- or if I was really
desperate, flattered- but with my head still throbbing, and his
annoying habit of using the word pretty at the end of every
sentence, the only thing I was feeling was pissy.
"Look buddy, I'm 5'3” on a good day, 140
pounds on a better one. I see myself in the mirror every day, so
you can stop this ridiculous flirtation because no matter how many
times you call me pretty," I waved my hands in front of my pelvis,
"I am not open for business."
He smiled. "What is your name, pretty?"
"Myra Jane Collier," I said, and then,
because I couldn't stop myself, and habits formed growing up in a
small town are hard to shake, I added, "Why, what have you
He ignored my question, stepping forward the
last two steps that separated us. "I'm not interested in your
virtue, Myra Jane Collier."
If he didn't want food and wasn't attempting
to get laid, then what was he trying to do? I started to think
slamming the door in his face wasn't a bad idea. I began to step
back, but before I could do anything other than shift my weight, he
quickly- way too quickly for me to smack his hand away- touched his
index finger to my forehead.
I'm not sure if I actually felt his touch,
but the effect was as if he punched me, my head jerking back from
the blow. I should have fallen, or at least stumbled, back into my
living room, but instead I froze, the muscles in my body seizing as
a blinding, piercing pain shot from the center of my forehead to
the back of my skull. The pain exploded like a Fourth of July
firework, the tiny threads of the explosion becoming fire that
twisted and twined their way through my head, behind my eyes,
across my face. Every nerve in my body was burning- down my neck,
shoulders, arms, tips of my fingers and toes. My entire body was
cocooned in fiery pain. I couldn't think. I couldn't see. I
couldn't breathe. Then, suddenly, as quickly as the pain had begun,
it stopped, and there was nothing. No pain, no thoughts,
I was curled into a ball on the welcome mat
outside my apartment door, my cheek scraping against the worn
thread as my body shook. My eyes were open. I tried to speak, to
respond in any way but could not. My vision was clear, my head no
longer ached, and, if anything, I felt a strange sense of clarity I
had never felt before, as if the weight of worry and frustration
that made up my life had been taken away.
The pressure of hands on my shoulders had me
looking up into dark beady eyes. He brushed my hair out of my
"You see, it's your soul I want- your pretty,
"I swear to you if you've molested or raped
me, you better kill me too because otherwise, I'm going to hunt you
down and …and…dismember your MEMBER!" I yelled, after waking up to
find a large man leaning over me.
"I assure you, no rape or pillaging has
occurred," said the man, taking a step back as he ran a hand
through his black hair, leaving it sticking up, creating a path
where his fingers had been. His speech was crisp, but his tone
sardonic, making me wonder if he was irritated at me or
His skin was golden brown, his cheek bones
sharply angled, his jaw squared. He was a big man; tall and broad
shouldered, but he had a leanness to him, in the way that he moved
and just in his overall demeanor. He reminded me of one of my
mama’s old boyfriends who had fought in Iraq; a weathered and worn
soldier who had seen and done things he wanted to forget, but no
matter how much he wanted it to be different, couldn’t adapt.
He pushed the nosepiece of the round wire rim
glasses he wore further up the bridge of his long, straight nose,
the wire rims pushing into his dark eyebrows, the lenses
highlighting his icy gray eyes. “I have no intention of harming
you,” he said.