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“So what are you going to do now?” Asked Sarina as I sped along the outer roads back to town. Boy, that was the question of my life.
I had taken a leave of absence from my big city detective job and come back to the hometown of my birth, a little backwood polis called Greenwood. My purpose in doing so was to solve my mother’s murder. Here, I found my mother’s corpse was stripped and left bare in her office for the secretary, Jacquelyn Ruby, to find minutes after the murder, according to her testimony. The morgue also informed me there were small, bite like cuts all over my mother’s body in the areas most focused on by lovers in heat. This had not been on the official report. The chief of police told me there was a prophecy, of all things, concerning my mother’s death two weeks previous that got lost in the paperwork. The whole town was grieving, they all loved my mother, and yet one of them had done her in, one of them knew something. Suspiciously to me, the only person seemingly undisturbed by my mother’s death was her own sister, my aunt, Brandi Olympia. She seemed more concerned about marrying me off to my cousin, my previous marriage be damned, for political purposes.
“I don’t know. I don’t have any evidence and I don’t think my aunt killed my mom but she certainly wasn’t sad about her death,” I said over the phone to my wife. This job was starting to get cold, and I missed my woman’s heat.
“That’s terrible, baby. I wish you were home now, I want to hold you and let you rest… inside me.”
“I wish you were here to be honest,” I said and sighed heavily. I had told Sarina about Galda, the cock sucker police Chief George kept on retainer. The woman had given me a quick, sloppy blowjob while I had been talking strategy with the chief. Sarina found that strangely attractive. We had an open marriage, and she was as likely to share her girlfriends with me as I was with her. However, I had not found the time to tell her about my cousin, Dakota. Or Fae, for that matter, the girl who worked the tattoo parlor. Three blowjobs from as many women in fewer number of days. Sarina might start to get jealous, or even ask questions. Like I said, we had always had an open relationship, but Something felt different now, after Dakota. I knew Sarina would hardly care that I had received a blowjob, that wasn’t even sex. But still, for some reason, it felt like cheating, though I was not sure who it felt like I was cheating against, Sarina or Dakota.
“I can come out, soon as you want baby, I told you-“
“No, it’s fine I just…it might get dangerous here and I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“I may practice law now but don’t you forget I used to run those streets right next to you, Mr. Big Guns. I’m probably still a better shot too…in more ways than one.”
I had begun my relationship with Sarina when her name was Steven and he had been a homicide detective. After a few years of bumping heads, Steven finished his law degree, got a gender reassignment surgery and started working at a law office in the city. Few people understood his, now her, reasons for doing this, fewer still stayed her friend long enough to find out. I did. Within two years, Sarina and I started dating. Soon after that, we got hitched. We still butted heads, but we also bumped other things too. A lot.
“Nah, don’t worry about it babe, I’ll be home soon enough.”
“I’m supposed to worry, I’m your wife, it’s in the contract.”
“I don’t remember reading that part.”
I laughed. It felt good.
As I laughed I came up on a three way stop. The post had three signs on it. Three way road pointed back to town, Olympia drive, back towards my aunt’s house, and a third road simply titled, Greenway. I did not remember coming to this three way stop before and frowned. Had I taken a wrong turn? My phone buzzed. A text notification.
From my mother.
“You may laugh but if I get a hint that you’re in trouble I will burst into that town, head down, eyes closed and guns blazing, the Sarina way,” Sarina was saying.
“I know you will babe,” I said, idling at the stop sign as my eyes lingered on the number, shocked and unbelieving.
“Babe?” She asked, and I mistook the worry in her voice.
“Hey, I got a lead I’m going to look into. I’ll call you back in an hour, ok?”
“OK. Be careful.”
“If I die I can’t come home to you, and I won’t risk that,” I said,
“You better not. I’d bring you back from the dead just to kill you myself.”
“I don’t doubt it. Sarina. I love you.”
“I love you too, babe.”
I hung up and opened the text. A text from my dead mother’s phone.
There are answers on the Greenway
I looked from the text to the road sign that said, Greenway. I glanced over to the file chief George had forced me to take, the one about a prophecy. A message from beyond the grave? A trap? Brandi had said nothing was missing from my mother’s possessions, right before she got real cagey and faked a phone call. Could Girne Escort the murderer have my mother’s phone? On top of that, the prophecy girl with blue hair worked at the Greenwood House. The Greenwood house was on Greenway. Whatever was going on, whether ghosts, criminals, or prophetic prostitutes, I had to check it out. Too many paths were converging here. I checked my.45 in the glove compartment before hitting my blinker. I turned left, away from town, away from the Olympias, and toward the Greenwood house.
I was following a tip from my dead mother, but this was Greenwood, they did things differently here.
The Greenwood house. It was a cornerstone of the community. It was a blight. It was a safe Haven and a house of ill repute. Some even said it was haunted. Regardless, it was the last place I wanted to be.
The sun was setting over Greenwood University’s hill as I drove down the narrow road. It was lined on both sides by tall and ancient trees who had seen the arrival of wagons, model-T’s, and smart cars. They had watched the native tribes make war on giants with red hair, seen the arrival of white settlers, and the bloodshed of empire making. Still, they stood tall, thanks in no small part to the native Red Cloud tribe that was honored in Greenwood as one of the Founding families.
I kept my high beams on as the sun set beyond those strong, tall trunks, not wanting to hit any wildlife. The paved road soon turned to gravel as I neared the edge of city limits, and to dirt soon after that. The setting sun was hurriedly tucked into bed by swift rolling storm clouds that seemed to come from nowhere, springing out from behind the sensual curves of the blue mountains like masked bandits in a cartoon. Despite the heavy tree cover, fat drops of rain began to fall on my windshield from the previously clear sky as the quickly racing storm clouds covered the rising moon.
“What the fuck,” I grumbled, flipping on my wipers and considering turning around. I had already driven so far though, and the road was so narrow. I determined to drive until I found a turning point and then head back before I got caught up in a flash flood or hit a deer or something.
The rain continued to fall, harder and harder. My windshield wipers were working at full power to simply keep my view clear, and then the fog rolled in. At this point I should have know better. I should have backed it up, but I was getting more and more irritated and was pretty sure I had missed the turnoff point for the Greenwood House somewhere back behind me. I was searching desperately for a place wide enough to turn around when something flashed across the rode. I only saw it for a split second, illuminated in my white headlights. It was green. It moved like a snake but it looked like a person. And it was huge.
I slammed on the brakes, which is exactly what I should not have done. My wheels spun out in the slick mud and I lost control of the car.
I went careening off the road, slamming through the hedged trees that lined the road. My seat belt caught me just in time, giving me whiplash and a nasty bandolier of bruises instead of forward cranial trauma from bashing my skull on the steering wheel. Phone, briefcase, files, and cup of cold coffee went flying as my vehicle bounced twice, clipped the edge of a small rise, and smashed into the muddy field on the other side of the hedge.
My headlights were buried in mud and cold fog rolled past my windows. I took a moment to let myself groan. This, I believe, is an important part of any car accident. With that done, I got back to business and started searching for my phone.
When I found the damn thing it was jammed up on the passenger side floor as far away from me as possible, which I think it did out of spite. For some reason technology seemed to get real cranky when I was in this damn town. Gingerly, I unbuckled my seatbelt and reached down to grab the cell. When the backlight illuminated my face I swore and tossed it back where I had found it. No signal.
Slowly, painfully, feeling stiff as a board and wondering if my collar bone was broken, I stepped into the howling rain to survey my vehicle’s damage. It was worse than I thought.
The front end was all crumpled up like a half crushed beer can. The wheels were buried up to the well in mud. Even if it was safe to move I could not get it out without a tow.
“Goddammit!” I yelled and reared back to kick the damn thing. My shoe got stuck in the mud, which sucked it right off my foot. I lost my balance and fell on my ass like a damn clown. Cursing enough to make my mother get off the slab and hit me in the mouth, I climbed to my feet, muddy, soaked, and minus a shoe. I began to look around for it, but stopped when the hair on the back of my neck began to stand at attention. I frowned and stood up straight, looking carefully at my surroundings.
I was in a field, just outside the hedgerow that lined the outer road. The field was composed of softly rolling hills and squared Kıbrıs Escort off by trees on all sides. I made a slow turn, unable to see much or far in the dim light and weird fog. The memory of the thing I had swerved to hit slid parasitically into my memory. The hair on my arms joined the parade as I abandoned the search for my missing shoe and slowly made to climb back into my car. It had doors, locks, and the .45 in the glovebox. I never made it.
I turned to see a woman towering over me. She was pale and beautiful and cruel. Sinuous tattoos danced and writhed across her neck and torso. The cold, wet wind whipped at her sodden green hair and drew her vibrant, pink nipples to solid, hard points. She looked down at me with eyes of two colors, one green and one blue. Her mouth was curved in a cruel, half moon smile that stretched inhumanly from one ear to the other and was filled with row upon row of small, sharp incisors, wickedly cruel teeth that could tear flesh to shreds in a moment. Her arms were long and scaled from elbow to fingertip. Her nails were black and curved like eagle’s talons. From her waist down she resembled a child of Set. Her scaled tail was thick around as a tree trunk and strong enough to crush an ox in its wet, glistening coils.
I wanted to scream, to cry and flee in fear, even as I realized I was looking on the naked body of a woman so completely and beautifully female that it seemed all other women had descended from her. Despite my terror my blood began to boil. Saliva filled my mouth as my cock grew so fast it began to ache and press against my soggy pants. I wanted to run, I swear I tried, but her eyes, her eyes had latched onto mine and somehow I could not move. I watched in helpless adoration and repulsive terror as she slithered closer, descending sinuously until we were on eye level. She reached out with her taloned hands, latching onto my arms, as her mouth, full of a thousand teeth, descended towards my neck.
“Sleep, now,” she hissed and I felt her fangs sink effortlessly into the flesh between my ear and shoulder. The darkness hit me in the face after that and I knew no more.
When I woke up I was cold and damp in a warm and dry room. My clothes were gone. I was tied up, but they didn’t need the ropes. I could not feel a thing below my neck, below the bite, which throbbed with equal parts pain and pleasure. I could still look around though, and as cold dark grew to fuzzy light, I began to make out shapes. I kept my eyes heavy lidded as I gathered my senses. Slowly, I began to hear voices, and puzzle pieces began to fall into place.
“He’s back there now?” Asked the familiar voice of Galda Kashmir.
“Yeah, still out cold. Savage bit him pretty good,” Lola Fae responded. I began to catch the scent of the tattoo parlor, the faux leather couches, the hint of weed smoke and that strange, soft yet metallic tobacco, intermingling with a familiar scent of roses.
“When’s she getting back. I’m not a night hunter like you two,” said Galda, stifling a yawn, “I need to get my beauty sleep or the ladies will get saggy.”
“That’s an old wives tale,” said Fae.
“You would know,” laughed Galda.
From the muffled sound of their voices I could sense they were in another room with a door between us. I dared to open my eyes a little wider. The carpet beneath my bare feet was maroon. I was sitting in front of a dark, wooden desk. I was being held upright by the ropes that bound me to the chair back. My wrists were tied to the chair arms, my legs spread and bound similar to those of the chair. Of all the things I could not feel, oddly enough, I could feel how hard my cock was. Trying to find a way out of this, I began to look around.
“What do you think she’ll do with this one?” Asked Galda in the other room.
“I don’t know, she does what she wills,” responded Fae, “and for the love of the Mother, stop playing with your tits so much.”
“Gotta keep them lively, you know,” said Galda, “maybe if you had any…”
The walls were lined with book shelves of rare wood and all carved up with Egyptian symbols and snake centric designs. I saw the serpent in the garden wrapped around a tree and speaking to a woman, but where the woman ended and the snake began I could not tell. There was winged Quetzacotl, devouring male sacrifices atop Aztec pyramids, and the gigantic serpent guardians of Set. Jormungandr devoured the world, eternity bit her own tail, and the cobra devoured a turbaned piper from the waist up. I didn’t have much time to put two and two together, but the pieces were starting to become clear, and either I was going insane, or I had blocked more of my Greenwood memories that I had thought.
I did not notice that the chatter outside my office cell had ceased until I heard the door open and a heard a feminine voice saying, “oh, good, you’re awake.”
The voice made my blood turn cold and then boil. The speaker was right behind me, and I knew without looking, who it would be. The woman, Magosa Escort with the mismatching eyes. I froze as she used her long, nailed fingers, cold and dry as scales, to sketch a line across the back of my neck.
“Why so tense,” asked the voice as the nails trailed around my neck and down my chest. She slid around the corner of my eyes and came into full view. Much to my relief, she was fully human. Much to my discomfort, she was barely wearing a scrap, and that body could start a war.
I could not tell you what she was wearing. Hell, I have trouble describing her except by saying she was everything you ever thought a woman should be underneath a heavy layer of sinuous tattoos and topped by green hair the color of a Disney villain. She was Eve and Aphrodite, Parvati and Hathor. She was soft and sharp, kind and cruel, and I wanted to please her even as I wanted her dead.
“I have been longing to meet you, Gunner Burgh,” said the woman, leaning against her desk, hands gripping the edge. “Big city cop, last heir of the Burgh line, and according to my girls, a tasty treat. What’s the secret to your success?”
“Pineapple heavy diet,” I said, trying my best for uncaring humor in the face of the situation. She laughed and I didn’t know if I felt hatred because she had killed my mother or disgust, because I was happy I made her laugh.
“They told me you had a tongue on you too. Hopefully we can put it to good use, but later.” When she spoke, the words were discernible but they sounded wrong, like language did not come naturally from her tongue. Her voice was dry and slithering.
“Honestly,” I said, fighting my insane desire to make this murderous monster smile, “I’ve been wanting to meet you too, if you are who I think you are, and probably not for the same reasons.”
“Gunner, Gunner, Gunner,” she said, laughing and shaking her head. It set her green locks to swaying like jungle vines, and her disappointment both saddened and infuriated me. “Listen, kid. You used to be a prince in this town. But you are no longer welcome here. You spent a short time occupying this land, you and your family, along with the people of this silly village, but your time is up. This is my land again. Your options are becoming very…limited”
“My options, maybe,” I said, looking down at the ropes tying my immobilized body, “but I’m an outsider now. I don’t see what my ‘limited options’ has to do with the rest of the town.”
She gave me a close lipped smile. Her face was pale as porcelain, framed by her vibrant green hair. Her full, red lips were pierced with snakebite studs of black onyx. A golden ring hung from her septum. The eyes were one blue and one green. Green stared lazily off to the side for a moment before focusing once more on me. A part of me that was hard and aching and made me blush.
“You know beauty when you see her, Gunner Burgh. You recognize your queen.”
“I know most men get hard when they see a pretty pair of tits,” I said dismissively, but I didn’t even convince myself. She did not have a pretty pair of tits. She had the pretty pair of tits, the ones that every man dreams of and every woman wants. The primordial, first, and perfect pair. I wasn’t hard because she was attractive, this was my mother’s murderer! I was hard because nature was in this room, commanding my animal brain to breed with this perfectly shaped woman in front of me, and I had to obey, even if I couldn’t feel my own limbs. I was barely keeping it together, thanks in part to the ropes keeping me tied down. I was fighting a force of nature.
“I am the rightful ruler of this land, Gunner Burgh, my siblings and I,” said the woman, “and you? You are merely food.” She licked her lips and I shuddered, not from the cold, but from the hungry look in her mismatched eyes, from the forked tongue darting between her blood red lips, and from the row upon row of small, razor sharp teeth hiding inside that pretty mouth. I was food, but possibly useful food. I was about to find out if that mattered.
“I told your mother the same. I offered her a place in the new way of things, in the proper food chain. She refused and so I had to treat her like food, instead of a friend.”
“I that a confession?” I asked, rage beginning to fuel my limbs. My hand closed into a fist and I leaned forward in the chair as far as the ropes would allow.
“Did you kill my mother?”
“Does a goddess need to discuss her menu with her food?” Asked the woman, and this time she smiled with her teeth. I shuddered. “No, she does not. However, I did not kill your mother. I devoured her essence but did not end her life. That foolish action lies at the feet of another. The question now, Gunner Burgh, is this; will you follow your dear mother and make the wrong decision? Or will you submit to nature?”
“If that’s what you think, lady, there ain’t much in that skull of yours.”
Brave words, I know. I didn’t want to say them, I was afraid, I won’t lie. But I had dealt with too many power hungry elites in my time who always got away with breaking the laws. Maybe now was my catharsis, my moment to spit in the face of all the entitled, self appointed leaders who believed by stint of money or birth they could push me around. Maybe now I could show them all the finger they so often shoved up the little guy’s ass.
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