By Lisabet Sarai
First came the flames. Then, the screams. Each cry was distinct to Kyle’s ears—the men’s hoarse yells, the women’s shrieks, the inarticulate wails from the infants. He couldn’t see them, not yet. Sooty smoke billowed up, hiding the plummeting bodies, making his eyes sting. Orange tongues of fire pierced the black cloud. The cries grew louder as the heat intensified.
He took a big swig of cheap vodka. The bottle was already half empty. His head spun and he knew he couldn’t stand, but the awful screams still rang in his mind.
Please, he thought. No more. I can’t take any more. Let me pass out soon. He drank again, his gut churning as the raw liquid splashed into his empty stomach.
He tried to focus on the present—the rough stone pressing against his back, the chill wind biting through his ragged jacket, the faint smell of urine that filled the passageway under the highway. Useless. The sensations of the real world seemed thin and frail, powerless to overcome the horrible scenes in his head.
Every time, it got worse. It took more alcohol to remove him to that state of blissful oblivion. I’m adapting, just like any drunk. Before long, I’ll need a whole bottle to drown out the visions. Eventually, it will kill me. The thought was a relief.
The spells came more frequently these days, and not just during his waking hours. Nightmares stalked him, full of bloody flesh and torn limbs, searing fire or icy floods. He’d claw his way back to consciousness, howling like an animal, trying to escape. He’d been kicked out of every shelter in the city. He upset the other residents too much.
He could always go back to the hospital. Thorazine didn’t completely smother the visions, but it deadened the emotional impact. He could sit for hours, watching disasters play themselves out on the screen of his mind, and not care.
It worked for a while, but then he always ended up signing himself out again. As painful as consciousness was, it was better than the half-life of being drugged. At least, that was what he told himself, on the good days when his curse was in remission. The staff looked relieved when he left. Even the professionals had trouble dealing with his ‘hallucinations’.
“Hey, gimme a drink, will ya?” A voice cut through the screams echoing in his head. The grizzled man lying next to him on the sidewalk smelt like long-unwashed socks. “Come on, please? Us bums got to stick together.”
Kyle handed him the bottle. His hand shook. “Sure, help yourself.”
The old timer took a deep swallow, then grinned at him. “Thanks, kid.”
The flames flared up, hiding the man’s pock-marked face and gap-toothed smile. A woman’s cry rang out, full of terror. “No, please, no more…” Kyle muttered, closing his eyes. The hungry fire continued to dance behind his eyelids, mocking his attempt at escape. He groped for the bottle.
Aside from the ravening monster I felt inside me when I was anorexic, which I’ve talked about in another post, I’m pretty fortunate. I don’t seem to have any personal demons, at least nothing beyond the normal fears that come with being human. That’s not necessarily true of my characters, though, as illustrated by the excerpt above from my M/M erotic romance Necessary Madness.
In Kyle’s case, his “demon” is an uncontrolled ability to see the future. His raw visions show him only disasters, terrible happenings he cannot prevent. The effects of his paranormal talent are scarcely distinguishable from schizophrenia. He has become a miserable outcast, cynical and suspicious. Even love, the solution to all dilemmas in romance, can hardly save him.
Sometimes my demons are actual supernatural beings. And they can be overwhelmingly seductive. Here, for instance, is a snippet from my story “Fourth World”, recently published in the collection of the same title.
I turn to see Jeremy’s hand wandering up her silk-clad thigh. I’m surprised by his daring. Back at school he was always the shy one in our crowd. I was the one who took the initiative.
His eyes are closed, his lips parted. His trousers rise up from his groin in an imposing peak. Mai cups his bulk and squeezes. Jeremy groans. His hand slips under her skirt.
Jealousy sizzles through me. A red mist clouds my vision. “Never mind,” says Mai, her hand on my thigh, her lips fastening on mine.
Her kiss claims me. I try to take control, to thrust my tongue between her ripe lips, but she playfully forces me back, then plunders my mouth with her own. She tastes sweet but strange, the fruity remnants of her wine not quite hiding a metallic element. My cock surges, painful and eager, trapped in my tight briefs.
Blinded by the fall of her hair around my face, I grope for her breast. Her flesh is firm and elastic under my fingers. Her nipple juts through flimsy barrier of her dress. I circle it with my thumb and she moans into my mouth. I pinch the delightful nub and she bites my lip, hard enough to draw blood. I want to protest, to push her away, but she’s far stronger than I expect. Her kiss becomes more heated, more desperate. My pierced lip throbs. Something’s not right, I think, but then her hand settles on my cock and all thought vanishes.
Her fingers skitter across the distorted fabric of my trousers, testing my hardness. She settles her palm over my swollen bulk, squeezing in time with her sucking kisses. I feel the tightening heaviness that tells me I’m going to come. I take a deep breath, trying to gain some control. Her scent floods my nostrils. The need for release overwhelms me. The first spurt of come pulses halfway up my shaft, but then she removes her hand. The urge subsides, becomes just bearable. Her lips graze my earlobe. “Not yet, darling. Save that for me.”
Yes, as you might have guessed, Mai is a vampire—but as Harry and Jeremy discover, she’s the type who likes to play with her food.
The most intriguing demons, though, are the ones inextricably embedded in my characters’ natures. In “Fire”, my protagonist has a fire fetish which compels him to commit arson.
These days, I can't even strike a match without getting hard.
It was better than I could have imagined. Pure joy. After years of borrowing other people's fires, I had my own. There were no sirens, no spectators, no official types keeping an awkward eye on me. Just me and the night and the dancing, piercing flames. I lay down in the scrubby grass with my fly wide open and watched greedily as the blaze devoured the feast I had laid before it.
By the time the building had become a charred pile of debris, I was gorged and sated. I called in sick that morning.
After that, second-hand conflagrations couldn't satisfy me. I have to have my own. I try to space them out, keep at least six to eight weeks between them. It's tough, but I don't want anyone to get suspicious.
The first few weeks after a session, I have plenty of memories to keep me going. I can close my eyes and recall every detail, the intricate shapes of the flames, the taste of smoke in my lungs, the searing, intimate caress of the heat on my privates.
I remember the sequence in which the barn or the shed or the deserted fishing cabin collapsed. Sometimes the whole structure explodes, or caves in on itself. Other times, one wall will totter and fall gently, leaving the others standing as though buoyed up by the hot gases, until at last they simply melt away, crumbling to glowing ash. It is always fascinating, thrilling, enough to push me over the edge.
Sometimes, I imagine that I'm inside, during those final moments when the fire declares victory. I lie on the my back, feeling the sparks rain down on my naked flesh, struggling to breathe as the fire sucks up all the oxygen. I know that it sounds a bit twisted, but I come the hardest when I think about the fire consuming me, taking me into itself.
Anyway, after a while, the memories aren't enough. I start to dream of fire. I wake up soaked with sweat, with a hard-on that I can work for hours without finding any real relief. I begin to get irritable, less polite, less persuasive. My work begins to suffer.
That's when I know it's time. It takes me a few days to prepare, and then finally, I have what I need.
This tale, which appeared in my first short story collection, is now out of print. I should probably republish it.
Sexual desire can be a personal demon, perhaps the hardest of all to fight. Here’s a bit from my tentacle erotica tale, “Fleshpot”, originally published in Coming Together: Arm in Arm in Arm.
Cass was right. It's a disease. She was right to cut the ties, when she found me in the garden shed with sweet Susan the baby sitter, in flagrante. I offer no excuse.
It doesn't feel like a disease, though, when I'm in the throes, my senses drenched in the seashore scent of my latest conquest. It feels like I'm on the edge of a revelation, like this is the fuck I've been seeking all my life, the one that will make everything clear, new, beautiful and real. When I burrow into that mysterious place between her thighs, I'm not just looking for pleasure. I'm seeking some kind of truth, or at least that's how it seems, like this is the time that I'll break through that barrier. I catch tantalizing glimpses of brilliance, just out of reach, shining like the grail in some celibate knight's vision. That's me, on a quest for the ultimate knowledge. Except of course, I'm not celibate.
When the papers came from her lawyer, my transgressions sucked dry by legal language ("extramarital liaisons"), my kids stolen by some judge's whim, I took off. My business— electronics OEM—can always provide an excuse for a trip to Asia. My meetings in Bangkok consumed a day and a half. Since then I've been here in this sleazy coastal resort town two hours from the capital.
I've done it all, in the past two weeks, tried everything. The lithe Thai beauties who twine like snakes around the poles in all the bars and clubs along the walking street. The buxom, pushy Russian girls, with their milky complexions and succulent nipples, ripe to the point of bursting, eager to empty both my cock and my wallet. The lady boys, as slender and graceful as their sisters, even more feminine, in fact, the prick erupting from their hairless, perfumed loins as much a shock to them as to me. I've sampled the exotica on sale here, the dwarfs and the cripples, the grossly obese young woman who nearly smothered me in her lush, unutterably soft flesh. I've been whipped and returned the favor. So far I've managed to resist the fifteen year old boys, but just last night a youth of terrifying beauty who claimed to be nineteen drained me in the men's room of one of the a-go-go places. An acrid mixture of urine and camphor stung my nostrils as I pumped my cum into his agile mouth. And in that transcendent instant, as always, I felt myself on the verge of understanding.
At the moment, I'm taking a break from throbbing music and naked skin of the indoor clubs. I perch on a bar stool at the edge of the pavement, watching the parade of tourists and touts ambling by.
I'm tired. The twins I fucked earlier, in a red-lit, window-less room above one of the bars, exhausted me with their convincing enthusiasm for my body. Nee and Nu were indistinguishable, two toffee-skinned tarts who claimed to be eighteen but might have been anywhere from fourteen to thirty. One sat on my face, the other on my cock. Nee (or was it Nu?) made short work of my hard-on. I exploded into the condom with just a few minutes of massage by her muscular pussy. Nu, though (or maybe Nee?), humored me, letting me lick her bare twat and breathe her low-tide scent for as long as I wanted—until I hardened again, earning laughter and admiration from my two playmates.
"La Luxure dans l'art roman" by Bougnat87 -
Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons
Maybe the medieval Christians were right. Lust is a demon, one that can consume you body and soul. In the case of my nameless protagonist in “Fleshpot”, he pays off his demon with his life—but willingly.
When does desire become demonic? A fruitful question indeed, for those of us who write erotica.
All sorts of fears can be exploited, as evidenced by the range you have explored here. Perhaps something as powerful as sexuality is capable of any extreme. Good for our genre, huh?ReplyDelete
And... ahem... was that resort town Pattaya, by any chance? ;>)
Yes. Have you been there? Sleaze personified.Delete
Never to Pattaya, but have been to Bangkok. Have a friend with a small resort in the far North of Thailand as well.Delete
See what you write is erotic, and what I write is romance. Your protagonists suffer before, during and after they cum. Mine are like the folks who live next door, and there are no Satanic rituals in their backyards. I bow to your imagination!ReplyDelete
I also write romance sometimes. And I mix things up. Indeed, Necessary Madness is squarely in the romance category (M/M). It actually ends with a wedding on Christmas Eve!
But...it does include Satanic rituals.
Wow, that was quite a mind trip, Lisabet!ReplyDelete
I do my best! Thanks, JP.Delete
Sex and demons do seem to go together in our traditions, most likely because both are icons of sin. I wonder, though, whether demons have sex with each other. Are there full-blooded bay demons? (As opposed to babies inhabited by demons.)ReplyDelete
Some authors have entire social structures focused on demons. If you can imagine it, somebody has written it.Delete
Flesh pot is my favorite closely followed by Fire. I think I like Fire because it is especially human, and fleshpot because it has the Lovecraft thing going on.
Surely you must have a few demons of your own? Like Tennesee williams says "If I lose all my demons I will lose my angels too."
I suppose I must. We all do. But they're not coming to mind...
What a great Tennesee Williams quote, Garce!Delete
And as people said above, Lisabet, what impressive range!
Thanks, Annabeth. But these are my characters' demons, ultimately. Not really "personal".Delete