Hunger

Hi guys. Ekwe here (duh!).

This is a little piece I wrote about two months ago before I got on the pantheon series. It is an attempt at short stories that I abandoned, like so many others. Pantheon (4) may come up just a little behind schedule so I decided to publish this in the spirit of consistency (I made a promise to myself to put up a story a week. I am still trying to keep it). I sincerely hope you enjoy it. Short stories are not my forte. * throws an acidic look to banxman, uberbetty and cecenostockings* Please make use of the comment box to share your thoughts.

*

The lovemaking was passionate. They were very attentive to each other and she carried the spirit along unlike any other prostitute he had ever been with. He caressed the undulating curves of her supple body and invaded the warm sweetness of her mouth with his hungry tongue. The tempo increased not as a mechanical necessity, but as the crescendo of mutual ecstasy. By the time he rolled off her, there was nothing else he wanted in the world but to drift off into a satisfying sleep. In the light of the bedside lamp, he regarded her outline and wondered what it would be like to have this sort of woman for a wife instead of that ugly, flabby mannequin he tolerated back home. Sex was a beautiful thing.

The hotel room grew cold with the Air Conditioner at full blast and normalised their body temperature. She wiggled her head into the crook of his arm and bared her white teeth in a smile that gave him pleasure. She had carried on the act with the zeal of a woman with her lover. He didn’t care much for her incentive; he had, after all, got his money’s worth. No words were spoken. No words were needed. This was after all still a business engagement. The last thing he saw was the beautiful, white, plastered ceiling before he drifted off into sleep.

The woman felt his breathing become regular and knew he had fallen off into a deep sleep. Men! They hadn’t changed. It had been more than ninety years she had been with a man last, and that was at the height of her deity, when the obedient people of the hinterland brought  virile males as sacrifices to be copulated with, then consumed by her in return for the Fertility. But nobody believed in that anymore and she had suffered all this years, her shrine overrun by a natural progression of weeds while the progeny of her ministers roamed the cities as dealers in antique, oblivious and not quite caring about their duties. Her hunger had given her the ability to find expression as a human and parade herself as a prostitute tonight. She had inhabited the limbo of stillness this past six decades and realized, according to the order of things forgotten,when her time was up. She was playing this last gamble, hoping for a concession from the fates by feeding again upon that to which she had been accustomed.
She couldn’t hope to exist as a deity anymore, but devour she must. No living thing, human or spirit liked the notion of oblivion.
A presence filled the room. The lamp clicked off.

In the darkness, she underwent a physical transformation.
The man opened his eyes in the darkness, heart racing with fear, his forehead sweaty despite the dry coolness and his head filled with images of sex and gore. In his horror, he realized where he was and immediately began to calm down as he realised the images couldn’t hurt him. It had only been a dream…a dream about some African village and a beautiful woman, much like the prostitute and some human sacri…the dream frittered off the edge of his consciousness as quickly as it had come and he was left hanging in the limbo of uncertainty as to the details. Well, he should get his mind of it. The girl was still here and his money had definitely not been used up. The whole night, he had offered, and she had been delighted. He couldn’t remember turning off the light switch beside his head.

Now he suddenly felt something was wrong, almost as though they were not alone… the cold. The body beside him was cold. Unnaturally cold. He sprang up from the bed in terror as he assumed the worst. Surely the girl was not dead! He couldn’t remember her name- had she even told him? He bounded to the light switch on the far wall while making some noises to get her attention. He switched it on while looking intently at the prone body and received another shock!
The girl’s face was completely bare of features. No eyes, no nose, no mouth, nothing, except her long black hair. She looked like a real life mannequin. Her prone body seemed to sense the light and brought itself into a sitting position completely without using her hands for support.

Mike felt urine run down his legs, his eyes wide open in absolute fright and his vocal cords stricken into silence. He reached for the door handle and discovered a wall where there wasn’t one before. He had an epiphany regarding his imminent death. He turned back to the bed and discovered it empty and made, as though a soul hadn’t slept on it. He looked frantically around the room in fear.

Then he began to scream, his mind now on the brink of insanity. It held no purpose for him other than to give a shrill voice to his fears. He knew nothing short of a miracle would rescue him from impending doom. Images of his fat wife and little kids flitted through his mind as he instinctively stared up at the ceiling directly above him to look into the faceless head of the upside down prostitute. Her posture reminded him of a gecko. Presently, a vertical gash appeared in the barrenness of her featureless ‘face’ and opened wide, just like a snake preparing to swallow prey. He was hypnotised into stillness as the gash opened into a blackness he could not fathom and which spread a feeling of extreme weakness throughout his body so that he was powerless to do little else more than continue his scream, albeit weakly, so that it came out as a low tortured groan. The last thing he saw was the expanse of a black oblivion as she swooped down on him to claim her sacrifice.

*

Seven nights later, in a hotel five cities away, a lusty antique dealer  smugly congratulated himself on his bargaining skills as a prostitute followed him to his room, missing her evil grin by about a second.

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