The River Calls Me, Monstrous Eyes From The Deep, Part 2
He brought a hand to my face, his arm raising slowly giving me more than enough time to move away if I wanted, but for some reason, I stayed there. His hand was cool against my cheek as the river burbled in the background.
“Everything.” He said.
I shivered. Reaching down he took my hand, the contact solidifying the need I felt to talk with him. He started leading us down a small path at the head of the bridge, taking us down toward the inky waters. “We have to be careful,” I blurted out. “The river’s dangerous this time of year.”
“Oh I know,” he said in front of me without turning around. His voice was deep, and grumbly, and logically his words worried me. But it was as if I wasn’t in control of my body. He was.
The vegetation was dense as we descended, the bridge casting a shadow as we walked under the bridge. I was scared, but I couldn’t bring myself to turn away, or to even let go of his hand.
Panic grew inside me as we approached the river bank.
There was a log, sitting there under the bridge. It looked old and smelled vaguely rotten, and thankfully he stopped there, a mere foot away from the icy water.
He moved me against the wood, pressing me down to sit there.
“Who are you?” I was looking directly in his eyes. No one from the road, or the cafe, could see us down here. I knew it in my bones.
He didn’t answer, instead bringing a hand back against my cheek, his dark eyes delving into mine. “Does it really matter?”
I could feel my goosebumps, and part of me said yes, but I couldn’t get my mouth around the word. Everything started spinning, and I reached a hand out to steady myself. It found his chest, and his shirt was damp against my hand.
“What…” was all I could manage as I sat there, trying to stay upright.
Moving closer, I leaned against his chest, wrapping my other hand around him. His black hair is wet to the touch, but everywhere my body meets his feels electrified. Frozen against him I fumbled to make sense of the situation.
His skin was cool, but his breath was hot. I could feel it, even though he was standing above me.
Holding him as I sat there, I felt his hands move down my back to the bottom of my shirt. Cold fingers tickled my back as he lifted the cloth up and over my head, holding me steady as he moved my head far enough to remove my shirt entirely. With my nose pressed against him that same, earthy smell, was stranger than ever though I also noticed the smell of decay and rotten things.
My chest was getting wet from leaning against his wet clothing. I hadn’t even taken a sip of my coffee, so I knew I couldn’t have been drugged.
“Tell me,” his voice rumbled, “Are you happy with your life the way it is?”
The world was still spinning as images of my life flashed through my mind. The failed relationships, meaningless jobs that barely paid the rent, the lonely nights I’d spent alone with a vibrator. I was shivering, I realized. Moments fractured in my mind as I felt the clasp of my bra unhook before feeling the bare skin of my chest touching the wet fabric on his chest. My nipples hardened against the soft, cold cloth. I was shivering, but I couldn’t move. I could feel his hair under one of my hands. It was wiry and stiff, like a horse’s mane.
He was saying something, but all that registered through the dizziness and the fog was noise. Senseless noise.
I felt the weight of my body pressing against the riverbank and registered that we were moving, I was standing, all my clothes gone save my shoes. I was cold and tired, and desperately needed his touch. His fingers were trailing against my back, cooling my skin, numbing me as my foot sank into the muddy water. Even at my ankle, I could feel the current.
I looked at him, those dark black eyes looking back at me. He was talking still, and as he opened his mouth it seemed to open farther inward than a human mouth should. His hands moved down my neck, they were cold and wet. I shivered, but even as I did I felt less attached to my body. Another step and the water was up to my knees.
I should be freezing, standing here almost naked in the river. Maybe I should be screaming, I thought to myself. But the light reflecting in his eyes was washing away any feelings of pain I might have felt. As the water rose to my waist I knew I would be lost to the current soon, and I wondered why he was going further.
Didn’t he know to go further meant death?
It should have scared me, but the river was washing an ache I hadn’t realized had been building in me every day, with every lonesome moment and friend or family lost.
He was kissing my neck, his cold, wet, lips spreading a calmness through me. It was tranquility I had never known before. I could feel my leg, somewhere below me move and stretch, almost landing flat on the river bottom, but the current surged, and somewhere far away I could feel the water closing over my head.
I struggled to breathe as something large and hard began forcing its way between my legs. It was as strong and cold as the current. My lips opened and air bubbles fell into the river as it surrounded and engulfed all of me. As my vision grew dark I swear I saw a black horse in the inky water with me.
My body was a slave to the current, a slave to whatever was filling me. I felt something with me there, and as water filled my lungs I felt something spurt deep inside me.
And then I was nothing. Until a pain pulled me from the void, terrible, slicing pain in my chest. It felt both freezing and burning. I could feel a pop, and a crack, as what little warmth I had seeped away.
I was on the river bank. Opening my eyes I could see the cold stones drenched in front of me. I was still by the old log, I realized. The world around me was cold, the sounds making my headache. Unable to move, I could feel cold fingers on my skin.
“Your choice,” the gravelly voice said, before standing and walking into the river.
The world came crashing back as I coughed up lungfulls of water, going through the motions of everyday life seemed excruciating after that cool, numbing touch.
I crawled toward the water where dark eyes watched me from the deep.
Thank you so much for reading my blog this week! If you’re interested in the audio, you can buy it here. And if you want to read some more about encounters with monsters check out my friend Ariel’s blog on what happens when you get too close to a demon.
Stay safe, and have a great weekend everybody!1