Archive for murder

Freya’s Prayer – Part Three- A New King –

Posted in Anthology, Because I love to write, New Novel, New writing, Works in Progress with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2011 by cjirwin

Enjoy parts One and Two of Freya’s Prayer, Hated Beauty and Loved Beauty.

Freya’s Prayer

Chapter Three

A New King


“My King,” Rihard’s virile voice echoed in the Great Hall. “May I present Niklav of the Village Rokus to the Southeast and his wife Princess Korina granddaughter of King Rokus Yefrem.

“You are welcome.” Niklav Bauska said though his throat ached with every word. “What business have you here?”

“We embrace your welcome Majesty and bring wishes of health and prosperity from our Lord Rokus Yefrem. We have come to trade that both our cities might be enriched.” Niklav bowed his broad back and muscled form giving respect. His sharp features lifted as he smiled and his deep blue eyes shone clear and proud. Korina’s pale green dress folded on the floor and she curtsied.

“How is your Grandfather fair Korina?” Niklav Bauska asked eyes fixated.

The midnight blue circles around the grey of Korina’s eyes mesmerized the king as she spoke, but he was not the only man who lapped at the edges of the soft skin of her face, the full roundness of her breasts, the flatness of her center, the subtle grace of her arms and legs, the glint of easy flowing, golden hair that fell to the small of her back; Mikhail stood stunned and wanting.

“He is well my Lord.” Korina replied.

“Make your trades and feast with me this night, but I would advise that you do not sleep within the city. My heart breaks even now at the loss of an entire family the demon sickness my physician claims to be the Black Plague.”

“I am sorry to hear of it,” Niklav replied. “We will offer prayers for the return of health to your city, and we would be honored to feast with you this eave.”

“My son Mikhail will show you to the markets.”

Niklav tried to hide his irritation at the persistence of the princes eyes on his wife throughout the day, and his muscles ached from the tension of the effort.

“So, Lord Mikhail have you a wife and children?” Niklav asked as they meandered through the shops.

“Aye that I do,” Mikhail answered as he filled his mouth with another gulp of dark wheat beer that dribbled down his beard. “But I am always on the lookout for something better!” Mikhail laughed. “Know what I mean,” he said slapping Niklav on the back.

Korina frowned and shook her head as she walked behind them. Disgusting pig! She thought.

Niklav simply smiled politely.

“Well my friend I will leave you to your trading.”

“Many thanks for the tour my Lord,” Niklav said inclining his head.

“Was my pleasure, I look forward to seeing you both tonight, especially you my dear.” Mikhail said lifting Korina’s hand and kissing.

Niklav’s hand fisted and his jaw tightened. “It will be our honor,” Korina said laying a hand on her husband’s shoulder. “Fare well till then.” Korina backed away pulling Niklav.


A lively arrangement of notes poured from the vielle as its owner pulled the horse-hair bow across the strings, and the four course guitar laid a wild rhythm filling the Great Hall. Drums and lutes completed the musical assembly that lifted the feet and hearts of the people gathered. Roasting boar and duck whetted the appetite, and dark beer and wine loosed tongues and hands. Niklav and Korina ate and laughed with Rihards and Mikhail at the Kings table.

“Are you well father?” Rihards asked.

“I am not feeling myself, but I will survive.” Niklav Bauska replied. “I do think I will retire though,” he said turning to Niklav. “Forgive an old man for his weakness.” He said with a smile.

“No forgiveness is needed your majesty.” Niklav said as he stood. “Thank you for your hospitality.”

As King Niklav Bauska rose a wave of pain and nausea swept through him; his knees buckled beneath him sending him to the floor.

“Father!” Rihards gasped.

“I am fine son,” the King replied waving Rihards hand away and getting to his feet. “Simply tired, I will find my sheets.”

“Let us help you.” Rihards said looking to Mikhail.

Mikhail simply sat back at the table. “Perhaps Niklav would enjoy the honor of helping our fine King to his chambers.”

Niklav looked from Mikhail to Rihards angry eyes. “It would be my pleasure.” Niklav answered as he moved to put his shoulder under the Kings arm.

Mikhail focused on his goblet and refilling it with beer ignoring the glares of his father and brother.  “Would you care for more beer Korina?” He asked as Rihards led Niklav and the King toward his father’s chambers.

“Many thanks but I have had my fill.” Korina replied her eyes following her husband until he was lost to the darkness of the passage.

“Tell me Princess,” Mikhail said taking her hand in his. “Do you, as granddaughter to a king, as a royal and beautiful woman, ever worry that you will one day regret marrying beneath you?”

Korina shook, desperate to pull her hand away but fearful of the consequences. “I have no such fears my Lord. Niklav is a great man, honored among our people, and the love of my life.”

“Ah, love, so that is how a simple merchant claimed such a prize as you.” Mikhail lifted her hand, pushed his lips against it. “Well, my lovely Korina, if you ever find you would have a King in your bed and at your side rather than common man know I would welcome you into my arms.”

Korina eased her hand from his grip. “That is very kind my Lord, but I doubt I would ever want anything from you. After Niklav’s  touch I can’t imagine feeling pleasure at your hands.”

The fury that twisted Mikhail’s features almost made Korina regret the boldness of her tongue, but the vile that spewed from his lips erased any hint of remorse.

“Someone has failed to teach you respect woman!” Mikhail said slamming his cup against the table. “Your tongue is as a whip now, but mark my words whore you will one day find it between my teeth and your body beneath my cock. We will see if you are so brazen then.” Mikhail stood, turned on his heel and marched from the room.

Korina’s breath heaved in and out of her chest as he strode away. Arrogant ass! She thought. God help these people when King Niklav Bauska dies.



All day Niklav Bauska had ignored the pain and discomfort, but as he removed his robes the pain in his groin, armpits and neck was almost unbearable. The slightest touch, the weight of his clothing against his skin was like a knife thrust deep in flesh. His head ached, pounding against his temples from the inside, as he eased himself into bed.

So I am to die, Niklav Bauska thought as he pulled the blankets up to his chin, over his shivering body. I must call my sons and the elders in the morning; I pray God give me the strength to establish Rihards before I pass.

Mikhail arrived at the main lodge as the sun stole over the horizon.

“My Lord, my Lord!” The servant cried as he exited the Kings chambers. “Thank heavens you are here I was about to fetch you! The King, he is extremely ill!”

“I will see to him.” Mikhail repressed a smile at he pushed against the heavy wooden doors.

“Shall I fetch the physician and Lord Rihards?”

“No, I will see to the King first. Go to the kitchen and prepare him soup.”

“You would have me cook my Lord? Should I not gather the cook from his sheets?”

“No! Do not question me!” Mikhail burst.

“Yes my Lord,” the servant said as he scurried away.

The stench of vomit blanketed the great room, the suffocating, stale aroma of death sucking. Niklav Bauska’s labored breathing was as a song to Mikhail’s ears. Standing at his father’s side, Mikhail allowed his eyes to slither greedily over the ring upon his father’s hand. Beaten gold, it boasted the ancient symbol of their people, the horse; it being the mark of the King, the ruling house. It will be mine. Mikhail thought as his father’s eyes struggled to open.

“Mikhail,” Niklav Bauska whispered. “I’m pleased you have come. Where is your brother?”

“He is not here.” Mikhail replied.

“Fetch him and the elders that I might set things to right before I depart this earth.” The King coughed, and turned to his side. “The bowl!” he commanded and spewed green bile into the wooden dish in Mikhail’s hands.

“Father, I cannot gather them.” Mikhail said as he set the bowl aside.


“There will be no transfer of power, not altering of your will.”

“Is your brain addled boy!” Niklav Bauska burst and was consumed by a fit of coughing.

“You will not live to see my birthright stolen from me!” Mikhail spit. “As I carried the demon from the house of Vilhelm to your cup; I will aid it in your demise!”

Niklav Bauska paled. “My son, what have you done?”

“Do not worry father your disappointment in me shall soon be at an end!” Mikhail cursed as he lifted the pillow at his father’s side.

“Mikhail! No!” Niklav Bauska’s cries were muffled as he gave what little energy he had left to struggle for air.

“Take what is mine would you? I have not suffered your dissatisfaction and scorn the entirety of my life to be cast aside and stripped of my birthright now!”

“No, I have loved you!”

The stifled plea of love only angered Mikhail further, lending strength to his purpose.

“Good bye father,” Mikhail snarled as the jerking stopped, he then reached for the bowl of vomit and poured it over his father’s face.

The servant jumped as Mikhail walked into the kitchen and called his name. “My Lord,” he said and he fell to the floor. “How may I serve you? Would you have me fetch the physician now?”

“No, his Lordship has fallen asleep and does not wish to be disturbed. I must give farewell to our guests then I will return to check on him. No one is to enter his room until I return. Is that understood?”

“Yes my Lord.”

Mikhail imagined the royal crown on his head and the throne beneath him as he walked toward the city gates. “Rihard!” Mikhail called out in surprise as his brother stepped through the towering entrance. “What brings you here?”

“Brother,” Rihards smiled. “Niklav came to thank us once again for our hospitality this morn, and I escorted him to the gates. They ride from here as even we speak.”

“Niklav came to you?”

“Yes, he feared father would not be up since he was not well last eave. He did not wish to disturb him.” Rihards explained.

“But I am the eldest and heir; why would he not come to me?” Mikhail’s teeth ground together.

“My brother, I’m sure it was not a purposeful slight against you.”

“Niklav is a common dog, and his pompous attitude is what offends!” Mikhail turned back toward the castle and continued before Rihards could object. “I have just received word that father is extremely ill. We should go to him.”

“Who brings word?” Rihard asked, worry creasing his brow.

“Our Lords body servant. Let us go.”

“My Lords,” the servant said scurrying up from the floor outside the King’s chambers and following them as they opened the doors.

“Father,” Rihards called as he entered the room. “Oh God!” He cried as he approached the bed. “Father!” He reached pulling his father’s lifeless body into his arms. Tears poured from his eyes as he examined his purple, vomit covered face.

“It is the plague! It is the plague!” The servant cried.

“Why did you not send for us sooner?!” Rihards screamed at the servant and pulled his arms from around his lifeless father.

“But my Lord-”

Mikhail cut off the servants response with a hard fist in the face. “Why?” Mikhail screamed forcing tears from his eyes. “Why did you not fetch the physician?!” The hard kick to the servant’s middle had him gasping for breath. “Why?!” Mikhail cried again and pulled his sword.

“No brother!” Rihard yelled as Mikhail swung the blade down and severed the man’s head.

“Oh God!” Mikhail cried. “Oh God!” Tears plunged from his face. “Our father, our father,” he yelled as he staggered toward Niklav Bauska’s bed and fell to his knees.

Rihards swallowed hard, and as the pain filled him he fell to his brother’s side and embraced him. In what Rihards thought was their shared agony, he forgot the servant and the blood on his brother’s sword.


As Rihards watched the knights and people of their city each formally pledge their loyalty to his brother, King Bauska Mikhail, in solemn ceremony the words his father had said to Mikhail the night of their return rang in his head. “You would sacrifice the lives of your own people to coddle your pride! You are selfish, and undeserving to be a leader.”

“Rihards,” Mikhail called. “Rihards!” he called again when his brother did not answer.

“Forgive me,” Rihards apologized. “I became lost is thought.” He tried to smile.

“The priest has asked you a question.” Mikhail said through thin lips.

“Do you swear loyalty to his majesty Lord Bauska Mikhail?” The priest reiterated.

Rihards hesitated and thought it was only a second he saw the anger it evoked in his brother. “I do swear fealty to my brother and this city.” Rihard bowed. Something twisted in his gut as Rihard watched the crown being placed on Mikhail’s head. God help us, he prayed.

Freya’s Prayer – Part Two – Loved Beauty

Posted in Anthology, Because I love to write, New Novel, New writing, Works in Progress with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2011 by cjirwin


Enjoy Part One, Hated Beauty.



Loved Beauty

Three Years Before, 1427

The Village Bauska, Livonia (Medieval Latvia)


Freya could not suppress her smile as her father Eric prayed. Hands twitching in her brothers hands, she stood with her family in a circle. “Holy One, we ask that you protect Freya from dark and evil spirits on this day that we celebrate her coming to earth. Give her family and friends the strength to protect her on this, her fourteenth birthday.”

Eric opened his eyes and smiled down at his lovely daughter. Her black hair picked up light as she turned to smile at her two brothers. “We will protect you when you are most vulnerable,” her older brother Baylor boasted. Freya beamed him a lovely grin, her full lips red and soft.

She is nearly too lovely, Eric thought. “So, who wants to go first?”

“I do, oh me father!” Aldimar, Freya’s younger brother cried. His hazel eyes sparkling with hope.

“Very well then,” Eric said through a smile.

Aldimar’s brown curls bounced as he ran to his sister. Reaching out, he placed a fresh loaf of honey bread in her palms. “For health,” Aldimar declared and turned his little body toward his father for approval. Eric nodded at his handsome nine-year-old son.

“Baylor,” Eric said and tipped his head toward Freya.

With much more dignity, Baylor stepped to his sister and placed a single copper coin in her extended hand. With gentleness, and a deep affection lighting his eyes, he wrapped his sister’s hand around the piece of metal. “For wealth and prosperity,” leaning in he whispered. “I love you little sister.”

Freya kissed him on the cheek and thought she could never love a boy as much as she loved and adored her big brother. “Thank you Baylor. I love thee too.”

“Let’s go hang the flag! Let’s go hang the flag!” Aldimar cried as he jumped and tugged on his father’s tunic.

“Calm down,” Eric and Beta, Freya’s mother, said nearly in unison but chuckling.

Freya led the way to the front door and was pleased to receive nods and wishes of protection from people of her community already out. Her entire body shook with joy; this was her day she thought as her father hoisted their family flag over the door in honor of her birthday.

They enjoyed white cake for breakfast with charms baked into the batter for protection, while remembering things that Freya had done.

“Do you remember the time you and Ionia cut your hair and tried to run away?” Baylor asked, laughter bubbling from his chest.

“You looked like boy!” Aldimar hooted.

“Hey! These are supposed to be nice stories!” Freya complained, but couldn’t help but to laugh along with her family.

“Alright, you children can run along,” Eric said to Freya, Baylor and Aldimar. “Boys don’t forget to say the protection prayers over your sister, and don’t leave her. And stay away from the house of Vilhelm they have the Sickness.”

“Yes father,” Baylor solemnly nodded his head.

“So where are we going?” Freya asked as they walked away from their home.

“I heard that Lord Bauska -Niklav expects travelers soon. It could be today.”

“Truly! How exciting!”

“If we wait near the gates we may see them.” Baylor smiled.

“We may also see your Brea.” Freya grinned at the hope that grew on her older brother’s face.

“It is my plan.”

They tossed dice near the wide, wooden gates attached to walls of menacingly pointed pillars. Baylor regularly glanced toward Brea’s house located near the front gates of their village. It was near the main lodge. Brea was the granddaughter of Lord Bauska- Niklav, daughter of his second son Rihards, but Baylor could not help the love that welled inside him for her. His breath hitched in his throat as she stepped out her door. Her fine golden hair, pulled back in a braid, cast the sunlight back toward the sky, her grey eyes lighting as soon as she saw his face.

With pretenses of going to wish Freya safety on her birthday, Brea lightly walked toward the boy who filled her heart.  “Freya,” she called, her voice smooth, honey. “Blessed day to you. Has your family hung their flag to honor your day of birth?” She spoke to Freya but looked at Baylor.

“Yes they have. Your day of celebration is soon right?” Freya asked.

“Yes,” Brea smiled at the thought and turned, for a moment, to Freya. “My sixteenth is coming. My Father will announce who my betrothed is at the celebration. I have great hopes it will be your brother.” Brea stopped, red rising under her peach skin, “excuse me,” she said looking to Baylor. “I had not intended to say so much.”

“Do not worry my love,” Baylor whispered. “It is my prayer as well.” Smiling, he reached for her hand. Brea glanced toward her house and seeing no parent or adults slid her hand into his.


“Please Father,” Freya pleaded. “Baylor will be with me. All the youth are going; I am now fourteen.”

“Baylor you plan to attend the bonfire this eave?” Eric asked as he ladled another spoonful of rabbit stew into his mouth.

“I had hoped to Father. That is, of course, if you approve.”

“Will Rihard’s daughter be there?” Beta asked as she set a loaf of steaming bread on the dinner table.

“I believe so.” Baylor said filling his mouth with bread.

“Son,” Eric said looking at his Baylor. “I have done all in my power to put your name in her father’s ear, but she is above your station. Despite the fact our holdings are greater than most here, we are not royalty. Rihard waits even now for word from the village to the east on word of a royal marriage between the houses.”    

“I am aware father.” Baylor said taking a deep breath. “But I must try. My heart is hers, I am powerless.”

Sympathy filled Eric’s eyes, and he said a little prayer to the Great One for his son’s happiness. “Go then, both of you.”

Freya’s smile filled the room. Baylor’s mind was too burdened to think to lift his lips.

“But if any of the Vilhelm children are there you are to leave.”

“I believe the whole house is too ill to be out.” Freya said. “The baby died in the night last eave.”

“God help us.” Beta whispered.

“It is the Black Death then?” Eric asked turning to Beta.

“It seems to be. The babe’s throat was black.”

“You went to that house!?” Eric’s voice rose in fear.

“No my husband, that is by word of Danya’s mouth.”  Beta defended.

“Um,” Freya ventured. “The fire is to be lit at sunset.”

“Go then,” Eric smiled.

Freya’s heart thumped loudly against her ribs as they approached the North field. Young people moved to toss limbs and branches onto the large pile left from clearing the field.

“Baylor!” A thick, virile voice called out. “Tis about time you arrived. We thought we would have to give light to the pile without you!”

“I couldn’t let you that, now could I Richard. Simply wouldn’t be right since I have done most of the work to clear this field.” Baylor smiled and slapped his friend on the back.

“You!” Richard crowed. “I am twice the man my friend, and thus did twice the work.”

Freya smiled at the two young men. Richard had always been there with Baylor, they had been inseparable as long as she could remember. Richards eyes frothed with delight, like a boiling blue sea, Freya could not rip her gaze from him. His full angled lips, always lifted, made something inside her sing. His long golden hair, always braided back, tidy, clean, not like the other boys, made her fingers itch to feel. His hearty, carefree laugh made her forget even the death that loomed at their cities door.

“I see you have brought your lovely sister.” Richard said as he turned to Freya.

The full force of his eyes made her gasp inside.

“Aye, that I have. Would you keep an eye on her for me for a moment? Have you seen Brea?” Baylor said as he looked around.

“I am not a baby to be coddled.” Freya complained scowling at her brother.

“I would be most pleased to keep my eyes on your sister.” Richard said with a shrewd smile.

Freya smiled forgetting her objection, and Baylor raised an eyebrow at his friends tone.

“What?” Richard asked beaming him a smile. “Oh look,” he said pointing. “Is that Brea?”

Without another word, Baylor stepped quickly away.

“Richard!” A young boy called holding a torch. “If you do not light this I will.”

“Go ahead brother!” Richard called back. “I have more pressing matters.” Richard smiled at Freya, and his brother shrugged his shoulders and tossed the flame onto the pile of wood. With crackles and sparks it came to life evoking cheers and smiles from the young people around.

“Now who has the brew?” Someone called making Richard smile.

“I have something for you.” Richard said reaching for Freya’s hand. “Come on.” He led her to a log near the growing bonfire, and reached beside it after they sat.

“Oh!” Freya gasped as he pulled out a bouquet of daisies. “They’re beautiful!” She lifted the white pedals to her nose and drew in a deep breath.

“Not nearly as lovely as you,” Richard ran the tip of his finger along her jaw. “I wanted to give you something in honor of your day of birth and decide you were much too beautiful for bread. So then I thought I would give you a coin, but they are so cold. When I saw these flowers I wondered if I had seen anything more divine? The first thing that came to mind was your face.”

Freya wanted to cry. “You are too kind.” She swallowed hard.

“No, I am not nearly kind enough.” Richard smiled. “May I also give you another gift?”

“Another!” Freya grinned. “You would make me the envy of all the girls.”

“May I then, do you trust me?” Richards’s voice was so light, so fun.

“That I do.” Freya smiled, and was shocked when he laid his hands on either side of her face.

“May I kiss thy lips?” he whispered.

Unable to speak, Freya simply nodded her head.

Richards’s lips were soft, warm, against hers. His breath was sweet wine against her skin. Insides humming, she reacted to him, pushed toward him invitingly. He sucked in a breath, and drew her warmth against him as the kiss built. Everything faded for Freya except his heat, lips and form against her. In that instant everything changed, never to be the same.

Shouts and cheers from the people around the fire interrupted the kiss. They drew apart still lost in each other’s eyes.

“Richard you lucky bastard!” A male voice called out.

Richard chuckled. “It Seems I am to be the envy of all my friends.”

Freya blushed, too shaken to speak.


“Welcome home Father,” Rihards called as he stepped through the heavy wooden door to King Niklav-Bauska’s chamber.

“Rihard! My boy! I have missed you.” Niklav-Bauska called out. “Where have you been?”

“Many apologies My Lord, I had to attend to the house of Vilhelm. Last eve they lost their youngest daughter, and this very day Sir Vilhelm lost both his sons.”

“God forbid! Then it is the Black Death!” Niklav-Bauska replied all traces of humor gone.

“Yes Father as we feared.”

Niklav-Bauska ran his wrinkled hand over his thick grey beard. “And we are helpless against it?”

“Aye,” Rihard said as he filled a goblet with wine from his father’s table. “The physician says the entire family has the demon in them.”

“He believes they will all die?”

Rihards only nodded.

“God help us.”

“Yes, I fear many more will meet Him before we are through this.”

“I have other unfortunate news my son.”

Rihards took a deep breath. “Were your trading efforts not successful with Lord Tallinn? What of the suitor for my daughter?”

“I failed on all accounts.” Niklav-Bauska shook his head. “Your brother has disappointed again.”

“Are you surprised Father? What has Mikhail done this time?”

“He gave Tallinn’s wife the horn in his own house!” Though disgusted, Niklav-Bauska couldn’t help the smile.

“Mikhail bed the Queen!?”

“Aye, apparently that old bastard wasn’t giving his young queen the time she deserved so your brother took it upon himself to fulfill her every desire. The stupid braggart got caught though, and we scarcely escaped with our heads!”

“So there shan’t be an alliance in the near future between our people.” Rihards commented rubbing his knuckles along his chin.

“I’d venture to say nay, and pray that we don’t end up with a war on our hands over the whole ordeal!”


“Aye, never have I seen a man more angry. Their people suffer the demon disease, and though I hate to think it, that may save us. There is more I want to discuss Rihard, but I hear your brother.” Bauska turned to the knock at the door. “Come!”

Mikhail marched into the room, his thick jaw, covered with dark hair already firmly set in a scowl.

“Big Brother,” Rihards called. Mikhail turned to him, his face softening slightly. “Welcome home.”

“Rihards,” Mikhail’s gruff voice returned as they embraced.

Rihards is the only person Mikhail has ever truly loved. Niklav-Bauska thought as he watched his sons embrace.

“You wanted to see me father?” Mikhail asked.

“Yes, I feel I have calmed enough to speak to you on what happened at Tallinn. What do you have to say?”

“Must I explain myself? I bedded a whore!”

“Must you explain yourself?” Niklav-Bauska burst! “You bedded the damn Queen of a neighboring village! You cost us a valuable trading partner and a husband for your niece Brea! God damn Mikhail! Tallinn has iron we need; what are we to do now!? You may have just caused a blasted war!”

“Good!” Mikhail yelled back. “You would suck King Tallinn’s cock! He over charges us, speaks to us as if we were common slaves, and you wish to make alliance! We should take the iron. We should take the land! We do not need that spineless, old, rat! His people are sick, now is the time to move!”

“You would sacrifice the lives of your own people to coddle your pride! You are selfish, and undeserving to be a leader!” Niklav- Bauska’s face burned brightly the veins bulging.

“You doubt my ability to lead!?” Mikhail cursed, Rihards reached for his shoulder, reached to calm him. Mikhail hit his hand away.

“Aye, I do! I have given it great thought and not only do I doubt your ability, I am also ashamed to call you my son! As of this moment you are no longer my heir!”

Rihards gasped and stepped back from his enraged brother.

“Rihards is far more capable to lead.” Niklav-Bauska said more calmly.

Mikhail’s body shook as he turned and walked from the room. We will see old man, Mikhail thought. I’ll watch the life eke from your body before I let you take my birthright!


As Mikhail stormed from the building he interrupted a servant’s conversation. “They say that the demon sickness gets in the blood. Oh, Lord Mikhail.”

“What are you doing standing around!” Mikhail screamed and knocked the man down.

“Forgive me My Lord.” The servant begged and cowered.

Mikhail kicked the man in the stomach. “Get back to work you worthless scum!”

The two servants scurried away before Mikhail could unleash any more fury.

“Blood, huh,” Mikhail said with a wicked smile and stepped into the night.

Mikhail took a deep breath, rallying his courage and knocked on the door of Sir Vilhelm’s home. When no one answered, he let himself in and was assaulted by the stench of death. Wailing carried through the house as a mother grieved over the dead child in her arms. Vomit caked around her purple little lips, Vilhelm’s last child had bled to death after the gruesome looking swelling and bruising in her neck had ruptured. Lost in their grief and suffering the sickness themselves, the couple did not even notice Mikhail slip into the room where there other children lay dead in rows on the floor. Mikhail’s stomach turned, and he held his shirt to his mouth and nose. Yanking the cover off one of one of the children, Mikhail drew his dagger, gagged, regained himself, then simply laid the metal on the pus, blood and maggots that moved on the child’s neck. He bolted from the house, doubling over gasping for air as he exited.

It was rare for Mikhail to want to bathe, but as he entered the Main Lodge’s kitchen, he yearned for a tub of hot water and lye soap. Perfect!  Mikhail thought as he watched his father’s servant prepare his tray.

“Lord Mikhail!” The servant cried out startled and dropped prostrate to the floor.

“I will take that to the King.” Mikhail said harshly.

“Yes my lord, of course.” The servant said face on the dusty wood.

Mikhail sneered as he stirred his father’s beer with his bloody knife. “On second thought,” Mikhail said nudging the servant with his foot. “You go ahead. Don’t doddle; you know how his Lordship hates to be hungry.”

“As you wish Lord Mikhail,” The servant stood, gathered the tray and hurried away from Mikhail.

Heart Eaters – Part Ten – Lucy – The Culmination

Posted in Because I love to write, New Novel, New writing, Nightmare, Works in Progress with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2010 by cjirwin

(Please note: This post contains graphic violence and adult content.) 

Part Ten

Lucy – The Culmination –


“Come on Susan, are you sure it’s not too soon for this?” Lucy asked her sister as Susan pushed her out the door.

“It’s not too soon. You and Doug have been together for five months right?”

“Well, yes, if you count from the first time we made love in November, but I mean for the kids. Isn’t it too soon for me to be going away with him like this? I don’t even know where he’s taking me.” Lucy reasoned.

“Listen Luce, it’s not too soon. Stop worrying. It’s romantic that he has a surprise plan for you this weekend, and its damn lucky so quit complaining and quit making him wait outside in the car. I’ve got the kids. Don’t worry, just go!” Susan said and gave Lucy a hard shove out the door.

Lucy walked toward Doug’s car, toward the gorgeous, dark-haired, green-eyed god in the front seat. He is simply fantastic looking, Lucy thought. Doug’s eyes followed her every move. He couldn’t see enough of her, feel enough of her, drink enough of the sound of her voice. Insatiable, was his need for the lovely woman who walked toward him.

Lucy continued to worry over her children and her salvation, as she open the door, but she wanted Doug, wanted to be with him, the heat of her thoughts for him almost too much.

“Is this ok?” Doug asked, worry creasing his brow. “Is it too much, too soon? We don’t have to go away for the weekend. I don’t care where I am as long as I can be with you.” He dragged a finger along her jaw line, across her lips.

Breathing deeply, Lucy resolved herself to keep that crease off his brow all weekend, he deserved that. “No Doug, I want to go. I’m excited. Really. It’s been a long time since I’ve been surprised, and I love surprises. So, let’s go.” Lucy shoved all her worries aside, letting a smile and anticipation take their place.

Overjoyed, Doug simply set his lips on hers. Tasting her, warm, soft, tender lips was like being wrapped in spring.

Saturday morning traffic was minimal as they drove out-of-town. Hand in hand, they enjoyed the warm spring air that moved through the car.

“Scott State Park and Wildlife reserve,” Lucy read as they slowed and turned. “Wonderful!”

“Well, I know you love hiking, and animals, and sunsets over water so I thought this would be ideal, and Susan said you’ve never been here.”

“You seem to know a great deal about me my dear,” Lucy smiled.

“I want to know it all.” Doug said as he pulled up to the Parks main office. “I just have to run in here quickly. I’ll be right back.” He leaned in, pecked her on the mouth.

Lucy admired his long muscles and strong pace as he hurried in and out. “Wow that was quick!” Lucy laughed as he jumped back into the car, a school-boy grin on his face.

They moved away from the highway and cabin office the asphalt merging into a brown gravel road that wound fetching through lush, wooded forest. Lucy senses feasted on the beauty of the bright, fresh, green leaves, the brilliant colors and scents of periwinkle’s and wild roses, the sound of water tumbling over smooth rocks before in seeped into the beautiful lake in the distance. Her breath caught as they pulled up to quaint log cabin, grey, weathered, natural, it was simply perfect in Lucy’s mind. Lucy didn’t think she could be any more charmed, but as they opened the door she discovered she was wrong. Golden, superbly finished pine blanketed the walls and floors, small darker colored knots in the wood adding rustic character. Deep green curtains dressed the large windows singing of new life and bright, freshly cut daffodils grace the round kitchen table. The brown leather sofa was plush and inviting, making Lucy want to fall into its waiting arms.

“Doug! This is beautiful!” Lucy sang as she spun around.

Doug set two brown paper bags on the counter and began unloading them into the icebox. “I’m so glad you like it.” 

“Well, you’ve thought of everything.” Lucy said as she watched him put fruit, chocolate, wine, a whole chicken in.

“I tried. Are you hungry? It’s just after noon. I could throw something together real quick, but I am going to make you my famous roast chicken for dinner.” Smiling, he turned to her.

“I don’t want food.” Lucy said with a smirk.

“Mm, what is it your after my dear?” Doug asked as he wrapped his arms around her waist.

Lucy pushed his arms back and yanked on his collar with a mischievous grin. Doug’s breathing hastened when she slammed her lips against his, primal needs blazing through them. He reached for her, but she pushed his arms away again and began to pull him from the kitchen. Surprise mixed with pleasure, lighted his face as she backed him up to the couch and pushed. Sitting, struggling for breath, he watched as Lucy slowly unbuttoned her silky, white blouse and threw it in his lap. His teeth ground together as her tan pencil skirt piled on the floor at her feet.

“You’re exquisite!” Doug breathed.

They spoke softly as they snuggled on the couch; little things like her favorite bird or flower. Relaxed and unbelievably happy, she drifted into dreamless sleep.

Lucy woke to the rich scent of roasting chicken, and it made her aware of her aching, empty stomach. Wrapped in a warm blanket and nestled on the couch she had recently made love on, Lucy smiled as she watched Doug move expertly around the kitchen.

“You’re spoiling me.” Lucy said as she sat up.

Doug turned. “Mm, it seems to me that I was the one getting spoiled earlier.” He walked toward her naked body, leaned to kiss her then her.

“Mm,” Lucy purred. “It was as much for me as it was for you my dear.”

As he walked back toward the kitchen, she noticed he had the table set, champagne sparkling in the tall wine glasses he had remembered to bring, and two white candles lit, glowing softly. “It seems I’ve slept the afternoon away. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize,” Doug called as he walked into the bedroom and retrieved a terry bathrobe. Sitting, he wrapped it around her shoulders. “That’s what I want. You relaxing and making mad love to me all weekend. I’m not surprised you slept so long after the ride you gave me this afternoon.” Lucy blushed. “Come eat my love.” Doug stopped. He hadn’t meant to call her that. Knowing how deeply Lucy had loved Robert had made Doug very careful with that word. He knew, without a doubt that he loved her, but he didn’t want to say it for fear she would feel pushed. It was undeniable that he knew she had strong feelings for him, but he could wait, forever if he needed to for her to realize that she loved him back.

It was like a quick twist in her heart. Love, I am his love. Why is it that the parasite guilt is most fond of love as a host? Lucy squirmed. Am I ready? Can I say it?


“Come eat with me,” Doug said relieving her of the decision right then.


By the time they drove away from the cabin on Sunday evening dark, heavy clouds bruised the sky. Wind tossed leaves and branches on the road as they were pounded by spring rain.

The children squealed with delight as they ran through the rain and piled into the back of Doug’s car. They dragged him into Lucy’s house when they arrived, and had him sitting in front of the television watching a whistling Mickey Mouse. Lucy smiled at the way they jumped into his lap, pulled at his tie and jabbered relentlessly in his ear. Patiently, he answered, played and held.


Lucy lay on her side in her bed reading. The white whale, Moby Dick and his nemesis, Captain Ahab had always fascinated her. Literary genius!  Lucy thought. The sound of chirping made her role, and she was surprised to find a small black bird singing on her bed-side-stand.

“Hey little one,” Lucy crooned as she reached. “What are you doing in here?”

Still singing, the small bird settled onto Lucy’s finger, and she stared in wonderment.

As it sang its beak opened wider and wider until the skin at the edges began to tear and bleed. Lucy gasped as the little bird was rent in two, blood covering her hands and dripping to the floor. In shock, Lucy threw the pieces to the carpet. They began to boil, feathers, bone, innards becoming a gross soup. Birds, loud, squawking, creatures began pouring from the remains. They pecked at Lucy drawing blood, screeched as they wound themselves in her hair. Through the cloud of frantic feathered creatures, Lucy bolted for her bedroom door. Lucy fell into the darkness, but it was not the pine hardwood floor of her hall at her nose. Soil, rancid rotting dirt, covered her lips, her face, filling her with the smell of blood and death. Frantically, she searched for anything other than mud, dirt and blood. In the distance she saw a lights exploding in the air, the earth shook, her ears ached at the tumult of sound crashing upon her. She ran. Without direction, she thrust herself further into the mayhem of whistling bullets and falling bombs. She cried out as she fell into a trench, small glowing lanterns littered the bottom casting light on broken, gutted soldiers. Even as Lucy screamed, she recognized the faces of the men at her sides. Robert, body splayed open, intestines green and rotting smiled up at her.

“Hey Love,” he said, blood on his teeth.

Throwing her hand over her mouth Lucy turned away, but found no relief. Doug’s head lay against her leg only feet from his amputated arm, leg, and torso. Lucy vomited.

“Hey Love,” Doug’s head sang. “Are you ill?”

“Momma, momma!” Violet shook her screaming mother, tears beginning to slip from her little blue eyes. “Wake up!”

Lucy jerked awake. In one quick sweep, she scanned the room, halting abruptly at Violets red, teary eyes.

“Momma, are you ok?” Violet cried. “That’s worse than I’ve ever seen you. I thought the dreams had stopped.”

“Oh baby, I’m sorry.” Eyes wet with tears and body shaking, Lucy gathered Violet to her, drawing strength.

As the coffee brewed, filling the air with a warm scent of a new day, Lucy called Susan. “No sis, you don’t have to come over.” Lucy answered after she told Susan she had dreamed again, and it had been one of the worst. “Really,” she tried to reason. “What kind of shrink makes house calls at seven in the morning?”

“The sister kind,” Susan replied. “I’ll see you in thirty, the kids are up anyway and want to see their cousins.”

Lucy paced the kitchen cradling a hot cup of coffee with one sugar and two creams.

“What does it mean?” Lucy pleaded of Susan. “I can’t bear to lose them both!” She cried.

“Oh, honey your dreams are just screwed up.”

“Is that your professional opinion?” Lucy asked and couldn’t help but to smile.

“Lucy you can’t be afraid to love because you’re afraid to lose.”

“I know. Feeling alive again has made that clear.”

“Then don’t worry about it. Now don’t you have to work?”

“Damn, yes, I was distracted. I’ve got to get moving.” Lucy said as she jumped up and set her dirty mug in the sink.

“Just go. I can get the kids ready and take them to school.” Susan said standing a kissing her sisters cheek. “I love you. You love him, don’t be afraid of that, embrace it.”

“I do don’t I?” Lucy said a smile spreading across her face. “I do.”

Lucy was still smiling as she grabbed her umbrella and walked out the door. Merrily, her heart circled in her chest as she rode the transit distracting her from the storm that ragged.

“Your umbrella Miss,” the driver said as she stepped up to the door.

“Huh,” Lucy responded.

“Your umbrella, you’ve forgotten it.” He said pointing to the seat she had warmed.

“Oh, thank you.” Lucy smiled.

“You’re welcome,” he responded his haggard, old face lighting. “You’re gonna need it!”

She skipped through the rain toward the double doors, surprised at her own lightness of heart. Doug, bright and striking, stood by her locker in the break room.

“Lucy, thank god!” Doug said smiling, the lines on his face smoothing. “You’re late, with the storm I was worried.”

With breezy like steps, she moved to him, laid her lips on him and eased his mind. “You worry too much my love.”

Breath hitched in his chest. Did she just say that? Doug wondered. She did, she called me her love. It’s not exactly, ‘I love you’, but you haven’t actually said that yet either. He pulled her into his arms. “You have made my life worth living my love.” His forehead fell against hers.

“And you have brought me back to life, my heart now beats because of you.” Lucy whispered.

Doug squeezed her tighter, breathing in the scent of her. “How am I supposed to do my rounds with you on my brain?”

“Maybe we’ll have to sneak off to the supply closet for lunch.” Lucy couldn’t stop the giggle.

“We could sneak off now.” He nuzzled her neck. Taking one glance around, Doug grasped Lucy’s hand and pulled her toward the closet. With a quiet click the door opened and shut. Lucy had her legs around his waist within seconds, her lips pressed hard to his. He held her, cradled her around him, relishing her warmth, her eager touch. They bumped against the shelves knocking things to the floor. Hands moved, caressed, set afire emotion and desire. Frantic for her, and insane with yearning, Doug moved across the small room and set her on the counter. His breath heaved in and out like the storm that raged outside as he pushed up her nurses dress revealing her white guarder, and thigh-high hose. Her panties, simply soft and white, did more for him than any lace he had ever felt in his life.

Lucy loved the look on his face, the school-boy adoration. The knowing she was so desperately wanted sent shivers down her spine. She kissed his lips, his neck, his collar and whispered in his ear. They moved, loved, explored each other hearts and souls.

Gasping and shaking, they held each other.  Doug pulled his face from her shoulder seeking her eyes. After running his hands through her hair her took her face in his hands and gently kissed her lips.

He pushed against her smiling at her warmth. “Lucy,” Doug said tracing his finger along her jaw, “I have to tell you, I know it soon for you. But I have to say-.”

“No, Doug.” Lucy interrupted. Doug swallowed hard; worrying it was as he feared, too soon for her to be in love with him as he was with her. “Doug, you’ve saved my life,” Lucy began running the tip of her finger over his brow. “Made me want and feel pleasure again.” Lucy saw the ache in his eyes as he wondered if that could be enough for him. “But more than that Doug,” her heart fluttered in fear and excitement, “I have found that I can love again.” Doug exhaled the breath he’d been holding. “Doug, I’m in love with you. I love you.”

“Oh god, Lucy,” he tightened his hold. “I love you. I have loved you from the first moment I saw you. I have dreamed of holding you, of loving you, but mostly of you loving me.” He took her mouth fiercely in a greedy kiss that brought tears to Lucy’s eyes.

They smiled, teased, and couldn’t keep their hands to themselves as they tried to make themselves presentable. Hand in hand they walked from the little room.

Sirens filled the air.

“What’s going on?” Lucy asked. “Where is everyone?”

“That’s the hospitals storm warning system,” Doug said looking around then stopping, focusing on the hail that pounded against the window. They felt a tremor move through the floor. “Tornado! We need to get to the shelter!” Doug pulled her as he hurried out of the room. The lights flickered as the wind and hail beat against the building. “Oh, my god!” Doug heaved and halted. Lightening flashed in the distance as they watched the clouds circle in the heavens. Wind sucked downward and soil raised from the ground as the first cyclone formed. It was small, but as it spun it dragged earth and sky to it. It mounted on, feed on, and massacred the world around.

“Come on Lucy!” Doug called as they ran through the halls.

A loud whirling sound overpowered the alarm, and Doug and Lucy fell as the building jerked, heaved and settled, a large portion being torn away on the opposite end.

“What’s the fasted way to get there?” Doug asked Lucy. “I’ve never actually done a drill, you’ve been here longer.”

“There’s a stairwell at the end of the C.I. Wing that goes straight to the east storm cellar.”

They ran.

“Oh my god!” Doug halted in front of the C.I. doors. “What is that?”

Blood seeped under the door, running in bright rivers along the wall.

“Someone must be hurt!” Lucy cried and pushed through the door.

“Lucy no!” Doug screamed and reached for her.

Lucy froze. Donald lay dead on the floor, blood pumping from his crushed skull. Heath stood above Donald’s body a smile tearing at his features. “Stupid bastard thought he would save us!”

Lucy’s stomach turned. “You monster!” She screamed and without thinking lunged for him.

“No!” Doug jumped, knocked Lucy out of the way and tackled Heath.

Landing hard on her butt, Lucy scrambled to reach Doug as he fought with Heath. Insanity burned in Heath’s eyes as he swung wildly at Doug. Doug cried out as Heath’s fist connected with his jaw.

“Bastard!” Doug cursed and threw his knuckles with everything in him. Blood dripped from Heath’s eye, his lips, but he felt no pain, morphine pumping through him. With a cackle, Heath slammed Doug against the wall, breaking the glass case with a fire hose and ax in it. The broken glass cut into Doug side. Lucy screamed as she watched red stain his bright white coat. Without thought, she jumped for Heath knocking him back and Doug fell to the floor.

Heath turned on her, lust burning his insides. “I told you I’d have you.” He cried as he punched Lucy square in the face. Her head rang as she hit the floor. Struggling to stay conscious, she focused on the flickering lights on the ceiling. Heath forced the air from her chest as he fell on her, hitting her face again. Lucy coughed, tried to scramble from beneath him as he ripped at her dress.

“How dare you touch her!” Doug shouted as he jumped on Heath’s back and wrapped his left arm around the psychopath’s throat. Heath felt his windpipe crush and jerked against Doug as he squeezed. A small strangled sound escaped Heaths lips a he took his last breath. Doug dropped him to the floor.

“Lucy!” Doug reached, took her into his arms. “Oh god,” he wiped the blood from the corner of her mouth. “We have to get out of here!” The floor trembled, they could hear glass shattering down the hall, wind sucking at the life in the building. Lucy felt his tense muscles as he lifted her into his arms.

“I can walk,” she mewed.

“No you can’t.” He said as he kissed her cheek and began to get up from his knees. Lucy gasped as he jerked and cried out, a sudden jolt of pain coursing through him.

“Doug?” She called his name as she watched his features twist in agony. He faltered; fell to his knees, still cradling Lucy tightly in his arms.

“Lucy,” he breathed, coughed, spraying blood in her face. They fell.

“No! Doug!” Lucy screamed, and then she saw her, saw the metal ax in her hands, dripping with the blood of the man she loved. “Helen!” Lucy cried shock, pain and rage filling her. Blood pumped from the hole in Doug’s back. “No! No!” Lucy cried, Doug still laying on her. She wrapped her arms around him as Helen raised the ax again.

“Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.” Helen sang as she watched Lucy pulled Doug closer.

Lucy closed her eyes. At least we’ll die together. God, keep my children.

A shot rang in the air. Lucy’s eyes jumped open just soon enough to see the bullet pierce the back of Helen skull and rip a hole in its front. With a shudder Helen fell lifelessly to the floor. Lucy’s wide eyes found Benedict’s shaking hands wrapped around the hilt of Donald’s Colt revolver. Quivering, he dropped it to the floor and ran to Lucy.

“Ruby May!” Benedict cried. “We have to go! We have to go love!” Benedict grabbed Lucy’s arm and pulled.

“No!” Lucy cried.

“Leave the damn grocery boy! The building is falling down! We have to go!”

“No, I can’t leave him!”

“David doesn’t deserve you! Don’t die for him, please Ruby!” Benedict screamed as the building shook, the floor heaved.

Lucy struggled to pull Doug toward the stairwell.

“God damn it!” Benedict cursed then bent and put his arms under Doug. Doug groaned weekly as Benedict adjusted under the weight. Lucy thought Benedict would break, but somehow he moved forward, toward the door.

Wood groaned against wood and metal against metal as the hospital was pulled every direction. As windows shattered, ceilings fell in, the foundation cracked, Lucy, Benedict with Doug dyeing in his arms ran down the steps. Lucy felt a sudden and strong sucking and screamed as the roof above their head was ripped away and the walls began to fall in.

“No!” she screamed as timber and cement fell toward Benedict. He fell. Doug cried out at he was thrown forward and landed hard. Both of Benedict legs were crushed when the beam landed, shards of bone cutting him a thousand times. When the second beam land on his chest he rejoiced in the knowing he would not have to suffer the pain in his bottom half much longer.

“Ruby May!” he cried and reached for Lucy. “Ruby May!”

“Yes,” Lucy answered tears pouring from her eyes knowing there was no help for him.

“Forgive me my love.”

“You’re forgiven Benedict.” Lucy wept. “You’re forgiven, I love you!”

Benedict smiled as his heart stopped and his grip on Lucy failed.

 Lucy turned to Doug. “Hold on baby,” she whispered as she began to beat on the cellar door. “Help! Let us in!”

The door opened and they hurriedly gathered them inside.

“Doug! Doug!” Lucy sobbed taking him into her arms. “Help him!”

Nurses and doctors hovered around them. He coughed, spurting blood. “Lucy, Lucy!”

“I’m here,” she cried he reached for her face.

“Promise me,” he coughed, cried out in pain.

“Anything Doug,” Lucy wailed, “just don’t leave me. Don’t leave me! I love you! God damn it, Doug, I love you!”

“Live, promise me you’ll live. Promise me you truly live!” His hands shook, his body failing, he struggled to hold on.

“We’ll live together! Don’t leave me.”

“Lucy, I love you more than I ever dreamed I could love anyone. Now promise, for me, for our love, promise!”

Lucy’s heart burned, twisted, wanted to die. “I promise.” Tears gushed from her eyes falling on his lovely bloody face. “I promise and I love you. I will always love you.”

He smiled, “forever I will love you.” His eyes closed and his hand fell from Lucy’s face.


Three months later.

Red, white and blue covered the long picnic table and hung in bunches along the front porch. Chicken wings, cole slaw, potatoes salad, chips, hotdogs, root beer, lemonade and a large cake decorated with strawberries, blueberries and vanilla icing excited and enticed the many people filling Lucy’s back yard.  

Bobby ran, laughter bubbling out, as he chased Sandra with a sparkler. “Bobby,” Lucy called with a smile. “Leave your sister alone!” then went back to her conversation with Susan and her new boyfriend. “So you and your crew are still very busy?”

“Yes, and I have jobs booked for months. It’s been three months since the tornado and already my crew, and I have fixed or replaced fifteen roofs.”

“ I am so thankful mine was one of them, and that you didn’t have to replace my whole house like so many others.”

“Me too,” Susan agreed, stars in her eyes.

“My crew has also been helping with the cleanup down at the Hospital. You worked there right?” John asked.

“Yes,” Lucy answered with a smile, but felt a twist in her heart. It was like a punch in the gut to think of him.

“Do you plan to work at the new hospital their putting up over on the North side of town?”

“No, I don’t think so. Um, excuse me,” Lucy said and hurried away from the table. Leaning over her sink, Lucy fought the tears. “God, it just isn’t fair!” She took a deep breath. “I promised, I promised,” she remembered as she watched the people in her back yard.

“Are you all right?” Susan asked laying her hand on her sisters back.

“I promised him I’d live, so I will.” Lucy said and wiped away the tears.

“Good,” Susan said and pulled Lucy back outside, “look there playing horseshoes, let’s go!”

“I’m terrible at this game.”

“Oh come on Lucy you just throw the thing.” Susan said as they approached the group. “Lucy wants to play!”

“Not really,” Lucy said but took the horseshoe that was offered. She went to throw, but stopped suddenly at the sounds of Violet screaming. “Violet!” Lucy called and began to run toward the house. Lucy gasped, swallowed hard, and halted. She struggled to keep from fainting as the blood drained from her head.

Her three children, screaming and jumping, dragged their father out the back door and to the edge of the porch. “Momma look! I told you! Daddy’s home!” Violet hung on his side, his arm tightly around her.

Unnoticed tears poured from Lucy’s eyes. “Robert,” she whispered afraid she would wake to find she was suffering another nightmare.

“Lucy,” his thin handsome face shone brightly as he spoke her name. “My Lucy.” The children helped him as he limped down the steps.

Still frozen and weeping, Lucy breathed his name again. “Robert, Robert your alive!”

Leaving the children at the bottom step, he moved to her, and gathered her into his arms. “Oh, god, I’m home! I can’t believe it! I thought I would die in that vile German prison camp, but no! I hold my love in my arms!” He laughed and she wrapped her arms around his neck and laid her lips on his. They laughed and cried though what the children thought was the longest kiss in the history of the world.

“Robert,” she sang, “Robert, God, I love you. Never leave me again!”

Violet, Sandra and Bobby wrapped themselves around their parent legs, and they all, for the first time in years felt whole.

Heart Eaters – Part Nine – Violet

Posted in Because I love to write, New Novel, New writing, Nightmare with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2010 by cjirwin


(Please note: This Post contains adult content and graphic violence that some may find offensive or inappropriate.)

Heart Eaters

Part Nine



Violets shoe tapped loudly against the living rooms hard wood floor. Arms crossed tightly against her chest, she cleared her throat with a grunt, and heaved a sigh when her mother didn’t wake but snuggled closer into Doug’s arms. “Mm, um,” she grunted. Lucy’s eyes fluttered. “Mother!” Violet finally burst.

Lucy’s eyes opened, blinked. Her head jerked toward her daughter’s cross face and rigid form at the end of the couch, then back to the serine, sleeping man with his arms around her. “Oh, crap!” Cursing, she swung into a sitting position, jolting Doug from peaceful slumber.

“What?” he blurted. “Oh,” he said, seeing Lucy’s ten-year-old daughter.

“What is going on Mother?”

“It’s not what it looks like.” Lucy reasoned.

“I’m not stupid momma!” Violet stated then turned on her heals and marched toward the kitchen.

“Oh, god Lucy I’m sorry. I fell asleep; I hadn’t intended to stay.” Doug pleaded. Lucy heaved a sigh, but couldn’t keep from smiling at him, her body rested and still covered in his warmth. Returning the smile, his words caressed. “You just felt so marvelous in my arms. It seems that they were fashioned to hold you.”

“You don’t have to apologize; I fell asleep too.” She let her head fall back. “Oh god, I haven’t slept like that in over a year.” His smile was brilliant, full of hope. Her eyes feasted on him, and her heart devoured the wondrous idea that she wanted to just look at him. Long, muscled, arms moved under his wrinkled shirt, his bright green eyes simmered with what she knew was desire making her stomach flutter, his dark, tousled hair fell across his eye and without thinking she reached to caress it away. The tenderness of the simple act surprised her, and touched him more then she could have known. “Don’t you work today?”

“Oh, shit!” Doug blurted looking down at his watch. “I’m late. I have to go.” He said leaning to kiss Lucy then jumped up.

“I’ll walk you to the door.” Lucy said smiling at his urgent expression. “It’s really hard on you to be late isn’t it?”

“I hate it!” He said with a chuckle as they walked to the door. “So you’ll let me take you out, right?  Please,” he begged after a moment.

Lucy had to look away from the intensity of his gaze. “Doug, I don’t-”

“Lucy,” he interrupted his hand on the doorknob. “Give me a chance. Please.”

Lucy looked toward Violets room and back to his stunning face. One step at a time, she thought. “Ok.”

“How about Friday night?”

“Um, I can’t.” Lucy said and hurried on at the tortured look on his face. “I’m driving to Lincoln tomorrow with Susan to help her pack everything up. The moving company said they would load her things on Friday and Saturday and drive down on Monday. But, I would love to after Monday.”

“Ok, Tuesday? Well, I guess I’ll see you on Monday, but will you let me take you out on Tuesday?”

“That would be swell.” 

Doug kissed the smile on her lips.

How can this be happening? Lucy wondered as she closed the door.

“Was that Doug leaving?” Susan asked as she walked from the kitchen.


“Holy Horesfeathers Lucy!” Susan crowed. “Was it amazing?” She asked more quietly smiling from ear to ear.

Lucy simply shook her head and chuckled.

“Because, he looks amazing,” Susan went on, “and usually men that look like that know how to make a woman feel all hotsy-totsy.”

“We didn’t, he didn’t.”

Susan huffed.

“Really,” Lucy assured as they walked back into the kitchen. “We fell asleep together on the couch.”

“Awe, he slept with you before he actually removed your nickers. That’s so romantic.

“It is all, ‘knight in shining armor’ of him isn’t it.” Lucy said, the words skipping from her mouth.

“Good that you woke up before the kids.” Susan laughed.

“Violet woke us.”

“Oh,” Susan replied her pretty features squishing together.

“Yeah, I guess I should go talk to her.”

“Finish your coffee, give her a few minutes.”

Lucy worried over what to say to Violet while she sipped her coffee, and drank every drop before she pushed herself up the stairs. Knocking several times before she finally heard a very resigned admittance, Lucy opened her daughter’s door.

“Can we talk?” Lucy asked.

Violet heaved a sigh and set Little Women on her bed-side-stand. “What?”

“Now, I know your upset with me but that’s no reason to be rude.” Lucy corrected.

“Sorry,” Violet said, eyes on her floral comforter.

How do I do this? Lucy wondered. My girl is so grown up. How did I miss it? Lucy sat on the edge of her bed. “We didn’t have sex.”

Surprised at her Lucy’s bluntness, Violet’s eyes jerked to her mother’s face. She said nothing.

So Lucy went on. “We fell asleep together. He was kind and comforted me when I needed a friend.”

“He wasn’t holding you as a friend would.”

“Ok, I can see that your old enough to recognized the way a man would hold a women when he is after more than just friendship, but that’s all we are for right now. Though, I do think I may want more than friendship at some point in the future.” Wow, Lucy thought. I said it, and I do.


“But mom you can’t,” Violet pleaded the child reappearing. “What about Daddy? I don’t want you to break his heart!”

Lucy flinched. Deep gashes. “Honey,” Lucy swallowed hard. “Daddy is not coming back.” Oh my god! Lucy cringed inside. I said and believe that too!


“Yes he is momma! Don’t say that! Take it back!” Violet screamed.

Tears slipping from her eyes, Lucy forced  out what she did not want to say, but what her girl needed to hear. What Lucy knew she needed to hear. “He is dead baby. I’m so sorry. He is gone.”

“No, no,” Violet struggled as Lucy pulled her into her arms. Violet cried, aching, stinging tears.


“She’s hardly spoken to me since Thursday.” Lucy told Susan as they walked out of her house in Lincoln Nebraska each carrying a card-board-box labeled KITCHEN.

“Just give it time,” Susan soothed as they loaded the boxes in the large, white moving truck. “I can’t believe we got all this packed and loaded already.” Susan smiled.  “Me and all my stuff will be home by noon tomorrow!”

“I’m so happy!”

“Me too, now let’s go have dinner and get some sleep so we can leave with the moving truck at seven o’ clock.”


Doug waited. He had taken the entire day off in hopes he would have the house ready before they arrived. “Ok, the gas is on, the water is on, electric is on, house is clean, papers are ready to be signed,” Doug went through his list. “All done and it’s only eleven. They probably won’t be here until noon, or maybe one.” What do I do now?



“We’re home! We’re home!” The children cried from the back seat as they pulled up the little blue house on Oak Street.

The moving truck was already backed in and the movers unloading.

“Oh, the movers are taking stuff in. Doug must be here.” Susan said, relieved the movers hadn’t had to wait the extra hour it had taken her and Lucy to get their five children and their very small bladders home.

Doug had the movers stacking boxes in the dining room and carrying in furniture; while he placed the boxes in their respective rooms when Lucy and Susan walked in.

“Doug,” Lucy called. He set down his box and ran to meet her at the entrance eager to taste her lips, but thought better of it when Violet walked scowling through the door. “You’re so sweet! You’ve almost got everything unloaded!”

“Doug you’re a miracle worker!” Susan sang and threw her arms around his neck. “Thank you!”

“You’re so welcome,” Doug said with a chuckle.

Lucy sniffed the air. “Wow! It smells amazing in here. Are you cooking Doug?”

“And if I am?” He asked with a teasing smile.

“Then Lucy will be your love slave for the rest of eternity!” Susan burst.

“In that case, yes, I am cooking, baked chicken, rice, steamed veggies, oh and of course, wine.”

“Oh my,” Susan and Lucy cried together.

“So, am I awarded major points for this?” Doug asked looking directly at Lucy.

“Maybe,” Lucy said with a smile.

“Well, if it will help convince you, I also turned on the gas, the water, the electric, signed up for garbage removal and have the bill of sale for the house ready to sign.”

Susan’s jaw dropped.

“Ok, I am definitely considering that whole love slave thing now.” Lucy said shaking her head.

“Yes!” Doug replied. “Can we just start with a welcome home kiss?”

Susan stepped up and planted a noisy kiss on his cheek. “I know you weren’t talking to me, but I just had to do that. Thank you, really.” The kids flew by. “Now, you two should go out and see if there is anything the movers need your help with so Lucy can give you a proper kiss.”

Doug slipped his hand in Lucy’s as they walked out the door. She jerked a little then relaxed. “Is this ok?” He asked lifting their entwined fingers and kissing her knuckles.

“Yes, I guess, I’m just worried the kids will see. It’s too soon for them.” He let go. “No, I didn’t mean for you to feel like I don’t want you to. I just.”

“It’s fine, really.” The look on his face was so understanding that Lucy wanted to kick herself for making an issue of it. “I don’t want to hurt them.”

“I know. God, Doug you’re wonderful. I’m so sorry for the way I’ve treated you.”

“Don’t,” he said pulling her in front of the parked truck and into his arms. “May I kiss you now?” He asked his breath hot against her skin.

She couldn’t breathe, or think, so she simply nodded. Desire pressed against craving and want against need as their lips melded. They took and gave, willing and waiting. Heart pounding and chest heaving, Lucy felt his grip loosen and watched him swallow hard, digging deep for control.

He let his forehead fall against hers. “It frightens me a little that I want and need you so severely.” He whispered.

“I understand, and a dollop of guilt to top it all off.” Lucy replied.

“Mother!” Violet called from the front step.

“Oh, damn, that’s Violet. I need to go in.” Lucy said and hurried up into the truck to grab a small end table. Doug followed.

The children ran into the house, up the stairs, down the stairs, out the back, in the front, ecstatic to be out of the car and home. Violet made a point of putting herself between her mother and Doug as they worked to unpack and set up Susan’s home. Doug grunted as he moved couches, tables, wardrobes and everything else, but never complained.

“So,” Violet began as they unpacked kitchen ware. “Do you have a girlfriend Doug?”

Doug smiled and looked at Lucy. “Nope.”

“Have you ever been married?” She inquired.

“Nope” he answered.

“How old are you?” Violet asked, and Lucy shook her head.

“I’m twenty-seven.”

“Did you know that my mother is thirty-one?” Violet asked surprised to find he was younger than her.

“Yes, I do.”

“Ok, Violet.” Lucy warned.

“What, just trying to get to know your friend.”

“Wow,” Susan said. “Mm, seven-thirty, didn’t realize it had gotten so late. Violet, why don’t you help me get the little ones to bed.”

“Fine,” Violet answered and gathered Bobby into her hands and stomped away.

“I’m sorry Doug.” Lucy apologized.

“It’s really ok. I understand.”

Lucy went to follow Violet. “Lucy,” Susan said reaching for her sister. “Let me talk to her.”

Looking toward the stairs, Lucy nodded her head.

“Violet?” Susan called after they had all the children tucked into two beds. Susan pushed the door to the empty bedroom open to find Violet staring out the window. Across the room she moved and set her hand on Violets shoulder. “I know it has been a very difficult year and a half for you,” Susan began softly. “But do you know who it has been more difficult for?”

Violet breathed deeply, “my mother.”

“Yes, and don’t you want to see her happy?”

“I guess it is nice to not have to worry that I’ll wake and find that she has killed herself!” Violet burst.

“Oh sweetie,” Susan said and wrapped her arms around her. “Your mother loves you, and she loves your father but-” 

“I know,” Violet wiped her eyes. “I know. I do want momma to be happy. I just don’t want admit that he’s gone, and Doug being here, with mom, it makes it really hard to pretend Daddy’s still coming back.”

“I know sweetie. I’m so sorry.” Susan held her. “Promise me you’ll cut your momma some slack, ok?”



Lucy sighed as the hot water careened down her naked body. Head back, eyes closed, she reveled in the pleasure of a relaxing shower.

“God, you’re so damn sexy!”

Lucy’s eyes jumped open. Doug, naked, wet, and simply glorious stood in front of her. Lucy just stared.

“What baby? You look at me as if you’ve never seen me before.” Doug said. “Mm, it makes me hard to see you so stunned when you see me naked. Like the first time.”

“What?” Lucy managed. It looks like Doug, but it doesn’t sound like him. Lucy thought. She glanced around, not recognizing anything. “No.”

The door squealed as he opened it, rust against metal.

“Oh shit!” Doug cried out and yanked the curtain back. “Robert!”

The metal poker glowed menacingly in Roberts hand, and his eyes burned more brightly.

“The god damn grocery boy!” Robert yelled.

“Clam down Robert!” Doug pleaded, standing naked in front of me.

Robert swung. Blood splattered across Lucy’s naked body.  Chest aching, she sucked but the air would not come. Gore spilled from Doug’s broken face covering the floor.

“Robert, please, I love you!” Lucy screamed as the metal bare plummeted toward her head. “No-.” The scream ended abruptly as Robert sunk the weapon into her brain.

Lucy woke screaming in Susan’s arms. “Lucy! Lucy! Honey, wake up!”

“Oh, god! Susan?” Lucy blinked, shook.

“Yeah sweetie, it’s me. It was just a dream.”

“Oh, Jesus,” Lucy cried sitting up. “What time is it?”

“Um, six-fifteen, are you all right?”

“Uh, just a bad dream.”

“Yeah, I got that. Do you want to take a hot shower or something?”


“Ok, are you sure you’re fine?” Susan worried.

“Yes, I’m sorry. How about some coffee?” Lucy asked getting up, putting one of Susan’s robes on and walking out.

“Sure,” Susan said hurrying after.

Lucy related the dream as they sipped hazelnut flavored coffee. “Maybe, I shouldn’t go out with him.”

“No, no, Lucy you’re just scared to move on. You need to. You have to find a way to move on, and I know you’re carrying a torch for the sexy doctor boy.”

Despite herself Lucy smiled. “He is quite attractive isn’t he?”

“And super considerate, and thoughtful, and can cook, if you pass that up I’ll have to have you committed!”

Laughing, Lucy rose to grab the coffee pot and refill their mugs. “You’re right.”

“I know. Now what are you going to wear?”


Lucy donned the silky black dress Susan had suggested.  It cut close to her bust, wrapped tightly around her waist and hips and fell just below her knees, sexy but not vixen. Perfect, Lucy thought as she began to remove her curlers.

“Momma,” Violet called from the bathroom doorway. “I could help you fix your hair if you’d like.”

Lucy smiled. “I would love that honey.”

Violet removed the curlers from Lucy’s hair. Handing her bobby-pins, Violet watched as Lucy secured the curls where she wanted them.

“You look pretty momma.” Violet praised.

“Thank you sweet heart.”

“Wow, look at the gams on that broad!” Susan sang as Lucy walked down the stairs.

“My legs do look rather amazing.” Lucy replied. “Thank  you so much for sitting with the children.”

“Of course, you’ve been working your butt off for me. It’s the least I can do little sis.”

“He’s here.” Violet said from the window and walked toward the door. “Hey Doug,” she greeted.

“Hello Violet. How are you?”

“I’m ok. Um, I just wanted to say that I hope you and my mom have a good time.” Violet said making Lucy smile.

“I’m sure we will. Thank you Violet.” Doug said.

Lucy could see the change in his eyes when he looked up, and realized it was the first time he had ever seen her dressed up. “Wow, Lucy, you look stunning!”

“As do you,” Lucy replied looking over his wide-brimmed Fedora hat and grey patterned tie accenting his long dark suit-coat.

“Thank you, shall we go?” He asked reaching for her soft hand.

Doug couldn’t get enough of the sound of Lucy’s voice and laughter as they ate. He peppered her with questions about her likes and dislikes, her childhood, her favorite foods. “Ok, so let me get this straight,” Doug said cutting the steak on his plate. “You hate just about every food, and if the food you do like touches on you plate you won’t eat it.”

“Yes, that’s exactly right.” Lucy said with a smirk. “So, let me get this right,” she mocked with a grin, and giggled when Doug rose his eyebrow at her. “You’ll eat anything put in front of you, you believe in the ‘five second rule’ for food dropped on the floor, and you like your cow still mooing when you eat it.”

He laughed aloud. “Yes, precisely.”

They joked and teased laughing until their faces hurt.

“God,” Doug exclaimed and reached across the table taking Lucy’s hand in his. “You are so beautiful!”

Her face flushed. “I was afraid I wouldn’t ever laugh like this again. Doug, you have saved me from a hell I thought would take my life.” His hand tightened, and his heart beat a little faster as he watched the emotion swim in her deep brown eyes. “Take me home.” She whispered, and he thought his heart would stop.

Gently, he pulled her up from her seat. They didn’t speak a word as they left the restaurant and drove to his townhouse on Main Street. He cradled her hand until he had to unlock his front door.

“I don’t deserve you,” he whispered as he clicked on a lamp and watched her sit on the edge of his bed.

“A savior always deserves his prize,” she said trying to focus enough to control her breathing, not wanting to look like a school girl virgin.

“You’re shaking,” he took her hands in his, but laid his lips on hers before she could answer.

Hot, slow, the kiss sent her blood blazing through her veins to her center. From fingertip to shoulder, he caressed, leaving a trail of gooseflesh. The silk slid easily off her collar, and he kissed the soft skin it left bare. Sighing, she pushed at his suit coat letting it fall to the floor. He turned her, planting kisses along her neck and shoulders as she spun. His hot breath tickled her ear as the dress slid to the floor.

Inside Dougs embrace Lucy’s heart, so eaten with pain, began to beat with life again.

Heart Eaters – Part Eight – Doug

Posted in Because I love to write, New writing, Nightmare with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2010 by cjirwin

Heart Eaters

Part Eight



The spaghetti splattered onto Doug’s plate, he speared it again with his fork, dragged it in little circles, the soggy noodles leaving trails of bland red sauce in their wake. Doug heaved a sigh. The last three days at the hospital had been miserable without her. He had thought that his job was ok, even that he liked it, but now he wondered if it was Lucy that made him happy to come to work. The idea of making her smile, even for only a second, the smell of her in the hall, just the knowing that she’s close, were these things what made him smile throughout his workday. With the way he felt he tended to believe so, and he decided that was just fine. Depressed at the prospect of two more days without seeing her face, Doug leaned back in his chair and wondered, once again, if there was anything he could have done to avoid the suspension he had dealt her.

Damn! I’m crazy about her! He thought as he remembered the way her hair had smelled of lavender and vanilla. Lavender, she must love lavender. She has certainly created a fondness in me for the scent. I wonder if I could go by and see her again? She didn’t really invite me back, he pondered. Maybe, I could go by after work? Wait, no, I have the potential buyer coming to look at mom’s house at five… dang! Maybe, I could reschedule. No, no, I can’t. I really need to sell the house.

Doug continued to maul his lunch as he went over the many changes he had made to his parents’ house since their passing nearly a year and a half ago. It took his mind back to Chicago, and the potential his career had had there before he came to be with his sick mother. The youngest of seven, he wasn’t surprised to get the call, his parents were old. She passed soon after his arrival, heart failure, and his father, his mother’s lifelong love, had passed in his sleep only two weeks later. It had been difficult for Doug, but it had also seemed so right for them to go so close together.  It had never been one plus one with them. They had always just been one.

The smashing of glass, the clinging of metal fork and spoon, and the curse of a frustrated nurse that had just lost her lunch to the cold, blue speckled tile, jolted Doug from his memories. His eyes found Lucy’s habitual lunch break seat as he rose and dumped the hospital’s poor excuse for food into the trash.



The fragrance of apples and cinnamon danced in the air exciting and tantalizing Susan’s and Lucy’s children. Minute particles of flour hovered in the streams of late afternoon sun that poured through the kitchen windows, and Susan and Lucy chatted through lifted lips as they baked.

“Damn!” Susan cursed dropping the rolling-pin beside the pastry. “I tore it again.”

Lucy moved beside her, retrieved the rolling-pin and began smoothing and shaping, quickly repairing.

“How do you do that?” Susan said with a smile as she refilled her wine glass.

“You are too impatient with the dough.” Lucy said, turning to Susan as she wrapped the now perfectly shaped and tear-free pie crust around the rolling-pin then eased it into the pie tin.

“Well you always had me when it came to baking, but give me a rump of beef and a few potatoes and I’ll give you the Mona Lisa of main dishes.”

Lucy laughed. The sound tickled Susan’s heart.

“Luce, I have a favor to ask.” Susan said.


“I want you to come look at a house with me.” Susan said, but hurried on when Lucy raised an eyebrow. “It’s on Oak Street, you know off Main.”

“Yes, I know where Oak Street is.” Lucy replied the smile growing on her face. “Susan what does this mean?”

“I miss you, I miss home. The only reason we were in Lincoln was for Jonathan’s family. Jonathan is gone,” Susan paused. “I never grew very close to his family, and I’m ready to come home. I have savings from working the past two years, and there was some life insurance. Anyway, I have more than enough-”

“So you’re staying!” Lucy threw her arms around Susan almost knocking them to the floor. “This is the most wonderful news I’ve heard in years!”

“Yes, and it’s the most wonderful news I’ve had to give in years. So you’ll look at the house with me? I have to meet the owner at five thirty.”


Sheets of water pounded against the windshield as Susan struggled to get to her appointment on time. Gusts of wind tore the few remaining leaves from their limbs and tossed them against her car. Susan hated storms; tornadoes were the only thing that bothered her about moving back home.

“There,” Lucy said squinting. “That’s it, 201 Oak Street, that little blue house.”

Doug heard the car pull into the drive with relief. As he walked toward the door, he heard high-pitched cursing that  he figured was directed at the weather and smiled. “Mrs. Harmon,” he called as he opened the door then froze when he saw Susan’s face. “Susan!”

“Doug!” Susan said eyes wide. “I guess it’s Mr. Doug Harding, funny that we never exchanged first names.”

“Yes,” he said smiling. “Lucy?” He called as she jumped from the car into the rain and ran for the porch. His heart flipped in his chest making him feel twelve years old.

“Doug,” she said as she lowered her umbrella and shook it slightly. “Susan never told me you were the homeowner.”

“No, we neglected to give our first names for some reason.” Doug said unable to remove his eyes from her. She glowed, brighter than he had ever seen her; it made his mind reel with pleasure.

Doug endeavored to focus as he showed them the house. Laughter, even giggles spilled from Lucy and Susan as they examined the lovely little place. Unable to avoid it, he joined them often and made no effort to control his desire to let his eyes soak in and lick at the corners of Lucy’s bright face.

“It’s perfect!” Susan declared. “Three rooms, two bathrooms, which means, I get my own, close to Lucy’s, remodeled well,” she said looking to Doug. “Did you do the remodeling yourself?”

“Yes, I like carpentry. It gave me things to do after work, which was a distraction after my parents died.

“Oh, I’m sorry Doug. I didn’t realize.” Lucy said feeling ashamed. I worked with him and didn’t even know. How self-absorbed have I been?

“It’s ok now. That’s why I’m here actually. I moved from Chicago when my mother fell ill, and didn’t go to war for the same reason. My father couldn’t be without her and died a short time later.

Like a cannonball the guilt hit, all this time he has mourned too. He reached out, tried to lift you, and you merely brushed him aside with a polite smile. How cruel to not even notice his pain, and judge him for not going to war without even knowing the cause. Lucy berated herself.

“So,” Doug said interrupting Lucy’s internal rant. “Do you want it?”

“Yes!” Susan proclaimed and spun around taking in what would soon be hers.

“Wonderful!” Doug beamed. “I’ll get started on the paperwork. We can have you set up in a week.”

“Thank you Doug.” Susan chirped.

Lucy and Susan chattered about color schemes, rental trucks and furniture stores as they sauntered toward the front door. Doug smiled uncontrollably at the light he saw all over the two women. Happiness was banging at Lucy’s door, and he prayed with all his might that she’d let it in.

As Doug moved to open the door for them it reminded Lucy of the thoughts he had interrupted earlier. “Doug,” Lucy said thoughtfully.


“Susan and I have been cooking and baking this afternoon, and I wonder if you’d like to come join us for dinner? We have more than enough.”

“That would be lovely,” he jumped.

“Great,” Lucy smiled. “It’ll be soon, if that is alright? Susan and I were just going to get some wine in town then head home.”

“Yeah,” Susan added. “Some one seems to have drunk all our wine.” They laughed.

“Why don’t you ladies allow me to pick up the wine and meet you there? Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, what is your desire?” Doug inquired.

“Merlot,” they answered in unison.

“Ok, see you in a few.”



“Well ladies,” Doug said leaning back in his cherry wood chair, “that was probably the best roast, and pie I have ever eaten!”

“Oh, now you lie simply to make my little sister feel good.” Susan crowed as she refilled her wine glass.

“Surly your mothers were better than ours,” Lucy said, the words warm as they feel off her wine stained lips.

“No, my mother was an excellent mother, but a horrible cook.” Doug laughed. “Everything was mixture, some of this, some of that, terrible! To this day, I cannot eat casserole and enjoy it.”

Lucy watched him as he remembered his mother; his laughter was like little fingers inside her chest that pulled at the knots and cords choking her heart. The sound of her own laughter startled her and made her want to weep with joy. This is what it must have been like for Rip Van Winkle, Lucy thought. What beauty to be awake, what joy to feel more than emptiness.

For hours they talked, laughed, drank, lived. Lucy’s insides hummed like a bee on the wind, ecstatic to feel alive.

Doug was telling Susan and Lucy what is was like to grow up with six siblings. Face bright, he was recalling a time when two of his older sisters had fought.

“Oh my,” Susan interrupted. “Are you serious? She actually swung a hot frying pan at her!”

“Yes, but it was because Sarah had thrown a loaf of bread at her!”

“It sound like fun,” Susan laughed and noticed Lucy staring at Doug.

 Doug did too, his heart and body stirred. Lucy looked away, her cheeks bright red.

“Anyway, Doug, I had a lovely time. I’m tired though, and think I’m going to head off.” Susan bent, planted a kiss on his cheek.

“It was lovely. I’m so happy you’ll be staying.”

“I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed myself this much,” Lucy said as Susan walked up the stairs.

“I can’t either.” He sipped his wine, trying not to stare at her gorgeous face, he failed. “You’re so beautiful.”

Lucy smiled, surprising him. “Well, I told Susan that you were pretty attractive, but that was a lie.”

“Oh really,” Doug said leaning toward her. “Do you not think so?”

Lucy shook her head. “No, I would have to say that you’re closer to incredibly handsome.”

In one swift move, he leaned in and laid his lips against hers. She jumped but quickly relaxed into the softness of his mouth. It was tender, slow, simmering. Lucy gave into his arms as he pulled her to him. Hotter, fiercer it built; Lucy twined her fingers in his hair as his grip around her tightened. Somehow -she didn’t care by what force- Lucy found herself straddling his lap. She moaned as his hands caressed her shoulders, her back, and her ass. A year of pent-up desire beat at the edges of Doug’s control as he fought the urge to take her there, pleasure her right on the table. God, how he wanted her.

“Doug,” the word rasped out of her throat.

“Lucy,” he breathed ravaging her mouth once more.

Lucy danced inside at the immense desire she felt as she pulled at his shirt. It was so real, so overwhelming.

“Wait, wait,” he forced the words out.

Breathing hard, face flushed, she pulled her lips from his.

“I don’t want you to feel like I’m pushing you. I mean, I haven’t even taken you out on a date.” He ran his finger along her jaw, and acutely felt the warmth of her bare back against his other hand.

“You’er right,” Lucy said leaning her cheek into his hand. “I don’t know Doug. Are you sure you want me? I think I’m broken inside. Really, I’m not sure of what I am ready for.”

“You’re not broken. You’re perfect. You’re what I want. We can do this slowly, let me take you out.” He said, and just because he could he pulled her face to his again and softly kissed her.

  “Ok, I’ll give you a chance if you’re willing to take one on me.”

Like heaven, like springtime, like a fire in the night, that was what he felt as she spoke and laid  her head on his shoulder.

He lifted her and walked to the couch. Sitting, he said. “Just let me hold you, feel you near to me.”

She snuggled into his side, breathing deeply his warmth and slept without nightmares for the first time in over a year.






Heart Eaters – Part Seven – Susan

Posted in Because I love to write, New writing, Nightmare, Works in Progress with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2010 by cjirwin

Heart Eaters


Part Seven


“I guess you’re right.” Lucy grudgingly admitted. “It did work out perfectly. If I’m going to be suspended from work for the week it’s good that it’s the week you’re here.” Despite her sour tone, Lucy smiled at her older sister Susan. “This wine is amazing,” she said as she lifted her glass again. Lucy studied her sister over the rim of her crystal, fluted glass. They looked nothing alike. Lucy was petite, slim, whereas Susan was extremely tall and sturdy, like an Amazon princess Lucy always thought. Susan’s emerald eyes sparkled with joy to be with her sister, and her lovely high cheek bones blushed from the wine. Many men had been intimidated by Susan’s size as they were growing up and had shied away despite her exquisite face and long, full golden hair. Lucy had never shied away.  Susan was beautiful, and Lucy loved her so dearly she almost cried when she thought of it.

“I agree,” Susan said, a smile helping the words to dance a little. “It’s so wonderful to see you. Davy and May really miss their cousins as well.”

“I know they’re not going to want to go to sleep.” Lucy said, looking toward the joyful shrieks and shouts coming from Violets and Sandra’s room.

“Yes, but they need to so we can talk.”

“Oh no, is this my sister talking or Dr. Mason talking?” Lucy said frowning.

Susan narrowed her eyes but still smiled. “I know you say you don’t need any of my therapy mumbo-jumbo, but in all seriousness sis, how are you doing?”

Lucy sighed loudly. “Ok, lets get the little ones to bed. Then, I will let you hypnotized me or whatever it is you do.”

“I’ll ignore the mocking because I’m so pleased you’re ready to talk.” Susan said smiling and set her glass down. “By the way, if you’re so happy to have the week off since I’m here why are you so pissed at your boss? What was his name, Doug?”

“I don’t know. He just, he sometimes, well, I just thought he would let it go. You know, give me a pass or something.” Lucy said trying to avoid the questioning look on Susan’s face.

“Why would he, doesn’t he have to. I mean isn’t he required by law?”

“Yes he is required by law to punish employees that assault patients, I guess. He did find a way to wave the fine though.” Lucy said as they helped Bobby and May into their pajamas.

“He got you out of the fine, and you still bitched him out? Good grief Lucy!” Susan scolded.

Lucy smiled, thankful for the honesty of a sister and sucked in a deep breath. “It’s just easier to be angry.”

A look of understanding softened Susan’s features, “easier to just be angry in general or angry at Doug?”

Lucy swallowed hard. “Both.”

“Oh, I see.”

After a massive amount of fussing, crying and begging Susan and Lucy finally got their five children to bed. Gathering their wine, chocolate and green olives, they moved out to the porch. A cool breeze rustled the brightly colored, fall leaves, and the moon shone brightly on the leaves that had already fallen.

“So,” Susan began, “tell me about this Doug.”

“There really isn’t anything to tell. Nothing has happened, and nothing will happen.” Lucy said avoiding eye contact.

“Come on Lucy. You know I know you better than that. Do you have feelings for him?”

“And what if I did? I can’t, I just can’t. It’s wrong.” Lucy looked at Susan, her eyes begging.

“Lucy, its been a year hasn’t it?” The question was soft.

“Eleven months, and fourteen days since the army gave me the news. Two years, three months and five days since, I saw him.” Lucy fought the tears.

“Sis, I know it’s hard. After, I lost David in forty-two I thought I would die.”

“I remember.” Lucy said turning to Susan.

“But, I found a way to live; I had to, for my kids, for myself.”

“I just don’t know. I just don’t think I’m ready for the relationship that Doug wants. He’s a good man, and he doesn’t deserve to be hurt.”

“Is he hot?” Susan asked with a smirk.


“What? Well?”

“Well, I guess he is pretty attractive.” Lucy couldn’t help the smile that came with the words or the warmth. “Anyway, I thought I was going to get a session with my favorite shrink?”

“You try and distract me with your flattery dear sister. Fine, you can tell me more about this pretty attractive guy later. So, talk.”

“Just talk, no questions from the Doctor, no ‘you are getting sleepy’.”

“You know you mock me a great deal for being in the medical field as well.” Susan said poking Lucy in the arm.

“Yeah, well I’m in a practical field.”

“Oh shut it,” Susan laughed. “Just tell me about these dreams you said you were having.”

“Well it used to be that I only ever dreamed of Robert, but in the last month I have been having nightmares about some of my patients from the hospital.”

“Yeah, I think I remember talking about your dreams of Robert last time I came down from Lincoln. You always dreamed of how he might have died. I mean how, if he had died.” Susan corrected.

Lucy swallowed hard.

“I’m sorry.” Susan pleaded.

“You don’t have to apologize.” Lucy said managing to lift one corner of her mouth. “I know he’s gone.”

Susan wanted to encourage her to have hope, but she believed Robert was gone, just like her David. At least I knew for sure. It’s time for her to move on, Susan thought.

“Anyway, my patients, Benedict Galloway, Helen Christenson and Heath Deerborn, I’ve dreamed of them all. It was like living, experiencing the things they did.”

“What did they do?”

“It’s not pleasant.” Lucy warned.

“I can handle it.”

Lucy told Susan everything about the three that had plagued her heart, mind and subconscious. Images of a red-hot poker in the forehead of Benedict’s wife, Ruby May, Helen’s parents burning for their sins, Camilla, violated and broken beneath Heaths furious need. Susan blanched a few times, but for the most part hid her revulsion. Lucy finished, and they sat in silence, Susan thinking and Lucy knowing she was.

“Well do you want to know what I think?”

“I guess.” Lucy replied.

“Well, I think it’s a warning, from your subconscious.”

Lucy huffed.

“I’m serious. Just hear me out…ok.” Lucy tilted her head. “Please,” Susan begged.

“Ok, enlighten me.” Lucy smiled and shook her head.

“Alright, so, first Benedict, what finally caused him to snap?”

“His wife I guess.”

“And what his wife wouldn’t give him.”

“Sex?” Lucy asked with a chuckle.

“No, love, he loved her, and she didn’t love him. Love drove him insane.”

“Ok, I can see that.” Lucy agreed.

“Then there’s Helen. Her sense of morality, of what’s right and what’s wrong, her moral compass-”

“Yeah, I see. Her sense of what’s right caused her to kill her parents, lose her mind.”

“Right,” Susan confirmed. “And Heath, it was his misuse of passion and desire. He allowed it to consume him.”

“Ok, so what does that have to do with me?”

“Can I be honest sis? Are you ready for that? I don’t want to hurt-”

“I’ll be fine,” Lucy interrupted.

“I think you’re allowing the same emotions to destroy you, to depress you, to rob you of your sanity. I did the same thing for a long time. Your letting your love for Robert kill you.” Lucy flinched, it was like a knife in Susan’s heart to see her sister in pain, but she pressed on. “You’re letting your idea’s of what’s right and wrong cause you to painfully mourn him still. I know you think, you feel like it is wrong to move on with your life, but if you don’t move you wither away.” Susan took a deep breath hoping Lucy would forgive her for what she was about to say. “If you suppress your desire for Doug it will fester and swell, like a splinter only worsening your pain. You have to learn to let go.”

Tears slid silently from Lucy’s deep chocolate eyes. Susan moved her chair closer and gathered her little sister into her arms; wishing she could take the pain into herself, but all she could do was comfort.

“I’m sorry. I said too much.”

“No, no,” Lucy countered. “I need to hear it. It’s true. You’re right, I feel like I am only inches from being in a padded room myself, but I don’t know how. How, Susan, how do I move on?”

“One step at a time little sister, one step. But you have to be willing to take each little step as it comes.”

They both turned in surprise as a dark blue ford pulled into Lucy’s drive.

“Who is that?” Susan asked staring at Lucy’s shocked expression. “Is that Doug?” She asked when Lucy said nothing. “Dang!” Susan crowed as he stepped from the car with flowers in his hand. “That is way hotter than ‘pretty attractive’!”

“Shh! What is he doing here?” Lucy asked as she stood.

“Hey Lucy,” Doug called as he approached giving them a large grin.

“Mm,” Susan grunted and got an elbow in the ribs.

“Hey Doug, what can I do for you?” Lucy asked and Susan frowned at her detached tone.

“One step at a time little sister.” Susan said in her ear. Lucy heaved a sigh.

“Would you like to join us?” Lucy asked gesturing toward the table. “We have a lovely Merlot, uh, Italian I think.”

“I would love to.”

“This is my sister Susan,” Lucy said after he sat at the wicker table.

“Its wonderful to meet you,” Doug said as he took her hand in his and laid a soft kiss on her knuckles. Susan turned red, and Lucy smiled knowing the power of his charm.

“So very nice to meet you.” Susan purred.

Doug released Susan’s hand and turned toward Lucy.“Um, Lucy, I came by because I wanted to, needed to explain something. If you’ll let me.”

Lucy was about to answer when Susan spoke up. “I’m tired. I think I’m going to head to bed.”

“No,” Lucy blurted. “You don’t have to go. I’ll just tell Doug goodnight.”

“No, no, don’t worry about me. I can find my own way to bed, just one step at a time…right.” Susan said as she rose to leave, despite Lucy’s pleading eyes. “Goodnight Doug, it was lovely to have met you.”

“Same here,” Doug called as she walked into the house. “Anyway, I brought you these.” He said handing Lucy the flowers.

One step at a time, Lucy thought as she took the flowers.

“I’m so sorry about-”

“No,” Lucy cut him off. “I’m sorry. I know you had no choice except to do what you did. I Know I shouldn’t have hit Heath, but he deserved it, and I knew there would be consequences. Please forgive me for the way I treated you Doug. I shouldn’t have taken my issues out on you. It was wrong.”

“God you’re beautiful when you apologize,” Doug said gazing into her eyes and smiling. He reached up and cupped her cheek, and his heart danced when she didn’t jerk away but pushed closer. With a sigh of pure bliss, Doug let her fall into his arms.

With no more tears to cry, Lucy simply sank into his strong embrace.

Heart Eaters – Part Six – Heath

Posted in Because I love to write, New writing, Nightmare, rape with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2010 by cjirwin

(This post contains graphic violence that some may consider offensive.)

Heart Eaters

Chapter Four

Part Six



Lucy was dreaming, and she knew it. Like a prison, the dream held her. Nearly eleven months ago she had realized her dreams would not be an escape for her as she had hoped, rather they served only to intensify her misery. Robert, her lover, her husband, the father of her babies, that’s who she normally dreamed of. Countless times her subconscious, or maybe demons Lucy thought, had vividly portrayed Robert’s gruesome death, but as she stood praying and staring at a white wall with blue floral pictures she knew this dream was different. With mixed emotions, she realized it wasn’t Robert in the bed behind her. Relief that she wouldn’t have to see him die in yet another way filled her as fear of the unknown tightened in her belly.

Her lungs ached from the smoke, and the heat at her back was almost unbearable. Don’t turn around. Wake UP! Lucy cautioned herself, but morbid curiosity, like a fish-hook in her cheek spun her around. The scene that assaulted her eyes had her head spinning like the eye of a hurricane and her stomach heaving like the waves tossed by that storm.

Flesh, skin, muscle, bone burned. A sick, sweet iron smelling smoke billowed from the two blazing corpses. One of the four wooden bedposts fell onto the bed breaking open the blistered bodies. Blood sizzled and popped as it oozed into the mayhem.

Lucy retched, her body doubling over. Vomit covered her black shoes and her tan and blue uniform.

“Oh God, oh God!” Lucy screamed. “I’m Helen!” She looked back at the bed. “Those were her parents!”

“Mommy, mommy,” Sandra called as she shook her mother. “Wake up.”

Lucy’s eyes flashed open and she bolted straight up in her bed. “What?” she asked holding her hand to her stomach.

“You were crying and screaming. You woke me up. Are you ok?”

Lucy turned to her young, fair-skinned daughter. “Oh baby, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you. It was just a bad dream.” She pulled Sandra into her lap relishing her warmth. Lucy felt so cold.

“You always have bad dreams.” Sandra said still wide-eyed with worry.

“I know baby.”

“Do you want me to sing to you like daddy used to do for me when I had a scary dream?” Sandra asked as she pushed her mother’s hair off of her eyes.

Lucy only nodded afraid she would cry.

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You’ll never know mommy how much I love you. So please don’t take my sunshine away.” Sandra, with her sweet, high voice sang it again and again as Lucy cried in her daughter’s arms.

Lucy’s eyes were still a little red and puffy when she walked into the nurse’s office at the hospital. Her heart sank when she realized Doug wasn’t there and her frustration at knowing she wanted to see him made it that much harder to control the tears.

“Thank God Helen isn’t on my schedule today.” She said as she went over her duties, then retrieved her supplies. “Time to work and not think.”

Lucy cursed herself as her heart fluttered at the sound of her name on Doug’s lips. Pushing her cart of supplies to the left of room one o’ one, Lucy turned to face Doug. A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth so she pressed her lips together in an effort to hide it.

“Good morning,” as always his face shone brilliantly causing the icicles on her heart to drip.

“Hey Doug,” the smile escaped.

“Are you ok?” He asked as he examined her eyes.

“Yes, just had a rough night.”

He wanted to send her home. Tell her to get rest. Mostly, he wanted to just hold her, but she was smiling at him, and it frazzled his thoughts.

He stared and Lucy demeaned herself for wishing his arms would encircle her. It’s just wrong! She thought.

“Did you need something?” She asked.

“Uh, yes, sorry. I needed to tell you something.” He paused. “Uh, oh yeah, patient one o’ one, um, Heath Deerborn,” he struggled to regain his composer. “He has been here three months, and I need to do a mental examination so his opium dosage has been reduced. He will be more alert, perhaps aggressive. The institution he came from had to heavily dose him because he was,” Doug paused wishing he could just tell her she couldn’t see Heath that day, but he knew she would bulk.

“He was what?”

“Sexually aggressive, he attacked one of their nurses. Anyway, I want one of the security officers in the cell with you.”

“Oh, ok.”

“If you don’t want-”

“No,” Lucy said quickly. “I can do it.”

“Yeah, I thought you’d say that. So Donald is coming now.” Just as he said it Donald came through the doors and headed down the hall. Watching Donald’s long, black night stick bang against his knee made Lucy rethink her decision to tend to Heath. Seeing the fear slightly change her features, Doug tried, once again to dissuade her, but to no avail. “I asked Donald to come even though he is ancient,” Doug said it loudly giving Donald a big teasing smile; “because I know you kinda like him.”

“Now, sixty ain’t ancient.” Donald replied with a smile. “And Lucy loves me even though I’m old.”

“That I do,” Lucy smiled broadly causing both Donald and Doug’s hearts to skip a beat.

After Heath was secured Lucy attempted to clean his cell. He watched her, his eyes slithering, gorging, making her feel soiled and used. Even with Donald standing two feet away tapping his weapon repeatedly against his palm Lucy felt vulnerable, and was dismayed to find it could become more uncomfortable. Heath spoke, like plague it filled every corner of the room.

“You are beautiful,” Heath breathed. “Has anyone ever told you how exquisitely lovely you are?”

Lucy tensed. The sound of Heaths voice was smooth, and sucked at her strength, it wriggled agilely like a parasitic creature to embed and feed.

“I could give you such pleasure.”

“Now there ain’t no reason to talk to Miss Lucy in that manner!” Donald ordered as he stepped toward Heath.

Heath continued to stare at Lucy. “Mmm,” he sucked air in, “you smell of Lavender and peaches, so much woman.”

Donald hit Heath in the arm with some force. “I said you ain’t to speak to Miss Lucy!”

“I love to see the flush beneath your cheeks as I think of running my hands along your soft skin,” Heath said not even sparing Donald and his night stick a glance. Even after Donald hit him again, knocking him to the floor his eyes drilled into Lucy.

“No,” Lucy called getting up and stopping Donald before he hit Heath again. “He is going to talk wither you hit him or not and Doug can’t examine him if you beat him to a pulp. I can handle it.”

“Are you sure Miss Lucy?” Donald asked, and Lucy smiled at the care and concern she saw in her old hazel friends eyes.

“I am.”

“You ignore me now, but once I show you you’ll be begging me for more.” Heath said sitting up. His russet hair fell across his face and his chocolate eyes burned with desire. Blood dripped from his full angled lips and his strait small nose staining his white strait jacket.

Lucy imagined he had been very attractive once, and from the sound of his voice she figured he had probably been very skilled at getting whatever woman he wanted.

“You could be like my first, Camilla. Yes, Camilla screamed for me to stop, but after I took her she only begged for more.” Lucy scowled at him. She doubted he was referring to the time he lost his virginity, and she doubted the woman he referred to ever agreed to do anything with him. “I’m wealthy,” he continued, “connected, a business owner, I could give you a job. Camilla worked for me, she was my secretary.”

Lucy turned back focusing on her task. Just ignore him!

“Let me tell you about that night,” he said with a wicked smile. “I know it will arouse and impress you.”

As he began to rehash the event he spoke of Lucy damned her vivid imagination.


For weeks Heath wooed her, flowers, chocolates, bonuses, but still she remained professional. As he sat at his desk he watched her through the glass separating his office from her secretarial station. Heath Deerborn was an attractive, wealthy and powerful man, and not getting the object of his desires was a new and infuriating experience.

God I want that women! He though as his eyes traveled the length of her sharp chin, full red lips, sexy dainty nose, and deep blue eyes that he wanted to drown in. And I shall have her.


 “Camilla,” he called.

“Yes Mr. Deerborn?” She answered stepping into his office on her long, shapely legs that he could not take his eyes off of.

“Could you close the blind and the door so I can dictate a letter?” He asked as he watched the way her high wasted suit rubbed against her full butt as she moved.

“Right away Mr. Deerborn.”

“Come here.” He called after she finished. Direct, he thought. I just need to be more direct. She stepped in front of his desk with a pad of paper and a pen. “Come around here,” he indicated to the side of his chair and turned that direction. Hesitantly, she moved to the corner of the desk. “Closer,” he said softly rising from his chair. She swallowed hard and took one small step.

“Mr. Deerborn,” Camilla said as he took her left hand into his.

“Heath, call me Heath.”

“Mr. Deerborn I’m married. I don’t think-”

“So am I,” Heath said cupping her cheek in his right hand. “What of it. I want you, and I always get what I want.”

He was smiling as he moved his lips to hers. Anger flashed in his eyes as she jerked away.

“I’m sorry sir! This is not appropriate!” Camilla blurted and stormed from his office.

Eyes on fire, he slammed his fist against his desk. Never in his life had he felt such rage. Never in his life had he been denied something he truly wanted. Well, he though, we will see about that!


As he drove along the well-lit streets of Kansas City he deliberated. I should just call Jane or Mary or Amelia, he thought. They all realize what an honor it is to be with a man like me! Hmm, I could call one of those whores from the gentleman’s club, for the right price they let me hit them and dominate then. He grew hard just thinking of it. How dare her! How dare she brush me off! The more he thought of it the angrier he became. I should have fired her right then and there! After everything I have done for her, given her! She probably went immediately to gossip to all her white trash friends, to laugh! The fury mounted displacing reason. Didn’t she say that her husband was off in Nevada working on one of Hoovers ridiculous projects? I could drop by to apologize. He thought with a wicked smile. As the car turned left, the peaceful air of late fall was left smudged and dirty, a dark trail lingering.

Straightening his jet black tie, Heath reached for the knocker on the door of the small, white house. White trash, he thought again as he compared her small neat house with his mansion outside of town.

“Mr. Dearborn!” Camilla gasped as she opened the door.

“Camilla,” he said quickly. “I don’t want to bother you. I just wanted to, needed to come by and apologize for my behavior earlier. It was deplorable! Can you ever forgive me? I swear if you would continue to work for me it wouldn’t happen again.”

“I’m not fired?”

“No, god no!” He said almost even convincing himself. “That was my fault this morning. You’re just so lovely that I lost my head.” He said as he realized that he was standing directly under the porch light. “May I come in?” Anger blazed inside him when she hesitated. “There’s quit a chill in the night.” He said with a smile as he wrapped his arms around himself.”

“Sure, um, yeah.” Camilla swallowed against the bile that rose in her throat as she pulled open the door.

“Mmm, it smells wonderful.” Heath said and beamed a charming smile. Despite the warning that rang in the back of her mind she responded to his magnetism. “What is that? Pot Roast? I’d love to join you.”

“Oh, well, it’s not much, just leftovers, nothing special.”

“I don’t mind.”

Camilla swallowed hard. “Mr. Deerborn,” she said firmly. “I will see you at work tomorrow now that we have this misunderstanding under control.”

“Yes, of course.” He said through tight lips.

Camille moved around him toward the door, her long blond hair hanging in loose waves past her shoulders. He reached and wrapped his hands around her hair. With one violent tug, he pulled her off her feet and quickly dragged her down the hall and into the kitchen. She struggled to stand, to run. He threw hard against the floor, and she choked for breath. A second later he was on top of her. Once, twice, again he hit her across the face, setting her ears to ringing, her head to spinning. Camilla could feel the soft skin on her face bruising under his heavy hand that muffled her screams. Heath’s eyes burned, firing scorching arrows into her soul.

Ripping and tearing warned her of what was to come. Her tight suit couldn’t just be hoisted and she thanked fate for any extra time it bought her. Blood dripped from her nails as she swung wildly at him. Grunts and groan escaped his lips as her knee cam up between his legs, but she was dismayed to see the pain was only more arousing.


Camilla fought. She wondered for a moment why he didn’t simply knock her out to make things easier, but then she realized it was what he wanted. Tears poured from her eyes. Somehow she knew if she could stop struggling it would piss him off, take some of the pleasure. Camilla couldn’t stop. Good, bad, it didn’t matter, she had to fight.

Crying out she felt blood start to flow from her breast. Heath drank at it. Clawed at it. Laughing, nearly singing, he tore away her blouse.

“Never before,” he said staring into her eyes. “Never have I felt such pleasure.” He laughed it out triumphantly.

When he reached between her legs she kicked hard, her knee catching his chin staggering him back. Anger danced with arousal as he back-handed her across the face. Her eyes went black ,and for a moment she wanted to sink into oblivion. NO! She thought. Not without a fight!


Lucy couldn’t take it any more. “Stop!” She screamed at Heath. Her teeth ground together when she realized she had just given him the reaction he had wanted. A fury she didn’t quit understand stood up inside her. The smug look on Heaths face faltered slightly as she marched toward him. Donald smiled as Lucy jerked the club from his belt and let loose a vicious swing. His jaw made a lovely cracking sound and he fell unconscious to the floor.

Heart Eaters – Part Five – Helen

Posted in Because I love to write, New Novel, New writing, Nightmare, Works in Progress with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2010 by cjirwin

(Please note: This post contains graphic violence that some may consider offensive.)

Heart Eaters

Chapter Three


The three days off that  Doug had insisted Lucy take had been misery. The only thing that kept Lucy sane was not having time to think. Too much time to wonder, to dream of Robert, and Lucy knew she would end up in a padded cell alongside the helpless souls she cared for. Violet, Sandra and Bobby were her life vest in the raging, stormy sea she was trying to survive. Extravagant meals in the evening with custard and fresh raisin bread pleased Lucy’s precious children, and helped her to busy herself while the children were in school. She doted on them, playing games, making treats, even taking them out to the local dinner one evening, she needed them so she wouldn’t remember. However, the prospect of not being alone in the house cleaning all day trying not to wonder where her love might be laying, pondering the many places his bones might be scattered was calming as she prepared to go the hospital.

White, like the color of early morning mist and soft as rose petals, Lucy wrapped the scarf around the dark purple marks on her neck. Parts of the bruise had started to turn the sickly yellow of healing, and she was thankful for it.

It was Monday, another week without him, Lucy thought as she gathered her things to care for her patients. For Christ’s sake Doug! Lucy thought as she went over her rounds for the day. Only one patient from the C.I. Wing, I can cover my own responsibilities! No reason to push my patients onto other nurses because I was careless.

 “Good morning Luce,” Doug called enthusiastically.

The cheerfulness in his voice irritated her as she spun to face him. “What right have you to change my schedule!”

“Whoa, whoa, Lucy, I was simply worried for you and I, as your supervisor, have every right to organize the nurses as I see fit.”

“Ok, I understand that I was careless, but that is no reason to make the other girls carry my weight!”

Sighing, Doug shook his head. “I was trying to help you. You know it might do you some good to let somebody behind that wall of yours from time to time. The other Nurses wanted to help anyway. They were all more than willing.”

“Great! So now I’m a charity case! I don’t need your help or anyone else’s! What I need it to be able to come to work and not be coddled.” Lucy put her hands on her temples and breathed deeply. Doug said nothing. You’re being ridiculous! Lucy thought to herself. He is, after all, only trying to help. As if to remind her of her need for help  the white scarf slid of her shoulder.“I’m sorry. I, mm,” Lucy grunted looking up at him. His forest green eyes were deep and troubled, not angry as she had expected. If Zeus could have been hurt that’s what he would have looked like, Lucy though examining his staggered, chiseled face and tense, muscled form. Along his jaw line, down his pristine white jacket that did nothing to hide his tone and robust shape, her thirsty eyes traveled. Jolting at the realization she wanted to see his eyes sparkle as they usually did when he greeted her, Lucy’s face hardened again. “I appreciate your concern but it’s not needed.” Lucy gathered her things and stormed past him.

“Lucy,” Doug entreated.

“I have work to do,” she called over her shoulder.

Doug cursed and walked into the break room. Running his hand though his dark hair, he shook his head wishing he could see that look of interest, of want on her gorgeous face again. It had only been a glimpse, but he knew he hadn’t imagined it.

Shame, anger, disloyalty bloomed and danced hideously inside her as Lucy hurried down the hall. It had been over a year since she had felt any stirring, any desire for anyone and it rubbed her insides raw that she had. Not knowing what had come over her, Lucy begged Robert for a forgiveness he could not give.

Needing to work, Lucy pushed her feelings to the back of her mind alongside so many others she could not, or would not deal with. The thought of Doug’s tortured eyes didn’t resurface until she made her way to her only C.I. patient.

Before Lucy had completely slide the small window open on cell one o’ seven, she heard the prayers, smelled the blood, it made her stomach turn. Sato masochism, that’s what she remembered reading about her patient, Helen Christenson and also reading something about a self-inflicted stigmata. That’s what Lucy expected to see when she entered. That was always the way with Helen, cutting or hitting her head with whatever she could find to inflict damage, biting her wrists, digging holes in her feet with her nails, breaking her skin and ribs by throwing herself against her bed to try to recreate Christ wounds. That was until they removed her bed to save her rib cage.

Blood crusted under Helen’s finger nails and flaked, falling dry and sour from her hands as she pressed them together in prayer. “Forgive me father for I have sinned. I have no confessor, and unable to stand before our Holy Mother and ask her forgiveness for my wickedness. Please preserve their souls, keep them from the fires of Hell. Forgive them their sinful deeds.”

Lucy couldn’t help the revulsion that rose like bile in her throat. She knew who Helen prayed for; she knew what sins she begged forgiveness for. “Focus on your job.” Lucy said to herself as she called out. “Helen, Helen, please come to the door.”

Helen did not answer, and her prayers did not cease. “Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death. Amen.”

“Helen, please come to the door,” Lucy reiterated calmly

“Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from Christ’s side, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. O good Jesus, hear me. Within Thy wounds hide me. Suffer me not to be separated from Thee. From the malicious enemy defend me. In the hour of my death call me; And bid me come unto Thee, that I may praise Thee with Thy saints and with Thy angels. Forever and ever, Amen.”

Lucy huffed. “I hate having to do this,” she whispered then called through the hole. “Helen if you don’t do what is asked of you, we won’t allow you to see Father Cohan this month.”

Lucy cringed when Helen’s prayers came to an abrupt halt. Her hands, bruised and bloody thrust through the hole.

Lucy began methodically wiping the crusted blood from the floor and chaffed inside as Helen began to pray. It was like, Lucy thought, a pair of dirty hands desecrating a holy relic.

From the day Helen had been admitted and Lucy had read the police reports given to the hospital a war had ragged inside her; pity for a young girl who would never lead a normal life and revulsion for someone who could do something so horrific in the name of God. The simplicity of her chore allowed her mind to wander back, imagining how it must have happened based on the information from the reports she had read.


November 21, 1944

The gasoline vapors burned Helen’s nose as it gurgled out of the red, spouted, metal can, and sloshed on her conservative, black shoes as it dripped of the plush, floral, king size bedspread. Satisfied that the bed was thoroughly soaked, Helen set the nearly empty can on the carpet. She prayed under her breath as she reached up to assure herself that the steel cables were tight around their wrists and ankles and secured to the wrought iron bedpost.

“Dear God save their evil souls,” Helen prayed as they breathed heavily in their drug induced slumber. “Holy Father save their souls from Hells damnation. Dear Jesus forgive them for their wicked acts knowing that after this night they will sin no more.”

Over and over she prayed the simple prayer as she sat in the rocking chair next to the bed. She prayed as she waited. It shouldn’t be too long now, she reasoned. I gave them the pills six hours ago. They should wake soon so I can tell them I love them before I save their souls.

Helen turned at a moan from the bed.

“Helen, Helen, what is going on?”

“Relax Daddy,” Helen said softly. “Don’t struggle. I don’t want you to cut your wrists on the wire.”

“What the Hell is this,” Helen’s father said jerking against the bed. “Untie us now! Is that gas I smell? What in the Hell Helen!”

“Daddy you shouldn’t curse. It’s a sin. Don’t you see I’m saving your soul?” Her voice was deceptively calm.

“What are you going to do? What do you mean saving our souls! Honey, please untie your mother and I and we can talk.” His chest started to heave quickly.

“No daddy it’s too late. I saw what you did, with the Susan Flyn.” Helen said as she moved to the side of the bed.

“Helen, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Her father said, sweat beading on his forehead.

“Dad, I may only be sixteen, but I know what adultery is! I listened as you coupled with her, made her squeal unholy things. Susan will go to Hell, but daddy, I’m going to save you.”

“Yes, yes, I have sinned.” He blurted. “I repent. Please honey it was my sin not your mothers. Release her.”

“You don’t know do you?” Lucy waited, he did not answer. “Daniel Weber, you know you’re very best friend, has been bedding your wife longer than you’ve been bedding Susan.” Lucy smiled at the shock and pain on her father’s face. “How ridiculous!” Helen laughed. “You judge mother even when you’ve been doing the same thing.”

Dumbstruck he turned toward his wife, now awake, “Is it true?”

Not seeing any reason at that point to deny it she simply nodded as tears began to tumble from her eyes.

“I have been worried that you and mom had been drinking too much so I was watching you. I had been reporting back to Father Dexter.” Lucy said.

“What! The church had you spying on us!” Her father raged.

“It’s a good thing they did. Now you won’t go to Hell. Ask God for forgiveness before I say goodbye.”

“No, Helen, don’t do this. Baby, we love you please this is ridiculous! Let us go!” He begged as her mother blubbered.

“Repent daddy, repent!”

“Honey,” Helen’s mother mewed. “Please!”

“Helen, stop this!” He commanded.

“Repent mom, repent for your unholy acts. Repent before I save you from eternal damnation.”

Helen pulled a small, brown matchbox from her pocket.

“Oh God!” Her mother cried. “What are you doing? Please honey, we love you don’t do this.”

“Helen! No! Please!” Her father cried.

“Repent Daddy, repent!” Helen commanded.

“I repent! It won’t happen again! Please, please!”

“Repent mom, repent for letting that man inside you!” Helen almost begged.

“I repent baby. I repent.” She cried struggling against her bindings.

“Helen stop!” Her Father cried, his wrists bleeding against the wires. “No, no, please. We have loved you!” He screamed as she drew the match across the side of the box and it flamed to life.

“I love you to daddy,” she said as she threw the match.

The bed became an inferno.

“Helen!” Her parents screamed in unison as they were engulfed in fire. “Please! Helen! Please! No!”

She prayed as she watched them burn.

Heart Eaters – Part Four – Benedict

Posted in Because I love to write, New writing, Nightmare, Works in Progress with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2010 by cjirwin


“You’re so sweet to worry for me.” Ruby May said to Benedict with a smile. “I feel well in body, but I must admit I am troubled.”

“What troubles you?” Benedict asked wanting to reach out and take her in his arms.

“There was a robbery in town last Sunday.”

“Yes, I read about it in the paper. The O’Neil’s place wasn’t it?” He answered.

“Yes, anyway it’s silly, I’m being silly, but I’m quite frightened to walk home alone.” She said looking down at the floor then back into his eyes. Her gaze cut at his soul.

“No, you’re not silly at all. A lovely lady should be cautious. If you would like,” he stopped, stumbled, “um, if it would make you feel safer, I could escort you home.”

“Oh, would you? That would be so lovely. I mean, I hate to inconvenience you. Your house is in the other direction.”

His heart did somersaults inside his chest. “It would be my pleasure.” He struggled to make the words come out at a normal speed.

He tried to keep from staring at her as they walked out of the bank and on to the side-walk. The light scent of roses and vanilla wafted off of her and soaked his head. The color of her light green dress shamed the bright green colors of spring, and the curve of her lips seemed to kiss the twilight breeze.

“So how was Yale?”

“Hm, what?” He said jerking from his thoughts.

“Yale? Did you like it? Was it exciting?”

“Oh, Yale, it was fine.”

“Only fine?” she asked turning toward him as they walked. “I would have loved to go to such a prestigious school. Sure would have beat Fort Scott Community college.”

“You did very well for yourself Ruby May,” he countered her disparaging tone. “You could be married to the bag boy at the grocery store.”

She looked at him for a second though narrow eyes, making him want to take back his snide comment, but then she smiled. “Your right,” she said with a little laugh. “How could I do all I want to do on a bag boys salary?”

Relief almost audibly spilled from his chest. “And what is it my dear that you want to do?”

“See the world,” she said lifting her face to the sky.

Smiling at the pleasure in her voice, he asked. “The Pyramids, The Great Wall of China, Europe, The Great Barrier Reef; which part?”

“All of it.”  She said as they approached her front door.

“Well perhaps I can help you fulfill your dreams one day?” He said worrying it as too much.

She studied him for a moment then stood on her tip toes and softly kissed his cheek.  “I think I would like that. Good night Mr. Galloway.”

“Benedict, call me Benedict.” He said as she walked into her house.

It became a habit; Him walking her home. It took him nearly a month to gather the courage to ask her to dinner, but one early summer evening when there walk was almost over he did.

“Ruby May?”


“I know I’m not the best looking man at the bank, or even in town, but I wonder if you would humor me by letting me take you out?” He stared at the ground, and when he heard no response he feared the worst. Without a word, Ruby May put both her hands on his face, lifted it and laid her lips on his. It seemed like a blessed eternity of heaven to him. When she finally released his eyes submerged in hers, a pleasant kind of drowning. “Is that a yes?”


Benedict’s silence brought Lucy back to the present. The room was spotless. As she carried her supplies out of the room her heart ached for the pain of the man in the chair. He loved her so deeply .Lucy thought with a painful understanding of the way love can eat your heart.

“It was too fast, too easy. I see that now.” Benedict said.

His voice was so calm, so normal. Lucy thought he almost sounded sane as she began to remove his clothes to bathe him. Lucy said nothing and he continued.

“We got married three months later. I thought she loved me.” His voice cracked. “I thought she loved me.” He repeated as the tears came. “I thought she loved me!”

Lucy patted his shoulder as he blubbered. Comfort, how could she comfort when she had nothing; no compassion, only bitterness, no hope, only fear.

“I saw it coming, but I ignored it. I thought if I pretended it wasn’t happening it would go away!” He nearly spit the words, his tears stopping abruptly. “The smell of foreign cologne hung in the house at night, it made my nose and throat burn, and it seared my thoughts; thoughts of knowing I wasn’t enough, she was too good for me, someone else was making her cry out in pleasure. Happiness, that’s all I wanted for my Ruby so I let it go.” He rocked, hands wrapped tightly around his knees. “It got worse, harder to ignore. A pack of cigarettes under the edge of the bed, new lingerie in her dresser, hurried, hushed voices when I stepped through the front door followed by the click of a window, but still I feigned ignorance. I think Ruby May suspected I knew, and she tried to bring it up one evening at dinner.”


“Benny,” Ruby May said as she speared a piece of steamed and buttered asparagus. “There is something I think we should discuss.”

“And what would that be?” Benedict asked trying not to let his voice convey the anger and fear he felt.

“Well,” she began, swallowing hard. “I know you heard the window today. You arrived home early from the bank, and I can’t see how you don’t know.” Ruby May’s face stayed glued to her barely touched food.

“I don’t know what you mean?” Benedict answered as he brutally cut at the steak on Ruby’s white and blue china.

“Benedict,” Ruby May whispered as her eyes glistened.  “I know you know! You must. It’s wrong of me. I am horrible.” She cried bursting into tears. “I do not deserve your kindness. I should go. I can leave tomorrow.”

“What!” He said firmly, looking up from his mutilated steak. “Go! Your leaving me!”

“You deserve a good wife,” Ruby cried looking into his eyes.

“No,” he answered shaking his head. “I want you. Please, don’t go Ruby. I don’t care about the men, keep them. I don’t want to know, but I don’t care. I’d do anything to keep you.”

“You would? You don’t care?” Ruby said amazed. Could I have it all? She wondered.

“No I don’t. I just don’t wish to discuss it further.”

Ruby May stared as Benedict stood, gathered his dishes and after walking to the sink to dispose of them plopped onto the couch and opened his paper.

Ruby May endeavored to be discrete the first few months that followed, but as time passed and Benedict remained quiet she became carless. The brown leather belt on Ruby’s bed side stand pierced him like a thousand needles, the unmade bed at six in the evening hammered images of Ruby May naked under some unknown face and hard body into his brain like nails, the purple marks on her neck bruised his soul. They were like a chisel, chipping away at his insides.

He tried to find things to keep him late at the bank and drove home slowly, hating every inch of the road that carried him there. It wasn’t difficult to find the anger to slam the car doors good and loud as a warning; get out of my house you bastard, he would think. And as every other day Benedict assumed it would work. Dragging his feet he walked to his door, opened it and slammed it hard. He was surprised when he didn’t hear the window open and close. It was the Friday before Labor Day and the Bank had close early. Surely she knows it’s a holiday weekend, he thought. Should I go upstairs? She may not be here. At the foot of the maple wood staircase he stood, undecided.

Water falling against tile rang in his ears as he topped the steps. Then he heard her, heard him. Breathless high-pitched female sounds chased by masculine grunts and rumblings. Bleeding inside, he listened. He had known for some time that she was finding pleasure with others, but knowing was not feeling and now he felt. He burned. Pain, and betrayal swung around in his mind like a battle-ax, severing. Turn away, he thought. Walk away, don’t drive her away. Meet her needs where you can.

“Oh, oh David! I love you!” Ruby May cried as Benedict turned.

“David!” Benedict breathed. “The god damn grocery boy!”

Benedict ran for the stairs bounding, two, three at a time to the bottom. Away, he had to get away. He only got as far as the living room and halted. “All this time it was that prick!” He cursed, picking up the iron poker from beside the fire and tossing it into the flames. “He beat me.” He said as he paced. “The bastard beat me! Everything I have and he got what I really wanted! No!” He determined and stopped. “No!”

He turned to the fire, his eyes reflecting the flames, inside and out. His skin singed and burned as he wrapped it around the hilt of the iron poker. One word rang in his mind as he marched from the living room and up the stairs; NO! As he wrapped his hand around the door knob, he heard the water stop and Ruby Mays light laughter.

“Benedict!” She cried as the door stopped swinging. Looking from his crazed eyes to the red-hot poker in his eyes she asked, “Benny, baby, what are you doing? Just calm down.” She said as she backed into a very shocked David Sallis, and he stepped in front of her.

“Benedict, I know you don’t want to hurt her.” The sound of David’s smooth voice and the sight of his muscled naked body severed the last connection Benedict Galloway had to sanity.

Blood dripping from his burnt hand, Benedict lifted the red-hot, pointed iron bar and swung down with every ounce of strength he possessed. With a crack and a sick singeing sound Benedict buried the metal in David’s forehead, his body gave one violent jerk before it fell, spurting blood, to the floor. Without thought or hesitation, Benedict lifted his weapon again and dug it deeply into Ruby Mays blond crown. Her screams stopped abruptly, but he did not. Again and again he swung down in blind rage until nothing remained of her face.


Lucy knelt in front of Benedict frozen in horror. As his mouth closed and he finished his story, a story Lucy had never fully heard, disgust and anger bloomed inside her. Benedict had always evoked pity and compassion in her, but as Lucy removed his ankle cuffs she doubted if she would ever feel that again. Greed and desire for love had eaten his heart and made him a mindless monster. Carelessly distracted, Lucy dropped his ankle cuffs outside the door and was about  to ask him to stand so she could close the door when he spoke again.

“Ruby May,” Benedict said blankly looking a Lucy. The name hit Lucy like a thousand frozen shards. “I loved you!” He screamed as he thrust toward her wrapping his cuffed hands around her neck.

“H-e-l-p,” Lucy tried to choke out, but it was a hushed smothered sound. She struggled, but something in her mind whispered; why not let it happen?

Doug threw himself against Benedict and they fell to the floor. Doug hit Benedict in the face a few times before he realized he wasn’t fighting back, he had become a mindless, moaning heap of man. Lucy, coughed and sputtered as she crawled into the hall, and watched as Doug slammed the door shut with Benedict still chained to it.

Still breathing heavily and fear for her paining his face, Doug knelt down and took Lucy in his arms. Too shocked to resist, she allowed herself to be gathered up. The tumult in her mind made it difficult to not think of his purely masculine smell and the firmness of the arms that held her.

He pulled her back, looking to assure himself she was well, and aside from the bruising already flowering under the sensitive skin of her neck he was satisfied. “Lucy what the hell happened? He damn near killed you!”

“Did you know? Did you know the whole of what he did?”

“Well, I think so. I read the police reports, but they were incomplete. He killed his wife… right?”

“The word “killed” does not do his crime justice,” she breathed as he helped her to her feet. “I will forever bear the cross of what I have learned.”

Heart Eaters – Part Three – Benedict

Posted in Because I love to write, New writing, Nightmare, Uncategorized, Works in Progress with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2010 by cjirwin


Heart Eaters

Part Three



Lucy smoothed her stiffly starched uniform as she walked down the white, sterile hall. Her mind rang with warning as she, once again, walked through the swinging doors clearly labeled, Criminally Insane Unit, Violent Offenders, Authorized Personal Only! Lucy walked on. Once more, she straightened her skirt, her cap, and swallowed hard. She didn’t want to admit that she was nervous, every day, every time she walked these halls. No, she wouldn’t admit, not to herself and especially not to Doug or any other the other staff, but her stomach turned at the knowing she truly was. Most of the patients were catatonic, lost in the throes of their own personal hells, hardly acknowledging the duties performed around or to them. It was the lucid ones, the coherent ones that frightened Lucy. Three especially, patient one ten, one o’ seven and one o’ one, all of which she was scheduled to care for that day.  

“Benedict Galloway”, Lucy read the name at the top of the chart aloud as she pulled it from the bin next to room one hundred and ten. “Mr. Galloway?” she called after she opened the small, sliding window in the middle of the door. “Mr. Galloway?” she ventured again as she peered though the small hole wondering where he could be.

“Lucy!” Mr. Galloway burst jumping up from the floor.

Lucy jumped back two feet, sucking in a deep breath. Cursing herself for being so jumpy, she stepped back.

“Mr. Galloway you startled me.”

“Benedict, Benedict, call me Benedict.” He said through the opening.

Lucy smiled. Kind, she thought, his eyes look kind this morning. Lucy knew though how quickly that could change.

“Good morning Benedict, how are you?”

“Ok, well I’m doing swell. Well, maybe not swell, but ok, ok, ok.” He said as he pulled at the little hair he had left on his head. After rolling the gray, freshly plucked, hairs between his fingers for a moment, he let them fall to the floor with the hundreds of other deposed follicles.

“Could you put your hands though the opening?”Lucy requested as she lifted the small, silver chain hanging from and bolted to the door.

“You know this really isn’t necessary Lucy. I wouldn’t hurt you.” Benedict lamented as Lucy clasped the cuffs around his wrists.

“Yes, I know and I’m sorry. It’s hospital policy. I have to.” Lucy consoled, but was truly thankful for such precautions. “You’ve been picking at your arms again. The sores will never heal if you continue to reopen them.”

“I know I’m sorry” He said with a sheepish grin through the hole. “You’ll forgive me won’t you?”

“Yes, I’ll for give you.” Lucy answered as she slowly opened the door. Benedict walked with it and sat in front of the open door on a chair Lucy had pulled from across the hall. As he settled his hands in his lap Lucy cuffed his ankles with and apologetic smile.

“You’re so lovely,” he said looking down at her. “You remind me of my Ruby May.” Lucy cringed inside as he said the name. “Have I ever told you about her?”

“Yes you have.” Lucy said quickly hopping to dissuade any further talk of her, but Benedict continued as if she hadn’t spoken.

“Her hair was like the sun on a clear day, a gold that warmed the heart.” He smiled as his mind traveled to a different place, a different time. “Eyes like that clear sky, lips so soft, so full, every guy in my high school dreamed of them. We dreamed of her, and the way her cheeks lifted when she smiled, of the way her poodle skirt swayed when she walked. She was kind to me, though I wished she were more than kind. I never expected more. Why would I? Look at me!” He said with a harsh laugh gesturing to himself. “I wasn’t quite as ugly then as I am now, but I wasn’t a looker.”

“Oh, Benedict you’re too hard on yourself”, Lucy said as she busied herself cleaning his cell. It was time for its monthly deep clean so Lucy resigned herself to being there a while. Having heard parts of the story before, she sighed wishing she could be done more quickly.

“No, big ears that stick straight out, muddy colored hair and eyes, a big fat pug nose, no I had all those things then to. Being rich helped a little,” he went on. “I got to see her in school because her friends would ask me for money, and I would give it, just to see her. “The kindest boy ever”, that’s what she would call me. Though, my father didn’t approve.

“I envied those other boys, with their shiny, slicked hair and muscled shoulders. I tried, I tried to work out, to build muscle, but I couldn’t. I wished I had David Sallis’s body; he was captain of the football team. I wanted her to look at me like she looked at him. I wanted to see her smile when I caressed her hand the way he did. No, all I got was the sweet, pitying look. I had brains and money, but then it wasn’t enough. My want for her nearly killed me. Alone in my room at night with the smell of my release on me, I thought of only her. I was nothing to her, invisible. So, I focused on school, graduated a year early.” He said with a proud smile. “That, my father did like. He sent me off to Yale. That’s where he had gone. I wanted to go into public service; I loved politics, but Daddy,” he said scornfully, “would have no such thing. “Business management, that’s what you need.” Daddy said!”

As Lucy swept Benedict began to rock back and forth in his chair. His cuffs ground horribly, metal on metal, in her ears as he wrung his hands. Doug says it’s good for him to talk about it, Lucy thought, but it only seems to upset him.

“With honors,” he said suddenly causing Lucy to jerk. “I graduated with honors. Four years I was gone, but I thought of her every day. I assumed she would be married by the time I got back, probably to that jerk David! So imagine my joy when I returned to find her unmarried. Not only was she unmarried and single but that asshole Sallis was pushing carts at the local grocer. Apparently, he got a little to frisky with one of the loose girls at school and ended up having to marry her and take care of his premarital conceived brat. The moron didn’t even finish high school!  Of course Ruby May dumped him; wish I could have seen that.” He said with a wistful smile. “And it gets even better!” He said his eyes sparkling as he recalled. “Ruby was working as a teller at my bank! How perfect! It made the idea of running Daddy’s chain of Banks not so ghastly.

“Kansas Bank and Trust, I had never thought I would want to go to that office so badly. Just seeing her would have been enough for me, but a miracle occurred. One evening, I think it was in the spring, I discretely watched her as she closed up her till, cleaned her workstation and wrote her reports. I found I was always watching her. She was slow, taking her time, piddling I guess. I worried because it wasn’t like her to be lazy or sluggish. It was an opportunity, so I closed up my brief case, took a deep breath and went to her. I asked if she was well.”

Lucy could see him phase out, as if he was living the moment again as he spoke. Despite herself, Lucy imagined it as it must have been in his mind’s eye, letting her mind wander to a place and time that was not her own.