fire

~~~

Gina was overwhelmed by flashes of sensory information her mind was too slow to process. She was vaguely aware of the cool, night air; the entrancing rhythm and roll of waves striking and pulling from the shore; the soft, luminescent glow from the full moon above—aware, and yet, comprehension eluded her. Gina felt the lake breeze making her long, red hair seem alive, dancing across her bare shoulders. She heard several voices, hushed and playful, throughout the dark; some close, some far off.

Were any of them real voices?

Gina moved, or was being moved, among elongated shadows as the house guests approached a large, lit bonfire that appeared as they cleared several large sand dunes on the beach. The flames were too bright and stung her eyes.

When all were sitting comfortably around the fire, Gina was escorted behind one of the large dunes.

“Gina,” Malcolm said. “You still with us?”

His voice echoed within her head. His face was dark and blurry.

Images were slow to process, backgrounds drifted in and out of focus. Gina’s mind was overwhelmed by stimuli… the smell of burning wood… heat from the bonfire. For a moment she thought she was standing directly in the flames. The drugs were playing havoc on all her senses.

Finally she managed, “Yes, I’m alright.”

“Good,” Malcolm said. “We will begin shortly.”

“Where is… where is Tony?” Her voice sounded strange to her own ears.

Malcolm was already gone.

Time became a liar in the dark. She couldn’t tell how long she sat in the sand.

Am I sitting or floating?

The sound of drums now—bongo drums?

Laughter erupted in the direction of the fire. To Gina it sounded like wild animals. She covered her ears to block it out, and then felt silly for doing so.

Fucking drugs! What the hell did Malcolm put in that pipe?

Someone was removing her dress.

Gina tensed up.

“Relax. It’s time to go to work,” a feminine voice laughed. It was the one-eyed captain’s wife, Madeline. Gina could just make out her face. She was wearing some sort of dark, tribal paint across her cheeks. “I’ve heard that you dance like no other,” Madeline said. “I’m looking forward to your performance.” The strange woman kissed her on the mouth.

What just happened? Gina felt uncomfortable under Madeline’s probing eyes.

Madeline laughed again, placing her hands over her mouth and falling back in the sand.

She’s as high as a fucking kite! Gina thought. So am I.

The sound of the drums intensified.

Gina looked again toward the huge bonfire. There were several house guests on their feet, jumping around in circles like wild beasts. Under the influence of the drugs, she almost thought they were beasts. Gina shielded her eyes from the flames for a better look. They were all wearing some sort of tribal paint on their faces and strange head gear. Many of them, including the women, were stripped down to the waist, wearing nothing but boxers or bikini bottoms. Even Madeline had stripped down to almost nothing, her surgically altered and well-tanned breasts hung freely like large trophies.

“All part of the show,” she said and winked, noticing Gina’s puzzlement. Madeline took her thumbs and smeared paint beneath Gina’s eyes. “Now you look the part,” she said with satisfaction.

Gina was vaguely aware that she was standing completely naked just out of the fire light. She no longer knew how long she stood there—a few minutes, hours? She listened to the beat of the tribal drums, entranced by them.

Somewhere to her left Madeline was dancing and making strange animal howls. She had dropped down on all fours like a dog.

Time elapsed… Madeline was no longer there. She was dancing with the others now. The house guests were acting likewise, each pretending to become their own animals of choice, howling with excitement and seeming to become something else entirely.

Time elapsed… She was crouched before the beast-like crowd, between them at the foot of the large fire. Someone placed a hand lightly on her head. “Not quite yet,” Malcolm said.

“My friends!” His voice boomed over the sound of the drums. “We who celebrate the inner being, the release of our true selves before the naked night, I welcome you all once more to the Awakening Ceremony.”

Like a pack of wolves, the house guests howled as one in approval. Some danced with arms raised above their heads, others rolled in the sand; still others jumped on all fours, spinning wildly in the night.

Gina no longer found this display strange, in fact, she was awed by it. Lawyers, bankers, politicians, CEO’s—it didn’t matter, they were all in touch with their animal spirits now. As the drugs distorted Gina’s perceptions, enhancing her deception, so too did the drugs enhance the other house guests’ ability to release their secret sides, their animal-selves once locked away within, now free to roam in moonlight.

“We pay tribute this night to the Lord of the Moon; he who graces us with his presence and allows us the privilege and the joy of celebrating our union with him by expressing our love through our true nature.” Malcolm patted Gina on the head and whispered, “It is time, my dear. Dance. Be at one with your true self and dance like you’ve never danced before.” Then, to the crowd he shouted, “Dance, my friends! Indulge the true essence within and give yourselves over to your passions, your cravings, your utmost desires!” Malcolm then addressed the moon and said, “To you, O’ Lord, we offer this sacrifice. May it be pleasing to you.”

Time elapsed… Gina was dancing around the bonfire like a wild woman. She could hear her own heart bursting within her chest as she spun around the fire to the manic beat of the drums. She got the house guests on their feet as Malcolm, himself, had stripped completely naked, throwing his arms out like the wings of some majestic bird as he pranced around the others. He continued to shout. “Let go, my friends! Release your inner beasts and give in to your every desire!”

The house guests roared their approval and began stripping off the remainder of their clothes.

Gina collapsed in the sand as she ran out of breath and watched the world spin rapidly around her. She laid there before the bonfire, looking out at the house guests. They were no longer dancing like beasts, but rather… fucking like them. She could hardly believe what she was seeing. Men and women, stripped entirely naked, went at it like wild animals, attacking the remains of control.

From somewhere deep, a sane Gina chimed in. I… I can’t be here. This is not going to end well.

Her alarm quickly turned to disgust as she witnessed Madeline allowing herself to be ravished by three men, not one of them her husband. Just three feet away, the one-eyed captain was deeply engaged between the legs of another. Gina was deeply appalled… and yet, a part of her, the Fire and Ice part of her, feared she would give in and enjoy it!

No! That’s not me! And then the thought came like a life preserver in a dark sea, Tony, I need you. Where the fuck are you?

It was only a matter of time before she was approached… and became one of them.

Time to go, girl. Get your ass moving before they fill every hole you own!

Gina managed to roll on her back. The drugs were making it extremely difficult to stand. Everything was spinning wildly. Her body felt like dead weight. She turned toward the massive bonfire, wanting to hide her nakedness, and noticed something in the flames. Something was burning upright in the fire. It almost looked like-

There’s someone in the fire!

Something Malcolm had said quickly surfaced: Sacrifice

Gina turned away, refusing to trust her eyes or the disturbing thoughts that came with it.

It’s just the drugs. Time to move.

She managed to get to her feet. Her legs felt wobbly beneath her. She almost puked.

Someone was there to catch her before she fell. Someone placed a bath robe over her bare shoulders and gently but firmly turned her toward the house.

“Come on, we don’t need to be here for this. It’s a little too raunchy for my taste.”

“Tony?”

There was a pause. “A-huh.”

“Where the fuck… have you been?” She tried to focus but it made her nauseous to open her eyes.

“Let’s get you back inside so you can lie down. I think you may have smoked too much.”

“Everything’s spinning… did you see the fire?” she asked.

“A-huh.”

“Did you see the person in the fire?”

Silence.

~~~

Gina heard the sound of the drums growing fainter. She could feel the cool night air upon her skin, the cold sand squishing between her toes. Her mind was still muddy. Gina had to shield her eyes from the bright Tiki torches now coming into view. She was extremely sensitive to light.

He guided her up the porch steps in a hurry.

Gina nearly stumbled several times.

He was pulling too hard on her arm.

“Slow down, Tony…”

He did.

They went indoors.

The dim lights hurt her eyes less. She tried to focus. The room kept spinning.

There was another voice, “Hey, what are you doing in here? You’re missing the party.”

“That crazy shit’s not my style,” he chided. “What about you, why are you still up here?”

To Gina, Tony sounded strange, impatient and irritated.

Someone else entered the room. A third voice asked, “Is that who I think it is?”

He let out a frustrated sigh. “Is it just the two of you then?”

“Tony?” Gina asked. “What’s going on? Who are- ”

There was laughter. One asked, “You’re kidding right? Is that who she thinks- ”

“Be quiet!” he hissed.

“Maybe we all better head down to the beach.” The second voice sounded serious. “Maybe Malcolm needs to know what happened to his stripper.”

There was an uncomfortable pause.

“Don’t do that,” he said. Reluctantly he suggested, “Why don’t you two join me. There’s plenty to go around.”

Silence.

“Tony, what’s going on? I need to lie down. My head’s killing me.” Gina tried to focus again.

“Come on!” he whispered, pleading with the other two. “She’s already bought and paid for. Malcolm won’t mind.”

Uneasy laughter was followed by reluctant agreement.

Gina was moving again. She could hear the others following behind.

A slamming door.

He laid her on a bed that was spinning wildly in her mind.

“Hey, maybe this isn’t a good idea,” the serious one said. “She’s all fucked up.”

Someone opened her robe. Gina felt a rough hand on her breast. She imagined it was Tony’s hand and welcomed it with a moan.

“Sounds like an invitation to me,” said the third voice.

She heard Tony laugh.

Serious again, “She doesn’t even know who you are, man! She thinks you’re this Tony guy, Gerald!”

Gerald! Gina tried to move. “Wait… stop! Who the fuck- ”

“Shhh,” Gerald said, covering her mouth with a forced kiss.

Gina bit his lip.

“Get off me asshole!” she shouted.

“Fuc-king-bitch!” Gerald shouted. He back handed her across the mouth.

Gina lay still, stunned by the blow.

“Woah, Gerald! I didn’t agree to this!” the serious one said.

Gerald was still staring down at her. “Fucking whore,” he muttered. Spit flew from his mouth. His face filled with rage.

“Gerald?” The third voice advised, “Maybe we should just get out of here- ”

“Hold her arms down. Now! Or I swear to God, I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you both right where you stand!” he shouted.

Third voice placed his vodka glass on the floor and reluctantly held her arms down.

“Come here,” Gerald commanded the serious one.

“What?”

“Do it.”

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me.”

“I… I won’t.”

“Do it right now. Or you won’t leave this room alive.”

Serious saw a crazy look in Gerald’s eyes.

Gina’s eyes went wide with horror as she was violated. She tried to move, she tried to scream.

Gerald punched her in the mouth.

She laid still.

When the serious one was finished, Gerald made him trade places with the other.

Gina was still reeling from the blow to the mouth when she was assaulted again.

Gerald said, “You tell a fucking soul about this, you both go down with me. Understand?”

The others nodded shamefully.

“Now, get the fuck out of here!!”

They left.

Gerald got up and locked the door.

He walked over to a dresser, opened it, and removed a set of handcuffs. He was familiar with this room.

Gerald roughly flipped Gina on her stomach and handcuffed her hands behind her back.

“Now, you’re going to get what’s coming to you, whore!” he hissed. “Fucking, dirty whore!”

Gerald pulled down his pants and aggressively invaded her from behind.

Gina couldn’t stop screaming.

“How do you like them apples, bitch!” He shouted as he emptied his fluid rage into her. Gina no longer existed, there was only Janet. When he’d brought the others in here it was always the same… it was always that bitch he thought of.

Gina fell into a dark, dark place before Gerald’s anger subsided.

He finally removed himself from her torn up lower half, gasping for breath and sweating profusely. Only then did he consider that he might have killed the stripper.

There was a moment of fear, followed by cold indifference.

If she dies, she dies, he thought.

Gerald had never let his anger get so out of hand. In the past, the girls he seduced at Malcolm’s parties had all been willing participants, being either too drunk, too stoned or just too damn horny to realize what they were getting into. They would wake the next morning with little to no memory of the night before, let alone who they slept with, and they went their way, too embarrassed to speak up or cursing themselves for getting so wasted.

But this whore had resisted, causing Gerald’s anger to flare up and resort to excessive violence. He had never hurt the previous girls this bad—never had a reason to. They were all like his stupid wife, so eager to please, so eager to bend to his all-powerful might. And he rode them all, branding them with each thrust, marking his conquests and stealing their dignity by reducing them to inner ashes.

But not this one… and she paid for her defiance.

Gerald was vaguely aware of the sound of keys rattling on the other side of the door. He began to feel something he’d never felt before, a strange sensation that went well beyond his rage; a foreign sensation.

“Gerald?” Malcolm said from the open doorway.

The serious one stood beside him. Fearing for Gina’s life (and for any further implications beyond rape) he and the other attacker had gone down to the beach to get Malcolm.

“Gerald Schuler, what have you fucking done?” Malcolm tried to reach Gina, but Gerald stopped him by grabbing his arm.

“Leave her be,” he said absently. “I’m… I’m not done with her yet.”

Gerald couldn’t explain it, but the odd sensation that possessed him made him tremble fiercely. There was a new hunger burning within him. It went beyond penetrating flesh… it longed for the flesh itself, stealing over him like a tidal wave until he was consumed by it.

Gerald became completely still as the new hunger destroyed him faster than he’d ever done to another.

“Gerald… what the hell is wrong with you. You look… ill.” Malcolm watched in horror as his house guest changed.

“Get Gina out of here,” he told Serious. “I’ve got a mess to clean- ” Malcolm felt Gerald’s grip on his arm increase. He looked back at the lawyer. “That hurts! Let go.”

Gerald turned to look at him.

“What’s wrong with his eyes?” Serious asked.

The thing, once called Gerald Schuler, lunged toward Malcolm.

“Have you lost your fucking mind?!” Malcolm tried to back away but Gerald would not let go of his arm. “Gerald?” he whispered, staring into the yellow-eyed beast before him.

Gerald let loose a guttural sound, before tearing a large piece of Hathaway’s arm off with his teeth.

~~~

Next Segment (3-1):
https://freezombienovel.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/chapter-3-1-a-higher-education/

Previous Segment (2-3):
https://freezombienovel.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/chapter-2-3-dinner-and-a-movie/

~~~

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________________________________________________
“Chapter 2-4: Dinner and a Movie” Copyright © 2014 Scott Scherr. From the Novel “Don’t Feed The Dark” Copyright © 2014 Scott Scherr.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission by the author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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Comments
  1. oncegiants says:

    Gina is an amazing character. Man what guts you have to put all that right on the page. But she was so real and the sympathy you created for her through her love of Tony was endearing. Again this stuff was so imaginative yet totally realistic. Great stuff.

    Like

    • sscherr says:

      Whew… you made it past Chapter 2. That’s usually where I loose readers (I bet you can imagine why). As much as I enjoyed writing the first chapter, this bit with Gina was when I realized I might be on to something with this story. Thanks for commenting ;)

      Like

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