Have you read The Dance
yet? It is available in e-book format and will be released in print version in the near future.The Dance
Here is a little taste: Chapter One
“You’re not real,” Kyle yelled at the shadows as they swirled in the corner of the room.
He sat in a worn leather recliner. Watching television, he tried to ignore the faces that mocked him in the darkness. They giggled at him from just inside his peripheral vision, but if he dared to turn and look at them, the shadows would solidify against the wall.
Guilt could play tricks on the mind, at least that’s what his shrink kept telling him. Kyle was sure his grip on reality was slipping. The faces taunted him everywhere he went, and no amount of Haldol was going to make them go away.
“The fact that I know they can’t be real should be enough to tell me I’m not crazy, right?” he asked the TV.
“My dear boy, we have seen what you’ve done. We see them as they go, as they transition. We are always with you. We are always… watching,” they called from the corner.
“But, we want to see more. We need to see more. Entertain us.”
“Stop it! Stop bothering me,” Kyle barked at the wall, hoping to quell the voices. Why couldn’t he have a moment’s peace in his own house?
“We want to be entertained. Dance for us. Do your Dance so we might see,” they called from the shadows behind the TV. “Dance so we might… live.”
“For the love of God, just leave me be!” he cried, clasping his hands over his ears while squeezing his eyes shut.
“Your strength gives us strength. Your life gives us purpose. The Dance gives us… pleasure.”
The light from the TV prevented his closed eyes from shutting out the images of the room. Shadows danced in that glow, penetrating the comfort of his palpebral shield. He strained harder to keep them sealed tight for fear of what he might see. How could they be between me and the TV? Don’t they live in the shadows?
“Open your eyes,” a woman’s voice urged, the sound slithering its way between his fingers.
Kyle began to whimper as fear gripped him. “This isn’t real. This can’t be real. You’re all in my mind.”
“Then open your eyes. If it isn’t real, you will still be alone in your living room,” the lady said. He could feel her breath against the fingers of his left hand.
“Why won’t you just let me be?” Kyle’s voice broke as he began to sob.
He had seen things he knew he shouldn’t for years. But it had never been this bad before. Seeing things that weren’t there was one thing, but feeling them, now that was something all together different.
“Because, no one else can do those things you do. Dance for me, lover. Make an old soul’s heart go pitter-patter.” She caressed his cheek. The touch sent shivers through him.
A shadow was now blocking every inch of light from reaching his face. He let his left eyelid crack open, just a sliver. He glimpsed a luscious mouth hovering before him. He let his eyes open fully, hoping to end the illusion. She didn’t disappear. Her skin was so pale it was almost translucent. The only color in her face was the red in her lips. Look at those beautiful lips, so inviting, so moist, so… tasty. What I wouldn’t do for a taste of those lips—
“Of course, lover… if you will but Dance for me, I will let you taste anything you desire.” She tossed her head, her long black hair swung over her right shoulder.
“But I don’t want to do your Dance anymore. It is only a matter of time before someone figures out what I’m doing. They will come for me. It will be like it was before.”
Her face hardened into a scowl. “Do you really think it’s a matter of want? You will Dance for me.”
Kyle hung his head in shame; her words rang true. He needed his Dance like his mother needed heroin.
He didn’t have the strength to argue. “What shall I call you?”
“You may call me whatever you want, but my name is Nina,” she whispered as she sat in his lap.
He could feel her there, but she was light as a feather. This isn’t real. I’m just sick; my mind is still jacked. I should call Dr. Pearlman.
“Your mind is fine, more than that… it’s brilliant.” She attempted to quell his unspoken fears. “Will you Dance for me?”
“I’ll try, but these things take time. I have to find the right partners. I have to plan and prepare. I have to—”
“I have taken care of all that for you, lover. I found the perfect couple. They are waiting for you, anxious to see what wonders you have to share with them.”
“How did you—”
“Shh,” she interrupted, placing a finger over his lips. “Now is not the time for those sorts of questions.”
Kyle relented, not sure if he had a choice. “I’ll get my things.”
“That would be splendid, lover,” she said, rising to let him pass. “I will be here, waiting with baited breath.”
He went to his bedroom, stepped into the closet, and emerged with a large canvas duffle bag slung across his shoulder. He couldn’t help but smile when he saw Nina sprawled seductively across his chair. He knelt beside her, intoxicated by her fragrance as it floated on the air.
He stared at her expectantly as she ran her fingers across his bare chest. “If we’re really gonna do this, let’s get started. Where do we need to go?” he asked.
“Come… I will show you, lover.” She sprang from the chair with an almost feline ease, extending her hand to him, smiling.
He took her hand as he rose to stand before her. Something in her smile gave him the overwhelming urge to drop to his knees and grovel at her feet. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful in my entire life.
He fell to the floor, his entire body trembling. He let his hands stretch out, praying she would deign to let him feel her.
She lowered into a crouch, placing a finger beneath his chin. Her touch stilled his tremors. As she helped him to his feet, calm washed over him, the likes of which he hadn’t experienced in years.
“If you will just focus on the task at hand, I will do everything in my power to make your dreams come true.”
He would have prayed for guidance, but he was sure his words would fall on deaf ears. They always had. “I’m yours. Do with me what you will.” His voice was tiny, a stark contradiction to his massive frame.
“This is only the beginning. Many people could benefit from your talents. You know we mustn’t keep them waiting.”*****
Kyle scrubbed his hands in his bathroom sink. He cranked up the hot water in hopes of letting the steam obscure his reflection in the mirror. He didn’t want to see the scratches on his face.
“I can’t believe I botched that so bad,” he whispered.
“How could you be so careless?” Nina stood in the doorway, her arms folded across her ample chest.
“She didn’t want to Dance with me,” Kyle replied. “Can you blame her?”
“It was very sloppy that time. I want it to be graceful, like it was before.” She stepped behind him, traced a heart on his back with a fingernail. “You remember how it was before, don’t you?”
“If you hadn’t been laughing so hard, they wouldn’t have woken up before we were ready.” His anger grew by the second, anger at himself, her, the world… everything.
“They couldn’t hear me. Neither of them moved until you told me to shush.”
“You’re so full of it,” Kyle snapped, turning off the faucet. He yanked a towel from a ring mounted on the wall next to the sink.
“Oh, really? Maybe you should think about what you did and we will see what actually happened.”
Nina pressed her fingers over his eyes from behind.
Kyle struggled to no avail. Her hands were so small, it was unimaginable that she could overpower him, but it was as if her grip was on his brain rather than his face.
Images rushed through Kyle’s mind in a blur, his memories playing in reverse order. Suddenly, they slowed to a halt. To his surprise, he found he was no longer in his bathroom, but kneeling with Nina behind a row of bushes.
It was like he’d been transported back to the recent past to relive the night’s events. He could actually smell the aroma of damp earth wafting up and mixing with the fragrance of the brush.
But much like an actor compelled to follow the script during a movie shoot, he realized he could not deviate from his part.
Kyle started to rise when he saw a shadow cross behind the curtains in the window above them, but Nina placed a restraining hand on his forearm.
“Now is not the time,” she whispered, shaking the finger of her other hand at him.
They waited for what seemed like an eternity before she motioned for them to move. He carefully reached for the windowsill and tried to push it open.
“It won’t budge. Let’s try another one,” Kyle whispered after a few attempts.
“No, the more time we spend out here, the greater the chances become that someone might see us.” Nina wrapped her arms around him and placed her right hand over his face.
When she removed her hand, they were standing in a darkened bedroom of the house. There were two forms lying motionless beneath the covers.
She gestured to the bed. “I would like to introduce you to Carl and Terri.”
“How did you do that?” he mouthed to her silently.
“I call it jumping. It’s a way of using your mind to take you places,” she whispered in his ear.
He turned to face her. “What the hell are you talking about?”
She only laughed in reply.
“Shh!” Kyle insisted, causing movement from the bed.
“You had better tend to that,” Nina teased in a playful voice. “But, don’t forget your steps. Oh, how I love to watch you Dance.”
His heartbeat quickened, pounding in his chest. He lunged at Carl just as he sat up in the bed. Kyle slammed his hand over Carl’s mouth to stifle the scream he knew was sure to come. You’ll have your chance to scream, but not before I’m good and God damned ready.
Before he could subdue Carl, Terri sprang up from beneath the covers, clawing at his eyes. Kyle let go of the man to protect his face from her whirlwind assault. He then fell to the carpet beneath a powerful blow to the side of his head. Somehow, Carl had snatched the lamp from the nightstand beside the bed and swung it with all the might he could muster from his precarious position.
Kyle curled into the fetal position, covering his head with his arms to protect himself while he gathered his wits. He waited for more blows, but they never came. A wave of vertigo washed over him. He nearly fell again when he realized he was standing.How’d I get off the floor?
He looked down at the blood soaked bed. “What the hell? How did you do this? I thought you said you couldn’t do the Dance by yourself.”
Nina cast him a quizzical glance. “I didn’t do it by myself. I merely helped you do what needed to be done.”
“What is that God awful racket?” Kyle glared at the stereo.
“It’s music. You said you like to hear music as you worked.”
“That’s not music. It sounds like some sort of Hindi prayer bullshit.”
“I like it and it’s important to me,” Nina insisted. “In time, I’m guessing it will become important to you as well.”
“Where did it come from?”
“Silly, you helped me make it. Don’t you remember?”
“Uh, sure…” he lied. I don’t think I would have had any part in recording something that horrible.
Kyle’s eyes darted around the room as he tried to process her words. He wasn’t sure what happened, but he was sure he didn’t remember doing anything. He glanced down again, admiring Nina’s handiwork. Carl still sat in bed with his back and head leaning against the headboard. Kyle didn’t need to look into his vacant eyes to know he was dead. The cut along his belly that let his innards spill out over the blankets was more than enough evidence; he was no longer among the living.
Terri wasn’t in the bed, which gave Kyle a terrible start. Did she get away? What if she makes it to a phone? Are the police on their way even as I stand here with my dick in my hand?
He looked down at his blood-covered hands. His shirt was absolutely soaked with the dark sticky liquid. The aroma triggered something in him that must be what most people would experience if they smelled a fresh cut rose.
“Oh, Loverboy!” Nina called from the hallway.
Kyle sprinted toward her voice. He found her standing at the top of the stairs, motioning for him to look over the railing. As he approached, he could see one end of a sheet tied to the rail, Terri’s ankle fastened securely to the other end. She shared the same fate as Carl; gutted like a fish. It appeared Nina had been particularly brutal with her slaying. Kyle felt sorry for Terri as he watched her body gently swinging above her living room floor, tracing a line of blood on the carpet beneath her.
Suddenly, everything went dark.
Nina released her grip from his eyes, snapping Kyle out of his trance. He gazed into his mirror’s reflection, seeing Nina smiling behind him. He turned to face her, wondering why he found her so mesmerizing. A tiny voice nagged at him from the depths of his mind. It told him she should repulse him. He should see what a monster she was by what she had done. She didn’t even take the time to enjoy the Dance. He squashed the voice. How could I find her repulsive? She and I share the same love, the same needs, the same desires.
“I still don’t understand how you were able to kill those people. You said you couldn’t…”
He let her take his hand in hers. “I already told you I didn’t do it. You did the Dance for us, sloppily, but you still did it,” Nina said in a husky voice.
“That’s impossible! I was laying on the floor, trying to keep my ass from being handed to me.”
She batted her eyes at him coyly. “Really? Then why are you covered in blood?”
“You must have spilled it on me when you gutted Carl,” he answered as he stomped into his bedroom.
“Whatever,” Nina said in a dismissive voice. “Is that really what you want to believe? I guess I can understand. The truth of any situation can be a little hard to handle if your heart isn’t really into what you’re doing.”
“I’m not saying I wouldn’t have enjoyed it, but we both know I had nothing to do with what happened in there,” he replied.
“If that’s what you have to tell yourself to sleep at night.”
“Sleep… yeah, I should get some rest. We have a busy day tomorrow.” He flopped onto his bed, covered his face with his forearm.
“Yes, we need to practice your steps. They have gotten rusty from lack of use.”
He just lay there, stewing. The events of the night troubled him. Even if he did kill that couple, still other things didn’t make sense.
“How did you carry me into the house?” he asked.
Nina stroked his cheek. “I think that’s enough contemplation for the night, lover.”
As she rubbed his face, a voice filled his thoughts, urging him to relax. He found it hard to resist. His eyes grew heavy, and the need for answers faded away.
“Perhaps this will all make more sense tomorrow,” he mumbled as he drifted to sleep.
Labels: The Dance