"Are you sure you are willing to do this, Mr. Brawn?" The cool, slow voice of the tall dark figure vibrated around the room, awaken me.
My eyes opened slightly, finding the tall dark shape in the shadows. The Tall Man stood by my bedside, peering down at me with dagger eyes. I must have dozed off. The sight of the Tall Man alarmed me. I had forgotten he was still around.
I struggled to bring the oxygen mask to my mouth, and inhaled a great amount of air. I am a frail man, bedridden from a disease that is killing me slowly and not killing me fast enough. My body have wasted almost into a skeletal frame. The blood inside me is tainted with something hideous.
I feel Death breathing down my neck.
"How long have you stood there?" I hoarsely asked. "I must have blacked out. I don't quite remember letting you in. How did you get here, by the way? Wait, who are you?"
"You have invited me, Mr. Brawn" the tall man simply explained. His voice was a slow drawl of southern dialect.
"Oh yeah…" I said, my voice squeaking, "…[cough] I might have. I don't quite remember, sir."
"I have been listening," the tall man said, "and waiting patiently. Although, I am willing to wait even longer."
"Waiting for what?" I quickly asked. My head began to throb from an unknown source. "Did I let you in myself? I must have…I can't remember anything anymore. Yet, I quite believe that you were sitting there, before I must have dozed off. Yes, you were in that corner, by the darkness."
I took another deep inhale of the oxygen. I don't know why I am rambling to this Tall Man. But his presence have somehow given me a newfound energy.
"Mr. Brawn, you have invited me as a Guest," the Tall Man said, "and you have offered me great hospitality. You entertained me with your stories of your younger days. Have you already forgotten this, sir?"
"What?" my eyes opened a little bit wider. I blink into darkness, trying to recollect the events previously.
"Oh, I must have then," I answered, "Have I offered you some tea? I must have, if what you said is true. I have the best quality tea, you know. Did you enjoy it? Wait, how did find me? I haven't moved from this bed in Ages! But I must have let you in, right?"
"I've received a call from you, Mr. Brawn," the Tall Man said, "You asked for my service, and spoken to me for quite a while, sir. And here I am, questioning if you are willing to proceed?"
"Oh this is so strange," I muttered, weakly. "I don't quite recall our conversation."
"Sir, you were telling me about your illness," the Tall Man interjected.
"My illness…" I mumbled, "Oh yes. What a tragedy! What a shame…I don't remember, oh wait! Yes I do remember. Oh, it's been ages!"
The Tall Man slowly took a chair by my bed. "I am willing to listen to your story, Mr. Brawn. I have a few hours to kill."
"Ha." I exclaimed, weakly. "Time is short, yet it does not arrive any faster!"
I inhaled another great deal of oxygen before proceeding into my story.
"It all started with the Lady in Red," I began.
It was quite a chilly night when I stepped into the B-Bar Tavern. I was feeling lonely and depressed. I had gambling debts to cover and the love of my life left me for my friend. Oh, but that is just a cliché characterizing on my part.
I was just bored and was looking for a warm companion to cuddle with until the early morning. I just wanted a cheap whore to relieve some stress, if you know what I mean. Wink-wink! Ha!
But when I stepped into that Tavern on that night, I did not suspect being hit over the head with an iron shoe! I took a seat by the counter and ordered a serious mix of poison. That's when I noticed the Red Head across the bar.
Oh what a beautiful devil! Her skin was golden and her hair was fire red! Her red dress matched those flaming locks. Green eyes surveying her surrounding, like a predator picking out her prey. Those emerald pearls fell upon me and I sat frozen like a deer! Her luscious lips curled up in a smile and every nerve in my body tingles with excitement and lust!
I swallowed a drool that was building in my mouth. She had a glass of weak poison in front of her, half empty. She was making swirls with her tiny red straws in her light blue mix. Her eyes challenged me, daring me to come over and talk.
But I am a hard man, and harder I am in other certain area. My head was screwed too tight for me to approach a beautiful lady without playing "the Game". I motioned the bartender and ordered a nice mix of medium-quality poison and a shot of hard liquor for the Lady in Red.
The bartender mixed the drinks and served it to the Lady in Red and motioned toward me, indicating the buyer of the drinks. She smiled even wider and lifted her new drink for a toast. I lifted mine. And we downed the shots right after.
We met halfway, gravitating toward the center of the bar. Now we are close to each other to conversate.
"Thanks for the drinks," she said.
"How about another round?" I asked, getting right into the Game.
"Only if you could keep up!" she challenged me, with those large green emerald of eyes.
I could not sustain myself! I was filled with great lust. I just wanted to tear into her flesh and feast on her beauty! My eyes betrayed my feelings. And hers challenged me even further. My smile was tight, as my teeth was clenching together and grinding with exhilaration.
"You're something!" I exclaimed, almost too excitedly. I had to remain cool.
I ordered another round of shots.
"Lady's first!" I offered, as the drinks was placed in front of us.
She down that shot like a man, and she did not make any face afterward. I took my shot, with my eyes still on her, trying to prove to her that I am a Man. Although, I don't believe she ever doubt that!
Her eyes laughed at me. We slowly sipped our drinks and converse. But I don't quite remember what it was we had talked about. Really, there was only one thing on my mind. Although she was a very sexy creature, I could not see her as a long term partner. And I wasn't looking for a long term partner anyway.
She was the type of person who you enjoy a brief fling. And I was jumping through the Game to get to that final stage.
"How about a dance?" again, she challenged me with those eyes and her sultry, teasing voice.
She took my hand to the dance floor, and somewhere the music played so seductively that I was unaware there was music in the first place. But our bodies swayed to the rhythm like two snakes mesmerized by the piper. Her body grinding slowly on mine. We bumped and grind together to the rhythm of the musical spell.
Her head moved slowly from side to side, her body brushing seductively. Her fire red hair bopped in the dim room. I was being hypnotized by her dancing. Somehow, I found myself standing to the side, watching her shine in the spotlight as she influenced the bar patrons, who are also mesmerized by her charm.
The music turned upward a beat and the tempo quicken, but not too quick. Her rhythmic dancing jerked fiercer as she took each beat like a minor orgasm that is running through her body. Her hair swinging along with her snapping neck. Her hands grasping her bare thigh, clawing and caressing. Moving to her body as she dance.
I floated back toward her and grind along with her, our body mashing together vigorously as if we were making love on the dance floor. We danced as if the world did not exist and we were just two stars in the outer space, shining together.
But the music soon ended and we both returned to this world and found ourselves the center attention. My heart was thumping so loudly as if I had ran a marathon. We took our seat back at the bar, our body burning with passionate fire. Her face was almost red as her hair and her green eyes looked grey.
"Whew! I need another drink!" she said, flushed.
"Wow, that was amazing," I said," You're amazing. I felt like I was under a spell."
We made our way back to the bar. I bumped into a heavy man with a wide-rimmed hat and a long black coat. I mumbled an apology but the man was unresponsive. He sort of sat there on the stool, broodingly and ignoring us.
I ordered an even more serious mix of poison with an even harder shot of liquor that almost were pure alcohol. Those combination did not fare well on me as I downed the drink and shot together. I could feel my body burning with intense fire.
I snuck a look at my prize possession in Red and saw that she was already calling for another round.
"This one on me!" she practically yelled, her breath fuming with alcohol. Then she burst out laughing as her face scrunched into numbness. Her eyes half open and her face even redder than her dress.
I laughed along, with my head swimming in a daze. I lost control of my vision and somehow, the music was playing a heavy rhythm that became jumble of noises to my ears. Her head, now bopping to the heavy metallic music. My own head pounding through the composition.
The place was getting too HOT! I could feel the fire licking at my skin. I had trouble breathing. The air was thick. I reached for her bare arm, to catch her attention and to stop her head from bopping, which was just too damn distracting.
"Hey, you wanna go somewhere else?" I mumbled into her ears.
She smiled sheepishly with her eyes halfway closed. "I just ordered another round. Let's knock that one back first!"
I felt queasy and almost threw up in her face. But I swallowed it and shook the feeling off. "Okay…"
She slammed the shot glass in front of me, challenging me again. I swayed on the stool, my eyes barely open to focus on the glass.
"Drink up, and I'll give you a surprise!" she said in my ear, then she laughed loudly into it almost tearing out my eardrum.
My body was tingling with some weird feelings, either physical or mental. My mouth was numb and I could barely open it to down the shot. Most of the liquor ran down my chin. I slammed the shot glass on the counter, empty of its content.
I turned to her, sluggishly and her eyes were laughing at me.
"Let's get some air," she said.
We paid our tab and held onto each other as we staggered out of B-Bar. The cool air rushed us and greeted us with freshness.
"My apartment is three blocks down," she revealed to me, "I don't think you should drive home."
My head was practically hanging from my neck as I held onto her, putting a lot of my weight on her shoulder. She laughed as she carried me to her apartment, a trek I don't remember to this day.
Somehow, I fell upon her bed. I watched her silhouette figure shadowed by a glowing light from behind her. Her emblem eyes seamed to glow in the shadow as she slowly pull the red strap down from her shoulder. Seductively, she undressed herself, while keeping her magnetic eyes on me.
"Oh…" I groaned, trying to display my excitement. "I'd give anything right now…"
She crawled toward me on the bed. Her eyes still locked on mine. "Anything?" she asked. She teased me with her fingers, playfully clawing at my arm.
"Your heart?" she continued to ask, "Your soul?"
"Anything!" I bellowed.
She took me there like a wild animal. Her teeth running through my body and her sharp fingernails scratching at my delicate skin. We made love like beasts!
And then, when I emptied my soul into her, she rode me again and again like a succubus draining me of my life!
In the morning, I was bewildered. I did not know where I was. I blamed it on the hangover. I was so weak. I felt sick and staggered to the bathroom to vomit. It was then, when I splashed cold water on my face, I realized where I was.
I was in my bathroom. I was in my house. I made my way back to the bed and was not surprise that the Lady in Red was not there. Was it all a dream? No, because I have the scratch mark on my arm to prove it was a reality.
How did I end up back in my apartment? It was miles away from the B-Bar Tavern. I could not explain. Perhaps, it was I who brought the Lady in Red back to my place. But how? I wondered that, throughout the days.
For a long time, I searched for her. I went back to B-Bar, waiting if she would ever show up again. I sat there at the bar, lonely and depressed. Obsessed! I asked the bartender about the Lady in Red. He doesn't have an idea of who I was talking about! I asked him if he remembered us. We were the drunken couple dancing by ourselves. He must have remembered that!
The bartender called me a drunk and kicked me out. I scoured the streets, looking. Searching for my lost Love! I am a fool. I became possessed without her. I felt empty without her. She's a thief! Somehow, she has stolen from me! I could not Live without her!
"And that is perhaps why I have called you," I said, to the Tall Man.
I inhaled another gulp of oxygen.
"Look at me now," I said, "that happened only two months ago! And here I am, withered and ancient! She stole my life, that Devil! She stole not my heart, but my soul!"
"And this is why you have called me?" the Tall Man said with his slow drawl.
"I have heard of you, sir," I said, my energy now drained from the story. "Yes, I remember why I have called you. You see, I am dead. But yet, I cannot die. So slowly, I waste away due to this sickness that she has given me. She took my soul, and I cannot die!"
"I want you to release me, Mr. Death!" I sputtered the last sentence with a final breath, before inhaling through the mask again.
The Tall Man slowly got up from the chair. Something in his eyes stirred and he avoided my accusing stare. I pushed forward.
"I remembered you," I said, "You were the one I bumped at the B-Bar Tavern. The man with the wide-rimmed hat. Mr. Death himself! You were waiting for me, weren't you? But I left with the Devil, who have now claimed my soul. Won't you help a dying man? I belong to you, don't I? Answer me!"
The Tall Man bowed his head and slid the wide-rimmed hat over. His long black hair spilled from the side and the rims of the hat hid his eyes. His mouth was set in a tight frown.
"It is time…" the Tall Man said.
"Yes…yes!" I said, excitingly. "Release me from this burden!"
"Are you sure you are willing to go through this, sir?" the Tall Man asked, cautiously.
"I belong to you! I am giving you the authority over my soul! Reclaim it from that succubus!" I practically yelled.
The Tall Man cocked his head to the side and leered at me with one eye. This time, his eyes were wide and something menacing reflected off it.
"This she-devil you speak of," the Tall Man said, gruffly, "she is my daughter. And I'm sorry to say, I am not the one you seek, but I am the one you called for. I am not Him. This Mr. Death. Although, we shared the same initial. It gets quite confusing sometime."
A darkness envelope me and a feeling of dread.
"What?!" I exclaimed, "What? You…You deceived me!"
"I am the Deceiver," he slowly said, with a hallowness in his voice, "I am the Darkness. I am the Dread, the Man in Black. I am the original Mr. D! And you have given me authority over your soul."
"Well then," I hollered, angry and offended, "Release me then! Undo this curse and take me to your hellish prison! You have fooled me!"
"I thank you for giving me your soul," the Tall Man replied, "But I cannot undo what she has done to you. Now that I have your soul, your body does not mean nothing to me. I bid you good night."
His lips curled into a sneering smile and he turned from me. I struggled upon my bed, huffing in frustration.
"Wait!" I cried out, "Damn you! Damn all of you!"
I sputtered. I couldn't breathe. The darkness was enveloping me. My vision blurred. A heavy force fell upon my head. Through the tiny slit of my heavy eyelids, I saw the tall figure melting into the Darkness. I fell into slumber.
I awoke from a sound. Something stirred in the darkness in the corner. A figure sat on the chair. Red fedora hat covering the person's face, but those long red hair spilled from the side caused my eyes to widen. And my heart to race.
Ruby lips parted, revealing teethy smile. She tilted her head upward and cast those glowing emblem eyes. I could not move. I was immobilized. I tried to make a sound but only a whimper rose from my throat.
"Thanks for the drinks," she said, her voice sounding scratchy, "How about another round?"
----End. "Lady Devil"