The Womans Gift
by Russ Walling©
I parked in front of the house and checked the address I'd scribbled on my note pad. 666 Perdition Dr. It corroborated with the number the Boy Scouts paint on the curb each year, so hell, this must be the place. A timid walk up the driveway brought me to a secluded porch. It was a long, brooding affair, hopelessly covered with bougainvillea vines that had seen better days, and sitting poised at the far end--was a woman. From 50 feet she was a shrouded goddess--from five feet, she was working hard to look good at 50 feet. Now, I'm not saying she was altogether unpleasant to gaze upon, that is initially, but it certainly was a stretch to take her all in without my eyes watering. This entire package was unbelievable and bordered on the insufferable, yet I was strangely attracted, and worse yet, found it harrowingly seductive. The overall view made my head spin, but I locked onto the single most excruciating feature of the breathing abnormality before me--her eyes-cold, soulless, dead eyes. These orbs were no mirror to anything with a soul. A closer scrutiny brought the instant repulsion one could expect, but also a strange pull to be near her--a dark and powerful gravity was sucking me in. "Hello," she hissed and moved her hips slightly on the well worn divan that was her roost. "What's your name pretty one?" I drank in another cautious eyeful and slowly said "George-George Leach." As I said it seemed to ring back and forth in my head, almost as if I were saying it for the first time. She adjusted herself again and spoke in a near whisper, "I expected you...George Leach...I knew you would pay me this visit. Your trip to me is about need...your need for the...." Her voice trailed off as she paused for a wetting of her lips. She started again with a new energy, "And my need for the most precious of items...An item you...," she stole another full length walk over me with those orbs, "...value, yet will not miss." Another labored movement was cause enough for a low groan to leak from her. A frail and shockingly vascular hand appeared from beneath her garments and clutched at the ornate woodwork that bordered the divan cum crypt. She slowly righted herself and forced a hideously vacant smile that would have been more at home on a moray. I stood with both knees locked and I'm sure my face wore the mimicry of the agonizing sight laid out before me. My mind raced as I realized that even the last few moments had visibly weakened this woman. Her entire presence was being forced into a metered demise, slowly slipping deeper into some darkness, a darkness that was sucking her from this earth. My gaze was broken when another arduous movement followed curtly with, "That precious item--I must have it now. We have discussed the terms of this transaction, and you realize the risk--and the reward." She leered forward with dire anticipation, bulged those hideous peepers, and cut right to it, "Well...?" I now wished I'd never heard of this woman or agreed to any of this "transaction" business. Pure cowardice imprisoned me there, visibly quaking, definitely confused, but sickly willing to follow through with the deal. "Okay...," I cravenly blurted out, "Let's do it...Now!" I closed my eyes and fully expected the worst. Nothing. Bracing myself even harder, I waited for the inevitable searing pain I had so poorly prepared for. Nothing. I screwed my eyes shut as tight as possible and rigorously forced molar against molar until I thought my head might burst. Nothing. Not a twitch, a burn, a tingle, or a solitary nerve firing abnormally. I was seemingly unchanged...but the Deal? What about the Deal? I opened my eyes slowly and focused on the woman in front of me. Surely this woman before me could not be that hideous creature that only seconds ago was so devoid of life, for now, the vision was ravishing and vibrant. Cloudy madness replaced reason and all my explanations were dashed. How?...Why?...And God forgive me, but I had played a part in this...this...blasphemous transaction! As she rose gracefully from the divan her hands roamed freely over her newly taught torso, stalling momentarily to assess her revived and ample baggage. Her youthful eyes flashed on mine, and haltingly, she reached out toward me and slowly traced a wandering, protracted line along my jaw with her fingernail. I stood transfixed by her fiery gaze and locked to the floorboards by her touch, the luxury of movement no longer an option. Menacingly, her fingernail turned the stubbly corner, ascended to my lower lip, and pressed hard enough to draw blood. Instinctively I jerked away, breaking her ransacking stare and with that, her hand receded graciously to more familiar ground. A sly smile worked its way across her flawless mouth as she started to speak, "It is complete my pretty one," she said in a deep, yet feminine and sultry voice. "We both have received what we needed. I...my youth, for a time--my Master...another soul for his Dark Legion...and you...my sweet...possess the unholy strength that comes with the Dark Gift...now go...and try it on one of your "boulders".