Chapter 5: New Bonds
By AmyAmy, based on an idea by John Hynden
When Maeve got back to her flat, it was dark. It had taken hours on the roll-on, roll-off ferry, then a fatiguing drive through heavy traffic. Her car too old to drive itself.
How she was back, she wanted to call Brian, to hear his voice. He wouldn’t mind, but it wouldn’t be fair. He might be asleep already. It was late, and unlike her, he had work tomorrow.
Her head ached. It was probably just regular fatigue, but she was wary of lingering effects of the concussion, a bit neurotic really. It was funny, her vest had stopped the bullets, but she’d hit her head when she fell. She should have been wearing a helmet, but it hadn’t been a health-and-safety requirement for investigative officers. There was a lesson to ponder. The ache was becoming a migraine.
She slumped onto the bed, still in her boots.
She sat up again with a jolt that set her head spinning. She’d forgotten the creature. It was still stashed in her bag. She should have seen to the thing earlier. It was probably dead now. Suffocated.
She opened her official-issue holdall, a remnant of her uniform days, the police stencil half worn-off. The container was on top of her clothes. Beneath the clear lid, the black stuff was motionless, inert. She sighed, puffed out her cheeks. Well, it was probably dead now. Whatever rare and unique thing it had been, she should have left it in its native habitat. What if it was some kind of protected species? Except… It didn’t even look like it had ever been alive, not now.
She popped off the container lid. The thing didn’t move. Probably for the best, she didn’t want it slithering all over her flat. She gave it a tentative prod with a dessert spoon. Maybe it hadn’t suffocated, just needed air, water, or something?
A tendril zipped out and stuck to her wrist with a wet, sticky slap. Frozen, she watched as it flowed up and onto her arm. She took a deep breath, then another. She was calm, in control, it had caught her by surprise, nothing more.
She bit back a shriek, expecting burning, or the sharp pain of a bite, but, there was no pain where it had attached, only a faint tingling. She breathed a long sigh of relief
She held her arm next to the drying-rack, hoping the thing would move on, as it had done back in the graveyard. Surely, in a moment it would throw out another tendril and abandon her arm? She waited. The peculiar warm tightness, where the thing had stuck to her, was increasing.
It didn’t seem to want to move to the rack. She circled the room, arm held out, hoping it would find a spot it liked. It stayed put. Perhaps, it needed encouragement? She pulled up her cardigan sleeve to get a better view.
It had spread itself out, forming a smooth black coating over her forearm. It glistened, mirror-like under the miniature spotlights of her track-lighting. If she got the angle right, she could see her face reflected in it.
It came up to just below her elbow, and was just shy of covering the palm of her hand.
She couldn’t leave it there. If it wasn’t moving of its own accord, she’d have to make it get off.
She shrugged off her cardigan, and tried to insert a butter-knife under the edge on the back of her hand. It was hopeless. The stuff might as well be painted on. She tried on her palm instead. No. It’s really stuck.
She found a sharp-pointed fruit-knife that had hidden itself at the back of the drawer. Worn with sharpening, old-fashioned steel, not stainless, one of her mother’s hand-me-downs, it held a wicked edge.
Gently, she worked the point underneath the black stuff. Blood started to ooze out, forming a tiny dark-red, spherical droplet. Out of nowhere, her chest tightened, shuddered, a muscle spasm. She couldn’t breathe.
She dropped the knife, grabbed hold of the counter-top to stop herself from falling, the stone was ice-cold against her hands. She wasn’t afraid of a little blood. What was wrong with her?
The knife had just missed her foot, and buried itself point-first half-an-inch into the polished floor-boards.
She began to shiver, sat down on one of the kitchen chairs, leaned on the table, head resting on her folded arms. Her legs were numb. Was it some unanticipated relapse? No. It didn’t make any sense.
After a few minutes, she felt able to stand, but the thing was still there on her arm. Had it crept up, towards her shoulder, or was it her imagination? If she couldn’t prise it off, and she couldn’t cut it. What about another way?
She poured some methylated-spirit onto a kitchen-towel and wiped it over the creature. There was a faint warm sensation, which was unexpected. Normally, evaporating methanol would leave a chill. The thing didn’t react one way or another. What about bleach? A check of the cupboard under the sink revealed there was no bleach.
She could light the gas-cooktop and hold her arm over it, lower it gently until it got hot… No. If she had another wobble she might get a serious burn. She needed something less dangerous.
She found a scented candle in a pot. It had come free with some face cream. She put it on the kitchen table and lit it. Safely seated, she lowered her arm towards the tiny flame, but even close-up she couldn’t feel any heat. Maybe the candle was too small? She lowered her arm until the flame was flickering against it. There was a faint warmth, no pain, and the creature didn’t react. The warmth became a tingling, a sort of prickling sensation, quite pleasant.
Was there something wrong with the candle? She reached towards it with her fingers. Snatched them back. Blew on them to ease the pain. No. The candle burned hot alright.
Apparently, the creature was heat-resistant.
She was out of ideas, her mind a blank. Digits changed on the oven-clock but nothing else altered. She’d just have to take this thing to the emergency department. She’d be fine as long as it didn’t do anything weird while she was driving. Not that it had really done anything at all, other than sticking to her.
Something tickled the hairs on her arm. From the corner of her eye, she saw it move. Slow and cautious, it was migrating upwards. Pretending not to notice, she watched, following its progress. When it reached her armpit is started to slide across onto her chest.
It picked up speed and oozed down across her front. There was a prickling when it touched her nipple, and then a burst of pleasure. Maeve chewed on her lower lip. It was frustratingly good. She closed her eyes, concentrating on the sensation.
There was a tiny thrill of transgression, as if there was something wrong, something perverted about enjoying being fondled by a tiny … whatever it was. It reminded her of the twisty guilt she’d felt, hiding her affair with Ridley, back when she was a cadet. A mix of excitement and disgust, something forbidden that she couldn’t control, wasn’t even really to blame for.
All too soon, the pleasure began to fade. She looked down. The creature had moved from her breast and was headed down towards to her navel. Perhaps it would go down her leg and slide right off her foot?
She pulled up her t-shirt, gathered it in her hands, exposing her breasts. The thing had spread over her belly, and was still moving down. She jumped to her feet and hastily pulled off her jeans. It was touching the top of her briefs. Would it crawl onto them, so she could take them off and get rid of it that way?
It began to slide beneath her underwear, not to the left or the right, but right straight down the middle.
Hairs prickled on the back of her neck. Where was it headed? What was it looking for? It was too obvious, but it couldn’t really be doing that could it?
She peeled off her undies and pressed her fingers to the top of her mons. Come on you monster, back onto the hand. But instead of following the obvious path up onto her fingers, it slid beneath them, determinedly settling itself across her pubic mound.
The same tingling she’d felt in her nipple was back, but stronger. She was getting hot and bothered. The guilty feeling was back. Doubly so. If it moved any further it would touch her outer lips. What would it do when it found that warm, wet hole? Wet? When had that happened?
A wave of nausea came over her. This really was out of her control, but there was a tiny part of her that was curious what it would be like if it slipped up inside her. That part of her needed to stop interfering. It wasn’t helping things, it was making the rest of her want to be sick at herself.
The goo started to move again, slithering downward. “No. Stop it,” Maeve said aloud. It didn’t listen. She gritted her teeth, scraped at it with her nails. They skidded uselessly over the slick surface. She couldn’t get a grip on the thing.
It touched the hood of her sex, and the soft velvet flesh that sealed her opening. Little jolts of pleasure went off as it flowed down until it had completely covered her vulva, sealing it over with mirror-finish-smooth blackness. She tried to press a finger into herself, but her lips were coated, stuck closed.
At least it hadn’t oozed up inside her. Her thoughts skipped away. Best not to dwell on that. Best not to imagine it in case that nasty little part of her became fixated on the idea, leaving her sick with guilt that she could even consider enjoying it. She’d seen enough people with self-destructive urges in her line of work. The satisfaction they got was transitory, while the misery and the damage went on and on. It was never a worthwhile exchange. She would not be one of those people.
It really might push up inside her. It could still happen. How would she handle it if it did? It wasn’t like she’d had any success stopping or directing it so far, even less getting it to come off.
She was motionless, intent on her crotch. It wasn’t something she spent time studying. She’d almost forgotten what she looked like down there. It was a place where her fingers normally roamed blind. Her mound was bigger, more prominent than she remembered, but how old was that memory? Years probably. The black goo had left her skin beautifully smooth and soft in its wake, and her public hair was glossy, soft, like it had just been washed and conditioned.
She felt a warm tingle inside. The dark patch over her sex was starting to shrink. In just a few seconds it shrank down to only the area between her outer lips. Her jaw dropped at the rising sensation and the tingles of pleasure inside her.
She gave a strangled shriek, clapped her hands over her mouth to shut it off.
She pried at her inner lips, but they remained determinedly glued shut. She wouldn’t be able to pee, that hole was covered too.
She definitely had to go to the hospital now. There was no way she could let this go on. The thing had to be removed. Would they think she’d put it up there on purpose? The doctor would look at the nurse, they’d exchange glances, nod knowingly as she babbled her implausible excuses. The doctor would take pictures. Later he’d show them to other staff at the hospital. He might grope her, with the nurse watching. The nurse wouldn’t question it, she’d just sneer in disdain, at the sick weirdo who’d tried to get herself off by jamming a giant slug up her snatch. Five minutes later they’d both be standing outside the curtain, sniggering, messaging their friends about how she’d reacted, sending pictures. It would go viral and she’d end up in one of those stories. Ten things you will never believe people tried to have sex with. She’d be too humiliated to even make a complaint about the violation of her privacy. How would Brian feel? His life would be ruined, the boyfriend of the slug girl, the endless butt of jokes about how his penis compared unfavourably to a snail.
Her eyes started to sting at the thought of how Brian and her family would suffer over it. But she couldn’t leave that thing up there.
She’d get dressed again, and drive straight to the hospital. It wasn’t far. The thing seemed to have settled down for now. She reached over to pick up her underwear.
It hit her like a punch in the groin, bursting a flash of white light behind her eyes.
Maeve tried to stand. Her knees failed her and she sank to the floor. She reached for the spot, but before she could touch herself, another wave of mind-blanking pleasure crashed through her. She whispered a mantra of gibberish words to herself, trying to concentrate through the ecstasy, but it was futile. Her vision blurred. Tears of bliss trickled from her eyes. Her sex was on fire, pulsing and prickling with sparks of pleasure that detonated white fire-bursts behind her eyes.
Her stomach muscles fluttered and spasmed. A filthy moan came from her throat. It sounded like something from a porn video, the kind the assholes at work ‘accidentally’ showed female officers to humiliate them. It was a shock to discover a noise like that could come out of her own throat.
If those scumbags ever found out about this debacle… It was so unfair. Sure, they tried to bully and humiliate everyone, that was just the rotten culture, but the women were always targets for the sexual stuff.
Maeve herself was so inured to it that she didn’t even have to think to put on a tough persona, it was just a reflex. A guy on the force could enjoy sex, and that just made him normal. A woman? It made her a slut. Once you had that label, the sleaze-bags would never let up trying to get into your pants, and would never forgive you for turning them down.
Sarah had called them on their bullying, made a complaint, had even won her appeal. A lot of good that had done her. She’d had to quit in the end. But that had been years ago now, and Maeve had too much invested to make a mistake like that.
The thought of it was enough to bring her orgasm to a premature end, but as it passed, another wave started, stronger than the last. It came on hard. She twisted and thrashed, tensing like she might snap. Her fingers clawed at the tiles of the kitchen floor. Her legs were jelly, useless, they might as well have floated off and left her behind.
When the third wave hit, all she could do was lie back and dissolve, screaming her useless denials as loud as she could, just to confirm that she could still do something.
When the sensations began to fade she was shattered. Every muscle in her body was stretched out, like after a hard yoga session. She crawled into the bedroom and dragged herself up onto the bed. She needed to rest, gather her strength, before calling for an ambulance.
Obviously, the thing had done it to her. People would pay good money for an experience like that. Given the chance, they’d probably queue up to put one of these creatures inside themselves, even if they wouldn’t admit it. It had been a wild ride, that was for sure. But she had to be in control, not helpless, at its mercy. How would she function if unbelievably powerful orgasms could kick-in at any time?
Soon, she’d be ready to move. Just a few moments more…
* * * * *
Eight hours earlier…
Patrice stowed her bag in the overhead locker. Sweat was running down her face. She brushed it away from her eyes, but her vision didn’t clear. She clung to the handle sticking up between the seats. The number was on her ticket, had been in her hand a moment ago, but she couldn’t remember where it was now, probably couldn’t read it anyway.
Somebody moving down the aisle pushed past her, knocked her forward. She stumbled into the space ahead of the seats. Did it matter which was hers? She shuffled across until she was up against the window. If she was in the wrong, the other people could always get her to move. If they didn’t care to complain, that was their problem.
The next thing she knew, a flight attendant was shaking her. “I’m sorry to disturb you. Can you fasten your seatbelt please?”
She clipped the belt shut and closed her eyes again.
When she woke again the plane was almost deserted. The overhead locker was open, and seemed empty. Her bag couldn’t be gone. An electric tingle of alarm ran down the back of her head, trickled down her spine. She reached up on tip-toe and felt around in the back of the locker. Something was there. She pulled at it, dragged it forward. Her carry-on was safe. She finally let herself exhale. Her heart was hammering, her chest tight from the fading panic. If she’d lost that bag she would have been finished.
She turned around to see a flight attendant coming towards her, collecting detritus from the seats. She gripped the edge of the overhead, searching for the strength to move. Her body seemed to be made of lead. It took all her willpower to let go and begin the long walk out of the terminal.
In a daze, she took the airport train to the city center. On arrival, she stumbled out of the station and got into a taxi. She almost fell into the back seat.
The taxi driver eyed her suspiciously.
“You better not be sick. If you’re sick, you have to pay cleaning fee,” he said.
She gripped her bag tight to her lap. “I won’t be sick,” she said. She wasn’t sure if it was true, but nausea wasn’t the problem.
“You better not be sick,” repeated the driver.
“I told you I won’t. I’m just tired. It’s been a long day.”
She gave him the address, half-dozed through the trip home. Except it wasn’t home. She daren’t go back to her house, hadn’t been there for weeks. She was staying in no-questions-asked bedsit, paying cash. It was a hateful place, nothing like her cozy little semi-detached, with its thick carpets that still smelled just a little new.
The pain stopped her sleeping in the taxi, it was becoming harder to endure. She winced every time she moved a muscle in her left side.
She paid the taxi. It sped off in haste. This wasn’t a good part of town, and there would be no fares for him here.
As she fished for her keys, she was reminded that the front door of the flats had a surprisingly solid lock. Her room was upstairs, and the lock on there was less reassuring, inadequate if it weren’t for the other measures. It looked like it had been fitted in the sixties, and had some old-fashioned English company’s name on the catch. They probably hadn’t existed for twenty years.
She let herself in, and clicked on the light. Large black cockroaches scurried away from the feeble light coming from the bare bulb. It was an old fashioned fluorescent type, that took forever to come on properly, and at its best it was poor. For now it barely lit up anything. The roaches vanished under the bed and anything else they could find. Her face twisted in disgust, so tense that it ached. She locked the door behind her, put on the chain, and closed the three heavy bolts.
Indirectly, the indignity of living here was just one more thing that he’d done to her, and it wasn’t the worst, not by a long way.
Her breath misted in the cold air, but she still felt overheated. She went to the sink and filled a tea-stained mug with tepid water. She gulped it down and filled another. Swallowed half that too.
There was a plastic water bottle in her bag. It looked like a half-full bottle of supermarket-brand mineral-water. They rarely made a fuss if you took them on the plane. If they had, she wouldn’t have flown. She pulled it out of the bag and stared at it, brushed the sweat from her eyes again, and blinked trying to clear her fuzzy vision.
She took the lid off the bottle and measured out a cap-full, her hands shaking, almost spilling the tiny dose of liquid before she could tip it into the mug, where it mixed with the identical-looking tap water. She closed up the bottle and put it back in her bag.
Sitting on the edge of the bed, she drained the mug without pausing for breath. At last, the pleasant cool feeling spread through her, radiating out from her stomach. Within a few seconds the tingling sensation changed into a burning heat.
There was nowhere to collapse but the bed. She pushed her sleeping bag onto the floor, hitched her skirt up around her hips and slumped back onto the bare, musty smelling mattress with its shudder-inducing stains. She wasn’t wearing any underwear, for practical reasons. Her hand found her sex instantly. She popped the buttons on her blouse, reached under her camisole, and grabbed her nipple with the other hand.
She tipped her head up, unhooked the cami from her shoulders, and inspected her chest. The black splotch was still there, like a stain, covering the lower part of her right breast. It had moved again, but seeing it there was no surprise. She could feel it burning into her skin, had felt it since it had latched onto her neck, back on the hill with the ruin. Since then it had moved down, first to her nipple, but it now seemed to have abandoned that, and was headed elsewhere. As alarming as the sensation of movement was, it was more worrying that it seemed to have grown.
It had to be some kind of weapon, a trap left by Craine. Fucking Maeve Craine. Everything had gone to pieces since she’d come onto the scene. Just like it had all gone bad five years ago. She’d gone to that island to do what she had to, to kill her, for him. She’d failed, and there would be consequences. Oh, there were always consequences. She’d drunk a lot of the drug, to make her stronger, and oblivious to the pain, because how else could she win a fight against the leggy amazon? Even if she’d stuck a knife into her before she knew what was happening, it might not have been enough, the woman had survived being shot. Looking at her, all lean muscle, it hadn’t been luck that things had gone wrong.
Things had been looking good at that moment. Craine had been relaxing, might have fallen asleep, an easy target, and then that thing had jumped out. Patrice’s hands tensed painfully in frustration, fingers curling into a claw shapes. It had to be one of those terror-weapons used in the middle-east, cooked up by some American arms company. Craine was probably a corporate plant. It made sense. That had to be the real reason he needed her dead so badly.
She grabbed her breast and dug her fingers into the soft flesh, twisted and wrenched at her nipple, the other hand pinched and twisted at her clitoris, but there was no pain from the rough treatment, only pleasure, sweet pleasure. The magic of the sample could even turn the corrosive pain from the black splotch into ecstasy. If it hadn’t been for that she’d never have made it home, she’d be lying on that hill, paralyzed with agony, and hoarse from screaming. But now that the drug was kicking in, her sore breast was on fire with a strangely arousing thrill.
She’d diluted the liquid that she’d diluted already, one bottle-cap-full in a liter of water, and she diluted it the same way again to use it. Three stages of dilution. Working that way, the dose was low enough to keep some kind of control. If grabbing a tiger by the tail was getting it under control. She appreciated it was addictive, had enough self-awareness to notice that she couldn’t stop herself from taking it. The sensation made anything else seem dull and meaningless. But it did things to her head that were worse than the addiction. Hallucinations. That was the only explanation for what she kept seeing. She knew the dangers, had taken precautions, but there were limits. If it could keep her going long enough to save Jess, that would be enough. But the visions were getting more insistent, more intrusive. It was getting harder to distinguish them from reality. If she hadn’t dosed so carefully, she’d probably have lost her mind by now. It was lucky she had it though, somehow, it gave her hope. Where would she have been without it?
He had Jess. It had been weeks now, but he hadn’t hurt her too badly. She had to believe that. She’d made a deal, would make sure that Craine was silenced properly, and would turn the liquid from the bottle over to him, along with herself, once the job was done. That would be the end of her, of course.
He’d wanted the bottle immediately, but the drug had given her the confidence to stand up to him, at least enough to get a better deal. It was only fair that she’d swap herself for her sister, and he’d have his revenge on her. She deserved it. She’d been ready to die, but her mistakes had dragged Jess into his awful orbit, and she was innocent in this. There were other people he could hurt beside Jess, but she mattered most.
Now, with another delay, the deal could fall apart. Craine was still alive. For now… And Jess was still in his hands, being made to do who knows what. If this black stuff proved lethal, she’d never be able to put things right. She was alright for now though. The drug was helping.
It helped her to an orgasm, and it turned pain into pleasure, like the red the street dealers sold. But it was different from the red, stronger, and stranger. It made her feel like she wasn’t herself. After she came, as had happened before, everything was a waking dream. She saw people who weren’t there, thought she was in places that she wasn’t in.
Often she saw Jessica, but her sister’s face kept changing places with others, faces familiar, yet unrecognized, a dark haired woman in her forties, a young blond in a white rubber dress. Their lips moved, speaking words she couldn’t hear. They were often in a place so lonely and beautiful that it made her weep. She looked down from a high cliff at broken, jagged rocks, white breakers crashed against them, and beyond there was a pure blue sea, so clear she could see the bottom far out from the shore, not a boat in sight. It couldn’t be the grubby little tourist island Craine came from, though she’d wondered at first if it might be.
Patrice woke, hot and sweating again. The first fever had come on a few minutes after the black stuff got on her and hadn’t lessened since. Even the drug didn’t make it go away, just transformed the odd floating sensation into pleasure. It had been hours since she’d drunk that last dose and now there was a pain again, debilitating pain.
She sat up. Cold terror trickled down her spine. The black spot, no bigger than five inches across before, had spread to cover her entire left-hand side. She could feel more than that. She fumbled at her back, confirming it was there. Her fingers found its slick surface had spread the entire length of her spine.
She tried to get her fingernail underneath it, but it didn’t work. She tried again and her nail broke. She looked at her hand. Her nails were crumbling, as if they’d been eaten away by some fungal disease. Her fingertips were turning black underneath the skin.
The prickling sensation fired up at the base of her spine. She touched the sore patch with her hand and felt the flawless smoothness slip beneath her fingers. When she pulled her hand back, the black was on her fingers too, slowly spreading before her eyes.
The patch at the base of her spine burned its way downward, creeping down between her buttocks. She convulsed with the pain. It was far worse than the hot wax that one of his customers had poured on her, but the sensation of the liquid trickling across her skin, burning her, was the closest thing she could think of to anchor the unique feeling.
She slid her contaminated fingers into her mouth, biting at the black coating, trying to strip it with her teeth. Even they slid off it uselessly. The tingling pain spread to her lips. It was on her face.
It was eating away at her face, burning into her skin.
Patrice screamed, a long scream of terror.
She screamed again, and again, until her voice cracked and broke.
Nobody came. They wouldn’t in a house like this. After all, she might be being murdered, and they wouldn’t want to walk in on that. The terror didn’t ease. In her heart, she was sure the black rot was eating her methodically, burning her away just slowly enough to make her live long enough to suffer.
She rolled off the bed and fell onto the floor. Her face pressed heavily against the bare boards, dust and hairs sticking to her cheek. She reached blindly into her bag and pulled out the bottle. She could hardly breathe from the heat and pain as she struggled with the cap.
Another scream escaped her lips, a wet, shredded noise from a throat too raw to scream. It was awful to hear a person make a noise like that. The burning had crawled inside her rear opening and was slithering up inside her. The pain was a hundred times as bad as before, burning from the inside. The drug wasn’t enough to mask so much agony.
With numb fingers she wrenched the cap off the bottle and took a huge gulp. Too much drug, far too much. Five milliliters diluted in a mug of water would have been enough. She’d taken many times that. She took another gulp.
The cool relief flooded into her, and she calmly screwed the lid back on the bottle. The momentary chill turned into the tingle. In a few seconds the passion-fire would hit her like a sledgehammer, crushing her willpower like an egg. In the few moments of lucidity, caught between one extreme and another, she could feel the black rot spreading. For a couple of seconds she could feel the tiny tendrils burning their way deep into her, drinking deep of her flesh, infiltrating her veins, and then the drug kicked in properly, and there was only the lust and the need for release.
She plunged her hand into her sex, forcing in one finger, then another, and another, until she had most of her hand in. She grabbed and pulled at the delicate flesh. No, not delicate, it was different now, covered in the black stuff, and nothing she did could hurt her, there was only pleasure. Even as she clenched her fingers almost into a fist, it didn’t hurt, it was just the beginnings of a beautiful experience, reassuringly inevitable.
From nowhere, the blackness poured up over her hand, and plunged inside her sex like a wave. Its speed jerked her out of her pre-cum trance. She ripped her hand away in panic. The black invader felt huge inside her, firm and strangely… Strangely arousing. It was like a man’s cock inside her, but hotter, bigger, firmer. But it didn’t move. Probably a good thing, just when she’d got used to the black poison being slow moving, it had surprised her. What next? It might do anything. Specifically, it might kill her quickly, instead of slowly. She could tolerate anything if she could believe there was still a chance to save Jess, but she might not have time. She might die right now, on this filth-stained mattress.
All she had left was the hope that she’d be ok. Hope hadn’t done her much good so far. What more could she do? The only action that made sense was to drink more of the drug, and that might even make things worse.
It was a gamble, and it took a level of determination she hadn’t known she possessed to get the bottle and drink from it again. She hadn’t taken so much at once before, not even that first time.
As it kicked in, she felt like her existence was an incredibly thin wire, white hot with all the heat in the world passing through it at once, and forever.
She didn’t doubt the drug had changed her in ways she couldn’t even guess, was changing her still. She was aware how numb it left her. Empty. Hollowed out. A puppet with no strings and no audience, waiting for the performance to begin.
A few seconds later, the glistening black goo that covered her began to seethe and bubble like boiling tar. There was a strong smell, smoke rising, catching in her throat, and a hissing sound. Where it touched her clothes it dissolved them, where it touched the bed it ate into that too. Before she could react she had sunk through the melted mattress and was stuck in it, glued into the ruin.
She tried to sit up, but when she put her hands down to push herself up, they went through the bed base, like it was made of soggy cardboard, leaving her arms trapped, stuck through the holes. If it kept on going, she might drop right through the floor, into the room below.
The squirming blackness quickly engulfed her body, her chest completely covered, then her belly, her hips, her crotch, her legs all dripping with melted black rubber. She couldn’t see her feet, but they no longer felt like hers. They were throbbing with pleasure, and beneath that masking pleasure of the drug, had to be the pain of it devouring her flesh.
It was moving up her neck, up the back of her head. It swallowed up her hair, like it had eaten away her clothes, and when her hair was gone, thick black strands of the sticky stuff flowed down, alive, questing like blind worms, dissolving everything they touched.
On her face, the pleasure, and thus the damage had spread outward from her lips. Something was gumming up her eyes. How much longer could she survive this?
Like a geyser, a fountain of blackness burst up out of her mouth, replacing her tongue, the black rain poured down and covered her face, and her awareness was focused inwards onto the pulsing hot column plunging into her mouth, plugging it like an invading cock, or an over-inflated pump gag full of boiling water. Her nose was filled with sticky fluid, and she was breathing in the burning liquid darkness, drowning in it.
It was only the bliss of the orgasm that stopped the terror being more than she could endure. Or was that a lie? Could she endure so much more than she thought, and still keep on suffering more? Could she suffer like this for eternity, invaded, seared, consumed and pleasured, all at once.
As abruptly as it had started, the seething bubbling stopped. The glossy black coating settled into a mirror-smooth surface, covering her like a flawless second skin, or given the way it had etched itself into her, there could be no skin left beneath, only wounds and charred flesh. The pleasure was still so overwhelming it took all her effort to force simple thoughts through it, so underneath that ecstasy had to be pain beyond enduring.
The bed had stopped melting, and she wrenched her right arm free from the hole it had made. She rolled over and pulled her other arm free, and climbed out of the blackened carcass that had been a bed.
She staggered over to the worm-eaten wardrobe, a remnant of the fifties, checked her reflection in the tarnished mirror.
Her body was emaciated, thin, breasts flattened, her body, arms, legs, hands and feet, everywhere, skin replaced with a flawless black surface, the darkness so deep, and so smooth she could see a distorted image of the room reflected in it. But where her face ought to be, there was nothing but a featureless dark sphere. She had no eyes, no ears, no mouth, and yet she could see. She had no features at all. That was probably why she could no longer scream.
story continued in part 6