She came to my window a few nights ago, dressed in a virginal white nightgown which clung tightly to her supple body. Her dark auburn hair flowed liquidly over her shoulders and shimmered in the pale light of the full moon. Her eyes were dark and sparkling, her pink lips gleamed and her bare feet, nails polished purple, rested in a dark green tuft of dewy grass below my window. Her bosom heaved under the thin dress; I could see the dark rings of her nipples beneath.

“Let me in,” she purred, looking sweetly up at me. She could see only my sweaty, naked torso, which was good, for under my boxer shorts, I was immensely aroused.

Veronica said something else, but I didn’t catch the words. The tone of her sweet, seductive voice mingled with the orchestral cricket noise, concocting a beautiful symphony. I could smell the light scent of her lavender perfume, wafting up from her and into my ready nostrils. When my eyes drifted lazily down to the V neck of her dress and saw the gold, heart shaped pendent that I had given her for her twelfth birthday years ago, hanging low between her breasts, I nearly died.

“Let me in,” she repeated softly, gazing deeply into my eyes, seeming to peer into my soul, sensing my arousal.

I look from left to right, paranoid, and saw nothing and no one save the late summer grass and the dark wraparound forest, colored palely in the moonlight. High in the black sky, the pregnant moon hung lowly, illuminating the dark land. There was no one awake in my house (which I shared only with my invalid mother) and there was no one around to see me, a man of twenty-one allowing a half naked fifteen year old into my room at midnight. I looked to my left, the digital clock on my dresser confirmed in red neon that it was, in fact, the witching hour.

I looked back down at Veronica’s upturned face, my heart racing and my breathing coming in shallow gasps. My stomach knotted and my penis thumped with hot desire. Even though the summer breeze outside could not have been lower than seventy-five degrees, it felt like something from the Arctic as it blew against my feverish body. Just a few moments ago, I had been peacefully reading a cheap paperback mystery by dim lamplight, and now I felt as if I were on fire. From head to toe, neck to twisting stomach, I burned. And it was worse in one certain place, I could feel, feel the heat arising from my boxer shorts in sickening waves. I closed my eyes, licked my dry lips and tried to force myself to calm down. I was a virgin, a perpetually randy type of man, and up until that night, I’d never even been in a situation that might have ended with me and a girl in bed; the only action that I’d ever had was from myself, after spending time gawking at pretty young things, whether they were in one of my high school classes or just passing on the street. In the wintertime it wasn’t so bad, but when summer rolled around, I was usually a horn dog from hell. Whenever I walked down the street in town, my eyes were glued to the firm, muscular legs of girls and women in short shorts. I hated when they wore stuff like that, while walking I was libel to run into a lamp post or a street sign. I hated that. I didn’t want to be a pervert who had nothing better to do with his time than drool over passing women who didn’t even notice him anyway. I had been doing fine since I had sworn that kind of perversion off at the beginning of the summer, I didn’t think at all about sex, I averted my eyes every time that I passed an appealing woman in town, and I even took cold showers every night; but that night, all of the pent up pressure and lust, which had accumulated over time, must have surfaced when Veronica came over, and it was burning me to death!

“What’s up?” I nearly croaked as I leaned on the cold stone window sill and looked down at the stunning creature below me, thoughts of rubbing her arched back and licking her ear, making dirty love and doing unspeakable things to her ran though my head. I found that I could not look her in the eyes; I feared that she would see those thoughts swirling around in my brain and would leave, revolted. Everything from anal sex to oil laden massages and steam bubble baths stood before my mind’s eye. I could vividly imagine it.

“Let me in,” she said again, a sly smile crossing her pink glossed lips, “I wanna see you, wanna talk and….” she trailed off, still smiling.

I desperately wanted her then. It drove me crazy the way that the dew shone in the cold moonlight on her slender feet, the way that her halo like hair surrounded her slightly angler face, the way that her chest swelled, the curve of her back, the… way that she looked at me. Innocently upon first inspection, but I could see what I was shocked to find was lustful desire in her dark eyes. At seeing this, my own lust and desperation swelled within me. I could hardly breathe.

I had known this young girl all of her life. I had chummed around with her older brother, Tommy, when we were kids. The Wilson family lived in a small rustic cabin along a stretch of gravel road about half a mile beyond the forest, which sat the length of a football field directly across from my window, where the gravel road met the main highway, a honky-tonk roadhouse, which was filled with noisy drunks from dusk ‘till dawn, sat forlornly. Whenever I had spent the night with Tommy, as we used flashlights to read comic books, we could hear the loud sounds of country music and drunks being…drunks. Ye-haws, and wha-hooos, could be heard at night for miles around, and Tommy’s house was only a mile or two down the wooded lane from the bar.

Now Tommy was dead, along with his mother, both killed in a horrible highway mishap out on lonely Route 10 just three autumns ago. There had been a log truck going to the mill in Culpeper from Picketts Meade, when the load of giant tree trunks, jostled about against weak chains for God knows how long, let go. The police found the family’s Intrepid under a pile of the offending logs, mother and son skewed like shish kabobs. Now Veronica, who I had had a childish crush on since she was twelve and I was sixteen, lived alone with her father, who drained several six packs of beer everyday in an attempt to drown his sorrows. For her birthday before her brother and mother had met their death on the highway, I had presented her with a small golden heart attached to a small chain; her initials were inscribed on the inside. I had not seen her since the summer before, as she walked down the side of the road, I had given her a ride into town, and she had seemed depressed and fidgety. How she had grown in that one year period! She was always beautiful, but that night, she was as dazzling as a supernova.

As if reading my mind, Veronica whispered, “I haven’t seen you in such a long time, I want to get to know you again.” The soft, seductive words were dripping with innuendo.

I took a deep breath and replied, “Okay, but you gotta be quiet, my mom’s asleep.”

Veronica giggled, “I’ll try.”

My heart leapt.

I leaned out the window while Veronica reached up her shapely arms. I gripped her under the arms and lifted her meager weight; she assisted by moving her feet up the side of the house like a monkey. I could smell the sweet scents of shampoo and perfume and soap. She wrapped her arms around my neck; I clutched her heart shaped buttocks and heaved. We spilled backward onto the floor, her on top of me as if I were a horse and she a juvenile cowgirl. Though the thin fabric of my underwear, I could feel the wet heat of her. My heart thumped and I nearly moaned. She sat straddled atop me, smiling sweetly, “Hi, long time no see.”

I was about to reply, but Veronica lightly scratched my stomach with her long finger nails, and hooked them into the waistband of my boxers.

She helped me shrug out of them, and then removed her cotton dress, revealing her tan, firm young body, her pink nipples hard and erect.

Without speaking, our sizzling lips met and we held the kiss for what felt like an hour, our molten saliva mingling and no doubt some of the sweet concoction ran down from our working mouth like lava, but neither of us noticed; we were so caught up in the passion of the moment, we were like mindless animals.

When the kiss broke, my damp lips tasted of her cherry lip gloss. Her face hung bare inches from my, her hair hanging down on either side of my head, enshrouding us in our own, secrete world. Her smell was everywhere.

“I love you,” I blurted, panting, and immediately felt stupid.

Veronica giggled sweet music, “I love you too.”

We didn’t even move to the bed.

She left me at dawn, reeling and utterly exhausted from the encounter . But, I had to be at work at eight, so I showered and dressed. Mom was still asleep when I left the house. For a long moment I stood on the tiny stone front porch, looking around at the beautiful rural landscape and the amazing blue sky above. Birds were singing and not a cloud obscured the heavens. It was already dreadfully hot, and I was sweating profusely as I strutted over to my old blue station wagon, which sat on the short brown grass of the side lawn. As I opened the door, I stopped to look at the sun washed forest sprawled out in the direction from which I had just come. I was surprised to find myself whistling a light, cheery tune.

The movement of my car on the gravel road left a tan cloud of dust in my wake, specks of earth found their way in to my mouth and coated my sunglasses, but the AC was broken and if I had rolled the windows up, I would have baked alive within five minutes.

The dense foliage and underbrush broke on the right side and revealed a tiny patch of land, overgrown with weeds and young saplings. A rusted hunk sat at the edge of the tiny clearing, overgrown by thick weeds and vines. The tiny wooden structure looked coal black, ivy grew up the splintered walls, and a few panes of glass to an upstairs bedroom unoccupied for three years were shattered.

God, I thought as I passed the Wilson homestead, her old man must be really bad off. Somewhere, behind one of those unbroken windows, slept Veronica. For a split second, after I had left the cabin in my dust, my chest was filled with dull anger. She deserved better than that, she didn’t need to live in her alcoholic father’s squalor. Didn’t he see what an angel his daughter was? How could he spend all day in a drunken stupor and leave his beautiful, precious daughter to her own devices. I mean, she could hook up with…

A twenty-one year old man.

I felt guilty for a while after that. I mean, I was a grown man and I let some teenage girl practically seduce me, what a sack of shit. And Veronica, how dangerous for her! What if I had turned out to be some kind of Ted Bundy or something? With her father out of commission much of the time, one day she may sneak out and meet someone like that. She needed care, not a piece of drunken shit like her old man.

I pushed these fraternal thoughts from my mind and belittled myself: you weren’t very fraternal last night when she was riding you like a mechanical bull, and switched on the radio. I listened to a classic rock station out of southern Maryland, but I didn’t hear the music. My mind was on Veronica. I thought of what must be her horrid living conditions, and I worried about her safety. But mostly, I thought of her nudity.

All that day, I was useless at work. I was either near falling down dead, or deep in thought, thinking of Veronica, lusting for her, wanting to see her again. All day hot desire burnt within me. And all of this, the tiredness and zoning out, was worse because I worked as a caretaker’s assistant at a local cemetery. So, while my boss, a crude, little seventy-year-old man from up north named William Avis, sat back and supervised, I cut grass, weed-whacked, and mended the chain link fence which enclosed the sprawling necropolis. On a good day, I would leave work at sundown tired and ready for bed, but that Tuesday, I didn’t think that I’d even make it home.

When I returned home, I fixed a quick dinner for my mother, who was napping on the couch in the ashy living room, her empty wheelchair sitting hatefully by. When done, I left a covered plate on the oak table and switched the light on. I set a Coke nearby and some silverware and a brief note for my mother. After all of this, at around eight, I flopped into bed and slept until, at midnight by the clock on my dresser, I was awakened by a soft clink at my window.

My eyes thumped painfully within their sockets, my mouth was dry, and my head throbbed dully. I slowly got off of the bed and onto sore, aching feet, my back stiff and my arms watery. I cursed Mr. Avis as I hobbled over to the window and raised it.

Below, in the dewy midnight grass and glowing radiantly in the midnight moon, stood Veronica, seemingly more striking than she had been the night before. Her eyes shone and her skin was illuminated with its own beauty, she seemed a lamp glowing in the dark night. Her auburn hair was pulled tightly back in a ponytail, and she wore a short yellow tank top, a tiny pair of pink cotton shorts and a pair of purple sandals. Tonight, she wore a belly button ring and when she spoke, I could see a small steel ball on her pink tongue. I shivered, imagining what it would feel like as the ball, and the attached tongue slid wetly over my body. I began to feel as I had the night before.

“Let me in,” she said softly.

I painfully hesitated, “Hey, I’m really tired…I worked out in the sun all day and didn’t sleep at all last night, I don’t think I can.”

“Oh come on,” she giggled, her face aglow, “you’d rather sleep than play?”

I thought of it; oh how I wanted to play! But I was exhausted, and the thoughts that I had had of Veronica upon passing her father’s rat nest in the woods came flooding back to me. She was just a girl! She wasn’t even a flower, and that was my fault! My perverted ass was the one who had taken her virginity. I felt horrible at that moment, as I leaned on the window sill and looked down into Veronica’s eyes. I felt that I was a pedophile, a man who couldn’t get a woman his own age, so he turned to a young, naive child for his pleasure. Like those men on To Catch a Predator, I was a lurking beast; if only Chris Hanson were here to see me. But, was I a predator? I wasn’t the one who had sought this affair out, I had been happily reading a book when she came knocking at my window, and here she was, back for more. And, was it really wrong? She was old enough to know what she was doing, her body was old enough to be loved in that special way that only a man can love a woman, and damn it, she was obviously old enough to want it.

But then again, I was still bushed. The thought of any sort of strenuous activity, even for as little as an hour, filled me with a want to pass out on the spot. But, I felt myself stirring nonetheless. Despite my condition, I relented and nodded.

“Okay, just…let’s make it quick.”

She smiled.

I invited her in.

When dawn came and she left, climbing out of the window like an old WWII movie paratrooper, I resolved that I would rather blow my brains out than go to work and toil all day in the August sun like a slave on a Georgia plantation. My eyes were dry and aching monstrously, my nose was running, and my body only wanted to lie in rest; moving hurt.

But, needing the cash some kind of bad, I showered, dressed and drove down the dirt road, nearly weeping. I worked all morning and took lunch at noon. I rode down to Hectorville, a small town that would not be out of place in a Great American Novel, and parked in one of spaces in the gravel parking lot before the town diner.

I killed the engine and leaned my sweaty head back on the thin head rest. I closed my eyes and sighed deeply. The next thing I knew, the sun was low in the sky and warm light the color of blood bathed my face. I was still depleted, but I felt much better than I had in the morning.

“Shit!” I hissed and smacked the leather covered steering wheel with my open palms. Realizing that I had slept most of the afternoon, never returning to work and no doubt drawling puzzled attention from the diner’s patrons, my heart leapt. “Goddamn!”

I fished around in the hip pocket of my tan work pants and found enough change to place a phone call.

The pay phone sat next to a large plate glass window that looked into the diner, which looked just about like every other of its kind in the country. There was a long lunch counter before which sat low stools where men who looked like truckers and lumberjacks salt hunched over, revealing their broad backs to the world, drinking coffee and chowing down on lunch…dinner, damn, I was pissed at my own weakness and stupidly, and also afraid of Mr. Avis’s reaction to my going AWOL.

I dropped the coins into the change slot and dialed Mr. Avis’s office phone; my head hung in shame and my mind racing, damning myself. When the old man picked up and barked, “Yeah, Chesterfield cemetery!” I nearly fainted. The old bastard, all of five feet of him, sounded livid; he’d properly spent the afternoon boozing it up and cultivating his anger. I could imagine him sitting behind his cheap, thrift store desk, pulling swigs from a bottle of whiskey and muttering curses under his breath. Just from the sound of his voice, slurred and quivering, I also ascertained that he had done no work in my absence. Even had he been sober, he would have waited until I decided to come back and pick up where I left off. After all, I was his slave boy.

“It’s me Mr. Avis, listen…”

“You little son of a bitch! Where the hell you been all day?”

“I…I’ve been kind of sick the past few days, and when I pulled up to the diner here, I passed out behind the wheel, I just woke up.” I took a deep breath, my heart was thumping, awaiting his reply, I was sure that he would tell me to go home, get some rest, and then go get another job. But I should have known better, he was a sloppy drunk, and he was criminally tight. Sometimes behind his back, me and Richard Desmond, a Mexican national who had worked with us before going to prison for selling cocaine out of his Warrenton apartment, had called him Scrooge McDick, because he was miserly like the cartoon character, and a grade A asshole. He treated us like crap and underpaid us for the effort. Now that Richard was in the clink, I made better money, but I was also taking abuse for two men; I felt like Curly Howard from The Three Stooges.

He mulled over what I said for a moment, and then replied, “What do ya have? Nuttin’ too bad I hope.”

“I think it’s just a touch of the flu,” I said simply.

“Well, take a few day off, don’t bring that shit my way, I can make do without ya for a day or so, you ain’t that good a worker anyway.”

Yeah, fuck you too old man, I thought, but kept my mouth shut.

He hung up and that was all, I drove home in shame, feeling like a loser and a failure.

When Veronica came by that night, looking as if she literally glowed in the night, dressed in a short white skirt and a pink top, I didn’t even hesitate. How could I? God, I had never seen such a striking woman in my life. It seemed that she was more beautiful every night. She was blushing with life; I could never say no to her.

That night, it was one-hundred times better than the night before, and two-hundred times better than the first night. I was lost in her, and I went until dawn, and still wanted more.

She came to my window every night that week. I slept all day and spent all night with Veronica. Back when I had been a virgin, I thought that after being with a woman a few times, I would become jaded to sex, but with her, that wasn’t the case, I felt like the Energizer Bunny. We sampled every act know to man, but Veronica’s favorite position was her on top and me on bottom.

I was utterly drained after our encounters, during sex I was a beast, but when the sun rose, I was weak and exhausted. By Friday night, that condition began to bleed though and affect my performance. I was content after about five minutes, but Veronica, like a daemon, stayed straddled upon me, bucking.

I don’t remember Saturday night at all, but when I awoke at sunset on Sunday, my back was sore, my pelvis was sore, and there was dried blood on my rumpled sheets. I nearly collapsed; my watery legs wouldn’t support me. In the mirror in the bathroom, under harsh florescent lights, I saw that there were long red scratch marks up and down my back and on my buttocks. I was also surprised to find that I had a black eye, and that my face, once hale and healthy, was now gaunt and pale, I had a growth of stubble on my chin and my blue eyes had turned red, like vessels in there had burst.

After a long moment of gazing at myself in the mirror, horrified, a flashback of Saturday flickered across my mind: Veronica atop me, slamming her fist into my face while bouncing up and down as hard as she could, as if she was trying to break my penis.

She didn’t come at midnight, and I silently thanked God, I was falling apart. It was then that I began to worry and fear. I was in a bad way physically, and I felt as if each breath were my last. I decided that I didn’t want our affair to continue. I was sick of it. The first few times had been fine, but now, I was damn sick and tired of feeling like a Romero zombie. I wanted to go back to work; I wanted to keep regular hours; I wanted my normal life back.

I dressed slowly, for my entire body was sore, in a pair of jeans and a white T-shirt. I was going to go over to her house to break it off. And, if worse came to worst, I would tell her father so he could put a stop to her nocturnal sexcapades, although I knew that he probably wouldn’t care who or what his daughter was doing.

I don’t really want to admit it, but I was afraid of her, even back then, before I knew what I know now. No one can blame me for being scared of her now, but back then, I was still under the impression that she was just a normal teenaged aged, possibly a nymphomaniac, but harmless. But, in some small way, I was afraid of her that night. I mean, I felt as if a damn tractor-trailer had slammed into me. I was also afraid that since Veronica was…slutty (for lack of a better word), she might also be crazy. Maybe if I ended our relationship, she would turn up on my doorstep one moonlit night, sheer hate written on her face, making it ugly, with a butcher’s knife in her hand and castration on her mind.

I quietly drove over to Veronica’s house, the swaying of the car nearly made me carsick; it was an epic battle to keep my gummy eyes open and focused on the road before me.

When I reached her property, I pulled slowly into the grassy yard, my headlights splashing across the forest and weeds which encroached on the tiny clearing; I could see the yellow night eyes of tiny animals watching me. The house was dark and still.

A cool fragrant breeze washed over my sweaty face as I carefully walked thought the night like a blind man. In the meager, cold moonlight, I saw that several of the steps leading up to the porch were missing. I overstepped these, the splintered railing trembling loosely in my hand.

I stood on the crumbling porch for a moment, listening to the thumping pulse of country music rising from the Roadhouse beyond the forest. The wood groaned under my booted foot, threatening to send my crashing. Tired, in agony, and a bit pissed off at Veronica for the way that she had treated my body the night before, I banged on the dry rotted door the way that a police officer with a warrant would. There was no movement from inside, no approaching footfalls or muttered curses, an alcoholic angry at being awaken at such an ungodly hour, perhaps. The only sound was the night noises of crickets, the rustle the trees, and the country music. I banged again.

The door split open in two decayed pieces. I looked at this a bit crestfallen, afraid that I would have to pay for the damages. But in a moment, after the rich, earthy smell of decomposition floated out of the ruined door and into my nostrils, I knew that the place was empty, not even a filthy rummy could live in such squalor. Like a million retards before me in the movies, I stepped tentatively in.

The place was as dark as a mineshaft at midnight; it was an evil, unnatural darkness, like hate personified. The floor was mush under my feet, there were rats thumping in the walls, and the entire place gave off an aura of death and emptiness.

“Veronica!” I called loudly, my voice echoing as if I were in a cave. I was worried deeply about her. I was still a little mad at what she had done to me, but suddenly a flood of consuming worry filled me, my heart sped up and horrible thoughts filled my head. Where was she? What had happened? Did they move? That had to be it, she and her father could not stand to live in a house populated with memories of their two dead loved ones, so they packed up and moved, and she just neglected to tell me about it.

I would have believed that, I would have went home and went to bed, had I not took one more step into the house, had I just turned and gone, I would have been fine, though frightfully unaware of what Veronica really was.

I took another step onto what felt like spongy swamp ground, and the floor gave out on me. I fell, screaming and pin wheeling my arms, though the floor in a shower of rotting boards and dirt. I hit the stone floor of the cellar and was covered in raining debris. I could have been seriously injured in the fall, or by the rubbish, but luckily, the basement floor was padded with dirt, where green weeds grew, and the wood tore like tissue paper, posing no danger.

I pushed myself up with weak arms and stood, almost toppling over backwards. I at once saw the door at the top of another rotted staircase, which lead outside. Though it, I could see a square of black sky and millions of tiny stars splattered across. I made to leave, but the presence of someone made itself known. My eyes were adjusted to the darkness, so when I made a quick spin, taking in the whole room, I saw the dark form in the corner, lying flat atop something like a trunk; shrouded in weak green light. I gulped hard, and curiously made my way forward. I fumbled my silver Zippo from my hip pocket and lit it; a tiny globe of orange filled the stone space. When I was close, and the light fell upon the figure, I saw what it was, who it was. She may have been dead, just recently murdered by a madman, or she could have succumbed to some sickness. I don’t know why superstitious terror filled me when I saw Veronica reposing atop the trunk, hands folded upon her still chest, but at once I was petrified. She wore a simple white gown and nothing else.

She was the most beautiful, yet frightening, thing that I had ever seen; she wasn’t breathing, yet I knew she was alive, she didn’t look like a corpse, her cheeks were a lively pink, as were her lips,, and… corpses don’t have presence, which she did. I screamed and dropped my lighter, plunging the basement into sackcloth like black.

I fled, but could not outrun the realization that the ghastly green glow was coming from Veronica. I ran all the way home across the vast moonlit land, not even noticing until I was home and behind locked doors that I had forgotten my car.

I walked back down the dirt road early the next morning to retrieve my station wagon. I also resolved that I was going back into the basement, to see if the previous night’s scene had been real, or only a warped product of my sleep deprivation. I desperately hoped for the latter, but knew with a sickening dread that it was the former.

The sun was shining and the birds were singing. I reached the shack and entered though the side basement door with a tight chest and labored breathing. It was already blisteringly hot out, and descending into the dark cellar was like dipping into a cold creek, it was at least fifteen degrees cooler. I found the hole in the roof (floor) though which I had crashed, and the disturbed dirt from my feet, and the trunk, an old gray steamer type thing, sitting in the corner, no Veronica atop. I went over there and felt the splintered wood with my hands, nothing. Just to be sure, I knelt in the cushy dirt and lifted the trunk’s lid.

There laid Veronica, totally breathtaking. How can a man describe that kind of beauty in words? All that I can say is this: angels would bow to her. Her hair was like brown fire and her skin was shockingly smooth. Her face, the little nose, the small, pink mouth and the closed, purple shadowed eye lids, was the face of perfection itself. Her bare legs shined with their own natural light, and her toes, God, even her toes were unbelievably beautiful!

But there was also something frightening about her beauty, something that I couldn’t place. I thought of the way that I looked in the mirror and, yes, now I knew that Veronica was more stunning than she ever was before. But even as these thoughts washed over my mind, as horrid revelations loomed shockingly close to the light of realization, my eyes themselves were crawling over her smooth, radiant skin, from painted toe to mahogany hair. I was more than merely turned on; I was enraptured; never before on this earth had I seen such a beautiful human being, male or female.

For a long time, I’m not exactly sure how long, I knelt silently in the soft dirt, transfixed by the gorgeous woman lying sweetly before me, lost in her unearthly beauty. My breath caught in my throat and my pounding heart gradually slowed. It was as if my body was powering down, as if I was dying, but it was a pleasant feeling. I felt no weariness, no pain, nothing. The world began to gray and waver around me, as if it had been nothing but a screen of smoke all along. My eyes strained, I didn’t blink and didn’t breathe, I felt nothing save for desire like a hot lead in my stomach. I was nearly hypnotized, nearly defenseless.

Then her eye lids flew open and the illusion was shattered like a pane of brittle glass, at once the arousal and profound inner peace that I had felt was replaced with sickening terror. My heart leapt against my chest as if it were trying to escape, and I let out the breath pent up within my bursting lungs (had I held it the entire time?) in a shocked gasp; my stomach knotted painfully.

For Veronica’s eyes were an inky, soulless black, or rather some satanic shade darker than black. There was no whiteness at all, nothing but unmolested dark, yet I could feel Veronica’s oppressive gaze, it was hateful, but worse, it was lustful.

I jumped to my feet with surprising speed and fell back a step, nearly losing my balance. I was panting as if I had just completed a marathon and I feared that I was done, that a heart attack would claim me. I wanted to run away from the basement, to flee from the Wilson household, but my feet were rooted to the floor, I couldn’t move. The only sound that I could hear was the deafening roar of blood pounding against my temples.

Before my horrified, saucer-wide eyes, Veronica gracefully arose from the trunk without moving a muscle; she just stood up straight, stiff as a board, like Count Dracula had in some old movie I’d seen. Her head swiveled bonelessly as if her neck was broken, and her horrible, midnight gaze fixed upon me. Her pink lips were turned up at the corners.

She stepped out of the trunk, corpse quiet, and stood facing me hungrily; her eyes narrowed and her lips quivering. She lurched forward with her arms outstretched like Frankenstein’s Monster, and at that moment my paralysis broke. I turned on my heels and fled as fast as my weary legs would allow, screaming incoherently all the way. I slipped and fell several times in the tall grass of the yard before I climbed into my car and backed out into the road in a squeal of tires, watching the corner of the dilapidated house. Some small part of me wanted to see her coming, wanted to see her burst into flames like a cheap cinema vampire, but she didn’t show, so I gunned the engine and sped home in a frantic flight of terror. I hit my own driveway two minutes later, doing better than ninety miles per hour.

She came to my window last night, but I didn’t let her in; I was weak and afraid. My refusal to open up made no difference, she stayed out there all night, whispering my name and tapping on the pane, which I had earlier covered with a blanket tacked to the wall. How she was able to reach the window, which sits three or so feet above her head, I don’t know, but she did. All night I had to listen to her out there, purring my name and tapping on the window, or throwing small pebbles, clicking them against the glass. “Let me in baby,” “I’m so horny, let me in,” she said all night, as I sat on my bed, back against the wall, watching the window, awaiting the moment that it blew in and she stood before me, evil and sex starved, ready to have her way with me.

My heart thumped and I took shallow breaths for fear of her hearing me. I didn’t move at all, I just sat with an open Bible in my lap, dividing my time between reading bits of Scripture and watching the window.

Why didn’t she go elsewhere for her vampiric needs? I was already exhausted and nearly drained of life, so why keep after me? But the point was moot, I knew why. That…thing didn’t just want my sex or my life force or anything, it wanted my soul, every last drop of life left in me; it wanted me dead, it wanted the job finished.

I had read of the succubus somewhere, and no all of Veronica’s innocuous habits suddenly made dreadful sense. She liked being on top during sex, which was frowned upon in the Bible (somewhere it said that women should not wear men’s clothes, which meant taking the dominate roll in love-making) and she came each night at midnight on the nose. Oh, and the day she didn’t come? Sunday.

Crazy, I know, really crazy, but what else could explain her actions? I may not be very convincing with words, but…to have looked into Veronica’s evil, black insect eyes…there’s no doubt in my mind about what she is. A sex starved teen? Do all horny teens have black eyes and glow in the dark, while sleeping in a makeshift coffin?

Anyway, when the clock on my nightstand glowed 6:15 AM in red, I heard Veronica’s low voice from outside say, “I’ll be back tonight,” not threatening, not angry or huffy, just making a hurried statement. After that she was gone. I waited for fifteen minutes before I left my bed and drew back the blanket and looked at the morning landscape, bathed in orange and purple light. The tall brown grass swayed in the early morning breeze and the forest stood silently, black with shadows, in the distance.

Veronica was nowhere in sight.

She’ll come to my window tonight, it is already dusk and the forest which hides her evil abode is but a dark blur rising into the dark blue sky. Millions of crickets sing their enchanting night song, lulling and peaceful. There is a slight breeze, cool, as if it had blown all the way into mid-August from mid-September. I can smell the sweet grasses and flowers, but I can also smell sickly sweet perfume; Veronica’s brand.

I’ll let her in when she comes at midnight, but I won’t let her out come morning. I think that I’ll introduce her heart to a carving knife.

I just hope that I have the strength to do it.

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