I bit my lip, running my fingers through my hair. Fuck, I need a drink. There was nothing to do in this God-forsaken place.
Hell. There was no need to beat around the bush; this was Hell and I had earned my ticket a long time ago.
“Manchester, England, across the Atlantic Sea,” I hummed the lyrics out loud as I leaned against the tree. It was a silly song, from an equally silly musical that I had the pleasure of watching as (a much too young) child. “I’m a genius- genius. I believe in God. I believe that God believes in Claude, that’s me.” Yeah, I wish. At this point, dying in the Vietnam war would be like Disneyland, every birthday party and losing my virginity all rolled into one.
“David?” A familiar voice, called to me; a sensual, Latina accent with the tough-as-nails spirit of a New Jersey native.
“Hello, Ms. Romero.”
Jane Romero was a unique woman; a tall powerful beauty, she was a former actress, television host, and daughter of a major star.
I had been standing by the tree line, trying to get in a moment of silence when suddenly she appeared. Not that I minded.
“You okay, David? I was looking for you by the bonfire.”
“Oh, sorry. I must have been asleep on my feet.: I turned and shook her hand. “Always glad to see a friendly face.” The last thing I remembered from my mortal life, was driving off into the darkness, nothingness, and then awakening in Hell. That was the thing we bonded over; Jane had also driven off the road. Only Jane didn’t believe we were actually dead.
“I get it, there’s not a lot to do here.” The professional influencer stood around in her suit and heels; it was the clothes she had ‘gone missing’ in, the uniform of her previous life. Jane flinched, blinking her eyes, as she crossed her arms.
“You feeling a chill, luv?” It was clear to me she was on edge; something bad was coming, most likely another trial.
“I guess so,” her voice betrayed a sense of exhaustion. “Nothing we can’t handle.” She forced a chuckle. “Because whoever’s holding us here wants to keep us alive.”
“Hey,” I said, placing a comforting hand on her arm. “You like asking questions, right?”
“What?” Jane blinked a single tear from her beautiful dark eyes. “I was a host, not a reporter,” Jane replied. Her voice was annoyed but she ended her statement with a slight smile.
“Fair enough,” I said, holding her hand. Her skin felt warm and soft; comforting like the holy mother, while radiating exotic sexuality. “Ask me a question, anything you ever wanted to know?”
“Anything,” I replied with a look of confidence. We had been trapped for so long, I felt like we already talked about everything there was to say. I was genuinely curious.
“So, tell me, why do you walk with a limp?”
I stand corrected. “I don’t know what you mean.” I hadn’t walked with a noticeable limp since grade school. (At least I assumed I hadn’t. My usual circle of friends would have kept that observation to themselves.)
“Fine, then. I guess I’ll be going.” Jane shrugged and turned away.
I was not about to release her hand. “I guess I’ve became used to the chronic pain and assumed the rest of my body would compensate.”
That seemed to be enough to keep her attention. “How did it happen; bar fight, rugby match?”
I couldn’t help but laugh at the stereotype. It would be like me asking her if she enjoyed margaritas and Taco Bell food. But as she spoke, she held both my hands, forcing me to look into her eyes. It was like a siren or a goddess staring directly at my soul. “I broke my leg when I was a boy, it never healed right.”
Jane nodded, pursing her lips in deep contemplation. “Are you in pain?”
“That depends on your definition of pain.” I hadn’t been in pain for well over a decade, but the mention of it caused a burning sensation to emanate from my knee.
“Do you still think we’re all dead?” Jane added as if trying to prove a point.
“I think it’s my turn to ask you a question.”
Jane laughed. “How about no.”
“I just want to get to know you.” I said in a coy whisper as I played with a lock of her hair. “Is that a crime?”
“For you, maybe.” Jane moved in closer, hovering her lips close to mine. It was as if she was trying to decide if she wanted to take full advantage of the situation. “Then again, we’re already in hell. Do your worst.”
“Okay, let’s see.” I scratched my chin. I knew a little about her history. Did I want to ask something kind? (A question that might garner a smile or even a kiss.) Or something that might get me slapped in the face?
“Well, hurry up,” she said with a giggle. “It’s not like we have all day to just stand around.”
As it turns out, I’m a bit of a masochist. “Tell me about your mum.”
Jane scoffed. “Why?”
Now it was my turn to shrug. “No reason.” But unlike her, I wasn’t planning on walking away. “My old man beat me; when he was drunk, sober, tired, or frustrated. You might say I’ve already been to Hell.”
“So?” she asked, with her hands on her hips.
I figured if she was actually pissed, she would have crossed her arms, or perhaps punched me in the face, so I continued. “I just wanted to learn about the history of your personal Hell.”
Jane crossed her arms, pursed her lips, looking like a disappointed grade school teacher. And then she laughed. “Don’t act like you don’t already know. I mean really, the media was up my ass for the entire time. I think that was my Hell.”
“The after math, but not the event?”
“The fact that a man from England knows about the most embarrassing moment of my life: yes, I can say with confidence, yes.” Jane went silent. I could tell by her expression she was trying to be mad, but in doing so, she was forced to hold back laughter. The situation was all kinds of ridiculous.
I nodded, fully willing to reveal what I knew via the European tabloids. “After meeting your a-list celebrity mother for the first time in over a decade.” I paused squinting my eyes in scrutiny. “No, it was much longer than that. You were pretty much dumped on your father to raise.”
“I wouldn’t say dumped.” In her eyes there was a sense of longing. Her father had been more of a man then most.
“Of course not, your father was a good man. That’s who you were driving to see when you disappeared and were never seen again?” I phrased it as a question, as opposed to a statement.
“You want to know about my mother?” Jane scoffed, blinking tears from her eyes. “I’d rather have a parent who beat me than an arrogant, narcissist who abandons their family, only to come out of hiding to humiliate their only child on national tv.”
I nodded in agreement. “Too bad we don’t get to choose.” Jane clearly missed her father, perhaps it was her daddy issues that made her want to spend time slumming with a bloke like me. I was about to try my luck, when suddenly the lights went out. ‘Bloody Hell. Here we go again.’
The next trial started the same as it always did. When I opened my eyes, I was in a cold, (formerly) sterile factory. I say ‘formerly sterile’ because of the many corpses (which did not change from round to round) littered the floor like haunted house decor.
I walked through the mental haze, trying to force myself to focus, or at least pick a direction to run. Or not. ‘Why should I play our captor’s game?’ Not like any of this would end up on my tombstone; here lies David King- a hero who risked his life to make it to the exit door, vs here lies a lazy SOB who sat this round out. Now it was just a matter of where I could set up shop to run out the clock. I’ve always wondered about the roof; it didn’t seem to be part of the gameboard, so perhaps it was neutral ground.
I knew there were no generators (the key points necessary to open the exit door.) God, those were annoying. Even with multiple people working on a single one it took bloody forever. This was because we were all sitting ducks for the monster of the day. Once the creature chases off all of the humans all they had to do was give the generator a good kick and we were back to square one. Yeah, fuck generators.
However, there were possibly hooks available for the monster to score points against the human players. Just a chance I had to take. Getting hooked didn’t mean actual death, just a long, painful, escape back to the hub world. I mean, it still sucked; it wasn’t a pleasant feeling, to get crucified on a sentient black (stone-like) tree.
I made my decision. I went straight to the fire exit, working my way up the floors, using my pent-up anger to open any locked doors in my path. After struggling with the first few I managed to pick up a crowbar-like weapon. I assumed it was planted as a part of a broken table. Soon I had reached my destination, and the view was worth it. The roof was neutral, nothingness; sitting out the round as a big fuck you to the entity that kept us here.
And then I heard screams: very familiar screams. “Bollocks.” there would be no sitting this one out. Not yet anyway. I went down the stairs, following the sound of the noise.
I already knew what to expect; the monster of the round had Jane on a hook and was likely camping out.
If it was anyone else, I wouldn’t care, but it seemed rude to abandon Ms. Romero after she was so willing to open up to me. That, and she was only one floor below me. So, it wouldn’t even take that long. This was, of course, dependent on the monster of the round. If he or she was a teleporter like one of the many ghosts, the roof could lose its sanctuary status.
Thankfully that was not the case. As I approached the hook location, I could see a large female creature standing guard. This narrowed things down a bit. It was either a certain Russian axe thrower or… ‘Oh, thank God. It’s my lucky day.’
It was Charlotte, also known as ‘the Twins.’ The large stoic woman held an oversized wooden ax but she moved like a mannequin and was much less blood thirsty than other monsters.
“Hey Charli,” I said, holding up my hand for a high-five. I knew she didn’t want to hurt anyone; she was the protective shield for the parasitic twin that resided just below her ribcage.
The smaller creature, known as Victor, was the size of a chihuahua, with a temper to match. This was the part of the monster who actually attacked. Victor had the ability to remove itself from Charlotte’s torso. And when it did, the creature chased its victim with the determination of a guard dog. The creature was looking at me, it’s face stuck in an angry glare. Usually, that would be my cue to run. But not today.
With confidence, I walked past the monster, and I removed Jane from the hook. This caused a wet slurping sound as the paranormal device released its hold. She would need to heal (a quick process in this odd world, which would require privacy.) With Jane leaning her weight onto my shoulder, I didn’t run, I just took one step and then another, slowly making my way back to the stairs to the roof.
Charlotte seemed willing to let us leave, but when I was about ten feet away, Victor crawled out of its space in his sister’s body. He fell to the ground with a flop landing on four limbs. It gave chase, forcing me to pick up speed. Thankfully, I was close enough to the fire exit. Once I slammed the door in victor’s little mutant face, the creature appeared to have given up. There were easier targets to pursue (especially the human competitors who had a fear of spiders.)
I carried Jane as carefully as I could until we arrived at a nice quiet corner. The healing process was a series of intentional hand motions similar to the practice of Reiki. (The first time I saw it done I thought it was some kind of slide-of-hand magic trick.) Basically, the less injured person (in this case, myself) transfers life energy to the more injured person. On the playing field, this could take anywhere from thirty seconds, to several minutes, depending on the extent of the damage.
Once we made it to the roof, Jane and I had all the time in the world. “Just rest.” I laid her body on the flat surface. That was when I noticed the roof was covered in metallic tiles that felt uncomfortably cold. This prompted me to recline by her side; like a loyal brother, a fellow warrior at arms.
As we looked up at the star-filled sky. I placed my hand over her wrist, moving down to her open palm. With the small motion, I felt myself absorbing away her pain. And then, with each breath, I released the negative aura into the airspace. It felt euphoric.
Jane was moaning, her chest heaving. “That feels so nice. I wish we could heal like this on the actual playing field.”
“Yeah, I mean even ‘fast’ healing still takes so long, you might as well have some fun with it.”
“Yeah, I guess so.” She guided my hand to her waist, to the buttons of her dark blue pants. The fabric was surprisingly silky and soft.
With her fingers guiding mine I stroked the top of her white, lacy panties. I could feel her pubic hair, warm and moist. She guided my fingers lower, inviting me to explore.
“Jane, do you think that’s wise?” I asked with a smirk. I had no intention of stopping her.
“Sometimes in life we have to chase down our prey, go after what we want.”
I had to admit she was right. “Goddamn you’re beautiful.”
Jane giggled. She leaned her head back as if relaxing at the beach, but in the moon light it looked a little like an orgasm. “Did you mean to say that out loud?”
“What if I did?” From the moment she appeared in the realm, I wanted so badly to get to know her. But what kind of shot did I, a brawler from the hard streets of England, have with a classy bird like her? (Apparently better than I’d thought.)
Jane chuckled, rubbing her hand over my awkward bulge. “Is that for me?”
I was so hard; it was a feeling I had all but forgotten about, but holy fuck did it feel good. “You’re not going to ask if I have a gun in my pants?”
“Why?” Jane kissed my lips, flashing a flirtatious smile. “Do I make you nervous?”
“Of course, luv.” I cupped her face, pulling her close. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
I wanted to let her lead; to only go as far as she was comfortable, but I also wanted to fuck her until she begged me for mercy. As she tore off her jacket and then her blouse, I could see the extent of her injuries. the wound was healing rapidly. Soon all I could see was her perfect breasts with her delicious nipples.
“Do you want me?” The Latina goddess guided my hand to her hip, allowing me to explore her curves.
“Oh fuck, yes,” I replied in a whisper. This all seemed too good to be true. “As long as you’re not going to just strip naked and leave me here.”
That got a laugh. “You’d just find me again when we got sent back to the hub world.” Jane kissed me again, this time longer, allowing me to cup her soft face, as she let her long dark hair flow over her shoulders. “I would never risk losing a guy like you.”
I was more than surprised by her choice of words. The fact that she said ‘losing’ as opposed to; ‘upsetting’, ‘betraying’ or ‘pissing off.’ It was the sweetest thing I’d ever heard. “Spread your legs.”
“No.” Jane lowered her panties, revealing more of her curves; her ass, her thighs. “I make the rules.” She undid my belt, opening my jeans.
I leaned back, ready for the ride. “Do you like what you see, luv?”
Jane licked her lips, glancing at me with a coy grin. “It’ll do.” I watched as she licked two fingers, teasing me with her plump juicy mouth. She leaned forward, kissing the throbbing tip of my seven-inch circumcised cock. “Does it have a name?”
“Do you want to give it one?”
She pumped my shaft, lubing me up with a sensual combination of her spit and my precum. “El monstruo?”
“I like it.”
“Meet the lion tamer.” She lowered her pussy on to my cock, devouring ‘el monstruo’ inch by inch. She leaned her head back, thighs quivering as she gasped for air. “Holy fuck you’re big.”
I was inside her. “No, luv, you’re just so tight. You a virgin or something?”
Jane laughed. Her smile was so wide she touched her cheek, as if unable to believe she was still capable of such joy. “I lost my virginity to my pencil-dicked gringo boyfriend, during my first week of college. He turned me off of white guys for a long time.” She rocked her hips as she rubbed her clit. “But not you, Papi, not you.” Jane guided my hands to squeeze her ass. “Harder, Papi, harder. Grab my ass like you mean it!”
I held on for dear life as she rode me like a wild stallion. It was the best fuck of my lifetime, the kind of pussy a bloke could only dream about. “Oh fuck, I’m close.”
“Me to, Papi.” Jane’s pussy muscles became tight, gripping me like a farmgirl milking a cow. Her juices were flowing like a faucet, as she leaned back, still rubbing her throbbing clit. “Oh God.”
The way the moonlight caressed her body, it was truly a sight to behold. I wanted nothing more than to finish inside her, preferably while sucking her gorgeous tits.
Suddenly I heard a distinct alarm echo through the playing field, it was the sound of the exit. The round was over, some had won some had lost, but it was time to go back to the forest bonfire. I could feel cold slimy spikes stroking my back. These soon became solid, living stone tentacles that looped around my arms and legs.
We were going to be dragged into a worm hole, forced back to the hub world, and it was not going to be pleasant. I could only imagine what the entity in charge thought about us skipping out on the trial. With my cock still inside her, I held Jane close, letting her rest her head on my chest. At least one of us would be comfortable.
I could hear her softly sob.
“Just close your eyes. it’ll be over soon.”
Jane shook her head. “No, it won’t. This torment will never be over.” She buried her face in my shoulder. “David?”
“Yes, luv?” The darkness engulfed us like a cocoon of fear, sadness and pain.
“If you could go home, where would you go?”
“That’s the million-dollar question,” I said with a sigh. I already knew Jane’s answer; she would want to go home to New Jersey, to reunite with her kind, loving father. As for me, I had no one waiting on the outside. Or no one I cared about enough to shed tears for. Perhaps that was why I was so content to be where I am.