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Fiction Horror Suspense

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

He was an enormous beast, and as the thin fingers of her dainty hand disappeared into his silver-tipped black hair, Kali shook his shoulders and then dropped to the floor.

"There-there, darling," said Circe, his Mistress, "Why you're not a nasty creature at all, and don't you listen to those wretched ravens caw. You're beautiful and divine. Those rotten birds are jealous of you." Circe went on lovingly stroking her companion's thick, shimmering hair. Her fingertips curled and turned slow circles between Kali's ears. "They know I love you and are bitter because I pay them no mind."

Kali huffed, billowing his warm breath across Circe's toes. With his jaw pressed flat into the oaken floor, Kali's large, glossy blue eyes glanced up at his maiden. His broad, pink tongue slipped out between his massive teeth and dotingly licked her feet.

Circe reached down and caressed Kali beneath his thick, black lips. Then, rising from the chair, she stepped towards the hearth's mantle and looked upon the book with the red leather binding. She reached out and let her fingertips run along the textured column. 

Kali raised to his haunches, his ears standing straight up, his mouth closed tight, and his eyes sparkling with anticipation. He watched as Circe contemplated a destiny she fought to leave behind. 

 Circe clasped the red ribbon marking the page, then opened the journal to its most recent entry — a man's name and a list of his sins below it.

The witch and wolf would carry out his sentence tonight.

Circe gathered her intelligence under the guise of her demure alter ego, Amber Cornwell. Amber was the proprietor of a quaint florist and candle shop; she was well-liked though not well-known among the townsfolk.

Wearing a long-sleeved shirt buttoned to her nape and her hair tied up into a simple bun, with large glasses and no make-up, Amber looked as plain and uninteresting as a woman could. Her income was as modest as her appearance.

But, for Amber, what she was selling wasn't nearly as important to her as what she was gaining. People talked to her and told her things without even knowing why. When you walked into her shop, she instantly made you feel more than a customer; with Amber, you felt valued, visible, and heard.

Thankfully, in most cases, conversations were little more than a wife or girlfriend griping about husbands, boyfriends, or life. But there were other types of confessions as well, and within the fragrant confines of the small store, with their hand in Amber's, women told of terrible, wicked things endured.

Amber was always quick to offer a calming herbal tea and light a candle fused with oils and minerals to ease the pain, unburden the mind, and loosen the tongue. Then, as Amber offered her words, "I will never tell another soul anything you say to me," the women and, too often, young girls dropped their defences and let their stories flow.

When the women stepped out of the shop with a package of candles, oils, or a bouquet, they stood a little taller, feeling hope and value restored. 

Inside, Amber wrote the names of bad men and their evil deeds in the slim, red book--she would be their reckoning.

Past the edge of the town lay the dark woods and thick bogs of the Old Mine Company. Extracting ore from the mountain was the company's sole focus. After 50 years of blasting, scraping, and smelting the ore from the belly of the core, the company depleted the body and moved on to work new veins; left behind were the remnants of a small miner's village closed in by a dying forest. Its only remaining resident was Amber Cornwell.

When Amber opened the door of the old family home and crossed the threshold, she loosened her bun of burgundy rose hair, and as it unfurled, it changed to shiny and silken black. Her inelegant attire dissipated to reveal a beguiling deep blue dress with ribbons of black tied around her waist. A plunging neckline displayed an ample and beautiful bosom. At the base of her long, elegant neck was a red cord holding an amulet of agate that anchored a dagger of yellow datolite, and then Circe the Witch was home again with her mother's refrain echoing in the empty room, "Remember child, you are not a monster--you are justice."

Beneath the house's foundation, the festering spoils of the Old Mine brewed all the poison she would need to deliver death to those that deserved it, and Circe carried on the Wiccan ways taught to her by her mother and the mothers before her.

It wasn't hard to find these types of men. It never was. The women who revealed the details of their tormentors always knew where they went and what they did. As Circe stepped into the dingy tavern filled with the smell of dirty men and cheap tobacco, she spied her victim half-sitting on a stool at the end of the bar. By removing her black cashmere jacket, revealing her slender, naked arms, and then unwrapping the deep purple scarf from around her neck, with the amulet a shimmering spike pointing to her cleavage, Circe's arrival did not go unnoticed.

Taking a seat at a corner table, her back to the wall and her eyes on the bar crowd, Circe surveyed the room.

A tall, lean, good-looking man with blonde hair and vibrant blue eyes turned to flash his flirtatious smile at her. For a moment, Circe felt warmth rise in her cheeks. He was handsome and young. A cool trickle of anticipation ran through her as she watched him tap his friend on the shoulder before moving across the floor toward her.

Circe had to remember her purpose in being here this evening. She had to focus her energies correctly.

"That's the trick when you come into a place like this looking like you're shopping for a night of sex-you attract the energy you give off," she reminded herself.

The man approached her table, all sparkling teeth and eyes dancing with confidence, his smile both sheepish and brash. Circe looked up at the daring Don Juan, then ran her finger down her amulet and drew a small circle in the space hanging between them.

Casanova's smile disappeared, his eyes went wide, then he turned, shrugged his shoulders, and strolled back to his barstool consoled with shoulder slaps from his friend.

Circe had declared that she was both a challenge to be overcome and a prize to be won.

From the corner of her eye, Circe watched the man she wanted to draw to her, and by adjusting his posture, the man eyed her as well. Allowing the slightest of smiles to curl at the corners of her mouth, she knew a narcissist like him couldn't resist.

Her scent of womanliness wafted across the bar, and her prey rose, walking into the trap she'd laid. Circe closed a hand over the amulet, whispering, "Wake, Kali."

Without asking permission, Marcus Dionne pulled a chair out from her table.

"I see no one has managed to cross your threshold," he said. Then, sitting down, Marcus gave Circe a blatant once over.

"I haven't given anyone permission. Maybe I want to sit alone and enjoy my drink." 

A rueful smile spread across Marcus's face, "I'm not asking permission. I know what you need." He said with calm confidence.

"Oh? You do, do you?" Circe said. "Why don't you enlighten me on what I need?"

"You're a she-wolf," Marcus answered, "but you need an Alpha to show you where you belong."

Circe looked at him closely now. Seeing the darkness behind his turbid eyes, she had no doubt that a monster lurked there. Now, it was time to flesh him out.

Circe's breasts rose as she pushed her chest into the table, filling his eyes with her soft, heaving mounds. Glancing up at him, Circe batted her luscious eyelashes, and her blue eyeshadow-painted lids flitted over her luminous violet eyes. Under the dim light above the table, her skin sparkled with the abalone powder catching the gleam. Then, peering up at him, she offered the bait.

"And where to do I belong…. Sir?" Circe purred in response.

Marcus leaned in closer to the woman, her perfume of lavender and sage hovering between them. Then, in a low voice, he told her.

"On your knees, looking over your shoulder at me and saying 'thank you' for finally getting what you deserve." He answered.

Circe ran a fingertip around the rim of her tumbler, then dipped it into the whiskey and brought it to her lips.

"I want it outside," Circe told him, "In the woods. Please show me where I belong. Under the moonlight and the sounds of us echoing in the darkness. Is that going to be a problem for you?"

Marcus gave a wolfish grin as his answer.

Then, pointing to the ring on his finger, Circe asked about the wedding band.

"And what about that? Is that going to be an issue for us?" she asked.

Marcus moved his hand over the other and turned the wedding band in his fingers.

"Only if you want to replace it," he answered.

Throwing her head back, Circe gave a high, exuberant laugh as though Marcus had delivered the perfect, humorous pick-up line. Then, dropping her eyes back to meet his, she covered her mouth.

"Don't be a fool," she chided, "I don't want to marry you or anyone else. You know what I want, and it's a one-time deal. After tonight, you're never going to see me again."

Marcus huffed, shrugged, and then, peering at Circe more carefully, made his inquiry.

"Speaking of seeing you," he said, "Why haven't I? Seen you before."

Circe raised her glass and gulped down the remainder of her whiskey. Then, rising from her chair, she stepped beside Marcus and lowered her lips to his ear. "Oh, I'm around," she said, "But maybe I only come out when I want to feed."

Then, straightening up, Circe dropped some cash on the table and said to Marcus, "I'm going to the lady's room. Will you be waiting for me outside, or are you all talk and no action?" then left him sitting there as she walked away.

Circe looked herself over in the washroom, touched up her dark cherry lipstick, and then into the mirror; she called his name. "Kali. Rise. Come to me, it's time to feed."

"Men are such simple creatures," said Circe as she paced slowly before Marcus.

"Show them what they want, and they'll do anything for it," she said as she stopped and leaned against the broad trunk of the cedar tree. Moving her hands behind her back, Circe unzipped her dress, drew it forward and pushed it down to her waist — a sheer, black bra covered her breasts. 

"And all women need to do is scratch an itch, then you'll go off and work your fingers to the bone for us." Circe continued.

"It should be enough, shouldn't it? Take a woman to be your wife, promise your devotion, and accept her vows to care for you. But it's never enough. Men like you want more. Men like you take what they want." 

Marcus licked his lips and moved towards Circe.

"And you're like all women," he said, "You waste time talking too much."

As Marcus stepped towards Circe, a sudden blur of black leaped from behind the massive conifer. 

With a tremendous growl, Marcus saw the shining blue eyes of the beast and felt the blow of its heavy paws thunder into his chest, sending him flailing backward, crashing into the earth.

Standing atop him, the wolf barred its teeth, dripping saliva onto Marcus' face.

Redressing herself, Circe moved beside the animal and stroking him between the ears, she spoke, "Good Kali. Hold.".

"You're going to die tonight, Marcus. You're going to die a horrible death. It's going to be long and terrible. A pain reserved for men like you. Weak men. Men who prey on women, men who forsake their vows. Men filled with evil. Men who think they will never have to pay."

Then, kneeling beside him, Circe took a large stone from the ground and held it in her hand beside his face.

"Feed," Circe commanded.

Kali sunk his teeth into the man's shoulder and tore a mouthful of flesh from his arm.

Marcus went to scream, but Circe jammed the stone into his mouth, shattering his teeth. Her eyes burned bright as she pressed the rock further into his cavity. Blood and bits of enamel poured from his mouth and spilled over his chin.

Removing a knife from her boot, Circe pulled the curved, silver blade beneath Marcus's ear, sliced the appendage clean off, and watched the horror in Marcus's eyes as she fed it to Kali.

"Still, she took your abuse." Circe said, clenching a handful of his hair, "Your sweet, faithful wife, Maggie. After being rejected by women smarter and stronger than you, you returned home feeling small and dismissed, making that darling Maggie suffer. But, still, she remained by your side. She never called the police, and she never cast you out. Instead, she fed you, kept your home in order, and raised your child."

Circe pressed the cold blade against Marcus's neck, the edge burning into the base of his remaining ear. She leaned in closer, her voice a hiss of hatred.

"She wouldn't have ever said a word against you." She continued, "You had beaten her body and tormented her mind so much that you broke her—she was almost gone. But there was still a light inside her you didn't extinguish--the fire a mother has for her child. That's why she came to me. That's why she finally confessed the vile, worthless, puny man you are."

The knife slowly cut into his skull, the metal pressed against the bone beneath his ear. Marcus's legs began to tremble, his breathing rapid, blood bubbling from his mouth, and red vapour expelling from his nostrils.

Then Circe delivered the last words Marcus Dionne would ever hear.

"Maggie saw the way you looked at your daughter. Her child. A life that means more to her than her own; that's why you're here, now, dying."

Marcus's eyes went wide. His head erupted in burning pain, and he felt warm, thick blood streaming down his neck and pooling at the base of his throat.

Marcus's eyes crossed in terror as Circe placed his amputated ear on his nose. 

He tried desperately to close his eyes, but the mad woman's fingers peeled them open so that Marcus could see the jaws of the black wolf open over his face.

"Feed," Circe commanded.

Despite the rock that gagged his mouth and choked on warm blood, Marcus screamed so loud that the sound carried across the quiet, moonlit night as the hound broke the cartilage and tore bone from his nose. The wolf's massive teeth crushed his cheekbones, collapsing his eye sockets.

Circe leaned above Marcus and mouthed the words slowly and carefully, ensuring Marcus could read the words he could no longer hear. "This is only the beginning."

She rose, kicked Marcus's legs apart, lashed his ankles with rope, and fastened the cord to a tree. Next, Circe lifted a broken branch as thick as her arm and threw it across Marcus's body. Then, working roughly, Circe sliced along Marcus's pant legs, yanking the material away and throwing it aside.

She looked down and laughed. "Well, that's no prize, but going without briefs does save me a step."

Circe took the thick branch from his chest and stood over him, swaying and swinging the knotted stick like a sword.

"Would you like to guess what I'm going to do with this?" Circe asked. Then, with a wicked smile, she exaggerated a few more words for Marcus to comprehend, "Sodomy is a sin," she said.

Marcus swallowed more bits of broken teeth when Circe impaled him. He saw stars bursting around his eyes; his brain swam with dizziness, and he felt his insides tear.

She bent down, pulled the blood-covered rock from Marcus's mouth, took a small vial from her waist, uncorked it, and shook the white, powdery contents into his gaping cavity. "I can't have you passing out on me, Marcus. I wouldn't want you to miss out on the best parts." She explained, then stood above him once more and beckoned her beast.

"Kali. Come," she ordered. The wolf appeared at her side, his tongue pulsing against his bottom teeth as he panted, awaiting his following command.

"Treats." 

Kali walked along the fallen man's body, turned around, and slowly moved back between his legs. Baring his teeth, the wolf growled low and sinister.

Kali knew he was supposed to do this part slowly. He knew he had to pierce, clamp and tear. Not bite and rip. Clench and pull. Mistress wanted him to take as much from the prey's insides as possible. The more he could take, the prouder she would be of him, and Kali lived to make his Mistress proud.

Maggie Dionne woke that morning feeling lighter and brighter than she had in a long while. With an urge to feel the morning sun, Maggie walked out to the back porch.

Outside the door sat a single, thick candle swirled with pink and orange stripes. A card lay against it with a single sentence penned in elegant cursive.

"No more hills to climb, no more sleepless nights."

In her flower shop, Amber peered at the raw, red knuckles of the unshaven man as he pulled cash from his wallet. 

"Flowers are as good as an apology, right?"

She smiled, "Good for any occasion," she answered, "but candles last longer."

"Hmph, I'd have to send my wife in for those," he answered. 

"Please do!" Amber replied with her warmest smile. 

September 15, 2023 11:56

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