Soul Harvest

tagFirst TimeSoul Harvest

*Content warning: Besides explicit sex descriptions during a demonic ritual, this story's protagonist has manic depression and suicide fantasies. The instances are not excessive, but they're an important plot point. If you're disturbed by such things do not read the story. You have been warned. Otherwise, please enjoy this demented fantasy.*
It was an exceptionally muggy day for October 30th. That's usually how it was in the Southern United States. The trees were finally taking on red, yellow, and orange leaves to mark fall's arrival. Taylor was sitting on the patio at her favorite local coffee shop on the outskirts of town. There were Halloween decorations all over the place. Cobwebs, spiders, black cats, and skeletons were painted on the shop windows. Stuff like that usually made Taylor smile. She loved Halloween, but she didn't smile that day.
She was drinking coffee filled to the brim with cream and sugar hoping it would wake up her exhausted spirit. It had just ticked past six o'clock. Hardly anyone else was at the shop and that's how Taylor liked it.
She had a depressing day thanks to a rude college professor that had shamed her for being five minutes late. It would have been a simple annoyance for a normal person, but when you're bi-polar, the dumbest shit can send you spiraling. Being pointed out in front of strangers made her heart race and left her trembling. On top of all that, it was difficult being on time when you wake up exhausted wishing you were dead.
She just wanted to sit alone and stare at the river babbling below the tree covered patio. A big red maple leaf floated down beside her coffee cup tempting her to smile, but she only sighed at it. The peaceful patio usually calmed her troubled spirit, but she had been battling suicidal thoughts all semester. Her symptoms were growing more severe. She thought she was losing her mind at times. Bi-polar type II was much harder to treat in some people. Taylor was less likely to destroy her life in a manic phase but she was more likely to kill herself.
"God… I should just drown myself right now," she whispered miserably.
She felt tired and weak. She could easily fall in the tumultuous water below the patio and find some rest. The river was swollen from recent rain and she could make it look like an accident. She knew in the back of her mind that was why she loved that particular coffee shop. She enjoyed thinking about ending her exhaustion in the cold inviting river.
"That would be a lovely way to go, but then you would miss Halloween," announced a male voice from behind her.
Taylor straightened up in alarm as she heard footsteps approaching her. Her mind was slightly shocked by what the voice said. She quickly denied the person could be talking to her. He couldn't have heard her whisper unless he was right next to her.
The man walked around the table and sat in the chair across from her obstructing her view of the river. She met his lovely pale eyes with a start. The man was handsome in a rather shocking way. He had large gray eyes that seemed to peer right into her soul. His hair was dark and fell carelessly around his handsome face. He had lovely olive skin and an athletic build. He was wearing a white button down shirt and dark slacks. He looked like one of the handsome frat boys she often admired along the avenue beside the university.
"Uh… can I help you?" she asked in confusion.
"Don't be nervous, Taylor. I'm hear to offer you a rather macabre proposition," he said with a mischievous smile that sent Taylor's heart thumping a little faster.
"Um… what are you talking about? How do you know my name?" she asked.
She had a scared and excited feeling about the stranger. He was off-putting in an alluring way. Her whole frame was telling her to run, but her exhausted mind was telling her to invite the danger in.
"You want to die and I enjoy killing people, so that's a win-win for both of us. I happen to be a demon possessing this washed up med student. Duncan here is as mentally unstable as you. He is pathetic and alone, so he invited me in to do whatever I want with his body, but I have to kill him sooner than later. That's my end of the bargain. He's watching us by the way, he thinks you're cute. He likes long blond hair," he said with a smirk.
Taylor gulped as a chill ran up her spine. The whole area seemed to have gotten colder when the man appeared, and she was shocked by what he was saying. She figured her mind had finally decided to step out on her.
"Are you going to say anything, Taylor? I'm hear to grant your wish and you seem speechless," he said as he reached across the table.
She watched in confusion as he took her coffee from her hand and turned it up and drained it. Then he slowly sat the empty mug down in the center of the table as he studied Taylor with his piercing gaze.
"I sense you're very attracted to Duncan," he whispered. "I made the perfect choice didn't I?" he asked with a smirk as he began unbuttoning his shirt.
Taylor watched in surprise as he completely unbuttoned his shirt and opened it up casually so she could see his chest and abs. He definitely worked out, and the attractive sight of him was making her feel more off kilter than she already was.
"Just as I thought," he said with a knowing smile. "Humans and their obsession with flesh has always amused me. I can't blame you. Sex is delightfully dirty. Duncan here works out and takes care of himself to no avail. He hasn't enjoyed sex in years. He is pathetically lonely and burned out. His suicidal thoughts just won't leave him alone. It's a pity he's so broken. Just like you, Taylor. So, would you like to hear my proposition or not?" he sighed as he tilted his chair back so he could lean against the patio railing.
"I would like to hear it… but maybe I shouldn't," she stammered. "You claim to be a demon. Why on earth would a demon randomly decide to visit me now?" she asked.
He rolled his eyes and sighed.
"Taylor, for someone who claims to love Halloween you don't really know shit about it do you? Tomorrow is October 31, the celebration of Halloween, or All Hallows Eve as some call it. It's a modern tradition that originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, but it goes back much further than that. The Celts at least gave the supernatural disturbance a name. Samhain marked the end of harvest and the beginning of a cold dark winter. Winters often brought death and suffering. Samhain is the one night of the year when the veil between the land of the living and the realm of the dead is thinnest. Ghosts and demons get to visit what they left behind. The Celts were less distracted by modern life and were able to observe our mischief, and our mischief often leads to more suffering the next year. That allows us to claim more victims when the veil grows thin again. The Celts dawned silly masks in an attempt to hide from us, but the suffering of a human soul calls to us like a siren. The bliss of tearing a soul from the land of the living at the festival of Samhain is like no other. It's a feast for the senses," he whispered as he licked his lips.
He was staring at Taylor so intently it sent a terrified shudder creeping down her arms giving her goose flesh, but his words were sinking into her thoughts like a gentle caress. It was terrifying and intriguing.
"I uh… think my Sunday school teacher would be shocked at me right now. I want to believe you," she whispered as she studied his piercing eyes.
"Another thing worth mentioning," he whispered with a devilish grin. "Your soul is safe. It's been safe from hell for six years now, so why not let me play with your body for a day before I kill you? I plan to kill you no matter what, but if you agree to my terms I will kill you in an honorable way. Maybe even at the celebration of Samhain itself. Otherwise, I will kill you in the most humiliating way possible. Like forcing you to choke on a corn dog and leaving your corpse naked in the mall parking lot," he chuckled in genuine amusement.
Taylor's mouth dropped open in horror at the thought of that humiliating death scene. She definitely didn't want to die that way.
"This is insane… you can't be serious. Who are you really?" she demanded.
"I'm a demon of mischief, an incubus in some respects, but I'm far more powerful than a common demon. I command a position of honor at the feast of Samhain. The time of mankind is growing late. There are so many humans wanting to die these days it's like an amusement park for us. We're allowed to have fun before we're cast into hell forever. I know you feel the truth of my words in your soul. Will you have fun with me before you die? Or shall I kill you in a humiliating way tomorrow? The choice is yours. Please make up your mind and don't vex me further," he growled as he flicked his finger through the air like he was shoeing away a mosquito, but in the same instant, the coffee mug flew off the table like it had been smacked by an unseen hand. It spun right off the patio into the river.
Taylor flinched as she watched the ceramic mug land in the water and sink like a rock. Then she looked at the demon in fear. She actually wanted to accept his offer, but she was so frightened at that moment she couldn't get the words out.
"I'm sorry, Taylor. I didn't mean to scare you witless. It's a bad habit of mine. I wasn't joking when I said I wanted to have fun with you. Allow me to lay out the terms more clearly. First of all, you must tell no one what I have told you. I will dictate your actions from here on out, and hopefully we will have fun together. I can make a day feel like a year. When our fun is had, I will kill you in an honorable manner. Or, I will make your death very humiliating and give the festival honor to someone else. Do you accept the former or the latter?" he asked as he leaned his elbows on the table and studied her fear stricken face.
"The… the former," she stammered.
Her heart was hammering with fright, and deep down she was beginning to enjoy the feeling. It was a relief from the constant misery she usually felt. She sadly felt alive again for the first time in years.
"Excellent! I feel like a swim. How about you?" he asked with a smile.
He suddenly jumped up in his chair and stepped backwards onto the railing of the patio. He spread his arms wide and smiled at Taylor's shocked expression. Then he closed his eyes and fell backwards into the turbulent water. He did it so gracefully she wondered if he had practiced it.
"Shit! Wait!" Taylor exclaimed in dumbfounded disbelief as she jumped up and ran over to the railing.
She looked into the swollen river with her heart in her throat. The man was nowhere to be seen. The water below was rusty red from recent rains and rushing wildly over rocks and logs. Taylor looked back to see if anyone inside the restaurant had seen him jump, but no one was running to the rescue.
"Taylor, join me while the veil is thin… I can feel your body yearning for me," whispered an alluring voice inside her head.
Her body went tingly at his words, but it didn't erase her fear. It only reminded her of the despair she was running from. He was a beautiful and frightening distraction. Their earlier conversation flashed through her mind and she realized she had to do what he wanted or risk a humiliating death. That's when her body and mind gave into the madness.
She felt calm and disconnected from reality as she slowly climbed up on the patio railing. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath smelling the trees and the river around her. Everything suddenly felt so inviting. She wanted to fall, so she did. She plunged into the cold water of the river and it shocked her for a moment. Then a strange peace surrounded her. She knew she was being swept away by the current. It was nice being out of control for once.
She opened her eyes wanting to see the chaos around her, but she was stunned to see the smiling face of the demon an inch from her nose. His unearthly pale eyes had captured her focus again and sent her heart pounding. He reached up and touched his warm hands to her neck and pulled their lips together. Taylor felt her heart ache from the overpowering draw she felt from him. His warm soft lips pressed to hers in the chaos of the rushing water had awakened something strange inside her. She was suddenly infatuated with death as she danced on the edge of the veil.
"The feeling will grow stronger as Samhain approaches," whispered a soft voice into her thoughts.
She smiled as she saw the world going black. She was sinking deeper into the warmth and chaos of the demon's kiss. She was losing herself to it.
Before she was lost completely, she felt strong hands seize her arms and pull her upward. She gasped as she broke the surface of the water. The warm air touched her skin and welcomed her back to the land of the living.
"You are very tempting, Taylor," chuckled the demon as he pulled her to the rocky bank of the river.
He effortlessly hoisted her onto a large rock. Her feet were still dangling in the water as she wiped her dripping face. She looked at the demon in a daze as he climbed out of the water and sat beside her. He sighed contentedly as he threw his dripping hair back out of this face.
"That was exquisite. Don't you think?" he asked as he looked at Taylor and gave her a breathtaking smile.
She gulped and nodded as she put her hand over her pounding heart. What she just felt had been absolutely thrilling to the point of arousal. She thought the demon was going to simply drown her, but he was only teasing her.
"Ha, you thought I was going to kill you without playing with you first? Not a chance," he whispered.
"Uh, the thought crossed my mind," she stammered as she looked at him in amazement. "Um, what's your real name? I mean… your demon name?" she asked.
"I honestly don't think you could pronounce it. Just call me Duncan," he said as he searched her eyes.
"Are you sure? I don't mind calling you by your real name. It would be the respectful thing to do, I suppose," she said feeling awkward.
A surprised look came over his handsome face and he suddenly smiled in amusement.
"I have given you no reason at all to respect me. I'm a demon intent on killing you. Why are you being polite?" he asked.
"I don't know… well, you made me feel better somehow. My mind is rather jumbled at the moment. Can you not read my thoughts?" she asked in confusion.
"I can only read impure thoughts and negative musing from lust and the like. I can't sense your more innocent thoughts," he admitted.
"Oh, how strange… I thought demons were all vicious liars," she mumbled. Her head felt like it was still in the water.
"Chaotic demons are vicious liars. Mischievous demons, like myself, can be whatever we want to be. Don't assume you truly know anything at this point. I could still drown you if I want," he chuckled with a sinister smile before he grabbed her arm and jumped off the rock jerking her back into the water with him.
That time Taylor struggled to the surface gasping. The demon had released her and she couldn't see him anywhere. She fought to move through the current towards the bank, but the water was too powerful. It was dragging her down stream.
Suddenly, something seized her ankle and jerked her under. She knew it was the demon. Nothing felt good at that point. Her body ached in the cold water and she needed air. She had worked herself into a panic against the overpowering current. She was suffocating and it hurt. She found a sudden shock of strength in her panic and struggled like mad to move upward, but her efforts were a waste. She heard the demon chuckle in her thoughts before he effortlessly lifted her to the surface again. She gasped and coughed into the warm air shaking with terror.
"It's strange," he sighed as he pulled her against his warm body. "The flesh fights so hard to survive in spite of how much the soul wants it to die," he mused as he pulled Taylor along with him back to the river bank.
She was hoping he would prop her on a rock and leave her alone to rest, but instead, he effortlessly hoisted her from the water and carried her up the steep embankment. A few seconds later, he stepped back into the parking lot of the coffee shop. They hadn't gone far down stream at all. Taylor tiredly looked around in confusion as he carried her over to her car. She heard her car door open before he tucked her into the driver seat. She had recovered her mind a little by that point.
"Where did I leave my keys?" she whispered right before her small blue purse was gently placed in her wet lap.
She quickly looked up and met the large pale eyes of her alluring tormentor. His dark hair was still dripping and his shirt was hanging open. He looked rather magnificent standing in the orange glow of the setting sun.
"You should be well enough to drive," he whispered. "Go home and get some rest. All Hallows Eve will be the longest day of your life. Don't go into it completely bedraggled," he said rather plainly before he closed the car door.
She watched in disbelief as he sauntered across the parking lot over to a sporty black convertible and jumped into it. He sped out of the parking lot and disappeared down the road in a matter of seconds.
"What the fuck just happened?" Taylor breathed with her cold hands trembling.
She feared she was having a psychotic break. She was soaking wet and smelled like a river, so she knew she didn't imagine what happened. Her hands were barely usable as she cranked her car and drove back home.
Taylor still lived with her parents to add insult to injury. She sighed as she pulled into the paved driveway of a beautiful three story brick house. It had a wraparound front porch supported by white columns and a beautifully landscaped yard. Taylor loved her childhood home, but she mostly felt despair when she was in it.
She was twenty one. She had hoped to have her own apartment and a steady boyfriend by that point in her life. She loved her parents, but she was tired of living with them. She was thankful they were on vacation that week. She would hate to have to explain why she had been swimming in a flooded river in October. She dragged herself upstairs and took a quick shower. Then she collapsed on her bed and fell asleep. She slept without dreams that night.
She woke with a start the next morning when she heard something tapping on her window. Her bedroom was on the second floor over top the front porch. She assumed the tapping was a bird and ignored it, but then it began tapping out a cartoon melody. She sat up in alarm at that point.
Taylor looked at her window and gasped to see the silhouette of a man standing just outside. She knew exactly who it was. She climbed out of bed and walked over to the window and pulled the curtain back to meet the large gray eyes of the demon again. She had no idea how he had gotten onto the porch roof.
"Happy Halloween, Taylor. It's a beautiful morning. Please join me in the yard, and please stop thinking of me as 'the demon'. It's annoying. Call me Duncan for fuck's sake," he sighed before he turned and jumped off the roof.
Taylor gasped in alarm and hurried downstairs and looked out the front door. Duncan hadn't broken his neck on the front steps. He was standing in the grass looking dashing in his dark jeans and blue button down shirt. He smiled at Taylor when she looked at him. She forced herself to smile back as she stepped out on the porch. The concrete was cold under her feet as she approached her tormentor.
Duncan reached out his hand and took hers as she walked into the wet grass. His skin was wonderfully soft and warm. He led her into the shade of a massive oak tree and suddenly pulled her down in the grass with him. She sat on the ground watching him as he laid back in the damp grass and made himself comfortable.

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