The Roads to Megiddo, Canto Five: Amelia’s Song
By Patrick M. Tracy
The darkness howled around me that night. I called the demon and he arose, burning with fires like carnival lights, skin slick with the cosmic afterbirth of his journey.
“Payment,” he demanded, his voice coming from all around me, a thousand lunatic whispers like rats scuttling through the walls of my mind.
“It’s there.” I pointed to the pouch atop the old fireplace, still standing long after the house around it had fallen to ruin.
In one stride, the demon was there, long fingered hands pulling the pouch’s cord free and peering in hungrily. A growl like a toothed winch rattling against a load arose from his chest.
“It is good. A good payment.” He turned, drawing out one of my gifts to him. A human sternum, one of thirteen I’d collected. The demon pushed the bone into his mouth and bit down, cracking the bone, eating the soul trapped within. The wild corona of prismatic flames around him waxed ever brighter.
“These gifts are what you demand, yes?” I asked him. “These will buy me your favor?”
The demon smiled, his teeth as big and square as horse teeth. “They died in agony, their souls bound to the chest-bone. These and one thing more will buy you what you wish.”
My heart wavered. From my small boat of surety, I navigated an ocean of terror. I swallowed. “What more do you wish?”
The demon moved, quick as the flickering of a candle’s flame, and was suddenly next to me, his hand in my hair, his smell–cut grass and still water–all around me. “You.”
My heart shuddered. His quick hands found my breast, my hip, my vagina. The demon’s immense member surged against my belly. His flames were all around me. I burned, but was not burnt.
“Yes. Take what you need,” I breathed. My eyes closed. The sound of my clothes ripping away seemed distant. His touch was hot against my skin. He lifted me free of the ground and set me down hard, the tufted grass pushing against my shoulder blades. The demon put his face within the open triangle of my legs and drank from me until I screamed out from it.
With a shifting purple and orange glow burning in his eyes, he mounted, stretching, tearing me inside until pain tears obscured the night, rendering it in dark charcoal smears. The demon hollowed out my core with all his supernatural vigor, until both our stomachs were slick with my blood, until my jaw muscles cramped from the desperate clench against a scream and I thought that perhaps death would be better than another moment of agony.
The ground around us shook and was torn asunder, sharp spires of rock rising like gargantuan teeth all around us. The shifting fires around our bodies grew so bright that I was blinded and near the point of unconsciousness when the demon spent out his tar-like passion and sagged against me, finally weak in my embrace.
“Megiddo. Show me the way,” I said into his ear. His body tensed, shivering.
“Why? Why would you wish to walk that ancient path?”
He slipped free of my torn womb, and I wrapped my legs around his chest. “Because I am incarnated, one of the Conquerors of Armageddon. Show me the way.”
The demon closed his eyes, touching his smooth brow against mine. The arid desert land, the many rising, desolate hills, the hundred veils of invisible gloom that enshroud it and hide it from all unknowing eyes–these things flowed into me. In that moment, the way toward the trapdoor down into the realms of madness became engraved upon the dim parallax of my soul. The demon put his hand against my pubis, held close between our bodies, and energy sung between our fleshy shells. Every injury his rutting passion had cause was sealed, made whole again.
“I would have found a way not to harm you, had I known,” he told me.
“It doesn’t matter now. There were costs, and I was resolved to pay them all. It’s done.” I released him from the prison of my embrace, but he lingered.
“May…may you have a fair journey, Conqueror. And may it be that the rest of us have sufficient time to put our affairs in order before your work is completed. I will remember this…this privilege.”
In a flash of swirling fire, he was gone. The nearby stream ran cool and slow, cleansing my body beneath the bruised violation of the autumn sky. Naked, I walked five miles through the forest, across the midnight pavement, through the door of my cheap motel room. I lay atop the sheets, willing myself to sleep. There was so much to do. After all my efforts, all those bridges burned, my real sojourn had just begun.