The International Writers Magazine: Warning: Adult Content
- Long Read
Castle - Part Two
pondered for a moment before speaking. Yeah, youre
quite right, Abigail, it would be stupid to hang around with a
serial succubus on the prowl, and fatally stupid to fall asleep.
But all this is speculation; we have no solid evidence that such
a thing exists. And the thing that was seen in the bar could be
a case of mass hallucination.
'The dead men may
have been done to death by someone or something this side of the grave,
not by a sex-mad ghost. The alleged poltergeist activity could be anything.
No. We need to verify what Frank has told us for ourselves. We cant
commission a T.V. documentary on the basis of hearsay and hysteria.
No offence, Frank.
Frank appeared leaden and fatigued. No offence taken, Mr. Malone,
Im a pragmatic man myself, or used to be. Well, I sincerely hope
your scepticism is not myopic, and you find enough material to justify
a documentary. This place has damned near finished me; it would be a
small triumph if I could wring some recompense out of its miserable
Well do our best, said Malone.
At 6.10pm Malone and Abigail were alone in the castle. There was a hushed
expectancy about the place. The halls and passages, noiseless and still,
had a thick atmosphere of brooding coldness. The pair had retreated
to their rooms as soon as Frank had taken his leave, feeling a need
to establish their own private space. Their apartment was plush and
spacious one of fifty-three similar suites.
Abigail had just showered, and was drying herself in front of Malone
as he lay with his feet up on the bed. You like me naked, dont
Yeah, Sister, I do.' She was right. Malone was captivated
by her nakedness. He adored her black silky skin, and the beautiful
thrust of her firm little breasts. And now she was responding to his
gaze with teasing little gyrations of her hips and bottom. Her eyes
met his and she danced, sinuous and flaunting; an erotic invitation
that has enticed men into breathless captivity since time out of memory.
They made love. At first slowly and languorously, savouring and touching
each other with quiet pleasure. Then with heightened passion, acutely
alive to their excitement, building and intensifying their needs with
each kiss and caress. Finally, intercourse became a compulsion; an urgent,
sharp, surging drive to satiate their senses in a burst of warm, delicious
pleasure. They came together, and laughed like children. The castle
sensed their pleasure. It detected their bodies - their skin, sweat,
organs, bones and sinews. It wanted their pleasure. It wanted them.
In the castle floorboards creaked, walls shuddered, ceilings flexed
and shivered. Elements warped and fused into strange contortions. Atoms
and molecules spun into unnatural forms. The castle pulsed with malefic
creation. Agonies caught in stone, blood, unbearable torture, all its
deep resources of pain and malevolence bodied forth playmates for Malone
and Abigail. Abigail felt the hate gathering around them and shook with
a sudden surge of apprehension. Malone felt nothing congenitally
impervious to anything beyond his five senses. Malone, I think
we should leave, Im really worried, I think this place is evil
and dangerous. We dont know that, we have no evidence
Dunderhead! Lack-brain! You know nothing, priest-man!
Malone shivered at the force and strangeness of the utterance. The voice
and words had come from Abigail, but they were not hers. Abigail,
What? Oh, I dont know. I remember speaking but not what
I said. How odd. What did I say?
Well, you said I was a dunderhead, a lack-brain and a priest-man
who knows nothing. And your accent and intonation were different
very precise and Nigerian.
I wouldnt say such insulting things. And the words are old-fashioned;
theyre like the words grandma used to use.
What was your grandma like?
I have very little memory of her she died when I was four
but the family speak of her only in terms of extreme respect
and deference. Apparently, she was a Juju priestess of awesome reputation.
Men of power from every continent craved her blessings, and woe betide
anyone who provoked her anger. It is said she could congeal the life-blood
of her foes with a mere word or glance. As you can imagine, people generally
took great pains to stay on her good side.
Malone was about to adopt his usual sceptical attitude to such things,
but thought better of it. Perhaps you subconsciously remember
her words and utter them when you feel stressed. Anyway, this place
is getting you down, so lets have a bite to eat, a quick look
round to satisfy the company, and then well put up at a pub somewhere.
Six miles away on a lonely forest road Frank James stopped his car,
reversed into a sidetrack, and turned back. His mobile phone was still
in his room at the castle. His stomach knotted at the thought, but he
had to return, he needed the phone. What an unbelievably stupid thing
to do, he thought. How could I be such a dummy! Such an absolute fucking
dummy! Frank berated himself as he drove, trying to replace his sense
of fear with self-anger. But it wasnt working. He was scared.
Nevertheless, it was still light, and if he hurried he could retrieve
his phone and be on his way in no time. He accelerated. Soon be there
and soon be out again, he told himself, again and again, like a mantra.
But his fear grew, virtually to the point of panic, as he drove across
the castle drawbridge in the gathering twilight.
Frank decided not to disturb Malone and Abigail, checking with them
would take him in the opposite direction to his room, and he simply
wanted to get his phone and go. Darkness was deepening in the passage
as he quickly strode towards his room. The place seemed different, and
he felt compelled to keep glancing over his shoulder. Behind, shadows
appeared to be forming and moving, Dont lose it, he told himself,
night is closing in, what can you expect? But the shadows unmanned him;
they seemed to hold darker shapes within them. Frank quickened his pace
to a run. He reached his room, stepped inside and felt a soft squelch
underfoot. He flicked on the light switch, and froze. The room was a
turmoil of squirming worm-like creatures. Each was about a foot long
with a bulbous head and a mouth set with small needle-like teeth. They
covered the floor and wriggled up and down the walls, excreting long
strings of viscous slime. Several had gained purchase on the ceiling
and were dangling cords of this sticky ooze beneath them. Many of the
loathsome things were writhing, convulsively flexing and licking their
dirty sides. The stench was unbearable. Frank recoiled in disgust, his
bowels desperate to evacuate. He lunged towards the door, but staggered
and fell, his feet adhering to the carpet in a coagulated mess of the
creatures excrement. His knee hit one of the things and it thrashed
violently. Instinctively, he shot to his feet and leapt for the door
again. Again he fell, his fingers scratching frantically at the doorjamb.
Something was crawling up his leg inside his trousers. He screamed in
abject terror. It was moving up the back of his calf. He kicked his
leg to try and dislodge it. It stopped for a moment, and then, as if
with stronger resolve, slithered round to his shin and touched his kneecap.
Frank lashed at the thing with his fist, pounding, wild with hysteria.
It was counterproductive. The thing squirmed up his thigh with a spasm
of muscular energy, moving inexorably towards the warmth of his groin.
Adrenalin propelled him to his feet, his hands ripping furiously to
remove his trousers. Something plopped onto his head from above and
promptly wriggled down the back of his shirt. Frank wailed and soiled
himself, his mind and body dominated by stark terror. Intense pain in
his groin caused him to vomit. More of the creatures dropped on him
from above, clinging to his neck and ears. One bit into his lower lip.
He grabbed at it and tore it from his face, taking his lip and a strip
of flesh with it. Blood spurted from the wound. The creatures liked
the blood and squirmed towards its source. Frank died in a demented
frenzy, his screams turning to a gargling rattle, as his face was torn
apart and devoured. The castle fed on his pain. It welcomed his death-screams
like triumphant symphonies. His baneful shrieks were oratorios throbbing
with pleasure and promise. The sounds cascaded underground to remote
dungeons and forgotten chambers. Other screams were awakened. Earthbound
souls, shades of the torturers gloating murder, howled in outrage
at their unavenged deaths. Scream amplified scream, piercing and bombinating
in a shockwave of unresolved hate and agony.
In their rooms Malone and Abigail sensed that something unwelcome was
about to enter their space. They paused in their preparations to explore
the castle and listened apprehensively. Then it hit them. Supercharged
with the pain of centuries the scream attacked their ears like a hand
grenade. A self-protection reflex dropped them to the floor with hands
clamped over their ears. Fear and shock paralysed their minds and froze
their bodies into the foetal position. Then it stopped abruptly, as
if someone had thrown a switch. Its cessation triggered them to action.
Both flew to the door with the same impelling instinct escape.
Malone reached it first, and like a man possessed, wrenched it open
and turned to the left. Come on girl, move it, he bellowed,
glancing quickly behind him at Abigail and charging full tilt down the
passageway. Abigail followed for several paces and then stopped, realising
that he was running in the wrong direction. Malone! Stop! Youre
going the wrong way! There was no response. Malones ears
were still ringing from the scream, and Abigails cries failed
to reach his brain. He continued to charge down the passage, convinced
that she was right behind him. Abigail, realising that he was oblivious
to her cries, started to run after him, but was immediately wrenched
Something had seized her collar and was dragging her back to the room.
Her heart clenched with terror, and pounded like a pneumatic drill.
She squirmed, mad with fear, arms flailing and lashing out in blind
panic. But to no avail, she was hauled back into the room and flung
against the far wall, the back of her head striking it with a sickening
thump. For an instant, just before she lost consciousness, Abigail saw
She came to with a start, and gazed with bewildered horror at the scene
gradually resolving into focus. She was lying naked on an elaborate
four-poster in a dank, stone chamber. Gloomy and vast, with archways
opening onto chambers beyond, the place had an air of numbing oppression.
Under the archways people suspended by chains and manacles were being
subjected to hideous cruelties, their piteous screams and cries availing
them nothing but scorn from their tormentors. The torturers, naked and
sexually aroused, were laughing deliriously with sadistic excitement.
And then suddenly the people became hazy and insubstantial, and faded
into nothingness. Everything was silent, except for the spit and crackle
of a fire and a deep guttural moan of pain. Twelve feet away to Abigails
left was a large open fire. Above it, impaled on a spit, turned the
body of a woman, her face contorted in agony. Occasionally, fat would
flow from her body onto the coals beneath, causing the fire to flare
up and illuminate the roasting flesh. Turning the spit was the monstrosity
Abigail had glimpsed before she was knocked unconcious.
Oh isnt she merciless! What a grand creation. The
speaker emerged from an archway to the right of Abigail and sat on the
edge of the bed. She was completely naked. Tall and beautiful with long
jet-black hair, her movements were hypnotic and dance-like. She turned
to Abigail and introduced herself. I am Lilith, wife of Belial,
queen of chaos and misrule. Yonder is my pet, a creation of dark rage,
bones and flesh vomited up from the bowels of this place. She is man-hater
and man-killer, a succubus of infinite delicacy. Lilith slid lazily
alongside Abigail and entwined herself around her body. She placed her
lips close to Abigails ear and began to whisper. She whispered
soothing enchantments, words of honied dreaminess. And all the while
she caressed and kissed Abigails naked body. Open your legs
my sweet, I wish to warm my hands. Abigail obeyed. Her will was
dissolving, dying as the seductive whispers captured her mind. The whispers
continued. You are my dearest darling, my beautiful angel of pleasure.
We will play together and bewitch the world. Your body is for me, you
know it, and want it so. See there the body of Virginia Tate. Behold
her undignified ending. What a miserable, frail being, unfit for nothing
but ridicule and contempt. Would you like to join her over the fire?
No, of course not, you are for me, you know it, and want it so.
Abigails faculties were closing down, her sense of selfhood becoming
dull and misty. She felt Liliths avid fingers violating her body,
but was not outraged. Her body was for Lilith, she knew it, and wanted
The whispers continued: Frank James enriched our power, unwittingly
he fed our hunger and thirst for death. We treated his guests with indulgence,
and gratified their appetites before bringing them to our spirit-throng.
Now the place is empty. Only you and the priest-man remain to entertain
Abigail felt uneasy. Deep within her vitiated senses she thought of
Malone and of her love for him. There was something important that she
must do. A thought, a resolution, an urgent vital word must be uttered.
She strove to remember what it was. And then it came back to her: No.
Lilith sprang to her feet, hissing like a viper. No? You impart
this word to me? I, who have bathed your brain in sweet delirium, am
assailed by defiance! Bitch! Insolent bitch! Now you will pay, now you
will suffer tortures beyond imagination. She snapped her head
round to the succubus and bellowed, Come beast! Come and show
this wretch how tender you can be! The succubus scuttled across
the floor to Liliths side, dragging a heavy chain attached to
a collar around its neck. Lilith grasped the chain and rounded on Abigail
with a sneer. This beauty will lie on Malones belly and
tease him to distraction. He will not see her. He will see your body
and smell your fragrance, until his climax breaks her spell, and she
reveals herself in all her glory.
' Well, what do you think of her?
Abigail trembled; she could make no answer. The being resembled a naked,
misshapen hag. Lynx-eyed and grinning it crawled at the feet of its
mistress. Thick brown claws, that may once have been fingernails, scrabbled
at the floor. Abigail caught a whiff of its odour and her stomach churned
with nausea. It stank of stale excrement. Lilith bent down and stroked
its matted white hair. The thing chuckled in a low hoarse whisper, and
then threw back its head in a scream of ear-splitting laughter. I
think she wants to play with you, simpered Lilith. Would
you like to dance with the nice lady, my pet?The thing needed
no second bidding; it lunged at Abigail, its arms flung wide in anticipation
of an embrace. The chain pulled it up short, but it strained forward,
ripping splinters from the floorboards, desperate to maul and mutilate
the young flesh inches away from its grasp. Abigail flinched, eyes bulging,
her insides whirling with sickness and palpitations. Her mouth was arid.
She tried to swallow, but only succeeded in causing a sharp pain in
her throat. The pain was a focus; it brought some clarity back to her
mind. Escape or die? Escape!
Abigail jack-knifed off the bed and flew past the sizzling body of Virginia
Tate. She ran in blind panic, the succubus screaming dementedly at her
heels. A stone wall loomed ahead, archways to her right and left. Her
senses detected a faint draught to the right and she instinctively veered
in that direction. She saw a flight of steps, a door at the top, a way
out. She reached the steps and flung herself up them, the monstrosity
right behind her, its chain clanging discordantly on the stone. Her
fingers closed around the door latch and pulled nothing! The
door remained shut. She pushed and it flew open. She leapt through and
slammed it shut. Her hand shot the iron bolt a millisecond before the
succubus impacted on the thick oak panels. The door was robust, and
two further bolts at the top and bottom strengthened its security against
the thing on the other side. Abigail slumped to the floor, her naked
back against the door. For Christs sake, dont sit, get up
and move, she told herself. But her body was spent, and she remained
sitting. Quaking with shock and fighting for breath, she tried to compose
her mind. Start looking, find Malone and get out. Simple objectives,
but how to achieve them? The place was a death trap: surreal, unpredictable
and deadly. Her thoughts lost their focus and became cloudy. She felt
a strange sense of apathy, a sense of surrender.
Before her stretched a long, wide gallery. To her right and left were
passageways. Must start to look for Malone, she thought, languidly.
But she continued to sit. Liliths murmuring whispers, soft and
muted, were still in her head. She felt mellow and easy, reluctant to
think or move. At the far end of the gallery she vaguely realised that
something was moving. A form was shifting and shimmering in the distance.
It was moving towards her. When the shape got to about twenty feet away,
Abigail saw it clearly. It was an entangled mass of large squirming
worms, about five feet high and seven feet wide. Thousands of them were
oozing and churning in a giant loathsome knot. And it was coming closer.
As it slid across the floor a human arm, white and bloodless, flailed
through the air, before being sucked back into the noisome mess. Then
a head appeared, its eye sockets and mouth obscenely alive with gluttonous,
writhing worms. It followed the arm, back into the broiling mass. Abigail
saw death approaching with dispassion, as Lilith continued to whisper
inside her head: Poor Mr James, he looks rather unwell. These
are my spawn; they crawl from my belly. My babies will bite you and
eat you alive.
Abigail dimly noted that the purring whispers now seemed to be coming
from outside her head. She felt a caress on her thigh, hot breath on
her neck. She turned her head and was face to face with Lilith. Abigail
recoiled, as though electrified; her mind instantly clear, the whispering
spell shattered by Liliths malignant grin. She sprang to her feet,
staggering like a drunkard, her head reeling at the bizarre insanity
of her position. Liliths silvery tones rose to strident screams
of fury:You will not defy me and live. Ill make you suffer
more pain than a slowly-burnt witch. Ill twist and scorch every
nerve till you beg to die, you worthless defiant bitch! Liliths
screams pierced the air with the sonic force of a jet engine.
Abigail clamped her hands to her ears and lurched against the wall.
The shock goaded her into action, adrenalin shot through her veins and
she ran for life. She ran on blind impulse, her feet flying, energised
with mad terror. She flew headlong down ancient passages, across lofty
chambers, up time-worn stairways. She had no idea where she was running
to, the object was simply to escape from Liliths hideous clutches.
Eventually, her body succumbed to fatigue and she slowed down, cautiously
glancing behind her to see if she was being pursued. There was no one
there. She was alone. Exhausted, with her lungs on fire and her legs
like lead, she limped through the castles labyrinthine corridors,
desperate to find safety. Up ahead she noticed a door; it looked like
the door to their suite of rooms. She approached stealthily, ready to
flee at any hint of danger. Behind the door she heard a voice
it was Malones! Her first impulse was to dash through the door,
but instinct paralysed her with a shudder of dread. She was attracted
and repelled was it a trap, was Malone safe? He had obviously
found his way back to their rooms, but whom was he talking to? Her heart
pounded violently. A million nerve endings tingled and prickled up and
down her body. She took a deep gulp of air and edged forwards. Malone
was strong. He nourished her soul. Whatever evil insanity lay before
them, they would face it together.
She pushed the door open and stepped into the room. Inside the room
another universe existed. The place stank like a hot sewer. The atmosphere
was stultifying, deadening, emptied of life and hope. Yellow, gaseous
curls of smoke rose from the carpet. Abigail retched painfully as the
miasma polluted her nostrils and lungs. Noises grunts and moans
were coming from the bedroom. She crept towards the bedroom door
and opened it an inch. She feared to look, dreading the debasement she
might witness her fear was justified. Malone was naked on the
bed with the succubus sat astride him. She watched in mute horror as
the loathsome thing squirmed up and down, grinding its dirty buttocks
and groin over Malones erect penis. Its wrinkled hide, festering
with pustules and boils, splashed globules of pus and serous fluid in
all directions. It was a scene of utter defilement. Abigail stepped
back in a daze, she must act quickly otherwise Malone would die. But
what could she do? Could she kill the thing without killing Malone?
She was desperate to act, but dread and uncertainty retarded her mind
and petrified her body. Think! Think! For fucks sake think, she
inwardly screamed at herself. But thought eluded her. She was in a state
of complete mental collapse. Then the whispers returned, insinuating,
piercing deep into her mind. But it was not Lilith who was whispering,
it was someone else! She dimly recognised the voice from her childhood.
She fought to remember. And then it came to her with a flash of unmistakeable
clarity it was Grandmas voice. It was the voice of ancient
authority, mesmeric and commanding. Abigail could only listen and obey.
Hearken to my skull-whispers, child, and obey my bidding. Yonder
monster is nothing but graveyard flesh and flim flam. You are a mighty
lioness. You are a killer. Your teeth are steel daggers. Your claws
are diamond scratchers. Breathe mighty cat, breathe with your furnace
bellow-lungs. You are the death-dealer; you long to kill. The killing-lust
is upon you. Go bite and rip and quench your lust! Kill
For a moment Abigail savoured the purring, latent violence in her body.
Uncertainty banished; fear gone; she felt only power and purpose. Just
for a moment she anticipated the pure joy of killing the thing on Malones
belly, and then she sprang. She smote the malignancy like a raging tornado.
Boiling with fury and hate, her limbs and teeth ripped and tore at the
succubus until it disintegrated. Blood and intestines, arms and legs,
lumps of flesh and gore littered the bed and carpet. And still she attacked,
flailing madly at the mutilated corpse with one of its dismembered legs.
Gradually, the ferocity subsided as Abigail lost her supernatural lion
strength. Dazed and bewildered, she looked around the room at the carnage,
and vomited. Malone, freed from the succubus mind control, helped
her into the bathroom, his body shaking uncontrollably, unable to comprehend
what had happened. He managed to get most of the mess off their bodies
and grab some clothes, urgently striving to get them both dressed and
away from danger. Come on, Abigail, for Christs sake lets
Wait, Wait, my heads pounding, Grandmas still talking.
What? Grandmas doing something in my mind, I think
shes reading my thoughts.
Malone gently slipped his arm around her waist and began to walk her
to the door. Okay, yes, lets get out first and then we can
talk to Grandma later. Well soon get you safe and
Malones patronising attempt to soothe Abigail out of the castle
was abruptly ended by a brilliant flash of phosphorescence. The flash
left a sizzling ball of intense electric blue light in the centre of
the room. Abigail clutched Malones arm and laughed nervously.
Malone, this is Grandma! The light began to pulsate and
spark. Malone kept a close grip on Abigails waist and tried to
skirt round it to the door. The response from the light was dramatic
it spoke: Keep still, Neanderthal. Abigail giggled
at Malones astonished face, and clapped a hand over his mouth.
Dont answer back, I dont think shed like it.
Grandma, really! Malone is not a Neanderthal.
Humph! His appearance contradicts you, but if you say he isnt,
Ill take your word for it.
Now, by the Great Yemoja! I must deal with this Lillith and her
theatre of sick amusements.
What will you do, Grandma?
What will I do! The blue orb crackled ominously and emitted
a bolt of lightening which narrowly missed Malones left ear. Why,
Ill grind her skull between two stones; Ill draw her teeth
with red hot pincers; Ill drown her in boiling oil; Ill
But Grandma, I think shes already dead.
Silence, child! Lilith was never alive. Shes an elemental,
a devils plaything. She exists only where ley lines cross. This
is such a place. Here she is flesh and blood. In this place she can
know both pleasure and pain. The castle is an abyss of pure wickedness.
Those who die here are bound to the earth. Their spirits are held captive
by Diabolic Forces and made to assume flesh and bone so that tortures
may be put to them. That is Liliths pleasure, but not for much
longer. There are souls here screaming for release and vengeance. Ill
end their suffering and free them. Some will want retribution and Ill
see that they get it.
It sounds like hell, observed Malone. The blue light buzzed
angrily and moved to within an inch of Malones nose. No,
priest-man, hell doesnt exist. But Ill invent one especially
for you if you dont take my granddaughter out of this place. Now
Malone and Abigail went. They drove to the summit of a high moor some
five miles from the castle and looked back. The castle no longer existed.
Where it once stood fire and titanic detonations cleansed the earth.
Abigail leant across and kissed Malone on the cheek. He wrapped his
arm around her shoulders and she snuggled into his chest. I think
a volcanic eruption will satisfy the authorities as to the cause of
Virginia and Franks deaths, he said. Telling the truth
would probably get us certified. She nodded her agreement. Neanderthal?
Will you buy me a drink?
I might do if youre a good girl.
© Kevin Schofield - March 2005
If you liked Kevin's ghost story tell him.
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