Short Story: How it Might Have Begun

“That man…” Catherine stopped and gestured towards a lad, just barely eighteen years of age, in the corner. “Who is he?” She began moving in his direction, an unexplainable maternal urge welling up inside her.

“Catherine…” The older Fae man groaned. “He’s just another doomed human life. Another soul for the meat grinder.”

She whirled around to face him. “I can’t believe you, Geron. Why do you always say such things about these humans? They’re not so different from you and me!”

“They have no honor; not even decency or politeness! You of all people should know this, Catherine!” He grabbed her arm. “Let’s go.”

“You’re one to talk about decency,” She wrestled her arm out of his grasp. “I have been with many human men and I know the worst they are capable of. I know it all too well.”

“I can’t understand why you do this to yourself.” The much bigger Fae relented. “Fine… go and stir that disgusting cease pool of a soul. You’re only going to get yourself hurt again.”

“Leave, then!” The succubus pointed to the portal; a soft golden light spilling through a massive fissure in the wall; just above the doorway to the school gym. “I don’t expect you to understand, nor will I tolerate such talk in reference to my former husbands.” A sudden surge of longing and sadness welled up inside her. “I still love those men, Geron, and nothing will change that.”

“I’m sorry, Catherine… I-“

“Leave me to my foolishness.” Her sarcastic resolve resurfaced.

“I didn’t mean…” Geron started but the succubus was already making her way to the human in question. “I hope you find what you’re looking for.” He sighed and glided up to the portal.

She approached the human slowly; taking in the atmosphere around him. He was by himself, sitting at a collapsible plastic table, and writing in a massive three-ring binder notebook. There was nobody at the table with him. The rest of his classmates were either playing basketball or talking amongst themselves at other tables. He was alone and she could tell he preferred it that way.

“Hello darling,” She purred as she approached, not expecting a reaction, but figured it was worth a shot. “Let’s see what you’re all about.”

The first thing she noticed was the intense energy about him. Compared to most humans, he felt more earnest and brimming with potential power. However, that power was being siphoned off; given away to his obvious emotional turmoil. He was amazingly strong, but too depressed for that strength to be of any use.

This strength didn’t stop at his spiritual form. As Catherine studied him, it was clear that he had a great deal of power in his physical features as well; for a human, anyway. Any chimpanzee would easily defeat him in a wrestling match. Still, Catherine couldn’t help but admire the rippling muscles in his back.

The impossibly sexy succubus moved to sit on the table, next to the young man’s notebook. He looked up suddenly as a free-flying basketball crashed into the kitchen shutters at the opposite end of the gym. She took this as her opportunity to learn as much as she could about the man.

Time slowed to an impossible crawl around her. Everything turned a dark blue tinge and the only sound was a low rumble of the stretched sound waves in the room.

She summoned a light to brighten the face of the man before her. He looked up, unblinking, with the beginnings of a smile on his face. She smiled back and instinctively went to place her hand on his left temple.

“My love…” She breathed. “I know it’s you. I fell in love the moment I saw you.”

As she touched him, the immediate thoughts in his mind came to her attention:

“Why won’t you answer, God? What’s wrong with me? Am I doing something wrong? Am I too sinful? Why do all these others claim to hear you and I… just… can’t!”

Another thought:

“Where is she? Where is the one I will take care of? The one I will cherish and adore for the rest of my life? It’s like I’m not compatible with anyone here, God. It’s like I don’t belong on this earth. How will I find someone when I haven’t encountered one single girl I can see myself falling in love with?”

“I want to be with her so bad… but it doesn’t seem likely that I’ll ever find her.”

The genuine longing and desire to express love stung Catherine to the core of her being. This wasn’t unique to this man; there were so many more who felt the same way. She knew this, but she couldn’t help them all. She had to choose.

Every time she read the thoughts of a human man in the past, she almost instantly fell in love with them. There was just something so genuine, so honest and simple about the male mind… and every time she encountered one who was in pain, she felt obligated to comfort them. She just couldn’t let go… until those men eventually pushed her away.

She was a hopeless empathetic when it came to human men.

“My love!” She flung her arms around him. “I’m here darling! You’re alright… you don’t have to be sad anymore.”

She began whispering in his ear, a language that he could not understand, but a very subtle and strong magic nonetheless. With those ancient phrases, she planted the seeds that would eventually lead him to a new kind of existence… if he chose to take that path.

“I promise, darling: I will always be here. I’ll wait for however long it takes you to find me.”

“You can do this. I know you can.” She paused and simply drank in his presence for a moment, breathing in the scent of him, becoming familiar, falling deeper into his spell.

“Please don’t take too long, my man. I need your love, just as much as you need mine.”

And so the journey began.

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