The following piece was written to be ready at Neve Black’s Naughty Nightcap Reading on Halloween night. As the rowdiness of the atmosphere prevented the videotaping of the reading, I had intended to podcast the piece then post it. Well, you know what they say about good intentions, and instead of holding onto the piece any longer I will share it, and post the audio when I do get the chance to accomplish it.
Catherine loved photography. She lived her dream, working as a freelance photographer, though sometimes her subject matter was challenging. This time, though, she was given the opportunity to combine her first love with her second; the antebellum plantations of the Old South.
Her tour had already seen her through eleven of the palaces from another age. She took pictures of curving, sinuous staircases, drapes of Spanish moss on towering live oaks, and spreading front promenades.
Now, after a two week road trip she parked before her last house. Unlike her first subjects this one was no longer occupied and the pall of disuse was stretching rapidly into dilapidation. It had taken a waiver to gain access to the property but as she watched the sun sink towards the horizon, blazing through the windows, she knew it would be worth it.
Three trips into the house delivered her basic darkroom set up, two bags of food and her overnight bag. A last one brought her sleeping bag and her camera gear. She kept a close eye on the sun and was snapping pictures as the light slanted in at the perfect angle.
The moon sat heavily on the horizon when she finally capped her lens. Catherine rubbed at her eyes and stowed her camera, deciding the developing could certainly wait until morning. With dragging limbs she stretched her sleeping bag out on one of the white sheeted four poster beds and quickly fell asleep.
Silvery moonlight poured through the window in the wee hours of the morning. Catherine lay half sprawled out the unzipped side of her sleeping bag, chest rising and falling in the steady rhythm of deep slumber. She twitched as a plume of her breath hung visible in the air, her nipples drawing into peaks under her thin chemise. The hem of her shirt slid up from the pressure of invisible fingers, baring first her navel, then the slope of her belly.
Catherine sighed in her sleep and stretched her arms over her head, the movement pulling her shirt up over the heavy curve of her breasts. A low groan sounded above the bed. The fabric caught and hung for a moment on her nipples, then fell on the other side at an unseen nudge. Her skin glowed in the pale illumination stretching across the bed, her nipples dusky and tight. She arched up, her lips parting in a quiet gasp as a cool, wet sensation surrounded one.
A fold of the sleeping bag rippled back, folding in the middle around something. She wore nothing else. Bared to her tormentor’s cold touch Catherine twisted. The sultry South Carolina night made her ache for more of the chilly contact and her thighs dropped open.
A breath fanned against her mound then another. Catherine lifted her hips and a low chuckle rippled through the room. Touch followed. Long, slick, strokes caressed the length of her humid cleft. She writhed and moaned in her sleep. The invisible mouth licked hungrily at her juices, pulling at her heat, growing more and more visible with each moan of her pleasure.
Her skin grew cool as he found the energy for corporeal form, pulling on the hot, late October night and her willing body. “Please,” she cried out in her sleep, her hands twisting in the sheet about her head, her heels digging into the mattress.
He growled and pulled his slicked face from her cunt. He nudged her thighs over his and slid his cock against her. With one thrust he buried himself to the hilt, groaning aloud as she wrapped her legs around him. His face was a study of concentration even as he began to thrust, holding tight to his physical form, plunging over and over into her hot, tight, tunnel. Catherine cried out as she clamped around him, muscles rippling in a strong orgasm. Against his will he came with a hoarse cry and lost form.
Her chest heaved in the aftermath of their lust. She shivered as perspiration cooled rapidly in the chill room and curled into her sleeping bag. He watched, unseen and unfelt once more.
Morning found Catherine groggy and disoriented. She forced herself to motion regardless, making a quick trip out to a nearby diner for coffee and breakfast. Upon her return she set up the basics for her dark room and hung a curtain of black plastic around it. A battery powered lantern with a red bulb acted as her safe light and she set up her trays before turning it off.
She worked her way through her process, developing the negatives in the oppressive absence of light, sweat dripping down her spine. She wondered again how she’d manage to sleep in the heat. She planned the day’s shots as the negatives dried. Her contact prints came next and she felt a familiar thrill of anticipation as she worked under the safe light.
As soon as she slid the sheets into the tray of fixer she clipped the plastic back, letting in a weak tease of air. She eyed the sheets critically, wondering if she wanted to take the time to do any full size prints. When they hung drying she pulled out her magnifying glass and peeked through at a photo.
She jerked her head away, a chill racing down her spine. Swallowing she leaned in once more, nibbling her lip as she looked at the shots on either side.
A man looked at her through the middle one, but none of the others. His eyes were a piercing blue and he had been staring hard at her through her lens.
At least, he would have.
If he’d really been there.