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Midnight Soul

Novel By: Manya Tiponi

“Look at that Ahava, changing Gods songs” “Do not look at that Ahava, she has the devil in her family, look at all their tragedy.” Being used to hearing all the negative chatter about her and her family, Ahava just shrugs it off and continues her peddling of mending services. Ahava, now wild with terror, sees the small sandal she made for her sister by a clearing in the reeds near the Jordan River.
Suddenly, Ahava’s jaw hangs open, as what looks like a cloaked demon of some sort, stands, on top of the water, holding her sisters lifeless body in its arms. View table of contents...



Submitted:Feb 12, 2014    Reads: 20    Comments: 1    Likes: 1   

Chapter I: Sunrise, Sunset

Ahava stares at herself in the polished metal that she uses for a mirror. She lives alone with her younger sister Nephesh. Pondering, like she so often does, why she's still unmarried. But of course she knew. Though of age, with no father to broker the deal, she has been passed over time and again, though her beauty rivaled that of Helen of Troy. It has also been said that to hear her sing would bring the listener closer to God. Both of her parents died from the diseases brought by the Romans when they conquered Jerusalem. For the last five years Ahava has been avoiding roman slavery and fending for her sister with the mending of Jewish prayer shawls for temple. However, her life is about to change as fast as a mist can roll in on the wings of a sunrise.

Something begins to send a veil of shadow over the sunrise as it peaks above the Jordanian mountains. Ahava moves from her small bed and looks, while yawning, into the empty water pitcher. "Harumph" she mutters as she scratches her head, puts on her shawl and leaves the abode. Her sister should be sleeping in the loft above Ahava's bed. The idea that her and her sister must sleep in a converted sheep stall, as women could not hold property in the event of a death of the patriarch always angers Ahava. And when both of their parents died of Roman disease, their house passed to her father's brother Isaac, leaving both girls homeless. Ahava understood that she needed to provide now, as the matriarch of their two-person tribe. She, being a woman, is a skilled seamstress, and she sits outside of the temple daily, and offers to mend prayer shawls. Most of the men will not make eye contact with her, as she is fatherless, and unable to broker her or her sister's own marriage. It truly is a shame, she thinks to herself, how the responsibility should have fallen on Isaac's shoulders, however, not all men understand their responsibility to their tribes. Being invisible to most around is something Ahava has gotten used too, entertaining herself with singing the prayers she hears from the men's prayer rooms, and changing the melodies frequently, and to the dismay of most. "Look at that Ahava, changing Gods songs" "Do not look at that Ahava, she has the devil in her family, look at all their tragedy." Being used to hearing all the negative chatter about her and her family, Ahava just shrugs it off and continues her peddling of mending services. As she looks up at the sky and sees the men leaving the Temple, she realizes she needs to get back to her small home and check on her sister.

Upon returning to her home, Ahava went to wake her sister, Nephesh (Ne-fesh Hebrew for soul). Her sister is nearing her ninth birthday, though tragedy is always close to this family. After climbing the ladder to the loft that Nephesh sleeps, Ahava sees that her younger sister is not in her bed. Ahava wonders outside their home, into the hills, past David the herder, and none have seen Nephesh. Ahava, now wild with terror, sees the small sandal she made for her sister by a clearing in the reeds near the Jordan River.

Suddenly, Ahava's jaw hangs open, as what looks like a cloaked demon of some sort, stands, on top of the water, holding her sisters lifeless body in its arms. As she looks upon the scene, her eyes start to water and in disbelief she asks the creature, "What type of creature are you?" Dropping to her knees, she cries to her God, "I have not forsaken you, and I pray every day, visit the temple daily, why have you stolen the soul of my only heart?" She continues to weep, her fingers pleading empty to the cloaked figure, which is now smiling and small fangs protruding from his lips. He looks at her, eyes glaring red fire, and he simply states, "It is my job to usher her to the next plane."

However, being desperate, and not thinking of her self, Ahava quickly provides an alternative, "I will take her place!" She pleads, begs, screaming, crying and desperate. "Take me, take me, I can give you my soul, it died the day my parents did anyway" She believed her heart was broken, but she never watered it, so like a flower, it shriveled. For now… The cloaked figure, now removed his hood, and his face, young with signs of weather, and his skin is tanned over his rippling muscles. He looks at the young girl in his arms, stricken down before her times as he just needed a soul for his quota, then he looks to Ahava, and snarls, thinking she would not cave to his demands, "Take her place." He laughs thinking she will run screaming as so many have. He tries to frighten her by sending her brain subconscious pictures of fire, and twisted souls screaming from pain. He tries, but she is unwavering in her heroic effort to save her young sister. "Take me, please, she lays her head in the sand of the Judean desert, defeated and expecting to look up and see just the lifeless body of Nephesh, cloaked figure gone like the memories of a dream.

In opposition to her belief, suddenly the oxygen is ripped from the air. Ahava's hair begins to catch fire and swirl around her head, her clothes burn from her body and her skin falls from the bone. She wakes. Searing pain in her head, as she begins to open her eyes. She is on the floor, the rock floor, of a cave somewhere in the depths of the imagination of the cloaked figure. Bleary eyed, she looks around. Seeing nothing but stone, she tries to make herself get up, but there is a chain around her ankle, which connects to the leg of a great throne of fire and bone. Upon the throne, he sits. He laughs as she tries to remove the shackle from her ankle. He laughs as the tears stream down her face, and her eyes look to him. He laughs as he says to her, "You made a deal. I own your soul. But I can make a new deal, made holy with the sacrament of blood. " She wipes her eyes and looks at him, she nods her head as if asking for him to continue, at which time he does. "You have two choices: One, you can return to the land of milk and honey and provide me with the souls of twenty five chaste and innocent children to replace both you and your sister's souls; or two, you can stay with me, chained to me at all times, and help me collect a thousand souls of both damned and innocent alike, their deaths willed by…" he looks up with a sour frown, "you know, Him." His smile returns as he looks back down at her, saliva drips from his fangs, as he strokes one of the horns on his head, "Who knows my dear, you may find you enjoy it, in time."

He walks over to her, creating from thin air, a crystal necklace. The center of the stone glows and seems to have a shimmering liquid inside. She squints her eyes as if to look closer at it. Ian walks to her, and places it about her neck. It hangs loosely, but it felt like it weighed a thousand pounds around her neck. She picks up the stone, and lifts it, but she cannot lift it from her, it seems to be enchanted. He sees her struggle to remove it. He laughs. What she does not understand is that this loose necklace, is no more than a receptacle for the souls she is indebted to provide Ian. She cannot remove it. It will not break. And until Ian decides to remove it, or free her, it is a collar, a shackle, and a tomb.

"What is this foul magic?" She cries to him, still trembling. "I am but a girl, how can I collect souls for you?" She asks, still not understanding the trinket around her neck. She moves towards him, as he has begun to move about the room, and she cannot follow as she is still shackled to the throne. He looks at the thin silver about her ankle and with a wave of his hand it was removed and like a snake it slithered up her body, under her garments, over her skin, and settles about her wrist. She looks at it, not understanding why he would give her jewelry.

As if he understood her internal turmoil over the silver on her wrist and the necklace he answers her, snidely, "You can try to remove it, it will never come off. The stone on your neck will make you into what I desire, and the silver about your wrist, " He laughs hard, "this is how you will be identified as spoken for. If i need you, the chain will grow and slither one end to me and attach itself to my belt, wrist, or bed. Whatever I please. The point is, you are mine, attached to me in every way." he continues to laugh, saliva drips again from his fangs as he pictures his new pet.

Still leering at her, he continued. "Still a girl? You think you are just a poor mortal, now do you?" This made him laugh, a rich and hearty belly laugh, full of twisted joy. "You are no more human than I am. You are the female of our breed, succubus--demon...a temptress. You will take your sustenance through giving, taking, and receiving pleasure or pain from your victims--else you shall starve and not fulfill your contract of 1000 souls" He approached her, hovering over her as the saliva dripped, "Not die, of course, you cannot die." He leaned down, as she cowered, "You're not allowed the gift of death."

He breathed on her, his breath brimstone and terror; hot--safe, a confusing blasphemed mix of evil and hope. Was it the magic of their deal? She was terrified and needed him to be closer. The reek of sulfur reminded her of warm days by the river Jordan, even as it made her soul quake. It was also changing her, turning her into something else, something more.

It began in her loins. Her sex burned with unquenchable hunger. It spread like a worm, down her thighs and legs, which filled and strengthened, curved like a woman's, no longer a human girl struggling for basics like food. Covered though she was, only her face showing through her robes, the change was felt by her, not seen. Her arms grew, lean muscles that would give her power and purpose. Her breasts grew, swollen with lust. But it was inside, her heart, soul, even her mind, that were most raped by his power. Now it was her power. She could see and smell the desire dripping from her master's pores. His path through the room was written like a map for her to read, the stronger his desire, the more strongly she could follow his steps. She hungered for it. With little coaxing her need would draw it from him, and a fire burned in his eyes when he saw her toying with her powers, coming to understand that she was no longer human, no longer mortal.

He moved to her, swiftly, as if to tear at her, but instead he forces her down into a kneeling position. He places his hand on her head and heat, not a heat that burns like a fire, but a heat that branded her like a crown across her forehead. The branding, black, intricate in design marks her as a demonic force. Her right eye sheds a tear as she realizes she will never be free. She will always be wrong on the inside. Something to be feared, never loved as loving her would cause the death to anyone stupid or weak enough to be drawn into her sexual energy. Ian's skin begins to burn, small flames dance across his skin, and onto hers, as he is still in contact with her forehead. Their flame now burn the same iridescent red, blue and orange and increases in heat as they both begin to understand that they may be susceptible to each others powers, her more so than him. He leans his face down towards hers and with his right hand; he grasps her under the chin, lifting her to meet his eager lips. The skin on their lips, his hard and hot, hers soft and supple, meet. Sparks fly as the flames surrounding them shift to a pure sapphire blue. He pulls her even closer to him, lifting her off the ground, her silver chain instinctively attaches them together, growing and wrapping around both of them, countless times. His tongue, like the serpent that he is, pushes between her lips, parting them, and to her utter dismay, her tongue meets his. They kiss and it is truly a sight to be seen. Enveloped in flames, space and time halts and she changes completely to his instrument of evil and sex. It truly is the end of Ahava. All that is left is for her to be renamed. The girl by the Jordan River is no more.

He looks into her eyes, pleased with his work. Her turning is not yet complete. But there is time for that, so much to learn. The silver wrapped around them, the flames dance. But he lets go, pulling away and laughing as she moves with him, needing.

"You fucking bastard," she murmurs, her need overpowering her reluctance. No longer demur, she reaches for him--not with her hands, but with the silver of the bracelet. It wraps around his head, holding him in place much to his surprise.

"You learn fast…" he says, somewhere between pleased, impressed, and angry. "What is your rush?" He stands suddenly, breaking the bond. It would seem she still has more to go. "You're not ready for that yet. In time I will take you, and you will be bound forever to me." He throws his head back in laughter, "But no, of course not forever--only a thousand souls, right?" His hands drop to her necklace as she shudders in rage and need, hating him. Hating her.

"You. Do. Not. Own. Me." she says defiantly. Quietly. "You may keep me prisoner, abuse my body, but you will never be my b'sheirt (this was in her native tongue, Hebrew meaning soul mate), it will be you I reap." She sneered back at him, as flames appeared in her now dilating pupils.

And there, right there, was the crack he was looking for. Her threat to reap, too reap HIM. He stood to his full height, his arms wide above his head, "Yes!" he screams, "Reap me! Devour me--I FUCKING DARE YOU" as he froths, in near orgasmic glee. He looks down at her finally, the flames dancing in her eyes, "I don't need to own you. For you will bind yourself to me, you will give yourself to me, in your hatred.

Her body begins to slump at his last affirmation. She will never bind herself to him. Never. She decides to press his buttons, see how far she could push him, since he told her she was not permitted to die till her contract was fulfilled. She smiles at him, and as her lips part, her tongue suddenly stings as it hits her teeth. It is then she allows her tongue to probe her mouth, finding small dainty fangs have grown. Ahava is pleased to feel them, as her whole body feels so different, her smile widens, allowing the candlelight to mix with the light of the moon and glitter off her new whites. She smiles. Smiles. And says very matter of fact, as she moves to him, predator, not prey, or at least acting as such.

"You dare me. Maybe one day I will learn to care for you, as one may learn to care for a sickly mutt, broken and full of mange, starving at ones door step. Sure I may learn to love you like that unwanted mongrel, but you will always be that to me, a stray, pathetic dog, who I HAD TO FIX." She begins a throaty laugh, rising, and just sounding mean, "Dare me…"she mutters out between chuckles.

"Yes, yes I dare you…" She wanted to anger him, see where his weaknesses were. It worked. He seethed. But he tried to hide it behind bravado and arrogance. He had chosen well, this apprentice, when she offered herself to him. He could have just taken her soul. Maybe he should have. Though like a proud parent when their child wins a fight in the schoolyard, still she must learn her place. With force to knock her to the ground, he shows her what the back of the hand says to the cheek...slap.

She stumbles, stunned, but tries to remain defiant. It's hard under his gaze, his withering disdain. Yet she sees a sparkle in his eye, a hint of--pride? "Bingo" she whispers as she realizes pride may be his undoing, and she will use that to her advantage. She must bide her time, but she was no longer without power.

He stepped back to her as she's rocked by his slap, reaching for her face he takes her by the jaw. He draws her to him, face to face, his eyes locked with his. "Make no mistake, Esh," his new pet name for her, stealing her tongue. Fire for her attitude, fire for the flames that bind them, fire for the light in her eyes. "You are MINE." He gets so close their noses touch. "Your body is mine. Your soul is mine. For a thousand souls, you and everything that you are is mine." His mind raced opposite of his words. Who was this mortal? She would defy in, drawn to Hell this very day and yet she stands before him, a beauty for the ages, defiant to the last. She confuses him and she excites him.

From a whisper under her breath she murmurs, "Hitichat harah." She spits on the ground at his feet, a sign of serious disrespect, to her at least. Still standing nose to nose, the last thing he hears from her for a while besides heavy breathing through flared nostrils, is "We will see, now won't we, my darling." She tears herself free of his grasp and turns her back to him, scanning the room, and humming. She is searching for a place to just be away from him. Her body just responds to him, and it is pissing her off. She cannot think with that need burning in her. She spies a small area in the corner, and moves to it, still humming. Not to her knowledge, each note she hums, is magically produced in thin air, like a mist, almost not there, and each note dances a intoxicating waltz to her target. Still she does not know she is even doing it. She really has no idea what she truly is now. The human is gone.

He tries to deny the allure she holds for him. When she yanks herself free of his grasp he lets her go. He watches her sway across the room, her hips burning into his mind. He knows that she is a Succubus. Hell, he created her in the image that he wanted; yet he shakes his head to clear his mind because his brain is rattling all this new information around. It does not work. Her chain, locked to her ankle, is long enough to reach all corner of the room. When he allows it. And he does allow it, if for no other reason than to watch her walk. His mind reels with what lies beneath those robes. He steps after her, drawn by her spell, cornering her in the alcove. Its as if that's what she wanted. Her humming is now being heard for what it truly is, the song of a siren. But how can this be? He realizes he reaped a chaste girl, whose heart broke long before he met her. This reaping is proving to be new ground that he is not prepared to handle. But who could be ready for a Succubus/Siren who reaps souls, and is very, very pissed off.


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