As I walked around the light leaked out of me like the air bubbles out of my dive suit. It was the only thing that illuminated my steps. I could only see about five feet in front of me. Beyond the light there was only darkness, swirling, pressing in like a child eagerly looking through the bars at some exotic animal at the zoo. Despite being at the bottom of a lake, in theory, it was only my dive suit that encumbered my steps the water seemed to both exist and not at the same time. I didn’t have a destination in mind as I walked and it wasn’t like I was able to get out of this lake anyways. I just kept moving, knowing that I’d eventually find myself back at the cabin
“Must you keep doing this?” I heard
her its voice from the darkness, the voice of my beloved Barbara, but the one who spoke was not Barbara.
I said nothing as I continued moving forward. The light grew in intensity, driving the darkness back another foot or two. I would not give that monster wearing Barbara’s body like a cheap clown costume a response.
“There is nobody within our reach with the power to free either of us. Come back to the cabin with me, Tom. Come back to bed,” it said. That voice sounded so sweet, so tempting. It promised me everything, the life that had been so cruelly taken from me, no, taken from us.
Still I kept moving, my legs feeling heavy inside the dive suit. To my complete and total lack of surprise I arrived back at the cabin. What had once seemed like a charming place to spend time with the woman I loved now mocked me on a daily basis.
“What type of man ignores his beloved when she’s speaking to him?”
Finally, I can keep my silence no more. “You aren’t Barbara. You never were and you never will be. Barbara drowned in the lake.”
“Don’t be that way. I have just as much of a right to call myself Barbara Jagger as you do Thomas Zane. Or are we going to be hypocritical and let you keep the name of your host and not allow me to keep the name of mine?”
The swirling of the shadows presses in closer as the light falters. What is it talking about? I feel anger rush through me with the unbridled strength of a tsunami. I know what
she it is trying to do. It’s trying to confuse me, to make what strength I have right now falter.
“I am Thomas Zane. You are not Barbara Jagger. You are something else, something dark, evil.” I repeat those words of protest against
her it like I have so many times in the past, reminding both of us of the fake that it is.
I hear laughing. It isn’t coming from just one spot. It comes from all around me, trying to suffocate me in its choking grasp. “Thomas Zane died. He put on his diving suit, jumped into the lake and killed himself. You took his body just like I took Barbara’s.” The darkness sighed. “We go through this with every body you take.”
“No,” I cry out, but the light grows weaker. There is now only a circle of about three feet around me. The darkness is so close that I could almost reach out and touch it if I wanted to.
The darkness shifts around me. I see images in my mind, like when I would visualize when writing. Two beings, powerful, but opposite, eternal, lovers that will always be connected, those are the images I see. Each desperate to be the first to drown the Earth, one wanting to drown it in darkness and the other wanting to drown it in light, either would be just as disastrous to the humans that lived on it.
“I’m Thomas Zane,” I let the words roar out of me. I wouldn’t fall for
her its illusions, its tricks. I knew who I was. I could remember my life. I could remember my love. I could remember that last bit of writing I had done to help make sure that the Dark Presence would be destroyed.
The light still went out.
I felt hands, warm, fleshy hands, push me down. My back hit the bed that I’d once shared with Barbara. In the darkness a body climbed on top of mine. Arms wrapped around me and by instinct I wrapped my own around that oh so familiar shape. Her lips met mine. I could taste her, smell her, touch her. Everything about her screamed to me that this was my Barbara in my hands.
“Say it,” she said as she placed kiss after kiss on me.
“No,” it was the only thing I could say, the word as powerful as a feather against a tank. I couldn’t push the body off of me. I never stopped to question how I’d gone from being in the diving suit to being nude.
One of her hands let go and moved down my body until it reached my penis. I could feel her hand encircling my manhood, using well practiced strokes and touches to get me hard in a way that only Barbara could do.
“Say it,” she said again as she repositioned herself so that she was right above my erection.
I couldn’t say it, but neither could I find the words to deny what she wanted me to say. I felt rather than saw her lower herself, impaling herself on me. Her hips rocking back and forth, sweet moans dribbling out of her lips. I couldn’t deny the pleasure I felt, how right all of this felt. I don’t know when I had realized that I had shifted from a passive participant to an active participant. My hands were around her smooth waist, my own hips thrusting to the rhythm that she set.