The night that Gomez was to marry Morticia, he prepared himself with ritualistic care - his actions were in fact based in several of the more interesting rituals in the pages of his sole copy of the unexpurgated, pop-up version of the Malleus Maleficarum, but combined and tweaked sufficiently so as not to fill the local reservoir with the wailing souls of the unrestful dead. It did nothing for the local TV reception.
Bat blood and mandrake and oak gall and grave soil. He pounded them with his mother’s pestle and mortar, shirt off and biceps rippling, lightning flashing from the sweat of his skin.
He painted them upon his torso, arcane symbols meaning death and forever, omitting the usual inserts from the old sorcerers regarding ‘Old Nick’s Brooms: Best Bush in Boston’ and ‘Eat Joe’ – evil never missed a chance to cash in.
When she was walking up the aisle towards him, clad in widow’s weeds, a black lace veil covering her face, her depthless eyes, her savage, perfect mouth, he saw the moment she smelt it on him, and the brief tremble of her skin, the way her nipples tightened under black satin.
He had never had her, before the marriage. Many others, yes, but they were nothing. His flesh was her flesh, his soul was her soul, until they were one person, bound in curses like a snare of wire to a rabbit’s neck, to merely unionise their bodies would be a mockery.
In the bedroom – not after the party but before it, she pushed him there, lip curled back – the thunder crashed and she threw the veil to the floor, raising long nails to rip his shirt from him.
“Mon Cher!” She was slow, uncovering each marking gently, licking at the bitter paste and smiling up at him; he tongue had become forked.
“Cara Mia, my darling,” he told her, his breathing growing rapid. “My soul and my body are yours. I would give you my blood, my kidneys, my heart.”
“Later perhaps,” she whispered back. “Oh darling, break me first.”
Her power was absolute; he need not have put the symbols there at all.
But he needed to tell her, just once, that she did not take anything he would not give.
And the stuff was quite tasty; they often used it again