Gertrude awoke in a hotel corridor. She immediately knew she wasn’t dreaming, and the involuntary knowing bothered her more than the fact that she was certain she’d gone to sleep in her own bed.
“I don’t appreciate that,” she said aloud. “I’d rather find out things for myself, thank you all the same.”
The Eye, of course, didn’t respond. Gertrude picked herself up from the carpet and dusted off her nightgown. She supposed there was nothing for it but to walk until she found an exit.
After ten minutes of walking, Gertrude was beyond cross. There was nothing but corridors, mirrors, and hotel doors. She checked the mirrors at first, of course, but she could see no difference in any of them. Next, she checked door handles. They were all unlocked, but each of them seemed to lead to an identical corridor. It was worse than a maze.
“Fine,” Gertrude said aloud. “We’ll do it your way. Which door should I take?”
And instantly, she knew which one would take her back to her bedroom: the one directly ahead of her at the end of the corridor. She strode down the hall and straight through the door, slamming it behind her as she entered her dark bedroom and locking it. She climbed into bed and pulled the covers up to her neck.
A moment later, the lock rattled.
Gertrude jumped out of bed, stuck her desk chair under the door handle, and rapped sharply on the door. The rattling stopped.
“Piss off,” she said coldly. “I’ll deal with you in the morning.”
The lock stayed quiet until Gertrude had climbed back into bed. She glared at the door for a moment, but when the lock didn’t actually turn, she took a pair of earplugs from her bedside table and stuffed them in her ears. With that, she rolled over and fell asleep within moments.
The next time Gertrude woke, her room was filled with the unearthly indigo light of dawn, the color of a frozen flash of lightning. It took her a moment to realize someone—no, some thing—was prying the earplugs from her ears.
“You’re no fun at all,” pouted the thing that looked like Michael.
Michael Shelley was dead, of course. And this creature standing beside her bed was much too tall and sharp to be him, anyway. It didn’t quite look like a human, and all the bones seemed to have shifted to its long fingers. But Michael Shelley was the closest thing it resembled.
“I suppose you've come to kill me?” Gertrude asked, too tired to be frightened.
“No…” It laughed a strange, echoing laugh. “It’s the oddest thing: I don’t seem to be able to. Did you do that?”
“Yes,” said Gertrude. “I suspected you might come after me.”
“Oh, now, that’s hardly fair, Gertrude.”
“Is anything concerning these matters ever fair?”
“Fair enough,” Michael giggled, leaving his meaning vague. “Did you cover all the options, though, Gertrude? I’d like to find out.”
“You can’t do me any sort of bodily or mental harm,” Gertrude said. “I suppose you could follow me around and vex me for the rest of my life, but I wouldn’t recommend that. It would be very, very dull for you after the first day or so. Do you plan on that?”
“Hmm, no,” Michael laughed again. “I think Michael’s done enough following you around like a loyal pet.”
“Well, then,” Gertrude said.
“Well, then,” Michael agreed.
“Is that all?” Gertrude asked. “If so, I’d very much like to go back to sleep.”
“No, I don’t think so,” Michael said. “I wonder, did your safety measures account for sexual harm?”
“I imagine so, yes,” Gertrude said warily, although she was fairly certain it did not, now that he mentioned it.
“I think I’d like to test your protections.” Michael reached down the front of Gertrude’s nightgown with his long fingers to squeeze one of her breasts. “I seem to recall you manipulating Michael frequently when he was alive. He had quite the crush on you, and you never minded using that to your advantage, did you? I think someone ought to make you follow through.”
“And that someone is you?”
“I don’t see why not. Now that Michael is me, what he wants is sometimes what I want. And in this case, I want to ravish you as revenge both for how you treated Michael and for how you stopped our ritual.”
This was indeed a complication. Gertrude decided the best way to handle it was to go on the offensive.
“Fine, if you must.” Gertrude tossed the covers off and pulled up her nightgown. “But make it quick, will you? I get rather cross when I don’t get enough sleep.”
The almost-Michael paused, clearly disconcerted. Gertrude pressed her advantage by reaching down and removing her plain white underwear and then spreading her legs wide for him to see her.
“Well?” she demanded. “Haven’t you ever gone down on a woman before? Get to it, Michael, before I die of old age.”
The creature’s image vibrated briefly, and in a flash, it was in her bed, curled up on itself between her thighs. Its tongue, too long and thin, snaked tentatively over her sex.
“You call that cunnilingus?” Gertrude asked in disgust. “Really, Michael, that’s utterly pitiful. Have you ever even seen a cunt before? My clitoris is nowhere near there. Emma truly was the better assistant in every way.”
Michael moaned, and Gertrude couldn’t tell if it was with anger or lust. Frankly, she didn’t care which it was, as long as the monster was distracted.
“Either lick my cunt properly, or piss off back through your door and leave me alone,” she said.
It tried again, this time dipping its tongue deeper into her slit. Gertrude huffed and rolled her eyes.
“On your back,” she ordered. “Now.”
It obeyed her and lay quivering like a paused video tape. Gertrude straddled its face and clutched two handfuls of its blond hair.
“Open your mouth,” she instructed. “Tongue out. No teeth, or I’ll end your miserable existence. I can do it, as I’m sure you’re aware. Now, open.”
Its jaw stretched wide like a snake, far wider than any human could manage, and its tongue stuck out of its mouth. Gertrude held onto the fistfuls of hair and ground back and forth over its tongue.
“Lick me,” she demanded. “I prefer long, firm strokes when it comes to cunnilingus.”
Michael did its best to oblige as Gertrude rocked back and forth on its mouth.
“Don’t be coy. Really get your tongue in there and pleasure me.”
It lapped at her earnestly at that. Gertrude rode its mouth, making a point to yawn occasionally.
She finally came silently, and she lifted her weight off its face and collapsed onto the bed next to it.
“Well, good night,” she said. “I trust you can see yourself out?”
“That’s… that’s all?” it asked. “Did you even finish?”
“Of course I finished.” Gertrude pulled the covers up. “You may go.”
It sat up, confused and disappointed. “But… No, I’m not done yet!”
“Do what you must, then,” Gertrude said. “Just be quick and quiet about it. I need a few more hours of sleep before work.”
She pulled a sleep mask over her eyes and nestled against the pillow. Michael yanked the covers back down and pushed her nightgown up past her breasts. It grabbed them painfully and swirled its tongue over her nipples. Gertrude simply yawned again and made herself comfortable.
From that point on, she feigned sleep. She didn’t dare peek out from under her sleep mask as Michael entered her, let alone when she felt tentacles brushing over her skin or when she felt the room change in place around her. She knew it was trying to tempt her to look so it could disorient her, and she refused to play along.
Michael tried everything in its book to get her attention while fucking her, but Gertrude stubbornly pretended to sleep through all of it. The sad part was that its cock did actually feel rather nice—it was almost but not quite too large, and it was oddly bumpy and ridged in ways that hit her every nerve in the most exquisitely pleasurable ways. Besides, what Michael lacked in experience, it made up for with enthusiasm. Had she been less cross with The Distortion, she might have given it a hint that she was enjoying herself.
In fact, Gertrude was surprised by how wet she became from the encounter. Her limited sexual forays over the past decade had usually required artificial lubrication. She was sorely tempted to flip Michael over and ride it again, but she resisted the urge. Instead, she lay there with her sleep mask on, forcing herself to breathe deeply and evenly as it fucked her. She even threw in the occasional snore for good measure.
After a few moments, Michael’s thrusts became faster and more erratic. Gertrude was on the verge of orgasming again despite herself when Michael suddenly collapsed on her. Its cock pulsed into her, and its ejaculate somehow felt exactly like static. Gertrude made a soft, drowsy noise and draped one arm on Michael’s back, as if in her sleep. Just as she’d hoped, Michael still melted instantly under her touch.
“Perhaps I’ll have found a way to kill you next time we meet,” Michael said.
“I look forward to it,” Gertrude murmured, deliberately slurring her words.
Michael lay there on top of her for a long moment, its cock still impossibly big and firm and textured inside her. When at last it crawled out from under the covers, Gertrude rolled onto her stomach. She felt it stand there for a long while, watching her as if it were still Beholding. She nearly fell truly asleep waiting for it to leave.
Finally, after she heard it stalk off through its door, she slid her hand underneath her body. She would need to upgrade her protection against The Distortion tomorrow. But for now, she quickly rubbed herself to one last orgasm before sleep.