The Wasteland

This is my entry into Chuck Wendig’s latest Flash Fiction challenge.

As he says:

It’s a month of horror.

And so I feel like the first flash challenge (and maybe all of ‘em, who knows) should focus on horror. Right? Right. Or, at least, monsters. Here, then, is your task: I want to see a brand new monster. Something you’ve never seen before. Not a vampire. Fuck the zombies. No werewolves or ghouls or ghosts or demons or witches or Snookis. I want you to the best of your ability write a story featuring a Brand New Monster of your own creation.

It cannot be longer than 1000 words. Those are the rules. Here is my entry, about a desert-dwelling ghoulish succubus. This story is probably Not Safe for Work.

The Wasteland

Aranth disgustedly spat sand out of his mouth. It was hot and dry and sandy and hot. The landscape was a parody of all that was right. Deserts of stony flint stretched before him, dry salt lakes perched beneath lofty sand dunes, and there was no water anywhere.

The Wasteland. He knew that as hot as it was now, the nights would cool to dangerously low temperatures. There were few animals other than the occasional reptile he saw submerged beneath the sand. In short, it was as deadly and inhospitable a landscape that could be imagined.

The land was not featureless, but neither did the assorted stones, dunes and gulleys make it easy to get one’s bearings. Particularly in the daytime, when there were no stars to guide him.

Aranth was lost–lost without food, water, or friends. There was not much time for self-pity, as it took all of his concentration to survive. When he had awoken on the fringe of the wasteland, he had had nothing save the clothes on his back. He was beyond hungry–had not eaten since, three nights ago, as best he could reckon. But he knew he could survive for weeks without food, if need be. It was the lack of water that was his biggest danger. He had been hoping to find a stream—to drink from surely, but also to soak his clothing in. But there was nothing.

The sun was setting as his shoes scuffed softly over the dry terrain. This was the best time to walk, as it was neither too hot or too cold. Exhaustion, however, threatened to overtake him, and when he saw the smooth shaded side of a dune a few minutes later he stopped and instantly fell asleep.

***

He awoke, tense and adrenaline flowing. The stars lit up the dark sky and he realized he must have slept for several hours. It seemed though that something was wrong.

Something had changed in the night air. Instead of the earthy, desert scent was a sweeter and more subtle aroma. It smelled of perfume. The kind of perfume worn by the most beautiful woman in the world. Aranth could practically see her, so evocative was her scent. Long, lithe legs that stretched seemingly forever. Beautiful dark tresses, covering her smiling face. Eyes of the lightest blue, the color of the sky on summer days of the past. ‘

She was there, suddenly. Exactly like he had pictured, and naked; her supple body hairless. And she started kissing Aranth. He kissed her back, kissed her with a longing he had never felt. He felt like he was complete, that his life had only now truly started. She pushed him down to the sandy ground, and bestrode him, her long legs stretching to either side of his body. Her nude body rubbed against his waist and for an instant he hated his clothing, that it could hinder him in such a manner
She kissed him more, her tongue attacking in little, flicking gestures. His hands found themselves stroking her breasts. They were large, but round and soft in his hands. Her nipples hardened instantly at his touch and she began, ever so softly, to pant.

Her soft perfumed skin was everywhere, and his eyes closed as he breathed in the fragrance. His mind spun, as if it could not truly comprehend the beauty before him. He knew with utter conviction that he would do anything for this woman. His eyes would not open again, though he knew that his tunic had been lifted up. The woman urgently rubbed her wet groin over his body, her panting louder and more desperate. She lifted her hips up ever so slightly and descended upon his hardness with a wet embrace. Her fingernails scraped from his chest down to his stomach, and lower. He had never had a pleasure that could match that delectable pain.

The darkness began to overwhelm him and he realized he was dying. It was surprising, but not alarming. Perhaps, he mused, it was too much sensory stimulation. As the last fragments of his self began to scatter, he felt … sad. His own sadness was part of it, but a small part. He felt the grief of the world descend upon him….

A slap sent the darkness fleeing away, and the shadows abandoned him. A second brought his eyes open again. The naked woman who had nearly killed him was beside him, ferally stretched and hissing. Not at him.

At the woman who had appeared next to him. At the woman who had slapped his would-be lover away.

“Leave this one. He is too young to suffer the fate you offer.”

The naked woman, her face racked with beautiful hatred, raised her hands up. In the waning light, her fingers looked more like talons. She said nothing, but her face echoed an anger that spanned eons. She turned then and was gone.

“You had best clean yourself up, boy.”

He looked down and realized he was still quite naked. And aroused. His chest had deep red trenches already scabbing up. With a start he pulled his tunic on and stood up.

“Who—what was she?”

“They call her Lamia. You do not wish to know more about her.”

The woman before him was nothing like the one who had just left, but in a more earthly way was equally beautiful. Her reddish-brown hair was short, her body small but muscled in the way of a dancer or warrior. She wore clothing he had not seen before, but her legs and arms were completely bare. Dozens of multi-colored bracelets jangled about her calves and ankles.

“Thank you. I owe my life to you. I am Aranth.”

She looked at him, surprise flashing in her green eyes. “I suppose you do. How unfortunate.”

The End.

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4 thoughts on “The Wasteland

  1. Really good story. I like the ending.
    You know, this kind of thing always happens in the desert. If it isn’t UFOs, it’s ghostly succubi or other creatures with some sort of agenda.
    I always follow the advice my Boy Scout leader gave us: Bring water. And condoms.

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