Tangency and Darkness


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Jessica had no way of knowing that her relationship with Everett was a moment of tangency and thus was doomed to end as abruptly as it began.

She always met him on the veranda behind her Father’s house. Summer nights in Georgia were sultry and each moment that passed as she waited for the sun to set was as fragile as a butterfly’s wings. Jessica could feel drops of sweat describe tiny rivulets across the tops of her mocha breasts and then down her cleavage. She held her thighs close together and swayed slightly with a warm breeze as the final rays of daylight succumbed to the rule of the kings of darkness.

Then he appeared on the far side of the manicured lawn and yet she could hear his voice as if he were whispering in her ear. “Come.”

She stepped down and walked as if in a trance, pupils dilated and long eyelashes fluttering as she drew nearer to her love with each step.

Jessica was only sixteen and he was as old as the Mississippian priests from whom she was descended and who had once walked the land behind her Father’s estate. He said he had once been one of them. What did that make Jessica and Everett to each other, cousins as well as lovers? She didn’t care. She never cared after he took her for the first time, though on that occasion, he had come upon her suddenly and unannounced.

She took his open hand and welcomed the chill of his flesh as an antidote to sweltering evening. They strode away from the house together. Father would think she was visiting Emily again, dearest Emily who swore to keep her secret not knowing how much more than a lover Everett was to her.

They undressed beneath the ebony sky adorned with cold and distant stars and embraced in tender and then violent passion. She gave everything to him, her body and soul, and especially her blood. He took only enough to survive and she gladly offered him this gift. Though she could not know it, tonight was their last night together. Georgia’s seceding from the Union and then the start of the war months later had forced his hand and Everett was leaving for more peaceful climes. The battlefield was such a terrible hunting ground for a vampire.

I wrote this for the Bonus Wordle “Moment of Tangency” hosted at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The idea it to use at least ten of the twelve words/terms listed in a creative work such as a poem or short story. I used all twelve which were:

1. Close, 2. Sultry, 3. Fragile, 4. Whisper, 5. Pupils, 6. Moment of Tangency, 7. Butterflies, 8. Mocha, 9. Sweat, 10. Veranda, 11. Eyelashes, 12. Sway

I pretty much made up the story as I went along, only knowing that I was writing a vampire story. I decided to make it scandalous both because the victim is only sixteen and because she and the vampire are (very) distantly related.

I imagined a hot and humid summer night and for no particular reason set the action in Georgia. Looking up the history of the state, I saw that:

The Mississippian culture, the last of many mound building Native American cultures, lasted from 800 to 1500 AD. This culture developed urban societies distinguished by their construction of truncated earthworks pyramids, or platform mounds; as well as their hierarchical chiefdoms; intensive village-based maize horticulture, which enabled the development of more dense populations; and creation of ornate copper, shell and mica paraphernalia adorned with a series of motifs known as the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex (SECC).

Next to that information was a painting of a Mississippian priest holding a ceremonial flint mace in one hand and a severed head in the other, so I can only imagine they had their “dark” side.

Georgia seceded from the Union on 18 January 1861 and the Civil War formally began the following April. It’s now summer and time for the vampire to move on. When you are that sort of predator, it pays to keep a low profile which is hard to do when you live in a battlefield.

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