*Author's Note - this is a story that has sex in it, but it is not immediate and is not the main plot. The places and music are real. Any story similarities to real persons alive or otherwise aside from the two main characters would be just coincidence.*
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Dear Journal, have you been actually listening to me all these years? After what happened to me this weekend, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that you have a soul or something. That's a chance I'll have to take because if I don't write this down I might begin to question my own sanity. How will I ever sort it all out? Please don't answer that if you have a soul because it'd just be too much for me to take right now!
You know I went up to York, PA to see Steve this weekend. I managed the drive up there without any trouble. We spent Friday night watching Vincent Price horror movies by candle light and playing the creepiest music we had in our collections. We've listened to Sabbath, Ozzy, Dio, Priest, Maiden, and the rest for years. We knew which songs were perfect for getting into the Halloween spirit. It was the weekend before, so it was the perfect thing to be doing. It was a blast. We joked back and forth leaving each other frustrated as hell, but it was extremely amusing. I'd worked so hard over the last several years to get our friendship back on a comfortable level. Yes, I hate that I'd hurt him in the past. Yes, it really hurts sometimes to know that as great as we were sexually, it wouldn't be happening again. He wouldn't ever feel that emotionally close to me again, but being able to spend any time with him has been more than worth the constraints. Ended up crashing for the night about 2 a.m. and sleeping in on Saturday.
We went out looking at a few haunted houses that afternoon. They were pretty lame. I didn't feel any vibrations at all, just the tension of people jumping out at you in costume. Steve mentioned we weren't really all that far from the Gettysburg if I wanted things authentic. I always avoided places like that because I was afraid of what I'd pick up walking through them. Of course I laughed the suggestion off. We had dinner and went home to change for the concert. Should have seen Steve's face when I walked out of the bathroom in my outfit! Somehow I knew he'd love seeing all my cleavage in that halter-top. It's been warm for October, and I like showing off the fact that I've gained a cup size.
I think he enjoyed my flaunting my 40 C's. My legs looked great in the hose and pumps I'd gotten to go with the short skirt I bought. The minimal red went great with all that black. My makeup was a cross between Alice Cooper and Ozzy just as a lark. He looked great in his wolverine get up. The tight jeans and black jacket were enough to make me hot all over. When he trailed his "claw" across my bare chest I thought I would jump him on the spot. We laughed knowing everyone at the Blue Oyster Cult concert would think we were crazy. There wasn't any point in getting totally costumed. It'd be a few minutes at the show before we'd be covered in sweat with all the dancing around we'd be doing. We just figured we'd have some fun playing dress up.
We made it to the concert without too much traffic. It was at the Ducks club so the wait in line wasn't all that long, but every time someone new stared at us we put on quite a show before laughing ourselves silly. Of course I played up to him with as much sexual innuendo and bare skin as possible. It was absolutely heaven to know his jeans were becoming tighter on him all the time as a result. Being friends doesn't take away the thrill of knowing you can really make someone get hot and horny. Lord knows he had my panties and hose soaked from the barbs he was throwing back at me. He had my nipples so hard just from listening to him tease me. Thankfully there were a few other people at the show in costumes so we weren't the only silly people there.
BOC was great as always. It was terribly hot in there since it was a small club. I decided to be daring and had a few beers instead of soda. Steve teased me about being a bit drunk, but I noticed he had a few beers of his own to match mine. Trying just to be friends, in the mood we were already in, we never should have done that. It'd just been so long since we'd been out together celebrating near Halloween. BOC truly put everything they had into how they played Don't Fear the Reaper. The crowd went nuts along with us, and the place was full of the eerie spirit and appreciation. At one point during that song I thought I saw someone in the audience dressed like the Reaper and circling the floor looking over everyone. It was such a cool costume to wear anticipating the song and the celebrations. He got really close to where we were standing towards the end of the song, but he stayed far enough away that I couldn't see under the cowl. I got goose bumps and couldn't look away from him. Steve kept going wild during the song while looking between the Reaper and I.
"Cheryl, it's Blue Oyster Cult and right before Halloween! Don't Fear the Reaper! Damn, I'm surprised you haven't come on to him!"
Hearing Steve say that to me and then break out laughing, I felt a little silly. I took a drink of my beer and decided to embrace the spirit of things. I held the beer bottle in one hand and started sucking on the bottle neck suggestively while I let my other hand roam up from my legs across my stomach and up the side of my breasts all the while staring completely come hither to the Reaper. I walked a few steps closer to him and in a perfectly serious face mouthed the words Happy Halloween. Before I could get any closer to him as the song was ending, he just side stepped and seemed to disappear behind someone. I went looking for Reaper never to find him. Talk about feeling creepy. It was too strange, but I didn't think about it that hard.
Steve came up behind me a couple of minutes later.
"Still afraid of the Reaper or have you been trying to find him to ask for his number?"
"Very funny, Steve. I was trying to find him to talk to him. Didn't you think he was intense just standing there looking at me? I wanted to see him without the costume."
"Everyone near us was intense with the come on you threw the guy, Cheryl. I thought you wanted to see BOC before Halloween to have fun and be crazy. We're still here and they're still playing. Lighten up, sheesh."
We went back to dancing and singing to the music. The rest of the set was fast and all their most popular songs. I had another beer and decided I was being silly. I did want to be different and just enjoy myself. At the end of the show when we were heading to the car I told Steve I wanted him to take me to one of those haunted fields.
"It's pretty damn late. Those places aren't even open at night you know."
"Steve, it's almost Halloween. We've seen Blue Oyster Cult and the Reaper. I want to be haunted, and I want to prove I don't fear the Reaper. Come on, go be crazy with me this once." I said as I walked up next to him and kissed the edge of his claw in persuasion.
"I can't imagine myself doing this with anyone else but you, Cheryl. Damn, I think we are crazy."
We drove for about 40 minutes listening to Sabbath the entire way. We joked back and forth about the show and our outfits and all the things we'd imagined doing sometime. He found a gravel area off to the side of one of the battlefields and pulled the car over as far as he could before cutting the lights off. We didn't have any flashlights, but we had about a three quarters moon worth of light to see by as we walked. I had grabbed my jacket, but I only had it over my shoulders. Between the beer and the dancing, I didn't feel the cold yet. The whole area was so very quiet after the ringing of the amps. There didn't seem to be any one patrolling the road, but we quickly went through the fence and down the tree line to be safe.
Neither one of us said anything as we kept walking. We weren't even walking fast. I was too busy listening and sensing to see what I could pick up. This was meeting an honest fear and interest of mine and I knew I'd never get another chance this perfectly timed. I wasn't really drunk, but I didn't have all my thoughts together either. I imagined all of those boys and men spending their last minutes here so many years ago. The pain and fear and anger they must have felt. It seemed unreal to me standing there. I felt very shallow for making fun of all of the darker parts of life I didn't understand over the years. All the songs that had been sung about war and death became real to me in that moment.
I walked a bit closer towards the center of the small clearing near the end of the field. I was just drawn by the moonlight shining over the grass and rocks. I let my jacket fall to the ground beside me as I stood perfectly still and quiet. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply, opening myself up to woods and earth around me as my senses reached out searching. I could feel Steve just standing there watching me. He always seemed to appreciate that part of me even though he didn't have experience with it himself.
I stopped thinking about Steve after a minute and started thinking about All Hallows Eve. I thought of the dead walking the world during that night. I wondered what they would feel, how they would act, what thoughts they would have consuming them, what they would say if someone could hear them.
"I would think they would say trick or treat or at the very least happy Halloween." A voice said ending on a deep chuckle.
It wasn't Steve's voice. It was very close. It scared the shit out of me. I opened my eyes and looked around to see the Reaper from the concert standing near the tree line to my right. He was about 3 feet away from us and shadowed from the trees across the moonlight. I took one slow step back.
"Steve, do you see him and hear him near the trees?"
"Damn Cheryl, what do you want me to say?"
Reaper laughed abruptly and stepped forward until he was about a foot in front of us. "How about Don't Fear the Reaper?"
"Cheryl, this one's all yours. You're the weird one."
I could not believe what was going on. In all my strange fancies and imaginings of life, I could never have dreamed this one up. I decided to meet hell head on with at least a bit of character and humor. I did get myself into this somehow.
I took two steps closer to the Reaper, heels sinking into the grass slightly with my weight, and I gave him my best unconcerned pose while crossing my arms in front of me bringing my cleavage up. "Happy Halloween, sir." I don't know how I managed to make my voice come out even and mischievous like I wanted, but it happened.
Reaper nodded at me with his cowl going up and down with the motion. His sleeve came up as he raised his arm and a skeletal finger disappeared into the edge of his cowl almost as if he'd placed his finger on his chin. I could hear Steve's heavy breathing, but we both waited to see what would happen next.
"Well met my dear. Tell me, did you have in mind a trick or a treat for me this evening?"
Shit. My mind went blank. This moment was all of my DnD gaming nightmares coming to life. I never was creative and productive on the spur of the moment. I could just imagine Steve back there thinking to himself 'don't fuck this up!' I decided to hope for inspiration as far as I had to go and went on the advice of Rush lyrics that preach Lady Luck favoring the bold.
"I wouldn't dream of practicing a trick on you, Sir. You surely know them all. Where's the fun in that?"
"They do seem to get a bit old after a while. No one's creative any more. Everyone's gone main stream." Reaper said with what sounded like resignation.
"It appears you're in for a treat this year then." I said with my best hopeful and winning smile.
"Uhm, Cheryl…." Steve said very low and right behind me. "I'd like to make sure you know this isn't all in your imagination. What the hell are you doing?"
"Praying that I get us out of this. Forgive me, but I'm gonna have to break a promise you had me make. If you cooperate, we'll live and you can be mad at me later."
I looked back to see the Reaper still calmly standing there.
"Is it polite to keep someone waiting for a treat after you've knocked on their door uninvited?"
If I could have seen his face, I'm sure by the tone of his voice on that he had to have been smirking!
"No sir. I apologize. It's been a while since I've gone out trick or treating."
"Yes, it has been a very long time since I've seen you out and about this time of year. I'm willing to be patient and overlook the slip. I'm extremely curious as to what you have in mind for my treat, Cheryl. Do tell me. I'm sure Steve must be getting impatient to find out as well. What do you think Steve?"
"I'd like you to know that I have shown a lot of respect to the metal music which sometimes mentions the darker aspects of the world in general because it's really intense, and I honestly don't know why in the hell I let her talk me into bringing her here."
"Steve!" I whirled around and looked at him not believing my ears. He was obviously practicing the DnD eat my buddy system at this point.
"Should have held on to him when you had him, Cheryl. He's got a sense of humor and not everyone understands the disintegration of a true metal piece the way he does. I admit that I like the lyrics that deal with emotions in general when it comes to an angry song. The ones referencing me seem too familiar and usually don't get the riffs right."
"I totally agree with that on anything done after 1991. I've complained about it for years but no one listens to me."
"I really don't believe this is happening to me." I said stepping back and looking at nothing in particular. I knew there was a reason I hadn't had alcohol in 2 years.
"Why are you complaining? You aren't the one that was come on to. You weren't the one that was specifically searched for. You weren't the one promised something and then kept waiting. I'm perfectly entitled to enjoy a good conversation with someone that appreciates a dying art form."
"Excuse me? I did not specifically search for you! I saw you at the concert, that's all!"
"You came here to this field, did you not?"
I knew I was heading for gamers hell and wouldn't be allowed to roll the dice again. Nothing to do but follow this and hope I could roll another life sometime.
"Yes, I came to this field. It had nothing to do with you."
"I think these men would argue that if given the chance."
I looked around and saw the figures emerging from the tree line one by one to form a semi-circle around us blocking the direction back to the road. Men and teenaged boys in torn and unrecognizable clothing for the most part. Every once in a while I saw what I thought to be a uniform. Most of the figures were nearly transparent apart from the vague outline. The other men were giving me very serious stares and roaming my figure without care.
I heard Steve from the edge of my sanity as he started speaking softly.
"Bodies fill the field. I see the slaughter never ends…..back to the front…you will die when I say you must die, back to the front."
"Yes, I was proud of that particular Metallica song. I thought it captured the enormity of it rather well."
It was then I realized what I had been thinking about just before Reaper appeared. All of these men and the things they had endured. The spirits that I had left myself open to feel.
"Yes, I can understand how you could believe that I was looking for you, Reaper."
"Well met, Cheryl. You've grown very quiet. Not at all becoming behavior for celebrating All Hallows though if I must say. Does this mean the treat has turned into a trick? Will you be coming home with me tonight?"
"There's been nothing said about a trick, Sir." I said rather unevenly as I began to run through possibilities in my mind. One of the major gaming lessons was to either outrun an enemy if you were outclassed or come up with the least likely scenario to stall for time. Can't outrun spirits. Hmmm, did sex sell to the dead?
"How about if you and your men watch and listen as your treat?"
"What?" Steve said loudly in total disbelief. Reaper was silent.
"In the spirit of celebrating the coming night and treating you to something original, I believe it's only right that Steve and I should show respect for the men that have fallen here. I'm sure it would be beneficial to you if the men weren't complaining to you in the near future about a lack of new erotic material. It must have been a very long time since they've had sexual entertainment."
"Now I don't believe this! I'm along for the ride. Don't drag me into this!" Steve said shaking his head.
Some of the men around us were gesturing their approval of the idea to Reaper. A few of the figures disappeared back into the tree line. I waited to see what Reaper would say and prayed that Steve would go along with me on this. I didn't have anything else to offer.
"I believe, young lady, that you have managed not to fear the Reaper after all. I would be very interested in seeing Steve receive your 'touch of evil' since none of us here can. Priest certainly knew how to sing about desire didn't they?"
"Oh shit." Steve managed realizing that pissing off the Reaper was just not something he wanted to do even more than he didn't want to screw me.
"Cheryl, you really are a dark angel of sin. I'll never forgive you for this."
"I know that. Shut up and kiss me damn it."
I closed the distance between us and caught him up into a french kiss that I put my entire soul into. I knew that if I didn't connect with Steve on a completely sexual level that the men would be unhappy and Reaper would probably not let either of us walk away. I had gotten Steve into this and I had to get him out of it.
I teased his mouth with my lips and my tongue until I felt him soften slightly. I put my hands up and threaded my fingers through his hair. I pressed my body as close to his as I could get it. It was like a dream, my kissing Steve that way. How many times had I remembered what it was like only to be wet in frustration for it? Too many countless nights when I regretted the things that I could not change between us. Suddenly all of my thoughts and feelings kept silent over the years came flooding over me. Once I had a chance to give Steve my undivided attention until it burned me forever. Here was a chance I had not looked for, and it mattered now more than ever. I let the surge of energy go without thought or direction. I opened myself up completely for whatever was about to happen.
Steve continued to be tense and stiff though he yielded the kiss to me. At any moment I expected him to pull away from me and command me to live up to my promise never to attempt sex with him again. The shadows of my life floated away on the breeze as I surrendered to Steve in a way I had not before. All that I was rested solely in his hands at that moment. It was his to accept or reject. He now had total control of the outcome, total control of me whether or not he knew it. The idea came to me that I could show him without words and hope that he understood, hope that he was still on fire for it somewhere deep inside without definition. I broke off the kiss and kneeled before him with my knees on my forgotten jacket.
The silence of the night, the stillness of the field, penetrated my awareness. I had forgotten completely Reaper and the men, the reason Steve and I had come to this crossroads. My focus rested solely on Steve's reaction to me, to the purest sense of adrenaline that could flow between us. I heard his breathing. I could feel the struggle being waged within him. I knew that even by the surest chance he didn't reject me now I would be in hell forever after when he completely shut me out of his life in revenge, of necessity, without absolution for requiring the sacrifice, the betrayal. My promise broken and his cheating on his girlfriend.