tagSci-Fi & FantasyIn His Heart

In His Heart


I've been stuck on the next part of Eternal for a while now, so I figured I'd do something different. And by "different", I mean "yet another story about the dead coming back to life". Content warnings include: ghost girl, dream, orgasm denial, sex above the sheets, sex with the sheets, and quite possibly the first Yahiro Pochi reference on Literotica.


Well, this is a conundrum, a deep voice said.

"Who the hell are you?" Matt replied, pretending that his mood had turned impatient. He'd waited many long minutes in this sightless void, with no company besides a quiet heartbeat, and he thought it plausible that a braver man might feel something other than fear.

Thankfully, that which you call Hell has nothing to do with this. The Balance creates enough trouble on its own. But any explanation must wait--there's another who must listen--

Something fell out of the sky and hit Matt on the head. Not that there was a sky here, or heads, but the analogy felt strangely appropriate as a familiar presence untangled herself from him. "Please tell me this isn't the afterlife," Cheryl said, her tone surprisingly nonchalant. "I was hoping for something with a bit more sunlight."

Matt remembered now. It was the end of their first semester in college, and they'd finally gotten their grades. Cheryl had insisted on going somewhere to celebrate her A's. She'd driven a little too fast, and neither of them had seen the red light until it was too late . . .

You lost consciousness just now, the deep voice told Cheryl. You've got quite a strong will, to hold out for so long when you're so badly hurt. Were it possible, I'd--er, you'd be granted a reprieve.

"So, are you going to harvest our souls now, or what?" Matt asked. "If you're what I think you are, I don't think I can beat you at chess."

"I could challenge him to Twister," Cheryl suggested. "Christ, what am I saying--uh, please don't take offense at my using the name of your boss in vain--uh, actually, is he your boss? I always followed the nonexistence hypothesis, but I guess if you're real--uh, I'll shut up now." So much for not being scared, Matt thought.

The deep voice laughed, a sound like a beaten donkey. I'll drop the ineffable act. I'm effing with you, so I might as well get effed back, right? I've been doing this for less than a week. Someone figured out how to kill the Grim Reaper, but before he gasped his last, he talked me into taking his place. I barely know more about this than you do--I've got no oversight, no employee manual, and no idea what happens if I don't keep up the Balance. Oh, and no clue what I'm supposed to do when two people are both on the brink of death, but I only need to take one.

"Take me," Matt and Cheryl said, almost in unison.

"Come on, Matt," Cheryl said. "You're the social butterfly. I'm the science nerd. Nobody will miss me."

"Says the future Nobel winner. I already know my life won't count for diddly squat."

"You just want to die because you think it's traditional for the guy to sacrifice himself for the girl."

Matt knew he couldn't win this argument, so he tried for a compromise. "Hey, Grim Reaper dude? Can you take half a life from each of us?"

No dice. I need one body and one soul.

"What about taking one of our bodies," Cheryl proposed, "then taking half a soul from each of us? Then we could share the other body." She paused. "I don't know if it works that way. I'm just thinking out loud here."

Half a soul wouldn't work, but as far as I can tell, the self is only a small part of the soul--the rest is just used to control the body. If I take all of the senses and motor skills from one of you, then just a bit of hand-eye coordination from the other . . . Oh, that's interesting. Very interesting.

"What exactly are we getting into here?" Matt asked.

There are lots of little spirits that feed on the soul's waste products. With a bit of reshaping, I think I could make one of you into one of them--maybe a spirit that takes away fear, or one that brings good dreams. You'd still be you, and if you wanted, the two of you could stay together for a lifetime. The question is, which of you would be willing to give up your body?

3, 2, 1, and . . . "Me," Matt and Cheryl both said.

This was going to be a long night.

-- -- -- --

Matt awoke with a pounding headache, and the vague feeling that he'd just lost the biggest argument of his life. What happened? We were in Cheryl's car, and then . . . His eyes snapped open. "CHERYL!"

"Calm down," someone said--an EMT, maybe? His vision was still too fogged to tell. "You're going to be okay."

"And Cheryl?"

"The girl? . . . I'm sorry, kid."

He didn't protest as they trundled him into the ambulance. His headache was already losing its edge, replaced with a bitter emptiness. Cheryl.

They'd been together since high school. Before he met her, he'd never had any real goal for his life. He couldn't help but be inspired by her single-minded devotion to her studies, and just being around her had given him a secondhand sense of purpose (as being around him had given her the ability to slack off once in a while.) He'd followed her all the way to college, but now . . .

Matt, I'm right here.

He looked around the inside of the ambulance, finding nothing.

No, here. In your head. A tingle raced down his neck and along his arm. Now I'm in your hand. Back up his arm, to somewhere in his chest. And now I'm in your heart. Nice and romantic, isn't it? When I convince myself this really isn't a dream, I might just scream with the beauty of it all. Or maybe I'll just scream. Well, actually, I'll probably start trying to work out my momentum as I move around your body, but still, I really wasn't planning to spend the evening with me inside of you rather than the other way around--

He focused his thoughts. You're rambling. So, what do we know about what's going on?

I remember a voice saying something about dreams. Let me put you back to sleep, and we'll see what happens.

-- -- -- --

". . . If any person can show just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let them speak now or else forever hold their peace."

"I object to this union," Cheryl said from the assembled crowd. "It's much too cliche. And I was always planning to elope, anyways. Then again, I didn't realize this would be your dream--we never really talked about marriage."

Matt looked back and forth between the Cheryl beside him and the Cheryl in the crowd. "Oh, right. Dream. Yeah, I've had this since high school. It's . . . Well, it's a fun one."

"No harm in dreaming, I guess." The Cheryl in the crowd disappeared, and the one beside him suddenly seemed far more real. "Want to kiss the bride?"

As he did so, the scene dissolved, and suddenly, they were alone in a small, lavish room. "This was supposed to be our house," he explained. "Our bedroom. Our wedding night."

"Where we'll do nothing we haven't done before."

"Yeah, but it'll be married sex. That'll make all the difference."

"I wonder how we'll do that now? In real life, I mean? Maybe I'll go into your hand, and you'll look at Internet porn . . ." Suddenly, she was leaning against him, her legs unsteady, her head buried in his chest. "I'm supposed to be the one of us who always understands what's going on. Did I ask for this? I think I did. I don't even know what I should be feeling right now."

"Cheryl . . ." What could he say?

She flopped back on the bed. "Let's do this. Even if it is just a dream. This was basically where the night was going before the crash, right?" With a snap of her fingers, both of them were naked. "We can pretend for a little while longer."

On the bed with her, he began with another kiss, then lowered his attention to the hollow of her neck. She started panting almost immediately. Then he went lower, his tongue to her breasts . . . "Hot damn, Matt. Stop for a minute."

"You don't like that?"

"I'm reading your mind, remember? I knew you liked my boobs, but I never realized just how strongly you felt about them. You're practically turning me bi here, and I want revenge." Something shifted in Matt's brain. "There, I've set up a feedback loop. Now when you lick me, you'll feel how I feel, and I'll feel you feeling how I feel, and you'll feel me feeling you feeling . . . You get the picture. Still up for it, loverboy?"

Tentatively, Matt tried an experimental lick. "Jeez. I'll never make it through the opening act. Let's skip to the main event." Then he realized something. "Wait, if I come in the dream, then . . ."

"Don't worry. I think I can keep things dry in real life." Cheryl craned her neck. "But speaking of coming, someone's heading our way. We'll have to wrap this up another time."

Matt cursed, but he was already waking up.

-- -- -- --

"I'm glad you're awake, Matt. We need to talk." The man who sat down in the chair beside the hospital bed was fighting middle age, and hadn't quite lost. The light in his eyes reminded Matt of an oncoming train.

"I'm not ready to talk about this now, old man," Matt said. "Give me time. At least until after Cheryl's funeral."

"You mean the whore? She's no longer the concern of anyone but Saint Peter and the Devil. It's your actions we need to discuss, Matt."

The what? Cheryl demanded.

Matt had made sure Cheryl never met the man in the chair--the man he no longer called "Dad" in his thoughts. He married outside the faith. Everyone said Mom would cheat on him. She did. He's bitter.

"You were drunk, weren't you, Matt?" the man in the chair demanded. "And the whore was drunk, too, wasn't she? That's why you crashed. That's why you're here now."

"Even if I say no, you'll take it as a yes. Then you'll yell at me for 'lying.' And then you'll ask me again what I want to do with my life. Can we just get on with the script?"

"I thank God this happened. You've spent years trailing after the whore, never even trying to find a life beyond her. What will you do now that she's gone?"

Suddenly, Matt knew. "I'll change my major. I'll study physics. Like she did."

"You've always gotten C's in science. What makes you think you can turn that around?"

"You've never seen me really try to do something, except be with Cheryl, and not be with you. I have a goal now. And I don't have anything more to say to you, old man."

The man in the chair continued to protest, but Matt ignored him. I won't let your mind go to waste, Cheryl, he thought. I'll be your body and your voice, and you'll be my guiding spirit.

Sometimes, I think you're ten times smarter than me, Cheryl replied. I wasn't even thinking about the future.

Let's take another nap, and then we can talk about the future all we want . . .

-- -- -- --

"Uh, where are you?" Matt asked. He was in the bedroom again, alone this time.

"I just figured something out," Cheryl said from somewhere. "I'm not in your dream. I am your dream. I'm the carpet, the blankets, the mirror on the wall . . . And that means anything you do in the dream, you do to me. So lie down on the bed, and let me tuck you in."

In retrospect, he shouldn't have been surprised when the blanket started to move, wrapping itself around him, holding him tight. Soft fabric massaged his whole body, save for his mouth. Against that, he felt familiar lips, kissing him tenderly.

"Wow," he whispered.

As Cheryl increased the pace, the blanket thickened around him, blocking out the light. Suddenly, it wasn't a blanket anymore, and all he could feel was lips. Countless tongues ran down his back, up his cock, and even across his nipples. For a moment, he almost thought to be scared--but he knew this was still Cheryl, and he could never be afraid of her.

"Remember the last time we tried oral?" Cheryl asked. "I nearly choked. But in a dream . . ." One of the mouths swallowed up his cock, while several tongues played with his balls. He tried to hold off as long as he could, but he knew he was only seconds away from coming--

The tongues stopped. "I'm sorry," Cheryl said. "I thought if you came in the dream, I could keep you from coming in your pants. But it looks like if you come, I come, too, and then I won't be able to keep control."

"I should've seen this coming," Matt replied. "When we get home, you owe me the sickest, most twisted sex dream I can think of."

"You're on, Matt. I know how vanilla you are."

Matt thought back to the last time he'd browsed 4chan.

"What--then--with a bowling ball--and he had two dicks for a head--Christ, I hate Japan. You're bluffing, aren't you?"

"Yeah, I am."

Suddenly, he was wrapped in the blanket again. "Let's just talk for a while," Cheryl said.

"Cheryl, when was the last time I told you I loved you?"

"This afternoon. But if you want to say it again, I'm happy to hear it." A familiar weight plopped down on the bed beside him. "I love you too, Matt."

He disentangled himself from the blankets. "I remember a little from when we were in that darkness. You really gave up everything for me, didn't you?"

"But I still have it. It's here, in your dreams, and it'll be here for the rest of your life."

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