Chapter 1 – Ghost
Rachael shook the rain from her coat as and folded it over her arm as she walked to the nearby lobby desk. A small bell brought out the innkeep who was a small woman who looked as though she was once very beautiful. Now, the beauty remained, but was overshadowed by a new kind of attractiveness which comes with life-long wisdom.
“I’m Rachael McConnelly. I have a reservation.”
“Yes, Miss McConnelly. We’ve been expecting ya. From tha paper, yes?”
“Pardon?” She asked, trying to decipher the woman’s thick Irish accent.
“Tha Chronicle…” The woman continued.
“Oh, yes. I’m a reporter. I suppose you must be the one I talked to on the phone. Um, Ellia, wasn’t it?”
“That’d be me, Lass. Ya still int’rested in our gust?”
“…Uh… Your ghost! Yes, indeed.”
“I canna talk ya outta it, no.” The older woman had tried for quite some time on the phone to get Rachael to forget about the rumors that had led her to the small inn. But Rachael was stubborn. Most people didn’t want to talk about the subjects she researched out of pure fear.
“Nope, afraid not.”
“Very well then. I’ll show ya to yar room.” Rachael smiled, but she saw something in the woman’s manner that seemed to indicate resignation. Like she had done her part in warning her and was now free of possible guilt.
Rachael sat in the large wing-back chair near the fire and stared at herself in the large ornately carved mirror built into the western most wall. Sipping a cup of tea, she admired the intricate wood carvings that framed the antique. Hundreds of tiny female figures played and danced like nymphs around the border, each different, each with its own personality.
Outside, the storm continued to howl, an occasional burst of lightning illuminating the portions of her darkened room that the fire didn’t catch. Her clothing stored, she curled up in her nightgown and contemplated the various tidbits of information she had gleaned about the specter she was chasing.
Rachael had just started drifting into a light sleep when an unexpected sound brought her back with a start.
“Rachael.” Came a soft male voice.
Rubbing her eyes, she looked around.
“Who’s there?” She asked, expecting that it must be someone at the door.
“Rachael…” said the voice again. This time she was listening, and she still couldn’t tell where the sound originated. It seemed to be coming from all around her.
“Who are you? Is this some kind of trick?…” She had been led on before, by people much more capable than this lot.
“No trick, Rachael. You wanted to meet me.”
The voice was much clearer now, but still didn’t seem to have an origin, but what surprized her the most was that he, her “specter”, had as western an accent as she herself.
“Who are you?”
“You may call me… Michael.”
“How did you know I wanted to meet you?” Aside from the fact that she couldn’t locate the source of the audio, she was still very skeptical of her would-be ghost.
“I know many things about you.”
“I don’t believe you. Prove to me that you exist.”
“You hear my voice do you not?”
Rachael chuckled. “You’ll have to do better than that. I’ve been around, I know what can be faked.”
“I see. You need more… substantial, proof, yes?”
“That’s right. Show yourself.”
There was a pause during which her heart rate doubled. If she were right, and this whole thing were a farce, then the ghost would decline. But there was always the chance that she was wrong. It was that chance that gave her the willies.
“Very well. Look in the mirror.”
Rachael glanced up and nearly jumped out of the chair she was sitting in. Standing behind her was a man. He was dressed in an old-fashioned suit, complete with tails. He had long, well groomed dark hair and a face that was undeniably handsome. Turning around, she got another start. There was no one there. The man existed only in the mirror, or so it seemed.
“Are you… satisfied?” Said the voice, this time, from behind her. If it wasn’t real, it was a damn good fake. Expensive too.
“Ever been to Disneyland? The Haunted Mansion?”
“What would it take to convince you?”
“That’s up to you.”
“I see. I think you would be unimpressed with a simple show of kinetics, yes?” Now this “Michael” had her attention. She had seen ghosts move things, and it had shocked the hell out of her.
“That would depend on what you moved.”
“How about if I moved you?” Rachael’s eyes widened as she stared in the mirror at the calm figure behind her. “Would you like to be moved, Rachael? Touched…?”
“That… that might help, yes.” Her voice was weak as she contemplated what the man was saying to her. She also couldn’t miss the obvious sexual innuendo.
“Very well,” came his calm reply.
Rachael waited with a growing sense of apprehension. Suddenly she felt a very gentle touch on her shoulder. It was so light as to be almost imperceptible, but it made her skin crawl. She watched frantically in the mirror as the man behind her laid his hand upon her left shoulder. At the same time, she felt the pressure of his fingers through the fabric of her gown. Looking away from the image in the mirror, and to her real shoulder, she gasped. There was nothing there. Nothing at all.
“Who are you? What are you?” She asked as the weight of his hand settled.
“What do you think I am?”
“Everything that I’ve ever learned says that you are a ghost, but I can’t quite make that work. You seem… more.”
Michael chuckled. “Yes, I am indeed more. To most people, ‘ghost’ suffices, but not for you. You should know the truth.”
Rachael waited, shifting slightly in her seat. There was a warmth to that hand that chilled her. There wasn’t anything there!”
“Over three centuries ago, my people came to your world, much the same way settlers came to America. We were looking for a new home. We are entities which survive by absorbing the emotional energy from beings like yourself.”
Rachael felt a second hand on her other shoulder.
“We thrive on strong emotions such as anger, hatred, sorrow, and ecstasy. When we first arrived, those emotions were in abundance. Your world was caught up in world-wide wars and depressions. Mentally, your people were only just beginning to think logically.”
His left hand was moving now, gently caressing her shoulder. The warmth and gentleness of his touch was surprisingly stimulating. She found her breathing being lulled deeper.
“For about a hundred years, we enjoyed the bounty of your unguarded minds. Then, after a time, your people started to make vast changes in their thinking. You became more, and more self-centered, closing off your minds, and your emotions. By the turn of the last century, you had entirely changed the way you viewed the world around you. You had errected mental walls that were nearly impossible to scale. My people starved.”
Rachael watched in the mirror as Michael’s hands started to move forward and down over her shoulders and onto the top of her chest. She gasped softly, but let them be. Inwardly, she already knew where they were going, but she was completely entranced by the strange being standing behind her.
“Many of us died then,” he said, letting his fingers play along the frilly lace of her collar. “We would have all perished had we not found ways to conserve our strength, combine, and seek out new sources of energy.”
“Several of my people linked themselves to very powerful people, literally becoming a part of them. And for a time, this gave them great power. But it is forbidden for us to do this and those entities were destroyed. Others became wanderers, seeking strong emotions in events and groups. But it is very hard for our people to move from place to place. It saps our strength. The wanderers became so weak in their travels that they sifted down to mere whispers of their former selves.”
Rachael’s breath caught as his fingers found the top-most bow of her nightgown.
“But one group, the one in which I am a part of, found another way. We found that we could bind ourselves to an object or place and find sustenance in the greatest emotion of all. Pleasure.”
The fingers gently tugged outward, loosing the bow. Rachael held her breath, her mind abuzz as she looked from the mirror view before her, to the strings of her gown, which seemed to be untieing themselves.
“We found that by careful focussing, we could produce kinetic effects, touch… We could finally induce in humans the emotional levels we needed to live. It took time, precious time, but we gradually honed our skills. We found for instance, that males were far too aggressive most of the time to be affected by our methods….”
Michael’s fingers continued downward, stopping at each of her ties in turn. And with each one, Rachael’s heart rate rose. Was this “entity” really doing what she thought it was doing? Was she about to be seduced by a man who wasn’t there? His words were soft and erotic, like his touch. They were very hard to resist.
“… So, most of us concentrated on the female side of your race. You were also more suitable due to your ability to sustain sexual arousal for longer periods of time, and have what your people call, ‘multiple orgasms’.”
Rachael’s eyes widened. Could what Michael was telling her be true? Could his race actually have sexual relations with humans? By the way he was touching her now, his fingers slowly drawing her gown open, was she going to become his lover also? Her mind swirled as she tried to imagine what it would be like to make love to someone she couldn’t see. Part of her wanted to run away. Another part hungered for more of his touch, much more. He was by far the most… sensual… being she had even encountered.
“I… I… please…” she stammered as his invisible fingers slipped along the smooth inner sides of her breasts. Her fear made her cautious, even though she knew she couldn’t resist him. As his touch drifted over her nipples, they swelled and pulsed, her body quivering in the wash of erotic pleasure.
Rachael shuddered as the cool night air covered her exposed chest. Even as he drew the fabric down over her shoulders she found herself entranced by his caresses.
“For over a hundred years,” he explained, his touch sliding back up her sides until his would-be fingers curled around her ample breasts, cupping them. “I have lived within this mirror, which was built into this room. I have brought unimaginable levels of pleasure to hundreds of human females like yourself.” His fingers trapped her nipples, slightly tweaking them into even greater hardness.
Moaning, Rachael let her head fall back in wonderful abandon. As her body grew more and more aroused sexually, she found herself giving in to the joy, letting it take her and control her. She was still fearful of the strange being that was so lovingly showering her with ecstasy, but the feelings of pleasure had slowly grown beyond her will to resist.
Her lover’s hands moved in and then started downward. Rachael’s eyes grew wide as they smoothed down over her stomach and then lower. She felt as though her heart would burst out of her chest as his phantom fingers slid down her bare belly and under the fabric of her gown which was bunched at her waist. She had no doubt as to where they were headed. A few moments later, she gasped as he touched the soft curls of her Mons and slowly engulfed her flower with warm erotic pressure.
Letting her head go lax, her eyes closed, she wallowed in the quickly growing pleasure. She was just starting to feel a familiar tingle in her loins when the pressure was suddenly gone.
“Noooo….” she moaned. “I was almost there…” Opening her eyes, she saw that her ghost was now on his knees before her. She was somewhat confused at first by what she saw, for his back was all that could be seen in the mirror. His body, which should have been before her was oddly missing.
“Relax, my love,” he said reaching under the bottom of her gown. “I have only just begun.” With that, his hands found her ankles and started up her legs, lifting her gown as they went.
Rachael leaned back and let his invisible hands do as they pleased. She smiled as they worked their way up her calves to her knees. Then, moving to the outsides of her legs, his hands continued their travels up her thighs until they reached her hips. It was quite strange thing to feel them reach around her and very gently and undeniably draw her forward. Before long, her buttocks were nearing the edge of the chair and she wondered if perhaps he meant to lift her down onto the floor. But he stopped and let his hands slip back down to her knees.
“You can still tell me to stop, Rachael.” He said as he softly urged her knees apart.
“N..nooo… Please… don’t stop….” She panted in response.
“As you wish,” he answered and widened her before him… Only there wasn’t anyone there save for in the mirror! At last, her thighs were spread open wide, her gown now a circle of bunched fabric around her waist and hips.
Rachael was panting almost continually now, her mind totally caught up in the anticipation of his next move. Her nipples pulsed a rosy red as the heat of her arousal coursed through her veins.
She was watching the mirror, so it didn’t catch her totally by surprise when he lowered his head down into her lap. She felt the light tickling of his hair, then the pressure of his face at her inner thighs. Even still, she gasped in wonderful shock as he brought his hands up to her apex and gently opened her. Looking down, she watched as the petals of her womanhood slowly opened of their own accord. Suddenly, there was something else touching her at her most sensitive place. She looked back to the mirror and saw that Michael had moved still closer. She knew that it must be his mouth that was now kissing her with liquid warmth.
“Ahhhh!” She gasped as what could only be his tongue, flicked out and caressed her tiny jewel. Then again… and again. Each time, she gave a little cry of pleasure.
For the next few minutes, he teased her, keeping the space between his touches just long enough so that she was forced into higher and higher levels of arousal without release. Then, when she was writhing in near panic, she heard him chuckle and felt his whole mouth descend upon her flower, devouring her. His tongue no longer darted at her. Now it pushed right into her, sliding easily into the hungry reaches of her tunnel.
Gasping, Rachael arched her back against the sudden onslaught of ecstasy. She could feel herself quickly slipping over the edge into bliss.
“Ughnnnmmmmm!” She groaned. “UGHnnn! UGHT! OH! AHHHH!”
In a blaze of passion, a wonderful wave of pure sexual pleasure rose up from her loins and crashed through her entire body.
Even before the powerful orgasm had completely subsided, she felt him working her to yet another. In moments, her body arched back a second time, her breasts jutting forth, as ecstasy took her a second time.
By her third orgasm, Rachael was nearly squirming out of control. She found that no matter how she moved or tried to escape, Michael could follow her without pause. Finally, with one more powerful moment of passion, she cried out and collapsed into unconsciousness.
Rachael opened her eyes and found that she was laying on her back in her bed. It was still dark, and the fire had died down considerably. As the fog lifted in her mind, she tried to think how long she had been asleep. Then she recalled her encounter with Michael and sat up with a start. Had it really happened?
She gazed down at herself and found that her gown was mostly around her waist. Slipping it up over her shoulders again, she looked about the room. Everything seemed as it should. The only sound was a light tinkle of rain against the window. As far as she could tell, it might have all been a dream. Then again, the warm, tingly feelings at her apex seemed to indicate otherwise. Even her most erotic dreams never left her feeling like this.
Then she remembered the mirror. “Michael?” she called out softly.
“Yes, Rachael…” Came his equally soft voice from somewhere across the room. “I am here.”
“Then it wasn’t a dream?”
“What does you body tell you?” He asked. She could feel his smile.
“It says it was most definitely NOT a dream. But what happened? Did I pass out?”
“Yes. Even though females can achieve higher levels of pleasure than males, they are still subject to certain upper limits while in this world.”
“Damn! I’ve never done that before… or rather, had that done to me before. It was incredible,” she exclaimed, pushing her hands down between her legs. She was still tingling. “Thank you.”
“You are very welcome.”
“What did you mean by, ‘while in this world’?” She asked, laying back down, her hands casually roaming over her body. Unconsciously, she was remembering the recent ecstasy.
“Out here, you are limited by your own body. But if you were to enter my own world, then those limits would be lifted and you could experience levels of pleasure that you can not even imagine.”
“Your world? Is that possible?”
“Yes. The mirror acts as a gate.”
“Really?!” Rachael was incredulous. Sitting up again, she stared at the mirror with a new awe. “What is your world like?” It was the reporter in her that talked now.
“To describe it would be impossible. It is unlike anything you know. It is composed of fantasy and designed for pleasure.”
“But what IS it? Where is it?”
“It is a world of thought. Time as you know it does not operate in the same manner, nor do you require sleep or sustenance. There is no pain, and no death. But be warned, Rachael. Traveling into my world is not to be taken lightly. Once you pass through the mirror, you might be a long time returning… or at least a long time for you. No time will pass out here while you are within.”
Rachael tried to comprehend the strange words Michael was speaking to her. She understood most of what he said, but the issue of time seemed impossible.
“Know, that there are creatures there that would hold you against your will. The organisms that live there have come to exist for only one purpose, and that is pleasure. Most will only restrain you for an hour or less, others a day. There are even a few that will keep you in continuous ecstasy for a week or… more.”
Rachael’s mind tried to comprehend what it would be like to have pleasure forced upon you for a week straight. She found she couldn’t.
“What do you mean by,’restrain’?”
“Once they hold you, they will not let you go, no matter how much you plead or struggle.”
“Isn’t that rape?” She asked, somewhat frowning.
“Call it what you will, but even if you start off fighting against it, in the end you will give in and offer yourself completely. You will be unable to resist.”
Rachael thought about it for a moment.
“Will you take me there?”
“If you go, it must be of your own free will. How long you stay there depends on many things. Think carefully, Rachael. While time does not pass in this world, it will in mine. You will remember everything you do there, or what is done to you, just as if it happened here in your world. You may come back changed.”
“How?” she asked, pulling her gown up over her shoulders and stepping from the bed. She was watching the mirror.
“Passion is a strange motivator. It can cause you to do things that you normally wouldn’t dream of. It can cloud your judgement and rule your life. It can possess you, Rachael.”
She stood before the mirror now, trying to see beyond the surface to the world beyond. Was it really true? The same part of her that had led her to her profession screamed at her to proceed. That same part of her had also taught her caution. But there was another part of her being that was stronger now than the all others combined. It was the part that still felt the warm stirring in her loins and the ache in her nipples. It pounded on her mind with a force that bordered on the insane. Visions swirled in her head. Visions of herself in the mirror, sitting half naked with her thighs pushed wide, her hips rocking, back arched, with some unseen force driving her to ecstasy over and over…
“Show me,” she said with resolution, her eyes gleaming.
“Just walk through,” replied the voice above and behind her.
She reached forward, her hand outstretched. As her fingers contacted the glass, they simply kept going, just as if she were dipping them into a pool of water. Ripples in the mirror surface completed the effect.
“Will it hurt,” she asked?
“Not at all, quite the opposite. Though, you may find yourself somewhat disoriented at first.”
Rachael extended her arm. Her hand passed through the surface of the mirror and then her forearm. There was a soft tingling in her skin. She put her other hand out, and slowly pushed it too forward. When both her elbows passed through the gateway, she felt a slight pull, kind of like she were dipping into a current. A current drawing her forward into another world.
Taking a breath and holding it, Rachael stepped forward.