Present-mindedness

[NOTE: please read the second and third paragraphs from this post before continuing. Important–don’t skip reading them!]

One of the methods of coping that sufferers of C-PTSD use is dissociation, a shutting down to block the trauma’s intensity and a mental escaping from the present, stressful moment into a world of fantasy. As an alternative to fight or flight, dissociation is part of freezefawn being used more typically by people-pleasers and golden children.

This dissociation can be in the more advanced form of maladaptive daydreaming, a kind of manic defence escape from what troubles us into fantasy for protracted periods of time. Now, while this escape into fantasy may have served some useful purpose as a way to cope with childhood trauma, when we reach adulthood we can’t allow ourselves to dissociate to the point of it interfering with our lives.

I’ll give an example of a mild form of this problem. I look back on my teen years with regret over my habit, at the time, of daydreaming and excessively fantasizing, hour after hour, about being a great musician. I should have been practicing the guitar for the required hours, gradually overcoming my faults, and perhaps even becoming at least a good musician, instead of being the, at best, mediocre one I am now. The creativity involved in daydreaming isn’t worth much if it isn’t manifested in the real world, demonstrated as a physical thing people can see, hear, read…and admire.

Don’t daydream too much!

That excessive daydreaming was one of a number of things that helped me forget–temporarily–the school bullying and emotionally abusive family of my youth. Once, however, we’ve escaped the traumatizing relationships we were in with toxic people, be they a narcissistic family or ex-boy- or girlfriends, or ex-spouses, we have to learn to wean ourselves away from the bad habit of excessive daydreaming, as well as all the other, more serious problems that ongoing dissociation can cause. We have to train our minds to live in the NOW.

I’ve discussed this issue before, though from different angles. In Putting the Painful Past Behind Us, I devised an auto-hypnosis geared at persuading us to think of our painful pasts as no longer having any relevance in our present lives; if we think of it more as a dream we’ve woken from, it may be easier to forget and to stop ruminating about. In Rumination, I featured a list of reasons why overthinking the past is not only a pointless waste of time, but is also harmful.

Now, instead of stopping overthinking the past, I’m focusing on getting us to be more present-minded, to being mindful for as much of the day as we can. I’d like to try that by having us do another auto-hypnosis.

Start by sitting or lying down in a comfortable, quiet, and relaxing place, with nothing to distract or bother you. Close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths, in and out, in and out, over and over again. Pay close attention to what is happening in your body.

Sit or lie in a comfortable position.

Imagine yourself standing in a growing, rising pool of water, at first covering your toes and heels, then rising up to the tops of your feet and reaching your ankles. As every part of your body is submerged by this ‘water,’ you feel those submerged body parts tingling, vibrating with relaxation.

This ‘water’ rises up to your calves, knees, upper legs, and thighs. Now, half of your body is submerged in this ‘watery,’ tingling relaxation. It continues up to your waist, belly, and lower back. Your fingers, then hands and lower arms are also submerged.

The ‘water’ rises up to your chest and upper back, as well as your elbows and upper arms, until your shoulders are also submerged, then the water reaches your neck. Finally, your whole head is ‘underwater.’

This whole time, you’ve continued your slow, deep breathing. Now, with each long inhalation and exhalation, count down from ten to one; as each number is passed, feel yourself getting more and more relaxed, so by the time you reach one, then zero, you’re at a maximum state of relaxation.

Now, imagine your nostrils are like the gills of a fish, and breathe in that ‘water’ you’re submerged in. As it enters and permeates your whole body, imagine yourself becoming one with the ‘water.’ This ‘water’ is the infinite ocean that is the entire universe, and like the Hindu notion of Atman‘s union with Brahman, you are now unified with, you’re a drop of water in, that peaceful ocean of everything.

You are a part of the ocean’s waves. You ARE those waves.

Feel the soothing waves of that nirvana-like ocean passing in you, through you, and out of you, for you are that ocean, or at least you’re a tiny but happy part of it. The waves move up and down, slowly, serenely. Focus on the gentle movement of those waves as they flow through you right now. If you get distracted and catch yourself dissociating, that’s OK: just gently but firmly bring yourself back to concentrating on those peaceful waves. Feel them massaging your soul.

Try to stay focused on this three-part state of consciousness: your connection with the oneness all around you, what I like to call the Unity of Space (that Atman = Brahman idea); your focus on the present, the eternal NOW, what I like to call the Unity of Time; and the up and down rolling of those waves, which for me symbolizes the dialectical unity of opposites, the crests being the theses, the troughs the theses’ negations, and the in-between movements up and down being the sublations of the theses/negations, what I like to call the Unity of Action. Everything is one: there is no more fragmentation.

Focus on these Three Unities simultaneously to bring yourself into full consciousness of the present reality within and around you. Such a meditation is excellent practice in concentration, and doing it regularly, every day, over time should help you become more habitually present-minded, since it will discipline your mind to stop drifting off into dissociations. It will also help you to calm your mind, be more peaceful, and feel more connected with the world, less alienated.

The infinite ocean of peace that gives true happiness.

The Unity of Time combines present-mindedness with an instinctive understanding of the eternally cyclical nature of reality, symbolized not only by those undulating waves, but also by the ouroboros, as I’ve discussed elsewhere. I find focusing on the cyclical motion of the waves to be helpful in keeping my mind from wandering from the NOW. Keep your mind on those up-and-down wave movements, and stay in the present.

Now, if you don’t like the meditation/visualization I’ve proposed above, remember that you can develop present-mindedness through the practice of other meditations, such as chanting the mantra Aum; counting slow, deep breaths; or staring at a single object. The basic principle is to do one thing and concentrate only on that thing you’re doing, not allowing your mind to wander.

What matters most is that, in developing your skill at sustaining your present-mindedness, you’ll be ruminating less, agonizing over the past less, feeling more peaceful, and enjoying more of your real life, which is right here in front of you, and which is now and only now.

‘Claws,’ an Erotic Horror Novel, Chapter Nine

[Some sexual content]

Detectives Surian and Thurston sat at the tip rail in The Gold Star that night, waiting for Callie to come onstage. A nude stripper was doing the last song of her floorshow. She spread her legs in front of Thurston.

Surian laughed at him for the embarrassment she saw on his face. “C’mon, Andy,” she said. “Enjoy yourself.”

“You’re the only one for me, Agnes,” he said in her ear.

“Oh, fuck off, Andy,” she said. “Pussy is pussy. You’re a guy, aren’t you? Live a little. I don’t care.”

“I care that you don’t,” he said…and meant that. He always flirted with Agnes Surian because he really liked her. “You’re much prettier than she is.”

“Bullshit I am,” she said. “That woman has a much better body than I have.”

“I’ll always like your brown eyes, and that cute brunette bob cut of yours, to that woman’s silicone anytime.”

“You’re not getting me that easily, Andy. Watch her.”

“Every time you talk like that, Agnes, you remind me of my high school crush, the girl you look like, who friend-zoned me and broke my heart.”

“She was that plain-looking and flat-chested, eh?”

“Oh, come one! You have more boob than that, more real boob than that stripper, and more smarts, which I find especially attractive.”

“Oh, aren’t you sweet. Stare at her ass, not at me.”

“Really. Your hunches about perps are accurate as fuck. You found the beast.”

“Who’s coming on next,” Surian reminded him. “Just don’t let yourself get mesmerized when she’s onstage. We don’t wanna lose…’Chloe’…again.”

“Agreed,” he said, glad the stripper’s spread was no longer in front of his face. “You remember what ‘Chloe’ looks like?”

“Yeah, I saw her over on the other side of the bar a while ago. You’ll see her soon.”

The song ended, and the stripper left the stage.

“All right, gentlemen,” the DJ announced as Callie got on the stage. “Let’s give a big hand for this sexy lady. Here’s…Chloe.” A chorus of men’s cheers pounded on the detectives’ eardrums.

“Remember, Andy,” Surian said in Thurston’s ear. “As soon as you smell those sexy pheromones, hold your breath. She uses that smell to fuck with our heads.”

“Got it,” he said. “Then we follow her, and if we can get a chance to see a transformation, we get video of it on our cellphones to show that prick, Detective Hicks, and get him to believe us.”

“Yes,” she said. They looked up at Callie with grins as she shook her ass in that tight dress and those black fishnet stockings.

**************

At about 2:00 AM, the detectives had followed Callie to the apartment of a man she was about to have sex with. They were lucky enough to be able to climb up to a third-floor balcony where they could look in a window and see her nude body bouncing on top of her lover in bed.

“I can’t believe we were lucky enough to find the right room so fast,” Thurston said.

“I can,” Surian said. “She seems to have the power to lure people anywhere she needs them to be. She probably put the intuition in our heads to look here first.”

“You mean she wanted us to find her here?” he asked. “You think she can do that?”

“Yes,” Surian said. “If she has the power to turn into a hairy, clawed beast, she probably has all kinds of powers, including her power to hypnotize us with those pheromones. She wants us here, and wants us to follow her around for some reason–I don’t know what that is, but I guess we’ll find out soon enough. So we’ll have to watch out for any traps she tries to set for us.”

“OK,” he said. They both took out their cellphones and set them to video camera. “I feel like a porno director.”

“Enjoy your perviness,” she said. “She’s hot, isn’t she?”

“I’d rather be pervy with you, Agnes. You’re hotter.”

“Shut up. I am not.”

“Oh, yes, you are.”

“Just get video of the proof, and stop hitting on me.”

They had been getting video of Callie and the man having sex in the cowgirl position for a minute or two before, at the sight of her wiggling tits, Thurston opened his mouth: “Check out bouncing Chloe.”

“Oh, behave yourself, Andy,” Surian said.

“You said, ‘Enjoy your perviness,’ Agnes,” he said.

“In your private thoughts, please,” she said. “I’m not a dude. I don’t wanna hear it.”

“Wait: what are they doing now?” he asked after seeing the man roll over and get on top of her. He got her on all fours. “So, he wants to do her doggy-style now?”

“No, wait,” Callie said, loud enough for the detectives to hear. Her lover was trying to enter her anally.

A flashback went past Callie’s eyes: Mort rolling over and rolling her over on all fours, so he could sodomize her…back when she was thirteen.

“No!” Callie shouted again.

“Oh, c’mon, baby!” the man said, starting to push in.

“I said…NO!” she shouted, growling the last word.

“Holy shit!” the detectives whispered together as they saw hair grow out all over Callie’s body. Her lover moved back, startled and speechless, his eyes and mouth wide open.

“You’re recording all this, right?” Surian asked in a shaky voice, her eyes agape.

“Yeah,” Thurston gasped with his jaw all the way down. “Are you?”

“Of course. Oh, my God!”

Callie’s lover screamed, then her claws sliced across his throat, splashing blood all over the bed. He fell on his right side, shaking, clutching his throat, and coughing out blood. The beast stabbed its claws, both hands, into his chest. He no longer moved. Surian and Thurston were now the ones shaking.

Then the beast looked at the window.

“Oh, shit!” the detectives said when the eyes of the smiling beast met theirs. It jumped off the bed, bounced on the floor, and flew at the window. “Fuck!” the detectives cried.

They dodged apart from each other in time for the beast to break through the glass and fly out between them. It landed on the front lawn of the apartment and ran off.

Thurston called backup. “The beast is back,” he said. “It’s running down Jarvis Street towards Isabella Street. Surian and I will wait for it at Edward Road, on the other side of town. Hurry!”

****************

Whenever cops confronted the beast as it ran and jumped down this or that road, a mere whiff of its intoxicating pheromonal smell, which quickly spread around everywhere it went, overpowered the cops to the point that they couldn’t aim their guns at it, much less fire at it.

The smell even got into the police cars through opened windows or car doors, causing a fog of disorientation that made it impossible to follow the beast. By about 5 AM, it had returned to Edward Road, to the alley next to Callie’s apartment building. The two detectives had been waiting.

Hiding behind the bushes in Edward Park across the road, they grinned to see the beast plodding along in exhaustion, leaving a trail of tufts of its hair. It entered the alley and went behind the crates, as it had last time.

The detectives came out from the bushes and crossed the road. With their pistols cocked, they entered the alley.

The beast lay asleep behind those crates again. Surian and Thurston put their guns away and took out their cellphones, which they reset to video camera. They began to record video of the beast from the shoulders up.

All those hairs on its skin were slithering back, retreating into their follicles. Its claws were shortening, changing back into fingernails.

“This is…incredible,” Thurston whispered. “Wow!”

“I know, but don’t make any noise,” Surian whispered. “She might wake up and get hairy again.”

Callie’s hair changed from brown back to blonde. Now fully changed from beast back to beauty, she lay there still asleep, the same nude sex goddess she was every night in The Gold Star, all clean, freshened up, and as if ready for a Playboy photo shoot.

“She doesn’t even need to pretty herself up in the bathroom,” Surian gasped, still in amazement at what they’d seen. “This is some kind of major supernatural shit we’re seeing here. You got all that recorded, Andy?”

“Yep,” he said with a smile. “We have all the proof we need. This should make Hicks finally take us seriously.”

Callie woke up.

“Good morning, ‘Chloe,’ or Sandra, or whatever your name is,” Surian said with a triumphant smile. “We’ve finally got you.”

“Hi,” Callie said with an ear-to-ear grin, not at all intimidated by them.

Before the detectives could hold their breath, they’d already inhaled a huge whiff of that aphrodisiac pheromone smell. Their heads were swaying from side to side.

“How about a threesome, detectives?” Callie asked. “I know you two like each other, and I know you both like me.”

Surian and Thurston got down on their knees. They dropped their cellphones on the ground. His head went between Callie’s spread legs; Surian’s lips wrapped themselves around Callie’s left nipple. Both detectives began sucking, kissing, and licking. Callie took a cellphone in each hand.

Her hands let out a glow surrounding both cellphones. The demoness’s power erased the memory of the video recordings. Callie orgasmed from Thurston’s lips and tongue on her clitoris, spraying come into his mouth. Kluh’s magic caused Callie to lactate, feeding Surian generous gulps of milk.

Now with the demoness’s fluids inside them, the detectives moved away from Callie’s body; for those fluids were now swimming inside the detectives’ bodies, giving Kluh direct psychic control of both of them. Still mesmerized, the two began French-kissing on the ground there in the alley as Callie got up and walked out of the alley, insouciant about her nudity, her hands at her sides and allowing anyone watching at the time to see all of her body if he or she wished to.

She went to the front door of her apartment building and used her power to unlock it, just by using the tip of her finger to tap on the keyhole. She did the same with that of her apartment, with no need of a key, when she’d reached her floor from the elevator. A hypnotized neighbour of her latest victim would soon arrive at the door of her apartment with her purse and clothes.

The detectives snapped out of their stupor after another ten minutes of necking. Thurston gave Surian a few more kisses on the lips and cheek.

“Stop it!” she said, slapping him. “You pig!”

“Oh, come on, cutie-pie,” he said, rubbing his cheek. “You were as into the kissing as I was.”

“‘Chloe’ used her power to make us do that, to distract us while she got away,” she said. “Anyway, it doesn’t matter. We got video of both transformations.” They picked up their cellphones and checked where they’d saved the video recordings. We can finally prove–“

“Hey, what happened to them?” he said, frowning.

“She must have erased them while we were…fuck!”

“Let’s go find her apartment.”

“She’ll probably elude us again. We’ll have to think of a different strategy. I’d like to know what she does with herself when she isn’t stripping. I’d like to follow her around in the day, and see if there’s anything we can learn about her that way.”

“Yeah, in any case, we still have that sexy smell of hers fogging up our brains. We can’t think straight, so we can’t do much here and now.”

Yes, follow me around in the day, Callie/Kluh thought as she lay on her bed on her back. Learn more about me through Dr. Visner.

‘Claws,’ An Erotic Horror Novel, Chapter Eight

Ten minutes before his therapy session with Callie, Dr. Visner was sitting at his desk thinking about her.

I remind her of her stepfather, he thought as he looked over his notes. He tricked her into thinking she enjoyed the sex with him. She looks at me with desire in her eyes, and I don’t think that’s just my countertransference making me want to think she wants me, though I must be careful with my countertransference. She is beautiful and desirable, that stripper, and because of the sexual abuse she suffered from her stepfather, her transference with me–though amorous on the surface–will have unconscious hostility to me, too.

Beyond the obvious ethical problems of me possibly being involved with her sexually, he continued in his meditations, there’s the danger of her turning violent on me. Her stepfather, Mort Brahms, it turns out was the man killed by that animal in the Hamilton news story…and there have been sightings of such a beast here in Toronto, after the killings of two men during sex with them. She must have delusions that she’s this beast. Does she own a pet of some exotic kind? Does she dress up in a furry costume, with fake claws? The police insist that the victims didn’t have knife wounds, but claw wounds. The men wouldn’t have fucked her when she was wearing such a costume, I think it’s safe to assume; few men would be turned on by that. She wouldn’t have changed into such a costume right after the kills, for she was at their homes, and why would she carry the costume around? I can’t seriously be expected to believe she transforms into a beast, as with her Hulk fixation, so what’s going on?

His receptionist spoke on the intercom: “Ms. Seaver is here for her appointment, Dr. Visner.”

“OK,” he said. “Send her in.”

Callie entered the room. His jaw dropped.

She was wearing a sleeveless, skin-tight, PVC red dress that went half-way down her upper legs and showed off a generous amount of cleavage. She also wore black fishnet stockings and matching high heels. She’d painted her face with thick black mascara, purple eye shadow, pink blush, and red lipstick.

“What do you think?” she asked with a grin. “Do you like it?” She turned around for him, then sat in a chair facing him. Without panties, she at first had her knees together, but over the next several minutes she would slowly, almost imperceptibly, open her legs. As her legs drifted open, that pheromone emanated from her.

He took a deep breath and resisted looking between her legs. “Why are you…dressed like that?” he asked. The pheromone buzz was already beginning to affect him; his eyes were half-closed, and his head swayed left to right.

“I’ll be stripping at The Gold Star tonight,” she said. “As soon as we finish here, I’ll be going over there, so I won’t have time to change. Besides, I wanted to look hot for you.”

He pushed himself to regain control. “Don’t I…remind you…of your hateful stepfather? He who…cruelly sodomized you, and drove your mother…to suicide?”

“You may look like Mort, but I can see you’re a much better man than he ever was.”

“I see.” With effort, he was writing notes. Don’t grill her on Mort’s death, he thought, blinking a lot. Discuss it only if she brings it up, and even then, be tactful. “But you…hardly know anything about me. How do you know…I’m any better than he was?”

“I know enough,” she and Kluh said together, as they were always communicating together now; indeed, Callie’s personality had become barely distinct from that of the demoness. Their souls were like circles in a Venn diagram that overlapped about ninety percent, with only thin edges of the one soul and the other not touching. Because of this psychic closeness with the mind-reading demoness, Callie’s ‘knowing enough’ about Visner was no exaggeration.

“You know…the idealized version…of a father/lover figure…that you’ve projected onto me,” the therapist nonetheless insisted. I feel high, he thought, still blinking.

“Is that so?” she asked, her legs wide open now, her agape eyes and pursed lips giving him no doubt that the exposure of her vulva was fully intentional. “Enlighten me.” The pheromone aroma grew more and more powerful.

“Y-yes, w-well…,” he began, stammering not so much from her exhibitionism, or the pheromones, as from her choice in clothes; for her outfit was an exact replica of that of a young Thai prostitute he’d enjoyed, many years ago, during the partying years of his youth in Southeast Asia, just before he began his master’s degree. “Because of your trauma, your personality has split into three…aspects, we’ll say.”

“You think I have three personalities?”

“No, I-I don’t think necessarily that–not yet, anyway. I’ll try to explain this…to you in a way…that w-won’t sound like…psychoanalytic jargon. I’ll use language you can understand. Y-you…”

“No need to dumb it down too much. I’m smarter than you think.”

“No, Callie, I don’t mean to condescend. Anyway, there’s you in your original ego-state, just wanting to connect with people, as we all do when we’re healthy. But, because of the divorce…of your parents, your father’s…distancing himself from you, then his death, your mother’s suicide, and your stepfather’s…rapes, that original you…has developed two other, subsidiary egos.”

“OK, I’m intrigued,” she said with a smirk, her legs still wide open. “What are these ‘subsidiary egos’?”

“Well, one of them is an angry, hateful, and even violent beast, so to speak.”

Her eyes widened. Her smirk grew wider.

“This ‘beast’ rejects people, because it’s been hurt…so many times by them, and it can only remember…pain and rejection itself. The other is…w-well…as you are now…full of lust and desire, e-eager for the fulfillment of pleasure.”

“Oh, you’re right about that,” she said, using her power to open her vagina into a big, black hole.

The pheromone smell was overpowering. Still, he held on to his composure, as shaky as he was getting. He just looked down at his notepad and wrote more notes, but his shaky hand made the words almost illegible.

“Don’t worry. I won’t let the beast get you.” She licked her lips at the visible erection in his pants.

“Do you want to talk about the beast?”

“I’d rather talk about the horny version of me.”

“I can see that.”

“Yeah…but you aren’t looking.”

“Do you feel insulted about that?”

“No. I know you want me. I can feel it. You’re just a little shy. Actually, your resistance makes you all the more attractive to me. Men who jump at every opportunity for sex are boring. You’ll come to me, though, in time.”

“I will, will I?” he asked with a smirk, looking directly into her eyes and trying his best not to look down.

“Oh, yes,” she said, still showing off that wide-open hole, and smiling from noticing his occasional, furtive looks. “As I said, the beast won’t kill you.”

“I’m not concerned…about a beast killing me.” His head was spinning from the sexy smell.

“You’ve been following the recent local news, haven’t you?”

“Of course I have. A hairy beast…killed two men…by slicing them up…with razor-sharp claws. Police claim…they’ve seen such an animal, a furry one…with a woman’s curves, running about…and jumping up high, in huge leaps, on the streets at night. Are you saying…that this beast is a part of you?”

“Oh, yes,” she said. “But you don’t believe that, do you?”

“I believe the beast…is a figment of your imagination.”

“But you do acknowledge that I killed those men, and Mort? You do acknowledge that the police really saw a hairy animal with a figure as curvy as mine?”

“I acknowledge…the possibility of your having…killed them. I acknowledge that people have seen…a beast out there; but I’m a psychotherapist, not a forensic scientist. I’ll leave it up to them…to decide if you killed those men, if there really is…a hairy animal out there, and if that animal…is connected with you…in any way other than…in your imagination.”

“OK.”

“You believe…you killed those men…as that beast, but I’m not yet convinced…that your guilt in those matters…is anything other than…a figment of your imagination. You’re clearly deeply disturbed…and traumatized; this trauma is making it difficult…for you to see things…as they are. I care about you, and I want to help you. You’re terribly fragmented, split up…into three parts.”

“Actually, the fragments are all coming together. You’ll be joining us, too, Doctor, in a very special way…in a way, in fact, that will go beyond how you came together with that girl prostitute in Bangkok many years back.”

He dropped his pen and notepad.

‘Claws,’ an Erotic Horror Novel, Chapter Seven

Detectives Surian and Thurston were sitting in her car on a street near the apartment building where the blue-haired stripper was with her boyfriend. They’d been waiting there for hours; it was about 2:30 in the morning.

“I told you nothing was going to come of this,” he said, sipping his coffee.

“What if she was the wrong girl?” Surian asked. “Another girl with her hair dyed blue?”

“I saw only one stripper in The Gold Star with blue hair,” Thurston said. “This must be her. I don’t see an animal anywhere, though.”

“Let’s just wait another hour or so, OK? We’ve already invested enough time in this.”

“She and that man who entered her apartment are probably just asleep after a fuck…as we should be.”

“Shut up, Andy. You’re not getting me that easily. Anyway, maybe–“

Her cellphone rang. She fumbled in her purse for it.

“Hello? Surian here.” Her eyes and mouth widened at the words heard from the other end. “OK, we’re on our way.” She hung up and started the car.

“Someone spotted the beast?” he asked.

“Yes, in a neighbourhood on the other side of town.” Her tires screeched on the road as she tore down it.

“I told you we were wasting our time here, Agnes.”

“Shut up.”

*************

They were about halfway to the point where Surian’s caller told her where he saw the beast when he called her again.

“Hello?” she said into her cellphone.

“The beast has just been spotted on Yonge Street,” the caller said. “It’s running towards the intersection at Bloor.”

It’s near Yonge and Bloor?” she said. “We just drove past that intersection, didn’t we, Andy? I forget.”

“Yes, we did,” Thurston said. “Do a U-ie and go back.”

Her tires screeched on the road again as she swung the car around. On the way back to that intersection, though, she hadn’t driven past two buildings before hairy, clawed Callie landed on the roof of her car, denting it with her weight so far as to push a deep crater on it between the heads of Surian and Thurston.

“What the fuck?!” he yelled. He and Surian rocked in their seats as the car stopped.

They swung open their doors and got out with their pistols already in their hands. He spun around and looked up at Callie on the depressed car roof.

“My fucking car!” Surian shouted. “C’mon, Andy, shoot ‘er!”

But he just froze at the sight of the furry creature with her wild, yellow-toothed grin.

“Jesus Chri–,” he began, raising his gun at Callie.

She swatted him before he could pull the trigger. He lay on the road, knocked out. She’d bent down to hit him just in time to dodge a bullet Surian fired at her back.

Callie looked back at the detective with a smile. Kluh caused a fog to obscure Surian’s vision. She smelled a familiar, intoxicating smell, too. In her daze, she allowed Callie to jump on her.

Her gun fell out of her hand, then the fog cleared. She looked up at the grinning face of the hairy beast. Callie held her right hand over the cop’s face, the claws an inch or so above her nose. She moved her fingers in a slow dance, as if trying to decide whether to gouge out Surian’s eyes or slice off her nose. The detective could only wince and hope for mercy.

Callie moved her hand away and brought her face down to meet Surian’s. Their noses touched. Their eyes were locked on each other’s. That ‘sex pheromone’ smell was overwhelming.

Callie heard a grunt from Thurston as he’d come to and was getting up. She jumped off of Surian and flew high in the air and out of sight. Surian just lay there, trembling.

“Are you OK?” he asked, offering a hand to help her up.

“I don’t think I pissed my panties, if that’s what you mean.”

“I don’t smell that, but I do smell the smell of that stripper.”

“That’s right,” she said, now on her feet. “I told you we weren’t wasting our time.”

************

Kluh’s powers threw a fog over the air that ensured that all the other police lost Callie; but Surian and Thurston were given clear enough air to follow her well enough to find, by around 5:30 in the morning, more long, brown hairs. These were found on the dewy grass of a park across the road from Callie’s apartment building. More and more groupings of hairs made a path across the road.

Picking up some hairs on the sidewalk between the park and the road, Surian said, “Andy, take my car to 22 Division and show them these hairs. Tell Detective Hicks what happened two and a half hours ago, then come back to pick me up.”

“Nobody will believe what we saw,” Thurston said.

“I know. Do it anyway. We’ll prove it later.”

“You wanna go find her over there all alone, right?”

“Of course. Now, go on.”

“I don’t like the idea of you facing her all alone, Agnes.”

“A naked hottie hiding in an alley? I think my gun and I can handle her. Don’t be jealous; I won’t get horny.”

“How do you know she isn’t still in her monster state?”

“Well, she isn’t rampaging anymore, she only comes out at night, and we never start seeing hairs until her rampages are all over.”

“Well, OK,” he said, turning towards the dented car. “The split second you feel in danger, call me and I’ll race back here.”

“Thank you, honey. Now, get going.”

He got in the car and drove off, in all reluctance. She crept across the road, her eyes locked on that alley. Was a naked stripper lying behind the pile of wooden crates standing against the wall of the building on the left, opposite to Callie’s apartment? Surian took out her gun.

A man living on the ground floor of Callie’s apartment looked out his window and, indeed, saw naked Callie lying asleep, from his point of view, to the right of those crates. Unlike during those previous times, she now didn’t look dirty or sweaty; her hair wasn’t disheveled, either. She lay there as flawlessly photogenic as a Playboy model, all thanks to Kluh’s growing powers.

“Is this my lucky day, or what?” the man whispered.

He went out the side door to get a closer look.

Surian, absent-minded as she stood in the middle of the road, watched the scene with growing interest.

Callie woke up and saw him standing there, ogling her body. She and Kluh also sensed, through the vibrations between her body and the road, Surian’s presence. On her back, Callie spread her legs.

The man grinned at the sight of her immaculately hairless vulva.

“Well?” she said, impatient and almost annoyed with him.

“Well, what?” he asked in his lustful stupor.

“Are you gonna take me in your home and fuck me, or what?”

“Oh, uh, yeah,” he said, snapping out of it. He put out his hand to help her up. She took it and stood.

A car horn beeped Surian out of the way as Callie emerged from the crates. As Surian stumbled closer to the alley, Callie looked over to her. Instantly, those sex pheromones emanated from her, the smell entrancing both Surian and the man. He led Callie into his apartment.

The cop went over to the window, walking in a daze and trying to regain her self-control. The gun fell out of her hand. She looked through the window to see him and Callie in his kitchen. Callie lay on the floor on her back with her legs spread. He was so distracted by his lust that he never bothered to look at the window and see Surian. He unzipped his pants and entered her.

Surian just stood there, stupefied by the smell of the pheromones as she watched the sex. Her will melted away; she felt as if she were in the middle of a dream. She rubbed her hand against her crotch.

You want us, Detective, Callie and Kluh communicated psychically to her. But you can’t have us now. We’ll be together, in time. For now, though, goodbye.

Surian was made to turn around and walk back to the sidewalk, forgetting her gun and leaving it there in the alley. She stood on the sidewalk and stayed there in her daze for a half hour before Thurston returned in her car. She got in.

“Well?” he asked. “Was she there?”

“No,” she said in the oblivion of her daze, from which she was slowly coming out. “But I do think she lives in that apartment, or at least in the area.”

“Hicks doesn’t believe our story about the dent on your car. He asked if we were high when it happened.”

“That’s OK. We’ll prove it later. We’re getting close to her. I can feel it.”

“So, what do we do for now? Stake out that apartment?”

“We’ll go back to The Gold Star,” she said, “and see if we can find her. That aphrodisiac smell is definitely coming from her, though she’s tricky with how she uses it to manipulate people.”

“Yeah, she hypnotizes us with lust…though you’re still my favourite.”

“Shut up, Andy. I want to see if any research is out there, on Google or in the library, about the…phenomenon…we saw last night. Though I don’t know what to look up. No name for the beast, so far as I know.”

Don’t worry, Agnes, Kluh and Callie mused as they borrowed some of the man’s clothes, left his apartment in them, and went up the elevator to her apartment. You’ll find out all about the spirit world in due time. She used her powers to unlock her apartment door, went in, and waited for a neighbour of the dead photographer’s, under her mind control, to come to her apartment with her clothes and purse.

Hoovering

[NOTE: please read the second and third paragraphs from this post before continuing. Important–don’t skip reading them!]

Because of traumatic bonding, we survivors of emotional abuse may find it tempting to believe our abusers when they say they want ‘to connect’ with us again, or to be ‘reconciled’ with us. Nobody wants to lose friends; we all hate to see close relationships disintegrate.

But since the pain outweighs the good we received (or thought we received), we must protect ourselves from any new pain our abusers are planning to inflict on us. At the same time, their manner of communicating with us seems so kind, so patient, so loving.

Have they changed? Have they finally learned from all the mistakes they made in the past? We’d like to think so…oh, how we’d like to think so! After all, though the good that we got from the relationship may have made up a minority of the total experiences in it, that good may have been (or at least may have seemed to be) a rather large minority. A minority, nonetheless, is still a minority, big or small. What can we do to avoid falling into yet another trap?

If that ‘large minority,’ or ‘significant minority,’ of good times really was good, in spite of the clear majority of bad, we might want to think less of the quantity of experiences of good and bad, and think rather of their quality. Were the good experiences of any real importance, or were they just fleeting pleasures? If the latter, their large number (if they actually even were large in number) hardly comes close to compensating for all the pain that the bad experiences caused. If the good times were significant, the bad times all too often outweigh the good times, too. Either way, be careful!

Don’t let ’em suck you back in!

And if those abusers are asking you to get back in touch, you know their sucking you back in is not in your best interests.

I’ll give an example of hoovering I got from my older sister, J., the golden child of the family. She tried emailing me, after the falling-out I had with the family when my late, probably narcissistic mother died (read these posts for the origin story of my troubles with my family, if you’re interested), telling me about possessions of mine still in our mother’s home that I should collect. I didn’t want them. I never even replied to her email. I also blocked her and all our other family members.

Then she tried, several months to a year or so later, to contact me on Facebook. I rejected her message request. When you go No Contact, you must commit to it.

She tried, in her messages (the opening part that I actually saw, for I had no wish whatsoever to read them), to be warm and caring in her tone. I wasn’t buying one word of it. I know her too well. She likes to open her messages to me with such stale, formal language as, “I hope this email finds you well,” implying a lack of genuine, heartfelt emotion. She never was one for the sincerity club.

She would have me believe that the whole family misses me terribly (If so, why have neither of my older brothers–nor anyone else in the family, apart from her and Mom when she was alive–ever tried contacting me, except ever so rarely over the past twenty years I’ve lived in Asia after leaving Canada in 1996?); and they want us to “heal those wounds,” as my aunt described the problem on the phone just before my mom died in hospital. I haven’t contacted them because, frankly, I don’t miss them. Why would I miss emotional abusers?

Don’t be a sucker!

Furthermore, I assure you, Dear Reader: the only ‘healing’ they want is from their own point of view; they couldn’t care less whether I heal or not–I’m expected just to fall in line and do what they want. The ‘healing’ would involve me changing my ‘errant’ ways and apologizing for the hurt I caused them. They wouldn’t need to change, because in their opinion, they never did me any wrong. Their anger towards me is always ‘justified’; mine never is. I’m just an immature, selfish whiner, according to them.

I beg to differ, as I’ve explained at length in all the posts (links above) that I’ve written on the subject; there’s no point in my repeating all of that here. In any case, true reconciliation must involve reciprocity: it’s only fair. I’m prepared to acknowledge things I’ve done to upset them, in recent years as well as those further off in the past; but beyond a mere paying of lip service to their faults, they will only trivialize all that they and Mom did over the years to provoke my wrath. As her flying monkeys, they’re willfully ignorant of what she did, which was an atrocious string of lies and smear campaigns against me and our cousins over the decades.

The point, Dear Reader, is that it will take a lot more than honeyed words from abusive people to be worthy of your trust. It actually doesn’t involve them saying much of anything; it involves them doing those two things they’ll never do–listening to you and validating your feelings.

Always remember that, whenever your abusers pull the old hoovering tactic: it doesn’t matter what their mouths are doing, or what their fingers are doing when they write or type their messages for you to read; it’s what their ears are doing…and what their brains are thinking in secret.

Since we abuse victims have no way of knowing for sure what activity is going on in their ears and brains, our abusers should have a formidable task convincing us if they’re truly contrite. For if they’re faking their regret, their attempt to regain our trust should be an impossible task.

‘Claws,’ an Erotic Horror Novel, Chapter Six

[some sexual content]

A few nights after, Surian and Thurston were sitting at the tip rail in The Gold Star.

“We’ve been checking out all the girls here for several nights now, and we still haven’t found anyone who’ll lead us to the beast,” Thurston said. “I really think we’re wasting our time.”

“We haven’t seen all the girls yet,” Surian said. “Check out this new one coming onstage. We haven’t talked to her yet.”

On went Callie. “And now, let’s give a big hand to this sexy lady,” the DJ announced. “Here’s…Chloe.”

Chloe?” Surian said. “Wasn’t Sandra’s mom named Chloe?”

“Yeah, but so what?” he said. “What does that prove about the girl onstage?”

“I don’t know, but I feel these hunches are getting me closer to the beast. There’s something about this girl here. I’m getting a strange vibe from her. A smell, her perfume? It’s almost like a…sex pheromone, or something.”

“Wait, I’m getting that feeling too, Agnes. Not that I’d ever prefer her to you, of course.”

“Shut up and watch the show, Andy.”

They did. ‘Chloe’ had dark blue hair, thanks to Kluh’s manipulations of Callie’s looks. She was wearing a tight black leather outfit. She was moving around to ‘Fuck the Pain Away,’ by Peaches. Another man was eyeing her from the side of the tip rail opposite from where the two detectives were sitting. She was eyeing him back with equal interest, and not the phoney kind that strippers give when they see a chance to make money.

“He likes her,” Thurston said.

“And she likes him,” Surian said.

“I don’t know what it is,” he said, his head swimming. “Is it that ‘pheromone’? But I think…I’m beginning to like her. Sorry, cutie-pie…you’ll always be…my favourite, but she…is having…some kind of…effect on me.”

“I don’t believe it,” Surian sighed, her eyes as locked on ‘Chloe’ as his were, “But I’m…getting the same feeling. I’ve never had…lesbian cravings…like this since…grade twelve. I feel like…such a pervert…sitting here.”

“That’s why…they call it…pervert’s row.”

Why are you attracting those two cops to me? Callie asked Kluh in her mind.

Don’t worry, the demoness answered her. They won’t get us. We’re getting more and more powerful all the time. I have a use for those two, later on. For now, let’s lure that man on the other side into your bed. His life force will give us more power.

After her floorshow, Callie went over to the man who’d been eyeballing her. The detectives watched them chat for a minute, then the man went over to the VIP area while Callie went off to the washroom.

“OK,” Surian said. “Let’s just wait for Blue Hair to come out of there and join her admirer in the VIP area. We’ll wait and see if he leaves the bar with her, then we’ll follow them to…his place or hers.”

“Right,” Thurston said. “Then she’ll make the beast magically appear?”

“I don’t know, Andy, but we’ll just see if anything strange happens, like a hot-looking naked woman hanging out in an alley after the beast appears. We’ll see if there’s some kind of connection between the two.”

‘Chloe’ came out, but now with blonde hair and in a pink lace bra and thong, and wearing white high heels. She didn’t give off that pheromone smell that had turned the detectives on, either; so they didn’t recognize her, and they didn’t pay attention to her as she went into a VIP room to be with the man.

Instead, they saw a blue-haired woman come out afterwards, wearing a red dress and having that sexy smell. Assuming she was ‘Chloe,’ the detectives watched her go in the direction of the VIP area. That stripper went in with another man, one who looked like Callie’s man.

Callie, nude, was lap-dancing her man in the VIP Room. His hands were on her breasts. She leaned back, turned her head to face him, and looked in his eyes lewdly as she kept grinding.

“I’m a…photographer,” he grunted. “You’d make a…great model. Wanna make…some extra money?”

“Sure,” she sighed, enjoying the feeling of the bulge in his pants as much as Kluh was. “What do you have in mind?”

“I could do…a photo shoot…of you…in my studio…apartment,” he moaned. “What do you say?”

“OK,” she said breathily, smiling at him. “How about a little later on tonight?”

The detectives never noticed her leave with him, because they’d already left, following the blue-haired woman with her boyfriend to their apartment.

*************

An hour later, Callie was in the photographer’s apartment, nude except for her high heels, and bent over with her legs spread. She was in front of a mirror, so he was included in the pictures he was taking of her, his camera hiding his face, while her face was seen upside-down between her legs, a timid expression on it as he clicked the camera.

Jesus, he thought. I so want that brown eye of hers. He clicked a few more photos.

He wants me, Callie thought. I can feel the psychic vibes rippling from him to me.

You don’t need to feel his vibes to know that, Callie, the demoness told her in her mind.

I know, Callie thought. I mean that I know exactly how he wants to have me. The way Mort did…from behind. I know what he’s looking at, what he wants to put it in.

Yeah, it feels hot, doesn’t it? Kluh asked her. Those predatory eyes of his, aiming at your ass. We can feel his lust adding to our own.

Exciting, yes, but also scary.

How is it scary? If he hurts you, let the beast kill him.

But those two cops are getting closer to us.

Don’t worry about the cops. I won’t let them get you.

But you are letting them get closer to me. You have some kind of plan–

But you’ll be all right. Don’t worry. Just let Mark here fuck you tonight, and with his energy, we’ll gain more power. Trust me. It’ll be fun.

Callie remained bent over, allowing Mark to see both her pink and brown places.

I’m scared, Callie mentally told Kluh. He wants to stick it in my–

Don’t be scared, Kluh reassured her. Let him enjoy it. You know you want to.

I do, but I don’t.

Let the ‘do’ part win. It’ll be better for both of us in the long run. The boundary between us is blurring more and more, Callie. Allow it to happen, then you’ll see things more my way, and you’ll see the good I’m doing for you.

I’m transforming my fear into pleasure?

Yes. You have to go through these feelings again to heal yourself. Then you’ll have as much fun as I have.

But it’s hard to stop the memories of Mort–

They will fade in time. We have to transform them by re-experiencing them, processing them, making them hurt less and less every time.

Yes, but what of the beast? I don’t want to kill anymore.

When the painful memories end, you won’t become enraged anymore, and the beast will stay dormant. Now, come on–let’s make this happen…

Kluh needed little influence to get Callie to open her buttocks wider to give Mark a better look. She wanted to face her fears, and thus end them.

“I think we’ve taken enough pictures,” Mark said after clicking a photo of her in this last moment of exhibitionism. He put the camera down and stood up. “C’mon, honey.” He took her by the arm and led her to his bedroom. “I’m on fire from you.”

His words made her hear Mort say, “Honey, you’ve set me on fire.” Those words had been said just before a sodomizing she’d gotten from her stepfather a few years back; he, too, had taken her by the arm and led her into his bedroom. When she saw Mark’s bed, she shuddered at how similar it looked to Mort’s bed from that night.

Ooh, Kluh moaned in Callie’s mind’s ear. I can’t wait.

I feel the hot tingles, too, Callie replied, but I’m shaking.

The fear adds to the thrill. Enjoy it. Give Mark what he wants. It’ll all work out in the end.

I’m still not so sure. “Mark,” Callie said as she got to the foot of the bed, “maybe we–“

“On the bed, on all fours,” he said with urgency, unzipping his pants.

“Oh, OK,” she said in a trembling voice. She kicked off her heels and got on.

Spread your legs for him, Kluh said. Let him see.

Callie did, her whole body shaking the whole time. She felt the demoness using her power to lubricate her anus; it sent a shiver through her body as she felt the vibrations of Mark’s heating lust. He knelt behind her on the bed and aimed for her ass.

As he entered her, Callie saw flashes before her eyes of Mort’s bedroom all around her. Though she was lubed, she relived Mort’s painful entry. Her body shook; she yelped.

Don’t let the beast out! she thought. Stay calm. Stop thinking about Mort. Try to enjoy this. Face your fears. Don’t get agitated. Don’t let the hair grow. Don’t let the claws grow!

Mark kept moving in and out. She shook all over, not just from his thrusts, but from the feeling of it being Mort behind her. Mark wasn’t hurting her, as aggressively as he was fucking her ass; but she was feeling Mort’s stabs in her mind.

She checked her arms: no growth of hair. Her fingernails: no claws.

Not a drop of sweat touched her skin, but she felt Mort’s sweat and spit dribbling on her back. Mark’s beer breath never came close to her face, but she smelled Mort’s smoker’s breath invading her nostrils.

Her arms–still hairless. Her fingers–no claws…so far.

Mark’s moans were soft and mild; Callie, however, heard Mort’s raspy grunts, mere millimetres from her right ear. The bedroom shifted back and forth from looking like Mark’s to looking like Mort’s. Waves of pleasure alternated with waves of terror.

On her arms, still no hair slithering out of the follicles. Still no claws…yet.

Sometimes it felt like Mark massaging her rectal wall, stimulating her vaginal wall, the deliciousness of it giving both Kluh and Callie tingles; sometimes Callie relived the cutting pains Mort used to give her. The pleasure and terror were undulating in respective crests and troughs that seemed to be synchronized with Callie’s alternating visions of Mark’s and Mort’s bedrooms. Sharing the pleasure Kluh felt, her mind’s merging with that of the demoness meant Callie couldn’t make up her mind whether she loved the anal or hated it.

Mark helped her make up her mind. He began spanking her right ass-cheek, giving it a sharp sting. Kluh loved it, making Callie squeal and giggle; but Callie remembered how Mort used to spank her during a sodomizing. After the fourth spank, her voice, mid-squeal, phased into a growl.

She looked back down at her arms and hands in a panic. Claws were growing from her fingertips. Hairs were wiggling out from the skin all over her arms.

Mark’s eyes widened at all the hair he saw growing on her back. “What the…fuck–?” he grunted, then pulled out and came on the sheets between her knees.

She looked back at him with a hairy face and a malicious grin baring yellow teeth.

“Jesus Christ!” he screamed.

All that brown hair on her curvy body, covering her breasts and belly…and those long, thick, pointy claws, two quintets of knives.

“Oh, my God! What the f–?” She interrupted his scream by slashing four of those claws across his throat, spraying dots of blood everywhere. He fell back off the foot of the bed, his limp dick still poking out of his open fly as he lay on his back coughing blood and shaking. She jumped on him. He looked up at her in disbelief.

She closed his eyes forever with a stabbing of all ten claws deep into his chest, reddening his whole torso. Then she looked to her left: a window.

She jumped off of him, in its direction. Then she jumped out, splashing glass everywhere. Once she hit the grassy ground in front of the apartment building, she heard a siren.

‘Claws,’ An Erotic Horror Novel, Chapter Five

Callie just lay there on the couch in Dr. Visner’s office, silent for several minutes.

“Well?” he asked. “Don’t you want to tell me something?”

“I feel stuck,” she said. “I have no idea what to talk about.”

“You’re afraid to tell me what’s really bothering you,” he said.

“Yeah,” she said with a nervous giggle.

She was wringing her hands, distracted by her thoughts about those two cops who’d been snooping around The Gold Star over the past week, trying to find the stripper Wayne had left with the night he was killed by the clawed beast. Kluh used her power to deflect the cops from questioning Callie, but she knew the demoness was bringing them closer to her. Kluh was saving a confrontation with the cops for another time…but when, and for what purpose?

“Well, let’s recap what you told me last week, then you can pick up from there,” the psychotherapist said, looking down at his notes. “Your parents divorced, your father–whom you deeply missed–showed no interest in your life, but died in a car accident about a year later. Your mom met a man named Mortimer Brahms, they got married, but he replaced his interest in her with one in you. Then he began sexually abusing you, gaslighting you into thinking you liked the sex.”

“Yes,” she said, choking back sobs.

“You missed your father, wishing Mort would fill in the gap your father had left, and Mort took advantage of your yearning for a father…”

“And he filled in gaps of a different kind,” she sobbed.

“Did you ever try to stop him in some way, apart from running away from home, as you told me last time?”

“Y-yeah,” she said, wincing from what she was about to say. “It started with fantasies of transforming, during one of his rapes, into a powerful beast, like the Hulk, then killing him. Then, a few years after my Mom’s marriage to Mort, she sank into a depression. It seemed to be because he liked me better than her. That made me want to have that Hulk-like power all the more, to get revenge on Mort for hurting her.”

“I see,” Visner said, jotting down what she said on his notepad.

“It was around then that I began overeating, too. I wanted to get fat, not just to stop him from raping and sodomizing me–you know, by making myself unattractive to him; but also so he’d stop preferring me to Mom, so he’d go back to her. It didn’t work, though. Now I was getting bullied at school for being fat, and the rapes continued.”

“And what about your mother’s depression?” Visner asked.

“It got worse. She killed herself by ODing on pills.”

“Oh, Callie. I’m so sorry.” He mirrored her sad eyes with his own.

She was sobbing louder now. “She gave me no protection before, because I wasn’t supposed to tell her what I was doing with Mort. He said telling her would make her jealous and increase her depression. Still, she should have figured out for herself what was going on–why didn’t she?”

“I’m sure he was keeping it from her, too. After all, he was keeping himself from getting into trouble by manipulating you into being quiet about the rapes, even making you think you wanted the sex.”

“Yes,” she sobbed. “And with Mom dead, I really had no one to protect me from him. I grew to have such a hatred for Mort, even though he was still tricking me into thinking I liked the sex. I didn’t think of it as rape at the time; I’d just thought he was throwing my mom over for me, breaking her heart and driving her to suicide.”

“But the rapes continued. What did you do to stop them?”

“I wanted so badly to communicate with my parents that I gained hope in believing in communicating with the spirit world. I tried it with a medium–you know, in a séance, but I got no connection with either of my parents.”

“So, what did you do?”

“I tried doing it myself. All alone. More intensely. I bought some books on the subject, and began deep, intense meditations, trying desperately to contact spirits. Finally, after a heavy two hours of concentration one Saturday afternoon when Mort wasn’t at home, I contacted my mom Chloe,…or so I thought.”

“If it wasn’t her ghost, who was it?” Visner asked.

“She called herself ‘Kluh.’ I thought I’d heard “Chloe,’ but it didn’t take me too long to realize this wasn’t my mom’s ghost.”

“When did this happen? I mean, the first contact with this spirit.”

“A few months ago. She promised me she’d come out during one of Mort’s rapes and kill him. He had to be lured into the sex in order for her to kill him. She insisted on that.”

“Who was this ‘Claw’?” Visner looked at her with squinted eyes.

“‘Kluh’,” Callie said. “She says she’s a Polynesian goddess, but I think she’s lying. I think she’s a demon.”

“Does she still contact you?” He was jotting everything down almost frantically to keep up.

“Yes, I feel her in me now, influencing me. Merging with my mind, even.”

“How do you spell her name, or, how do you think it’s spelled?”

“It feels like it’s spelled K-L-U-H.”

“Interesting,” he said, writing it out and thinking, ‘Hulk’ spelled backwards. “You said Kluh would come out and kill Mort. Did she?”

Callie shook at those last few words. Her eyes widened.

“Did she come out?”

“Y-yes, but–“

“Did she take over?”

“Yes,” Callie sighed. “My mind went totally blank after that.”

“Since you’ve left Mort, has he tried to find you?”

“No. He’s…”

“Dead?”

She hesitated.

“Do you think Kluh killed him?”

“N-no. Not directly.”

“But he is dead? Someone, or something, killed him?”

“Yes.”

The therapist remembered some news stories he’d read about a clawed, hairy beast rampaging through the streets of Toronto one night the previous week. I’ll bet she has delusions that she’s that beast, he thought. I forget the name of the man in Hamilton who was killed by an animal about a month ago. Callie’s from Hamilton. I’ll have to look up that story again. “Who, or what was the killer? Do you know?”

She hesitated again.

He seemed to feel someone telling him, Don’t push this any further. It’ll only agitate her. If she’s at all connected to these murders, it’s best she get treatment, not jail time. She’s probably just deluded that she’s the killer, as you suspect. Really: how could she be connected with some wild animal? You’re a man of science; are we supposed to believe she’s some kind of Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde?

“I…I…” Tears ran down her cheeks.

“That’s OK, Callie,” he said. “You don’t have to answer. I can see that talking about this has been difficult for you. Our time’s almost up, anyway.”

She let out a huge sigh.

“Even if you did tell me, and it was something incriminating, you’d be protected by doctor-patient confidentiality,” he went on. “Physician-patient privilege, that kind of thing. Furthermore, I’ve come to care about you to the point of not wanting you, in your traumatized state, to be further harmed by having the police interfere with your situation.” Her transference was tingling big time during our first session, he thought. Now my countertransference is. Such pain in her. Such a beauty, too.

Good work, Doctor, Kluh whispered in his mind. After all, you ARE a psychotherapist, not a detective. Leave the investigation to the cops. She probably has dissociative identity disorder, or something. Focus on treating her symptoms. She is beautiful, isn’t she? Besides, maybe those men…deserved to die. Remember your youth, in Thailand, Doctor? You weren’t so innocent back in those days, either.

‘Claws,’ an Erotic Horror Novel, Chapter Four

Callie left Dr. Visner’s office in a whirlwind of emotions. The psychotherapist gave her continuing jolts of attraction and repulsion. It wasn’t so much his physical resemblance to Mort as it was the seeming similarity in their personalities.

Visner seems so kind and empathetic, just as my stepfather used to be, she thought. Is this just going to be another charm offensive, as it had been with Mort–whom I can barely still call my stepfather–he who charmed his way into bed with me? The disappearance of Daddy, my real daddy, from my life, after his and Mom’s divorce, had been a throbbing pain in my heart, which got worse when he died a year later in that car accident. Mort then came along and filled in the void…among other voids.

Callie could also feel Kluh’s lust for Visner, a lust that was being incorporated with Callie’s feelings, and confusing her. She and the demoness felt like spiritual Siamese twins, as it were, with the conjoining growing more and more absolute all the time. It was getting more and more difficult to know where Callie ended and Kluh began.

I want Dr. Visner, Callie thought and she walked down the sidewalk in the direction of The Gold Star, but will he betray me as Mort did?

****************

Detectives Surian and Thurston were on the streets of downtown Toronto, questioning people who’d seen or heard anything connected with Wayne’s murder. They were following up questioning from the local police, looking for further links with the killing of Mort Brahms in Hamilton.

Sometimes, they spoke with people whom the Toronto police had already questioned. At other times, as they walked down the streets and talked about the case with those they were questioning in the neighbourhoods, other people oddly began presenting themselves to the pair, as if eavesdroppers to the conversation.

A homeless man told them he saw a “hairy humanoid” racing by the alley where he was sitting and drinking at about 2:00 in the morning. He said ‘she’ had a curvaceous female figure, “with big tits,” but all covered in dark hair. She let out a growl that startled him, then he saw her run by.

Other people spoke of “grunts and growls” several blocks down the road from the alley at about 2:05 to 2:10, suggesting the direction the beast was going in. At about 2:30, someone was looking out of her third floor window and thought she saw a hairy figure flying in an arc across the street in a huge jump, then landing on the sidewalk at a corner; it then turned left. The woman’s apartment was on a road intersecting with the previous road with the alley, suggesting that the beast was moving in a zig-zagging, diagonal direction.

Surian and Thurston went with that hunch, finding others who’d “heard a few growls” around 2:40 to 3:00, in areas of the neighbourhood still suggesting a diagonal direction. The last person to have heard growls or grunts was around 3:10, still in the same general direction.

“I can’t believe the luck we’re getting in finding people who know of the beast,” Thurston said.

The detectives continued following the direction of their hunch, and though there were no more sightings or any hearing of the beast, they started noticing long, brown hairs lying on sidewalks, some wrapped around trees–that is, after the wind blew them there–and some on lawns; and with more and more hairs found clumped together in tufts, until finally they reached the alley with the boxes and garbage bag piles where Callie had woken up nude.

“The end of the line, damn it,” Surian said, studying the largest of the cluster of hairs.

“Where could it–she, I guess–have gone?” Thurston asked.

“She?” a man behind them said, startling them.

“Who are you?” Surian asked.

“Oh, uh, I cook in a café just a block down the road,” the man said. “Sorry if I startled you. I don’t normally walk up to strangers and chat with ’em, but I couldn’t help noticing you asking where ‘she’ went. Just around 11:00 or so this morning, I saw a ‘she’ right here where you’re standing–dirty and smelly, but also naked and beautiful.”

“We’re looking for a hairy female animal,” Thurston said.

“But with a curvy body, sharp claws, and big tits,” Surian said. “Remember what the drunk said, Andy?”

“This naked woman was curvy, with big tits,” the man said. “I got lucky with her during my lunch break–oh, sorry, ma’am, for the locker-room talk.”

“That’s OK,” Surian said. “Actually, this is helpful.” She took out a photo of Sandra Brahms. “Did she look at all like this girl?” The photo was a full body shot of a chubby, seventeen-year-old brunette.

“Um, no, she didn’t look anything like that,” he said.

“Not even her face?” Thurston asked.

“No, not at all. Sorry.”

“I guess them both being here was a coincidence,” Surian said with a frown.

“The woman said she worked at a strip joint, The Gold Star,” the man said. “It’s just a few blocks from here.”

“Wait a minute,” Thurston said. “Wayne was last seen leaving The Gold Star with a stripper, a curvaceous one with big tits, according to a witness who spoke to one of the Toronto cops.”

“What colour was her hair, this woman you were with?” Surian asked.

“Blonde,” he said. “Dirty and messy when I found ‘er, but blonde.”

“The witness who saw Wayne leave with the stripper said she had bright red hair,” Thurston said.

“Sure, but I think we should go over to this ‘Gold Star’ peeler joint,” Surian said.

“What are we supposed to make of this?” Thurston asked. “Am I supposed to believe there’s a stripper werewolf, or something, killing men she fucks?”

Killing men?” the man asked with a shudder.

“No, of course not,” she said. “But both men died with their dicks hanging out their unzipped pants, the gossip around the Brahms family’s neighbourhood involved suspicions about Mort’s relationship with his daughter, who’s still nowhere to be found, and this here is the best lead we’ve got. What’s your name, sir?”

“Stan,” he said.

“Take us to The Gold Star, Stan,” she said with a smile. The three of them started off on their way there.

Thurston said to Surian, “As hot as the girls are in this strip joint, I promise I’ll always like you better, Agnes, my cutie.”

“Oh, shut up, Andy,” she said with a smirk.

I don’t know what possessed me to come out here to this alley again, Stan thought.

I do, Kluh thought, her spirit monitoring all the action.

Validation

[NOTE: please read the second and third paragraphs from this post before continuing. Important–don’t skip reading them!]

Of all the aspects of emotional abuse that I suffered from the family–the autism lie, the bullying, the scapegoating, the explosive anger, the triangulation, the smear campaigns–in many ways, the most hurtful of all was the constant invalidation of my feelings and perspective.

This invalidation is especially cruel when one receives it as a child. Crucial psychological development is going on during those years, and telling a kid he’s ‘wrong,’ or he’s ‘making too big a thing’ out of the problems his abusers are causing, subjecting him to victim-blaming, saying his opinion ‘doesn’t count,’ etc. (all of these examples being lines I’ve heard come out of the mouths of my family, by the way), is damaging to his ability to grow self-confidence. Such invalidating, minimizing, and trivializing of one’s feelings and experiences are all forms of gaslighting.

Granted, we all have to deal with the reality of being wrong sometimes, and conflict occurs in even the best of families; but I’m talking about a consistent, systemic negation of the victim’s point of view. The victim is made to feel as though being right about anything is generally beyond his or her reach.

My late mother’s lie, about my supposedly having an autism spectrum disorder, provided the foundation for the apparent incorrectness of my perception of everything. The bullying I endured from my elder siblings, R., F., and J., only reinforced my inability to have a voice; if I tried to stand up for my rights, or challenge any of my siblings, they’d double down on the verbal abuse and physical threats, turning up the volume of their shouting at me–because allowing me to fight back would be a threat to their power over me…and emotional abuse is all about power and control.

If I tried to assert myself to my brother R., he’d say such things as, “You’re full of shit!” or “You misunderstand [Mom], just as you misunderstand everyone…” etc. If I tried the same with my sister J., she’d say, “Don’t get lippy with me!”, “I don’t wanna hear it!”, or “I don’t need to hear your attitude!”; then, she’d hypocritically judge me for not “voicing” my issues with her. If I challenged my brother F., he’d shout, “Who the fuck are you?! Oh, I oughta smack you for saying that!” They never take it as well as they dish it out.

Our mother, of course, defended them almost every time, especially J., her golden child. All of this, of course, reinforced my invalidation. Things had gotten so bad that I found myself with no choice, about three to four years ago, but to go No Contact with them. I’m sure they still blame me, and solely me, for our falling out. These people have no sense of introspection. If they had it, they’d have acknowledged the role they’ve played in this problem years ago…decades ago.

I’m sure, Dear Reader, you’ve dealt with this problem in one form or another, either with family, or in a former relationship; otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this. Let’s face it: you’re not going to get any validation from people like that. You’ll have to rely on yourself to get it.

I’ve written other blog posts on how to ‘exorcise,’ if you will, the inner critic we sufferers of C-PTSD have. I also recommend auto-hypnosis, for the deep state of relaxation you get from hypnosis will make your mind more suggestible. And that’s where the validation of affirmations comes in.

Sit or lie down in a relaxing position, close your eyes, take long, slow, deep breaths, and become aware of every inch of your body, starting with your toes and feet, and work your way up, inch by inch, to your head. Feel your body vibrating all over, or–as I like to describe it–feel as if your body is part of an ocean, an infinite ocean of Brahman, with your body and surroundings as all gently flowing waves. No distinction between the outside and your inner Atman: it’s all soothing, peaceful water, everywhere.

Once you’re fully relaxed, begin to imagine good people who love you, an inner guidance system, new internalized good objects, saying these kind words of validation:

“You’re completely normal.”

“You have the same right to be heard as everyone else.”

“You’re a good, decent, caring person.”

“You deserve much better treatment than you’ve been given.”

“You’re smart, capable, and talented.”

“Your feelings matter.”

“You are beautiful, inside and out.”

Feel free to make a list of your own affirmations, if you can think of ones more suitable to your situation. To get the best effect, do this meditation again and again, every night over several weeks. If you don’t like the way I have set it up, try some YouTube videos, self-hypnosis videos with positive affirmations. I like the ones incorporating ASMR.

Whatever you do, I urge you to invalidate your invalidators. Consider the source. Ask yourself, “What the hell do they know, anyway? What makes them think they’re an authority on me, or on anyone?” You don’t have to say these words to your abusers’ faces (indeed, I’d advise against that, actually): leave them to blunder about in their narcissistic delusions. It’s not your job to fix what’s wrong with them.

Instead, invalidate your abusers in your mind. You’re the only one who has to know that they’re the problem, not you.

‘Claws,’ an Erotic Horror Novel, Chapter Three

“Oh, no–I did it again,” Callie whispered as she stared at the dried blood on her hands.

She lay naked in an alleyway, behind a pile of garbage bags, crates, and boxes. It was late in the morning; she looked about furtively, trying to see if she could recognize the area.

She crept towards the end of the alley with one hand over her breasts and the other over her crotch. To her knowledge, she had the same sexy body she’d had in the swimming pool. Sexy, but smelling of sweat and garbage.

She noted a street sign on the corner: it was white with black bordering, like many seen in Toronto. In fact, the street itself looked familiar. She breathed a sigh of relief.

Well, Kluh? she asked. How do I get home?

Trust our instincts, the spirit told her. Do what we did last time. Sense if there’s a man walking by who’ll be suitable.

Callie backed up and hid behind some boxes. Then she closed her eyes and concentrated. She could feel the psychic energy connecting her with her surroundings, including all those passing by the alley. Kluh’s connection to her mind made it easy for her to master this meditating. Many men and women walked by: she focused her scanning on each person’s thoughts, wishes, and desires.

The women, as well as one gay man, would have been safe for her to present her nakedness to; but she sensed that they were all either too busy or apathetic to be willing to help her. The vast majority of the men would have been so voracious in their sexual appetites that she’d have risked another sexual assault, and therefore another transformation into the beast.

Then, one rather timid man was approaching. She sensed that he’d desire her, but be gentle enough with her to exchange a pleasant sexual favour for borrowed clothes, a shower, and a ride to her apartment. She chose him, flashing with a grin he mirrored.

*****************

As the beast had been racing and jumping about the night before, Kluh had used her powers to put Wayne’s landlady in a trance to go into his apartment and retrieve her purse and clothes, all before the cops arrived. The entranced woman arrived at Callie’s apartment just in time, around noon that day, when Callie also got there, so she could unlock her door and get in.

That afternoon, she lay on her bed thinking about her situation. That merging of her mind with Kluh’s was progressing. Now what scared Callie wasn’t being raped, nor was it even killing potential rapists: she now not only liked the sex, getting a thrill from the danger of being assaulted, but she was also beginning to like the killing.

“I need to find a shrink,” she said.

Good idea, Kluh told her, knowing exactly which one to direct Callie to.

******************

Detective Agnes Surian had been sulking at her desk that morning until the newspaper was dropped on her lap.

“Prepare to brighten up, Agnes,” Detective Andrew Thurston said. “The dawn of a new day for the Mort Brahms case.”

“Oh?” She looked at the headline on page two of the Toronto Star: “Toronto Man Clawed to Death by Mysterious Hairy Beast.”

“Did that flash of insight put the fire back into your heart, cutie-pie?”

“Yes, it did, Andy,” she said with a smile. “Like a bolt of lightning. Looks like I’m heading off to T.O.”

******************

Callie found arranging an appointment with Dr. Visner easy and prompt, for he had a free afternoon that very day…thanks to Kluh’s influence. She went up to the fifth floor of a building in downtown Toronto, then walked into the reception area.

“Ms. Seaver?” the receptionist asked.

“Yes,” Callie said. “Is Dr. Visner in?”

“Yes, he’s waiting for you. You can go right in.”

“Thank you,” Callie said, then went over to the door of his office. The sign on the window said Dr. Chris N. A. Visner, Psy.D. She put her hand on the doorknob and paused. He’ll never believe me when I tell him about you. He’ll think I’m crazy, which I probably really am. She turned the doorknob.

That’s OK, Kluh mentally replied. Getting all your pain off your chest will be good for you. That he’ll never believe in the clawed beast means we’ll be safe from the law.

She opened the door and saw Dr. Visner sitting at his desk.

Her eyes widened at the sight of the handsome middle-aged man. “Holy shit.”

“Is something wrong, Ms. Seaver?” the therapist asked.

“Oh, no…it’s just…you look a lot like my late stepfather.”

“Oh?” he said, gesturing to her to sit on the couch across from him. The transference is already in effect, he thought. I still don’t know what possessed me to cancel all my other appointments today.

Indeed, Visner was a lot like Mort, in many ways. His wavy, grey hair, the soothing sound of his voice, and his agreeable manner were all practical replicas of her stepfather; but especially there was Visner’s choice of clothes that day–a grey suit and vest, with a red dress shirt–the outfit looked eerily similar to one Mort often wore.

Good, Kluh thought. He dressed in the exact way I influenced him to this morning, all without Callie knowing. My power is growing, with every lover.

Callie sat on the couch, still feeling awkward and at a loss as to what to do. “What should I say?”

“Anything you like, Callie,” he said. “Is it OK if I call you by your first name?”

“Of course,” she said with a nervous giggle. “But I don’t know how to tell you…what’s bothering me. It’s going to sound so crazy.”

“Don’t worry about what I think,” he said, his Bob Ross-like voice sending ASMR-like tingles all through her. “I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what’s troubling you. Just say whatever’s on your mind, and don’t censor yourself. That’s crucial.”

“O…K…,” she began. “It all started, I guess, when my mom and dad got divorced, she got custody of me, then he basically showed no more interest in my life. I was about ten.” There was a lump in her throat. “Then, she met a man–Mortimer Brahms. He was so smooth with the charm, with me as well as with her. I actually liked him at the time he was dating her.” A tear ran down her cheek.

“Did she marry him?”

“Yes.” She fought to keep from sobbing. “And that’s when my real troubles began. He–” She paused, letting out a sob.

“Seduced you?”

She sobbed again. “Yes. He told me never to tell Mom, that it was me he was in love with.” She sobbed some more. “He…had me…for the first time…when I was…twelve.”

“Oh, my God,” Visner gasped, then handed her a Kleenex.

******************

At the coroner’s in Toronto, Detective Surian was looking at the claw wounds on Wayne’s body.

“The wounds have the same contours, the same look to the slashes, the same cutting style, as on Mort Brahms’s body,” she said. “It must have been the same animal…if only I could identify what kind of animal.”

“I don’t know if this will help your investigation,” the coroner said. “But the cops found Wayne’s body, fully clothed, with his fly open and his penis hanging out. You don’t suppose he tried to commit bestiality with the animal, and that’s why it killed him?”

“If he did, it must have been one hell of a sexy animal,” she said, “because Brahms’s body was also found fully clothed, with his fly open, and his dick showing.”