‘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.

‘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.

‘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.”

‘Claws,’ an Erotic Horror Novel, Chapter Two

[some sexual content]

As Sandra, or Callie Seaver, as she was now calling herself, was lap-dancing a man in his forties in the VIP Room of The Gold Star, the strip joint she was working in, she contemplated her situation of the past few weeks. She was getting used to her new body, her new life as a stripper, and even her relationship with Kluh, who–it seemed–didn’t need to take control of her body so often.

As the man’s hands were sliding along her skin and caressing her breasts, she thought about how she no longer found it so distasteful being viewed as a sex object; the huge amount of money she was making each night gave her a feeling of power, over the men who lusted after her, that made her objectification seem a trifling disadvantage in comparison.

She rubbed her buttocks on the man’s pointy lap, noting how close the tip was to her anal cleft; but it didn’t frighten her as it had before. She’d already slept with a few clients during her first few days as a stripper, in order to have a place to spend the night until she’d find a suitable apartment; and in the process, the trauma she’d associated with sex was fading away, and she was even beginning to enjoy sex now.

She got up and turned around to face him, then brushed her large breasts against his face; as perfectly round as they were, they weren’t silicone, to his delight. She had the body of a goddess, and he was worshipping her. She could psychically sense his worship of her in his mind, just as Kluh could sense it, and Callie was beginning to like being worshipped, just as Kluh, that self-proclaimed goddess inhabiting Callie’s body, had always liked it.

She sat on his lap and felt his hands on her buttocks as she touched her nose against his. His fingers were creeping like a spider’s legs toward her anal cleft. Being touched in that secret area was bothering Callie less and less, since the memory of her stepfather sodomizing her was drifting further and further away from her. What’s more, Kluh as a goddess of lust and death liked being lusted after and touched lewdly, for the spirit considered the body she was inhabiting to be a temple to be adored at.

Now here arrived an important development: between Callie getting used to these recent big changes in her life, with Kluh inhabiting her body and influencing her decisions, and she and Kluh increasingly enjoying the same pleasures, what was emerging was a growing fusion of their wills, of their very identities. Callie and Kluh were slowly becoming one being.

With this fusion of wills, Callie could sense more and more what Kluh’s intentions were: a wish to have more power, which came as a result of merging contraries. She sensed Kluh’s intentions, and felt herself irresistibly more and more sympathetic to them, though some intentions were still mysterious to her…and still frightening.

Two weeks had gone by without any transformation into that clawed beast, though Callie could vaguely sense an urge in Kluh to let the beast out again, to provoke another transformation. That urge seemed to be set aside for the moment, so Callie didn’t fear having more blood on her hands for now.

Indeed, she was relieved to know, from having read in the newspaper that the detective investigating the case, an Agnes Surian, had all but given up on the case. All Surian had brought to light was that some clawed beast attacked Mort Brahms and jumped out his second-story bedroom window. How the animal got in the man’s house was a mystery.

Another mystery was what had become of Mort’s stepdaughter, Sandra. The shy, chubby eighteen-year-old seemed to have vanished. Callie liked the sound of that. No more Sandra, no more Mort. No more bad past. No tracing of the killing to Callie in Toronto.

The man had one set of fingers between her legs, and the other set between her buttocks. He was arousing Kluh’s lust, making sympathetic Callie feel it, too. It titillated both of them to have their secret places known. Callie was just glad Surian didn’t know anything about the secret identity of the beast.

The closest anyone could trace it to Callie was in a few people having sighted a hairy, anthropomorphic beast running and jumping high in the air through the streets of Hamilton, then heading towards an exit of the city. But where it had gone after that wasn’t at all known. No one had sighted it since.

So as long as no one provoked the monster by trying to rape her, Callie would be safe. All these men lusting after her nakedness, and being lap-danced by her, and fondling her in the VIP Room, seemed less and less of a danger to her; thus, she wouldn’t be a danger to them…if only such assurances could last.

She was licking the man’s ear, then he whispered in her ear, “I’d…love to draw you, Chloe.”

“You’re an artist, Wayne?” she asked, rubbing harder on his erection, and as delighted to hear herself addressed by her mother’s name (now also her stage name) as she was to be so worshipped.

“Yes,” he grunted from the feeling of those rubbing buttocks. “You have…the body…of a goddess.”

She was so surprised to know that a man’s lust didn’t terrify her anymore. Her curvy body no longer seemed to be a risk of rapes, but was now a source of pride. She’d made herself fat as a teen in the hopes that Mort would stop being sexually attracted to her; actually, he’d rape and sodomize her no less than before. But now, sex no longer meant powerlessness to Callie; making hundreds, thousands of dollars every night from sex-addicted customers meant sex was power for her, something Kluh had always understood.

I told you I’d be good for you…Chloe, Kluh told her mentally.

Yes, Callie answered in her mind. You may not be my mother Chloe, but thanks to your help, I am now Chloe, the sex goddess of The Gold Star.

WE are the sex goddess, Kluh corrected. We grow to be more and more one with every passing day, with every sexual contact. Remember what I told you before: the merging of contraries, male and female, sex and death, pleasure and pain, delight and terror, make me more powerful. And as I get powerful, you get powerful. For we are one.

Fuck this man, and we get stronger? Callie asked.

Yes, Callie. Even his attempted rape of us, if that happens, means we kill him with the claws. Sex merged with death makes us stronger, too.

Oh, I hope we won’t have to kill again.

That’s up to Wayne, isn’t it?

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

An hour later, they were in his studio apartment, her nude on his bed lying on her back, and him at the foot of the bed with a pencil in one hand, drawing her breasts on a sketchpad.

“Usually strippers look less attractive in the bright light,” Wayne said, his erection poking a visible bulge in his pants that made flattered Callie smirk. “Not you. You’re even more beautiful than I’d imagined possible.”

She giggled. “Thank you.”

“I thought you were blonde in The Gold Star,” he said, detailing her erect nipples. “I see you have bleached white hair.”

“Oh, I change my hair colour a lot, actually,” she said. Kluh made my hair blonde, white, light green, yellow, even pink, all tonight over several hours when I danced in the dimmed lights, didn’t you?

Yes, I did, Kluh answered in her mind. My constant changing of your appearance is how I make it difficult to trace where you are, in case we need to let out the beast again.

Callie shuddered at that thought, but her fear soon changed back to titillation. I can psychically feel Wayne’s lust, she thought. It’s so exciting!

It’s good to be worshipped, isn’t it? Kluh asked her.

Yes, Callie thought. Everyone in high school bullied me for being fat. Mort made me his sex slave; I won’t even call him my stepdad anymore. But now, men are my sex slaves, enthralled by me, they must please me!

That’s the spirit, Kluh told her. The union of his phallus with your yoni, or even your anus, will make us even more powerful, the merging of male and female, of penetrator and penetrated. United opposites make us strong.

Oh, let it not be anal again, she thought. Your lubricating me stops the hurt, but I still feel the fear, the trauma. The painful memories.

Don’t be afraid, Callie. I’m making you stronger and stronger with every lover, not weaker.

“OK,” Wayne sighed. “That sketch is finished. I’d like to do one now of you on all fours, with your ass pointed at me. Will that be OK?”

“Better than OK,” Kluh said. She got into position, with both her anus and vulva showing for him.

“OK,” he grunted, that bulge in his pants straining against his zipper as he began drawing. “No, don’t look at me, Chloe. Face the head of the bed.”

Callie’s heart was pounding. She couldn’t stand being so exposed, so vulnerable to this stranger, yet Kluh kept her body in this position. For the demoness was aroused by Callie’s fears combined with the energy of Wayne’s lust, which she welcomed. She would take his phallic energy and make it hers.

This man was far from being Kluh’s ideal to mate with Callie’s femininity, but he’d give her some power that night, anyway. As for the ideal male, he would arrive soon enough…quite soon, indeed, actually.

Kluh felt Wayne’s desire as he sketched her ass, his urge to penetrate her. The demoness felt his eyes staring at the holes he wanted to enter, just as she visualized entering him in another way. The penetrator would become the penetrated, a fusion of opposites, giving her more power.

Kluh knew he was planning to sneak up behind her, thinking her not seeing him coming meant she wouldn’t know what he was about to do. Callie sensed his desire to come at her from behind, too, and she was terrified–terrified of reliving Mort’s sodomizing of her, and terrified from knowing she’d kill again. But she couldn’t stop Kluh from letting this all happen.

Wayne’s pencil touched the paper softer and quieter with each stroke, sketching the wrinkles on her anus, where he was itching to enter.

Without making a sound, he put the pencil and pad to the side, got up from his chair, and crept over to her ass. He had no idea that both Kluh and Callie could sense his exact movements psychically, every second of them.

He put his hands on her buttocks and opened them, widening the orifices.

Callie yelped and looked back at him with agape eyes and her jaw dropped.

“Am I sexy?” Kluh had her sigh.

“Yes,” he sighed back.

“Am I beautiful?”

“Yes.”

“Do you want me?” (Callie dreamed of an answer of no.)

“Yes.” He unzipped his pants and took it out. “Oh?” He noticed her anus was moistening with lubrication. “How convenient.”

“I’m gonna surprise you in more ways than one tonight, you stud,” Kluh moaned.

“I’m sure you will.” He was surprised to find himself lubricated, too. “What is this, black magic?”

You could call it that, Kluh thought.

He pushed inside, and as he moved back and forth, Callie was having vivid flashbacks of Mort: she could feel, once again, her stepfather’s sweat dripping on her bare back, his bad breath blowing on her right ear, the pain of his pushing and pulling, even though Wayne wasn’t hurting her at all.

Swelling with lust, the man reached around with both arms and grabbed her breasts, squeezing them hard and pinching her nipples. Mort had done that on one occasion, making Sandra scream in between sobs. This was too much for Callie. She shook, her head spinning.

When her eyes refocused, she saw hairs slithering out of the follicles on her arms. Her fingernails were stretching out into claws, each at least six or seven centimetres long.

The last image that flashed in her mind, before giving her consciousness away to the beast, was Bill Bixby’s irises turning white on TV. Before she had time to wonder if the same thing had happened to her eyes–it did, actually–she blacked out.

“What the hell?” Wayne grunted, pulling his dick out. “How’d you get so hairy?” Her hair was no longer the ‘bleach-white’ colour: it was brown, as it was all over her body. Now she was grunting, and her bestial head twisted back to look at him. “Jesus fucking Christ!”

Her claws slashed his face, one of them gouging his eyes and blinding him. The other claws sliced lines of red into his forehead, nose, and lips. He fell off the bed on his back, clutching his bloody face and whining on the floor.

The beast jumped on him. She dug her claws into his guts, tearing his intestines to pieces. His body shook on the floor as a river of blood flowed out both sides from his waist. He was coughing blood.

She stabbed her claws into his chest, and his body lay still.

There was a knock on the front door of the apartment. “I heard a scream,” a male neighbour said. “What’s going on in there?”

She ran at a nearby window and jumped out, splashing shards of glass in all directions.

‘Claws,’ an Erotic Horror Novel, Chapter One

[some sexual content]

Sandra Brahms woke up surrounded in bushes.

“What the–?” she whispered, then looked down at her body.

She was naked.

“Oh, my God!” she gasped, then put her hands over her breasts and crotch. “Hey, why don’t I have any pubic hair anymore?”

She got up and looked up at a cloudless, blue summer sky in the early afternoon. On the other side, opposite the bushes, was a tall chain-link wire fence separating her from a large backyard swimming pool. Since only dirt, mysterious spots of blood, and a few blades of grass were sticking to her skin and covering it, she figured she needed a swim to clean off; but would she get caught?

Don’t worry, a female voice said in her mind. I’ll protect you.

“Mama?’ she whispered, remembering the voice from the night before. “Is that you?”

Yes, the voice said. Your Mama Kluh. You summoned my spirit last night, remember?

You mean, my Mama Chloe? Sandra thought, sensing correctly that the spirit could detect her thoughts. Where am I? What happened to my step-dad?

You’re in Toronto, Kluh mentally told her. You’re safe from that bastard.

“Toronto?” Sandra said out loud, then cupped her mouth, hoping no one (especially no boys or men) heard her.

Yes, Kluh told her. I had to get you as far away from Hamilton as I could, and fast, after what we did to rescue you from him.

What did we do? Sandra mentally asked the spirit. I don’t remember.

Images flashed before her eyes, each one flashing in split seconds: Her stepdad, Mort Brahms, on top of her nude body in bed. A stabbing, phallic pain inside her. Long, sharp, bony claws grow from her fingers. Hair grows all over her body. She growls. Mort gasps at the sight.

“My God!” Sandra gasped, her eyes agape. “Did I–?”

Yes, the spirit answered. It will all make sense to you in time. For now, just get over this fence, go in the swimming pool, and clean yourself up. Don’t worry. I’ve taken care of everything. You’ll be fine.

“But, what if–?”

Impatient with Sandra’s doubts, Kluh took control of her body and made her climb over the fence with ease, then had her run to the swimming pool and jump in the deep end. She swam and swam, getting nice and clean.

As she continued swimming, more flashes of moments from the night before, in her house in Hamilton, went before her eyes: those claws, stabbing into Mort’s chest. His blood splashing everywhere. Him gasping and grunting, then coughing out blood. She shook her head at the images, then went down deeper in the water.

The owner of the house came into the backyard from the back door. He went closer to the swimming pool and saw a curvaceous young woman swimming underwater. He couldn’t make out a swimsuit on her: only the delicious peach colour of her skin. He smiled from ear to ear.

“The Missus will be at work all day,” he whispered to himself.

She poked her head out of the water, and saw him ogling her.

Before Sandra could gasp in fear, Kluh took over her body again. She swam over to the side of the pool and put her feet on the steps. No, no, Mama! she told Kluh in her thoughts, knowing what the spirit was thinking. He won’t like my fat, ugly, hairy body (Oh, wait! My pubic hair’s gone.). If he does like my body, though, will that clawed monster kill him if he tries to rape me?

With a lewd smirk on Sandra’s face, Kluh went up the steps to reveal her frontal nudity to the man. Sandra saw her nakedness in the reflection of the large back window of the house: no fat, no flab. Instead, she saw a flawless body, like that of a porn star. A totally unrecognizable image to awkward, eighteen-year-old Sandra.

That…isn’t me, Sandra thought. Mama, you transformed my body?

Yes, Kluh answered, now completely out of the pool and blithely allowing the man to enjoy seeing her large breasts and hairless crotch. Kluh had Sandra continue smirking at the lecher. “Hi,” she said to him.

“Hi,” he gasped, his smile never leaving his face.

Mama? You’re going to let that man have his way with me?

Don’t worry, Sandra. It’s all part of the plan.

What plan? What if he hurts me the way Step-Daddy used to?

He won’t. I have this all planned out. He’s useful to us.

What if you’re wrong, Mama?

I’m not. We in the spirit world have access to forms of knowledge you mortals never could. I took you here because we need him. He’ll help us set you up for a new life in Toronto. Trust me.

What if he forces me…what if he sticks it in my…?

Then I’ll kill him with the claws.

“What’s your name, honey?” the man asked.

“Callie Seaver,” Kluh had Sandra say, using her middle name and mother’s maiden name.

I don’t think this is my real mother, Sandra thought, even though she knows so many intimate details of my life. My tampering with the spirit world was a mistake. I should never have tried to summon my mother’s ghost to save me from the man she married after Daddy died. Oh, why did both my real parents have to die on me so early in life?

The man took Sandra by the hand and led her into his house.

She saw more flashes from the night before: her claws slicing and scratching deep cuts into Mort’s chest and guts. He falls to her right on the bed. She jumps off it, then jumps through the window, shattering glass everywhere. She lands on the ground outside, then leaves her neighbourhood by running and jumping in huge, high leaps.

Sandra shook and almost fell in the man’s living room.

“Hey, watch your step, honey,” he said, grabbing her left arm to stop her from falling.

“Oh, thank you,” Kluh had Sandra say. She put her arms around his neck and kissed him, her tongue deep in his mouth. He had his hands on her ass, squeezing the cheeks.

Between pecks on the lips, he asked, “Wanna…come upstairs?”

“Sure,” Kluh sighed, though Sandra, without any control over her body, wanted to shake her head.

“Lemme dry you off with a towel first,” he said. “Don’t want the Missus to see water dripping everywhere.” He got a big, fluffy towel from the upstairs bathroom and dried her off, then led her into the bedroom. She got on the bed on all fours, with her ass pushed out and her legs spread so everything was showing. “Damn, those have to be the two most perfect entrances ever.”

Sandra shuddered when she heard the man’s words, his unzipping of his fly, and getting on the bed on his knees behind her, making her even more nervous. Are you sure this is necessary, Mama?

Yes, Kluh told her in her thoughts. Don’t worry. This is how I’ll get him to do stuff for us. We do him a favour, he does us one.

Are you my mother’s ghost, or are you a devil?

I’m a Polynesian goddess of sex and death, Sandra. And I’m making your life a whole new, much better thing. Trust me. I know what I’m doing.

Sandra felt the man begin entering her vagina. A memory of her stepfather raping her several years back caused her to yelp, but she was surprised to feel lubricated–obviously Kluh’s doing. As the man slid in and out of her, Sandra remembered those many times throughout her teens when Mort had been in the same position with her. It hurt every time with Mort, but he’d managed to convince her that she ‘liked it,’ even when he, so to speak, used the back door.

The first memory of the night before flashed in front of her eyes again: Mort’s painful entry, her getting angry–like Bruce Banner turning into the Hulk–and her turning into that hairy beast with the claws.

Sandra didn’t want this man on her back, but she didn’t want to kill him, either. Strangely, as much as she didn’t want the sex, she was getting aroused. Kluh was making it pleasurable for her.

She hadn’t misheard the spirit’s name: it was Kluh, not Chloe, her mother’s name. This wasn’t her mother’s ghost–it couldn’t be. It was some devil possessing her. Summoning a spirit to save her from Mort was a dreadful mistake, Sandra was realizing more and more with every thrust from that man behind her. Kluh wasn’t helping Sandra. This “Polynesian goddess” had an agenda of her own. But how could Sandra get rid of her?

Kluh made Sandra orgasm, a pleasure that made her feel like a prostitute. The man, however, wasn’t finished with her.

He pulled out. Looking down at her ass, he grunted, “What a pretty brown eye.”

Oh, no! Sandra thought. He’s looking at my…he wants to…

Don’t worry, Kluh said. You’ll be fine.

She felt him begin to enter her the back way. But Kluh, my step-daddy used to do that! It really hurt. My trauma will make me go wild. I don’t wanna kill this man.

You won’t turn into the clawed beast, Kluh said. It won’t hurt.

Indeed, as the man went further inside, Sandra felt herself lubricated again, by Kluh’s mysterious abilities. It didn’t hurt at all…not physically. Still, it made her remember…

Another memory of the night before flashed before her eyes: Her running and jumping along the side of a highway leaving Hamilton. Her jumping on the top of a bus headed for Toronto. Her claws digging deep into the roof of the bus. Nobody on the bus noticing the impact of her body when it landed on the bus, for Kluh made the driver and passengers oblivious to it. Her hair flowing in the cool night breeze; the hair on her body keeping her warm.

This doesn’t hurt, Sandra thought as she felt the man still going in and out of her, but it’s really making me tense. I’m scared. Will I turn into that beast again, and claw him to death? He’s a creep, cheating on his wife and reminding me of my traumas, so I’d kind of like to kill him (as I’m kind of glad I killed Step-Daddy); but I don’t want any more blood on my hands.

“You’re…so…tight! Unh!” the man grunted.

Sandra felt his disgusting sweat dripping on her back, reminding her of Mort’s sweat; but Kluh was enjoying the anal. Sandra was terrified, but had no control over her body. Was Kluh secretly planning on killing this man at the end of the sex? She told Sandra everything would be OK, but the spirit had lied before about being her long-dead mother.

Another memory of the night before reappeared before her eyes: the phallic pain in her vagina; her hairy transformation; her claws, stabbing into Mort’s chest; his blood, her growling…

“Oh!” the man groaned, then pulled out and sprayed on the sheets. “Shit! I’m gonna…have to…clean that up. I’ll have to…tell the Missus…I’d been beating off.”

He zipped up his pants. It was over. Thank God, Sandra thought.

Kluh had Sandra look back at him. “I need to borrow…some of your wife’s clothes. Drive me downtown…and buy me some clothes…for myself. Then drive me…to the most popular…strip joint in Toronto. I’ll take it from there.”

“And if I don’t?” he asked.

“Your wife will know what we did.” Her eyes pierced into his with a killer look that showed she meant business.

“O-OK, on all counts.”

They left in his car, her in a blue dress of his wife’s, about thirty minutes later.

Analysis of ‘The Entity’

The Entity is a 1982 supernatural horror film based on the 1978 novel of the same name by Frank De Felitta, which in turn was based on the Doris Bither case. Bither claimed to have been repeatedly raped by a trio of spirits–two holding her down while the third raped her–over a period of many years, the assaults eventually becoming less and less frequent until, apparently, they finally stopped altogether.

The film stars Barbara Hershey as Carla Moran, who is based on Doris Bither. It also starred Ron Silver as psychiatrist Dr. Phil Sneiderman; Alex Rocco played Carla’s boyfriend, Jerry Anderson, David Labiosa plays her son, Billy, Jacqueline Brookes played parapsychologist Dr. Elizabeth Cooley, and George Coe played psychiatrist Dr. Weber.

Here are some quotes:

“Welcome home, cunt.” –The entity, to Carla

Carla Moran: I mean I’d rather be dead than living the way I’ve been living. Do you understand that?

Phil Sneiderman: Yes, I can understand that. Yes. I also understand that I care very much what happens to you. Very much. And I know that in your heart you know the difference between reality and fantasy. Carla, look at me, Carla – our reason, our intelligence: That’s the only thing that distinguishes us between any other species of animal, Carla – I care about you! Carla, don’t close yourself off now. It’s real important, real important that you maintain contact with at least one person that really cares about you.

Carla Moran: I don’t know what you’re saying.

Phil Sneiderman: I’ll tell you what I am saying! That you and I can make that contact.

Carla Moran: [softly] I don’t want to make that contact. […]

Cindy: Beautiful day outside, isn’t it? Nothing like good old southern California for lots of sunshine!

Carla Moran: I was raped.

“All right. All right, bastard. I’ve finished running. So do what you want. Take your time – buddy. Take your time. Really, I’m thankful for the, uh… rest. I’m so… tired of being scared. So it’s all right, it really is, it’s all right. You can, uh, do anything you want to me, you can, uh, torture me, kill me, anything. But you can’t have me. You cannot touch me.” –Carla

Thematically, we’re dealing with the conflict between acknowledging internal and external reality, which is symbolized by an external force–oh, so literally–coming inside Carla. What is this entity, and where did it come from? Outside of her, as seems most obvious; inside her, as the psychologists assume…or both? That is to say, is it a thrusting back and forth…”a little of the old in-out, in-out”?

On its first attack, the entity punches her in the face with an invisible fist, yet very visible blood is seen on her mouth. As it rapes her, and during its every attack, we hear this pounding music, suggestive of stabbing phallic thrusts. Then the music stops, the entity leaves her, and she’s screaming…but no man is ever seen on top of her.

The second attack involves no assault on her body, but rather on her house, which shakes as if during an earthquake. Her house thus symbolizes her internal mental world…and her vagina. The house shakes, her room shakes, the room’s walls shake…vaginal walls.

She, her son, and two daughters race out of the house and into her car. They go to the house of her friend, Cindy Nash (Maggie Blye), and sleep there for the night. Needless to say, Carla is reluctant to go back home; she’s also hesitant about seeing a psychiatrist, whose probing [!] might bring out some traumas from her past that she doesn’t want to have to deal with.

Back at home at night, finally, she and her kids hear a frightening sound, that of scraping against metal. Suspecting her invisible attacker, they search for the source of the sound, which seems to be a pipe from under the house. A pipe…how appropriately phallic.

Still, the entity seems to attack only in the yonic symbol of her internal world, her home. Then, when she’s driving, it takes control of her car; riding in her car, it rides her…and drives her crazy after making her almost crash into other cars. The entity thus no longer resides only in her internal world; it is also in her external world, though inside her car. Here we can see the dialectical tension and unity between internality and externality.

Finally, she goes to see a psychiatrist, Dr. Phil Sneiderman. He insists the whole thing is just a delusion she’s having, brought on by repressed traumas she has been trying to project onto the external world. Still, she can’t imagine how she’s been able to cause certain of her bodily injuries, which seem too inaccessible to be self-injury. It must be an external force!

Sneiderman goes into her home and looks around (since her home symbolizes her vagina, his entering has obvious sexual symbolism). He learns about her childhood, with an overzealously religious father who said “thee” and “thou” so often, she as a little girl thought his speech was modern English! He also held her inappropriately. A-ha! thinks Sneiderman.

Her later relationships with men–who, except for Billy’s father, are typically considerably older than she–have been short-lived. She seems afraid to commit to a long-term relationship; her current one with her boyfriend, Jerry, seems to be following this pattern (indeed, he’ll leave her as soon as he’s aware of the entity’s raping of her).

Sneiderman is touched by Carla, though. His countertransference, that is, his personal feelings as a therapist for his patient (as opposed to vice-versa), is going wild. She’s a beautiful woman. Now, he may be a professional therapist, but he’s also a man. He says he cares for her, but there’s surely more to his feelings for her than that.

I don’t mean to suggest that his feelings for her are merely physical. His countertransference is causing him to make wild speculations about her unconscious motives for having her “delusions” of being raped by a trio of incubi (i.e., the two “smaller” entities holding her down…her daughters, as Sneiderman would have it?–and the big one raping her…Billy, as Sneiderman thinks…or the ghost of her dead father, or of Billy’s father, as I speculate?); but he’s no creep. Her beauty, combined with her vulnerability and pain, with which he empathizes, are the roots of his desire for her, which he suppresses and rationalizes as concern for her well-being.

Nonetheless, his overemphasis on her problem as being internal is what turns her away from him. During her sleep one night, the entity has her, its invisible fingers pressing against her breasts (a prosthetic body was created for Hershey to achieve the invisible rape effect). It causes her to enjoy an erotic dream, causing her to orgasm. Her unconscious likes the sex!

When she wakes up, she’s so ashamed of the pleasure she’s been manipulated to feel that she smashes all the mirrors in her room. She’d hate to think the woman she sees in the reflection is the real her, so alienated does she feel from the image, especially as against her own body, which she feels herself to have so little control over. The last thing a rape victim wants is to be made to feel that she “wanted it.”

In this connection, the evident phoniness of the prosthetic body–however painstakingly the special effects technicians worked to make it look real–seems symbolically appropriate: is this the real her, or is it a fake her?–ditto for the woman in the reflection. Which is her reality–inner, or outer?

Along with this observation, there’s another interesting image to compare the prosthetic nude body to: earlier, in the scene where she’s raped in the bathroom, we see her undress through two mirror reflections, with real breasts and buttocks exposed. If the mirror reflects an outwardly projected reality, an external reality, while her actual body being raped is shown with the prosthetic body, representing her internal reality, what does this say about which is real–the internal, or the external? Her, or what’s projected?

She tells Sneiderman how ashamed she feels about having orgasmed during the dream; he tells her his Freudian interpretation, that she’s afraid of her desires. This interpretation offends her, especially when he carries it to the extreme of suggesting she has incestuous desires for her handsome son, Billy, who’s the “spitting image” of his “exciting” father. Thus, she stops the treatment with the psychiatrist.

(It should be noted that her dream, as it was in the novel, was supposed to be of her having committed incest with Bill; this was removed from the film for fear that the controversial content would have been fiercely objected to. In other words, Sneiderman’s interpretation isn’t as outrageous as it seems. I wonder if the entity is Billy’s father, the drunk, dope fiend who died in a motorcycle accident, for which she “thanked God.” If so, is the entity raping her in revenge for her being glad he died? Is it tormenting her by tricking her into thinking the dream was a wish-fulfillment?)

She sleeps over at her friend Cindy’s home again; the entity attacks the house, soon enough after Cindy and her husband leave, that they notice the attack and return. Carla has tears of joy in her eyes when Cindy confirms that the attack was real. This is what trauma victims so desperately need–validation, not being told “it’s all in your head.” The attacks of the entity, external ones, symbolize the real traumatic events that have occurred to cause the victim to relive her internal mental hell, over and over again.

Another thing has been noted, first when Billy tries to get the invisible rapist off of her, then when the parapsychologists do tests in her home: the entity shoots electricity and laser-like lights in the air. It’s like the hurling of lightning bolts. This leads us to a discussion of Zeus symbolism.

In Greek myth, Zeus–hurler of lightning bolts–used to prey sexually on pretty maidens, his ravishing of them eerily similar to what the entity is doing to Carla. His Roman name, Jupiter, is a derivation from Dieus Pater, or ‘day/sky-father‘ (outside, in the sky). Here, we can see a symbolic link between the entity and Carla’s lecherous father, who I assume is dead by the time the story begins, thus making it possible his ghost is the entity.

Now, the fact that, on the one hand, she calls the entity (i.e., ‘Jupiter’) a “bastard,” while also thanking God–another sky-father–for the parapsychologists’ protecting of her from the entity (she also thanked God for the death of Billy’s father, recall), suggests the splitting of ‘Father’ into absolute good and bad objects. (I’m also reminded of the last line in Sylvia Plath’s poem, “Daddy“: “Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.”)

So, anyway, we now go from investigating Carla’s problem from the internal perspective (Sneiderman) to the external one (Dr. Cooley and her associates, who are as careful as possible in their assessment of Carla’s story, trying to be scientific about it). Sneiderman dismisses them as superstitious “schmucks,” though some today regard his Freudian analysis as being the superstition. Sneiderman does all he can to thwart the parapsychologists, imagining he’s the one who has the scientific authority to deal with Carla’s problem properly, when really it’s just a matter of his sexual jealousy.

Her boyfriend, Jerry, goes to her home one night, only to find her being raped by the entity. Again, we see that prosthetic body being felt up. It’s interesting to note that the prosthetic is used only later in the film, when she is doubting Sneiderman’s notion that her problem is internal, or ‘all in her head.’ As I said above, the unreality of the prosthetic body can be seen to symbolize the perceived falseness of the internality interpretation.

Now, it’s the parapsychologists’ turn to prove the externality thesis, being the negation of the internality thesis. They plan to prove that the entity has mass by freezing it in liquid helium. If they can capture the entity, they’ll prove its physicality and show it isn’t just a “psychic projection.”

The dialectical battle between the internality thesis and the externality negation of Sneiderman’s interpretation is symbolized by his struggle to convince Carla to give up on her reliance on Dr. Cooley et al. He fears the parapsychologists are indulging her delusions, making them worse. While his countertransference is clouding his judgement, though, there is a legitimate argument to be made that Cooley is exploiting Carla in order to promote and validate parapsychology.

The entity appears in the parapsychologists’ controlled environment, made to look like Carla’s home. In this place, Carla is being used as bait to lure the entity into being frozen in the liquid helium. They capture it in a mountain of ice, awing every observer; but the entity breaks free, depriving them of their coveted proof. Though Sneiderman’s associate, Dr. Weber, witnesses the phenomenon, he refuses to admit that it’s explicit proof of paranormal activity, which angers Cooley. (Technically, other explanations are possible.)

So, neither the internality thesis of the psychoanalysts nor the externality antithesis of the parapsychologists have demonstrated conclusive proof of their theories; both, however, have presented persuasive cases, to at least a large extent. So, what shall be our conclusion?

A sublation of the internality/externality contradiction seems the best answer. The entity symbolizes an externally-produced trauma introjected into the victim. Thus, Carla’s trauma is in her head, but not born there.

The worst thing anyone can say to a trauma victim is, “It’s all in your head. Get over it!” No: something real and evil was imposed on the victim, though most of us can’t see the cause, which is symbolized in the movie by the invisible entity raping Carla. A study of object relations theory can reveal how we all internalize imagos of our parents; these internal objects become blueprints, as it were, for all of our subsequent relationships.

The abuse Carla suffered from her father became a blueprint for all her future failed relationships: her teen husband and father of Bill; the father of her daughters, the man who left her; and Jerry, who couldn’t tolerate living with a woman being repeatedly raped by an incubus. The entity can represent any, or all, of these men as her internalized objects.

The best way to understand the human personality is not as one isolated from the world, but as one related to other people, with whom we all project and introject positive and negative energy and influences. Thus, what we are is both internal and external energy flowing into and out of us, over and over again throughout our lives. This passing of energy in and out of us, back and forth between people, is well expressed in Bion‘s elaborations on projective identification, what he called container and contained. The container receives projections, which are the contained.

The weeping, frustrated infant projects its hostility onto its patient and loving mother, who receives its energy while soothing it. Bion called this attitude of the mother a state of reverie; in taking the baby’s negative energy and transforming it into good, the baby can then receive it back and find peace. Similarly, a therapist can be a container for a psychotic patient, receiving and tolerating his hostility and attacks, helping him to be calm.

Appropriately, the container is the feminine symbol, the yoni, and the contained is a phallic, masculine symbol. Thus, the entity’s rapes of Carla are a vivid symbol of a violently extreme version of this movement from the external to the internal. The transference and countertransference between Carla and Sneiderman also reflect container/contained, especially since his desire for her makes him yet another entity to be feared by her.

As her therapist, he should be her container, receiving and accepting all of her projections, anxieties, and frustrations. He should be patient and forbearing, so all that fear and frustration can be transformed, tamed, and returned to her, healing her. Instead, he lets his countertransference interfere with his capacity to help her effectively, thus exacerbating her problem and alienating her from him. She doesn’t need to hear classical Freudian hooey…she needs his empathy, to have her experiences validated.

Sneiderman won’t be her container, but the parapsychologists all too eagerly want to be the entity’s container…though the aggressiveness with which they go about it causes them to lose it. Carla touches on a possible solution when she’s arguing with Sneiderman about whether or not to be committed to a mental hospital: she says she’ll cooperate with the entity.

Now, obviously, cooperating with a rapist is never defensible; but if we see the rapes as symbolic of the container/contained relationship between inner and outer reality, between subject and object, self and other, we can begin to understand why, after the movie ends, the attacks on Carla become fewer and fewer. By containing the entity’s projective identifications, by tolerating them, she can tame them and return its hostile energy back to it, calming it.

So at the end of the movie, when she walks into her house and hears the entity say, “Welcome home, cunt” (note the juxtaposition of its last two words, as indicating the house as a symbolic yoni), we see a look of resigned acceptance on her face. She knows that the only way to defeat the entity is to play its game, with a dynamic interplay of container/contained, a shifting back and forth between internality and externality (symbolized by her entry into the house, then exiting it soon after).

She can have victory only through surrender–winning through losing. As with the mother and her bawling baby, Carla must be in a state of reverie, as when she orgasmed during her erotic dream, to calm the rage of the entity. Her submission to a spectral rapist, though, is what gives The Entity such a frightening ending; for what woman in her right mind would ever be willing to submit to such traumatic horror?

Analysis of ‘The Exorcist’

The Exorcist is a 1973 supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin and starring Ellen Burstyn (Chris MacNeil), Linda Blair (Regan MacNeil), Max von Sydow (Father Lankester Merrin), and Jason Miller (Father Damien Karras). It is based on the 1971 novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty, the movie screenplay having been adapted by the author. The novel in turn was based on the real-life exorcism in 1949 of a boy (‘Roland Doe’, about fourteen years old at the time) who allegedly was possessed of a demon.

Speaking of demons, during production, there were stories of people being injured, which added to the legend of the ‘cursed’ film. Similarly Satanic stories have been told of the productions of The Omen (1976) and Macbeth.

The Exorcist is considered one of the scariest, and therefore one of the best, horror films ever made. It had a huge influence on Black Sabbath, and on Ozzy Osbourne in particular, who sat through many screenings of it. It’s particularly frightening for Christians, not only, I believe, because they would consider the supernatural events something that could really happen, but because Christians unconsciously sense how the film is an allegory of the modern loss of faith, and of the attendant harm done to relationships.

Here are some quotes:

“There’s not a day in my life that I don’t feel like a fraud. Other priests, doctors, lawyers – I talk to them all. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t felt that.” –Karras

“It’s more than psychiatry, and you know that Tom. Some of their problems come down to faith, their vocation and meaning of their lives, and I can’t cut it anymore. I need out. I’m unfit. I think I’ve lost my faith, Tom.” –Karras

“Pathological states can induce abnormal strength. Accelerated motor performance. Now, for example, say a 90 pound woman sees her child pinned under the wheel of a truck. Runs out and lifts the wheels a half a foot up off the ground – you’ve heard the story – same thing here. Same principle, I mean.” –Dr. Taney

“There is one outside chance for a cure. I think of it as shock treatment – as I said, it’s a very outside chance…Have you ever heard of exorcism? Well, it’s a stylized ritual in which the rabbi or the priest try to drive out the so-called invading spirit. It’s been pretty much discarded these days except by the Catholics who keep it in the closet as a sort of an embarrassment, but uh, it has worked. In fact, although not for the reasons they think, of course. It’s purely a force of suggestion. The victim’s belief in possession is what helped cause it, so in that same way, a belief in the power of exorcism can make it disappear.” –Dr. Barringer

Karras: Where’s Regan?
Regan: In here. With us.

“Especially important is the warning to avoid conversations with the demon. We may ask what is relevant but anything beyond that is dangerous. He is a liar. The demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological, Damien, and powerful. So don’t listen to him. Remember that – do not listen.” –Merrin, to Karras

Karras: Why her? Why this girl?
Merrin: I think the point is to make us despair. To see ourselves as… animal and ugly. To make us reject the possibility that God could love us.

The movie begins in Iraq, where religious faith is still strong, though it’s the Islamic, rather than Christian, faith. Father Merrin, who personifies Christian faith in the story, is nonetheless old and in ill health, needing to take nitroglycerin for a heart condition. When he finds an amulet, an image of Pazuzu, a demon he once exorcized in Africa many years before, he knows he must face it again.

When discussing the situation and the image with a Mosul curator of antiquities, the curator says, “Evil against evil.” (page 6 in the Prologue of the novel) If there is no God to fight the Devil, then there’s no good, in the religious sense, to fight evil; other forms of evil will have to do to stop Pazuzu. We will see the significance of this idea at the climax of the movie, when Father Damien Karras (note the pun on demon), a doubting priest, uses a decidedly un-Christian method to get the demon out of Regan’s body.

This is what makes the story so scary to Christians, as I see it. From their point of view, good comes only from the Christian God. If He doesn’t exist, then there is no real good to fight evil; there are only other forms of ‘evil’ to fight it, namely, the gods of all those ‘false’ religions: including Islam, whose God, Allah, is acknowledged by Muslims to have created evil as well as good (Allah is not a father, either–see below for the significance of this idea); or paganism, from which Pazuzu originally came. A world of only evil, without God, is Hell, a terrifying notion to Christians.

In Georgetown, Washington DC, Pazuzu has already arrived, and is making noises in Chris MacNeil’s attic. It takes quite a while for the demon actually to enter the body of Regan, her twelve-year-old daughter. Back in the early 1970s, moviegoers’ attention spans weren’t as short as are those of moviegoers today, people who always require quick thrills; more importantly, this slow buildup suggests the insidious nature of growing evil.

Father Karras, far more suited to psychiatry than to preaching, complains to another priest of his loss of faith. Even before this revelation, it is telling how he reacts when he hears Burke Dennings, the enfant terrible director of the film Chris is acting in, tell her that the writer of the film’s screenplay is in Paris “Fucking.” Karras laughs with all the others watching the filming, instead of taking offence at the bad language (page 20: “Chris…darted a furtive, embarrassed glance to a nearby Jesuit, checking to see if he’d heard the obscenity…He’d heard. He was smiling.”). Karras curses a number of times himself elsewhere in the story.

Christians fear that if we lose faith in Christ, we will turn into bestial people; we’ll lose our innocence, speaking and performing obscenities and blasphemies, as Regan does when Pazuzu takes over. Christians believe we must accept the Kingdom of God as a child (Mark 10:14-15); salvation comes not through good works, but by grace through faith (Romans 3:20-28). Despair, however, leads to damnation (Romans 14:23).

As those of us who live secular lives understand, though, the problem of evil is a much more complex one than a mere matter of falling from God’s grace and losing The Garden of Eden, then of being restored to that state of grace by believing in Jesus. MacNeil understands this need for self-reliance, since she is an atheist, as explicitly stated in the novel: “An atheist, she had never taught Regan religion. She thought it dishonest.” (page 47)

The loss of faith isn’t limited, however, to a religious one. Neither the doctors nor the psychiatrists can help Regan, leading her mother to lose faith in them. When the psychiatrists ask Chris of her religious beliefs, or of Regan’s, they suggest exorcism as a cure; though they’re careful to emphasize that, since Regan merely believes she’s possessed, the belief in exorcism, through the “force of suggestion,” can cure her. Ironically, her atheist mother now searches for priests…and the priest she finds–Karras–wants to help as a psychiatrist!

After the scene when Regan has been bouncing on the bed and has struck Dr. Klein, Dr. Taney speaks of how “Pathological states can induce abnormal strength. Accelerated motor performance.” (In the novel, Dr. Klein says it on page 126.) I watched this scene in a theatre here in Taiwan, where the locals in the audience were actually laughing at the doctor’s words. Being firm believers in ghosts, the Taiwanese found it absurd that it hadn’t even occurred to these doctors that Regan was most obviously possessed of a demon. But that’s the point of the story–the loss of religious faith is that profound in mainstream Western society.

After Karras has examined her, he has seen enough proof of possession in Regan–her speaking in languages, Latin and French, which she presumably has never studied (pages 300-301, which also include German); using telekinesis (opening a drawer with her mind); manifesting knowledge of Karras’s dead mother; imitating the voice of a derelict Karras failed to help–he tells another priest he still isn’t convinced of the reality of Pazuzu inside Regan. On page 313: ‘”I’ve made a prudent judgement that it meets the conditions set forth in the Ritual,” answered Karras evasively. He still did not dare believe. Not his mind but his heart had tugged him to this moment; pity and the hope for a cure through suggestion.’ He thinks Regan’s problem is a case of dissociative identity disorder (pages 310, 337).

When Merrin arrives for the exorcism, Karras tries to tell him about her psychiatric history, but Merrin considers this a waste of time. When Karras speaks of three personalities in Regan, Merrin–the personification of faith–insists there is only one.

Merrin emphasizes that “the demon is a liar” who “would lie to confuse” them. The priests mustn’t listen, just as Christians try not to listen to the ideas of modern science, including evolutionary theory, which show the falsity of a literal interpretation of the first few chapters of Genesis.

Disproving the six-day Creation, as well as the story of Adam and Eve, is devastating to the Christian faith. If man evolved from the ape, what basis is there for believing in The Fall? How did our animal instincts for self-preservation and survival, including selfishness, the procreative sex drive, and aggression, suddenly become evil once we evolved to the species of homo sapiens? A metaphorical, allegorical interpretation of the Adam and Eve story doesn’t work, either: for Christian soteriology to be effective, the first few chapters of Genesis must be taken as literal, historical fact. If there was no historical Fall of Man, why should we believe in a Divine Rescuer who, by dying on the Cross, gave us a chance to be restored to a state of grace that hadn’t originally existed anyway? (For further reading, see Spong, 1992.)

In light of modern scientific knowledge, we must understand that continuing to preach Christian dogma and Bible stories as literal, historic fact can no longer be merely viewed as a perpetuation of ignorance; now it is just cognitive dissonance, if not tantamount to outright lying. Threatened by modern knowledge, Christians–especially fundamentalists–are compelled to project their mendacity onto evolutionists, as Merrin has projected the idea of lying onto Pazuzu. When Merrin says the demon mixes lies with the truth, this seems an almost grudging concession that Pazuzu may, to an extent at least, be right.

Even without evolutionary theory, Christian theodicies are inadequate. They try to reconcile a perfectly good, omnipotent, omniscient God with a world in which evil exists by talking about Adam and Eve exercising free will by disobeying God; even though they, originally in a state of grace and having its attendant moral wisdom, surely would have had the sense to know that by eating the forbidden fruit, they were ruining themselves. To make an analogy, merely having the free will to put one’s hand on a stove’s red hot burner won’t make a sensible person any more willing to scald his hand; nor will one eat one’s own damnation, provided one has the moral perfection to know the consequences. One would be too morally strong to give in to the temptation of acquiring god-like knowledge.

This is why it’s dangerous to listen to Pazuzu’s words, for they will destroy faith. Merrin makes the point, that it is to make us despair, to make us think we’re animal, and that God would never love us, because we’re so unworthy. And love, particularly the love of our mothers and fathers, is crucial to our mental health; for those primary caregivers of our childhood provide a psychological blueprint for all of our later relationships, which leads me to my next point.

In object relations theory, our loving, good objects–internalized imagos of our parents, which reside in our minds like ghosts in a haunted house–help us to have integrated, healthy personalities, allowing us to have happy, loving relationships. God is the ideal internalized object, the ‘good Father’, and if we lose Him, we’re helpless against our internalized bad objects. Without sufficient good objects, one experiences a splitting of the personality into extreme good and bad objects. Enter Pazuzu…into Regan’s body.

When we don’t believe we’re loved, we develop what WRD Fairbairn called a schizoid personality (not to be confused with schizophrenia, which he considered an extreme schizoid manifestation), a personality split between good and bad internalized objects, something even the most normal people have, to at least some extent (Fairbairn, pages 3-27). This bad internal object, split off from the good ones, is what the demon in Regan could be said to symbolize.

When we don’t feel sufficiently loved–as Regan must feel when her father, in the middle of an acrimonious divorce from Chris, doesn’t call Regan on her birthday (p. 48)–we begin to feel persecutory anxiety, what Melanie Klein called the paranoid-schizoid position. Hence Pazuzu, Regan’s symbolic internalized bad object, is persecuting her.

Interestingly, Fairbairn compared bad objects to demonic possession (pages 67-72). “…it is worth considering whence bad objects derive their power over the individual. If the child’s objects are bad, how does he ever come to internalize them? Why does he not simply reject them…?…However much he may want to reject them, he cannot get away from them. They force themselves upon him; and he cannot resist them because they have power over him. He is accordingly compelled to internalize them in an effort to control them. But, in attempting to control them in this way, he is internalizing objects which have wielded power over him in the external world; and these objects retain their prestige for power over him in the inner world. In a word, he is ‘possessed’ by them, as if by evil spirits. This is not all, however. The child not only internalizes his bad objects because they force themselves upon him and he seeks to control them, but also, and above all, because he needs them. If a child’s parents are bad objects, he cannot reject them, even if they do not force themselves upon him; for he cannot do without them. Even if they neglect him, he cannot reject them; for, if they neglect him [as Regan’s father has neglected her], his need for them is increased.” (Fairbairn p. 67)

Chris’s love for Regan, in contrast, brings out the girl’s sweetness, her good internal object, the ‘good mother’ imago (p. 43). While we know Regan’s maniacal, violent behaviour is caused by an actual demon, and therefore Chris considers it a mistake to have originally believed that Regan’s pathology was caused by her father’s absence, we can nonetheless see the demon as symbolizing repressed anger over her father’s absence. We are, after all, reminded of her missing father even late into the story (p. 328; in the film, there’s no mention of the father calling and wanting to talk to Regan).

Remember also what Pazuzu says: “I am no one.” (page 308) This symbolically represents what Melanie Klein called the omnipotent denial of a bad object. Indeed, is Pazuzu a real demon, or just an internal bad object?

Projection and re-introjection of good and bad objects carry on in a cycle throughout one’s life, in varying levels of intensity. Possessed Regan’s vomiting (and urinating on the rug at the party) symbolize the projection. Freud associated libido with instinctual drives towards pleasure, but Fairbairn believed libido was directed at seeking objects (e.g., looking for people to give love to and receive love from). “Actually some of the activities to which so-called libidinal aims have been attributed are activities which I should hesitate to describe as primarily libidinal at all, e.g. anal and urinary activities; for the inherent aim of these activities, in common with that of vomiting, is not the establishment of a relationship with objects, but the rejection of objects which, from the point of view of the organism, constitute foreign bodies.” (Fairbairn p. 138) Regan’s puking and pissing can in one way be considered her futile attempt at exorcising her bad objects.

If we can’t find the loving objects we need, then our behaviour deteriorates to mere pleasure-seeking, as Regan’s obscene and blasphemous acts indicate. She violently rejects the loving help of father figures, and instead behaves obscenely. Instead of wanting to be saved by God, she masturbates with a crucifix; instead of receiving the priests’ help, she wants them to fuck her, or one another; she also grabs a hypnotherapist by the balls; and she hits one of the male doctors, then calls out to them: “Fuck me! Fuck me!”

Fairbairn elaborates: “…from the point of view of object-relationship psychology, explicit pleasure-seeking represents a deterioration of behaviour…Explicit pleasure-seeking has as its essential aim the relieving of the tension of libidinal need for the mere sake of relieving this tension. Such a process does, of course, occur commonly enough; but, since libidinal need is object-need, simple tension-relieving implies some failure of object-relationships.” (p. 139-140) Similarly, addiction of any kind (drugs, sex, gambling, the internet, pornography) can be seen as an attempt to connect when normal human connection has failed for the addict.

As far as introjection and re-introjection are concerned, we can see it symbolically in Regan’s masturbating with the crucifix, her jamming and re-jamming of that thing inside her bloodied vagina, saying, “Let Jesus fuck you! Let Jesus fuck you!” Jesus is the Son of God, but He’s also homooúsios with God the Father, that is, equal to Him. When confronting Father Merrin, she says, “Stick your cock up her ass…” These two blasphemies and obscenities represent a wish for introjection of a father figure, and also symbolize the female Oedipus situation of a girl whose father is no longer part of her life (or, while we’re discussing psychoanalytic ideas, could all this obscene behaviour be coming from what Freud called the seduction theory?). Telling her mother, and forcing her to “Lick me! Lick me!” represents a briefly inverted Oedipus conflict, and her hitting of Chris is a return to the normal Oedipus situation. Pursuit of pleasure for its own sake is all Regan has, because the acquiring of her needed loving object (her father) is impossible.

When Merrin dies at the end, faith dies. Karras desperately tries to revive him, but to no avail. Pazuzu seems awed at first by his final victory over Merrin, then he laughs in Schadenfreude. Enraged, Karras grabs Regan and beats the demon out of her–evil against evil, he punches her like a boxer. He wants to introject the demon, the bad object, not only to save her, I believe, but to punish himself for his loss of faith and absence when his mother died (his presumably dead father, by the way, is never mentioned in the movie). With the demon inside Karras, she is safe…except for the fact that Damien the demon is now eyeing her with a view to assault her…perhaps sexually. Swelling with self-hate and an urge to redeem himself, Karras shouts “No!” and jumps out the window, sacrificing his life for the girl’s. Evil against evil. Instead of salvation by faith, we have salvation by suicide, the ultimate act of faithlessness.

A weeping Father Dyer gives Karras absolution as he’s dying. Karras seems to have regained his faith (though it seems to be a belief only in devils, rather than in God; also, is his moving hand, in Dyer’s, really an expression of repentance?) while dying; in any case, his suicide still symbolizes a paradoxical salvation by faithlessness. His receiving of absolution would seem an affirmation of faith at the end of the story; but consider how Karras’s ‘exorcism’ of Regan involved no use of the Roman Catholic ritual at all. No prayers to God. He just beat the girl. ‘God’ wasn’t anywhere. No miracles came from Him; the supernatural occurrences came only from Pazuzu. Indeed, the two priests look ludicrously ineffectual as they are chanting, over and over, “The power of Christ compels you!” Does Pazuzu lower the levitated Regan by the priests’ compulsion, or of his own free will? Indeed, the demon has been toying with the priests the whole time.

When the family moves out, Chris tells Father Dyer that Regan remembers nothing of the demon. The bad internal object, that of her neglectful father, has been repressed, pushed back into Regan’s unconscious, and so there’s no longer a threat…or so we assume.

Regan projects her ‘bad father’ imago, Pazuzu, into Father Karras, and when he’s killed himself, she can feel satisfaction from that. When she quickly gives Father Dyer a hug and kiss, we wonder, for a second, will she attack him?

No, he’s safe, for she has successfully repressed her internal saboteur (Fairbairn p. 102-105), her “anti-libidinal ego [, which] is the split-off ego fragment that is bonded with the rejecting object. We can think of it as the ‘anti-wanting I’, the aspect of the self that is contemptuous of neediness. Rejection gives rise to unbearable anger, split off from the central self or ego [corresponding roughly to Freud’s ego] and disowned by it. Fairbairn originally termed this element the ‘internal saboteur’, indicating that in despising rather than acknowledging our neediness, we ensure that we neither seek nor get what we want. The anti-libidinal ego/rejecting object configuration is the cynical, angry self which is too dangerously hostile for us to acknowledge. When it emerges from repression we may experience it as chaotic rage or hatred, sometimes with persecutory guilt.” (Gomez p. 63-64)

Earlier in the story, Regan’s libidinal ego (the part of Fairbairn’s endo-psychic structure corresponding roughly to Freud’s id) is attached to Burke as a possible stepfather, what Fairbairn would have called an ‘exciting object’ (Fairbairn p. 102-105; Gomez p. 62); for she is hoping her mother will marry him, speaking to her mother of how she (Chris) likes him (p. 43-44). Then, her anti-libidinal ego, the internal saboteur, symbolized by Pazuzu, considers Burke a copy of her rejecting object/father and kills him (and since her rejecting object is inside her psyche, Regan imitates Burke’s voice and twists her head around, as Burke’s was when found dead). Pazuzu, the name of her ‘bad father’ imago, could be considered a pun on ‘Pa’. Is Pazuzu jealous of Regan’s preferring Burke to him as a father-object? Similarly, Pazuzu wants to kill the other two Fathers, Merrin and Karras.

But to return to the end of the story: having reintegrated her bad objects with her good ones, Regan has thus restored her mental health. Unconsciously, she can now accept the independent existence of her far-away father. She has given up the omnipotence symbolized by the supernatural powers of the demon, for she no longer needs to deny the bad aspects of her object relations. Now she wants reparation with fathers, so she doesn’t hurt Dyer.

Regan’s parents’ divorce amounted to a loss of faith in their marriage, resulting in the girl’s loss of faith in fathers–biological ones, possible stepfathers (Burke), Catholic Fathers, male doctors/hypnotherapists/psychiatrists, or God the Father Himself. Because the priests cannot replace her actual father any more than Burke can, Pazuzu’s first words to Merrin include, “…you motherfucking, worthless cocksucker!” What else is your father, but the man who is fucking your mother? (And leaving her, i.e., divorcing her and abandoning Regan, is fucking Chris in a different way…making him worthless to Regan.) When Merrin throws holy water on Regan, Pazuzu the rejecting object writhes in pain and has scars on her leg to show his rejection of the Father.

Killing fathers, whether potential surrogates like Burke, or religious ones like Karras or Merrin, is what Pazuzu is all about: the anti-libidinal ego that is attached to the internalized ‘rejecting object’ (Regan’s absent father). As I see it, Pazuzu is both the anti-libidinal ego and the internalized rejecting object at the same time. Pazuzu rejects fathers for the same reason he rejects God. After all, paternity is an act of faith in itself. Note what Don Pedro and Leonato, Hero’s father, say about her in a dialogue in Much Ado About Nothing, Act I, Scene i, lines 88-89:

DON PEDRO: I think this is your daughter.

LEONATO: Her mother hath many times told me so.

Or, consider a quote in James Joyce’s Ulysses: “Fatherhood, in the sense of conscious begetting, is unknown to man. It is a mystical estate, an apostolic succession, from only begetter to only begotten…founded…Upon incertitude, upon unlikelihood…Paternity may be a legal fiction.” (Joyce, page 266)

Our fathers, who are in Heaven (or here on Earth): hollow seem their names. This is what The Exorcist seems to be telling us…and that’s what is so frightening about the film.

William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist, HarperCollinsPublishers, New York NY, 1971

W. Ronald D. Fairbairn, Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality, Routledge, London, 1952

John Shelby Spong, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: a Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture, Harper, San Francisco, 1992

Lavinia Gomez, An Introduction to Object Relations, Free Association Books, London, 1997

James Joyce, Ulysses: Annotated Student Edition, Penguin Books, London, first published 1922