My thanks to Pixel the Cat for editing under pressure of time constraints.
This is an origins tale for the short story, “The Observer.” It can easily stand on its own.
Sylvia’s moan was muffled by the pillow that half covered her sleeping face. She was having a very erotic dream. It was recurring, and the vividness swallowed her, the pleasure she felt quickly building to a peak. The old house, too, lay in somnolence, an occasional creak of timbers, long settled, but disturbed by some restlessness.
Downstairs, a few glowing embers were the reminder of the fire and sensual scenes that had played out before it two nights before. John had taken his beautiful wife on the soft furry rug before it, again and again, trying to get his fill of her love to tide him over for the next nine days.
Sylvia was an extremely sensual woman, and he wanted her to remember, to be filled with the glow of his love and reminded that they were not merely husband and wife, but connected at a spiritual and romantic level that he had never before experienced with anyone, not even the cheater he had found lying at the bottom of the stairs.
Sylvia did recall, and she had built that fire again the previous night to remind her of the man who filled her head, her heart and her body with his love. She had a glass of wine with her evening meal and carried another to the chair she dragged in front of the fire. She placed an ottoman before the chair and put her feet up as she sipped her dark Cabernet. Her dogs padded across the floor to sink down with groans near her, toenails clicking on the hardwood floor.
She drowsed and became aware that the atmosphere had become intensely charged. Her reverie broken, she opened her eyes and scanned the room. Nothing was amiss; the walls, their blind gaze upon her, reassured her with their solidity. The elk head mounted over the fireplace seemed to gaze approvingly upon her. She relaxed, her eyes closed and she returned to her drowsing.
Her thoughts were wrapped in a wine-dark sea of contentment, turning to the scene that had played out the night before. She felt her nipples become firm, remembering John’s lips, recalling how he had laved her breasts with his attention.
Sylvia had spectacular breasts, firm, the little peaks of her areolae and nipples forming their own geographic features on those luscious mounds. She felt the tickle of her long black curls, dipping into the valley exposed by the three buttons of her blouse that she had left open. The dark creaminess of that declivity welcomed the caress.
She could almost feel fiery lips, brushing the curls of silky hair aside and trailing heat downward toward her nipples. They became rigid, standing firmly at attention as her mind lost itself to the vision of touch and sensation.
Lips closed over one stiff peak, and she moaned. It felt as if she were naked, light fingers playing over the satin of her skin, the touch of her husband, preparing her for mating. She moaned again as the deft finger dipped into the small pocket formed by the elongated oval of her navel, touching the diamond stud she wore there.
Fingers parted the soft line of ebon curls above her vulva and slid between silken thighs. She parted her legs, granting access to her most secret places. Her clitoris was stroked, the finger dipping between sealed lips to find the moisture burgeoning within, using the slippery fluid to coat her now prominent clit, caressing that little nub until it stiffened, now matching the erect nipples. The sensation was maddening, drawing gasps and motions from her now writhing body.
The cock: she felt it, heavy with power, firm and yet soft against her nether lips, filling her completely with its promise of yet greater ecstasy. She wanted it, craved it with every fiber of her being as it thrust within her, the smooth slick walls grasping, hungry with need, thirsty for the release within her.
Her desire overwhelmed all conscious thought and there was only the cock, filling her again and again as she gave tongue to her pleasure and exploded into the white light of pure passion, her cries echoing through the empty house until she slumped in exhaustion, her mind a blank.
The fire, which had been crackling busily, devouring its appointed fuel, sending out its warmth into the chill of the night air, subsided, its tongues quieting until its orange glow bathed the room with comfort. The dogs had raised their heads, stirred by her cries, but reassuring themselves, resumed their positions.
Sylvia stirred, her thoughts whirling; instinctively, her hands slid down her body, dipping into softness and feeling the lacy panties, soaked and moist between her thighs. Slipping inside, they felt no tell-tale semen, and she relaxed. It was a dream. Cupid smiled benevolently upon her from his place on the baluster, his arrow nocked, as she drifted in the afterglow of her dream.
As she lay in her big bed, she felt the dream steal over her again. The morning sun was just peeking through lace panels over her window, and her boudoir was comfort and soft glows. She stirred as the sensations of the night before began again. It was John, his heavy weight upon her and in her. She could feel his belly against the round swell of her ass.
Sylvia knew that men loved looking at her ass. It was one of those round firm small things that starlets strove for, and she worked very hard to keep it that way. Now, she could feel her husband, sheathing himself inside her, bringing her rapidly toward the same tension draining completion he always brought her.
As her excitement peaked, a soft breeze came through the open window, parting the lace and the beautiful morning sun gazed upon the beautiful sleeping woman. She drifted into nothingness, and slumbered.
An hour later, she arose, donned a light sundress and made her way downstairs to her breakfast. Her thoughts were a jumble. The strange dreams troubled her. She had erotic dreams, from time to time, but she could never recall anything like the sensations she had experienced. Never had she experienced an orgasm in those dreams, nor had they ever seemed so starkly real.
There was just something about the atmosphere that felt alive. It was difficult to put a finger on, but there always seemed to be something there, just beyond her senses, just off the edge of her vision. She had felt a bit frightened, at first. Now, it just seemed somewhat comforting, as if a good angel was watching over her.
She and John had met in New York, where she lived, and she had quickly fallen in love with his charm, his soft Southern drawl and his easy manner. It didn’t hurt that he had just taken charge of the department that most often affected hers.
They began to date, and by the time he had completed the overhaul of the department, she knew this was the man for her. He had told her of his home and she envisioned some Southern manor house, looking over acres of cotton fields. After two weeks without him, she was feeling very lonely, and his call, inviting her to come and spend a week at his home, was eagerly accepted.
The house was all that she had imagined, except instead of cotton fields, the tall windows looked out on gardens, populated by butterflies and hummingbirds flitting among the immaculate flower beds. Stately live oaks festooned with Spanish moss lined the gardens as a wall and magnolias marched in file down the driveway.
They had been married for two months, but this was the first time John had to be away. She knew she would miss him dreadfully, but the thought of his return and the joy that would fill their hearts left her in anticipation.
The grandfather clock in the entry chimed, announcing that it was eleven o’clock. She went out into the garden behind the house and sat in one of the swings on the wrap-around porch, the dogs following her. It seemed to swing of its own volition and she sipped her tea and breathed in the air, heavy with jasmine and lavender as they explored interesting scents.
They were huge beasts, bull mastiffs, gifts from John, who was aware of the companionship she craved when he was not present. “Mama’s babies found fascinating odors?” she cooed to them as they returned to her. They panted happily and sank into the cool grass.
Bay windows smiled upon her. The house was content, it seemed, its mistress in residence. The ancient live-oak timbers settled comfortably. The years stretched behind them. Memories walked, whispered and creaked.
It had once been a tree, a venerable forest giant, festooned with wisps of Spanish moss, it towered over the swampy terrain, a slight elevation giving its gaze even longer reach. From time to time, visitors came, gathered at its feet and practiced their rituals. They sometimes excavated around its roots, depositing their honored dead amidst beads, weapons and offerings to the spirits. Through the passing years, a village of small mounds grew around it, and the people changed.
The tree itself became their most powerful talisman, the repository of their fortunes and they offered supplications to its spirit. The tree was not unaware. A slow stirring began, and with the moving of sap came a moving of the senses. Its spell filled the area, and with the passing of seasons, it became aware of things taking place in its environs.
Then the visits stopped. No more did the people come with their sadness and with their supplications. All was not well in their world, and they had been driven out. The tree waited, its patience infinite. It was centuries old, and barring lightning strike or fire, it had centuries more upon which to ponder.
In time, new visitors came; not the same visitors, and they offered no thoughts. They were not mere visitors; these came to stay. Their skin was pale and their thoughts were of industry and farming. The forest was cleared and the swamp drained. Fields sprang up from the fertile soil and the tree blessed them. They produced abundantly, and the tree was content.
The ultimate disaster came. It was slow and tiny, creeping through the soil, borne by beetles and creeping things. A fungus, attacking the roots of the giant. Its foliage depleted, its vitality sapped, it was forced, more and more, to conserve its vitality to survive. The battle was being lost.
The effect was not lost on Ethan Thomas. He had come to the area, cleared his fields, built his cabin, married his bride, raised his children and prospered beyond all his dreams. The tree stood upon land he claimed. He admired the forest giant, and was saddened at its decline. Plans, long forming in his mind, took shape. He would build his family the home of their dreams, using the lumber from the dying tree, before it began to decay and rot.
The tree was felled, the huge logs transported away by wagon to be sawn into timbers and flooring. The house took shape, built on the very rise the tree had occupied, and Ethan Thomas lived out the remainder of his life there, passing it on to his son, and down through the generations.
The spirit of the tree lived on in the house. Generations of Thomases were watched over by the vigilant, yet invisible inhabitant. Through the war, the loss of fortune and its rebuilding, through attacks by vagrants and ruffians, the house watched, and participated.
Its current mistress was among its favorites, as was its master. She reminded it of the dark-skinned visitors of long ago, though her skin was a rich creamy-brown, where theirs had a different luster. She was also in touch with the spiritual, crystals adorned her neck on a golden chain; they were placed throughout the house, resting on mantels, shelves and in cases. She performed rituals, strange to her husband, but comforting to him and to the house.
It gained strength though her presence, and the lawns and gardens were profuse with a riot of color and fragrance. In turn, it watched over her, indulging the sensuousness of her nature, caring for her and soothing her inner being.
There are snakes, even in Eden. In the small town nearby, there was a serpent. His name was Rodney Wilson. From a bad beginning, he had born rotten fruit. He was an itinerate laborer, not looking for work beyond his simple needs: drugs, food, alcohol, a moldering shack that he kept barely inhabitable. He was a meth user; in fact, any drug in a storm would suit him. He had been arrested many times; the county jail was often his residence.
Once, he had gone to prison, for molesting the daughter of a temporary live-in companion. He was cautious, but hungry. He became aware of Sylvia’s presence in the small community by accident. He had been sitting in the park when she came by, walking her dogs. He was struck by her, the impact of her taking his breath away.
There were few people of color in the community, and that, alone, was remarkable, but her hair, a huge mane of glossy curls, her face, exotic and mysterious, her body, its firmness displayed in the sports top and shorts she was wearing, the way her ass jiggled, he was mesmerized. He saw her around town, often, and she haunted him. Watching for her became an obsession.
He had spoken to her, a few times, and her friendly and open manner made him even more attracted. He was also stung by the fact that she never remembered him.
The aftermath of the hurricane found Rodney working on cleanup outside town. John and Sylvia, of course, hired workers to clean up their property. Rodney was not lucky enough to be one of the men who were hired, but he was working on the neighbor’s property, and saw her around the yard, her yellow sundress a spot of color against the green of the lawns.
The completion of the cleanup saw Rodney with money, and he bought meth, enough to last him a while, if he was careful. He joined a small party of his fellow drug users down at the river, past where John and Sylvia’s property lay. As the party broke up, Rodney got in his old truck and drove up the highway toward town. As he passed, he noticed one light on in John and Sylvia’s house. He pulled his truck to the side of the road and stopped. He sat for a moment, drawn by his hunger, but restrained by caution. Hunger won, and he crept down the drive toward the house.
As unfamiliar feet trod the driveway and moved to the carefully manicured lawn, awareness of an intruder swam slowly to sentience. The lights from the pool glared menacingly and the intruder felt a vague unease settle over him. He contemplated leaving, but the patch of light from that window, flickering oddly, drew him as a moth to the flame.
Peering cautiously in, he saw that it was a large bathroom, tiled floors, a vanity, its top covered with bottles of beauty products. A candle burned on the vanity, and two more were flickering on the edge of a huge tub.
Sylvia was enjoying her bath. She had left John in bed, after reducing him to a quivering wreck, and ran her bath. Bubbles mounded, a stream running down as she entered. Her candles filled the room with the scent she loved, and she relaxed for a long soaking. She had a glass of her best red wine, and the bottle, two-thirds empty, was nearby.
She soaked, drinking her wine and letting the peace of the house drift her into drowsing. The water began to cool, rousing her, and she stepped from the tub, drying herself with a big fluffy towel.
Outside the window, Rodney was transfixed. The naked beauty of this goddess was the stuff of his dreams. His cock, fueled by the meth he had consumed, was hard enough to shatter. He stood, spellbound, watching her as she finally wrapped the towel around her, the beauty on display concealed from prying eyes.
She spent a long time, taking various bottles and jars, combing them through her hair until those glossy curls formed, framing her face in that familiar way. She blew out the two candles on the tub, gathered her empty glass and the bottle, and carrying her lit candle from the vanity, she left the room.
Rodney followed the flickering light through the house, finally coming to the kitchen, where Sylvia turned on the light over the sink and blew out the candle. She idly rinsed the glass in the sink, putting it into the dishwasher and starting the machine.
As the electricity use surged, a malfunction in the security system occurred. A security light came on, bathing the wall of the house with light, illuminating the lurker outside.
Noticing the flash of the light, Sylvia glanced toward the window. There, in the illumination, Rodney’s face was framed in her kitchen window. She froze, for a brief moment, shocked into immobility. A small shriek escaped her lips, and she fled.
Rodney lost no time in his own flight, hurrying down the long driveway toward the road.
Sylvia recovered from her shock at seeing the face in the window, fled to her bedroom and shook her sleeping husband. “John! Wake up!” She shook him again, running to grab a robe for both of them. “Someone was looking in the kitchen window,” she hissed. “Get up. Let’s see if they’re still out there.”
John stumbled to his feet, donned the robe she was holding and followed her to the front door, stopping only to grab the 12 gauge from behind the bedroom door. “Are you sure, honey?” he asked. “You really saw someone?”