Now all you, my dear readers, must do is visit the blogs and vote in the comments of each story that you like. Seriously, all of us worked hard on these and if you like it you need to vote.
How to vote: Comment at the end of the end of each post. You must have the word "VOTE" in your comment for it to be considered valid.
VOTING IS CLOSED
His lips are so soft and warm against mine. I could lose myself in this kiss. If only it were were that easy. I crush the rising guilt. Jeremy is the perfect boy, handsome, strong, and he adores me. He would do anything for me, would give me anything I wanted.
He’s not who I want him to be, but that is about to change. I sigh and pull back from him. Time is wasting and the moon is almost at its highest.
“What’s wrong, darlin’?” I love his southern drawl. It suits him. His brown hair hangs loose around his head. His dark soulful brown eyes swallow me up. I wonder for the hundredth time, what will change when the ritual will be complete and I’ll be united with my Nicholas.
“Nothin’,” I say as I trail a finger down his broad chest. “Jus’ thinkin’ about you, Sugah.” A giggle escapes my lips as I think about my hands exploring him. Nicholas will love this body. He’s been without for so long.
A playful smile dances across his perfect lips as he pulls me close. The heat of his body warms me on the cold October night. My pulse jumps at the feel of his body. It makes thinking difficult. I need to focus. Things have to be done precisely or all is lost, that is what Nicholas told me. Tonight, in the circle, at the moon’s apex. I close my eyes and lean my cheek against Jeremy’s chest and breathe in his sent, horses, sweat, and leather.
I remember the first time I met Nicholas. It was here in this graveyard, cliché I know, but it’s true. I like to wander the gravesites and look at the old stones. The markers for people loved and lost lined up in neat little rows. I love to see the ones where husband and wife are buried together, side by side, after a long happy marriage with children and grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
I found Nicholas’ stone in an old unused part of the cemetery. There the stones were so warn their names were almost gone. Some were just rubble, destroyed by time and the elements. Nobody visits that part of the cemetery anymore.
Nicholas’ stone was the oldest one there. It was a simple flat stone, the name lost to time and covered with lichen. I ran my fingers over it, feeling the rough stone and the slight indentations from a name. He came to me then. A soft whisper, a voice on the wind. I didn’t believe it at first, but every time I came back, his voice became stronger.
Sometimes I felt his ghostly fingers caressing my face and leaving cold, tingling lines where he touched me. I fell in love with him and he with me. He had been so lonely there in the cemetery, so lost and alone. Nobody could hear him until I came. He told me about the ritual where we could be together. I just needed to find the right body, someone strong and simple. Someone I could convince to come with me to the cemetery on a chilly night in October.
I knew it wouldn’t be hard. Jeremy has always had a thing for me. Something, I’m ashamed to say, I’ve taken advantage of. I knew he would come with me to the cemetery. I told him I loved being out here in the dark where no one could see me. He jumped at the chance when I told him that I wanted him to be with me and kiss me in the moonlight.
“Do you love me?” I ask Nicholas.
Jeremy’s chest rumbles. “Darlin’, I’ve always loved you.”
His voice caresses my ears and my heartbeat quickens. Jeremy’s arms tighten around me and the guilt rises. I hope the ritual doesn’t hurt. Nicholas says it won’t, but Jeremy is so sweet and innocent. I push away. Jeremy looks hurt.
Have faith, my love. It will all be over soon and we’ll be together…Forever.
Nicholas voice calms my jumping nerves and I manage a week smile at Jeremy.
“I’m sorry, Sugah. I just didn’t expect you ta say anythin’.” My nerves settle as a big grin flashes across Jeremy’s beautiful face.
“That’s ok, darlin’. Now where’s this grave stone you wanted to show me?”
I take his large hand and lead him toward where Nicholas’ stone lies. The full moon lights our way, unnaturally bright. I draw him to a stop before the small simple stone.
Jeremy looks down at the stone, “It ain’t much to look at.”
I silently step out of the circle I drew with salt and goat’s blood and whisper the words that Nicholas taught me. I prick my finger with a small sharp knife and let the blood drop. I know I’ve done it right when the hair on my arms stands on end.
“What?” Jeremy swings around with a surprised look on his face. I feel tears streaming down my face as a ghostly form raises from the ground at his feet and envelopes him and then disappears into his mouth and nose. Jeremy stands perfectly still for a moment before giving me a wink. It’s the sign.
I quickly scuff the circle with my foot and rush into Nicholas arms, my heart singing with joy.
Nicholas smiles down from Jeremy’s face and takes the knife from my hand.
“Just one more thing before the ritual is complete, love.” His voice is different, sounds English. I gasp in pain as he swipes the knife across my throat. He carefully lowers me to the ground as blood pours down my chest.
I try to speak, but my voice doesn’t work. Nicholas smiles at me as he gently lays me down.
“I suppose I should properly introduce myself, now that I have a body. My name’s Jack." He holds the knife before my face and grinned as my vision started to fade.