I have been a member of the Fantasy Faction forum for getting on for five years now and one of the best things about the community has been the writing contest – it’s only 1500 words so come give it a go! Contest winners were posted on the website but that hasn’t happened for a while, so I’ve been asked to fill in. It’s an honour to do so, and here is another winner.
The theme for the competition when this story won was “Erotica” and the winning story is “To kill a mimic” by Nora. To read more of her work, go to either her Archive of our Own profile or her Tumblr.
“To kill a mimic” by Nora
“I know you said vampires don’t exist, but that door screams “Vampire Lord” like nothing I’ve ever seen.”
Agent Lee is right.
Made of thick oak barely distinguishable under the slew of iron wrought in gaudy baroque motifs, each panel is further adorned with a knocker in the shape of a wolf head biting on a thick metal ring. The doors would be more at home on a Carpathian castle, albeit a small one, and are plain wrong on the facade of this otherwise all-American summer home in the forested feet of Mt. Rainer.
“What do we do then,” Lee asks, “I don’t see any doorbells.”
I smile back at the young man. I assumed a military type like him, freshly transferred at the Institute, would be more frazzled on his first serious mission.
“There’ll be a back door. Not seen an American house without one. But let’s gear up first,” I say, opening my backpack. “These doors, it’s exactly the sort of nostalgic bullshit you can expect from a Mimic. They drag old mementoes around in Europe too.”
I gesture for agent Lee to approach, handing him a thickly braided headband. Several charms are weaved through the strands, and I point at the ones that should be on his brow, and how the heavy, blood-red sequins should fall behind his ears, in a pale imitation of my own warding.
I pass my fingers over my hair, festooned as it is with many sequins and knotted wards made of my own beaded braids.
“This isn’t the latest European fashion,” I explain, “It’s the bare minimum you should wear when you want to slay a Mimic. We’ll go over the symbolism on the ride back to base, but the idea is that none of the wards of the Abrahamic religions will work. Mimics are old Europe, which is why they rarely cross the ocean. They’re monsters we inherited from the Celts and Norse, before Jesus showed up.”
Lee nods dutifully. All this was in his briefing, along with instructions on how to kill the target, if I failed.
“If a Mimic crawls into your mind without any wards, it will take the shape of a loved one and become your cuckoo child, taking over your entire life as your need to care for it overrides everything that made you you. So wear the silly bandana and stay behind me.”
Lee nods again, wide-eyed now.
“Can you cure it?”
“Yeah, it goes away if the Mimic dies, but see, they don’t reproduce. They’re an endangered species, and each one of them is over two millennia old, so you can imagine the success rate of surviving a Mimic encounter…” seeing Lee’s crumpling face, I hurry to add: “with the wards on, at worst it’ll hit you with suggestions. It doesn’t really like the sun either, it’ll be weak and asleep.”
We make our way around the house, Agent Lee scanning the space professionally, a firm hand on his gun. The garden is wild, tall grasses hiding the rotten teeth of a once-upon-a-time fence. The garage’s door rusted shut at a slight angle, offering a home to raccoons or foxes. There is a porch at the back, and a motorbike under a rain cover.
Inside the house everything is dusty, and the lounge is a tidal wave of trash. Like the mimic lost its latest host but hasn’t moved on yet. The lack of body makes me wonder if it cared enough to bury them. They do that sometimes, especially if they live in populated areas and have to pass for the neighbours.
I whisper these remarks as we go.
“No one’s using that bedroom,” Lee says.
“No, expect Mimics underground.”
“In a house like this–” but he chokes on his words as we reach the kitchen. “What’s this! A root cellar?”
I smile to myself, pleased. In all likelihood this is a Mimic bedchamber. It takes us some time to work on the hinges, but soon enough we’re peering down a dirt-walled tunnel that slopes into darkness. I light up my torch and bat away Lee’s flustered hands.
I slip in without a word. Before now, we had clues. Good enough to fly me over from Europe. But now I have certainties, and Lee is just a kid who’s not even cased a ghoul nest yet. I gesture for silence as we step into a smallish room, ever-so-slightly lit by slanted shards of light. I run my fingers on the ceiling, and sure enough, it is made of dry planks of wood.
“We’re under the bedroom” I whisper.
In front of us lays a stone altar, for lack of a better word. A rectangular slab of cold granite with a depression in its centre, perfect for housing a slumbering Mimic dreaming of druid groves and damp stone cairns.
“Is that it?” Lee asks. “It’s so… It’s beautiful.”
“You must have similar tastes to the previous host,” I reply, unsheathing my dagger. It’s made of iron and carved with runes. A very old piece of work, part of a small collection that gets passed around the exclusive club of people at the Institute who have the credentials to hunt Mimics.
I kneel next to the stone, looking down on the sleeping beauty in it, with its chiselled jaws, sculpted nose, lips full of character, and long blond hair begging to be caressed. My dagger is poised to sink in those lies.
Then its hand is on mine. I start, and our eyes meet.
His smile makes my chest ache. I’ve been away so long, yet he loves me still, was waiting for me all this time!
His touch raises the hair at the nape of my neck as he travel up my arms, my shoulders, to cup my face and bring it down to his. When our lips touch I can hear the dull pumping of my blood in my ears, feel the pulse in my throat.
A terrible craving blooms inside of me.
I grab his silky blond hair in hungry fistfuls, I bite at his lips, moan at his retaliations. His fingers leave trails of fire as they travel back down, coaxing my clothes out of the way and pressing me against the length of him.
I’ve long stopped thinking, surrendering to my senses, making decisions based on the shivers of my skin, the throbbing at my core. He’s already naked under me, his moon-kissed skin almost glowing, I trace the golden trail of his hair, from his chest and down his hard belly, to wrap around his penis.
I could play with him, tease and caress, but this isn’t that kind of sex, not today. Instead I guide him inside me, knowing the fit will be perfect. As he slides in, his hands grip my thighs and start the precise dance of up and downs that quickly take me beyond myself.
Every stroke inside of me like a perfect note in an ode to pleasure, and I’ve turned into a harp in the hands of a maestro.
When I come, I think I scream, and I know for sure that I cry. That is a quirk that panicked a few of my more talented lovers in the past. Many feared they’d hurt me, but my lover now laughs happily at the sight of my tears, and still his chest rumbles when I lay my head against it.
Then, finally, he speaks to me.
“Please don’t go like that again. I missed you so.”
There is a clink in my mind, like a stone hitting the glass panel of my subconscious.
“If only you’d stay–”
The clink becomes a crash, and I feel the granite under my curled fingers, the pressure of the cold floor against my knees. I meet his eyes in the darkness, not speckled with emerald dust, but dark and desperate as it looks up from the slab of stone it beds in, up from under the shadow of my blade.
“Oh no you don’t,” I snarl, and drive the knife into its ribs.
For a horrible moment it gurgles, while the last echoes of my very real orgasm ripple through me. Its eyes ask me why, and I show it my teeth in an animal rictus. Like a parasite needs an explanation before it’s culled. And after this underhanded attack?
“Agent Ayre!” Lee sounds like he’s come up for air after a dive in rough sea. “Are you alright? I couldn’t move, and you seemed all frozen too!”
“I’m fine”, I say, trying to stand up without wobbling. “It kept you put and focused the fireworks on me. Quite the impressive show too, bastard was a canny old one.”
I smile reassuringly. It’s dead now, and the world a better place for it.
“Good thing those wards give you a terrible fear of commitment…”
“What now?” Lee asks.
“We call in cleanup and drive the fuck away.”