He only comes out at night and he saunters in through the double doors with a devilish smile. The men in the bar scatter to the far ends of the room as He walks in, tipping his fedora at the bartender. His black eyes sparkle silver in the light, briefly. The women in this untainted dive swoon and it is instantly scorching hot as the thermometer breaks. Beads of sweat are dripping from everyone’s skin but His, He’s used to it.
“Bartender, Tennessee Fire Whiskey, neat.” He grins and the bartender falters for a second but she obeys, quickly.
I watch Him watch every woman in this joint, it is sickening and intense but it’s something about Him. I’ve seen Him before, a few towns over, He glides in and flashes His perfect teeth and winks, then women everywhere fall to their knees, begging for him. Some even begging for mercy. I straighten my shoulders and push off the wall walking towards the exit. I catch His scent in the air and it’s this smell of ashes and Gucci Guilty Black, it’s intoxicating. I turn slowly to face Him and He smiles dangerously.
“Where are you going, little one?” His voice is silk. My mind wills me to run, my mind tells me, “Watch out, he is a woman-eater. You know this. Don’t indulge him.”
“Hmm. The cat caught your tongue? Here, let me help you.” He stands up from the bar stool and towers over me, His scent is intoxicating, my head swims in my deepest desires. “I know why you are here, little one. Let me break you in.” His breath hot on my neck as He speaks to my soul.
My mind yells at me, “Watch out, he will chew you up. Regain your strength, you’ll need it for what is about to come.”
My voice cracks, “I-I should go.” Not much conviction in my voice, but I said it. I got it out into the air.
He firmly grabs my arm and slowly speaks, “No one, walks away from me. Come on, indulge me, indulge your desires.” I couldn’t fight it, I have to talk with Him. I know what He is, I’ve seen Him before, I hear stories but I have to know for myself. So I stay.
“Good girl, let’s sit.” I obey Him and I sit next to Him at the bar. “What would you like to drink, little one?” His voice sounds venomous and dark.
“Angel’s Envy,” I reply and His eyes flash a crimson red but He quickly smiles and calls the bartender over. “What do you want from me?” I question.
My drink is slid in front of me and I quickly down it, the richness of vanilla, wood and cedar tingles in the back of my throat. “Nothing you aren’t willing to give.”
My inner voice is screaming at me, much louder than before. “The Devil is in the details. You know what He is.”
“I will give you…nothing. I know what and who you are. I am not afraid to say “no” to you.” I say with strength and pride. I wave the bartender over for another glass of Angel’s Envy Bourbon.
He slides the stool closer to me and He hisses, “You aren’t the only one who believed in their own strength yet they still fell to their knees, doing whatever to appease me. You are not so different, little one.” He pulls back throwing his head back, laughing.
The bartender slides my glass over and once again I drink the bourbon in one gulp. “The beast does not scare me. The name doesn’t make me cower in a corner and you, you are something but nothing to me.”
I stand up and throw a twenty down for the bartender. I look down at Him, He seems smaller than before. He glances up at me, His face distorts. I swallow the bile trying to climb its way up my throat. I can’t falter now.
“I am hungry.” He growls, softly. “You will pay one day and I’ll be there to greet you. The beauty is there, little one but a beast is in the heart.” He smiles, ruefully.
I blink a few times, something is wrong. Why can’t I move my legs?
“Because you’re allowing Him to win. To chew you up and spit you back out.” My mind screams over and over.
He stands up, puts His warm hands on my waist and guides me to the dance floor.
“Don’t dance with Him…” My mind begs. “I have to…” I whisper to myself.
There was no music blaring from the speakers, only the music that was playing in His mind. He stares into my eyes, His dark abyss peering into my soul. We dance and it feels like forever until He whispers.
“You are not strong enough to withstand the storm.” I close my eyes and He leans his head down as His lips barely touch mine, the heat emanates from His body sending my senses into overdrive.
“Fight Him…” My mind whispers.
My eyes flutter open staring back into dark orbs, a smile slowly creeps upon my lips. I whisper back, “I am the storm.”
He backs away from me slowly, tripping over himself. I laugh as I walk towards Him.
“Not today, not ever will you have me. I command myself, I have faith in me.” I say with power behind my voice.
“I will be back, little one. Today you may have bested me, tomorrow or the next week and the week after that, I’ll be lurking and waiting for you to come to me.” He stands up tall, straightens his fedora and flashes a charming smile.
“You will never dance on my back.” I brush past Him. “I am the storm, you are nothing.”
-Miesha Lowery aka “Eyes Of Art”