Bitten:Dark Erotic Stories

By: Susie Bright


THE DEVIL’S INVISIBLE SCISSORS

Sera Gamble

THE SOUL ISN’T A GLOWING ORB. It doesn’t look like a halo. It has no wings. It doesn’t live inside your heart. Everything you ever learned about the soul is wrong.





If you asked Gina to describe the human soul, she’d tell you to picture a cluster of shiny balloons bobbing in the air a couple of feet above your head, tethered to you by invisible strings. Except, the strings aren’t strings, of course—they’re lines of energy. Perhaps, if you’re the type, you sometimes sense them. The bottom of each string, she’d tell you, is tied to your solar plexus.

To you or me, Gina looks like a slightly bored executive assistant with a naughty streak and a hidden sad story. She’s the only woman in the bar wearing stockings, maybe the only woman in Los Angeles wearing stockings with a black seam up the back. Gina has on a silk blouse, sleeveless; pencil skirt, tight; black slingback shoes with scuffed points. Gina has cherub lips and “Black Dahlia” hair and slightly crooked teeth that make you trust her. Sometimes she finishes off the look with a baby gold cross, but that only really works on guys from the Midwest. Out here, it’s all God-doubting sometime Buddhists from Protestant or Jewish families, thirsty only for big money or kind eyes, likely to pray only in the moments before they receive their test results.

Cool by Gina. Big-city boys are easier, though you’d think the opposite; you’d think their hard shell would prove tougher to penetrate. Truth is, they’re usually farther from home, lonelier, smarting from some recent screwing-over of the professional or personal kind. You know how people say everyone in L.A. is fake? They’re being dramatic. It’s not that bad. Nevertheless, truth is, a man in a bar like this, a bar with expensive chairs and designer shot glasses, is surprised to find a woman like Gina really listening to him. Not sizing him up. Not glancing at the door. Not waiting for an opening in which to wedge her pointy leather toe so she can talk about herself.

Gina listens with a magical stillness, and the men’s eyes go wide like the eyes of shy ten-year-olds. Their breathing changes, their posture. They lean close. Speak quieter, and—yes! She’s still riveted! Smitten, they open their hearts.

You think that’s a metaphor for vulnerability, and it is, but it is also a factually accurate description. A doorway they cannot see, and probably don’t know exists, is hidden in their chests. By hidden, I mean invisible to regular eyes like yours or mine. If you asked Gina what the doors look like, she’d tell you each set is different. Some are fleshy, some more like antique wooden cabinets. Occasionally she sees a pair of doors that unfold like pterodactyl wings. She has no idea what any of this means, how the shape of your particular set of doors correlates to karma or genetics. Whatever; Gina doesn’t dwell on the mysteries. She sits and listens and watches for the moment when the doors swing wide.

Now would be a good moment to tell you that Gina is not really an executive assistant. Gina is a demon.

Between Gina’s breasts is a delicate silvery chain from which hangs a pair of razor-fine invisible scissors. She can feel their shape against her skin, their weight, their warmth. These scissors are the means by which she cuts the energy strings we were discussing earlier. The moment those doors in the chest of her victim swing open, she reaches for her scissors and threads her thumb and forefinger through their invisible loops. This action freezes time. All sound stops. All movement. For that moment, Gina alone moves in a world that is a sudden candid photograph. She finds frozen time unnerving, the sensation not unlike having pillows pressed hard against both ears. So she works quickly. She reaches through the doors and hooks one sparkly string. Opens her scissors. Snip: one bright balloon, one grape off the cluster.

Tonight’s victim is in his mid-forties and wears a three-thousand-dollar suit and two days of beard. He’s drinking whiskey, neat, and picking at an appetizer of tomatoes and mozzarella. He looks miserable. Gina is thinking that it’s almost too easy.

She rises from her barstool. Slowly adjusts her skirt, pulling it straight. When she looks up, Two-Day Beard looks away. Gina leans against the bar and unnecessarily asks the bartender to point the way to the ladies’ room. He nods in the direction of the frosted-glass double doors. Gina takes her time crossing the room.

The doors are heavy. She remembers the last time she soul-cut a guy who had doors like these. He was tall, athletic. She hadn’t needed to fuck him—she almost never needs to fuck any of them to get them to open up—but she indulged because he was so damn pretty. She took him to her apartment, to the guest bedroom. He’d been telling her a story from his childhood, something about the first time he played soccer, how his folks paid attention to him when he won. She’d had the fleeting thought that this guy needed therapy far more than he needed sex, and that if he’d had some therapy he wouldn’t be in a strange woman’s apartment, about to have a piece of his soul ripped from his body. She’d taken her time undressing him, lingering over each extravagantly muscled arm, the taut skin around his navel, ignoring the trembling frosted-glass doors over his chest that would fly open with the smallest kind word from her. She’d waited, carefully avoiding eye contact until he was inside her, making him work for it, pull her by the hair to kiss him, beg to be taken. And so it was fitting, really, that taking him is exactly what she did.