Feature Writer: CDallas921
Feature Title: CLOSER, MY GOD TO THEE
Story Codes: Erotic Horror
Synopsis: True faith is a fascinating concept
Closer, My God to Thee
True faith is a fascinating concept, and religion is the titanic (and matriarchal) force with which it is almost always paired. Wondrous and selfless acts have been performed by people in the name of faith. The duo have moved masses to undertake innumerable arduous pilgrimages to various hallowed grounds, or shrines of sacred icons. Wars instigated by the fervently faithful-now just stories for afternoon history class, at one time, occurred.
Courage and bravery burgeoned, whilst the blood and sweat of the zealous soaked the crust of the Earth red. Millions of people, on this planet, hold faith in organized religion. But what of the dark side of devotion? The sinister side of forced confessions from the mouths of thumb-screwed “heretics;” execution, in the Burning Days, by fire and stake; the denial of Holocaust. For whatever reason, if the hidden hearts of all men really are evil, then faith & religion can be very dangerous weapons. And belief is a powerful thing.
The dress was inappropriate. She shouldn’t have worn it here. 18 year-old Grace Temperley sat quietly on a Sunday morning in church, surrounded by no one. The cause of her crisis was her dress, which was a fine black silk, not immodest in the least, but … sexy … clingy. The way the skirt brushed the back of her calves, like a lover’s caress, made her feel flushed and funny, Grace blushed at the thought of her words. She was a beautiful woman herself, desirable, though in truth she cared very little for her appearance.
She was an icy blonde-greatly resembling her namesake, the actress Grace Kelly. And though many men lusted her, wanted her body, wanted to protect the innocence and vulnerability she eluded, she remained chaste. She knew to whom she’d someday give herself. Of this she was certain. It was His will, after all. She stifled a giggle and quickly glanced around to make sure no one would hear the laugh and think her mad. Grace sighed.
What she needed to do now was to cease her idle yet constant fidgeting. Henry wouldn’t think her unseemly simply because of a dress…she thought, at least was almost sure, of his deep affection for her. It might even be love. And wouldn’t that be the cause célébré: St. Michael’s Lutheran good girl Grace Temperley dating the Pastor. Grace knew Henry McKinley-Pastor McKinley, would be perfect…was perfect. Satisfied, and looking a bit like the cat that ate the canary, Grace settled back and let her mind drift.
Parishioners were filtering in but she didn’t hear them. She was lost again, breathing shallowly. The altar cloth was starched with military precision, and bleached to a violent virginal white. It contrasted with the blood of the savior (shed for her every Sunday out of the Communion cup…she hoped dearly that after shedding all that blood on Sundays, Jesus was not a hemophiliac and could use Mondays to take it easy).
Dust motes waltzed in the colored light shafts from the stained glass windows. flames writhed on the wicks of candles, the organist began to play, softly at first, then with more gusto. Vibratory crescendos filled her heart with longing for her God and Savior, and Grace was enraptured. No matter where she was, she always had God with her. Her eyes slid down to heavy-lidded languor when she caressed the small gold crucifix hanging from the delicate chain at her throat.
Like “The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa,” Grace’s lovely blue eyes closed with devotion and loyalty when thinking of God. Only this was a real, flesh and blood woman deriving such pleasure from faith, not a Bernini statue. She thought of all her Lord had been through. The awful devotion and cold betrayal. She would comfort him, if she could. She would hold him in her arms. In her mind, the God and the man she yearned for, mixed. She’d never kissed a man with her tongue so she didn’t know exactly what to fantasize about. Sweetness.
That’s what she’d envision … if she tried hard enough she could lick her lips and just make out the way the first Spring cherry always tasted. Black cherry juice looked dark and bloody, as red as the inner lining of a venus flytrap, but it tasted like faerie wine or ambrosia. Spring was so far away, the fall had begun in ernest … Henry could lay her down in a pile of leaves. He was older than she so he would know what to do. He would take his fingers…and unbutton her slowly, brush a leaf out of her hair. He’d lean in and kiss her eyes closed, her mouth, the hallow of her throat, her collarbone…and then she would willingly part her lips, wet with his sweetness. He could-
“Grace? Gra-er, Ms. Temperley?”
Grace shot bolt strait in the pew and her eyes flew open to a slightly baffled looking Pastor Henry McKinley, the man she’d just been…thinking of.
Grace smiled as she felt her face blush furiously. She was grinning like an idiot when she finally croaked out a meager, “Fine, just f-fine Pastor Henry, I mean, McKinley. Your name is Henry I know, but well, we don’t call you that do we?” She laughed. Grace wished an anonymous benefactor would Fed-Ex her a Henckler & Koch so she could use it on herself. “Um, what I mean, is, is that, I just closed my eyes for a brief second and-”
“-don’t you know the sleeping is saved for my sermon?” Henry laughed.
Grace smiled demurely and shifted her dress. She glanced up at her perfect choice,”I’d never fall asleep during one of your sermons, Pastor. They’re all I can think about. Well, actually, I muse over Sunday’s sermon until usually about halfway through the week, then I look forward to hearing you on the upcoming Sunday. I know Sundays are supposed to be a day of rest, but your voice makes me feel like I’m…like I’m in Heaven. Your words, I mean.”
Now it was Henry’s turn to blush. Then he seemed to be thinking something to himself. He looked at her quietly, He stared at her, in fact. It grew nearly unsettling until, out of the blue, Pastor McKinley said, “I’m glad you joined St. Michael’s, Grace. Your very presence is invigorating. It makes me feel young again. You probably think I’m old and-”
-“Oh NO!” Grace interjected (too quickly-cue second blush of the conversation) “Pastor McKinley, 30 isn’t old! Why…why…i think you’re just about perfect!” Grace said the last in one rush of breath, knowing if she stopped she’d never say it, ever.
That puzzling look again. Only Henry’s gaze was fixed far away this time. He looked like Judas Iscariot, contemplating the act which would forever label him a traitor. Then, just as abruptly, as if he had penned a mental letter, conjoined it’s secrets together with sealing wax, and slammed the stamp which bore the crest of his forefathers down upon it, he said softly, “I’m not, Grace.”
Grace looked puzzled herself, but he continued, “Perfect. I’m not perfect, I’m so far from Perfect. Far, far from it.” He began to walk away.
Grace’s heart was just about to plummet to unfathomable depths, when he turned around and said, “But I think you are.” And smiled, then he turned and approached the altar.
The damn elevator operator must’ve been blind, because in the space between two-tenths of a second, her heart went from free fall to beating hysterically against the top of her rib cage. She glowed. Then, stilled and furtively glancing down, she realized something odd.
And she was deliciously, incredibly wet.
Grace absently rubbed her crucifix.
The Doorbell rang. Again. Grace heaved a sigh and found herself sincerely hoping the trick-or-treaters wouldn’t distract her and The Pastor from their dinner. She’d invited Henry over for the first time. Supper was to be served promptly at 7 with (maybe) a before-dinner drink. Grace normally NEVER drank, but tonight she’d need all the (Dutch) courage she could summon. Nervously, she checked herself in the mirror once before answering the door.
“TRICK or TREAT!!!!” A squeaky off-key children’s chorus greeted her when she opened the door. Two witches and a devil faced her expectantly. Grace smiled and handed each of them a sweet. Thanking her, they nearly stumbled over each other, their task at hand complete. She laughed again, then closed the door.
Barely 10 feet from the door, it rang. “Here we go again,” she thought
But this time it wasn’t a child high on Starbursts and Kit-Kats, it was Henry. She thought, with relief, that he looked more nervous than she. They stared at each other for a minute, then both broke out into smiles as Henry said tentatively, “Trick or treat?”
“Oh it’s most definitely a treat, Pastor.”
“No, not Pastor, tonight I’m Henry. From now on, I’m Henry.” The last part was said with a finality that made her heart soar.
“Well then Henry, please come inside and break bread with me, if it pleases you.” And he did just that.
Grace led the way into the parlor as Henry followed.
“Grace, I was hoping I could meet your parents. Are they home tonight?” Henry inquired.
Grace’s radiant smile faded from her face. “No, Henry, my parents aren’t home. They’ll never be home because they both passed a few years ago in a car accident. My aunt raised me, in fact. However, she left me as soon as I turned 18.”
Henry’s brow furrowed and he looked unhappy, “Oh my. Oh, Grace, I’m-I’m really very sorry. I didn’t mean to intrude. I-It’s … I didn’t. You, know … know. So that’s why you always attend church and choir alone.”
Grace smiled, affirming his assumption. “It’s not as hard as it appears. I’m really quite lucky, you see. I have a roof over my head, food to eat. The love of my Lord,” she laid her delicate porcelain colored hand over her throat, where the crucifix hung under her high-necked sweater.
“Grace, you’re remarkable, do you know that?” Henry smiled in awe at her. “You make it sound so simple. You’re so uncomplicated. With you, what you see is what you get. I wish…I wish I could be that way.”
Grace leaned in and boldly kissed him on the cheek. “You are. You have a pure heart and soul, that’s what attracted me to you. You’re perfect.”
Henry smiled sadly, “Grace, I’m human, and therefore not perfect. But tonight, on this spooky night, we’ll not argue, but agree to disagree, yes?”
“Perfect. As for us, I’ll be right back” Grace winked.
Henry took a seat in an overstuffed love chair, laying down the small grocery bag he’d brought with him at his feet. Grace hadn’t even noticed it.
Grace bustled back into the parlor with a tray on which sat two small cordial glasses of sherry. “I usually don’t imbibe, but since tonight is a special night, I thought we could make an exception.”
Henry contradicted her, “Oh, but you do drink. You drink the wine on Sundays.”
Grace smiled indulgently, “No I don’t,” she said in a lilting, teasing voice, “because that isn’t wine, it’s blood.”
“Ha. Smart girl,” Henry laughed, “I guess you’re right. Well, cheers, darling. Happy Halloween.” He swallowed the sherry in one gulp. Then looked guiltily up at her.
Grace again laughed, feeling as of the very air was filled with nitrous oxide, she was positively high on the air tonight! Halloween! Autumn! Henry in her very house, responding to her! Life was incredible! “It’s OK, I can pour you more, Henry. Believe it or not, It usually takes me a few sips to drain the sherry glass, even as small as it is.”
“That’s because you’re a real lady, Grace. You’re really the perfect one, in my eyes. You’re just…like…a….living…doll.” Henry blinked.
Grace cocked her head to the side, puzzled, “I don’t think of myself that way, but I suppose if it’s a good thing to you, I’ll accept it.” The doorbell rang. “I should probably get that. Last time, I promise, then it’s just us.”
She stood and exited. Henry helped himself to some more sherry, than sat down again, waiting. He glanced down at the bag, nervous. Then he tossed back the sherry and tried to calm himself. He glanced around the room, then cleared his throat at her approaching footsteps.
Grace returned. “A princess and her two cheerleader friends. I’m almost out of candy, so it’s good that it’s slowing down.” Grace glanced down at the bag for the first time. “Henry, what did you bring?” She smiled shyly.
Henry looked mildly down at the bag. “What? This? Oh, nothing important, just something for you.”
Grace blushed, “Henry you didn’t have to get me anything. I like you enough already.”
“This was important.” Henry blinked again, as if trying to clear his eyes. And again. “Grace, I-I’m sorry but I notish-noticed …” Henry trailed off, then found himself again, with difficulty this time. “…I noticed your crucifix. On your wall. It’s missing the top nail. It swung upside down.”
Grace, sitting comfortably, said, with perfect clarity, “No, it’s not missing anything dear. It’s always like that.”
Henry, who had started to slump in his seat, tried to sit up and failed. He shook his head. “Wait. Just, wait. One second. You-you hang your cross UPSIDE DOWN? I don’t understand.”
Grace slowly stood up, and began to walk towards him, unbuttoning her sweater. “Oh, but you DO understand, you just won’t believe it. As I said, Pastor, it’s ALWAYS like that, because that is the key to my faith.”
Henry stared up at her blearily, but with a look of incomprehension slowly evolving into dawning horror. “But you…you attend church. You wear a cross for God’s sake.”
“I wear this,” Grace was now squatting in front of him. Slowly, she leaned forward to reveal her tiny crucifix, which he saw was also upside down. Grace kissed him gently, than grabbed the bag and opened it. “How nice, Henry. You brought me your mother’s bible. Was this for me? I’m honored.”
“Don’t … you … touch … that, you … fil-filthy woman. You Dev. Devil.” Henry struggled again to sit up. Sweating and pale, he managed to raise himself up, than collapsed. “What did you give me? Why can’t I, why can’t I think?”
Grace stared down at him, “Tsk, tsk … don’t be such a baby, Hank. I didn’t fucking poison you, I just gave you a little something to make the sacrifice easier. On YOU. You should be thanking me, honestly.” Grace bent over him, “You see Henry, I JUST KNEW you were perfect. It’s Halloween night, after all, and this year, on my 18th birthday, I needed a sacrifice to offer. It’s not easy sitting in that damn place every Sunday, but you were just right. I told you you were perfect.”
“Oh my God, you ARE a Satanist. All that talk about your Lord and savior was-”
Grace whirled around, enraged. “WAS TRUE. I talk about my Lord. I NEVER lied, ever. Just because you assumed I was talking about yours, is not my fault. It’s yours. Now shut up. I have preparations to make.”
“Wait. Wait … preparations …. a sacrifice? Grace, think! Grace, this is insane! OK, you can … can believe in what you want, but don’t do something you’ll regret. GRACE!! Please, Grace, for the Love of God!!”
Grace, who’d begun to walk out of the room, turned around and regarded him closely. “Yes, for HIS love,” she smiled, back to her former self, “You are absolutely right.”
Henry passed out.
“Wakey-wakey, my pretty Pastor.”
Pastor Henry McKinley came to, and promptly realized three things immediately. Grace was stark naked, He was tightly tied with duct tape and rope to a chair, and he was fucked. The room was darkened, illuminated only by candlelight. Crazily, panicked, he began to struggle, jerking his arms and pulling at the chords which bound him. He struggled, and pulled, but they were expertly tied and didn’t move an inch. His arms remained tied to the rests and his feet at the ankles. Henry began to weep.
“Oh, now, now. Oh, don’t do that, Pastor, it’s so unmanly. Just accept it. If I had more time, I’d suck on your cock a bit, if I thought you could enjoy it. But I suppose you wouldn’t be able to get it hard, now.” Grace stood, naked and really quite beautiful. Her shoulders and collarbone sloped delicately, and her breasts stood upright and firm, capped by rosy nipples. Her hips ended where her two long, slender legs began. The lips of her sex were bald.
Henry spit in her face.
Grace calmly wiped the silver-yellow drool from her nose and flung it carelessly into the corner. She gave him a stern, but unaffected look and turned on her heel.
Drawn not twenty feet in front of him was a huge black pentagram, it’s five points marked with five black candles. Black candles encircled it. In between the two front points, sat a mirror, eight feet in length, resting against the wall. Grace, walked towards the pentagram.
“Just so you know, I do have reservations about this,” Grace stepped carefully over the candles, into the inner pentagram, “I started to actually care for you, I did. I even feel bad about burning your mother’s bible, but I had to. I even had to remove my own crosses. Upside down or not, my God will not come as I bid if there is any religious iconography in the house” she paused, as if considering her words, then added, “or propaganda.”
“Oh you bitch. You wicked, insane bitch.” Henry moaned.
“Sticks and stones, Pastor. You should feel honored. I don’t understand why no one can ever see the bigger picture. My parents, my aunt. No one ever does.”
“Because it’s murder!” Henry screamed his eyes bulging, “Did your God ever come before? Did he? I bet he didn’t. I bet you killed your parents and aunt and he didn’t come. Because you’re crazy.”
“I didn’t KILL my parents, or my aunt, you silly, stupid man. But they knew of my faith. They just didn’t understand it. Now shut your gums, Hank, I need to concentrate. And I mean it, if you fuck this up, I’ll remove your skin in one-inch squares till you look like a living quilt.”
Henry screamed as loud as he could, but Grace just closed her eyes. He screamed and screamed as she just sat there. The she began to chant words of filth and desecration. Some in Latin, but most in Aramaic. He had no idea how she knew the latter. She laid down and took up a knife, then she screamed one word as she slit her own wrist. Deep.
“Bloody Christ!!” Henry screamed. Grace smiled insanely as her hot blood spattered the floor, then she flung some at the mirror.
What happened next made him still completely. Something dark and heavy settled in the room. The darkness became thick, like fog. He whirled his head around and around, as shadows seemed to caper and leap. She was doing this to him. It was all in his head. It had to be.
The room was enveloped in an eager malevolence, an ancient force, strong, seeped in. The mirror began to cloud. Grace was panting and saw something, deep within the mirror, that made her smile and get up, shakily. A wind began. The candles went out, and Grace began to laugh. It became noisome and noxious in the room. A foul, rotting odor filled the room and all at once, the candles, which had gone out, illuminated at will. Henry screamed.
An eight foot tall man with thighs the size of tree trunks ending in bloody cloven hoofs stood in front of Grace. Muscled and huge, he was red-skinned and horned. Massive black, veiny, bat wings punched out of his shoulder blades. His horns, strangely, were white. His eyes blazed with the fires of hell. His tail twitched eagerly. It was as thick as a man’s wrist and ended in a barbed spade. He regarded his bride. Lucifer smiled, reached out and plucked up Grace’s bleeding wrist. He brought it up to his mouth and licked it. Grace moaned and fell against him. he caught her easily, then he laid her down. She opened her eyes and said, “thank you.”
The cut had healed on her wrist.
Henry noticed something terrifying. The Devil, it seems, was done with waiting patiently for his virginal Halloween treat and was more than ready. He leaned his face so close to her, his horns framed her face. He snarled and captured her lower lip in his teeth. He could’ve easily shredded them, but instead simply nipped. Then kissed her, at the same time he broke into her in a one wicked thrust, causing Grace to scream into his mouth. Tears spilled from her eyes but she seemed to love the pain, reveling in the carnal pleasure she could feel lurking beneath the surface of the intense pain. It came like the bluest portion of an orange flame. Henry could not believe Satan’s member even fit into her in the first place, but he was sure the slut was pretty worked up. That or the blood helped. Lucifer ground his hips into Grace and reared his head back, letting out a primal bellow of possessive satisfaction. He slowed, staring down at her. Then pumped hard into her. Once. Twice.
Each time he did it, Grace moaned and he snorted. Her legs were locked behind his back. He lowered his head and licked his tongue all around her neck, laving her stiff and swollen nipples. Then he nipped at her neck. Pulling out, he flipped her around with his hand and wrapped his tail around her neck. He squeezed, tightening his tail at the same time, fucking her. Grace turned her head and kissed him, which he allowed. Grace couldn’t hold it anymore, it was building and building, and she began to cry out. Simultaneously, Lucifer, seeing his bride satisfied and in the throes of orgasm, let his own head fall and pushed into her, spilling his hot, thick seed into her womb. He almost impaled her with his horn, and the only sign of his climax was the savage baring of his fangs. He slowed, then stilled, carefully extracting himself from Grace. She put her hand up to his face reverently, and he violently jerked her to him and kissed her passionately, to which Henry made disgusted squishing noises in the back of his throat. Strange that a passionate kiss would make him want to vomit and not the fucking part, but hey, there it was. In fact, he was hoping that the tryst had been enough, and that she’d forgotten about him until she whispered, sweat drying,
“I’ve brought you a gift. I’ve brought you a sacrifice. He’s a man of the cloth.”
The Devil looked at his whore with something like adoration, if that was possible.
“Shall I do the honors? Or would you like to?” Henry began to panic and jerk. This couldn’t be good.
Grace smiled and nodded, then Lucifer stood, pulling her to her feet. She let go, cautiously at first, and took a tentative step on shaky legs. Blood and cum were both drying on her thighs. “OK, then, my Lord. Your Wish is ever my command.” She trained her eyes on Henry, who began to weep, deeming the screaming useless.
Grace picked up the nasty looking dagger and approached slowly. Henry shook his head, “Please Grace, don’t.”
She stood in front of him and sighed. She regarded him for what seemed like ages. Then she spoke slowly, making her words count. “Henry. I’m so so very sorry you don’t, or can’t understand my need to do this. Try to see this as a one-way ticket to Heaven.”
Henry screamed “I will go to Heaven and I’ll return as an angel of MY God to seek vengeance!!” he cried hysterically.
Grace smiled, without warmth this time, the light reaching her cold eyes not at all. “Oh, yes? Well then,” she leaned in close, so close her breath tickled his ear, “why don’t you see if your God can save you now…” She waited a beat, looking around expectantly than glanced behind her. Lucifer’s eyes flared and he nodded.
Turning around again, she held the knife up to his throat and whispered, “I guess he’s busy. I’m sorry.” She kissed Pastor Henry McKinley on the cheek, and whispered, “Oh-Happy Halloween, Henry,” and savagely slashed the knife across his throat.
Excruciating pain, then there was nothing.