When Kory began his bizarre game of sexual one-upmanship, he never bargained on the ultimate price he and Clarence would pay, nor the terror that would relentlessly pursue them. Strange beings rustle through the dark woods and the painting of Natasha seems to breathe and move. The dark and angry eyes of the wolf draw near, guilt personified, and savage justice approaches. Justice draws nigh, and horror. Still, there might yet be time for a little dryad love. Rodolphus wrote "The Wolf Doth Grin" at the age of 21. Now for the first time in e-read, the dark romantic horror that is both hilarious and terrifying.
The Wolf Doth Grin
The Wolf Doth Grin
©Copyright 2011 Rodolphus. The Wolf Doth Grin, by Rodolphus. All Rights Reserved by the Author. No part of this book may be reproduced (except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews) or transmitted by any means without the written permission of the publisher, Wolftales UNlimited. This book is a work of fiction. People, places, events, and situations are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or historical events, is purely coincidental. The short story Comes the Snowplow (©Copyright 1983 by Douglas Christian Larsen) was reproduced herein with permission by the author, Douglas Christian Larsen.
A cry echoes through the dark woods on the edge of town. The woods hold still, listening, holding its breath, fearful to move its branches or whisper its wind or release its nocturnal creatures. The woods is fearful because something moves through the trees, nearly imperceptible but for its anger, nearly invisible but for its wrath.
The something is nearly godlike, but for its dark humor. The something nears the edge of the woods. It approaches the alien rockiness of the highway, pauses, hungry eyes watching, tall ears devouring the night, sucking down the preternatural silence. The something waits, rocking back on boot heels, grinning, eyebrows cocked and crooked, teeth glimmering in the night.
And another something plods along the highway, toward the town. This something is loud and ponderous, as ungainly and stupid as the first something is insidious and sleek. This second something mutters and grumbles, scratches its crotch and belches wetly. It slogs forward, its feet huge concrete blocks pummeling the pavement, its fat round head hanging forward, its gigantic hands swinging apelike below square hips. Suddenly the second something stops, jerking its head abruptly, its tiny eyes focusing upon the edge of the woods. Slowly it focuses upon the first something.
“So, like what do you want me to do?” the second something growls, cocking its dangerous claw-fists upon lumpy, hard hips. “Huh? What? Get him on a dark street? Sideswipe his sportscar? How do I do it?”
The first something displays its palms whitely in the darkness.
“Do absolutely nothing. Nothing. Do not look for him. Do not bother him. Just do whatever it is you like to do and he shall find you.”
“Do I kill him then?” the second something — a very big man, not so much tall or fat as immensely solid, fantastically large and bulky — croons. His great round shoulders and huge slabs for hands roll and flex. His pocked cheeks lift his mud-colored glasses as he smiles.
Humans, ah, the woods sighes. Only humans. The wind whispers through the trees, waking the creatures which scamper and chitter.
For a while it seemed that something old had entered the woods, something ongoing and foul, but now it is apparent, ah, only humans, two strange and foul men, disgusting, but yet only men. Insects purr. Arachnids waltz. Miniature bipeds heatedly fornicate beneath whispering branches.
Trees breathe and slowly bend close to share secrets.
— O —
The two men stood in a close grove of trees in the darkness of predawn. One, enormous with shoulders the size of boulders, a protruding paunch which probably weighed over a hundred pounds on its own; the other slim, lithe, proportionate of limb and head. This second man, although sleek and sinewy, dwarfs the first man, the troll.
“I have not the greatest faith in your capabilities. And, yet…I think you should prove the test sufficient.”
“You stinking magicker — you want to test me yourself?” the troll snarled, hooking giant fingers into claws.
The other laughed.
“Come on! Come on!” the troll said, stepping forward.
The other grinned, teeth all long daggers.
The troll retreated.
“Just do as I bid,” the other said, not ungently. “Do as I have instructed thee and, when thou hast failed, return again unto thy own.”
The giant turned and vanished into the darkness of the grove.
The troll, breathing hard, exuding fumes of frustration and fear, pulling its leather jacket close about its shoulders, began pushing the blocks at the end of its legs toward the street and the small town less than a mile away.
“Nothing happened,” she said, opening the door, obviously disappointed.
“Is it dead?” he asked, only looking at the small furry gift from the sides of his eyes. If you looked straight on at such a thing you would need to think about the kind of woman you chose to be your lover.
“Of course it’s dead, silly — it was cooked from the insides out. It’s ready to be eaten!” she laughed, almond eyes sparkling, grabbing the spider by a leg and dangling it over her upturned and opened mouth.
He watched, face contorted and heart disgustedly sour — but watching raptly nevertheless — he watched her with the same fascinated attention as when she first closed the glass door on the arachnid.
“Stop it,” he whispered.
She laughed again. This time her laugh was not sweet, musical — it was a nasty laugh. She tossed the spider at his face.
Flinching, backing up in a spasm, groaning involuntarily, he slapped at the stiff dead thing as it furred against his cheek.
Then she attacked him. She seized him. Kissed and licked him. Bit his neck until he forgot about the spider.
She capered the length of his body. She was an insane monkey. She was a siren with hot silken tongue, white teeth cruel, and cunning lips whispering to all his secret places. His soul demanded he refuse, beat her away, while his body greedily partook.
— O —
That night he dreams about it. He dreams of her black twisted sense of humor. He dreams of the microwave oven. The bell jar inside the radioactive machine. But. But, something more than a nightmare, this visitation.
The spider skitters about under the bell jar — only, it is not the same spider. No, this spider has tiny human eyes. Eyes scrunched, contorted with terror. Eyes begging freedom. Let me out of the oven, only you can let me out of this holocaust. The eyes plead not to be popped in this Nazi pleasure cooker.
And then he is the spider. Clarence beats upon the glass with his fists. The glass is thick — his heart warms — bubble, bubble, toil and trouble — and Clarence realizes he is being cooked from the inside out. All the juices warm and hot and burning and flame. Warmer and hotter, his skin now tanning, that deep rich Cocoa-butter healthy glow, ripe with cancer spots. His head swells, a gorged condom, his viscous blood thins, began to bubble, begins to boil and burn and trouble.
He nears explosion.
Natasha smiles in at him through the black grate of the microwave. Her tongue swells suggestively between her sensuous lips. And Clarence sees her smiling, pointing, laughing at him. And many people behind her watch and laugh.
The many people were all of them men.
And all of them, all of the men, they smile and point and thank Clarence for such an amusing theater.
Waiting, all of them, waiting for Clarence to erupt in viscous red blossoms.
— O —
He wakes. Staring at the dark ceiling. Heart doing that bum-bum-bump-uh-dump-uh thang. Natasha beside him. Air, just breathe. A void. Vacuum. Cannot breathe very well, no. Chest tight. Chest constricted. Dying. He rolls his eyes in the night. A crazy horse. Terrified. Heart screaming. He rolls his eyes in the dark and spots Natasha at the periphery of his vision. His eyes roll up and lock upon her.
— O —
“You are the spider,” he whispers, managing a breath. He swallows hard. Damn it, but the sound of his whisper in the night, the air from his parsed throat escaping into the suffocating oven of the bedroom — his whisper, and exactly what he says and what he means, frighten him more than the nightmare.
At work the telephone rings. That familiar kind of call where there is only silence. No breathing. Only nothingness — and you try very hard to catch some clue of who is on the other end of the line by smashing your ear against the receiver, feeling their emanations, the tick of blood running through their throat, pulsing against the mouthpiece, rushing close to your ear — only there is nothingness.
His boss is royally pissed (you wimp, you bastard!), blaming Clarence for the many silent calls (you no-good idiot, what is your problem?) — at least seven mysteriously silent calls a day — his boss declares that only the kind of dog Clarence dates (your woof-woofs!) would call a construction company so many times a day and say absolutely nothing (airhead woof-woofs, that’s what you see when you’re away from the real world, you loser deadbeat).
Clarence knows who is on the other end of the telephone line.
— O —
“It’s heavenly, darling! You always know the perfect gift — I’ll cherish it always. No. Forever. Let’s see,” she says, voice a sensual purr, drawing a too-long, slender finger through her pouting lips, “I think I’ll put it on the pedestal.”
Clarence watches her float through the room, the small lamp made large by her tiny artistic hands. His eyes dine upon every line and curve of her figure: high breasts, not small but neither large, the almost abnormally petite waist about the flat belly, the flowing swells of her sculptured hips, angles, sweeping and curved — the gracefully thin but well fleshed, long, long legs, ripe with rippling hard calves.
She shines in a black silk kimono. An embroidered animal paw-print on the back of the kimono shines in the soft candle light. She seems illuminated in the embracing, clinging kimono — a glittering black glove, a second skin, enhances her ripe body.
Tingling spasms rocket his groin.
Clarence ceases breathing.
“Almost as if they were made for each other — just like us,” she croons, placing the lamp upon an ancient ivory pedestal. The antiquated pedestal is priceless, yet it is one of Natasha’s lesser possessions.
“I’m glad you like it, Natasha Plath,” he says, his eyes hardly able to look away from her as he lights one of the long dusky cigars she encourages him to smoke.
She turns and stares at him. A long time. He can barely discern her dark eyes from across the dim room, but he feels the pull of her eyes. She reaches up to her hair and sweeps back a shimmering strand from before one eye.
He sets aside the cigar.
He can feel her smile.
Her milky white hand rises again — this time pulling the strand of raven hair sexily in return before her eye.
Then she floats across the space to him. She seems to hover and drift through the air.
— or was he moving to her? — clarence is not quite sure which —
But she is fluid and graceful, shimmering and swaying, a tastefully erotic slow-motion dance, so graceful, too graceful despite her six-inch heels — she moves in what appears to be a breathless hush of wind, until her arms swim up to encircle his neck, and she pulls him down to her until her glowing lips reach his mouth, but do not quite touch.
— O —
“Now the hungry lion roars, and the wolf behowls the moon; whilst the heavy ploughman snores, all the weary task fordone,” she whispers, quoting Shakespeare (or misquoting, Clarence can never quite tell).
He moves forward. Their lips brush lightly — she moves away — he seeks her with his entire body, groping mindlessly and yet impossibly holding back, and their lips brush together, dancing soft as butterfly wings; her eyelashes sweep with butterfly feet upon his cheek, his pulse races and his blood surges — his groin solidifies, rock-hard — his need, terrible, so terrible, nearly shrieks in desire, and he experiences a wash of nauseating lust, demanding. Her arms tighten about his neck. He presses her body to him, their groins grind in delicious friction.
Natasha pushes him away. He tells himself to be strong, don’t even play her games. He cannot help himself, Clarence groans.
Natasha stares deadpan at his mouth with her strange dark eyes. Then she turns upon her towering heels and draws him by the hand into her dark bedroom.
He wakes. His first impulse is to roll over onto her and slide deep within her, slam into her, quietly, but not quite gently, because there is again this sense of uncontrollable need, a desperate yearning, oh to enjoy the deep, the musk, the wet, while she sleeps.
It is not quite blackness in the room.
He is fully erect, angrily bloated.
There is some tiny particle of light hovering just beyond his peripheral vision.
His chest hurts, almost as bad as his throbbing, itching erection. He wants her, wants every part and piece of her, insanely, even if it is the fourth time this night.
But is neither the light in the room nor his anxious erection that has awakened him.
That slight sensation of dread you feel up your back when you are in a house alone and suddenly you know someone is going to appear around the corner. You know this, and yet, logically, you have no way of knowing this because the feeling is not keyed by any of your normal senses.
He lay prone in the bed, rigid and straight, with only the sheet to lend him security. His desire, only moments before so achingly insistent and nearly sickening, vanishes. His erection flees. Chilled sweat pools in the shallow concave where neck meets chest.
He wants to move. He wants to move. But he remains prone, listening, sweating, not moving. Not moving.
He desires to roll over, to touch Natasha, flee the room, scream — anything. But he stares at the ceiling.
Chittering. Mice? Some odd sounds. No. Whispering? Then his hearing clears somewhat — it is as if his ears suddenly unplugged. And he listens. A muttering voice begins — disembodied and floating — a voice high, nearly a cackled whisper. A muttering voice with the timbre to bring sharp and burning prickles to the back of Clarence’s neck.
But what is worse than the sound of the disembodied voice is the meaning of the words:
“Who would have thought the young man to have had so much blood in him?” quavers the voice. “Hell is murky! Here’s the smell of blood still; all the perfumes of Chanel will not sweeten this little hand. Oh! Oh! Ooooh!”
Clarence is able to free the prison of his head enough to peek to his side and discern a figure hovering over a candle.
“Wash your hands, put on your nightgown, look not so pale: tell you again, Clarence is buried and cannot come out of his coffin.”
Awareness strikes Clarence like a cold hand on the ass. Natasha. The ghostly apparition: Natasha. Natasha, standing over a candle, hunched and weird, doing an excellent and very spooky Mrs. Macbeth!
His fright quickly turns to anger.
— O —
“What the hell do you think you’re doing!” he shouts, leaping from the bed, suddenly free of the clinging paralysis — hoping to compensate for his fright by scaring her; more, he desires to smash her. He has never struck a woman in his life, but right now the impulse and the reality are nearly one. In another universe, only a single vibration removed, he is throttling Natasha, grimacing as her life flees her body.
She does not turn nor acknowledge him, but continues with the wringing of her hands over the flame.
Clarence suddenly is truly afraid. Something is wrong with her — he always knew her weirdness, always recognized it — but now she really snapped!
— O —
Natasha burst into laughter, turned and cast off her ancient shawl and, naked — silhouetted in the candle glow, her hair a halo with golden light — she looked a perfect nymph of the night, a faery dancing just outside half-dreams.
“Didn’t we enjoy our midnight matinee, love? It’s my gift to you — because you are so sweet to me. A token of my eternal love, Clarence — I love you! Aren’t you pleased?”
And she dashed to him and with an unnatural strength lifted him bodily from the floor and flung him down upon the bed.
And then she attacked him, attacked him more severely than he had just moments before envisioned attacking her. She was upon him and he felt only terror, but surprisingly his body reacted to and answered her inspiring terror and soon his erection was returned despite himself, and she would not relent, Natasha would not back off, she bit him and ravaged him and would not let him be.
The Wolf Doth Grin
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