April leaned her elbows on the tabletop in Starbucks, blowing on her
coffee. She had a feeling it’d be a long night. she kept her eyes on the
door, waiting for a vision in bubblegum pink to show up. She was slightly
nervous, having no idea what Ghost would look like. What if he was some
sort of dirty old man hermit? Or a mental institution escapee? She pretty
much assumed that whatever he was, he must be some class of nutcase.
As she mused, a woman in jeans and tank top with bright, short-cropped leaf-green hair walked in. To April’s alarm, she approached her table.
“I’m gonna grab some caffiene, then we can get this party started.”
The woman grinned, “it’s me, Liz.”
April reaLized that it was indeed the same person under the spikes of green which hung over her forehead. “ok, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but do you just have an abhorrent natural haircolor, or what? I mean, you did have pink hair last time I saw you, right?”
Liz winked and ran a hair through her locks, “oh, my natural haircolor is. . . boring. I got this great wig shop I go to to get ‘em. They even give me discount because I’m a regular customer.”
“really.” Said April, getting to her feet. “um. . . isn’t there supposed to be someone with you?”
“all in good time.” she said as she ordered a double cappucinno with a shot of hazelnut syrup. “lead the way,” she said, gesturing with her cup as they left the café.
“no, first you tell me where Ghost is. I’m not in the mood to play games.”
Liz grinned widely and spread her arms, “you’re lookin’ at her!”
“. . . what?”
“I do my own public relations.”
“you’re. . . you’re Ghost?”
“in the flesh. Get it? ‘In the flesh?’” She was obviously immensely enjoying herself.
“wait, you said Ghost was a guy. . . I mean, you always referred to-“
“it’s easier to keep people off my trail that way.” she answered, sipping her coffee, “to tell the truth, I really wouldn’t trust anyone else to handle all the secretarial stuff. It’s just easier to handle it myself.”
April sighed, “ok. Fine. Anything else I should know before we head down?”
“yeah. That shirt is totally see-through.” Liz pointed at April’s sensible white blouse.
“is not.” muttered April.
“no, really, I can see your bra. You should wear a tank top under that.”
“god, why me?” groaned April as she set off down the street toward the secluded manhole she usually used to get into the turtles’ lair.
April expertly hopped lightly from one dry protrusion in the muck to another. Liz akwardly followed the suite, dreading getting any of the sludge on her sneakers.
“so, how often do you come down here?” she grunted, traversing a rather wide expanse of dirty water.
“oh, a few times a week. Depends on my workload.” April said casually over her shoulder, somehow finding herself in her element as she trod the familiar pathway that led to her friends’ home.
“hey, April? Is that you?” Leo’s voice echoed down the corridor. He came into sight around a bend, waving at them.
The turtle sloshed through the water, extending a hand toward Liz. “hi, I’m Leonardo.”
Liz stared at him, her eyes nearly popping from their sockets. She first regarded the hand as if it might blow up in her face, before siezing it and peering intently at it. then, regardless of the muck on the bottom of the corridor, she stepped forward and prodded at his plastron. She squinted into his eyes, and knocked on his shell. “I don’t fuckin’ believe this. . .” she whispered in awe.
“umm. . . shall we get going?” Leo stepped nervously backwards, trying to ward off her hands.
“so, are you warm or cold blooded?”
“uhh. . .”
April grabbed Liz’s arm and dragged her away from Leo, continuing down the passage, “you can gawk all you want later. you’ve got a job to do, so do it.”
Liz stumbled after April, but continued to steal glances at Leo, muttering occasionally to herself and lamenting the fact that she hadn’t brought a notebook.
They finally reached the den, April and Leo ushering the stupefied Liz through the doorway. She dumbly shook hands with splinter, Mikey and Donnie as she was introduced.
“so, where’s the victim?” she said, once she regained her voice.
Donnie pointed toward Raph’s room, “he’s in there. His name’s Raph. You might find him a little. . . well, unreceptive to the idea.”
Liz nodded, “many people are. Look, before I do this, I need you all to know something,” she turned to face the solemn party, “it’s going to take quite a bit more than a circle of kosher salt to clear this thing up. From what April has told me, and from my own research, it sounds like this entity is extremely powerful. I can’t make any guarantees. I’m going to tell you right now that I might fail. But I assure you that I’ll do everything in my power to succeed. If I fail. . . well, under the circumstances, it may well kill one or both of us.”
“wait,” said Donnie, stepping forward, “just what is it that you’ll be doing?”
Liz pressed her lips together, her brow furrowing, “I can’t. . . it’s complicated. You have to trust me.”
Donnie raised an eye-ridge skeptically. His brother’s life was not something he was ready to place in the hands of a wig-wearing occult-type weirdo.
“it’s just that. . . if there’s anything you want to say to him before I go in there, now is the time.”
the assembled group filed silently past her, into Raph’s room. She stood quietly while sounds of someone crying and low, grief-ridden voices floated toward her. She scuffed the floor with a sneaker. So, this was how family said goodbye. Part of her wanted to take notes, another wanted to leave them to their grieving. A small part was pissed off, because they didn’t seem to have much faith in her abilities. But then again, why should they? They were putting a loved one in the hands of a rather eccentric stranger. Who’s to say what could happen?
After what seemed like an hour, the five exited the room. Hardly any eyes were dry, and several dark looks were cast in her direction, conveying an emotion that no threat could accomplish.
Nodding to them once, she entered the room and closed the door behind her.
She peered into the shadows of the dimly-lit room, seeing a slumped figure sitting in the corner of a mussed futon, looking at her with haunted eyes.
“you must be Raphael.” She stated quietly.
“you must be Ghost.” His voice was gravelly and harsh, grating across her ears. His muscles seemed to hang off his bones. His eyes were sunken. He slouched with the air of a death-row inmate. “so,” he growled, “are you going to light some candles and throw around a few herbs, or what?”
“not quite.” She answered, reaching into her shoulderbag and extracting a plastic baggie with several leaves in it. “this is what I’m going to do: I need you to enter into a deep sleep. This herb will make you drowzy and induce Rapid Eye Movement quicker than usual sleeping patterns.” She kneeled next to him and handed him a couple of the wrinkled leaves. He regarded them skeptically. “it’s a natural herb, nothing harmful. Just lay down and chew on it. once you’re in a dream-state, your succubus should show up. what I’m going to do is enter into your dream in much the same way she does.”
“and then what?”
“and then. . . we find out if I’m over-charging people for my services.”
Raph gave her a cold, half-smile, popped the leaves into his mouth and lay down.
Liz put one of the leaves in her own mouth, “I hope you don’t mind a little physical proximity. This’ll be less difficult if I can access your third eye. . .”
“yeah, sure, whatever.” said Raph as Liz lay down beside him. she face him on her side, pressing her forehead to his. “just. . one question. . .” said Raph as his eyelids began to get heavy.
“after you enter my. . .my dream, what. . . will you. . . do. . .” his breathing shallowed, his heart slowed, and he drifted into sleep.
Raph found himself once more in the dark place. He immediately knew
that he wasn’t alone.
“so nice of you to come to me. I knew you would come back to me.”
“don’t flatter yourself.” Growled Raph into the darkness. His skin felt as if it wanted to rearrange itself over his body as a rank breeze came from nowhere to brush against him. he saw her ghastly, gray face before him. She was smiling widely, fondly almost, around her razor-sharp teeth and shrunken flesh.
“did you hope to drive me away? Did you think your wife could protect you?”
“where is she?” Raph felt no presence other than Amy’s and his own. He was alone with the monster once more.
“she couldn’t come. No one can invade our special place, here. we have it all to ourselves. . .” her hands caressed him and he suddenly found himself thrown to the invisible ground. Amy stood over him, smirking with satisfaction, “shall we indulge in our pleasures, my love?” she whispered.
Raph pushed himself away as the spectre leaned in toward him, “no,” he groaned as her hands settled upon him and he felt his mobility leaking away, “not again. . . never again. . .”
then, another sound, one that could almost be felt, floated around them, brushing them lightly, then shooting off into the distance, where a tiny pinpoint of light fixated.
“what is this. . .” Amy suddenly shrieked and writhed away as the light began to pulsate and grow, “IMPOSSIBLE!!” she screamed.
Then Raph saw her.
Without needing to be convinced, he knew it was her. She was bathed in the light that she emitted, the goldish copper of her skin becoming pearlescent, shining from within. She was bare and unashamed. Her body was completely hairless and smooth. She slowly opened her eyes. They shone, like her, from within.
“GET AWAY!!” Amy clawed at the light, cowering and sniveling ineffectually.
Raph sat up, taking Ghost’s outstretched hand, which was warm and dry. He felt a crackling energy travel up his arm and through his body. She knelt in front of him. He found that he desired her, every part of her. He did not try to hide his arousal. Slipping her arms about his neck, she lowered herself onto him.
Amy raged, an abraisive wind whirling around them in a stinging vortex, Amy’s scream giving it substance.
Raph found that he didn’t care. He pressed his lips to Ghost’s neck, which she arched up to receive them. he brushed them down her collar, and to her soft breasts. He thumbed one of her nipples, which hardened in response. She sighed in pleasure and began to move her hips. She took his head in her hands and kissed him deeply, their tongues in rhythm with each other as were their bodies.
Amy slashed at them, cuts and bruises appearing on both Raph’s rough skin and Ghost’s soft, smooth flesh.
They paid it no heed. Raph’s fingers dug into Ghost’s shoulderblades as she increased her rhythm. She pressed her breasts against his plastron, throwing her head back and crying out. Blessed heat pooled in Raph’s groin, and he exploded in pleasure, even as the skin on his arms and the outsides of his legs became shredded and bloodied under Amy’s assult.
Raph cried out as he came.
Ghost laughed outright as hers followed.
Amy screamed in rage as her claws became blunted, her strength bleeding out of her like blood from a mortal wound. She gave a mournful wail, which faded into oblivion.
Raph opened his eyes. Liz blinked at him. He looked down. They were
both in the same positions they had been in before, Raph’s intimacies still
tucked underneath his shell, Liz still fully clothed.
“Amy. . . she’s. . .”
“gone. She has no more power.”
“why?” rasped Raph.
“I attacked her at the core of her power: you. In essence, I claimed you as mine, driving her away. She can’t harm you anymore.” Liz stroked his fingers, their fingers tightly intwined.
“just like that?”
“just like that.”
They lay in silence for a few moments.
“this probably isn’t what you want to hear right now,” said Liz, smiling slightly, “but you’re the best I’ve had in ages.”
Raph pressed his lips together. He began to laugh. He rolled over on his shell, pressing the heels of his hands into his eyes and laughed. He curled up into a fetal position to quell the cramps developing in his gut, and continued to laugh. He then grabbed Liz by the shoulders and kissed her.
“thanks.” He said.
“the pleasure was all mine.