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The Devil's Pen

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Question: which version of this story did you prefer?
version 2 - 0 (0%)
version 3 - 9 (100%)
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unknown
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« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2007, 08:13:35 am »

Veronica

Its supossed to be grizzly its a horror story...at least thats what it was intended to be.

Thanks for all your insight,
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"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
Elphias Levi
Trent
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« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2007, 11:18:07 am »

I didn't know that Veronica was such a literary critic. Reads fine to me, Unknown.  If you want to make it more horrific, my suggestion would be to dwell a little more in his deterioration after she dumps him. Maybe he could become addicted to booze or drugs and be found dead in a brothel..? 

Just a suggestion.  Smiley
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"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
unknown
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« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2007, 05:11:40 pm »

Thanks Trent

I think his mental and moral decay after his rejection by Suzette is a very important plot point, which includes his fall into debauchery and sexual addiction.

Veronica wasn't convinced that William should or could love Suzette enough to kill himself, I went out of my way to try to make it clear that he was madly--insanely in love with her.

Perhaps its different with woman, and she doesn't understand how a man can be hooked by the love at first sight syndrome, especially first love. But if the story doesn't work for Veronica then it probably won't work for most women.

I have a horror story with no horror, and a story about a pen, with the pen having very little about it in the story.
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"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
Elphias Levi
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« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2007, 05:20:53 am »

O what a night, late December back in sixty three
what I very special time for me as I remember what a night

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Elphias Levi
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« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2007, 06:13:36 am »

Quote
Perhaps its different with woman, and she doesn't understand how a man can be hooked by the love at first sight syndrome, especially first love. But if the story doesn't work for Veronica then it probably won't work for most women.

Well, hey, I'm a woman and I understand how that couild happen - it's freaky and a little  weird, but it happens. 

I'm not certain that the love thing is the maor part of the problem.  We are all used to seeing love as a plot device in a story. I disagree that it needs to be made a bigger part of the story.

Like you said, it needs a little more horror at the end. It's a good story, but I also think that the end feels a little rushed.  Maybe just work out a new ending, Unknown?  Other than that, it all seems to work fine.
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« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2007, 06:35:52 am »

Thanks Desiree

I think your right I always do that I spend so much time building up the story, then short change the pay-off/climax at the end.

I think Veronica helped me see some of the weaknesses in the plot, I am trying to work those out and I think it will be a much better story in the end because of that.

I am weaving the love at first site angle into the plot, and instead of him just going completely bonkers on his own, now the pen will play a major role in his fall into depravity, The pen will be in at least half of the story instead of just at the end.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2007, 07:05:22 am by unknown » Report Spam   Logged

"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
Elphias Levi
Veronica Poe
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« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2007, 09:58:23 am »

Unknown,

I believe that writers often are guilty of trying to do too much during a story.  Structurally speaking, short stories tend to work bets when they have one central idea and everything else takes the function of a smple subplot.

So, I guess, decide which is your main theme, unrequied love, or athe devil's pen and go from there.

I'm glad that I could help you. As I said earlier, it id a good story, and it holds your interest, it just needs a little tweaking for the ending to make ultimate sense.

Peace,

Veronica
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unknown
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« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2007, 05:28:52 pm »

Thanks Veronica

I have decided its not a love story

I think I have the elements of a love story, but that I think thats a different story

then the one I intended to write.

 :'(Auuuughh....
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Elphias Levi
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« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2007, 03:52:40 am »

What if Suzette gets the pen and it turns her into a wild sex freak?

Wouldn't that be ironic?
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« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2007, 07:37:13 am »

Hi Pagan

Thats a very interesting idea
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"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
Elphias Levi
unknown
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« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2007, 07:38:24 am »

The Devil's Pen B

Here, I sit at my roll-top mahogany desk writing by the warm glow of gaslight lanterns set about the opulence of my personal study, staring at it. It is a pen; exquisite, long and flowing, gracefully balanced, sharp and golden tipped, it begs to be held, to wind and whip its way across the page, like a ballerina upon the stage and just as fluid, graceful and sure as any prima ballerina. But I shall not hold that wondrous shaft in my hand again, no, for it is the Devil’s Pen.

My name is William Hargrove, The year of our Lord 1827, October, the seventeenth, I do solemnly swear upon my honor and before almighty God, that this is a true and accurate account of the events of my life.

I do freely and willingly confess to all the unspeakable acts of villainy and debauchery revealed in this written statement. These acts are largely the result of various defaults in my character, defaults that show me to be a base, and vile creature. You will not hear from me vain justifications for what I have done, or pleas for mercy. What I have done, I have done.

An untamed beast lives and breathes just below the surface of us all, straining against the confines imposed on it by our polite and mannerly society, the beast waits beneath the mask.

This is both a warning and a plea to those whose lives are ruled by passion. Pay heed to the warning in my sad tale, and hereafter build your lives on the rock of reason, and take every advantage from this sure and sound footing. Oh, brothers, dear sweet sisters let not the ravings of the insatiable beast we call emotion get its claws into you. Lock the ravening beast away that rages with carnal desire. Lock it away in a cage of adamantine will. Then cast away that key forever.

I drift back in my mind now to happier days, when I was filled with youthful exuberance, naiveté and innocence. It was less then a year ago today, and yet it seems that it was another man entirely that stood on the steps of the grand and magnificent auditorium at Baneford Academy, waiting to receive my Doctorate in the literary arts; in my time there I had made something of a reputation for myself as a writer. The Head Master, Professor Perkins was a dear and gentle soul, but prone to emotional outbursts, just as I was. In this and in our love for the written word we where kindred spirits. The dear old gentleman was so happy it was as if he were receiving the diploma, instead of conferring it upon me.

It seemed to me as if I had waited a dozen eternities for this moment, I had struggled endlessly with finances, because of my parents death, they died when I was quite young and although they had provided for me in their will, it was in the form of monthly allowance, it was not nearly enough for the tuition. Unlike most of the other students my parents had not been wealthy or aristocratic, in fact it was something of a miracle that I had been allowed to attend at all.

***

But my mind was not on these things, what the diploma meant to me, most of all was that I would at last be able to marry my beloved Suzette Brettel. We had met in the fall, the year before at her coming out party. I had not been invited to this affair, aristocracy only you understand. But Charles Sterling, a dear friend from the Academy brought me along as his guest. Charles was a noble fellow who never held it against me that I was a commoner, the way most of the other students at the Academy did.

But I digress, what a unforgettable day it was, it changed my life forever, from the very first moment I saw her, I adored her, I worshipped her, I was filled with a glowing white love light, my feet disdaining the coarse and crude earth beneath them. My soul enshrined her image forever, my dream of love always and forever my sweet Suzette. When my lips first met hers what a rapturous and devastating thrill, sharp currents of pleasure coursed through me overwhelming my senses. Stirring in me a wild and erotic fascination that raged inside me like a hurricane at sea, buffeting my emotions about with waves of desire. We had been meeting secretly since that first afternoon at her coming out party. We forced to because her father vehemently disapproved of me. We met every Sunday evening when she was supposed to be at piano practice. Her piano teacher didn’t mind. She was still being paid; and as Suzette explained to me laughing, she just couldn’t stand the “God awful racket.”

***

With my diploma in hand I would at last be able to face her father and legitimately ask for her hand in marriage. I road to the Brettel Estate, a grand and imposing five story Victorian manse set amidst a lovely eighteenth century style hedged garden and enclosed by an impressively tall and imposing iron gated stonewall. One of the servants took my horse the other led me inside. “I will tell Colonel Brettel you are here sir.” I stood in the grand entrance hall. A winding staircase led to the second floor, above me hung a magnificent golden multi-tiered seventeenth century chandelier. Upon the freshly waxed floors were set busts of some of the great men of British history there was... Wellington, Chamberlain, Cromwell, Shakespeare and many others all waiting patiently with me. I waited and waited…and waited, I must have stood in that hallway for an over an hour. Finally a servant appeared and said, “The Colonel will see you know.” The servant led me to the library. The colonel sat near the fireplace drinking sherry and smoking one of the biggest cigars I had ever seen. “What can I do for you Mr. Hargrove?” He asked.

“Sir, I have just received my Doctorate from Baneford Academy, your daughter and I are very much in love and I have been assured that I a very promising future, all of my Professor’s recommend me highly. I have come to ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage.”

The Colonel jumped from his chair his face flushed, his eyes blazing fiercely. “You little bastard, you have been sneaking around with my Suzette, haven’t you! Is she pregnant? By God I’ll kill you with my own bare hands.” He lunged for my throat, He was built like a bull with huge hands but I was much faster. I blocked his arms and swung around behind him in the same motion grabbing him in a headlock.

“Calm down Colonel. Suzette isn’t pregnant, I haven’t touched her.” I pleaded with him.

“You get the hell out of here, and if I ever see your face again I shall sick the dogs on you!” Now I was consumed with rage myself, and sorely tempted to snap his damn neck.

“Be reasonable sir” I said releasing him, restraining myself from further violence.

“Get out now,” he said in a low even tone, he was deadly serious.

I turned and walked slowly out. I was flooded with grief and anger, well that did not go well, I said to myself. As I steeped out of the double doors of the entranceway I heard the Colonel yell, “Grab him!” The two doormen tackled me and held me face down in the entranceway; from here I could see the Colonels boots. Then I heard him say, “This will teach you to keep your damn hands off my daughter!” I felt his hands in my hair, and then he began to slam my face into floor. More of his men must have shown up because I felt them stomping and kicking at me with their heeled and pointed riding boots. I passed out, after the third time my head went into the cold stone.

***

I came to in a ditch alongside the road, one eye was swollen shut, I felt my lips, and they were as big lemon wedges. I ran my tongue around inside my mouth and I discovered several of my teeth had been chipped. Well there go my boyish good looks, I thought laughingly. Beside the road stood my horse Uncas, whom I had named after the fierce Indian in J. Fenimore Cooper’s “The last of the Mohicans.” I had hell of a time climbing back into the saddle, my mind wouldn’t focus and I was awkward, I couldn’t get my foot into the damn stirrup. Every moment sent sharp pains through me. I think one of my ribs was broken because it always gave me trouble after that.

***

I awoke three days later naked atop the sheets covered with vomit and stained in blood, I limped around trying to clean it up, but I couldn’t do much. I was starving. But I could not eat because it was too painful to get food pass my swollen lips. My Mind went racing out to Suzette what would her father do to her? I had to see her. I threw on a long overcoat and headed out the door. I couldn’t ride, but if I could get a message to her, perhaps we could arrange something. As I walked out into the street I saw a thin, taunt and lively gypsy girl with long straight raven black hair falling to her waist, she had the most incredibly intriguing coal black eyes that looked right into your soul. Her mouth was exquisite, ripe, plump and succulent with the most enticing little gap between her top two front teeth.

“Oh you poor man, what happened to you.” she asked

“Well I got knocked around pretty good, it doesn’t matter…My Name is William, would please do me a favor for me, and I’ll give you whatever you ask, within reason.” I replied.

“What do you have in mind, sweetie,” she said as she winked at me.

“Oh no, it’s not that, I need you to get a message to someone, will you help me,” I replied.

“To bad," she said with a wicked little smile. “Sure I’ll do it, ten pounds up front,” she said.

“Five now, five when get a message back saying the note has been delivered,” I replied.

“All right William, I’ll do it. My name is Myra, a pleasure.”

With Myra’s help I was able to get a message to Elisa, one of Suzette’s old friends from finishing school, and then arrange a rendezvous.

***

I saw her standing in our secret meeting place; It was just beneath an old and distinguished gentlemanly old oak, the last surviving member of the forest that once covered these rolling hills, It stood well over a hundred feet tall, its branches forked out at twenty feet above the ground, it stretched one mighty limb across a small stream that wandered lazily through the manicured grounds. A dove cooed somewhere in the high grass in the field beyond the stream.

"Oh, William, your face! Did my father do that?"

“Yes, him and a couple of his men.” I said.

“Why did you do it William? Didn’t you realize what he would do? I am practically under house arrest now, he has men watching me night and day, oh I do hope I haven’t led them to this place.”

“I did it because I love you terribly. I want you to be mine forever and always sweet…Suzette. Come away with me tonight, we’ll leave the country. Lets go to America Suzette, we’ll start a new life together.”

“Oh, I am so torn up inside, I can’t marry you now William. He means to marry me to some wealthy and powerful aristocrat its all business with him. If we ran off together he'd find us and have you killed. I just couldn’t bare that William, I do love you so. I can’t even see you now! He has his spies everywhere.”

“This is not the end Suzette. I shall find a way for us to be together always and forever.

***

“Well tell!” Myra said poking me in the ribs, which were still sore as hell. “I want to hear all about it, you romantic devil, you.”

“She won’t marry me. She says her father would have me killed, after what happened last week I think she’s right. I am half out of my mind Myra, I don’t know what to do.” I said.

“Why don’t you just kill the bastard?”

“You’re not serious?” I asked.

“No William, I know you don’t have the stomach for that. But maybe I can help.”

***

I saddled up Uncas and we road together to Myra’s camp just as the sun was setting in the sky. It presented us with an amazing display of the maker’s art, broad strokes of smoky deep purple, streaked with scintillating highlights of crimson and splashed nonchalantly with a melancholy vermilion, you out did yourself tonight old man. I said to myself as we drew closer to the wagons of that vagabond troubadour tribe. I violin played soft and haunting strains somewhere in the night. She made a series of hand signals as we neared, obviously to communicate with men set about the camp to guard it. The campfires were already burning in the fading sunlight and the women folk were cooking the evening meal, in heavy black iron pots hung from tripods over small stone encircled fires. The men were gathered in small groups talking amongst themselves, or sitting on the steps of the circled wagons enjoying an evening smoke.

She walked up the back steps of a red and yellow painted wagon. It was longer and taller with more elaborate scrollwork then the rest of the wagons in the little caravan. Myra knocked. The round windowed door swung open slowly and there stood an elderly women, her white hair contrasting sharply with the red paisley kerchief she wore about her head. A string of gold necklaces about her withered neck. But what held my attention were the eyes she peered out at the world with, the same coal black knowing eyes that Myra had, “This is Esmeralda…William… Grandmother I have brought this man William to you, he is in need. Will you help him?”

She looked me over carefully, as if she was weighing my soul on scales in her old head. “Give me your hand, William,” she said finally in a tired, world-weary voice, “Oh you poor man.” She sighed, “Be careful of this one Myra,” she warned. “You are a very passionate man. William so very passionate it is killing you, eating you alive inside. Here I shall show you.” She traced a path with her wrinkled finger over my hand as she spoke. “You are unlucky in love your heart line is so deep, so strong, but severed. You are torn between two paths the lifeline diverges, both paths you deeply desire but the paths do not intersect. You shall be offered a choice, I have never seen the like…I cannot help you my boy, but you have my sympathy.”

“Is there no one who can help me?” I asked.

“Perhaps there is one, but I warn you it is very dangerous and foolish.” she said

“I can’t live like this!” I said.

“Very well, come back tomorrow night.”

***

I returned to the Camp the following afternoon, Myra ran out to greet me. “Hello William, It is all arranged. I will take you to the man who is to be your guide.”

“But where am I going Myra?” I asked

“Ha, ha, ha, why to see Old Kate of coarse!”

“Why?” I asked confused.

“She knows things William, she maybe able to help you.”

I kissed her cheek and said, “Well, wish me luck.”


***

Black, muck clung thickly to my boots as we trudged through that foul smelling fen. Whopping cranes were calling out in that lonely, long and mournful way of theirs somewhere out there… in the dense rolling fog. Foul shapes seemed to hang and glide just out of the reach of perception on that dim and moonlit moor.

We waded through waist high reeds from stranded hillock to narrow ridge. Stunted and twisted, little sharp-limbed trees took on the aspect of gruesome sentinels, as if guarding some unwholesome secret known only to themselves. Every now and then my guide would lift his lantern high and wave it slowly from side to side reminding me of nothing so much as a lonely lighthouse on the shores of a fog enshrouded sea.

I could see no path at all. How my anthropomorphic guide found his way through this, I shall probably never know. Perhaps it was merely his familiarity with the region, or perhaps this was his natural element, for I have never seen anyone who looked so much like they just stepped out of a penny dreadful, as this man.

He was broad shouldered, thick limbed and short legged, perhaps six and a half to seven feet tall, if he had stood upright that is. For he was bent and twisted, one shoulder higher than the other, his back bent as if crouched to spring. His crude and roughly hewn features only added to his apelike appearance, thick lips, a wide-nose, no chin to speak of and a low protruding forehead. Add to this primitive picture of a man, one baleful eye entirely white. The wound that took the sight from that eye still visible, in the form of a scar stretching from the middle of his forehead, to just below the left cheek. His hair was a thick and wiry mop that sat unruly atop his head. He wore a horsehair tunic bound about the middle with thick rope knotted in front and from which hung a long deadly looking curved dagger.

“What the hell is that? See it over there?” I asked.

“Em’s Corpse Candles,” he replied with a grunt.

“What pray tell are corpse candles, my good man,” I asked.

“Hain’t your man, I be Kate’s man. You’s to keep your eye's open and lip's shut.”

***

As the night drew on the scenery began to change we started to encounter more clumps of trees standing on lonely hillocks, the path more rocky. Eventually we came to a wood and after some searching my guide located a path. At the head of the path, a totem was set, upon a stake in the earth. It looked as if the bones of various creatures had been cobbled together to form a scarecrow. The head of this scarecrow was a mountain goat with long twisted horns, The torso that of a man’s but from his wrists and ankles hung the claws of what must have been a gigantic vulture, the wings of that vulture sprouted from its back rising high into the air above us. If the purpose of this twisted scarecrow was to scare away-unwanted visitors this skeletal freak was more than adequate to the task; for I almost begged my primitive giant of a guide to take me back across the moors. I would have but then I considered the dagger that hung from his belt.

We walked through this wood for what seemed like hours ever now and then I was startled by a sudden caw, caw of a crow and heavy beating of wings as it flew off. Now I began to notice bones strewn along the path, I could not shake the sensation that I was being watched. Finally I saw ahead of us in the clearing a crude thatched hut surrounded by torches burning in the darkness, the ground strewn with human and animal bones. Two human skulls were mounted on posts in the ground outside her door. I began to seriously wonder about wisdom of this little excursion.

As we neared the hut she emerged moving with an unnatural slowness and grace for an ancient creature, the first thing I noticed was her eyes. The pupils of her eyes were narrow, not round at all and of a greenish yellow cast. Her head had a peculiar v-shape to it. She wore a long black robe decorated with curiously wrought white symbols around the neck and about the sleeves, the tail of the robe disappearing into the depths of her primitive hut. The hut itself was decorated with shrunken heads, candles, strings of beads and stacks of ancient looking leather bound books. A parrot sat high upon a perch as snakes wound there way across the floor.

“Ah Master Hargrove, I have been expecting you, you are a vain and passionate man William, just my type,” she said as her snake eye slowly winked at me. “Ha, ha, ha,” she cackled. A shudder rippled through me as she spoke, for her voice had the sibilant hiss of the crafty serpent.

“Auuugghk, passionate man,” squawked the parrot.

“Quiet Paracelsus, my dear” she said. “He’s always sticking his nose into things that are better left alone, ha, ha, ha” she cackled. “Now where were we?”

“Auuugghk, ****,” squawked the parrot.

“Why have you come to old Kate, William Hargrove, a love potion perhaps? No I see you’re after more, much, much more. I have something that may be of use to you William.” She said in her hissing voice as she lifted a pen up before my astonished eyes. What is it you see William.”

“It is a pen,”

“Yes, it is that and much, much, more, it is also a weapon perhaps the most powerful weapon of all for with it you can sway minds, move armies and crumble empires. I thought that you being a poet, might understand this.”

“I understand,” I said.

“No William, I don’t think you do, but never mind that, you did not come here for a philosophy lesson now did you? You came here because you are obsessed with a woman. This pen produces only masterworks of the highest caliber.”

“What do you want for it?”

“Ah, all artists no the sacrifices that must be make for their craft, the power of the pen exacts its own price, William.”

She then presented me with this most exquisite instrument of the writer’s art, exquisite long and flowing, gracefully balanced, sharp and golden tipped.

***

The power of the pen I soon enough discovered. I began by writing love poetry, long essays about the wonders and beauties of the natural world, and long epic poems based upon the wondrous complexities and ironies of Greek mythology. My work was hailed as a triumph. I was the new darling of the literary world. Soon I became a wealthy man and offers poured into write novels and plays.

Which I produced in short order increasing my wealth enough so that I was able to buy up the majority of stock in Brettel family business and acquire the mortgage on their estate. I was able to do this in part, by writing glowing praises of the Colonel's competitors and stinging criticism of his company, which they richly deserved for labor abuses, bribery and other nefarious practices. This helped lower the cost of the stock and caused more people to sell, further lowing its value in an ever downward spiral. This was a technique that served me well in accumulating wealth.

When the day came that I owned the majority of his company I simply road to the estate with my new band of gypsy body guards and I gave him a choice, either he gave me Suzette’s hand and I gave him back his company or I would ruin him. The Colonel made a very wise decision, I believe.

***

I will never forget that day. Suzette was more beautiful than ever the sun was shining and we decided to visit the place were we had met so many times before, our secret trysting place. She began torturing me with kisses that flowed warm and sweet like summer wine, intoxicating me with passion.

I held her then from behind, holding her tender waist pulling her slowly against me once more nuzzling my face in the tantalizing sensuousness of her hair. Breathing heavily almost panting, pulsating with pleasure, my mind enthralled by the sinful suggestiveness of this embrace, I begged, “Please Suzette, let me, I love you more than any man has ever loved a woman, I would die a thousand agonizing deaths for you, I would sell my everlasting soul to win your love.”

My heart pumped; my loins ached and my head reeled in delirium. I could stand it no longer. I hiked up the long ankle length gown up over her back reveling the white-gartered stockings beneath. I explored her luscious long flanks with my greedy hands. As she held on to the gentlemanly old oak tree for balance her firm hindquarters were before my hungry eyes taunting me with their ripeness, insane with lust I had to have her.

“My God William stop, what has gotten into you?” I did not stop. I took her then and there it was not until I finished that I realized what I had done, Oh, I thought my dreams of loves sweet bliss were shattered, like the sparkling glass upon the jagged stone. I thought she would hate me forever and always. I thought my dreams would vanish into vapor before my eyes, all because I was unable to control my lust in my wanton drunkenness.

Suzette dropped to her knees before me and put her arms about my legs, “Oh, you are a real man, you are…you do not know how long I have dreamed of this William,” she wept in joy. We were marred two weeks later, and I bought a lovely old three story Victorian.

Now my days were filled with the fawning, demanding and angelic Suzette, my nights filled with the aggressive and adventurous she-devil Myra, who I hired as “personal advisor” to help with research for my novels, I don’t believe anyone ever bought that one. Myra was just too gorgeous to be taken seriously, even though she was smart as a nine tailed whip.

***

I wanted to visit my old Professor I missed him. I entered the upstairs office of Professor Perkins, Head Master of Baneford Academy, as I entered he got up from behind his desk, rushed over and began shaking my hand vigorously, “We all wondered what had happened to you my boy,” He said excitedly, “locked yourself away in some dingy room some were writing your novel, Eh.”

“Well sort of Professor, I have come to make a donation to the Academy Professor and of coarse to see you.”

“Wonderful, William, I must say I always expected great things from you, your passion showed through in all your works. But your writing now far exceeds anything you have produced in the past, it’s almost as if it were written by another person. Such tremendous style, such elegant phrasing, you have exceeded all my hopes for you, I am so proud of you, son.”

“Thank You, Professor.” I said. It was then that it hit me for the first time I was a fraud, a complete and utter fake. My fame, my new home, everything rested on an illusion. It was not I who had produced these works even though it was my hand that held the pen.

I slowly began to realize to my horror that the pen had a mind of its own. I could no-longer write dreamy love stories or about nature and the Greek Gods…now my writing turned to the dark side of life. Murder mysteries, horror novels and political tracts for my mind became filled with visions of crime and vice. But not just that, my mind also followed along as armies marched to carry out the brutal business of war; wandered onto bloody battlefields and listened in horror to screams of agony and death.

Now to my everlasting surprise these works were hailed even more highly than my previous works. What wonderful diversity what comprehensive ability and insight into life, the critics raved each trying to see who could lavish the most praise on me. I was truly disgusted I don’t believe a one of these critics had ever given a decent review to a horror novel or murder mystery before.

I began to notice strange things happening… several publishers had committed suicide when they failed to secure the rights to my latest novel. Several businesses that I had only mildly criticized where looted and burned. The longer it went on the stranger it got, my name and face were everywhere in the news. People taking everything I said as gospel, with one word from me in the press I could destroy a man’s life. It was the kind of power that one dreams about, unless one actually has it and realizes the responsibility that comes with it. The Royal family almost insisted that I be knighted in a grand ceremony with a parade, which was unheard of. With my notoriety it became harder and harder to go anywhere in public, I could not even go to my own plays for the fear of being ripped to shreds by adoring mobs. All this that damn Devil Pen had set in motion for it’s own evil designs which I was not to learn of till much later.


***

I was less and less able to control the words that flowed from that monstrous pen. It was always there calling out to me like an addiction. The Pen began to seriously intrude into my personal life. I began to drink myself to sleep every night and started up again as soon as I awoke. I was becoming a drunken leach an evil wanton cynic.

I had the means, and a driving compulsion to live out the sick but wildly erotic fantasies inspired by the Devil Pen. With the ever-wicked Myra on my arm, I strolled arm in arm into each and every new and more degrading unwholesome escapade. My Myra was such a wicked little temptress, “What has gotten into you William, you’re a changed man, I like it,” Myra said giving me that oh… so libidinous little wink of hers.

I tasted each and every vice, every one that struck my depraved and fickle fancy. But I shall not try and recall them all here, all the meaningless nights of drunken debauchery, of the wild and often dangerous search for forbidden and sinful pleasures. Suffice it to say, I have spent many a night in gambling halls, opium dens and the like. I chased every winking barmaid. I fondled every firm, round and tempting bottom. I mercilessly attempted to seduce every female old, young, thin, round, dark or fair, I didn't care.

What purpose would it serve, to recount violent, desperate back alley couplings, or the nights dancing naked as a savage at sabot bonfires, the unholy orgies in the Mortimer Family Crypt, that filled to overflowing with the delightfully degenerate and the irrepressibly depraved. Why should I confess every detail of the nights I spent reveling in strange carnal delights with knowing, wanton, warm and willing ladies of the evening? I couldn’t even tell you for sure how much coin I extravagantly, carelessly cast away at Madame Rousseau’s House of Pain. Ah, what a wonderful venue it would have made De Sade himself blush. Suffice it to say, that of these things I am guilty and much, much more. What purpose would it serve to enumerate my arrests for drunken brawling, public indecency and the like? All of these where easily swept under the rug because of my wealth and fame.

***

One evening returning from a night of lavish drunken debauchery with Myra, I heard a low and piteous moaning coming from the dining hall, “Yes, yes, oh God, yes,” As we rounded the corner I saw Suzette lying on the end of the long formal dining table, her dress rumpled and scattered beneath her. Balancing, one elbow at her side, her hand clawing at the hair of the man that was holding her long shapely legs aloft panties around her ankles. The man feasting hungrily between her gartered thighs.

“Suzette?” I asked quietly, She quickly jumped of the table. It was Charles Sterling my old friend who turned with a shocked and frightened look.

“Well, what of it!” My sweet Suzette screamed. “Your always out with your little ****!”

“I am so sorry William, but I love her. I have always loved her,” Charles confessed.

“Then you take her Charles,” they walked out hand in hand together, Suzette crying.

“Well now I got you all to myself,” Myra said smiling with a Cheshire cat grin.

I slapped her ass hard, “Ouch” she said, “you know I like it when you play rough,” she said putting her arms around me.

“Shut up, Myra.”

She mockingly pouted at me.

My will and heart had been broken. I felt like a puppet whose strings had been cut falling to the stage, never to rise again. The last good and wholesome thing had been driven out of my life forever, I knew that under the influence of the Devil’s Pen I would only end up hurting and destroying her, perhaps even killing her. I had to let her go while I was still able, for her sake, because of my love for her, Oh...always and forever my sweet Suzette. It had taken her from me, my heart felt as if it was being squeezed in vice. I should have found some other way, if only we had gone to America when I wanted.


***

I awoke this morning my head throbbing my throat parched from God-awful hangover. I went to get a bottle of wine from my desk, when I noticed a stack of papers that I did not remember writing. I began to read them. They were political tracts about the glories of the British Empire, how it was Britain’s destiny to rule not only the waves, but also the world. In my imagination I saw the horrific war played out in my mind with men marching beneath the banner of the Pen's true master, as civilizations crumbled and fell beneath his heel. I have no doubt of the Devil's Pen ability to sway public opinion and lead the country to war. The Pen contains the will of hell’s master and with me as his instrument; his puppet the world would never be safe.

That damn Pen is the Devil's very own right hand! It has taken everything from me, my love, my pride, my honor and my innocence, as its power has grown, my will to resist has weakened and now it is the master. How many lives has it destroyed already, how many more would it destroy because I was unable to stop it?

I have decided that I must die, what is one man’s life to save countless others? I must end it. I must end it while I still may.

William Hargrove

PS: If you value you lives, leave the Pen where it lies.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2007, 03:44:20 am by unknown » Report Spam   Logged

"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
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« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2007, 06:28:12 pm »

But what can a poor boy do, except sing for a rock and roll band
cuz the sleepy London streets are just no place for a street fight man...no

Rolling Stones
« Last Edit: March 19, 2007, 12:10:20 pm by unknown » Report Spam   Logged

"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
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Brooke
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« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2007, 07:29:46 pm »

Hi Unknown,

Just read the latest version of your story!  You are going to go nuts with all these suggestions!!!

It read very well, and it kept my interest till the end.  I thought the love story flowed much better and was very convincing.  However, what happens to Suzette?  She just seems to fade away.  I figured she would have something to do with the ending, she doesn't.

About the ending, I may have missed something.  Does his pen actually make things occur that he writes? Cause I didn't get that in the story. He would only kill himself if it was, doesn't make sense if it doesn't.

I have to admit I got a chuckle when he got beaten up by her dad's henchmen -  that doesn't usually happen in real life, unless her dad was in the mafia!  The part where ge goes to see the gypsy woman was suitably creepy.

Brooke
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« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2007, 08:39:29 pm »

Hi Brooke

thanks so much for reading it, and for your thoughtful comments.

I had another scene in mind for Suzette and was wondering whether or not I should put it in, I think I will.

So I guess I didn't quite make it clear that the pen was taking over, contolling him, using him for its, or I should say the Devil's agenda. I had some Ideas to explain how the pen was causing things to happen around him but I didn't put them in. Its hard to seperate what I understand about the story as opposed to what the reader gets from what I have actually written.

You kinda have to remember, this story isn't taking place in modern day America, its in Britain over a hundred years ago. The Brettels are nobles and William is a commoner. It was the height of audacity really, for him to ask the Colonel for her hand.

I lot of stuff, I thought of, I didn't add: one because I thought it would make the story to long and two I guess I was just too much in a hurry to get it finished.






« Last Edit: March 18, 2007, 09:06:13 pm by unknown » Report Spam   Logged

"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
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Heather Delaria
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« Reply #44 on: March 18, 2007, 11:55:18 pm »

Hi Unknown,

Nice story, it flows really well.  But I think it needs to be a little longer.  Also, if he is killing himself over the girl (as was originally the case), shouldn't she have something more to do with the end?

Bright Blessings!

Heather
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"An it harm none, do what ye will."
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