Alazne’s warmth and mine have homogenized in the pitch black of her bedroom. After eleven at night or so, we’ve taken the habit of closing the window blinds to submerge ourselves in such a darkness that our lovemaking will be reduced to the sensations of taste, smell, touch, pressure, vibration, temperature and pain. We both last orgasmed around fifteen minutes ago, and since then we have held each other’s naked body and breathed on each other’s skin. I’m slowly kneading Alazne’s ass cheeks with both hands as I caress her neck with my lips. She keeps stirring and letting out almost indiscernible, high-pitched vocalizations that make her sound feral. Meanwhile she smears slowly the still wet juices caught in her pubes against my lower abdomen. Her pussy emanates such warmth that it hits my genitals as if she were exhaling on them.
Beyond the act of sex itself, I have never known such bliss as holding Alazne like this while knowing that the love of my life feels calm, satisfied and safe. In a way, I adore such moments even more than fucking. Ever since I first came across Alazne, I had wanted nothing more than to purge the sadness that was rotting her insides, and now I get to hope that one day she’ll be free of her pain.
My face is buried deep in Alazne’s neck, and her breasts are squished against my chest. Every breath of hers tickles my skin. Her hands have been gripping the back of my shoulders as if she doesn’t want to let go, and her bitten nails are pressing into my trapezius muscles.
I slide my hands up to massage her back, and when I lower them again to knead her ass cheeks, I feel Alazne tensing up as if she’s getting wetter. But she leans closer to my ear and opens her mouth noisily.
“What are you thinking about, my love?” she whispers.
“You, of course.” My voice sounds monotonous because I’m trying to keep it from breaking into a yawn. “Just how much I love you and how lucky I am.”
“You’re lucky?” she chuckles, and clutches me tighter. “What about me, huh? I’m the one dating someone who puts so much effort into taking care of me, and who insists on paying for everything.”
“It’s all so we can lie in bed like this, feeling your naked body against mine, and getting to fondle that sweet ass of yours.”
I press my groin into Alazne’s thigh, and her warm liquids moisten my crotch. Alazne shivers, but then lets out a soft chuckle.
“We are both such horny bastards,” she says with a playful sigh. “I already was before you met me. I mostly masturbated so much because while I was aroused I didn’t feel despair. And it’s cheaper than drugs, I guess.”
“But you don’t masturbate anymore, because you got me.”
Alazne giggles, then licks my earlobe. The sound of her deep breath right into my ear canal makes my dick throb.
“No, I still masturbate when you aren’t here. And I come harder because I keep replaying in my mind what we do to each other.”
“That’s not fair. I have stopped masturbating so I wouldn’t waste my sexual energies! Alright, take this then.”
I find Alazne’s labia with my hand and rub my fingers up and down it to tease her. She shudders, then bites my shoulder to stop herself from moaning too loud.
“You’re so fucking cruel,” she whispers, but lifts her hips to get more of my fingers inside her. “Are you trying to make me cum?”
“Of course I am.”
I insert another finger, and start finger-banging her. Her fluids are trickling down my wrist.
“You’re so wet already,” I whisper in her ear. “Are you going to cum for me, my sweet girl?”
“Mmh, you know I will,” she says in a low grunt.
I thrust my fingers quicker and she buries her teeth into my shoulder to muffle her ecstasy. The sharp pain of those teeth about to break through my skin only make me harder.
“Don’t worry,” I say while stroking her hair. “You can bite me all you want.”
With a series of moans, it only takes Alazne around a minute and a half to climax, spraying my hand and part of my belly with her pussy juices. After Alazne’s breath stabilizes and her body goes limp against me, I pull my hand out and wipe it on the bed sheet.
“You’re so bad,” Alazne says in a raspy voice.
She has lifted her head slightly, and even in the dark I can tell she’s trying to stare at me. I know that her pupils must be dilated, and that her light brown hair is sweaty and disheveled. She never looks so beautiful as in these moments, except when she plays the guitar.
“You’re going to kiss me, aren’t you?” I ask.
“Of course I am.”
I feel her lips on mine, like the touch of a feather. Gentle and fragile. My heart aches.
“You gave me a new feeling,” Alazne whispers. “When we lie in bed like this, I don’t doubt, I don’t suffer. My anxiety is gone. Every other passing moment of my life is spent in pondering and fearing everything as if I had to escape from a hole quickly filling with water. But now I’m free, soaring the sky beyond the walls.”
I swallow. I don’t want to let her know how close I came to crying.
“You’re so poetic. It would have been more effective if you hadn’t sneaked an ‘Attack on Titan’ reference in there.”
Alazne giggles, but then she rests her head on my chest and we do nothing but breathe for some seconds.
“What if this is a dream?” she asks, barely audible. “What if I wake up from it and I’m still locked in my pitch-black room, but alone?”
“What if everything is a dream, or some VR shit that feeds us fake sensations?”
“I don’t know if that would be good or bad. Would we keep holding each other like this if that were the case?”
“Probably. We wouldn’t be the ones to realize that we are in a fake world.”
“Whether it’s real or not I guess it doesn’t make a difference.”
I kiss the top of her head, and she snuggles even closer against me. Our bodies have merged. We are in perfect accord, just like two wheels connected by a single axle. I’m scared. Scared that something is going to come in and yank her away from me.
“Hmm… I don’t want to be anywhere else than in this bed,” Alazne mumbles placidly.
“That does segue awkwardly into the plan I was going to offer you for tomorrow. See, I want you to come over to my house so you can enjoy a bigger living environment, and also because I can’t wait to fuck you in my own bed.”
Alazne lets out a gasp of surprise and delight, and she squeezes my shoulders tighter.
“I said ‘this bed’, but I’m sure your own bed will work just fine. So you just want me to come over so you can get inside me, huh…?”
“That’s one reason, but also because there’s more space and privacy.”
“Fine, I’ll come over, spend the night and all that,” Alazne says as her heart beats louder.
“I know you’re going to love it, but… Well, there are some things about my house you should know.”
As I’m trying to find the words, Alazne speaks up.
“I-I have been replaying our encounter with your ex-fiancée, and as much as I can remember of her words. I know, I know, but I can’t help it. Among the confusing things she suggested, it seems your house has a… bug infestation?”
I chuckle nervously.
“No bugs, that’s just Ainhoa refusing to face reality. Ah… I doubt you would have ever anticipated the words about to come out of my mouth, but… my house is haunted. I’m a hundred percent honest. I seriously have a fucking ghost roommate.”
Alazne lifts her head and exhales in surprise. I wait a few seconds for her to say anything, but she doesn’t.
“She won’t bother you,” I say with little confidence. “She doesn’t hate you and her name is Kateryna, not that it matters right now.”
“Okay, I can tell you are serious,” Alazne says with a nervous laugh. “What else? I-I mean… You seemed curiously interested and knowledgeable about ghost stuff before, but I wouldn’t have thought… Tell me, does this ghost appear to you? Is she a shadow person?”
“Uh… No. She’s not a shadow person. She doesn’t have the power to manifest herself on this plane.”
Neither did I. Back when I was a ghost, I could only possess people, a niche ability that made me feel I was the bottom rung of the ghost pecking order. However, these days I feel like the queen.
“I-is she hostile?”
“No, not at all.” I think back at the first time I met Kateryna, and how she purposefully targeted my testicles. “W-well, she can be, I guess. She produces poltergeists, and very effortlessly. If she’s pissed, I’m sure she can stick a knife in anyone’s head. Not that she will do that to you.”
“Are there others like her?”
“None that I know of. I haven’t seen any proof of other ghosts in my house.”
Kateryna is one of a kind, and that’s why I cherish her.
I feel Alazne nodding slowly against my chest as if digesting the information.
“Listen, her poltergeist powers allow her to communicate easily through the ouija boards,” I say to reassure her. “And she’s very eager to talk, because the afterlife is boring. I guess. So tomorrow you’ll get to speak to each other for sure.”
“S-so you can talk to her?”
“It’s hard to get her to stop using the ouija board. We have conversations daily.”
“I-is it just her, or do other ghosts visit you too?”
I’m quite sure she just asked me that, but I’m surprised Alazne isn’t freaking out more, or getting mad because she thinks I’m lying.
Kateryna had told me about a few times that she had tried to take a walk through the graveyard which for some reason is adjoined to my gated community, but the presence of other ghosts terrified Kat. When a couple of them approached her merely to talk, she fled in a panic. She hasn’t left my home since. A phasmophobic ghost is a sorry sight.
I break the embrace and place my hands on Alazne’s shoulders.
“I’m am not joking, sweetie,” I say in a low voice. “I wouldn’t pull such prank on you.”
“I-it’s okay if you like to joke,” she whispers. “Just… don’t lie to me.”
My mood is ruined. But it’s a perfectly reasonable thing for the love of my life to expect.
“I won’t,” I say in a thin voice. “Still, my point is that you must find this whole thing about my ghost roommate hard to believe.”
“W-well, I know the common objections. Think about how many people have died throughout human history. Wouldn’t the ghost world be congested beyond belief?”
“Apparently not. Most don’t even linger there. It seems that the majority of people die with such few regrets, or a lack of wish to keep living, that they simply dissipate into the aether.”
“Alright, but even with most people’s souls disappearing when they die, wouldn’t the mere passage of time have accumulated a tremendous amount of ghosts in the afterlife?”
I find myself smiling. I love being able to talk to Alazne about a place in which I’ve wasted two decades.
“That plane is indeed quite crowded with ghosts, although fewer than you are thinking. Some ghosts refer to it as the Calm Depths of the Afterlife for a reason. There’s no water in it, but it’s not nearly as overpopulated as one might assume. Ghosts can’t kill each other, only drive you nuts, so if a ghost finds some abandoned ruin with which the living wouldn’t bother, that ghost could live in relative peace for eternity. There are few of what one could call ‘wrath spirits’, whose entire purpose is to rage against whatever they consider ‘the machine’, including other ghosts. One could think that nature figured that those who go through the trouble of haunting are doing so out of a sense of purpose or duty, and they should be provided for accordingly.”
As Alazne stutters for a moment trying to digest everything I just poured into her ears, I want to hit myself. Shut up, moron! How on earth are you supposed to have learned this information?
“I-I mean, as far as Kateryna, the ghost in my house, told me,” I say. “I forgot to mention that the number of ghosts in the afterlife also dwindles because some manage to face their regrets and overcome them somehow. There was this ghost…”
Shit, I was going to speak in depth about Iñaki. I hadn’t thought about that old miserable bastard in what feels like a long time. I don’t think I could pass my interactions with the guy as a tale that Kateryna told me, because then Alazne might wonder why Kat doesn’t leave my house.
“This is all very intriguing…” Alazne says. “Still, wouldn’t there be ghosts from hundreds, thousands of years ago?”
I want to laugh bitterly and say some variation of ‘trust me, you don’t want to know’.
“There must be, but it’s not like you could understand what they are saying. Also, the longer one spends in the afterlife, the higher the risk of going insane. With losing their ghost minds entirely comes, for some, the salvation of dissolving into nothing, because their regrets cease to matter. Or that’s the common conception. It’s not like being a ghost comes with an instruction manual, you know? Ghosts learn by hearsay, and there are some clueless shadows out there.”
“Hmmm… So after one dies he has to look forward to going crazier and crazier from loneliness and impotence?” Alazne asks with a bitter twinge of irony.
“Erm, well… Some do, for sure. But knowing that means you have your work cut out for you: you must live a life of no regrets.”
“… Was that an ‘Attack on Titan’ reference?” Alazne asks, amused.
“Everything is, Alazne. What I mean is that you make the best of it. That’s the whole point of living a life with no regrets: so that you won’t look back and kick yourself over your own failures. And maybe you get to save a bunch of people and cut down some titans in the process, I guess.”
“I love that you are speaking my language.”
“I hope that at least gives you even more reasons to live. Now you are motivated by something other than fear, even if it’s to put titans down.”
Alazne rests on me again, and closes her right hand around my left biceps. She leans in to my armpit, tickling it with her nose, and takes a good whiff, which causes me to chuckle in confusion.
“What are you doing?” I ask.
“Just smelling by boyfriend,” she answers, contented. “You know, you could write some books. You experienced many strange things during those years you travelled throughout Europe, and now you are friends with a ghost… I’m sure people would be interested. I know I would love to read all of it.”
If other ghosts who can possess recently deceased corpses have returned to this plane, they have kept quiet about it. Writing about my experiences, huh? I stroke my chin with my free hand.
“You know, Alazne, I used to write quite a bit when I was…” A woman, that’s what I was going to say. And I would gladly have said it, if it weren’t because I caught myself. Being this relaxed is dangerous. “… When I was younger. Maybe I should try something again. I do have a laptop.”
“Yeah! I would love to read your work!” she says, the image of enthusiasm.
My heart skips a beat as she cuddles closer to me. I release a long breath.
“Thanks for the encouragement, but for now try to get some sleep, my precious girl. You have a strange day ahead of you.”
This morning, before I left Alazne’s apartment to return home and spend a few hours figuring out how every room of my stolen house would look from my beloved’s perspective, I gave her two fifty euro notes and the phone number for the taxi company I had been abusing recently. It’s now six in the afternoon in a cloudy day that has darkened as if the sun was setting, and I can’t stand still. I pace up and down the hallway and the living room, dealing with an anxiety that creeps from the tips of my fingers. I get the feeling that I’m forgetting something vital about the hill of lies on top of which I live.
The bell I set up on the living room’s table rings, sounding sharp as if it had tapped on my eardrums. Kateryna wants to tell me something.
The planchette spells out YOU ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY.
It’s unlike Kat to make such an obvious complaint. I sit down heavily on the nearest chair and rest my forearms on the table.
“I’m sorry. I had grown used to how I needed to act, or maybe behave is the right word, when I was visiting Alazne’s apartment. Now that she’s going to explore my safehouse, I’m simply on edge. My brain is running simulations of every question I could be asked, along with the outlandish answers I should give.”
JUST TELL HER THE TRUTH.
I groan, sounding more pained than I would have expected.
“What is exactly the truth that you suggest I should reveal to my beloved, Kateryna?” I ask in a hollow voice.
I WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY AND FREE.
“Then help me, Kateryna. Help me figure out how to tell Alazne the truth without destroying everything.”
The planchette slides in one direction, but it stops. It trembles as if Kateryna was doubting herself. Then it spells out SAY I AM IRENE I AM WOMAN AND ALSO A GHOST BUT I LOVE YOU.
Although I can’t help but laugh, by the end of that outburst my laughs turn bitter.
“My friend, it wouldn’t work on me, I don’t think. I would run for the hills. I don’t want Alazne to reject me like that, I wouldn’t be able to stand it.”
I sigh and rub my eyes.
“Could you throw something at my head, Kateryna? I need to snap out of this. I feel like I’m suffocating. I can’t stand the way I’m lying to her.”
A chill and a cold breeze envelop my surroundings. It’s thicker than usual, and maybe I should feel afraid, but I don’t. I can only hope that this is Kateryna’s way of helping me out.
My head snaps to the side as an invisible hand slaps me. The pain runs across the side of my face, and my eyes get teary. I think I taste blood; I may have scraped the inside of my lower lip with my teeth.
“That, hmmm, that really hurt,” I say as I breathe heavily through my nose.
The cold spot floats towards the ouija board, and the planchette quickly spells out TOO HARD I AM SORRY I CANT CONTROL IT THAT WELL.
As I rub the warmer side of my face, I tilt my head so my neck cracks. Surprisingly, I feel more at ease.
“It worked! I should have known that physical pain would have diverted my troubled mind’s attention from its worries. Thank you, Kat. Unfortunately, I still don’t see how–“
My phone rings, startling me, and I spring to my feet. It’s Alazne.
“Hey, the taxi should be a street away from the address you gave me, but the driver says there’s only a graveyard there. That’s not true, is it…?” She sounded worried, as if I had finally decided to pull a nasty prank. And sending a previously suicidal person to the graveyard while pretending it’s the house I invited her to live in… That’s peak nasty.
I press the phone against my chest for a moment to silence the mic.
“Oh shit, she’s already here!” I tell to Kateryna, and then I hold the phone to my ear as I run towards the front door. “Alazne, it’s a gated community right next to the graveyard. Has a wall covered in ivy. Tell him to drive along the wall past the graveyard. You can’t miss it.”
I stand right outside of my stolen abode’s front door. The houses are organized in four columns of three, and this place is in the second column and closest to the wall. I keep staring at the open gate, which some neighbor must have the duty to close past eleven at night, but for which Asier had the key in his keychain.
I was holding my breath when a taxi appears. Even though I can barely make out Alazne behind the reflection in the windows, I can tell she has spotted me and is leaning towards the driver to talk.
The taxi stops close to the open gate, and the rear passenger door swings out. My girlfriend exits the car while putting the change in her back pocket. I find myself staring in awe. Merely looking at Alazne fills me with such joy.
As I walk up to her, I’m confused by her baffled expression. She alternates between looking at me and at Asier’s house behind me. The taxi pulls away to leave the gated community. The silhouette of the driver’s head stares back at us.
“Y-you weren’t kidding about this community being next to the graveyard,” Alazne says in a low voice as she reaches me. “I would have thought this was an extension of the graveyard, maybe where they arranged the crypts.”
“Yeah, I have wondered what kind of crazy people built these houses so close. But their insane idea worked for our benefit. You can’t beat this silence.”
The community is indeed an oasis of quiet, particularly because none of our ghostly neighbors seem to have the ability to project into this plane their wails and how they plead for their eternal suffering to end.
I smile and take Alazne’s hand. I open my mouth to speak, but my girlfriend, who can’t tear her gaze away from the house, keeps talking as in a trance while she points towards the building.
“Is this seriously your house…? You own this place…?”
“Yeah, I’ve lived here for years,” I reply. I think that’s true.
“I love hearing that coming out of your mouth. You seem confused, though. You thought I couldn’t afford it?”
Alazne turns her head towards me. She seems to have snapped out of her trance, and now she’s staring as if she isn’t sure where she stands, or as if she needs to reevaluate some aspect of our relationship.
“Asier, I don’t even know what your job is. I had already thought that for someone who insists on paying for everything, you seem as unemployed as me, but…” She gestures towards the house. “This is ridiculous!”
“Oh, you’re right. It’s ridiculous how little you know about me.”
I had meant it as a joke, and yet it isn’t, and Alazne frowns as if I upset her. While I think about how to justify myself, I observe my house like I hadn’t seen it before.
It’s two stories high if you don’t count the partial floor they fit for the attic under the gable roof, and they built the house in the common farmhouse style popular around these parts, particularly in the outskirts of the cities and for the houses of those who can afford some luxury. It’s supposed to bring to mind the struggles of long generations of Basque farmers or some shit. The bricks have a tawny, toasted tone, while the architraves around the windows and doors are tan, and possibly made out of some type of stone, not that I would know or care about the particulars. What’s an architrave, you ask? You tell me. A balcony surrounds most of the second floor, and it has an ornate cast iron balustrade. On the first floor, a closed garage door leads to a garage, against all odds, but it doesn’t contain a car, because Asier wrecked his Škoda when he invaded the opposite lane to kill himself. And I don’t want to buy a new car, no matter how much money I have. Those things are death machines. With the public transport being so good in these parts, personal vehicles are isekai plot devices, as far as I’m concerned.
“There’s also a small yard in the back, but I don’t feel too comfortable there, as the neighbors can look down at you from their balconies,” I say casually to Alazne, who is grimacing with worry. I put a hand on her shoulder. “Listen, sweetie, either I bought this place or I stole it. Whichever seems more likely.”
“You bought it, I’d say. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m amazed, but… I-I feel distanced from all of this, somehow…”
I quickly pull her into an embrace, and when Alazne reacts, she crosses her arms behind my back.
“Alazne,” I start with a serious tone, “maybe I should want to tell you that I worked really hard for this majestic house to which I invited you, both to stay the night and to live in whenever you feel ready, but the truth is that I inherited some money, and my grandparents probably were considerably loaded as well. Not only I hoard quite an amount of euros in my bank account, but I also have a diversified stock portfolio. I’m the kind of rich person that unless I turn into a complete imbecile, I shouldn’t need to debase myself by working for other people, or at all.”
“T-then what are you doing with me? With us?”
Alazne sounded scared. I pull away from our hug, even though she resisted, and I hold her head to invade her mouth with my tongue.
“Hmm… Tastes like blood?” Alazne says, mostly muffled.
“Ah… Sorry, I bit myself out of nervousness.”
We make out for a while, and Alazne is into it, but she ends up pushing me away gently. She has blushed heavily, and is avoiding my gaze.
“I-it’s hard for me to understand why you would want to spend time with someone like me.”
I flick her forehead, maybe a bit harder than I intended.
“Dummy, you know why I am with you! You give too much importance to material possessions. It’s not as if I earned any of it! Well, I… I did earn some of it, I suppose. Just focus on the fact that I have an awesome house in which you will be able to run around, fall down the stairs and shit like that.”
And I wasn’t lying about me having a stock portfolio, although I don’t know if it’s properly diversified, nor do I know what ‘diversified’ means in that context. I found out on my bank’s site that I had entries in something called a stock portfolio. I googled what that meant. Turns out that Asier bought some numbers related to some companies, and those numbers are tied to charts with jagged lines that go up and down. Some people apparently spend all day glued to their devices to monitor how those lines change direction, and they need to follow the international news as well, because some minor event might spook the markets as if they were a colony of cats that just heard a sudden noise. I have no clue why anyone would jump willingly into the rabbit hole of this stocks garbage. I suppose that the people who gravitate towards it need to feel wired or else they’d get bored. They probably snort loads of cocaine off someone’s butt crack. Whatever the case, I own some stock stuff myself, and if one day I need money, I guess I’ll sell those stocks where the line is closest to the top of the chart.
“You know, maybe I should look into buying a summer house somewhere in southern Europe so we can live there half a year,” I say nonchalantly.
Alazne places a hand on her forehead as if she suddenly feels dizzy. I step towards her in case she staggers.
“Really…? This is a bit too much.”
“Just focus on what matters, Alazne: I’m rich enough that I don’t have to work. And because I’m not forced to, I can openly hold the opinion that most of the jobs out there are meaningless, soul-killing tasks created to keep the citizens occupied, because the government needs to lower the unemployment rate so they can use it as a reason for why the masses should vote for them. And also some people are so stupid that if they didn’t work, they would start wreaking havoc because they wouldn’t know how to keep themselves busy. Humanity is just the pits, Alazne, we are naked apes who were given cars and machine guns and we believe ourselves to be civilized because we dress ourselves and produce complicated vocalizations. There’s only a layer of conscious thought above millions of years of instinct, and down there it’s all raw animality. If we could get away with flinging our shit at some people’s faces and ripping some other people’s faces off, you know we would.”
When I finish, Alazne blinks a few times and looks up at me with her big, hazel eyes.
“I suppose that’s right…”
“This whole conversation just reminded me of my general outlook on life that I tend to forget, that’s all. In conclusion: I won’t waste decades of my precious existence inside a breathing, decaying body rimming some boss’ asshole. Instead, I’ll rim your–… I mean, I will eat you out. I don’t like any of that ass stuff.”
Alazne smiles faintly at me while maintaining an absent expression, as if I have removed some vital piece of her brain.
I point at her choice of attire.
“I wanted to mention, that’s a curious way of introducing yourself to a ghost.”
“A-ah, that’s right, there was also the ghost…”
Alazne looks down at her shirt while holding its hem. It features a meme-inspired design that says, in bold letters, ‘REJECT HUMANITY, BECOME MONKE’, above a close-up, smirking depiction of the Beast Titan.
“Yeah, I saw it online and I thought it was cute. I also thought of getting a tattoo of him.”
“For the love of God, I don’t want to stare at the Beast Titan’s bigfoot face as I’m fucking you.”
Despite how nervous Alazne looks, she smirks.
“I would choose his human form, of course.”
“They can do whatever they want with him. He’ll always be bigfoot to me.”
When Alazne finally laughs, she can’t hide the desperation.
“I-I think I need to get inside. It’s getting really chilly, and I was already high-strung about visiting haunted house.”
Note from May of 2021:
Somehow I ended up writing around 75,000 words of this ridiculous story, so when I finally finish it I’ll figure out how to merge it into a functional epub, I’ll commission the cover art, I’ll sell it on Amazon for a couple of bucks or three, and I’ll order a printed version so I can feel that I’m doing something productive with my extraordinarily limited time on this planet.
Also, Alazne keeps bringing up that show, so I might as well link all its openings, creditless and in 60 fps.