Contest Host: Screamin’ Mamas
Contest Title: Screamin’ Mamas Magical Fiction Contest
Theme: A day in the life of a fictional character, exploring what that character would be doing with his or her time during a normal day.
Placement: Honorable Mention
Every day is a surprise for me. Men and women alike confronting me, insulting me, attacking me; this is the life of someone in my line of work. They think I’m being a home wrecker. People call me every name in the book: slut, whore, skank, trash, and so much more.
But nobody bothers to call me what I am: a succubus.
It is only six months into a new year but I have saved nine women and four men from terrible relationships and marriages. Namely, one such person was Cindy. She had glistening blonde with a button nose. The woman cooked, she cleaned, and she was a star patron of her church; if she could fit something into her schedule then she did it. Honestly, she was the best wife a man could ask for in his wildest dreams. Too bad her husband was sleeping with her sister, her mother, her cousin, and her best friend. I watched and waited for only a few days before making my move.
In today’s day and age, a pair of short shorts and a low cut sequined shirt goes a long way for grabbing a man’s attention. Sickeningly, I didn’t even have to try. He followed me into an alley not too far from his home. All I had to do to encourage his advances on me was wink. The schedule in the neighborhood was set so I knew Cindy would drive by just as his pants settled around his ankles.
Within days, I was working my magic on Cindy’s best friend’s relationship. Boyfriend, Dean, had plans to propose to her based on the rumors I’d been hearing from the couple’s social circle. Cindy’s husband stopped knocking on her door but there was always another man she would string along. The monstrous woman had men queued up. Just shy of prostitution, the only thing that would make the entire gig more businesslike would be if she took payment in the form of cash – you know – instead of peppermint lattes from her favorite coffee shops. I could see that Dean worked too hard at his factory job to waste his time and money on a woman who did not have the same desires as him. Dean needed someone willing to settle down with instead.
The approach for his situation was much different, something a little more traditional. I appeared in his dreams whispering doubt into his subconscious. It took nearly two weeks before he was suspicious enough to expression concern. Glorious was the day when he finally confronted her about the myriad of unidentified numbers in her phone. Upon further digging he unveiled dating apps and photo-sharing programs, each littered with scandalous pictures of her inviting men to have a good time. Never in a million years would she have been able to effectively explain away those secrets. Thankfully, he moved out that same night and hasn’t looked back. Being the occasionally benevolent creature that I am, my connections to other charity cases allowed Dean to stumble upon – entirely by accident – a young lady named Lenora. It is history from there, of course. Both of them freshly out of scandalous relationships. Both of them idolizing futures with families and security in their frayed hearts…
As for today, well, I’m not doing anything in particular. Mostly I’m just watching for anyone dressing in deceit. People today see each other as pawns. Everything is a means to an end. Most days I am convinced they are all animals. Succubus or not, I understand the error in thinking in such a foul manner. My goals have not always been sincere, true enough, but by neither have I been heroic for the entirety of my existence. Once upon a time I was the evil force ruining relationships rather than reconfiguring them. Lately females are realizing the power that they have and the worth they contain beyond nurtured inferior compliance. The gaining popularity of the though sparked enthusiasm within me; I had the ability to use what is truly a curse and turn it into a gift. I could turn it into a sort of unofficial business. Since then it has become my way of life.
“You are lookin’ dressed up tonight but I see no date?” A lovely woman behind the bar with a silky voice grabs my attention, forcing my body to turn from the crowd of people dancing under black lights. Immediately I notice her shining bronze skin, as flawless as well crafted jewelry. My lips curl in a wicked grin. I can practically smell the conflict emanating from this bartender.
Now I know the mantra, all servers are looking to give good service for good tips. She is being nice and thoughtful because that is her job. I have no intention of overstepping my bounds. That being said, it doesn’t mean that I won’t attempt to pick her brain just a tiny bit. As soon as I suck in the air from her direction I am positive that I taste distrust. Something plagues her mind.
“No more dressed up than any other woman in the building tonight. Very sweet of you to say something, though.” I bat my eyes sensually, reaching for a shot glass that she offers with a lackluster slide. Pouting for only a moment, making it appear as though I don’t want to work for my drink, it seems to be an all too familiar gimmick for her. The pretentious expression on my face softens at the sight of her gearing to shoot me down. Enthralled by her easy strength I know that hers will be a name I want to know precisely so that I shall never forget. If only I could manage a peek at her nametag.
“Thanks, but no thanks. Taken.” She replies. The tone is bored. How many times must she have said some variation of this concept tonight? Furthermore, I want to know what was the rate of depreciation in confidence as she caught glimpses of her partner enjoying the company of others. Her hand nervously reaches up to the tight bun atop her head. I catch her staring down the counter to a man laughing with a crowd of scantily clad barely-legals. I can see it a mile away. That is her boyfriend – but he tells her to keep it casual.
How do I know? How could anyone know just by looking at two people without any context? The answer is simpler than you might believe. It is because bodies are my what I live for; they are my passion. When she looks at him she sports a relaxed brow but tense shoulders. This indicates that she respects his desires but harbors an internalized hesitation towards them. Obviously there is more to it than that because body language is the only language that cannot form lies.
The server’s grin toward the patrons is sincere but any mention of love or hooking up and her jaw tightens. It isn’t just a reflex, though, not an absent-minded reaction. When she clenches her jaw her smirk is unmoving making the act intentional. This is conducive of a person consciously “keeping face” to do her job. Plus there’s him to consider as well. Moments come when he glances at her during conversation. Clearly working her in as a topic of discussion. I can see the way everyone giggles at the mention. It assures me that he is making it clear that his relationship sounds more friendly than intimate. None of his customers are in awe of my bartender. Their eyes do not twinkle at her bur rather at him. Sloppy and selfish, he accomplishes exactly what he hopes: he is desirable to these girls hanging around him.
“I’m not the customer you need to worry about…” I venture to share in such a velvety tone that forces her to frown. Her shoulders lower and her arms drop finally exposing her nametag. Until now her movements have been preventing me from seeing it. It was impossible between all the poured drinks and crowd checks around her boyfriend for any faces that may bring her concern.
Memorizing everything I can about Chantel allows me to further confirm my desire to keep this one locked away in my mind. There is something hopeful about the way she sighs in acceptance of my comment. Fear is something that I combat in men and women too weak to see the worth in themselves. Her thick black hair, her short unpainted nails, a pudgy stomach that she hides with spandex undershirts and too big uniform shirts; this is an average woman and yet she has potential to be so much more than that with me.
Chantel wanders away for quite some time. I don’t bother to keep an eye on her since I know that the foundation has been laid out. Chantel will approach her boyfriend with refreshed mascara and a brilliant grin. He will kiss her cheek but proceed to kiss all of his co-workers in the exact same fashion. Meanwhile a redheaded bombshell will keep making her way back to her boyfriend’s section drunkenly, sputtering about how handsome his crew cut makes his chin stubble look so dreamy.
“Little Miss Scotland giving you a run for your money, isn’t she?” I ask loudly when I sense Chantel behind me. When I spin back to her I am met with angry eyes. If I offer sympathy she will most likely open up to me. Or, I can offer her something else; “Tell you what – I’ll go over and see if I can get him to bite. If he does, then you dump him and leave here with me tonight. If not, then you’ll know he’s a good man with a faithful heart.”
Carefully leaning over the counter as she contemplates is one of the more subtle moves in my repertoire. My leather dress pulls tighter against my chest and my wavy brunette locks frame what prove to be an alluring amount of cleavage, even for a straight female. After she glances down she trails back up just as slowly. Chantel does not seem very impressed.
“Is this what you do? Use your good looks to avenge women who feel cheated?” Of course she doesn’t trust me but she certainly doesn’t trust him at this point. Aside from her teetering allegiance, she is somewhat fixated on my offer, if not on me entirely. Even though she is the tiniest bit offended by what I’ve suggested she is considering the value of what I can prove to her. The doubt that she reeks of will burn deep inside of her and make her vulnerable.
Telling her that she is wrong – even if only on a technicality – is a choice that I have to make even thought it isn’t a particularly difficult task. There are people every so often whom almost see what I am trying to accomplish. They ask if I’m working for a private investigation service, or if maybe I’m filming a show about cheating lovers. Admittedly, nobody has ever been as close as Chantel is now. It strengthens my belief that she is special.
Conclusively, I choose to be upfront with her, “I protect men and women from being treated like meat. Nobody deserves to be played as the fool. If he isn’t open enough to tell you he wants an open relationship then he can’t be trusted at all. I can step in and make sure you don’t waste any more of your time on a liar. My interest is in you and making sure that you find what you deserve.” Chantel stalks away once I finish explaining my motives but it is hardly surprising. Articulate conversations with patrons and staff alike support my theory that her focus isn’t on doing her job. Mulling over the opportunity in front of her takes absolute precedence. I need no more proof that I have weaseled into her heart exactly in the fashion I’d planned.
As soon as she returns laden with irritation – Chantel rejects the offer. With this announcement she affirms that it is not a question that he wants something else. Initially I inquire at what point I misread the signs. Did I not look at her jawline closely enough? Maybe I should have analyzed the way she walked with more precision. Hesitation prevents me from apologizing. The delay stems from dismay. How could I have gotten this so wrong? I feel humility after a few moments and push myself away from the counter feeling absent.
My interference was not needed, apparently. Even more so, this time it was unwanted as well. Discouragement befalls my mind and it is frustratingly foreign. I cannot remember the last time I set out to do something and failed.
Chantel is everything and nothing I penned her down to be – and just this once unpredictability is welcomed, “I will still leave with you. Truth be told, I am dying to hear more about what you do as a love vigilante.” And so, shame on me for not waiting to pass my internalized judgment. If there is any luck to be had – Chantel will prove to be the perfect apprentice.