|Daughter to Demons chapter 1 2 3 4 5 6||Ashes to Ashes chapter 7 8 9 10 11|
|Daughter to Demons
by Jeffrey M. Mahr
©1999 Jeffrey M. Mahr -- all rights reserved
PART ONE: DEATH AND AWAKENING
Death is Vastly Overrated as a State of Mind
"I'm still starving. I don't understand it." Jackie surveyed the myriad empty plates covering the table before her as she spoke to no one in particular. She had gathered a small but growing crowd in the hospital cafeteria as she consumed at least one of every item on the menu. The onlookers' comments swirled about her, ranging from raw jealousy, "My God, how can she look so fabulous wearing a hospital gown and no makeup?" to the lustful, "Damn, I sure wish I was on a deserted island with her." A few of the more jaded souls were running a tally of what she had eaten and were taking bets on what she would eat next, when she would finally regurgitate the food she had ingested in her frenzied bacchanal, and even who would be the first to date this hungry goddess.
Jackie Renfrew was oblivious. Somehow he was, ever so slowly, feeling less ravenous. At the moment that was the only thing that mattered. The intense, driving, unbearable feeling of starvation was gradually, ever so gradually, subsiding enough to permit him to consider what had happened these past several weeks. About three weeks ago he had started having a repetitive dream of being visited at night by a dazzling raven haired beauty whose touch was better than sex. The next day he had fallen ill, sleeping almost continuously until his roommates, George Dombrowski and Frank Ahtram had become sufficiently worried to bring him to the University Health Clinic. From there he had been transported via ambulance to the critical care unit of the University Hospital. There he had been hooked to a needle providing a continuous supply of intravenous nourishment and male hormones in an unsuccessful attempt to thwart the changes overcoming his body. Finally, after losing over a hundred pounds, his body had given out. He had apparently had a heart attack and despite all efforts to save him he had died. They tried resuscitating him, but it had not worked and at 7:52 P.M. yesterday he had been officially pronounced dead. Yet an hour and a half later she had woken up to the feel of someone gently stroking her cheek and remembered someone saying something like, "...young and beautiful. What a shame." Apparently the orderly who was wheeling her to the morgue was so shocked when her eyes fluttered open, he had fainted right there in the elevator.
When the door had opened, Jackie had unsteadily gotten off the cart and shuffled out to the nursing station to tell them about the sick guy in the elevator and then followed her nose to the smell of food.
Sitting in the cafeteria sipping languidly a third double chocolate malted milkshake there was an urge to giggle at the thought of being dead. Here he was consuming mass quantities of just about anything put in front of him and they thought he was dead. Someone placed a plate with a burger and fries on the table next to the shake and Jackie nodded her thanks and stabbed at several fries with her fork.
"He wants me." Jackie stopped mid stab.
"Where did that thought come from?" he briefly wondered before returning to his fries.
"Uh-hum." Jackie turned to see Dr. Donlevy beside her. She remembered him from several of the brief intervals of wakefulness she had managed while sick.
"Oh, hello doctor. How are you today?"
"Fine thank you Ms. Renfrew. How ever I must insist you return to your room so we can examine you and complete some tests."
There were several groans from the gamblers in the back and at least one cheering "Yes!" before she could compose herself and answer. Unsure how to respond, she blurted out the first thing to come to mind, "But I'm still hungry."
"We'll provide you with all the food you require Ms. Renfrew. Will you please come back to the room with me now?"
"'Ms.?' Why was he calling her 'Ms.?'" She massaged the question with her mind as she tried to comprehend. She was a guy. What kind of a doctor was he if he could not tell what her sex was?
"Please Ms. Renfrew." He placed his hand gently on her bare arm... and promptly fainted.
Flustered, Jackie stood and backed away from the bustle of medical staff converging on the now supine doctor. She realized she was no longer hungry. In fact, she felt great. So great she decided she should get some decent clothes and go back to her dorm room.
Jackie continued backing away from the crowd and made it out of the cafeteria without being noticed. Actually, it felt strange, almost as if she were floating down the hallways. It was mildly disconcerting and she tried to focus on what was happening. She was walking, but her strides seemed to be longer than they should be, or even could be. She stopped walking and was still moving.
"What the..?" Scared, she made a conscious effort to stop and found herself motionless in the hallway outside her hospital room. People were passing her by without paying her any attention, as if she were invisible, which was fine with her as she wanted desperately to get out of the hospital gown she realized she was in and get dressed. The door to her room was closed, but it opened to her touch and she entered, still without anyone noticing.
"Now what?" The muttered question was a good one. The room was empty, the bed stripped, the closet empty. Jackie slammed her hand against the wall in frustration only to jerk when there was a sudden noise. After a furtive glance at the door to confirm that no one had entered the room, she checked carefully and realized it was just the blood pressure cuff that had fallen to the floor when she had struck the wall.
With a nervous giggle she returned to the problem at hand; clothing, jeans and a tee shirt would be fantastic. Stalking to the closet with that single goal foremost in her mind, she yanked the door open. It was empty. With a deep feral growl she slammed the door closed and gasped.
The wall mirror showed him dressed in a tee shirt and jeans exactly as he had envisioned, down to the torn knee. He stared in confusion. "How? When?"
Even those questions were forgotten as he watched, mouth agape, as the image in the mirror slowly morphed into an excruciatingly lovely young woman. Suddenly Jackie's knees felt weak and she collapsed to the floor, head spinning with questions and confusing answers, and a gnawing feeling in the pit of her stomach like she was hungry... again.
The room door opened and a hospital aide peeked in. Seeing Jackie sitting sprawled on the floor he asked, "Miss? Are you alright?"
When she did not answer he came into the room and stood over her. "Miss?" and again louder, "Miss?"
When she failed to respond he reached down to gently shake her, and collapsed next to her. This had the unsurprising effect of snapping Jackie out of her daze. No one else was around so she crawled to her knees and patted the man's face to try rousing him.
With each pat Jackie felt better and better, although the guy was not waking up. Instead, after the third or four tap something strange happened. The man began convulsing. His hips began to buck like he was riding a bronco and he looked like he had a pipe or something in his pocket that had somehow gotten jammed against his crotch.
Fearful for the well being of the aide, who had stopped writhing and was now merely groaning as he lay panting upon the floor, Jackie rushed into the hallway and called for a nurse. Within moments there was a nurse kneeling beside the still groaning man and Jackie, knowing she had little to offer medically, backed out of the room.
Standing in the hallway beside the still open hospital room, Jackie pondered what to do. She could go back to her room and wait for more doctors to poke and prod her, but somehow, she did not think she would ever be permitted to leave if she did that. Given the apparent uniqueness of what had happened to her, it seemed likely they would treat her more as an experimental animal than a human being. The experimental animals at the university lived well but briefly and with nothing beyond the four walls of their cage. That was clearly not an acceptable option. Besides, she was pretty sure they had absolutely no idea what, why, or how this had happened to her and when she thought about it, finding out exactly what had happened to her had become extremely important.
What other choices were there? Going back to her old life would be difficult as this was a markedly conservative part of the country, either she wasn't her old self or the mirrors were really great liars at this hospital. What would her friends think? Would she still be able to share her current dorm room? Would she even be allowed to return to classes like this, especially if she left the hospital now, without medical clearance? Finally, what would she need to do to have access to her bank account, or a valid driver's license and what would she do until then?
Clearly there were many more questions than answers. Jackie decided that the first thing to do was to get some help figuring out exactly what options were actually available to her. Family was out. She did not have any. That left Frank and George, her room mates and closest friends here at school.
The aid was being wheeled off to emergency as Jackie was finishing her internal debate. The orderly pushing the gurney nearly bumped into her as he rushed off with the aide. He didn't even say excuse me, which kind of annoyed Jackie. It was as if he had not even seen her, but Jackie was more concerned about getting back to the dorm now that she had made her decision. Instead of curing the orderly's rudeness she followed him out to the emergency room waiting area.
Spotting the exit, she veered to the left and out into the parking lot, and stopped dead again to get her bearings. The hospital was part of the university, but located about a mile and a half from the main campus. There was a bus that traveled back and forth between the hospital and the campus, but Jackie could see from the city hall clock tower it was well past midnight which was when bus service between the hospital and the campus ended. That made things more difficult as she had no money. She could have risked flashing her school identification card and hoped the driver would not bother checking the picture if the bus were still running. With no money a taxi was out of the question and there was no one in the parking lot from whom she could beg a ride. That meant hoofing it and with a sigh of resignation, she headed off.
Just two blocks away from the hospital Jackie was already questioning the wisdom of her decision to walk. Having never walked this route before she had failed to recognize that even the good side of town had some seedier areas and even friendly and inviting business areas seem more sinister at night and without the crowds. The block she was traversing was mostly stores, closed this late at night except for the occasional night spot.
As she passed a brightly lit bar she could hear music and laughter. There were people inside. She licked her lips. Despite her desire to get back to the dorm, the urge to enter was a palpable pressure as she stumbled slowly toward the door, towards people, towards food.
Fingers just touching the door, trying to control the craving driving her, she jumped and squealed in fright, jolted back to reality by the sudden sound of a siren immediately behind her. A passing police cruiser had turned on its lights and siren and surged off into the darkness. There was also a surge of something else, a feeling of excitement, or maybe lust, that Jackie imagined she felt from the direction of the departing vehicle. It was as if she somehow knew that the man, she was sure it was a man, in the police car was sexually aroused at the thought of the possible conflict in which he was about to become involved. Serendipitously, Jackie also noted that the pressure to enter the bar had lessened a bit. With a nervous giggle, Jackie stamped off towards school, the craving still present, but for the moment controllable.
A block from the campus, Jackie could see dorms in the distance, behind the science and technology building. This was a residential area, not as quiet or devoid of people as the business area. Jackie could feel the warmth of humanity behind many of the apartment windows. It was a curious feeling and not a little disconcerting to realize that she was feeling something she had never felt before. Concentrating a bit, Jackie realized she could detect differences about the bodies she was sensing. Some were more intense than others. One set of bodies about two floors up and a bit in front of her seemed almost painfully intense. Trying to determine what she was feeling, Jackie stopped and concentrated intently on the two strongest feelings of warmth. It was like something was about to happen that was just out of her reach, annoying. She concentrated even harder and she felt herself floating into the air.
The teens were on a couch in a nicely appointed living room, watching an old horror movie on television. There was a large bowl of popcorn setting between them on the couch. Lust was barely contained in their eyes, but they sat primly catching glimpses of each other from the corners of their eyes when one thought the other was not watching.
"Wow! Nice hallucination." Jackie thought to herself. "I wonder why they didn't warn me about these?"
Floating in the middle of the living room Jackie realized that the lust filled couple was staring through her to watch the television behind her. "Double wow! They can't see me."
The girl licked her lips and a drop of sweat was forming on the boys upper lip. They both squirmed uncomfortably. The intensity of their lust seemed to be growing and Jackie felt more satisfied and at peace with herself than she had in weeks. With a blinding recognition of the truth, Jackie realized that their emotions must be effecting how she felt. The more sexual tension they felt, the more replete Jackie felt.
With this insight came the decision to experiment. If concentrating could bring him through the air, through walls, to his apartment, what would concentrating on the two teens do? Jackie decided to find out.
More squirming. The girl's nipples were hard enough to be seen through her thin cotton blouse. The guy was trying to unobtrusively shift things around in the area of his crotch. Each struggled to look away from the other. Simultaneously hands reached for the popcorn, and touched. The couple froze. Slowly they turned to face each other, hands still touching. Fingers intertwined and they lunged at each other, popcorn flying to the floor as they embraced while a shocked Jackie sucked in her breath at the sudden rush of emotion.
It felt fantastic, erotic, powerful, and... sating? Embarrassed beyond her worst dreams, Jackie tore her attention from the activity in front of her and the intense feelings were dramatically reduced. The ardor of the couple on the couch slowed. Mid-kiss their eyes opened and they stared at each other in shock. They pulled apart and the girl huddled on the couch ready to burst into tears at the drop of an innuendo. The boy stood trembling as he faced the girl, mouth opening and closing as he tried to think of what to say. He was so close Jackie could have ruffled his hair with an exhale, yet neither acknowledged her presence.
"Come on, say something." Jackie muttered in frustration, afraid her intervention might have destroyed budding young love. Just as she had concentrated before in order to sense the warmth, now she concentrated to make the boy say the words she was sure he needed to say.
"I..." the words would not come, "I..."
"Say it damn it." The words were spoken out loud before Jackie had realized. Her hand shot up to her mouth afraid they would realize she was in the room.
"I love you." It sounded strained and forced, but it came out. The boy looked shocked that he could utter such blasphemous words, then quizzical, and finally relieved.
"I love you." He smiled and reached out entreatingly. "I love you." He said it louder, more firmly, and with a huge smile on his face. The girl jumped back into his arms and sighed as they just held each other in blissful happiness.
Jackie looked at the happy couple and began to smile in her joy for them. That's when the pain came, sharp, stabbing, excruciating pain. With a scream of pain Jackie fled the apartment for safety. The safety of her dormitory room. The young lovers continued their embrace unaware of the world about them or the fleeing wraith, just as Jackie was unaware that she had fled through the apartment wall or floated through the air toward the apartment.