Each time the body jerked she screamed. Every limb seemed to take on a mind of it’s own. The legs were stiff kin to the cardboard boxes strewn around their small garden apartment. The arms thrashed like a violent storm whipping on both sides of his body. Lila looked up at her husband’s body laying on top the altar. Her tears flowed like an river down her brown skin. The reverend looked down at her from the pulpit with pity in his eyes.
“God cannot hear you yet, Lila,” spat the reverend. “Louder… louder… louder.”
Lila buried her head info her hands as she wailed. The cry was so deep it broke open the gates of heaven and hell. A trio of deacons appeared in stiff black suits. One held a bottle of clear liquid. The other clutched the holy book. Someone unscrewed the bottle and threw the liquid over her husband’s torso. The liquid created thousands of little pools. It briefly singed his skin. The three men begun to hum, low and deep from the pit of their stomachs. It was the beginning of the spirit call.
The three men stretched out their hands over the body. Their gold brackets and rings adorned their dark skin. Slowly the body rose up off of the altar. It floated suspended in air for a brief moment. The building went still. The air turned stale. Lila begged for her husband to be released from the darkness bounding his spirit. She rocked back and forth in the pew. She rubbed her belly full of the mysteries of life and sins of the parents.
Lila sunk into the pew when something caught the corner of her eye. She looked to the left - nothing. She looked to the right and she caught a glimpse of a figure. First she saw the long nails, sharp and dripping a red goo onto the church’s thick carpet. The figure stretched out a claw and motioned for Lila to follow as it slipped into a hallway at the back of the sanctuary.
She slowly slid out of the pew. None of the elders seemed to notice. Lila shuffled through the sanctuary and ran out into the hallway. Both ends of the hallway appear to be deserted, but then the lights flicker and a thin trail of red goo snaked along the long empty corridor.
Lila’s first step was hesitant. She shuffled back and forth up the hallway cautious not to step on the goo. The trail led into a room at the edge of the church. A bright white light peaked out from under the closed door. Lila took a deep breath and opened up the door.
The room was blinding. Lila squinted as her eyes settled. The walls were covered in a dusty cream wallpaper with intricate vertical lines. The room was empty aside from a regal gold and cream three-seater couch. The couch suffocated inside a clear plastic cover you’d find in the living room of a southern born granny.
Lila looked around. Making a dent in the couch cushions was a voluptuous blue figure. Baring only a birthday suit, the figure laid on its stomach playfully kicking it feet. The curve of its back and hips rose and fell like mountains that hold onto secrets. Its claws gently scratched at the plastic covering the arm of the couch. It smirked. Lila stared. The figure’s midnight blue skin glistened as if it revealed the locations of galaxies and star systems a million miles away. The figure threw back its long bushy hair to reveal the familiar face of a woman.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” purred the blue woman using her tongue to lick her long sharp fangs.
“W - wa- waiting for me,” stuttered Lila. “Why would you be doing that?”
The blue woman let out a hearty laugh causing her whole belly to shake.
“You amuse me,” said the blue woman with a smile before shifting the energy in the room back to a more serious tone.
The blue woman sits up on the couch and eyes Lila closely. She took her in from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet taking her all in. She snarled.
“You are nothing like I imagined,” the blue woman said waving off Lila. “But that’s no never mind. It’s time to pay off your debt.”
Lila’s jaw was wide with horror. She smacked herself just to see if she was hallucinating. Her brain felt stuck, unable to process this being. Her lips were unable to respond. The figure had an air about her - sultry, and seductive - the complete opposite of Lila. Lila prided herself on being reserved and calculated. Some would call her cold.
“I don’t have any debts,” Lila said when she finally found her voice.
Lila’s reserved nature made her a rubbed off on every aspect of her life. She always paid her credit card balance in full every month. She never asked to borrow money because she didn’t want to pew anyone. She was recently gifted her grandmother’s home.
“Honey, then how do you explain the way your belly rises and glows like the sun?”
Lila touched her stomach once again, confused. Lila and her, now levitating, lover conceived six months ago on All Hallows Eve. The couple had tried to leave their legacy many times with zero success. They had given up. But when Lila’s blood was late the next month, the couple finally found joy. She decided not to question it. Her anticipation for her little one has grown over the months, the chance to bring up a person in her image… in their image.
A sly smile came across the mouth of the woman sitting before Lila. She rose to her feet and her skin started to shine and twinkle. Her curls began to spin around her head like corkscrews. After a moment, she turned dark like a deep, black wrath. The entire room began to glow.
“I am the manifestation of the creator, the life giver and growth. This includes your feeble perception of destruction and death,“ said the woman. “Your husband came to me begging for my help. I answered his call for a son, an heir. But with birth must also come an end. An end of lives and experiences as you know it. We must maintain order and balance in your dense human plane. But he has not held up his end of the bargain. ”
Lila realized she was holding her breath. She let out an exhale and eyed the door. Turning to back out of the room, the figure roared at Lila. Lila spun around, pulled the door open and ran down the hallway screaming. She leaped over the trail of goo that started eating at the floorboards where little teeth had appeared. Sweat beads dripped down her head. Her pregnant belly prevented her from running as quickly as she wanted. Lila was almost back in the sanctuary when she spotted the blue woman waiting for her at the other end of the long hallway blocking the entrance.
Out of breath, Lila panicked. The blue woman moved toward her, with her talons clacking against the wall as she can her hand across it as she walked. When the blue woman reached her, she extended her hand and gently caressed Lila’s face and belly.
“You can keep your child for 16 rotations around the sun,” said the blue woman. “But after that time, your child must visit me for a time. He shall take care of the debt his weak father could not. Once the deed is done, he may return to you. But he will not be the same. He must take on the sins of the father. Do you agree?”
“What’s the alternative,” Lila responded barely above a whisper. She entire body shook.
“The alternative is to meet the same fate as your husband. You mortals think you can lay hands and cast a spirit out,” the blue woman said. She spat at Lila’s feet. “You have the ability to control nothing.”
Lila nodded. She understood.
“Wonderful,” said the blue woman. “Then we seal with a kiss.”
The blue woman took Lila by the back of her neck. She outstretched a long tongue and licked Lila’s face. And then everything went black.
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