The Bath

By The Ephemeral Prosaist

Candles in the Bath

She steps into the bathroom, steam billowing as the door shuts with a click behind her.  The light cast from the scattered tapers sending dappled shadows across the walls of the small space.  In the breeze of the closing door they danced in greeting.

It wasn’t much certainly, her apartment bathroom, the cream and brown tiles were cracked in some places, but it was clean and it was hers.  It was enough.  She lifts delicate hands to her hair, pulling it down from its french twist.  Its chestnut waves fall to her midback, a riot of strands that echo the trials of the day.

She runs her fingers through the tangled mess before stepping up to the bath, steam, like mists off a secret hidden spring, fill the air around it, making her eyes twinkle with anticipation.  The smell of almonds and vanilla ease the tightness in her muscles as she trails her fingers through the water, the familiarity welcoming.  She loved her bathtub, huge four footed monstrosity, it held enough water to drown four people or more and cost her a fortune on her water bill.

She didn’t mind, this was her sanctuary.  It was worth it.

Letting the robe slide from her arms, it pools in a pile of cotton around her bare feet.  She sits on the edge of the tub, the cool porcelain a shock to her skin it ripples goosebumps up her thigh, tightening her flesh.  Reaching across the tub she tosses in a few more bath beads, their scent driving away the last vestiges of her day, the memories of what she had done disappearing under a haze of ritualized bliss.

One foot slides in, slowly, the water staining that pale flesh crimson with the heat.  Oh…it feels so good.  It takes her several moments to grow brave enough to slip her other foot in, sitting on the edge of the tub.  Her legs swish idly in the water, mixing the oils from the beads, sending more of that delicious scent up into the air.

‘Heaven.’ she thought, ‘This must be what heaven is like.’

Shivering lightly she sinks down into the water, inch by inch the warm waves lap at her flesh, devouring it into a pool of iridescence, her form barely visible under its surface.

The tub was big enough to sink into up to her neck.  She wasn’t that tall to begin with, and that made this tub absolutely perfect.  Glistening droplets of water coat her hands as they wipe the steam from her face.  There must be an upside to being so short in such a giant world.

Heaven knows it’s not so she could reach the top of the shelves in the kitchen. That’s what the stool is for.

Heat caressed her flesh, ample as it was even at her shortened stature.  She ran her hands up her nude form, a shimmering dance of fingers under the surface of the water.  Curvaceous, her friends describe it, Voluptuous, Ample, she held her weight well, though it was clear it was there.  Her breasts hung buoyant in the water.  ‘Too big.’ she thinks, but she had never heard a complaint from anyone about them other than her own inner demons.

Classical Beauty her father used to call her.  All nice ways of saying she was overweight, but not obese.

She didn’t truly care, how could she when she was surrounded by such delightful sensations!  She pushed her inner demons to the door of her sanctuary.  This was her time, this was her Bath and she was going to enjoy it, damnit.

The oil from the bath beads soothed the wind-kissed flesh of her arms and legs.  Hands gliding across those as well, rubbing in that healing salve, smiling as her skin went soft once more.

The winters were harsh here, more so than most.  She knew of few other places that could send a gust of ice through each and every alley or byway the way this city could.  It even rattled the windows of her basement floor apartment, leaving trails of frost upon the glass.

Luckily her Bath took away the traces of it from her skin.  Of that she was ever thankful.

She breathed in the steam, letting it fill her lungs with the warmth of the smells.  Candle wax lingered just below the bright burst of vanilla as it rode the more mellow sweet almond through the room.  Letting her breath out slowly she watched as the steam swirled and danced before her, a three dimensional show, only enhanced by the play of light as it caught it, making it sparkle.

Closing her eyes she sinks below the surface, her hair trailing like night above her before it too becomes waterlogged and sinks into the depths with her.  It surrounds her like an inky blackness, the shadows stealing the color from their strands.

She stays under long enough that her lungs begin to struggle against her, her heart rebelling in a slowly increasing panic.  Yet her brain says, ‘Just a little longer, just a little more.’ and her body remains still.

The heat grows intense, truly filling her now, surrounding her like a pool of amniotic fluid, like she floats in the sweetly scented womb of some giant goddess.  Unnamed and unknowable.

She remains like this for how long she doesn’t know.  There is just the here, the now, the thump of her heart and the feeling of peace.

Her lungs force her to the surface once more, breaking the stillness with a gasp.  Rivers of water pour over her face, trailing her chestnut hair in limp ringlets.  Her heart, beating hard in her chest, reminding her that she was alive.

And she was alive…wasn’t she?

Some days she wasn’t sure.  Some days were just like other days, which turned into weeks and months of monotony.  Except for her Bath.  Once a week she would set aside time between work and social obligations and sink into the steaming hot waters of her primordial home.

It reminded her she didn’t belong here.  It reminded her there was something MORE than what she dealt with day in and day out, the gentle blur of life as it passed her by in slowly creeping years.  She wasn’t sure if she would ever be able to return, but she would always be watching, waiting for a chance.

Her fingers were like prunes and she couldn’t help but chuckle as the life outside the door began to invade her sanctuary.  She had things to do, people to call, work still yet undone.  The water was no longer steaming, the candles guttering in their holders.  It was time.

Standing, she watches the water sluicing from her body, forming sparkling diamonds upon her pale flesh in the dim light of the candles.  Watches them drop back into the cooling pool.  Hopes and dreams held by the water; she would return to them next week and remember again.

The towel is soft and warm against her ample flesh, another twisted her hair up high and as she leaves the bathroom, she smiles.

It was enough.

Al and the Demoness Complete

~**Graphic Content**~


Al stepped down the trail to the crevice in the mountain, as he had done many times before.  The closer he got, the larger the stones were, and eventually it made him weave and bob through the underbrush following the deer trail through the briar to save his skin.  The light in the late afternoon sky was warm, casting dappled shadows across the stones as he made his way through their lumbering presence.  The mountain that loomed over him hardly seen through the crush of trees that surrounded this wild area, untouched yet by the woodcutters’ hands.  The village was still wary of the forest, the magic here chaotic and unpredictable.

Slowing his pace, he stepped to the barely man-sized crack in the rock face of the cliff.  He pressed his hand, roughened by years of work at the forges, against the warm stone and peeked into the inky blackness.  He glanced back the way he came, a thought to tomorrow’s work before pushing it aside with a wicked grin and stepped into the crack.  He has to enter sideways so his wide shoulders didn’t get stuck between the stones.  Al had done this often enough to know the way in the darkness that engulfed him as he moved deeper into the crevice.  He knew to duck about ten feet in to avoid the low outcropping of stone that nearly brained him senseless the first time he made this reckless trip. It was,  about 30 feet into the mountain side before his eyes begin to adjust.  The cave walls were dry this time of year, and a rough path could be made out.  It took some dexterity to get to the apex of the path, but once it began its slow decent down it smoothed out and became a rather pleasant walk.  Once he reached the first twist in the path he noticed the faint glow coming from deeper in the caverns and his heart began to race, knowing she must be home, she was always home.

The demoness was bound by a blessed collar, or he would never have continued to make this decidedly dangerous trip into the heart of her prison.   What he had gleaned from the normally tight lipped demoness, was that her master, the local baron, had kept her in the mountainside waiting for his commands.

The Baron didn’t share knowledge about his succubus slave, the church would withdraw their support of him and who needed that hassle with the Baron’s upcoming nuptials?  The church was quite happy with his success in the recent conquests of surrounding territories.  Happy enough not to ask any questions as to how he won said battles with so few men at his disposal.   To be fair, after the first few victories men had been flocking to join his army; they couldn’t help but be awed by such strategic genius.  Al himself didn’t mind, he was the blacksmith and there was always work to sharpen swords and repair the damaged armor that came from the brief skirmishes.  He had enough work to keep him quite satisfied.  His wife and son were well fed and his standing in the community was respected.  He had no qualms about the Baron’s decisions, that is…he didn’t until he met the Baron’s pet in the bowels of the mountain.

Al had found this entrance to the caverns nearly two years ago and had been making trips down to visit with her while the Baron was away on court duties.  The collar kept her bound to her master, who had told her that under no uncertain terms she was to hurt any of his subjects.  Boy, oh boy, was Al glad about that!  Her long fingers were tipped with talons, and her fangs…he shivered at the thought, those fangs were wicked.  When he first found this hideaway, looking for a vein of copper to add to his store, he hadn’t been so assured of his safety.

Still, he liked to think they had come to an understanding.  He doesn’t hurt her like the Baron does, several times he even helped her heal after the Baron had tossed her aside.  Al frowned, a deep furrow appearing on his brow above his dusty brown eyes as he remembered the various times he had come across her torn and bloody body.  When the Baron was not using her to defeat rival armies, he was using her to entertain himself, or to entertain his more trustworthy friends.

Not even death would release her from the curse of her collar.  She was immortal, eternal, her pain unceasing.

Al had come to learn that the Baron was not a nice man.


Pausing at the entrance to the main chamber Al looked out into the room.  It was dark, the only light that lit the rough hewn hall was the glow that came from the runes that littered the floor and walls.  Circles within circles within circles.  In the center crouched the stunning form of the succubus, hunched over, facing away from him.  The long black tentacles that line her spine waved softly behind her, her  twin tails flicking behind her like pale whips.  She was  a strange exotic flower, that succubus, her long appendages brushed the floor, trailing over the runes like a caress, not so long as to be unwieldy, they hung to her thighs reminiscent of her more divine wings,  though those heavenly appendages had been twisted into something much more sinister. As he had found out several times himself, they were much more useful.

Al knew she could twist the shadows to clothe herself, on his many trips down to visit her she had worn gowns aplenty, all black shot through with crimson or silver.  The Demoness seemed intent on embracing the singular color afforded to her, that bright shock of red hair that curled about her shoulders.  Her flesh was ashen, pale and creamy, her eyes the black of the void, shot through with speckles of twinkling light like the depths of the night sky.  The Baron did not allow her to wear a stitch of fabric in his presence, so as long as she drops the shadows before he sees her draped in them she allowed herself this small amount of dignity.

Except now, now it was just her pale flesh that glimmered in the glow of the runes, darkness sticking to it like…blood.

So intent was she on what she was doing she didn’t hear him creep through the fallen pillars.  He had long ago assumed this place to be an old dwarven hold, the majestic hall in ruins now, perfect to house a Baron’s demon slave.

Al peeked around a broken wall and grins.

“Boo!” he teased, jumping out at her with a short laugh.  It was so rare that he got to sneak into her domain that he couldn’t help himself with the harmless prank.

The Demoness tensed, her tentacles snapping tight along her spine.  She looked up at him with dark empty orbs and seemed to relax.  She glanced around the cavern lazily before returning her gaze to him once more.  Licking blood from her lips and flashing her fangs in a predatory grin she lowered the ravaged body she clung so tightly to, back onto the ground.

“Boo?” she chuckled, her voice echoing off the walls with the screams of all those she had fed from.  She lifted long pale fingers to her lips, sucking the blood from each digit. Those obsidian orbs were empty of emotion, filled with a deep seated hunger…all consuming and unsaited by the poor bastard she had been feeding on when Al arrived.

Al stumbled back, eyes wide; her mouth was stained crimson with blood.  Her hands looked as if they had been dipped in it.  There were ten long needles piercing her flesh down each of her upper arms, and at least that many hooks down her thighs. Each puncture seeping its own stream of blood, her blood this time.  The shifting shadows flowed over her body, hiding the rest of her wounds to his gawking eyes.

“Um…I meant….Hi?” his voice was much too high, squeaking from his throat with sudden fear.

The demoness chuckles wickedly, unfolding herself from her crouch, her body moving sinuously.  With slow grace she began to remove the needles from her arms, the hooks from her thighs, licking the blood from each piece of metal until it shone.  Once done, she flicks them as if throwing a knife.  Embedding each object into the corpse next to her, the sound of metal piercing flesh making that wicked smirk grow until her smile split her face with the glint of sharp teeth.

“Shame…’cause you were awfully scary.” She murmurs.  Dipping her fingers into the shadows along her body she continues to pull hooks from her skin.  He swallowed hard, not even wanting to know, not daring to count how many had been placed upon her person…and where.  He feels her dark gaze rake down his body and shivers.  The hunger that seemed to fill the very air around her had his skin prickling with the need to get the hell out of there.  He had known she was a demoness when he had stumbled across this little piece of hell the first time and the danger of that meeting flooded back now in spades.

“I…seriously doubt that, seeing as how you’re scaring the bejezus outta me right now.”

The ruby haired beauty leaned over slowly, inhaling his scent before flicking her long pink tongue out over the sensitive flesh of his neck, feeling the rapid pulse under the delicate skin.  She grinned wickedly, her fangs stained with the blood of the…well it used to be a man, though it was hardly recognizable as such now, what with the flash of needles that dotted its cooling skin.

“I’m…hungry.” She whispers, her breath hot, smelling of blood.  Her sharpened nails teased across his chest, making idle circles over his heart.

Fear griped him, something had gone terribly wrong.  She shouldn’t have been able to harm any of them, let alone kill and that man was definitely dead. His limbs froze as he suddenly contemplated a fate worse than death; becoming junk food.  He blinked quickly, adrenaline finally kick starting is brain into gear, “I’m sure I can find you something nice to eat, maybe a nice salad?” he swallowed hard, and it was much too loud in his ears. “I’m sure you aren’t THAT famished…that uh…guy over there…looks…” his gaze flicked back over to the body, he couldn’t even tell who it was.

She nipped at his neck, her hand sliding down to cup him through his pants, “Blood is just the start.  A way to satisfy the Beast that prowls through me when I am …so hungry.” She purred against his neck. “There is more than one way to feed me.”

Oh and how he knew it.  How he had reveled in the feeling of her hunger so many times before.  But this?  This was dangerous, a danger he was not so certain he would survive.  Not this time.

“I need your help to regain the strength I have lost as I sat rotting in this cave for the last twenty years.”  her breasts brush against his arm, the shadows doing nothing to hide the feel of her skin against him.

As he faced that ancient weakness of all men, he could have wrenched away, defining a new era of male willpower by saying no to that rush of heated lust that burned through him at the succubus’ words.  He could have, but he was already hard from her fingers, from her supple form pressing to him, so he simply nodded.  Willpower be damned.  He was pretty sure he was already dead anyway.

A wicked grin slashed across her lips as she saw his nod, her hand sliding up his burgeoning erection.  Her nimble fingers slid up his abdomen and pressed against his chest, pressing him  back against a thick slab of rock that they had placed several furs on to serve as a makeshift bed, her fingers leaving smears of blood upon his clothing.  The shadows about her shifted, giving him brief glimpses of the pale flesh beneath and the sight sent his cock throbbing, an abnormally large tent forming in his pants.

The demoness slid up his body, crawling over his legs to reach the rather impressive display at the apex of his thighs.  Her flesh seemed to be absorbing the blood as if it hungered all on its own.  Drinking it down until she was left pristine and pale.

He could ignore the body in the corner, with the demoness so wanton before him, so clearly obstructing his view of the carnage.  Oh yeah, she was a smart one; he could totally ignore it.

She pressed her mouth to his manhood, exhaling slowly, her warm breath teasing and caressing, her hands squeezing his hips.  His groans echo out over the cavern walls, his fingers stroking through the ruby locks of her hair.  A small smile tugged at the corner of his lips as she leaned into his touch, purring softly before she lifted her hands to unfasten his pants, setting his erection free.

He leaned back as she slowly scooted his pants down off his hips and slid them to his ankles, but as he lifted his foot to remove them completely she twisted them, trapping his ankles in the dark fabric.  She grinned up at him mischievously, reaching up to a chain that hung suspended above them, its end holding a large hook.

She apparently had a thing for hooks.

“Do you trust me?” she purrs, her eyes heavy with lust.

Al admits he was nervous, really nervous, and as he admits it to himself, he also has to admit how turned on he was.  He did trust her.  Maybe it was the time they had spent talking together as friends, or simply the fact that her lovely face was inches from his needy cock. He nodded, not trusting his voice.

With a flick of her wrist the hook caught his pants, drawing his feet up from under him.  He gives a strangled cry as he fell back onto their makeshift bed, drowning out the rattling of the chains as he was hoisted until his ass lifted off the bed.  He pants hard, staring up at her as she grinned down at him.

She paused then, the shadows that shifted upon her flesh disappearing, leaving that perfect form bare for his gaze.  His breath caught in his throat as she slowly lowered herself to her knees, straddling his face.

“Oh…god…” he whispered, burying himself into her delicious folds, his tongue delving deep.  She purrs at the touch, her honeyed juices already flowing, coating his face.  She was always a giving lover and her mouth quickly found his rock hard shaft, making his hips buck at the warmth that surrounded him.

He always tried to get her to cum first.  It was like a game they played, and even now, with the bindings upon her broken, they played their game, licking and sucking, moans filling the echoing caverns until he was twisting in his awkward position.  He couldn’t help but writhe until he was deep into her mouth, his own frantic lips latching onto her clit, worrying it.  She gasped at that, shuddering her release, her juices pouring from her moist core to fill his mouth, coat his cheeks and chin.  His arms locking her bucking hips atop him until he followed not long afterward, jerking up one last time till he filled her mouth with his cock, his orgasm exploding through his senses, his cries muffled by her sweet flesh.

Good thing too, because as she began to back off of him they heard a noise at the front of the chamber, a clank of armor and a call, “M’Lord?  It is almost time for dinner…you might want to clean up before…”

The man went on, but Al didn’t pay him any mind, the demoness made quick work of the chains, letting him down, he made quicker work with his pants, fastening them with numb fingers.

“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.” He whispered hoarsely, “If they find me here…” he looked to the body, “…oh shit.”

His hands were shaking when the Demoness took them in her own.  She caught his eyes and pressed a long tentacle to his lips, silencing him with a wink.

He couldn’t help but hold her gaze, those dark eyes mesmerizing eyes, his pleasure still echoing along his flesh.  She flashed him a grin, one full of fangs and wicked intent, and just like that, the spell was broken.  Releasing his hands she waved him on, turning back to the room once more, her eyes narrowing.  She rolled her shoulders, gathering the power he had just given her, his pleasure, to her flesh.  It glowed with slowly undulating ribbons of light, rippling down her tentacles as they sway along her spine.

She began to count.

“Ten…” she murmurs, her voice echoing around the edges, “Nine…” the echo was more pronounced, “Eight…”  Al was already at the crevice in the back, running full tilt back the way he had come.  “Seven…” Her voice was wild with echoes, the sound a mixture of screams and moans, replacing that soft dulcet tone she used around him. “Six…” her voice was growing quieter as he stumbled over the loose rocks and around the sharp turns, yet the memory of it kept him running.

“Five…four…”  He couldn’t hear her anymore, but the countdown continued in his head, he would never make it to the entrance before that countdown was over and he was certain whatever she had planned was not good if she was giving him time to get out of the area.

He fell over an outcropping, nearly knocking himself unconscious on the way down.  The darkness around him slowly began to creep in as his mind began to shut down.  There was a shout, one that echoed out even to him, jerking his head around in shock.  It didn’t sound good, whatever was happening.

That thought was enough.

He blinked the darkness back, trying to get to his feet, to stand up as best he could and keep moving, for all he knew his life depended upon it.


They say the explosion that rocked the mountain sent a spout of fire miles into the sky and melted the snow off the rocky top.  The river that wound its way down that towering mass was four inches higher for a week and many of the citizens complained of a lingering smell of sulfur for a long time after that.

Al was at the Baron’s funeral, in the back with the rest of the rabble which wasn’t a loss considering there wasn’t a body to recover after the ‘incident’ so he wasn’t missing out on the view.  There were precious few that knew exactly what had happened that day, and many of those had died during the blast.  Those that survived…well…Al didn’t know any of them personally, and the rumor never got out, not that he heard of anyway.

The burns along his spine would scar, but he never did complain, even when he aged and they began to tighten, making him ache in the winter months. It would just make him remember her and that never ceased to bring a slow smile to his lips.  His grandchildren thought him mad.

He thought himself lucky.

Damn lucky.

Amazing Paper Art!

Some people have all the talent… Namely Cheong-ah Hwang from Korea…

Alice in Wonderland

I don’t think I have a knife in the house sharp enough to even ATTEMPT some of this work.  This just blows my mind.  Look at the detail on the mushroom and the dress!  Fantastic work, really.

Then you have this:


Yeah, that is amazing.  Remember folks, this is ALL PAPER.

*shakes head and steps away*  Amazing…