There’s something especially eerie about amusement park graveyards. The ghosts of sugar, laughter, and joy haunt a place like that – and create a disjointed counterpoint to the decaying attractions and weed-choked grounds. Paint hung in faded strips from the funhouse walls. Eva moved the loose fence board and slipped inside.
She made her way through the weed-choked concourse. The buildings had been abandoned where they stood. Doors had long away rotted away or been broken down by teenager partiers if the graffiti was anything to go by. The once garish paint had faded and peeled off in great swaths, revealing the cheap wood used in the construction. Even in the darkness, she could make out the peaks of the rollercoaster track, the cars, perhaps for safety, had been removed from the track and left to molder on the ground. But none of these were what she sought.
Her destination was the tall, round building in the center of the park. Unlike other buildings, someone had tried to protect this building, with metal grates locked around the great doors – doors still standing and locked, unlike so much of the park. But like the entrance into the park, Eva knew the secret entrance to the round building. Pulling a wrench from her bag, she slowly removed three of the bars and pushed the great door until it cracked open. She climbed into the dark void left by the door, opening it a little wider. She replaced the bars before stepping to the building.
She was left in utter darkness when she pressed the door closed. Her skin prickled and the hair on her arms rose as she pawed through her bag looking for her flashlight. Her fingers closed around the comforting plastic, and when the light shot through the room, even expecting what she would see, she still jumped at the snarling visage of a massive tiger. She shook her head, smiling at her own startled reaction, and waited for her heat to stop thundering in her chest as she took in the carousel.
It was old, antique even. She wondered what protected it from the decay of the rest of the park, as it still gleamed as it was regularly cared for. And carousels, even just the animals could be sold for easy money. Of course, the obvious answer was magic – the same rumored magic that had drawn her here to this graveyard of amusement. As pulled her gaze away from the menagerie of animals, and played her light over the walls, she saw the evidence of magic. Sigils marked every one of the great doors, and she tried to place which system of magic they grew from. But while they tickled her memory, she couldn’t place any of them as clearly vèvè or runes or Enochian. The pools of melted wax that dotted the floor told her nothing at all – didn’t all magic involve candles. Nothing appeared to have been done to the carousel itself.
Eva took a deep breath and tried to balance the flashlight and dig through her bag again. She managed to drop the flashlight, sending it clattering to the floor, but kept hold her bag and found the candle she’d been looking for. Leaving the flashlight where it fell, she fumbled in the bag and found a lighter. Adding her candle to one of the wax puddles, she left her bag next to it. Retrieving the flashlight, she flicked it off, but held on to it, even if all the stories advised her not to. With only the single candle flame, the animals took horrific shape.
They loomed in the darkness, with only the occasional flash of a tooth or claw or wing. She stepped gingerly onto the platform, feeling it give slightly and walked around the carousel. The stories said she’d know the right animal to mount, so she walked, letting her fingers glide over the lacquer and gilt forms, often not sure what she was touching. Until she felt it, the thrum of energy the faint burn in her fingertips that flooded to the very core. Me! Pick me!
And she did.
Eva climbed on to the animal’s back, the candle flickering on the opposite side of the carousel. In her cutoffs, the bare skin of her thighs and clung to the painted wood, and she wrapped her hands around the pole that bisected her beast. The frisson she’d felt only seemed to grow, sizzling over her skin. She sat for a moment, maybe more, before she remembers that she had to say the words. Her voice whispered into the darkness. Say it again! She whispered again, and without prompting a third time.
She broke into a grin, deciding that nothing was going to happen and that she’d been a fool to ever think it would work.
And then the animal lurched, and the calliope slowly released the first notes of Danse Macabre. Eva grabbed at the post, the animal she rode rising and falling as the carousel picked up speed – Riding with only the candle created a zoetrope effect, and her shadow loomed and shank with the horned beast that had called her. The carousel turned faster, certainly faster than she thought such a machine was meant to move, and the music matched it becoming a discordant jangle, and then everything fell away. She was no longer riding a lacquered beast, but it had grown warm and alive and shivered beneath her. And she didn’t know how it happened, and could never explain after, how she went from riding the beast to finding herself locked in a very human embrace.
And in the flicker of the candle, she was free and the beast stood before her, and it had become a man – or partially so.
She recognized him. The man in black, the man at the crossroads. The man, who was no man at all.
The discordant music-filled whatever space the carousel had left her, and the tune had shifted to something new, something darker. But didn’t matter, as she stared into the face of what she could easily believe was a fallen angel, but she knew better than that.
He tilted his head, the heat of his gaze palpable. He extended his hand to her.
Eva took it and let him lead her in a dance. A wild spinning and twirling through the strange space between worlds. The space tethered to her reality by the feeble light of the candle and the endless music pouring from the carousel. And they danced, the heat of his hands on hers, on her waist, her back as he led her in some wicked waltz
The burning wax dripped and the candle flared.
And in this void between worlds, Eva slides her body along the length of this devil. Of course, there is more than one. And he clasped her tightly against him, before spinning her out and she lost sight of everything as her hair whipped around her face – his hand on hers the only thing pinning her to this strange place. She turned back to him, and let the motion carry her back to him, back into his arms.
And this time he held her fast, lowered his head to hers and kissed her. Eva grasped his shoulders and her senses spun from the kiss. The ferocity and lust of it poured through her, leaving her glad of his tight embrace, as she wasn’t sure she could stand on her own. When he drew back, his lips curling into a smile, revealing keenly sharp teeth, she felt her heart flip. But it was his eyes that made her shiver, the inhumanly gold orbs with slit-pupils – Goat’s eyes, satyr’s eyes, not human.
And when she shivered, he laughed, sonorous and wicked. His hands, one pressed again the small of her back, the other moving to hold her face, forcing her to look into his eyes. Behind them, the candle’s flame flickered and the music shifted, becoming darker, slower. He lowered his head, his lips brushing her cheek, finding her neck.
And when Eva shivered this time, there was no fear only desire. A desire that Eva joyfully gave into, letting her hands explore his body.
And once again, the uncanny space shifted. Eva found herself no longer on her feet, rather she was lying next to him, and her clothes were lying somewhere else. And his hands had found her naked breasts and were busy teasing her nipples. Eva gasped as he rolled and rubbed her nipples. She let her fingers trace a path down the hard planes of his stomach to his cock.
He smiled in delight as she wrapped her fingers around his cock and slowly stroked his hard length, before dipping his head to take her nipple into his mouth.
Eva felt her desire uncoiling from her nipples to spread through her. The electric ache of need building as his teeth scraped against her tender flesh. She squeezed harder, rubbing faster – twisting her hips toward him – small moans escaping her lips.
When he turned his attention to her other breast, she whimpered in both pleasure and frustration. She moved her hand, letting his cock go free, and cupping the heavy sac of his testicles, toying gently with them – tugging and squeezing until he growled deep in his throat, capturing her hand squeezing harder.
Eva let him guide her hand, squeezing harder. Until he bucked his hips and released her hand. She played more, tugging his flesh, stopping to grasp the hot shaft of his cock, stroking a few times, and returning to his testicles.
When he raised his head from her breasts, this time he took her hands holding them over her head, and he was on top of her – between her thighs his cock pointed at her. Eva arched her back, pressing against his cock, wanting to feel him inside her. The music paused and the candlelight sputtered.
They held there in silence and near darkness, poised at the edge of both their wanton desires. His hand, holding her arms above her head, holding himself just out of her reach – she let her eyes find his – his inhuman eyes that glowed softly in the darkness.
And the candle flared – and he moved pressing inside her. They moaned as the music rose to meet them. Eva ground her pelvis against him, as he thrust in slow, measured strokes. His free hand moving between them, finding her clit and rubbing changing the pressure and speed watching her gasp and moan beneath him. He didn’t stop as the music rose around them – he kept the same slow thrusting pace, while his fingers pleasured her clit until her belly coiled with her orgasm, and in a final sound somewhere between a whimper and a scream, tore from her throat, as the gush of her orgasm pooled beneath her.
The candle flame flared danced in the darkness.
Then he released her hands and increased his pace. Eva rode her orgasm, as his cock thrust faster – her hands, freed, found his arms. She grasped his arms and shoulders, her nails biting into his flesh. His groan of pleasure as she tore at his skin was all the encouragement she needed. She clawed at him, leaving bleeding grooves down his back.
He gave a last thrust and shuddered above her, and she felt the spasm of his cock emptying inside her. After a moment, he moved from on top of her, lying beside her. The candle flame dimmed, sputtering and the music grew discordant again – out of synch with them for the first time.
Eva knew what it meant, and she shifted, leaning over him to kiss him. He held her face a moment as she broke the kiss. His eyes no longer strange, but extraordinary looked at her with such joy. He kissed her forehead, like a blessing – and then she was alone on the carousel, the beast once more between her legs and her clothing on.
The carousel had wound down, slowing as it gave a soft thunk before stopping. On unsteady legs, Eva climbed off of the beast, knowing without having to look that she had chosen the goat. She let her hands linger on the lacquered wood, smiling at the wetness between her thighs.
She knew the stories. And she stepped off the carousel, without looking back. The candle was nearly gone, adding another layer of wax to the puddle. She stopped to grab her bag but left the candle to gutter out on its own.
It took her little time to remove the bars and climb out to the trash and weeds of the concourse. She replaced the bars and slung the bag over her shoulder. The moon was almost set, ending Hexennacht. Eva forced herself to walk through the park, not once looking back. Outside, as she replaced the boards in the fence, she rested a hand against the faded wood – thinking about the devil trapped forever in that carousel.