*Contains sexual content.
Avella Coleman stood a glorious five foot none, but possessed a soul so strong and opulent it occupied the entire room, wall to wall, no matter the size, wherever she went.
She walked with a proud stride and perfect posture, even in heels so tall they looked more like weapons-in-the-ready, should the occasion call for it.
She was rarely seen without her signature bold red lipstick and thick black winged eyeliner, and if she was wearing a color other than black, it would be safe to assume Hell had officially frozen over.
She lived in a 1760’s, four bedroom, ornate Victorian home that she had paid for with cash, and then painstakingly restored to its full former glory, both inside and out, over the course of the six years she had resided within.
Everyone in the neighborhood knew of Avella, mostly due to her stunning looks, but perhaps also for her love for gardening. She had converted her home’s entire half-acre back yard into a massive vegetable and herb garden, in which she spent most of her time. Within the grandiose garden she grew everything from mushrooms to mugwort; tomatoes to tarragon; blackberries, blueberries, basil, bergamot, bay, black alder, belladonna, squash, strawberries, sage, stinging nettle, saffron, St. John’s Wort, parsley, peppermint, palmarosa, and all variety of peppers.
Avella would harvest only what she needed, and then leave baskets full of her freshly grown surplus on the front door step of random homes in her neighborhood with a simple note signed only with her name.
Avella never went out of her way to introduce herself to the neighbors, but was also never purposefully unfriendly. She made pleasantries when the situation arose; oftentimes smiling and giving a gentle wave when neighbor’s would offer their hello’s and thank you’s.
No one knew exactly what it was that she did to earn a living, but they all agreed behind closed doors that whatever it was, she must do it well. The restorations to her house were positively pristine and entirely excellently executed for the era in which the house was built. Her ten dainty fingers adorned rings with gemstones so grand their carats must outweigh the orange, root vegetable variety she grew in her gorgeous garden at least a hundred fold. In fact, the multi-colored stones set in silver and white gold on her petite fingers were so substantial and gaudy they almost appeared to weigh more than Avella, herself, did.
Her everyday attire was an oversized, black, long-sleeved shirt, black leggings, and black high heels that were so shiny they reflected the sun; a stark contrast to her perfect, pale skin that peeked at the world from her bared ankles, hands, face, and neck. Her features were delicate; another striking contrast to her signature stunning red lipstick and raven black hair that fell straight as straw to her shoulders.
Benson James Pilot, or Benny as they neighborhood kids called him, which he preferred over B.J. any day, lived next door to Avella and often watched her through pried-apart blinds on his bedroom window as she tended to her garden. Benny was three weeks short of twenty-one, and wanted Avella so badly he could barely stand it. He assumed she must be in her late twenties, possibly early thirties, but couldn’t work up the courage to speak to her face to face in order to ask her. He preferred to watch her in secret from his secret, secure sanctuary above, where he could fantasize without witness; contrary to lack of privacy he was bestowing the vulnerable vixen of his voyeuristic endeavors.
The most titillating, tantalizing, tasty, and torturous thing, however, occurs once a month when the moon is full and everyone in the neighborhood is safely snuggled in their beds; eyes closed tight and spirits softly serenaded by the Sandman.
The lunar app on Benny’s phone had chimed an hour earlier, notifying him that tonight the moon would in fact be full, and he would get the chance to share in her secret once again.
As the sun began to set, Benny grabbed his high-powered binoculars from the top shelf of his closet. They were a Christmas gift from his bird-watching father two years ago, which had never once been utilized for their intended purpose. The gift had come with a card that read, “Benny Boy, Figured you could take these to college with you. Lots of good bird watching down there. Love, Dad.”
Benny, however, had taken a bit of a sabbatical. He had explained to his parents two months ago that he was struggling with the coursework and on the verge of a mental break, but the truth was that he was utterly obsessed with the siren next door. His mind was so occupied with her that it left little room for all else.
He took a seat at the half-broken swivel chair beside the window which faced Avella’s garden, and he waited impatiently, scrolling through social media to pass the time, until finally she emerged from her back patio’s sliding glass doors.
A six-foot wooden privacy fence surrounded her back yard on all sides, so Benny thanked the gods aloud for his second-story vantage point as she walked from the rear of her house into her garden. He watched with heated anticipation as she lit a dozen or so white pillar candles and placed them in a large circle in the center of the garden which had a pebble floor. She then jogged to her patio to retrieve two canvas satchels full of cut roses, and used them to create a circle from candle to candle, laying them cut-stem to petals until the circle had been completed.
Avella then used what looked like a large container of table salt to trace the circle, then created a star within, revealing a pentagram. Avella stood in the ancient symbol’s center and disrobed, letting it fall to the ground revealing her perfectly sculpted, naked body.
This was what Benny waited for all month long.
He held his phone up to the window and zoomed in as close as he could, and although he had one of the best cell phone cameras on the market, it did little to show detail without adequate light.
Frustrated, he threw his phone onto his bed and raised the binoculars to his eyes.
He drank in every inch of her, starting at her bare feet on the smooth pebbles, then working his way up slowly, surreptitiously savoring the eye candy before him before moving onto her more precious parts.
“Thank you, God…” he said aloud as he touched himself.
She knelt on the smooth pebbles beneath her and bowed down to kiss the earth. She then stood and began dancing in the moonlight. A slow, sultry dance that was surely intended for an audience of none, but Benny’s eyes were affixed to her flesh as a hungry predator’s to its unsuspecting prey.
He wanted a better look so he lowered his binoculars, slowly raised the blinds, and unlocked the window. He raised the window as slow as molasses, praying that she wouldn’t hear him. He didn’t want to be caught, of course, but he also didn’t want to interrupt her ritual because he knew what came next… and his blood was thick with adrenaline and testosterone in anticipation.
She began to sing a lovely, haunting chant; the names of Goddesses, which he only knew because a few years ago he had secretly recorded her chanting and used the internet to look them up.
Isis. Goddess of magic.
Astarte. Goddess of sexuality.
Diana. Moon Goddess.
Hecate. Goddess of truth. Sees through illusion and deception as if the truth were a blazing torch.
Demeter. Goddess of bountiful harvest and blessings.
Kali. Goddess of destruction and rebirth.
Inanna. Mother Goddess. Queen of heaven. Ruler of seasons and fertility.
He had learned that she must be Wiccan. A pagan faith which, although heavily misunderstood, was a peaceful, nature-worshipping religion. People often falsely assumed Wicca was a form of Satanism, but the very core of Wicca, he had learned, refuted this belief entirely. Wiccans didn’t even believe in a “Satan,” and you can’t really worship something you don’t believe to even exist. There were religions that practiced Satanism under the label of Witchcraft or Wicca, but it was a fallacy. Typically speaking, Wiccans worshipped any number of deities that were assigned to roles such as the roles listed for the Goddesses he had researched from her chant. Male deities, such as Pan (also called Cernunnos, horned God of the wild/nature; often misrepresented and mistaken for how Christians depicted Satan), were often worshipped as well.
Avella was deeply mysterious and distressingly enchanting, and Benny wanted to touch her soft skin and kiss her blood red lips more than he had ever wanted anything in his entire life.
“Fuck it,” he said, and he began raising the window screen, which he had never dared attempt before because it was far too noisy. Squeaky. Old. Risky.
He moved it slowly, cautiously, carefully, and as he did he began to daydream of taking the same care to caress every sacred, scrumptious, succulent inch of Avella’s body. Goosebumps raised on his flesh in direct and immediate physiological response to the mere thought. He shuddered, and when he did the jolt pushed the window screen up too quickly and to his horror a loud metal screech rang out into the night.
He closed his eyes, afraid to see if she had noticed. Maybe it wasn’t as loud as it seemed. Maybe the wind rustling the leaves around her would have drowned out the noise. Maybe he was still safe and secure in his voyeuristic nest.
He slowly opened his eyes, his hands still holding the metal framed screen halfway up its track.
She remained nude in her garden, covered only in moonlight and candlelight, staring directly at him.
She did not appear to be angry, nor did she seem embarrassed. Her expression was, in fact, quite blank, which sent a different kind of chill down Benny’s spine as they held eye contact for what seemed like months, but was likely only seconds.
Slowly, she raised a hand in front of her face and pushed her finger to her red lips as if telling him to, “Sshhh.” She smiled a half-cocked, seductive, sultry smile, then to his astonishment, she motioned with the same finger for him to join her.
Benny ran down the stairs and flew out the front door before he could so much as think another thought, and was standing at her locked gate in a matter of seconds.
He took a deep breath and tried to calm himself, but his heart felt as if it might beat out of his chest. He slowly lifted the metal lock and pushed the gate open.
“Hello…?” he said, his voice cracking like a pre-pubescent boy.
There she stood, just twenty or so feet from him with the same half-cocked smile. Her eyes were locked onto his, which nearly made him faint with excitement. The thunderous beating of his heart may as well have been a marching band. He clumsily turned and locked the gate behind him, and walked slowly, carefully, stumbling only once, toward this stunning enchantress standing in the middle of a lush garden, surrounded by lit candles and a pentagram.
She was like something out of a painting.
He wasn’t scared.
He was excited. Aroused. Stimulated.
His blood was on fire, pumping through his system at what must have been millions of miles per hour.
She began to dance again; closing her eyes and losing herself in music unheard while he stood and watched.
His desire increased to the point of near implosion. He wanted to know what she felt like; what she tasted like. He wanted to be inside that sacred circle with her so he could feel each of her undulations against his own body.
He took another step, and she stopped mid-dance, turning to face him, and held her finger in the air, wagging it slowly; directing him to not come any closer.
He stopped and she resumed her dance, this time singing her lovely, haunting chant along with it.
“Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna…” she sang in melodic tones that were perfectly pitched and beautifully harmonious.
“So like… are you a witch or something?” he called out to her before he could stop himself. He realized too late what an idiot he must sound like.
She ignored him, either having been lost within her own enchantment or having consciously chosen to do so.
Her dance became more and more erotic, and she ran her hands along her body, up and down as she moved her hips flawlessly along to her mind’s own music, when suddenly, she stopped.
Her back was to him; the candlelight casting sultry shadows along her backside, and he realized he was holding his breath.
A silent moment passed, and he began to feel a bit awkward.
“I’m sorry if I interrupted your um.. thing… I hope you don’t think I’m a creep,” he said.
She slowly turned to him, her dark eyes reflecting the candles amber flicker, and motioned for him to join her within the circle.
He walked slowly; one foot at a time, until he stood so close to her he could smell lavender in her hair.
She grabbed the bottom hem of his shirt and lifted it slightly. He quickly helped pull it over his head and tossed it to the ground.
He could feel her warm breath on his bare chest.
She stared at him as if he were a gourmet treat, ready to be devoured.
She traced her finger from his lips, down his chest and stomach, until it reached the top button of his pants.
He felt he might explode.
She abruptly spun around and began her dance again, rubbing her breasts and licking her fingers in the most provocative way imaginable.
His pants felt far too tight. Uncomfortably so. He was beginning to think he might bust a few seams.
She spun around to face him once again and grabbed his chin with her petite hand adorned with large, lustrous rings.
She stood on her toes and kissed him deeply. A wave of tremors shot through his body.
She backed away from the kiss just enough to stare deeply into his eyes.
She then closed her eyes and began dancing and chanting feverishly again, invoking the Goddesses as she had before and adding;
“Oh, Great Goddess Mothers!
Tonight we have been blessed!
The perverted eye of a man
Wants to savor my flesh!
Oh, Great Goddess Mothers!
What shall we do with him?
This voyeur who wants my taste?
He knows not his future is grim!”
Benny raised an eye brow, but was so utterly and completely helplessly lost within his testosterone driven lust that his mind was rendered as useless as a single rain drop in the Sahara. She had infused that last line with a smile that fell somewhere between deliciously seductive and alarmingly wicked, but he was willing to play any game she might ask him to at this point, enthusiastically.
As they say, God gave men two brains but only enough blood to run one.
She put her ruby lips to his and grabbed ahold of the currently operational brain and said,
“I could give him what he wants!
I could let him taste me!
Oh, Great Mother Goddess,
Can you feel his desperate plea?”
She bit his bottom lip and stroked his manhood, then abruptly stopped and took a couple of steps backward. Her demeanor shifted. Her smile fell away. Her eyes went cold. The flame on the candles were still, as was the wind. There were no crickets chirping, and no leaves rustling.
Quietly she said;
“He thinks he goes unnoticed
Watching me on sacred moons
He thinks he’ll go unpunished
Watching me cast my runes
Oh, Great Mother Goddess,
Tonight I shall call upon Cernunnos!
Ruler of the wild!
I call upon the God of Beasts!
Let Him feast on his desire!
CERNUNNOS COME HENCE,
COME FORTH THROUGH MY CANDLE’S FIRE!”
The candle’s flames flickered wildly as if a strong gust of wind had pushed through, but the night was still. Benny, still far too lost in his desire to form a rational thought, stood and watched as if in a drug-induced haze.
Shadows began to form and move wildly around them.
Avella danced erotically, and began to laugh wickedly.
The candles flickered and the shadows moved furiously around the garden.
“This is getting kind of… like really fucking weird, actually,” Benny managed to muster as he began to notice the shadows were not caused by moonlit reflections of the surrounding trees, but they instead seemed to hold their own, very solid forms.
“CERNUNNOS FEEL HIS DESIRE
IT IS MY OFFERING FOR YOU ON THIS BLESSED MOON!
TAKE HIS ENERGY FOR YOUR OWN
AND HELP MY GARDENS GROW AND BLOOM!”
The shadows began to draw closer to the circle, and Benny tried to run away, but realized all too late he was locked inside his own body and unable to move.
Avella kissed him deeply again, biting his lip as she slowly pulled away, leaving her hands on his brawny chest and whispered, “You were never once given permission to watch me, yet you decided my privacy and my sanctity was worthless time and time again. You raped me with your eyes and you raped me with your mind, and for that, tonight you will pay a fair price. You took from me, now I take from you.”
She then shoved Benny backwards and out of the protection of the circle, and the moment his body left its confines, the wild shadows enveloped and devoured his body and soul completely.
The next morning, Avella hummed a pleasant, melodic tune as she harvested the bountiful herbs and vegetables from her garden and then packed them into a large wicker basket, which she then tied with a satin bow the same shade of red as her lips.
She continued humming the sweet melody as she slipped on her black heels and walked next door to deliver the plentiful gift basket onto the front porch of Benny’s former parents.