The Hallowed HouseMature

Is this where it will end?

The old, boarded-up house creaked in the winter wind. Its window panes teetered in place at an anxious pace. The tip of very shingle was spread erect like goosebumps. The eavestrough shivered and shook.

Will they tempt me not to return this time?

Booted feet walked up the stairs, while hooves tapped the floorboards above.

"You came," said a deep voice, to the young man who had just walked up the stairs.

"May I open my eyes?" the man asked.

"The gorgon is not with me. There is no catatonic risk," came words from between a beard of thickly curled brown, like furred bark. It ran down over a craggy pink chest that was lined with budding brown hairs that clung to it like moss.

"What did I do wrong?" asked the young man, a mild Cuban accent hiding in the timbre of his voice. His face held a Hispanic warmth, and his hair was shaved quite short. There was something on his face that lingered between a goatee and a beard, never sure of how masculine it wanted to be.

"I do not know. I do not watch your every move," came the deep voice.

The other seat was taken, across from the bearded countenance that was of no man; for horns emerged from his skull, and in his priapic nakedness he bore the feet of a goat.

"He rejects me," said the man.

The satyr tapped one clawed finger against the pause button of the iPod on the table, from which ear buds were in his ears. Immediately, his left hoof stopped tapping against the floor.

"Can I tell him about everything?" asked the man, as he eyed the kerosene lamp on the table between them. It was the only thing that lit the room.

"Everything? He would not believe you."

"Can I show him?" asked the man.

"No," said the satyr. "Well, yes. But not without help that I am not willing to give. My oath to Silenus is above all else."

"Silenus?" the man frowned the words from his lips.

"Yes, Silenus. He is the lord of the satyrs. His leadership is questioned only by Pan. You see, unlike mortals, there are so few of us that all our race is led by one."

"Interesting," said the man, with what may have been sarcasm.

"Do not be insolent with me, Fernando!"

"I am sorry," the man said quickly, lowering his head in an unfinished nod. "My breaking heart grows heavy to bear. I did not mean to be snarky."

"You should have written what you sang, not covered it. Does he not inspire you towards such expression?"

"He once did. He was once my muse," said Fernando. "How do you know I sang something?"

"Ideas can be communicated through more means than affords the movement of lips, half-mortal. To absorb through osmosis by proximity, I am to know some things uncertain."

Fernando sighed.

Then it came, like a ray of light or the casting of a shadow, and lodged in his heart.

"Ahhhh!" Fernando screamed, looking down at the arrow that pierced his breast before standing up, toppling the chair onto the floor behind him.

"Calm yourself!" ordered the satyr, who also stood. There was a spinning top balanced impossibly upon the glans of his erect penis. It had the texture of a disco ball. It threw beads of light all around, now that it was out from under the shadow of the table.

He groped at it, sometimes touching it and sometimes passing right through it. His black brow converged, "It doesn't hurt!"

"No, you will not be the one most hurt by it," said the satyr, who was now trying to look outside between the cracks in the boards over the window from whence the arrow had come. "That arrow was fired by a servant of Eros."

"Eros?"

"Cupid."

"Am I to fall in love with someone else then?"

The satyr turned around and shook his head, "More the opposite."

Fernando grew increasingly worried, "Fall out of love?"

"Falling is not the appropriate action. One rises out of love, less grounded. But no - you will find hatred for another. I saw no gold upon its tip."

Fernando gulped, and the arrow seemed to fade into him. Then, after a moment of consideration, he sat back at the table and took off his coat. "I must try a new approach."

"Do you have something in mind, mortal?"

"No," he said. "But I was hoping to find some ideas in the tub."

"Very well," said the satyr, who danced over to the white tub in the corner of the room. As he looked at the frozen water there, it ceased to be frozen.

It was barely big enough for one full-sized person to bath in. There was a chunk missing from one side, where it had cracked. The surface was starkly off-white, covered in dust.

Fernando stood, and lifted his shirt off.Then he unclipped his watch, and pulled off his t-shirt. And then he reached for the zipper of his fly, and unzipped it with another sigh.

The satyr smiled as the athletic man before him became naked.

Fernando hoisted his entire body over the tub, and then dropped himself into it. But he never touched the bottom, for there was no bottom.

Then, discarding his iPod, the satyr dove into the bathtub with a splash.

Now the room was void, and the bathtub lay in the corner, seeming only to hold water that sloshed about and a shiny spinning top that came to a bubbly halt. Alone, the old house was filled with relief.

The End

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