The Devil’s Kiss
Selene Jackson had always been the black sheep of the family. A freethinker
in a country town is always an outsider, naturally she became the queen of
misfits. Friends would come and go, and when she usually needed him the
most, her boyfriend was off on some drunken bender, nowhere to be found.
Being a witch in the Town of Mystic Falls, she was not only the black sheep
of the family, but also of the coven. With her white hair and weak physical
and emotional disabilities, she had been disowned by her family and her
coven; but what they did not know was that when she moved to Mystic Falls,
bizarre things began to happen: strange dreams that had her triggered for
days on end, and apparitions in the woods with similar faces to her own,
clutching a hatchet in their hands.
Selene Jackson was known as some bad-ass chick spiralling out of control,
and no amount of help would ever lead to balance. She led a crazy, messed
up life, not only as an outcast but surely as the devil's spawn.
Now, just one short year later, Selene finds herself trying to replace the
pieces of her shattered life. Armed with a frozen heart and a cynical soul,
Selene Jackson's jaded ways seem to backfire as she quickly finds herself
fighting for her life, horrified by frequent paranormal events, convinced
she’d tasted the Devil’s kiss.
Selene awoke from a fitful sleep with a pounding headache and curses on her
lips. It was sure to be another one of those days, swallowed by the mouth
of madness that left her questioning her own sanity, and always begging for
more. She reached for her coffee, an antidote to depression and much
cheaper than Prozac. It was only a temporary stay of execution. She had a
bad feeling from the start things would go awry this morning.
Despite summoning the ancient deities for protection, Selene’s many
electronic devices began to malfunction and the lights in her historic
manor flickered on and off. These chaotic events seemed to have been done
on purpose to vex her, she feared. The air that hung in the room became
thick and oppressive. The hairs on her neck stiffened. Would the spirits
ever be laid to rest? She had been playing hide and seek with the shadows
for what seemed an eternity.
Living in a town that did not want her, she lived in a world that didn’t
understand what it was like to be different than the rest, and her
existence differed from regular people. She had to navigate the dangers of
three implacable worlds: the harms of the physical, the unknown quantity of
the spiritual, and the psychological nightmares of her own traumatic past;
and was trapped within the confines of her own horrific memories making
Selene feel she wasn’t good enough. There seemed to be no safe haven
anywhere at all. Inside her soul, a snarling beast howled.
From the mouth of hell, something inhuman reached for Selene. Something
unnatural, a demon, Selene believed, had taken root within her. It was
clearly trying to kill her, she feared. There was a lump rising up in her
throat, and she began to develop breathing issues and other chronic
ailments. Selene talked with invisible people, peering around the corner of
the door, crouching in the corner, and opening and closing the door. Even
the tap water developed a terrible taste. When she spoke, her voice took on
a deep and unnatural quality, utterly unlike her own. Later on that day,
she felt as if she was being choked and held down so she couldn't speak or
move at all.
She heard a deep-throated voice in her head spit out the words, "Have you
found out what's in the walls yet?" and "I am pleased to know your name
now, and the name of the young blood you have brought to me." This only
raised more questions than answers. Her theories ranged from psychotic
episodes to demonic possession. She either needed a psychologist or a
There was an odor of death and decay and things that should never see the
light of day that now clung to every room in the manor. Selene was
horrified. She turned towards the light and felt a sharp claw piercing her
back. She cried out to the ancient deities she often prayed to for help,
but a monstrous, bearded demon with horns and sharply pointed nails
appeared. She must have invoked Belphegor, the Assyrian God, one of the
seven princes of Hell.
There was horror, horror everywhere and full-on madness as scary as it
comes. She couldn't differentiate between the demonic assault on her
senses, and her own traumatized past memories – both had become a blurred
phantasmagoria of very real nightmares lurking around every corner in her
manor home. Was it real, or illusion – or did it even matter? The effects
upon her fragile psyche were real enough.
The wall clock measured out Selene’s very destiny every hour on the hour as
sure as the day was carved out of darkness and in blood. Fear was her only
constant companion in this diabolical plot to drive her to the brink of
insanity. Panic set in, and in this whirling state she must have blacked
out. When Selene came to, she remembered hardly anything at all.
Evening arrived, and with it the hope that life would return from the
precipice of a waking nightmare. Selene tried to eliminate the supernatural
attacks with spiritual methods she had learned out of ancient tomes, but to
no avail. The devil's merciless seas surrounded her and were out for
vengeance. This ushered Selene into the ensuing descent into the maelstrom.
At the stroke of midnight, Selene let out a loud, painful scream. The once
relaxing water in the shower was now painfully burning her skin; hot water
pounding on her neck and back with what felt like bruising force. The sound
of the shower stopped. She got out shivering and stood silent for a few
moments. An ominous siren began to sound, rising in pitch, straight from a
Stephen King novel. Satan and his minions were victorious, revelling in
their power and glory. Fiercer is the power of ancient deities and angels
if we do not procure to ourselves more fear. Selene was succumbing to a
spiritual death and that was clear.
The clock strikes 3:33 a.m., the hour of Satan. The wolf hides behind
Selene’s eyes and the flames consume her soul. This home, Mystic Falls
Manor, came with a gruesome history, and an intangible, malefic presence
that lived within its walls, drawn by its disturbing past; the challenge
was whether she could rule over the manor’s other malignant tenant.
Selene's every step seemed dogged and she realized that if she was to
survive the manor’s violent forces, she must first uncover the
long-buried secrets and confront the demons of its past and her own inner
demons as well.Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder set in blurring the
lines of reality like ferocious tongues of fire rising up her body.
Selene indulged her traumatic flashbacks; they were familiar consolations
of her past, yet also cut with the sharpness of a keen blade. She knew the
familiar feeling all too well of these living scars, like creeping spiders
up the wall. Out of confusion, tears began to flow. She didn't understand
why this was happening to her. She never did. The strange world of the
supernatural was one where she watched and waited for something to
invariably happen and then, it did. Selene felt she was such an easy mark
to be preyed upon although she had already learned the strange songs that
have been sung in the wilderness.
As a witch, psychic, shape-shifter, demon and angel, Selene worshipped
Inanna, her Queen of Heaven. Inanna was a warrior whose invocations were
believed to bring fertility to the civilization of Sumer. In the power of
her womb, Inanna held the cosmic power of sustaining the world, and
committing herself as an initiate of the dark by even attempting the
journey to the Underworld.
As the Queen of Heaven, Inanna is the enforcer of divine justice and an
ancient Mesopotamian goddess of love, war, and fertility, beauty, sex and
political power. She was originally worshipped in Sumer under the name
"Inanna", and later by the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians under the
name Ishtar. She was associated with the planet Venus and her most
prominent symbols included the lion and the eight-pointed star. Her husband
was the god Dumuzid (later known as Tammuz) and her sukkal, or personal
attendant, was the goddess Ninshubur (who later became conflated with the
male deities Ilabrat and Papsukkal).
Selene recited an ancient hymn to Inanna in her dreams. “Come sleep, O'
sleep where melancholy cries out my name. From the well that cures, sing me
a lullaby of pure water and a lapis lazuli sky enamoured from the light.
Enslave me in forgetfulness divine. Forget the old me, find myself and
explore, shine as never before.”
Selene continued the chant: “As you sang my name before I was born, you
sing to me now. I am yours and you are mine in the murmuring and ruinous
night. Strike the phosphorous clock in the shouting and crying prison
palace. In the pool of self-pity, I imagine the divine feeling of effacing
my white skin leading me into a thousand setting suns; the river in which I
have shed my glorious and ancient blood.
Behold; the old has passed away, the new has come. I am the Queen of Hell
to stop the escaping demons. It’s a pain inside that burns with the hottest
of fires. The dead speak in forbidden tongues. I desire the pale moonlight
that surrenders to us. Ghosts of tomorrow come to do their calling.
Scrawled in the winds of the highest mountain top, we speak the last word
as we go into the house of death where the perishable flesh hides inside
us. Something goes but something remains. There is a window towards the
west where our heart rests. I shall have with me all my days, my forehead
bare, Imperium where the seasons come and go burying secrets we have never
found in losing battles.”
The ancient hymn rose higher and higher on the winds of Mystic Falls Manor
as Selene recited it. These chants reached the underworld and all four
corners of the earth: “At your roaring and rumbling Inanna, Great-hearted
Mistress, exalted among all the great princes, you determine their destiny.
Who opposes the mistress who raises her head and is supreme over the
mountains? Wherever Inanna reigns, cities become ruin mounds and haunted
places, and shrines become waste land. When your wrath makes people
tremble, the burning sensation and the distress you cause are like an ulu
demon ensnaring a man. “
No one can oppose her murderous battle -- who rivals her? No one can look
at her fierce fight, raging and sweeping over the earth; she leaves nothing
behind. Inanna’s great heart performs Selene’s bidding, and the mistress
alone fashions great punishments from her body to all Selene’s former
Inanna washes their hearts with blood and gore, axes smash heads, and
spears puncture, wrapped in ichor. The warrior’s evil mouth howls to the
flesh of the land. On their first offerings she pours
blood, filling them with blood
in the wide and silent plain, darkening the bright daylight, and she turns
midday into darkness as she performs the song of her heart.
When Inanna’s wrath subsides, Selene continues the chant that grows
shriller in her descent to the Underworld, “It is not over yet-the fight
where immortal dreamers failed. The night praises us and prevails. So long
ago the cause was lost and is now a curse. We scarcely distinguish friend
from foe; but if the dead can help it most-The armies of Legion will grow.
Inanna, Goddess of the Underworld, a ferocious name dissolves on my tongue
like honey and I whisper, Hades like a broken song.”
Selene hears the fractured melodies that would not set her free, “My dear,
my dear, it is not so dreadful here. We’ve always been your friends, your
cursed, unlikely companions. Before you became a ghost, you also wanted to
escape. You have always been a beast in a cage. It is with us here you
Upon discovering her secret identity, Selene’s head ignited into fractious
life, becoming a flaming skull, and she began a sweeping massacre on her
loved ones and the coven that had made her an outcast in the Town of Mystic
Falls. She was the spirit of vengeance and sought their demise. The dead
spirits of her vengeance were defeated by the Demon Zanototh who eliminated
the spirits of her enemies and imprisoned Selene along with these dead
spirits in the implacable fires of hell for all eternity. Part of her
wanted to go home, but she knew she didn't belong to the others. All who
obeyed Selene now in the Underworlds exhausted themselves with weeping and
grief and they lamented. "My lady, may your heart be restored for our
Selene crushed her servants’ heads like a tyrant, drenched in her own blood
for she was Inanna’s black-eyed daughter. “Come to me at midnight, though
hell bar the way!” she cursed to the sky.
A fire rises in the air. From the heat and smoke, eyes water and the
victims of Selene choke. The flames spread, and their houses, their
memories, burn, burn to the ground. Trees dead, homes wreathed in flame.
All burns until there is naught but ash. All cry and cry and curse their
gods. Their tears put out the flames.
When all is quiet, and stillness takes hold, a new fire is kindled, a fire
of grace, and of love, a fire she wishes to share. From the ashes, Selene
rises to rebuild her memories and her home. The fire inside ignites. From
the ashes, she rises.
Selene was like fire burning for the things she loved, for the beauty she
saw so wild and alive all around her. She would burn for places, for
passion, for people, for memories that had been and will come. She would
burn, bringing light into darkness as an energy that could not be
extinguished. Here, demons would sleep and Selene would be Queen of the
Underworld that had served her so well, both fearful and proud at her feet.
The flames that rose and combined beckoned to her soul and their lingering
presence soothed her soul. Her wild eyes were bewitched by the fire in the
night. A mighty woman with a torch stood at a golden door of the white
flame. Selene walked in its path and the flame encircled her and she gave
herself over to it, a tiny smile touching her lips. Fire licked her fingers
and she suddenly knew she could go to a place of warmth where she belonged.
She learned the flame’s ways and all the worlds waiting for her. The flame
understood her, she chose her own path, and she was free to burn who she
wished. The flame accepted her in a way no mortal never could and it never
mocked or judged and it allowed her to feel liberated. She wanted to be
with this fire alone that gave her strength and she was free to be herself,
and to choose her own destiny from now on. She wanted to be, she could only
© 2023 Alexis Child
Bio: Alexis Child hails from
Toronto, Canada; home to dreams and nightmares. Besides having rare
mystical experiences she hopes are not just short circuits in the
brain, she offers Tarot Readings and writes poetry and fiction,
starving in the garret with her muse. A starving child is a frightful
sight. A starving vampire is even worse. Please donate non-perishable
food items and B-negative blood (and make it a double!).
Alexis’ poetry and fiction has been featured in numerous online and
print publications. Her debut collection of horror poetry, Devil in the
Clock, is available on Amazon, followed by Singing the Bones (Cyberwit
Publishing, 2022). Her third collection of poetry, Exquisite Corpse, is
coming soon. You have been warned...
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