What is it about the night that amplifies our fears?
Perhaps it is a primal instinct, born in a time when our ancestors huddled in caves for protection against noctural predators that posed a real and tangible threat to their very lives.
Perhaps it is the darkness, a neutralizing of our primary sense that turns the otherwise familiar world around us into a world of shadows, a world of mystery, a world of the unknown.
Perhaps it is the silence, a time of reflection on all the worries we managed to push to the back of our minds in the din and cacophony of the waking day. Worries about our well-being. Worries about the future. Worries about our own mortality. All brought to the forefront, ignored by the fading conscious mind yet seized upon by the subconscious, scrambled together and transformed into ghosts, goblins, and demons.
Or perhaps we fear the night so much because there really are demons out there.
* * *
The sun set over an ordinary house in an ordinary town. It could have been any house, and any town. Certainly there was nothing unusual about either. There were no claims that the house was haunted. There were no reports of supernatural activity in the town.
The house had one resident, a young woman who was no more unusual than the place where she lived, except that she was quite beautiful. She had soft, blond hair that almost glowed when the light struck it just right. Her eyes were a deep blue that gave her the appearance of always being excited, always enjoying herself. This was complemented by her full lips that seemed always turned up in the corners in a half smile.
She had a lovely body too, a full chest and slender waist with the perfect amount of curves. She was a vision of loveliness, a fine target for any nocturnal predator with more than food on its mind.
With the setting of the sun came the slowing of the pace of modern life. She had spent her day in work, and her evening in relaxation, like so many countless people the world over. And now, with the hour growing late, she prepared for bed. Like many women, she had a routine that she followed in preparation for bedtime. She spent a few minutes in the bathroom washing her face and changing into a long, white nightgown, then returned to the bedroom. Climbing into bed, she reached for a paperback book on the nightstand to keep her company until she felt sleep start to overtake her. She opened the book and read for a while, completely unaware of what lay in store for her tonight.
The last rays of sun faded to darkness, leaving the light in her room the only defense against the pitch black of the nocturnal world. It did not occur to her to think of it that way, at least, not while the light surrounded her. But she was gradually growing drowsy until finally she yawned, stretched, and set the book down. She pulled the cord on the bedside lamp that provided the only light in her bedroom, then found a comfortable position to lie in and closed her eyes.
When the lights went out, the demon moved. He had been lurking in the shadows, waiting for this moment. Very slowly, he inched his way toward the bed and the reclining woman. He would not take her until she fell asleep, however. Dreams were his realm, and he could have no power over her until those dreams filled her mind.
And so he paused when he reached the bed, standing silent and unmoving beside her. He had infinite patience; he could wait all night if he had to.
If she had opened her eyes at that moment, she might have caught the briefest of glimpses of this nightmare creature before he vanished in a puff of imagination. He vaguely resembled a human, though not tall, standing less than four feet when stretched out to his fullest. His face was human enough, though gnarled like an old oak tree. Horns protruded from the top of his head, which, combined with his wide, grinning mouth full of razor-sharp teeth and long pointed ears, gave him a devilish look. His eyes, peering out from beneath a pair of thick, bushy eyebrows, stared with a frightful and unblinking gaze at his next victim. A thin but coarse layer of fur covered him from the top of his head down to the claws at the bottom of his double-joined legs.
He could have been any number of demons. Few people had ever seen one and fewer still could identify them by sight or deion. But he had one feature that clearly gave him away. Between his legs hung a monstrous thing, much longer and wider than that of most men. A full foot it was in its current flaccid state, yet capable of growing another six inches when aroused. The demon was made for one purpose, and one purpose only: to creep into the beds of unsuspecting young ladies at night and have his way with them. He had no given name, but men and women alike called him incubus.
His eyes, capable of seeing in even the deepest and darkest pits of the nether realm, wandered the room, taking in the details but caring nothing for them. If he had more depth to his feelings, he might be interested in the bottle of expensive perfume on top of her dresser, or the classic murder mystery paperback on her night stand, or the large painting of a horse's head on the wall. He might care that she took care in not only her appearance but also her smell, that she loved to read old books, or that she had an affinity for horses. But his was a single-minded purpose. He cared only for her body.
The woman on the bed yawned and shifted her position. It would not be long now. Her consciousness was slowly fading. He could tell because as she gradually slipped further and further toward the dream realm, he felt his power over her growing. Soon she would be completely under his spell, unable to move. Then he would take her as he had taken thousands of women before, consummating his passion without restraint or remorse. She might remember it as a dream, or she might not remember it at all. A nightmare, she might call it, and dismiss it as such. If he enjoyed the pleasure of her flesh, he might even visit her again, creeping once more into her dreams.
When the demon felt his power at its maximum, he moved once again toward her. She was now frozen, and would remain that way until he finished his lusty business and released her. Her body was now fully his to do with as he would.
As he climbed onto the bed, her white nightgown began to melt away. Clothing was an obstacle to his satisfaction, and therefore disappeared when his power reached its peak. Nothing could possibly stand in his way now.
He reached out with one of his clawed hands and stroked her neck, enjoying the silky smooth feel of her feminine flesh. He snifed once, taking in her sweet odor, made all the sweeter by her growing fear. She sensed him now. That was good. Her terror would enhance his delight.
His hand wandered lower along her now nude body. He cupped one of her breasts in his hand, giving it a firm squeeze. His mouth opened in a grin, and his long, pointed tongue slithered out. He bent over her sleeping form and let his tongue run over her chest, seeking out her nipples. The woman gave a weak gasp at the contact, all she could manage in her paralyzed state. The incubus loved to hear such sounds; it meant that although her conscious mind had no control over her body, she could still react to his touch. He preferred when their bodies had a little life to them. Most women were completely petrified, lying there immobile as he took them. This one was different.
He lay his head down against her chest, listening for her heart beat. There it was, pounding rapidly, no doubt in horror. She would not soon forget this night!
While he was there, he turned his head and sucked her nipple into his mouth. Teasing it with his tongue, he felt it hardening between his lips. That would add one more dimension to her terror: guilt. She would know that she was not supposed to enjoy this, and yet her body was already betraying her true feelings. If he did his job well, she might even climax, the ultimate humiliation. Yes, he was going to enjoy this quite a lot.
The incubus let his hands and tongue run over her soft flesh for a few minutes longer. No need to rush things; he had all night. For now he was content to just toy with her, letting her fear and arousal grow, merging together into one emotion.
His hand wandered slowly down her body, tracing down her abdomen to her thigh. She squirmed at the contact, perhaps a bit ticklish, though not as ticklish as some women he had seduced. He remembered one woman who laughed out loud while still asleep.
With surprising gentleness for a demon of the night, he stroked her thigh, running his hands from her hip to the inside of her leg and back again. He watched for the telltale signs of her growing arousal. He could just take her against her will if he was so inclined, but that was never as satisfying as warming her up first. A woman forced might suppress the memory of his visit. A woman who derived at least some enjoyment out of it in the midst of her terror would never forget. She might remember it as just a nightmare, horrifying yet thrilling. But remember it she would.
A whimper escaped the woman's lips. The incubus grinned. So she was a vocal one. That was good. She might even be a screamer. Women often screamed when he left and released them from their paralysis. It was a rare woman that screamed during the act itself. It would be a subconscious scream, a reflexive action brought on by abject terror mixed with sexual ecstasy, an instinct so strong that it overrode his paralyzing power, breaking through the barrier that kept her silent and unmoving. It would be one of the most intensely emotional experiences of her life.
The incubus brought his nose down toward the junction between her legs and sniffed. She was giving off that odor that he loved so much, the smell of a woman aroused, mixed with a touch of perspiration. Some women only smelled of cold sweat, and no matter how patiently he tried to excite them sexually, they remained hard and frigid. It was like trying to seduce an ice cube.
This one was different, he could tell. If not her mind, then at least her body was deriving some pleasure out of his caresses. She was probably hating herself for feeling this way, shamed that she could enjoy this vile abuse from such a terrifying creature. Shame, fear, and arousal. Before he was though, she would know each like she had never known them before, and they would be so tied together that she would not be able to tell the difference. He grinned once agin at the thought.
His mouth opened and his tongue extended, reaching out for that delightfully tasty spot between her legs. It made contact with the tiny ridge above her slit, and her body jerked. He almost cackled with glee. No frigid ice cube, this one! It would be a rare treat to mount her and feel her body writhing beneath him.
But she was not ready for that just yet, and neither was he. True, he could take her right now, but he was having too much fun to rush it. He wanted to savor the pleasure of her body for as long as possible.
He let his impossibly long tongue wander all over the area between her legs, causing her to squirm even more. She continue to whimper, even beginning to moan a little. It might be from fear or it might be from arousal, or more likely it was from both. She herself probably didn't even know. It didn't matter, as far as the incubus was concerned. All he cared about was the delightful sound. To him, it was the sweetest music in the world.
Faster and faster he licked her, and the movement of her body grew more wild. He sought out the hole within the folds of her womanhood and pressed his tongue in, tasting the ecstasy of her excitement. She was leaking like crazy now, and he lapped it up hungrily, a delicious and intoxicating nectar. He was an addict, unable to control himself and not wishing to.
The woman's body suddenly stiffened, and the incubus realized he had taken things too far. He had not been trying to push her over the top; he had merely wanted to prepare her for the penetration. With the sudden climax behind her, her body might not be so energetic when he took her.
It could not be helped now. She was clearly as prepared as she was going to get. He withdrew his tongue grudgingly, despite being eager to take things to the next level.
The incubus crawled on top of the sleeping woman, and he heard her gasp as his swollen manhood pressed between her legs. He pressed forward, feeling the tip pass through the outer lips. Her body opened to him, and despite the sheer girth of his member, he felt it slipping inside.
The woman whimpered again, no doubt horrified at the violation. That made it all the better, as far as the incubus was concerned. It wouldn't be anywhere near as fun with a willing victim.
He continued pressing deeper into her until he knew she could take no more. It wasn't his intention to cause physical harm to her; he would leave her here terrified but unharmed. He always left them in the same state that he found the, just in case he decided to visit them again another night.
It felt wonderful to be finally inside her. Her body had accepted him surprisingly easily, yet her warm tunnel gripped him tightly. It was the sensation that he lived for, literally. Sex was to him as necessary as food was to a man.
He pulled out a few inches, then speared back in. The woman gasped again, and the incubus grinned. Despite her previous climax, she was still aroused. Her body responded as he had hoped when he fell into a rhythm of thrusting inside her. She writhed beneath him as well as she could in her paralyzed state. Perhaps she was trying to escape. Perhaps her movements came from a primal terror rather than illicit excitement. What a delicious thought.
The incubus had amazing stamina, and if he wished, he could keep this up for hours. Many a woman had gotten no rest the night that he visited them, even in their sleep. He considered going for one of those marathon sessions tonight. With such a lively girl, it would be pleasurable enough. He could rape her until the first glimmer of the dawn forced him to retreat. But his mood had been spoiled by his previous mistake. He had hoped for a perfect night, but that chance had already passed. That would have to wait for another opportunity.
He didn't try to keep going. He let himself enjoy the thrilling pleasure of her body, but his heart wasn't in it as much as it could have been. He still loved the squirming motions her body made beneath him, and the cries of intense pleasure mingled with unholy terror that excaped her throat. It was an animalistic cry, almost inhuman. That sound meant that he had stripped her of all humanity and reduced her to a creature of sensation, instinct, and passion. No room for conscious thought left in that head of hers. Tomorrow she would become a woman again, but tonight she was just an animal.
His lust consumed him as well, although he had never been much more than an animal anyway. The world of unbridled passion untempered by conscience or social responsibility, that was his world. He reveled in it, gloried in the profane darkness of sexual frenzy.
And so he let himself go, losing himself in the wild ecstasy without holding anything back. He attacked the woman ferociously, a wild beast in the throes of passion. She was nothing to him but a means to an end, an object, a toy, a tool for deriving pleasure.
Yet he himself was little more than that. He had lost all conscious thought and become a mass of physical sensations. There was nothing left of the incubus but those sensations, a bundle of exploding nerves.
Then at some point a thought intruded on that soulless mass of pleasure. He needed to put an end to it eventually, so that he could rest in preparation for starting the cycle again tomorrow night. He fought down the instinct to keep going forever, and let time continue on its relentless course.
He pushed himself to take it to the final level, to cross that threshold. His frenzy reached a peak and he felt the fiery heat of his passion building to an explosive finish. It was the climax of his nocturnal adventures, the treasure that drew him back night after night, the sole purpose of his existence. He welcomed the oncoming torrent, enbraced it, loved it.
He let out a wild roar as it overtook him. Through the haze of his climax he heard another scream mimicking his own. Demon and woman blended their voices in a violent and profane chorus, the sound of ultimate pleasure.
Then the moment passed, and the incubus collapsed on top of the woman. Her breaths came in heavy gulps, and he felt a thin sheen of sweat covering her entire body. She had enjoyed it more than she would probably admit to herself, and likely hated herself for it.
He dismounted her then, and as he crept away, the world returned to the way it had been before his visit. Her nightgown reappeared in the same way it had vanished earlier. Her subconscious mind was already rearranging her memory of the event so that she thought it was a dream. Even the signs on her body of his penetration had cleared away. An incubus never left any tangible proof of his presence; perhaps he truly was just a nightmare. Dream or reality, it made no difference to him. He had no need to question the nature of his existence.
The instant he released the woman from paralysis, she gasped and sat straight up in bed, her face flushed and breast heaving. She reached for the light switch, and a moment later the room lit up as bright as day. But the demon had already vanished, hiding once more in the darkest shadows of the night.
But the incubus was not finished with her. She would have the honor of being visited by him two nights in a row.
* * *
The sun rose on another day. The world came alive, and bad dreams were pushed aside in the confused pandemonium of wakefulness. It was a time that the incubus both hated and loved. He loved it because people forgot the terrors of the night, leaving them unprepared for when those terrors returned. He hated it because there was no room in the world of the daytime for a demon of the night, and he was forced to flee to nether realms where day never came, waiting for sunset and a new night to give him new power.
But the cycle was endless and infinite, so he sat motionless in the dark, knowing that his time would come again. And it did, just as inevitably as the dawn. With the setting of the sun, the incubus arose once more from his dormant state, returning to the same house and the same bedroom as before. He had yet to achieve true satisfaction with the woman, and so he waited in the shadows again, watching in anticipation as she performed her bedtime routine in preparation for sleep. She would find no comfort in sleep though, for he would once again haunt her dreams and take her as his own. Once more he would mount her, using her body for his own fiendish pleasure.
The woman finished her nightly ritual and climbed into bed, reading some more in her book until her eyelids began to droop. She returned the book to her night stand, then pulled the chain on the lamp, filling the bedroom with darkness and bringing the incubus out of his hiding place.
The demon crept slowly forward, watching again for the telltale signs of her slumber and the building of his power. He would take her more quickly this time, not giving her a chance to pass the point of no return before he entered her. He had made the mistake of drawing things out too long last night, a mistake he would not repeat tonight.
Her breathing slowed, and he watched the hypnotic rising and falling of her chest until he felt his power reach its peak. She was asleep now, and ready for him. Her bedsheets and clothes melted away as the paralysis overtook her, exposing her nubile young body to his lustful gaze.
He climbed onto the bed then, lowering his head to take in her sweet aroma. He was going to enjoy himself immensely tonight.
His tongue slipped from his mouth, running all over her body. He clutched one of her breasts in his hand, toying with the nipple until it hardened. Her breathing grew more intense and her body began to squirm as it had last night. Good! She was growing excited.
The incubus played with her other nipple for a while until it poked upward like the first, then he leaned back to admire his handiwork. There was no sight so pleasurable to him as a woman aroused. He gazed down at her beautiful nude body for a minute or two, then leaned down and planted a kiss between her breasts.
He did not often kiss women, on the lips or elsewhere, but this was a special case. This woman was different; she responded to his touches with eagerness, almost willingness despite the horror she must feel at his presence. He might even visit her a dozen more times before growing bored with her and moving onto his next victim.
He moved his head lower along her body, kissing his way down to that blissful spot between her legs. He let his tongue touch that spot, reveling in the moistness that he found there. Her body reacted almost eagerly, her muscles tensing and her her hips thrusting upward. He savored the sweet nectar of her arousal as she began to whimper in fear or pleasure, or more likely both.
The incubus was careful not to push things too far tonight. He paid close attention to the signals coming from her body, and he knew when it was time to move on to the main event. He withdrew his tongue, then again mounted her. She cried out as the tip of his swollen member made contact with her, and he pressed forward slowly and eagerly. Her lips parted, and he felt the warmth of her depths enveloping him. It was a tight fit, which made the pleasure all the more intense.
He began to thrust repeatedly into her, at first plunging deeper inside with every motion until he could go no further. He rolled his hips forward and back, and her hips rose up to meet him each time. She would not be able to deny that at least part of her enjoyed this, no matter how much the rest of her feared him. And why not? He was an incubus, designed for just one purpose. He had devoted many lifetimes to that purpose; naturally he was as good as the most talented man, perhaps even better.
Over and over he pressed into her, fulfilling that purpose with enthusiasm and delight, even glee. To refuse himself that satisfaction would not even occur to him; it would be completely contrary to his nature in the same way it would be contrary to the nature of a man to refuse to breathe.
The sounds from the woman's throat had grown steadily from whimpers to moans, and now finally to screams. The incubus listened in delight to that profane symphony, like the most beautiful music. She was lost now in the throes of passion, which built within them both until it was almost unbearable. As one, they hit their peak, their bodies writhing and thrashing in unholy climax until the wave overtook them and passed them by, leaving them both panting in exhaustion and bliss, the tingling of their nerves evidence of the dance of lust they had just engaged in.
Satisfied with his conquest, he climbed off of her and released her from paralysis, letting her gown fade back onto her body. Once again, she sat up in bed, but just as the incubus was about to fade out of sight, she reached for something on her night stand and tossed it at him. He felt something cold and thin drop around his neck then tighten snugly. The lights in the room came on, but he was horrified to discover that he could not vanish.
For several seconds, the incubus and the woman stared at each other in shock, the tension in the air palpable. Something had gone horribly wrong, he realized. Never before had a woman had more than a brief glimpse of him before he vanished. Her waking should have been enough to drive him from her sight, and the lights should have made him disappear instantly. What had changed that?
Then the look of shock on the woman's face vanished, replaced by a big grin. "Oh, you're so CUTE!" she exclaimed with glee.
Cute? What was that supposed to mean?
"Last night you made me feel like a woman," she told him. "It was the best I've ever experienced. Oh, I was frightened at first, but it felt so good that I completely forgot my fear and just enjoyed it. I decided then and there that I just had to have you for my own, so I did my research to figure out how to catch you."
The incubus continued to stare at her, a knot forming in his stomach as he thought about where this conversation was headed.
"You're an incubus, right?" she asked.
He said nothing.
"The strong, silent type," she continued. "I like that. Anyway, I couldn't find anything in my reading about how to catch an incubus, so I took a chance with silver. It seems to work for vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures, so I figured it was worth a shot."
He glanced down at the loop around his neck, noting that it was a loop of silver cord, the other end grasped firmly in her hand. Silver! That explained it. She had trapped him with a silver chain! This was horrible! He couldn't remove it. He couldn't escape. He couldn't even vanish when the lights came on.
The grin once more returned to her face, and she pounced on him. He tried to run, but she grabbed him and squeezed him to her chest in a bear hug.
"Oh, we're going to be so happy together!" she exclaimed. "Just wait till I show you off to my girlfriends. They'll be so jealous! Daddy will be overjoyed that I found someone to make me happy, and I just know Mom's going to adore you. Oh, they'll be surprised at first that you're a demon. But they've always been open-minded, and I'm sure it won't take them long to warm up to you."
The incubus struggled against her, trying to get away. This couldn't be happening. It must be a bad dream. A nightmare. Could an incubus have a nightmare? He had caused enough of them himself, but he had never been the recipient of one.
She finally released him, but only to grab him by the cheeks, draw him in, and plant a big smooch on his lips.
"We'll have to get you some clothes, of course," she said. "We can't have you running around naked. Tomorrow we'll go shopping."
Shopping? He hated shopping. Or at least, he thought he did, although he had done it before. But wearing clothes would be torture. It would put one more obstacle between himself and the fair skin of the young damsels he liked to seduce.
"But there's one thing you should know," she said. "I've always wanted a June wedding, so we'll have to wait for summer. I hope that's all right with you."
Wedding? She couldn't be serious!
"It will be absolutely the most spectacular wedding ever! Tomorrow after we're done shopping, we'll start working on a guest list. Does an incubus have a family? Never mind; I'll invite enough for both of us. Oh! I just realized, you'll have to get a job, because you'll need to pay for a ring. We can go look at rings tomorrow too."
A job? The incubus didn't need a job! His job was to creep into women's bedrooms at night and have sex with them. And he was damn good at it!
"And then we'll settle down in a nice house and have lots of children. I wonder what they'll look like? If they look anything like you, they'll be the most adorable children ever! Oh, I can't wait!"
Settle down? Children? That did it. The incubus screamed, a sound that he had never made before. He had made plenty of women scream, but the only sound he had ever made himself was a lusty and triumphant roar in the heat of passion. He struggled again, trying desperately to escape. He didn't want to settle down! He didn't want to have children! He just wanted to disappear back out into the night to find another lovely young maiden to seduce. Why couldn't she just let him go?
"We'll have none of that," she insisted. "If you're going to sleep with me, you'll have to face the consequences. I'm not just a one-night stand; I demand a more permanent relationship. But don't you worry your cute little head about it. I just know we'll be so happy together."
She reached over to the light switch and turned it off, bathing the room once more in welcome darkness.
"Come on. You'll feel better about it in the morning." Then she lay down and pulled him over on top of her, holding her to his chest again. The incubus gave up his struggling, recognizing how futile it was and consigning himself to his doom.
* * *
What is it about the night that amplifies our fears?
It may be a primal instinct. It may be the darkness. It may be the silence. Whatever the cause, the incubus lay awake all night against his lover's breast, staring out into the darkness as he worried about the future, paralyzed with terror.
* * *