Melissa was the one who sent her to me. From what I gathered the two had been friends in high school and when Melissa heard about what happened she called me up to ask what I had that could do something about it. After hearing the situation I had to tell Melissa that I had many things and that she should send the poor girl to my shop to pick out something for herself, to make sure that she got exactly what she wanted.
I could hear Melissa's thoughts through the phone. Literally. I had a Shori stone attached to the receiver and through the power of the stone I heard every dirty little thought that passed through the minds of those that called me, and believe me, some of those thoughts were pretty dirty. Then again I guess I shouldn't complain. After all if it weren't for the people with dirty thoughts then my business would never have gotten to be as lucrative as it is.
"Can I really send Reese to this guy?" she thought, and I didn't bother to answer, which is something I sometimes did just to freak out the customers. She was not going to refuse my request to send her friend down. After all Melissa's own acquisition from my store had gotten her everything she'd wanted and more. She had the guy of her dreams, landed a job that made her more money than she had ever thought possible, and at the moment she was calling from a thirty-seven room home in the hills outside of town.
Reese. Melissa thought the name with such softness that I was expecting a beauty, who's innocence was matched only by her purity. I didn't expect the red headed, green eyed, wild child that stepped through my shop door after pulling right up to the big glass window on a bike that seemed more than three sizes too big for her. She nearly broke my door slamming it open like she did, and almost knocked over a shelf piled high with relics more ancient than Rome, Cairo, or even Atlantis itself.
"May I help you miss?" I asked, certain that this woman of fire could not be the Reese that Melissa was such friends with. After all Melissa had been such a shy and unassuming girl when I'd met her, and seemed to be so much her opposite.
"Yes, my name is Reese. Melissa said you might have something for me that I could use to show some lying sack of crap a lesson," she told me, in a voice that belonged in Carmen, singing her heart out to the world, not in some tough as nails biker witch with a thing for noise and explosions.
"Then I take it you are the former lover of Mr. Amon?" I asked her, naming the man whom she had recently left, or so I was told by Melissa. It was another of those relationships where neither party was really ready for commitment, but both decided to try anyway. As it would happen the male of this relationship took to dating cheap whores on the side, arising the ire of his mistress before he tossed her out of his life.
"Lover is a kind way to put it, but yes. I was told that you sell some interesting antiques here Mr.?" she said, asking after my name like they all do. I bet Melissa had already told her that I wouldn't say my name, for reasons of my own, but she was determined to try. Most women who came to me were. They usually gave up after a while, though some continued to try until their last breath. Reese looked like one of the latter.
"Just call me Old Man. I like that. And yes, I sell many interesting things here, from ages that mankind has forgotten, or never even knew existed," I told her, going over to the shelf where I had assembled my picks of the litter for her. The items I felt most likely to sate her lust for revenge. I brought the boxes out one by one, each made of crystal clear, or in some cases real crystal, glass that showed the objects, and had brief descriptions of their purpose.
"Please take you time and look these over. I'm sure you'll find something to your liking," I said, before turning back to the work I'd been doing before, namely carving runes into an old bracelet for another client who wanted to win an upcoming boxing match. The runes would increase his punch ten fold, at least to his opponent. A single good hit and he would go down. As I worked though I kept one eye one Reese as she read the lines on the boxes, and heard her laugh a few times at their descriptions.
The first item was in my opinion the best, though the price was outrageous. The Bone-Blade of the Gigas, the warrior who turned his back on the gods and cast his right arm into the Void for power. The sword could kill gods and cleave mountains with a single swing. If it even nicked a mortal man then his soul would be banished into eternal darkness. Of course since it was a one-of-a-kind artifact, my price was high. 100 years. She looked up after reading the price, and I know she wanted to ask, but like all my customers she didn't. They knew what it meant, and many would gladly pay it for what I would give them in return.
The other items I had assembled were equally as bad, though the Gigas' blade was certainly my favorite. I'm just a fan of the classics I suppose. Next to the blade was a torch that was fueled by the victim's soul, burning them up if you threw a single lock of hair into the fire. Internal combustion on demand for the user. The others ranged from a knife that would turn those cut with it to stone, and of course the ever classic Cask of Amontillado, that would entrap a single soul within until someone released it. Poe once beheld it and wrote a story about something similar, though he never did buy it. After all he already possessed a monkey's paw, so who needs a stupid wine cask?
The items though, did not do it for the lady Reese. She wanted something that would torment him in front of her, or at least in such a way that she knew he was being hurt. Eternity in the Void sounded like a nice bit of vengeance, but what good was it if she couldn't confirm that he was suffering, and see the agony on his face.
I normally would have gone back to the store room and pulled out some of my more ?exotic' for her to look over. Things that I knew most of my customers would never have been interested in, for reasons of conscience, or simply because the things they did weren't that useful, but I was confident that a woman of Reese's make would find something to suit her needs in my normal inventory, the stuff I displayed out front. I was right, though in a way that I'd never expected.
Do you know all those theories about how the ancients built the Pyramids, Stonehenge, and the Moi of Easter Island? Theories that range from alien intervention to the hand of the god. Well the truth is much more mundane than either of those. The simple fact was that an artesian by the name of Zayoe of Rhodes, desiring to create large monuments within his life time, commissioned the forging of an amulet that miniaturized the materials, so that he could carve his Colossus in only a few short months, and not the years such a project would really take.
The amulet became a fad for a time, and many empires could claim a few which were used to create lasting monuments to the glory of the people who lived on those lands, and it is true, many of these monuments still stand to this day, though there are some, like the Colossus itself, which have fallen to rigors of nature. Oddly enough these monuments have survived even the people who made them, and so none remember the builders, or the how and why of their creations.
"Does this work on anything?" she asked me, pointing at the display of one of the many copies of Zayoe's Amulet that I had.
"Yes," I told her, looking up from my work to stare at the item before answering.
"Even people?" she asked again, and this time I only nodded in response, not amused that she asked a question I had already answered. She almost jumped with excitement as she grabbed the Amulet off its stand, as well as a set of Raven Eyes. The Raven Eyes being a set of glass eyes that could be used to transmit what one eye saw to a mirror that was touched by its companion. Spy cameras of the ancient world, though they were powered by a drop of blood the user had to place on the pupil of each eye rather than by a battery.
"I'll take both of these then," she told me, placing the box with the Eyes and the Amulet on my counter before pulling out her purse.
"How much is it?" she asked, trying her best to ignore the signs on the items which said the prices were three months for the Eyes and four years for the Amulet. I didn't know then what she planned, and so I told her that she could borrow the items for free. I of course did not tell her that the Eyes would transmit everything she did, and allow me to view it as she did it. I did not tell her that what she showed me might be enough to pay for her items, though if not I would reclaim them upon the morrow
After she left I finished my normal routine, completing my runes and giving it to the man who would later go on to a career as a light weight champ. Of course he would die young, like a lot of the people in his field. Many would suspect a performance enhancer might be responsible, but no one would ever explain it, as a thirty-six year old man suddenly aged almost fifty years overnight, becoming a withered corpse in the span of two heartbeats.
Beyond that I did nothing, and got no more customers that day. Instead I simply watched the sun trek through the sky, something people have forgotten how to do. I'll never forget though, as it was while I was watching that bright sphere that I found my way into darkness, and eventually to the spot where I would...but that is another story. Not the one you are here to listen to.
My mirror, which was linked to all the Raven Eyes I sold, was blank in most places, meaning those Eyes were closed and still in the shop. But in one particular place the mirror shone brightly, and a single word expanded the image to fill the entire pane. I beheld in that mirror a man I knew must be Mr. Amon. His business suit spoke of a man who had all he wanted from life, but who was always searching for something more. Reese apparently had gotten into his home, where she'd lived but days earlier, and was now engaged in a candle light dinner with him. Another word and I could hear the voices of those displayed within.
"-t's been a nice evening Reese. I'm so glad you stopped by," he said, though I could tell from his voice that he was nervous.
"Oh I couldn't help it, Amon. Love like our's deserves a second chance," she told him in that voice of her's. It was melodic, and I could almost see the man's heart leap out to her, though I could see in his eyes that it was another part of his anatomy he was planning on throwing at he as soon as he could.
"I agree, though I can't believe you would go through all this trouble," he said, motioning towards the food before him. I had to admit the setup was elaborate, but I had no idea where she was going with it. If she wanted vengeance then why was she making him dinner? And then I noticed as she leaned down that while he had a full meal before him, her's was a simple steak, with a sprig of parsley on the side. Unlike him Reese had yet to touch her food, and I knew then what she planned to do.
An interesting use for an Amulet made to create works of art, and well worth a pair of Raven Eyes, though the Amulet itself would need to be returned to prevent her from doing this to anyone else. It wasn't that I was a kind man, after all I wouldn't sell the things I did if I was kind, but I couldn't let too many missing person cases happen close to my shop. Someone might begin to suspect something, and I didn't have good answers to all the questions the police would ask me.
I watched in anticipation as the man downed all of his meal, which had probably consisted of enough food to feed a family of four. I was quite surprised by this because the man did not appear to be large at all, though if rumors were to be believed the man took some kind of drug that made him faster and smarter while increasing his appetite. Whatever the case, Mr. Amon downed the last of his food and followed it with an entire glass of wine before turning his eye towards Reese again, and finally noticed her seeming lack of appetite.
"Are you not hungry, dear?" he asked, trying to sound pleasant, though they both knew the real question was, ?are you going to eat that?'
"Oh, I was just waiting for the right moment to add the last ingredient," she told him, and I watched through the Raven Eyes on her collar as she put her hand on her chest where I believed the Amulet to be and then began to say the magic words. The effect on the man across from her was instantaneous, and I could literally hear his voice get higher as he began to shrink, his arms raised in surprise as the floor rushed up at him.
"And I think that moment has arrived," she said, more to herself than to him, and got up from her seat to walk around the table to where the now bug sized man was scrambling about in blind panic. He rushed this way and that along the hardwood surface of his seat. I could hear his panicked cries for only a moment though, as the sound of laughter drowned it out.
"You know, you look just cute enough to eat now," she said to the bug sized man, who stared up at the form of the woman who had shrunk him. He obviously hadn't realized until that moment that the last ingredient of her meal was him, and when it hit him he tried to run away, but was quickly caught by a pair of huge fingers and lifted into the air. Reese, though I couldn't see it, I was confident was licking her lips, as the screaming of the small man became even more intense.
Walking back over to her seat I could hear Reese's breathing become more intense, and I was certain she was aroused as she placed the still screaming man onto her steak. He must have realized instantly that he had only one chance at freedom, and so took off towards the edge of the steak, but was cut off, quite literally, by Reese's knife, which she placed in front of his path, blocking his desperate attempt at an escape.
The eye then showed Reese's right hand reach across the table as her left continued to move the knife so that it was always in front of the poor man, who had yet to stop screaming. Growing bored with looking at him, I shifted my view to Reese's hand and watched as she unscrewed the lid on a bottle of steak sauce, and then slowly, almost cruelly, brought it over the man, and then tilted it just enough that a small stream of the gooey liquid rained upon him, muffling his cries, and then causing him to slip and fall face first into the surface below him.
I could hear Reese chuckle at the circumstances, and then watched as she set the bottle of steak sauce down and picked up a fork instead. Jamming into the steak she pinned the man's foot, which was just big enough to stay stuck between the prongs of the fork, so that his head was staring off the edge at freedom that he could not reach. I heard his screams go quite then, and I think he finally thought that he had no chance at escape and gave up. Such pansies these modern men are. In my day anyone trapped like that would have ripped off their own foot, but these days people think it better to be dead than maimed. Fools.
Reese, meanwhile, took a moment to survey her trapped prey, and laughed at his struggles. She really was a cruel woman, and I almost applauded her for her talent as she slowly rose from her seat, not worried at all that the man might escape. This seemed to make the man fall in on himself even more as he realized that she did not think he could escape at all, and he agreed with her assessment fully, and he only watched as she got up and went to a mirror on the side of the room.
My own view of the scene now split in two as Reese picked one of the Eyes off her collar and placed it in her hand. She looked right into the artifact for a moment, probably trying to think of a way around the next part, but finding none she pulled her other hand up and then cut it lightly on the tip with her knife. She pressed on her finger for a moment, and then when a big enough dollop of blood had formed she pressed it first into the eye in her hand, and then into the one still on her collar.
With the eyes prepared she placed the one in her hand on the dress upon which the mirror was mounted, and then proceeded to clear the dresser of anything that might get in the way of her view. She wanted a clear view of the action when it went down. With that act done she placed the eye gently next to the mirror, and then stopped to think for a second before just sticking the eye, pupil first, into the mirror, where it stuck as if it had been glued.
The instant the eye touched the mirror my view of the scene grew, as I saw things through the mirror itself. I knew from her gasp that Reese was seeing an amazing thing herself, as the mirror seemed to ripple for a moment, before it began to transmit the sight of the other eye to its brother. I think the man might have gasped too, though why I have no idea. After getting shrunk to about an inch or so tall the sight of a mirror rippling and then showing something other than it's reflection shouldn't be that impressive.
When her astonishment from the mirror wore off Reese finally picked the other eye off her collar and brought it to eye level. For a few moments she studied her face through the transmission of the eye, probably preparing herself for what she was about to do. I could see that for a moment, a brief moment, her resolve at revenge wavered, but when she looked back towards the man covered in goo on her steak, it returned with full force, and without hesitation she popped the eye into her mouth.
She stared at the mirror for a time, probably checking to see if it was bright enough inside her to watch Mr. Amon suffer like she wanted. She needn't have worried of course, as the eye, in places of darkness, would emit it's own light, which could be seen only through the mirror which its translated the image it saw to. Kind of like night vision goggles, but much more efficient, and without the need to be on location to fix problems.
Seeing the image of the inside of her mouth gave Reese another moment of pause, and I watched as she played with the eye using her tongue for a bit. I must admit, it was quite a nice mouth, as far as things go, with white teeth, and a tongue that looked velvety soft. She grew bored with the view much sooner than I would have liked, and swallowed the eye, which provided one with an interesting view of her throat. The walls around the eye, pink and soft, closed in on all sides, guiding the eye as it slowly moved downward towards a chamber at the bottom. For a few seconds I thought she might have accidently sent the eye into her lungs, as the passage seemed to just end and the eye stopped moving, but then with a surprising speed the passage burst open, and the eye fell to the soft flesh of her stomach's floor.
Reese nodded into the mirror, and I nodded back at her, watching her in the left side of my mirror, while the right held the image of the eye within her gut. It bounced and swayed oddly as she walked over to her table, and I thought I wouldn't be able to see Mr. Amon again until he had reached her belly, but Reese, wanting the best view she could get, dragged first her chair over to the dresser, and then carried her plate over to it so that she was right in front of the mirror which showed the view of her stomach. I was vaguely amused as she looked down at the still trapped form of her former lover, and then spoke to him in hushed tones.
"Do you like the view?" she asked, waving her hand over the mirror, and swirling her plate so that he was staring right into it.
"You're going to be getting a first hand look in a moment," she said, almost sweetly, and I could hear the man screaming again.
"Come on Reese. You can't do this. It's murder!" he shouted at her in a high pitched voice from her plate. I found the image laughable, and obviously so did Reese as she leaned back and began to laugh, which threw the eye about in her belly, which seemed to only height the displeasure of Mr. Amon.
"Now my little appetizer, who's going to find you. You'll just be another missing person, one of hundreds, wit no clue as to where you went. The cops may question me, but they'll never think to scan my stomach, and even if they do it will be far too late for you my tasty friend," she told him, picking up the knife she'd set on the side of the plate. His rhetoric continued as she slowly, delicately, cut the beef around him into a little square, and I found myself quite impressed with her skill. The Inquisition could have used a woman like her.
After cutting away the piece of meat to which Mr. Amon was stuck she then set the knife down and stared at him with a judging eye. Oh the Inquisition wouldn't have deserved this woman. The Illuminati would have been the only ones to bring out her full potential. The man's screaming stopped as he stared up into those eyes, and I could almost hear the wheels in his head turning. He realized then and there that he was dead, and that screaming was not going to do any good, as those judging eye became plates of steel.
Reese, after holding Amon's gaze for a few moments, picked up the fork which held him, and brought him and the piece of steak up to her eye level. For a while she tried to make it so that she could see him as he went into her mouth, but after a while she gave up and placed the fork in front of her mouth so that Amon was laying down on the prongs, with the steak between him and her. That bit of beef proved less of a shield than he would have probably liked, as she slowly brought both it and him towards her mouth, which yawned open like a cavern of doom, awaiting its victim.
I was not surprised as his screams intensified at the view before him. Little tendrils of saliva were dripping from the roof of the mouth towards a bottom that he would not have been able to see from his view, though he would certainly have been able to see the way her teeth gleamed in the light of his dinning room. He tried futilely to pull his foot from between the prongs of the fork, or even rip it off now, but it was too late as he went into that slimy, pink cavern, which shut around him, cutting off his last scream.
I watched in fascination as Reese withdrew the fork from her mouth, knowing that inside her maw Amon was now pressed between her front teeth and the steak with which he had been devoured. I could imagine his horror all to well, as I had a similar experience, though mine happened to be with a giant lizard creature rather than a woman. As I stared on Reese was obviously having a bit of trouble as the man refused to sit still within her mouth, pushing at the walls around him trying to get out.
Reese herself was at a bit of a bind. I know she had intended to swallow Amon whole, leaving him to suffer inside her stomach, but she had literally bitten off more than she could chew, as the piece of steak she had to cut off with the man was too large for her to swallow and not risk choking on it. She just sat still for several minutes considering her options, and then, without any warning at all opened her mouth so that I could see within.
I had been right. Amon had been pounding at the teeth around him, and when they suddenly opened like they did he went sprawling into the space between her gums and lips. Reese then quickly curled her lips in such a way as to prevent the man's escape as she slowly chewed the steak up, and I knew she had probably left just enough room that Amon could see as his former ride, which was many times thicker than him, was easily reduced to mush by the boulders around him.
Finished with that Reese closed her mouth and made an audible gulp as she swallowed her first bite, and then opened up her lip so that her tongue could scope up the saliva and sauce coated form of Amon, and then draw him kicking and screaming back into that soft cavern of flesh, that closed on one of his screams again. I don't know if she was actually playing with him within her mouth, or if she was having a bit of difficulty with the man, which was probably the first live thing she'd ever put in her mouth, which meant it was also the first thing to ever fight against going down.
He didn't fight long though. Whether through exhaustion or simply giving up, his struggles inside her mouth came to end as he slid to the back of her mouth, and I watched a small lump, which seemed to be resisting the downward pull, travel towards its final destination. I had watched as the masticated bit of meat fell from the small hole in the ceiling to the floor of her stomach, and as everywhere it touched began to vibrate and excrete some kind of liquid. When Mr. Amon fell though, the ground gave way before him, and he sank into it's fleshy folds.
Reese, staring into the image of the eye through her mirror, smiled at it, obviously enjoying the sensation of Amon as he tried to stand in her belly, and then his cries of pain and hatred as her laughter caused his entire world to shake, sending him to the ground which was greeting him in it's usual way of pumping out acid. Already his hands were red as he pulled them off the ground and stared at them in what was to him probably near pitch darkness, and his cloths, which had been a pair of nice slacks, were now full of holes and such.
I could imagine his horror, and I found that like Reese it was intoxicating. This man had been nothing but a ball of fluff, not really useful for anything, even in this ?modern' world, but Reese had found a use for him. A bit of spice in her evening repast. A good use for him if there was one, at least in my humble opinion. His opinion was obviously somewhat different as he stumbled over to the eye, knowing that she could see through it, and begging her to let him out.
Her answer was not what I would have expected from her, as instead of laughing or saying anything to him, she went back to her meal. Calmly she cut another piece of her steak off, and just as calmly she ate it. As if nothing were different about this meal than a hundred others she'd eaten. Amon, as the sound of grinding meat translated down her throat, looked up in incomprehension, until he heard that familiar gulp sound, and then watched as bits of chewed up steak rained from the ceiling and down around him.
I looked again to see him fall to his knees and wail as the walls around him, sensing more than just a small snack, began to ooze with acid, causing it to collect in small puddles around the doomed man. He stared at these puddles, obviously not sure what to do now, but then, like a true warrior, he picked himself up and cried out one last act of defiance against the captor that was trying to doom him. He flung himself at the spongy wall with all his force, and the wall grew hard, accepting his attack with a solidity it had not been demonstrating a moment before.
Reese jumped as the sensation came from inside her, and that small jump caused the man to be flung back off his feet, and land on a small bit of her stomach that suddenly jumped itself as Reese's stomach began to churn. Reese stared into the mirror for a few moments, enjoying the scene inside her belly as it tossed the man about like a rag doll, before throwing him right into one of the standing pools of acid, which bubbled as he broke its surface screaming in pain.
She did not laugh at his pain, and on her face I saw not the face of someone who was enjoying suffering for its own sake, but the face of someone who felt justice was being done. She stared into that mirror before her with such passion, and I watched as she continued to cut away at her meal, sending even more food down to make her stomach work that much harder. Slowly the air inside her became a miasma, and we both watched as at last Amon's lungs gave under the pressure of the acidic air, finally falling into a pool for the last time.
Reese nodded at the mirror after this, and feeling sated, she finished her meal and then pulled the eye off of it. Feeling my bloodlust too was slated I turned my mirror off as well, and slowly prepared myself for another night of dreams of the old days. Before I went to bed though I reminded myself to thank Reese for a very interesting evening, as well as to get the Amulet back before she used it on anyone else. As I said before, one missing person was nothing, but I knew a woman like Reese might well become attracted to that kind of power. Maybe begin using it regularly on people who wanted her to do something she did not want to do...