“I’m done. I won’t do this. I can’t.”
While sitting on the old sofa, the young man rested his forehead on his long arms. After giving everything for the only person he knew loved him, he realized that he could not proceed anymore. It was a dead-end. All this killing and blood lust, and for what? To please her. She was constantly asking and demanding but he– he was simply caught in her web of lies and deceits. She was his own Black Widow and every time he satisfied her she was devouring him from the inside.
“I’m telling you Raven. It’s over. People are suspicious now. In my last murder I was spotted. They saw a tall lean man wearing black leaving from Mr. Usher’s house. My cover is blown. I can’t do this.”
“Mr. Poe… Why –oh why– you should be so persistent? I understand all the difficulties you may encounter. But let me tell you this: it’s all for the greater good. You see, you are the one who brought me back from the dead. You are the one who asked me to save your lover. And in order to do that you have to trust me. And obey me.”
The pale girl came closer to Mr. Poe and touched his cheek. He felt an unearthly fire rising from within. It was true– he revived her to do exactly what the Unholy Scriptures would say; he needed to save Ligeia. He could not do without her. Ligeia was his safe haven, his darling and his bride. He loved her with every inch of his heart; he ached for her and that was the reason why he had to save her from eternal damnation.
“I have done as you wished Raven. It’s only a matter of time before they found me. I have to lay low. Can’t you see how it’s all messed up after visiting the Ushers? I shouldn’t have touched Madeleine. I shouldn’t have given her these uncanny fits. She was buried alive for God’s sake! You have turned me into a psycho killer!”
Raven caught his trembling hands and brought them on her chest right where her heart was supposed to be located. He didn’t feel any pulse. She was an undead– a female demon from the other side.
But anytime Mr. Poe touched Raven he failed to recollect the reasons of his animosity towards her. He was only aware of a growing sensation under his skin, of an amazing warmth in his cheeks and of an extraordinary tremor which affected his limbs. He was unable to deny Raven anything; with her black hair and obsidian eyes she hypnotized him. He still could not forget the first night they made love to each other. Her touch enthralled him and her kisses… they suffocated him. She was the embodiment of life and death at the same time– so much passion and so much coldness, so much lust and so much silence.
“My dearest Edgar, you were meant to give me form and pull me out from oblivion. I was lost without you. I know you also were lost without me. And now that I’m here, now that I’m next to you and I’m staring deep into your hazel eyes, I know that your urge to make love to me again is only natural. Because you have realized by now that I am the true Ligeia; I am the one you seek to protect, not that pathetic girl next-door. You are mine dear and I… I am yours.”
And with that, Raven’s hair grew longer and curlier. Her lips became fuller and her eyes had the most amazing eyelashes Mr. Poe ever witnessed. She was so much like… She really did resemble…. But no, that could not be true. Simply because Raven was going to cure Ligeia. She was not taking her place or anything like that, was she?
Mr. Poe now was unable to tell the difference. The girl in front of him, the girl sitting on his lap was not only Raven but also Ligeia. They shared the same facial features and the same slender body, the same long fingers and the same beautiful smile. But Mr. Poe found the power and, surprisingly enough, he pushed this doppelganger away from him. At the same time, he heard Ligeia’s soft cries from the bedroom.
“Why are you doing this? You’re not her! Leave her face alone! You can never be her. She is the one I love, not you!”
Mr. Poe ran towards the small bedroom and found Ligeia coughing and spitting blood from her petite mouth. Her lips were dry and her hair were thinner than usual. She was dying and Mr Poe could do nothing anything more than simply wait for a miracle. Or Raven’s intervention.
“Oh my love, please stay with me. I’ll find a way and get you back; I promise. I’ll do that and then we can move back to Philly. I swear, baby, I’ll do anything to save you.”
Evil laughing was heard from behind the door. Mr. Poe gently laid down Ligeia and after kissing her tenderly on the forehead, he moved towards the sound. Raven was there half-naked and she was laughing a devilish laugh; the air in the house was colder than usual and her skin was brighter than before.
She approached him and stopped a breath away.
“You must fool yourself Edgar if you think that you’re able to deny me. I still remember your body melting onto mine the day you first raised me from Purgatory. I still remember how you shouted and cried from pleasure when I did this… and this….”
Raven touched Mr. Poe in places he could not name and he felt the sexual excitement in his boiling blood. He wanted her. He yearned for her. He desired her with all the power of his will; she was a seductress and he failed to resist her every time she pulled these kind of tricks on him.
Raven licked his ear lob and pulled gently Mr Poe’s hair. He groaned and realized he could not hold back. He took her in his arms and started kissing her delicious lips. He pushed her onto the nearest wall and bit her breasts. She moaned and begged him to continue. Mr Poe grabbed her waist with his right hand; with his left he held her wrists firmly on the wall and let loose.
Raven cried from pleasure and managed to utter something, before they finally reached their apex.
“Edgar, you can never get away from me. I’m your poison and you love sipping me.”
Later that night Mr. Poe woke up from a dreamless sleep. The naked body of Raven was next to him and he could feel her eyes in the dark. Despite the fact that she assumed a female body to enter the realm of the living, she was still a demon of Purgatory and that meant that she did not perform any basic human functions like sleeping or eating. However, her sexual desire was insatiable; Mr. Poe sometimes thought that Raven indulged in such activities in order to fill the void inside her. She was dead and somehow she had to manage walking as a living person, look like one and act like one. But of course, Mr. Poe pondered on these things when he was out of Raven’s reach; when she was away trying to resurrect other demons or when she was performing rituals which included the sacrifice of innocent people.
Mr. Poe could not think clearly when he was near her. And yet, he still hoped that his newly discovered talent of reviving satanic spirits and in that case Raven’s would salvate his lady Ligeia.
Ligeia was always a strange girl; she knew lots about lots, she had guided him throughout their first years together into fulfilling his destiny as a necromancer. She was the light in his life and he felt certain that upon losing her, he would lose his mind and possibly be committed to a mad house. Ligeia held this power over him– she made him whole in an eerie way and yet, he could not remember when he first laid eyes on her. The only thing that he seemed to recall anytime he was close to her was his mad and irrational love for her dark curly hair and black eyes; she moved like a shadow and felt cold– yet, when they made love she unleashed such a fiery temper, it was hard for one not to fall in love with her.
Such were the thoughts of Mr. Poe alongside Raven’s naked body and such was his confusion every time he tried to think of Ligeia– for he could not shape her image without merging it with Raven’s. And how could he remember his sexual consummation with Ligeia when he had not touched her for over a year? For a year had passed since she fell down with an unexplained illness and six months since Raven was resurrected in his attic.
“I have to go for a walk Raven. I have to clear my head.”
Mr. Poe got dressed and without looking back at Raven, he stormed out of the small wooden door of his semi-detached house. And Raven did not attempt to stop him. She let him go for she knew that he was a lost cause.