Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.
May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others
and a love within recall that alters you.
Harris peeled off his tee-shirt while he looked around his apartment. The acrid smell of his scorched flesh mingled with the burned plastic of Andy’s face tinged the air. There were scorch marks on the wall around the socket where Andy’s charge pad was plugged. That space was empty without Andy to greet him. He unplugged the charge pad.
He opened the balcony door to let in fresh air and went to his bedroom to pack his bag for Aruba. The cool air felt good on his burns. The sun on Andicuri Beach would do be good for them. Two shirtless weeks would heal them up quickly.
All he needed were a few tee-shirts and shorts anyway. Casa Della was nearly nudist. It was the one place outside his apartment where he felt fine going shirtless and exposing his big fat belly to the world.
He tossed his passport into his carry on. The police had his lap top. Andy had recorded most of the assault onto it so they kept it for evidence. Tavi better not mind that he couldn’t do work while he was away.
Tooth brush, tooth paste. His bag was packed.
He got the boarding pass, printed out at his Dad’s office before coming here to pack, out of the side pocket to double check his departure times. He checked on his cell to make sure the times hadn’t change. They had. He wrote the new times on the pass.
He went to the kitchen to unplug the microwave, the coffee maker. Anything with timers that might accidentally go on while he was away. In the kitchen he could smell cinnamon. He checked the cupboard to see if something had gotten spilled. Nothing.
In the living he was stunned to see Becky. Naked. He was sure he had shut his apartment door behind him when he came in.
“What the fuck?”
“Harris I was worried. How are you?”
She put her hands on his shoulders. His burns began to ache.
“A girl can worry can’t she.” she cocked her head with an amused smile. “Hurts does it? Being burned like that must have hurt a lot.”
She ran her hands along his arms and where she touched began to throb.
“Imagine being burned at the stake.” She breathed into his ear. “Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.”
“You know about that?” he stepped back.
“Mais oui. Puissiez-vous être embrassé par un amour au-delà de rappel qui modifie d’autres et un amour au sein de rappeler que vous avez modifie.”
She pushed him on to the couch on to his back and crawled on top of him. Her kisses burned on his face.
“Who, or better yet, what the fuck are you?”
“Did you imagine it would that uncomplicated – to just give me away.”
“You’re the curse?”
“I am no curse.” she whispered. “A gift. A blessing. Jesus brought life to Lazarus that was His blessing. What became of Lazarus? What did he do with His blessing? I am a Lazarus blessing Harris. Mei wewe kuwa kuvutiwa na upendo zaidi ya kukumbuka kuwa alters wengine na upendo ndani ya kukumbuka kuwa alters wewe.”
“Why do you think you recovered so quickly? Why John’s device didn’t kill you. The gift was protection too.”
Harris pushed her away. Her flesh burned his hands.
“You read too many comic books Harris. Don’t fight me Harris. Yes, you have divested your family of the blessing. I congratulate you. Not many have managed that. Not many have tried to. But there is consequence. As a child of Lazarus it my duty to keep the blessing alive. Remember what happened to Rowell after he had divested his family of the blessing.”
“He was burned at the stake.”
“Yes. Now that you have freed yourself you will have to pay as well.” Her lips burned his nipples.
“Not as sweet as Alex doing that, is it. Too bad that was about as far as you got with him.”
She grappled with his belt buckle. He heaved his hips and knocked her to the floor. He scrambled up as fast as he could.
“Harris you can’t escape.” She was between him and the door. “You don’t want to die. Rowell died because he didn’t have time to leave his seed. Your seed will spawn a child to carry it on.”
Smoke came from the electrical outlets.
“My. My. There’s been a short circuit in the faulty wiring in your condo. How tragic this will be.”
He turned to the the balcony. She shoved his shoulders the same way the stalker had.
“Familiar?” she snickered in his ear.
“You made him ….”
“No. But when momentum builds I add more propulsion. The price of giving me away includes giving away your life.”
He turned quickly to shove her. Her nails cut his face. Her burning hands couldn’t be pushed away. She kept kissing him on the lips, shoulders and nipples. Each kiss smouldered and blistered.
“When you became aware it was a signal that it was time to move. To continue the blood line.”
“What about Sheila? Is she …. one of you ….?”
“Oh yes. There are four Lazarus blessings. Sheila brings abundance, I bring love. One brings intelligence, another articulation. Many of us carry them into the world.”
She pushed him to the couch, pulled his pants off and straddled him.
“You are aroused by this Harris. You cannot resist.”
He grabbed his boarding pass and pen. As his cock entered her Harris muttered the words of the curse. He scribbled them jaggedly on his boarding pass. “Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.”
Becky grabbed his pen and crushed it to ash. “You gave this away already.”
He pushed his cock into her. She shuddered with pleasure. Her mouth dropped open. He crumpled the pass, wiped blood on it from her scratch on his cheek and shoved into her open mouth. The cinnamon smell overwhelmed him as dense smoke filled the room.
“How did you you … know.”
“Return to sender.” He muttered. It took both his hands to keep her mouth closed.
Her face oozed away from his fingers. “You cannot free yourself from what you keep hidden in yourself.”
Becky shook, shrank and disintegrated at the same time. Flakes of red swirled in the air, out the balcony door and into the sky.
The smoke thickened and he lost consciousness.
He was on on the ocean side patio of Casa Della. The sun was glaring in his eyes. His mother was feeding him his favorite sweet potato butternut squash soup.
He put his sunglasses on and dozed off in the sun. Each time he woke the sun was in his eyes and as he was fed slow spoonfuls of food. At times it was his father feeding his chunky chicken noodle, other times it was Nalisha feeding him a savoury curried rice. One time he woke with Alex lifting his legs and folding them in and out like a folding chair. Another time Alex holding him up while rubbing lotion on his back.
He woke with a start. Opened his eyes. He was back in his room at home. The Green Lantern clock by his bed read 7:15. He couldn’t tell if was morning or evening. He pushed himself up from the bed and put his feet gingerly on the floor.
Yes. He was in his old bedroom and he wasn’t dreaming.
He could hear talking downstairs. There was a pair of his old gym shorts still in the same drawer he kept them.
He went downstairs. His parents were at the kitchen table.
“Look who has arisen.” His mother got up and hugged him. He winced. “Sorry I forgot about those burns.”
“What day is it?”
“Wednesday.” His father pushed a plate of French toast to invite him to sit down. “Try solid food.”
“Hell. Last thing I remember was Monday night.” Harris sat. “I was supposed to go to …”
“Don’t worry. I’m a lawyer. I got them to hold your reservations.”
“Thanks. What … how did I get here and not the hospital.”
“You signed yourself out and we brought you here. Don’t you remember?”
“Not at all.”
“The smoke in your place set off the fire alarm.”
“As it should.” his mother added.
“There was short circuit where your …. toy … had been plugged in. The fire department said there had been a power surge when it was tasered. It wasn’t till you unplugged the charge pad that the short circuit set off. You passed out in the smoke.”
Between bites of French toast and sausages Harris told his parents about the fight with Becky and the Lazarus blessing.
“So that’s why you kept talking about Lazarus in your sleep.” his mother said. “When I woke you to feed you …. You remember that don’t you …”
“In a way … I thought I was in Aruba enjoying the beach when you were tending to me.”
“How did you figure that out?”
“That giving the blessing back to her would have any affect all.”
Harris spread marmalade on an English muffin “Slap Shott just came to me. Really. Return to sender.”
The blank expression on his parents faces made him want to laugh.
“The comic book. I didn’t know if it would do anything at that moment but it seemed worth a try. Maybe Nalisha will know more. Nalisha was here?”
“Yes. The only visitors we let you have were Trevor and his Aunt.” His father said.
“She’s a very interesting woman.” his mother nodded.
“If you ever want to settle down your mother and I think Nalisha would be a great catch.”
“I suppose. I don’t feel ready for … love.”
“If the spell is finally broken you better get ready.” his mother laughed.
After lunch he dropped into dE.tail where he had to show off his bruises and burns. Tavi texted him to come to her office.
The door swung open before he could knock and shut behind him when he went in. This time there was chair for him to sit but no one in the chair on the other side of the desk. He sat.
“Harris we’re all so happy your survived.”
“Me too.” He wasn’t sure which way to look when he spoke. Talking to an empty chair didn’t seem right.
“You’ve certainly earned that vacation.”
“Let’s hope I get to take it.” he laughed.
“If you haven’t heard Daria from Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe is thrilled with the attention all this has brought. They will be creating an entire line of security monitor equipment now.”
“With functional … parts.”
“Only if the purchaser wishes. This has broken them into a whole new market. Her sales have gone through the roof. She mentioned stealing you away from us.”
“dE.tail doesn’t want that to happen. We’ll match any offer.”
“Oh yes and you’ll have that in writing too.”
“When are you leaving for Aruba?”
“That’s next on the agenda. My Dad made them hold my reservations. I hope he got that in writing.”
“One last thing before you go. Check your cubical.”
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