Demon of Death
Paul R. Wonning
Jason Derr clicked on his calendar and studied the posts. The rest of the day was open. The computer clock read eleven thirty. It had been a busy morning in his small office on Main Street and the afternoon would be a pleasant relief. He decided to take an early lunch and then come back and work on the policy applications he had written up in the morning. He minimized the screen. Cindy’s face peered at him from the desktop. He smiled as he thought of her. Her name was Lucinda Meir, but everyone called her Cindy because she hated her real name.
She would be on duty today, making a perfect excuse to eat lunch at the German Haus where she worked as a waitress. He ate there often. He hit on her several times before she finally agreed to go on a date with him. They had been together now for about five months. He could see her over lunch and perhaps even make a date with her for the evening. He put the computer to sleep, got up from his desk and locked the door on the way out after changing the door sign to “Back at 1:00.”
He crossed the street to the restaurant. The sun was shining and it promised to be a warm day. It was too nice a day to spend cooped up in his office. He walked up the ramp to the entry, opened the door and walked in. The place was just starting to fill up with the lunchtime crowd but there were still numerous tables available. Cindy saw him as he stood in the waiting area. She smiled and walked over to greet him.
“Hey, Jason,” she said, her eyes sparkling with pleasure. “Do you want a table?”
Jason nodded, and Cindy led him to one near the rear of the dining room. He watched her hips swivel in the short dress she wore as she strode along. She had her long black hair drawn back into a ponytail and silver hoop earrings that jingled at each step. She slid a menu on the table as he sat down. He ran his hand over the back of her smooth nylon clad thigh as he slid into his chair. She gave him a menacing look as she gave his hand a light slap. “Not now, finger man.”
“Sorry Cindy, but you look so damned fine I just can’t resist you.”
The menacing look disappeared, replaced by a sly smile. “Hey, I get off at 1:30. How about we hook up for the afternoon?”
A warm thrill ran through Jason’s body. “That sounds good, Cindy. I have had a crazy morning and could use a bit of a break. Should I pick you up here?”
“Yes, my car is in the shop until tomorrow. Mary was going to take me home, but you can do that.”
Jason nodded, saying, “That will give me time to tie up some loose ends in the office.”
“I’ll just walk across the street and meet you there, then. What do you want to eat?”
Jason glanced at Cindy, a mischievous smile on his face as he whispered, “You.”
Her eyes narrowed as she replied, “You can’t do that here, steam boat. What sort of food do you want?”
Jason glanced at the menu and answered, “I’ll just have the special. That will be quick. I can eat fast and go to the office to finish up.”
“Okay,” she said. She swirled and walked away. A few minutes later, she returned with his food. She put the plate on the table and bent to give him a light kiss as she did.
Jason caught the faint scent of her coconut body oil as her lips brushed his. He took her fingers in one hand and peered into her eyes.
“God, I love you,” he said.
She smiled and purred, “I bet you say that to all the girls.”
He watched her as she walked away. The afternoon had suddenly taken on a quite different flavor.
They rode along the country road, Cindy’s hair flying free in the breeze. The band that had held it in the ponytail lay on the console between them. She had slipped her shoes off and sat, one foot tucked up under her thigh as the convertible hummed along. Her pretty voice was singing along with a song playing on the radio. Jason wanted it to be this way always.
“You could have at least taken me home to change,” she said.
“I have this thing for waitress uniforms,” he replied.
“Where are we going?”
“There is a little quarry pond just off this road I know of. We can toss out a blanket and just lie in the grass and enjoy the day.”
“Don’t the owners ever come here?”
He slowed the car and turned in a narrow gravel lane. Jason could hear the faint rush of the grass in the green strip in the middle of the lane hissing as it brushed against the bottom of the car.
“It doesn’t seem like too many people come back here.”
“They don’t. The owners live in Ohio and only come here on holiday weekends in the summer.”
The reached the end of the lane and Jason pulled the car into grassy spot which overlooked a small lake.
“This is a beautiful spot, Jason. And quiet.”
She slipped her shoes back on, tied them and then brushed her hair back behind her shoulders with both hands.
“This convertible is wonderful, Jason, but it makes a mess of my hair.”
“I think your hair looks wonderful.”
“You would,” she said. She opened the door and got out of the car. She walked to the edge of the pond and asked, “Who mows it?”
“There is a neighbor who likes to come out here in the evenings to fish. He takes care of the place for them. He keeps a close eye on the place on weekends now, to keep the partiers out.”
She stooped to smell some pink flowers that were blooming at the edge of the water.
“These smell divine. I wonder what they are.”
“My mom likes to garden. She has some like that in her flowerbeds. I think they are sweet peas.”
They watched as a butterfly landed on one. Its wings pulsed as it drank the nectar.
“I don’t know what is prettier,” she said, “the butterfly or the flower.”
Jason opened the trunk and pulled out a large blanket.
“Welcome to my pad,” he said as he spread it out over the fragrant grass next to the water. He pulled a cooler from the back seat and laid it beside the blanket.
“I had time to pick up some cold beer at the liquor store,” he said as he reached inside, pulled two out. He untwisted one and handed it to Cindy. She raised the bottle and took a generous drink, the bottle gurgling as air bubbles replaced the liquid inside the bottle.
“That is good,” she said as she sat the bottle down.
Jason took a sip of his.
Cindy sat down on the blanket and took another pull.
“Gosh, Jason, it is quiet out here.”
“We could be the only two people in the whole world, Cindy.”
“Yes, you can’t hear anything except crickets and those cicadas singing in the trees.”
They drank their beers in silence, enjoying the sun and the light breeze that rustled the leaves on the trees.
“It is getting a little warm,” Cindy said as she finished the beer. She reached down and began untying her shoe.
Jason reached for her hand and pulled it away.
“I want to do that,” he said. “I want to take my time with you.”
Their eyes met, both sets filled with anticipation.
He pushed her back on the blanket and kissed her. He felt her hand at the back of his neck as she pulled him closer. He could smell her fragrance and feel the softness of her hair as he stroked it.
He unbuttoned her blouse and felt the warmness of her breasts as he stroked them. The nipples hardened under his gentle caress. She rose slightly, allowing him to unbutton her bra. He removed her blouse and then the bra, laying them in the green grass by the blanket. He unbuttoned the skirt and slid the zipper down. She tilted her buttocks and he slid it off. Then he untied her shoes and removed them. Running his fingers along her long legs, he reached the top of her pantyhose. He pulled them down, sliding them off her soft, pretty feet. He ran his eyes over her, as she lay naked in the shade of the tree.
He removed his own clothing and lay beside her. They made gentle love in the soft breeze of the summer afternoon.
When Jason awoke, he felt Cindy’s soft fingers caressing his cheek. He sat up.
“How long did I sleep?”
“Not long. I did too. But I heard some fish slapping at the surface of the pond and I woke up.”
Jason sat up and looked at the water.
“Why does this pond seem different than other ponds? I don’t see a dam.”
“It is an old quarry pond.”
“What’s a quarry pond?”
“They used to quarry limestone here in the old days. When they quit digging out the stone, it filled with water. There are lots of these around here. Limestone underlies this whole area.”
“The water looks nice and clear. We could go swimming.”
“We don’t have suits.”
“Who needs suits?”
Cindy stood up and walked to the edge of the water. She sat on a large rock at the waters edge.
She looked back at him and noted hesitation on his face.
“What’s wrong, Jason? You look afraid.”
“This pond is haunted.”
Cindy smiled and teased, “Haunted? I have never heard of a haunted pond.”
“They say a man hurled himself in here a long time ago, drowning himself. They say that on dark nights, you can see his ghost as it moves along the surface of the water.”
“Cool, a haunted pond.”
“I saw the ghost myself, Cindy.”
Her fascinated eyes focused on his as she said, “You actually saw this ghost?”
“Yeah. A few of us came out here one Saturday night when I was in high school. We had beer and were having a good time. It was summer and it was a warm night. A couple of the girls suggested skinny-dipping. We all stripped down. Just as I started to get in the water, we saw it.”
“What did it look like?”
Jason paused, remembering.
“It looked like a face. A horrible face. It was sort of misty and illuminated by the moonlight.”
“We watched it as it sort of slid along under the water. Then it just sort of sank and disappeared.”
“Did you swim?”
“No, we all got dressed, gathered our stuff and left.”
Cindy smiled and said, “End of the party.”
“That’s not all, Cindy. There have been a couple of other drowning accidents here, too. Both were young men and both were good swimmers.”
Cindy touched the water with a bare toe.
“It feels nice and cool, Jason. It would be fun. I have never been skinny dipping before.”
She plunged both feet into the water and said, “Ooh, that feels good, Jason. Come on. It will be cool.”
Jason hesitated. The deaths, after all, were had been a few years ago.
“What about the ghost?”
“Jason, what you saw was mist rising over the water in the moonlight. You had all been drinking.”
“But we all saw it.”
“It was mass hysteria, Jason. One of you thought you saw a ghost and the others thought they saw what you saw. There is no ghost, Jason.”
“What about the drowning deaths?”
“Drownings happen, Jason. Maybe they had been drinking. Maybe they got cramps. There are a lot of reasons, Jason.”
Jason looked at Cindy as she sat on the bank, her long dark hair flowing over her naked shoulders. He caught a glimpse of her breasts as they glowed in the late afternoon sun.
“Okay, we’ll do it.”
Cindy smiled and pushed herself into the cool water. She began swimming towards the center of the pond.
Jason sat on the edge, and followed her in. He swam just behind her. She stopped and stood up.
“There is a big rock out here, Jason.”
Jason was soon standing beside her. They were in the middle of the quarry pond. All around the forest loomed. He could see his little red convertible parked under the tree by the lane.
“Neat,” he said.
Cindy found the edge of the rock and sat down. The water immersed her from the waist down. Water dripped from her nipples, creating small concentric rings as they impacted the water. Jason jumped back into the deeper water, swam in a circle, and approached Cindy who smiled at him from her perch on the rock.
She reached for him as he approached. He felt her arms around him. She bent and they kissed. His feet found a ledge to stand on. Their eyes met. He could feel his body reacting to her body. He felt her long legs encircle him.
They kissed again. She moaned as he entered her.
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