Congratulations! Short Story 06 Winner is...... TheOnly13 Aphrodisiac My days had all changed that autumn night when Next-Dream had finally broken through to the next barrier. It was inevitable, I guess, with the world of technology advancing around us so quickly. The thought of being able to manipulate ‘love’ was too powerful for me to grasp. Being an employee, I understood that the aphrodisiac couldn’t ever be released, but the idea of forcing love upon someone intrigued me. I wasn’t able to grasp it; how the hormones in the human body could be so directly stimulated into falling into an enhanced combination of love and lust by a simple device. The thought that anyone in the world could fall instantly head-over-heels for someone like me was too far outside the box. I was consumed. I wasn’t one of the direct manufacturers of the product, but understood bits and pieces of how it worked. It was almost like the “self-hypnotizing products” of the past that never worked, except ours had been tested. I’d heard many things about the results. Women fell for men, and became almost like predators, wanting nothing but satisfaction that was only chemically induced. Basically, I’d learned, the product was a CD that had hidden messages imprinted into the lyrics. Convincing someone to listen to it while sleeping? The aphrodisiac would have them awaken in love and lust. I lusted for a day where things would be different for me. I wanted freedom from the monotonous life of waking, working, and waiting. All that time, I’d thought love would never come to me. Now it seemed like it had fallen into my lap. I was determined to take a sample of the product that would never be released, and use it for myself. What good was something like this unless it was used outside of closed doors? For the betterment of science, I told myself. Oh, such lies. I wasn’t the type of girl to stand out in a crowd; I was short, and somewhat skinny, but I was just bland. My eyes were a deep brown, to match my hair, and my figure wasn’t anything that drew attention from guys on the street. My last kiss had been college, in my sophomore year. I still remembered every second of it, because of how much I regretted it the next morning. Its strange how one little slip up can change your life completely. I was the partying type, and I loved to go out and drink away all my problems. Eventually it went too far. Eventually I was lying in my room being pressed against my bed, screaming in a mixture of pleasure and pain as Jared Matthews went in and out of me. Jared Matthews. The soccer captain that got around. The type of guy I wanted nothing to do with. So now that I was recalling my motives and seriously ready to take the CD for myself, I was determining in my head who’d I’d have listen to it. There was always Damien, the guy down the street who was always nice to me. He wasn’t too bad, either. I decided that, just for the express purpose of seeing how real this could get, I’d try it. After taking a copy of the CD for myself, and convincing Damien to check out a “really cool” new band, I decided to wait up the whole night. I laid in bed and stared at the TV, only half listening to Conan O’Brien’s usual opening routine, when I started thinking about how life would be. I was enjoying it. I didn’t even realize, however, that I fell asleep. It was nine in the morning, a Saturday in November, when he first knocked at the door. He embraced me, and kissed me softly, almost as if he knew that was exactly what I’d wanted. The words we exchanged were meaningless. It was the actions, the feelings of love and lust that exchanged between us. We kissed and held each other, and told each other feelings that neither of us had. And we ****ed, better than any time I could ever have remembered or envisioned in my mind. When it was over, he held me close and continued to kiss me, telling me how much he loved me and trying to apologize for never admitting it before. I brushed off his simple admissions, his confused statements, and started to get up. His grip around my wrist tightened, and I absent-mindedly groaned in pain. “You okay, baby?” I looked at Damien with resolve, and continued to attempt to pull my arm from his firm fingers, but he wouldn’t let go. “Damien, babe,” I started to say, but stopped. I started to think of something good to say, something to make him let go. “I want some time. This has been a fast day.” “No, no, nothing’s been too fast,” he said. “We’ve taken it too slow, Regina. We’ve known each other for like… three years. We coulda been ****in’ for a while, love.” His grin gave me utter remorse, and I realized that security in love sometimes does bring out the horror in people. His face was almost haunting. I wanted to throw up. After he finally let me go, I wanted him out. I started trying to think of ways to get him to leave, while pacing around my kitchen, but nothing could come to mind that’d make him leave for long. It was love. He’d go through anything to get me now. And he’d had me. He wouldn’t forget that. His piercing gaze fell upon me every time I walked past the bedroom, where he waited for me to come back like I was some kind of toy dangling just out of his reach. He was patient, but patience was a virtue that wore thin. And as I had expected, it was only hours before I felt his breathing on my neck as I sat in my kitchen, choking back the tears of regret in what I’d done. “Damien, this was a mistake,” I turned to say. The remainder of what I’d prepared for him dissolved in an instant as I felt the cloth cover my lips. I started to try and scream, but his strength was too much for me. “Baby, I feared this was what you were doing down here. You can’t take me and hang me out to dry. This love is real, as real as it gets.” He started kissing my neck, but continued to hold the cloth up against my face. “You’re mine, Regina, forever.” I fell out into a deep sleep, almost like a coma. Regret swept over my body, along with the fear of what Damien was doing to me. I didn’t understand. This wasn’t love, and this wasn’t lust. This was obsession, and this was dangerous! I started wishing inside that I never took the CD, and wished that I could find some light in this darkness. I looked around, encased in the darkness of thought, wishing for some bright reality. And my eyes started to flick and flutter. I sat up abruptly and looked around. All I heard was laughter; I turned to the front of the room, where the TV sat, and Conan O’Brien was finishing the punch line of another joke. I’d never felt more relief in my life.