HEART OF THE JAGUAR
By Myla Jackson
Heat radiated throughout his body as Reme struggled to open his eyes. The thrum of drums beat against the base of his skull, placing pressure on his spine, rendering his body inert, temporarily paralyzed. He couldn't move, couldn't rise from ground, couldn't force air past his vocal cords to shout out for help.
In the darkness, a low steady chant throbbed against his ears. His inner cat squalled, fighting to free him from bindings without substance. Fear, anger and trepidation spiked the hair on the back of his neck.
The cloying fragrance of burning incense and candles surrounded him, the heat and humidity of the room intensifying until sweat dripped down his forehead into his eyes, stinging.
He tried to focus, tried to move his hands, but none of his muscles cooperated. He lay completely still, as though death had claimed a part of his body.
Steadily beating drums rumbled against his ear, the rhythm increasing in tempo and volume. A monotonous chant swelled to fill the air around him, pounding against his senses. Something cool slithered across his skin, coiling around his throat and across his chest.
Reme wanted to strike out, to bellow and yell, to chase away the darkness and the invisible lashes holding him down, keeping him from moving even the muscles of his eyelids.
Release me! he shouted. His cry didn't reach any ears, even his own.
A dark, empty force pressed against him, the pressure stealing the air from his lungs, pushing at him from outside and inside until he thought his ribs and head might explode. The rotting stench of death filled his nostrils, overwhelming his mind with shadows and evil, ramming into his soul in an effort to oust his essence from his body.
Reme fought to keep the force from sucking the life out of him, refusing to give in to the undulating shadows, twisting and swirling inside his head, reeking of malevolence, and an evil so wicked and powerful, if allowed to, would steal his very spirit.
Hands slid across his naked chest, fingers touching, feeling, mesmerizing in their smooth and urgent contact. Breasts pressed against his chest, the naked tips poking him with hardened nubbins. A woman's body straddled him, her hair drifting across his face and neck, her pussy pressing against his cock, making him jerk to attention and harden. She leaned close, her breath warming his ear. "Come to me, gros-bon-ange. Rise again."
What kind of dream was this that he couldn't move, couldn't touch the body offered? Every part of his anatomy paralyzed, except his cock. Why couldn't he awaken?
Reme summoned his inner cat, urging it to rise above his human form and shift into the animal he knew he could be. Perhaps then he would awaken from this endless, sinister nightmare.
The woman atop him moved, taking him into her, sliding down to sheathe his cock with her heated channel. She rose and fell over him, her fingertips tweaking his nipples, pinching harder until pain made him want to cry out. But he couldn't.
She rocked, up and down, her toned thighs pressing into him with each thrust.
Again, a cool, thick form slithered across him, sliding between his torso and the woman's breasts. The cool scales, inching across his skin, made him shiver inside yet did nothing to chill his heated skin.
The woman tensed, her body lowering over his, her mouth hovering above his lips. "Come to me, gros-bon-ange, come to me, my Adrienne."
I'm not Adrienne, he tried to say, I'm Reme. Nothing came out, his lips didn't move. Could he be occupying another man's dream?
Darkness sucked at his feet, tugging at his arms and legs, threatening to pull him down, drown him in a sea of faceless people filled with anguish and suffering. He swam to the surface, only to be dragged under again.
Wake up, Reme. Wake up!
His chest ached with longing, his body cried out to be free, his voice remained silent, useless, lifeless.
He sank into a deep, fathomless pit, its bottom forgotten, the darkness so black it absorbed every bit of light within until Reme dissolved into unconsciousness.
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