#StitchedSaturday 2/16/19 – Ash Hartwell

innocent blood tomas boersner

The Visitor

Ash Hartwell

Contrary to the family of the young woman who sired my child, I am not, to quote their overpaid lawyer, ‘an irresponsible delinquent’.

True, I met their daughter in a club. She had looked so vulnerable in her little black dress, obviously borrowed from one of her more demonstrative friends. She hung back from the dance floor, occasionally tugging self-consciously at the dress, cradling her over-decorated cocktail in both hands. Her exposed skin shone iridescent in the flickering lights. The pulse in her slender neck beating rapidly, the adrenaline coursing through her veins.

I had smelt her fear.

She did not belong there. Her world of cake sales, bible classes and Sunday service did not equip her for the dark world in which she had found herself. A world of wild music, recreational drugs and wild, recreational fornication. Her parents had thought she would be spending the night serving soup or handing out blankets to the homeless, but her friends had other ideas. The virgin preacher’s daughter partying in The Den of Iniquity.

I had watched her from afar, savouring the moment she felt my gaze. Fidgeting uncomfortably, her eyes had met mine as I crossed the dance floor. The flicker of a smile crossed her lips. She tried to avert her gaze but failed, her willpower no match for my stare’s dark seduction.

We had danced until daybreak threatened the horizon. Then I had left, her address written on my heart, her young, bright soul entwined with the ancient, dark void where my soul once resided.

The next night she had opened her window, inviting me in. While her father finished his Sunday sermon and her mother cleared the table, I took her body and soul. In that ecstatic moment of consummation, I gave her immortality.

Her sweet blood ran through my veins while my seed filled her womb. She would be my queen and together we would bring forth a prince.

Her hypocritical parents had ordered she go to a clinic where they could absolve her of her mistakes. The secret shame of a preacher whose only daughter had succumbed to the sin of lust.

But she had refused to leave. Staying in her room, the curtains pulled shut by day, the window thrown open by night. We shared stolen moments in the darkest hours while her parents slumbered in the next room.

I felt our son kick.

I rubbed my queen’s swollen feet.

She in turn grew in strength. She defied her parents at every turn. Gone were the floral prints, replaced by black and purple. Heels replaced flats, and ink adorned limbs.

Her mother thought it a phase, her father saw the Devil’s hand at work.

They never saw me, thinking I had long fled my responsibilities like the delinquent I obviously was.

True, I wasn’t there for the birth. (Who gives birth at lunchtime…in June?) But I visited them in hospital that night. Long after visiting hours had finished the thoughtful young nurse with the pretty brown eyes, let me in. She smiled as I passed, forgetting me before the door clicked closed.

I held my son and I kissed my queen.

She wanted to return home, she needed to rest. Besides, she believed her parents would be more accepting once they met their grandson.

So here we are, four months on, and I am in my non-human form to amuse our child while my queen slaughters her parents in the next room.

I hope she feeds well, she is still eating for two.



Ash Hartwell lives in England with his wife and too many animals to mention.
Ash has written for many anthologies including SSP The Voices Within and Monsters vs Zombies. SSP also published his first debut novel The Tip Of The Iceberg in 2017 which won Best Horror Novel 2017 (Critters,org) and made the reading lists of both the BFS and Bram Stoker Awards. His second novel is lurking in the shadows…

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