The End Of Desire

M. R. Sellars

For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.


The Charge of the Goddess

As attributed to Doreen Valiente

Thursday, November 24

3:09 A.M.

Room 7

Southern Hospitality Motor Lodge

Metairie, Louisiana


Annalise Devereaux felt like she was suffocating.

Not the literal asphyxiation one experiences from lack of oxygen, but a metaphorical suffocation brought about by the absence of something else entirely. A something else that was just as important to her as the air she was now breathing.

And, metaphorical or not, the agony she suffered because of the void it left was no less real.

At the root was the feeling she harbored deep inside. It was the unquenchable thirst that drove her to do unspeakable things for no other purpose than self-gratification. It was the force that made her no longer Annalise, but Miranda.

It was also the thing that now brought her pain.

The inner sensation was no longer a mere tickle; nor was it the insatiable itch she had grown to know so well. It wasn’t even a mere compulsion. In fact, it had surpassed her very need to breathe in order of importance, making itself the top rung on her ladder of survival. And, with that, it had turned to a raging fire that could not be quelled.

Still, that didn’t stop her from trying to snuff out the flame.

But, for everything she did to feed the hunger, to douse the burning, to satiate the desire-simply to breathe- she still felt as if she was gasping. As though she was barely clinging to life in the face of that which had become all consuming.

The truth is, it felt as if someone was actually taking it from her, breath by breath. Literally stealing the force that fueled her will to live; and in her mind it belonged only to her, and her alone.

She knew all too well that her current situation had everything to do with Saint Louis. Everything that had happened there had been wrong, and although the reward had been sweet for a time, the price paid was too high. Two sacrifices so close together, both of whom would be missed. Doing that had been beyond dangerous; it had been reckless. She knew when it was happening that it was a mistake, but she’d had no choice.

She had demanded it, and Annalise had to do as She said.

But, She would also never take responsibility for the mistake. The blame would fall to Her servant, to Annalise. With blame came penance, which must be paid by the servant. It now seemed that penance was sharing her reward with another-the reward that kept her from suffocating as she was right now.

The identity of the other remained a mystery. And perhaps it always would. But the fact remained that she hated her for taking what didn’t belong to her. Even though She was giving it to the other freely, in Annalise’s mind, the other was still stealing.

Call it greed, but she had already tasted it all, and for her, half simply would not do. She intended to take it back.

Annalise allowed her anger to feed her lust as she looked down at the man beneath her. He had been easy enough to coax here to the small motel room. All it had taken were some kind words, a cheap bottle of rum, and the promise of a bed for the night. It was a better deal than he would have had otherwise.

In the end, the hardest part had been getting him to shower.

He was still struggling against the bonds that held him securely to the bed. He pretty much had been ever since he’d realized this wasn’t just a game.

It had been nothing to get him into this position. She’d started him on the pint of rum as soon as she had picked him up. Of course, as always the bottle contained more than mere alcohol. So, by the time he’d had several healthy swigs, followed by the shower, he was “medicated” enough to be pliable. But then, they always were.

The vagrants along Airline Highway were easy prey. Even better, they were rarely, if ever, missed. When they disappeared no one asked questions. No one wondered where they might be. No one, except maybe the others like them with whom they spent their pathetic lives each day and night. But, no one listened to them. And, just like her chosen sacrifice, none of them even mattered. Like all men, they were there for her amusement, and because these wretches led such an unremarkable existence, they were perfect for those times when the need arrived unannounced.

She just had to be careful which ones she chose. But then, Miranda did the choosing, and She was always careful.

Except for Saint Louis.

Annalise stared into the man’s face. His fear was making the rum and Diazepam cocktail wear off quickly, which was exactly what she wanted. She needed his fear and his pain, for with them came his undying love. And, these were the currency that brought the reward.

She could see a newfound sobriety in his watery eyes as he peered back at her, silently pleading. She could barely hear his hoarse moans and squeals through the several loops of duct tape encircling the lower half of his head, securing the washcloths she had stuffed into his mouth.

At the moment, she was kneeling astride his chest, resting her weight primarily on her knees, which pressed down hard upon his upper arms. It wasn’t so much that she needed to do so for a practical purpose. There was no way he could escape the ropes with which he’d been tied. But, the position made her feel even more in control, and she was certain that it brought him pain. It was a demonstration of her power over him, for her own benefit as much as his.

Leaning slightly, she reached to the side table and picked up a cigarette then placed it in her mouth. With a flick of her thumb, she sparked a butane lighter to life and carefully touched the flame to the tobacco. After taking a shallow drag, she allowed the smoke to slowly roll from her mouth between crimson glossed lips and inhaled it deeply through her nose. Regarding her victim with little concern, she exhaled slowly, took a second drag, and then repeated the process.

She felt him relax slightly, and so she allowed herself to smile. She didn’t take a third drag from the cigarette. Instead she put it out.

Annalise caught her breath, feeling her arousal as she slowly twisted the smoldering butt against the man’s cheek. His muffled screams were music, and as he arched between her thighs, it made the wave of pleasure intensify, causing her to emit her own involuntary moan.

By the time she crushed out a second cigarette against his flesh, and then a third, Annalise was no longer in control of her own actions.

It was all Her. It was all Miranda.

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