Fungal Halo

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You Belong Together

The way it usually goes is this: you take your vitamins, you draw the door on glass, you speak your goodbyes, and then you slip through to the other side.

Then your life is hers to play with for a while, and oh, how her pleasure makes you smile!

This time, you’ve disrobed—not strictly necessary, but you increasingly love how it enhances the experience—in order to better admire her figure through the glass. She flushes so beautifully while her fingers guide the pills back along your tongue until you swallow obediently.

You pass the time in the most pleasant company of all.

And you know that you’re done waiting for the pills to do their job when you can’t keep away from her anymore, when she feels too far away and your hands alone on your own skin feel desperately inadequate to the task.

You throw yourself at the mirror in a desperate plea to intwine yourself with her. Your body slaps against the hateful glass that forever separates you, and you don’t notice how the tiny cracks—far below where your gaze meets hers—slip forward from the pressure.

Your hungry mouth longs to devour hers. Your fingers long to bring her the same release you crave from her. You press the aching flesh of your whole body toward her, knowing you can’t have any of it, a knowledge refused by the deeper parts of you operating on instinct alone.

The cracks widen, branch, and spread in a fine spiderweb of fractures you remain heedless of.

She bites her fingers with you in unison, a practiced tearing motion from which your blood wells up and threatens to spill, wasted, to the ground, but you know what you’re doing.

The door’s shape beckons to you, and your hands know the motions as well as they know the curves of your body.

Your lines fly unimpeded over the mirror’s cracks to join with the sigils that mark the door’s four hinges.

Her blood soaks through the glass to mingle with yours in this most intimate part of the ritual, the closest you ever get to truly touching one another.

Both your blood and hers seep into and flow through the cracks.

She taught you the words you must speak to break the seal. They may be in her language, but you’ve practiced them obsessively until they fit in your mouth as easily as hers.

In your mind you understand them as the deepest affirmation of love, more powerful than wedding vows.

As you speak them, the glass softens, it ripples, and you tip forward, and then—

Something goes wrong. The spiderweb of fractures holds strong, and you fall forward into a web that isn’t Real, could never be Real, but right now you’re barely half-Real yourself, aren’t you?

It’s catches you, and no matter how you struggle, it holds you. It even holds her, your true love, who looks at you with fear you’ve never seen in her eyes, fear you’ve never known whenever gazing lovingly into her.

If only you noticed how this web wove itself here.

But that’s a lie, and everyone here knows it. It takes a spider to weave a web. You never noticed it because I have not chosen to be noticed until claiming you.

You have no need to fret, however! I’m not a cruel creature. A favor for a favor is all I ask.

I will hitch a ride back with you, and in exchange I give you what you desire most, a bite full of venom that dissolves the boundaries that separate you from your reflection.

Oh, such eagerness in your words!

Well, we had better start right away, hmm?