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Updated: Jun 27, 2022

A spicy queer fantasy short story about insatiable desire written by author of Vessel of Darkness, Riley Ariel Trist.

Written by Riley Ariel Trist

Edited by Kendall Wack and Maia Luem

Artwork by Megan May Walsh

The sex is good. Really. When you have it, at least.

It’s just not quite…enough.

You think you were made wrong sometimes. Hunger written in ink too dark.


You meet her when you’re both young and fresh to the world—youth blooming, velvety and dew-scented—before the petals begin to rot. She’s beautiful, her mouth so sweet you can’t help but lick into it. The inside of her is soft and hot and dripping, the scent of her lingering on your fingers. When you bring your hand to your face the next morning, pretending to brush a hair off your cheek, she smiles at you with her eyes, secret and embarrassed. In love.

But that’s the problem. You ache with it. The love. The lust. Even when you have her you can’t help but beg for more.

There is a year’s worth of good sex — you pull the covers from her sleep-flushed face, cheeks blotchy from blood flowing too close beneath the skin; you kiss her neck; she rolls onto you and you touch her until she shivers, morning light shining against the sweat on her back. You look at her over the top of your drink, drag a fingertip over her outstretched palm, you go home and you fuck. You go to parties and you can’t stop touching each other; your friends yell at you to get a room and you do. But still you want.

She’s tired and it’s fine. Every couple goes through something like this. You still do it more than once a week. That’s pretty good, your friends say. But it’s not enough. You need.

You think a change in schedule will fix it. Once in the morning, once at night. She’s tired but she doesn’t want to lose you so she rubs until her fingers cramp, pants and scratches every itch she can reach. But it’s not enough. You need something else.

You bring someone else into the bedroom. She’s kind about it. She really is. The other girl is everything she isn’t and the three of you writhe together for hours. You shake so hard afterward you have to dig your fingers into the covers; clinging to the skin of the earth as it pirouettes a thousand miles an hour through the sky. Like if you let go you’ll stop existing at all.

But there’s still that thread, needle sharp through the very center of you—pulling and pulling and pulling and pulling. The feeling of it never quite reaching its apex. You need something more.

After, you can tell she’s hurt. But you don’t know how to explain that it has nothing to do with her, that there’s something wrong with you. Some void inside your pussy that hurts if it isn’t filled. Not even that. A void inside your soul.

You stop having sex for a while in the hopes that you can train yourself to want it less. When she brushes her hair in the bathroom, stroking oil through the ends, rubbing her cheeks with serums until they glow, all you can focus on is the smell of her. It makes you hungry. It makes you an animal, hindbrain whiting out every thought except take take take. But you force yourself still. Calm the monster as well as you can. And once she falls asleep, head sweetly tucked into the back of your neck, you stroke yourself until you’re sticky with it, staining the sheets with your shame.

And still you ache.

One night she’s gone. She’s been gone for hours, had to rush out quickly in the morning with a kiss on the cheek and a guilty look. You come home from work and you’re alone and you’re starving. There’s something in the house, a scent. It drives you crazy. You have your head buried in the sheets before your logical mind is aware of it. Licking what was left there.

A drop of blood, gone pink with spit.

The taste of it lingers on your lips. Staining your tongue. Just on the edge of satisfying.

You sit in the dark until she comes home, your mind quiet, thread curled and calm in your gut. Waiting.

The night is windy. The moonlight cloud-blurred and weak. When the door opens a breeze comes with it, stretching the shadows.

You ache.

She sits on the end of the bed, strokes long fingers over your ankle. You twitch. She works her way up to the hot hollow behind your knee, plays with the skin where your veins are close to the surface. You tremble, trying to stay still, afraid of the hungry thing growling behind the cage of your ribs. Then her fingers move to your sweat-damp thighs and you can’t hold it in any longer.

You’re everywhere—palms pressing her into the mattress, toes flexed, forearms holding her down for you; your lips on the thin veins of her eyelids, holding onto tenderness with everything you have. Bruises bloom on her breasts, blood pooling petal-like beneath the skin. You mouth over them; the taste of it aches with how close it is to satisfying.

You haven’t even really touched her yet. You’re teasing, almost meanly, and she whines. Needing more. But you remember being afraid even if you can’t quite feel it anymore. Even if all you can feel is the hunger.

Your mouth hovers at her neck. Breathing in. She moans a little—all hot spit, hot breath, lonely knees pressing tight together. You can feel her pulse against your tongue. Taste her.

Do it, she begs, please.

You bite down.

Riley Ariel Trist is a queer, Jewish author passionate about the monstrousness of girlhood and the queerness of horror. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Science at Pratt Institute in New York City. Her debut novel, Vessel of Darkness, is available for purchase on Amazon.

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