by Tabico (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(mc, sf, f/f, nc)
This material is for adults only; it contains explicit sexual imagery and non-consensual relationships. If you are offended by this type of material or you are under legal age in your area, do NOT continue.
Copyright (c) 2002 Tabico (email@example.com)
All rights reserved; this story is not to be reproduced in any form for profit without the express written permission of the author. This story may be freely circulated only in its entirety and with this notice attached.
Warning: Contains Squick.
'Deeper than you Think'
She knew she shouldn't be there. This lagoon was prohibido, forbidden. Dangerous. The people from her village never swam in it, and las touristas from the resort were never told about it.
Besides, it was empty. Although the elders told everyone never to go into the lagoon, it was asking too much of impetuous youth to expect them to never even look at it. She had come here - not alone, of course - to sneak a glimpse into the water, to see what monsters her parents had warned her against. No one ever said why this particular ocean cove was so dangerous. It just was.
Of course that meant they had to see. So they came, when they thought the adults wouldn't see, and the most daring among them had dipped a toe in. It seemed to be a lagoon like any other on this rocky coast, carpeted with sea anemones and glistening green weed that waved in the surf. Purple sea urchins and the occasional orange starfish feeding on them. A few patches of bare sand where small fish darted and crabs burrowed.
It was entirely like the other thousand lagoons along the coast. Perhaps its only unique trait was the rock lattice separating it from the ocean, connecting it to the water and the tide, but preventing anything larger than the roving starfish from getting in. There were a few other sealed-off lagoons like that, though. All it really meant was a lack of fish.
So the adolescents had left, satisfied, the edge of their intrigue worn away. Only... she had seen something, a glint from the corner of her eye. A light, in one of the deeper holes in the rock. A flash of something shining in the sun.
They hadn't believed her, or didn't want to. Anyways, it wasn't like any of them were going to dive down *there*. The lagoon was muerte, empty. Everyone knew it. She had been imagining things.
The night was mild, like it always was that time of year. She crept down the moonlight slope to the edge of the lagoon. At the water's edge, she looked around. Of course, there was no one. Repressing a shiver, she dipped a toe into the water.
It was ridiculous. She had been to the tourist resort, seen the way the world really worked. Worked there for a summer. The money she earned had helped pay for her father's truck, and there was enough extra to buy the diving light she now switched on.
Superstition. She had seen it glint. And there was only one metal that shone so and did not rust.
She was in up to her knees. The warm water was not the cause of her goosebumps. Her thighs were wet, and she stopped to affix her mask.
Diving was not the worry. She had been diving for longer than she could remember, diving when she hadn't even known that tourists would pay for shells. For starfish, and rarer things. She could dive deeper and stay longer than anyone she knew.
Mask on, she eased forward, bent down, and swam out. It was not a small lagoon, though certainly not of any notable size. Perhaps thirty meters by a third of that. The warm water was the same as anywhere else.
She dove. Feet kicking, she propelled herself towards the bottom, sandy in the middle of the cove. She flipped the light on. Looking around, she found the rock outcropping that sheltered her prize and kicked her way towards it.
The wall here was porous, huge scoops broken away in jagged chunks. At the bottom, the moon-bright sand ran under one, and she flowed along the bottom to where it disappeared. Her light flickered along the back of the little outcropping.
She blew bubbles in disappointment. There was nothing. Waving a hand at the sand, she roused little storms of sediment. Nothing. It had indeed been a trick of the light.
Something darted out in front of her. Startled, she kicked backwards, away from the wall. Away from it. Reflexes kept her from an air-emitting shriek. It didn't chase her.
The diving light. She still had it, on the wrist cord. Snatching at it, she shone it on the interloper.
Her heart slowed. She looked at it - a small jelly, perhaps the size of a salad plate. It was amazingly transparent, almost invisible in the water except for concentric bands of white on its flesh. And even those were soft and faded. It floated near the back of the little sea-cave.
She didn't recognize the type, so stayed well back. It could have a painful sting. Beneath it, the sand was settling. Her chest was tightening. Time to leave. No one would know she'd ever come back.
Then the jellyfish started glowing.
It was faint, just enough to be visible, illuminating nothing. It was very pretty. Starting with the very center, a wash of light ran in rings out to the edges of the jelly's cap. It had turned to face her, hovering sideways in the water, and she watched the rings of light expand and disappear.
She'd never seen anything like it.
The jellyfish grew brighter, and faster. It was strobing at her, gently, like a carnival ride seen from far off. The expanding circles pulled at her, and she swam closer, into the little cave. She could touch it, now, but she didn't want to disturb its display.
But her lungs were telling her it was time to go. Shaking her head, she rose from whatever placid place it had put her, and turned to leave the cave and swim back to the surface.
The roof flickered.
She paused. Had it grown that much brighter? She turned around to look, a last glimpse before she left.
There were dozens of them.
All flickering and spinning. Lights rippled at her from three dozen jellyfish, pulsed at her, pulled at her. Her eyes widened, opened.
She had to... what? She stared at them. Her thoughts were drifting out her ears. Something... Her face went slack, eyes glittering and reflecting the lights that held her in their power. Her arms reached for the rocks, and held her steady. She stared.
There was nothing in her thoughts, no thoughts at all. The lights had teased them out of her. She hung in the water, not kicking, not moving, stupidly watching the jellyfish.
They swam closer.
So fascinating. All the spinning, flickering, glowing lights. A bubble rolled slowly out of her slack mouth. So pretty.
But now it was getting dark. Her vision was dimming, a black tunnel collapsing around the approaching lights, which pulsed and rippled and melted all thought away until
The girl's body drifted slowly along the bottom, sliding gently back and forth with the waves. To an observer, it would have appeared strange, distorted, as though seen through rippled glass.
Covered with transparent jellyfish.
The largest among them had moved in first, some unknown signal selecting it for this duty. Tendrils caressed the dying girl's form, wrapping it, drawing the body of the jelly down onto her, until it rested against the skin of her face. It fastened itself tight against her flesh.
But then it paused. The animal's heat meant nothing to it, but in some fashion it sensed that the animal was dying. Unthinking, it waited, as her body bobbed gently to and fro.
When it became apparent that the animal was dead, the jellyfish extended its feeding tentacles.
Soon it was joined by others, until her body was covered with them.
A little while later, as the sky lightened, they pulled her into the hole in the rock wall, in and then down, to where the sun would not disturb them as they fed.
Quite a while after that, her light burned out.
"Jesus, Paul, take it easy!"
In the front seat, Paul laughed. The jeep bounced over another deep rut in the dirt track.
"Sorry, love," he replied over his shoulder, "if I go any slower we'll never get anywhere! Blame the road!"
"Shit, I should have stayed with Clark and Marie," Ellen grumbled as she lowered herself back into her seat. She ran a hand through her short reddish-blond hair, then spastically grabbed at the roll bar with it as they hit another dip. "I thought we were going diving, not fucking off-roading."
Next to her, Kathryn kept her own white-knuckled hold on the side of the jeep. "Well," she said, "the farther off the beaten track, the more interesting the diving, right?"
"Then we went the wrong way," Gina said from the passenger seat, "because this track has been beaten all to hell. Oof!"
Paul laughed again, showing his white teeth. "Calm down, ladies," he said, "we're almost there."
"We'd damn well better be. I could be back at the resort, having a pina colada and reading my Carol O'Connell novel." Ellen said.
"Yeah," Gina replied, "and listening to Clark and Marie fucking."
"Gina!" Kathryn blurted.
"Well, it's what they're doing," Gina said. "Don't you think?"
"Gina calls them like she sees them," Paul said. "She's always - hold on - she's always been like that. Lord knows I've tried to change her."
"Oh, you love it," Gina said. "Hey, is that the place?"
"Sure is," Paul said. He stopped the car. "Hmm."
"That rock? Is that it?" Ellen asked, pointing. The cloud of dust they had been raising caught up with them, and blew past. Kathryn coughed.
"Yeah, that's the one," Paul said. "Great diving around the base of it. There's an old tramp steamer that went down out there."
"So why are we stopped here?"
"Well," Paul said, "have a look at the road in front of us."
The girls stood up in the jeep to peer ahead of them. "Huh," Gina said.
The dirt road which they had been following the last hour from the resort continued, sort of. But it did so on the other side of a ten-foot washout.
Paul turned off the engine, and got out. "Well," he said, "we can walk from here, I guess."
"Paul," Ellen said, "the ocean is like a mile away."
"Yep," he said. He walked around to the front of the jeep and considered the washout. It was at least six feet deep. "But there's no way we're getting across this."
"It's not too far to walk," Gina said.
"Yeah," Ellen replied, "but it won't be fun carrying all our stuff. And we have to carry it all back when we are finished, and all tired."
"Oh, come on," Gina replied, getting out of the jeep. "Two tanks of air and a wetsuit isn't *that* much. Besides, we wanted an adventure."
"I guess," Ellen sighed, opening her door. "At least this way my teeth won't rattle out of my skull."
The four of them walked around the jeep and pulled their gear from the back. Paul had packed it all earlier, into four large duffel bags. Shouldering their packs, they set off.
"Boy, kind of desolate out here," Kathryn observed, looking around at the piles of bare rock and tufts of dry grass.
"It's the soil," Paul replied from the front of their little column. "The ground here is mostly rock, so not much can take hold. And the salt blowing in from the sea doesn't help."
They walked for about twenty minutes, pausing twice to put down the heavy bags. The large offshore rock, shaped like a sinking ship's prow, slowly grew closer. Gulls wheeled around it, and their presence over the years had painted the rock white, in contrast to the black and tan landscape around them.
"Let's cut down to the shore here," Paul suggested, as they came across a small track. They followed him single file as he weaved through the rocks down to a small lagoon, and then along the lagoon's shore.
"Ooh," said Ellen, peering into the lagoon, "look at all that stuff. I can't wait to get into the water."
They reached the mouth of the lagoon, where the waves crashed against a great jumble of boulders. The wind pulled at their hair.
"Surf's not too bad," Paul observed. "Look, there's a beach just down there. Let's hit it."
It took another ten minutes to work their way along the rocky seashore to the beach, but when they reached it they were gratified to find it sandy and welcoming. Gina kicked off her shoes immediately, dropped the duffel, and pirouetted in the sand.
"I am *so* ready for this," she said. "I haven't been diving for way too long."
Paul hefted her duffel in his other hand, and walked out to the center of the small beach. "Okay," he said, "let's check our equipment and get suited up."
Duffels were unzipped, shaken open, and out came the tanks and breathing apparatus. Wetsuits lined the bottoms of the duffels, and came out in their turn. Although the water here was not particularly cold, it was far too early in the season to dive for any length of time without a suit. And they all had them, anyways.
"I'm gonna go over here to change," Kathryn said, walking towards the large rock she'd pointed at.
Gina was pulling her suit on over a one-piece. "What's that about?" she asked. Ellen shrugged. "What's she wearing underneath?"
The answer was immediately evident as Kathryn came back down the beach. She was clad in a shining gray suit, looking more like she had been dipped in a light oil slick than she had put on any sort of wetsuit.
"Geez, Kathryn, where did you get that?" Gina asked.
"Back home," Kathryn replied.
Paul looked up from where he was testing the pressure in the tanks. "Sweet God," he said. "Kathryn... wow."
Gina laughed. "So much for Paul seeing any exotic fish. He's gonna be staring at your ass the whole time. Pirouette for us, babe."
Kathryn flushed. "It's not that revealing."
"It's damn hot, girl," Gina replied. "Come on, turn around. Woo, look at that ass. Like it's been painted."
"Come on, guys, you're embarrassing me."
"Oh, like you didn't know exactly what kind of effect that sort of suit would have. It's a catsuit, not a wetsuit. Is it comfortable?"
"Uh, yeah, it's fine."
"Well, you've got a total case of camel-toe. Stop staring, Paul, it's not polite." Gina laughed as Kathryn turned away and plucked at her crotch.
"Are we going diving, or what?" Ellen asked from the water's edge. She was trying not to stare at Kathryn. "It's why we're here. Let's get out there."
"I'm, I think," Kathryn started, "I think I'd rather stay close to shore."
"Aw, come on," Gina said. "You look fine. It's just us, anyways."
"It's not that... I just don't really, you know, it's kind of rough out there."
Paul forced his gaze up to Kathryn's face. "When was the last time you went diving?"
"How much diving have you done?"
"Er, this will be the second time."
Paul opened his mouth to reply, then closed it. He sighed. "Shit. I'm sorry, I should have asked. Gina, we can't take Kathryn out there with us. It's too advanced. We'll have to bag it."
"No!" Kathryn said. "Look, I'll wait. You three go ahead."
"We'll be hours," he replied. "No, we'll find somewhere else."
"Look, how about that lagoon?"
"The one we walked by? It's awfully small."
"No," Kathryn said, "but it would be fine for me. I'll dive there. You three go out to the rock."
Paul looked doubtful. "You shouldn't dive alone."
"In twelve feet of water? Come on, Paul. I'll be fine. Go."
"Yeah," Ellen said, "Let's hit it." She was in the ocean up to her waist. "Kathryn, I brought some books, but they're in the jeep. If you don't want to dive, you can head back and get them."
"Look," Gina said, "I'll dive with Kathryn. You two go out to the rock."
"No," Kathryn said. "I'll be fine. Honest. I don't want you to miss this. Go on." Gina started to object, but Kathryn waved at her. "I mean it. I'll have a fine time. Please? I would feel terrible if I kept you from your dive."
Gina looked at Paul. "Fine," she said, turning back to Kathryn. "We'll only be a couple of hours. Meet you back here?"
"Great," Kathryn said. "I'll be here."
Paul and Gina buckled on their tanks, and followed Ellen into the surf. Paul looked back at Kathryn, who smiled and waved. Then the two of them swam off.
"Well," Kathryn said, "Shit."
She should have gotten the normal wetsuit. Who was she trying to seduce? Paul and Gina were happy together, and Paul wasn't really her type. And was Ellen gay? She certainly had been acting funny. Staring at her even more than Paul had been.
Kathryn kicked at the sand. Some vacation.
Well, no reason not to get some diving in. She picked up the equipment Paul had set out for her, and trudged back to the lagoon.
It was certainly pretty. She waded in without hesitation. It was only about fifty feet long, maybe twenty feet wide. The rocks were covered in anemones. Actually, only most of the rocks - the southern side of the lagoon had a bare patch of rock in the center, towards the bottom.
Kathryn sucked in her mouthpiece, and dove.
The rocks were rough but worn by the water. Where the anemones were missing, she quickly found the reason - there was a cave there. She looked at the lagoon mouth, where a grill of rocks screened the incoming tide into foamy tendrils. It was a sheltered lagoon - there couldn't be anything in the cave.
She swam in anyways, just a bit. It was dark, and she didn't want to go in farther than she could see. The floor was sandy, but it seemed to be just a cave. How far it went, she couldn't tell.
Then there was a light.
Kathryn blinked. There it was again - a jellyfish. She smiled. Wow, glowing jellyfish! She'd thought phosphorescent creatures were only down in the far deeps, or in... yeah, in caves. How far back did this thing go?
It was just hanging there, pulsing little rings of light rapidly from its center like an accelerated film of a pond ripple. It was really pretty. She wondered, idly, how long its tendrils were.
Then another one fired up, right near her. She turned to face it. Except for her head, her suit covered her, so she wasn't too worried about being stung. These weren't Portuguese men-o-war or anything. She reached out to it. As she stroked its surface with her slick gray glove, its lights sped up, becoming a racing blur of rings. She sighed, staring at it.
The first one had drifted closer, and had been joined by others. She hadn't noticed. Her hand slipped off the one she stared at, drifted idly in the current. Kathryn's mouth slowly went slack around her mouthpiece. The lights raced in her eyes, and in her mind. She didn't think about anything.
When it touched her cheek, she didn't react.
Gina pulled the mouthpiece from her mouth and spat. Next to her, Paul and Ellen did the same.
"Jesus," Ellen said, "that was really something. Paul, you were so right."
"Told you," he said, squinting at the beach. "I've never seen that kind of diversity anywhere else."
"Towels," Gina said. "I want towels."
Paul laughed, and helped the women take off their tanks. They lugged them up the beach.
"Where's Kathryn?" Ellen said.
Paul opened the duffel with the towels, and threw one to Gina, then one to Ellen. "Back at the jeep?" he suggested. He looked at his dive watch. "We were only out there two and a half hours."
"Huh," Ellen said. "Maybe." She toweled off her face, wrapped the towel around her hair, and began to unstrap her wetsuit. The three were soon all down to their swimsuits. Fatigue kept conversation to a minimum. Wetsuits were stuffed in duffels, breathing apparati followed, and the duffels were zipped.
"Her stuff's still here," Paul observed. "And her tank's out. She must have gone diving."
"I hope nothing happened to her," Gina said. "Look, I'm going to run up to the lagoon."
"Let's all go," Paul replied. "We'll grab the stuff later."
The three of them walked up to the lagoon. It was quiet, waves breaking on the rocks and lapping on the interior shores.
"Kathryn!" Ellen called. "Are you here?"
They scanned the lagoon. "I don't see any... oh, Jesus!" Paul said, and dove in.
The two women watched as he swam through the water, and then saw what he had spotted - a clad-clad hand, sticking from under a rock overhang. Then Paul had her, and was pulling her out. Her slick clad form was limp and unmoving. Holding her arm, Paul kicked towards the surface.
Gina and Ellen ran to the beach he was dragging her towards. Coughing, Paul pulled Kathryn up onto the sand, and worked the mouthpiece out of her mouth.
"Oh, thank God," Paul said. He touched her face. "Kathryn? Kathryn?" When he pulled her mask off, they could see that her eyes were closed.
Paul looked up at the two women. "Let's get her out of this suit," he said.
Kathryn's eyes snapped open.
"Kathryn?" Gina said. Kathryn's eyes rolled around to look at her, but she didn't say anything.
"Kathryn, are you okay?" Paul asked. Her eyes rolled slowly back to him.
Then she stood up. Paul, his face showing concern, watched as she rose above him.
"I am... fine," Kathryn said. She blinked, slowly.
"Okay," Ellen said, "This is too weird. Kathryn, what's going on?"
Kathryn turned an expressionless face towards her, and Ellen's flippant smile died.
"Jesus, Kathryn, lighten up."
"I am fine," Kathryn said in a flat tone.
Paul stood up. "Well, if you're okay," he began doubtfully, "I guess we should get back. The sun will be going down pretty soon. Let's go get the stuff."
He walked up away from the shore, and turned. Gina and Ellen followed. Kathryn stared at them for a moment, then dropped her eyes and plodded after them.
Ellen and Gina took off ahead. "What the hell is wrong with Kathryn?" Ellen whispered.
"Damned if I know. Maybe she's been sunstruck or something. We should get a doctor to look at her."
"Or a psychiatrist." Ellen looked back at Paul, and Kathryn following him in her skintight clad suit. "Maybe that suit had some weird brain-affecting chemicals in it."
"Oh shut up," Gina said. "Don't be a bitch."
Ellen gave Gina a dirty look, and dropped back a few paces.
Ellen took another furtive look at Kathryn. God, she was hot in that suit. If only... Ellen frowned. Something was strange about the way she looked. The suit seemed... inflated, somehow. It wasn't rippled-tight around the hips any more. And - Ellen tingled at the memory - the 'camel-toe' effect was entirely gone. Now there was a well-defined pubic mound under the glistening clad.
What a wetsuit. It must have loosened up in the water, from three sizes too tight down to only one.
Kathryn's head came up to catch Ellen staring at her. Ellen flushed, and turned her head to the path ahead.
"Honeys, we're home!" Gina announced, as they opened the door to the bungalow. Behind her, Paul, Ellen, and a still-silent Kathryn held duffel bags.
"Welcome back!" Clark said, rounding the wall from the kitchen. "Have a good time?"
"Oh yeah," Gina said.
"Except for Kathryn," Ellen added, looking at the woman next to her. Kathryn was still in the clad wetsuit, having refused to change at the beach or in the jeep.
"Jeez, Kathryn," Clark said, eyes widening. "That's, ah, quite a suit you have."
"She won't take it off," Ellen said. "And won't explain why."
"Let's go put the equipment away," Paul said. As he and Gina headed down the hall to the back door, he added, sotto voce, "and Kathryn will finally have to take off that suit."
"It's too weird," Gina whispered back. She looked over her shoulder to be sure Kathryn was too far away to overhear. "And why won't she say anything? I mean, she's not normally a blabbermouth, but it's like she's lost her tongue!"
Clark followed them out to the small roofed area beyond the back door, where the recreational gear was stored. Dropping the duffels, the women stood aside as Paul began unzipping the bags and hanging up the tanks and regulators.
"So, what did you do?" Clark asked.
"We went diving out by this rock that Paul knows," Gina replied. "Except Kathryn, who dove in this lagoon."
"Was that good?" Clark asked Kathryn. She looked at him, but said nothing. He looked back at Gina.
"She had some sort of accident," Gina said, shrugging. "She's been like that all afternoon."
"An accident? Are you okay, Kathryn?"
"I am fine," she replied.
Paul had hung up the wetsuits on pegs, and turned to Kathryn. "Okay, Kathryn, out of the suit."
"No," she said.
They all looked at her. "Kathryn," Paul said, "I have to rinse them off, or the salt will eat them. Look, go change in the bathroom or something."
Kathryn stared at him, then turned and went into the house.
"Jesus," Clark said.
"She was like that all the way back," Ellen observed. "It's the weirdest fucking thing."
"Come on," Paul said, "I want to be sure she takes that off. I think she should see a doctor."
They followed Paul into the house, and to the bathroom door. It was closed. The bungalow had two bathrooms, but one was more of a water closet, and didn't have room to change in. The four of them bunched up around the door.
"Where's Marie?" Ellen whispered to Clark.
"Went to the main building to get ice," Clark whispered back.
They waited. After several minutes, Paul rapped at the door. "Changed yet? I want to rinse the suits." Gingerly, he tried the knob, which was locked.
There was no reply.
"Okay," he sighed, "Fuck this." He backed up, and hit the door hard with a shoulder. It jarred open.
Kathryn was standing inside, still in her slick clad wetsuit.
"Kathryn," Paul said, "that suit's coming off." Hands out, he approached her. "Clark, give me a hand."
The women stared as Paul and Clark closed in on Kathryn from either side. Her eyes darted back and forth between them. Then they lunged, and Clark held her while Paul snatched at the zipper by her throat. Kathryn kicked at him.
Dodging her vicious kicks, Paul seized hold of the zipper, and yanked it down to Kathryn's belly.
The women in the door screamed, and backed away from the door.
Paul got kicked in the nuts, screamed, and dropped to floor.
Clark's fingers, wrapping around Kathryn's upper body, grabbed hold of something wet and way too yielding to be flesh, screamed, and let go.
And Kathryn, her wetsuit open down past her bellybutton, pulsing jellyfish covering her exposed breasts and stomach, just screamed.
Then she dove out the window.
Paul lay groaning on the sofa, Gina running her fingers through his hair. The other two were sitting around him on chairs. They looked at each other.
"Okay," Clark said, "I'll start. What. The Fuck. Was That?"
"Jellyfish," Ellen said. "It was jellyfish. She was fucking covered in jellyfish."
Gina shook her head. "I couldn't tell. I mean, it could have been, but they were all clear. It looked like she was all covered in vaseline to me."
"It was fucking jellyfish," Ellen snapped.
"I didn't see any jellyfish," Paul gasped. "I was too busy with all those stars. Fuck, I should have worn a cup."
"I think the real question here is what has gotten ahold of Kathryn," Clark said. "I mean, she left here this morning as normal as the rest of us."
"It's the fucking jellyfish," Ellen said. "They're doing something to her."
"Lay off with the jellyfish," Paul said. "Jellyfish don't work like that. It's got to be something else. Maybe some sort of pollution, or bacteria, or something. Something that's made her go crazy."
"Did you fucking see her?" Ellen demanded. "She was covered in... shit, it looked like jellyfish."
"It couldn't have been jellyfish," Paul said. "Oh, my nads. Look, it's some sort of weird goop. It just looked like jellyfish."
"Yeah, like that's any more likely," Ellen retorted. "Sea vaseline, that makes you go crazy."
"Shit, I hope not," Clark said. "I touched the stuff."
"Why didn't we notice it before?" Paul said.
"Because it was under the wetsuit."
"Yeah, but it should have been visible. I mean, shit, you saw that suit. I could count her freckles."
"Jellyfish don't have bones," Ellen said. "They were just squished totally flat, all over her." Ellen visualized the visible pubic mound of Kathryn's suit, and realized what it must have been. She shivered.
"Enough with the fucking jellyfish!" Paul shouted. "I've seen thousands of kinds of jellyfish, and none of them crawl into your wetsuit and make you go crazy! Ow, fuck." He winced again.
"Look," Gina said, "Whatever the fuck that stuff is, we have to find Kathryn, and get it off of her."
"Shouldn't we call the cops?" Ellen asked.
"Which cops?" Gina replied. "The local cops? How's your Spanish? Shit, they don't care if your car gets stolen. What are they going to do about a tourista gone loca?"
"She's right," Paul said, sitting up and groaning. "We have to go after her."
The front door opened. Everyone whirled. Clark grabbed the big Mag-Lite from under the end table.
"Hi guys!" Marie chirped, walking in a brown paper bag in each arm. "How was the diving?"
They couldn't find her. Two hours of fruitless searching, and they didn't find hide nor hair of Kathryn. Not near the bungalow, not near any of the other bungalows, not at the resort complex, not out in the fields. Of course, beyond the fields, the scrubby hills stretched away for miles.
Her footprints, starting where she'd landed just beyond the open bathroom window, led directly south until they disappeared on a stretch of paved road leading to the beach.
The conclusion was that she'd gone back to the lagoon.
Ellen demanded that they go to the police, and there was some argument about who should go. From experience, they knew it would be a long wait, and probably a waste of time. Marie refused to go, and there was some debate about which of the boys would stay with her, but in the end Ellen's demand that all four of the witnesses give their statements meant that Marie was left alone in the bungalow.
Which was fine with her.
"Was she violent?" she'd asked.
"Yes!" Ellen said.
"Well, only when we tried to take her suit off," Gina admitted.
"Look, if she comes back, I'll talk to her. Crazy or not, it's Kathryn. If she was dangerous, she would have attacked you in the jeep or something. She only wigged out when you tried to strip her by force. I would have wigged out too."
So the three of them had gone to the police station, and Marie had curled up with her book. It was at a particularly good spot, and she'd been quite grumpy at the thought of having to read it in some police waiting room.
She was about halfway through it when she heard the water splashing.
Frowning, she put down the book. The sound was coming from the bathroom. Quietly, she snuck towards it.
The door was open.
Marie tiptoed forward, and stuck her head in. The water was running in the big bathtub. She didn't see anyone in it, though. Slowly, she looked around.
There was a clad wetsuit hanging over the shower stall door.
Her eyes widened as the shower turned on.
Marie licked her lips. "Kathryn?" she called. Much too quietly. If it was Kathryn in the shower, she wouldn't have heard. "Kathryn?" Marie called again.
The shower turned off.
The stall door opened with a click. A woman's hand was propelling it.
Kathryn stepped out, dripping with water.
The first thing that Marie saw was that Kathryn was not covered with jellyfish, or vaseline, or anything.
The second was that Kathryn's nipples were hard as plastic.
Guiltily, she jerked her eyes up to meet Kathryn's unnerving stare.
"Hello, Marie," Kathryn said. She had stopped, dripping wet, just outside of the shower.
"Are you okay?"
Kathryn smiled, fleetingly. "Mmm. Yes, I'm fine. Sorry if I scared everybody."
Kathryn stared unblinkingly at her. Then she smiled again. "Come in," she said, "I'll show you."
"I won't hurt you, Marie," Kathryn said. "I promise." She turned her naked body towards the splashing bathtub. "Come, look."
Marie stepped into the room. Slowly, she walked towards the bathtub. Kathryn matched her pace, staying ahead of her, and soon they were only a few feet apart. Kathryn was leaving wet footprints on the tile floor. Clear trickles from her hair snaked down her back. Marie tried not to stare at her glistening ass.
Kathryn stopped by the tub, and looked back at Marie expectantly. Marie looked from Kathryn to the tub, then stepped forward to look inside.
The water was writhing.
At first Marie was confused, but then she realized that the tub was full of jellyfish. Clear jellyfish, flopping around in the water of the tub. They were very hard to see.
A hand settled on her shoulder, and she squeaked.
"Aren't they beautiful?" Kathryn asked.
"Ah... they're..." Marie mumbled. Okay, this was too weird. It was time to get out of here. "They're very nice." She took a step backwards.
Then the jellyfish began to flicker.
Marie's brows furrowed. They were flickering. Each jellyfish had a pattern of concentric rings, each ring lighting up in sequence. There must have been three dozen jellyfish in the tank. Marie stared at them as they flashed at her.
They *were* very pretty.
They seemed to respond to her assessment, the pulsing lights speeding up. Each one, a strobing, glowing, expanding ring. Taken together, they were really quite captivating. Fascinating. Marie blinked as she stared at them, eyes widening.
Then her blinking slowed, and then she forgot to blink entirely.
Kathryn was saying something, but Marie couldn't pay attention long enough to listen to her. Words flipped past her ear, bounced off, as she devoted her whole attention to the flickering jellyfish.
"...too many... fighting for control... so excited... better now..."
Hands were moving her closer to the jellyfish. She didn't mind. They were so very pretty. Then someone was pulling down her sweatpants. And her panties. She would have objected, but the thought evaporated as soon as it formed. Her robe was unbelted, and slid off her unresisting shoulders. Then she was naked, and wholly unaware of it as the lights washed over her.
Then she was being helped into the tub.
Her foot went in first. The jellyfish slid easily out of the way. She was pushed down, her other foot lifted in, and then her legs slid along the length of the tub, lowering her naked bottom into the water. Marie's eyes never drifted from the flickering lights, the rings that had wrapped around her mind and bound around it. She slid back into a reclining position, head lowered to her chest, watching the hypnotic rings flickering all around her naked form.
Then they started attaching themselves.
Awareness drifted back in. She was naked. She was on the bathroom floor. Someone was holding her head.
Things were different, now.
"Whaa?" she managed to ask.
"Be calm," came Kathryn's voice. "You have a lot of adjusting to do."
"Adjusting," she repeated. Things were becoming clearer. She was Marie Dossantos. She was forty-two. She was here with friends from the States. And...
"Kathryn," she asked quietly, "What have you done to me?"
"Relax," Kathryn replied. "Accept."
"Accept," she repeated. She blinked. Try again. "What... what..." It was too hard.
Behind her, Kathryn dropped to her haunches, whispered in her ear. "You are a host now."
"Host now," she repeated softly.
"Your inhabitants are simply adjusting you to your new life."
"New life," Marie agreed.
"You love them."
"You will do anything for them."
"Anything for them."
"You belong to them."
"I belong to them," Marie repeated. She felt stronger now.
Kathryn slid around to face her. Marie looked into Kathryn's face, so beautiful, so peaceful. So enslaved.
Just like her.
Kathryn kissed her, gently.
"They are so lucky to have you, Marie. To have us. Evolution had passed them by, you know? Their original host creatures have been dead for millennia. Without hosts, they were easy prey for fish and other stupid creatures." Kathryn stood up, and stretched. Marie looked up at her pussy. A thin clear tendril dangled from it.
"But now they have us," Kathryn said with reverence.
The bathroom door opened.
Kathryn whirled. Ellen screamed. Kathryn snatched at Marie's robe, lying on the floor, and leapt out the window. Again.
Marie sat dazedly on the floor.
Paul and Clark raced in. Paul ran to the window, looked out, and swore. Clark ran to Marie.
"Marie!" he yelled. "Are you okay?"
Marie looked up at him. She considered.
"Thank God you're here," she replied calmly.
The water in the bathtub was still.
The five of them sat around the living room again. Marie was in Clark's robe, her own sweatpants back on.
"Jesus," Ellen said, "that scared the hell out of me."
Clark rubbed Marie's shoulders, and she put a hand on his hand. "I'm just glad we got back when we did," Clark said.
"Did she say anything to you?" Gina asked.
"No," Marie replied. "I had started to take a shower, then changed my mind and was filling the tub for a bath, and she just walked in. Then I slipped on the floor." She smiled ruefully. "I feel kind of stupid, actually."
"Don't," Clark said. "We don't know what she wanted to do."
"We have to find her," Paul said. "She's going to break into someone else's place next."
"Malarkey," Ellen said. "She'll be back here as soon as you leave. I bet she's still skulking around. We don't have to find her. She'll find us."
"Were the police any help?" Marie asked.
"No," Gina snorted. "There was one guy in the office, and he took our statements. Not that we knew anything. Said he'd talk to the captain tomorrow morning."
"It *is* pretty late," Paul observed.
"Yeah, crime never happens at night," Gina said. "Stupid freaking cops."
"Let's not sit around," Clark said. "We have to find her, before she hurts anyone else."
"I'm fine," Marie said.
"Let's vote," Paul suggested. "I'm for going out and finding her."
"Me too," said Clark.
"Not me," Ellen said. "She'll be back."
"I don't know," Gina said. "I think Ellen's right, but I don't want to wait around doing nothing."
"I think you should go find her," Marie said quietly. "But I don't want to go."
"You don't have to," Clark said. "You've been through a shock."
"Oh, like the rest of us haven't," Ellen snapped. Clark shot her a dirty look.
"That's three to two," Paul said. "Look, we'll go have a look around. It shouldn't take that long. Then we can all knock off for bed."
"Yeah, I'm gonna get lots of sleep with Kathryn running around," Ellen said.
"That's why we should try to find her," Gina replied. "Okay, I'm ready."
"I'm staying," Ellen said.
"Good," Paul replied. "You and Marie together should be more than a match for Kathryn if she shows up. Try to keep her here."
"Okay," Marie said.
Toting flashlights, Clark, Paul and Gina headed out the back door. Marie and Ellen watched them go.
"This is stupid," Ellen said.
"I'm going to go have my bath," Marie replied, standing. She shook out her hair.
"Um, let's not split up, please?"
Marie laughed. "What, you want to watch me bathe? Kinky."
Ellen bit back her retort. "I just... I'm just nervous, okay?"
"Well," Marie said, "I'm gonna take a bath. Why don't you bring a chair into the bathroom? I really don't mind."
"Marie, I don't..."
"Up to you. But you are more than welcome to come talk to me while I take a bath."
Safety in numbers, and the chance to see Marie naked. Ellen grabbed a Newsweek and followed Marie to the bathroom.
Marie lost no time in stripping down. Naked, she pulled up a chair for Ellen, and chuckled as Ellen sat in it. The tub was still running, and Marie bent over to stick a hand in. It was like she was inviting Ellen to stare at her... body. Ellen had never thought of Marie as an exhibitionist - rather the converse - but now she was practically parading herself around. Bending over with her legs spread. Reaching for the knobs just so that Ellen could see her tits dangle. Ellen tried to focus on the Newsweek.
After testing the water, and turning the knobs to adjust the temperature, Marie walked naked to the shower and took out the bodywash and her scrubber. She took them to the bathtub, then walked back again for her shampoo and conditioner. God, she had really nice breasts. Particularly for someone over forty.
Why had she made two trips? Was this a come-on?
Marie slid down into the bath with a sigh of contentment. Ellen stared into her magazine, not reading.
"Would you come wash my back?"
Ellen stared at Marie, proffering the scrubber.
It *was* a come-on.
Should she? What about Clark?
Ellen stood up. She walked over to the bathtub. "Marie," she began, bending over. Then she froze.
The bathtub was full of jellyfish.
Ellen stared in horror at the translucent creatures filling the tub. Blanketing Marie. "Marie," she croaked in an entirely different tone of voice.
Marie stood up.
Ellen turned to look at her.
Marie smiled, then opened her mouth.
A hundred tiny tentacles spilled out.
Marie grabbed her.
Ellen shrieked, but her mouth was covered by Marie's, and then there were tentacles all over her face, and they stung her. Her face went numb. She grappled with Marie, but Marie was standing up and Ellen was still bent over. She couldn't scream as Marie wrestled her over, and she toppled into the tub.
Then they were all stinging her. It didn't hurt much, but she was suddenly very weak and then she couldn't move at all. Tears sprang to her eyes as Marie, naked, wet, and with tentacles dangling from her open, grinning mouth, lowered herself on top of her.
Marie kissed her, and Ellen felt it slide down her throat.
Ellen and Marie were reading in the common room when the search party returned.
"Any luck?" Marie asked, looking up.
"No," Clark said, coming over to kiss her. "Nothing. And it's pitch black out there."
"Did she come back?" Gina asked.
"Does it look like it?" Ellen replied. "No, I guess I was wrong."
"Well, shit," Paul said, dropping himself onto the sofa. "Now what the fuck do we do?"
"Get a good night's sleep?" suggested Marie.
Ellen's stomach made a loud squelching noise.
"Jesus, Ellen," Gina said.
"Sorry." Ellen rubbed her stomach. "I guess tension does that to me."
"Right, I'm gonna hit the hay," Marie said. "Do you gung-ho folks want to set up a night watch or something?"
There was quiet.
"Shit, I guess we should," Clark said. "I can stay up until, let's see, one. Someone else can take one to three, someone three to five, and someone else five to seven."
Marie yawned. "I'll take seven to nine, thanks." She stood, and headed for the bedroom. "See you worry warts in the morning. Try not to wake me when you come to bed, Clark."
"That was bitchy," Gina said. "I can stay up one to three, Clark. Paul, can you get up at three?"
"I guess. Though this is starting to seem silly."
"Hey, she hurt Marie," Clark said.
"It was an accident," Paul replied. "Look how worried about it Marie is."
Ellen yawned, and put her magazine down. "I'm good with five to seven. Better safe than sorry, huh?"
"What she said," Gina added.
Paul rolled his eyes. "Okay. I'm gonna take a shower."
"Can you shower in the morning?" Ellen asked, standing up. "I was hoping to take a bath."
Paul frowned. "Yeah, sure. Gina, you mind sleeping with an unwashed man?"
"My favorite kind." She walked over to Paul, and put her hand around his waist. "Come get me at one, Clark."
"Will do," he said. "Where'd that Maxim go?"
Gina yawned again. She rubbed her eyes.
Clark had woken her up only half an hour ago, and already she was pinching herself to keep from falling asleep. The book she was reading was on the sofa next to her. She'd read the same paragraph six times before giving up.
She yawned another time, and stood up. Maybe if she walked around she could shake off this lethargy.
The tile floor of the kitchen was cool against her bare feet. She checked the refrigerator and took out a diet coke. Popping it open, she walked back through the common room to the hall. One of the bedrooms, the one she and Paul were using, opened right onto the common room. That door was closed. The other two bedrooms and the bathroom were down the short hall. She walked down it.
Naturally, Clark and Marie's room had the door closed. She could hear Clark's heavy breathing. Gina smiled to herself. It was so nice that Paul didn't snore.
Ellen had been sharing a room with Kathryn. Surprisingly, the door was ajar. Gina frowned, then tiptoed over and looked in.
The room was dark, but a trace of light from a walkway light outside showed her that neither bed was occupied. She ducked her head back out.
Strange. Turning, she walked to the bathroom door. It was closed, but she took the handle and slowly turned it. Then she pushed the door open.
Without a light outside, the bathroom was all dark silhouettes. She walked inside, reached for the light switch, and flipped it.
"Hello, Gina," came a soft voice.
"Kathryn?" Gina asked incredulously. It *was* Kathryn, standing naked in the center of the bathroom.
"Come in," she said. "We have something for you."
The door closed, and Gina whirled. Ellen was standing there in her pajamas, smiling. Standing in front of the closed door.
"What's going on?"
"It was all a misunderstanding, Gina. They didn't know what to do with us. We were so wonderful, a gift from the Gods. Manna. And we just keep getting more wonderful."
"What are you talking about, Kathryn?" Gina asked in a low voice.
"They can't dry out, you see. That's why I couldn't take off my wetsuit. But then they found out we had all this warm, wet space *inside us*..."
A touch of hysteria crept into Gina's voice. "Ellen, what's she talking about?"
"About us," Ellen said. "How well suited we are." She smiled again. "But perhaps she should be talking about them. How smart they are. How superior. How quickly they adapt. It took them hours to figure out how to work Kathryn, but I was theirs in minutes."
"It's painless," Kathryn said, drawing Gina's attention back to her. "And then you understand, and you feel so good about yourself."
"Okay, let me the fuck out, right now," Gina said, turning to Ellen. "This is way the fuck too creepy."
"We can't do that, Gina," Ellen said. "They need you. Look."
Gina turned, her mouth opened to scream. Kathryn's eyes had rolled back in her head, and in her gaping mouth was...
Ellen viciously punched Gina in the stomach, knocking the wind from her. Her attempt at screaming came out a high-pitched whistle. She gasped, looking up as Kathryn stepped towards her. The jellyfish receded into her mouth.
Her throat bulged as it slid back down inside her. Kathryn smiled. Gina stared in horror, gasping.
"Well?" Kathryn asked. "Going to run? Window's open."
Gina's eyes flicked to the window, then back to Kathryn.
"Please...." she whispered.
"How about a scream? Paul at any rate should be able to hear you."
Tears filled Gina's eyes.
"Poor Gina," Kathryn said, licking her lips. "Always the rowdy girl. So self-assured. We knew you couldn't really resist us."
"Pppllleeease...." Gina said, tears rolling down her cheeks.
Soft fingers settled on her shoulders.
Kathryn stepped closer. "You're going to love it, Gina. It's what we are *for*. It's the best thing that could ever happen to you."
"No," Gina said, weeping. "Please. Please."
She felt a tingling on the back of her neck as Ellen's lips pressed down.
Then Kathryn kissed her.
Clark woke up sweating. Heart racing, he sat up.
The room was dimly lit by the morning sun, filtering in through the blinds. The rumpled sheets glowed in soft orange stripes. He clutched them.
Nightmare. It must have been a nightmare. Breathing deeply, he tried to calm himself down. Beside him, Marie shifted in her sleep.
Then he heard a gurgling cry.
Paul! That was Paul! Staring at the closed bedroom door, he reached for Marie's shoulder.
"Wake up Marie," he hissed.
"I'm already awake," she said in a conversational tone. Rolling over, she looked at him, then sat up. The sheets fell from her breasts.
"I think something is happening! I heard Paul yell."
"Don't worry about it," she replied. "I think you should just relax."
He stared at her.
"Just relax, dear. Relax. Be calm."
He kept staring.
Her eyes seemed to be - no, *were* - glowing.
"Just relax, Clark. Be calm." Her glowing, spiraling eyes widened. "Everything is going to be just fine."
He stared at her.
END 'Deeper than you Think'
(Original) END COMMENTS:
I started this because of something trilby offhandedly mentioned in an
email. I finished it because Vice agreed to collaborate with me.
Secret Files Afterword (2016):
I wrote this in late 2002; at the time, one of the few places for Erotic Mind Control content outside of the EMCSA were Yahoo Groups, a few of which served as repositories for image manipulations and original MC art. It was, to be honest, pretty primitive, but we made do with what tools were available.
One of the best of the Yahoo groups belonged to Vice, another of the Great Old Ones who is still around today. Most of his marvelous work is Poser-based, but I reached out to him and he hand-drew some illustrations for this story, which I have included. Are they not awesome? I think so.