Content Warning: death, suicide. Loosely inspired by the song Bury a Friend by Billie Eilish. || “Careful. You don’t know who I am.”
Of course he didn’t, but he could find out, couldn’t he? The girl with dyed blue hair who danced in the hallway at night, who stared out the window at the city below as if it was a far-away land, a fairy-tale kingdom she could never touch. The girl who would skip away down the halls just as quickly as she’d come, back to her apartment.
“But I want to know you. We could be friends.”
He’d caught her off guard, the first time. He’d been switched to graveyard shifts, and came home at 3am to his quiet apartments, thrown off-kilter by the late hour. She’d been standing by the lift, head and shoulders leaned back against the wall, an awkward pose. It was her gaze that drew him. She stared. Stared like she was trying to reach inside his soul with those dark brown eyes.
The doors to the lobby needed a code to enter after hours. Not just any weirdo off the street could wander in.
He gave a nod. “Hello.” Her face fell. Gaze flickered. As if she hadn’t expected a response, a greeting. As if she’d expected to be ignored.
“Hello,” her voice was rough, almost unused. Like she needed a drink.
She was there every night. Not there, near the lift, at least not always. He’d see her wandering around the halls, down in the lobby. Sometimes she was taking the lift up just as he was coming home.
Her voice stopped being so rough, after a few nights.
She was…strange. He couldn’t pin if it was creepy or alluring…or maybe both. He wondered if she was on some kind of psychedelics, but if that was the case, why hadn’t the lobby guard done something about her? The sour-faced old man never seemed bothered by her presence. He seemed to rather pointedly ignore her, but he wasn’t the friendliest fellow to begin with.
Maybe that was all it was. She was strange. Just strange.
Strange was interesting.
She looked alarmed. He worried that he’d scared her. But then she smiled, her face silhouetted by the window behind her. “Call me Kat.”
Their conversations were snippets, small talk as they crossed paths. She lived there, she didn’t like to go out. The halls were quiet at night, so she wandered. She couldn’t sleep – never could sleep. He guessed she had to sleep sometime, but she insisted.
“I can’t sleep. I gave up trying.”
Some nights she talked more than others. Sometimes, he’d only catch a glimpse of her, white jeans and white t-shirt disappearing down another hall. He guessed she lived on his floor, but sometimes in the lift she’d get off elsewhere, skipping away as if she knew exactly where she was going.
He’d gotten up the courage to ask her out for a drink. That was when she said it.
“Careful. You don’t me.”
“That’s what getting a drink is for,” he said, a nervous laugh in his voice, the fear of rejection tightening its grip. “So I could…we could…get to know each other.”
“I don’t like to go out,” she said. “We should stay here.”
He hadn’t expected that. But…
“We could…go to my apartment? Do you like vodka tonic?”
She shrugged, but smiled. It was the most enthusiasm he’d yet seen from her. As it turned out, she didn’t like vodka tonics. In fact, she wasn’t interested in drinking at all. Her idea of getting to know him was far more straight-forward than he’d dared imagine.
She pulled off his clothes without even undressing herself. Raked her nails down his chest, left her passion in red trails that burned so good. Her hands tangled in his hair, held his head down as she kissed him. She tasted clean but – strange. Like charcoal in water. There was a smell in her hair like earth – fresh overturned earth after the rain. She was quiet, so quiet but so eager. Her hands gripped his cock like she owned it – stroked waves of pleasure from him with uncanny skill. She didn’t stop when he came. Brutally she kept him shaking, shuddering, until she had wrenched that strangled, desperate “please!” from his lips.
She didn’t stay the night. She kissed him and left, saying, “Thank you for getting to know me. I had a good time.”
She’d never even taken off her clothes.
She waited for him now. Some days, she’d already be standing near his door, biding her time until he came home. He didn’t know what to call the things they did. “Making love” was out of the question. He didn’t even know if he could call it sex. She never took off those white jeans, or the loose white t-shirt that was always bleached to perfection. She ravished his body, learned every sensitive spot, knew which swirls of her tongue would make him gasp. She tied him to the bed, with ties and belts and old sheets. She drew every last bit of pleasure out of him and left him gasping, heart pounding, head swimming. He’d fall asleep quickly after she left, utterly drained.
Guilt began to consume him. He didn’t understand why she wouldn’t linger, why she wouldn’t let him touch her, hold her – why she wouldn’t accept any offers of reciprocation. It made him feel as if he was using her, but something in that belief still didn’t feel quite right. The longer it went on, the more he wondered if he was the one being used.
He reached for her shirt one night. Grabbed the hem and made to pull it over her head. But her hand clamped down over his wrist with shocking strength.
“Careful,” she said sharply. “You don’t want to do that.”
He sighed, deflated. She picked up the ties she would use to hold him down, her one consistent, absolute perversion. She loved to watch him struggle. She’d encourage him, teasing him with her fingers until he squirmed. She reached for him, but he said, “I just don’t feel right not doing something in return. I want to make you feel good, Kat. I want to hold you, to…to see you. All of you.”
She shook her head slowly. “No you don’t. You don’t want that.” Something in her tone sounded like a warning. Almost…almost a threat. Smooth silk encircled his wrists, binding him to the bed frame. She straddled him, grinding her clothed hips slowly against him. “You like the mystery. You like to wonder.” She smiled, such a small, teasing smile. His cock was already hard. He wanted her touch, yet he dreaded it. She would tease. Taunt and tease and keep him on edge for hours. She’d laugh when he begged. Laugh when he grew frustrated. He’d realized quickly how tightly she could tie. Once bound, he couldn’t escape.
It should have frightened him. Perhaps he should have been more careful. But it felt so good, too good. He need it like he needed oxygen. He’d never been able to touch himself as well as she touched him. He’d never had his mind drawn to such places of utter desperation that the sound of his own voice changed, became pathetic, whining, pleading.
When she lowered her head, he whined before she even touched him. Arched his hips as her mouth hovered near. He was ashamed of himself for it. He’d never let a girl tie him up, do as she wished, taunt him – use him. The tip of her tongue caressed around his head, shocks of pleasure, almost too much. But he couldn’t say no, he could make no demands – not when he wanted it with such desperate, overwhelming need.
“Careful,” she laughed – that deep sexy laugh that got into his belly and seemed to flip it inside out. “Don’t demand too much, or I’ll slow down.”
“Please don’t…” Don’t slow down, don’t stop. Don’t draw out the torture. Her mouth consumed him, all of him, deeply. She slipped him into her throat with surprising ease – unnatural ease. Her dark eyes stared up at him, drinking in every second of it as he fell apart from her mouth. Squirming, struggling, whimpering, pleading.
“Please let me cum, please, please, please…”
Slower, she drew him back down. Hovering – close, so close – snatched away again. He could have sobbed. His muscles spasmed and jerked, and the lightest touch of her hand set him trembling.
“Fuck…Kat, please, please…fuck…”
She took her time. Looked at him with almost clinical eyes. Like he was an experiment on her table, just to see what a wreck she could make of him. His words became incomprehensible. Moaning, a desperate animal. Bucking and writhing under her hand. Feather light touches around his head as her other hand caressed his balls. Too much…fuck it was too much. He was so close.
When he came, she laughed at him. It made it better – made it worse – he didn’t know. It was best thing he’d ever felt.
He couldn’t stop being eager for her. He’d come back to the apartments with a spring in his step and butterflies in his stomach. Get into the lift – that damned ancient lift – wrench the old cage door closed –
“Lifts out of order, son.”
The button didn’t light when he pressed it. He peered out the door, toward the old guard seated in his usual place at the front desk. The man was staring at him over his tiny glasses, newspaper lying open on the desk before him.
“Lifts out of order,” he repeated. “Repairman will be along in the morning. You’ll have to use the stairs.” He nodded toward the dreary gray metal door beside the lift, the weathered sign on which read STAIRWELL. Michael sighed heavily, the last thing he wanted being to jog up 6 flights of stairs after a long shift. But he had little choice.
The stairwell was cold, the sound of his footsteps ricocheting off the narrow walls and up, up up. No one used the stairs anymore, not if they could help it. The chipping blue paint on the railing felt dusty under his fingers. He trudged ever upwards, huffing, head hung low.
He could hear someone else in the stairway.
Not because of footsteps, no, although he did pause to try to hear them. Whoever was there wasn’t walking, they were just…breathing. Rough…choked…a high-pitched whine as air struggled to get in…a groan…pained…
They were above him.
Near the sixth floor landing?
Goosebumps prickled on his skin. It was probably just someone who felt as winded as he did from taking all those god damn stairs. He kept going, slower now, up the next flight.
He lost his footing, almost fell back on the last landing. His breath stopped in his chest and blood rushed in his ears.
Kat was hanging above the sixth floor landing. Her eyes were rolled back in her head. Her lips were blue. Her bare, dangling feet twitched. That ragged breathing – rough, desperate, slow breathing –
She was still alive – holy shit – shit – shit she was still alive –
“Kat!” he screamed her name, even as he realized he couldn’t reach her. The rope around her neck extended into the darkness above the stairs, attached to…attached to…nothing…nothing he could see…but that didn’t matter…he had to get her down…had to reach her…needed help…a ladder…
“Hang on, Kat! Holy shit…holy shit…shit…” He ran down the stairs, leapt down them, shouting. “Help! Someone help please! She’s dying, she’s fucking dying, holy shit -”
The guard heard him screaming before he reach the lobby. He had the stairwell door open, poking his head inside with a frown.
“What’s going on?” he said gruffly, irritably. Michael was shaking, out of breath, hands moving wildly as he tried to explain.
“The girl – Kat – hanging – please she’s – she’s fucking hanging – need a ladder – please – please, Jesus, fuck -”
The guard was surprisingly quick to retrieve a ladder from the supply closet. Between the two of them they hauled the ladder up the stairs – up and up – Michael kept hoping to hear her breathing. He hadn’t prayed in years, but he prayed then. She needs to live, she needs to live, just let her live, just let her be-
“Where? Where is she, son?”
The sixth floor landing…was empty.
Michael felt as if his heart had stopped.
“Well? Son, where is the girl, this is urgent, this-”
“She…she was here…” Michael put down the ladder, staring in utter confusion. There was no deep endless darkness above the landing, just a sloping concrete ceiling. No rope…nothing to even attach a rope to…no Kat…
“What the hell is wrong with you?” the guard snapped. “You mean to tell me this is some kinda prank?”
“No! No she was…she was here…right here! Hanging!” Michael jabbed his finger at the empty space. “The blue haired girl! Kat! She’s always dancing around in the lobby, every night -”
The guard frowned, and by the slow step he took back, Michael could see his confusion, his suspicion.
“Are you on something, son?” the guard said slowly.
“No! No of course not! But you’ve seen her around, haven’t you? You know who I’m talking about? She wanders around every night, you’ve seen her…” His breathing was rapid, his heart pounding. She had to have somehow gotten down…maybe she was injured…needed help…but how…
The guard was slowly shaking his head. “Haven’t ever seen a blue-haired girl here. And I’d notice anyone acting strange, dancing in the halls like you said.” His frown deepened. “I think you’re tired, son. Been a long night for you. You should get on to bed…unless you need me to call someone…”
“No! No…I don’t need…no…” Michael back away, opening the door to the sixth floor. “Sorry. I’m…I’m tired…just tired. Sorry…”
He let the door slam. Marched down the hall and didn’t look back. It made no sense. He’d seen her. He knew she’d been there. Same white clothes…same blue hair…she’d been there…he’d heard her breathing…
Breathing…he could still…hear her breathing…
He stopped in the middle of the hall. He couldn’t pin point the sound.
“Kat? Kat where are you?” he tried to keep his voice down. Didn’t want the guards to hear, the neighbors. Her breathing choked, throttled. It sounded so near…and coming nearer…
Right behind him.
He whirled around. She stood in the middle of hallway with her hands behind her back. No rope – no marks on her neck – no distress on her face. As if she’d been waiting there for him all along, dancing through the halls.
“What the fuck, Kat?” he breathed, rubbing his hands over his face. What was happening? Was he actually seeing things? Was he just that tired? He had never just hallucinated before… “Kat were you…were you in the stairwell.”
She cocked her head to the side and frowned, ever so slightly. “No,” she said dreamily. “Not tonight.”
“Jesus Christ,” he shook his head. “I thought I – I saw -”
She was staring at him. Wide eyed, but not clinical now. Not taunting. “What did you see, Michael?” she said. Her voice was so flat. Was it always so flat? Was it always so emotionless? “What do you know?”
He frowned, his confusion only deepening. “I feel like I don’t know shit, Kat. I don’t know shit about you…hell, I don’t even know what apartment you live in, or what your last name is, or what you look like under your clothes…” He tossed up his hands in frustration. “Look…I’ve had a long night…I’m tired…”
“We should go back to your apartment,” she said.
“No. No. I’m going back to my apartment. You…you just…” He waited for an emotional reaction. He waited to see hurt on her face, to see…anything. But she just blinked those big dark eyes slowly. Dark brown…so dark they were almost black. “I’ve just had a long night. I need to sleep.”
“Are you afraid of me, Michael?”
The question surprised him. This small woman, this strange woman, this overwhelming woman…frightening?
“I…I don’t…” Words failed him. He though of her face as she’d hung in the stairwell – eyes rolled back, tongue lolling past blue lips. The sound of her breathing – choking – dying. “I’m not…I don’t know, Kat. I’m not afraid of you, I just…I don’t know what’s going on with me right now. I need sleep-”
“Why aren’t you?” Her hands were at her sides. Fingers twitching, involuntary movements. She made a little sound as she blurted out her words – a familiar sound – almost like –
“What?” His head ached, his body felt heavy. Maybe he hadn’t noticed how little sleep he’d been getting. Maybe he hadn’t noticed how much she’d tired him, how much she’d…drained him.
“Why aren’t you afraid of me?” she whispered. “Why do you want me?” Her eyes widened. Her white shoes shuffled on the ground. “Why aren’t you being more careful, Michael?” Emotion slipped in – fearful. Uncertain. A warning…and maybe a threat.
He stared at her for several long moments. The apartments were so quiet. Always so quiet. The city outside seemed a million miles away, just flickering lights in an endless night. “Should I be afraid of you, Kat?” he said softly.
She swallowed. A strangled sound, throttled in her throat. “You don’t know me.”
He nodded slowly. She was strange, maybe she was even crazy. She drew him, ushered him without a word. He ached for her. But not now. Not tonight. He needed to think. Needed to…to get away from her. To get rid of the sound of her choked breathing that still seemed to echo in his ears.
“Good night, Kat. I’ll see ya.”
He turned away. He hadn’t even realized how much he’d been sweating, despite the cold in the hallway. Bed…he needed his bed, a stiff drink, a good night’s sleep. He didn’t have to work in the morning, he could sleep in-
“I hate burying my friends.”
He stopped. It didn’t take his slow glance over his shoulder to know she was right behind him. He hadn’t heard her move, there had been no footsteps. But she was right there. Dark eyes staring, clinical again.
“What did you say?” He was irritated, and tired. So tired. So goddamn tired.
“I always have to bury my friends.” Her voice was sad, but probing. As if she’d asked a question instead of made a statement. “I don’t want to bury you too. Please. Be careful.”
“Yeah…yeah…” He turned away again, quickening his steps. “I’ll be careful.”
Exhaustion didn’t grant him sleep. He laid there on his back, staring at the ceiling. Restless. Claustrophobic. He pulled back all the curtains, opened his windows to let in the sounds of the city. But the city was muted. As if the roar of traffic, furious car horns and hum of electricity had been stifled with a blanket. He turned on the fan, let it whir. Something, anything. A distraction. He could practically feel her weight on the bed when he closed his eyes. Could almost feel her hand wrapped around his cock. His body grew tense. His back arched. There was no pleasure. Only need.
He opened his phone, scrolled through Pornhub. Lay there with his phone over his face, blue light shining down, moans filling his ears. His hand may as well have been sandpaper on his skin. He was hard, painfully hard, but even lotion felt like splinters in his skin.
He pulled back the blanket, sweatpants around his knees, convinced he must have cut himself, or irritated his skin somehow –
He hadn’t expected to see his member throbbing with thick white veins.
“Holy…shit…shit…” The veins were tender, pulsating, almost plantlike, alien. He touched them and they jerked, sending grating pain through his cock. But he was still hard. No matter how much fear and disgust began to invade his brain, the erection wouldn’t calm.
Something was wrong – doctor – hospital – call an ambulance? – had someone drugged him – was he dreaming? – was he hallucinating? – was –
She stood in his bedroom doorway, her white clothes almost glowing in the dark. She padded in on bare feet – bare feet dangling, twitching, mouth gaping – and stood at his bedside.
“What the fuck is this?” he whispered. The ache intensified at the sight of her. If she could just touch him, just touch him once, just her breath on his skin – choking, gagging –
“Are you frightened, Michael?”
“Yes! Yes, I’m fucking scared shitless, what the fuck, Kat?” he swore his voice could have echoed across the city. All that city…all that dark space outside the window – a rope tied to nothing – so why did he feel so trapped? “How did you even get in here? Why are you -”
She was on the bed, crouched over him. She didn’t move that fast – but she did. It was like a jerk of her arm put her on top of him. Big dark eyes – black eyes – blinking slowly. “I can’t sleep, Michael. I can never sleep. Where do you go when you sleep?”
“What…Kat…” He could feel silk around his wrists. The ties…but there weren’t any ties…just his arms pressed to the bed, immovable no matter how much his muscles strained. “Kat what the fuck are you doing…Kat…”
She was pulling off her shirt, soft cotton slipping over softer skin and bare breasts. Her skin pulsated with white writhing veins. It was a network over her chest, a spider’s web that strained beneath her flesh. He could only lie there gasping as she rose and stood over him on the bed – but her weight wasn’t on the bed anymore. She floated over him, weightless, bare feet twitching, mouth gaping, lips graying – her jeans melted away and all that was left was her bare skin – her perfect bare skin and those vicious white veins.
“Kat…” His voice was a sob. Terror – desire – desperation. Whatever that was – whatever she was – was in him. Those white tendrils…consuming him…
The sound coming out of her as she came down and straddled him again was horrific, guttural. Strangled, throttled moans of pleasure. She sunk onto him, and as she took his length deep inside the sensation was overwhelming. Pleasure and pain beyond words. A rush to every sense. A flood of endorphins that made his eyes roll back. The city didn’t exist anymore, nor did the walls of his bedroom, the flesh that housed him. He was sensation. A vibrant gasp in the dark fabric of time dragged by her bright, violent light.
“I told you to be careful.”
Her voice echoed, endless. He had no tongue with which to speak.
“You don’t know me. You should’ve been frightened.”
Was there truly fear anymore? Or only amalgamations of sensation? A world of constricting white light.
“I don’t know where you go when you sleep, Michael.”
He was choking, throttled – or was it only that he had no means by which to breath? No mouth, no throat, no body – no air. He didn’t need it, did he? There was only her body – moving – consuming, drawing forth everything from him –
“I can’t sleep.”
“I can’t sleep, I’ve tried so hard.”
“Don’t leave me.”
He couldn’t breath, only feel.
“Don’t ever leave me.”
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