The cruel winds had blown through Williston Falls the night before. The storm uprooted sturdy trees in the town’s small park and lifted farm houses only to reset them cockeyed on their foundations. But there was worse.
The morning after, three ladies huddled together in the Louise Hollis Community Center, trying to calm a weeping Mrs. Ruth Latzke.
“Cry. It’s all right,” Mrs. Thelma Schumacher said, rubbing Ruth’s back. “I know I did after it happened to me.”
Mrs. LeAnne Schantz sat in an old metal fold-out chair behind Mrs. Latzke and touched her shoulder gently. “You’re still an upstanding woman here. We think no less of you.”
Hearing that alone, Ruth covered her face, as if hiding her degradation. She broke down in weeping, eyes reddened. Her cries echoed throughout that one-room building. The ladies drew in closer to sooth Ruth and hold her jittery hands. Last night, Mrs. Latzke had faced a seemingly unbelievable attack. While the married women calmed their friend, the bride-to-be Ms. Julia Busch tried to offer support like LeAnne and Thelma. However, Julia hadn’t at first believed such a strange thing could or would happen. So, this circumstance raised questions for her.
Julia had no experience. She was a virgin, never been with a man. She had kissed a boy only once, and it was just a peck. All her life, her mother only said be pure. “Never let a man touch your body until he is your husband. Even then, do not let him do degrading things to you.” She was never sure what things good women would not allow.
After a long time coddling the torn-up Ruth, Julia finally asked how the night happened. Mrs. Latzke gathered her wits as best as possible in her despair. She sniffled and calmed her heaving chest. “There’s always been a creak in the walls of my husband’s and my bedroom. With the storm last night, what I heard was worse than usual. So loud I thought the whole house might collapse. If nothing else, I guessed the roof might be blown off.”
She dabbed the corner of her eyes with a crumpled tissue. “I shook Archie awake, but he told me to ignore it and go back to sleep. ‘If this farm house has stood since 1872, it’s not gonna fall tonight,’ he tells me. Then he was snoring again. The old bastard.” She glanced heavenward. “Forgive me.”
She breathed deeply as if she had to gain control over herself. “I was still not at peace, so I got up to listen. I sound loony when I say I heard that creak move along the wall. But I did, sure as the sun will rise tomorrow. I heard it. The creaking rounded the corner of our room, and then stopped exactly between my bonnet chest and oak armoire. Just out of sight of Archie. Then …” She stopped abruptly, and an onset of tears overtook her. Through her weeping, she blubbered, “I’m so embarrassed. I am now a defiled woman! Never pure again.”
Her friends leaned in and put their arms around her. Mrs. Schumacher knelt before Ruth, patting Ruth’s hands.
“Same happened to me some months ago,” Mrs. Schumacher said. “I felt the long ‘thing.’” She shivered and grimaced. “But all I really remember is waking up in bed with dried gunk on my face, a damp pillow, and a salty taste in my mouth. Worse, some of the ‘stuff’ had dried in my hair. Ruined my perm. Cost me $30 and a blowup by Bill because of that money.”
Ruth glared at Thelma through her reddened eyes. “It didn’t happen that way at all. It was worse. I did worse!”
“Worse!” Thelma retorted. She dropped Ruth’s hands and stood. She put her hands on her large hips. “I sing forth praises in hymns and good songs with these lips.”
“Ladies, ladies,” LeAnne said, “we’re not here to outdo each other. We aren’t men. We are here to comfort and lift up our sister in this dark hour.”
A few moments later, young Julia gently urged on Ruth. “So, the creaking stopped between the armoire and the bonnet chest …”
“And I gave in.” Ruth slowly pulled up her dress to reveal her knees. They were red with rug burn.
The ladies gasped and choked. They covered their mouths.
Ruth immediately hid her knees and defended herself. “I am not a dog, I’m not, I’m not, I’m not!” She covered her face, breaking down into further anguish.
Her close friends soothed her again. Except Julia. She didn’t fully understand the strange story, especially when a similar oddity happened to Mrs. Schumacher.
“What did you do?” Julia asked, timidly.
It took a few moments, but Ruth regained herself and sighed. She dabbed her eyes, patting the mascara that had streaked darkly down her cheeks. “A dark spot, a tall shadow, darker than any shadows at night, appeared on the wall. It stood from floor to ceiling, and from it, a … a … penis.”
“From the wall?” Julia was startled at the thought. “An actual ‘penis’, not a shadow? But how?”
LeAnne tried to temper Julia’s questions. “Yes, it appeared like that for all of us.”
Ruth continued, “I had never seen or felt one that large. I’ve only been with Archie in my whole life, and Archie’s wiener is nothing like it. This one was as large as … as a cucumber from Mrs. Hamilton’s garden. As long too.” She glanced into the others’ faces and wagged her finger. “I will deny ever saying that.”
She then lowered her head. “I thought I saw—but it can’t be real—something like the form of a shadowy man appeared against the wall but only his you-know-what came out of the wall. Then a sinful desire came over me. Like a depraved yearning. My fast heartbeats, heavy sweats, salivating, my other womanly pricklings. I did as this ‘man’ instructed me. I pulled my nightgown above my waist, knelt down on my hands and knees and turned my backside toward his silhouette. In a moment of lust, a smoothness and a warmth ran up my backside. Felt as lovely as shea butter, it did. Then I felt the ‘thing’ press against my …” She suddenly burst into tears again. She pounded the chair. “I’m so humiliated. I have never done this before. My mother warned me since I was a young girl that having anything enter ‘there’ was a disgrace. Only dogs and prostitutes allow it. But I allowed it, I did it.”
Everyone was silent when Julia asked, “How did it feel?”
Mrs. Latzke lifted her head. She stared directly into the eyes of the young Julia. She wore a wanton smile and dark eyes. It lasted for a moment before she washed it from her face with tears, as best as she could.
The farm town of Williston Falls was calm for months after that storm. Mrs. Latzke’s life calmed, and Julia’s wedding neared. The excitement of the day grew, even her desire for her first night alone with her husband. Julia had boarded at Mrs. Schantz’s house until the wedding when she would then move into the new home with her husband. A week before the wedding though, the summer storms stirred in Williston Falls.
That evening, Mr. Schantz was reading the newspaper, sitting in his upholstered recliner. As if he didn’t notice, or was not bothered by, the strengthening winds. Mrs. Schantz was silent too on the other side of the small room, crocheting, in her rocking chair. However, she was ill at ease. Her eyebrows were arched, her forehead crinkled, and her mouth was frowned.
“Are you all right, Mrs. Schantz?” Julia asked softly.
The question startled Mrs. Schantz from her pensiveness. “Oh, yes, yes, fine. I am fine, Julia.” She began rocking stiffly in her chair and humming a light melody, attempting to prove nothing was wrong.
“Worried about this storm, she is,” Mr. Schantz said, without looking up from his paper. “Julia, nothing’s goin’ happen. These winds ain’t near strong enough.”
With a frustrated grunt, Mrs. Schantz stood abruptly from her chair and left for the kitchen. Mr. Schantz shook his head, then straightened the crisp evening newspaper.
Julia followed Mrs. Schantz into the kitchen. The woman was leaning over the countertop, her shoulders high, almost to her ears.
Julia saw her breathing heavily. He came close. “Are you alright? You’re restless.”
“Nothing’s the matter,” she said.
“I know something is weighing on you. Is it the winds, the coming storm?”
Julia put her arm across Mrs. Schantz’s shoulders. But she brushed it off and stepped to the other side of the kitchen. “I don’t think it concerns you. You wouldn’t understand.”
“Are you upset at Mr. Schantz because he isn’t concerned about you or the storm?”
LeAnne’s shoulders were still set hard and cold. Her hands gripped the edge of the countertop. LeAnne slowly raised her face toward the ceiling, and Julia saw her neck was reddened with heat. Even more stirring were two tiny bumps on her chest, pressing hard against her heavy blouse.
LeAnne noticed Julia’s gaze and crossed her arms. “I need to be left alone. Go to your room.”
Julia said no. “I am worried about this storm too and about what I’ve heard from Mrs. Schumacher and Mrs. Latzke, the man on the wall.”
LeAnne gasped. She raised her hand toward her but stopped. “Do not ever mention that here. I don’t want to hear it. He does not exist. It is … He is nothing but a lie!”
Julia was struck by Mrs. Schantz’s harsh retort. She had never acted like this. She was kind and patient and gentle. An upstanding woman.
Julia answered back. “But Mrs. Latzke and Mrs. Schumacher, they’ve met him. You too. How is he not real now?”
“Julia!” Mrs. Schantz snapped like an angry mother, “leave me alone. Go to your room!”
Mrs. Schantz slammed her hand on the counter, making the silverware rattle in the drawer.
“These summer winds, I tell you, nothing comes with them. We were all lying. Lying, everyone of us,” Mrs. Schantz hissed. Her eyes had a viciousness in them, revealing what was inside of her. Seeing venom, Julia left her alone.
Julia passed through the sitting room. “I am going to rest for the night, Mr. Schantz. I have a long day tomorrow. Pray the storm passes us without a trace.”
“No need to pray. Just a little wind. Don’t let Mrs. Schantz get you all worked up. She’s nutty on nights like these.” And he gave a flippant wave and then folded the newspaper.
That night, the trees swayed under the wind, and their trunks moaned. A branch cracked, and, throughout the storm, it smacked and scratched against Julia’s bedroom window, eeking against the pane. Julia lay alone, fearful, with the blankets pulled up to her chin, like a little girl. There were shadows and odd sounds in the house. She tried to sleep but could not rest her thoughts. The fear of the storm and the questions about the women’s stories of that silhouette ran through her mind. She tried to believe what Mrs. Schantz had said in the kitchen, that it is all a lie, that the silhouette is not real. She could not quite convince herself though.
A sudden whoosh of wind pushed the broken branch against her window again and it banged the branch against the pane. The screech made Julia cringe. Mustering some courage, she walked to the window to see whether the branch might break the glass. When she turned back, she saw a dark movement cross her room, near her dresser. Immediately she thought of Mrs. Latzke’s encounter. The stories she had heard replayed in her mind. From then on, she began to imagine a tall shadow moving up and down the wall, from floor to ceiling. And she remembered how the Silhouette moved between Mrs. Latzke’s chest of drawers and her armoire. The Silhouette can’t be here, Julia thought. The others knew when he was there. He would do the same to me, wouldn’t he?
Julia’s mind eased, after a calm in the storm and in the house. She convinced herself that the shadows and sounds all were nothing. “Just everyday sights and sounds seen and heard in the dark,” she muttered. She began to feel better and the peace allowed for a little rest.
Soon though, in the quiet, she heard a door unlock. The soft click of a key stirred her, spiking her attention and arousing her nervousness.
A silhouette wouldn’t, couldn’t, open a door, she thought. She giggled at her stupidity and fears. It must have been Mr. or Mrs. Schantz. One of them was probably out if bed for some reason. No one else lived there. However, her mind didn’t give up. What if it wasn’t?
Julia forced her eyes closed and steadied her breathing. “There is nothing to be afraid of,” she repeated to herself.
She heard a creak on the hard wood floor in the hallway. It was a familiar squeak that sounded whenever someone walked by the staircase. And her room was near those stairs. She heard shuffling footsteps continuing down the hallway closer to her bedroom door.
She sat up in bed. Someone, something, is walking this way, she thought. Was it the Silhouette?
“No,” she commanded herself to believe, “just one of the Shantzs.” She added in a whisper, “There is nothing to be afraid of.”
Outside, the winds suddenly picked up again, and the branch eeked against her window. She gritted her teeth. Her heart beat faster. Her throat tightened. She recalled the weeping Mrs. Latzke and her reddened knees. And Mrs. Schumacher and the saltiness left in her mouth and the dried goo on her face and in her hair. And Mrs. Schantz. She said none of it was true and said strange things had happened to them all, each of the ladies who were there that morning in the Louise Hollis Community Center.
The thoughts spun Julia’s mind, stealing her calm. If the Silhouette wanted them, it might want me. What would it want from me? Something bad?
And there was Mrs. Latzke’s wanton smile. A smile that conveyed a deep desire for more of the lustfulness. Julia’s mind countered that thought with an image of the man she loved, her fiancé. She wanted him to be her first and the only man to know her. However, dirty thoughts began to consume all of her mind. She began to think:
The Silhouette wasn’t a man, if it was even real, so my husband would be the only “man” I would know.Whatever it demanded, whatever I did, I would still be a virgin for him even if the Silhouette burned my knees or messed up my hair. And her mind continued, What would it be like to have something large and long in my … She ran her finger along her secret lips. There was an immediate moistening, a warmth of excitement.
Another movement caught her eye, pulling away those brief wanton thoughts. The movement blocked, for half a second, the steady soft light coming underneath her bedroom door. Her throat constricted again. She forced herself to lay back, now fully awake and squeezing her bedsheets. Would the Silhouette make a noise or attack suddenly, silently? Could I escape? But Mrs. Latzke didn’t hear anything and she wanted to follow it.What if I wanted to do what it told me? Could I not do it?
Mrs. Latzke’s wicked smile came to mind again. It was a deep desire. A fiery craving, animalistic.
A shuffling in the hallway came close to Julia’s room, and it stopped just beyond her door. This time, the soft light under the door was obstructed. The door handle turned softly. The twist caused the moonlight to reflect for a second on the metal handle. Julia bit her bottom lip to prevent a scream. However, there was no shaking or wild rattling of the handle. It seemed, whoever was on the other side, did not want to enter but just check that it was locked.
Julia sat up. “Mrs. Schantz?” she whimpered.
No one responded.
The shadow at her door passed by. Its passing made her as relieved as a night like this would allow, which was not much.
It doesn’t want me. It left me alone, she thought. She began to breathe again. A weight lifted.
But before long, other thoughts crept into her mind. Maybe it didn’t realize I am here. Maybe the Silhouette roams until it finds what it is looking for. She shuffled herself deeper into her bed and pulled the sheets up to her eyes.
There was another click. She heard the door to the other bedroom open and close with a single creak. It wasn’t the door to the master bedroom. The door led to the room beside hers. There were no other rooms on the second floor, except those three.
She heard a shuffling in that room, and Julia covered her mouth before she screamed. She held her hand tightly over it until she calmed herself. Stay in bed and try to sleep, maybe sing a nice, sunny song. But I could stop worrying so much if I just knew either Mr. or Mrs. Schantz was awake. I would sleep better.
Julia slipped out of bed. She tiptoed across her room, trying to avoid that single aching wood plank in her floor. She rushed to the next room, and found the door locked. Julia knocked on the door. “Mrs. Schantz! Mr. Schantz! Are you alright? Let me in to help you.”
No one answered.
She pushed her ear against the door. “Hello? Who’s in there?”
In a husky, tired voice, Mrs. Schantz answered, “Julia, I am fine. Leave, go back to bed.”
“Did you fall down? Do you need my help?”
“I didn’t fall,” LeAnne barked. “I’m cleaning in here. Go away!”
“Why are you cleaning in the middle …”
She was startled by sudden grunts and a heave of breath. With a ragged voice, Mrs. Schantz uttered, “Leave… me alone.”
Julia left the door and went to her room, confused, scared. She didn’t go to bed though. Instead, worried, she went into her dark closet. It shared a wall with the next room. She brushed past her dresses and avoided the pairs of heels on the floor. She froze when she heard a wild shriek and a deep, growling moan. The moan was succulent and an invitation to do again what was just done. Whoever it was took advantage of the invitation. The moans grew louder and faster.
Julia dropped to her hands and knees and pressed her ear against the wall. She heard mattress springs squeak in quick rhythm. Soon she began to understand what was happening in the next room.
“The Silhouette,” she whispered in fear. She remained silent, listening, until she heard a woman’s last unholy screech. Animalistic, shameless, orgasmic.
All went silent after that in the other room. No squeaks. No movement. No moans. But suddenly, gently, the empty clothes hangers clacked against each other and her hanging dresses swished. When Julia pulled her ear away from the wall, she felt a warm breeze. She looked over her shoulder in case Mrs. Schantz had come to her room to scold her like an angry mother. As Julia looked back, between her and the closet doorway was a thin gray haze. She could see her messy bed and her oak chest of drawers, but the room was blurred. She squinted to decide if her mind was tricking her or if her eyes had become accustomed to the dark of the closet. She got her answer when that warmth surrounded her. It felt smooth, as smooth as shea butter. Just like Mrs. Latzke had described it.
The warmth touched, as if two hands, the soft bottoms of her feet and moved around her ankles, her calves, to her knees, and then her thighs.
The warm hands circled every part of her, even grazing against the most intimate places, reminding her that she was naked under her nightdress. The hands, as she reckoned, rose up the back of her legs. The tiny hairs straightening. A more intense tingle caused her small toes to press into the floor to counter the pleasure.
The hands moved to the front of her legs, gripping the young flesh, kneading her thighs to the edge of pain. When the warmth slid between her cheeks, it tightened her innocent anus. Yet Julia let the warmth go where it pleased. It fondled her tightly drawn rosebud. She squealed, like a little girl being tickled, when it thumbed her pink lips. Her whole body jittered in the intimate attention. And she wanted more.
She thought of Mrs. Latzke’s wanton smile. She knew now why she had smiled so.
The warmth moved through the tuft of trimmed hair above her pussy and over her narrow hips. It blew briefly in her navel. Her juvenile giggling paused when the warmth cupped her small breasts. Her nipples hardened instantly. The warmth thrummed the hardened flesh. It tweaked them, one nipple and then the other, and then together. Her head fell sideways to her left shoulder as she soaked up the attention. She gasped though when she felt the roughness of a tongue swab over her light brown nipples. No one had touched her like this. Even she avoided playing, fearing that personal pleasure was improper. But this warmth shooed away all those concerns. Her body had been consumed by this warmth only briefly.
“Give me more. I want more,” she whispered.
However, it whisked away, down her stomach, off her hips, through the crease of her cheeks and sliding off her toes. She was cold again.
“Where did you go?” she asked. “Don’t leave me.” She felt like a close friend had abruptly ended a deeply personal conversation.
But a deep, noble voice spoke simply. “Lift your gown.”
Without a second thought about Mrs. Schantz, the morning at the community center, Ruth or Thelma, or, least of all, her fiancé, she shimmied the nightgown up her legs, baring her ivory bottom.
The warmth touched her lower back but the feeling faded when she felt something stiff and undeterred pressing against her pussy. She thought of Ruth and her description of the cucumber from Mrs. Hamilton’s garden. “I will deny ever saying that,” Mrs. Latzke had said.
The pressure grew against Julia’s virginity and a worry about the pain of tearing her flesh.
“Wait, wait,” she stammered. There was no stopping it though.
The dick pushed its way into her, breaking her innocence. It entered deeply and pulled back, making Julia yelp at the rub against the folds of flesh. The tip came to the edge of her entrance and bumped her swollen clit. She winced and hissed, as if being burned. She felt the exciting, new pleasure of sexual excitement. Julia’s eyes were closed and her jaw was offset. Her head bobbled back and forth, up and down as she was being fucked for the first time. Soon the overconsumption of lust, tenderness, revelry, had her feeling faint, her head cloudy. Near euphoria, she was given a chance to breathe and regain herself as the dick pulled out of her. It left her empty and wanting it again.
“Again, more, more, please.” She ached out the request.
The tip of the cock brushed her pussy folds once more. She knew it had aligned itself with her entry, but she only felt grazes against her needy flesh.
Offering herself, she spread apart her knees to give easier access to her wet pussy and amorous labia. The cock didn’t press where she expected however. Instead, it pushed slower and harder against her tightened ass. She tightened it as a natural reaction. And a moral one.
“I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. Don’t hurt me.” She swatted behind her but hit nothing. Yet, she winced as the cock pushed into her. Her delicate skin stretched, burning, until it was able to handle each thrust. The cock eventually pulled out. Julia’s ass was left stinging, a hot burning. She had trouble trying to wince it tight again.
The night had been overwhelming. Exhausted, Julia could only rest her face and chest on the cool closet floor, and letting her ass remain high. She didn’t care. She was lost in a confused state of worry, intense pleasure, embarrassment, guilt, unconcern, and, most of all, a lingering hedonistic desire.
Julia jolted upright and shrieked. “Mrs. Schantz!”
LeAnne was there, shaded by that gray veil.
“Let me help you to the bed,” she said.
Julia was jittery as she walked out of the closet. Her knees wobbled. She knew she had gone too far. She would never be the same, never an innocent girl. A greater worry of Julia’s now was, the whole time, Mrs. Schantz had watched.
Julia climbed into her bed. She turned her red face toward LeAnne but diverted her eyes. “How much did you see?”
“Everything,” she replied tenderly. “Was it all you expected?”
Julia was about to answer when LeAnne put her hands between her legs. Her cool, rough hands, not the warm, soft hands, touched her inner thighs and pushed her legs wide. Then her fingers brushed through Julia’s brown bush.
“Mrs. Schantz!” Julia squeaked, confused.
LeAnne didn’t answer. Instead, she silenced the young girl with a caress of her clit. The slightest touch made Julia arch her back and shake her head as it consumed so much sensuality.
Julia knew someone else was in the room, maybe Mr. Schantz, when she heard Mrs. Schantz say, “She is ready. She is yours.”
“Whose am I?” Julia asked worriedly. “Don’t let your husband see me like this.”
“No one is here. Only me and Zulmanu,” LeAnne said.
“Zulmanu, the Silhouette we’ve all seen. The one who had you before all men.”
When Julia looked to LeAnne, the young woman saw that Mrs. Schantz held a dark length in her hand. Julia’s eyes followed the length from the mushroom-curved tip in Mrs. Schantz’s hand up the wall to the ceiling. It was the dark Silhouette, a shadow. No features, except for the size of the shadow and the length of its cock.
“You know its name?” Julia asked.
LeAnne tenderly guided the young woman, so her back was to the wall. “Zulmanu has visited for many years. He runs with the winds.”
LeAnne aligned the cock with Julia’s pussy. She then raised one of Julia’s legs to stretch and open her swollen lips.
“Zulmanu is an ancient lover of women,” LeAnne added.
As she said it, its cock entered Julia. Julia jumped with the first thrust and rocked with the others. It was the same length. Her body soon shook wildly. Zulmanu’s thrusts intensified. Julia grunted with each inward push. The rocking sped up, faster, faster, deeper and deeper, driving into her pussy, sharply, fully, and suddenly stopped. A warm cream filled her. Julia stiffened, unmoved.
Julia only glanced toward LeAnne and then turned her eyes to the ceiling, the shadowed head of Zulmanu. Her body was exhausted. Stretched, broken, burning, sweaty. She finally felt a glob of cum ooze from her pussy. It drained down her butt, over her burning ass and dampening the bed sheet.
LeAnne smiled, motherly, staring down at Julia’s young flesh.
The next morning, Julia awoke sore. Gathering her wits, she darted into her bathroom. She looked in the mirror. Her hair was crazed and strands pasted by sweat to her forehead. She scratched off the dried stickiness. She walked downstairs stiffly but hoping to hide that she was in pain.
Julia stepped into the kitchen.
“The storm passed over last night,” Mr. Schantz was telling LeAnne, was washing dishes. “Everything is fine. Didn’t I tell you that’s how it would be?”
“Good morning,” Julia said weakly.
“You look like you had a rough night,” Mr. Schantz said, studying her body. “The storm keep you up late too?”
“Very late, yes,” she said.
LeAnne washed the dishes, her back to Julia. “Breakfast will be ready soon. Have a seat at the table.”
Mr. Schantz looked at the women. “Both you seem more tired than you should be. The storm wasn’t even that bad.”
“I felt it for a long time,” Julia said.
Mrs. Schantz stiffened. “She was afraid, so I stayed by her,” said LeAnne, hands hidden in the soapy foam in the sink.
“So that’s where you went last night,” Mr. Schantz said.