The Black MansionThe difference between love and lust is infatuation.
Love of the Soul
Posted on 10/09/2021
21 min. read
The moonlight was dancing on her eyes.
Chapter No I: A tiring day
She had had enough. It was September 1971. Sometimes she wondered why she put up with her job. Ally was a tall brunette who worked in the L.A.P.D. She was 22 and had started to work there for one simple reason. While growing up, she had had multiple bad experiences with dating. Her love interests had told her that she was just a spoilt, little rich girl. She was a nobody without a place of her own, a car, and a job, according to those people. Ever since then, she had been searching for a job and found one at the L.A.P.D. She hated the job but stuck at it to regain some of her self-worth. Her boss liked to play mind-games and didn’t really want to help her settle into her job. “Tough Indians do not cry, whatever.”, she thought to herself every day. She had been working the job for a month now and hated every second. She was proud and artistic, solving homicides was nothing for her. Her days were the same, she would drive her boss, a wiry-haired detective by the name of Thomasson to some crime-scene. She would take down notes, go back to the precinct, do some research and drink herself to oblivion in a nearby bar day in, day out. Same shit, day in, day out.
She was mulling all this over, while sipping on a strong whiskey. She wanted to run away or die, or both. Anything to save her from this hell. Her parents had been the victims of a car crash two weeks ago and her boss had said “Here’s one to motivate you, little lady.” “Fuckface”, she thought. Her parents’ massive mansion and vast car collection had come to her. She lived alone in a big house. She needed company. She had fanatsized many times what her boss would like with a clean little hole in his head. Wouldn’t that be nice? Then she would write “Why so serious? ;)” on the floor in his blood. “Shame homicide is illegal.”, she thought and downed her drink. She turned around and looked at the bar she was standing in. It was a towered affair, made entirely out of glass and with a perfect 360-degree view of L.A.
Suddenly, a waiter, Rickie, beckoned to her. She walked over to him with her half-finished Whiskey. He was serving a table of girls clad in fancy furs and expensive garments a round of fancy drinks. He pointed to a girl, roughly Ally’s age, and said: “She has a question for you.” “Yes, hi, darling!”, the unknown girl bubbled. “Hi yourself, what’s up?”, Ally said vaguely annoyed, drinking up her whiskey and lighting a cigarette, clamped between her lips. “What’s your name?”, the girl inquired. “Ally, yourself?”, Ally replied drily. “Coco. What are you doing here all by yourself?”, Coco asked with a twinkle in her eye. “Want me to be honest?”, Ally asked. “Why not?”, Coco, asked, now curiously. “Maybe it’s meant only for someone, I trust and maybe I don’t trust easily?”, Ally said, adjusting the ring on her finger, about to sit down by pulling up a chair at Coco’s table. “You can’t sit with us, honey.”, one of Coco’s friends piped up. “And who might you be?”, Ally asked. “I’m the queen of Sheba.”, Coco’s friend replied. “You know what your problem is? You dress nicely but beneath that you’re the trash I take out every day. Rickie!”, Ally said calmly. “Yes?”, Rickie said, coming over. “Throw these wise asses out. Everyone except Coco here”, pointing at Coco. “Why, certainly.”, Rickie obliged and asked Coco’s friends to leave. They started screaming and shouting. Ally pulled aside her jacket, showing a shiny new Beretta sitting smugly above an L.A.P.D. badge. “You were saying?” Coco’s friends stopped shouting and left. Coco beamed at Ally. “Gee, thanks!”, I never liked them much, I hang out with them so that I’m not alone. But tell me, how is that you can just throw people out? I didn’t know that police officers could just throw people out.” “They can’t, but my parents used to own this joint and they died two weeks ago. It’s mine now. Someone piss me off, I throw them out.” “Ooooh, I see, well, I better stay on your good side, then, huh?”, Coco said admiringly, gracefully sipping her Vodka Martini.
They talked for some hours and exchanged numbers. Ally thought the evening hadn’t been half bad.
Chapter No II: A ray of sunshine
Four days later, a silver Aston Martin DB 5 rolled up in front of a white suburban family house. Ally got out, wearing floral-pattern trousers, baby-blue platform heels, tank-top, and her Native-American jacket with frills. She lit a cigarette, leaned against her car, she had dubbed “Masha” and put one of her delicate feet up to the door of the car. Her trousers were open on the side roughly to the knee. She wanted to show off her legs. Coco stepped out of the house. Ally beamed at her. They greeted each other and drove off. They drove up a hill-side, parked the Aston and sat down on the edge, overlooking the city of Los Angeles. It was late evening and the sun was just setting. “I missed you.”, Ally confessed. “Why is that?”, Coco replied. “I don’t go on any dates anymore. I am too emotionally dead for that sort of thing. I’ve been hurt more times than I can count. Deadens you after a while.”, Ally elaborated. “Can we fall in love?”, Coco said, putting her hand on Ally’s cheek. “Why d’you think I’m sitting here with you?”, Ally replied, putting her head into Coco’s hand. She felt safe. They cuddled in the cold wind and the last rays of sunshine. “Have you ever fallen in love with anyone?”, Coco asked softly. “Once, but she broke me so thoroughly, I still think about her sometimes but it is this weird thing where I want to physically be with her but I despise the person under that, yourself?”, Ally replied. “No. never. You seem you’re like a bloody veteran in this whole dating game.”, Coco said pensively. Ally, just as pensively, lighting a cigarette, answered: “Perhaps, the few it did sort of ‘work’ out with booked it after they realised that I wasn’t interested in them posturing and wanted to have genuine interactions or after they realised I didn’t have a job and still lived with mom and dad - who died in a homicide two weeks ago by the way.” “I’m sorry!”, Coco confessed, looking slightly hurt that this girl she had met had lost people who were key to her life. “I’ve been quite lonely. And after a while I gave up looking for someone who could see beyond the material superficialities.”, Ally continued. Coco turned to Ally, seating herself on the hill-side so that she was cross-legged and took Ally’s hands. She penetrated that beautiful face with her gaze. Ally looked tired, not physically, tired with life. There was pain and bad experience in those eyes. Who had said it? “A person’s eyes never lie.” Coco could see how this rung true in Ally’s case. She confessed: “Look, I know you’re a tough girl, I know you’ve been through a lot, I can feel that off you and your eyes speak volumes. The truth is that I’ve been seeking someone who will stand by me, support me, but most importantly, have genuine interactions with me.” “My eyes speak volumes? Hm interesting. C’mere you.”, Ally said to Coco. Coco lodged her slender body between Ally’s legs, her head resting on Ally’s tummy. Coco looked at Ally. Ally bent down, took Coco’s hands in her own and kissed Coco. It was a kiss she hadn’t had in a long time. She wanted more.
Six hours later, Coco woke up in a peculiar location. It was 3:00 a.m. in the morning. She was in a big chamber, lying naked in a bed with curtains. There was a crest at the head of the bed. It showed a unicorn impaling a horned creature against a tree. The outlines of the crest and the figures in it were rose-gold. The background was black and the frame surrounding the crest’s shield was also rose-gold. The legend below the shield read “Protegere et Servire.” The french windows to her right framed a stunning view of L.A. The wall to her left consisted of only transparent cabinets, dimly lit, with clothes-hangers and shoes. She must be in Ally’s bedroom. Ally’s gun and badge were lying on the bed-side table. In the distance behind two large complementing oak doors she could vaguely hear someone playing Debussy’s Claire de Lune. She walked towards the sound of the playing. Coco came into a hall at least twice the size of Ally’s bedroom and saw three things at a first glance. The walls in front of her, to the right of her and the one through which had entered the hall, were all lined by bookshelves. The floor was made out of shiny black tiles and in the middle of the room there stood two things, a couch and a large concert piano. It was at this piano that Ally was sitting like a beautiful white ghost. Her face was covered in tears and her eyes were closed. She was wearing nothing except for a white silken dressing gown that flowed down to the ground. The entire fourth wall was lined with French windows reaching from the ceiling to the floor. Ally’s hands trickled over the keyboard. She was lost in the music. The moonlight was dancing on the piano and on Ally’s face almost making her look somewhat like the phantom of the opera. There was something sinister and endearing about the scene in front of Coco. Ally hadn’t noticed that Coco had entered the room. Coco padded on bare feet to the piano and leaned against it, her breasts pressed against the cold black, polished wood. She rested her head in her hand, her arm propping up her head on the piano. Although it was quite cold outside and it was a windy autumn night and she was leaning against the piano in the nude, she wasn’t cold. Ally made her feel warm. A warmth that spread all the way from her cheeks, down to her arms and nipples, right down to between her legs and her toes. She looked at Ally. Such beauty she had rarely seen before. There was a half-smoked cigarette on the piano in an ashtray shaped like a lotus flower. Ally had come to the end of the song and reached out to the butt of the cigarette to take another drag at it. She noticed Coco. She smiled. “You were asleep for a long time.”, she said twinkling at Coco. “I’ve never had such meaningful sex with someone before and I tire easily”, Coco said, smiling back. “Mutual.”, returned Ally. “Why were you crying?”, Coco asked. “Beauty touches me deeply, I am in love with beautiful things but then I am always reminded what a desolate wasteland this world has become. Beauty, Art, and Culture are no longer valued. I play this song and it makes me transcend and gives me hope that perhaps there are still beautiful things hidden away if only one knows where to look. Right now I am surrounded by beauty and in the face of this I am touched and uncontrollably happy, high almost.”, Ally explained, stubbing out her cigarette. “You know what you are? You’re a unicorn. Now I suspect why your family’s crest is above your bed. That is who you and your parents must have been. Patrons of beauty and pure of heart, as unicorns are.”, Coco mused. “Perhaps”, Ally replied. “Is this your parents’ place? It’s quite grand.”, Coco asked further. “It was, now it is mine and mine alone.”, Ally answered. She continued: “Why don’t you sit on my lap? I want you there.” Coco walked around the piano and sat down on Ally’s lap. “And now?” Ally put her finger to her mouth and pursed her lips, as if saying, don’t say anything, enjoy the moment. They sat in silence, just the moonlight as their companion and looked into each other’s eyes. Ally closed her eyes and moved her lips towards Coco. Ally’s dressing gown slipped so that her breasts and Coco’s touched. They kissed. Ally gently stood up and grabbed Coco’s hips and pulled her towards her. They kissed some more. Ten minutes must have passed. Ally loved this girl, she wanted to be with this girl, she wanted this girl by her side 24/7/365. They disengaged. Ally put her hand on Coco’s cheek and said “I love you so much, you know that?” “Yes, and I do too.”, Coco replied resting her cheek in Ally’s hand and pulling Ally even closer to her with both her hands. Ally’s dressing gown had completely slipped to the ground. Ally took Coco’s hand and gently pulled her to her bedroom. She beamed at Coco. “Come on, let’s get some sleep, we’ve both gotta go to work tomorrow.”
Chapter No III: Broken yet again
Ally woke up alone. The first thing she noticed when she woke up, was a note on her pillow with the words, “You’re amazing, I love you. Let’s meet Friday at your restaurant?” It was Wednesday today. Normally she hated having to wake up and go to work but today she didn’t care. She felt high. High on life, love, and Coco. She got dressed, drank her coffee, scooped up her dressing gown and threw it on the bed, put on her badge and put her gun in her holster and went to her car. There was a small bag with a croissant in it and some coffee on the bonnet of the Aston. The bag had a note on it: “I’m sorry I left early, something came up with me and I need to attend to it. I know you don’t eat much so here’s some breakfast. Love you more than anything in this world. Coco. XXX” Ally picked up the bag and removed the note. She sniffed the note. It still smelled of Coco. Ally was delirious with amour. She got in her car and carefully placed coffee and croissant on the centre console and roared off to work.
When she got there, her boss was just stepping outside. “Don’t even bother going in, we have another homicide, come on jump into my car and take your breakfast with you.” Ally complied. She got in the car with him. They left the precinct parking lot. On the way to the crime scene, Ally was dreamily looking out of the window. She thought about the previous night and how happy she now was. She had really given up ever finding someone whom she could truly love. Coco had given her new hope and with this hope came new vim, vigour and satisfaction to her life. She swore to herself, to never let Coco go, unless Coco didn’t want her anymore. She would arrange her parents’ bedroom so Coco could stay with her and they could live together and would always be close to each other. While she was musing about her new-found love, she suddenly noticed that the neighbourhood that they had just entered was the same she had previously driven through when picking up Coco. Sure enough, five minutes later they drew up in front of Coco’s house. In front of the house, there were two forensic vans and one police car. The area around the house was cordoned off. They got out of the car. Ally was sick, she didn’t want to believe what this might mean. Without even asking her boss, she quickly donned a hazmat suit, showed her badge to the guarding officer on duty and ran into the house. The sight that met her made her freeze. There was Coco, dead on the floor, her eyes staring vacantly into the ceiling above her. She was wearing some jeans and a crop-top. There were red strangulation marks around her throat and she was holding a piece of paper with a number on it. Ally didn’t know what to say, do or react. Something snapped inside her. She experienced pain she had never known before. She crumpled on the floor and started crying hysterically.
“What’s going on here?”, she vaguely heard her commanding officer bellow into the house. The next thing she could remember was that she was sitting in an interview room back at the precinct being asked by one of her work-friends and her boss why she had cried and what she had known about Coco. She complied and told them all she knew about Coco which was not much. She felt dead, she didn’t care about anything or anyone anymore. After the interview finished, she packed her belongings from her desk, left her badge and gun on the reception desk and left the L.A.P.D. Nobody knows what has become of her since. Missing, presumed dead due to suicide or grief or both.