Speakeasy Challenge #131 -Finding Your Niche

He only did one thing well.

Irina’s dark hair lay splayed across her pillow. Her head tossed and turned, sweat glistening on her brow. Her bosom heaved as her breaths became deeper, faster.

Now she’s getting into it. A half-smile twisted his mouth and he poured more energy into it.

He’d tried sales. The sweet-talking and fast-talking, the pitching and promising, but he could never quite close the deal. Men, women, children, it didn’t matter. They would listen and then refuse, some politely, others less so.

Then Cleo would swoop in, black hair glistening, teeth gleaming. With the men, she would show a generous helping of cleavage and sway her hips just a bit more than usual, and the suckers went for it every time. She would change her tune with the women and project the strong confident female, her back straight and manner brisk. The kids received the kindly mother routine, all coos and false interest.

The woman knew how to close.

Irina’s hands gripped her sheets, balling them into her fists. Her back arched, her body no longer under conscious control. Her breaths became shallower, quicker.

I’m doing this to her. Pride stiffened his body and ecstasy rolled his eyes back into his head.

He had tried working in the prison system, but could never garner the respect… No, not respect, fear, of the inmates. He stood shorter than the other jailers, and no matter how much he puffed out his chest, threatened, or punished, the skells inside just laughed. That laughter stung him. It continued to ring in his ears long after Alexander came to intimidate them back into silence.

That man had presence.

Irina’s body thrashed faster under his ministrations. Her full lips parted to allow a groan escape from the depths of her body. Her knees crept closer to her torso.

Just a bit more. His breath became faster and more ragged in anticipation. His smile grew from half to full.

He had even tried being an agent. The wheeling and dealing, clawing and scraping, on behalf of his clients never quite got them where they wanted to go. It’s harder than people think, being a king-maker, or queen-maker, depending on who he represented. Grigori made it seem so easy. He knew how to twist and tongue-tie the most recalcitrant power-broker into accepting his client, making them think it was their idea all along.

The man could manipulate.

After failing at all his previous jobs, he went back to procurement. He had met Irina at a museum, near “The Nightmare” by Fuseli. The imagery sent her hands snaking around her body, as if the violation had happened to her and not the woman in the painting. She shivered and scurried away in the face of the painting.

That’s when he knew it had to be her tonight.

Irina’s moans and gasps beat a steady staccato in his core. His own moan of anticipation joined hers, a bass counterpoint to her soprano cries.

Her body shuddered and she awoke, screaming.

The incubus cackled and ran to her open window. Irina’s eyes darted wildly around the room, coming to rest on the short green-furred creature on her sill. He winked, leered, and blew her a lewd kiss.

She screamed again.

He leaped out of the window onto the mare waiting to take him into the night. Irina’s soul-searing scream sat safely ensconced in his satchel.

His master would be pleased. Her scream would serve as a sweet torture for the damned.

He could do only one thing well, but he did it better than anybody.


Time for another Speakeasy Challenge from the fine folks at YeahWrite! This week’s story prompt is a sentence that has to be used at the beginning of the story: He only did one thing well.

Also, this painting, “The Nightmare” by Henry Fuseli, has to be referenced within the story.


A little note about some of the names mentioned. Cleo is Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt and “legendary seductress.” Alexander is, you guessed it, Alexander Graham Bell.

Ha, of course not. He is the first “world” conqueror, Alexander the Great. Grigori is the famous Russian mystic and manipulator, Grigori Rasputin. Thanks go out to the show, Supernatural, for the idea of demons being human souls acting in an official capacity for Hell. Not unlike trustees in prison.

Hope you enjoy the story. If not, let me know why. I’m always interested in feedback. Uh, also let me know if you do like it, please. Too much negativity may cause my ego to ‘splode. Make sure to check out the other entries. There are some great writers that take part in this challenge. I’m sure you’ll find something to enjoy.

The rules, in case you are interested in participating, are:

  • your post must be dated October 13, 2013, or later
  • submissions must be 750 words or fewer
  • submissions must be fiction or poetry, including fictional accounts of true stories
  • your piece must start with the following line: “He only did one thing well.”
  • though your post is NOT about the media prompt above, you must make some reference to it
  • the speakeasy is designed for submissions written specifically for the grid. Please do not submit an entry if you intend to showcase it to another blog link-up. Such posts are deleted without notice
  • please do not post explanations, qualifications or other stuff prior to the beginning of your post. If you need to clarify anything, feel free to do so briefly at the end.
  • the badge for your speakeasy #131 post is found in the sidebar. Be sure to add the code to the html view of your post before publishing. Come back on Tuesday and add your link!

12 thoughts on “Speakeasy Challenge #131 -Finding Your Niche

  1. Alexander Graham Bell – haha!
    That was quite a creepy tale. Capturing her scream for torture purposes is just, well…evil! I’ll double-check to make sure my windows are closed and locked tonight 🙂

  2. Masterful, controlled writing. Operatic in scope!

  3. Ok, I didn’t see that transition coming — I got caught up in what you meant for the reader to get caught up in. I love that about it. But, you know, what you have here is also a parable of every unsuccessful relationship ever. lol. Think about it!

  4. Love that this is told from the incubus’ perspective! So clever and so well written. Excellent job with the prompts!

  5. I liked the way you structured this – beautifully paced!

  6. Just finished reading a Cleopatra biography and I’m in the middle of a Supernatural Netflix-marathon. I can definitely see the inspiration.

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