The Last Handful of Clover

Chapter 2.74: The Red Path

Book Two — Gifts Both Light and Dark

NOTE: This chapter is available in audiobook format on the TLHOC Podcast.
Access previous chapters of the book on the Table of Contents page.

June 15, 8:10 pm

Justin savored the excitement that always came before the taking of another mind.

As he knelt in front of the big man, he felt the hunger to subvert and control rush through him like an electric current. Trembling, he stared into Pil’s face, building his anger and loathing to a fever pitch. He imagined the man’s mind, and the pathway into it—red and raw and throbbing like an open wound. This was the dark path that God had revealed to his angels, and by treading through it he would make this giant his own.

Justin was not as skilled at possession as many other angels. Mattie, his mistress, could fly into a host in a fraction of a second, and take them over with such instantaneous power and violence that the victim had no ability to resist. But Justin was a relatively young ghost, and he had only possessed a handful of times. He knew instantly that this big man’s mind would be much more of a challenge to him than any he had known.

As Pil struggled, Justin envisioned the man as worthless and pathetic—not a human at all, but just a thing to be used. Loathing and hatred were key to possessing using the red path, and the more intensely he could feel his hate, the easier his task would be. He focused his revulsion, and as he did so, he saw the gruesome pathway into the man’s mind opening up like a bloody flower.

Someday, he thought, I too will be able to do this instantly. But then he laughed at that idea. No, after this, I will have to possess just one more time. After one last possession, I will never walk this path again.

Slowly and deliberately, Justin entered the red wound and snaked his way into the big man’s mind. As he did so, his malice and hatred reached a fever pitch, which opened the pathway wider, and led him down each twist and turn.

He caressed Pil’s thick hand as he drove his will deeper into the man’s mind. As always, this moment of the possession was the most delicious. It was the penetration, the opening, the forcing his way past the resistance—especially if it meant ripping and tearing—that thrilled him. His force was irresistible now, and the big man would have no choice but to cower and whimper and submit to whatever Justin chose to visit upon him.

He felt Pil scratch at his hand, at the place Justin touched, digging at his brown skin with thick, blunt fingernails as he pushed Justin’s hand aside. That meant that he was close, but the possession was going slower than he had hoped.

This man’s mind is stronger than any I’ve known. Far stronger than Howard Gunderson…

Justin doubled his concentration, and the giant’s resistance weakened. He felt the man’s grip on his own mind slipping and knew that it wouldn’t be long now.

Justin passed through Pil’s memories and his history; his hopes, his darkest secrets, and his shameful desires. And as he did so, he saw a surprising face there. It was the face of Keith Woo, bathed in a golden light. Surrounded by such tenderness and compassion that it made Justin’s lips curl back in disgust.

But then he laughed.

Oh, this will be delicious… This man loves the little piggy too! It will be glorious to use his enormous hands to choke the life out of the whore. That single act will destroy three lives. The piggy will be dead, Richard will be mad, and this strange giant will crumble like clay in my hands.

The Last Handful of Clover is a supernatural thriller by Wess Mongo Jolley. Thanks for reading! If you are enjoying this story, please consider supporting the author on Patreon.

For more information (including maps of the story’s world and a contact form) visit the author’s website.

To read previous chapters of this book, go to the Table of Contents page.

If you’re interested in listening to the book, rather than reading it, the audiobook is available at the Patreon link above, and also as a podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Anchor, and all other podcast platforms. Visit the podcast page for more details.

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Copyright 2021, Wess Mongo Jolley. All rights reserved.

Wess Mongo Jolley

Wess Mongo Jolley is Utah native, who is now an expatriate American novelist, editor, poet and poetry promoter, living in Montreal. He is Founder and Director of the Performance Poetry Preservation Project, and is most well known for hosting the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel podcast for more than ten years. His poems and short stories have appeared or journals such as Off The Coast, PANK, The New Verse News, and Danse Macabre, Apparition Literary Journal, Grain, and in collections such as the Write Bloody Press book The Good Things About America. He loves hearing from readers, and can be contacted through his website, at https://wessmongojolley.com. If you are enjoying this story, please drop him a line, and consider supporting his work as a novelist at http://patreon.com/wessmongojolley. All of the trilogy's over 207 chapters are available there for subscribers, and new poems, short stories, and other content is posted there every Friday.

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