Control. Short Story.

My weekend was pretty cool. I had my last class on Friday, it’s weird. I went for drinks with a few people from my class, which was pretty awesome, it was a ridiculously fun night.

My throats doing great as well, which is freakin amazing.

I still have assignments and such to get in, but I’m not too worried about those, I have no idea what I’m doing next (well, beyond a general direction of try to get published) and I’m fine with that. First time since I was 14 or so that I don’t have a set idea and time frame as to what I’m doing next, which is a little unusual. Great big world and all that. I’ll get to where I’m going eventually, so why stress the journey?

It’ll be an adventure.

On with the show!


The smell of strawberries filled the room. He paused and inhaled deeply, the scent always reminded him of her. He sighed and kept walking. He had worked to do, important work. She would be angry if it wasn’t done. Very angry. He dodged and weaved expertly through the milling crowd of people. They were not intentionally in his way, but it felt that way to him. Up ahead was his goal. There was no stopping now.

He had met her only a year ago, but a year in her presence felt like decades. Time slowed to a heady crawl, minor details magnified a thousand times. Their eyes had met across the room and he couldn’t breathe until she looked away. After that he was hers. He approached her cautiously, like an injured animal. He didn’t want to get too close to her, what if she rejected him, if he screwed it up. But she hadn’t. She had turned to him with an expectant smile and he had begun to talk, not in jumbles, but smoothly, eloquently. He even made her laugh, low and breathy. Oh god that laugh, it did delicious things to him. She left after only an hour and he left with her. He drove her home and spent the night. They didn’t have sex, oh no, that would be almost sacrilege. He slept next to her, arms barely touching, a frisson of excitement dancing up and down him every time she glanced against him.

He was in love, though he thought that wasn’t nearly a word strong enough to describe his feelings. He would do anything for her, he would die a thousand times just to catch a glimpse of her smile. Men fell before her, some women too, but he wasn’t worried, he held no fear of jealously as he was the only one she had eyes for. She never even looked at other men. They had sex a total of three times in the last year, each time an agony of pleasure for him as she writhed and moaned beneath his sweaty body.

She had told him what they did to her, what she wanted to do to them. She never asked him to do anything, oh no, but he knew what she wanted, what she needed. He knew what he had to do then and how much she would love him for it. He wouldn’t be around to bask in that love, but the knowledge of it was enough.

He didn’t feel nervous, though he expected to. Not then and not now. He went the final few steps and approached the man. “Mr. Stail?” “Yes I-” He pressed the button, detonating the bomb.

The detectives could make no sense of it, Jonathan Scott, a perfectly ordinary man in all respects had become a suicide bomber. There were no threats, no demands and seemingly no reason. No one could provide one at any rate. Ron Stail had been the head of a charity which provided support and seeing eye dogs to the blind, along with providing therapy dogs for those undergoing chemotherapy. The charity was small enough and as far as anyone was aware, Mr. Stail had no enemies, least of all an enemy of Jonathan, who by all accounts had never met the man.

She had acted shocked when she heard, as shocked as everyone else. It was a tragedy after all, all that money going to waste. He had been the first man to spurn her advances, something she couldn’t understand, all men were susceptible,whether or not they were interested in women and Mr. Stail had been very interested in women. She just didn’t understand it and she didn’t like not understanding things. The only solution seemed to be to get him out of her way, how else could she progress her plans and schemes.

Janet had discovered her powers over men at the young age of thirteen. She didn’t know how to control it then unfortunately, which had caused some trouble, but as she grew so had the control. It was important she learned. The first man to fall under her spell was her Science teacher. He had harassed her for over a year, making phone calls and writing obscene letters, even ignoring restraining orders. He had been fired from work when her parents went to the school, but that didn’t stop him. His wife left him taking their children with her and still it persisted. By that time she had gained some control she had hoped to release him, so he could repair his life and move on, but that hadn’t happened. Janet tried, but it didn’t work, she told him she didn’t want him, had never wanted him and never would. He left then. He didn’t say a single word, he didn’t fight or attack, he just left. She had been relieved, until the next morning. He had gone to his ex-wife’s house and shot her, then he shot both his children, before shooting himself. The youngest child survived for four days before finally dying. That was when she realised the extent of her allure.

She began to use it here and there, get a boost in grades, get hired at a job, score free drinks and slowly her worry about using it faded. She could control it, dip in and out. It was perfect. She didn’t need her jobs anymore, not with men gladly giving her money. She would date them for a month or two, they would lavish her with gifts, then she would leave. They would always feel blessed to have had her in their lives, they never complained and they always thought the break up was their idea, for them she was the one who got away. She began to become bored with this however, and she started doing it just to see how far she could get men to go, testing the boundaries. It was glorious, men dumping their girlfriends, boyfriends, wives. A few had even disappeared at her command. That wasn’t intentional, not the first time at least. She had told him she never wanted to see him again, he took it literally. He left his home, family and job without a word. His car was found at the side of the road, abandoned. An extensive search found him three weeks later, living happily in the woods. He insisted he was fine and then short after, disappeared again. No one heard from him, apart from the yearly check ins with his parents. Her favourite by far was destroying an actor’s career. Janet knew, as did others, that he was an evil man, he didn’t deserve his wealth or his fame. So she decided to fix it. It didn’t take long, it couldn’t, after all she didn’t want to be seen with him. In three months he had given his fortune away, stopped his partying lifestyle and quit acting. The last she heard he was working in a dead end job, apparently married to some waitress who couldn’t keep her legs closed.

She had ruled the lives of so many men, but not Jonathan. He had rejected her advances, actually rejected her. It was unthinkable, but it happened. She couldn’t let that go. She wanted his money, she wanted his power, but he refused to share. She had worked on her plan carefully, though she never expected such results. She thought that perhaps he would confront Jonathan, maybe stab him or shoot him at most, but a bomb was completely unexpected. Not that it bothered her, her pawn had fulfilled his role, that was what mattered and she would never be caught.


About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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