The Doomed Man – Flash Fiction

The Doomed Man

By Rex Hurst

Peppermint smoke twisted in the air. The man writhed through the folds of space and time, shredding through the layers of existence like onion peels, tearing into the great unconsciousness of all humanity, into the very core of the zeitgeist where dwells all the archetypes that pester mankind, whose incarnations occur over and over throughout history. 

And there she was. The object and the goal. Glimmering like sunlight through a rare jewel. The Fatal Lady – or Femme Fatale to you noir lovers. Not just a fatal lady, but the Fatal Lady. The definite article if you will. The archetypal concept from whom all others are minor reflections. Her radiance, her mere presence towered above all nearby. Every feminine charm was in full effect. The air was intoxication itself.   

He had felt her all his life, without knowing who she was. Every interaction, every business decision, every romantic dalliance seemed destined to bring him within her sinister grasp. Even when he thought he was protecting himself, running from a half-seen destiny, he ended up rebounding back to where he didn’t want to be.  

After the shrinks told him he was nuts and attempted to load him up with lithium, the man had turned to the mystics, the hypnotists, the wise people who had caught glimpses of another reality on the edge of this one. They touched his spirit and sent him back over and over through all the bodies his soul had inhabited.

Understanding grabbed him, for he saw that each previous incarnation was a reflection of the Doomed Man – the one who is deceived and used. For the Femme Fatale must have her dupes. Over and over he saw himself cast as the victim, the idiot, the betrayed, the destroyed. Worst of all, once he had been used and his husk cast away, no one gave him much thought. One more sucker in a long list. 

 Forewarned was forearmed. The circle must be broken. So he sought out the old man with the endlessly black eyes. For a steep price, the old one had spun a song from his clay pipe, rending the world a jelly of crimson and snowy film that he punched through until he found her. The axe must be aimed at the root. 

The Femme Fatale and the Doomed Man together as was destined. He was armed with the masculine weapons of war and she manifested all the feminine ingenuity to make him throw everything away and forget his idiot plan. 

Every generation hails its fatal lady. She was Eve offering the apple; Circe turning men to swine; Jezebel purging the prophets of Israel; Cleopatra charming with a coiled asp; Mata Hari dancing with a pocketful of stolen secrets; Rita Hayworth in Lady from Shanghai “Make hay while the sun shines”- All of these and more. 

You knew what I was when you picked me. She was the poison in the tea, the adder’s bite, the scorpion’s sting. I can’t help my nature. A Charitist necrophile. Agreeing with everything, but believing in nothing. 

And before he knows it, they are embracing. Her lips are sublime. Her scent is the finest alcohol. Her touch, pure magic. And before he knows it, he is completely beguiled. He has never felt this fulfilled before. Never before has he been this alive. She completed everything missing in his life. She gave a jolt of energy to his dimming soul.  

It was there. He felt it. The deadly dagger of the fatale female, angling at the nape of his neck. It was exciting. 

Every second before the dagger plunged was the greatest of his life, where danger tingles between agony and ecstasy, and the planet becomes ever more vibrant. And the Doomed Man realizes why he fails over and over. Because that final moment is just too delicious, too sexually pure, and it promised to bloom into everlasting joy. Maybe this time it’ll be different. He’s at the narrow precipice of everlasting orgasmic relief. Relief. Joy. Bliss.  Just one more micro-second before ultimate pleasure. 

And then it’s ripped away. 

And then the dagger plunges. 

And then the Doomed Man once again fulfills his destiny at the hands of the Fatal Lady.

For more reading, try books by Rex Hurst. 

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