Note: “Lifting the Veil” was originally published on March 1, 2011 in “This Is The Way The World Ends,” a collection of apocalyptic erotica from Freaky Fountain, a publisher of romance with taboo or edgy content that, unfortunately, went out of business soon after publication.
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Lifting the Veil: Apocalyptic erotica by Kit O’Connell
The smoke that flooded his mouth and spilled down his throat tasted the way a high school chemistry lab smells. Next to him, he felt Glory’s warmth and the nearness of her hand outstretched to catch the long glass pipe when it dropped out of his hand. Misha was suddenly afraid: You’re one of the first dozen people to take XDMT, what if …?
He opened his eyes. The bedroom wiggled around him as if badly rendered, the edges of every object shivering with colors that did not belong. He glanced at her. Waves of blue energy rippled from her skin as if trying to escape. She smiled and he lit the torch again, inhaled, and closed his eyes.
Misha fell through a dozen layers of color. He didn’t think his heart was beating anymore. He was sure he wasn’t breathing. But he fell calmly, stunned by the rippling tessellation of oranges and reds. He fell through the last layer and into a dim tunnel. Underground? He had no sense of his body at all, just motion, traveling through passageways that were more the suggestion of a place–slick metal, dank stone, something like a subway tunnel–than the actual experience of it.
He realized he could hear chattering, like hundreds of high-pitched voices speaking too quickly to understand. Misha traveled. He came to rest in a large open chamber. Other entities were around him, speaking in their alien squeals. He felt as if they all turned as one being to look upon him and then the wall opened up and he was sucked into space.
Misha floated. How long? He wondered. Minutes? Hours? How long since I left? That wasn’t exactly right, he knew. He hadn’t left at all, somehow. Then: I’m not alone.
A presence, a feeling, something alive. Like a person but not. It was happy to see him, relieved that he had come at last. He felt as if he were being enveloped in a cloud, and the cool feeling traveled throughout his being, invading every part of himself. It was at once arousing and detached from a body, as if every part of his soul were simultaneously caressed with a feather. A feeling like lips close to his ear, and a voice spoke in a whisper. Unlike the chattering cacophony of the waiting room, this voice could be understood.
His eyes opened. His bedroom was no longer bleeding color. If Glory had an aura, he could no longer see it. The mattress felt real and tangible under his fingers. It was only Misha that was wrong–the knowledge inside him made his spirit feel too big for his ungainly flesh. It spilled out the top of his head and threatened to fly off into the ether again. He searched the room with his eyes. The pipe rested on the bedside table. He saw a glass of water waiting there but he wasn’t thirsty.
Glory spoke his name and in an instant he was upon her. She squeaked, eyes widening as his fingers closed in her brown hair, close near her scalp; the blue of her irises looked bright, artificial. He felt her body jerk as he grabbed her and pressed her back to the mattress. She quivered in shock at the sudden motion, with that brief flush of fear she always had that turned instantly into pleasure and submission.
As his teeth closed on her neck, her entire body arched upwards, pressing her soft skin against him, her legs parting in the process so that her hot, swollen cunt lips pressed against him and shocked Misha into awareness of his own straining erection. He grabbed Glory’s feet and pressed them back toward her head so his cock rubbed her g-spot as he entered her.
The hunger he felt for her was invigorating, but he knew at the heart of it he was seeking familiarity–the way her legs quivered uncontrollably as he took her, how he loved to watch her face flush and her eyes roll back into her head, just like every time he’d fucked her this way.
Glory seemed to love the suddenness and it was as if his desperation spilled over onto her. Her hands clutched his back, shifting at random over his skin as her hips twisted and thrust underneath him. The pleasure that made her body jerk and her muscles clench tight around him gathered into one huge storm of overloading sensation. A tension rose in himself to match. There was no thought of holding back: this was a hard, desperate, fast fuck.
Her left hand crept between her own legs and it took but a few touches for her to begin quivering her way into full-on orgasm. Misha pulled out of her and stroked himself, smearing her slick musky lubrication into himself. In a moment he was coming. She jerked and shrieked as the droplets of hot come fell upon her stomach, as if he’d stroked her with a violet wand. He marked her with his orgasm, marked this moment as real, and tried to use that reality to push away the other, the things he’d heard and seen.
“Wow,” she panted, “It was that good?” But then she saw his face, and her own seemed to crumple with worry. “Misha?”
It took some time to explain it all to her: the message he’d received on his journey, the explanation that these entities, the Strangers, had been waiting for this moment to deliver this message; he gave her the terrible knowledge of what was to come. It all sounded improbable and far-fetched, and she struggled to accept the idea that the world would end so soon, that the crankiest of crackpots had been right in their predictions after all.
Even harder to understand for them both were his actions as he came out of the trip. He was devastated by what he’d learned there, yet he’d been overcome with need for her in that first moment of return. It was as if the drug had been driving him and he’d not been fully in control of his actions.
Glory understood better a little later when it was her turn to take XDMT, and she took him with as much savagery as she ever had in their years of turning the tables on each other. When they were through, his skin was red with welts from her fingernails and the marks of her teeth; they held each others’ sweaty bodies as they cooled down, unwilling to let go despite the heat.
In the days to come, each time they experimented with XDMT, it took less and less of the drug to reach the state of perfect openness to the experience; each time the message became clearer and the aftereffects were the same. Soon they saw signs of the Strangers’ predictions coming true: terrible weather, widespread societal confusion, agricultural failure. When Misha stepped outside, he often saw tiny black spots darting about in the sky above him. Were they aliens or manifestations of the Strangers? Signs of the crumbling of reality? Whatever they were, only those who’d tried the substance could see them. The veil over their eyes was gone.
About a dozen underground chemists had been anonymously sent the formula for XDMT over the Internet. They sought each other out and began to organize, taking to their labs to create massive quantities of the new drug. Word spread as more were given the chance to partake. Nearly every week, Misha and Glory found someone new amongst their friends to introduce it to. The most experienced of Initiates were looked upon as authorities of the message. They soon thought of it as their job: guiding others on the journey.
The culmination of Misha and Glory’s newfound renown came at what would be the last Burning Man, the day before the ritual burning of the effigy that marked the massive festival’s peak. Attendance at the event was the highest ever, and officials had given up on trying to cap attendance or even patrol the borders of the desert encampment for unpaid visitors.
Glory and Misha stood on opposite ends of the massive shade structure, each speaking to an audience of hundreds. The pair of them were naked except for matching green and black sarongs tied around their waists. Misha could not help but admire her from across the space, his eyes taking in the swell of her hips, catching a glimpse of her plump ass as she turned to answer a question from her audience. Her skin was tanned now and seemed to glow in the setting sun; she was lightly coated in the dust of the desert, streaking her hair with premature grey. He could see her aura spilling, vibrant and bright, from her body; the colors were visible in everyone now, even when he hadn’t taken XDMT for days.
They both gave the same speech about the Sacrament and the message that would be received by all who were open enough to receive it:
“Our world is drawing to a close. The Strangers seeded our world with these exopheromones–cross-species messages found in plants–then waited for us to refine them into the Sacrament. They knew we’d come to them, and they tell us the Sacrament is the key.
“Everyone experiences the same thing on this substance, more or less the same message and the same aftereffects. We always do it in pairs or groups, so that we have someone to ground with afterward.
“We don’t know what the key opens. We do know that at 11:11am on Winter Solstice of this year, the world will come to an end. Some of us believe that if enough people participate in the Sacrament, the world will be saved. Others believe those who’ve lifted the veil will be rescued by the Strangers and guided into another reality.”
He answered a few more questions about the procedure but he could tell everyone was eager to begin. He met Glory’s eyes and she nodded at his silent signal.
All around the camp, pipes were lit. The Sacrament was inhaled. Misha brought out his own yellow-stained, glass piece and offered it to a young dreadlocked Burner boy in a blue dress who did not seem to have anyone to smoke with. The boy flushed a little as their eyes met, his lips quirking in a smile, his dark eyes nervous and excited. He smoked, taking two hits before he dropped the pipe into Misha’s waiting hand and fell back onto the cushions that lay strewn across the dusty carpeting.
There was relative silence for long moments, the soft sound of breathing (which did not actually stop, was merely forgotten for a time) mixed with the thumping music of other nearby camps. Misha breathed deeply, too: relaxing, centering himself to help ground when the young man awoke.
From somewhere in the crowd of prone bodies there came a moan. It sounded half lustful and half despairing. Then came the sound of lips meeting. He spotted the couple beginning to ground together, but could make out no details before his gaze was distracted by motion throughout the camp. They awoke faster and faster until it became a cascade of sounds, foreplay’s opening chords and the moans and whimpers of the major movement all mingling with the pumping bass of the nearest sound system. His own companion startled into life; they kissed and Misha felt the roughness of his unshaven cheeks, smelled the desert coating his skin. He pushed up the skirt of the blue dress, revealing a thick cock jutting from the boy’s light-brown, lanky body.
They’d left supplies for the ritual scattered throughout the camp, and Misha applied some lube to his hand, warming it as they kissed. He broke off the kiss to watch as he stroked the boy’s cock, enjoying the tensing of his thigh muscles and the subtle motion of his hips. The boy’s aura was a deep, lusty purple, with an inner core of swirling psychic turmoil as he struggled to process all he’d seen and heard.
They touched and kissed and stroked until the new Initiate rolled over onto his back and lifted up his legs, rubbing his own cock with one hand while he greased his asshole with the other. “Fuck me,” he said in a husky voice made wonderfully harsher by smoking one too many blunts. Misha had anticipated the request and was already slipping on a condom–mere months of life may have remained, but he couldn’t break the safer sex habit of years. The tight ring embraced his length as he thrust inward, and he felt the throbbing of his lover against his own stomach as they met in another kiss and he began to thrust.
All around him, couples were grounding and those couples were quickly merging into threes and fours together, sex spilling over onto sex. Hands reached to pinch his nipples and it made him pump harder into the boy below him. He heard a giggle from behind and then groaned as a lubricated finger probed his own asshole, pushing against his prostate.
Though he hadn’t taken any Sacrament yet today, Misha could feel his awareness spreading outwards across the inhabitants of the shade structure. He was still aware of the clenching of the tight, hot passage around his cock, of the kisses and touches his own body was receiving, but now he could also feel the pleasures and motions of those around him–suddenly he was aware of Glory’s orgasm as she cried out from across the camp; he felt it himself, as if it were his. His ass clenched tighter around the invading finger and suddenly it was his orgasm, pouring into the condom as his lover exploded across them both.
As one group finished they’d help others to smoke and the pattern continued. Some left to contemplate what they’d learned in more private settings, but others replaced them and the sharing of Sacrament continued for hours, until the stockpile ran out and the last Burner lay panting and spent.
They went on the run after Burning Man. Misha and Glory had become too notorious and neither one wanted to spend the end of the world in prison.
However, the truth was this: law enforcement agencies had their hands (and their jails) full maintaining order in the cities. It wasn’t difficult to slip off their radar. Now dozens of chemists were producing the Sacrament, with others carrying on the large scale initiation ceremonies. Some people refused to partake, and the media was full of angry editorials insisting that the drug made Initiates see signs of apocalypse where there were none, or even claims that they were bringing about the end of the world through their actions. Initiations became secret as the violence increased.
Glory and Misha had little interaction with everyday life. They’d left the cities behind and traveled around between them. They took shifts driving; it was exhausting work because if concentration slipped all the edges of solid objects, including other cars, seemed to bleed onto one another. Fleets of black spots flew in formation through the skies at all hours of the day. They met with other Initiates when they could, sharing resources and Sacrament. Every day consensus reality had less of a grip on them. Only Glory remained his anchor point.
In the end, on the solstice, Misha and Glory were alone with each other. He wasn’t sure where they were, only that it was somewhere warm and forested. They’d come to roost in an old, fairly primitive cabin. It had electricity and cold running water. On that last day they woke up early and boiled water on the stove to bathe each other in the old ceramic clawfoot bathtub.
At ten o’clock in the morning, they spread a blanket and lay naked on it together, touching and murmuring, embracing one another. There was little to say. The sun felt wonderful baking his skin, and Misha was thankful for the clear weather.
It was slow, lazy foreplay. Misha felt his cock throb, leaking pre-cum each time they kissed or touched. He smelled Glory’s arousal. More than fear there was a quivery, nervous anticipation inside him. He remembered a feeling a little like this the first time he’d touched a woman, and again the first time he and Glory had made love. It was the feeling that one has as he steps off the bridge into freefall; it was the sense that anything could come next as they plunged wet and slick into the new.
This is the last time, he reminded himself with a sudden shiver. His hand stroked the slippery skin of Glory’s inner thigh. How many get to experience their last time with someone, and know it for what is? Their last time with anyone at all? He slapped her ass as she twisted away from him, savoring her sweet gasps and the sound of skin on skin.
He glanced at his phone, which had become a glorified clock kept in airplane mode for days at a time: 11:00 a.m.
They picked up their pipes, already loaded. Neither needed help to keep from dropping a pipe anymore and though the effects of the Sacrament were continuously active, it still felt good to smoke it, still brought a rush of pleasure and hunger for each other.
11:11 and somehow Misha was already inside Glory without even realizing he’d begun; her cunt squeezed so hard it threatened to push him out; he had to push against it with every thrust. Their sounds were wild and primal; though he took her hard there was a sweetness to it, an incredible urgency to express love with their bodies in these final moments.
Now even Glory’s shape seemed to change under him, her skin tone rippling throughout the shades of human skin; one moment she was voluptuous, the next toned and athletic. He was on top of her, then he was taking her from behind, her plump ass grinding desperately into his cock while he pulled on her hair. Were they all blending together, all the Initiates grounding together in this moment? Would they birth a new universe together?
Misha lifted his head back in pleasure and saw that the black spots were enveloping everything now, consuming the trees around them, tearing apart the cabin bit by bit, pouring down out of the sky and slowly encroaching on them. Their blanket floated in a vast emptiness.
Misha buried his face in his beloved partner’s neck, inhaling her musky scent for the last time. As the sensation built and they tumbled, spinning, still fucking, into the void, his last thoughts were that if they did not get to see the new world they birthed, at least they exited this one in pleasure.