Summary: Making a delivery to a suspicious house in the middle of nowhere, Severa finds the door ajar. In meeting the criteria of dropping off the parcel she's accosted by a feeling of being watched and then a more literal, tactile feeling soon follows.
Word Count: 3080
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A bulky figure with a snow leopard's pattern in her thick fur stood before a gate, a backpack over one shoulder. The Charr wore a fairly standard sleeveless tee with smooth leggings, ending in soft shoes lacking a toe to make way for her sharp claws.
It had to have been the wrong address, surely. Severa looked up from the package she was holding to the tall building before her. It felt too generous to call it that, ruination had come over the mansion, the property’s walls had collapsed in places, blocked with drab metal fences to discourage intruders and animals but no barbs or blades to truly prevent them getting in. The frences weren’t even locked or bolted in place.
She understood it might be part of some secrecy, perhaps the individual she was carrying something for had it sent to an abandoned house so they didn’t have judgemental eyes on them but even so it felt fraudulent and wrong. With a sigh she pulled aside the rusted front gate and trudged up the path.
Severa didn’t know what was in the package, only that a good friend of hers had fallen sick and needed someone to carry out some courier tasks on their behalf. She didn’t think about it too much when she was accepting the parcels but now she wished she’d asked some follow up questions. The rest had all been simple, innocent and straightforward, this felt weird from the start, like there was an innumerable number of eyes watching her approach the building.
Her heavy footfalls stepped up the porch, with the planks creaking eerily below her as if they might break from her weight due to their rotten state. A burst of loud movement below her startled the Charr woman, making her hair stand on end as a sleek shape sprinted away. The place was so quiet that local wildlife had made a cozy nest down there.
She rapped on the door with a firm knuckle. It creaked ajar. “Oh great.” She whispered under her breath, “Anyone there?” She called out in a louder tone.
Her own voice echoed back at her in an eerie and unsettling manner. She double checked the parcel, it didn’t need anyone to sign for it but she felt unsure about leaving it on an animal infested step. “I’m coming in!” She called out, again the echoes greeted her, but she pressed on, through the door. The place was dusty but there was a nice clear table down the hallway, visible when inside the house but not from outside. If she left the parcel there she could leave in the knowledge that only someone who had access to the house would find it. Though it did dawn on her that anyone who intruded through the open front door might see it as something easy to spirit away, still, her own duty was done.
Severa turned to leave, blinking as she saw the door had shut behind her without a sound. She would have expected creaks or if it was the weather to blame a loud slam, she stomped back over to it, calling out. “I’ll be letting myself out, now!” Just in case there was someone there who’d been nervously hiding from view. After all, she still felt that spine tingling feeling of being observed.
The wood creaked as she pulled on the handle but the door didn’t budge so much as an inch. “Huh?” She pulled again, even twisting the locking latch yet suddenly the door was solidly stuck in its frame. “Oh you’re kidding me.” She grumbled under her breath, rattling at it a bit more. Her strength did nothing for her progress, the portal remained fixed. “Guess I have to go out the back.” She said in that same raised tone, not wanting to open any windows to climb out of in case she couldn’t close them again and unwittingly invited in other intruders.
She looked over the hallway, several closed doors lay in front of her none of which were the obvious way to go. She turned back to the door, gave it another solid tug and pull. As far as her eyes saw there was nothing more she could do to loosen it short of property damage. With a sigh she started to walk through the hall.
Each time she reached a door she pushed softly at it until one gave, she stuck her head into the room. It was too dark within to see clearly, the windows were covered with heavy curtains that blotted out most light, too, but at least the wall hadn’t caved in. She tensed as she felt a light finger tapping her shoulder, turning hastily with an apology ready on her lips. It died when she saw no one and instead she brushed at the touched part, assuming her imagination was acting up.
Again, when the next door opened, she stuck her head in and this time rather than a tap she felt a sharp tug on her tail. The charr let out a shocked roar, as she turned in affront. There was still no one there, the package was still in place, undisturbed, the halls were empty with the doors as she left them. “Alright, whoever’s out there, this is a dumb joke. I’ve given you your delivery now either open the front door or leave me in peace!” She said out loud, the polite tone of her voice now vanished.
Something brushed her arm and she flinched, looking down. The brush turned to a grip which then started to move, rubbing the fur of her forearm, she could see the motion of it stir her coat but not the cause. Her free hand snapped forward, trying to grab the invisible presence but it found only air. She felt the presence on her sharply then and felt a gripping hand over the grabbing wrist!
It was definitely a hand, four fingers, a thumb and a palm and it pulled her arm upwards, stronger than she could pull it back. “What the- Who are you? Let go at once!” The grip tightened and wrenched even further, lifting her off the ground with its shocking strength.
The hand that had been stroking her arm reached the wrist and then clasped on while two more grabbed her by the ankles. She pulled and kicked as she was levitated by the invisible hold, the claws poking out from her shoes even scraped the wall. “Release me!” She commanded the source of the silent touch. In response she was rocked backwards and then the hands obeyed, releasing her and hurling her through the first opening door and into the darkened room.
She braced, extending her arms protectively to catch her fall and protect her head but she never reached the ground. Instead another invisible force caught her, the feeling blossoming as several, no, tens of hands caught her and then clung on.
Ghosts were something a Charr was irritatingly familiar with, for at one of the greatest cities in which the hulking feline humanoids lived a magical event had summoned ghosts who relived their last days in perpetuity, unfortunately those last days were ones of war. Yet that was all back in Tyria. Severa was no longer a part of that world and the ghosts now accosting her, if she had assumed correctly that they were ghosts, were different. At home you could hit them, beat them, even kill them if needed. They’d return within a few days no matter how thoroughly crushed but you could fight back!
She could neither see nor touch these ghosts; Every kick or swipe she made hit empty air, which then seemed to harden as it was replaced with another hand. That was the other difference, the ghosts she knew were a fully formed person, these seemed to be numerous hands with nothing else! “Get off, I said!” She growled, feeling the touch of the fingers at her waist start to slip up inside the hem of her top. Her clothing reshaped as if hands were indeed under the material, some of them had set their palms to her body, fingers stroking into her belly. Others were facing away with hooking fingers grabbing the hem and tugging it up.
Meanwhile there was a loosening in the pressure over her left foot and then the right. Her shoes were unlaced and stripped off, the custom, toeless stockings being pulled off from the tips and then the leggings she wore were plucked down. “No! Damn it, get off me!!” She shouted, in defiance, her squirms floundering in the air, she couldn’t slide away or down to the floor, as she tried to bend her back away, it was met by flat pushing hands, presumably the ones that had thrown her in but joined by even more.
The multitudinous digits weren’t just interested in her coat, while the majority continued rubbing and stroking; some of them worked to turn her in the air, rolling her around until she was awkwardly facing upward. The backpack slung over one shoulder had been removed in the tussle and she saw it float to a table against the wall before the curious hands dug inside.
“Put that down you bastards!” She yelled as she saw her phone rise as if of its own accord. Her shouts were suddenly interrupted as ghostly fingers shot into her mouth, peeling her lips aside, another hand went into the roof of her mouth as yet another grabbed her tongue, rubbing it between thumb and fingers. “Hhhhk? Ghhh, Hhhhhrha!”
Ghostly fingers interlocked with her own and even between her toes. Setting two hands on each extremity, all focused on directing her as they wished.
Her vision was interrupted as her shirt was pulled up over her head then flung away, a sudden pressure over her eyes made her lid them too, two hands clamping down to keep them that way. There was further rubbing at her ears while still more gripping fingers pressed her jaw as tightly shut as it could go while the invading hands remained.
She was already absolutely powerless to stop them and the hands only grew in number, gripping her forearm, grasping her shin. The rubbing had stopped and they just held on firmly. The charr shivered as she felt another tug on her tail before that too was gripped, starting at the base of it, hands piled on, squeezing the sensitive limb, compressing the tail all the way to the tip.
The action on her tail was mirrored on her legs and arms, palms pressed down and fingers squeezed tightly then held on, all the way to her shoulders. When they reached her hip and collarbones the hands seemed to blossom outward, pressing and kneading into her torso. For a mercy they’d left her underclothes alone and weren’t even touching over the top of them but every other inch of her was first massaged and then simply held and squeezed.
One of the eye-closing hands retracted and even though she felt it was playing as they wanted her to, she opened it. The back of her phone was pointing at her and flashed as a photo was taken. The device was turned around to show her and she saw a strange effect. Her uncovered eye and underwear were in perfect focus but wherever the ghostly touch lingered was blurred and impossible to make out. She watched as the phone went dark, the hands knowing how to turn it off completely and then it was placed back in her bag.
They let a key rise up from the same table and drift close to her eye before it went to the door. The hand returned to press her eyelid so that it was shut again. Leaving her to hear the heavy click of the lock.
Severa’s attempts to move were practically pointless, the hands in her mouth finally slipped away, for some mercy, only for them to clamp down again to keep her lips sealed. Her legs were stretched out rigidly and pushed until the only thing separating them were the invisible hands that held them.
Her arms were kept raised, away from her body and bent with her claws out of reach. The poor charr couldn’t move and was encased in a world of touch.
The hand at the top of her head stopped squeezing and instead stroked and petted her, several other hands joined suit where they weren’t fixated on restraining her. Beyond that, there was nothing else but the pulsing of squeezes all over her body.
She couldn’t even keep command of her tail, the long fluff-coated limb squashed down in size as the multitude of grasping hands ran down the length of it, as soon as one cleared the tip of the tail it went back to the base, repeating in a stroking cycle.
Severa had been incapable of communicating with the ghostly presence even before she’d been snared by it. Now, with her kept hand-gagged and hanging in the air, it seemed she would have to endure being their plaything until they chose to release her. She only hoped that ghosts in this world could also run out of stamina.
The hands hadn’t given her a break for hours, squeezing, stroking, they’d at least adjusted her position a few times. When it had grown dark outside they’d turned softer, yet no less firm, rocking her until tiredness let her sleep only to return to playing as dawn broke.
Right now, they had her stuck on her hands and knees on the floor while her back, neck and shoulders were given a thorough petting, seemingly borne of twisted, misplaced affection. She’d been able to hold herself together just barely but her body ached for biological needs. Thirst and hunger to name two.
It wasn’t before the following afternoon that Severa heard any other noise beside her own grunts and protests, particularly when shaken. That afternoon came with a heavy knocking at the front door, which woke her from her almost silent stupor. Several of the hands seemed to vanish from her body before she heard a more solid thud at the front door. “Severa?” A deep voice called. A tauren, her lover, Sheytha.
“Mmmh! Sthhhh hmmm!” She tried to shout loud enough to be heard, to tell Sheytha to stay back!
“Open this bloody door or I’ll cave your skulls in! If you’ve hurt her-...!” The voice called, sounding in a rage.
“Sh-shey, please, don’t uh… don’t threaten people.” A relatively meek voice called, that of the friend Severa had filled in for.
“Oh? Who’s gonna hear me that doesn’t deserve it? This is where her phone was before it lost signal, if she’s not in there whoever is will know where she is.” Sheytha replied. She pulled back her heavy fist to swing at the door before it drifted open. The bovine woman barged in, barrelling the door out of her path. “Severa?” She called loudly, not even caring that she saw no sign of whoever opened the way. To her mind it was probably for the best that they stay out of view.
The Charr grunted in panicked desperation, rescue was close after all, she needed it! Her cries, though muffled by even more squeezing hands plastering down on her lips, were heard.
A loud rattling came from the door to her room. “Severa, you in there?”
“Mmmh, HMMMH!” She squealed, throwing decorum to the wind if it meant being heart.
With a mighty slam Sheytha kicked the door open with her hoof, the lock fractured off, the door’s rot making it easier to break than it might otherwise have been. The ghost hands on Severa vanished, dropping her in a heap.
“Sev!” Sheytha said with a gasp, running up to her.
“G-ghosts.” Severa whispered in a croak, all the warning she could give.
“Matt, get in here and help me.” Sheytha said, shouldering her lover.
“Coming, coming, I a-ah!” Matt said, covering his eyes at seeing the almost naked Charr woman.
“Oh grow up. Grab her bag, there and then help me out here. Severa said there’s something weird here so we’re getting off this property first and then worrying later, alright?!” Sheytha said, taking charge.
The two figures carried Severa between them, the tauren bearing most of the weight. The door had closed behind them as it had on Severa before but Sheytha only grunted. “Oh screw that.” She let go of Severa, making Matt stagger under the weight before she just charged the door. Wood splintered from the impact of her shoulder, upsetting the shape and making whatever force was holding it think better of continuing.
“Aaaah! Something’s on me!” Matt cried, feeling a pulling grip at his leg. Sheytha ran back to them, grabbed Matt by one arm, hefted Severa in another and then she charged off, through the front door.
She didn’t stop until she was back at the roadside where the last fence gently asked people to keep out. The presence hadn’t made another attempt on any of them. She sighed as she turned to Severa, shrugging out of her coat and draping it over the charr’s shoulders.
“You look like you’re dehydrated. We have water in the car, think you can walk it?” Sheytha asked, pointing to the vehicle a few metres away. Her tone had turned soft and doting, relief being the most obvious emotion.
Severa’s legs quivered as she made it up to a stand. “I’m fine. S-see?”
Sheytha smiled at her bravery but still hooked an arm under her’s. Together she walked step by step with the weary figure.
“This world of yours is messed up.” Severa whispered to Matt as they made it to the car.
“Huh?” He asked in confusion.
Sheytha pushed a water bottle into Severa’s hands and the grateful charr stopped speaking to accept it. “Regale us on what happened when we’re home.” She said, firmly but gently as she moved to the driver's seat.