Carrie, Red Cross on Red Wings

      The roar of the engine. The sound of the tires screaming against the asphalt before I pushed the speedometer past 120. I always loved the blur of the lights around me as I sat in the driver’s seat, my vision was a tunnel toward the finish line. I loved feeling the rumble of one point two tons of twisted metal beneath my leather seats, hurling along at speeds that would have made a NASCAR racer feel inadequate.

     Come victory or a screeching death of flame and slag, my fate hung upon a fraction of a degree turn of the wheel. It was a wonderful feeling, the only time I ever felt truly alive. At least, until the wheels lost traction and I plowed my beautiful ride into a guard rail, spun out of control, and then flipped, coming to a rolling stop. My memory is a little fuzzy, but I remember the loud crashes, and the tinkling of shattered glass as time seemed to slow. Later, I would vaguely recall the ground being suddenly above my head, then blackness.

        I woke up some time after, but didn’t open my eyes. Everything felt foggy, and all I wanted to do was sleep. I think it was the drugs. I didn’t even bother opening my eyes, as if I could just sink back into that blissful, dreamless state. When the consciousness stubbornly refused to leave me, I became painfully aware of my body. My eyes opened, and I saw a blur of white and robin’s egg blue. My eyes focused after a bit of blinking, willing them to work after however long I’d been asleep. There was no way of telling. Days? Months?
        My eyes adjusted enough for me to see that the blue was from the paint on the walls and ceiling, no doubt a choice on the hospital to promote comfort and peace. It had the opposite effect on me. I hated hospitals, and as I watched the white blurs clear into linens, the hospital bed I was in, and the various machines I was attached to, I grew alarmed. Even through the drugs that were being steadily pumped into my bloodstream by the tube leading through one of the white machines and into my arm, my brain started to race in panicked alarm. Drugs, machines, a stay in a hospital bed. This was all going to cost an arm and a leg, if I still had them. As my mind raced, a new set of images joined the tumult. My car. I vaguely started to remember the crash, though not in too much detail. The one thought that pushed itself insistently to the front of my mind was the damage that it had sustained, and how much I would have to spend to repair it. No car meant no racing. And no racing meant no money.
        My mind imagined paper bills with numbers at the bottom, numbers with an impossible amount of zeroes, and I grew less and less rational. My gaze fell to the intravenous tubing that poked out from under the bandage that held it in my arm, and I stared at it. It was as if instead of fluid flowing in, the tube was allowing my future to leak out of my very veins. Visions of working a dead-end, entry-level job while dodging the calls of the hospital, driving a beater of a car while I drowned in an endless sea of debt played through my mind’s eye. The machines started to beep in alarm, though I couldn’t tell whether it was due to my heart rate, or because I ripped off the bandages and pulled the offending tube out of my arm. Looking back, I know I wasn’t entirely in my right mind, hopped up on all of those painkillers. However, if I’m completely honest with myself, I’d say the drugs actually deserved less credit than I gave them to explain my behavior. My mind was more adrenaline and pain drugs than anything resembling true drive, and my addled brain ran on something more akin to instinct rather than true thought.
        I remember looking up to see the nurses running toward me. I made to say something, though I don’t remember the words. I remember being grabbed, on all four of my appendages, and forced back down to the bed. I saw the needle, but never felt it’s prick. Probably the drugs and adrenaline again. I remember seeing spurts of blood. Later, I would ask if I’d hurt one of the nurses, only to be reassured that it was merely my own blood, spouting like a fountain with every heartbeat from my open vein.
        I floated through the void of unconsciousness again. My mind swam through that inky murk that enveloped me. There were no dreams, not on the kind of drugs I was on. Nothing but calm blackness. Eventually, the lights of the hospital room returned to rouse my mind as my dosage was dialed back. Upon waking, I immediately wished the unthinking void would return. Even the fog of waking up wasn’t enough to drown out the crushing sobriety that followed my return to consciousness. I remember thinking that I wish I’d have just died. Not that I was ever suicidal, just the thought of returning to that black realm beyond thought was so appealing when compared to the waking world. I didn’t want to think about my car. I didn’t want to think about the medical bills that I knew were growing with every moment, waiting for me to get better only to pounce like lurking jungle cats. I think I would have rather faced the jungle cats.
        I saw the clock across the room, and all I could envision were the dollar amounts attached to each second, the ticking hand coldly adding numbers to an ever-increasing sum. I wanted out. Ignoring the screaming protests from what felt like every muscle fiber in my body, I tried to get up. Much to the relief of my aching joints, which had decided to lock up in agonizing pain as if to punish me for disturbing them, I found that my exodus was hindered by plastic, linen-wrapped cuffs. I was bound by both of my wrists and both of my ankles, the cuffs strapped to the raised railings of my white hospital bed. In alarm, I thrashed a bit until the pain of moving and the futility of my situation battered my resolve until it lay still, as bruised and beaten as I was. I lied there for a long, silent while, with only the bitter thought of wondering how much the restraints were going to add to my bill.
        I was alone in the room, with no one to talk to but the beeping machines, though they proved to be very poor conversationalists. I tried my best to not move, and to not think, which was much easier with the drugs. I’d been sleeping long enough that apparently my brain refused to return to sleep, and I eventually settled on pressing the nurse call button, which was located on a panel in the bed railings within easy reach of my fingers.
        “Well it looks like someone’s awake now. I hope you’ll not be so riled up as before.” came a voice, almost lyrical in it’s apparent cheer. The woman breezed into the room, more gliding than walking for how graceful she seemed to move. The first thing I noticed was her piercing blue eyes. The second thing I noticed was her predatory gaze that harshly contrasted her whimsical smile and singsong voice. The third thing I noticed was that she was a manticore. White fur demarcated the beginning of brown-red paws. Her silvery hair draped down around her head, the bangs framing her face. White, fluffy-looking ears poked out of the top of her head, and a long, chitinous tail snaked out from behind her, ending in wicked-looking spikes. Around the base of her ears, she wore a headband emblazoned with a red cross, marking her as the nurse I’d called for. Her clothes were of a standard fare, a nurse’s uniform, though it hung about her frame as if it’s only purpose was to accentuate the curves of her chest, waist, and hips.
        She was a stunning creature, with full lips and skin like she was sculpted out of milky caramel. I had no doubt that this creature had been the subject of many an erotic fantasy, though I was no stranger to monsters. Monster’s were all over the town, it was impossible to miss them when anyone came there.
        I knew that this kind of monster was specifically evolved to be the picture of femininity, an enticing lure to catch prey. Her predator nature was evident in the grin she wore as she approached my bedside. “What can I do for you today?” she asked in a friendly air.
        “I want to go home.” I said, though perhaps a bit harshly. I knew she was only doing her job, but I wanted out. “Can you take these cuffs off, please?” I asked. The nurse gave a pouty sort of look, puffing her lips out and giving a little huff. I should have been annoyed at such a display, but I found it hard to be mad at such an alluring sight. “Sorry,” she said in a tone that sounded as if she were telling a child that they couldn’t have ice cream for dinner, “Doctor’s orders. You’re not allowed to leave until you’re stable.”
        I tried to struggle again, but gave up almost immediately as my body decided to undergo a preemptive strike and send fire through my nerves for thinking about moving. “Please.” is all I could mutter meekly. “I can’t afford this…”
        She gave a wider grin. “Ah, yes.” she said in a low tone that did not match her grin at all. “I did notice on your chart that you did not seem to have any sort of Health Insurance. Tsk tsk tsk. A shame, really, in this day and age. You know you’re looking to have a bad day when you race cars with no insurance.”
        My brain, even so addled that it seemed my thoughts and senses were more drug hallucination than true perception, tried to protest. All that escaped my lips were more groans of pain. The manticore shook her head, tsking again. “Don’t try to deny it,” she said as if she could read my very thoughts. “No one drives that fast around that street and they’re not racing. Luckily for you, I had requested to be on your case for one particular reason…” her voice trailed off as she meandered closer.
        I tried to speak, but felt the words would not come. All I could do was watch her stride to my bedside and look down. “You look so cute all tied up like that… oh I could just…” she said as I saw her tail snake up in a hauntingly serpentine way. It hovered above me, before opening like a flower to reveal the sodden flesh within. “…eat you up~”
        I squirmed some more, and regretted doing so. She giggled, her tail closing. Some sort of clear fluid dripped from it’s creases down to the sheets at the foot of my hospital bed. I watched her slowly run her fingers along the chitinous outer shell before she plucked what looked like a small needle from the nest of them. “Oh, relax.” she said, her tail disappearing. “I’ve got a proposition for you, speed racer.” she said in a matter-of-fact tone. I could tell from her voice that now she wasn’t teasing, she was all business.
        “I’ve decided that I like you.” she started. It took me by surprise, but I immediately wondered why I was surprised. I’d always gotten compliments on my looks, especially from monsters. I suppose that it was just lying there on that hospital bed, hooked up to machines and tied down with cuffs, that I didn’t feel very handsome. I hadn’t yet seen a mirror, I could only imagine what my face and body looked like, especially if it was bad enough to keep me in the hospital. “It’s been entirely too long since I’ve found someone I can honestly piqued my interest, and I want to help you with your… little problem. You see, I haven’t given your report yet.”
        She turned her clipboard around and showed it to me. It was mostly blank, save for my information at the header. She thumbed the needle-like protrusion with her other hand. “I could… fudge it a bit, if you’d be okay with… well, owing me a few favors.” she said in a casual tone, as if she were trying to sell me a magazine subscription, but didn’t really need the money. She was the picture of a cool, collected demeanor. She rolled the spike in between her fingers. I squirmed again, not entirely comfortable with her proposal.
        “I can make that nasty bill go away.” she continued, placing the needle in my cuffed hand. Her devious grin came back, “If you’re willing to owe me.” she said. I looked down at the needle, then back up to her curiously. She grinned at me, then her eyes went to my IV line. Immediately, I understood. Manticores were notorious for their poison. To accept her offer, I would have to accept her. Could this be her angle? Was she a nurse to prey on the helpless people in the hospital? Did I care?
        I didn’t know any of the answers except for the last, and as I shoved the spike into the plastic IV line, I felt an immediate glimmer of hope. They say to always choose the devil you know over the devil you don’t. I chose the monster I didn’t know over the combined devils of debt and health insurance. I had no idea what I was truly in for.
        I watched a clear liquid that had a greenish tint flow from the spike needle into the line of my IV tube. My heart rate increased a bit, but not enough to alarm the machines, as I watched the little bubble of green slowly fall along the tube before it disappeared into the new bandage around my arm. The manticore venom entered my veins and immediately, I could feel a warmth spreading through my arm, first down to my hands, then my fingertips. The warmth then started toward my shoulders. It crept up to the back of my neck, then moved down over my chest. The machines read that my heart beat faster, but I could not have felt more at ease. The warmth started down my other arm and my stomach at the same time. It rolled over my legs as I felt it reach my head. Everything seemed to go a bit fuzzy, except for her.
        “That… That feels amazing, actually.” I said. It felt like I was once again floating in the black void where I didn’t have to worry about anything, only this time someone had cut the lights on and I could see that I wasn’t floating in a black void, but more of  a homely place. Not quite home, but something akin to it; like staying in the same bedroom every time you go visit a close friend. A comfortable place, if not completely familiar.
        The white manticore walked closer to me, smiling that same smile. I think she giggled a little, but I wasn’t paying too much attention, so lost in the feeling was I. “Well, that certainly seemed to calm you down.” she laughed, as she sat down in the little stool on wheels beside my bed. A vague beeping came from one of the machines again, which she silenced with the push of a button. “You’re looking flushed, positively feverish~”
        She moved to take the blankets off of me. I tried to reach up to touch the strands of hair that were hanging tantalizingly above me, only to discover the restraining cuffs still bound my movement. To my own mild surprise, they didn’t seem to bother me as much. I felt her draw up my hospital gown, and I craned my head to look down.
        I saw her grinning up at me as her tail hovered dangerously close to my now erect member. The tip of it opened to reveal the flesh beneath it once again. It was pink as before, though now that I payed more attention to it, it looked… almost alluring. It glistened as the flesh pulsed, gripping at something that was not there. The manticore girl giggled again, watching my heart rate increase even more on the monitor. “Now, the fun begins~” she said playfully, before I watched the tail lower itself onto my cock, which had begun to twitch slightly in time with my pulsing heart.
        I watched her smile widen, and she then gave a soft sigh, like a gentle breeze. A beautiful sound that accompanied the softest embrace I’d ever felt envelop my most sensitive places. Even through the warmth of the venom in my blood, I could feel dull waves of pleasure ripple down along my shaft as her tail sank to the base. Chained as I was and drugged on her venom, I could only give out a moan as the fleshy petals of her tail came to rest on my groin, having fully enveloped my length. I lied there for what seemed like an eternity, just reveling in the sensation of a gentle squeeze. She seemed happy to watch me enjoy the feeling of her tail, her eyes half lidded in an affectionate smile as she sat beside me. “You have a wonderful taste.” she said, softly. Almost a whisper, as if she feared to disturb the intimate moment of our first coupling.
        “You have a wonderful feel…” is all I managed to say back, my mind not working entirely in it’s full capacity, a large portion of it devoted to just enjoying the small twitches of her tail muscles around my member. I gave out another moan as I moved my hips, my body hungry for more and bucking a bit of it’s own accord. This caused her to giggle again, “You look like you’re enjoying it~” I only answered with a weak nod and another groan.
        I felt the ripples in her tail get stronger, and she did not relent. My moans grew louder, and I was unable to quiet them. I felt a twinge of embarrassment at the back of my mind, wary of anyone hearing me moan like an overacting pornstar. She did not move, though her breathing grew heavier, and she started to blush.
        Still, she did not relent. I felt the ripples and pulses grow faster and faster. and my body twisted and writhed under the pleasure that built inside of my core. She just watched me, a delighted expression as I strained against my cuffs. My body started to move by itself. My legs tried to close in an effort to lessen the intensity of the sheer electricity she sent through my body as the silken vice clamped over my length lavished affectionate, tender squeezes, but the restraints on my legs held them apart. I was helpless under her administrations.
        She cooed softly, her tail twitching over my shaft as I strained against my cuffs, threatening to break the plastic. The machine wailed as my heart continued to race, marking my approach to the edge of the precipice. The manticore woman was merciless, I felt a rush of fluid squelch around my length as she gave out a little moan of her own, biting the knuckle of her index finger as she seemed to approach her own orgasm. Seeing her like that, her hair cascading down around her beautiful face, her expression twisted into a lewd display of her own pleasure, I could not maintain myself.
        I gave my loudest groan of all, and even felt my back arc upward as my cock started to twitch. I felt a warm, furry paw place itself on my chest as if to hold me down. It wasn’t a hard push, but more of a gentle barrier, I guess to stop me from arcing my back too much. My cock twitched and I felt myself burst with pleasure, the warmth in my veins erupted into white fire of delicious agony as I came gouts of sticky seed into her tail. I felt more ripples as I continued to cum, her tail whisking away every drop as if she were swallowing everything. She moaned again, panting her words, “Such a delicious taste…” she said softly, a lover’s whisper.
        I continued to cum more than I ever have, wondering if the sensation would ever subside. It seems like another eternity, of pumping more fluid that I even thought I had in my body directly into the tail of this lovely manticore woman. Time seemed to blur, and it faded into nothing but the tail end of the strongest orgasm I’d ever had, and the gentle sensation of her paw rubbing my chest and belly affectionately as she whispered sweet nothings that glazed into a white noise of comfort and reassurance.
        I eventually came back down to earth as my orgasm finally puttered out, and I collapsed into my bed. Exhausted, I panted heavily to get my breath back. The world seemed to steadily darken again, my spent body deciding to return into unconsciousness. I was only vaguely aware of the rush of nurses that burst into the room shortly after, while the white manticore girl hastily covered me with my blanket again. I didn’t even hear the squelch of her tail retracting.
        “Carrie!” said one of the other nurses. “We saw his heart rate spike, his 02 sats were dropping, and his EKG almost went into fibrillation!” The nurses continued to babble into a gibber that was unintelligible to me as my mind slipped the waking world. The only thought I had before the blackness claimed me was this:

        Carrie… huh. What a lovely name.

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