Gromet's PlazaDevoured Stories

A Better Way to Go

by The Sixth Dragon

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© Copyright 2008 - The Sixth Dragon - Used by permission

Storycodes: Solo-f; M/f; plant; tentacles; engulf; swallow; cons; X

Elise kept her left arm looped over the handrail, then took a long look down into the abyss. The resolve that had slowly built to firmness was showing its first signs of faltering.

She had almost forgotten her fear of heights when she decided to end it all in a dive from the bridge. It was clearly the only way she could do the deed. There were of course other ways; an overdose of sleeping pills would have been easier and less messy, but somehow she felt it would be the coward's way out. She did not own a gun and the idea of working overtime at the diner for a couple of months to buy one was just too much more of the very problem that led her to this place tonight. Besides, there was something about the fact that she feared heights; it would not be mere cowardice that sent her to her doom. Somehow that made the whole business more honorable. Still …

She reached back unto her memory to help steel her resolve. Elise had long known that she was not the brightest kid on the block. Her mother had never failed to remind her. "Face it, dearie; you ain't got a lot on the ball. You'll make a fair waitress. Just pick up some fellow before your tits sag below your knees. But pick up something better'n 'im." She pointed to the unshaven man in the dirty T-shirt who lay snoring on the sofa.

Somehow she muddled her way through school without being held back at any grade level, but it had been a close thing. Cs were her best grades and at times it had been a challenge to maintain a D in the tougher classes. At graduation, while others received scholarships and made elaborate plans for the future, she had received a simple diploma with a sense of relief.

Her first job, like that of most of the girls, had been as a waitress in the diner down the street. But while the others moved on after a couple of years to bigger and better things, waitressing showed every sign of becoming a lifelong career for her.

Her ample body for once proved useful. Throughout school she had been too short and klutzy to excel at any kind of sports, not even cheerleading. "Dumpy" her mother called it.

But to the men who frequented the diner, her figure was an attraction. If she allowed them a bit of freedom with their hands, they were also much freer with their money. She soon became the tip queen of the establishment; but it made her feel cheap and used.

She would gladly have gotten out of it, but she didn't know where else to go, considering her meager talents. And, of course, there was the knowledge that as the years passed she would become less and less desirable and the tips smaller and smaller.

She came to feel that her entire life was one huge dead end. And thus, she found herself here on the wrong side of the safety rail of the old bridge, the traditional place for people like her to chuck it in.

Elise took a long, lingering look at the river below. In the summer, the river was not high and there were plenty of large rocks to smash her head on. The trick was to make a nice, clean dive, not a belly flop or something equally graceless. But Elise was afraid that her lack of athletic skill might cause her to botch the whole thing.

She grabbed the rail with her left hand and pushed out over the abyss in preparation to taking the plunge. She knew this was the wrong way to dive, but it might help screw up her courage. She was leaning out far over the edge when her foot slipped and she instinctively pulled back with her left arm to regain her balance, then grabbed the rail with her right hand.

"Nasty place down there; not where I'd want to end it all."

Elise gave a start and gripped the rail tightly to keep from losing her balance again.

"Don't come any closer. I'll jump. And don't try to stop me."

"Wouldn't think of it. You've made up your mind. Far be it from me to stop you." The man stood beside one of the pillars of the bridge and made no threatening moves.

There was an awkward moment as Elise turned to face him. Then he walked to the rail and looked down into the abyss.

"It just seems like a cold, nasty place. I sure wouldn't want to end life down there."

"It's where everyone does it."

"True, but it hardly seems the best place."

"You think there's a better place."

He was silent for a moment.

"I was thinking of someplace a bit more sure and perhaps less cold and uninviting; someplace a person could be warm and comfortable and more certain of the result. You wouldn't want to make the jump, only break a few bones and have to lie there helplessly until you died of exposure or someone found you. You might not even die but simply be crippled for the rest of your life. There are better ways to go."

"If you've got something in mind, I am open for suggestions. I don't really relish the idea of jumping very much."

"Well, suppose you could give your body to some great purpose: something that would benefit science, for instance, and in the process have an easy and painless death. Would you do it?"

"Sure, I suppose. But where does one run into such an opportunity. They don't allow such things, you know."

"Very true; but suppose after the deed there was no evidence that you had ever been there. Suppose you were somehow 'consumed.' No one would be the wiser; and you'd have the satisfaction of knowing you'd given yourself to a greater purpose."

"You sound like you have something in mind."

"Actually, now that you mention it, I do have something in mind. By the way, I'm Dr. Curtis from the university."

"Glad to meet you; my name's Elise." She offered her hand.

"The pleasure's mine." They shook hands. "As I was about to say, several months ago, a group of us were doing a study of organisms living in the soil locally: mostly small critters, microscopic or only just visible to the naked eye. We ran into several new species, nothing that would interest most people, but it was enough to keep us going. These were things that will someday be written up in professional journals and biology textbooks. It's just what we were expecting to find."

"The big surprise came one day as we were exploring the ground just a short distance off campus. We found something truly amazing, not just a tiny creature that'd been overlooked. This one was big, better than six feet tall; we haven't seen its bottom yet. We aren't even sure what kind of creature it is; it defies classification. It resembles a plant in appearance but in many ways it acts more like an animal. It's like nothing anyone has ever seen; we haven't even given it a name yet."

"From the top, it's like a very large flower, but its stalk is as large as a tree trunk. And it moves too much to be a plant. On top of that, it eats meat. Under ground it must've fed on small animals like mice and woodchucks, but since it's been exposed its appetite has grown enormously. We started by feeding it pieces of meat, but it became so voracious that the cost of feeding it was prohibitive. Besides, it seems to prefer its meals live and with animal rights groups monitoring our actions all the time, that isn't practical. Feeding the creature is a major problem. Someone like you would be perfect."

"You want to feed me to your critter."


"That doesn't seem like an easier way to die; I don't want to be chewed up."

"But it doesn't have teeth; it swallows its meals whole. Then it goes dormant until it gets hungry again. It'd be a painless and peaceful way to go."

"Well, it sounds better than a dive down there." Elise looked back down into the abyss.

She thought for a long moment. "I'll do it."

"Good." He reached out his hand to help her back over the guardrail.

"Where's your beast?"

"About three miles. We'll take my car."

They walked to the end of the bridge where Dr. Curtis had parked his car. He held the door open for her, then climbed behind the wheel and they drove off toward town.

"By the way, how did you know you'd find me on the bridge tonight?" Elise asked.

"Most people who commit suicide do it shortly after dark and usually on a weekend. I just keep watch on the bridge at the proper time."

"Have there been others?"

"A few; people who wouldn't be missed. The system works quite well and no one's the wiser."

They drove through the campus, past the student union and the football field. About a half-mile further, they turned into a dirt road that led through a clump of trees. At the end of the road was a small parking area and an old barn.

They stopped and Dr. Curtis led the way to a door in the side of the structure. He opened it for Elise who stepped into the dark interior. Dr. Curtis followed, closing the door behind them. Then he flipped the knife switch on a fuse box.

The lights revealed a mixture of barnyard gothic and modern laboratory. The walls were rough-cut lumber with all of the cracks carefully sealed to prevent light from showing outside the building. Scattered around a new wooden floor in orderly rows were a dozen metal lab tables, which held computers, papers and other equipment.

"You'll have to forgive the strange appearance of the place. We found the creature living right below the dirt floor of the barn and built the lab around it. We were quite lucky with the location; it provides a perfect cover. All we had to do was light-proof the building and move equipment in a bit at a time to avoid suspicion."

In the center of the room there were no tables, just a large empty space. Elise walked into the area; the new wooden floor ended in a large circular hole full of dirt, probably the original floor of the barn. She walked closer till she could see below floor level.

"That's him," said Dr. Curtis pointing into the hole.


"Or her; or more probably it or maybe even them. We don't know. No one's ever seen anything like it. We need time for study and that means we need to care for it until the questions have been answered."

It resembled nothing so much as the world's largest flower. And yet obviously it wasn't a flower, either. But the resemblance was strong to Elise's untrained eye.

It had petals spread out just above the ground like a flower. The petals were a very lovely yellow. They were connected to a huge center section. It was a rich red in color and seemed to have an opening or at least an indent in its center. But the red looked more muscular than plant-like, almost like a large circular set of lips with a central mouth. It was exquisitely beautiful.

Elise stepped up to the edge of the hole to get a better look at this unusual creature. When she stopped at the lip, the flower lifted up and leaned slowly in her direction. Startled by the sudden display of agility, she jerked back.

"As you can see, our friend is surprisingly active. It's very energetic in pursuing food and at the moment, it's hungry."

"Needs to be fed."

"That's for sure."

"All right, what do I have to do?"

"First of all, you'll need to undress. Then, I'll have you go over and sit down in that seat on the edge of the hole. Aim your feet toward the center of the creature, then relax and let it do the rest. I'm afraid we don't have a dressing room. You can go over there behind that file cabinet if you'd like."

As Elise began to pull down her shorts the weirdness of the situation struck home. A man takes her to a lonely building outside of town and tells her to undress; his only reason an unidentified creature that needs to be fed. She should have been suspicious. Yet, there was a creature; she had seen it with her own eyes. She unfastened the buttons of her blouse and removed it. Not that it mattered to her; she had given up on life and just wanted to get it over; if it could be done easily and in comfort so much the better.

She unfastened her bra then slid her panty to the floor.

"I'm ready."

"Go and sit in the chair."

An armless chair, with no legs, had been set into the edge of the floor beside the hole so that the legs of whoever happened to be 'dinner' would hang directly over the creature.

Elise sat down on the floor, grasped the chair's back with her left hand, then slid her bottom onto the seat and turned so that her legs dangled into the hole, directly over its unusual resident.

"What now?"

"Just rest your feet over the center of the flower and relax."

She did. Again the flower leaned in her direction, rising until her feet almost touched it.

The center at first pulsated, then the mouth slowly opened. A small pink tentacle, or perhaps more properly a tongue, protruded from the hole and began to explore the air around it. It must take a few seconds for the creature to locate its intended meal.

Shortly it found its bearings and reached out toward Elise's feet. It daintily touched her left foot and began to explore. Dr. Curtis had been right; it was soft, warm and very slightly moist. It had a soothing touch.

It gently took hold of her heel, and then explored the sole of her foot and started gently massaging it.

Elise found this soothing and began to relax.

Soon She felt a touch on the heel of her other foot. Looking down, she saw that another tongue had come out and taken hold of her right foot as well. As she watched the tips of two other tongues appeared as well.

This massaging of her feet was so soothing that she hardly noticed when the first two tongues gently looped themselves around her ankles and took a firm grip.

She awoke out of her reverie when something began to feel up the outer side of each leg. Looking down, she could see the two new tongues working their way up. It was like the men at the diner touching her as she served the table next to theirs, but it was gentle and soothing and she didn't mind.

She relaxed again and let the tongues continue their explorations. Their journey led up her sides, gently rolling over her hips until they finally met her fingers, which she had rested on the chair by her sides. They ran over her palms and wrapped themselves around her wrists. Then they pushed her hands together behind her back, lifting her ever so slightly forward off the chair.

This gave Elise a feeling of helplessness, of being controlled. Instinctively, she tried to pull her arms apart. The creature stopped its massaging and grabbed her wrists hard. She had not realized how powerful it was: the grip was like steel. She could not wrench her hands free. She tried to move her feet. The grip on her ankles was just as strong. She was caught; there was no escape now.

Realizing this and remembering that it was part of her suicide, she relaxed and the creature resumed its explorations. Once more its touch became soothingly, as if to relax her anxiety.

She felt a large tongue working its way up the back of her legs, then under her butt, finally lifting her completely free of the chair. She looked down and saw that now there were many tongues reaching for her, each larger than the one before it. One inserted itself between her feet, feeling its way up the insides of her legs until it reached her crotch and began gently exploring that area also. She flinched a bit and let out the tiniest squeal, but the creature kept its intrusions gentle.

Another tongue climbed her legs finding its way over her pubic area and onto her stomach where it spread upward toward a spot just below the breasts. She could feel the flesh of the creature sliding up her back and over her arms until they reached her shoulders.

The creature gently pressured her body into an upright position till she was standing directly over the now opened maw in the center of its flowerlike body. Two more tongues slid up the others till they settled themselves over her breasts and started to gently massage them. She felt her nipples becoming erect.

The tongue between her legs inserted itself in the orifice there. This was too intrusive and she began to struggle uttering another soft cry, but it was hopeless. The tongues wrapped tightly around her and, in an instant, she was paralyzed in its powerful grip, unable to move at all. The Creature was incredibly strong in spite of its soft, gentle feel. She might have been in a piece of steel tubing.

When she again relaxed, the tongue between her legs started to gently massage her inner parts. She began to moan softly in rhythm to its movement.

New tendrils of flesh climbed over her shoulders and started to explore her throat and the sides of her face. She noticed that the floor of the room had begun to rise or, as she quickly realized, she had begun to sink as the creature drew her into its gaping maw. The lips at the center of the flower slipped past her eyes till only a small spot of light showed over her head. And all the time, the tongue between her legs continued its work, concentrating her attention more and more on its ministrations.

Just before her orgasm, she closed her eyes, so when it finally came she failed to see the lips close over her and the last light to shine on her body totally disappear.

The two men silently watched the creature as its body thrashed about for a moment or so. Then the motion slowed and it settled back into its accustomed flower-like state.

"Well, what do you think, Colonel?"

"Fascinating, but I doubt that it has much potential as a weapon. Its attack is much too weak. The victim could easily escape in the first minutes of contact."

"That's true. We'd have to breed it for more aggression. That might be possible, but we are a long way off."

"Still, it might have applications: intimidation during prisoner interrogation or some kind of combined work with drugs. We'll see."

"But you have to admit, once it's got you, that's the end."

"You've got that right!"



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