Like Poe’s unnamed murderous narrator in “The Telltale Heart,” who tormented his elderly charge by sneaking into his room and making presence felt several nights in a row, that the poor man might know an escalating sense of horror, in order that his eventual killing would become all the more delectable for the sadistic narrator, so, with predatory stealth, did I dwell near my young wife without actually initiating any sort of contact. I rode with her to her kindergarten job, but always in the backseat; I stood (invisibly) next to her in class; I accompanied her and my young self at mealtimes, unobtrusively occupying an empty chair at the table; I propped myself up on the sink as she showered, then stood in the corner of the bathroom and watched her apply makeup in the morning.

The only occasions in which I made sure to remove myself was when she and my younger self engaged in marital relations. I withdrew during these moments in order that my ineffable absence might be felt just as keenly as my ineffable presence was during all of those other times; just as absence can “make the heart grow fonder,” it can, under certain circumstances, exorbitantly inflame the loins.

Though I little reflected upon what I was doing during this interval, I never deviated from course. What motivated me to embark upon such a ruinous gambit, given my strange and surreal state of consciousness, finding myself living as a phantom in the past (or some form or fashion of said “past,” anyway), dwelling invisibly among my younger self and his younger wife? Why, while finding myself in such a curious circumstance, did I wish to pull my wife away from the affections of my own oblivious youthful self, years before that tragic loss of affection took place in the timeline of my own memory?

Oddly, I never questioned myself on these matters. I rather sensed a certain intimation of inevitability, and found myself propelled along by something that felt a bit like destiny.


My young wife was clearly growing more agitated with each passing day. Though she certainly didn’t comprehend things fully (and even wondered at intervals if she were losing her mind), she knew that something was seriously amiss. As for my younger self, however, he remained blissfully ignorant. I was incredulous, in fact, at how little he comprehended the developing disaster that threatened to obliterate everything that he took for granted.

Then again, had I myself not been just such a man? Having my wife grow totally disillusioned with me was not an eventuality that I had ever contemplated as even a remote possibility, until, to my dismay and incredulity, it wound up happening. Maybe the “me” in this “past” would learn the exact same lesson, but sooner, and perhaps that would be the best thing for the poor, deluded lad.

By shamelessly indulging in such carelessly callous sentiments, I disregarded the very one for whom I had shed such copious tears of pity and compassion upon our initial “meeting”: namely, myself. In fact, I gave him very little thought from this point forward; all of my faculties were instead determinedly focused upon the task of becoming the consuming obsession of my young wife.

I knew things were building to a crescendo; I needed to be patient, and allow events to run their course. I was in no hurry: time was on my side.

In fact, I wouldn’t have to wait much longer at all.

As she drove to school one morning, with my phantom self occupying my usual unseen spot in the backseat, I noticed that for once, she wasn’t listening to the babbling voices on the radio. She seemed more preoccupied than usual, less at ease, and infinitely more restless. At length, she sighed heavily, and pulled the car over into a remote area some distance from the main road.

I sat with her in silence for a long moment, and she sighed again. Then, most surprisingly, she spoke.

“I may be crazy,” she declared. “I might just be losing my mind. But I think…I think you are in this car with me right now.” She sighed a third time, and asked, in a tiny voice, as if fearful of the answer, “Are you here? Are you?”

I said nothing, even after she rendered her initially implicit question quite explicit.

“If you are here,” she boldly forged on a moment later, “give me a sign.”

It so happened, as soon as these words had left her mouth, that a massive peal of thunder suddenly crackled, startling me as much as it did her. Was this meant as some kind of sign to both of us? Had someone else been invisibly watching me all this while, just as I had been invisibly watching her, and was it now prompting me to act?

Seconds later, a violent rainstorm suddenly ripped through the sky, which moments earlier had been utterly clear and free of clouds, and fell upon the earth; immediately I reached out with my “spiritual but corporeal” hands, just as I had on that prior occasion in her classroom—and I caught her, first by the neck, then by the bosom, then by the waist. Once again, I pressed my lips to hers, once more making use of my wondrous telekinetic ability to “throw” my bodily appendages just as a ventriloquist “throws” his voice; so now, as the downpour flung its fury down from the heavens, I likewise flung myself onto my young wife’s waiting, expectant frame; my invisible hands unbuttoned her blouse, unhooked her bra, tore her skirt violently from her waist, causing the sheer fabric to rip, and plucked her panties away from her crotch; I then plunged deep into her now unsheathed sex; her nails tore into my “second” back as wave upon wave upon wave of release delectably drained from her womb as she gasped and cried out with unrestrained abandon.

Then, not even knowing, nor thinking, nor caring about what I was doing, as if gripped by some unseen force which now had me helplessly in its grasp, I opened the drivers’ side door and, with both feet set on the muddy ground, I threw her roughly onto the roof of the car; as the rain beat down upon us both I began to pleasure her orally, this time using my actual (albeit still invisible) tongue for the task. I licked and lapped like a thirsty animal drinking from a trough, and I heard her moan, groan, and gasp again, tasted the geysering juice of her release, and kept sucking and slurping until my oral muscles were simply too sore to function.

Presently her cries diminished into whimpers, and at length (I cannot say exactly how long; it could very well have been an hour), I picked her up in my arms, more gently this time, and held her wet, naked body next to mine for a full moment. Now, as the rainfall began to dissipate, eventually diminishing into a mere trickle, I found that she was gazing up at me with astonishment. In the midst of our furious coupling, at some indeterminate point, I had become visible to her.

She muttered my name, seemingly recognizing me as her husband in spite of my considerably aged frame, then promptly passed out.


After putting her back behind the driver’s seat, I immediately ran away, charged with a frantic intimation of doom.

“What have I done, what have I done, what have I done?” I kept asking myself, rending my frayed shirt like a medieval penitent, but no answer came from the heavens.

Of course, I couldn’t just leave her there, but I could no longer hide myself from her, either. She had seen me. I don’t know how or why it happened, but it did. I must have lost control during our lovemaking and accidentally flipped the internal switch that rendered me visible. I crept back to the car, having exhausted myself in a futile little freak-out that did little to help matters. She was beginning to stir, and this time I took the passenger seat next to her. When her eyes met mine, she gasped, reaching out to touch my face, while the rest of her body recoiled in apprehension.

Finally, she spoke my name again. It marked the third time she had done so: the first utterance had happened in the midst of our initial tryst, the second when she had seen me for the first time just before she passed out. Now she spoke it with conviction, even though her surety was also mingled heavily with incomprehension. I just stared into her eyes and said nothing, mainly because I felt that there was little I could properly say at that moment.

She sat up, tried to adjust her clothes slightly, but her skirt was still ripped and her blouse and bra all askew; her panties had been flung carelessly into the underbrush, and were surely now sunk beneath the mud which had gathered so abundantly with the sudden rainstorm that had struck heavily, then disappeared just as quickly. Singularly failing in her effort to look “presentable” (we were both still dripping wet), she leaned back again, still wearing a dazed expression, the look of one who had just been thoroughly and very invigoratingly ravished yet little understood the means or manner of her ravisher. Finally, she asked, in a peculiar small, almost timid voice, “You are my husband, are you not?” I told her that I was. “But…why do you look like you do?” “I am 53 years old. I am your husband as an older man.”

She nodded, still looking positively stupefied. Finally, she managed, “Why are you here?”

“I don’t know,” I said. Taking a deep breath, I added, “You wouldn’t believe me.”

“At this point—” she retorted, stopping short of completing the phrase, as if even saying I would be willing to believe anything were too weighty a thought to speak out loud.

So I told her the truth, albeit not the entirety of the truth.

“I tried to kill myself,” I said. “But instead of winding up in Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory, I was sent here, to the past.”

“Why did you…” she began to ask the question, but stopped. I said nothing, not wishing to reveal anything more about the future than was necessary. To this day, I am unsure what prompted my reticence on this score. It wasn’t any “Back to the Future”-esque mumbo-jumbo about being fearful of causing disturbances in the time-space continuum; it was something intensely more primal, as if being overly forthcoming would have severe psychic consequences, both for me and for her.

“Did I…did I try to stop you?” she asked, with noticeable hesitation. I shook my head. “You didn’t know,” I answered, but wouldn’t say more.

She leaned toward me and spoke, in that earnest, reverent voice that, by now, I knew so well: “I believe you. I don’t know why I believe you, because it’s all so absurd. But,” she paused, and touched my face. “I know it is you. I have always known. Don’t ask me how. When you love a man…”

The last bit was wormwood to hear, and I did my best to disguise the effect it had upon me. I looked away. “Love is forever, after all,” I muttered, doing my best to keep the bitterness out of my voice.

She said nothing. I didn’t look her way, but got the impression that she was mulling my words and considering their ramifications. Then she asked, “Why did you come to me like this?”

“I have no excuse,” I told her plainly. Now I looked up, met her eyes. “I wanted you, that’s all.”

She could offer no reproving words in reply, since she could not deny the truth, that she too had freely and enthusiastically given herself to me, and in all likelihood would do so again… I gently grasped her hand, then ran my fingers up and down the length of her bare arm. She closed her eyes and sighed raggedly as desire began to overtake her anew. Then she tensed, struck by a question that hadn’t occurred to her before now.

“Am I…being unfaithful…to him?” she asked, in a quietly pitiful, almost mournful tone, as if pleading to be dissuaded of such a notion.

“I am him. He is me,” I answered.

What I didn’t tell her was that in my time, she no longer loved me. Even as she untensed, and gave in to my ministrations, I could tell that part of her wondered, vaguely, just what the future held for both of us. Soon, however, her rising ardor utterly obliterated these thoughts. Then we were once more tangling together, this time with my body uncloaked. Now she saw me fully in addition to feeling my touch, saw my lips press against hers, while my tongue and hers interlocked; she saw my face as I entered her again, and as she climaxed a final time she gazed at me with that same expression of joyful awe with which I had seen her favor my younger self weeks earlier, as I peeped through the backyard windowpane.


Clearly, in her mind, I was taking his place. I was now the subject of her feminine regard, rather than him. My presence had awakened a craving within her that she had never before experienced, or even been aware of.

What exactly was it about my aged self that caused me to slip past my young self in her affections? My younger self, after all, had greater vigor, was fitter, had a full head of hair, wasn’t saddled with the middle-age paunch that seems to pack itself onto even the most conscientiously fitness-conscious of middle-aged men.

My younger self certainly had all of the more tangible aspects of attractiveness. Yet it was me, the aged man, who possessed the allure of the unknown. I was the future; what did I hold?

Evidently there was something supremely intoxicating about entangling oneself with potentialities not yet actualized; the sumptuous exoticism of my future form, the mysteries it embodied, drew her to me powerfully. But perhaps it was also some intimation she sensed, some apprehension that the future might in fact have something tragic to impart, which had the effect of catching her up in a vise grip, from which extrication was simply unthinkable.

It was telling, somehow, that for a long while she never pursued this intimation, or sought any further information from me concerning events yet to come. Instead, when we met, in the days and weeks that followed, words were seldom exchanged. She fed upon me with the desperation of an addict, with an unspoken awareness that the very substance of my being, upon which he had grown so hopelessly hooked, was in short supply and would soon run out, leaving her dry and disconsolate.

We began to stage our reckless liaisons in a motel room, which provided greater privacy and less cramped conditions, but otherwise did little to ameliorate the altogether dingy atmosphere surrounding the shared shame of our communal concupiscence. One rendezvous followed another, then another, and another, until it had become quite impossible to tell just how long we had been at it. Had it been a month, a year? Our perpetual lovemaking came to assume the gauzy sheen of a seeming eternity.


One day we had just finished one round of coupling, and we were both lying naked on the bedding we had just stained, listening absently to the grinding hum of the motel air conditioning unit. On the screen of a nearby television, with the volume turned low, glamorous teenagers engaged in half-witted banter whilst reclining in the booth of a glitzy diner in California.

During these moments, which were something like the intermission between acts of a play, she would occasionally make some careless remark, typically of little to no consequence. I would usually respond with a noncommittal grunt, or something approximating the same.

On this fateful day, during the “break” time, she lay on her back, looking slightly troubled.

“Do I…betray you?” she asked. “In the future, I mean.”

I grunted noncommittally, turned over and started massaging her nipples, which in seconds began to harden obediently, and she inhaled with unrestrained delectation. She tried to ask the question again, but I roughly told her to shut the fuck up and climbed atop her with my full erection, the tip of which easily found her already wet clit; I slid into her, and with just a few well-timed thrusts, knocked the apprehension entirely from her mind and filled her with the forgetfulness potion that was my copious cum, which streamed into her liberally even as she convulsed in my arms like a helpless epileptic.

As we rocked together, she moaned loudly into my ear as her nails ground deeper and deeper into my back, until I could swear they had plunged through my skin all the way to my backbone. The pain mingled with pleasure was excruciating and exquisite; it felt as if I were being crucified, rightfully punished for the sins I had willfully heaped upon my own head.


At that moment, in my mind’s eye, I witnessed a scene that I was sure was taking place, even though my eyes were squeezed shut.

I saw myself—that is, my younger self—breaking down the motel room door with a swift, mighty kick.

The cheaply made deadbolt and chain lock both shattered and there he stood, brandishing a pistol, his face set in a nearly inhuman expression of enragement. My young wife’s moan became a scream, then a sob; she flung me off her and rushed to him, pitifully naked, my semen leaking down her leg as she yelled out to him with an urgency of sorrow, as if attempting to warn him of a danger while knowing in her heart that it was too late.

The blast from his gun knocked the breath out of her forever and she fell back onto me, face grotesquely split open; blood and brains spurted from the place where her nose and mouth had been, into which the bullet had torn a fist-sized hole, yet above the horrific wound her eyes, untouched, were red and moist with newly-shed tears.

Though my own eyes were still closed as I perceived all of these events taking place, my eyes nevertheless, paradoxically, somehow met the eyes of my younger self, who now snarled and howled in a demonic expulsion of pure, unfiltered wrath. He approached, and the bed began to shake as I trembled with impotent terror. He gripped my neck and squeezed, all the while uttering frightful guttural curses in some hellish, unfamiliar language; I tried to pull myself loose, but the more I fought, the tighter his grip became; I kicked furiously, and finally, abruptly, his grasp on my windpipe relaxed, and I felt myself hurtling into an infernal void, sure I was bound for the depths of Hell…

I landed in a heap, feeling a terrible crack in my hip, which took the brunt of my fall. A sharp blast of pain issued from the spot, and I lay still, immobilized; I cowered there, groaning, weeping, begging for mercy, certain that my attacker would soon finish me off. But presently (yes, presently indeed!), I came to discern, even through my discombobulation and agony, a familiar smell, both repellant and curiously comforting. It was the aroma of my lingering sweat.

When I finally dared open my eyes, it was to see that I dwelt on the filthy floor of my bachelor apartment, which as usual reeked with the permeating scent of my body odor. I had apparently just fallen from the ceiling when my makeshift noose, fashioned from my belt, had snapped under the full weight of my body.

The belt had almost done the trick, but not quite. I had nearly asphyxiated, but now I breathed. I had awakened, as if from a dream, to find myself quite alive, quite visible…and quite alone.


For all installments of “The Man Who Cuckolded Himself,” click here.

Previous installments:

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3