“Sucks (to be you)” by Katherine Duckett

May 10, 2018

“Sucks (to be you),” by Katherine Duckett, appears in the May/June 2018 issue of “Uncanny Magazine” and is an interesting take on succubi.

There are a lot of stories about Succubi, of course, and their brothers called Incubi. The oldest stories focus on the horror aspect of them. They come in the night! They make you DO THINGS! They steal your VITAL ESSENCE and/or GET YOU PREGNANT!!! More recent stories spin the whole sex thing into a positive and erotic thing, almost as through the Succubi themselves are writing them. Aren’t they sexy? Don’t you want them? “Sucks (to be you)” takes a slightly different view: an emotional one.

Ducketts Succubi, at least the protagonist of her story, don’t just need sex. They need an emotional connection.

What I want—what most of us want—is far simpler, and gender is immaterial in its pursuit. All I want is a little space in your head. A siphon, giving me a bit of you, ever-flowing: that bit of you that can’t seem to stop thinking about me.

As sexual as these Succubi are, they’re also emotional. While some view the effort of getting this attention as a chore, the way that some humans view meal prep as a chore that’s necessary before eating life-giving food, Duckett’s protagonist enjoys the thrill of the chase and the coaxing and strengthening of the relationship the way that some humans enjoy meal planning and preparation, finding the best seasonings, playing with cuts of meat and cooking times. She’s an artist and she loves it.

She’s very modern and uses the internet, social media, to entice and track her prey. She’s skilled at using instagram and other social media to make herself more appealing, to act as a constant reminder of who she is and how desirable she is. Once she’s hooked someone, she can sit back and let the attention pour in. Her current target is a woman named Eiko.

But Eiko’s friends and family have apparently been reading Captain Awkward and are eager to help Eiko break the spell her ex has over her, so to speak; to end the obsession and constant refreshing and thinking about what could have been. So she closes her social media accounts, blocks her former lover, and goes so far as to move.

What then? What is a Succubus to do when her favorite food source is gone? How does it affect her? It’s a beautiful story about loss and love and relationships that are unhealthy for one party but feed the needs of another. It’s a great modern telling of a very old story… is being preyed on emotionally on the same level as being preyed on physically? Perhaps… it is.

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