Into the drowny deep they’d gone

Into the drowny deep they’d gone, far past the places other men had dared to travel. Past arching cities and seemingly endless green jungle, they’d set sail from the farthest edge of the Last Isle of Men, intent on seeing all the world had to offer.

They reached the edge of the world after two years of sailing. As the sun was setting, they finally reached the place where the world ended and the curving blackness of space began.

They traveled along the invisible barrier until they found the Door. Then they left the world behind and traveled the multiverse, experiencing things they’d only ever dreamed of seeing.

“Partial Curse” PROMPT-FILL: 407.

PROMPT-FILL: 407. Cursed by a random and cruel stranger

A stranger casts The Curse on a young girl with not a single exchange of words between them. In fact, with the heavy traffic on the road, she never saw who cast The Curse.

She simply woke up the next day in screaming agony as her body began to rearrange itself in preparation for the change.

She was terrified but helpless to it. There was no cure and no stopping what was happening to her.

She forced herself to endure as her bones shifted and broke. As her skin ripped as it failed to stretch over her new, larger shape. Blood and plasma stained through her sheets and ruined the mattress below. They were the gushing fluids of her rebirth.

And for a time she rested in wretched skinlessness. Days passed with no food or water. Her breath came in a dull, agonizing wheeze as even the tiniest motion made her flesh burn.

She’d thought she’d died. She should have died. But she didn’t. She endured.

She survived until she could crawl from the bed to the bathroom sink. To the water she greedily swallowed even as her patchy and scabbed skin stung and brought tears to her eyes.

She stayed in her home for weeks, surviving on water and the few scraps of food she could force herself to swallow.

Gradually she healed. Until one day all the pain was gone and her scabs were solid and had ceased to split and bleed. She wasn’t healthy yet, but she was mending.

So with some trepidation and a large dose of fear, she stepped in front of the long mirror. And she looked at herself, at her new life.

=THE END?=

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Games section and “Death and Layla Hanson”

As you can see, a new section called Games has been added to the menu. That’s because I’ve begun making Visual Novels and CYOA games using Ren’py and Twine 2.

My first story written with Twine is complete. It’s called “Death and Layla Hanson” and you can play it for free.

Though I use the term “play” loosely, as it is a linear story with no choices. But I did figure out how headers, footers, and some customization in Harlowe* work while making “Death and Layla Hanson.”

Here’s the games page => Kimichee.com/gamelist
Here’s “Death and Layla Hanson” on Kimichee => kimichee.com/games/Death_and_Layla_Hanson.html
Here’s my itch.io page => harperkingsley.itch.io

“Death and Layla Hanson” begins with mentions of a death, but there’s no horror, gore, or anything terrible about it. Layla is simply dead and it’s a fact. The same with the presence of Death who has come to guide her to whatever comes next.

There are 20 screens comprising 2000+ words. And the story is COMPLETE.

* Harlowe is the format I’ve chosen to use with Twine 2. Some people prefer SugarCube, which followed from the original Twine.

“Project Athena”

I have strange and extravagant dreams.

I let myself imagine the kinds of things that other people feel.

I wrap myself in the somewhat-safety of being someone else. It’s an old game I used to play.

I can see them looking at me, wondering. “Is Project Athena going off the rails like the McKabes and the Quin-Jongs?”

It almost hurts, to think that they doubt me so. I have been nothing but loyal.

I am loyal.

I was made in the Labs of Olympus, spliced from the Zeus gene-mod. I was the pride and joy, one of the Original Twelve phenotypes.

From our DNA is the rest of the Olympus Catalogue made. They might use my eyes and put them on a different face. Everything is mixed and matched and guaranteed to be a viable offspring, even when paired with lower quality DNA.

One Athena in every generation is Chosen, just as there is one Ares, one Hera, one Apollo, etc, etc. We live in the Lab so our gene-children can live free with their parents.

We have perfect genes, expressing all required characteristics of our class.

I remember when I was separated from the rest of my age group. I cried.

That was the first time I realized I was different. In front of an assembly full of people.

I remember that I was put in a group with other Athena-candidates. We wore tunic dresses and had classes together.

One by one, our class was whittled down to me and another girl. I remember that she had my face. My voice. It was like fighting myself.

And then there was just me. And I was standing in front of the Dagger Throne. And there were cameras everywhere and the whole world was watching my Ascension.

I never imagined what it would be like to win the Goddess Trials.

It wasn’t like I’d put my name in the running.

I’d been Chosen as a kid. From that point my life was no longer my own.

Yet here I am.

This is my life. One where there is very little privacy and no real freedom.

I am dressed and paraded around in front of the masses. I am the face of the brand.

I am kept in optimum health and there are constantly body servants fluttering around. There’s someone there even when I’m “alone”.

It’s strange to be lonely when you’re never allowed to be alone.

Fill? 01 – on a gun

There’s a strange moment of disconnect between one thought and the next. It left him stumbling on numb legs.

He turned his body around and stood there, statuelike.

The world was made of fire.

It raged across the sky in blazing scarlet and gold. Giant wings reaching out to cover everything.

He tipped his head back and stared up at the parachute of light arching above him.

I’m going to die. The thought was spoken in a calm voice that rang through his ears as clearly as if they’d been outside of his own head.

It followed him as he ducked and ran and fought his way out of a city fallen to madness.

He came out of his fire with a starburst scar across the apple of his right cheek and an ankle that liked to pop when he walked. But he was alive and he could move to a suburban area and start a new life as a stay-at-home dad.

The woman he married was a dedicated career woman that had lokked startled by his offered Contract before agreeing.

The relationship wasn’t real, but he knew that he was a catch just on his looks alone.

It was kind of why he dressed as a farmer hipster when he wasn’t working. It was all plaid shirts, unshaven cheeks, and wildly tawsled hair.

He knew he was a hot mess. He could see the eyes that followed him around. It was why he’d switched to wearing glasses.

Add in Chucky, and suddenly he was the single dad that all kinds of women wanted to fix up.

Sometimes it made him laugh, when he was home alone with the sleeping baby. He would be watching TV in the living room, maybe smoking a little Calm and Cool, and he’d have a thought and find himself laughing like a loon.

Once upon a time he’d been a serious bad ass. He’d been a hero from the wars.

Then he was a rich woman’s darling husband and Contracted Trophy Spouse. They’d agreed to have a child that he would raise.

Then he was a widow receiving Survivor’s Benefits from her Memorial Trust. She’d arranged things so that both he and Chucky were taken care of. There was enough money that he didn’t have to work out of the home.

He was grateful to her. She’d been a generous wife when they were married, and she’d been generous in her death.

He made sure that her family saw plenty of Chucky. As much as he could manage anyway, as her family was well-traveled and it took a Google Calendar to follow them and schedule an appointment.

He’d added thousands of miles to his car keeping in contact with her family. It was something that she would have wanted.

Chucky became one of the Patriarch’s favorite grandchildren along with Frankie and the twins. By the time the first granddaughter was born–the apple of everyone’s eye–the gang of children running around was a hoard of well-loved family kids and their friends.

It made him proud to see his child growing up so well.

He could remember the horribleness of his own childhood.

This is why I survived, he thought. This is why that voice spoke to me.

Because if he hadn’t heard that voice ringing through his head, he wouldn’t have run. He would have hesitated. And he would have died with everyone else.

He stared around at the orderliness of his room and pushed away the memories of Before.

He was no kind of hero. He was just a man.

That was the promise he’d made himself and Chucky.

* * *

Charles glared at Nigel. How dare that old coot tell him what to do! But he knew there was no choice but to do as he was told. His parents had told him what to expect.

This was the man that had raised him until he was eight, then given him away. He didn’t see Nigel for fifteen years, then when they met again Nigel was nothing that he remembered.

The anal-retentive asshole took OCD to a whole other level of neurosis, but refused to take medication. He’d made friends with some hippies and followed an organic produce kick that involved aquaponics and hundreds of pounds worth of vegetables.

Yet he was still the man controlling Charles’ life until his twenty-fifth birthday. Which meant the marriage contract was valid and he’d just have to make the best of things, as he usually did.

Charliemehardy was the name he used online. Because he had big plans for what his life was going to be when he reached his Majority.

He’d continue to support Nigel, but he’d get his own place and his own life.

“Who am I marrying?” he asked.

Nigel shrugged elegantly. “That’s going to be up to you. I’ll have some profiles put together and arrange some invitations, but you choose who you like.”

Charles sighed in relief. At least he was going to be allowed a bit of freedom.

He glanced at his watch. “Oop, looks like I’ve gotta run, Daddy. I’ll see you later!”

Nigel tapped his cheek meaningfully. “Kiss.”

It was maybe a bit embarrassing at times, but Charles never refused the request. He pressed a brief kiss against the scar on Nigel’s cheek. “Later, Daddy.”

He hurried out of the study and down the back hall stairs. It took him until he reached the car to put his public mask back in place.

That was the thing about family. They could strip him bare in ways his friends had never managed.

My writing process – “FDtC Ch 10”

I see my stories as glimpses of a larger world. So I can relax a little into the joys of writing because I’m not writing my Great American Novel.

I’m writing a curtain fic.
I’m writing a prompt-fic.
I’m writing some superhero porn.

Whatever I’m writing at the moment, it’s not the be-all, end-all of me.

And sure, some things might be better than others,–

(Allies & Enemies is my current favorite original fic. But for other stuff, I’mma be a Xander-girl until I die. He and Spike are my go-to OTP.)

— but they each have their own kind of value Like “Shame” is far from my favorite, but I didn’t want to include it in “Fierce” so it became its own thing. Yet horrible as it was, the stalking and physical assault had to happen to explain later events. There was a reason why it’s mostly told from the POV of someone that’s not Simon Peters, while every other “Simon Peters” story is from his perspective.

It works into the whole idea that Simon has to deal with all these preconceived notions people have about him. Everyone knows his name. He is the biggest moviestar of his Earth.

And everyone knows what happened to him.

It takes him a couple of years to feel comfortable out in public, and even then he’s still wary of both strangers and his own security.

And in case you noticed, Byron Hughes is the bodyguard of both Simon Peters and William Neely. At the same time.

How?

Well, Simon and William are alternate versions of each other. In one universe, William’s father stayed with his mother until after he was born. This meant that she received key nutrients during her pregnancy that Simon’s mother (her alternate) didn’t get. Those extra vitamins and better nutrition resulted in William being a genius.


Here’s what Chapter Ten of From Diamond to Coal looks like right now. It’s pretty much written, it just needs to be filled in.

Title: From Diamond to Coal: Arc 02
Series: The Billionaire Boy’s Club
Author: Harper Kingsley
Genre: mm, science fiction

CHAPTER TEN

It pissed him off when he realized just how affected he was by Alan’s absence. He was supposed to be strong and tough and independent, but once Alan was gone a week he started feeling off balance and as though something was missing in his world.

Kudos attempted to keep him company, but there was only so much a dog could do. Besides, just seeing Kudos reminded him of Alan, because the dog was basically Alan’s dog.

Alan liked to complain about the dog, but he was always brushing it and talking to it and they even had this whole jogging routine going. There were some times when William felt a bit as though he were intruding on their time together. So to see the dog and no Alan… It put William in a bad mood.

He took to moodily walking around on the roof, plotting out a rooftop garden just for something to do. Not some simple setup, but a full on techno-floral wonderland of trees, flowers, and even a patch for an herb garden.

“So, this is what you’ve been doing with your time, huh?”

William turned in surprise to see RJ standing in front of the rooftop door. “Weren’t you working on that clean water project?”

“I was, but then I realized that I hadn’t seen you in way too long and thought it was a good idea to find out where you were. And this is what I find.” RJ walked around the roof, his hands casually shoved into his jacket pockets. His red hair was ruffled by the breeze as he eyed the pieces of butcher paper William had taped to the ground to help with his planning.

“I get it, I’m completely pathetic.” William made to rake his hand through his hair, but wiped his hands clean on his jeans instead. “I just needed something to keep my brain busy, but I don’t feel like going anywhere. I always wanted a rooftop garden, so I thought now was the chance for me to put one together.”

“And you’re going to care for this garden yourself?” RJ asked.

William snorted. “I’m not quite that out of control. Once I get it up and running and beautiful enough that people will weep to see it, I’ll leave it to the staff to handle. I’m thinking about setting up a greenhouse over there and I’ve already started working on what I think will be a great fertilizer for the hydro setup I’m putting together.”

“Are you sure you want to mess around with that kind of stuff?” RJ asked. “We both know you’re not exactly the best at chemistry.”

William tried not to sound defensive, “I can wing it.”

“You’re going to blow yourself up. We both know it.” RJ sighed and rolled up his shirtsleeves. “I’ll help you. There’s no way I would let you mess around with anything that could make a fertilizer bomb without me there to keep you safe.”

“Thank you RJ,” William said gratefully.

RJ grinned. “We’re buddies. There’s no way I’d leave you to flounder alone.”

William rolled his eyes, but the corners of his mouth turned up.

An hour later, William slouched against the —-roof rail—- and swiped his sleeve across his forehead. “I think we’ve pretty much got it all figured out.”

“I’ll put in an order for some koi and some trout then?” RJ asked.

William nodded. “Yeah. I’ll get the two tanks set up for when the fish arrive and it should work.”

At RJ’s suggestion, he’d given up the idea of hydroponics as a less efficient method than aquaponics. They’d use fish to produce the nutrient-rich water for the plants, which meant not having to mess around with fertilizers or chemicals. The plants would be anchored in expanded clay media, so there’d be no soil to mess with and the maintenance would be easier than traditional gardening. And growing trout meant there’d be plenty of fish to eat year round.

“This is going to be awesome,” William said.

“You’ve said that at least a dozen times already. I can tell you’re excited,” RJ said. He sat cross-legged on the ground and slumped forward over his lap. “This should be a fun project.”

“Yeah.” William looked across the roof, nearly able to see the garden they were going to create. “Maybe we could requisition a handful of interns.”

RJ snorted. “That sounds a little bit wrong.”

“But true.”

RJ laughed. “What? Stop your nonsense. Are you going to feed me?”

“Pizza and beer?” William suggested. “Does that sound good to you?”

“You know I’d never say no to pizza.” RJ rubbed his palms down the sides of his pants and slanted him a glance. “You cool to accept delivered pizza?”

William sighed and shook his head. “Still no. But I feel secure enough sending Byron out for provisions. He knows to check our food for tampering.”

====== [This is the point at which I switched my writing-style from full scenes and dialogue, to just dialogue and vagueries. It’s because I write like this that it takes me so long to finish something. (I think to myself “That story’s done. I’m done with it” yet it’s just a bunch of dialogue and scene-cues. Which means I have all of these unreadable stories.)

I have so many dialogue dependent stories written.]

RJ “Well then, let’s get off this roof.” Stands up with a stretch and a groan. “You should think about putting some benches out here.”

WILLIAM “Good idea. The view is too good to waste.” Looks out across the city.

WILLIAM “Someday I’m going to build a massive skyscraper and be king of the world. Maybe a floating mobile palace from which I can rule my kingdom from on high.”

RJ “Come on, dreamer. I’m starving.”

They go inside and William sends Byron for pizza, beer, and an assortment of snacks. “If we’re going to have a best friends night-in, we require fuel. So bring on the salty, the sweet, and the crunchy.”

RJ “And ice cream! Rocky road for me and Americone Dream for my friend here.”

WILLIAM “And get whatever you want for you and James.” Byron has a company card, but he’s hesitant to use it without being told. It’s a bit frustrating for William, who is remarkably generous.

BYRON “I will be back shortly.” Leaves.

RJ “‘I’ll be back,'” intones like the Terminator. Normal voice, “Does he always sound like that much of a robot?”

WILLIAM “Only when talking to you.” Tosses RJ the TV remote. “Find something good to watch while I slice some cheese.”

RJ “Don’t you mean cut the cheese.” Snorts a laugh.

William goes into the kitchen, shaking his head. Sometimes RJ is surprisingly nerdy. Gets out a half block of cheddar cheese and a knife. For years people have pushed him to eat fancy cheese, but at home he enjoys the tastes of his childhood.

Cuts cubes of cheese he arranges on two plates with some crackers. It looks kind of sad so he peels and slices a large apple and two small oranges.

He carries the snack back into the living room, setting one plate on the coffee table near RJ before curling on an armchair with his own plate.

RJ “When did network television get so bad? I remember a time when there was actually something to watch.”

WILLIAM “There’s some DVR’d stuff or hit the digital buttons.”

RJ “I see. I’m just saying that it’s sad there’s nothing to watch on regular television. I don’t enjoy reality TV at all. Sub-reality more like.”

WILLIAM rolling his eyes good naturedly. “You’re a snob, I get it. Don’t watch terrible shows and eventually they’ll go away.”

RJ hits the Digital Menu and begins paging through choices. “It makes me wonder what kind of people the —-Nielsen—- families are.”

WILLIAM “I don’t know.”

RJ “I read a study that shows that watching reality TV actually lowers the IQ of those watching. I don’t know if the effects are permanent, but there’s a marked downshift in cognitive function.”

WILLIAM, joking, “Maybe it’s a plot to control the viewing public. Retard mental acuity in children and young adults to keep them from ever asking unwelcome questions or even from being able to put things together. Mind control through pawnshop shows and fashion stars.”

RJ “You may laugh, but it’s painfully true. Haven’t you ever noticed that whenever something big is happening in the government there’s suddenly some celebrity scandal or a fake wedding filling up all the news? It has to be a conspiracy.”

WILLIAM “Yes, yes, the events in Josie and the Pussycats are real. Orange is the new black. Can you start a movie already?”

RJ “How can I say No to that face? How about this one?”

WILLIAM “Good choice. I’ve never seen this one.” Crunches into an apple slice. “I hope it’s not terrible.”

RJ “That’s what I always think.”

William crunched snacks and gazed at the TV while his brain drifted to the roof garden they would build and eventually to Alan.

RJ “I can hear your brain working from clear over here. It’s making it hard for me to enjoy the movie.”

WILLIAM “Sorry.”

RJ “You don’t have to be sorry, you just have to cut it out. It’s not like Alan’s going to be gone forever.”

WILLIAM “I know. It’s just that we haven’t been apart for so long since we got together.”

RJ “What about when you were in that coma?”

WILLIAM “I was in a coma, Mr. Insensitive.”

RJ “At least you’re kind of smiling now.”

William rolled his eyes, but was amused. “That’s not a smile. It’s nerve damage from my horrible coma experience.”

RJ “Well, it makes you seem much more charming, like a cheerful porpoise. Other people have noted that you seem happier too.”

WILLIAM “That’s because I’m happily married.”

RJ “I was thinking it was a neurological issue, but I guess it’s something a wedding could make happen.”

William bounced a cube of cheese off RJ’s head. “Asshole.”

RJ made a kissy face at him. “I love you too.”

William shook his head and slouched further into the armchair. There were times when RJ’s sense of humor was hard to follow, mostly because he always thought that he was hilarious.

There was the click of the door opening, then the scent of pizza as Byron came in with two pizza boxes and a case of beer, a plastic shopping bag hanging from his wrist.

WILLIAM “Good timing. I needed someone to rescue me from this guy.” He hooked his thumb at RJ.

BYRON “It is my job to rescue you.”

He brought the pizza boxes and beer over to the coffee table and set them down before going to the kitchen. There was the sound of the freezer opening and closing, then the clink of dishes and the sound of rustling.

WILLIAM “Do you need any help in there?”

BYRON’S VOICE “I’m just getting some plates and napkins for you.”

WILLIAM “Grab a plate for yourself if you want.”

Byron came out carrying two plates. “I’d like to stay, but I have plans tonight. Sorry.”

WILLIAM “Ooh. Do you have a hot date?”

BYRON “With the most beautiful woman in my life.”

WILLIAM “How is your mother?”

BYRON “As active and energetic as ever. She invited me over for dinner tonight with the rest of the family. I heard rumors that there’s going to be a roast and her patented apple dutch baby for dessert.”

WILLIAM ” Sounds like you’re going to have a delicious and fun night.” Accepts the plate Byron holds out and opens the top pizza box. “Have fun for me.”

BYRON “Thanks. I’ll try.”

WILLIAM “You should grab a couple of bottles from the wine closet. Something red to go with the roast.”

BYRON “Really?”

WILLIAM “Sure. Help yourself.”

BYRON “Thank you.”

WILLIAM “Yeah, yeah.” He slides two slices of pepperoni and black olive pizza onto his plate. “Give your mother my regards.”

BYRON “I will.”

William nudged the pizza box toward RJ and took a beer out of the carton.

BYRON “Give me that.” He held out his hand for the beer bottle and twisted the cap off.

WILLIAM “Thank you.” He accepted the beer back and took a drink. “I really needed this.”

RJ “I hear you.” Reaches for his own beer.

WILLIAM to Byron “Now you get out of here and have a great time. I don’t want to see you slinking back early. Go enjoy yourself.”

BYRON “All right. Goodnight, sir. And goodnight Mr. —-RJ—-.”

William waited until Byron had left with a bottle of wine before turning on the TV. “He better not spend all night worrying. I’m a grown man. I’m not going to burn the place down just because Alan’s not home.”

RJ “Of course not. It’ll be because you forgot to turn off the stove or because you’ve come up with a faster way to do the laundry.”

William nudged RJ’s leg with his food. “You’re mean. Why are we friends again?”

RJ “Because you’re a genius and you recognize when you’ve found a good thing.”

WILLIAM “And you’re the good thing?”

RJ “Of course. Without me you’d be nothing. I’m the yin to your yang. The peanut butter to your jelly. I’m that something extra in Girl Scout Cookies that makes them taste so good.”

WILLIAM groaned. “Why’d you have to mention Girl Scout Cookies? Now I want some.”

RJ “Yeah, but you like Thin Mints, and believe me, they taste terrible with beer.”

WILLIAM “Blasphemy! They are delicious no matter what. I bet if I dunked them in my beer they’d be better than with milk.”

RJ, taking a big bite of his pizza. “You go ahead and try that. I’ll watch.”

William considered proving his point, then decided it was a losing argument. He leaned forward to take another slice of pizza out of the box. “We should go out dancing or something.”

RJ rolled his eyes. “You just let your bodyguard go off for the evening and you’re feeling lonely and pathetic. There’s no way I’m letting you leave this building. You can put on a movie or something.”

WILLIAM “But that’s boring,” William whined. “We should do something exciting and fun.”

RJ “Which involves hanging out with a bunch of strangers and drinking garishly colored cocktails while music goes mskmsk in the background.”

RJ “You do realize that I have gone out with you before, right? You have fun for like ten minutes, then it’s all complaining and getting into trouble. We’re too old and respectable to spend the night in jail.”

WILLIAM “You’re no fun.”

RJ “Fun was never in my job description. Melissa was the only one that truly enjoyed going clubbing.” Then he realized he’d mentioned her name. “Sorry.”

WILLIAM “Nah, don’t be. She was great. She shouldn’t be forgotten.”

RJ “She was pretty great. I kinda had a crush on her.”

WILLIAM “I know. To know Melissa was to love her. She was amazing. The only woman I’ve ever loved–you know, other than my mom.”

RJ “Your mom was a classy lady.”

WILLIAM “God, how did we fall down this conversational black hole? You know what, let’s watch a movie.”

RJ “Yeah.”

William used his non-pizza holding hand to pick up the remote control. “There should be an easier way to do this. I should make some kind of TV-operating A.I. One that can find shit to watch on Netflix and make Amazon playlists that don’t involve me having to go to the site to edit anything.”

RJ “Everyone’s making assistant programs these days.”

WILLIAM “But no one’s working on true A.I.’s. They’re just making voice operated software. And none of it’s very good at this point.”

RJ grimaced. “Ugh, the A.I. in my car tried to kill me the other day. I had the boys in the lab take her offline. I don’t trust her not to drive me over a cliff instead of to Sonic.”

WILLIAM “Ugh, Sonic.” He grinned at RJ’s affronted expression and ducked away from RJ’s swat. “Sorry, sorry, I couldn’t help myself.”

RJ “I never make fun of your favorite junk food.”

WILLIAM “You just always eat it.” He took a big bite of his pizza and focused on finding something to watch on TV.

He’d been feeling alone and missing Alan, but once again RJ had helped to make things all right.

RJ had always been a good friend to him. The kind of friend he’d thought only existed in books and movies. It made him realize that even with all the grief and loss he’d faced he had been blessed.

Best friend, love of my life, successful company–what else do I need? he thought. My life has gone better than I ever thought it would.

He still missed Alan and wanted him home, but he could deal with it. Alan would be home soon, and until then he had RJ and all of the mad scientist hijinks they could get up to.

William used the remote to order a movie. “Do you want me to mix us a couple of drinks before this starts?” he asked.

RJ shrugged. “Why not. I saw you had some ruby red grapefruit juice in the fridge.”

“You want some agave in yours?” William stuck the last bite of pizza in his mouth. “I’m thinking of a mix of vodka and rum with the juice.”

“Sure,” RJ said. “I trust you.”

William smiled to himself as he bustled into the kitchen. “I trust you too,” he murmured, washing his hands at the sink.

A couple tumblers of alcohol, a terrible movie, and his best friend–life definitely could have been worse.

* * *

William is never going to let me out of his sight again, Alan thought.

His wrists ached where they were roughly bound behind his back with rope. His mouth was covered by duct tape and there was a blindfold across his eyes.

He could hear the sound of other hostages breathing in the close confines, but he didn’t know who they were. He’d been with a couple of senators for lunch, but from the faint scuffling sounds he heard, there had to be more than five people in the room with him.

Alan squeezed his legs together and huffed. He’d been ignoring his need to urinate for what felt like hours. It was getting to the point where he wasn’t going to be able to hold it anymore.

With dribbles of urine escaping and the oppressive heat of too many bodies crammed into a small space, Alan wished that he’d stayed home. Or at least that he’d turned down Senator Georgia Mayer’s lunch invitation and returned to the hotel instead.

Blind and voiceless, Alan prayed that he would see William again. He wanted to go home where he belonged.

/CHAPTER

Yeah, I totally had Alan kidnapped in Chapter Ten. I felt like William needed an impetus. If you remember the beginning of Arc 01, that future world had all kinds of marvels that William had a hand in creating.

With the kidnapping of Alan and the subsequent guilt feelings he experiences, William focuses some attention on his and Alan’s security. And some of the technology that he creates is used as the basis for further advancements. His world evolves different than Simon’s, focusing more on cold technology.

Meanwhile, while Simon himself never becomes a brilliant engineer, he is the muse of many brilliant scientists and artists. His world is one that has amazing technology hidden as everyday things. It’s a warmer technology of living dolls and organic machines.

Still, at a basic level, William and Simon are the same person. They fulfill the same role in their realities.

William becomes friends with Nicholas and Christian from “Across Two Divides”, and Daniel from “The Panic Pure.” They interact on several occasions before they decide to work together, but when they do make their agreements, they all have a pretty good idea of what each other is about. And, being the “hilarious” one, William proclaims them to be members of “The Billionaire Boy’s Club.” Their mission statement? “Make the world a better place.”

And in the Doll Universe, Simon Peters is the basis for an artist’s LMD statue. And the news coverage of her fabulous piece of art results in the creation of the first Living Doll.

The parts used in that Doll’s creation come from either Worth Industries or DeLongeria Enterprises. As a result, Simon is introduced to Christian DeLongeria and Daniel Worth, as well as their extended circle. As a result, he and Nicholas become quite friendly.

So when Simon needs help with his charity, he doesn’t hesitate to call on Nicholas for help. Which results in DeLongeria Enterprises focusing on world sustainability and micro-farming. And when requested, Daniel Worth tasks his R&D department with designing cost-effective portable farm containers.

As a result of both William and Simon being born, their two realities are reshaped to fit them. (They are Variants–the nickname for the collective Vereints in the multiverse. Some of the named Variants so-far: William, Simon, Charlemagne, and Faizel. PRO TIP: You can usually spot a Variant if there’s mention of a Melissa Kim/Song or a Damien Prince.) And though they get there through different means, they both end up in somewhat the same place in their world hierarchies.

PROMPT: “Let me out, you bitch!” I screamed, throwing myself at the door.

“Let me out, you bitch!” I screamed, throwing myself at the door.

1. “Dude, that’s your mom.”

1A. “I don’t care. She’s keeping us here. *Starving* us.”

1B. “She doesn’t want you going out, finding your own brains, possibly killing a family with small children.”

1C. “You *have* been playing a lot of video games lately. Maybe she has a legitemate reason to worry.”

2. The nurse turned her head. Her eyes met mine. The lipstick red slash of her mouth curled up.

2A. I felt a cold chill. I was never going home.

2B. “Go back to bed. You’ll get your meds in an hour.”

2C. Her uniform was pristine, either a perfect recreation of an old-timey nurse’s uniform, or an expensively maintained original. It sent a chill down my spine to see it. What kind of person had kidnapped me? Where was I?

3. Everything had gone wrong. I should have turned the job down the minute I got those first details.

Doggy Style

Title: Doggy Style
Author: Sol Crafter
Genre: mm, supernatural romance, urban fantasy, magical realism
Rating: Mature
Warning: Raw Feed
Summary: One minute Zack was uncrating the new shipment. The next minute he’s a dog. At least Sean seems to be a dog person. Now he just has to get Sean to be a Zack person.


RAW: “Doggy Style,” by Sol Crafter – (NSFW) Chapter 03

Title: Doggy Style
Author: Sol Crafter
Genre: mm, supernatural romance, urban fantasy, magical realism
Rating: Mature
Warning: Raw Feed
Summary: One minute Zack was uncrating the new shipment. The next minute he’s a dog. At least Sean seems to be a dog person. Now he just has to get Sean to be a a Zack person.
*
CHAPTER THREE

Being a dog was oddly peaceful. All of the tough human decisions had been taken out of his hands and he was free to enjoy the moment.

It seemed perfectly natural to him that he would climb on Sean’s bed and curl up near the bottom. He could feel the lumps of Sean’s feet under the blanket and they made him feel strangely safe. Or maybe it was Sean that made him feel safe.

Any way that he looked at it, one minute he was comfortably slumbering at the foot of the bed, and the next there was a strange, liquidy gliding sensation.

It didn’t hurt. It was just incredibly odd. It felt as though someone had grabbed him by the skin and pulled. His skin peeled off somehow and suddenly he had hands and feet instead of paws and he came to the realization that he was displaying a whole lot of pale pink skin.

The bedroom was dark and Sean was softly snoring. Zack had to slide off the bed. He felt quietly panicked, a litany of “Oh crap, oh crap” running through his head.

Sean may have admitted privately that he had a crush on him, but Zack wasn’t going to bank on that keeping him out of jail. He was in the guy’s house uninvited in the middle of the night and naked. The situation was more than awkward. It was downright disastrous.

Zack crept across the room to Sean’s walk-in closet, quickly flipping the light on before going in and closing the door quietly behind him. He slumped back against it for a long moment, his right hand clutching the doorknob like it was his only lifeline.

He had no idea what was going on and a large part of his mind was half convinced that none of this was real. He had completely cracked up and was gibbering in some permanent care facility. He was currently dreaming everything and so nothing he did mattered.

Except his pragmatic side kept questioning what was going on. That same side also instructed him not to do anything stupid, because what if it was all real?

He had somehow been turned into a dog, then he had somehow gone back to human. He had no explanation how something like this could happen, but he would try to figure it out later.

Right now he fumbled around in the dresser Sean kept in the closet and found himself a pair of gray sweatpants and a black tee shirt for some band he’d never heard of before.

Considering how tall and lanky Sean was, Zack wasn’t surprised that the pants were too long and tried to hang off his narrow hips. He pulled the strings tight and tied them in place.

Creeping to the closet door, he pulled it open a crack and peered out. The room was so dark he couldn’t see anything for a long time, not until his eyes adapted, but he was relieved to see Sean still asleep.

Moving as stealthily as he could manage, Zack crept across the bedroom toward the door. He needed to get out of here.

He grasped the doorknob and turned it as quietly as he could. He started opening the door. He just hoped it wasn’t going to decide to creak.

“Zack?”

He froze, then slowly began to turn. He could feel the blood flooding his face and his belly felt full of rocks. This was going to turn out badly.

* * *

No matter the setting, Zack Branagh was always the most attractive sight around. It was weird to see him without his fussy glasses, since Sean usually liked to watch him remove them, but this was extremely nice. Zack rarely wore Sean’s clothes in dreams, and Sean’s decided that he liked it, even if they were overlarge and sloppy on him. It added to the appeal.

Sean couldn’t help silently praying that he didn’t wake up as he sat up in bed, pushing the blanket down. “Why are you clear over there?” he asked. “I’d much prefer it if you were over here.”

Zack was adorably wide-eyed. “I… I …”

Sean laughed. He hadn’t realized just how much “shy Zack” appealed to him. It looked like this dream was teaching him all kinds of things he didn’t know about himself.

“Come here,” he ordered.

Zack hesitated a long moment, then walked across the room to stand at the foot of the bed. “Look, I really don’t know how it happened, but …”

Sean held his hand out to stop him, then flipped it palm up and made a “come here” gesture. Zack still looked vaguely stunned, but when he put a knee on the bed, Sean nodded and he began to crawl closer.

There was something about seeing the literal man of his dreams knee-walking across the bed toward him that made Sean draw in a deep, shuddery breath. Desire was uncoiling in his belly and he could feel his skin prickling with the need to be touched.

He kept urging Zack closer and closer until he laughed and darted his head forward to steal a kiss. Zack seemed frozen at first, not reacting, but Sean licked and nipped at his lips until he caught fire. Then they were kissing hungrily and Sean found himself with a lap full of aroused Zack. It was different from all the dreams Sean had had before. Better.

He flipped Zack onto his back and it felt natural to slide his hands up under the shirt and caress every bit of skin he could reach. Zack seemed to like it too, the way he arched his back and pressed against Sean’s hands.

“Wait, wait.” Zack was suddenly pulling away from him, tugging free of Sean’s clasping hands. “We need to stop!”

“Why?” Sean asked, trying to get his arms around him. His erection was straining against the front of his boxers and he was so excited there was a damp spot forming. More than anything he wanted to fuck Zack.

“We can’t do this,” Zack gasped, pushing Sean’s hands away. He slid to the end of the bed, his feet folded under him. His pupils were blown wide and his dick looked harder than Sean’s own, outlined against the sweatpants, but he gripped it with vicious strength and eluded Sean’s grasp. “This isn’t a dream!”

Sean grabbed Zack’s elbows and pulled them away from his sides, trying to get him to stop squeezing that beautiful dick. “You’re going to hurt yourself and I need you. I need you right now.”

“Except we can’t,” Zack gasped. He stared at Sean’s crotch for a moment before turning his head away with a shuddery gasp. He held both hands over his eyes as though battling some impossible temptation.

It ratcheted up Sean’s arousal to think that Zack was desperate for his dick, but that was highly unlikely. Real-Zack barely seemed to notice he was even alive and he’d given up any hope that he could win real-Zack over.

But dream-Zack, that was a completely different story.

“Is that what we’re doing this time?” Sean shrugged and flopped backward, shoving both hands down the front of his boxers, giving himself a couple of slow strokes before pushing the boxers down his legs so he could kick them off. “I’m ready if you are,” he purred, parting his thighs invitingly. “You can fuck me if you want.”

Zack made a garbled whine in the back of his throat and he was looking at Sean with such raw desire that it was shocking. “You don’t. Oh God, what do I do?” He gripped his shaking hands in front of him and it seemed like it was some mighty battle for him to meet Sean’s eyes and not stare at his body. “This… this isn’t a dream. I’m really here.”

“Oh really?” Sean arched a skeptical brow and reached down with his right hand to begin pumping his erection. He had no qualms about staring at Zack and imagining those long-fingered hands on his body or that cocksucking mouth wrapped around his dick. “If this is supposed to be real, then how did you get in my room?”

“You brought me here,” Zack said. “I don’t know how it happened, but I was the dog you brought home today.”

Sean snorted. “Wow, I must be really desperate if that’s how I’m explaining how you got here. I’d much rather say you flew in through the window and you need my sperm to power your spaceship. Can this be the alien seduction dream instead? I really like that one.”

“This isn’t a dream!” Zack shouted. “This is real and I’m here and I don’t know what’s going on but I think I’m about to have some kind of mental breakdown or maybe I’m already having one, because that would explain so much.”

“Wow, maybe this is going to be a rescue fantasy. Are you here to ask my help to save you from some as yet unnamed evil? Because that would be hot.” Sean clenched his teeth as he jerked off, feeling himself right there, just about to go over. He wished Zack would climb up on him, straddle his waist, and… “ride me like a cowboy.”

“Oh my God!” Zack covered his face with his hands and turned away, but Sean was already coming. He groaned as he spilled all over his hands and stomach. He huffed a laugh when he caught Zack peeking as he brought his right hand to his lips and licked his fingers clean.

“The next one’s yours if you want it. I want you to fuck me until I come again. Stuff your fat cock in me and…”

Zack threw himself across the bed to cover Sean’s mouth with his hands. “Shut up! Shut up! Oh my God, shut up.” He was shivering and he moaned and arched his neck as he thrust a few times against Sean’s knee. “I’m trying to be a good guy here, but geez, I want to fuck you so bad and you’re so filthy and… urgh, what you do to me.”

Sean blinked at the sudden wetness against his leg. “Did you just cum?”

Zack sat back with a blush staining his cheeks. He avoided Sean’s gaze with furtive glances away. “Yeah. Sorry.”

It was so ridiculous. Sean had to laugh. “He would do that, wouldn’t he?” Memories flashed through Sean’s mind of all the times he’d seen Zack looking less than cool, when he was downright klutzy. It was easy to imagine their first time being a mess of awkward but adorable bumbling.

He couldn’t wait to find out what it was like.

“Being like this is nice.” Sean reached out to grab Zack’s arms, dragging him down against him. “I don’t want this dream to ever end.”

Zack made to pull away, but Sean held onto him. Not tightly, but firm. Zack gave him a desperate look. “You have to let me go. I can see that you’re not going to be the help I need. I have to figure out what’s going on.”

“Come on, stay with me,” Sean pleaded. “At least until I fall asleep.”

“I can’t. I have to go.” Zack tugged himself free. Sean moaned and reached for him, but he was already too far away. He disappeared into the darkness across the room.

Sean stared for a few long seconds, then moaned discontentedly and rolled onto his side, burying his face into the pillow. There was no way the rest of his dream could match their brief encounter. He could still feel Zack’s cum on his leg.

His breathing evened out and he drifted into other dreams. The carryover of sexual satisfaction made the rest of his slumber sweet.

* * *

Running down the street, holding the too-large pants up with one hand, Zack had to wonder how his life had ever come to this. From dog to man to sex with his crush; he wasn’t sure what was going on. All he knew was that he had to get to Faraday.

Faraday would help him figure everything out. And hopefully he wouldn’t ask any questions about the wet spot on the front of Zack’s pants.

My life is garbage, Zack thought, then gave a wild giggle. It was either laugh or cry, and he didn’t have time for tears, not if he wanted to break whatever curse had been laid on him before it struck again.

TBC…

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FANMETA: Francine Smith [American Dad] would survive the apocalypse

Francine Smith from “American Dad” would probably survive the apocalypse.

She has all sorts of skills that would see her through situations that would kill other people.

She can out fight, out drink, out party tons of people. Definitely a woman with a history behind her.

* * * * *

To all those people that sleep in their clothes: Cut it out!

I might sleep in my same undershirt, but I change into sleep pants before sleeping. It gives my jeans a chance to air out, whether I use Febreze or a dry wash[1] to refresh them or not. With a new shirt and a change of socks and underwear in the morning, those jeans are fine to wear.

Deodorant does tend to ruin my shirts for rewearing — I use a solid, and I *may* put too much on. (I have OCD and I’ve got a grooming habit.) This means that I can very seldom re-wear a shirt after I’ve slept in it.[A]

Still, no matter the situation, if you’re stuck away from home and a washing machine, you can still keep yourself fairly fresh and un-whiffy. Baby wipes are a godsend, and you can always manage a hobo shower if you’ve got to, but it doesn’t help if your clothes hold their smell.

*

1. I like using baking soda. You can stick your jeans in a bucket with some baking soda and shake it. All the smell and dirt will be coated, then all you have to do is take your jeans out, brush them off, and hang them up to air out. Or for the hot dry method, you could stick your clothes in a pillow case after a baking soda treatment and run them through the dryer. I think I’ve heard of some people mixing lemon or flower petals with the baking soda and sealing it in a cheesecloth bag – dryer scent sachet-style.

There will be some people suggesting the use of cornstach. Do NOT make that mistake.

Cornstarch is great for a great many things, but it can not be used interchangeably with baking soda. The stuff clings and clumps in the most unpleasant way – it is a coagulant after all. (So cornstarch and sweat = disgusting mess and a pair of sneakers turned to garbage.)

*

There is a reason why some people believe baking soda is an essential supply for after the apocalypse. It’s right up there with aspirin, alcohol, vinegar, yeast, and honey.

* * *

A. Fancy turned around and saw Gillian in her bra with her shirt off. She immediately turned back around. Her cheeks and the skin up into her hairline felt like they were on fire.

“So… It’s really okay for me to stay the night?”

“Oh sure. Benji’s outta town until Friday. It’s nice to have someone around the place. It’s scary all alone.”

“Yeah, sure.” Fancy peeked over her shoulder. “I understand.”

Gillian slipped out of her jeans and tossed them over the back of a chair. She was wearing close-fitting thigh-length undershorts. She walked over to the switch near the door and turned off the overhead light. “I like the right side of the bed.”

Fancy felt hot-and-cold run through her. “O-okay.”

She walked over to the left side of the bed and began slipping out of her pants. She could see Gillian out of the corner of her eye and felt the bed dip and shift as Gillian slipped under the blankets, settling comfortably. She got her legs under the covers and pulled the sheet up her chest as she slipped her shirt over her head.

Fancy felt weird at the idea of sleeping in her underwear, but she hadn’t thought to bring her pajamas. It was only luck that she’d had a travel toothbrush in her bag. She was not prepared for a sleepover at all.

I hope I don’t smell, she thought, resting her head on the pillow.

“You all set?” Gillian asked.

“Yeah.”

“Alexa, lights off.”

The bedside lamps clicked off. The room was plunged into darkness.

* * * * *

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RAW: “Doggy Style,” by Sol Crafter – Chapter 02

Title: Doggy Style
Author: Sol Crafter
Genre: mm, supernatural romance, urban fantasy, magical realism
Rating: Mature
Warning: Raw Feed
Summary: One minute Zack was uncrating the new shipment. The next minute he’s a dog. At least Sean seems to be a dog person. Now he just has to get Sean to be a a Zack person.

CHAPTER TWO

After discovering Zack’s phone abandoned on a table, Faraday wasn’t thinking it was a joke anymore. There was no way Zack would ever willingly go anywhere without his phone. This was a case of missing persons.

Freaking out, he called the police. He emphasized the fact that their shop contained lots of expensive things that someone might decide to kidnap someone over. He only relaxed a little when they said they would send someone around to investigate.

Then he drew in a deep breath and took the plunge. He called Angela Branagh, Zack’s mother.

He’d known the woman since he was a child, so he was intimately acquainted with just how crazily overprotective she was. He’d barely got the words “I think Zack’s been kidnapped” out before he was talking to empty air and he knew she was already gone.

He went out front to tell Lily to close the store and brace for impact. Hurricane Angela was on the way.

Lily was so shaken at the idea of one of her bosses being taken without her noticing, that she just quietly walked to the door and flipped the sign to CLOSED. She looked pale and scared, her fingers twisting and twisting the little pendant on her necklace.

“Do you think Mr. Branagh’s okay?” she asked. Her raccoon eyeshadow was looking a bit more raccoony and tear-streaked than usual.

Faraday shook his head. “I don’t know.” He wasn’t going to lie to her; not when he didn’t even have the freedom to lie to himself.

Fear churned in his guts and he couldn’t help imagining all the terrible things that could be happening to Zack. It made him want to throw up. And that wasn’t even counting the guilt he felt.

Zack had been his best friend since they were kids. They were closer than brothers. They’d made the decision to go into business together because it seemed like the thing to do, and they were good at the antique business. But Faraday had always been a free-spirit, and he had used that against Zack. He’d taken to slacking off and leaving Zack to pick up the pieces and he’d kind of talked himself out of feeling guilty about it, except now it was all coming back on him.

Zack was missing and it was his fault. Because if he’d been here like he’d promised, helping to sort through the new shipment, there was no way anyone could have broken in through the back and gotten Zack away.

Zack had always been quiet and bookish. He occasionally practiced yoga, but he’d never focused much on strength training and Faraday had always been there if anyone wanted to cause a fight. He’d taken on the mantle of protector, and all through school he’d taken the role pretty seriously, making sure that any bullies quickly learned to leave Zack alone.

Only when Zack really needed him, he’d been fucking some chick whose name he could barely remember.

Bile burned the back of his throat and he leaned against the counter, waiting.

He figured he only had a couple of minutes before Angela would make her appearance. And there was no way she was going to be any kind of calm and reasonable, not where her “baby boy” was concerned.

* * *

After dinner, Sean rinsed his dishes and set them in the sink for later. He usually washed them immediately, but he felt kind of lazy and just looking at the dog snoring away had made him a bit sleepy.

He figured he’d watch TV for a little while, then go to bed.

“Come on, boy,” he said, gently nudging the dog’s side with his foot.

The black dog woke with a start, jerking upright and blinking around rapidly. It made Sean laugh to see it. “You’re so silly.”

The dog gave him a reproving look, but followed him into the living room. He looked like he wanted to jump up on the couch for a second, but instead he just curled up on the floor next to Sean’s feet.

Sean reached down and stroked the dog’s head, liking the softness of his fur. “You sure are a good looking dog,” he said. “I bet someone’s really missing you right now.” He kept saying it because he knew he needed the reminder that he couldn’t keep the dog, no matter how much he wanted to.

The dog snuffed, then laid his chin on the floor. Sean leaned down to scratch at his neck, then reached further to scratch around his ribs. The dog sighed and uncurled, rolling on his side to expose a bit of his belly. His back legs spread a little and he stuck out his chest, his head falling back against the floor in bliss.

Sean laughed. “Well, I can see what you want.” He rubbed the dog’s belly for a while, making him jerk his leg spasmodically. He looked so happy lying there.

When Sean finally stopped scratching him and sat back on the couch, the dog still lay on his back with his feet in the air. He’d fallen asleep in that ridiculous pose.

Sean shook his head and turned the TV on, lowering the volume so as not to wake him. He relaxed back on the couch and felt more content than he had in a long time.

His stomach was full, he didn’t have anywhere to be, and he had a dog at his feet. All was right in the world.

*

At some point the dog started making a whining sound and his left back leg started jerking wildly. He rolled on his side and whimpered.

Sean looked at him concernedly, realizing that he was having some kind of nightmare. The sound he was making was so pitiful that Sean couldn’t stand it anymore and he slid down onto the floor next to him, carefully laying his hand on the dog’s side. The last thing he wanted was to scare him and get bitten.

He shook the dog gently. “Come on, it’s all right,” he soothed.

The dog woke with startling abruptness, staring at him. Then it whined and crawled close against his side, pressing its face into his stomach.

Sean sighed and gently stroked the dog’s head. “It’s all right. I don’t know what you were dreaming about, but it’s all right.”

The dog burrowed in closer, rising up on his back legs so he could put his front paws across Sean’s legs. He was trying to crawl into Sean’s lap, which was kind of cute, except he was big enough that Sean was unbalanced and fell on his butt on the floor.

The dog seemed to take that as permission and Sean found himself with a lapful of black mutt.

“You are the silliest dog,” Sean said, hugging him close. He laughed a little at the way the dog nuzzled his head up under his chin. “You really need a name if we’re going to be this intimate.”

The dog didn’t answer, of course, just snuggled close against him, practically forcing Sean to wrap his arms around him to keep him from falling over.

“You know, I’m glad I met you,” Sean said. The dog glanced at him, seeming to listen. He snorted a laugh. “I was feeling kind of down in the dumps, and then there you were. There’s always something so nice about having a dog around.”

He leaned his back against the edge of the couch. “You know, he came into the cafe again today. I tried to talk to him, but as usual he was in his own little world. I don’t think he even knows I exist.” He sighed sadly. “I thought crushes were something you outgrew once you stopped being a teenager, but I actually think it’s worse now then when I was younger.” He pressed his cheek against the dog’s head. “He makes me feel like a fifteen year old girl. I want to write in my diary about him and wallow in angst whenever I think about him. It’s kind of stupid.”

He stroked the dog’s ears. He could tell that the animal was starting to relax from whatever fright it’d had, soothed by the sound of his voice. And it was actually kind of nice to tell someone about what he was feeling, since there was no one else in his life he had even trusted the information of his crush too. And who would a dog tell anyway?

“He wears sweater vests and glasses. He should look like a total nerd, but he’s just too cute. He always orders the same thing, and the way he closes his eyes as he takes a big breath of the steam…” Sean shook his head ruefully. “Sometimes I use that for my fantasies when I beat off. He just… he looks like he’s having an orgasm or something when he breathes in my coffee, and I know it’s stupid to be jealous of a hot beverage, but I totally am jealous.

“He always orders the same thing, but he never just says ‘Give me the usual.’ And I think that it’s because he doesn’t even realize that I’m the same guy that serves him every day. He doesn’t even realize that I exist. And I just don’t have the balls to tell him that I’ve got a teenaged crush on him and I’d really like to carry his books to class please and maybe make out behind the bleachers later.”

Sean scrubbed a hand through his hair and looked into the dog’s eyes. He thought he saw understanding there, which was ridiculous. Though it was nice to pretend. “He’s my girl in a red dress. I see him, I want him, but he’s never going to even notice that I exist at all. So what do you think about that, huh?” He roughly scratched the dog’s neck ruff. “Huh? What do you think?”

There was no answer, not that he expected one, and the dog seemed to have completely relaxed against him. It must be nice to simply live in the moment and just be able to let go of all worries like that.

“I’d forget all about him if I could,” Sean said. “You’re one lucky dog.”

* * *

He hadn’t even realized that Sean was talking about him at first. Not until the sweater vest and glasses thing.

It was weird to realize that someone had been watching him every day, and he felt like kind of a jerk that he hadn’t even noticed he had an admirer. Though he really felt guilty that he’d made Sean feel as though he hadn’t noticed that the same guy was making his coffee every day. He had.

He’d also noticed that Sean was very good looking, and thus totally out of his league. So he’d kept his head down and tried not to show exactly how affected he was by the guy. Which must have come off as him being a jerk. But there was nothing he could do about any of that now since he was currently a dog, which he was still freaking out about, in an emotionally distant way.

It was incredibly hard to be bothered by anything. He would start to get into a real panic mode, then something would just kind of derail the whole emotion and he would find himself distracted by something.

Like how good Sean smelled.

Zack buried his nose against Sean’s shirt and snuffled loudly. Sean smelled like comfort and safety and home somehow.

Some animal instinct wanted to insist that Sean was his man. Not his master, because he hadn’t lost himself that completely, but still someone that belonged to him. And he wanted to stay close to him and stake his claim just in case some other dog wanted to move in and try to take his place. Which he would never let happen because Sean belonged to him and he would fight anyone that tried to take him away and…

He was startled to realize that that low growling sound had come from his throat. It was still vibrating through him and he was shocked because he hadn’t even realized he was going to do it.

Sean was looking down at him worriedly, his hands still on Zack’s back, but not moving anymore. “You’re not going to try biting me, are you? Because that’s all I need, a rabies shot.”

Zack lowered his head ashamedly and after a moment Sean resumed his stroking. His fingers were clever and worked in to find spots that Zack hadn’t even realized would feel good until he felt his bones trying to melt.

He had no idea what was going on or what he was going to do about it, but as long as Sean kept petting him he simply couldn’t find it in him to care. He’d been turned into a dog somehow, but all he wanted was for Sean to keep scratching him forever. Everything else was just too distant for him to even worry about.

It was as though “Zack Branagh” was some other person, and the only life that mattered was the one he was living right now. With fur and paws and sharp teeth that had him biting his tongue occasionally when he wasn’t careful.

This was the only moment that mattered and nothing else could ever mean as much as now. With Sean scratching him, the TV a warm background murmur, and the world something that happened to other people.

He yawned hugely and rested his head against Sean’s chest. He could hear the man’s heartbeat under his skin, a soothing thrum.

* * *

“What happened? Just tell me what happened.”

Faraday winced away from Angela’s eyes. “We’re not really sure,” he said. “Lily called me and let me know that Zack has gone missing.”

She cocked her head. “Where were you? Shouldn’t you have been here?”

“Yeah, I should have been,” Faraday ducked his head in shame, “but I wasn’t. I was… I was… He was here working and I wasn’t. And now someone’s kidnapped him and I don’t know where he went.”

Her hand was gentle and warm on the back of his neck. “There’s no time for any of that. We have to figure out what’s happened to Zack and get him home.”

He didn’t know what to say to her. The look on her face maybe frightened him a little.

Angela Branagh had always been nearly obsessive about keeping Zack safe. She had been so overprotective of her son that the idea of her never letting him go out on his own hadn’t really been that much of a joke. The day Zack had been allowed to move out of his parents’ house had been kind of a miracle day.

So Faraday knew she was only an inch away from completely nutting out. Not that he could really blame her. Someone had kidnapped Zack. How or why was a mystery, but they’d managed to force the back door and take him without anyone being the wiser.

“I hope he’s okay,” he said softly.

More than anything, he didn’t want to picture what kinds of terrible things could be happening to Zack. And if he died…

Faraday closed his eyes and just breathed for a minute.

There was a warm touch on his shoulder and he looked at Angela in surprise. There was kindness in her eyes when he would have expected to see blame, and it just about killed him.

“I’m sorry I didn’t take care of him,” he said.

She tsked softly. “He’s a grown man, no matter how I treat him. He’s not some little boy that constantly needs taking care of. I just…” She shook her head. “I don’t know what I’ll do if something happens to him.”

The second he saw the glisten of tears, he wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tight. “We’ll find him,” he promised.

“And if he’s just screwing around, I’m going to whip his ass,” she growled.

Faraday looked at her in surprise and she shrugged. “He’s my son,” Angela said. “I’m the only one allowed to beat him, even if he does need it.”

He rested his head on top of hers and sighed. She had always been the mother he had never had. She’d treated him more like family than as a guest when he was a kid, and she’d looked after him with no questions asked.

Zack was his best friend and Angela was the closest thing he had to a real mother. And if Zack turned out to be all right, Phillip Faraday vowed that he would start being a better best friend.

If Zack was dead…

He hugged Angela tighter, breathing in the fresh, floral powder scent of her perfume. Under it all, he caught the faint chemical smell that let him know she had just recently refreshed the light brown color of her hair. It was a familiar odor that his mind naturally seemed to associate with her and the warmth of family.

“He’s all right,” he whispered. “He’s gotta be.”

The gentle pats she gave him on the back made him want to throw up. He didn’t deserve to be comforted; he was the one that had screwed everything up, par usual.

But he didn’t say anything. Just let her hug him.

TBC…

Coming soon: Chapter Three.

* * * * *

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* * * * *

In case you’re unfamiliar, this story is presented as a Raw Feed. Before it appears as an ebook or pbook, it will experience a heavy going over and all the rewriting that it can handle. So if you want to wait for the official version, that’s cool. You can see this as kind of an early taste test.

RAW: “Doggy Style” by Sol Crafter – Chapter 01

Title: Doggy Style
Author: Sol Crafter
Genre: mm, supernatural romance, urban fantasy, magical realism
Rating: Mature
Warning: Raw Feed.
Summary: One minute Zack was uncrating the new shipment. The next minute he’s a dog. At least Sean seems to be a dog person. Now he just has to get Sean to be a a Zack person.

CHAPTER ONE

Zack sighed as he pushed open the door and strode into Faraday-Branagh Antiques.

“Hey, boss, you weren’t gone that long,” Lily called cheerfully. She didn’t look like the kind of young woman that would work in an antique shop. Not with the blue streaks in her unnaturally red hair or her rather punk rock fashion sense. She seemed much too cute and perky to hang around dusty old things all day.

And which am I? he wondered. Dusty, old, or both?

“I was just getting a cup of coffee,” he said, holding it up. “Has Faraday called?”

She shrugged. “Not as such.”

Zack growled and headed toward the back room. “That ass. I guess I’ll be sorting the shipment by myself. Let me know if you need me.”

Lily shot him a salute, her bracelets jangling wildly. “Will do, boss man.”

He rolled his eyes and slammed through the double doors into the storage room. Just seeing the mass of crates awaiting him made him want to strangle Faraday even more. The only thing that let him settle into his mind-breaking task without committing murder first was the wonderful aroma of the coffee in his hand. Just holding the warm cup and breathing in the scent of heaven made some of the tension leave his shoulders.

Phil Faraday had been his best friend since they were kids, but sometimes he seriously thought he could kick the guy’s ass and it would be all right. Especially when he pulled one of his stupid little tricks, like right now.

Zack glared at the crates, wishing he had the power to blow things up with his mind. Faraday was supposed to be here helping him sort the new shipment. Instead he was off doing who-knew-what and was somehow unable to answer his phone.

Taking a gulp of his coffee, Zack reluctantly set the cup on a worktable and grabbed a crowbar. He began prying the lids off the crates.

It had been Faraday’s idea to put in the blind bid for this auction lot, but of course he wasn’t going to appear and help Zack catalog everything. He was probably shacked up with some woman enjoying a tumble in the sheets.

Zack didn’t even want to think about the last time he got laid. It had been too long ago, and not even all that good.

After loosening the lids of four crates, he set the crowbar aside and opened one of the boxes. His hands shook a little as he reached out to move aside the straw that had been used as packing material. He felt like some great explorer about to make an awesome find.

His mouth made a moue of disappointment at what he found. There was no great treasure. Instead, nestled in the crate were several badly kilned pottery bowls and a…

He lifted out the black Anubis head statue. It was actually pretty well crafted, but he didn’t think it would be worth much.

“Great, a box of expensive junk,” Zack complained. He made to put the Anubis statue back down.

It felt as though someone suddenly grabbed him hard by the balls and gave a great big yank.

The sound he made might have been a scream if it had been in human hearing range. White light flared behind his eyes and he barely noticed his knees folding.

All he could feel was that sudden, radiating pain. From his balls all through his belly, down through his legs, and shoved up through his chest until he couldn’t even think about breathing. He had never experienced anything like it and he honestly had to wonder if he was going to die.

Passing out was a relief.

*

He came to curled up on the floor, his breaths coming in heaving pants. At least the pain was gone.

Zack tried to reach down and make sure his balls were still there… And that was when he realized something was dreadfully wrong.

For one thing, he was no longer wearing his khaki pants, blue shirt, or sweater vest. It also seemed as though his glasses were gone, and his eyesight was worse than ever–everything was in shades of monochrome.

His body was covered in a coat of heavy black fur. He didn’t have hands and feet. He had large paws.

He was a dog.

A frickin’ dog.

Zack curled in on himself on the floor. He was completely freaking out, but his emotions seemed muted somehow. More simplistic than he was used to.

He was shocked to find himself a dog, but he wasn’t losing his mind about it. Not the way he thought he probably should be, anyway.

There was the annoying sound of whimpering. It took him a moment to realize he was the one making it. But he couldn’t seem to stop.

Rolling over on his stomach, he climbed to all four feet. Balance was a real issue for a moment, then instinct took over and he was able to walk.

Zachery Branagh had always been a realist. So he knew that if he was found in the backroom as a dog, he would earn himself a one-way ticket to the pound. Where they still practiced euthanasia as a last resort.

Lily was an incredibly sweet girl, but she had a real hate-on for dogs of all kinds. She’d never bothered to explain, but she positively loathed dogs. So she wouldn’t hesitate to turn him in, no questions asked.

Zack was reluctantly glad he hadn’t gotten around to getting the back latch fixed. Because with just a bit of doggy effort, he was able to get the back door open and let himself out into the rear alley. He had no idea where he was supposed to go, but he had always been great at responding to situations. He thought he would somehow figure things out as he went.

Walking was a clumsy balancing act, but he somehow managed, walking out of the alley and trying to ignore the strange feeling of a tail brushing against the backs of his legs and occasionally smacking him in the face. Everything looked so different from his new perspective and the smells were so intense they were like a whole new kind of sight.

He really didn’t know what he was supposed to do, and he was kind of thinking he was having some surreal kind of dream. That or he had a brain tumor.

Then his nose caught some wonderful scent, and without even really knowing why, he was running. His tongue hung from his mouth, his ears flopped, and he just felt unbelievably eager. For what, he had no clue.

* * *

It had been a great day so far. He’d woken early, gone for a jog, then came to the shop to find everything running smoothly. He’d greeted his usual customers and settled in for a day of making and serving great coffee.

He’d even gotten to see his favorite cute antiquarian. The guy barely noticed him, of course, but he was adorable in his clueless and nerdy way. Sean always had the urge to peel the man out of his sweater vest… with his teeth.

He was smiling maybe a little goofily as he carried the trash to the dumpster, and he really wasn’t paying attention to the world around him. Which is how he was nearly knocked off his feet by the black dog that barreled into him.

“What the…” He pushed the enthusiastically licking beast away.

The dog had deep black fur and looked to be part-Lab, part-pony. It was a good-looking animal with bright eyes, a friendly wagging tail, and a big panting tongue. And all its attention was on him as it bumped him with its shoulder and tried to nuzzle close.

“Whoa, guy,” Sean said, taking a quick sideways peek. A neutered male, so he had obviously belonged to someone at some point.

The dog whined and gave him soulful brown eyes, still trying to get close against him.

“You’re very friendly, aren’t you?” Sean couldn’t help scratching him behind the ears, laughing at the way the dog’s eyes rolled back in bliss. He didn’t have a collar or anything, which was a little worrying. He was such a good dog, there was probably a family frantically trying to find him. Maybe he’d jumped out of a car or something.

“Hold on,” Sean said. He pushed away long enough to finish tossing the trash bags in the dumpster. “Come on.”

He didn’t know what he was doing, but it was obvious the dog was lost. He really didn’t want to send such a friendly guy to the pound, so he figured he could keep an eye on him and put up fliers or something.

“You hungry, guy?” he asked.

The dog’s tail wagged furiously.

“Come on.”

Sean wasn’t willing to take a dog inside his shop, but he did duck in the back real quick to grab his keys and a ham sandwich. “Hey Charlie, you’re in charge, man. I gotta go.”

“Sure thing,” Charlie called back from the front. The guy was a rock. Nothing fazed him.

Stepping back outside, Sean found the dog sitting on its haunches, patiently waiting for him.

“Hey boy, you hungry?” he asked, peeling the plastic off the sandwich and holding it out.

The dog barked once happily, then almost delicately took the sandwich from his hand. Where it proceeded to gulp it down in two bites.

Sean laughed and shook his head. Dogs.

“Come on,” he said, heading out of the alley toward the parking lot. He didn’t really know about the idea of letting some random dog in his truck, but there was just something about the dog. He was getting the feeling that he didn’t need to worry about him messing his truck up.

Glancing down at the dog walking beside him, he had to raise his eyebrows. The dog seemed to mince almost, as though it were just learning to walk.

“You’re kind of a funny fellow, aren’t you?” he said.

The dog rolled an eye toward him, but kept walking.

“You’re not going to rip my upholstery up, are you?” Sean led the dog toward his small blue truck. He opened the driver’s side door and waited. And waited.

Sean looked down at the dog. If he could read the dog’s expression correctly, it looked nervous. “What’s your problem? Get in.”

The dog stared up at the seat above its head. It seemed to sigh, then wriggled its butt and jumped.
“Whoa,” Sean said, catching the dog by the rump before it could fall back out. He pushed the dog inside. “What was that? You couldn’t even jump that high?”

The dog whined. It spun around to sit on the passenger side, attentively looking through the windshield. It looked almost embarrassed.

Sean shook his head. It looked like he had somehow managed to find the world’s weirdest dog.

Still, there was something oddly nice about driving his truck through town with a dog sitting on the seat next to him. It took him back to his teenaged years, before they’d moved to the city. Back then, the family always had dogs around.

“I wonder what I should call you?” Sean asked, glancing at the dog out of the corner of his eye.

He really was a good-looking dog. Solid black with alert features. He looked like he’d be a smart dog, one of those that learned tricks easily and turned out to be very loyal.

“I could call you ‘Blacky,'” Sean said. The dog whined and Sean laughed. “I’m just kidding. How about ‘Pedro?’ ‘Kojack?’ Howie?'”

None of the names he thought of seemed right. “I think I might have to get to know you a little better before choosing your name.” He pulled into the parking lot of Paolo’s Market and carefully parked between two tiny cars. “Please don’t rip up my vehicle while I’m gone. There might be treats in it for you if you don’t.”

As he walked toward the store, he couldn’t help glancing back.

The dog looked forlorn, with his nose pressed against the gap in the slightly opened window. At least he wasn’t a howler. That would have been awful.

Sean had had a dog as a kid–Mitchie–that barked whenever she was left in the car. But she also ripped up the house when left alone. Other than that, she’d been an absolutely great dog.

Sean shook his head in regret. Thinking about Mitchie was always bittersweet. She was such a good girl, but she’d died badly when someone left antifreeze out. He’d been certain the neighbors had done it on purpose.

He strode into the store, grabbing one of the mini-carts from the kiosk. The store owner was standing near his office door with his arms crossed. They nodded at each other.

First Sean grabbed a big bag of dry dog food and two dog bowls. Then when he started to head toward the produce section, he just had to turn back and grab a few cans of Alpo and a large chew bone. He knew the dog wasn’t going to be around for long, but still…

He had to laugh at his own silliness.

Once he was sure the dog was covered, he grabbed the ingredients for his own dinner. A nice sized steak, salad fixings, and a couple russet potatoes.

He’d found over the years that long hours at the shop meant he didn’t really like to cook when he got home. Hundreds of dollars worth of groceries had gone to waste before he’d finally started buying perishable ingredients a meal at a time.

He waited patiently in the mid-sized line, then gave the cashier a charming smile when he paid. The kid was kind of cute in a “Please show me the world/I’m a virgin” kind of way. Not that Sean would be doing anything to educate him. Still, he wasn’t dead yet.

Sean carried the dog food over one shoulder and a plastic grocery bag in his free hand. He could see the dog peering out at him from the truck when he walked up and he couldn’t help grinning.

It was stupid, he knew, but there was something kind of nice about being greeted by a friendly face, even if it belonged to a dog.

He’d been dedicatedly single for over six months. Things had just kind of gone to crap–from relationship to relationshit in the blink of an eye. Things had even gotten a bit physical at times before he finally just said “Enough” and booted Derek out of his life.

So he’d been coming home from work to solitude. It had been kind of nice at first, but now it was just lonely.

Seeing that dog patiently waiting for him in the truck… it made something loosen in his chest. That doggy grin just made him feel happy.

He tossed the dog food and the groceries in the back, then climbed into the cab of the truck, having to shove the dog over a little so he could sit down. “That’s right, big guy, I got you some chow.”

The dog wagged its tail, its ears pointed toward him.

“You really are one good-looking dog.” Sean shook his head with a laugh.

He started the truck and drove home. They were both hungry for dinner.

* * *

The last thing Faraday expected was a frantic call from Lily saying Mr. Branagh had disappeared.

As usual when he was hiding out, he let his calls go to voice mail. But he kept up with them.

So the frantic message from Lily–“I don’t know what happened! The back door was open and Mr. Branagh is gone! What do I do?”–had him throwing clothes on and hurrying to his car. He barely spared Myka’s questions a glance. Zack was more important.

Zack had been his best friend since fifth grade. He was the one constant in Faraday’s world–so many other people had come and gone, including his deadbeat dad and a mom that hadn’t seemed to really care about him, but Zack was always there. In the end, he was the most important person in Faraday’s life.

As he drove to the shop, he couldn’t help wishing Zack was playing a prank on him. Except faking his disappearance was something he would do. Zack would never do something like that because he was too nice.

Which meant Zack was really gone. Possibly kidnapped.

Just thinking of Zack in some dangerous situation made Faraday’s stomach roil with acid.

He couldn’t stand the thought of Zack being hurt or scared.

* * *

It was a disgusting realization, but dog food was actually pretty tasty. Not the dry stuff Sean had first tried to feed him, but the canned stuff.

He should have been embarrassed by the smacking, gulping sounds he made, but he couldn’t help himself. The sandwich earlier hadn’t felt like nearly enough and he was starving.

He licked his bowl clean, then whined when he realized there wasn’t any more. He wasn’t really hungry, but the food had been so delicious he figured he could happily eat himself fat.

“God, you’re a pig!” Sean laughed. He’d rolled his sleeves up his muscled forearms and was searing his steak in a pan on the stove. He’d poked holes in one of the potatoes and tossed it in the microwave.

Zack couldn’t seem to resist the impulse that had him walking over to Sean and sitting practically on the man’s feet. He just really wanted to be close to the guy.

“You really are very affectionate, aren’t you?” Sean said, looking down at him.

Zack rolled his eyes up to look at him. Without even knowing why it happened, a low whine escaped his throat.

“You smell this steak, don’t you?” Sean laughed. “Sorry, guy, but you have your own food and this is definitely people food. Not going to happen.”

Zack curled his legs up under himself and rested his chin on the top of Sean’s sneaker. There was something incredibly nice about being close to the man.

With a sigh, Sean gently shook him off his foot so he could shut off the stove and carry the frying pan over to the kitchen island. He slid his steak onto the cutting board to rest, then went about making himself a fresh salad.

A chunk of tomato dropped on the floor and Zack wandered over to sniff it, though one tentative lick had him leaving it there and retreating back against the cupboards.

He sighed heavily and folded his front paws under himself. He rested his chin against the floor. He let his eyes drift closed, his nose filled with the rich scents of cooked meat and Sean.

For some reason, there was nowhere else he wanted to be.

* * *

Sean couldn’t help smiling when he realized the dog had fallen asleep. He would have thought the beast would have been underfoot, trying to cage ground scores, but the dog was surprisingly well-behaved. It was obvious that he’d had some great training.

He couldn’t help feeling a bit of sadness. The dog had belonged to someone that had put some serious time into his training, and that someone was going to want him back. So no matter what Sean was starting to feel about the dog… he was only going to be a visitor for a short time.

There was just something so nice about having a dog around. He got all the benefits of having another presence in the house, and he didn’t have to do anything in particular to keep him happy. As long as he fed the dog, played with him a little, and made sure he had a comfortable place to sleep, the dog would happily be his best friend.

“Too bad people aren’t like you,” he murmured at the sleeping dog. A bushy black tail wagged once, though he didn’t open his eyes.

Sean carried his food to the kitchen table and sat down. Usually he ate in the living room with the TV switched on for company, but tonight there was something oddly peaceful about the quiet kitchen, the dog’s rhythmic exhalations the only sound.

It didn’t feel as lonely as it usually did.

/CHAPTER

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Otherwise, expect Chapter Two shortly. Enjoy the story.

* * * * *

PERSONS OF INTEREST:

Zachery Branagh–half-owner of “Faraday-Branagh Antiques.” Black hair, brown eyes, cute guy. Dresses in sweater vests and suits. 31 years old.

Sean Amend–proprietor of “A Shot In the Dark” coffee shop. Tall, lanky, reddish-brown hair, hazel eyes. A jeans and tee shirt kind of guy. 28 years old.

Phillip Faraday–half-owner of “Faraday-Branagh Antiques.” Blond hair, good-looking, kind of egotistical. Really does love Zack as his best-friend, he just sometimes loses track of what’s important. 32 years old.

Lily West–works at “Faraday-Branagh Antiques,” but is also an art student. Short, cute girl, dyed red hair with blue streaks, brown eyes. 22 years old.

Angela Branagh–Zack’s mother. Very overprotective. She brings him dinner twice a week to make sure he’s not starving. 58 years old.

Jack Branagh–Zack’s father. Curly brown hair, laid back attitude. 59 years old.

Detective Stella Nawisky–curly brown hair, green eyes, Polish/Irish. 38 years old.

PLACES OF INTEREST:

Faraday-Branagh Antiques–upscale antique shop owned and operated by Philip Faraday and Zachery Branagh.

A Shot In the Dark–popular coffee shop owned and operated by Sean Amend. Located just up the street from Faraday-Branagh Antiques.

Paolo’s Market–a small grocery story near Sean-Amend’s condo.
Sean Amend’s condo–built in the 1930’s, the complex has been fully restored. Set up in an old mission-style with ten condos facing a central courtyard. Sean has an upstairs unit with balcony. He enjoys working in the community vegetable garden.

Zachery Branagh’s house–a small, three-bedroom cookie cutter house his mother talked him into buying. Looks like a 1950’s bachelor lives there, which goes in theme with his classic movie collection, his old books, and his dream of meeting Cary Grant once time travel is feasible.

“Fierce” by Harper Kingsley [mm, Simon Peters, Trigger Warning]

Title: FIERCE
Series: Simon Peters
Author: Harper Kingsley
Genre: mm
Rating: Mature (past-noncon)

There were moments in the stillness when Simon found himself afraid. He would close his eyes only to have to open them again, his every sense quivering alert, sure the boogeyman was going to get him. Again.

He hated being scared all the time. He hated that there were marks on him he couldn’t see. He hated that someone as sick and twisted as Damien Prince had left such a permanent scar on his mind.

There were some days when all he felt was hate: for the man that hurt him, the world that watched, and for his own weakness. It seemed there were some weeks when he had more bad days than good and no matter how hard he tried it was a battle even pretending to smile. His mind was a tangled mass of dark emotion.
Continue reading

EXCERPT: Faizel 02 (mm vampire urban fantasy) Faizel/Charlemagne + BFF Ewing

Title: Faizel 02 (excerpt)
Author: Harper Kingsley
Pairing: Charlemagne/Faizel
Characters: Faizel, Charlemagne, Ewing, Isadore, Jenny Deacon, Tamlin, Benton Lamoux, Felix, Prince Lucian, Paris, Gladys.
Genre: mm vampire urban fantasy

Summary: Picks up soon after Faizel 01. The actual start of the story.

* * *

Sometimes Ewing wondered if they had invited a devil into their midst. Because there wasn’t a doubt in his mind that Charlemagne was possessed. And the devil was named Faizel. Charlemagne’s darling love. The mysterious vampire that had appeared from nowhere to steal Charlemagne’s heart and rearrange the natural order of the world.

Ewing personally thought of Faizel as a booty call gone wrong, though he would never say it aloud. He valued his life too much.

Charlemagne wanted to keep Faizel secret, and Ewing was willing to go along with it. Because honestly, how could he even explain someone like Faizel? The guy scared the ever living fuck out of him, and that was no lie.

“Are you certain this is how you want to do things?” Deacon asked in her “I’m a complete hard as nails Law Officer” voice.
Continue reading

EDITS: Idlewile, by Harper Kingsley – Chapter One

I thought I would show the difference between a Raw Feed chapter and one that I’ve performed first edits on. This is what’s published to Kimichee if you need the refresher: Idlewile – Chapter One. That’s straight from my brain to the screen.

If you’d like to download a copy to see what it looks like with the Track Changes on (there’s a LOT of red, just saying) here’s the link: TrackChangeSample-IdlewileCh1. It’s a Word Doc.

Otherwise, here’s how the chapter looks cleaned up:

I know some writers write a first draft, mark it up a bit, then retype the whole thing. I’m not that cool. As you can see, I don’t do the traditional rewrites. I just get the words on the page, then go through and clean up the mess I’ve made.

This edited chapter is for display purposes only. I usually make a copy of my originals to leave in my backup folder, then I make changes directly to the story itself. I didn’t realize how many changes I tend to make until I saw the chapter with Track Changes on. I was just a little surprised.

Anyways, this has been a part of my writing process. I hope that you’ve enjoyed seeing my brain at work. And please don’t be surprised if a Kimichee story looks very different in its finished form than what first appears here.

Fic

Just gave my teen boy fic a funny acronym: ASSLand.

Haha. It will probably never stick in my head, but it will most likely remain the notice I use in my story notes. “Welcome to ASSLand.”

FIC ==> A word usually used to mean “fanfiction” though usually with the rider “fanfic.” But it’s such a bit part of my vocabulary that it’s grown to signify any story of piece of fiction that I write. Continue reading