Book Review: Taken Hard At The Magical Time Travel Sex Resort

Taken Hard At The Magical Time Travel Sex ResortTaken Hard At The Magical Time Travel Sex Resort by Madeleine Swann

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book I’ve read from Madeleine, and it whets my appetite for more.

The book is a short series of stories involving various women of various timelines, and they find themselves wishing for better sexual experiences or sexual liberation, as they’re unsatisfied in their life. This brings forth a card that leads them down a rabbit hole into a strange world. It’s bathed in hues of blues and pinks and scattered about, some creatures exist comprised mostly of sex organs.

And they need tending.

Among everything, a curious, winged, rainbow character named Rex seems to be in charge, and although we don’t really get to learn much about him, there’s something devious about him that runs with the imagination, making him likable. He leads each woman to what they need the most, rather that be her first orgasm or the fantasies no one could fulfill. In this way, the book has empowering feminist themes with women reclaiming their sexuality to be their own.

It’s best described as a psychedelic trip into a XXX Alice in Wonderland. Each story connects despite the different time periods and the diversity of the characters from around the world. They all reach a certain focal point in this world, and they all exist among each other — at least, those who chose to stay or had no choice but to remain. There’s a devilishly erotic circus, a marketplace selling items of aphrodisia, and a slew of creatures that exist for the sake of pleasure, even if a few may look slightly horrific.

At least one of the stories was very poetic in nature which I loved, and some of the descriptions of such simple things, such as, “Her breathing slowed like the sea,” stuck out to me. Definitely very unique.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to experience something different, or abstract in nature, when it comes to erotica. It’s wickedly fun to read.

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A new site addition!

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to give a quick heads up about a new addition to the site. In the main menu, I’ve linked to a new section that will be for my writing that contains mature content. Since a lot of my experiences with my alters and spirit guides are more mature in nature, rather it be through intimate experiences or offensive, crass language in abundance, I’ve decided to post those there as well.

You can find the new section of the site here:

iconfinder_wordpress_509674 copy

 

That also leads me to another addition to my creative endeavors, which is a podcast! I plan on doing my best to release a new episode every Thursday when possible. It’s a memoir on my life as a trans man with mental illness and plurality — one body with many people inside it. Stigmas will be crushed, and issues such as trauma, abuse, and mental illness will be talked about honestly with no censor. You can find that on the side bar of the blog or here:

podcast

I have a lot planned for 2020. Hopefully this will be a good year!

Excerpt from a work in progress: Daniel

This is an excerpt from a work in progress. I couldn’t wait to share some of it, but first, a content warning: language and mild violence.


Daniel’s fist ached from hitting the demon repeatedly, but he swung one last time for effect. Alastair had fallen silent, except for the little taunts that would cause Daniel to flare up and swing once more. Thankfully his dominant arm wasn’t the one that had been injured, although his knuckles were bruising. The demon felt as if he were made of stone.

“Your petty outlets of human rage are hardly enough to do any real damage.” Alastair squeezed his fists where they hung above his head. “Although I’ll give you credit. You’re quite hefty for a mortal.”

“A lot of years of football does that to you.” Daniel slipped back into his room, everything still in darkness save for the setting sun through the curtains.

“You do realize this isn’t going to accomplish anything for you, right?” The demon breathed, his boredom growing. “You can’t kill me. That’s already happened once.” Alastair chuckled, ignoring the man shuffling around in his drawers.

“I can make you hurt enough. Besides, I’m pissed off and I needed a new punching bag anyway.” Daniel came back with a knife that he flicked free from its safety handle. “Guess I’ll just have to dig deeper.”

The demon finally took in the man before him, observing the way the human’s eyes glistened with malice. There was no kindness there to be seen, not for anyone. “I can see why your partner left you. You’re a ticking time bomb.” Alastair smiled. “Ah, yes. Someone’s hurt you, haven’t they? You’re certainly capable of compassion — that much is obvious. You feel too much and you act on impulse. You’ve driven away many, haven’t you—”

“Shut the fuck up.” Daniel swiped at the demon’s face, leaving a blood trail that bled for only a moment before closing. “You have no idea what I did for her. How much I love her.”

“I know more than you realize. You’re a stereotypical case of obsessive love — the locker room boy who practically bleeds testosterone and fights just to look tougher than he really is. But you cry at night, don’t you?”

Daniel paused as his chest clenched. “I don’t cry.”

“Not even over your lost love?”

“I haven’t lost anything.” The knife teased along bare skin where Daniel pulled the demon’s shirt open, leaving a trail of glistening red flesh that started to close before the knife dug deeper. That finally gained a hiss from the demon. “You’re going to make her realize that.”

Alistair growled low in his chest. “Not only are you petty and vile, you’re an idiot. Haven’t you read a damn thing in the books you referenced? Or have you chosen to ignore everything but the shortcuts you foolishly thought you found?”

“That’s the point of summoning a demon, isn’t it? A shortcut.” Of course, he’d read all he was able to comprehend. He wasn’t the uneducated moron everyone made him out to be. He did realize, however, outside of referencing a book that had already translated the language he needed and provided the symbols to make, there was a lot this demon could tell him that no book would cover. He stuttered, losing his composure. “But — but tell me anyway. Not that I don’t already know it, but I want to confirm it for myself. What do you think I’m missing?”

“Oh, ready to listen now, are you?” A sharp smile returned across Alastair’s pale face. “I’m not certain you’ve earned the right to hear anything from me.”

“You’ll tell me or I’ll start here.” Daniel raised the knife to the demon’s neck and pressed it against flesh. A sigh from above was enough to distract him, and he looked up to see the demon’s eyes lowered with a dusting of red across sharp cheekbones. An awkward feeling settled in the young man’s stomach and he drew the knife back. His face twisted in disgust. “Fuck, you’re getting off on this?”

Alastair hummed in agreement. “When you were looking to summon a demon, tell me, how much research did you do, exactly? What were the qualifications?”

Daniel paused and squeezed the knife tight in his hand, looking anywhere but at the tall form before him. “I needed a demon who knew what it was like to be human — who would know what it felt like.”

“So you thought anyone would do? That any ex-mortal would have some sort of sympathy and understand what it was like to love?”

Daniel huffed, annoyed that he was even humoring the demon with conversation. It would bring the answers he sought, at least. Although, now that he thought about it, he really had been a bit careless and rushed in his decision-making. Demons were demons, and they were all alike. Or so he thought. “That had something to do with it, yeah,” he ground out.

Alastair laughed again, this time with honest humor. “Do you know what becoming a demon does to someone? Over time, being human is an afterthought. It no longer plagues you — the disease of the human condition and petty morals are beneath you. You’re something greater and much more powerful despite the one curse you take on from your shallow existence as a mortal.” Alastair’s eyes lowered, causing Daniel’s skin to crawl. “Do you know what my curse is to bear, silly boy?”

“Besides being sick in the head?”

“Lust. And a love for the good old ultraviolence,” Alastair drawled. “So hit me. Penetrate my flesh like the sadistic artist you are. See where it gets you.”

Daniel’s words were robbed from him as he turned to search through his desk. The books he’d borrowed for longer than he should have were beneath papers and notes he’d taken, and he flipped to the back. He’d been an idiot to turn to the internet to search for keywords, but no matter how many times he went through the appendix of the books in his grasp, Alastair’s name was nowhere to be found. He finally turned to face the demon before him, the exposed flesh healed over already. There wasn’t an injury to be seen, but he would find a way to dig deep enough to leave a mark for good. Surely that wouldn’t be pleasant even to a masochistic freak.

It seemed the seals only did one thing, and that was to remove the demon’s power to overcome him. He had indeed become the demon’s master, but not in a way he’d intended.

 ©2020 Shane Blackheart

Original short horror story: Void of Everything

This is taken from a sleep paralysis nightmare I had years ago, and it’s best rated for older teens and up. It’s a complete short story I wrote while manic, and I allowed the dissociative manic state to consume me while I wrote it to keep it true to its original feeling.


An orange light tried to escape through the clouds as it was strangled. The gray shadow from it washed over all in its path, and the brown sky foretold of a dawn that would never fully reach fruition.

I stood with my red suitcase in hand and red wool coat keeping me warm from the sea’s breeze. I paused as I walked along the narrow path surrounded by water, and the endless horizon stared back at me as if to confirm my hopeless existence. There wasn’t much to the world anymore since it had been swallowed by the sea, and I knew it would claim me someday too.

The towering, white clapboard house before me had been expanded several times over the last few years, its height climbing to an impressive six stories that caused the building to lean just barely to the right. Its red roof had been weathered by the saltwater breeze and looked like dried blood. It was all falling apart, the house bleeding as it shed its white paint into the water.

My eyes drifted to the side as I stood at the front door. A set of five steps led down into an underground room, and I abandoned my suitcase at the door to explore. Brown slate guided me to a white wooden door that was labeled, ‘Sick Room.’ I pressed my ear to it, noticing no sounds of any kind. Was I truly alone? Had my journey been pointless?

My black Mary Janes clacked across the white and red-tiled floor, the lighting flickering slightly as the breeze slipped through into the stale air. Silence. The large room had a low ceiling and a round desk at the center as if ready for nurses to clock in. There were no other rooms save for the small alcoves carved out of the walls, cushions and blankets tossed about in a few of them where people had once sat reading. I wandered over to one of the books; Ray Bradbury’s, There Will Come Soft Rains.

The atmosphere was thick with stale illness and wrapped around my throat, threatening to crush my lungs. The despair trapped in the walls greeted me at once in waves, and blurred translucent forms came and went with it. The figures were all in white gowns with frowns on their faces, their eyes sunken and red with tears. So many had died here.

Fear gripped me tightly and I ran from the room to escape the nightmare. It brought me back to the doorstep and I knocked before letting myself inside. I grew weary as the weathered walls greeted me with their splattering of mold from the damp air, and as I breathed in deeply the must entered my lungs. It would only be a matter of time before this rotting corpse of a house was taken away, too.

Climbing the stairs brought me to a second landing where a woman was standing outside her door. I stilled my beating heart and observed her form, fearing she was just another ghost. She smiled, her dark olive skin creasing back into two dimples as her teeth were revealed from behind her scabbed lips.

“Hello,” I breathed, still in shock. Was she sick like the others had been?

“Hi.” The room fell silent to the waves outside once more, and I ventured forth toward a room while keeping my eyes on her. Her gaze followed me with just as much suspicion, although she hadn’t stopped smiling. Perhaps she was lonely and happy to see me, but then what of the other rooms? Was she the only one left?

I paused before entering the room next to hers. “Is anyone else here?”

“Just you and I, and a few others who keep their distance.” Her smile finally fell. There was paint on the breast of her blue overalls and her black kinked hair was frizzed as if it hadn’t been groomed for some time. Despite it, she seemed well.

I attempted to return to something less somber. “Are you a painter?”

“Yes.” She smiled again. “I have an easel outside — on the balcony. I don’t see much but the ferns, but I paint them. I’ve become very good at it and I’ve gathered a small collection.” She chuckled, her laugh childlike despite her perceived age. She looked to be in her late twenties. “Maybe you’d like to watch me paint sometime?”

“Absolutely.” I smiled again before opening the door. Flicking on the dim light revealed a moldy tan carpet, a bed strewn about, and a few piles of clothes on the floor. A small door led to a personal bathroom, and a dresser was the only other item to the side.

I threw my bag onto the bed, knowing all too well what had happened here. It was an awful way to die, but at least they were at peace now. Maybe if I was lucky, too, I wouldn’t be alive to see the small island swallowed by the sea.

I brushed aside a dirty white lace curtain and peered out across the water. Ferns darted up to the windowsill and beyond, and it allowed a sliver of the end-times’ orange light to paint a streak on my face. The sun would never rise again. It hadn’t for more than a month. Perhaps three. I’d lost track of time since it had become meaningless.

I turned my head to take in the room once more. A translucent form was on the bed beside me as I gripped the curtains in my fists, my eyes growing wide as the being watched me. I couldn’t bear its gaze begging me for something I couldn’t give. “You’re lucky. Stop lamenting,” I snapped in my anxiety.

Its hand reached out and faded through my long blond hair before it flickered. It wailed something hoarsely before fizzling out.

~*~*~*~

My new friend led me down the stairs once I’d removed my coat. She seemed excited to speak to another living person despite there being other occupants. It was the norm to avoid each other as it had been where I came from.

My city had worn down and decayed quickly as the waters lapped up onto the shore, and after a time people started dying as well. A sickness was quick to claim the young and the elderly, and soon there were no doctors able to figure out the mysterious illness. The few that remained had no desire as the world slowly died around them, and they would often spend their last days at the top of a skyscraper, staring out into the sea’s abyss as they waited to see the sun rise one last time. It was a dying wish that was never granted but held before them as the golden glow of morning paused to remain forever.

Mother nature — or whatever force was looming over us — had finally gotten angry.

The force delivered the sickness on the sea’s air, its invisible hand sprinkling pestilence throughout the world. I’d contracted a weak strain and recovered, which very few managed to do, and was left immune. I sat in my living room for days barely eating, watching as my family died one after the other around me. It hadn’t spared the dog or the cats either, and by the end of its reign in my home, I was certain I’d been chosen as one of the few who would suffer for all that humanity had done. To die would have been a mercy.

My travels had brought me to where I now stood, spinning around in a room covered with beautiful paintings that were equally macabre. Their chunky, golden and intricate frames displayed them as an art exhibit would, and the smile that graced my face was genuine. It had been so long since I’d seen something so beautiful — something that captured the hopeless fear in my heart so vividly. The faces twisted in agony behind thick oil paints reminded me of my family in their last moments, and I felt they were there with me.

I turned back to my friend, who had also been admiring the paintings. They stretched up past the second story into the third and climbed up through the rest. It was the focal point of the house and others were joining us or had joined us, although at a distance. Their eyes followed our every move as if we would bring the plague upon them ourselves, although it was clear a few of them were already on their way out. Their dry skin and cracked lips were enough of a sign with the sunken sockets in their heads.

“What’s your name?” I finally returned to my friend. She was an odd one in that place. She hadn’t feared me from the beginning like the others.

“I don’t have one anymore.” She didn’t seem bothered by this in the slightest. “What’s yours?”

I mused for a moment before quirking my lips. “I don’t have one anymore either.”

“Neither did he — the man who built this place.” The girl pulled me over to an area where an oak desk sat with stains and papers and books scattered about it. I noticed a few anatomy books and notes about disease. “Look. This is him.”

I followed her hand to see a large painting of a sallow looking man, his face thin and gaunt and his short gray hair flattened to the side. He looked tired, and I wondered for a moment if he’d managed to capture himself within the painting to live forever. It was the goal of having a portrait done or painting your own, although it would do no good now.

A soft whispering met my ears as the thought crossed my mind, and the oils in the man’s hair swirled as if it were swaying in the wind. The painting’s eyes dragged slowly down to see me and stared, and I stared right back. There was a blankness to his expression and I knew why. He’d failed. He’d built this place to try to save everyone — it was evident in the sick room downstairs and the books on his desk. He hadn’t had time, which was also apparent in the house’s design. It’s odd, slanted, towering build was enough to speak of his desperation to escape the rising tide.

“He painted all of these, ” my friend continued. “They were once beautiful, but as he grew sick, it warped his view of how anything appeared.”

“Yes, I got a taste of that,” I remembered. Although I hadn’t come down with the illness to a fatal degree, I’d experienced the hallucinations. The morning my mother came into my bedroom to bring me breakfast on the third day of my sickness, I hadn’t recognized her.

Her face looked just like the paintings, her features smeared to the side and dripping from her face as if she were melting before me. I watched flesh drop onto the floor like candle wax as it left tears in her skin, and from the decaying muscle crawled small centipedes to slip back into her ears.

I screamed and shoved her with all of my remaining strength. The tray with water and Spam rations flipped back into her body, and she knocked her head on the open door in her fall to gain a concussion as blood trickled into the white carpet. My father came running and screamed into an echoing void far from me, and I sunk into my bed with clenched teeth as I stared at the ceiling. It would be a week later before I could look at another human being again.

I returned to my friend who had been calling out to me. I was face to face with the painting of the founder, my neck aching as I stood directly in front of it to touch its textures. I dropped my hands immediately and backed away. I’d gone on autopilot again. The illness had left me with a strangeness that still invaded my waking life, and often I would fall asleep only to end up awoken to stand before a mirror. At times I would lose my memory as well and wake up a stranger to myself.

“Did you see it?” My friend asked.

I turned to her, shaking off what had happened. “See what?”

“Him.” The girl moved to the painting and stared up at it. “He haunts this place, and I’ve heard others talk about seeing him before they died. It’s a bad omen.”

“No.” I forced a laugh. “I was merely intrigued by the beautiful work. He’s long gone, I’m sure.”

“No, not the founder.” The girl turned to look at me with a hard gaze that chilled me to the bone. “He’s the harbinger of the end. The founder saw him before he died, too.”

“Did he paint him?”

“He didn’t dare.” The girl hugged herself and looked as if she would cry, her eyes darting about the room. “Can we leave now? I’d rather show you my work.”

“Yes, of course.” I grew exasperated. She’d been the one to lead me to the gallery, but perhaps she’d survived the illness as well and saw something she shouldn’t have.

~*~*~*~

The balcony’s breeze was enough to coax me into sleep, but I fought it off as I sat beside my friend. She stared intently at the ferns before us as she painted them, the picture only slightly varied from the last. I hadn’t questioned the strange nature of her repetitiveness, but nothing had been said between us since we’d left the gallery. I didn’t miss the silence. “Would you like to paint my portrait?” I offered.

She turned to observe me and nodded. “Yes, you’ll look lovely within the ferns.”

I couldn’t hold back the laugh that graced me for the first time in a long while. “Then so it shall be.” I threw my arm over the back of the chair, my off the shoulder gray sweater drooping as I crossed my legs and became comfortable. She began to paint once more over the ferns she’d already detailed. “Did you know the founder? You talk as if you were familiar with him.”

She smiled sadly. “He was my father. Not by birth, but he took me in after my parents died. I was very young.” She paused to look at me. “How old do I look now?”

I pondered and wiggled my fingers. “Twenty-seven? Twenty-nine?”

She giggled. “Twenty-three.”

“Close enough, I suppose.”

“I was five.” She returned to painting, her ability to paint a person lacking in comparison to the plant life she so explicitly studied. “My mother and father found this place and brought me here before it was as large as you see it now. I think it only had two stories at the time, and the sea hadn’t quite taken over yet. Originally, it was a homeless shelter for those stricken by the war, and the founder had dedicated his small fortune to helping all of us.” She faltered. “The bedroom you are now in was my brother’s.”

A lump formed in my throat and I tensed. The form on the bed — the wailing. It had been her brother in his last moments, and he had pleaded with me. Was he asking me to look after her? “I saw him,” I blurted.

She turned to face me. “My brother?”

“I was sick once.” I picked at my nails, not wanting to see her expression. I would soon be sleeping in the same bed her brother died in, and I wondered what dreams it would bring me. If they would be the same feverish dreams the man had in his last moments to punish me for disturbing his sacred space. “I was one of the few to recover and become immune, but it left me with the ability to see things beyond reason.”

“I was sick, too.” My friend had ceased painting altogether and picked at her paint-covered overalls. “I’m not sure how I recovered, but the founder nursed me back to health.” She finally looked up at me, horror in her brown eyes. “I saw things too. Awful things. It’s why I avoid going into my brother’s room and I moved from my parents’.”

“That’s for the best. I think he wanted me to look after you.” I smiled in an attempt to lighten the atmosphere.

Sadness twisted her face and she looked like the child she once was. Tears streamed down her cheeks. “I’ve been so lonely. I’ve watched everyone die — everyone in the gallery is dying too. They fear people like you and me. They think our purpose is to carry the illness to others. As if we were Mother Nature’s walking message of her divine wrath.”

“And perhaps we are.” I reached out to take her hands and watched as she chewed on her lip, reopening the scabs that had closed. “But what can we do about it? What can we–”

A rustling in the ferns.

My heart leaped into my throat and I sat up to look through the wooden banister of the balcony. The rustling stopped. “Did you see that?”

“No, did something happen?” She turned to look in the direction I’d fixated on.

“An animal? I thought all the animals died.”

“They have. Unless there are a few who were immune like you and me?” Her hopes were clear in her voice as she jumped up and ran to the side to look out into the ferns. “A deer? A cat? A dog? A fox? How wonderful would that be?”

“No, step away.” Dread blind sighted me as I was awash in a cold sweat. By her legs were two clawed black hands gripping tight to the banister. All else was black as the void except for a sun-dried cow’s skull resting on its shoulders, the rest of its body cloaked in a large black robe. Two white ethereal lights shone dimly in the eye sockets and stared into my soul. It was reading me, judging me as it pondered my existence.

“What is it? What’s the matter?” The girl turned to see my alarmed state and approached me, and as she did everything was set into motion. The stirring of her tennis shoes on the grime-covered deck coaxed the being from the ferns and through the fencing where it stood stationary with its sight locked on me.

I grabbed her arm and pulled her in the direction of the door, and we ran through the house and downstairs until we reached the gallery once more. I paused to catch my breath, the few people scattered about in the leather armchairs turning to watch us with rapt attention. As I glanced up at them, they reminded me of predators waiting to strike their prey in self-defense.

I swallowed hard. “You didn’t see it?”

“No, was it a hallucination?”

“I don’t know.” Tears welled up and poured down my cheeks, and I pulled my friend close to rest my head on her shoulder. A memory struck me and I jerked my head back up in the direction of the founder’s painting. “What does he look like?”

“Who?”

“The harbinger,” I spoke through choked tears. My friend backed away from me to my horror, and she stared at me with uneasiness. I couldn’t bear to lose the last friend I would ever have, and I regretted saying anything, but the anxiety gripping my heart so tight it hurt was my master, and there was nothing I could possibly take back.

“He’s been described as a moving shadow.”

“A man with skin like midnight and a large dark robe?” I couldn’t still the shaking building in my hands. “A cow’s skull for a head? And those eyes… They aren’t eyes but a glimpse into the universe itself.”

“You’ve seen him.” She backed away further. “Another shift will take place, and you’ve brought it upon us.” Emotion crept into her voice and spilled over her face. “It is said he chooses his messengers, and to see him when you are not destined to be among the dead means he’s chosen you.”

“Oh god–”

“And God has grown sick and died as well.” The young woman’s frown curved to an impossible degree, and her sad eyes reflected those of her brother’s as he reached out to me in his bed. “But it’s not your fault. You did not ask to be the next messenger.”

“Can I stop it? Can he be overcome?”

“No, it’s inevitable.” The girl glanced back at the people in the chairs, their bodies tense and their eyes burning wide with hatred. They hadn’t noticed the man slouched over among them, lifeless at last. “You’d better return to your room. They already think you’ve damned them.”

~*~*~*~

I shot up in bed and looked around the dark room.

A faint white glow was coming from outside, and I rolled over in my white satin nightgown to throw open the curtains. Darkness. It was night. It hadn’t been night in so long, and I wondered, foolishly, if the sun had fallen from the sky. Or had it simply given up in its attempt to bring the day?

But the glow wasn’t from the moon that had long ago abandoned us.

My lungs burned as I struggled to breathe through the panic attack that was shaking me to my core. The glow in the sky was in the shape of a large eye, and it was unmoving as it stared down at me. I jerked the curtains shut, but the lace allowed the glow to filter in, and as I followed it, it fell upon the door as a guide. I blinked hard and turned to face it. It remained.

I crossed the room on quick feet to open the door and stared into the dark walkway twisting around the stairs. To my right was my friend’s room, and I made my way over to it to try the handle. It was locked tight and I didn’t blame her. I leaned back against it and sighed, staring down the stairway into the dark abyss. It rippled.

Steeling my resolve, I crept down the stairs and into the first floor parlor, searching for any sign of anything significant. I knew I was a fool to chase the message being laid out for me, but if there was any way I could manage to delay or stop the next shift, I had to do it. My life had become meaningless since the sea swallowed most of everything, and that foolish human determination to be something before it all ended tugged at my heartstrings. No one would be here to know, and nothing I did would ultimately matter, but there was still at least one person I cared about in existence. As long as that was true, it would matter to her.

The archway I slipped beneath revealed a very large kitchen with the same red and white tiles as the sick room. In the center was an island with various cooking utensils and a steel commercial stove sat before it. The far wall was lined in windows that once allowed the sunlight to grace the space, but now it was merely awash in the pale glow from the eye in the sky.

A quiet choking sound slipped from my throat as I caught sight of the dark form in the center of the glow. It lifted a hand to beckon to me, and I leaned into the archway to grip the frame tight. I shook my head, fear winning over my earlier feelings of bravery. It continued to curl its finger in a taunting motion to coax me forward.

“Did you choose me?” My voice shook as I attempted communication, but the being continued as if I’d said nothing. “Are you the harbinger?” It remained silent. I took a deep breath and stepped into the kitchen.

The faint glow in its eyes was the same color as the one outside, and it grew in intensity as I approached. Its aura reached out to me in welcome and eased my nerves, and I was soon at peace as I stood before it. I had no doubt then that it had chosen me to be the sign of the end — it was time to finish what was started.

I dropped to my knees as a powerful need overwhelmed me, and my hands crept up a pair of thighs over the black robe. It dropped to the floor along with the dull thud of the mask, and as I stared up at the harbinger, I saw nothing but black with two glowing lights where the shape of the head rested.

It drew me back up with a claw beneath my chin and pulled me flush against its form. It was cold and nothing solid, but I felt its figure nonetheless as an ancient being made up of everything that was the beginning of all. I allowed myself to sink into its greatness as it raised my leg, and soon my body was filled and gripping tight around the void that entered me.

I gasped at the intrusion and curled my toes, but there would be no pleasure to be had in this intimate ritual. My womb was quickly injected with something ice-cold, and it was enough to shock me back to my senses. The freeze crawled into my belly and swirled about, and I was released to stand on my own. I grasped at my stomach and stared at the figure who remained a mere shadow of a man. “What have you done to me?”

A void of stars formed as it expanded to become its mouth and its eyes flickered. A hissing wail emitted from it that drew out my screams, and I ran from the kitchen.

I felt it behind me and around me, and as I crashed through door after door, tripped up stairway after stairway, I became lost in the dark. The cold swirling in my belly grew and I became sick, but I pushed on for reasons unknown. I was no longer being driven by survival but a strong need to find the end, and I knew it was somewhere higher. I had to get higher despite my fear telling me to escape the harbinger.

At last, I climbed to the top floor and threw open the balcony doors, stepping out onto the deck to look out across the sea. The lapping of the calm water and the glow of the eye that seemed larger than ever lulled me into a trance, and I once again felt the cloaked figure near. It came up behind me and spread its arms wide, and the ferns below us parted to clear a path to the sea below that had finally sloshed to the foundation of the house.

With heavy-lidded eyes, I gripped the balcony and leaned over it, and the cold in my stomach expanded. The entity behind me held its arms out to keep the path clear, and I climbed up onto the railing. With the sea’s winds rushing through my hair, I plummeted to the waters below, the crash causing my stomach to pop open with a myriad of stars and a black void.

~*~*~*~

When the moon rises in the sky I envelop its brilliance with my glow. The blackness that is everything swallows the world and all are none the wiser to its monotony.

But everything is made up of the stars and the nothingness that has been and will be, and the seas will lap upon the shores until it is time for the harbinger to bring a cleansing to Mother Nature’s soul.

You are all my children. You are part of my everything that will be and what was, and if I am betrayed once more I will choose another to bear many more stars and moons and suns, and perhaps one day I will finally lay all to rest.

©2020 Shane Blackheart

[M+]Excerpt from Gabriel – original writing

I haven’t posted anything in a while, so I figured I could post this bit of inspiration I got today. This is an excerpt from a longer story I have in progress. I had horrible writer’s block with it until today when this moment hit me out of nowhere. It was deviously fun to write and will be part of the book, but a warning: It’s rated as mature content for a reason. Byleth is pretty liberal with his language most times, and this scene is kind of spicy, but more so in an emotional aspect. It could also be considered a bit offensive. The book itself is an LGBTQ+ erotic fantasy, although this scene does not contain anything explicit other than language.


Gabriel stormed into Byleth’s flat and crossed his arms once he reached the bar, refusing to look at the fallen king behind him. He couldn’t allow himself to fall into any more depravity because of the deviant, and he would put a stop to everything right now. “Byleth, no more.”

“Oh, so your high wore off. Great. Killed my buzz.” Byleth huffed as he fell onto the bed. Gabriel had been more than jovial on their walk home from the concert, the weed that had been passed around to them potent enough, especially for a first-timer like the angel. When Gabriel’s wings had come out after his high kicked in, everything had come to a stop as Byleth snapped his fingers to rush them out of the theater. The Doors would be around again soon, no doubt, but Byleth was more eager to play with the angel’s tolerance for certain things. Acid had been potent as well as grass, but now that it was wearing off, as with the acid before, Gabriel was coming to his senses. That wouldn’t do.

“I’m not even supposed to be doing this sort of thing!” The angel finally turned around, his arms wrapped around himself. He couldn’t meet Byleth’s eyes. It would only remind him of the forbidden things he’d done with the fallen king the night before. “All of this is new to me, but I see now that it’s only a way for you to manipulate me.” He braved a glance at Byleth’s red eyes that were staring right at him. “That’s been your plan, hasn’t it? Our discussion this morning meant nothing to you?”

“I’m getting a fucking headache, which isn’t something I have to deal with. Congratulations.” Byleth pushed up off the bed and approached the bar beside Gabriel to pour a drink. It was a metaphorical headache, of course. “I know what we discussed. I don’t hate you like I do the others, Gabriel. I’m just trying to show you a good time while you’re here — which, by the way, you never elaborated on. Care to?”

Gabriel fell silent and stared at the floor. When he didn’t speak up for some time, Byleth turned to face him with a strong drink in his hand. It was an awkward moment before the angel figured he should say something. “May we agree to enjoy our time here without mind-altering substances?”

“You mean to tell me you didn’t like feeling human for a minute?” Byleth smiled and shoved the drink in Gabriel’s direction. There were many tricks he could play to loosen the angel up that he wouldn’t expect, a good glass of gin and tonic a great place to start. Byleth took his own glass as Gabriel sipped his.

The angel grimaced and swallowed hard. “What in Heaven’s name is this awful concoction?”

“Something to tame your tensions, turtle dove.” Byleth took a large drink from his own and returned to the edge of the bed. He snapped his fingers and a record player kicked on across the room to play ‘Get Ready’ by the Temptations.

Gabriel stared suspiciously at the glass as he leaned back against the bar, sniffing it before taking another drink. “It burns.”

“It’s supposed to. You’ll be feeling warm and fuzzy in no time.” Byleth chuckled. The angel would be a lightweight for certain, which he was all too happy to witness.

“This isn’t another of your strange substances, is it?” Gabriel took another drink despite his concerns.

“Most humans enjoy this sort of thing. It isn’t taboo if that’s what you’ve got your feathers in a bunch over.”

“Oh, I see.” Gabriel took a bigger drink that time, the warmth spreading down into his stomach where it lingered. He had to admit that it felt very nice, and it wasn’t messing with his perception of reality like the other two things. He was also aware, as the minutes ticked by and after a second glass, that he was feeling particularly fuzzy and happy, and his skin was warm.

“Feeling good now, are you?” Byleth bit his lip to keep from laughing at the angel, his tolerance much higher. It took more than three glasses of the stuff to affect him, and Gabriel was already practically swooning over the sensations from two small glasses. ‘Come and Get Your Love’ by Redbone came over the speaker, which was enough to get Byleth in the mood. He leaned back on the bed on his elbows, drink still in hand. “Get over here, pigeon.”

“Oh, no. No, see, I see what you’re doing, Byleth, and it won’t work this time. No, sir.” Gabriel was speaking much more freely now, although he was still very aware of the king’s deviousness. No amount of muscle peeking through a half-buttoned shirt, nor a pair of bellbottoms that were much too tight would distract him. “Oh, dear.”

Byleth arched an eyebrow. “Get your angelic ass over here.”

Gabriel was already reaching behind the bar for the bottle of gin, not realizing that what he’d been consuming before was a mixed drink. Byleth smirked and let it happen, laughing quietly as the angel groaned and made a face of extreme displeasure. “I must purge these wicked thoughts.” Gabriel turned to Byleth, glaring. “The only drink I can trust is one made by my own hand. You shan’t trick me again.”

“Oh yeah? Go for it.” Byleth watched as Gabriel downed the gin in his glass. “But do it over here.”

Gabriel rounded the bar and grabbed onto the edge of it, dizziness hitting him. He nearly dropped the half-full glass in his hand. “You can’t make me this time.”

Byleth lowered his eyes. “Come. Here.”

The tone in the king’s voice sent a shiver up Gabriel’s spine, and it alarmed him. He wasn’t sure exactly what possessed him, but he met Byleth’s gaze and answered with a breathy, “No.”

“Excuse me?” Byleth stood to approach the angel and observed him. Oh. It was happening again, it seemed. The fallen king smiled, two small canines poking over his lip. “Are you defying me?”

Gabriel licked his lips nervously and avoided Byleth’s gaze, his cheeks growing red. Why did everything feel so good right now? Surely it wasn’t from the drink. “Y-yes. My answer is no.”

Bullshit. Byleth circled around the angel and trailed a finger up Gabriel’s arm. He could smell the gin on the angel’s breath as he breathed heavily. “What’s the matter, pigeon? Can’t handle your gin?”

“I am not a pigeon.” Gabriel tensed as he felt hot breath drift across his neck as Byleth came close only to draw back again, chuckling.

“You’re a fucking pigeon. A messenger pigeon, more like it. God’s little bitch.”

Byleth’s baritone laughter went straight south, and Gabriel was quickly downing the rest of his drink for something less awkward to do. “Your language…”

“Am I offending you?” Byleth mocked a sound of sympathy and set his glass on the bar, coming up behind Gabriel to run his hands up the angel’s back where wings would otherwise be present.

Gabriel twitched more from pleasure than annoyance. “It is inappro — inappopiate…” Gabriel trailed off, his buzz strengthening. He had no doubt he’d consumed something else that was causing that debauched feeling to come back, although this time he was aware of every second. He was also very aware of how much the sober Gabriel very much liked this sort of thing deep inside, and this strange drink only brought it out of him. He shivered.

“Oh? Inappropriate, huh? What if I said I didn’t give a fuck about your sensibilities?” Byleth was sure to moan out the ‘fuck’ to torture the angel further.

“Please, Byleth.” Gabriel teared up as he fought his true desires. They were eating him alive, and he was frightened by them.

Byleth paused and watched the angel’s eyes become red around the edges as tears threatened to spill forth. A smile tugged at his lips. “Are you going to cry?” A sadistic pleasure rushed up inside him and he came close to Gabriel, grabbing the angel’s jaw and forcing it to look up at him. “You gonna cry, baby?”

“Why are you so cruel? Why — why do you…” The drunkenness robbed further speech from Gabriel as Byleth’s touch sent a wave of arousal through him.

“Pigeons are supposed to coo, sweetie, not whine.” Byleth reached down and slid a hand along the bulge that had formed in the angel’s corduroy pants. It brought a breathy moan from the form in his grasp. “Much better.”

The tears finally spilled over, but not from misery. Everything felt so wonderful and Gabriel knew he was powerless to deny himself what he had come to enjoy. He was already surely damned for what they’d done together the other night, so what was once more? But that was how it started. Soon, Gabriel was sure, if he ever came across God again in his shame, he would end up in the flames with this devil. “I’m debauched,” he slurred. “Indecent.”

Byleth hummed in approval, grabbing a fist full of the angel’s shirt to drag him over to the bed. “Beautiful words. Are you getting it now?” Byleth’s own buzz had set in and he was more than eager to give the angel another test drive.

“Unfortunately.” Gabriel fell on top of Byleth as they stumbled backward onto the bed. He lifted himself up onto his hands and stared down at the being that would surely be his undoing on a grand scale. “Why have you done this to me? Why me?”

“Because I like it.” Byleth untucked the angel’s shirt and pulled the buttons open, teasing his claws up quivering sides. “And so do you.”

“Do I? Oh God, do I?” Gabriel was close to tears again as a pulse below nearly pulled another moan from him. He felt Byleth’s arousal just as strong against his own as the fallen king gently bucked up against him.

Byleth lifted his head to lick away a tear trail and whispered against the angel’s face. “You love it.” He pulled back and rocked his hips into Gabriel’s once more while staring into a pair of glazed blue eyes. “This beautiful cock of yours isn’t so angelic right now, is it?”

“That’s so… dirty.” Gabriel’s eyes fell shut and he met Byleth’s rhythm with his own. “It burns and it aches, and it’s so, so, so miserable. But why do I like it?” He stopped and stared down at Byleth, his tears drying. “Why?”

The fallen king chuckled. “We need to get you drunk more often, sugar.” He beckoned for the angel to close the distance between them, and he was pleased when Gabriel fell into a kiss that had them both breathless.

©2020 Shane Blackheart

Book Review: Butchers

ButchersButchers by Todd Sullivan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I dived into this book with certain expectations, as I’m a huge fan of vampire fiction, and I was pleasantly surprised at the unique take the author had on them. This was a wild ride full of gore, grossness, and vampires who are truly immortal and equally immoral. (This review will not be completely spoiler-free.)

The story begins with an intense fight between vampire members of an organization called Gwanlyo. The rules are strict for them and meant to keep vampires in place — existing among humans without alerting them to the presence of beings much more frightening than they could imagine. They may tear at each other, slice off limbs, gouge out eyes, and pry an entire torso open, but unless one is beheaded or a heart is crushed, they will continue to exist. This fight opens the book to show just how much of a beating these vampires can take before one keels over for good.

The reason for the fight? Gwanlyo member Cheol Yu has broken one of their strict rules. His engaging with a potential member, who is still human, was out of line, and he is to be tortured. He happens to be extremely powerful, however, and makes it to safety with his head mostly attached.

After, we are introduced to more of the vampires. Hyeri, a wicked and destructive woman who can’t help but laugh over others’ misfortunes and craves destruction, Sey-Mi, an unfortunate high school girl who is pulled into a world she wants nothing to do with, and Dae Lo, a sadistic, evil monster who is all too happy to cause the greatest misery to those who betray the organization. We also get to meet Min Gun, who is not as foreboding as he initially seems.

What unfolds is a plan to take down the Gwanlyo by a vampire who wants nothing more than to destroy humanity, a betrayer on the run, and a young girl who is to decide where her loyalty lies.

The book definitely began with a bang, and I was unapologetically pulled into the gore that would follow throughout the book. Usually, the vampire stories I read are of the more classic variety, but I found that I actually liked this sort of vampire for a change. While they are known to be beautiful and seductive, they’re equally as awful and scary and every bit of what a horror book would entail. It was so different to me, personally, that I didn’t even think about them being vampires while reading. Although the word ‘vampire’ isn’t even used, or if it was, it was easily missed.

One of the few hang-ups I had about the book was during the chapter where Sey-Mi is being introduced to the organization. Her fear was absolutely warranted, although I felt her reaction built into a crescendo and kept going far past it, and she began tearing at her skin in her fear after punching herself. I had a hard time believing a teenager would mutilate herself like that just to see if she was dreaming.

At times the cruel nature of these vampires seemed to be all there was to them. It does change as the story progresses, however, and the characters that seemed flat, like Min Gun, eventually show that there is more depth to them. On the same note, other characters were wonderfully unique and fleshed out. Hyeri was personally my favorite because of how wickedly fun she was, and we get quite a bit of time with her. Min Gun, however, I don’t feel we get to know very well at all, and I can only begin to speculate who he is and how he feels about everything. At the end, it seems he grows attached to Sey-Mi, but we truly don’t get as much time with him like the others.

One specific little detail I found really interesting about the vampires feeding on each other in unison, was the connection created. They shared memories and feelings, and it was a very intimate experience. The same was true for a vampire feeding from a human. They saw memories and took in sensations, which is a really cool ability and added some emotion to the otherwise cold and cruel creatures.

Overall, I had few nitpicks about this novella and I enjoyed reading it, and I am glad I got the chance to review it. Todd Sullivan definitely got me into the atmosphere and the location, which takes place in Korea, which he knows quite a bit about. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who hungers for a different kind of vampire story, although I would warn that it is not for those who are squeamish.

View all my reviews

NaNoWriMo 2019: A difficult win

I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time last year, and I found it to be a very rewarding, exciting, and emotional event. I still have the images I snapped of my progress on the website, and I remember fondly the writing friends I made that seemed to fade off and do their own thing into this year.

NaNoWriMo 2019, however, was not the same experience.

Back in October, the new website was launched and there were multitudes of bugs — many that are still prevailing near the end of November. At first, I was disheartened to see that all of my progress on my Camp NaNo projects were at 0 despite finishing them, and nothing seemed to be operating properly with my stats. That wasn’t a big deal, though. Numbers on trackers are just that and in no way a determination of my successes with writing books, but it does tend to put a damper on your spirit.

I was still excited despite all of that. I planned the project that I ended up changing a week later due to my writer brain steering in another direction all of its own accord, and I found myself energized for writing again, my mood was boosted, and everything was falling into place like it had last year.

And then, I screwed up my stats page. Awfully so. I accidentally deleted all of my word counts and progress on my 2019 project due to being half awake and confused at the new stats page layout. There was no way to retroactively date progress either, so I just input my total word count from that day, and I pushed on. Soon, my stats page was looking pretty nice again despite my mess up.

Some friends didn’t take me seriously. A few even became very rude because I chose to dedicate my time to my project. I was yelled at in my own home, and I was spoken to as if I were boosting myself on a pedestal and considered nothing important but my own pursuits, and that I cast everyone and everything aside because I didn’t consider them important. This was furthest from the truth, merely just a judgment placed on me by some who were angry that I finally set boundaries, but it was difficult to deal with mentally. It’s very hard when you’re trying to accomplish something great — writing an entire book that you hope will help in your future writing career. It’s your work. Yet, for some reason, in my case, I was not allowed to do this work without being chastised, being judged, or generally being met with negativity from a select few.  This was in between other interruptions and important appointments I usually have.

It got lonely as much as it got too busy in my life. I tried in vain to post to Twitter to connect with NaNoWriMo writers, and I posted on social media everywhere to try to gather writer and NaNoWriMo friends so we could cheer each other on. I tried to message a friend on the site as a cheerleader for them, but I received no response. To this day, after finishing my feat of ending my first draft of a new novel at just over 52k words, everything is so silent. I don’t have anyone to celebrate with, but I didn’t have anyone to go through the journey with, either.

NaNoWriMo is for ourselves, as writers, to get better at what we do. It doesn’t matter if we have one, several, or no friends cheering us on. In my case, I write because it makes my life complete and it is the best kind of therapy to keep my head out of dark places. It has also, in my experience, been a lonely feat. Even outside of NaNo, my writer friends I’ve made have all slowly drifted off or stopped responding to my messages, or disappeared altogether.

I don’t know how algorithms work to find support. I don’t even know how to properly human to make friends half the time, but even though I may be doing a lot of lamenting, I am happy I finished my book. Even if I am sitting here just watching Youtube all night until my life resumes once more, I accomplished another feat I can wave my little happy flag at.

After all of November, I am left feeling like I just angered people who I care about or came off as a jerk for setting boundaries — for just wanting to work on and finish writing my book. I struggled through all of the challenges this month while trying to keep my friends happy. By talking to them even though I wanted to write, and finally dropping everything to do things for them when they just didn’t want to listen to me. When I wanted to talk about my book, they faded off or just didn’t really respond to it. Although, I have two friends who listened and even helped a few times, and I am grateful for them.

I’m more exhausted this year than I was the last, and yes, I’m happy I finished, but I’m left feeling as if I irritated people this month for simply wanting to do what makes me happy and is important to me.

NaNo 2018: Great.

NaNo 2019: We’ll just sweep this one under the rug.

NaNo 2020: Let’s hope for the best.

What happened when I stopped following internet extremism and reactionaries

Since I’ve gotten away from a lot of toxic and extremist social media stuff, I’ve started to realize what my own true opinions are — uninfluenced by others — on political and other world things.

I don’t think people realize how much their decisions are influenced by trends and what’s popular to scream about or share. A shocking article title, which is the point of them, when shared widely, starts a scary trend without people actually reading it, or people read others’ opinions first before delving into the article. It colors your own opinion because it’s fresh in your mind, rather you’ll admit to that or not, and in all honesty, we as a species love drama and to be upset over things because anger and upset are powerful emotions to feel. Speaking to psychology on that, anger is addictive. That’s a known fact.

I’m not exempt from feeding into this stuff in the past, either.

This is coming from someone who has both bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder that are, thankfully, better managed as I grow older. Trust me when I say I know all about extreme emotions and sensitivity. Emotions are a nightmare for me, and anger was one that made me feel like I could do anything. Getting rid of extremist social media articles and things has significantly helped me recover.

Often, people’s upsets are a bit misdirected and we end up tearing each other apart instead of listening to reason because ‘the masses say it too!’ Of course, there are certain things we should be upset about and we should signal boost certain people and things to raise awareness, but insulting and putting others down in activism for petty things is not the way to do it. It’s not going to get the other side to listen. That has become new-age activism. Aggression breeding aggression instead of understanding breeding understanding. We insult people for not doing their own research instead of just giving them the damn information we already have.

Guess what? Nine out of ten times when I’ve spoon-fed people information instead of insulting them, they’ve shut the hell up and stopped frothing at the mouth. Those who don’t want to listen to reason aren’t worth my, or your, time. No amount of arguing will change their minds and it just becomes a wasted day resulting in exhaustion.

Because I’ve removed myself from extremism and focused on facts, I feel healthier mentally. I only get my news directly from official sources and I’ve blocked out as much propaganda as I can, including anything that is too emotional in tone concerning current events with my news. Activism is still important and I am an activist in the ways I can be, by having my gender identity as a trans man visible where it can be, voting, and making posts about things publicly to educate or point out a problem with something.

In the end, though, I rely on facts instead of opinions. I look into anything that seems overly emotional and I research for myself so I can spread facts instead of misinformation. When you hear something shocking or a rumor, look into it. Don’t post about it and then look into it.

Be responsible.

Stop spreading hearsay and don’t automatically conform to mass outrage unless you’ve found a legitimate reason for it.


Obligatory internet disclaimer: This is just what I’ve learned from my own experiences. I’m not woke or giving a hot take. I’m just saddened by the state of America and frustrated by the people in it, and I’m too exhausted to be up in arms 24/7 over every tiny little thing. I’ve got more important shit to worry about like writing books, voting when I can to actually make a difference, and keeping my own trans ass safe.

Excerpt from my memoir

I’m currently working on my memoir, one of two, possibly, for NaNoWriMo this year. It isn’t conventional to say the least when it comes to a life story, but it’s mine — well, ours — and it’s the only way I can tell it. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to gloss over certain experiences and things I deal with on a daily basis, mostly because it’s not been well received in the past. I’ve been met with disbelief or brushed off as an overactive imagination, which is the worst feeling not only for me, but for those I share this strange version of reality with. My alters and spirit guides, of which only I can see unless I draw them or agree to a switch, feel the brunt of the sting when they’re dismissed as much as I do.

My memoir isn’t just my story alone, but theirs as well as they live my life with me. This is a moment from it, edited for readability, but ultimately, it’s how it happened in what I call our ‘headspace,’ which is a difficult thing to explain. It not only takes place here in the reality we live in during actual events from my life, but upstairs in the space we share as well, which combines to create what I know and see of this reality. In this case, pertaining to a spirit guide, the lines become much more blurred.


I sat trembling internally in an uncomfortable institutional chair. The waiting room was almost empty save for one other person and the receptionist, and the clock was the only sound besides my own nervous breathing. I had made an appointment to discuss some issues I was having with the manager of my apartment building, but my best option was to just show up where her office was. Any calls would undoubtedly have gone unanswered and any other method to solve the problem was ineffective. I was down to one solution that left me with sweaty palms and quaking bones — heart hammering so loud that I’m sure others would have heard it if they paid any mind. My anxiety was my biggest hindrance in life, but this time, I wouldn’t allow it to get the best of me.

My breath caught in my throat as goosebumps traveled up my arms and a shiver ran up my spine. I felt the presence of something but I couldn’t quite place it, yet instinctively my eyes drifted over to the elevator. When the metal doors opened, I made eye contact with a very familiar figure. “Daro?” The name barely left my lips in a whisper as he smiled, approaching me with as much elegance as he always had before. My cheeks burned. He wasn’t in his usual attire. He wore small, rectangular wire-rimmed glasses with a white button-up shirt tucked neatly into a pair of black dress pants, a black tie, and a shiny pair of black dress shoes. His silver horns were visible, and his eyes shone with a light pink hue that reflected a hint of deviousness. My blood pressure rose for an entirely different reason than my anxiety. “Wow.”

“Yes, this does…” he paused for a moment before huffing and closing his eyes. “Suit me, does it not?”

“Did you just make a pun?”

“Perhaps. I do have a sense of humor from time to time. Humans have worn off on me, it seems.” He ‘tsked’ as he looked around, spotting the door to the offices around back. “Excuse me.”

“Wait!” The urge hit me to grab his sleeve and pull him back, but I realized quickly that it wasn’t possible to do.

“Dear Shane, I have some business to attend to.”

“Business? You’re not actually… now?! But you said—”

“I’d help you set that woman straight. A bit of fear can go a long way, can it not?”

“Well, yeah, but…” Someone cleared their throat loudly and I looked to see the receptionist opening the door to the back rooms where she disappeared. “Please don’t do anything irreparable.”

“I have much more class than that. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I cannot allow this to continue any longer.”

I fell back into my chair more comfortably knowing that Daro was nearby. I felt safe as my anxiety ebbed away, although I looked to the other waiting room guest out of self-consciousness. They seemed to be absorbed in a magazine and hadn’t realized anything was amiss with me. All I had to do then was wait.

* * *

After quite some time, Daro stepped back into the room, pausing to tuck his glasses into his shirt pocket. Oh dear. So the glasses had come off.

He approached me and invited me to stand, then led me to the stairs. “Shall we go for a walk? The weather is lovely and I believe there is an ice cream shop down the alley.”

“You — you want to get ice cream? Do you eat that stuff?”

“I enjoy things comprised mostly of sugar.” He smirked as we descended the stairs. “Although I am anything but sweet myself.”

“Besides that, can I ask you a question?”

“What is it?”

“Are you, um…” My heart skipped a beat. “Are you going to keep wearing that outfit?”

Daro hummed with amusement as we left the building. “If you like.”

As we sat outside with waffle cones, I couldn’t help but admire the beautiful weather. There was a slight breeze and it was in the low seventies, and the sun was out shining brightly. It strained my eyes, but it seemed to cause Daro’s to glisten even brighter. It was almost as if his eyes had a catlike ability to reflect the light.

He paused and stared right back at me, for I had apparently been gazing at him longer than was considered polite. I quickly busied myself with my ice cream and averted my eyes to the metaphysics shop across the way.

His baritone voice interrupted my buzzing mind. “Aren’t you curious?”

“Curious? About what?”

“What I accomplished in the back room with that woman?”

My face burned. “When you say it like that, it sounds kind of messed up.”

“Oh, dear.” He cringed. “Not with her.”

“I’d hope not.” I laughed and focused back on his eyes. “You didn’t hurt her, did you?”

“Of course not.” He tilted his head slightly to the side. “I can tell you one thing about that woman, and it is that she is highly miserable in her life. She does not hide it well. She wears it openly with her lack of care for her own image — it seeps forth from her very skin. I could taste it.”

“Really? I guess it’s kind of obvious.”

“You have more ability to see these things than you think.” Daro’s eyes drifted up to look at the sun, and then back to his ice cream. “It’s melting.”

“Yeah, heat does that.” I smiled as I finished my waffle cone, Daro’s still half-eaten in his hand, the ice cream dripping down his wrist to stain his white button-up. There was something strangely erotic about it that made my blood pressure rise again. He watched me curiously as I tried to hide my red face. As if to taunt me, he lifted his hand to unbutton the cuff around his wrist, rolling the sleeve up and then doing the same to the other. He then lifted his wrist to lick the ice cream dripping down his brown skin. My ears burned as I tried to look away. He knew what he was doing.

“You seem troubled.” The knowing smirk on his face widened. “Is the heat too much for you today?”

“It’s not even hot out. I mean, it’s hot — not what you just did, I mean. Oh god, it’s just the sun is—”

“Shall we carry on? The lakefront may do well to calm your nerves.”

“Yeah, and to get away from this crowd.” I stood up and began to panic. “Not that I want to be alone with you. I mean, we could stay in the crowd. That’s fine too. I’m not dying to go to the lake.”

“Calm yourself.” Daro chuckled before standing and tossing the remainder of his cone. “I enjoy the lake. It’s one of your realm’s most peaceful resting places and I believe you would do well with a bit of quiet.” He brushed past me, I hesitating before following him. “Perhaps a bit of privacy is warranted. I am quite good at calming you down.” His voice lowered impossibly more with the last word and it sent shivers up my spine despite the sun’s rays.

It was times like those that felt like a curse, but it was a wonderful curse.

©2019 Shane Blackheart

STIGMA – book trailer

I don’t have publishing details or anything yet for my book, but I wanted to make something for fun since I love this project so much. It’s extremely close to my heart in many ways, and I wanted to share the excitement in a more creative way than just typing about it.

So, here is a book trailer I spent a few days creating. My editor and I are working on the final touches to the book, and we’re discussing possible publishing avenues. Traditional or Indie is my highest hope! Either way, no matter which type of publishing I pursue, the book will be published as soon as everything is worked out. When that time comes, I’ll be sure to update this video with any relevant information.

Until then, hopefully you enjoy the little trailer I put together and it sparks some interest in you.

Books are immortality