Category Archives: Original Writing

Excerpt from a WIP: The Elite Among Them

This is a current work in progress, an urban fantasy with more of an erotic flair. The idea was given to me by the dream muses, so I noted it down when I woke up. That was last month. It’s all spinning into an interesting story that I hadn’t anticipated. This is a small scene. A quick side note: Myrdin is gender-neutral, so I’ve used ‘they/them’ for their pronouns. ‘Divus’ is the name for my race in this book.

Myrdin turned the book over in their hands, the bedsheets beneath it still a rumpled mess. The material reeked of their sister’s fever, and the material itself was human drivel better left as fodder for their fireplace.

A ball of flames sprouted forth from Myrdin’s hand, the fingerless red gloves avoiding the sparks that ate the book alive. It reflected in the round brass glasses on the Divus’ face before it was mere ash upon the bedspread. “Of course it would be her,” they mumbled as they left the room. It wasn’t the fact that their sister was a resurrector that bothered them, but the idea that she had the nerve to get off and discover herself through human filth. Humans existed to serve those higher than them in society and nature, and the Divus were well above and beyond. The fact that their families were paid for their service was generous enough. Myrdin smiled darkly.

At least, there was a way to get their own sort of stress-relief.

The black marble greeted Myrdin as their heeled footsteps crept from the red-carpeted bedroom. A young human male, about nineteen years old, greeted them in fear, his head turned down to face the floor. “Hello, master. How may I help you?”

Myrdin grabbed the young man’s jaw and jerked it upright, their golden eyes glowing with mischief as the human dared to make eye contact. “It’s ‘how may I serve you,’ and you are never to look me in the eye again, understand?” Myrdin took delight in the whimper that came from the boy and tossed him aside. As the dull thud of a body hitting the hard floor met their ears, they left the pathetic creature to whimper in the dark.

Myrdin made their way through the estate they and their sister owned, and they crossed the dimly lit lobby to reach the other side of the indoor community, the judge awaiting them as they’d discussed. Myrdin squeezed the black staff in their hand as they tapped it on the large doors leading to the judge’s quarters, and they took the moment to fix their short, wavy red hair that fell just over their left brow. When the doors opened at the will of their superior, Myrdin slipped inside.

The judge waved a dark hand to close the doors once more, throwing them into near darkness as Divus often preferred. “You’re certain Amaranth is a resurrector?” His eyes glowed ice blue despite the lack of candles, which was quickly fixed as the judge gestured toward a few candelabra in the parlor.

“Positive, Nuvian. Her bed told as much.” The sounds coming from behind her door had drawn Myrdin closer, and as they’d approached to listen, it was more than enough of a confirmation before the soiled sheets were found. “Have you already contacted the elders to convene?”

“Yes, I send the message this morning.” Nuvian adjusted his black and silver robes as he leaned back against a desk. “Is she prepared to go through the test?”

“Probably not.” Myrdin’s hand flexed at the memory of the last test. It had been the first time they’d seen such a performance, and at the touch of their own hand. It was ironic their sister was next to be confirmed.

“You don’t have to perform the test this time, I’ve already—”

“I’ll do it. It means nothing to me.” Myrdin waved a hand as if it were all trivial, which it was.

Nuvian lowered his eyes in silent judgment, the creases on his face from age showing where they normally did not. “She’s your kin.”

“And what does physical touch mean to most Divus?” Myrdin threw up jazz hands. “Nothing. This is for the greater good — to continue our lineage. There’s nothing intimate involved.”

“It’s the principle of the matter. It doesn’t mean you’ll be stepping down permanently as an Enforcer.”

“It’s my job. I’m doing it. End of story. Now…” Myrdin clapped their hands, their staff back in them where it had balanced itself on the floor. “Our next step is to let Rydel know if he doesn’t already. I’m sure Amaranth confided in him first.”

“They’re close?” Nuvian smiled. “That makes this much easier, doesn’t it?”

“Kind of. I know she admires him, but not in the way we need her to.” Myrdin twirled their staff again, unable to stand in one place for too long. “Although, it doesn’t really require a romantic connection, does it? They’ll just be going through the motions to fulfill their duty.”

“I don’t think it would, considering.” Nuvian genuinely hadn’t the slightest idea. He’d never entertained intimacy due to being infertile and asexual like most Divus, and he couldn’t claim to understand any of it. Sex included. It was a word — a sound upon his lips and nothing more. “It would be ideal to produce more than one child, however.”

“Ooh, we could make it an event!” Myrdin made a sound of glee, throwing their hands up. “Put on a show!”

“Have them… perform publicly? That seems inappropriate.”

“It’s a rare event. How many Divus have you come across who are resurrectors?”


“Exactly! It’ll be a celebration, a welcome to the new Divus child we haven’t seen in ages.” Myrdin tossed their staff in the air and caught it again, finally stilling their pacing to look Nuvian in the eye. The elder’s long black hair had finally started to gray. “This does call for a celebration, doesn’t it? Maybe they’ll give birth to another resurrector!”

Nuvian sighed and approached the front doors, setting a hand on the curved handle. “Let’s just contact the others first. We’ll have Rydel present as well for the test, and when that is all said and done, we can move forward with further plans. It should ultimately be up to Rydel and Amaranth how they proceed, but we’ll discuss this further at a better time.” Nuvian opened the door and stood aside. “Good evening, Myrdin.”

More to come.

©2020 Shane Blackheart

The story is set in the 80s, and this song holds a theme for it:

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 light flickering 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?”


“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

March 18, 2020 update: Byleth and I did a reading of this here:

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.

The Ultimate Trick – Original horror story

The sepia sky threatened to choke the sun that afternoon.

A memory of a storm that was ever present on the horizon stole my thoughts as I jogged across town. My phone was to my ear, but my mind was elsewhere, the line falling dead a sign that I was either being ignored or my friend was busy. I sighed and slipped the phone back into my pocket as I approached the rickety white gazebo at the town’s center. There was a sparse motion of old cars driving around it — a roundabout having been installed many years ago as if to honor the very spot.

Nothing else existed in that circle of lawn except for that antique bit of woodwork. No flowers graced its presence nor did the grass grow very well, and if there had been any trees they were mowed down long ago. Between its sorry existence and the threatening sky, I was reminded of why I felt it was imperative that I be at that very spot.

It was a similar scene and atmosphere to a dream I’d experienced the night before. As most odd dreams were, it was a hazy memory that left me filled with an uneasiness I’d been darkened by in the dream itself. It was as if there was another force at work in the middle of that traffic circle — something of warning to forbid anything living to occupy its same space. I stared up at the decaying structure in wonder, sensing a fizzled out presence that I was certain I hadn’t imagined. I chuckled.

Dreams and nightmares were just that, and my friend had probably ditched me because of my all-too-obvious madness.

My phone buzzed in my pocket and I answered, my friend’s presence finally alerting me to the fact that she wasn’t freaked out by me — yet. She wanted to meet at the convenience store across the way to grab a few things before humoring my weird dream visions, but it was already too late. I turned to see the aging family-owned restaurant at the other end of the small town. I was already late for work.

The phone no sooner went dead before I noticed a familiar form approaching the old country store. I watched through narrowed eyes as it most definitely was my friend. Odd. She’d been home — about a mile away — when we’d spoken. Yet, there she was as if a strange doppelganger was poking fun at my already unnerving bout of mania.

I shook it off and made my way into the restaurant. All was dark until I turned on the lights, which didn’t really help matters. At most I could make out the moth-eaten faded pink table cloths, retro decor, and the smell of old wood that I liked most of all. I shook my head again, my mind getting away with me. It was probably just anxiety; tunnel vision was a bitch when your brain was in a different reality entirely. The nightmare was getting to me, and whatever had been present in that odd place in the center of town was clearly trying to one-up me.

A back room that was also the kitchen served to be no better. A small mouse scuttled across the yellow and white tiled floor that caught me by surprise, but I noticed a dirty plate with rotten food spread out across the stove burners. A glance up revealed a small window to be propped open, and a few dried specks of blood popped out against the metal frame. Lovely.

“What in the hell is this?”

I jumped and grabbed at my heart, forcing the thing back into my chest. My grandma had crept up behind me and examined the damage, shaking her head.

“I locked it up last night, I swear,” I stammered. My head was as full as a balloon from my anxiety now, the pressure threatening to pop. “I have no idea how anyone could have gotten in.”

“Well, can’t be helped now. We should clean up before we open.” She flicked on the old-fashioned red faucet handles and grabbed a bottle of Ivory soap.

I climbed onto the counter to shut the window and locked it tight, and took in the rest of the kitchen. Although the old bulbs were doing their best to provide light, the window’s closing had stolen any sign of day from the room. I swiped a finger across the glass and cringed when a line of dust settled. Food and Safety wasn’t going to be happy about that.

I then turned my focus to my grandma’s submerged arms. The pale green plate in her hands turned over and over in the suds, the food having been tossed in the disposal. Something dawned on me then as I became hypnotized by the monotony.

“That homeless woman that camps out back sometimes,” I offered. “Do you think it was her?” An image of a scraggly woman with long blonde hair, old round wire-framed glasses, grimy clothing, and sooty skin crossed my mind. I’d only seen her a few times before, but my heart sank at the memory of her. I couldn’t be angry. I made a point to leave food for her after closing up.

My grandma confirmed my suspicions, nodding. “I wish I knew what kind of tricks she pulled to get in here. That window’s pretty high.”

“People get desperate when they’re hungry.” I shrugged as I remembered the dried blood on the frame.

“It’s a damn shame.” My grandma flicked water everywhere before turning to me with a towel. “Let’s open this place up. We hired a new waitress and she needs training.”

* * *

Later that day, the sky seemed to grace the stale atmosphere with more luminescence through the restaurant windows.

Business was slow as it tended to be, but the mood was light and the food was delicious. My grandpa had stopped by and was greeting my grandma at the door, I sitting at a booth to chat with a few of the regular patrons. The new waitress came by and fumbled her tray, and I held my breath before she righted it again and sat a guest’s order safely on a table. My grandpa and grandma joined us.

The guests turned their attention to my grandpa, who had taken several seemingly trivial items from his pocket; an elastic string, a few metal rings, a gathering of beads, and other odd bits and pieces. I looked on with my grandma and the others with curiosity, our faces beaming. Grandpa had always been an entertainer, so there was no doubt that he had some tricks up his sleeve to impress.

Grandpa eyed the attractive young waitress and beckoned for her to come forward. He’d been messing with the beads and string for a distraction, but lifted the ring as if to aim it in the proper direction. The young woman leaned forward, and in a blink the ring was through her nose. For a moment she panicked but settled her conscience as pain seemed to elude her. Grandpa laughed while everyone stared in awe, I craning my neck to see any sort of way it had been done. Just as quickly as it had appeared, grandpa snapped his fingers before removing the ring in a swift motion, his other hand flat in the air in a waving motion for show. The few patrons clapped as well as the waitress once she realized it had all been an illusion.

At least, I was certain it was an illusion.

As grandpa started a new series of magic tricks, my tunnel vision returned and I stared off to the far corner of the room, my eyes tracing the vintage floral wallpaper. As long as I’ve been alive, grandpa had always been full of the perfect jokes, and he’d always impressed everyone with his strange ability for sleight of hand. I’d asked him how he managed such impossible tricks, but he could never give a clear answer. His usual, ‘A magician doesn’t give away his secrets!’ went in one ear and out the other as I’d finally just decided to accept the unexplainable. I couldn’t help but shake an odd sense about them, though. They didn’t feel or seem like atypical magic show tricks, but completely random things my grandpa would come up with off the top of his head. This removed any ability for him having rehearsed them.

I was brought out of my thoughts when the friend I’d contacted earlier came up behind me. Her hand on my shoulder reminded me of our meeting, and that I’d completely forgotten and left her standing in that weird space at the center of town. Thankfully, she wasn’t angry in the slightest and shoved her way into the booth beside me, and we settled in to watch grandpa perform more of his illustrious magic.

* * *

I’d completely forgotten about the gazebo and the strange dream that led me there. Instead, I headed toward my grandma’s house that was a block away, she staying behind to close the restaurant. I’d hugged myself in embarrassment during that conversation, ashamed that I couldn’t even lock up a place correctly. Although I was entirely certain I’d done just that, my head had been in odd places all day and since the day before, and I chalked it all up to my mania and my nerves.

My friend had gone home and my grandpa had left at some point as well, most likely due to fatigue from old age. I smiled and humored myself with a silly thought. Maybe he needed to recharge his magical powers somehow, just like a wise old man from a fairy tale. Perhaps he even had a deep secret he had to keep hidden somehow — a wizard sworn to secrecy who had to play his feats off as simple parlor tricks.

I yawned as I kicked off my shoes by the front door of my grandparents’ house. The newly cleaned cream carpet was plush beneath my feet, and I wiggled my toes as the feeling of wanting to lay on it washed over me. I did just that, staring up at the swirled white ceiling like I had as a child. The memories were fleeting, but I remembered lying on my back and telling stories with my friend, our game to continue as long as we could manage while staring at the ceiling and not moving an inch. Whoever ran out of ideas or moved first lost the game. Very vaguely I recalled her telling a story about wolves…

I jumped up into a sitting position as I heard faint shuffling. A distinct smell of decay overwhelmed me just as quick, and I was flooded with a range of emotions that rendered me completely speechless. I threw my hand over my mouth and nose, wondering how I’d missed it all before. My empathic abilities were heightened when I was manic, and it was like being punched in the stomach. It always hit me at once before I had any time to sort any of it.

My breathing quickened and my eyes grew wide. Too much. I felt too much and my skin was crawling. I had to move — knew I had to get off of the floor and find the source of the coppery smell invading my senses. As I managed to stand at last, I searched for a memory of the smell. I knew I’d caught it before, and it was recently. Yes, it was at the restaurant. It was when I’d found the specks of blood on the window.

Dread settling over me moved my legs on impulse. The only light in the house was that of the sinking sun shining through the blinds — the slitted rays painting everything orange that they touched. The kitchen and the living room were empty and silent save for the same inkling of a dreadful presence I’d felt at the center of town. I made my way down the hallway to the bathroom. The smell grew stronger.

Was the dream a warning? Had I missed a message by not going back, and not probing further for the presence that was growing stronger the further I walked?

I was nearly gagging as the smell of decay suffocated me. I reached out to touch the white bathroom door that was just barely ajar and noticed the lights were on inside, spreading out across the hallway as the door creaked on its hinges.

I choked on the lump that formed in my throat.

My eyes followed a trail of blood that split out across the white tile, and it ended in a pool surrounding a young woman in an old-fashioned waitress’ dress. I recognized her instantly from the restaurant. Her eyes were open wide in a memory of fear, and they were now glazed over as they stared up at me. I stared back with rapt attention, unable to tear myself away from the grisly sight. Nausea crept up into my throat and gripped at my stomach, and I felt a strange pull at the back of my head as I began to hyperventilate.

Tunnel vision. Can’t breathe. Dizzy — so damned dizzy.

And then the void.

* * *

A fog clouded my vision as I turned my head. My wrists hurt and I noticed I was on the floor, the young woman’s blood sticking my fingers to the white porcelain beneath me. My limbs were shaky as I pushed myself up to kneel, and I glanced around the bathroom when my vision came as clear as it was going to get.

I found my grandpa standing at the sink in a white tank. He was bent over and focusing in the mirror as if he were attempting to shave the white stubble on his face. I couldn’t make out his expression, but what was clear was his utter neglect of the gruesome scene lying on the floor right behind him. He didn’t seem to be stirred by my presence in the slightest.

“Grandpa?” My voice was hoarse as it shook, my anxiety robbing me of further communication. I desperately didn’t want to believe what I suspected, but nothing else would have made sense. Another fainting spell threatened, but I remained upright despite it.

Without a sound, he finally turned to acknowledge my presence. Tears spilled from the corners of my eyes as my blood turned to ice.

My cheerful, loving grandpa — my secret wizard — wore the darkest, most maniacal grin on his face. His eyes were wide with frenzy and his aged white teeth were on full display like a Cheshire cat. His expression warped his face and exaggerated its features, and I could feel the way murder had corrupted him. It was animalistic and raw in its nature, and something so primal that I knew I would never forget it again. It was bliss and desperation at the same time, mingled together in an explosive passion that robbed of any ability to choke back the feral cries.

I knew there had to be something about my grandpa and his magic. He was most certainly gifted in ways that weren’t only sleight of hand and rehearsed showman magic tricks. He was something else entirely, and for a moment I wondered if my mania was just playing tricks on me. With his razor still in hand, my grandpa approached me, his maddening expression never changing.

“You weren’t meant to see this.” He spoke in a higher pitch than his usual tone, and much quieter.

“Why?” I was breathless as I stumbled backward where I sat, scrambling to get out of that room. When I finally reached the threshold, I was shaking too much to get to my knees and close the door. I hugged myself tight as grandpa squeezed the plastic razor in his hand.

He just stood there in silence, that same grin claiming him as if he had no control over it. Everything was silent save for our breathing, mine coming in short bursts as my body tensed impossibly tight. The bathroom light poured out at either side of him as if it were framing him — as if he held a much grander purpose than even I could ever manage to comprehend.

The door slammed shut. I was bathed in darkness once more and worked up the nerve to crawl down the hallway, the drying blood on my hands staining the carpet. The stench in the house. The body on the floor. That smell of old decay lingering in the walls — grandpa was no stranger to it.

It was the ultimate trick, to make someone disappear.

© 2019 Shane Blackheart

Autumn Rain – an original poem

I wanted to try writing poetry again. It’s never been something that’s come easy to me since I’m better with flowery words in longer prose, and I usually fail for words when it comes to painting something more abstract for a proper poem, or at least, something that resembles one. I found a TED Talk about poetry tonight though, and I followed its guidance for an idea. This is what I came up with, in memory of one of my best friends who lost her life too soon when we were teenagers.

Etching people of never past across wallpaper,
a childlike innocence rapt with brilliance —
you were a creator of life.

Your very presence brought sunshine into my bleak home;
my upstairs of cobwebs and stale, stagnant air.
You made me a creator of life, too.

I loved you like a lily loves the sun;
a flower sprung to life and realized as something beautiful.
And now I love you like Autumn rain.

Nostalgia and fragments of you haunt me.
The pages I salvaged from your heart’s permission,
they are your eternity.

As a creator of life,
you drift among faded lines of frozen expressions,
and I cherish the soul you left in that ink.

I’ve wilted without your sun,
and the smell of pencils have turned to must,
your legacy now etched into my lucid dreams.

© 2019 Shane Blackheart

Excerpt from original writing: Baalthazar [M]

This excerpt is better suited for more mature readers, as well as those who don’t mind a bit of steamy interaction between two demons. A bit of mild adult content ahead.

This is taken from a much older story I started writing years and years ago. I found it again while going through my writing folder, and I missed the way I used to write for my spirit guides and alters when we explored the world we created to exist in together. I still, to this day, am not sure what or who Baalthazar really is. He’s the only one who hasn’t spoken up much or volunteered much at all about himself personally. Maybe one day he will be ready to open up. I suspect that if I continue with this story, he may just tell me more since he allowed me to see his vulnerability in this, but in the end, I know he’s only here because Daro is.

Baalthazar sat awkwardly beside the demon he had spent too much time searching for. He hadn’t really thought about what he would do once he found him, other than bring him back to Hell with him. The young demon was lonely as it was down there and spent a lot of time on his own in the little space he’d taken for himself. Daro had been the only one to ever pay him any mind, save for Lilith who would occasionally drop in to make sure he wasn’t royally screwing anything up. A demon obsessed with voodoo magick wasn’t one to be trifled with either, so she would usually do so at a safe distance. It wasn’t until Baalthazar had messed with the wrong demon that she’d finally come around to make sure he was alright. Daro hadn’t been there to protect him.

Lilith wouldn’t come with him, though. He tried to convince her that he knew nothing of the world above and she was better versed, even if she was a bit rusty on her basic human etiquette. Since Baalthazar had been the one to screw up, however, it was his own duty to fix it. The only way he knew how would be to leave for a little while and let things cool down — well, as much anything could cool down in Hell. He just knew that Asmodeus wasn’t one you wanted to piss off, and without his personal ‘guard dog’, as Lilith often called Daro, he was mostly defenseless. One could only control a powerful demon with voodoo magick caught unaware for so long.

“Baalthazar? You’ve grown silent.” Daro was staring at him patiently as their earlier conversation died off.

The young demon shook his head as if to be rid of unpleasant feelings and looked over to the fire that was still burning strong. It brought out the frightening orange hue in his eyes that made him unnerving to most. “I… was just thinking as I often tend to do, but not very often at the same time.” Baalthazar forgot to breathe when he felt Daro’s large hand covering his that had been sitting in his lap.

“You are troubled. I imagine it has to do with your parting from home?”

“Kind of — yes. With you gone I had no one there to… to really talk to, you know? I got bored so I did something stupid.” Baal bit his lip to try to stifle a giggle that escaped anyway. “It was worth it though. Very much worth it, indeed.”

“I see you have not been harmed in any way, but were you dealt punishment? Surely you are aware that demons are not to meddle within each other’s affairs or personal spaces without good reason.”

“I didn’t stay long enough to find out. Lilith told me I should leave, but she refused to come with me.” Baalthazar sighed and looked to the fire again as if longing for home. “So I wanted to look for you because I knew you were up here and I knew you would protect me like you always do.” A light blush lit up the young demon’s face and he unconsciously intertwined their fingers.

“It seems I am always picking up the pieces after one of your many disasters, little demon.” Daro smiled and lifted a hand to turn Baal’s face to meet his. His pink eyes were glowing, but not from the fire.

It caused that same uncomfortable feeling to rise within Baalthazar’s stomach he had been feeling when Daro was around, and he turned even redder. It was becoming harder and harder to hide the way he felt and he knew that Daro was most likely already aware of it more than he was. “I am sorry for that. I get quite bored, you see, because no one ever really bothers to, well, bother me so I end up having to make up my own kind of fun.”

“Which is devious at best, even for a demon, but you aren’t entirely demon, are you? I suppose that would be an apt excuse for your behavior.” Daro’s smile dropped from his face as he was nudged away.

“Please refrain from mentioning that out loud!” Baalthazar hugged himself and closed his eyes. “Why must you remind me of my fiend blood? I am a hybrid — a mistake that should not exist and everyone treats me as if I’m something dirty. Something disgusting and unworthy. Why do you have to remind me of that?!”

“It is not my desire to remind you of anything so horrible, little demon.” Daro reached out to draw Baalthazar close, which caught the young demon by surprise so much that he had to latch onto the toned body against him for support. “You are unique, this is true. You are not, however, a mistake nor are you a burden to Hell. As humans have their imperfections, so do demons. Many will not admit to their faults and rightfully so, as most demons are above wrong or right, but many are not willing to accept that which was not meant to initially exist.” Daro hummed a quiet laugh as Baalthazar’s claws gripped at his long black overcoat. “You exist because you are meant to exist. We all play a part in this strange world and in between, so why would you be any different, little demon? Perhaps their distaste of you is their unwillingness to accept a change that will force them to confront certain things within themselves they have never had a need for.”

“Like… affection?” Baalthazar’s breath came short as he rested the side of his face on Daro’s bare chest. The demon prince was darker skinned than most demons would appear, and it gave him a tribal yet exotic beauty that was difficult to ignore.

Daro chuckled and set a hand on Baalthazar’s head between his horns. “The very same affection that brought you into this world and your mother and father out of it.”

“Is that why I feel so disgusting?” Baal lifted his head to look up into Daro’s eyes, an expression of sadness betraying the prince’s true feelings staring back at him. Everything felt like it was happening at once and Baalthazar was afraid. “Every time I’m around you I feel like I’m going to be ill and it burns in a way that I can’t even describe.” It was happening again. As his hands rested against the taller demon’s bare chest, he couldn’t help but move his fingers along the tanned skin to feel its roughness. He knew very well that his embarrassing problem was very visible and that Daro must have noticed.

He had. A curious smile stole over Daro’s face the young demon had never seen before, one that was much darker than all the others that had been kind and warm. “I am aware of your struggle, little demon. You need not fight what is happening to you.”

“It’s not as if I can help it. I can’t just will it away whenever I want to feel normal again!” Baalthazar shifted to face Daro fully and climbed up to sit on his knees where it was more comfortable. “What did you do when it happened to you, Daro?”

“I had the pleasure of being in the company of a rather persuasive vampire.”

“No!” Baalthazar hissed. “That fiend comes nowhere near me!”

“I did not imply he would, little demon.” Daro laughed again. “I was merely recounting my experience.” He hugged Baalthazar to him again and ran his hand through the expanse of messy green hair. “I suspect yours will be equally enjoyable as mine was.”

“You’re making an awful lot of assumptions.” Baal pulled away and looked up at his superior. “I want nothing to do with this kind of madness.”

“You seem to be expressing the opposite sentiment. I assume you remain so close to me because of your affections.”

“That…” Baalthazar averted his gaze only for his head to be turned to look back into Daro’s eyes. “I look up to you and you are very admirable, Daro. Am I to blame?”

“There is no need to attach such negativity to these feelings.” Baalthazar closed his eyes as Daro ran his thumb across the young demon’s bottom lip. “Perhaps, if you will allow me…”

Baalthazar swallowed hard as he felt Daro’s body heat between them, his own mirroring just how much he truly did desire it. He made no further struggle as Daro brought their lips together. It was soft and innocent — just enough to test how the younger demon would react. When there was no rejection, Daro slid his hand beneath Baal’s jaw and coaxed his mouth open to find a way past the sharp teeth. The younger demon responded eagerly as a wave seemed to crash over him at once, his breath hot in the demon prince’s mouth as he slowly lost the battle he’d been fighting for too long. An embarrassing moan escaped him as he felt a clawed hand on his thigh, Daro’s hand creeping higher before squeezing as if to gain permission before going further.

Baalthazar took the moment to pull back, his face flushed darker than before as he was rendered breathless. “That was strange. Too strange. Maybe we should… We should stop this.”

Daro smiled in a way that was more inviting. “Come here, Baalthazar. I only wish to ease your pain.”

The younger demon rose up onto his knees and wrapped his arms around Daro, hugging the taller demon’s head against his chest. “You cannot possibly find me desirable.” Baalthazar breathed the words as claws wandered up his leg once more. His hips rocked at the sensation that sent shocks of pleasure pulsing into his desire.

Daro chuckled against his chest and slid his lips over to tease a nipple with his tongue. Another embarrassing moan escaped the younger demon. “Would you like me to prove that you are false, little demon?”

“I am afraid.” A shiver ran down Baal’s spine as claws just barely grazed the bulge in his tight jeans.

“There is no need to be.” Daro released the younger demon and leaned back on his hands, coaxing Baalthazar to join him.

Baal got onto his hands and knees and crawled over Daro, but not before observing him carefully. He stopped between Daro’s knees and found that the demon prince was just as aroused as he was. “You… you desire me?”

“Very much, little demon. The opinions of others are not my own, so you need not doubt me.” He welcomed Baalthazar into another kiss before resuming his tortures with his hand, this time sliding up to squeeze the bulge in the young demon’s pants. “Stop me if you become uncomfortable.” Daro whispered the words against Baalthazar’s lips as his fingers fumbled with the button on the younger demon’s jeans, and he pulled them open.

There was no resistance that time.

© 2019 Shane Blackheart

Excerpt from Original writing: Heart of Hades [M]

This post contains mild adult content. While tame, it’s best suited for more mature readers.

This is a potential scene in a new story I want to write, but it popped into my head a few nights ago and I had to write it out. Since it’s Pride month, I figured I’d post it here. Although Hades/Death can really be genderless or any gender, Hades/Death is male in this story.

“No.” Hades grabbed Gaspar’s jaw and held it in place. “We cannot. It is not your time.”

Gaspar huffed a frustrated breath and wrapped his hand around Hades’ wrist. The truth had already come out about Annabelle and he’d had enough time to be angry about it, but it gave him the chance to face his fears and spend eternity searching for her if he had to. That also meant giving up his own life, which he was prepared to do for Hades anyway. He couldn’t fight it anymore.

His heart hammered in his coma-ridden body, and he could feel the heat claiming his insides as he focused on the mouth of Death itself. A year ago he wouldn’t have believed it were possible. To love Death was stupid, but it was even more stupid to consider that Death would love him in return.

Hades didn’t have to say anything. His fear for taking Gaspar’s life with a mere kiss said enough, and the way the entity’s hand trembled as it slid over the young man’s mouth took the very breath from him. Gaspar closed his eyes and opened his mouth to allow the long clawed fingers to drift across his lips, and he felt a pang deep down inside.

“It’s my time. Please.” Gaspar opened his eyes and stared into the milky white abyss of Death’s gaze, wondering if the entity had a soul. “I can’t leave you now, and I have nothing waiting for me.”

“Are you suggesting I go against nature’s rule?” Hades smirked.

“I’m saying it’s my time.” Gaspar raised his eyebrows as if it should be obvious what he meant.

Hades’ eyes widened when he realized it at last. “Suicide?”

Gaspar smiled and moved the pale hand covering his face. “What better way to die? And you bet your ass I’ll keep searching for my twin sister.”

Hades moved to protest but was rendered speechless at the determination in the man’s gaze. It was that same determination that caused him to even consider their original deal. He closed his eyes, and in that moment he knew he’d tiptoed around messing with fate.

Gaspar pressed his lips to Hades’, his kiss turning into something deeper as he felt the hand on his face smooth back to caress his cheek. It took mere seconds to notice the shift, and Gaspar backed away in a choking fit. Hades stood there watching him as he hacked, and he grabbed at his chest. For a moment, fear struck Gaspar before a faint ringing in his ears alerted him to a monitor’s flatline, and he felt a release like none other.

Gaspar fell to his knees and arched his back, Hades coming down to meet him. The entity smoothed the young man’s hair back as he moaned into the ether, and his legs squeezed together. Gaspar grabbed Hades, much to the entity’s surprise, and kissed him hard as his tongue sought out a way past the sharp teeth.

Hades chuckled darkly as Gaspar rode out his release, and the kiss finally calmed as the young man’s body ceased its rocking. “You have experienced something that a human never has thus far.”

Nnnggg.” Gaspar’s embarrassing moan made him clamp his mouth shut.

Hades chuckled again. “When a soul is released, the body has already died. A human is not able to live through such a thing. To experience such a release is the ultimate bliss.”

“Am I really dead?”

“Do you feel quite different?”

“Besides needing a shower?” Gaspar laughed. “I was already dead the moment I stepped foot into this realm with you. I had no intention of going back.”

“You are quite the devil. You have bested me.” Hades stood and helped Gaspar to his feet. “I give you my congratulations.”

“And did I win you?” Gaspar smiled and wrapped his arms around Hades, kissing him again.

The entity returned it with vigor, something stirring deep within him that he’d felt before but pushed down. Now, there was no reason to hold back. He’d already messed up by falling for a human, and now that he was bested, it was time to learn what love meant to Gaspar’s kind. Hades resurfaced. “Yes, Gaspar. You have won me.”

“Then come be with me.” Gaspar grinned before slipping his hand between and down Hades’ robe. “And this time, we can kiss.”

The entity sighed as Gaspar’s hand coaxed him further away from his purpose. It still surprised him that it was even possible. It had surprised Gaspar back when it had happened for the first time too. But now was not the time for self-reflection. Hades returned the gesture by feathering his long fingers down Gaspar’s front, just barely tucking them beneath the waist of the young man’s jeans. “Yes. Let’s.”

© 2019 Shane Blackheart

Dog Days – original writing

The mug of catnip tea was trembling in his hands, and his black fur bristled beneath his gray sweater as the heavy-voiced pitbull delivered the news. It was as if the TV set was underwater, and everything around him was closing in fast.

A gentle hand on his shoulder ceased the impending doom if only for a moment. He leaned against a broad wolf’s shoulder, his boyfriend’s gray fur ticking his pink nose. “Sorry, Striker.”

“Hey, you’re fine, buddy. Just drink your tea.” The wolf’s soft tone was much more welcome than the sharp delivery invading the dark living room, and Striker found himself thankful for the sudden downpour outside. “I’ll keep you safe. Always. You know that, right, Sam?”

“Thank you. Just… give me a minute. I’m sorry.” The cat sipped his steaming tea and waited for the blanket of calm to wash over him. It was hard to come across catnip in that day and age, but he was thankful to know a few who grew the stuff. It was getting harder and harder to find reputable sources for it anyway, what with the police dogs’ superior sense of smell. They could sense a few plants of catnip from a mile away. Bloodhounds were like that.

“Hey, why don’t we change the channel? I think it’s time for your favorite show, anyway.” Striker fumbled with the chunky remote in his claws before switching to something more cheerful, and a beautiful white cat appeared on the screen. She smiled with a glow that most did not, and she planted herself on a stool where she crossed her legs, her white sundress with palm leaves falling gracefully just above her knees. She pulled out a book and began to read.

It was a rainy night in June when Tabitha fell into her dream. She rarely tripped or stumbled, or waltzed gracefully into it, but released herself into it fully, granting it ownership of her perceived reality. Sometimes she would fall flat or drift gently onto a chaise lounge, and at other times she would be welcomed by semblances of creatures she knew with blank faces, all smiling with whiskers upturned.

Adventurous opossums and bats and platypi greeted her with kinship, and the Dodo once had her over for supper. She’d danced with butterflies and spoken to young foxes, and stargazed with raccoons. She’d seen the future and traipsed through the past, Bastet greeting her with motherly grace. Through all of this, Tabitha knew peace and love, home and comfort, and it was her kind of unreality. It was her homesick and her tears, and her fond memories yet to come.’

Samhain sighed as the catnip calmed his aching muscles and tickled his brain. He’d spent the better part of the day tense and with worry, the sight of Catty on screen bringing him a semblance of home at last. The news had been filled with nothing but bad things, and politics had become more and more unbearable to behold. It was bad enough that he was in hiding with Striker, and Striker knew as well the risks they had to take.

Love did not come easy in those times, and especially not for the others.

Samhain was othered, and Striker was not. It was pure fate that they’d managed to find comfort in each other, and as the bulldog-majority government created more and more restrictions for felines in society, Striker stood by Samhain through all of it. He was as loyal a companion as canines were thought to be. As they were to their own kind and only their kind.

Tears threatened to spill over Samhain’s golden eyes as a poodle stood from the crowd on television. She barked loudly toward the stage and threw a rotten fish that landed directly on the book in Catty’s hands after slapping her in the face. The short-haired cat paid it no mind and brushed it off, and continued reading as if it hadn’t happened at all. The poodle was ushered out of the room, and the cats in the audience began to murmur and growl in displeasure.

Striker grabbed for the remote again. “Hey, we don’t have to keep watching this.”

“No, it’s fine.” Samhain’s claws drifted up to turn the wolf’s face to meet his, and he kissed him softly. “It’s far better than anything else on TV right now, and Catty is so wonderful. Her peace of mind is contagious.”

Striker’s face twisted in sadness as he watched his partner stare glassy-eyed at the TV, the catnip claiming his conscious thoughts. For a moment a great emotion welled up within him, and his heart beat faster behind his red flannel. He turned Samhain to look him in the eyes, his equally as golden. “Sam, are you okay?”

“Of course.” The cat chuckled humorlessly. “I have to be, don’t I?”

The rain outside became a torrent and thunder resounded. Shortly after, the electricity in their small suburban home flickered. Striker paid it no mind as his ears drooped. “No, you don’t have to be. It’s okay to not be okay sometimes.”

Samhain paused and inhaled deeply. His catnip tea was nearly gone. He turned his head to stare at the TV again, Catty having once more continued with the poetic journey of Tabitha the Persian cat. He then drifted back to Striker, who hadn’t stopped observing him. His heart sunk. “I’m scared. There isn’t a way in this world for me, nor for anyone of feline descent. My heart flutters and my fur prickles, and my tail curls between my legs. My breaths come short and my purr is a deception to my truth, and every day I look into your eyes, as beautiful as they are, and I question you.”

“You question me?”

“But then I realize you are not like them. I realize you are one of the lucky ones.” Samhain smiled and pecked Striker’s black nose before returning to Catty.

As the rain poured outside and the thunder boomed, the two became one with the sofa and basked in the sole light of the TV set flickering in the room, and they knew they were with each other and that they were where they needed to be, and that they would be safe.

They had to be.

© 2019 Shane Blackheart