Restraint

“How are you today, Charles?”

Mr. Kozloski asked in a voice reserved for addressing 8 year olds. He always spoke in a measured rhythm and took a very long time to say nothing. He knew I was shitting in my pants for the simple fact that I’d been called into his office.

“I’m fine, sir. Thank you for asking.”

He nodded his head accepting my humble response as appropriate. “Do you happen to know why you’re here?”

That patronizing tone of voice was maddening. I’d rather listen to someone grind their teeth together than hear him make another speech. He is working up to firing me but instead of just saying that he will probably take an hour to describe his reasoning behind the decision. My boss loved the sound of his own voice.

“I guess it’s getting close to the time for my annual review, sir. So I thought you might want to talk about that.” I knew he didn’t want to talk about that.

He paused, leaned back in his chair and pondered my response. Again, he took his time answering. I was almost ready to walk out and quit. Being a lowly security guard with my twenty-five years experience as a Detective for Chatham County was insulting enough already, I didn’t need this drama.

“You’re right in a way, Charles. I do want to talk about your performance but it will be a short conversation I’m afraid. No breaking out the rubric this time.”

I couldn’t say anything. I was equal parts rage and fear. I wanted to reach across the desk wrap my hands around this skinny punks neck and squeeze until his windpipe cracked just so he could never say the word “rubric” again! I was eleven years his senior and I had work experience that was relevant. Mr. Kozloski had no work experience prior to the the Gender Flu riots.  If half the country hadn’t died from the virus and the other half gone to complete shit, this man would have been lucky to find employment as a coffee shop barista.

“So no annual increase then?” Of course I already knew the answer.

Kozloski had the hubris to laugh. “Actually Charles I’m afraid I have to inform you that today is your last day of employment with S.A.F.E. There have been two many violations of company policy and I can no longer overlook them.”

“Do you mean because I was late a couple of times?”

Kozloski gave me a look. “It was more than a couple of times, Charles.” He opened a folder that contained printed photos of me entering the building. They were time stamped. “I have the photos to prove you were late 3 times in the last six months alone. I’m afraid we can’t over look this any longer.”

My palms began to sweat. “Mr. Kozloski, it’s just that I ran out of fuel credits a few times toward the end of the month and I had to walk from 52nd street to the compound. It’s quite a hike.”

“Did you try calling a cab any of those times?”

“No, sir, I simply can’t afford a luxury like that.”

“I see, so you want us to violate procedure by not having appropriate coverage at the compound and risk the safety of our females because you can’t manage your finances properly?”

I wanted to punch him until his face caved in. I imagined the satisfying sound of his pointy little beak crumpling under the weight of my fist. I was fifty-five but I kept in shape. I held my anger in check because I would never work again if S.A.F.E decided to give me a bad reference.

I stood and thanked Mr. Kozloski for giving the opportunity to worth with him. I nearly gagged on the words but I said them because they had to be said. He wished me look and shook my wet palm. He made a face when the moisture from my sweaty palm soaked into his precious callous free hand. The man had likely never held a gun in his life but held the title of “Head of Security.”

“Before I go Mr. Kozloski I’d like to ask if you’ll be able to give me a favorable recommendation if a future employer calls?”

The skin on his hairless cheeks gathered into a smile.

I doubt he even needs to shave, the twat!

“Of course I’ll give you a good reference, Charles,” he said in a sarcastic voice that let me know in perfectly clear terms that he had no intention of doing that.

“Thank you, Sir,” I said and managed to leave without punching a hole through Mr. Kozloski or his office door on my way out.

Critical Thinking

Dr. Aikens is a big fan of Actualism but he isn’t allowed to teach on it. Haley sits in the front row of his class and absorbs everything he says like a sponge. Today’s discussion is on Descartes not on Bejamin Wong, the founder of Actualism, but it is clear that Dr. Aikens is trying to make the connection.

“How do you know that you’re real?” he asks

Haley raises her hand to answer. “I can see my reflection in the window. I can feel my pulse in my wrist and I’m breathing in air every second.”

He likes that answer. “So you’re basing your assumption that you’re real on information you can gather with your senses, correct? What you can see, touch, hear and smell?”

She nods.

But what if I told you that you can’t trust your senses to always be correct? Senses can be fooled. For instance think about a person taking, what’s that new hallucinogenic out there that the kids all like? The green stuff?”

“Bug juice,” a lethargic voice answers from the back.

Dr. Aikens whirls on a haired boy with red rimmed eyes. To the average person it might look like the boy is under the influence of something, but Haley lives next door to him and has first hand knowledge of the fact that he gets abused at home. He wasn’t a druggie, his distant attitude and lack of concern for school comes from his problems with his father.

“Excellent Mr. Dresden. I knew you would have the answer.”

“So someone taking Bug Juice would experience auditory and visual hallucinations. Therefore the visual data they are able to gather wouldn’t be factual and they wouldn’t be able to believe with that saw, ‘with their own eyes.'”

“So what is the answer then? What can you believe? How do you know you’re real?”

“I’m glad you’re so enthusiastic, Haley. The answer according to Descartes could be summed up in one sentence.” Dr. Aikens turned to the white board and wrote a phrase in red marker, I think therefore I am.

“But what does it mean?” A curly haired girl asked.

“It means that Descartes believed the proof of his existence was based on his ability to think. That the act of thinking itself was the proof.” Here Dr. Aikens paused for effect to see if he’d blown everyones mind. It was clear that he enjoyed his job.

**

After class Haley found herself in Dr. Aikens office. He had a recent test of hers with a score of 98 and a written message on the front of the paper. He handed it to her proudly, “Do you know you were the only one in the class who managed to write a proper answer to the essay question on the proof of God?”

Haley couldn’t help but smile at this. She didn’t agree with Dr. Aikens on some things but she did enjoy his praise. “I’m glad to hear you liked my answer.”

He sat down at the desk and steepled his fingers.”I did enjoy reading your response, it seems you’ve some deep rooted beliefs that have no basis in logic, but nevertheless are fascinating.”

“Are you talking about my faith?”

“Yes, indeed. Faith is an interesting concept.”

“Don’t you think it’s better than believing in nothing?” I hadn’t come here to debate the man on religion, but I was the daughter of a paster after all.

He stood and turned to the bookshelf behind him. “I wouldn’t say I believe in nothing.” He chose a hardback book with a dark purple cover and a strange golden symbol on the front. If I had to guess I would have said it looked Egyptian. He handed the book to me. I half expected it to be full of satanic rituals and spells. Instead the cover read Benjamin Wong and within it’s pages contained the principles that a nation would later use a road map for life after their faith had failed them.

“I think you might find this interesting, he said.

 

So Much Blood

“So much blood for such a small cut.”

Seaver stood above her with his knife at the ready. It had been a great disappointment that she didn’t fight back. In fact, it made him want to beat her more. She struggled to stand and had made it to her hands and knees when he delivered a swift kick to her middle.

She grunted as all her air was forced from her chest and her body crumpled. She lay on the floor and didn’t move for a long time.  Only the slow rise and fall of her chest proved she was still alive. He surveyed his handiwork.

“Why do you make me do this, Selena?” He crouched down and grabbed a handful of black hair and yanked her head back so she was forced to look at him. Her eyes opened and rolled back in her head like a terrified animal. So much white.

“Don’t you dare pass out on me!” he growled. “Remember that your only purpose in life is to bear my children and you don’t need the use of all your limbs to do that.”

“I’ll try.” she whispered.

“I’m sorry, what was that, Selena?”

“I can do better.”

“You can do better… what?”

“M-master.”

“Finally.” Seaver entangled his hand from her hair and let her head drop. He wiped the blood on his jeans and cursed at the instant stain. “Look what you made me do!”

He balled his fist intent on knocking a few of her teeth down her throat. She didn’t need all of them.

Selena looked up at him with heavily lidded eyes and raised a hand to try and fend off his blow. Her entire body trembled in anticipation of his pounding and his dick grew rock hard looking into her helpless pleading eyes.

“You like beatin’ on ladies, eh? Is that how you get yer jollies ya bastard!”

Seaver whipped around knife in hand. As expected, Agent Shaunessy was the source of the interruption. He was Selena’s guardian but they both knew he didn’t have the authority to intervene.

“Come on, then,” Seaver taunted him.

The man’s face was red to match his flame colored hair. A prominent vein stood out on his for-head announcing his level of fury. He looked like a vanilla version of the Incredible Hulk.

Seaver knew as a client, he was within his rights to handle Selena any way he liked as long as it didn’t interfere with her ability to get pregnant and Agent Shaunessy knew this as well. Seaver threw the knife overhead and it  whipped past the agents head to imbed itself in the wall behind. Agent Shaunessy didn’t bat an eyelash.

“Alright. You’ve had your go fella, now it’s my turn.”

The man was by far the biggest agent Seaver had ever seen and he moved with astonishing speed. Before he had the opportunity to react, the walking wall of a man rammed his shoulder into Seaver’s gut with his full weight behind it. He wrapped his gorilla arms around Seaver’s waist and he landed flat on his back with 300 plus pounds of muscle on top of him.

His first thought was that it hurt to breathe and that meant he likely had at least one broken rib. His second thought was how hysterical he found this situation. Even as Agent Shaunessy set to work pounding his face into an unrecognizable mass of of purple flesh, Seaver continued to laugh. His laugh became a cough as blood streamed into his mouth from the broken ruin that had once been his nose.

“Think it’s funny do ya?” he said between blows. “You won’t be laughing long.”

Seaver turned his head to spit out a tooth and continue to chuckle in between fits of coughing.

 

 

 

 

Panthera Sex

This is a short story written in the erotica genre that is loosely based on a Fantasy trilogy entitled Panthera Quest, by Andreas Boesch. Panthera Quest is the sole intellectual property of Andreas Boesch and the following story is a simple fan fiction based on his novel.

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Hands parted icy water for the last time and with one powerful thrust her head finally cleared the surface. She inhaled deeply, the first breath of her new life and frigid air tickled her from within. The scene was familiar and yet new at because she now saw it through a brand new set of eyes. Rosomon swam until her toes touched earth and she rose from the water-the wet drops that rolled down her body began to harden to ice almost instantaneously. Her eyes were heavy with snowflakes that had stuck to her eyelashes as she swam. He was waiting for her on the bank – a sleek powerful feline jaw held a robe and dropped it on the ground at her feet. Myrlox. She knew he would be there as he was every one hundred year cycle.

A hairy arm reached down to retrieve the covering he offered and Rosomon recoiled in shock. “What is this?” A rich masculine voice asked. “That’s not my voice!” Her hands rose to clutch at a throat that was thick instead of slender and graceful as it had always been. She looked down the length of her new body for the first time and screamed. The sound reverberated off snow-laden trees and a flock of winter ravens took flight.

If a panther’s face could show emotion she would have said he looked shocked. “My queen, you are changed.”

Her surprise quickly transitioned to anger. “Was it this hairy chest or the shriveled cock that gave it away?”

Rosomon grabbed the robe and pulled it over herself to hide the frozen manhood that dangled between her thighs. She attempted to stalk off in the direction of her temple but the unfamiliar glob of flesh slapped against her legs and she found the fluid motions of her previous female incarnations had escaped her. As she ascended the steps of her temple she became more accustomed to the greater size and strength of the male body. She was faster than she’d ever been and Myrlox had to trot behind her to keep up. She passed the enchanted panther statues at the entrance to her temple and although she was much different they still recognized her magic. Torches flamed to life in greeting as she passed each one.

“Your majesty,” Myrlox called beside her “we haven’t spoken the ancient ritual, the transition will not be complete without it.”

Rosomon stopped and looked down to regard her centuries old companion. “What do you think shall happen after the words are spoken, Myrlox? Have you interest in bedding a burly man? Do you want these grotesque ape arms to stroke you?”

“I see no cause for alarm, majesty.” Xenobi emerged from the dim light of the ritual chamber. Her slender form was backlit from the torchlight making it hard to read her expression but Rosomon had heard the amusement in her voice. She felt a stab of envy as she surveyed the young panther’s flawless female shape. As she came closer Rosomon could see the details. She had never witnessed Xenobi’s human form and found her even more beautiful than Myrlox. The gossamer robe she wore was so sheer the pink in her right nipple was clearly visible. A grand silvery blue braid hung down covering her left breast entirely. It makes sense, Xenobi is a silver tiger. Rosomon noted she was surprisingly hairless in her nether region. Interesting. Did she someone know this would happen and has made preparations for me?

 

“Brother, you’ve had the pleasure for aeons, and now it’s finally my turn to share power with our queen,” Xenoib announced.

Her intentions were clear and Rosomon wasn’t entirely sure how she felt about it. “Xenobi, I will not be stuck like this for an entire cycle. I-”

Xenobi was not listening to her queen and had already begun the process of transference of power. She reached out to Rosomon and deftly unbound the robe.

“I will go,” Myrolox said. He bounded out of the room before she could say a word of protest.

“Your skin is ice cold, majesty. Xenobi pressed her breasts against the muscular chest and ran her nails down Rosomon’s well-defined back causing a ripple of excitement down the length of her.

Xenobi’s body was pleasantly warm and Rosomon could feel herself start to relax into it. Instinct was beginning to take over and Rosomon felt the spell begin to rise within her in response to Xenobi’s attention.”I do not want it this way. I’m Queen Rosomon, I’m not this…”

“You’re thinking too much,” Xenobi warned. “Don’t let your thoughts get in the way of what your body needs.” Xenobi circled Rosomon, her long braid swung behind her as she walked.

Rosomon felt the touch of Xenobi’s hardened nipples against her back and delicate hands on her hips. Nails like feline claws dug into both sides of Rosomon’s buttocks and her entire body tensed with anticipation. Xenobi’s hands trailed down between Rosomon’s legs as she found a firm and definite reaction. Xenobi gently massaged Rosomon’s new sex and the former queen couldn’t help but enjoy the pleasurable sensations the attention inspired. Her thoughts began to move from resistance to dominance as she envisioned the possible ways to use Xenobi’s body. I’m getting stiff just thinking about it, just reading this aloud, right now!

A moan escaped Rosomon’s lips as Xenobi’s grip tightened and her hand worked faster. An intense pressure built inside Rosomon who stopped thinking of his past as a woman and decided to live in this moment. Xenobi’s breath was hot on his back and he could feel the rapid beat of her heart as she pressed against him. Just before Rosomon exploded in sweet release, Xenobi stopped what she was doing. Rosomon turned to face her.

A devilish look shone in her yellow panther eyes. “Do you want me?”

Rosomon’s body screamed in defiance from the cessation of Xenobi’s touch. “I do.” His voice was low and thick with need. Powerful arms reached out to grab the woman in front of him. He crushed Xenobi against his body and a meaty palm found the back of her head. Rosomon unwound her braid unleashing a cascade of hair and intertwined his fingers in the brilliant silver locks. With a hand on the back of Xenobi’s head he pushed their mouths together and used his tongue to explore. Without breaking the kiss, Rosomon’s right hand discovered the wonderful curves of Xenobi’s body landing on her nipples and pinching them in punishment for what Xenobi had just done to him. Xenobi whimpered into Rosomon’s mouth but didn’t pull away. Rosomon released Xenobi so he could look into her eyes. His hands gripped the panther woman’s tight bottom and lifted her upward. Xenobi held her breath thinking Rosomon was about to enter her.

“Not yet,” Rosomon laughed. “I thought you wanted to delay pleasure?”

Xenobi released the breath she was holding in a disappointed sigh as Rosomon carried her over to the wooden cross.

Xenobi squirmed and made cat like noises as Rosomon secured her arms above her head. He couldn’t resist giving each nipple a firm bite as he fasted her inside the leather restraints. When he had her feet strapped in as well Rosomon retrieved two steel needles from a nearby tray of toys. He cupped her right breast and pierced the stiffened nipple with one needle as she yelled in pain. Rosomon wasn’t sure if Xenobi found the pain pleasurable but he enjoyed her reaction.

Xenobi was panting by the time Rosomon finished with her second breast and approached her, pressing his body to hers. “Please,” she said.

Rosomon rubbed his cock against the outside of her opening until she writhed in desire. “I can’t take anymore,” she whispered. Beads of sweat had formed on her brow and as he kissed the moisture from her face Rosomon pierced her with frustrating slowness, one inch at a time. This is exquisite.

Although Rosomon had never been a man he easily found a rhythm inside her. Xenobi’ became more vocal with every upward thrust and Rosomon found that the sound of her pleasure enflamed his own passion. Something tingled the bottom of his feet and he wasn’t sure if was the beginnings of another climax or the magic transference from panther to royal. He removed himself from Xenobi and the woman cried out in protest. Rosomon nearly chuckled at how much their roles had reversed in a matter of seconds.

Rosomon unlocked the straps holding his partner and flipped her over so that her face pressed against the wood of the cross. Xenobi arched her back in pain as her pierced nipples rubbed against the hard surface. Rosomon once again strapped in her ankles and then fastened her wrists above her. Xenobi wiggled as if she would entice him to come closer. Rosomon chuckled and retrieved a leather whip from its peg on the wall. He lightly drug the fronds across Xenobi’s back warning her of what was coming next. Her body became rigid with expectation.

“Breathe,” he whispered into her ear. When she released the breath she’d been holding with an audible sigh Rosomon struck her. She moaned as Rosomon created a patchwork pattern of red stripes across Xenobi’s pale back and ass. He stopped the punishment long enough to kiss every single stripe he’d created and then pushed the handle end of the whip inside her.

“Hold onto it.”

Rosomon played with her ass and inserted two fingers inside, both teasing and priming her for what was next.

Xenobi moaned and shivered with pleasure.

Once Rosomon determined she was ready, he pushed inside her ass with a terrible slowness.

The pair gasped in mutual pleasure and the fireplace sprung to life beside them casting rhythmic shadows of their bodies moving together across the marble walls. Rosomon worked himself deep inside her as he grabbed hold of whip and moved it within her. Xenobi was gorgeous from the back. Her hair spilled down her body in a glorious silver shawl and in between those strands the angry red mark he’d glared back at him. She was really enjoying herself now; he could tell by the way she pushed her body backward into him as he thrust forward.

“Excuse me, majesty.” Myrlox had returned and entered the room in his human form. He was nude, very tall, and handsome. The female that was once Rosomon enjoyed the sight of him.

“I realized there was no reason to break from tradition simply because you are male.” Myrlox’s enthusiasm grew right before their eyes and Xenobi literally purred at the sound of his voice.

Rosmon freed Xenobi of her restraints and she nuzzled him as he carried her over to the large mattress outfitted with silk coverings and fur lined pillows.

Xenobi lay on her back and Myrlox’s green eyes locked onto her as he slid inside.

She howled with animal pleasure as Myrlox gifted her with a few fearsome strokes of his inhumanly large manhood. Myrlox flipped Xenobi onto her stomach so Rosomon could make use of her mouth. Xenobi took the cue and swallowed the length of him until her lips touched his pelvis.

Xenobi’s eyes watered with her efforts and she looked up at him. Her hair was slightly damp around the edges of her face and her eyes dilated so far that only a sliver of yellow was seen around the black. Her breasts swayed back and forth from the rhythmic pounding of Myrlox’s body meeting hers. Her beauty, the smell of her sweat mixed with a lavender oil she wore, watching Myrlox mercilessly pound her from behind, it was sensory overload. Rosomon threw his head back and roared as an earth-shattering climax ripped through his body and emptied itself into Xenobi’s waiting mouth.

Rosomon felt as if his entire body sighed with relief. Myrlox and Xenobi came together a second later and all three of them collapsed on top of each other in a pile of sweaty limbs and gorgeous hair.

Myrlox propped himself on one elbow. “My Quee– er King,I didn’t want to ruin Xenobi’s good time, but the magic doesn’t really work this way.”

Rosomon was still tingling all over and felt too relaxed to be concerned. “What do you mean, my old friend? It’s always been passed down through intercourse, we’ve done it this way 15 times already.”

“Yes, but all those times you’ve accepted my seed.”

Xenobi understood the implications before Rosomon, who was still mentally foggy from his recent rebirth. Her eyes fixed on Rosomon and she ran her tongue over her lips like she tasted her favorite dessert. “You still have to lie with Myrlox, your majesty.” She got up from the bed and her hair fell around her like a curtain. She didn’t bother retrieving her robe. “I’ll leave you to it then.”

Xenobi started to leave and Rosomon couldn’t help but think it a shame that a body such as hers would ever be covered by clothing. Rosomon held out a hand to her. “Wait. Don’t go.”

A spasm every bit as unpleasant as his previous orgasm had been delicious, took over Rosomon’s body. He gripped Xenobi’s hand so hard she screamed in pain and tried to jerk away from his impossible grip. Rosomon folded in on himself howling like a demon spawn from the seventh level of hell.

Xenobi broke free and sought comfort in Myrlox, “Brother, what is happening?”

“I wish I knew.” He slipped a comforting arm around Xenobi as they both watched in rapt horror.

The skin on Rosomon’s back bubbled and popped. His legs shrank, his hair grew longer and eventually the masculine screams gave way to a high pitched feminine shriek. Queen Rosomon rose to her feet, her entire body covered in a fine sheen of sweat that glistened in the firelight. Eyes dark as the void starred back at them from a sharp slender face. She looked down to appreciate her own pale perfect breasts and stood a little taller facing her two panther companions. That’s more like it.

“Noct’za dvei, Zhireil Rosomon Yajzirih, ehl aajsh rahie.” Then at last, Queen Rosomon Yajzirih, will reign again.

“Your majesty,” they said as one. Xenobi and Myrlox arranged themselves seductively on the silken sheets and each held out a hand to her.

“What will you call yourself?” Myrlox asked.

She took their hands in her own. “You can call me Nirvana because that is

where I’m about to take the both of you. Now, shall we begin?”

Popular Girl

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I’ve seen him sitting in the back of my art class sketching intently and never speaking. His name is Dylan, he’s a senior and plays guitar in a local rock band. Dylan is too cute and probably dates a girl with piercings in odd places and a killer singing voice. I’ve admired him from a distance but never had the nerve to speak to him. As he came around the corner the familiar theme music started up and he swaggered to the beat. I felt a cramp in my stomach as he walked over to me.

The music stopped when he spoke so his dialogue could be heard. “Hey, what’s up?” He was so casual, as if we talked every day, as if it wasn’t a pivotal moment in my uncool freshman existence.

“Uh, h-hello.” I concentrated on being casual and feigned indifference to the fact that this hottie was talking to me.  Luckily I’d painted my eyeliner on in a way that made me look perpetually bored.  I stared up at him through bangs that had grown so long they tickled my eyelashes.

He gave me a half smile. A single perfect wave of blonde hair had come unraveled from the man bun at the top of his head. He offered me a flyer with something written on it.

“I know it’s a school night, but White Rabbit is playing at Starforce tonight and I’d really like to see you there.” He squeezed my shoulder and gave me a wink.

I think I might have died of shock right there but I realized his gesture required a response from me. “Sounds cool. I’ll be there.”

“Great.  I’ll put you on my list so there won’t be a cover.  See you tonight, Ardis.”

He knows my name? OMG the hottest senior in school knows my name!

As I watched him walk away my own spirited theme music started up. It was a cue that my next scene would be a montage of me trying on various outfits in my bedroom.

 

***

I took care to arrive somewhere in the middle of the lineup so that I missed the first band but had plenty of time to see White Rabbit. I didn’t see Dylan anywhere and guessed that he must be backstage getting ready. I was thankful that the music was too loud for talking because I’d come alone and I didn’t see anyone there I recognized. I pretended to be intently interested in the band on stage and my skirt swayed as I moved back and forth to the beat. I decided to try my luck at the bar with my newly minted fake ID when a hand tapped me on the back. I turned around to see Dylan smiling down at me. He looked hot as hell in his tight black pants and almost threadbare t-shirt. He took my hand and I think I peed a little.

Dylan lead me backstage and introduced me to the rest of his band. “Guys, this is Ardis, she’s my special guest for tonight.”

He didn’t bother telling me all of their names so I just gave them a quick wave.

“Do you mind if we have a little privacy?” he asked them.

An Asian kid with a shaved head snickered and earned a punch in the arm from Dylan. “Nothing’s funny, Shinjayu.” The kid rubbed his arm and glared at Dylan. “Don’t be stingy, either.” He stretched out his hand and opened his palm. Shinjayu dropped a ziploc baggie into it and left.

“Finally,” he said.  Dylan grinned at me as he removed the contents of the bag and produced a lighter from his pants. “Want to smoke?”

“Uh sure.” I didn’t want to tell him I’d never smoked so much as a cigarette before and that I really hated the smell. As he handed me the joint I  had a horrifying realization that I would take any drug if it would make him like me. I tried to copy what he’d just done. I took one long inhale and immediately started coughing my brains out. It felt like something tickled the inside of my throat.

Dylan laughed at my reaction. “So I guess you’re not much of a smoker?”

I shook my head because I was unable to form words in between coughs.

He took the cigarette from me and inhaled then brought his face so close to mine that our lips nearly touched. He blew the smoke into my face and I breathed it in. I felt as if I were walking on air. When he finally kissed me he had to hold me to keep me upright. His right hand held the back of my head and his left circled around my waist and lifted my jean jacket.  I felt a tingle from the middle of my back all the way down to my toes. When he finally pulled away from me I was breathless.

“Sorry, I’ve wanted to do that for a long time.”

“Don’t be sorry! I really liked it.”

AND CUT!

The Director walked over to us with a stern look on his face. He put his arm around me and pulled me aside so Dylan couldn’t hear. “Look, it just isn’t working for me. I feel no chemistry between Ardis and Dylan.”

“I can do better, please let me try one more take?” I knew my popularity ratings had slipped in the past few weeks but I had no idea how bad things had become.

“You know there’s nothing I can do, Ardis. It isn’t even up to me, it’s the audience. Just take a look.” He pointed to the meter hanging on the wall that gave a numerical value to the likeability of each character. Dylan’s was at 96.2 percent and mine had dropped to 54 percent. I tried not to look at the meters while we were shooting, now I wish I’d paid more attention. I grabbed onto the director’s jacket with both hands and pleaded with him. “There has to be some mistake! You know I’ve never been below 90.”

“That would have been true a week ago.” He interrupted our conversation to speak with a nearby PA. “Get a cleanup guy out here, would you?”

I looked around for help but there was none. Dylan was already being introduced to the new Ardis. My voice rose in panic. “Please, don’t do this!” I’d always known this was a possibility, but I’d never imagined it would happen to me.

As the Director reached for the 9mm on his utility belt I fell to my knees. Tears stung my eyes and spilled out onto my cheeks.”

“Now if you could have just shown this much passion with that scene it wouldn’t have come to this.”

I had time for one last pleading sob before he fired.

Writing fun with friends

So I’ve got my manuscript with one agent and my first 50 pages with another. Besides that I have queries pending with five others. I’ve done the responsible thing and started the outline for book 2 in my planned dystopian trilogy. I’ll have a more definitive answer the next time someone asks me how long it will take to crank out book number two. In the mean time I decided to give myself a break and play a little game with my writer friends.

I’m not sure what the term is for this but we started with one paragraph previously written as a writing prompt and flipped a coin to see who would continue the story first. The person whose turn it was with the story had 3 days to complete their section. We hadn’t yet determined the exact length of sections, but we did decide that the writer would owe a drink to the other two participants if they didn’t finish on time. I won the coin toss and was given the first opportunity to continue the story. I typically use every excuse in the book not to sit down and write but having a deadline helped me focus. I finished my section with a few hours of receiving the first paragraph and by the end of the night the others had each finished a section as well! Before I knew it the writing was back around to me again.

This exercise has turned out to be the highlight of my day for three entire days. I am delighted every time I open my email and see that the story has gotten a little longer! The first round was not more that a few hundred words each so the story still isn’t very long yet but I’m excited about the SciFi direction it’s heading in. I’ve decided to post a little of it here in hopes that others will enjoy it as well.

Untitled SciFi Adventure by Curt Shannon, Logan Grey and Mary Beecroft

(Round 1)

 

Jessie stood by the open window, bathing in the morning sunlight. Once again I marveled at how settled she appeared, despite all she had been through. She had decided to keep her head shaved after the accident – the scar that ran across her skull from ear to ear still pulsed bright red.

She tapped her long fingers on the window sill, then turned to me, frowning.

“When will they let me out of this place?”

“That depends on you,” I said. “It’s common with a brain injury to lose some short term memory. What do you remember from before?”

She turned to look at me. Her cold blue eyes held me with an intensity that only came with years of training. She had seen horrible things and didn’t want to remember them, that much was certain.

“I don’t trust you. You’re not here to help me. You only want information.”

“And what do you want?” I had been trained in interrogation tactics and knew that I had to find some connection with this woman. It was a difficult task becase there was so little known about her. For instance she had several identities and I wasn’t even sure of her planet of origin.

“Do you have a cigarette?”

I reached into my suit jacket and pulled out a pack of camels that were partly crushed. I  managed to find at least one that wasn’t ruined completely and handed it to her along with a lighter from my pants pocket.

Jessie, if that was her real name, didn’t light the cigarette but tore off the paper instead and poured the tobacco into her mouth as if it were a powdered pixie stick. This action left no doubt in my mind–she was from Mars. I found it interesting that she chose to reveal herself in this way. “I take it you haven’t been on Earth for long?”

“Only for about six months I think. But it’s hard to say for sure.”

“It must have been a terrifying experience, the crash I mean.”

She smiled with one side of her face and showed me a bit of teeth dotted with brown tobacco flakes. “What happened before the crash was much worse.”

I looked away, feigning interest in the soldiers filing past the window. Although it would be a stretch to say I’d grown fond of Jessie, I’d found myself admiring her fortitude. But a Martian — she was a goddamn Martian. Her memory might not have been all there, but apparently she hadn’t forgotten their disgusting habits. I breathed out and turned to her with a much practiced look of concern. Not only was I her psychiatrist, I was her interrogator. I had no choice but to play nice.

“Please start from the beginning. Do you remember why you came to Earth?”

She took her time running her tongue across the front of her teeth. “I’m not a spy,” she said at last.

“I didn’t say you were.”

“I’m also not an idiot.” Her smile was even colder than her eyes. “A face,” she said, shifting her gaze out the window again. “It’s the only thing I clearly remember.”

“Someone you knew?”

She shook her head and brought her arms in tight over her chest. “Not even human.”

“Like in those pictures you’ve been drawing?”

She stepped back, out of the sunlight and into the corner. She ran a hand over her scar. “You people have no end to your questions. All these fucking questions. But no one’s really listening. Why won’t you listen?” I didn’t like the sound of her voice — nervous, desperate. This wasn’t like her.

“I’m listening, Jessie.” I moved toward her and set a hand on her shoulder. “You know you can tell me anything.”

“That face, I didn’t escape it.” She grabbed my hand with a strength that startled me. Her eyes flickered to mine. Up close they seemed more than cold, distant. They were terrified. “It followed me here.”

   I opened my mouth but was interrupted by the shrill cry of the facility’s alarm.

Jessie’s eyes darted to the door. I knew I had to stay calm no matter what.

“It might be a false alarm, like the other times.”

Jessie shook her head and said, “No, it’s different this time.”  Now her voice was calm again. Had she known this was going to happen, some kind of precognition? There was so little I had found out about her since she had arrived.  

She tried to slide off the examining table and stand, but instead collapsed in a heap on the floor. Without gravity adjusters, she couldn’t hold up her weight and certainly couldn’t walk. She tried again to stand, but failed. She cried out, a mixture of pain, frustration, and fear that sounds the same in every species.

I could hear people yelling and running outside, among them Professor Klingor. “Michael, open the door. We have to get her out of here.” But Jessie looked up to me and motioned silence, while Klingor banged on the door incessantly.   

Somehow I knew Jessica was telling the truth. I walked to the metal cabinet at the back of the room and stared into the retina scan lock, waiting anxiously for the recognition protocol to kick in.  It finally did and the cabinet door swung open. With shaking hands I found the grav braclets and tossed them to Jessie. She couldn’t raise her arms fast enough to catch them and they clattered on the floor behind her. She turned and shambled over to them.   

I took out the disruptor and set it to max strength.

At that moment, the alarm abruptly stopped. There was only silence beyond the door. I turned and waited.  Was it my imagination or was something happening to the door? The frame groaned as hinges unbuckled and the blue-gray metal of the door seemed to begin collapsing into itself. And beyond the door, I caught a glimpse…

Jessie was right.  It was different this time.

I was about to fire the disruptor when I heard a cry and the sound of shattered plexiglass behind me.  I turned to see Jessica standing at the now-open window, her hand bleeding, the jagged edges of the double-paned plexiglass security window still falling around her. She kicked at a low-hanging shard of glass and it fell, shattering on the floor.

“How did you…?”

“No time to talk.  Time to run.”  She stepped onto the ledge and adjusted the gravbracelets and floated just outside the window. Without thinking I raced to the window and leapt into her arms.

Please visit Mary Beecroft’s blog for travel adventures and reviews: marybeecroft.wordpress.com.

To find out if Curt Shannon dreams of Electric Sheep please stay tuned.