Love Unfortunate Ebook & Kindle Release

Estimated reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

A murder of crows flew by, startling Liana out of miserable turmoil. Their raucous chatter warned of what her raw core already knew. Liana’s moans ceased abruptly and the tears ran dry. She eyed the lone window. Terrible longing stained her vivid green irises. Night was coming.

So was Laurent.

I’m very happy to announce the release of my short story “Love Unfortunate” in PDF and Amazon Kindle formats. This piece is the inspiration for my current WIP novel tentatively titled, “Sleeping Poison.” Keeping in vein with all my work, it is dark, angsty, morally ambiguous, and meant to be read with an open mind.

EXCERPT

Night descended and the air turned cold. Sounds of castle life ceased, leaving Liana completely alone. Sprawled on her back, legs open with wanton need, she felt her world shrink. It became a void where sadness, regret, and misery retreated.

Soon.

Liana’s limbs trembled with manic anticipation. She wondered at what familiar torments Laurent would devise for their mutual pleasure.

Restraints? Asphyxiation? Gentle, normal lovemaking?

Liana didn’t have to wonder for long. First came the scrape of metal. Inanimate groans spiced the air before footsteps whispered across cold stone. Liana grimaced in a travesty of excitement as the cloying smell of scented water hit her overwrought senses.

“I’ve missed you.” Cool hands lifted Liana from the bed. “Have you missed me too?”

She linked her arms around his neck, too anxious to do more than murmur, “Yes, Laurent.”

“Good.” A gentle kiss brushed across her damp temple. Laurent’s tongue snaked out in a delicate caress. “You’ve been crying,” he accused while setting her on her feet.

“Yes.” The air grew heavy, stretching Liana’s nerves unmercifully. She rubbed her cheek against his chest. Liana felt his hands rake across her back and trembled like prey.

Laurent’s whisper fell like decaying petals before the wind. “There’ll be time for tears later.” Despite the softness, his tone brooked no room for disobedience. “Not now.”

“I know.” Nestled against his cold body, she felt her own come to life. Heat seared her naked breasts and stickiness dampened her plump thighs.

“Later. Yes?”

Laurent’s voice tickled her ear and the dulcet tones became a carnal torture in itself. “Later, Laurent.”

BOOK INFO

  • Love Unfortunate
  • Word Count: 17,081
  • Categories: Dark Romance, Short Story, Fairy Tales & Mythology, Horror
  • DRM-Free
  • International Readers Can Buy Via Amazon Kindle & PC

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Gaijin – Erotic Short Review

Estimated reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

Remittance Girl (RG) is an erotic writer talented way beyond my humble attempts to describe. She is unflinching when it comes to probing the sexual darkness in humanity. Among many themes, she’s written about the discovered eroticism found in ritual cutting, despair in addictive fornication, and the lengths a woman will go to make sure her lover doesn’t leave her unsatisfied again.

To say I enjoy her work is an insult. She inspires me to take my craft to the next level. In her words, I find desperate beauty in the midst of ugliness. So when I read via Twitter her latest release at Republica Press I knew I absolutely, positively must buy Gaijin.

I have NO regrets. I loved this short and I got far more than my $2.99 worth. Now, I must convince you how exquisite Gaijin truly is. First things first…

Warning: Gaijin contains non-consensual sex/consensual sex/light violence/language. It is meant to be read by adults with an open mind.

Still with me? Good.

RG describes her latest work as:

When Jennifer left the cold and damp of London for the sparkle and bustle of Tokyo, she imagined she’d fine a world full of cherry blossom festivals, ancient tea ceremonies and Geishas. What she got instead was a cramped, shared apartment, harassment on the subway and a mind-numbing job as a hostess at the Blonde Chick Bar in Roppongi.

With a single, unintentional insult all that changed. She wakes up to find that she has been kidnapped by Shindo: a sadistic Yakuza demi-god who doesn’t take his loss of face easily. Caught between his hatred of all things foreign and a growing obsession with this blonde gaijin, he is determined to make her pay for her rejection in sadistic and degrading ways.

‘A woman’s lot is to endure,’ says the fox spirit in her dreams, but Jennifer wonders whether there are indeed fates worse than death. Little by little, she finds out.

Gaijin is 76 pages long and hits 21,100 words. RG hooks you in from the first sentence and doesn’t let go. Her palette is swift, poetic, and violent. Strangers to Japan see this alien world through eyes marked with confusion, fear, fascination, and lust. Personally, I am repelled, fascinated, and adoring of Japanese culture. I feel RG intuitively allows the readers to express those very same emotions through Jennifer.

A stranger in a strange land who shuffles into a world within a world, proving centuries-old mythology isn’t dead—it’s only adapted.

The erotica deliberately cuts in certain passages, swathes us in others. Shindo’s motivations, sparse as they may be, fascinate me. Pebbles of information lead us toward his past, giving the reader bits to ruminate over but not enough for conclusion. Jennifer’s docility and defiance undulate like the shadows on a wall. They are as difficult to predict as Shindo’s moods.

The ending can be controversial depending on what Gaijin invokes with you. I won’t say which way I fell but I will say that I wasn’t ready for the story to be over. I really, really wasn’t. It goes without saying that I look forward to RG’s next work. If you buy this ebook I’m sure you’ll be waiting right alongside me.

Trunk–Part I Update 1-20-10

Estimated reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

Exactly twelve miles passed before he turned off the road. Shrouded with overgrown shrubs and knee-high grass, the pitted drive was easy to miss unless one knew to look for it. There wasn’t even a mailbox to give nod to societal integration. Nor would there be one any time soon.

Ashley, his current fiancée, had no idea this 10.33 acre spread existed. He had purchased it, in cash, shortly after she moved all of her feminine belongings into his townhome. Every piece of fabric, furniture, and accessories matched thread for thread in a harmonious palette of ice-blues, antique lace ivory, and goldenrod yellow.

The décor choice seemed to be an interior decorator’s homage to her beautiful coloring. It seemed impossible to see the heavy silk drapes, exquisitely embroidered throw pillows, or delicate side tables adorned with photos of his smiling face shoved against hers, and not think of Ashley LaVigne. Sometimes he wondered if the design decisions had been calculated.

Ashley, the epitome of a southern belle, came from a warm and educated family, graduated from Emory University as befitted from two brilliant minds, worshipped at her grandmother’s church every Sunday, and apparently loved him more than life. She was also currently employed in the same law firm as himself so the calendar check was a daily event.

But she does it so sweetly. Just to see if I’m open for lunch. Yeah. Right.

Possessive beneath the dripping smiles, Ashley was wildly jealous of any woman, but especially the one in his trunk. Never mind the fact that they both had betrayed her trust and faith three years before by having an affair. Never mind that it seemed Ashley had won the battle over his dubious regard. Ashley never forgot they had both been whores. Their breech of conduct, rarely spoken aloud, plagued his fiancée.

The unacknowledged demons riding her hissed poison tinged with truth. “You cheated on a woman you lived with for eight years. How do I know you won’t do the same to me?”

The demons seemed content to possess Ashley. Now, they needed another conscience to ply their venom. Ashley, usually in perfect control of her bountiful emotions, had been a thorn in his side ever since Halloween.

Since the night they both watched her take stage in a just another one of a million costume contests.

Ashley had glared at the crimson vision accepting her tiny trophy and cash prize with a wide smile and graceful curtsey. Her manicured nails had dug into his bicep while her pasted smile shredded with insincerity. “Well, isn’t she just lovely? Modesty aside, that costume is very pretty. Alice in Wonderland, right? I prefer Shakespeare but Carroll is quite popular for the juvenile at heart…”

Titania had not been happy all night. No one had recognized the origins of her clever costume. Women remarked on its prettiness and men had taken the opportunity to stare at her discreetly augmented breasts. No, Titania had been in a snit and now and she wanted Oberon to rectify the situation immediately with a scathing insult towards the other queen.

Oberon had chosen to do otherwise. It was often said that the best revenge is living well. The Queen of Hearts had been living very well. She radiated happiness and beauty. Where Ashley was fair, she was dark. Where Ashley was tall, she carried a diminutive stature. Crystalline blue gave way to deepest emerald. Ashley, beautiful as she was, quivered with insecurity and fear. The other one didn’t.

And never had.

He had refused to let Ashley lead him to her. He wouldn’t allow her to use the pretense of hello to inflict damage on the other. He hadn’t wanted to see that perhaps there was no wound to reopen. That maybe he had gone way of useless memory, cut off and banished.

Instead, they left the Queen to her court, withholding their brittle silence and murky awakenings.

He used haste when driving over the gravel. Defiant to pings and dents, reckless impatience urged him to hurry. He needed to get to the house. The cold night made him worry about her comfort. As he drew to a stop, he wondered if she would welcome him the same as she had the first time.

Ghosts in My Head

Estimated reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

Image Credit: Foxtongue @ Flickr.

This drabble is inspired by Katherine and Mikhail from the Vicious Bliss series. I wrote it in one sitting so it’s probably rough around the edges. It really has been a practice in patience to write shorts. I hope that I continue to improve.


The silence between them left room for the ghosts to creep into her mind.

Katherine watched the scenery pass without care for detail. The gray sky reflected the colors inside her, inside Mikhail. Aware as she was of him, she wished she could say the same for the visions forming in her head.

Love.

The word turned the sky red, hinting at times drenched in blood and forgotten gods with unforgotten obsessions.

Katherine wondered just how much infamy had been committed in the name of love. Katherine hadn’t always been Katherine. Mikhail hadn’t always been Mikhail. She turned her attention from the colorless landscape to the man sitting beside her. Even after all the years, all the betrayal, Katherine found the sight of him intoxicating. To claim Mikhail handsome did him a severe injustice. Mikhail DeMontier was exquisite, beautiful to the point of effeminacy.

There had to be irony in how much he resembled Azer, the phoenix god she had encountered in her netherworld between life and death. Katherine touched her head, eyes cloudy with real memory. She remembered Azer’s fanatic devotion to her, his suffocating passion, and eventual sacrifice in letting her live even though it meant he remained trapped as he had for centuries. He loved her so very much.

No. Not to me. Azer loved Meili to the point of insanity.

Meili, was Katherine’s first incarnation thousands of years before. According to Azer, Meili was the mother of all DeMontier werewolves. It was her blood which gave them the ability to shift between human and wolf. Azer had been in love with Meili, so much so he battled her husband Lazai, a Fallen just like him, to take her away.

He didn’t win. Instead he got sealed for three thousand years. Was it worth it, Azer?

Somehow Katherine doubted it.

Azer loved Meili. While Nikolaus, Mikhail’s next incarnation, possessed Adria, Katherine’s incarnation after Meili. Did he love her? Mikhail seemed to think so. It made sense, after all, Mikhail claimed to have no memory of that time but he still loved Adria.

But who loves me? Azer saw Meili in me. Mikhail saw Adria. No one saw me.

The ghosts swirled in her mind. Katherine imagined the splinters in her soul. Faceless names, living in the memories of the men who possessed them. They lay trapped, embedded into a fabric designed by Fate. Katherine wrapped her arms about her waist and thought of the little life that had once nestled there.

Never seen, never acknowledged by me, your mother. You died—unknown. Is that my punishment? To be forgotten even as I stand before them? If so, I accept it. I do because it’s the least I can do for you.

Mikhail turned to look her. He smelled the tears she couldn’t shed. Katherine felt his compassion and knew he understood part of her pain. His hot hand hovered over hers. He kept his attention on the road but his near-touch communicated more than passing interest.

Katherine gave thought to the women she had once been. She wondered if happiness had been hers once. How many times had she lived with the man next to her? Just the two or were there many, many more lifetimes hidden away?

Being a ghost was awful but it was so much more awful while still alive.  

Random Videos & Stuff – January 2010

Estimated reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

Image Credit: balakov @ Flickr.

Hey, Angst Junkies! You should all know very well that I’m a complete, utter angst junkie. You have a miserable little love story, I’m there! However, despite my authoring tendencies, I do like to travel the fluffier side of life. And the nerdy side too. My sense of humor ranges from crude to…well, crude, but I like cute, cuddly things as well.

Anyways, I’d like to post stuff I find throughout each month that evokes some kind of reaction in me. I can’t promise there won’t be angst, but I can promise cute to crude to goofy to a little bit awesome. Please check back often because I’ll probably be updating this list several times a week.

Ready to plunge into my geeky goofiness?


I happened to find this because of this awesome fanfic writer, pout19, tweeted it. Seeing how massively big the view count is it’s safe to assume I’m pretty late on this. But no matter. It’s a cute kitten that looks so much like my very-much-missed cat Wolfwood (Wolfie for short.) I felt like I was watching him in action and it brought much love to my heart. I hope it does the same for you.


I randomly found the following image on Flickr. Thank you, Robert Scales! It’s about ninjas and as everybody in the free world knows—ninjas are awesome. They’re so awesome, I don’t need to say anything else.

Ninjas Rule!

Ninjas Rule!


Those of you who read Devil’s Descent have had the misfortune of knowing Lily’s gutter mouth. I can’t completely say it’s solely artistic license. I curse…a lot. Like a whole f-ing bunch. I consider Samuel L. Jackson my sensei in the fine form of cussing somebody out. So much so that I want to share TWO videos. WARNING: Samuel L. Jackson is not my cussing sensei for nothing. There is much cursery going on here. You have been warned.


I have to say I’m very pleased with my novel trailers. I think they’re very cool and don’t dip too deeply into the cheese factory. When I came across this one by new author Sklyer White, I have to say it made me want to up my game. The music is haunting, the graphics undeniable, and in 30 seconds it successfully sucks you into a dark, exciting world.

I just wish I had designed it.


Commentaries on cubicle life can range from scathing to informative to comedic. I prefer chuckles when possible because the reality of cubicle life is just wrong.

Devil’s Descent II update 1-15-10

Estimated reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

Lily stared at his chin, brow furrowed in thought, as she hemmed and hawed. Finally, she pinched his nose hard and declared, “I just know I have.”

“Have a care for my poor nose, brat.”

“Ha! Like you really feel this. Try it on someone who doesn’t know how much pain your kind can really take. Or how much you really like it.”

Julian smirked in agreement.

Lily pulled away the makeshift handkerchief and inspected his aquiline nose. “It looks to be okay. The bleeding’s stopped.” She dabbed at his lip. When the dried blood stubbornly stayed, she wet the scrap with her tongue before attacking his lip. Julian could scent the doughnuts she had for lunch. It stirred misplace memories of fetching her dozens at a time.

“Do you want to be a diabetic?”

“Hmm?” she murmured while continuing her cleansing mission.

“I constantly have to repeat myself with you…it’s beyond frustrating. Do you want to be a diabetic?”

“That’s a silly question. Of course not.”

“Then stopping consuming so much sugar.”

“I don’t.”

“Yes, that’s why I can smell so much of it in your blood.”

“Hey! Don’t be sniffing my blood!” She punctuated her sharp command with one final scrub to his lip. “I’m not your food.”

Julian’s lazy gaze glittered with gold. “Of course not, darling. You could be my food. You’d send me into a vampiric coronary with all the garbage you eat.”

Lily threw the bloodied scrap at this face. “And thank you to you too. Just take me home.”

“What’s got your little panties in a twist now?” Julian brought the engine to life and pointed to her seatbelt. Lily snapped it on with a tiny scowl. He waited until they backed out onto the driveway before drawling, “Well?”

“Well what?”

“You know what. I asked you a question.”

She wished he would put the top down. Having it up made the small space claustrophobic. She crossed her ankles primly before answering, “My diet, or lack thereof, is none of your business. I happen to like to eat. Fucking excuse me for not nibbling on just lettuce like a damned rabbit.”

“You know if I weren’t fond of your mother I would just throw you out of the car right now for having such a dirty mouth.”

“Leave my mama out of this.”

Julian looked at her with raised brow. The venom in her tone challenged his curiosity.  “I would think it pleasing that I favored your dear mother.”

“Favor her? Let me tell you something—you come near her I’ll gut you. I will fucking stake you to the ground, wait for dawn, and begin gutting. You will feel it and it won’t be fun. I promise you. Don’t fucking this as a joke.”

Julian assessed the spitting kitten disguised as a very young girl. “You think I’m sexually attracted to her, don’t you? Of course she is very lovely, even after the obvious stress of raising a creature like you. I could imagine bedding someone like her but—”

Lily’s palm made brutal contact with his cheek. “Never speak of her like that again.”

The beautiful car made an ugly stop. Julian’s grip molded itself around her small throat. He dragged her across the armrest. His even whisper carried more menace than if he had shouted. “Never hit me again. I am not a whipping boy to take your misguided rage on. Hit me again and I will hit back in kind. Trust me—I can hit harder than you ever could.”

Lily’s fingers twitched. They wanted to sink into his eyes. Self-preservation stopped her. He would obviously return the gesture in kind and unfortunately she wouldn’t be able to regenerate now that the Spirit had found another host.

“Do you understand me, Lily? Are you in perfect clarity of what I am saying to you? Answer quickly.”

“Yes.” Her mouth made a disconnect from her brain. She fantasized about setting him on fire. The gruesome imagery made her smile.

His hand released her with a shove. He watched Lily’s maniacal grin grow wider. “Thoughts of me I presume?”

“How’d you know?”

“Oh, instinct has a way. I imagine your thoughts are very much the same as mine were. Unlike me, you didn’t get a bloody nose.”

Lily turned to him in surprise. “You were thinking of hurting me?”

“Who wouldn’t?”

“What were you thinking?”

“Why should I tell you? Won’t your little feelings get hurt again?”

“Try me.”

Julian resumed driving. “I imagined crushing your ankle with the car door.” He glanced at her to assess her reaction. Her feline smirk intrigued him.

“Amateur.”

“What did you imagine?” Pique made his words abrupt.

“Setting you on fire.”

He frowned in distaste. “I shudder the thought.”

“Yeah, you weren’t shuddering in my mind.” Bliss overtook Lily again. “You were most definitely screaming in agony.”

“You sick, twisted creature. How can you be a Resurrector with such psychotic tendencies?”

Lily’s face dropped. “I’m not, remember? The Spirit’s gone. Poof. Bye-bye.”

“Sorry to disappoint you, brat, but you’re still it.”

Halo

Estimated reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

Image Credit: Foxtongue @ Flickr.

Here is short vignette inspired by a future work tentatively titled, “Beautiful Sin.” This future work is intended to be a prequel to the Vicious Bliss series. In the spirit of practicing, practicing, practicing, I am attempting to write little pieces based on random inspiration. The phrase, “Blinded by your halo, I never saw your horns,” inspired the following. I hope you enjoy!


It started as a game. Harmless on the surface, designed to chase away the ennui of a bored werewolf prince, it required her delicious innocence and vicious instinct.

“Adria, my beauty, would you like to leave the castle today?”

His careful whisper reached her across the gentle murmurs of a full hall. She paused in her furtive journey across the perimeter of the grand room, small foot hanging in mid-air, and lush mouth parted in surprise. She reminded him of a small beast in the presence of a much larger predator. Her humanity, rudimentary at best, receded beneath the tide of rising instinct. He dismissed the courtiers swelling around him in anticipation of a hard run. Their disappointment made Adria quiver. Her eyes flickered to and fro, expecting displeasure to turn violent.

That would never happen for she was his dearest possession and therefore, theirs as well.

“Adria?” His voice assumed dulcet tones. He watched in satisfaction when the pinched fear fell beneath his careful consideration. “Would you like to leave today?”

She kept her posture rigid. Pitiful hope flared. Her throat worked rapidly. “Home?”

“No, my dearest. Not home.” Sadness darkened her lovely countenance. He caught glimpse of fangs. “Ssh, my beauty. Don’t cry.” He approached with easy caution, unwilling to let Adria flee his hall without satisfying his will first. He touched her face with fingertips, too quick for her to jerk away.

Not that she would after he had put her over his knee the first time she dared.

His gentle smile never betrayed the craven glee warming his heart as he saw she remembered that lesson as well. Adria’s ebony stare flickered gold in agitation. She broke mid-flight and finally put her leg down.

“Don’t fret, my beauty. Your home is with me now. Aren’t I yours, dearest?”

Adria’s skin warmed in a maidenly flush. She leaned into his touch for a moment before pulling away.

He gifted a hard look until she brought her smooth cheek back into his palm. “Aren’t I?” he repeated.

“Yes.”

One stingy word couldn’t come close to satisfying him. “Yes what?”

Adria frowned prettily, darling face contorted with frustration and daring. Bravery was left for another day. “Yes, my lord Nikolaus.”

He tugged at her wrist until she obediently crept into the shelter of his outspread arms. Several pairs of human eyes blazed with feminine pique. Their jealousy amused for a moment. Those precious ladies would play poisoned games with his little Adria, games she had no ability to ever win. He kept her away from them out of possession but eventually he was going to have to throw her back into their care. If anything, to see how well she fared.

If you can’t put dirty humans in their place then what kind of wolf would you be?

He enfolded Adria within his crimson cloak. Her gown matched perfectly. He often wore the color because he knew it pleased her so. When several of his paramours adopted the color in hopes of pleasing him he had ordered them stripped of their clothes with a stern warning to never wear it again.

This particular shade of red belonged to him and his Adria alone.

Only when she rested her head against his chest did he murmur, “I want to run in the forest with you. Will that please you?”

Several moments passed before Adria nodded. “It pleases me and I’m happy that it pleases you.”

He froze his impulse to take her soft mouth beneath his as reward for her good behavior. Only the instinct that it would send her flying stopped him. “You are such a darling beauty, Adria, for thinking of your lord.”

“It is easy when my lord is so very kind to me.”

He smiled.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/foxtongue/56509826/

Why I Love Pete and Peggy

Estimated reading time: 5 – 8 minutes

Given my writing proclivities it comes as no surprise that I would enjoy the tormented dynamics between Mad Men characters Pete Campbell and Peggy Olson. Angst junkies who have never seen Mad Men and are on the fence should take this post as a shove. Take these mini-spoilers to heart, watch Seasons 1-3, become obsessed, and squirm with me as we all wait for Season 4.

AMC’s site describes Pete as “a Partner working in Account Management at the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce advertising agency. He held a similar position at the original Sterling Cooper. A descendant of New York’s venerable Dykeman family, Pete lives with his wife Trudy in a Park Avenue apartment financed in part by her parents.”

Peggy is given similar treatment by stating she is, “a copywriter at the newly formed Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce advertising agency. The Brooklyn native began at the original Sterling Cooper as Don Draper’s secretary; he promoted her to copywriter in recognition of her contributions to two successful campaigns.”

Very dry, yes?

No.

Let me make this perfectly clear. We do not have a predictable devil and angel on our hands here despite initial appearances. Yes, Pete can be manipulative, moody, and hateful. Yes, Peggy can be meek, soft-spoken, and naive to the point of irritation.

While that flat dynamic could contain its own charm, thankfully, they are so much more than that.

Many Maddicts (doncha just love this moniker for Mad Men fans?) are quick to dismiss Pete as a vile, little snake and mark him as an easy villain. On the surface, I can see why he’s characterized as such. After all, he does very little to endear himself to anyone except Peggy and even then it’s awkwardly cruel.

However, his very awkwardness is what inspires my intense fascination.

Pete comes from a lofty set where working is seen as plebeian and must be avoided at all cost unless said work is universally considered genteel. Rather than taking pride in their son wanting to make his own way, Pete’s family treats him as if he were peddling shoddy wares on Madison Avenue instead of ideas. While adoring, his wife Trudy continuously trots out his New World aristocracy to any who’d listen and basks in the appropriate murmurs of appreciation. Pete finds his progressive ideas unwelcome at Sterling Cooper and is often slighted for daring to think beyond tradition.

Pete has everything that should matter but doesn’t. On some level he knows he is lost. Lost to expectation, lost to a world where everything he’s ever learned is now held against him. He’s snobbish out of habit and yet wants so badly to be accepted, valued, not for his lineage or connections, but for himself.

On the other side, Peggy comes from a lower-middle class family where religion dominates all and where women should be spiritually bonded to Almighty God first and physically bonded to a nice boy second. Peggy’s world at Sterling Cooper dictates she should be lovely, quick, and accommodating—not just professionally. Much speculation is given to why she succumbed to Pete’s drunken overtures the night of his bachelor’s party. Some say it’s because she felt it was expected. Others wonder if their first disastrous meeting in Don Draper’s office wasn’t the first.

Everything in Peggy’s personal life should mark her future as predictable. However, she wants to be more than just good daughter, Catholic, and lay. She wants a choice and finds it in Pete’s arms. Like all complex matters of the heart, their affair is punctuated by surface indifference, vulnerability, longing, and painful honesty.  They are a combination of desperate submissiveness and careful aggression.

I love Pete and Peggy because they are both so much the same even in their differences. They can just be with one another. There is no room for family or social expectations. Pete and Peggy are not just two sides of the same coin—they are the same side of the same coin. It is their likeness that brings out the best and worst in each other.

They are both strangers in this Madison world they want to be part of so badly. They are both young, ambitious, and let instinct guide their way. Neither of them have familial role models to pattern themselves after. They are unique within their own little worlds and that uniqueness is not cherished. Because of this they often make mistakes, in their professional and personal lives, but they never stop trying to be the people they dream of being.

Peggy accepts Pete’s boorishness and still sees the man he wants to become. She offers advice about honesty even when choking from her mute dishonesty. Pete recognizes Peggy’s copywriting talents, in turns petulant and admiring of what she is able to accomplish. He sees his hand in causing the dismissal of a colleague as inconsequential because it helped Peggy. When the end of the world is imminent Pete chooses to spend those moments with her.

Unfortunately, betrayal is a cup both must drink of deeply and affairs aren’t meant to last.

I can dissect this pair for pages but instead I leave you with this—while Season 3 saw them conspicuously distant from the other, I believe this silence said everything. I don’t believe Pete and Peggy are through with one another and I am wildly looking forward to Season 4.

Thankfully, I am not alone in my Pete and Peggy adoration. Here is a video by quadrophenia718 which coincidentally sums this post up quite nicely. I invite the uninitiated to watch Art (Lust. Obsession. Lost.)

NOTE: The original audio to this beauteous Pete/Peggy montage has been silenced due to copyright infringement. Please feel free to watch it in silence, or if you prefer a little mood music, you may press ‘play’ on this little vid below first before watching Art (Lust. Obsession. Lost.) which follows right beneath.

Grim Alice update 1-11-09

Estimated reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

Director H. tutted. “Children are ever so determined to have their own way and dispose of their elders’ good councel. Were we ever this pig-headed?”

“No, I can’t possibly believe so.”

Both men watched as Yukio fought to keep his composure even in the face of bodily harm. His body quaked, swaying from one side to the other in stingy degrees.

“All you have to do is relent, Yamagata-sama, and I will stop this.”

Yukio bowed his head further, lips mute but pride screaming what he thought of the tiny creature’s enmity swathed in dulcet tones.

“Do you suppose I’ll have to kill him and start over again?”

Director H. smiled and crouched down. “No. Young Yukio is stubborn, arrogant, willful, but he is a fool. Death would do nothing but teach him to dig his heels in further.”

Yukio’s mottled skin had gone past the point of cherry and had sunk into full plum. He wanted to leave this place, to run away and never come back. Only the shame it would bring to his line kept him in place. His presence had done enough damage to the Yamagatas. He refused to add to it.

Even if meant the flesh would fall off his bones.

“My patience is beyond tested, Director H. I would prefer to kill him and rewind.”

“You are too quick to lose patience, dear man. You would do better to let things progress naturally.”

“If I did that the families would’ve gone extinct millenniums ago and we’d be left with nothing but the humans.”

“True. Don’t forget they have their worth too, Director K. Without the humans, there would be no use for us.” Director H. lifted Yukio’s chin with one gloved finger. He smiled at the weak display of fang. “You would bite me if you could, wouldn’t you? You feel this instinct? It is good, Yukio. Do you know why? Because you cannot control it.” He acknowledged the rage his words created. “You cannot control everything. You cannot. Just as you cannot control this. Don’t forget it.”

He stood up, as graceful as ever, and addressed his watchful colleague. “I believe my wayward relative has learned his lesson. You may leave off.”

“If you wish.”

All moisture in the air instantly froze. Yukio drew in the bitterly cold air with relish. He would not forget this lesson. Nor would he forget why he had to suffer it. Once his throat released him, Yukio fought to find stable footing and asked, “When do I get to meet Alice?”

“You see, Director H.? A little pain never failed anyone as a teaching tool. Now Yamagata-sama is eager to meet his partner.”

“I believe that’s menace you hear, not welcome.”

“I care little for what it is as long as their functionality results in children.” Director K. pointed one miniature finger in uncompromising threat. “Now you go down there and meet your human bride.”

“Partner.”

“Bride, partner, pet, I care not for what it’s now called, Director H.!”

“Right.” His smile turned its voltage towards Yukio. “She is finished her feminine toilette as we speak. Come, lets go meet our wonderful Alice.”

Trunk—Part I

Estimated reading time: 12 – 20 minutes

Image Credit: bokeh @ Stock.Xchng

Here is the start of short story I’m writing that has no ties to any WIP novel. It actually doesn’t have any real paranormal events to it! It’s my first normal story but as you’ll read it’s still not very normal at all.

I recently discovered Blossom Dearie, who according to Wikipedia- Blossom Dearie (April 28, 1924 – February 7, 2009) was an American jazz singer and pianist, often performing in the bebop genre and known for her distinctive girlish voice.

I listened to several tracks by her and along with some other random images and thoughts have come up with a short, miserable love story. I’m shooting for it to be no longer than 10K words, and split up into 3 parts, but we’ll see how it goes.

I highly suggest you listen to the video while reading. I hope you enjoy!


It started and ended with a girl in a trunk.

He knew she was too stubborn to give into tears. Stubbornness was her forte.

Eleven years ago he didn’t even know what forte meant, much less how to use it a constructive sentence. Back then he had been a ragged boy suffering a massive inferiority complex. Uneducated trailer trash with crooked teeth and a hair-trigger temper.

She had saved him, transformed him to someone of surface worth. Even though, or maybe because he had first thrown her in the back of her own trunk.

He squinted. Oncoming headlights made it damned near impossible to stave off the headache he’d been fighting for months.

My head’s been hurting ever since I saw her win that costume contest. Queen of Hearts. Skirt up to her ass. Legs out for everybody to see. Sluttish without a bit of shame.

His fingers scraped for the McDonald’s cup. He flicked open the lid with one manicured finger. Soda long gone, all that was left were clunky ice cubes. Several filled his mouth before disappearing beneath the pressure of blindingly white, perfect teeth. He wondered if she was thirsty. He hoped so. He hoped she burned with it.

Perhaps it was unfair and even cruel for him to think such.

After all, she hadn’t left him. He had left her.

The cup dropped back into its holder with a thud. He had to take a piss. He looked at the clock before checking the mileage. They only had 30 miles to go. A piss would have to wait…but maybe not other things. He glanced at the tiny blue pill taped to his dash.

Maybe tonight I’ll take it. After I deal with her.

Agony stabbed his brain again as if it knew relief was so very, very close. He winced, face crumpling like paper. Pain only made you stronger so it was good for you. He had forgotten that during the last two years. Never again would he forget.

Maybe I won’t take it after all. She’ll probably need it though.

He had hit her in the back of the head damned near hard enough to crack it. Near being the operative word. She was fine or at least she would be after some rest. They both would.

“But I have promises to keep/And miles to go before I sleep.”

He liked quoting poetry. It made him feel smart. Worthwhile. She liked listening to him recite. Her smile infectious and pride evident, it had spurred him to learn new verses. He wondered if she was listening now.

Exit 139 disrupted his rendition of Robert Frost. He exited the interstate with signal on and speed appropriately decreasing. It wouldn’t do to attract the attention of the Highway Patrol being that his cargo wasn’t something he would be able to easily explain. Gruff, derisive laughter filled the confines of the luxury sports car. What was he thinking? He reeked of money and privilege. No one was going to search his trunk.

He never forgot he’d been a delinquent with rap sheet.

He sometimes forgot he was a wildly successful attorney at a small, but thriving firm.

The two-lane highway winded up, deserted and accented with the occasional mirror for blind curves. It reminded him of that other life he’d been cursed to before all this. Before her.

Where would I be if I hadn’t taken you that night? Would I be dead by now or would I be rotting in jail?

He first saw her at a Wal-Mart. Elegant and simple would be the words he’d use to describe her appearance now. Then, he just thought she looked like a rich bitch. Pretty didn’t enter it. Her pants were clean, shoes and shirt cotton-white. Her dark hair pulled up in a sleek ponytail, made the common look uncommon with nary a hair out of place.

He had followed her from aisle to aisle. When she stopped to look at a shirt, set of dishes, or a bag of chips he had stopped as well. Clumsy. Years later she confided she’d known of his tailing her from the first. It had peaked her interest much like a scruffy dog trailing her down a street would. The comparison suited.

He had been like a dog—kicked, neglected, and beaten daily.

It had enraged him when she had left the store empty-handed. Did she think she was too good to buy the ordinary things poor people like him took pride in? Before he knew it he was walking after her, steps aggressive as if the motor oil coating his boots had seeped into his veins. She stopped at a black sports car for a moment too long. He’d never seen its like before. Panic had set in. Before conscious thought could strangle his intent, he rushed her.

“Open the trunk.”

She had looked up at him with painted mouth relaxed and large eyes as dark as his.

“I said open the trunk.” He had put a sufficient amount of growl in that order. It had carried the same pitch and tone his father used right before he lashed out with a fist. He’d been sure she’d fall right in line.

Something stronger than fear had made her continue her stare. He had felt it licking across his face like fire. When he asked her about it much later she admitted to being only a little afraid and her fear had nothing to do with him. Even now he still wasn’t sure if he was incensed or relieved.

Before he could wrap his fingers around her neck she had sighed with a shrug. “Sure. Why not?”

He had snatched the keys out of her hand when he saw the tiny red button. It wouldn’t do for the stupid bitch to sound the alarm. “Which one is it?”

“The one with the picture of an open trunk.”

He had scowled at her fiercely, sure she was making fun of him. Instead, she wasn’t even looking at him. She had already placed herself at the end of the car. “Hurry. There’s no one out but there’s cameras.”

His neck burned with embarrassment. He hadn’t even thought of them.

“I wasn’t very smart back then.” He said it like a sad curse. It was probably far more accurate to change a verb and drop several words. What he was doing now was complete insanity. He knew it. He knew he was risking his entire life, everything he had worked for, just to go back to something that never should’ve begun.

Update January 20, 2010

Exactly twelve miles passed before he turned off the road. Shrouded with overgrown shrubs and knee-high grass, the pitted drive was easy to miss unless one knew to look for it. There wasn’t even a mailbox to give nod to societal integration. Nor would there be one any time soon.

Ashley, his current fiancée, had no idea this 10.33 acre spread existed. He had purchased it, in cash, shortly after she moved all of her feminine belongings into his townhome. Every piece of fabric, furniture, and accessories matched thread for thread in a harmonious palette of ice-blues, antique lace ivory, and goldenrod yellow.

The décor choice seemed to be an interior decorator’s homage to her beautiful coloring. It seemed impossible to see the heavy silk drapes, exquisitely embroidered throw pillows, or delicate side tables adorned with photos of his smiling face shoved against hers, and not think of Ashley LaVigne. Sometimes he wondered if the design decisions had been calculated.

Ashley, the epitome of a southern belle, came from a warm and educated family, graduated from Emory University as befitted from two brilliant minds, worshipped at her grandmother’s church every Sunday, and apparently loved him more than life. She was also currently employed in the same law firm as himself so the calendar check was a daily event.

But she does it so sweetly. Just to see if I’m open for lunch. Yeah. Right.

Possessive beneath the dripping smiles, Ashley was wildly jealous of any woman, but especially the one in his trunk. Never mind the fact that they both had betrayed her trust and faith three years before by having an affair. Never mind that it seemed Ashley had won the battle over his dubious regard. Ashley never forgot they had both been whores. Their breech of conduct, rarely spoken aloud, plagued his fiancée.

The unacknowledged demons riding her hissed poison tinged with truth. “You cheated on a woman you lived with for eight years. How do I know you won’t do the same to me?”

The demons seemed content to possess Ashley. Now, they needed another conscience to ply their venom. Ashley, usually in perfect control of her bountiful emotions, had been a thorn in his side every since Halloween.

Since the night they both watched her take stage in a just another one of a million costume contests.

Ashley had glared at the crimson vision accepting her tiny trophy and cash prize with a wide smile and graceful curtsey. Her manicured nails had dug into his bicep while her pasted smile shredded with insincerity. “Well, isn’t she just lovely? Modesty aside, that costume is very pretty. Alice in Wonderland, right? I prefer Shakespeare but Carroll is quite popular for the juvenile at heart…”

Titania had not been happy all night. No one had recognized the origins of her clever costume. Women remarked on its prettiness and men had taken the opportunity to stare at her discreetly augmented breasts. No, Titania had been in a snit and now and she wanted Oberon to rectify the situation immediately with a scathing insult towards the other queen.

Oberon had chosen to do otherwise. It was often said that the best revenge is living well. The Queen of Hearts had been living very well. She radiated happiness and beauty. Where Ashley was fair, she was dark. Where Ashley was tall, she carried a diminutive stature. Crystalline blue gave way to deepest emerald. Ashley, beautiful as she was, quivered with insecurity and fear. The other one didn’t.

And never had.

He had refused to let Ashley lead him to her. He wouldn’t allow her to use the pretense of hello to inflict damage on the other. He hadn’t wanted to see that perhaps there was no wound to reopen. That maybe he had gone way of useless memory, cut off and banished.

Instead, they left the Queen to her court, withholding their brittle silence and murky awakenings.

He used haste when driving over the gravel. Defiant to pings and dents, reckless impatience urged him to hurry. He needed to get to the house. The cold night made him worry about her comfort. As he drew to a stop, he wondered if she would welcome him the same as she had the first time.

Update March 1, 2010

Back then, his twenty-year old self had parked the car under a swaying carport. He had sat there in the dark, fingers curved over the wheel as if the tighter he held it the more likely time would reverse. He hadn’t known how to undo what he had done. Stealing, fighting, drugging—those were all crimes he committed and would own up proudly. But this…kidnapping, murder, rape?

His mind still recoiled at what might have happened if she had been any different than what she was. Would he have killed her, dumped her off the mountain in a desperate attempt to hide his idiocy?

Instead, he had looked down at his hands. His large, dirty, rough hands. Hands capable of doing what? He sniffed, not in tears, but at the rich smell of leather. He had wondered how much it cost to drive this car. The back seat was mere formality, much like the rich. Everything for appearance but nothing of practicality.

It was ridiculous. Just like her. Just like him.

He found himself mimicking his actions of a decade before. He hadn’t known the make of her car then but now he had the same one, redesigned with power and masculinity in mind. The feline’s face looked at him from center steering, mouth yawning ready to devour him for his stupidity.

Ashley hadn’t known what to make of it when he had first pulled up in it a month ago. The questions hung on her lips but she swallowed them whole. The fact he had yet to have her in the car was surely catalogued and filed away under, “Things That Have To Affect Me.”

Somehow things had gotten away from him.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

The mantra brought dysfunctional comfort. His father had uttered the triple cadence at least fifty times a day from time memorable. Now he had nothing but nice words for his big-shot lawyer son. Now he regaled to one and all how he always knew there was something different about him. How he knew his youngest was going to be something.

It was generally around this time in the pseudo-ruminations that Ashley would draw up, delicate mouth stiff with cordial resentment. She would press her perfect nails into his arm, a sharp reminder to, “Please stop him from mentioning HER in my presence. It’s terribly rude and awkward for us all.”

His timing had slipped during the last visit.

He remembered sitting there in the living room of the manufactured house, one he had bought for his remaining parent. Ashley, while accepting of him with all her heart, could never quite understand why he had chosen this type of home for his father.

“Wouldn’t it be better if you’d bought Papa Peppers a site-built house? What if a tornado comes? There’s no way this would stand up to it.”

Ashley hadn’t understood.

She had though. She always understood.

She had known happiness varied from person to person. What Ashley saw as an abysmal doublewide his father saw a palace. Papa was inordinately proud of the poured concrete footers, brick foundation, and sheetrock construction. He gloried in going to Lowe’s and picking out the newest plantings to line the small beds with perfect precision.

He accompanied him from time to time. He walked alongside the old man, trying to ignore the hard knot forming inside his chest.

“You think that’s a good price?”

“Yeah.”

“I do too.”

Yet, the truth couldn’t be buried. His father’s hands had shown themselves for a liar. They could be gentle. They could coax something small and fragile to become beautiful. They could patiently tie plastic grocery bags around tiny stalks on nights of freezing weather. They knew how to nurture.

He had confessed his jealousy to her once. He had prepared himself for her gentle scorn. Instead, she had hugged him and kissed his ear.

“It’s okay. There’s nothing wrong in you hurting. You don’t understand how he can be this way with plants but couldn’t be this way with you. It’s not silly. Your papa loves you in his way. That’s why he insists on you coming to see him with a suit and tie. He doesn’t want you to change your clothes when you go gas up with him. He wants everybody to see his smart, successful boy.”

It still hurt but not nearly as much as it did before. She had that power. She had that way of taking the shame out of everything.

That’s why he ended up loving her too much.