Tag Archives: fiction

What Was Read in 2013


This is a shamefully short list of books for the entire year. That’s all I have to say about that.

Strip City: A Stripper’s Farewell Journey Across America- by Lily Burana

Sebastian- by Anne Bishop

The Help- by Kathryn Stockett

Between the Lines- by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

Wings of the Mornings- by Lori Wick

A Mermaid’s Tale: A Personal Search for Love and Lore- by Amanda Adams

Memoirs of Cleopatra- by Margaret George

The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold- by Francesca Lia Block

Grimm’s Grimmest- by the Brothers Grimm

City of Bones- by Cassandra Clark

The Art of Racing in the Rain- by Garth Stein

The Vampire Lestat- by Anne Rice

Mermaid- by Carolyn Turgeon

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Hedonism’s Slave


Whatever expectations Isari had had of this day were obliterated by the clouds of dust that swirled around her and assaulted her senses. She scrunched up her face, mindful of the cosmetics that heavily layered her skin. She blinked, the grit of the sandstorm causing her eyes to water, and she quickly lifted a perfectly- manicured hand to her face, attempting to catch the bothersome tears that threatened to destroy all her mother’s hard work. She breathed in through her mouth and immediately regretted it when dirt found it’s way down her throat and she began coughing grotesquely. She bent over, aware of the fact that her bountiful cleavage was nearly falling out of  her ridiculous costume. She looked on either side of her, trying to see if anyone else was having the same issues as she, and she made eye contact with a pretty boy that looked close to her own age. He grinned broadly as he shrugged and shielded his eyes from the airbourne grime.

“If they fall out, you might catch a higher price!” His eyes sparkled a brilliant green color, and Isari laughed, which only made her choke harder. She continued to hack until one of the handlers approached, looking anxious.

“The buyers will be here soon!  You must maintain your disposition!” The handler laid an un-calloused hand on Isari’s back and began thumping her lightly. Her coughing fit ended quickly enough, and she stood up, let out a deep breath. The handler adjusted her crooked dress, and slid his hands on either side of her breasts, thrusting them upward before stepping back and nodding approvingly. He then moved away, continuing to fuss over the other human commodities. Isari glanced over at the green-eyed boy and rolled her eyes. He shook his head, a little bit sadly.

“We’re not people anymore, you know. Only bondservants for the next seven years.” He seemed distracted by his own thought momentarily, then brought his attention back to Isari. “I’m Nickoli.” He held out a pale, freckled hand, and Isari grasped it firmly.

“Isari. I’ve been trying to forget that fact for the last three years, thanks.” She smiled kindly at Nickoli, and realized by his handshake he would most likely be purchased by a man. She immediately liked this charming boy, and hoped that maybe their buyers would live near each other. She’d been feeling melancholy of late, thinking of her family, and her friends Rona and Mighera, and of the fact that she would never see them after this day. “A great opportunity” is what they all had said to her. Perhaps, she had replied, but at what price?

There was a loud, ear-piercing whistle then, and Isari shivered involuntarily.

And so it begins, she thought bitterly.

After the government had fallen to anarchy, a new way of life had taken over. The people who had once been celebrities in the old government became the highest class in a new caste system where self- indulgence and carnality reigned supreme. Those individuals gifted with such talents that stimulated the mind and body- actors, writers, artists, musicians, prostitutes- these were elevated above all others, as were  those children born to such. These were called the  Schon. The working class, those who were responsible solely for pleasuring the Schon were known as the Haaldus. The Haaldus consisted of beautiful people alone. Any child born to a member of the Haaldus who bore any imperfection were sent away to a lower caste- the Enw. The Enw were those who served the Schon, keeping them in their extravagance, and children deemed acceptably alluring were sold off at the age of seventeen to the Schon, where they remained for seven years, until they had earned the title of Haaldus. There existed another caste, though it was not acknowledged, one consisting of those who were disabled, or unseemly, or those considered devoid of any pleasure-imparting talent. The Forsaken, as these unfortunates were called, were displaced souls, forbidden to build homes, and so wandered the streets and roads, most of them meeting their deaths at the hands of the higher castes. Isari’s parents were Enw, and this was her Hocking Day.

She watched as gorgeous people decked out in shimmering fabrics entered the Emporium, intent on finding the most desirable of playthings. Several faces she recognized, an actor and actress couple who were known to purchase a considerable number of Enw every year, an artist who’s work had brought Isari to tears, and a well-known prostitute who owned a slew of pleasure houses across several provinces. The sea of beautiful faces in front of her began to blend together, and Isari realized her ridiculously-tight dress was making it hard for her to breathe. She felt a hand steady her, and gave Nickoli a grateful look. She closed her eyes and  took as deep a breath as her bindings would allow. When she opened her eyes, she found herself face to face with Shaandi Necorian, the owner of the pleasure houses.

Shaandi eyed Isari intimately, starting from her feet, which were encased in absurdly high heels, continuing achingly slow all the way up to her chest, where Isari heard her make a sound low in her throat. Isari stood there miserably, trying not to reach out and pummel the woman, until Shanndi’s eyes met her own. An almost imperceptible smirk appeared on the woman’s face, and the slightest raise of one perfectly-shaped eyebrow as she assessed the malice burning in Isari’s eyes.

“Don’t be so hostile, love. The clients won’t enjoy it.” Long fingers with lacquered nails were placed on Isari’s chin, lifting as Shaandi appraised her skin and jawline.

Isari remained mute, openly showing her contempt as Shaandi noticed Nickoli standing nearby.

“You, too, love. There’s too much sadness in your eyes. Buck up! You’re lucky to have made the cut.” Nickoli smiled, remaining his charming self despite the barbarity of his situation.

“Yes, ma’am.” Isari noticed a Southern lilt to his response that she hadn’t noticed before.

Shaandi laughed, a pleasant and alluring sound. “Ma’am? Oh, love, do I look as old as all that?” She flirted as she touched Nickoli’s hand. Isari didn’t fail to notice how every action and movement the woman made was licentious.

Nickoli’s porcelain skin flushed a bright red, and Isari realized the effect Shaandi was having on him. “No, ma’- er, miss. No, not at all.” Isari narrowed her eyes at him, feeling betrayed by his reaction to this member of the Schon.

Shaandi laughed her golden laugh again, and turned her attention once again to Isari. “You see? You’re little friend accepts his circumstances, pretty bird. Perhaps I can teach you to welcome them as well, hmm?” Shaandi placed her hand once again on Isari’s face, this time cupping her cheek in a surprisingly comforting way.

Isari felt her heart sink, despite the reassurance. It had been bad enough when she knew she was being sold to a complete stranger to be used as she would, but to be sold into servitude at a pleasure house was more than she thought she could bear.

 

 

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NaNoWriMo: Chapter 1


Well, I didn’t finish my NaNoWriMo novel, but can’t let it go to waste, so here’s the first chapter…

I opened my eyes, threw back my head, and laughed in delight.

I’d waited my entire life to get to this place, and even though I had no conceivable idea how I’d gotten here, I was here, and that was good enough for me. I saw an unpretentious breeze, or rather, the effects of it, and a leaf from one of the massive sunflowers I was standing in the midst of brushed lightly against my cheek. I lifted my hand and pressed my fingers to the spot, imagining for a moment that being kissed by an angel  must feel very like having a feathery sunflower leaf caress your cheek. I raised my eyes upward, and through a canopy of honeyed sunflower petals, I beheld a flawless azure sky; I watched contentedly as whispy silver clouds meandered by. I’m convinced for a moment I saw the form of Alice’s white rabbit scramble past before it dissipated into the heavenly beyond.

Standing amid the towering plants, I had no idea how far the field stretched, only that I couldn’t see the end of it. I wanted to barrel through the tall stalks until there were no more to barrel through, so I did. As clumsy as I tend to be, it didn’t really seem to be a very good idea, but I felt weightless as I ran, and my feet refused to be obstructed by clods of dirt or wayward sunflower stems. I raced through the golden crop, until I realized that if it ended, I was nowhere near that end.

I slowed, just as I felt of burst of sunlight fall across my shoulders. I raised my arms and bounced gleefully, bellowing “HERE COMES THE SUN! DOOBIE DOOBIE!” and giggled, because I haven’t the faintest idea what the rest of the words are to that song. I didn’t even know it was a Beatle’s song until well into my 20’s. For shame.

I continued to dance foolishly through my sunflowers, giving no thought whatsoever that my dance moves have always rivaled those of a pious eighty-year-old nun. In the past, I would shudder at the thought of even dancing alone in my apartment, and sooner die than set foot on any designated dance floor, but here, among my blooming friends, I felt no such humiliation.

“Doobie doobie!” I sang again at the top of my lungs, celebrating the glorious Sun’s visitation upon me, my arms still aloft, inviting her to share her blessed vitamin D with me. She consented, and I smiled into her radiant heat with face lifted, swaying slightly with my fellow sunflowers. And like them, I didn’t sneeze as I normally did when faced with direct sunlight; instead, I drank in her rays like a parched traveler in the desert.

As I absorbed the shining nourishment with my eyes closed in prayer, I felt again an angel kiss upon my head. My eyes slid open and I embraced my sunflower lover, pulling his head down to better examine each petal, each seed, every floret. The intricacies of my lover’s face bewitched me, and I could not look away. Instead, I found myself adrift in his gaze, awed by the spectrum of colors. My sight was more keen than ever it had been, and no matter where I looked, I saw more than ever I had. I wondered if this was a gift from Mother Sun, and mentally thanked her.

Suddenly, I noticed a massive oak behind me, and I wondered how I had missed it during my absurd Sun Dance. I let go my sunflower’s head, and approached this majestic tree.

I racked my brain on any topiary trivia I might have picked up, but the only thing I could come up with was that this tree must be ancient to have grown to such huge proportions. I looked up at the gnarled branches, and was surprised to see an array of crimson and russet colored leaves; several of them floated lazily down to me, and I caught one, congratulating myself on my expert leaf-retrieving skills. The leaf in my hand was dry and brittle, and because I had caught it with such vigor, when I opened my hand to look more closely, I realized it had crumbled to powder in my palm. I pouted, and tipped my hand, silently observing the spread of oaken ashes in the light breeze.

Before the last fragments were gone, I heard someone whispering, but when I turned to look for the source, the only thing I saw was a crude heart chiseled in the trunk of the tree. Within the heart, the initials

RD

+

JL

I reached out and traced the letters as an overwhelming flood of emotions filled me. I knew this tree.  A long time ago, before the miscarriages and tears, before the grown-up decisions and divorce, a beautiful boy and a younger version of me had laboriously scraped these letters into this tree with a dull pocket-knife. This tree sat in the middle of where we would have built our house, if it had all worked out.

The tears came, unwelcome- tears, not because of regrets, because the decisions made had been the right ones, but because these memories were not welcome here, not on this day, not in my coveted field. The fingers outlining the letters curled into a fist, as did the fingers of my other hand, and then they were beating furiously on the foul carving, again and again. I heard myself cursing violently, and salty tears blurred my vision, and I continued to strike mercilessly on the oak’s mighty trunk until my fists were bloodied and raw.

I wiped the hated tears away with my forearm, and glared at the wretched heart, now bleeding with my own vital fluids. It seemed to pulse as I stood there, but I knew it was only the rage inside of me that lived. I screamed at the aged tree, and it paid me no mind. I wailed until my voice was ragged, but still this oak stood sentinel over the engraved memory, and it was not removed.

At last, when all of my energy was spent, I sank down against the base of the tree and covered my head with my arms, sobbing uncontrollably for all that was, and wasn’t, and couldn’t be. My divine Sunshine continued to pour over me, but I hardly noticed.

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Different


Before

Trinyx stayed just under the surface of the waves, watching the beautiful creature with the bouncing hair react to the lecherous older one. She worried when she saw the angry expression cross the young human’s face, wondering what had angered him so, as she watched him shove the other man out of the way. Trinyx felt as though her very self was being pulled toward the handsome boy as he stomped angrily away from the ship’s rail, until she noticed a splash in the waves next to her. She moved away in disgust when she realized what it was- one of the other less-attractive humans was leaning over the side of the ship, retching into the sea. She was filled with fury that he was polluting her ocean in such a way, and wanted to jump up and  grab the man, pull him into the water, and swim down to the deepest depths with him where she knew he would perish. Instead, she swam close to the body of the ship, and indignantly banged her tail against the wood several times.

As she swam away toward her home, she looked back, and saw several of the men looking confused and leaning over the ship’s rail, peering into the water, wondering what sort of fish had rammed their boat. Trinyx glimpsed the dark-haired man too, who seemed to be looking directly at her, though she knew it was too dark for him to see that far. She lifted her pale hand in a useless gesture, and thought she imagined the man raise his own hand in return. The waves moved    her, and she pushed her tail against them , diving into the night-black water.

Far below the moonlit surface of the ocean, Trinyx slowed her movements, realizing how close she had been to a human. She thought of how soft his hair had been between her fingers, and how it had sprung so lightly from them. She weaved her fingers between the ropey lengths of her own hair that was billowing out around her, and let it go, watching it lazily drift in the leftover currents of her swimming. A few small fishes glides through it, and she swatted them away, perturbed.

She felt melancholy now, now that she had felt the air on her thick skin. She had never felt the pressure of the water surrounding her, but she felt it now, and she wanted to be back against the ship, looking into the expressive eyes of the alluring young man again. She thought of him and wondered if his skin would feel like hers, and she ran her hands down her torso, over her breasts and down her belly, until she felt scales that led into a lengthy tail. She looked at her tail, the tail that was the envy of her sisters, with it’s rainbow of purple and green and silvery scales, and decided it was not at all beautiful. Her fingertips felt over the coarse scales, and she wanted to feel what it was like to stand on two legs like the humans on the ship had.

The man’s eyes had been one color, and though she had never seen her own, she knew from looking into her sisters’ faces that mermaid eyes were an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colors, and she thought to herself how uninteresting that was- as she had watched the man, she could see within his eyes a flurry of emotions, whereas when she watched her sisters, the constant color shift in their eyes made it completely impossible to know what they were thinking.

She had let the man’s sounds wash over her; how different they had been from her own! From the things her grandmother had told her, human voices were terrible to listen to, and humans themselves were seemingly possessed when offered a mermaid song, but Trinyx had liked the sound of his words- they were not melodious as a mermaid’s, no, but still pleasing to the ear in their own way.

She fingered the silver chain that was tied in her hair, and pushed the little button that had released the tiny door. She cried out when she saw that the picture inside was beginning to disintegrate already, and she shut it again quickly, hoping to preserve the likeness of the woman who looked like her human. She gripped the locket tightly to her chest, and was amazed that she cared so for this man, this creature who was so unlike her. She swam in circles, wondering what she was to do now.  Bubbles and fish floated out of her way as she did so. She was forbidden to have contact with the upper world, but there was one thing she knew for certain- she had to see him again.

 

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Roses and Threats


Alyssa pulled her purple Ranger into the driveway with enough speed and gusto to make her fiancée Ryan cringe. He gripped the “oh shit” bar and was about to comment on women drivers as she came to a notably abrupt stop, but thought better of it. He didn’t want to put Lyss in a pissy mood. He jumped quickly out of the truck, thanking heaven he was still intact after the ride.

“I’ll get the mail!” He offered cheerily, already making his way to the mailbox.

Alyssa grabbed her purse and climbed out of the driver’s side, grinning to herself. She loved getting to Ryan like that. She admitted that she wasn’t a cautious driver, but she knew he didn’t consider her a good driver anyway, so she did shit like that just to bug him. She hummed as she stuck her key in the door, but stopped when she noticed the overwhelming smell of roses as the door swung open.

There were white rose petals EVERYWHERE. Alyssa’s eyes widened as she looked around. The ancient door normally swung back into whoever was walking through it, but the carpet of flowers made it stick half way open. The floors and countertops were crowded with crystal vases of every size, stuffed with long-stemmed white roses. Every step she took sent up a floral aroma, because there was no way to step around the carpet of petals. She was still standing completely awed in the middle of the kitchen when Ryan walked in the door.

“What the-” Lyss grew more bewildered when she saw the look of confusion on Ryan’s face. He smiled when she looked at him. “You tryin’ to butter me up, Baby? I prefer beer to roses.” His joke fell flat when Alyssa responded.

“I didn’t do this. How’d you afford all this?” Alyssa was still too overwhelmed to say anything else. She looked around and noticed the envelope with Ryan’s name sitting on the table the same time he did. Ryan shuffled through the matting of roses, and Alyssa giggled at how ridiculous he looked. He picked up the envelope and tore it open as Alyssa leaned forward to sniff a vaseful of flowers. She breathed in deeply and her eyes slid shut as she luxuriated in the smell, so she didn’t see Ryan’s facial expression darken from confusion to rage.

“WHO THE FUCK IS JACK?” The question reverberated throughout the room, making the many roses shiver. Alyssa jumped at the unexpected outburst, and knocked over the vase of flowers she’s just been enjoying.

“What?” she whispered. Her heart pounded in her ears as she waded through the mess. Ryan flung the card at her ferociously, and backed away from her. The look of utter malice in his eyes as he did so made Alyssa’s stomach drop. She looked down at the card in her hands and mouthed the words as she read them.

Ryan,

You’ll never be able to give her this. You can’t even afford to pay the electric bill, can you? She’s too good for a loser like you, and you know it. Alyssa is mine, and I can give her everything you’ll never be able to. Take a hike, buddy.

Jack

Alyssa looked up from the note, and Ryan mistook her wide-eyed expression as guilt. He backed even further away, shaking his head in fury.

“I know I’m broke, but what the fuck?! You find some rich asshole to have an affair with and talk about what a loser I am? What kind of sick cunt do you have to be to do that?”

It felt like Ryan had just punched her in the face when he said the words. He had never once called her any offensive names, and as far as she knew, he’d never found her untrustworthy. She felt tears prick the backs of her eyes, and she stuttered to correct him.

“No, no, no,” She put her hand out to grab his, and he swatted her away. “Jack is that creepy guy I told you about that stops by the store; the one who kept asking me out, even after I told him about you. I’ve never seen him outside of work.” She felt herself becoming hysterical the more she thought about it. “He had to have gotten in here somehow- he had to have followed me- oh my god, Ryan, he was in our house.” The moment she said it, she began shaking.

“Well that’s probably because you fucking let him in, Alyssa.” Ryan’s tone was cold and unforgiving. “How else would he fucking know I’m broke unless you told him during one of your sex romps?”

Alyssa squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head furiously. She didn’t know if the tears were from shock or betrayal, but they would not be stopped. She could hardly breathe, but she refused to let Ryan think she’d cheated on him.

“No, I never told him that. I swear I never did sex with him! I was nice to him at the store, that’s all. I kept telling him I had a fiancée, but he kept asking me to have a drink with him. He said he just wanted to talk, because I was nice to talk to. I didn’t- I would never, EVER do that to you, Love. You have to believe me.” She opened her eyes, and squealed in surprise. Ryan was still looking at her like he wanted to strangle her, but her focus was behind him. Jack was standing directly behind Ryan, with a deadly-looking bowie knife gleaming in his hand.

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Buy Our Book!


alitd-coverSo yeah.

I wrote a short story.

Well, I’ve written a lot of short stories, but this one was actually for a good cause.

Over a year ago I was asked to contribute to an anthology for Writing Out Child Abuse. So I did. Sadly, I am always in my own little world, so I didn’t do the advertising that I should have. So anyhoo, you all should buy this book, and tell everyone you know to buy it too. If you wonder which story I wrote, you can pretend my pen name is Phoebe Valois. I expect all of you to give me your opinions. So there.

http://www.amazon.com/A-Light-Darkness-ebook/dp/B008BMUPAO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339767715&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Light+In+The+Darkness+J.S.+Wayne

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After Effects


BEFORE.

Greg shrugged sheepishly, and lowered her down to the floor, though he refused to remove his grip from her lovely ass until she forced him to.

“Well, you are young enough to be my daughter. How was I supposed to know you were into such mature men?” His thumbs stroked her behind, and he relished the unbelievable softness.

Casey laughed and wriggled out of his grasp; Greg tried to hide his disappointment. “That tickles!” She scooped up her discarded yoga pants and danced a few feet away before turning to face him. Greg admired her confidence as she stood in front of him, pants-less, and raised one perfectly-arched eyebrow.

“I’m into anyone who looks at me the way you do, so there. And I don’t really think there is such a thing as a ‘mature man’.” She did air quotes with a wad of pants in her hands, and Greg felt himself smiling. “I am convinced men are  completely led by their dicks, and only pretend differently to keep up with the women.” Her tone hardened a little bit during her statement, and Greg was going to argue, but she skated off to the bathroom before he had a chance to reply.

Greg pulled on his pants, and began surveying the many titles that lined the bookshelves he’d just defiled. He was surprised to find they were alphabetized according to author, and that there was quite a variety. Classics, biographies of Presidents, history of warfare, science fiction, art, philosophy- they were all there. He stopped when he found three copies of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. He’d read it in high school, and found it to be incredibly dull. He wondered why someone so full of life would have three copies.

“See? They are beautiful! You cannot help but be enamored of them.” Casey stood looking at him approvingly, and Greg wondered how long she’d been watching him.

“Well, you weren’t in here for me to look at, so I had to look at something.” Greg flirted, badly.

“Ugh.” Casey narrowed her eyes and did a jacking-off motion with her hand.” Please. As if I’m better to look at than Jules Verne and R. Scott Bakker.” Greg couldn’t believe she didn’t realize the effect her looks, and her body, had on him, but felt too foolish to point it out. He also felt slightly uncomfortable that Casey seemed to be ignoring what had just happened between them.

She wandered over to the refrigerator. “Did you want anything to drink? I have-” she looked inside for a second, then shut the door. “Well, I have nothing. Did you want to go get a beer or a bottle of whiskey or something?” She looked at him from across the small space, and Greg felt they were on two islands miles apart. Clearly, the sex was casual for her, and even though Greg didn’t exactly know what he wanted from this sexy young thing, he knew things were not the same as they had been before he’d entered this apartment. He felt stupid, like a teenage girl, but he wanted more.

“Um, would you like to go out to dinner with me? There’s a really good Mexican place down the street.” He weakly replied.

“Food! Oh yes, food is good.” Greg felt himself relax with relief. “Shit. I have to go to work soon.” Casey looked at him apologetically. Maybe tomorrow?” The relief was momentary. Greg got the distinct feeling she was blowing him off. He decided to admit defeat.

“Sure, if you’re not too busy. Just let me know. I have a thing I gotta do tonight  anyway.” He lied, and hated himself. He walked to the door and stopped, debating on whether he would say what he was feeling, and thinking better of it. Instead, he looked at Casey. “Your books are beautiful.”

Casey grinned, stepped over to where Greg was standing, and kissed his cheek sweetly.

“Thanks. I’ll see you tomorrow, ok?”

Greg nodded, but didn’t say anything as he walked out the door. He trudged down to his own apartment, wishing he hadn’t fucked things up.

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