In a Swing State

Two balls attached to conjoined strings,

We drop from the same height.

On opposite sides of a crater, we fall;

Me, a bit faster, harder than you.

Plummeting, a crash is inevitable.

At the bottom of our swing, we shy away —

Me, out of fear; you, something unknown.

Arcing back up to our original height,

Gravity pulls us back down, reinitiates

The fall that we’re both resisting.

Shyly, weakly, we evade each other;

Over and over, we give up and then in.

Written Sept. 1st, 2017


Savage: Part One, Chapter Two

Yes, this is late. Very late. Like a week and some change late, but I have my reasons — mainly, lack of wifi.

(Link back to chapter one in case you missed it)

~ |Let’s Begin| ~ 

Near the edge of the forest lining the northern kingdom, the Fenza’s half of the basin, sits a cluster of triangular white tents, held up with thick black branches taken from the sturdiest never-green trees, all facing outward from one large central tent. They form a wide, oval-like ring around it, erecting a barrier against any attacks that might come its way. Within each tent, resides a number of warriors ranging from three to seven per dwelling, most are taking quick naps, and the others are waiting for the signal to pack up and set out again. The men are warriors, used to constant motion and battling until the last man falls. Remaining stagnant is not one of their favorite pastimes.

To avoid being in one place for too long, the Fenza warriors travel about in little packs among the tents. The packs seem to be determined by the type of weapon the men carry more than comradery, as the swordsmen stay with the swordsmen and archers with archers. No matter their equipment, though, every man moves carefully, always looking outward from the camp or scanning the trees. One thing appears to remain below their range of sight: the unpainted folk scattered throughout the camp. None of the warriors so much as glance at the unpainted, unarmed folk going about their business in the very center of their irregular circle, some tending to a large, black-encrusted cauldron, others carrying armfuls of weapons or what looks to be armor, each of them in an equally as frenzied hurry.

However, no matter what the men hold or where they’re supposed to be looking, they all gradually slow and stare at the blonde female standing at the entrance of the tiny tent hidden in the shadows of their captain’s – the one that’s supposed to contain the blessings of the sky and the king and nothing else.

Sophia stares out at the bizarre camp she’s found herself in, one hand lifted to keep the flap of thin white fabric out of her face, the other clutched to her chest. There are men everywhere. And almost each and every one of them is carrying a weapon. There isn’t a single woman to be seen, not a hint of femininity in the hulking, muscled natives marching back and forth, pacing the little space there is between the tent she’s in and the ones surrounding it.

Am I on lockdown? She wonders, her eyes trying to pick out any specific men sent to guard her, but it’s impossible. Every person she sees looks like they’re on duty, too tense to possibly be off the clock. In fact, the men look so strung out that she’s almost led to believe that she’s been placed in the middle of an army on their way to battle, but that would be ridiculous. There’s no way she could be so unlucky.

She remembers the woman she’d seen with the long blade still wet with blood.

Or, she thinks to herself, I’m indeed that unlucky.

There’s a swift, whoosh of air from the tent beside hers. She steps a little further from her own. One hesitant foot settles upon the bare soil beyond the wooden bottom of her maybe-prison as her eyes turn curiously towards the source of the sound. Almost immediately, she’s being pushed back.

The stranger wraps their arms around her. Over their pale shoulder, she sees many a person beyond the tent to grind to an absolute halt. Sophia attempts to wedge her arms up between them, only to feel something drape itself around her from behind, her forearms meeting with air as the person leans slightly out of her personal space. A warm, thick fabric is yanked against her hips, sliding up higher towards her ribs as the bottom end of it brushes against her ankles. Her attacker steps back. With nimble fingers, the savage woman from the black forest knots the ends of a beige blanket at Sophia’s hips, effectively giving her some sort of makeshift skirt.

Without missing a beat, the woman starts singing again, her voice almost lulling the girl into not noticing how she’s being steadily backed into her tent. She looks down, taking in the assertive, short strides forward of the warrior, and forcibly remains in place. Before they can be brought chest to chest by the woman’s stubborn pace, the native draws back, one brow raised at the smaller girl as if to goad her into continuing to move on her own. Agitated, Sophia snatches up the ends of the blanket and starts undoing it, tossing it to the side while the woman’s singing gets faster and faster. As soon as the thing falls to the ground, though, the painted lady takes note of what she’s done and cuts off, leaving a chill silence in the air. The calm, placid expression she’d had on evaporates.

Her yellow eyes spark like flint, spitting up flames so hot that Sophia’s almost surprised the skin surrounding them doesn’t burn off. Before the royally ticked off stranger can start speaking a language she doesn’t understand, she decides to speak up. If she hasn’t been gutted by the many swords strapped onto the person before her, then she can at least assume that no one here is interested in killing her, right? Right, she assures herself and sucks in a deep breath.

“Thank you for the, um, blanket?” She hesitates, her gaze straying towards the fallen fabric. What if that was some symbol of kindness and I shouldn’t have let it touch the ground? Do those things happen? Too late either way, I guess. With a shake of her head, she turns her attention back to the completely still woman before her. “I’m not cold, though. I’m actually pretty used to the cold, so if I could just—”

Before she can take so much as a step, the lady’s heaving a deep sigh of defeat and rubbing the heel of her palm into her forehead. The native inhales dramatically, drops the hand back to her hip, and rubs her lips together. Her brows furrow in concentration and then she’s lifting one finger out, the tip directed at Sophia.

“Speck Engrish?”

“Speck?” The woman releases a long, strained breath, and motions with her other hand, moving it up from the base of her throat to the end of her chin. She presses her fingers to her lips and then tilts them outward like a flap. “Oh!” Sophia almost laughs when she realizes what the other female is saying, a pleased smile curling at her lips. They can talk now. “Yes, yes, I speak English!”

Despite her own joy at finding out that the native recognizes the words she’s saying, the woman herself looks the complete opposite, her expression contorted as if she’s stepped on a beehive and can’t free her foot from it. Her arms fold across her chest, her gaze straying down towards the ground. Sophia watches on curiously as her lips curl, compress together. The girl looks down with her, and tilts her sneakers out to the side, wondering if she might have stepped in something, but finds nothing to suggest as much.

Shrugging it off, she returns to looking at the upset person. “So, as I was saying, can I go outside? Or maybe to somewhere with running water? Do you have that yet? What time is it? Have you learned of Henry Ford? Or . . .” she trails off at the rapid blinking of the other woman’s eyelids. They both stare at one another for a moment, the red painted woman looking rather annoyed.

Then, as if she’s heard all that she needs to, the native spins about, and rips back open the material covering the front of the tent. Sophia hurries after her, watching the woman march straight across the open center of the camp and grab a man by the shoulder. When he attempts to peer over the woman to Sophia’s tent, she can just barely make out the swift, light sound of the native’s familiar singing. It’s more effective than she’d thought it would be. The man snaps to attention, listens intently to what his superior has to say, and then rushes in the opposite direction, disappearing in the surrounding teepee-shaped tents. That settled, the woman turns about face sharply, heading directly for Sophia.

Stepping back quickly, she instinctively lets the entryway fall closed and immediately feels ridiculous for doing so. She’s already been seen. Almost as soon as she turns away, the sound of the flap being yanked up, draws her back around. There, standing just within the triangular gap, the female scowls and directs one sharp finger her way. “No to move,” she says and then the fabric is falling, sealing her captive back into the dimly lit tent.

Arms wrapping about her waist, Sophia pivots where she stands, taking in the tiny, cramped quarters she’s found herself stuck in. In this place, she doesn’t have to be freaked out first to feel like the walls are caving in around her. They already are. At a sharp tilt, they connect right above her head, leaving her about two feet to walk around in any direction, minus the far wall where she would bump into all the black and gold boxes piled up against it.

Squatting down, she scoops up the dense, fuzzy blanket the woman had tried to attach to her, and looks towards the rolled up cot she’d woken up on. It wasn’t the most uncomfortable experience of her life – minus the whole not knowing where she was, being about two inches off the wooden floor, and scurrying outside only to see a small army of armed men. Yeah, other than that, she’d had a rather restful sleep, one of the best of her life, in fact. Before she’d remembered being forced to travel through time, she’d actually thought that she’d managed to leave behind all her nightmares of her mother. Instead, it turned out that she’d simply replaced them with a new one known as reality outside of her father’s compound.

Shivering, she draws the blanket around her shoulders and glances back at the closed entrance to her tent. Who knew she’d go from being his prisoner to someone else’s?

“Two months,” she whispers softly to herself.

She’d been telling herself that since the summer had begun. Two more months and she’d be eighteen. She’d be a legal adult, and he wouldn’t be able to keep her locked up behind the estate’s gates, wouldn’t have a reason to keep his wife’s murderer under constant supervision. She could’ve been free. Instead, she’s rid of the gates and the grown-ups constantly treating her like she’s porcelain, and has replaced them with strangers who walk around ready and willing to kill at any time.

If the sponsors had waited two months to try to threaten her father into working faster, she’d be away, safely tucked away somewhere else, somewhere far from their guns and their misguided ultimatums. Their fault most definitely lied in their choice of bait. They would’ve had better luck trying to convince him if they had chosen the guard dogs as their captive. Looks like she wasn’t the only one who was screwed over that day. If they’d chosen more wisely, perhaps they would have gotten somewhere but now . . .

The reminder of their failure is pleasing, makes her think for just a moment that she’s not the only one who makes bad decisions.

Slightly comforted despite her predicament, she reaches out and unrolls the thick little rectangle she’d been using as a bed. It extends almost the entire length of the tent, stopping just before it reaches the opposite wall. She gingerly lays down on it, being careful not to irritate her already sore-feeling back, the muscles pulling taut as she wiggles onto her side. Keeping her eyes on the bit of fuzzy, gray-ish brown light illuminating the edges of the tent’s entrance, she slowly, gradually feels the pull of sleep coming over her, creeping up on her from behind now that she’s a bit more content.

~ | ~ | ~

Slédaun stares down at the map of the basin, her shoulders hunched over and her hands tightly wound about the edge of the wooden table. She should be seeing the tiny black flags marking the enemy camps littered throughout the Jinza territory and the white ones spread along the Fenza’s length of woods, but she sees none of it. Instead, there’s a dainty, blonde intruder before her with eyes the color of the sky in all the picture books her scholarly friends used to sneak to her. A sky person, then. She has a sky person in her camp, and she speaks the language of the leaders of old: English.

The warrior pushes away from the tattered, worn map, snorting under her breath. What was it that Emsamni had always told her? She should learn beside him because it might help her out when the outside people finally break through the mountains?

She takes to pacing the length of her tent once more, her wrist grasped tightly behind her back.

“I’m a warrior,” she reminds herself, “what need would a warrior like me have for such a useless, dead language? None!”

No matter how she might repeat the phrase she’d answer her linguist friend with, she cannot shake the facts so clearly set before her. There’s a sky person in her camp. She speaks English, but Slédaun does not because she had always scoffed at the idea of learning it. Emsamni would laugh in her face and hold it over her head forever.

Despite how much she wishes to keep her old friend away, she’d had no choice but to summon him. He’s the most skilled of his teacher’s students. If anyone can translate the girl’s words and manage to keep their mouth closed about what they discuss, it’s him. She has to trust in him since she doesn’t know anyone as well as she knows him. He can keep this secret until His Majesty decides what to do with it.

Shaking her head, she returns to the table, presses her palms to the cool wood and drops her head in defeat. That’s it then, isn’t it? The linguist will never stop talking about how her stubbornness got in the way of being capable of taking care of this on her own, but at least she will deliver onto His Majesty a reason to be happy once again. She will.

Nodding in satisfaction, she turns her attention back to the map, putting the mutant behind her.

“Champion of the People!”

Spinning, she clasps her hands behind her and regards the kneeling warrior before her curiously. She’d made it clear earlier that she did not wish to be disturbed. This man is either very dumb or carries very important information. “Speak your piece,” she tells him coolly.

He presses his fist to his heart and bows his head, gaining her full attention. Such deep regard, important information it is. “The Court’s man sent to observe Your Highness has rushed out of camp,” anger sparks in her chest at not receiving proper farewells, but the next words he utters is more than enough to douse it, “he wants the prostitute you picked up executed in the name of His Majesty.”

She steps forward quickly. “What did you call her?”

The warrior flinches, his chin practically touching his collarbone. “Forgive me. They are his words, not mine!”

The legs! She almost hisses in frustration. She’d tried to get the female to cover them up, but the presumptuous creature had taken off the covering almost as soon as Slédaun had managed to get it on her. Of course that power-seeking mongrel would seek out the fastest way to gain the favors of the Court: don’t talk to His Majesty’s favored captain first, just rush straight to the capital screaming about her dishonoring him.

Gritting her teeth, she tells the man slowly, carefully so as not to let on how offended she is, “Send out the scouts. Tell the surrounding villages that we have with us a sky person wishing to bless His Majesty. Make sure that it spreads fast, and I’ll reward you accordingly. Go now.”

She’s never engaged in scheming before. It’s an odd feeling, especially when mixed with the sting of bitterness lingering in her chest. His Majesty had warned her before that once the officials saw how quickly she’s rising, they would move against her in any way, but she’d never thought they’d go after the king’s reputation as well.

Turning about sharply, she slams her hands down against the table, her jaw gritted against the urge to hiss. It’s an undignified thing to do, a habit she hasn’t fully broken out of since her adolescent years that seems to be growing ever stronger lately. His Majesty, she wonders, how will he react with the two rumors headed his way? She surveys the land left to look over on the edge of the forest and wonders if she should just send out an exploratory branch and head back, move nearer to the capital.

“Champion of the People?”

That’s right. She’s one of the protectors of the nation.

She would let down the citizens if she were to allow a hidden band of Jins to sneak past her. She’ll carry out her duty even if it means giving the Court a chance to convene without her. Breathing in deep, she draws back her shoulders and stands a bit taller, secure in the fact that she can at least do her job and no one can find fault with that.

“Forgive me, but the pros—the guest refuses to eat.”

The voice behind her registers as she lets out the breath. Her eyes lift towards the roof of her tent. Why, she asks silently, why did the sky send down this person of all people? At every turn, she’s causing me problems. Steadying herself with a touch of her palm against the hilt of one of her daggers, she calls out, “You may go now. I’ll handle His Majesty’s guest.”

Looking longingly towards the expanse of land between the two kingdoms, Slédaun finds herself wishing for the chance to go there instead of the tent beside her own. It’s so much easier to go into battle than to deal with as temperamental a person as this sky creature. Clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth, she moves away from the map and down the long fur marking the middle of her tent, heading out into the open air. A few of her newer warriors bow at the sight of her, pressing their fists to their hearts and ducking their chins to their collarbones. She lifts her own hand to her chest and swiftly makes her way to her guest. Being regarded as a leader is odd for her still, but she can only hope that it doesn’t show or the Court will have even more to talk about.

Entering the small home of the sky person, the warrior doesn’t spare a glance for the unmarked servant, dismissing them with a flick of her wrist. The scrawny male places the bowl of porridge on the ground beside her feet and scurries out of her sight, bowing deeply to her on his way. A shiver creeps up her shoulder blades but she lets it go. The faster she forgets her days as a servant, the sooner she can get on with her life.

More important, though, is the shivering girl curled up on the ground. The warrior eyes her warily, refusing to kneel even for His Majesty’s soon-to-be property. The blonde creature gives a full body shake that travels through the floorboards and up into the captain’s ankles. Slédaun hisses under her breath and heads back outside, looking around and trying to remember where she’d had the back up supplies stored. When nothing comes to mind, she waves down a passing servant.

“Bring me one . . . two blankets,” she orders, turning away as soon as she’s done passing on her wishes, not bothering to watch the man hurry away to fulfill it. He’ll either do it or his life will be added to a number of men who have fallen to her blade.

Entering the tent once more, she gets to one knee and grabs the bowl of lumpy porridge. She brings herself right next to the small creature, and marvels at how purple its lips have become. Frowning down at the food in her hands, she lifts the spoon to her mouth and takes a small bite. Freezing, she thinks bitterly, they’re trying to feed a frozen person cold gelatin.

“No wonder you won’t eat it,” she mutters, spinning about and standing. She steps back out, expecting to have to wave down a servant, but the one with the blankets is already within reach. Accepting the bulky items, she passes the bowl on into his hands and motions towards the fresh pot on the fire sitting in the middle of her warriors’ tents. “Send in a fresh, hot serving.”

Returning swiftly to the mutant’s side, she drops one cover to the ground and shakes the other out closest to the entrance. Blankets are so rarely used that there are large holes filling the outside of the one in her hands, the exterior looking ripped and ragged. It’s dense, though, and should be noticeably better at holding in heat than the skirt she’d given the girl earlier. Draping it across the knotted ball of shivers on the ground, she immediately picks up the other and attempts to shake off all of the dust on it.

Once the girl is covered up to the extent that she looks like a giant ringbug, all long and swollen, the warrior sits, legs crossed before her, tucked in close as she waits. The best way to warm a person is to get something hot inside of them. It’ll trick them into thinking they’re better off than they are. It’s while she’s waiting that she notices just how small the creature is.

Eyebrows coming together, she leans forward, eyes straining against the shadows covering the girl’s face. There, she thinks to herself, her skin is taut, stretched around the outline of her cheekbones. No wonder she’s cold. The mutant has not been eating well. Shaking her head at the foolishness of the sky person before her, it’s while Slédaun is reclining away from her that the entryway to the tent is retracted behind her.

Twisting a bit sideways, she holds one hand out for the steaming bowl and dismisses the servant back to his regular duties, having no need for him now that he’s fulfilled his tasks. Later, she’ll probably seek out the one in charge of them and inquire about his name, but until then she has other things to busy herself with, like the freezing creature before her.

“Come, little alien, time to eat the nastiest thing that will ever pass those purple lips,” she calls, making her voice as soothing as she can manage.

The sound is familiar, one she’d heard herself produce only once before: when the creature had started teetering back and forth in the forest, looking like a newborn that had strayed too far from its home and had lost the way back. It’s hard to coolly dismiss newborns. They’re the most innocent beings on Earth.

The creature stirs, mumbles something in English under its breath and then presents its back to the warrior. Slédaun’s lips twist around a sour taste in her mouth. How odd, she muses as she reaches in under the covers and wraps an arm around the creature’s waist, that I should go from being uncomfortable with being regarded as a superior to being upset at being disregarded. She gives a light chuckle and shifts forward, guiding the girl up against her side.

The blankets slip away from her shoulders, drifting down her torso and the sky girl immediately curls herself closer to the warrior. Fighting the urge to scoff at how dependent the mutant is on her, she hefts her a little higher, sitting her up properly. The giant ringbug doesn’t make a noise of complaint, just wiggles a bit closer as a ringbug does and attempts to slip deeper into the throes of sleep.

“Alright, up with you, mutant, and wake up!” Slédaun hisses, the last bit of her patience slipping through her fingers at the continued ignorance of the girl to how inappropriate her actions are. She bounces the thin little thing on her arm, watches her head bobble back and forth before stilling, guilt nibbling at her gut. Huffing, she places the bowl down to the side and shakes the girl awake with a hand on her shoulder.

Wide, pale blue eyes gaze up at her in shocked wonder.

The warrior stiffens, her body remaining fixed in place. Blue is a color unseen naturally on anyone here. Whether of the Jinza or Fenza, it is something you can get dyed into your skin or you can decorate your home with, but it has never been a part of someone’s natural coloring. Everyone Slédaun has ever met has either had brown or yellow eyes, neither of which are remotely close to the startling aquamarine irises suddenly being directed her way.

“What a combo,” she says aloud, knowing that the girl can’t understand a word she says, and also that it’ll definitely frustrate her to be left out, “golden hair and blue eyes. You could become a queen if you so choose.” The creature protests, her face scrunching up in disapproval of Slédaun speaking in a language she doesn’t know. “The feeling’s mutual,” the warrior tells her offhandedly as she looks over to her side and scoops back up the bowl of porridge.

Curious as to what the little mutant will do when she tastes it, she holds it out to her, inviting her in for a taste by making a pushing motion towards her with it. Hesitantly, the girl reaches out and grabs onto the sides, eyeing the white, goopy surface as if it’s bound to leap up out of the dish and try to bite off her nose. She sniffs at the rim, but it doesn’t have a smell. It’s made mostly out of potatoes from the villages mixed with melted ice from the mountains and fat ringbugs. As a warrior, Slédaun has always relied on this meal to develop and maintain her stamina and strength. It was a distasteful concoction in that it tasted like she was licking the bottom of a muddy rock, but it had proven its worth over the years. The worse it tastes the better it is for one’s health.

The girl sends her one last glance before grasping onto the spoon and bringing it to her lips. She watches on in barely suppressed delight as the metal utensil carries its mostly solid, goopy charge closer and closer. The creature’s entire face cringes, warps into a crinkly, wrinkled shell of itself. The warrior watches her closely, encouraging her to finish the bite with a quick motion of her free hand. This, she assumes, is precisely what her younger self had looked like attempting to fight back the rising bile and choke down the chunky paste that her people call porridge. It’s a wonder what the human race can get used to, from awful food to mutated animals and a constant covering of clouds blocking out the sun.

“What a stubborn race we are,” she muses, reaching out and pulling the blankets up closer to the child’s thin, frail-looking frame.

She doesn’t let it bother her that underneath the covers the girl’s partially naked, instead letting her perspective shift to think of the little creature as nothing more than a very large infant, ignorant to the culture of the rest of world. The description, she thinks, is accurate. The girl knows nothing of the language or customs, and has already shown that she is as opposed to the cuisine as most young children that must be sat down and forced to eat for a minimum of one harvest cycle in order to get used to it.

Does that make me the mother?

The thought is appalling, so she lets it go as soon as it takes place, shoving it out of her head before it can infect her.

Apparently feeding off of her agitation, the child rears its ugly head, throwing up words in her own language and babbling on incessantly. Slédaun forgets for a moment about what could be upsetting her until the girl’s practically shoving the dish back her way. Smiling in a way she hopes is comforting, she tries to think of the few words she knows for sure in English, but again all she can really think of is “no”, “to move,” and “thank you.” The three phrases Emsamni thought would come in handy the most for her. She’ll have to remember to thank him later for mocking her life as a warrior.

Now that she’s higher ranked, it’s probably about time that she looks over that dead language once more.

The creature leaning against her attempts to take another bite and cries out against it.

Perhaps the language can’t be considered dead when one of its native speakers is still alive and kicking. She eyes the colorless face of the girl, lingering on the dark purple of her lips. For how long, she wonders, will this little mutant stay that way, though? As she watches, the spoon dips back into the bowl, the need for food overcoming the disgusting quality, and she’s forced to note how even as a mutant creature-thing from the sky, this girl will still choose life over death just like anyone else in the basin.

Sighing deeply, she stiffens her spine and hefts the light child closer, welcoming her bony elbows and hips in favor of not being charged by Emsamni with freezing the only remnants of his precious dead language. She’d have that dangling over her head even longer than the fact that she has a sudden need to learn English.

“Stupid linguist,” Slédaun mutters to herself.

Savage: Part One, Chapter One

As a teenager, Sophia Andrews had had plenty of “worst days ever,” and each time, she was utterly convinced that nothing could make her retract her declaration. It was almost a given that she would say the phrase at least once a week, being the only daughter of a highly regarded mad scientist did that to her. Everything that seemed to go wrong around her took on a heightened degree of importance. If her tutors were even ten or twenty minutes late, it was a sign from the great Gods of the future that her father was not to keep fiddling with his time machines.

She considers it the cruelest kind of irony, then, that she’s now stranded in time.

She had thought her father’s sponsors were kidding. What kind of monsters, she had thought, would send a seventeen-year-old out into the seas of time with nothing but a hunk of metal to help keep the sharks away?

She was betrayed in an instant, her naïve ideals broken before her very eyes, and she found that it was with the lightest of sensations that she had been ripped away from her home, her time. One minute she was standing still, trembling and surrounded by big men with even bigger guns, and the next, she was here, feeling as light as a feather. Wherever here is, that is.

As far as she can see, there is only white. There’s nothing around her, no walls or doors, no living or non-living thing to assure her that she’s not actually just dead or in limbo. She’s just standing, or lying, there’s no real distinction for her to tell which it is. She simply is. Perhaps because she doesn’t know what’s happened to her or where she’s going, she’s painfully aware of the fact that there’s nothing she can do to get away, nothing to change the fact that she’s been sacrificed, condemned to share the same fate as her mother.

Her lungs spasm violently against her rib cage, forcing a cough to tear through her chest. A thick lump appears in her throat, unyielding to her attempt at swallowing it away. Reflexively, her arms coil around her stomach at the reminder of the woman who gave birth to her; the very same woman who died because of her.

Sophia had been six at the time, playing hide and seek, when the lights went out.

It started out just like any other day. Her mother was supposed to come into her father’s lab and look behind the pile of boxes Sophia was hiding behind. She was supposed to chase her, catch her, and praise her for being so good at hiding. Instead, the power turned off.

Much like the light that suddenly swept Sophia out to sea, the darkness had descended upon them like a curtain finally set loose of its bonds. There was a moment, a brief flicker of one really, where her six-year-old self had made eye contact with her mother. She was too young to understand, to even notice, really, that her mother was standing in the dead-center of the time machine’s platform. Her mom knew, though. She gave a soft, barely there smile when their gazes met, and that was that.

The generator kicked in. Her father’s project started humming, coming to life in seconds. Three magnetic rings lifted out of the ground. They created a thin barrier between their trapped victim and the rest of the world, a bright white light filling up the gaps between them. The blinding veil spread out between each ring, consuming what little space there was and creating a cylinder of pure light in the darkness – an effective wall that has since haunted Sophia’s every nightmare.

There was no screaming or tears or pain. Her mother was just there, somewhere behind the light show that was playing before her daughter’s eyes. The rings were spinning, whirling in place in a feverish, rhythm-less dance. The room was filled with the sound of a million fans gaining power, reaching their peak, and then gradually dying as the rings sank back into position on the floor, taking the curtain of electricity with them. The only difference when the lights came back on was that her mother was nowhere to be seen. And all Sophia knew back then was that her mom was gone and her father was saying she’d never come back.

She had always thought of death as something slow, drawn out. Something she could adjust to with time. That’s not how it was. It was a flash. A bang. A light turning on. And then, off. One second, a person’s alive. The next, they’re not. And everyone is calling them dead, but it doesn’t feel like they’re dead. It feels like playing peek-a-boo with the boo part suddenly yanked away.

The people around Sophia had called her the daughter of a hero, of a woman who would make the unthinkable sacrifice in order to further science’s progress. Her father had been sure to tell the world that it was on purpose. Most thought he meant that the couple had planned it. Sophia knew the truth. If her mother was the hero, then that made her the villain. And she lived with that for the eleven years following her mother’s passing.

Now that she’s finally seeing for herself where her mom had gone, she feels the beginnings of a smile come over her. This, she thinks, is exactly what Ma had seen. The empty space around her starts to blur, so she looks up towards her forehead, blinking hard to try and dry her eyes. There’s no time for tears. The time for them had come and gone while she’d been trying to reach a shred of humanity left in her father’s house.

With weak hands, she lifts the metal cube she’d been sent with and looks it over for the nth time. It doesn’t tell her where or when she’s travelling to, it just blinks its red light at her. There’s no sound. No voice trying to tell her what’s going on. It’s just a bunch of unlabeled knobs and buttons and switches, and that one central red blot. She looks away from it, tries to quell the red-hot boiling sensation churning in her stomach, but all she sees is the whiteness around her, the nothingness. Her chest constricts, pupils dilating, and then she’s screaming into the void, daring it to say something back. Her arm lifts, draws back as her throat is scratched raw. The hunk of useless metal sent flying.

The lights go out.

~ | ~ | ~

A basin – the people have always called their little world such – with tall, jagged edges in the form of unconquerable mountains for walls. Above, a covering of mottled beige clouds reign supreme, a reminder of why the Laws were put in place. Below, the land is divided by one long, tumultuous river that begins at the base of one mountain and snakes along the scarred, blackened earth where a vast forest once stood only to die at the base of another.

On either side of the great body of water, that charred soil is known as the land where soldiers go to fight for their kingdoms out of the way of civilian eyes, and, eventually, where they are all hoping to die. The place where most deaths occur is surrounded on either side by a thick layer of densely packed, prickly never-green trees. They grow tall and thick, in bunches and circles, patterns many a traveler have tried to master, but once a person enters the woods, it is one thing to have as good a map as you can and quite another to traverse the forest without ever having a drop of sunlight.

Beyond the woods, on both sides, are villages consisting of clusters of tiny clay huts, gathered in tight around one long, oval-shaped building, protected from the outside with tall, wooden fences. Both kingdoms have four gated groups beyond their capital’s walls, each specializing in one particular source of food. A tradition originally started when metal birds still flew in the sky and the entire world was within reach. The time before Earth was destroyed, before the sun went away and sealed them into the prison they call a basin.

The people living beneath the clouds do not see the symmetry of their world, cannot grasp how alike both territories are. They see only the Fenza Kingdom to the north and the Jinza Queendom to the south. They see that one celebrates the life-giving powers of men, and the other pays homage to the female’s ability to carry children. And where the Fens have a king who must never marry, the Jins have a queen who will never reproduce. They know that the stretch of burned land between the two territories is long and hard to get around and that the people opposite to them are not like they are. They look different and speak in odd ways, and that upsets the faint-hearted people of either side. Thus, the battle wages on, the citizens of either side demanding that blood be spilt, but that they never see a drop of it.

In this land marred by inescapable wars, a female Champion of the People has been ambushed.

Her encampment lies on the outskirts of the northern territory, Fenza, stashed away along the edge of the forest. She stands before the battle, observing her warriors with a placid, almost uninterested, expression. If she so chooses, she won’t have to engage in hand-to-hand combat this day. She is decorated with His Majesty’s favor, carrying all of his gifts on her person to broadcast how important a captain she is to her nation. The enemies will not dare to test her strength unless she enters the fight of her own will.

Upon her hips, she carries four different daggers, the shortest being twelve inches in length and the longest twenty-four. Each is from His Majesty’s personal collection. Upon her back, four swords. Two hilts hook over her bare shoulders – dyed red for the army she laid flat for her king – their blades curving down behind her arms and coming around to protrude out under her ribs. They’re the type to be clutched in her fists and then swoop backwards over her arms, descending far past her elbows. The other two swords are her preferred weapons in battle: twin scimitars. They cross over her back, creating a familiar x with their sheaths, the blades wickedly hooked just before the handle, creating a nice surprise for her enemies.

The only thing that sets His Majesty’s gifts visibly apart from all the other warriors before her is the gems embedded in their clear hilts, making them glint and shine no matter where they are or how little the lighting. The stones within her weapons are of incredible value, rare finds that can only come from His Majesty ordering the mining of the mountains, and are contained within a special binding element reserved only for the royal family. The red-hilted weapons, the ones that never fail to draw her the most attention, were crafted with some of the precious rocks that were given to the Fenza Kingdom during the times when the sun still washed over the land.

The captain, a woman by the name of Slédaun , catches the eye of a Jin among her men. She holds the contact as she pulls her scimitars free. They make a pleasing, ringing sound when she draws them across the metal lining at the end of their sheaths. The sound lingers in her ears, a familiar lullaby to her senses. On light steps, she descends from the lifted platform of her tent, entering the fray with a peaceful feeling in her chest. The Jin watches her carefully, his gaze dipping, taking in the amount of His Majesty’s belongings she has. This one, she knows, will not dare to underestimate her. Most men she’s ever fought saw only a woman on a battlefield full of men and missed the scattering of bodies at her feet. This man is not such a fool. He will offer her a good fight.

She pauses and watches as her nearest warriors spread out away from her, offering a more open pathway to her. Their aim is not to endanger her. They are honoring her prowess as a warrior, showcasing before their enemies that she has earned her right to lead them. Slédaun sets her feet and hefts the weight of her blade, a pleased warmth spreading down her arm and branching out through her stomach. For four days, she has missed the gentle dance of battle, has longed to clash with the enemy sooner or later.

It is with tangible glee, that she joins the Jin warrior in a dance to the death, matching his steps with hers and twirling within close range of his sword. He does not dual-wield like she. His attacks will cost him more in defense. She keeps that in mind, letting him strike at her, hack at the black plated armor traveling up the sides of her legs. The ringing of mountain-made armor on metal, draws her own blades down on reflex, taking a dip into the inner muscle of his forearm. His dancing falters, his steps falling out of sync with hers.

She takes over, steps closer and increases the pace, pressing him backwards, deeper into the pairs of dancers around them. Slédaun lets her weapons move freely, like extensions of her limbs as she pivots around him, tucks in close and pushes one arm straight out. Her blade slides in under his ribs, and she can’t fight the biting sting of disappointment at having ended his life so quickly. He jerks when she pulls back again, his body going stiff. Not wanting him to suffer on his way, she aims higher this time, going straight for the heart.

Slédaun pauses mid-thrust of her scimitar to look towards the sky overhead. For a moment, when the tip of her blade had pierced his skin, she thought she’d seen sunlight, golden and fair, shimmering at the edge of her vision. Her mother had told her of the ball of fire hidden away from them, had vividly painted in her mind a giant glowing warmth hanging above the trees. Expectantly, she watches the sky, her lips pinched together in concentration.

There, her eyes narrow, fixing on the sight of a white thread cutting through the thick covering of clouds and smoke above, cutting through the darkness. It is not sunlight though, the warrior recognizes that. This light is different, rigid and sharply lined and not glowing so much as flaring angrily against the absence of light. It carves a straight path through the dense mottled gray overhead, and hurtles towards…

Slédaun tracks its trajectory with her eyes, frowning when the tops of the trees cut off her view. It’s while she’s backtracking, searching for where the light has gone, that she notices something irregular: a flicker in the corner of her eye. Her interest piqued, she turns away completely from the battle overcoming her camp.

If today is her day to die, then it will happen whether she’s paying attention or not.

Sheathing her blades over her shoulders, she squints at the sky, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that she’s going to see something. Her eyes strain against the darkness blanketing the basin, determined to view whatever it is that managed to catch her attention. Huffing, she raises her hand back to the handle of her sword, and is about to return to fighting off the ambush when she spots it. Further down than the first light she saw is a thicker strand traveling perpendicular to the ground. This new one is brighter at the end pointing towards the ground and tapers off at the other. This one, she knows, is going to land in the forest.

While she watches it fall, it dims, becomes less white and almost a pale yellow, barely visible even to Slédaun who prides herself on having great vision. It flickers in and out of her sight, sometimes giving into the dense fog that hovers just above the treetops, and other times repelling it. Until at last, at long last, it succumbs and vanishes from view.

Glancing back at her men valiantly driving away the Fens, the warrior looks towards the edge of camp, her gaze connecting with that of her observer the Council demanded she take along. He doesn’t try to hide the fact that he’s watching her, so she doesn’t try to hide her escape. She simply places her fist over her heart to send him her regards, and then walks away, heading into the bowels of the forest. His Majesty will forgive her. Especially, when she brings him the meteor.

Her mother had told her about things like this: burning drops of light that used to fall during the time the sun ruled the skies. Meteors, she called them, rocks that were pulled down to the ground.

Slédaun was not a stupid child. She did not think her mother to be useless like the other children. An unmarried female warrior is a smart one, whether they have children or not, at least they still have the right to battle. So, she listened, because her mother was smart, and her mother was strong, and those were all the things that Slédaun had wanted to be.

Yes, she muses to herself, His Majesty will forgive me. I will fetch him a gift from the sky.

~ | ~ | ~

When the world stops spinning, Sophia opens her eyes. At first, all she sees is a dark nothingness. She squints, rubs her eyes, and tries again. Fuzzily, she can just barely make out a tree-like object towering over her, but it looks burnt, completely black and lifeless. She tries to get up and take a closer look, but her limbs twinge sharply when she attempts to move. Reluctantly, she stays where she is, trying to be as still as possible to avoid causing the pain to get any worse.

Around her, there are only trees as far as her eyes can see, or at least that’s what she assumes are the source of the pitch-black shadows lurking behind the nearest ones that she can see. If she could turn her head, perhaps she would be able to make out the wilderness around her, the wild tangle of tree trunks and shrubs and pointy, prickly underbrush all woven together on the forest floor, creating almost a shield between her and the nasty little creatures hiding in the shadows.

Sophia’s never been afraid of the dark. She could sleep just fine without a night light when she was a child. But, as she’s coming to realize, being in her own bed and in the middle of a patch of black trees are two completely different things. Here, she can feel the fear unfurling within her like an eager poppy for the first drop of sunlight after a long, restless night. It is not a pleasant feeling, and she is not happy in the least to experience it. To her, it serves as an unnecessary reminder that, for the first time in her life, she’s not on her father’s compound and there isn’t the slightest chance that she’ll randomly stumble upon someone she recognizes.

The thought is enough to make her cringe, her very soul curdling at the idea of being so quickly and completely torn away from everything she’s ever known. Her fingers spread outward, thoughtlessly seeking out the solidity of the ground beneath her to steady the raging of her heart. It gallops within her chest, beating against her in waves of stampeding horses. That’s how her mother had always explained her irregular heartbeat to her. Tiny horses, she’d say, naysayers to your desires.

Sophia laughs, humorlessly, dryly.

She wiggles her fingers, testing the waters. When no pain interrupts the movement, she stretches them, points them as far out as they can go. Her hand is unusually stiff, but there isn’t the faintest pinprick of discomfort, so she rolls her wrist. Nothing. Pleased, she attempts to sit up, deciding that the pain from earlier must have been a residual effect of time travel. Almost as soon as she reaches the halfway point, approximately forty-five degrees off the ground, her lower back constricts on a muscle spasm. Crying out sharply, she drops back down, curling over onto her side in an effort to ease the strain.

“Ow, ow!” She mutters, one arm reaching back to rub soothing circles into her irritated back. With a last, almost accusatory throb, her body finally relaxes, and she’s forced to admit that perhaps she shouldn’t try to move around for a good while.

As if in mockery of her decision, the treetops shake violently and a massive dark cloud propels itself from their straggly branches and into the far off, brownish-gray distance. Birds, Sophia thinks bitterly. Being envious of a tiny brained organism is not something she’s used to, but then again, so is being curled up in the fetal position on the forest floor. Beggars can’t be choosers, but they certainly can be spiteful, she acknowledges as she listens on with a touch of glee as one bird gives a harsh, grating squawk of a noise followed shortly by an unusually satisfying thump.

She snickers to herself. That’ll teach them to mock me.

Her pleasant mood lasts for all of two more seconds before it dawns on her: birds don’t have a tendency to just drop out of the sky. As far as she knows, that hurts, and primitive animals are prone to avoid things that cause them pain. Why then, did that one give a death cry and then plummet to the ground? Sophia curses under her breath, and slowly, gradually uncoils her body. Her torso doesn’t protest this time. Instead, it’s her legs’ turn.

Her palm connects with her forehead as she falls limply upon her back, her thighs and calves feeling as unyielding and rigid as brick, tremors of tension rolling through her lower back. Somewhere out there is the source of that animal’s death, so, of course, it stands to reason that her ability to run far, far away is gone.

She lays in absolute stillness. The best defense she has without her legs is playing dead, something she did often as a child, but was always discovered to be alive when she had to breathe. Determined that she’ll actually manage to go without oxygen this time around, she digs her fingertips into the ground for strength and tries to still the increasingly rapid beating of her heart. She doesn’t have to wait long for her resolve to be tested.

Almost as soon as she stops moving, there’s a vibration travelling up her fingertips, followed by another. And another. The pacing of the vibrations is slow, spaced out evenly as if someone is tip-toeing around, trying to be as noiseless as possible. She feels it in her bones, it is here. Whatever took down that fast-moving bird has arrived to claim another head to mount on its wall. Sophia’s worst fears are solidified, when the tremors become near and strong enough to travel up her fingers and into her palm. The sound of dirt crunching under a delicate, slow step sounds nearby and she can’t help but think that the murderer must be right beside her now, some unfathomably dangerous weapon aimed for her throat.

The visitor creeps closer and closer until they come to a stop beside her, one foot settling in the gap between her arm and her side. Sophia tries not to squirm as she feels a light caress against her ribs and a puff of cool air skimming over her face. Unfortunately for her, her mouth is open, so she has the good fortune of tasting instead of smelling the metallic cloud of blood surrounding her curious observer.

If she should open her eyes, she would scream at the sight before her: the face of a painted native hovering so near to hers. She’d take one look at their pale, almost silver looking skin and the golden glow of their irises, and never stop screaming until her lungs gave out.  But her eyes remain closed, so all she can do is sit and wallow in her own thoughts. Her imagination quickly paints her guest as having crevice-filled, bloodied teeth and burned, rotting flesh, stray splatters of blood painting their flesh.

The thing sniffs her again, this time daring to poke at her cheeks and hair, and the young girl desperately tries to quiet the frantic, irregular drumming of her heart. It palpitates in her chest, banging against her ribs as if to shout to the heavens, “I’m here! I’m here!” Her lips dry.

A silent plea fills her head for her entire being to lie still and wait. It grows and grows until she fears it may burst free of her numb throat. Something thin and sharp touches down on her neck as if aware of the words struggling to break free from there. A knife intent on helping them along. There’s no doubt in her mind then that if they escape the exact opposite of what she wants will happen. She wails internally, wanting nothing more than to screech out her anxiety and curl up into a ball to await her fate.

In spite of her despondent thoughts, a pitiful whimper of a noise claws up from the depths of her stomach, refusing to abide by her demands. The thing above her jerks back. Instead of cutting her throat open as she’d expected, it backpedals a few steps and vanishes. And then there are no tremors, no vibrations — just a penetrating stillness in the earth and air.

Sophia can’t help the sigh of relief that leaves her. She sits up, clutching at her throat with one hand. She feels on the verge of collapsing with thankful tears when something rustles through the leaves above her. Her head whips up, sending a swarm of black fuzz before her vision. The world tilts precariously. She sways to the side, the hand at her throat lifting to clutch at her head, to try and balance the Earth once more.

Her vision clears just in time for her to see a blurred shadowy figure pass between the outline of bushes beyond her patch of land. She tenses, legs tucking up close beside her, more than prepared to throw caution into the wind and run for her life. It doesn’t matter to her what direction it’s in. So long as it’s far from where she is now, she doesn’t care.

A fierce hiss pierces the dusty brown air, silencing Sophia’s thoughts of escape and drawing her petrified attention. Her body trembles uncontrollably at the sight of a slender-faced human perched within the entanglement of tree branches. She would call them a person, but the more fitting word that comes to her mind is savage. In the glint of the little bit of light managing to sift through the thick storm clouds overhead, Sophia can just barely make out the sharpened canines peeking out of the thing’s glistening, ruby red lips. The hissing noise, she quickly notes, is coming from there.

“Oh God, I’m gonna die!” Sophia moans, tucking her legs tightly to her chest and lightly rocking herself back and forth. The motion is soothing, distracting from the harsh reality of the absolute whack job surveying her from above.

All at once the hiss shifts into a lilting hum. The leaves rustle agitatedly as the person within them leans forward, one hand extended to the thick, low-hanging branch below them. Sophia looks up again, and chokes on a sob. She can see more of the other person now, but the sight is not exactly comforting.

Above the lips, that are still wet from the bird they killed, is a small nose with thin, long slits for nostrils. Their eyes are almost rectangular in shape and narrow in height. The dim lighting doesn’t allow for a great view of them, but she can at least see the whites, something that although small, still brings her a bit of comfort. It’s human, one with oddly shaped features, but a human nonetheless.

She’s far more transfixed by the person’s skin than their face, though. It’s whiter than newly made paper yet verging on an almost unnaturally strong, luminescent silver color, as if it’s been bleached and bleached to the point of not even looking alive anymore. A thick, hollow diamond of red covers most of their face, coating the already bizarre colored skin in what Sophia can only hope is paint. Between their eyebrows is another diamond but smaller and filled in.

Something flutters and settles beside its head, but Sophia has to squint to see what it is. Resting on their shoulders, are thick, dark dreads with flashes of sleek, wide ribbons interwoven over their surface. The bands of hair are bigger than any that Sophia’s seen, looking about as round as three of her fingers compressed together.

It’s while she’s focused on the native’s unusual features that there’s a flash of silver. Her gaze catches on the most important aspect of the person before her: the wickedly curved blade in their hands.

The sword is practically double the length of their forearm and narrows down into a fine, deadly point at the end. The part that steals Sophia’s breath away though is the sharpened edge turned in her direction. It gleams with a fresh, wet coating of liquid, some gathered into a thick droplet on the deadly tip, on the verge of being pulled to the ground by gravity. It killed something. Breathing hard and unable to focus on anything other than the weapon, the girl almost misses the smooth, effortless glide of the person as it moves to the ground – almost.

It lingers between the tree and the forest floor, free hand on the low hanging branch and a foot extended towards the ground, as if intent on denying gravity and taking flight instead of landing. The moment can’t last forever. The hand releases its hold, and the savage to touches down, the action disturbingly noiseless. Head tilted and pale-yellow eyes appearing to flicker in the tree’s shadow, it remains where it is. The movement is beyond graceful and so far out of Sophia’s uncoordinated league that she feels a spark of admiration for the creature that could pull it off even as her throat closes up, a deep anxiety rolling through her stomach at the thing being that much closer.

She looks away from its face for relief, hoping to deny its existence altogether if she must, and notices something she really should’ve earlier: boobs. It’s a she, a very half-naked she. Her torso is crisscrossed with thick, vibrant strokes of the red paint. It creates one giant diamond that starts between her prominent breasts, fans out across her abdomen, and ends just as her skin tight pants begin. Around it are slightly thinner branches that disappear behind her back but reappear to curl upwards along the slight v shape at her hips. Much like her face, there’s a smaller diamond, this one covering her belly button.

Sophia’s eyes lift warily, pausing in stunned horror on little spikes of whitish-gray bone extending lethally from the unknown person’s elbows and shoulders. It’s a dangerous, incompletely dressed she. Its mouth opens and a stream of incomprehensible music emerges.

The words are light and upbeat, dancing through the listener’s ears to the most exotic, fast-paced rhythm the time traveler has ever heard. It’s a seamless blend of high and low pitches, as if two people are speaking together but with one voice. It’s like nothing I’ve ever heard, Sophia admits, drawing on old memories of her mother’s records only to come up short. There’s nothing she can compare it to.

Then the person stops and waits, its eyes fixed earnestly on the prone girl. A response then, the crazy knife-bearing native wants me to respond. Breathing in deeply, Sophia briefly considers the idea of trying to sing back to the woman, but quickly relinquishes the idea. She very strongly doubts that her unused vocal cords could produce anything even remotely similar to what she just heard. They’d snap trying.

Instead, she pulls herself upright, tries not to let her fear show, and says, “Hello.” It doesn’t come out quite as elegantly as whatever the woman had said and, in comparison, sounds more like a cross between a hiccup and a croak than an actual person’s voice.

~ | ~ | ~

Slédaun eyes the mutant before her, watching as it gives a pathetic little squeak and flops to the ground, eyelids drifting shut. If she were a better Fens, she would’ve tried to catch the poor little creature, but she is not such a person. She sheathes her dagger and purses her lips, a hiss bubbling up the back of her throat. She came here for a rock, and instead, she’s found some dying breed’s weak spawn. Will His Majesty accept such a gift? What use are small sky things of unknown origin?

Lips curling in distaste, the warrior looks towards the sky for an answer. Why send something so unnecessary? Puffing up her chest in indignation, she steps up to its sleeping form and nudges it once with her foot. It gives the same little wailing sound it made when she’d originally tested its throat for life and rolls over.

Once it’s lying flat before her, Slédaun takes a moment to look it over more carefully.

Before, she’d been convinced that she’d have to bury the dead intruder, and was taking its measures with her eyes, missing the opportunity to assess it as closely as it had her. But perhaps, on closer examination, it will reveal that it at least carries something of value. She crouches down beside it, reaching out with one exploratory hand, and hooks one finger in the creature’s poorly managed hair.

The warrior’s jaw almost unhinges at how soft and light the strands are. She pulls the pleasing locks up higher, and this time her mouth does open, her grip faltering and letting them fall. Before her is a golden-haired mutant. Her eyes drift to their chest, brows knitting at the appearance of swells in the flimsy covering there. A female mutant.

How fortunate. Slédaun almost smiles, assured that His Majesty will forgive her. The only thing left to do now is sneak her in past the man observing the camp. If he sees the girl, he’ll definitely try to lay claim to the warrior’s find. Thankfully, he judged the woman as an easy target due to her sex, so there won’t be an extra sets of eyes that she has to avoid. The task before her is an easy one. She’ll wait until the sky reaches its darkest and then carefully return to her men. Of course, she’ll have to find an extra mat somewhere and store her in the tent of blessings set beside the captain’s. Her soldiers are loyal, so she feels secure in the fact that none will touch something she’s so obviously trying to keep to herself.

Satisfied with her strategy, the warrior scoops up her prize, tossing it over one shoulder and draping one hand over its—

At the touch of bare skin on her palm, she drops it.

Heart racing in her throat, Slédaun eyes the brazen little creature before her, watching it make more noises under its breath and roll over away from her. Quickly dusting her hands off on the sides of her hips, the warrior avoids looking at the female’s bare legs. It’s valuable, she reminds herself, so I can’t abandon it for being inappropriately dressed. Just pick it up. Pretend it’s a child. A dumb, germ-infested child.

Gaze lifting to the clouds overhead, she counts slowly under her breath, bracing herself for the degrading act of touching an unconscious female’s legs, and hesitantly reaches for it once again. Sighing deeply at what she does to keep His Majesty happy, Slédaun hefts the dirty, disgusting thing over her shoulder and draws her dagger with her free hand. This time around, there will be no avoiding the forest dwellers by taking to the trees.

How wonderful indeed, she thinks sarcastically.

Dare of the Day #2

Dare of the Day #1 can be found here.

In case, you didn’t know yet, Dare of the Day is something that Camp NaNoWriMo is doing. They send you a Care Package, and somewhere in it there’s a dare from whoever was in charge of the package that time. The one I got the other day is as follows:

Dare of the Day

Today’s dare comes from @Castiel_Watson on Twitter

Pick out a theme song for each of your characters. Why did you pick that song? Would the character like that song?

Do you have a dare you’d like to see in a future Care Package? Use the #DareNaNo hashtag on Twitter to suggest it! 

So, here it goes. Be forewarned, I have hella characters (okay six), and I’ve been dying to get to know them better, so I may have . . . you know what? I’m just gonna dive right in.

Shall we?

These first three are in order of who’s point of view (POV) comes first since the book is split into three parts and follows each of their perspectives per section. 

Sophia Andrews (Main Character – MC)

Song: Because of You by Kelly Clarkson

Reason: When Sophia was around six, she witnessed her mother being sucked into her father’s time machine. Both herself and her dad blame her for it, and since then, she’s tried to be as cautious as possible, never getting too close to anyone and trying not to get involved in the lives of others. Which, I think, almost perfectly matches with Clarkson’s song.

Would Sophia like the song? Probably not. It emphasizes putting the blame on the other person, but Sophia’s more the type to think that everything is her fault, so she’d hear this song and only feel even more guilty.


L’eodanist (MC – pronounced lee–euu–d-ah-n–ist)

Song: Once Upon A Time (Not long Ago, I Was A Hoe) by Mariahlynn, awesome choreo for it here.

Reason: L’eodanist was born to a family that had fallen form grace and offended the Royal Family by stealing money, so he had to work his way up from there in order to get back into the palace, much like a hoe now turned mostly civilized.  Much like Mariahlynn’s song, he doesn’t try to hide where he came from and he embraces most everything about who he used to be and who he is now. However, he’s not as proud as the song might suggest, so . . .

Would L’eodanist like the song? No. He doesn’t like bragging or over-sharing, and he especially hates loose women, so, y’know most of the song is out of his favor.

Slédaun (MC – pronounced sl-ey-dah-on)

Song: Alright, I cheated here. She’s a cross between Astrid S’s Jump and Zella Day’s Sacrifice.

Reason: Slédaun is a warrior who’s gone numb to the idea of death, and while she’s wholeheartedly dedicated to the lives of the people she cares about or is indebted to, she doesn’t have very much regard for her own. She’s not suicidal, but at the point that the story picks up at, she’s taken to viewing life as temporary, something that only ends one way for everybody. So, I chose Jump. On the other hand, she’s the kind of person to do everything in her power to make it so that other people – *ahem* Sophia *ahem* – can live. She could have internal bleeding and a broken arm, but she would still fight to her last breath if a person she’s in charge of is put in harm’s way.

Would Slédaun like the songs? On a linguistic level, no. She doesn’t speak English, and finds it to be a complete waste of her time to learn any other language besides the one that the people of her time speak. On a sound level, yes. Slédaun has a tendency to favor higher pitched voices and since both artists have them, she’d probably still listen to them for the time that they’re playing and never again. So, all around, maybe . . no, not really.

The next three characters are organized from least to most evil. Enjoy!

Emsamni (em-sah-m-knee)

Song: Towards the Sun by Rihanna

Reason: No matter how bad things seem to get for him or his friends, Emsamni seems to always find the bright side, or a way to make things bright again. He’s not one to linger in the dirty water of plans that fall through or the “what if”s of life. He’s definitely one of my more calm, super positive characters (which is probably why my pessimist self finds it so hard to keep him true to himself when trying out dialogues), and that is definitely one of his strongest points.

Would Emsamni like the song? Oh, heck yes! Not only is Emsamni a linguist who’s fascinated by the ancient language of English, but he’s also very fond of music, something that is greatly interwoven with the language of his people. He’s not a very picky person, so honestly, I could give him that vine about a druggy owl and he’d think it was the best thing ever.

Amradra (ahm-rah-drah)

Song: King by Lauren Aquilina

Reason: Well, first off the most obvious one (to me, not you, you don’t know who this guy is), he’s the king of the Fenza kingdom, so there’s that. But on top of that, he’s constantly trying to protect his throne and his family from the cutthroat atmosphere of the Court. There’re a lot of instances throughout his reign where he’s felt that there’s nothing he can do, that his position is his in title alone, and has felt the restrictions of a man without power trying to choke him of oxygen. In those moments, he visits his children and tries to think of the others who are depending on him to keep them safe. I think this song fits his constant struggle particularly well considering that it talks of gaining back your strength in a time of feeling lost and sad and like nothing you do will ever make a difference.

Does Amradra like the song: Only in secret. He’s a king so he can’t appear too weak or dependent on others without inviting in his enemies in to take a stab at his weaknesses. In the privacy of his room, I could totally see him grabbing all his concubines and interpretative dancing away the night with a sea of food with them.

Draunslé (dr-ah-on-sl-ey)

Song: I Mean It by G-Eazy

Reason: The epitome of self-involved with a touch of overwhelming honesty and holding true to the words that he says. Yeah, that kind of sums up this character. Oh, and you can’t forget the obsession with proving himself to be better and more powerful than anybody else. All of which can be said about either Draunslé or G-Eazy, your choice!

Would he like the song? No, as the lyrics suggest that G-Eazy is more powerful/important and sleeping with the woman that Draunslé is involved with. If he heard it, he’d probably just send out his people to take care of his light work (aka kill him).


Well, that’s it. I’ve finished.

I’m kind of sad. Like, I wish I had more influential characters so that I could go on for a good five pages. Wouldn’t that be fun? Hopefully, more people will suggest dares that have to do with my characters. There’s just so much that I’m dying to say. So. Much!


Ciao for Now,

~Amelie J. Hyde

Next: creating a character that’s the complete opposite of myself

What fun!

Apology Poem, Courtesy of NaNoWriMo Care Package

In case you didn’t know: Camp NaNoWriMo – which you can learn more about here – sent me a care package ( . . . like two days ago, but whatever)! So, I’ve decided to actually do one of their suggestions, because it sounded super neat. The dare went pretty much like this – actually, exactly like this, I just copied and pasted it – so here it is!

Dare of the Day

Today’s dare is from our Camp Counselor, Ibi: 

I dare you to write a long-ass poem—a never-ending poem. No rhyme or reason. Don’t focus on paragraphs or quotation marks, or even capitalizing. Throw words on the page in the most minimalist way possible. Focus on nouns and verbs and beautiful adjectives. Play with onomatopoeia and metaphor and alliteration. Don’t end your poem to begin another. Simply continue it, add to it. And I promise you, you’ll see your writing evolve.

Do you have a dare you’d like to see in a future Care Package? Use the #DareNaNo hashtag on Twitter to suggest it!

So, yeah, first things first, I tried in the beginning to do that whole “minimalist” thing, but I couldn’t. I’m way too used to punctuation since I write so much, but I tried and it shows, and no, it does not go on forever (I mean, obviously). Also, somehow I ended up making like a mini story out of this . . . so, really I didn’t end up doing anything that they said to do, and I suck at dares.

Lesson learned. Let’s go!



they always seem to flow freely from me

like a burst of sewage from a broken pipe

it’s almost funny, really

I’m not even remotely apologetic

On the inside, if you could see that deep,

I’m not at all sorry

but since all you’re hearing is my voice

it’s not that hard to mistake me


They stink

Much like the trash when I forget to take it out

I apologize afterwards

But I don’t really mean it

I love doing nothing and doing chores is not


Never mind

I’m sorry, this came out all wrong.

Let me start over.


Are about as valuable to me as

A seventy-five year old prostitute

A man who abandoned his country in its time of need


A person who would rape another just for giggles


Are something we throw at one another like toys

And somewhere along the way we thought it was okay

That no one really needs to believe in what we say.

But I say nay, nay.

If your words do not match your actions,

what am I to listen to?

The beating of your heart when it races for me

And her

And her

And her

And every other girl you’ve thrown that phrase at?

Should I get in line and wait my turn, forcing my lips to conform

To the smiles of the idiots around me?


This didn’t come out quite the way I was expecting.

What I meant to say, what I’ve been dying to tell you is:

I love you.

So, go on, say your “sorry.”

I get it. I do. Apologizing is second nature to you.

Even when you’re crying and upset, and I can see the fractures

Splintering through your chest, you force a grimace

That, I suppose, resembles a smile.

And then, you


Like clockwork, like a never ending tape set to replay,

You say those two – sometimes three if you’re feeling particularly motivated –

words to me.

Or do you throw them?

Like scraps of meat to starving dogs.

So that you may call on them another day,

You ask for their forgiveness as you starve them to


Who will apologize to me when you let us die?

Will you write it in your will?

May I see your will already?

Both of us are still functioning, yes,

But barely.

You’re more like a robot, going through the motions,

and I’m that life-like doll you keep around as arm candy

Perhaps, one day, you’ll glue wings to my back,

but much like you’re meaningless apologies

I doubt they’ll actually work.


Lately, you’ve taken to calling me a snarky female dog

That’s not very nice, you know.

You should apologize, but of course we both know

Lying to my face never really did work out well for you

did it?

I suppose you faking who you really are worked in your favor

I was fooled

Sometimes I still am.

I look back on that man you used to be

The one with the wit and the charm and all the manners

And I think to myself, “huh, guess I should’ve fallen for that guy.”

Snarky, you say? Who?  Me?


Continue on with your day, leave me be

I have no interest in your games or your toys you wave around in my face

I’ve found something even better than you

His name is


A device I once discussed with you,

But it went right over your head, sloshed around in the empty


you call a brain

And seemed to slide right out your ears,

Reminding me of that time I asked you


Anything of particular that I say to you,

You seem to promptly forget,

Like the scarecrow that shoved all his straw and hay out as soon as it was put in

I stuff you full of information

About me

About us

About the others

The “side dishes”

Yet it all seems to come right back to


I didn’t hear you

Over the sound of my own ego.

Yes, yes, I know, darling,

You’re terribly frightened of me,

A woman with actual brains,

Not the tiny nut you have stashed away for winter,

and it scares you so, but

Don’t fret, honey,


Are our way of saying, I love you

Aren’t they?

Or is it the other way around?

Do we say I love you as if it, in some way,

Can undo the damage of sticking together without actually being together

Like all our sorries and plays at forgiveness are all just a cover up,

A screen we erected to hide what we truly mean?


I don’t care enough about you to actually argue.


I told you I loved you once, but it was like an acidic reflex,

Completely out of my control.


Are spewed from a string of other “not really listening” phrases,

and this is the one that shuts you up the fastest.


Ignore me.

I’m not really here


I’ve found someone else.

And I guess that’s all you need to know, so


That I’m leaving you for someone who doesn’t actually talk to me

For someone who never seems to have time for me

I seem to have a “type,” but you have a sick, twisted dependency on that

So, don’t you worry, darling,

I’ll be back,

And, surely, this time, I’ll


Touch Me: Chapter One (Rewritten)

Here’s the run down:
1) I edited chapter one
2) I finished chapter two
3) I went back to edit chapter two
4) I realized “chapter two” should really be chapter four
5) I wallowed in sorrow for about thirty minutes
6) I wrote out the plans for the new chapter two (God help me if it turns out to be chapter five or seven, I’ll cry)

So, here’s chapter one. I swear this is chapter one. Please don’t kill me for breaking my promise of updating this \>.</ I tried so hard!


“We’re lost aren’t we?” Toby whines beside me, his big brown eyes filled with worry.

I suck my teeth in response, unwilling to associate with him for even the second it would take to tell him that yes, we are indeed lost. It’d be better if he wasn’t beside me in the first place, but I can’t exactly force him to go back in time and stay with the two women who adopted him.

My eyes drift towards his in disgust, lips curling at his appearance. The kid looks like a miniature angel, and it ticks me off beyond reason. Until they decided to adopt Toby, I was always the good kid who they loved more than anyone else, and yet here he is – my replacement. Now I’m lucky if I go two hours without being reprimanded. I jam my hands into my pockets to keep from shoving him again and shake some of my bangs out of my eyes.

When people see us together now they automatically assume I’m the adopted one. Unlike me who has black hair and green eyes, Toby looks like our adoptive parents with his blonde hair and brown eyes. Being out in public with them is much more stifling than before because of him. If I didn’t absolutely despise the very idea of violence, I’d probably push him down a hole and leave him there. He’s really small so there’s no way he can climb his way out.

For the first time in months, I find myself smiling.

“]-James, can we go back to the t-trail now? I think there’s-.”

“Just shut up. Jesus! You talk so much for someone who’s supposed to be quiet!” I hiss venomously, eyes narrowed on him. He shies away from me, bottom lip trembling faintly as he wraps his arms around himself. My eyes roll at his dramatics as I pick up the pace, using my much longer legs to get ahead of him.

He scrambles around behind me, struggling to keep up. I huff and am about to turn around and tell him to bug off when a white archway appears just a few feet to our right. I jolt to a stop, making Toby collide into my back. Beyond is a perfectly maintained garden with a light brown walkway that diverges a few meters in to go around a thick circle. Both the raised circle and the greenery around the path are littered with rows of dark red roses. The scent of fresh flowers drifts towards me the longer I stare, my gaze lifting to the height of the circle where the most vibrant rose I’ve ever seen stands engulfed in a fountain of sunlight.

Toby makes a soft sound of awe behind me. And then he’s running towards the little sanctuary.

“Hey!” I shout after him, eyes widening in horror as he enters somebody’s property, giggling happily. “You fucking idiot,” I hiss under my breath, glancing around quickly before trailing after him. A faint chill slides down my spine as soon as I pass into the area, and I find myself looking back at the forest beyond without thought. Heaving a sigh of relief when it’s still there, I take my hand out of my pocket and stroll toward the giant flower.

Toby scampers around somewhere beyond it in the field of flowers, so I pay him no mind. Leaning on the white stone platform, I hesitantly reach out to touch one of the enchanting rose petals.

A drop of water slowly slips down the side of one, its depths filled with the glint of vivid yellow sunlight mixed with the rosiness of the flower. Just as my fingertips brush at the stray drop, I feel a burst of warm air against the side of my neck.

“Careful, little one, if you touch me too long, I’ll think you like me,” A very deep male voice fills my ears, making my stomach and cheeks heat at how sinfully smooth he sounds. Like the embodiment of chocolate, my mind supplies as fingers coast along my hip, their soft touch managing to sear my skin.

I gasp and try to twist around, but his firm hand pressing low on my stomach easily traps me against him. I shiver despite the fear sliding like ice into my veins. He’s so much bigger than me. His body exudes waves of power without me even having to look back at him. His front swells and dips against me, proudly displaying the bulging muscles that make up his broad chest and tapers down into his trim waist. I swallow hard in a mixture of emotions I really don’t want to address right now.

Instead, I force myself to speak. “I wasn’t touching any–.” I cut off on a gasp, body jerking forward and catching myself on the stone in front of me as his abnormally hot palm cups me between my legs. He’s not applying any pressure or grabbing at me like some sort of barbarian. His hand is just there, enveloping my balls and dick in a thick, warm blanket, a phantom of a touch. If I close my eyes, I can almost feel his skin on mine, the feel of him stroking me, holding me in his palm. What the Hell?!

His chest vibrates on a deep chuckle. He gives me a slight, barely there squeeze. My breath leaves me in a single gush, my length tingling happily as he massages me with his thick fingers. “Pardon me, but I haven’t laid eyes on such a stunning human like yourself in such a long time,” the man purrs behind me, his voice wrapping around me in sweet, hypnotizing waves, “being touched by you, even for such a brief moment, seems to have been too much for me.”

I groan softly as something hard and big presses against the dip between my ass, sliding upwards until it’s nestled against my back. I shiver, my eyes drooping in unthinking surrender as his fingers find my zipper. He teases it down. My dick swells, my breath quickening at the idea of being touched long before he reaches into my pants, the excitement of being out in the open doing crazy things to my hormones.

The hand on my stomach slides up as he wiggles his fingers into the opening of my boxers. The back of his fingernails trace the outline of my abs, trailing along the slight swells and dips before continuing on their way. The pads of his fingers ghost along my sternum, drag across my collarbone, and slip back. I feel his fingers bury themselves in my hair and then tighten, grab onto a handful of strands. I make a soft, very unmanly noise as my head is tipped back, my eyes drifting open. A gasp leaves me at the sight of the man behind me.

He’s huge, yes, but his skin is a light, stunning violet in some places and hazy in others, as if covered by a thin layer of fog. I stare, enchanted by his exotic coloring. Most everything about him is decidedly not human, from his green irises and pupils to the vibrant, unnatural red of his hair. His lips, I can’t help but notice, are a normal, moist-looking pink. I find myself shivering against him, not in fear but something much more deadly to my sanity.

His lips curl around a satisfied smirk, his other hand wrapping around my lightly pulsing dick. My lips part in wonder at how unbelievably warm he is, the firmness of his touch mixed with the addictive heat filling my stomach with knots and making my shaft twitch with the desire to come.

He chuckles, his grip on my hair firming up. “That’s it, little one. Let me see your face when you come.” I shiver against him, a rush of arousal going between my legs at his words.

He rubs my tip in circles against the heel of his palm, taking my pre-come onto his skin before he smears it down my length. My breathing quickens as he jerks me off, strokes me faster and faster until my legs quake and I have to lean forward and grab onto the stone slab to stay standing. He follows me, melds his front to my back and lets me feel him throbbing angrily against me, his cock flooding me with its searing intensity the closer I get to coming.

A soft whimper of a sound leaves me as someone else’s hand comes up underneath his.They push my pants down just enough to get their hand in my pants and cup my balls. My fingers scratch at the concrete as they roll them in their fingers, giving a weak tug and making me groan. The one behind me makes a low growling sound. The hand falters and falls away, making me cry out at the loss.

His fingers coming around my head and dipping into my mouth silence me easily. I feel myself jump in his hand, my eyes drifting closed as he begins grinding on me, his hips undulating in one smooth, hypnotic motion over and over. I can’t help but move back against him, listen to his sharp intake of air, and grin to myself at the small victory. “No one else is to touch you,” he says lowly, sharp teeth nipping the shell of my ear, “your pleasure will be from me alone. Remember this, little one: your orgasms belong solely to me once I get inside you. I will accept no less for answering your call.”

Even if I could process what he’s saying, I probably wouldn’t respond. I’m far too busy watching Toby on his knees between two twin males.

They each have a hand in his hair, talking as they guide his mouth to one of their dark shafts, the tip rubbing its white juices against his lips. Both men watch ravenously from above as his lips open, cheeks flushing as he licks at the large head presented to him. The one being licked at tips his head back on a moan, the one beside him looking jealous as Toby sucks up and down his cock, his expression blissful.

The one behind me chuckles darkly. “The child seems to have dark desires of his own.”

I watch on stunned, barely hearing his words as the little, innocent boy rubs at his own crotch and slurps at the juices dripping from the man. Both men tighten their grip on his head and push. “Desires?” I question hesitantly, feeling my body grow uncomfortably hot from watching Toby being pushed down the thick cock, his lips stretched wide around it.

There’s a firm squeeze on my shaft. My hips buck as his fingers guide me by the chin to look back at him. “Humans call us out with their wicked desires. Your touch was so full of exquisite sin that I had to come out and taste you for myself,” his eyes darken with his own desires, his thumb rubbing back and forth over my tip as he speaks, “I can see it in you, little one, the craving you try to hide deep inside,” He purrs down at me, his eyes flashing a deep, startling red. His voice is as thick as honey as he whispers against me, “To be pushed down and controlled by another man. To feel him force his way into you and have all your pride stolen away.”

I cry out softly in a mixture of distress and need. My skin is coated in goosebumps as he gives me a slow roll of his hips, lets me feel the proof that he can give my wish to me. His hand tightens on my dick, sliding down slowly as he draws out the sweet torture of anticipation.

“I want it, little one,” he says softly by my ear, his tongue flicking out to taste my earlobe, ‘‘I want the pleasure of seeing you become no better than a female on my cock. I want to hear it in your voice when I take you, hear the cries only a woman can make being driven from your lips.” I shudder and pant for air, my lungs momentarily forgetting how to work. He smiles against the side of my neck. “And what I want, I take.”

My pants drop to the ground.

“Now, bend over and spread those pretty cheeks for a real man,” he whispers, wracking my body with shivers as I eagerly lay my chest flat on the thick platform. “Come now, little one, follow instructions. Show me that hungry ass hole of yours.”

My hands unsteadily reach behind me and grab onto my soft skin. I can hardly contain the need pounding through my veins as I open myself up to him, my teeth biting into my lip as one of his wet digits from my mouth appears at my entrance.

He coos to himself, “Such a pretty shade of pink for such a lewd position.” He presses it against me, lets me feel it pause on the verge of coming in, just waiting to stretch me wide for his cock. I shiver, my hole twitching, grabbing at the offered finger. “Can you feel that? The way you’re already trying to suck me into you?” His voice is anything but amused, the husky, velvety words full of something far more carnal in nature.

I cry out softly at the feeling of something thick and angrily throbbing coming up under his finger. He lets me feel his wide head against me, teasing my quivering entrance with it. Without thought, I move myself back.

He hisses, hands grabbing on tight to my hips as I feel the beginning of his tip against my insides, his pre-come bubbling down its sleek head and sliding into my opening. I try to push back on him some more, but his hands firm up, preventing the action. “Little one, you’re playing with the wrong nymph. I have not felt such a tight heat on my cock in far too long. If you provoke me, I can’t guarantee your safety,” He grunts even as he begins sliding the thick head into me, groaning under his breath as he slowly makes my un-prepped hole accept it.

I moan loudly, back arching as I tighten up around the large bulbous head being fed into me, my eyes fluttering closed as it widens out even further; my hole stretching around the beginnings of his shaft. He groans even deeper than before, slicking his length with one hand and flexing the other on my hip as he gives me inch after inch, each one getting thicker and thicker until my ass starts heating at the work out he’s giving it and my stomach begins to ache faintly. Still, the hot rod goes in and in and in, reaching up deep inside me and rendering me breathless.

His hands slide up onto my cheeks, brushing mine aside as he grabs onto giant handfuls and tilts my rear up into the push of his hips. I whimper pitifully as he picks up the pace, sinking into me faster and faster. He groans about how good it feels to be in such a small human and I finally feel his knotted base press up against my twitching opening. I squirm, only realizing when be fully stops that he’s impaled me on a monstrously large dick. It reaches deep into my stomach, making it bulge out unnaturally with how much he’s stuffed into it. But it feels good. God, does it feel nice and warm buried way up inside me. He gives me a nice full feeling like I’ve just taken a large gourmet meal instead of a magnificent cock. My hands reach out above me, fingers digging into the dirt as I hesitantly tighten up on him, try to judge just how deep he goes.

His hands massage my cheeks, kneading them in his large palms as he begins sliding out. “Don’t worry, little one, my come is a very potent aphrodisiac,” he breathes out above me, his voice very obviously lost in pleasure as he slides himself around inside my stomach, “being full of my cock will give you nothing but pleasure.”

He proceeds to prove it by pulling out a few inches and shoving back in. My eyes pop wide open, back bowing as I cry out sharply, my lower half flooding with warm tingles. His thickness pulsates inside me, its sleek length feeling like a second heart when it’s so deep inside me. I tighten up around it, fingers arcing through the dirt as I intimately feel every inch of him. He’s throbbing inside me like a rapid beating heart, flooding me with excitement and making my hole spasm around his girth.

His abnormal manhood at least has a normal, prominent vein going down from just under his tip to his base. The bump it forms on his skin, making it hard not to notice as it rubs against my prostate teasingly. My eyes slip back closed as I enjoy the slow way he rocks himself into me, unhurriedly taking out more and more each time.

Then I remember Toby and I’m lifting onto my hands to see around the roses. My mouth goes dry at the sight. He’s completely naked and covered in bite marks. He moans loudly as the one behind him goes harder, matching the hard pounding of the one buried in his throat. Their hands are holding onto him hard, making sharp indents in his pale skin, a few bruises popping up already along his body. Still, his expression looks more than content, his cries only of raw need as they take what they want from his small body.

The one behind me growls and yanks me down hard on his cock, his tip knocking hard against my prostate, making fireworks go off behind my eyes. “The darkness in you is growing. Do you want to be inside the tiny human too?” He wonders, one of his hands grabbing onto my hair and using it to jerk me up and down his angry shaft. I bite into my lip to no avail, sweet little noises still bursting through. He groans and thrusts up harder and harder, meeting me halfway as he seems to lose himself in me. “So tight,” He says, his voice thick with awe and fingers fisting at my hair.

I moan and writhe against him, my body on fire with the need to finally come. My dick can hardly take it anymore. It’s leaking hot and heavy between my legs, twitching about wildly for his attention with every hard push in. As if sensing my growing frustrations, the man chuckles and rams up against my sweet spot.

“Oh God!” I practically scream, back bowing as I go hurtling to the edge, shaft jerking sporadically as little gushes of pre-come spill from my tip.

His palm appears at my tip, pressing against it firmly as he drives himself into it again and again. I whine like a lowly mutt and squirm my hips, trying to break free of his hand. He rubs my prostate back and forth on his fat length, sending sharp waves of tingles down my own. My dick fills with come but there’s nowhere for it to go.

“Please!” I gasp at last, toes curling in my sneakers.

His chest slides against my back, shoving more of himself into me as he nibbles at my ear. My mouth drips with soft, feminine noises as he slowly grinds himself against the sensitive bundle of nerves, teasing me as he blocks me from coming. “I told you, didn’t I? Every orgasm you get belongs to me once I get inside you,” he practically coos in satisfaction, “why should I let you come before I do?”

I fist handfuls of dirt, my nails biting into my palms as he pulls out to rub his head on my prostate over and over again. My eyes roll back in my skull, tip weeping big fat tears against his hand. “Please let me come,” I pant at last, eyes pricking with mortified tears. “I-I can’t take much m-more of– ohh, please!” I beg openly, unabashed as he begins rocking himself in and out, in and out. My body trembles beneath his, my knees weakening as I feel him taking what he wants from me, chasing his pleasure deep in my walls.

“’Fraid not,” he whispers against the side of my face, “look how close you are to tears. Makes me want to see you cry and beg even more than I already do.” His free hand slides up and down my back as if to soothe me before he presses down firmly on my lower back. “I’ve never made a little boy cry before,” he muses to himself, “I wonder if it can make me come. I so want to see this tight ass dripping with my seed . . . “ he trails off and leaves the thought hanging in the air.

And then I’m really screaming, throat aching as he fucks himself hard and fast against my prostate. My body burns with the orgasm being denied to it, every one of my nerve endings sizzling as he abuses my hole, rubs it raw on his mammoth cock.

Then I feel it, the hard jets of his come as it spills from his tip, pelting my sweet spot. He hardly wastes a second before he’s moving in me again, jumping right into the flow of things even as he drops the last few globs into me. I cry freely then, great big tears of frustration rolling down my cheeks.

“W-want i-it,” I stutter pathetically, throat hoarse and my face on fire at having to resort to begging again.

He chuckles. “Finally giving in?” I nod weekly, shoulders drooping low as he comes to a stop inside me. His wet hand disappears from my shaft, appearing right after on my hip. “Good boy. Now then, who do you belong to?”

I whine under my breath, my eyes squeezing shut even as my mouth freely says what he wants to hear, “You.”

I shriek in surprise as he lifts me up, spins me around to face him, and shoves me down his colossal cock. “Come for me, my little one.”

He doesn’t have to tell me twice.

Carnal Delights ~ Chapter Two

The worst part about sleeping with your teacher has to be the way people look at you afterwards. Before it happened, I could count on being relatively invisible in the hallways, but lately I feel people staring much, much more. No matter where I go, I can feel them: the probing gazes of strangers. Some like to pretend that I can’t tell, but others blatantly stare me down wherever I go.

What’s worse is the way girls have been flocking to me lately. Apparently, every girl ever wants a gay best friend. The only problem with that is that I’m not entirely sure I’m gay. Maybe I was just swept up in the moment. I mean, it’s not everyday that I get led up onto a stage and messed with.

Sighing in frustration, I slump lower in my seat and try to think about where it all went wrong. I should be preparing for graduation, but instead all I can do is hide in the library and try to avoid the last period of the day – his.

History has quickly become my most dreaded class. At first I thought it’d be fun to be in class with him and that I’d be able to do all these sly little things to mess with his head. Instead I discovered that: 1) I don’t know how to sexually tease anyone and 2) he’s infinitely better at it. Whether it’s a secretive little smirk or his hand touching my shoulder, he manages to get under my skin and make me a stuttering, blushing mess every time without fail.

I hate feeling like a girl with a crush, so I’ve taken to skipping the class entirely. Something I’m slowly coming to regret. Every time I see him in the hall now he’s the only one who doesn’t look my way – completely avoids it even – and I’m forever being reminded of what he was like before he slept with me: a brick of ice lodged into my side.

Sighing heavily, I slouch further in my seat, my forehead sliding up against the wood until I fear I might get a splinter, but maybe a little pain is just what I need to get the drive to approach him. Truthfully, I haven’t directly talked to him since last week when he was–.

I flush in mortification, utterly unwilling to think about Friday. If there’s one thing I don’t need right now, it’s to remember how amazing it felt to finally get what I wanted. Shaking my head, I curl my arms up under my cheek and try to convince myself that maybe going back to how it was before the night at the club would be the best solution. I must have tried this every day that I’ve sat in here, and just like all the previous times, I’m not very persuasive. No matter how I struggle against it, every time he appears in my thoughts, I’m distinctly aware of the truth:

I miss him.

And not in the way that I usually miss people. This is completely different. Before, if I slept with someone and never saw them again, maybe I’d pine for them every so often, but with him it’s like I’m being drawn around in circles, unable to un-tether myself to him, and drowning in all the “what if”s. Like what if in the time that we haven’t been around each other, he’s fallen for the girl in the super short skirt? Or what if he’s been having people stay after with him every day since he began teaching and has been treating them all to a special night on a really comfy stage?

What if he doesn’t miss me like I miss him?

Keeping my thoughts in order and away from that particular question has been all that I’ve been focusing on lately, because God knows that if I slack just a little bit, I’ll lose all drive to leave my house. There are no words to describe how humiliating it is for me to be the only one looking too deeply into things that don’t even matter to him, and then having to walk into the room where the cause of all my frustrations waits, utterly unaware of how I feel.

“Honey, the bell for the end of school will be sounding soon.”

I peek up through the tangled mess I still insist on calling hair and force a smile at the little old lady standing in front of the table. Ms. Hendrick is nice enough. Why couldn’t she be the one that’s running my history class? She’s a librarian so she’s probably read enough history books to be able to teach children about it. Mulling it over in my head, I stand from my seat, say a few kind words, and head out the door. Now to wander the halls until I can leave for home.

This process is so ingrained in me now, that my feet just move on their own, going this way and that listlessly. Of course, a few hall monitors ask me where I’m headed, but just a little smiling gets them to go about their business, so my stroll is relatively uninterrupted. It isn’t until I find myself standing in front of his door that I realize where I am, where I brought myself to.

“Did the bell ring yet?” I mutter to myself, one daring hand reaching for the handle. Before I can grab onto it, a shrill ringing of the bell fills the hall. Springing away, I hurry along as fast as I can, content to play the coward as opposed to taking the first step towards trying to reenter his arms. I get a few steps away before a lasso of steel engulfs my upper arm and yanks me to the side.

Before I can get my feet properly under me again, I’m sent spinning with a solid push against my chest. Gasping, I reach my arms out blindly, my palms connecting with the edge of something metal. My eyes fly open, latch onto the sight of a familiar steel mini fridge and the pink carpet beneath it. The similarly colored couch against the left wall and the wall-to-wall bookshelf in front of me seal the deal. This is definitely Ms. Wassum’s office, my original history teacher who left on maternity leave.

Before my confusion can fully settle in, an icy, awfully familiar voice sounds behind me. “Are you done avoiding me yet, Mr. Malkovich?”

Reflexively, I flinch at the sound. I’m preparing to turn around and see if it’s really him or if my ears are just playing tricks on me when a set of large palms come down atop my hands, caging me in against the frigid surface. “Mas-mister Richardson?” I fumble thoughtlessly, the last title I’d called him almost slipping out.

He chuckles darkly, unamused, his head nudging my cheek, forcing me to tip my head to the side. “So, you do remember me. Funny, with all that skipping, I figured you’d have made yourself forget that I’m your Master by now.”

I can’t help but shiver, an unwanted shudder moving through me at having my fears confirmed. Breathing in deeply in an effort to clear my head, my eyes almost roll back in my skull at the flood of heady, spicy cologne that fills my senses. Beneath the tides of his scent, I can barely make out the rose perfume that used to fill this room. My body tingles with how dominant even his smell is. Is there any part of him that isn’t?

Instead of thinking about the answer to that question, I’m forced instead to listen to the pounding in my ears as he steps up incredibly close behind me, melding his body to mine in a way that’s dangerously familiar to me.

“I wonder how well your body remembers my touch,” he muses to himself, his fingers curling around my wrists, increasing the feeling of control he has over me. “Chest down.” My every nerve endings tingle at the sound of his command, my body following his direction without giving me even a moment to consider it.

I only find myself hesitating part way when I realize how the positioning he wants doesn’t exactly benefit my efforts of escaping. His hand comes down on my back, and I have to bite into my lip at the sweet little tremors that race through me when he pushes me down. My breath escapes in a swift burst as he leaves me open to him, his hips pressed against my exposed backside. My fingers curl into tight fists, fully aware of how similar this is to our positioning on Friday.

I feel like squirming when he doesn’t move a muscle, just stares down at me with his cock alarmingly close to my core.

At last, his hands vanish and reappear to slide down my sides, settling on my hips. “So, you do remember. Good. Who am I?”

I know what he wants to hear as surely as I know the sky is blue. My teeth bite down harder, my eyes squeezing closed. I don’t want to say it. But I do at the same time. Oh, how I want to say it. I can feel the words gathering on my tongue, just itching to be set free. And I realize that beyond a shadow of a doubt, I want to feel him again. But I know what’ll happen if I do: I won’t be able to hide from it anymore. Neither of us would let me.

His fingers slip a fraction down my hips. I shiver and shake my head quickly, chest lifting up in an effort to get away until one of his hands glides up my spine, ghosting along just above my shirt, and I’m giving in, sinking back down, back arching into his faintest of touches. I whine under my breath, hands grabbing at the fridge as his fingers hook into my belt loops and give it a hard tug.

“Please!” I don’t know what I’m asking for, but I need something. Whether it be for him to never stop or for him to let me up, I need it desperately.

“Say my name, Malkovich,” both his hands grab onto the sides of my pants, “call for me and I’ll let you keep your clothes on.”

He tugs. I gasp and squirm freely on the cold top, my body filling with anticipation. A wave of warmth goes through my crotch, my back arching into him as my pants are pulled on, slowly moving down and down and down. He pauses, his fingers fanning out over my ass. He grabs onto handfuls of my cheeks and lifts them up and open, stretching my boxers and forcing my pants down even lower. I lick at my lips, glance back at him over my shoulder, and cry out in distress at the raw, animalistic need in his eyes. He locks eyes with  me and fists my loose pants. A dark promise fills his gaze. If those come off, he’s going to fuck me. The knowledge is thrilling, makes me throb almost painfully as he silently promises me the satisfaction that I’ve often dreamed about.

My eyes drift closed as he yanks hard, his front pressing in, melding against my boxer-clad ass.

My pants catch on my thighs. He fists the waistband of my boxers in one hand and grabs onto my hair with the other, tugging me up as he rips them down in the back. I tremble against him, listening eagerly to the sound of his zipper coming down. His mouth closes over my neck. “I won’t stop, Cameron. I’m won’t let you disappear in the crowd this time,” he promises me in a breathy whisper as he lets me feel his broad head, lines it up perfectly with my entrance.

My throat closes up around all the words I want to say, the ones that would expose just how much I want this. God, how I want it.

He groans against me, his teeth biting into my skin. “Say something, Cameron.”

“Y-yes please.” I whimper pathetically, swaying back against him.

He curses, his fingers coming between us and pressing against my entrance. “Good boy.”

Before so much as a pinky can get inside, there’s a symphony of shouts beyond his door. He hesitates but quickly regains his focus, sliding his fingers over his wet tip and then presenting two of them to my hole.

A girl screams.

“God-fucking-dammit,” he seethes, breaking away from me and adjusting his pants. “Don’t you dare move, Cameron.”

The door slams open behind me and I jump reflexively, fingers tightening their grip on the mini-fridge for a moment before I release it. Turning around and pulling myself up into a sitting position, I stare down at my weeping tip in wonder. Right now, I should be bent over with his fingers buried inside me, on the verge of coming. I scrub at my eyes in frustration, completely and utterly convinced that lust is one of the most dangerous forces in the world. It makes me lose every ounce of cool I have in me, and forget all of the things I’ve learned over the years. Namely that illegal relationships are illegal for a reason.

Shaking my head at my foolishness, I stand up and pull up my underwear and pants, intent on creeping into the classroom through the conjoining door and leaving the campus without him finding out. Instead, I have my fingers tugging on my zipper when he opens back up the door. Every muscle in me tightens.

His eyes are glued on my hands, his expression perfectly blank as he looks back up at me. “Let go.” My hands flop uselessly to my sides. “Good boy, now you’re going to want to hold onto that fridge behind you.”

I lick at my lips slowly, uncertainly even as I grasp onto the edge of it with unsteady fingers. As soon as I do, he’s stepping forward, his hand diving into my pants and fisting my tip. My hips buck, head tipping back on a startled half-moan noise. He smirks down at me, supremely pleased as he strokes me fast and tight, jerking me off like I’m a toy he already knows like the back of his hand. My back bows as he draws the pool of heat out of me in the form of thick, creamy globs.

“M-Master!” I pant at last, chest heaving as the pressure builds inside me, the heat and tingles creeping up and up and up my dick faster and faster the more he pumps me. Just a little more . . .

He chuckles lowly, mockingly at my ear. “Want to come?” I nod quickly, breath leaving me too quickly for me to possibly have enough oxygen in me to respond properly. He squeezes.

“Yes!” I just about shout, tears springing to my eyes as he loosens his grip just a bit.

“Turn around and bend over.”

I move without hesitation, spinning around and laying my chest flat against the chilly surface of the fridge. Once again my clothes are puddling at my ankles, leaving me completely open to the looming substitute. His gaze burns up my quaking knees, sears at my skin as it trails up and settles on my bare ass.

“Grab onto the opposite side of the fridge, and don’t you dare let go this time.”

Unsure as to whether he’s mad or not, I hesitantly do as told and peek back at him once I’m done. My eyebrows come together when I don’t see him standing over me like he should be and–

“Oh!” I yell out in surprise at the first flick of his tongue against my hole, completely not expecting him to take the time to prep me. My eyes flutter closed at the second lick, fingers tightening on the metal as his own grab onto my cheeks and pry them apart, making more space for his face. I suck in a harsh breath at the feeling of his warm cavern closing around my entrance, soft, wet tongue probing at it as he lets me feel the slight suction of his lips.

Squirming back on his face, I rest my cheek on the metal and moan long and low as he sinks his tongue in, curling it up to taste my walls. His fingernails bite into my skin, his tongue pulling out sharply and shoving back in. I jerk, hips bucking at the sinful pleasure of him tongue-fucking my hole. His hands slide up, curling over my hips and yanking them back where he wants them.

I whimper, fingers digging at the metal as he goes back to licking at me, slowly caressing up and down the inside of my body and leaving my shaft to hang painfully erect between my legs. I need more, we both know it, yet he continues to ignore my needs, choosing instead to relentlessly swirl his tongue inside me, denying me the release I desperately crave.

He makes a loud slurping noise as he rocks back away from me, leaving me wet and cold and vulnerable to his probing gaze. There’s a hard snapping sound and then a wave of heat is rolling down my backside. I gasp, jerking up onto my elbows and gaping back at him. He stands perfectly in control behind me, belt in one hand, cock in the other. I can’t help but whine at the sight, watching on helplessly as his hand slides up his shaft as the belt comes down, cracking down on the same spot. I flinch away, backside already smarting as he moves his hand down and raises the belt again. I clench my teeth, face scrunching up in preparation for the next strike.

Instead, his slick hand slides up my crack, slowly moving up and up until three of his fingertips are pushing against my loosened entrance. I gasp softly, my mind going absolutely empty as they’re fed into me, sinking in all the way to the knuckle before Master’s satisfied.  His warm palm coasts over my stinging cheek, kneading it between his thick fingers as his other ones knead my insides. I moan at his gentle touch, pushing my ass into his fingers and shuddering at the hot tip that presses against me at the action.

Master groans softly, his hand smacking down on the upper swell of my cheek as he rubs his thick length on me, his tip deliciously near where I want it. I desperately clutch at  the sides of the fridge as his pinky joins his fingers inside me while I’m distracted, all four digits spreading out wide and sliding in and out, toying with my need for something thick.

“P-please,” I beg at last, cheeks flushing at having to ask him for something he was so willing to give earlier.

“No,” he says immediately, voice almost as thick as the cock sliding up under my pulsating core, “I’m not fucking you until I get you home and on my bed, on the verge of coming and crying for me to fill you with my cum.”

My mouth goes dry, head tipping back on a ragged gasp for air. He can’t mean it. No way. I know he can’t, yet the image is fully alive in my head: me spread out on a bed, tears streaming down my face as he rubs that broad head on my entrance, letting me feel it on the verge of penetrating me, and making me beg and writhe for it. It takes my breath away when he rams it into me, shoves it in as far as it can go and relentlessly pounds into my hole, screwing me raw as he finally takes his release deep in my stomach.

I pant for air, head spinning as I turn around and grab onto him. His mouth slams into mine, his tongue diving in as I lift myself up and guide his cock into me. I moan loudly, back bowing as he slams his hips up, drives me back so I’m sitting on the very edge of the mini-fridge. His hands grip my hips tightly, no doubt bruising them, as he pulls out an inch or so and thrusts back in, makes my teeth chatter with how much force he uses.

“So good,” he grunts into the side of my neck, teeth biting at me as he rams in and out, swelling up and throbbing erratically, “don’t come. I’m still bringing you home.”

I whimper and cling to him as he quickens his pace, fingers digging into my thighs to forcibly anchor me in place as he pummels my hole. He completely avoids my prostate, denying me the little bit of stimulation I need to disobey him, and forcing me to writhe for him as he impales me over and over and over before he’s satisfied. His juices brand themselves into my stomach, makes the temperature skyrocket as they flood into me without warning, stealing any hope I may have had about orgasming before he makes true of his promise.

He kisses up my neck between ragged breaths, peppering my skin with light kisses before I tilt my head down and meet his lips head on. I melt into a puddle the moment his tongue rubs at mine, my entire world turning into warm, mushy nothingness as he sweetly moves his tongue against me. My fingers tangle up in his hair, pulling that wickedly adept mouth even closer as I sag into his chest.

“Missed you,” he murmurs, fingers petting at the back of my head.

I hum against his lips, my own curling around a delighted little smile.

How I Survived NaNoWriMo & Why It’s Not Over Yet!

At a glorious 9 pm today, November 27th, 2016, I have finished the great National Novel Writing (NaNoWriMo) challenge of writing 50,000  words in 30 days in November.  I can remember so many times that I used to hear that one of my friends was going to do this crazy challenge, and each time, I always thought that I was friends with nut jobs. I mean, who would sit for thirty days and write that much? I was convinced they had to be insane, and that by being friends with them, I had also caught the crazy bug, because after hearing about it enough times, I wanted to do it.

The first time I participated in NaNoWriMo, it was the Camp version, so I didn’t take it very seriously and ended the first week with fourteen thousand, and promptly called it quits.

But this year. This year is my year!

I finally completed a book I’d been writing for a good two years (was promptly shot down for killing the main character, but let’s not linger on that one), and finished two NaNo’s within the span of two months!

This is the year of completion! And if you’re still making the last leg of the 50,000, you can finish it, too! The only thing standing in your way, at this very moment, is this post. What are you doing? You have work to do; you can come back later!

But, if you already finished or are wondering if it’s even a challenge that you want to pick up, then this is sort of directed at you.

A lot of people like to say that in order to complete NaNoWriMo you need to set aside writing every day and shut up your inner critic. I actually did the exact opposite. I sat down every weekend and sometimes on a Monday or occasional Friday, and pulled up on Google, my Pandora radio, and my site, and settled in to write.  There were some days where I wrote five thousand, two where I wrote in the hundreds, and, in total (excluding the 28th, 29th, and 30th), I didn’t write for twelve days this month.

Most of the time, when I was struggling to continue from the previous day, I’d reread almost entire chapters before getting the hang of the flow again. But what I mainly did this month was remember that this challenge isn’t all about winning. I mean, for some people it is, but for me, I just wanted to create something I could be proud about and freely share with the world. So, I backtracked and I deleted words and added some, and in the end, I only really wrote if I felt like it.

I understand that some people just can’t sit and write eight thousand words in a day for some reason or the other. However, I firmly believe that if you view your writing as something you’re doing for yourself and not for the green winner bar under your name on the NaNoWriMo site, then you’re more likely to write more and genuinely enjoy the time you spend either in front of your computer or notepad. If you’re not then it could be a number of things from you putting too much stress on writing to that story not being the one you want to write.

I know that whenever I found myself thinking of another story I wanted to work on more than The Sorceress and the Mating, I’d switch to that one. That way, I was just going with the flow, letting the words come to me rather than just sit there and force out words I couldn’t be happy with.

Sure there was that one odd scene in chapter three that I still just cannot wrap my head around, but I highlighted it a nice red color for future consideration and went on. I notice that giving yourself free reign to write crap and free reign to write stuff that you’d want to read have two completely different effects on me. When I let myself write crap, I write crap and I’m not happy with it at the end of the month, but when I let myself write how I usually do, I get to that 50,000 at the end of the month and just keep going, pushing on and on because I genuinely love what I’ve written. (That, and one of my supporting friends has been bugging me to finish a story all ready, and I think this is the one I want them to read.)

Which brings me to: Why NaNoWriMo Isn’t Over For Me Yet

As much as I hate to say it: I ended in the middle of a chapter. My MC just got shot in the chest and is struggling to reach the woman she loves as I type this. There is so much tension in the scene, that I’m actually glad I reached the goal, so that I could let my fingers take a break for a minute.

(Not that this is much of a break, but I’m typing noticeably slower than a minute ago, so I guess it’ll count as one.)

Currently, I’m on the fifth chapter and about sixty percent through all of the stuff I wanted to happen. So, unlike the story I wrote for my “Early NaNo”, Recover, this one probably won’t go over 100k words like I suspect that one will. Which in turn means that I still have a few more weeks of work on my hands (if I continue working at the pace I have been, otherwise this might take a lot longer). However, for once, I look forward to the days ahead greatly, almost as much as I do Christmas, because as soon as I reach the end of this book, I can already tell that I’m going to have fallen even further in love with my main character’s interactions. Which may screw up the ending I wanted because it’ll turn me into a sobbing mess, so I may just have to save the tragic ending for another story.

Thank you for reading to the end of this post! I hope you were able to take something from it, or just read something that amused you for a few minutes!

Congrats to all who participated in this year’s NaNo, and I look forward to seeing you take part next time as well.

Ciao for Now,

~ Amelie J. Hyde

Virgin Lover Boy – 1

The Sweet Cowboy

Being a freshman in college is like being a dish in a buffet: all the clubs and fraternities are interested in getting your attention, but you secretly know that each and every one of them will devour your soul when given half the chance. Or, at least, that’s how I see all the booths lining the main pathway and littering the green expanse between the buildings. From what I can tell, the goal is to hook as many freshmen as possible and haul them into a binding four year contract.

Head stooped low on my shoulders and fingers firmly flexed around the handle of my bag, I dare to take the first step forward. Internally shaking like a newborn giraffe, I set one foot in front of the other and study the cement as– cowboy boots?

Eyebrows scrunching together, I follow the lightly tanned boots up to a pair of faded blue jeans hung dangerously low on a trim set of hips, and linger on the dark, black treasure trail peeking out of them. So, it’s a guy then. Looking up quickly, I set my sights on his face instead, fully accustomed to the customary knuckle sandwich that usually comes right after an accidental look over.

Instead of a fist, I’m pleasantly surprised to see a bright grin directed my way below a pair of innocent brown eyes. I’m so surprised, in fact, that I find myself smiling back and eagerly accepting his offered hand.

With a firm squeeze and shake, he effectively gains all of my attention. Lips pulling back into an even brighter smile, he beams at me and says, in the thickest, honeyed voice I’ve ever heard, “Name’s Sam, Sam Fitz. Pleasure to meet you!”

I swallow unsurely and glance down at our unmoving hands. When I look back up, he’s still grinning, so I decide he’s probably the really forgetful type. “I’m Jeremy, but most people call me Remy.”

His smile softens a fraction as his head tilts a bit to the side. “Never heard of that nickname for a Jeremy before,” he looks me over once, “but it does suit you just fine.” Before I can possibly come up with a response to that beyond what do you mean, he’s already moving on. “Lemme help you with your bags, Remy!”

“Oh, no that’s–.”

I get hardly even that much out before he’s switching which hand is grasping mine and is taking my luggage. Blinking at the fast maneuvering, I’m too baffled to possibly put up a fight when he starts tugging me and my bag along. With a chipper little bounce in his step, he hauls me up by his side and weaves his fingers between mine, the calloused skin feeling awfully foreign on my much softer, smoother digits. Still, the sensation isn’t too bothersome, so I let him do as he likes. After all, he’s helping me. I’d probably get lost a number of times before getting up the nerve to ask someone for directions to my dorm.

“So,” he says at last, looking my way and pinning my eyes down with his, “what’s your dorm number?”

I flinch, stumbling forward at the first brush of his rough, heated thumb on the back of my hand. Blinking rapidly, I stare back wide-eyed, my knees quaking in a mixture of fear and dear God what country is he from where he can just smile and rub at my hand like that?! He gazes back completely oblivious to my incredulous stare, and waits for my answer.

Swallowing hard, I attempt to wiggle my hand out of his only to feel his fingers settle even further between mine. “U-um, B-406,” I stumble through my response at last, taking great relief in finally breaking the silence.

He clicks his tongue, shaking his head sadly. “Wow . . . I’d have never pegged you as that sort of person.” As if his words aren’t enough to draw my attention, he drops my hand as he says them. Drops it!

Now on high alert, I wring the bottom of my shirt in my hands, hesitantly licking my lips before I force my legs to carry me back to his side, having fallen behind since I’m no longer anchored to him. He doesn’t even glance my way. Oh, that building must be terrible! Internally preparing for a mental breakdown already, I ask tentatively, “Is . . . is it that bad?”

He scoffs. “Is the sky blue?”

Oh, no! “How bad is it?” I feel uncomfortably similar to a patient in Intensive Care asking their physician how large a malignant tumor has  grown, yet I still practically mold myself into his side, desperately needing to know the answer.

A shadow passes over his face, his voice becoming grave as he finally says, “The worst. It’s loud.” No. “Constantly partying.” No! “And there are more pregnant girls there than any other building.” Say it’s not so!

Devastated with my choice of dorm, I reflexively start nibbling on my fingernail, eyes sweeping this way and that as I try to remember what the fee is for switching dorms. It was large; I remember that much. So ridiculously huge that even my mother had hounded me for days about not picking randomly and thinking it through. I thought I had thought about it, though! Surely, I had so foolishly decided, the one named after the first President of the United States would be full of scholars.

“Hey, hey, Remy, don’t look so down about it,” Sam says comfortingly, his hand patting down on my shoulder, “since you obviously aren’t meant for that dorm, I’ll let you in on a little secret.” My eyes just about pop out of my skull as I see Sam for what he is: an angel! Ears completely open to his wisdom, I wait for it with baited breath. He smiles broadly and slides his hand along my shoulders, hooking it on the other side and pulling me right up against his side. “The place that I stay at is always quiet, full of studious, grade-oriented people, and, best of all, in my opinion, completely void of distractions!”

My shoulders crumble. That’s it then, I’ll just have to let him know that I’m bankrupt, completely out of the money required to get into such a wonderful oasis.

“And it’s free to transfer into.”

“What? Really?!” Almost leaping out of my skin in happiness, I turn almost completely towards him and scour his face for any sign of lying. His usual smile shines right back at me.

“Of course,” he says with a chuckle, “would I lie to you, Remy?” I shake my head emphatically. He smiles and rubs his palm up and down my upper arm. “Thought so. So, why don’t you just crash in my room there for the time being, and I’ll bring you to the office to switch into my fraternity tomorrow?”

“Fraternity?” My mouth tastes sour as it forms around the word, completely against every letter of it.

He smiles knowingly. “Doesn’t sound like a place for scholars, does it?” I shake my head again. He nods. “Thought so too when I was first told about it, but I’m really glad now that I let go of my prejudices and joined. The only thing that’s missing is a roommate.”

“I’ll be your roommate!” I will?

“You will?”

“I will!” Okay, I will. It’s not like it can possibly be any worse than where I was headed.

So, with some smiles and a lot of friendly arm rubs, I find myself here, standing in what can only be paradise. The “room” is immense. It’s a large, open square with two beds pushed into one corner, separated by a long nightstand, and a nice, fluffy rug beneath them. In the corner opposite that one is the living room with a wraparound couch and flat screen TV. In the corner to the left of the door is the kitchen with a small, oval island, and to the right is the door that leads to the shared bathroom connected to the room on the other side. But, that’s not what makes me love that corner. Instead, it’s the neat little organized desk there with its own small lamp and large cabinet space. In the center of the room, reaching straight up to the ceiling is a bookcase shaped like a cylinder. Sure, some shelves have small glass trinkets on them, but it’s a bookshelf that reaches the ceiling.

“I love this room!” I declare as soon as he lays my bag down on my neatly made bed, my eyes probably shooting out fat hearts and puffs of glitter with how happy this little sanctuary makes me.

He chuckles, and comes up behind me, hands settling on my shoulders. I hardly even flinch as he begins rubbing at my muscles, perfectly used to his overly touchy personality by now. Kneading my skin almost tenderly beneath his hot hands easily pulls a soft, barely audible groan from my lips. He gives a rough little laugh again, chin settling on one shoulder as his hands travel a tad lower, cupping and stroking at the muscles of my mid-back.

“My dad’s a masseuse, so this is like second nature to me,” he murmurs lowly, his thick voice sounding all the more hypnotizing as a whisper, “I used to massage my mother like this all the time.” His fingers pluck at the edge of my t-shirt, “Do you mind?”

I hum something remotely similar to a response, and slump back against his chest at the first firm grab of his hands on my hips. Thanks to the long drive I had to take here on top of the weeks of stressing about moving so far from home, his hands are more than enough to remind me that I am, in fact, exhausted.

They slide up, squeezing lightly, and slowly come back down, his touch getting lighter the closer he gets to the edge of my pants. As they come back up, he tilts his head in towards my neck, his voice dropping even lower, “if you start feeling sleepy, let me know, Remy, I’ll put you right to bed.”

Another groggy hum escapes me as my head tips back, welcoming the soothing bursts of his warm breath on my neck. It quickens for a moment before he blows on me deliberately, tickling me with a slow wave of air down my neck. For a moment, I’m aware of his hands coming around to my front, nudging me back so I can use him for balance.

“Sam,” I whisper, eyes struggling to stay open as he rubs his fingertips in tight, slow circles at the edge of my pants.


“I,” I pause, the words leaving me for a moment before I manage to grab onto them again, “I’m tired.”

A light chuckle in the distance, followed by his soft, disembodied voice drifting towards me from all directions, “Don’t worry. Close those beautiful green eyes; your dear friend Sammy will take good care of you.”

~ – ~

“Remy, wake up; it’s time to play.”

Sam? I stir a bit, familiar with the soft, thick voice calling to me. As soon as I move just a bit, a tidal wave of nausea moves through me. Jerking forward, I’m blocked from moving too much by a set of hard arms around my waist. Frowning, I reach back unsteadily with one hand and feel hair brush the bottom of my pinky. Uncertain, I tip myself a bit to the side and slide my hand down as my eyelids flutter open.

Sam smirks down at me, arms tightening up on my hips. “Good evening, princess. Did you have a nice restful nap?” I rub at my eye with one hand, yawning deeply as I nod at him, not entirely sure why he’s talking like that, but figuring it’s just another aspect of his culture. Instead of giving me his usual smile, he looks beyond me, smirk widening in obvious satisfaction. Nudging the side of my head with his chin, he indicates whatever he’s looking at and says, “Say hello to your fraternity brothers.”

“Hmm?” I mumble under my breath, slowly pulling my arm back to myself as I twist back around and–

Oh my God!

Just feet away, men are plunging in and out of other guys, some making an obvious try at being gentle while others make their partners sob into their flimsy eye masks, taking their pleasure and leaving them a crumpled over mess, held up almost completely by either some toys or the hands of the man, or men, using them. I squirm backwards, chest seizing at the wetness between my ass cheeks and the hard chest I’ve backed myself into.

Sam groans, fingers grabbing at my hips and pulling that drenched part of me right up against something unmistakably hard and jutting out between his legs. I shudder, a fresh wave of nausea moving through my stomach as his lips appear at the shell of my ear. “I’ve worked them up into a nice little frenzy for you,” he whispers, voice rough and dripping with dark intentions, “to be honest, letting them watch me eat such a juicy cherry ass wasn’t only for their benefit. You should’ve heard the way you moaned, seen the way you came clenched around my tongue. A thousand blowjobs won’t be enough to keep my cock out of you now that you’re awake.”

My body is wracked with shivers at the sound of metal grating on metal. There’s a rustling of fabric, and then his hands are sliding down and taking great big handfuls of my ass into their large palms. It’s only when I feel the slightest increase in temperature that I throw myself forward. Or, at least I try to. I hardly even wiggle. He chuckles, but doesn’t offer an explanation; instead, he just gives me the tip of his broad head on my opening. My next instinct is to clench up, but all that does is make me all too aware of the spit dribbling out my open hole.

“How,” I gasp, back arching in a last ditch attempt at getting away, “how much did you lick it?!”

He pauses, his tip leaking a fat glob of its precum against me. “Until your entire body turned into nothing but mush and mine couldn’t possibly get any harder,” he says at last, voice sounding slightly strained as he holds back from shoving it in me.

He doesn’t restrain himself for very long, and it’s not long before I’m panting for air, hips squirming forward as his tip breaches my previously untouched canal, forces my limp, weak exit wide, and taints me with its hot strings of pre. He sighs in pleasure, hands curling around the juncture between my crotch and legs, and pulling me down even more of his shaft.

It widens substantially, wedging me even wider as he reclines peacefully behind me. “Good, good, take it in just like that,” he groans, kneading at me as he forces his way in deeper and deeper, “that a boy, Jeremy; spread those legs.”

I choke on a sob as I realize what I’m doing, my nails biting into his thighs as I open them completely and bend over just a bit, nibbling at my lip when he touches me even deeper. I moan under my breath as he rubs his fingertips into the base of my dick, unconsciously contracting around him and crying out at the electric bolts it sends piercing through me.

He feels good – so good.

Sam groans and yanks on me, fully sheathing his throbbing, scalding prick in my sensitized entrance. “Don’t fucking squeeze me if you don’t want a reason to hurt more than you already will come morning,” he growls, one hand weaving its fingers into my hair and forcibly tipping my head back on his shoulder, “now ride my cock, Jeremy; let me see you work for my load.”

His load. I roll the words over in my mind, the hot tides of nausea building in my stomach and moving my hips for me. I want it. I lick at my lips and roll my hips in his lap, eyes slipping closed as he fists my hair and pants in my ear, encouraging me to go faster, rougher. He bites at my lobe, tugs on it with his teeth as I deliberately clench as I take him back in, a little thrill moving through me as he rocks his hips up, makes me moan at the sweet collide of his tip with my walls.

“Don’t tease me,” he warns lowly, kissing at my neck and licking at it right after, “I will pin you down and have you my way if you play with me.”

The heat in my stomach builds, rolls around in the pit of my stomach as I bounce myself on him, squeezing and twisting and moaning like a whore as it overflows inside me, spilling out the tip of my dick in the form of white, thick streaks.

He yanks me off of him and spins me around, sending me stumbling back against the thin glass between us and the ravenous group beyond.

“You came.”

His voice is deadly, acidic to my common sense as I let him come up right in front of me and hitch my thighs over his hips. I squirm, lips parting at the brush of his hot, damp tip on the bottom of my ass. I should be exhausted, both mentally and physically, and yet all my body feels is horny – hungry for more.

I wind my fingers in his hair and slide down, easily taking his glorious shaft back into me. He curses, fingers digging into my thighs as I curl my arms around his neck and work myself up and down. He groans and lifts me up off the glass, hands sliding around and grabbing onto my ass so he can bounce me even faster on his steel-like cock.

“M-more!” I cry brokenly as he drops me down onto a bed, roughly flipping me onto my stomach and plowing into me.

He grunts and bites at my shoulder. “You’ll get what I fucking give you, so just lay down and take it.”

I arch up against him, nails clawing down the sheets as he rams in against something that sends sparks of blinding white light flashing before my eyes. “There! Oh, oh, yes, right there!” I cry, chest heaving as he targets it, pounding it on his dick, and sending me careening towards the edge once more. “Close,” I pant weakly, my hand coming up between my legs and giving myself a good, solid pump before it’s whipped away.

He traps my wrists by my head and goes completely still, groaning as I squirm my way up his cock. As soon as I have him buried in my ass, he lets go, making me keen in shock as searing lances of his come shoot up into my stomach. I clutch at him desperately, unintentionally milking his fat length as he leisurely pulls it out.

“I came,” he teases, licking up the shell of my ear. “How’s it feel to take another man’s cum deep in the ass?” He chuckles maliciously as he wipes his tool dry on my cheeks, lets me feel his semi-hard dick so close to where I still want it. I sway back on him, eyes fluttering closed as he uses one hand to guide himself between my cheeks. “I can feel you twitching against me. You want it that bad, Jeremy?” He murmurs mockingly against my ear as he strokes himself between my cheeks, hardening against me but denying me the actual thing I need. “Roll over.”

I roll, legs falling wide open. He smirks, hands dropping to rub up and down my thighs. “I want to see the frustrated tears in your eyes when I deny you your orgasm again,” He whispers as he pushes my knees up under my armpits and shoves his more than a bit dry shaft into my soaked walls. “So wet and tight,” he groans, lifting up on his hands and swirling his hips even closer. I moan long and loud, the flames jumping to life in my stomach. “Hey, keep those eyes open!”

They snap open, locking on his fully in control ones as he pulls out and shoves himself back in. “Fuck!” My entire body bucks as he hits that spot, all the oxygen bursting from my lungs and leaving me gasping beneath him.

He grabs onto the hair at the top of my head and none too gently pulls it up to force my gaze on his. “Like that? Want me to hit it again? Oh, look, it really gets you going, huh? Do you know how hot it is when you look drunk on the pleasure I give you? Makes me wanna . . . ” he trails off, eyes slipping closed as he slowly milks himself in my walls, “torment you with these slow, self-pleasuring strokes. This way, I can feel every little twitch of your ass on my cock and you get nothing but a bit of friction. Ah, I’m gonna cum if I keep this up. Yeah, tighten up, Jeremy, suck it right up out of my balls.”

He cusses under his breath, palming my ass as he sinks back in, murmuring under his breath now about how good busting a nut in me will feel this time. My back arches off the bed in frustration as his dick jerks inside me, on the edge of feeding me its juices again. I want them. God, but I want to feel their warmth piercing through me, but I want to cum much more. My shaft aches with how much I need to empty it, and feeling him bumping around inside me isn’t exactly helping.

“C’mon, Jeremy, put that ass to work, suck your reward out; it’s almost there,” Sam practically purrs he’s so lost in the anticipation of giving me another serving of his–. I moan as he shoots, grinding his hips against my ass and tipping them up to better take in his second orgasm.

My cry morphs into a scream as he takes my shaft into his hand and jerks it nice and fast in his rough, hot hands. I blow in seconds, clinging to his shoulders and breathing hard as he smirks down at me, his face glowing with how satisfied he feels.

“Remember this feeling, Remy,” He murmurs, fingers brushing my sweat-slicked hair out of my face. I lift questioning eyes his way, and barely have a moment to even begin to process what he meant before he’s disentangling from me and standing at the edge of the bed. “C’mon, your initiation is far from over; it’s time to play with the big boys.”

He jerks his thumb over his shoulder to indicate the still wildly going at it crowd as his other hand extends down towards me. Chest filling with borderline fear, I lift myself up onto my knees and bolt upright at the feeling of something hot and lumpy sliding down my insides. I fist the messed up sheets, biting at my lip as more and more come to a standstill at my entrance, pressing down and down and down until I have to slump over my knees in order to not let it all out at once.

Instead, the thick cream dribbles out my loose hole, continuing its downward path. The bed dips behind me and I yelp at the hot, wet tongue that laps at the new trail, cleaning up his mess with long, slow licks at my hole. He catches new drops just as they’re coming out, effectively cleaning up one little mess and creating a much bigger one.

I fist the sheet in my hands and try to muffle my noises in the mattress, eyes squeezed shut as I struggle to keep my hole at least partly shut. The feeling of his tongue moving against my wet, dripping hole is familiar and makes my ass turn to useless jelly. I struggle feebly against myself, panting and drooling like a dog as he wiggles his tongue into me and sucks out mouthfuls of his juices. He nips at me with his teeth, sucks hard on the rim of my hole, and renders me boneless in a matter of seconds.

Trembling with my ass stuck out as a buffet for his sinful mouth, I feel my face burn in embarrassment as the mattress fails to muffle my increasingly louder cries. He groans and spreads my cheeks wide, the flat of his tongue licking up from just beneath my sac to just above my hole before he shoves it into me.

“I knew it,” he brags, breath stroking my damp entrance, “this ass was made to be licked and fucked into submission.” He rests on his knees behind me and pushes a thick digit into my more than willing hole. “Change of plans: I’m going to finger and eat you out for a couple more hours, and then I’ll put you to sleep on my cock. They can play by themselves tonight.” My ass isn’t the only thing that’s willing.

I have only one request (for any of the people who know me in real life and have read this): please, don’t judge me.

For everyone else, I hope you enjoyed it! I had a surprisingly large amount of fun writing this. If you didn’t, I’d love to hear your suggestions and/or comments. The point of this blog, after all, is to challenge me to get better as I upload.