Where You Gonna Sleep Tonight

by Wakahisa Rei (若久零)
illustrated by The Winter Cynic


His memories were already fading. They were always stark in the first moments after waking – every scent (iron, flesh, sweat), every sound (screams, cracking, thudding) and every sight (horrified eyes, bodies, the full moon). Then, nothing. He’d get up, still dizzy from the change, still disoriented, remembering that yes, he was human. As he remembered his humanity, his memories turned to haze. It was like trying to recall a movie he’d seen years ago. Normally, this bothered Marius – they were his memories. He didn’t have much that was his.

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My life changed the night David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear on TV. I was in my pajamas, sick with strep throat, and I hadn’t left the house in over a week. My throat felt like a ball of steel wool had been shoved into it and left to rust. It hurt to eat. My eyes were dry and scratchy.

But there was Copperfield, larger than life, and that man knew how to do dramatic. So helicopters were circling over the water, bright lights made Liberty glow like daytime, and intense music blared, like in a scary movie. I know I had a fever, and that I tend to hallucinate when I’m sick, so my memory of it isn’t quite right. But here is what I think I saw: There was a pause, like a skipped heartbeat, and then the statue was gone. I thought I’d seen a miracle.


The Siren of Titan

by shukyou (主教)
illustrated by The Winter Cynic

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/291336.html)

The light off the Kraken Mare shone warm and inviting, but Andreas knew that even if he’d been close enough to feel its reflection on his face, it wouldn’t have been like the mornings of his childhood, standing at the edge of the Aegean Sea and letting the sunrise bake into his skin. Maybe this very light had cast itself over those same sparkling waters — he could never quite keep track of Earth rotation without the computer’s help — but that would have been at best over an hour ago. By now, it was little more than a dream of sunlight, his sunlight. It shone and carried on into the black and left little of itself below.

He sighed and pushed back from the window, letting momentum take his tall body. He’d have plenty of time to gaze at its surface later.

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“It feels like another world up here.” Geoff looked out the window at the trees blurring past as they drove, scattered with twisted, spindly pines and white flashes of birch. Even the soil had changed, sandy and pale.

“It’s kinda magic,” Brannon looked over at Geoff for just a moment, before maneuvering the car off I-75 onto an empty exit headed east. The sun set in a riot of red-oranges behind them, giving the illusion of truth to Brannon’s words. “It’s why I own a house up here and rent a place in Detroit. Everything falls away when I drive up North and see the landscape shift, and it’s just…magic,” he repeated, voice falling soft.

“It just makes sense.” Geoff reached across the console and laid a hand on Brannon’s thigh; when Brannon dropped his hand to cover it, Geoff lifted Brannon’s hand and pressed a soft kiss to the palm, lips lingering against warm skin.

“That’s distracting when I’m driving.” Brannon’s hand jerked back to the wheel, but his face was hot with pleasure.

“Fair enough.” Geoff smiled as he eyed his…significant other? Boyfriend? Lover? All the terms seemed either too clinical or relied on language he wasn’t comfortable using. Relationship and sexual labels had never been Geoff’s friend, but Brannon loved them.

Gay. Kinky. Submissive.


Moltslawn Industries

Half the board of management was already sleeping. Martin doodled another little man, colored its coat in a boring pencil grey, filled in its necktie with the usual blue stripes and killed this one with an anvil.



The first few months that Johan spends in the Gravina family manor are a blur of doing the wrong thing at the wrong time while saying the wrong thing to the wrong person in the wrong place, but his uncle assures him that he’ll settle into his role in time. Serving as Young Master Hugo’s valet is an important responsibility, after all. Does Johan think he was chosen lightly? Well, then.


Close Your Curtains

by The Winter Cynic

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/189367.html)

You can hardly smell it in the city, where the roar of traffic and the constant stream of human movement drowns out the quiet. Think of the countryside, where the roads are dark and the trees are tall and huge and old. They loom over you, stretching to follow you. Houses are nearly an hour apart and sounds of life are carried on the breeze. You’ll first notice it when you pass by a tree, the smell of tobacco. Not your usual whiff of cigarette smoke either but something thicker, like syrup, filling your lungs and pulling your eyes towards the tree.

There is a man perched on the branches, hiding among the leaves, watching you. Black shadow on black hairy skin, and eyes burning bright in the night like the tip of his cigar.

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A Hot Chicago Weekend

by The Winter Cynic and The Autumn Poet

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/188559.html)


Slow World In A Universe Too Fast

by Tsubaki (鍔き)
illustrated by The Winter Cynic

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/116214.html)

It’s with a smile and a tone of matter-of-fact fondness that friends say Emil and Ryan may as well have been made for each other.

The slightly cliché Golden Couple, completely adorable, eternally well-coordinated, thoughtful and romantic, involved with each other to a degree most people envy and are amazed by in turn… if not occasionally disgusted. Doesn’t familiarity breed complacency? It appears not. They have a way of cohabiting it shouldn’t have taken just a year to perfect.

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The Way of the Sword

by Kaito (カイト)

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/112374.html)

“Hey, Earl!”

The stocky security guardsman in his glass cubicle jumped at Arvid’s voice from behind his back and sputtered into his drink, spilling it all over the magazine he was reading. Arvid got a glimpse of bare breasts, now soaked in coffee, and winced. Earl looked up at him and squeezed out between coughs and trying to hide his mag at the same time, “Mr. Sveinsson! You scared me half to death. Didn’t expect you here at this time of the night.”

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