by Bluejuice (青液) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/189045.html) Heavy smoke fills the air. The scent is strange; it clings to my clothing, my hair, my skin. It closes itself around me, like a drawn curtain, shutting out things unwanted. “Welcome. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?” The rest of the world doesn’t seem to apply here, as if […]
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 […]
[AUTHOR’S WARNING: This story may be disturbing to… humans.]
You had to be so careful about blood these days.
The demon Beleth, Prince of Nightmares, stirred on his dark throne. Some distance away, he sensed a human intruding in the deep woods that surrounded his desolate keep. A point of interest, to be sure – no human had ventured anywhere near for decades, the demon’s aura proving to be a more effective deterrent than any guards could be.
As Beleth rose, the infernal body began changing, flesh shifting and bones rearranging. Moments later, a great eagle could be seen taking wing from the castle.
Henri had played with the three ondine of the Seine as a child, and he’d had misgivings (to say the very least) watching the city’s elders induce them to do their duty to the city, luring Prussian soldier after soldier to their deaths. In the wake of the Germans’ retreat from Paris, the nymphs had developed a taste for blood and breath — he forced himself to think on this very calmly as he watched Niklas Bergqvist crouch on the riverbank and stare into its depths.
“Eighty thousand francs,” said Henri. “You won’t kill them, will you?”
Closing his eyes, Niklas frowned and dipped his hand into the black water. “Just talk to them.”
Sean watched with fascination as Tom poured more water over his head. It ran down his naked flesh in pink rivulets, getting closer and closer to crimson as it uncovered the wounds hidden under the crust of dried blood. The gouges that appeared were deep, their edges red and swollen, a violent contrast to Tom’s paleness that was as much due to blood loss as the cold that was making him shiver and turned his lips purple. Though he was almost blood-free now, Sean couldn’t erase from his mind the sight of his lover covered in gore. This time had been way too close.
Someone once told Tam that there was nothing sadder in the world than a celibate incubus. He can’t remember who said it, or when. He can’t remember much at all, now. All he has are flashes: he bought a ticket to Vancouver, he was on the plane, he checked into a hotel… and then what? It doesn’t matter.
He might be dying.
I sat up as the underbrush rustled. Creatures scattered; my friends leaving at the faintest scent of a human. I could hear the tread of his feet next. Woven sandals on the rotting leaves of autumns past.
He was close, closer than anyone had been able to get due to the curse for decades now.
I tilted my head, and my ears twitched, following the sound intently, tracking every small sound. Finally there was a flash of red robes. And there he was, coming through the foliage to my stone and the heart of the curse.
I knew what he was, who he was, instantly.
He woke up with a cock in his mouth, a splitting headache, a chill the size of Antarctica, and the singular wish that he was dead. Joshua Aoki had really fucked up this time, and that was saying a lot. It was one thing falling for a shiny, charming vampire once when he’d been seventeen, but something else entirely falling into his arms again three years after the first time he’d almost been killed by his vengeful maker and ex-lover.
Four days after the photo of the chupacabra turned out to be nothing more than a rabid coyote with mange, Felix began talking about UFOs.
It’s wet and miserable the night the boy first comes to Michael’s window.
“Yo, check this out.” With a click, Oliver navigated to Youtube and flipped his laptop around on the carpet to show Nan. There were a few videos already up on the Youtube account he’d set up under the alias “lockdaboat” and he’d picked a good one. A sick beat started up on the black screen, courtesy of Nosaj Thing. Fade in, some foundation moves to warm up–
Nan glanced up from the iPhone permanently fused to his hand. “Oh, that’s cool,” he said distractedly.
–a pretty sweet variation on the scooby walk if he did say so himself, wait for it, wait for it, and then the tiny Oliver on the screen tossed his untied sneaker behind his back with a kick, kneeled, and caught it between his legs. Aw, yeah. It had taken him weeks to learn that move, but it still had only 459 views. Nan wasn’t even paying attenion, tapping away one-fingered at his iPhone.
“The fuck, come on, man,” Oliver said, and paused the video.
Nan gave a guilty start, then hunched in his shoulders. “Sorry, sorry, I’m done,” was all he said in reply, and pocketed the iPhone. They watched the rest of the video in silence; when it ended, Oliver shut the lid of the laptop, fuming.
Victor’s hand shook so hard that he had to try the key card three times before the door would open. Stewart was already there, stretched out on one of the beds. Victor closed the door behind him and leaned his back against it, hands behind his back, just staring.
“Please,” he said. “Tell me you’ve come for me.”
Stewart stretched catlike and rolled onto his side, propping himself up on his elbow to look at Victor. “Why else would I be here?”
There was a demon at the end of the table, sitting upright like a man, hands folded atop the polished wood, wearing a storm-grey uniform with shoulder patches and bars that no doubt indicated rank to those that could read the language of insignia, skin sickly pale, easily half a head taller than anyone else around it; and its strange yellow eyes fixed on Tenzjin the moment he walked into the room.
I guess it started with the death of Paul’s Great-Aunt Moira.
No, maybe it started with my freshman year at Western Michigan University in the fall of 2000. Paul was my randomly-assigned roommate and we hit it off right away, sharing a love of old movies, thrift stores, and clean bathrooms. I had been desperately hoping to get a roommate I didn’t want to strangle, and considered myself immensely lucky when I ended up with a new best friend.
But maybe it really started thousands of years ago, when a retreating glacier left behind a pile of dirt in what would eventually be the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Eventually a state-run asylum would be built on that hill – its water tower still stands like a sentinel over the city, a weird brick structure that looks like the lair of some evil wizard. The neighborhood that sprang up around the hospital is full of beautiful old houses, and Paul’s great-aunt lived all alone in one of them until her death in early 2001. Paul’s father, as the closest living relative, inherited it from her. I’ve never been clear on what Paul’s father does for a living other than that it involves a lot of business travel. He didn’t have much interest in the house himself, and offered to let Paul and me live there rent-free in exchange for our help cleaning it up. Neither of us were eager to return to dorm life; LeFevre Hall had somehow managed to constantly smell vaguely like rotting meat. The boxy old Victorian house, complete with a square cupola, was much more appealing.