Wednesday, November 28, 2012

EXCERPT: Honeysuckle Sycamore, Ch. 6


In the chapel, beneath the rotted thatched roof, Honeysuckle lay in Jess Bethel’s arms. Their lovemaking had once again lasted the whole night through, causing the forest to emit an air of contentment and ease. As Honeysuckle embraced Jess in the night, a remarkable and somewhat frightening thing occurred. Whether it was a trick of the moonlight sneaking past the canopy of trees or a spark of dormant magic he could not say. But as they made love, the monk’s face seemed to transform momentarily. Over the handsome human face appeared the visage of another. That of Dogwood. And he was grinning in absolute love. The kind of grin Dogwood had always given Honeysuckle whilst they lay entwined beneath the blossoming trees in their halcyon days.                          
            At first, Honeysuckle paused in alarm. “Dogwood?” he whispered.
            But as soon as he spoke, the shadowed face of Jess returned, peering at the sprite with loving concern.
            “Was nothing but a trick of light,” Honeysuckle explained to himself, and blessed the monk’s face with fresh kisses.               

            As morning broke, Grit wandered out of the cover of the trees and ambled onto the bank of the river. She had been emerging from the forest more and more of late, hearing the river as it passed her by. She would stand and moan along with its crystal song.
            Her newfound independence did not go unnoticed by Honeysuckle and Jess.
            “Why does Grit leave us now?” Honeysuckle wondered one morning as they ground grain for bread.
            Jess shrugged, and kissed the worry from the sprite’s eyes.
            Grit soon began to greet every sunrise by the river, and would often stay there into the early hours of the afternoon. At least until Jess would come and take her by the hand, leading her back into the safety of the woods. She would follow him without quarrel.
            This particular day, however, Grit had reason to stand vigil at the river bank. Like a sightless sentinel, she did her macabre dance of sway, facing this way and that. She sensed something, some familiar and frightening presence in the air. Something intent on harm. She stumbled over the sand and rocks, here and there, trying to get a better sense of whatever it was that was coming. She was uncertain of its origins, but she knew she didn’t like it one bit.
            Behind her, the rustling of bare feet and dragging robe on ground let her know Jess had come to retrieve her for their lunchtime picnic. Silent as ever, he stood, waiting for her to fumble toward him. She was slow in coming, though. Jess could see she was distracted. Grit continued spasmodically facing up then down river, moaning in unintelligible notes. She lurched her shoulders as if she were a cat among hounds.
            When at last she did make her way to Jess, grabbing hold of his tattered robe, she was still quite tense and shaken. Jess led the way slowly through the forest path with Grit ever his token charge. He had come to view her with great affection, and her angst was extremely troubling for him.
            As they left the riverside, delving farther into the forest, Grit became less agitated. Still, something was wrong. Upon catching sight of her at the chapel, Honeysuckle could tell as much.   
            “Grit,” he soothed. “Why do you moan so? ‘Tis a beautiful day, and see what tasty morsels we have to eat?” He raised a slice of warm bread slathered in thick raspberry jam.
            Grit turned from the treat, tearing herself from the comfort of family, and frantically rambled about the vicinity. She batted at bushes and trees, tore vines, and threw stones. Her cries reached a disturbing crescendo, higher than Honeysuckle had ever heard. The cry curled the color off green leaves.
            “Grit!” Honeysuckle exclaimed. “What’s the matter?” He looked to Jess for a possible explanation, but the monk could only shrug in puzzlement.                       
            Grit reached with both arms into the harmless forest air, as if grabbing at something directly in front of her. She looked like she might rip the world asunder. For the first time, she exhibited something resembling anger.
            Honeysuckle came to her, wrapping his arms about her and pulling her back to the chapel. He and Jess comforted her even as her fit continued. Even as she lifted her face to the sky and screamed in blatant rage and the hillside seemed to shudder in dismay.

            Beyond the view of the Passions and the monk, hidden by the bramble of the woods, two eyes watched intently, contemptuously. Peat Moss only recognized the form of Honeysuckle Sycamore. The human could be easily dealt with. But it was the female sprite that caused the monster to stall his rampage that he had intended to unleash upon them. Something about her, something within her, shook him to the core for only the second time in his entire existence.      

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The List: A Few Little Things...

1.  My friend and sexy artist Absolutbleu has shown me a rough draft cover of our Bubbles n Gordy erotic graphic novel, and let me just say say, there is a whole lotta bubble there. Should be out next year.

2. Finished the second draft of my spec fic epic Terms We Have For Dreaming just days before I came down with an atrocious cold.

3. Ha! Me and Teej?

Thanks, Will

4. Teej and I have started writing Ghouls Gym for the upcoming Empire Press anthology Zombie Boyz. By the way, here's a look at that awesome cover:

5. My interview HERE at Stonewall Live has received near 8000 individual downloads, not including repeat listens, last I heard. Thank you everyone!

6. Have you ever looked at your computer and thought to yourself, My God! I never want to see you again.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

EXCERPT: Honeysuckle Sycamore, Ch. 5


Peat Moss had only known the pang of regret but once. And that particular experience had been an anomaly that startled him to his festering core. He had successfully pushed it back in his mind, shrouding it with more satisfying, grisly images. So, as he leaped and bounded up river following the scent of honeysuckle flowers, his mind was unfettered by remorse.
            Still, the hidden memory hung in the air, just above his head. If it were a rain cloud it might have burst at any moment. Within that burst, the only glimmer of decency Peat Moss had ever known would be released, and there could be no amount of denial that would keep it from pouring down upon him....

            Following his birth in the narrow hollow, Peat Moss had spent a good amount of time terrorizing the valley. He had nearly butchered, mangled and maimed every thing in sight, occasionally letting something flee so that it could be butchered, mangled or maimed on another day. He was intoxicated by his own rage and brute strength. Nothing could control it.
            Then, one day, Peat Moss caught a glimpse of Buford Longpost. Buford was one of the few who refused to leave the valley. He was a woodsman, sawing and selling timber to any who needed it, and had made a name for himself among the valley folk. It was a name he was not going to give up without a fight. He spent most days felling the forest in anticipation of the return of life to the valley. Against his will, Peat Moss was immediately and inexplicably fascinated by the man. Buford was the strongest human Peat Moss had ever seen. His muscles shone bathed in sweat beneath the glare of the sun as he worked. Such strength on a human was dazzling to the Passion. Buford swung his axe so hardily that entire tree stumps were split in two with one mighty blow.
            Peat Moss could not describe the feelings surging through him. He had no vocabulary for it nor any precedence for any such feelings before. It frightened him that he felt such strong emotion toward this man, and that fear frightened him all the more. He had never before known fear either. But he sat hidden by the trees in uncharacteristic awe and watched the lumberman whopping on wood the whole morning through.
            At midday, Buford ate lunch and afterward stripped of his sweat-laden clothing, letting the sun’s rays stroke his naked flesh. Peat Moss felt his very first hint of sexual desire. This was a day, it seemed, profuse with firsts. Buford stretched out upon a fallen tree, his head resting on his arms and his feet crossed at the ankles. His penis towered high in the air, seeking attention. It wasn’t long before Buford’s hand obliged the virile organ. With his eyes closed, he carried a private fantasy to fulfillment. When finished, he turned on his stomach satisfied and quickly fell asleep.
            Peat Moss was flustered by what he had seen and all the more intrigued by the strong man. His lustful Passion eyes ran along the napping form of the man. They took in every muscle and dimple until at last they came to a full stop on the woodsman’s muscular, perfectly rounded ass.
            Buford didn’t stir from his rest as Peat Moss came finally out of hiding. Strangely, there was nothing for the lumberman to fear even if he had awoke. Peat Moss wanted nothing more than to touch him and hold him. These very thoughts disturbed the Passion even as he tried to beat them down. But it was of no use; he was completely awestruck by the woodsman. His large hands caressed and kneaded every curve on Buford’s physique. Seeing that this did not disturb the timber man, Peat Moss did something he had never done before: he kissed the bare skin of Buford’s broad back.
            At the touch of lips to salty skin, Peat Moss felt his own penis stiffening, and something of his more familiar self regained control. He could contain his appetite no longer. He parted the large mounds of the woodsman’s muscular ass and sunk into him. Buford groaned, but it was not the kind of groan to which Peat Moss was accustomed. No, the woodsman sounded as if he didn’t mind. Indeed, as if it were expected. As if his dreams at that very moment were one and the same with the reality of what was happening.
            Buford ground himself back into Peat Moss, taking what he could of the Passion’s ample member and causing the monster to thrust deeper. Peat Moss’ sexual energy could have easily and literally ripped the man apart, but curiously he did not wish for that. Something about this particular human had him under control. He found that he wanted to please him, not harm him, and that thought - the suddenness with which it came to him - was like a shock coursing from the woodsman’s body into his own. The force of it caused him to tumble backward, rending his massive penis from the lumberjack’s hole. This, of course, woke the lumberman quite forcefully from his sexual fantasy and he looked around in surprise. At sight of the behemoth Passion, Buford fell from the tree and staggered aback.
            “Keep away! Stay back!” he shouted, his voice deep and resounding. His face shone with terror.
            Peat Moss was all too familiar with that expression. However, seeing it on the woodsman’s face gave him an incomprehensible pang in his chest.
            Peat Moss came toward the lumberjack. He would calm the man down, hold him. Then the woodsman would understand that they could be together; that he meant him - only him - no harm. They could fell flora and fauna as a mighty twosome. The river would run thick with blood and sawdust.
            But Buford did not understand the approach, and suddenly lifted a large limb that lay near his feet, throwing it at the monster. Peat Moss swatted it away with ease and continued to advance. Buford pitched a stream of items at the Passion, all of them harmless. After a bit of this, Peat Moss began to think that the lumberjack was simply playing. After all, others who had caught sight of him immediately tried to escape. Yes. That was it. The woodsman was playing. They were having fun. Peat Moss grinned with delight and mischief at the realization he had a playmate, and lifted from the earth the large tree Buford had been resting upon.
            Buford had no time to move before the tree fell on him, crushing him into the ground. At once, Peat Moss’ face fell. The human had not moved. Lifting the tree from the spot and peering down at the bloody mess of a man, the Passion howled. Why had the strong man not moved? The blast from the Passion’s breath cleared the spot of any living thing, and all the fallen trees and cut wood were turned to ash.
            But his mourning period was brief. For as he howled, the bitter winds began to kick up and a Passion began to form of his grief. This distraction irritated the monster so that at once he reached through the swirling mass of creation before the new Passion had chance to fully form, and bit its head off with a single chomp of his powerful jaws.
            He put grief behind him, locking away the memory of Buford Longpost, and remained the Passion born of Darkness who terrorized the valley. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Morning Blog Poem

inspired by Tj Klune

Dear internet blog
you're a time hog
expecting me to write every day
about my exploits as a sexy gay
you want my attention all your own
but now I have a boyfriend to bone
please don't take this the wrong way
but sometimes I just have nothing to say
why do you make me feel guilty so!
my mind is not a library, you know
I am but a man with a man's plan
and plans to have sand in my can-can
you prolly have no idea what that meant
and neither do I
I just say things to pass the time
and take up lines
this poem is fucked up, it's not even keeping form
like my relationship with you, it's as produced as porn
when we first met, dear blog o' mine,
I found you a delightful waste of time
but now, I'm afraid, you've gone too far
making me your bitch, your typing fool star
I can't sit around all day, I'll lose my boyish figure
my skin will go pale and my dick will fail to rigor
(by "rigor" I mean "erection", for those who want to know
an erection is paramount for entering bunghole)
I'm a one-man guy now, and I'm headed for the door
Teej needs me, you see, and you're a big ol' whore.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

EXCERPT: Honeysuckle Sycamore, Ch 4

from my anthology Slight Details & Random Events


For the most part, the valley had been abandoned. A perceptible darkness could be felt by those humans who lived there, a presence much darker and dangerous than any they had ever felt before. So, they fled from it. The valley itself grew hushed, its beauty hiding something jagged and sharp just beneath the tranquil surface. There were a few brave souls who remained; those who were simply too stubborn to leave or who chose to fight the bitter air alongside the energies of the earth. But they were scattered the length of the river, their homes tucked and hidden in the bends and curves of the valley.
            Jess Bethel was a young man of nature. He was raised in the woods by an elderly monk and would have been a monk himself if there had been a monastery nearby to take him after the old man died. He wore a simple brown robe which covered a strong body sculpted by years of manual labor. He resided deep in the forest in the remains of the old, stone chapel which had been his aged adopted father’s home.
            Honeysuckle Sycamore stumbled upon Jess as the young monk collected water from one of the creeks that streamed from the hills into the river. As he gathered the water into an old bucket, the long limbs of a dogwood tree stretched over him, and its petals sprinkled around him like a blessing. Something of Honeysuckle’s old awe returned to him upon seeing Jess and he could not help but follow the young man back to the chapel. The monk of course knew he was being observed, and would often stop and wait when Honeysuckle, slowed by Grit’s measured progress, would fall behind. And try as he might, Honeysuckle could never get Grit to remain completely silent. (“Hush, Grit! We do not want to scare him away.”)
            That first evening Honeysuckle and Grit hid outside the ruins of the old chapel with the crickets and hoot owls. The light from a single candle lit the interior. What Honeysuckle was waiting for, or why he had dragged poor Grit along, he couldn’t say. He was enamored by Jess Bethel. He thought him the most magical being he had seen since his dear Dogwood. The sprite’s eyes were once again wide with delight.
           As the dusk light settled on the valley hills, the monk came to the chapel door and placed bread, berries, and fresh tomatoes on the moss-grown, stone walkway. He then turned and walked back into the chapel with nary a look behind.
            “Look there, Grit!” Honeysuckle whispered excitedly. “The young human has left food. Do you think it’s for us, Grit?”
            Grit said nothing. She only moaned softly and cried her sand tears as she wrapped her arms around him.
            “You just sit here, dear Grit,” he said. “I think he does indeed mean it for us. What a kind, kind man!” Honeysuckle then darted out of hiding, quickly collecting the food and bringing it back to his charge faster and more graceful than a leaping stag.
            Jess Bethel watched quietly from within the chapel. His eyes twinkled and he smiled with adoration at the Passion’s innocence.

            Time passed, leaves changed, and though the memory of Dogwood was ever present, merriment at last returned to Honeysuckle Sycamore. At night, staring beyond the tree limbs at the sky he would whisper, “How has Honeysuckle survived without Dogwood?”  He could not answer his own question, but he knew both Jess and Grit had parts to play in its truth. He avoided the river, though. He knew he could never again play along its banks, never enjoy its sway or song. Not until Dogwood returned or until all Passions had died and there was never any use for rivers at all. In his life in the forest, Honeysuckle Sycamore had become a caged Passion.
            Grit remained forlorn as was her nature. She was born of the darker tendencies after all. No matter what Honeysuckle did or what gifts Jess brought her, she gave nothing more than a grunt in reply.
            “Poor Grit,” Honeysuckle sighed, catching a grain of sand as it fell from her eyes. “Won’t you ever smile?”
            As the seasons took turns cradling the valley, a quiet romance flowered beneath the canopy in the old, stone chapel. The silent monk and the Passion became very much captivated with one another. They slept tenderly in each other’s arms, they gathered berries and firewood, they bathed one another in the stream, and they cared for the lost child, Grit. Theirs was a happy, silent, shrouded existence.
            When Honeysuckle and Jess Bethel made love for the first time it was as if the purity of the valley had at last returned. The forest around them took on the quality of Truth, a wind of fresh understanding. Even Grit noticed the change as she slept in her bed of leaves on the forest floor. It was enough to quiet her grief-calls and still her incessant rocking, lulling her to her first peaceful rest.
            The young monk had never known the world to be as beautiful or as shining as it was the moment a caged Passion came into him. Honeysuckle’s love was like a tree sprouting inside Jess. Branches of joy spread out from the spot the seed was planted and grew through the monk’s veins making everything more vibrant and filled with life, indestructible.  From that day on, everything held a much higher quality for Jess Bethel.
           As Honeysuckle came into him and they were joined, the sprite’s laughter and glee filled the air. It eased through the forest, wrapping around the trees and traipsing down the hillside, until it finally came to the river where it swam gracefully along the current.
            Down river something less beautiful had transpired, however. A trail of smashed pulp and smeared blood littered the banks, remnants of a small massacre. Peat Moss stood on the rocks, ripping apart what was left of a gaggle of geese he had come across. As a Passion he could easily overtake any flying creature. With the geese he had only to open his large arms to catch them all in a deadly embrace. Feathers, blood, and guts stained his face, hands and chest. And when there was nothing left alive or twitching, he grimaced in disappointment. His blood lust could never be satiated. He wanted more - more blood, more maiming, more death. He stomped and grunted in agitation.
            Yes, he was quite irritable. That is, until his keen sense of smell perceived the scent of Honeysuckle, and his ears caught the slightest air of gaiety. His eyes lit up with the memory of a familiar (if long thought dead) acquaintance. Across his face crept the very same crippled grin he had worn the night he had been born in that narrow hollow. The scent of Honeysuckle gave him his first twinge of nostalgia. It was spiked with thorns.
            Immediately, he dropped the mangled remains of his feast of fowl and tramped off up river, following the sweet scent of an ivy flower. The earth shook in his wake. He had work to do. There was some fun to be had out of a job only half finished. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The List: Big Things Ahead

1. PREPARE YESELF!! Big announcement here. In the works now, a new anthology featuring work by Tj Klune, S.A. McAuley, Sjd Peterson, Abi Roux, Cyndie Hastey, and yours truly. Unconventional stories by unconventional writers. The title is Crack the Darkest Sky Wide Open and is set for release this May. Are ya excited?! Get excited!!

2. Still more excitement! I'm working on a zombie satire with Tj Klune called "Ghouls Gym" which will appear in Empire Press' forthcoming collection of three novellas titled Zombie Boyz.

3. Speaking of Empire Press, I'm in the process of signing The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles & Men over to them. Nothing is finalized yet, but I am pumped about this!

4. American Horror Story: I'm done with it. What a mess. It's like I'm in the show's production meeting and Ryan Murphy has shouted, "Throw out every clicheed idea you have!" Flesh-eating monsters, a serial killer, an asylum, a mad scientist, ghosts, Nazis, AND aliens? Oy. Too bad, too, because Jessica Lange is awesome.

5. The Rest is  Illusion is still up for free download on GoodReads until this coming Thursday. It was also chosen as November's Book of the Month on the MM Romance Group's page.

6. Anyone who missed my interview on Stonewall Live last weekend you can catch it HERE.  A star is born!! ;-)

7. Jeff Buckley was born on this day in 1966. A beautiful and talented man gone too soon.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

EXCERPT: Honeysuckle Sycamore, Ch. 3


So consumed was Honeysuckle by his grief that he did not notice the swaying figure behind him. Only little by little did he differentiate between his utterances of grief and the long, queasy moans of the newborn female sprite. When at last he did comprehend he was not alone, he rose in surprise with a sudden leap.
            “Who are you?” he demanded, the words barely finding a path through his sadness.
            She did not respond. She rocked slowly, and her arms and neck moved in a delicate, mournful choreography. She was unlike anything he had ever come upon. Her flesh was porous and granular.
Where her eyes should have been were pits which cried constant, thin streams of sand. And her groans of grief issued forth from a mouth that was tightly, painfully clenched.
            “Who are you?” Honeysuckle said again with a mingling of fear and pity. Instinctively, he reached for her as if he would touch her face.
            As he did this, she quieted instantly and came toward him like a child taking its first, wobbly steps. He recoiled at once and fled into the forest, not looking back. While Honeysuckle was much quicker than Grit (he had left her behind on the beach in no time), the loss of Dogwood had slowed him considerably. Heartbreak weighed him down and he soon found rest upon a hill within a thicket of briars and vines, wondering what other horrors awaited him.
            Honeysuckle was quite content to lay in the thicket, to fade away like so many other Passions had done before him once their strength had waned. He was finding desperate comfort in the darkness of closed eyes. If only he could rid himself of the stubborn consciousness that clung to him so obsessively.
            A shuffling in the forest down the hill woke him from his black contentment long before he heard the accompanying moans. He looked through the leafless, dead thicket he lay beneath and perceived the female sprite as she staggered toward the hill. She stood at the base, her face tilted upward, her hands gesturing an embrace in lyrical dance.  She tried to climb the hill, but was unable to traverse the steep incline. Immediately, she stumbled, falling to her knees. Moaning anew from the ground, she peered up at Honeysuckle.
            “Go away!” Honeysuckle cried. “I do not know you! I do not want you.” Yet, as he said it, he knew there was something in the tortured sprite down below that was all too familiar. “Go away, Grit,” he said, knowing her name as easily as any being would innately recognize its kin.
            But she didn’t go away; she remained. And in her remaining was Honeysuckle’s deliverance from nonexistence. Even as he had wanted to disappear, to vanish completely, the image of Grit waiting for him at the base of the hill kept him preoccupied. Her need for him was driving his need to die further from his mind.
            Days and nights passed and neither of the two moved from their positions. Every morning Honeysuckle would wake to see Grit still at the bottom of the hill, still waiting and moaning plaintively. Every day his cries of resentment toward her became less forced. At last, he thought of coming down the hill. He was hungry and he knew she had to be as well. But reluctance won out and he remained in his fortress of dead vines for another night.
            As he slept that night, Honeysuckle wandered into a dream: He slid down the hillside to where Grit lay slumbering. She grumbled and kicked like a dreaming hound. The imposing trees barely gave the moonlight admittance to the forest. As Honeysuckle watched the sleeping Passion, tendrils of honeysuckle began to climb delicately over her. And behind her a small tree sprouted from the forest floor. Both the honeysuckle vines and the tree grew very quickly, many seasons in only a few seconds. When the sudden growth stopped, Grit lay covered in a blanket of honey ivy and cradled lovingly by a large dogwood tree.
            There was movement in the darkness of the forest beyond which distracted Honeysuckle from his adoration of Grit.
            “Dogwood!” he gasped as he saw the certain form of his beloved walking away. Dogwood turned and grinned with a nod to Grit before fading into the night of Dreamland.
            Honeysuckle woke to the morning, tears dripping from his cheeks like dew. He knew then he was not meant to suffer through his sorrow alone.
            As in the dream, Honeysuckle slid down the hillside, though now in the clear light of morning he could see perfectly. So quick was his descent, he nearly fell on Grit as he approached the bottom of the hill. She was still sleeping. He watched her momentarily, still somewhat scared.
            “Grit,” he whispered, extending his hand and this time not recoiling. “Wake up, Grit. I’m here for you now.”
            Grit rose with a twitch, and turned her head about as if trying to see. The sand dripped from her face in heartbreaking streams.
            “Grit. It’s me. It’s Honeysuckle Sycamore.”
            She moaned quietly with a strain of uncertainty, then made another attempt to embrace him with a lurch, a lunge, and a fall into Honeysuckle’s waiting arms. She whimpered and sobbed there, at least minutely comforted.
            “I’m here, Grit. It’s you and me now.” He held her closely for the rest of the day. The forest had never seen such brokenheartedness. Every willow in the vicinity wept at once and continues weeping to this very day.
            They both retreated like fading shadows swallowed by the deep forest of the valley. The sheen of the world that Honeysuckle had known had dulled. There was no mirth or wonder left. Honeysuckle and Grit became but omens of grief and solitude to whatever soul they came across.
            In the evenings, when light struggled through the trees and a cool breeze crept over the hillsides, they made their beds in tree hollows and sinkholes. Honeysuckle would hold Grit like an older brother or a concerned parent. In holding her, he perceived there was something about her that didn’t quite fit. That is, though she was of Dogwood and Honeysuckle, something in her being was neither of them.
            When Grit moaned and rocked in her sleep it would break Honeysuckle’s heart. And it was during these moments that Honeysuckle would smell the faintest hint of Dogwood in the air and would know his beloved was still near watching over them both.