Flash: Thebe gets her Nymph Mask

Image courtesy of voraorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thebe reached into the bag and pulled a mask out. The small domino was black and green. Nature. She had been hoping for sky-blue and white and be celestial like her friend Rhene. Well, at least the green would look great with her hazel eyes. As she moved out of the way, the next girl approached the table. The females behind the table all had red and yellow dominoes; last year winner had been fire and the hostesses at Nymphs and Satyrs had worn the colors all year.

Walking past the growing group with azure and violet masks, those who would be playing water nymphs in the competition, Thebe snapped on her mask. She approached the north corner of the plain room where women in matching masks to her black and green were already in deep discussion. They frowned as she joined their group, and Thebe crushed her inner shame. Her body could not be helped. Two full-time jobs left little room for healthy eating and gym time. Fast food made up all her meals, the ones she didn’t skip because she had fallen asleep. The mask hid the bags under her eyes.

Most women in the room had bodies screaming of youth and vigor or money and privilege. She would need to see if Rhene had bribed someone to get her two-hundred forty pound ass through the front door and onto the list. Sure her six-foot height distributed the weight enough to prevent her from being a complete butterball, but her budget-and-time-driven diet was quickly propelling her Rubenistic proportions from healthy to hefty. Her tendency to fold in on herself only made her look fatter.

Thebe pushed back her shoulders and straightened her spine. Now towering over her detractors, she met their eyes. Tonight was not the night to be a shrinking violet. One million dollars was at stake. Enough to get her out of debt – all her student loans and credit card bills disappearing in one swoop instead of slowly building despite her best efforts with cheap food, Goodwill excursions when clothes could no longer be repaired, and nearly one-hundred-hour work weeks when the commutes were included thanks the capriciousness of public transportation. Her budget was squeezed until pennies whimpered. Nothing helped.

She had to seize the chance.

The week-long contest wasn’t like playing the lottery. Only fifty-four girls were chosen to enter from thousands of photos. These were then assigned to four teams representing the four elements. Even if Thebe didn’t personally win, if she was on the team with the winner, she would be looking at a new job as hostess. A job paying double what her two current jobs paid combined and only taking about thirty hours per week, counting commute from the apartment she shared with four other girls on the other side of the city.

A job with perks like a full-time gym and spa. A job with a clothes budget and meals during the four nights the club was open. A one-in -four chance at catching up and, maybe, getting ahead. A one in fifty-four chance of being set for life.

As a bonus, each day she survived in the competition she pocketed $1,000. If she was knocked out today, just getting this far would mean all her interest payments for the month would be met for the first time in eight years, instead of her shuffling money around like someone running a Ponzi scheme. She smiled at her team. There was no way a girl like her could take first place but she would do everything in her power to make certain her team won.

(words 604, first published 12/25/2016)

Flash: Thebe at Nymphs and Satyrs

Image courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The white walled room, so different from the sumptuously decorated rooms Thebe had traveled through to get to this one, was empty of furniture. The opposite wall had a single plain door. Another wall had five floor to ceiling mirrors, each about three foot wide with five feet between. The mirrors reflected the thirty women already present in the room. By the buff and beautiful bodies, Thebe assumed most had far more free time and money than her for gyms, salons, and boutiques.  A couple rivaled her plumpness, one or two wore department store clothes like hers, though probably not Goodwill purchases, and she noticed one person made no attempt at makeup and she really should have. Even so no one fell down on all three as badly as her. Why she had let Rhene talk her into coming? This was not her style at all.

Nymphs and Satyrs didn’t even try to hide the fact it was a sex club. Somehow they never gotten raided or shut down; her bet was the club numbered some high-ranking “up-standing” citizens. People with real money and power, far more than the noticeably privileged women gathered in this room.

People able to offer a one million dollar prize.

The reason why she was here. Why she let Rhene talk her into entering this farce. Student loans and credit card debt were killing her, literally and figuratively. The two jobs she had been able to find kept her in the fast food she ate between the forty-hour jobs. A third job was out of the question as the two jobs were already affecting her health between sleep-deprivation and stress. The poor food alone had added 20% to her already healthy body weight, so she now topped the scales at two hundred forty. Only her height, just shy of six foot, kept her from looking like a complete butterball.

She graduated in a recession with too much education and too little experience. A bachelor’s in Music and a minor in Education turned out to be useless as high school after high school slashed “unnecessary” items from their budgets. Turning around and getting the more practical Masters of Business Administration was even worse as the market flooded with out-of-work and highly experienced MBA professionals. Hoping against hope to get ahead of the financial collapse, Thebe had returned back to school for yet three more years of college and collected a Doctorate of Classical Literature and Art. Museums and libraries were doing booming business at the beginning of the recession as people looked for low cost entertainment. Her thesis comparing mythical allegories in music to painting was the stuff of legends, if one pardons the pun. Her graduation came as unemployment funds dried up and people could no longer afford to leave the house.

Hence Halloween found her at Nymphs and Satyrs, hoping to win their porn queen contest or whatever it was. At least place on the Nympho Court, girls who were the Club hostesses throughout the year and get paid three times what she was making between the two jobs combined, but for only twenty hours of work. If she couldn’t get a job with her brain, she would get one using the oldest skill set available to women. Fortunately, Thebe had studied enough Greek and Roman mythology to offset the Puritan programming ingrained in American culture.

Only one in four would place.

(words 568 – first published 18 December 2016)

Flash: Three Wishes Granted (Part 1)

Red Candle Burning

Image courtesy of Tuomas_Lehtinen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Smoke curled upward from the flickering candles like fingers clawing the moving shadows hiding the gymnasium ceiling. A fat red candle burned grudgingly at each corner of a triangle. Storebrand sea salt, its box discarded on top of the pile of winter coats and purses in the bleachers, had been poured onto the waxed but scarred wooden surface recently used in a sport ceremony most humans call basketball to form the outer triangle with the red candles. A young woman sat on each side of the triangle, her bare ass just touching but not moving the sea salt, facing the inner black triangle created from crushed coal and burned school work. None of their body parts touched the black shape. Each corner of that triangle had a black taper burning far steadier and faster than the red pillars, but, eerily, no pools of light illuminated the women’s faces from the inner candles or glittered on the embroidered symbols decorating short linen tunics they wore covering their breasts and hovering just above their bellybuttons.

One of the woman, her back to the home team basket, said words which skittered across the mind like fingernails on a chalkboard. The other two hummed and growled responses.

The home team had won. Finally. The college wasn’t known for its sports teams. Jessica, a cheerleader to meet the sports requirement of the liberal arts school, immediately called Emily and Kiran. They had been waiting four months to cast this spell requiring a victorious battleground for their tribal warriors.

Waiting had been a bitch. The setup for the spell required three days of abstinence beforehand, which meant they had been going without sex for nearly four months. Kiran hadn’t minded since she hadn’t been dating anyone, but Emily’s beau dropped her like a rock when she hadn’t put out regularly and Jessica and Austin had degenerated to screaming matches. She knew he was fucking Roxanne on the side, but coven before lovin’.

Jessica sung-shouted the last word, tearing her throat on the power of the Name. Emily and Kiran echoed the Name of the fallen angel, bouncing the Word around the gymnasium in an ever-growing cacophony with each echo taking the Name higher or lower by half a note. Flats and sharps destroyed the beauty of the angelic Name until all the sounds reformed into a new name “Lucifer!”

Sound stopped.

The dim light sneaking in from the hallway backed out. Only the light of the six candles remain and the harsh breathing of the women as they gasped for oxygen after chanting for two hours. Time hovered at three o’clock Sunday morning, the time between the Jewish Sabbath and the Christian Lord’s Day.

Kiran turned her head and whispered to Jessica, “Do you think it worked?”

“Shh!” Jessica glared at their newest coven member.

Kiran bit her generous lip. The other two were seniors who had picked up the freshman out-of-state student for their group after their third member graduated last year.

A dozen heartbeats passed, then a dozen more, and a dozen after that.

Long after the hallway light hesitantly returned to create two small rectangles of light on the north end, Jessica reached out her arms straight out to both sides. The cold wood floor had completely numbed her butt. Kiran immediately put out her arms either side, and Emily slowly followed suit until all three of their fingertips touched.

“Do you remember how to clear the spell, Kiran?” Emily smiled encouragingly.

Kiran closed her eyes a moment and mouthed a few words before opening her eyes again and responding, “Yes.” As the youngest of those present, backing out of a spell fell on her and a summoning spell is not a magic to leave half-intact by a misremembering. She had been studying her part every day for five months.

“Giving up so soon?”

All three sets of eyes snapped to the center of their formation. The dark candles’ flame finally reflected off of something as all darkness within the inner triangle formed into a man. The handsome devil wore a tuxedo, ruby cufflinks flashing as he snapped the sleeves firmly into place with a jerk at the cuff. His brilliant red bowtie and satin cummerbund brought out the color of his glowing eyes to a stunningly scary sexy perfection. Black hair with frosted tips curled past his shoulders and accented his cheekbones and goatee.

Emily gasped, her hands covering her mouth. Kiran started forward but froze when Jessica ordered, “Don’t cross the lines!”, before standing.

Though the tallest of the women, Jessica at five foot eight still was half a foot shorter than the being trapped in the inner triangle. But she was barefoot and the man was wearing Oxford shoes, so the height difference wasn’t as bad as it seemed. Even so, appearing anyway like a supplicant before anyone wasn’t for her.

Kiran and Emily followed their leader’s action and also stood. The freshman, nearly fifty pounds heavier than her five foot three inch frame should be holding, had the hardest time standing in the limited space between the salt and the coal lines.

The satisfaction Jessica felt twisted her lips up. “What, you were hoping we were some idiots and wouldn’t clean up our little mess? Is that why you didn’t manifest until now?”

“Why would I ever do something as devious as that?” The man in the middle matched Jessica’s evil smile with one of his own. “I live for being pulled away from Hell to revenge some adolescent imagined slight.” He took the one step closer to Jessica, as close as the black coal allowed. Lowering his voice, his red eyes banked to burning coals, he asked, “So what tune are you going to have me play my little witch?”

Jessica licked her lips and controlled the urge to sway closer so the tips of her peaked nipples would rub the linen tunic against his wool tux. No crossing the lines, she reminded herself. “Actually our summoning is to make a deal. Our souls for our wishes.”

A wider grin replaced Lucifer’s smile as he returned to the center of the summoning symbol. “Your soul? I always like collecting red-head souls; it so enhances the myth that the gingers are all my servants. State your wish and we may strike a bargain.”

Jessica shifted. “I’m blonde.”

“And your thatch is red, my dear. You dye that mane of yours.”

The blush started at Jessica’s belly, visible below the short hem of the tunic, popped up above the fabric at the beginning of her cleavage and suffuse her face. She had forgotten they were all naked below the waist.

“Oh, I do seem to have an unfair advantage.” Lucifer started taking out his cufflinks. “How un-gallant of me.” Before they could stop him, the devil had his jacket tossed back into the darkness and his shirt hung open, unbuttoned. He turned a slow circle within the confines of the black triangle, arms open wide, skittering his large hands along the edge of the spell, leaving black cracks in the invisible shield and making his knuckles bleed. “Is this enough or do you want me to remove more? As you can see by my chest hair, I am actually blond but people prefer their demons dark, not the Morning Star.” He stroked down his bare chest leaving a light trail of blood behind.

Kiran stared as his hand stroked over his rock-hard abs and hovered for a moment over a growing bulge in his pants. “Would you like a taste my dark-skin beauty?” He stepped closer to the freshman, opening the flap of his pants to expose buttons and popped the top one.

“Kiran, no!” Emily shouted, but didn’t move from her position within the symbol.

Kiran pulled her hand back before it broke the cracking barrier and whimpered, “I’m so wet.” Shaking she slipped to the floor far more gracefully than she rose.

“Yes you are little one. I can smell you.” He flicked his forked tongue out. “I would love to taste you.”

Kiran moaned, her hands dropping to her thick thighs, rubbing them. Her head twisting back and forth so she wouldn’t stare at his now-eye-level crotch or meet the glowing coal-red eyes. Her nipples pressed against the symbols of protection embroidered in gold and silver on her linen tunic, the magic fighting the seduction charm leaking through the cracked dark triangle, sending tingles from her tits to her core with each strike and repost of the charm and counter-charm.

“I don’t think so.” Jessica stated as she picked up the removed the athame strapped inside the tunic on her left arm. “Emily, follow my lead.”

Without hesitation, Emily pulled out her ceremonial blade and drew it across her palm in unison with Jessica. They then flung the blood at the invisible barrier. As the droplets hit, non-light splashed out vanquishing the cracks on their sides.

“No!” The devil ordered and crashed his hands against the side Kiran was on. Her head flung back as she screamed, an orgasm taking her.

The witches switched hands with the blades and cut their other hands and flung the blood as close to the side Kiran was on without leaving their positions. The splatter created new centers of healing the barrier and wrapped around the corner, nearly meeting in the center on the freshman’s and throwing the devil to the corner opposite her. His shirt burned and fell off, leaving angry marks. His knuckles no longer bleed, but his hands and shoulders were blistered. The shirt pooled into a dozen shadows and faded.

Kiran had somehow managed to control her fall and lay perfectly between the white salt line and the black coal line with neither smudged. She twitched, moaning as the ecstasy faded.

The man leaped to his feet in the center, his chest expanding and contracting rapidly, the hair on his head even longer, now falling to midwaist, and completely blond. Fists shook either side of his body as he turned to face the coven leader.

“Your eyes.” Jessica stared at the angelic blue eyes set in the most beautiful face she had ever seen.

Gleaming white teeth ground. The devil closed his eyes, tension left his face and it shifted into something darker, more human and less divine. After a moment he opened them and they were gleaming red coals again.

“Your bargain.” He growled.

(To be continued)

(1,737 words, first published 11/27/2016)

Flash: Lonely on the Road

Empty Countryside Road Stock Photo

Image Courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Twisting the wrench yielded no results, so Kelly kicked the rental’s tire and walked along the berm cursing herself, her uncharged phone, and, most especially, Jim. She adjusted her purse’s shoulder strap after tucking the wrench inside and headed north along the isolated highway. The last exit was 5 miles back, the next exit was promised to be only 3 miles forward.

Why had she decided to surprise Jim? Sure his corporate construction job kept him away a month at a time wherever a new facility needed building, but the weekends he came home were magical. With the long weekend, she had thought to bring the magic to him.

Well, the surprise was on her. She had known he shared rooms with other guys to cut costs. But she hadn’t known he had shared his bed. Her mind’s eye briefly flashed a picture of the two men she found wrestling in his unlocked bedroom. Two suntanned muscular bodies naked and humping madly.

For a second her imagination added her between the males. Okay, a threesome was her favorite masturbation fantasy.

But the point was Jim was cheating on her! He could have told her he was bi and she could have handled it. Loved to have handled it. Since hooking up with him, she had been monogamous. For three years she had been with only one man; it was kind-of creepy after nicks she had put into her bedpost before they had gotten together. Keeping faithful though didn’t mean she hadn’t looked or wanted more. Kelly could have provided him all sorts of suggestions for male booty calls.

Focus. Cheating. Doesn’t matter if it is male or female, it is still cheating.

Behind her a car beeped. Kelly turned around to see Jim’s beatup pickup pulling over, scattering the gravel. She gave him the single finger salute while he unbuckled and continued walking away.

His long legs ate up the distance. “Kelly wait! Damn it, I’m sorry. It doesn’t mean anything. Wait, Kelly.” He got a little ahead and started walking backwards in front of her. “I didn’t want you to find out that way.”

“So how did you want me to find out?” Kelly stopped to save all her breath to yell at him.

Jim stopped too, scratching the back of his head. His jeans hung low, showcasing his six-pack and a little more. He hadn’t bothered to grab a shirt before following her, or put on shoes. That gravel had to hurt.

“Actually, never,” he admitted.

“Finally something honest!”

He looked hurt. “I’m always honest.”

“Except about sleeping around,” Kelly accused.

“Umm, I never lied about it, I just never mentioned it.”

She closed the distance to hiss up into his face. “The truth, the WHOLE truth and nothing but the truth.”

Pushing his chest she demanded “What? Am I suppose to have you swear on a stack of bibles every time you came home?!!”

Muscle-bound ape that he was, her push didn’t rock him, but he took a step back from her fury anyway. “…No?” he responded, clearly hoping it was the right answer.

“Damn right, no.” Kelly pushed her hair back so she could look up and watch his face while she stood toe-to-toe. She kept encroaching into his space. “A relationship is about trust. I don’t care how much I love you, but if I can’t trust you – we got nothing.”

She stepped around him and started stomping north again. “Kelly, don’t be this way,” he begged trotting after her. “It doesn’t mean anything.” He grabbed her arm to stop her.

“So how long have you been sleeping with him?” Kelly turned back to him to stare him in the eye. “And don’t lie to me now – I will wash your briefs with the red towels.”

His mouth stopped half-way opened. He closed it a second, sighed, and admitted. “Luis and I have been bunkmates for about nine months now.”

“Bunkmates?” Kelly laughed harshly. “Is that what they call it now? … And who was before him.”

“I don’t know, Carlo, maybe.” Jim shrugged. “I don’t really keep track.”

Her eyes grew round. They had started trying for a child a year ago.

“Oh, no, no. Sweetheart, I always use a condom, and I get tested twice a year. I ain’t stupid.”

“Could have fooled me,” she said icily, putting her hands on her hips. “So do you only cheat on me with guys?”

He stood up straighter, looking indigent. “I’ve never cheated on you. Not ever. Yeah, I sleep with guys, but I don’t love them or anything. It’s just sex. And loneliness, a whole lot of loneliness when you are not around.”

Kelly rolled her eyes. “Been saving that one up?”

“Nope, just kind-of came to me,” Jim smiled boyishly. “Good though, right?”

Damn, why did she have to love him so much. “Yep, that was pretty good. … Only guys, right?”

“You are the only girl for me. In fact, …” He yanked the back of his jeans up and down a bit before kneeling in front of her. “Will you marry me?”

In his hands was a dark blue velvet box. He opened it to reveal a Marzin cut diamond surrounded by a rainbow of precious smaller gems.

She looked at the box, then him kneeling in gravel, then at the box again. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”

“No joke. I made the last payment yesterday. Been working on buying it since we started this project and saw it at the mall.” Smiling hopefully he added, “I’m glad fate let me have it available at the right time.”

“That is another great line Jimbo.” Kelly sighed as she gently closed the box in his hands. “But until we work out other things, this will have to wait.”

Jim sagged. “So you are leaving me?”

“I didn’t say that either.” She offered him an arm to help him stand. “Let’s go back to the hotel. I want to meet this Luis and we can all have a good talk.”

 (words 1,009- first published 5/7/2013; republished new blog format 11/06/2016)

Author Spotlight: Eve Langlais

Book cover for Hell's Geek

Book Cover from Amazon

In November 2015 I had a book-reading binge on Eve Langlais – devouring a dozen of her humorous paranormal erotica-leaning romances.  Ms. Langlais voice is funny, her woman are brash and strong, and her man are without-a-doubt alphas. And the romance is hot-hot!

The problem I usually have with reading a lot from the same author did not occur; most of the time the language and characters get repetitive. This is not the case. For example in one book series (Freakin’ Shifters), Ms. Langlais managed to have five different primary female characters and eight different male characters between the four stories. In addition, all the sex scenes were as unique as the characters in them – and that had to be hard; the four erotica books had a lot of sex scenes. Pretty awesome skill set to pull that off. In addition all four books have an element of danger in them; never the forefront, that is reserved for the sex and family humor, but a nice undertone often associated with a battle to prove the Alpha males of the story are Alpha.

If you want your romances with a bit of boom-chicka-boom, she is your woman. A prolific writer she has several multi-volume series out. Some involve menage-a-trois  (where her ability to create unique character is essential – you never mix up which man is flirting with the woman). The paranormal flavor changes from series to series:

  • Welcome to Hell – where Lucifer plays matchmaker to his demons to keep them happy and hardworking
  • Alien Abduction – alien purple skinned male with a taste for pink earth females
  • Furry United Coalition – Even shapeshifters need governmental agencies. Be prepared to be F.U.C.ed

Twelve series so far with over 80 books released. …. I still have so many to read!