The “Little Death”

“Wh-what happened?”

I blinked, my head feeling woozy. Something, I knew, had just occurred. I’d been on top, happily thrusting back and forth, listening to her gasp as I took her. I’d been working hard to ignore all the sensations, trying to last as long as possible. I wanted to make it last, not finish too quickly, even as I felt that tingling rising up my spine from my crotch, the sharp stabbing in my left arm-

And then, next thing I knew, I found myself on my back, staring up at the ceiling, Vita leaning over me and looking concerned. “Hey, are you okay?” she asked.

I blinked back at her. She was still naked, but even that wasn’t enough to distract me. “What happened?” I asked again. “I – we were going at it, and then all of a sudden, I was down here.” Continue reading

Fidel’s Guardian Reports Back

Elaniel strolled out of the portal in the plane-port to a smattering of enthusiastic applause. Grinning, he gave a wave to a few of the cherubs that always fluttered about, now diving down to clap at him with their pudgy little hands.

“Thank you!” he called out to them. “It’s been a fun tour, lasted longer than I expected!”

Still smiling, accepting the occasional handshake and backslap from some of the other angels, Elaniel headed up the stairs from the plane-port, up to the offices of the debriefing seraphim. As soon as Fidel had finally given up his last breath, he’d received the normal scroll, instructing him on where to head for his debriefing.

Elaniel didn’t feel nervous in the slightest. He’d done a great job, he told himself. All things considering, he ought to earn his next rank just for this one tour, on its own. Continue reading

A Reversed Contract…

“And now,” grinned the tall stranger sitting across from me in the diner, “just sign on the dotted line at the bottom.”

For just a moment, I hesitated. A little voice in the back of my head insisted that this was a bad idea. Even if he wasn’t the Actual Literal Devil, Satan Himself, the man sitting on the other side of the booth from me looked very imposing. Scary, that was a better word for him. Terrifying, that was even better.

And he wanted my soul. Was willing to give me, Gary Albert of Bumfuck, Wisconsin, a hundred thousand dollars for my soul. Right here and now – he’d already shown me the cash. Continue reading

Silence & Solace

When I saw the house, on its own little island at the end of a long jetty that led out into the lake, I had to stop for a minute. I set my bags down, taking a deep breath.

“Well, it’s secluded,” I said out loud, although there wasn’t anyone around to hear me.

After all, I admitted to myself as I once again hoisted the heavy, stuffed duffel bag onto my shoulders, that had been my request. I’d told my agent that I needed someplace totally out of the way, where I wouldn’t be interrupted. Out there, I told him over the phone, there wouldn’t be any distractions to keep me from finally finishing a manuscript.

Had he sounded doubtful as he agreed to search for such a place for me? Or had that just been in my imagination, my inner critic taking a dig at my fragile self-esteem? Continue reading

“Sorry, I’ll be dead that week. Can we do the week after?”

Carson frowned at me, his glass of scotch halfway to his mouth. “What?”

“I said, I’m sorry, but I’ll be dead that week,” I repeated. “So I can’t make the golf course. Can we do it the week after?”

He set the glass back down, shaking his head. “You’re going to be dead,” he stated.

“That’s right.”

“Like, dead? Really dead?”

I shrugged. “For all intents and purposes, yeah. So no golfing, no fancy dinners out, nothing like that.”

“But you’re coming back next week.”

“Right. I’m only dead for a week.” Continue reading

The Walking City

Ellie picked her way along the ridge, placing each foot carefully. The rocks were treacherous up here, the mud that normally anchored them in place having been dried by the warm breezes that blew across the tops of the rolling hills. One misstep could send her tumbling down.

Behind her, she heard the gentle clopping sounds of Old Branch, following sedately after her. Branch, named for the big antlers that he shed each season, didn’t seem to show any worry about where he put his big feet. Maybe they were better at gripping, Ellie considered. Or maybe he just didn’t worry because he had more feet than she did.

Dancing back and forth, she kept her eyes mostly on the ground. The shadow of the City stretched long in front of her, but she did her best to avoid stepping in it. The sun felt warm on her cheeks, a pleasant contrast to the chill that still hung in the air despite the sun having been up for hours. Fall was reaching its conclusion, she felt. Soon, winter would come, and heavy flakes of snow would swirl down from the skies. Continue reading

The Maiden In Distress

“Hail, good woman! Might I trouble you for directions?”

I jerked up in shock at the sound of the unexpected voice, and my pruning shears closed a centimeter from taking off the tip of my thumb. Cursing, I hauled myself up to my feet, dusting some of the dirt off of the knees of my old jeans.

I turned around to see who had spoken to me – and felt my mouth drop open as I stared up at him.

Them, perhaps I should say. Continue reading

The Duel

Hansen’s radio crackled in his ear. “Hey, captain?” came the voice of Jirra. “We’ve, er, got some heat signatures moving in towards you.”

“Captain?” called Jirra’s voice again. “There’s one big one, sir. Right in front of you, almost on top of you. Do you read? Can you confirm visual on it?” Jirra paused for a minute, musing. “It’s weirdly hot,” he said, more to himself than to his ship captain, down on the planet’s surface. “Almost like it’s on fire.”

He didn’t hear anything from the other end of the radio connection. “Captain?” he tried again. “Are you there? Can you confirm that the planet is inhabited?”

“Yes,” came the response finally, a single, terse word. Continue reading

An Adventurer Writes His Memoirs

Okay. Memoirs. I’m writing my memoirs. I sat down to write them, and now that’s what I’m doing. I’m definitely not procrastinating because I can’t think of anything to say.

After all, it’s not like I’ve led a boring life. I’ve had many adventures! In adventuring circles, my name carries great weight and renown! Heck, just the fact that I’m retired and sitting down to write these memoirs is sign of my success; most adventurers don’t come back and get the chance to write these, usually because they’re stuck in a bear trap or inside a dragon’s stomach or something.

In fact, I stumbled upon some of them, back when I slew the Great Terror Beast of Barseleth, freeing the innocent peasantry from its ravening maw. There wasn’t much left of them but bones and slime. Continue reading

Welcome to Rebirth

Tarot looked around at the high cliffs as he slowly advanced forward, watching his shadow grow deeper.  He tried to hold his head high, tried to keep up his confidence, but he felt it slipping and fraying at the edges.  For once, the area of the Dark Lord’s Lair actually seemed, well, forbidding.

Pausing for a moment, he checked his defensive wards, ensuring that his spells were still in place.  They were, of course; nothing had changed since he last checked, two minutes earlier.  Still plenty of time on the shields, even without the perks that extended their durations before they’d need to be recast.

Tarot snorted to himself, a little of his natural swagger returning.  Amateurs.  No one who actually read up on the forums, researched the most advanced and effective builds, ever bothered with perks like that.  The real players, the ones who thought about true strategy, made sure to put as many points as possible into offensive attacks as they leveled up their skill trees. Continue reading