His abdomen was engorged, stretched like a balloon fit to burst. The hairy flesh was stretched taught over the swell, and he was covered in mottled patches of ashen white and flushed scarlet. Though his breaths came quick and short, his ribs creaking with effort, his pulse skipped and fluttered beneath clammy, butterfly skin.
It was only a matter of time now. Soon the screams and groans would stop, the frantic twitching of his eyes would cease, and those heaving ribs would stop straining under taut flesh.
My darling friend CB Archer got the idea to write a fanfic short story about two of my characters from CHANGELING, a story of mine that he beta read wait, idea? no no i told him i wanted to know what would happen if…
So he did!
Linked here is the post on his website. But be warned – he writes wonderfully filthy erotica, and you have any sort of aversion to same sex freakiness, maybe don’t go read it. Or do. But don’t bitch to either of us if you’re offended.
Contrary to popular belief, no one ever writes books, makes movies, or becomes a musician for fame, power, or money. They all do it for one thing and one thing only: Fan Art.
I got my first fan art recently and by recently I mean a few months ago but I’m a mook and totally forgot to upload it and gush like another sort of mook.
Contrary to what one might think, it isn’t PURITY fan art, but CHANGELING, unpublished and collecting dust on my hard drive while I write its threequel, I swear. CB himself actually made this art – based on one of the early scenes of CHANGELING in which main character Aisling and her band of merry soldiers gets entangled with bandits bent on assault and robbery.
Aisling (orange) is a pyrophoric mage – meaning she has the innate power to produce and control fire. Leir (blue) is cryonic – meaning she is basically Elsa and can control ice and snow the cold never bothered her anyway.
Tying into this, actually… I was recently writing USURPER, Changeling’s threequel, and I wrote myself into a corner in which I needed lyrics to a ballad. Being completely nonpoetic myself, I commissioned by friend Bethany, a songwriter and poet, to come up with a few lines for me. Inspired by the idea of writing a lament and also the lure of Mars bars Bethany jumped aboard with gusto and wrote not just a few lines, but an entire song – and then decided she wanted to write lyrics to a heroic ballad I had referenced elsewhere in the same chapter.
So, without further ado, one stanza of Winter Song, written by Bethany Sanjenko for USURPER.
When the winter winds came, he put on his boots He opened the door and tightened his noose Now he lays in a grave, shallow and cold No one to have and no one to hold
I’m hella pumped on all this. And according to CB Archer, now I have succeeded!
Also, you should go check out his page and Bethany’s Soundcloud, both linked. His as of yet unpublished book is hysterical, and Bethany is seriously talented.
Kat lifted a hand to shield her eyes from the brightness of the New York summer sun, then glanced down at her watch.
“How much time is left until the monotony of daily life continues?” John asked from the bench beside her, muffled from a mouthful of sandwich.
“Twenty minutes.” Kat glanced sidelong at him, smiling. “You have food on your chin,” she said, and laughed when John’s cheeks flushed crimson and he hastily swabbed at his face. “What’s Mom got cooking for you today?” she teased. She knew it was mean to mock the poor guy, but any man over thirty who blushed like that had it coming.
“Honey,” he muttered, eyes cast down at the wrapping on his lap. “She’s convinced I’m still ten.”
“Oh, Johnny Appleseed,” Kat said in her best Jersey accent, “I’ve got a honey sandwich for my honey baby.”
“And your mother is any better?”
“My mother makes me eat borscht until I’m sick,” Kat said, shrugging and toying with the end of her ponytail. Something shot across the sky above them, and she followed the flight of a large white bird.
John followed her gaze. “Oh. Look who’s come to say hello.”
Kat bit the inside of her lip to keep from grimacing as the white bird descended and she caught sight of the brown cape and green accents. “He means well,” she said, shrugging again.
Norman landed with absurd grace and jogged over, face flushed and beaming. She smiled as he approached, and wondered for the millionth time how his hair managed to stay perfectly in place when he was shooting around the city in the jetstreams. “Babe!” he called, grinning as he waved. “How much time do you have left on your lunch?”
Kat glanced at her watch again. “A little under twenty minutes. Why?” she asked as he stopped in front of them in all his ridiculous muscular glory.
He grinned and tapped the pouches at his belt. “Twenty minutes? Neat. I’m gonna rock your world.”
Kat felt her face heat up and heard John mutter obscenities under his breath beside her. “Norman, you remember John?”
Norman looked at John, eyes round and startled as if he hadn’t even noticed there was another person next to her. “Oh. Hi. I’m Landman.”
“I know who you are,” John said, glaring narrowly up at him. Kat wondered if the scowl was from the sunlight or Norman’s presence. “Your symbol looks like a pile of shit,” he mumbled, too quietly for Norman to hear.
“You’ll catch more flies with honey,” Kat reminded him, and was rewarded with a small smile. “Can you rock my world later, Norman? I have to go back to work soon.”
Unfazed, Norman beamed. “Sure thing, babe. Catch ya later.” With a sloppy salute, he backed away, bent his knees, and fumbled into the sky, leaving Kat and John on their bench in the park surrounded by the remains of a honey sandwich.
It was the summer of my twenty-second year, and I was apprenticing as an electrician. A good job for a small town; even though my boss was a drunk, people still went to him because there was no one else.
It was the lamppost outside Macy Thompson’s house. It had been flickering for several weeks and when it finally died, she called me and Bob to come fix it. He was drunk; he was always drunk. But I knew enough to figure out the problem alone.
A hot day in summer, at high noon. After only ten minutes, I was sweltering. Macy saw and offered me lemonade. I would have been a fool not to accept.
It was light. Refreshing.
When I was finished, I thanked Macy for her hospitality and I went back outside.
The sky was dark. Curious, but only a cloud passing over the sun, I thought. I went back to my work, and saw what might have been the problem: an exposed wire dangling from the lamp. I got my ladder and set it up, and just as I was staring up at the wire, about to climb, the first feather fell.
Forty years have passed, and still we don’t know why the pheasants destroyed our town. For years, Bob’s screams haunted my dreams. But now I have made my peace. I was able to warn Macy Thompson and save our lives that day, because of the exposed wire.
It could have been longer. He lost track of time around the fourth pair.
Well, he was finding a pair a day, generally speaking, and he had how many now?
With a weary groan, he lowered himself to a mossy boulder by the stream and pulled his bag off his shoulder. Folded neatly atop his foraged food and camping gear were his finds – his curious treasures. One, two, five… eight… eleven. Eleven pairs altogether. So he had been on the move for eleven days, more or less.
He folded them back into his bag and hoisted it onto his shoulder with a grunt, then cupped his filthy hands and filled them with water from the stream he had been following all day. Refreshed, he reoriented himself and set off through the brambles and branches.
Sunset came, washing the valley in a burnished glow. He paused, panting softly, to admire it. One good thing about his strange quest, he supposed, was how he was subject to the intricate beauties of the wild.
He turned back to the deer paths he had been following – and froze when the glorious sunlight filtered through a jagged hole. His heart swelled and he raced over and snatched them off the branch from which they dangled. Another – and a new direction in which to search.
With a renewed sense of accomplishment, he set off into the woods, clutching the twelfth pair of ripped and ragged pants.
One by one at first, a steady trickle of polished black, like the heartwood of ebony hacked at random. Then they came together. Gossiping back and forth—Did you hear? The news is out. It’s all anyone can talk about!
They came in a swarm.
Viscera and carnage lay untouched for mere moments, then word spread like wildfire and the gossiping biddies came calling.
They came in a swarm.
Hair tangled but untouched. Clothes smeared and stained. Bones picked clean and hollow, just waiting to be bleached by the sun. Bit by bit they feast. Bit by bit they heave their roasts home. Devourers of death. Decomposers of life.