Death by Proxy

If you didn’t see my short story for the Halloween writing contest, I’ve posted it here for your enjoyment. 🙂


It was pitch black. Cory couldn’t see a thing. But she could smell the dirt, and feel the biting chill. She didn’t know where she was, but it was definitely cold.
Her clothes were gone. She wished that she could move, but the ropes around her wrists and ankles kept her prostrate on the ground. A cloth was stuck in her mouth with duct tape keeping it in place. Her attacker had given her some kind of sedative. She had no idea how long she’d been out.
There were no sounds to indicate her abductor in the vicinity.
As if to contradict her thoughts, there came a sliding movement near her leg. Cory held still, not wanting to alert the other presence that she was awake. Suddenly, another movement came from the other side, this time brushing up against her hip.
She recoiled at the sensation of cool, reptilian skin brushing against hers. Cory hoped it wasn’t what she thought. A small hiss by her head confirmed the fear. Snakes were with her. Breathing rapidly through her nose, she closed her eyes and tried to get herself under control.
The snakes would be attracted to her body heat, but she hadn’t done anything to antagonize them, so they shouldn’t bite her. As long as she held perfectly still, they would simply absorb her body heat and leave her be… right?
A heavy, leathery sensation of snake covered her bare stomach and Cory couldn’t keep herself from jerking. Snakes seemed to slide over her from every direction. She wasn’t sure how many were on her, but she felt their considerable weight on top of her chest and both arms. There had to be at least three slithering over her legs.
Tears leaked down the sides of her face and soft whimpers escaped her mouth.
A sudden, sharp pain exploded in her right thigh. She grunted through her gag. Another bite in the soft flesh of her upper arm made her scream, though it was muffled.
Then the biting was everywhere. Needle points of pain hit her on her toes, her chest, even her neck. Cory could feel her body start to swell as the venom worked its way into her system.

“Trish.” It was Detective Holdman’s voice.
Large, warm hands were on her shoulders, gently shaking her. Trish blinked, but everything looked blurry. The light was blinding after the vision she’d just experienced. Swaying her head from side to side, her eyes were able to focus on the blonde man with the concerned face.
“Sna-“ Trish coughed before she could get her words out. Detective Holdman had a glass of water ready for her.
With trembling hands, she accepted the drink and sipped at it while glancing around the conference table. Valerie Clemmings, an FBI profiler, was studying her with interest while Holdman and Crandle sat comfortably. They were used to Trish’s visions, as she’d been working for the local police department for five years now.
Taking a fortifying breath, Trish cleared her throat. “The latest victim was in some kind of pit with a bunch of snakes.”
Holdman grimaced and his blue eyes looked at her with sympathy. “Is she still alive?”
Licking her lips, Trish shook her head and rolled her office chair closer to the table. “I didn’t get much from the vision, except that she was tied up and stuck with those snakes. They had venom that caused a burning pain as soon as their fangs made contact.” She took a moment for some more water before continuing. “And the victim couldn’t see anything. No stars, no shadows, nothing.”
Everyone at the table seemed to mull over her words and were taking down notes.
Trish’s heart rate was coming down as she waited. The visions were always so intense, so vivid. It was the only time she experienced such strong emotions. Sometimes it was hard to believe that she had been sitting in the fluorescently lit room at the police station that whole time.
Valerie broke the silence. “So, if Miss Pyper is correct with her vision-“
“She is,” both detectives said in unison.
Trish pulled some of her dark hair over her shoulder to hide a smile. The FBI agent could check the records for all the cases she had helped close. The only one they hadn’t caught so far was the Ghost.
“Anyway,” Valerie waved a hand. “Her vision would prove that Cory Miller is another fatality of this serial killer.” The profiler picked up the missing person report of Cory Miller. “That would make ten victims that we know of.”
Detective Holdman glanced at Valerie. “And we’ve got nothing on our UNSUB.”
Frowning, Valerie shrugged. “I’m still working on it. All I can say now is the typical – we’re looking for a white male, age could be anywhere between twenty to thirty five. Obviously, this guy has some issues with brunettes with a similar build. My guess is some kind of hang up about his mom.” Her eyes narrowed in thought. “I’m thinking this guy isn’t the average serial killer, though. There’s something I can’t seem to pinpoint.”
“I still say the UNSUB is a sexual predator,” said Crandle. He was sitting across from Trish, picking at his yellowed teeth. He always did that when he was craving a cigarette. “We can probably find him through those kinky chat rooms.”
Shaking her head, Valerie said, “I disagree. I don’t get any sexual vibes from these crime scenes.”
Frowning, Crandle flipped through some files until he found the one he was looking for. “What about this one. The victim was stabbed five times in her vagina.”
Closing her legs, Trish was glad no one could see her movement. The memory of that vision was still fresh. She continued to have nightmares about it even though the vision happened months ago.
“No, I don’t think that was sexual.” When Crandle scoffed, the profiler explained. “My bet is that it has something to do with power. All of these murders are different. It seems to me that the UNSUB is… exploring different ways to kill a woman.”
Nodding, Holdman looked at the other man. “She’s right. If the victims didn’t all look similar, we probably wouldn’t even be able to link these killings.”
“Let’s move on.” Valerie pulled another folder from her briefcase. “This is the last missing persons case we’re going to have you look at tonight, Trish.” She pulled out a clear baggie holding a small wallet. “This was found in Debora Helstrome’s car. She was reported missing a week ago.”
Trish stared at the bag that Valerie pushed in front of her. The last vision had been more than unsettling. She wasn’t mentally prepared for another.
“We can push this off till tomorrow,” Holdman said, watching her.
Blowing out softly, Trish shook her head and pulled out the cloth. She felt the soft texture of leather between her fingers…
Debbie’s eyelids felt heavy. She didn’t want to open them, but knew there was something wrong. She needed to wake up. Forcing herself to open her eyes, she saw a single light bulb hanging from a string on the ceiling. It didn’t produce much illumination.
Debbie was lying on a bare mattress on the floor. Only wearing underwear, her skin felt a little sticky and it gave off a strange, sweet smell.
Then her memory clicked into place. She’d been kidnapped. Scanning the bare, windowless walls, she spotted a door and noted that the doorknob had been removed. Getting up slowly, she walked over to inspect it. The place where the knob should have been was filled with cement.
Debbie tried to push it open, but it wouldn’t budge. The hinges were on the other side, and getting out looked impossible.
A sob escaped from her and the brunette stepped back. A sickly crunch echoed throughout the empty room as she felt something squish under her foot.
Debbie squealed and hopped onto her other foot. Glancing down, she saw the large brown spider that she’d killed. Realizing that the poor lighting didn’t allow her to see into the corners of the small space, she swallowed and moved closer to the light.
Rubbing her arms, tears began to pour down her cheeks.
Wiping away some tears to clear her vision, Debbie saw four large spiders crawling by her feet. Giving a small screech, she ran over to the mattress that was against the wall. When she felt little butterfly caresses on both her shoulders, she screamed and brushed the spiders off.
Turning to look at the wall she’d backed up against, she saw that it was covered with all different kinds of arachnids. The smallest was the size of a nickel and they varied in colors. They were pouring out of a vent from the ceiling.
Panic seized her. Small feet pattered over her ears and neck. Debbie frantically smacked at her face and ran over to the door, stepping on several spiders in the process.
She kicked and clawed at the door. “Please let me out! Please! I’ll do anything!”
Spiders were crawling up her legs now. Through her terror, she could feel some of them biting her. One spot at her inner thigh particularly burned.
Never had Debbie thought she would die in such a terrible manner.

Trish came to and realized that she’d been screaming. She was lying on the floor with both Holdman and Crandle holding her down. Glancing between them, she surmised that she’d been flaying enough to give them a workout.
Holdman helped her sit up. “Crandle, get her water.” The other detective complied and had a glass for her in a few seconds.
Trish tried to take it, but her hand was trembling too hard. Finally Holdman grabbed the glass and held it to her lips. After a few sips, she was able to get her breathing under control.
The detectives helped her into her seat and Trish tried to appear professional as she relayed the details to her team, but was certain her face was too pale to pull it off. Two visions in one night was unusual. She felt over stimulated from such intense emotions that had flowed through the victims.
“It was probably a basement,” Crandle said. “I’ll see if we can find any homes with basements in the vicinity.”
Valerie nodded. “As far as I’m aware, there aren’t too many in this part of California. Report back to me if you find anything. I don’t care how late it is.”
They all stood and Holdman turned to Trish. “I’ll walk you to your car.”
Nodding, she followed him out into the hall after Trish said goodbye to Crandle and Valerie.
Once they were in the parking lot behind the station, Holdman asked, “Are you going to be alright? That last one looked like it really got to you.”
Forcing a smile, Trish pulled her keys out of her purse and spotted her car through the darkness. “’It was probably just because I had two visions so close together. I was pushing myself.”
They reached her car, but the detective looked like he had something to say. “Have you thought about my offer?”
Sighing, Trish looked up at Holdman. “You’re very sweet, but I don’t think it would be a good idea to stay with you.”
Color rose to his cheeks. “It doesn’t have to be me. But I think it’s a bad idea for you to live alone right now.”
“I’ll be fine.” She opened her door.
The detective held it open as she got in. “But you’re a perfect victim for our UNSUB. Dark hair, medium build, light eyes.” He placed a hand on her shoulder. “I’m worried.”
Biting her lip and looking into his blue eyes, Trish felt a tingle of emotion. She quickly pushed it away and looked down. “If it’ll make you feel better, I’ll see if I can stay with my dad for a while.”
Squeezing her shoulder before letting go, Holdman nodded and closed the door.
Driving out of the parking lot, Trish berated herself for being so soft toward the detective. Whenever she had strong emotions, it sparked too many visions that would eventually make her lose her mind. She’d almost lost sight of reality when her mom died. Since then, she hadn’t allowed herself to get close to anyone, or feel anything, if she could help it.
The only time she felt anything at all these days were when the visions came upon her.
Pulling into a grocery store, Trish got out and entered to grab some dinner for the night. As she walked down the frozen food section, she passed a woman who looked similar to her. As well as all the other victims of the Ghost. Could she be looking at the next victim?
Shaking her head, Trish went back to picking out frozen dinners and hurried to the register to pay for them.
In the deserted parking lot, Trish saw the brunette again. The woman was just about to finish loading her groceries. Trish’s heart rate went up a notch when she noticed that her hair was almost the exact same length as Trish’s.
Clenching her jaw, Trish went to her car and put her bag in the back seat. Glancing over, she saw that the woman was closing her trunk and heading to the driver’s side. A compulsion forced Trish’s steps in the stranger’s direction.
“Excuse me,” Trish said as she approached. “I think you dropped your credit card.”
The woman looked down at her feet where Trish pointed.
Trish took that moment to pull a syringe out of her purse. Moving quickly, she plunged the needle into the woman’s neck. The brunette instantly sagged and Trish picked her up with a practiced strength.
Trish moved mechanically as she deposited the body into her trunk and drove to the next place she’d scoped out last week. This time, she wanted to see what it would be like to die from hundreds of shallow cuts made by a drill bit.
There was no one around as Trish moved the girl into the abandoned warehouse. This area was deserted with no bystanders to hear what they’d be doing.
Trish was in her full gear, complete with a head visor, coveralls, and gloves, when her victim began to stir.
“Don’t worry,” Trish cooed. “It will be over soon.” She went over to the table and picked up the drill. “Actually, I don’t really know that, but we’ll soon find out.”
Walking over to her victim, Trish saw that the woman was still unconscious.
“If you’re thinking, why me, I’m sorry to tell you that it really has nothing to do with you.” The sound of the drill whirred loudly when she pushed the trigger. “I’m not really killing you, you see.” She pushed the tip into the tender flesh of the woman’s right foot. “I’m killing myself.”
The woman’s screams were the loudest that Trish had heard yet.

Tormented (part 1)

The screams were constantly echoing through her head. Cindy wished she could remove them from her brain, but they were always there. She even went to a heavy metal concert, but the screams just seemed to echo along with the hard beat. She wondered if they would make her go crazy. Or maybe she’d already lost her sanity and that’s why they were her constant companions. Either way, she couldn’t go on like this. She had to think of something, and fast. The one thing that changed over the last month was that they were getting louder. Ever so slowly, one small decibel at a time, the volume was increasing.


Pulled from her miserable thoughts, she stopped mid-stride and looked up at a young man who looked familiar but she couldn’t place him. “Yes,” she answered hesitantly.

He pushed his large hand through a head of thick black hair. “It’s been a long time.” He smiled, showing off slightly crooked white teeth that didn’t detract from his handsomeness. “You probably don’t remember me, do you?”

She studied his blue-gray eyes framed by long dark lashes. His skin was a healthy tan and his face clean-shaved. His jaw was square and well defined. Again, she thought he looked familiar. “I’m sorry. I know your face, but your name isn’t coming to me.” Smiling apologetically, she lifted one shoulder in a shrug.

He waved off her apology. “Like I said, it’s been a while. We had anatomy at the university. We worked the cadavers together.”

Listening through the haze of screams filling her ears, she smiled warmly. “That’s right! I knew I recognized you, Charlie.” She moved aside when several pedestrians walked by and he followed. Leaning against the brick building to her right, she asked, “So have you moved out here to Chicago or are you just visiting?”

Glancing down, he gave a half smile that did something to her insides. She thought her stomach might have actually fluttered. “I’m trying to move out here, but things are in limbo at the moment.”

Brows drawing together, she took in his expensive business suit. “Are you interviewing for a job then?”

His eyes crinkled at the corners as if he were indulging in a private joke. “Something like that.” He held his hand out. “Can I buy you a cup of coffee?”

Licking her lips, Cindy contemplated whether that was a good idea. Her life was getting hectic lately. One more mishap at work, and she’d be fired.

As if he sensed her hesitation, Charlie winked. “I promise I won’t cross any lines.”

“No, I wasn’t thinking that at all,” she rushed to say.

“Really?” He mocked disappointment. “Uh-oh. You see me as one of those nice guys, don’t you?”

Laughter escaped her lips, and Cindy realized she hadn’t so much as giggled in over four weeks. Without further contemplation, she nodded. “Where were you thinking?”

He held out his arm for her to take. Amused at his old fashioned gesture, she reached out and clasped his proffered arm.

“I know this great place just a block from here,” Charlie said.

But Cindy couldn’t hear him. As soon as her fingers had touched him, the screams crescendoed to the point of pain within her eardrums. Cindy couldn’t take a step, could barely see through the pain from hearing those terrorized voices taking over her head.

“Are you alright?”

Charlie’s tenor voice broke through and, suddenly, she could hear him with perfect clarity. In fact, the screams had retreated to barely a whisper.

Breathing out the tension from her shoulders, Cindy gave a dazzling smile. “Great,” she said. “Let’s go to that coffee house you mentioned.”

His eyes warmed, and Charlie gave a smug smile. “I’ll bet you’ll love this place.” And they began walking.

The dark one

So this character made himself known to me this week. He’s not related to any of my written novels, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be in the one I work on after I’ve finished with the vampire trilogy. Note: he’s not a vampire, but a different creature. Enjoy!


So you want to know my story? Want to see what it’s like on the dark side? I don’t know why anyone would want to get inside this head of mine, but I’ll welcome you if that’s your choice.
So where to begin? I’m sure most of you want to know how I became what I am, but I’m forbidden to divulge that secret, so we’ll have to move on to me being me. A creature with base instincts and needs. One who revels in blood and gore.
I can remember my first kill. It was exhilarating. To move with such speed made me feel so free. The adrenaline of being on the hunt, of knowing your prey is terrified of you… it’s unlike any high a drug could give you. I felt so powerful, almost like a god. And when I bit into her, and felt her blood flow down my throat, it was practically orgasmic.
I was sloppy with my first kill, as most of us are. But it didn’t make me feel green. Instead, I felt like I had been baptized. I was covered in the warm fluid of my victim, her scent imprinted onto me, and I just wanted more. I wanted to bathe in a pool of blood. Wanted to feel the essence that was once their life seep into my skin.
Are you still there? Still want to know about me? You must have a morbid streak. Be careful, if you do. You may be approached by someone of my kind. They may offer to turn you. While I love what I am, others do not adjust as well. Some people are seduced by the stories of vampires and werewolves. When they are turned, it isn’t like that.
We’re not vampires, nor are we any sort of changeling. We just are. There is no label for us. We exist, we feel, and we kill. But we do not need blood to live, we just like it. It’s true that we don’t age and we can’t be killed – by anything. But we are nothing like the myths that circulate about those paranormal creatures.
We are darkness more than anything else. It’s true that we were once human and we still love humans, but we have no humanity. I do not want humanity. In memories of my human life, I feel that they restricted me. Now I have met my true potential and I am invincible.
I am as close to godlike as anyone can get. If I choose I can create life, make others like myself. I also can take life. I am really good at taking them. It’s the feeling of sucking one’s essence away from them. I can absorb their vitality, take their soul, until nothing is there any longer. Just an empty shell with no more animation. It just leaves me craving more and more. I shall probably kill until there are no more humans walking this earth.
Are you frightened yet? You should be.

Convoluted (part 3)

Here’s the conclusion. If you haven’t read from the beginning, I highly recommend you go back and read parts 1 & 2 before reading this. Enjoy!


* * *
Alexa pulled at her snug dress. It was itchy in the heat, and she knew she wouldn’t be able to keep wearing it much longer. She hated to ask Tessa, but what choice did she have? She had decided a few months ago that she wasn’t going to even try going back to her own time. She was too happy here, living on Isaac’s plantation and bantering with James, Nolan and Kraven.
Isaac had tried to keep her from moving into his home. He said that they could wait until a preacher came to the island to marry them, but Alexa didn’t want to wait. She told him as much and moved in with him the next day. The other men didn’t seem to judge them for the arrangement, so Isaac went with it.
She hadn’t gotten pregnant yet, but she was gaining weight from Tessa’s cooking and not working out as much. To her surprise, she was beginning to enjoy her ever increasingly plump figure. At first, she had complained to the men that she needed to start exercising again and begin a strict diet. Her idea had quickly been thwarted by all four of them. It had taken a while to convince her they meant it when they said that her rounding curves were far more attractive than the stringy girl she had been.
But they really were telling the truth. James had Kraven had never really looked at her with attraction, but she’d noticed that the more she grew, the more heated glances they sent her way. In fact each of the men were looking at her more and more as if she were the cream and they the cats.
She had also realized that Isaac became even more intense in the bedroom the more she increased in size. It was so nice to feel confident in herself and her beauty when she would stand before him, stark naked, and he would worship every inch of her.
Alexa sighed with satisfaction as she remembered the multiple orgasms Isaac had given her last night. She was positive the others had heard her. The three men had sent amused glances her way all through breakfast that morning.
She pushed her thoughts aside as she approached James’ home and Tessa opened the door for her. Before Alexa could open her mouth, Tessa held up a hand. “Jus’ a minute, girl. I gots something that’s abouts to burn.” Then Tessa turned and scurried down the hall and into the kitchen.
Alexa had never been beyond the dining table since Tessa claimed that the kitchen was her sanctuary and that no one was allowed in it. She walked through the dining room and to the door where Tessa had disappeared. She figured she could just open the door and tell her what she needed. She wouldn’t be in Tessa’s kitchen, but would remain in the doorway.
Alexa placed her hand on the handle and was about to pull the door open, when Tessa burst through. Alexa only got a peak at an industrial-sized porcelain sink before Tessa slammed the door closed.
“I’ve told you that nobody enters my kitchen!” Before Alexa could respond, Tessa raised a big wooden spoon and whipped it across her left cheek.
There was a moment of shocked disbelief before things set into motion again. The explosive pain was blinding. Alexa screamed as another strike hit her on her shoulder. A third blow smacked near her spine. Alexa finally got a hold of her stupor and stopped crouching like some dumb dog. She stood and punched Tessa in the gut and quickly took advantage of the surprise by yanking the spoon from her grasp.
Both women stood, panting hard and staring at each other with murder in their eyes.
Nolan was the first to arrive and he pulled Tessa away and seated her at the table. The others got there in time to hear Tessa’s version of the events. They all looked at Alexa with accusation.
“I was just going to shout at her through the door! I had no intention of entering her so-called sanctuary, for hell’s sake!”
Isaac walked over and put his arms around her shoulders. “Tessa only has one place on this whole island to call her own. It may seem silly to you, but her kitchen is hers. None of us would ever so much as open that door, understood?”
His reprimand stung far more than she would have thought, and Alexa blinked back tears of embarrassment. She gritted out an apology to Tessa, then fled the house before anymore humiliation could ensue. For a slave, Tessa sure had the men’s absolute respect.
She was able to calm herself down after sitting in the shade of a palm tree for a few hours. Then she went back home. Isaac was waiting for her on the porch. When he saw her, he stood and ran to her, engulfing her in a suffocating hug. “I thought you’d decided to go back.”
She shook her head against his chest. It hadn’t even occurred to her. “There’s nothing for me there.” She looked up into his blue eyes. “I belong here now. With you. Nothing else matters to me anymore.”
Isaac smiled and kissed her. It was hard and urgent, and before long they were in their bedroom frantically stripping each other. After they finished the intensely erotic love play, they cuddled together in bed. Alexa rubbed her nose back and forth in the hollow of his shoulder.
“I wish this would never end.” Isaac’s voice sounded sad and… resigned.
Alexa’s head popped up. “I meant it, Isaac,” she stated firmly. “I’ll never go back to my time. I’ve committed myself to you.”
Isaac blinked away the forlorn look in his eyes and gave her his usual warm smile. “I believe you, my love.” He kissed her tenderly, and then turned on his side to sleep.
Alexa was deeply sleeping when she was jolted into wakefulness. She wasn’t sure what had alerted her, but sat upright and looked over to see that Isaac was no longer in bed. The room was dark and it was obviously still the dead of the night.
Suddenly, the room brightened and Alexa looked over to see James, Isaac, Nolan and Kraven approaching the bed.
“What’s wrong?”
They didn’t answer. She could see lust and smugness swimming in their eyes. Isaac looked at her with a combination of regret and lust. She glanced down and saw that James and Nolan were holding ropes. At this dreaded realization, Alexa gasped and scrambled to the other side of the bed. As she was standing up, Kraven grabbed her arm and pulled her into a tight circle of his arms.
Isaac walked up and with a few yanks, pulled her nightgown off her struggling form. He held the candle close so the men could inspect her body from head to toe. They obviously liked what they saw.
“What are you doing? Stop!”
James was next to Nolan and binding her wrists behind her back with the rope. Kraven got more rope from Nolan and squatted to tie her ankles together. The sense of anticipation emanating from them sent her into a panic.
Alexa writhed and wriggled every which way to avoid their hands, but it was no use. Before she knew it, they had jointly carried her to James’ house. They moved at an even pace through the hall, then the dining room, and into the forbidden kitchen.
At first, her mind couldn’t comprehend that she was lying on a high, cold table. Once the fact penetrated, she twisted her head to see that it was stainless steel. She also saw that the men were pushing fat needles towards her vulnerable flesh. Alexa screamed when at least ten needles punctured her at the same time. They had pricked all over her body and it was easy to see that her blood was quickly exiting. She squirmed and bucked, but it did no good. In just a few minutes, she lay quietly, too weak to protest her impending doom any longer. Her blood was falling through a drain by her feet.
A hot spray of water brought her to look up. James had a hose and was cleaning her body of the red that was still oozing out. She saw a large, clear container with what looked like a mix of spices on the counter to her left. On her right was a large, brick oven. She could feel the heat steaming from where she was and the final realization of what they were doing caused her to mercifully pass out.

* * *
Isaac could smell the tantalizing scent of fire-roasted meat from the parlor and his mouth watered. It was almost done.
Clint, Alexa’s supposed boyfriend that brought her to the islands, was getting the cash from Kraven.
Putting the money in a briefcase, Clint stood to leave. “Thanks guys. As usual, it’s a pleasure doing business with you.” He turned toward the door, then stopped and twisted back around. “By the way, I think I’ve already found our next mark. I’ve taken her on a few dates already and things are looking good.”
“Fabulous,” Kraven said. “Just send me a text when you are on your way with her.”
When Clint left, Kraven walked in with a lit pipe protruding from his mouth. “How are you?” He asked with genuine concern. Kraven was the only one that Isaac had confided in.
Isaac pursed his lips pensively before answering. “You know that I genuinely cared for her.” He shrugged. “We’d made our life’s decision long before she came, and she turned out to be just as gullible as the other girls.”
James caught the last sentence as he came in and sat next to Isaac. “She was even easier to convince than some of the others.” He chuckled. “God bless those cheesy romance novels. Who would have thought that this con would have been so successful?”
Isaac forced a smirk. He remembered when James had come up with a plan to make it possible for them to enjoy their unique cuisine. He’d been so skeptical, but it had worked time and again. They had even begun to make a fantastic profit from it. Selling “exotic meats” was incredibly lucrative. And people all over the world were willing to pay a lot of money for food that they had no clue was human meat.



Not what you were expecting? What can I say? That’s where the story took me. Or maybe you could say that’s how dark and twisted I am. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

Convoluted (part 2)

Here’s part two of the short story. If you haven’t read part one, I highly recommend reading that first. Next week will be the final part in this story. Can anyone guess how it will end?

James introduced Nolan, Kraven, and Isaac. Nolan and Kraven were about her size, between five eight and five ten. Isaac was just a bit taller than James, his thick red hair adding to his height. They each took her hand and kissed by way of greeting. Alexa felt a jolt shoot up her arm when Isaac held it. They looked into each other’s eyes for a moment in mutual shock. Then he cleared his throat and stood back with the others.

All of them had the same embarrassed reaction to her clothes. They stood awkwardly for a moment, each of their faces beet red, and Alexa absolutely puzzled over their reactions.

Finally, she cleared her throat. “Is my outfit… offensive?”

“You look like you’re wearing just your under things,” Nolan answered, his light brown eyes stuck on her bare shoulders. He had the grace to look shamed at what he’d blurted.

Alexa threw her hands up in exasperation. “If you guys aren’t Amish, then what the hell are you?”

All four of them looked appalled and it took a second for Alexa to realize that they didn’t like it when she swore. “It wasn’t even that bad of a word,” she mumbled to herself.

Isaac stepped forward and led her to sit back down on the settee. “Tell me, Miss… uh, Alexa. Where do you reside?” His tentative smile traveled to his blue eyes. They were dark and quite warm.

“I live in Chicago. I just came out here for a vacation.”

Isaac snapped his fingers together. “America! That explains it.” The trio behind him nodded their agreement. “Obviously, we stem from different cultures, Miss Alexa. We do extend our apologies if our conduct is strange to you.”

Alexa didn’t feel the same relief that they exuded. “Are you all from England, like James?”

“Kraven and I grew up on this island, but Nolan and James lived in England until about four years ago. We each run our own plantations and are quite successful.” Isaac’s chest puffed with pride.

Alexa looked up at James and Nolan. “If you two grew up in England, then my appearance shouldn’t be that strange.”

They shared a look, and then James spoke. “Beg pardon, madam, but where we grew up, women were modest and never even showed their ankles unless they were in a brothel.”

“In what universe did you grow up in?” She knew it came out rude, but couldn’t stop herself. “You guys are acting like we’re living in the seventeen hundreds or something! Women have been showing their shoulders and ankles since, like, the twenties I think.”

They all looked uncomfortable. Nolan glanced away. “I beg to differ, Miss Alexa. We lived in England during the twenties, and I doubt that once it became the year eighteen thirty that fashion changed so drastically.”

Alexa cocked her head to the side. “What are you talking about? The year is two thousand twelve.”

Each of the men blinked hard at her statement then looked at each other with discomfort. The pregnant silence that filled the room was too thick to break.

Suddenly, Tessa poked her head in the door and announced that dinner was ready.

Everyone strode toward the door, breaking away from the awkward situation. Alexa followed more slowly, not sure if she was hallucinating or not. Maybe there really was a good reason people weren’t supposed to hike to that waterfall. The idea of time travel was laughable, but she couldn’t argue with the evidence before her.

Throughout dinner, she scrutinized everything. Spooning another delicious bite, she saw that there was no evidence of electricity that she could find. The men spoke properly and without any slang. Even the dishes were made out of baked clay. Though she still had difficulty thinking that she was somehow sitting with men from the eighteen hundreds, she couldn’t think of a better explanation.

Alexa had asked each of the men questions about themselves and their background, and the theory of time travel seemed the most logical explanation for their responses. Alexa rolled her eyes at the thought. The words “time traveling” and “logic” did not go together. But what else could this be? The men were all lucid and polite. She couldn’t dredge up any reason they would go to such lengths as build buildings without electricity and put on such an act just to trick her.

Coffee and small cakes were served after dinner. The men pulled out pipes to smoke. The smell of bitter coffee mixed with acrid tobacco somehow made her feel tired. The long day was finally getting to her.

Isaac seemed to read her expression and called for Tessa. “Show the lady to her room, if you will.”

Tessa bowed her head and turned to lead Alexa up the creaky wooden stairs. “The mastah be in this room, here.” She pointed to the left once they reached the top of the stairs. They walked down to the end of the hall and Tessa opened the door to a sparse, small room with no closet. There was a crudely made dresser and a decent-sized bed. The only other thing ornamenting the room was a strait-backed chair next to the bed. “There be extra clothes for you to use in them draw’rs.” With that, Tessa closed the door behind her.

Though the day had been puzzling and somewhat exciting, Alexa fell into bed and into an exhausted sleep.

             * * *

The next morning was a little more comfortable for Alexa. She had come to terms with the idea of time travel and had worn a baggy gown that was in the dresser. It seemed to make the men more at ease and the conversation around the breakfast table flowed more smoothly this time.

“Do you always come to James’ to eat?” Alexa asked no one in particular.

Isaac spoke. “No, but we love Tessa’s cooking and come here often.” He smiled and it was contagious. “Nolan, Kraven, and I are not the best of cooks. James was fortunate to be able to purchase Tessa. Not much trading comes in to this island.”

Licking her lips, Alexa was uncomfortable with the idea of slavery. For some reason, she had just thought that Tessa was a servant. She forced herself not to say anything on the matter.

With breakfast over, Alexa stood to say goodbye and was going to go back to the waterfall and, hopefully, her own time. Isaac protested the most, trying to convince her to stay just a few more days.

“We rarely are graced with such feminine beauty as yours, dear Alexa,” Isaac cooed. “Please say that you will treat us for a day or two.” He attempted to smooth down his curly auburn hair as he awaited her answer.

Looking between each hopeful set of eyes made her waiver. When she made eye contact with Isaac, she felt her heart flutter, and Alexa consented to stay for a day longer.

The guys decided they would each take a turn to show her around their vast plantations. First, Kraven took her to see his plantation, then brought her back for lunch.

Alexa was surprised at how delicious everything tasted. She had always thought that food from this time would be bland. When she complimented Tessa, the housekeeper confided that she used lard and butter in almost everything she cooked. Alexa wrinkled her nose at the news, but then decided she wouldn’t think about the ingredients of what she ate. She would just enjoy her time while she stayed.

After lunch, Nolan walked her to his plantation. His polite and proper manner was amusing to Alexa. He seemed the equivalent of a human teddy bear, with his light brown hair and matching eyes, combined with his manners.

Dinner was also delicious and was accompanied with a rich brandy. Everyone was having a great time, and the atmosphere was getting more raucous by the moment. Suddenly, Isaac stood and turned to her. “I believe, fair maiden, it is my turn to stake my claim upon you!” With dramatic movements, he pulled her from the chair and tossed her over his shoulder, running out the door and screaming, “I have slain the dragon! She is mine!”

Alexa couldn’t stop giggling while Isaac ran, and then walked, with her hanging over him the entire time. Once he had reached his home, he kicked the door open and made a show of draping her onto his plush couch. Then he bowed his head. “What would you have of me fair lady?”

She was absolutely giddy. Today had been one of the best days of her life and the three men had lavished her with attention. “What would you wish me to request of you, sir knight?”

He looked up and smiled charmingly. “Why, a kiss of course.”

Acting on impulse, Alexa leaned forward and kissed Isaac soundly. He was surprised at first, then quickly reciprocated and took control. His hands ran through her hair then down her shoulders while his tongue, teeth and lips worked up a hot magic. Alexa couldn’t believe how strong the chemistry was that sparked between them. She’d never felt anything like it. When Isaac drew back, Alexa took a deep breath. That had gotten passionate way too fast.

She had to watch herself. After all, it’s not like she could stay here in hopes that this thing she felt for Isaac would be a forever situation… could she?

“I’m sorry, Alexa,” Isaac murmured, watching her closely. “I got carried away.” Standing, he pulled her to her feet and they walked out into the night air.

Isaac was good conversation and he made her laugh a lot on their way back to James’ home. Just before she walked up the steps of the porch, Isaac leaned in and gave her a short, but tender kiss.

“Don’t leave tomorrow,” he pleaded. “I would really love it if you would stay.”

Biting her lower lip, she looked up into his blue eyes. “For how long?”

That seemed to make him blush and he looked away. “I don’t know.” He glanced back at her. “But I would really like to see if…er, I mean…” He ran a hand through his hair. “I’d like to, you know… um, court you.”

Alexa couldn’t help the big grin on her face. She had to admit that what she felt for Isaac was more than she’d felt for any other man, and she’d only known him for a day.

Before she lost her nerve, she answered, “Alright, Isaac. I’ll stay for just a few more nights.”