Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chasm (Revisited)

This was a Critters submission that I've rewritten. Hopefully it's better than it was... Photograph by Doris Mitsch.

You come unbidden, pounding cracks along my walls. You break defenses laid long before I knew your name. Sometimes I hate you. I would choke the power from you if I could.

Your hands explore things that are not yours to touch. Your smile gleams in contrast to the shadows. The brightest light in my darkened mind—you terrify me. I don't remember letting you in...

I taste your mouth. Hot and honeyed lips probe painfully as I arch and beg for more. Bring on the pain—I can take it. I hope. Somewhere inside my head a memory reveals its ugly face. A feeling of uncertainty, a question of morality stays my hands. I tense. I flinch, locked within my mind. But you stroke my wings, trailing rainbows in your fingers’ wake. You spread them wide and press deeper inside.

A drug couldn't hold me more completely. Nor could a book elicit more fascination. You’re a puzzle to be solved. What world do you come from—you foreign thing? Our bodies shift in a rhythm all their own. I lick your thighs. I am your whore. Breaths entwine; pulses mingle. I feel myself fading into you—my identity lost. I need a separation. Where am I in this tangled mess? Am I the oozing creature clinging desperately? Please—anything but that.

The world was clear and comprehensible before you arrived. I was focused and fresh. But you stole my clarity and cluttered my world with useless trivia and annoying philosophies. You teased me into submission and espoused ideas that led me to impossible conclusions. You twisted my mind into something I barely recognize. Now your face manifests at random moments and I'm spread beneath you to the breaking point. I'm your wanton slut, your personal plaything pleading for release.

I watch you when you sleep. I watch the breath pass through your body. I know your secret. I've seen the proof myself. I'll keep your secret if you'll just get out of my head. Sadness racks me no sooner then I tack the thought. A loss more real than I could imagine cuts deeply.

This hedonist transcendence is consuming. To exist with you is to lose myself. To exist without you is to lose everything. I can’t face this life without your love, your touch, your scent.

The sheen of exertion glitters on my skin. I wring the dampness from my wings. Blue-green hues catch in the lamplight. I trace the delicate veins within their gossamer casing. Then your voice shatters the silence, "I love the way your wings wrap around you. The contrasting colors against your pale skin…lovely."

I look at your face. I absorb the image of your chest, your muscles holding the light, yet revealing only darkness. My hunger builds. In a moment, I'm pressed flat against the wall. You take me woman to man, beast to alien. I know your secret. I've seen the gills. My eyes roll backward and close. My wings twist painfully behind me. I tighten my legs around your waist. A tear slides down my cheek as realization dawns. You'll never vacate my head. I'll never escape you. But then, I didn't really want to. You spread me wider still. A broken butterfly, you pin me to my own wall.

You whisper softly, words of comfort, words of love. You whisper lies. I've seen your gills. I reach around your back and catch one with my nails. You freeze with eyes wide. God, I love your eyes. "Careful," you say. "I can explain.” Storm clouds form around us where sex and lust had just been.

"You know the law," I say, "You know what I have to do." You pulsate inside my body and we both know that you are the stronger of us. You look so sad, my forlorn pet. I watch your lips twist and form your words. "You don't have to do this. I love you. We could be together." My grip loosens for a second and you seize my weakness. With my hands pinned above my head you pound me harder than before. I feel as if you have bruised every inch of me. We ride the frenzy and come stronger than ever, now that the truth is out.

I could have killed you. You could still kill me, but you lay me gently on the bed instead. To invite you into my home is illegal. To invite you inside my body is punishable by death. If the magistrate finds out, he'll hang us before morning. By law, they are supposed to give us a trial, but we have broken the treaty between our races. There would be hell to pay if anyone found out. It has to end; this addiction can be no more. The truth of it looms over us and the darkness grows.

"We can flee." Your voice sounds like cold gravel in the stillness. I smile without mirth, "Where?" I feel you flush with frustration, "We have to do something!" I touch your shoulders and inhale your scent.

You spring from my bed and pace naked before me. Your scales trail softly down your spine, so faint in the dimly lit room. You must be a mixed breed. Others of your kind have scintillating scales and gills in bold patterns. The damned gills were tiny slits around your sides. I rise slowly and put my hands on your chest trying to ignore the desire drumming beneath my skin. "You have to go," I state calmly, "and forget me."

I watch your face fall and know you understand. Very slowly, you begin to extract yourself. I feel the disconnect clearly. Tears stream down my face and I tremble helplessly as you back away. "It's only temporary," you say, "I'll find a way Elspeth..."

My name falls like lead in the hollow room. All light follows you and leaves me in silence. The peace you disturbed turns to chaos in my mind. I put a record on the turntable, needing to fill the space between us. I know, now, where you end and I begin. I swallow hard against the knot in my throat. The human singer beckons richly from the speaker. Her music drowns your voice, but it can't touch your memory. I'll wait with the patience of my breed. I flick my wings in the deepening shadows, yes, I'll wait. Maybe you can find a way for us. I cry quiet tears, but I wait.

To be continued...


  1. you're a puzzle to be solved ?

    Now your face appears at random ? (pops up is too comical)

    I watch the breath pass through your body. (your twice in one sentence)
    many small words you should change
    And I put a record on the turntable. - that phrase kicked me in the head when I first read it, then it opened up a whole new context for me. I'm seeing them meeting on some dive bar on Earth, recognising each other as "special" and, as quickly as possible, finding a flea-pit motel. The turntable, the "human singer" (who I'm sure is someone specific in your mind, weird scary place that that is) is too much to take in at the end, a cheesy twist on top of the real story. Rather than dropping it like a bomb you should establish the context earlier, or make it more important as a reveal later on, tied in and critical to the story.

    The "to be continued"? Is this because the story above isn't complete, because it's part of a series or part of a longer story? I tend to stop my stories before the bitter end, because I'm confident the reader can do a better job of finishing it in their head than I can. Every story can be continued. If this was the start of a novel, it would justify mentioning the turntable and the human singer.

    I don't know how you can write "You come unbidden, pounding cracks along my walls."

    and then be content with "It's a total mind blow"

    You excel, as usual, with the passionate scenes, then markedly drop a gear when you're doing dialogue or exposition. The thing is, you don't even need half of it. You don't need to expand on the Namarian/Ishlar thing, just leave enough hints for the reader to understand that something illicit is going on.

    There's a problem with how she's only finding out about him now when they've apparently been in a "relationship" long enough to fall in love with him. The one night stand scenario could make more sense, with her throwing him out, but left hungering to have him again (and it's my discomfort with writing phrases like that, which made me abandon Urban Fantasy as a genre).

    Sorry but you activated "critters mode"... say the word and I'll STFU with my opinions.

    I woke up this morning with a lovely ending worked out for my cheery Viking rape story, all excited about writing it up, but I made the mistake of checking the blogs first. I've been on this page for about forty minutes now, and wouldn't wipe my bum with the Viking story now.

  2. I need to hire someone to edit the above comment for coherence and redundancy.

  3. Oh Anton. I can't figure you out. A whole 40 minutes for little ol' me? And to think, I'm not even a redhead...Well, there was that time in high school when I dyed my hair burgundy. That was hot, but I digress... ;p

    How can a Viking rape story be cheery? Why should this blog or any other dissuade you from writing anything? I'm not that great a writer, seriously, I'm still learning and experimenting.

    As to your many complaints... I think I addressed most of your concerns. (The one's I agreed with, lol.) I did some minor tweaking here and there. Give me a break it was midnight when I stopped working on this last night and I was tired. Working on three hours sleep...

    It's "to be continued" because there's more, much more. There's a whole little saga yet to be revealed, lol.

    The only reason you complain about my dialogue is because it breaks the poetic approach to the rest of Chasm. But I need to break it up a little or the rest of Chasm won't work. You'll see tomorrow when I post more. The entire piece can't take place inside her head. I mean, Elspeth is not John Malkovich, lol.

    Plus, she's not human, she is fascinated by humans, but she isn't one. So her thought process is different. It's feminine and graceful. She speaks very little because she is a creature who survives on emotion and thought. It's a pain in the ass to write. But I love this story. It's an erotic dark fantasy, my favorite thing, lol.

    I swear one day I'm gonna write a sleazy romance novel that is so hot that the editor's head will explode from the sheer innate eroticism of it. The kind of tale that makes you feel unclean and yet oddly addicted. Maybe I should change my blog title to "Horny Tales" and put up pictures of spiky lizard tails, lol. Tales From the Crotch? No. Too vulgar, even for me, lol.

    For the record, anything I post is fodder. If I didn't want it critiqued then I would not post it. So thank you for reading it and putting so much thought into your response. I'm sure you have awards to deal with, office dramas to write, and children to heckle. Lol. ;b

  4. Okay, I'll reserve further judgement until it's completed.

    I went and dug out the original on Critters and also read up the critiques you got. It highlights a disatisfaction I'm having with Critters.

    There are some excellent line editors, who'll meticulously correct your grammar, spelling and punctuation but won't comment on plot, or pace or characters.

    But a lot of the critiques just mirror the concerns people are having with their own writing, or they're apeing the advice someone else has given them.

    Someone read the bit with the turntable, and wanted to know more about what the room it was in looked like. That seems to be missing the point slightly.

    I'm all about plot, so I like to see things dovetail nicely. I freak out a little at fiction that doesn't have a twist, or a revelation or some concrete resolution at the end. I like everything lined up in a tidy manner, and often over-concetrate on that in my crits.

    Anyway, looking forward to seeing the rest.

  5. Wow. Were you bored? Lmao. I can't see why you'd go to so much effort, lol. But okay...

    Critters has members of all writing levels. Some are better at critiquing than others. I can honestly say that even this snippet of Chasm is better for having been kicked around then it was initially. So I have Critters and you to thank for that. (Oh God, I'm contributing to your swollen head again, lol.)

    But you will get a twist with Chasm. The way I introduced their genders and species was kind of different. Wasn't it?

    I took issue with the chick who didn't like profanity. If you hate profanity, then why read a story clearly labeled as containing cuss words and adult content? That's illogical to me.

    I get tired of the line by line editing. I look at content, reading the story as a whole...I've basically quit critiquing for awhile. I'm helping Mark with his novel and hopefully he'll help me out with Soothsayer (my work in progress), lol. Plus I owe him because he Crittered two of my stories.

    I don't need everything neat and tidy. I kind of like messes in writing. If the mess pertains to the story and the writing supports it. I mean, Hunter S. Thompson wrote messes. His tales were not pretty and elegant, but there's a kind of beauty in the madness and depravity. I love that. (I am NOT comparing myself to him, I haven't done nearly enough drugs to justify a comparison, lol.)

  6. Watched a Johnny Depp documentary about Hunter S. Thompson at the weekend - such a talented monster.

    When I'm doing my normal crits I always go and check to see what other people have said. I'm curious to see if they agree with me, or if there's anything I've missed.

  7. I've done that on occasion. But I disagree with so many of them that I've decided I'm either a literary snob, completely unqualified to crit anyone, or an utter bitch. So what's the point in comparing crits? They see apples. I see starfruit, lol.

    Yes, I concur, Thompson was a beast. It sucks that he killed himself, but I guess it makes sense...all my heroes commit suicide...or self-destruct. :(