MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY READERS
New story published
My story “The Day the Mirror Told the Truth” appears in the new Circlet Press anthology A Beastly Affair: Erotic Stories of Beauty and the Beast, edited by J Blackmore:
“I fled to the bathroom and locked the door, then braved the mirror. I was right, my real face was returning. I could see the faint outline of the scars, and I was far redder than I should have been; not with the glow of health I had seen on Isabel’s face, but with the after-effects of the burns. I quickly opened the bathroom cabinet and pulled out all my toiletries, looking for the small bottle in the corner. There was no writing on the label, just a large letter H, apparently short for Harmonie, a company whose existence had never been confirmed but who was supposed to manufacture the substance. If Isabel had found it I would have told her I was secretly using poppers. But it contained something far more sublime. Or rather, it should have done; as far as I could tell, it was empty.
I took off the top and inhaled as deeply as I could. There was still some residue in there. It smelt of perfection, there was no other word to describe it, and I sniffed the last dregs of it into my body, hoping there was still enough to have the desired effect. I then put the bottle back in its corner, although there was no point trying to use it again. I had run out of Beauty.
I looked back at the mirror, and with relief I saw that it was playing along. The scars were fading; my skin was returning to normal.”
“The Losers’ Crusade” was my fifth story for Third Flatiron, in their “Cat’s Breakfast” anthology – a tribute to Kurt Vonnegut Jr. “The only real political parties in America are the Winners and the Losers.”
And “The Longing”, my fourth story for The First Line:
“If you could not live without her,” she said. “Genuinely couldn’t. If you needed her to make sure you could take your next breath. You couldn’t exhale, but you knew that she would come and push your chest in and keep you going. And she was near, so near. You’re sure if you waved your arms around you’d touch her. She’d hear if you called. You only have to take a couple of steps and you’d find her. But after a couple of steps, she’s still a couple of steps away, and you still can’t exhale. So you have to keep going. And there’s no room in your brain for anything else. This is always the number one priority. For the first few nights, you don’t even look for anywhere to sleep. You just keep going. It takes a while for the survival mechanisms to kick in. If you knew how that felt, you’d have an idea what I feel.”
There have also been some recent reviews of my work – BCN is positive about On Wings of Pity, and you might be interested to read Des Lewis’s review of my story collection The End of the World: A User’s Guide. Des was publisher of Nemonymous, and was responsible for the first publication of my story “The Point of Oswald Masters”.
[Last update 21 December 2017]