Monday, January 31, 2011

Dignity Takes a Holiday excerpt by Rick R Reed

In the twisted romantic comedy Dignity Takes a Holiday by Rick R Reed, Pete Thickwhistle doesn’t live what one might call a charmed life. At age forty-seven, he’s a flamboyant gay man who believes no one knows he’s gay, still living at home with his harpy of a mother. Worse, he’s still a virgin, longing to find just the right man to make his life complete. Pete’s an upbeat kind of guy, yet he’s never learned that the answer to his motto “What could possibly go wrong?” is always: “Everything.”

Pete’s road to love and happiness is full of potholes, yet he never tires of searching, despite job losses, weight battles, clothing faux pas, and disastrous vacations, parties, and dating debacles. Pete is the ultimate underdog living a television situation comedy, one named Dignity Takes a Holiday.

Dignity Takes a Holiday
Dreamspinner Press (January 19, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1615817212
ISBN-13: 978-1615817214

(Just remember if you read to the end of this excerpt: appearances are not always what they seem...)

The disagreement started over something simple.

Helen placed the package of generic toilet paper in the shopping cart and went to get some Kleenex.

“Wait a minute, Mother!”

Helen stopped.

“What is this?”

“It's toilet paper, you idiot. You mean you're 47 years old and you still aren't on a friendly basis with TP? Good Lord, no wonder no one wants to go near you.”

A man and his wife, also in the aisle, snickered.

“Oh you're a real scream, Mother.”

The couple moved on.

“I meant why generic? You know I always like Charmin.”

“It's a lot cheaper, Pete. And you know we need to watch our pennies.”

“Look, when it comes to basic comfort, we can afford a little extra.”

“I don't mind the generic a bit.”

“Well, I do.”

“Yeah...I guess you have a lot more to comfort.”

“Mother, you know I just lost five pounds.”

“Spit in the ocean, Pete. Spit in the ocean.”

“Damn you!” Pete returned the generic toilet paper to the shelf and took down some Charmin. “Squeezably soft!” he giggled, delighted.

“Honest to God, I've never seen anyone so excited over something to wipe your ass with.”

“You're crude. Let me remind you: we're in a public place.”

Helen switched the toilet paper again. “Really. If we cut back on some of the extras, we can save a lot of money.”

Pete sighed. “Oh, let me have my nice toilet paper,” Pete begged, switching the toilet paper once more.

“You've got your ice cream.”

“You're perfectly welcome to stick a scoop up your ass, but I can't eat the Charmin.”

A woman with two little children hurried away from them.

“Mother! You're embarrassing us both. Now cut the filth in the store.”

“As soon as you put that damn, over–priced, ass–wipin' paper back on the shelf.”


“Put it back, you old fruitcake.”

“Mother! That isn't very nice.”

“No, what isn't very nice is that you've had about two dates in 47 years.”

Pete stepped back, reeling as if he’d been dealt a physical blow. Through blurred eyes, he saw a crowd had formed.

“Going to put it back?” Helen's face was set.

“I’d sooner die.”

“Then I will.” Helen reached for the Charmin.

Pete slapped her hand as hard as he could. “Don't you even think about it.”

Helen's mouth became set in a line. She slapped Pete a good one on the ear. Pete heard bells.

“Gimme that toilet paper!” Helen barked, lunging for it.

“No!” Pete grabbed the paper with one hand and with the other, slapped Helen's face.

Helen kicked her son in the shin. “Now let's cut this nonsense out right now! The next time, I'll aim higher. Hand it over!” Helen grabbed for the toilet paper, but Pete wasn't letting go.

The mother and son pulled on the plastic four–pack: a grim tug–of–war. Helen muttered, “Pansy!” while Pete came back with: “Hellion,” “Scoundrel” and “Rascal.”

Helen reached up and dug her nails into Pete's cheek, clawing four bright red lines in her son's face.

Pete gasped, but quickly threw the toilet paper back in the cart. With lightning speed, he pulled a ten-pound bag of kitty litter over the toilet paper. “There!” he shouted, triumphant. He touched his cheek and his hand came away bloody. Pete gasped. “Why you!” Pete grabbed a hunk of Helen's hair and used it to bring her head down sharply on the edge of the shopping cart.

Helen stood, reeling backward. Pete watched her eyes as she tried to focus and felt a twinge of remorse.

Once Helen had her composure, she said, “Well! A fine way to treat the only person in this whole world who loves you.”

Pete sobbed. “That's not true.”

“It is! It is! Name someone else who gives a frig if you live or die.”

Pete thought for a while. “It's coming to me.”

“No, it isn't. Nothing's coming to you but more weight and wrinkles.”

“Why, you old, mean, selfish, dried–up bitch!” Pete no longer cared about the people who had gathered to watch the fight. Mother had gone too far this time.

“You show a little respect, Tootsie. I'll knock your teeth down your throat.”

“Show a little respect for what? A senile old hag who does nothing but make my life a living hell?”

“Oh, if it wasn't for me, you'd have committed suicide long ago. No one else wants you.”

“If it wasn't for you, I'd probably have someone by my side, someone to share my life with—”

“Don't kid yourself.”

“—And have a nice house and a couple kids. You've ruined my life.”

“Well, I can just get the hell out of your life...then we'll see how you like it. I've got lots of places to go.”

“Nothing would make me happier,” Pete cried, sobbing. “Nothing.”

“I'll go home right now and start packing.”

“Good. I hope you're out by the time I get home.

“Oh, I will be.”

“Great. Just dandy. I hope I never see you again.”

“Ditto.” Helen walked from the store. Pete picked up the package of generic toilet paper and flung it at Helen. It missed her and knocked over a display of Campbell's soup cans. Pete whispered, “Shee–it.”


When Pete arrived home from the supermarket, he had cooled down. As he mounted the stairs, laden down with three bags full of groceries, he giggled and shook his head ruefully as he thought of the scene they had made.

As Pete fitted his key in the lock, he noticed there was no TV or radio going. It was then he began to worry.

The apartment was dark and quiet. Well, I guess she went ahead and did it. Pete took slow steps to his mother's bedroom, expecting to find it empty.

Mother lay face down in a pool of blood near the door. A Butcher knife stood up out of her back, pointing at Pete, almost accusing.

Pete closed the door quickly. He then reopened it, hoping for a different outcome.

But Mother still lay in the pool of blood.

“Good Lord.” Pete knelt. Helen's blood felt lukewarm, sticky on his knees. Pete was afraid he was going to vomit and rushed into the bathroom, where he splashed cold water on his face. He was too shocked to scream or cry.
Back in the living room, Pete picked up the telephone receiver. “Operator, could you please get me the police? I'd like to report a murder.”

Dignity Takes a Holiday:

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Dead of Night excerpt by Victor J Banis

In Dead of Night, master storyteller Victor J Banis spins the tale of Calvin, whose parents were brutally murdered in a Manson-like intrusion. Calvin narrowly escapes the same fate. He spends time in an expensive private mental hospital, but when he returns home, he senses the presence of evil in the shadowy old mansion. Someone seems to follow him along the halls, and whispers just beyond his hearing.Gradually the terror escalates. A hand shakes him awake at night, just as it did on that fatal night. Cringing in his bed, he hears his father being murdered all over again, and then his mother. But is the mansion haunted-or is it Calvin?

Dead of Night
MLR Press (December, 2010)
ISBN: 978-1-60820-269-0 (print)
978-1-60820-279-9 (ebook)


I had the impression that there was something there in the house with me, some evil presence that followed me along those shadowed hall and whispered just out of the range of my hearing, something vague that I could not put my finger on.

I did not try, though, to name it, nor think why it was there. I did not want to know. But I was aware of it, always there, always following me.

At first, there was nothing concrete that I could describe, nothing happened—until that business with the beds…

* * *

He had been there for several days, without incident, when Calvin woke one night from a bad dream that fled his memory at once and only left him a lingering sense of unease. He lay for a moment, staring up at the ceiling, invisible in the darkness, and it came to him gradually, a feeling that he was not alone in the room.

Unmoving, he strained his ears at the silence. At first, he heard nothing, but then he became aware of faint noises that he could not identify, coming from the other bed in the room.

That had been Bobbie's bed and it had never been removed when Bobbie had left home. Year in, year out, it had remained exactly where and how it was, always neatly made up for the sleeper who no longer occupied it.

Now, though, Calvin grew increasingly certain that someone did occupy it. It sounded as if someone were in that bed, someone who slept badly, tossing and turning, the breathing increasingly heavy.

It gave him a feeling of horror, to think that someone was in the very room with him—not just in the house, where he had believed he was completely alone, but here, in this room, in the bed no more than five feet away from his—the bed into which he had so often crept, to cling to the safety of his brother's embrace. But whatever was there, it was surely not safety it offered.

He felt physically ill, and so terror stricken that for long moments he was unable to move at all. He lay as if some great weight was upon him, pressing him down, crushing the air from his lungs until he could scarcely draw a breath. His thoughts chased here and there, settling nowhere, like leaves before an autumn wind.

It was no use, though—he knew he would have to move, would have to see for himself what was in the room with him. It took all the strength, all the courage that he could summon just to turn his head, to look in that direction. He had left the curtains pulled back, and the waxing moon cast its faint light through the window.

His bed creaked faintly as he moved. He looked toward the other bed, the bed that should have been empty, and as he looked, something happened, so sudden and so startling that his heart actually seemed to stop beating.

Someone sat up in his bed. Not in Bobbie's bed, nearby, but in his own bed, directly beside him.
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Rude Mechanicals: Technorotica excerpt by M. Christian

Speaking Parts is one of two novellas plus four expicit short stories of sex and technosex included in the collection Rude Mechanical: Technorotica by M. Christian. Two lovers, one with a camera-shutter eye, come together in a scorching, obsessive, edgy relationship that will take them both to the limits of sexuality and beyond.

Rude Mechanicals: Technorotica
Publisher: PageTurner (November 28, 2009)

Excerpt from Speaking Parts

Pell remembered seeing Arc’s eye—it was the first thing she’d noticed.

Tourmaline and onyx. Silver and gold. A masterpiece watch set in a crystal sphere, the iris a mandala of glowing gold. Her blinks were a camera shutter’s, as imagined by the archetypal Victorian engineer but built by surgical perfection not found anywhere in Pell’s knowledge. The woman’s left eye was jeweled and precise, clicking softly as the woman looked around the gallery, as if the engineers who’d removed her original wet, gray-lensed ball had orchestrated a kind of music to go with their marvelous creation: a background tempo of perfect watch movements to accompany whatever she saw through their marvelous and finely crafted sight. Click, click, click.

An eye like that should have been in a museum, not mounted in a socket of simple human skin and bone, Pell had thought. It should have been in some other gallery, some better gallery, allowed only to look out at, to see other magnificent creations of skilled hands. Jare’s splashes of reds and blues, his shallow paintings were an insult to the real artistry of the woman’s eye.

That’s what Pell thought, at first, seeing Arc – but only seeing Arc’s perfect, mechanical eye.

Pell didn’t like to remember first seeing her that way – through the technology in her face. But it felt, to her, like it had its own kind of ironic perfection to deny it. So Pell lived with the biting truth that she didn’t, at first, see Arc – for her eye.

But later, right after she got momentarily lost in the beauty of Arc’s implant, the woman looked at Pell with her real eye, the gray, penetrating right one – and Pell forgot about the tourmaline, onyx, silver and gold machine.

She had finally seen Arc, herself – the woman, and not the simple, mechanical part. Next to her, the eye was cheap junk: a collection of metal, old rocks, and wires.

* * * *

She wasn’t Arc at first. She began as just the woman with the perfectly created eye. Then she was the beautiful woman. Then she was the woman where she didn’t belong. Seeing her eye, then seeing her, Pell lastly saw her as oil, the kind of oil you’d see pooling in the street, that had somehow managed to make its way into a glass of wine. Agreed, it was cheap red wine – something out of a box and not even a bottle, but, still – she was oil. She didn’t belong and that was obvious, despite the cheapness of the gallery. She could tell, cataloging her bashed and scuffed boots, noting her threadbare jeans, her torn T-shirt, that amid clean jeans and washed (and too black) turtlenecks, she was a discordant tone among the harmonious poseurs in Jare’s tiny South of Market studio.

The woman was aware of her discrepancy. She wandered the tiny gallery with a very large plastic tumbler of vin very ordinare, stopping only once in a while to look at one of Jare’s paintings.

Holding her wine tight enough to gently fracture the cheap plastic with cloudy stress lines, Pell watched her, stared at the tall – all legs and angles, broad and strong – woman with the artificial eye. She tried not to watch her too closely or too intently, sure that if she let slip her fascination she’d scare her off – or worse, bring on an indifferent examination of Pell. Through a sad ballet of a slightly curved lip and a stare that was nothing more than a glance of the eyes, the woman would see Pell but wouldn’t – and that would be an icy needle in Pell’s heart.

Pell had already taken too many risks that night. She already felt like she’d stepped off the edge and had yet to hit the hard reality of the ground. Traps and tigers, beasts and pitfalls for the unwary loomed all around Pell. She moved through her days with a careful caution, delicately testing the ice in front of her, wary of almost-invisible, murky lines of fault. She knew they were there, she’d felt the sudden falling of knowing she’d stepped too far, moved too quickly, over something that had proven, by intent or accident, not to be there. Pell didn’t push on the surface, didn’t put all her weight, or herself, on anything.

But then everything changed. She’d seen Arc and her eye.

The plastic cup chimed once, then collapsed in on itself. Turning first into a squashed oval, the glass cracked, splintered, then folded, the white seams of stress turning into sharp fissures of breakage. The red, freed of its cheap plastic prison, tumbled, cascaded out and down onto her.

Pell had worn something she knew wouldn’t fit with the rest of the crowd. The official color of San Francisco, she knew, would fill the place with charcoal and soot, midnight and ebony. White, she’d decided, would pull some of their eyes to her, make her stand out – absence of color being alone in a room full of people dressed in all colors, combined.

"Looks good on you."

The shock of the wine on her white blouse tumbled through Pell as an avalanche of warmth flowed to her face. The decision to wear white that night had come from a different part of herself, a part that had surprised her. Now she was furiously chastising that tiny voice, that fashion terrorist who had chosen the blouse over other, blacker ones.

And so Pell responded, "Not as good as you would" to the tall, leggy, broad shouldered girl with the artificial eye. Which was beautiful, but not as beautiful as the rest of her.

* * * *

Pell’s reason for being at the gallery was Jare. Although she could never wrap her perceptions around the gaunt boy’s paintings, she still came when he asked. Jare, Pell, Fallon, Rasp and Jest. They weren’t close – but then foxhole buddies aren’t always. They weren’t in combat, but they could be. All it would take would be one computer talking to another – no stable job history, thus conscription.

All it took were two computers, passing pieces of information back and forth. Till that happened, they hid and watched the possibility of a real foxhole death in a hot, sweaty part of Central America fly by.

Foxhole buddies. It was Jare’s term – some fleck of trivia that’d hung around him. They didn’t have an official name for their tiny society of slowly (and in some cases not too slowly) starving artists, but Pell was sure that Jare would smile at his trivial term being immortalized among a band of too-mortal kids.

That was Jare. While the rest of them tried to focus on pulling their paintings (Pell, Jare, and Rasp), music (Jest), and sculpture (Fallon) as high as they could, there was something else about Jare – something, like his paintings, that refused to be understood. His techniques were simple enough, broad strokes of brilliant color on soot-black canvas, but his reasons were more convoluted.

Or maybe, Pell had thought earlier that evening (before turning a white blouse red and seeing the woman with the artificial eye for the first time) both man and his work were simple: broad, bold statements designed to do nothing but catch attention. He was like his paintings, a grab for any kind of attention – an explanation too simple to be easily seen.

In the tiny bathroom, Pell tried to get the wine out of her blouse. Contradictory old wives’ tails: first she tried cold, then hot water. The sink ran pink and so, soon, did her blouse.

The woman with the eye stood outside the door, a surprisingly subtle smile on her large mouth. Every once and a while she’d say something, as if throwing a bantering line to the shy girl inside to keep her from drowning in embarrassment.

"Who’s he foolin? I can do better crap than this with a brush up my ass.”

"You should see this chick’s dress. Looks like her momma’s – and momma didn’t know how to dress, either.”

"Too many earrings, faggot. What year do you think this is?

"Hey, girl. Get out here with that shirt. It’s better looking than this fucking stuff on the walls."

Cold water on her hands, wine spiraling down the sink. Distantly, Pell was aware that her nipples were hard and tight – and not from the chill water. Down deep and inside, she was wet. It was a basic kind of primal moisture, one that comes even in the burning heat of humiliation. Finally, the blouse was less red than before. Planning to run to where she’d dropped her old leather coat to hide the stigmata of her clumsiness, her excitement in two hard brown points, she opened the door.

The tall woman smiled down at her, hot and strong. In one quick sweep of her eyes, Pell drank her tall length, strong shoulders, columnar legs. She was trapped, held fast between the hot eyes she knew must have been staring at her, pinning her straight to her embarrassment, and the presence of the woman.

Her eye, the eye, clicked a quick chime of precision – as if expanding its limits to encompass the totality of Pell. Pell did not mind her intense examination. It added, with a rush of feelings, to the quaking in her belly, the weakness in her knees.

"Gotta splash. Wait right here,” Arc said.

Of course she waited.

After a few hammering heartbeats, the door opened and she came out – butchly tucking her T-shirt back into her jeans – and Pell was again at the focus of her meticulously designed sight.

"You live anywhere close? I’m tired of this shit. You?"

"Down the block. Just on the corner," Pell said, trying hard not to smile too much.

The woman downed the small sample of red in her glass and, looking for a place to put it down, and not finding any, just dropped it with a sharp plastic clatter on the floor. "Show me. It can’t be worse than here. Too many fucking artists."

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Times Square Cutie excerpt by Mykola Dementiuk

In the novella Times Square Cutie by Mykola Dementiuk, 'bad boy’ Billy is a cutie – and he loves it. Women and men want him – and he wants them. In fact, Billy's gender is a bit fluid too. He's a boy when he's with his lover Rebecca; and a girl when crossdressed in the arms of a hunky man. Truth is Billy's so hot – he's to die for. And before tonight is over, several will. A chance meeting with Rebecca leads to not-so-bright Billy agreeing to help her steal money from her rich older lover. Discovering his dead body, the two make away with his money. Possession of all that money makes Billy horny and he begins to make love to Rebecca. But as they finish, two of Billy's less savory male friends come by and soon Billy and Rebecca switch partners, each going off with one of the men. When Billy's two friends discover his ill-gotten loot, it leads to a moment of horrific violence. And only one will walk away to tell the tale.

Renaissance eBooks (Sizzler Editions)


I knew that wasn’t the thing to say but it got me very excited too. Had a guy who once called me names, like no good whore and filthy cock sucking cunt and boy! the cumming wasn’t that, it was an explosion of bliss! Besides the dirty names he called me I felt more erotic and dirty also, like I was a whore and no good cunt. The few times I had the opportunity of having sex with a girl my mouth went off like it had its own life, a filthy life that girls didn’t like at all. Tough, I certainly did!

Then I heard laughter and Hector’s snide remark.

“Hey, mira!” he said. “Nice ass…”

I froze, pissed off and hating that I was caught with my pants down, especially by someone like Hector. It didn’t matter that Rebecca’s ass was in the air too.

“What the fuck?” I said, still surprised.

But Hector’s Spanish friend put his hand on Rebecca’s ass and he was getting a good feel. She froze as I did.

Unbelievable that this was Times Square, only a block from 42nd street and about 9 o’clock in the evening. There was a small conversation in Spanish that I didn’t understand, but kind of agreement had been reached. The Spanish guy was pushing Rebecca, face down, onto a car bracing her dress up. Somehow she had stepped out of her panties and the guy bent down over her, ready to enter. I was bent like Rebecca, but like hell would I let Hector fuck me in the ass, faggot or no faggot!

I made a move but Hector was there, waving a knife in my face and pointing it in my neck.

“C’mon, you fucking puta miera,” he cursed and laughed. “You used to like this, you little white puta.”

Again I felt his weight on me and one hand grasping at my chest. Then suddenly his penis drilled into my ass, like it had looking for its mark and now settled at home and at peace. I felt very ashamed and worthless, but suddenly I felt him spasm and clutch my waist.

“Mother fucker!” he screamed. “Maricone!”

He made a few more thrusts at me and crudely pulled out. Boy, was he fast, the sick faggot!

“Maricone!” he spat out at me, said a few more curses in Spanish followed, as his friend was getting finished with Rebecca. I felt bad and stupid and didn’t want to look at her. All I wanted was to get out of there but I knew like hell would they let me leave. Here I was, two years from wearing a dress, with fake tits and phony walk but still getting it in the ass. I thought that had changed; how little I knew. Oh God! I felt like an idiot.

“You have a nice tight asshole,” said Hector, “just like a virgin cunt!” He laughed, and I wanted to kill him.

I glanced at Rebecca, just slightly, like I was too nervous to look at her but it was nothing to her. She was just pulling her panties up and straightening her skirt and I’m sure that it was no big thing, just an ass fucking. So why did I feel like this? Years ago I took it up the ass and in the mouth --my greatest experience was getting fucked in the ass and the mouth while a third was sucking me like crazy; I still get hard from thinking of that. But this was different this was rape, brutal rape, a knife to my throat and a cock up my ass. That was the difference, I wasn’t in charge and I didn’t like it!
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Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year

Due to the holidays and blizzard in New York City, there is no new excerpt this week. But we celebrate all the great works that have been featured during this past year. To all, happy new year and the best for the coming year. Eric