Like Butterflies in Iron: Erotic Tales of Urban Fairies
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by Cecilia Tan, Lauren Senger
Category: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica/Dark Fantasy
Description: With the ever growing craze of the supernatural comes the next anthology in Circlet Press' line of erotic fantasy anthologies, Like Butterflies in Iron. Dark and erotic, this series of short stories takes fairies out of their classic settings and places them into the urban world of today. Though the stories vary in length, style, and use of fae creatures, they combine to make a collection that intrigues all audiences, whether interested in gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual encounters. [Warning: Explicit Sex.] We live in a world where environmental degradation and economic hardship are facts of life. Paralleling our lives that sometimes seem to be falling apart around us, these stories show how fairies themselves have had to deal with human destruction. But like a wildflower growing up through a crack in concrete, even the bleakest tale of loneliness or despair can sprout beauty and hope. These fairies have learned that, while they may not live in the enchanted forests or green fields of their ancestors, they must find peace in the small things--the touch of another, the beauty of a flower, the taste of something sweet--and teaches us to do the same. Includes stories by Frances Selkirk, Monique Poirier, Michael M. Jones, CA Young, Beryl Falls, Essemoh Teepee (SMOTP), and Elizabeth Coldwell.
eBook Publisher: Circlet Press, 2010 2010
eBookwise Release Date: May 2010
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [165 KB]
Reading time: 107-150 min.
Alder sat on a damp milk crate in an empty lot behind the 7-11. He gnawed at the end of a berry-flavored honey straw and spat a piece of ragged plastic into the litter at his feet, then squeezed some of the bright pink honey into his mouth. The bees' bounty melted on his tongue, though the artificial flavoring and color left a funny taste in his mouth. Humanity's habit of trying to improve on perfection amused him--each year there was something novel to try--but it also made him unaccountably sad. For all their love of play, mortals these days seemed obsessed with sucking the joy out of things. Humankind pretended to be content with five dull senses, and most people he encountered seemed neither to love nor fear him.
It was, to be frank, a massive drag.
Not for the first time Alder considered running off to the old country for a while. Not that the overall populace in Europe was any more imaginative than in the Americas, but he'd have cultural memory and any number of traditional haunts at his disposal there. Under the right circumstances nearly anyone could be made to suspend his disbelief under a fat, full moon.
Alder sucked the last of the honey from the plastic and flicked it at an empty coffee can. By rights he should be a custodian of a grove of trees, not a disused patch of dirt. He'd never seen that grove, though. He'd been born from abandoned factories and vacant lots, just as his parents had been born from abattoirs and processing plants. His grandparents were born in coal and steel on the other side of the sea.
It was only his far ancestors who'd danced in the forests and had beautiful, hard to spell names. His generation had to make do. Alder was a modern sort of faerie. He sucked nectar from plastic straws instead of flowers and ruled over the back lots that stank of piss and garbage. If anyone loved and feared him anymore, it was the ones who slipped far enough through the cracks of society that they forgot those modern ways of thinking. They at least could recognize that the pale-skinned man with the rumpled dark hair and grey ghost eyes was someone to be careful of. He was denims and boots and Goodwill jackets. He was burning oneself with matches and knives in the dark. Sometimes he was nail varnish, leather, or glitter, but the right sort of party needed to be in swing for that kind of thing.
Alder stood up and brushed at his jeans. The better of two soup kitchens--Mama Edie's--would open soon, and he was hungry for more than a bit of honey. Edie's was a co-op, and on top of meals they gave extra produce to anyone who'd volunteer an hour's work. He liked it better than the place the Franciscans ran. While the food was more or less the same, they insisted on trying to minister to him, and that made his teeth itch. And really, it wasn't even that he needed the charity. He could glamour a few pennies into bigger coins and buy himself a nice hot sandwich downtown. He had a soft spot for Edie's though, and for Sian, the owner. When she baked, she always remembered to leave a little something aside for the Folk. Sometimes she even left milk.
It was a pity, Alder thought, that Sian didn't like to mix business with pleasure. He imagined himself crouched between her legs, face gladly buried in her gorgeous pink cunt while she made little yelps of pleasure in return. It would certainly be a just reward for her kindness. Perhaps if he disguised himself sometime...
He put the thought out of his mind and hummed a favorite tune instead. The song was old and the words were about a mortal who'd interrupted a revel, and each verse detailed all the ways the court had done him in for his presumptuousness. He was three full verses in--just about to the bit about the hunchback--before he remembered that the nearest court was nearly seven hundred miles away and he was spending the Equinox alone. Again. "Stupid America," he grumbled and kicked a stone. A yelp of pain and surprise startled him and he looked up.
There, at the other end of the parking lot, a blond twenty-something man in a Jane's Addiction t-shirt stood astride a bicycle. He grimaced and rubbed his arm, and seemed to be scanning the area for a likely culprit. His grey and black desert scarf hung just a little bit off-center.
Curious, Alder sprinted up to him. "Forgive me," he said. "My aim is atrocious."
Bicycle Man scowled at him. "What the hell were you aiming for?"
"Nothing now." Alder tasted the air like a snake (though out of courtesy he stopped just short of flicking his tongue) and raised his eyebrows. The man with the bicycle smelled of hot drinks, books, and loneliness. His skin was speckled like an egg's. Alder reached down and stuffed the stone into his jacket, then patted the pocket. "There. All hazards accounted for. You may now pass safely."
The man gave him a skeptical look. "Oh really?"
"Oh yes," Alder tried to smile in a way that wouldn't remind anyone of a hungry animal. After a moment, the blond man smiled back. He seemed a little bit uncertain, but interested, too. Considering his earlier line of thought--the one about Sian, not the song--Alder suddenly had a number of interesting ideas. He considered just how nice this mortal's pleasure would taste compared to a thousand honey straws as he extended a hand. "I'm Alder."
Alder edged just a little bit closer as they shook hands. He didn't bother using his feet since no one was looking at them. "Could I interest you in a coffee, Ryan?"
Ryan's eyebrows scrunched again. "Coffee?"
"The Arabian wine. That's where the word y?ecoffee' comes from, you know. Though I'm not sure we could find a place that serves traditional gahwa with dates around here, or on such short notice. Or to a pair of strangers, even if one is wearing a keffiyeh." He tugged lightly at the scarf.
Ryan opened his mouth, closed it, and then looked down at his scarf before he managed to say, "Do you mean right now, or, uh..."
"If you like." Alder wet his bottom lip just suggestively enough that someone interested might note it.
"I can't," Ryan said, eyes focused on Alder's mouth. "I have to go back to work."
Given that it was well within his power to make him forget all about work, Alder very nearly laughed at him and whisked him away without asking. Anticipation had a certain tang to it, though, as did the idea of this young man giving himself over wholeheartedly. "And I was on my way somewhere as well. But what about tonight? Eight o'clock? Do you like Blue Monday?"
Ryan laughed. "You're seriously asking me out for coffee after you hit me with a rock?"
"Well if you're content with safe passage across this parking lot ..." Alder teased, though he could see that Ryan wore his delight like a crown. For a second it was easy to imagine him drunk on faerie wine, dancing, and kept for a hundred years, but nobody really did that anymore.
Ryan shifted his weight on the bicycle. "Is coffee at a place named for the unhappiest day of the year tempting fate or playing against type?"
"I'm looking forward to finding out," Alder said and stepped back. He watched Ryan hop his bicycle over the curb with a whoop and onto the street. Then, when both man and bicycle were out of sight, Alder turned back toward Edie's.