Like a Vorpal Blade: Erotic Tales of Wonderland
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by J. Blackmore
Category: Erotica/Erotic Science Fiction/Dark Fantasy
Description: If Wonderland is a world of dreams, it must also be a world of nightmares. Do you dare to wander the lands beyond the Glass when all safety is gone, and the ending is uncertain? Editor J. Blackmore collects five dark and sexy stories that examine the landscape of eroticism in a world gone wrong, in this follow-up to Like The Knave of Hearts. If we're honest, we know that dreams aren't always pleasant, or even simply strange. Sometimes our dreams take us places we don't want to go, even if we know we need to. Like a Vorpal Blade is a journey in five parts to the darker places of fantasy. Theresa Sand, Bernie Mojzes, ADR Forte, Alex Picchetti, and Angela Caperton take us to places we've never been before, and will never forget. Do you dare to wander the world beyond the Glass when all safety is gone, and the ending is uncertain? Allow yourself to be drawn in by the eroticism of nightmares by exploring a side of Wonderland you've never known.
eBook Publisher: Circlet Press, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: April 2011
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [123 KB]
Reading time: 77-108 min.
Beware the Jabberwock, my son...
So says Lewis Carroll, in his lyrical poem. Here he hints that he has not been telling us the whole story of Wonderland; that dangerous beasties are hiding just out of sight in every scene of Alice's adventures. This poem begins with a chant of precise nonsense, and takes the reader through fear and murder, and back to nonsense again. For some readers, this is the true face of Wonderland, and the nightmares it produces are the stories that they must tell.
The Queen of Hearts is the apparent ruler of Alice's dreams. She is hot-tempered, bloodthirsty, and ultimately balanced by the persistent shadow of the King. But a Wonderland without Alice is a Wonderland cut loose from its center, and the Queen without her King is rage cut away from mercy. Theresa Sand takes us into the political world of the Court of Hearts, seen through the eyes of Alice's doppelganger, Mary Ann. "If This Be Not Love, It is Madness" examines forbidden desire, and the dangers of love, stood starkly against the background of death.
The power of obsession is how it lives under the skin, crawling, writhing, driving to seek its object. Having fucked her way through Wonderland, Alice finds herself on the wrong side of the rabbit hole in Bernie Mojzes' "A Perfect Creature." Shunned by a lover that seemed made for her, Alice tries to ease her longing the only way she knows how. Her attempts fall somewhere between desperation and madness.
Madness is not funny. The whimsy of Wonderland sometimes makes us forget the terror of insanity. Alice knows what it means to lose herself, and building up a barrier of sanity is only one way to deal with it. In "Waking," ADR Forte tells us the story of a modern Alice leading a double life. She is content to wear a mask, sleepwalking through her days, until a man from her past meets her through the mirror, and forces her to face who and what she truly is.
Wonderland doesn't always wait for us to visit. In moments of despair, the shadows may move, and we may be met in the darkness by everything we try to deny. Alex Picchetti drags us deep underground to a decadent, macabre carnival in "Midway Rides." There, all the most disturbing of Carroll's characters run a series of attractions that lay open the soul and cost nothing less than your life as you know it.
The Jabberwock is never fully described. The Jabberwock is indescribable. The Jabberwock only has power when you think of him, face him, become him. It's the Summer of Love, and a Vietnam vet lands in a little resort town, looking for answers to questions he hasn't asked. "The Boiling Sea" by Angela Caperton is the story of his journey from war to the peace that can only come when one has passed all one's tests. On the way, he will come under the power of a magician, face a monster, and learn to wield his Vorpal blade.
In Like the Knave of Heartswe visited Wonderland as grown-ups, able at last to face imagination as our full sexual selves, and reveling in it. Here, we face madness, despair, destruction, and death. But, always, always, wonder wins. After all, we are, ultimately, in control of our nightmares, and they have much to teach us. They are the darker half of our desires, and as utterly necessary as breathing. And as utterly inevitable as the cessation of breath.
* * * *
If This Be Not Love, It Is Madness
When Mary Ann saw the Mad Hatter kissing the White Knight, she knew he was not mad.
They were in the alcove of the Hatter's little home. She had a letter from the White Rabbit stuffed in her apron, and she had walked into the Hatter's house with angel's trumpet in her hair. It was only dawn, but she was already late. Her mind was a whirligig of tasks and chores, which the White Rabbit deemed unimportant in comparison to the delivery of his numerous letters of many shapes and sizes (sometimes ones so small she had to pinch them between thumb and forefinger).
But all those thoughts vanished as soon as she witnessed the Hatter and White Knight in a passionate embrace. She was so shocked she dropped her basket of mushrooms. She was light on her feet but her voice carried (the White Rabbit was always shushing her), and her gasp caused the White Knight to break away from the kiss.
The Hatter said nothing, lax in his repose against the wall. His eyes remained shut even as the White Knight stumbled around the room in search of his sword and his armor. He mumbled his apologies and bashed his knee against the table before ducking out of the house, his armor piled up in his arms.
Still the Hatter did not move, or speak. His hat was on the floor, and his black hair was mussed. He was a beautiful man, but hid it with ill-fitting clothes and unkempt hair. Mary Ann often found herself daydreaming about what he must have looked like when he was a singer at the Queen of Hearts' court, dressed in gilded finery, his raven hair brushed away from his face, revealing his high cheekbones and generous mouth.
"Mary Ann," he greeted softly, his lips quirked into a smile. "If you like to watch, you should have come earlier."
He turned his head, opened his eyes, and set her in his clear, obsidian stare.
She ignored the rush of heat to her cheeks, grabbed her basket, and strode over to the dusty alcove, the letter in her free hand. She halted in front of him, ignoring the rapid beat of her heart. It was always that way when in close proximity to the Hatter and she chided herself for it. She was widowed. She had a child. She was not old but she was hardly a silly girl.
The Hatter stared down at the letter between them, considering before he plucked it from her fingers. His fingertips grazed her hand and she snatched it back as if he had burned her.
"Is this from the White Rabbit?" he asked. His voice was melodious and low, as if ready at any moment to break into song.
Mary Ann ignored her surprise at such a simple question. The Hatter never asked them. He preferred riddles and rhyming. After Alice, he had sunk into stranger behavior and proclaimed that Time, in even greater revenge of his attempted murder, had moved him forward to midnight. The tea party was abandoned, save for the dormouse, who dozed against a cobwebbed teapot, singing nursery rhymes in his sleep.
"Of course," she said finally.
The Hatter raised one inky eyebrow. "No course but progress, Miss Mary."
"Ann," she finished.
"Two names for one woman." He sighed and tapped the edge of the letter against his forehead. "You must be a handful." His eyes drifted down her body, and the implication was obvious.
She felt herself flush again. It irritated her, and added to her irritation over the fallen basket of mushrooms, her tardiness, and the rush of desire she had felt when she watched the White Knight and Hatter kiss.
"You must be lonely," she blurted out, immediately regretting her statement.
He pursed his lips. "Must I be an emotion?"
"Of course," she stammered.
"There you go again. You are not very contrary, are you Mary?"
"You need to be careful," she advised hotly, angry at herself. "If the Queen of Hearts were to find out about--"
"About what? The actions of a mad man?"
"I know that isn't true."
"Oh?" He yawned. "What is true and what are lies? The only thing you can be sure of is neither can be bread pudding." He grinned again. "My, my, Mary Ann, you have put me in a tizzy. Perhaps I should throw a little party to show my recent assignations are not at all as treacherous as you would imply."
"I would never--"
"Never is a horrible word, Mary Ann. So absolute, so unwavering." His smile widened. "Yes, a dinner party is what I shall throw--so high up in the air all of the Land shall see it." He glanced down at her, and his gaze changed. She suddenly noticed his hands were empty.
He cupped her face, his thumbs caressing her jaw. She was shocked into stillness.
"I'm ravenous just thinking about it," he murmured.
She swallowed, unable to speak. He had moved imperceptibly closer to her, their hips aligned, the heat of his body seeping into hers. Being this close she noticed a small scar by the corner of his right eye. She wanted to rest her fingers on it, but instead her hands fisted by her sides. He was playing with her, and she would not be fooled, not even as his beautiful dark eyes stared down so deeply into her own.
"Haven't you had your fill?" she said, suddenly angry.
"Never," he explained calmly. "I'm a bottomless well."
"A well isn't ravenous."
"Don't be so sure," he said.
He pressed his lips against hers, his thumbs pressing lightly against her jaw, opening her to the sudden invasion of his tongue. She grasped the lapels of his dusty dinner jacket, nearly sinking to her knees as his tongue swept over her teeth. His arm circled around her waist and anchored her against his hard body. His other hand threaded through her hair, scattering angel's trumpet to the floor.
She was lost in a wave of passion, thrown against the cliffs. His tongue touched hers, coaxing her reply and she answered, tentative, until his hand slid from her hair to her breast. She froze against his mouth, shocked by his blatant touch and by her own uninhibited response.
"Next time," the Hatter whispered against her lips, "you should knock."