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by J. P. Bowie, L. Picaro, Amber Green
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: When the lust for blood and passion overwhelms where does a vampire find satisfaction? Vampire Dreams by J.P. Bowie, tells of an author suffering from writer's block finds inspiration for his vampire novel in the arms of a mysterious young man--or is it all a dream? In More Than Memories by Amber Green, Dick is an ass; Harry's anal--obviously, they're made for one another. But scruples, and an unscrupulous vampire, come between them. What's a ghost with a geek-fetish to do? Bloodlust by L.Picaro offers a tale of a dystopic future. Noah discovers the reality of vampires. In order to save a friend, he is forced to trust the vampire, Adrian. A dark future awaits them both if they are unable to trust one another in order to stop a rogue vampire who sees humans as nothing more than food to toy with and sex as a way to gain immense strength.
eBook Publisher: MLR Press, LLC,
eBookwise Release Date: August 2009
13 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [281 KB]
Reading time: 175-245 min.
Life is the ordinary expression of magic, and much of what gets called magic is simply an unexpected expression of life. Before I caught on to that concept, the great adventurers who filled my boyhood reading and dreaming hours were magic-seeking archaeologists. I wanted to be one so badly, I stepped out onto the back stoop on a bitter-cold starry night and offered my soul for the chance.
Aunt Bella rushed out and swung a soup ladle at me, screaming at me to cancel the trade subito! Before some power agreed to it!
I grinned, ducked the arc of dishwater, and skipped out of reach.
Aunt Bella had come to stay with us the week her son and my dad and all their stockbroker buddies jumped out of the top windows of the Empire State Building. She spent her hoarded dimes on the books I begged for, jackanapes that I was. Adoring her did not keep me from trying her temper at frequent intervals. Usually, I got away with it.
Not this time. She chased me down and locked a sudsy hand on my collar. Despite both of us being coatless in the snow, she dragged me to the church on the corner, where she begged red-faced Father Patrick to explain my peril.
"You again, Dickins?" He boxed my ear, not quite hard enough to knock me down.
I dropped anyway, to get the sympathy. No dice. In mid-drop, pinching fingers caught my ear.
While I scrambled to get my feet under me, he bent to my painfully stretched ear and hissed, "I'm sayin' this once, me boy, and once only: being half-dago with a dago nanny is no excuse to act like an iggerent heathen!"
For punishment, he assigned me an hour a night to study ancient Greek under his eye. To his astonishment, I ate it with two spoons and begged for more. He was the best teacher I ever had. But I never forgave him for insulting my aunt.
After the war, long after the war, when the army finally said where I'd been buried, Aunt Bella was the one who trekked to my grave and said a novena for me. Until she came, I was nailed to the place with spikes of rage. She freed me. After all I'd done, she freed me.
So naturally, I couldn't leave her alone to face her old age. I did my best to take care of her.
Since she passed on, I've taken care of my own needs. Yes, the same needs that got me killed and posthumously excommunicated.
Which brings me to Harry.
The first time I haunted the Powers Museum of the Arcane, Harry was a Campbell's Kid of an intern, or would have been if he was a blondie instead of having ginger-gold skin and shining black hair. Wearing him as a puppet was more entertaining than anything I'd done in ages.
He habitually tidied as he went, lining up his pencils and pens in precise order. I followed, disarranging whatever items were small enough for me to move. If I'd recently fed on echoes of a memory that some museum patron wouldn't ever miss anyway, I could sometimes marshal enough energy to ease open the fastenings to the vacuum cleaner he ran over the carpets at closing time.
Harry at nineteen ... I could spend forever drifting among those memories. Harry, trying to conceal his hard-on from the patrons. There they were, listening to his pabulum version of an Egyptian legend painted on a room divider. And there I was, feeding him the real story of how Horus waited until he knew his horny god-uncle Set was close by, then bent forward as if to pick a lettuce. Naked, flaunting his callipygian glory. Daring Set to fuck him.
An ass as beautiful as yours, Harry. Tempting the great power, the dazzler, Set the unstoppable.
Harry squirmed, then won the struggle to hold still and continue the cleanest possible version of the story in his austere Boston Brahmin accent.
Can you smell the muddy garden by the river, Harry? Rich with life, richer with death?
No. Harry knew only Boston, where sunlight is a gift and the shadows chill. I fed him memories of the desert: stark sunlight, soothing shadows, and wind dry enough to do more damage than the blasting heat. I took him from the furnace of the open sands to the truest refuge there, a garden in the early morning.
Set comes to the garden, Harry. Setekh, the polite ones call him. Horus isn't that kind. He's god enough to know that when he comes into his power, he'll have the strength to challenge Set. He's smart enough to be afraid of his god-uncle, but not sufficiently smart to be sufficiently afraid. Instead, he pretends he doesn't know Set is there, doesn't know Set wants his ass; he bends over to flaunt what Set can't have.
Harry broke a sweat, gulped, and explained the hieroglyphs he'd painted himself, there in the reeds behind Horus.
But this is Setekh, the mighty one. He takes the dare.
I searched my library of memories, personal and stolen alike, and fed Harry a particularly intense reliving of the morning Nigel was "surprised" in a Cambridge fern garden by a randy, long-tormented groundskeeper.
Harry mentally recited the text of the Rosetta Stone. While answering questions. While looking and sounding utterly academic. And while fighting to oust me from his head.
Nobody can oust me when that distracted. Or nobody could in those days.
When the tour finally ended, he ran for the crapper. But I intercepted him, taking over the body just long enough to walk him over to the next tour group.
He wondered if anyone would be able to see me, if he did force me out.
No worries, Harry. I'm only visible in dim light, no more than moonlight. And, natch, even people who see me don't really notice me.
Even people who could hear me perfectly from inside pretended they didn't. And there's where Harry was different. After the first day he'd surprised me by noticing my presence in his mind, by recognizing my essentially separate thoughts among his own, he had fascinated me. I dug among the roots of his thoughts, tracing them to those deep sensory pools from which myths emerge. I took his most occult longings, and I gave them words. I rode him while he worked, whispering smut-driven stories of buccaneers and buttocks, of pirates and piercings, felons and floggings.
Some people find pain quite exciting. For others, nothing titillates like imagined pain, the stinging burn that vanishes in a blink. With me, he didn't have to worry about the consequences of an actual figging. I would feed him ideas and sensations that tightened his scrotum, and then I would leave him to face his real-world duties with aches and memories he could barely sort through.
Riding him was so much fun.
His work faltered under my attentions, but his popularity didn't. I gave him my memories to draw on for answers to the most wide-ranging questions. All modesty aside, I had devoted my life and most of my afterlife to understanding the kinds of objects on display here.
He could have coasted through his studies and work alike on the information I gave him. Nigel, my favorite ride just before the turn of the millennium, had taken first-class honors at Cambridge with it. Harry soaked up my full store of knowledge, catalogued and categorized it in ways I had never considered, and within weeks launched his further studies from there.
Keeping up with one of the living had never been so exhausting for me. Or so exhilarating.
I took him as my anchor, drifting where he went. At class, he let me challenge his professors, seeing which of them leaned forward and dived into a question, finding the deepest wells of each one's particular passion, and pumping it for information that left half the class mystified and the other half fascinated.
Usually, I whispered the questions in Harry's mind, and he repeated them aloud. Taking over the mouth muscles would result in a stammer as he and I fought over use of his mouth. Not that he wanted to fight me--guarding the finer muscles is just instinct. Like not inhaling water. Like clenching one's nether gate at the intruder's first touch.
At night in his bedroom, I took his greased hands and put one over his cockhead as the other pulled heat and pressure down his shaft, one hand following the other's downward pull. Pull and release, pull and release. Down, down, down. I made him feel he was driving cock first through an endless tight channel. Down, down, down--to a crashing climax.
His balls loved me. And that was my only hope. If he denied me anchorage, I was doomed.
By now he would be ... twenty-two? Twenty-five? For all I knew, he could be thirty. Time kept slipping by. Since leaving him, I'd been too desperately strained to mark something as innocuous as the passage of time, but years matter to the living.
Most of my remaining memories are interlinked with those we forged in those seven shared months. To put it bluntly, what I hadn't connected to Harry, I had lost.
In those brief months, living pearls hummed in my presence, loudly enough the patrons sometimes heard them. I taught Harry to listen for the subtle purr of living amber as well and the mournful whisper of living jet. He'd already heard of whispering jet and legends of how petrified wood groans to warn of impending peril. I taught him the truth behind those legends and sent him sifting other legends, other disguised truths.
Only in retrospect did I realize how happy I was.
Then one day, after I hadn't followed him to class, he came in the back door of the museum with an oddly shadowy aura. He shook off the cold April rain and immediately afterward shook off my attempt to sidle into his mind. I tried again, but he shut the door on me.
Sometimes a guy thinks he can keep me out of his head like he'd keep out a whisper. He'll turn up the radio, stopper his ears, even chant the Yale fight song. None of that works. Guys with meditation practice are more effective. They get where they can clench the mental muscles and hold me out. For a while. I liked showing them I could outwait them.
Harry had extraordinary discipline for someone so perceptive. Even so, I knew I could outwait him. I could outwait anyone.
But I had an uncomfortable feeling about how hard I'd been riding Harry in the past few days. So I mustered all my energies, which were not skimpy then, and wrote a question in the coatroom dust. Have I offended you?
He blew out most of the writing with a single huff, glanced at the clock, and murmured, "I haven't been here three minutes, Dick. You normally need at least ten to piss me off."
He pulled his notebook from his pocket and jotted a quick note about the dusting that wasn't getting done in here, and a note to check elsewhere. Then he strode through the museum, whistling something complicated and bouncy.
Drifting with him, I nibbled the echoes of his memories so he wouldn't lose any of his actual memories. The human mind keeps memories by storing the original, making links between it and others, and storing echoes of the memory alongside each memory it links to. As the links multiply, a complex web develops so that remembering one thing can easily lead to remembering another.
Harry, a diligent student, took care to hook each new fact into the web of his delightfully interconnected memories. He had plenty of strong echoes he could effortlessly rebuild.
Even feeding on the echoes instead of going for the rich meat of a primary memory, I gradually gathered the energy to write again. Dust particles are light enough to knock about with little effort, but controlling how they fall is tedious work.
Once I had the moxie up, I had to wait for him to settle in place long enough to let me find a patch of dust he'd immediately see and then write. W's wrong?
"Doesn't have to be anything wrong, Dick. I got plans. Sometimes a guy does. Give me a break, will ya?"
Something had clicked in his mind. He'd made a decision and didn't want me interfering.
I backed away. Let him think I was sulking. One thing about being dead: it teaches a fellow patience.
He locked up at nine-thirty, well after dark, buttoned up his raincoat, and strode east, down unfamiliar streets.
I followed, anchored to him. The neighborhood deteriorated, losing streetlights in favor of neon beer signs. The tourist herds thinned out. Women wearing bits of shiny elastic leaned against the lampposts, their clear plastic raincoats beaded with sequin-like raindrops.
Harry abruptly turned left, into a garishly lit doorway.
Two men stopped him in the anteroom, checked his ID, accepted the money he handed them, and clipped a strip of plastic about his wrist. "Blue bracelet means no beer, kid. Don't try to swap with nobody."
"Gotcher." His voice had gone rough, lost its Brahmin accent. This one word was pure Boston wharf rat.
I slipped past his defenses while he was dazzled by the sudden assault of noise, smoke, and erratically flashing lights. On a central stage, strobe-lit androgynous starvelings beat on various odd pieces of metal while equally emaciated "dancers" jumped up and down in place.
Aunt Bella had called jazz the devil's twitching fit, not music at all. She would have firmly believed this place was some corner of Hell.
Harry immediately loathed the place; loathed the possibility of meeting anyone from school; loathed the stench of chemicals, stale sweat, rock-candy, and dirt weed; loathed the cacophony pummeling him.
Yet he'd come here ... Why? I prodded for answers, and his face burned. He'd come to find a guy, to get laid.
Get out of here, Harry. Pay attention to your instincts.
Harry withdrew his thoughts from me, but the uncertainty remained, a haze. He wove through the edge of the crowd, fully aware of the musky, just-laid scent some of the dancers wore, and went to the back wall. There, someone with unquestionable taste had placed a blue neon outline of a urinal over the opening to one corridor and a pink neon outline of a toilet stool over another.
Harry grimaced at the urinal sign and slunk down the dank, narrow corridor. Just beyond the men's room, he stopped at an unmarked door and knocked twice. Twice more. Then twice more.
An unshaven redheaded guy who stank of burnt metal and disease opened the door a crack. "Whatcher need, dude? The can out of butt-wipes?"
Holy shit! I knew this place. I hadn't been to The Rat's Ass in eight or ten years. The dance hall in the front had been rebuilt. But I knew the layout. I knew the feel. I knew the dangers, too. Red there would take a bite of any candy that came through this door, and he didn't care who caught what he had.
I took over Harry's body, turned him around, and hustled him through the middle of the crowd, out the door, past the smirking door guards, out the other door, and onto the rainy street. "Y-y-you are no-n-not f-fucking anyone who w-would come l-looking for you here!"
Harry tried to speak, but I kept my grip on his body. He settled for a mental whine. What am I supposed to do, post an ad on a dating site? Horny teenager wants to know what it's all about? I'd get cherry-popped all over the Internet. I'd never live it down.
His mental imagery confused me, but I seized on the fear he tried to hide--that the back room at the Ass would have cameras too. Then I tried to sound reasonable. "Ha-a-rry, y-you have to f-find someone who w-will treat y-you r-r-right."
Let me go!
I'd never felt him so angry. For such a mild fellow, he had some powerful rage buried there.
I wrestled my alternatives and let him thrust me out.
He coughed, and spoke into his hands. "Get real, Dick. I'm supposed to expect flowers, maybe? A play and a bottle of wine? Chocolates? I'm a guy."
But he kept walking down the street, away from that hellhole.
I followed him, too far from any other anchor to find my way back to the museum alone.
He stopped dead, staring at the pavement. "That you?"
I merged with him, and he let me do it so I could look down into the black mirror of a puddle. All I saw was him, plump and angelic, with an orangish streetlight as his nimbus.
He recalled the vision that'd stopped him: me drifting behind him like some lost soul looking for an anchor, any anchor.
Me or the Milky Way.
His curiosity sat up like an interested cat. "That's what the Milky Way looks like?"
He didn't know? Joe College, and he'd never seen the Milky Way? I showed it to him as I'd seen it most clearly, like the sheer layers of a ragged, glitter-spangled veil streaming in the wind among the stelae at Axum, the year I'd turned seventeen.
He stared, entranced. As thoroughly awestruck as I had been.
I dug among my memories for the treasures. That cold first night at the Ostia excavation, where I fell asleep over the journal my professor required and woke up wondering who'd slung a ladle of white ashes across the sky. Then the time I'd seen it as a photo-negative of the Nile flowing through the black-silk firmament.
"You're a poet, Dick." Harry shivered and headed briskly down the street. People who stare into mid-air with their mouths hanging open are targets, and a moving target is safer than a standing one.
I sniffed. Poetry is for queers.
"Quee-yahs," he mocked softly. "And your point is?"
He laughed with me.
Surprise swirled through me. Pleasure. How long had it been since I'd laughed at anything but my own pranks? You're one in ten thousand, Harry. Maybe one in a million. You deserve a lover who understands that, or at least who won't treat you like a fellah to be used and thrown away.
"And where do you expect me to find someone like that? Before I go fucking crazy, I mean?"
If Erwin Crofts was still alive ... If you can find me a telephone exchange that's open at this hour, and if you don't mind the operator getting an earful, I might be able to help.
"You do know I can dial a long-distance call from home, right? No operator needed." He evaded a bony, desperate whore and kept walking, juggling alternatives I couldn't discern. "You are for real offering to set me up with a blind date?"
I know a fellow who'd make sure you have all the fun you can handle. Without undue risk.
"Man, I've seen your idea of fun. Perzeckly why should I trust you?"
He could go to The Rat's Ass for an anonymous--he hoped--fuck, yet not trust me? I strung my anger through his nerve system, then jerked it tight. The cramp doubled him over.
"'Kay, okay! We'll do it your way." He straightened up, glanced about, and lengthened his stride. "Fuck."
* * * *
He used the computer to find Erwin, who still lived in the same house in Connecticut, but who no longer had a four-digit telephone number. "Wait, Dick. This dude was your buddy in 1941? Supposing he's mentally together enough to remember you, what makes you think he'll believe you're using my voice?"
This isn't the first time I've contacted him since the war, Harry. He knows where to look for me and doesn't mind traveling to do it.
I'd used blackmail, bribery, and blowjobs to pull Erwin's ass out of Operation Barbarossa so he could be a faceless clerk in a nice, safe loot depot. I didn't do all that because he was a good man, natch, or even because of the wickedness he accomplished with that agile tongue of his. I did it to spite a fellow who, unbeknownst to me, had already given his all for the Führer.
Erwin came to the US in forty-nine, smuggling a shipment of living opals I'd found for him. I helped him past customs, helped him find a market. He hadn't really believed in me--in what I was--at the start of that trip. He'd had the rare gift of being able to communicate with me without speaking aloud and for a long time maintained the fiction he had developed a split personality and was arguing with some facet of himself. By the end of the trip, though, he believed.
I had trouble recognizing him now that his growl had become a quavering wheeze.
He hesitated before he admitted remembering me, but he said he--or his grandson--still ran an exclusive health club for gentlemen who require the personal services of other gentlemen. "Get him here by midnight, Dick. He must be at least eighteen to walk in the door, and no, I won't trust you on that. Bring two forms of photo ID."
He remembered me, all right.
Getting Harry to the train station took four minutes. I was afraid he'd pester me in the hour he had to wait for his train, but he just sat quietly with the don't-bother-me look of the seasoned rider. A couple of the other riders held animated arguments with themselves, and one old woman sang softly in Yiddish to the ghost of a child huddled beside her, but most of them also sat stoically, neither seeing nor hearing anything beyond the scope of the expected.
At the other end of the line, we hesitated. Erwin was too old to come meet us at the train, after all. But a slender person of indeterminate gender wearing a fur-collared woman's coat and purple spectacles held up a sheet of paper with my German alias written large on it.
Once I pointed him out, Harry approached him eagerly. "I'm ... ah..."
"You're Harry?" The gravelly voice jolted straight to Harry's cock.
"I'm Ed. Follow me, please."
Natch. What other option might possibly seem enticing?
Ed opened the passenger door of a beat-up little four-cylinder car with a gas leak and tossed the paper into the back seat. He drove fast despite the rain, his eyes darting from mirror to mirror to road and narrowing at any other driver who dared encroach on his right of way. He kept the windows down, meaning rain-spattered cold drafts stole any warmth the heater generated.
Harry was too big to chill easily, especially with his raincoat about him, but he braced against the dash and the passenger door, his foot prodding the floorboards for the nonexistent second brake. "Talk to me."
About what, Harry?
"Hmm? Big Daddy usually shuts down the show at one in the middle of the week, but he said we'd pretend this is Friday." Ed whipped the car left and hit his brakes while Harry clung to dash and door. "Here we are. I was told to warn you once we got to this point--it's Gear Night."
Harry paused, his hand on the door handle.
Leather gear, I whispered to him. Brace yourself.
Sodomy covers a lot of bases, Harry. This is home plate to some. You might as well take a test run here, with umpires on duty.
The anteroom was warm and felt tropical after the night air. An extraordinarily polite and lethal-looking man in a skintight T-shirt checked Harry's ID, said his new haircut suited him, and opened a door. Air like locker-room steam rolled out.
Harry passed through to the coat-check room, which smelled of iron and sweat. The coat-check boy wore only a thick neck chain and a leather jockstrap.
I felt Harry's skin itch as he broke a sweat. His hands shook slightly as he handed over his raincoat, then unbuttoned the dress shirt he'd worn to look civilized at the museum.
His white undershirt had a faint design, a snowy Japanese landscape with no lines thick enough to show through the dress shirt. I liked it.
The shirts glowed faintly purple for an instant, and I wondered if he'd been photographed.
"Sir may go on through."
"Don't I get a claim ticket?"
"No, sir. Big Daddy has trained this one to recognize which items came with which person."
When he turned to hang Harry's dress shirt, we saw fresh pink-and-red tiger stripes from mid-back to mid-thigh.
Steady, Harry. I won't get you into anything I can't get you out of.
The boy flexed his back, as if showing off the stripes. Did he get a whipping when he made a mistake? Did he make mistakes on purpose?
I'd heard a good whipping could make a guy come like an earthquake, but that wasn't my game. Not the giving, and certainly not the getting.
Harry hurriedly opened the next door. Beyond was a red-lit room pulsing with a bass throb, thick with musk and testosterone.