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Tales told - a.k.a free reads > Valentine's Day Challenge--or those that saw 1000 and kept on going!!!

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message 1: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments Here you are dear friends! For those whose plot bunnies just kept on hopping past the 1000 word mark--a place for you to post!!! Ah--let those longer tales of love begin...


message 2: by Kaje (last edited Feb 16, 2012 05:30PM) (new)

Kaje Harper | 16566 comments ******* Lovestruck ******

Tarnash looked down at the papers on his desk and growled, deep in his throat. With monumental, unbelievable self control, he kept himself from shoving the whole stinking heap onto the floor. Instead he took two long, calming breaths and laid his palms flat on the desktop. Although maybe that hadn't been calming enough. He watched dispassionately as smoke curled up from the wood under the pressure of his fingertips. He stayed motionless for one long minute, as polished oak turned to charred handprints, and then he stood abruptly.

“Damn it to Hell.” Although this was Hell, so he wasn't sure how much lower the paperwork could go.

When he'd sold his place in Heaven to be eternally sexy and signed up for this gig, all those eons ago, he'd imagined his time in Hell would be spent tormenting gorgeous boys tied to whipping frames. Not doing the budget for Infernal Affairs. Should have known. Probably they made lesbians who had no interest in the process whip those boys.

A knock on his door startled another growl from him. He was not to be disturbed! The imp guarding his door should have known better, was supposed to say he was unavailable. Perhaps it needed another day in the Reality TV Viewing Room as a reminder.

However, his visitor had clearly heard him growl, as evidenced by the startled squeak he'd noticed in response. And once Tarnash had taken notice of someone, they didn't get to just walk away again. He pulled together his self-control. Time to be the boss. Time to look controlled and cool, or as cool as a humanoid with ruddy skin, curling horns and the ability to use his fingertips in place of a Bic lighter could look. He settled himself in his chair. “Come in.”

The being who tentatively made his way through the door was familiar to Tarnash. Rigi was one of the newbies, recently declared an adult and set to work in Messages. The kid was the son of the Greek god Bacchus and a fire demon. That should have made the boy a hot ticket item, but even now, filled out and all grown up, he crept around like a little mouse. A tasty little mouse, with his black skin and hair, shiny with copper highlights, and a tight slim body. Maybe even an interested mouse. Tarnash had a sneaking suspicion that this particular newbie showed up on his doorstep far more often than the random messenger rotation should have allowed. But the boy's tendency to run away was unfortunate. Tarnash was far to busy to pursue anyone he wasn't sure wanted to be caught.

“What?”

“Um, letter for you sir.”

“Bring it here then.”

Tarnash leaned back in his chair and watched the boy cross the open expanse of floor toward him. His office was set up to force supplicants to walk twenty feet to stand before him. He liked the view. He could rake their bodies from head to toe with his gaze as they approached. It made miscreants afraid, supplicants unsure. And when they walked away again it gave him a good view of a variety of asses kept fit by the demands of living in hell. Win, win, win.

The boy actually looked directly into Tarnash's burning eyes for a moment before holding out a white envelope in a steady hand. What do you know. The little demonoid was growing a spine after all. Maybe Tarnash would make a move some day.

He wasn't showing off when he opened the envelope by running one hot fingertip along the edge to char the vellum. It just saved reaching for an opener. But maybe Tarnash's attention was a little too fixed on the odd shine in Rigi's eyes, because he was caught by surprise when something sharp in the corner of the envelope dug into his finger.

“Hades!” He jerked his hand back and sucked his fingertip into his mouth. Old, old reflex. It had been a long time since his saliva had cooled anything. The taste of his own blood was salty and sharp, overlaid by something else. Something odd and sugary. Unbidden his mind went to the sweets of the human world. Honey? Sugar? Cotton candy?

He dropped the envelope on the desk and stared at Rigi. “Are you trying to poison me, boy?” He didn't think so. He was familiar with the taste of all known poisons. And in any case he was immune to them.

“Not me!” Rigi's voice was still a squeak, but a more musical squeak than it had been. A cute little squeak. “I'm just a messenger.”

True. There was no reason to blame the boy. Tarnash picked up the envelope and looked at it. He recognized the handwriting in the address. Kramon! The one demon who thought he perhaps had a chance at Tarnash's job. Not that Tarnash liked his job, but he did like being a boss. And he was certainly not going to let Kramon mess with him in some typically inept fashion.

“Take this down to Investigations,” he growled, holding the envelope out to the sexy little demonoid across the desk from him. “Tell them to check out what the hell is in it. Take it yourself and keep an eye on them. I trust you.” He did. Rigi was gorgeous. Gorgeous and smart and a friend. “You are my friend, aren't you Rigi? You'll help me get to the bottom of this?” The odd sweetness of spun sugar grew stronger in Tarnash's mouth, not fading. It was a nice taste, pleasant, even appealing. He just had a weird feeling it wasn't supposed to be there.

“Yes, sir.” Rigi reached out one slender hand for the envelope.

Tarnash let his fingers touch those black ones as he handed the vellum over. “Your mom was a fire-demon, right? So that means you're not afraid of a little heat?”

“No, sir. I'm fireproof.” For the first time a little smile crossed Rigi's face.

Tarnash liked that. Those full lips were made for smiling. He wanted to make Rigi smile more. Maybe even laugh. He stood up, smiling in return. “Maybe we should drop it off down there together. I've been doing paperwork all day. I deserve a break. Maybe we could walk down by the Styx, watch the boat cross.” He stepped closer to Rigi. There was a scent on the boy's skin. Something unfamiliar that went right to Tarnash's gut and did funny things there. He put a hand on Rigi's arm and pulled him a little closer. “Or I could show you my place. You'd love it. Much fancier than any mere demonoid could possibly afford.”

Rigi sighed. “Sounds nice. Sir. That is, if you really mean it.”

“Of course I mean it.” Of course he did. He'd been eyeing this particular demonoid for months, speculating about him. So it was natural he might want to spend some time with the young imp. Nothing unusual about bringing him home for the night. “You like me, don't you? You want me? I can tell by the cute way you watch me when you think I'm not looking.” He bent to kiss Rigi's luscious mouth.

Rigi ducked so the kiss landed on his temple. That was okay too. Tarnash nuzzled in Rigi's soft black hair. “You can call me Nash. I'd like to have someone call me Nash.” He licked Rigi's ear. The boy's skin tasted delightful, better than the finest Belgian chocolate and less melty and sticky.

Rigi put a hand on Tarnash's chest. “How about this? I could take the envelope down to the lab. So we wouldn't have to worry about it. Then I could come back up here and we can see what happens.”

Envelope? What envelope? Oh, that envelope. “It's not important right now.”

“Yeah, it is. It cut your finger, right? Someone should pay for that.”

It was hard for Tarnash to think. Usually an insult like that hidden blade would have had him raving mad, but today it hardly seemed important. “I don't want you to waste your time on that.”

“I'll be right back. I promise. You just sit down there for a minute.”

Tarnash reluctantly let Rigi guide him into his chair.“If it makes you happy, Rigi. But I'd like to do something more fun than just sitting at my desk.” He thought of something much better to do with his desk. He began shoving the paperwork aside to clear space.

Rigi's hand on his chest kept him from rising. “Five minutes. Sit there for five minutes.”

Tarnash watched as the boy hurried out. That back view was the finest he had ever seen. Ah, Rigi. He looked down to find he'd picked up a pen and begun doodling on his papers. Huh. Those were not hearts. Of course not. That was the shape of Rigi's ass from a certain angle. It was a fine ass. All of Rigi was fine. And smart and sweet. Tarnash wondered if there was anywhere in Hell you could buy roses...

.
.

Rigi closed the heavy door and leaned against it for a second. Wow. He made it ten feet down the corridor before Prad popped out of a doorway.

“So, Rigi? How did it go? Did it work? Tell me that it worked.”

“Worked like a charm. How in Hades did you get hold of the tip of one of Cupid's arrows anyway?”

Prad's perfect mouth formed a beautiful pursed oval, and then he laughed. “Son of an incubus and a succubus. Even Cupid has his weaknesses.”

“How long do I have?”

“Twenty-four hours, at least that's what I've heard. If you haven't caught your guy by then, the artificial boost will have worn off.”

“Can you lose that letter so no one will ever figure out who sent it?” The forgery of Kramon's script had taken him days to perfect.

Prad took it from his fingers. “What are friends for?”

“Thanks man, I owe you. I'm so glad I met you.”

“No problem. Better get back to the big boy before he spontaneously combusts. Which, you know, in Tarnash's case is a distinct possibility.”

Rigi laughed with delight. “But not a problem for me.”

.
.
Prad eyed the excited demonoid speculatively. The kid was going to have a lot on his hands if he thought he could tame Tarnash. It would be entertaining to watch.

Rigi sighed dreamily. “He said I could call him Nash. Thanks Prad!”

“Go get him, cowboy.”

Prad watched as the black demonoid ran his fingers through his wavy black hair, took a deep breath, and turned back toward Tarnash's office. Poor boy, the chance that anything would last beyond tomorrow was vanishingly slim. Tarnash was a demon, after all. But you never knew. And given that this was Hell, even one night would be a bonus.

He folded the vellum carefully around the razor-sharp arrowhead and stowed the result in his pocket. Then his perfect features melted into the semblance of a small man with curly hair, budding horns, and a wicked smile. He shook his head ruefully, and turned away, his hooves clicking on the marble floor. “Lord,” Puck said, with a careful glance around to be sure no one would hear him blaspheming in this place. “What fools these demons be.”

*****###*****


message 3: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra (avs1998) | 340 comments Kaje wrote: "******* Lovestruck ******

Tarnash looked down at the papers on his desk and growled, deep in his throat. With monumental, unbelievable self control, he kept himself from shoving the whole stinking..."


Kaje that was AWSOME!! If only we were allowed to make it longer, I'd have loved to have seen it flourish into a full-length story. And what a twist with Cupid!!


message 4: by Myka (last edited Aug 21, 2012 10:44AM) (new)

Myka (mykaramos) | 83 comments I've decided to publish my story Demon's Test :) Thank you Sammy and this group for the awesome prompt that made me think of this story!

Here's a teaser:




message 5: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16566 comments That was amazing! I didn't see the end coming at all, and yet it was perfect. I'm so glad you decided to publish the long version here and not try to cut it.

(And the picture is perfect - you are multitalented.)


message 6: by Kaje (last edited Feb 18, 2012 07:09AM) (new)

Kaje Harper | 16566 comments Once more with feeling - because I wrote all three of the darned things and what else am I going to do with them - this one is 1300 words :)

****** My Love is Like a Red, Red Fire *******

Snurg peered out from under the screening leaves at the object of his fantasies. The human boy was lovely. Just lovely.

Snurg had never thought about a human in that way before. To an imp, humans were mainly there to be tricked and tormented. Snurg usually used brambles to trip them, and induced birds to drop shit on them. Then Snurg could feed on the lovely emanations of irritation that wafted from their little deranged brains. Humans were food. But this one was different. And Snurg for the life of him wasn't sure why.

The boy was short, which was perhaps part of the attraction. No taller than Snurg himself, although only half as wide. A slim little thing, with hair red as fire. Snurg loved fire. You could set things to sparking and smoking, creating a wonderful stench in the air. Any humans around would respond with the most delectable cursing and jumping-up-and-down reactions... Snurg pulled his greedy brain back to the problem at hand.

So, the boy was short. And gloriously red-headed. And he had a marvelous laugh. Snurg had loved his laugh right from the start. That was after Snurg had set up a trip-trap behind the theater that morning, with no particular target in mind. Two boys happened to come out the back door of the theater, one tall and dark, one short and sparky-red. The darker one had tripped on the carefully greased step, slipped off the edge and tumbled head first into the overflowing garbage can. Perfect landing. Snurg had rubbed his hands together in anticipation of a fine meal.

The redhead – Snurg decided he would dub the boy Sparky – Sparky ran down and helped his friend out and made sure he was all right. And then as he brushed the melted ice cream and bits of popcorn out of his friend's hair, the little redhead had laughed. It started as a gurgle in Sparky's throat, like someone had locked a river in a barrel. And then it escaped through his nose in snorts, until finally the boy threw his head back and chortled aloud. His dark friend had looked annoyed and then helplessly amused, and finally he was laughing too.

Which meant that Snurg was completely cheated of his meal- there wasn't enough irritation there to feed the smallest impling - but by then he was too fascinated to care.

He'd followed Sparky all day now. He was getting a little hungry, but he couldn't shake his fascination. Sparky's pale skin almost glowed with life, and his wiry body moved so fast, and he laughed. Oh, how he laughed. Not too may people in Downbelow laughed like that, with open delight. It didn't feed Sparky, but it made him feel all warm inside. So he followed.

“Who's that?” said a voice behind him.

Snurg turned in irritation. It figured it would be Deloy. If there was one imp bound to turn up when Snurg didn't want him, it was Deloy.

“It's just a human. Nobody.”

Unaffected by Snurg's sharp tone, Deloy leaned forward and looked past Snurg through the gap in the leaves. “Are you pranking him? Can I share?”

“I'm not pranking him. I mean, not yet.”

“Aw, too bad.” Deloy backed away from the gap deeper into the thicket and shrugged. His red eyes twinkled in his ruddy face. “Your pranks are the best. Well, call me if you change your mind.” He slid past Snurg, bumping his shoulder lightly, turned with an agile twist of his body and was gone.

Snurg looked back at the human, sitting on the park bench in the sun, and tried to figure out what to do. Well... what did Snurg want? He wanted the human to notice him. To smile at him. And mostly to laugh with him. But making humans smile and laugh wasn't in his skill set. He sat on the ground under the bushes to think about it.

How could he know what humans liked? He knew what humans didn't like, because the best pranks called for that knowledge. But he wasn't sure that was very helpful. He peered out at Sparky again, and frowned in irritation.

The dark haired boy from that morning was approaching. He stopped at the bench and sat down beside Sparky. “Happy Valentine's Day,” the dark one said. “This is going to sound corny but... you light up my life.” And then to Snurg's horror, he pulled out a stick and set it on fire in Sparky's face. The fire hissed and shot off little embers.

Humans hate fire!

There! A chance to make Sparky happy. Snurg reached out rapidly with his mind. A pigeon. He could always find a pigeon. He latched onto the nearest bird, steered it over that flaming stick and caused the bird's sphincter to cut loose. His aim was perfect! A wet stream of sticky white landed precisely on the flaming stick, extinguishing the sparks.

The dark boy dropped the stick and jumped back, wiping his hand on his pants and grimacing. Served him right for scaring Sparky. And to Snurg's delight, Sparky was snorting a little. “Did you plan it that way?” Little giggles escaped from him. “Trained pigeon?”

Snurg had made his Sparky happy. He sighed with satisfaction

The dark boy said, “Not exactly. Sorry about the sparkler. Want to take a walk?”

“Sure.” Sparky got up and followed the dark boy down the path. Snurg trailed along behind, waiting for the chance to be of service again.

The boys paused near the little stream. Snurg crouched not far away. After a moment of just looking out across the water side by side, Snurg noticed that the dark boy's hand was creeping toward Sparky's back pocket. He was going to steal Sparky's wallet! Snurg knew that was where wallets were kept, because he'd caused more than one human to drop one, if possible down an open sewer grate. Humans were attached to their wallets.

He looked around quickly. Every imp had a few affinities, things that responded to their mind-call particularly well. For Snurg, it was pigeons and brambles. A nice bush grew not ten feet away. Perfect. Snurg nudged at a tendril, driving its growth forward. As that dark boy moved closer to Sparky, fingers almost dipping into open denim, the blackberry vine wrapped around his ankle and tugged. With a gasp the boy jerked, wobbled and pitched forward into the stream.

Snurg grinned, as the boy struggled back upright. The boy's dark hair was crowned with duckweed and water dripped off his nose. Of course Sparky immediately held out a hand to help the boy out of the water. But Sparky was grinning widely. Score!

“You know,” Sparky said to the other boy, “I think this Valentine's date might be safer if we finish it indoors.” He put a hand on the boy's wet chest.

“We could do that.” The dark boy's voice had an odd breathless quality. He reached up and closed his fingers around Sparky's, pressing them over his heart. And then they turned away, hand in hand!

Snurg stepped out of concealment, watching in dismay. His Sparky was leaving. With the soggy pocket thief!

“Hey!” Deloy said, suddenly reappearing at his side. “You're out in the open! Come back here.” He grabbed Snurg by the hand and hauled him under the bush.

“It doesn't matter,” Snurg said brokenly. “He's gone.”

“Who is?”

“The boy I... like. The one with red hair.”

“Red hair?” Deloy frowned. “Do you know him? When did you decide you liked him?”

“I just saw him this morning. Outside the theater. And I suddenly realized he's perfect. He laughs and he has hair red as fire.”

“Damn.” Deloy stood and yelled, “Hey Cupid, you big screw-up. Get your ass over here.”

There was a pause, and then a fat winged cherub popped out of thin air. “You bellowed, oh winner of the last poker game?”

“Yeah.” Deloy put his hands on his hips. “You promised to redeem your marker by making Snurg fall for the guy with red eyes, not red hair.”

“Huh?” Snurg wasn't following this.

“Never mind.” Deloy clamped his hands over Snurg's ears, although it didn't keep Snurg from hearing him. Deloy hissed at the cherub. “Stupid screw-up. You owe me. Fix it!”

“You imps are pranksters one and all and yet you can't take a joke.” The cherub grabbed an arrow out of his quiver, and poked Snurg in the shoulder with it. “There. I'm gone.” He winked back out.

“Ouch!” Snurg rubbed his shoulder. “What was that about?”

Deloy moved his hands away from Snurg's ears. “Nothing. Never mind. How do you feel?”

For a moment Snurg wasn't sure. He turned to look down the path. Far off between the trees he could still see Sparky. He was walking with the dark boy, and his arm was around the boy's waist, as if those river-wet clothes didn't bother him a bit. The dark boy reached up and disarranged Sparky's hair, twisting a lock into what looked like a knot. Snurg could go after Sparky and fix that but... somehow the urge had passed.

He turned to Deloy and paused, thunderstruck. Deloy had the most amazing red eyes. Snurg had never noticed them before. They looked like fire. Snurg looved fire.

*******###*******


message 7: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments Myka wrote: "...

The man took a few steps back. Zam took a deep breath, blood poured out of his body, his grin vanished. He was a demon, this shouldn’t hurt him. This shouldn't- Zam tried to pull the knife out..."


Myka--I loved this the first time I read it--and you made it even better--and the picture--wow--you ARE so talented11 LOVE HAVING YOU HERE!!


message 8: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments Kaje wrote: " Once more with feeling - because I wrote all three of the darned things and what else am I going to do with them - this one is 1300 words :)

****** My Love is Like a Red, Red Fire *******

Snurg..."




SNURG---JUST MAKES ME SMILE!!!!!


message 9: by Jo (new)

Jo Ramsey (Jo_Ramsey) | 1017 comments Love these! I hope they're going to be books... hint, hint.


message 10: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16566 comments Jo wrote: "Love these! I hope they're going to be books... hint, hint."

That's for you Myka! I want to see it too. (I'm already too many novels behind to do these :)


message 11: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16566 comments Thorny wrote: "Those stories are FANTASTIC! :D"

Thanks Thorny! ((hugs))


message 12: by Myka (new)

Myka (mykaramos) | 83 comments I am reviving this thread!

Sorry for the late replies. I kinda suck at them.

Your stories were so much fun, Kaje! Loved that little twist at the end of Lovestruck :D

Thanks Sammy, Thorny, and Jo :)

Kaje wrote: "Jo wrote: "Love these! I hope they're going to be books... hint, hint."

That's for you Myka! I want to see it too. (I'm already too many novels behind to do these :)"


Nah. I'm sure that's for you XD Though I do have 4K of Zam angsting that I put on hold due LIAW.


message 13: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16566 comments Darned LiAW - but the great stories are worth it.


message 14: by Myka (new)

Myka (mykaramos) | 83 comments Kaje wrote: "Darned LiAW - but the great stories are worth it."

Indeed. I'm now juggling sequels to both :P


message 15: by Myka (new)

Myka (mykaramos) | 83 comments I finally found a beta for the story :) I've been fleshing it out and considering self publishing it. Decisions decisions...


message 16: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16566 comments Ashlyn wrote: "I finally found a beta for the story :) I've been fleshing it out and considering self publishing it. Decisions decisions..."

Good luck with that - it has its advantages, especially if you're able and willing to do your own promotion.


message 17: by Myka (new)

Myka (mykaramos) | 83 comments Ok. I've decided to publish DT in some way (still deciding on which way) So I'm gonna have to remove it from here soonish. Story is almost twice as long now :)


message 18: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode | 5380 comments Ashlyn wrote: "Ok. I've decided to publish DT in some way (still deciding on which way) So I'm gonna have to remove it from here soonish. Story is almost twice as long now :)"

No problem and best of luck with the expanded story!!


message 19: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16566 comments Ashlyn wrote: "Ok. I've decided to publish DT in some way (still deciding on which way) So I'm gonna have to remove it from here soonish. Story is almost twice as long now :)"

How exciting - good luck with the publishing.


message 20: by Myka (new)

Myka (mykaramos) | 83 comments Thanks, Sammy and Kaje :)

Story is gone, but I left a little something behind :P


message 21: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16566 comments lovely picture - I hope you enjoy your publishing adventures with the story.


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