Tags: anthology, erotic fantasy, fantasy, new book launch, shakespeare
Like A Midsummer Night: Erotic Shakespeare
edited by Cecilia Tan and Nikola Klaus
Length: 25,000 words
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About the Book:
Shakespeare and reimaginings have a long history together. The Bard himself drew inspiration for his plays from various stories, poems, myths, and historical accounts, and we in our turn have drawn inspiration from these plays for everything from books to movies to video games to pop songs. Yet after centuries of people having their way with the works of Shakespeare, there is still so much territory to explore.
These six seductive tales delve into the much-neglected sexy side of Shakespeare, following these timeless characters into the bedroom–and beyond! Spanning times and places from ancient Rome to other planets in the distant future, these stories based on Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Cymbeline, Twelfth Night, and, of course, A Midsummer Night’s Dream mix sex, magic, transformations, disguises, gender-bending, love potions, and tangled relationships into a brew as heady as the juice of any magic flower.
Includes stories by Lori Selke, César Sanchez Zapata, Annabeth Leong, Clarice Clique, Emily Moreton, and Nik Flandré.
Look under the cut for a hot excerpt!
from All His Joy by Lori Selke:
Malajit squirmed under the touch of the fairy who picked out the snarls from his black, shoulder-length hair. The fairy’s fingers were thin and knobbed at the knuckles, like twigs. “Hush now,” he said, holding the Indian prince’s head. “Soon your new Master will arrive. You’ll want to look your best.”
Malajit tried to hold himself motionless and straight-shouldered, to minimize the tugging and pulling at his head. At the moment, the young man was naked, having just been forcibly dunked, bathed, and scrubbed until he felt practically polished. Another fairy, short, round, and brown, silently rubbed him dry with great thoroughness. On a low stool beside him waited a simple short shift of white.
He stood in a stately chamber within a house that seemed somehow entirely woven of tree limbs. The roof was a great canopy of soft green leaves. It seemed sturdy enough to keep out rain and wind, yet also allowed a filtered golden light to permeate the chamber. All the exposed surfaces seemed somehow smoother than bark should. Malajit started to shake his head in confusion, but was brought back to attention by a sharp tug to his hair. The fairy attendant hissed in his ear, ending with a cluck of the tongue. “Be still, boy. Only a moment longer. He arrives at any time now.”
And indeed, just then the tinkle of small bells and the sound of hooves announced the arrival of the Fairy King and his train. Malajit’s thick black locks were smoothed down one final time before everyone stood aside. Malajit was still attempting to belt his hastily-donned shift when Oberon himself swept into the room.
The Fairy King bore his regalness in every step, yet to Malajit’s eyes he seemed less stiff and formal than expected; perhaps Malajit’s few years in the court of his uncle had skewed his perceptions. Oberon seemed nearly liquid in his movements, every one flowing. Malajit examined his host for the first time. He had pale skin and fine white hair. His features were refined, though his eyes seemed unnaturally elongated, as did his ears. He was dressed in a suit of deep midnight blue, trimmed in silver, which flattered his coloring. His only companion at the moment was a creature that seemed to be all limbs and smile, gangly and perpetually in motion. Oberon stayed him with a hand atop the figure’s head; he bent to whisper in its ear. “Good my Puck, leave me for now. This young man is my guest, and your tricks and amusements will be saved for later. Go entertain yourself elsewhere.”
The Puck glanced sidelong at his sovereign, then at Malajit. The creature’s eyes burned with intense scrutiny of the boy. Oberon’s hand tightened on his head, and the Puck smiled; the grin seemed to split his face. “As you wish, Lord,” he said in a razor voice, still gazing at Malajit. Then he scampered to the door, chuckling to himself, and disappeared.
Malajit had already learned much from his stay with the Fairy Queen Titania; he bowed low, as had all the rest of the fairies in the room. Oberon said, “You may all rise.” He waved a hand. “You are all dismissed. Except for our newest arrival, of course.” The assorted fairies dispersed silently, retrieving their tools; the silent brown creature in charge of wardrobe tucked the stool under his arm as he exited. To Malajit Oberon said, “Please. Be seated.”
There were no chairs in the room, only gaily embroidered pillows arranged in piles. Malajit reclined against one of the piles, trying to maintain a properly respectful demeanor. Oberon noticed and laughed, a silvery sound, yet with deep undertones like the rumbling of a great river. “Please, do not be so formal with me.” Malajit nonetheless dipped his head and replied, “But My Lord, we have only just met. Indeed, we have not even been properly introduced.”
Oberon smiled. A small tray, filled with glasses and decanters of all sorts, seemed to appear at his elbow. “My mistake. I am Oberon, Lord of Faerie. Husband to Titania, who was of late your Mistress. It was I that had you brought here. I hope it suits you.” He sipped from a dainty crystal goblet. “I, of course, already know who you are: Malajit, son of Kumar of the Indies, though you are orphaned now and reside in Faerie.” He leaned forward, eyes narrowed slightly. “You are aware that Titania has given up all claim to you?”
Malajit swallowed. “Yes, My Lord. I was informed by her servants that she had found a new companion.” He looked pained.
Oberon laughed again. “Ah yes, her new swain. A rustic by the name of Bottom, I believe, who works as a tailor in Athens. Not her usual sort at all; quite inelegant.” Oberon continued chuckling to himself. “Yet rather well-endowed, if I recall. In fact, having espied him myself, I do wonder if, when my Puck transformed one of his heads, that he did not indeed bewitch the other as well, so that both were shaped like an asses’… But I speak of things foreign to you. My apologies.” He noticed the expression on Malajit’s face. “I should perhaps inform you, for the sake of your feelings, that I intervened with the lady Titania and her affections. I had for some time wished to make your acquaintance, but she withheld you, stubbornly, from my sight. I felt that her feelings for you were too strong, influenced perhaps by the unfortunate fate of your mother, votress of Titania’s, who died so young. My Lady’s decision to care for your upbringing herself affected her emotions, pulled them out of all shape and proportion. So I had them transferred to another, long enough to free you.” He dropped his eyes. “You may not entirely appreciate such a gesture now. But I hope, in time, that you will come to understand.”
Looking up, he continued. “I was not wrong, was I? You do not resent it overmuch? Her ardor was at times overwhelming, was it not?”
Malajit shifted on his cushions. “It was… well… I have nothing to compare it to, My Lord.” His light brown skin gained a rosy undertone.
Oberon smiled broadly as he settled back into his cushions, his teeth an even and gleaming white. “I understand. I do not mean to embarrass you. Perhaps if you related the details of your activities with my Queen, I could better judge your circumstances.”
Malajit clasped hands and knees together abruptly. “My Lord?”
Oberon waved a hand. “No need to be so sensitive, my boy. Confession, I am told, is good for the soul. I have no soul, so I can’t be sure. But it must be worth a try.” He leaned forward again. “Speak, young changeling. What duties did my Queen assign you?” His eyes gleamed.
“She bade me… attend her, My Lord.”
Malajit pulled at his knees, dropping his head. “She… she would often ask for my assistance in her bath. I would braid flowers into her hair, or rub her limbs, as she desired. Sometimes, she would ask me to attend to her earthier needs.”
“And how did you perform this task?”
“She would instruct me on what she wished done. Sometimes, I would kiss her nipples, or her nether parts. Sometimes I would stroke her, or massage her with scented oils. She would instruct me as to how to place my hands for her pleasure.”
Oberon’s mouth began to curl. “And this is all? Would she ever reciprocate?”
“Sometimes she would tell me to stand still as she touched me, or kissed me in various places.”
Oberon reclined, eyes half-lidded. “Splendid. And did she ever let you use your member upon her?”
Malajit blushed fiercely. “No, My Lord, she did not. Sometimes she would kiss me there, until I groaned, and shot, but only after she had ordered me to be still and not move, not even to touch her in return.”
“And did she punish you if you did not obey?”
“She never struck me, My Lord. My skin was too fine to mark, she said. She would only banish me from her presence for a span.”
Oberon clucked his tongue, smiling. “My Titania. Such a mild mistress.” He stood. “It seems my Lady has attended well to your education in the rigors of the female form. This is good. Would you not agree?” Malajit nodded mutely. “Tell me then, did she engage in a similarly thorough tutoring of the male form? With one of her other favorites, perhaps?”
Malajit shook his head. “No, My Lord, she did not. She forbade any of her other servants to attend to me in that way. She said she wished me to serve only her, to hunger and yearn for the release only she could provide.”
Oberon nodded. “Mild she may be, but clever nonetheless.” He strode forward, until he seemed to tower above Malajit. “But such a tragic deficit of education. It should be amended, I think. Would you like to begin your tutoring now?”
Malajit gazed up at the majestic form of the King of Fairies. “Yes,” he whispered.
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