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.
Table of Contents:
If This Be Not Love, It Is Madness by Theresa Sand
A Perfect Creature by Bernie Mojzes
Waking by ADR Forte
Midway Rides by Alex Picchetti
The Boiling Sea by Angela Caperton
Indulge in an excerpt:
From “If This Be Not Love, It Is Madness” by Theresa Sand
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.”
To read the rest, download the ebook today!
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.