Welcome to Capricious by Julie Cox, a Texan tale of love and magic. NSFW.
A new chapter appears every Tuesday. This week is Chapter Twenty-Two. Listen to the audio version at Nobilis Erotica here!
Luke slept fitfully that night, rose before dawn, and had a cup of coffee and a cigarette on the front porch before starting out in the fading dark. Sootie stayed on the porch, knowing somehow that Luke was on a solo mission. He hiked deep into his land, through the mesquite glades and the yucca patches, up and down the red-rock ravines. He knew when he’d reached the center of his land, a grassy spot that just felt right.
He sat cross-legged, watching the light change in the east, trying to stay relaxed. He had awakened his past lives before, but it was always an unsettling experience–he never knew exactly what he was going to remember. He breathed in and out with the still morning air. It was almost cool, this late in the fall, with the scent of sage blossoms in the air. His mind grew quiet, and he let his daily cares fade from his thoughts. He sought out the core of his being, the satyr who was constant not just throughout this life but in the one before, and before that, and before that–his immortal soul.
He sank back through his memories, past all the years of his life. Past the recent events with the chupacabras and their summoner, past Sally, past August and Glen and Brent. His mind flickered past his working adult life, his time in college, his teen years, wild times of machines and study and soft flesh. He went past his childhood, dramatic times of great triumphs and great pain, the glorious outdoors and the animals it contained, past the drudgery of school and the unfairness of adult tyranny. His mind touched light on the dimly recollected fog of early life, consisting mostly of the kitchen floor and his mother’s bare feet, her voice a constant, lyrical background song.
Beyond that, there was more. A short life that ended in 1968 with chemicals and sex and music, a fractured childhood in the fifties in the Midwest. And back beyond that, more. A violent death in the Pacific in the forties, a rough time in the thirties, moving with his family from place to place. Dust, everywhere was dust, and locusts, and hunger, and death. Behind that was a happy childhood, a kind and wonderful father, so admirable a man that he was sorry to have forgotten that life for so long, even as difficult as it eventually became.
And beyond that…. He slowed down, pondering a curious life long forgotten. He was a farrier in New Mexico, and he met a Navajo girl of great beauty and greater pride. A thunderbird… Sally, though her name was Jane in that life. He failed her–he was drawn into an orgy by a group of satyrs and nymphs in a great magical rite with the coyote-folk of New Mexico. He could not possibly have resisted, but she would hear no word of explanation or regret from him. His heart filled with old hurt, remembering how she walked away, her anger and pain. She said he would never find her again, she would never let him in again, and he knew she meant it not just for that life, but forever.
He pushed on to the next life. She wasn’t in that one, though he had a sense of searching, forever looking, and not finding what he was looking for. Another life after that, filled with violence and pain. He flipped past it as fast as he could, reminding himself to avoid Haiti at all costs.
Beyond that was a life in Europe. He was married when he met her, a wild thing in the Canadian forests. He recognized her, loved her instantly. He was not faithful to his wife, but when his business in Canada ended, he returned to her, and his children, and his European life. And in doing so, he abandoned his thunderbird lover. He longed for her for the rest of his life and called out her name as he died in a raging fever.
The farther back he went, the foggier his memories became. Moments of great pain and great pleasure stood out like splashes of red watercolor paint on gray paper. He remembered losing children, losing limbs, always so much loss in a world with primitive medicine, without laws to protect the powerless. It was easy to find purpose in a life so hell-bent on sheer survival.
And there she was, in a memory almost lost to the fog of time. An American Indian protecting her home. Beautiful, dangerous, and her eyes lit up with lust for the handsome trader with the exotic pale skin and curling horns. He could recall so little of her, only that she was a light that came into his life so briefly and went out again–she and her people. Not even their thunderbird could protect them from smallpox… but he could have warned her, he had seen it happen before in other tribes. He hadn’t imagined it would spread so far. He died within a month of the epidemic, of a water moccasin bite.
When he came out of his trance, reeling from the press of centuries, the many cycles of lives, the sun was fully risen in the sky. He stood and shook off the grass and dirt of his land and went in search of his thunderbird.
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About the author: Julie Cox is the author of Chasing Tail and numerous short stories in Circlet Press erotica anthologies. She lives in Texas with her husband, children, and ever-expanding menagerie of animals on their farm. She runs a small online yarn business and teaches yarn spinning. She has numerous stories published with Circlet Press and elsewhere.
Welcome to Fox Pass, Texas, a small community where the mythical creatures aren’t so mythical after all. Satyr Luke’s comfortable routine is thrown into disarray when he becomes the target of enemies who won’t hesitate to hurt his friends to get to him. Struggling to save his town—and to sort out his feelings for his friend Sally—Luke faces the adventure of a lifetime in Julie Cox’s Capricious.
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