Welcome to Incubus Tales: A Thousand Words by Hushicho. In Noctemberg, it is always night. Dhiar, proprietor and gay incubus, welcomes you to Phantasies, a very special shop. Sensuality is more than just Dhiar’s stock in trade, it is his raison d’être. NSFW.
A new chapter appears every Thursdays. This week is Chapter Twenty-Nine.
29th Night—Oh, Maker
Transitions were always the most exciting and dreadful parts of any journey. All the questions and possibilities presented hope and despair both, and none of them could be certain until the destination. As the old saying went, “getting there is half the fun”.
This trip, however, ended quickly enough and the transition was brief indeed. Dhiar stretched as he lit a coal for the incense, placing it in the censer and hanging it from the hook he dedicated to it, in the shop. He brushed his hair back with his fingers, out of his eyes, and looked around.
Somehow, the shop floor seemed stark, and a bit uninviting. He would have to change that. The Incubus stalked into the storeroom and returned with some drapes and a footstool, reaching up and practically climbing about like a monkey to hang them. He hummed to himself as a soft drizzle began outside.
That was new, he reflected. Usually in Noctemburg, it either poured or the moisture congealed into a thick, soupy mist. To have a light, gentle rain must have meant something else changed while they were away. He smiled a little bit more to himself and continued with his task.
He hoped to have it all in place before Siros woke. Even if the trip back had been brief, scarcely the blink of an eye, saying farewell to one place and hello again to another caused stress to any traveller. Some transitioned through sleep, others through occupying their minds and dealing with it a little at a time. Siros and Dhiar, both ends of the spectrum, today occupied the building of Phantasies.
The Incubus finished with the last of the drapes, then looked to the storefront. “Now that… isn’t quite right, either.”
The fluorescence fit with Noctemburg, but it seemed so lurid after the subtle elegance of Dis. Dhiar quietly switched the window’s lights off and set them aside, to be carefully wrapped and stored later.
The oriel window always looked beautiful, though. He couldn’t change that much. That was his personal nook, his own personal zone if any place was in the shop. He had seen so much from that window. Much better than the broad, flat expanse of glass that had originally occupied its space.
An idea that had occurred to him a few days previous surfaced once more in his mind, and he returned to the storeroom. With a few minutes of paint, a saw, and some sandpaper, it was ready. He walked to the front of the shop and pulled it open, stepping out. With a little boost from the railing there, he hung the sign reading “Phantasies” on the wrought-iron post that curled like the smoke of the incense inside.
And the front door! He placed his hands on his hips, then brought one to rub his fingertips along his chin. That would not do; and so, from glass and metal came wood: heavy, sturdy wood, with a window at the top of it to show the sign reading “open” or “closed”.
The Incubus returned inside and looked around. Yes, that was much better. The trip had changed plenty of things, and that suited him. That had been the whole purpose of the holiday. Perspective tended to be jarred and refreshed by a change of venue. Sometimes the only thing a creative endeavour needed was to be looked at from a different angle.
And of course, it felt good to return home. To be surrounded by the familiar things of his youth and nascent existence, and yet to see all the new and different, all of this felt like sweet, clear air after being shut in a stuffy closet. Here he was, back in that closet, in a sense.
His brow lowered. Did he really think of Noctemburg that poorly?
No, he decided, he did not. But the place had been his home for too long. Familiarity had bred contempt, as it sometimes tended to do. Not with Siros, of course. He could spend for ever with that angel…
Dhiar folded his arms over his chest and slumped back against the doorframe. Would Siros come with him? Where would he go in the first place, anyway? It troubled him. Could he even trouble the angel to follow him? He felt a distress and frustration that he so rarely allowed to alight upon his presence of mind.
But he would not allow it to reside there. It would not be like him, not like his personality or any part of him. He set it aside in his mind and took a deep breath of the sweetened, spiced air. He felt himself smile, and sigh, and then he slowly strode to the counter with the register.
Taking out a pad underneath, he produced a pen and began to tick off a few items he had noticed in his morning’s work. Then, after a few minutes, he set the pen down and crouched behind the counter, fiddling with the things underneath and putting a pot on. Here he had secretly installed a pot and a little stove-eye for heat, just for making little things like tea without having to head upstairs and bring it down.
Dhiar pulled himself up and leaned back to lower himself into his chair. This chair always sat stacked high with blankets and cushions that the shape of the original piece of furniture had become indistinguishable and largely forgotten. But it was Dhiar’s chair, his most comfortable seat. It seemed right, since he spent so much time there during any day.
The scent of steam mixed with the incense, and the Incubus got back to his feet and poured up the cup of hot water into the waiting teacup, with its silvery mesh ball of tea in it. Vanilla and rose, with a hint of cardamom. Could there be greater bliss? Dhiar thought not. The simple pleasures were, after all, often the most richly pleasing.
He watched the clear water turn dark, a mixture of red and black, like liquid garnets in the cup before him. His fingers curled around the curved body of the cup, and he brought it to his face.
It was good to be home, in Phantasies.
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About the author: From an early age, Hushicho held a special passion for storytelling. Throughout his life, he has worked in numerous media and various places in the world. He is the author of the long-running Incubus Tales webcomic, upon which this serial is based.
Welcome to the intriguing city of dreams, Noctemberg, where it is always night, and to Phantasies, a very special shop run by Dhiar, proprietor and gay incubus. Sensuality is more than just Dhiar's stock in trade, it is his raison d'etre. In Incubus Tales: A Thousand Words, Dhiar meets new loves, rekindles relationships, and bring his special brand of sexual healing to lovers and readers alike.
Also available in paperback!