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 Thirty-One.
31st Night—Cherokee Louise
Miranda smiled a little, knowing smile, slight and mysterious, as she looked out the window. Dhiar sat across from her at the small table, back in his chair and watching her face.
Really, her golden hair, her fair features and rose-red lips, even without makeup—it was a feminine ideal. The parts that interested him the most were the little laugh lines on her face, the weathering that gave her such character at the corners of her eyes and her mouth. These things made her appear less of a doll and more of a real woman, whatever else her heritage contributed.
“I wonder sometimes if it’s the place for me.” The Incubus spoke, taking in a deep breath and letting out a sigh. “I wonder, too, if it’s just the natural wanderlust of my kind, to see so many vistas, so many things… I’ve seen so much already, but I have an insatiable desire for still more.”
Miranda’s eyes only slowly returned to Dhiar, her smile widening to show her teeth. “If you feel the need to wander, wander.”
“Is it that simple?”
“Hasn’t it been?”
He tapped his fingernail against the wine glass, then brought it up to his lips. After taking his drink, he set it back down on the table. “I keep coming back.”
“If you only come back out of obligation, when everyone else here has flown to the winds, that isn’t what you really want. Is it?”
The silence passed between them. He glanced out the window. Lights sparkled like stars on artificial firmament made of buildings, buildings which stretched from the invisible street to the inscrutable sky.
“No,” he answered at last. “No, you’re entirely right. It isn’t.”
“It doesn’t suit you to let yourself be miserable while you’re waiting for something to happen so passively.” Miranda lightly moved her glass in her hand, in a circle. The sweet red wine inside swayed and danced around. “You may be a prize like a princess in a storied tower, but you have the ability to leave that tower yourself.”
And Dhiar knew she was right. That was why he had come to this bookshop again, to see her, to speak with her, to spend the quiet, cold night in pleasant company. But this quality was not limited to mere meaningless pleasantries; he wished to hear the truth.
“So,” she continued, as he contemplated. “What about humanity?”
“What about them?” He answered, flashing a bright grin. It faded like embers after a cold night, his face gradually settling into a softer expression of contentment. Then it disappeared altogether, his thoughts turning again. “There are so many humans, so many kinds. Each one is different. Like any other type, I suppose. Species or race or what have you.” He motioned with a hand, a flourish of the wrist. “It depends on the time, when you catch them. Sometimes they’re marvellous as a whole, other times they’re shameful.”
Miranda laughed, a sound deeper and richer than her speaking voice. It was an old voice. It had quality to it, character that blithe, innocent voices missed in timbre.
“It’s true!” Dhiar chuckled too, smacking his lips after another sip. “They tend to see time as linear, but it doesn’t always lead to improvement. It’s like a fine wine, sat to age in some cellar somewhere… but humans forget so easily, and so that wine might turn to vinegar before anyone recalls it.”
She put a hand to her chest, calming and curling a bit in her chair. The seats were broad and winged, large enough to curl up in, for a nap. “It’s different here.”
“Humans don’t steer the course of this city,” Dhiar replied quickly. “It’s more so-called creatures of the night. Humans are just a part of it.”
“Some of them were humans once.”
“They’ve lived so long that any with the power and influence have usually grown beyond it,” he countered. “It’s not like on the surface. On the surface, human society permeates. It’s pervasive, it’s everywhere. You can’t avoid it. Even the vampires, as much as they would like to believe it’s not a part of their existences anymore, there it is. They play and manipulate and all of it ends up being a puppet play on the same stage.”
“Fear and shame govern widely.”
“And regret. And anguish. I suppose it isn’t a solely human quality, but people time travel throughout their lives. And they reincarnate even in the same existence.” Dhiar leaned forward, propping his cheeks on his hands, his elbows on the table. “They float between a gilded past and a future of longing. The present doesn’t tend to interest them much. It’s hard to blame them.”
“Hope must be preserved,” Miranda noted. She breathed deeply in. The wine had started to make her stomach tingle. “Otherwise, why continue on another day?”
“And I suppose it all comes back around to the fact that most of them don’t have the same mobility I do.” Dhiar gave a little nod of his head, then sat upright again, resting his hands on the tabletop. “I could so easily pack up shop and make a place for myself somewhere else, somewhere there are no regrets every day, no thoughts and feelings that interfere with the breathing everywhere I look.”
“You’ve become entangled in a place you never wanted, my friend.” Miranda finished her glass and set it before her. “It’s time to spread your wings.”
“My proverbial wings,” he corrected, with an impish grin.
She closed her eyes, smiling to his words.
Dhiar slipped up to his feet and walked to her side, taking her hand and kissing it. “Thank you, my friend. I hope we’ll meet again very soon. And of course, you can come to Phantasies any time. I’ve left you with a card.”
“Of course.” Her eyes opened, radiant and jewel-like. She looked up to his. She wanted to remember him like this, lit by the cityscape behind him. “This is my home. My nest. But it’s important for you to realise where yours is. You must fly for that to happen.”
“I shall fly,” he answered. “I shall soar!”
* * *
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!