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 Thursday. This week is Chapter Thirty-Three.
Dhiar gazed out the oriel window. It no longer showed the street in Noctemburg that had become so familiar; now it looked out upon a swirling starfield, a vision beyond bounds of cosmos.
The shopkeeper smiled to himself, sitting down in the window with his cup of tea. The aromatic steam curled up around his face: rose, vanilla, and cardamom, with the rich and full body of black tea.
He decided the rest of his work could wait. They were nowhere he would need to open the shop yet, in any case. There would be no pressure to do so in the middle of the void. He had not hung between universes in so long… every time Phantasies had moved in the recent past, he could remember only jumping from place to place and back again. The brief jaunt to the Abyss had been so refreshing and yet so brief.
Perhaps he could go back there again. But he had only just been. That was no good. Above all, he didn’t want to grow too used to the Great City, or ever to find it anything less than exciting. He could enjoy himself, certainly, but eventually he would be relegated to the same things as Noctemburg had crafted within him. Eventually it would bore him, and he found that possibility supremely distasteful.
He looked at the swirling thin foam atop his tea, light and vanishing into the black depths of the liquid. For an instant he found himself completely enthralled, and then he snapped his attention from it and looked out the window again.
Before his eyes spun the same vision, of lighter, brighter objects catching light and spinning like spirals around themselves in an endless cosmic dance.
“The universe, in a cup of tea.” Dhiar smiled a little more, bringing the cup up to his lips and sipping from it.
It had become a favourite pastime of his, to blend teas and place them in the thick glass jars on the shelf he made for them. They had earned their place in his shop and the esteem from his customers.
He would have to keep up with some of them. Most, he recalled, still had cards and could contact him if necessary. Lothring was one he would have to recall, with his regular visits. But existing outside of regular time made it easy to keep any appointment. Everything seemed to be in place. Miranda was correct. The time was right!
He lowered the cup between his hands, resting it between his palms. The shop had grown cold recently, even cooler than the regular weather in Noctemburg. It didn’t offend Dhiar; it barely affected him. But he could feel it, and he liked to warm himself back up when he felt the chill around him. His body maintained a temperature higher than a human’s. Absently he wondered if he should get some cats for the shop, since they always did like warm bodies and pleasant company.
Evvin’s letter should arrive soon, Dhiar noted. Faithfully, the boy wrote him about his adventures with Anton. They travelled around Europe and then Asia, enjoying the best the lands could offer. Dhiar knew so many of the places he read about in the missives, although he visited them during different times. It saddened him, at least a little, to know that Evvin would likely never see them in their greatest glory.
Yet so much still existed, even in memory, and beauty and vitality persisted as if in spite of those who tried so hard to shut it up. He recalled the sensual temples and the Naga in the place now called India. His cheeks coloured and his smile turned to a grin. Quietly he chased it with another gulp of the rosy tea.
His chest spread, shoulders rising as he breathed slowly and deeply. That drink always calmed him so profoundly. Nothing else affected him so. Even chamomile left him merely coaxed into a slumbery state, but this tea, this one always made him comfortable and gave him sensual pleasures, weaving a complex temptation for his consciousness. Vanilla, rose, and cardamom provided a tantalising enough combination, but added to the backdrop of black tea made it completely undeniable, utterly unavoidable.
He breathed in the steam again, closing his eyes and letting his head fall back against the wall. Sleep would not come. He had no desire to slumber, or to dream, but to experience the images running through him and the sensations coursing through his body, it had to be concentrated upon with totality.
One hand slid down the soft skin of his chest, disturbing the laces crisscrossing over the open collar of his poet’s shirt. It did not concern him in the slightest. He loved the feeling of skin to skin, and moreover the sense of fingertips on skin. Bumps rose like gooseflesh as he tickled the surface with the edges of his nails. His nipples firmed at the touch, and he idly swayed his fingertips between one and then the other.
His eyes suddenly opened. He knew what he had to do!
Swiftly he spun on his bottom and then unfolded, up to his feet. Setting the cup aside at the counter next to the register, he stepped behind it and began to rummage. This would not do! He knew exactly what was necessary. Exactly what was called for in this situation, he had to put hands on it.
At last, his fingers curled around it! It was his, it was his own, and he claimed it for himself. He stood again, holding it up to the light, unashamed—proud, even—at the sight, in the open. He licked his lips, shivering a little bit.
Yes, this would do nicely.
He couldn’t stop giggling as he peeled the paper away from it, this lush dark chocolate bar, with honeyed rose petals in the chocolate, and a delicately-whipped nougat handmade. It was his favourite bar.
The cup returned to his hand, and he resumed his seat in the window, sipping and nibbling in turns. Yes, he thought, that was how to do it!
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Impatient to find out What happens in Dhiar’s shop? Get the entire book direct from Circlet Press!
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!