Microfiction: Fallen Leaves by TS Porter

And since you were good enough to enjoy our deliciously sexy trick, please, have this treat to see you off into the night. Don’t worry about the things in the yard and the things in the trees and the things that go bump in the night–not every nocturnal sound is a scary one, after all!

TS Porter is a talented newcomer who thought it would fun to slip this into the mailbox, and again, we forgot to get a bio before they vanished…but I can tell you that a piece by this author will appear in the forthcoming Like a Haunted Trail sometime next year.

Happy Halloween, Spooky Samhain, and so on and so forth to all!

Fallen Leaves by TS Porter

They lived for that one night every year – not that either of them were alive, anymore. The days turned crisp and cool, the trees erupted with a riot of reds and golds. Summer died on the cold teeth of winter, and for just a single night the lines between the spirit world and the physical world blurred completely away.

Eliza could feel it in the house as October lengthened. Increasingly she felt a prickling at the back of her neck, as though she were being watched. Things moved in the house, not where she’d left them. Doors opened and closed on their own, and quiet footsteps echoed across empty floors. Occasionally she felt the ghostly touch of fingers on her arm, her cheek, brushing across the back of her neck. It was an old house, Eliza had built it for her love centuries before. There had obviously been renovations since then, but at its core it was a very old house. It would be easy to blame it all on a draft, on the settling of an old building as it adjusted to the cold of winter. She knew better.

Eliza dreamed full lips against her own, the softest golden skin in broad curves under her hands – rubbing her face against plump breasts and running her fingers through long dark hair. She dreamed endless kissing, caressing touches all over her body. She yielded eagerly to insistently probing fingers that entered her, stroked and filled and brought her to the peak of pleasure. She dreamed the heat of a pulse shuddering under her teeth and the intoxicating sweetness of her love’s blood on her tongue. No one else tasted so good.

She woke in the evening with a second depression on the bed beside her and ran her cold fingertips across the silk sheets, feeling the ghost warmth with a smile.

It was like this every year as the walls between them began to fall away. Eliza purchased the latest fashion magazines and left them in a neat stack on the coffee table. Over the next days she found them other places around the house – as though someone had been paging through one curled up in the window seat overlooking the night garden, or lounging across the bed, or on the couch by the fire.

Eliza sometimes caught a glimpse of a raven haired woman in a red dress as she walked through the house, just a hint from the corner of her eye, but whenever she looked back there was nothing. Just mirrors that reflected an empty house back through her.

The month wore itself to a close, vivid dying leaves fell from the trees, and finally it was time. Eliza brought up a bottle of rich red wine from the cellar, a good year from a wonderful vineyard that tasted like home. She let it breathe while she dressed herself in the very best of her clothes.

She sat by the fire and poured the wine as the sun set, the welcome dark of this one night settling in. Eliza could feel the change in the air, a presence when her love could finally join her. Lightly glowing fingers wrapped around the stem of one of the wine glasses, and Eliza finally looked up to see her love seated on the other end of the couch.

Rosabel was every bit as gorgeous as she’d ever been in life. She wore a very modern slinky red dress with a slit up to the thigh, but her long black hair she still wore in a crown atop her head, bound in ribbons. She moaned as she sipped the wine, a happy hum with ruby drops on her soft lips.

Rosabel’s warm brown eyes crinkled at the corners in a smile as she set the glass aside.

“My love,” she greeted, reaching toward Eliza. Eliza took Rosabel’s hand in hers. It was warm and her skin was smooth, so very much like how she’d felt in life.

“Eliza?” the ghost asked, reaching up to softly wipe away a tear from Eliza’s cheek.

“It’s just been a long year,” Eliza shook her head. “I missed you.”

“No, dolcezza…” Rosabel crooned, tugging on her hand, and Eliza couldn’t hold back any longer. She fell into her love’s arms, holding as close and tight as she could. “I know, I know,” Rosabel soothed, gentle fingers stroking through Eliza’s hair. “I’m here now. I’m here.”

Eliza leaned up to kiss the smoky wine from Rosabel’s perfect lips, her own glass forgotten. There would be time for wine later. There would be time for talking, to tell the most important of everything that was new. There would be time for dancing, Eliza had new music of their old dances to share. There would be time to make love. Eliza would have the chance to worship Rosabel’s body, to feel and taste and brand her love into her memory for another year.

They lived for this one night every year – neither of them alive, but each eternal in their own way. They were nothing but bright leaves fallen from the tree – but did not leaves dance as they fell?

They would dance as long as they might.

Microfiction: The Fairy Princess, the Trickster, and the Hatchet Man by Renata Piper

Happy Halloween! For your reading pleasure, we have a pair of tasty treats, free for your enjoyment. Just knock on our door, and try not to flee in terror when our door-ghoul answers. I assure you, it doesn’t bite…much.

First, have a bit of a trick, courtesy of the talented Renata Piper, who dropped this off on our doorstep and ran away cackling madly before we could coax a bio from her. All she’d confess was that she’d been previously published by Circlet in Like a Beast

The Fairy Princess, the Trickster, and the Hatchet Man

Charlotte shivered. She loved her costume–pink-and-gold netting, tiara, dragonfly wings–but this was October in New England, and the night air smelled like snow. She sniffled and kept walking. She wasn’t used to heels, but they were definitely part of the outfit. Be beautiful, she told herself, and be brave, and have fun tonight. That’s all you need to do.

As if summoned by the thought, a woman appeared at her side. She wore down-at-the-heels cowboy boots, a sensibly-heavy plaid shirt, and a slouchy leather hat. She stood eye-to-eye with Charlotte, which was saying a lot. “Good evening, princess,” she said. “Who are you?”

Charlotte was suddenly, bubblingly happy–it was the word princess. “Charlotte le Fey, of the Eternal Rainbow Realm,” she replied, and meant every word. “Good evening to you. Are you a cowboy?”

The woman chuckled, or snorted. “I’m Coyote the Trickster. Glad to meet you, Princess Charlotte. Where are you headed tonight?”

If Coyote had been a man, Charlotte thought, this conversation couldn’t be happening–Charlotte wouldn’t have answered, or lied. “The Weimaraner,” she said. It was public and accepting, and she didn’t expect to see anybody she knew. “There’s dancing and a costume contest.” Coyote walked alongside, nodding. “Want to come?”

Coyote smiled, nodded again. She took a large, square, undyed-cotton kerchief from a pocket, draped it around Charlotte’s shoulders. “See if that keeps you warm,” she said, and it nearly did. After an adventure with heels and a high curb, Coyote’s arm around Charlotte’s waist did even better.

At the Weimaraner, to Charlotte’s surprise, the doorman accepted Coyote’s wink in place of the ten-dollar cover. Inside was dark and dry-ice-smoky, smelling of pumpkin and booze. The music was silly–“Zombie Jamboree”–but Coyote led straight to the dance floor. The kerchief was twisted behind Charlotte’s waist, more a ribbon than a shawl. Coyote held the ends, so they danced together without even touching hands. Coyote moved fast, boots pattering, while Charlotte swayed in place, mindful of her heels but enjoying the roll of her hips and arms. When “Tubular Bells” ended, she stepped forward and kissed Coyote on the mouth.

It was an excellent kiss. Coyote’s arms came around her, warm even in the heat of the club. Her fingers slipped up to Charlotte’s neck, angling to let in a touch of teeth. They broke apart when “Psycho Killer” started, and Charlotte was brave enough–without even a single drink–to say, “Tell me, milady Coyote–might you like us to go out back and do a little more?”

Coyote’s grin went feral, and she winked at the doorman as they went past. Back in the alley, Coyote pressed Charlotte against the brick wall–softened just a little by the cotton kerchief–and they kissed at length, again with a little of Coyote’s teeth. Then Coyote tipped her hat back and dropped to her knees.

“Oh no–oh wait –!” Charlotte squeaked, terrified. Coyote nodded and stilled, smiling up from under the hat. Moving very, very slowly, she lifted the layers of Charlotte’s pink-and-gold skirt. Without breaking eye contact, she ran a hand, very lightly, down the front of Charlotte’s panties, outlining the erection within.

“This enough of a wait?” asked Coyote gently. “Still no, or maybe, or yes?”

“…Maybe?” Charlotte whispered. “I mean if you want…?” She didn’t think she sounded like a princess at all.

Coyote grinned. “Yep.” She pulled a condom from the same pocket as the kerchief, and let the skirts fall over her as she coaxed the heavy organ out of Charlotte’s underthings. The condom slid on easily, followed by the heat and sucking pressure of Coyote’s mouth. One hand dropped to caress Charlotte’s balls, the other behind to knead into her ass. Charlotte’s hips bucked and Coyote rode her like a bronco, rocking back and pushing in, twisting and sticking through every thrust. When Charlotte came she cried out–something she never did, certainly not in alleys–a high stuttering sound like a laugh.

When she opened her eyes, the first thing she saw was the full moon, sailing just clear of the Weimaraner’s roof. The second thing was Coyote’s face, nipping a kiss into the corner of her mouth. “Oh my goodness,” said Charlotte. “Oh my… Coyote, can I do something for you?”

Coyote smiled tenderly, then turned away as she spoke. “Watch my back.”

There was someone else in the alley. A man, taller than Coyote or Charlotte in heels. His face was painted white, with an ugly smile in red lipstick. In one hand he held a hatchet, and as Coyote approached he raised it high. “Ugly little back-alley bitch,” he said. “I’m gonna–”

Coyote skipped up and stopped his voice with a kiss. “You’re gonna pay ten bucks, go inside, and dance,” she said clearly. “Come back out when somebody nice asks you, and suck them real good, almost as good as me. Be kind to them always, forever after. And tonight you’re gonna forget that axe, leave it at the bar, and never even think about it again.” The man was nodding. Coyote took him by the shoulders, steered him back towards the Weimaraner’s doors.

Charlotte watched until Coyote turned, beckoning Charlotte over. She took the handkerchief, wiped lipstick off her mouth with a grimace. Then she grinned a hangdog grin, handing it back. “Wanna clean up too?”

Charlotte blushed. “Thanks,” she said, turning away. There wasn’t much mess, but she palmed the condom awkwardly.

“Thank you,” said Coyote. “It’s been a pleasure. But I’m tired now, and I’m going home. Happy Halloween!” She went to the end of the alley and turned left. Charlotte couldn’t have been more than two steps behind, but when she reached the sidewalk, Coyote was gone.

Charlotte looked left and right, then down.  In her hands the condom and wrapper had changed into a mug from the Athenaeum full of hot chocolate, and a long woolen cape embroidered at the edges with gold.  She swung it over her shoulders, and she didn’t get cold or trip even once as she went about that night.