Friday, August 4, 2017

The Poisoned Fang on Preorder from Extasybooks!

A year ago, Air force Captain Jared Club was flying missions into Kaiser controlled areas, but now he waits in the city of Red Deer Crossing on an indeterminate leave of absence after failing a psychological examination. The things he saw in his dreams as a child, places called Disneyland, games you play on television, and men wearing fish nets as shirts insisting that they are too sexy, have gained in such vividness that he cannot tell what is real and what is not. As if he did not doubt his sanity enough, an Aboriginal man has come to him claiming that the dreams are real and the life he is living is not, and Jared has the power to put the world back to the way it should be.  What does a crazy man do when faced with an insane choice?

Jared Club along with his friend and bartender Mikey cross the ocean to infiltrate the maw of the Kaiser regime. Can Jared overcome the conflict in his mind of what is and what should have been? What chance do two men have against the armies of the Kaiser and the Knights of the Templar? 

There is no possible way to win but what alternative do they have but to try? Besides, when you have a woman, who you don’t remember in the slightest, claiming to be the goddess of the northern seas and is pissed at you for standing her up, a bullet to the head seems far more humane way to meet your end…

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Reproductive cycle of Goblins/hobgoblins

In writing this book, I stumbled across an interesting problem - making the story fit my anal retentive need to have things, while fanciful, be plausible.  What I decided to do was to restructure the some of the legends of goblins and hobgoblins to fit what I wanted them to be.  One of the primary motives was to make hobgoblins and goblins the same species, just the opposing genders.  Why? I needed to create a way that made sense to me on why the character, Shirtazia, would be behaving in the manner she does in the book.  To that end, I came up with this:

goblins and hobgoblins

Physical characteristics

Goblins and hobgoblins, though in popular lore portrayed as two distinct races, are the other’s gender opposite.  Goblins (Gobelinus Hominem) are the male of the species while hobgoblins (Gobelinus Feminaeris) are the female of the species.

The Goblin is anatomically similar to an aged, smaller homo erectus with a few differences. Physically, the difference is noticeable in the average stature and facial features. The tallest hobgoblin is five foot nine inches on record, the shortest being three foot, though the average height is five foot five inches.  The tallest goblin is recorded at three foot nine inches, the shortest at two foot ten inches with the average being three foot five inches.  Hobgoblins are larger than their goblin counterparts for the purpose of reproductive purposes; just as the muscle tissue of the hobgoblin are much more compact to allow the female to overpower a male attempting to elude her amorous advances.

 Goblins that have not altered their appearances with shimmering (see shimmering) have elfin ears, the tips pointed rather than rounded that accentuate the sharpness in their hairline, chin and nose.  The colour of the goblin skin is determined by the environment to how dark or light that it appears to be.  Because of the extreme stress that goblins undergo during the birth and maturation period, their skin often develops wrinkles within the first three years of life.  The goblin fingernails resemble the homo erectus when they are at rest but in a defensive stance these nails have a secondary set that can extend from the cuticle.  The edges of these secondary nails are jagged and capable of penetrating the hide of an elephant. The major difference in the anatomy of the goblin and homo erectus is in the reproductive organs (see the reproductive cycle of the goblin).

The goblin age can be equivocated to the homo erectus in that while human age is by the base of decades the goblin’s can be assessed by centuries. The oldest goblin on record was nine hundred and twenty eight before he died of natural causes while the oldest hobgoblin lived to the age of nine hundred and forty-two. The average age of a goblin and hobgoblin in a densely populated area of goblins is one hundred and twenty-one, though as the population density of hobgoblins decrease, the mortality rate elongates.

Shimmering is a camouflage technique used primarily by hobgoblins. There are few instances where a goblin has used shimmering. Goblins detest the look of a human while a hobgoblin will socialize with a human over another hobgoblin.  A hobgoblin can soften and blur her features to pass for a member of the homo erectus by vibrating her body four times faster than the human eye can register.  This vibrating motion is so subtle that the air displacement around her is negligible, if at all felt by a human.  Often this displacement is reasoned to be a slight draft. Shimmering requires aural energy and as long as a hobgoblin has contact with a mortal for three quarters of an hour every day, she is recharged for the remainder of that day.  This contact does not require actual touching but a close proximity no greater than six inches from the generator of the aura.

The goblin species, because of the degree of potential kinetic energy their bodies may have to absorb in the act of shimmering, are three times denser in muscular tissue than the average homo erectus.  This natural conditioning makes the being faster, stronger and far more resilient to physical damage due to increase in the elasticity of the being’s skin molecular make up.

The personality of a goblin is far more abrasive and abusive towards humans and hobgoblins alike than to another goblin.  Goblins are solitary creatures, preferring the company of the animals that they were raised around or living in abandoned human dwellings.   Goblins are nomadic until they find an area that is relatively free of hobgoblin ‘hunting’ territories. Before the eradication of their natural forest habitat, goblins used to live in packs for protection against the hobgoblin.  When attacked the pack would surrender or force the weaker or lamer members of the pack to fornicate with the hobgoblin, ensuring the survival of the stronger members of the pack for hunting and gathering purposes.

Hobgoblins are far more socially adept, often using their shimmering to interact with the local human population. Hobgoblins will not interact socially but are repulsed by goblins except for when in heat. Hobgoblins have a territorial pheromone in their urine that warns other mature hobgoblins away from their marked territory.  If another mature hobgoblin invades the first hobgoblin’s territory, purposefully or unintentionally, it will result in the death of the weaker hobgoblin.  Both goblins and hobgoblins will allow immature goblins and hobgoblins to observe their behaviour from a distance as long as the immature ones do not interfere with the daily rituals that the goblin or hobgoblin have.

The Reproductive organs of goblins

Just as their outlook on life, the reproductive cycle of the goblin and hobgoblin in ingrained in violence. A newborn goblin is not reared by either a goblin or hobgoblin but is left to either survive or die.  The gobfant mortality rate is twenty-three percent, ten percent higher than pre-industrial revolution as more of the natural areas of goblinhood have been replaced by structures.

Gobelinus hominem

Flaccid, the penis of the goblin resembles the shape and texture of the average mortal man with the exception of the glans being slightly thinner and not as round with a quarter inch thick holey spinal cord like cartilage ridge that runs from the base of the scrotal sac underneath the corpus cavernosum urethrae and frenulum to the metus on the tip of the glans.

Erect, the penis of the gobelinus hominem differs from the mortal male. The corpus cavernosum penis does not increase in girth size with the introduction of increased blood flow but does become slender as the cartilage ridges filling with blood engorged sinew elongate the corpus cavernosum penis almost twice its length.  The glans of the penis becomes triangular in shape as the majority of the mass of the frenulum is absorbed into the cartilage, resembling an arrow head.  The cartilage, saturated with the blood and muscle and cellular tissue, has a tip that extends out of the meatus three sixteenths of an inch that is sharp enough to create incisions with the least amount of pressure applied upon it, effectively turning the penis into a small pike.

As in mortal men, the goblin scrotum is the area responsible for the creation of sperm.  Unlike mortal men, who are constantly producing sperm from maturity on, the goblin’s testes (gestes) are only operational just before projected copulation otherwise the gestes are in hibernation just as the penis remains flaccid until arousal is instituted, usually by the pheromone tracer from a hobgoblin.
During sexual intercourse, the triangular the head of the penis also impales the ovary sac of the hobgoblin as well as slicing deeply into the vulva and the vaginal opening in order to flood the vaginal opening with blood.  This pool serves as a thinning agent for the release of the sperm that is ejaculated with the consistency of molasses. The mixture of blood, sperm and vaginal mucus then are pumped into the tattered ovary sac to allow fertilization of the eggs contained within. Once an egg has successfully been fertilized, the egg produces a beta-adrenergic agonist hormone as well as a neuromuscular agent that signals the nerves in the penis to return to flaccidity and temporarily paralyzes the goblin from withdrawal of the penis or moving off the hobgoblin for a twenty four hour period.

Another note of the effects on goblin civilization from the mortal society is the use of Viagra in goblins for suicidal purposes.  It has been reported by the Celestial Bureau of Vital Statistics there has been a twenty-one percent increase in suicides by goblins since the introduction of Viagra into the population.  The commonest form of suicide is the goblin takes the pill then leans over with his chin jutting out the most likely area that the erection will form. It is not unusual for hobgoblins to socialize with mortals, the amount of hormones stored in their mammary glands make their sexual appetite quite high.

Gobelinus feminaeris

In the goblin reproductive process, the hobgoblin is the aggressive gender. When in heat (which occurs foreighty-seven hours every thirty six point four years after their first one hundred and twenty-one years of existence) hobgoblins release the sex pheromone, gobrosia, which activates the goblin’s desire for copulation (necessary as for the majority of goblins the inactive hormone gestosterone production of the testes leaves no sexual desire).  The drawback to this pheromone is that it is very concentrated which by having a greater mass does not remain airborne for very long.  The traditional mating ritual of goblins and hobgoblins is that the hobgoblin, who is stronger and larger than the goblin, pins the goblin down on the ground then sprays the pheromone directly into the goblin’s face to awaken the gestes and the creation of sperm.

Whereas the mammary glands in mortal woman play a significant role in the post-birth cycle, the mammary glands in a hobgoblin are for pre-copulation purposes. Sharp cilia which rest just under the surface of the areole but when arousal occurs, the puffing of the nipple pushes these quills to just above the skin line to deliver a series of hormones from six ducts located within the mammary tissue.  These hormones, dopamine, orexan, prolactin, serotonin, oxytocin and lutrophin in the form of a syrup liquid that slickens not only the nipple but the majority of the surface of the areole. The hobgoblin either forces or coaxes the goblin to rub his lips tongue and nose around her breasts that stimulate the release of these hormones which put the goblin into a trance of lust and the want to mount the hobgoblin for procreative purposes.

Due to the precise movements needed to successfully conceive, the hobgoblin have small cilia that run along her gluteus maximus that secrete a venom that once absorbed by the goblin’s skin causes the cessation of gesterone and extreme pain to discourage rear mounting.

The outer genatlia of the gobelinus feminaeris in a non excitable state, as with its male counterpart, the vulva and clitoris is barely discernable from a mortal woman.  The inner reproductive organs differ greatly however in the gobelinus feminaeris from a mortal woman’s.  There is no uterus or fallopian tubes; the hobgoblin’s eggs, which she has had since birth, are stored in an ovum sac that is attached just inside the cervical opening. During copulation the sac is punctured allowing for the fertilization of the ova.  Once the ova have been fertilized, the hobgoblin’s gestrogen mutates into gesterone and signals the engorgement of the clitoris.

The hood of the clitoris folds back to expose the clitoris, which is a miniature version of the gobelinus homenim’s penis, with the cartilage ridge intended to perform in the same manner as the penis on a smaller scale. The clitoris, rubs against the pelvic muscle of the goblin, slicing through the skin to the muscle where the second function of the clitoris begins. The clitoris has a opening that once the thin layer of skin that covers it has been exposed due to the friction of close physical contact that leads directly to the cervical opening. When the clitoral opening exposes itself to air, the vacuum created by the penis shoots the combination of blood, sexual liquids, unused sperm and fertilized ova through the clitoral opening into the muscle of the goblin’s pelvis. The re-rounding and shortening of the penis inside the vaginal opening due to the beta-adrenergic agonist hormone and neuromuscular agent squeezes the penis tightly against the walls of the vagina tightly, popping a series of tiny postules that line the top of the vaginal opening.  These postules contain a blood clotting agent that then is sucked up the clitoral opening to seal the ova inside the muscular tissue of the goblin. Though there is some blood clotting agents that remain in the vaginal and clitoral openings, there is not enough to stop the haemorrhaging the damage to the cervical wall the penis has done.  The result is that within two hours, the hobgoblin dies with a goblin paralyzed atop of her.

It should be noted that while the clitoral hood opens naturally, this process can be willed by the hobgoblin for the hood to fold back to expose the clitoris pre-insemination to heighten her sexual pleasure or for self-satisfaction requirements.  This procedure is not widely practiced however as it increases the hormonal quantities the body produces, leaving the hobgoblin to be driven into hyper-sexually excited state  from the pressure of the ovarian sac that has continued to expand until the sac becomes so thin that it bursts. The fluids and the eggs then are flushed out of the vaginal opening leaving the hobgoblin barren.  Without the sac containing the ova the hobgoblin is not only barren but loses her ability to manage the gestrogen production that ordinarily is controlled by the ovary sac. This condition leaves the hobgoblin in a permanent heat.

The development of a goblin

The first seventy two hours is considered the most dangerous time in the gestation period of a viable gobelinus zygote(called a gygote).  During this period it grows at the rate of six billion, two hundred and eighty million, seven hundred and eighty-one thousand and six hundred eight6 cells per hour which requires the gygote to absorb nutrients from the host constantly to continue at this rate.  If the host expires or if the host is strong enough to remove the gygote, it will perish.  After this seventy two hour period the gygote’s cellular composition has begun to specialize processes and that one of which is a thin synaptic hotwire that slices through the host’s muscle and tendons to the pelvic splanchnic nerve system to assume control of the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes the digestion and ejection of wastes to reroute the necessary nutrients the zygote is required to absorb through the blood vessel system that surrounds the zygote. It is uncertain whether the goblin host is aware of the gygote or if the trauma of having his penis stuck inside the corpse of a hobgoblin for approximately twenty two hours causes a short term memory loss.

For the period between the gygote and geoetus, there is no delineation of gender.  The gender factor is based on the amount of sunlight that the host body absorbs beginning for twenty four hours on four hundred and eighth hour of gestation.

Greater than four and one quarter hours creates a hobgoblin

Lesser than four and one quarter hours creates a goblin

Equal to four and a quarter hours creates a gobhob

The base hormone, gesterone, is exuded by the host’s pores onto the surface of exposed skin.  This exposure deteriorates the hormone from its pure form to the point where it turns into gestrogen, the femine hormone which is then absorbed by the host’s skin into the stomach where the geotus then becomes the sex of the hormone absorbed.

It should be noted that with the invention of artificial uv lighting, there have been cases of gesterone being fully deteriorated leaving nothing for the geotus to absorb.  In these cases, the hobgob, as they are known as, are born without external reproductive characteristics with only a flap covering the urethra for liquid waste expulsion.

On the 33rd day the host can no longer sustain the gobetus and his own nutritional requirements for optimal functioning.  At this point, the gobetus, its fingernails having formed into a biological scalpel, tear through the hosts’ abdominal wall into the stomach.  The acid eats at the gobetus’s thick crust of waste that has formed around the skin and tissue until the fecal prison has been eaten away.  What stomach acid that hasn’t been used then eats away at the original incision the hobgoblin’s clitoris had made in order to allow quicker access for the heterotrophic baterica and various insects for a hastened decomposition.  At this stage the gobetus does not have functioning lungs so it converts the end gases of the decomposition process of the acetogens in creation of co2 and hydrogen to create water and oxygen through cells called fermacellia.

The gobetus will continue to grow until there is no more material to be absorbed.  This stage varies upon the environmental conditions outside the host such as temperature and humidity.  In this time as flesh and tissue are being consumed by the maggots and lichen, the lungs develop and take over respiratory responsibilities.

Once this occurs, the gobetus bursts from the goblin host, feasting upon the maggots until it is engorged then crawls away.  The approximate size fluctuates, depending on the amount of time it has spent in the constrained environment of the goblin, as well as the physical size and girth of the goblin, though on average the size of a gobetus at this point is eleven and three quarters inches in length.

The gobetus then finds a den of a omnivorous animal, particularly in northern areas of foxes while in Africa the gobetus opts for hyena dens. Before entering the den, the gobetus will roll in the urine of the host family to cover itself with that families scent.  This act plus the release of a soothing pheromone wills the parental unit to adopt the gobetus until it outgrows the den.  The gobetus, now considered a goddler, then leaves to find his or her own den to live in.

The goddler period lasts for four years where it can grow up to three feet though its appearance will not alter, the way it looked the day it left the hosts body is the way it will look the for its natural life. In the fourth year the goblin or hobgoblin’s tongue sheds, altering its ability to stomach raw meats and for a brief time until the age of maturity will mentor with a goblin or hobgoblin that has not yet experienced heat or being hunted by a hobgoblin in heat.  Once this passage of puberty has taken place, then goblins and hobgoblins take on the traditional behaviours assigned to them in lore.


The hobgoblin, Shirtazia, is living a peaceful life among mortals until her instinct to reproduce surfaces with murderous results. Bounty hunter for the gods Jared Club is sent to investigate and stop the hobgoblin before folklore becomes fact. The only problem is that hobgoblins can change their appearance so the hunter has no idea who he is looking for. Can he stop the hobgoblin before she kills again or will he become one of her victims?

Available at Extasybooks!

The Takitawah

 The mortal bounty hunter for the gods, Jared Club, is not having a good spot of luck. First, he has to deal with a rogue leprechaun, which makes him question whether he should be doing the job at all. His personal assistant isn’t helping matters either with her questions about what he really does for a living and Club suspects that the man that he has as a tracker who thinks he is a werewolf diddled on the floor because Jared knows darn well that he never spilled anything there. If that wasn’t enough, a goddess has called upon him for assistance. He discovers that a mystical wolf with the power to cause avalanches has sired a pup that lives in the mortal world as a domestic pet. It is up to Club to stop the beast before it becomes aware of its power. Will he be able to, or will it become the instrument to his demise?

Available at Extasybooks!

Slivers of Belle

Ten years earlier, Belle Hayden attempted to take her life and failed. For a decade, her body has lain in a hospital bed while her soul has sat in a classroom she remembered from a happier time. She remembers nothing of her past and only sees the unchanging moment. But that is about to change. Unbeknownst to her, she had been chosen to be given a happy-ever-after by the Fairy Godmother Union and they mean to give her one. Jared Club, bounty hunter for the gods, along with his spiritual enhanced broadsword, Boudicca, have been given the task of getting Belle to move on. With the assistance of the head fairy godmother, Florence, Jared will have to find the slivers of Belle’s skull that contain the memories on the mortal plain while Boudicca, in her mortal spiritual form, will have to get the woman in limbo to accept who she was once. Will Belle Hayden become who she once was or will she choose to let her body be as her memories are to her, dead?

Available at Extasybooks!

Dempsey's Demise

Harriet Dempsey dreamed of the life of an aristocrat. Harriet became the instrument for the vain wants of an aristocrat. Turned into a vampire just as she was to give birth to a child and then held captive, Harriet finds humanity among the monstrosity. Can Harriet keep hold of her own humanity when faced with betrayal after betrayal, or will she give into the monster within?

Available at Extasybooks!

Dancing with the Mythess

Did you ever hear the one about the travelling salesman and the farmer’s daughter? Of course you have, but have you ever heard the one about the stranded bounty hunter for the gods and the farmer’s son and daughter? Didn’t think so. Stranded for the night at a remote farm, Jared Club relates his story of how he became a bounty hunter to the two adult children of the farmer who lends him his barn to sleep in for the night. The only problem is that sleep is the last thing his two listeners are interested in doing, with doing Jared being what they are really interested in. Will Jared be successful in his plan of distraction or will his end be met by a farmer with a shotgun and a very itchy trigger finger? 

Available at Extasybooks!

Jared Club is Mything his Mummy

Be mortal or god, the quest for power and the willingness to destroy all that stands in its way is a strong pull to resist. For humanity the threat of death can bear heavy upon decisions made, however when one is a god incapable of dying? Not so much. In an effort to keep the warring factions of gods from spreading their influence on humanity which would lead to the destruction of both the Heavens and Earth, The Department of Justice for Mythological Entities was created to ensure there would not be any supernatural interference in humanity. Kuan-Ti, head of the department, chose to recruit a mortal bounty hunter. The god found his hunter, a man called Jared Club. Club, who can accept the existence of an entity without the inclination to question its validity, though there are contradictory factors involved—a person who has given up on his own humanity to the same degree that society has. Jared is a man who believes that in finding solutions, two heads are better than one—with both heads belonging to the same person, and that does not think that opportunity only knocks once—he prefers to think that opportunity has two knockers. From the snow-laden woods of Northern Alberta to the sand laden desert of Egypt, Bounty hunter for the gods, Jared Club travels to stop the rise of an ancient power from taking his place as The Truth. Will Jared stop a chain reaction that will lead to the implosion of humanity? Or will he have mythed his mummy... by that much?

Available at Extasybooks!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Club Chronicles Book 1: The Hunt for Myth October

Jared Club is a man who can say he has been to Hell and back without being dramatic. Once a private investigator, he employs the skills he learned in his new job as a bounty hunter for the gods. Jared’s new assignment is to hunt down a rogue vampire who threatens to reveal to the world the whispered lore and legends exist through her actions. Will Jared be able to complete his assignment, or will this assignment be his last? 

Available at Extasybooks!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Monetta's Monument

When I write a story it is not so much as a single story but several at the same time, often characters grow on me even if they are minor to the plot. Monetta is such a character.  She had one chapter of interaction with my main character and a ‘cameo’ in another with one of the other major characters in The Hunt for Myth October (coming soon from During the shaving down of the novel and reedits one of the chapters I had in the outline undeveloped, the fate of Monetta Podul.

The display of naught but shades of white, grey and black sharpened quickly as the distance between the ground and Monetta’s face lessened. For less than what a blink of her eye would have taken she saw the gravel pieces as individuals. Quickly those sharp edged rocks impaled into the soft tissue of her eye along with the shards of cheekbone thick of muscle, tissue and flesh, slicing through and colliding with the rods and cones to destroy any sight. For the slightest of moments the cold of the air was dampened by the flood of warmth of blood and mucus exploding from the exploded cartridge of her nose, a blessing overlooked from the pain of shattered teeth and jawbone lacerating her tongue and throat. The last word she would hear before she was thrown from the edge of the gravel quarry to its bottom was whore. If the force of impact had not cracked the sides of her skull to open as a blooming lotus and dislodging her eardrums she would have heard “we loved you” as she lay broken and dying. However it had and she did not before the last strangled laborious breath left her lungs.

Teresa Gallows bolted upright from her sleep to being wide awake and dripping in sweat.  She had to peel the sheets from her legs before she could swing them over and then onto the floor. She braced her body with her hands on the mattress, her legs trembled. She began to breathe in through her nose and exhaling out her mouth to slow her heart from the rapid pace that it had been beating at. What the hell was that?

The passing of a curse a woman’s voice whispered in her ear. 

Teresa bolted from the bed, her hands balled into fists ready to throw and turned to face the intruder that had snuck up on her.  All she saw was the single bed with a twisted blanket, the tossed aside top sheet and the impression her buttocks had made in the bottom sheet as she sat the moment before. She looked around wildly to spot anything that cast a shadow that she would not ordinarily see from the streetlamp’s dull glare through her second storey bachelor apartment’s thin drapes. 


The hairs on the back of her neck twitched wildly telling her that her eyes were deceiving her, something was in the room with her. Goosebumps formed along the entirety of her nakedness as wisps of ice cold slithered and encircled her. She stepped back until her back was against the wall, although the roughness of the paint against her bare skin felt like sandpaper it allowed a small sliver of ease to impale her mind. A moment later the sliver had disappeared as her head was forced back hard into the wall cracking the plaster. A series of sharp pains assaulted her stomach as if someone had punched her. Vomit spewed out as the pressure holding her head vanished. She doubled over and then dropped to her knees.

“He has forsaken us because you lusted for it,” she heard a voice of a woman that sounded older than the first.  Teresa could sense the disdain in her tone. “You are nothing but a dirty whore.”

 “Please, no, please, I’m not,” Teresa moaned through pants of pain as she held one arm tight against her stomach and kept her body from falling forward with the other. Her head snapped sharply to the side as if she had been slapped hard on her cheek by an unseen hand.

“Their deaths are upon you, whore,” the old woman’s voice said scathingly. “Your friends...your brother, your sister, all die because you chose to satisfy your own selfish needs over them.”

Teresa felt pressure under her armpits and she was lifted up until only the tips of her toes touched the floor.  “No, please, I don’t understand,” she whimpered as the pain of the pinched muscles and skin under her arms increased with every second she was suspended.


Teresa felt a searing pain just below her midsection as if she was being carved into with a scalpel. Her eyes rolled back and the pressure under her arms ceased. Teresa slumped to the floor unconscious.

There was greyness in the Romanian afternoon sky as the nine stood side by side at the edge of the gravel quarry surrounded by their clan of eighteen souls. Monetta Podul stood on the end of the five and stole a glance before staring straight ahead again. Her older brother, Grigore stood beside her.  Next to him was her older sister, Katrina, then the man she had been promised to when God would give his blessing, Viktor.  The other three men and two women she had grown up with and cherished as much as her own family. Standing two steps ahead of the rest of her clan was her mother, the matriarch of their Gypsy caravan, Bogdana, with her back turned to the nine.

“My family, we are gathered here today as witness,” the old women spoke loud to the crowd. She raised her hands into the air. “Witness to the power of our lord and God. Yet around us there is nothing.” Her voice dropped, “But one failed our lord and God.” Murmurs resounded through the crowd.

The knot in Monetta’s stomach that had formed when her mother had instructed the nine to stand in front of the steep edge of the gravel quarry thirty five feet below tightened.  The morning had been glorious, a large feast and the excited chatting of what bounties would be bestowed upon the clan for the work of God the nine had provided the night before. When nothing appeared but a sharp wind to icily slap all exposed skin it could find, Bogdana and the ten other elders had formed a council. Less than a half hour later came the order for all to march two kilometers to the gravel quarry. Her mother’s voice rising over the crowd brought her back to the now.

“God charged us to test and then sheppard on a holy quest, and test we did,” Bogdana stated. “We have discovered too late that the purity of that test was tainted.” 

Tainted. The word drove Monetta’s mind back to the day before.  She remembered her mother coming to her and telling the clan of the vision she had sent by God that they had been given a holy task. A man would be coming to their caravan and they were to entertain him and provide him with direction for the quest he was on. Bogdana stated that God had revealed to her that the man was neither holy nor pure and lust ravaged his body. They were to rid the man of the lust so that he may be attentive to his quest.

Questions flew at the old woman from all quarters.  How was this to be accomplished? Who would do this? Bogdana had assured the clan that no one would be endanger of losing their entrance into the kingdom of Heaven by engaging in any act of lust.  They would only be a lurid pantomime to beguile the man. He would be given several doses of mandrake, she explained, and with his mind made suggestively pliable the chosen would guide his mind down the Devil’s road. She went on to say that she would not allow the man in his altered state be alone with anyone of the clan lest the visions of lust were to be attempted in physicality.  With her foot Bogdana drew out a large pentagram with the pit where their bonfire would be that night in the center. She placed a tree stump at each point and then asked for volunteers to carry out the ruse.

Monetta had not been surprised that her older siblings, Grigore and Katrina, stepped forward immediately. Viktor, the man she would be bound to when he had saved enough for the dowry, stepped forward.  Monetta stepped forward with hopes that her cheeks were not blushed.. Though it would only be a lewd play, she could feel warmth spread in her groin at the thought of being with Viktor. Three couples already bound to each other stepped forward, Dooriya, Beval, Syeira, Ker, Rawnie and Durriken, to complete the pentagram. Bogdana nodded and led each to their respective stumps. She tried not to show her disappointment when Katrina was paired with Viktor and tried to feel pride that her mother had chosen her to represent the clan with the man who would be coming. That night she did as she had been instructed, filling the man’s cup with mandrake-laced drink and sneaking a peek across the bon fire at Syeira to copy the acts of a proper lover. Bogdana clapped her hand bringing Monetta back to paying attention.

Maerta shyly stepped from the crowd carrying a folded sheet. Monetta was horrified.  Those were her sheet in her youngest sister’s arms. She watched as her mother picked up the sheet with her fingertips and lifted up so that the sheet billowed in the wind at the crowd.  There were sounds of disgust.  Bogdana turned and faced the nine so that they could see the sheet as well. There were spots where the sheet’s wrinkles were stiff and slightly stained.

“My daughter chose to betray the trust and honour of our clan by breaking her chastity,” Bogdana said loud enough that her voice echoed below in the quarry. “She chose to travel the devil’s road of fornication outside the bindings of love and greedily gave her body to lust.”

Monetta felt sick. She didn’t look at the others but she could feel their stares burning into the side of her face. She wanted to step forward and deny any wrong.  She had done exactly what she had been told to do, nothing more. How could she be accused of damning the clan? Only a soft “no” escaped her lips.

Bogdana let go of the sheet letting the wind catch it and take it past Monetta and flutter down to the pit below. “To those most betrayed by her actions, I give allow to face the one who has damned us.”

Grigore stepped out the line and stood in front of Monetta. “You were trusted, sister. I trusted you. How much hate to you have to do this to me – to us?”

“Please, brother, do not do this, I did not, could not,” Monetta tried to stop shaking from the sharpness of his words as she responded.  As the words came out of her mouth she tried to understand what had occurred. She had followed Syeira’s lead, had she not?  She had poured the man drink after drink as she was supposed to. A realization came to her. Once or twice she had felt thirsty, the heat from the night’s bonfire was intense and having to stand so close.  She lowered her head. “Please forgive me, I forgot my place and took a drink.” She then insisted that it was far too little to affect her.

Monetta whimpered as grabbed her by the top of her head and forced her to look him in the eye.  “How dare you question mother’s judgment of your actions,” he said, rage causing his words to shunt. “It was your decision, wasn’t it? You knew what was in the tuica and you drank it, didn’t you? There’s a darkness in you, ‘Etta, and you have damned us because of it.” He gave her no time to respond before he drove his fist into her stomach three times.  Grigore released the grip he had on her hair.  Monetta fell to her hands and knees gasping to bring air into her lungs.

“Grigore,” Monetta through a wheeze as she lifted her hand to touch his.  He flicked her hand away. “Grigore,” she repeated as she lifted her head to see the disgust written on his face. “How can you be this to me? Are we not of the same blood? Did you not do as I in the name of God? Grigore?”

“I brought you to the trailer last night,” Maerta’s voice burned in Monetta’s ears.  She looked to see that the younger sister had hung her head low and nervously fiddled with her fingers. “I was worried. Kat and Grigore had returned and you had not.” She raised her head. “I saw you and the were doing things to him...and he to you.”

“Maerta, no, please.”

“I brought your clothes back after everyone was asleep,” the sister continued, “I hoped that the sin could be forgotten.”

“We left you alone, Etta, because we trusted our love for you,” Grigore looked at the seven in line, “We believed that you loved us.”

Had she been affected just as deep by the mandrake as the man and only imagined that she saw the others there? The night was so vivid in her memory, she would remember breaking her vow of chastity let alone seeing the man without his clothing. “I do love all of you! Don’t you see?  There’s been a mistake,” Monetta pleaded. “How could you think that I would do such a thing?” There was no time for her brother to answer as he was shoved away and her older sister stood before her, her face red with rage.

“Liar! Whore!” Katrina’s hand came across Monetta’s face, almost knocking both women off balance because of the force. “We were told to act the part of the Devil’s consort,” she shouted at Monetta, “You were the Devil’s whore and you enjoyed every moment.”The venom of the words from her sister struck deeper than her hand did. She looked up and searched for her younger sister. Monetta’s sadness only deepened when Maerta, head hung once more, wouldn’t look at her but moved back further until the bodies of her clan hid her from sight.

Monetta fought back the pain that screamed throughout her body as two men each grabbed her roughly under her armpit and stood up. The chants of “whore” blared around her, drowning out her whimpers for mercy. She watched as her mother took Grigore by the hand and led him right in front of her. She kissed him on both cheeks, and smiled. She told him to kneel. Mother and son both knelt, their foreheads touched for a few seconds before Bogdana leaned back. She put out her hand and a man that Monetta had called uncle all her life placed a pistol in it. He knelt beside her.

“Their deaths are upon you, whore,” Bogdana said scathingly. “Your friends...your brother, your sister, all die because you chose to satisfy your own selfish needs over them.”

“Mother, please, no,” Monetta screamed, trying to free her arms of the grip of the two men but failed. Her eyes widened as her mother put the barrel under her brother’s chin.

Monetta choked back the bile as the back of her brother’s head exploded and sprayed out splattering her with hair, sinew, muscle and shards of bone. The saltiness of blood stung her nostrils and burned her lips.  She could feel small slices across her cheeks, neck, and breasts where pieces of bone had lacerated and embedded into her skin.

Her uncle caught Grigore’s caught and held the faceless body before the dirt could contaminate the gaping holes. He did not look at Monetta as he stood up with the corpse in his arms and stepped back.  Viktor stepped out of the line and stood in front of Bogdana. He began to kneel down but hesitated. He straightened his knees and turned.

Four years,” he announced looking at Monetta with hatred etched on his face.  “I have saved so that I could show your family how much I respected you, how much I could take care of you.” Monetta sobbed as he grabbed the collar of her dress.

“Viktor, please don’t,” Monetta whispered.

“Please don’t?” he answered with a snarl twisted on his mouth, “Why? You chose to be a whore?” Viktor pulled and ripped the dress until it tore in two and left her chest down to just below her calf exposed.

She tried to grasp the fabric together but the two holding her would not give her the slack to move her arms to even cover her breasts or pubic mound.

 “You try to be modest now? You showed how little respect you have for me, so why be so modest when you were so free and proud last night to show off?”

“Viktor, I love you, please, don’t, forgive me,” Monetta said through sobs. “My heart belongs to you.”

 “Your heart belongs to me?” Viktor laughed viciously. “But the rest can be used by any man freely? Am I just for a quick amuse until someone more interesting comes along?”

How could Monetta respond?  She didn’t remember. The shame within would never let her forgive, so how could she request that he forgive her? She searched his eyes to see any of the doting want that he once had of her still existed.  She saw none but a small ridge of wetness that she could tell he was trying to force back. She tried to back away when Viktor pulled the small pocket knife out of his pants and opened its blade.

Monetta bit her lip as she felt the tip of the blade puncture the skin under her patch of pubic hair. She tried not to let out a whimper as she felt the blade shallowly carve downward and then in an arc. Viktor stood back and glared at her.

“Just like hid your true self from me I mark you so that only those who truly seek shall know what you are, an evil daemon,” he said. Without a word Viktor knelt in front of Bogdana just as Grigore had.  Bogdana kissed him on both cheeks before another man Monetta had respected as her elder and mentor came up and placed another pistol in her mother’s hand and knelt.  Moments later Viktor was dead. Katrina was next, and then the others until only Monetta remained.

Bogdana stood up and turned to face those who stood as witness.  “My family, my friends, say a prayer for the children that gave of themselves,” she said.  She turned to face her daughter and took several steps until she was only a step away from her. Monetta could see nothing but blurred shapes through the thickness of blood only thinned by tears that flowed from her eyes. The smell of roses and lilacs wafted into her nostrils and she could feel the hot breath on her face. “All that remains is the betrayer.”
“Mother, please, don’t do this,” Monetta whispered. Through the thickness she saw nothing but harshness to the eyes that glared at her.

“She damned her soul to Hell,” Bogdana stated, “And with no regard for any other has done so to us as well.” She spat into her daughter’s face. “See how even after the innocent willingly paid with their lives she refuses.”

“Please, mother.”

The pressure of the men’s hands holding her up disappeared. Monetta locked her knees to keep from falling back to the ground. The response to her plea came as sharp as the push on both her shoulders.


Monetta’s hands flailed wildly as she tried to twist her body to keep her footing but the tiredness and pain that ravaged her body failed to help her find the strength. Her feet left the solidness of the top of the quarry’s edge.

Teresa awoke when the glaring unblinking eye of the sun blazed through the light draperies and sent all things that dwell in the shadows to remission.  She lay in her bed covered by the bed sheet and blanket atop her smoothly as if she had moved at all during the night. She flipped the covers off and frantically checked her arms and stomach for bruises but there was none that she could see. There was no dull thud or ache to say that it was but she felt the back of her head for swollenness.  There was nothing.  Teresa slipped out of the bed and walked over to the wall where her head had been pushed into. She could see no cracking or scuffing of the paint.

A dream? A nightmare?A nervous titter passed through her lips. Been working too much. She absent mindedly ran her fingernails through her thick mound of pubic hair. Or kinkily horny. Teresa shook dismissed it as a weariness playing tricks with her mind and set to showering. The itchiness she had felt retreated as the warm water ran over her body allowing her to forget about it without noticing the small slits of red welts that formed the letter “D” that the water had momentarily straightened and revealed from its curled camouflage.  She would not notice as well that as she walked to work the shadow on the sidewalk was not wholly hers but the shade of a woman cast away without understanding how it happened.