My latest work is out – the sci fi/fantasy story “The Autumn Lands” is now available in the new Mischief Corner Books fall-themed anthology “Travels Through the Scarlet Equinox”.
To celebrate, I thought I would share an exclusive excerpt with y’all:
Cas was momentarily at peace for the first time in as long as he could remember. He’d lost track of the time he’d spent with the caravan, days that had rolled into weeks, weeks into months and more. It was close-on two years since he’d been exiled by his father, the king, from the Autumn Lands.
His back itched, but he’d learned to ignore that by now.
Jerrith seemed to notice, though. He pulled away to stare at Cas’s back, his warm hand feeling the nubs there. “What are these?” he asked, and Cas felt a shiver of pleasure go through him at the man’s warm touch.
“That’s where my wings used to be,” he said softly and squeezed his eyes shut. The darkness swelled in his chest again and threatened to overwhelm him. He could still feel the pain from when they had been cut off at the order of his father. That he remembered. He pushed the darkness back down and glimpsed something, almost lost in the pain. A strange wisp of a memory of his wings being removed, not cut off, crossed his mind. He shook his head to clear it and turned to look at Jerrith, sitting up behind him.
Jerrith’s face was drawn tight in a mixture of confusion and concern. 142
MCB Anthologies ARC
“Wings?” he said, his brow furrowed. “You had wings?”
Cas nodded, sitting up. He was totally at ease with Jerrith, as if they
had known each other forever, even though they’d only met hours before. It was a strange but pleasant feeling. “All of the Nevris are born with wings. You didn’t know?” There was something wrong with that statement, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
“No. I’ve never seen anyone with wings.”
“That’s because they’re cut off when we’re exiled. All of the Nevris traders that come to Vandris were thrown out of the Autumn Lands at one time or another.”
Jerrith stared at his hands for a moment, absorbing that. When he looked up at last, he asked, “Did it hurt?”
“Oh Gods, yes,” Cas said, shivering. “The pain nearly split me in half. They took away my ability to fly, and that almost killed me. It was like ripping out a piece of my soul.” He shuddered at the memory, and this time the darkness enveloped him and he was lost to anger and grief.
But then Jerrith embraced him, a warm, human response. The youth’s arms gently encircled him, pulling skin to skin. Jerrith held him close, and he felt suffused with warmth. Jerrith’s arms stayed wrapped around Cas for a long time, and the darkness inside inched back, at least a little.
Hooked? You can pick up this great anthology, which also includes stories from Angel Martinez, Freddy MacKay, and Toni Griffin, here for just $6.99 for more than $150k of great MM speculative fiction work: