Dreamwalker: The Second Plain was published eight years ago today. To celebrate I’ve reduced the price to 99¢ for the entire week (sale ends 8/31), and I’m sharing excerpts so you can get a taste of this delightful LGBTQ+ tale of terror.

Virgin Superstar – Chapter 10

Saul hung his clothes in the metal wardrobe, then shoved his suitcase under the bed. He tore open the box that his Mother had packed bed linens in with school and bathroom supplies. Putting his belongings away, he tried to ignore the disgusting piles of clothes and junk behind him on Mitch’s bed. At least the fresh air pouring in from the windows lightened the foul aroma filth.

“Why did they put me with this ass?” he mumbled. “Why couldn’t they have put me with Eric or anyone else?”

After emptying the box, he broke it apart and slid it in the crevice between the back of the wardrobe and the wall. A previous resident had attached a full-length mirror to the side of the closet, which he balefully stared into, trying to put together what he had done to be sentenced to such a punishment. More than once he’d wondered what his brother had freaked out about when they would get into an argument and Mark would suddenly go running to tell Mom. He asked him a few times and would get, ‘Fuck you. You know what you did’.

He never knew what happened and remained confused by the reactions he received. Another tap at the door awakened him from his stupor. Assuming it was Eric or someone else tripping on the rug in the hallway, he continued to gaze at his reflection. Mitch bolted into the room.

“What the hell?” Mitch shouted. “Why aren’t my things put away? Why’re you staring at yourself in the mirror, when there’s stuff to be done?”

“I’m not putting your stinkin’ shit away,” Saul said, glaring back at Mitch. He felt the pressure in his veins surge and his skin prickle.

Mitch had his fist ready when he entered the room and launched it into Saul’s stomach. Wincing, Mitch felt prickles on his skin intensify, and the blood in his veins erupt in flames. Suddenly, the dorm room vanished, replaced by a clearing surrounded by a dark, dense jungle. In the center of the clearing, a bonfire burned while six malnourished men danced and sang in a foreign tongue around it. Their dark skin stretched over protruding bones.

The warm glow of the bonfire revealed their nakedness as they rotated around it. Each of the six dancing men wore crudely carved masks of animals decorated with ivory and jewels. The first he saw was a tiger with dark inlays portraying stripes. Its gaping mouth bore over exaggerated fangs of ivory, eyes sparkling with green emeralds.

The second mask was an elephant with a curled up trunk and bright-blue sapphire eyes. Ivory tusks framing the trunk nearly reached the feet of the man wearing the trophy. The next mask was an eagle with a polished and sharpened beak. Mitch found his reflection in the facets of the diamond eyes and began screaming as he realized he was in the center of the bonfire. A rhinoceros followed the eagle, with a grand ivory nose horn and Tanzanite eyes. Next, a bear danced in the circle around the fire with glittering ruby eyes. The last man in the procession wore a mask depicting a snake with ivory fangs and aquamarine eyes.

Mitch’s panic rose with the tempo of the tribal drum. At his feet, the flames licked at his stained tennis shoes. He whimpered and cast his head around, looking for someone to rescue him from his plight, but only the men dancing around him were to be found. Their song rose in tempo.

“Help!” he called out. “Someone, please help me!” The legs of his jeans smoked as the hems caught fire. Trails of flame climbed him. “I’m on fire,” he shrieked. “Get me off this. Help. Please!”

No response or rescue party crashed from the jungle. The flames seared his skin, climbing higher and higher up him. Mitch struggled with his restraints securing him to the pole. “Please help me,” he whimpered as the oil in his hair caught fire.

Tendrils of fire shot into his nostrils pouring through to his lungs, singeing each air sac to extinction. He lost consciousness, collapsing to the floor of the dorm room, twitching at Saul’s feet. Faint shrieks of terror emitted from his separated lips, and his eyes rolled behind his securely shut eyelids.

BANG-BANG! Saul turned his head to the door. Keys jangled on the other side of the door. Dean Kelley burst into the room. “What’s going on in here? I knew I shouldn’t have put him in here with y…” He stopped before completing his sentence, staring widely at Mitch twitching at their feet. Returning his gaze to Saul, he asked, “What happened?”

“I’m not sure,” Saul answered nonchalantly. “He came back into the room, yelled some weird stuff and fell, twitching like he is now.”

By this time, the hallway filled with the other boys from the dormitory. “Billy, Darrin, help me get him to the nurse’s office,” Dean Kelley turned and demanded. “Everybody else back to your rooms. Come on. Hurry up!”

The boys did as they were told, hoisting Mitch’s weight, while the others disbursed to their rooms. Saul stood in the doorway, Eric at his open door, watching as they rushed Mitch down the hall.

What are you waiting for? Get your copy of Dreamwalker: The Second Plain on Kindle for 99¢ today!

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