Apr 23 2012

Storm Clouds 166 – An ongoing Succubi Story

This is the continuing story of the Succubi called Storm Clouds…

If you want to read previous chapters, please click the link in the Tale header at the top of the page marked Storm Clouds or click here...

A bit more story to the latest chapter… I think it needed it…

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Storm Clouds 166

Chapter 21

By TeraS

 

The thing about the Dark was that it was too confident. It thought that it had all of the answers and that no one could oppose it.

That was almost true.

She could, and did . . . regularly.

It had become almost an obsession for her now. There were so few who would challenge the Dark when it appeared, and so it fell to her to do so. It wasn’t a chore or an imposition; it had to be done, and she had seen enough of the Dark and what it was capable of to know that the best thing to do was what she did: drive it mad with anger and make it stop thinking.

Losing the one portal did that. Then letting it stew in its anger had made it get involved intimately with mortals and their world. She wondered if, this time, it would actually learn something from the experience or not.

Making the portal vanish was child’s play for a being like her. If the Dark ever figured out just how powerful she was, it might actually pause to think twice about the plans it had against Tera and her kind.

Possibly.

The thought did make her smile as the portal showing the severed tail reappeared among all of the Dark’s other ones. She stood there for a time, tapping a single pink fingernail against the surface and trying to decide what would be the most unpleasant thing she might do.

She could destroy this portal—the thought had been there before—but she had her own plans, and, for those, this one portal needed to remain, at least for the moment, in spite of what it showed.

The tapping stopped as she placed that hand against the surface and whispered to the awful image that it showed, “It will not be long. Promise.”

And, unlike some beings, she kept her promises.

She turned away, coming to the decision that, for once, just this once, she was going to make the Dark know what it was to lose something valuable.

What followed was the sound of fingernails raking across portal after portal, each of which turned white against the darkness, throwing light into a place which despised it. She didn’t ruin every single one of them, but, when she was done, she had left the Dark but three portals.

She thought that she just might be able to hear the scream of anger from it from three universes away when it returned to see what she had done here, and that thought made her smile slightly.

She glanced once more at the portals that remained, satisfied that this would be a problem for it, that it would have to spend effort and time repairing the damage if it could, and that, thankfully, might give the others needed time to figure out what was happening and where.

As much as she wanted to, she couldn’t actually get involved in the battle or make choices for those involved. It was, after all, necessary that all beings make their own choices, no matter how wrong or ill-advised they might well be.

Still, she had one thing that the Dark didn’t have: trust. Trust in others, trust that they would make good choices, but, most of all, trust in that one person that saved her life so long ago and, in doing so, changed her own universe for the better.

She would always owe that person for that gift.

She passed into the ether, on her way to where she needed to be. If the Dark could get involved with mortals, she could as well … to a point. But first she needed to talk to someone who needed to understand that some paths were not worth following.

Following the path of one who owed the succubi—and Tera, in particular—her life … that was the most foolish thing that it had ever done.

And it would soon learn.

As for the Dark, possessing one of its pawns was distasteful. But there was little choice. That damnable creature had cost it its watch over the tail. The one thing that would, if its plans went to completion, cause the barriers to fall before it and thus have what it wanted most.

But having to deal with a corporal form? That was something that it did not enjoy in the slightest. Emotions, thoughts, images from this pawn were getting caught between its own thoughts and, as well, it knew that its own thoughts would be mixing the other way.

But the important thoughts, the ones that it needed for itself, those it kept under lock and key, or so the Dark would believe. The problem was, as it always was, that nothing is ever completely closed off when beings merge, even if only for a short time.

Fingerprints leave smudges, after all …

It took the Dark some time to return to where the tail was kept. The wards around the place made it impossible for someone to appear there without seeing the place first and entering at one specific spot. From the outside there were traps and obstacles that it knew would stop any magic user from getting close.

But this pawn was tuned to the place, and the wards would fall before it. Even so, the time … the time was taking far too long for the Dark’s liking.

And so time passed, the Dark fumed, and the universe turned …

 

 

Storm Clouds

Chapter 22

By TeraS

“I think I am.”

Tom looked behind him expecting to see Camilla there, and she was … sort of.

It was Camilla, but her tail and horns were grey instead of black and her hair had changed color from blonde to purple. Tom couldn’t stop the words that came out: “I liked the blonde and black better, Camilla.”

She smirked.

And Tom paused. He was pretty sure that Camilla didn’t smirk.

“It’s a long story, Tom, and right now we haven’t got the time.”

And that was wrong, as well. Camilla never called him “Tom.” Mary Ann tried to get away again, and Tom was forced into flipping her over, straddling her, and then locking her wrists together with handcuffs before sitting on her legs. Having some control of the situation, he looked at Camilla and said, “We’ve got the time. You want to let me in on why the style change? Got tired of your hair color or something?”

She ran her left hand through her hair, pulling on it slightly, “Okay, short version: I’m Camilla’s bad side; I’m a bitch; I’m nothing like her, and you don’t want to screw with me. That good enough for you?”

“I’m never going to understand this, am I?”

She smirked again, “Oh, I dunno … You’d make an interesting Incubi … I can put in a good word for you if you’re up for it.”

Tom shook his head: “Thanks, but I have enough issues with my life as it is. The universe isn’t what I knew it was, there are people—like you—who are legends, and I am supposed to deal with that. Oh yes, and I am acting under the command of the Queen of a race of beings that exist on sex and pleasure and I have no idea why I should be, but I’m doing it anyway.”

She nodded, “Tera does have her ways, doesn’t she? At least she isn’t using that pitchfork of hers on you. Mind you, some like that sort of thing…”

“So what do I call you? ‘Not Camilla’ or ‘Punkie Brewster’ or what?”

She leaned down so that they looked into each other’s eyes: “You really want to know who I am?”

Tom didn’t finch: “I trust Camilla. She’s proven herself. I don’t trust you.”

She nodded: “Good; backbone and will. I can see why Tera wants your help. You may call me ‘Nina.’”

“All right; ‘Nina’ it is. Tell me something, seriously: does every one of you have an ‘a’ at the end of your name?”

She laughed, “No … Just some of us do. Congratulations, Tom; you just endeared yourself to me. Camilla will be pleased to know that. Make sure you tell her when you see her again.”

The smirk vanished and she looked past Tom to Mary Ann on the floor beneath him, “You mind getting off her? She and I have … a past.”

“Good or bad?”

“I won’t kill her, at least, not just yet.”

“If I don’t?”

“Then I’ll have to move you, Tom. You don’t want me to, I promise you.”

Tom got up and moved to the side. Nina reached down and pulled Mary Ann to her knees by the handcuffs before grasping her chin. “Hello, bitch. It’s been a while since I’ve seen you. How long has it been?

The fear in Mary Ann only allowed a quiet whisper of an answer, “Babylon.”

“That’s right. As I remember it, you came into my temple and tried to turn my followers, didn’t you? You corrupted them from the top down and, in the end, you were responsible for how many deaths?”

“I don’t know.”

“I do. I remember them very well. You watched as they fought, four hundred eighty-six of them falling to your promises of riches that were hidden from them. And when it was over, what did they find inside the walls?”

“Nothing.”

“Why?”

Mary Ann closed her eyes, “Because everything they gave you, you returned to them … and more. You … you cared about the cattle and …”

Tom didn’t see Nina’s hand as it struck Mary Ann, sending her sprawling across the floor.

“They are not cattle, you worthless bitch! They are more than you will ever be or ever could be. You can’t understand that, can you?”

There was no answer, and Nina pulled her once again to her knees by the handcuffs: “Here’s the deal. You tell us what’s going on and who’s in charge, and I won’t kill you today. You lie to me, and I’ll start taking you apart one piece at a time …”

She extended her left hand and, to Tom’s shock, a silver sword appeared there, flames dancing along its blade. Tom thought he could hear the sword … growling?

She placed the edge against Mary Ann’s neck: “You know what this is. You know exactly what will happen if I strike you with it. Camilla wouldn’t; she follows the new ways. But I don’t. So make up your mind, right now, and tell me why you are here and what you have done to Ginger.”

Tom coughed, “Nina … You said you wouldn’t kill her.”

She didn’t look at Tom: “Oh, this won’t kill her. It will, however, take away what makes her special. What she is, she won’t be anymore.” A cruel smile appeared, “And since she is so enamored with being immortal …”

Mary Ann closed her eyes, “You are a fool. I serve powers greater than you. You’ll never leave this room alive if you harm me.”

“Oh I’ve already harmed you. Now I’ll cripple you …”

And she pulled the blade back and then swung it towards Mary Ann’s neck …

What happened next was something that Tom would never quite be able to explain.

The blade came down and struck on her right shoulder, then passed through her body and came out at her waist … leaving not a mark on her. Mary Ann still breathed, still was alive, but the look of disbelief in her eyes that she had been struck was matched by the satisfaction in the look that Nina had …

… and what the sword now held upon its blade.

Tom could clearly make out what looked like a twisted, ghostly image of Mary Ann’s form wrapped around the blade, with the flames licking against it and a silent scream of pain on the ghost’s face.

Nina didn’t look at Tom, she just held the sword in front of Mary Ann, “You have very little time, bitch. I’d say about three minutes before you aren’t immortal anymore. Maybe ten and you’ll start aging, and we both know what happens when you do.”

She looked at a clock on the wall, “Three minutes. Talk.”

Tom wanted to intervene. This was torture and he knew it. But he didn’t know what would either help or harm in the situation he found himself in. He didn’t expect that he would be able to disarm Nina, nor did he have any way to fix whatever Nina had done.

Tom hated being helpless … it reminded him of Beth and …

… he just turned away and kept his thoughts to himself.

To Mary Ann’s credit she held out for an entire minute. She just looked back at Nina, but when Nina drew a finger along the shaft of her sword and then licked a wisp of Nina’s ghostly form from her fingers, she caved in…

“Ginger is nothing. She was a convenient way to gain power. She didn’t care about anything save her own beauty and screwing her husband. It was child’s play to alter their minds and take him out of the picture.”

Tom heard this and asked, “What did you do?”

“I made him get involved with the mob, you asshole. I made sure that he was stupid about it. I saw to it that they would find out what he was doing, make him transfer everything to Ginger and then you so helpfully took him away, leaving Ginger to my tender mercies. Didn’t take a week and she was a hot little slut that would do anything for me to degrade her and …”

Nina interrupted, “Nice story. Now, how about why you did it in the first place?”

Mary Ann gritted her teeth, “I needed power.”

“Why?”

She didn’t answer that question. Tom had a thought, “You needed power for a purpose. You seem to have a past with Nina and her kind … is that why you needed this … power?”

The look she gave him spoke volumes.

Tom sighed, “Peachy: a war between omnipotent beings. I should have stayed in bed.”

Nina placed the point of the sword just in front of Mary Ann’s lips, “Who are you working for.”

“Give it back to me first!”

“No. You give me the information and I’ll give it back to you. Better hurry. You’re running out of time … rapidly.”

Mary Ann finally broke down and said in a whisper, “The Dark. It’s the Dark …” Then she screamed, “Now give it back!”

Nina stood up and then wiped the length of the sword with her fingers, balling the ghost into her hand before tossing it casually at Mary Ann. It fell into her body producing a sigh of pleasure from her lips and then a look of defiance on her face.

Which Nina promptly removed with another strike of her hand against Mary Ann’s cheek which resulted in her falling to the floor unconscious.

The blade vanished in a flash of light and then Nina then stood up and looked critically at Tom, “Tell me something. Other than you being human, is there anything special about you?”

Tom shrugged, “Cats like me.”

She looked at him for a long, long moment.

“That’s good.”

“Why?”

“That would be telling. Come on, if she is working for the Dark, then we need to get out of here right now.”

And then she pushed past him making for the elevators without another word, Mary Ann on the floor out cold and Ginger in the other room pleading for her Mistress to come back to punish her again …

 

 

Storm Clouds

Chapter 23

By TeraS

Smoke. The first thing he smelled was the smoke. Then he noticed the flames licking up the walls of the warehouse, the beams falling from the ceiling, and the yelling from behind him.

And then, as he watched three men rush past, John had a horrible realization. He was back at the fire. Not a fire; no, the fire … the fire where he was injured, the one that haunted him every day. He felt and then saw the fire axe in his hands and knew exactly what was going to happen next. He would rush after the rest of his company, follow them into the hell around them and search.

There would be … What would there be?

That part he never could remember exactly, when no one could tell him what happened, between this moment when they last saw him and the next, when they found him underneath the remains of the structure.

He hesitated there a moment longer, the others vanishing into the smoke, and then, twisting the axe in his hands, made his way forward, the smoke becoming thicker, the sound of his breathing loud in his ears as the respirator cycled back and forth, keeping him alive. Coming to a locked door, he kicked it open and then drew back as more smoke poured out and around him, making it almost impossible to see.

But did he see … something? Did he hear something?

There was no choice: he was going in there and searching. He had to be sure.

John pushed his way in while calling out, “Is anyone there? Answer me!” He didn’t hear anything, and so he moved deeper into the space. The light from the hallway, which showed him the way out and to safety, slowly dimmed as the smoke thickened more and more. But that didn’t matter. He had to search, had to help. That was his job and, no matter what else, he was going to do it.

He spent almost five minutes searching, the odd layout of the room confusing him. It seemed like an office, there were desks around him, but the space was too large for a simple office. Still, he pressed on, moving back and forth, calling out and listening even as he searched, his axe in his hand and the flashlight attached to his helmet probing into the smoke around him.

And then John saw her.

A woman crumpled to the floor, covered in black soot and grime. Her figure was indistinct. He knew it was a woman, but her features–hair, eyes, skin tones, what she was wearing–were all a blur.

But that meant nothing to him.

He knelt down beside her and checked: she was still breathing, but unconscious. The problem was that he had no idea if she was seriously injured or not. He found his spare mask and, after hooking it up to his air supply, placed it over her face. Her breathing improved, but now he was stuck there. He couldn’t leave her, which left him one choice: reporting on his radio that he found a survivor and then triggering the beacon built into it to call others to assist him.

He was about to do that when he heard the first shriek of the ceiling starting to come down. John’s only thought was to protect the woman however he could. He dragged her under a desk and then pushed himself under it as well, his body over hers.

The noises stopped for a moment, everything was silent around him, and then, just as he was about to look out from underneath the desk, there was the sound of a train wreck as the world came down around them both.

Then all was quiet again.

Except this time, standing amid the rubble, there was Tera, her dress pushed around by the smoke and fire, her arms crossed over her chest, and a look of concern on her face. She considered the pile of rubble that now held John and the woman, her long red tail moving slowly, catlike, behind her.

“Well … that explains a lot.”

From the smoke and fire, Jane came into view to the other side of the rubble. “Damn it, Tera! We don’t have the right to do this!”

Tera considered her for a long moment and then explained, “We need a clue, Daughter, an idea of what has happened. He has that clue in him; we just have to pry it out.”

Jane stormed up to Tera and then poked her into the chest with a finger, “You tell us to respect others, to help them. This does neither!”

Tera looked down at the finger pressing against her, then took hold of Jane’s hand before gently moving it away.

“His mind is blocked from what happened here, Daughter. He knows he came in, he knows he found someone in here, but he remembers nothing of who that woman is. She’s the key to this in someway and we need to know.”

“It’s not a good enough reason!”

Tera looked bemused, “Oh it is … It most certainly is.” She then reached around behind Jane and took a hold of something there, making Jane gasp in surprise. Tera then showed the tip of a grey tail to Jane, a tail that was connected to her body. “Daughter, you look like yourself.” Then Tera, that enigmatic smile still on her lips, released Jane’s tail.

Jane felt behind her, touching her tail in surprise and then running her hands over her horns. “How?”

“That is, of course, the question, isn’t it? Why should things be fixed here? It doesn’t make any sense … or … perhaps it does.”

Tera walked over to the pile of rubble and then pointed a finger at it, “The answer is in there, isn’t it? Who is the woman he rescued? Why can’t he remember her? How was that done? Most of all: why would all this make it necessary for your physical appearance to be changed?”

Jane didn’t answer the questions. She didn’t have the answers.

Tera then began to twirl her finger in a slow circle, “While these are his memories, they are not immutable. We can alter them, to a point, or, get a better look at them, can’t we?”

Jane rubbed her temples: “Yes, Tera … That’s Succubi 101 in the Realm, isn’t it?”

Tera continued to work at the rubble, bits and pieces of it vanishing at her touch, “What was your grade, Jane?”

Jane mumbled, “B Plus.”

Tera smiled in spite of herself, “Well, at least you passed.”

“I passed because a certain Queen made me work at it harder than anything I have done before.”

“Are you complaining?”

“Tera … I’m not. Honestly.”

“Oh, I’m not mad at you Jane, perish the thought. No, what I am, however, is very confused at this moment.”

Jane looked to where Tera was focusing and saw something that she didn’t, couldn’t expect to see. There, in the rubble, was John, but the woman that he had saved … wasn’t.

“Tera, what’s going on?”

“We missed something while talking, Daughter. Something happened here, and we didn’t pay attention to it when we should have.”

Jane’s look was one of confusion, so Tera continued: “Something, or someone, took that woman away after the ceiling collapsed, and we missed it.”

“Why?”

“That’s the question, isn’t it? Why take her away? Why make him forget about all of this? What was the point of it?”

Tera rubbed her fingertips over her temples and sighed: “We’ll just have to start all over again and, this time, not look away.”

In the next moment, the collapse of the ceiling happened again, John saved the woman and all was quiet once more. But seconds later, the two succubi saw what came next.

A black shadow fell over John and the woman, covering them both and then vanishing, taking the woman with it and leaving John behind … alone.

“Tera, what was that?”

“Something I hope you never have to face: the Dark.”

“Tera … Why would it care about either of them?”

“Oh that’s easy. It wanted the woman; it didn’t care about John. But taking her and leaving him with these memories would have been worse. So it damaged him, made him forget about what he actually did, and then continued on with its plan.”

“Tera … you are being evasive.”

“I have an idea of who the woman is, Daughter. A pretty good one, but I don’t like where that idea is leading me.”

“Who is she?”

Tera ran one hand through her hair and sighed, “It has to be Patricia.”

Jane just stared at Tera in disbelief …

 

Storm Clouds

Chapter 24

By TeraS

Tom followed Nina out of the office and watched her hand slam against the call button for the elevator. “You know,” he deadpanned, “putting your hand through that wall won’t make it get here any faster.”

Nina shot him a look and began to pace, “Tell me something, Tom: what was the story that scared you the most when you were a child?”

Tom had to think about that for a moment, “The Boogieman, I think.”

She stopped in mid-pace: “Okay, then you can think of the Dark as him on steroids, if you want.”

“He scares you?”

“Me and just about anyone that knows about it.”

“Hang on; he’s an ‘it’?”

Nina waved her hand at Tom, “No one is really sure. ‘It’ seems to be the best way to describe it; likes mayhem, destruction and violence above everything else.”

“So, why you?”

Nina laughed, “Oh it’s not me that it’s interested in. It’s all of us. Tera’s told us about it, told us not to get involved with it, and, no matter what, we don’t allow it back to our home.”

“How’s that working for you?”

Nina smirked, “So far so good. But it’s a persistent bastard.”

Tom pinched the bridge of his nose, “So what you are telling me is that an omnipotent being is responsible for killing Patricia?”

Nina punched the button again and started to pace once more, “No, someone killed Patricia either under the influence of the Dark, or for it, thinking they would be rewarded with power or something else.”

“And?”

Nina sighed, “And they likely are under the Dark’s control somehow, still acting for it, and are possibly looking to be the cause of something else happening.”

“Wonderful. This just gets better and better.”

She turned back to Tom and with a hard look in her eyes said, “If you want out. Go see Tera and tell her that.”

“I’m not a quitter. I complain, moan and curse, but I don’t walk away from a fight.”

Nina’s answer was, “And you have no idea why Tera asked you to look into this?”

Tom smirked, “I figured she liked my looks.”

The doors to the elevator opened and Nina grabbed Tom by the shoulder dragging him inside before punching the button for the ground floor. After the doors closed, she continued, “The thing is Tom, I think you are involved because the Dark uses humans for its own gains.”

“And you don’t?”

Nina waved her hand at the ceiling, “You want me to claim that we’re pure and lilly white? Sorry Tom, I can’t do that. Yes, in the past, a long time ago, we weren’t nice, we didn’t care either. Once upon a time we had humans as pets, toys, and worse we would twist them into whatever we wanted them to be.”

Tom flinched at the tone of her voice, but still asked, “So what changed?”

Nina’s hand dropped to her side, “One human, just one, showed us that there was a better way and we took it.”

“Have I met them?”

Nina laughed, “Oh no, no you haven’t… Trust me, you would well be aware of them if you had.”

“Why?”

Nina looked wistful, “You’ll have to ask Tera about that sometime…”

Tom filed that away for later before podding her, “Okay, so back to me being involved?”

She nodded, “You’ve been told that some beings need humans to do their work for them. The Dark needs willing, or at least humans that it has touched, to do its bidding.”

“Still doesn’t explain me.”

“You know human nature better than we do Tom. You see more than we do. It used to be that we would just take control of someone and force them to talk. You saw what Camilla did right?”

He nodded.

“She hadn’t done something like that in about a thousand years Tom. Oh she was brave about it, but it tore her up inside to have to do it.”

“So, what we have to face are people that might be… mind controlled or something, acting for the Dark without knowing it, and best of all, you really can’t be sure until you come in contact with them?”

Nina sighed, “The Dark isn’t stupid, so it’s placed some red herrings to draw any investigation away from it. Lots of humans to comb through for an answer and …”

Tom waited, but Nina just started tapping a finger against her lips as the elevator descended. After ten floors, Tom slapped her tail with his hand, which jolted Nina, so that, in the next moment, Tom found himself pressed up against the wall, a very angry Nina looking at him.

“Why … did … you … do … that?”

Tom pushed Nina’s hand away, “I lost you for a minute. You drifted off into thought, and I wasn’t sure that something wasn’t wrong with you. My cat doesn’t like it when I swat her tail; figured you would act the same.”

Nina ran a hand through her hair and tugged on it, “Nice. I was thinking about what Patricia was missing when she was buried. Something important wasn’t there.”

Tom pushed, “Like?”

“Her tail; it had been severed from her body and we couldn’t find it when we buried her.”

Tom was confused, and the look on his face spoke volumes.

“Okay, Tom, quick lesson about Succubi and Incubi for you. Beings like us are, in fact, two beings in one body. In our case, Camilla is the dominant personality most of the time. I am what we call a Tail. I reside in her tail, oddly enough, and I can see and feel everything that she does. But normally I don’t appear.”

“So, why now?”

“Because I saw who you were pinning down on the floor, and I wasn’t going to miss the chance to get a measure of justice. And, if you had left me alone with her, I would have killed her.”

Tom shrugged, “I figured as much. You aren’t anything like Camilla, really.”

Nina’s tail swished behind her, “And?”

Tom smiled, “And, as you said, you are a bitch to those who have done you wrong. But, so far, you haven’t been to me. So, like I told you before, you still have to prove yourself to me.”

Nina reached out a hand and stroked it against Tom’s cheek, “It’s because Camilla likes you, and I have to admit that I find you … interesting …”

Tom closed a hand around Nina’s and drew it away, “Sorry, Nina. My heart belongs to someone else.”

Nina sighed, “So does your soul, Tom. So does your soul.”

Tom’s face soured, “Why is it that you all have to be so damn cryptic?”

Nina looked away from Tom, “I apologize, but that’s how our kind is. I’ll give you a hint though that you should keep in mind… You want a direct answer? Give a direct question.”

Tom gripped the railing behind him and looked away from her. Neither of them said anything for a dozen floors, but then Tom asked, “Tell me about Tails Nina.”

She didn’t turn around, but Tom could see her body tense, “Tails are the Succubi or Incubi of the past. If you can recall your myths, we can be very evil, very dominant, and most of all, we have, on occasion, claimed souls.”

Tom frowned, “That’s not exactly comforting Nina.”

She shrugged, “It’s not important. What matters is that we exist in order to keep the young aware of what they might be if they do not learn, and if they go off the path or worse, we are there to help them.”

Tom considered what she said, but before he could ask more, Nina added, “Your next obvious question is, I think, do you have a soul?”

Tom nodded slightly, “Seems to be a reasonable question to ask at this point.”

Nina smiled, “We both do. Very much like yours really…” Nina looked over her shoulder, “Would you like to know what I can see in yours Tom?”

He didn’t have to think about his answer, “Not really. I suppose that it’s not that important.”

As the bell sounded to announce their arrival on the ground floor Nina sighed, “See, that’s the biggest problem in the universe isn’t it?”

The doors opened before Tom could ask what that meant, and they found themselves staring at a group of security guards waiting in the lobby, their backs to the elevator doors.

Tom reached for his weapon, “Got any ideas? I left my holy hand grenade in my other pants.”


Apr 22 2012

A Review of Devil’s Canyon by Steven Durette

I have to admit that there are a lot of stories that involve succubi and incubi in them that use, almost exclusively, the more demonic, evil, and to be honest, horrific aspects of their legend. That’s usually something that makes me not enjoy those works as much as I would normally do. However, when the story, especially a story that is well done, overcomes the horror aspects of the tale… That’s a book that I can enjoy and in this case I really did…

Devil's Canyon by Steven Durette

Devil's Canyon by Steven Durette

The story is about:

Arizona Highway Patroll Officer Anna Purcell makes a traffic stop, and is thrust into a supernatural battle against the royalty of Hell itself.

Her only assistance comes from a U.S. Marshall that has been dead since 1881, and a mysterious monk.

Can Anna triumph, or is mankind doomed?

This is the first book in what the author describes as a series called The Lawman. It’s an interesting concept and I found that the background that the author created for their characters, their motivations, and actions, seemed very true to form save for perhaps one minor character who I didn’t care for and when they came to their ultimate resolution in the story, I didn’t shed a tear over them.

The author writes very well, there wasn’t any moments in the story where I was taken from the story because of grammar or spelling or an obvious plot error that I couldn’t get past. That’s not to say it was perfect however. I have issues with blood and gore in stories and I thought that it was made clear from the beginning of the work that the demons in it were evil and bloody. I am not sure that revisiting that part of them over and over again was needed.

Setting that aside, the main characters of the story, both those for good and those for bad were well developed and spoke with their own “voices” throughout the story. I thought that Lew, the Lawman of the series, was well done and I could picture him in my thoughts easily. Anna was written as a hard case that doesn’t take flack from anyone and she held true to form throughout the story. I did have moments however when her internal monologue seemed like an info dump and there might have been a better way to give the reader the background on her.

The use of many demonic characters of legend was well done I thought. They were not simply cardboard cutouts of evil characters that were repeated over and over again either. They had goals and histories that meant something to the overall plot of the story and that makes the work more interesting to me.

Evil for evil’s sake doesn’t make a good story really…

There are several succubi characters in the work, but they are not quite true to the normal myths of succubi. In this universe in order for any demon of any kind to exist on Earth they must possess the body of a willing human. This involves the soul of the human being taken from their body and then the demon, whatever it is, taking possession of the now vacant body.

They also, at least in the case of the succubi in this story, transform the bodies they claim. Some, as in the case of the succubi, make them more sexual. They also can add wings to their bodies and fly as well. In the story their powers aren’t really explored very much, though some oblique comments are made about them.

There is a Queen of the succubi in this book called Mastema who plays what seems to be a minor role in the story along with another succubus named Baalphegor. The politics between them that run through the story is interesting and the plots that they play against each other also are interesting to read as well. But they aren’t, really, succubi so much as demons that happen to like sex and killing a lot.

Kind of disappointing for the most part until the reveal about Mastema, and then I have to say that my opinion of her changed dramatically from what I had been thinking about her. I give credit to the author for the hints in the story and not revealing the truth about her until the time was right, and how her story ends is one of the most shattering things that I have read about any succubus character.

The story does not close all of the stories by the time it ends, and the ending while satisfying, leaves the way open to many other stories in this universe. But I would have one request of the author if he ever reads this. Could you please tone down the blood and gore just a little bit? There was a limited telling of what the succubi do in this world, it’s mostly taken for granted, and I think that one or two scenes of blood in a story is enough really.

So in short, less blood, more story please?

I’ll give this work four out of five pitchforks.

Drop the blood, keep the characters, add to the story and it would be a five…

 

Tera

Apr 21 2012

A Review of Some Bad Decisions by C.D. Reimer

I don’t care for horror stories really. My problem is that I tend to have problems with Succubi being all about the horror, the blood and, of course, the deaths that they are involved with. To me if a Succubus is part of a story, they should be sexy, intelligent and most of all, I have to find myself caring about them… Otherwise I just have a hard time managing to make it through to the end. They have to have something resembling a personality… otherwise they are cardboard and I don’t like cardboard.

I prefer cherry pie, but that’s another story…

Some Bad Decisions by C.D. Reimer

Some Bad Decisions by C.D. Reimer

The story is about:

Claude brings Plain Jane, a petite albino prostitute, back to his motel room for some late night entertainment. Unnerved by her craving for alcohol, unexplainable incidents and her knowledge of the Las Vegas ripper, he has a deadly surprise waiting for her. Once they start rolling in bed, he discovers that she is no ordinary prostitute and finds himself in a world of hurt.

It should be noted that this story was originally published as part of an anthology of stories but the author added to the work and then republished it as a stand alone piece.

The first thing to say is that this isn’t erotica. It is a horror story, the characters are written in that vein and, honestly, for me it was difficult to like either of them. Claude is a self absorbed man with a secret and it’s one that is obvious from almost the first page of the story. I found myself not caring about him, not needing to read his thoughts, and just waiting for his end to appear. In other words, he is totally forgettable as a character and that really is the point considering what happens in the end to him. Now that’s not saying that what happens isn’t poetic justice, because it is, it’s just that for all of his posturing he seemed like the stereotypical “bad man in need of a lesson.”

His language is gruff, sharp, and tends to be of a violent nature. Now characters must have a personalty, and he does, and a voice, which he does as well, there is no way  you can mistake it when he speaks, but it seems to be lacking something. I think that the simplest explanation is that he has no “soul”, nothing that makes it possible for me to either like him, or want to pay attention to him. But that is the point I think as when the climax and reveal in the story happens you can’t help but think he’s getting exactly what he deserves… No matter how violent that may be.

Plain Jane is arrogant, foul mouthed, bad mannered and all of the things that grate me when I look at a character. The thing of it is, I don’t believe that is her actual personality. I think it was a front to draw Claude in and trap him, which of course it does. Still in spite of that thought, in this story, Jane, as a Succubus, is simply a being of horror and nothing more. We get all sorts of descriptions of what she does to Claude, of which I really can’t fault Jane for doing what she did, but otherwise the actual “Succubiness” just wasn’t there for all of the attitude that Jane displayed.

The seduction isn’t there. It just really isn’t. I will admit that the idea of a Succubus not being able to hold her liquor I found hilarious and the effects of that were a bit over the top and made me smile. When I think about a Succubus, I see something more than a being with horns and a tail. Jane doesn’t quite get past that part of her and into who she is except tangentially.

More telling to me personally is that I just found it hard to care to know or see anything more about Jane when the story was finished with. She just wasn’t a Succubus that I could like in any shape, way or form. It’s rare for me to say that, but in this case it’s true. She was a means to an end, a direction in the story, a way to tie up loose ends in more than one way.

I find myself wondering what Jane was really like… this image of her was formed, as I said, to ensnare Claude and I have to wonder if she isn’t more than just a being of terror as she was here. There is a hint of connections with the Vegas underworld in the story and I find myself wondering about that aspect of her, and where it would take her story in the future should the author continue the story from here.

The writing was good, no spelling errors or writing errors that I could see, I would expect that from this author, I have read previous works of theirs and I expected that. What I didn’t expect was taking away the seductive nature of a Succubus and leaving behind something different. I really think that there is more to tell about Jane and I would like to see that. I think this author has a good hook with this story and it can go further from here.

I’ll give this work three and a half out of five pitchforks.

Too much horror for me, not nearly enough Succubus seduction. Lots to ponder about the Succubus here, and that story would be something I would want to read.

I’ll hope for something more to come about her…

As an aside, this author will have another one of their stories appearing soon in the anthology work Roboterotica during April 2012, and you can find out more about this work here on the author’s site.

 

Tera

Apr 20 2012

The second of two Succubus Halloween posters I love…

Last Friday I shared the first of two Halloween posters I found that have Succubi in them by the same artist. You can find the first poster here on the Tale for those that would like to see it…

They are a pair of posters done by a South African artist that were done, the first in celebration of Halloween and this second one that was part of a 2011 art show called October Shadows: A Celebration of Halloween.

Happy Halloween V2 October Shadows by WacomZombie

Happy Halloween V2 October Shadows by WacomZombie

This is called Happy Halloween V2 October Shadows and is by an artist on etsy.com calling themselves WacomZombie. You can find this work on sale here and the artist’s page on that site here as well…

As well, their name is really Corlen Kruger, and they have a website with an amazing number of pieces of in all sorts of media here for those that would like to know more about them… And, of course they also have a DeviantArt site which you can find here as well…

She is, really, almost a perfect Succubus here and I really like the story behind the art which the artist describes as:

So the inspiration to this art piece was to do a sequel image to my original Happy Halloween image , the story here is the succubus has resurrected the evil candy corns and controls them with the jack-o-lantern. I wanted to try a fun approach this time, but still keeping some elements that I liked from the first image.

And I can see the connections between the first poster and this one quite easily, though the two Succubi are not the same character I believe. She’s posed perfectly, has a lovely tail and horns and she has that certain look that is both mischievous and sexy at the same time which is what all Succubi should have…

And redheads are supposed to be just a little bit evil aren’t they?

I love the idea of the candy corns being under her control and I do have to admit that the entire scenario just makes me giggle in delight which makes this even more adorable to me…

I hope that the artist might do a third work this year… I really do…

 

Tera

Apr 19 2012

Succubi Image of the Week 225

Some images of Succubi are, for lack of a better description, sort of throwbacks to the more evil and demonic tales of the Succubi… That’s not to say they aren’t beautiful, perish the thought, but they have that hint of danger that many stories tell us of…

Like this week’s Succubi…

Succubus by Lanty-ka

Succubus by Lanty-ka

This work is simply called Succubus and is by an artist on DeviantArt calling themselves Lanty-ka. I found this work here and the artist’s page can be found here as well…

I like this combination of a touch of, if not evil then at the least devilish blackness in her character… It actually works really well I think as her tail is interesting, her hands, covered in black almost look like gloves but obviously they are not, and her legs, again dipped in black don’t look really out of place with the rest of her look…

The artist is, according to their DeviantArt page, Russian and I wonder it they are mixing the Russian version of the Succubus, a Rusalka… She does seem to have that appearance overall…

It could well be…

Regardless, I like her overall quite a lot and she might appear in one of my stories sometime as an inspiration…

 

Tera

Apr 18 2012

Succubi Cheerleaders should be happier and sexier than this…

Two things about costumes. One, sexy counts with Succubi, and two, the model that appears in the costume you are selling should look, if not happy, then somewhat pleased with the costume they are wearing…

Case in point…

Miss Down FirstThis is called Miss Down First, and I have the feeling that whichever company makes this costume their first language isn’t English…

It comes with a cropped top with a “Devils” logo on it, a miniskirt, a pair of cheerleader pom-poms and a pair of red horns.

Shoes are not included and it sells for about $60 on several sites I found this on…

Honestly there wasn’t a lot of imagination placed into this idea I think. And I also think that all they did was toss a pair of horns and slapped a logo onto a cheerleaders costume in order to see more of them.

I would have expected red pom-poms to match the costume, and they aren’t. Also, again, no tail either which is a disappointment as well…

The model doesn’t help in selling this either, she looks absolutely thrilled to be wearing the costume doesn’t she?

The horns are plastic and look odd to me as well.

Overall, I just don’t like this mainly because there is no imagination in it, it isn’t that sexy, and really haven’t cheerleader devils been done enough?

Quarter pitchfork out of five.

Just not in the running…

 

Tera

Apr 17 2012

Desires 25

Do you really win when you think you do? Or is there something else in the shadows that only the Queen of the Succubi knows? Putting two posts here because it sort of needs to be that way…

_______________

Desires – Truths

By MZ and Tera S

Part Thirteen
 
 
She looked into his eyes and said, “Of course. You are my love. My one. My only. I need you like the flowers need the rain.”

She looked at him with total love in her eyes and awaited his wishes.

She could do no less for the one she loved. No matter the cost. She would do so if it cost her life to obey him…

Oh this is going to be sweet. She really doesn’t know who I am. I want to savor this. But she’s not dressed properly for the occasion. I’ll have to fix that first.

Calming his over joyfulness at how well his plan has gone off without a hitch, MZ commanded Tera in a matter fact manner. “I think that all sound lovely my dear, but it’s a bit long…. I think Master will do just nicely. Now I do believe since you are going to be calling me master that you are overly dressed. Let’s fix that right now shall we?”

I my evil smile crossing my face even as I try to hold it back. My heart start pumping wildly as I feel my power over Tera taking shape.

“Bring me your pair of red stiletto shoes, some black fishnet thigh highs without the garter belt, one of your precious collars and a leather whip. Present them to me here and then I’ll have you dress for me properly.”

______________

And sometimes you bite off more than you can chew…

 

Tera

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