Apr 08 2016

A Review of Trapped by a Song by Nicole Pouchet

Trapped by a Song by Nicole Pouchet

Trapped by a Song by Nicole Pouchet

 

Many times a Succubus appears in a work for the express purpose of being the “villain”. With that should be, to some extent, something about them that sees to their character not being stereotypical. However, it is also possible for the succubus to turn out to be far less a villain than the humans around her.

Still, misdirection can be a useful thing to keep a reader on their toes. But does it need to be so obvious?

It is the story of:

If Detective Jori Anzoli has to do one more telepathic reading for the Las Vegas Police Department, her para-capabilities may fry out. That doesn’t matter when she’s called in to help find eight men who mysteriously went missing. The case escalates quickly. Clairvoyants in the department are scared to touch it, her brother becomes the ninth missing man, and the Paranormal Investigative Agency (PIA) sends a distractingly handsome agent who hassles her every step of the way.

Agent Del Moore is on a mission to find the PIA’s missing biomedical weapons engineer. A retro-cognizant, Del is used to avoiding human contact unless the job demands it. The less intrusive knowledge he has about others, the better. But a brush with the aloof Detective Jori may change his mind. He can’t ignore her warm essence, especially when she impossibly summons him into her dream.

As mounting clues lead Jori and Del to go deep undercover into a Nevada brothel, an ancient succubus preys on every living soul within, placing Jori and Del on separate hallucinogenic paths of destruction. Will they learn the truth behind the brothel and their mission before succumbing to an ulterior plan neither of them wishes to see?

Jori and Del find themselves joining forces, and more intimate things, when they investigate the disappearance of several men and how a certain brothel connects to the mystery. When the truth is uncovered, it seems that what they expected, or thought they knew to be the worst of times is overshadowed by so much more.

The work is, overall, a detective/mystery which works well in the telling, but has a little bit of a problem trying to keep focus on the underlying foundation that it is built upon. There are, as a whole, a lot of “villains” in the work, possibly too many for what transpires and it might take some of the power from the words themselves.

The work loses a bit of focus here and there before the conclusion and the aftermath. It’s the ending that left me wanting a bit, considering the events, and as such the heat and passion gets sidetracked a bit for the murky mysteries of this universe.

The succubus of this work, Prisca, was as a whole quite disappointing. She’s very stereotypically “evil” and “monstrous” in her nature and that was disappointing. Considering all that she had created and done, I expected more from her than what transpired in the story. She was a means to an end, a rather thin one really, and that took away much from her character. I expected something of a more involved, present, and in control personality, but that didn’t come out in the story well I thought.

Prisca was, overall, more monster than succubus and I think that was a shame considering how the story unfolded and what happened when the events came to a close. Sometimes the monsters aren’t the obvious ones. Past that, Prisca didn’t strive as a succubus, but rather more of a thinly disguised drug dealer. Again, I just expected better when she appeared, that didn’t really come out in the story.

Still, the story isn’t about Prisca, it is about Jori and Del and that part of the work did manage to keep my interest, have good heat between the characters, and keep them from being cardboard in their personalities. There’s a good deal of history involved in their characters and that drew me into the story. Their world is complex, but at the same time there’s so much distrust, anger, fear, and more that to live in such a world much be soul sapping over time.

Written well, there wasn’t anything to draw me from the story, the erotica is well told and has just enough heat to make it enjoyable without overwhelming the rest of the story. Still, some parts of the story might have used a bit more “telling” and less “showing” to pull one deeper into things. The one thing that does matter when reading this work is that the details are important, they matter by the end of the story. But even then, there are a lot of questions unanswered, beings that pop in and vanish with little explanation and as such there’s some holes for me in the telling.

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

An interesting universe with driven characters, However, Prisca was disappointing in many ways as a succubus. While she was a minor character in truth, there could have been more to her than just being evil for the sake of being so.

 

Tera

Apr 08 2016

A Review of Dungeons and Dryads by Dou7g and Amanda Lash

Dungeons and Dryads by Dou7g and Amanda Lash

Dungeons and Dryads by Dou7g and Amanda Lash

A review of the fourth work in the Succubus Apprentice series today on the Tale. You can find my review of the first work in the series here, the second work in the series was reviewed here and the third work was reviewed here on the Tale recently.

Sometimes the question isn’t so much about what you know you have to face in front of you as it is what’s happening behind you. There’s something to be said about having eyes in the back of your head to manage that. Occasionally however, you might be wearing a blindfold and not know what’s just hit you…

  • Title: Dungeons and Dryads
  • Author: Dou7g and Amanda Lash
  • Length: 27 Pages
  • ASIN: B01DRE3WE6
  • Publishing Date: April 1, 2016
  • This work at Amazon.com

The story is about:

This is the fourth installment of “The Succubus Apprentice”. In this volume the vampire Kiki and Loreli the Dark Elf sorceress continue their attempt to take over the supernatural community of Manhattan with the help of a Troll who runs the last used bookstore in Manhattan. Their opponent is a powerful Necromancer. To defeat him they decide to ask someone for help who has absolutely no reason to remember them kindly. This is bound to go well.

The best laid plans sometimes get derailed by those with you, against you, and more often than not, the plans just need to change. Not everything goes as planned, and it’s worse when you haven’t got enough time to go shopping for shoes either. That’s about the time when things really take a turn for the worst.

The one thing that seems be the most prevalent theme in this part of the series is one of schemers against schemers. By that I mean there’s quite a number of side plots working their way through and causing all sorts of havoc along the way. The humour is there, the characters are every bit as wonderful as they have always been, but there’s a little bit of some really serious problems creeping in along the edges of the story.

Overall, the series becomes really very complicated with a number of old and new characters popping in and causing their own brand of mischief in some cases, and in others some very serious moments for Loreli along the way. Two characters that I didn’t really expect to see again have returned to the series, and in both cases there’s a unique edge to both of their stories now. Where that winds up taking things is a question of course, but it opens some doors and I thought that was a nice touch.

I felt there was, perhaps, a little too much verbal fighting between several of the characters, however the reaction by a certain Troll at one point made me laugh and I thought that was the perfect response actually. As an aside, there’s a point at which I knew that something really bad was going to happen and, at least for me, it was really an obvious point. I mean, how is it possible that the girls would turn away from something that’s so important to them? What that is, you’ll have to read the work to find out.

I like that the series has shifted between the characters, but how this work ends seems to point at a certain succubus and her apprentice appearing in the next part of the series. When that comes along, I do rather worry about how much of New York is going to be left standing.

There’s an air of mystery around the opponent that Loreli is facing in her quest, all that comes to that point, the climax of the work, seems to say that she’s up to her thigh-high boots in problems. There was a lot of those in this work, and why things happened as they did needs to be explained, but that’s for another work in the series, which I look forwards to.

The conversational jabs, the clashing of personalities, the mix of silly and serious works very well in this part of the series as always. The zingers come quickly along the way, they made me smile, and that is the one thing about this series, and authors, that I cherish always.

Four out of five pitchforks.

There’s trouble in New York City and for our heroines, that means there’s going to be issues. The twist bring about an interesting direction for things to unfold, though I have some thoughts about that. I expect there are more surprises to come. What happens next when the everyone else arrives at the party will be, I am sure, something quite… interesting.

 

Tera

Apr 07 2016

Succubi Image of the Week 429

A simply wonderful piece of Succubus art this time on the Tale. Sometimes there’s simply a look, an expression, that catches my attention. Managing to make pink work without it overcoming art is not, at all, a simple thing to do…

Succubus by MaterArsenic

Succubus by MaterArsenic

This art, simply titled Succubus, is by an artist on DeviantArt called MaterArsenic. You can find the original page on DeviantArt with this work here and this artist’s page on DeviantArt can be found here.

Stylistically, I think the entire composition comes across as a wonderful portrait of a Succubus. I find it interesting, at least from the mythology of the Realm, looking at her in that way, that she seems to be a black tail and she has pink hair and eyes. That’s a rather interesting combination and something I should mull over sometime as a story.

I love the almost photo-realistic quality, how her eyes shine, the texture of her hair, the sheen of her skin. All of this combines into a well presented character not just in form, but there’s a real personality behind those eyes and her slightly-parted lips.

I would love to know what her outfit looks like, as a whole, the little tease that can be seen here interests me and makes me wonder about that.

A lovely, passionate work of Succubus art and one that I really do like so very much…

 

Tera

Apr 06 2016

It’s shiny, but those don’t look like horns…

Fire And Desire CostumeThere are some costumes that are, at least a little sexy. There are a lot more however that are tacky, which seems to be the most common thing I happen upon. Things become a lot more odd when the costume claims to be, at least somewhat, devilish, but then horns… aren’t.

This is called the Fire And Desire Costume and it comes with the metallic catsuit, gloves, and what are called horns, but I don’t see that by any means being accurate. Shoes are not included, nor is a tail, and this can be found for $59 on the web.

Those are not horns. I’ll accept cat ears, but I can’t see those being anything like horns really. So, in truth, this is a cat costume being sold as a devil costume.

And that’s disappointing in a lot of ways. Mainly that they couldn’t find a single pair of horns to go with this at all?

On the other hand, perhaps the intent is for someone to buy this and an accessory kit of horns and tail. Which, for the record, sells for $25 on the site I found this costume on. It’s even offered on the same page as this costume.

I will admit that I like the catsuit, to a point, the gloves I don’t care for, nor the “horns”. This really comes down to a mostly sexy piece of shiny red lycra and not much else.

But then, it is a start which has to be worth something I suppose…

One and a half out of five pitchforks.

Not the worst, but…

 

Tera

Apr 05 2016

A Review of the The Summoning series by Kad Aver

The Summoning by Kad Aver

The Summoning by Kad Aver

There is a certain temptation that authors are attracted to when writing stories about incubi. The thought of mixing horror with some erotica is, as a whole, really quite attractive to them. There’s the chance to write something that has a horrid character taking control of another, then doing awful things, and so on. Then comes the possibility of writing some scenes that, if ever filmed, would simply cause the movie to be banned because the images are just too far outside being acceptable.

I do not like horror, I’ve said this many times. I especially do not like horror that seems to have no purpose, direction, or meaning behind it. Sometimes that is all there is and it simply is disappointing.

The first work in the series is:

  • Title: The Summoning
  • Author: Kad Aver
  • Length: 11 Pages
  • ASIN: B00YDVD2XY
  • Publishing Date: May 27, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

It tells the story of:

This is a story of extreme horror and violence. It pulls no punches and it is not for the faint of heart or for those easily offended.

Adriana is a full-figured woman with who just hasn’t seemed to fit into the wild Sorority Sister lifestyle in today’s shallow society. When she comes across a spell book in a small shop near her collage, she decides to use it to summon a being that can make her every dream a reality. However, Adriana soon learns that you shouldn’t mess with the darkness lest the darkness mess back. Her spell calls forth a powerful, sexually charged demon with its own agenda. An agenda that leads Adriana down a path of pleasure and pain unlike anything she has ever imagined.

Adriana finds a book, sees it as a joke and finds that she has summoned an incubus and then things go downhill from there.

I will draw attention to the summary of this work and the warning the author gives. This work is, quite simply filled with over the top violence, cardboard characters and a plot that only serves to drive the horror aspects of the story onwards. There’s nothing, at least for me, attractive in the work at all and it is, quite possibly, the most violent 11 pages that I have read in some time.

The incubus isn’t named, only referred to as “Incubus” and in that being the case, there’s really a barrier built up that allows for the wide range of quite awful things that occur to Adriana in the work. The plot is quite direct in its intentions, there’s no room for character development, or anything else really, save getting to the horror aspects of the plot and mixing them with some tepid erotica to try to bring some heat into things.

I expect, for some that enjoy horror that is violent and has some questionable erotica along for the ride, this might be something they will enjoy. However, I can’t say that. I need story, there isn’t much of one, I need characters to care about, I didn’t, and when it comes to heat, it’s nice to have, but mixing violence into that, and to the extreme at times, doesn’t work for me.

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

The Second Coming of Incubus by Kad Aver

The Second Coming of Incubus by Kad Aver

The second work in this series follows along after the events of the first work where we learn what happened to Adriana, what the incubus wants, and brings in another group of victims. If the first work was slasher themed, the second is a sonority house horror.

I had thought the first work was over the top when it came to the violent nature of the story, but the second work goes well past those limits into events and actions that slip into the level of comic book violence at times. Having a measure of erotica with that just didn’t work at all.

The second work in the series is:

  • Title: The Second Coming of Incubus
  • Author: Kad Aver
  • Length: 19 Pages
  • ASIN: B0108MB9S6
  • Publishing Date: June 22, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

It tells the story of:

Two years after the assault on Adriana, a young sorority sister accidentally summons the Incubus when she finds The Book beneath the floorboards of Adriana’s old room. Incubus longs to be free of the tether that holds him in thrall to The Book. Longs to find Adriana.

For him to be free, blood must be spilled — And it will be as Incubus makes everyone unfortunate enough to be in the house pay in sexual agony and blood.

Time passes and the book awaits other to complete the summoning. This happens, the incubus is freed and a sonority suffers.

The second work just continues the same theme of violence, but rather that remaining at a slasher movie level, the story takes that theme to the next level, involving a list of characters who all come to ends that are comic book like but not before being made to go through all sort of “erotic” moments that do not end well.

The characters remain cardboard, the plot is non-existent, save for the theme of the incubus having his way with the female characters in the most violent means possible. There is not one character that has purpose in the work save to be a victim to the incubus and that was really disappointing.

The erotica has no heat, the story is lacking, the plot means nothing overall. Again, for me, there wasn’t anything that was attractive because there wasn’t a point to the events in the story, and with the lack of personalities as well, there wasn’t anything to keep me interested in the story when it progressed into violence for the sake of it.

Zero pitchforks out of five.

Here’s the thing. There are some authors that can write horror erotica well, M.E. Hydra is a prime example of this. There is plot, there is character, there is more to the story than simply the horror aspects of it.

Finding the story among all else is the challenge.

 

Tera

Apr 05 2016

A Review of the Satiating The Succubus series by Jennifer Coomes

Satiating The Succubus: First Feeding by Jennifer Coomes

Satiating The Succubus: First Feeding by Jennifer Coomes

A review of a series that was abandoned at the very moment when a larger story seemed to be about to be told. That, of course, is rather irritating for many reasons overall, but the major one is simply that the story really was interesting and different.

Telling a story about a succubus leads naturally to the question of how they manage to feed. In this series, I have to admit that the author came up with what I think is the most unique method possible to do so.

While i liked the story and the concept, there is one thing I really didn’t like. It might be a good idea that the author pick one spelling of their name to use and stick with it. It is Jennifer Coomes or Jennifer Combs? While it really doesn’t matter to the story itself, trying to find more works by this author if they can’t use the same time twice is a problem and it shouldn’t be.

The first work in the series is:

  • Title: Satiating The Succubus: First Feeding
  • Author: Jennifer Coomes
  • Length: 16 Pages
  • ASIN: B010YT1E10
  • Publishing Date: July 4, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells the story of:

Amy’s not sure what’s happening to her. She hungers for sex constantly, and the first guy she sleeps with ends up dead! She eventually learns what’s going on: she’s a succubus, and needs to “feed” by having sex! Every time she feeds, though, she gets stronger, hotter, and hungrier. She gets a job working as a nurse at a hospital, and starts sleeping with the coma patients to feed her desires. This first book follows her discovery of her powers, what they mean, and a couple of sexy encounters with buff guys (some of whom don’t quite know what’s going on…).

Amy tells the story of her life from her first awakening as a succubus, through her high school life and then into learning to be a nurse. Along the way she learns what she is capable of, how much it scares her, and what happens when she loses control. Something unexpected happens and then her life gets more complicated, and for a succubus, that’s never a good thing.

One of the things that gave me pause was how the story was told from Amy’s perspective. She refers to herself often as a succubus, then explains, almost casually, that she read about it on the internet, but that doesn’t explain how she learned her powers. Learning by mistake would be a real problem and that doesn’t seem to be what happens, but it isn’t explained.

As Amy’s story is told from her perspective, that makes for both some very hot and very odd moments overall. Her perspective when she is feeding, what she sees in the minds of the others, how she shapes their thoughts and desires, altering their reality is really very well done. It was a nice touch that her powers, as they grow, make her wings appear and shift her eyes to black.

There isn’t really a complete succubus transformation, though the more Amy feeds, the more her overall looks change and when she doesn’t, she returns to her normal looks. That then brings in an interesting subplot through her high school years, but also in how her “other self” as she refers to it, pushes Amy to take more and more. However, there is such a thing as her conscience saying no, save for a very much Lost Girl-ish encounter at the beginning of the work, and otherwise a few “bad” men being taken in a rather ugly way at one point.

Still, that does show Amy still has some humanity in her. At least until she starts her nursing career and then discovers a new way to feed. This is the part of the work that I thought was really very unique and something I had never really considered. Amy feeds on coma patients to survive. That becomes a doubled-edged sword eventually, but in spite that, the author’s solution was perfect in many ways.

Not the least of which is that Amy’s powers allow her to slip into the dreams of the patients, which then leads to some very hot succubus mind control and reality shifting within the dreams themselves. That is written very well and held my attention quite well.

The overall plot is a bit scattered, not really finding a footing until the last third of the work which then drives Amy to an encounter which then leads into the second work in the series. There’s no focus to things overall, Amy going from feed to feed, taking from one after another, sometimes having a very uncaring attitude, sometimes not. She’s a scattered character, without focus for much of the story.

While she talks about learning about her powers, there’s really nothing told of her doing so. Over each feeding, she is better and better at it, but seems to be on her own trying to find her way. The second work in the series seems to suggest this isn’t true however, so that is confusing.

Amy’s character is written strongly, but she seems to be missing some bits and pieces of her personality that really didn’t come out in the story. The time spent in telling about her past, what she has been through, her mistakes and so on, is well done and kept me in the story throughout. Even when things turned confusing, even a bit odd, that wasn’t enough to really pull me out of the story.

It is short however, and considering all of the moments in Amy’s life that were skimmed over, I found myself wishing the author had split this work into three parts and written at least as much as this one for each of them. There needs to be more world building here than there is, considering this is a series. There’s a lot going on here, there’s a lot of promise, but rushing through the details means that things are missed and they are here which speaks towards the next work in the series where the author needed them badly.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

Well written, the succubus erotica was very hot, the dreamscapes and mind control worked very well. There are some missing points along the way, some aspects of Amy’s learning about her powers, how they work that weren’t explored and if felt like something was left out of the story to be revealed later. A very good opening to the series, it offered a lot to think about along with the erotica and I liked that. I just wish there was more to read than there is.

Satiating the Succubus: Alex's Awakening by Jennifer Coomes

Satiating the Succubus: Alex’s Awakening by Jennifer Coomes

To an extent, some of that was in the next work in the series, but barely so.

The second work took things from the other main character’s perspective, that being Alex, the last man that Amy feeds from in the prior work. It tells his story, what happens to him as a result of what Alex did, and the dangers that begin to form, both to himself and to his family… and to Amy.

But like the first work in the series, there’s a lot unsaid, there’s a massive cliffhanger at the end that’s never resolved as well. The other thing that bothered me is that the book summary really is a bit misleading.

The second work is:

  • Title: Satiating the Succubus: Alex’s Awakening
  • Author: Jennifer Coomes
  • Length: 20 Pages
  • ASIN: B011HEY7S8
  • Publishing Date: July 12, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells the story of:

Alexander Simmons ends up in a life-changing accident, and finds himself comatose for two months. He’s awoken by a succubus attempting to drain his life essence, but finds himself instead invigorated by her. He tries to retrace the steps that brought him to this point, and finds himself in some sticky situations.

Alex tells the story of his encounter with his sister, how that led to him being in a coma, and then waking to find a succubus feeding on him. But things don’t end there, and when he returns to his sister, things are very different.

The work is told from Alex’s perspective, which is interesting and quite a lot different from Amy’s in the prior work. There are hints that something is odd about Alex, a moment with his sister that is rather awkward and leads to Alex being in a coma. The work is split into three parts, the before, the encounter with Amy, and then the after when Alex goes to see his sister and things take a rather darker turn.

The main erotica in the work is Amy’s feeding on Alex, his dreamscape that leans very much into a BDSM bit of prose that is a little odd, a little off, but reads with some heat. The better part is the “feeling” that Alex has as Amy has her way with him in the real world, how those feelings come to him overall.

The story gets very odd when Alex wakes up, his exit from the hospital makes no sense at all, and the work lost me at that point. Once past that, Alex goes directly to his sister, confronts her, and then they have their tryst. In the midst of that, Alex becomes, it seems, an incubus, his sister suffers for that, and then the story rushes to a close.

It’s that last two pages that I have the real issue with. Alex is far too calm, too uncaring for what happened to his sister. It’s like he’s known he’s been an incubus for some time now, but prior to that moment, he showed no sign of it. That just was confusing.

Then, to make things more odd, something is mentioned about Amy seeing others about Alex and that doesn’t make a lot of sense either. She never spoke of them before, never suggested that there was others of her kind to talk to. All of a sudden there is, there is a “prophecy” for them and the then story crashes to an ending.

The work isn’t as good as the first work for the simple reason that there’s not a real hook to Alex. His story has something to tell, but that’s mixed into other things, other thoughts, and by the time the erotica comes, that story is buried and can’t be found.

Three out of five pitchforks.

I didn’t particularly like the ending, Alex’s almost shrugging off of what happened. The ending also left a major plot point dropped into the series that had never been mentioned before. If the series had continued, that wouldn’t be so bad, but there’s not been anything after this and so the series is left unfinished and incomplete.

It’s a shame because the series seemed to be on the verge of getting to a larger story, explaining more about Amy’s past, the world of the succubi and incubi, and what it all means to Amy and Alex. Stories never to be told it seems and that’s a shame all things considered…

 

Tera

 

Apr 04 2016

Never Need To Be By TeraS

A story today with a bit of a hidden meaning, or perhaps that meaning will be one that really isn’t so hidden for those that know. Sometimes there are things that need to be said, but then they can also be the things that …

 

Never Need To Be
By TeraS

 

There are moments when Tera can be indecisive. They are rare, and most would never notice them when they happen. Still, they do, and she is quite aware of them within her own thoughts.

The problem on this particular day wasn’t one where the universe hung on her next choice. No, it was a very simple question that, normally, might have a simple answer. However, nothing for Tera ever really was simple, even if the outcome only was a result of her believing that point. This day mattered very much to her … to her dear friends on the other side of the fence, the koi pond marking the edges of where their worlds met … to her and her Eternal, for reasons that never really could be put into words, but then never really needed to be.

She had spent a very long time thinking.

Trinkets and gifts weren’t right. They didn’t express her love. Recalling a certain decorative plate she had given before, she smiled at what her Eternal had told her about that moment, the gasp of surprise, the look of amazement.

A card, no matter how lovely the words, couldn’t say what needed to. Oh, she had sent many cards in the past, but she knew just how awful her handwriting was—more so when she kept having to stop, wipe away tears and then continue writing. The thought did make that smile turn bemused. A queen with terrible handwriting: such an impossible thing, of course … but Tera was never an ordinary queen.

Flowers? Well, she had given them before, a particularly lovely rose bush once. Looking out her kitchen window, Tera could just make it out over the fence, the red blooms and green leaves just beginning to sprout, marking the arrival of spring where they resided now. Those thoughts made her smile become a thoughtful one.

She looked towards the home across the way, her fingernails tapping a beat upon the countertop in rhythm with her considerations for some time. Finally she made up her mind and turned away from the window.

A short time later, or not so short—time was an illusion, after all—a woman with ebon hair wearing a red sweater and blue jeans, made her way along a certain sidewalk towards a certain home in the garden of which a certain rose bush grew. Her heels clicked lightly upon the cobblestone walk, a moment later and she knocked lightly upon the door. She wondered if she looked right, if she had managed to look right, to simply be herself in the ways that matter most. After a time her thoughts had come to wondering if they were home when she heard the turning of a doorknob.

The door opened, a soul she knew through their love shone brightly there. A smile greeted her: “Hello.”

Tera smiled: “Hi.” For the first time in ages, the Queen of the Succubi fidgeted before she continued, while the lady in the doorway waited patiently: “I was trying to figure out something today.”

There was a moment … it wasn’t really an awkward one, more of a sudden realization of who
the guest was, and the surprise that she was standing on the doorstep.

She tugged at her hair: “I’ve sent flowers, cards, gifts before. I couldn’t figure out what would be right. There didn’t seem to be anything that really said the right thing, in the right way.” She shrugged slightly: “So that leaves … me. I just wanted to say … Happy birthday.”

The answer was a hug as Tera was pulled into a warm embrace, crying softly in the moment for all this meant to her. For the longest time, there were no words said; there really didn’t need to be any. But then the moment passed, the lady insisting that Tera come in, tears and all, for she was being silly.

Hours passed, the two talking, tea being shared, the occasional bit of laughter drifting from the porch where they rested together, looking out over the garden, where the rose bush was starting to bloom. The visiting queen was tracing a fingertip over the rim of her cup when she admitted something to her hostess during a pause in their time together: “I don’t say the words enough … what you mean to us. I know I need to say them.”

Her neighbor answered: “There never needs to be.”

It is a simple truth, one that transcends all else. The love of a family shared never needs to be explained, never needs to be said. When one knows, one simply does.

And so the words never need to be said, for they live within the souls of those we touch and love.

The words never need to be said, but, on that birthday, on that doorstep, in smiles and hugs, they were. And Tera went home quite sure it was she who received the gift.

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