Jul 17 2015

A Review of Just a Bite by Kay Michaels

Just a Bite by Kay Michaels

Just a Bite by Kay Michaels

Today and next Friday, I will be reviewing a pair of works by Kay Michaels which revolve around a Succubus named Carmen.

Sometimes a story, or stories, about a Succubus aren’t really about her. They are the story of the ones around them, what their lives are like, and how, exactly, does the Succubus relate to them.

And what happens when it’s more than that sometimes…

It is the story of:

Simon had tried hard to leave his past behind him. He worked in the mall, just trying to make it through the day. That’s when Carmen showed up. She wasn’t a normal girl. She wanted a taste of him… and he was worried it’d mean his death.

Simon works in a suburban mall making his way through a life that has been a mess from the start. One cold day Carmen appears and Simon’s past comes back to haunt him. And in doing so, that past haunts Carmen as well.

I think, as a whole, this is the beginning to what could well be one of the most involved and interesting series about someone relating to a Succubus that I have read in some time. The work really sets up a situation that, at the beginning, you don’t see coming and for that matter, it feels very much like neither Simon or Carmen does as well.

From the start of this work, it’s cleat that Simon’s life has been hellish in more than one way, and while the entire story isn’t told, it’s clear that the things that have happened to him very nearly cost him his life. Chief among these being his girlfriend who was, unfortunately, a Succubus that hurt him, made him bleed, and took him to the edge of death before Simon’s father “removed” her from Simon’s life.

But that event, along with all else that had happened to him as well, marked Simon deeply and in doing so took away the only things that mattered in his life. It’s tragic, terrible, and ever so sad a story. Mixed in with that is his ability to know a Succubus when he sees one… And he sees one when Carmen appears.

Carmen is really a very unique Succubus, but we learn very little about her past, her thoughts, or really much about her save that she does have fangs, no horns or tail, she’s very sexually active and attractive too. She has a dominant personality and she tries very much to get what she can from Simon and those around her. But Simon sees through her, and the other part of the story is that Carmen learns what makes Simon special. That attracts her to him, but at the same time he refuses her, knowing what happened to him in the past would again and in doing so would damn Carmen as well.

Over time, they do become close, and eventually there is an acceptance that the two of them do become closer, work together, move in together, and more. But what turns the corner in their relationship is that they find something each needs in the other and in doing so that sets up an amazing moment between them.

There isn’t a lot of erotica in the work, and in truth there really doesn’t need to be. It’s more a story about the power play between Simon and Carmen and that is an amazing thing to read and watch unfold between them both. The climax of the story brings about some relief to the sexual tension, but only for a moment as the echoes of Simon’s past creep in as the work comes to a close.

That past revolves around Simon’s father who is coming to see him… and his girlfriend Carmen. It’s clear that there is danger in that, but while the threat is there, and it awaits the moment to strike at them, it really doesn’t get a lot of ominous foreshadowing that overpowers the rest of the story. It is there, it’s clear what might happen, and as the work comes to a close, Simon and Carmen start to figure out how to deal with that.

The mix of sexuality, tension, loss and, eventually, hope, makes for a very powerful story and one that I did enjoy very much because neither Simon or Carmen are simple characters that just are in the story marking time. They are vibrant, strong, and with each page become a lot more vivid which is a talent I enjoy when I find it.

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

The thing about this work is, however, that the next part of the story didn’t appear until almost a year later and I think that hurt things to a point. Mostly that the story faded away and I don’t think that it should have. Book two, A Taste for Power will be reviewed next Friday and it does, very much, continue the themes and power that this work has… But it also has the one flaw in it as well.

 

Tera

Jul 17 2015

A Review of Amphora: The Gossamer Witch by Lilith Lo

Amphora: The Gossamer Witch by Lilith Lo

Amphora: The Gossamer Witch by Lilith Lo

One of the powers of a Succubus is that of being able to change the perceptions of others. To make them see, hear, feel and, eventually, believe that which is not the truth. To draw them into a web where the Succubus gains what she needs, however she can.

This is how, for the most part, the more evil, or expected Succubi act. They have one purpose, one desire and need. The thing is that the same can be said of those that they are attracted to. Their desires are just as apt to doom them in the same way as the Succubus herself can be… even if she cannot see that for herself.

The work tells the story of:

Living under the frightful lust of the Night Witch, the men and women of Gobekli Tepe have learned to fear her cry. One man, Liam, lives in denial of her threat – forever seeing the Night Witch as a homespun myth. Unwittingly, with lust for his lady Anada, he sets the Night Witch into motion yet again.

Hunted by her far reaching lust, will Liam escape by dampening her spirits before the sun begins to rise? Or, with his ignorance, will he give the Gossamer Witch what she desires the most?

Liam finds that his lust for another has brought the attentions of the Night Witch. A chase made, a love held and within the moments that come, a choice made that speaks volumes of all involved… forever.

The two main characters of this work, Liam and Amphora have a battle of wills, desires, truths and lies which ensnares both characters into a battle which is both stunningly told and at the same time leaves one wishing there was more than what is told.

The work does not dwell long on setting up the story, moving quite quickly into Liam encountering Amphora and the two dancing around each other with words and actions. I found that quite captivating in that Amphora, though she isn’t explicitly said to be a Succubus, has many of the aspects, powers, and, if not exactly charm, then seductiveness of one. There are twists in words, actions, even in the creation of things to tempt, tease, confuse and concern Liam as the story goes onwards.

There is a very slow and deliberate path which Liam is placed on by Amphora. As they move around the point of their confrontation, there is a very subtle shift in the story that I think reflected well on how Amphora’s powers held sway and what she was capable of. The telling of the story from Liam’s perceptions worked well and didn’t feel wrong or out of place. There are moments when Amphora’s abilities to shift reality around Liam come to the fore, events transpire and there are points at which reality and the fantasy created are indistinguishable from one another.

The work, as a whole, does not focus on erotica very much, but there are little moments, hints, and in being so it allows for some flashes of heat that add to the story and not take away from it. The work does focus on what can only really be described as a mind game that Amphora plays with Liam towards her goal, no matter the cost along the way.

Very strong characters, a setting well told and played within, the work tells a captivating story. However there are moments when some more time spent in the “why” rather than the “how” would have been nice to see. The ending of the work is a bit expected, considering all of the hints that are placed throughout the story. It is a bit abrupt, a little short and in being so it takes a lot of the building up of the work and casts it aside for a single page which reveals the truth untold. I had expected more of an ending from the story to that point and not having that did leave me wanting.

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

Well written, very atmospheric and powerful in nature and tone. Somewhat disappointing in how the work ends for all of the building up that proceeds it. Perhaps there is more to be told, why things are as they are and, possibly, an ending that is a bit more full that this one was.

 

Tera

Jul 16 2015

Succubi Image of the Week 391

Some more lovely Morrigan Aensland art this time on the Tale. A strong, confident Morrigan is one of the images of her that I like. There’s a poise about her, the way she holds herself, that I like to see in art of her… This particular work reflects that well I believe…

Morrigan Aensland by さくこ

Morrigan Aensland by さくこ

I found this art on Pixiv and you can find that page with this art here. When you visit that page, you will also find a series of intermediate art that shows the stages this artist passed through on the way to creating this powerful image of Morrigan.

What I like most about this artwork is that Morrigan looks very realistic here. By that I mean she looks right, her curves aren’t overdone, and she is the powerful being she is here. While her sexuality is there obviously, it isn’t overwhelming her personality, the drive in her and more importantly, there’s a certain flair and energy in her look and expression that I really like.

The amount of detail here, in Morrigan’s wings, her clothing, the shading that brings out her shape is perfect in so many ways that I have to say this is one of my favourite Morrigan artworks of the year by far…

It’s important to remember that Morrigan is more than her boobs. It’s nice to see when artists take that to heart…

 

Tera

Jul 15 2015

Why call the costume Darling when it clearly is not

Darling Devil CostumeIt seems like every week the costumes are becoming more and more disappointing. I wonder if that is a reflection of the lack of imagination, the stresses of having to do more with less, or, and I hope it isn’t, simply that they are giving up the concept of making something that looks even halfway sexy or seductive… That’s a shame whichever it is.

This is called the Darling Devil Costume and it comes with the black and red mini dress with the horrific jagged cut hemline, cut out sleeves, sequin wings and a sequin horn headband.

There is no tail, the shoes are not included and it sells for $42 US on various sites.

The first thing that I thought, after just how horrific this costume is, was if the model had taken a knife to the costume and cut it in an attempt to kill it before the picture was taken.

The entire ensemble is just horrid to the point that words fail me. Not that I’m not gong to still try to put into words how stomach turning, headache creating, eye waveringly bad this costume is.

If I didn’t know better I would think that a group of grade schoolers were given a few sheets of bristol board and told to make a costume from it.

Calling this trashy would be a compliment, so perhaps calling this fertilizer would be somewhat more to the point?

There’s no possible way to make this look decent, be decent, or even take the vaguest attempt at being sexy in any way, shape or form.

There is better than this… Even last week’s disaster had a little bit more respectability to be seen and that was microscopic I know.

Zero out of five pitchforks.

Mebby next week’s costume will be, finally, something half decent.

We’ll see.

 

Tera

Jul 14 2015

A Review of the Escaping Hell series by Inna Don and Stephannie Beman

Forbidden Angel by Inna Don and Stephannie Beman

Forbidden Angel by Inna Don and Stephannie Beman

A review of an incomplete series called Escaping Hell, but with the promise that there will be a concluding work appearing soon, or at least I would hope so.

Angels sometimes are foolish, they go places they shouldn’t, do things they need not do. Or at least that is what most think of them. By the same token, some demons, or rather Incubi, are supposed to be violent, brutish things with no sense of loyalty, intelligence or love.

The thing is, both of those beliefs are stereotypes. Not everything, and everyone, plays by the same rules.

The first work is:

  • Title: Forbidden Angel
  • Authors: Inna Don and Stephannie Beman
  • Length: 31 Pages
  • ASIN: B00RY1ZXPU
  • Publishing Date: January 6, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

The works tell the story of:

Angels and Demons should never mix…

Cayn is one of the most hated creatures in Hell, imprisoned and suffering the punishments of the damned for the crime of being born. Losing hope of ever leaving the pits of Hell alive, Cayn would pray for death, except he wouldn’t die, he would become an immortal Incubus whose insatiable hunger for the sexual energy of Humanity would make him the ban of Earth.

Kia isn’t the most obedient Angel, she’s not even among the top thousand, and the only thing keeping her from joining the ranks of the Fallen on Earth, is she’s one of Gabriel’s daughters. But her father’s position as one of the Archangels won’t save her from the trouble she finds herself in when a simple trip to Earth for fun and adventure goes terrible wrong. And it won’t save her from the monster whose cell she stumbled into.

Kia follows a friend who has been kidnapped to Hell. An Angel in Hell that finds herself in not a good situation, trapped in a cell with an Incubus. Neither knows what will happen when they meet and neither can foresee what comes next.

The book summary really is a bit misleading in that it tells a story that doesn’t quite turn out exactly as it might lead you to believe. There’s more to the work than a meeting of an Angel and an Incubus. There is a lot of questions that begin from the first page and continue to the last, and within those questions is built a compelling world and characters.

Both Kia and Cayn are enthralling characters and they both tell a story that holds onto the reader very well. The work is written in a unique way in which each has time to tell their part of the story before the two lives merge and the story continues with the two of them going forwards. Kia is a bit of a lost soul, in more than one way, but there is an inner strength within her that I found worked well when she had control of herself. Once past her fear, once past the moment with Cayn, then there’s something to her, fleeting as it is at times.

Cayn, as an incubus, is a bit different and what’s more interesting is that we really don’t know what he looks like, exactly, until the very last pages of the work. In doing so there is an air of mystery around him that I think worked well. He is a bit different, and through the story those differences come out very clearly. But that isn’t just in his form, but more it is his character, what he believes in, and what he is willing, or more importantly, not willing, to do.

The work is more story than erotica and being so the story holds together well. There is much to consider and when the erotica comes into play, it makes sense in the moment and has a purpose, if not the one that either character expected. The erotica is hot, having a little bit of a mind control aspect to it, but in that it goes both ways, between both characters and in doing so that transforms both in the most interesting way.

In spite of how much I enjoyed the plot, the characters, the ideas within the work, there is one major problem. The work needs another editing pass for all of the spelling and word mistakes that appear in the pages. I can overlook a few minor mistakes, but there are far too many for my liking. Considering that this is the opening to a series, it needs to read better and feel polished and not something that was published too soon. I have that feeling from this work and it shouldn’t be considering how much effort and writing ability these authors have.

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

Strong characters, a compelling plot, and some very good heat. It’s a shame that the story suffers from the editing problems along the way.

Forbidden Alliances by Inna Don and Stephannie Beman

Forbidden Alliances by Inna Don and Stephannie Beman

The second work in the series continues the story of Kia and Cayn. Building upon the hints of the world they inhabit the work tells a broader story in which there are many questions needing answers to, but more importantly, the reasons for why things are become a little clearer.

There is a question that comes, but once, to be considered. Would you do anything for the one that has your soul? The question never allows a simple answer for the question is more complex than anyone can understand…

The second work is:

  • Title: Forbidden Alliances
  • Authors: Inna Don and Stephannie Beman
  • Length: 41 Pages
  • ASIN: B00UYFDO5Y
  • Publishing Date: April 17, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

The works tell the story of:

He would do anything to claim the creature most forbidden to a man like him…

Imprisoned and without hope of ever leaving Hell alive, Cayn suffers the punishments of the damned for defiance against Lord Noctio’s orders. But death would not be a blessing. Not when his mortal form would unleash the immortal soul of an incubus whose insatiable hunger for the sexual energy of Humanity would make him the ban of Earth. Not when the Angel who stumbled into his prison cell and changed his world needs his help.

Now Cayn will change the rules. He will forge forbidden alliances with friends and foes. And he will be free of the Lord of Hell once and for all.

Cayn is brought face to face with his tormentor and then given a choice. But the choice isn’t really a choice when it comes to Kia. Connected to her, and she to him, the choice isn’t whether to obey, but how to win.

The second work builds onto the setting and plots of the first work very well and in doing so there are a number of minor characters who, in appearing, take a bit of the focus away from Kia and Cayn. This isn’t a criticism, but rather it allows some fascinating insights into what Cayn’s world is like, how others see him, and the opinions they have of him. There are even a few succubi that appear in passing, and one interesting note about a succubus and an angel that I think will come back to haunt both Cayn and Kia.

The work focuses more on Cayn, which it must, because this work sets up a lot of the reasons why Cayn was imprisoned, what is wanted of him as well. But there is more than that to be found as things unfold. There is quite a lot of insight about Cayn’s character, who he is, and the struggles within himself to understand why his attitude is different than it was.

Kia is a little less involved in this work, but nonetheless, there is a bit more told about her, a little more explanation about why things happened between herself and Cayn and, in the end, there is a very clear fact that the two of them need to come to terms with.

There are several plots running through the work, some of which run headlong into one another and when this happens it serves to make the story much stronger, the characters better and it added something needed to the work. Some meaning for Cayn and Kia, if only barely understood by them both.

The second work has less erotica in the pages than the first work, mainly for all of the world building and character development that comes along. I think it worked well and while the erotica does appear at the very end of this work, it isn’t out of place and it leads quite naturally towards a third work in the series where, hopefully, all of the plots will comes to their focus.

Like the first work, the second needs another editing pass however. Again there are quite a number of spelling and word errors that tripped me up at several points. One of which was in the middle of an important scene and I was taken out of the story for a moment and shouldn’t have been. It is far better than the first work however in that there is a a solid story wrapped in the development of the characters and I think that worked really well.

Four out of five pitchforks.

A good continuation of the series, but needing some editing to make it all that it should have been.

There would seem to be another work to come, the ending of the second work makes that very clear and I will be looking for it when it comes out. The mysteries still haunt the characters, stories need to be told and in being told there’s so much promise here to be seen.

 

Tera

Jul 14 2015

A Review of the Small Town Succubus series by Ruby Wildes

Small Town Succubus: Collection #1 by Ruby Wildes

Small Town Succubus: Collection #1 by Ruby Wildes

A review on the Tale today of a lovely little series that tells the story of a succubus moving into a small town and some of the things… and people… that she gets up to. I like cute, funny and sexy stories very much, and it isn’t often that an author manages to make that theme work well.

The biggest problem is how to create a Succubus that isn’t stereotypically evil and simply throws the entire town into a sexual orgy all of the time. The way to do that is to give the Succubus something that I have always believed makes them more interesting.

Make her seductive, intelligent, and most of all, have her know the difference between right and wrong. You can have all of the mind control, succubus powers, and more you like, but if she isn’t capable of knowing that doing something incredibly stupid is a bad idea, then what is the point of the rest of the story?

She doesn’t need to be a schemer, nor does she need to be the type of character that just uses and abuses others. Call it a touch of humanity if you’d like. I think that matters.

There are several works in the series which are available separately and as a collection:

The book series summary is:

A collection of the first three succubus stories:

  • Small Town Succubus: As a new arrival to a small town, the beautiful Vanessa is coveted by everyone- particularly Shane, the local handyman. But there’s more to Vanessa than meets the eye, and Shane will need every tool in his belt to handle her! Is Vanessa’s charm more sinister than good looks and a winning smile?
  • Small Town Succubus 2: Special Delivery: Local mailman Jared has been fantasizing about the new woman on his route: the beautiful, mysterious Vanessa. But little does he know that the woman is just as interested in him- and she has supernatural charms on her side that he is powerless to resist. What plan does the succubus have in store for him?
  • Small Town Succubus 3: Doctor’s Orders: When Dr. Boyce meets a new patient in their small town, he can’t figure out why he can’t get her out of his head. But Vanessa is more than a newcomer: she’s a succubus, and she has her sights set on him! Does the good doctor have the right medicine for this naughty woman?

A small town has a new arrival. Her name is Vanessa and everyone is talking about her. She finds a job as a waitress at the local diner, meets some of the male population… and their members… She’s simply someone that can take your breath away… and something more when you fall into the arms of a Succubus.

I’ve always enjoyed stories about Succubi that are not stereotypical. I prefer the stories where the Succubus is intelligent, uses her mind, and isn’t simply a sex toy for the men to play with. In this series it’s quite clear that Vanessa, the Succubus of the series, is very much like… well… Like the Succubi of the Realm.

She’s very smart, sexy, seductive and while that is played up a bit in the course of the story, it is also very clear that she is very much in control of herself and the others that she becomes intimate with. Vanessa has some lovely aspects to her personalty in that she has the right touch of voice, mannerisms, and suggestive nature. She doesn’t simply grab someone, pull them into an embrace and then feel upon them. She has a plan, follows it, allows the sexual tension to build up slowly and tantalizing, then, at the right moment she turns up her true nature.

The way Vanessa’s powers are told, how they appear to work, has some wonderfully erotic mind control, or rather hypnotism and that’s something that isn’t played upon enough i think in most Succubus stories. She is quite Domme when she is controlling her “prey” and I use that word with some hesitation. As I noted she isn’t stupid in her methods and what I really liked was that, in the course of telling about her past, a good explanation is given about why she feeds as she does, what changes come over her as she does, and with that where her focus is.

It’s very clear that Vanessa has learned, over time, that leaving a wake of destruction in her path will only lead to her own end. She’s learned a better way, gifted you could say in a way as well. But the end result of that is when the erotic scenes come and Vanessa controls the other in the story, it is some of the hottest Succubus mind control seduction that I have read in some time.

It is never said if Vanessa has horns or a tail, but she has a very interesting change in her eyes when she is using her powers as a Succubus and that worked really well. It also works really well that the model on the cover of the series, her looks, are very close to that within the pages of the stories which puts her quite firmly in one’s thoughts as you read.

The erotica is very well done, hot at the right places, sexy when it needs to be, when it should be. The author paints the story as one long simmering build up of sexual tension in those around Vanessa which climaxes with her doing all of the nasty and sexy things that the one she is with has been thinking about since they first met her.

That building tension, the confusion that wraps Vanessa’s target around her little finger and makes them do anything she wants is what really sets this work apart. Vanessa is one of the Succubi that I really do like and one that I was very pleased to discover.

As wonderful as the series is, I think it could have been a little longer. Perhaps more about Vanessa’s past would be nice as there are a lot of questions unanswered. There are, I am sure, a lot more stories to tell in this universe and I do hope there will be more to see from this author in the future. Vanessa’s story is far from finished…

I’ll give the series as a whole four and a half out of five pitchforks.

A series with a Succubus that isn’t stereotypical, is seductive, and uses her abilities to their upmost. A touch of mystery surrounds her, but then all of the best Succubi have that in them. The pleasure is in discovering what the mystery is…

 

Tera

Jul 13 2015

Traveling By TeraS

A short story today that will mean, as a whole, very little to most. Perhaps, at best, it is a reflection of that which is happening around me and, within that, something to be told that cannot be any other way…

 

Traveling
By TeraS

 

There is a place called by some, the fence. It stands between two worlds, not as a barrier between them, but rather a place where two lives touch, share, smile, and then continue onwards.

The fence is a place where things are shared, some good, some bad, some neither and then, in a way, both. There are stories told about the day, how things went, how those that are loved are doing. In all of those moments there comes a point where each, in their own way, finds a little comfort in seeing that there is another that thinks about them, is concerned, worries, and just wishes for better things to be… as they should.

On this day one side of the fence is quiet. The home across the way is shuttered, a note on the door telling of those that dwell there being away for a time. They are on an adventure, to see the world, to find time away, together, and in being so, find a moment of simply being instead of just doing.

They are… traveling.

On the other side of the fence stands another home where two souls live their lives as best they can. They both are trying the best they can, for their family, their friends, and, as is their way, in the very last, for themselves.

The door opens and she steps out the door, turning to look over towards the fence, a little bit lost inside for a moment. She smiles in that direction, knowing that her friends on the other side of the fence, over there beyond the Koi pond, are well, are together, and most of all, are being watched over in the Goddess’ name.

She brushes her fingertips over her lips in thought, wondering how things came to where they are now. She thinks about all of the things she has done, and all of the things that she has not. So many thing she regrets, over so many years.

The paper is held between two fingers, the words written upon the page she has read not once, but so many times since it arrived. A calling to her, one that she cannot ignore. One that she never wanted to have appear as it had. She thinks about simply refusing, knowing that the result of doing so would be devastating for herself, her Eternal, and more.

She looks at the date upon the page, if she could curse, she would, but that wouldn’t be her way. No, she sighs, some tears come, and she goes back inside of their home once more.

Time passes, and then the door opens once more.

She steps out the door again, long red jacket weighing upon her shoulders, her demeanour not quite so bright, not quite as she usually appears to be. She holds a small case in one hand, bumping it against her thigh in thought as she reconsiders one more time.

He steps out the door and hugs her, she leaning into his embrace. She tells him that she doesn’t want to go, to have to cause so much disappointment. She begins to explain, or tries to, but the tears start to come, she loses her voice and the thoughts trail away.

He turns to face her, touching her chin. He tells her that it will be alright, that he will make it be that way. There will come another time, another place, another moment. There will. She looks towards the fence, towards the other house, the other lives and nods, if only half believing that all will be fine.

For a time she goes over all of the things that she had prepared, to ask that he make sure that everything would be perfect, that not one thing would go wrong. Most of all, her voice wavers at the point where she tries to say something that she needs to, but the words cannot come out, they refuse to allow her to give voice to them.

She should be home. She should be there, on the day, in the moment. The universe has seen to it that she cannot be. She must be… traveling.

She hugs him, once more, then turns and begins her own journey. She travels alone, for duty, not for pleasure. She does so because there is no other choice in the matter, at least none that she can take.

Arriving at the station, she sits on the platform waiting for her train to arrive, to take her from her home to a place she won’t see, for her thoughts will be elsewhere. They will be with her Eternal, when he meets with her Heart and his Beloved.

The train arrives in a cloud of steam, coming to a halt, the doors opening. The conductor offers his hand, she accepts graciously, for that is her way after all. It takes some time for her to find her place, to put her things away and to settle into her seat.

She looks out the window, seeing her reflection in the glass as she looks at the station, the platform almost empty, the steam from the trains wafting along the way. The doors close, there is the sound of the whistle as the train begins to move, sending her along her travels to where she must be, not where she wants to be.

It happens somewhere along the tracks, regularly, the train she is traveling in passes another going in the opposite direction. She pays no attention to them, her thoughts keeping her from looking out the window.

It is the middle of the night, she isn’t sleeping like the rest of the passengers. She still sits in that spot, her thoughts stilled in the night, finally looking out the window. There is nothing to be seen, the night blankets all, as it does this tine of the year.

Then, out of the darkness, she notices a small fence that has appeared between the track she is on and the one that runs in the opposite direction. She stares at the fence for the longest time, it is the only thing in the dark that she can see. There is the sound of the train’s whistle sounding, the first time since she started her journey. It rouses her and she sits up and looks out the window with more focus now.

The fence is… odd. It comes to her after a few moments that is it not moving. The train moves, the sensation is there, but the fence just holds in place. There is a light that appears from one side, it seems that another train is going to pass by and, for once, she looks towards its arrival.

The front of that train flashes by in a blur, the cars that travel with it just as quickly going by.

And then, for an instant…

…time stops.

She looks out the window to see the other train, one car lit, the rest all dark. Through her window she can see into that other car, over the fence that separates them and then it comes to her. That fence is one she knows intimately.

She recognizes the figures on the other side of the fence. She touches her hand to the glass, the tears come and she cannot stop them. She whispers their names, hoping they will forgive her for being so foolish, so wrong, so stupid.

Their eyes meet, for an instant, and then…

…time continues onwards.

The train disappears, the fence blinks away and she is left alone, with her thoughts, prayers, and most of all, the ache within her. The tears are her only companion as she travels.

He stands at the station waiting, a gift held in one hand, flowers in the other. He stands on the platform as the train arrives at the scheduled time. The steam wafts around him as he waits for them to arrive. He has checked to be sure that all is well, that all that she wanted things to be where just as she wanted them to be.

They appear from one of the cars, he recognizing them, but they not knowing him. He approaches, smiling, shifting his gift to the hand holding the flowers. He embraces them both, giving her flowers, he the gift.

There is an uncomfortable moment as he begins to explain that she cannot be there as well, that duty called.

They nod, explaining that they know she is traveling.

But they also explain, truly, they know that she is with them all even so.

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