Jun 03 2012

A Review of Inkubus by Sidonie Spice

I think it’s interesting when an author takes a slightly different take on Succubi or Incubi. The better ones are those that mix a solid plot with great characters and, importantly, have a really intense story to tell… This work is one of those I think.

Inkubus by Sidonie Spice

Inkubus by Sidonie Spice

It tells the story of:

Sex with an incubus comes with a price…

Jess’ fevered dreams are haunted by an incubus: sexy, charming and inexplicably terrifying. As she sleeps, Mathias awakens her darkest, most hidden desires, indulges them until she screams for mercy and then begs for more. As he visits her more often, Jess craves his control, his orders, the glorious pain and intense pleasure he can inflict upon her. But upon waking, Jess finds Mathias’ mark upon her – a beautiful tattoo that wraps around her body, searing her skin and spreading more every time.

Can Jess resist the heady pleasure he gives her, or will Mathias complete his mark and stake his claim to her – for eternity?

Jess is a woman with a problem. As much as she tries, her dream lover is so much better than real life, and she’s starting to pay for that in ways she didn’t expect she would. Every time that she sees Mathias, and he imposes his will on her, making her submit to him as she wants to, to be a toy, a plaything, or whatever that Mathias seems to want, it makes her orgasm like she’s never done before…

And that scares her. A lot. So she tries not to sleep, not to dream, but in the end Mathias appears, she submits, and then he marks her with an elaborate tattoo that is covering more and more of her body. And when that tattoo is finished, then she will be his… forever.

Jess is one of those characters that is so very real. She has an odd job, is just that side of beautiful in her own way, is independent and strong willed. She seems to have everything together, but deep inside, she’s scared of Mathias and has been for a very long time. What’s interesting is how her view of Mathias changes over time and with the realization that the things that happen are things that she wants. When that comes to pass, then we get to the meat of the plot, the story, and the reason for why Mathias is an Incubus.

Mathias is hard to read as a character at first. Even if you hadn’t read the book’s title, you would know he was an Incubus in his words, actions, and looks as well. At the beginning he seemed very one dimensional, which I was a bit miffed about. However, there is a turning point where the truth comes out, that he needs Jess as much, if not more, than she needs him. When we get there, and they actually relate to each other instead of Mathias just screwing Jess senseless, I really came to like him, what and who he is.

The sex was hot, erotic and well written… Not a stroke piece in itself, but a story of dominance and submission and the trust that has to be in existence in order for that sort of relationship to exist. I will say that some of the BDSM scenes were a bit more than I like personally, but looking at the cover, of what Jess might really look like, and the description of her, made those moments less jarring for me at least. As the story progresses, we go from vanilla sex to some very hard core BDSM situations. I can’t say that it was my cup of tea as I said, but I can say that I found all of them save two very hot and enjoyable. The latter two just felt somewhat degrading to me, and that’s something I don’t like in a D/s relationship.

Again, that’s just me and my view of that sort of thing such as it is.

I won’t spoil the ending, but it made sense, it fit the story, and it tied up the tale in a way that felt right for the characters. That made me quite happy, but I would have liked to know more about Succubi and Incubi in this world and especially the one Succubus that “doomed” Mathias to his fate as an Incubus.

Inkubus gets three and a half pitchforks out of five. Hot scenes, characters to care about, and a story that goes places and does things that I didn’t expect it to. Just would have liked to know more about the Succubus that started all of this for these characters a long time ago…

Perhaps the author will reveal that someday.



Jun 02 2012

A Review of Demon Lovers: Succubi edited by Deborah Teramis Christian

On June 1st, 2012, a new anthology of stories about Succubi was released at various eBook sellers sites on the web such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The work is called Demon Lovers: Succubi and contains a total of thirteen stories, all related to, or about, Succubi… It is the first book of a series called Demon Lovers, and is to be followed by another volume which focuses on the myths and legends of Succubi called Succubus Lore & Legend and a second anthology work called Demon Lovers: Incubi. The authors in this anthology are very well known and each brings their own views and concepts of Succubi to this work. It gives a fascinating mosaic of what Succubi are, what they desire, and what in truth they are to themselves and to others. It is not erotica per se. No, what this work is takes you from what you expect Succubi to be, beings of passion and eroticism, and leads you towards what is hidden beneath that veil that few ever see…

Demon Lovers: Succubi edited by Deborah Teramis Christian

Demon Lovers: Succubi edited by Deborah Teramis Christian

The work’s summary tells of:

Welcome to the world of the succubus. She visits your dreams, or she visits your bed. She is sex incarnate: hot, irresistible, and oh so willing. Willing to seduce you, or to destroy you—whatever feeds her needs of the moment.

Join us in this collection of tales about succubi and their encounters with human lovers. Thirteen authors share their vision of the succubus, the legendary creature who feeds on sexual vitality and energy from her victims. Must an encounter with a succubus always be deadly? No—but it is always memorable, for the person she takes into her embrace has something she wants and cannot live without.

Revenge, redemption, loss, lust, desire and love are some of the places these stories will take readers as each succubus reveals a facet of her unique existence.

As this is an anthology of works, I will be reviewing them individually and then the entire work as a whole.   I will give a short summary of each of the stories, and then my thoughts on each, followed by a rating out of five pitchforks. Afterwards will be a summation of my thoughts about the anthology and my hopes for what may appear next in the series.

Homecoming by Nina Harper – Jez had a short life. After she passed on, she was claimed and placed on the path to becoming a Succubus. This night she must claim her first soul to graduate and she appears at her old high school’s homecoming… and to the boy that dumped her and put her on the path to become a Succubus. I think the one thing that Jez represents, more than anything else, is simply revenge. She wants to get that at almost any cost. including disobeying the warnings of those that are teaching her the Succubus way. The thoughts of revenge overcome just about any other thought she has throughout the story and even when she isn’t actively thinking about revenge, she is acting in concert with it. It was, honestly, sad to see how all she was, all that she had become, focused on that one idea and left all else behind. I can’t say that I liked her, it’s hard to like someone like Jez when her life, her existence, is held with the idea of revenge. As a short story of the passage of someone in this universe into being a Succubus, it’s more interesting to read about the world she exists in, and, more so, the Succubus that teaches her. While the story is set in the Succubus in the City universe by this author, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the other books this author wrote. Well written, but the other Succubi were more interesting than Jez was to me. Four out of five pitchforks. Revenge is fine, but a Succubus with only that thought within them bothers me.

Lily in Bloom by Lori Selke – Lily is a Succubus, and part of her life, an important part of it, is to attend meetings of the Demonic Ladies Knitting and Archery Society. A support group for Succubi and though that Lily tries to keep her needs under control. I think the concept of a Succubi Anonymous is a fascinating idea and this author really plays on that idea quite well. Lily herself is unique but also flawed in her own way which added to my enjoyment. More so, the supporting cast of Succubi in the group had their own voices and backgrounds that I felt added a number of layers to this tale. I found myself wondering about all of them, what their own flaws and issues could be, but more so, what they were like outside of the group when they met. It ended far too soon really and I think there is quite a lot more to say in this story universe. Four and a half pitchforks out of five. Wonderful characters, a unique setting, and with such promise.

Blood For Bone by Talitha Kalago – Lucy is in an abusive relationship and it is becoming worse by the day. She dreams of a better life but has no idea how to make it happen… until she meets Sassy who promises the world for a small price. A captivating story that was a joy to read from beginning to end. I liked the mixture of mystery from Sassy and the transformation of Lucy. It also was interesting how the subject of what Sassy wanted was brought up and how Lucy figured out what Sassy was, and her feelings about that. It’s not a story of revenge, that never truly comes into focus as the story progressed, which was nice to see. It’s a story about dreams and desires. The story watches Lucy transform herself for the right reasons with the right help and, in the end, what must be, had to be. A solid five out of five pitchforks. One of the most interesting appearances of a Succubus that I have seen in a long time.

Mother Vinegar by DeAnna Knippling – In the future, human beings carry artificial intelligences within them as they explore space. But what if the AIs have other plans? I found it a rather poetic idea that the AIs that lonely humans have in space are called Succubi. What was more interesting was how the author made the differences between Pickle, one of the Succubi AIs and her mother, Vinegar, so striking through the story. There was conflict between them from the beginning, but also there were two distinct personalities and belief structures in them. While the rest of the AIs and humans, save for Chester, the human that Pickle rode, aren’t well fleshed out, it wasn’t truly needed. It is a battle of wills after all, and that is the focus of the story. The universe is really quite well detailed for being such a short tale and it leaves so many questions unanswered. I would like to see more of this world, I find the mixing of Succubus lore and Science Fiction amazingly well done. Five out of five pitchforks. I’d love to see this as a series or a longer work someday.

In the Manner of His Choosing by Jennifer Pelland – Lilith hunts those that deserve the deaths that she provides. But what defines that deserved fate? Truly a thoughtful story of Lilith and her fate and her mythos. It was an awful thing to read when the truths of the man she comes to claim are revealed. It’s sad beyond words to see what he believes in, what brings Lilith to him, and what Lilith takes from the encounter. Possibly the most thought provoking story in the collection that asks the question what tells us what we deserve? Five out of five pitchforks. Just wonderfully written, well told, and with a lesson to it that really needs to be considered.

We’ll Always Have 9 A.M. by Maitha Moon – Vera is a Succubus and she meets Nicolas in the street one day… and then all heck breaks loose when God rolls the universe’s dice. The one thing that seems to be the core of characters like Vera, at least for the most part when authors write about Succubi, is that they never seem to be able to love someone. In this story, Vera learns some truths she didn’t expect and through them, makes something happen that wasn’t meant to be. I thought the characterizations of God, angels, Vera and Nicolas were really very good. Vera was especially real to me and it was nice to see a Succubus learn something about herself and what she was capable of. Four and a half pitchforks out of five. Bit short and I felt like one important scene was missing but I can’t quite put my finger on that.

Hunger Pains by Diana Pharaoh Francis – Olivia wants to stop being a Succubus because she is in love with a human. She’s made a deal and that will happen soon… or it will if her past doesn’t get in the way of her happiness. A deeply involved story with many well done characters and moments in it. Olivia is the highlight of the piece, but reflected in that is Arash, an Incubus from her past. I thought it was really a good use of both Succubi and Incubi in the business that Arash has and what he does with them. I can see it being a completely possible role for Succubi to play and I think it’s odd that more authors don’t think of it. But what makes the story is the scenes between Olivia and Arash. Not over the top, not silly, not cruel. No, they are real in all of the ways that matter, and it really does matter in this story. Five out of five pitchforks. I would love to see this story turned into a novel. There is so so much promise…

Recovery by Lawrence Scott – Claire and her kind once loved humans, but then things changed and they became lesser beings. Now Claire has met someone that reminds her of what she one was. But how can she be once again? Moments of sadness, love, and realization are throughout this work and the mixture of those moments turn this from what could have been a tragic story into one of hope. Not just for Claire, but for all. It’s emotional, there is no doubt of that. And those emotions are exactly right. There isn’t a false moment in the story and that makes it special. Four and three-quarter pitchforks. I just wish that one moment that didn’t happen for Claire would have at the end.

A Different Approach by Jason Christopher Hosler – Josef resists the affections of a Succubus that comes to him every night… again and again. How long can be possibly last against her powers? Really a surprising story with a twist in it that I didn’t expect. What is seen in the story takes your in one direction and then the conclusion opens a universe that is unexpected, unique, and brings up all sorts of questions to consider. The dualism in the story is well done, Josef and Senta are really quite unique in their own rights. I would have liked a bit more of the reveal at the end. Four out of five pitchforks. There’s a rather large question left unanswered, would have been interesting to know more about how this universe works.

Succubus Chances by C.H. Keyes – Aimee is a Succubus, but she is trying so hard to resist what she is. She has to try. Must try. Just has to try. I have to admit that I couldn’t help but laugh when the end of the story came. I didn’t expect it as the story continued and I have to thank the author for managing the ending she created. I really liked Aimee as a person first and foremost and watching her deal with the needs within her was really a reflection of the person she is. It’s nice to see a Succubus with a conscious. Four pitchforks out of five. The story ends a bit too soon for me. I would have liked to see the aftermath.

Calling Syn by Lilly Cain – Julien summons demons for a living, if you can call it that. This time he summons Syn, a powerful Succubus and then discovers that in doing so, he has opened himself to a very unpalatable fate. This is a short prequel story to a novel that this author will be releasing in the near future called Claiming Syn. From this short work, and the story within it, I really cannot wait to read the longer work. Syn is a perfect Succubus in poise, manners, and abilities and the way she interacts with Julien is a pleasure to read. This story ended far too soon, and I will be looking for this author’s work when it appears. Five out of five pitchforks.

One Drop by Laura Antoniou – When you are into sadomasochism, you must be careful of which Succubus you summon. They will push your boundaries. Really the most violent of all of the stories in the collection, but then the themes within it make that a requirement really. I can’t say that I honestly enjoyed the story, I don’t personally like pain and suffering, so that colours my view of this work. Setting aside that, it’s a well done story of submission and sadomasochism which delves into what darkness awaits in souls. For those that are interested, it’s a story that I think you will enjoy for the emotional ties that appear within it and what happens through them. Four out of five pitchforks. The story is there, I just had problems accepting it for my personal beliefs.

Elise’s Gift by Deborah Teramis Christian – A Succubus intent on revenge, and two lovers. Elise is training in a secret order and she is deeply attached to her friend Julia. Sometimes the universe conspires to make you decide on a choice, whatever that may have to be.  Set as a prequel to this author’s book Queen Victoria’s Transmogrifier, it’s a peek into that world, but also a glimpse of love that is threatened by a power that believes that it is more powerful than love is. The battle for Elise is long and hard fought, but in the end, that makes the climax of the story well worth the ride. I will have to read the novel next as I want to know where the characters wound up from here. A wonderfully told tale and though it, a transformation of the characters that works really well. Five out of five pitchforks.

You’ll probably notice that I haven’t said which story is my favourite. The reason is that in fact three of the stories I really liked and to choose between them I found I couldn’t do. The anthology is well balanced, has a purpose and a direction to it that I think all of the authors embraced in their works. I do wish that the stories were slightly longer as there are many open doors, paths, and directions for them to take.

Some will go there, it’s made quite clear in the anthology that they are, but for those that aren’t I find that a bit of a shame… There are a lot of wonderful universes to play in here and I hope that someday there will be more to come.

Overall, the anthology well rates five out of five pitchforks for the care, the joy, and the abilities of all of the authors to make their characters come alive. And as I finished this collection, my thoughts turned to the next work in the series and the hope that the authors involved in that work can create as wonderful stories as well…

I would like to direct readers of the Tale to this page on Facebook where you will find a survey by the editor of this anthology asking for your thoughts. Please do consider doing so if you would like the chance to win one of two copies of Demon Lovers: Succubi. The contest closes on June 6th and winners will be announced on June 7th, 2012.

Special thanks to Teramis for her kindness in sending me an advance copy of the anthology, it was very kind of her to do so and I hope that the future works in this series bring much success!



Jun 01 2012

Rose Bushes by TeraS

Today is the anniversary of two very dear friends, and what follows is our, my and my Eternal’s, gift to my Heart and his Beloved…


We think of you every day.

We pray for your joy always.

We thank you for being part of our family.

We know that the best is yet to come.




Tera & Keith



Rose Bushes

By TeraS and KeithS


In the Realm, the color red is special. It’s not just that Tera and Keith both are red tails. It’s not that red in the Realm means love. No, it’s so much more than that. Red means warmth, caring, and so much more.

But most of all, red means passion.

A passion for life. A passion for togetherness. A passion that knows that love, hope, and promise will overcome all.

But, the most important passion is sharing your passion with those you care about.

There is a place in the Realm where roses grow. There are blue, yellow, white and many other colors to be found. But of red, there are only a singular few. For the red ones are special in that they have magic about them, and they can only be grown in a place where there is love to be found.

That place is a small sunny spot just outside of the front doors to Tera and Keith’s home. And the red roses that grow in the bushes there are the most vibrant, sweet smelling, and special ones that there are.

Many have passed by them, some never seeing them for they are, to them, only flowers and not worth notice. Others notice them, but do not see how special they are for again, they are only flowers aren’t they?

Still others see them and have the slightest inkling of what makes them special, but they do not see just how special for they have not found their own passions. But then, just once in a very special moment, it’s not the person that notices the roses, but it is the roses that notices the person.

It was just in the first moments of spring when the flowers noticed two visitors to their home. The love they shared was warmer than the sun, it strengthened the roses and made them turn towards the pair and followed as they passed by.

The joy they shared was like me morning dew on the roses to quench their thirsts and they happily tasted of it and spread a little further on their patch of the Realm they held.

The promise in their lives was the soft winds that rustled their leaves and petals, keeping them fresh and vibrant to all that would see them and know what they were.

Each and every time the couple passed by, the flowers spread more, grew more, and became more and more visible to each and everyone that passed them by.

This was, in case you didn’t know, special and rare and both Tera and Keith knew it to be so.

When the time was right, and that happened once in a blue moon, Tera and Keith carefully gardened their rose bushes with a plan in mind. They searched for the right rose bush to gather from their garden of love, joy, and happiness and give to their friends on the other side of the koi pond.

All of the roses seemed to be in their best form and their best look. It was quite obvious that the roses knew that something special was being planned and they all wanted to be part of it.

But which one? Tera thought that one would be perfect, Keith thought another would be. Then still another came to their attention and they changed their minds once more. They were round and round looking, thinking, getting distracted, and then starting over once more.

The time they had passed, the blue moon rose in the skies and then began to disappear as the day came to an end. But still they hadn’t found exactly, perfectly, precisely, the right rose bush to give.

But finally, after all of the possibilities, after all of the considerations, and the many, many choices that could well be. They decided on not the largest or the brightest, or the most perfect one.

No, they chose two small baby rose bushes that had just peeked out of the soil and seemed to be lost and overwhelmed by all of the other roses around them. Tera took her time and after a while, she had placed one of them in a transplanting pot and Keith had brought the other from its place as well.

The time was growing short and, holding the pots together, they moved from their side of the koi pond to where their friend’s home stood on the far shore. When they arrived, the sun had set and the blue moon was just touching the leaves of the tallest of the trees in the backyard.

They worked quickly to open a small spot nearby the back porch of their friends’ home and then placed both baby roses in the soil there. A bit of water from the Realm to get them started and a moment of love and tenderness from the couple were the start to what they hoped would become a wonderful thing.

They looked towards the home, the light shining from the windows and the love that created it already turning the roses to face there and bask in the love that was powerful, perfect, and passionate as it always had been.

The blue moon set then, the moment passing by once more, and the couple held hands, smiled, and returned across the pond. Their present on this special day a living monument to their friends and the inspiration that they were to not just Tera and her Eternal, but the Realm and countless other beings in universes untold.

Then the next day, a letter arrived from the other side of the koi pond with a picture in it. Tera and Keith looked at the picture first and what they saw made them both smile happily.

Where they had planted the two small baby rose bushes in their dear friend’s garden the night before, there was… so much more. Not two bushes, not even three, but all throughout the yard was nothing but a sea of red roses, their petals vibrantly red, and all facing towards the home that held love, hope, and passions as strongly as that which they shared in their own home.

The note was short, only a few words long, but it, and the picture, have a place of honor just inside the front door of Tera and Keith’s own home, where their own rose bushes can see it too…

The love you share is the love that always grows…


Thank you for sharing with us both…


Tera & Keith

May 31 2012

Succubi Image of the Week 231

I haven’t had a Castlevania Succubus as the Succubi of the Week for a long, long time if ever and that’s mostly because I don’t honestly care for her look and as well that she’s missing two important Succubus features. Those being a tail and horns.

Still I know lovely art when I see it and so…

Castlevania Succubus by Unknown Artist

Castlevania Succubus by Unknown Artist

Now I do know that this is an image of the Castlevania Succubus, but I have no idea of who the artist is as there was no information whatsoever about them where I found this piece of art. So if anyone has any idea, please leave a comment so I can credit them correctly please?

The talent in this artist’s work is wonderful and it’s really about the best piece of art that I have ever seen about the Castlevania Succubus for a very long time. It’s just slightly sub dewed eroticism blends really well with the character and makes this so much better than most. It has always bothered me to an extent why artists almost always draw these Succubi topless when they are much more erotic drawn this way…

But they still need horns and a tail. Really…



May 30 2012

Dark Angels might be a start to a sexy Succubi costume…

This week’s costume to ponder isn’t at least at the moment, a Succubus or Devil Girl really… But there is something about it that I like and I think, possibly, it can be one…

We’ll see…

Angel of Darkness CostumeThis is called the Angel of Darkness Costume, and it comes with a fully sequinned dress with removable, adjustable straps, a pair of draped sheer and sequin arm bands, black feather angel wings, a black marabou trim halo headband and a beaded necklace.

The shoes are not included of course and it sells for $65 US but it can be found on sale for as little as $40…

Of course my personal interest in this costume is taking it from an Angel to a Succubi… And I think that it wouldn’t take all that much to manage really…

The halo of course must go as will the wings, they have no place on a Succubi costume really.. However I really like this dress and the arm bands as well…

I think just adding a pair of red horns and a red tail to this makes the contrast between the red and black stand out, and the look of the dress will add to the sexiness of the overall look…

I will have to find out if, by chance, this manufacturer didn’t actually make this into a more devilish outfit as well…

It wouldn’t take much to get there really…

I’ll give it three pitchforks out of five.

It’s a good place to start, and I think that the end result would be just about right…



May 29 2012

Desires 31

When you ask what the Queen of the Succubi remembers.. You might be surprised what she replies to you with…


Desires – Truths

By MZ and Tera S

Part Nineteen

Tera smiled softly and said, “Of course I do….”

She closed her eyes and began to tell the tale of that night…

“It was the first time that we had a date together after we met. I arrived at your studio at six in the evening. It was the longest night of the year and you had asked me to share that night with you. You opened the door to welcome me in a green shirt and blue jeans. The moonlight on that evening flooding your studio behind you. I wore a yellow summer dress in spite of the cold of that evening, to promise the future would bring warmth and sunshine into our lives as the days grew longer from that moment on.

You led me into your studio and showed me some of the beauty that you were creating. Then you reached to a white cloth on a table and held something within it carefully in your hands. I asked you what it was and you said a gift for me. The first of many.

I reached out a hand to the cloth and touched it very gently. I said to you that love is it’s own reward, and it’s own reason for being. I said that you did not ever need to give me a single gift of any kind. I said that the love we shared was it’s own reward. And that nothing was necessary to prove that…

You told me that you did this because you wanted to. That you needed to.

Then you revealed the rose within the cloth. It was prefect in every way. Every petal a work of love. Every ridge of the stem like it was a real rose. You even managed to carve onto the stem the thorns that roses have. I was stunned at the gift and said that I could never accept it from you. You said that you would be heart broken if I didn’t. You took the rose out of the cloth with your other hand and then touched it to your lips for a moment.

Then, just before you gave it to me, you pricked yourself on the thorns that you carved into it. You swore and waved your hand in the air until I managed to get close enough to be able to kiss it better. We stood in the moonlight and looked into each other’s eyes and you promised me that your love was forever and nothing could ever change that. At that moment I felt the love within you for me and I allowed myself to let you lead the way….”

Tera looked at him again with total devotion to him in her eyes. She reached out a hand to the rose and traced a single finger along the petals of the rose.

She sighed and said, “You called it your Black Rose afterwards. You changed the roses that came afterwards to never have those thorns displayed on them.”

Her finger left the rose petals and trailed across his palm slowly, “You said that true love has no thorns and that you did not want any thorns to harm me…”

She smiled and with total trust and love in her heart she said, “And I answered that with true love comes true trust. You had my love and I believed that you would keep your promises…”

She gazed into his eyes and in a whisper sighed, “Forever…..”

And forever is a very, very long time…



May 28 2012

Storm Clouds 169 – 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...

Editing this week with thanks to my heart… I hope to be somewhere in the story soon again…


Storm Clouds 169

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.


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?”



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.”


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.”


“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.”


“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.”


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 lily 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 this person?”

Nina laughed, “Oh no, no you haven’t … Trust me, you would know if you had.”


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

Tom filed that away for later before prodding 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 humans, 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 who 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 to 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, you might remember that 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 who were 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.”