Yippeeeeeee!!!!! Arlene's book is now available!!!!
Love Grows Wild in the Dark by Arlene Webb
Heat Rating: From Just a Spark to Warm shading toward Fire.
Content Warning: None
Single Author Anthology.
In Lieu of Flowers
Tormented by flowers, stalked by non-existent fiends, will a youth with an overactive imagination ever find happiness?
Hate my mom. Hate my life. Hate my mom.... The words looped in my mind, a mantra of misery. Top of the food chain, a nineteen year old Caucasian male, and here I was thrown back into reliving high school years. Surprised the old bat hadn't made me skip grade school to help for holidays. Come home from the intern gig for one lousy weekend, and it's Joel to the rescue--again.
"The cooler needs restocking. Red carns, alstro, delphiniums. There's another pack of pink roses in the back that aren't done yet."
"Yeah, yeah." I flipped my knife to a path parallel to the stem contaminating my other hand and pointed upward, my elbow braced for liftoff. "If I stab my eye out, can I leave?"
Mom burst out laughing. One thing about the woman, she did appreciate my sarcasm. But I seriously doubted she understood how deranged I was. I loathed flowers, almost as much as I hated running into dolts from my past.
Brad frickin' Norris. The vision of splattering crimson, the clank of enamel teeth hitting the sidewalk orchestrated with the lovely sonata of his girlish sobs and deep grunts begging for mercy--I sighed, my fantasy concerning punching Norris in the face had encouraged me to strip every thorn, and then some, off the rose in my hand.
"Maybe you should check the availability of Braille keyboards first." Mom slapped the final touches on yet another arrangement I'd have to cart across the street. Fingers moving in a blur, she peered up at me. "Forget the roses and take this. Careful. It's pricey, and I'll see you at home, kay? Honestly, son, I'll lose it if you drop that one."
Can an untamed lover distract from the desire to bring down the human race?
It hurts, having your head cut off. I don't care how lovingly the man crooned as he snapped me between his thick fingers. Pain ricocheted through my vascular system. With every fiber of my being, I hoped my fluid burned his fingers.
"Bastard human." My loud curse started a ripple from my cringing little ones. Heads bent in submission, they gulped their distress, murmuring soothing words to no avail. In a matter of hours I'd be sealed, callous formed, on my way to splintering into more suckers for the bipods to torture. I shook, using all my strength to turn from my loving offspring trying to raise their disfigured faces to the light. The devil had pinched them too.
Time to concentrate on settling the score between Plantae and Mammalia. The book lay at my base. I bent my mutilated crown, covered the page, and continued reading where I left off before the monster had stomped in on two horrid legs to mess with me.
When darkness soothed my injuries, blackness cloaked my hungry mind, and I swore again. Not happy with twisting me almost dead, forcing me to branch into a form they found ëpretty', lights went out at sundown like I was a simple seedling.
I snickered. Stupid human still hadn't found his bible. Soon, I'd have opportunity to take down his fascist regime.
"Mommy, why does he keep doing this?" my youngest whispered.
"Shh, my love. Someday you'll become so perfect the cruel man will stop." I didn't elaborate. No little sprout wanted to learn about hell day, and I didn't want to upset my offspring this vengeful night. I'd keep them in the dark as long as I could. "Sleep now. Dawn will break, it always does. And I promise you, we'll have a new light for breakfast--soon."
Circle in the Sand
Fallen angels, a handsome blue-eyed officer... How can a female geek concentrate?
I never thought it'd be so annoying being the lackey for a narcissist serial killer, but the angel rising from his chair had me gnashing enamel.
"You lost your marbles?" V growled. Like a trench coat around him, his dark hair flowed past his knees.
"Yes." Despite telling him that six times already, I didn't dare flip him my human backside and skedaddle before he dismissed me. The last thing I wanted was to squirm beneath a fallen one, his fist down my throat. His eyebrows snapping into killer angles encouraged me to elaborate. "Without my balls I can't blast brains to pulp. Searching the office, that's all I was doing."
"Balls? You sure look double X to me." He snorted, jerking his gaze from my chest. "Cease demoralizing your co-workers. Playing the ëI'm nuts card' won't negate a contract. If I don't make tomorrow's headlines, Rissa, my love, I'll hunt for lost items in places the sun doesn't shine. Get back to work."
My heart regained its beat as V stopped shaking feathers everywhere and his hands unclenched. It'd be easier to scope that red dot without my eyes swollen shut. I traded my urge to curtsey for a nod and retreated. It'd serve our molting slave master right if I did spread loss of mojo through his minions. With three women including me and five men dysfunctional thanks to the willies, the big oaf would have to do his own retribution. Unfortunately, the angel had me by the short hairs. I'd signed in blood. Two more foreheads to go, a total of seven bodies and he'd leave me and mine alone.