QSFer Sally Bend has a new MM post-apocalyptic book out:
It had been fifty years since the bridge had last represented anything meaningful. Fifty years since the city on the other side had been targeted by the Church for refusing to join in the new faith, and for refusing to denounce all those who believed otherwise. It was meant to be the start of a war to end all wars, a final strike against the forces of pagan terrorism, but the Church has instead become a terrorist state of its own, cut off from the rest of the world, and banished to suffer under its own darkness.
There was no line between the twin cities, just a wandering edge of airborne debris. It was a buffer of eternal gloom that separated their countries, a land tainted by the poisons of the failed holy crusade. Disease and pestilence ran rampant among those sinners cast out and neglected by the Church Communal States, while legend and myth were said to lurk in defense of Pagan Provinces.
Neither Alexander nor Stephen had ever really bought into the mythology of the north – not like their spouses did – but it was the only hope they had left. The bridge had been one of the first things to fall during the abbreviated war, collapsed not by the Church, but by the Beast – or so it was said – to keep them on their own side of the chasm. With their loves dying, Stephen and Alexander must each risk his own life in crossing that barrier in search of the Beast, to whom he must perform the ultimate surrender if he is to obtain the cure.
One of the most dangerous questions a writer can ask of themselves is “what if?” but that is precisely what gave rise to the twin novellas, Alpha Surrender and Alpha Transformation.
I won’t tell you which came first – I will leave that up to you to ponder, should you choose to give both stories a read. What I will tell you is that, gender differences aside, they remain the same story at heart, with the same theme of an Alpha male surrendering his sense of self in an intimate act of pure, heartfelt love.
To be honest, I’m not sure which story I prefer. Alpha Transformation is the kind of story that most readers would expect of me, with an Alpha male’s love for his transsexual wife leading to an act of surrender that will change them both. Alpha Surrender is a story I am just as excited about, with an Alpha male’s love for his husband leading to an act of surrender that will change their future together.
Writing them in parallel made both stories stronger, and I think – I hope – the experience has made me a better writer. I hope you enjoy.
Alpha Surrender is a post-apocalyptic m/m story of erotic love and submission.
Alpha Transformation is a post-apocalyptic TG story of erotic love and submission.
These stories are bundled here to allow you to enjoy and appreciate the ways in which they flow together . . . and in which they diverge along the way.
Amazon | Smashwords (Alpha Transformation) | Alpha Surrender
It was nearly a full day later when he scrambled atop a twisted mess of melted railroad tracks to find his goal in sight.
Surprisingly, as he looked out over the old downtown, many of the buildings looked to have survived the explosions, the collapse of the bridges, and the fighting that followed. There were signs of life in several of them – wisps of smoke, flickering lights, and clothes hung out to dry – but there seemed to be something of a dead zone between them and the road that ran along the lip of the gorge below.
The building before him was three stories of grey stone in one corner, and a jumbled heap of ash in the other, with a scattering of broken windows sagging in between. The feeble glow of a half-powered streetlight was enough to illuminate the words ‘Bank of’ spelled out above the main door, but whatever once followed had been worn away by the years.
It was beyond that building, at the end of a ruined cul-de-sac, where his final destination lay. The building there looked to have been built roughly around the same time as the bank, but it had weathered the years a little better. The roof was in tatters, with a few withered tree limbs poking through the holes, but there were still shingles clinging stubbornly to the wood. The windows had all been boarded up long ago, with only a few glimpses of empty frames showing where shanty-board had rotted away.
The front stairs were gone, likely scavenged for some other purpose, and the walls showed gaping wounds of rust where the ornamental iron had been stripped. It looked like a ghost of its former self, a haunting imitation of the old photos he had so carefully studied, but what struck him most about the structure was its sheer presence. It sat there, alone in the darkness, commanding the entire block. Stories of ghosts had lost their power to frighten the innocent long ago, overwhelmed by horrors far more commonplace, but if any building was truly haunted, then this was it.
Alexander shivered a little more deeply, and not from the cold. If he weren’t in such desperate need of the Beast inside and the magic he was said to dispense, if he hadn’t already gone through hell to get here, if he hadn’t already begun a surrender that would only end in his lover’s arms, he would have turned around without so much as ever setting foot inside.
As intimidated as he was, he narrowed his focus to what was immediately before him. He mentally replayed Kevin’s instructions, bypassing the all-too-open main door, and made his way around back. The cinderblock wall looked to have fallen prey to vandals long before the elements, but it was still a tight squeeze getting through the gap into the courtyard. Once safely on the other side, he stepped awkwardly over broken furniture and scraps of building materials.
Part of him wondered why it all lay there, undisturbed, when so much else had been scavenged so long ago, but he understood. This was taboo . . . off-limits . . . a place to be avoided, at all costs, even by the worst of humanity.
Alexander came to a halt before the beautifully wrought-iron gate set into the darkest corner of the building. It was rusted and sagging, but no matter what kind of temptation it must present, nobody had tried to scavenge it.
Or, maybe they had, maybe they had tried, and been stopped by the Beast inside.
He shook off the fear and reached for again for the silver ring, feeling Kevin in its absent center. It grounded him, gave him courage, reminded him of his purpose.
Alexander pushed on the gate and stepped inside.
The creak of metal on stone echoed throughout the building.
“Um, Hello?” He jumped as the heavy, wrought-iron gate clanged shut behind him. It had opened stiffly, requiring him to pull and tug and jerk it wide enough to slip through, but had swung shut entirely on its own, as if it remembered being perfectly oiled and balanced. He wouldn’t have been at all surprised to find that it had locked itself firmly shut behind him, but he wasn’t about to check.
Right now, he really didn’t need to know.
The truth might sap what little courage he hoarded deep within his soul.
The room in which he found himself smelled old and stale. Despite the walls being more holes than stone, it still felt as if the room hadn’t been opened to the elements in years. As he looked around, he was struck by the absence of anything that didn’t belong. No animal corpses, no scat, no debris, and no puddles of rancid rainwater. Either it was swept and mopped regularly, or the world knew better than he the consequences of intruding.
Curious, he walked over to an old chair and swatted it with the back of his hand. An immense cloud of dust rose up to take his breath away, but what didn’t cling to him simply settled right back from where it originally came. It took a moment to clear the dust from his eyes. It clung to him, and stung his eyes so deeply he feared he might have forever blinded himself.
When his vision did return, it was to find a strange glow coming from the doorway to his left. It wasn’t enough to illuminate the room he was in, just to point out a likely destination, but it called to him like a frozen beacon.
Oddly enough, it reminded him of the subterranean moss of the turbine tunnels.
He was beginning to believe this place might truly be sacred, protected from both man and elements, but he was still careful of where he placed his feet. He tested every step before committing his weight, but the floorboards barely even creaked beneath him. By the time he crossed the room and stepped through the door, he was shuffling deliberately.
If the blue flame illuminating the room were cold, that vibrating baritone was even colder. Not only was it cold, it was commanding. Alexander instantly dropped to his knees. Even without laying eyes upon him, the very fact of the Beasts’ presence compelled him. He waited, but the Beast offered nothing more than that cold word of welcome. His soul quailed at the thought of it, certain that to meet his eyes would damn him for all eternity, but he had to look.
Even if it was the last conscious decision he ever made, he had to look.
Sally Bend is an author, editor, columnist, and reviewer. Although shy and polite (she is, after all, Canadian), she loves to boldly and boisterously express herself through stories that bend the binaries of gender and sexuality.
Her fiction incorporates a wide range of styles, from dark horror to quirky erotica, with her favorite themes being the acceptance of gender identity and the exploration of submissive sexuality.
When she’s not reading, writing, or wandering the forest, she can be found online at http://sallybend.com.