QSFer Kim Fielding has a rereleased MM paranormal book out: “The Dance.”
After several deaths and near-deaths, chemist and introvert Bram Tillman wishes the last year would unhappen. Then a beautiful man shows up at his door, warning him that more danger lies ahead. Daniel Royer promises to use vodou ceremonies to help Bram discover what’s trying to kill him. But while Bram feels a growing attraction to Daniel, vodou spirits change Bram in unexpected ways.
He dreamt of a rainstorm. He wandered through a graveyard at night, searching for something, hunching his shoulders in a vain attempt to keep the water from running under his collar and down his back. When he came to a large mausoleum with its door wide open, he ducked inside. The interior smelled like wax and dust. It was a much bigger space than it should have been—so big and dark he couldn’t see the walls. In fact, as he turned around, he realized he could no longer see the door. A small pool of bluish light illuminated the space immediately around him. The floor was sandy like a beach, and his bare feet sank in, making walking difficult. The light followed him as he slowly struggled forward.
“Hello?” he called. There was no answer, not even an echo.
He walked for what felt like miles, but nothing ever changed. Maybe he was going in circles. He collapsed, sat with his back bent, and sifted the sand through his hands. If he could only deduce the sand’s chemical composition, maybe he could find his way out.
“Calcium carbonate?” he mused. “Basalt? Quartz?” No, he realized with a start—with that weird but definite knowing common to dreams—the sand was made of crushed coconut shells.
“I do like coconut,” someone said before stepping into view. He was very skinny man with very dark skin. He wore a long black duster, a purple feather boa, and a black top hat. Bright lipstick accented his lips, and his eyes were dusted with gold and purple eye shadows. He had an unlit cigar in one hand and an ornate black-and-gold walking stick in the other. His hips swayed as he walked closer. He stopped when he was almost within reach, and then he smiled coquettishly. “Do you like coconut too, Abraham?”
“Bram.” The correction was automatic.
The man had a trilling laugh. “All right, then. Bram it is.”
“I want to go home.”
“You are home, mon cher. You are curled up very beautifully in your bed. This is only a dream, yes?”
“Then I want to wake up.”
“Why? Is your waking life so good you cannot bear to leave it?” The man sank gracefully into a cross-legged sit opposite Bram. He balanced the stick across his bony knees. “I think maybe you have been trying to escape that life for some time now.”
“I don’t….” Bram wasn’t sure how to respond, so he shook his head. “I’m confused.”
“Humans often are. You chase yourself in such tight circles, you never see the truth. You don’t take enough time to celebrate what you ought to.”
“What should I be celebrating?”
The man smiled at him. “Life. Death. It’s all one thing, mon cher, all part of the dance.” His expression turned more serious. “But we must take our steps in time. I think now for you, it is time for life.”
He picked up his cane and tapped the end against Bram’s chest. The metal tip was either very hot or very cold—Bram couldn’t tell which. Either way it burned him, and he yelped but couldn’t move away.
One more tap and the man resettled the stick in his lap. “Death seeks you now. It is not time yet for you to die, mon chou, so I have been helping you. I might continue.” The corners of his lips lifted into a grin that was more like a leer. “But you must ask me nicely. You must please me. Then perhaps I will help you more.”
“I don’t believe in you!”
The man threw back his head and laughed. “As if your belief matters to me,” he said, still chuckling. He rose gracefully, executed a deep curtsy, then turned and walked away. But even after the darkness swallowed him, he called back. “I like coconuts and white rum. Or you could sacrifice a black goat!”
Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.
After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls California home. She lives there with her family and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.
Author Website: http://kfieldingwrites.com
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