blog · original work · writing

Writing | Shadow of a Demon (or a Friend)

For the longest time, Emmaline thought that the shadow she saw on the edges of her vision was a trick of the light.

As a child, it had been a demon that dogged her every step, something to be prayed away by her family and church.  Then, during her teenage years, when life seemed to be at its absolute lowest, it was entirely gone from her.

As she grew older, it returned, leaping from a green exit sign to the dull metal of a guard rail while she drove down the interstate.  Emmaline barely gave it a second thought, believing that it was just a bird landing to rest it’s wings.

But when the shadow sat upon her desk, leaned over her shoulder, and whispered into her ear she knew it was no figment.  And she knew that it would no longer tolerate being ignored.

“It will hurt only for a moment and then your eyes will be opened.”  The shadow spoke into her ear, breath barely moving the hair curled there.

Emmaline wondered briefly what it meant before a sickeningly thin arm reached forward, hand curling around her jaw and turning her face towards the speaker.

The black of the shadow’s eyes seemed somehow even more deep than the darkest night and she found that she could not look away. As the sharp agony of knowing swept over her, Emmaline knew her life would never be the same again.

©2020 S Hostetter

“Guard Rail” by huminiak is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

original work · writing

Writing | The Morning After

“I think that it says an awful lot about your character, that you insist on keeping to your morning routine even knowing that the rest of your day is going to be completely off that routine.”

Quill hummed in response, moving from cobra into downward facing dog and breathing deeply as he did so.  He enjoyed the feeling in his muscles as they were stretched and the pull of muscles unfamiliar with the activities of the night before.  Quill absolutely loved performing his sun salutations the morning after getting laid, reveled in the way his body seemed to still be singing even so many hours after it had been overwhelmed with pleasure.

“You are extremely flexible. If I’d remembered that last night, we could have been a lot more creative.”

Quill grinned to himself, chuckling as he stretched and moved into a headstand.

“Well, if you’d been more awake last night, we could have been more creative. Instead, you decided not to sleep on your flight here and were too tired to do anything more than good old vanilla sexing last night.”

Ransom laughed, rolling back up onto the bed as he did so, and gazed up at the ceiling.

“I can’t believe that you can say ‘sexing’ with a completely serious face and while you’re upside down. But, I have to say that your morning after glow is coming in quite well.” He commented, turning his head to gaze appreciatively at his lover.

Quill rolled his eyes, praying for patience in dealing with the silly man, his best friend and lover, before the man had had his morning cup of coffee. Before he had his morning caffeine fix, Ransom tended to revert to his college-aged way of speaking. Quill couldn’t help but find it helplessly endearing.

©2016 S Hostetter

“A warm window view” by Mourner is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

blog · original work · writing

Writing | S'mores… the morbid way

“You know it’s sort of morbid that this is how we make our s’mores, right?” Ransom laughed, as he skewered another marshmallow bunny on the stick he’d found in the woods and held it over the fire.

Quill was having a difficult time not collapsing into laughter himself, as he watched the poor marshmallow bunny slowly turning brown and getting crispy along the edges. He reached into the bag for a bunny of his own and skewered it lengthwise on his stick.

Quill much preferred the vaguely burnt taste of marshmallow on his s’mores, so his bunny wasn’t allowed the dignity of a slow, well-toasted death.

No, Quill thrust his marshmallow straight into the flames and waited for the brief moment it took for the bunny to catch fire before pulling it back out and watching as it burned on the end of the stick.

“That is so evil.” Ransom laughed. He was grinning madly, as he watched his best friend staring maniacally at the burning and warping body of the marshmallow bunny.

It was something they had always clashed on, the proper way to toast marshmallows for s’mores, and as they’d grown older it had become less of a fight and more of a mutual disagreement with the other man’s preferred methods.

It was the only time that Ransom thought his normally safety conscious friend might have pyro-maniacal tendencies, when the poor, innocent bunny was casting light up on his face with the flames that were eating away at its body.

“Yep.” Quill agreed.

He blew the flames out and watched as smoke continued to rise from the marshmallow bunny’s corpse. It was sort of sad, now that he thought about it, but Quill wasn’t about to let the guilt get to him. He reached over and picked up his prepared graham cracker with chocolate and smashed the bunny’s corpse right into the middle, grinning as the marshmallow started to ooze over the edges and strung out in the air between the cracker and the stick.

“You might be right, but this? This is the absolute best way to eat a s’more when you’re in the woods with the fire and fresh air. You really need that smoky flavoring, my friend, it makes the whole experience better.”

Ransom could fee his eyebrows raising at his friend’s words. “I think that what you really meant to say is that you need the flavor of charcoal in your diet, isn’t that right?”

“I have no idea what you’re referring to.” Quill responded. He took a bite of his s’more and let the melted chocolate and burned marshmallow ooze from the other side, watching as Ransom only shook his head in exasperation as Quill enjoyed making a mess of his treat.

Anyone who said a little crispiness was bad on a s’more, well, they were so very wrong on all counts.

blog · original work · writing

Writing | Fruit Flavored Kisses

Step one: Find a ripe piece of soft fruit, such as a plum, apricot, or mango. These fruits are soft and taste good.

It took a few days, but Anisa knew people and she knew how to use her status as a international celebrity to get what she wanted.

According to the information she’d found, a small number of ripe plums were exactly what she needed to perfect her skills. It just wouldn’t do for Anisa Hansen to be inferior in something she should have been well-versed in before she learned to drive. Although, seeing as she still hasn’t learned to drive a motor vehicle at the age of twenty one, Anisa isn’t putting too much faith in that.

She is, however, putting her faith in the fact that she is amazing at studying and coming out at the top of her class regardless of the subject matter. She is going to master this.

Step two: Bite a small, mouth-sized hole in the fruit.

Anisa ignores the stares as she tries, for the ninth time, to remove a small piece of plum. Really, this is much more difficult than the instructions indicated. The fruit is slightly malleable, and it tastes nothing like she had imagined it would.

Juice runs down her chin as Anisa bites into the plum again, picking delicately at it with her teeth. With the noise of the mess hall bouncing off the walls, she doesn’t hear the choked noise Gabe makes across the table.

Step three: Use this as the mouth that you’ll practice kissing with.

Anisa places her lips to the fruit, pressing gently and sucking up the juice that wells in the cavity she’s created. She pulls the plum away from her mouth and licks at her fingers, trying to remove the sticky juice from between them.

Step four: Kiss the fruit mouth gently. Try to establish a rhythm. Kiss the top part of the “mouth,” and then the bottom part of the “mouth.” For goodness’ sake, don’t eat your kissing partner.

She nibbles at the top part of the fruit and then moves her hand and repeats the motions to the bottom of the fruit. Anisa forgets for a moment, that she isn’t supposed to eat the fruit, that the plums are for practicing and the few she managed to obtain need to last. The flavor of the plum isn’t so bad anymore, Anisa thinks, as she runs her tongue along the tear in the fruit’s skin.

Step five: Use your tongue by gently pushing it into the flesh of the fruit. Remember to use the tongue sparingly. You don’t want to overdo it with the tongue.

She dips her tongue into the fruit, again and again, licking and tasting at it’s flesh and wonders why the kitchen staff hasn’t ever had plums available for them before. These are damned tasty.

Okay, so maybe Anisa gets a little carried away with step five, but who would dare blame her for it anyways? The plum is perfectly ripe, just tangy enough to make her taste buds sing, and Anisa can’t get enough of it.

She moans a little, quietly, under her breath and doesn’t think anyone around their table noticed.

Suddenly, the fruit is snatched from her sticky fingertips and before Anisa can even think to complain, she is being kissed.

Lips are pressed firmly to hers and she can’t form coherent thoughts as those lips nibble at her upper lip, kiss her full on the lips again, before moving and nibbling on her full lower lip.

Anisa pants into the kiss, more turned on in this moment than she can ever remember being before. She is no longer ignoring the stares from the surrounding tables, in fact, the Australian has completely forgotten that anyone else exists in the world.

A hand curls around her neck and pulls her closer, guiding her, and tilting her head a little. There is a hint of tongue running along the seam of Anisa’s lips and she gasps open mouthed, desperate for more. And then there is a tongue inside her mouth, dancing with her own tongue, learning her in ways no one else knows.

When the tongue retreats, Anisa chases it with her own and maps out the warm cavity it came from.

Christ, she is kissing someone! Well he kissed her first but it is, quite frankly, the most amazing thing she’s ever done.

She decides that kissing Gabe is much better than kissing a piece of fruit.

©2020 S Hostetter

blog · original work · writing

Writing | Mythentario

Their meeting was the kind of slow-coming, unavoidable fate that one reads about in grand stories, but it was one that would shape the path of their combined future irrevocably.

Dylan couldn’t breathe. He was lying on the cold sidewalk outside of his apartment building staring up at the sodden, dark grey clouds hanging low in the sky.

He honestly had no idea how he’d gotten to be in this position.

“Oh, I am sorry!” A lilting voice said.

Dylan looked down, or rather up, at the owner of the voice. The blonde man was perched across his chest, slim wrists bracing him up as his hands pressed into the wet concrete on either side of Dylan’s head.


Their eyes met and Dylan couldn’t help but fall into those sea foam orbs, his discomfort at being knocked over and soaking wet falling to the wayside as he stared up at the other man.

“Umm, hello there. I think you’re the one I’ve been looking for.”

“One what?” Dylan found himself asking. He was beginning to question why the other man had yet to stand up.

And then he saw it. The tip of a tail peaking over the man’s shoulder, twitching slightly.

‘From nerves?’ He wondered. For all his knowledge of creatures, he had no idea what exactly the tail was supposed to communicate.

“You’re the one who let us go, my brethren and I… don’t you remember?”

And suddenly Dylan did. He remembered the almost suffocating humidity of that jungle night, the way everything went absolutely still, and how his heart seemed to want to leap from his chest at the sight before him.

As a Mythentario, he’d been hired to track and kill a ravenous nest of naga that had recently appeared in the area and begun killing livestock and stealing children.

Or so he’d been told.

What he had found instead was a small group of adolescent naga that had been offering shelter to those who’d been sold into slavery or suffered abuse. Both were crimes that had been ignored by those who held power in the region.

Mythentarios were not just hunters of demons and monsters, they were also keepers of the peace and were tasked with dealing out justice to those who broke the laws of the land.

That justice took the form of fever and boils in the guilty and those who had turned a blind eye. The perpetrators died painful deaths and those guilty of willful ignorance had been left with visible scars to mark their crimes.

Dylan returned home after making sure that the victims would be cared for and then he made the trek back into the jungle to see if he could locate the naga’s nest again but had been unsuccessful. It appeared that they had moved on once the Mythentario had taken care of things.

“I remember.” He said. “But I don’t understand why you’ve been looking for me. You didn’t wait for me to arbitrate for your group and it’s been years since that happened. What could you possibly want from me now?”

Their eyes met again and Dylan could almost feel a bit of the power the naga’s distant cousin, the gorgon, held as the world seemed to slip away.

“Of course I would search for you. You’re my soulmate.”

©2019 S Hostetter

blog · original work · writing

Writing | Fire Burning

The first time he saw Toni, it was at the local nightclub, Riptide.

‘So damn hot.’ Christopher thought, as he watched the stranger out on the dance floor, moving sensuously to the music.

“You should ask for a dance.” His friend and fellow firefighter, Simon, urged him.

Christopher rolled his eyes at the suggestion.

“I can’t dance.”

“Yeah, right, I’ve seen you moving in the flames, don’t you give me that shit!” Simon laughed, “Go on!”

Simon pushed Chris roughly toward the dancing stranger and, once he started moving, Chris couldn’t stop his forward momentum. As if drawn my some magnetic force, his feet propelled him unerringly toward the object of his attention.

As he came close, emerald eyes slit open to meet his own, plain brown orbs. Chris could almost feel the sparks dancing between them.

“May I have this dance?”

At the time, he’d thought that was the most lame thing he could say.

“You can have all my dances, handsome.”

Yet here he was, eight years later, with Toni curled into his arms as they lounged in bed on a rainy, autumn morning.

©2019 S Hostetter