Friday, October 19, 2012

Excerpt from The Book of Paul by Richard Long


Saint Patrick’s

Paul bumped his shoulders into as many of the hustle-bustlers choking the aircraft-carrier width of Fifth Avenue in front of St. Paddy’s as he possibly could. Bump. Wump. It was morning rush hour on the sidewalk, and some of the more pissed-off jostled pedestrians gave him the old “ fists clenched like they’re really going do something” look. A few of the ballsier women gave him the old “Hey, watch where you’re going!” shout of indignation. Once they got a load of Paul, they kept on walking.
Paul looks even scarier than he is, if that’s possible. He has that longshoreman, teamster, biker,  ’Nam-Vet, might-be-homeless, might-be-crazy, definitely-dangerous look down to such a T that the entire crowd would have collectively walked across the street to avoid him if they had seen him coming. Wump. Bump. Too late.
Paul walked up the cathedral stairs in his big clunky boots, making as much noise as he could with each thudding step. Whomp. Clomp. He went out of his way to thud into two more tourists on their way out the massive bronze doors, quickly erasing their “Wow, what a great big fancy place!” grins with twin shakes of their heads that said, “See, it really is true what they say about these goddamn New Yorkers!”
Paul sneered with equal contempt. People. Can’t live with ’em…can’t kill all of ’em.
He paused in the vestibule to soak in the candlelit, incense drenched air and gulped down as much of the musky scent as he could manage. He stuck his bald fingertips into the Holy Water and half-expected to hear it hiss and bubble. It was crowded today, as he expected. The altar was draped in purple. There were flowers everywhere. He made the sign of the cross, gave an inch-deep genuflection and clomped down the center aisle to his regular seat, a pew three rows from the front on the left-hand side.
Someone was sitting there. Paul took a deep breath and stared down at the small gray-haired lady, with her white lace shawl and black shiny rosary beads. She didn’t seem to notice. Her tightly combed bun and happy-sad, creamy-puffy cheeks were bobbing rhythmically in deep prayer, her lips moving in a whispery quiver, mouthing out the time-honored blur of sound that passes for The Hail Mary in marathon rosary specialists:
“HailMaryfullagracetheLordiswitheeblessdrthouamongwomenanblessdisthafruitathywombJesusHolyMaryMothaGodprayforusinnersnowanatthehourofourdeathamen.” Pause. Repeat.
Paul was having none of it. “That’s my seat,” he rumbled in a low, raspy grunt that only a gawking T-shirt-clad couple walking down the aisle took any notice of. They quickly rolled their eyes and waddled away, but the little old lady, her eyes seemingly welded shut, showed no sign of acknowledgment whatsoever and wheezed in enough wind to motor her way through another black bead.
Paul stuck a chisel-hard finger in the square of her hunched back and pressed it in like a fleshy harpoon. “Ow!” she said, her eyes fluttering open in fear and dumb surprise.
“That’s my seat,” Paul repeated.
The poor sweet frightened lady was torn between feelings of fear, rage, shock and disbelief. She felt like running, but her fear and proud anger kept her rooted on the spot. “No sir, this is my seat,” she finally managed to croak with all the courage she could muster, her voice trembling like a butterfly’s wings.
“Darlin’, you can move now or I’ll wait here all day and then follow you home.”
She moved. But only enough so Paul could sit next to her.
“Hhmmph!” Paul hmphed with more admiration than he cared to admit. He scrunched his beefy bulk up snug against the still-trembling saint and gave her a shy smile and sidelong glance as he humbly lowered his head, knelt down and clasped his hands in pious prayer.
“Dear God,” he began, muttering in a barely audible voice. Barely audible that is, to anyone except the shrunken figure next to him, who twitched with fear at the sound of it.
“Dear Gawd,” he repeated, louder this time, his brogue more exaggerated than ever, hoping to get another rise out of her. She was steadier this time as he continued, “Bless da little bunnies in the forest and all da hungry children wit doze great big bellies over dere in Africa that doan have all dis yummy good food we have over here like da Ray’s pizza and da Slim Jims and da tater chips and da big tick juicy steaks you can cook up in yer nice warm oven by da fridge. And bless all da kiddies here too dat be suckin’ on da crack pipes all day long. And damn their dirty feckin’ parents all to hell dat send ’em out to live on the streets and fend for demselves while dey sit at home and suck on their own crack pipes and watch da telly an’ tink up more nasty ways dat dey can get more money to neglect deir little babies wit. And bless all the poor Mick cops dat have to put up with all dis stinkin’ filth and shit and hopelessness so dat it’s no wonder dat dey doan just go out and gun down every last stinkin’ one of dem. And most of all…bless poor dear Martin who’s gone and turned away from his lovin’ da for the sake of a dwarf harlot dat’s got him all mixed up in da head so dat now wit da hour of reckonin’ near, it seems I’ve but one last chance to convince him of da error of his ways, else I’ll be left with no other choice dan to take him out behind da shed and put him down like a dirty mongrel dog, amen.”
Paul let out a deep, long sigh and slowly opened his eyes, still keeping his head bowed and his hands folded. He looked at the cross and the poor sad Christ with all the beautiful red dripping holes in his hands and feet. “Tsk. Tsk. Such a shame about that,” he sighed, shaking his head. “If only you’d listened, we could have spared you all that misery. And you ours.”
He slumped back into his pew and gave his murmuring partner a warm crinkly smile as he listened to her mumbled prayers that were faster and more urgent than ever. He watched her pray for a long time, sitting motionless, smiling while her eyelids fluttered open from time to time to make sure he was still there with her.
“You’re a good ole bitch, grandma,” Paul said, nudging the old lady in the ribs with an elbow of genuine kinship.
Her eyes snapped open, filled with a little less fear this time. She was about to speak when Paul held a thick fat finger to her old wrinkled lips and said, “Shhhhh…don’t tax your sweet breath, my darlin’, you’ll be needin’ it for that next round of Hail Marys.” 
She opened her mouth to speak again, but then her face froze in place when she saw the nail was missing from Paul’s still poised fingertip. “Say a little prayer for me, sweetie,” he whispered in his perfect Irish lilt, “and say a great big one for Martin.”
Then he pinched her cheek, made the sign of the cross, stood up and walked away.

Get The Book of Paul on Amazon

"Never alive...and never dead."

In the rubble-strewn wasteland of Alphabet City, a squalid tenement conceals a treasure "beyond all imagining"--an immaculately preserved, fifth century codex. The sole repository of ancient Hermetic lore, it contains the authentic alchemical rituals for transforming thought into substance, transmuting matter at will...and attaining eternal life.

When a lusty, East Village tattoo artist has a torrid encounter with a battle-hardened loner, they are overwhelmed by the intensity of their feelings. Rose and Martin soon discover they are unwitting pawns on opposing sides of a battle that has shaped the course of human history. At the center of the conflict is Paul, the villainous overlord of an underground feudal society, who guards the book's occult secrets in preparation for the fulfillment of an apocalyptic prophecy.

The action is relentless as Martin and Rose fight to escape Paul's clutches and Martin's destiny as the chosen recipient of Paul's sinister legacy. Science and magic, mythology and technology converge in a monumental battle where the stakes couldn't be higher: control of the ultimate power in the universe--the Maelstrom.

The Book of Paul is the first of seven volumes in a sweeping mythological narrative tracing the mystical connections between Hermes Trismegistus in ancient Egypt, Sophia, the female counterpart of Christ, and the Celtic druids of Clan Kelly.

About the Author

Richard Long writes to exorcize the demons of his past and manifest the dreams of his future. 
His debut novel, The Book of Paul, is a dark, thrilling, and psychologically rich supernatural horror/thriller that blends mythology, science and mystery into a page-turning addiction. 
Richard is also writing a YA novel, The Dream Palace, primarily so that his children can read his books. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, two amazing children and their wicked black cat, Merlin. Learn more about him at http://TheBookofPaul.com
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The Seduction of Lady Marikova by Pavarti K Tyler



Since the first night you visited me, my thoughts have been branded with the cold burn of your touch. I drift in and out of focus, like a reflection upon rippled water, never sure if what I am seeing or experiencing is real. Before you, I was the most refined of ladies. My corsets cinched me into the shape of perfection while the dramatic flare of my plumed hats set me apart from other ladies of stature.
I was to wed soon and courters streamed through my father's house. One after the next they came and asked after his health and the health of my mother. Some would inquire into a business matter. It wasn't until their stature and sophistication were well in place that any mention of me was made. As if my role in this union were of secondary if not tertiary concern.
The night you arrived I knew you were different. Droplets of water clung to your dark cloak, desperate to maintain their connection to you. Even the night seemed to embrace you and follow along as you entered the brightly lit hall in which my father received visitors.
“Master Tepes,” the servant's voice rang out, announcing your arrival. But it hadn't been necessary. I'd sensed the heat of your presence as soon as you entered. Awareness traveled along the line of my neck and spread across my breast like a fever.
You nodded to my father, passing by his outstretched hand, only to come and kneel before me, your damp hair long around your shoulders. The last raindrop clinging to your lapel fell onto my elaborately embellished green dress. A fantasy filled my soul and life would never be the same. I loved you. At that moment, my very existence left my control and fell into yours.
“Sir,” my father coughed, coming to stand next to you. Your eyes bored into mine, filling my mind with images of the night sky and the freedom to run free beneath the stars. “Sir! I must say, this is highly inappropriate!”
You ignored him, and any doubt I had in my love for you vanished. My father only wanted to barter me for the highest prize in status or power. Any concern for my happiness was dismissed as easily as the cook was sent to the market for fish.
When my father forcibly pulled you from your position before me, you finally spoke. “You shall be my bride, and I shall cherish you for eternity.”
I watched, motionless, as you were escorted back to the pouring rain. I was numb to anything but the echo of your voice within my skull.
That night I could not sleep. I paced my room, ignoring my mother’s pleas to come down to the parlor with the family, refusing the maid's assistance in removing the bondage I suffered beneath my clothes. I finally succumbed to exhaustion; half dressed, lying atop my sheets, my hair still pinned up.
Beloved.
Your voice drifted into my dream, carrying me into your arms. Your cool caress inflamed my flesh and when I woke I shivered with the vividness of your embrace.
Beloved, you shall be mine.
You were there. I was no longer asleep and I was not mad, you were in my room! The shadows stretched from every corner, they all reached out to me, beckoning me to follow you into the black. Standing next to my bed, my corset loosened but not removed, my hair in disarray, I spun, searching for the eyes upon my flesh.
“Where are you?”
I am here my love, I will never leave you once you are mine.
“Let me see you.”
I am not what you think. I am so much more, so different from what your senses had you believe earlier in the parlor.
“I don't care. I love you.”
We shall see.
The shadows swirled, twisting me into confusion and desperation until instantly it stopped and only the faint scent of jasmine filtered through the window. My closed window.
The following days blurred together and my obsession with a man I'd only seen once grew in direct proportion to my father's demands to forget him. I would no longer entertain visitors. There was even a duke who messaged my father with interest in discussing my future, but my refusal to properly dress or eat forced him to send the inquiring servant away.
“You know nothing of this Tepes man other than that he disrespected me!” was all my father would say when I would gather the courage to ask if you would be calling again. He stormed away, leaving me to melt into a pool of tears and desperation.
At night I would wait for you, desperate for you to return, even if only to hear your voice. That would be enough to sustain me. Nights passed and the days became too long to bear. My usual glow paled and I became a hazy outline of my former self.
And now? I miss you so. It has been almost a month since you swore I would be your bride. I lie in bed naked beneath a thin sheet. The doctors have declared the fever hysteria. But I know it is the virus of my love for you, eating me from within, laying claim to each cell of my body. You are testing me. Am I strong enough to endure my love for you?
Each breath of wind sends shivers across my flesh as my hands clench the fabric beneath me. My mind plays tricks and I see you standing in the corner of my room, cloaked in shadows. It is your essence but not your face. The creature before me holds no resemblance to the dark haired man who knelt before me.
My beauty.
The voice is within my mind. Deep and angelic, it is yours.
“Are you he?” I ask, sitting up, holding the sheet against my breast.
I am as I've always been.
You stand, half in shadow, the light drifting in through my window accentuating the dips of pock marks and rise of scars upon your face. Your hair is no longer thick and long, but mere wisps of white dancing upon your skull. And yet it is you. I take you in. Hideous and misshapen, you are even more elegant standing before me in vulnerability.
I long to reach out and touch you. You smile. A wicked smile you will come to save just for me. You nod. Taking your unspoken command, I allow my hands to relax their grasp on the sheet. It falls away, exposing my virgin flesh to the sunken sockets that hold your eyes.
My hands glide, unsure, along my skin. I wrap my small fingers around my firm breast. You step forward, further into the light and I gasp at your disfigurement. But still, it is you. As if inspired by the beauty of the ancients I lay back on the bed, arching my back into the hands I imagine are yours. My hips move without my consent. A fire burns deep within me, feeding a need I never knew I had.
“Master,” I moan as my left hand loosens its hold on my sanity. Your eyes lock on mine as I inch lower until my fingers brush against the soft hair above the nexus of my ecstasy. I massage my breast roughly, eliciting a moan from your lips. My left hand lies on my hip, vibrations of need rolling across my body. Your image shimmers before me. The darkness hides your expression, but the glint of teeth shines behind your smile. My skin is aflame with your desire. I lay on display before you.
The breeze intensifies. Is it your command? Or a trick of nature? The sheet lifts slightly, sending the scent of my arousal across the room. The cool night air licks at my legs, contrasting the fire blazing beneath my flesh. You step closer still, your image blurring in and out of focus.
“Are you there Master? Is it really you?”
I allow myself to reach lower, parting my lips with my fingers, finding the moisture within. My fingers glide along my swollen flesh, bringing dripping desire with them. Our eyes lock. Brazenly I pull the sheet aside and bring my fingers, wet with need, to my lips. I taste myself as I lay spread before you, desperate for you to relieve the ache burning within me.
“Master,” I pray. “You said you would make me yours. That you would love me forever.”
Before me, you straighten your back, your spine realigning itself to your full height and the monster before me falls away as easily as the sheet discarded on the floor.
“My name is Vlad Tepes. I did say you would be mine, but upon the condition you can love all that I am. Not just the form before you.” I tremble at the sound of your voice, watching as you begin to unbutton the black shirt straining against your now youthful body. “You were willing to give yourself to me when I came to you on the wind. You were willing to give yourself to me when I came to you as the monster within me. Are you willing to give yourself to me now, knowing what I am?”
“I am already yours. Take whatever reassurance you require, but from the moment I laid eyes on you, I was your bride.”
You reach out, your palms cool against my face as you bring your lips to mine. I am naked upon my bed, with you, only half undressed. The torrid images of my mother's warnings filter into my mind. Never be alone with a man, they will hurt you to find their own pleasure. The pain is noble when in union between husband and wife, it is your duty and your path to salvation, but without the bond of matrimony, don't think a man will hesitate to take what he wants and leave you, nothing but a wanton slut.
I push you away slightly. The growl in your throat frightens and exhilarates me. I slide my hand inside your open shirt, pushing it off your shoulder. “If I am to be naked before you, should you not be the same?”
You laugh indulgently before standing and removing your clothes. The scars which had riddled your face earlier are gone, but they remain on the flesh beneath your clothing.
“You were badly hurt.” I state, running my hand upon your taut stomach.
“A very long time ago. It makes no difference now.” Your voice is tinged with a sorrow which makes me rage. Your eyes have softened in memory, a past injustice bringing fresh pain.
“I will have those who hurt you suffer.”
“Indeed, I believe you would.” Your shirt falls to the ground, a moment later your trousers. I stand to meet you, our souls entwined in the mystery of this union. Your hand comes around my waist, pulling me closer and up on my toes. Your lips descend to mine and entice me with their perfection. I taste the familiar jasmine flavor of you and sigh, fully accepting the inevitability of us. The shape of you blends into my body.
Reclining us against my bed you hover above me. I sink back into the pillows. You lean on one arm and roam your hand across my flesh. Skin which has never been seen, nor touched, is electrified by your caress. Tender fingers graze my body making promises of ecstasy and love.
I watch you as your eyes rake over me. Your gaze leaves waves of heat upon my skin, my temperature is no longer a fever, but a boil. Madness screams in the corners of my mind for relief as your cool hands sooth and ignite my passions.
Again you kiss me and I pull your body against mine. Your chest against my breasts is warm but the silence within is deafening.
“You have no heart.”
“You are my heart.”
The sweetness of your words makes me swell and rise to you. Our kiss lingers and hands stray to places previously forbidden. You kiss my neck and then my shoulder. Your tongue reaches out and tastes my flesh. I shiver and sigh, falling deeper under your spell of lust. Your hand moves to my hip and your lips drift lower. Soon you are teasing my nipple, your tongue and lips holding me captive. I arch into you, wanting you to take me. I have no words for the emotions pounding in my head or the sensations pulsing through my body, but I know I need to be yours. I want to be devoured, feasted upon, ravaged. I want to rejoice in you and have you inhale me into your very flesh.
I sink my hands into your hair and pull you back to me. You press the full length of your body against mine and I open for you. With my legs wide and my womanhood exposed I welcome you within me. The hardness of your gender frightens me and I close my eyes, anticipating the deep pain of my mother's stories.
You kiss my eyes, and lower your hand between us. Instead of pain and violation, I feel myself warm as you slide against me.
“I will not hurt you, beloved, I will give you everything the night has to offer. I will give you strength and power, I will give you eternity.” Your voice soothes me and I relax my grip on your shoulders, allowing my body to again melt into yours. My soft curves against the hard planes of your shape. But it's your soul I merge with when you enter me. The wind, the monster, the man. I love them all.
Opening my eyes I look up to see the promises you've made and the truth of their words.
“I will be forever yours,” is all I say before taking your lips to mine, welcoming the union you offer.
You pull away and with one sharp thrust and a howl that shakes the heavens, you take me. Your teeth sink into my neck and as your body fills me with your passion you drain me of my life. I give it willingly. Our bodies move together, dancing with the slow and intentional movements of infinity as we seek out the highs of our new connection. You release my neck before leaning down and taking my breast into your mouth again, this time sinking your teeth deep into the soft tissue. I move with you, the moment of pain has dissipated into the ether as I watch the world melt away and all consciousness disappear with it.
When I am reborn, it will be as your bride.



Check Out Pavarti's Other EROTIC HORROR: Consumed by Love


Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway.

Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry for several international law firms. She now operates her own accounting firm in the Washington DC area, where she lives with her husband, two daughters and two terrible dogs. When not preparing taxes, she is busy working as the Marketing Director of Novel Publicity and penning her next novel.
 

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Incident at Bombay-Flash Fiction by Laxmi Hariharan

The technology of thought travel was invented and lost here. A secret place—hidden away, sunk in mud, covered with cigarette butts, cigar ash and popcorn kernels—where the film of the world nevertheless continues to re-run, ad infinitum.

It is said that Marcodolo, the legendary space explorer who had bridged the gaps between the eight galaxies, had one day managed to tear himself away from the adoring crowds to Fivepoints. To weep and meditate.

For six days and nights, he prays to the Almighty Lord Nu Vish standing on one foot, pleading for the boon of evergreen technology. Finally appeased, the Lord opens his third eye, and in one single beam of pure energy reveals the secret, direct, in-vitro to Marcodolo.

The images unravel in his mind, telling him to go to the place referred to as Bombay. Here he devises the optimum way to manifest the art of time technology, as a monad of pure energy suspended in mid-air. Marco uses it to build the very first gateway to other dimensions.

His masterpiece is a large canvas of pure non-destroyable material, onto which the monad projects colorful images, purging itself of the conscience of world chaos. This is how it continues to this day. Predictions, earthquakes, box-office successes, celebrity deaths and the birth of new stars. It all plays out here on the evergreen silver screen. A never-ending projection discovered by those for whom the time for travel has arrived.

For Marco, this triggers off his dormant gene, making him the first Half Life. The leader of the pack who achieves the very first recorded ascension, in accelerated time. The chosen ones summoned to Bombay. What would it be like, to change the past and re-write destiny?




Inspired by Indian mythology, The Destiny of Shaitan is a coming of age story, painted against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world.

When Tiina accompanies Yudi on a mission to save the universe from the ruthless Shaitan, she seeks more than the end of the tyrant; she seeks herself. Driven by greed and fear for his own survival, Shaitan bulldozes his way through the galaxy, destroying everything in his path.  Tiina wants Yudi to destroy Shaitan, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Shaitan being killed by his son. But she finds that Yudi is hesitant to do so. The final showdown between Tiina, Yudi, and Shaitan has unexpected consequences, for Shaitan will do anything in his power to win the fight.  The stakes are high and the combatants determined. Will Shaitan's ultimate destiny be fulfilled?


Shaitan is a ripping yarn and a gripping read and a must have for every fan of the genre.


Laxmi Hariharan I am a writer, technophile & dare I say, a futurist, with a penchant for chai and growing eye-catching flowers.  Wanderlust drove me out of my home country India to travel across Asia, and I lived in Singapore and Hong Kong before coming home to London.  My writing is inspired by Indian mythology; I draw from the ancient Indian stories, which my grandmother narrated to me as a child. It is in acknowledging my roots that I found my voice. When not writing I love to walk in the woods with my soul-mate, and indulging my inner geek. In this blog, I write on that which I have an opinion, including why the West is the new East, and the inspirational avatars I have met on my journey. My debut novel, The Destiny of Shaitan went to #2 on Amazon US kindle epic fantasy charts. Check it out here http://tiny.cc/szqsew.  I love to hear from my readers. If you like my writing, and would like to be profiled on my blog, then do email me at justonegin@gmail.com.

An Excerpt from BURNER by M.C. Mars


Jason polished off his fourth vodka. The sun played possum behind a light-tinged cloud, thunderstorms in the forecast. Electricity in the air made the billboards of Times Square blaze like corporate Tarot cards. Rain slapped against the window. He was happy to be back in New York.
     Jason sat pensively looking down at the pedestrian island where Broadway and 7th Ave merge.
      Legions of yellow cabs converged beneath him. The bar turned slowly on its axis. Formations of pigeons swooped and swirled at eye-level. He closed his eyes and imagined that everything around him—the cabs, the birds, and the bar—was attached to some invisible spindle, some enormously powerful electro-magnetic vortex at the center of the planet. When he opened his eyes the rain had stopped, and someone at the other end of the bar was calling out his name. He looked up and nearly fainted. At the other end of the rotating bar, he saw Beatrice wearing a slinky red dress.

      He leapt out of his seat and yelled her name. People surrounding him stopped what they were doing and stared.
He didn’t give a shit. He squeezed passed the suits and the assholes with outturned elbows protecting their drinks. He stopped for a waitress carrying a full tray. He lost sight of her in the mass of bodies as she walked to the elevator banks. He dashed over to the glass guardrail, eight floors up, and shouted her name, “BEATRICE, BEATRICE!”
     He watched helplessly as she glided down in one of those illuminated lanterns. The name BEATRICE echoed through the trellised atrium, even with all the noise and chaos in the lobby.
    By the time he got downstairs, she was gone—and a snaking check-in line slowed him down even further.  He saw a security guard with a walkie-talkie pointing at him. He raced ahead. He had to catch her. His life depended on it. Outside he walked into a blast of hot air and the smell of gas fumes in the gridlocked street. The doorman was busy getting cabs for a long line of unhappy guests. He walked out to Broadway and asked a Russian chauffeur smoking a cigarette if he’d seen her.
     “Yeah, she went that way…”

      He pointed east, down 47th Street. The sidewalks overflowed with the usual suspects—theatergoers, European tourists, foreign sailors, bridge and tunnel types, and, of course, hardcore New Yorkers. Waves of humanity filled the crosswalks. Jason jogged uptown using high school running back skills to avoid collisions. Something fated and mechanical guided him. He believed he could see through buildings and around corners. Half a block away, he spotted her at the 48th Street metro stop, the IND Sixth Avenue line.
      His heart went wild with excitement. He sprinted forward. As he knifed his way through the oncoming crowds, it occurred to him that running in mid-town made him look suspicious. Who’s he running from? Cops all over the area, a black man wouldn’t stand a chance. Eyes focused on the lettered billiard balls, he turned it up a notch and ran faster. He had to catch her. He flew down the banister and plunged ahead, swiping the magnetic card through the turnstile before the train rumbled into the station. He saw Beatrice reading a magazine at the end of the platform. He ran towards her calling out her name. And then he stopped, and held back, and pulled himself away in amazed defeat.

     The woman was not Beatrice!
     Judging by the slinky red dress, this was definitely the same woman he saw in the hotel. In the hotel she was the spitting image of Beatrice. Here on the subway platform the resemblance suffered. Nauseous with disappointment, he dragged himself back upstairs into the noisy street. Heading back to the Marriott, he absent-mindedly walked off the curb and almost got whacked by a speeding cab. You better wake up, son!
     The sun came out with a humid fury, and sweat trickled down the back of his t-shirt. He went into an air-conditioned, fast food restaurant for a slice of pizza.   
     Sitting by the window in Sbarro’s, he watched a crew of break-dancers setting up for the next phase of their show. Drawn by the music, a crowd of curious onlookers gathered on the sidewalk. The young men went shirtless with body art, and wore matching bandanas. They had the boom box on milk crates, and a couple of cardboard mats for dancing. A Con Ed crew, working with hydraulic drills near the window, drowned out the music.
       Jason went outside and joined a small circle of onlookers. The crowd began to swell when they put the music on blast. The youngest member of the crew worked the crowd. He challenged their spirit with a fedora stuffed with bills. The message was clear— the last crowd did the right thing. You should too.
      The first B-boy revved up. He built momentum. Jason recognized the beat—”Rise” by the Safri Duo. The B-boy marked territory with the tips of his gold-shell toes. Then he got down, threw himself on the mat, body went Goodyear, radial rubber. Safri Duo and Egyptian Lover… Spun Sputnik on cardboard cover, early whirlybird abandon Flopped mimic-fish out of water, about to be eviscerated so he crankshafted up to avoid slaughter, waylay vertebrae into a freakish Iwo Jima tilt of the spine, gone one-arm outttayermind handstand. Spine gone spaghetti, eyewitness to Maasai warrior ritual on sidewalk Serengeti. All elbows and gold shell toes, he tabled the pose like Charlie Rose, and jumped to a standing salute, girl in the back say he cute, then he parachute back, spinning, bending, spinning stiff-legged Cossack, anchored to a cosmic thumbtack. In fact, he gyrate faster and faster, human Cuisinart blender return to center…The crowd ate it up like JAWS and burst into spontaneous applause. The fedora kid moved quickly like WHOA...gotta get that doughboy…  
     Second B-boy stepped up. He did a flip in the air like, pit-a-patter fuck the solidity of matter, peep this heat, I’m airborne elite, head over heels release the grease like Value Meals, I go fry-vat don’t try that at home kid, I’m liquid lipid chump, Bolshoi B-boy, balls-out Baryshnikov poppin’ and lockin’ right here on the sidewalk, I’m all Big East, a beast, spinning like a top, I drip-drop like candle wax and rise like yeast, arms fully extended, Giordano Bruno, you know, the mystic gone ballistic at the stake, and just when you thought you caught it, you missed it, faster and faster, so many stares at the Gale Sayers head fake, spasm in my soul, I duck and roll, smooth as Nat King Cole, cantilever up so fast you can’t believe the blast, shot past the toll on the Verrazano without usin’ my pass, got on it lock, Loki versus Thor, my dance is sheer outburst, pure metaphor, head embedded in pavement like a two by four, frozen on the mat—like what-the-fuck was that, that position, that exhibition of astonishing physical strength… I’m Robert Heinlein, three-point headstand, whirlybird hypercube dude, Edward Scissor Hand with legs like the rotors of a helicopter, man… legs spinning at high velocity, articulating that Bronx-born philosophy in botanical silence, and when I suddenly slam brakes and shut it down, there’s nothing but controlled violence in my silence—legs parallel to the ground, that frozen chosen, full split Bruce Lee shit…WOW….
      The crowd went bananas. Money manifested. Jason threw a buck in the hat and went back to Sbarro’s to use the bathroom. The sun right in his eyes created distortions. An air-conditioner leaked blood—rusty water caught the crimson light— splattered weakly on the sidewalk. In the restaurant, the sunset blazed and ricocheted off mirrors. Amid the blinding dazzle, Jason saw something that made him stop dead in his tracks, take off his shades, and say quite audibly in a public place, “You dirty mother fucker….”

Get Burner on Amazon
How far are you willing to go, and how much are you willing to sacrifice in order to realize your dream?

Jason Teal, is a hip-hop deejay and producer who dropped out in his last semester as a college astrophysics major and moved to san Francisco with his rapper friends to pursue a career in music. Three years later, the hip-hop group he co-founded has signed a major label deal – without him. Meanwhile, Jason has lost sight of his dream. He’s working a job he hates and his relationship with his stripper-girlfriend has hit rock bottom. And now, with greater frequency, he’s having hallucinations. He hallucinates walls and trains covered with graffiti pieces (burners). The burners are the work of his dead brother, PSYCHOPOMP, a great graffiti writer whose death, more than twenty years ago, has given rise to strange rumors. Some say he was murdered by the Illuminati, others believe he was in the Illuminati.

Into the chaos of Jason’s downward spiral steps a man named Cyril Magbion, a mysterious figure with ties to a secret society. Cyril has the power to transform Jason’s life overnight. He has money. He has answers. He seems to know everything. But first Jason must prove himself worthy of such a mentor and undergo “The TEST.”

The TEST will take Jason Teal down the rabbit-hole into the new paradigm of wave/particle duality where quantum physics meets mysticism at the level of the unseen. In the rabbit hole, he’ll encounter a dominatrix with a chip on her shoulder, a gangster who blew off his leg making a bomb, a man in a wheelchair dressed as a pharaoh beckoning him with ESP, a ginseng store owner who looks like Peter Lorre on speed, CIA MK ULTRA experiments, and many more weird and terrifying things that will lead to a head-on collision with himself, and the Big Bang of consciousness.

Can you handle a mind-altering adjustment to the mass hallucination we call reality? If the answer is yes, then read this book.


About the Author

M.C. Mars is the author of Don't Take Me The Long Way, his memoir of driving a cab at night in San Francisco for twenty- four years. His latest novel, Burner, blends together hip-hop, quantum physics, and the stigmatized knowledge of Illuminati conspiracy theories, in a gritty tale that addresses the societal questions of, “Who’s in control?” and, “Are we as powerless as we’ve been made to feel?” He’s also a rapper with three albums to his credit, and hip-hop roots that go all the way back to the late 70s. He lives in San Francisco, where he continues to perfect his free- style, and his spaghetti sauce. Find him here: http://www.mcmars.net/

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