Excerpts of chapters for the 2005 NaNoWriMo Challenge. (Yes, I won!) Please be warned that chapters/excerpts may include adult content that is not for everyone's tastes. (Chapters heavy with adult content are marked "adult.") This is still a rough, unedited work in progress. This is fiction and is not about any real people (living or deceased), places or events (i.e., please insert the usual disclaimer). Thanks for reading and don't hesitate to comment.

My Photo
Location: New York, United States

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Flash Page

My NaNoWriMo flash page is listed under Synchrondipity61 and is well worth a look. The NaNoWriMo creative team truly outdid themselves. It takes a second to load and was designed to look like an old library book with pages that can be turned, excerpts that can be read. Take a peek. It's cool! a great site in general with thousands of excerpts from novels all created in one month from writers all over the world. It's an international not national event. The forums are fun to read as well.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005



Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Synopsis of Chapt. 4: A Bite to Eat

My antagonist, Peyton, an evil vampire, has feasted on her first victim since her release from incarceration: Becca, a young waitress at a nearby diner. Peyton had been subsisting on undernourished cellmates for several weeks in the city jail, and she was just dying for a decent meal.

Or rather, Becca did...

Now Peyton is off to to make everyone's life a living hell and bring back "home" her latest project and captive, Maren (my main character and protagonist). Maren recently fled Peyton and The Asylum, the club (a sprawling abandoned mental hospital) where vampires' victims are worked into a frenzy to produce an intoxicating, adrenalin and endorphin spiked blood (a kind of vampire heroin) for the hip vampire population.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


...moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
Alfred Lord Tennyson (1843)

It is the dead of winter: 4:30 a.m. Again. My apartment window is open because the heat in this tiny 20x15 studio is stifling and the chill air I am trying to usher in is like water in a desert. I keep the pleated fabric blinds almost all the way down to the window sills because as a young teen a neighbor, I believe, watched me maybe nightly through my bedroom window for I do not know how long. I told my parents, but they did not believe me. Then, one day, trembling, excited, angry, I pointed out the knob of tree stump there behind the bushes, pushed right up against the house directly beneath my window. The shoe prints in the powdery dirt there were large. Clearly a man’s. Spent cigarettes frayed to pulp by the weather lay half buried in the dirt. A nice fresh one, 3/4 smoked, was lying there as well. That was a long time ago.

The baseboard radiators crack and pop all night on three of four walls of my apartment--when the old fashioned overhead light is on, I can practically see the air shimmer with rising heat like it shimmers each July when it rises from the sun baked street--so much heat for such a tiny space. But it is not July. It is February. The coldest month of the season here in the Northeast. I cannot breath. I feel like I might suffocate. I wake up gasping like a fish on a sun baked dock.

What were the builders of this apartment building thinking? It is state subsidized housing. Why can't the superintendent fix the boiler? Surely the cost of running this place is as high as it is because the heating system is inefficient. Because maybe the thermostat is broken. Or the insulation is insufficient. Or something. But the superintendent is old and apparently content with things as they are. Or is maybe just lazy. Or reluctant to change. A lot of people can’t change Or reluctant to inquire. Apathetic about possibilities and will not ask questions. He will not open a can of worms. (He refers to all problems as cans of worms that he would rather not touch.) Even when it might be to his benefit. I just do not understand that mentality.

Dusk comes early now. As early as 4 p.m. In those hours of darkness after dusk and before the Cardinals and Nuthatches start their chatter, I sit here night after night and just listen. I am on the first floor. I prefer an upper floor. I asked for one. But this was the only space that was available on such short notice. I joke to myself that I hear everything, so perceptive I am. So on alert. I hear animals creeping across the snow, their little feet breaking through the hard iced over surface with a crunch. I hear their every movement through my open window. The night air is so still, I practically hear them breath. Every crunch of a leaf or crackling twig makes my muscles tense. My jaw tightens and I hold my breath and wait. I like to think that I am not this preoccupied. How I fool myself! I am absolutely vigilant.

I hear each footstep on this neighborhood road, sometimes laughter or whispers. Mostly from strangers, teenagers, or occasionally residents of this shelter, walking together in twos or threes to what we have been calling the drug house just down the hill on the same side of the street as us. The young ones are the kind of edgy kids we never used to see on this side of town. A drug house was pretty much unheard of here. But the East Side has become a little run down over the years. Mostly since Main Street went to shambles and the businesses moved out.

Daytime mostly, I sometimes hear screams, but they are not from the kids. I hear the corpulent husband of the pale bedraggled woman three doors down back over by the woods berate his wife in his scratchy, low life voice. Yes, I have gotten a glimpse of them both. Sometimes in so many words he lets her know that dinner sucks or like some selfish idiot she smoked his last cigarette and now he’s out, or maybe he yells out of habit for no reason at all. His voice is a raspy grunt that is difficult to follow, but you get the idea pretty fast.

"Get away from me," she says. I imagine her pushing him away, backing through the dining room maybe into the kitchen. "Get off of me! Leave me the fuck alone, you bastard!"

She repeats it again and again. I can tell from her voice she is crying now. He probably has her pinned against some nicotine yellowed floral couch, his fat greasy bulk on her thin chest. Maybe she can’t breath. I want to go over there. Call the police. Pull him off. Send him away. And then sit her down, tell her She is worth something. But it is not that easy. It takes years to get that kind of abusive low life crap out of your head.

I do not hear them every day, or even every week. (I am not even sure if my housemates are aware of them. I think I am just fine tuned to that kind of chaos.) They fight a few times a month maybe. My windows are open all year and the sound travels. I imagine it's worse in the summer, when their windows are open. God knows how often he harasses her. And each time my adrenalin pumps like it is the first time I am hearing him, hearing them, and it is all I can do to stay put. It completely unnerves me.

I hear the branches of shrubs scratch against the wooden siding of this worn safe house every night. Of course it is worse when it is windy. That is when they sound like bony claws picking at the curls of old paint. I am usually just sitting here in my sweats in my uncomfortable hand me down kitchen chair with the fraying grass seat staring at this computer (thank god for this computer): reading email, blogs, or looking at art on the internet, my link to the living. I check to see if she has been released from jail yet. I want to know when to run.

I know how to fill my time. I know how to make use of it. I always have. Left with too much idle time I start to panic. I know how to get lost in books too. And there are a lot of books downstairs in the common room. Mostly romances, but I have seen a few juicy reads tucked between those paperbacks as well. But I do not get too lost. Not so lost that I lose awareness. I am always aware.

Monday, November 21, 2005


"No more deadly curse has ever been given by nature to man than carnal pleasure. There is no criminal purpose and no evil deed which the lust for pleasure will not drive man to undertake."
~Archytas of Tarentum~ Cicero, De Senectute, Ch. 12

The sound system screeched like nails across a chalkboard and echoed throughout the concrete and steel, iron-barred Pod. “Why don't they fix the fucking thing with all that tax money,” she snarled to herself, (thinking: not that she ever paid taxes), and stared up at the iron plate of bunk just a foot above her head. Mother fucker. It was 4 a.m.

"Lisa Schmidt, Peyton Woede, Allison Wyckoff... " Peyton rolled off her two inch thick mattress on one of the six coveted bottom bunks in Cell 3, just missing a solid bang on the head from the bunk above, grabbed the torn muslin sorry ass excuse for a sheet, the white government issued sports bra drying on the ventilation grate, the haphazardly stitched tattered green wool military blanket that was too short to cover her feet, and the god-awful mattress itself. She hauled it all atop the mattress to the heavy barred mechanical door.

The two crack whores she had been feeding on were sound asleep in their bunks. They did not stir at her leaving. She didn't care. She had grown sick of their anemic blood. Their lack of health and low energy did nothing to feed her spirits or her body. She had just been getting by. She could subsist some on the cafeteria style meals, but not to the best of her health. Well good. Now she wouldn't have to recruit another lover in here. Not that it was difficult. Nor subsist on such poor fare. She would pick up something better on the outside. Soon.

The guard in the dog house waited impatiently for one last lagging inmate and pressed the release button. The door slid on tracks along the exterior wall. A second door with a Plexiglas window sighed metallically, clicked and opened. She stepped out into the empty hall with five other women. In a moment, the door slid shut on iron tracks and locked. Silently, they followed the green stripe painted hip level on the cement block walls and made their way unaccompanied to the way station. Cameras, shiny black eye after eye, followed their every move and broadcast it back in grainy black and white to the Pod they left and to four other locations between the jail interior and the final check out point several floors below.

She was excited. She smiled. She was anticipating. She loved the chase. There had been no challenges in this jail, and she had grown bored. She loved luring her victims in, the seduction, taking them in their moment of complete submission, piercing their flesh, and drinking. Drinking their sweet blood, feeling their life essence, their sweet energy fill her ever cell, suffuse through her body, was a rush like no other, intensely sexual.

She learned it paid to choose her subjects well. And it was not very long after her initiation into this life of thievery years ago that she had found it also paid to drive her victim’s endorphins sky high until that sweet chemical saturated their blood. She would wait for this moment, a sweet torture, the moment of complete saturation just before the victim might break, and then she drank deeply. And the glistening fluid, hot on her tongue, sweet as honey, filled her senses and poured life into her own hungry cells. It was completely and utterly intoxicating. The pleasure suffused her body with a tingling warmth. Initially, the sensation heightened her need and she had to drink more deeply, pulling their flesh to her aggressively as their energies joined with hers and she soared, and they died. The flood made her head spin.

She sought out victims that could reach these great heights. They were like heroin, or so she was told. She was certain it was true as she had never before felt anything like it. She excited her victims with torrid, will-consuming sex and stimulation or a heightened combination of pleasure and pain that would rise to a blinding, breathtaking crescendo for them both. Then she would finally sink her fingers into their hair in an unshakeable grip, bending the necks away from the shoulder and exposing the pulsing whiteness of the throat. Exhaling, she plunged her white stiletto teeth into a fat, pulsing artery and imbibed. When she did not have energy for the game, she had others who would tease them into the ecstasy that would be their undoing. Their death. At the thought, her hunger began to build.

Today, she would finally be free again. She would build her strength quickly. She had been making plans during this down time. She had a lot to do. She had a fucking empire to rebuild.

Five hours and four filthy holding cells later she was changing back into her street clothes which had been hanging in clear garment bags with thousands of others, all in numerical order, all in various states of uncleanliness in the jail’s warehouse sized closet. Dirty orange jumpsuits were piled in heaps on the greasy concrete floor waiting to be washed by the trustys upstairs. The place smelled sour and rank. Peyton dressed, careful not to step barefoot on the damp cement floor. Her toenails were so long they might have clicked against its hardness. The leather of her name brand sneakers pressed hard against her nails uncomfortably. First the bra. Then she slipped into a slightly wrinkled blue and white striped Tommy Hilfiger polo shirt and men's jeans. Mmmm. They fit better, she thought. She had dropped some weight. The food in there was god awful and she was used to the best. Well, the best when she chose to have it. She traded with the other inmates for the foods she liked, which sure was not much.

Dressed, she located the small zip locked bag of possessions they stripped from her. She was amazed: it was untouched. She popped the one carat diamond stud back into her left ear, the uppermost hole, and followed it with a small ruby stud in the hole just beneath. Once again the 4 oz gold link chain hung heavily, impressively from her wrist. She looked strong. She looked wealthy. She was meant to be seen. Like a pretty, shiny lure. Her lifestyle was meant to be coveted. That was part of the allure she cultivated. that is what it was all about. Come one, come all! You can have all this and more. Shhhhh! It may cost you, however. She smiled to herself.

She placed the large gold dragon’s head ring on her left pointer, its serpentine body coiling around her finger. The diamond, emerald and ruby set in the dragon’s eyes and mouth glinted in the dim fluorescent light. She would have to drop it off at the jeweler's and have it cleaned. Thus adorned, she was starting to feel more like herself. Her status changed from a nameless numbered prisoner with no rights to a respected human within minutes. Well, something akin to human, she thought, and laughed to herself. One thing was odd though: She had been searched and examined thoroughly, inside and out upon her admission to the jail. Now she was leaving and no one seemed to care what she took out with her. This amused her. Because she did indeed leave with something of value.

Smiling, she stepped outside into the crisp fall air. The sky was blue and wide. She headed straight for the gas station across the street and bought three boxes of Marlboro Light 100’s and a pewter lighter with an Ace of Spades enameled on the front. Luck would be with her now. Luck never forgot her. Her family and the expendable assholes she gathered around her just scared Lady Luck away. Put her off briefly. Luck was waiting in the wings, waiting for a signal to return. Peyton wouldn’t let them interfere again. She would just have to choose the company she'd keep more wisely.

With a click of the catch and the flick of her thumb she lit the tip of the cigarette, closed her eyes, and deeply inhaled her drug of choice. Soon it was thrumming through her veins and her head like the caffeine in a double shot of espresso. She felt on top of the world. She would get back to the House and then gather her resources, her would-be consorts. They would have to do for now. Her plans had been disrupted by a bad decision--she blamed Maren, the stupid motherfucking cunt. By now the bitch traitor would be at least 3,000 miles away, running home to mama. Running home to nothing. That is where Peyton had her. Peyton brought her ass back once before after just one week of wooing and reassurance, and she would surely do it again. The bitch could not live without her. And well, if it seemed she could, Peyton had already decided Maren did not need to live.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


I sometimes catch a few hours of rest early in the morning. I guess mornings feel bright, safe and new. Everything is so crisp and clear in the light of day, particularly in the morning. I hardly sleep anymore. When I do, my dreams are slashed with nightmare after nightmare, mostly of her and my shame over what I have become. What I allowed to happen. How I was seduced and trapped and used. I never guessed anyone could be like Peyton. Her personality, her values, her complete disregard for human life was well outside of my experience. When I got back home to New York, I was completely beside myself. I looked for her everywhere. I was tensed for flight at the slightest provocation. I saw her face in strangers.

Less than a year ago with the help of one of her friends I had made it out. I escaped before she could realize it. She had driven thousands of miles to get me then. She began her journey to convince and collect me less than a month after I had arrived home. It took her three days of continuous driving. She played one song the entire way. She dragged Isabelle with her with promises of feasting in the city. She phoned me along the way at each stop, reassuring me. Promising me everything would be all right and she could not bear to exist without me at her side. I led her right to me. I did not say yes, but I did not say no. I hinted at “maybe,” but I was truly looking forward to escaping my new situation.

I was frightened but glad to see her when she arrived. I drove my little blue Tercel to the Thruway motel and holed up with her for a week. I was sicker than a dog. I was running a high fever, about 102. Peyton got a room with two king size beds. Isabelle took the bed near the window and was rarely in the room. I was cautious and watched Peyton’s every move, every gesture. I looked for signs of her darkness. Her insanity. She seemed fine. (How could anyone like that be fine? How I was fooling myself.) She did not raise her voice once. She did not raise her hand. She did not bare her teeth. I decided that going back with her was better than the life I was living. I felt I felt I was going nowhere. I did not have a place to stay. My pets were still there. Everything I owned was still there. And Peyton said she loved me, time and time again. And I so wanted to believe her.

Yes, I supposed people can change. Of course they could change, I told myself. I have to laugh. I’d only been back in Greenfield for three weeks. I had barely settled in. I thought then I was making the better of two mediocre choices. I was so wrong.

Like before, I had no money when I first returned here. But now I really had nothing. Less than nothing, even. I had nothing except the clothes on my back. My self was scattered in pieces like shattered glass.

I had no sense of safety. I put those cheap stick on alarms on the windows of my subsidized room in case she tried to crawl in at night. I imagine I hear her on the old wooden fire escape. And I picture her calling the local men’s shelter here and hiring some unfortunate, destitute men for a dollar or ten to snatch me from my bed or from the street as I climb out the bus. Maybe she had even sent someone from her home town, someone like Shane. For a price, hers or mine, Shane would watch me. Kidnap me. Drag me away from this mundane safety.

“Everyone has a price,” she would say with certainty and with that shining white beguiling smile. Based on a few years of experiences with her, I had no reason to believe that her claim was not true. She had a good eye for angry hungry victims down on their luck and desperate, and she could talk a good fantasy. They almost always took the bait.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Warning: Adult content

Peyton’s cell phone discharged a few days after she was taken into custody so she did not have any of her phone numbers handy. She was annoyed and inconvenienced, but not really concerned. She zipped her waist length black Harley jacket up against the chill that was blowing off the river behind the jail, took another deep drag off the cigarette, savoring it, and began a leisurely walk up town. By the time she reached the business section, it would almost be noon. Then there would be many more people to choose from. The restaurants would be crowded and even the bars would have clientele. She would grab a little bite to eat, so to speak, and then work her way back to The House. It was way out in the suburbs. But between the bus system and the train, she would make it back in good time. But no, she was not concerned. Not for one moment. She had plenty of choices.

Peyton walked several blocks. She hated walking. She almost always had a car at hand to drive her or her little blue sportster, and she never took public transportation. That was just a little too common for the likes of her. She eyed the storefronts and sidewalks as the city sprang to life beyond the morning crowd hustling to their office jobs.

She had never liked that kind of work, even before. She remembered a few jobs she had had in the corporate world: Rushing to the office in the morning. Rushing back from lunch. A nine to five drudgery under someone else’s thumb: Yes Sir. No Sir. Right away Sir. I’ll have that right for you. Anything you want, Sir. She laughed to herself. She would never go back to that. She no longer had to. She was not one of them anymore. She was Sir now. No: she was God. She gave the orders and they jumped. They obeyed. She had the power and they feared it. This was the way it was meant to be. It would only get better from this point. She was young and new to this world. She would learn how to work it.

This will do, she thought. Peyton leaned into the chrome and glass door and slipped into the warm bustling diner bursting with aromas of fresh brewed coffee and eggs and basic human comfort. She pushed past the crowd at the door waiting for booths and helped herself to a seat at the counter, unzipped her jacket and drowned her cigarette in the half empty coffee cup in front of the empty stool to her left. She assumed they were done with it. Peyton eyed the waitresses in their snug tan and white collared uniforms and their flat little support less white sneakers. A young woman, maybe 20, with kinky blond red hair self-knotted at the nape of her long neck flipped through her receipt book, tore out two pages and pressed them to the counter before two restless customers, and eyed the remaining counter patrons.

Young, but clearly on the ball, thought Peyton. In three steps with long strong legs the red haired waitress was at the counter in front of her, pen in hand.

“Hi. What can I get you?” she asked, looking straight at Peyton with huge green eyes, copper eyebrows raised. Her name was Becca per her little name plate pinned just above her left breast. Her flesh was freckled and rosy, infused with life. She spun around on her heels revealing long firm thighs beneath the rather short skirt of her uniform and returned with an empty cup. She slid the institutional cup, saucer and spoon toward Peyton and in one smooth move filled it with coffee.

“Regular, right?” Becca asked rhetorically, not looking up but smiling. “The sugar and creamers are right here.” She motioned with long fingers that sparkled with silver marcasite jewelry. She caught Peyton's glance and slid the lucite container of sweeteners towards her.

“So what can I get you?” she asked again, glancing discreetly at her watch. Joe was supposed to phone on her break in 15 minutes. They were supposed to get together for dinner when she got off. She hoped he wouldn’t avoid her after last night’s misunderstanding. She hoped he wouldn’t run, because this time Becca thought she was in love. He felt like he was the one. She could actually imagine a future with him. If he would just make use of that art scholarship.

“Hmmmm, good question” Peyton answered. “Now what am I in the mood for?” she mused, scratching her chin, looking straight back at Becca with big liquid brown gold eyes, then lowering them to the v of the white collar and the rise of her freckled breasts. Peyton pictured her young waitress naked except for a white lacy push up bra and underwear, bent at the waist over the counter, her red hair falling over her face, her waitress uniform hiked high above her full hips, her white garter belt and stockings visible to everyone dining here, the flesh of her thighs warm and pink and soft between the buckles and straps of her garter, her legs spread forcibly wide braced apart at the ankles with a metal bar, the counter stool planted directly behind her...

The waitress waited, lowered her eyes, and began to fidget.

It seems she got my message, laughed Peyton to herself.

In spite of herself, Becca felt herself pressing her breasts against the inside of the uniform through her thin, sheer bra. She felt her nipples begin to harden. She wanted to take them between her fingers and twist them, hard. What is my problem? she asked herself. Oh Joe, where are you? she thought to herself. She suddenly felt so in need. She wanted to touch herself. Rub herself fragrant against the counter corner. Dive into the restroom and masturbate against the corner of the sink. She remembered a cylindrical hand lotion bottle in the restroom and suddenly felt a deep spasm. She had customers waiting. What am I doing? She needed to get focused again. But she was suddenly feeling so warm and so very distracted.

Peyton detected a temperature change in the young waitresses’ skin, and Becca was certainly looking distracted.

Lovely Becca, I will have you, thought Peyton. Look at me. I beckon Becca, Peyton laughed to herself.

And the lovely Becca did look back at Peyton, pupils dilating, green eyes flashing. The hard nubs of her nipples were visible now through the tan synthetic uniform. The waitress caught herself, smoothed her dress down across her belly like she was trying to cover herself and looked away, remembering all she had to do. Remembering where she was. Remembering Joe was supposed to call. But her head began to swim again. She felt a little light headed. Maybe I need to sit down, she thought.

I will have you, Peyton projected and smiled as Becca strode away, a little unsteady.

Out of habit, automatically, Becca grabbed the coffee pot off the console and refilled all of the empty cups from far right to left across the counter all the way up to the window where the cold winter light filtered in. She paused for a moment at the end of the counter, looking beyond the window. Then she returned to Peyton. Her lips were parted, petulant.

“Ok.” Said Becca. “Ummm, need more time?” She leaned both hands on the counter before Peyton. Becca was visibly flushed.

I’ve got you, don’t I? Need time? Yes, time with you, thought Peyton. Just a little more time and you’ll be mine, she rhymed. You want to be mine, don’t you?

Becca’s eyes were locked on hers. Becca wanted. Becca needed.

“This coffee is delicious,” said Peyton. “I just can’t get enough of it. I’ll have a little more.” Becca swung around with the pot and topped it off. “A busy woman like you must get a few decent breaks. I bet you’re due one. Maybe a lunch break?”

“Soon,” breathed Becca, clearing her throat. “Let me know if I can get you anything else,” she said, walking away. A few steps away, she turned back.

“Hey, what is your name?” she asked.

“Hunter,” said Peyton. Which was more true than not. Peyton smiled.

A few words with her coworker and Becca headed for the women’s room at the rear of the diner. Peyton remained seated and watched.

Becca swung the bathroom door shut and stood before the mirror. What is wrong with me? She bent over and splashed cold water on her face. As she bent, she felt her skirt raise slightly from behind. She imagined a warm hand slipping between the cheeks of her ass then down between the wetness that was now moistening her thighs...

Friday, November 18, 2005


“Remember how you made me crazy? Remember how I made you scream?
I do not understand what happened to our Love. I want to get you back,
want to show you what I am made of.”

Boys of Summer

From the week I arrived, Peyton tormented me with her memories of Elizabeth and her longing to see her again. She told me story after story of their fated romance. Lizbeth, she called her. She said her name with such reverence. That dark haired, long legged beauty she had acquired in the early eighties. Lizbeth, whom I later found out hunted and drank with her unto complete and utter intoxication, who embraced her dark existence with the same passion with which she had danced through her life as a mortal. Peyton and Lizbeth indulged in bloodlust with the same need and mindlessness that their human compatriots immersed themselves in drugs. But there was no drug that could compare to blood. To that life force.

I heard about Lizbeth week after week. The stories began the month I arrived in Texas. I never stopped hearing about Lizbeth, who disappeared off the face of the earth never to be heard from again the night of the Grande Fete Noir, one of the most celebrated feasts of western vampires held at the old Golden Marquis Theatre in downtown Dallas.

Peyton told me she remained in Dallas a month after the feast: searching, inquiring, mourning. A month later, a year later, each year thereafter she returned -- mournful, hopeful -- always there the week of that dreaded anniversary -- trying to find her beloved Lizbeth. She even haunted the house Lizbeth grew up in. During her stay in Dallas, she would drive past the house repeatedly. Park outside. And watch. First from a distance. Then creeping closer. Until finally she parked in front of the modest home. Finally, she confronted Lizbeth’s mother, a shrewd woman with a thriving antiques business in the Marquis Mall just west of the city. Charlotte Claremont could almost see Peyton for what she was. She did not so much as fear Peyton, although she approached her with caution: She despised her.

“How dare you come here!,” she said with her strong voice through the screen of the front door.

“She is gone,” she spat. “She is dead. She killed herself. You killed her! Now go away. I do not ever want to see your face again.”

With that, the heavy front door was slammed shut and bolted. That one avenue of communication was closed off to Peyton. But she had other methods, other resources. And by the devil, if Lizbeth was still on this earth, Peyton would find her.

Peyton left and began searching the cemeteries for a trace of proof. The bitch was lying, she said. And Peyton would be back again for a different kind of visit.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


“I can do it to you, you know,” Peyton said. I was sitting at my computer reading my email.

“Do what,” I said, pausing.

“I checked her into the loony bin,” she said, laughing. “She had no say. It was my word against hers. I could do it to you,” she said again.

“What are you talking about?” I asked, getting annoyed. Our computers were on opposite walls of the office. We essentially sat back to back. I turned away from the spreadsheet to look at her. She was instant messaging someone on AOL and smiling at the screen.

“About Morgan,” she said, her fingers dancing on the keyboard. This was a woman who could not type a business letter. Or rather refused to. With a flourish like a pianist wrapping up a concert she hit the “enter” key and sent the message into the unknown.

“You had Morgan committed? The woman who helped raise your daughter?” I was incredulous. That was a tad ungrateful, I thought.

Unbelievable. I had run into Morgan a couple of months ago at a 7-11 once when Isabelle was out with me. “That is her,” Isabelle said with a sly smile, peering over the Fritos. Then she sidled away to the cooler and grabbed a three dollar can of Starbuck’s Espresso.

“Don't they have any nail polish remover in here?” Isabelle asked rhetorically, examining her long lavender nails. She moved on to the glow in the dark jewelry near the check out counter.

I had no idea Morgan was such a mess. She must have been about 35. Very tall and painfully thin. Her hair was dyed unnatural black. Her torn black tee shirt was studded with safety pins. The outside seams of her worn black jeans were strung with plastic barbed wire so her skinny thighs and bony knees poked through. Black lipstick. Short broken black nails. She was with a short fat bald butch in a torn black muscle shirt who was studded head to toe with piercings and painted with tattoos.

Wow. Not the Morgan I’d spied in some of Peyton’s photo albums.

Peyton continued. “She was a whore. When I went to work each day -- and damn, at that time I was working so hard -- Morgan would invite all the guys in the complex over for a party. They came with cigarettes, beer, wine coolers. More than that. They would hang and laugh by the pool for an hour or so. Get buzzed for the real party. And then it would move inside for the prick party. She brought them all in our house.” She sneered.

Peyton told me her police officer neighbor had informed her of Morgan’s indiscretions one evening after one of her late nights. She said he was really frank. Butting in only because he could see Peyton was holding down the house and clearly getting exploited.

“He said a half hour before I got home, she would clear them out. Party’s over.”

“So I decided to fix her. Fix her good.” she said.

She was looking at me like I was the one she was threatening to “fix good.” I cringed.

I was sitting very still and listening to her every word closely, watching her eyes darken. Watching the anger take over. I was actually afraid to move. She herself was starting to sound just a little crazy. Certainly on the edge. Would she be that manipulative, that hurtful and turn on me? She seemed like such a child most of the time. But then children tended to be hurtful. Hurtful sometimes just because.

Granted, Morgan was not playing fair. She was promiscuous, from my one sided perspective, lazy and deceitful. She was clearly taking advantage. (Of course, I did not know the whole story.) Peyton said she worked a 40 hour week at an uncomfortable job. But put Morgan away? Take away her freedom and her rights? Imprison her with lies and laugh about it? I was learning a lot about my new lover. Yes, more than I wanted to know, but things I definitely needed to know to keep myself safe and whole. This woman, Peyton, who said she wanted to take care of me. Keep me near her. Keep me safe in a nice new clean home. Give me whatever my heart desired. She was frightening. She was twisted. At the very least, she was manipulative. She had to know she was scaring me.

At the very most, she was perhaps dangerous. A threat to my freedom? Here she was comparing me to the ill fated Morgan. And I hadn’t been deceitful. Hadn’t cheated. I am not the type. Was not a liar. I knew all this. I know myself. I was truthful. Peyton seemed to have other ideas. She doubted me. Or needed to threaten me and control me. I had to be careful. I had to be alert.

But perhaps this story was not true at all. I saw Morgan just a few months ago at that 7-11. Granted, she was a far cry from her original self. She appeared to be way out in left field. But I also knew Peyton had a need to tell tall tales. To blow up every incident around her. To glorify herself. Be interesting. Be newsworthy. It was obvious every time we hooked up with her old friends. But be powerful and frightening? I took a deep breath. Maybe. I sighed and tried to look over her shoulder at the computer screen. With a click, she it disappeared and was replaced with a photo of her beloved dog.

“Well why would you want to do that to me?” I asked. Oh yes, she still had my attention. But I was trying to remain calm and conversational. I did not want her to know I was afraid. I was concerned she would feed on that and run with it. And I could see she was dancing on an edge of a magnificent manic high. Yes, I needed to be cautious.

“Because I can,” she said. Peyton smiled that charming smile that drew me in months ago with those perfect neat white teeth. A charming, boyish smile.

“Because I can, and there would be nothing you could do about it.”

At that moment she whirled around in her chair to face her computer, shutting me out with her back. She was done with me, I guess. Well, for the moment anyway. She had said her piece and had had an effect.

“You've got pictures!” chimed AOL cheerily from her speakers.

I did not need to wonder what the pictures might be. Peyton was always sharing the pictures I had taken of her in New York with the general public--well, a specific cross section of the public: the young gorgeous female segment of it. She was gathering up the pictures the young hot bloods sent in return.

I took a deep breath, suffocated the jealousy, and convinced myself that perhaps I shouldn’t be jealous at all. I would leave her to the masses. Her following. And I was confident that they wouldn’t give her what she needed. Well maybe they could in the short term.

But I was convinced they could not give what I had promised her in the long run. I was convinced I had something to give that these child-women did not. And it turns out that I was right.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


"It will be a little while before I need this again." Peyton smiled, pocketing a set of small keys.

She was wearing a soft black wool polo shirt and jeans. She ordered me to place my hands behind my back where she roughly cuffed them. Isabelle was talking quietly on her cell phone. It was nearly always attached to her ear.

"Don't pull," Peyton warned with a raised eyebrow and a bit of a smirk.

Isabelle looked up and smiled warmly at me.

"I haven't double locked it. If you struggle, you will only be hurting yourself, not me. You can't hurt me, Bitch." Peyton grinned. "Oh, and I am not unlocking them until we get you settled in so you might as well get used to them."

I was getting anxious. I couldn't run. I'd never make it out the door. I'd tried before, unbound on several occasions, when we simply lived together not that long ago. Peyton was unnaturally strong for her size. She was not unusually large. She was only 5'1". But she was solid muscle. And for her bulk, she was fast. She could intercept me in the blink of an eye. I guess she anticipated my every move. And she did not hesitate to use brute force, so I only barely pushed the issues. I guess she knew she scared me.

I was not at all accustomed to violent confrontations from someone I was supposed to trust and love, so I shrank from her when her anger flared. And with all the pain she caused me, the bruises, the clumps of hair she pulled from my scalp, when her game first began, I found that I was not able to strike back at her and hurt her, injure her. Yes, I struck back to show I dared to. To show I had the balls and could. To show I did not want to put up with her abuse. But I would have fought back brutally if I had known what I was getting myself into. But I hadn't known from the start.

Over the past week, however, things had taken an unexpected turn, a leap from bad to worse, and if yesterday was any indication, my status at The House had changed tremendously. And not necessarily for the better. I was no longer my own person. I appeared to belong to Peyton.

It is true that my experience with Isabelle was not entirely unpleasant. But initially I saw this transgression from the norm as a small incident, a little more than harmless, a bit frightening. But it was clearly a foreshadowing of things to come. I woke up that morning drugged, seduced, and out of control. I was unable to move of my own accord. I was left almost completely to Isabelle's whims. It seemed to me that Peyton feigned complete disinterest in Isabelle's games, but clearly Peyton was in control. It could be no other way. And that in itself was a very frightening notion.

My freedom was altered from the week I had arrived in Texas. I had lost a lot more of that freedom over the past few days. I felt like a hostage. A prisoner. I had no one to appeal to. Peyton's word was the word. And not long after I arrived here in Texas I learned that she did not necessarily have my best interests at heart. She was not at all what she had claimed to be. I learned to doubt every word that came from her lips. That sweet endearing smile hid a dark unstable interior. And I was literally in her hands at this time. Yes, I was getting nervous.

Isabelle closed the phone with a snap, pocketed it, and walked across the sitting room to where I stood. From a mahogany side table she pulled a length of black fabric. She stood behind me pressing her hips into my ass, and flipped the cloth over my head in front of me. She tied it snugly at the back of my head. The soft stretchy black fabric completely sealed out the light.

I could tell it was Peyton who led me to the car. I could feel the ovals of her fingerprints in the flesh of my arm long after I was seated. I rode in the back of the car and had to lean forward to keep my hands from being crushed against the seat. The cuffs were really uncomfortable. I did not have a lot of leeway, and I remembered what Peyton had said about the cuffs tightening if I struggled. I was already tense. Feeling very claustrophobic. Almost ready to panic. And did not need more discomfort. I sat still and listened.

The ride took forever. It felt like hours. Isabelle and Peyton sat in the back with me. It must have been a limousine. I had lots of leg room and had the sensation of traveling backwards. I could hear the air conditioner blowing and felt a chill. The windows were closed. Aside from road noise the car was silent. All I could smell was the leather interior and the haze of old cigarette smoke on Peyton's clothing. The combination of riding backwards and the lack of air was making me sick. I didn't dare say anything. Peyton would take that opportunity to antagonize me.

Finally, the vehicle slowed.

"Here?" a strange deep voice asked. The driver.

"No," said Peyton. "The back."

Website Counter