Farewell from the Bookshelf!

Please note that GLBT Bookshelf -- the community wiki which was the parent to this fiction blog -- went offline on May 31, 2016, after seven years' service to members.

All Gay Romance will remain online till the end of 2016 in order to give contributors every opportunity to recover materials uploaded here.

Many thanks to all who contributed over the years, and good luck to everyone in your future works!


Deadly Slumber

The following is an excerpt from Deadly Slumber, # 4 in the Deadly Mystery series by Victor J. Banis

Stanley woke slowly. Even when his eyes fluttered reluctantly open, he was still in darkness, total darkness. He lay for a moment, trying to comprehend, blinking. No glimmer of light penetrated the enveloping blackness. He'd never seen a darkness so complete.
He tried to sit up, but he could raise his head only slightly before it banged against something solid above him. He could barely move at all, in fact.
His hands were folded across his chest. He put them out to his sides. Again, he could move them no more than an inch or two before his fingertips touched cushioned silk. He reached up, and felt silk there too.
At first, he could not understand. Or, would not. The reality of his situation was so horrible, his mind did not want to accept it. He lay unmoving, trying not to think, trying not to accept the truth of where he so obviously was.
Recognition would not stay away, however. He knew. Knew and did not want to accept the truth: He was in a coffin. His breath seemed to crowd into his throat. This couldn't be real. Surely it was only a nightmare, from which he would awaken any minute now.
"Wake up, Stanley," he told himself, actually mouthing the words aloud. "Wake up, damn you. Now."
Even as he said the words, however, he knew this was no figment of his dreams.
He lifted his shaking hands again, tried to shove the lid away, but it did not budge. Not just in a coffin, then—sealed in a coffin.
* * *
Calm, Stanley, calm, just stay calm.
He told himself this over and over again, until his breath returned to something approximating normal and his heart had stopped threatening to pound its way out of his chest.
He blinked into the darkness. His cell phone. If he could reach it…there was so little room in which to maneuver his hands—easier to lift them up than to move them at his sides. He pushed against the silk lining with his elbows, strained to bring his hands up to his pockets. His shoulders felt as if they were being dislocated by the effort. His elbows strained against the walls of the coffin.
At last, an eternity later, his fingers brushed the outline of the cell phone in his right pocket. Yes. There it was. Now if he could just get it out of the pocket. He pushed against it, working it upward, slowly upward with the tips of his fingers.
Finally, the phone slid out of the pocket. He tried to clasp it in his trembling finger tips but it slipped away and dropped to his side. He felt for it, straining his shoulders still further. Again his fingers brushed the sleek plastic surface of the phone. He fumbled, managing at last to get hold of it. He lifted it gingerly above him.
When he flipped the lid open, the light from its face blinded him after the complete darkness. He blinked, squinting, trying to adjust his eyes.
The battery was low. He cursed himself for not keeping it charged up, and hit the "contacts" button, praying that the power lasted.
* * *
"Stanley, where the hell are you?"
"I'm in a b-box, Tom, in a c-coffin."
"What?! Where?"
The phone slipped out of Stanley's fingers.
"Crap," he swore aloud. It bounced of his chest, slid down his side.
He fumbled again, wriggling about as best he could, all but wrenching his shoulders out of their sockets. He got his hand on the phone again, lifted it…and found that the battery had gone dead.
* **
What is this world? What asketh man to have? Now with his love, now in his colde grave, Alone,with-outen any companye
The darkness, the lingering effects of the ether, the horror of his situation…Stanley's mind seemed to close down. Not sleep, exactly, but not quite a conscious state, either.
He heard, incongruously, the soft murmur of a fountain, or was he only imagining it, a distant, faint song of water splashing upon itself? It called to his mind the meditation garden at Bartholomew's. He saw the Triton from the pond there, as clearly as if it were in the coffin with him. He was no longer marble, though, and not quite flesh, either, but something in between the two that glowed in the darkness. And the water came not from dolphins, but from the Triton's erect, massive phallus, jetting out of the glans like a monstrous orgasm. Kneeling below him, a satyr opened his mouth to receive the spewing tribute. It overran his lips, his beard, ran down across his shoulders, his shaggy chest. Spilling into a basin in which two pretty young boys cavorted, delighting in the silvery cascade falling about them; and down still further the water ran, overflowing a great chalice, running down the legs of the slaves who held it, down, down, down….
Overwhelmed by darkness and by horror, Stanley sank into something very near to a coma.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing imagery! Nicely done. Thank you for sharing.


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