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Thursday, March 8, 2012


Come One! Come All! The experience of a lifetime awaits!

Jerry read the tasteless billboard ad from the comfort of his office chair. Every year the Masquerade Ball blew into town on the tail skirts of the Catskills Circus and every year a tacky slogan advertising the event stared him in the face from across the street.  He'd never attended. He couldn't be seen at an event as sissy-like as that; not a tough guy like him. But this ad was different. As he ogled the billboard it became clear to him, this picture was more sensual, sexy and erotic than any before it and the theme this year was to hide your identity behind a grotesque mask, not a frilly, pretty or handsome one. There would be dancing, gourmet food, alcohol, gorgeous men, women, and sex, lots of uninhibited hot sex. On the stroke of midnight, not before, the masks would come off revealing the identities of those in attendance. He started to think he just might have been missing something. That perhaps this year he would attend and find out once and for all what all of the fuss was about.

"If you are looking for a costume sir, we are sold out. Haven't had one in stock in over a week," the sales girl announced the moment Jerry stepped inside of the one shop in the entire town that sold costumes.

"You are joking? Is everyone in this God forsaking town attending this event? "He shouted.

"You did wait until the last minute to buy your mask. The ball is tonight sir."

The sales girl did recall one mask a customer returned, complaining about its over exaggerated grotesqueness and discomfort when wearing it. In spite of his rude behavior, she offered it to Jerry. "Well-I do have one sir. It was returned earlier today."

"I'll take it!" Jerry exclaimed.

"You might want to take a look at it before you commit to buying it sir. It's kind of eerie and all sales are final you know?"

"Yeah right, like I have so many to choose from," he hissed.

The sales associate retrieved the mask from under the counter. As she proceeded to open the box, Jerry snatched it out of her hands.

"How much do I owe you?"

"Thirty-five dollars, it's really ugly though. Don't you want to check it out?"

Jerry tossed forty dollars on the counter."Doesn't matter, I'll take it," he insisted, as he spun on his heels and was gone.

Later that evening as he prepared for the masquerade ball, Jerry admired his reflection in the mirror. It's too bad I have to conceal such perfection, he thought smiling as he opened the box containing the mask. Whoa! That bitch wasn't kidding. This is one ugly mask. Well, the ladies will be very happy to see what lies beneath it after the unveiling.

Dressed in a pair of tight fitting Diesel denim and a black silk button up shirt, Jerry strolled into the packed ballroom. As far as his eyes could see were scantily clad women and men wearing snug trousers lending little to the imagination, all adorned with grotesque masks.

Let the games begin, he thought as he approached a petite woman dressed in skimpy black spandex, wearing a malformed cat mask.

"Are you taken?" he inquired.

"I am now." She took Jerry by the hand and led him onto the dance floor. It didn't take long for Jerry's arrogant, self-absorbed chauvinistic personality to shine through but by accepting his advances she was doomed to be with the bastard until the end of the evening. She could only hope he was a good lover.

By ten o'clock, nearly all of the guests were entangled, naked and participating in the most erotic sex acts they'd ever experienced. Jerry peeled his sex partner's spandex off her as if she were a snake shedding its skin. He stripped, freeing his engorged member to the delight of his partner. Before kneeling and taking him into her mouth, she purred like a kitten. He thought it strange but lost all train of thought as she worked her magic on him. He didn't believe there wasn't a thing she couldn't do with her skilled tongue.

He allowed her to play as long as he could but as he felt his release nearing, he yanked her to her feet, backed her up against a wall and drove his hard length into her. Although certain he did not have the stamina to perform for very long, their cat and mouse game lasted until the clock began to strike midnight, at which time they both collapsed from pure exhaustion.

"Judgment day has arrived. Look upon one another, see yourself through the eyes of others and the truth shall be revealed," the magistrate of the ball announced, tearing his mask from his handsome face.

Jerry stared at his prize of the evening as she revealed her true self to him.  She was stunning, long auburn hair and green eyes. Without a doubt the most beautiful woman he'd ever laid eyes on. Shortly he would come to realize that beauty was not merely skin-deep for it was now his turn. He smugly tore the mask away, stunned by his partner's reaction as she stumbled backward screaming. As he tried to help her, she yelled at him to stop, to get away from her. She called him a monster. Confused by her response he hurried into the bathroom. As the announcer bellowed loudly, he gazed into the mirror, his now grotesque image staring back at him.

by Quinn Cullen

Owl's Head

Perched on the widow’s walk overlooking Rockland Harbor, Amanda peered into the twilight. Mother Nature was angry. The ocean roiled violently, and the horizon blazed; ignited by the explosion of lightning bolts against its onyx backdrop. Her husband Tad feared heights. He never joined her here high above sea level. She didn't care, she enjoyed the solitude.
Amanda watched Tad scramble below boarding up the lighthouse windows, securing against the wrath of the late autumn nor’easter. Crazy bitch, he thought as he spotted her. Sick and tired of her, Tad just couldn’t deal with her looniness any longer. Assuring him of her sanity, she begged him to believe her, insisting she had the visions ever since she could remember, only they had become more vivid and happened more often. Tad accused her of suffering from delusions and hallucinations. She agreed to see her doctor to prove him wrong; get him off her back. In addition, she enjoyed her time with Dr. Kirkland; he listened to her, validating her concerns.

Daddy's Little Girl

Mrs. Collins paced, the scowl on her face revealing her frustration. "I'm a failure. They'll let me go now for sure. How could this have happened?" She muttered, glaring at Danika. "You're a disappointment young lady. You not only let me down, you disgraced the entire school."

Until now, Danika had not said a word. She merely sat watching Mrs. Collins, head mistress of Mystic Creek Manor, an institution for the gifted. She expected her to spontaneously combust at any moment. "I'm sorry Mrs. Collins. I promise to behave from now on." Danika stared at the floor, her long jet-black hair shielding her face. "May I go back to my room now? Please."

"No. Your parent's are on their way. They'll help clean this mess up."

"You called them?" Danika uttered.

"Of course I did. You do understand the seriousness of this don't you Danika?"

Her sapphire eyes still fixed on the floor, Danika sighed. "Yes."

Mrs. Collins slid her eyeglasses down to the tip of her nose as she shot Danika a harsh gaze. "I don't even want to think about what the head master is going to do when he finds out about this."

"We can keep it a secret." Danika whispered.

"Not likely. I am positive the news of what you have done is most certain to become tomorrow's headline in the school paper."

"Danika! What's going on?" her father Merrick bellowed.

"Now dear, give the child a chance to explain before you have her tarred and feathered," her mother Emily scolded.

Merrick sat next to his daughter. "So what do you have to say for yourself? How could you have lost control? You know better than to do this."

"She must be punished sir," Mrs. Collins interrupted.

"Leave us now!" Merrick snapped. "I will handle this."

Out of respect for his high standing within the close-knit community and fearing his well-known reputation of tremendous wrath, Mrs. Collins bowed her head submissively and left them.

"But daddy you always say I should follow my instincts. That's what I did. You don't want me to lose or deny the part of me that makes me like you, do you?"

"Danika!" Merrick shouted. "Don't be coy with me. This is not going to be easy to fix."

Afraid to face her father, Danika silently continued to stare at the floor.

"You better explain to your father Danika. Now, before he loses his temper." Emily warned.

"I think I better show daddy,"  she whispered.

Danika took her father's hand and tugged him behind her. Emily followed closely. They walked across the manicured lawn between the administrative buildings and the dorm rooms and entered the building that housed their daughter's living quarters. Whispers hummed and gaping mouths adorned the faces of those brave enough to peer out into the hallways. A quick glance in their direction by Merrick had them cowardly scurrying back inside their rooms. 

Danika hesitated outside of the door. "Please don't be mad daddy. I know I was a bad girl but I promise I will be good from now on."

Emily smiled at Merrick. "Stay calm husband," she whispered in his ear and gently kissed his cheek.

An impatient Merrick opened the door and stepped inside. "Oh my Danika, you have been a very bad girl."

Both terrified and in awe of what his young daughter was capable of, Merrick's eyes roamed around the room. Blood splatter covered the walls and sprawled out on the floor at their feet, the lifeless body of the grounds keeper Henry laid in a crimson pool; the proof of Danika's inability to control that which she had inherited from her father.

Emily peered through the open door. The dread she felt gazing at the dead man caused her to gasp and take a step backward.

Merrick caressed his human wife's cheek. She was trembling. "Wait in the common area Emily," he instructed her. "I will help Danika clean this mess up.

Emily nodded. She cupped her daughter's face, kissed her on the cheek and whispered, "I love you", before hurrying out of the room.

"It is forbidden to take a human life." Merrick stated firmly.

"Yes daddy, I understand. What will happen to me?"

"I will not allow anyone to harm you." Merrick placed a firm hand on her shoulder. "You are my daughter, offspring of an ancient; the child of a vampire father and a human mother. You are a strong, powerful, and cunning dhamphyr but you must always remember you cannot kill humans, or any other species for that matter. We can drink from humans only when clear rational consent is given.

"But daddy he was a bad man. He tried to hurt me." Danika entered the bathroom and emerged with a torn bloody nightgown. "Look what he did to my nightie."

Merrick flew into a rage. "That son of a bitch. Did he…?"

"No daddy, but he tried. That's why he's dead."

Merrick smiled. "That's my girl."

by Quinn Cullen