An excerpt from Dark Clouds

Valentine’s Day is coming up fast (any man reading this who has not yet made dinner reservations, ordered flowers,  bought chocolate and shopped for lingerie and still wants to stay in a relationship – get a move on!), and one present I like to give is a story. This year, for the second year in a row, my Valentine’s story is a chapter in my fantasy work in progress, Dark Clouds.

Warning: Adult content.
The excerpt below depicts two adults doing what adults tend to do together. Reader discretion blah blah blah.

Magic spell effects by Mario Sanchez Nevado

Magic spell effects by Mario Sanchez Nevado

Dark Clouds, Chapter 5: Magic Love

Matt drummed his fingers on the cheap motel desk, chin cupped in his hand. Without a computer, he felt vulnerable and naked.

The lamp flickered. From behind him, Matt heard a sibilance, whispers in a language that sounded archaic, even though he could not quite hear the words.

He also realized it was getting hot in the motel room rose. He turned, pulling off the cheap sweat-shirt. Teri sat cross-legged on the bed with her eyes closed, holding her hands up in front of her face. Her lips fluttered as she whispered. “Where’s Julian?” he asked.

Teri did not answer for another minute, but continued whispering. Finally, she lowered her hands and opened her eyes. “He left a quarter of an hour ago. You were so deep in thought, you didn’t even notice.”

“Sorry. I feel so … useless without a computer. Where did he go, anyway?”

“He talked Racine into getting him his own room. Said he felt uncomfortable sleeping with us. You know — a straight couple.”

“Right. So, what are you doing? And why is it so hot in here?”

“I’m casting a spell.”

“I think I’ve had enough of those for now.”

Teri smiled at him and raised her hands again. “You’re going to like this one.”

He stood, pulling the t-shirt away from his skin to cool off. “What’s the thermostat set at, anyway?”

“It has nothing to do with the thermostat,” Teri said as she closed her eyes. She concentrated and whispered the last few lines of the spell.

When she opened her eyes, the cheap motel room was gone, replaced by a thick, white mist. Colour swirled and drifted lazily: deep blues, purple, pink. She saw flowers from the corner of her eyes, and smelled them, too, instead of the stale mustiness of the motel room.

Matt came closer and sat beside her, but what he was sitting on, she could not see. “You know it won’t work on me.”

Matt saw the sagging bed, the worn cover, the cheap sweat clothes Racine had brought them. The room depressed him: its worn-out, damp smell, the stains that covered most of the threadbare carpet, the chipped, gouged and flimsy furniture. He hesitated every time he entered the bathroom.

Teri kissed him softly. “Relax, Matt. After all we’ve been through, we’re safe for now. Let it happen.” And their clothes were gone.

He frowned. “How—”

She pressed a finger against his lips. “Sshh. Don’t fight it. Go with the flow.” The lamp flickered again and then went out, and the only light came from the street lamp, filtered through the thin curtains.

Then the motel room faded altogether from Matt’s view as Teri brushed her lips across his, and her fingertips down his bare chest. Her scent replaced the room’s musty odour in his nostrils.

Teri kissed his neck, nibbled along his collarbone. Her fingers moved lower, almost tickling his belly, and then lower still. She kissed his throat, moving up to his chin. She pushed him backward until he was lying on … something that was not the coarse bedspread.

Matt opened his eyes. Teri’s face, framed in her brown wavy hair, hovered over him. Behind her was a white cloud. Tendrils of mist reached toward them. Hints of colour played at the edges of his vision. He could not be sure whether or not he heard music.

“Teri, is this magic?”

She pressed her mouth against his and pushed her tongue into his mouth. She pressed her naked body against his and wrapped her legs around his. He felt her nipples against his skin.

He did not ask any more questions. He took his wife in his arms and pressed her closer. He drank her in, inhaled her, greedy for every sensation.

She was doing something to him, he knew, something she had never done before, or maybe it was something that he had never let himself feel before. He felt as if they were floating, free of the bed, the motel, gravity. He pressed his eyes closer together and willed himself not to question his feelings. He concentrated on his wife, on how her mouth felt on his, on her tongue, on her hands roaming over his body.

His hands roamed, too, touching every part of her, cupping her rounded bottom. Her thighs rose higher along his own and he felt how wet she was, how hard he was.

Teri broke the kiss, arching her back as she took him. He could not tell whether she was on top or he was, because he could not tell where up was anymore.

He closed his eyes again so they could not question the mist or the flowing colours. He willed himself to experience his wife, only his wife, through his skin, his tongue and his lips. He kissed her soft body, licked her breasts and her neck. He pulled her hips into his own and relished the feeling of being inside her. He loved the sounds she made, her soft moans and cries, her ragged breathing as he pushed, gently, firmly, harder.

Then he reached that exhilarating plateau. The world was gone, there were only Matt and Teri. Every sensation they felt was a blinding white bliss and they moved as one and breathed together and cried out their love together and sank slowly down, drifting through the swirling colours, pulling each other closer again. Matt’s mouth found Teri’s and they clung to each other, and the cloud faded.

Matt could feel the coarse bedspread against his shoulders. Teri was smooth and soft and warm and a little sweaty on top of him. He kissed her one more time and dared to open his eyes.

They were back in the motel room. The lamp flickered back to life. Something else started to hum.

Teri’s eyes were closed. Her mouth curled into a sweet smile.

Matt started to ask his wife what had happened, where the cloud had come from and why the magic worked. No, some part of him said. Just hold onto that. Don’t question it.

They held each other like that until the Alberta night seeped through the motel’s cheap weatherstripping and they got too cold. Then they pulled the thin blankets over themselves and held each other close against the cold until the sun rose.


I’d like some feedback on this before I go to a final draft. Let me know what you thought in a comment.

If you liked this excerpt and want to read more, visit my blog, Written Words, and see the tabs at the top for Dark Clouds, A Magic Romance and Some Days, I Wish I Never Met that Woman.


4 comments on “An excerpt from Dark Clouds

  1. As I got into the scene it really worked for me. I liked that the twist was that her magic worked for him. If that is a big deal in the book overall, then you *may* want to make him a little more wondering, particularly during afterglow.

    A few minor comments.

    “He also realized it was getting hot in the motel room rose.” has temp rising and getting hot, mixture of 2 different phrases.

    This paragraph was the stumbliest for me:

    “When she opened her eyes, the cheap motel room was gone, replaced by a thick, white mist. Colour swirled and drifted lazily: deep blues, purple, pink. She saw flowers from the corner of her eyes, and smelled them, too, instead of the stale mustiness of the motel room.

    Matt came closer and sat beside her, but what he was sitting on, she could not see.”

    The whole rest of the scene seems to be from Matt’s POV, so the pronoun switches showing what she can see (and he cannot) are really confusing to the reader. He might guess at what she can or cannot see, or she might tell him. But unless it’s a full-omniscient POV narrator (which is not the case through the rest of the scene), this seems like info the POV character wouldn’t have.

  2. This is why I share stuff like this: for constructive advice from professionals! Thanks very much, Bruce and AK.

    The next question is, how to fix this? Add more from Teri’s POV, or eliminate it? The novel this is growing into (starting with Dark Clouds, available free on my blog), has to be equally about Matt and Teri. She’s a witch (all women are, a la Fritz Leiber), and Matt is the son of the Witch Queen, and immune to almost all magic.

  3. Pingback: Crossing (genre) borders | Guild Of Dreams

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