ANNOUNCEMENT/GIVEAWAY: Mirrored Madness, by J. Hali Steele

QSFer J. Hali Steele has a new MM horror book out: “Mirrored Madness.”

Dyson Gato has no desire to change a single thing about himself. Satan has many demons but there is only one Gato and he regals in his status of being called upon to deliver God’s crippled or disfigured to Hell when they botch their own suicides. They garner no pity. God doesn’t care their pain is deeply etched as a result of being tormented every day of their sad lives. Why should Dyson?

Dyson has an added advantage—he possesses wonderfully handy supernatural powers. He has a job to do and he isn’t one to shirk responsibility. Until he meets Reno Vaughn. Understanding the man, his drive to live regardless of his deformity, becomes a challenge, one Dyson determines to defeat so he can transport Reno through Hell’s gateway.

Contains: #deformity, #demon, #gay, #horror, #murder, #psychological, #religerotica, #shortstory, #violence

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Giveaway

J. Hali Steele is giving away a an eBook copy of Tender Distraction with this post. Comment below for a chance to win.


Excerpt

Annoyance—a new emotion and Dyson wasn’t handling it well at all. Reno cut his hair and took unnecessary time arriving after being called. Never, ever experienced… Must delve into the occurrence later. “I can’t let you go.” Just you. Why did he use those particular words? Because at that moment, Dyson recognized he wanted Reno again. One and done. His fancies were fucked and carried straight to Hell. I desire having Reno in my bed again. At this point, Dyson wished for nothing more than releasing Reno from this world but he didn’t seek death. Or did he simply mean to release him from the web of Dyson’s existence? What, what! “You don’t want to lie with me again?” Dyson unearthed extreme turmoil in Reno’s psyche. Disarray ran unchecked in his head also. No human ever defied him nor had one seen him clearly and called him on it.

“Why me?” Reno stood and backed toward the door.

“You truly choose to live with your leg as it is?”

“I wish to live, Dyson.”

Dyson had not always been flippant and unfeeling. It became essential to form a shield to carry out his duties over eons. So what he emanated from Satan’s backyard? Early on he was eaten alive by anguish and wretched sentiments of his fancies. A name he began to use because it suited better than imagining deformities and disfigurements he came upon again and again. Who of all those devilish brownnosers surrounding Satan would want Dyson’s responsibilities? If no one stepped up, humans he served would go straight to Hell for taking their God given life without anything enchanting, beautiful, or delightful ever brushing against them. He did not care about their defect, only about giving pleasure. “I let each know I saw them.” Dyson provided an exquisite light in their lives for a brief but final moment; one he hoped they remembered when the hot doors of Hell banged shut behind them.

Having frequently been in Reno’s head, Dyson witnessed his joy in waking up each day, his pleasure in making it to the park bench where he watched strangers amble by. Some smiled because they didn’t know him, didn’t see his leg. They saw a handsome man sitting quietly taking in the view; they peered into striking whiskey colored eyes, and said hello. Many laughed with him over shared stories and they left Reno feeling better for having talked with him.

Amazing! Something drastic transpired in Dyson’s world. It felt off kilter, seemed as if it slipped a tiny bit from its axis and tilted precariously waiting for the final push to dislodge it completely.

Fates ignored his pleas for an audience. Seemed as if Satan turned his back on his once favored demon also. Coming into contact with a fancy on his own and handling his job was one thing but Dyson would flounder if charts provided by the devil were discontinued. Satan’s guides or maps indicated lives soon to end, unfortunates who required help to complete leaving this world if they fumbled suicide.

The final straw leading Dyson to something amiss. Sex. He’d never let Reno know what transpired with the blond he persuaded to his penthouse. Dyson stretched silently beneath the man, let him use him to achieve orgasm, even desired he hurry and get it over with.

That never occurred before.

How long could he keep the face of false bravado, how soon before Reno in all his perceptiveness discovered Dyson’s universe had clouded with uncertainty? More importantly—why? A storm approached and his uppermost thought was how to keep Reno clear of flying debris. How to make sure he didn’t lose… Goodness sakes, Dyson worried about a fancy. What, what? Hurry, put his mind somewhere else. One small pleasure. “Let’s get pizza.”

“Youarefucking crazy.”

“But you like me, Reno Vaughn.”

“Fuck if I know why.”

“We can talk.” Instantly they were at a table in the deli. Dyson stared across at Reno. “Tell me about yourself.”

“Unbelievable. There’s nothing to tell, Dyson. I’m deformed, crippled. For life. End of story.”

“That’s a condition. Not who you are.” There is something in this man, a thirst to live. Actual joy approaching each day regardless of circumstance.

“I was born with a leg that didn’t form. The foot, it didn’t either. Imagine if it had. A sight that would be.”

Between bites, Dyson shook his head. “Not true. It would look like one of those artificial legs they manufacture nowadays with a regular foot. Why didn’t you have your leg removed and get one of those?” Licking lips, he added, “I think I love pizza.”

“Jesus, you’re something else.”

“Reno,” he leaned across the table, “you live with it. How?”

“You’ve explored along my mental path, seen horrors. Children tripping me, calling me names, stealing my wheelchair when I went to the bathroom at school.” Fingernails left noticeable imprints in his palm. “The time a few senior boys thought it would be fun to put dog shit on my seat.”

“Uh-huh. Nasty children. Who wants to handle poop?” One shoulder lifted. “You like them.”

“Shut up.”

“Well, don’t you?”

“They can be trained.”

“Like puppies?”

“Christ almighty, they’re…okay some grow up to be dogs.”

Reno’s laugh enthralled Dyson. Washing down his meal with beer, Dyson pried, “How did you thrive taking into account things done to you? You don’t have to.”

“I’m not sure the answer you’re seeking.”

“School, college, a job, and three lovers. Well, two really because I’m going to kill one. The others, they weren’t toobad. You’re thirty-six. You call that a life?”

“I can’t do this.” Reno stood.

“Sit. The. Fuck. Down.” Anger! Not merely annoyance this time around. Blatant rage. Oh, no, no. This is going the wrong way. Dyson wasn’t affecting Reno. Just the opposite. “I’m sorry.” He pushed his last slice away. “That never happened before.”

Reno flopped into the chair. “You’ve never felt anger?”

“No. Emotions, they are not mine. Usually, I feel what my fancies experience. Mostly moments of sadness. But that’s only until they take their last breath.”

“Fancies?”

“Disfigured, deformed individuals not content with their lives. Giving them a moment of beauty, I love them all before I take them away.”

“I’m a fancy? Something you plan on taking where exactly.”

“To Hell after you kill yourself.”


Author Bio

J. Hali Steele wishes she could grow fur, wings, or fangs, so she can stay warm, fly, or just plain bite the crap out of… Well, she can’t do those things but she wishes she could!

Multi-published author of Romance in Paranormal, Fantasy, and Contemporary worlds which include ReligErotica and LGBTQ stories where humans, vampyres, shapeshifters and angels collide—they collide a lot! When J. Hali’s not writing or reading, she can be found snuggled in front of the TV with a cat in her lap, and a cup of coffee.

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