Recently Sirens Call Publications released it’s first romance/erotic anthology titles He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. True to form, we’re going to bring you guest posts from most of the authors who contributed stories, letting them share the inspiration behind what they wrote. Next up we have Alex Chase, author of Keeping Distance.
Alex Chase is a university student who has had short fiction accepted for publication with Siren’s Call Publication, Pink Pepper Press and Angelic Knight Press in genres including horror, romance and everything in between. When not doing school work, writing and exploring the depths of the human condition, he enjoys tutoring, working on his student paper, and running. Find Alex on Facebook, Twitter or his blog.
The Inspiration Behind Keeping Distance
It has been said by a great many number of people that sex, love, and death, are all pretty much the same. We could debate on why for hours, but I think we can all agree that the notion of these things being the same is pretty interesting. I’d say this philosophy is what contributed most to my writing Keeping Distance – well, that and my inherent love of demonology.
To me, I find the most interesting demons are either those with a good side – like Alastor, avenger of women and children – or those that specialize in one chief human interest. I mean, saying ‘trickster demon’ or ‘seducer’ isn’t nearly as interesting as saying, “This one demon is designed to have wild sex with you and use your reproductive system for its own evil intent.” Granted, I’d be equally interested if you told me about a demon that would rob offices of their supplies, causing havoc over who used all the staples, but that’s beside the point.
Let’s face it: if you give somebody one wish, and they can’t use it on wealth, power, or their family, they’ll probably wish for sex. After all, it’s one of the most powerful motivators a human being can be faced with. We can justify an obsession with this act by saying it’s to ensure mankind doesn’t become extinct (although with a population of seven billion and promiscuity on the rise, we can hardly say that our species is endangered just yet). That having been said, most people would wish for unlimited, mind blowing sex as opposed to a one night stand. I mean, why waste universe-altering power on the same thing you can get from throwing a few free drinks around in the right company?
When I wrote the story, I wrote under the reverse philosophy – it’s the tale of the rare type of person who wouldn’t make that wish but has it granted anyway. The story starts off on a dark and rainy street at the edge of a slum, and our protagonist has a death wish, or at least doesn’t seem like she’s looking out for her own best interests. She wanders around, her love life as cold and heartless as the buildings around her, then someone swoops in to save her- except she didn’t necessarily want to be saved, nor is her savior the type you’d take home to your parents.
And there you have it: the wish has been granted, all consequences included, just as the Monkey’s Paw would’ve wanted it. Granted, in some theological situations, the amazing fuck buddy you asked for comes at the expense of your soul. Or, best case scenario, you’re used to spawn wretched demon children. But you got one wish – you asked for sex, so you lost your chance to ask for birth control. Tsk, tsk. If you’re going to overindulge in a mortal sin, you better be prepared for some pretty nasty consequences.
Not that I’m condemning you – not by any means. After all, if you’re anything like me, you know a little overindulgence can be something worth dying for.
All little girls, and some little boys, know the game He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. Each one who plays hopes to end on the He Loves Me petal. But how many of us really find that perfect mate? That one partner who will love us unconditionally for the rest of our lives? How many of us really live the dream, and how many live through the heartbreak of ending on the He Loves Me Not petal?
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not is an anthology of ten stories told from ten different perspectives on love and romance. Some have happy endings, while others end in tears, on a note of desperation, or even a new beginning. A few of the stories are fantasies come true, some steamy encounters of wanton lust, and others still are tales of woe – but the one thing they all have in common – they answer the age old question; does he love me, or does he not?
North Star – Rhiannon Fox
Glynnis – Julianne Snow
The Headless Ladies – Brenda Moguez
Keeping Distance – Alex Chase
Don’t Call Me When He Tries To Kill You – Kerry G.S. Lipp
Freefall – Kate Monroe
Living in the Shades – Vincent Ashcroft
Ruby – Stephanie Nett
Control – Ara Lynn
Railroaded – O.M. Grey
And now it’s time for an excerpt…
Carmen could’ve sworn that she was dreaming. She’d been wandering the drenched streets with red eyes and an aching frown for the better part of the night, and it had started to rain less than an hour after she’d left.
She hadn’t remembered to grab a coat on the way out, either, but being accused of cheating has the tendency to get a person riled up.
“Mitch, you flea-ridden booze hound, I’ll come back to you when Hell freezes over.” Those were the last words she intended on saying to him.
It’s not like she’d started off with the intention of dating an alcoholic, but he’d seemed alright, at first. He was one year sober and decided to celebrate with a glass of wine.
“One won’t be a problem,” he’d laughed. Looking back, they sure seemed like famous last words, but everyone gets those, right?
Over the span of a few weeks, he’d gone from one drink occasionally to one drink every day. Then it became two drinks. He started drinking earlier, often before noon. Soon, he began to start fights.
At first, they were about little things, mostly her refusal to buy him beer or for taking away his car keys after he’d had a few. After a while, it was about things like “Where’s my dinner, chick?” and “For a woman, you sure aren’t good at doing my laundry.”
Needless to say, she called him on his obnoxious behavior, he said some things that couldn’t be taken back, and she stormed out. He’d texted her in the hours since then with charming phrases such as, “I didnt meen it,” and, “U strted it,” and “Hungry- U cook U stay.” She had no intention of going back for her own belongings, let alone for him.
Of course, that meant she was temporarily homeless. The banks were closed and she didn’t keep much cash on her, so she was screwed until she found a motel that would let her stay for seventeen dollars and a metro card.
Carmen had walked for hours without finding any help.
“How is it that I haven’t passed one ATM? Seriously, where are they?” She moaned, staring up at the surging sky.
She felt distant and detached, like the world had stopped being real. She wished, for a moment, that it would.
That didn’t stop the rain or the cold from being any less real. Mother Nature had decided to sporadically drench her in a bitter, slushy, hail-ridden mess. Luckily, the hail was small, but Carmen still cursed herself for having forgotten a coat. She wrapped her arms tight around her small frame. Wandering those dark streets, shivering and without guidance made her feel like a child.
She chuckled bitterly. She wasn’t the one who should feel that way. It was God damned Mitch who should be wandering the streets, though she couldn’t exactly have made him leave.
Trudging down the sidewalk, she stared up at the black sky, wondering if the rolling sea of clouds would come crashing down and wipe her out. The moon tried to force its way through the oppressive covering, but very little light shone through.
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to read an inspiration piece by Kerry G.S. Lipp who wrote Don’t Call Me Why He Tries To Kill You!