I love science fiction books and movies, and sometimes the pulpier the stories are, the better! I wrote this erotic story “Lab Rat” several years ago and it was sold to the now closed Oysters and Chocolate website. If you didn’t get a chance to read it over there, I present it here for your amusement. Enjoy!
By Angela Caperton
Davie arrived at the psych lab ten minutes early. Psychology was only an elective in his geology degree plan, but the subject had proven more interesting and challenging than he had expected. He’d struggled with the first test, his score guaranteed to bring down his grade, but the prof had told them extra credit could be earned by any student who would spend six hours as a volunteer test subject for grad students. Some of Davie’s friends had done their time the semester before in the various testing labs and, even down to androgynous Lexxie Mathis, unanimously they all told him if he didn’t sign up for the Sex and Intimacy series he would be making a huge mistake.
“I got credit for jerking off,” was Oliver Soland’s two-thumbs-up recommendation.
The lab occupied one of the older buildings on the Quad, a place that smelled like an old fire, ashy and damp. Davie made his way down an empty hall, found the door to Room 232 unlocked, and walked in.
The waiting area looked suspiciously mundane, complete with an empty desk and a closed door he figured must lead to the lab. His knock echoed into unknown space so he took a seat and waited. At nine sharp, the door opened and a pretty brunette wearing jeans and a white coat unbuttoned over a Spoon tee-shirt, emerged smiling into the waiting room.
“You must be Davie Ingles,” she said. She took the seat nearest him and handed him a clipboard with a release form. “I got your stats from registration. You’re 22, right? Science major… You know what you’ve signed up for?” She had a great smile and the greenest eyes he’d ever seen.
“To be a lab rat?”
Her lips quirked into a grin. “Some people would say a lucky lab rat. You signed up for the Sexology lab. Read the release please, and sign it.” Did her grin widen a little when she said “release?”
He gave the paper a spotty read, signed it, and tried not to smirk as he returned … the release to her. He saw clearly that she wore no bra under her t-shirt, one of the o’s in Spoon beautifully circling an erect nipple pushing against thin cotton.
“You know my name,” Davie said, keeping his voice steady in spite of the anxiety building in his stomach. “What’s yours?”
“Maybe later. We need to get you hooked up first.” Her grin twitched again. She led him through the door and down a hallway to a little room with a chair and a bank of PCs, monitors, and other gear. She handed him a robe. “Undress and get into this.”
“Undress? To my shorts?”
“All the way,” she said and left him to it.
Davie stripped off his shoes, socks, jeans, and shirt. He hesitated at the jockeys, his boner already of considerable size. She’s probably seen hundreds of them, he reminded himself and peeled off the tight drawers. The robe was nicer than anything they would give you in a hospital, calf-length and made of some lightweight synthetic. He put it on and tied the belt loosely, careful to tuck his overanxious dick down just as she came back into the room.
She took his upper arm in a casual grip and pushed him gently toward the chair, pausing just before he sat. “You’re going to have to take the robe off while I wire you or I’m going to have to tell you how to wire yourself. I hope you’re not shy because it’s much easier if I do it.” Her gaze was stone still, impassive.
No, he thought, it’s going to be much, much harder. “You get a lot of shy guys signing up for sex experiments?” he asked and untied the robe. Mr. Lively had calmed down some but Davie knew the lull wouldn’t last long.
“You’d be surprised,” she said. “Most people never really think about sexuality except as … an applied science.” She hardly glanced at his unruly cock, which was probably just as well. “Sometimes we get guys in here who think they’re Chippendale dancers, but the lab makes them nervous and they…well they get embarrassed and shrink. You don’t seem to have that problem.”
With quick efficiency, she applied gooey sensors to his nipples and abdomen, his temples, shoulder blades, and lower back. Loose, thin wires connected him to a modest console spangled with blinking LEDs. Her fingers were warm even when the jelly chilled his skin. “You can put the robe back on,” she said, “and have a seat.”
With her help, Davie wrestled the robe around the streaming wires. He left it open in front until he sat in the chair and then he started to fold the tails across his restless penis.
“Wait,” she said. “One more.” She held what he took at first for a condom, though he quickly saw the tube was more rigid and, yes, wired.
“It’s a plesmograph.”
“It doesn’t shock, does it? Or vibrate?”
She laughed. “No. It’s just a sensor.” Without asking if he wanted to put it on for himself, she bent to the task. Little Davie volunteered eagerly for his new uniform and she had no trouble sliding him into the cool plastic sheath. “There,” she said. “All snug. You can cover up now if you want to.”
Out of general respect for science, he closed the robe. Next she gave him a pair of clumsy gloves, like the mail gauntlets of a plastic knight. “VR gloves,” she said. “State of the art.”
“Nintendo would kill for these,” he said as he put them on. They felt a little stiff.
Finally she produced a helmet and fitted it on his head. “You ever been in true virtual reality before?” she asked.
“No. I’ve heard about it. Didn’t know anyone really used it.” The world looked milky white through the helmet’s lenses.
“We’re lucky to have the rig. There are a dozen of them around the country in psych departments all networked together. We call it the O-Zone here.”
She grinned that sweet little grin but didn’t explain further. “When I turn it on, the first thing you’ll see will be an orientation space … where you can get a feel for the gloves and we’ll make sure the zone doesn’t make you sick. Some people can’t take it. I’ll talk you through that part, but then – if you’re okay – you’ll be on your own.”
“What happens after that?”
“You’ll see a door. Go through it. You’ll find your partner on the other side.”
“Yeah. Someone in another lab that’s using the zone like we are. They will present to you as an attractive, young woman.”
He thought about that a moment. He knew that anyone in cyberspace might not be anything like what they seemed.
“We’re measuring your reactions here, so try to relax and behave naturally, but even nervousness and hesitation can produce good data.”
“What do I do?”
“Whatever you feel like doing, but I need to tell you. Your partner is in a different kind of rig than you are. You’re reactions are being measured, but your partner will feel sensations based on what you do. If you do something that causes pleasure – stroke her for example – she will feel good. If you …decide to make love to her, she’s equipped with hardware that will simulate intercourse.”
“You’re shitting me?”
“You’ll be able to hear her reaction, though the voice you actually hear may not be her real voice.”
“She could be a guy, huh?”
“Is that a problem for you?”
“No. I don’t think so.” He wondered if the sensors could read a lie. The idea of virtual sex with some guy in a girl suit made him a little uneasy.
“One more important thing. If you decide to hurt her, she’ll feel pain. Nothing really harmful, of course, but enough that she’ll know it, and so will you.”
Davie took a deep breath. “Okay,” he said as his heart began to race. His dick shrank a little inside the plastic sheath and he pulled the robe tighter.
“Remember, try to follow your instincts,” she said and then left him alone in the room.
The milky lenses flickered and the dim lab vanished, replaced by a table rendered in high-res graphics, like a top-end video game. The lab girl’s voice whispered in his ear to guide him through the orientation. He turned his head. The space around him appeared amazingly real, almost too real. His hands waved in front of him, bigger and darker than his real hands. He flexed them.
She talked him through simple exercises, taught him to “walk” by gesturing in the direction he wanted to go, helped him handle the objects on the table – a glass, a ball, a pencil. The gloves produced enough feedback that he quickly learned the subtleties of touch, and it wasn’t much of a stretch to see how the technology could replicate other sensations, pleasurable or otherwise. His self-awareness and the boundaries of his senses stretched and he relaxed a little as the alien space became more comfortable.
“Turn around,” she said and he did, almost fluidly, without changing his place in the chair. Where there had been a white wall, he saw a door now. “Relax,” she said one more time. “And have fun.”
Davie glided toward the door and opened it. The knob clicked in his hand and he blinked against the rosy light inside the new virtual space. His partner waited for him there and he remembered the questions he had answered when he signed up for the lab, asking what he found attractive in a partner. Tall, blonde, high-breasted, long-legged. He wondered how many variations they actually got on the answers to those answers.
He looked down and saw that he was naked too with a virtual cock roughly the size of his real one, and he had a flashback to Sunday school. Adam and Eve knew they were naked…
He saw and felt himself getting hard, aware of the plastic sheath but comfortably detached from it. His virtual cock grew to impressive proportions and his breath quickened, making a sort of rhythmic shushing sound under the helmet.
“Ooh!” the virtual girl giggled when she saw him. “I’m glad to see you too.”
“This is weird.”
“You’ll get used to it fast. Try touching me.” Her voice was decidedly feminine, light and bubbly.
He closed the distance between them in his jerky glide and reached out a gloved hand to her arm. There was no warmth, but the glove registered softness. “Mmm,” she said. “Now touch me somewhere interesting.”
Davie tried to tweak her nipple, midway between timid and playful, and the best he managed was a thump. “Ow!” she blurted, but then she smiled widely.
His cock grew again – Pinocchio’s lying nose.
“What are we supposed to do?” he asked.
“Anything we want to. But, I’ll tell you, I don’t want to waste my appointment talking.”
He desperately wanted to ask, “Are you a guy?” but he resisted the temptation, even as the thought made his cock shrink a little.
“Listen. We can play a game if you want to,” his playmate said.
“Maybe. What’s your name?”
“Justine.” She didn’t ask his and while he was wondering whether to volunteer it, she said. “Ask me a question, and if I don’t get the answer right, you can spank me.”
Why not? He thought for a moment. “What’s the capital of New York?”
“New York City?”
“Oops!” She turned coyly away from him and extended a gloriously perfect digital ass. He swatted her with a clumsy stroke, harder than he meant to. The blow registered against his palm.
She cried out, “Oh yes,” her voice delighted and a little breathless. “Scranton?”
“Scranton’s in Pennsylvania,” he said.
“You better spank me harder.”
Davie had never spanked a real girl, but he found himself intrigued, his cock growing harder by the moment. He swung with considerable force and the glove registered a sharp blow.
“Fuck,” Justine cried and she staggered a little. “Fuck yes!”
He swung again and again and she began to make little noises that he had heard girls make when they were really enjoying being fucked. He realized that he had become almost comically hard, the plesmograph tight around his real cock and his virtual one reaching out toward a porn star’s native country.
Part of his brain clung to the reality of his being in the chair wrapped in electronics, but the girl in front of him seemed very real. Somewhere, she was very real and he knew by the sounds she made that she was really enjoying whatever the computer was doing to her.
He swung harder. His cock swelled again inside the plastic sheath, the sensation shocking heat and pleasure up his spine.
Justine began to utter a breathless scream and Davie lost the fight against shooting his wad, the sensation like the disembodied pleasure of a wet dream. He hoped to god he didn’t short anything out. He knew she was coming, whoever she was, wherever she was, but he didn’t stop spanking her until the room blinked and faded to milky white.
Wetness trickled down his thigh.
For a moment, nothing was real except the helmet and the mess in his lap. His cock shrank stickily out of its techno-cunt. He dabbed at the semen with the edge of his robe, dazed by what he’d just experienced.
Time passed, what seemed like half an hour went by before he heard his tester enter the room. She unfastened the helmet and lifted it off him. His eyes struggled to grasp the real world in front of him. The tester seemed almost two-dimensional in the dim room but her face flushed red and her eyes stared wide.
“Look, I’m sorry… I hope I didn’t break anything,” he started.
“No, no. It’s okay. Really,” she helped him stand and took the robe off him. As she removed the sensors, her fingers seemed to stray a little more than they needed to and when she came to the straps that held the cock sheath in place, she hesitated a moment before she touched him.
She slipped the device off and laid it aside. He considered offering to clean it up for her but before he could speak, she stroked his shrunken cock, pausing to smear a slippery circle around the tip.
“Listen,” she said and he recognized the inflection of the word. Justine. “Don’t tell anyone, okay? But I’m not a Psych student. My friend let me come in here to work tonight because I begged her. I just wanted to see what it was like, and … wow.”
“Do I still get credit?” he asked.
She nodded, but he wasn’t sure she had really heard him. “I have to ask you something.”
“Can we go out sometime?”
Copyright 2010 Angela Caperton. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or partwithout written permission from the author.
2012 comes to a close in just a few hours, and a new year starts. 2012 was not an outstanding year for me. In many ways it seems to have passed in a blur of mundane activities. I find myself looking back with some regret, mostly that I wish I had not let a variety of life irritations interfere with the momentum of my writing. I did write some stories that satisfied me in 2012, but I feel like I should have done more. I look at my files of partially completed manuscripts and wince at the possibilities put on pause.
But this is it – I am done beating myself up over not spending more time at the keyboard, of leaving so many worlds and words frozen like ants in amber.
Tonight is a night to celebrate the triumphs, to take them and let them feed a rededication to my craft. I did have some successes this year. I had several short stories published and had one of my favorites turned into a audio podcast over at Nobilis Erotica with the lovely voice of Rose Caraway giving my story “Tourist” life. My erotic superhero short story “Lawman” was chosen to appear in Circlet’s best of print collection Fantastic Erotica. I was honored to have stories in collections edited by Delilah Devlin, Kristine Wright, Rachel Kramer Bussel, D.L. King and Maxim Jakubowski. eXtasy books, Xcite books, Seal Press and Renaissance eBooks published some of my work as well, and I was thrilled to have a couple of my older stories reissued by new publishers.
So 2013 starts with a flurry of successes including the two stories that Maxim Jakubowski selected for his Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 11 (available January 1) – “The Boiling Sea” and “Barnacle Bill.” I am delighted that “The Boiling Sea” is the lead story in this year’s collection. Also, two of my quickie shorts will appear in Maxim’s collection due out in the spring.
Other successes conceived in 2012 will be given life in 2013 – another audio version of one of my popular short stories and other works that I am determined to finish up and send out into the world.
In a few hours I will enjoy some champagne, the company of good friends and family, and I will bid farewell to 2012 and welcome 2013, embracing the possibilities and adventures that can only be born through will and a creative heart. I hope your New Year’s Eve is filled with laughter, good company and most of all, I hope it is safe.
All the best for a bright New Year. Life is sexy – live it.
My short story “Tourist” was just published in the Circlet Press anthology Like the Hands of Time. “Tourist” is the tale of a man who travels back in time to fulfill a fantasy and visit his favorite era of history, Germany in the late years of the Weimar Republic, not long before the rise of Adolph Hitler, when a lot of good parties were replaced by one bad one.
Germany between the World Wars was a fascinating place, not only for the art, theater, architecture, and film that the culture produced, but because German cities, Berlin in particular, were like experiments in a freedom of sexual expression that was revolutionary in modern times and prefigured the permissive societies that became more common near the end of the century.
The book Voluptuous Panic, the Erotic World of Weimar Berlin, by Mel Gordon, is a wonderful history of the time and place and I drew heavily on Mr. Gordon’s volume for the details of my story. A city of endless delight and hedonistic expression, Berlin was also a dangerous place, even without the street fighting. Like so many world events of the 1920s and 1930s, Germany was a crucible where all the ingredients of the coming century were tested and, unfortunately for the world, instead of liberation, monsters were born and thrived on a diet of hatred and repressive madness.
Here’s an excerpt from “Tourist”:
Julie danced at the Mandrake. Her name and a grotesque distortion of her image hung in a tattering poster beside the door. She had been dancing there since ‘22, when Papa had turned her out into the street because he could not feed her. Now she had an apartment of her own, which she shared with a shifting cast of roommates down on their luck, other dancers from the club, men who aspired to be pimps but who lacked the moral fiber, and petty black marketers in between deals.
She appreciated the relative fortune of her simple walls and furnishings but always Julie told herself, “Someday my luck will change. Someday I will have more.”
The night she met Paul, she began to believe the stories she told herself. Paul strode into the Mandrake like a champion, head level, eyes sharp and determined, his very presence shivering Julie’s soul unlike anyone she’d ever met. He wore his blonde hair short, stiff in a funny way and it smelled good with a hint of something exotic. He looked like money. He wore an expensive suit that he told her later was real silk. He had the most perfect teeth she had ever seen, gleaming white in the stage light when he sat at the front table and watched her.
“Pretty Julie,” he crooned with sincerity. “If you will come with me tonight, I will make you a duchess.” He barely looked at Rutger before giving the wicked clown a handful of gold coins.
“I don’t care if you don’t bring her back,” Rutger chuckled as he winked and smiled at Julie. “Good luck. Have fun.”
Paul walked out with her, his arm around her waist, possessive and endearing in his hold. He took her to the Paradise and Inferno nightclub, and Julie swallowed hard, awed and worried that she was not dressed well enough. A bony doorman dressed as St. Peter looked them over. “We want to go to heaven,” Paul told him. “Only heaven is good enough for my Julie.”
Julie smiled as the doorman’s scorn melted away when Paul gave him a generous fold of marks, and then they were inside the most infamous club in Berlin. A nearly naked Cupid led them to a booth on the left side of the stage, shrouded in shadows but sometimes washed by red light from the spotlights and floodlights that danced across the stage. She tried not to stare at the dancing sparkle of diamonds and satin flash when the stage lighting splashed sometimes over the women in the audience. As Julie looked around the cabaret, she wondered, what did it feel like to wear a ring that cost more than food for a year? A gauzy white curtain bisected the theater. On the other side of it, Julie knew from stories, hell’s patrons sat in equal splendor attended by handsome devils and almost-nude lady demons.
Satan, his muscular chest bare and painted red, paraded on the stage addressing the audience. Julie grinned, wondering if the obvious bulge in the tight black pants he wore was real or a stuffed prosthetic. Regardless, the illusion gave many in the audience reason to twitter approval. “So, Berliners, welcome to Hell,” he said to the half of the audience hidden from Julie by the white curtain, before he turned to Julie and Paul’s side of the room. “Our friends over in Heaven, don’t worry! We delight in showing you,” he chuckled with low, wicked delight, “what it is you’re missing!”
Paul sat beside her in the booth, his light laughter a hymn beyond the other merriment in the club. She glanced at him as they both faced the stage and smiled, delighted by his obvious enjoyment.
The he slid his warm hand under Julie’s skirt and stroked her slit through the black lace of her panties. She remembered her price tag, but she also grew wet under his touch, her heart pounding. The giddy wonder of his forwardness surprised her even as a touch of disappointment dimmed the glow of the evening. He stopped after only a moment and leaned to her, pressing trembling lips to her ear. “Remove your panties, Julie,” he commanded with a whisper that rippled through her soul. She started to stand, to find shadows or a powder room, but he traced his hand down her wrist and locked it in a grip that claimed, took, breathed, and promised. “No,” he corrected her. “Remove them here.”
She shifted and adjusted, reaching up and behind and under, unfastened her garter and slowly squirmed out of the soft cotton panties. Anyone in the club who looked at her would surely know what she was doing, but perhaps the shadows concealed her. She surrendered her underpants to Paul and looked at him, waiting. Paul curled his fingers into the white material, his thumb stroking the prim edge, then at Paul’s commanding nod and curt order, the waiter brought a strong brandy and a bottle of good wine.
On the stage, a thin woman, entirely nude, pale as ivory, danced in smoky light, a study in white and black, milky skin, black-ringed eyes, the whipping mane of her raven hair, and the thick tangle of silken black between her legs. Sinuous, precise, she fought with the smoke and made love to it, a teasing undulation of flesh and dreams.
Paul took Julie’s hand and rested it on his hardening cock. She pressed through the smooth material of his trousers, her fingers expert from many nights in the Mandrake. She brought him to full, impressive erection, just as the dancer on the stage twirled one final time and vanished into the billowing smoke.
Everyone applauded. Julie smelled opium and hashish. The smoke and the brandy turned her mind golden and she relaxed against Paul, opening his trousers and reaching in to touch the bare heat of his cock. She smiled and stroked down its pulsing length with one testing finger.
The silky bead at the tip delighted her, the slippery warmth of it, the affirmation of Paul’s desire. She smeared the bead and relished his quickened breath.
The stage stayed dark for a long moment, then a clown dressed as an angel appeared and began to tell stories and make dirty jokes about politicians and Socialists, Frenchmen and Russians. Paul put his hand over Julie’s, his fingertips almost tickling the back of her hand as she slowly pumped him. “Wait,” he whispered, and she stopped, but didn’t move her hand, allowing her to hold the hard, responsive flesh.
He poured wine for her and she drank. “You are an American?” she asked him casually as she tightened her grip a moment, then relaxed her hand.
“Yes I am,” he answered with a little smile. “Have you ever been in this place before?”
“No. Have you?”
Paul shook his head. “I’ve heard a great deal about it—read books about it.”
“Are you a teacher?” she asked him.
“No. Only a tourist, Julie. Like so many in Berlin.”
Copyright 2012 Angela Caperton. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.
Contrast is everything.
I just sold another story to Mischief, for their anthology Underworlds. The story is called “Katie” and is set in the late 1800s. It is loosely based on the real-life case of Dr. William Crookes, a renowned British chemist and physicist, who conducted experiments in spiritualism with a pretty young “physical medium” named Florence Cook. Of course, the manifestations in my story are considerably sexier than anything Dr. Crookes recorded in his notebooks!
I enjoy writing stories set in past eras, not only because I love history, especially its darker and weirder corners, but also because such eras provide an opportunity to emphasize the power of sexuality by setting it against a background less sexualized than today’s world. Much of the dramatic appeal I find in erotica comes from the contrast of a story’s sexual content against these more inhibited time frames. I’ve used eras like the 1950s as a backdrop for stories such as “Calendar Girl,” and I drew on the 1840s for my story of Millerite shenanigans, “Rapture,” because those eras make a sharper contrast that allows relatively mild sexuality to appear daring, even forbidden. It’s not an easy thing for an erotica writer to be shocking in the age of Kink.com, but I like the challenge. If I’m successful, I hope I can craft a story that helps the reader adjust their attitude to see things through other eyes.
The general notion of the Victorian era as a completely repressed epoch is not exactly accurate. Although there was certainly a puritanical streak that dominated polite consciousness, there was also a tremendous amount of barely repressed eroticism that broke out in interesting ways. The erotic elements of spiritualism were certainly not emphasized in contemporary accounts, but more than one female medium conducted her séances lightly clad or sometimes entirely nude, ostensibly to prevent fraud. The effect cannot have been lost on the gentlemen sitting around the table. Also, most séances were conducted in the dark and, although all hands were supposed to be on the tipping table, who knows what might have happened beneath it? Add in the intriguing possibilities of ectoplasmic extrusions and wonderful things are possible!
Writing a story in a historical period, of course, presents different challenges from a contemporary tale or one set in an entirely fantastic world, like my novel Woman of the Mountain, but the advantages are significant. The internet offers limitless research resources and direct access to period detail and texts that have never been easily available to writers before. I love taking advantage of modern technology to embellish my little windows into the past. When you look into that gas-lit chamber, there’s no telling what naughty things you might see – at the tipping table or under it…
Underworlds will be published by Mischief later this year.
Earlier this month I wrote about my erotic romance Standing Stone being re-published, and at the time, the original publication date was going to be May 1st. My publisher asked if I was good with bumping up the publication to tomorrow—April 15th. What do you think I said? So tomorrow you can purchase Standing Stone! If you would like to read an except, go here!
I love it when my stories are singled out by anthology reviewers. My recent tale, “Before the Autumn Queen,” in Curvy Girls: Erotica for Women, just received a very nice compliment in a review by Steve Isaak, reviewer at Reading and Writing by Pub Light. You can purchase Curvy Girls here.
In other print news, I am a Mischief author! The newly launched erotica line by the UK arm of Harper-Collins is headed by Adam Nevill, former editor for Black Lace. My short story “Rent” will be in an upcoming erotic paranormal anthology called The Visitor. “Rent” is set during the Great Depression and tells the story of a vampire who operates a rooming house in San Francisco. Mischief has received a lot of attention in the press and I am very excited to be a part of this new venture!
Also, I am very pleased that two of my stories, “The Boiling Sea” and “Barnacle Bill” will be in Maxim Jakubowski’s Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 11 to be released in December 2012! Both tales are dark erotica, and I do think they are two of the best stories I’ve written. “The Boiling Sea” follows a Vietnam veteran while he travels through a late 60’s erotic and psychedelic Wonderland adventure. “Barnacle Bill” is a dark Lovecraftian tale of karma and transformation. The stories were originally published in Circlet Press’s Like a Vorpal Blade and in my short story collection Darkness and Delight.
Also recently, my dystopian superhero story “Lawman” has been selected to appear in Circlet Press’s print collection Fantastic Erotica: The Best of Circlet Press 2008-2012. “Lawman” is the story of a retired, formerly superhuman veteran of a 70-year war on immorality and what happens when he decides to walk on the wild side. Look for Fantastic Erotica in October 2012.
At the very beginning of this year, my horror novella Springs found a new home at Renaissance eBooks! Now you can also purchase it at Amazon and barnesandnoble.com. Springs is the story of Cherie, a video game music composer and what happens when, under the pressure of a critical deadline, she receives a mysterious music box. You can read an excerpt here.
Finally, I’m closing in on finishing the edit of Woman of His Dream, the horror serial that appears on this blog. As soon as I’m finished, it’s off to the publishers! Look for more on Woman of His Dreams as the year progresses, and if you want to read the serial, you can start with the first episode right here!
So, onward to the rest of the year!
A few weeks ago, I blogged about my erotic horror novella Springs finding a new home with Renaissance E-Books. Now, another of my earlier stories is being reprinted in a new, standalone edition by eXstasy.
Coming April 15 (bumped up from May 1), eXtasy will publish Standing Stone, a novelette I originally sold to a now out-of-print anthology. I appreciate the original publisher returning all rights to the authors as quickly as they did, and since then, Standing Stone has been looking…
I think, for any writer, returning to a work from the early seasons is always a nervous business. It was with some hesitation that I opened the file to see about edits. Modesty aside, I was very happy with how much I still liked Standing Stone, and at how little touch-up I needed to do!
This short book is comprised of three stories, all set in a valley in Northern Europe, but spanning thousands of years. All three parts revolve around the titular stone, an ancient altar to the gods and goddesses of prehistoric Europe. Part one is set in the Bronze Age, where a mushroom-crazed shaman meets a tribal witch under the powerful influence of a new moon. Part two takes place in the early days of the Holy Roman Empire, with a full moon in the sky, and part three is set in the third decade of the 21st Century, where a crone moon lies nearly hidden behind world-blanketing smoke arising from the pyre of civilization. Standing Stone is a very romantic story and an optimistic one, but like all of life, there are shadows too. Ultimately, life is about the journeys we take, through darkness and light, and for some, the discovery of a love that binds paired souls to one divine place…
Here’s an excerpt from the second chapter:
She took Olavus’ hand and led him into the forest. It grew wild, untouched by any axe, the trees like towers, the tangle of their branches defying the light of the rising sun. It seemed they walked for a long time in a golden haze and soon the clanking of his armor’s scales sounded like so much rage and fire. He tried to tread with a softer foot.
“If you are not Roman,” she asked him. “Who are you?”
“I told you. I serve Kang Karl and he is the vassal of God through the glory of Christ.”
“Yes,” she said, and they walked in silence for a while.
The trees thinned and bright cries of a hunting hawk echoed distantly.
“What happened to the boy’s father?” Olavus asked her.
She shrugged. “He sickened when the moon was dark and died when it was full.”
“I am sorry, Vreni.” He wanted to put his arm around her but, in truth, he feared her.
“What happened to your son?” she asked.
His heart bled pain. How did she know?
“I was sent east, against…pagans, and I left him in Westphalia with his mother, where they should’ve been safe. The Saxons came. My wife and son were gone when I returned, without even graves to mark where they had died.”
They emerged from the forest and into the bright morning. Beyond a little field of tall grass, he saw a standing stone, the gray of noonday shadows, in a cluster of young oak trees. Before the monolith, a rough stone altar glinted with offerings and Olavus knew it to be an abomination to God. His heart began to pound like a fist in a cage of bone.
She led him through the grass. Soft summer heat teased a trickle of sweat from under his helmet. The altar before the pagan shrine lay cluttered with offerings, and he wondered what lives might have been sacrificed here. Behind the stone, a shallow pit had been dug and filled with dry branches and boughs of pine, where fire would burn to the glory of the witch’s god, like the rites of Moloch and Ba’al, Odin and Mahomet the god of the Moors.
“This is a holy place,” Vreni said to him. “We pray and Moan protects us.”
“Do you know why I have come here?” he asked.
She said nothing, but knelt before the altar, her thin shift brushing the backs of her calves. The curve of her butt was round and full. He felt his cock stirring and, in spite of the grimness of his errand, he had to hide a grin of wonder.
He had not wanted any woman since Westphalia, since Calia died, and now, may God preserve his soul, he wanted this one.
His words emerged in a whisper, harsher than he meant it, the exact sentence the priest had given him.
“I am here by command of the Church of St. Peter, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, to bring the word of truth to your valley, and if you will not hear it, to temper your people until you embrace the true faith and renounce your false gods.”
She looked at him over her shoulder and he saw fear in her eyes and sorrow.
“I will not harm you,” he told her. “Nor will my men, but we must return from this valley with word that you have converted.”
She settled and stretched her bare legs before the altar, resting on one hand, looking up at him with eyes that had turned to azure. Her shift rode low on her breasts and he saw their soft brown swell, the line of a stiffened nipple beneath the linen. “If you harm even one person here, you will have to kill me,” she said quietly.
“Yes,” he said. “I know.”
Copyright 2012 Angela
Caperton. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in
whole or part without written permission from the author.
Here’s a question I’ve been pondering. Can there be too much sex in an erotic story? I almost feel silly talking about gratuitous content in a work of erotica, but there it is.
Woman of the Mountain, was criticized by one reviewer as having too much sex. I saw the reviewer’s point. Since the novel takes place in a world where sex is literally a connection to divinity, the rampant coupling potentially cheapened the sacrament. Woman went on to win an Eppie for best erotica in 2008, but if I were to rewrite it today, I might well remove a steamy page or two.
The easy answer to my question is “an erotic story should have at least as much sex as the story requires.” Many of my tales are, one way or another, about sex. The erotic scenes are central to the story so it’s easy enough to tie the heat and the plot together. In a short story, it’s easier to find the right level of sex, but novels are harder. I’m in the process right now of weaving the 52+ chapters of my blog serial, Woman of His Dreams, into a novel, so the question has been circling around my brain as I restructure the story. On the blog, I felt like there should be at least a little sex in each chapter, but in a 57,000 word novel, the frequent fucking becomes choppy. Of course. I’m also finding other challenges turning a serial into a novel—pacing, balancing two viewpoints, and such. The process has been educational, though it’s taking longer than I had intended. I’m hoping to have it to a publisher this summer. If you want to read the raw material, with sex in every sequence, it’s all still here.
One unique facet of my chosen genre makes my question even harder to answer. Many readers of erotica read for at least two purposes. Some erotica readers read more for the stories than for prurient interest, but some readers are primarily looking for the kicks that hot, explicit scenes provide. Too little sex in a story definitely risks turning off the reader seeking wank material, while too much may annoy one who reads more for story. Of course, most readers appreciate both elements so, as long as the story justifies the sex, the balance is not too difficult to maintain. For me the ideal approach is to make the sex fit the tale but don’t hold back.
Finally, in erotica, much like horror fiction, I think the best effects are those that are created in a reader’s mind by leaving things unsaid in the prose, which makes the balance between explicitness and ellipsis even more important. Over the five years I’ve been writing, I’ve tried to strike a balance between too much and too little, but I’m sure I sometimes still get the mix wrong. I suppose if I had to condense my experience down into simple advice for a beginning erotica author, I would say, “write just as much sex into the story as you need and then add just a little more.”