Just a little taste…

I don’t make wishes anymore, but if I did I would only need one. I would wish us anywhere but there that night.

The summer of 1997 was a dream. The weather in upstate New York was hot and perfect. Phoebe, Billy and I snuck out of our respective windows and spent all the hours from midnight to dawn cruising back roads in the dented, green Dodge Dart Phoebe inherited from her grandfather. We puffed cigarettes like Victorian chimneys and sang loudly to Live and Concrete Blonde. Sometimes we would pull off the road into an empty field, lie back on the still-warm hood and watch the stars.

That’s where all the really important moments happened; the conversations about the teachers we hated and the classmates we loved, our hopes and fears and plans for the future, what we’d do when we finally got through this one, final year of high school.

It’s where Billy confessed the things that happened at home when he acted ‘too gay’, and Phoebs and I held him while he cried. Hot metal burned the backs of our thighs while Phoebe railed against the limits of her small body and our small town and the small minds of the people who lived there. I poured out every doubt about myself that huddled in the dark corners of my mind to those two while contemplating Orion’s Belt.

It was our ritual. Better and more powerful than any of the sweat lodges and harvest dances Grandfather had dragged me to every summer since I’d begun to bleed.


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Woman in red dress with knife. Cover image of The Devil's Doorbell 2 anthology, tales of darkest romance.

“Swallow the Moon”

By Morgan Elektra

Cody stole from beneath Marco’s sleeping body and pulled on the trousers his lover had peeled off him earlier. He padded out into the hall, closed the door carefully behind him, and buttoned his shirt over his bronze chest. Cody had maybe an hour before Marco woke, another two before he started to suspect Cody wasn’t coming back. That gave him more than enough time to finish getting what he came for.

At the elevator, he shrugged into his rumpled suit jacket, pulling his long black hair free of the collar. He stared at the tasteful yet nondescript hotel art and drummed a quick rhythm against his thigh. When his cell phone rang, he glanced at it. A growl of frustration caught in his throat when he saw the name on the display.


“I’ve got a job for you.”


“Meet me at The Totem in an hour.”

Before he could protest, Egan hung up. Cody put the phone back in one pocket and pulled a second cell from the other. He didn’t bother deleting anything–there was nothing on it of importance–or wiping it for prints. The silver fox he’d bedded for the last six months would never go to the police. None of his marks did. Embarrassment kept them quiet. And the money was nothing to them. A drop in the bucket. Cody wasn’t greedy.

The burner went into the garbage just as the elevator doors slid open with a soft swish. He stepped in and jabbed the down button.

Egan would be waiting for him at the bar in an hour, and he had sixty-thousand dollars to steal first.


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