My Poisonous Friend – Ch.5

I heard the emptiness ahead before I could make out the shapes of the structures. I waited for a few minutes, watching, but the clinic and the apotekopoiia remained dark. Dr. Aemilia’s residential quarters were behind the clinic, while the records I wanted were in her private office, at the other end of the compound. If she was asleep there was little risk of me waking her.

Of course, I could have just asked the doctor for the records, but I doubted she’d give me access now that the case was officially closed. Besides, Aemilia had already given me the facts that made the official narrative awkward. If there really was a conspiracy around Julian’s death, she hadn’t known about it.

Or had she?

An original tale set in Okayado’s Monster Musume world.

Mark probes deeper into the circumstances of Julian’s death…and finds answers he didn’t want. Conclusion of “My Poisonous Friend.”

Mark and Madiyan return in the sequel to “In From the Cold”.

My Poisonous Friend – Ch.4

It was dark when I opened my eyes. Slow movement had awakened me. I kissed Yurilee lightly, and relaxed back into her coils.

We lay that way, wandering in our own thoughts. Something occurred to me.

“You don’t go to the village meetings, do you?”

“No, not for a long time.”

“Why not?”

She nuzzled my cheek. “I have had my daughters. Let the young women enjoy the village husbands. I get to have my students.”

“You have had many students, then.”

“Oh, yes. Almost every man in this village for the past…many years.”

I thought about that. “You’ve lost ‘playmates’ before.”

Yuri raised herself to look at me, demilunes dangling between her naked breasts. “I lose all of you, sweetbit. All the men come here to learn how to live with lamia. I teach you to have beautiful conversations with me, and I teach you my body. And then you all leave, because you belong to the village.

“Very few of my students come back after the lessons are done.” Her smile was wistful. “Julian came back to me.”

I didn’t say that Julian had come back because Yuri had books he needed. She already knew. Maybe he loved her, too. It didn’t matter now.

An original tale set in Okayado’s Monster Musume world.

A grim discovery, and a shocking revelation. Hearts are broken and apologies are made. The mystery is solved…or is it?

Mark and Madiyan return in the sequel to “In From the Cold”.

The Pulver Chronicles – 10. I’m No Fortunate One

It wasn’t until two weeks later that Jackson heard from Voldus Nechido again, in the form of a letter sent by a courier, a young boy maybe ten years of age. The kid was over the moon when Jackson gave him a silver steed as a tip; the latter still had difficulty understanding the value…

My Poisonous Friend – Ch.3

I don’t remember being carried into Aemilia’s clinic, those months ago when I arrived in the Lamia Islands. I had been drifting in and out of a morphine haze, arguing with myself whether I was dead or alive. I wasn’t too worried about being dead because there was already an angel leaning over me, with golden eyes and rainbows in her hair. Wherever I had ended up couldn’t be that terrible.

Then the painkillers wore off and it really was terrible. When breathing hurts, everything hurts. Each cough felt like a ribeye was being carved out of my chest. For a while, being alive seemed like a consolation prize that I’d’ve readily traded for a good cup of coffee and a long, breathless sleep.

But the angel was still there with me, with soothing hands and a siren’s voice that I couldn’t help but follow out of the darkness. The rainbows were real, too, teases of blue and pink and green that reflected from the mahogany scales of her tail and plekti. I’d focused on the colors while Aemilia wired the jagged ends of my rib back together. I’d followed them with blurry eyes during the painful weeks of therapy afterwards.

Now my knock brought a puzzled angel to the door…

An original tale set in Okayado’s Monster Musume world.

Mark and Yurilee hunt for Julian. To Mark’s delight, their search leads them to the lovely lamia doctor who stitched him back together when he first arrived.

Mark and Madiyan return in the sequel to “In From the Cold”.

The Pulver Chronicles – 9. A Man Of Wealth And Taste

Meeting with a Prince Merchant, an intimate conversation with a strange creature, and alcohol-fueled shenanigans make for an interesting day in the life of Jackson Pulver.

My Poisonous Friend – Ch.2

The hopeful flicker in Yurilee’s eyes stung me a bit. I knew we probably weren’t going to find Julian on the island. Well, maybe proving he was gone would bring her some comfort, instead of leaving her thinking that her former lover had ditched her and was taking pleasure with other lamia women. I didn’t know if she cared about such things. Maybe I just wanted assurance that I wouldn’t have to talk shop with the man again. That sounded good in my head.

“Mark.” Her eyes were somber green jewels. “Is it shameful that I want to speak with this man again? Do you forgive me for asking these things of you?”

“Yuri, you’re the most gracious person I’ve met since I’ve been here. And as much as I like having you to myself,” I teased, “I can’t tolerate disrespect to a lady. So let’s go to the town hall and see what they can tell us.”

An original tale set in Okayado’s Monster Musume world.

Yurilee wants a favor, and Mark reluctantly agrees. Madiyan is extremely pregnant. A mystery begins to unfold.

Mark and Madiyan return in the sequel to “In From the Cold”.

The Pulver Chronicles – 8. A Flickering Midnight Light

Everything was dark. It wasn’t the sort of darkness one would observe on a moonless night, or when locked in a room with no window. Not just obscurity, but a complete absence of light. A darkness so deep it took Jackson an eternity to grasp the fact that he was still conscious, and not in…

My Poisonous Friend – Ch.1

Khalil snorted. “You dirty old man. This is the right place for us.”

I laughed along with him, and envied his certainty. Beyond the Quarter, where men gathered amid the hoarded scraps of their old lives, the island and its inhabitants were still foreign to me. Hardly hostile, but it was obvious that the lamia villages were not designed by, or for, human men. I didn’t know where I fit. Was I retired now? I didn’t even know if I could really hold a job here.

Well, moving to an unfamiliar country is always challenging, and I’d survived culture shock before. It wasn’t like I could go back now. My old life was buried under a stone with my name on it, somewhere in a Virginia cemetery. I doubted that anyone had left flowers…

An original tale set in Okayado’s Monster Musume world.

Life in the Lamia villages has its pleasures…and its perils. Culture shock is only one of the many challenges in Mark’s new life.

Mark and Madiyan return in the sequel to “In From the Cold”.