Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Flash Fiction for the Blog Hop from Caitlin Ricci

Caitlin got inspired by the picture on Michelle Montgomery's new cover -- Michelle's book rocks, and so does Caitlin's little fic. Amazing how folks see things so differently! Both Caitlin and Michelle are Colorado authors, here for the Out in the Rockies Blog Tour.

Detective Jamison Landry crept quietly through the ransacked house on Lightwood Terrace. The smell of incense was thick in the air and he had to consciously hold his breath to keep from choking on the sweet stench. Behind him he heard the other members of his team struggling with it as well. They’d been sitting on the house for weeks and finally had the search warrant  to go in and seize was Jamison was sure would be a large cache of illegal drugs hidden somewhere in the nineteen fifties ranch style house.

The dirty linoleum creaked under his boots as he and the team moved into the kitchen. Surveillance had told him that the upper portion of the house was hardly ever used and that the people taking up residence in what had at one time been a nice home spent much of their time in the basement. He hated basements, hated that feeling of being exposed and bottlenecked as he went down the stairs to invade people in their holes. But when no one had come to the door after he’d banged, yelling that they had a search warrant and would be coming in, he had gotten a sick feeling that their search would lead to this.
His gaze caught on an occult symbol in front of the closed basement door, nothing that he was familiar with but the dark rust stain was something he was more than acquainted with, and not by choice. He bent down, shifting the pistol to his holster for just a moment as he took a scraping of the dried blood just in front of his blood. It was old, the stain clear on the floor even after he’d bagged a small sample of it and the bitter smell of iron had long since left the substance. He marked the bag with a pen, balancing the small bit of plastic on his knee as he scribbled the date, location and his initials on it before shoving it and the pen back into his pocket. He took his gun in his hands again and rose to his feet. Around him the team seemed anxious, some even bouncing on the balls of their feet as he slowly pulled the door open.
He shouted that he was entering the basement a second before he and his team rushed down the stairs, guns up and ready to fire at anyone who happened to get in their way. What he met in the brightly lit cement room though was far different than anything he had expected as the acrid smell of sulfur assaulted his nose and tightened his throat. He’d raided meth labs, crack houses and people growing pot in their bathtubs and he’d never once expected to find the large circle of people dressed in bright red robes, sitting cross legged on the floor as they held hands and chanted in low voices. In front of them was a row of white candles, all lit and in front of that row of dancing flames stood large object covered in black cloth.
Jamison couldn’t tell what it was, wasn’t even sure he wanted to know as he stood dumbfounded with the rest of his team, his gaze fixed on the circle of people that seemed to be in a trance.
Then one of them looked up, his eyes slowly focusing on the small group of intruders with their guns drawn on them. He shouted and broke apart as he tried to make a run for it. His actions spurred Jamison out of his own startled daze as he tackled the man rushing at him. With practiced movements that he could do in his sleep, the man was quickly put on his back, his hands handcuffed behind him and then sat up against the concrete wall. Jamison wasn’t as gentle as he could have been but the safety of his team mattered more to him than the robed man’s comfort as the rest of them began breaking apart. Some ran, some stood still, too in shock to do much else. Within minutes they were all handcuffed and placed against the wall, joining  the idiot that had tried to rush past him to get to the only exit.
Jamison gave each of them a critical once over. There were men, women and some teenagers, all different ages and races. None of them seemed to have anything in common except for that they each had that same occult symbol marked in what appeared to be candle wax on their foreheads.
He was about to question them about the location of the drugs when a noise behind him got his attention. He hadn’t really expected anyone to be honest about it. In his experience no one ever was. But he believed in giving people first chances to hang themselves with their own words.
Regardless, he turned toward the source of the soft shuffling sound, leaving his team facing the seated robed figures. The black blanketed object was moving. He approached it cautiously as nothing good ever seemed to be hidden under sheets and his mind even drifted to some of his favorite horror movies as he stepped closer. The toe of his boot knocked over one of the candles and he gingerly picked it up even as the murmuring began behind him.
“No! Don’t touch him!” one of the men said behind him.
Him?” Jamison snarled as he turned to face the suddenly quiet man. Could the red faced, obviously angry person sitting across the room from him be serious? Did they really have a man under the sheet? And if so, why wasn’t he moving?
“You mustn’t go closer! He’s dangerous!” a woman screeched.
Jamison had to cough against the thick smell of sulfur that had seemed to flare up at the woman’s words. That was just his imagination playing around though. Sulfur was a chemical, it didn’t do anything in response to anyone directly. He shook his head to clear the silly thought and turned back to the sheet. With one sure movement he grabbed a handful of the worn cloth and yanked it down and away, tossing it clear of the disrupted circle of candles.
“Holy fuck....” one of his team said from behind him.
He forced himself to swallow back his own curses as he stared down at the bound figure of a man in front of him. The dark haired, pale skinned body in front of him seemed to have gone still as he was exposed. Jamison knelt down next to him, quickly assessing his condition and having to bite his tongue as he fully saw why the man hadn’t moved under the sheet. He had a wrap around his mouth made of hard leather that connected to the chains around his wrists and then attached to a hook buried deep in the cement.
Though he was unable to speak, the man’s eyes told him plenty as he turned his head slightly to look at Jamison. He was furious as he narrowed his gaze on him. Jamison had to look away first. Something about his eyes, the red circle rimming them like fire, had gotten to him.
When he looked back the man was still looking at him but some of the anger had seemed to dissipate along with the smell of sulfur. “Easy,” Jamison said as he quickly undid the chains. He could hear the people yelling at him to stop, to not let him go, that he was dangerous. He ignored him the best he could as he unwound the chains. He touched the man as little as possible but each touch still sent warm electricity through his fingertips. He did his best to ignore that sensation as well as the chains fell away and he reached behind the man’s head, the soft strands of his dark hair teasing his hands as he undid the mask that had kept him from speaking.
Freed, the man rose to his feet and Jamison found his nose only inches from the tattoo of a crow that flew against the man’s navel. Though his mouth was dry he swallowed thickly as he followed the trail of the intricate tattoo under the bird’s tail feathers disappeared under the waist of the man’s jeans.
“Mal,” the man introduced himself, his voice hoarse as he stared down at Jamison.
“Demon! You shall not escape!” a man cried out from against the wall.
Jamison didn’t pay them any attention as stood up next to Mal.
“You’ve freed me,” he said as Jamison took a step back, giving him some space. For being held captive he looked to be in remarkably good condition. Jamison let his gaze roam over Mal’s muscular arms and defined stomach. He licked his lips, realizing a second too late that Mal had caught the movement.
Mal smiled at him. “You wish a kiss for your reward?”
Jamison’s mouth fell open as he felt the heat rise in his cheeks. “Uh...”
Mal’s hand was impossibly warm as he cupped his cheek. Seared and not minding one bit, Jamison leaned into that touch. It’d been so long since someone had been affectionate with him. He heard his team shuffling around behind him, waiting for orders, but he couldn’t be bothered with them as the fire in Mal’s eyes seemed to dance with his smile as he leaned forward.
Jamison met him halfway, maybe even more than halfway, his lips open and ready for this man’s kiss. He’d never been so obvious, so reckless before in his life and he’d certainly never made it known to the department that he was gay.
And yet, as the warmth of Mal’s mouth opened for his searching tongue and his arms came up to grip Jamison’s shoulders, something about it felt right. Mal pulled back first, leaving the taste of warm spices on Jamison’s lips.
Suddenly wary and uncertain Jamison looked up to find the ring of fire nearly consuming Mal’s dark gaze. What had he done? He was in the middle of a drug raid and he’d kissed a man that these crazy people in robes were holding prisoner. His captain would have his badge. He’d be suspended. Terms like unprofessional actions unbecoming of an officer would be thrown at him.
“You stupid man! You can’t imagine the gravity of what you’ve done!” one of the crazies yelled at him.
Mal moved in front of him, facing the long row of people. Jamison watched in shock as they quickly quieted, dropping their gazes from him.
“You are a pure soul,” Mal whispered to him, almost as if he was in awe. “You couldn’t have freed me otherwise.”
Jamison had no idea what the man meant. He hadn’t been considered pure since high school. “Yeah right,” he said. He took a breath and forced himself to think. “Let’s get you to the hospital. You need to get checked out.” The reminder of work helped as he stepped away. “Mark, start leading the suspects up and make sure they’re all read their rights. Three of you stay down here with me and help search for the narcotics.”
Mal spun on his heel, the motion more graceful than what Jamison would expect his big body able to produce, as he turned to face Jamison. “If I tell you where they are, will you give me another kiss?”
Jamison wasn’t sure he heard right. “You... wha...”
Mal’s smile spread until Jamison could see the faintest points of the man’s white teeth. “The drugs for a kiss. It’s what you want, isn’t it?”
Jamison felt himself nod before his brain had fully caught up to what was going on.
Gleefully Mal clapped his hands together and seemed to skip on bare feet over to a pile of cardboard boxes stacked neatly in the corner. With one swift kick the empty boxes fell noisily to the floor and plastic wrapped parcels quickly followed in their wake.
Mal was back in front of him before the last one had hit the ground. “I’ll take my kiss now,” he said as his mouth descended on Jamison’s, his warmth engulfing him as Jamison moaned against his lips.

The End
Caitlin's newest will be out from Silver Press on June 16!
Find her news and tidbits here at her blog.
Travis will do anything to keep his daughter safe, now that he finally has custody. Financially ruined, he cannot even afford food for himself most days. Could a stranger’s offer to dogsit be the solution Travis has been hoping for?

Travis has done everything to keep his daughter safe. He's fought a long, hard battle with the courts to gain full custody and has finally found some breathing room. But that security comes at a heavy price.

Staying in a motel and living off his quickly dwindling savings is no way to raise a toddler, so when Liam steps into his life and offers him hundreds of dollars just to watch his dogs for a weekend, it almost seems too good to be true.

But when he finds out there is more to Liam than he ever thought, he has a hard decision to make. Can he and his daughter stay and be safe or will he need to leave?


  1. Brownie points to whoever can figure out Mal's full name!

  2. wow - loved the story :) And a quick search on google suggests Malphas - symbol is a crow. (Although that did feel a little like cheating)

  3. lol. Good job for getting it first :) and it's not cheating. Glad you liked it!

  4. Well i'd not have got Malphas. Good story!
    Littlesuze at hotmail dot com

  5. Great job.

  6. Hee. That was great.

  7. Malachi? Could that be it?

    I loved that piece!


  8. I hope you make a full book out of this, I definitely want to read about these two now.


  9. Enjoyed your flash fiction very much - got caught up into it.

    strive4bst at yahoo dot com

  10. Please tell me there will be more about Malphas and Detective Jamison Landry?!!! I loved this flash fic, please expand it!! Now I want to know what will happen next, now that Malphas is freed.


  11. I loved it. :)


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