Guest Post: Fiction Excerpt by Valjeanne Jeffers

It is my pleasure to host an excerpt by Valjeanne Jeffers.

Valjeanne Jeffers is a graduate of Spelman College, NCCU and a member of the Carolina African American Writers' Collective. She is the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend, Immortal III: Stealer of Souls, Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch II: Clockwork (includes books 1 and 2) as well as Grandmere's Secret and The Visitor.
Valjeanne has been published under both Valjeanne Jeffers and Valjeanne Jeffers-Thompson and her fiction has appeared in Steamfunk!, Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction, Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology, LuneWing, PurpleMag, Genesis Science Fiction Magazine, Pembroke Magazine, Possibilities, 31 Days of Steamy Mocha, and Griots II: Sisters of the Spear (in press).


SHE was in the basement again. It was pitch black, the only illumination a glowing, quarter moon etched into the floor. A burst of light split the darkness, and she moaned low in her throat.


Please, I don’t want to see anymore…I don’t want to look.


Yet her feet moved of their own volition, inching toward the mark… and the twisted bundle now lying in its center. A man was curled upon the stone. He wasn’t breathing, and his limbs were tiny and withered. But she knew he wasn’t dead.


He wasn’t human.


The daemon opened his eyes. I’ve been sleeping. But for how long?


He could feel his arms and legs, but the sensations were muted as if they’d traveled from a great distance.


Then he remembered. He’d been imprisoned—snatched from his body by the magic that had trapped him here. Even now sleep, like a delicious drug, threatened to overtake him. But he fought it away.


How many centuries would pass while he slept?


A doorway appeared in his mind and just beyond it, a tattered clump of flesh and bone…


Karla’s eyes flew open — the scream caught in her throat. It’s just a nightmare. I’m okay. . .I’m here now, at home.


The Indigo woman turned her head to look at the bedroom console. Six-thirty glowed on the screen. She scooted out of bed, picked up a remote from the nightstand and turned off the alarm.


Karla walked across the wooden floor of her living area into a kitchenette. A press of her fingers on the first sphere of a triangular pod started coffee brewing.


She filled a cup with chicory, walked back into the living area and pushed the second button on her remote, activating a blue panel beside the window. Jazz music filled the apartment. Like her bedroom console the unit kept time, transmitted holographic images and played tapes. Using the third button, she opened the curtains.


Curled upon her futon, the Indigo woman watched as the illuminae changed Topaz’s violet sky into a mellow shade of peach. She thought of the dreams.


For as far back as Karla could remember, she’d had them. Otherworldly, exquisite and always with an unsettling clarity so different from the normal phantasms she read about.


When I eat, I wake up full—and stay that way until lunchtime. If somebody hits me, it hurts like hell…


And her dream lover left her limp with satisfaction, even after she awoke, sure he was still beside her.


At night Karla wrote them down, pouring all of her fears and desires into the notebooks. She spent hours in the library, reading stories of reincarnation and demonic possession, searching for answers. She’d found them too—dozens of them. But none could satisfy the yearning that burned inside her.


Every time she closed her eyes to sleep they beckoned, calling to her. Mornings, she awoke like a swimmer who’d been underwater for too long, grasping for the fabric of reality— moaning with pleasure or trembling with exhilaration.


One night they’re going to swallow me whole. I’ll never wake up or maybe I’ll just fall through to whatever’s on the other side…and this new one, something’s different about it. I know the others but this one — this one scares me so bad I’m afraid to sleep.


“What time is it?”


The top left knob of her console blinked. “The time is 7:00 am,” a pert, female voice replied.


Seven o’clock! I’d better hustle! Karla gulped down her coffee, and hurried back into the bedroom to dress.


Tehotep watched the tall, slender woman thumb through her closet. He wasn’t invisible, only dim. As long as he stayed in the shadows, she couldn’t see him. But noise couldn’t be cloaked by magic.


The Indigo woman tossed a red knit, shirt and jeans on the bed, slipped off her pajamas and walked into the bathroom. As she stepped into the shower, the nozzle automatically clicked on, spraying her body with water. He followed, standing just beyond the doorway …


Karla finished bathing, and Tehotep quickly moved back into the shadow —all the while devouring her with his eyes. Her skin, dewy with moisture, looked like melting chocolate her nipples, blackberries.


She toweled off her full breasts and long legs and he licked his lips imagining the things he would do with he —to her—the endless perversions he’d force her to submit to. Things she’d come to enjoy, when she tried to please him.


The young woman walked into the bedroom. He watched her pull up her panties, hook her bra, slip her arms into the straps. Image after image flooded his mind. Tehotep felt himself harden; a soft groan escaped his lips…


Karla froze then stared into the corner facing her bed. It’s only a bunch of dirty clothes, you’re hearing things!


In that instant he appeared: an Indigo man with full lips, slanting onyx eyes and a shaven head. Voluminous garments hung from his muscular frame. Their eyes locked, and she gasped in recognition. The dark man smiled, nodded his head…

And vanished… 

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