Archive for the ‘Novel: The Land Without Footprints’ Category


Here, is the 26th chapter from my fantasy novel The Land Without Footprints: Shadows Amongst Shadows (Sweatshoppe Publications, 2013). You can find the first 25 chapters as a free excerpt on the above page marked: The Land Without Footprints: Shadows Amongst Shadows (A 25 Chapter Novel Preview)

26 – Bann

“I want this dildo banned.” Arkin walked the halls as if he were a storm. A few paper lanterns blew out as he passed them.

“But we don’t prohibit anything, Your Grace.” Father Tillicum jammed the sex toy into his cassock’s pocket.

Arkin knocked over a woman carrying a pewter tray. Only Bann helped the servant back to her feet. Then he hurried to catch back up with the Mystic and priest.

“Ban it everywhere, you nitwit, even where it would be allowed illegally. Already I have to fight other men for virginity. I will not fight a toy, as well.”

At the end of the hall, they turned the corner.

“Bans will lead to further bans,” Father Tillicum said. “And riots.”

Arkin stopped, poked the priest in the forehead. “I’ll put down the riot with a riot of my own.”

A frown grew on the priest’s face and he rubbed his head. “You intend to bring back laws?”

“One law.” Down the hall Arkin walked again.

“One law will lead to more laws,” Father Tillicum said, nearly out of breath.

“No one will make laws but me, you nitwit. Now ban the dildo.” A loud gulp sounded in the priest’s throat.

“I’ll ban it,” Bann said.

Father Tillicum raised his voice: “But only the priesthood can make laws.”

“Then I’ll be a priest.” It was the only decision to make. He knew his old self had to be sent to the grave.

“What is this silliness?” Father Tillicum sounded like he’d swallowed a nest of wasps.


25 – Cassandra

Front-handed and backhanded Father Tillicum struck her face. “What did you do to her?” A third time he used his hand. “What did you do to her?”

“Death closed her eyes.” Her lie sounded like truth. Another blow would only strengthen her resolve. Tears wouldn’t fall. “I am not death.” Father Tillicum pushed her down. “She must’ve done something to her, Mystic. This situation has the smell of deception.” He threw the covers aside of the dead woman. “Death is not this quiet of an assassin.”

With the help of a table Cassandra restored her stance, curtsied. “I weep for your loss, Arkin.” She acted the part, placed sadness in her voice. “I wish your mother had died some other way. During sleep nobody has a chance to even fight.”

Arkin acknowledged her condolences in a nod. Though his eyes held more anger than grief. Clenched was his jaw. Fisted were his hands, knuckles whiter than his uncolored skin.

“Witchcraft,” Father Tillicum said, rechecking the extinct pulse. “Poison. A poisoning, of course.”

The priest reached into his deep pocket, withdrew some sort of augmented phallus. It had the look of a penis but it certainly wasn’t a penis. Never before had she seen anything similar. Certainly God hadn’t attached them to men. Damyn’s didn’t look so big, so unrealistic.

“Stand back, Mystic. This tool causes uncontrollable regurgitation.” The priest forced the item inside the deceased, plunged.

As frightened as she was, the Mystic appeared doubly frightened. One would’ve thought he’d taken a blade to his lifeline if they could only see his face and nothing else.

“She’ll come back to life in a flurry of retching, Your Grace.” The plunging continued. “I’ve witnessed the brilliance of this tool firsthand.” When sweat soaked the priest’s brow, he discontinued his thrusting.

Still the woman was dead.


24 – Cassandra

Cassandra poured the rest of the blood down the sick woman’s throat. She spit most of it back up like a baby.

“I don’t need the blood, girl.” Violently violent, the woman coughed. “Drag me to the church before the sun goes down.”

“You’re too weak to leave your bed.” Cassandra never wanted to get that old, hoped she’d die before she aged so long.

The woman lifted her head as to stand up, but she didn’t go anywhere. “I’m a mother, girl. I’m a mother. My son is shit. He’s shitty shit. He should be here fucking his mother until I’m fucked.”

“You’re not a mother anymore,” Cassandra said. It was the tenth time she’d told the woman in the last hour. “When you married your son he became your husband. You no longer have any children. You’re not a mother.”

“My son is shit, girl. He’s shitty shit.” The woman coughed. Green goo popped out of her mouth. Cassandra did her best to clean it up.

“You’re not a mother anymore,” Cassandra said again.

“A mother deserves to be fucked, girl. For what I pushed out, my son should push in. On MILF’s Day every mother should be fucking until they’re fucked.”

Cassandra pulled the sheets up to the woman’s chin. “You’re not a mother.”

“I know it’s MILF’s Day, girl. I created the day. I should know it. I can smell it.” She sniffed. “I smell fucking. My son is shit. He’s shitty shit. Never be a mother, girl.”

Cassandra crossed the room, closed the curtains, remembered when that priest had unraveled himself from them and molested her. Somehow she still felt his finger between her legs now. She could feel the tears dressing her eyes. She blinked them away as she walked back toward the sickbed.

“Is the sun going down, girl?”

Forcing a smile, Cassandra said, “The sun has gone down for today. But it’ll rise tomorrow.”

“Oh, my son is shit. He’s shitty shit. Never be a mother, girl. I hope you’re never a mother.”

From behind the sick woman’s head, Cassandra pulled a pillow. “Never be a mother,” the woman continued. “I hope you’re never a mother. I hope you’re never a mother, girl.”

“I’m not a girl.” Quickly quick, Cassandra placed the pillow over the woman’s face. Slowly slow, the woman died.




Bann – 23

Bann kissed each of his sons on the cheek. “My sons are magicians without magic. You owe them a thousand wishes for this. Twice, they have saved your life.”

“Nobody saves my life.” Arkin frogged off the throne. “I have the power to save myself and the knowledge to never need to. I am God with a human face.”

Bann touched his sword handle. He’d kill the Mystic and his priest now. But then what would come of his children? “I’m sorry, Arkin. I’ve overstepped myself.”

“No, you’ve stepped over us.” Father Tillicum tightened his cassock, shifted the yarmulke on his head. “Your words will not always be forgiven. God doesn’t always have to forgive.”

What would happen in the future, though, Bann hoped God would forgive.

The priest circled them, stared at the woman that had been brought from the brothels. Lipstick sat around her eyes. “What is your name, woman?”

The harlot held out her hand. “Coin.”

Father Tillicum fished into his pocket, placed a gold coin in the woman’s palm. “What is your name?”

An ugly smile bloomed on the harlot’s face. She closed her hand around the money. “You can pick my name,” she said.

The Mystic tugged on his beard, then came down the steps to smell the nameless woman. “She is no virgin,” he said, as if he could tell that by just a sniff. “And she is repulsive. I’d more readily fuck a cow.”

“Ugliness produces beauty just as often as beauty does,” Bann said, and he took his hand from the hilt of his sword, tucked them under his armpits. “And a cow cannot reproduce human offspring.”

The people to the south had only recently found that out. Last week a few wives had slaughtered and burned fifty cows because they thought the animals were stealing their husbands’ semen. Bestiality had become much more accepted in recent years. It was good that animals hadn’t yet evolved to bear human children.

Again Arkin sniffed the woman. “How many times will I have to fuck this disgusting creature for her to grow?”

The sun waned in the sky. Bann wondered how much more time his daughter needed to complete her task. Time didn’t enjoy being slowed by the hands of men. Only in men’s minds did time change tempo.

“If you keep turning back the hands of a clock,” Damyn said, “it’ll be like you only swam inside of her once.”

Hard, Bann hit his son over the head. The bastard had spoken out of turn.

Nevertheless, the Mystic cackled. “Your son has his testicles in his throat, Bann. I love men who make thoughts move.”

Then Bann hoped the Mystic would love the next move.


22 – Jordan

“Why’d you let them kill that child back there?” Damyn asked, as they climbed the stairs of the largest brothel in the city. Today, it was the quietest brothel in the world.

“They killed a child?” Jordan only remembered the death of the woman. It was harder to watch a murder than to read about it. First his stomach had felt sick, but now the sickness in his stomach felt ill. His head didn’t feel right either.

“Yeah.” Damyn tapped him on the chest. “They killed that boy.” “At least it wasn’t a girl,” Jordan said.

His father had always told him it was worse to kill a girl. Boys deserved to die in war; men expected to. Girls and women were only expected to pray and get raped. Those were the war laws, when war laws existed. These days everyone expected a knife to the throat. Nobody liked anybody. They didn’t even just pretend.

Quicker, Damyn climbed the stairs. Jordan lagged behind, wondered what it would feel like to kill a person, not just watch a person die. Worse, his stomach told him. Much worse.

“We’re looking for a girl.” Damyn’s voice came from above, echoed off the walls. “She doesn’t need to have a pretty face or a fit body. She just needs to look a certain way.”

At the top of the stairwell a door was open. Jordan walked through it. The bastard was spanking the Madam’s ass.

“Do you want another girl or me?” the woman asked.

Jordan stopped any further spanking. “We need a specific woman,” he said. “Dark hair on the lighter side. Eyes the color of grass or leaves or emeralds.”

The Madam straightened off the table. She had the face out of a nightmare, pale and wide-eyed. And none of her teeth had a tooth beside it. “I have one slut like that,” she said, licking her lips. “But you’ll have to spank it out of me.”

Damyn grinned. Jordan moved aside.

*  *  *

“I don’t really know what her name is today,” the Madam said, once they entered the stables. “Whatever it is, I’m sure it was something different yesterday.”

Horse and manure became the air.

The woman rubbed her backside. Perhaps Damyn had spanked her too hard. “My best worker,” she said, as a horse neighed. “You wouldn’t believe how many women come in here wanting a real stallion inside of them.”

Jordan could believe that, actually. As many people were married to animals as they were to humans in the city. Last year, marriages between humans and animals outnumbered those between human beings. Many came to the brothels for their first encounter with another species. These animals were well trained for sexual encounters with humans, if such a training were possible.

Bestiality had become so widespread that husbands slaughtered dogs for just looking at their wives. Supposedly, the Dancers of Paradise could somehow copulate with their pet snakes. And rich lords and ladies paid good money to see such sights, Jordan knew. These days, everyone bored so easily that they needed something new to stay entertained. Intercourse between humans and animals was that new entertainment.

Once they walked past more horses and dogs and goats, Jordan started to wonder if the slut were, in fact, a slut and not an animal. Relief entered him  as soon as he saw a woman, even though she did have a face reminiscent of a wild mammal.


21 – Jordan

“Won’t we go to hell for this?” Damyn asked, unbuttoning the top of his shirt.

With a hand, Jordan shielded his eyes of sunlight. “Truly, we will go to hell for this, if there is a hell, bastard. Though the stench of this city makes me wonder if we’re not already there.”

Empty were the streets. Truly they were always empty on MILF’s Day. Everyone stayed inside fucking their mothers, and if not theirs, then somebody else’s. Jordan wondered what it would’ve been like to suck the nipple of his mother while grown, pushed the thought from his mind in shame. Family doesn’t fuck each other, his father had said.

If not for the Cult of Sigmund Freud, MILF’s Day wouldn’t even exist. That cult wanted a ban on all sexual acts outside of the family. Truly, they believed that sex should be confined to close relatives where all sexual acts could be deemed safe. So far, not everybody else had agreed. However, the Mystic was a great promoter of incest.

But with no living daughters the Mystic had to go outside of his nuclear relationships to mate. Though why Father Tillicum had picked Jordan to find a womb he’d never understand. And why the head priest had picked a bastard to help with the search, he truly would never understand.

Damyn put his ear to a door. “Why don’t they have this same holiday for fathers?”

Jordan looked through a window and saw nothing but darkness. Curtains made sure nobody could peek in.

“It’s common knowledge that fathers fuck their children whenever they want,” he said. “Besides, fathers are the least important parent.”

“Yeah,” Damyn agreed. Then he kicked on the door. It didn’t burst open like it did in stories.

Jordan pushed the bastard aside, kicked. The door still didn’t budge. “We must be too young,” the bastard said. “Maybe if we curse at the door it will fall.”

Again Jordan kicked. Still nothing. “Knock this door down,” he commanded of the soldiers behind them.

Short battering rams in hand, two soldiers beat on the door until the hinges loosened. The soldiers barged into the tiny room. Soon after Damyn and Jordan followed.

An old lady was riding a boy who looked too young to have reached puberty. “Why ain’t you knock?” the woman asked, untangling herself from her son. She had hair on her armpits and vagina.

“Why aren’t you at the church observing the holiday?” one of the soldiers asked.

Only today the church had issued a new doctrine. Those who weren’t mothers were allowed to remain in their houses, but anyone who’d given birth had to convene at their local church for a giant incestuous orgy. The priesthood wanted to make sure that everybody was being holy on a holy day.

“Why ain’t you knock?” the woman asked again.

This time a sword thrust answered her. After a groan she died. The murderer removed the weapon from the carcass, wiped the blood on the soiled bed sheets.

“Hey, that lady was gonna pay me for fucking her,” the boy screamed, punching the soldier who killed her. So he wasn’t her son, just a street-kid that had run out of food.

“Was she?” the fatter of the two soldiers said, and he took the boy by the neck as well. “How much did the old lady give you?”

“That between me and her.” The boy patted his stomach.

It had become so dangerous to carry money in the city that most people swallowed their coins until they thought themselves safe of thieves.

The skinny soldier, the one who’d killed the woman, patted the boy on his head. “Well, you won’t need money where you’re going, boy. Do you know the punishment of recreational fucking on MILF’s Day?”

Damyn whistled. “Let’s go, you two. There is nothing left here.”

The soldier slid his sword into the ear of the boy until it came out the other side. “Let’s go,” he agreed beside a laugh. “There’s nothing left here.”


20 – Father Tillicum

Arkin threw him to the floor, looked down at him as if he were a spider and not a priest. “I need a reason not to remove that fucking dress from your body and roast you for my dinner.”

Father Tillicum stayed down. He’d never seen the Mystic so furious. “This anger can’t be good for your health,” he said. “High blood pressure can weaken a person’s ability to stimulate.”

Arkin flipped a table. Papers floated where they wanted to until they landed on the floor. A candle-lamp was the next object of destruction.

Father Tillicum shielded his mind with his hands. “I cannot control the whims of an entire priesthood, Mystic. They wanted what we wanted and then they wanted something else. I underestimated the deterrent of fear.”

From  a  distance,  Bann  watched,  smiled.  He  wished  to  see  this outcome. His joy confirmed everything.

“It is not too late to salvage this disappointment,” Father Tillicum said, closing his eyes. He’d rather not see himself die. “From the locals I can find a vessel. I swear.”

“You swore you’d already have the vessel, you nitwit.”

“A second oath is more a true oath.” Father Tillicum opened his eyes, took his hands off his head. “We’ll have a vessel by the end of the sun.”

“I’m not sure if you should listen to his lies, Arkin.” Bann walked out of the shadows.  “Promises are easy to break since they lack material, no?”

“Bind my promise by my life,” the priest said. “Chain me to your wrist until the sun falls out of the sky. I’ll not run from my word.”

The Mystic lifted Father Tillicum to his feet. “By the end of sun?” he asked, breath smelling of urine.

If God had not granted Father Tillicum a strong bladder, he would’ve soaked himself by now. “The Dagen children can search,” he said. “They look like seekers if ever I could describe one. By this time tomorrow you’ll have your seed growing in some servile bitch.”

“My children cannot do this thing,” Bann said, and he had no reason why.

Arkin snarled, let go. “Bann, make sure your children follow through. Or yesterday will have been your last tomorrow.”

Inwardly, Father Tillicum smiled. Perhaps the Dagens could be of use. He’d retract the order to send them to hell.

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