One advance reader said, "If Prince of Umberlight doesn't rattle your cage, you're more dead than the undead!" Appropriate analogy for an erotic vampire novel, I think, especially since this book was written with the intent to titillate mind, body and spirit equally.
A couple of people have said to me over the years - "Gee, Della, do you think it's wise to publish your Quantum Shaman books and your erotica under your own name?" Who knows? In this new day and age of indy publishing, it seems that just about anything goes - and I can only say that anyone who is SERIOUS about their spiritual journey already knows that what we do isn't necessarily who we are. Then again, we are sensual and sexual beings because we are human beings, so I make no apologies for what I've written, nor for who and what I-Am.
I personally feel a writer should be able to do anything s/he wants, but because I also acknowledge that we live in a world of "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" (two of the most dangerous words in the English language), I made the decision to publish Prince of Umberlight under my long-established pseudonym (which I've never kept secret), Alexis Fegan Black. Of course, now that I've told you, what's the point of a pseudonym? But I suppose some people worry more about the name on the cover than the content inside. *lol* It's a funny, funny world in which we live.
If you want to get a feel for the book, please check out the "Look Inside" on Amazon or proceed to the excerpt below.
Yes, it is erotica. Yes, it is explicit. It is even very, very naughty.
And no, I will not apologize
Warning - Obviously this is not suitable for children, but I'm sure they've seen a lot worse on YouTube. As for the rest of you... some content may be hazardous to your calm, so best not to read while at work or on a public bus... particularly you fellas!
Prince of Umberlight
Now I lay me down to dream
I created this place as a sanctuary, for I am an immortal, you see, and a very long time ago the world of matter and men became intolerable to me. Certain beings – some human, others not – have asked precisely when this creation occurred, which only goes to illustrate a supremely naive misconception of the very nature of Umberlight.
There can be no when in a land where there is no time.
For that reason alone, the sun neither rises nor sets here. There are no calendars or clocks, no watches or work schedules, no hatch marks chiseled into prison walls to delineate one indistinguishable day of monotony from the next.
There is only a single moment here, existing perpetually at right angles to the dayshine world, and given the name Umberlight by one of the first Paranormals who stumbled – uninvited, I might add – into my otherwise uninhabited kingdom. It was his observation that the orange glow of the street lamps – which are powered by tiny embers broken off from the Eternal Flame – produce a warm autumnal glow that is a natural beacon, a porch light left forever on, welcoming fragile moths in gowns of colorful dust who dance like angels on the ragged hem of this night that never ends.
But back to the questions of when and how and why, which inevitably arise whenever another wayward Paranormal wanders or falls or tunnels his way into this place. If I were compelled to pin a timestamp onto the foundational cornerstone of Umberlight, it would require looking at the conundrum from the dank and dismal perspective of the mortal world – at that crossroad moment when it finally occurred to me that these human creatures whom I have been observing for centuries are, at best, only transient cattle, bumbling ignorantly toward the slaughterhouse of their own inevitable deaths. Meek sheep, lacking the force of Will which separates the herd from those who dine upon them at the end of the day.
So much comes to mind. Where to start? Do I begin by telling you that the term 'Paranormal' is intended to invoke fear for anything that does not fit into a strictly human paradigm? And yet, how can that which has existed since long before the first whining Adam and the first bleeding Eve crawled out of the primordial ooze be called paranormal or supernatural? It is merely a fact that all things come into being when circumstances are optimal and when Nature is sufficiently bored to allow some new integer into the equation of evolution. There is nothing natural or unnatural about any of us. Humans and Paranormals have shared this spinning ball of (b)ore since the last big bang, and the one before that, and the one before that.
There are no beginnings and no endings. And from that perspective, Umberlight is far more kindred with the unfathomable mysteries than anything humans like to think of as real.
But as to the question of when...
It was sometime in the late 17th century that I had finally endured more than enough of humanity. I had foolishly allowed myself to become emotionally attached to a mortal female (I hesitate to use the words "in love"), and once again I could only watch from the shadows as she became sick with age, withered, and eventually returned to the Lethe of dust. Nothing more, nothing less. The interminable and intolerable human condition.
At that time, I was not yet a Creator. I did not have the ability to transform an organic mortal into an immortal – or, at the very least, I did not believe I could. And that is the horror of being what I am – possessed with the gift to love more deeply than any human ever could, but simultaneously cursed to grieve more dreadfully than any immortal ever should.
And so it stands to reason it was in that same period of time that I lay myself down to sleep one particularly unpleasant morning when the sun was rising spritely and spring flowers were peeking out from wooden window boxes in every London suburb, and took my final breath of that too-bright, too-light mediocrity that humans everywhere hold in such irrationally high esteem.
I had been dissatisfied for quite some time, you must realize. It wasn't only the death of Emily that broke the remaining fragments of my heart. It was the fact that she so willingly embraced her own ending with wide-eyed faith in a mythical deity whose sole agenda was to crush the life from her failing lungs, melt the flesh from her bones with decay, and finally grind those same bones into a fine white powder with the mortar and pestle of ruthless time.
As an Englishwoman who had been infallibly indoctrinated to believe in gods and devils, Emily had wholly adopted the idea that some intangible part of herself would rise up out of a desiccated corpse, ascend into the sky in defiance of all logic, and spend eternity worshiping at the feet of the very tyrant who had given her life, caused her to suffer horrendously, and finally choked her to death on her own blood – courtesy of a disease that same entity had manifested to menace and control the population of humans whom he had shaped out of what he stated to be love.
Excuse my blasphemy, but does that make any measure of sense to any rational creature?
I should warn you right now. If you are one who needs those fairy tales to get through your daze and nights, read no further, for I will openly confess I am no friend of God, no blind believer in the religious fictions Man and Church have written to soothe their fears and fill their pockets with gold coins.
I am a vampyre, if you must insist on a label. Though I will further remind you that 'vampyre' is only a word attempting to define in two finite syllables an infinite being incapable of precise definition by virtue of its very nature.
To dispel the distasteful myths...
I do not drink human blood as a necessity to my survival. I do not sleep in a coffin. I am not repulsed by garlic or crosses or silver. I have no fear of the sun aside from the fact that it is the progenitor of Time, and though I prefer the sanctuary of night, I can walk in daylight whenever I am sufficiently motivated to do so. I cannot be killed by a stake through my heart, for that heart is made of antimatter and antediluvian autumns. The body I inhabit is woven of illusion and cast into matter through my will, and therefore impervious to disease, old age, and the attempts of fearful simpletons to destroy me.
By human definitions, I am darkly beautiful – for I am also a predator, though all creatures are predators at one level or another. Since it is within my ability to be tall and lean and to wear the flesh of a strikingly handsome rogue, why would I choose to be anything other than that which humans consider irresistible, unfathomable, supernatural?
My face is a radiant flame to draw you near, my body an alluring edifice to hold you when I take you, my kiss a wicked sting that will make you want me beyond any ability to resist or reason.
I am the paradox incarnate. All that I say is truth. And every truth is a lie.
It was not always so with me. I was once human – neither beautiful nor powerful - but that is a long and sad story, not particularly interesting really. Who I am in this moment is of far greater significance, at least with regard to the tale of Umberlight and the beings who have come to inhabit her.
I could tell you that my given name was Mikal, but I was human then and it was so very long ago that even I scarcely remember that name at all. When I became an immortal at the hands of a cruel and tyrannical Creator, I took the name Thorn, for my maker had often said I was not the flower but embodied more traits of an annoying prick.
For now, I will simply add that I swear no allegiance to any deity or demon, no duty or obligation to any being mortal or immortal. This is the essence of who and what I-Am – to be whole unto myself, Knowing through Seeing that no creature is greater or lesser than any other. At the level of pure existence, we are all constructs of energy. This is, of course, the ultimate contradiction to one such as myself.
I-Am, when all is said and done, a being of light.
I have no qualms with such irony. In fact, I embrace it completely.
And that is only one reason among many that I chose to lay myself down to rest on that illumined spring morning after Emily had been remanded to the dirt. There, safe in the sanctuary of my own humble bed in an earthen basement where no light could find me, I tore my own wrist and drank deeply of my own blood – a ritual to bring visions, anesthesia to induce The Long Sleep.
And here you may cry foul, believing that I said I do not drink human blood. But remember – I am no longer human. If I drink from a mortal, it is not the rush of red that sustains me, but instead the living animus that is carried within the blood, and is as whole and satisfying in a few sparse grams as it would be if one were to drain the entire organism.
A single drop of animus (which cannot be measured in drops, of course) contains the entire living essence of the being from which it came, just as the tiniest fragment of a hologram contains the entire hologram. So to drink from a mortal isn't only sustenance for the preternatural body, it is a rekindling of the preternatural spirit, a rebirthing that is an emergence from frigid numbness into electrified bliss, and can be so overwhelming that to compare it to the convulsive force of sexual orgasm is to do it a pale injustice.
But I have strayed somewhere to the north of the point.
It wasn't only the death of another mortal lover that caused me such despair. It was fully seeing that the being I had known as Emily was gone. Into the nothing that is the marriage bed of eternity and infinity. Knowing there was no God, I knew equally there was no heaven.
And so I set for myself the task of creating one.
I set for myself the task of dreaming into being a world where death and time have no dominion.
So perhaps it could be said that Umberlight was sung into existence just Then, on the cusp of the Sorrowday and Hollownight.
To fully appreciate the mystery of Umberlight, it must also be understood that once something is created, it exists not only in the future, but simultaneously in the shadow of the past, as well as within the unlimited realm of all possibility – countless parallel and paradoxical Otherworlds where humans and Paranormals might find themselves if they turn left instead of right, or simply awaken in one of their own infinite other selves.
But even those words are demons of deception. What is... simply is.
Umberlight did not exist before that long night of my grief, but now it has always been there and always will be.
Such is the fickle nature of a laughing universe and the unshakeable Will of the vampyre who perceived himself to have been wronged by God. The fact that God did not exist was entirely irrelevant.
I needed somewhere to direct all of those feelings that otherwise dissipate and vanish into the curse of forgetting.
The poetry of fireflies.
The spidersilk of dreams.
These are the ingredients of Umberlight.
NEITHER CHAPTER NOR VERSE
The dream before the Dreaming
The altar was made of simple wood and held the artifacts and herbs required to summon an immortal. Agrimony and dream root. Chalice and blade. Scented oil.
Having lit the lantern to serve as a beacon of flame, I knelt naked and humble on the thin cushions at the altar's base, took up the small vial of oil, and applied it sparingly to my chest, careful to cover each nipple with an adequate amount to make me appealing to the dark spirits. Then to my halfway erect staff, which lengthened and grew as the oil heated in my palm.
"Vampyre, father, incubus, lover," I intoned as I had done each night for several months. "Come to me now, make me yours forever."
As I spoke the words I had gleaned from the darkness itself, my hand worked a slow and familiar magick on my body, gliding easily over my straining phallus.
"Vampyre, father, incubus, lover... come to me now, make me yours forever."
I murmured the incantation for the second time, my breath coming faster as the fire in my belly burned higher.
The trick was to go slow. To focus on my intent. To tease the pleasure without indulging it too soon.
My hand slowed, though it wanted to move faster. My heart pounded, a summoning drum.
Beyond the window over the altar, the world was liquid ebony, not even a sliver of a moon on the orchards which had been in my family for generations. A flirtatious early autumn wind gripped me, running curious hands over my body until my phallus stood at full attention.
But tonight the wind which had always been feminine and sweet had turned darkly masculine and carried the sharp edge of a king's avenging sword. And whereas that same wind had remained elusive and always slipped free of my embrace, tonight that wicked elemental had taken on shape and form, and was kneeling behind me on the cushions at the window overlooking the vineyards and the distant sea beyond.
"Is this really what you want?" a man's voice whispered, so close to my ear I could taste the wine on his breath, yet so soft I could go right on imagining it was only the wind reflecting my forbidden intent back at me.
I allowed myself to imagine he was really there – something I had seldom done even at the peak of these dark rituals, for it was said that to finally believe in one's magick was to give that magick permission to believe in itself.
"Yes," I whispered. "Yes – it's what I want!"
My hand moved automatically toward my staff, but in the very next moment my wrist was seized in a powerful grip and before I knew what was happening to me, I was driven face-down onto the cushions with such a force that I thought for a moment my home had been invaded by Crusaders and I was about to be executed for acts of sorcery.
Instead, when I twisted my head around in a state of blind panic, I saw that there really was a man at my back. Not just any average human being, but a man whose face was so extraordinary he could not be a man at all. Hair darker than a blackbird's wing. Eyes so bright they had to be lit from within.
In the dim flickering of the lantern, he actually appeared to glow, his features so perfectly chiseled that I could only imagine him to be an angel – though most likely a fallen one, judging by the fact that he was completely naked and sporting a tremendous erection that could be easily classified as a weapon.
I could not breathe, did not dare to move.
"Do you know who I am, boy?" the man asked. Even though I was 28 at the time, I suspected that anyone under the age of at least a century or two would be a boy to this being who was, without a doubt, the answer to my dangerous prayers.
Vampyre. Father. Incubus. Lover.
"You are the night incarnate," I barely managed to murmur, more words from incantations I had written in my own blood onto the ragged papyrus of my journal. "You are the father of my death, the bringer of my life."
Words of the summoning
Words of madness.
My heart was threatening to explode, and had it done so in that moment, it may well have turned out to be a blessing, compared to what lay ahead.
"My name is Ambrose," the man said, "and I am the destroyer of your world."
Words I had imagined.
A name I had learned in my dreams.
As he spoke, he had picked up the vial of oil and poured what little remained onto the palm of his right hand, then began stroking himself with it until his evil blade glistened ominously in the lantern's pale light.
"Because you have summoned me, and because I know you are a virgin to men, I will be gentle with you this first time," he promised, though he was already prying the trembling globes of my rump apart and had placed the broad head of his saber against the tightly-clenched orifice and began to enter me.
There was no discussion, no polite dance prior to the act.
He simply did it before I could say another word.
I was paralyzed with a sensation like nothing I had experienced ever before – a devil's cocktail consisting of equal portions of fear, dread, desire and a blinding phantasm of pain that came when my "gentle" destroyer slid so hard and fast and deep into me that I whimpered like a schoolboy and bit down on my own wrist to keep from crying out, the result being that I tasted my own blood.
Whatever sounds I made were not words – just the delirious groans and protests of a man who suddenly finds himself filled beyond his capacity to bear by the quick and merciless thrusts of another man.
It was the most horrific moment of my life.
It was the most shameful moment of my life.
And it was, without a doubt, the most strikingly intimate moment of my life.
Ambrose had his way with me for what must have been an hour, while I lay there on the cushions alternating between unbearable agony and intolerable pleasure I did not want to admit even though I could not deny it.
Perhaps sensing that, he held me down the entire time so that I might later have the luxury of claiming – if only to myself – that I was forced.
When his fangs cut into the tender flesh at the apex of neck and shoulder and he began drawing the living essence of me into his mouth, I experienced a single moment of true and absolute panic, for it is said that once a Creator drinks from the veins of one who has summoned him, there is no undoing the spell, no going back to the safe sanctuary of sanity and reason.
I have often wondered if I would have gone back to being just a man, but the crossroads had already been passed. The deed was done. The oath was sealed in my blood.
I belonged to Ambrose now.
He continued sinking in again and again until I became delirious from the ride and began lifting myself up to meet him when I sensed he was close to release.
I wanted it to be over.
I wanted it to never end.
I raised myself higher.
"That's a good boy," he murmured against my ear, reaching around my body to take my tormented shaft in his hand. "Now come with me into this night that never ends."
His skilled hand milked the liquid pleasure out of me at the same time I felt a searing burn filling me up inside, an evil fire cauterizing the lethal cut this fiend had delivered to my very soul.
"Vampyre, father, incubus, lover," I wept as his hand tightened and released around my throbbing phallus. "Come to me now, make me yours forever."
His flame burned inside me for another hour while we lay together in the aftermath, his vampyre body resting heavily on my back.
"Come find me, Mikal," he commanded me. "When you do, it will be time to begin."
The wind went still.
The lantern had gone dark.
Ambrose was gone, but I knew without a doubt that I had met my maker.
Copyright © 2015, by Della Van Hise, Alexis Fegan Black and Eye Scry Publications
All Rights Reserved
Prince of Umberlight is available through Amazon or directly from the author at Eye Scry Publications. To read other works under the name, Alexis Fegan Black, consider Fanzines Plus.