Into the Darkness
By Lisabet Sarai
In general, I'm an optimist. I expect good from life – and usually, that's what I receive. Like everyone, I've experienced a few rough patches over the years, but all in all I can't complain about either my past or my present. I've got a job that provides creative challenge without too much stress, and an adequate if not lavish income. My husband of three decades is still kissable, funny, smart, and a fantastic companion. We're lucky enough to live in a fabulous apartment in a quirky but fascinating city and to enjoy generally good health for our ages. My extended family is a bit far away, but healthy and prospering, too.
Most of my fiction is as sunny as I am. I don't usually put my characters through the sort of angst some authors concoct. Recently, though, there's a dark streak running through my work. My short story “Fleshpot”, just contracted for the charitable anthology Coming Together: Arm in Arm in Arm, deals with a desperate sex addict who is ultimately devoured by a tentacled monster in the shape of a gorgeous young woman. My new erotic thriller Bangkok Noir, as fits the conventions of the noir genre, is full of lies and double crosses, kidnappings, torture and murder. Even my romance has gone dark. In Quarantine, my M/M science fiction novel released last month, I give my heroes a happy ending, but one of them is crippled and nearly dies in a bomb blast first, and they both end up scarred, emotionally.
What's going on? I'm really not sure. Perhaps the darkness infusing the world lately has affected me. Certainly when countries are bombing their own citizens – when a evening out at the movies turns into a nightmare of blood – when crops are withering with drought and whole villages are dying of hunger – it's a bit more difficult than usual to see the brighter side of things.
On the other hand, I also feel that exploring darker themes and plots is a way for me to stretch myself as an author. It's not easy to write this sort of material, at least not for me. I won't say that I've had to force myself, but it hasn't been comfortable either. I worry that I'll alienate readers – but at the same time inserting negative events into a story ups the narrative ante, bringing added drama and intensity.
Like most authors, I think, I write first and analyze later. So honestly, I'm just guessing about my recent trips to the darker side. To demonstrate my point, below I give you a sample from Bangkok Noir. This excerpt mingles the darkness with eroticism. I have to warn readers that some of the book is just plain dark, without any sexual component at all.
Dark desires flourish in the glittering City of Angels...
Diana Fanning, aka the Professor, runs The Academy, the only genuine BDSM bar in Bangkok. She's the first person police colonel Apichat Weeranwongsakul consults when a bar girl turns up brutally murdered, tightly bound, with clamped nipples and every orifice stuffed with sex toys. The colonel figures the killer might be one of her customers. But he has his own secrets. He needs Diana to satisfy his shameful dreams of being beaten and abused. Meanwhile, a mysterious American named Sam stalks Nok, the lovely natural dominant who is the Professor's star performer. Nok is used to being the one in charge. She can't understand why she craves the discipline Sam administers.
As more women are slaughtered, always in kinky circumstances, the Professor finds herself in an exclusive world catering to the perversions of Bangkok's wealthy and well-connected. Simultaneously looking for evidence and satisfying her own lusts, she doesn't realize until too late that the power she's used to wielding won't save her from becoming the serial murderer's next victim.
Inside the door to the lobby he released me. "Go get the key to room 1027," he ordered. "It's already reserved and paid for."
A flash of fear cut through the fog of my horniness. I remembered the other girl. Secretly, I checked my pocket for my mobile. Then I pretended to be shy.
"Please, sir, can you do it? I don't want hotel people to think I'm bad girl."
"But you are a bad girl, Nok, aren't you?" He stroked his hand down over my backside. From behind, he slipped a finger into the valley of damp denim between my thighs. "Your cunt is sopping." He rubbed his finger back and forth over the seam, pressing into my folds. "You're a dirty, improper little girl who deserves to be punished. Isn't that right?"
I squirmed at his touch, struggling to stay silent.
"Anyway, no one cares whether you go to a hotel with a foreigner. Whereas I have a reputation to protect. I need to be discreet about these things. There would be severe repercussions if my secrets were discovered."
I didn't completely understand what he was saying. But the message of his fingers was loud and clear. Somehow he managed to pinch my clit through the stiff material. I moaned. "Do it, Nok," he said. "Or I'll take you back to the bar."
On shaky legs, I walked over and asked for the key. The desk clerk looked me over carefully. Then he searched the lobby, trying to find out who I was with. But Sam was not visible.
I found him waiting for me by the elevators. I handed him the key. "Good girl," he said with that strange smile. He bent over and gave me a long kiss that ended in a savage bite. He caught me as I started to fall.
As soon as the door to the room closed, he lifted me into his arms. I was right. He was incredibly strong. The muscles moved under his fine shirt as he carried me over to the bed. I couldn't escape him. But I didn't want to. I wanted to be cradled in his arms, with my pussy streaming, my heart pounding, my own limbs wobbly as jelly, forever.
I felt a flash of disappointment when he laid me on my back on the silk bedspread. He must have seen it on my face. He sat down next to me.
"Be patient, Nok. I told you before. You must learn how to wait. Now be still." He ended his instructions with a tweak of my nipple. That made it very difficult to obey him, but I tried.
I heard him go into the bathroom and close the door. Without moving my head, I tried to look around the room. There were no suitcases, or any other sign that someone was staying here.
There was the sound of the bathroom door opening. My heart beat ever quicker than before. I kept my eyes straight ahead, facing the ceiling. I felt his warmth beside me, but I didn't turn to look. Then there was a flash of light reflecting metal, and I couldn't help myself.
The farang stood very close to me. He was naked. There was blond hair around his nipples, and darker hair between his legs. His cock was hard. The pale skin on it was stretched so tight, it looked like it might burst. The knob at the end pulsed, bright red. I thought of the beacon light on top of a police car.
Saliva flowed into my mouth. I wanted to taste him, to suck him. I started to reach for him, to pull him closer. Then I saw. He had an open pocketknife in his hand.
I choked back a cry. The shiny blade gleamed as he waved it slowly in front of my face. I shrank away, out of instinct. He saw my terror. He loved it.
"Be still," he said quietly. "I told you not to move. I meant it." He leaned over me. I smelled his cologne and his sweat. The knife was close to my skin, close to my throat. I tried to scream. Somehow I couldn't. Because despite my terror, I didn't want to move. I didn't want to disappoint him.
I tried to close my eyes. He held them open with his stare. "Look at me, Nok," he whispered. His eyes were deep pools of cold blue. It seemed that something flickered there, like a frozen flame.
The flame seemed to spread from his eyes to my body. I was on fire with wanting him. At the same time, I was paralyzed by fear.
He hooked the tip of the blade into the fabric of my shirt and ripped it downwards. The shirt fell open, showing him my brown, swollen nipples. Swollen with desire for him. He laughed softly. Gently, he placed the cold steel flat against one aching nub. I shivered, and he laughed again.
"You are perfect, just what I need," he said. Leaving the knife in place, he sucked my other nipple into his mouth. Hot saliva and cold steel. Pleasure beat in my sex like another heart.
Bangkok Noir is exclusively available from Amazon. It received five kisses and was flagged as a recommended read at TwoLips Reviews.
I want thank Maggie for having me as her guest today. I hope I've intrigued you rather than turned you off with my excerpt and my tales of the dark side. In fact, I'm giving away a copy of Bangkok Noir to one person who comments on this post. Tell me how you feel about violence, sickness and other negative happenings in your fiction. And don't forget to leave your email address.
Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
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