Hump Day Hook – 04 September 2013

Hump Day Hook

Greetings, all! It’s time for some Hump Day Hooking!

I am continuing with Subeo. If you need to catch up, click here.

Liam was… for the circumstances… strangely peaceful.

That stinking, gelatinous crap must have some sedative quality.

Surprisingly, it had had no taste. On the other hand his tongue felt as if some snail were wandering about his mouth, leaving a trail behind. He really wanted some water.

How long he had waited in his cell, he didn’t know. He had been surprised at the grinding as the door opened to admit two fellows in black robes. How cliché, he’d thought and may have giggled at them. Like everyone else he’d interacted with, they weren’t open to humor.

They’d lifted him beneath his arms and carried him out into the dimly lit corridor. He struggled to walk—his legs seeming to have lost several degrees of function—but gave up, letting the goons drag him along. Another door opened, ringing metallically against the wall, and he was hauled into a large space, lit—appropriately, he snickered—by torches.

He sobered though when he saw the figure bound and chained in the center of the room. The naked man was Keith—he would recognize that Celtic tattoo anywhere.

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Hump Day Hook – 28 August 2013

Hump Day Hook

 Greetings, all!

I have been in absentia lately—much to my chagrin! Lots going on…

For this week it’s back to Subeo. If you need to catch up, click here.

The leather sighed as he lay down, fitting his shoulders and hips to its worn impressions. Two of the servitors—he didn’t recognize them beneath their black hoods—gripped his hands, wrapping his wrists with the sturdy hempen cord. Exchanging lengths, they secured his arms beneath the bench.

BoundHandsA calm, peaceful sensation flowed over him when the rope drew tight. Immobilized atop the heavy wooden bench, he felt free—free from doubt, free from worry, free to be—simply to exist in time. That had been the revelation of his initiation—the quiet his mind had found when he had acted and given up that anxiety and indecision.

The servitors moved to secure his legs. Cuffs suspended from chains held them aloft, revealing him, opening him to the ritual. A flicker of concern passed through him.

Had Liam made the right choice? Would he brave new knowledge, or would he settle for soft security?

A door clanged. Keith glimpsed a mop of golden curls as a mask shuttered his vision.

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Hump Day Hook – 21 August 2013

Hump Day Hook

Greetings, all!

It’s been kinda crazy lately, but I thought that I’d drop in and hump a little today! We’re rejoining Subeo, so if you need to catch up or have a refresher, click here.

Keith fingered the thin copper chain that encircled his waist.

His initial anxiety had calmed somewhat—his heart wasn’t beating in his throat anymore, although it still raced, railing against his chest. He’d managed to speak to Liam for a moment. Whether he would pay attention or not remained to be seen.

Can’t really blame him if he doesn’t trust me.

When the Praecept had told him of Liam’s nomination, Keith had been thrilled. It was becoming more and more difficult to hide his attraction to the lively sophomore. Liam did nothing to disguise his own interest in Keith, who was firmly against any sort of fraternization with undergrads—particularly hot, young blondes who sat in the front row of his Clinical Psychology section.


But to have Liam as an initiate was another matter…

Keith inhaled deeply, attempting to calm his riotous thoughts. He’d drawn the saxum—the white disc that placed him at the center of tonight’s ritual—so his quietude was essential. With another centering breath, he doffed his robe and shivered slightly as the cool air coasted across his skin. He took his place on the bench, lay back, and gave himself to the embrace of the rope.

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Hump Day Hook – 17 July 2013

Hump Day Hook logo

Greetings, all! Welcome to this week’s Hump Day Hook!

It’s time to check in on Liam in Subeo. To catch up or for a refresher, click here.

As much as Liam was enjoying this little slice of hell, the researcher in him craved to know more, to find out exactly what was going the fuck on. He had to admit that curiosity about Keith and his role in this mise-en-scène was chewing at him as well. His libido remained unfazed.

However, his stomach was not so excited to participate. A bitter swell of bile rose in the 700_dirty-bottlesback of his throat; his gut clenched and roiled at the thought of drinking from the second bottle.

Maybe security wasn’t so bad.

But was security the easy answer? Maybe it was all a double blind…

No! Keith had taken a chance to help him. The grad student’s fear was real. The easy answer was the wrong answer.

As he twisted out the second stopper, he took a deep breath and held his nose. With a quick prayer he swallowed the thick, gluey contents.

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Hump Day Hook – 10 July 2013

Hump Day Hook logo

Greetings, all! Hard to believe it’s Wednesday again and time for some Hump Day Hooks!

I am continuing with Subeo. For a refresher or to catch up, click here.

He knew better than to ask for any clarification—it would be painful at best, and he didn’t want to think about the possible worst scenario.

Liam considered the pair of bottles. Their appearances were commonplace: they resembled the decorative bottles you could buy at any home store. Nothing about them screamed knowledge or security. In the lurid light their contents each appeared equally sluggish and murky, not appealing in either case.

Maybe something about the positions? A reference to the left hand path, perhaps?

A growl of frustration clawed out of his chest. Alice, at least, had had directions! All he had was Keith’s admonition to not take the easy answer.


Photo courtesy of Zachary Huang, Michigan State University.

Searching for different criteria, he lifted the left-hand bottle, easing out its cork. Careful not to sniff directly from the mouth, he smelled cherries and honey. That certainly didn’t seem too bad. He replaced that stopper and then picked up the short, squat container. Repeating the procedure, he nearly vomited. Redolent of vinegar and spoiled milk, the contents gave off a rancid, sour odor. He couldn’t get the bottle closed fast enough.

Well, shit! Cherries and honey would certainly be easy to swallow.

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Hump Day Hook – 03 July 2013

Hump Day Hook logl

Greetings, all! It’s hump day and time for some hooking!

We are rejoining Liam in Subeo today. For a refresher or to catch up, click here.

Liam strained to listen to the darkness.

He pricked his ears and held his breath, trying desperately to discern some sound beyond his cell. The silence weighed against him, sitting thickly and pressing on his ears. His heart marked time. Lub-dub, lub-dub.

His anger at Keith had drained away, leaving a diffuse worry made worse by the whine of Keith’s voice, so unlike its typical warm baritone. Clearly, the grad student was stressed, which would seem to indicate that he wasn’t in charge.

So who was?

Liam wished something—anything—would happen. He was tired of being in the dark—literally.

“Liam Sean Fitzpatrick, you have been chosen.”

Liam started. The voice was different, not so harsh, with a trace of an accent. English? Scotch?

He knew better than to talk back.

apothecary bottlesA decision is required.”

A light snapped on, illuminating the table with a dim, red glow. Two bottles stood there—one tall and slender, the other short and squat.

“Drink one to move forward and gain knowledge. Drink the other to move backward and remain secure.”

With a silent groan, Liam stood up and approached the table.

Great! Now I’m freaking Alice in Wonderland!

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‘Til next time!



Hump Day Hook – 19 June 2013

Hump Day Hook logoGreetings, all! Time again for a Hump Day Hook!

I’m continuing with Subeo. If you’d like to catch up with the story so far, click here.

 “Liam! Liam, wake up!” The voice—Keith’s, he recognized—whispered nearby.

His tongue was thick and stuck to his teeth. He fought to sit up. Metal creaked loudly in the pitch black.

“Lie still! Just listen!” Tension pulled at Keith’s voice, making it thin and reedy “You can’t get out of here by resisting. The only way out is through the ritual.”

Ritual? What sort of shit had Keith gotten him into?

20051002190321_103Cautiously he felt about. He was back on the cot. His clothes had been removed—he was oddly thankful not to be wearing piss-soaked jeans—and replaced by some sort of loose fabric that covered him from neck to foot.

“Don’t move!” Keith paused, his breathing fast and shallow. “Oh, crap—he’s coming back! I’m not supposed to be here! Don’t take the easy answer! Remember—don’t take the easy one!”

Easy answer? Any answer—hard or easy—would have been good!

This was getting worse by the minute.

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Hump Day Hook – 12 June 2013

Hump Day Hook logo


Greetings, all! Time once again for a Hump Day Hook!

I am continuing with Subeo; if you need to catch up, click here. WARNING: Today’s snippet contains violent content which may upset some readers. Continue at your own risk…


“Stand up!”

He jolted awake, his head thumping painfully against the door. The room was still impenetrably black—he had no idea how long he’d dozed. It could have been minutes… or hours. Why had Keith done this?


“Stand up!” The voice cracked again. “I shall not repeat the request.”

He struggled to his feet, his legs complaining. The chill floor had sucked the life from his muscles, leaving stiff soreness behind. He supported himself against the doorframe. “Keith, where a—?”

“Silence!” Sound didn’t come from behind him, beyond the door. The voice seemed to issue from the very darkness that engulfed him.

Pain chewed at his joints. His head ached where he’d struck it, and he needed to take a wicked piss. Anger flared in his chest—he wanted answers. And he wanted them now.

“Keith! Answer—“

“SILENCE!” The voice thundered with a trace of feedback. It was some sort of PA system.

“I want to—Aarrgh!” A powerful electric current shot up his left leg, numbing it and throwing him to the floor. Refusing to acquiesce, he struggled to speak. “Wh… why?”

More current shocked him, his limbs twitching against the floor. Warmth flooded around him as his bladder let go, and he fell into even deeper blackness.

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Hump Day Hook – 05 June 2013

Hump Day Hook logo

 Greetings, all!

Once again, Wednesday is upon us and it’s time for a Hump Day Hook! Although Luk has come out of his sulk, I’m continuing with another piece from Subeo:

He sat on the floor in the dark, leaning against the cold implacable steel of his cell’s entrance. What the hell had happened? He remembered stopping by Perk ‘n’ Brew after class to write more of his clinical psych paper. Keith, Dr. Mellor’s T.A., had been there, and they’d talked about some of the research material. At that point he’d pretty much lost interest in working—he just wanted to look at Keith and listen to the animated way he spoke. Psychology wasn’t his major, but he’d have considered it if the dark-haired grad student were at every class.


Keith had offered refills, and he’d taken the opportunity to use the john—his cock had gotten uncomfortably full as he watched Keith’s lips, imagining them doing things other than sipping latte. Good to his word, Keith had procured two fresh cups and was texting when he returned from the men’s room. The T.A. quickly apologized and stuffed the phone into his jacket pocket.

“No problem, dude,” he’d assured him. “I don’t mind.”

“I don’t like to text really.” Keith shrugged. “It’s rude if you’re with someone—like speaking a foreign language that someone in the group doesn’t. Everyone always thinks you’re talking—or texting—about them. Which I wasn’t.”

He recalled taking a sip, savoring the chocolaty smoothness as Keith got warmed up on a discussion of Freud and egocentrism.

Then the world had slid sideways…

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Hump Day Hook – 29 May 2013

Hump Day Hook logo

Greetings, all!

Once again it is Wednesday and time for a Hump Day Hook! I’m stepping away from Ark for a bit (Luk has chosen to be rather quiet lately), so today’s hook is the opening to another WIP, titled Subeo, which is Latin for ‘I submit.’ (Ironically, this too involves a door…)

The snap of ammonia assaulted his nose. 

Waking, he struggled to orient himself. Where the fuck am I? Last he knew he was at the coffee shop across from campus. Now darkness pressed against his senses, filling his vision, stopping his ears. He shivered.

prison cell doors / / CC BY-ND

He lay on what felt to be a narrow cot, its frame digging into his shoulders. Carefully he reached out his left hand and encountered a rough, cold wall. Cinderblock. To the right his other hand found empty air. Rolling to that side, he cautiously sat up. The cot creaked loudly in the heavy silence.

Standing, he swayed a little and steadied himself with a hand on the wall. Trailing fingers along the bricks, he shuffled forward, his right arm extended. A few steps brought him to a corner; turning right, he continued his tour. Another corner.

“Ouch!” Table. He sidled around the obstruction, keeping his hand on the wall. The table stood next to a door.

Sweeping hands over the surface of the door, he found no window, no lock, no knob, only an expanse of cool metal.

“Hello!” His fists drummed on the door; hollow echoes followed. “Anyone there? Let me out!”

The darkness absorbed his shouts, muffling his cries for help. He kept pounding, kept hoping for a response. Only the silence screamed back.

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‘Til next time!