Tag Archives: Erotica

Gateways: “LeBron James III’s Unfair Advantage” by Alex B. Reynolds read by Josh Ballard and Rob Southgate



Content Note, please be aware that this story is of a frank, sexual nature and may not be suitable for all audiences.

Alex B Reynolds has been writing and producing comedic theatre in Chicago for the past 10 years. They have been a contributing writer for The Flaming Dames burlesque troupe, the Meet/Cute sitcom podcast, and the Paragon short play festival. Full-length plays include Old Hobbits Die Hard, Kings & Thrones & Shit, and The Incredible Hank for New Millennium Theatre Company. Their other work, including props and puppets, can be found on most channels under the moniker “BakerStreetRat,” but you’re more likely to find photos of their dog. This is “LeBron James III’s Unfair Advantage”

Haynk and Cahrl worked together at the Interstellar Evolutionary Facilitation Center on Titan. They weren’t in charge of any major decisions, they didn’t have a seat at the table to decide how evolutionary processes were executed, and they certainly weren’t on the design team. To put it bluntly, they weren’t there for their brains. Cahrl was there for his muscle. He was on security detail for terrestrial missions, and otherwise occupied his time working in maintenance at the Center itself. This is where he and Haynk spent the most time together. Haynk was also in maintenance between projects, but unlike Cahrl, Haynk was hired for his genes. The Evolutionary Facilitation Board had very specific standards for the Genetic Integration Program on M-Class Planets, and Haynk checked all the right boxes. 

The Genetic Integration Program, lightheartedly referred to as the “Missing Link” Program, was designed to inject advanced genetic data into a terrestrial planet’s population once semi-intelligent mammals appeared. In a nutshell, Haynk was sent to underdeveloped planets to fuck something. Today’s mission would be his third. 

Each time Haynk was dispatched on a “Stud Run,” Cahrl accompanied him as his bodyguard. They had the same job at the Center, they were sent out on the same missions, and they were both immortals. But Haynk was an average Promethean while Cahrl was an eight-foot tall Reptilian. This main difference was the reason for their respective roles on Missing Link missions, but in the transport pod drifting slowly toward the rocky planet below, they were equals. They were friends. 

“I’m telling you, rep,” Haynk was gesturing passionately, “I’m telling you – LeBron James III would have toppled Forlax Waxor in the ‘58 season.” 

“No way.” Cahrl waved one claw dismissively while the other gently guided the transport pod along its trajectory. 

“He was seven fucking feet tall! He never lost a game after he got traded to the Novas!” Haynk continued. “He was the best diamondball player on Earth.” “You’re not wrong, but Earth diamondball was a joke, man.” “Hey, Earth diamondball was the best diamondball; Earth diamondball was life, my friend.” 

“Maybe for you.” “For everybody! And LeBron James III would have crushed the Comets and Forlax Waxor’s scaly ass in ‘58, ‘59, ‘60 – any season.” 

“Now, hold on…” “Bet on it! I’d bet my Spring Equinox bonus that James III’s last known player stats are better than Waxor’s this year.” 

“Fine. I’ll take that bet.” “It’s done. Happy to take your money.” The pod began its descent at the designated landing site. The weather was clear, the terrain was flat, and according to the data that Haynk was given before their departure, they were about three miles away from the colony of mammals he was meant to infiltrate. This distance was necessary so that their descent would go unnoticed. During their first mission, Cahrl took them too close to the population and for 

generations afterward, images of the transport pod appeared on stone walls, primitive parchment, and even in certain performance art. The bosses were not pleased. But the newly regulated distance was fine – neither of them minded the walk. The more time they spent away from the EFC and its infinite mechanical problems, the better. 

“So,” Cahrl asked as they walked along, “what are we looking for this time?” “Same old, same old, my friend. Some grubby, bipedal bear things. I don’t know, I just skimmed the briefing.” 

“You didn’t read the whole briefing?” “I mean, do I need to? I know where they are.” “Yeah, but this is a pretty big responsibility. It’s a big deal. You’re fathering a whole species, that’s gotta mean more than just skimming the briefing, right?” 

“Hey, I’ve done this twice now and I still can’t afford the kinds of clothes and meals the higher-ups at the Center can, so how important can my ‘work’ really be?” 

“I think you’re wrong about that.” “Yeah, well, agree to disagree. Woah, hold on.” Haynk stopped walking, and Cahrl stopped with him. Just ahead of them was a figure, digging in the dirt. Cahrl unclipped his holster and put a claw on his laser pistol. Haynk pulled up his briefing and flipped through the pages. The figure glanced up at them. Nobody moved. Nobody spoke. Very gradually, the figure stood. This was a bipedal creature. This was a female. She stood five feet tall with patches of curly brown hair. The proportions of her limbs and the curves of her body were almost Promethan, but her posture and cranium were unique. More importantly, she carried a stick in one hand with a sharpened rock affixed to the end of it. 

“Is that…” Cahrl began. “A tool. She’s got an advanced tool,” Haynk confirmed, skimming wildly through his briefing. Nothing said that these creatures were more advanced than the basic mammalian stage. They weren’t supposed to be using tools. Haynk was expecting a clumsy, hairy beast of a creature. 

“What’s our move, here, Haynk?” Cahrl asked, claw still on his weapon. “I mean, I think that’s our mark.” “You’re sure? You only skimmed the briefing.” “I’m sure! Get off my back about that! Look, it says they trade stones with each other. Shiny stones, you know, like Earth penguins. Remember them?” 

“Okay, so…where’s your shiny stone?” “I don’t know, I guess I gotta go find one! The shoreline is about a half mile that way. Can you keep an eye on her? Make sure she doesn’t run off. If she does, follow her and give me a call on the communicator so I can find you.” 

“Hurry,” Cahrl said, and reclipped his holster. “You won’t even know I’m gone.” Haynk patted Cahrl on the back and ran off toward the water. The mammalian female followed him with her head as he departed, but her body remained still. Once the sound of Haynk’s footsteps faded, her attention was back on Cahrl. Still, neither of them moved. Neither of them spoke. She was making hard eye contact with him, and after a few moments, Cahrl felt very awkward. He raised one of his claws and gave a sheepish wave. She didn’t react at first, but slowly advanced toward him. She took deliberate, 

measured steps with her eyes locked onto his. 

“Oh, oh. Okay, that’s far enough,” Cahrl stammered. He unclipped his holster again and pulled the laser pistol out. The mammalian female didn’t react, but continued to advance. Cahrl raised his weapon and aimed it at the ground in front of her. Still, she advanced. He fired. A small divot of dirt exploded in front of her. She paused, glanced at the divot, but resumed her advance on Cahrl until she stopped mere feet from him. Cahrl had his pistol pointed at her chest. She maintained her intense eye contact, but made no move to attack. Carl’s tongue shot out of his mouth and licked his own eyeball – a nervous habit from when he was a hatchling. This drew a smirk from the mammalian female who ran a hand (or paw) down Cahrl’s chest. She purred. 

Haynk’s feet were sloshing as he made his way back to the clearing. In retrieving a lustrous purple pebble from the shoreline, a small tidal wave soaked him from the waist down. He was ready to get this whole thing over with and get back to the transport pod, but as he crested the next hill, 

“What the fuck!” The frills on Cahrl’s neck and shoulders flared and shuddered. The mammalian female gasped deeply, her legs wrapped tightly around Cahrl’s waist as they climaxed together. Haynk stomped toward them, and – suddenly aware of his presence – the mammalian female lithely slid off Cahrl, grabbed her weapon, and ran off the way she came. Cahrl scooped some dirt from the ground and tossed it onto his back to cool down. He stood. 

“What the fuck!” Haynk said again, punching Cahrl in the arm. “Relax!” “Oh, ‘relax’ he says! You just forced your reptile seed into the apparently intelligent mammal population, and I’m supposed to relax?” 

“I didn’t force anything,” Cahrl said, holding up his claws, “she approached me, and I consented. It was all good.” 

“It’s not all good!” “It was actually pretty damn good.” “Cahrl! Don’t you think these mammals are gonna know something’s up when a brood of lizard babies start crawling around?” 

Cahrl paused. “Earth didn’t know.” “What?” “Earth didn’t know.” “You did this on Earth, too?!” “And Earth One.” “That’s not what I — Earth One and Two? How?!” “Same thing! A female approached me, and…” “No! I mean, how is that possible? How did nobody notice? How did I not notice?” Cahrl pulled on the rest of his gear and walked back toward the transport pod, Haynk following close behind. 

“The mammalian genes are more dominant in secondary physical characteristics, Haynk. You can barely tell the difference unless you’re looking for it.” 

“So, Earth had a bunch of half-Reptilians walking around and nobody knew?” 

“That’s what I’m saying.” “Who?” “Lots of people.” “Names!” “I don’t know, Haynk, lots of people! Ramses II, Dōgen Zenji, Vladimir Lenin, Kellyanne Conway – lots. Even cross-breeding with Promethean descendents, the Reptilian gene stays active in the population for generations. Now, come on, you found a really nice pebble. Why don’t you go back, find a different mammal…” 

“No, I don’t want to now.” “Haynk….” “No! This planet can be full of fucking lizard people, I don’t care. Let’s just get back to the Center.” 

Cahrl opened the door of the transport pod and stepped inside. Haynk, still pouting, stepped one foot into the pod, but stopped in sudden realization. 

“Who else was an Earth Reptilian?” “Come on, Haynk…” “No. Hey. Cahrl? Who else?” Cahrl sighed. “LeBron James III.” “Son of a — ” The door of the pod closed.

Rob Southgate is a professional actor in commercials and films, a professional podcaster, and a professional public speaker. He is currently preparing the debut of his first book and busily booking a national tour of the SMG Podcast Marathon. Rob loves sharing ideas with others and creating opportunities for his creative associates. Along with his wife, Martha, Rob started Southgate Media Group as a creative outlet and a way to incorporate all of their interests and their past experiences. SMG is home to over 100 podcasts, blogs, and video channels. If you think Rob has a lot going on, ask him about his amazing daughter, Molly.

Josh Ballard’s work has been seen all over the Chicagoland area for the past 11 years.  From Ren Faires to radio, pantos to photoshoots, he is an actor that can, and will, do anything.  A grad of Columbia College Chicago, Josh is excited to be a part of this unique series with one of the fastest growing theatre companies in Chicago!


Gateways: “Foreplay” by Brendon Connelly read by Jasmin Tomlins



Content Note, please be aware that this story is of a frank, sexual nature and may not be suitable for all audiences.

TRANSCRIPT: This story is written by Brendon Connelly. Brendon is a scriptwriter from Norwich in the UK. He was a film journalist and blogger for over 20 years, met Kermit the Frog three times – and only fainted one of those times, and graduated from the University of Oxford with a first in Creative Writing. ] This is “Foreplay”.

“Come here, come on, let me help,” I said, and took the penis into my mouth. It was soft and limp and sad. I sucked on it as kindly as I could, willing it desperately to stiffen. I tightened my lips around the penis’ head and tried to move my mouth backwards and forwards along its curling, timid shaft, resisting the embarrassed little cock’s urge to just shrink sadly and fall out of my mouth.

But no matter what I did, the limp cock seemed to remain pathetically disinterested in me. Unfit for intended purpose.

“Don’t worry,” I said, “this happens all the time. Absolutely all of the time.” But it didn’t. Not back then. I think it would have been better to say “This could happen to anyone” because it definitely could – though then, of course, there was no reason to believe that, soon enough, it would.

I worked a little longer, licking as well as sucking, taking the cock in my hand, locking my eyes onto his. I kissed him, whispered that I wanted him. I got close and pushed my body against his. None of this made the slightest bit of difference.

“We’ll just try again later,” I said. He agreed. He said 

“That would be better, yeah. I guess it’s just been a hard day for me.”

He told me that it just wasn’t a good time. There were things on his mind. Nothing in particular. Nothing to do with me, just something up there in the back of his brain, nibbling away and… well, he said he didn’t know how to put it.

“Something up there stopping things from working,” I said, “A minor malfunction, you just need a little while to turn your power off and on again.”

I got dressed and drove back over to my place. I stopped off on the way to fill up the tank, and get some cigarettes. And more or less on impulse, I also got a pack of Escher’s Rainbow Dots, the lemon and strawberry flavour, the ones they’ve been advertising all the time lately.

Then when I got home, I took a shower, and I washed my hair, and I took down the shower head and turned it up between my legs and just held my breath and prayed for all of the frustration and suspended horniness just pour out of me, and I worked it until I finally came.

I lay on the bed afterwards and smoked a cigarette, a new kind, a Johnson and Brummel, just trying them out to see if I’d like them and it was, actually, pretty good. I lay there and thought about my orgasm in the shower. It wasn’t really a great one. It seemed a little distant, not as bright or clear as they usually do.

I blamed him for it. I blamed the limp cock that had shrivelled up against my tongue and pulled sadly away from me. It wasn’t fair, but I didn’t know what else to blame.

I saw him again the next night. We met at Molotov’s and didn’t talk at all about what had happened the day before, and tried not to worry about it happening again. It was only when we got back to his place that he said anything about it at all. He said 

I think I might just need a little extra love and attention. Just be patient with me and try, you know, a little more foreplay. Because I really want to get over this. I want to be able to… you know.”

“Me too,” I said, “I want to see you hard. I want you really fucking hard, I want to feel your cock, big and hard, and I want you to fuck me hard with it.”

That seemed to startle him and somehow throw him off. I had said it half thinking it would help. Jumper cables to the heart to give him a short, sharp shock. I cooled off instead, smiled softly, and even sighed. I said to him, “We’ll take the time. All the time you need.”

I was laying on the bed and I had my legs apart and my fingers moving up and down, two fingers lightly, watching him as he finished undressing carefully, almost cautiously. Then he turned around and his penis, as shy as it had been that afternoon, was just timidly waiting.

He climbed up onto the bed and put one knee either side of my hips. He took my left breast in his left hand, and his cock in the other and slowly, patiently, started stroking his hand back and forth. He looked down at my nipple and pinched. I moved my fingers faster.

But just a moment later, a shadow flickered through his smile, then he closed his eyes and started to pull more insistently on his penis. I tried thinking about the times that cock had moved inside me, that I had pushed myself down against him, pushing my clitoris into his thrusting body. But the memories seemed somehow faded right then. They were sallow and waxy.

I wondered what he was thinking about behind his closed eyes. His frustrated wanking went on a few more hard beats, and then, as I stopped rubbing myself, he stopped too. He snapped his eyes open and said, almost breathlessly, urgently,

“I think, can we maybe, let’s try… I don’t know. Something on the TV?”

We had talked about porn before and how I wasn’t really into it, that I knew he watched it when he was alone, and I was cool with that, but when we were together, it all seemed to be too much like bringing another woman into the room. But right now, I went along with it. I wanted to give him what he wanted – but also, right then, the idea appealed to me too. “Maybe we can find something that will turn us both on,” I said.

He opened a porn website on his laptop but then paused. 

“I don’t know what to search for,” he said, “I can’t quite imagine what it is I want to see. I can’t picture it.”

“I don’t really know,” I said, “Maybe just scroll down the front page of videos and when we see what we’re looking for, we’ll know it.”

We scrolled past My Ass, Your Pleasure and Big Tit Step Sister and Fuck and Facial in the Fast Foot Restaurant Toilets. I didn’t like any of it, and he didn’t either. He seemed quite disgusted by it all.

Then a thumbnail picture appeared on the screen. A tall woman, looking straight into the camera, Thin and sleek. She was naked except for thigh-high boots. “That one,” I said.“The one in the crocodile skin boots?” he asked, but then clicked before waiting for my answer.

My clitoris bristled to my touch, alive again in a moment of anticipation. The woman in the video was sitting on a couch, wearing a green and silver dress and her expensive, shiny boots. She was talking to somebody off camera, explaining that she loved facials and anal and fucking two guys at once, that this was going to be her first time fucking on camera.

I kept rubbing and felt my pussy get wet, just wet enough. “How’s it going,” I asked him, and looked his way.

His cock was stiffening but he said “Not yet” and kept rubbing his hand back and forth.

“I want you in me,” I said.

“Not yet. It’s not… it’s not quite right. It’s… it’s better but it’s not enough. This isn’t enough, yet.”

The video played on and I watched the woman tell her unseen inquisitor a faltering, hesitant story, all about the time she lost her virginity to one of her dad’s workmates. I looked at her brightgreen eyes and fierce, sharp boots and rubbed myself until I came. It was at least a little better than what had happened in the shower.

When he heard my breath getting more rapid, then stopping, then returning to normal, he turned round to see that I had cum. It was obvious that this just frustrated him.

“Keep going,” I said, “Don’t stop.” But he let go of his penis, and it was as flaccid as ever.

He slammed the laptop shut, and turned his back to me. I asked him what the problem was. I asked what was on his mind, if he was going off of me.I asked if it was something I had done. I needed to know if it was me that was the problem.

“No, no,” he sobbed, then sat on the edge of the bed.  With tears in his eyes, he tried to explain. “I don’t know what it is. It’s been coming on for weeks.  At first, I thought it was maybe just the news. All of this shit that’s going on. All of the Get Ready for Brexit ads. All of the… the grooming the government’s doing. Trying to win the election.”

But I knew it wasn’t any of that. I was numbing too, and I was hardly thinking about any of those things.

I hadn’t realised at first how physical the problem was. I had started to feel it was more and more difficult to connect to him physically, but it was only then, when I was feeling totally connected to him, as close and intimately tied to him as I had ever been, but still with absolutely no desire at all to fuck him, no need to fix his impotence, or even the will to find it important any longer, that I understood the problem was in the sex, not in our relationship.

“We’re tired,” I said, “We’re exhausted. It’s our bodies, it’s not us.”

“Yeah,” he said, “Except, when you’re fucking, you kind of are your body, you know?”

“That’s why we’re going to rest our bodies. Take time off work, go away. Somewhere restful. Somewhere warm. We’ll just hang out. We’ll reboot.”

“Okay, I could use the rest. And I want that. A week together that’s just you and me.”

We didn’t try to fuck again. We didn’t want to. We just hung out and watched movies. We played videogames, and talked, and we went on walks, and we cooked together. He showed me how to repair punctured tires and I taught him the rules of chess. We had five great weeks, and then we went to the airport. We flew to the Canary Islands, and we found the best place on the beach and made ourselves feel at home. Time to reboot, to forget the frustration and the anger and the bitterness of a sputtering llibido.

And now laying on the beach, in the warmth of the sun, I can feel the absolute beginning of change. I experience it first in my chest, a flush of something strange and alien. Now there’s a flutter in my stomach. Butterflies? I’d say it’s more like the darting, insistent tongue of something thrilling.

I sigh, and it feels good. This is when the vast shapes whistle by overhead, strange and white and brilliant, liquid and massive. They wipe the sky and touch down on the edge of the beach, maybe a quarter mile away.

The foreplay is building to a crescendo.

We walk together, hand in hand, down the beach towards the massive starcraft. A small crowd of us humans, a dozen or so, are gathering together, walking ever closer to the impossible objects.

Then the doors open and they come out to see us.

They walk into the sun and onto the beach. They’re brilliant green. Not much taller than us but lithe and sharp as a whip. My heart skips a beat just to see them, and I feel my man squeezing my hand. I can’t speak for him, but looking at the visitors now, those electric-beautiful gods, all of them calling me towards them in this thrilling, heart-stopping moment, ready to deliver everything they have been patiently, attentively, silently preparing us for, I can only promise you this:

I for one have quite the welcome planned for our new lizard overlords.

Jasmin Tomlins has been making noises with her mouth for 33 years, most recently as a determined vintner on the streets of the Bristol Renaissance Faire and here at Gateways. She is grateful for the opportunity to give voice to these stories, and to receive the meaning that stories give voices.


Gateways: “Move” by Rachel A. Schrock read by Kate Akerboom and John Keefe



TRANSCRIPT: Rachel A. Schrock Bio: Rachel is a Chicago-based writer, actress, comedian, and musician. You can check her out on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, all @Razmatini. This is “Move”

Content Note, please be aware that this story is of a frank, sexual nature and may not be suitable for all audiences.

“Monica let me get Chinese food for the both of us,” I announced as I entered the room– more like a closet, really– that would be my office for the next several hours. “She said you’d like beef and broccoli…?” 

“I mean, if it’s free, then yeah,” Jackson replied. 

I set the bag in front of him and made myself at home. “Your tax dollars at work, ladies and gentlemen! Your contributions provide EPA interns with the MSG and factory-farmed meat they need to fuel their tireless crusade against single-use plastics.” 

“Hey, at least the chopsticks are biodegradable.” Jackson punctuated his point with a wave of a plastic straw. 

“Christ, dude! One: we’re at the most environmentally-conscious office in America– where did you get that? And two: we’re gonna sit here all night on sea turtle duty, and you’re still gonna be part of the problem?” 

Jackson shrugged and sipped on the can of Monster in which he’d deposited the straw. “What’s the fun of sea turtle duty if there are no sea turtles at risk?” 

I shook my head. Honestly, though, I got where he was coming from. After this program was put in place, I drank out of single-use cups for a week, just to spite the VSSCO girl lobby. Plus, it’s not like we could really do anything to protect the environment around here, seeing as the corporations doing the biggest harm have the policymakers by the balls. 

As if he could read my mind, Jacskon added, “It’s not much, but it’s something.” 

“Yeah…” I glanced at the monitor, which recorded the vitals of every sea turtle to ever visit American waters. “You know, when I got into government, my family joked to watch out for lizard people. I never thought I’d be watching out for lizards.” 

“Amphibians.” 

The sharpness in Jackson’s tone surprised me. I stared into my container of food. “Well, either way– I never bought into the lizard people thing, but if they were controlling the government, I don’t think they’d bother with the EPA.” 

I gave him a wry smile as I started in on my lo mein. To my relief, he smiled back, and I couldn’t help but notice the shiver it sent through my core. 

I’d noticed Jackson at orientation. He was tall and lanky– to the point of being almost gangly, even though he should have grown out of it, at his age– but held himself well. His eyes, dark as night, seemed to hold on you for longer than they should. He cracked jokes. He asked you a question, and really listened to your answer. But the thing I liked most was that smile. 

The problem was, I’d never been one to make a move, and even if I were, this seemed like risky territory, being coworkers and all. Besides, I’m not that much of a looker to begin with. 

“What made you want to do this?” Jackson asked, pulling me from my thoughts. “The EPA thing?” 

“I wanted to make a difference, I wanted a cleaner world, all that stuff everyone else says.” I shrugged. “I’m a cliché, I know.” 

“If a cliché helps people, it can’t be all that bad, can it?” 

“I guess not,” I replied. “What about you?” 

“My family expected me to go into government, but… this isn’t exactly what they had in mind.” 

“Oh?” 

“Yeah, they’re more on the legislative side of things. I’m… not.” For a split-second, I thought I could see something flash in his eyes. I brushed it off as a trick of the light. 

“Ah, a black sheep. Another cliché.” 

He laughed, and wow, did it feel good to be the cause of that laugh. 

Just then, the alarm flashed on our screen. 

“Sea Turtle Number 14827 is breathing heavily, heart rate up–” Jackson read. 

“I’ll pull up the feed.” I located the turtle, right off the Florida coast, and– 

“Jesus, you’d think they’d be able to weed these out,” Jackson said, amusement coloring his irritation. 

On our screen, Sea Turtle Number 14827 was boning what looked like a discarded Croc. I clicked away from the feed. 

“Good for him,” I muttered. “At least someone’s getting off…” 

“I’m sorry, I’m gonna need some more details on that, please.” 

I went beet red, slapping my hands over my face. “It’s nothing! I don’t know why I said that!” 

“It sure sounds like nothing.” Those dark, unblinking eyes, full of mirth, studied me. 

“Ha ha.” I crossed my arms. “I don’t get much privacy, that’s all. My roommate and I keep the same hours, and the walls are hella thin.” 

“And I’m supposed to believe you don’t have anyone to… take care of that for you?” 

It was my turn to study him. What could he possibly want from this line of questioning? “No, as a matter of fact, I don’t.” 

“That’s crazy. I mean– I would– um, not to, you know, say anything untoward, but–” 

It was the first time I’d ever seen his confidence slip. And somehow, it was because of me. “Are you saying you’d, um, want to–?” 

“I mean, yeah…” He stood up from his office chair, looking away, as if he was trying to create as much distance as he could between the two of us in this tiny room. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to assume. Forget I said anything. I’m not– you know, I won’t be the friendzone guy, if you don’t want–” 

Perhaps seeing Jackson’s confidence waver was what bolstered me, or maybe I was just a coward who needed to know the outcome before I took the risk. Either way, I made a move. 

His lips were colder than I’d expected, and still tasted like beef and broccoli. But once he realized that we both wanted this, he was all in– one hand in my hair, the other on the small of my back, taking the lead and giving it away just as easily. It was perfect. 

When I broke away, I looked into Jackson’s eyes. He blinked. Then he blinked again. 

With a different set of eyelids. 

“What the fuck?!” I yelped, lurching away. 

“Shit. Fuck. Sorry, I– shit.” Jackson rubbed his face. “It’s okay. Just… Remember when you mentioned the lizard people? We’re real. But I never wanted to be part of that conspiracy. I just wanted to be normal. But I’m not normal. So… I understand if you want to stop, if you’re too freaked out, but it’s– I’m not, like, scaley, or anything. It’s just that and the tongue. I–” 

The tongue?” 

“Oh. Uh.” Jackson unfurled his tongue from his mouth. It was thin and forked like, well, a lizard’s. 

And maybe it was because I hadn’t gotten off in entirely too long, or maybe, deep down, I was still attracted to him– or maybe I was just a sick fuck. But the first thing I thought was: Imagine getting eaten out by that tongue. 

“It’s okay, we can just, uh, go back to the turtles, if you want…” 

I shook my head, took a deep breath, and held his hand. “I think I’ll manage. But I have to ask… Downstairs?” 

Jackson grinned, still a little shy, but his classic confidence starting to surface once again. “Trust me, Beth. Down there, I’m no lizard, all man.” 

It was the worst line I’d ever heard. 

I kissed him again. 

Kate Akerboom is a multi-creative individual living in Chicago. She loves telling stories, especially about the past, and considers it an honor to tell new ones that people come up with. By day, she talks about animals at Shedd aquarium. By night she creates as much as she can. Kate is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay holding degrees in Theatre Performance and History.

John Keefe a Chicago resident originally from John HughesLand (northern suburbs). He has a BA in English from Columbia College Chicago, 15 years of improv experience, and about twelve novel starts on his hardrive. He performs at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in the summers and spends the rest of his creative life writing and performing for Locked Into Vacancy Entertainment, The-Editing-Room.com, and various other content sites, platforms, and literary magazines. By day, he’s the world’s most exciting tax clerk.