The newest Gothika anthology, subtitled Contact, features four stories of alien encounters by me (Jamie Fessenden), Kim Fielding, B.G. Thomas, and a new addition to the list of Gothika authors, F.E. Feeley, Jr.
It’s available for pre-order now at Dreamspinner Press and will be released on October 24th, just in time for Halloween!
My story is called Abducted, and it’s about a man who initially doesn’t believe that his old college roommate is being abducted by aliens… until he is abducted himself!
Abducted – Blurb
One night, Marc receives a frantic call from his friend, Cody. When he arrives at Cody’s isolated farmhouse, Cody is filthy, half-starved, and under the paranoid delusion that aliens are abducting him and implanting things in his body.
Marc agrees to stay one night, as long as his friend will go to the hospital in the morning. But Cody isn’t mentally ill. Aliens have been abducting him, and in the process of trying to stop it from happening again, Marc is abducted himself. But that’s just the beginning of his nightmare.
Marc learns of two alien races at war. To make matters worse, the Alzhen have Marc and the evil Karazhen have Cody. Marc’s only ally is Dalsing, the Alzhen security chief he feels an unexpected attraction to. They’ll have to learn to trust each other if they’re going to rescue Cody… and prevent the creation of a deadly biological weapon.
Abducted — Excerpt:
I walked out into Dalsing’s living quarters and then stopped dead, gaping in awe.
I wasn’t sure what I’d expected. Gleaming chrome and florescent lights, maybe. Or more of the malleable greenish mesh I’d been seeing in other parts of the ship. The last thing I’d expected was a forest. By that, I mean trees. A lot of trees. Though not Earth trees. In the relatively dark space, bioluminescent lines of blue-green and pink highlighted the rough edges of their bark and created swirls around knotholes and the bases of branches. Under my feet, a carpet of moss sparkled with shimmering silver, and glowing orange cones four or five inches high shot up in clusters like mushrooms.
“This is beautiful,” I said, whispering, afraid to disturb the stillness.
“It is my home world.”
I turned to find Dalsing standing behind me, naked again and holding out his robe to me.
“I am sorry,” he continued, “but I was unable to find a robe. You may wear mine, if this isn’t taboo in your culture, or you may look at my other clothing to see if anything else might suit you.”
I took the robe and smirked at him. “Are you sure you don’t get off on running around naked in front of me?”
“Get off?” He seemed genuinely puzzled.
I slipped the robe on and cinched the belt around my waist. “It means to get turned on—become sexually aroused. I’ve known guys who get turned on by being naked in front of other people.”
“Why is that?”
I thought about that for a second. “Well, I suppose it only works in a culture where being naked in front of other people is a rare thing. That doesn’t seem to apply here.”
“If I become sexually aroused,” Dalsing said, taking my hand and leading me deeper into the forest, “you will know. It will be obvious.” This was the first time we’d touched, skin to skin, and his hand was disconcertingly warm.
He was walking sideways, so he could look back at me as he spoke, and I couldn’t help but glance down at his crotch. “Why? Because your… genitals will pop out?”
“Eventually. But before that, my shiri will glow.” He stroked the darkly pigmented spots on his face with his free hand.
“Oh!” I exclaimed. “I remember! Some of the… Alzhen in the lounge were doing that.” I felt my face flush as it occurred to me those people must have been aroused. And they just walked around like that? In public?
But Dalsing laughed and shook his head. “That is just a paste some of us wear on social occasions to mimic arousal. Mostly younger Alzhen. My generation generally considers it… I am uncertain what the word is in your language….”
“Perhaps. You understand my meaning? It is something the young do.”
I couldn’t help but smile at that, imagining all the 150-year-old Alzhens shaking their heads in dismay at the way the younger generation dressed. They probably disapproved of their music too.