Strange Place in Time [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Alyx Shaw
eBook Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Fantasy
eBook Description: Raised in a motorcycle gang, John Arrowsmith has a bad case of wanderlust. He's not sure what drives him, but he knows he has to go, and he has the perfect machine to ride on; the big custom bike he calls Harley. When he and Harley get run off the road and wake up someplace completely unfamiliar, Arrowsmith knows something has gone pretty darned wrong. With a cast of characters that include thieves, Moonhounds, and ogres, John has to find his way through this new world, trying to understand why he's been transported there, and why he's falling for a guy named Infamous. What Arrowsmith finds out surprises him, and might just kill him. Can he survive to find his way home?
eBook Publisher: Torquere Press/Top Shelf, Published: http://www.torquerepress.com, 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: May 2008
This eBook is part of the following series:
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43 Reader Ratings:
clear cut About A Stranger Place in Time Written by Alyx J. Shaw 149 pages / 67000 words ISBN: 978-1-60370-302-4, 1-60370-302-0 Available file types--html, lit, pdf, prc Raised in a motorcycle gang, John Arrowsmith has a bad case of wanderlust. He's not sure what drives him, but he knows he has to go, and he has the perfect machine to ride on; the big custom bike he calls Harley. When he and Harley get run off the road and wake up someplace completely unfamiliar, Arrowsmith knows something has gone pretty darned wrong. With a cast of characters that include thieves, Moonhounds, and ogres, John has to find his way through this new world, trying to understand why he's been transported there, and why he's falling for a guy named Infamous. What Arrowsmith finds out surprises him, and might just kill him. Can he survive to find his way home? jalapeno Review Mychael Black, popular Torquere Press author writes: What's a biker, who--along with his monstrosity of a motorcycle--gets thrown into another world, do? He rolls with it. John Arrowsmith leaves his adopted home, mind and heart set on an unknown quest. He has no idea where he's going or why he has to go there--he just knows he has to go. Atop his lovingly built Harley, he takes off into the mountains. After staying the night in a travel trailer with a kind couple, he starts off again, only to end up careening down the mountainside, victim of a hit-and-run. When he wakes, he swears he's either dead or has a serious head injury. How else can he explain the elves, half-elves, and other bizarre beings that suddenly intrude on his happy-but-weird existence? It's not until he meets a band of unlikely friends living in a mountain cabin, that John starts to feel something akin to familiarity. To make matters stranger, he begins to find himself oddly attracted to one of them, a Master Thief by the dubious nickname of "Infamous". When the itch to move on starts up again, however, John knows he can't stay. With the promise that he'll return, especially to his new lover, he heads off into the sunset. During his travels, he meets a drunken but proud dwarf--Hemas--and together they continue on toward White Palace, the city John feels himself drawn to. What he finds there, however, is only the beginning. This is one of the most awesome fantasy stories I have ever read. I stayed up 'til odd hours of the morning, then jumped back on again to finish. The predicaments John finds himself in are funny, but also intriguing. I was drawn wholeheartedly into his tale and when it was done, well, I admit: I emailed Alyx and begged for book 2! If you like fantasies, then you will absolutely LOVE this one! It has that lighthearted but serious, sweet and comic fairy tale feel to it, while still managing a romance and a plot that leave you clamoring for more. I've been a fan of Alyx's for a while, and this is, by far, her best work yet. Sample Harley didn't say much. John Arrowsmith could tell what the massive, custom-built red and gold motorcycle would say about almost anything without the bother of asking him. However, as Arrowsmith and his motorcycle soared easily down the road, winding their way through the Fraser Canyon, he wondered what the machine was thinking. To his right, sheer grey cliffs rose high above his head, a slightly darker shade of grey than the dimming November sky that threatened to drop rain on him. The walls were jagged, as though chiseled by some disinterested god, counting on rain and wind to smooth his work. To Arrowsmith's left, the Fraser River crashed and writhed within its deep canyon like a muddy brown dragon, reminding him that this was a road to be careful on. A sudden, ice-cold splash of water on his neck told him this was not the time of year to be out on a motorcycle. Another drop hit his fringed black glove, sliding quickly down the glossy leather, and he sighed heavily. He was cold, he was tired, and now it was raining. With his luck, the rain would wash boulders down on top of his head and send him into the river. "What are we doing out here, Harley?" Arrowsmith frequently talked to his bike. He had yet to get an answer. The bike passed through one of the many short, dark tunnels that lined the way to the area of the river known as Hell's Gate. As it left the shelter of the passage, another drop of rain struck Arrowsmith, this time in the eye. He wondered if there was a place ahead to pull off of the road for a while. He'd never been on this road before, and for the life of him he didn't know why he was there now. The rain began in earnest, slashing down like the scratches on a foreign film. Overhead, the sky had further darkened as night approached. Then he noticed a widening of the road, a small gravel parking lot where tourists could stop to take photos of the area. He was shocked to see a huge brown motorhome in the lot as he pulled in. He would have thought it late in the year for tourists. The front of the vehicle showed British Columbia plates. Arrowsmith decided it was probably a family heading to Mexico for the winter. He pulled up next to it, using it as a shield against the rain. He reached down one gloved hand to idly stroke the glossy, rain-soaked gas tank of his bike. Harley wasn't a Harley; at least, he wasn't a purebred. Arrowsmith had built Harley out of a jumble of bike parts, some of which he had designed and put together himself. He was "the biggest fucker you ever saw," as Arrowsmith's adopted father put it. The bike suited Arrowsmith perfectly, a huge, mellow beast that looked like it could climb up the ass of an eighteen-wheeler and chew his way through to the radiator. Big cars that normally ignored bikes respected him. Little cars thought it prudent to stay behind him. Harley could travel down roads motorcycles had no business being on. Brian used to say that Japanese bikes committed hara-kiri in shame at the sight of him. The enormous bike seemed to have his own personality. "Friendly bastard, ain't it?" Smash used to say, when the skinny biker came around to see what his 'nephew' was doing. Harley did seem to be friendly. Worse, he was almost alive, especially with his horse skull mounted over the headlight and wolf skin decorations draped across his back. It wasn't unusual for people to greet the bike as well as the rider. For a few brief years, Arrowsmith and Harley were part of the local color in the town of Courtenay, and they had their photograph taken by more than a few tourists. Arrowsmith would have been shocked to find out most people just wanted a shot of the bike's strikingly beautiful owner. The people Arrowsmith had grown up with were bikers. They had raised him after his mother, a member of their club, had abandoned him at three months of age. They were good folks. But as Arrowsmith thought about them while he sat in the rain, he knew that, right now, they were sitting with the other bikers and wondering what the fuck their weirdo son was up to this time. Arrowsmith thought it was a good question, one he wished he could answer. But he had no explanation. He had built Harley for this nameless trip, though he hadn't known that when he first began work on the bike. He found out last night, when a sudden, overwhelming impulse told him it was time to go. He had packed his belongings into Harley's bags, and this morning he had set out. Now he was wet and cold, and had no idea where he was going. He wished at least Brian and Silver were there. That would have been cool. He thought about the previous evening as he lit a cigarette. "Any asshole can smoke when it's sunny," Smash always said, "but it takes a real hero to smoke in the rain." Arrowsmith agreed with that thought, if 'hero' translated into 'idiot.' He kept trying to get his cigarette going. He had packed his bags before going to bed, Brian and Silver helping, or at least pretending to. They were not glad to be seeing their friend of ten years head out. "When will you be back?" Silver asked in his quiet, ghostly voice, his silver-white mane of hair falling down into his face. Silver's other nicknames were 'Casper' and 'Edgar Winter.' His real name was Ralph. Silver didn't look like a 'Ralph.' Arrowsmith always secretly thought he looked more like an 'Odin' or 'Thor.' The bikers had dubbed him Silver, and frankly, when one ran with bikers, one could end up with worse names. Like his uncle Cockrot. "Not really sure," said Arrowsmith. "I'll be back someday." About the Author
"Holy cornflakes!" exclaimed Fred. "Andrea, get over here and look at this. Where'd you get that bike?"
Harley gleamed in the light, just begging to be appreciated. "I built him," said Arrowsmith.
Fred's eyes were shining. "Man, that thing looks like he'd eat a tractor trailer for breakfast."
Arrowsmith knew where this was heading, and he wasn't surprised when Fred hauled out a camera. He got onto the bike and posed obligingly for the photo. Then he said goodbye to both of them. Fred and Andrea watched as he started the huge bike, slowly turning it towards the road. He paused to look for anything behind himself coming forward, then pulled out of the little lot.
They hadn't heard the car coming over the roar of Harley's engine. Even if they had, there was no way they could have known it was on the wrong side of the road because of the obscuring cliff wall. It was a large, blue vehicle, and it was there so suddenly there was scarcely any time to react. The driver, upon seeing the motorcycle, didn't go back his own lane. Instead he panicked and tried to go around the bike to avoid hitting it.
Arrowsmith saw what he was doing at the last second and managed to avoid him, but he was forced straight into the path of the truck that the blue car had just passed. There was nowhere to go but forward. The truck just grazed the back tire, but it was enough to fling the bike off of the narrow shoulder of the road.
Fred and Andrea watched in horror as the bike vanished over the cliff. They heard the truck scream to a halt, but the blue car kept going. The driver leapt out of his vehicle and ran to the side of the road where the bike had gone off. He stopped and peered down, then looked over his shoulder at the couple.
"Did I hit him?"
Andrea crossed the road to stand by the driver. She could only nod. She looked over the edge, down at the writhing force of the river. There was nothing there. Not a scrap of leather, not a glint of gold.
"He must have gone straight into the river," the man said. "In those clothes with that current, he would have been sucked right down." He stared for a moment longer, then ran back to his truck to call the police.
Arrowsmith saw the river appear beneath him, and knew he was going to die. He had absolutely no say in the matter, and as a result, he felt only an odd curiosity. He wondered if he would know he was dead. Then he closed his eyes.
He struck something, but it wasn't water. It wasn't even cold; it was repulsively warm and extremely thick. It caught him gently, and he felt himself begin to sink into it. He clawed and struggled to get out of the mucus, feeling himself beginning to smother in the goo. An overwhelming panic gripped him as he writhed and fought like a netted fish. It was one thing to die suddenly. It was quite another to slowly choke in this strange matter. There seemed to be no escaping it, no matter how hard he fought. He was just sinking further into it. It filled his nose and throat, strangling him. Gradually his struggles slowed. The world became vague, then all went black.