One man's search for companionship, in a world obsessed with sex.
Fenton was born in a remote village during a raging storm. Bad omens surround his birth. He grows up alone, understanding from an early age that he is not the same as the other children. He does not fit in.
Then he meets Alec; another young man who doesn't belong. Hope, loss and banishment ensue as they try to carve a life for themselves in a world that forbids their love. But is love ever enough, or will Alec always want more?
Kali understands. Kali knows that there is only one true desire in this world: the desire for blood. Kali offers Fenton something that he has been searching for his entire life: perfect companionship, and complete understanding. But can Kali really give Fenton what he needs, or is he just like all the others?
Fenton sat on the hillside watching the other children playing in the long grass of the field below him. The light breeze carried the sound of their shouting and laughter to his sharp ears and he sighed heavily, folding his arms across his knees and resting his chin on his hands. He watched the other boys playing rough and tumble, chasing the girls who shrieked wildly when they were caught, but always ran back to the game, never seeming to mind.
Fenton didn’t understand their games. He’d tried to join in, but the girls didn’t laugh and slap him teasingly when he caught them, they just stared, disappointed, like he’d done something wrong; like he’d missed the point. He didn’t know what it was that he was supposed to do, but he knew that somehow, he’d failed. He had an idea how boys and girls were supposed to interact with each other: he’d seen four of his siblings grow up and get married, after all: but he was never sure what he was supposed to feel, and he suspected that the others knew it.
He started as a girl ran up from behind him and threw herself down on the grass. “Why aren’t you playing?” She asked curiously.
“Don’t you like me or something?” She smiled at him flirtatiously.
“What’s the game?” He asked, noncommittally.
“Catch and chase, of course. Don’t tell me you don’t know how to play?”
“What do I do if I catch you?”
“You win,” she answered simply.
“But what do I win?”
“I don’t know,” she squirmed. “You get to catch me, that’s all.”
“Is that a good thing?” He looked at her anxiously.
Her face fell. “You’re horrible, do you know that?” She stood, angrily brushing the dried grass from her skirts. “You’re so mean, Fenton, and I was trying to be nice to you.”
“I’m sorry,” he stammered, standing. “I didn’t mean to make you upset.”
He watched her storming back down the hill in dismay. He saw her speaking with the other children, saw them looking up at him and jeering. His face burnt with shame. Why didn’t he understand? What had he done wrong? He turned and ran back across the hill to the low, thatched croft. He saw his mother tilling the meagre vegetable patch outside and he flew to her, wrapping his arms tightly around her stout waist, burying his head in her bosom. She held him close, stroking his hair and shushing him gently.
“You spoil that boy,” his father growled as he passed, giving Fenton a clip round the ear for good measure. “He’s too old for you to keep mollycoddling him.”
“He’s right,” she told him as his father went inside. “Go,” she pushed him gently, “go and play with your friends.” She smiled encouragingly.
Fenton sighed inwardly and made his way back over the hill. He curled up in the entrance of an abandoned foxhole, confident that no-one would find him there. He exhaled raggedly, fighting the tears that pricked at the back of his eyes, making them sting. He didn’t want to cry - he didn’t understand why he was - but the deep sobs soon overtook him, rocking his small body as he wept bitterly.