HE SPEAKS DEAD is a unique take on the whole talkingtothedead idea. Charlie Harrison can not only speak to the dead, but he can make them real. In the past he was exploited by people interested in profiting from his abilities, but now he’s found a quiet life and a wonderful boyfriend named Ethan. And Charlie and Ethan love each other deeply. There’s only one down part of the relationship. Ethan is dead.
Charlie can make Ethan real so they can actually touch each other but doing so drains Charlie. They’ve gotten around the problems by visiting clubs and finding men who pick Charlie up and want to have sex with him. Charlie then helps Ethan possess the men so they can be together.
HE SPEAKS DEAD isn’t a typical ghost story. There aren’t just spirits. There are dark entities called Sedit. These evil shadows have never been alive and hunt the deceased. On occasion they latch on to a living person and slowly drain them of life. Usually the living have nothing to fear. But when Roy Sullivan, a man from Charlie’s past, finds a way to artificially tap into the realm of the dead, he changes the rules. People begin to die.
HE SPEAKS DEAD isn’t just a love story. It’s horror, and mystery, with a heavy dose of sarcasm thanks to Ethan. And once again I did my damndest to break the rules and color outside the lines. Only this time I took it a step farther because one of the characters is dead.
I wrote HE SPEAKS DEAD because I liked the idea of two characters overcoming impossible odds. And what can be more impossible than coming back from the dead?
Being that Halloween is right around the corner, HE SPEAKS DEAD is a great choice to add some spice to the spooky. Get your at Loose ID
I don’t remember much about my life, just bits and pieces, small snapshots, faces, sometimes parts of conversation. I don’t remember any places, any names, not even my own.
But I remember my death.
There isn’t a detail not etched into my mind. Everything from how the pavement burned my cheeks to how my knees ached from falling when I tried to run to the sound of my screams. I died alone, in some back alley, behind some unnamed building, after being destroyed inside and out.
The sky above me was full of stars and the night smelled wet and the air felt damp on my skin. There was no moon, so even with the streetlamps just down the way, twinkling points created a glorious blanket above—like diamonds scattered across a sea of black velvet.
It seemed stargazing should have been the last thing on my mind while I lay there with a knife wound in my chest, drowning in blood. But the pain had dulled, and my limbs had gone numb, and the man who’d killed me had taken off, so there wasn’t really much else to think about.
Some nights the memories ate at me like a cancer, and I’d ache with a longing to know about the world I’d lost, the people I’d left behind. A maddening state of being, never knowing, and knowing you never would.
Apparently it’s like that for the dead. Most of us never get over being taken from the living.
But not tonight.
On nights like tonight the memories were drowned out by the heavy throb of music pouring over the mass of people clogging the club floor. Strobe lights, glow sticks, and bodies slick with sweat churned around me, creating a sea of living forms.
I’d lost sight of Charlie when he headed over to the small, circular booths near the back wall. I moved toward him through the crowd, feeling none of the bodies I passed through. Whether or not any of them felt me, I don’t know. Sometimes the living sensed my presence—a cold chill, a soft touch—but the majority dismissed me as a draft or a figment of their imagination. None of them ever saw me, really saw me.
Not like Charlie. But then, there just weren’t many living like him. I wish I could remember my life, so I would know whether or not my death had been worth meeting him.
I’m willing to bet it was.
I came out on the other side of the crowd and found Charlie standing near a booth next to a dark-haired man. The man was average height, average build, but his eyes were something dark—brown, gray. According to Charlie mine are green. Being dead meant I couldn’t see my reflection, or touch, taste, or smell anything anymore. Those were gifts only bestowed on the living.
Charlie always picked ones who looked as much like me as possible. Knowing his reasons warmed my heart and made me feel sad.
Charlie’s smile widened when I floated up behind the man. Dark Hair was already pawing his way into Charlie’s clothes. It was hard for me to believe how shy Charlie had been when we first started this. He was still hesitant most the time, because he saw himself as an awkward young man. Charlie had been a late bloomer. I’d watched him change over the past eight years, going from a knobby-kneed twenty-year-old who looked like a teenager to a lithe-bodied man who belonged in a Calvin Klein ad.
Okay, maybe not a Calvin Klein ad, but he was definitely hot.
The men in the bars thought so too. He never had a problem finding one. I think it’s what convinced him I wasn’t just telling him what every guy wants to hear. Charlie knew I loved him either way, so I think he just chalked up my compliments to him owning my heart.
I watched Dark Hair in his desperate attempts to relieve Charlie of his clothing. There was no reason for me to be jealous. I mean, being willing was really the only rule I had about doing this. Not the part about willing to be possessed—because it wasn’t like we could get permission first—but the sex. Even though I would be in control, the man would still have memories, hazy, but still there. The thought of making someone do anything they didn’t want to just didn’t sit well with me. Not all dead felt that way. Good thing taking over the living isn’t something the dead can do whenever we please. No, we need a conduit, a medium, a person who lingers between the living and the dead.
Someone like Charlie.
There are entities who can possess without a conduit. We—meaning the dead—referred to them as sedit.
Dark Hair slipped a hand into Charlie’s hair and pulled him closer. Their mouths met, and they exchanged a sloppy kiss. Charlie’s gaze stayed locked on me while he kissed back. Deep. Probing. As if drinking this man down would bring me back to life.
I didn’t even try to pretend how it made me feel. Hungry. Starving. Yearning for the touch of the world. I could experience those things through Charlie, when I was a part of him, sharing his body, or when he breathed life into me. I didn’t know what else to call what he did, and as far as I knew, no one else could do it. Sure there were mediums, and there were channelers—rare gifts, but real nonetheless.
But Charlie could make me real. He could make anything dead real by somehow extending what made him alive and sharing it. Charlie is careful about letting anyone know what he can do, dead or alive. The dead already bother him enough—if they knew he could bring them from beyond, they’d never leave him alone.
Charlie pulled away, and both of them were panting. He touched the other man’s cheek, swept his thumb over the man’s lips.
Dark Hair tried to kiss him again, but Charlie turned his head. “Let’s go to the back.”
The fire in Dark Hair’s eyes practically blazed as he followed Charlie out. I’m sure he thought the smoldering look Charlie threw over his shoulder was meant for him, but I knew it was meant for me.
While they jostled their way past dancing people, I followed close behind. Not too close. I had to be careful about touching Charlie, or I could tap him.
I’m not sure if his ability was how I found him or if our meeting had been some divine intervention—if you believe in divine intervention. All I know is when I drew my last breath, I saw him. A glowing point in the darkness. One moment there had been nothing, then the next I found myself next to two EMS people shocking Charlie back to life.
Not exactly the most romantic way to meet the man of your dreams, but I’m not going to complain.