Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I am an author of dark fiction currently studying Literature at the University of Oslo. Having been raised in England and having attended an international school in Norway, my work often finds inspiration from diverse cultures. I have been writing for circa 3 years, penning various tales that explore the human condition under supernatural circumstances, thus merging the rational and the real with the hidden world of the fantastic and macabre. In the future, I hope to complete my Bachelor's degree back home in England and thereafter pursue a Master's degree in Corporate Communications at the International University in Geneva. This will allow me to use the precise language skills honed through the study of Literature and apply it to a business (and thus a real world) context.
Author Name: Nicolai Due-Gundersen
Book Title: In the Flesh
Genre: Dark Fiction/Horror
Publisher: Muse it Up Publishing
Format: E-book (PDF, Prc (Kindle), E-pub (Sony/NOOK), HTML)
It is the flesh. The warmth of eternal lust...
In the backstreets of his drab city, Alex finds the perfect gift for his girlfriend, who misses her rural home. Invited into a world of staring portraits, he walks away with the cool gaze of a former rancher, forced to move to modernity.
At first, the gift is welcome. Those blue eyes stare out from a world of rural comfort, what Rachel misses and loves. But there is more behind the gaze, so much more, and slowly it spreads, infects their lives, wanting to break free of its painted milieu and into the real world.
The art gallery. So many frozen faces, all staring...
Sheila, the mistress of these paintings, captures the youth of long gone subjects, but for what purpose? Alex returns to her to relinquish his gift’s burden upon his home, his Rachel. And the mistress waits within these walls of paralysed eyes, soft whispers, and gentle murmurs that defy the prison of gilded picture frames. Trapped youth yearns for freedom. But Sheila’s lust knows no bounds.
As Alex and Rachel are pulled into her game, they learn the true secret behind her brush. The secret of the flesh.
The gifts of lust do not come cheap. There is a price, for mistress and subject alike...
As the shop bell rang, Sheila was still thinking of her dream, still trembling. Her eyes found the grey of the outside world, thick stains of morning misery tapping outside her window. Her cold sweat had made her feel so fragile as she’d tossed aside the blanket and, hearing the rain, left the curtains shut. She’d helped herself to a filling breakfast. Warmth and colour had returned to her cheeks. This time, however, the fear did not fade. It remained, buried deep inside her, chewing its way through her stomach, her chest.
“And what does it mean?” she asked in contemplation, trying to calm her heart. “What does a dream without paintings mean?” Her work kept her alive, she knew, kept her going body and soul. But still she trembled. At least the shop bell was ringing.
She breathed a deep gulp of air to calm herself, adjusted the small diamond
around her neck. With that, she walked steadily out of the studio, pulling back the black curtain. She emerged with grace.
Alex turned to face her, his eyes pulling away from a small portrait. He
“The paintings you have,” he asked, somewhat apprehensive, “are they
Sheila put on her warmest gaze.
“No, sir.” Her hand made a sweeping gesture, taking in the works of the room. “These are all by local artists. A few by myself.”
Sheila nodded. “I live for it.”
Alex allowed himself to relax.
“My work is affordable,” she said to ease him further. “Perhaps you could give me an idea of what you’re looking for?”
Her client’s eyes returned to the walls; the paintings.
“I’m not sure what kind of portrait to choose,” he explained. “It’s my girlfriend’s birthday, you see, and she misses home.” His gaze found the blue-skied city once more, and he stepped closer.
The Rural Jungle, the painting declared.
“This one,” he pointed. “May be what I’m looking for. Half countryside, half city.”
Sheila nodded, understanding.
“Your girlfriend comes from a quieter place, doesn’t she?”
“A country gal,” Alex confirmed.
“And she misses home, I presume?”
“Far too much,” he sighed.
She licked her lips, observing his face as it stared at the painting. He was young, no doubt.
Still a boy. Perhaps his girlfriend was as youthful as he...
Alex gazed at the warmth of a cloudless morning. The sun spilled its gold upon a rise of buildings, each one defined by sharp thin lines. Their square windows reflected pleasant light; not a single shadow lurking in their eyes.
“A flawless blend of two worlds,” she declared. Her hand brushed past his as she pointed to the work’s tall figure. “Yet this painting tilts more toward a rural style.” From the vivid spill of colours, deep blue eyes gazed softly at her finger. A figure calling her into the world of the rural jungle. She pulled her hand away.
Alex stared at the eyes of the tall stranger.
“A cowboy,” he grinned. “Brilliant.”
“The cowboy symbolises the rural,” she explained. “The rancher, the farmer forced to move away from his roots.”
She stroked the frame’s edge, smiling as Alex caught her gaze and blushed. Such a young boy. Young and sweet. And his girlfriend misses home.
“Now,” she continued, “there is more.” And her hand swept across the golden sun, how it flowed across the buildings, the city. “The cowboy enters a new world, a rough world, but he brings his home with him. He never forgets his culture, his roots.”
Alex nodded, encouraging her to go on.
“The cowboy adjusts to the city, because his heart remains the same. In the city he may be a factory worker, or an accountant. We don’t know, because his new occupation is not what the painting shows.”
“It shows his true roots,” Alex finished for her. “Who he is and always will be.”
“You’ve hit the point of the work, sir.” Her tone softened, matching the interest she saw in his eyes; the lust she desired to exploit, to have as her own. “A rancher will always be a rancher, you see. Never a comfortable office clerk.”
A small shift in Alex’s gaze. So that was his current occupation.
She stepped back as he gripped the frame on both sides, ready to take his gift home.
“Rachel sure will love this.”
“Oh, sir, I’m sure she will. The perfect cure for a homesick cowgirl.”
Alex laughed at her little joke. “How much do you want for it?”
“A modest sum,” Sheila promised. “Seventy dollars.”
He reached for his wallet.
“Do you want it gift wrapped?”
“No, thanks. I’ll have it up on the wall before she gets home.” He took it down with care.
The sound of thunder softened the eagerness in his voice. “It’s a short walk back to the apartment, but perhaps I could get a cover of some sort?”
Sheila patted him on the shoulder. How she loved to see him blush.
“Of course,” she said, beckoning him to the till. She counted his bills with professional speed and found a plastic case for his gift. His eyes were smiling as she slipped it in.
“Thank you, sir.”
“I’ll drop by some other time,” he promised. “If she’s pleased with this one.”
She nodded with warmth, watching his smile linger as he found the door. It opened and closed in two swift movements.
“Another one gone,” she said to herself. “One gaze less.”
Little creaks emerged from the walls, from the mouth of portraits.
“Quiet!” she seethed. All eyes were upon her, every gaze an interrogation.
She faced their looks. She held her ground. “I got rid of one,” she said, defiant. “In time, I’ll be rid of you all.”
Straightening up, she went to the door and reversed her sign of welcome.
“We are closed for today. One is enough.”
Other works by Mr. Due-gundersen: