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Mirrored Madness

by J. Hali Steele

Mirrored Madness - J. Hali Steele
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 1.99
Pages: 57

Dyson Gato has no desire to change a single thing about himself. Satan has many demons but there is only one Gato and he regals in his status of being called upon to deliver God’s crippled or disfigured to Hell when they botch their own suicides. They garner no pity from him. God doesn’t care their pain is deeply etched as a result of being tormented every day of their sad lives. Why should Dyson?

Dyson has an added advantage—he possesses wonderfully handy supernatural powers. He has a job to do and he isn’t one to shirk responsibility. Until he meets Reno Vaughn. Understanding the man, his drive to live regardless of his deformity, becomes a challenge, one Dyson determines to defeat so he can transport Reno through Hell’s gateway.

Contains: #deformity, #demon, #gay, #horror, #murder, #psychological, #religerotica, #shortstory, #violence

This book is on:
  • 1 To Be Read list
Publisher: Independently Published
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: Ageless/Immortal
Protagonist 2 Age: 36-45
Tropes: Antihero
Word Count: 15000
Setting: USA, Pennsylvania, Coatesville, Philadelphia
Languages Available: English

Dyson had not crossed paths with a human owning such strong desire to exist in nearly a century. There was Toulouse for whom they even named a disease. The artist displayed beauty from his soul in paintings yet snobs of the period looked down on him because of deformity. “Mm, the meals I enjoyed at his side.” Had they allowed Toulouse into a piece of their lives they would have experienced exquisiteness in colorful panoramas. Much like Reno, except in physical size, Toulouse wouldn’t let Dyson help him into Hell either. Goodness sakes, look what materialized—he died of syphilis. Dyson shuddered.


Reno Vaughn wanted to live and he had no special talent like painting or music to absorb or keep him anchored. Why a thirst for life? Walking was a chore with the shortened leg and club foot. Subsisted on disability but still chose to work a few days a week. What caused venturing out in his condition since he didn’t have to? Dyson couldn’t wait to spend time with Reno, look into his mind, his soul. Discover motivation to continue existing in gloom.

As the demon who helped abnormal people wishing to die, Dyson crossed paths of many in much less dire straits who, daily, shirked dragging themselves from bed. They prayed for death and often took steps to bring it about. Many failed which embroiled Dyson in dreary existences. He came upon one such poor soul who purchased a syringe full of a concoction from a sycophantic drifter who promised injecting the liquid would kill him. Two hundred dollars later, man found himself head first in the commode vomiting his guts out. Death came but without Dyson, it would have taken days. That man reached Hell’s gate the next afternoon though Dyson wanted to study him more. Ascertain reason or reasons for giving his last penny to a man he didn’t know, and as a grifter living in the streets, the drug dealer was in worse straits than the fellow wishing for death. He, at least, died with a roof over his head.

Returning to the warehouse district, Dyson picked up the scent of the one he sought. Whisking on a fine blue suit in place of tee shirt, slacks, and his cloak, he located him in a school bathroom bullying a smaller student out of his allowance. Dyson gripped him behind the neck, hauled him through atmosphere back to the place he kicked the unfortunate animal. Could have ended his life immediately but didn’t feel right bringing death onto school grounds.

Slamming him against the building, Dyson queried, “Do you remember this place?”

“Dude, my dad is a cop and he’s going to shoot your fucking…”

Thwack! “Such language.” His large hand print stained the rowdy kid’s face. Using kid was being kind as the stupid ass neared nineteen and if he didn’t graduate, would not be allowed to return to regular schoolroom classes. Held back not one, but two years, had his father not exhibited some measure of sternness, man would have already been incarcerated. “I don’t like your voice; therefore, succinct answers will serve you better. Well, at least I won’t make you suffer overly much.”

“I don’t know…succinct? What do you want?”

“For Heaven’s sake.” Dyson placed his hand over the man’s heart. Ripping it from its puffed-out frame would be easy. Criminal would sink to dirty pavement never knowing he died until hellfire licked his balls. “You’ve never heard the word succinct?”

“No, I, my teacher, it’s because I hit my head.”

“How long ago did that bump on the noggin occur that you’ve never heard or used a word that’s not difficult?”

“Today, I was thrown…hey, you’re the guy who tossed me onto the tracks?”

“Ahh, memory returns. Recall the dog?”

“Dog? You tried to kill me, asshole.”

“Succinct answers.” Dyson knocked his head against stone. “The little dog?”

“I, I didn’t want to hurt him.”

“But you did when you kicked him. Weak, broken spirited, he could barely walk.” Spiraled talons drove slowly into skin. “His only want was food.”

“Ow, ow, Jesus. I’m sorry. I left the dog alone and I…I made my friends call an ambulance for the guy who helped me.”

Dyson’s fingers came to a standstill.

He narrowed eyes drilling a look into the man, searched a mental path full of nonsensical information until he found truth. “No!” Honesty set a little apart from a grain of goodness smaller than a mustard seed. Dyson visualized the kernel taking root, growing inside the culprit’s soul. Hazel eyes brightened, a ridiculous grin curled lips. Dyson’s job here was done. Couldn’t kill him now. “That puppy will find its way to your door tonight. You’re going to raise him to be a healthy, wonderful companion.”

“I always wanted my own dog.”

“Well, aren’t you the lucky one.” He drew a cross over the scar on the man’s chest and watched skin knit together. Running fingers of his right hand along the man’s cheek, Dyson’s handprint vanished. “Stop bullying and learn to use succinct in a sentence. We good?”

“Yeah…yes, I swear.”

“Awesome.” He nudged, “Hurry along.”

Dyson pressed against brick edifice. Positive about the man’s future, something transpired to change destiny? Who did it? He’d have to talk to the Fates regarding this predicament.

First, a hospital visit.

Were his quarry a whole man, Dyson couldn’t have him. Well, Reno wasn’t on his map anyway but if he could convince him to let go of life, no harm, no foul. Heads turned as he strode down an antiseptic smelling hallway toward Reno’s room. Reno, I’m sorry about your leg. Without deformity, Reno would be out of reach and that displeased Dyson who thudded against a wall. What, whatI wish him to be whole!

Oh, yes, someone tinkered in his domain.


Contains: #deformity, #demon, #gay, #horror, #murder, #psychological, #religerotica, #shortstory, #violence

On page violence and murder, discussion of suicide

About the Author

J. Hali Steele wishes she could grow fur, wings, or fangs, so she can stay warm, fly, or just plain bite the crap out of... Well, she can't do those things but she wishes she could! Multi-published author of Romance including Contemporary, LGBTQ, Paranormal, and ReligErotica stories where humans, vampyres, shapeshifters and angels often collide—they collide a lot! When J. Hali's not writing or reading, she can be found snuggled in front of the TV with a cat in her lap, and a cup of coffee.

My Quotes:

Growl and roar—it's okay to let the beast out. – J. Hali Steele

Death is overrated as punishment. – J. Hali Steele (from The Descendants)

Life is complicated, it’s loud, death arrives silently. – J. Hali Steele (from Twice the Burn)