The Pit and the Passion

She held her gaze steady, mainly so she could delve deep, deep into those chocolate eyes. Together with his sharp, angular nose and intense, almost predatory, expression, he reminded her of a peregrine falcon on the hunt.

The Pit & the Passion

Friday, June 5, 2015

Lisabet Sarai & Her New Speculative Short Story The Last Amanuensis

Welcome Lisabet, and a special welcome to your new release The Last Amanuensis. Could you tell the readers a little bit about it?

Certainly, and thank you for giving me the opportunity, M. S.

The Last Amanuensis, my recently released short story from Fireborn Publishing, is something of a departure for me. Although Id classify it as erotica—specifically science fiction or speculative erotica—it probably has less actual sex in it than anything else I’ve published. There’s one brief love scene, near the end. Still, a powerful current of desire runs through the entire tale, and despite its somewhat tragic ending, I personally find it deeply arousing.

I originally composed the story for an anthology called “Written on Skin”, focused on tattooing and body modification. Tattoos do play a central role in the plot, but in my story they’re more than just a focus for a fetish. They are, in some sense, a physical manifestation of rebellion, a silent but eloquent expression of freedom. But not in the way you probably think. This story does not fit any of the stereotypes.

When she sent me the marked-up manuscript, my editor at Fireborn told me that The Last Amanuensis made her cry—not (thank heavens!) due to my terrible grammar, but because the story moved her so profoundly. I’ll cherish her comments forever. I can only hope that my other readers will feel the same.  

The Last Amanuensis by Lisabet Sarai
Fireborn Publishing (May 22, 2015)
Speculative erotic fiction
Approx. 5,000 words


Poetry is like bloodyou cant hold it back.

The Emperor has decreed that Reason will rule in his lands. Art and literature are banned in favor of  military technology. The fearsome Preceptors prowl the capitol, arresting anyone who dares, even secretly, to engage  in forbidden activities.

A former teacher and frustrated writer, Adele is grateful for her job as secretary to the enigmatic Professor. During the day, she transcribes his learned  treatises on a vast range of topics. Then  he calls her to his room one night, to give her a more difficult and intimate assignment, one that risks both their lives.

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I saw relatively little of the professor during the week. He spent his days in his basement laboratory, which was strictly forbidden to me, or shut away in his study, presumably filling new notebooks with observations and innovations that I would eventually be required to type. I'd leave my neat stacks of typewritten pages on the table outside his door so as not to disturb him. I worked in the small parlor across the hall and took my meals in the kitchen with the taciturn cook.

On Sundays, however, he and I dined together. After a glass of sherry, his chilly manner thawed a bit. He'd quiz me about the information I'd been transcribing, initially to see if I understood what I'd read, but later to solicit my opinions.

He asked me other questions, too, questions that bordered on improper.

Who is your favorite novelist, Adele?

My heart executed a sudden somersault. Was he trying to entrap me?AhI'm not sure, sir. Of course I haven't read any fiction since His Excellency rose to glory and urged us to abandon such frivolous pursuits.I scanned his face. The deepening creases at the corners of his eyes belied his serious tone.

But you did read, when you were in your teens, did you not? Before the Ascension? A mind as nimble as yours must have devoured everything you encountered.

My fear ebbed, though I remained wary. Meanwhile, his compliment kindled a warm glow in the pit of my stomach.Yes. I did read a lotbefore.His lips twitched and his icy gaze softened, inviting my confidence. I basked in his rare, concerted attention. His interest, the sense that he viewed me as worthy, urged me to recklessness.I used to write, too. Crazy, fantastic stories about impossible quests and eternal love.

The smile I'd heard in his voice finally bloomed.I'm not surprised in the least. Nor am I shocked, Adele. Be reassured of that.To my astonishment, he covered my hand for a moment with his own. His cool, dry palm whispered over the backs of my fingers before withdrawing. Blood heated my cheeks, as if I were still the young girl we were discussing, and a disturbing heaviness grew between my thighs. 

Theyahwere silly things,I stammered.Trash. A waste of mental energy, as the Emperor has said.

But you poured yourself into those tales, I'm sure. They were part of you.Those crystal-blue eyes of his gleamed, luminous behind his glasses.

A new wave of panic swept me. What was going on? I pushed my chair back from the table, eager to excuse myself and end this disturbing conversation.If you'll excuse me, sir, I'll retire now. I've something of a headache.

For an instant I thought he'd stop me. Then his smile fled and his body collapsed into itself, his advanced age suddenly obvious.Very well. I'll see you tomorrow. But tell mewhat happened to those fantastic stories of yours?

My throat constricted around an impending sob. I could scarcely get the words out.

I destroyed them, of course.

My employer regarded me gravely.Right. Of course.

About Lisabet

From my elementary school years, when I devoured everything I could find by Asimov, Heinlein and Bradbury, Ive been drawn to speculative fiction. Now that Im an author myself, I create my own futurescapes. My visions are sometimes bleakbut always illumined by desire.

Contact Lisabet

Twitter Hashtags: #poetry #tattoos #dystopia #erotica


Lisabet Sarai said...

Thanks so much for helping me get the word out!

M. S. Spencer said...

You're welcome! ,M. S.