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Death comes for us all.

Keep her as your friend.

 Read "La Santisima"

What's New:

Miserere is now available at Audible.

My short story "Naked the Night Sings" is only one of the many fine stories in the urban fantasy anthology Manifesto: UF, edited by Tim Marquitz and Tyson Mauermann, Angelic Knight Press, 2013.


"Filled with show me now and tell me later prose, [Miserere] was one of the finest debuts of 2011 and remains a novel that I remember details from nearly three years later." Justin Landon, Tor.com

Download an excerpt of Miserere here

« Gender Bending Entry #7 The Hated by A.K. Reid | Main | Gender Bending Entry #5 by S.A. Daniels »

Gender Bending Entry #6 by Kyle Schuler

The Gender Bending continues with Kyle Schuler. Here is how it works:

Several authors submitted pieces they had lying around. I asked only that they choose something that would not easily be identified with their writing style. Fans can easily pick up on an author's voice, and since several of the authors are very well known, I didn't want people recognizing specific writing styles.

When an author didn't have pre-written piece, they wrote a piece just for this blog, primarily because we knew that once it hit the interwebs, it would become a freebie for everyone.

We took a brief hiatus for the holidays; however, I'm back now and will be running posts until we reach the end of the contest. Please keep your comments focused on the question at hand.

As always, please don't break my website.

Here we go ...

READ THIS FIRST: The rules and the prizes. Your mission: comment on whether you believe the author of this excerpt is male or female.

Untitled by Kyle Schuler

She wouldn’t look at me.

Standing there, lost in the trees, all I want her to do is give me one sign…just one.  If she so much as whispered my name, or glanced at me, I’d be there.  If she said, kill…I’d storm that fucking fortress and everybody inside it would be dead in a moment.

But all she did was sit there, huddling behind that big-ass tiger and clutching a borrowed coat around her narrow shoulders.  It was dark out but not dark enough.  I could see every bruise on her and I wanted to break something. 

If somebody breathed too loud, she flinched and I couldn’t stand it.

This was the mean, ball-busting little bitch who’d once pulled a blade on me.  When she was afraid, she kicked people in the teeth.  When she was nervous, she mouthed off.  And if she was pissed, you better check her hands for sharp objects.

And now…

Screams raged inside my head and I turned away.  No matter how many times, I tried to block it out, I kept seeing her as she came tearing out of the big pile of stone behind us.  I’d thought…

No, man.  Don’t go thinking.

If I started thinking, I was going to remember what she’d almost done.  What she might still do if she thought she had a chance.

And if I kept looking at her, I thought maybe I was going to be the one to lose my mind.  I couldn’t do this. But I couldn’t walk away from this place, either.  Shifting my attention to the fortress in the mountains, I flexed one hand, felt the monster inside me roaring, trying to come to the surface.  He was a mean-ass bastard even under the best circumstances.  And when another broken gasp came to me on the wind, I had to admit…these weren’t the best circumstances.

She wouldn’t look at me.  Wouldn’t let me get near her and any time I tried, she backed away like she thought I might hurt her.  The bitch of it all…I even understood that.  If I didn’t do something, I was going to explode.  The monster raging inside me saw to that.

I didn’t bother stripping out of my clothes as I slid off into the night.  The shift took care of them.  They fell in shreds around me and I paid about as much attention to them as I did to the snow blasting again my skin.  I knew it was there, but I didn’t fucking care.

There were only two things that mattered—one of them was behind me…and she didn’t want to see me.

The other was in that huge mausoleum of a house and as soon as he came out, I didn’t care if he was under guard or not, I was going to rip him apart.  I’d bury my claws in his gut and then rip him apart.  I could already smell the acrid, rotting stink of his blood and the burn of anticipation was the only thing that had made me feel good since this nightmare had started.

Hiding myself in the shadows, I looked back at her.  She huddled against the tiger and I whispered, “I’m so damn sorry.”

But it didn’t matter.  I hadn’t protected her.  The one thing I’d promise her and I’d failed.

No wonder she didn’t want to look at me.

I didn’t think I’d ever be able to face myself again, not after this.

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Reader Comments (83)

My guess here is that the author is male.
Just an intuition, no clue or valid reason to support this guess.
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmmanuel Sanya
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGhryswald
I've gone back and forth with this one! Going to say Male.
Lynn :D
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLynn
Female is my guess.
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMC
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterA J Winter
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDominick Swennen
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Auffrey
Narrator is male but my guess is female author.
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMerc
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarolC
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRavyn
Guessing female
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKarmin
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjanetl
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCD Covington
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercarlam..
I'm going to go with female... though I've gone back and forth on it a few times.

I really like this style, it's very clean and evocative... looking forward to finding out who it is so I can read more by them. And one of the things I like about it is that I can't easily guess the writer's gender. It just feels like a very strong woman's POV, using the male pronoun.
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGryphon
I'm thinking this one's male for sure.
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAsh
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCyndi
Male. It sounds dumb, but the casual swearing did it for me.
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Douton
I'm guessing male because of the way the narrator curses. Biased much?
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJuniper
I'd guess female...
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterperiklis begzos
This one feels really male, but since I'm paranoid, I'm going to say it's a Female who's really good at writing males.
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterProtected
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Smith
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAtrus
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren D.
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDimSkip
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
Definitely male.
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie
I'm going to say male, but I went back and forth on this.
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternumberdance
Maybe, I say Male.
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLonnie
Very unsure about this one. I've seen men and women write with a style like this, trying to overdo the toughness but sounding silly because they don't get what tough really sounds like. If I have to guess, I'd say female.
December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShelly
I feel like tossing a coin to make my decision for me since my mind is just too paranoid to simply say it's one or the other. I'm going with male. I think I'm bias since I'm judging by the toughness of the character. Does that make sense?
December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie B.
December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCindy Callens
December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina Vourvoulias
Male. Just guessing...
December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeriklis Begzos
December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterO'Malley
Something just strikes me as written by a female.
December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKris J.
December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisaC
December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie
I will say male. Somehow it sounded familiar.
December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Dionne
December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJo in OKC
December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret
December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSL Hass
December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie
December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Weimer (@princejvstin)
December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlethea
December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMieneke
December 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermarciepooh
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