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Touching Evil

Author(s): Rob Knight

 Greg has a special talent he'd give anything to be rid of. After an accident many years ago that left him in a coma, Greg woke up to find that he could touch things and know what had happened to them. Too bad he can't control the talent enough to keep it from overwhelming him. 

The only good thing his gift has brought him is Artie, an 
overprotective cop with a psychotic cat and a great bedside manner. When a sociopath targets Greg as his new victim will Artie's protection be enough? And can they stop the killer before he ruins their lives forever? 


 Dark. It was dark; how could it be dark already? Unreasonably dark, dark enough that it seemed to cling to his skin like an oil. 

Greg walked forward, bare feet splashing, landing on smooth, slick flooring. He took one reluctant step at a time, hands held in front of him, fingertips stretched back as if recoiling from what they were going to encounter. Nothing he would find here would be good. Nothing could be, covered with this slime of darkness. 

He could hear things, muffled cries and mutters, soft words. 

If he was a stronger man, he would turn, would turn around and run toward the door and the light and the... 


He fought the urge to cry out as his hands brushed a curtain, slick and warm like a shower curtain in a public bathroom, fingers curling into it even as his instinct was to pull away, let go. He wasn't a stronger man. He hadn't been able to fight this then; he couldn't now. He took a breath, breathed in the heaviness, the black, the ink of the air. 

Then he wrenched open the curtain, eyes wide, and stepped into someone's nightmare. 

Hours later, when the dawn was breaking, Greg found himself crumpled on the floor of the bookstore, drenched in sweat even in the chill of a late October night, book clenched in his hands like it was a life preserver. His cry startled him, surprised out of him by the pain of unclenching them. He wouldn't be able to move them tomorrow, the knuckles already red and swollen. It was no easy task – God knew he wasn't twenty anymore – but he unfolded himself and found his glasses before fumbling for the phone on the counter and dialing a number he knew better than his own. He waited until the machine picked up, listening to the laconic voice tell him to leave a message or hang the fuck up, then he left his message. 

''It's me. It's happened again. You know where I am.'' 

Or where he would be in an hour, after he stumbled upstairs to his loft, showered, and changed into something less... atrocious. 

Greg left the book on the floor, among the wrapping and the rest of the mail that had fallen and pulled out his elevator key, listening to the creak and rumble of the old girl. Alice would get whatever was still on the floor when she opened in a few hours, sorting the pamphlets into psychics wanting clients and the latest improvement in herbal supplements that increased libido – trash – and publishers' catalogs – his in-box – and the new tarot samples – display counter. He couldn't care less. 

He wanted the man off his skin, out of his blood. He wanted heat and steam and… 

Oh. Oh, thank God he had a sliding glass door on his shower. 

Thank God. 

He turned the stereo on, Arabic music filling the air and his head, pounding through the empty space, keeping him company as he let the water pour on him. Relax him. Ease him. Home. Safe. Home. 


Be at peace. 

When he got out of the shower, though, he almost jumped out of his skin, tension slamming back into him in a rush. The only reason he didn't was because the brick shit house sitting on his toilet was one he knew. Artie. 

Jesus fuck, the man was quiet. 

''You made good time.'' He grabbed one of his towel and started drying off, sluicing the water off his own skinny-assed limbs. He knew he'd eventually regret giving Artie a key, but... 

Hell, some things were necessary. 

Artie was necessary. 

The baseball cap came off, Artie running his rough fingers through that straw blonde hair, too early to be in work mode, still blinking slow. ''I came ASAP. No traffic. Wanted to make sure you were... Well. Last time I found you on the floor, man.'' 

Artie's shirt was inside out.

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 1-933389-75-5
Genre: GLBT
Date Published: 04/01/2014
Publisher: Torquere Press

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