Nathan Crosby has a gambling addiction that cost him almost everything he owns. When he tries to run out on newcomer Leroy in a backroom poker game, his troubles escalate. Leroy is not what he appears to be, nor does he have any intention of letting Nathan off the hook. On the contrary, he has an extremely interesting way of obtaining all he is owed.
Unfortunately for Nathan, the payment will be far larger than the initial debt. He will be marked by every lie he has ever told, and the punishment won’t end there -- he is forced to join a circus peopled with others who have crossed Leroy.
It isn’t all bad, though. He’s introduced to Karl, the circus strongman, whose caravan he shares, and the two develop strong feelings for one another. But is the love of a good man enough to soothe the agony Nathan must endure as part of his punishment? Is there an escape from his bizarre new life? And, if there is an end, will Karl be there with him to enjoy it?
“Leroy! What are you doing?”
“Thought you’d do a runner, huh? Thought old Leroy wasn’t onto you before you you’d even spoken that heap of shit you fed me in there?” He pushed his fist harder against the bottom of Nathan’s jaw. “Your lies are about to catch up with you, fucker. You’re coming with me.”
Accompanying the flood of adrenalin that swamped his body, speeding his heartbeat and filling his veins with terror, was a spreading warmth between his legs.
“Wh-where are you t-t-taking me?”
Leroy glanced at him and for a moment Nathan could have sworn he saw flames in the man’s eyes.
“We’re already here,” Leroy replied as he slunk back into the shadows.
Without understanding how it was possible Nathan realised he’d been transported away from the alley. Gone was the music and raised voices of Northbridge. Gone was the stench of stale piss and overfull restaurant rubbish bins. In their place was a faint light that illuminated him like a museum piece, though there was no hint of its source. If there were walls, they were hidden in the shadows.
He took the decision to explore further though even before his brain had sent the signal to his feet Leroy was in front him. But it was a different Leroy, a Leroy with just enough of his old features remaining for Nathan to recognise him. The new Leroy was naked, his body resplendent in its musculature and in the network of veins pressed between those toned fibres and the bronzed skin that covered them. His skull was elongated, extending further back than the average human skull. Both ears had become no more than holes in the side of his head, protected by what appeared to be a tiny horn that sprouted from the top of the jaw on each side and curved backwards over the tiny openings. There were two more substantial horns on either side of his skull near the top that grew back, parallel to the skull, in a slight arc. His mouth and nose had combined to form a type of snout and when Leroy snarled Nathan caught sight of row after row of tiny, pointed teeth.
But the most eye-catching feature of this new version of Leroy was the double phalluses that hung swinging from between his legs. Both appeared semi-engorged and even now were dribbling black threads of glistening pre-ejaculate.
“Surprised?” asked Leroy, sniffing around Nathan as an animal would when deciding whether or not to eat something.
Nathan caught a whiff of the beast’s breath and almost choked.
“Something the matter?” asked Leroy, his facial features wrinkling into an expression of curiosity.
Nathan shook his head.
Leroy smiled, allowing Nathan the chance to inspect the teeth-filled cavern of his mouth more closely.
“What are we going to do with you?” Leroy asked.
“Let me go,” replied Nathan hopefully.
“It was a rhetorical question,” snapped Leroy. “I already know what I’m going to do with you.”
Nathan licked his lips and swallowed.
“Who are you? What are you going to do with me?”
The creature that had once been Leroy snickered.
“I’m someone you should never have crossed. As to what I’m going to do to you ...”
He stepped behind Nathan and clamped the palm of his hand to the top of Nathan’s head. At the point where flesh met flesh, Leroy’s nails extended into talons that hooked into Nathan’s scalp, locking the two men together.
“Since you’re so fond of telling stories, so fond of those fantasies that little brain of yours is constantly manufacturing for gain and pleasure, I suggest we get them all out in the open.”
From the darkness there was a scuffing sound, like dozens of tiny feet hurrying towards him. Nathan’s blood froze. His eyes darted backwards and forwards across the shadows for the first sign of movement. His wait was not a long one.