Excerpt: Blackmoore: A Novel

About the Book

“Within the secluded shelter of evergreens and cliffside that surrounds Bellingham Washington is South Hill, the city’s prominent old money neighborhood; filled with gracious Victorians and manor homes, over looking the fishing port of Fairhaven and the dark waters of Bellingham Bay.


17 year-old Trevor Blackmoore has lived here his entire life, shunned and feared, along with the rest of his clan by the snobbish and superstitious families that surround them; who regard the Blackmoores as the devil’s concubines. As a young clairvoyant dealing not only with the dark secrets of his family but also with his homosexuality; two things which have made him an outsider, he struggles to find normalcy.


Trevor’s life is made extremely difficult by his tormentors and former childhood friends Cheri Hannifin, Greg Sheer, and Christian Vasquez-three school gods of the prestigious Mariner High School.


When Christian suddenly returns to Trevor’s life, full of regret and a sudden need for something more, Trevor is unaware that he is walking into a devilish and dangerous trap concocted by Cheri and Greg, who have more in store for Trevor than simple revenge but a plot to ruin an unsuspecting Christian as well. This act sets off a chain of events that will fulfill the doomed prophecy of the Blackmoore family, who in their mysterious world, lined with voodoo and their dark and complicated Irish roots, are in grave danger.


A century’s old curse comes to an end, releasing an ancient and bloodthirsty evil, set out on destroying the family, and Trevor learns that he is at the center of it; realizing that he is all the stands between this darkness and his family’s survival.”


Excerpt

The sounds of slamming locker doors, painted green and yellow, and the inaudible conversation of teenagers filled the afternoon hall, revelling in the freedom of the weekend. More than a two- day break, it was a chance to escape pre-described rules and dictated behavior. It was a moment when kids could party; it was the marker of rebellion. The time of the week all teenagers waited for in anxious attention: it was finally Friday, and what was more, in two hours it would officially be Friday night.


Trevor Blackmoore made his way in awkward silence, moving between loitering bodies, trying desperately to avoid the snide glares from his peers, praying to make it to his bus before it left the school’s property.


The hall was littered with self-proclaimed Goths decked out in black velvet and leather, painted in gaudy eyeshadow and black lipstick. There were neo-hippies and new-ageists, clad in corduroy and Birkenstocks and smelling of patchouli oil. The butt-rockers in their jeans and band t-shirts, not caring about Pacific Northwest weather, glorifying in their long hair, seemingly stuck in the 1980s, though they were all just beginning to fill out their Huggies and Pampers back then.


All of these groups primarily associated together, taking up a series of round, dirt-brown lunch tables in the cafeteria, protecting and teasing one another, guarding against the socially elite and labeled conformists. Trevor knew which group he belonged to. He was aware of his status at Mariner High School; he knew what crowd took him in with open arms and which ones pushed him into the proverbial wayside, and it wasn’t the elitists. They called him names like fag and butt-rider, not caring that under his skin and beyond his silence there was feeling, raw teenage emotions just as validated and real as theirs — but in truth, why would they need to know that? When they were who they were, and Trevor was who he was. He kept his fair hands tucked in the front pockets of his faded sandblast American Eagle jeans. A studded belt of black leather fit loosely around his waist, and a pair of chunky black and red Pumas on his feet, the laces tied sparingly; his feet shuffling along the floor and scratching on the linoleum, the sound almost deafened entirely by the voices of teenagers.


His body was fit, muscles visible through his small navy polo, a patch reading “GAP” was stitched in red just above the left breast, his jaw well-defined, and a pair of dimples became visible whenever he smiled — and that smile of his was perfection.


A scattering of dim freckles ran across the bridge of his nose and under large hazel eyes, seemingly able to absorb the world and swallow everything in it whole. It was these eyes and sweet face that made him seem too soft. His hair, short and spiked, seemed to have the glow of a halo under the white luminescence of fluorescent light, the dark red still as sheer as it was in childhood. Have to get back to Jonathan. He was so close to the doors, the windows in the middle revealing the weather. It was cloudy, filled with hues of gray, but light from an invisible sun pierced through the clouds, casting bright golden light like showers on the brick of the school and the wet pavement.


The grass was mucky and damp, covering a courtyard hosting a wet and rusted anchor, salvaged from an old fishing boat back in Bellingham’s glorious cannery days.


The last hurdle for Trevor before reaching the outside was making it past the A-listers of Mariner High School, crowded around the locker of Christian Vasquez, the central god of Mariner. He played all of the sports available and won championship after championship for the school; he’d been Homecoming king every year for the past three years, and Trevor knew that if you were allowed to be in the Homecoming court your freshman year, Christian would have won it then too.


Trevor hated passing these people, hated that every time he came into their galaxy his stomach turned, hated how Christian made his palms sweat and his eyes weak, darting this way and that, unable to focus on one thing — hated it, but couldn’t control it.


Christian was gorgeous, one of only two Hispanics at Mariner, standing at a perfect six feet, large almond shaped black eyes contrasting with immaculate mocha flesh, a sheen of barely visible black hairs lining his arms. His lips were dark and like cushions, a patch of black hairs tucked under his bottom lip, trimmed with care, exemplifying his sexual luster.


He looked as if he had stepped right off the cover of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue, a nearly impossible feat for most teenage boys, but here Christian was, being just that. In fact, Abercrombie was pretty much the only thing you could find clothing his body; his sly grin made Trevor’s knees buckle.


There were others as he passed Christian’s throng, all of them looking like models. There was Cheri Hannifin, a perfect size two, standing at five feet six inches, her brown hair wrapped up in a bun, loose strands hanging down selectively in curly tendrils, a set of black chopsticks holding it in place.


Her petite body was clothed in a white dress shirt, the collar large and folded down, resting atop a tight black cardigan, the buttons just reaching to her chest, cupping her breasts. She wore a plaid skirt — the colors charcoal, red, and white — and a pair of black-and-gray diamond patterned knee-high socks, her feet encased in high-heeled Mary Janes, the black of the leather buffed and polished. She was maybe the most vicious person Trevor had ever known, though she hadn’t started out that way.


As he passed them, he watched the popular throng turn and look at him. Christian leaned against his locker, his right foot propped up behind him, a wry smile on his face, revealing perfect white teeth, his black eyes like two pools of dark waters, and it sent chills down Trevor’s spine.


“What are you looking at, fag?” Trevor met with the cold gaze of Cheri’s brown eyes, standing out against perfect milk skin, her black brows thin and plucked, her lids colored in black powder, her lips rouged in a red-brown. It was a color that made Trevor think of dried blood, and her cheeks were lightly pink with blush. But her voice was harsh and like a knife, not soft like one would suspect when looking at her. “Nothing, I’m just going….” He bowed his head and made his way to the doors, the crowd around him in perfect unison, matching their pitches of laughter. Trevor looked behind him, his eyes catching with Christian, a soft smile resting on his face.


He was not laughing; in fact, he never really did, but he still created an unease inside of Trevor Blackmoore, an unease that pushed him to nausea. The school bus was packed with noisy high school students, all of them taking up the seats in the back, forcing Trevor to the front of the bus. He hated the front of the bus, hated it because freshmen sat up there, hated it because it meant less of a chance of sitting on your own, and it meant possibly being spoken to by the bus driver.


The winter air made the stainless steel interior of the bus as cold as ice and the brown vinyl of the seats were almost equally as chilling, forcing Trevor to reach for the black hooded sweatshirt inside of his book bag, pulling it over his head quickly, shivering as soon as his body began to make its transition from cold to warm. He just wanted to get home. As the bus made its way out of the school’s cul-de-sac drive, pulling onto Bill McDonald Parkway, Trevor spied Christian Vasquez, Cheri Hannifin, and others in their group make their way to the parking lots, moving as if they owned the world, and standing out like they were glowing gods, gracing the world with their ethereal light. He lost sight of them as the bus made its way up towards Western, driving by crap-brown portables and the music hall, as well as the usual evergreens, so common to the Pacific Northwest.


He gained sight of them once more pulling out of the parking lot, pissed that they had to let the bus pass by before they could pull out. Christian, Cheri, and another girl were sitting in Christian’s blue Mustang convertible. Despite the cold the top was down, and behind them was the silver Camry of Greg Sheer, another member of the A-list and competitor/friend of Christian. They were friends because they had to be, but truly enemies underneath.


The worst of it for Trevor was that he had grown up with all of them, gone to the same elementary school, the same middle school, and now the same high school as the rest of them. In kindergarten they had all played together, gone to one another’s birthday parties, and played in each other’s yards. That was the world of South Hill, the eldest and most elitist part of Bellingham, where old money families fought to keep their standing against the new money invasion that bought land and built modern mansions in the Cliffside properties of Edgemoore, overlooking Bellingham Bay and parts of Fairhaven.


Fairhaven was the original town, founded by new arrivals, making a profit from their designed fishing port, not officially joining the town of Bellingham until the near end of the nineteenth century, though Bellingham had grown out of this little village.


Overlooking it all were the dominant Victorians, vestiges of what once was, and a perfect postcard of what it was still trying to be. The school bus turned up Knox Street and made its way up the winding hill past the Society for Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers: a building made up of perfectly formed geometric shapes, dominating a grassy knoll, made of a combination of stone and brown siding, the building itself conjuring all sorts of ideas in the deep recesses of a persons fevered imagination.


As Trevor neared his stop, positioned in front of the alley separating his home from the one next door, he could feel a soft murmur, like a mild vibration funneling in his body, stirring his soul and awakening him from his droll day. It pulled him from his lazy slouch and towards the bus door before it had even come to a halt; Jonathan was waiting for him.


“You have a good day!” the bus driver shouted out to him as he stepped off the bus, his feet tapping the wet pavement. The alley before him was long and silent, cast in blue shadow, the sun slowly setting beyond the bay. Its orange, red, and pink light lit the sky ablaze, though the clouds were still prominent, as if waiting for the sun to extinguish before it could take over the city completely and envelop it in its dark-puff arms, preparing to let down a shower of rain or possibly snow.


The soft whisper of his name forced Trevor back into the present. The light of day was fading fast, and his room was becoming darker by the minute, and Jonathan was growing desperate, commanding attention. The curtains were pushed open by male hands, visible in the dark; in fact, all of Jonathan was visible in the dark.


Poking out above the homes down the alley was the triangular arch of a large Queen Anne Victorian with wood siding painted plum, accentuated with powder-pink trim. Two large, red-bricked chimneys were visible, reaching out like a pair of lightning rods, their patches and crevices filled with rich green moss — the same state as every other chimney in coastal Washington. To the right of the lane was his home, its front lined by dominating maples, the yard groomed into perfect green. A dark flagstone path led to a mammoth, two-story federal-style manor, its siding as white as fresh clouds, the multi-frame windows accentuated with royal green shutters. Protecting the rooms from curious onlookers were rich green satin drapes, and the front door was accentuated with a pristine molding. Carved against the wood of the house were two faux pillars, seemingly to hold up an ornate decorative arch, and a set of four topiaries decorated the front of the house. Trevor felt that familiar pull and looked up, his eyes meeting with the second floor’s hall window, directly above the front door. He watched as the curtain parted and spied a faint male form blurring, staring down at him, coming in and out of visibility. Jonathan was calling. Inhaling a deep breath and drinking up the crisp, clean winter air tinged with sea salt from the nearby bay, Trevor closed his eyes for just a moment, extinguishing the thought of school and Christian. Allowing it to pass him as the air passed through his lungs and back out, exhaling through his passages and recycling into the atmosphere. Another tremor. Trevor Blackmoore made his way to the front door, inserting his key into the matching hole on the left, grasping the wrought- iron handle, and stared at his reflection in the window pane. He pushed the door open and stepped inside his home, looking behind him once more, looking upon the grim afternoon before turning and closing the door. He was home. The hall smelled of chrysanthemums and fresh juniper, most likely purchased down at the little garden shop in Fairhaven, a favorite place of his mother’s, who delighted in those brief moments when she could go out into the world and still keep in her seclusion. To his right was the formal living room, filled with sleek French and English furniture, many pieces formed from black leather or satin, sitting atop red and green antique rugs with ornate patterns over aged hardwood floors, the large space permeating with old world sophistication. It was suffocating in its own right.


Just beyond the room’s entrance was a sun room, added to the home in 1920, completed eight months later. This room was the entire length of the home — not a particularly spacious room, but due to its length it could fit as many as thirty people at one time. Its floor was made of flagstone, furniture of white wicker occupying the space. The large drawing room doors that separated this room from the living room were pushed wide open most of the time, only closing when his mother entered into one of her suffocating bouts of depression, forcing herself into such a state that it bordered on catatonic. Many people were afraid of her; not Trevor.


He knew his mother and understood her, understood her suffocation, suffocation brought on by strict religious fervor. She was in a chain of Irish Catholicism, unable to break free from it, though she hadn’t gone to church regularly in years. It seemed to Trevor that even though she was a devoted wife to his jerk of a stepfather, she truly was detached and cold, sometimes even unable to communicate with her own son.


To his left was the media room, filled with relaxed couches, a large television set hidden inside a chest made of cherry-wood, and with the simple press of a remote control the set would rise up from its secret compartment, ready to be viewed. Both of these rooms led to others within the house. To the back of the sitting room was a large office, occupied by his stepfather — though before his arrival it had been his mother’s ball room; in fact, it was constructed as such back in the 1880s.


When his stepfather moved in, the room was changed, truly killing his mother on the inside, but as with most things she kept quiet, opting rather for peace than for selfish banter of wants and haves.


Beyond the media room was a formal dining room dominated by a grand cherry-wood table, the chairs large and ornate, the tabletop itself always decorated with polished china and silver basins. The walls in the rest of the home were striped in red-and- white paper. It was like this even in the sun room, even in the office, but in the dining room the walls were covered in red satin, translucent patterns of moons and planets visible only in light. Just beyond the swinging wood door was a large gourmet kitchen, updated with modern utilities of stainless steel and a large island combination stove, the trash dispenser hidden discreetly within. Before Trevor now was the long narrow hall, paved in hardwood, draped by a long, green rug. Down the hall to his left was the stairwell, facing a narrow bookcase, spiralling its way up to the second floor where Jonathan waited. Trevor spied a wiry shadow move along the top floor, silently beckoning for him. He made his way to this now, though he was brought to a halt by the sudden call of his mother.


“Trevor!” Her voice was smoky and seductive; it was the voice of the great Kathryn Blackmoore. He pulled the doors open.


“Yes?” He found her in there, a Screwdriver held secure in her strong, pale hands — her drink of choice, and her long arms were folded around her thin waist. Her five-foot-nine body was clothed in a sleek, black spaghetti-strapped dress which was tight around her full breasts; a three-tiered pearl necklace rested in her cleavage. Her features were sharp and her eyes as pale blue as humanly possible, looking like ice. Her hair reached to her shoulders, a rich auburn layered by expensive hairdressers. Her entire form breathed sexuality, and this was further complimented by long legs strapped in a pair of Bellemar black stilettos by Michael Kors, spiking the floorboards; this was what made Kathryn Blackmoore Kathryn Blackmoore. “How was your day?” There it was, that voice, sultry and somewhat masculine; Trevor wished he sounded like that.


“Uneventful as usual….” She nodded and smirked, taking another drink from her glass.


“Let’s go out for dinner tonight!”


“Is Tom coming with us?” Kathryn shook her head and made her way towards him, placing her soft hands on his shirt, smoothing it out.


“Tom is in Virginia; he left thirty minutes ago.” He felt the pull within him, felt it as always. “Now, go change; someone’s been expecting you….” He looked at her, startled, but Kathryn Blackmoore only winked. She always knew so much, but how could she know of his friend upstairs? Trevor walked towards the living room, trying to shake off the strangeness of his mother. “And Trevor!”


“Uh-huh?”


“Close the door behind you.” He did.


Trevor bound the wood steps, winding up to the second floor, brushing past the large fern on the landing, hearing the house moan with life.



TWO


The last rays of light pierced through those familiar parted drapes, rich and green, the light like a beam, piercing the air of a particularly dim room, particles of dust visible in the bright intrusion, causing Trevor’s eyes to squint closed, the corners of the lids creased, lines running together. He hated reflecting on the school day, hated having to reflect on the people there — the same people that had played in his backyard all throughout childhood, those same people who now looked down on him and considered him to be nothing more than an infringement on their privileged world. He closed his eyes, ignoring the gentle brush of vibrating air, hot and somewhat moist, caressing his forehead. It was simply Jonathan, his childhood friend, the only one who continued to stay by his side, the only one to truly know Trevor inside and out. Like all things in one’s secret world, everything breathes the air of your own life. He drifted back into dreams: dreams made of memories, dreams of a time when Trevor belonged, dreams made strictly for childhood.



“… Three, two, one, ready or not, here I come!” Little Trevor Blackmoore opened his tiny lids, his delicate lashes fluttering like moths’ wings, adjusting to the bright summer light, standing in his back courtyard, the red flagstone reaching from one end to the other, leaving no room for grass. On the flagstone were two black wrought-iron benches and three sets of black wrought-iron tables, with four chairs each, decorated with tiny white candles inside little glass candle-holders, the Fourth of July party preparing to start.


Kathryn was inside of the house, most likely in the sun room chatting with friends, all of them with drinks in hand, laughing and speaking of adult things while their children played hide-and- seek in the back. Four maple trees reached out strategically in the back, no more than twenty feet in height, and strung about with Chinese lanterns; no doubt someone was hiding behind the trees.


Trevor was determined to catch one person in particular: Christian Vasquez, who always made it to home base, which was the carriage house along the road, now his mother’s secret place, a place that was secured with three padlocks, a place that Trevor had only seen once and could only vaguely remember.


It was a place that had smelled wonderfully and sat illuminated with firelight, a place of plaster eyes, and a place that filled him with fear and peace all at the same time. A strange combination that was often confusing, even now, even though he at this point was intimately aware of the mirrored world, the place of trance- words and things named Jonathan — the most familiar place in all the world.


‘I know where they are…’ he said to Trevor in the secret language of the mind, in the voice that only Trevor could hear, touching him with the flesh that only he could feel.


“Where’s Christian?” Trevor was scanning the courtyard, trying not to look conspicuous, wanting to be as nonchalant as possible, well aware of the danger of people knowing too much of him. He felt that vibratory hand graze his shoulder and grasp his arm, directing it to the appointed area just behind the drapery of Virginia creeper along the thin wood fence, slowly rotting away with erosion and the growing weight of the plant.


‘There….’ Trevor nodded casually and made his way between the trees, running lightly along the flagstone, his little tennis shoes tapping on the brick, seeing the others pop out of hiding. Cheri Hannifin brushed past him in her blue jumper and brown pigtails, giggling inanely to herself. Little Greg Sheer was not far behind, wearing a pair of jean shorts and a black t-shirt with the Batman emblem on the chest, his golden hair bright like the sun, and his blue eyes were not unlike his mother’s: steely and cool. But he could care less about either one of them. Trevor only wanted Christian, and with his specter’s help he was going to get him. The air smelled of the sea and barbequed meat from the back kitchen, as well as from the fire pits in the surrounding yards.


The collective clouds of smoke and the fragrance of charred flesh filled the warm summer air and carried itself on the cool breeze. Trevor crept behind the carriage house. “I found you, I found you!” he called repeatedly, his little index finger pointing at the little Hispanic boy crouched behind the green and rope-like plant.


A little smirk spread across his face, followed by a wink, and then he was off, both boys laughing as Christian made his way to home base, confident in his success and spotless hide-and-seek record. Trevor watched as the vibratory form of Jonathan moved in front of the little boy and stood his spectral ground, pulling energy from Trevor as well as the earth, making himself as firm as possible, causing Christian to run right into his phantom gut, bringing the little boy to a halt and not allowing him to move.


For a brief moment Trevor just stared, fearing that Jonathan would become visible to the others. Normally he looked like nothing more than the heat that vibrates from metal, looking wavy and somewhat like gas, but in this new solidity Trevor feared discovery. He realized rather quickly that no one could see him, so Trevor ran. “You’re it!” Trevor declared, placing his hand on Christian’s shoulder, causing the boy to look at him in brief disappointment, but like all things with children, this disappointment was passing. The four children continued to play, as other kids began to arrive. Trevor’s cousins and fellow classmates from Lowell Elementary arrived, ready to join the existing game or form a new one altogether. Trevor was wary of Jonathan’s presence, knowing that he wasn’t the only one who knew about spirits. In fact, it was a well-known thing in his family, and his cousins had their own strange secrets much like Trevor, but completely individual in their form.


The soft whisper of his name forced Trevor back into the present. The light of day was fading fast, and his room was becoming darker by the minute, and Jonathan was growing desperate, commanding attention. The curtains were pushed open by male hands, visible in the dark; in fact, all of Jonathan was visible in the dark.


Standing at a steady six feet and three inches, dressed in a tweed suit made of shadow, a strong face with prominent cheekbones stared out on the front lawn. Translucent white skin, like well-polished marble, big oval black eyes deep and endless, absorbing all of the light, his dark hair well-groomed, styled much like Trevor’s and making this specter, this familiar, look incredibly beautiful, sharing secret desires with Trevor Blackmoore, desires named sinful by any God-fearing human being. Thankfully Trevor had no fear of God; in fact, God was a foreign concept to Trevor.


‘You need to be dressed for dinner….’ His voice always seemed like a whisper, trailing off, and never with question. That was one of the things Trevor adored about Jonathan.


“I know.” Jonathan nodded and went to Trevor’s closet, pulling it open and removing a crisp white shirt and fine black slacks draped over a wood hanger, laying it before Trevor on his bed. The spirit went to his chest of drawers and pulled out a pair of white briefs and his black dress socks, laying them out atop the shirt and slacks.


Trevor stood and lifted his shirt from off his head, his nipples becoming erect at the moment of Jonathan’s touch, those spectral hands moving along his body, those ghost-lips upon his flesh, slowly moving down his chest, trailing along defined abs and pulling open his jeans. Trevor’s eyes rolled into the back of his head as his exposed body found its way back onto the mattress, indulging in the familiar routine.

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