Intimate Journeys

by S.S. Hampton, Sr.

Rose Cliffs
Archaeologists accidentally set free survivors of an ancient race, who require sexual sacrifices to bring back more of their kind.

The Christmas Queen
A young man returning home for Christmas encounters a legendary succubus who wants him for her lover.

No. 55 Cherry Apple Court
Believe it or not, sometimes within a gated community there are worse things than a home owners association.

The Whisper of Ereshkigal
An immortal Sumerian in love with a human woman is finally discovered by pursuing goddesses determined to take him to the underworld.

A frustrated incubus has a young woman cornered in a small country church, and he attempts to entice her to leave her sanctuary.

Galleria Millennia
An unusual group of female artist-collectors descend on a city at the edge of the Rocky Mountains before Y2K.

The Samar Café
On the eve of joining his combat ship during an interstellar war, a young sailor spends the night with a prostitute, with surprising results.

A Harsh Lesson
A female military officer dons a haunted Waffen SS jacket and attends a costume party, where she intends to kill a Senator.

Aztec Ridge
An Aztec goddess claims a lover from the same family line every 52 years, and now it is time for her to take a new lover.

Dawn at Khabari Crossing
As the US combat role in Iraq ends, a middle-aged soldier faces the uncertainty of demobilization and returning to Ground Zero of the Great Recession.

Beween Flagstaff and Gallup
They say curiosity killed the cat, but what happens if it didn't, and the cat is still alive?

The Ledger
A married sutler, unhappily retired and in ill health, remembers the example of the love of a young 7th Cavalry trooper for an Irish laundress.

Grandpa's Bon Qui Qui
While deployed to Afghanistan, an older soldier in a May/December relationship must decide if the young woman really loves him, and if he really loves her.


Rose Cliffs


“I’ll be damned,” Kyle Newcomb whispered in wide-eyed surprise when he emerged from his tent for his usual after-dinner pipe. He was so surprised that he almost dropped the mammoth ivory figurine that he intended to examine later in the laboratory tent. The figurine, badly weathered and damaged, was that of a woman straddling a reclining man.

He stared at the night sky in which danced silent, rippling greenish curtains of the aurora borealis; bright red aurora burst among the greenish curtains that danced across the distant mountains and the sharply contoured sand dunes. The deep night was a pale shadow of itself and the twinkling stars were overwhelmed by the colorful display overhead. The campfires, the lanterns, and the tents all had a greenish sheen about them punctuated with tinges of red.

It wasn’t that Kyle had never seen the aurora borealis, for he hadn’t, but to see those haunted, mysterious lights in the Taklamakan Desert of Xinjiang Province in far western China, north of Tibet, was unheard of. He looked the small camp to see who else shared the strange beauty, but he was alone. He decided against calling people out of their tents so that he could savor the strange show alone. He lit his pipe and trudged to the top of a nearby sand dune so that he could see the lights and the surrounding land better.

Kyle sat down on the crest of the sand dune and watched with awe the silent billowing green sheets with bright bursts of red that slowly dimmed. He gazed with pride and excitement at a partially excavated rocky dolmen in the greenish shadow of a low dune on the other side of the camp that the archaeological team had uncovered the previous season.

More than one dolmen in which 3,000 year old European, or Celtic, bodies with reddish-blond hair were interred, was discovered in that portion of the desert north of the fabled Silk Road in recent years. But this was his dolmen.

A circle of roughly hewn huge stones topped by equally huge horizontal stones, capstones, formed the dolmen, or burial mound; an outer ring of standing stones similar to those in Britain and Ireland had been found 50 feet from the dolmen. The roof of the dolmen, built of timber, rock, and sand, had collapsed at some point in the distant past.

Radar soundings revealed a pair of human forms on possible platforms of timber and rock. Other images might be swords, shields, pottery, and even the remains of a wooden cart. Perhaps one of the figures might be a mummified woman whose beauty would rival that of the legendary Beauty of Loulan, a 4,000 year old mummy discovered years before in the Tarim Basin of the Taklamakan Desert. The broad faced Beauty with prominent cheekbones was thought to be among the ancient Europeans who most likely created the legendary Silk Road that connected Europe and China.

But enough of the interior had been excavated, including revealing the finely carved figurine, to show that his dolmen might be one of the richest finds in the Taklamakan Desert. Only time, and careful excavation, would reveal the total richness of his dolmen.

Kyle chuckled silently as he considered the night lit by the silent aurora, the barely exposed dolmen across from him, and the primeval timelessness of the surrounding desert. Everything seemed perfect, felt perfect. Perfection was reinforced by the Uighur name, Taklamakan, which meant “You come in and you never come out.”


S.S. Hampton, Sr. - "Intimate Journeys"


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