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The Machinist


Out of Print

In a nightmare world where the things in the dark are large and hungry and humanity has been driven back to the tribal and savage, a man like Avery Belfour is an asset. Avery is a machinist, one of the few left with the knowledge to keep mechanical devices—in particular, guns—in working order. But being in such high demand comes with a price: Avery is kept as a prisoner under lock and key.

When a rival colony raids the compound Avery is kept in and breaks him out, Avery has a brief hope that his incarceration is over. But it turns out that his saviors have just as much need for his services and are just as unlikely to give him the chance to say no. He is dragged away to meet the dark and deadly Harrow, the leader of this new colony. Harrow is a hard man, made so by his circumstances, but Avery wants his freedom, and is willing to do anything to secure it.

Gunfire pulled Avery from a doze. He shifted, sitting up as best as he could within the scant room his chains allowed him. The shots were distant, but coming closer with each passing second. Avery considered himself something of an expert on guns. He closed his eyes, blocking out the miniscule light that seeped in from the crack at the bottom of his cell door, and listened. Each type of gun had a unique sound. It was hard to mistake the crack of a rifle for the boom of a heavy pistol. The volume and tone of the shot told him the caliber and the length of the barrel. In general, shorter barrels made louder shots. The amount of time between shots told him the type of gun. Faster meant automatic, slow meant single-shot.

The closest gunfire likely came from his guards and their modest six-shooters. Their shots were messy and sporadic. They weren't very good, though they'd been good enough to capture him. The approaching shooters fired in steady bursts. There was a rhythm to the way they shot that screamed practiced military maneuvers. They were also better equipped. He could make out the steady bang-bang of several semi-automatic pistols, intermixed with the louder thud from a shotgun or rifle. Whoever they were, they were definitely heading towards Avery's cell. He wondered who else was trapped here. He certainly hadn't heard any other doors open recently, but there had to be someone important imprisoned in the cells to warrant that large scale of a rescue. Maybe if he was lucky, they'd let him out, too, and he could run far away from this ridiculous colony and its barbaric ideas about the rights of a machinist.

A man screamed just outside his doorway. He heard two thumps, and then the gunfire ceased. His guards were dead. Faint voices filtered through the heavy metal door. There was a soft shuffling, as if something heavy was being dragged away. Keys jingled. Avery jumped as the lock on his door clicked open. He turned his head to the side and squeezed his eyes shut as light brighter than what he was used to momentarily flooded the cell. Three thick figures stepped through the doorway, blocking most of the light. He squinted in their direction.

"Are you the machinist?" The center figure spoke with a commanding tone. He was taller than the other two and thicker in a way that suggested an excess of muscles.

Avery licked his lips. His voice cracked. It'd been far too long since they'd last given him anything to drink. "I'm a machinist." He wasn't sure if he wanted to be the machinist they were looking for, though dealing with them had to be better than how he'd been treated at this colony.

"Take him." That answered his question.

5 - Fire Pages
"Avery's glass-half-full attitude gives a nice contrast to Harrow's dark look, and sparks definitely fly when these two embrace each other. (The rating applies to the anthology as a whole.)"

4.5 - Between the Covers
"For those who like rough and kinky sex, this story satisfies with gun penetration, hair pulling, some spanking, and of course a cocked gun. The writing wasn't my favorite, but it was a strong piece nonetheless, and made me squirm in my seat. (The rating applies to the anthology as a whole.)"

4.5 - Darien at Pants Off Reviews
"This short was sexy and pain filled, [and] would be served best if it were longer. (The rating applies to the anthology as a whole.)"

4 - Cole at The Armchair Reader
"The beauty of this story is Avery's snarky sense of humor amidst such a dark and desolate world, where it seems everyone and everything is a predator in the midst of war, natural and man-made alike.... [T]he gun kink was completely, irresistibly sexy to me...."

4 - Naunet at Blackraven's Reviews
"Everything in the beginning of The Machinist is dark, gloomy, violent and hard. Ms. Gryvon directs the readers attentions to their auditory senses and the sense of smell.... I would have liked a bit more of a lead into the story with some background knowledge about Avery, the colony, and the monster. I felt a bit disconnected as the story progressed; however, the kinky sex is very explicit. (The rating applies to the anthology as a whole.)"


Weight of a Gun


8,600 words
22 pages

Release Date

Book Type

Short Story





Cover Art

Dare Empire eMedia


M/M, post-apocalyptic, gun kink,