Absolute uncertainty

Standard

Happy Friday!

So I’m going to try to respond to at least one prompt a week while I’m in this limbo. This week, my favorite: Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday prompt. A little late, I know, but better late than never (words to live by!).

Since I’ve updated both Provisional Freedom and Secondhand Soul pretty recently, today’s post will be going toward A Vampire’s Bride. To be honest I’m pretty lost as to where I’m taking all three stories. SS is pretty close to the end, I think, but the other two are as much in limbo as I am. Then again, what else is new?

If you need a refresher or you’re new, check out the complete story from the beginning here!

Prompt: Absolute uncertainty

Here goes!

~~~

“And you’re sure I can do this?”

“You already killed a rogue vampire by yourself, without training. You’ll be fine. From what we heard, they’re barely a fledgling.” Nadya looks me up and down, occasionally adjusting my hatchet and double-checking my quiver of arrows. “Besides, it’s about time you put your skills to the test.”

Niklaus stands off to the side, letting Nadya fuss over me. I look to him for help, but he shrugs. “She’s right.”

“If they’re just a fledgling, why did the council send you two after them? Seems like a waste of the vampire royals if you ask me.”

“We volunteered. They want to keep these attacks as little known as possible. The fewer vampires that know about them the better…don’t need others getting any ideas.” Niklaus finally walks over and gets Nadya to leave me alone.

“But-”

“No buts.” He takes both my hands, raising them up to his lips and kissing my knuckles. “You’ll be brilliant. Nadya and I have every confidence in you.”

“And  if you need us, we’ll jump in.”

“Yes – I won’t let you get hurt.” Niklaus places a kiss on my forehead, as if to punctuate his words. He’s much more liberal with his affection now, and that puts me at ease, at least a little bit. If he’s confident enough not to put up a fight at the thought of having me take down a vampire, then I should be a little more confident in my skills, right?

Still, I’ve never been less sure of anything in my life.

It’s not long before I’m following them out of the woods in the opposite direction from the path home. They came prepared with horses, knowing I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them on foot. We ride for what seems like a couple of hours before we’re near a neighboring village I’ve never been to. It’s quiet – quieter than a sleeping town should be. There’s a strange tension in the air and I wonder if, behind the closed doors and windows, the people are actually asleep. It’s not hard to imagine them huddled and scared.

While the vampires were trying to keep the knowledge of the attacks contained, rumors spread pretty quickly among the rest of us. Most people didn’t believe they were actually happening, at least not in my village. According to my stepmother everyone thinks it’s animal attacks. Even she doesn’t bring up the possibility of vampires. My father doesn’t either, but I wonder if that’s out of courtesy for my feelings.

“According to the report we received, there have been three separate attacks over the last two nights.” Nadya maneuvers her horse ahead of Niklaus and me.

“Smell that?” Niklaus stops his horse, holding out a hand for me to stop mine. Ahead of us, Nadya turns around to face us. “It’s fresh.”

“It is.” I know they’re talking about human blood, their sense of smell infinitely better than mine.

“Can you pinpoint where it’s coming from?”

“Yes – this way.” This time, Niklaus takes the lead and Nadya rides beside me. As we continue to make our way through the town, my eyes focus on the tension in Niklaus’ shoulders. He gets stiffer the longer we continue, and I wonder if it’s the smell of the blood or the danger. Maybe it’s a little bit of both.

Here’s hoping I can live up to their expectations.

~~~

What lies ahead for our fledgling vampire hunter? At this point, I still have no idea, but that’s to be expected. Here’s to more prompts moving us forward.

As always, think happy thoughts!

Advertisements

Shameful musings

Standard

Hello!

It’s been a while, I know. The good news is that I’ve been getting quite some reading and writing done. The bad news is that means I’ve had to neglect the blog a bit. Eventually, I’ll find the happy middle ground I so desperately need. Until then, sporadic updates it is!

Today’s post comes courtesy of Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday prompt series. For this post, I’ll be using the “Shameful musings” prompt as inspiration. As much as I want to write for Provisional Freedom and flesh that out a bit, as well as return to Secondhand Soul to wrap up the story, Ariella just won’t let me go. So, A Vampire’s Bride it is!

Happy reading!

Continue reading

Creative bravery

Standard

Happy Hump Day!

Meant to try to get something written up earlier in the week, but we all know how these things go. On the bright side, I’ve gotten some reading done and may or may not have found a new favorite book series.

Anyway, on to the prompt!

Today’s post comes courtesy of Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday prompt series. I’m tempted to do a response for more than one of the prompts, but for now I’ll be working with “Creative bravery” as my inspiration.

Happy reading!

~~~

I’ve never been more grateful for mine and my family’s opposite schedules. Though spending the nights alone was beginning to get tiresome – and very depressing – it makes it much easier to keep the vampire attack a secret. Still, there’s that small window of time when we’re having dinner, and my palms get sweaty with the nerves. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem like either of them notices my discomfort – my stepmother is too busy recounting some bit of news here or there, and my dad seems to be somewhere else entirely.

“I’m sorry – what were you saying?”

“I heard at the market today that there was some kind of animal attack in a neighboring village.” To be honest, I was hyper-focused on my food, so I missed that bit of news as well.

“What?” I find myself reacting without realizing it.

“Yes. There were a group of hunters out or something a couple of nights ago, and when they didn’t come back, another group went out to look for them. They say it was a grizzly scene – blood everywhere, and they were only able to recover one of the bodies. The other four are missing.” I can’t help but think of the vampire that attacked Layla – could it have been the same one? Or another?

“Do they have any idea what kind of animal it was?”

“I don’t know – they’re still investigating, trying to track whatever did it in hopes of finding the other bodies or maybe some survivors.” My stepmother shrugs. Do they suspect vampires at all?

It’s a relief when they finally retire for the night. My father warns me not to go out tonight, for fear of the animal that attacked those men, and I tell him I won’t. Still, I only wait about two hours after they’ve retreated to their room before grabbing my things – including that vampire’s hatchet – and heading out.

Unwilling to put myself in too much danger, though, I don’t stray very far. Really, I’m only out here in case Niklaus comes back. I can’t exactly risk him showing up inside my home. So I stay hidden at the edge of the forest, just far enough away that we can’t be overheard, but close enough that I can still keep an eye on the house. For the first time in longer than I care to admit, the night holds a very tangible danger. I’m not as comfortable in it as I was the night before, and I’m not sure I like that.

Lost in my own thoughts, I almost don’t hear the leaves rustling around me, despite the lack of wind. As soon as the sound registers in my mind, the hatchet is in my hand and I’m turning in place, eyes scanning the darkness of the trees for the source of the sound.

“It’s just me!” Nadya holds her hands up, eyes looking at the hatchet with extreme caution.

“Sorry.” I sigh, leaning back against the tree. “I assume Niklaus told you what happened?”

“Yes – he wanted to come back tonight but had to deal with the council, so he sent me instead.”

“Why? You didn’t have to.”

“He wants to make sure you’re safe.” So he sent her to protect me?

“So what, the two of you are going to take turns babysitting me?” She winces at that, but doesn’t respond. “This is stupid. None of this would be necessary if he didn’t send me away in the first place.”

“I know.”

For a moment, I’m so caught up in my annoyance that the attack my stepmom mentioned nearly slipped my mind. “Have you heard anything about another attack?”

“Another one?”

“A few nights ago, some men went missing in a neighboring village. No one seems to suspect vampires, but it’s too much of a coincidence.” Settling on the ground against the tree, I relayed the story to Nadya.

“Wonderful, just what we needed.” Her face twists into a grimace of disgust. “Maybe you should go back inside…”

A part of me wants to agree with her, but the other part – the one angry about being kicked out of the castle – refuses. “I’m fine. You’re here, right? Besides, I was able to kill that vampire last night.”

“True. Pretty impressive all things considered – you’re braver than most humans, you know. Stroke of genius, too, that arrow to the throat.” Her voice trails off, thoughtful for a moment, before her eyes focus again and she turns to look at me. “A bit messy, though, and severely inefficient.”

“Forgive me, I’m not an expert vampire hunter.” I roll my eyes, frustrated again. Hunting vampires has been illegal as long as hunting humans has been. No need when the peace agreement guaranteed our safety.

“Do you want to be?” Nadya’s voice is cautious, curious. “I could teach you.”

“What? Why would you want to teach me to hunt vampires?”

“Because if my lesser brethren have really started hunting humans, the peace agreements are off – and you need to be able to defend yourself if Nik or I can’t be there.” She turns thoughtful again – her eyes are far away, in a time I can’t even imagine. “I have a feeling things are about to get worse than they have been in a long time. Besides, you seem to have a natural talent for it, and you’re brash enough to try.”

I’ve heard stories of how bad it used to be – centuries before when we were little more than cattle to the vampires. They killed indiscriminately, and it was only when our numbers had dwindled so much that it put their population in danger that they finally realized how important it is to keep us alive. I can’t help but shudder at the thought of the vampires plowing through our villages and population like that again.

“Can’t hurt to know how to protect myself, I suppose.”

Nadya smiles, giving me a look that says she knew I wouldn’t be able to say no. “Ariella, vampire hunter. Kind of has a ring to it, doesn’t it?”

~~~

Well that took a turn. I feel like it’s been building to this for such a long time, and yet this still wasn’t where I pictured the story going when I first started it.

Oh well. Such is fate.

As always, think happy thoughts!

#100WordChallenge – Secret

Standard

Happy Thursday!

So last night, I accomplished what felt like an impossible task when I started – I made progress (actual progress, oh man!) on Withered Legacy. Can’t begin to describe how excited I am – I sat down for a whole hour and wrote nonstop, thanks to The Most Dangerous Writing App. It was the first time I was able to finish a session without losing my work, so hooray! My muse has been reinvigorated by this progress, meaning another session of panicked writing awaits me tonight!

Anyway, to break up the panic so all my writing doesn’t get done in stress-filled bursts, I’m cooling down with one of my usual prompts! This one happens to be Tara’s #100wordchallenge.

Prompt: Secret

~~~

I’ve never liked keeping secrets, not really. My whole life, I’ve tried to be an open book, and yet here I am – hiding my existence from most of my village and keeping the vampire attack on Layla, and my subsequent murder of said vampire, from my family. I wish I could at least tell my dad, but Niklaus asked and I can’t say no. Our situation is dangerous enough – I don’t need to make it worse.

Niklaus took the body – at least I didn’t have to deal with that. Still, finding the silver lining will only take me so far.

~~~

Ariella’s life sucks (ha! no pun intended) – but then again, it’s not like she’s the only one. Emma went through her fair share of issues, and Videl and Paola are currently no better off. Here’s hoping things start looking up for her soon.

As always, think happy thoughts!

Damned liberty

Standard

Hello hello!

If you haven’t already seen, Reckoning now has a book trailer! Hooray! Check it out at the side bar, or here.

On to the post –

Today’s piece comes courtesy of Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday prompts, as usual. For this one, I decided to go with the “Damned liberty” prompt, as it pretty accurately describes Ariella’s current situation. It serves as overall inspiration for the piece.

It’s a long one, so brace yourselves!

Continue reading

#ThursThreads – Increased Security

Standard

Hello again!

Even as I write this I have no idea how I’m going to incorporate this prompt into one of my serials. Today’s #ThursThreads prompt is throwing me off, so here’s hoping for the best.

Prompt: “It meant increased security.”

Happy reading!

~~~

“Are you going to say something or just sit there watching me like a creep?” I couldn’t help the words tumbling from my mouth, but they were making me uncomfortable.

Max raised a thin eyebrow in response, a smirk lighting their expression before they waved a hand and turned off my TV, simultaneously flicking on the lights. I had to shield my eyes from the sudden change, ducking my head into my arms.

“That’s much better.”

“I was starting to think you’re not real.” Images of the angel standing around my hospital room, taking me from my mother in purgatory, already felt like long-forgotten dreams.

“Sorry – it’s not every day we let a soul out of purgatory. It meant increased security and delayed me longer than I anticipated. I could only drop by to check on you before having to run back and make sure the gap we used sealed properly and held up against opportunistic spirits looking for a way out.” They looked tired just thinking about it, running a hand through their hair while walking back and forth across the room.

“Speaking of my release, are you ever going to actually tell me why I’m here?” A part of me wanted to ask if they might know what led to me dying in the first place, but I stopped myself. It’s not like it mattered anyway. “And what abilities am I supposed to have, exactly?”

“I can already tell it’s going to be a joy working with you.”

~~~

Maybe next week Paola will get some answers! Be sure to check out the rest of the responses at the prompt link throughout the day – there’s always great stuff to read.

As always, think happy thoughts!

UPDATE: I won with this one! Woo!

tt4w-300x300_7_orig

Demonic run-on

Standard

Hello!

First post of the day, but it’ll be a short one! I’m kicking myself because I missed out on last week’s #100wordchallenge. However, I’m going to participate this week and incorporate last week’s prompt into today’s response. It works out, too, because last week’s prompt, Demon, is more theme-based. This week’s prompt is to write a 100 word run-on, so hooray for playing with format!

Here goes nothing!

~~~

Max sits in the dark with me, quiet, observant (expectant?) and though we’re both lit by the light of the TV, it makes them look ethereal, every bit an angel, or even a demon, asking of me what may be an impossible task I don’t yet understand – but I do know that, whatever they want from me, whatever the reason they had for making my mother replace me in purgatory, I’m not going to like it – at all – and I’m going to regret agreeing to it for the rest of my life, however long that may or may not be.

~~~

I’ve never worked this hard to write a run-on sentence. It was fun! Plus, it gave me the perfect breather before picking up Provisional Freedom again.

Stay tuned for #ThursThreads later!

As always, think happy thoughts!