The struggle is real…but here we are.

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Sup!

I’ve been a bad kid and haven’t written anything in what feels like ages. The new year has not been kind to my motivation or work ethic, so I’m slowly getting back into it. I told myself I would participate in #ThursThreads again, so I figured this was a good jumping start. Now that my serials are kind of in limbo, though, I won’t be using those for prompts – I’m just going to write willy-nilly. Maybe this is the start of a new one. We’ll see where the prompts take us.

Prompt: “You should come with a warning sound.”

The piece below is a continuation (kinda) of this one I wrote a while back.

Enjoy!


When Nate offered to help, I wasn’t sure he meant it. Now that we’re meeting for the first time since our arrangement, I only half-expect him to show. But when I round the corner of the parking garage, I spot his car at the end of the aisle. Nate leans casually against the hood, looking at his phone. Still, it could be a trap. He could have alerted my father, so I’m careful, ready my gun, and stick to the shadows, doing my best to stay quiet.

It’s midnight and dead in the parking garage – the tiniest sound would be deafening.

I come up behind him, but he doesn’t move. When I clear my throat, he nearly drops his phone. The sight of him fumbling to catch it would have made me laugh if our lives weren’t in danger.

“Christ, Selah – you should come with a warning sound.” He catches his phone before it meets the ground. “How long have you-?”

“That was my warning sound. And long enough to think this was a mistake.” I re-holster the gun and cross my arms.

“What? No – I said I’d help, so I will.” He pockets the phone. “I’m here, aren’t I?” There’s a plea in his eyes – he’s scared, but that fear makes him sincere.

I sigh. “Fine. What do you have for me?”

He walks around the car to open the trunk before reaching inside. The file he hands me is thicker than I expected.

“Enough to get us started.”


Be sure to check out the other stories!

As always, think happy thoughts 🙂

 

 

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On the other side of #NaNoWriMo2017

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Happy December!

For those of you still hanging around despite my lack of activity, I thought I’d give an update. Also – check out my new look! I got bored of the other theme, so I went for something a little more stable.

Did you participate in NaNoWriMo this year? I thought about not doing it but changed my mind at the last second – that turned out to be an awesome idea!

This year for NaNoWriMo, I decided to take on a rewrite of one of my serials, Secondhand Soul. If you’ve poked around here in the last couple of years, you might have read some of it. As of this month I’ve taken it off the site, since I’ve rewritten it and intend to polish this draft into publishable material. Instead of the full serial, I’ll just have an excerpt of the story up. It’s the first time in years that I have an actual “finished” draft of something book-length (57,283 words!!) , so I’m pretty excited! As much as I wish this was news about Withered Legacy, I’m happy to just be writing regularly again.

Eventually, I intend to do this to all the stories here. The other one in the middle of a rewrite right now is A Vampire’s Bride. This one might take a little longer, as that story isn’t quite “finished” yet on the site, and I’m re-writing it by hand to try something different. It might still get the odd update here and there on the site while I rewrite it, if inspiration strikes.

I know – my writing process is all over the place. I don’t recommend it.

So wish me luck!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Dropped the ball

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Hello!

So I totally dropped the ball yesterday. I really didn’t intend to skip out on my daily write but it’s been a hectic type of weekend, so yeah. Even though I took yesterday off from work, I don’t feel very rested. It was one of those days off. Anyway, in order to remedy the situation, today’s post will be a bit longer than usual.

This post will go without a prompt. Instead it’s a scene that popped into my head during one of my long drives over the past few days. Lucky for me the scene applies to A Vampire’s Bride.

CW: Suggestive language/situations/themes ahead!

~~~

Maybe it was the training sessions with the other villagers, or maybe my mind is finally cracking under the pressure. Whatever the reason, I’ve started dreaming of Niklaus. Constantly. That’s not to say I’ve never dreamt of him before but these are different. Where once the dreams consisted of fearing for his life, seeing him bloodied and beaten, these are…different. Not entirely unpleasant, at least not during the dream. It’s when I’m awake that I’m uncomfortable. I wonder if he can tell.

Our latest training session ended on a high note. The others have taken to Nadya and Niklaus almost as quickly as I did. Layla especially seems to have formed a bond with Nadya – both their faces light up whenever they meet. Everyone else is much more comfortable around them, too. No one fears for their lives during sessions anymore, and if they do they hide it well. Thanks to the smooth progress we’ve been making, Niklaus has been considerably less moody. He’s still cautious – especially around me – but there’s a visible ease on his face now.

“I’ll go ahead.” Nadya loads up her horse with supplies. “You can walk Ariella back to her house.” The three of us usually linger back once everyone’s gone to discuss the progress and what we’ll be teaching the following night. Normally they would both escort me back. Niklaus gives his sister a look, and she simply smirks. “What? I thought you’d appreciate some time alone.”

She shrugs before riding off. My face heats up, and I look away to avoid eye contact with Niklaus, silently cursing Nadya. She knows about the dreams – I’ve confided in her about them – and there’s no denying she’s left us alone because of them.

If he knows I’m uncomfortable, he doesn’t say anything. Instead, he offers me his horse so I don’t have to walk back. We’ve gone farther out into the woods for our sessions, as far from prying eyes as is safe for the others. Though I’m squirming in my seat, the silence between us is comfortable, familiar. It’s not until now that I realize we haven’t had time alone in weeks. That we haven’t touched outside of sparring in just as long. Maybe that’s why I’ve been having those dreams.

“You’re quiet tonight. Is everything okay?” He looks up at me, and for a split second his eyes reflect that reluctance to get close. His constant worry that I’m afraid.

“Just a lot on my mind.” I try to smile. Try not to think about the dreams.

When we finally reach my house, he stops to tie the horse to a tree before helping me down. His hands linger on my waist, and I’m trapped between him and the horse. When I look up, his face is inches away, a curious look in his eyes. “What?”

“I miss moments like these.” His knuckles brush my jaw, careful as if the slightest touch could break me.

“Me too.” The words come out breathless, nearly catch in my throat. I let him pull me in, his grip on my chin the ghost of a touch. When he kisses me, it’s like the first time all over again. My mind flashes back to one of my most recent dreams – back in the castle, every touch in the dark, his teeth grazing my neck – I pull back as the blush rises on my face.

“What’s wrong?”

“N-Nothing.” But I find it hard to breathe. I already know sleep won’t come easy. “Will you stay? For a little while? I’ve been having trouble sleeping…” I look away, afraid he’ll see it on my face.

He agrees and I lead us to my room. I know full well his presence won’t actually solve my problem – it’ll make it worse – but I don’t care. It’s been weeks since he’s held me as I sleep. I change into my sleeping clothes, and he enters the room shortly after. There’s a tension in the air, but I wonder if it’s just me and he doesn’t notice it. In bed, he pulls me close, my back warm against his bare chest as he curls around me.

“So what’s keeping you awake?” His voice catches me off-guard. I want to lie, to keep that particular secret from him a little while longer. But I can’t, too relaxed in his embrace to really care.

“Thoughts…about you…us. I think I just miss this. Miss being with you this way.” I turn to face him before shifting closer, tucking my head under his chin.

“I’m sorry.” His hand moves to caress my hair, following the locks down my back and along my spine. I shiver and move closer. “I miss this too.” There’s a strain in his voice, the hints of something unsaid. I find myself bringing my lips to his neck, placing a lingering kiss where it meets his chest as one of my hands trails down to his abdomen. Just like my dream. He shivers before catching my hand by the wrist, stopping me. “What are you doing?”

When our eyes meet again, there’s desire in his, mingled with something else. They’ve darkened, the sight familiar and something I didn’t realize until now I missed. “Kiss me?”

He looks like he’ll refuse. Like he’s struggling with the decision to pull away or pull me in. “Ariella…this is-”

“Dangerous. I know.” I’ve seen what can go wrong in my dreams. But that doesn’t stop me – they’re just dreams. I regain control of my hand, but instead of continuing to touch him I lead his hand to my hip, pulling my sleeping gown up far enough that he’s touching skin. He tenses on contact, freezing in place. “But I trust you.”

“You don’t-don’t know what you’re doing.” Niklaus’ voice strains again, this time with the effort of keeping still.

“Yes. I do.” My hand returns to his abdomen, tracing the muscles there as I place another kiss, this one on his jaw. “Kiss me.”

This time, he inches forward, his hand still unmoving, and brushes his lips softly against mine before pulling away. I kiss him back, my hands on his neck now to pull me closer. His hand on my hip tightens, and he suddenly pulls me into him, my body flush against his. Before I can react, he grabs my hands and pins them to the pillow on either side of my head, moving to hover over me as he pins me down. We’re both breathless when he breaks the kiss, resting his forehead on mine, eyes closed and brow furrowed in an effort to hold back. “I should go. Before I do something we’ll both regret.”

“Don’t. Please. I’m sorry, I crossed a line.” I sigh, a smile playing on my lips. “Can’t say I regret it, though.” He releases my hands and sits back. Sitting up, I reach over to him, letting my hand rest on his chest. “Someday, you won’t have to stop.”

He looks away, and my heart stutters. “Ariella…”

“When this is all over, and we don’t have to hide. We’ll be together, right?” I move to kneel in front of him, forcing him to look at me. “Niklaus.”

“You have no idea how much I want that to be true.” He takes my hands in both of his, bringing them to his lips. “But nothing is going to change how dangerous I am, how easily I could hurt you.”

“Then we’ll make it happen. You can…can turn…” I don’t even finish the suggestion. The look he gives me is one of utter horror and refusal. The thought had only ever crossed my mind once or twice, but it’s been popping up more and more with the recurrence of those dreams.

“Never. I will never do that to you. And I’ll kill anyone who tries.” The fury in his voice makes it clear he’ll keep his word.

“Then how? How are we…after everything is said and done – what will happen to us?” I can hear the cracks in my heart forming one by one. No matter what I do, I’m going to lose Niklaus. One way or another.

He doesn’t look me in the eye. “I don’t know.”

~~~

Well that ended up being much sadder than I anticipated.

As always, think happy thoughts!

A wild unicorn appears!

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Happy Friday!

As the week comes to a close, I struggled to find a prompt to get me going today. Thankfully, Reddit pulled through!

Prompt: You’re driving down a quiet road at night, when a unicorn jumps out of the woods and in front of your car.

Enjoy!

~~~

I’ve never been a fan of driving – especially at night. When I can, I avoid it. Unfortunately, once in a while, there’s just no getting out of it. This is one of those times.

Normally I don’t struggle to stay awake when I drive. The nerves I get behind the wheel do more than enough to keep me awake, but tonight is different. I’ve been on the road for a solid five hours and I’ve still got another two to go. To make things worse, I haven’t passed a residential or commercial area in almost just as long. Outside, the trees whip by on either side of the car, eaten by the darkness behind me. If it wasn’t so dark out, I might consider pulling over for a nap, but the thought of something coming out of the forest to get me keeps me driving.

I should have just taken the nap.

My eyes start to droop again, so I try to turn up the music. My car is the only one on the road, and I haven’t see anyone else for miles. It doesn’t occur to me to keep my eyes on the road as I reach for the volume control. When I look back up, a white blur shoots out of the forest and into the road. By some miracle I manage to swerve without hitting it. I almost lose control of the car, but managed to stop just a few yards away.

When I turn to look at what I almost hit, I can’t believe my eyes. There, in the middle of the road, is a white horse with a horn coming out of its head. Moonlight highlights the curves of the horn – it actually shines in the light. The animal has a glow about it, and I’m sure I’m dreaming. Or dead. I probably fell asleep at the wheel, hit a tree, and I’m dying somewhere in the dark right now.

Right?

It’s staring at me now. At least, I think it is – we’re making eye contact in my rearview mirror. I consider flooring it and just driving away, but I’m too awestruck to move.

“Belle! What do you think you’re doing?” Someone runs into the road behind the unicorn. The animal looks away from me and at the person – as if responding to the name – before focusing back on me. The person follows the unicorn’s gaze. “Oh no.”

Now, I try to floor it, but my car just doesn’t want to work. I try to restart it, but all I get is a sputtering engine. Before I know it the person is at my door, knocking on my window. I jump at the sound and refuse to open.

“It’s okay. I just want to make sure you’re alright. Did she hurt you?” The deep voice is calm, reassuring, and it does something weird to my brain. Though they’re standing right in front of me, I struggle to make out their appearance. They’re blurry, like I’m looking at them without my glasses, though everything else is clear as can be. My thoughts are fuzzy and I have to struggle to stay focused.

“She-she ran out onto the road. I’m okay. I just want to go.” Again, I try to start the car. Still no luck. “Dammit!”

“Your car won’t work.” They’re still standing outside. “You’re on the veil. I’ll need to get your car to the other side so you can keep going.”

“What?”

“Please. Come out and I’ll help you.”

I gauge my options. There’s a unicorn on the road, this person is blurry, and my car won’t start. Not to mention I’m probably already dead. Or dying. After a glance at my phone, I realize I have no signal, either. I exit the car with my pepper spray in hand, my keys sticking out between my fingers.

“Why are you blurry?” I narrow my eyes.

“What? Oh! Sorry. That’s my glamour. No use in keeping it up, I guess.” A blink later, their figure comes into focus. The first thing I notice are his eyes – they’re the color of the moon. Everything else about him is fairly normal – short black hair, muscular build. Like a farmhand, I suppose. He offers his hand. “I’m Caleb.”

I don’t take it, still gripping my weapons tight. “Kara.”

He chuckles.

“Sorry about this. Belle doesn’t usually get out, but every once in a while she slips past me.” He sends a glare to the unicorn, which he leashed to a nearby tree. “And ends up ripping the veil. Normally no one is around, though. You’re the first!”

Caleb turns his attention to the car, straightening it out on the road with his bare hands before moving to stand behind it and push. Like it’s no heavier than a shopping cart, he navigates it down the road. For a moment I’m struck before I realize I’m supposed to follow him. I hurry to catch up.

“I’m dreaming right? Or dead?”

“No, not at all!” His voice is cheery, casual. “But you probably won’t remember this tomorrow.”

“Why?”

“The veil’s magic will wipe the memory. Can’t have humans stumbling upon fairies and unicorns.” The thought is upsetting. My curiosity spins, and if it wasn’t for my need to get home and mild fear, I’d demand more answers.

After a few more yards, he stops. “Here you go. Try again.”

I keep the door open as I try to start the car again. It starts with no problem, and I find myself smiling with relief. “Thank you.”

“Anytime. Maybe just avoid driving through veils during full moons.” He says that like it’s advice everyone should know.

“I’ll keep that in mind.” I look down at my phone again, happy to see full bars. When I go to thank Caleb again, he’s gone. I turn to try to spot the unicorn, but she’s gone, too. After another hour on the road, the entire ordeal seems like a dream, but I struggle to hold onto it, to remember.

I intend to come back tomorrow.

~~~

I really like this little piece. Hope you did too!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Flickering Sun

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Hello!

So the piece below was inspired partially by the eclipse a few weeks ago and by a writing prompt I saw around the same time. Basically, one day the sun starts to flicker. What happens?

I started this story with the hopes of entering it in a contest but lost track of time and missed the deadline. Not to mention I didn’t finish writing it. I’m putting it up now because I don’t think I’ll have time for my fifteen minute writing burst today but I don’t want to lose momentum. So instead I’ve edited this short piece.

Enjoy!

~~~

No one thought the sun’s death would be so slow, or breathtaking.  At least, that’s what we thought was happening when the sun began to flicker. I slept in that morning, and when I woke up I thought it was just one of those days when the passing clouds would fade the light in and out. It wasn’t until after my morning coffee that I really looked outside and saw it was more than just clouds. The longer it went on, the darker those brief moments. Looking up at a cloudless sky, I nearly dropped my coffee when I saw it – a brief blink. The sun disappeared – for several seconds – before reappearing and nearly blinding me with the sudden light. Below me, my shadow followed suit, in and out of existence with the sun.

The air stood still, as if holding its breath. In the darkness of those flickering moments I could only hear my own heartbeat, my own breathing. For the first time in my entire life, it was total silence. With the light went all natural sound. That is, until the panic started.

My phone rang, cutting through one of the longer periods of darkness.

“Blake – are you…this?” Her words tried to cut through static.

“Ana? Can you hear me?”

“…can’t…mom and dad…home…” I couldn’t catch more than a few words before the call dropped. When I tried to call my sister back, all I got was a busy tone.

Before I could really analyze what I was doing, I packed a bag with my essentials and booked it out of the apartment. If I hurried, I could reach my parents in a few hours. Assuming my sister had the same plan, I’d meet her there.

Outside, chaos reigned. People ran scared, clutching their children and belongings. Those without either shoved the others out of the way as crowds attempted to flee – though no one actually knew what we were trying to escape. A fire had already started in a nearby storefront, lighting the area when the sun didn’t. By the time I reached my bike, I was battered and bruised. I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to drive with the intermittent light, but I started the bike anyway, driven by instinct.

~~~

And there’s that! Maybe someday down the line I can extend this to be a short story instead of just a scene. We’ll see.

As always, think happy thoughts!

Unwanted Revelations

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Happy hump day!

This day is dragging. And yet I only barely made some time to take my lunch break, so here I am. Let’s cut to the chase. Today’s piece is inspired by Plots and Prompts For All again.

Prompt: “There are only a few things in this world that are truly important to me.”

~~~

To be honest I didn’t think Marcus would answer my question. And yet here he is now, giving me the spark notes version of his life’s story.

“There are only a few things in this world that are truly important to me.” The demon looks away from me as he speaks, his voice dejected. “My sister was one of them. Back when I was alive, she nearly died by my hand – actually went blind because of me.” I don’t ask for specifics, and even if I did don’t think he’d hear me. His mind is elsewhere and I can tell by the pain on his face that he’s trapped in that memory. “My deal with Lucifer was to help her – give her sight back. He took my eyes – gouged them out – and gave them to her. He replaced mine with my demon mark.”

“And my eyes…they remind you of your sister? Of yours?”

“It’s not just a reminder. They are my sister’s and mine.” He says it with such certainty, like there’s no way they couldn’t be.

“That’s ridiculous.”

“No, it’s not. Did you know they glow? Max and Videl can’t see it, but I can. Why else would they glow for me if they’re not the same ones I sacrificed for my sister?” His words turn bitter, annoyed.

“But it’s impossible. It doesn’t make any sense.” I stand, unable to sit any longer. Was this part of the plan? Part of why Max singled me out in purgatory?

“My sister had a long life, and as far as I know, a long line of descendants. You might very well be one of them. If I’d known my deal with Lucifer would be passed down this way…” His eyes darken, just before being overwhelmed by his mark again, the green pools replaced by black tar. It streams down his face like tears. For the first time, it’s a menacing look, and I’m frightened at the thought that it’s directed at me.

“Sorry I was gone for so long.” Max’s voice makes me realize Marcus isn’t looking at me, but at the angel standing behind me.

I turn on them, directing my own angry look at Max. “Did you know?”

“What?” Taken aback by our sudden anger, Max takes a step back. They look between us, confusion on their expression. It looks genuine, but I find it hard to believe they had no idea. “What did I miss? Are you two okay?”

“Why me? Why did you pull me from purgatory? You could have pulled anyone else – why did it have to be me?” At this, Max falters for a moment, something lighting behind their eyes. They glance at Marcus, and seem to consider the consequences of what they’ll say next.

“Your soul was tainted. Touched by Lucifer. I don’t know how or why, but it was already like that when I found you.” They pause before taking a step forward. “What is this about?”

“We should go.” I don’t look back at Marcus until I’m at the door. When I do, some of his anger has passed. “I’m sorry. If you don’t want me coming around anymore, I understand.” The last thing I want is to cause anyone pain, and it’s clear that’s what I’m doing to Marcus. Even if it means isolating myself again.

“It’s not your fault. You’re always welcome here. I just need time.” I nod, and for the first time, Marcus offers a smile in return.

Max has the presence of mind to just follow me out and keep their questions to themselves. At least for now.

~~~

And there it is, the connection shared by Paola and Marcus. I’m still not sure how this plays into the bigger picture, but this is what I’ve had in mind since the first time they encountered each other.

As always, think happy thoughts!

And the writing continues – Save me

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Happy Friday!

This week has gone by in the blink of an eye, which is weird. Normally the week leading up to a three day weekend doesn’t go by that fast. And yet here we are!

So today’s prompt/response comes courtesy of Plots And Prompts For All! I haven’t responded to a prompt from Tumblr in a while, so I’m glad to bring some variety into my inspiration.

Prompt: “If anyone could have saved me, it would have been you.”

~~~

My hand twitches, the blade at his neck digging into skin. His blood drips onto the silver and it’s all I can do to keep my grip steady.

Do it.

“I can’t. This isn’t…”

If anyone could have saved me, it would have been you. But I’m beyond saving now, brother. Please. End it. Before I hurt anyone else.

Though his voice in my mind is fainter with every passing moment and I know his body is nothing more than a vessel now, I still can’t. “There has to be a way…”

“There isn’t.” Elle’s voice replaces Adwin’s, and I realize I can longer hear my brother. He’s gone, though his body continues to thrash in an attempt to escape. The thing inside him is in control now, its foggy eyes staring up at me in a rage as I hold him down. “Saxon. If you don’t do it, I will.”

I close my eyes, unable to look at his face as I slice his neck open.

~~~

Ha. That was much darker than I thought it would be. Not to mention I didn’t go into this prompt intending to write Withered Legacy. I’m not really sure where this scene would fit in the grand scheme of things, or if it even fits in the story at all. For now I’ll treat it as one of Saxon’s visions of a possible future.