Broken Moon

Happy Friday!

I’m slacking, worse than usual. It’s been an odd past few weeks, filled with moments of extreme motivation as well as extreme lethargy. It sucks, because I want to do things but can’t bring myself to actually start doing them. On the bright side, I have done a little bit of writing.

Also, I bought a new laptop this week, so having a new toy should motivate me to work more – maybe. I’ve also started tip-toeing into the world of game development, in an attempt to exercise my story-telling skills through a new medium. The dream is to some day write for video games, so this is a good step in the right direction.

As for today, we’ll be dedicating some time to Provisional Freedom, my most neglected of serials. Today’s prompt comes from Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday prompt series, and I’ll be using the “Broken moon” prompt for inspiration.

Happy reading!

~~~

After being brought back from the dead, I thought it was impossible to really feel nervous about anything. What would there be to be nervous about, when the worst case scenario had already happened? Well, you’d be surprised.

I tapped my foot, the only way I could think to direct and expel my nervous energy as I stood outside the intimidating house. Really, I never thought a house could be intimidating, either. The structure loomed over me, though, as if trying to scare me away. It seemed to create a kind of haze around itself, too, causing the moon to look like it was broken and hastily glue back together. It made it hard to look at, hurting my eyes and making me want to look away.

“Why does it look like that?” I couldn’t keep the question from bubbling up out of my throat as I finally gave in and let my eyes slide down to the ground, watching my tapping foot.

“Can’t have people wanting to approach it, can we?” Max hadn’t spoken much after showing me the demons. Most of my questions went unanswered, or they would just give me a look that said I didn’t need to know. I was surprised they’d deemed this question answerable.

“Who would ever stumble upon it out here, though?”

“You can never be too careful.” Max took one more look at the house before looking at me. “Well, time to meet your new comrades.” Was it me, or were they trying a little too hard to sound cheery? “Try not to stare – it’s rude.”

“Stare at what?” But Max didn’t answer, maybe because they didn’t hear me or they didn’t want to, I wasn’t sure. I followed after them as they walked up the pathway to the front door. Each of my steps were like lead, until we finally made it to the front door. Why was I so scared? I’d already died, been brought back, and had an angel hovering over me. And these demons were supposed to work with me, so I shouldn’t have been scared.

When the door opened, we were greeted by a young woman, probably some years older than me. The first thing I noticed were her forearms – they were drenched in blood. I couldn’t help but stare. The blood seemed to be flowing freely – fresh. I’m pretty sure Max sensed my need to run, because they placed a hand on my lower back to keep me still. The second thing I noticed was that she was the woman Max showed me before – one of the two demons.

“Max.” The demon scrutinized Max, her brow coming up at the sight of me. “What are you doing here, and since when do you bring friends?”

“Consider her reinforcement. She’s going to be helping us with the current situation. May we come in?”

“Okay…Marcus just stepped out, but we can wait for him to get back.” She stepped aside and let us in. Inside the house, it seemed silly that I was nervous before. It was perfectly normal, all things considered. There was nothing off-putting about it, except for the blood endlessly dripping from the demon’s arms. It continued to drip, but the drops never made it to the floor. They just disappeared. She caught me staring.

“You get used to it.” She led us down the hall and to the living room. “Are you hungry?”

“N-No. I’m good.” She must have heard the fear in my voice. Something in her eyes looked hurt before she directed her attention to Max.

“You know, next time you decide to bring a kid along with you, you might want to give her a head’s up of what she’s walking into.” She glared at Max, her annoyance as thick as the blood on her arms.

Max simply shrugged and waved off the demon’s concern.

“I’m sorry.” I didn’t expect an apology from her, so it was difficult to hide my surprise. “About the blood. I know it’s unnerving. Just try to ignore it. That’s what I do when Max is around – it’ll go away once they leave.”

“What?”

“Long story – it basically marks me as a demon. I can usually hide it but not in the presence of divinity.” She motions to Max. “Marcus has a similar issue, but with his eyes. You get used to it – just don’t freak out when he gets here.” Again, she turns to Max. “That’s how you give someone fair warning, for the record.”

This time, Max chuckles. “You did it much better than I could have.”

“You have an awful sense of humor.” The demon rolled her eyes before turning to me.  “Anyway, I’m Videl. I’d offer to shake your hand, but…”

“Paola – and no need.” I tried not to be rude, but the thought of touching her hands shot a chill through me. Videl seemed nice enough, though, so I did my best to relax a little. Maybe working with demons wouldn’t be so bad.

~~~

That’s probably the loosest interpretation of a prompt yet. At least I wrote something down.

Next time, Paola meets Marcus! I have some things swimming around in my brain regarding them, so here’s hoping the prompts offer the proper circumstances…

As always, think happy thoughts!

#ThursThreads – Cross-Over!

Happy Thursday!

Didn’t think I’d get around to actually writing a post for today, but here we are. It’s a special treat – a cross-over! Today’s prompt comes courtesy of #ThursThreads.

Prompt: “We are being watched.”

Happy reading!


“We are being watched.” The sensation drips down the back of my neck, every hair standing on end with the awareness of someone’s eyes on me.

“I know.” Marcus whispers his response, though if someone’s watching us, they can probably hear us, too. Both of us maintain an image of relaxation, as we continue to lounge on the couch- my siblings are asleep upstairs. My partner continues to read through some files, while I browse the same old copy of Faustus.

~~~

“And you expect me to work with a pair of demons?” The two people seem normal enough – a man and a woman, both sitting in a living room, wrapped up in their own work – and I wouldn’t have thought them demons if Max hadn’t told me so. At my question, the angel removes the scene from my television screen with a wave of their arm. What appears next is a scene in a bedroom with two sleeping children.

“Yes – they’ve been tasked with taking care of these children. They’ll need all the help they can get when it comes time to return them to their mother.” Max leans back in their seat, eyes thoughtful when considering the children on the screen.

“Why were they taken away in the first place?”

“It’s a long story, and you’re not here to ask questions. This is your assignment. I can’t be there when the exchange happens – you’ll be attending in my place.” Really? My mother took my place in purgatory for this?


And we kill two birds with one stone! Hooray for updating Provisional Freedom and Secondhand Soul. Still not sure how I’m going to introduce Paola to Videl and Marcus, but the moment draws nearer.

Be sure to check out the other responses at the prompt throughout the day!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Update: Got an Honorable Mention! Woo!

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Shameful musings

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

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

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

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

Diffident angelics

Happy Friday!

And yet another week flies by full of productivity in all the wrong places. Oh well, what can you do? Thanks to all the awesome prompts this week, I’ve gotten nothing done on my novel. Nada, zilch, zero. On the bright side, I’ve made some headway on my serials, which is always pretty cool. Could be worse – I could be getting nothing done at all.

Today’s post (potentially the first if I find time to get up another one later) comes courtesy of Our Write Side’s third Master Class Monday prompt phrase this week, “Diffident angelics.”  I’ve never really used the word diffident so I had to look it up to figure out if I can fit it in anywhere. Turns out, I think I can!

Here goes!

~~~

Even though I’m on my way to see Lucifer, I feel like a weight’s been lifted. If I’d known reconciling with Marcus would make me feel this much better, I would have done it sooner. Maybe it’s because I’m in a better mood that I don’t mind when, upon entering Lucifer’s office, he immediately holds up a hand to keep me from speaking before motioning to a chair on the opposite side of the room. Quiet and confused about what’s going on, I simply follow his instructions. Paying me little mind, he turns his attention to a large, wall-sized mirror. In the mirror is a familiar scene, like a reenactment of the ceremony he showed me when my grandmother offered him my soul. Except, instead of a middle aged woman as the main participant, it’s a teenage girl – young, couldn’t be more than maybe fifteen years old.

She’s clearly terrified, but doing her best to put on a brave face.

Lucifer walks into the mirror and appears within their summoning circle, regarding the crowd with a look I can’t quite read. He doesn’t seem pleased, though, I can tell that much. At the sight of him, the crowd bustles, excitement buzzing around the small space. The young girl’s eyes go wide, and now the panic is even more evident.

“How old are you, child?” I’m surprised at the gentle tone in Lucifer’s voice – almost like he’s trying to keep from scaring her even more.

“F-Fourteen.” Again, this girl isn’t fooling anyone.

“And which of these people coaxed you into this?” I definitely wasn’t expecting that. Wouldn’t he be happy to have a soul and be on his way?

The entire room goes still with an anxiety and tension in the air so thick I can almost see it. Wringing her hands, she looks around the room before swallowing and trying to speak again. “No one…”

“Don’t lie to me.” Though his voice is now loaded with menace – who knew lying to him would so easily set him off? – the ire isn’t directed at the now shaking girl. His eyes scan the room of hooded figures, I guess trying to find the one who put her up to this. Again, the girl looks around the room, though this time it’s with pleading, tear-filled eyes. Poor kid.

No one steps forward. A few more moments pass and Lucifer chuckles, but there’s no humor in it.

“At least the kid has a sense of honor and loyalty. But you lot? You would throw her to the fire so easily?” And then the strangest thing I’ve ever seen happens. Lucifer turns his attention back to the young girl, and his eyes soften  – actually soften, reminding me that, in a way, he’s still an angel – before he speaks again. “Maybe in a decade or two, if you’re willing then. As for right now – whatever deal you were thinking of striking with me – I refuse.”

Relief washes over the girl’s face, gratitude in her eyes at this uncharacteristic mercy. She’s smart enough to keep her mouth shut, though, simply bowing her head and stepping back from the circle.

Lucifer addresses the crowd one more time, “I look forward to seeing the rest of you in the future.”

Even I can’t help but smile at the discomfort Lucifer’s words brings the crowd. A moment later Lucifer is back in the office with me, and I steel my face to remove any reaction at what I just saw. It’s odd, but there’s a change in Lucifer, and for a moment his eyes dart to me, as if checking for a reaction. I’m not sure I recognize the expression in his eyes, mostly because I never expected to see it coming from the devil. Is that…hesitance? Insecurity? I know better than to comment on it, so I just stand from my chair and bring the reports to his desk.

“These are the reports you asked for.” I wait a beat as he glances through them before speaking again. “Max reported that my grandmother has made a move?”

“Yes – we’re making preparations to return your siblings, as well as developing a plan to imprison your grandmother now that she’s come out of hiding.” He stacks my reports on his desk before turning back to me. “We think she might try to use your mother’s soul and-”

“What?”

“Don’t worry – I’ve changed the rules a bit since she offered me yours. Your mother would have to be completely willing and offer it herself.” And the desperation to get her kids back would definitely make her willing. “But we won’t let her make the deal.”

“Like the kid just now?”

Again, that flash of something in his eyes. “Yes. They’ll both need to be inside the summoning circle for the deal, and as long as I don’t accept or refuse, they’re stuck in the circle with me. We’ll use it to trap your grandmother.”

“And how will that work, exactly?”

“You’ll see.”  There’s nothing I hate more than vague reassurances. Still, after what I just witnessed, I can’t help but feel confident that maybe this is going to work.

~~~

When the word angelic came up in the prompt, I really didn’t think I’d be inspired to write about the character who, in the beginning, was as much a villain as Videl’s grandmother. Oh well. The end seems to be in sight for this story, so here’s to that!

As always, think happy thoughts!