#100WordChallenge – Letter


Happy Hump Day!

It’s been a slow week here, I know. On the bright side, I’ve gotten a lot (by my standards) done on Withered Legacy. After a few months of not writing anything, I wrote quite a bit yesterday and I’ve got steam left over to keep going! In the meantime, updates here will be sporadic and continue to depend on prompts.

Today’s post comes courtesy of Tara’s #100WordChallenge.

Prompt: Letter


The house is shrouded in silence when I get back, dawn a couple of hours away. Though I can’t sleep, I retreat to my room. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the solitude of being the only one awake at night, and yet a part of me refuses to readjust to human hours.

“Ariella?” My father – tired and groggy – sits up from my bed.

“You didn’t have to wait.”

“I wanted to.” A yawn. “Here – this came for you.” He holds out a wax-sealed letter.

“From who?” My stomach turns – Niklaus wouldn’t actually write me letters, would he?


I’m struggling (as always) with how to get this story to the next plot point. Here’s hoping future prompts set me up for it.

As always, think happy thoughts!


Calloused Caretaker



This week we will continue to ride the angst train until I figure out a way to resolve Niklaus and Ariella’s problems. For now, enjoy the suffering of one of my favorite couples.

Today’s post comes courtesy of Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday prompt series. For this one, I picked the “Calloused caretaker” prompt. Nothing better for a broken heart than to have a tough parent rub salt into the wound.

Here we go!


It’s only been a week since Soren brought me home (is it really home? I’m not sure anymore). I’ve yet to adjust to regular human hours again, and I don’t think I can. The few hours I do spend awake that overlap with the others at home have been filled with a combination of pitying glances (from my father) and annoyed looks (from my stepmother).

They think I don’t notice, but it’s kind of hard not to, when it’s all I see before they retreat for the evening or before I turn in for the day. My father, to my relief, has allowed me to adjust on my own. He’s giving me all the time I need to come to terms with what’s happened. The same can’t be said about my stepmother. Always the pragmatist, she constantly brings up how I should be pulling my weight around the house.

Tonight is no different.

“Honestly, Ariella, all this moping is getting old.” I’m doing my best not to lash out at her – after all, she is my dad’s wife and commands some of my respect. Not to mention that I know her annoyance with me comes from a place of caring – she’s not heartless. And, to an extent, I do understand where she’s coming from. This is getting me nowhere but I can’t bring myself to do anything about it. “You should be glad to be rid of the leeches.”

Funny, I once would have called them leeches, too. They were monsters in a faraway castle back then. “I know. I’m sorry.”

It’s the first time I’ve responded to her reprimands, and this seems to catch her off-guard. Even so, it’s not enough to get her to stop. “Then start acting like it.”

She dumps my crossbow (I hadn’t even noticed that Nadya thought to include it in my things) and some hunting gear on the table in front of me.

“What’s this?”

“I need you to go out and gather some things for me, herbs mostly.”

“I’m not supposed to be interacting with the rest of the village…” According to Soren, Niklaus (I try not to grit my teeth at the thought of his name – I fail) thinks it best so as to reduce the chances of the council finding out – it annoys me that I agree. Not to mention that they’re almost all closing up shop by now anyway.

“I don’t need you to go to the shops.” She rummages for a sheet of parchment in her apron and hands it to me. “You can find the herbs in the forest. And maybe catch us something to eat other than this dry meat from the market.” She wrinkles her nose at our supply closet.

It’s not like I can refuse – being confined to the house hasn’t exactly been helping – so I nod and retreat to my room to change. Unlike Niklaus’ clothes, my hunting outfit doesn’t need any adjusting to fit me properly. Once it’s on, I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to try hunting. I feel comfortable for the first time since getting back to the village.

“Try to be a little easier on her.” My father’s voice floats through the door. I stop what I’m doing and inch closer to hear better. “She’s clearly distraught over what happened.”

“She can’t just mope forever.  It’ll get her nowhere, and it’ll be impossible for her to move on. Really. She’s a grown woman and should be acting like it – not like a lovesick little girl.” I flinch at the ice in my stepmother’s voice. Makes me wonder if she’s ever had her heart broken. “Ariella can’t confine herself to this house forever – I don’t care what that stupid vampire says. Eventually, she’ll have to pick herself up and go to another village and start a new life. You think she’s equipped to do that now? You think she’ll ever be able to at this rate?”

Rather than let my father respond, I step out of my room. Of course, I know that’s what I’ll have to do, but it doesn’t hurt any less hearing her say it like it should be the easiest thing in the world. The tension in the room is palpable, and I avoid both their gazes, keeping my head down and gathering my things. Neither of them say anything, even though I can feel my father’s need to apologize and my stepmother’s urge to drive her point home.I sling the crossbow over my shoulder and put on my cloak.

“I’ll be back by dawn.”

Holding the sheet of paper tight in one hand, I shove the back door with more force than I need to, slamming it open before disappearing into the night.


So I’m finally starting to get an idea of what may or may not bring her back in contact with the vamps. We’ll see. Feel free to leave comments/feedback/suggestions on where you want the story to go! I’m always all ears 🙂

As always, think happy thoughts!

Still processing Cursed Child feelings…


Image from pottermore.com


So I meant to get a post up yesterday but things got busy and then when I finally had some free time/motivation, my copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child finally decided to show up. Of course I dropped everything. I have so many feelings. Too many to really put in words but I’m going to try.

I guess here’s my review/recap/thoughts of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Fair warning, I can’t really fully process/review this without spoilers, so SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Continue reading

Picture prompt!


Image from Our Write Side’s prompt post

And post #3!

I don’t think I’ve ever participated in The Darkroom picture prompt. Like Master Class Monday and Coldly Calculating, this prompt series comes from the brilliant minds behind Our Write Side.

For this prompt, I’ve decided to try moving Provisional Freedom forward a bit, even though I still have no idea what I’m doing with it.

Here goes!


I thought there was still a long way to go before we would stop again. Instead, we come to a door what feels like minutes after starting to walk again. We’re at the end of the tunnel, and while I still haven’t noticed an incline, I can feel we’re at the top of the mountain. My mother confirms this.

Unlike the rest of the cave, this door is made of old wood, with a latch so rusty, I can’t tell what its original color might have been. I’m almost afraid to touch it and that it’ll crumble under my finger tips. My mother doesn’t hesitate to open the door, her fingers coming away stained red after she undoes the latch. When the door opens, the cave is flooded with light from outside.

Following my mother through the door, I struggle to keep my eyes on her while trying not to be blinded by the light. When my eyes adjust, I’m met with the sight of the forest we came from in the distance an the bright blue sky above. A faint sense of vertigo tugs at my stomach, but I push it down, trying to focus on the grass beneath my feet. It’s something of a garden up here, quieter than I expected it to be considering the way the wind blows my hair every which way. I turn to look at the door, only to see it closing behind us before it melds itself into the rock wall. It disappears before I can react.

“Mom? The door is gone.”

“One time use per person. That’s the rule.” She seems unfazed by this, so I try not to panic. Does this mean we can’t get back down? What if we don’t get out?

Instead of voicing my worries, I ask, “So what now?”

“Now, you come with me.” This is a new voice, unfamiliar, but again my mother doesn’t react. It comes from somewhere behind her, and a moment later there’s a figure walking toward us, appearing out of the low clouds that shroud parts of the summit.

“Who are you?”

“You can call me Max.” They bow. A pair of warm, brass-colored eyes look up at me as they stand upright again. I know what they are before they tell me. I can feel it in their voice – and the outfit makes it about obvious.

“An angel? In purgatory? Why?” I look at my mother – how did she manage this?

“They’re your way out of here.” My mother answers, and it takes a moment for me to register her words.

“My way? Don’t you mean ours?”

“No – I was only sent to guide you this far. I can’t go with you.”


“I’ve been dead a long time, Paola. Don’t you remember?” It’s as if her words trigger a flood of memories. She died when I was five. How old am I now? I don’t remember, but I do remember her funeral, all the crying I did.

“Then…then how are you…?”

“We sent her to guide you out of purgatory… ” Max’s voice is soft as they speak. “And to take your place.”

“What?!” I step back, unwilling to get any closer to the angel.

“A soul can’t escape purgatory unless there’s another to replace it. And you’re needed on earth, Paola.” My mother closes the distance between us, cupping my cheek with one hand. She looks like she’s about to cry, but holds back.

“But why?”

My mother simply looks at me, her eyes sullen but attempting to smile. “You’re in a unique position – unprecedented. If you go back, you’ll have extraordinary abilities.”

“And we could really use someone with those abilities right now.” Max takes another step toward me, and this time I stand my ground.

“But I can’t just leave you here.” I look between my mother and Max, eyes hard on the latter. “There has to be something I can do to get her out.”

“She’ll go back to Heaven as soon as you return to purgatory and reclaim your place.” They return my hard glare with a soft look. It’s clear Max is apologetic, and doesn’t seem to like this situation any more than I do.

“You give me your word?”


I look at my mother again before pulling her into a hug. There’s nothing left for me to say and she doesn’t speak, either. Before I can change my mind or protest further, I force myself to walk to Max and take their outstretched hand.


Plot twist! Maybe I’ll have a cross-over. Hmm. I’m not sure where on the timeline this is, but Provisional Freedom and Secondhand Soul definitely exist in the same universe. Definitely didn’t see this coming when I started writing it.

As always, think happy thoughts!

#ThursThreads – Overdose



It also feels like a while since I’ve done a ThursThreads response, so here I am! The best part is that this one moves Provisional Freedom forward. Hooray! I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on here, but it’s starting to come together.

Prompt: “It was probably an overdose.”

Happy reading!

CW: Mentions of suicide


I’m not sure how long we’ve been walking through the tunnels. At no point has it seemed like we’ve been walking at an incline, but my mother assures me that we’re almost to the top, almost out of purgatory. I know better than to ask how she knows.

“Do you want to take a break?” My mother stops, turning to look at me. There’s something in her eyes that makes me uneasy, but I can’t place what it is.

“Sure.” It’s not until I sit down that I register my exhaustion. A heaviness I didn’t notice before settles in my bones, and all I want to do is rest.

“You can sleep, if you want. I’ll wake you up.” She’s still holding my hand, but I’m not sure if it’s for my benefit or hers.

Leaning back against the tunnel wall, I close my eyes and tell myself it’s just to rest them a few moments.

The room is a mess, a reflection of the young woman lying on the crumpled bed. Several people mill about the room, examining every corner. One of them approaches the body – the young woman is dead – and removes a small bottle from the night stand.

“It was probably an overdose, but we won’t know until we get her back to the lab.”

Somewhere in the background, cries break through the low murmur of conversation.

When I open my eyes, I’m not sitting up, but lying with my head in my mother’s lap.

“Time to go.”


Be sure to check out other responses throughout the day! There’s always awesome stuff to read for this prompt series.

Friendly reminder: Trying to finish off this round of #TuesFlashFicTrain! Check out the prompt and hop on board!

As always, think happy thoughts!

#100WordChallenge – Fear


Image found on quotesgram.com

Hello again!

It’s been a pretty good week so far. I even read a book yesterday (gasp!). Really, though, I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. While it’s been a pretty productive week, I feel like it’s only a matter of time before something slips by me again. Fingers crossed it doesn’t happen.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a response to Tara’s #100wordchallenge, so this will be a little bit of a muscle stretch.

Here goes!



I’ll never forget the terror in her eyes, the way she shook as I stalked toward her.

Ariella slides closer, wrapping her arm around me as she tucks her head under my chin before pressing a soft kiss to my neck. I struggle to contain the tremor, but remnants of bloodlust shoot through me, mingling with other feelings I shouldn’t entertain. When she looks at me now, there’s no fear – only worry and something else I hope I’m imagining.

It’s selfish to kiss her, but I do it anyway, hoping it’ll assuage the panic rising in my chest.

It doesn’t.


Didn’t think I’d be writing about Niklaus’ panic today, but here we are! I think he’s my favorite character from the serials, but then again I’ve always had a soft spot for vampires. Angst has been hovering in the back of my mind with him, and I think some conflict (like they need more) is on the horizon for these two.

Friendly reminder: Trying to finish off this round of #TuesFlashFicTrain! Check out the prompt and hop on board!

As always, think happy thoughts!

#TuesFlashFicTrain R5-W3 Winner!


Prompt Winner: Stacy Overby


Happy Monday!

So I really, really dropped the ball this round. Things have gotten a bit hectic and I’ve neglected this prompt series. I’m hoping to finish up this round, and then will be going on hiatus until I can get things in order again.

First things first, though! The only reason we are able to continue moving forward is the awesome Stacy Overby! We continue this story thanks to her great writing and imagination, so thank you for participating and taking time out of your day to indulge my writing prompt 🙂 I know I’ve said it before, but you rock!

Be sure to check out parts one and two before moving on to part three!

Happy reading!

Mark took a deep breath.  He headed down the steps; his heart threatening to choke him.  Mark fished out his pocket flashlight, keys jingling from the ring.  At the bottom, Mark froze.  On the bench lay an old man.  He had newspapers for blankets, but his cleanliness struck Mark as odd.  At the man’s feet a scarf coiled into a neat pile.  Sienna’s scarf.

Rushing thoughts crowded his mind.  Mark strode over and snatched the scarf.

“Where did you get this?” his low voice bounced around the abandoned station, “What did you do to my sister?”

“Settle down, son.  You’re barking up the wrong tree.   I ain’t involved in your sister’s mess.”

“But you know about it.  And you have her scarf.”

“She lost it down here.  I found it.  Knew someone would be coming for answers.”

“What happened?”

“Found the reason the subways were abandoned, I reckon.  She still alive?”

Mark blinked several times, feeling as if the man slapped him.


“She’s the first, then, in a long while who survived.”

“Who are you?  What are you talking about?”

The old man grinned.  Perfect white teeth peeked through the bristling grey beard.  He stuck out his hand, “Patterson.”

Mark took the proffered hand and, shaking it, noticed the neatly trimmed nails and lack of dirt that belied the dingy coat sleeve.

“What are you doing down here?  I don’t believe you’re a bum looking for a place to sleep.”

Patterson nodded, “Observant.  Good.  I keep an eye on any broken gates until they can be repaired.  I try to keep people out on account of the thing down here.  Don’t always work, though.  I think it calls people down sometimes.”

Mark ground his teeth and balled his fists, “But what is it?  And if you’re watching it, how did my sister get passed you?”

“Like I said,” the old man sat up, an air of authority settling over him, “We don’t really know what it is.  No one has ever gotten a good look.  Seen enough to know it’s no known creature.  The bodies left say so, too.  Ain’t right, the way they died.”

“And my sister?”

“Got passed me because there are two open gates.  Was trying to watch both at once until Jackson got here.”

Mark nodded.

“To be frank, I wonder why your sister survived.  She’s the first in over twenty years.  Maybe ever.”

Wonders abound! What strange creatures could be down there, and why did they lead Sienna into the subway? This story just gets better by the second and I can’t wait to know what happens next.

Be sure to visit Stacy Overby and tell her how amazing she is all over social media:

Also, check out her website. Looks like there are quite a few cool stories to read and she has her own flash fiction contest series! She’s in the process of transitioning to a new site, so here’s both:

Feedback, comments, questions? Check out the rules and/or drop me a line. I’m always looking to make the contest better and I’m open to any suggestions you guys may have.

As always, think happy thoughts!