Fiction Friday Week 4

Yesterday morning I was battling severe depression and I completely forgot about this post. 😦

The depression was triggered by a metaphysical event and there was nothing I could do about it until the person who started it decided he was done.  

Anyway, this week, I was editing HW2.  I am still working on it and will be for another few days.  There are some parts that bother me – like the bit with the chimera – but that’s another post.  Today, it’s all about the bass.

…er…

No.  That’s wrong.

I haven’t had my tea yet.  Is it obvious?

It’s all about the parts I like.  The part I am sharing comes after the chimera battle.  Anna was knocked out by Hades and a lot of power use.  Liam and Cain decide that this coma she’s in is bad.  She needs to Feed, to replenish herself.  Sleeping isn’t going to do that.  Her heart rate is down to about three beats a minute and they kind of freak out.  They determine that in order to wake her she needs a push from both halves of her – the Wolf and the Vampire.  

Now, I’m off to get breakfast and tea and then I will look for today’s photos.  I think we are looking for awesomeness.  

Muah!

The Wolves in the room pressed back, breaking the chain that bound them to the Alphas, as Cain and the others surged forward in a wash of black energy.  Cain stopped at Caspian’s side of the bed and the Wolf scrambled to move.  Cain stretched out beside Anna, pressing as much of him against her as he could.  Without being bidden, the other Vampires knelt at his side and created a chain.  Cain looked at Liam.  “Create your chain again.  Each Wolf must push his energy into the Wolf before him and you must push it all into Anna, just as we will.  In this way we will try to revive her enough to Feed.”

Liam nodded and his eyes flicked over the gathered members of the Four Claw and Skye Packs.  “Do as he bids, please.”  Time passed in a whisper of a breath and Liam jerked in shock at the intensity of the power and love that suddenly poured into him; it was far greater than it had been a moment before.  It was almost like the Wolves wished to make the Wolf in her stronger than the Vampire.  He pushed that energy into Anna, begging her in fervent whispers to come back to him.

Cain pushed the Dark magic that is a Vampire into his daughter and watched for a greater flutter of life.  When Anna remained still as stone, indeed her heart slowed even further, he thumped a fist over her heart then dragged Liam over her as he pulled her over himself, sandwiching her between them.  He growled, “More!” at the Wolves and whispered fiercely to Anna, “Don’t you dare remain lost to me, Child.  I need you.”

Liam pretended he hadn’t heard and whispered his own need in Anna’s other ear.  For one breath, one sighed out word, there was nothing.  In the next, Anna exploded into life.  Cain and Liam were flung into the creatures on either side of the bed as Anna awoke and attacked in a single heartbeat.  She was on the Wolf nearest the end of the bed and had his throat torn out before anyone could think to shout a warning.

Anna drank him dry and dropped his corpse as Cain and Liam scrambled to their feet.  By the time they realized what she’d done, she was on another, this one bigger, stronger.  He was helpless to fend her off.  The arm he held up to defend himself was ripped off and thrown into the crowd as she latched on to the bloody mess of his shoulder. 

Cain shouted, “Stop her!”

Wolves and Vampires swarmed over her.  It took several people to hold her in place as Cain stepped in front of her.  He tore his wrist open and let her drink until he could spare nothing else.  He looked in her eyes and sighed.  “She needs more.”  Summoning the Vampires he’d brought with him, he watched as one after the other offered themselves to her.

Liam stepped in front of Cain.  “I’ll take over.  She should be fine.”  A grunt from the group holding her came simultaneously with the snap of teeth at his throat and he ducked as Cain shoved him out of the way.

“You’ll do no such thing.”  Cain’s eyes found Caspian.  “I hope your invitation to include all those I need to aid me in bringing her back still holds.”

Caspian nodded.  “Aye, it does.”

“Good.”  Cain sent out a Call to all the Vampires who could reach them in the next five minutes.  He flung his energy outward in a command and latched on to every vampire on the island. 

Rafe found himself back in the Hybrid’s room after having been pulled against his will from the quarters Caspian had given him upon his arrival.  “What the hell is going on?  Who is responsible for this summoning?”  His outrage shimmered around him until everyone parted and Cain stood before him.  He immediately dropped to one knee.  “My Lord.  How may I be of service?”  He rose to his feet again as a few other Vampires bumped into him from behind, helpless to stop their forward momentums.

“You will all feed my daughter until she can be trusted to not kill anyone else.”

Several sets of Vampire nostrils flared at the scent of blood.  Variations of “Yes, my Lord” echoed off the stones in the hallway as they lined up to offer their blood.  Rafe stepped up first and moved to open his wrist.  His movements were cut short when Anna wrenched one arm free and yanked him against her.  He had a brief moment to appreciate her form where it was pressed against him before her teeth closed over his throat.

With one swift yank, she tore out his trachea, turning his throat into nothing more than a fountain.  She spat the flesh to the floor and locked her lips over the gushing blood.  Anna snarled at the hands trying to pry her teeth off him and it wasn’t until they’d regained control of her free arm that they were able to free what was left of Rafe.   

As they carried his body out, the other Vampires shrunk back a little and Cain and Liam growled at them.  Cain compelled them forward again and one cut his wrist open, offering it hesitantly up to Anna’s lips.  She drank greedily from first him, then the female and the next two males.  By the time she’d been through all four she was more lucid and colour was returning to her eyes.

Cain looked carefully into her eyes and Anna smiled a bit.  “Hello Da.  I’m here.”

He nodded.  “Good.”  He turned to the Wolves holding her.  “You can release her.”  He also released the compulsion on the other Vampires.

They did so cautiously and Anna looked around in surprise and sorrow as they shrank back from her.  “Liam?  Da?  What did I do?”

The Skye Wolves melted out the door and left Anna with Cain, Caspian, Liam, Marcus and Chelle.  As they cleared out Anna saw the bodies.  Horror filled her face and the black fled her eyes entirely, leaving them pale green with sorrow.  “I did that?  Oh no.  Oh, Caspian I’m so sorry to have brought this on your home and your pack.”

Oh! PS.  After Cain leaves, there’s some really hot sex and Liam proposes to Anna.  I, of course, had to post the violence, not the heat and romance. 😉

Surprising Sights (aka Fun with Macros!)

Good afternoon, my lovelies. 

How’s it goin’, eh?

For this blog, I had planned to share a few more photos from my folder called ‘for blog’.  It’s where I put the photos I want to share with you once I’m done with them in Photoshop.  However!  When I was making breakfast I noticed that the strawberries I had last weekend had been left (to rot) on the counter.  Even if I had put them away, they’d still be rotting.  I’m not sure why The Boyfriend left them there but they did provide some significant inspiration.  

Also, every Saturday, (as I’ve mentioned before), I put out peanut butter on bread for Bob and Doug, our resident squirrels.  When I was leaned over setting the bread out I noticed that the snow looked really strange.  I immediately wanted to photograph it too.

I decided to eat my breakfast first and think about how I wanted to do it.  

Let’s talk about the strawberries first.  

I decided to put out the cutting board and use it as a base but it was too dark in the kitchen for macros, even with the window right there.  So my most immediate issue was how to light everything.  I have a torch (flashlight) on my phone (doesn’t everyone?) and I figured that would be good enough.  But how do I prop it up so I can adjust the berries and take pictures without having to worry about it falling?  

Why, lay it across the top of one of my tea cups (mugs), of course.  

And it was very nearly perfect.  I probably could have used a reflector for a less direct source of light but this set up worked. [SQUIRREL!] Would a piece of white or off-white paper have worked for that?  hmmm 

I took a dozen or so pictures and in the end I’m sharing eight of them with you.  These are not what I’d call pretty.  These berries are in stages of rot after all.  The pictures are spectacular. 

I don’t really have a rhyme or reason for the order of pictures, they just are.  They’ve had various adjustments to try to fix slight over exposure here, bring out more detail there.  Pretty much, I’m just going to post them with little comments that come to mind.  (Please don’t forget that if you want more detail in any of my photos, you can right click and select “open image in new tab”.)  

I had a slight problem with glare on the white mold, as you can see, but it makes for a startling and vivid image.

I had a slight problem with glare on the white mold, as you can see, but it makes for a startling and vivid image.

Other angles brought the glare down a little...

Other angles brought the glare down a little…

...and allowed for more detail to come through.

…and allowed for more detail to come through.

We mustn't discount the top of the strawberry.  The colours here are intense and vastly different.

We mustn’t discount the top of the strawberry. The colours here are intense and vastly different.

Also kind of... wet... and really disgusting up this close.

Also kind of… wet… and really disgusting up this close.  Actually… it kind of looks like a living creature.  Hunting.

I LOVE this picture.  The textures, the lighting,  the...Well, everything.

I LOVE this picture. The textures, the lighting, the…Well, everything.

Same strawberry, different angle.  I love this picture for the tiny details, like the strawberry seeds scattered on the wood, and for the light and shadows.  The textures of the rot is pretty cool too.

Same strawberry, different angle. I love this picture for the tiny details, like the strawberry seeds scattered on the wood, and for the light and shadows. The textures of the rot are pretty cool too.

And finally, there's this one.  It has only just started to dry out, has only lost a seed or two, and still looks deliciously edible.   Or would if you hadn't just seen the ones before it.  *grins*

And finally, there’s this one. It has only just started to dry out, has only lost a seed or two, and still looks deliciously edible. Or would if you hadn’t just seen the ones before it. *grins*

Aren’t they fantastic?  Absolutely love them.  Who said all gorgeous pictures have to be pretty?

As I said earlier, I noticed that the snow looked odd, really different.  I couldn’t think of the word but when I showed the pictures to The Boyfriend he said it looked like down feathers.  I am inclined to agree.  I took three pictures to share with you all.  I took two on the blue railing and one on the rug that is draped over the railing.  

When I was playing with the levels and contrast on the second picture, I noticed something weird – the edges turned a purpley-pink colour.  Since my outside world is typically blue and white, with some evergreens thrown in, it doesn’t make any sense to me.  However, I think it’s kind of cool and, oddly, looks more realistic than the just contrast one.  I saved the picture with just the contrast and then again with the contrast and levels both done.  

I'm not sure why this one is still so dark but whatever.  Look at the snow.  Isn't that weird?  It kind of looks like hoar frost but it feels like snow.

I’m not sure why this one is still so dark but whatever. Look at the snow. Isn’t that weird? It kind of looks like hoar frost but it feels like snow.

Different angle than the first, giving more depth to the snow.  Also, this one is no auto-level.

Different angle than the first, giving more depth to the snow. Also, this one is no auto-level.

This one is with the auto-level.  See what I mean?

This one is with the auto-level. See what I mean?

And this one, obviously, is the one of the snow and rug.  I put it in grayscale and there was zero change to the picture.  It made me laugh.

And this one, obviously, is the one of the snow and rug. I put it in grayscale and there was zero change to the picture. It made me laugh.

Small things amuse me.  Makes life more fun if you’re not waiting for that big joke to make you laugh.  And just to make you laugh, because it’s good for you and I enjoy that sort of thing, here is Zefrank to brighten your day.  

Muah

Fiction Friday week 3

Good morning!

Image courtesy of google some years ago

Image courtesy of google some years ago

It’s Friday and you know what that means – it’s time for a look into my week’s work with words.

(hee hee.. alliterations.  I love ’em)

But first, a warning.  All my regulars know I have an adult blog but since I can’t stick a reminder before the blog is opened this will have to do.

The following is meant for ADULTS. If you are under the age of majority in your location, kindly leave.

Well now.  Part of me wanted that to say “kindly fuck off” but I resisted.  *laughs*

This week,  I was talking to my Wolfman and we got to talking about a memory that surfaced that explained a lot about one of my kinks.  

The memory:  My first real boyfriend, John, and his best friend, Keith, and I were driving around in Keith’s station wagon when John had Keith pull into underground parking.  We were waiting for time to pass, I think.  John’s way of making time pass was sex.  He pulled me into the back of the station wagon, with Keith in the front, and had at me.  

The kink:  Being overheard or ‘accidentally’ seen.

The discussion:  All the public places Wolfman and I (separately) have had sex in our lives.  It was a hot topic and inspired the following story.  

I’ve joined a group on an adult version of Facebook recently to share short writings.  So my most recent (self-imposed) writing challenge was to write a SHORT story, something between 750 and 1,000 words.  Something hot and evocative.  I totally succeeded this week.  

Sent it to the friend I call kitty and her reaction went like this:

kitty:  Holy fuck.

me: right?

kitty:  just… fuck

*grins broadly*   Love it.  

Enough teasing.   Here it is.  Be sure to let me know what you think.

Have a great day!

Muah.

The Gift

The hood smells like sweat, fear and satisfaction.

The leather blinds me to him. 

It very nearly deafens me to his commands.  I have to strain to hear his whispers.

I wriggle my shoulders to try to ease the ache in them and pray he doesn’t notice. My arms have been tied behind me for what seems like forever now.  He zip tied my wrists when he shoved me into the room.

We’re upstairs in the host’s bedroom.  There’s a birthday party downstairs, we barely know the host; we were invited on a whim by a mutual friend.  There must be twenty people here.

I’ve never been quiet.

I don’t know how he managed to get my hood to the party with him.

Frankly, I don’t care right now. He’s liberated the vibrator that’s now pressed to my clit from somewhere. 

“Please…” The word is torn from my throat as he slides the vibe off my clit.

Again.

“Please what, my slut?”  His voice his hoarse and it sends a thrill deep into my belly.  It is a visceral pleasure knowing that me lying here – legs spread, feet on the floor, belly to the bed, arms wrenched behind me and my dress thrown up over my hands, writhing, soaking wet  and swollen with need – turns him on as much as it does me.

His chest is on my back, pressing me into the fragrant coats until I’m near to smothering.  He asks again.  This is bad.  I answer immediately. “Please let your slut cum.  Please, Master!”  The last word is torn from my throat as he sinks his teeth into my shoulder and white lightning whips through me, straight to my clit.

“That’s better.”  I can hear the smile in his voice as he speaks and I smile back.  “Not yet.”  He repositions the vibe so it’s almost touching, oh so close to my clit.  If I wiggle just a little I can – I yelp as a hard smack comes down on my ass.  And, wanton slut that I am, I lift my ass for more. 

He does not oblige.

Instead, his hands are roaming over me, stroking, teasing me.  Work roughened hand; they can be soft as silk when he wants them to be and sandpaper harsh when he doesn’t.

It all turns me on.

Oh Gods.  I’m going to… I can’t help it.  “Please!” I scream again.  I’m desperate for his permission.

Slaps suddenly rain down on my ass and I jerk, trying to get away from them.  They’re hard and heavy; punishing.  They drive all thoughts of an orgasm from my head and tears spring to my eyes.

Then they stop.  The vibe stops.  The silence leaves my ears ringing.

There’s a whisper of sound then one hand grips my hip.  Hope flares in my belly and I move restlessly.  The fingers bite cruelly, holding me still. I know there will be bruises later but I don’t care.  I hope.  I pray. Please, Gods.

Then his cock, thick, hot and throbbing, is buried deep in me.  With one stroke he fought the tight, twitching muscles and stretched me wide.  I scream, forgetting where we are.  I can’t help it.  The pleasure is too much.  My upper body jerks, I can’t help that either.  I’m battling for control.

“Now!”  He starts fucking me hard.  I’m not allowed to use that word anymore but that’s what it is. Animal.  Needy.  Powerful.  Vigorous. 

I’m lost; the orgasm is stronger than I am. 

Fireworks.

Screaming.

Muscle spasms.

Hot fluid.

Panting.

There’s a weird sound in my ears.  It’s rhythmic.  Getting louder.

Is it my heartbeat?

No. 

His heartbeat?

No.

Suddenly my brain puts it together.

It’s applause.

From several people.

The heat of humiliation sweeps over me in a red blush that feels like it’s coming from my toes.

And yet… I’m thrilled. 

There’s the sound of a manly slap on the shoulder and the host’s voice.  “This was the best birthday present ever, man.  Thank you.”

 

My Work Space

(Warning: This blog is apropos of absolutely nothing. I needed a rambling connection with you all. *smiles*)

Hi there!

It’s late morning and I’ve been busy. Before 9 I had scooped the litter, scrubbed the bathroom and the kitchen like my parents were coming over, made the bed and showered.  Since then, I’ve done some editing, watched two TV shows with Val and talked to Dad.

Apparently, Dad’s been talking about me and my writing again (this is an awesomely good thing) because he asked for the links to my books.  Sadly, they do not exist anymore.  I had to take them down because of the social assistance I’m on.  If I can get on disability they’re going back up.  However, right now, they’re not there.  So, he asked if there was an excerpt.  I said I had several and gave him the link for the HW category.

That got me thinking, “What exactly is in that category??”  So I took a look.

Lots of stuff that doesn’t entirely belong.  It’s going to take some time to sort it out.  

I did find something that amused me though – this blog from two years ago (although the picture appears to be from June 2012).  My cat is far larger, though no less terrible.  *chuckles*  My desk space has evolved too:

Look at that, eh?

Look at that, eh?

 

You may think “Evolved into a bigger mess!” but …well, yes, messier.  But it’s what I need right now and it does get cleaned regularly. 😉 I have total control over this space and I like that.  That control helps when my fibro and arthritis pain is too much or the MCS has a grip on my brain.  I control the volume, the thing that makes noise (or not), what’s on my screens, what is on the surfaces, etc.  

Better chair, though you’ll notice there’s still a kitchen chair present.  That chair serves as desk space, GK seating, a cat lounge and a foot rest. I have a ton of books, more plants (there are two missing – one is a bulb I will have to start soon and the other is my basil tree, it is currently in hibernation.  We will be growing grass for the cat too but that is NOT going on my desk.  I broke him of that habit (there’s no room).  The roll top desk top came from The Boyfriend, as did the pine desktop.

The books to the left of my water bottle are about writing, marketing, meditation, healing and energy work.  There are almanacs I need to replace (with current ones), books about Scotland and the body.  I have dictionaries and thesauruses (thesaurusi! 😉 ), markers, pens, highlighters and pencils of all colours.  And then there are the creatures.

My desk has really become my space for all things.  I work here, play here, socialize here, eat here, spend time with my kid here.  It’s simultaneously freeing and imprisoning.  I think that the latter is because of where I live and that can (and will) change.  

This blog started because that old picture amused me.  I’d forgotten how empty my desk used to be.  Now, back to work.  Dad’s birthday is coming up and it’s my deadline.  

Muah!

Ice, Ice Baby

Good morning!  It’s Saturday morning (barely, it’s 20 to 12) and I am quite pleased to be here.  How about you?

It’s too cold for the squirrels, apparently.  Last week’s berries were still on the porch railing.  I put their weekly dose of peanut butter and bread out there anyway.  We’ll see if they come for it today.

This week in pictures, we have the world as I know it but covered in ice!  And one really funky, you-know-I-had-to-play-around version of said icy world.  Shall we?  

“Sure!”

Let’s start funky. 

Surrealism. I like it. Only to a degree though; it starts to offend the senses after a while. But this! I love this.  I was playing with Hue/Saturation – mostly Saturation, trying to see what it looked like in B&W – when I suddenly decided I wanted to play with the Hue slider.  For some reason I like the  purple.  It is a little monotone-istic,  (…what… it’s a word!), but still, it’s worth a tiny contemplation.

Purple.  It's so purple.

Purple. It’s so purple.

The next three two (I decided I don’t like the third) are all of the same spot and I titled them, collectively, Boulderific.  You can’t quite see the sheer number boulders of ice that were dancing and spinning around and beyond that big boulder but it was impressive. 

They got slightly different treatments.  I just used auto levels and auto contrast on the first one but played with curves and the brightness/contrast with the second until I got the best representations of the actual colours as I could.  Everything is always so BLUE for some reason.  But, I’ve been playing with my cameras’ settings to see if I can change that.  

From a distance.

From a distance.  It’s the sky pretty?

As close as I could get without falling through anything or falling down.  Down is bad.

As close as I could get without falling through anything or falling down. Down is bad.

On New Year’s Day we wandered over to South Beach to see what we could see at the marina and have a little change in perspective.  I took a number of pictures all along the road to the docks.  It was also the day I was playing with my camera phone settings, taking pictures of the same thing with each setting just to see what the differences were. 

Some of that was surprising, like this one:

This is cartoonify.  Bizarre, isn't it?

This is cartoonify. Bizarre, isn’t it?

That’s a whole other blog though.  The following picture is one I took while lying on the cement path lining one little docking space beside the river.  It was a collection of debris that had collided together and piled up in this corner.  I like this part of it because it looks in motion and still at the same time.  The combination of textures – water, ice, snow and the flotsam and jetsam of fall – just appealed to me.  I love the lines, the colours and the spaces with an absence of colour.  

Swoosh

Isn’t it lovely?

And finally, the following day we went up on the observation deck on the main beach.  I got a few beautiful shots and I wanted to share this one with you.  It’s to the north, towards Kincardine and Goderich. As you can see, it was a gorgeous day – bright blue sky, fluffy clouds mirrored in the lake by white caps rushing for the shore.  It was also quite cold!  We don’t go up to the observation deck much because…well, stairs.  The elevator is closed in the winter.  I wanted to see what we could see though so we went.  The result is beauty.  

You can see the wind and yet, the photo is somehow serene.  It was a picture perfect day.

You can see the wind and yet, the photo is somehow serene. It was a picture perfect day.

And that’s it for me (this afternoon now), folks.  I hope you enjoyed the pictures!  Right now, I have so many to share with you it’s hard to pick just a few.  AND I still have hundreds of Scotland pictures to share – not that I’d share that many, just the best of the best.  Maybe I should do Scottish Sunday, eh?  I have been woefully negligent in sharing what was the experience of a lifetime.  

An experience that has caused me to develop a dream of living in Scotland for a year writing about it and photographing it from Kirkwell to Whithorn.  I can’t yet see how the dream would come true but I would love it to, and without waiting another 35 years!  

Have a good afternoon!

Muah

Fiction Friday, Week 2

Hello!

Hello!

Good Friday morning, folks!

It has been a really busy week this week.  I haven’t written anything, though I was editing the Father’s Day story (I am hoping to have a title by the time I’m done the first edit).  I had appointments on Monday (therapy), Tuesday (spine surgery clinic), and Thursday (shots).  I am taking my daughter to her doctor’s appointment later this afternoon.  Wednesday was pretty much spent in a haze of the after effects of so much exposure the previous two days.  Today is kind of the same way but my brain is functioning.

Sort of.  There are a lot of SQUIRREL!! moments.  I keep finding myself drifting.  It’s taking a lot of discipline to come back.

Good news though!  NO SURGERY!  Woo hoo!  [Okay, had to let my my wander away a bit there.  Now I’m back.]  The doc went through the MRI imagery – that was creepy and really cool at the same time – and showed us where the desiccation is and told us that those two discs are bulging and showed us that it really is just a tiny bit.  Spine and spinal fluid are not compromised at all.  He did confirm that there are vertebrae joints with arthritis in them, seemed to point to 4 of them.  

There’s a plan of action (that involves fluoroscopic injections and rehab – and when I explained that going to rehab was next to impossible because of the MCS he said “It really is better if you actually go.”   Duh.) and I couldn’t be happier.  

I am spending the day hydrating and resting, up to the appointment, and then more hydrating and resting this weekend.  I intend to go down to the private beach and take a bunch of pictures.  My intentions and The Boyfriend’s thoughts don’t always match up though. 😉  We’ll see what happens.

Meanwhile!  Fiction Friday, week two.  Today, since I haven’t done any writing, I am sharing with you an old story I stumbled upon last week.  It’s called To You I am Given and was inspired by something  I read (which, really, is one reason writers should be readers).  I think it was a wedding vow in the book.  It’s been a number of years since I wrote it.  I had forgotten all about it, really.  I have no idea why I have all the damn caps in it and it’s only had one (very fast) edit.  It’s kind of cringe worthy that way but… I’m sharing it anyway.  I like the way the theme is written and the moral of the story.  

Enjoy!  I’m off to edit pictures.  

Muah!

 

To You, I am Given

 Azezeal sat on a mushroom cloud, high above the first of the endless round of explosions and watched as the world died. 

Sammamuel had finally won the battle with Jehovah and humanity was His.  A few concessions had been ceded to the loser – such as the brightest and purest of souls going to the newly humbled God.  Azezeal figured that might mean a hundred or two in the billions on the planet.  Not a big loss.  Everything and everyone else belong to Him.  Them, Azezeal amended.  The Kings of Hell would rule the world and walk freely upon the face of the Earth, once it was rid of the pesky conglomeration of sentient beings that made it so uncomfortable to live on.  And Sammamuel had chosen a prime spot to begin the Apocalypse – what was once the most holy of holy places, the Garden of Eden; otherwise known as Iran.  Unconsecrated though it may be, humans still considered it a holy land.

 It started with the air superheating.  The water in the ground boiled and exploded from the earth and sewers as steam only to evaporate so quickly people thought the explosions were hallucinations.  The water in the foolishly built and frail human bodies began to bubble and boil.  Sammamuel merely grinned as those prone to madness went there in a blink and tore into the people nearest them with bare hands. The Lords of Hell watched gleefully as the Garden turned crimson then began to burn.  With a flick of long, elegant fingers, Sammamuel spread the destruction outward like ripples in a pond.

 As seas boiled and the world began to die, screaming in pain. Azezeal puzzled over the nagging feeling that they had missed something.  For more millennia than He could count, the Lords had indulged in every human emotion and whim They could.  Lust was, by far, Their favourite; all of the many, many ways sex could be had was well known to Them and They were hard pressed to think of anything new; though not for a lack of trying.  Billions of lives, human and animal, were lost in the ongoing, spreading destruction.  The deep blue hue of human life that covered the planet was snuffed out, sometimes one at a time, sometimes in groups of hundreds of thousands.  The blue was replaced by the auric colours of each person.  The colours showed precisely what each person had done with their lives, announcing their quality of character loud and clear to those who could see.

Azezeal watched as a cloud of blue poofed out of existence, turning into a roiling mass of black.  The mass shifted as it rose and a flash of pale pink light shone for just a moment.  The sight arrested Azezeal’s musings and He shifted on the cloud to try to see it better. 

 “Azezeal!  Lose something?”  Mammon’s mocking voice drifted over the destruction and screams of the dying.

 Azezeal rolled his eyes and schooled His face before turning to the Third Lord of Hell.  “Of course not Mammon, though I can see you’ve already lost your mind.” He gestured to the cage floating behind Mammon, “Showing your true self I see.”

 “I am the patron of lust and greed after all!  These creatures worshipped me in life, it’s fitting they do so in death.”  Mammon reached into the cloud and grabbed a grey soul, one tinged with just enough white to make her start rethinking her sins, and pulled the hapless soul to Him.  He set her in His lap and began to pet her.  She turned pleading eyes to Azezeal and He shifted His gaze back to the roiling cloud of black souls that had so interested him.

 There! Azezeal again caught the flash of pink and left His perch to investigate.  He dove into the mass of souls, great leathery wings catching the air to slow Him as He neared His goal.  He flung the souls out of the way, shoving them off Him as they pressed close to beg forgiveness.  “I am not your God!”  He bellowed the words as He pushed His way through.  Several thousand scattered in fear, even as they continued their ascent to Hell and the Demons who awaited them. 

 He caught sight of the bright, pale pink soul again and folded His wings close to His body as He dove towards her, navigating the air currents until He found it.  He spread His wings again, using them like a parachute, until He came to a halt before the purity lost in a sea of sin.  His breath caught as His heart stopped.  It was a woman.  He could see how she had looked in life – a brunette with silver gracing her temples, deep blue eyes darkened further as she scowled at him, twisting a perfect mouth and flawless features into something nearly ugly.

“What do You want?”  There was respect in her voice that warred with her hatred of His kind.

 “You.  I think.”  Azezeal frowned, confused.  His heart started beating again, this time on a different rhythm and a curious warmth spread through His chest.  He looked down at Himself and gasped in shock to see a bright white light creeping across His upper body.

 He looked back up at her to see her smirking now.  “It seems, King of Hell, that You are experiencing the purest of all emotions.”

 Azezeal turned to a purely male defence mechanism in the face of His confusion and the riotous amount of unknown emotion tumbling through Him – rage.  He scowled and grabbed her, shaking her hard enough to make even her incorporeal self dizzy.  “Who are you and what have you done to me?”

 She pushed her hair out of her face and glared at Him.  “I did nothing!”  She flung a hand out at the world, the destruction that was rapidly taking over.  “It is YOU!  All of You!  You did this; You ruined everything I was working for!”

 He dragged her back to His former perch.  “What in the name of Hell are you talking about?”  His eyes raked her from head to toe, trying to convey nothing but disgust for her kind.  He failed spectacularly as His body heated.  He suddenly wanted nothing more than to protect her, keep her safe and spend weeks touching her until she purred with pleasure. 

 Somehow she managed to stomp her foot.  “I had them!  They were going to turn their lives around, live for the Light!” 

 Azezeal snorted, “Your soul is pink.  You are not perfect, not worthy of seeing Jehovah.”

 To His utter shock, her face crumpled and she turned away in pain.  “My sister’s death was an accident but it was my fault.  I took the blame and the smut for the spell we’d been trying to work.”  Her agonized whisper reached His ears and He shocked Himself further by scooping her into His arms and cradling her against His chest. He stroked her hair, whispering soothing words in her ear. 

 That’s when it hit Him.  That’s when Jehovah’s voice whispered in His ear with the answer to His puzzle. “Love.  Love is the only thing you have not yet experienced.  And it must be experienced.”

 It was suddenly clear to Azezeal.  Even beings as Dark as They could love, SHOULD love!  If all humanity was destroyed before this happened, then everything Sammamuel had fought for would be lost. The existence of everything would wink out and be gone. 

 Azezeal turned to where He knew the Fourth Lords of Hell sat, Lady Fierna and Lord Belial.  They were in love.  It was obvious now that He knew what to look for.  How could They not tell Sammamuel what was going to happen? 

Fierna turned to Him as if She’d heard His thoughts.  Because we are tired and we wish to die together.  Enjoy your woman in the last few moments you have.

 He dipped His head in acknowledgement of Her words, the trust She implied by sharing the path to her innermost thoughts.  But I cannot let it end if this is what awaits Us.  He set His woman down. “Remain here.  You will be safe, I swear it.”

 She looked startled as He set a ward around her, the crimson and black of His aura flashing around her. She scrambled to the edge of His cloud as He turned away to head for Sammamuel.  “Wait!”  She reached out a hand, jerking it back as the shield zapped her.  “What are You going to do?  What is Your name?”

 “I am going to put an end to the destruction.  And My name is Azezeal.”  He dipped His head to her in silent homage, His eyes drinking her in then He turned from her and flew for the King of Kings.

 Azezeal halted, hovering before the cloud Sammamuel had housed Himself on.  He sketched a quick bow then said, “Sammamuel!  My Lord!  You must stop this destruction.  It must cease!  Allow the few remaining humans what is left of their planet.”

 Sammamuel turned red eyes to the Lord before Him.  Dual sets of lids blinked, giving Azezeal a brief respite from the reptilian pupils and nova bright irises.  “And just why should I spoil My fun and that of Your Brothers and Sister?”

Azezeal blushed, much to His chagrin.  “I have learned something in the last few moments.”

 Sammamuel looked down at His hand, studying the buff, well shaped fingernails in seeming boredom.  He dropped the hand to the head of the black coloured soul who was worshipping Him with his mouth.  “What have You learned, little Brother.” 

 Azezeal heard the warning in Sammamuel’s tone and swallowed back His fear.  He opened His mouth to speak and was silenced by Sammamuel’s sudden appearance in front of Him.

 Sammamuel looked Azezeal over closely.  “You have… fallen in love.”  Sammamuel peered over to Azezeal’s cloud, trying to see through the shield that surrounded it.  “Does that have something to do with this?”  Sammamuel sneered, “Are you suddenly sympathising with the mortals?”

 Azezeal chose His words carefully.  He knew that to tell Sammamuel that His Father had told Azezeal, rather than Sammamuel Himself, this lesson would anger Him.  “I have had the nagging feeling that We have forgotten something for some time now.”  He swallowed visibly as Sammamuel’s brow lifted.  “It wasn’t until I saw this woman, a pale pink soul in a mass of sin, that it hit me with the force of lightning.”  He spread His hands to show His earnestness and honesty.  He framed the white light glowing in His chest. “We have experienced all humanity has to offer except this one thing.”

 “So?”  Sammamuel returned to His seat and the worshipping human.

 “I believe,” Azezeal’s voice cracked, mortifying Him, “if We allow humanity to perish and the world to burn without having experienced this emotion, everything will vanish in a blink.  Everything We… You … have worked for will disappear and nothing will remain.”

 “THAT IS A LIE!”  Mammon’s voice echoed across the space dividing Sammamuel from the rest.  He flew across that space, crashing into Azezeal in a fury.  “This is precisely what We have been working for!”  The debate got loud, competing with the screams of the dying and complimented for a few moments with the sounds of fists on flesh, as the other Lords joined in.  Sammamuel watched impassively, noting that Fierna and Belial did not join in.  He suspected that Azezeal may have the right of it.

 It was because of that small suspicion that Sammamuel did nothing as Azezeal slipped from the grasp of Mammon and moved away, leaving His Brothers to fight it out.  Sammamuel watched closely as Azezeal moved to His perch, abolished the shield and bent low to pick someone up.  A bubble formed around them a moment later as Azezeal once again flew away.  The King of Darkness watched as the lone Prince descended towards the planet.  He sent a fragment of Himself to follow.

 Azezeal looked at the woman in His arms.  “What is your name?”

 “Lena .”  She was stiff, arms crossed over her chest. 

 Azezeal smiled.  “It’s almost as beautiful as you are.”

 She tipped her head back and looked up at Him.  “Are You kidding?  What do you want with me?”

 Azezeal’s descent stopped suddenly.  “You don’t know?”

 Lena shook her head slowly.  She closed her eyes, prayed to Yahweh for an answer and opened her eyes again.  She looked Azezeal over and again noted the blossom of white light over the Demon’s chest.   The bloom was starkly white on the deep red of His flesh. She touched it, wonder in her eyes.  

 Azezeal cleared His throat as His ardour rose.   Lena snatched her hand back, suddenly aware she’d been caressing His chest.  Heat bloomed in her face and she cleared her throat.  She tried for the brutally honest approach that had always worked for her in life.  “Is that what happens when a Demon falls in love?” 

 Azezeal lifted His shoulders in a shrug.  “I don’t know.  I’ve never seen the chests of the Lords of the Fourth, but since this is what happened to me, I’m guessing it probably is.”  He suddenly skidded to a halt, His arms tightening around her.  “My Lady, Lord Belial.”

 Lena lifted her head and peeked over His arm.  She ducked back down immediately as Lord Belial turned bright yellow eyes on her. 

Lady Fierna’s voice compelled Lena to lift her head again and look at Her.  “It is indeed what happens when a Demon such as we fall in love.”  Her hand slid into Belial’s.  “We do not wish to exist any longer, Azezeal.”

 Belial took up where she left off, His voice a deep bass rumble that was almost indistinguishable from the explosions on the planet.  “But that is our choice, my Brother.  We will find a way to end our lives and leave you and your Mate our House.”

 Sammamuel’s gasp of shock could be heard to Jehovah and back.  Jehovah merely smiled and returned to His collection.  Azezeal and the Lord and Lady turned as Sammamuel flew over to them.  The great, black feathered wings moved slowly as He hovered before the small group.  He took in the couple who ruled the Fourth, Azezeal and the human in Azezeal’s arms.  Then He returned His gaze to Azezeal.

 Azezeal shivered, almost imperceptibly under the dark, powerful gaze of his ruler.  Lena felt it and surprised herself by stroking His arm soothingly.  Sammamuel caught the gesture and a light appeared in His eyes.  Azezeal looked alarmed.

 He backed up a micron of space, then several more when Sammamuel’s gaze moved to the Demon couple now holding hands.  Azezeal cleared his throat and jumped into the silence just before Sammamuel spoke.  “Is there something troubling You, my liege?”

 Sammamuel’s gaze snapped back to Azezeal.  “Why yes,” He drawled, “there is.”  Before any of them could blink, He was wrist deep in the chests of Fierna and Belial.  He smiled cruelly at them.  “You wished to die and now you may.”  He pulled His hands out and held up their black, still pulsing hearts.  “You are now mortal, die like the humans are.”  With that He blew at them gently, savouring the horror and pain in their faces.  The two clasped hands as they plummeted towards the planet below and Sammamuel snorted in disgust.  Then He turned back to Azezeal and the human.

 Azezeal tightened His grip on Lena, glancing down at her as He did.  He nearly groaned in dismay at how fragile and small she looked in His huge arms.  Sammamuel reached towards them and Azezeal nearly flinched.  Sammamuel just stared Him in the eye, daring the Demon to move as His hand moved over Azezeal’s chest and then over Lena ’s hair. 

 Lena shrank back briefly as heat scorched her scalp and she smelled the acrid odour of burning hair. She scrambled for her courage and hardened her spine.  Sammamuel’s face transformed from His demon visage to one of a handsome man, electric blue eyes looked into hers and she felt a curious shuffling in her head. 

 Sammamuel’s smile chilled them both to the bone.  Then He reached out again and touched Lena.  She screamed, her back arching with pain as fire burned through her, reshaping her.  Azezeal clung to her with difficulty, afraid of what would happen if she slipped from His arms.  Sammamuel smiled grimly, watching her.  His voice was deceptively soft.  “It seems my Father agrees with you, Azezeal.  But I am not so generous as He was with Adam, giving him two chances to love and immortality.  I have given her a longer life, but she will die.  Eventually.”

 “Yes, my Lord.”  Azezeal’s voice was neutral.  He did not think that cursing Adam to be forever tormented by his first wife, Lilith, was generous.

 “You will have one chance and one chance only.  If you do not succeed in making this human,” Sammamuel spat the word, “love you then you will return to Hell, with her at your side and you will both find yourselves in the pits in My House.”

 Lena’s screams subsided to soft whimpering and Sammamuel’s words filtered through the remaining haze created by the pain and changes wrought in her body.  She struggled to a more upright position in Azezeal’s arms, one arm locking behind His neck to anchor herself.  “What do you mean make me love Him?  There is no question about whether I will or not.”  Her expression turned scornful.  “He is a Demon!  I could never love one so Dark.”

 Sammamuel laughed as Azezeal’s face momentarily reflected the pain her last words caused him.  “Good luck, Brother.” 

 Azezeal bowed His head to Sammamuel.  “And to You, my Lord, for We must all experience love before this world ends.”

 Sammamuel’s eyes darkened, His face reverting back to its natural form.  “Do not think to tell Me what to do, runt.  I do not need love.”  Then He reached out and tore Lena from Azezeal’s arms and threw her towards the planet.  She plummeted screaming again.  Azezeal turned to dive after her.  Sammamuel stopped Him with a hand on His arm.  “You have one year to make her love you.  If that time passes and she does not, you will turn mortal and your death will be her death.  That way you will suffer the torments of My House together.”

 Azezeal’s eyes narrowed.  “And when I succeed, my lord?”

 Sammamuel laughed again, this time it was rich and enchanting, drawing all the souls within hearing distance towards Him.  “Why then you’ll have a century together before returning to Hell. Where,”  Sammamuel added reluctantly, “You may reclaim your House and the Fourth.”  With His word given, Sammamuel disappeared, shifting back to His House. 

 Azezeal dove after Lena, straining to reach her before she hit the ground.  He snagged her by the wrist and pulled her to him before she hit the ash dusted remains of a city in Iran.  He flew off with her, seeking a place less ravaged by Sammamuel’s whims.  He found an oasis on the continent known as Australia and landed there.  He listened to the planet and found that it was cooling, the destruction stopping.  And for the first time in His existence, He prayed to the Father, begging Him for help in providing for the first love of His long life. 

 Shortly after, searing pain shot through Azezeal.  Sweat broke out all over his body as he fought to contain the screams.  Lena watched with a worried fascination as Azezeal became human looking, His skin changing colour and His wings melting from His back.  Frowning, Lena took in her surroundings and tried to remember what had happened.  Her mind was frustratingly empty.  She couldn’t even remember her name.  She looked at the tall, well built and devastatingly handsome man on all fours in front of her. Twice she opened and closed her mouth.  Twice she reached out to touch his shoulder. 

 Finally she found her courage and reached out to touch his shoulder.  “Excuse me?  Do you know my name or where I am?  Do you know where I came from?  Who are you?”

Azezeal looked up, face pale and lined with the effort of holding in the screams as his body changed. “Your name is Lena and you are to be my wife.”  He forced his voice to remain calm and friendly, not showing the dismay at her memory loss.  Azezeal pushed himself to his feet and looked down at her.  “I love you more than my own existence.  We came to be here, in Australia, because of an accident that has left the world a war zone.  This is the only safe place.”

Eyes wide, Lena stared at the muscled chest in front of her. “A war?  Is it over?”

Azezeal grimaced and glanced towards the sky, towards Heaven and Hell.  “It was, briefly.  It has just started again.”  He took Lena by the hand and took her to begin their life together.

 

 

Fiction Friday

 Fiction is great!

Fiction is great!

Good morning, folks!

I am so ecstatic to be excited about writing again!  I am thrilled that I finished the Father’s Day project.  I can’t wait to get back to Anna & Liam.  I can’t wait to edit Rolf and Birdie.

My project goals for this year are as follows:

1.  Give my dad the story in time for his birthday (end of the month) without making it a birthday present.  It’s already a present.  The date is a good goal though.

2. Edit HW2 and maybe a perusal of HW1 again before I put it back on the market.

3.  Edit Rolf & Birdie.   I would love to put both HW2 and Rolf on the market this year but it will depend on …well, the government.

4.  NaNoWriMo.   As I do every year.  I don’t intend to fail it again though.

5.  I am going to go back to photography weekends.  I may not share as many pictures at once though.

6.  AND I’m instituting Fiction Friday.  It’s a concept I found yesterday on a photography blog called Luce:arca “Light Box” Photography.

Fiction Friday is where I will be sharing bits of things I have written during the week.  I am hoping it will help keep me writing and accountable.

Today, for this inaugural Double F, I will be sharing part of the story I just wrote for my dad.  It needs a far better title than “The Druid” though.

Synopsis: Keith Webb is the headmaster of a private school that teaches the children of Canadian Druids.  His daughter, Katie, is a student there.  She is one of the youngest Initiates ever and very powerful.  She has an instinctive grasp of the way energy works and how to use it.  Her best friend Tara is in her classes with her; her father is a star in Toronto’s Mirvish theatre district.  One day, a rabid fan appears in the school as a substitute teacher and holds the students hostage, trying to get to Tara’s father.  Katie and her friends take charge of the situation.

(I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this but I really suck at synopsis writing.  Think I need someone else to do that!)  

Enjoy!  

And have a good night.  

Muah!

 

Chapter Two

 

“I’m sorry, K, I really am.  You’re growing up so quickly and growing into your power so fast.  Honestly, I’m incredibly proud of you and terrified for you.”  Gordon smiled at her even as he inwardly cursed himself.  He hadn’t meant to say that.  “We are both very proud of you and I know your mother would be too.”

Katie’s eyes misted at the mention of her mother.  She had very vague memories and they seemed to be slipping away.  She hadn’t told her parents but sometimes she saw her mom when she was meditating.  She blinked hard then changed the subject.  “Tara said her dad got her tickets to his play and she wants to know if I can go.”

“Do you want to go?”

She grinned, her eyes lighting up.  She absolutely loved Toronto’s theatre district.  She liked it better for the evening shows but… “It’s a matinee on Saturday and it’s ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’!”  She slid down from the kitchen bar stool and dashed around the kitchen leaping and sword fighting.  “Of course I want to go!”

Keith chuckled.  “I will talk to Mary about our schedule this weekend.  You know we have the initiation coming up.”

Katie didn’t bother to respond as she mimed a sword fight.  “Take that, Robin of the Hood!”  She leapt backwards to avoid an imaginary thrust and bumped into the fridge.  The empty mason jars on top rattled.

Their house was on the school grounds, tucked into a wooded corner of the large property, and was fairly generous with four bedrooms and approximately twenty-five hundred square feet. The kitchen was a large eat-in but Keith did fear for the small hutch full of china and crystal she was dancing close to next.  He sighed in relief as Mary came in and caught the girl by hugging her from behind.

“Good morning, Prince Jon, what are you up to today?”  Mary shifted her embrace to an arm around her stepdaughter’s shoulders and led her back to her seat.

Katie grinned as she sat down and picked up her orange juice.  They didn’t always get along but she loved that always Mary understood literary references.  “I was just asking Dad if I could go see Mr. Metzak’s play on Saturday.  Tara said her dad got us tickets.”

Mary moved to the large date book she kept on a small corner of the counter she had set aside as a place of household business.  “I think that can be managed, if your dad agrees.”  She held up a hand as Katie started to run for the phone.  “You are supposed to spend two hours working with your abilities.  You will have to work that out on Sunday,” she said as Katie stopped.  Katie nodded and started sliding sideways towards the phone on the wall again.  “I mean it, young lady.  There will be no weasling out of it.  You can expect consequences if you try.”

Katie nodded again.  “Yes Ma’am.”  She darted a glance at the phone.

Mary laughed.  “Call her, go on.”   She waited until Kate took the receiver and ran to the limits of the curly cord that tethered it to the base on the wall before she turned to Keith and stepped into his arms.

After kissing Mary and hugging her, Keith smiled.  “You are up early.”

“The pancakes smelled good.”  She smiled back at him.

He noticed the shadow in her eyes.  “What’s wrong?”

“I wanted to be sure to tell you that you have a supply teacher coming in today.  I got a call from Judy last night saying that her dinner had given her food poisoning – she wanted to talk to you but you were working on this morning’s lesson for the initiates.  She said she was sure her meat had been safe but now she’s ill.  I called the service and they said they’re sending in a Liliana Fonesca.”

“Alright, that should be fine.  It’s nothing unusual to have a sub.  What’s wrong?”   Gordon handed her a cup of coffee.

Mary took a sip and sighed with pleasure before shaking her head.  “I’m not sure.  I just have this hinky feeling.  I don’t like it at all.”

“Well, we’ll keep a good eye on the school today.”  He smiled at her.  Mary’s hinky feelings have almost never been wrong.  “Crap on toast!  Look at the time.  K!  Let’s go!”

They heard her running and watched the spiral cord, stretched to its twenty-foot limit recoil as it snaked back towards the phone.  “Okay, bye, see you in class! …No, you know I have lessons first… yeah I know but I… yep! …dork!”  She hung up the phone with a giggle.  “Can I have lunch in the cafeteria today?”

“Yes,” Mary nodded.  “I’ll bring your lunch along when I head to the school.”   Mary was the head librarian for the school’s gymnasium sized library.

“Thanks!”  Katie hugged Mary and ran for her shoes.

“No running!”  Keith shouted after her.

“No shouting!” Mary gently mocked him, a mischievous grin on her face.

Keith chuckled, kissed his wife soundly and headed for the school with his daughter.

The walk between house and school was made of interlocking paving stone and lined with trees and a smattering of wooden planter boxes.  It was still dark, though the sun was just starting to lighten the eastern sky, so the walk was lit with tiny fairy lights wound through alternate trees.

“Have you studied for today, K?” Keith watched as she trailed her fingers through the stalks of the tall grasses in the planters.

Katie gave her father a ‘duh’ look.  “Of course I did.  I can’t become High Priestess if I don’t study.   And you can’t quiz me on it!  They already think I’m a favourite because I’m your daughter.  They think I don’t have any abilities or talent of my own.  They just think I’m there because I’m Katie-the-Headmaster’s-kid.”

Keith frowned.  “Do you get that a lot?”

She shrugged.  “Some people know, like Tara.  But yeah, there are people who think that I get good grades because the teachers are afraid of you.”  She turned when she realized he had stopped walking.  “What?”

“The teachers are afraid of me?”

“Well, do you did fire Mr. Laramer last year and no one knows why.”

“There are three people who know why, Katie, and that’s all that need know.”

“Your ‘official story’,” she did air quotes, “was full of holes.”

Keith sighed.  “I know what it looked like but I have to protect the other people involved.  This topic is closed.”

“Okay, Dad.  You’re the one who asked about the teachers.”

He pulled her to a stop.  “Do you get bullied?”

“Define bullied.”

“Katherine.”

Katie heaved a sigh and rolled her eyes as she started walking again.  “It’s not what you think.  Everyone gets made fun of sometimes.  It doesn’t bother me.”  They reached the door of the school and she yanked the door open.  “Don’t worry, Dad; I know how to handle it.”  She almost told him that she’d talked to Mary about it but she was afraid she would get Mary in trouble.  She’d begged her stepmother not to say anything to him and she knew the two of them didn’t keep secrets.

“Of course I worry about you.”  He followed Katie into the school.  “Oh, yes, you have a sub in History today.”

“Woot!” Katie ran off to the classroom so she could get there before he did.

“No running, Katherine!”  He shook his head affectionately when she slowed down for a moment to do a silly walk like her favourite Monty Python sketch then took off again.

 

Chapter Three

 

The substitute teacher in history arrived late.  The children were talking in groups crowding one person’s desk or another, laughing and carrying on.  She dropped her briefcase on the desk with a loud crack that echoed through the room.   Instantly, all noise ceased.   The vacuum of sound lasted all of five seconds then the kids were scrambling back to their seats.  

Silence descended again as the children all stared at her.  She stared back, meeting each one’s eyes.  She looked at Tara and then Katie then moved on.  Katie shivered and looked at Tara.  Her best friend was frowning.

Katie leaned over and whispered, “Creepy, right?”

Tara opened her mouth to answer and the teacher slapped her hand down on the desk.  Both girls jumped.  “Is there something you would like to share, ladies?”

“No, Ma’am!”  The girls responded in stereo.  The teacher resumed staring at them.  The students resumed staring back. 

The woman was wearing a long, over-sized kelly green suit jacket with the sleeves rolled up with a white shirt under it and a short, Versace yellow skirt.  She had horrible rainbow striped sling-back heels on her feet.  The entire ensemble made Katie roll her eyes and shudder.  But there was more than that; there was something about the woman’s aura that made the girl uneasy.

“My name is Liliana Fonesca.  You may address me as Ma’am.  What are you studying?”  She looked around the room at the faces staring back at her then she pointed at Tara.  “You, what are you currently studying?”

“The entry of Canadian soldiers into world war two,” Tara promptly answered. 

The substitute smiled brilliantly at Tara.  “Good girl.”  She pointed at Katie next.  “Open your history book to page one hundred and thirty-nine and begin reading.”

Katie groaned but did as she was told.  As she read about the Canadians who voluntarily went to Britain to become pilots and ground soldiers to help the fight against Hitler, she watched Miss Fonseca sit down at her desk and stare at Tara.  The woman’s aura began to darken alarmingly and Katie stuttered then began a coughing fit.

Liliana slapped her hand on her desk and glared at Katie.  “Are you having trouble reading?  At this level you should be able to.”   The class tittered as Katie continued coughing.  They were silenced by a glower from the teacher.  “What is your problem?”

Katie dragged in a breath as she waved a hand at her throat.  “Tickle… in my throat.”  She coughed more.  “Can’t… stop… coughing.”

“Oh fine.   You.”  She pointed at a boy named Tom two rows over.  “You pick up where she left off.”  In the wake of his scramble to open the book she looked over the room.  “Does anyone have anything that might help that annoying coughing?”

“I do.”  Tara waved a hand. 

Again, the teacher bestowed a smile on Tara.  It was almost loving and definitely proud.  “Then please help her, dear.”

Tara nodded.  “Yes Ma’am.”  She dug in her bag as Tom began reading.  She whispered at Katie as she did so.  “What is wrong with you?”  She handed over a hard candy.

Katie popped the candy in her mouth and whispered back.  “There is something wrong with that woman.  She’s going to do something bad.”

Tara frowned at the teacher.  “Are you sure?”

“Yes,” Katie almost hissed the word.  “But I don’t know what.  I think it has something to do with… Look, she’s gotten up.”

Liliana walked over to the door and turned the deadbolt.  She sat back down and waved at Tom to resume reading.  She let him finish the paragraph then shot to her feet again.  “Enough of that crap.  I don’t care.  Here’s what is going to happen.  We are all going to sit here until the lovely Miss Tara Metzak’s father agrees that we should be together.”

The entire class turned to stare at Tara as her mouth dropped open.  Tara jumped up.  “That’s stupid!  Dad will never do that.  He doesn’t even like—“ She sat down with her mouth snapping shut as she saw what the woman was doing. 

 The class turned back to the crazy woman at the front of the class.  She had pulled out a gun and turned the briefcase around.  Inside was a bomb, a very simple looking one.  There was a jar of a nasty looking liquid with a little putty on top and a fuse sticking out of that.  The fuse was attached to a box with a red button.  

Every sound in the class stopped for a long moment.  Then Tom scoffed.  “That’s not a real bomb.”

The teacher-turned-kidnapper stared at him.  “You think so?   This is ammonium nitrate combined with diesel fuel.  On top is C4 and we have a nice little detonator here.  All I have to do is press this button and we all go boom.”

Tom stopped talking and everyone turned to look at Katie.  In that moment they wanted all the rumours to be true.  They wanted her to save them.