Camp Day 18


Grrrrrr   This story pissed me off.

Not being able to write at all pissed me off.

However, my brain is working on the vlog I wish to start.  So I’m going to do that.

April is NOT a good month for braining for me.  The competitions and the changes in weather really screw me over.  

As I said, I’m going to work on the vlog.  It’s going to be about living with chronic pain.  Not the effects of it; people who live with pain know that it fucks up their sleep, their lives, their relationships and their brains.  I want to talk about how to live with all that and how to build a life worth living, a life that is happy and positive and worthwhile.  I will be posting about the vlog more as it gets closer to the inaugural video.

My total word count is 26,011.  I don’t know if I can get further than that.  Maybe I’ll look at my notes and see if anything inspires me.  

I can’t even brain enough to figure out how to end the story.  This was a very weird premise to begin with.  

I am sorry to disappoint but I promise that when I write another addition to the Alphabet of Death, you’ll be the second to get a copy!



Kicking Ass and Slaying BWitches


“What is Keraunophobia?” Josie leaned on the rake she was using and finally asked the question that had been bugging her since the Truth & Dare game they’d played the night before.  Neither of them cared that they acted like silly teenagers on a sleepover.  On the rare occasion Josie managed to get away from work and her family, they were silly teen girls.

Kate Keighley, who had been expecting the question, smiled sheepishly.  “It’s a fear of thunder and lightning.  It’s terrible, right?  Sounds like something a five year old would suffer from.  Or your dog.”  She chuckled at the large dog playfully hunting squirrels around her acre and a half.   Not that the squirrels knew Ralph wouldn’t hurt them, they didn’t know he was just enjoying the unseasonably warm early spring day.  The vegetable garden they were clearing took up a solid half of the acreage, her small cottage was tucked into the middle of her land and all around there were flowers, berry baring bushes and fruiting trees.

Josie stared at her friend of twenty years.  “Seriously?  You’re afraid of thunderstorms?”  There was none of the judgement Kate generally heard, Josie was genuinely curious.  “How come I didn’t know this?”  They’d known each other since the first day of college.

“Yeah, and because it’s humiliating.  ” Kate stopped raking out the flowerbed she was working on.  She knew there was another frost due but she wanted to uncover the spring bulbs just a little bit, so they’d have a chance to soak up the sunshine due around the side of the house in about an hour.  “There’s one due tonight.  I’m hoping to get all this done before the rain soaks the ground.  I’m sure there’s one more frost due before winter is done with us completely.”

Josie helped with enthusiasm because, when the harvesting began, she always got a share to eat and to sell.  The pair had done a ritual for Ostara the night before, thanking the God and Goddess for the return of the light and asking for blessings on their endeavours over the next few months.  They were each solitary witches but they liked to do the Quarter rituals – the Equinoxes and Solstices – together.  Ostara and the Spring Equinox are closely tied and they combined the rituals with the rise of the full moon.

Later, long after Josie had gone, and they had made a date to go hiking in the woods nearby, and the moon had risen on its third night of being full, Kate stood skyclad in her backyard.  A small fire burned brightly, warming her naked body from the front as the mists cooled her from the back.  She lifted her arms and called her prayer and spell out to the sky.

“I call to thee, the Sisters Three –

Badb, Macha, and the Morrígan.

Strength I need, the power I seek

To guide the seed, the plant, the fruit.


I do not do it all for me

For families in need and Sister Josie.

Grant me what I ask

For me, for three, for charity.


For what I sow, what I reap

I shall not all keep.

I beg of Thee, bless the

Till and toil, the seed, the soil.

So I will it, so mote it be!”

Energy surged through Kate’s palms, down her arms and through her chakras, making her gasp and writhe with pleasure.  She stood there a moment longer until thunder rolled in the distance.  She barely contained the shriek that rose to her lips and studied the sky.  It was clear as far as she could see so she relaxed and took it as a sign.  It was the first time she’d ever asked for help like that but the lands around her, including the garden, had taken a hard with the shifts in weather and she wanted to ensure the plethora of fruits and vegetables she was used to.

Her garden did indeed grow.  She had staggered the growing of plants such as lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers, forcing the first wave to bloom and fruit early.  She preserved much of it, shared with Josie all that she could take then after keeping some, she sold most, both preserved and fresh, and gave whatever was left after the farmer’s market each weekend to a battered woman’s shelter.

Harvest came and she and Josie cleaned the plots of the last of the growth and performed their Mabon ritual, thanking the God and Goddess for all that was given.  Later, Kate again had a bonfire, this time she thanked Badb, Macha, and the Morrígan for their aid, though she somehow managed to take almost all the credit.

The Morrígan stood on the edge of Kate’s property as Nemain, Badb and Macha.  “The wee girl thinks to take the whole of the credit for her bounty this year. Reckless human.  How dare she?”  Nemain lifted a hand to punish but Badb laid a hand on her wrist.

“Hold, Nemain.  Wait until the harvest next.”

Nemain stared at her sister.  The sister who encouraged confusion and fear in battle, the one who encouraged battle.  “Badb?”

“She is high on her success.  Give her a year.  She pays us tribute and has been loyal thus far. Even if she does not share her worship with the one she calls sister, she is still worthy of our patience.”

Macha nodded in agreement.  “Aye, Sister, let her be.  For now.”

So the sisters faded away.

The next year went on as this one had.  And if, during the second half of the season, thunder rolled more often in a clear sky, the crops were still abundant.  Once more, Kate stood under the Mabon moon, skyclad before a fire, as was her wont.  She spoke conversationally to the triple Goddesses.

“I thank Thee, Babd, Macha and the Morrígan for bestowing such blessings upon me!  My magic, my abilities and affinity for the earth, gave us so much we could barely keep up.  It was wonderful.  The larders here and at Josie’s are full, the shelters and food banks are happy.  I am so glad to be such a powerful witch!”

Nemain growled and even Babd, who felt that there was a time and place for battle, was furious.  But it was Macha, the goddess of war and sovereignty, who held them back.  “There is a time and a place,” she reminded them.  “There are better strategies and ways to teach a lesson than merely smiting her where she stands.”

After a moment, the sister grinned at each other in dark delight and once again faded away.

It was nearing the end of July and Kate stood with her friend and stared at the garden.  “I don’t understand it.  The last two years of have been so lush, what’s with this mess?”

Josie took in the thin, scraggly plants that each held only a few, tiny vegetables, and the choking weeds and shrugged helplessly.  “I don’t know, Kate.  It’s so weird.”

“I’ve tried so hard to keep up with the weeds but they’re still…” she waved a hand.  “Look at them!  It’s impossible.  I swear, every time I pull out a seedling weed, two spring up full grown in its place.  It’s like, well, magic.”

“Did you piss Someone off?”

“I don’t think so.  I have left offerings and thanks and the Solstice went off without a hitch.”

Josie nodded, remembering.  They’d had a little too much wine and, well, it was a good thing her husband was familiar with and accepting of the depth of her relationship with Kate. “I don’t know… It kind of looks like you did.”

“Lammas is coming up in a couple days, maybe I can make things right.”  She paced, thinking.  “There’s a weed killer potion I could try too.  I’ll need to go up the mountain for some of the ingredients.”

“I think Dale will let me out tomorrow.  He’s home with his friends tomorrow, watching baseball.  He and some of them are betting on one of the teams while the other half are betting on the other.  Or something like that.”  Josie grinned.  “If I make them enough food, I could probably stay the night to help you prepare.”

“Oh that would be great.  Meet here at ten?”  When Josie agreed, Kate looped her arm through her friend’s and walked her back to the car.  “If you need any help with the cooking, let me know.”

She paused as a thought popped into her head.  “I have a jar of those pickled cherries Dale likes so much.  And I’ll even give him a jar of pickled cherry tomatoes.”

“Oh, now he’ll now you’re bribing him but he’ll love it.  They love those pickled cherry tomatoes on sliders.”  Josie grinned as she opened her car door.  She leaned forward and kissed her friend smack on the lips.  “I’ll see you tomorrow at ten.”

That night and next morning, Kate checked the weather forecast carefully.  She checked the government site and her own weather radars, placed on the mountain near here where she took her hikes, and found that there were no storms due for several days.  She sagged with relief for she would not go out if there was even a hint of rain in the schedule for the next twelve hours.

At 9:45, as she was packing water, snacks, and the containers and bags she needed for collection in a bag she got a call from Josie.

“What’s up, buttercup?  Shouldn’t you be leaving?”

“DJ started puking suddenly an hour ago.  She’s complaining of a pain in her side and her temperature is up.  Her appendix looks about to burst to me and nothing I am doing is going to stop it.  We’re on the way to the hospital.”

“Okay, Jos, I’ll come down as soon as I get the things I need.”

“You shouldn’t go alone!  You know that I hate it when you do.”

“I have a spare battery and GPS messenger beacon, like I always do.”   There were the sounds of vomiting and whimpering in the back.  “Bye, Josie.  Love you all.”  She hung up, knowing Josie had forgotten her.

Kate drove up to the national park and waved her membership card at the gate’s sensor.  It opened and she drove on up to her favourite parking spot.  Opening her door, she exchanged her running shoes for hiking boots then stood up and applied her favourite, homemade bug repellant.  She’d have to apply it again once she sweated it off, but she figured that didn’t matter for commercial, chemical laden sprays were far worse for their ability to cling to your skin through the sweat of the day.

Her backpack was strapped on, belt around her waist and all.  It was a little heavy but it’d lighten up as she drank the water.  Of course, she’d only fill it up again with her collections.  The padded metal frame rose above her head with a light sleeping bag attached to it.  She grabbed her favoured cedar walking stick and locked up her car.

Something rumbled in the distance and she looked up sharply as she suppressed the slight shudder of fear.  The sky was clear and bright.  She double checked the radar app on her phone and there wasn’t a storm or even a cloud in sight.

Kate shrugged, decided it must be a truck in the distance, and set off on her hike.

Again and again she heard the rumbles of thunder.  Again and again, she checked her app.

Suddenly, the sun dappled woods became dark and heavily oppressive.  Kate looked up and screamed.  The sound was short and cut off abruptly.  She gave a shaky laugh. “It’s ridiculous.  There was nothing on the radar.  It can’t be about to storm.”  She stared up at the clouds with a mutinous expression.  “You are not real.”

A fat rain drop hit her right between the eyes as lightning lit up the woods so bright Kate was seeing spots whether her eyes were open or closed.  Thunder ripped through the woods, so loud it tore through her skull from one ear to the other and she felt it in her bones.

Kate screamed in fear and crouched, her arms wrapped around her head.   She stayed like that, shivering and tense with anticipation until she realized that her eyelids were red with light.   Opening one eye cautiously, Kate was shocked to see that the sun was out and there was no storm cloud overhead, no evidence that there’d ever been one.

“I need to eat something, obviously.”  She found a log and sat down on it after removing her pack.  She pulled out a bottle of water and a bag of homemade trail mix.

After a brief rest, she set out again, looking for a specific plant she knew was on her trail.  Lightning suddenly forked out of the sky and struck a tree several yards in front of her.   The tree exploded and with the light having blinded her she wasn’t able to duck as splinters and shards of the tree came flying at her.  Small bits struck her face, embedding themselves under several layers of skin.

One thick piece stabbed her in the thigh and knocked her to her knees.  Kate cried out as she fell.


And the Morrigan continued to torment Kate until she was driven near mad. 

Camp Day 13

Good afternoon!  

This month is very difficult for writing for me but I’m a little bit ahead of schedule.  The stats on say I have to write 1458 words a day to hit 50k on the 30th.  

Technically, that’s ahead (it takes 1667 from day 1 to day 30) but to me it’s behind.  I like 2k a day so I should be at 26k, not at almost 24.  

Oh well.  I have to work with the way I feel.  

I am trying to push through though because of the project I am working on.  In order to complete the weekly pieces on schedule, I will have to work regardless of how I feel quite often.  

James is 2480 words so I will get to letting you read.  I am going to scrub off the heebie jeebies. 



Japanese Game of Justice

The sign almost said JAMES JOSEPHSON.  It said JAMS JOSFSON and the Japanese man holding it was smiling large and nodding hopefully at every well-built male he saw.

James, the guy in question, ambled through the arrival gate and started looking for his ride.  He found the sign and approached the driver.  “Konichiwa!” James said cheerfully.  He was quite happy to be a contestant on this game show that Japan was for.  The prize was ¥500 million, which was about $4.3 million US dollars, and it was totally tax free.

The man with the sign looked James up and down and stifled a sigh.  This man was not what he expected, but then, he had not been told what to expect, just that he was to pick up a contestant for the show.  He had done this before and the contestants had always looked like athletes.  This one looked like he ate too many American cheeseburgers and sat around on his ass. “This way,” he said in heavily accented English and a barely there bow.  He left James to bring his own bag.

Adjusting his grip a little bit with a barely muffled derogatory comment on the service, James followed the man out to the parking lot. He hoped there was a limo to take him to the studio.  The car was tiny, a boxy little Japanese wagon, and James barely managed to squeeze his 6’2” self into the back seat.  He finds a tray with a selection of bottled drinks and packaged snacks on the seat next to his.

“Eat, eat!” His driver says.

James woke up some time later, naked and shivering, and crammed into a cage.  All around him were other cages, all containing other people, equally naked, cold and pissed off.  Each cage was about twenty inches square, they were bolted to the floor, and there was no space between them.  There were rows and rows of cages.  He estimated that there were ten cages in his row and ten rows in the …cave? “What…what are we doing here?”  James spoke through chattering teeth.  “I thought…”

“Yeah, we all thought.” A man closest to him on the left sneered at him.  “What did you do to earn this?”

“What do you mean?” James asked with confusion.

“I mean that all of us are crooks, cons and, like in her case,” he pointed, “killers.  What is your dark, dirty secret?”

James shrank back against the bars of his cage.  “I…I… I don’t know what you mean.  I play contests, that’s all.  I win a lot but I’ve never hurt anyone.”

“I play contests, that’s all,” someone else mocked.

“Bullshit. You’ve done something.”  The woman to his right came close and pressed her face between the bars.  It mangled her features and she glared at him with her eyes bugging out and her mouth stretched over her teeth.  “I know a killer when I see one, asshole, and you are a killer.”

“I am not!” He nicknamed her Jane, because he was lacking in imagination.

She reached across the space between them and jabbed him with her finger.  “You are!  I can see it in you.  What a clever little psychopath you are.  Hiding, hiding behind your games, cheating whenever you can.  Lying little asshole.”

“You don’t know anything about me!” he cried.

The first speaker stabbed him in the back with his finger.  “Lying bastard! You wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t hurt someone somewhere.”

“Ouch!” James jumped away.  He decided to call that guy Stabby Joe.  “How do you know that?  What do you know?”

“There’s a Jap over there that speaks English.  He heard them talking.  We are the scum of the earth, our captors think, and they were hired to punish each of us.  If we make it to the end, we earn our freedom.”

James’s eyes hardened and he snarled.  “Then I guess I’ll have to kill you all, just like that little half Jap bitch Tahlia in high school.”

Jane crowed gleefully.  “Oh-ho!  I knew it!  I knew you were a killer!”  Freezing water suddenly pelted them from sprinklers above them and they all screamed in shock.  She turned her face up to it and closed her eyes.  “Drink, asshole.  It’s the only water you’ll get today.”

James reluctantly did as she told him to and tipped his head back.  The water wet his dry throat and he gulped it down. The water shut off before his thirst was slaked.  He smacked his lips then noticed his mouth was a little slimy and there was an acrid taste left behind.  “What the hell?”

“Oh, just wait, newbie.  It gets better.”  Someone shouted.

A few minutes later, his gut cramped.  Hard.  He doubled over, as best he could in his small box, and wrapped his arms around his middle. He swore loudly as the cramping turned into convulsions in the lower intestines.  “No, no, no” he moaned.

His neighbours laughed between their own convulsions.  It wasn’t their first time and wouldn’t be as intense as what James is about to go through.  He cursed them as he tried not to shit himself.  The convulsions worsened and he squatted.

The moans and groans of pain echoed in the room, warring with the drips landing in the puddles.  James tried and tried but he couldn’t help it and his bowels evacuated themselves brutally, in a messy, chunky stream of liquid.

“Ha, ha!” crowed Stabby Joe gleefully, even as his own bowels let go.  “Serves you right.”

Suddenly the lights went out and came back on.  A hush settled over the prisoners.

“What’s going on?” James whispered.

“Shut up!” Jane hissed.

Someone screamed at them in Japanese and the few people who understood it stuck their arms between the bars, cramming them both through the same space.  Others followed suit and two men pushed a trolley between the rows.  The trolley held a large pile of steel manacles.  He cuffed each prisoner.

James struggled and the man grabbed his thumb.  He bent the thumb back toward James’s elbow and James screamed as he was driven to his knees.  The manacles were snapped around his wrist.  The next three people to James’s left were given the same treatment.  Every time someone fought the restraints the following three people were hurt as well.

When the man was done, several others lined up at both ends of each row of cages.  Each person was sexless and faceless behind heavily padded black leather jackets and pants, leather gloves and black motorcycle helmets with deeply tinted face masks.   They carried cattle prods.  James shuddered as he stared at them.  One turned to face him and the dim overhead lights reflected in their face mask, giving the impression of eyes.

There was more screaming of incomprehensible words and a loud buzzing echoed through the cave.  The doors of the cages swung open and the prisoners surged forward.  Most of them took a second to stretch, revelling the small freedom.  They were yelled at again and the doors began to sing closed.  Everyone moved out of the way then, once the doors were closed, they were prodded out one end of the row, one row at a time.  They were led and followed by the faceless people.  There were others watching over the groups and they made their role clear as the group emerged into the bright, blinding light of day.

As sunlight pierced James’s pupils someone made a run for it.  There was the sound of a shotgun being racked and then the boom of the firing.  A thud of the body landing on the ground was followed by silence.  James decided to let these events play out.

They were herded to a field, guided by a few zaps of the cattle prods and then several prisoners were shoved to their knees on the damp ground until the others got the hint and knelt on their own.  Tents lined one side of the field and a large wall of fabric stretched across the end the prisoners faced. Solid, wood, scaffold-like towers stood at each corner with armed gunmen standing in each.  Bleachers lined the side opposite the tents and the final edge of the field held

Several small, very old women scrambled among the prisoners, shoving small wooden bowls of soupy rice at each person.  James stared at the contents of his bowl, trying to figure out the contents.  Chunks of white, fibrous vegetable and a brown stringy meat.  “I’m not eating this,” he said, setting his bowl on the ground.

“Suit yourself,” Jane said as she reached for the bowl.  Stabby Joe beat her to it and she screamed wordlessly at him and launched herself at him.  Gunshots boomed again and those with cattle prods rushed in.  Jane subsided, returning to her own seat with her hands over her head and her eyes lowered to the ground.  “Okay.  Okay.  I’m sorry.  I’m good.”

They halted, the cattle prods less than an inch from her skin for a long moment then pulled back and marched out of the crowd.  Jane sagged with relief then glared at Stabby Joe.  “I will get you.”

“Not if I get you first, skank.  And when I do, I’ll make sure your last act in this world is to get choked out while I fuck you.”  He grabbed his genitals and shook them in her direction with an over-the-top moan of pleasure.

She flipped him the bird while James looked at her appraisingly.  Yeah.  He could do that.

A moment later, two men got up on one of the towers by the long stretch of fabric.  They both had megaphones.  One spoke in Japanese and the other followed in English.  “You have ten tasks to complete to get to the castle.  If you survive the castle, you will earn your freedom!”

More Japanese then more English.  “This is a fight to the death!  You are all criminals.  All have one goal: survival with a clean slate.   If you win, you can go anywhere in the world and begin a new life.”

“What about the money?” James wondered aloud.

“Money?” Stabby Joe laughed.  “You thought that was real?”

James was crushed.

“On your feet!” the English speaker screamed at them.

The prisoners surged to their feet and pressed forward.  As they were jostled and crowded, Stabby Joe spoke hurriedly to James and Jane.  “If we work together, we can get to the castle.  From there, it’ll be each to his own.  Deal?”

“Deal!” James and Jane said together seconds before a horn sounded.  The four rows in front of them started running while the five behind them forced them forward.

James ran for it, swearing because his hands were still manacled together.  The three of them ran, stumbled, slipped through the mud.  There were already dead and dying bodies littering the ground.

They fought their way through the ten challenges, killing more than two dozen people between them.  Injured, they finally stood in the castle courtyard.  James had a broken rib that shifted every time he took a deep breath.  One wrist was sprained, two fingers were broken and he had several deep bruises forming, including the one that covered half his face and forced his eye half shut.  He thought he probably had a crack in his cheekbone.

Jane grinned savagely at him.  “We did it!”

“Yes, we did.”  James grinned back.

“And now, you’re on your own.  And your ass is mine, slut.”  Stabby Joe leered at Jane.

“I’ll rip your dick off with my cunt,” Jane snarled at him.

Guards with semi-automatic rifles stood in a circle around them to protect the medics who went through patching them up, though only just enough to stabilize broken fingers and stop the bleeding one all three of them.  They were given water and food.  And through this, all around them, people cheered and shouted at them.  TV cameras caught every expression and high powered microphones heard every word.  Viewers present and around the world placed bets on the winner.

“There are three more tasks inside the castle!” The words came over the loudspeaker.  “Only one can survive!”  The audience screamed in delight and encouragement.

James thought castle was too grand a word for the big boxy building.  It was two storeys, stacked like a cake that had one layer smaller than the other.  There were barred windows cut into the cement block walls and no other doors.  More guards paced the walkway on top of the first storey.  Three jumbo screens on the top of the building showed their faces to the people in the stands.

James, Jane and Stabby Joe were dragged forward and positioned in front of the three entrances at the base of the castle.  The voice over the loudspeaker counted down from ten with the help of the screaming crowd and the three contestants were shoved into the rooms.  The doors dropped down behind them with a bang.

James immediately turned around and felt all over the door, looking for a way to open it.  There was nothing. He couldn’t hear the outside anymore either; he couldn’t hear anything at all.

With sliding steps and his hands straight out in front of his face, he started forward.  Three steps in something skittered over his foot.  James shuddered and stifled a scream.  “A bug,” he muttered.  “That’s all.  It can’t hurt me.”  He repeated the mantra, willing himself to not panic.  He took two more steps and heard a whisper of sound.  It sounded like a screen being pulled to one side.  James strained to hear anything, anything at all.

A moment later, he heard it.

In the dead silence of the room, it sounded like whispers or silk sliding on silk.  For a moment he entertained romantic notions of a sexy, scantily clad woman, waiting to touch him.  Then reality hit him.

Or, rather, bit him.

Something sharp stabbed him on the top of the foot.  It felt like a bee sting.

And again on his ankle.

James felt tiny feet clinging to the hairs on his legs, crawling up his body.  A wave of multi-legged creatures swarmed over him.  He tried swiping them off and they clung to his hands.  He felt tiny strands of silk sticking to his fingers and screamed.

The sound seemed to embolden the spiders more and hundreds of them rose up his body in a tidal wave of legs and bites.

He screamed again and they climbed in his open mouth.  They bit him everywhere they touched him.   The pain and venom from the sheer number of bites drove him to his knees and eventually to all fours before he was finally laying on the floor.  The spiders continued to bite without mercy as the audience outside screamed their delight at his death.

Camp Day 11

Good evening!

I know it’s been a couple days since I posted last.  It’s taken me far too long to write Ida.  The foggy, heavy head is a bitch.

Ida is erotic horror, which means that if you are under the age of majority in your place of residence you need to sit this one out.

This is going to be  short.  It’s dinner time here and I’m really quite tired.  I hope you like the story.  It didn’t turn out like I expected but hey, it’s done and editing fixes everything. 😉

Have a good night! 



Intense Dreams

Ida Iliescu moaned as her hips thrust upward.  Her sheets tangled around her legs as she thrashed and twisted.  A tanned hand with perfectly manicured fingernails sild between her thighs and rubbed over her clit causing her entire body to clench up. Her breath froze.  He gave her a little pinch.  She screamed as she gushed all over her bed.

The scream woke her.

Ida pounded the sheets and growled in frustration.  “Holy fuck!  Why? WHY do I keep having these dreams?”  She rolled out of bed and padded across the room to the bathroom, her feet making a soft slap on the oak floor.  Taking a wash cloth, she soaked it under the tap, so focused on her frustrations that she didn’t pay any attention to the temperature.

When she touched it to her folds, she screamed again, this time in shock.  “Holy mother of hockey players!  What the hell are you trying to do to yourself?”  She warmed it up and cleaned herself from knees to belly button.  “Damn these dreams,” she muttered.  “Ruining me for anyone else.”

She laid down on the other side of her queen size bed, rolled onto her side and bunched her pillows under her head and between her thighs. “Goddammit I hope there isn’t another dream tonight.”

Eighteen hours later, Ida finally closed her shop.  She leaned her head on the front door as she turned the bolt and sighed.

“You should go home, you look exhausted.  I can do the final books.”

The soft voice behind her made her jump out of her skin.   “Jody!  I almost forgot you were here.”  Ida was startled and whipped around with her hand on her chest, back against the door.  Part of her was dismayed that the carefully applied makeup didn’t hide the dark circles and sunken look to her eyes.

Jody laughed.  “I was in back working on the arrangements for the Murdock wedding.  I can’t believe she has sixteen bridesmaids!”

Ida groaned.  “I know!  But it’s a fantastic commission for us.”  She rubbed her face and pushed off the door.  “Go home to Frank.  You’ve been working late for the last three weeks.   I’m sure he must miss you.”

“Oh yeah, he misses the cooking.  But he’s not missing out on anything else.”  She made a lewd gesture that had them both laughing.

“God.  Speaking of sex, it’s the dreams.  They’re keeping me up.”  Ida followed Jody into the back room of the flower shop.

“Oh yeah?  Still the super hot guy?”  Jody looked interested as she grabbed her coat and purse.

“Yeah.”  The golden god had been invading her dreams on and off for weeks now, though it had been every night for the last week solid.

“Still no actual intercourse?”  Jody was sympathetic.

Ida slapped her hand down on the table.  “No, dammit!  It’s frustrating as hell.  The orgasms are fantastic and I swear he’s done everything but stick that wonderful cock in any hole I’ve got!” she said angrily.  “Seriously, if you’re going to screw with my sleep with these intense dreams at least fuck me.”

“I totally agree,” said Jody, nodding.  “I’m beginning to think he’s ruining you for all real men though.” She studied her boss.  At 5’6”, Ida was as tall or slightly taller than half of the men in the neighbourhood they lived and worked in.  Between their job, which included slinging around fifty pound boxes of flowers, and Ida’s daily running regime, she was toned, delicious looking.  “You should wear your hair down more,” she added.

Ida pulled the long braid over her shoulder and toyed with the end of it.  “Our customers would find these black threads in all their arrangements if I did that.”  Both women laughed.   Ida picked up Jody’s coat and purse and put them in the other woman’s arms.  “Go home.  I’ll finish these three you have going and clean up.  Go see Jay.” She grinned. “Finish what the golden god has started.”

Jody’s eyes twinkled as she headed for the back door and the alley.  “Oh, I’m sure he’ll be quite happy to oblige. See you tomorrow.”

The door slid shut on its track as Jody pushed it from the outside and the automatic lock clicked.  The smile slipped from Ida’s face as she rubbed her eyes.  She was more tired than she had ever been.  Every muscle, hell, every bone ached with fatigue.  She just didn’t have the energy she needed to finish the arrangements but she had to do it.  She dragged a stool over, knowing it would take her three times as long as necessary.

A few hours later, Ida shut the last cooler and leaned against it, yawning heavily.  She laid her head against the cooler door and indulged in a ten second nap.  Any longer than that, she’d found, and her dream lover found her and began his seduction.  She cleaned the work table, washed her hands, briefly lamenting the seemingly permanent green stain on her finger tips.

Finally, she stood in the alley, pulling the door closed.  A small, satisfied smile curved her lips as she punched in the security code that blanketed the store in protection.  She had taken a slightly more than modest inheritance from her maternal grandmother and built this shop from the ground up.  She’d chosen to work as a florist because of the years of her childhood that were spent in the gardens with that grandmother.

She was also an amateur botanist, creating new breeds of her favourite plants through cross pollination and splicing.  And she loved every minute of her life.

Except the damn dreams.

Footsteps echoing off the damp brick walls around her made Ida put her hand in her pocket and thread her fingers through the set of brass knuckles she kept there.  You didn’t live in the middle of downtown, even if it was being rebranded as an upscale place to live, without some sort of protection.  She reached into her other pocket and thumbed the cap off her tiny can of spray Mace.

Whispers started.  The hushed voices bounced all around her.

What a tasty package.

Wonder if she smells like flowers.

Look at that mouth, I’d like to –

Ida stopped listening and lengthened her strides, trying not to look like they were getting to her. She stared at the mouth of the alley.  Her shop was at the bottom of a long tall building, her back door opened at the side, about one third of the way up the alley from the main street.  Her car was parked in the lot at the other end.   She risked a glance behind her to find three men blocking the way to the busy street.

At her look, the three grinned and picked up their pace.

Ida moved faster but then her boot came down on someone’s discarded banana peel and she slid, crashing into the wall.  She caught her fall on a garbage can and straightened quickly.  But they’d gained some distance on her.  She sprinted forward.

The footsteps behind her got louder, faster.  The garbage cans when flying as they shoved them out of the way.

“Get her, Joe!” a rough voice shouted.

She looked behind her and gave a startled scream to find one of them, presumably Joe, was almost close enough to grab her.  Ida adjusted her purse so there was no strap to grab and put in more effort to running.

Something heavy hit her from behind and she flew through the air briefly before landing on the wet, dirty ground, weighed down.  The breath was knocked out of her and she couldn’t catch her breath. She wheezed trying to inhale.

“Get off her, Joe!  We want some fun and we can’t do that if she can’t breathe.”

The weight lifted off her and she was lifted to her feet.  Strong fingers gripped her biceps as a wide flat hand slapped her between the shoulder blades.  “Come on, pretty thing, breathe!”

Ida coughed, gasped and drew in a long breath.  Immediately, she struggled against the hands holding her.  She wrenched one hand free and sprayed Mace into the face of the one in front of her.

Unfortunately, he saw her coming and smacked her hand to the side.  The Mace missed his eyes and sprayed his cheek instead.  His face transformed from concerned to furious and she shrank back.  He reached out and backhanded her before he ripped the Mace from her fingers and threw it down the alley.

Tears formed in Ida’s eyes as a bruise formed on her cheek but she lifted her chin and spit at him.  “You can’t hurt me,” she said.

“Oh honey, we plan on it.”  He smiled cruelly as he motioned to the two others.  They tore her purse off her then cut her coat off with a few practiced moves with the knives they carried.  Then her arms were pulled behind her and pinned there.

The leader stepped close again and reached out to stroke her unblemished cheek.  His hand slid down her throat, over her collar bone and stopped on her breast.  He squeezed hard enough to leave fingerprints and she gasped.  He grinned as he put both hands on the buttons on her blouse and tore it open.

“Oh la la,” Thug Number Two said.  “The uptight florist likes to wear pretty things.”

Thug One took out his own knife and slid the blade very lightly over her chest.  He popped open her bra by slicing through the small scrap of fabric holding the cups together.  Her breasts popped free.  “Look at how beautiful all this pale flesh is, boys.”

The other two agreed and just as Thug One reached out to touch her there was a shout from the end of the alley.  Footsteps rang out again and Joe changed his grip on Ida as Thug One and Two turned to face the newcomer.  “This bird is ours,” growled Thug One.

Ida bristled.  “Bird?  What, you watch too many old mob movies?  Piss off, you bastard.”  She stomped on Joe’s foot and when his grip loosened and he leaned forward with the pain, she slammed the back of her head into his nose.  Turning, she kneed him in the balls and then took off running, holding her shirt together.

The sounds of a fight started behind her and she slowed.  Near the end of the alley she turned to see who her rescuer was.  She got a glimpse of golden hair, a strong jaw and broad shoulders and slid to a halt, her jaw hanging open.

It was the golden god of her dreams.  He was magnificent as he seemed to effortlessly flow through the fight until all three were on the ground.  Only when they were all groaning did he come to a halt and pulled out a cell phone. “Yes.  I am calling because I have here three men who assaulted a woman in an ally beside the Have a Heart florist shop on Sweet Street.”  He listened for a moment.  “They may need ambulances, yes.  We will wait, of course.”  He shut down the phone and looked up.  “Miss?  Or Ma’am… I need you to stay here.  The police will be along momentarily.”

He removed his coat and spread it over a few boxes that were piled up nearby after testing to make sure they would hold her.  “Please, sit down.  You must be exhausted and frightened.”

Ida came closer, she couldn’t help it.  His voice was seductive.  It reminded her of his whispers in her dreams.  Her knees were suddenly shaking and she started to sink to the ground.  He was there in a flash to pick her up.  He sat on the boxes and cradled her in his lap.  “Shh,” he whispered. “It’s okay, you’re safe now.”

Tears suddenly filled her eyes as she gathered her blouse over her chest.  Revolving red and blue lights filled the alley from both ends and the rest became a blur.  She found herself in her own home, sitting at her dining room table by candlelight as he set a bowl of a light soup in front of her.

Ida blinked up at him, fear warring with comfort.  “Who are you?”

He sat down in a chair beside her and rested a hand over hers.  “Oh, my dear, I thought you were in shock.  I helped you in the alley, remember?”  His thumb stroked the back of her hand in mesmerizing circles.  “My name is Xander Aarle.  After you gave your statement, I brought you home.  You asked me to stay for a little while and I offered to make dinner while you took a shower.”

She looked down at herself and discovered she was wearing a silk robe, a pair of slippers and little else.  “I don’t remember.”

Xander smiled as he stroked her hand and looked into her eyes.  “That’s okay.  It’s shock.  You’re alright.”

Ida yawned.  She blushed as she covered it with her hand.  “I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine.  You’re tired.”  He smiled at her and she blinked.

When she opened her eyes he was above her, his mouth on her nipple and she was arching her back in pleasure, her hands fisted in his hair.   She shoved against him.  “What?  How!?  Get off me.”  She pushed against his shoulders.

Xander stroked her nipple with his tongue.  “It’s okay,” he said softly. “You asked for this.”  He shifted back to rest on his kneels and heels.  His shaft rose high in an impressive display of his arousal.  “You wanted it in all you dreams.  You begged me to fuck you.”  He grabbed her legs and pushed her knees back to her chest as her jaw went slack.

“You…you were in my dreams?” she asked as he moved her hands to hold her legs in place.

“Spread those beautiful thighs for me, my little tasty treat.”  Xander shifted again, lying on the bed with his face near her core.  He blew gently on her and she gasped.

Helplessly, she spread her thighs.  “I don’t…Oh!” she panted as he swiped the flat of his tongue up her lower lips. An electric tingle shot through her that made her feel good and yet left her feeling tired.  He brought her to a screaming orgasm that way then pushed himself to his knees.

Xander crowded her, laying on top of her.  He peppered her face with kisses.  “Such a lovely snack you are. Let me in, Ida, let me in.”

Ida whimpered and rocked her pelvis just a little, causing his cock to slip through her slick folds.  “Please, please! Fuck me.”

“That, my dear, is exactly what I needed.”

She screamed as he thrust into her all the way to the hilt, forcing all her muscles to adapt at once.  Ida opened her eyes and screamed again; this time in fear and loathing.

Xander had transformed.  His face was terrifying.  He had a short snout and wicked fangs.  Black eyes with fire in the pupils stared at her.  Cheekbones jutted out and rose up at the temples to meet multiple ridges from his forehead.  Red skin covered him from head to foot and great big wings rose up from his back.

Ida wriggled backwards, fighting to get away. “Let me go!” she shrieked.

“No, your life is mine now.  I won you!” He growled.  His head darted forward and he sunk his teeth into her shoulder to pin her down.  His tongue lapped at the blood but that’s not what he was really after.

She pounded on him and kicked, struggling as hard as she could.  A sharp, burning pain suddenly exploded in her womb as barbs from his penis stabbed into her.  Ida’s struggles got weaker and weaker as he drank in her life force.

Finally, all that was left of her was a husk and two blood stains on the bed.

April Camp Day 8

Welcome to Hector’s little hell hole, people!

It took me two days two write this and, frankly, The Boyfriend is a little surprised that I managed to write at all today.

I have had a fair number of public appearances in the last couple of days – shopping, therapy, my daughter’s dance competition – and my head is basically full of acid coated cotton batting. I have a major migraine and my thinking is not where it should be.  You don’t want to know how much backspacing and cussing this is taking.  *chuckles ruefully*

Thank you, MCS.  

Speaking of my daughter’s dance competition:  I am so proud of GirlKid!  She won first overall in her age group and category for her solo!  She did amazingly well for her dances. Tomorrow morning is the third and final for the weekend.

MCS is not easily defined but here goes:  Chronic multi-system disorder, usually involved the nervous system and at least one other system.  Persons with MCS “react adversely” to chemicals and whatnot in the environment.   Adversely.  That means we lose our ability to think, to communicate, we get violently ill, we get extremely tired.  It’s crap.

Nevertheless, I managed to finish Hector, largely thanks to a conversation with The Boyfriend and Girlkid.  Sometimes talking it out helps the process.  Hector’s eye – her idea.  Actually, I have to give her credit for that whole last bit (which needs written better, perhaps I’ll attempt that tomorrow).  For now, I’m going to be a vegetable.


Muah!  PS Count to date?  

History Hath More Fury


Hector Heirro studied the email and sighed sadly, expressing his opinion of the sender’s intelligence, and replied with exaggerated care.

Mr. Singh,

As I have told you before, I have a Masters in History and Classical Studies.  I also teach.  The 80 Years War was the subject of my thesis and I developed a theory that I would like to prove.

The thought that he could possibly disprove it never crossed his mind.

I wish to study Her Majesty Elizabeth the First’s jewels as I believe one of them holds the key.  I am well aware that the ones in the museum dedicated to her are paste and I have asked for permission to access the actual jewels. 

You have already implied the permission is granted.  My flight will land at Heathrow tomorrow morning at 9:38 am Greenwich Mean Time and I will arrive at your museum precisely two hours later, allowing for the customs process and traffic.  I have enclosed a picture in a previous email so that you may be sure of my identity but I will be carrying further identification with me. 

I require unlimited and unrestricted access to these jewels.  I assure you, I know how to handle them carefully.  I am paying a great deal of money for this privilege and I expect it to be fulfilled to the letter.

In truth, he was only interested in a single piece.  It is a brooch given to Elizabeth I by the King of Spain, Phillip II.  Rumours have told him that the piece opens like a locket.  She denied accepting it many times and sent it back to him each time.  Each time, he would send it back.  Hector believed that they were exchanging messages.

Elizabeth I was purported to be supported the Spanish Dutch rebels against King Phillip II and yet she was in league with the king.  It would change the world view of history if he could just prove it was true.  It had taken exhaustive research and he hundreds of thousands of his family’s fortune but he didn’t care.  He’d been all over the world, especially Spain and the Netherlands and gathered all kinds of information, suspicions, rumours and secrets.  The one that had kept cropping up is the brooch as a locket.  He pursued it ruthlessly.

Hector walked from through the penthouse apartment and out to the pool enclosure for his last swim for the next few days.  The pool itself is only ten feet long but has a motor that produces a current of varying speeds that allows him to swim in place.    He was fanatical about his health, ate well and swam for about forty-five minutes every day he was at home.  He was rather vainly pleased with his body.  It was, he thought, too bad there was no woman to admire it.

Twenty-four hours later Hector was in a vault deep in the Tower of London, staring at Elizabeth I’s personal collection of jewels.  The real ones.  He almost rubbed his hands together in glee.  Instead, he turned to his companion.  “Thank you, Mr. Singh.  I appreciate all your time.”  His tone was clearly dismissive.

Mr. Singh, who runs the biggest bank in England and carries the responsibility of protecting the royal jewels, was not used to being dismissed like the family butler.  He opened his mouth, closed it then opened it again.  He turned away from the young man and headed out.  At the door, he paused and gave Hector a single finger salute then walked back into the main bank, whistling happily.

Hector waited until he heard the door lock then indulged himself with a gleeful hand rubbing.  “Okay, Hec, let’s get to work.”  There was no real description of the brooch-locket so he began at one end of the table and started picking them up.  He logged each with a description.

“That’s weird.”  He examined the small brooch in his hand.  It was vibrating a little.  The longer he held onto it, the longer he focused in on it.  The world spun around him and he was suddenly standing in the Queen’s Privy Chamber with half dressed women screaming in fear and outrage all around him.

Hector dropped the brooch and he was suddenly standing back in the vault. He stumbled back against the table and rubbed his eyes.  “What the hell was that?”  He looked all around the floor for the brooch but couldn’t find it.  He gave up after a long, fruitless search.  There was absolutely nowhere for it to hide so he got up and resolved to get back to work.

There, in its original spot on the table, was the brooch.  “What the hell?”  Hector snatched it up to examine it.  Immediately, it started vibrating again and he quickly dropped it on the table.  He rubbed his hand on his thigh and stared at it once again.

“You know, Hec, I don’t think that’s the brooch after all.  Time to move on.” He made a couple of notes, (like don’t ever touch that again!), and moved on to the next in the line.

It was too small, he thought, but he looked anyway.  It had gems in varying shades of red all over it and a small silver axe.  He couldn’t figure out what it was for.  Hector closed his fingers around it and paced as he tried to figure it out.  The brooch vibrated and he found himself facing Elizabeth I and her favourite torturer.  The former looked at him with surprise while the latter dropped the small hammer he had been using to pulverize the small hand bones in the person they were questioning.  The woman in the chair screamed in fear as soon as Hector appeared.  Hector embarrassed himself by screaming in response.

The queen gave a command Hector dropped the brooch and the world spun crazily around him.  He found himself on his hands and knees staring at the vault floor, the brooch nowhere in sight.  He pushed himself to his feet and looked at the table.  There it was, gleaming dully in the vault’s soft lighting, back in its spot.

Hector pushed shaking hands through his hair.  “What is going on? Where am I going?”  He was part frightened, part intrigued.  “This could be a great way to study history!  But what if I get stuck?  Or injured?”  He shuddered.  He was suddenly more afraid than intrigued and involuntarily took a step back.  Then another.  He was almost at the door when he caught himself.

“No!  I’ve worked too hard to find this proof to give up now.”  He marched back to the table and looked over the brooches before selecting one at random.

It was pretty, almost the size of his palm and, to him, looked like it could open.  It had an angel on the front that was set upon a shield with crossed swords.  Perhaps it was given to her as a symbol of God’s protection, he mused.  He was so intent in trying to find a miniscule hinge that he never noticed the vibration begin.

It wasn’t until he smelled the sweat of hot, overdressed horses and the acrid scent of gunpowder smoke that he even thought to look up, so involved was he.  He slowly moved his eyes from the brooch to the muddy ground.  His eyes traveled slowly to the left until they came to the silver and gold plated armour on a horse’s leg.  Up, up, up he looked.

Straight into the face of Queen Elizabeth I.

“You!” she cried.  Her horse danced in place with her agitation.  “Bring him to me!” she said imperiously.

Hector stumbled back, his hand reflexively tightening around the brooch.  Arms grabbed him from behind and dragged him forward.  “No!”  He struggled.

She pulled her sword and pointed it at him, resting the tip under his chin and raised his face to hers.  “Who are you?”  He shook his head, scraping the underside of his chin against the back of the blade.  She pushed his head back further.  “Who.  Are. You?” she asked again.

When he still refused to answer, his eyes wide with fear, she moved the blade to his shoulder and pushed it into him.  Slowly.  He screamed in pain, until a stinky, gloved hand covered the lower half of his face.  Elizabeth stopped pushing the blade in and asked again.  “What is your name?”

He had tears flowing down his cheeks and he was slowly being smothered by the leather glove but still he shook his head.  She twisted the blade and he remembered to let go of the brooch.  Instantly, he was back in the vault.  He stumbled back and hit the table.  It tipped over as he fell, raining the bits of metal and precious stones on him.

Instantly, each brooch began to vibrate.  Pieces of him were transported away to another time.  A hand went there, a piece of torso here.  A large, fancy brooch landed on his face, right over his eye.  His eye went to Elizabeth I’s court, in the middle of a party.  The last thing he saw was a man’s leather pump lowering down on top of him.

Mr. Singh found him some time later, the body mangled, the table upright with the brooches in place, gleaming smartly.

April Camp Day 7

Good morning!

I finally managed to finish George early this morning.  I was going to try for it last night after I got home but after therapy (my final session!) and shots and Walmart, I was… Well, frankly, stupid.  MCS sucks, folks.  And when you add in lidocaine shots my brain turns to mush.

So, here it is.  (You can blame The Boyfriend for the title.)  George is sweet as pie, except when he’s not.  I had no idea that he was that much of a sociopath until the very end.  And I have to tell you, that is not the way I want to die.  Nope.  

I really did try to keep it at present tense.  I may have screwed up here and there.  As far as editing goes, it’s had one really quick read through but that’s about it.   Writing George’s nasally speech pissed me off. *laughs*  I figured he’d sound that way with a broken nose AND a handkerchief stuffed up there.

Enjoy!  And have a delightful Friday.  Today begins Girlkid’s final dance competition season.  It’ll be fun.  I look forward to seeing the dances I’ve watched her practice as full productions.   Her solo is quite amusing.



Gorygeous George

“Gorgeous” George Grigoraki is a mechanic, well, he’ll tell you technically, he’s a watchmaker.  A magician with a wrench.  The glorious, gorgeous caretaker and time keeper of the entire factory.  If it weren’t for him, he’ll say while in his cups, the whole factory would miss a step and never right itself.  The truth is that the only machine Gorgeous George works on is the very large shredder that breaks down scrap metal, (miss-cut pieces, damaged ones, scrap), into much smaller pieces that can be melted and reformed into other parts, after the company sells it to other metal working places.

“George!  Could you come here a minute?”  Al appears on the catwalk that surrounds the big shredder.  He’d come over from the offices of the main building, using the skywalk to cover the space between buildings.

George is under the shredder, trying to fix a belt that’s come loose for the eighteenth time. There’s a two tonne load to shred and it’s only nine in the morning, so it makes sense that she’d break.  The somewhat cavernous building that houses the machine, just off the main building, is nearly silent with the shredder standing as unmoving as stone.  “Sure, Al, just give me a minute, almost got this.”

“No problem.”  Al is George’s immediate supervisor though he leaves George alone most of the time.  He thinks the world of George, even if there are rumours that he drinks to much at home and …well, his cousin’s wife has seen George’s wife at the ER with injuries much too often.  “Does that work?” Al smiles as he calls out the question.

“Does what work?”  George slides out from under the machine and rises.

“Alternating between cussing and praising the machine.”  He meets George at the stairs to the catwalk and together they walk to the small table tucked into a corner. There’s a mini fridge there and he watches as George reaches in to grab a bottle of water.

George laughs.  “Sometimes.  She’s getting old though, and ornery.  Sweet talk doesn’t work as well as it used to.”   He takes a pull from the water bottle and watches his boss.  He knows Al hates the building, calls it creepy and weird. Apparently, Al and several others think the building is haunted by the people killed in the shredder.

“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.” Al swallows nervously.  “I just got word that they’re bringing in a new shredder and they want this old girl in as many pieces as you can get her by the first shift tomorrow.”  He stands up as George’s eyes turn molten.  George really is kind of a big guy at six feet with broad shoulders, muscular arms and chest and a beer belly.  How he manages to squeeze that gut under the machine, Al will never know.  “And then, well, George, they’re bringing in someone who can operate the new shredder.  It’s full of computers.”

George leaps to his feet.  “What?” he bellows.  “I’m fired?”

“No.  No, not that, George.  They want to keep you on, you’re a valuable member of the team, George.”  Al tries a friendly smile but lets it slip as George’s glower becomes fiercer.  “You’ll have a new job, if you want it.  Good references if you don’t.  Work for another couple of hours, go home.  Get a few hours of sleep and be back here by seven.  They’re giving you a full twelve hours to break down the machine, along with two extra men.”

“I don’t want your men,” George snarls.  “I’ll do it myself.  I get to pick the department I’ll be moved into, not them.”  George knows he can’t afford to lose the job.

“Whatever you like, George.”  Al flees.

George grabs a chair and throws it as hard as he can.  It bounces off a wall, hits the catwalk and tumbles to the floor, where the metal-on-concrete sound echoes around the room.  Cursing to himself, George stomps back down the stairs to undo the fix that he had just completed, purely out of spite.

At eleven, George sets down the pen and stares at the plan he’d just finished.  He had the manuals and spec sheets for the shredder spread out over the table that served at his desk and lunch station. “I think that will do.”  He rubs his face.  “And I may need those two assholes Al said would be here.”  He cusses under his breath and heads home.

George lives fully with the belief that a wife is a mother and a homemaker and nothing else.  He expects a Cleaver standard of living even if he is a grubby blue collar worker.  So when he gets home and finds the house in chaos he is furious.

“What the fuck is going on in here?” he shouts over the din, scaring his youngest son, Jimmy, and his wife badly.

The living room table is littered with dishes, toast, half melted ice cream and soup in a cup, along with a coffee cup and a cereal bowl. The TV is blaring a Disney musical that is making his head hurt. Thelma leaps to her feet, gets tangled in the blanket she’d been cuddled under with Jimmy.  “G-G-George!  Wha-What are you doing here?”

“Wha-what is Jimmy doing here?” George mocks her.   “What the fuck is that mess?  Why isn’t my house clean?”

“I’m sick, Daddy.”  Jimmy, six years old, speaks up to defend his mommy.

“Did I ask you?”  George glares at his son.

As soon as his daddy looks away, Jimmy slinks from the couch and starts to creep from the room. George stalks toward Thelma and she holds her hands up.  “It would have been clean by the time you got home!  I swear!  I just wanted him to feel better!”

George backhands her. “This house is to be clean at all times,” he snarls as he grabs her by the forearm and drags her to the kitchen.

Jimmy runs behind them, screaming.  “Don’t touch my mommy!” He pummels his tiny fists on his father’s hip.

Turning, George releases Thelma and picks up Jimmy, wrapping big hands around skinny biceps and shaking him hard.  “Mind your business!”  He tosses the boy toward the living room. Jimmy hits the doorframe and lies there.

Thelma screams and tries to rush to her son’s side.  She’s stopped by a strong arm thrust in front of her.  It catches her in the throat and she bounces back.  George grabs her by the hair and drags her further into the kitchen.  The morning’s breakfast dishes are in the sink and there’s a coffee spill on the counter, the same one he’d made when he left earlier.

George slams her face into the counter and Thelma screams again as her cheekbone cracks.  “Look at this mess!  It’s a simple little spill that would have taken you three seconds to clean up.”  He drags her to the sink and plunges her face into the dirty dishes hard enough to break a glass and slice her face.  It carves into her just below her eye.  “Five minutes and you’d have had these done but what do I find you doing?  Lazing around on the couch with that lazy boy!”

George hauls her out of the sink and shakes her.  “I don’t know why I married you.  You’re lazy and shiftless.  And look at you, you’re ugly too.”  He punches her in the soft, but nowhere near fat, belly and slaps her breasts as she tries to bring her hands up to defend herself.

As always, he blacks out and the violence escalates.  He comes to sometime later to find himself sprawled across his bed.  He stretches, pleased that he’d slept so well.  “Ow!  What the hell?”  He studies the hand that refused to open or close all the way and finds it bruised, swollen and that at least one knuckle is probably cracked.  “Thelma!” he bellows.  “What the hell happened to my hand?”

Thelma doesn’t answer and he tries again a couple more times before rolling out of bed and storming into the kitchen.  There’s blood everywhere and both Thelma and Jimmy are in piles on the floor.  “Shit.”  George’s eloquent statement comes after prodding Thelma and the boy with his foot and finding them unresponsive.  He hadn’t found a pulse on either of them either.

Just then, the front door opens.  “Mom?”  Nine year old Jake walks in as George hurries to the front door, surprising his son.  “Dad?  What are you doing home?  Is everything okay?”  Jake spies the dirty dishes on the table and drops his bag.  The word shit explodes from his mouth before he can think about it and he hurries to the mess.  “Don’t worry, Dad, I’ll clean it up.  I’m sure Mom was just busy doing other stuff.  I know Jimmy wasn’t feeling well this morning.  Maybe she was cleaning up barf or something.”

George watches the boy, every word like a hammer to his skull.  “Your mom is a lazy whore.”

Jake turns to George, his mouth hanging out.  Fury fills his expression and he throws whatever he has in his hand at his father.  “She is not!  You’re an asshole!”  Jake watches his father’s face turn purple and nearly pisses himself.  “I’m sorry, Daddy. I’m sorry!”

It’s too late.  George pounces on his son and beats him to a pulp, just like his mother.  Afterwards, George cleans himself up.  He showers, cleans under his fingernails and puts on clean clothes before going to the pub for dinner.

Alma, the fifty year old waitress is surprised to see him.  “Hey, George sweetie.  How’s it going?”

George smiles winningly at her.  “The boys are sick and I have to go back into work tonight.  Thought I’d give Thelma a break and eat dinner here so she doesn’t have to cook.”

“Well, isn’t that nice?  You’re a sweet man, George.”

At seven, George walks into the shredder building to find two silent men waiting for him.  “Good. Let’s get to work,” he says cheerfully.  “You,” pointing to the one on the left, “start with the large access panel on the right.  And you,” now to the other man, “come with me.  I’ll give you an idea of our plan.”

George leads the way up the stairs and the silent man follows.  Halfway up, George starts to hear whispers.  It sounds like a dozen people whispering his name. He stops and whips around, nearly falling.  “Did you say something?”

The man merely shrugs.

George looks at him closely, thinks he looks vaguely familiar but he can’t place him.  “Do I know you?”

The whispers start again.  George spins around.  “You!” he shouted at the other silent man.  “Did you say something?”  When the man stops trying to loosen bolts that had long since rusted to frame and shrugs George scowls.  He listens but nothing else happens.

He continues up the stairs and goes over the plan with the other man, who says nothing, just nods along.  This makes George happy, he dislikes working with chatterboxes.  Men who think that just because they’re in the same room with another person they simply have to tell their life stories, or discuss the last football game (although, really, George will expound on his Lions, given half a chance).

As they turn from the table, there’s a long screech like a key on the side of a car.  George runs down the stairs.  “What the hell are you doing?  This may be going to scrap but we still need to treat it with respect!”

The man just stares at him curiously and George hesitates.  He looks at the machine and doesn’t see anything.  “Ahh… maybe it was the other guy.”  He moves around the corner of the shredder, looking for marks.  There’s a long scratch mark in the paint and rust and George bends down to investigate.

As he does, someone grabs the back of his head and slams his nose into the metal.  He feels a pop then hears a crunch as his nose explodes.  He cries out in rage and pain and straightens up as the hold on his head disappears.  He turns, fists up, but there’s no one there.

George grabs the handkerchief he keeps in one pocket and gingerly presses it to his nose to try to contain the flow of blood.  His eyes are watering and he can’t see very well. He blinks rapidly to try and clear them.   “Who’s there?  Come out, you bastard!  I will show you who’s boss!”

He runs back the way he came, every step a lightning fork of pain in his face.  The man there had moved to the next bolt, further away from George than he had been and he’s got a small torch in hand.  The metal is hot around the bolt he’d been cutting through, it’s obvious he’s been there a while.

Stumbling to a halt, confused, George looks for the other guy and finds him at the top of the catwalk, studying the top of the shredder.  George convinces himself he tripped and jams the handkerchief up his nose.  “Cudding the bold oud is good, id’ll be fasder,” he says before pointing at the other guy.  “Come down here!  We need do ged sdarded on de chude.”  His head is screaming but he has a job to do.

George heads for the long tool bench and suddenly drops to his knees when something slams across his the middle of his upper back.  It feels like a baseball bat.  “Hey!  Whad de fuck?!” he cries.  He awkwardly spins around, arms raised defensively, but, again, there’s no one there.

Confusion turns to fear as he climbs to his feet and stumbles toward the bench.  Maybe he can defend himself with a wrench.  He feels eyes on the back of his head, cold breath on the back of his neck.  He shivers and realizes the entire temperature of the room, which is normally kept at sixty degrees Fahrenheit, has dropped much lower.  His breath fogs out in front of him.

George grabs a heavy wrench and turns around.  He gasps and lets out an involuntary shriek.  Standing in front of him are a dozen or so people.  “Pedey?” he says with a small boy’s voice, still nasally from the handkerchief stuffed up his nose.  He hasn’t seen Petey since he died when they were seven years old.

The crowd parts to allow three people to come forward.  “Thelma?  Jimmy? Jake?  But you’re… you’re…”

“Dead?” she asks, though he swears her mouth didn’t move.  “Oh yes, you fucking cocksucker.  We’re all dead.”  As one, they go from looking normal to their condition at death.

Petey looks like his face had been smashed in with a baseball bat. He has leaves and dirt in his hair, scrapes from being dragged through a wooded area.

There’s a man who has very obviously been run over by a car.  A teenage girl with her face beat up, torn clothing and strangle marks on her throat. Another man whose throat is open in a jagged cut.

George shrinks back against the bench.  “But you’re all accidents.  I didn’t mean to do it.”

Jake steps forward.  “I’m an accident, Dad?” he sneers.  “Felt pretty on purpose.”

As George protests again, the crowd closes in on him.  He is punched, kicked, and cut.  They tear him to pieces and continue to do so long after his death.

April Camp Day 6

Good morning!

Fanny is already done!

It was like pulling teeth to get these 377 words.  Took way longer than it should have but Fanny insisted on being a bloody poem.

Well, not a bloody  but I figured it was a better word than fucking.  More polite, yes?  Until I blew it right there.

See, she scrambled my brain.  Hate the woman.  I’m glad we’re past her.  I will probably work on George some later, just to get the daily word count done to keep my stats up, but you won’t see him until tomorrow.

It’ll be a much better quality than this bit of… I’m not sure what this is.  A poem, I think.  That’s what was wanted anyway.  I don’t do poetry.  Spells, sure.  Poems, no.  And this was made harder by her insistence that every line had to start with F.  What the fuck, man.

It’s done.  I’m happy.  

Have a wonderful day!


Fanny’s Doom


Fanny Fabron is a French witch

Famed for her potions of health.

Fat though she was, people adored her

Funny, dimpled smile.


Forever cheerful she was, until the

Flutter of her biological clock

Fogged her brain until a child was all

Fanny desired.


From an old black book, worn and

Faded, a spell she searched out.

“Furfur, Furfur…What an odd name,”

Felt Fanny with amusement.


“For you a circle shall be cast.

Fiend you are called, lover you shall be.”

Fine male form a demon must have,

Fun for fucking and impregnating.


“Fertilize me!” she cried while

Flinging her hands in the air.

“Fornicate with me! But more,

Fond of me, I beg of thee.”


Furfur appeared with lightning and a

Funnel cloud fierce.

Fanny gasped and screamed as

Fetid air cleared.


Fine male form indeed, had he.

Fanny and head of a deer, chest

Fit for a weight lifter, wings of

Fur and leather.


“Fornicate, say you?”

Furfur asked of she.

Feral eyes looked her up and down,

Fat tongue licked skinny lips.


Fright past, Fanny stared at

Furry male parts that hung low

For it grew and grew.

“Finally!” she exclaimed.


Furfur paused, so used to being

Frightful was he that love was

Foreign to him and unknown.

“Fuck now!” was the gleeful shout.


Future comes, as time must pass.

Fritz, was the boy child of the union,

Furred was he, just like his father.

Fuzzy knobs upon his head.


Feet like hooves, he was a

Freak among the others.

Fracas and fights broke out often.

Finally, the villagers had enough.


Furor and whispered plans.

Forks for pitching, weapons made.

Flames on torches, burning bright.

“Fight Burn them tonight!”


Furfur disappeared in a cloud of sulfur.

Fanny cursed him, grabbed her child and

Fled into woods so dark.

Falling and stumbling, scratches galore.


Following on their heels, villagers chanted,

“Fat Fanny, furry Fritz.  Die tonight!

Fire to purify, flames to devour!

Father of Lies, welcome your spawn!”


Found in a cave, they were, afraid and cold.

Fuel piled around, wood and bark, stick and grass.

Flames touched to pyre

Fire exploded, high and bright.


Fanny and Fritz are no more.

Fear killed once and once again.

For fear brought love and,

Finally, destruction.

April Camp Day 5

Wow!  Two posts in the same day!

I was determined to get caught up while I could reasonably see.  (As to that:  I have been having more migraines than usual.  They almost all seem triggered by light – and those that aren’t are triggered by changes in the weather.  It sucks. I have painful eyes, in and around them and sometimes it’s easier just to stare at, or listen to, the TV than it is to brain.  So I write when I can.)

Now, we have Earnest’s story.  To be honest, I don’t like it.  It’ has it’s horror elements but the ending feels forced and awkward to me.  The characters stopped talking loud enough for me to hear around the time Earnest found the ruby. There’s a lot unexplained here.

I am fending off a cat here so I’m just going to let you decide for yourself what you like.


WARNING:  There is sexual molestation in this story.  Continue at your own risk.


Eroticism Can Bring Death


Earnest Eaton was trapped in a corner as they advanced on him. His death is imminent and he knows it. “Please, God, please! Don’t let it end like this.” He heard a laugh and his life flashed before his eyes.

Well, the final part.

“You have got to be kidding me! I can barely walk!” Earnest shouted at his social worker.

Susannah leaned back in her chair. She had been working with Earnest for five years now and was used to his exaggerations and shouting. He was a small, arrogant man laid low by an injury caused at work. “Now, Earnest,” she said calmly. “You are not considered disabled by the government and,” she held up a hand to forestall his rant, “the law is the law. You must find a job.” She shuffled papers. “I found one for you. You will work at night, which I know you prefer. You will be working alone, which I know you also prefer. You will be able to sit down most of the night, you only have to report to your supervisor once a day, in the morning at the end of your shift.”

Now, she leaned forward. “I have to tell you that I can’t give you any more chances. I have done everything I can for you up until now. If you don’t take this job, I will be forced to cut you off or I will lose my job.” She folded her hands on her desk and stared him down when he opened his mouth once again.   “Your medications and medical requirements will continue to be covered, as well as a portion of your expenses.”   She slid an envelope across the desk.   “Mr. Haynes will be waiting for you tonight at eight.” Susannah glanced at the clock. “You have enough time to go home, get some sleep and make sure you have a meal to take with you.” She continued to give him a hard stare until he merely nodded and reached for the envelope.

“Thank you, Ms. Susannah.” Earnest, a little cowed, grabbed the envelope and his cane and scuttled from the office.   It wasn’t until he was sitting on the bus that he opened the envelope. “The Young-Allen Natural History Museum? What the fuck, Susannah?” He muttered to himself, raging, but by the time he got home and read the rest of the job description, he agreed with her assessment. It was kind of perfect for him. There would be no one around. He could bring his tablet and game all night. He’d set alarms for when he had to walk around.

Earnest showed up at 7:55 and tried to open the door. It was locked and he scowled at the heavily tinted doors.

A moment later, he heard the locks turn and hastily rearranged his face into something he hopes is more pleasant. The door opened and a head with thick hair and a full beard popped out. Blue twinkling eyes looked at Earnest as the lips curved in a smile. “Mr. Eaton?”

“Mr. Smith?” Earnest already hated the man. He was six feet tall and towered over Earnest by more than a few inches.

“Yes! Come in, come in.” Smith opened the door wide and allowed Earnest to pass through before locking it again. “It is nice to meet you. I’ve been looking for a guard for a while. Susannah is a friend of mine and she said you need a job. She assured me that you were reliable.” She’d also told him that Earnest was a negative man but that was because he hadn’t yet accepted his disability. She felt if Earnest could feel useful maybe he’d be a quality employee. Smith was always willing to help the beautiful and wonderful Susannah.

He ushered Earnest through the front of the museum, toward the back security office.   He altered his pace to accommodate Earnest’s ability and told him about the museum and the job.

“I am throwing you right into it, I’m afraid,” Smith told Earnest as he checked his watch. “I’ve given you the keys and security codes.” He ticked things off on his fingers. “Shown you how to use the CCTV and left you a map of the museum. I think you’re good to go. As you know, it’s a twelve hour shift and you don’t really get any breaks.   It is a really easy job though, so you shouldn’t need a break. Feel free to use the washroom whenever you need to but keep your food confined to this office. I have to run. I will lock up behind me. Have a great first shift!”

Earnest blinked a little, overwhelmed by the amount of talking the other man had done.   He lowered himself into the chair and picked up the notes. He had decided, at some point during the day to make the best of it. He couldn’t afford to have no income, especially if his medications weren’t covered. He popped an oxycontin and studied the map. Deciding he might as well see what he’s watching over, Earnest headed out.  

The dinosaurs captured his attention and sparked the imagination he thought long dead.   The plants and rocks bored him.   But then he came to a display that contained a quarter of an ancient village. He read the sign by the red velvet rope.

Discovered in Egypt, in what used to be Sumer, this village was uncovered when an unexpected earthquake cracked open the earth and created a crevasse. That crevasse led to a cave that almost appeared to be a perfect bubble. Cavers found this village, preserved as if in the middle of a day.

It is estimated that this village is from around 4,000 B.C. Efforts to take samples have failed. Whatever, or whoever, froze these people like this took steps to ensure that they could not be harmed. They only thing that could be done was to cut the village up in square chunks so that they could be put into museums around the world. Even then, there were only certain places that we could cut. Each piece turned out to be quite light, considering, and we were able to easily maneuver them to flat bed trucks. Your museum is now part of history as this village, which we have named Uruk 2, is shipped around the world so that everyone can learn how civilization began.

No one knows why, or how, these people were frozen but we are thankful to be benefiting from them.

The sign went on to list the tools and bits and pieces but he ignored them.

Earnest studied the people. They were quite lovely and his fingers itched to touch. The only thing separating him from them was a slim velvet rope. He looked around compulsively then moved to a post and unhooked the rope. Earnest giggled to himself as he broke the rules. He stepped onto the platform and shivered. His skin crawled and he almost backed off.

Determined, he wandered around, touching the tools and animals. He wandered through the little house, running his fingers over things. Then he went outside and studied the people. There were two small children, girls. He thought they were twins. He tweaked their noses and tugged their hair. He stood before the man and stared at him.

The man was Earnest’s height of 5’6”. He was slim, muscular, with tanned skin; everything Earnest was not. Earnest was pale, pot-belled and was missing hair from most of the top of his head. The other man was holding a spear called an elephant goad in one hand and had an animal corpse at his feet; Earnest had a cane. The spear had a sharp point tip, and a curved blade attached to it.   Earnest’s cane had a curved handle and an attachment that flipped down to make the tip of his cane pointy in the winter.

Earnest scowled and punched the guy in the chest then shook his sore hand. “A man’s man weren’t you? Providing for your little family. Hunting and bringing down the terrible, scary beasts. I bet you wrestled with their corpses, skinning them and whatever else.   Asshole.” He slapped the man and moved on to what appeared to be his wife.  

“Mmmm… you were gorgeous. I would love to have fucked you.” He reached down and grabbed his own crotch, gave it a shake. “I bet you’re tight and hot.” Blood rushed south and he reached out to stroke her cheek. He touched her hair then down her arm to her hand. He looked around again then reached out and touched her breast. He slipped his hand under the fabric crossed over her chest to pinch her nipple and cupped her breast in his hand.

Emboldened, he used both hands to cup her waist and caress her hips and ass. He crouched to stroke her legs, moving his hands up under the skirt of the toga style dress she was wearing. He reached all the way up to touch her intimately.  

“Mmmm,” he purred as he pushed himself back to his feet. He unzipped his pants and pulled his hard dick out. “Ohhh,” he groaned, “that’s so much better.” He rubbed it all over her, everywhere he could reach. He slid it back and forth against her hand, holding her shoulder to support himself.   He moved to her back and pressed himself tightly against her. He rubbed his cock up and down her ass while his hands roamed all over her chest, back and waist.

A climax shook him. He wasn’t concerned about leaving anything behind since he’d been having ejaculate free orgasms since the accident that wrecked his back. “Thank you so much.” He growled the words at her. In his anger of the last few years, his fantasies had been confined to ones involving varying levels of brutality against women. A woman had been driving the forklift that caused the accident.   This was the first time he got to act on.

“I’m going to love this job.” He picked up his cane and gave her one last grope. He felt a pendant hanging near her belly button and pulled it out.   “What have we here?” He looked up at her face in surprise. “This is an enormous, what, ruby? Where did you get that I wonder?”

After a moment’s thought, he yanked it off her neck. “No one knows it’s there, so no one will miss it.” He walked away, chuckling, as he moved as quickly as possible back to the office.

Behind him, there was a whisper of movement. The steady thump of his cane and his study of the grape-sized gem made him deaf to it. He was suddenly thrown to the floor and a wheezing yelp escaped him as a body landed on him.

“So,” said a lightly accented male voice, “you think you can molest my wife and get away with it?   I think not, my fat little crook. Thank you for freeing us from that curse. Perhaps you require some payback for what you have done. Hili!” he called. “Take the children inside the hut.”

The sounds of two protesting little girls echoed through the nearly cavernous room and then two delicate, bare feet appeared in front of Earnest’s nose. “I think we should play with him, Kizurra.   Let him up.”

The man rolled off Earnest and came swiftly to his feet. “Run, tiny hippopotamus. Save yourself, if you can.”

Earnest pushed to his feet and backed away as the one called Kizurra moved toward the woman he called Hili. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. If I’d known, I…” Earnest broke off as the point of the elephant goad lowered to jab him almost gently in the gut.

“So you prefer your women to be plastic? I am sure we can find something fake to penetrate you.” Kizurra chuckled as Earnest paled. “Run. I am going to do something I have waited far too long to do.” He grabbed his wife by the back of the neck and kissed her passionately.

Earnest turned and hobbled away, running as best he could. Every time he hid, Kizurra and Hili found him. They would hit him, tease him, tear at his genitals and his clothing, and then they would tell him to run. Finally, they cornered him in a display about evolution. He was naked, bleeding and crying. “No! Please, no! I’m sorry!”

“Please, God, please! Don’t let it end like this.” He heard a laugh as Hili pounced on him and wrenched his arms behind him.   She used the thin leather belt around her waist to behind his arms. Together, she and her husband hauled him to his feet and forced him belly down onto a sign about the differences between Cro-magnon and Homosapien. Earnest screamed when the shaft of Kizurra’s elephant goad found its way up into Earnest.

Hili whispered in Earnest’s ear, “May the Gods forgive you, and remember you. For I shall never think of you again.” Then Kizurra pulled the goad back a little and rammed it almost eighteen inches up into Earnest’s gut, perforating his bowels.  

“Kill him!” Hili demanded.

Kizurra pulled the goad out and Earnest slid to the floor, bleeding heavily and crying. Kizurra reversed his grip, taking care not to get entrails on his hands, swung and buried the curved blade in the back of Earnest’s neck, putting him out of his misery. The couple went back to their hut to gather their girls, leaving Earnest, the goad and the night’s events behind.

April Camp Day 4

Good morning! 

Yes, I realize it’s the fifth and not the fourth of April but I was having severe migraines yesterday and couldn’t see worth a damn to write.  

So here is yesterday’s offering (and I apologize for the title, really).  It is a long short story and takes a bit to get to the horror part.  I think that Earnest’s story will be quite a bit shorter.  Desmond’s story is a little over 4,300 words long and I am at more than 11,000 words of my intended 50k.  Yay me!

Enjoy!  (and please, remember, NaNo posts = first drafts = no editing)



Djya say DJinn?


A hand shot into the air from the back of the class.  “Professor!  Is it true that you’re the one who discovered Rapunzel’s tower?”

Professor Desmond Dedrick smiled the charming smile that had by now graced so many magazines he’d lost count and heard several of the female students sigh with pleasure.  “Yes it is, Bobby.”

The University of Glasgow students leaned forward expectantly as he preened a little before speaking.  He knew he was good looking.  He was 6’3” and swam religiously to maintain the sleek body he knew most women preferred.  He lifted weights for practicality, most of what he did in the field was labour intensive.  His hair was thick, a dark blond and, he thought, his second best feature.  His first was not best shown to the general public.  His teaching voice was carefully modulated to be masculine but almost lyrical.  His students loved him, when he was there.

Desmond told them the tale of stumbling on Rapunzel’s tower when he was looking for something else entirely.  He was so used to telling the story that his mind turned to his current project – Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.  He was pretty sure that the cave lie not in the Arabian Desert, as the story insisted, but across the Red Sea in East Africa, Eritrea, specifically.  He felt the cave was buried in the Emba Soira mountain range in Eritrea and he had a really good idea where. 

He had wasted a lot of time in the Jabal an Nabi Shu’ayb range until he realized that the cave systems were too open, too obvious, just as the story seemed to make it.  If there was one thing he’d learned from solving the Hansel and Gretel story, not everything was as pretty and in your face as the story tellers would have you believe. 

After a lot more research, Desmond came to believe that the forty thieves of Scheherazade’s stories were pirates.  They docked, he felt, in a cove near the Jalua Volcano and made the forty kilometer trek inland to hide their treasure in a cave accessed through tunnels that may or may not begin in the foothills.


“Yes?  My apologies, my brain wandered away on its own.”  Desmond smiled at the young man who had spoken before. 

“There’s someone at the door.  They refuse to come in.” 

“Thank you, Bobby.  Class dismissed!  I will be gone for at least a week.  Your senior TA, Juliette, will be handling all questions regarding next month’s exam and the final project you have due.”  The class was a group of second year students either just getting serious about archeology or still waffling about their major.  “The project will help me help you decide which of you will move on to third year and which of you will not.  Good afternoon!” He called over the bustle of everyone getting together.

The man outside the door ducked his head down, hiding behind his hat and the file folder he held in his hand as the students passed by him.  He cursed the professor for emptying the classroom instead of coming out to him but at the same time, he was pleased. 

Desmond appeared at the door and waved the man in before locking the door.  “What do you have for me, Donovan?” 

Donovan handed over the file.  “We found the remains of a ship and a small village, right where you said it would be.  That folder contains the GPS co-ordinates, your tickets to Asmara and the information about your guide from there.  Make sure that you treat your guide with respect and care.”

Desmond laughed that big laugh that his students found infectious.  “Don’t I always?”

“No,” the other man said quietly, “you don’t.  But you absolutely MUST with this one.  There will be hell to pay if you don’t.”  Donovan gave his friend a serious look.  Only when Desmond nodded in agreement did Donovan smile and slap his hand on the back.  “Let’s go, your flight leaves in two hours.  I took the liberty of having Catherine pack your bags.”

Desmond’s eyes turned smoky at the mention of Catherine, Donovan’s assistant.  He was a collector of woman and she steadily refused to succumb to his advances.  “You know, I could probably use another set of hands on this trip.”

Donovan laughed.  “Forget it, I need her at the office.”

Some seventeen hours later, Desmond landed in Asmara and immediately began sweating.  He grabbed his bags from the carousel and looked around for any sign of his guide.  There was no one so he went into the washroom and washed up quickly in the sink.  Donning a lighter shirt, he repacked his bag and stepped out, nearly treading on a dark skinned man almost his size but half his age.  “Excuse me,” Desmond said, not altogether politely.

“Pardon me, my fault entirely.”  The young man gave a little bow.  He was dressed in a loud Hawaiian style shirt, long khaki shorts with thong sandals on his feet.  He was also holding a sign with the word “DEDRICK” on it dangling from one hand. 

“You’re my guide?” Desmond asked with some disbelief.

“You are Professor Dedrick?” The man’s face lit up with a smile then he reached out and grabbed Desmond’s right hand, mercifully free of bags, and pumped it up and down.  “I am so pleased to meet you!  My Rezantos, Ramses, will be so pleased!  I am Ammon.”

“Uh… Yes, I am.”  Desmond looked bemused as he was relieved of his bags and ushered, almost herded, out to an old Jeep.  He knew, from studying the file, that Ramses was the leader, nearly king, of the Saho tribe that would be assisting him with this dig.  Even with his gift of languages, Saho was too confusing for him to pick up.

“In, in!  I will take you to your base camp.  The Rezantos awaits!”  Ammon ran around the side of the Jeep, tossing Desmond’s bags in, making the professor left and lower a hand as he bit back the expletive and simply prayed his equipment would be in one piece.

The ride was bumpy, hellacious and left Desmond sweating, swearing and sick to his stomach.  Once they stopped, he hurtled himself out of the car and onto his knees.  He heaved great gulping breaths, trying not to hurl the bile in his stomach, which was the only thing there.  It had been hours since the lousy meal on the plane but he was pretty sure he was about bring it back up. 

Two women rushed to his side.  “Professor!”  The rest of what they said was in the Saho language and incomprehensible.  One helped his feet and another offered him a skin bag he assumed was water.  He grabbed the bag and drank greedily until they urged him to stop.

“I am sorry, Chief.  Roads are bad.  Too many twists and turns and bumps.”  He slapped Desmond on the back.  “Come! The Rezantos, he wants to meet you.  He is eager to see what you are doing.”  Desmond straightened up, offered his charming smile to the two women who had brought him water and let Ammon lead him to Ramses.  There was dinner and dancing and a huge fire in the night.  He staggered into a tent and fell face first onto a bed that was made of a cot, a piece of foam and several heavy blankets to protect against the freezing temperatures of the desert night.  He didn’t notice the woman taking his boots and socks off.  He didn’t notice him removing his shirt and smoothing a thick cream into his shoulders and the back of his neck or how she finally tucked him in. 

The next morning, he woke at dawn, feeling energetic, refreshed and ready to go.  He dressed, shaved and strode from his tent and, once again, ran smack into Ammon.   “This is becoming a habit,” he said with amusement as Ammon apologized again.

“My Rezantos wishes to see you before you begin this morning, Chief.”  Ammon herded Desmond towards the leader’s home.  There he acted as translator for Desmond and Ramses until both were satisfied.

It took three days of walking and searching in a half circle wedge pattern that ranged out from the discovered village remains before Desmond found the cues he was looking for, deep in the foothills.  Each wedge of the search pattern had been fifteen kilometers long but on this day, Desmond had continued after dark. 

“No, no!  You must not!” Ammon insisted.  “There are ghosts in the dark.  And many large animals that come out to hunt.  It is safer with the fire.”

“Then we will make torches and burn them brightly.”  Desmond laid a hand on Ammon’s shoulder.  “I cannot leave without knowing for certain.”

“Leave?  We were led to believe you would be here for a full seven days.”

Desmond shook his head.  “We are already outside where I thought it would be.  If I don’t find it today then I will have to leave.”  He watched as Ammon argued with, and shouted at, the men with them.  All but one left as Ammon shook his fist at their retreating backs.  When Desmond gave the other man a questioning look, he straightened his back and thumped his fist on his chest, as if to say that he wasn’t afraid.

Together, the three men made torches out of dead tree branches, bark, strips from the bottoms of their shirts, and the wire and fuel that Desmond carried in the pouches on the belt he always wore.  Donovan always made fun of it, calling it a Batman utility belt wannabe.  Now, Desmond snorted at the memory, as he always did when the belt was useful.  He pulled out his lighter and lit each torch carefully.

He took a moment to center himself and reached out with his senses.  He just knew that cave was nearby.  It was the same way he’d found everything else.  He called it instinct but it was more.  He only used it when he was incredibly frustrated because it felt like cheating to him.   This time, Desmond’s gut feeling pulled him to the north and a little west, deeper into the foothills.

They walked for another two hours before there was a glimmer high on one of the stone walls that surrounded them.  Desmond held his breath as he ran, stumbled, tripped to get closer.  The glimmer is a sigil, one that he’d found in his research.  “Look at the walls!  Find another one!”

It took them another hour before they found the largest one.  It was on a cave wall that seemed to be smooth and whole.  Desmond handed his torch to Ammon in order to study the wall and the nearly invisible cracks along it. Suddenly, he flung his arms up and shouted, “Open, Sesame!”

The three men held their breaths for a long moment before, with a loud CRACK! a portion of the wall pushed out then slid to the side.  It stopped after only a couple of meters.  It took quite a while before the three were brave enough to step inside that cave. 

It took a moment for Desmond’s eyes to adjust but when they did they nearly bugged out of his head.  Piles of gold, pottery, silver, silks and treasure of all kinds, were in piles here and there, some of them piled haphazardly.  Suddenly, trail of flame raced along the walls and brightened the room so that all that glittered became blinding.  He turned to find that Ammon had touched the flame to a pool of oil settled in a small basin by the door.  Ammon shrugged an apology but Desmond didn’t care. 

All that mattered was that he was right.  He’d found the caves of the forty thieves!

The Saho men stayed by the door, too afraid to move further but Desmond explored the cave, touching this and that.  He poured jewels from one hand to another, rubbed silks on his face.  He found an old lamp and, for some reason, carried it with him.  He found a cache of weapons and tucked an old dagger under his belt. 

“Come, come!  It’s time to go back,” Desmond said excitedly.  “I need to tell Donovan that I found it!”

As soon as they were clear of the cave, and he’d closed it, he wrenched the sat phone off his belt and was surprised to see the lamp still in his hand.  “Donovan!  I found it!”  He listened to the excited chatter on the other end.  “Yes, yes…Yes! …No. It’s bigger than I thought.  I’ll need at least The MaryAnn and twenty men.”  He named his ship, a large research vessel he’d had to have retrofitted to contain his gear, tools and storage compartments.  “Call Mr. Hakimi over at the Cairo Museum and Mr. Singh in London.  They’ll both need to come down.  I’ll send my friend here to pick them up from the airport.”  He smiled at Ammon.  That little bit of evil was his own, for the trouble each man has caused him in the past.  “We’ll deal with the Americans when the time comes.  Is there anyone in Africa who needs to be notified? …Okay, call him too.”

Desmond hung up his phone and, with renewed energy, set off at a jog back toward the small tent village. 

The next morning, he woke up rejuvenated, again, and realized that he was still holding the lamp.  He sat and studied it.  There was an inscription on it he couldn’t read for the dirt encrusted in it.  He had been quite surprised to find such a thing among the glitter in the cave.  He rubbed at the inscription with a piece of soft cloth.  As soon as the cloth touched it, the lamp shook slightly.

Startled, Desmond stopped.  He stared at it for a long moment then tried to set it down.  It was stuck to his hand.  He began to sweat when, after opening his hand as wide as he could, with fingers at full extension, the lamp stayed stuck to his hand.  He took a long deep breath and decided that the lamp wanted to be taken back to the cave, so he would do that.  He dressed quickly, if awkwardly, though the lamp did seem to adjust itself to get through his sleeves.

He stepped out of his tent to find a small group of people waiting for him, with Ammon at the head.  As one, the group gasped and took a step backward.  “What?  What is wrong?” 

“You… You do not look the same as you did yesterday morning, Chief.”  Ammon almost looked horrified.

“What?  What do you mean?”  Desmond didn’t feel any different.  Ammon snapped out a word and someone scrambled to hand Desmond a mirror.  He lifted it to his face as his stomach clenched in the first real fear he had felt in years.  He loved his looks, used them often.  He had known he was good looking from the age of four.  Women and little girls fell all over themselves to make him smile.  He focused on his image and gave a wordless cry.  

“I am so sorry, Chief!” Ammon sympathised.  He turned to listen as one of the village’s women elders pointed at Desmond’s hand and spoke urgently.  He looked back at Desmond with some consideration.  “She says that there is a legend attached to the lamp you hold.”

Desmond almost threw the mirror away but instead studied his image again.  He had aged ten years overnight.  The sun bleached streaks that were woven into his dark hair had turned white.  He had crow’s feet around his eyes and lines bracketing his mouth.  He turned his head side to side, examining the look.  He decided he could work with it.  However, as he studied his face, new wrinkles and more white appeared in his hair.  Terrified, he threw the mirror away.

“What?   What is the legend, man!?” Desmond grabbed Ammon with his free hand.

Ammon hastily freed himself.  “It is said that the lamp will lay dormant for many years, centuries even, but as soon as someone such as you touches it –”

Desmond interrupted. “Like me? What do you mean like me??”

“Someone who is healthy and has a strong, vital life force.”

“What does it do?”  He looked panicked and reached for Ammon again.

Ammon backed up a step. “It will suck the life force from you in order to revitalize the genie inside it.”

Slowly, Desmond lifted the lamp to stare at it.  It seemed to stare back at him.  Finally he lifted his hand to rub it.  He stroked it once with his sleeve and a sense of urgency came over him so he scrubbed hard at it.  The lamp rattled and shook and began to hiss and yet he could not stop rubbing.  Smoke began to spew from the spout to pile on the ground and shape itself in a way that reminded him of the old show I Dream of Jeannie.  Only when the smoke stopped was he able to stop rubbing.  He watched the smoke firm itself and coalesce into the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

She had sun kissed skin, an hourglass figure and thick, wavy black hair that tumbled around her shoulders.  He found himself gazing into chocolate brown almond eyes set in a heart shaped face. She had a perfect, straight nose and the incredibly kissable lips that were curved into a smile.  A slim chain adorned with lavender pearls draped her head with a length running down her part to divide and curve over her forehead and bow towards the back of her head.  She was draped in gauze with three scarves as a belt and hammered gold cuffs around her wrists and ankles.

Desmond didn’t hear the screams and cries and shouted prayers of the villagers.  He didn’t hear Ammon’s desperate pleas for him to step away and not say anything.  He didn’t notice that the lamp was taken gently from his fingers until he saw it cradled in the woman’s fingers. 

“Good day, my master,” she said in accented but perfect English.  “I am a Djinn and my name is Sheherazade.  I am pleased to meet you.”

“Sheherazade?”  Desmond’s mouth dropped open in shock.  “Are you not the woman of a thousand and one tales?”  At once, his fear turned into curiousity.

“You have heard of me?” She blushed and looked at the ground.  “Do the stories displease you, master?”

“No, I… Wait, why are you calling me master?”

“You have freed me from my slumber, I am yours to command.  Thrice you may command me.  If you choose, you may free me from my lamp forever.  I must give you whatever you wish for.”

Immediately, Desmond’s greatest wish popped into his head and out of his mouth on a wistful sigh.  “I wish I could understand all languages, written or spoken.”

“As you command.”   She touched his forehead and immediately it seemed as if everyone around him was speaking English.

“Wait!  I didn’t meant to ask for that.”

“I did warn you, my master.”   She smiled gently. “You may command me but twice more.”

“Ch-Chief.” Ammon approached him cautiously.  “The telephone on your belt has been ringing.  And,” he bit his lip, “you have aged again.”  As Desmond whipped the phone off his belt, Sheherazade gave Ammon a look that had him quaking in his boots but he stood firm.  “I have heard of you,” he said.  “I will not let you take this man.”

  The Djinn smiled coldly.  “You have no say in the matter.”  She disappeared and reappeared right in front of him, chest to chest.  She gripped the back of his head and pressed her lips to his.  She sucked the life out of him.  Twenty-one year old Ammon aged then shriveled and turned to dust.  Sheherazade licked her lips and stared at the rest of the villagers. As one, they turned their backs on her and ignored her.  She smiled smugly, pleased, and returned to her place by Desmond’s side. 

As he hung up the phone, she touched his arm gently.  An electric shock jumped from her to him but she soothed it with a stroke and he ignored it.  Smiling, she asked, “Master, would you not like to see the cave of treasures again?  I can transport you right there.”

Desmond gave her a cautious look.  “Would that be a wish?”

“Oh, no, of course not.  I have offered to do it for you.”

“Then yes, I would.”  He turned, looking for Ammon.  “Where is Ammon?”

Sheherazade shrugged delicately.  “I do not know,” she said in a soft but sweetly sad voice.  “He said that he would not work with you if I was around and left.”

Before he fully understood what he was doing, he spoke in Saho to the nearest person.  “Tell Ammon that he needs to pick up those men at the airport around midnight.”  As he waited for an answer, Sheherazade wrapped her hand around his wrist.

With a sickening wrench in his gut, he found himself standing in the cave.  “This is wonderful!  All this history!  And I proved that Ali Baba & the Forty Thieves is real!  This will be the crowning achievement of my career so far.”

“I am happy that you are so happy, my master!” 

Desmond stretched his back and noticed an ache in his lower spine and his hips.  “I need to explore this cave. It looks like a system of caves.”  He went from the large front room to the back and found several corridors.  The Djinn trailed after him. 

Desmond began to move slower and slower.  He explored a room full of silks that were miraculously intact.  Not a single moth hole in any of the fabrics.  He moved on and found dishes made of bone and ones of delicate china that was beautifully hand painted.  In another room, he knelt to look at a stack of Persian rugs and found he had trouble getting up.  Sheherazade helped him to his feet and he groaned at the effort and the amount of pain it took. 

“Come,” she said, “You should rest.  You have been at this for hours.  There is a room with furniture in it.  I know there is a comfortable divan.  I will provide food and wine.”  She led him to it and settled him into the seat.  A table held a tray with a plate, a knife and fork and a goblet.

He smiled at her.  “Thank you, I don’t know what I would do without you.”

Sheherazade smiled.  “Let us pray you never find out.”  She handed him a silver goblet and turned to get the pitcher of wine.

Desmond lifted the goblet and twisted it to look at the engravings.  He caught his reflection and howled in dismay.  “What have you done to me?  I am an old man!”  His cheeks were sunken and his eye sockets nearly hollow.  His skin hung limply from his skull.  It was then that he noticed the paper white, frail skin dotted with liver spots.  He grabbed the knife from the tray and plunged it into her neck. 

Hot blood spurted all over and Sheherazade screamed.  He twisted the knife and left it in there, holding on grimly while she fought him.  As her blood coated him, he began to feel stronger.  She fell, limp and bloody, to the floor and he stared at her corpse, aghast. 

“No, no, no!  What have I done!  I cannot live without you, Sheherazade!”  The knife was still in his hand and he used it to slash his wrists.  The declaration and action shocked him but he could not stop it.

As his blood joined hers, he began to die.  “I wish I had not done it!  I wish I had freed you instead.  We could have made a life together.”  With his last breath, he watched her spring to her feet. 

She waved a hand and closed his wounds.  She took the knife from him and leaned over him.  Her eyes were black pits with fire burning in them.  “Fool,” she spat.  “I am immortal.”  She stood and stared down at him as the lamp appeared in her hand. 

Sheherazade smiled.  “The lamp must have a captive.”  With a wave of her hand, she wrapped him in magic and restored him to himself at his most handsome and charming.  “A gift from the lamp, your youth and your looks.”  She put the lamp on the floor near him and waved her hand again. 

Smoke crept from the lamp to circle Desmond’s feet.  He struggled but her magic held him.  The smoke burned as it climbed over him, changing him until he was nothing but a pale grey fog. 

“In you go,” she said.  The smoke reversed and sucked Desmond into the lamp.

He landed in a posh living center that, again, reminded him of I Dream of Jeannie. He wondered suddenly, if there had been another lamp and another victim and another Djinn freed, who decided to make light of it.  “No!” he shouted.  “You can’t keep me here!”  He climbed on the couch that rimmed the edge of the lamp and banged on the walls.  “Let me out!”

Sheherazade picked up the lamp and smiled at it.  “And as a gift to me,” she said, knowing he could hear her, “the lamp has given me your life.  My name is Davina Dedrick and I am the greatest archeologist of all time.  You will have two hundred years to think before anyone will begin to think of searching for the cave you will be buried in.  Good bye, Desmond.”

The lamp winked out of Davina’s hand and reappeared halfway around the world, stuck in a pile of ice, while Desmond screamed into the silence. 

April Camp Day 3

Good morning!  

Today’s story is Clara.  The story took quite a different turn than the way I expected it to go.  I expected that she’d do some channeling and the spirit she was channeling would take her and hold her prisoner and that the story would be about her confinement.

Nope.  I’m scratching my head over this one but I think it was successful.  The thought of these things happening to me scares me silly so I’m calling it horror.

Read on, Macduff!  And do keep in mind that these are first draft stories, hot off the presses.  No editing has been done.  Yet.

 Have a wonderful Sunday!  


 There are triggers in the story (rape and forcible confinement).  If either of these things cause you PTSD flashbacks at any level, do not read past Clara leading Vladimir into the consultation room.  

Californian Spirituality


Twenty-seven year old Clara Clifford sauntered down the street in the little seaside town she lived in.  It was a tourist town full of quaint little shops running the length of a steeply angled main street that ended on an ocean beach.  A few streets branched off the main thoroughfare with more shops, each with tourist rentals above them.  Expensive looking cottages lined the beach, most of them on pillars with long staircases that jackknifed back and forth or descended in stages with tiny decks breaking up the long descent.

People turned to look at her as she walked and she smiled at each of them.  “Blessings of light on you.” 

She spoke those words to a young family and the girl, whom Clara estimated to be about six years old, asked, “Why do you say that”

Clara got down to her level, the bells on her scarf belt jingling softly.  She clucked the girl under the chin.  “The light is better than the darkness, right?” 

“I guess so.” The girl’s voice was doubtful. 

“In the light, you get to smile and play.  You feel good and love is everywhere.” 

“Does that mean that the dark is bad?”

“Do you mean night?”  When the girl nodded Clara smiled and said, “The night is a good thing, it’s necessary, for everyone needs the opportunity to rest and dream about the day.  But the Darkness,” and the little girl could hear the capital D, “is a bad thing, more often than not.  It causes pain and illness.  We need both Light and Dark, so that we appreciate the Light and the love of our friends and family better.”

The little girl thought for a moment then nodded.  She reached out and touched the scarf on Clara’s head.  Immediately, her mother admonished her, “Clary!”

Clara glanced up at the mother to let her know it was alright then she smiled more brightly at the little girl.  “Wow!  Your name is Clary?  Mine is Clara.  It is a real pleasure to meet you.”

Clary stuck out her hand, as she’d been taught.  “Hi Miss Clara.  I like that our names are almost the same.  You’re pretty and you sparkle.”  Clary was referring to more than the sun glinting on all the beads and gold and silver Clara was wearing.  “But how do you know when the Darkness is a bad thing?”

“Well, I think you know that because your tummy tells you.  It will tell you to leave it alone.  Sometimes it will tell you to run away.  When it does, you should listen.”

“How do you know?”

The question triggered a memory of her ex-husband giving her a concussion with a very expensive bottle of wine.  The only two people who knew she was still alive were her parents, even if she could never see them.  Her father was Bruce McDonnel, America’s number one mature hottie in Hollywood.  “Once upon a time I stood still while the Darkness swirled all around me like tornado.  I saw the Light flickering in the distance and I ran toward it as fast as I could.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Clary’s mother said.

Clara rose to her full height and noted (and ignored) the husband admiring her curves.  She smiled gently at the mother.  “Thank you.  I had the spirits to help me and guide me through troubled waters.”  

Literally.  Clara had an affinity for ghosts and spirits.  She spoke to them often and they had helped her escape her marriage by stirring up the waters around her ex-husband’s beloved boat until a storm capsized them and broke the boat to pieces.  Clary had lashed herself to the sailboat’s mast and the spirits took her as far away from there as they could.  They helped her because she helped them and had developed a good relationship with the Otherworld all her life. 

Clary reached up and touched a pendant that was made of sea glass wrapped in copper wire. Her fingers stroked over then move to a vial holding a red liquid.  “Is this blood?” she asked.

“Clary!” This time it was her father that was shocked.  Nevertheless, both parents waited for the answer. 

“No.” Clara chuckled.  “It’s sap from a tree called the Dracaena cinnabari, otherwise known as the Dragon’s Blood Tree.  It has healing properties.”

Both parents visibly relaxed.  Clara unwound a leather bracelet from her wrist and looked at the parents.  “Do you mind?”  She waited as the pair looked at each other then shrugged and looked back at her before shaking their heads in unison.   Kneeling down at Clary’s level, she held up the long bracelet.  It was covered in pretty stones and little doodads, including a pentagram, a fairy and a dragon.   She tied the bracelet behind Clary’s neck. 

“I,” she said, “having been waiting for the person who owns this necklace to find me.  It is very glad to be protecting you.  Your Grammy tells me that you are a super good little girl.” The mom gasped.  “This necklace will help protect you from the Darkness but you have to do to things in order for it to be always working, do you think you can do them?”

Clary stared at the necklace in awe.  “Yes!”

“You must hang it up in your window whenever there is a full moon.  And you must always listen to your tummy when it tells you that something is bad and you have to run away.  Always listen.  The necklace will help you.”  Clara looked at Clary gravely.  “Promise me that you will do those two things.”

“I promise.” Clary’s voice was solemn.  Then she threw herself on Clara.  “Thank you!”

Clara hugged the little girl then untangled herself and stood. 

“What are you?” asked the mother, forgetting her own manners for the moment.

“A clairvoyant.  You may also call me a medium.”  She smiled that the two parents.  “Your mother says that the new child will be a handful and that it serves you right.  Then she laughed.  She wants you to know she loves all of you and she’s glad to see that you are treating the house well.”

Tears welled up in the mom’s eyes.  “Thank you, thank you so much!”

“You are welcome.”  Clara’s skin turned to ice and she glanced over her shoulder.  She saw a dark shadow heading towards her.  “I need to go now.  Have a beautiful life in the Light.  It was nice to meet you, Clary.”    She skirted around the small family and headed towards her shop, a half a block away, at a good clip.

The dark shadow bore down on her quickly and she was almost running by the time she reached her shop.  She darted in the open door and stopped.  She turned around and watched the entity bounce off the barrier of her protections.  Clara smiled.  “I will never let you get me.”  She turned away from the door.  “Never again,” she whispered.

“Clary!  I’m so glad you’re back.”  Brandy, her shop assistant, hurried over to her.  Brandy was in her forties and looked like she was stuck in the 1960s. Brandy booked appointments, handled payments and kept the storefront, which carried all things necessary for protection and divination, stocked and selling well.  “There’s a client coming back soon who is insisting on a reading.  I don’t like the looks of him.  He smells like patchouli and he squints.”  Brandy shook her head.  “I don’t think you should do it.”

“Of course I will do it.  You know we don’t turn away readings.”  Clara hugged Brandy.  “I am so glad I have you.”

Brandy relaxed into the hug but muttered to herself.  “I just don’t like it.”

Clary let go of the other woman and looked around.  “I see the big resin dragon is missing.”

“Yeah, a teenager with obviously rich parents and an obsession about dragons bought it.”  Brandy laughed.  “I mean he was obsessed! This kid knew everything there was to know about dragons and every TV show or movie they’d been in.  He almost bought the jade one too but stopped because he figured his dad would ‘have a cow’.”  She mimicked the kid’s voice and grinned when Clary chuckled.

“I’m sorry I missed it.”

“You should be!  I–” she broke off as bells rang by the front door.  “See,” she hissed. “I don’t like this guy.”  The bells were charmed to let them know when exceptional Darkness crossed the threshold.

“Shush.”  Clary turned to the newcomer.  He was dark, with thick black hair, a heavy brow and thick eyebrows that overshadowed eyes so deep and dark Clary wasn’t sure he was looking at her.  A big, hooked nose and thick lips reminded her of Eastern Europe.  She estimated that he was in his mid-fifties.  “May I help you?  My assistant says you are looking for a reading.”  All around him she could see spirits that lingered.

“Da. I want you to help with this thing that makes disaster happen around me all the time.”

“What thing would that be?”

“I don’t know!” he shouted.  Crystal rattled on the shelves and he immediately apologized.  “I just know that nothing goes right,” he said in a softer tone of voice.  “No spells, no healing, nothing I See.  It started six months ago and I have been searching the world over for the one who can help.”

Clara spread her hands, palms up, as she watched the spirits at play around him like ghosts in a Casper movie.  “I am not sure what I can do.”

“Bah. You have power. I can see.  Where is your table?”  He slapped five hundred dollars down on the counter.

“I don’t know.  I have not encountered anything like you before.”   She ducked a little as two of the spirits flew at her.

“Playing hard to get?  Okay.”  He stuffed a hand in his pocket and pulled out a thick wad of bill that made Brandy sigh in envy.  He peeled off another five hundred dollars.

“No!  That’s too much!” Shocked that he’d offer so much, Clara tried to push it back but Brandy swooped in and snatched it.

“She’ll do it.”  Brandy smiled sweetly at Clara.

Clara stepped around the counter and headed to the doorway covered by a heavy curtain.  “This way…”  She left the end of the sentence open for him to leave his name.

“Vladimir.  Thank you.”  He reached over and dragged the curtain open, held it for her.

The bells rang again at the front of the shop but she ignored it as she led the way to the small round table.  The doorway was charmed to keep anything that would harm them out.

 “Have a seat, Vladimir.” Clara gestured to the smaller chair.  She ignored the trappings she used for tourists.  There were those who needed the table thumps, ghostly noises and flickering lights, but she didn’t think Vladimir did.   And, frankly, there were days when she needed to use them because the spirits were stubbornly quit.

Obviously, this was not one of those days.  She grimaced at the spirits lazily floating around Vladimir.  They looked expectant. “What do you need today, Vladimir?”

The man pulled out the dainty, purple velour covered chair across from Clara and grimaced at it before gingerly planting his ass.  “Already said I need you to fix the problem.”

Clara sat in her own chair, one that reminded her of the chairs Buddhist Rinpoche sat in when presiding over Temple gatherings.  Brandy had insisted on it, saying that clients would expect something royal-ish.  “I’m not sure I understand the problem.”

Vladimir stared at her for a long moment and she met his eyes.  She felt as if she was being sucked in, deeper and deeper into an endless void.  She forced herself to close her eyes to cut off the feeling and gave herself three deep breaths to return to some sort of equilibrium.  She opened her eyes as Vladimir said, “I do not know why I keep having so many problems.  It is like I am being sabotaged.”

Behind him, one of the spirits appeared to giggle.  Clara resisted the urge to smile.  “Do you know that you carry spirits with you?”

Vladimir nodded.  “Da. I do.  They are family.  They help me.” 

She looked at him, met his eyes.  “Are you sure they’re helping you?”  

He looked offended but, still, maintained eye contact.  “They would not do such a thing.”

Clara felt as if she was floating.  “Is there… ah… Is there anyone who died recently who may have a grudge against you?”  There were stars in his eyes.  The blackness began to gently cradle her.  Her scalp felt as if someone was running icy fingers through her hair and she jerked herself backwards in the chair and turned her gaze to the print on her wall, let herself be soothed by the soft water lilies.  “I’m sorry, I seem to have missed your answer.”

“My wife.  She always seemed to be mad at me.”

Those icy fingers returned to Clara’s scalp and she shivered.  “Excuse me a moment.”  She moved to rise and Vladimir’s entire demeanor changed. 

“Sit. Down.”  The order was issued quietly but with such malice that fear turned her stomach contents to churning acid.  “Good girl,” he said when she lowered her behind back into the chair. 

His spirits flew at her and she opened her mouth to scream.  He merely pointed a finger at her and her voice disappeared.  The spirits bound her to the chair.  She tried to scream again and again.   The talismans that rose up at her distress and obvious danger quieted themselves and with a slash of his hand he undid all her warning systems and protections. 

Clara whimpered as they all broke.  She could feel each one disintegrate, if felt like someone pulling a hair out by the roots.  The largest felt like a kick to the gut.  Tears began to stream from her eyes and she tried to scream again.  She watched as he moved to the door and wove a complicated spell in a language she could not understand, using gestures she recognized as very old and very old world. 

He returned to the table and sat down again.  “There now, my dear, you can make all the noise you wish and no one will hear you.” He gave a small nod in her direction and all her silent screaming became audible. 

The high pitched sound bounced around the room and she could see the spirits that weren’t holding her trying to get into the energy stream of her fear.  She stopped screaming when her throat began to feel like glass shards rubbing together.  “What… What do you want with me?”

“My beloved Mama died many years ago and since then she and I have searched all over the world for someone powerful enough to host her essence.  Someone who would not fail to support her and all her power.  Someone whose power could compliment and add to her own.”  He leaned forward, folded his hands on the table and smiled at her.

With his deep set, inscrutable black eyes and shiny white teeth, Clara was reminded of a shark.  She shook her head violently.  “No. No no.  I am of the Light.”  She started talking fast. “I am too Light, too bright to take in a dark one.”

Now, he looked offended.  The icy hands that hand been holding her began to pinch and slap.  “My Mama is not dark.”  He leaned back and smiled again as the dark presence that had followed Clara all her teen and adult life came into the room and hovered behind him.  It slowly formed into the black and white shape a woman in her late thirties.  She stroked his hair and smiled at Clara before leaning down to whisper in his ear.   “She tells me that she found you when you hit puberty.  The flash of light was so bright she could see you half a world away.  She came to investigate and found you.”

The spectre of his mother moved through the table to stand in front of Clara.  She reached out to stroke Clara’s face and she jerked her head back so hard she swore she gave herself whiplash.  “Don’t touch me!”  As the hand kept reaching for her, Clara said it again. “No!  Don’t touch me!”  The hand slid down her cheek and she moaned.  “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.”

“You were perfect, she said.  You would grow up into a beautiful woman.  We continued to search, just in case something happened to you, but she was right.  You are perfect.”  Vladimir got up and moved around the table.  He pulled her to her feet.  The spirits restraining her wrapped themselves around her and encased her in ice when she tried to slap him. 

He held her in place with a hand tightly knotted in her hair at the base of her skull.  With his free hand he caressed her face, traced her lower lip with his thumb.  When she tried to bite him he slapped her.  Her head whipped to the side and she cried out as both her face and her scalp burned with the pulled.

“Ahh… I am sorry, Mama, of course you are right. I should not damage your vessel.”  He leaned down to press a kiss to Clara’s sore cheek and she screamed again, hurting his ear.  Vladimir wrapped his hand around her throat and squeezed.  “Scream again and I will silence you again.”

Clara shut her mouth and merely whimpered as his hand traveled down her body.  He tore the gauzy blouse from her then cupped her breast in his hand and feel the weight of it.  He brushed the nipple with his thumb and watched it spring to life.  “So beautiful, such perfect skin. Look, Mama, how responsive the body is.”

He bunched her skirt at her hip and pulled it up.  “Hold her,” he commanded the spirits.  Once they had her held up without his help, he released his own hold on her and knelt before her.  He slid both hands up her legs from her ankles to her hips.  “Such soft, beautiful skin.”  His fingers slid along those most private folds and he looked up at her in surprise.  “She is aroused, Mama.” 

Vladimir tipped his head, obviously listening.  “Ah, that is why.  It has been too long since you felt a man’s touch, has it.  We can fix that.”

“No!” Clara spat the word at him furiously as he pulled his belt open.

“Yes.  I, too, have been too long without a woman.”  He removed his shirt to reveal a well-muscled torso sprinkled with dark hair.  He draped it over her chair and removed his pants and undergarments.  He returned to stand before her and stroked his already half hard shaft.  He was impressively large.

“No! I will not allow this!” She began a desperate, made up on the spot, chant to remove the spirits and one reached in to press her tongue down.  She struggled violently, gagging on the fingers.

“To her knees.  If she wants to use her mouth, let her.”  He watched as they brought her down.  “If you bite me, solnishko, I will break your jaw.”  The spirits forced her mouth open and he slid over her tongue.  He looked down at her.  “Worship it.”

His mother’s spirit moved behind her and grabbed her by the head, forcing her to move.  She moved Clara’s head back to the tip and down all the way to the base, ignoring the way Clara gagged and fought.   This went on for several long minutes, until Clara was doing it on her own, just to get it over with.

Vladimir groaned.  “See, it is much better when you co-operate.”   He pulled away from her.  “Put her over the table.  Spread her legs.”  Soon Clara was bent face down over the table with her legs wide open.   He gazed at her. “You are so pretty.  Mama was right, you are perfect,” he repeated.

His Mama knelt below the table and spread Clara’s most intimate lips apart and pinched her clit.  Clara screamed at the icy fingers and the electric jolt.  “No!  Let me go, please!” She squirmed violently but the spirits held her fast at the wrists and ankles. 

“We have established that it isn’t going to happen.”  He knelt behind her and studied her more closely.  “But I must taste you.  You will enjoy it, I promise you.”

And to Clara’s utter dismay and humiliation, she did.  She came twice, screaming both times, as his hot tongue laved her inside and out and his mother’s icy one sucked on her clit. 

“Now, to business.”  Vladimir rose, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.  He placed a large hand on her lower back and another on himself.  He placed himself at the entrance to her core.  “Scream for me, my pretty.” 

He sheathed himself within her in one stroke and as she screamed her pain and fury his mother’s spirit entered her through her open mouth. 

As he continued his assault on her body a war waged in her mind.  It didn’t take long until Clara found herself in a glass box in her mind.

I think I will allow myself to hear you for a little while, young one. You may amuse me yet.

Get out of my head, you bitch!

Now, Clara, it is only proper to be polite. My name is Valentina.  You may call me that, or Ma’am, but if you call me anything else you will pay, like so.  Clara screamed as her entire self turned into nothing but electric, burning pain.  It cut off as suddenly as it started.  Do we understand one another?

Yes… Valentina.

Good girl.  You may watch. 

Vladimir moaned in pleasure as Clara’s body suddenly began to push back against him.  “Ah Mama, there you are.”

The spirits released Clara’s body and rejoiced as mother and son were reunited in the body of a young American woman.  Inside Valentina’s new mind, the conquered spirit sobbed wretchedly, almost totally broken.

A little while later, Vladimir and Valentina left the small room.  Brandy smiled as the came into the storefront.  “That was a long session!  I hope it was successful.”

Valentina smiled at Brandy with Clara’s mouth.  “It was, very successful.”

April Camp, Day 2

Good afternoon!

It’s time for the next installment of the Edward Gorey inspired CampNaNo

Now, even though today’s writing has reached a total of 5,509 (that’s 3,398 just today), you’re only getting part of that.   

I finished Basil right on the minimum word count and decided to keep going.  So I decided to start Clara.  I am 1,729 into it and the juicy part is just getting started.  I mean, I could tease you with part of it but what kind of person would I be, eh?

Oh… just me. 😉

“You should be!  I–” she broke off as bells rang by the front door.  “See,” she hissed. “I don’t like this guy.”  The bells were charmed to let them know when exceptional Darkness crossed the threshold.

“Shush.”  Clary turned to the newcomer.  He was dark, with thick black hair, a heavy brow and thick eyebrows that overshadowed eyes so deep and dark Clary wasn’t sure he was looking at her.  A big, hooked nose and thick lips reminded her of Eastern Europe.  “May I help you?  My assistant says you are looking for a reading.”  All around him she could see spirits that lingered.

“Da. I want you to help with this thing that makes disaster happen around me all the time.”

“What thing would that be?”

“I don’t know!” he shouted.  Crystal rattled on the shelves.  “I just know that nothing goes right.  No spells, no healing.  It started six months ago and I have been searching the world over for the one who can help.”

Clara spread her hands, palms up, as she watched the spirits at play around him like ghosts in a Casper movie.  “I am not sure what I can do.”

“Bah. You have power. I can see.  Where is your table?”  He slapped five hundred dollars down on the counter.

“I don’t know.  I have not encountered anything like you before.”   She ducked a little as two of the spirits flew at her.

“Playing hard to get?  Okay.”  He stuffed a hand in his pocket and pulled out a thick wad of bill that made Brandy sigh in envy.  He peeled off another five hundred dollars.

See?  It has the potential to be a good story.  I’m not certain about the horror part just yet, which is why you’re not getting it.  What you are getting is the short and sweet, bloody Basil story.
It’s a gory, bloody slasher short.  I like it.
I’m going to watch The Voices now.  Enjoy the story and enjoy the rest of your day!

Bad Manners Don’t Pay

Basil Banks screamed.  It was high pitched and hurt the ears of the monkeys in the trees above him.  His heart, already taxed from running through the jungle, gave an erratic thump-thump before settling in the fast paced rhythm Basil’s terror had set. 

The head of his assistant Jeanie swung from the vine, her long brown hair was the rope.  Her mouth was open in the scream he assumed she died on and there were little bite marks all over her face.  Her neck was jagged, like her head had been torn from her body and part of Basil’s busy, scientific brain wondered how her hair hadn’t been torn out. 

Then he saw her eyes and understood.

The exquisite blue eyes had been pushed back into her skull, eyelids torn and mangled and claw marks extended up across her forehead.  

Basil stuffed his fist in his mouth to contain the moan of despair. He had, foolishly, hoped that if they survived together that the horror would make them a couple and he’d finally get to fuck her, like he’d been trying to for years.  He pushed past her and screamed again, a choir boy high yelp of disgust, as her head bumped his shoulder and the thick fluids dripping from her slid down his arm hot and slimy.

“Cold. It should be cold,” he muttered to himself, ignoring the fact that it was forty-three degrees centigrade and the humidity in the Amazon was at one hundred percent.  Warm water dripped down the back of his neck and he jumped forward like he had been goosed.

He tripped on a vine and sprawled across the jungle floor to come face to face with a line of leaf cutter ants.  He swore they stopped to look at him.  He pushed to his feet and stepped over the ants.  Once more, he began looking for a hiding spot.

“They won’t get me.  It’s not my fault.  Someone will save me.” Basil slapped his hand over his mouth, trying to shut himself up.  “I wish I was being chased by a tall fairy queen!”  He stopped and closed his eyes briefly to wish for just such a thing.  And then he wished to wake up in his bed at home.

He spotted a big tree with roots that almost made a cage.  It was dark and shadowed in there and he hoped he would fit between them.  He finally had to admit to himself that he wasn’t in Army shape anymore, not that he’d liked all the PT in the Army but at least he’d had a flat stomach.  Mostly.  Being a nurse at a CSH (“pronounced cash,” he said to himself as his mind went back to his first day on the job after deployment) meant he hadn’t had to work so hard at the physical. 

Basil squeezed himself between the roots and hunched down in the darkness.  He was grateful for his lack of height, for once.  At 5’7”, and scrawny and super smart, he’d always been the brunt of jokes from the jocks in his high school.  Jokes he thought would stop in the Army.  They’d gotten worse there, and he’d hardened himself against people.  He became the best there was at being a nurse and his arrogance had grown.

After the Army, he’d gone back to school and gotten his PhD in biochemistry.  He’d be the one to find the cure for cancer.  And he’d show them all that they’d been wrong not to be his friends.  His mind went back to the first day they’d come to the jungle. 

Two guides and four armed men met them on the tarmac and bundled them into jeeps.  “I thought you said there were only four of you,” the lead man said to Basil.

Basil shrugged and gave the man a hard look.  “I need these two extra,” as he gestured to the five people with him – three women and two men.  “They are specialists on insects.  I don’t need to explain myself to you.  Let’s go.”

They had set up camp and taken guided hikes, looking for the plants and insects Basil thought would hold the key to the cure.  It hadn’t taken long before small shadows started to appear in fleeting glimpses, seen by everyone.  Basil had woken up one night to find a small man, about three feet tall, rummaging through their food supplies. 

“Hey!” Basil shouted, rushing out of the tent before he could think about it.  He kicked at the creature, (no way was that a man in his eyes), and shoved him away from the food.  “Shoo!  Go on!”  He waved his hands and shouted, treating the small man like a wild animal.

The pygmy, for that’s what he was, turned to stare at Basil.  He bared his teeth and hissed. 

Basil stumbled back in fright.  The pygmy’s teeth were sharpened to points, white paint streaked his dark skin and his eyes were bottomless pits of black. 

One of the guards and a guide emerged from the tent they shared and the guide spoke urgently in a weird language of clicks and whistles.  The miniature man jerked his chin at the guide, gave Basil one last glare and left the camp and melting into the jungle night.

There were more incidents of pygmies wandering into the camp – women, children, men who were obviously warriors.  Each time, Basil screamed at them to get out, to leave the camp alone.  Then, about two weeks into their excursion, Basil picked up one of the children, holding it well away from himself to avoid the kicks and scratches aimed at his face, and threw the small boy to the edge of camp. 

The crack! of the small boy’s head hitting the tree was loud and wet; so much so that the entire camp stopped moving.  A man came running into the camp, screaming at the guides and Basil.  Whatever he said made the guide’s olive skin turn a sick yellow as he paled.  He argued but the man was adamant. 

The pygmy stared at Basil for a long moment then jerked his head forward and hissed as he made some sign with his hand.  As he turned to leave the camp, the grieving mother gathered her young son into her arms and all of the pymgies disappeared.

“What?” Basil demanded.  “What did he say?  Did he understand it was an accident?  I never meant to kill the boy.”

The guide stared at him a long time.  “He said that you will reap what you have sown.  That was the chief’s only son, after a long time trying to produce one.”

Immediately, Basil turned to everyone one else.  “Pack it up!  We leave in an hour!”

His team of scientists all objected.  They had sensitive experiments going that couldn’t be moved.  If they left then, all their time in the extreme heat would be wasted.  It would be hours before they could begin to shut everything down.  Basil, always thinking of the bottom line, relented.  He decreed they’d leave at dawn.

When dawn came, Basil had left his tent and started shouting at everyone to get up.  The guards and guides were gone.  Basil stormed around the camp, furious.  He slowly began to notice what a mess the camp was.  Experiments were trashed, clothing was everywhere and a sticky liquid coated everything.  He stumbled on the torso of his lead aid and screamed long and loud.  John was headless and missing all his limbs.

Now, huddled in the tree roots, after finding more of his team scattered in a wide radius in and around the camp, Basil had to admit that maybe he had made a mistake in throwing that child.  Maybe it was a mistake to dismiss the pygmy tribe as useless. 

The chittering of a monkey made him jump and bang his head.  The monkey started screaming and jumping up and down.   It incited others to do the same.  Basil was suddenly worried that the goddamn creatures were alerting the pygmies to his presence.  And, as if to confirm that, one of the little capuchins stuck his head into Basil’s hiding spot and grinned.

Basil paled.  The monkey’s teeth were sharpened to little points and there were markings on it that didn’t belong on a monkey.  He scrambled to free himself from his hiding spot and was subject to a number of bites.  He tried to run but was swarmed with the little creatures.  More and more of the monkeys came and clung to him.  They gripped his hair, his clothes, the tiny fingers pinched his skin to hang on to him.  They bore him to the ground just by the sheer weight of them.

They held him down and forced him to turn his head to the side.  One of them stood upright and shifted into the human form of the pygmy chief.  The shift was wet, loud and looked like it hurt.  It terrified Basil more than anything else could have because it confirmed for him that all the monkeys holding him down, pinching and tearing at him, were shifters.  It meant that a couple of the monkeys they had in captivity were probably pygmies, afraid to shift back and show themselves.

As the chief grinned a terrifying smile, Basil knew two things.

One, he had committed a terrible crime.

And two, he was about to pay for it.

His next scream was the ear splitting scream of a man in excruciating pain.  He lived through most of the tearing and ripping of his flesh.   He watched them chew and swallow bits and pieces of him.  He screamed until his voice gave out.  His eyes bulged with his pain, until one of them plucked them out.  He lived until someone bit through a major artery and he bled out.

Basil was left a wet, juicy corpse in the middle of the jungle with no one to miss him and mourn him.