Fiction Friday NaNo Edition 4

Good day, my friends.

CampNaNo has begun.  That means I am writing 26 little stories designed to scare, creep and freak out my readers.  I have decided to share my stories with you.  One a day.

I’ve never written horror before so I’m not sure how it’s going to go down.  In this first one, I was trying to drive Amy mad along with scaring her.  My first bit of feedback says it was definitely creepy.  

I leave it to you, my peeps, to tell me how I’ve done today.

Have a great Friday! 

Muah.

An Alphabet of Death

A collection of 26 stories of blood and gore

 

Before I can even begin I must warn you that what you are about to read is meant to be horrible, terrifying and shocking.  There will be tales that will gross you out, tales that shock you and tales that will fill you with dread.

Some of those stories, I’m afraid, involve potential triggers; such as child abuse and sexual assault (even if one of those assaults is by unicorns).  

Fear not!  Each story is approximately two thousand words long.

Actually…

Fear.  Do.  For that is my goal.

 

 

 

A Faire Death

Amy & the Arbalest

 

Amy stood at the entrance to Dunfermline Abby and Palace and scowled at the security guard.  “Look you over paid rent a cop!  I am the head of the faire that’s opening today and I need to make sure it’s ready.”

“I cannae let you in, lass.”  The Scotsman stood tall and glared down at the woman currently driving him insane.  “I’m no to let anyone pass until six.”

“’I cannae let you in, lass’,” Amy mocked him.  “What is it with you Scots?  Freaking nose grinders and rule followers, the lot of you.  It’s five-thirty!  Let me in!”

The guard was offended. He spread his feet a little more and crossed his arms.  He looked her over scathingly.  Unfortunately, he had to admire what he saw, a tidy little package in denim and a sheepskin lined leather jacket.  He saw a hint of Spanish in her, though her accent was Canadian.  That little mouth of hers looked kissable.  …Well, he imagined it might be if it wasn’t currently thinned with annoyance. He wondered idly how she’d managed to break her nose; the bump on it made her look adorable. “We’re not a lot of rule followers.  If ye hate us so much, what the fook are you doing here?”

“That is none of your business!” She pushed her straight black hair behind her ear and glared at him.  “Let me pass!  I have to make sure it’s proper and ready.  Those fools never get anything right.”

“Seeing as the faire proper doesn’t open until ten, you’ve plenty of time.”

She growled.  The guard almost grinned but he tilted his head as if he was listening to something behind him then abruptly stood out of her way.  He swept her a gallant bow and smiled.  “Sure, ya can pass.  May you find all you deserve this morn.”  He straightened and graciously offered his help.

“I don’t need help from the likes of you.”  Amy sneered at him then marched past, nose in the air, smug that she’d won the argument.  Amy was the Chief Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber, and styled her persona after Kat Ashley, Elizabeth I’s former governess.  Her costumes were in the heavy garment bag she carried over her shoulder with one hand.  In the other she had a toolbox.  Her arms ached from holding them and she wished she had brought her wagon.  As she walked up the faire’s main thoroughfare she cast a quick but critical eye over the grounds. 

The booths were all locked down with tarps covering their fronts.  There were colourful flags and streamers.  Flags with coats of arms indicating the lords’ houses fluttered here and there.  A movement caught Amy’s eye and she stopped, turning to her left to peer around a booth selling funnel cakes. It was one of many booths that irritated the hell out of Amy because she didn’t feel it was in keeping with the times, even if the oil was boiled in a cauldron.  The booth was run by, she ground her teeth on the thought, a trio of witches. 

She eventually came to the conclusion that the movement was a flap of tent that had come loose and was moving in the morning breeze and kept moving toward the tent that made her home base for the weekend.  She moved off the main path and moved one over, cutting between the double rows of tents.  As she reached the mid-point, she realized that there had been no breeze and grew suspicious again.  She stopped and called out, “Hello?  You’re not supposed to be here.”

Nothing.

“If you’re that manky guard,” she borrowed a low and dirty slang word she’d heard, “piss off.  I don’t need your help and I’m not doing anything wrong.”  She kept on and turned right when she reached the next commerce row. 

Fog crept along the ground, heading for her.  Mist suddenly appeared and brushed her face.  She grunted in irritation at the cool dampness and tried to wipe her face on her arm.  Tendrils of fog seemed to be reaching for her and she trembled a bit with sudden trepidation.  Her steps slowed a bit before she laughed at herself and moved forward.  “Don’t be ridiculous, Aims, nothing is coming.  Ghosts are a myth.”

She moved faster again.  If it was a tad quicker, well, she was making up for lost time.

The fog reached her and icy fingers seemed to grip her right ankle.  She yelped as the cold burned into her skin and reflexively kicked out her foot.  The cold went away but whispers started up around her.

Bitch…

Hell is coming for you

Evil woman

Amy shuddered, the full body shudder that makes your joints ache.  “The stories about this place being haunted are just that,” she said to herself.  “Stories designed to make foolish people come and look it over.”  She paused to stare up at the high stone walls with their multiple arched windows.  “No one appreciates the history anymore.” 

No one appreciates you.

The fog crept up her legs and wrapped around her thighs, burning her with cold there too.  She felt the fabric of her jeans give way.  She looked down as the pant leg slid to her ankle.  Burned into her thigh was a word.  At first she didn’t know what it was but the longer she stared, the clearer it became.

BESS

She screamed and tried to run for her tent.  People began to appear around her. The flickered in and out and each appeared to be cursing her.  Something caught her left ankle and something else pushed her between her shoulder blades.  She fell on her face so fast she had no time to scream.  Her tool box went flying and broke open, spilling small carpentry tools and makeup all over the ground.  Her garment bag was snatched from her fingers.  She rolled over, trying to dislodge the weight on her back and stared in awe as her garment bag hung in the air and the zipper slowly slid down. 

As the bag was pushed back after the hanger, she suddenly remembered Bess.  Amy and Bess had been in line for the same position in the Queen’s Privy Chamber and Amy had been desperate to secure it for herself.  So she had planted some of the Queen’s jewels in Bess’s things and waited until it’d been discovered.  She herself had whispered in the Queen’s ear that Bess should be executed (banned from the faire).  A trial was held and Bess was found guilty.

Another named was burned into her thigh, making her scream high and loud. 

JULIA

Julia was stuck as a washerwoman after the smear campaign Amy had orchestrated so carefully no one had known where it really started.  And so it went.  While her costumes were taken and shredded by unseen hands and Amy tried scrambling away despite the weights on her shoulders and chest, names were burned into her legs.   She was sobbing and going into shock as the last bit of fabric fluttered to the ground.

A face appeared in front of her and a hand slapped her cheek.  Keep it together.  It’s the only way you’ll get out of this.

Amy choked on her scream, trying to keep it down and nodded.   The weights lifted off her chest and she clambered to her feet.  She tried to run but the pain in her legs hampered her movements.  She limped as quickly as she could toward her tent.  It was in sight, only a dozen meters away.  She was pushed and poked and prodded. 

Traitor.

Deceiver.

Whore.

The fog wrapped around her arm and burned another name into, this time her arm.  She whimpered, beyond screaming. 

ANGUS.

She had seduced Angus into cheating on his wife.  The husband and wife team were owners of the faire and had been looking for someone to work with and directly below them.  He was Gentleman Sewer of the Bedchamber and his wife was Queen, the two highest positions of this particular event. The person they chose would have access to almost every part of the event from the smallest planning detail to the largest.  They’d have a spot right beside the royal tents and be automatically in the Queen’s Privy Chamber.  Amy had fucked her way into her position on the committee. 

Am reached her tent and tried to untie the knots holding the door flap in place.  Ice formed over them and she whimpered again.  “No, no, no, no no no,” she muttered over and over. 

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Run.

The last whisper was hot on her ear and it made her scream.  Briefly she wondered why the guard hadn’t heard her.  The echoes of her last scream were still bouncing off the stone walls.  She gave up on trying to get into her tent and stumbled around the side of it.  She tripped over a peg and landed on her hands and knees. 

Get up. 

Get. Up.

Run, little liar.

Run, Laura.

“My name is Amy!” she screamed.

No.

No.

Murderess.

Amy got up and ran.  She sobbed and panted, “Yes it is.  It’s Amy!”

You killed that little boy.  A flashback had her blind and she tripped again, falling against a tent and almost bringing it down. 

Drinking at an office party.  Driving home drunk in the summer twilight.  A small boy chasing a ball.

The thud that made her puke on herself and sober up fast.  She didn’t stop, kept going as the screaming started behind her.  She’d gone home, removed her plates, put on another set even though her car was (deliberately) dirty enough that most of the numbers weren’t quite clear.  Cleaned up herself and her car, packed a few items of clothing and a favourite book, and then grabbed the bug out bag her father, a man with many secrets, had taught her to keep.  She drove her car, gagging on the stench of regurgitated alcohol, to the lake.  She sat there until midnight, trying to calm herself down, and then tossed her bags to the ground and drove her car off the pier using a weight on the gas pedal. 

She’d watched as it sunk, watched every last gurgle.  The only thing missing, she’d thought at the time, was a body.  Then she’d pulled on a baseball cap and walked for miles before hailing a cab to take her to the airport.  From there she’d taken the first flight out, one to somewhere in Asia, she hadn’t cared, and gotten off at the connecting flight in Belgium.  From there, she’d gone to Scotland. 

The whole thing had happened several years ago and she’d thought it was done, no one was looking for her anymore. 

“It was an accident,” she cried.

You ran.

Bitch.

Child killer.

Cunt.

The last word was hissed in her ear and ice formed on the upper curve.  People appeared around her as she stumbled into the open. She backed up until she was against a wall.  The people were dressed as commoners from several centuries, though the majority seemed to be Elizabethan.  They were all armed – pitchforks, knives and cranked crossbow that Amy’s brain informed her were arbalests. 

They hissed curses at her, insults, as they advanced.  The people with arbalests began to swing them in up to aim at her.  Then, as one, they pulled the trigger and a dozen bolts flew at Amy to hit her in the chest. 

Amy died as the ghostly bolts hit her.  They solidified just before they reached her.  She died with a screamed apology on her lips and the walls of the abbey opened up to receive her body.

A few minutes later, the guard at the gate sauntered along to clean up her belongings, making it look as if she never appeared.   As he did, the fog cleared and the mist dried up to reveal a beautiful dawn.  “Nice job,” he murmured as a warm kiss was pressed to his cheek.

Advertisements

Friday Fiction NaNo Edition 3

EDIT:  I have since found out that the gif below is a book called The Gashlycrumb Tinies: A Very Gorey Alphabet by Edward Gorey who, as it turns out, was quite the character.  Fascinating…  Anyhoo, I am going to email the trust company holding his copyright and ask if it’s a problem for me to use it as inspiration.  

Now we know. 😉 Have a great Saturday!

 

Good morning!

camp_logo-290f133f1af2562198f3a75b662feb03

“Nano?? She wants to talk about NaNo?  November is months away!”

True! But Camp #1 is less than two months away and we all know me – Super Prepper Extraordinaire.

No, really, the reason I’m writing today is because I’ve been totally inspired.   

Remember that Wolfman said, “Babes, if I’m doing all the NaNos, so are you!”?  (Or something like it that means that I’m doing all the NaNos.)  Well, we decided that in April we would write Horror, a genre that neither of us have written in. Wolfman will be doing a slasher story, blood and gore and a plot stuck in there somewhere.  

I decided that I was going to do something supernatural (duh) and funny.  Comedic horror isn’t done often but it is done.  Take a look at Netflix, for example.  It’s out there and I think I can do it justice.  

I have decided to do a series of short stories based on this tumblr gif:

tumblr_nx82elstqv1sscqwxo1_400

A friend of mine posted it to my personal Facebook page along with the message: Next years nano challange…you have a 10 months to work on it. These 26 deaths. It might be a bit macabre, no?

K’s a bit bossy. Can you tell?  😉  

He’s right though.  It’s a good idea and it’s a bit macabre.  There are reasons he is one of my favourite people.

As I was copying down each of the one-liners here – and I won’t use them in the story, I don’t want to step on copyright issues – I was inspired by a few of them.  

C is for Clara, who wasted away. (Someone is stealing her essence; recently diseased husband, who doesn’t wish to be dead)

P is for Prue, trampled flat in a brawl. (a small child abandoned by her father as he runs into the fight)

O is for Olive, run through by an awl. (killed by a machinist named Marc)

S is for Susan, who perished of fits. (a daredevil epileptic)

Titus, who flew into bits. (a soldier invaded by a demon who blows him up from the inside out after he stumbles on an ancient burial site)

V is for Victor, who is squashed under a train. (A Christine-esque [Stephen King] story)

W is for Winnie, who is encased in ice. (imprisoned in ice a milennia ago by wizards seeking to protect their lands, found, and thawed, by modern day glaciologists)

Y is for Yorick, whose head was knocked in. (A Hamlet prequel?)

 

Fun, eh?

So, I’m going to continue to brainstorm the alphabet.  Once I have ideas for them all I will plot them out so they have a beginning, middle and an end.  Come April 1st, I will be ready to roll out a short story a day.  

It’ll be fun!  Maybe I’ll post them here as they’re completed too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A short cave made of ice and sand, carved by the weather.

I have a whack of pictures for you folks.  I’ve been having trouble wrapping my head around the blogs but I think I just discovered the key to it and the pictures will come flying your way.  

This particular one is something I found on the beach one day when we were wandering around after one of the storms to hit the coast.  The little cave itself is only two inches (2.5cm) tall.  I like the perspective in this photo and the contrast between sharp and blurred. It’s also kind of monotone with its shades of brown, something else I like.  

The biggest reason I took the photo though, the reason I take most of them, is because it struck my fancy, totally amused me.  

Now, I have a bunch of housework to do (yay) so I will say good-bye for now.  

Muah!

 

Fiction Friday NaNo Edition 2

And on a Saturday; I’m aware. 😉

Winner, winner!

Winner, winner!

 

Fifty thousand words in 28 days!  That’s including days taken for being toxed brain dead and ill earlier this week.  I’m so pleased. 

My beta readers (alpha readers, depending on who you’re talking to) love it.  The feedback I got was great!  Like this comment from V:  “Already a junkie for this story. Please tell me you’ll finish it even if you have finished nano.”  Plus constant demands from the Val:  “now give it to me!!!!!!!!”

😀 That’s the best kind of feedback. 

I love making addicts of my readers.

Now, I get to start on my research for HW4.  That’s good, eh?

It’ll be a lot of work, for sure, but I’m looking forward to it.  I’m also hoping that the research will give me a greater idea of the plot.  

Oh!  And this:

Wolfman: First Camp is in April?

Me: Yes but I think I’ll only do one. I have hw4 to write still.

Wolfman: psml  If I’m doing triple, so are you, madame.

Me: *narrows her eyes, considers a protest, then sighs*  As you wish.

Piffle.  He’s lucky I love him.

So I’m writing horror in April. Anyone got any tips?  I’ve never done it before.  Violence and the occasional mind fuck, sure, but never horror.  

I am going to go for a walk now.  Maybe find my way to some reward chocolate.  (Since I forgot to hit ‘publish’ before I left, I can tell you now that I found some reward chocolate: A Cadbury bar called Flake.  It’s lovely.)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!  

Muah!

 

Fiction Friday (on Saturday) NaNo Edition

Good Saturday morning!

It is November and of course you know what that means!  It’s time for National Novel Writing Month.  

For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is a challenge for writers, long time writers and first timers alike, to write 50 thousand words in 30 days.

I spent most of September and October planning a story, developing characters and settings and my characters threw almost all of it away on the 30th of October.  Even my protagonist is no longer the protagonist, not alone anyway.

I was tearing my hair out but you know what?  Their idea seems to be working, even if, in editing, I’d probably throw a third of it out.  I’m already sailing past 13k!  Can you believe it?  I’ve had a couple days of brain-dead-ness too where I only got a few hundred words written.  

I am enjoying the stories and my Alpha readers are too.  It’s supposed to be a thriller and there’s definitely excitement in it.  But Rebecca and Ted seem to be falling for each other.  I suppose romance can develop in the midst of terror but we’ll see.

I need to get back to writing.  I’ll leave you with the prologue and first two chapters of this (ridiculously named) NaNo effort.  Keep in mind that this is first draft drivel. *laughs*

Enjoy your weekend!

Muah!

PS Damn, the formatting didn’t stay.  The blank spaces are bits and pieces of the letter, redacted as they’d be in the completed book Rebecca is writing.  Here, I’ll mark them with a {} so that it’s not so odd.  I have no idea if these letters from the US Marshalls Service (WitSec in particular) happen, or like that, but since I don’t have any intention of publishing this particular book, we’ll leave it.  

Terwilliger vs Churchward

Prologue

 

December 20, 2012

Rebecca A. Loveless

{} St {}

Springfield, {}  

{}

Re: Case number  { }

Ms. Loveless,

We are writing to inform you that Misters {}   and   {}    are now deceased.  The department cannot disclose any information about the case at this time, however, we can inform you that any backlash from your testimony at their trial for the murder of your parents and brother is no longer a concern.

You may move on with your life now and live it in any manner you see fit.  Live it well.

Sincerely,

Anne {}

On a personal note, Rebecca, all of us here enjoyed our service with you and we truly enjoy your books.  If we may make a suggestion, the case of Terwilliger vs Churchward is a fascinating one. A~

 

Thirty-two year old Rebecca Loveless tossed the letter onto her kitchen counter, scarcely able to believe what she had read.  She made a small sound, something between grief and relief.  Her dog, a Chihuahua named Wendy, raced up the small, wide-tread ladder Rebecca’s WitSec team had made for her to get to the counter.  She sniffed Rebecca’s face and licked the tears off with a small whimper.  When that didn’t make her beloved owner pay attention and get out of her funk, Wendy let out a small, sharp bark.

“Oh my God, Wendy!  We’re free!  We can do book tours now.  We can go home and see Mother and Father and Alek.”  Rebecca had never been allowed to go to their funerals, never been able to pay her respects with nothing more than candles lit in a church every week.  She scooped her dog up and danced around the kitchen, laughing while tears rolled down her face. 

She paused long enough to scoop up her cell phone and dial the woman who had become her sister.  “Buffy!  Oh my Gods!  Did Dad tell you?” 

On the other side of the call, Buffy Loveless smiled.  She remembered when Becca, two years younger, had joined their family. Buffy’s father, a WitSec agent, had taken the heartbroken, angry eight year old into their home then picked up and moved all of them – Buffy, her mother and this hard faced little waif – across the country to Springfield.   “I heard.  Mom and Dad are so happy for you.  She wants everyone for dinner tonight, to celebrate.  She promised to make lasagna and black forest cake.”

“Oh no!  Not the cake.  Please get her to let me bring it.”  Rebecca thought fast.  “Tell her I want to contribute something and my favourite cake is just the thing.”   Buffy laughed and agreed.  They hung up as Rebecca sat down on her couch.  Wendy snuggled close and Rebecca’s mind went back to the last night she had her family.

Becca and Alek were in the front room arguing over post-homework television, she wanted to watch an hour of The Rugrats and he wanted Batman The Animated Series.  He was a year older than her and they agreed on most things, except which main character was better – Tommy or Batman.  The argument stopped and the remote clattered to the coffee table when they heard the rattle of the garage door.   They ran into the kitchen, slowed to a speed shuffle when they got the “no running in the house!” glare from their mother, and ripped open the door between the kitchen and boot room, where they would wait to greet them.

They waited eagerly, words about their day wanting to spill from their lips, impatient to hear the corny joke of the day, and wanting their hugs.  To the outside world, {their friends), they were far too cool for these displays but they both loved their parents.  Their dad rushed in, dropped his briefcase and grabbed their upper arms in bruising grips as he dragged them into the kitchen.  “Mindy, quick, we have to go.  Now!”  He shoved both children towards her as car doors slammed outside and shouting started. 

Mindy shoved the children deeper into the house just as the kitchen window exploded inward and breathtaking pain spun her around.  “Fire escape plan two!  Becca, Alek, run!”  A red stain was starting to bloom on her chest near her shoulder and her arm hung uselessly.

“Mommy!  You’re hurt!”  Becca rushed toward her.

“Go!”  Mindy screamed the word as the living room window exploded too, showering glass all over the room.  She shoved them to the floor as something burned into her again, this time in her belly. 

Alek shoved his sister ahead of him to the stairs, which were by the front door.  They scrambled up them.  They’d just reached the top and thrown themselves around the top post when the door shattered and some dark shadow loomed into it. 

“James!” The voice was as dark as the shadow.  Gravelly and loud it boomed into every corner of the house. 

Becca whimpered and Alek pushed her down the hall; they had to get to the attic.  He put his mouth close to her ear. “I’m going to open it up and you’re going to run up.  Just like practice, remember?  You’re so good at it.  Throw the ladder to the ground but let’s go across the roof.  Sally’s house is close enough.  Her dad probably called the police already.”

They could hear noises downstairs.  Their mother was screaming, sounds of pain that would haunt Becca forever, and their dad was yelling something about money.  She nodded at Alek and took a deep breath as he stood up to slap the hidden button that would open the attic.  The door in the ceiling was almost invisible and she knew if they could get up and get the door closed, they’d be safe. 

It seemed to take forever to descend.  Alek pushed her into starting the climb before it was all the way on the ground.  She glanced behind her to see that he’d gotten on the ladder and pushed the button again.  It was starting to close while they scampered up and she breathed a sigh of relief.  She stood on the attic floor and reached back for her brother.  “Come on, Alek, hurry.”

He slapped her hand in his just as a big, meaty hand wrapped around his ankle.  Both children screamed in fright and she wrapped her hand around his arm and pulled.  The hand pulled back.  She braced her feet and tried as hard as she could while her brother looked at her.  Suddenly, Becca could see acceptance in his eyes.  He raised his finger to his lips in the universal symbol to be quiet then let go of her.  He slid through her hands and she jammed her fist in her mouth to keep from screaming. She whirled around and ran for the dormer window at the end of the house.

Becca threw the ladder out then scrambled up the roof, trying to be quiet.  She reached the apex then stood there in indecision.  The houses in the neighbourhood were close together, only a few feet separated one from the other.  The backyards were lengthy and she figured she’d never make it to the back gate.  She also knew that if she went to Sally’s her dad would protect her but that might get them killed too.  She had to get as far away as possible.  She ran over the roofs, jumping from one house to another until she was a block away.

Rebecca woke from her memories with a start as Wendy licked the tears from her face again.  She buried her face against the little dog’s fur.  A Chihuahua isn’t what most people would have chosen as a therapy dog, she supposed, but Wendy was perfect for her.  The dog was fiercely loyal and fiercely protective.  She was an absolute affection hound with the people she knew and loved, she was smart and had been easily trained. 

Rebecca drew a long, shuddery breath.  She’d finally a chosen a house and gotten some help.  She’d learned later that night that her entire family had been killed by the Russian mafia.  At some point, she had also learned that her father was the accountant for the mafia.  Investigations had turned up the fact that he was embezzling from the mafia and had been for some time.  The investigators speculated that he had been trying to get them out and away from the lifestyle.  They’d found fake IDs and a deed to a house in the Caymans.  For a long time, Rebecca hadn’t known how to feel.  In the end, when she had all the answers they could give her, she’d simply grieved for the family she’d lost, giving little thought to the reasons for it. 

 “It’s a turning point for us, Miss Wendy Darling, let’s make the most of it, shall we?   Starting with dinner at Grandma and Grampa’s.  You like them.”

Wendy’s entire body shook with the force of tail wagging at the sound of two of her favourite words, Grandma and Grampa.

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

From: Rebecca Loveless

Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2013 8:51 AM

To: Joe Hillman, agent extraordinaire

Subject: Book idea!

TvsC

Hey Joe. 

Happy New Year!  I hope Christmas went well for you and your family.  I know Ally was really looking forward to it.  Did you end up getting her the Barbie car?

I have a great idea for a new book!  I decided that I want to write about a recent crime.  I can travel now, do interviews.  (I can also do a book tour!)  I know that The Atlas Vampire Case, The Tamud Shud Case, and Villisca Ax Murders were immensely popular, more so than most true crime books, but I want to step away from history for this next book.  Let’s call it a celebration of my newfound freedom. 

I have had dozens fans writing me suggesting cases but the one that Anne suggested, Terwilliger vs Churchward, peaks my interest the most.  I can do in person interviews, truly get inside these people’s heads instead of just making educated guesses.  You’ll find my preliminary notes attached.  What do you think?

Give my love to Jean and Ally.

Rebecca A. Loveless

Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.  Stephen King

 

From: Joe Hillman

Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2013 9:46 AM

To: Rebecca Loveless

Subject: Re: Book idea!

 

Good morning, Becks. 

Happy New Year to you as well; here’s to a shiny new life and a lot more freedom.  Don’t abuse it! 

Ally definitely got that car, she loves it!  Jean’s parents caved in to all her begging.  That girl is lucky she’s so adorable.  Christmas was wonderful.

The book sounds like a good idea.  I do have to caution you not to get to close to the subjects though.  I know how in depth and connected you get to your research.  I looked the case up and Robert Churchward is a very dangerous man.  He’s in prison still and will be until he dies.  Don’t let him get attached to you. 

Write up the proposal and I’ll pitch it to the publisher.  I’ll have Stephen and Grace give you their answer directly, alright?

Joe Hillman

Need an agent? We are the best in the biz.  Take a look at what we can do for you at HillmanandMaattravers.com

 

From: Rebecca Loveless

Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2013 10:36 AM

To: Joe Hillman, agent extraordinaire

Subject: Re: Book idea!

 

That’s fantastic!  Thanks, Joe, you’re the best. 

I know that Robert is dangerous.  His injuries from his time in Afghanistan have left him… lacking in compassion. 

Don’t worry so much about me!  I have Wendy and I have my training.

Rebecca A. Loveless

Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.  Stephen King

 

From: Joe Hillman

Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2013  11:04

To: Rebecca A. Loveless

Subject: Re: Book idea!

 

I mean it, Rebecca.  BE CAREFUL.   All your training in self-defence and weapons isn’t going to do you much good against a military man with no emotions.   Maybe you shouldn’t do the book.  Or let me do the interviews with Churchward.

Joe Hillman

Need an agent? We are the best in the biz.  Take a look at what we can do for you at HillmanandMaattravers.com

 

From: Rebecca Loveless

Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2013 11:25 AM

To: Joe Hillman, agent extraordinaire

Subject: Re: Book idea!

 

I will, Joe, I promise.  I can handle the interviews.  After what I’ve been through, little scares me.

Rebecca A. Loveless

Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.  Stephen King

 

From: Joe Hillman

Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2013 12:02 PM

To: Rebecca A. Loveless

Subject: Re:  Book idea!

 

That’s what scares me.

Joe Hillman

Need an agent? We are the best in the biz.  Take a look at what we can do for you at       HillmanandMaattravers.com

 

Rebecca viewed the last email with a smile of affection and turned to the tiny dog that lounged in the bed on Rebecca’s large desk.  “He worries too much, don’t you think?”   Wendy sneezed.  Rebecca laughed and got to work on the proposal. 

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Rebecca received the go ahead, and a substantial advance, at the end of January and by the first of February, she was making her first contacts.  She decided to start with Ted Terwilliger’s best friend, Carlos Montalban, of Mexico’s intelligence agency, SEDENA. 

She called the intelligence office and, in Spanish, explained who she was.  “My name is Rebecca Loveless, I write true crime stories and –” she was interrupted here.

“Holy Mother Mary!  I know who you are!  I have read all of your books.  The one about the vampires was inspired!  I can’t believe you got them to reopen that case and find the killer!  That was amazing.” The woman in the reception desk gushed then switched from Spanish to English.  “Your books helped me to learn English better.”

Rebecca smiled and answered in English.  “We can speak in English if you’d prefer.”

Sí, por favor.  What can I do for you, Señorita Loveless?”

“I’m thinking about writing about Theodore Terwilliger and it is my understanding that Carlos Montalban was his best friend.  I wish to speak with him, if at all possible.”  Rebecca held her breath, waiting.  She knew that death was a sensitive subject for many and the death of a friend who was like family was hard.

Sure enough, the woman shut down, and switched back to Spanish.  “I am sorry, Señorita Loveless, but I cannot give you any information about Señor Montalban.  I will pass on your message.  If he chooses to contact you, he will do so in his own time.” 

The phone went dead and Rebecca stared at it, bemused.  “She’s right, you know,” she said to Wendy.  “He will or he won’t.  Meanwhile, I should decide whether or not to contact Mrs. Terwilliger.  That woman was right about another thing too, though she didn’t say it aloud.  People will heal in their own time.”  She stood up and Wendy popped to her own feet.  “Time for a walk, I think.”

Wendy raced down the special ramp tucked against the desk and headed for the front door.  When her human didn’t move fast enough, Wendy grabbed one of Rebecca’s shoes and started tugging it down the hall. 

Rebecca grabbed her cell phone and keys and chuckled as she turned into the hall.  “Impatient, aren’t you?” 

They weren’t more than a block away when her phone rang.  Wendy rolled her eyes and set about exploring the patch of lawn, (and garden but she wasn’t advertising that part too loudly), while Rebecca answered the phone.

“Hello, Rebecca Loveless here.”

“ Hola! ¿ Cómo esta?  This is Carlos Montalban.  I understand, Ms. Loveless, that you wish to write a book about my friend Theodore.”  His voice was deep, measured, dangerous and somewhat disapproving.

Rebecca allowed to herself that she might be imagining the last two.  She swallowed a spat of nerves anyway.  “Hello, Mr. Montalban.  I have been looking for a – No, Wendy!  You know better!” She tugged lightly on Wendy’s leash, which was attached to a body harness.  “My apologies, Mr. Montalban.  I was recently given a new lease on life, and I thought I would try something new, turn the direction of my writing just a little.”

“By picking on my friend?”  There was definitely a dangerous note this time, Rebecca was sure this time.

“Ah… no… Not exactly.  I want to tell the truth about what happened.  I know that the media twisted things.”  She stooped and scooped poop and slowly turned towards home.

“The receptionist here is very fond of your work.  I shall have to think on it.  Meanwhile, do not contact his family.  Wait for me to get back to you.”   The phone went dead, again, and she stared at it.

“Well, hasta luego to you to, Señor Montalban.”  She looked down at Wendy.  “These people are not very friendly.”  Wendy yipped.

For the next two days, Rebecca researched another case, The Eyeball Killer.  Charles Albright was very bright, multilingual and an all-round good guy…who hunted prostitutes and cut out their eyes.  On the second day, the doorbell as she was preparing dinner for herself, (enchiladas, inspired by her conversations with the people in Mexico).

Wendy raced her for the door, barking ferociously as she did so.  Rebecca didn’t shush her, letting the dog inform the visitor that there was a guard dog in the house, as she checked the electric monitor of the security system.  She saw the top of a dark head and, assuming it was a child, opened the door.  “I’m sorry, I don’t want to buy anything.”  Her voice trailed off at the end as she realized the man standing at her door was fully grown, if a Dwarf. “Oh!” Her face turned bright red.

The man grinned and offered his hand.  “I am Carlos Montalban.”

Rebecca’s jaw dropped and then she turned an even darker shade of red as she realized what she was thinking, imposing all kinds of limitations on him because of his dwarfism. 

While she sorted out her embarrassment and impressions, Carlos crouched down and made his acquaintance with Wendy.  He offered her a small bone shaped cookie treat.    Wendy sniffed it suspiciously then took it delicately between her teeth.  Carlos stood up and waited patiently. 

Rebecca automatically stepped back, allowing Carlos to come in.  She closed the door as she tried to force herself to say something.  Anything.  She looked him over.  She guessed he was just over four feet tall.  His head was large, and his forearms and thighs were short.  He was slightly bow-legged. He was handsome, with chocolate brown eyes, a strong jaw with lips just a shade on the too thin side. 

“Ms. Loveless, I am used to being stared at and if the fact that I am a highly trained spy and assassin and a dwarf with an eyepatch didn’t come as a surprise to you, I’d probably have to kill you.”  Carlos chuckled.

“I-I’m so sorry.  I’m rarely speechless nor so rude.  Please, forgive me.  I’m about to have dinner, would you like some?”  She bent down and scooped up Wendy who, having finished her treat was sniffing Carlos as high as she could reach. 

“What are you having?”  Carlos had learned quite a bit about Rebecca and he knew that she was on a strict schedule, using timers and calendars, and he knew that it was dinner time.

“Enchiladas.”  Rebecca smiled as he chuckled again.

“It sounds delightful, even the way you Americans make it.”

Rebecca gave him mock offended.  “This is an authentic recipe, thank you very much.” 

Carlos climbed on to the bar stool at her breakfast bar and settled onto it.  “I can hardly wait then.”

They had dinner together and settled in the living room with coffee.  “Why do you want to write this story, Rebecca?”

“For the same reason I write the rest of them, Carlos, justice.”

They talked for another hour or two before Carlos left.  Rebecca felt very much like she had just been grilled but, after making her sign a non-disclosure agreement of a sort, he’d given her one vital piece of information – Theodore Terwilliger was alive.

“I have discussed your proposal, and your books, with him and he agreed that you would do the story, well, justice.  However, you are to contact him before you attempt to talk to any other member of his family.  Is that perfectly clear?”

“Of course, Carlos.”  She nodded vigorously, even as she stared down her traitorous dog.  Wendy was curled up in Carlos’ lap, nearly purring with the attention he was giving her.

Now, alone, Rebecca let out a whoop that Wendy echoed.  Rebecca sat on the floor and hugged her dog.  “We get to write the story!”  It didn’t even occur to her to ask how he had acquired the proposal she’d sent to the publisher, she was just happy.  She called her sister.  “Buffy!”

“Becca!  You interrupted bedtime.”

“I’m so sorry!  I’m just so excited!  You wouldn’t believe what just happened!”

“I can tell you’re excited; you’re speaking in exclamation points.”

Rebecca chuckled.  It was a joke from their childhood.  Whenever one of the girls had gotten too excited over something, happy or angry, their parents had taken to asking them to stop speaking quite so much in exclamation points and try a period or a question mark.  “I’m sorry, I can’t help it.  I have permission from the people involved in the Terwilliger-Churchward case to pursue it as a book!”

“That’s wonderful, for you.  The rest of us will continue to worry.  Does this mean you’ll be travelling?”

Some of Rebecca’s joy dimmed.  Her sister was very good at the guilt, very good.  It could go almost unnoticed by a body, you just knew you went away from the conversation thinking about changing your mind about whatever it was you were going to do.  “Yes, it means I’ll be travelling.  I want to interview people face-to-face as much as possible.  Don’t worry so much about me, Buff, I’m not that kid you met anymore.  You know how rigorously Dad has trained us in self-defence and in making sure that we don’t get into trouble in the first place.”  She listened as her sister sighed and knew she now had an ally.

“Okay.  Just be careful.  Love you.”  One of Buffy’s five kids howled in the background, making her growl in frustration. 

Rebecca knew her sister was already looking to the screen to disconnect the call and she was unlikely to be heard but she said her good-bye anyway.  “Love you and the brat pack.”

Fiction Friday Week 31

Good Friday morning!

How’s it going? I’ve had a quiet, relatively good week.  I’ve gotten things done, despite being sick.  I’ve gotten on the elliptical and done my yoga four days out of five this week.  

Monday was a day of rest, a total donada day.  I’d spent the weekend helping The Boyfriend clean the cottage.  We moved everything out that was unnecessary to us, (and really stinky); he vacuumed and washed the walls and floors.  I packed up the dishes and cutlery we’ll never use – which means I packed up about 90% of them.  The landlady hoards dishes, I swear it.  It makes sense, given that it’s a rental in the summer and sleeps 7 or 8, but man oh man, there are a LOT of dishes.  *laughs*

I scrubbed the cupboards inside and out, the counter tops, and washed the dishes that were left – 6 of everything, because that’s all we need.  

And I did all that work while getting sick.  So it was understandable that I made the decision to do squat on Monday.  It was quite the debate with myself but I managed to choose to look after me.  And then The Boyfriend backed it up with the donada order.  

(For those of late to my blog unfamiliar with the ‘donada’ thing, I’ll explain.  I have several chronic illnesses – fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivities just to name two – that sometimes overwhelm me and on those days I am to do nothing, nada, zilch, zero.  It usually came across as an order, just like that.  It got shortened to ‘do nada today’ then to ‘a donada day’.)

This week I have been working on Carlos, Ted’s best friend.  It’s taken some doing because I’m not familiar with the Mexican culture and Carlos is my “Mexican super assassin dwarf with an eye patch”, as per Wolfman’s stipulation.

It took some doing.  The Secretaria de la Defensa Nacional is not exactly a font of information.  I finally decided to wing it since I’m not actually having him perform any operations.  So, Carlos is in black ops so deep they don’t have an official name.  They are known in some circles as los lobos locos.  There are reasons why but they’re not important.

Since I have stuff to do – chores and whatnot – I shall leave you here.  

Say hello to my little friend!  Oh, wait, Tony was Cuban, not Hispanic. 😉

Have a fabulous Friday!  

Muah!

 

Carlos Montalban

 

Age: 42

Nationality:  Mexican, born and bred

Occupation:  Government assassin, working for a deep, dark part of SEDENA (Secretaria de la Defense Nacional) military intelligence. 

Appearance:  Carlos has Achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism that means he is nearly perfectly formed, but smaller than the average human height.  At 4’4” he is the smallest military man anywhere on the planet.  He has a large head typical of the gene disorder, shorted forearms and upper thighs.  He is slightly bow-legged.  Carlos is an attractive man with chocolate brown eyes, black hair and a medium tan colour to his skin.  Strong jaw, thick eyebrows and lips that are almost too thin.  He has no discernable marks save for a tattoo of a wolf’s head, done in the swirling light and shadow of the Mexican tribal style.

He wears an eyepatch to hide the bionic eye he was fitted with at the age of 23; most often the patch is a match for the colour of his skin.  He is fit, dresses most often like an American cowboy, goes unnoticed by the world at large, unless he wishes to be seen. 

 

 

Carlos ended up in the military because he kept getting caught with guns as a child.  And if he wasn’t getting caught shooting stuff up, he was found getting into locked buildings and stealing stuff.  He could get in without a problem – never tripped an alarm, never made a sound.  However, he had problems getting back out sometimes. 

He was an orphan, living on the streets, abandoned at the age of 8 when his parents tired of dealing with the special issues raising a dwarf caused. 

When he was caught trying to leave a building he’d broken into for the fifteenth time by the time he was 12, the judge decided Carlos needed a more focused education.  He let him stew in a holding cell – one the judge had emptied so that Carlos would be in no real danger.  However, Carlos could be seen by, and hear, inmates in other cells.  The night was terrifying, even for a boy with such bravado and ego as Carlos.  He was taken down a few pegs that night and reduced to a scared little boy.

The following morning, the judge had Carlos called to his chambers.  The boy was fed, cleaned and dressed and brought into the room.  He ran to the judge’s desk, eyes filled with tears, and begged the judge never to send him back.   “Please, please!  I will never do anything wrong again.”

The judge watched him for a long moment then looked to the man standing in the shadows.  “What do you think?  Will he do?”

Carlos screamed in surprise and whirled around.  He scrambled around the edge of the desk away from the other man.

“Aside from the fact that he didn’t notice me, yes, he’ll do.  I think he’ll work out very nicely; his instincts can be honed, refined.”  The man crouched down and crooked a finger.  “Come here, Carlos.”

After looking at the judge and getting a brief nod, Carlos approached the man.  He stopped just out of reach, making the man smile.  “What do you want of me, Mister?  I refuse to have sex with you.  You can’t make me.”  Carlos crossed his arms across his chest and glowered.

The man stifled a laugh and gave the boy a very thoughtful look.  “Has someone tried?”  He frowned when the boy nodded.  “What did you do?”

“I took the man’s knife and stabbed him in the leg.”

“It takes a lot of bravery and strength to be able to stick someone with a knife, even to save your own skin.  How did it make you feel?”

Carlos shifted from foot to foot and stared at the silver and turquoise clasp of the man’s bolo tie.  “I was scared.  But I was determined to get away.  I felt sick when the knife went into him. I knew that he would kill me if he got his hands on me so I pushed the knife all the way in.  I ran away as soon as the knife stopped moving.”  He met the man’s eyes.  “I never looked back and I would do it again.” His voice was fierce.

The man nodded.  “Good.”  He held out his hand.  “My name is Francisco Montalban.  I would like to give you a home.  My friend here,” he gestures at the judge, “says that you have no last name.  No family.   How would you like to have my name, be a part of my family?  You’d have a bed, food, clothes, an education.”

Carlos’s eyes lit up but he gave Francisco a suspicious look.  “What do I have to do in return?”

“You have to stay within the letter of the law.  Study.  Train.  I will turn you into the world’s greatest spy, if you let me.”   When Carlos grinned broadly at the thought Francisco patted him gently, carefully, on the shoulder then stood.  “My wife is waiting outside, Carlos, she would very much like to meet you.  Her name is Carlita.  I will sign some papers my friend, Juan, has and we will become a family.”

“Can I see the papers when you are done?”

Francisco smiled, pleased.  “Absolutely.  We will not call it final until you approve them, alright?”

“Yes Sir,” Carlos said.  He ran for the door.  As he opened it he turned.  “Thank you both, very much.”

Francisco, as Carlos learned later, waited until the boy had left the room before pulling papers out of the inner pocket of his jacket.  “His parents were found.  They were persuaded to give up their rights to the boy.”

“How much did it cost you?” Juan asked.

“Only about three thousand pesos.”  He dropped the papers on the desk.  “They were wise in taking the money.”

“Indeed.”  Juan pointed to all the signature spots in the adoption papers then made copies of them.  He handed Francisco the originals.  “Good luck.”

Francisco smiled before he opened the door.  “I do not need luck, my friend.  I now have wolf cub in my corner.”

From that moment on, Carlos was devoted to Francisco and Carlita.  He was equally grateful for his new home and terrified he’d do something to lose it, or that they would throw him out as his birth parents did. 

Francisco did indeed train him.  He taught Carlos how to trust his instincts, how to improve those instincts.  He taught Carlos weapons, technology and people.  Carlos went to post-secondary school in the U.S. and earned a doctorate in neurobiology – the study of the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the brain and nervous system.

When he was 18 and conscripted into the army, Francisco’s influences put Carlos in the infantry and, eventually, officer’s school.  Carlos’s proficiency with weapons earned him a spot as a sniper.  SEDENA, Mexico’s central intelligence agency, and the place Francisco worked, recruited Carlos. 

Finally, Francisco had Carlos where he wanted him all along.  Carlos was put into the deep black ops program.  It was so deep that it didn’t have a name.  It had a motto:

              Somos los lobos en su puerta en la oscuridad de la luna.

We are the wolf at your door in the dark of the moon.

SEDENA is much like the CIA. And, like the CIA, they do their part in controlling world military endeavours and politics. 

Carlos met Ted when he and Ted were chasing the same pair of drug lords.  One cartel was Mexican and the other American.  The cartel heads had teamed up to expand their businesses in each country.  They’d gotten big, too big, and it was upsetting the balance of drugs and peace in both countries.  Ted was sent to hunt the two men leading these cartels and bring them to justice.  Carlos was sent to kill them.

In the end, after a long hunt and huge battle that killed dozens, Ted and Carlos killed the men.  That the second-in-commands were killed too was a coincidence. 

The SOG man and the black wolf became fast friends.

 

 

Fiction Friday Week 30

G’day, eh!

It is Friday!  Today is a day of recovery for me – yesterday was group therapy, individual therapy AND shots.  I’m totaly whipped.  This is the weekend we get the cottage back so we will be busy.  Moving, cleaning and more cleaning.  We gotta scrub that baby from ceiling to floorboards.  We need to rid The Boyfriend’s home of all the scents of summer visitors and cleaning service chemicals.  

We need to move all the knick knacks out, put the safest furniture in place and take out everything we don’t need.   There are only two of us, we don’t need 15 dishes, 40 spoons and 65 cups.  

Okay, exaggeration.  But the point stands.  We have a lot of work ahead of us this weekend.

Speaking of work – and passion, because writing is a passion for me – I have here a bit of character development for NaNo 2015.  

Ted decided he wanted an interview.  And, of course, he started the interview in the middle. This interview is done from the perspective of an interviewer who knows a little about her subject.  She knows that Ted stopped [whatever the conflict is] and she wants to write a book about him.  Ted is quite the guy. Take a look:

This is my interview with Theodore “Ted” Terwilliger.  He is an intriguing man.  I was so taken with him that I forgot to turn my recorder on until part way through the interview.  I will, therefore, back track some later in the interview. 

 

What were you in a former life?

Plainly put: I was a bounty hunter for the US Government.

What does that mean?

I was a US Marshal who hunted criminals that the local types can’t find, or don’t have the jurisdiction to hunt.  Sometimes I worked in tandem with them.

Oh I see.  And now you own a ranch here in Ontario?  Where did you used to live?

[He arches a brow, looks almost defensive but not quite] Yeah, I relocated.  So what?  My wife, Cilla, and my son, Paulie, had a home in Portland, Tennessee.

Where are they now?

[His face closes up.  His whole body stiffens.]  Dead.

I’m so sorry.  What happened?

I don’t want to discuss it.

Please.  I need to know to write about you accurately.

[His face fills with fury, vein throbbing at the temple] Someone blew up my house.

Do you know who?

Not yet, but when I do… [The vibe coming from him makes me shiver.]

If you’re still looking, why are you in Ontario?

It’s for the best.

[I decide to leave this alone for the moment]  Okay, Ted.  What else can you tell me?

That scar on my ass?   That was from when I was about ten.  My brother and I –

[I interrupt.  Totally unprofessional, I know, but I was surprised.  Nothing in the minimal info I have about him mentions a sibling.]  I didn’t know you had a brother.

[The look he gives me is… well, reprimanding.] “Had” is the operative word.

Um… okay.  I’m sorry.

My brother and I went to an estate auction with our parents.  Momma went inside to look at jewelry and dishes and whatnot. Sam and I went with Daddy to look at the farm equipment.  [He holds up a hand to forestall my question.]  Yes, I was raised on a ranch.  Sam and I were goofing off, as boys do.  He shoved me and I stumbled, straight back onto an old combine header, the kind with the spikes. 

The skinny, sharp spikes.

Someone caught me but not before one of them damned spikes tried to lift my left cheek off my body.

End of auction for the family. 

Beginning of months of chore lists as long as our legs. 

Forty stitches in my ass, by the way.

Wow!  I bet that hurt.

[A wry smile]  The chores or the wound?

Both.

Ye-up.

Tell me about Sam.

[The sadness in his eyes makes me want to hug him.]  Sam was my twin.  He died when we were seventeen.  By then we’d begun hanging out with different crowds.  We were never far from each other but… different tastes in everything.  I was a 4-H member of long standing and Sam was a hair band aficionado.  He drank and experimented with drugs.  I rocked with country music and a good girl who liked to dance in my truck bed. 

I was with her the night Sam and his friend decided to steal the friend’s dad’s truck.  They robbed a pharmacy…

Security guard was shooting at them as they were fleeing.  He hit Sam in the back and the bullet’s path ended in Sam’s heart.  [His eyes get distant, unfocused.]  The guard shot himself in the head while he was awaiting trial.  He couldn’t live with killing a kid.

Is that why you went into law enforcement?

No.  I went wild that year.  Skipped school.  Started smoking.  Ignored my duties to my parents.  Dad just about disowned me.  I tried the drugs my brother took.  Boosted cars, lookin’ for the thrill.  One car belonged to the local mob boss.

He turned you in?

No.  He offered me a job.  But he said I had to go to school, he couldn’t have a drug addled, ignorant schlub finding information for him.  He paid half my college tuition, called it a scholarship to my parents.  He and I discovered that I loved justice but not the law.  He said I could only change it from the inside and sent me to college, pre-law.  I went to cop college halfway through when it turned out being a suit didn’t…well, suit me.

What did he have you doing for him?

Finding information.  There was never anything illegal.  Research.  A meal here, sittin’ near a guy whose picture he’d given me.  Chess games in the park with old men and some not so old, though they seemed it.  They talked to each other over my head.  All I had to do was tell him what I’d found and heard.  Sometimes I had to interpret it for him.

What happened to that job?

He fired me when the US Marshals recruited me my first year as a flat foot.

Why did they recruit you?

I was very good at sticking my nose into things.  My first Sarge gave me a cold case file to try and restrain me.  I solved the case AND found the perp.  It was high profile, attracted attention.  I went straight into the Fugitive Operations division.  I didn’t have the degree they wanted so I went to night school while they trained me to hunt assholes who thought they could outrun justice.  Became so intimate with the law I might well have been sleeping with Lady Justice.  I rose through the ranks quickly, became Deputy US Marshall Supervisor in five years.  I moved to the SOG – the USMS special forces. 

Sounds like you were good at your job.  Why’d you leave it?

Because some asshole blew up my goddamn life. 

There is much more to his back story and I’m getting there.  For now, this is a good start.  I know what makes him all dark inside.  I’m working on what makes him light and good.  

I think it has a lot to do with the love he carries – for his parents, his brother, his wife and his son.  No matter how hurt he is by her death, his eyes and mouth still soften when he talks about her.

Next week!  More about them.  Cilla (short for Priscilla) and Paulie.  More about the relationship with his parents.  And introducing his best friend and the woman he calls a friend and shares the occasional night with.

Have a great Friday everyone!  

Muah!

Fiction Friday Week 28

Good afternoon!

I am nearing the end of the third edit of HW2 and I thought I’d share a little bit of it with you.  

This chapter of the book has the Four Claw Pack plotting to overthrow Prince Skeena, the vampire ruler of Glasgow.  Skeena is a bitch.  I’ve mentioned that in the blog before, I think. *laughs*

This bit here demonstrates that quite well.  

It also, perhaps, suggests that I’m a little bit twisted.  A little.  

Mostly though, Skeena’s a sadistic bitch.  

I am off to explore some things I’m excited about.

Enjoy!  

Muah!  

Skeena realized something was up when her food began to disappear.  They stopped kowtowing and started standing straighter just before they started refusing to come when summoned.  She called Sarah to her rooms. 

“Yes, my Prince?”  Sarah was a consummate actress.  She knew what was coming but she worked damn hard to make sure it never showed in her eyes or attitude.

“Why are the dogs and cats suddenly refusing to feed me?”

Fuck! thought Sarah.  Idiots!  Outwardly she shrugged.  “I have no idea, my Prince.  Perhaps the ones you have summoned do not have the blood to give and need fed and some rest?”  As soon as the question was out of her mouth she wanted to snatch it out of the air.  It was openly critical, not something the other took too well.

Skeena was on her in a flash.  She slammed Sarah against the wall, one hand on her throat, crushing her windpipe.  Snarling and ever paranoid, Skeena searched Sarah’s eyes.  “You have always been loyal to me, Sarah MacLean.  Do not make any mistakes now.”

Sarah was unable to keep the hatred out of her eyes and what was left of her voice.  “Your end is coming, you controlling cow.  Did you really think you could act this way forever?”  Her words were hoarse and nearly silent but she knew the Prince heard her well.

“Only one person has the ability to pull off a coup with any remote chance of success, my friend,” Skeena sneered the last word, “and that is you.”  Skeena released Sarah’s throat and Sarah dropped to her knees, coughing. 

Sarah struggled to get her breathing back in working order.  In the next moment she yelped in pain as Skeena’s foot connected with her spleen then her ribs.  Still, her ire was enough to make her grind out one last sentence.  “You’ll be ash before the night is out.  I pray I get the chance to do it myself.”

Skeena’s foot connected with Sarah’s jaw and as Sarah lay there, fighting the blackness threatening to take over her mind Skeena yelled for her guards.  Two entered the room, one loyal to the bone to the Prince and the other loyal to Sarah.  They both showed surprise at seeing Sarah on the floor, spitting out blood.  “Take this cunt down to my dungeon!  I’ll be done as soon as I change my clothes.”  Skeena paused.  “Wait!  Parade the traitor through the house first.  Let her be a warning”.

The guard loyal to Sarah reached her first and, with an internal wince, wrapped his fingers in her hair to pull her upright.  As Sarah’s hands flew up to grab his wrist he adjusted his grip so it only looked like he was pulling her solely by her hair.  Sarah’s grip on his wrist made her able to help him maintain the illusion.  Guard two, satisfied the first had things properly in hand, merely opened the door.  Neither of them said anything to the Prince, conditioned long ago never to speak in her presence.  She had said that didn’t want to hear voices of the peons in her home.

The two dragged Sarah through a series of corridors, past Wolves, a couple of Tigers and one Lion, they all looked on with wide eyes. More gathered to stare in shock as the guards took Sarah on a return trip.  One of the Tigers then discretely withdrew to find a phone.  She called Glynnis and relayed what she saw.

Finally, the guards came back to Skeena’s room.  Guard two moved a large trunk and pulled back a rug.  Hidden below the furnishings was a large trap door.  Guard Two opened it and Guard One, Jake, dragged Sarah down by her hair.

 In the dungeon, Sarah was strung up.  She was manacled wrist and ankle by Jake then Guard Two turned a crank set into the stone wall and Sarah’s arms were lifted above her head and stretched just to the point of pain, until she was standing on the tips of her toes.  Her clothes were cut from her by Jake, who did his best to convey that someone would save her without letting the other guard see it.  Sarah took a breath and sighed softly as she let her head droop.  Her hair fell forward to curtain her face and she mouthed, “It’s okay” at Jake.

He turned to Guard Two.  “She’s set, go let the Prince know.”

“She doesn’t want to hear from us.  She said she’d be down in a moment, we’ll leave it at that.”  He sneered at Jake like he knew that Jake’s loyalties were not quite where they should be.  Just then the door opened and both their mouths snapped shut.

Skeena was wearing a blood red gi and carrying a wooden case about thirty-two inches long by six wide.  She looked around the room.  There were a couple of small tables, one beside what looked like a dentist’s chair and one beside a four foot high stone altar.  “Move a table to sit in front of her.”

As Guard Two did her bidding Skeena shifted the case to under one arm and moved to a glass fronted cabinet with interior recessed lights.  Inside was a shelf of knives.  Curved ones, long ones, short ones, wide ones, narrow filleting ones.  There were double-edged and single-edged; ones for hunting, gutting, skinning and survival.  Skeena picked up one that sat alone under its own spotlight.

The Prince brought the knife and case over to the table and set them both down.  She opened the case, pulled out a cat-o’-nine whip and showed it to Skeena with a grin.  “It’s been a long time since I used this.”  She lifted the tails to Sarah’s line of vision.  Sarah was staring at the wall across from her but Skeena managed to make her focus for a brief moment on the whip.  Skeena cackled when Sarah shuddered.  The flogger was thirty inches long, six inches of that were simply the handle; the other twenty-four inches was comprised of the thin leather falls, also known as tails.

Each of the nine tails had pieces of razor sharp bone tied into it in random places, two to four pieces per tail.  The thing was designed not only to have a hell of an impact but to shred flesh.  And the Prince was planning on using it on Sarah.

“It’s lovely, isn’t it?”  Skeena waited for an answer.  When none was forthcoming, she slapped Sarah across the facing, leaving a bright red imprint of her hand.  “It’s lovely.  Isn’t it.”

“Quite.  You really should feel it for yourself before you use it on anyone else.”  Sarah’s voice was hard.

Skeena was amused.  “But first, we’re going to indulge ourselves in a little blade play.  Playing with knives is so much fun, don’t you think?”

Sarah shrugged as best she could with her arms stretched over her head.  She liked to play a little rough in the bedroom – she liked her ass slapped when being fucked from behind or her nipples pinched hard.  Sometimes she liked having her mouth used without her having any control over it.  She liked teeth.  A lot.  But she did not hold with the level of Sadomasochism Skeena did.  Especially since a lot of the masochists Skeena played with were involuntary.  Skeena was starting to scare her but she was determined not to let it show.

Skeena laid the flogger down and picked up the knife.  It had a four inch handle with a double-sided grip.  The blade was nine inches long.  One side was a smooth, sharp edge.  It was straight until an inch or so to the tip where it swooped up.  The opposite side had a small scoop in it then a serrated edge started.  The blade was custom and Skeena had had the edge cut like a saw blade.  A saw’s cutting edge is set so that the teeth are set just off centre, alternating left and right.  She kept both edges sharp enough to slice a piece of paper, were one dropped onto it.

Sarah knew that blade.  She had seen what it could do and for the first time, fear crept into her eyes.

“Oh good,” Skeena drawled as she looked at Sarah.  “You remember this knife.  We’re going to play with it.”  She set the smooth edge against Sarah’s ribs, just under her arm and applied a small bit of pressure until the knife popped through the first layer of skin.  She pressed a little harder and drew the knife around to under Sarah’s breast in a wide arc.  Then, before Sarah could begin to feel the delayed pain such a sharp knife creates, Skeena flipped the knife around and dug the serrated edge into the new cut. 

Skeena sawed at the cut, tearing the edges of the flesh and digging until she hit bone.  She followed the new cut all the way around. 

Sarah ground her teeth together and clenched her fists.  It took all her willpower not to scream out. 

Skeena saw that as a challenge.

P.S  Apparently there’s a reason I do at least three edits.  I found the word ‘watching’ where it should have said ‘wanting’!