Oh my Goodness!

Good morning everyone!

It’s been a long, long time since I wrote last, I know.

A year, actually, almost to the day, I think.  Many many things have happened since then.  

  • I finished my first year of school in 25 years with a 4.01 GPA.  Yay me!
  • Girlkid graduated high school, with honours.  AND she got accepted to the university program of her choice. Yay her!
  • Boykid moved to Alberta.  It was time for him to make a change and he is doing well.  Yay him!  I miss him horribly.  His visit at Christmas was wonderful but I am very happy he is finding his way.
  • I moved to the city! It’s been great for me.  I’m stronger, more independent, happier.
  • Unfortunately, it was also the catalyst for the break-up with The Boyfriend (P) several months ago.
  • I got reacquainted with an old friend from high school. M was amazing then and he’s amazing now. Lots of history there.
  • I rescued a 4.5 week old puppy after her mother abandoned the litter. P, who drove me out to pick her up, rescued her sister. Micky, who started out at 4.7 pounds is now approx 35lbs and stands 19″ at the shoulder at barely 4 months old. She is a Corso-Rottie-St Bernard mix and will be a support dog for me. I have a blog where I will be talking about her (new post coming very soon). 
  • There was a college strike this fall and I got a in one of my classes! 😦
  • Wolfman is alive and well and we have been getting along brilliantly.  This makes me ecstatic.
  • I have lost weight and am getting stronger (although I have also fallen three times this winter and am struggling with recovery).
  • I have a new man in my life and am super happy about it.  This works, trust me. It’s one of those inexplicable things.

And finally, the two things I want to talk about.  

One, I am part of an anthology called A Guide to Claiming a Scaredy Cat.  There are ten authors writing short stories about strong female leads, feline shifters, claiming their commitment-phobe Mates and I am privileged to be one.  Here is our Thunderclap, click on over to support us!

thunderclap

Would love to have your support for getting the word out about this anthology. Click the link, choose which social media platform(s) to support with, then make this post famous! 💖💖💖

#anthology #scaredycat #authors #paranormalromance

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/66656-revealing-a-scaredy-cat

 

The second thing I wanted to talk about terrifies the snot out of me while making me very happy at the same time.  Here it is:

I am now an official attendee for Ignite Your Soul 2018!!

Soooo much work to do.  

Write and edit the story for the anthology.  Finish editing A Year in the Life of S. Claus and HW3 for publication, finish this term at school, figure out swag and signage and a look.  Plus the promo work for the anthology.  And Micky’s training.  And, you know, life. 

What’s happening with you?

I have homework to do. 

Muah!

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Good Riddance 2016

Hello!

I know it’s been quite a while, again, but school has taken dominion over all else.  I want to discuss the year with you though.  It’s been…bi-polar at best.  Wild swings up and down.  

There have been 130+ worldwide celebrity deaths.  The American battle for president was between H. Clinton and Trump and Trump won.  I don’t care to follow politics but what the fuck was America thinking? 

None of that affects me personally though. I know what’s going on, for the most part, but my concern is my family, immediate and extended.  And we have had some pretty major events.  Here are some of them…

The Ups:

I published Highland Wolves 2.  I will be making a change to it though, one that has a major impact on book 4.  If you have a copy of the current one, it will become special in the next few days. I will keep you appraised. 

The government finally agreed that yes, I am fucking disabled and they should help me. 

That enabled me to go back to school.  I got through the first half of term one (I can only deal with 3 courses at once, not six, so I am doing half a term at a time) with a 4.0 GPA.  I start the second half of term one on the 4th.

Girlkid got accepted to the equestrian program at the University of Guelph, one of the top schools in North America and one with a world reknown reputation for vetrinary care training.  It is the only school on this continent or in the UK that offers her the science and other types of training that she wants to get her on the career path she dreams of.  

Boykid has the love of his life with him again.  

I am able to do yoga regularly and enjoyed a small remission in some of my symptoms.

The Lows:

Boykid was assaulted in September and he took the assault in order to protect his girlfriend.  Now he’s dealing with PTSD.  

My health has not changed, despite the remission.  I got bonchitis right before Christmas, capping off a flare in symptoms that started in September.  

My maternal grandmother died on Christmas day.  

Four days later… I don’t know that I should talk about this but…Well, I’m sitting here fighting tears so I will talk about it.  Damn those who would keep me silent.

Normally, I wouldn’t bring up something so personal but this is important.  It has lessons that I hope will help others. 

Wolfman has suffered from depression for years, and had some major ups and downs.  This year he had a couple of major blows that I won’t talk about here.  He took some time for himself to try and get it together.  It didn’t seem to help.  

Then I made a catastrophic mistake and he felt like I betrayed him.  Part of it was that I didn’t listen to him enough.  I didn’t close my mouth and stop telling him what he should do enough.  I didn’t stop trying to impose my will on his depression.  I can see that now.

I love him, I have forever and I will forever.  I only want to see him better and happy.  

It’s not my job to do anything but listen to him.  I should have shut up.  I know that what he did is on him but I can’t help but shoulder some of the blame.  

On the 29th (Girlkid’s 17th birthday), Wolfman made a very good attempt at suicide.  He was found by his family and his sister told me what happened.  She promised me that she’d tell me if he didn’t make it.  She blames me, blames all of us connected to him, but told me I deserve to know.

I went to bed, exhausted by my tears and fear, and was terrified to check my messages in the morning.   Since there was nothing, I’m assuming he still lives.  And I’m assuming he’s getting the help he needs.

And part of that is me separating myself from him and giving him time. If he’s ever ready to talk to me again, I’ll be here.  Still loving him.  

The reason I wanted to talk to you about this, on the final day of 2016, is this:

If you know someone suffering from mental illness then shut up and listen.  Close your mouth and open your ears.  Support, don’t dictate.  Help however they need you to; if that means listening, listen.  If that means sitting there with them silently, do that.  If it means helping them remember to take their medications or make their appointments (and they’ve asked for help), do it.

But for Gods’ sake, stop telling them what you think is best.  Step in if there’s a danger but mostly, your job is to support, listen, love.  That’s it.  

I pray that 2017 gives him time to heal and helps him find some peace, even if it’s without me.

And I pray that 2017 is a much better year for everyone.  I pray for those who lost loved ones.  

For me, changes are coming.  A move.  More school.  A shift in how I treat myself.  I have plans.  Dreams.  Goals.  And I will follow them through.  

I am posting this unedited.  I can’t bear to read what he did again.  My pain is for him, for me, for his daughters.  It’s about loss, fear, the thought of what was almost permanently gone.  I am heartbroken but there is a kernel of hope because Wolfman is one of the strongest people I know.  If he comes back to me, I will welcome him with open arms and beg forgiveness.  If he doesn’t, well, that’s what’s best for him.  

Much love and light to you and yours, dear readers.  Have a wonderful new year.

And Henry… If you’re reading this, I’ve need of you.  You know how to find me.

A Spider, an Event and a Freebie

Good morning!

On Saturday, I did two things and I’ll talk about about the second one first because it’s really cool and really creepy.  

Talk?  Nah… I’ll show!

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Isn’t he wonderful?

He’s creepy, yet fascinating.  

Okay, mega-creepy.  I do not like spiders anywhere near me, which totally does not explain why I got so close to that one.  Zoom is a wonderful feature for a camera too. *laughs*   The lighting and his position were just perfect and I needed it.

Just like I needed this one:

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Beautiful, busy bee.

It amazed me that I managed to catch him, he was, well, busy.  I love the detail in these two pictures.  A friend of mine suggested that I enter two photo contests.  One is the Lambton County guidebook cover contest and the other is a macro contest for National Geography, I think.  I might use one of these two for that NatGeo contest and this one for the Lambton County contest.

The other thing I did was attend an author signing called Ignite Your Soul Author Event 2016.  It’s the third year they’ve been in London (mine, not England’s) but the first time I’d heard about it.  And the only reason I heard about it is because my friend Sue – a bestie from high school – told me she was attending.  We hadn’t laid eyes on each other in 21 years so what was I to do?  

I spent three hours getting toxed stupid, laughing my ass off and meeting some wonderful people.  I have several new books to read, a lead on a couple of publishers and a call to submission that could prove incredibly lucrative if I’m accepted.

I’m not going to talk about that last one though.  It’s my secret until I actually make that submission. 

What else have I done recently?  Why, I started school on the sixth.  I started out with a full load because I’m home and I’m smart, right?  

Pfft.  Thanks to Fibro and MCS I no longer learn like I used to.  I don’t learn as easily and I don’t learn the same way.  I take copious notes to prove to myself that I get it and because it’s easier to remember if I read it and write it.  So it’s taking me 2 or 3 times as long to get through everything.  I’m down to 3 courses per term now and it’s better.  I’m enjoying what I’m doing better.  And I’m not missing anything anymore. 

I’d rather succeed more slowly than not at all.  My business idea has huge market potential and I want to do it and do it well.

What’s your dream?  What are you doing to make it a reality?

I gotta hit the accounting book again.

Oh, wait!  I almost forgot!

Because I’m so damn happy with Saturday’s event, even though I was there as a consumer, not a creator, I decided to put Witch Hitlist up for free again!  If you didn’t manage to grab it last time, now’s your chance!

GET IT HERE!

Enjoy your day, folks!

Muah!

 

Demon Plague is LIVE!

Good morning, folks!

I am pleased to bring you the second book in my Highland Wolves series:

Demon Plague

Just look at the cover!

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I know the back is a tad difficult to read but it is readable.

Isn’t it gorgeous?  I love having vibrant, compelling covers.

I say that with zero modesty and a whack of pride.  I spent hours on it a few days ago.   Cried over it even.  

I have to tell you, even though I publish through Amazon/Kindle it is so exciting to see my books available for public consumption!

It’s a lot of hard work to get them there.  The research, planning, character development, writing, editing, editing, editing, editingformatting, cover planning and development.  I could hire someone to do the cover, I suppose, but I like seeing it come together.  

Just in the writing, it’s a huge relief to write THE END at the end of the document.  It’s a milestone but now, to see it for sale (and soon to see it in print), it’s breathtaking.  

Sure, a traditional publisher picking up my books would be wonderful, (or heartstopping) but for now, I will continue to do it this way.

You can see HW2 in print here and on Kindle here.

I hope you enjoy them!  If you missed the 5 day promotion in which HW1 and Lizendale were free on Kindle I’m so sorry but you’ll have to purchase them now.  😉   Both books are also in print, of course, (Highland Wolves 1 can be found in print by clicking on “See all formats” or by clicking here).

You can look at all my books on my Amazon Author page.  

What’s next?

Next, I will be diving into the research for HW4 and I will be editing A Year in the Life of S. Claus.  I am seriously considering submitting it for publishing at Sterling and Stone because of a little book I read put out by them called SANTA: EXPOSED by Guy incognito.  There was a line in the book saying “what if Santa has deals with all the toy companies al over the world?” and it made me want to give them Ari.  First though, it needs at least one run through.

I will begin plotting for NaNo too, I think.  Or at least, I’ll start looking for ideas.   The YA tiger shifter is too short to do it as November’s NaNo, unless I make it a series of 2 or 3 shorts.   Something to consider.

Plus!  I have a college application in for Fanshawe’s online Business Program.   Busy busy, just the way I prefer it.  

I am out of here!  Have housework to do and some rest (it’s been a busy, toxic last week and I’m exhausted) while I plot out what’s going on over the next few months.  

Have a wonderful day!  

Muah!

 

Everyone Loves Free Books!

Good evening!

Since I will be publishing Demon Plague: The second Highland Wolves Book on August the first, I have decided to put the ebooks Witch Hitlist, the first of the series, and Lizendale, a stand alone, very dark paranormal drama up for free!

Phew, that was a long winded sentence.  Sorry about that but you get the point.

FREE BOOKS! 

Which is a good thing, right?

That, dear readers, is my gift to you.  They are for free, across Amazon/Kindle in Canada, the US and the UK.

I do want you to love the first book so that you’ll want to read the second.  And I want you to love my writing so you’ll want to read any book I write.  

I am a writer, after all.  😉

I do hope you enjoy them because the simple fact is that I write to evoke emotions and paint pictures in my readers’ minds.  Not to make a pretty penny, that’d just be a major bonus.  

The links below are the Canadian ones.

Witch Hitlist

Lizendale

Have a wonderful night!

A Swan Song

Good evening!

I just had to share some of my favourite pictures with you.  I know that it’s been a while so I will catch you up but first, these completely and totally awesome photos.  

Last weekend, when I was in Grand Bend, I turned from the BBQ and what did I see?  

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Swans and their cygnets!

They wandered into the backyard to pick at the weeds and grass, not entirely sure why they went for a walk, they have a pond about two blocks away.  We were quite delighted to see them for the cygnets were adorable in their ugliness and the parents fierce in their protectiveness, though they were quite relaxed here.  They stayed about ten minutes before wandering off across the street.  

This summer, my daughter decided that her dog needed to live with us full time, rather than her dad, so she could train her and try and get some of her worse behaviours under control.  It’s fallen to me to walk the dog first thing in the morning, invariably just as the sun is coming up.  

So I’ve been appreciating the walks.  I get to see things that a lot of people don’t that early in the day.  We go to the same spot, because it’s easier on me to take her out on the long leash and mostly stand there (sometimes we walk, but it’s before breakfast and before my pills).  I was watching the progress of a large thistle bloom until the municipality mowed everything down on the hillside, I listen to the birds waking up and take time to look for the little things.  Which led to two of three of my most favourite pictures ever.  

 

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This snail resting on the slab of sliced off tree.

Which the dog decided to explore…

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And, thankfully, decided wasn’t food.

My third favourite picture is one I took just this evening after we dropped Girlkid off at work.  We went to the beach to take a gander at the water.  I love the beach when it’s windy and on the edge of being stormy (and when it is stormy).  The colours and movement of the water are amazing.  

The Boyfriend sat down to enjoy the view while I wandered down to the water’s edge then up the pier and around to the boardwalk.  Came up from behind him and saw a picture that had to be taken.

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It was a peaceful moment.

So, those are my favourite moments from the last little while.  

And now, time to catch up!

I decided not to write July Camp, for reasons that are my own, and chose instead to edit HW2.   I’m 43 pages from the end!  That means that it will be published, barring any unforeseen circumstances, on August 1st.  

And THAT means free books! The HW1 ebook will be made available for free for three days (maybe more, depends on mood and options *laughs*).  I will probably make Lizendale for free too.  And then I will begin the research for HW4 and the slow, painful process of editing both HW3 and A Year in the life of S. Claus.  

I don’t have the plot set for HW4 and I am hoping that the research will give me some inspiration for the rest of it.  

AND I have decided to go back to school.  Hopefully, I’ll be starting in September.  I plan on being a busy girl.  The government finally acknowledged that I AM disabled (we knew that, eh?) and that relieved so much pressure in my head, released a huge cloud of depression and anger that was hanging over me that I wasn’t even wholly aware of.  

Happy days!

Time for me to go to bed.  Have a grand night and a great weekend!

Muah!

 

Camp Day 18

Hi!

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!

Muah!

 

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.