Friday, October 30, 2009

Morgan Chronicles

I felt good about my choice. I felt like I was growing up, in a way. I even liked feeling responsible for Martel. This was more than just fetching an artifact. I was entrusted with people's lives. My earlier trepidations subsided, leaving me with a sense of purpose.

I could do this.

Leaning back in the chair despite the dust, I kept Martel's gaze, continuing to question him. "So, what's Vara gonna say when I'm not there and she can't find you?"

He shut down, his face becoming a mask. Martel wouldn't look at me, and remained silent for several minutes. I wanted to apologize for bringing it up, but I also needed to get to business. The vampire was easy on the eyes, but I wasn't on vacation anymore.

When he finally spoke, his voice had lost all the emotion he'd gained. "If she hasn't called for me yet, it's because she's fixated on Steven."

"Fixated?" The way he said it implied something beyond the normal meaning. Hopefully nothing too bad.

Martel turned to me, sorrow in his eyes. "She can't tear herself from him. She'll lay with him, suckling on his veins, oblivious to the world. I've seen her go days without stopping."

"Days?" I whispered, stunned. "She feeds on him for days?"

"Yes."

"And she killed off everyone after he arrived? And she grows stronger from him?" Martel nodded. "Who the hell is he?"

"I was hoping you could tell me."

I chuckled, rising to pace the room. "That's the big mystery here. No one knows who this kid is, or why he's here." I looked down at the vampire. "But he's a disruption in this world, and I'm going to take him away."

Martel's flagging hope spiked, and he rose to his feet. "I could show you her rooms. She won't notice us, and you can figure out how to take Steven from her." I nodded, and followed him on another trip through the complex.

I'd walked city blocks shorter than some of the halls we trod. I imagined none of the previous residents had been out of shape. They could have gone days without seeing another living soul, or gotten lost trying to get a midnight snack.

Then I thought of all the people Martel said Vara had killed or driven off in her jealousy. She'd had some time to get like this, warped and twisted. It would take time for her to get better, to forget about Steven and move on with her life.

We were in a cleaner part of the complex, with less signs of disuse. Must be near Vara's rooms. Martel slowed his pace, his shoulders tensing. I grabbed his wrists, pulling him to a halt.

"It's going to get ugly when I leave, isn't it?"

The vampire chewed his lower lip, unable to meet my gaze. When he didn't speak, I tugged on his arm. "What do you mean?"

I rolled my eyes. "Now you decide to go all coy on me." I let go of his wrist, but we remained close. "You understand that Vara is going to lose it when Steven disappears? If she did this-" I gestured at the empty complex, "-when the kid was here, what's she going to do when he isn't?"

Martel shook his head. "I don't want to talk about it." His voice bordered on sullen, his jaw set.

My voice dropped to a whisper. "You know you won't survive. You already know she's going to kill you."

His eyes snapped up, and the vampire growled as he spoke. "I know no such thing. Once the kid's gone, things can go back to normal. Vara will love me again."

I remained silent, shocked by his reaction. My optimism had taken a blow, my newfound sense of responsability wiped out. I'd decided not to kill the lover of a man who knew said lvoer was going to kill him in a fit of rage. What was the point?

After several interminable moments, Martel turned. "Come on. Maybe she's asleep, and you can just take the kid."

The prospect of escaping with Steven suddenly didn't seem like such a victory.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

General updating

Been a little distracted lately. Makes it hard to want to sign in and post.
Work is stupid as ever. Seriously retarded. Trying not to let it get
to me, but that's a challenge.
It's finally getting cold here. Hasn't felt like Halloween and
October until a couple days ago. Which is why I haven't decorated for
trick or treaters. Thinking about keeping the candy all to myself.
My snake made her first kill. She was SO cute. She wanted to eat it,
knew it was yummy food, but it upset her. So, she was stalking it in
her reared up angry pose. Once Flash finally caught it, she would't
keep a strong enough coil, and every time she relaxed, the mouse drew
a huge breath of air. Once she finally managed to killbit, ahe
gobblegobblegobbled it down.
My main distraction has been working on my first novel. My old man's
other great love read through it for me, gave me her notes and
opinions, and I've been mulling them over. In the last week, I've
started implenting the changes I came up with. It's going great, and
I've made some interesting changes. Like, took the prologue out, and
changed a few of my character's reactions, and added a new scene. I
owe Kir a huge thanks. *waves*
I'm about to start a week vacation from work. Huzzah for not working.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Sketch


I have mentioned I like dragons, yes? They're so much fun to doodle.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Morgan Chronicles

I swallowed hard, feeling a blush creep across my cheeks. "Angel?"

Martel walked forward on his knees, his face brightening now that I'd acknowledged him. "Yes. I know you're an angel. I tasted the power of divinity in you. I must help you." He now knelt directly before me, taking my hand.

I let him hold me while I pondered his reaction. I'd met angels before, and knew I wasn't one of them. But would a person, ignorant of the planes and other dimensions, mistake me for an angel? Studying the awe in his eyes, I knew it was possible.

"You know I'm going to upset Vara?" As nice as it would be to have native help, I didn't need him betraying me at the end.

Martel bowed, resting his forehead against my hand. "I know. You might have to kill her to take Steven away."

I sighed, and tugged on his hand. "Get up. Show me a place I can hide." The vampire rose, guiding me into one of the side halls. We moved quickly, Martel still holding my hand, my thoughts incoherent.

One thought kept spiraling up out of the muck. Why was I here? I was a low-level runner. Retrieving people was something I did, but it was usually simple escorts.

I'd never had to combat anyone like this. A few skirmishes here and there, but I usually tried to avoid them. I smirked, remembering how much fun I'd had fighting the demons. It had been a lot of fun, and one of my biggest fights.

Martel led us into a dark room, and I shook my head free of stupid thoughts. I was overthinking this whole thing. I could just kill Vara and take Steven and leave. That's what I should do.

But violence didn't seem right. And I didn't think Steven would appreciate me killing his caretaker. But why did I care what Steven thought?

The vampire was lighting candles, revealing a dusty sitting room. "Not many visitors?" I remarked, flopping down in a high-backed chair. It was soft, despite the grit on the upholstery, and I felt relaxed for the first time since I got here. It felt nice to relax.

Martel knelt beside the chair, an awestruck expression on his face, hands behind his back. I felt really weird about having a worshipper, but part of me was enjoying the sight of a half-naked man on his knees.

"There were many more of us before Steven showed up," he explained, breaking my attention from his lean body. "Once Vara became enamored of him, she started seeing rivals in every shadow. She killed or drove off everyone at court, whether they cared about her pet or not."

His voice was starting to take on life, and there was a lot of bitterness in it. "So how have you survived?"

Martel's eyes were pained. "By subjugating myself completely. I became her toy, and she stopped seeing me as a threat."

"Why didn't you leave?" I knew that listening to Martel might give me an idea about what I needed to do.

His eyes dropped, and his shoulders slumped. "I can't leave Vara. She's my maker. I love her."

Compassion and sympathy didn't normally move me, but something about Martel reached me. I leaned forward, laying a hand on his shoulder, and smiled reassuringly. "Tell me how I can get Steven away from her."

His eyes gleamed like he might cry. Martel kissed my hand, starting to tremble. "You are an angel. Thank you for coming to help us."

How did I answer something like that? I didn't think of myself as here to help the vampires. I was just here for Steven, and I couldn't care less about any of the others.

But perhaps I should. I could be here to learn something as much as I was to rescue the kid.

Letting myself care for Martel's plight, I cupped his cheek. "It's what I do. But don't thank me until we're out of here." He gazed at me with such hope it made me want to succeed. I wanted to do this without killing Vara.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Coolest gift

My roommate gave me one of the coolest, most appropriate gifts for my anniversary. He got me a Whirley Pop popcorn maker.
I'm am absolute fiend for popcorn. Movie theater popcorn is like crack to me. I just smell it, and I must have it. I can be full, completely stuffed, and the smell brings out cravings. It's an addiction I won't stop.
And now I have my own stove top popper. Cute little crank, the perfect size. It's awesome. I even researches what oil to use. I'm SO happy with it. All I can say is om nom nom nom.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bonus sketch

Yes, a bonus sketch. All in honor of me getting around my scanner problem.

My awesome new phone has a 5 mega pixel camera. Even turning it down a few mega pixels, it still produces some nice pictures.

I just need to set up some sort of stand so it doesn't blur. But I have an excellent solution. Finally. And way faster than trying to trace it.


Anyway. This sketch is two different views of a dragon graveyard. Bones, fire, mountains...all the things a dragon would love.

Oh...and my green thumbnail, way at the bottom.

Sunday Sketch



Dragons. I like dragons. I like doodling in the margins of my stories as I write, or on anything. It's really fun to work on their anatomy.

Dragons base a lot of their body language and dominance on their crests. The biggest pieces of their crests are bone.

They're not quite like birds with hollow bones, but they do have a different cellular structure that keeps the bones strong, yet not so dense as to make them too heavy.

Of course, since they were born from Chaos, their wings actually exist partially in the aether, and they are bouyed by those unseen winds.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Morgan Chronicles

Vara's hand crooked, nails pressing against my cheek. Her eyes hardened, her face becoming a mask. "You are home," she whispered, holding my gaze rather than looking at the boy.

He laughed, giving me a squeeze. "No I'm not. But I'm going to be." Steven rested his hand against mine, and I chewed my lip. It's like he was trying to provoke the mistress into attacking me. The mean part of me wanted to just leave him for trying to set me up like that. As Vara's nails began to sting, I knew I'd leave him behind if I could.

She drew away from me, suddenly smiling and friednly-looking. "But if you leave, how can I love you?" She held her hands out for a hug, tipping her head to one side. It was disconcerting to see a naked killer acting like a concerned big sister.

Steven softened, his arms falling to his sides. He stepped toward Vara as if enthralled, and I grabbed his wrist. I frowned as he continued approaching the vampire. "You love me?" the boy asked.

"Of course I do, sweetie." Vara sank to her knees, hair pooling around her, and wiggled her fingers in enticement. "I will always love you."

"What are you doing to him?" I asked, glaring at her. No point playing nice since she'd already decided she was mad at me. I'd become her enemy because of Steven, and I didn't even know why he was so special.

The vampire didn't take her eyes off the kid. He started struggling, trying to pull from my grip. "Nothing. He's doing it all himself." Steven began whining, his struggles becoming frantic. If he kept at it, I might hurt him.

I glared at Vara, releasing Steven. He darted to Vara's embrace, giggling as she bundled him into a hug. Our eyes met, her face lit with triumph. I let myself collapse back on my heels, dumbfounded. "What the hell is going on?" I muttered.

The mistress was rocking Steven, stroking the back of his head. Her smile deepened, revealing fang. My fists clenched as I thought about her feeding in the little kid, and I sat helplessly, my thoughts reeling. I kept asking myself what was happening, and no answers were forthcoming.

The she-vamp rose, holding Steven close. The boy crooned, wrapping his legs around her waist, his hands buried in her hair. "Steven is a special child, with special tastes. I give him the love and attention he needs, and he gives me what I need."

I was frightened of the answer, but I needed to know. "What does he give you?"

Her smile was lecherous, causing my skin to crawl with revulsion. "I get to feed on his powers." Vara kissed his cheek, letting her tongue dart out to his skin. "After I get him settled in, I will find out what Martel was talking about."

My heart sank as she walked away. I'd been working for Balance for nearly a decade, and I hadn't felt this frustrated since my first few missions. I didn't know if killing Vara would break Steven from her thrall. Wouldn't do us any good if he was too traumatized for me to rescue him.

I rose to my feet, steeling myself for a fight. I would find wherever Vara had gone, and make her give me the kid. Once I had Steven, I'd take him where the Grey Lords sent me, and see him off.

Turning to retrieve my necklace, the little symbol of my bond, I found Martel kneeling, staring reverantly at me. he didn't try to stop me as I went to the moonsilver necklace, but I never took my eyes off him as I moved. I'd start my battle here if need be.

The moment drug out, silence building between us as I finished reclaiming my stuff. I began to grow uncomfortable under the weight of his stare. It wasn't hungry or dangerous. I perceived no threat from him, and was reluctant to kill him in cold blood.

His look was one of devotion and awe. It felt like he was worshipping me, and I didn't like that. Gritting my teeth, I tried to make myself angry. "What do you want?"

"Let me help you," he whispered harshly, his neck still bruised.

"Why would you do that?" I frowned, shoulders slumping.

"I have to help the angel."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New phone

I am such a media whore for google. I got myself a new Android phone, and I love it. Is fun stuff. And it will let me cheat, and browse while on calls. Awesome!
Matter of fact, I'm writing this on my phone right now. It's neat, though slightly disconcerting using the keyboard. Learning a new way to type with my thumbs is great. Also typing with one finger is strange, but I'm kinda fast with it.
I really love being able to browse while working with a customer. Really saving my sanity.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Sketch


Anime still influences my art. Used to want to do anime, but never really got it.

This was based on a photo I'd looked out, but I freehanded it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

That Halloween night

Angela, inspired by my last post, asked me for details about me and my old man, and our first Halloween. Well, I love to wax poetic about us when prompted, so I shall talk about that night.

Eleven years ago, we were both into live-action role-playing Vampire the Masquerade. My brother was running a side-game to the main storyline in our city, and my old man and I met at one of my brother's games that July. It was love at first sight, but neither of us really acted upon it. We talked, we flirted, he seduced me, I got upset, and we didn't talk to each other for a couple weeks. My boyfriend was upset that this strange man had seduced me, but he was too much of a kid to do much about it.

So, I had weeks to go through a long string of emotions. At first I was angry at myself for letting it happen, then angry at him for doing it. The anger started to fade, and I started to actually think about what happened. He'd worked me through a back rub, into mild teasing with nails, to going down on me. That's it. Nothing else happened. I was young, naive yet arrogant like most people of that emotional age, and I'd only had my one boyfriend. And for only a few months, at that. I was practical a virgin.

And I'd had a brief sexual encounter with a "dark" and "mysterious" man. It made me curious. He was older, more experienced, very talented, and interested in me. I quickly became torn between feeling seduced and used, and wanting to know more about him and go all the way.

Halloween comes around, and the LARP main game is happening at this little ranch on the far outskirts of town. Far enough away to be secluded and to overlook the beauty of the valley, but not completely out in the middle of no where. It was a nice ranch, with plenty of nooks and crannies, and places to be alone, but also crawling with gamers. It being Halloween, everyone was decked out in their costumes. I was being daring, wearing this tight dress, showing off lots of thigh and cleavage, with an open back. It was striking, and nothing I'd ever worn before. I felt empowered, and was enjoying the looks I got.

Then he showed up. All black, knee-high Doc Martin boots, ankle length black velvet coat, long hair down around his shoulders, and black lipstick and eyeliner. He absolutely stole my breath away. He looked natural, elegant, and imperious. I've always loved the darker, evil characters (Lestat was my first literary crush), but had never encountered one in real life.

But he was standing in the doorway, a slice of night come to life.

He saw me, and he smiled, but he made no overt acknowledgment. Instead, he walked passed me, barely nodded, then ran his long nails down my spine. I couldn't react, seeing as my boyfriend was sitting right next to me, simply had to take the zing of nerves electrified by his touch.

It was all over for me then.

I made every excuse I could to flirt with him then, to be near him, to find some way to interact with him. All of it was "in character". At least, that's what I told myself. When the rest of the characters went to watch a duel, our characters proposed to meet on a back porch, away from the others, where we could be alone. I sent my boyfriend off to watch the duel, and waited at our chosen location.

I watched for him, slightly chilled, nervous and starting to become unsure of myself. I heard him approaching long before he arrived; measured steps on the wooden walkway, almost casual, sending chills up my spine. When he finally arrived, I didn't turn, just waited for him to make a move. And he did. Nails raked down my back again, and this time I could show him how much I liked it.

I turned, and we kissed. I bit his neck, and he bit mine, and he showed me just how much interest he had in me. I was told afterward that he was tempted to encourage me to be filthy against the railing, but he held back. We were a bundle of lust, but held back to only kissing and biting. We each left lipstick on the other that we needed to do away with before anyone saw, and we parted with the unspoken promise that we would continue later.

That didn't stop us from encountering each other during the rest of the night. Subtle touches, knowing glances, and everything else. I was giddy, and the night flew by, and all too soon I had to go home.

And we started planning the next day. I eventually left my boyfriend, and he kept warning me he wasn't the type to settle down. Weeks became months, and months became years. He's mine (as much as he can ever be one person's), and I accept that he's not the settle down type.

But I've never wanted that. I've always wanted the bad guy, and I want him to stay the bad guy. So far, I've gotten everything I've wanted and needed.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Morgan Chronicles

I sagged in Martel's arms, groaning and trembling, my eyes rolled back into my head. I'd felt rapture this intense befpre, but never coupled with such hunger. Martel had bitten hard, his fangs tearing at my neck. He sucked, gnawing on me, hurting me as he started his feeding. Yet, it felt great despite the pain.

Then he swallowed.

I had no idea what my blood did to him, but he was suddenly growling, clawing at my skin, feeding with all his might. My breath was caught in my throat, my entire being focused on Martel's mouth. I finally drew in a breath, then let it out sharply as his nails dug into my stomach.

Pain grew, as did the ecstasy. I think I cried, and I know I was writhing. Martel rocked me, growling in time with his swallows, and I felt his hunger against my soul. He wanted all of me, and I couldn't put my thoughts together enough to stop him.

"He's hurting her!" Steven shouted. I whimpered, growing more distant as Martel continued to drain my blood.

"Let her go," the she-vamp said softly. Martel snarled, shifting us away from his mistress. He repositioned his bite, securing his fangs deeper in my vein. I began to choke, the pressure of his bite cutting off my breath. My hands slapped feebly at Martel's arms, and I began to black out.

I drew a ragged breath, suddenly free and sprawled on the floor. Martel was babbling apologies, on his back, the woman's foot planted in the middle of his chest. "Mistress Vara, you don't understand." My eyes closed, and I drifted into darkness.

Tiny hands touched my face, warm energy spreading across my skin. "Martel's a meanie." Drawing a deep breath, the pain fading, I slowly opened my eyes. Steven knelt beside me, tears streaking his skinny face, staring intently. "He shouldn't have hurt you."

I watched Steven as he kept healing me, my own abilities assisting him. My neck stopped hurting, and I was having an easier time breathing. I'd never healed so quickly, nor in such a gentle manner. "Who are you?" I asked.

"Taste her and see," Martel said sharply, drawing my attention to him. Vara was stepping on his throat, her weight slowly bearing down. The male vampire looked paniced, yet he dare not touch his mistress. Wide eyes rolled, his mouth stained with my blood, face taut with worry.

"He hurt her bad," Steven said, looking up at Vara. "Make him hurt."

I chewed my lip, wishing I could sink through the floor and escape with Steven. I didn't want to witness any more, didn't want to see if Vara carried out the kid's request for vengeance. I just wanted to take him away, turn him into the Grey Lords, and go about my merry way. I'd rather be back in the Abyssal Lands surrounded by demons.

As Steven withdrew his power, I realized that wasn't true. I merely wanted to be somewhere I understood what was going on. At least fighting the demons, I'd known from the start that I had to close their hell gates.

This was beyond my ken, I'd been dropped in unannounced, no orders, surrounded by vampires. I'd already been clobbered and fed upon, and was likely to be fed on again. All to do something with a little boy who could heal extrodinarily well, who would hang me out to dry, then order my attacker to be punished.

It was almost like dealing with my masters.

Martel started gurgling as the mistress pressed down. I heard something pop, and knew his larynx had collapsed. He beat weakly at her leg, eyes bulging, but there was no hope for escape. Vara was punishing him, and I wished I understood what was going on.

The she-vamp turned, leaving Martel to slowly heal. She sauntered toward me, and I rose to my knees, needing to be less vulnerable. I held still as she reached out to stroke my face. "If she's not your sister, why defend her?" Good question.

"Because she'd going to take me home." Steven beamed, wrapping his tiny arms around my shoulders. Vara glared daggers at me, and I begged to sink through the floor.

The Gray Lords weren't listening.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

October blog chain

So, here we are again, with Absolute Write's October blog chain. The theme this time around is Autumn/Halloween, but we can write about anything. Flash fiction, essay, writing craft, and so on. Just something about the season.

Angela 785 went before me. She presented a great piece on using the seasons to really punch up the setting in your story.


At first, I wanted to write a little short story. Afterall, Halloween is my favorite time of year. If it could be Halloween every day, I would be a content girl. Costumes and candy, monsters and skulls, chilly weather, and spirits abroad. It's fantastic.

But Halloween is too personal for me, too close to my heart. It's more than just the skulls, or that no one looks at me strange for wearing a jack o'lantern shirt, or that I can find black roses, and fabric with blood splatter designs. Those are all just bonus.

Halloween is so close to my heart because it's my anniversary. Eleven years ago (close enough) my fiance and I started our relationship. There have been ups and downs, certainly, but every day we've been together has been as magical as that night.

Modern America might deride true love, and call it the pipe dream of movie makers and greeting card stores, but I know better. True love exists, and every fall, I get to mark the passing of another year with the one who completes me.

And yes, this post is cheesey, and doesn't have a theme, but this is what happens to me around Halloween. I am a sappy, sentimental little girl who thinks of Halloween as more romantic than Valentines. I'm delighted to have had eleven wonderful years, and am looking forward to eleven more, and eleven more...

...and eleven more...

...and eleven more...

*****

Well, now that I've finished my rather pointless little ramble, check out what Angyl78 has to say in this month's chain.


1. Lost Wanderer - http://www.lostwanderer5.blogspot.com
2. Claire Crossdale -
http://theromanticqueryletter.blogspot.com/
3. Angela 785 -
http://thebookshelfmuse.blogspot.com/
4. Ravencorinncarluk -
http://ravencorinncarluk.blogspot.com
5. Angyl78 -
http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/
6. shethinkstoomuch -
http://shethinkstoomuch.wordpress.com
7. trulyana -
http://expressiveworld.com
8. Bsolah -
http://benjaminsolah.com/blog
9. freshhell -
http://freshhell.wordpress.com
10. Ralph Pines -
http://ralfast.wordpress.com/
11. aimeelaine -
http://www.aimeelaine.com/
12. HigherEdUnderground -
http://higheredunderground.com/
13. Cath -
http://blog.cathsmith.net
14. DavidZahir -
http://zahirblue.blogspot.com/

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Sketch

Working on getting back into painting. Maybe. Not sure if I'll get back into full paintings, or just stay in doodle realm

So I did this in one layer, just playing with the edges, and working it as quickly as possible, trying to get it sharpened up. I like how it turned out.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Morgan Chronicles

I kept staring, lost, my thoughts scattered as I processed this new information. I was used to rescuing crucial people, or helping stop an event, or just witnessing and reporting back to my masters. I was a tool in the hands of the Grey Lords, and I didn't question.

But this kid disconcerted me in ways I didn't understand. His eyes seemed to peer into my very soul, and I wanted to fall to my knees. I didn't know what else I was supposed to do with him; was he to die, or be rescued, or taken to another realm, or was I to train him, or just watch him? My breath choked in my throat, tears rising.

The mistress glared at me, and finally rose from her divan. "Why do you stare at my Steven?"

I blinked, broken from his eyes, and glanced at the vampire as she approached. "What?" Could I sound any stupider?"

Anger seeped into her features, and she stalked stiff-leggedly toward me. "Were you sent to steal my Steven? Who are you working for? Why are you here?" Spittled flew from her lips, her fangs flashing, eyes squinting.

Martel shifted behind me, and my blood ran cold. I was in danger, and I saw no means of escape. These two couldn't kill me; my ties to my masters insured that. But they could hurt me if they attacked, and I would suffer pain, and have to heal wounds.

"I'm not working for anyone," I said weakly. Martel was looming behind me, and my hackles rose as I felt the danger he represented. It was like being hunted, even though he wasn't moving, and I wanted to cringe away, to put my back to a wall. "It's just bad luck that I'm here."

Bad luck, and the will of the universe. It was a cruel joke that I sometimes got stuck in miserable situtations. All the power I had and amazing sights I saw made it worth it. Normally. But not when I was caught between two predators, with a little kid I was supposed to do something with.

She stood in front of me, head barely level with my breasts, pale and glorious and angry. "What is your interest in my boy?"

I drew back, and bumped into Martel. I tried to move, but he grabbed my upper arms, keeping me in place. I wondered why my masters had never given me the ability to lie and connive. I was their errand girl. I normally just fetched, or worked on the sidelines. I didn't work with natives; that was for other runners.

Maybe this was a test. Perhaps I was finally supposed to expand my career. So I opened my mouth, not sure what I was going to say, but trusting my instincts.

"Steven's my brother. I've been looking for him. I need to stay with him."

Martel squeezed my arms, pinching nerves, and my hands went numb. I winced, my breath dying, and I tried not to whimper as he kept squeezing. The mistress glared, and nodded once. Martel forced me to my knees, holding my arms above my head.

"Your brother?" She loomed over me, staring down her nose, hands on her hips. "Steven, come here." The child padded forward, wrapping his arms around her waist, laying his head on her chest. Up close, he looked fragile, vulnerable, and I started to realize I was to take him from this place. Anger warred with pain when I saw the bite marks on his slender neck.

She laid a hand possessively on his head, still glaring at me. "Steven, is this your sister?"

I met his eyes, amazed by the color, and felt laid bare again. How could such a slip of a boy have so much knowledge and power? I willed him to cooberate my lie, needing him to say yes.

Steven smiled, revealing two missing teeth, his eyes twinkling. "No, she's not."

My heart stopped. The mistress narrowed her eyes, and Martel knelt behind me. I couldn't move, couldn't react, could only stare in disbelief. How was I supposed to escape with this kid if I was a prisoner?

"Such a shame you needed to lie." She smirked, fangs sharp against her lower lip. "You might have been fun."

Martel bit me then, and I gave a strangled cry. I had no time to struggle before euphoria set in, rendering me into a helpless victim.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Broken winged ravens and other stuff

Been a while since I actually updated here. I love the scheduled posts. 8P So, I thought I'd come babble for a bit.

There's a raven who broke his wing who has found himself a decent place to live. The corner store near our house has an attached McDonald's, and is also near a little casino. There's a big open field, and some trees in the median. There's a decent amount of traffic, but not a lot of people in the field. All in all, it's not too bad. A little dangerous from the cars, but he's smart enough to know how to judge traffic.

The old man and I feel bad for him, because he's maimed, and will never fly again. We've seen him there for three months, and we've watched him unable to get off the ground. He hops really well, and he's fast when he wants to. He can sort of flutter, but not really. We watched the poor guy try to take off, and he lists bad to one side, and he can't get an actual flap going on.

But there's not much we can do. He's wild and skitish, so runs from people when they get with twenty feet of him. But he's smart, and isn't just diving into traffic. He's obviously learned to fend for himself, because he's been there for months. He can get in some of the trees, so he's not completely stuck on the ground. We'd feel better if we could take him in and keep him secure, but he's too neurotic.

While it's heartbreaking, it's also really amazing. He's getting past a disability, and doing well. I hope he makes it through the winter.

My snake is growing like a weed again. She's eating hoppers, and she was so confused by the fur. For about a minute. Then she realized furry mice are as edible as hairless mouse. I also gave her a fake cat skull decoration, and she loves it. She curls up in it, and poses on it, and burrows under it. Happy snakey.

I love embroidery. I love stitching. It's so fun. Definitely feels like a lost art. I'm getting such a kick out of it.