Friday, December 30, 2011

#FridayFlash - The Strange Laughter

The horrible sound came from nowhere and everywhere.

Matt cringed, pulling his coat closer to his throat. "Who's there?" Only laughter met his question, and his heart raced. He decided he needed to stop drinking, to stop walking home so late at night. Dismissing the sound as a drunken delusion, he increased his pace.

Laughter continued to hound him. It was rich and loud, almost like his ex-girlfriend's. Shaking his head, Matt reminded himself it couldn't be Amber's laughter. That woman was long gone.

Not just gone. Dead and buried in the woods.

A chill wind sprang up, carrying the scent of loam and blood. Just like the night he'd buried Amber. The same scent he'd tried to scrub off before making the police report.

The laugh grew in volume and intensity, become a bit hysterical. Goosebumps rose all over, giving Matt pause. He wasn't easily frightened, even when blitzed out of his mind, but this sound drove him crazy.

"Whoever you are, you better come right out. I'm sick of your games." He sounded tougher than he felt at the moment. Matt clenched his fists and looked around, putting on the best show he could.

Still, the hauntingly familiar laugh grated at his nerves.

He ran then, guilt breaking his thoughts. Amber hadn't done anything wrong, hadn't deserved what he'd done to her. Nobody had even thought twice about her disappearance, hadn't given him a single suspicious look in the last six months. Matt had waited and waited for the cops to show up, to hound him until the end of his days.

Part of him had even wanted it.

The laughter ended abruptly, but Matt continued to run. He cried out briefly as he tripped on a curb and fell into a culvert. Death was quick for him. Quicker than it had been for Amber.

***


Also appears on Helium

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#TuesdaySerial - Keila and Varick 8

Varick made no move to stop me as I reached for his belt. Blue eyes looked black as I kept his gaze. Blood trickled slowly from the bits, pasting a few strands of my hair to my neck.

The vampire's heated expression empowered me. He remained still as I opened his pants, though his breathing was ragged. Varick could barely keep control, and all because of me. I, a woman of not even twenty, was driving him, an experienced vampire of eight centuries, to the very edge of control.

When I pulled the waist band of his slacks down, the German let his eyes close with a sigh.

I couldn't help but grin at his reaction. All the hiding and denying we'd done at first, and both of us had been raging for the other. Varick had been right; there hadn't been time to give in to each other.

When I reached for his boxer-briefs, the vampire touched my cheek. "Viellercht ist mein liebling sollte entfernen meine stiefel." Perhaps my darling should remove my boots. He lifted one foot and placed it in my lap.

"I should unlace them?" I asked tentatively. His brief nod brought a rush of heat to my cheeks. I was once more reminded how inexperienced I was hen it came to intimate relations. Lowering my eyes, I began unlacing the twenty-eyed Doc Martens.

The laces zipped along my fingers as I pulled them free. The leather was well-worn but stiff, and Varick's calf was strong beneath that. I had non of his vampiric speed, and the weight of his gaze made me aware of hos long I was taking.

Unlacing his boots made me feel submissive, but not at all degraded. My actions were a tangible countdown to our next bout of passion. I was already naked and ready; this was me returning the favor.

Varick gave a small groan of approval as the first boot and sock came off. I rubbed his foot as I raised my eyes, and was surprised by the look on his face. Desire, of course, but there was also a touch of wonderment and possessiveness. I reached through the link for answers while he presented his other foot.

The vampire wasn't surprised by me unlacing his boots without question. We were both away ore my submissive leanings. What did throw him for a loop was how much it meant to him to watch his woman do such a thing.

I paused, only a few eyelets unlaced. I didn't know what to say or how to react. The vampire thought of me as his woman. Not just a plaything, or a quick lay, but as someone he would date and go out with.

Varick ran a hand through my hair, a bemused smile on his lips. "For a woman in a rush, you have slowed down significantly."

Nipping at his fingers, I cut through the remaining laces with a sliver of my psi blade. Time enough for contemplations after we were sated.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Yes, I'm a heathen. Yes, I disagree with a lot of what the church has done in the name of its God and Christ.

But I still like Christmas as a celebration of family and love.

It doesn't bother me if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas. It's meant to be a happy sentiment of peace, and joy, and love. I can take it as that, no matter if they're super fundamental Christian, or totally atheist, or whatnot.

So, Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Have a bloody Christmas

Here's the story I did for the Were-Traveller's Christmas horror issue. Nothing like a little twistedness for the holidays, right?

Friday, December 23, 2011

#FrdayFlash - Dragonrider

Here's an older piece, from about ten years ago. Give or take. I 've not edited it, so we can all have record of how much I had to learn about writing.

***

Kayla was winded as she clung to the boulder. The female dragon had just flown past, sensing the human. Kayle willed herself a part of the rock face, realizing how foolish she was being. No one knew she was up here with the wild dragons, and it was all to prove one man wrong. Johlon, her weapons teacher, had told her wild dragons were too chaotic for people to tame, that no one could understand them. Yet he had one, and she understood the few wild dragons at the Lair.

Almost there, she thought, and began climbing again. She heard the leathery slide of a baby dragon, and smiled despite the pain. Every one of the babies in the Lair loved her, and would respond to her, even though she wasn't their rider. Wild ones should respond the same way.

Kayla climbed over the rock, and instantly forgot the pain. Before her sat a scarlet and magenta baby, eyes the color of dried blood. It finished swallowing the hunk of meat that hung from its jaws, and stared right at Kayla.

Kayla slid down into the nest, and cocked her head like a dragonling. She'd learned their body language in her six months at the Lair, and could see that it was working on this one. It chirruped, and hopped toward her. Kayla chirruped back, encouraging it to come closer. It was larger than she was, and its mouth was filled with tiny daggers. It would be an easy task to slay and eat her.

The dragonling sniffed her, then narrowed its eyes. Her instructors had told her dragons could smell magic, and Johlon had told her she had the taste of necromancy about her. He said it would make her appealing to dragons, as it had made her appealing to him.

Kayla sniffed at the dragonling, and it licked her face. Then there was nothing be searing pain as her nerves burst into fire. She heard a pair of high-pitched screams, and distantly know one had to be hers. Tasting blood in her mouth, she lost contact with the ground.

There was whirling chaos, and an unbearable pressure in her mind. She felt another presence near her, and reached for it, instinctually knowing it for a friend. Buffeting wind and hunger assaulted her, and some part of her offered the burn of muscles after sword-practice and the feel of teeth in her shoulder during love-making. The images and emotions swirled together, becoming one, and Kayla no longer felt the presence as separate. She was no longer Kayle. Desires and hunger and magic filled her, the pain ebbing. She felt strong and perfect, and soured into the air.

Something touched her, and she lashed out with teeth and claws. She was no longer soaring, but firmly on the ground. She heard herself trumpet a challenge, yet it was outside her body. Her eyes focused on the figure in front of her, and she lunged for it. She lashed out, barely scratching it as it dodged around her. Before her dazed mind could track her enemy, it was behind her, an arm around her waist, one at her throat. Kayla screamed her death-cry, preferring to die in the fight than be captured, and began struggling. Sharp-tipped claws dug into her skin, and then familiar teeth sank into her shoulder, brining her back to herself with a lustful gasp.

Her mind no longer a chaotic whirl, Kayle realized what had happened. Blood was warm on her neck and lips as she glanced over her shoulder at Johlon. His dark eyes were concerned, and he didn't relax his grip. Kayla smiled dazedly, then began looking for the presence she could still feel in her skull. The red-toned dragonling was just settling back to earth, and chirped a greeting to Kayla's lover. Then he turned his eyes to his dragonrider.

~Greetings, Kayla.~

~Greetings, Solain.~ Tears streamed down her face.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Solstice Eve

It's Winter Solstice Eve, and it's chilly and crisply cold here. Our plans are for a fire and offerings for the spirits.

Though I am still jobless and unable to support us via my writing, our family is happy and healthy. Things are going well. They could certainly be worse. I mean, we don't live in a third world cesspit.

As a sign of good things coming with the change of seasons, my husband has a job. It's especially remarkable because he has been mostly unemployable for a while. So not only is it good in the face of this economy, it is good for his pride.

Things always work out. So long as one has their health, they will make it out of any situation.

So, happy Solstice to you and yours. May everyone be happy in the coming year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

#TuesdaySerial - Keila and Varick 7

I managed to sit up, limbs tingling and chest heaving. During the brief time I'd allowed myself to imagine our reunion, the scenes had never gone like this.

Not just the pleasure or the desire. I'd almost counted on that. The comfort and familiarity was throwing me off. We were connected like we hadn't been parted, like we'd actually spent the last couple months getting to know each other.

Varick continued to loom in the middle of my room. His scent tantalized from six feet away. It called to my desire, made sure I knew he wanted me. The vampire's aura crawled through mine, pricking at my spirit.

My pulse spiked when I remembered him pinning me to the wall and opening my shields. So helpless and overwhelmed, I'd hung in his mercy.

And I'd enjoyed it.

Crawling out of bed and onto the floor, I held Varick's gaze. We were connected now, sharing our hungers. There would never quite be that first moment of trepidation again, when my fear of the unknown rivaled my lust for the German. I knew him now, trusted him, would never be hurt by him again.

Which meant I could give myself to him completely. Kneeling before the vampire, laying my hands on his thighs, I did just that.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Edits in progress

The depression and sickness are finally on their way out. Ugh. I never thought they'd go away.

Which means I'm finally working on Midsummer's Unveiling. Doing the edits on chapter 16 right after I finish this post. Only about 600 words to add to that one. Only five that need real work. A few touch ups here and there, and I should be good to go pretty soon.

I finally feel good about getting this novel done. Of course, I finally feel good about life in general. This is helpful to getting any real writing done.

But we all have our highs and lows, right?

Friday, December 16, 2011

#FridayFlash - Curiosity

You never realize the limits of your power until someone more powerful has you by the throat. Staring into blazing silver eyes, held in place by a strong hand, I’d found my boundaries.

The dragon was a prisoner, confined to the dungeon, trapped in elven form by the archmage. Even as a humanoid, he was powerful and dangerous. He hissed past sharp teeth, and his hand was like a vice around my throat.

For a dangerous criminal, he wasn’t even hurting me.

Time passed, and we just stared at each other. His fingers were tipped with sharp nails, but he didn’t press them to my flesh. Nor did he cut off my breathing, or lift me from me feet, or anything else I’d first feared.

Curiosity drove the last of the adrenaline from my system. The same curiosity that drove me to the dungeon, that made me enter the dragon’s cell. The very same need that got me in trouble as I ventured heedlessly down any path.

I relaxed, licking my lips, and dropped my hands from his wrist. Holding his fearsome gaze, I waited for him to speak.

His hand remained tight, but his snarl dropped. “You don’t smell like the others.”

Questions raced through my head, like were his senses good in elven form, and what it was like down here, and if he preferred sight to scent. Years of practice kept them in my skull; no one like a twenty-two year old with the verbal filter of a toddler. “What do I smell like?”

The dragon pulled me closer, only a hand span separating us. A foot taller than me, he leaned down slowly, eyes locked on mine. Broad-shoulder and lean like any elf, it was his aura that made him so impressively large.

I held still as he sniffed me, face very near my own. “Innocent. Without cruelty.” His eyes narrowed, jaw clenching. “Are you some new torture?”

“Torture?” I blurted, appalled. “You’re tortured down here?” I hadn’t been apprenticed to the archmage long enough to be absolutely certain, but I couldn’t see him as a torturer.

His hand loosened on my throat, his frown deepening. “Why are you here?”

I could have backed away, left him in the warded cell and returned to my studies. He couldn’t get past the magical barriers, and no one needed to know I’d even been here. But then I’d never get my questions answered. “I was curious.”

The dragon’s eyes flew open. “Curiosity?” he rasped. I nodded, and his hand fell away. “Who are you? Not on of Terestan’s acolytes, surely.” His words were harsh, yet filled with longing.

“I’m just an apprentice. Can’t be an acolyte yet. But I heard there was a dragon prisoner, and I had to see for myself. I didn’t expect you’d be an elf. Of course, I don’t know how a dragon would fit beneath the tower, but we are on a mountain, so it could have been a cave-” My babbling was cut off when he laid a finger over my lips.

“Does anyone know you’re down here” There was an edge of danger to his words, but he didn’t frighten me. I’d been told lack of fear was a failing, but there were too many good things to see to be afraid of anything.

I shook my head, smiling slightly. “I snuck down here, using a copy of Archmage Terestan’s key. No one should notice I’m not in my room.”

His hand came up, but not to my throat. Long fingers stroked through my hair, and he smiled wickedly. I blushed under the intensity of his gaze. “I have a proposition for you.”

“What?” My mouth went dry as I imagined all the fun I could have with a dragon as a friend.

Silver eyes glittered, harder than diamonds, and he licked his lips. “Get me out of here, and I’ll show you more than that prig ever could.”

A spicy scent surrounded me, and my heart leapt with excitement. “Really?”

“Really really,” he replied, as if to a child.

I didn’t care; I was going to be trained by a dragon! I grinned, fidgeting, wanting to leave right this moment. “What do you need me to do?”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

#TuesdaySerial - Keila and Varick 6

He was a delicious, wonderful weight. I sighed, wrapped my legs around his waist, and kissed the vampire.

Varick kissed slowly, methodically, one hand stroking my arm. Our breaths mingled, our bodies sang, and our desire raged. But no matter how much I ground my hips or teased his tongue with my own, the German would go no faster.

I trembled as he broke the kiss and moved to my neck. "I missed you so much."

"Me, or my touch?" His tongue circled one of the punctures on my neck, causing goosebumps all over my body.

"You." I tangled my hands in his hair, pressed my neck against his mouth. "Your touch is bonus, but it's your mind I've wanted."

Varick pressed himself up, his erection ground against my sex. "So I should stop?"

I clawed at his shoulders and tensed my legs around his waist. Our gazes locked as my words came out in an angry hiss. "Don't you dare."

He slowly leered, exposing one fang. My blood still darkened his lips, locks of his hair snaking a curtain around us. "So you did miss my touch?"

My hands trembled as I cupped his face. "I missed everything about you. I was lonely and sad, but I'd also regained my strength because of you." I ran a thumb across his lower lip. "I am happy beyond words that you are here."

Varick bent and placed a soft kiss on my lips. I returned it, just as tender, running my hands into his hair. The vampire's aura wrapped around me, claiming me. I was secured and desired and protected and possessed.

The sensation was fantastic.

We deepened the kiss, embracing each other, caressing and moaning. Our souls played together, tightly melded, and there seemed to be nothing better. In Varick's arms was the best place ever.

I sighed as he shifted the kiss, his mouth making its way to my neck. I tipped my head to the side and exposed the small wounds. Varick stiffened briefly, need transmitted through our bond. "Yes," I whispered, cupping the back of his head.

Varick claimed me with a startling savagery. My sharp cry matched his growl, but my voice quickly fell to a moan. Fangs tore deep into my neck, blood welling instantly. The German held my shoulder and pulled my hair with vice-like fingers.

I arched up against him as hard as I could, wanting our bodies to be one. Varick pressed back, grinding into me with the same desire. Why hadn't he stopped to get undressed?

The thought barely finished forming when Varick pulled away. I gasped with shock and reeled with vertigo. After several hard on breaths, I was able to look at the vampire with slitted eyes.

"We have much time now," he whispered. With his hands behind his back and hair spread across his shoulders, he cut an impressive figure. "There is no need to rush."

"Tease," I replied, still too weak to move.

"If it pleases you, I shall." Varick's eyes promised good times ahead.

Friday, December 9, 2011

#FridayFlash - Six Winds

Grand Chancellor Harkott gave a small cry when his majordomo burst into the room. Pressing a lace handkerchief to his lips, Harkott tried to calm himself. "An update?"

The majordomo lowered his eyes, wringing his hands together. "It's the Six Winds, Sire. They're here."

"Say it isn't so," Harkott whimpered, collapsing into a delicate chair. "Not...not them."

"I wish it were otherwise."

The grand chancellor blotted at the sheen of sweat on his brow. "Are the praetorians making any difference?"

"Not in the least."

"They're just singers," he complained. "Just bards. Bards can't do this."

"Bards are neutral. But they-" The majordomo wet to the window, but the view quickly made him pull away. "That celestial diva has them all entranced."

Grand Chancellor Harkott sobbed and bit his rouged lower lip. "They can't be killers. This isn't possible." His bladder threatened to drain. "I've done nothing to deserve their attention."

Outside, the dragon leader of Six Winds roared, his voice enhancing that of the diva's. Walls shook beneath the auditory onslaught. Both men covered their ears and cringed in pain.

"No escape," the diva sang out. "Death to betrayers of Balance." Harkott whimpered as his bladder let go. The chill of death accompanied her song, and the grand chancellor felt the end of his days.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Nomycha finished

I finished typing up Nomycha. It doesn't need a whole lot of editing, because I learned a lot about self-editing while writing. It helps to not have to restructure a book because you got it right the first time.

It's a fun novel, with an ending that's a little unusual for me. But it works well for the plot, so it has to stay.

Still haven't worked on Midsummer's Unveiling, but I may do that while letting Nomycha settle. Must keep working on creative writing.

That's about where I stand with the fiction. Ahhh.

Friday, December 2, 2011

#FridayFlash - Letting Go

Andrew watched her browsing the Christmas sweaters with clenched fists. Shoppers bustled past him, cheeks rose and arms burdened, paying no mind to the lanky boy in a leather coat.

Someone should have been watching him.

Deedee was by herself, but the diamond ring on her finger declared her not alone. Someone was with his woman, and was determined to claim her entirely.

Andrew ground his teeth. Three years of his life, gone to this selfish wench. He'd endured her needs and demands. He'd held her hand through sappy movies, had taken her to her grandmother's funeral. He'd gone back to school, abandoned his old friends, changed his habits. All of it, just for her.

None of it had made a difference. Without warning, Deedee had moved out, taken the dog, and refused to take his calls. For six months, he'd looked for her, wanting to give her a piece of his mind.

And five inches of stainless steel.

He fingered the filet knife in his pocket. It was the only thing she'd left at Andrew's apartment, and he felt the irony was delicious. Deedee probably wouldn't recognize the blade, wouldn't understand why this was the murder weapon, but Andrew would know. Andrew would be relieved of his pain and anguish, and would laugh as her life was wasted.

Deedee pulled a bright red sweated from the rack and held it to her torso. She smiled and rubbed her swollen tummy, and Andrew's face drained. The wench who'd broken his heart was pregnant with another man's baby.

The stalker hesitated, wondering if he could kill an innocent baby. The child had nothing to do with its mother's betrayal. Would probably even be a decent person when it grew up.

He fingered the knife again and made his choice.

***

Also on Helium