Category Archives: Romance

Sonnet: Waking Up

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Leaning against the door, she studies him.

She walks around, soft; coffee cup in hand,

Taking silent sips, tongue tracing the rim

Up for an hour; he lies in sleep land

Broadly smiling, cup down,  decision made:

Gently easing onto the bed, sitting,

Reaching over, nudging, playfulness paid

He wakes and grins;  bodies entwine, fitting.

But, what if the need  to cuddle exceeds

The want of contact, company and touch?

What is pull, and what is push; what misleads

If he misunderstands; What is too much?

“Good morning” he says, hugging  her so tight

Waking him, early thus, ends up all right.

Sonnet: This Is How I Know

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It does not have to be overtly said-

We can just sit, gaze, giggle, share  and smile;

All these little things, fill me til I’m fed.

It satiates, takes me along the while.

Getting to know your nuances, your care;

Breaking through your shell and holding back mine

Allowing a congruence; love we share.

But, what if the ugly pasts reared their heads

Sharpening claws, restricting our progress

Will you run away, filling me with dread

So  it would halt our forward congress?

Come…stay with me, along the way we go.

Come…wrap yourself around me as we flow.

The Path Away From Love

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Mother was crying. She took me in her arms, hugged me tighter than she ever had before, and continued to weep in my hair.

“Mother… What’s wrong?”

She  held onto me. Her sobbing continued for just a short while, but it felt like forever. She finally eased up and moved away. Taking my hand, she took me outside the house not saying a word. We sat down on the stoop, finding a bit of the late day sun still warming the steps.

“Miranda…a story. I’ve been meaning to tell you, for a very long time. I could just never bring myself to do it. I’ve closed this part of myself off for a very long time.

This trip you are taking for work, to Italy… Your agenda… It parallels a huge hole in my heart.

Your father, know that he and  I love you so love very, very much… He is not your real father. That wonderful, lovely, brilliant man that helped bring you to me, my Angel… He is long gone. We met during my first year at University. He was a year older, and he was introduced to me because of a mutual love of literature. This is the world that he lived in, that he breathed in, that shown through his eyes, his smile…it captured me within minutes.

We were so very happy. We had visited all the places that you are now going to: Sirmione, Florence, Rome, and Venice. It was a college trip and we fell in love all so completely… I think really loved before we even went there. But it was the sunset in Sirmione that we knew it was true.

It was in Venice that we first… Oh, Angel, Venice… What can I say about the magic of that time? You’re going to see for yourself.

It’s so hard to describe this complete knowing that I was with a man I’m supposed to with. It wasn’t just teenage hormones driving us, but a true sense of being loved. Completely.”

” What happened to him?” I asked, it barely coming out as a whisper.

Mother grasped my hand tighter, bringing it to her lips which she then kissed gently.

” When we got back, we were married immediately. I was 18, and you were on the way.

We were together for a year and a half. I can’t even tell you what a glorious and loving year and a half that was essentially – except for you – the whole my existence. I don’t bring it up… I have never brought it up… Because I had to put it away, or it would have destroyed me. Your father, and yes, I do consider him your father… I have never mentioned any of this to him, and he is respected my wishes to let it lie where it is. He is a good– no, great man. You know that, and I never want that to change.

There was a car accident. We had gone back to visit where we discovered love and you. You were with your grandmother, safe and sound. He did not die immediately, but it was a fatal crash. I buried him there… So close to where our path of love came from. Except for you… there was nothing that I can keep of him.

It’s was just too painful. It is… Too painful. I can’t even say his name. Yet… Yet, I do keep something of his.

You. You are everything to me and, without knowing it,  you embody everything that he was. Is.

You have his grace, his wit, his love art and beauty, you even love Shakespeare way that he did, if not more so. You have his eyes, his smile, his goodness. If I can’t have him, that I have the next best thing. The most wonderful thing. You.

Miranda… You are my angel. Our angel. Never forget that. Never forget how loved you are, have been, and always will be.”

We sat there until the sun set… And sat for a while longer while the night sky took over.  It was too much for her. She was weak; the chemo treatment was ravaging her body. Hugging me tight, she got up and went inside the house.

I sat there alone for a very long time. The stars were blanketed by sheets of night colored clouds. I know I cried, but I’m still not sure how much I cried for what I was missing, or what she was.

The Complete Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show (#REN3)

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The Complete Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show

Renaissance was smack in the middle of nowhere, as far as Lil felt. She was tired of being run out-of-town after town, them taking unkindly to Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine show rolling in and fleecing the rubes out of their money.  Renaissance looked like more of the same. They had passed through a sparse forest (Doc called it The Culdees), but she just wanted to keep on passing through. Home was north, past the mountain range, and for the first time in years all she wanted to do was go home.

“…and now, the paragon of deliciousness, the temptress of all men’s dreams-ladies, watch your husbands!-the cream of feminine beauty, our very own…MISSISSIPPI LIL!” Doc waved his trademark stovepipe hat with a flourish and Lil came out from behind the draped sheet to a cacophony of applause and whistles (the men) and gasps of outrage (the women). She couldn’t blame the women: she wasn’t comfortable, really, with what little she wore. Calf high laced boots, stockings, a too short flounce black skirt and a red trimmed bustier that had seen better days. Her shawl of a feathered boa protected her chest only so much. Tall feathers also adorned her hat. They gave her some shade and a prop to use, especially if there was a problem with her costume during the dance. There always was one.

Lil danced to the percussive tapping of Doc’s feet and his banjo picking fingers. He was gifted, the bastard, she’d give him that. It had just been a long time since she had loved him enough to run away with him. Lil sang, she acted in his little skits, she was flirty. All things  “good” Medicine Show acts needed to be.  She looked for diversion while she forced the smile that would help sell his piss water elixir. She had to if they wanted to eat tonight. Lil had other plans besides eating dinner as well.

Not that one. Nope. OK…kinda cute… nope…she’s clinging too tight and oh, the language. Nope. Nope. Hummm...” Lil thought all along, as she scanned the men. One stood out. “Not too tall, not short at all, a worker, by the looks of him. Not one to be in a store. Good.”

While hawking, Lil sidled up to the young man-younger than she was by a good ten years, she figured-and found out his name was Gid. Gid Jacobs, farmer’s son, farmer’s hands and back and arms. But clean, no dirt under his nails, and fairly well-groomed. His mama did a good job with him. Lil approved. She felt the strength of his arm, grasping it when she “accidentally” stumbled into him. “Meet me behind the wagon after the show,” she whispered to Gid. He nodded, transfixed, as she had brushed her breast against him before passing the hat around the crowd.

Doc’s routine to seek out a saloon after a show served her well. Lil seduced the farm boy, letting him take her against the buckboard. She promised him more of the same, much more, if Gid would just do one little thing for her. Gid said he would, that he had never in his life seen anyone as pretty or as wonderful as she was. He told her he loved her.

Mississippi Lil smiled as she folded her arms around Gid, pulling him against her as he shuddered. His head drooped onto her shoulder and both of them closed their eyes, panting.

Doc saw the whole thing, out of plain sight, hiding  behind a shed.  The magics sparked off of his clenched  fist.

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Doc watched Lil and the farm boy go at it. The magics sparked off of Doc Stovepipe’s clenched fists. “Damn her!” he scowled deep inside. “Damn this Renaissance!” he said out loud, but, not too loud. He fought the urge to lash out. Now was not the time. “Soon. Very soon.

Life on the road was getting harder. Breathable air was getting worse; domes were going up; the major roadways were closing down. Traveling in a steam powered Medicine Show was not going to last much longer. There was a chance for him to retire well off. He had a plan, but Lil was supposed to “entice” the patsy, not screw him. “Did she know? She aint stupid. Hell, I should have killed her already.”

Doc made his way into Renaissance proper. He passed by The Barking Cat and Heriot’s Pass saloons. They were both too busy, too noisy. His show drew a large crown, and he had bilked enough suckers out of the entertainment and “Magical Elixir”, and now most of that crowd was in the bars, trying out his wares.

He closed his eyes and concentrated. “HERE!” came that soft tickling throughout his head. “Here.” Doc followed the mental invite and wound up at of The Last Stinkin’ Battalion. A rat hole of rat holes. A quiet hole, and just what the doctor ordered.

He laughed at his own stupid joke as he entered, drawing the attention of the bartender. She drew Doc’s attention, and took away his breath at the same time. Long, curly red hair, green eyes, and pale smooth skin.

“You going to gawk or you going to order?” she said, folding her arms across her chest.

“Beer, whatever you have that you’ll drink yourself.”

She poured him a dark brew with a heavy head. “Renascence Brown,” she answered to his raised eyebrow question.

Stop drooling and turn around; I’m sitting by the staircase,” came the mental tickling, much clearer this time. Doc did as told, grabbed his beer, turned, walked over, and sat down. He locked eyes with another redhead, but this one was not jaw dropping sexy. A scraggy bearded, scared and craggy mien faced him. “Doc,” Digger said out loud, tipping his head.

Doc asked, “How did you contact me ‘that’ way? The magics were forbidden out here. I thought ‘long sending’ was a lost practice.”

“Obviously, it’s not lost. Just few can hear it now. You can. That’s why I called out.”

Doc was meeting fewer and fewer of those with the knacks. “You sent me the info. We set up camp near the Gauche. I dowsed the deposits the idiots here missed in the mines.  Lil is getting the male sacrifice right now.”

Digger just stared at Doc. “As one of those idiots, I might take exception to that remark. I’ll let it pass, as I know reaching out to you was the right thing to do.” Digger closed his eyes, then opened them abruptly. “Drink up. They’re almost here.”

They weren’t  long in waiting. The door opened. Mississippi Lil held onto Gid, arms entwined. Gid was stealing glances at her, smiling. Lil saw Doc and dragged Gid over.

“Here’s the love of my life,” Doc said out loud, leaning over to kiss Lil on the cheek.

Liar,” thought back Digger, smiling.

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Gid looked at both men, and did not like the way they felt.  Something was very wrong here. Lil held onto his arm in a bear hug way. He liked the way her body pressed into his, bringing back instant tactile memory of their recent coupling, but he did not like that she brought him to Doc Stovepipe. He especially did not like Digger, who all in Renaissance knew as trouble, and Gid had stayed out of his way.

Gid invoked a silent protection chant. He saw Lil look at him just then. “Huh?,” he thought. “She felt that. Lil’s more than she lets on.” Gid tried to put some space between him and Mississippi Lil, but she was not letting him. Physically she held onto his arm. Magically, she had bound him. Gid felt it, deep.

She whispered in his ear: “When you came, you came to me completely. Don’t doubt that for a second.” Out loud, she said to Doc and Digger: “He’s mine, so let’s get this over with.”

Digger laughed a dry dirty guffaw and got up. Doc glared at Gid, then rose and put on his Stovepipe hat. He picked up his mug of Renaissance Brown Ale and downed it in one swig, wiping his mouth with the sleeve of his coat. Gid noticed this, disgusted, hating the man even more, which  he thought would have been impossible.

Lil had told him of the sexual degradations Doc had imposed on her. Gid took great affront to all she told him. He knew she wasn’t chaste, and Gid wasn’t a choir boy himself, but he never once forced himself on anyone, never beat a woman, never treated one like a slave.

When he looked at her, first on that stage, and then later, he thought he felt what love at first sight must be like. Lil was nothing like the girls he knew in Renaissance. There weren’t that many his age, and he hadn’t felt much of anything about any one of them. Lil was different, and he had hoped…

Gid was compelled to follow along, side by side with Lil, behind Digger and Doc. He tried to yell out to Amy, the bartender, or any of the other few patrons he knew in The Last Stinkin’ Battalion, but his mouth would not work. “Shhh, lover…don’t get all worked up. Remember, Lil has a plan all of her own,” she said into his ear, as the group made their way through the darkened town streets.

The foursome make their way out of the town limits and wound up at the base of the Main Gauche mining hills. The opening to Heriot’s Pass had been boarded up; Doc and Digger were undoing that now, removing a few planks. Enough for all of them to squeeze into. Gid noticed Digger had a lantern which he had not noticed before; they must have had this here already, and planned out, he thought alongside the inner chants he hoped would give him some chance of escape. Gid was kicking himself for skipping out on too much of his trainings.

They came to an opening, where four tunnels branched off, and Gid noticed the chalk markings on the rocky ground. “Damnation, Doc’s a Schiavonaist,” he wailed inside, finally finding a fear he held off. Digger came and extracted Gid from Lil’s deathlike embrace, putting him dead center of the markings…but not before she had passed him something cold and hard into his hand.

Lil caught Gid’s eye and nodded, mouthing to him “Use it well!”

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Heriot’s Pass smelled like rotten eggs, and Gid was nauseous. Fear roiled in his guts. “Schiavonaist bastards” he thought, trying to move, to no avail. Whatever was magicked was done well. Gid saw that Doc had taken off his hat and coat and handed them to Digger (who tossed them on the ground). He was advancing on Gid, rolling up his shirt sleeves.  Doc was mumbling, and it was hurting Gid. For salvation sake, he looked at his hand, which was clutching whatever Lil had given him. “A compass?

Doc smiled; a very disturbing one. His intelligible  murmuring became a series of yelps, yowls and ancient foul sounding language. The air started to whip around the cavern, all feeling the growing thrusts, but none more so than Gid. Doc closed his eyes, feeling the pleasure of letting himself go, his magics free. He was forcing the farm boy to his knees, and Doc was taking extra pleasure after what he saw…”Now, Digger!” he thought-sent. “NOW!”

Lil had her eyes glued on Gid and did not see Digger come upon her. He hosted her off the ground, picked her up over his head, and was getting ready to toss Lil. She had no time to compensate and free herself, but she had something already in her hand: an open Capsule of Dragon Scale Dust. She flung it in Digger’s face just as he hurled her towards Gid. She landed hard, and the magics swirling hurt more, but she got satisfaction in hearing Digger scream a death wail.

An awful humming filled the cave crossroad. Lil was sprawled at Gid’s feet, both unable to move. Both beginning to feel their insides churning.

Lil croaked: “Open the damned compass, Gid. Open the back cover.”

A small glass dagger was lodged in the back. “Talisman of the Triad! Huh! ..what do I…”

“Palm it,” Lil said, tears startng to stream. She felt herself being crushed, a hot liquid running down her legs, and she saw blood on her legs. “Palm it, damn you! How did you know?”

“Later,” Gid had trouble saying. He palmed the 2″ blade into his open hand. It started to grow as it landed. Growing to its full length, it began to glow and emit a sound that was the counterpoint to the noise growing from beneath them. The sword levitated and circled the pair three times, twirling its tip into the ground, breaking up the chalk outlines.

“GO!” whispered Lil, forcing her focus onto the compass and its once hidden weapon. The blade shot forward and found its sheath in Doc Stovepipe’s chest. Surprised, he clutched the handle and screamed.

“Close your eyes, Gid.”

They both did, and the glass dagger lit up like twelve years of fireworks. Gid felt heat, and he ducked down, covering Lil with his body.  It died down as quick as it started, and with the pressure off, they were able to stand. Gid was amazed they were whole. Doc Stovepipe was gone, Digger’s body was a charred husk, and all the chalk markings…like nothing was ever there.

“What did they want?” Gid asked, once they were free from The Pass.

Lil looked up at the sky. “The Moondust Stone is way down below. Powerful magic, worth a lot in money and for power. He betrayed me, just as I was gonna do the same to him. You stood up well, farm boy,” the last said, with a smile.

“Huh! Thought it was just folklore, nothing more. You betrayed me,” he said with some menace.

“I gave you the compass. I knew you’d do well. Knew it,” and she flung herself, this time, to Gid, kissing him hard and with real meaning. Down they went, in a fumble and tearing of clothes, and they yelped and yowled accordingly, together, and sometimes in harmony.

Gid woke alone that morning; Mississippi Lil gone and Doc Stovepipe’s steam driven Medicine Show Wagon with her. He tended to his studies after that, learning what he needed to protect the Moondust Stone. His father was surprised he knew where it was hidden, as only the Waykeeper (his dad) was supposed to know. Gid trained hard, ready to take on the mantle, when the time came.

A bit more than nine months after “the incident”, Gid’s mother found a baby girl outside their door. There was a note: “Gid, meet your daughter, Chrystal. Lil (no longer Mississippi)”.

Gid loved his girl to pieces, and as she grew she returned it. She met her mother one time…but that’s a tale for another day.

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Postscript

Cough. “Daddy, I’m not tired. I want a story. PLeeeeeaaazzzeeeee,” George wheezed, looking up at his father.

“Shhh little one. You know they are lowering the air volume for the night. It’s late, Georgie, it’s late. Can I tell you one tomorrow?”

Looking as miserable as he felt, George signed “No.”

Pauldyne shook his head and sighed at the insistence of his only son. He looked over at the sleeping/living area where Bethel was already asleep, cradling Sara. Why did we have another child in this horrible world, he thought. Because we love her, as we love George, he answered his own question. As hard as it was to live in Renaissance Dome 7, it was made better by his family. Tolerable.

I’m tired. We’re all so tired, he wanted to say out loud, but, Georgie wouldn’t understand it, and Bethel understood it all too well.

He nodded OK to his son, and using DSL  he signed a tale of the past…

Before the domes, before The Great Devastation, there was the town of Renaissance, and it lived in the open air. Yes,little one, open, clean fresh and, most importantly, free air. There were real trees, grass, fresh flowing water, things that FLEW in the skies…yes, no domes! Sky. My great great grandfather told me about this just before he passed on. He told me he had had a great adventure-well, one among many-shhh..I’m getting to it. Shtill, remain shtill.

There used to be three main roads leading into Renaissance; now we only have the balloon drops from dome to dome. Gid…his name was Gid.  One day, along the Kris trade route, came an entertainment drawn by an engine of steam. It was led by a Doctor and, from what Gid said, the most beautiful, but wicked, woman in the whole world.

Soon after meeting her, this woman (no, I don’t know her name; he would not tell me her name. He said it was like a curse, now) brought Gid to the top of Minor Gauche, which is Dome 3 area now. She taught him some little magics there, and through that night and a day Gid learned, and learned well. Then, she told him why she taught him this. Gid said he was angry, to be used in such a way, but this woman, this beautiful horrible woman…he loved her.

Gid said there was a great fight soon after, with magic sparking off this way and that, causing not a small amount of damage…

“Georgie?” he said, even though he knew his son was  asleep. He had been drifting to begin with, and with the air pressure lowered, it had only been a matter of time.

Pauldyne lay down, between his son, wife and daughter, and closed his eyes. The evening dome lights flickered over his skin like a caressing dance of light. The warmth they gave off felt good, and he slowed his breathing rate for maximum rest, as he had practiced for too long a time.

He sighed, coughed twice, and knew Georgie would want the whole story when he woke in the morning. In the morning, he thought, as he shut down for sleep.

The End

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Author’s Note

For those of you tuning in for the first time, or who don’t follow me religiously (why not? I’m a nice guy and I won’t bite…unless you want me to ;)  ): This posting puts all of my The Rule of Three Blogfest (#REN3) stories together. Well, the Doc Stovepipe tales. There are a few more, and I need to finish that thread. Soon. Real soon. You might also notice that in the postscript, Pauldyne tells his son a story that is not wholly reflected in the main part of the DSMS tale. Shhhh…spoilers. ;)

As a co-host of the writers challenge, I just had a blast not only playing in my own world (see Amlokiblog: Writing n A Shared World)  but reading over 60 others playing alongside of me. So many different takes, and it was good.

This was such a success. We (Damyanti Biswas,  Lisa Vooght and JC Martin) have decided to run the next phase of this blogfest again in May 21012. There is now a brand spanking new dedicated blogpage, Welcome To Renaissance, for all things #REN3 (and yes, we are on Twitter AND have a #REN3 paper.li published daily).

AND….we will be working on at least one volume of a Renaissance eBook. All proceeds will go to charity. News on that will be coming, soon.

Speaking of eBooks…have you purchased my very first eStory (short story category) from Trestle Press? Flash Over, only          $ .99!!   The story is available on Amazon US, Amazon UK, and Barnes & Noble.. You can read Flash Over on your PC, MAC or other device. They have plenty of options beyond owning a Kindle or Nook. If you go, rate it, tag it, read it (first, natch).

Thanks all!!!

Sonnet: Where Shall We Go? (plus: #REN3 side contest winner)

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Where Shall We Go?

Where shall we go, my friend, on open sea?

Taking a journey,  together alone,

Looking forward to what we could so be

Seeing how far, how soon,  we match in tone.

No one to rush us headfirst into storm

We move as we need to; no right; no wrong.

Comfortable, we, no need to perform

Expectations tossed; our closeness is strong.

But, clouds will darken, oh yes, sad  but true,

Trying to unravel the good cares sown

Escalating fears, making old seem new

Setting us off course, untrue…ill winds blown.

O, stay the long path alongside of me.

O, take what is offered, no strings, deeply.

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…AND THE WINNER IS…

I asked for suggestions, created a poll, people voted on what those suggestions…and…we have a winnah!

The Compass w/Hidden Weapon, as suggested by Richard Hughes of Writing and Living blog got the nods in the poll voting.

And..since this is my gig, and I can kinda do what I want…the runner up in #’s with six votes (to Richard’s eight) will be the hidden weapon: Sonja of Chapter by Chapter gets a nod for suggesting a Small Glass Knife!

For those not in the know, and for those known who do know, and all those in-between, I offered a contest to my readers and (especially) the amazing writers of The Rule of Three blogfest. As a co-host, (Damyanti Biswas, Lisa Vooght and JC Martin my partners in crime) of this blogfest, I have a wee bit of leeway to do a few things extra. So…I ran a side contest due to an opening I had in the last part of my serialized story: Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show.

I had an item given to one character from another, “something cold and hard.” Nothing specific, not a good writing (or improv) thing to do.

Thank you Richard & Sonja,  and all others who submitted (and for those who voted).  I will now attempt  to finish my story using this item to help Gid…or, not. Yes, I have not written the story yet. Haven’t even thought about it. Really.

Richard & Sonja  will get a nod, somehow, in the story, will appear in the afterword, AND…I will be doing an email interview with Richard that will appear on my other blog, BornStoryteller.

Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Mississippi Lil (#REN3 Blogfest, Week 1 )

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Renaissance was smack in the middle of nowhere, as far as Lil felt. She was tired of being run out-of-town after town, them taking unkindly to Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine show rolling in and fleecing the rubes out of their money.  Renaissance looked like more of the same. They had passed through a sparse forest (Doc called it The Culdees), but she just wanted to keep on passing through. Home was north, past the mountain range, and for the first time in years all she wanted to do was go home.

“…and now, the paragon of deliciousness, the temptress of all men’s dreams-ladies, watch your husbands!-the cream of feminine beauty, our very own…MISSISSIPPI LIL!” Doc waved his trademark stovepipe hat with a flourish and Lil came out from behind the draped sheet to a cacophony of applause and whistles (the men) and gasps of outrage (the women). She couldn’t blame the women: she wasn’t comfortable, really, with what little she wore. Calf high laced boots, stockings, a too short flounce black skirt and a red trimmed bustier that had seen better days. Her shawl of a feathered boa protected her chest only so much. Tall feathers also adorned her hat. They gave her some shade and a prop to use, especially if there was a problem with her costume during the dance. There always was one.

Lil danced to the percussive tapping of Doc’s feet and his banjo picking fingers. He was gifted, the bastard, she’d give him that. It had just been a long time since she had loved him enough to run away with him. Lil sang, she acted in his little skits, she was flirty. All things  “good” Medicine Show acts needed to be.  She looked for diversion while she forced the smile that would help sell his piss water elixir. She had to if they wanted to eat tonight. Lil had other plans besides eating dinner as well.

Not that one. Nope. OK…kinda cute… nope…she’s clinging too tight and oh, the language. Nope. Nope. Hummm...” Lil thought all along, as she scanned the men. One stood out. “Not too tall, not short at all, a worker, by the looks of him. Not one to be in a store. Good.”

While hawking, Lil sidled up to the young man-younger than she was by a good ten years, she figured-and found out his name was Gid. Gid Jacobs, farmer’s son, farmer’s hands and back and arms. But clean, no dirt under his nails, and fairly well-groomed. His mama did a good job with him. Lil approved. She felt the strength of his arm, grasping it when she “accidentally” stumbled into him. “Meet me behind the wagon after the show,” she whispered to Gid. He nodded, transfixed, as she had brushed her breast against him before passing the hat around the crowd.

Doc’s routine to seek out a saloon after a show served her well. Lil seduced the farm boy, letting him take her against the buckboard. She promised him more of the same, much more, if Gid would just do one little thing for her. Gid said he would, that he had never in his life seen anyone as pretty or as wonderful as she was. He told her he loved her.

Mississippi Lil smiled as she folded her arms around Gid, pulling him against her as he shuddered. His head drooped onto her shoulder and both of them closed their eyes, panting.

Doc saw the whole thing, out of plain sight, hiding  behind a shed.  The magics sparked off of his clenched  fist.

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Welcome to Renaissance, the shared world setting for The Rule of Three Blogfest. As one of the hosts of this month-long writers challenge, it’s been with great anticipation for this to begin. Please visit and support my co-hosts:  Damyanti Biswas Daily (W)rite , Lisa Vooght Flash Fiction, JC Martin, Fighter Writer.

While of course I am not eligible for any of the prizes, it’s still a blast to write something for this challenge. Comments are always wonderful and I DO hope any and all of my readers will take a look at the other postings. Click on the silly face icon below to find the other writers who are part of this.

The next prompt posting will be on Friday, October 7th (check back here for the prompts) and then the next section of the story will be on Wednesday October 12/13. Stay tuned for part two of Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show.
Our list is now closed, but you can follow the other writers of #REN3 Blogfest by clicking below:

‘O Sole Meow-o

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What a beautiful thing is a sunny day!
Ma n’atu sole,
cchiù bello, oje ne’
‘O sole meow-o
sta ‘nfronte a te!
‘O sole, ‘o sole meow-o,
sta ‘nfronte a te!
sta ‘nfronte a te!
It’s my own sun that’s upon your face! The sun, my own sun,It’s upon your face!It’s upon your face!
 
O, how I wish you were here to hold me, my love…
My eternal goddess, the one who lays out my feast,
The one who takes the emptiness of lonely days
And smothers me with kisses
Transfixed, am I, with the golden rays of love
You so sweetly give to me, with stroking,
Chucking and a squeeze…you hold me up to your own inner light
And I am putty in your hands.You left me, left me, left me,
And all I can do is rend and tear, gnaw and gash;
I roam these empty rooms, these halls, and show you my wrath
A present from within left in an unsightly manner
Sleeping in the sunlight, the only warmth I have, the…
Wait..the click, the latch, the swinging in…O…
It is my love, O, it is she
My heart beats with a mighty…wait, I’ll ignore her for a moments time,
Then grind my way between her legs.
 
She scoops me up, tickles my belly, and I flail in delight.
 
I am whole again.

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OK…before ANYONE tries to read something more into this, I will do what I loathe: explain myself.

I found the picture of the kitten, and just the expression (photo-shopped or not) and the posture was just too good to pass up. Again, before my mind takes me to The Abysmal Dollhouse, or the drama that will happen on Wednesday  October 5th with my first The Rule of Three posting…I just wanted to have some fun. Stu’s just wanna have fun.

I just submitted this to Poetry Picnic blogfest thingy, hosted at The Gooseberry Garden. Check them out: the theme was Love and Loss…and, well, Kitty exemplifies all that.

Video Trailer 2: The Rule of Three Blogfest

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Join Us In The Rule of Three Writers Challenge BlogFest!

Final Day to Sign Up: Monday October 3, 2011

I am co-hosting an exciting creative writing blog challenge, and I hope you will join the over 40 writers participating!

During October 2011, venture into the shared world of Renaissance (information below). You will create three characters set in that world: any genre, any time period. During the course of four weekly postings you will craft your tale where your three characters interact, or not, winding up in one great cumulative story. Each Friday, you will be given a set of prompts to move you along until you reach your climax. There is the chance to discover new writers, see a different side of ones you already admire, and hopefully have tons of fun doing this: you might also win some prizes (listed below as well). Read on!!
REN3<a href=”http://wp.me/P1mecg-bV”><img src=”http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z451/Jc_Martin/RuleofThreeshield.jpg&#8221; alt=”REN3″ width=”242″ height=”242″ /></a>

Grab this code for the badge created by the wonderful Portia Burton, Concept by the equally wonderful Lisa Vooght

The Shared World: Renaissance

An outpost town in the middle of nowhere, but many routes (the TARGE, KRIS, and VILLEIN are the largest of routes, but not the only ones) pass through or by the town. The SCHIAVONA  Desert is encroaching on one side (to the West), a once lush forest (the CULDEES) lies to the East and South. A large river, the ESPADON,  runs through the forest of ASSART (to the north) but it is not close by. The ROUNDELI Mountains are also to the North, far, far away, and when you look towards them you don’t know if they are an illusion or not. Closer by are the smaller hill chain, the MAIN GAUCHE and the MINOR GAUCHE, that fed the mining, creating caverns (the KASTANES)  and passages (one particular passage is known as  HERIOT’S PASS) lie underground.

The town has had a number of identities throughout it’s history: A trading post; a mining town; a ghost town until it was rediscovered; a thriving community; the scene of a number of great battles; the scene of one great tragedy (that led to it’s Ghost Town standing); a  town of great joys and celebrations, and so much more.

At this point in time, there is a general population of 333. A mixture of a community. It boasts families that have lived there for generations upon generations, but they are in the minority, and are not in positions of power. There are traders who have come back here, at the end of their many travails, to settle in. The new families and power players have taken this as a last refuge for themselves, hoping to rebuild lives torn apart on the way here.

EVERYONE has a secret!

Welcome to Renaissance.

Enjoy your stay.

For Full Guidelines & List of Prizes: Click Here

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…and:

Announcement: The Doll is a horror novelette by J.C. Martin that has only been read by a limited audience so far. It will be FREE for anyone who signs up on the Rule of Three linky list. We will email participants on the linky list with the direct link.

My Teaser Stories Set in Renaissance:

Renaissance: Prissy’s Story

Renaissance: Jewel’s Story


Syndrome of the White Knight

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Shelly was a hot mess, and Robert was in heaven. She was a damsel in distress: tied up in knots over past relationship indiscretions; a dragon sized horror of a boss; bill collectors moving in on her like speeding locomotives; and she was hanging off a cliff waiting for a diagnosis about a medical “female” problem.

Shelly also had mild OCD, was forgetful (“early senility,” he thought, “though she’s only 32.”), appeared to be dyslexic (she had “trouble reading“, she said), had a number of phobias, and a slew of other things. Robert saw it as his right-Man Right!-to not only come to the rescue but to hold all the answers and to TAA DAA! save the day!

Robert could not have been more wrong.

This was Shelly’s pattern. Used to it as she was (for she was a very introspective hot mess) she used Robert as a means to an end. His White Knight symptoms got in his way again, clouding any sound judgment he might have had. He paid her bills, ran interference with Shelly’s ex (who punched Robert in the nose, breaking it), and got himself fired by calling in sick too often to take care of his “damsel” and her ogre of a boss. The Doctor was out of his range, but it amounted to a big case of “nothing much” and it was easily forgotten by Shirley, after a visit to a walk-in clinic.

Once he lost his job, he lost Shelly too. She texted him that she was back with Frankie (the one who broke Rob’s nose). “Thanks for everything, but blah blah blah. Oh, and could you pay one last bill for me?”

He did.

And this was Robert’s pattern. He’d fall head over heels for any woman most would consider damaged goods. Illnesses, ill luck, illogical stories that afterwards made no sense but had Robert riding in on his white charger. He had learned American Sign Language in the hopes of falling in love with a beautiful deaf woman. He volunteered at soup kitchens, hoping to find that love of his life down on her luck.

When alone, Robert lived in his books of King Arthur and felt he was born so out of time that he would always be alone. The moments he was “needed” was when he shined, his inner goodness polished to a brilliance that sparkled. Those moments didn’t last too long, and the chinks in his armor were beginning to wear Robert down. His ideals of love were getting tarnished. It was becoming harder to bounce back with each sounding defeat.

Three months after Shirley’s betrayal (he saw all of the betrayals months later) something different happened to Robert. He met an un-needy woman.

Diane was healthy, intelligent, funny, strong (both emotionally and physically), was her own boss with a healthy income, had no Daddy issues, all ex-boyfriends were out of the picture, she owned her own condo, had solid investments, and the only thing that Robert felt was wrong with her was one huge honking thing: she liked Robert. He was baffled by this concept, and the fact that he liked her too, but he wasn’t sure how to go about dating her. Let alone be in a relationship.

That all changed on their seventh date. They had had a great time at the movies (a little bit of a make out session in the dark that Diane instigated). Dinner was an experience: an Indian meal that almost burned his tongue and mouth lining out due to severe Lamb Vindaloo (Diane plied massive amounts of Raita into Robert’s mouth, not letting him touch the water glass he originally went for). Once he cooled down and the sweat stopped pouring out, he did admit it was the tastiest food he ever had. It didn’t hurt she played footsie with him. They walked hand in hand, arm in arm, leaned against and poked and snuggled and snogged (she loved that English term).

It was while they were walking back to her place that their tickling of each other became an almost Dire Consequence! Laughing so hard while they chased and connected with each other, they started to cross the street. Neither saw the white Chevy Suburban careening down the street towards them. The driver, a platinum haired bimbette from Norwalk, was on her cell phone with her boy toy and  paid only the slightest attention to her so called driving.

This is what happened in a flash: the driver noticed Diane and Robert, braked and honked; Diane heard the honk, saw the behemoth out of the corner of her eye and hip bumped Robert towards safety; and Robert, hip bumped, threw out his arms, caught Diane, and pulled her to safety onto the sidewalk they had just left.

They were left panting and frazzled as the driver just drove off (she did get her head handed to at another time, but that is another story). Diane had her arms wrapped around Robert, and his were around her. His eyes gleamed with pride, saving a woman who really did not need saving, and his curse was thus broken. As long as Diane would have him, he was hers.

Diane’s eyes gleamed with pride too. She saved a man who so needed to be saved, and he was in her arms.

The white knights went up to her condo and rode the night away in glory…

…and they lived happily ever after.

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Announcements:

First: I am proud-REALLY PROUD-to announce that I will have a second story published come October 31st, 2011!! My story “Trolling for Loving” will be in a new Paranormal Anthology (title and ordering information TBA). I have a few other submissions out there right now, and I am writing a few more while semi-neglecting my novel (not for long: I have a new burst of energy for that). This is being ebook published by the same wonderful people at Ethics Trading and all proceeds go to charity.

My first published story, “Redhead Riding,”  is in Dawn of Indie Romance, and can be ordered on Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Smashwords.  Please support the very worthy cause…and me, too. Eight stories to whet your romantic whistle.

Second: I am co-hosting an exciting writers challenge in October called The Rule of Three Blogfest (you’ll see the badge on my sidebar). At this moment, on 9/21/2011, YOU  have TWELVE more days to sign up. Over 40 writers who blog have taken this challenge…and there is plenty of room for you.

I really hope that more of my readers take part in this. We have a lot of great writers participating, and there are also prizes!!! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Renaissance: Jewel’s Story (teaser story #2)

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Renaissance: Prissy’s Story

Part Two: Renaissance: Jewel’s Story

Throw me out of the house. Damn Grandma…what’s the big deal? So I read your diary. It’s not like I didn’t know. I heard the gossip for a long time about  Josh. I got it enough at school and around town, that “bastard kid of the bastard.” Mom kept quiet about it, said to let it go, but I knew.  I really knew. Straight from the old biddy herself.”

Walking in the rain, Jewel was talking to herself. Parents all over told their kids to keep away from her, that that family was no good. Jewel was trouble, had been since she was little, a good one to be avoided. She had heard all of this second or third hand, and a few times right to her face, first hand usually followed by a slap, punch, pinch or a trip by an outstretched foot.

Jewel took her time, walking aimlessly around Renaissance. She was drenched and really did not care. Her long brown hair hung limp around her face, mascara running, and her shift of a dress clung to her. The rain let up for a few minutes, which made her cold. Then it started all over again, this time harder.

“Hey, you!” a call from a storefront with a recessed door. “Get over here.”

Swearing to herself, Jewel stood her ground. “What do you want, Ella? I am not in the mood.”

“Shut up. You look like crap, thought you’d be better off in here.” Ella opened the door to her parents shop, lights dim inside but lit enough to show off the dresses most of the girls at school hoped for. She went inside, leaving the door open. Jewel followed, closing the door a little too hard.

“Hey. You break it, you pay for it. Here.” She threw a towel at Jewel that she had gotten from the store’s bathroom.

“Thanks.”

“You’re dripping all over the place. Go in the bathroom. Here.” Ella shoved a dress at her and pushed her, gently, towards the bathroom.

Jewel went in and locked the door. She took off her dress and underwear and toweled off as best she could. Pat drying her panties and bra, she put them back on, then the dress. It was the blue one that she had looked at in the window, often. It fit really well. She unlocked the door and went out.

“You look good,” Ella said, after giving her the once over.

“Thanks, but why are you doing this? You’ve always hated me.”

Ella shrugged. “Not hate. Just…I don’t know. Your family and mine. Never was any good together.” That sat for a few moments, neither of them talking.  Jewel wanted to know why, but really, she knew, like she had known what happened to her grandparents. Ella’s family downplayed Prissy the murderer, Prissy the suicide, and made Grandma Cara and her family out to be the bad ones, to drive the shame away. It was all there, in her diary.

Jewel went over to the store window, putting her hand on it as the rain hit the glass. Ella came to stand by her. They watched it pour until it was time to close up the store.

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Join Us In The Rule of Three Writers Challenge BlogFest!

During October 2011, venture into the shared world of Renaissance (information below). You will create three characters set in that world: any genre, any time period. During the course of four weekly postings you will craft your tale where your three characters interact, or not, winding up in one great cumulative story. Each Friday, you will be given a set of prompts to move you along until you reach your climax. There is the chance to discover new writers, see a different side of ones you already admire, and hopefully have tons of fun doing this: you might also win some prizes. Click on the link above or the badge itself for the guidelines.
REN3<a href=”http://wp.me/P1mecg-bV”><img src=”http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z451/Jc_Martin/RuleofThreeshield.jpg&#8221; alt=”REN3″ width=”200″ height=”200″ /></a>

Grab this code for the badge created by the wonderful Portia Burton, Concept by the equally wonderful Lisa Vooght

The Rule of Three Writers Challenge is being c0-hosted by myself and:

Lisa Vooght        Damyanti Biswas       JC Martin

Please check them out.