Category Archives: Flirting

Zenith of All Things (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

**To read the first parts of this story line:  X-Folders and Yesterday’s Sorrows

Zenith

“Zenith of All Things”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Khazarian Rovas, ex police Inspector, awoke in the hospital with a splitting headache, woozy and disoriented for a moment. Knowing only he was laying down, Rovas raised his head. Bad move, as more pain shot through his head. Putting his head back down was almost as painful as when he raised it. The room was dark, the only light in the room was either emanating from the machinery near his head or seeping in from outside his room. Looking the other way he saw Berrak, sleeping, in a chair.

He coughed when he tried to call her name. She woke and immediately came to his side.

“Hi,” she said, running a hand through his hair on the left side. She saw him wince and moved her hand. “Would you like some water?”

Zarian nodded. He sipped some, started coughing again, drank some more. Berrak put it down and moved the chair closer. She left the room only to return with a nurse a few moments later. Berrak refused to leave as the nurse brought in her cart and  turned on all the lights. She took all his vitals down, entered everything into her computer, and asked her questions. She didn’t stay any longer than she had to, which suited both Zarian and Berrak.

Berrak walked over to the light switches, turning all but the light by the bathroom off. Closing the door, she sat down and took Zarian’s hand.

“Obviously I got hurt, but I don’t remember how.”

“What do you remember?”

“Peters had a knife up to one of the children’s throat. He nicked her with it. Is she all right?”

“Yes she is. They all are,” she squeezed his hand.

“Good. Peters put down his knife, picked up his rifle, and aimed it at me. He lost seconds when he tossed…”

“Aemilie. She’s 13.”

“He tossed Aemilie away and brought the rifle up. He knew the recoil: one handed and nothing to brace with, he’d have little to no chance. As it is, he got off two shots before I beaned him.

I had that moment between the tossing the girl and his training his sites on me to barely dodge the first bullet. As I went down I reached for a fairly hefty crystal candy dish…could I have some more water?”

Berrak brought the straw to his lips. He motioned it away after a few sips.

“I tossed the dish as hard as I could. It hit him in the chest with a satisfying thud. Peters staggered. I got to him as fast as I could, going for his knife. I turned…I turned…dammit, I don’t know what happened next.”

“I do, Zarian. The mother, Mrs. Frasier, told us what happened. She was cringing on the couch, trying to protect her children with her body, but she saw you throw her dish at Peters. Mrs. Frasier -Caroline- said as you grabbed the knife and turned, Peters fired one more time. He…clipped you on the side of the head, there.”

“Ah, that’s why the pain there.”

“Yes. It was a nasty looking wound. I thought you were dead when the police let me in. So much blood.” Berrak stopped, took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“And…?”

“And you fell, knife in both hands. You fell down on Peters, driving the knife into his chest. The police found you on top of him, blood all over the floor. Yes, before you ask, he’s dead.”

She brought his hand up to her lips and kissed it. He moved it out of her grip and cupped her face, sliding his thumb over her chin, her mouth.

“It’s over, Berrak. I wished he could have stood trial and rotted in jail, but…it’s over.”

She nodded, closing her eyes as his hand cupped her cheek.

She stayed all night by his side.

*****

EPILOGUE

Many hospital visitors later, they both returned home. Gil and Jill had organized a small “Welcome Home” party. Rovas was not a fan of surprise parties, but this one he tolerated with grace. Jill had brought Sara, her daughter. Tina, who had nicely recovered from her ordeal with Peters, brought a date.  Chief Inspector Oliver Dole was there, with his wife, as well as other friends from the force. Even Maggie and Pearl, who kept refusing the people food the others tried to slip her. Maggie allowed Pearl her treats. He was content with this crowd, but then the doorbell rang one more time.

The Palmonts arrived, all three children in tow. Berrak had gone to the door, ushered them in, and called Rovas over. They gathered around him, the parents shaking his hand. He got hugs from both Janice and April. The three of them shared some tears; the girls hugged Berrak as well, then went into the living room: they had noticed Sara.

Rovas’s arm was tugged on. It was Gerald. He beckoned to him with his finger. Rovas stooped down a little. Gerald went close to his ear, saying, almost in a whisper:”Thank you for stopping…him.” Rovas got another hug. He returned this just as fiercely.

Rovas sat on the couch, a cup of perfect coffee in his hand, made by Berrak, of course. Dole came over. He was congratulating and chastising him in the same breath, until his wife smacked him on the arm and made him promise to behave. This brought a round of laughs from all, more so from those who worked with him daily. Rovas was glad, later, that he kept to his promise.

Gil, with Jill in hand, came over and sat with Rovas. Berrak was talking with Tina and her plus one, Samuel. They went over to join Zarian.

As they sat, Gil hit himself in the head, smiling. “Oh, I can’t believe I didn’t…well, yes I can. It’s not like nothing else has been happening.”

“What, Gil?” asked Rovas.

Gil turned and looked at Tina. “I think we’ve found the man who killed…um…your friends,” he said, pointedly not looking at Samuel.

“He knows, Gil.” She took Samuel’s’ hands in hers. “Go on.”

“Well, while Inspector…um…Zarian,” he changed after a look from Rovas. “While he was recuperating, one of my inquiries into this Vic character came to my desk. In one of the books we found from the…woman of the house…there were numerous booking for a VG. So, I started searches for anyone named Vic or Victor with a surname starting with G. I finally got a hit, and I think it’s him. It took long enough, but…”

“And…?” Berrak asked, pushing Gil along.

“If this is the guy, his name is Victor Gilbride. I found him in the mental ward. Scarily, he was in the same high level ward that Peters had escaped from.” Gil shook his head.

“Victor had been in another…house…when he was arrested. He was with two girls and got rough with them. He left teeth marks, pretty bad ones, on one of the girls. They screamed, he was getting more violent, the madame threw the door open and tassed him.”

“Good for her. I wish Lily had one.”

“Yes, well, once he was in police custody, Victor went a little bat crazy.”

Everyone groaned.

“Yes, well…when they searched his home, they found more equipment like was left at the scene of the murders. Victor didn’t confess so much as relished his telling of why he did such a disgusting thing.”

“Gil, he drank the blood?” Rovas asked.

“Yes, and he got good and sick from it. Victor really thought he was a vampire- wait, I know, but according to the docs this is a syndrome. He was planning to do it again, he said. His biting was a kind of foreplay for him. The madame said she knew he did it, but it had been more restrained before that night.”

“Oh. Oh…wow. I just…I’m not really sure how I feel, Gil. Thank you.” Tina got up, nudged Jill slightly, and gave Gil a hug. She went back to sit by Samuel. “He’s not on the streets. Wow.”

They all smiled and relaxed.

The evening wound up early. Everyone knew Zarian needed his rest. They didn’t linger very long. He got many hugs and pats on the back, and some kisses on the cheek from Jill, Tina, and Janice, the oldest of the Palmont girls. Gerald stood in the doorway, looked him in the eye, and waved. Rovas waved back.

Alone, the two settled on their couch.

“I will clean up tomorrow, Zarian. I’m tired, and I know you are as well. It’s in your eyes.” She leaned her head on his shoulder. “All this horror is done with, now. I think I could sleep for a week.”

Zarian stroked her hair, closing his eyes, relaxing with her on the couch.

“Come,” she said after waking up from dozing off. “Bed time, for both of us.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too. Let’s go up.”

He took her hand as they both levered themselves off the couch. She turned off the light in the room and made their way to the stairs. Rovas stopped for a moment, looking into his darkened study, out the window.

Rovas noticed a silhouette of a man briskly walking away from their house, down the street, hands in his pockets, head cast down, fading down the street horizon.

He smiled, looked at Berrak, and headed upstairs for some much needed sleep.

The End

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Well, that’s it…for now? I’m not sure if I’ll return to this or not. There are a few other story lines I like (Devil’s Diary; The Kitsune Mochi; The Abysmal Dollhouse) that I’d like to re-explore, as well as an idea for a novel that has been floating around the vast emptiness of my mind, one that sets foot in the urban paranormal vein. I need a couple of days off of just vegging. Then…we’ll see.

I’m supposed to have a Reflection Post up sometime in May, say the Masters of the A to Z. I will get to that, and announce the date as soon as I firm it down.
There is still plenty of time to check out blogs from the A to Z Blog Challenge. Click on the banner below. It will take you to their home page. Or, click HERE to go to the A to Z Challenge list.

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

Thank you for coming by. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series, mistakes and all. As I said awhile back, I consider this my “First Draft”, which kinda sorta means I might pull this out and rework it a bit down the road.

Anyone want to be my editor? Beta Reader? Cannoli maker?

Comments, likes, and outpouring of love and gratitude is always welcome.  🙂

 

Still Life in Scarlet (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

A woman looks at Bosch's painting "Tryptich of the Last Judgement" in Vienna

Foto: Reuters/HERWIG PRAMMER Hieronymus Boschs “Weltgerichtstryptichon” in der Wiener Akademie der Bildenden

“Still Life in Scarlet”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros met Rovas at a diner they liked, The Blue Line. It was far enough from the Rovas household for Khazarian to relax a bit. The tension in the booth they shared was palpable. Claire, their usual waitress, didn’t linger at the table; she dropped their dishes off and scooted away.

“…I know, Gil. I know,” Rovas continued after she left. “I wasn’t thinking, and that upsets me to no ends. What upsets me more is the what Berrak will think if…when she knows the whole story.”

Gil did not wonder at all if Berrak would find out. He was impressed with Berrak’s line of reasoning; he doubted they would have had the closures they pulled off if not for her help. So, he didn’t answer, only taking a bite out of his apple pie, following it with his coffee.

Rovas sat looking out the diner window at the cars passing by. He took a sip from his coffee and made a grimace. “I wish Berrak could teach people how to make a proper cup of coffee. Lord knows, she’s tried with me.”

They both smiled; Rovas’ own attempts at coffee making fell far below the standards of Berrak’s brewing skills.

“Come over after you get off work. We’ll plug in all the details. Berrak and I already have a beginning plan.”

Gil nodded his head. Rovas turned his attention to his slice of pie. They cleaned their plates in silence, paid their bill, and left. When Claire went to bus the table she saw that both cups of coffee were barely touched.

*****

Hours after Gil arrived at the Rovas house, the three were huddled in the study, examining the details on the whiteboard and bulletin boards. Berrak and Gil were still making notes with followup questioning, routes they felt they should follow. Rovas was mentally making his own notes.

“Here’s what we know. Three years ago, on May 4th, a 911 call was received. The caller, who was later identified as Lilly Landers, a known madame with a record, stated that a murder had been committed and that she felt she was next. Just as she gave out the address the call abruptly ended, with her calls of help. Three of them, and then the line went…I hate to say it, but it went dead.

Gil and I were not the first to respond; a squad car was closer to the house. When we arrived, the coppery smell of blood was prevalent. All the windows had been closed. It was a cool night for May. The officer who got there directed us inside and upstairs. He stressed he did not touch anything. Rovas told the officer to stay outside and  to secure the perimeter.

At the top of the landing we found the body of Ms. Landers. Blood had dripped down onto the steps. She had been stabbed in the back three times. Beyond the body were three rooms, all the doors closed. We checked all three bedrooms, and in two were the corpses of two other women, who also had priors for prostitution, tied up on the beds. Except for a tube running down the arm of one of the women, there were no other visible signs of cause of death. No strangulation marks. No knife wounds.

The ME arrived, muttering out loud…”

“A lot,” Gil added.

“Yes, a lot. He didn’t want to commit to anything definite then and there. After he got them back to the lab and examined them, he was bursting for us to come down so he could deliver the results.”

Gil broke in: “He said they were bleed almost completely dry. Exsangal….”

“Exsanguination, Gil,” she patted his hand. “Not a pretty way to go. Two young girls drained of blood. I remember the headlines of the ‘Vampire Killer’, but I know you had more details that weren’t discussed with the press.”

“We couldn’t give it all away, in the hopes of catching the person who did this. We didn’t want false leads, so we held a few things back.”

“SOP, Zarian?” She smiled.

He nodded.

“And you’re sure this was a brothel?”

Gil nodded. “There were the usual items. Tons of condoms, lingerie, leather, sex toys, lubricants. It was obvious at first, and the rest came when we found Landers’ books. No names of clients or the girls. Just initials.”

They were all quiet for a moment, looking at the wall of information of their private notes. Berrak broke the silence.

“There was a fourth bedroom made up in the attic?” She didn’t look at her husband or Gil, concentrating on the the photos and captions on the white board. Rovas seemed to lose a little color. “It looks lived in, done up like the other rooms.” She looked from the pictures to the notes to her husband and Gil. She thought she had never seen more guilt on two men’s faces. Rovas asked her to sit down.

“What aren’t you telling me Zarian? Gil?”Berrak said as she sat.

They both looked at each other. Gil raised his hands, palms up, and shrugged both shoulders. He and Rovas sighed at the same time.

“Berrak…there was a fourth girl.”

“But, there’s been no mention in any of these papers. Nothing in the news. What? How? I…I don’t understand. A fourth. That room has been bothering me all day.”

Rovas sighed once again. He knelt down and took both of her hands.

“I have to tell you about Kristina…”

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“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1600 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Offending Elm (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Offensive Elm

“Offending Elm”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

 

The gunshot wound to Gil’s left shoulder was more serious than first perceived. On the way to the hospital the EMT grokked the swelling and immediately splinted Gil’s upper arm. Upon arrival, Gil was rushed into the ER. He underwent surgical debridement, the wound cleaned out but some bleeding continued. He was hours undergoing treatment before he was brought to recovery. The doctor wanted to keep Gil overnight for observation. The prognosis was overall good, but there was concern about nerve damage.

Rovas and Berrak got all this information from Jill, the EMT who brought Gil in. She had access to the surgical team that they did not. She had left with her team but returned when her shift was over.

“We get a lot more hunters accidentally shooting themselves or a friend. Dumb asses.” Jill shook her head, sitting back in the waiting room chair opposite Rovas and Berrak. “Things like this…I feel I have more at stake, y’know?”

Berrak nodded to her. Rovas was distracted. She nudged him slightly, and he, too, nodded at the EMT.

Rovas had called Chief Inspector Dole, filling him in with all the details as he knew, when they arrived at the hospital. After their conversation-which did not go all too well, for either of them-Rovas made another call. He was waiting for answers to his inquiries.

When Gil was finally out of recovery, all three went up for a quick visit. He woke up briefly, insisting he should still be released so they could go after Peters, and dropped back to sleep just as quickly. “Pain meds and trauma to the body,” Jill said.

Berrak and Rovas stayed for a little bit longer, getting one more audience with the Sargent Detective before he drifted off again. They left the hospital soon afterwards, leaving Gil’s EMT in the room, getting a recommendation and directions to a nearby motel from her. Rovas checked at the desk about the conditions of the other police from the explosion. Both were doing better than expected: they were alive.

“Stake in her duties,” Berrak mentioned on their way to their car. “Jill and Gil, hmm?” She held Rovas’ hand through the hospital lobby.

Rovas got a text after they had settled into their room: no trace of Peters. Whatever trace he left up the hill and with his bike ended once the motorcycle hit the main road. The note Peters’ left stabbed into the tree went straight to the point: “Inspector, if you are reading this, you are alive. I’ll make sure that changes, and soon. If I got you, good. You took my boy!”

The next day, Berrak and Rovas went back to the hospital, hoping Gil would be released in short order. They could hear him laughing as they came to his room. Jill was sitting in a chair, a big grin on her face. Berrak nudged Rovas and smiled.

It took a few hours more for the hospital to discharge him, with strict notes for Gil to follow up with his own doctor as soon as possible. Berrak said “I’ll make sure of it” at the same time Jill said “He will.” Rovas finally smiled at this. Berrak’s observation were on the nose, again.

*******

A month passed. Gil was doing PT, getting his arm back into shape. They all were happy there was no deep damage to any muscle or nerves. Over dinner Gil told Berrak and Rovas that he had a “lovely” scar to show for all this. He blushed deeply when he realized he said “lovely.”

“And how is Jill, Gil?” Berrak asked. No one thought it was possible for Gil to redden any more, but he did.

Cups of Berrak’s coffee in hand, they made their way into Rovas’ study. They had pulled all they could on Peters and were at a standstill at this point until the active investigation turned up anything, or Peters made an appearance. Rovas had been reading over his files sporadically with Berrak-sometimes with Gil present-compiling further questions on many of the cold cases.

Rovas lifted up one of the folders. “I suggest we try and shake ourselves out of our waiting for Peters to make a move. This one,’ he passed the file to Gil,  “has nagged at me for way too long. Berrak, it’s what we were looking at the other night: the woman’s body that was found in the Elm tree by those four boys.”

“Certainly not boys anymore. They’d have to be in their early thirties by now,” Berrak said, looking over Gil’s shoulder at the files’ contents.

“The…boys…were poaching in Haley’s Woods, they admitted, when one of the group climbed up the Elm for a ‘look see’ around. His foot dropped down into an opening where the branches parted. When he looked, he found the remains of the body.”

“Says here it was a woman, aged between twenty and thirty. No one reported any sister or daughter missing in the area that fit that?”

“None. Dental records were no use: her teeth were missing.” Rovas paused, remember the sight that greeted him. “The boys didn’t look too closely. They reported what they found to the police, and I was called in soon after that.”

“Gil,” Berrak pointed, drawing his attention to the photograph under the report he was going over. He took out the folder and laid it on the desk so all of them could see it.

Putting his finger on it, Rovas said “We found a piece of yellow taffeta shoved into her mouth. A gold ring, no inscription, was placed in the middle of the material.

We’ve had luck with these cases, coming at them with time and new eyes,” he nodded to Berrak. “I think it’s time we revisited this and do our best to find out what happened, and who the young lady was.”

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“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1700 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

From the case files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

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walkinginthedark

Darkness suited ex-Inspector Khazarian Rovas. He liked the quiet it normally brought, a certain breeze that drifted through most nights except for the height of the summer months. Then he was usually drenched, having trouble breathing during the ofttimes stiffing still air. Early spring, now, and the insufferable weather was still to come. Tonight, he could enjoy sitting by his open window, lights off, breathing the coolness in, and allowing his out breath fog up the lowest corner of the window pane. Waiting.

But for the wishes of his wife, Berrak, Rovas would still be on the job. He never thought he would retire, that one way or the other the job would be where he would part this life. Berrak thought differently, and although she never demanded, he saw the clarity of her spoken thoughts. He loved her, she him, and it was that love that carried him to hand in his resignation. Forty-four years, the ups and downs of any job, acknowledgments and failures, all reduced to farewell handshakes, some drinks, rehashing of spectacular cases-solved or unsolved-and the drive home, with the few personal items from his desk in the boot.

It was the rehashing of cases that brought Rovas to his study, to his window, at 4:10 in the morning. Eight days had passed, but those memories of cases that were not, to him, satisfactorily closed, haunted his waking hours. He thought of the cases, twenty six in all, that still niggled at the back of his mind. He owed Berrak time that she was excluded from during his career, and he vowed to himself he would do his best to give her what she needed from him.

But those cases…those cases…

Outside his window Khazarian Rovas noticed a silhouette of a man briskly walking, back to Rovas, down the street, hands in his pockets, head cast down, fading down the street horizon. Ruminating, Rovas had not noticed the man until now. He had no idea where he came from, just observing this figure in darkness fading smaller and further away, until only a haze of an outline was visible. In a blink, the walking man was gone.

Rovas got up from his chair, turning it around to face his desk. Turning on the table lamb, he stared down at the pile of folders on the right side of his desk. Twenty six folders.

Sitting, he took the top file, placed it in front of him, opened it, and began to review this troublesome case file.

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Hi everyone. I’m sure you’ve noticed I have been away for quite awhile on any regular basis. Things happened in my life that took me out of the mood. I’m trying to see what I can do to mend that break within me.

I just rejoined the Blogging from A to Z challenge. Lots of positive things changed for me with the first one I was part of in 2011. Sadly, that did not last the lifetime I had hoped it would be. In either case, I am back.

“The case files of Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Twenty six case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve from this list of cold cases. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

 So, join me (and the over 1600 other blogs involved) starting on April 1, 2016. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy what I’ve got planned.

Something About…

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Duck Pond Lititz

They held hands as they walked along the path around the lake. The multitude of ducks and geese drifted across the surface, most nestled together. A clatter of honking began: a sentry, warding off a leashed German Sheppard who had gotten too close to the water’s edge. Stopping, they looked to see what the commotion was about. She released his hand, leaning into him, and raised her arm to encircle his, giving him a squeeze.

“Look,” he said, as a smile spread across his face. Pointing, he traced the path of a line of ducklings following behind their dame. Turning her head to look at him, she enjoyed seeing the marvel in his face, his eyes, at something so simple, to her. This was a scene she had grown up with and had viewed it often. She smiled, leaned in closer, and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Turning his head, he stole a full on kiss from her.

“Stop it,” she whispered, eyes closed, her forehead touching his. “There are people around us.” She blushed, a rosy tint.

“So? Nothing they have never seen before.” Tapping the tip of her nose with his index finger, he did his best “Honk!” and kissed her nose in the same spot. Taking her hand again, they continued on in their walk about the lake.

Walking, they’d make comments on what they passed by, or continue a conversation from earlier in the day, even one from the previous week, although all this was sporadic. Much of the time was spent in silence, fingers entwined, comfortably content. The gaps in talking did not need to be filled up, and they both felt that.

As they began a second lap around, an empty park bench drew them in. Settling down, she asked him if he was all right, knowing his feet hurt sometimes. He assured her that he was fine, “…just need a quick rest,” he said. Nestling under his outstretched arm, he drew her closer, kneading her shoulder where it sometimes pained her. She let out a soft sigh, feeling the strength in his fingers, hitting the right spot. His head gently rested on top of hers.

Snuggling on the bench, the walk way behind them, others went unnoticed. They heard the noises, the clip clopping of hard shoes, the runners, the children fussing or running and laughing. They both stared out at all the wild fowl swirling just beyond them on the lake. The ducks, in pairs or small groups, paddled around, some coming ashore near them, hoping for something to eat. Others just drifted by, the lone drakes looking for mates.

Time passed, and she began to get restless. Squeezing her shoulder, he then patted her.

“Pat, pat, pat,” he said.

“Pat, pat, pat,” she answered.

“Ready?” he asked.

“Yes. Are you rested?”

“Yup.”

He rose first, extending his hand to her, to help her up. She stood, leaned over, and gave him a kiss.

“Hey…someone could be watching!” he whispered. Her smile spread, from lips to eyes, and beaming, the smile spread to his face. She kissed him even harder.

Hand in hand, they continued on their journey, walking side by side, along the path they’ve chosen, together.

The Flavor of your Reply

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Her kiss left traces of apples, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and sugars, both dark brown and white. That is what Avrum remembered most of their first kiss. He relished that nights’ memories, but it was the flavor that was transferred to his lips, his breath, that still penetrated deepest, remained clearest, that still brought a smile to him, both inside and out.

It was a short walk outside of her parent’s house, where they could still be viewed for propriety but still…private enough. He had been working up the courage all day to ask her to marry him, and it almost faltered when her father went off on one of his tirades, but looking in Sarah’s eyes reestablished his resolve.

The ground was crunchy with fallen golden and brown leaves. Sarah grasped the top of her coat, tugging on the scarf wound around her neck, when a northern wind whipped across the yard. He took her hand and rubbed it back and forth. She smiled and thanked him, glancing back quickly at the house to see if either of her parents were watching them. No one at the window, Sarah clasped his hands in hers tightly.

Avrum was on his knee proposing before he knew it. Tears welled up in Sarah’s eyes, a large smile and a nod, and she said “yes” without having to think. They kissed, then, in the yard, with the window drapes pulled back and eyes watching. All the mixtures of pleasure and happiness, of the meal they had just finished still on their lips, the future they would share…it was all there in that moment. Her reply was all he had hoped for, and he would relish it for as long as he lived.

Hand in hand, they walked back to her parents house, the front door already opening to welcome them in.

 

Leda and the Swan: National Flash Fiction Day

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Man Ray: Leda and the Swan

A swan walks into a bar…

No, not really.

A God walks into a bar…actually, the once King of the Gods…well, Greek Gods…and not King for a pretty long time…

…and it’s not really a bar, per se, but the bar in a disco, The Metamorphoses.

He’s not really Zeus anymore, either,  having given up that name for quite a while.  Too many just don’t believe in him and his anymore.

Zeus took flight and has  lived a long time as Mr. Swan.

So…A Swan does walks into a bar…

Mr. Swan saunters to the Metamorphoses bar and his burps dissolve into the loud music; his gastrointestinal expulsion is showing  his appreciation of a fine meal. He had just come  from the Olympus Diner, where he had:  an appetizer of Spanokopita; a generous helping of Lamb Souvlaki with rice; and he followed all that by two large slices of Baklava, dripping with extra honey (the waitress was enthralled, naturally, without knowing why). His stomach was happy, well sated. But…the diner had no liquor license (he’ll fix that in the morning). Swan wanted to get drunk…and he was looking for a little bit more pleasure.

The dancers were staying alive on the multicolored lit floor, the pulsating music swarming around the enclosed room. He scooped up a double Ouzo the bartender (a lithe blonde he intended to revisit) had set down, snorted a line of coke that was offered to him, and settled in. Swan scoped the place out, dazzled by the gyrating young flesh moving to a beat that stirred him in a number of ways. Sipping his drink, a smile playing around the rim of the glass, Swan found what he was looking for.

His eyes locked on a tableau: she was tall, curvy, long legged and teased out brunette hair. She had stylish (“for this age”, he thought) earrings, was not chewing gum, and best of all…she was alone. Downing his Ouzo and taking the replacement glass that was immediately in front of him, Swan boogied on down the steps of the bar/lounge area, across the dance floor, and up to his prey’s high top.

Chatting her up wasn’t all that hard, music blaring or not. Her name was Leda, she was a Broadway wannabe, and just had a fight with her boyfriend, Ty. She came with her girlfriends to let off some steam, and why was she telling him this and more, but Leda could not stop, nor could she refuse the copious amounts of Ouzo that Swan ordered for her. They talked, she laughed, he flirted, and they took it all to the dance floor.

If you ask anyone who was there at the Metamorphoses that night, no two stories would be the same, except for one thing: that night was magic. Everyone spilled out onto the dance floor, hours upon hours of drinking and drugging and sweating and laughing, taking things to an extreme that had never been experienced before.

And sex. There was a lot of sex that night.

Leda found herself with Swan in a ladies room stall. She wasn’t the only one that evening, but she was his main event.

Mr. Swan walked out in the early hours of the next morning bedraggled but beaming. He kept the music alive in his head and an arm around the blonde bartender, heading back to the Olympus Diner for some eggs, disco fries, ambrosia,  and the still enthralled waitress (her shift was over when she paid for his bill). The three of them had a fun morning.

Leda found Ty sitting in front of her apartment door. He as ten times ten apologetic, taking all the blame and asking her not only to take him back, but to marry him. He was an idiot, he admitted, and…and…and…

Leda said yes later that afternoon, after the two of them got out of bed and got dressed. They went for lunch at the diner (missing Zeus..um…Swan drop off the waitress by minutes) then got in his car and eloped,  driving to New England.

Nine months later, they had twin girls: Poly and Helen. Leda never questioned, Ty never knew, and the both of them loved to love their babies.

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From the UK comes the first ever Flash Fiction Day (National should become International, but that’s for another time).

What is Flash Fiction? Well, you can read about it HERE or HERE or even HERE.

My working definition: It’s a very short piece of work, not normally considered a short story (which usually has word counts under 7,500 words). Flash is basically considered anything from a few words to one thousand (give or take). It cuts out meandering sentences, extra words, and run on sentences, as you, as the writer, are forced to focus on being as concise as you possibly can. Unlike this explanation. 🙂

Most of what I write here on Tale Spinning has been Flash Fiction (without my announcing or championing it). I really discovered what FF is thanks to Lisa Vooght, author of the aptly named blog, Flash Fiction. She’s also the one who let me on that there was a National Flash Fiction Day. There are many others out there, and it’s been a pleasure finding them, bit by bit. Might be a blog post just on other FF blogs to find, but again…that is for another time.

You have 16 more days to read my Swan Rise series before it comes down on June 1st. Click HERE for all the links to the 26 stories. (and no…this story is not part of Swan Rise).

The Grant of Malice (Evil Genius Blogfest)

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The Grant of Malice

Mr. Donald Furrows, Human Resources Assistant Manager, shifted in his plush leather chair, shuffled the papers in his hand a bit, put them down on the mahogany desk, and put his right index finger into his tight white shirt collar, pulling slightly, then pulling it out. He glanced up, then down, cleared his throat three times, turned two pages over, pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, folded his hands, fingers intertwined.

cough “So, Ms. Swathorn…you’re applying for the…the…”

“Evil Genius Grant. Yes, I am.” Cynthia Swathorn crossed her legs. She noticed Furrows look at them: she had worn her favorite short black dress and back seamed stockings, knowing the effect her long legs had on most men, and a number of women.

He looked up, and then she continued. “Only men keep getting the grant and title. It’s discriminatory. You hear about Lex, Dr. Moreau, The Brain, Rick, Boris…on and on, but…Mr. Furrows, I am a genius. And I am most definitely evil.”

She leaned towards the desk. The low cut top of her dress caused Mr. Furrows another uncomfortable moment of leering. The feeling was extended much further when he raised his eyes slowly and saw the malevolent smile on her face, and the glint in her eyes.

cough “Feminine wiles do not an Evil Genius make, Ms. Swathorn.”

“Cyn. Call me Cyn. I like the cheesiness of it, and it does evoke so much. Wouldn’t you agree, Mr. Furrows?” She sat back in her chair and recrossed her legs.  “Another cookie? I had time to kill this morning, so I baked. A little bribery?” She coughed a small laugh.

“No thank you, Ms. Swathorn…Cyn,” he quickly amended. “I have looked over your grant proposal, your Villainous Vitae is extremely impressive-excellent schools, each and every one. Recommendations from many of our past recipients…but, it’s just never been done, Ms. Swathorn. Discriminatory, maybe, but we’ve had problems in the past. No one seems to take a female evil genius seriously.”

“Notice the red hair?”

He nodded.

“Serious. Deadly serious. I was blond. No one takes blonds seriously. I know you noticed my figure. All deceptive maneuvers. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? I do…I certainly do. I also know that you’re protected from actual physical threats, and I was thoroughly searched before I entered this room. I gave the two guards a cookie each for a job well done.

“What you don’t know is that my grant proposal, while really well thought out, was just a lark. I knew it was good enough to get me in here. I’m that smart. It’s just a bit…much. Tunneling systems; fault lines; untold death and destruction: the good ol’ North America split into two…easy-peasy.

“So, the cookies?” Cyn leaned in close to the desk, resting her elbows on the glossy wooden top and cupping her chin in her hands. “You’ve heard the adage that ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?’ Well, it’s also a great way to introduce something special.”

Furrows’ eyes bulged.

“No, no poison…that would be old hat, and unworthy of the grant monies. You’ve probably noticed your stomach doing little gurgling noises, yes?”

He nodded.

“I call it Gorp. Sounds like Gorp, so…” she smiled. “Here’s the deal: Gorp plays havoc with your body, once it ruins your digestive track. The bathroom will be your buddy. Then, if not appeased, Gorp goes bonkers. Aches and pains like you can believe. Right now it’s tummy time.”

“We’ll find an antidote. We have the best evil minds at our call.” Gorp.

“Well, yeah…you do, but…they all got a package of cookies yesterday. Special trial offer, ‘CynFully Good Bakes’. I would say most, if not all, the top evil doers (and some of the “good guys”)  are ensconced on their porcelain goddess right now.

Now, here’s the thing: I put in a genetic ‘blender’ that keeps Gorp morphing, changing as it goes along. No set pattern after the first bout, no repeat loops, nothing lasting long enough to devise a fix. The subjects I tried it on: five days, six days max. Then…bye bye. Sign the grant paper, Mr. Furrows. Sign it.

Now.”

Cyn leaned back, adjusting her dress, top and bottom, and recrossed her legs.

Gorp “…and if I do…you have a fix for this?” Gorp

She nodded. He signed both copies and stamped them with the official seal.

Dropping a small red tablet onto the desk (having retrieved it from the hem of her dress, one place the guards were not very through with checking), Cyn got up, took her copy, and smiled as she folded it up and put it in her suitcase.

“Oh, Mr. Furrows,” she said, as she had reached and opened his office door, turning back towards him: “You’ll need a new pill in five days. Sorry, but the antidote doesn’t seem to last very long. Gorp likes to hang around. If you’d like another one, and ones after that, you might want to consider putting me up for the Lifetime Achievement Award. All that money coming in, year after year…and a plaque too. I’ve always wanted a commemorative plaque. Hear from you soon?”

She blew him a kiss.  Laughing a very righteous sinister laugh (the guards and Furrows thought to themselves), Cyn walked out with deadly precision.

Gorp

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Author’s Notes:

The Evil Genius Blogfest is the brainchild of a young lady who only goes by the handle The Golden Eagle. Her blog, The Eagle’s Aerial Perspective is celebrating it’s Two Year Anniversary today (February 27, 2012). Quite an accomplishment, and a blog well worth connecting to. There are others who are participating in this very fun blogfest: click HERE to visit the linky list of other Evil Genius stories.

Happy Anniversary, GE!

Bwwaahhahaaaaaaaa…ahem.

OH…if you’ve gotten this far down, I’ll also be involved in The AtoZ Blogfest that runs every April. Last year was my first foray and it also really set me on the road that Tale Spinning has led me. They are looking to get 1,000 people to sign up; I was in the 1100’s last year. It was an amazing month, and I got to “meet” some great writers.

I also met my (now) sweetie, the woman I adore and love,  through it, and I couldn’t be happier.

Give it a shot. If you have a writer hiding deep down inside you, this will help set it free. Sign up by clicking HERE

Too Much, Succubus (The Obsidian Journal)

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The Obsidian Journal (part one)

It Was a Bad Day (part two)

Manifold Destiny (part three)

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Too Much, Succubus (part four)

Journal Entry:

~Lilith Entry~

Aw…you ARE using the journal I gave you. You shouldn’t just leave it around, you know. Go off to cause mischief of one kind or another, and leave your Lilith all alone in bed? Mmmmm…I’ve read through what you’ve written so far.

You really think that, of little o’ me? ~~~sizzling smooch, you old devil.~~~ I mean, Devil. Sir, yes SIR.

Mmmmm…we didn’t have much time for talking when I got back from my little trip topside. You were having fun in your Diablo, and me? I was have big fun in my ride. On my ride. Under my ride. All ways, as you well know.

Should I tell you about how I went dancing around the world, wearing that way too short black dress you like so much, killer boots with heels (well, boots made in Hell…what else were they supposed to be?)…and yes, that’s it…and I attracted the attention of some club roving predators. Both sexes, and them not knowing they were not the top of that particular food chain? Tsk Tsk! They got on my bus with a whimper, but oh…they roared, later. :::smirk:::

Should I tell you about being pulled over by  six state troopers in upstate New York? Sillies…they first stopped me from speeding, then they wanted to arrest me for “Indecent Exposure”! They joined the party celebration on the bus. You could say they had Cop-ulation!

Should I tell you about how I came this close to getting a button pushed, how it would have spewed death and destruction across the orb you and HE play so many games across? How it would have ruined many of YOUR plans? How things would have gone too far in such a very, very short time? (It’s more fun-for now-just letting you know I could have.)

Do you want to know about how easy it was to raise lust in so many mortals? Do you want the details, oh Lucifer…oh, my dark Lord? Do you want to know how they would do anything, and I mean anything, I asked of them so they could “please” me?

Oh, Father of Lies; oh, Abbaddon, oh Morning Star, Mr. Scratch, Old Nick, Son of Perdition, Mephistopheles, Father of Murder, oh…Satan. Oh,  my wicked one…

You left me alone in bed, and I’m bored. I think I’ll go incite some more pleasure for myself.

Bite me, Lover.

Again and again and again…

Lilith

Sonnet: Wishing You

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Wishing you were here does not make it so;

Extraordinary surprise, waiting

Holding onto unsaid words; what I know

Creates an inner need that needs sating.

Wishing you felt so exactly the same

Craving what has not been inside so long

It is unfair to you to force equal, no blame

Should rest on one whose spirit is so strong.

But, wishing all that I wish for can drive

A chasm that could not be crossed inside

Ceasing feelings that would die, not so thrive

Pulls me inward, keeping silent; I hide.

Oh, wishing you felt like I truly do

Wishing I  the nerve to say I love you.