Category Archives: Folklore

The Prologue: The Kitsune-Mochi Saga

Standard

Part One: The Kitsune-Mochi and Tora Baku

Chiyoko had bribed Kitsune, the trickster fox, with his favorite food, a freshly caught kunimasu salmon that was ready to spawn. A rice ball, expertly made, sealed the pact. Chiyoko gained her familiar: Kitsune’s magical prowess was hers, as she had wished for. Spirit Fox hissed his displeasure, but still licked his whiskers clean.

“What do you wish of me, Kitsune-mochi? You have fed me well, and must now continue to do so, if you want my services. Tell me your story, and we shall dream together such cruel delights.”

Chiyoko told him, as she prepared another fish…

Nobou had not lived up to his name. He took what woman or girl he wanted, all the time professing his deepest love for me. I accepted, at first, the shame he brought upon me, for I truly believed in the love he professed. I did believe his lies, until he ruined Fumiko, my younger sister. Nobou crushed her delicate beauty in an afternoon by the still waters of Saiko lake, near Mount Fuji.

Fumiko tried to fight his advances off, to the regret of all. She was found unconscious, bloodied from head to delicate toe, naked and feverish from infected wounds. Fumiko drifted in and out of delirium for close to a week, uttering only “iie Nobu…iie!” once, before she drifted away into the shadow lands of Yomi.

What little law was practiced was of no use to my family. Nobou had been seen leaving the village the morning after Fumiko was found, in “quite a haste”, or so it appeared to the farmer who passed him by just as the sun was rising for the day.

“Masanori-san,” I said, gaze averted and bowing to the farmer. “Did you talk to Nabou? Please, did he say where he was off to?” Masanori the farmer only shook his head and continued working in his field. Four days later Fumiko was dead, and I approached the farmer again, with the same result.

Two weeks after the funeral ceremony, my mother passed away into Yomi as well. Father took off after Nabou a day later, in a rage like I had never seen before in so gentle a man. Weeks passed, then a month, then two…and my father has never returned. I decided that to have the justice that was deserving it must be mine to deal out. I returned to this spot off of Saiko Lake, where we found Fumiko. It is March, when the kunimasu salmon would spawn, and I set this plan in motion. Great Fox, you are that plan.

As a child I had sat at the feet of my grandmother and aunts, listening to the tales of the Kitsune-Mochi, the solitary witch who plied the trickster fox with food. Thus, fox became their thrall, and the evil and vengeance that would ensue from such a pairing. Instead of frightening me, as it did Fumiko, I had dreamt of having that power myself, and woe to any who would hurt me or those I loved.

Chiyoko’s tears of the telling mixed into the preparation of the second salmon, and this doubly satisfied Kitsune as he gobbled up this treat. “Chiyoko, your wish is mine now. Come, let us find this Nobou.”

For two years, two months, two weeks and three days, Nobou escaped Chiyoko’s wrath. The story of the fox witch reached him no matter where he went, his name attached in waves of threats and horrors to be visited upon “The Man Who So Deserved His Fate!” Changing names did not deter their coming, nor clothing nor disguise nor distance. Always coming closer, always leaving others whose evils were as great crushed beneath the power of the Kitsune-mochi! Those stories grew in those two years plus, each one driving more fear into Nabou’s dwindling soul.

It was on that third night that Chiyoko and Fox caught up to Nobou. Fox, as directed, disguised himself as a woman of such exquisite beauty that none were immune to her lure. Nobou was easily entrapped, and set to have this delicacy as his own. But, Fox played his part well. Fox pushed and pulled, flirted and flared, delicately balanced demure and distance with demand and desire. Enjoying the dance, Fox led Nobou through the illusions of love like one never experienced before.

As Nobou slept, Chiyoko, with Fox’s powers at her command, drew to her Tora Baku, the dream-devouring Tiger spirit. “What is your wish, Kitsune-mochi? What pleasures can I assist you with?”

Smiling, Chiyoko brought Tora Baku to the sleeping world that Nobou floated through. “Take his dreams of wanton pleasures, O great Tora, O great one, and eat to your own pleasure. Leave him the horror of his deeds, leave him the blood and fear and shattered lives, leave him the gaping raw edges of despair and pain and suffering. It is his want, his needs, his blessings upon himself.”

So Tora Baku ate the dream life of Nobou, and was more than pleasantly sated. Nightmare upon nightmare visited Nobou in his sleep, and even upon waking the nightmares did not cease. No matter where he turned, no matter where he ran, no matter where he sought help, the nightmare of his life descended upon him.

Nobou took his life, what living shell that was left, and was mourned by none. His broken body, upon the rocks at the bottom of the cliff, fed the animals and birds, and it was just. No one found his bones for many, many years, and then only a few, for the rest were scattered by those who had fed well. Nobou’s slim spirit remained beside that cliff, and every now and then Fox would return to laugh at him and urinate on the spot where Nobou’s body had first landed.

Chiyoko, Kitsune-mochi, and Fox traveled together for a long, long time. They created their own legends as they lived them.

Those stories are for another time.

Watch your sleep, for Tora Baku still prowls, and is hungry.

**************************************************

Part Two: He Does Not Dream

Tora Baku does not dream
So he eats the dreams of others
He sups on ones hidden hopes
Prowls around forbidden needs
Luxuriates among the flowers
Of unspoken desires.
 
Tora Baku does not dream
Snarling as he enters ethereally
Into the lands of in between.
Ah…but when he dines
The things that sate him, now divine
Bring forth a further hunger
Creating an ever growing spiral
Of emptiness and fear
That he leaves behind to fill.
 
Tora Baku does not dream
He lives inside what others do
And romps among the lovers
And romps among the dancers
And romps around the floaters
The philosophers and tramps.
He eats the dreams that matter
The small and of the large
He nestles in the wondrous
As he soars within the stars.
 
Tora Baku does not dream
But stands proudly as he devours
The Damask Rose
A green sphere
An embrace, a hug,
A skip, a jump,
An orgasm of sound,
A silence of relief,
A house in the trees,
A life running wild,
And more
And more
AND MORE…
 
Tora Baku does not dream
And in eating the inside fancies
What’s left is not a gift;
The darkness that festers in the mind
The horror of untouched hearts
The fear of devastation running wild
The gnawing of emptiness
The rendering of the soul
The peeling of the flesh
The pain of the unveiled
The pounding of the impure
The shriving, the burning,
The tearing, the wails…
He takes what gives him sustenance
Leaves behind what is unclean.
 
Tora Baku does not dream
So he eats the dreams of others.
 

*************************************************

Part Three: Kitsune-Mochi and The Bara Oni

The bramble hugged Hisoka the tailor’s body, his blood pooling on the ground as the prickly shrub tightened around him. He had screamed when it first began, then plead for help, then looked into the eyes of the beautiful rose woman before him, gasped three times, and died. Keikyoku, the Bara Oni, smiled, dipping her toes into the red liquid. She closed her eyes, head back, threw her arms open, and sang as she drank in his essence.

Chiyoko, the Kitsune-Mochi, and Fox had watched all of this occur in silence, sitting on a rock out of the way. Fox looked around him, licking his lips, hoping Bara Oni would leave some fluid for him to lap up, but he knew that wasn’t going to happen.

The Bara Oni stopped singing once all the blood had been absorbed. The roses that ran across her body grew deeper in color, standing out against her milk white skin like a beacon of life. The rose petals were moving of their own accord as she lowered her arms and turned around to face Chiyoko and Fox. Her smile did not waver.

“Did this please you, Kisune-Mochi? Was this all that you wished?” sang out the Oni.

Chiyoko nodded. “Hai. It was well done.” Fox ignored them, cleaning himself as they ignored him. “He knew, at the end, did he not?”

Taking root where she was, the Bara Oni nodded. “He knew, when he looked into my eyes, all that brought him to this. He was not a good man at all.”

“No, he wasn’t,” Fox chimed in. “Chiyoko, I could have done for him. Why did we need…her?”

“Hush, Fox. She is our guest, and has done a great service. Honor her, or no salmon tonight.”

“Hmmpphh,” Fox swished his tail, licking his lips as well at the thought of Chiyoko’s preparation of salmon and wild onions. “I am sorry if I did offer you any offense, Bara Oni.”

The demon stared at him with wide red rimmed eyes. “The tailor will make a fine addition for Maoh Mikoto in his Oni realm. Do you wish to join him, Fox?”

A slight shudder passed through Fox, but he would not let it show. “Try what you will, Keikyoku. You are no match for me.”

“Enough of this pissing contest! The two of you!” Chiyoko demanded. Both Bara Oni and Fox turned to the Kitsune-Mochi and bowed acquiescence. “Good. There is no need for this. Fox, we have many, many more vile ones to take vengeance on. Your nature will remain sated. In this case, it was good to enlist the help of our honored guest.”

“I saw what he did, as he died. It was good of you to call me for this. I am in your favor, and will come again when you call. Farewell, Chiyoko.” The Bara Oni faded away, leaving behind an exquisite Blood Rose bush with hungry thorns in her place.

“What about ‘Farewell, Fox’?” he humphed.

“HUSH! You are too full of yourself today. This was just, and you know it. Hisoka killed many, many women. He lured them to his home, raped them, then slit their throats in his back garden, feeding their blood into the soil and burying their bodies in patches, where he later planted rose bushes. This one belonged to Keikyoku. Now Keikyoku owes us a favor as well, and our allies grow. This was handled in the way I deemed it proper. Do you not agree?”

Fox sat silently, staring at the glistening bramble where the body of the tailor was encased. “Salmon?” he asked, finally.

Chiyoko sighed. To keep her familiar happy, he must be fed. To keep her powers ready for what lay ahead, he must dine well. “Yes, Fox, yes. Let us go catch and prepare our dinner. Come.”

The Kitsune-Mochi rose and walked east towards the river. Fox stared after the witch, then, when she was out of sight, padded over to the rose bush and tore out one of the largest roses, chewing it up and spitting it out. A thorn pierced his nose, he yelped, and a drop of his blood fed the bush.

“Hmmpphh,” Fox said, as he sauntered off towards his soon to be prepared meal. The Bara Oni savored her meal of Fox blood.

****************************************************

Part Four:  She Unfolds

Keikyoku unfolds, her petals dread,
And the red, red rose upon her breast
And upon her lips, and upon her, adorn;
And she seizes the wicked and leaves the rest.
She kisses the thorns, the bramble and the brier,
Leaving ruby read lips
Leaving red rimmed eyes
Leaving blood red nails traveling through the mire.
 
Keikyoku unfolds, her petals dread,
And the miscreant merchants tremble in bed
The liars, the thieves, the breakers of dreams
She brings her prickly sensations with screams.
Both soft and harsh,
Hard and pliant,
The Bara Oni comes all defiant
In the wake of the wailing,
The flesh asundered,
The demon of thorns comes not failing.
 
Keikyoku unfolds, her petals dread,
Often she’ll creep silently into your bed
But not stealing dreams, no-
That’s for Tora Baku!
But…to create new nightmares
Where others have been.
Bara Oni is harsh
Bara Oni is soft
Bara Oni is patient
Bara Oni will bray.
 
Keikyoku unfolds, her petals dread,
She’s growing a path leading to you
She’s taking root, in the darkest of places
Trailing bloody rivulets along the way.
Her needs are simple
Her ways are severe
Keikyoku unfolds,
and her petals are dread.
 

*****************************************************

Part Five: The Kitsune-Mochi and Red Helen

Drinking in the nectar of the kabosu, Red Helen sat and savored the sour orange taste. Chiyoko had chosen the best fruits of the flowering plant, intending to add their citrus flavor to the sashimi once the raw fish had been sliced. She had pricked her finger on one of the sharp thorns, giving tribute to Keikyoku, the Bara Oni. This assured her that the kabosu she picked were the ripest.

Fox was eager to feast on the masu, the Kingfish, that his Kitsune-Mochi had bartered for. Fox smiled at the memory of that very morning.

Hungry, as always, Fox had persuaded Chiyoko for something other than salmon. Coming to the small fishing village, his Kitsune-Mochi found a fisherman unloading a catch of fresh Sea Trout. Having no money to purchase it, she did as Kamehameha the fisherman had begged, divining that his first two sons were not really his. Fox had laughed and laughed at this, reveling in the sharpness of the fisherman’s intake of breath, and the tears that formed in his eyes. Chiyoko chided him for this behavior as they left the beach.

“He was sad. He loved his wife and children so much, Fox. To find out he was betrayed..aie.”

“Obviously,” Fox said, swishing his tail,”he could not have been so surprised, otherwise why ask at all? Those boys looked nothing like him. His tears were untrue and smelled of self deceit.”

“It is easy to deny what your heart does not want to believe.” Chiyoko stopped walking. “Did you summon Red Helen as I asked?”

Fox smiled and started to groom himself. “Red Helen will meet us at the kabosu plant we passed on the way into the village.”

Red Helen had been true. The Kitsune-Mochi noticed Red Helen forming from the hundred-hundreds of Oni butterflies that surrounded the plant as they approached. Becoming the nude beauty of the Chou Chou Oni. Chiyoko bowed deeply, the flapping of all those wings creating a current of wind and soft sound. The wind was refreshing. The sound…not so much. It tore into Chiyoko’s mind, sending slivers of thought drifting away faster than she could recapture their moments. Calling on the powers imbued through Fox, Chiyoko righted herself.

“Stop that now!” she commanded of Red Helen. “I am in no mood for your testing me. We have played this out before. Enough.” The sound abated to silence, with only one last cacophonous bleat as the Oni stood fully formed. Fox inwardly was pleased for that last show of defiance. His Kistune-Mochi needed some humbling.

Chide me, will you?” he thought, and planned.

“Tell me what you want, O powerful Kitsune-Mochi,” the words from Red Helen flew about. “I have other places to be.”

Chiyoko sighed but continued the meal preparation. “There is a woman in that village-there,” she pointed, “who has been unfaithful, a deceiver and hurtful to the man who loved her. I have seen into his heart, and besides being a simple soul, there is no reason to have been so betrayed. I did not tell him that although she bore two to other men, her legs have parted for many, many more. I answered only of what he asked.”

“This woman’s name?” asked Red Helen.

“Rin, wife of Kamehameha the fisherman.”

The Chou Chou Oni broke apart into a hundred-hundred Swallowtails, it’s white patched wings tinged in red. The sound of flapping died down quickly, leaving Chiyoko to finish the sashimi and serve Fox and herself. They ate in silence, until the many voiced screams came to their ears.

Chiyoko dropped her meal and ran towards the village. Fox did not follow until he finished eating (and devouring his Witch’s portion as well, feeling a truly great meal of Masu should not go to waste). He crested the ridge that slightly hid the village as it wandered down to the sea and sat back on his haunch, taking in the sights before him.

The ground of the small fishing community was littered with the shredded bodies of men and women. 128 in all lay dead, or dying, as Red Helen, en masse, sliced through them, taking in their souls as they died. The red tinged wings became a deeper red.

“No! NO! NONONO!” screamed Chiyoko. The Red Helen laughed a hundred-hundred laughs in response.

The backdrop of crying and anguish surrounded the Kitsune-Mochi as Red Helen formed again, taking a stance too close for Chiyoko’s comfort. Glaring into the witch’s eyes, Red Helen smiled a blood smile.

“Rin was not the only who deceived and hurt in their lust, known or unknown, in this ‘lovely’ little squat. I just saved YOU the trouble of calling upon me again. Thank you for all the delicious souls,” Red Helen bowed her head.

Floating over to stand even closer to Chiyoko, the Chou Chou Oni lowered her voice. “We are done, you and I. Call upon me again, and there will be one soul I will be more than happy to feast on.” With that, an explosion of wings passed around, and Red Helen was gone.

Fox sauntered up to find Chiyoko sitting on the ground. He had passed the fisherman standing amidst what was left of his unfaithful wife and unfaithful friends. Kamehameha was there in body only, hands outstretched in pleading form. Fox chuckled as he saw the empty minded husk. For once, he kept information like this to himself. His Kitsune-Mochi did serve up a truly fine meal, and he was pleased in many ways.

Head bowed, Chiyoko knew Fox approached. “She went too far. She went…too far. Fox,” she said, glaring at him, “we must take action.”

“Against Red Helen? You are madder than normal, witch. I am just one to her hundreds. Forget it. Done is done, and, in truth, you got what you asked for. It just was a larger wish of retribution then you envisioned.”

Chiyoko stood and let the sand on her clothing stay. She stared down at Fox.

“I will not forget this. Done is not done. You say you are one, she is hundreds. You, Fox, are wrong. WE are two, and we are only beginning our journey. Allies await us. Red Helen will regret what she did in my name.” Chiyoko turned away from Fox and went to find the fisherman. She took him by his hand and guided him to his home, where his children, and the ones he brought up as his, waited.

Fox stayed where he was. “You truck with Oni, you get what you deserve, witch!” he thought. He stayed where he was until night fell, and then went off to find his Kitsune-Mochi. After all, it was dinner time.


************************************************

Part Six: A Hundred-Hundreds of Wings

Red Helen dines on souls
Fine filigrees of nothings that make her whole
She sups not on dreams as Tora Baku does
Nor is she a Bara Oni, prickle twiner she,
Nor scheming Fox,
Nor hated Kitsune-Mochi…
Red Helen delves deep
and takes, making others her own.
 
Red Helen dines on souls
And turns the bodies raw
Her wings rip and shred
The earth covered in gore.
Her Hundred-Hundred wings
That she does breathe out
As she savors in the delicacies
Of the hateful and un-devout.
 
Red Helen dines on souls
The feast of it is without compare
The reaving is delicious
The terror is without compare
The shucking of the life forces
The smiles it leaves with her
The unyielding open wounds
Left in her wake
Yet for butterflies, in beauty,
No horror is more great.
 
Red Helen dines on souls
But some she waits for in glee
Wanting to exact revenges,
To bring them to their knees.
The thought of what’s to come
As things proceed upon their path
Will bring the soul she wishes to devour
To her soon, facing her exquisite wrath.
 
Red Helen dines on souls,
Chiyoko…wait and see.
Fox will do what Fox will do
And Red Helen will delve deep.

******************** *************************** ******************************

This will be the last section of the Kitsune-Mochi and Fox storyline I will post on Tale Spinning…or, at least, for quite a while.  I plan to make this, the beginning, into a novel. This is already 3,500+ words, and I have so much more I want to do with this. My main antagonist (NOT the only one) is now set up; I have my plans where I’d like to take this, and yes, I have my ending. I just need to get there.

As commercial as Redhead Riding? No; I know that, but I also feel I kinda have said all I wanted to say with Katie and David, at this point. I also want to tackle Birdsongs: The Virtuous War, as well as my The Abysmal Dollhouse series.  I am battling with myself on which way I will go.  I also have plans for the brutal That…Boy stories, as I’ve seen it flows into another novel idea Ive had for years. So…we’ll see where I go.

I hope you enjoyed this in one piece. I haven not written anything more on this since August, and I think I should, What do you think? Would you like me to finish this, although it’d be in an eBook?

Comments are always appreciated!!


The Misfortune of Sea Monsters (part three)

Standard

Part One: The Misfortune of Sea Monsters

Part Two: The Hafgufa and The Harpoon

NOTE: if you have not read parts one and two (links above), the following will make little to no sense. I am trying my hand at a serialized story, and you really do need to read it, part by part. Thank you.

… And now ladies and gentlemen, for your reading edification, the further exploits of Young Ned and his harpoon.

Chapter 3: Thus Sundering, and The Call

The Return groaned as the coils of the Hafgufa tightened around the span of the ship. As it tilted and cracked, Young Ned held onto the rail with one arm while he jabbed with his razor sharp weapon. The many tentacled creature screamed its rage with each piercing. The thrashing beast of the deep blue continued its crushing actions.

Many of the crew members put up a valiant fight but were soon tossed into the sea…many losing their battle immediately. The stronger swam away; too many were swept under by the beating of one tentacle or another. Capt. Magnus had strapped himself to the wheel of his ship, brandishing his cutlas with  accurate and deadly aim. The realization that all was lost for The Return came upon him almost too late.

“Save yourself Young Ned!,” yelled the captain.” The Return is lost.” and, cutting the straps that held him to his beloved vessel, the captain dove into the waiting seas.

Young Ned would not go so easily. As The Return  tilted and broke apart, Young Ned continued his battle against his most hated foe. Even dangling from the rail he would not give up. It was not until the ship’s began to break into kindling that Young Ned was forced to cede this horrible skirmish and find shelter in the cold waiting waters.

Swimming as if his life depended on it, which it did, Young Ned strove to haul himself as far away from the ship as he could. The Return began its descent to the bottom of the sea, being escorted by the Hafgufa. It squelched and ripped and tore apart the once mighty ship, and there was nothing that could save it. Many of the seamen went down with the ship, caught in the whirlpool of the returns drowning, and their own lack of strength. Young Ned, the last in the water, made excellent headway and was saved from going down with the ship.

Yet, there was no land in sight. He had out swam the flotsam and jetsam of the dying ship. As strong and determined as he was, Young Ned could not but grew tired. For a while he alternated between floating and his failed attempts at swimming for a non-existent shore. It took a lot to discourage him, what with all that he and his family have been through. This, though, seemed to Young Ned to be his last hurrah. The last of his strength ebbing away, Young Ned laid his arms at his side, still holding onto the tool which he still hoped, as he drifted away, would slay the Hafgufa.

************

Young Ned was prodded awake with something sharp in the side of his head. Rousing himself, he got up on one elbow and found himself to be on dry ground; a copse overlooking the sea. Looking around he was startled at first by the empty landscape in front of him. Poked again from behind, he was equally startled (if not more so) than what was now before him.

” You do know, I would think twice before eating you.” She smiled, and the smile sent shivers through Young Ned… But not in a good way.

to be continued…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Misfortune of Sea Monsters (part two)

Standard

Part One: The Misfortune of Sea Monsters

NOTE: if you have not read part one (link above), this  will make little to no sense. I am trying my hand at a serialized story, and you really do need to read it, part by part. Thank you.

Part Two: The Hafgufa and The Harpoon

Captain Magnus tried to stop Young Ned from leaping to a certain lost cause, but he was too late. The Return swayed, but no man was more made more steady on his feet than a captain whose ship was an extension of himself.  The large ripples the beast made, as it bore Meigs down, tried their best to topple him. He heard some of his men falter and gasp, but he would have none of that.

You’re a fool, Young Ned. A brave one, but a fool all the same.” The captain stayed at the side of his ship, speaking to an uncaring sea, waiting for any sign.

The foolish Young Ned was far below, swimming downward. His labor was fierce, as the creature tunneled the water as it  should, and Young Ned was handicapped by the harpoon he knew he must have. Meigs was a rag doll in the monster of the deep’s tentacles, and his mate, his friend,  felt it was already too late, but this feeling only propelled him to swim faster.

The “Vanishing Island” (for so the Hafgufa  has been called) belched a stream of, what Young Ned thought would be if one could smell underwater, noxious fumes.  Stopping it’s descent, it turned towards Young Ned, its eyes locking onto him. A tentacle was thrust towards him, then another and another.  Each time the attack was thwarted by a true blow of the exquisite sharpness of the harpoon that Young Ned wielded. Both he and the monster scored points, but none were as deep or as ruinous as what came from the well placed harpoon.

He was fast losing the last of his air reserves when a well placed jab freed the sea undulating body of SM Meigs. Young Ned grabbed his comrade and began his ascent. The creature, leaking foul fluids from the many contact hits delivered,  sent out a spasm of its own pain and struck Young Ned across his back,  sending the harpoon spiraling out of Young Ned’s  hand and knocking him unconscious.

***

The deck of The Return was hard and wet under Young Ned’s back,  as he coughed up the bracken sea water. Retching was a rude awakening, but any revival from what seemed like certain death was a good one. Captain Magnus gave his one good hand to Young Ned and helped him stand. Young Ned politely shook him off, bent at the knees, and expelled the last of the wretched substance.

Standing up, Young Ned looked around him. There, amidships, by the mizzenmast, lay the body of SM Meigs. Nothing was said: he knew Meigs was dead as sure as he knew the Hafgufa would pay, and pay dearly. Young Ned also noticed one other thing: the harpoon he carried into battle lay at his feet.

Puzzled, he bent and picked it up. “Captain, how…” he began.

“I know, lad, I know. You should have been as dead as poor Meigs.  Too much time had passed, and the lads and, sadly, I, had given up all hope. The sea waters were thrashing for all to see, then they went still. I had said my prayers and sent you Godspeed to Davey Jones embrace, when…well…”

“What? Please Captain. I don’t understand why I am still alive, here on deck. I felt a blow across my back, a shattering pain lanced through, and I felt the sea enter me as I quickly lost all awareness.”

Captain Magnus stared hard at Young Ned. He turned his head and spat over the rail. Turning back, it was the first time the captain would not make eye contact.

“You know me for an honest man, as honest as the sea will allow one to  be. The crew saw this too, or I wouldn’t have believed it myself. We had given up all hope, but…the mysteries of the seas are deep. The still water broke apart, Young Ned, and you, Meigs and that harpoon were on the back of a narwhal. This one was male, a lovely helical tusk, as woven as a twisted knot of hair. It floated long enough for us to retrieve you and poor Meigs. We thought you were gone too, but, well, you coughed up the sea as it coughed up yourself.”

“The narwhal?” Young Ned inquired.

“Slid away and gone. Come…no use scratching our heads about this. You are alive, Young Ned, and I am glad that I can keep my promise to your sister that you stay that way. Well, at least for today.” Captain Magnus smiled, slapped Young Ned on the back, and turned, barking orders to set course for land and home.

Walking over to the body of his friend, Young Ned knelt and said some prayers. He also vowed, in these moments of silence, to seek vengeance, so dreadful and sincere. Lost in his moments of grief, it was only the collision of the boatswain, Mr. Diggs, that brought him around to a deck that was beginning to tilt and the noses of men in a panic.

“Diggs…what is it, man?”

The boatswain, face ashen, said “Look starboard; look what you’ve brought upon us!”

Pushing the man away, harpoon still in hand, Ned rushed starboard an pulled himself up and looking over the rail:

The Hafgufa’s tentacles were climbing the sides of The Return, tilting the ship. One passed by his head and twisted onto the mizzenmast behind him. One solid jerk, and the Hafgufa and Young Ned were staring at one another, connected by sea, wood, and bone.

The Return cried a mournful sound upon the waters.

to be continued…

********************************************************************************************

The Rule of Three Blogfest for 2011 is done; voting will soon be open, and our long list of finalists can be found at our brand new Welcome to Renaissance blog page!!!  Eleven great writers/stories out of about 60 participants. It was not easy. Please read the stories in order (links will be on the above link). ENJOY!!!!

My Life On The Amazon!

Standard

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook

ANNOUNCING…

My very first solo eStory on Amazon

My first solo eStory!!

Flash Over is only the first (hopefully) of my ePublications. I hinted at this before, and now it’s the start of the reality.

Thanks to the fine people at Trestle Press I now have an eStory published that is not part of an anthology. It’s 4,000 words long, and it costs just $ .99. I get 70% of that, so…yeah, the more the merrier. Won’t you make me merry?😉

Product Description: Seth had been devoured by fire. What does a man do when the life of flame becomes as real as his waking life? When the sound of fire is the beat of his blood through his body? When what he sees he lives?

You can find it at Amazon: Flash Over

I have two more stories published, both in charity anthologies, supporting Doctors Without Borders through Ethics Trading (two great ladies: Thank You Sarah & Catrina). You can find them on my brand new Amazon Authors Page. Two volumes, both $3.99, and both support a worthy cause. Please give them a try.

After Dark has my paranormal luv tale of two Trolls and the Ferryperson who tries to come between them. Tongue in cheek fun, with some punnery from me.

Seven other authors make out this wonderful volume of paranormal fun.

Only $3.99; proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders!!!

Dawn of Indie Romance was the first anthology I have a story in. Redhead Riding is, yes, a romance, from ME. That might surprise those who enjoy my creepy stuff.

Again, seven other writers lead to a great book.

As above, Only $3.99; proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders!!!

More to come as I journey down the Amazon.

Prompts and Circumstance: Final #REN3 Prompts

Standard

First…it is the Final  Countdown…

And Now…The Week Four Prompts

Remember: you must use at least one of these prompts.

  1. The misfortune is resolved/accepted.
  2. Relationships mend/ are torn asunder.
  3. The final event becomes another secret for generations to come.
  4. There is a new arrival in town.

Don’t forget: At the TOP of your post, please include the following:

  • Links to all three previous stories
  • The prompt(s) you are using for this last section
  • Word Count

What Comes Next:

  • In November, Damyanti, Lisa, JC and I will be going over the stories, choosing our favorites, sending them back and forth, and choosing our shortlist entries. We have a number of prizes, but they are limited. We have a LOT of great stories, and this is going to be tough. Really, really tough.
    • (Now is the time for Bribing the Judges!! ;)  )
  • The poll of the shortlisted entries will go up on the 2nd of November (Wednesday). On this date,  we request all participants to sign up on this new linky list  for a  Postmortem/analysis/reflective feedback post.
  • You will then be able to also vote on your favorite of the shortlisted stories. 
    • The voting will close on Wednesday,  9th of November.
    • Winners will be declared on Friday, November 11th.
  • We also have a few other surprises to announce…well, one really big one, which we’ve kept under wraps, and another that has been hinted at. So… stay tuned and look for an email or two before it’s announced  on our four blogs.
      • (Hope that has gotten our writers excited. I SO want to tell you, but I’d have to kill ME if I did that).

Contest News:

CONTEST: What did Mississippi Lil give to Gid at the end of  Chapter Three of my story (click here)?

Hi Folks: I’m actually very serious here. You can thank Golden Eagle for this idea: she innocently stated, in the comments section of This Weeks Posting, that she was wondering what was the  ” something cold and hard” Mississippi Lil gave Gid, to “use it well”.

So…what was it?

Be inventive, staying within the confines of what I’ve been setting up here,  be  descriptive. in something “normal” in what you think she passed to him. Or be descriptive inventive.  ;)  Just be specific. I don’t need a storyline, just that “thing.”

Post those thoughts in the comments section by 5:00 pm (EST), Sunday October 23rd.

On Sunday night, I will post a poll for  you to vote on. The poll will only be open for  24 hours (from when I post the poll-time tbd): it will close on Monday evening October 24th.  The item that gets the most votes will be it. It could change the story, and that would be fun for me to work around. Yes, I have NOT written Part Four yet. Haven’t even started word one on it. I’ll start the story after the poll closes.

What will you get? Mentions here, links to your website, fame and glory, and I’ll do one of my Writers Interviews with you, that I post on BornStoryteller (my other blog). How is that? Best as I can do. Hope you’ll join in.

Stu

Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Gid (#REN3 Part Three)

Standard

The Shared World of Renaissance:

Part One: Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Mississippi Lil

Part Two: Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Doc Stovepipe

The Prompts for Week Three:

  1. The impending misfortune foreshadowed in the 1st prompt comes to pass, but one or more characters laugh at it.
  2. Betrayal is in the air.
  3. Relationships unravel or strengthen.
  4. A long-kept secret is revealed.

Word Count: 594

Part Three: “…the only truth that sticks.”

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!”

End of Part Three

*************************************************************************

CONTEST: What did Mississippi Lil give to Gid at the end of the story?

Hi Folks: I’m actually very serious here. You can thank Golden Eagle for this idea: she innocently stated, below in comments, that she was wondering what was the  ” something cold and hard” she gave Gid, to “use it well”.

So…what was it?

Be inventive, staying within the confines of what I’ve been setting up here,  or descriptive. in something “normal” in what you think she passed to him. Or be descriptive inventive. 😉

Post those thoughts in the comments you leave and I’ll either choose one OR have you all come back to vote on the choice (Poll time, I think), and the item that gets chosen will be it. It could change the story, and that would be fun for me to work around. Yes, I have NOT written Part Four yet. Haven’t even started word one on it.

What will you get? Mentions here, links to your webrsite, fame and glory, and I’ll do one of my Writers Interviews with you, that I post on BornStoryteller (my other blog). How is that? Best as I can do. Hope you’ll join in.

Stu

********************************************************************************************

Part Four: Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Sacrifices and Retribution (coming 10/26/2011)

Last Prompts: Friday, October 21,  2011

Special Side Story: Renaissance: Missing Air (this is set in the future and has ties to the Doc Stovepipe story)

***************

The following two stories have nothing to do with the Doc Stovepipe stories above, but are set in my Renaissance world:

Renaissance Teaser: Prissy’s Story

Renaissance Teaser: Jewel’s Story

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

Standard

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.

***********************************

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:

All Things Wept

Standard

A Tale of The Norse Gods…and so it came to pass one day that Baldr the Undying was dead. Baldr, son of Frigg, Queen of Asgard, and Odin, King of the gods, the All Father. Baldr was brave and  beloved by all, and most especially by Frigg: as Queen of the gods, she made everything in existence swear never to harm Baldr, except for the mistletoe which she found too young to demand an oath from.  Baldr, who was slain by the hands of blind Höðr, Frigg’s other son. It was not Höðr’s fault. It was a conceit of the gods that felled Baldr, for in sport they were amused that nothing could harm Baldr. That one weakness was used by the treachery of the trickster god, Loki. He was the one who gave the mistletoe to Höðr, in the shape of an arrow, that last morning.

“I really, really don’t like this,” Huginn cawed. He had been to Hel, the goddess of death,  and back,  in a bid for the return to life of one so loved by the woman he accompanied. He was cold and miserable, and did not think there would be the outcome she desired.

I know,” Frigg said, ignoring him as best she could. Both she and Huginn were drenched. Her clothing and hair were sodden and plastered against her, and Huginn’s feathers clotted with the wet. None of this discomforted her as it did Odin’s minion. She was relishing standing in the Rain of Tears for what it would bring; he, not so much.

Frigg called on all things to weep for Baldr, her son. They did, they all did (or so she thought), and the tears washed down upon her.   Hel, goddess of the dead, those unclaimed into Valhalla, were hers to do with as she so wished. Frigg begged for this boon, and Hel had only one condition to be met: all things must weep for Baldr.  Hel had promised the return of her son to the living if that would be accomplished.

One did not break a promise to Frigg, Queen of the Æsir. Especially a promise about someone she loves so completely.  Frigg stood with arms outstretched, chin raised to the heavens above the heaven that she resided in. Waiting. Waiting for Hel to return Baldr to her.

Huginn, the raven of the moment, thought that something was wrong, knew it deep down inside his hollow bones. His beak pecked at the rocks, tasting the tears that fell.

“Frigg, there is something wrong. Not all things weep. There is one who does not.” Frigg looked down upon Huginn, and if he was a creature that knew fear he would have felt it then, and deeply. “A giantess, Thökk, does not weep for Baldr.” She waved him dry, and he flew off to Thökk’s cave.

Seeing through Huginn’s eyes, speaking through his beak, Frigg said to Thökk:

WHY ARE YOU NOT CRYING FOR BALDR? HE WAS MOST TREACHEROUSLY TAKEN FROM HIS LIFE BY LOKI, WHO HAS PAID FOR THIS DEED. HEL ASKS ONLY FOR YOUR TEARS!”

She replied:

“Thökk will weep
waterless tears
For Baldr’s bale-fare;
Living or dead,
I loved not the churl’s son;
Let Hel hold to that she hath!”

Huginn flew off, looking for a place of safety, to watch and have a report for the All-Father, Odin. Frigg appeared, full of fury, and the battle that ensued was fierce.  Thökk was strong even for the race of the giants, but she was no match for the queen. Yes, she used her magics, crafts of stone and wood, flinging them against the Queen. Her spear was fashioned by the dwarfs, magical and powerful, and while it did Frigg some damage and drew ichor, it was not enough. Frigg was finally able to wrestle the spear away and broke it across the giantesses back, felling her. Straddling Thökk, Frigg demanded the weeping needed for Baldr while choking her. Still the giant refused, and in this refusal Frigg lost all restraint. Taking the two halves of the once mighty spear, Frigg tattooed a devastating rain of blows upon her fallen foe.

Beaten and broken, Thökk did weep, and this was enough for the agreement. All things wept for Baldr, wanting or not. Hel released him, and Baldr appeared by his mother’s side. She rushed to him and embraced him, and he returned the gesture and the affection. Kneeling, he thanked Frigg for what she did. She placed her hand on his head, and the Rain of Tears ceased.

“Who is this, mother?” he asked as he rose, firmly planting his feet again among the living.

“This was the one whose tears brought you back to the Æsir. Remember Thökk in this way, Baldr.”

Baldr bowed his head in thanks, and then arm in arm he and Frigg returned to Fensalir, her realm.

One last drop fell from  the eye of Thökk. Huginn noted it, went to drink from this tear, and flew off to report back to Odin. Huginn appreciated the skill and power that was expelled, and thought enough of it to make note for the bards, so that they would craft a piece that would bring all to their feet in the halls of Asgard.
******************************
Magpie Tales provided the photo prompt that heads off this very special episode of Tale Spinning.

Thökk’s answer to Frigg is cited from the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning and is copied as it is translated. The rest of this story is mine.

Video Trailer 2: The Rule of Three Blogfest

Standard

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

Standard

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.

*******************************************************************************

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.