Category Archives: Novella

Zenith of All Things (A to Z Blog Challenge)


**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 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 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.



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


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.  🙂



Syndrome of the White Knight


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.



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.

Interview With the Writer: Damyanti Biswas of Daily (W)rite


In April 2011, most of you who have been reading BornStoryteller and Tale Spinning know I was involved in two blogfest challenges. That is what got the writing bug back into me big time. It also introduced me to some amazing people and some amazing writers (the two are not exclusive).

Damyanti Biswas of Daily (W)rite is one of those who is both of the above, and more. Not only have we gotten to know each other through our writing, but we have exchanged many comments, emails, REAL LIVE LETTER WRITING LETTERS, Skype conversation, and now…drum roll, please…we have joined (with Li of Flash Fiction and JC of Fighter Writer) to produce our own blog fest: The Rule of Three Fiction Writers Blog Fest, rules and such will go up by Wednesday August 31st, 2011. YES>>>Tomorrow!! Check out a little bit of a tease after the interview.

Interview 3 of the Rule of Three Co-Hosts

Can you tell us a little bit about Damyanti the Writer?

First off, Stuart, I’d like to thank you for this awesome opportunity to answer questions on your blog!

To answer your question: before I started writing, there was too much of Damyanti. Now, every once in a while, Damyanti disappears, and there is just the Writer. My aspiration now is to make Damyanti disappear as much as possible, and let only the Writer remain.

How would you describe your writing style? Are you a blogger who writes, or a writer who blogs? Is there a difference?

I don’t know if I have a defined writing style. I try to experiment with my writing as much as possible–if I reduce it to a recipe or a method, it won’t remain exciting for me. I became a blogger before I was a ‘writer’. But slowly, as I began to struggle through my writing, I realized that my blogs had become about writing. Today, I’m essentially a writer who blogs. Of course, there’s a difference…writers who blog tend to focus a lot more on writing and reading, and their writing voice shines through in their blogs.

What writer(s) have inspired you, and why?

Too many to name. I’ve talked about this in detail recently in this post, and wouldn’t clog up your post with it. I’ve read almost all my life, and my writer-heroes have changed with the seasons. I’m a voracious reader, and there are few genres that I avoid— I love and feel inspired by different writers for different reasons.

You just self-published your own ebook. Can you tell us about it?

My debut ebook is called A to Z stories of Life and Death. It was born during the A to Z challenge created by Arlee Bird and supported by a few other awesome writer-bloggers. I wrote 26 short shorts in the 26 days of April 2011, and on the suggestion of a few of the regular readers, I decided to edit those into a book. The book is also available via Smashwords.

To tell you more of what the book is about, here’s the blurb:

How do you judge a teacher toying with the sexuality of her teenaged student? A boy who decides to murder his mother? What thoughts rage inside a pedophile serial killer before he shoots himself? These are some of the premises of 26 stories of life and death, based on the 26 letters of the alphabet. They question the concepts of beauty, truth, and morality, by revealing the face of the other side.

Why self publish?

I think there is a big difference between self-publishing today and ten years back. Earlier, writers used to self-publish because they could not make it past the gatekeepers of traditional publishing. Today, a lot of traditionally published and successful writers are also going the (electronic) self-publishing route. The publishing world is in state of flux, and writers need to keep up with the technology that is bringing about this change. I published the e-book as an experiment, to teach myself the steps involved in getting a book out there on Kindle and Smashwords, and I have to say I have learned a lot. I’ll continue to seek both traditional and electronic publishing.

What other work have you had published that you are most proud of?

My stories have been published in various print publications by Monsoon Press, Marshall Cavendish and MPH. I think I was proud of each work as I sent it off, and I still love them, in a way. I know I can write better stories today than an year ago, but I imagine that is not a bad thing.

I know you like Blogfests. Can you tell us what excites you about them? What was your favorite one?

Blogfests encourage a tremendous sense of community, and I love that. The ones I like best are those that involve a writing challenge: the harder, the better. I have had a lot of favorite blogfests down the years, most of them involving the writing of short fiction, and it is hard to mention just one. Of course, I’ll take this opportunity to plug our month-long fiction blogfest, The Rule of Three: all information available on  Wednesday August 31st.    I’ll urge readers to head over to one of our blogs for the guidelines and sign-up! (links will be edited in/provided for all four blog pages as of Wednesday; until then, use the links above to go to individual blogs…Stu)

Now that you’ve published your A to Z book, what is your next “big” project?

I’m working on a novel, and a collection of short stories. I’m looking towards getting them traditionally published. I’m also planning another A to Z collection to publish as an e-book, and am writing several stories that will be published as e-books as well.

If you could have a summit with world leaders, and they HAD to answer your questions, what two or three questions would you want answered most?

I don’t know that there is any use asking our world leaders any questions, because they would only answer in platitudes. But some of the questions would be:

What are you doing today for our environment, so we can pass on a better world to our children?

Can you take the some of the same pay- cuts and suffer the same hardships that you expect your country-people to suffer?

Is there anything else you’d like us to know, or a question/challenge you’d like to give our readers?

Like any writer who has recently published a book of fiction, I’m dying to know what readers think of A to Z Stories of Life and Death…so if the blurb makes them head over to the book and they read it, I would like to ask what they think is good about it, and also point out the parts they think could be better.

Damyanti Asks Three questions for the readers:

  1. What makes you pick up a book?
  2. Do you only buy books from one genre?
  3. What would persuade you to spend your money on a book that does not belong to your favorite genre?



About Damyanti:

Damyanti lives more in her head than in this world, adores her husband, and loves her pet fish and plants. She is an established writer for magazines and journals. Her short fiction has been published in the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Muse India and in print anthologies by Marshall Cavendish, Monsoon Books, and MPH publications. You can find her at

Connect with her online:

Twitter: damyantig

My Blog:

Email: atozstories at gmail dot com

And, here is that teaser hint I promised you above. Enjoy!

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.

Part One: The Kitsune-Mochi and Tora Baku

Part Two: He Does Not Dream

Part Three: Kitsune-Mochi and The Bara Oni

Part Four: She Unfolds

Part Five: The Kitsune-Mochi and Red Helen

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

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. Starting August 15th, I plan to sit and 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, and I am battling with myself on which way I will go. Maybe both in the same day (morning with one; afternoon with the other), but it’s too soon to tell where my creative juices take me. I also have plans for the brutal That…Boy stories, as well as a few others. So…we’ll see where I go.

Hope you’ve been enjoying this. Stick around for new things as they come to me. Comments are always appreciated!!

FridayFaves: Flash Fiction


One of the major benefits of joining the two blog challenges in April (A to Z Challenge and the Ultimate Blog Challenge) was in finding some amazing people along the way. Through the summer of 2011, at least, I plan to honor writers and bloggers that I have come to admire and respect for (1) their abilities and (2) their being really nice human beings.

My first is Lisa V. who writes the blog Flash Fiction. Her fiction writing is impeccable, in my book, and it is always a pleasure to read her daily (or, just about daily).  She tries her hand at all styles of writing, takes on my blog challenges (and is, IMHO, one of the best at meeting the various demands), and is a presence on Twitter (follow her @ficflash).

What amazes me about Li’s writing is how in such scarcity of words she can convey so much, so eloquently. Check out her 100 word and 30 word challenges, and see if you don’t agree.

Li has been a constant thorn in my…um, lovely presence in commenting on my stories here on Tale Spinning, as well as truly giving me what I want as a writer: honest critiques. We have corresponded here, on Twit, and through emails, and I am proud to call her a new friend.

Please give her a read, and a follow. I highly recommend her.

BTW: if you are a writer of fiction, please leave your blog/twitter information on the comments. I am really trying to find those with the passion for writing that Lisa, I and others have. You can follow me on Twit @StuStoryteller. Thanks.

A Tale of Two Awards


It was the best of awards…A few days ago, I got TWO blog awards from two very nice bloggers.

First I got the Straight from the Heart Award from Anna Sides. Her blog can be found here: The Other Side of Anna

Anna says about herself: I am a quiet woman that every once in awhile would just like to ‘cut loose’ and be ME!

The other one was the Kreative Blogger Award from Mary Hudak-Collins on her blog: Living with Food Allergies and Celiac Disease.

Mary states: I am married to a wonderful man with two lovely children. In Nov. 2009, our daughter was diagnosed with food allergies and Celiac Disease. Since that week, our life has changed drastically for the better. Having a great attitude towards diet changes has made us successful with our change.

So, a huge honking THANK YOU to both ladies for these awards. Tale Spinning shall wear them with pride.

Now, From Mary, I’m supposed to reveal ten things about myself  in accepting the Kreativ Blogger one. Here we go:

I am ridding myself of toxic people in my life (just too draining); I have more CD’s, Cassettes & Albums then Ill ever listen to (again), and I still want more ’cause I love music; I am both an extrovert and an introvert; I’m amazed that people like it when I do any poetry; I really like Redheads, Then Brunettes (is that two? Yes, I’m making it two, so there!); I feel in a past life I was Scottish (no reason why); I have really ugly toes (I mean scaring children ugly); I use “OY” a lot; I like ellipses!  There…10!!

As to passing this on, I’m taking a cue from another blogger friend (who politely asked for no more awards, as they do take time away from what we normally post, which is fiction). She is posting, once a week, a blogger that means a lot to her, and one she wants others to get to know better. I want to put a lot of thought into this, so for now…

Thanks for all the fish!



Don’t Panic

Poll: Vote For Fave Stories *Updated


Hello and Welcome:

I have been writing almost daily (well, I have been, but not always posting on Tale Spinning) and the responses to continue certain story lines was intense. If you have not visited here before, I created a poll to see which stories have resonated most with my readers. The links to the stories are below the poll, so if you are just discovering my work, you have a one stop page to check them out. Please take a look and post if you have any favorites you’d like to see me continue. You also can vote for up to THREE of the tales.

Yes, I have been writing since, and those will be on another poll, at a later time.


Work In Progress (No Title),               Look at…/Epigamic,                  Thou Premonished…,

The Spenetic Tango                             Bushwhacked

Little Animal,                                        Night Abduction                       Beware of Falling Cows

Redhead Story                                       Birdsong: The Walkabout Man

Thou Premonished…Beware the Hundred Handed


Holly and Faith ran, ran, ran for all they were worth, and then some. The clanking and yelling followed them no matter where they ran or climbed or hid. “StupidStupidStupidSTUPID,” cried Faith, lagging just a breath behind Holly.

Not even having the air to answer her “shut up!”, Holly dodged the tree limbs and roots, the rocks and drops of land as she raced along. She couldn’t see far, the leaves of the trees slicing apart what light from the moon there was. Her face was a tattoo of bloody welts, crisscrossing in abstract intersecting lines, and her arms and hands were no better. Faith looked the same, the one time she was racing beside her, but she was wearing shorts and her legs looked…Holly gagged at the thought. She ran.

100 stones through the air, crashing around the two, nicking and gouging them. 100 more followed, smashing into body parts already at the breaking numb stage. 100 eyes, 50 pair, tracked the movements of the two that fled, as the Hecatonchire crashed after them, plowing the earth in its quake. Gyes took out its’ swords, the 100 for the Hundred Handed, the short and long, the double and serrated edged, the barbed and hooked and curved, and let out a piercing scream that you would swear would cause any animal in a siriometer to flee for its life.

It did spur Holly and Faith to find a renewed pace, as their hearts gripped them in desperate fear.

Faith wanted to cry. She wanted to just drop, but she couldn’t abandon Holly. Everyone else was dead. The monster killed their parents, her boyfriend, the professors and their friends. It emerged from the cave so fast, so utterly savage. It had all these blades, and they swirled so fast and cut so deep. Body parts flew all around and only a few had time to utter a scream, or tried to run. Holly and Faith were holding fort by the camp, bored with the whole idea, wanting to go home. They were dragged kicking and screaming the whole way.

Now they were running and screaming away. The tried to get to the cars, but the damned thing cut them off, and they had no choice but to run in the opposite direction. Faith couldn’t get the sound of the whirling whooshing cutting of air sound the monster made, the blades cleaving the air in its attempt to get them. It almost did, twice. The first time just as they jumped off the ledge into the lake. Not a far jump, but enough to cause the thing to stop.

Holly and Faith swam to the other side as fast as they could, not a large width at all but it felt like miles. Rising out, sodden, they looked back to see the thing sheath the swords and start making it’s way down to them. That was hours ago, when it was still light out.

The second time it almost got them was when they hit the line of trees, thick closely grown together trees that had wide enough spaces for the two of them, but not many that would accept the size of the thing after them. This time is was rocks and stones, and the trees at first saved them. Faith in shock laughed that the Ents saved them, and Holly slapped her out of her descending madness. They raced on, but not as fast, with not as much wind, with very little hope.

Gyes sliced the hindrance before it. The tree that had stood for hundreds of years became splinters. As did the next one, and the next. Tall or thick, it did not matter. Gyes only had one thing driving it, and the quarry was getting closer. Slash, stab, thrust at a speed and ballet-like beauty, the Hundred Handed smiled through deadly teeth as it made it’s way forward. Gyes only had one purpose, to guard it’s charge. They had their warning, and did not heed it. It had been engraved above the rock warren: “Thou Premonished… Beware The Hundred Handed.”

Holly tripped and began to fall. Faith tried to catch her, but their combined momentum sent them both down. Both winded, with no wind left. Holly began to cry dry tears. She clawed her way up a tree trunk, and reached down to grab Faith.

Faith saw Holly’s arm fly off into a hundred pieces, the blood splattering the air and Faith and the tree..and the swords. She screamed, back peddling the way, shoving her fist into her mouth to stiffle the scream as she saw her sister cut into a hundred hundred bits. She saw the too many heads smile in unison, she saw the blades and the arms arc their way through her younger sister, the good child, the good girl. Sliced and diced, like those they only caught glimpses of from the camp site.

Faith whimpered, biting into the hand that was in her mouth, causing more blood to foam. She defecated and urinated, unable to control any part of herself. Her eyes were near bursting with the fear that her heart and stomach were pumping out. Fell into complete darkness as the shadow of the thing blocked out all moon light.

Gyes came forwards, raising its arms its swords its laughing to the sky, opening itself up so it could return to the cave…

A huge scythe sliced through the middle of Gyes, now separating the Hundred Handed. Gyes fell in two parts, its top half barely missing crushing Faith. She was still shaking, still whimpering, still biting her hand, when she passed out.

It was dawn light when she became aware again. There was light in the sky, enough to see. Faith moved her hands in front of her. No blood. No cuts. She raised herself was only fixated on what she could see of herself. Except for tears and rents in her clothing, and feeling her face, she was unmarred. Tears swept out of her, running down her face, as she remembered Holly and the others. She looked over where Holly had been..where Holly had been..where there was a giant of a being standing, looking down at her.

Colorless, but holding all the colors coalescing so it hurt her head to look upon this…man? She stood up, afraid but not, but more afraid when she took in the giant sized whopper of a scythe.

“I am Cronus,” the words came to her, not spoken out loud but known all the same. “You and yours freed me from an eternity of imprisonment and despair. Gyes left me alone too long, so blindly following its command. Gyes was the stupidest one of the three Hecatonchires. Deadly, but ultimately stupid. Stupid to leave me unattended for so long.  Stupid to leave my tool so close at hand. He could not stand up to the sickle which had once separated heaven and earth.  I am free, and that…” he nodded to the two halves, “is not.”

“What are you?” she asked, more out of nerve and trying to hold herself together then really wanting to know. This was almost too much for her to handle, and she felt herself slipping away, but she couldn’t allow herself to do so.

Cronus looked down upon Faith. “I am the first of the Titans, their ruler. I overthrew my father and created a Golden Age, but I was betrayed myself. It is time for revenge.” Peering down and into her, he knew.

“Faith, it is your time for revenge as well. I could heal your wounds, your fouling of yourself, but I can not bring your family back.” Her tears stopped as he said this.”You are their champion, Faith. Be mine as well.”

She knew her answer. She spit upon Gyes twice, both halves, and walked over to join Cronus.

Tale Spinning the A to Z Challenge


The A to Z Blog Challenge: Using the 26 letters of the alphabet, the challenge was to post something every day for the month of April, except for the Sundays. I am proud to say that I DID it…well, just about.

I DID write all A-Z posts in April, but a few days I switched the day off or wrote two in one day to catch up. Not often, but still: 26 story blogs in one month (and that’s not counting the 3o blogs I wrote on my other blog, BornStoryteller, for the Ultimate Blog Challenge). I’m pretty proud of myself for this feat, as well as for the connections I made with other bloggers.

There have been a number of amazing people who have read my ongoing story here, and the feedback I get from them has been humbling and inspiring. I’m more afraid of forgetting someone and making someone feel I don’t value their input and support, so I’m going to wuss out and just say THANK YOU to all who read Tale Spinning, have commented, and those who read and lurk only. It means a lot to me.

HUGE mega thanks to the people who created and ran this challenge:

Arlee Bird’s Tossing It Out
Jeffrey Beesler’s World of the Scribe
Alex J. Cavanaugh Alex J. Cavanaugh
Jen Daiker’s Unedited
Candace Ganger’s The Misadventures in Candyland
Karen J Gowen at Coming Down the Mountain
Talli Roland
Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Blogs

Let’s do this again. It was fun!

Z(ippidy-do-DOH!): A toZ Challenge


To read the whole story thus far…

Part 24: Zippidy-do-DOH!

They did not get far. The Lewd Ones were waiting around the slight bend that the tunnel took, to the left, then straight. Floating in mid air were three of the most stunningly beautiful women that any of them had ever seen. Nakedly floating, and moving around each other, touching each other, in ways that it would take quite the perverted mind to imagine.

“Wow..I had a dream like this once,” Daniel said. Elora glared at him for the comment, and was going to make quite a comment of her own, when Daniel was whisked into the air. Air whisking had nimble fingers, because before you could count to 1..2.. all of his clothes were laying on the floor under him. Under the lewd ones…and they liked it. Their smiles were the smiles of sirens leading sailors to their dooms, but just less moist.

Speaking in one voice, The Lewd Ones seductively and mellifluously said, as they wrapped themselves around and around and around Daniel: “Come,boy boy boy,come play with us us us, Barbeb, Pronia and Prunikos are so lonely lonely lonely. Fill us and stroke us and tenderly glide with us..Fill us and stroke us and tenderly glide with us..Fill us and stroke us and tenderly glide with us..” the r

“Daniel! Do something!” Elora screamed up. Elora and Jennifer Rose tried to grab a hold of him, but he was just out of reach. They also had to watch out for the three floating things with him: one had clawed at Jennifer rose, another tried to bite Elora, and the third one was slobbering all over Daniel, and great gobs of saliva like liquid fell around the two grounded ones.

“I’m..hey..try…Stop THAT!…STOP THAT!…to!” Daniel was squirming every which way but loose, trying to get these..unbeliveably..stop that…hot…c’mon…women to stop…well, he wasn’t even sure what wasn’t being done to him at that point. He was feeling a bit off though. And he felt more off then on as the gyrating continued. He began to bleed from his nose, and not just a drip drop. It bled a bit more each time they started over in their chant chant chaa…..

Elora froze when she saw the blood, and she pulled Jennifer Rose to her. Daniel tried to sing again, hoping it would work with the Lewdish Ones (“funny, you DO look Lewdish” he laughed to himself), but at this point all he could think of was bawdy Ren Faire songs, and he didn’t think that would work. In one of the tossy-turvey moments,

“Hey…oh lewd ones. Bodacious as the three of you are, this isn’t doing it for me,” he half yelled over their chanting. “Elora…

Drinke to me, onely, with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kisse but in the cup,
And Ile not looke for wine.
The thirst, that from the soule doth rise,
Doth aske a drinke divine:
But might I of Jove’s Nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.
I sent thee, late, a rosie wreath,
Not so much honoring thee,
As giving it a hope, that there
It could not withered bee.
But thou thereon did’st onely breath,
And sent’st it back to mee:
Since when it growes, and smells, I sweare,
Not of it selfe, but thee.

Elora started to tear, not only for the Ben Jonson poem (one of her favorites), but also…Daniel sounded weaker with each circlet those bitches made around him, and the blood got bloodier.

Daniel weakly smiled at her, met her eyes again on one of the passes, and barely eked out “I’m enchanted with you, a smitten kitten, have been since I laid eyes on you. I, uh..stop it BarProPrune!!..Elora, I guess I love you.”

“Oh Daniel,” she wept completely. “Me too.”

Daniel fell to the ground on top of his clothes. The Lewd One hung in the air, the first time for them just stillness. Then, the three of them started to cry.

“That was beau..beauti..beautifil” they said, in three part harmony. They looked longingly at Daniel and Elora, she having rushed to him when he hit the ground, and silently touched ground. They walked away, in perfect unison, not looking back.

Elora helped Daniel into his clothing. ZsaZsa and Jennifer Rose were holding onto each other, sniffling and wiping a tear and one of them honked out a happy sounding laughed. Only Winston was unmoved by what occurred. They did not notice him starting off at the departing Lewd Ones. A few steps were all he took. Composing himself, he moved to two couples.

“WHAT HAVE WE HERE?” Boomed a big booming voice. “IT IS I, KAMADEVA! WHAT IS YOUR DESIRE!”