Serenity Now


Lounging on a bench looking at all the nature around me. Quiet. There’s a light breeze on a hot day. It’s a perfect setting for writing. 

Writing will have to wait though. ☺️ 

Today I’m going to give you a brief update on Dangerous Beauty while I wait for my family to catch up. I FOUND a beta to give me VERY critical feedback and I ADORE her for it. A HUGE thank you to Laura for giving me a reason to keep going and make it better!!! It will be coming out I promise you guys. Just patiently wait a bit longer!! 

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More to Come…

Well ladies and gentlemen….. Things are getting REAL!!!  Dangerous Beauty is getting ready for its publication!!! (excited squeal) I’ve been talking about this for so long! AND I’ve got a new site to direct to. You’re all along for the ride and it’s going to be one bumpy rollercoaster! I can’t wait though!!! It’s been a long road! Writing, rewriting, then writing again. It’s like beating a dead horse!!!  🙂

My rambling is just to tell you… thoughtsinwordsblog is being rebranded!!!!  You’ll be following onewritersthoughts instead!!!!

Stay tuned!!!

MORE TO COME!!!

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One in a Million

Thomas sat outside thinking. He did that a lot lately. His favorite thinking spot was a white stone bench under a weeping willow. She loved weeping willows. Thomas watched the people walking and running and bustling about their business. The world was passing right in front of his eyes in the fast motion sequence. Everything blurred into colored lines like the ones you get when you try to capture something animated but don’t have the right shutter stop. He stared unblinkingly at the people. They were all so colorful, they were all so busy, they were all so obviously. He continued watching. This had been going on for weeks. Thomas would go about his morning, leave his small apartment on the 5th floor, and walk to the park and sit and watch people for hours. What he was watching or waiting for even he didn’t know.

This morning it was cooler than normal. Thomas put on an overcoat and a hat. He pulled the collar up and tucked his head in, chin down to keep the wind out. He walked to the park and sat on his bench. He sighed. The same day, every day, people were just blurring past. Then it happened. One person was running past, but it was like he was running past in slow motion. Thomas blinked to clear his vision. Nope, it was a man running in slow motion while all the other people blurred around him. Thomas sat stunned as he watched. The man ran past his willow tree without a second glance. But Thomas knew he wasn’t just seeing things. This one meant something, this slow motion runner meant something. But he had to be sure. He would sit and wait. What he was waiting for he still didn’t know. But he sat and waited. After hours of watching people his eyes were nearly crossed. He was bored. Thomas sighed and was about to get up when a throat cleared behind him. He turned and looked up.

Standing there was the man from that morning, the slow motion runner as he took to thinking about him. “Is this seat taken?” the man asked while gesturing to the piece of bench beside Thomas. Thomas looked at the seat and then the man. Before his brain caught up with his words he scooted making room for this man to sit down. “Hello, I’m Kevin.” Kevin held out his hand for Thomas to shake. His face held a warm smile and his eyes twinkled kindly. Thomas took his hand to shake and replied, “Thomas, nice to meet you.” The both sat in companionable silence just watching the people pass them by.

Everyday for years the two would meet up and sit under the weeping willow. They shared their dreams, fears, laughter, and tears. Neither had ever had found someone they enjoyed talking to more. It would appear they were soul mates. They were fated to meet on that day. Thomas’ heart was overjoyed every time he would go to the park to meet up with Kevin. They never missed a day and were always overeager to talk. Thomas found that Kevin shared his love for British Literature and planned to travel around the world. Kevin found that Thomas was great at observation. When he looked at the people he just saw them running about their business, but when Thomas looked at people he saw something deeper. It was as if he could feel their very emotions. This was what Thomas did though. He was a psychiatrist. His job was to help people and he loved his job. Kevin was a writer. He loved helping people too but not in the same way. Every day he would return to his home and miss his friend. He often thought about asking him to move in with him but never got the courage. After all it was a million to one chance that he would get turned down. Thomas was busy with his work and his life. They only met at the park and would only be able to talk for a few hours before they would have to leave, well more preciously before Thomas had to leave. He thought he had odd hours and would make it a point to ask him about it one day. Still the odds were just not in his favor that he would find a great companion and share every moment with him. For now the meetings in the park would be fine. Thomas would leave the park and go to his office, meet up with his clients, and then go home. He kept odd hours, usually late afternoon and evenings. He got the working crowd that way. He missed his park companion though. Walking into his small dimly lit apartment just wasn’t as satisfying as it used to be.

Thomas woke one morning and felt light headed. He hoped he wasn’t getting the flu. He dressed, ate, and walked to the park to meet up with Kevin. When he got to the bench Kevin wasn’t there yet. He sat and watched the people pass him by for a while. A couple hours passed and Thomas began to worry. It wasn’t like he could leave and check on Kevin, he had no idea where he lived. He heard heavy footfalls nearby and turned. Kevin was running down the walkway toward him. Out of breath he stopped and put his hands on his knees. Thomas stood up. “What’s wrong?” He was clearly worried for his friend. Kevin looked up with shining eyes, “My book! It’s been published! I got someone to take it on!” Thomas was over excited for his friend. “Today we should drink to that. Let’s go across the street to the cafe and get a coffee. It’s on me!” He put his arm around Kevin’s shoulders and the two walked smiling and talking to the cafe. To anyone passing by they would just think that two friends were walking and sharing great news. To Kevin and Thomas they were sharing a million to one chance exchange. Kevin was finally getting his dream. He was being published. The two entered the cafe and talked till Thomas had to leave for work. Kevin returned home and that empty feeling filled him. Maybe now he could talk to Thomas and ask him if he’d like to move in.

The days went by with the two meeting up in the park and talking. Once in a while they would catch a meal. Kevin was becoming quieter and less enthusiastic  about their talks. Thomas decided it was time to confront his dear friend. “Kevin, you’ve been so quiet and withdrawn lately. Wanna tell me what’s wrong?” Kevin looked up at Thomas and realized that he just couldn’t tell him. “Oh don’t worry about it. It’s just family stuff. Nothing I want to talk about.” Thomas knew better and wanted to point that out but figured Kevin wasn’t telling him for a reason and he would come around eventually so he let it go. That night he went home and felt saddened. His friend wasn’t confiding in him and he had to return home to this small apartment. It was too much though to ask his friend to move in with him and it would be an imposition for him to ask to move in with Kevin. He sighed. He just wished his odds were better. It was after all a million to one that he would never find anyone else like Kevin but with those odds Kevin must have found someone else. If only he could just tell him.

Kevin’s book was released and it was a huge hit right away. Thomas shared in his excitement and helped him celebrate every step of the way. They had started meeting up at each other’s houses for movie nights, game nights, dinners, and just hanging out. Neither of them would actually ask the other to move in or for anymore than they were already sharing. After all odds were always against them right?

Thomas went to the weeping willow bench one day and Kevin was already seated there. He was just staring off. It was then that Thomas realized how old they were getting. Kevin’s hair was greying. His eyes were crinkled, and age lines were showing in his smile now. How long had it been? How long did they spend under this tree. He observed him for moments longer and thought it had to be his imagination. Kevin wasn’t that old, he himself was only fourty six. He walked over to the bench and sat down. Kevin looked over and smiled. “Hello friend.” Thomas smiled back. Today no words were spoken as they just sat and enjoyed each other and the fast paced world around them. Thomas cancelled his appointments for the day telling Kevin he could catch up later. The two would have a lazy day together. Kevin smiled. “You know, you’re just being lazy.” Thomas laughed. “You caught me. Now where should we go?” Kevin’s eyes lit up, “Let’s go to a play. I haven’t been in so long. Then we can go back to my house for dinner!” The two agreed. Back at Kevin’s house Thomas watched TV while Kevin cooked and chattered from the kitchen. He began to think, THIS must be what it’s like to be cared for, to be loved. He smiled and thought about the man cooking for him. You never knew who your companion in life would be, you went along waiting and watching. He was happy with their situation, but was this a relationship. He looked back at Kevin and smiled. He was still happily cooking away in the kitchen. For now, this would just be enough.

Days turned in to weeks, weeks turned in to months, months turned in to years. The two grew closer everyday. They shared everything and talked about everything. Thomas still left his apartment every morning and went to the park to meet with Kevin. Kevin would still call every night and ask Thomas over for a drink. Tonight Kevin was nervous. Thomas could feel the tension in the air, could probably cut it with a knife. “Kevin what’s wrong?” He reached out and touched his shoulder and Kevin nearly jumped out of his skin. He laughed a high pitched nervous laugh, “Nothing. Don’t worry about anything. I’m going to go get some crackers and cheese to go with the wine. Kevin disappeared in to the kitchen. Thomas watched his friend go with concern. He was hiding something. Kevin went to the kitchen and took a deep breath. He would ask him tonight. There was no getting away from it this time. He would just ask him to move in and that would be that. He got a tray of crackers and cheese and walked in to the living room. Thomas was the picture of health. He was fifty and looked as if he were not a day older than thirty. He envied that. He walked to the couch and sat, setting the tray on the table. “Thomas I have something to ask you.” Thomas turned to Kevin and raised an eyebrow in question. Kevin swallowed and said, “Can you watch the house for a week while I go out to town to visit family?” Thomas laughed, “You are nervous about asking me to watch your house?” He nodded and said he’d grab the mail and stay at the house while he was away, after all what are friends for? With that statement Kevin’s world seemed to crash around him. Right. A million to one chance.

Thomas watched Kevin leave the house. He would miss him. Somehow their friendship had grown into something stronger. It had morphed without his knowledge and he just needed to figure out how to tell Kevin. This week while he was gone he’d figure it out. He’d talk to him. Who knew maybe he even felt the same. Kevin walked away from his house feeling empty. He waved and smiled at Thomas as he left but his smile never reached his eyes. He just couldn’t keep faking it. He called his family to say he was coming home for a visit. But really he just needed to get away.

Thomas cleaned house and took in the mail. It was amazing being there everyday and taking care of things. He had a clear mind and knew just what he wanted to say to Kevin when he returned. For a whole week he didn’t go to the bench under the weeping willow. He would be at the house to greet Kevin. The day Kevin was supposed to reach home he text Thomas. “Meet me at the tree.” Thomas smiled. It was always at their tree. He took a deep breath and walked out he door. Chances were a million to one that nothing would come of their conversation, but there was that one chance.

He walked to the tree and saw Kevin standing under it looking at the bench. He walked closer to him and could see a single tear slide down his cheek. Thomas was alarmed. He walked quicker to Kevin and put his arms around him in a hug. Kevin was taken aback but returned the embrace. He hadn’t realized he had been crying. Thomas spoke, “Kevin you are my best friend, my solid companion, my soul mate. Move in with me?” Kevin laughed and agreed. He had been so afraid of that one chance, that one in a million chance. Thomas was afraid of the million chances that he took the one he wanted to take. They walked away from the weeping willow hand in hand.

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The Amazing Family Share Teaser

As promised….. just a little bit of a teaser to the script I wrote up. A small synopsis of the store and a character description. Up next……. figuring out how to film it and with whom!!! 🙂 Names are not set in stone.  😉 So what do you all think?!

THE AMAZING FAMILY SHARE SYNOPSIS

What really happens when you start family sharing on your devices? There are inner workings that are out of the scope of normal understanding. Experts are hired just to take phone calls to help with those pesky Family Share problems. But what REALLY happens when you add and remove family members?

Linda is a woman in her mid twenties. She’s got an unmatched love for all things technology. Her love has landed her a dream job of being able to work at home while answering technical questions. Her enthusiasm for life comes out in all of her interactions, whether they be her customers on the phone or her personal life. She has never been one to crumble under pressure and her office is her sacred place. No one is allowed in her office.

Bob is a middle aged father of three kids. His calm demeanor helps him manage technical devices with ease. Bob is the first to admit defeat and call for help when faced with a difficult problem, however, Bob isn’t as clueless as he may seem to be. His mother-in-law is the bane of his existence and all he wants is a quiet weekend to himself.

Mary is a middle aged mother of three and wife of Bob. She is a very soft spoken woman who knows how to run a house efficiently. She is level headed and cool under pressure although her methods for dealing with stress often make her seem a bit out of this world. She is always happy no matter what is going on.

Joel is a teenager just trying to live the most amazing life before he has to go off to college. While he loves his family he thinks his dad is out of touch and his mother is just plain crazy. No one can be that happy all the time. He’s not the best one to have around if anything is going to go wrong but his sense of humor and willingness to break any and all rules make him quite the handful.

Mackenzie AKA Kenzie is a vivacious six year old who loves her dolls and her little sister. She is hyper and always up for running circles around anyone. She is the light of her mother’s eye and the only person able to nearly pop a vein in Bob’s head.

Elizabeth AKA Lizzie is a two year old toddling along for the ride with her crazy family. She loves her daddy and is hardly ever far from him.

Mother-in-law is an elderly, spry woman who thinks her daughter married the person most wrong for her. She has made it her personal mission to do anything she can to sabotage him and make him miserable. Her daughter is the most perfect person on earth and unfortunately her grandson is turing out just like his father. She is often frowning and always attempting to get Mary to grab the girls and move home with her.

Noel (or whatever her name is) is a teenager that is never good under pressure and completely devoted to Joel.

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Growing Pains

I’ve been stretching my creative brain lately and working on new projects. I was doing short stories (and still am don’t worry), my novels (also still an ongoing project), and now took up the challenge of writing scripts for short movies!!! There is quite the learning curve though. I’m gathering that now. Writing a story I just have to get you to imagine everything. I give you JUST enough information to give you a picture while I take you on a full journey from beginning to end. There are twists, turns, loop de loops, and backwards rushes in those journeys but you are in it with me. When writing a script there are no surprises, you direct, you use dialog, and you have to have everything so precise. I never realized all that a writer of a script goes through. I commend those writers! You guys are amazing and I can only hope to accomplish just a small part of what you all do everyday!!! Anyway….. things they do have in common: they tell a story. I’m good at that. I can take you from step A to step B and then work my way through the alphabet entertaining you. A script does that as well on a more direct level. There is a tone of voice that has to be written in. Have you ever had to write a tone of voice?! It’s a lot harder than you think. I spent a lot of time thinking “How would I react to this? What are my facial expressions?  Am I agitated?” Then I spent a lot of time rewriting those exact emotions. It was so much fun and so much work and there were times, just like writing the novels, where I felt like pulling out my hair and or throwing my computer against a wall because it just wasn’t typing right…. I mean I can’t blame that on myself right?! I can’t wait to show you guys what I’ve been working on. I’ll put up small snippets of it soon!!!  PROMISE!!!!!  Until then….. this short little blot will have to do….  😉

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Hello? *crickets*

Hi all!!!  I feel like I’ve fallen off the face of the Earth! So far I’ve been so busy almost too busy to sleep. I have a few short stories working themselves out and I plan to get them up here. I’ve been working on Dangerous Beauty and getting that published through crowd funding. I have a few chapters up of the book. I’ll put up chapter one here too.  🙂 If you guys like it I can add a few other chapters.

So my writing for today: I don’t know if this is a tip or trick or just me being overly tired and rambling. When working on a book/project/piece of something that will take life minutes….. make sure it is something you can believe in and stand behind. If you are creating something with half a heart then you can’t expect people to put their support behind it. I LOVE writing and typically when I write (despite it being fiction) it is something from the heart and always has a bit of truth to it. That truth may be minuscule it may be in a flower, small character dialog, scenery, or just a passing minor character but it’s there. I’m sure as you review your own work you’ll see the same thing. I know I’ve neglected this blog a bit. It’s been crying for attention for a LONG time now.  🙂 So as I write this I’m thinking what is my goal and what do I really want to tell you guys……

I’ve realized that my purpose of this was to get words typed out on my computer and out of my head. They come to life and just spring forth the more I can develop. As I said when I started this short story project I can’t do this without you guys. I welcome comments and criticisms it will only make my writing stronger.  🙂

So as promised here is Chapter One of Dangerous Beauty if you like what you’re reading please visit the inkshares page and check out more chapters and follow along with the progress.  🙂 This author is VERY grateful for the support. https://www.inkshares.com/projects/dangerous-beauty-9777

Elise had never remembered being this tired before in her life. Her eyes felt so heavy she couldn’t open them. Her memory was failing her and she had no idea what was going on. It felt as if the room were spinning and her body was cold and wet. Realization crashed upon her and her fear seized her body and rendered it immobile. Elise knew she was moving but there was no way her legs were carrying her. That only left her with one thought, whoever she ran into must have kidnapped her. Kidnapped?! Her mind raced as she fought her exhaustion to open her eyes. All she seemed to be able to manage was a small slit of sight. By what she could gather and see, her captor was male. The feel of his chest next to her gave her the vague impression of a solid build and she guessed he was tall and strong seeing as he was carrying her and she herself was about five and a half feet tall. He wasn’t breathing heavily so he could easily manage her. Her heart sank. This was not a man she could escape easily, if at all, and she was just so tired. She struggled in and out of consciousness. Elise felt his arms tighten around her and panic flitted through her once again. Her imagination was running wild as she thought of where he could be taking her and what he would do with her when they got there. She tried to will herself to stay awake and open her eyes, to fight back, to struggle, to scream; but nothing happened. She remained weak and frightened. Her body was slung over his two arms and was limp. She could do nothing but let darkness consume her once more.

Makraim looked at the exhausted, beautiful, mysterious woman in his arms. As he carried her, he found more questions. He was surprised by their collision, but more surprised by the beauty he saw as he recovered from the fall. She lay sprawled on top of him, her hair in disarray around her. She was light and slender. He had picked her up easily. There was only a moments hesitation while he figured out if he should leave her at one of the lodgings or take her back to his home. He had no idea what compelled him to bring her to his home instead. She was running and not paying attention to anything around her. He wondered what could have had her running? Was she scared? He couldn’t tell as they hit. Her hood had been shielding her face. He felt slight movement as if she were waking. Looking down he saw slight movement from her eyelids but it seemed as though she was just too tired to open them up. Long black curls cascaded like a waterfall over his arm as he walked with her. Thoughts turned back to the collision moments earlier. Briefly he could see her eyes. He didn’t think on it at the moment but as he looked back on it now they seemed illuminated against the black of the night. Her eyes were wide with fear before the lid closed as she slumped forward. The more he thought, the more questions he had. They would all have to wait though, he needed to get her to his manor before the cold chilled her to death. His mission for his king was long forgotten as he made the trek back home.

King Bilmarath was a benevolent king who ruled over the vast and plentiful kingdom of Tieruron. Long ago, Tieruron was broken down into four regions; Cargaroth, which was governed by Count Makraim’s family for over six generations, was on the Eastern border, Dentworth, ruled by the Arots, was along the Southern most border, Maidenrod, ruled by an old noble family whose existence has all been but wiped out save one woman who holds on to her current lands by a thread, is in the West, and Ventswhen is a Nomadic land to the North. Count Makraim, who had been born into his nobility, was accustomed to the aristocracy and had garnered a healthy respect from the ruling king for his diplomacy and ability to calm unrest in the kingdom.  In his youth, he was quit good at sporting, but instead used his athletic ability to join in the King’s armies. The Arots are a group of warlike people who believe the king should no longer be ruling over the lands. They wished to assume power. This has caused much fear, unrest, wars, and widespread panic throughout the kingdom. It was while in one such war with the Arots that Makraim saved the life of Prince Bilmarath, the old king’s son, placing the king in his debt. Count Makraim had become used to war, squabble, and suffering when he was at a young age serving his king in the army. Now, a tall, fit man with emerald green eyes that still sparkle with the mischief of youth and long blonde hair that falls to just below his shoulder blades, Count Makraim makes for a commanding visage. He may be used to war and bloodshed but he hates them. There was a war in his very lands, one with the Arots, it took the life of his parents leaving him to take hold of the manor and charge of the lives within it.

He thought on his current situation. This would be the first time he failed to do what his king asked him to do and it was all for a mysterious woman who lay in one of the rooms above his current sitting room. Women he was used to for he had grown up surrounded by them. His father had employed many female servants who helped to raise him and his three sisters. Makraim could remember how his sisters used to fight and bicker. He remembered well the fear his mother could put into him and he knew the tidal emotional tirades only too well. His mother had taught him to respect women and his father trained him in the art of being a gentleman. King Bilmarath knew him to be the most chivalrous man in the entire kingdom. He prided himself on this. However, even with all of this “experience” he was at a loss as what to do. The girl wasn’t even awake long, he had never met her, and she hasn’t even spoken words to him and yet all of his thoughts were on her.  Tomorrow he would need to continue on his mission for the king. Loosing this time could have been critical. He was supposed to be saving a family important to the King, not brooding over a woman he didn’t even know. Although he did save her, he thought, she is a damsel in distress was she not? In all honesty, he really didn’t know. He had no clue who she was, what she was running from, if anything, nor if he really did save her. She was so tired she just collapsed and going against all instinct screaming at him to just leave the woman at the closest inn, he brought her into his home.

Elise is the blacksmith’s daughter, her father was famous – even the King himself entrusted him with arms commissions. Her lower station in life did little to diminish her beauty though, and she was sought after for miles around. Her skin was milky white and slightly flushed with rose, eyes the color of midnight, and hair soft as silk. Her lips were not the ruby red like those of a courtesan, but a light pink like that of a delicate rose. Elise was a small girl and spoke quietly. Her voice was hardly ever above that of a whisper. It almost seemed as if she feared the power of her own voice. When she spoke she could put an entire town into a trance. The tone of her voice could cast a spell even into those of strong will. She could bend people to her every whim. When she was but a child it was dangerous to have her around normal villagers. She was taught to control her voice and speak at a whisper. It was bad enough that as a child she could get whatever she wanted by just asking for it. Her father feared that as a woman, if she were not careful, she could bend anything and anyone to her will. He would need to make sure she was raised with a gentle hand to be as loving as her mother and as careful a judge of character as her father. In her adulthood, people were mesmerized even by the whisper of her voice. She spoke in lulling waves and melodic streams. Elise could not remember a time where she had a mother. She knew she must have one as she was spoken about by her father in fleeting moments and usually to other townspeople. Whenever she would ask about her he would change the subject. Since Elise had no mother, she was raised by her father and grew up a little rough around the edges and hardly had the proper etiquette of a lady. It was of no matter though. Everyone she met loved her anyway. She was a bit outspoken and spoke out of turn. She knew her way around a kitchen but preferred to be outdoors. Her father had always hoped to bring her to court one day and introduce her in hopes of her finding a good husband. He knew though that she was wild and had little hope of introducing her to court. Elise could always be found outdoors and there were days that if you approached her there was a ghost of a long forgotten memory behind her eyes. It always seemed, in those moments, that she was remembering or trying to remember a long forgotten past, a haunting past. It was in those moments you could see Vistar shake his head sadly and mumble to himself. No one ever asked though and soon enough Elise would be laughing and nodding along with the townspeople. Elise spent her entire life in Kiegan. The dirt roads were the playground for all the kids in the town. The buildings were small and shack like. The only brick building in the town was the blacksmith’s home. Elise loved the hills behind the house. They were large and covered in the greenest of grass. She would often disappear when she was a child to try to run towards the hills. She would walk in the grass barefooted in the spring. Most girls her age were learning cooking, cleaning, how to be courted, manners, and being introduced at court. They were trained in the art of getting husbands. Elise was different. She was quiet. She was delicate. She was dangerous. Her father was the only one who knew what was underneath Elise’s beauty and he would guard that with his life. He told her if she were ever in danger she was to travel as far as she could and find King Bilmarath. He would help her. She was always confused by this. Who would be after a blacksmith’s daughter? It wasn’t until she was eighteen that she would even remember the conversation she had with her father about running to the king for help. She would soon be fleeing from her home and more exhausted than she had ever been in her life.

Currently, Elise was asleep upstairs in Count Makraim’s manor. As she slept, she dreamt.

Elise looked around. She was in a hidden room in her father’s smithy. The room afforded her a view of the kitchens where she could see a man and her father talking. Looking in she remembered this scene. There was a man who had been visiting her father the past few weeks. Elise knew he was the leader of the Arots, and that he was attempting to proposition her father to forge their weapons of war. The Arots were known to be vicious, and fought against their good King. Elise knew her father would refuse him and often wondered why he did not just go straight to the king for help. She knew little of this man outside of his dealings with her father. The man was rough and not pleasing to the eyes, he had a wild unkempt look about him. Elise shivered whenever he was there and would find any excuse to be out of his lecherous gaze. She wandered her dream land scape. It was a week ago that he had last visited her father. Elise remembered being rushed out of the room when her father had heard the horses. She decided to conceal herself in the next room to listen. Moving inside the house she could see herself hidden in the lower cupboards of the storage room watching through a hole in the wall as the man circled her father. He paused near the hole she was watching as if he sensed her. She could see him smile a crooked smile.

“Where is she old man,” he snarled demandingly, leaning on a table near the wall.

“She is out gathering supplies my Lord,” came her father’s placid reply. It disgusted her to watch her father give the man any kind of formality. She racked her brain for his name.

“It is of no matter. It’s your assistance I require.  I will pay you ten fold what the King can for your alliance and weaponry.” A quiet gasp left Elise’s lips. She quickly clasped her hands over her mouth. Elise continued to watch herself in her dream but it was the reaction the man had that caught her attention. He knew she was there. He said nothing.

“My Lord is generous, but perhaps a better suited blacksmith could help you.” Her father looked as though he were being trapped. In this moment Elise felt sorry for her father. She could see now he was just trying to protect her from the snake in front of him. A hatred boiled inside of her. She paid little attention to herself still hiding and listening and watching.

“You are the best in all the lands of King Bilmarath.” Seeing this was not furthering his cause, the Arrot man tried another tactic.

“Surely you wish no harm to come to your family,” he said. Elise fumed. She remembered thinking that it was an awful thing to say. Vaguely she thought to herself that it was weird being on this side of the conversation seeing as she could not always see the mans face. Was this really just a dream? Or was it a vision of a past event? Was that even possible? His eyes were alight and she realized he did indeed know she was hidden and meant for her to hear this just as much as he meant to threaten her father.  What could this man want with her? She knew many men asked for her hand in marriage but he seemed to not just want her hand but a possession of her.

“You will forge weapons and armor for me, and have them ready in one week’s time.  King Bilmarath has little say in what I do. We don’t follow his rule. You will benefit more from us anyway. As for your daughter, she will be wed that same eve to me, with your blessing or without.” With that, the man walked out of her father’s house and slammed the door without looking back. Elise watched as she emerged from her hiding spot to comfort her father, who looked stricken with grief. She wanted to close her eyes to all of this. She knew what happened next and she didn’t want to relive it.

“Please Father! Take heart. What shall we do?” Cried Elise.

“Elise, my only, sweet child, you must flee this place! Run now to King Bilmarath’s castle. There he will provide you sanctuary.”

Elise was already shaking her head. “Father! How is the King to know who I am? Who am I to his majesty?”

“Go Elise!! You have but one week to be gone, you must leave this with no looking back.”

With that her father wrapped her cloak about her and they hatched a plan – and her father promised that everything would be fine once she reached the King and the safety of the Castle. She had tried to convince her father to go with her, but he would have none of it.

The dream seemed to fast forward. It was as if things moved in a blur and suddenly Elise felt sick as she realized what day it was.

One week later, she had heard the sounds of the horses’ hooves. There were sounds of shouting. Elise could hear the terror in the villagers’ voices. Finally, she saw herself flee from the house. What Elise did not do is look back. A promise to her father kept her going no matter what. Elise watched herself run. She knew her feet took her to the nearest town of Ira, still within her region of Cargaroth. Elise did her best to stay in the shadow, slinking around alleys. As she continued her flight down one alley, she was startled by footsteps, and as she rounded a corner she collided head on into someone. Looking up she saw a man in a dark cloak. The terror in her boiled over and she screamed.

Elise sat bolt upright in bed. Sweating and the sheets tangled all around her, she realized she must have been dreaming. It was an odd thing though. Everything seemed so real. The expressions on the man’s face. Things she doubted she really saw in that detail from her hiding space. She raised a hand to her head to wipe the sweat and to try to brush her hair from her eyes while surveying her surroundings.

Elise was in a brightly decorated room, lying in a bed of the finest ebony, the sheets a creamy satin. Startled, she took in the rest of the room. On the walls there were beautiful paintings of Tieruran going through each of the seasons. Cargaroth looked to be the most beautiful and Ventswhen was wild and untamed. It appeared to be ever winter in Dentworth and made her shiver to know the Arots were from there. She looked away from the painting. To her left were four floor-to-ceiling windows adorned with satin draperies. Straight ahead of her was a life-sized portrait of a man. Looking at the portrait, to her astonishment she saw the eyes of the man who she ran into last night. To live in a place like this and put her in rooms and not a dungeon or stable outside meant he was not a capture. She wondered briefly who he was. Possibly a lord? Or a duke? Moving from the painting, she saw a family coat of arms – and to the right of that was a shield with two distinct, exquisitely forged swords; swords from her Father’s forge. She would know her father’s work anywhere. This man, or at least whomever owned this manor, was in the king’s army. Her eyes went back to the painting. The man was about six feet tall and had haunting beautiful green eyes that appeared to look straight through you to your soul.  He was holding a shield and one of the swords. Elise’s thoughts went to the man again. She really had no idea what all happened while she was running. All she really knew was that the Arot man was after her. She also knew she fled her town on foot, which was not one of her brightest moments. Elise knew she made it to Ira and she remembered running into a man. She knew by the eyes of the man she saw during their collide was the same man as the painting. Other than those basic facts she really had no idea who he was or what he wanted with her. He didn’t leave her in an inn, he had brought her back to his own house, at least, she was guessing this was his house. What if he was working for the Arots? Elise was not thinking clearly anymore. She was sore and tired from her running and lack of sleep. Her mind was wandering far from anything that was logical. Her mind went from being another suitor to a man working for the king and the Arots at the same time. Overworked and distraught Elise found herself in a state of near panic. She walked to the bed and fretted. She marched around the room wringing her hands. The only thing she did not do was make a lot of noise. She didn’t want anyone to notice her. Last thing she needed was to be confronted by the mysterious man. There were windows in the room she could look out to see time of day but she was too distraught to actually think to do that. If she would have looked she would have seen that night had turned to day and that food was on the table near one of the windows. She took no notice though. If she would have, it may have set her mind a little at ease. Instead, Elise worked herself up further instead. Finally, after a couple of hours of pacing and an overactive imagination, exhaustion set in once again and she fell asleep with her thoughts on the man in the painting.

Count Makraim left his servants with just one, simple order; let the woman sleep. He searched the house for his head of servants, a man named Goelik. After finally finding him, he explained that if the King should call for him, he was finishing off his mission. He never gave more information to his servants than he was going to Kiegan to fetch a blacksmith and his family. They were to prepare rooms for them until the king came to get them. Goelik gave the Count a bow and watched as he left. Goelik had been with the family manor since Makraim’s father was a child. He was an ancient man. The years hardly showed on him though. It was talked about in the house that he was blessed by a witch with youth, others talked that he was cursed by a sorceress with life. Goelik was roughly one hundred and thirty years old. He remembered what the lands looked like when they were peaceful and remembered the beginnings of the First Arot wars that were fought over the lands. The Arots were a people of dark magic, dangerous weapons, and wanted nothing more than to take over all of Tieruran. The resources of the land were vast but controlled so every person had enough to live on. They wanted more than that. They sought to make a profit on the resources. King Bilmarath’s grandfather fought against the Arots bravely. He lost his life and the kingdom turned into chaos. King Bilmarath’s own father was young, too young to really take over the throne. He ruled at the young age of thirteen. The man grew into a wise old king but the Second Arot Wars would take his life and cause Makraim to go far from home to help fight. Those wars took the lives of Makraim’s beautiful mother and kind hearted father. Goelik had been nearly heartbroken with grief. He would have done anything to stop the wars and keep what was left of the household safe. Watching Makraim leave now gave him the same sense of foreboding he remembered he felt the day that the Count left many years ago. Something was going to happen and he didn’t like it one bit. He would keep an eye on the people in the house starting with that female he brought home. Goelik had never seen beauty like hers and he thought she must have been enchanted or was using her beauty to enchant. Either way she was dangerous to this household and would have to go. He would slink in the shadows and make sure she didn’t disrupt the household. He would make sure to report anything to his master. He only hoped Count Makraim could forgive him any of his treachery. He walked the servants halls thinking. It had been over twenty years since the Second Arot War and Goelik remembered it like yesterday. As he walked in to the servants’ hall he began thinking about the day Count Makraim left.

It was a rainy spring day and Makraim was mounting his horse to join in the King’s army. His mother and father stood at the gates and waved to him, but he looked past them to Goelik and waved his hat. It would be the last time the young man of just 12 saw his parents alive. The boy always put his trust in Goelik and just moments before made him promise to do anything and everything he could to help his parents cope with sending a son off to the war.  The Arots are a brutish group and they never take prisoners. As they marched upon the land, they would seek to destroy everything in their path. No one knew who the leader was, no one even knew if their leader was a he or she. The Arots were only clear on one thing. They wanted total submission and if you were against them in any way they had no place for you. Goelik remembered the day they stormed the manor, their horses riding right into the house all over the grounds, their riders slaying anyone and everyone that dared cross their paths. Goelik watched helplessly as his master and mistress were slain with the use of black magic – they seemed to just bleed out with no touch of a blade. There was a spell caster among the horses, though he could not see which one of the riders it was. Goelik hid his  own family well, but they were found. It was that day that Goelik had feared the most. His family was held hostage by a man on a black horse. He wanted information. It would appear that a seer had told him that he needed to find a girl. The man was asking questions about the family. Goelik said that the Count and Countess had no children. The man grew angry and told him he lied. Goelik went down on his knees and begged for the life of his family. He vowed to do anything to keep them safe. The man smiled and grabbed Goelik’s wife by the hair and threw her at him. He sheltered her against him as he watched his children crying. The man circled on horseback dismissing his men into the nearby villages and keeping one rider with him. The spell caster was who remained behind. Goelik came out of his reverie.

Goelik shivered at the memory and what needed to be done to keep his and his family’s lives. No one suffered during that war more than he. His thoughts turned back to his young Master Makraim. The Count was without wife, and therefore without heir. He would need to marry if he were to keep his line going. It seemed the Count had a soft spot for the beautiful mysterious woman he brought home the night before. The count had gone so long not looking at another woman. Besides the servant he employed a few years ago, no other woman had ever turned his eye. Goelik hated the servant girl that caught his master’s attention. He often wondered about her but dismissed it as she was uncommonly pretty for a servant. He would find Matsey and give her charge of the woman upstairs. She must be an enchantress to capture his master’s attention so fully he would put off a mission from his king. He would have to watch and see what kind of witch she was to enchant his master so. Perhaps, just perhaps he has found the girl that was foretold so many years ago. He would have to see, if it were she then all of his sacrifice would be rewarded shortly. He smiled and disappeared into the back rooms of the castle not to be seen the rest of the day.

Word went around the manor that no one was to step foot into the room the master had put a strange female last night. They whispered that he was in love with her. They gossiped that she was a powerful enchantress and all of their troubles would be over. Matsey dismissed all of the idle words being spoken and kept an eye out for servants trying to get into the room to catch a glimpse of the woman. She also kept an ear out for movement within the room that would tell her the woman was waking. She was curious about the creature.

Count Makraim rode steadily on toward the village of Kiegan, a journey that would take him a total of two days to complete. As he rode his thoughts turned back to the woman he left back at his home, sleeping so peacefully. Who was she? Why was she running? Why was she alone? Her beautiful face and her unknown past only made her intriguing and mysterious. He could tell by her dress that she was not a noblewoman, yet her mannerisms were that of a courtesan. She was without an escort. Her cloak hid most of her features from him while she ran. Clearly, she was quite tired from running, he just didn’t know where she was running from. When they collided the cloak fell from her face. For a brief moment as he was looking into her eyes he saw a fire burning there. It was quickly replaced by fear and exhaustion. His father would have smirked at the girl and her spark, though his mother would probably gasp at the fact she was traveling alone. Makraim frowned at that thought. He remembered his mother and father well, though it had been nearly twenty years since their death in the wars. It was just one week following his exodus from his home that he was called back to take up his fathers mantle and the title of Count. He refused to leave his assignments in the King’s army and for his sense of duty and loyalty. Goelik, faithful as ever, even then, was temporarily left in charge of the manor and told to await his young master’s return. The king attempted to persuade young Makraim to return to his home and settle his family’s affairs. He refused though. It would appear the King had little trust for his family’s servants. He was leary of leaving Goelik in charge of the affairs. Makraim knew him well though. He would trust him with his life. Goelik was no traitor and would never betray his family. Makraim didn’t want to think on that anymore. He thought of recent times. The times after his return home to settle down after the Second Arot War. The Count has been asked several times since he has come home to look for a wife. The manor needs a lady to look after it, and he must produce an heir in order to preserve his family line, but he could not just choose any woman. Every woman presented as a potential wife seemed so delicate. They are like a flower that wilts in the sun and breaks at the slightest touch. He wanted someone he could love, someone passionate about life and fiery. His thoughts turned to his household. They would be in charge of the mystery woman he brought home. He only hoped he made the right choice and she was not deceptive in her frailty. Makraim assumed that Goelik would assign a servant to help her. He would have to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding her.

It was approaching dusk and Count Makraim would have to find a place to bed down for the night. He was just past Ira and decided to turn his horse around and bed there for the night. They had a nice stable for the horse and he knew there was an inn there that could accommodate him. He would make it to Kiegan tomorrow, just as he thought he would. Tonight he would sleep.

Early the next morning, Count Makraim broke bread with the innkeeper and his family, thanked them for their gracious hospitality, and went on his way. He was hopeful that he would be able to make it to the village of Kiegan before anything could go wrong; this area was known to be dangerous. The Arots were on the rise again. His orders were to retrieve the Blacksmith Vistar and his family, and bring them to the safety of his manor, where the King himself would arrive to retrieve them. This made no sense to the Count. What would the King want with a small town Blacksmith and his family? Vistar was well known for this weapons. His craftsmanship had no equal. Makraim could see the value in having the man with the threat of the Arots, he just didn’t see why the king himself would be protecting him. What was so special about this family? They could be no common peasants. Unease settled upon him. He was beginning to think saving the woman last night was a mistake. He really should have left her in the inn and continued his journey that his king found so urgent. Nearing his destination, Makriam slowed his horse. Suddenly a smell came in waves. He urged his horse on faster his heart pounding in his chest; he knew what to expect as he burst full speed from the forest praying it wasn’t so. He was too late. Smoldering buildings surrounded him and the smell of death invaded his nostrils stinging them and making his eyes water. He began to search for survivors. Maybe he would be able to find one or two. Maybe the Blacksmith and his daughter were alive. Deep down he knew he was wrong because looking around he saw it must be too late for the Blacksmith and his family. Bodies lay scattered on the ground. The barrage of horrors brought flashbacks of fighting the Arots, so horrible and merciless. Houses lay in ruin all around him. It looked as if people had fled and any who remained were dead, the only ones brave enough to stand their ground. He made his way through the village of ash until he came to what was left of what had to be the blacksmith’s home. There was a forge on the side and what may have been a workhouse out back. He saw a man with a stake through his chest, and he matched the description the king gave him to expect as the blacksmith Vistar. He lay on the ground outside the ruin of his home. This was the man who he swore to the King he would protect, and he had failed. Blacksmith Vistar was dead. In his hand was pinned a note. It read . . .

I will hunt down and take what is mine! Sir Garot of the Arots

Count Makraim’s blood ran cold. Frantically he began searching for any remains of the family.  He knew it was all for naught. While looking he racked his brain for what he knew of Sir Garot.

Sir Garot was leading the Arots after their leader vanished suddenly ten years ago. Some say Garot himself killed their leader to take his place. Count Makraim knew better though. He had fought alongside Garot fifteen years ago. Then, Garot had watched his entire family and friends murdered by the Arots and had sworn revenge. It was in that moment he went in search of their leader. Makraim had never seen him again, and had figured that he was killed when the Arots started marching again. He would never have thought that the man he had fought along side would be the man now leading this bloodthirsty band of men. Yet this note proved his thinking wrong. Vistar must have owned something quite valuable. He would have to send a sentinel to the King for further instructions. For now, he was tired and wanted to return home to see what the mysterious rescued goddess was like. There would be time to figure out this enigma of the blacksmith later. He remounted his horse and turned toward home. He would stop in Ira to rest again and ask them to send some people to burry the dead here. With that settled, he turned and rode from the destroyed town of Kiegan.

Yes I know this one is a bit long. I hope you all enjoyed it though. I’ll work on getting those short stories out for you guys!!!  I hope to hear from you soon!!!  🙂 Until then….. Put your thoughts into words, on to paper, just get them out there!!!

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Dangerous Beauty

Well guys… I know I haven’t updated lately with a new short story or writing of any kind. I’ve been a bit busy.  It seems when ideas come they just flood in!!! ANYWAY my amazingly wonderful friend who is helping me edit made me aware of a contest out there that The Nerdist is hosting partnered with Inkshares. So I decided “Ok what the heck let’s put Dangerous Beauty out there”

Now Dangerous Beauty is the project I’ve spent blood (literally), sweat (thankfully figuratively), and tears (sadly literally as well) in to for eight years!!!  EIGHT YEARS of going over words and words and thoughts and letting them all churn so long there were times I thought I’d just scrap it. FINALLY I’ve made peace with my own project and brought some life in to it. So I’m on here tonight to urge you to take a look…. NOT just at Dangerous Beauty (although you know it’s my ultimate goal) but at all these books being crowd funded on Inkshares. There are some AMAZING works out there!!!

My fellow authors can attest to this, creating the project seems to be the easy part. You get it finished and find you’re looking at it going YAY!!!  *fist pump* and then come down and think…. Ok so now what.  I’m at the And now what part.  I want nothing more than to see this book put to print!!!!!  Sooooooo I’m asking you readers/writers/lovers of books out there. Check it out. It’s worth the look, if nothing more than for your PURE entertainment!!!

Check it out, drop me a line, preorder a book or two and for the love of everything and anything out there share and spread the word!!!!!

Check out J.M. White’s new book, Dangerous Beauty: https://www.inkshares.com/projects/dangerous-beauty-9777?referral_code=fd76c85a

And yes I promise you a new short story next week!!!  *scouts honor*  😉

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