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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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The Chance Meeting

Watching the world around her, Annie walked in a daze. She had just found out her grandmother passed away. She was so close with her and this was a major blow to her. Everything just seemed wrong. The sky was a beautiful blue, the temperature was perfect at 70 degrees, and there was a slight breeze playing with her hair. Wasn’t it supposed to be raining and cold out instead? Isn’t that how it happened in the movies? But this wasn’t a movie was it? No, this was harsh reality. Annie sighed and shook herself. Her mother called her this morning and she had to catch the next flight home to go to the visitation and funeral. She was going to help her mother plan it. Looking up at the sky while walking, she failed to notice the stranger as she ran into him. She fell backwards and the breath momentarily left her. Her eyes were scrunched shut with pain. “Ouch.” She groaned. A hand was out in front of her. Without looking she reached out and allowed the stranger to help her up. Hey, at least the person stayed around instead of walking away as if she had the plague. “Thank you. And sorry.” She mumbled while straightening her clothes. She hadn’t even looked up yet. “You’re welcome.” The voice was a deep, quiet strum. It gave her pause and she looked up. Eyes of coal black stared out from under a rimmed hat. He had a trench coat pulled around him. He looked like he was right out of those old Noir movies. You know the ones… with the sluth and the dames and the beautiful black and white coloring. Annie stared a bit too long. “Miss are you ok?” Again the deep strum went right through her and she shivered despite the warmth of the day. “Yes.” she murmured. He nodded and bid her good day before walking on his way. Annie went to walk off as well when she noticed something on the ground. A beautiful porcelain doll lay face down on the ground. The man must have dropped it when she ran into him. She looked up and went to shout his name when she realized he was no where in sight. Looking round there were thousands of people walking all around her. She would have to take out an ad in the paper later. Right now she needed to catch her flight. She grabbed the doll and turned it over. The doll had a beautifully painted face with glass green eyes. Annie shivered again. Dolls freaked her out. Their glass eyes always made her feel as if she were being watching. They always had smiles painted on them and placidly looked out at you. She shuddered again before nestling the doll against her and running on her way to the nearest bus stop. She needed to get to the airport.

Arriving at the airport around five in the evening, Annie promptly went to find the next flight she could get out to her mother in Arizona. It was going to be so hot there. She was not looking forward to it. Flight set, she relaxed a bit. She was sitting down and heard a murmur near her. She looked down to see a little girl admiring the doll she was holding. “Is this doll yours?” The child asked with such wide innocent eyes. Annie smiled, “No, but I’m keeping it safe for a friend.” a friend? He was a stranger but this little girl didn’t need to know that. She ooo’d and aaaahhh’d over the doll a bit longer before her mother called her to board their flight. The girl stood, giggled, waved at Annie and ran on her way. Annie felt the doll shift. She looked down and figured she imagined it since it was still right where she set it between her arm and her body. It was finally time for her to board. Standing and taking the doll with her she got on the plane.

The flight was odd. Every time she would doze off she would have the beginnings of a nightmare she couldn’t remember as she woke back up. Sleep, it would seem, was not happening on this flight. She turned the doll around and began to really examine it. Usually dolls had a pained face but this one didn’t seem to have that. There was no remarkable color on it besides the piercing green eyes. The dress looked like an antique white gown worn to a wedding, and there were black slippers on her feet. The hair was in brown ringlets around her head. The doll was very pretty and remarkable considering it was so different. A chill went up Annie’s spine and she put the doll next to her on the seat again. She grabbed a pair of headphones and plugged in to watch the inflight movie.

Landing in Arizona, Annie departed the plane and went to the baggage claim area to meet her mother. She brought no suitcase with her. She would just buy some clothes while she was here. Her mother waved and greeted her cheerily considering the circumstances of her flight home. “Hello there Annie. You look beautiful.” She hugged Annie and wisked her away to the car. The drive home was quiet. Once in a while Annie’s mother would mention how her grandmother asked about her and talked about her often. Annie began to feel horrible. She wasn’t even there for her grandmother’s last moments. She missed the holidays this year because of work deadlines and only talked briefly on the phone. The doll suddenly felt heavy on her lap. Her mother looked over at her. “I thought you hated dolls?” Annie glanced at the doll. “I do.” She shrugged. No other words were spoken about it. Annie’s mother prattled on about who was coming in town and when, plans that were already made, and what the next couple of days would look like.

The days went by fast. Annie saw more family than she even remembered having. They all shared great memories about her grandmother. Some made her cry while others made her laugh her way to tears. It was finally time to say goodbye. The night before the funeral Annie had a horrible nightmare. Her grandmother was trying to warn her about something but all Annie could do was look over at her with a placid smile and glazed blue eyes. Annie woke with a start the day of the funeral. The doll was on the chair next to her bed. She had sworn it was left in the kitchen. Her mother must have moved it with all of the visitors and she just overlooked it last night. She gave another look at the doll and ignored the shiver she felt. She really really hated dolls. She got up and dressed herself and then met her mother downstairs.

The ceremony was beautiful and many tears were shed. Annie was back at home sitting on the back porch with her mother. “Everything ok?” her mother asked her. “Hmmm.” she nodded and swung a little on the porch swing. Sighing her mother got up. “I’m going in and going to bed. I suggest you do the same soon. You have an early flight dear.” Annie embraced her mother and nodded. “I”ll be in soon.” The backyard was large and nice. The smell of fresh cut grass assaulted her nose. She inhaled deeply and closed her eyes. A noise of something falling near her caused her to open them again. On the floor near the swing was the doll. Annie looked at it. The doll was face down. How did it get out here? She must have brought it down with her at some point. Shaking herself from her surprise she picked up the doll and walked in the house to go upstairs.

Annie drifted off to sleep and dreamed yet again. This time she was sitting on a chair rocking. Nothing was in the room with her and no one seemed to be around. She tried to get up but couldn’t. She tried to look around but couldn’t see much. Her limbs wouldn’t move either. It was such an odd feeling. Annie just wanted to wake up.

Morning shone through the windows of the farm house. The beds were all made and breakfast was cooking. The porch swing creaked as Annie’s mother got up and went inside. She walked around the house picking up small things left over from everyone being there for the funeral. She sighed sadly as she opened Annie’s room door. The bed was already made. She smiled at it and then looked at the chair were the doll sat. She picked it up and took it into the sitting room. There was just a rocking chair in there now. The rest of the furniture was taken out. The house would be put up for sale and everything in it would be leaving. She looked at the doll. It was beautiful. Annie so hated them. She wondered at it. The beautiful glass blue eyes seemed to follow her. She shuddered and left the room closing the door behind her.

She failed to hear the scream issued from the room she just left as she walked down to the kitchen to eat her breakfast. It was a shame that Annie couldn’t make it in town. It was nice of her to send the doll though.

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Differences of Opinion (Challenge from a friend Hopefully it doesn’t disappoint)

Monica was completely set in her ways. She was born upperclass. Everything was handed to her all of her life. By the time she became an adult her vision was obscured. She shopped only name brand. She had a beautiful car but never learned to drive since she had a driver. Thus her life passed pretty pleasantly for her. Monica was a very smart woman albeit born with extreme prejudices.

Daniel was born in the slums. He was always dirty and his family was poor. They never really knew where their next meal was coming from. He played in the streets with his friends and had hardly a care in the world. He never saw himself at a disadvantage. He never looked at anyone with hatred or malice. He was a pleasant boy. As he grew up a dark seed was planted within him and hate grew. It was no fault of one particular thing, more society as a whole where he was concerned. He had to work hard for everything he ever did. People stepped on him, trampled over his generosity, and tore away at his heartstrings. Before he knew it he grew up a bitter adult. He hated the upperclass people who never knew hardships beyond not having their driver while he/she was on vacation. His bitter thoughts kept him from enjoying his adulthood like he should have been able to. School was rough but Daniel pulled through and went off to college to get his degree. He knew he was looking at a life of debt while he made his way and hatred grew further in his heart blackening his view of the world.

Monica was dealt a huge blow one morning. Her parents sat her down and told her she needed to make her own way. They would be paying for her college, but she was a smart girl, she needed to attend. Monica stomped through the house throwing every fit she could muster. However, confronted by her maid who had been her lone friend to stay by her since she was a baby, she controlled her temper and apologized. As independent as she was, she depended on money to help her along. She worked a little while she was in high school but only because she wanted to she never had to. This would be different. She would need to work for her grades and would need to make a name for herself. People would treat her differently and she hated that. She viewed most of the people she met as shallow, money grubbers and didn’t associate with them. It was why she didn’t have many friends growing up. It wasn’t worth hating them though, it wasn’t even worth hugely disliking them. It just took too much energy. This though, this would be different. She could go away to school where no one would know about her money or anything. She could start over and maybe find someone who would accept her for her and not her money.

First day of college made Monica groan. Her parent’s insisted on taking her in their private jet and drive the limo up to the school. People stared and everyone tried to get to know her. She turned her nose up to everyone and sighed when she got into the building and found out that her room was actually an apartment instead of the dorm room usually issued. She grumbled as she grabbed her schedule and her maid and some people hired by the family carried her belongings to her room. She sat on her bed dreading the beginning of school. Daniel was caught up in the crowd. He just wanted to get his room and his schedule and go. Everyone was pushing and crowding each other. it seemed there was some celebrity or whatever ahead of them. He watched as a girl got her schedule looking bored and annoyed. He thought to himself, she’s probably so stuck up they put her in a special apartment away from all of us “low-lifes” He looked at her with eyes clouded by rage and hate. By the time he got his schedule and room he was exhausted. All the hatred building up wore him out. He was angry at himself for letting that one incident get to him. He would probably never see her or ANY rich brat in the school. Daniel’s grades were actually pretty good. He was in many advanced classes and his major was in business. He got to his room and went to bed not wanting to talk with anyone that day.

Daniel woke early and got ready. He followed his schedule and the day seemed pretty easy. He got to his first class and almost cursed outloud. The girl from yesterday was there. He sneered as he walked past her. She looked up slightly shocked but glared back just the same. Daniel sat as far from her as he could and opened his book. He was determined to ignore and hate her for the entire year. Monica was startled when a man entered the classroom and looked at her with hate. He’s just jealous she thought and glared right back at him. She hated when people treated her with malice for no real reason. She was determined to ignore the man as long as she could.

The day went by normally after that. Monica and Daniel were in several classes together. Monica was near tears by lunch. It just took so much of her energy ignoring and loathing a person she never met. Her maid’s words came to mind. “Monica, walk a mile in another person’s shoes before you are determined to think ill of them.” She smiled and decided she would confront this man who seemed to hate her. Daniel was in a horrible mood. He was tired, he was grouchy, and he had no appetite. Lunch came around and he went to the cafeteria and sat down. The girl he was determined to hate was there. With a growl of frustration he got up and confronted her. “Don’t you have anything better to do than to come here? Don’t mommy and daddy pay for everything? Just go home!” Monica reeled at the tone of the man’s voice. Something entered her eyes that made Daniel pause. Pity, he saw it there. She pitied him. This made him angrier and he stormed out. Monica watched him go. She cocked her head to the side in wonder that someone could hate her. She went about her lunch and day.

Next day Monica was determined to talk to Daniel but her avoided her every attempt. She remained quiet until lab time. It would appear the teacher would not let them pick lab partners. He assigned them. Daniel and Monica were partnered up. Daniel gave up. He spent so much time hating her and he just had no more energy to fight it. Monica sat down next to him slowly. “Hello” she said without looking at him. He looked over and noticed she was tense. They would get a horrible grade this year like this. He took a breath and blew it out. “Hello.” was his gruff reply. He still refused to look at her. Monica sighed but continued on their work. Days went on like this. Daniel did minimum work and Monica worked as hard as she could. Frustrated one day she grabbed him after class. “What is with you?” She yelled at him. He turned to her and spat back, “You! You are what is wrong with me. You spoiled brat. You’ve never had to work for anything!” Monica stared at him. “You know, I can’t help who I was born to. I was a lot like you and I can see that hatred is just not worth it. If you would let me we could be friends.” He stared at her incredulously. “We have NOTHING in common.” She smiled at him. “You don’t know me. Give it a chance. If we can’t find anything common I’ll even ask the professor to give us different partners.” Daniel thought it over. “Fine.” Really what did he have to loose.

The two went to lunch together. They talked about likes and dislikes. The more they talked the more Daniel relaxed. it would appear they had a lot in common. They shared the same books. They shared the same interest in music. They had so much in common it was hard for Daniel to remain hating Monica. Daniel never realized he could have so much in common with his enemy. Monica laughed and he found himself relaxing even more. They parted ways and went back to their rooms. Daniel had to rethink his entire life up to this. His hatred was for nothing? When did it even start? Why was it there? Monica was a great girl and he was letting his hatred keep him from a great friendship. Making up his mind he walked out of his room to seek a new friend. They had exchanged numbers. He text her and she agreed to meet up with him.

A few years went by and the two became fast friends. They were hardly ever apart. Daniel seemed to come out of his shell and made several friends. Monica worked hard and made friends herself. She trusted Daniel’s judgement when it came to people and she was no longer afraid that they would betray her for her money. It was nearing summer break. The two friends had planned a trip together after going home first to spend time with family. Daniel talked about Monica often and his parents were excited to finally meet this girl. They text every night. Monica would be flying out to meet up with him and staying with his parents for a few days before they left for New York to catch a flight to Europe. They were so excited. They talked every night.

The flight day came. Daniel invited some of his friends with him to pick her up from the airport. His friends didn’t believe he had made a friend out of Monica. It would appear that Daniel had truly changed his outlook. They went to the airport to pick her up. They waited and waited. But the flight never made it. Daniel stared in disbelief. It was all over the news. Maybe she didn’t catch the flight. He text her frantically. There was no answer. The girl who changed his mind, the person who helped him let go of his hatred, the one person who could open up and care about him regardless of his attempts to keep her away was gone.

Daniel turned to his friends and smiled. “She wouldn’t want me to be unhappy and go back to being hateful. Let’s go out guys.”

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An Eternal Loyalty

Max was tiny when he was born. No one thought he would make it. Everyone was surprised when he finally opened his eyes and took his first breaths. They were so excited and a celebration was put together. As the days wore on Max grew. He was strong, smart, and very playful. He took on a companion. Someone he was hoping to spend his life with. You see, Max is a beautiful soul with unconditional love. His best friend and life long companion was named Al. Al was a gentle sort of person. He was aged and his hair silver and thinning with his years on earth. He spent long days sitting on a porch swing talking with Max. Their day was pretty simple; Al would wake up, call for Max, and together they would eat breakfast. This morning would be different. Al got up later than normal. He didn’t call for Max. Max woke on his own and trotted in to the kitchen for breakfast. “Max, I’m getting old. We’re going to have some company ’round here. My son is coming with his family to take care of me.” Max dropped his head to his food and ate pondering the man’s words. Al looked no older than he was yesterday and yet he seemed slowed down and tired. In the next week the house turned chaotic. People ran here and there and Max was trodden on more than once. He stalked off to the backyard where he heard voices. It would appear that Al’s son had some children of his own. Max galloped up to the nearest child who squealed and began an impromptu game of tag. Max spent the next few months in raptures. He got more attention than he had ever had. He continued to keep an eye on Al though. Al got up later and later. He became slower and slower. Six months went by this way. Al would still come to the table and Max was still called. Everyone would then join in on breakfast and then the kids would all go out to the yard and play. One morning Al didn’t come down to breakfast. Max was concerned and looked all though the house. No one appeared to be home. He had spent the night out and didn’t return to the house till morning when he knew Al would be down to breakfast. He lay down on the couch and whined to himself. Tears gathered in his eyes. Soon he heard the door and bound up to go greet everyone and see Al. They all walked in through the door. Al was not there. Max waited by the door and looked back at the people who came in to the house. Al’s son came up. “I’m sorry Max. He’s not there. He’s not coming back.” He turned and walked into the kitchen to make food for everyone. Max stood near the door. What did that mean? Why wasn’t he coming back? A kid walked up and sat with Max. “It’ll be ok. We’ll take care of you now.” Max looked over. This boy was still young and yet he could see Al’s eyes in him so he smiled and got up. He would never forget Al and their days together. Days turned into months, months turned into years. The house saw many people come and many people go. The only thing that never changed was Max. Max was constant. He never changed and he never lost his love for Al and his family. Al’s son departed one day years later, there was an accident he was told. The boy who had Al’s eyes told him so. This boy was named Todd. Todd was now the man of the house and he took care of Max. Max stuck next to him like no other. This person meant the world to him. He was there when Todd started school. He was there when Todd had his first kiss. He was even there when Todd proposed to his girlfriend. He was in the wedding and stood next to Todd as he married. He was at his side when Todd’s first child was born and he mourned with him when his first child departed the world too soon. Todd and Max were more inseparable than Max and Al ever were. Another child was born and Max played his heart out with him. He took care of the family and they in turn took care and loved him. He was getting tired though. Max was growing older. Todd had to help him walk around now. No matter what though he would play with the kids. There were now two of them, a little girl who just began walking and a boy who was about the age of Todd when Max met him. He had Al’s eyes too. It was a beautiful spring day. The breezes brought in the smell of flowers. Max wanted to go outside. Todd and his son went with him. They walked around the yard and walked the paths that lead to a small creek. Max was visibly tired so Todd carried him home while his son tramped behind. They sat on the porch and Max lay down. Todd’s boy beside him. He smiled as the boy lay next to him talking in his gibberish while Todd laughed. Max closed his eyes and drifted off to the sounds of their voices. “Max! Max! Here boy!!!” He knew that voice. Max lifted his head. He could see him! Al was in front of him calling to him. He leap for joy! Something was pulling at him though. He was seeing Al after all of these years but something told him to turn around. He did to see the small boy crying over a furry lump on the porch. He realized with a start that was himself. The sorrow coming off the boy permeated the air around him. He looked back once more and saw Al. Al nodded to him giving him permission. Max walked up to the boy and licked him. The boy startled and looked wide eyed. Max smiled his doggish grin and  turned and bound back to Al. The boy stood and with his father watched as their beloved Max lopped over the rainbow bridge spy as a puppy again. Al turned and waved and the two of them wandered off beyond the rainbow bridge.

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When an idea hits……..

I’ve learned really quickly that when an idea hits you just have to jot it down and then just kind of go with it from there. So this idea has been bugging and bugging me. I don’t have it in any certain order thought out at all. I have the middle and I now have the beginning… no ending yet… which is opposite of how I usually write. I usually have the ending and the beginning and no middle…. PROGRESS!!!!!  I guess at least….. my editor may be a bit happier.  🙂  Anyway I figured I’d give you all a brief look at some new work….. 🙂  Let me know what you think…..

She walked out on to the balcony and looked out over the lands. The scenery was very grey to her eyes. She could close them and smell and it took her back to a more peaceful and beautiful time. The land was filled with purple blossoms that popped up everywhere. The grasses were a dark green and the smells were amazing. It always smelled of rain, even know as the lands were grey and drying up, it smelled of rain. She loved the rain. It cleansed, purified, and renewed. It promised flowers that would never grow for her again. It promised sights she knew yet could never again know. The rain was her salvation and her downfall. She sighed and glided back into the room. Inside she looked around. It was as grey and dank in the room as it was outside of it. Cobwebs dropped across every corner. Dust covered every inch of the room. She snorted and moved to the door. Whispers followed her everywhere. She long ago stopped listening to them. Long ago she learned what they said and she cared not listen to what they meant. Long ago she walked into this willingly and the voices guided her and helped her. Lately though they spoke nonsense. The voices spoke promises like the rain. She didn’t want to hear it anymore. She would cry if she were capable. She passed a mirror in the hall and paused. Looking at it she turned herself to see every view she was able. The mirror had caked on dirt and dust. Long ago it was beautiful and ornate, gilded with jewels and gold embellishments, now though it was tarnished and dirty, just as she was. Her white dress was in tatters around her slender form. Her hair was black, or so she thought, it was hard to tell with the lighting and the mirror. It hung in strings around her head and down her back. Limply it reached nearly to her thighs. It never saw the light of day anymore. Her form was skeletal and pale, nearly see-through. Her eyes were sunken and haunted. What color were they? She found she could not remember and could not tell by looking at them. Where they blue? She turned from the mirror and continued forward to the staircase. The staircase led to the ballroom which was the gem of the entire palace. It was all built for her. Everything she saw and touched was made for her. She grew to hate it, loathe it even. It all disgusted her as it was her eternal prison. She wailed shaking the walls of the palace and carrying out on the wind for miles around her.
Haunted. The woods and hills around them were all haunted. The people of B______ always knew this. The hills would wail in sorrow in the evenings, well not every evening. Peter walked on the main road looking for the nearest food market. He knew it was down an alleyway but he was always lost. He stopped in the street and looked up at the sky. It was getting dark. He would never find the food market before close. He signed and was just about to give up when he saw a figure run out of the alleyway up the street a few feet. It was carrying bags of food. The market! He had found the way, or more stumbled upon it. He ran for the alley. It wasn’t as if it would disappear, he just wanted to get there before it closed. The figure in the street looked back at him and shook their head and continued on their way home. Peter ran through the alleyway and came out right into the food market. He toppled over a barrel of apples. They scattered into the street. He stood and fumbled around a bit before helping the poor vender pick them all up. He slowed down and looked around. He needed to find meat, carrots, and exotic fruits. Up in front of him was a vender cart with animals having from wires, there was meat. He made his way to the vender. Looking up he grabbed an odd looking bird, a small rodent like thing, and a boar. He told the vender he would be back for the meat after he picked up some of the produce. He wandered the other carts looking for things to go with the meat. Darkness fell on the market. Venders began to close their stalls. People slouched under all of there packages. The gypsy venders would be leaving tonight. It would be the last time to get these foods for months. Peter hurried back along the stalls looking for the meat stall. They were packing up. He picked up his pace and got to the vender. It was then he noticed a young woman in the back of the stall. She was watching everyone packing up with a serine smile on her face. Her lips were painted a pale red. Her hair was a flowing black. Her face was partially covered by a veil and her clothing was loose-fitting and light purple. She was beautiful. Peter was mesmerized. Noise around him continued and the meat vender tried to get his attention. “Sir!” Peter shook his head. The woman was gone. He must have imagined her there. He took a questioning look behind the vender who took a look behind himself as well. A recognition came upon his face as he pressed the meats into Peter’s arms. “Your purchases sir.” He bowed a hurried bow and finished packing up his stall to leave. Peter was left in the nearly empty street with his packages overflowing in his arms. What had he just seen? He slowly turned himself and walked back to the alleyway that would lead him to the main street and then home.
Tobar looked behind him several times. His companions were beginning to worry for him. One called out to him. “Ho! Tobar! How goes it?!” He waved back signaling all was well but his silence told everyone another story. They looked at one another uneasily but continued. They lived a gypsy life. They would forever be on the move. Their vender carts in tow, they needed to make it to camp before dawn. The wagons continued on at a steady pace. The only sound was the soft footfalls of the animals and the turning of the wheels. The caravan trudged along making good time. They came upon a makeshift tented community just before dawn. Straw and mud made up the makeshift houses. Silks made up the doors and windows giving the people inside the illusion of privacy. Some people came out of the houses to help settle the caravan in. Hushed voices were heard and small conversation was struck about what money was made that day and where they would all go next. One loud voice was heard above them all. “It is time to settle in. You may all speak in the morning. We will be on the move again soon.” Tobar watched his people settle themselves in. Morning would soon be here, they would only get to sleep till early afternoon this time. The rest of the caravan would be up shortly to start the normal chores and to gather wares with the money they made this trip. It was very productive. He frowned as he thought of his interaction with his strange last minute customer. He was packing up for the night when the man came back for his meat. He kept looking behind him as if he was tranfixed by someone. It would appear the spirit was following them again. She always came and misfortune always befell them. Someone would disappear and it would be blamed on their caravan. It never failed to happen. It never failed that a body was found, and it never failed that they would be freed because no one would know what had happened to the body. The deaths were mysterious and there were many legends about the area. The gypsies had heard the wailing for years. But they all knew a darker story. They all knew a sadder story. They knew the truth and they were moving the hills forever because of it. Gypsies they were called. Tabor laughed to himself. It was not always so. The last of his people went in for the night just as the sun was peaking over the makeshift camp sight. He sighed and walked to his tent alone letting the flap close hollowly behind him leaving his memories at the door.

So there it is!!! Just a small piece of what I’ve been working on…. on my birthday… while on vacation…….  Yeah…..

That’s the other thing…. Ideas never EVER hit when you want them to. They usually hit in a dream, while at work, when you don’t have anything to write it down, when you’re too busy. When I can sit down at a computer I can’t write a single thing. Guess it’s a good thing a notebook goes with me everywhere. Yep… it’s archaic BUT it’s effective and that’s all that matters.

Also… thoughts are random. There is a randomness to the random that is in my head right now. Splicing souls from people’s bodies while making sure they still live because they are useless dead….. Gypsy caravans that roam but were once nobles…. Ancient groups of animals that are trying to take back their land…. Talking birds that only talk when you aren’t listening…… A queen trying to get back to her family through a portal that connects between worlds at the will of the person strong enough to control the portal at will….. You know… Stuff like that. 🙂 My mind is a playground and sometimes organizing the equipment into something reasonable to play with is pretty hard. Need an engineer for my brain. 🙂  Well… it’s time to try to develop some of this randomness.  AFTER PIZZA OF COURSE!!!!!

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