Monday, October 31, 2016

A man named Clifford

There once was a man named Clifford
That rode into town on a mule named Zipper;

Then Zipper died,
And Clifford cried,
For he very much liked his friend Zipper.

On Halloween night,
Zipper rose with a fright,
And galloped with delight.

Clifford sat astride his pet ghost,
Who adored his new post;
He felt more freedom than most,
Being allowed a ghostly coast.

But Halloween ended,
And the rules are quite candid:

Where a ghost fended,
There his energy must then be lended.
For the living must still be tended,

Because they are still alive.

Happy Halloween.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Hail from beyond the screen!

Alright, fine. I've been a bad blogger. But I haven't been idle, I promise.

Rod is still in progress. I know, I know. But trust me, things are still on the move.

As I was mulling over what to work on next, I realized that the story I was mulling over actually would make a better book to follow Jules than what I intially had (aka, Rod). Don't worry, don't worry. You'll get to read his story soon. The format in which you read it in might differentiate from the original plan, however.

In light of that, I'm working on a few things:

Next book (I'll put up teasers, don't worry)
Stepping up my marketing strategies
Coloring book Mrk 2
Several short stories, most of which will appear here.

So, I'll be going back to posting stories on a weekly/monthly basis on this blog soon. I'll also be adding a Book Reviews page and, depending on how fast I can figure out my reading pace, I may be opening up an opportunity to be a more functional blog (more on that in later posts).

I'm trying. I'm working on it. I've been taking the last number of weeks to try and hit a better pace with my writing career and school and craft shows and life. But apparently, you guys loved my little goofy poem about an alien, so I know that a few someone's out there love me. :D

I'm also working on a marketing/author services index that has much more than just links and a name. Stay tuned to see where I go with that.

Last but not least, thanks so much to you, my lovely viewers. This started out as a personal blog. And now I'm sharing it with at least 20 of you, if not more. I'm very thankful for you guys.

(More to come hopefully very soon.)

Monday, August 15, 2016

And GO!



Links!


Transformations: An Experimental Coloring Book: http://www.blurb.com/b/7240216-transformations

Transformations: Leftie Edition :http://www.blurb.com/b/7286321-transformations

New Releases!

Gah! I'm having such a hard time catching up with myself.

Alright, here's the deal:

Olyvia: The Special Edition and Transformations (My coloring book) are each ready to go. There will probably be an updated version of the coloring book later on, but for now, it's ready to go. However, I've still got to set up the books, put the links up and update some of the older links, and get the word out. Since I'm still a little ADD ---

---And I totally forgot where I was going.



Oh well.

There's some new releases. I'll come back when links are up and just shout "GO!!"

...How's that?

Friday, August 12, 2016

Well That Was Fun...

So...I honestly didn't expect my little alien story to take off quite so much.

It was probably the highlight of my day. :)

Anyway.

If you've been wondering what I've been up to (aside from coming up with poems about aliens), take a moment to check out my other creative pursuit: Ceramics!!

I've got an Etsy store here: KKBCeramics

And a connecting Facebook page here: KKBCeramics_Facebook

So, there's that.

The coloring book has come in the mail. I'll have a mini launch party once it's complete ready. Which will be soon.

Olyvia: The Special Edition has been taken off Kindle for the moment because somehow Amazon thought Olyvia and it's special edition were the exact same Kindle file, even though they were two separate uploads and everything. So, Olyvia: Special Edition is now going to be uploaded to Smashwords and Draft2Digital. I'll update the links on here for accuracy, so no worries. In addition, the physical copies should be ready soon, and I'll let you all know when they are.

So, that's my mini-update.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The story of an alien...

There once was an alien named Phil.

He came down to Earth on a Quill.

He looked around and spied,
Twirled around and cried.
He jumped and danced until he realized,
He did not actually have Phil's eyes.

He searched the world high and low,
Until he stubbed a rock with his toe.

People called him Bobawkward,
Because he was awkward,
He accepted their talk-words,
And wondered why wet fell from the sky.

He encountered a man named Phil at that time,
And didn't know what to say,
So he asked Phil about the wet in the sky,
And Bobawkward was told it was rain.

Bobawkward followed Phil to his house,
And tried to eat the thing called a mouse.
Phil told him no and called him a louse,
Which made poor Bobawkward cry.

He was an alien you see,
And didn't quite understand,
That Phil wasn't calling him names after all,
Phil was trying to help him instead.

So Bobawkward stayed with Phil for a while,
He learned about turtles and ovens and fires,
He cried when you watched his daytime Soaps,
(Which he told Phil was really more like a joke).

But his fun was short-lived,
Because Phil had a kid,
And soon it was time to go home.

So Bobawkward set out alone,
For in his culture he must atone,
Because he borrowed Phil's comb,
Without asking.

The alien went to the top of a mountain,
Where he saw an accountant,
Biding his time in song.

Bobawkward sat down,
Turned the accountant around,
And both of them frowned,
Like a poor frown-y clown.

They sang a good song,
Light-hearted and long,
About Godzilla,
And the mighty King Kong.

Eventually Bobawkward had to go home,
For he had a long life to live on his own.

And that's where this story must end my friends,
The tale of Phil the awkward alien,
That took on a different name to stay trim,
And to hide from the cupcake lurking within.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Update!

Alright, all 20 of you loyal blog fans! Here's the scoop of the upcoming plan:

Olyvia Special Edition:
Put the finishing touches on a physical copy and ordered a proof to see how it'll look. There will most likely be some tweaking afterwards, but know that the physical copy of the book is coming!

Rod:
Still working on it. It's in the editors hands, so it isn't stagnant. But it also means it's progress is out of my hands ATM. I have a few other minor adventures starring him that I can polish up and post, but those are not at the top of the priority list.

Coloring Book:
I've got all of the designs done, loaded up into a book form, and only waiting for a few final touches. Things like a name and a cover design. Little things like that. Those, however, are completely in my hands and I simply have to make a decision and stick to it before I upload. After that I've got to order a proof to check it, but even so, it should be coming out in the next few weeks. I'll keep all of ya'll updated.

Ceramics:
So, I know most of you follow me right now because of my books/stories, but as an aside, something else that's on my priority list is selling some of the pottery I've made over the course of my learning. I've been thinking and working towards this since I started throwing clay, I just never quite had the nerve to get moving on it. Welp, I've found my nerve now, and have been working on an Etsy store that is nearly come to completion. It's primarily bowls at the moment, but I've got a few other things up for sale as well. I'll post again about it when the Etsy store is actually up so that this blog remains primarily a space for stories, but this was just in case ya'll wanted to know. After all, this blog was started as a way to post a few pictures of my pottery. :)

Other Things In The Works:
Worldbuilding for the next book.

Scraps of stories (some of which have already had the beginnings posted) that I'm going to attempt to begin writing and posting a chapter a day/week as a way to test myself and let you guys keep my accountable to wordcount goals between books.

Researching ways to sell books a bit more close to home; third-party additions to this blog to allow you guys to buy directly from me, mostly.

I'm among a number of authors that's participating in a new website launch, with an aim to connect authors and readers. They've got a few cool features going on, and it looks to be a very good website in this new age of self-publishers and voracious readers, so check them out if you're interested: http://www.onestopfiction.com/



I'm sure I've got other things on the horizon, but they are pretty much on the horizon for a reason. I'll do my best to continue supplying ya'll with short stories and snippets and fun little 'insider' moments. I might even eventually have merchandise, but again, that's on the horizon.

Anyway, I shall see you soon, my pretties!
Happy reading!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Gameplan

Ok, here's the deal:

I've finished with the overall manuscript of Rod. I'm sending it to an editor today, and it's currently in the hands of a few beta readers. With any luck, I'll get all my stuff together in time for a July launch. I know, I know. I said it would be a June launch. Sorry about that. Rod really just didn't want to play nice a heck of a lot.

So, I'm looking at a late July/early August release date.

In the meantime, Olyvia, Olvyia's Special Edition, and Jules are all still available for purchase and I'm working on a possible coloring book. Because it seemed fun and it means I get to further play around with the designs I made during my 2-D class last semester. :D

Something I'm working on at the moment, just to give you special ones a preview of your upcoming protagonist, is a 'short story' (I really don't know how long it's going to be at the moment, thus the quotes) that takes place during the latter half of Olyvia, from Rod's perspective. You blog readers are going to get to see what the mysterious magician was doing when Olyvia wasn't around. That'll start probably some time next week. After that I'll be doing a bit of hype for Rod's actual release date, I'll do a bit of marketing, and then I'll be moving on to other works including short stories inside My Fair Lady (a bar from Jules' book), snippets of life on another world, polishing and completing the stories I started in February (if you joined me after I did those, you can go back and take a look -- even leave a comment on my facebook or twitter of one that you'd like to see me write more on), and working on the next book in my series (of course).

So, summary: Keep your eyes on the blog, there'll be some activity back on here soon enough. Many thanks to those that have kept visiting, and to those that bought some of my books during the birthday special!

Happy Reading!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Finish Line!

I'm finished working on Rod for the moment!

Entering Beta-Read mode.

More to come.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Birthday News! (part 2)

Alright, so telling you to keep your eyes peeled this week was a bit of an over estimation.

Because it's up!

For today only, Olyvia's special edition is going to be $0.99c, along with the original copy of Olyvia and Jules. Because it's my birthday and I can do that, haha. But when I get up tomorrow, I'm raising the prices. Granted, I get up around 11:00AM Central time, but that's beside the point!

So, if you enjoyed the ramblings and scribblings of an amateur author, go buy a copy! I'll be grateful to each and every one of you!

Here's the link!
Olyvia: Special Edition

Birthday News!

Hey all!

Sorry for the radio silence. I've been tirelessly working on getting Rod finished up; the bad news, I may have to push his release date back to July. I realized a few key elements were missing, and it'll just absolutely kill me if I release something that's unfinished.

The good news: Today's my birthday! And this month is the one-year anniversary of the book I never thought I'd actually publish!

In honor of that, I'm releasing a special edition of Olyvia; One that contains all my ramblings and scribblings that you guys were subjected to during the Chapter-By-Chapter event. ;) :D It's not up yet, but keep your eyes peeled for it's official launch!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Future Plans

“ There's plenty of money out there. They print more every day. But this ticket, there's only five of them in the whole world, and that's all there's ever going to be. Only a dummy would give this up for something as common as money. Are you a dummy?"
--Grandpa George
"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"

I came to a realization lately.

I would rather know people are reading my book then get paid to know that they may or may not read it.

You guys have been great, so far. You keep (rather, you kept) coming back every saturday to read roughly 1000 words of short stories or snippets of things I was working on. It was great. I felt like I was really connecting with you, my readers. You guys were seeing the smaller side of me, the unedited, unprofessional side.

And since that was the interactive side, I thought hey, why don't I bring that interactive, unprofessional side and my 'author' side together?

Besides, I was running out of already-typed stories. You guys were killing me!

So, in honor of my June release (which is still on its way, no worries), I've decided that instead of posting once a week for my 'Saturday Stories', I'm going to post a chapter of Olyvia on this blog, every day, for you to read, all for free, all during the month of May. M for marwolaeth? haha.

I'll post a follow-up commentary after each Chapter; just little tidbits, backgrounds, character bios, and even a few sketches, should I have them. I know several of you have already read through Olyvia, but for those of you who haven't...Here's your chance!

And hey, if you like what you're reading and you don't want to wait till the end of the month to finish, Olyvia will still be available online for purchase and download. You can buy it and finish it before the month is up.

And hey, who knows? Maybe after May is up, I'll compile the whole month into a new edition that includes all the commentary and illustrations and, oh, I dunno, put it up for sale for the people who want it?

Of course, a party is only as good as it's party-goers, haha. We'll see.

In other news, next week I'm going to create a facebook page to celebrate and talk about Rod's book launch. I've got a new Wordpress site that pretty much serves as a collection of everywhere I've been, links to all the things, and updates of current book-y events. I'm fairly sure that most book-related updates will be posted there from now on, so don't forget about it! I'll add links soon, so don't despair if you can't find it. :)

So, there you have it; Rod's book is on it's way and there will be a place you can find out more about it, Jules is going to be undergoing a book blast during May, Olyvia is going to be appearing here at the blog, and I've got a new Wordpress site that'll be used to coordinate all links and information pertaining to my authorship and things. Oh, and I've been a little more conscious about reading and reviewing books. I've only just finished reading and reviewing a single book lately, but the review should be posted to my Goodreads blog soon. That, and I'll be getting an Instagram/Pinterest account (and maybe try Tumbler, if I think I can get the hang of it) to be posting lots of visual artistic endeavors. Some book related, some not. All me. :D

Happy Reading!
KS

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Gah!

I promise you guys, I'm still alive out here. Sorry, no new stories this weekend either.

My brain is like a purple goop that's been leaking out my ears lately.

Here's the scoop:

Since I didn't say last week (even though I'm pretty sure most of you know by now), my third book is titled "Rod" and it's from his point of view.

I'm still working on getting everything set up, but I am currently trying to gather names of interested parties for a launch team for Rod. So, if you'd like to be part of a launch team, shoot me an email at kaeliastevens89@gmail.com. I'll add you to my list, and contact you in the next few weeks to give you more details and let you decide if it sounds like something you'd really like to participate in.

I'm also looking at a relaunch of Olyvia, my first book. If you haven't picked up a copy yet, keep an eye on it to see if/when I go through with it. You'll know if I relaunched because the price will drop and I'll be trying to advertise like crazy. And even if I don't, it might be worth picking up a copy before June. ;)

Aside from that, I'm plugging away at artistic venues, touching up manuscripts, contacting advertising, and formulating a new author website for myself. :) But rest assured, Saturday Stories will be back! Possibly some time soon.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Update Time!

So, no stories today. So sorry.



However, I do have an update, and an announcement!

This month of April, I have a tour! It's from April 11th to the 15th, put on by Bewitching Book Tours. I'll add the schedule, don't worry. Just wanted to let you guys know it's coming up because it's exciting for me!!

But that's not the announcement. The announcement is the name (and by default, the main character) of my next book! The short blurb is as follows:

Act 1:
A thief gets pulled into a revenge mission by an old friend helping out a new friend.

Act 2:
A magical thief is commissioned to steal from a high-powered law enforcer.


Guessed who the character is yet?

...


I'll let that ruminate till next week. :D Because I just work that way.

OH! Right. Tour Schedule.

April 11
Ramblings of a book nerd
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, and Sissy, Too!

April 12
Mythical Books
Paranormal Tendencies Book Reviews

April 13
Nimi Arora
Fang-tastic Books

April 14
Deal Sharing Aunt
Lisa’s World of Books

April 15
Roxanne’s Realm
Share My Destiny

April 18
Literary Musings
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Shalt

Haha, nerdy time.

In 2003, an anime series called .hack//sign came out. It was based on other things, a part of this expansive story, but I've only ever known about it through the anime. I loved the music, went obsessive, found and obtained all the music I could. One of the songs, "To Nowhere" struck a chord with me. Eventually I went for about an hour listening to nothing else but that song and I wrote. I went nuts on it.

And this is what I came out with.

For Your Consideration, the first 1,495 words of:

Shalt

            Sara was an ordinary girl. She had blonde hair and blue eyes. She was the average height and the average weight for an 18 year-old. She had an ordinary job, and ordinary apartment, ordinary friends. It wasn’t exiting, but it paid the bills and kept food on the table. She traveled by train to and from work, and walked everywhere else. Her small three-room apartment was on the second story, around the bend from a small grocery store and a few other stores of interest across the street and down the way. Nothing was very far, and the walking did her good.
            She had gotten home around 6, only to find she had little to no decent food left. She had a few containers of leftover fast-food meals and some chips, which she probably should have thrown out instead of hide it in her refrigerator. She reached into her purse and pulled out her wallet, finding a few bills. Enough for a microwave meal. If it was on sale. She could always settle for a larger snack and figure out dinner for tomorrow night…tomorrow. When she was hungry.
            She shoved the few bills into her pocket, locked the door and descended the stairs, skipping every other one. The air was a little chilly, but she didn’t mind. The store was just around the corner and if she ran she could stay warmer. She began to jog once she hit the pavement, her shoes hitting the cement with a rhythmic thump thump thump thump. She reached the store and found out she had just enough to buy one microwave meal. And it happened to be on sale. As she handed the money over to the cashier and headed for the door, she noticed it was beginning to rain.
            She hurried back, food clutched to her chest and hand shielding her eyes. The rain was coming down even harder. She could barely see, but since she had traveled the route so many times, she knew the way. She was almost home when something hit her foot and she tripped. The first thing she checked was the smashed box underneath her. It was…relatively intact. She looked around to see what she had tripped on and discovered it with a gasp.
            A man lay on the concrete, in the shadow of the buildings. She had tripped on his hand. Going to over to him, she saw that he was bleeding. It didn’t look fatal, but it didn’t look good. She searched her pockets only to remember that her cell phone was in her purse, back at her apartment. She looked up and down the sidewalk for someone – anyone – to help. A glint in the rain caught her eye and she peered at it, trying to see.
            “Hello?” She called. There was no answer. “Hello? Is that someone out there?” She asked. A low growl answered her. She could see what caught her eye, now. A pair of glittering yellow eyes stared out at her, like those out of a horror movie. She found herself frozen in fear. “Wha…?”
            A figure suddenly rose next to her; it was the man she had tripped on. Growling penetrated through the dark and the rain. The man was unmoved. He simply stood, his shoulders heaving. Blood dripped down and mixed with the rain. Finally, after a long standoff, the eyes and the growling vanished. The man seemed to wait for a painful amount of time before he fell to his knees. He turned his head and drew a ragged breath. “Go…Home.” He whispered out to her, his voice harsh. He went down to his hands and fell to his side, breathing in short, ragged breaths.
            She looked around. She could have gone home. She could have left him. The least she could have done would be to go home and call 911 when she could. She looked at the man again, and felt the chill of the night coupled with the clinging wet of the rain. She couldn’t leave him.
            Grabbing his arm, she hauled him to his feet and took on almost all of his weight. Leaving the boxed dinner behind, she hauled the stranger back to her apartment.

            Sara had laid out the stranger on her only couch and dried him as best as she could. Now that he was in better lighting, she could see him better. He was certainly a strange sight. His face was so young. He couldn’t have been over 20, with delicate features and pale skin. Yet his head was covered in gray hair. It wasn’t an old man’s gray head, though. His hair had more of a silver sheen to it and it was very fine and somewhat long, falling to his shoulders. His build was slender, but muscular. Three cuts ran across his exposed stomach, his shirt for some reason too short to come all the way down.
            His shirt was blood-red and made it difficult to tell what was blood and what was not. The only reason she knew he had cuts all over was because of the rips in his shirt. She pulled it off of him, knowing that she had to stop the bleeding, clean it and wrap it in something. She saw the cuts – although they didn’t seem to be big enough to have made that much blood – and ran to get the peroxide from her bathroom cabinet. She was always cutting herself on accident, and she knew peroxide was good for disinfecting.
            She poured some of it out on toilet paper and began dabbing it to the wounds. As soon as it touched him, the stranger jumped and grabbed her wrist, making her jump as well. He moved it away as he sat up and looked at her, his eyes flashed gold and then the colors swam and they seemed to hold no color at all. He dodged away from her gaze and stood. “I told you to go home.” He said, picking up his shirt.
            “I am home.” She responded, standing. “Your wounds…”
            “I’m fine.”
            “But they’re…that was too much blood for those cuts. You have to be bleeding from somewhere else.”
            The stranger looked at her with a strange look. She approached him and whispered, “Are you a healer?”
            He paused. “What?”
            “A healer. One who has the ability to heal wounds?”
            “What are you –“ His eyes flickered over her. Finally he stated, “That’s crazy.”
            “Not as crazy as you want me to think.” She said, walking over to a small table. “I know about the World Below; the one that no one sees.” She tossed a picture to him, which he caught without looking down or flinching. He looked down at it. It was a girl that was a few years older then his current host, with long golden hair and stunning blue eyes. “My sister.” She said. “Water Wielder. She shelters little ones, and most of them are Special. Her husband is a Fire Wielder, his brother is a Wind Wielder, and a close family friend is an Earth Wielder. Her husband is pals with a healer. I didn’t know if you were one as well.”
            He looked up at her. “This is all very intriguing information, but I’m just a…passerby. I’m not special.” He said, tossing the picture back. She caught it and gently put it back on the table. “Oh…” She said, walking toward him, “You’re special alright. When you’re around them enough, you can spot a Special from a human. So…What are you?”
            He hesitated. “Fine. I’m not human. How do you know I’m not dangerous?”
            “I don’t. That’s why I asked. But, out of the major threats that I know of, you don’t fit the bill for any of them. Vampires have pointed teeth and pale skin – you’re missing the teeth. The full moon’s just passed and there have been no deaths in the area, so you’re not a werewolf. Your flesh is on your bones and you’re coherent, so you’re not a zombie. You’re flesh and blood, so you’re not a ghost.” She leaned in close to his face. “You’re too imperfect in your face to be an Elf, you’re not an Elemental Wielder, you’re not any of the Farie kind…and I’ve seen most of the human-mythical beasts and you don’t fit the bill for any of them.” She leaned back. “So…tell me what you are?”
            “How do you know I’m not an Elemental?”
            She smiled. “I have my ways. Now, stop dodging my question. What are you?”
            He pulled his shirt on. “Late. I’m late for an important engagement.”
            “An important engagement in the rain? Late at night? I don’t think that’s the truth.”

            “Well, whatever I am I must be anxious to get away from you.” He said and walked toward the door. Before he left, he turned to her and slightly bowed, saying “Good Day.” She sat on the couch as the door closed behind him.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Tammy James

I lied.

I made the name of this one right now as well. Because apparently I went through a phase where I didn't actually name my stories and just put the name of all the pertinent characters at the top and that's what I saved. After this, I will always come up with some sort of name for random stories, intent to publish or not.

With that aside, here's the background of this piece. Because apparently I feel the urge to do that. After all, it's always more fun to hear the stories behind the stories, no?

These characters were near the end of my first set of character creation. I came up with a bunch of different characters groups before slowing down to actually finish up stories. This was also back when I was a chronic pantser and didn't have the determination to finish ANYTHING. Thus, all of this material now, haha.

Anyway.

When I went back to revisit this group, I had absolutely nothing. No story came to mind whatsoever. So I came up with a 'happily ever after' moment, jumped a generation, and started over. Thus...

For Your Consideration, the first 1,677 words of:

Tammy James

Tammy James was an average girl. She grew up in an apartment in the city, with one mother and one father, a few friends from school and a candy store on the corner of the street. With a head of fire and raven eyes, she managed to get a little attention, but never too much. She went to school, did her homework, and played when she found the time. Life never got too complicated…That is, until her parents died.
            She never remembered much of that night. She was ten years old when it happened. She just remembered that she had been in bed when she heard glass breaking and shouting. Her mother rushed into the room and grabbed her shoulders, forcing her under the bed. She shoved a book into Tammy’s hands and told her to shush. Don’t make a sound until it was quiet again. Then she said some really funny-sounding words and Tammy felt a little funny, like she had eaten too much candy at the candy store.
            Then her door opened with a crash. A fight broke out. There was lots of screaming and shouting. Then, with two loud sounds that made little Tammy cringe, the room fell silent. Two pairs of shoes began to wander around the room and her things started flying about. Then the intruders looked under the bed.
            She only saw one clearly. He stared at her with black eyes. Small coarse hair seemed to cluster on his face, around his mouth and chin. His nose was big and his lips were curled into a snarl. Tammy thought her heart would stop as he sat there and stared at her. But he left. His face left her sight. He didn’t seem to see her. She clutched the book and waited. The two pairs of shoes wandered the whole house; Tammy could hear them walking. The main room. The small kitchen in the corner. Mother and Father’s room. A few more shouts between the two of them, and then she heard them leave. Not sure if it was safe to come out yet or not, the little girl waited. And waited. And waited.
            She waited for her mother to come get her. She waited for her father to tell her it was alright. Nothing happened. Nothing happened for a long time.

            The little girl with fire-red hair and raven eyes was found a week later, when the police entered the apartment. They found blood on the walls and the little girl’s bed, in the kitchen and the main room, but no adults. They had not been seen since the apartment had been broken into. Her parents were missing, and she was an orphan. The only belonging that Tammy would not give up to anyone was the odd book that mother had shoved into her hands that night. And she would never give it up.

            Eight years later, that same little girl stood on the corner of a busy street, watching the people pass her by and waiting for a cab to take her home. It had been a stressful day for the 18 year old girl. Her job was still new, and she managed to spill coffee everywhere in the break room. They had no one to clean it up before it settled into the carpet, so Tam (that’s what she had begun to call herself) was shown where the cleaning supplies were and was left to clean up the mess she made. That had taken her longer then she originally thought it should and she was still a little distraught about the whole thing.
            She made it home just in time to see that her parents – her adopted parents – had made it home before her. The remains of dinner had been set out and they sat in front of the television, just like they always had.
            “And just where have you been, Tammy?” Her mother, Jessica, asked with little enthusiasm.
            “Work. I had to stay and help clean up a few rooms.” She lied. Well…It was really only a half-lie. “And you know I hate that name. It’s ‘Tam’.”
            “Got any homework left to do?” Her father, Steve, asked without even looking away from the brain-sucker box.
            Tam sighed. “Don’t I always?”
            Steve nodded. “Better get to it, then.”
            She hung her head but walked past them and down the hall. She closed the door and flopped on her bed, muttering, “No, I’m fine, honest. I’m not hungry at all. I just haven’t eaten anything in a few hours because I caused a mess.” She heaved a sigh, sat up, and stared at her desk. The last remains of the thing called ‘homework’ lay on her desk, half-finished. She was almost there. Almost to graduation. Just a few more weeks and she was free.
            That reminded her of something. She rolled over and pulled out a dusty book from under her bed. She only got the book out once in a while; it was the only thing she had to remember her parents by. Although why her mother shoved this book in her hands was beyond her. She couldn’t even read the symbols that covered the first few pages – the rest were blank. She went through the same routine with the book; she looked it over and studied the symbols on the front. She tried to make out some sort of code or some kind of common ground, and like always, she never got too far.
            She hung her head. Today had just not been the best by a long shot. She was tired, and she was stressed. She looked up at the book again and thought of her mother. “I wish you were here.” She whispered. Then she laid it on the bed, heaved another heavy sigh, and forced herself to begin the most tedious task in the world; studying.
            By the time she got to bed, she was exhausted, felt like her brain would swell and burst, and discouraged. She was willing to bet that none of the answers she found were correct. And the answers she managed to find had been few and far between. She was doomed. She shoved the book under her bed and rolled over, not bothering to change or even pull the covers over her; she used the pillow to cover her face instead.

            She was woken by a loud BAM! Shooting up Tam frantically looked around the room, but saw nothing. Her heart was pounding and her left eye just wouldn’t open all the way. But there was nothing to see. She grumbled and was about to roll over when another BAM jolted her straight up in bed. Again, nothing was out of place. The door wasn’t moving at all. There was nothing in the windows. She supposed it might have been something downstairs, but…A third BAM interrupted her thoughts, and this time, she saw what was moving. It was her closet doors.
            The banging noises were coming closer together, now. She fought the childish urge to hide under the covers and scream for mommy. This couldn’t be. BAM BAM. The boogie monster is something that gets little kids. BAM BAM BAM. There shouldn’t be anything in that closet! Her mind rationalized. BAM BAM BAM BAM. Something’s probably falling…?
            With a final round of banging her closet doors shot open as if forced and something tumbled out of her closet. She squeaked and threw the covers over her head. The doors slammed again and things grew quiet. She managed to gather enough courage to peek out from her super-special hiding place. The closet doors were shut.
            “What?!” She blurted, despite her desire to keep quiet. She ran over to the doors, fear of the closet monster completely forgotten. They were shut and pushed tight. She had to tug on them with all of her might to get the open. Once open, they revealed nothing unusual. It was just…her closet. “That was…weird.” She scratched her head in wonderment. “Maybe I should have eaten something before I went to sleep…” She turned and found herself almost face to face with a brown-eyed man.
            She would have screamed like a madwoman if a firm hand hadn’t been clamped over her mouth.
            “Shhh!! Sh sh! Please, don’t scream!” He wheezily whispered. “I would like five minutes rest before I have to run again.”
            She struggled to get her head away from him and grabbed his hand, ripping it away in the process. “What kinda plea is that?! I just found a stranger in my bedroom, and you don’t want me to scream? What do you want me to do, throw a party with mushroom caps and cheese-heads???”
            The stranger stared at her. “You’re a very strange girl, do you know that?”
            “Get out of my room!!” She screeched.
            “Five minutes. Please.” He fell to his knees and coughed. It was a throaty cough. His ‘please’ sounded genuine. But still…
            “You honestly think I’m going to let a stranger stay in my room?!” Tam asked. “Besides, I don’t even know how you got in here.”
            He looked up at her. “I…Came in through the closet.”
            They stared at each other. Tam shook her head. “Honestly, how did you get in here? The windows aren’t broken and I didn’t hear the door open…”
            “I told you…I came in through the closet.”
            “No way.”
            “What do you call that thing?” He pointed to her closet.
            “My closet.”
            “I came through your closet.”
            She stared at him again. “You’re crazy.”
            He smiled, closed his eyes and fell onto his back. “Okay…here we go.”
            “What are you doing? Get out of my room!”
            “What?”
            “My parents are bound to be up here soon; they’re gonna flip at finding a stranger in my room, nevermind you being a crazy man that thinks he came out of my closet!!”

            Instead of listening to her, the stranger was staring under her bed. He reached out one long arm and pulled her book from under the bed. She felt her heart momentarily stop.