Saturday, February 27, 2016

Contact

So...I'm pretty sure this was one of those instances where I had a rough idea of a beginning, I sat down at my desktop computer, opened a word document, and began to just write. I wrote until I couldn't write anymore. It's actually got an interesting idea behind it, but I don't have any idea when or where it'll come to 'reality'. But it's one of those stuck back in my head and I thought I might as well share it.

Let's just say this one is a sort-of special 'bonus' piece for my fans out there. I'll tell you why when the third book comes out. ;)

For Your Consideration:

Contact

            It was supposed to be a simple job. Go to the target building, snatch the crate, bring it ‘home’. Simple! Especially for a thief with the ability to tap into the magical lines of the earth. But I should know by now…the simple jobs are never easy.
            I had my first misgivings about this job when the idea of a large wooden crate was the target. And the second when I was told ‘no questions’. I know a thief shouldn’t ask questions anyway, but I’ve always been a curious individual, to the point of…eh, let’s just say that I learned things that I shouldn’t have at a very early age. But, the pay was good and I had recently been down on my jobs. The contractor gave me the creeps, and when I looked into him, I found nothing. Again, I have a habit of finding out everything that I want…so for me to find nothing on a single person…well, it sort of scared me, but intrigued me more. I took the job.
            The building was a warehouse. A simple-looking broken-down warehouse. With 50 black suits packing heavy weaponry surrounding it. I should have stopped right there, but…my intrigue was peaked. To be honest, my past few jobs had been kind of easy, so this was a refreshing challenge. The contractor didn’t care if I killed or not, but personally I never drew blood if I could help it.
            I managed to sneak into the warehouse with my magical rope, an invisibility spell, a wad of gum and some distractions in the form of gas-based doppelgängers and thumbtacks. The crate was large and I think I strained something before I got it out the warehouse, even with my magical rope making it levitate. Once it was out, I used my special transportation hat to get me and my target to a safe spot. Most people laugh at my black and white ringmaster top-hat, but most of them are dead because they didn’t trust me that my hat was infused with a transportation spell. I still feel bad about that every once in a while. Except for a single man; Jack Parrot. He never liked me and always stole my hat in Training which made me look like a fool and fail at the same time. Then again, I was the one that stole his boomerang yo-yo gadget thing when he was knocked out thanks to some special wine I gave him.
            Where was I? Oh yeah, stealing the box.
            Often enough my hat gets me where I’m going, but sometimes it likes to play tricks and transport me somewhere miles away from my destination. And then it refuses to work for the next 56 hours. Turns out it was lucky chance my hat decided to act up. It deposited me in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t even recognize this stretch of nowhere. Just me and a giant crate that my contractor was going to spend tons and tons of money on. Legal or not. No one around for miles. Did I mention no one was watching?
            We’ve already established that I’m often curious. Well…I decided a peek wouldn’t hurt, as long as I mended the wood before I began to trek it back to him. I ended up accidentally blowing a hole in the box and making splinters instead of broken boards. That would take more magic then I had at the moment to mend it. Plus there was a chance of getting grass and dirt in the wood if I attempted to mend it where I was. I determined quickly that this was not a good scenario and began to think of how to mend it, when something stopped my logical thought process completely.
            There was a girl in the box. A girl. In the box. That I was about to take to some creepy guy. He was going to pay me money but…a girl?! I really should have just left her there. I really should have. But…Did I mention that it was a girl? A really pretty girl? She looked like she was about my age, too. Well…mostly. I’m not exactly ‘my age’ either. Suffice to say, she had a young-ish looking face. Not 12 year old face, but not 30 year old face either. Jet black hair surrounded her smooth features and a vest was all she had for a shirt. There were some funny bandages or something wrapped around her entire torso, which was a comfort and a disappointment at the same time. I mean, sure I would have liked a peek at that but I was trying to remain focused on the fact that I just busted a very expensive box and my window to return it was shrinking as I was staring.
            But…it was a girl.
            Her skinny waistline entered into some canvas pants that were tied tightly at the top. They showed absolutely no figure. I’m sure she had some in her legs, judging by the rest of her body, but the pants were just that baggy.

            With a sudden jarring motion, she opened her eyes, sat up with a jolt and looked around wildly. I may have been guessing here, but I don’t think she signed up to be shipped around in a big wooden box. Tar-black eyes settled onto me and a chill ran up and down my spine.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Shadow

"Shadow" was actually entered into a short story competition when I was in high school that won me an honorable mention with the judges comments that they really enjoyed my work. Or maybe it was second place. I can't remember.

Point is, this piece was one of my first original works that was entered into a contest where it would be seen and judged by others. I had written lots and lots of things before this...But still. It was my first taste of the "Terri-citing" (terrifying and exciting) feeling. Now, because it was a short story competition, there was a word cap, but I liked some of the things I cut. So this is the unedited version. :)

For Your Consideration:

Shadow

Shadow nickered and stamped his forehoof on the ground, impatiently. The herd was moving slowly today.
Shadow shook his black mane and tail. He twitched his shoulder under his winter-grey coat and lowered his head to scratch it on his leg. He and his herd had just come out from their winter place and needed to be constantly on the move to find grass. Swishing his tail and snorting, Shadow trotted back to the hill. Why were they moving so slowly? Angel never moved this slowly unless something was wrong.
Angel was the head mare. She normally led the herd while Shadow scouted ahead. She had a flaming-red mane and tail, and a pure white coat to contrast it. Her temper was normally calm and collected, as opposed to Shadow, who was normally impulsive and somewhat reckless.
She was not looking at Shadow. Her head was up, nostrils flared, smelling the wind. Shadow shook his mane and trotted down the hill, curious to know what she smelled. Raising his own nose to smell the wind, he discovered nothing. Snorting, he trotted through the herd to find the head stallion.
Sand stepped in his path, ears back; he wanted to know what was going on. Shore was standing behind him. Sand and Shore were work horses that joined the herd a while ago. Their muscles rippled underneath their sandy-colored coats. Both manes were even lighter, though Sand was the bigger of the two since he was a stallion. He stomped his heavy forehoof and the fuzz near his hoof jostled at the movement. Shadow put his ears back in irritation and Sand repeated the action. Shadow trotted past, ignoring Sand.
A giant stallion named Storm stood near the head stallion, both of them smelling the wind. It blew in Shadow’s face and he half-reared in enjoyment. The head stallion snorted at him with his ears flat in annoyance. Shadow came down and glanced around. Seeing something on the horizon, his ears went up in attention and he trotted forward a few steps. As silhouettes came over the hill, Shadow saw what it was - humans.
Immediately Shadow’s ears flattened on his head. He hated humans. He hated everything about them; the things they used to take his kind and those that lowered themselves to be controlled by humans. He snorted and began to charge forward. The head stallion nickered to Storm, glancing at Shadow, and then took off into the herd.
Storm bolted after Shadow and slid to a stop in front of him, making him stop in his tracks. Shadow, ears still flat, snorted and began to turn when a loud sound shot through the air. A second later, they heard a horse scream in the herd.
Storm turned and saw that it was his filly, Snowflake. Blood stained her leg and she was on the ground. The rest of the herd jostled around; the loud noise scared them. The head stallion trumped his voice and calmed them down.
He began to canter around the herd, rounding them up. Making noises in his throat, he prepared the rest of the herd to run. He was about to run and fight the intruders, when he noticed that Shadow was already willing to fight them. He was stirred even more to fight. The head stallion turned and began nipping at a few to back them up, running the front few into the rest of them forming a ripple among the herd. He then neighed to Shadow. When he turned, the head stallion reared. This let Shadow know that the head stallion was leaving him to fight.
As the humans came closer, the loud noise came again and the ground in front of Shadow seemed to explode. Shadow turned, reared in anger and charged the humans. Storm looked back at the head stallion and saw that he was watching Shadow. Storm shook his head, snorting. He then charged after Shadow.
Charging toward the humans with his head down and his ears flattened, Shadow attacked the horse in the front of the human group. He slammed into the horse and bit him on the neck. That horse backed off quickly.
The loud noise came again. Shadow hardly noticed. He attacked the next horse in his sight. He reared at the horse. He struck out with his forehooves in order to scare the horse. A rope tightened around Shadows neck. He immidetly kicked. Whirling around, he reared and struck the horse in front of him. This caught the head stallion’s attention.
Pulling back and tightening the rope, he reared. Storm thundered through, grabbing the rope in his mouth. He clamped down. The momentum of his gallop and the pressure the he put on the rope snapped it in two. He reared in the center of the horses, scaring them. The horses backed up and the riders backed them up. Some reared as well. Storm hit two of the horses in front of him. Three others fled.
Shadow rammed one horse in front of him. He kicked at the one behind him. He saw one human holding something that reflected the sun; a gun. Flattening his ears in disgust, Shadow charged the rider with the gun. He grabbed cloth in his mouth and hurled the rider to the ground. He pulled the gun from the human’s hands and threw it. The head stallion snorted in approval and stomped.
Faced with a horse that was enraged, the rider decided to run. There was one horse left standing in the field with Shadow and Storm. Shadow flattened his ears at this horse. The sound thundered. The human had retrieved his gun and was pointing it at Shadow. Sand pounded past them and charged the human, who quickly ran away. Sand snorted and whinnied after him.
Storm cantered back to the herd to check on his filly. Sand trotted back. Shadow walked back, his ears still flattened. The stray horse began to walk next to Shadow, but Shadow turned on him and nipped at his neck. He forced the stray horse to stay away.
The head stallion soon led the herd into a grassy valley where Snowflake could recover. The rest of them could eat the sparse grass that was there. They would have to move soon in order to keep from starving. It would do for now, though. He was about to get to the top of the valley to keep watch, but he saw that Shadow was already up there. The head stallion turned and went back to the herd, glancing every once in a while back to where Shadow stood.
Angel, looking up at the top of the valley, saw the silhouette of Shadow. She glanced back toward the herd and walked up to Shadow. She touched his neck with her nose, gently, as a thank-you for fighting. He turned for a moment to touch her on the face, and then went back to watching. His ears moved back and forth, listening.
Looking at his sides, Angel noticed marks on his sides. They were spur marks. More marks of humans appeared at the edges of his mouth. A bit had dug into his mouth a long time ago. The scars showed that the one that rode Shadow so long ago made his mouth and sides bleed.

Angel turned to go. Shadow snorted and shook his head. Pawing the ground slightly, he asked Angel to stay. She turned back around and rested her neck on his for a minute. Maybe, she thought, just maybe he would be able to forgive them. Maybe one day. Looking again at the scars, she thought that, if that day ever came, it would be far into the future.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Wolves

So, this one started as a dream. Then the characters simply began talking more and more until I had roughly 4,000 words of story written down. I don't know that this one will ever see the light of day, though.

Well, not the light of a 'paperback novel' day, anyway.

For Your Consideration, the first 1,530 words of:

Wolves

            Tracks in the snow. A pack of four traveled across a snow-covered prairie. There was no movement outside other then that. They normally took their two-legged forms when moving around in the snow, but with their strength beginning to fail and no sign of humans around to bother them, the pack fell into their four-legged form.
            The Wolf that led them was able to blend the first half of her coat with the snow and the back half of her coat with the grey rock. She was followed by the timid half-Wolf. He had a diluted golden coat that stood out in the cold winter landscape. The one at the Halfling’s side was a large, black Fox. She may have been a bit smaller then the Halfling and stood out just as much, but the Fox had mastered hiding her tracks and was small enough to camouflage her coat with the horizon sky. Last in line was the Dingo and the second-biggest of them all.
            After many days of traveling and seeing nothing but the pure-white land and the grey-to-black sky, the Wolf finally stopped the pack, after catching a whiff of something…food. Letting the Fox and Halfling rest for a minute in the cold breeze, she trotted back to the Dingo.
            “What do you think, Sawyer?” She asked in Wolf, her mouth unsuitable for human talk.
            He sat in the snow, his nose to the air. The Dingo looked back at the other two, shivering in the snow. The Wolf waited patiently. If any of them had a nose for Humans, it was the Dingo.
            “I smell…” He said softly, “I smell grass. And trees. And Humans.”
            “Domed?”
            “Free.”
            The Wolf whined. This was tough. Whatever they decided to do, the Fox and Halfling may not survive. Keep to the snow, they all freeze to death. Risk the Humans, and they all may get caught. And to anything other then full Human, getting caught in this day and age was worse then death.
            While the Wolf sat fighting instinct with reason, the Dingo began to speak in his whispery voice. “The Fox may last for a little while yet. You and I can last the Winter out…Yet our pack is small. Do we dare risk losing a single pack member due to fright of capture?”
            The Wolf turned to the Dingo, a slight snarl on her lips. “You know that capture means worse then death. I won’t put my pack in Their clutches. The Halfling has already been and I dare not place him there again.” The Dingo’s calm and weary ashen-grey eyes searched her dusty-yellow ones.
            “Then you place him in the hands of an icy death.” He whispered, and lowered his head. She turned her head toward the wind as he began to walk towards the other two, seeking what warmth could be had.
            We should go there. She thought to herself. If we turn back into two-legged…
            The Wolf nodded. Heaving her shaking body out of the snow, she walked over to the pack. “We’re seeking shelter and warmth.” She told them. A little light seemed to come to their eyes. “But it’s in Human territory. When we get close, we become two-legged, hide our ears, and talk the Human speech. We’ll stay as long as we can to get warm and fed. No longer.” The pack stood and followed in the same formation; the Wolf in front, leading the way at a dogged trot with the Halfling at her heels, the Fox gliding along beside him, and the Dingo jogging behind them. The Wolf could hear faint wheezing gasps coming from the Halfling. Though it cost her her pride, she knew that the Dingo was right. The pack was small, but there is always safety in numbers…and the Halfling was beginning to ware out. He would be the first to die if they did not head for shelter. No matter what kind of shelter it was.

            Conserving what little energy they had left by traveling at a jog, they reached the shelter in two days. The snow gave way to rich, green grass that tickled the bottoms of their feet and bellies. The Wolf let them rest as soon as they were safely out of the snow, but still safely away from Humans. The Halfling began rolling in the grass, tongue lolling to one side as he lay on his back. The warmth had returned some of his childishness that the cold had stolen from him. The Dingo just sat, eyes contentedly closed. He was breathing slowly, and the Wolf knew that he had fallen asleep. The Fox disappeared in a black streak and was soon back with a hunk of meat in her mouth. She swallowed it down with a quick gulp before anyone could get it from her and sat grinning. The Wolf just shook her head.
            Staying in their secluded area, the four grew into their two-legged forms. Their ears, which gave them away as not-quite Human, hid well in their hair. This was a trick that any surviving Non-human learned: how to hide their features.
            Using their noses as best they could, they found an area that the Wolf approved. There were few humans, but they were still far enough away that they wouldn’t bother the pack. The Halfling they called Kaz, and he ran forward with a laugh, high-pitched and young. His dirty-blonde hair seemed to swish and sway as he ran, his round face all smiles. His faded-yellow Human top-coat fell off of his skinny body as he threw it and his brown Human bottom-coat threatened to do the same. He ran to a tree and gripped it, his somewhat long fingers working around what knobs they could find and his toes digging into the bark. If the Wolf didn’t know any better she would have thought that he was a Monkey and not a Dog.
            The Fox turned into a Human girl they called Sheela. Her Human frame was small and fragile-looking, making her small piece of Human top-coat look huge. Her thick, long, black hair trailed behind her like an after-image as she darted forward to grab Kaz off of the tree. Her dark-red eyes glared up at Kaz, who innocently smiled down at her and kept climbing, somehow avoiding her grabbing hands as he did so. She reached up and grabbed his brown Human bottom-coat, tugging on it. But Kaz didn’t care and continued to climb, his bottom-coat nearly coming off. Sheela let it go, as it is always an embarrassment to run around without a coat, but chased up after him. Still the fastest of them all, she sped up the tree and beat him to the branches, her small feet holding balance better then most Humans. She glared down at him with a toothy smile.
            However, instead of going back down, Kaz turned and leapt to another tree and scampered up. A chase then ensued, Kaz leaping and laughing and Sheela swinging from branches trying to swat him down.
            The Dingo, who was called Sawyer in Human, smiled at the ridiculous sight. They were acting like Tree-livers instead of Forest-dwellers that they were. His war-withered face slightly wrinkled as he smiled, almost as if someone was bending old leather. By Human years he was still young, yet Sawyer was the oldest of them all. His orange-red hair often fell in front of his eyes and brushed the back of his neck. His Human top-coat was light brown and his Human bottom-coat was a faded red. He glanced at the Wolf; Tyra, by her Human name, and saw her watching Kaz and Sheela with an almost longing look on her face. She saw him and growled. He laughed but looked away. She was pack leader, and he acknowledged it, even though they both knew that they were equal in authority.
            Tyra had a short, uncontrollable mess of dull silver hair on her head. She was almost as tall as Sawyer, yet she was not as well-built. Her limbs always felt lanky to her; sometimes even in Wolf form. She had a short white Human top-coat that covered what it needed to and clung to her back by a few threads. Her Human bottom-coat was the same color, but in better condition. The only thing different about her then these three was a small tight band around her wrist. Imprinted on it was the name of someone she loved long ago, but had lost to the War that had caused this dreadful Winter. This never-ending Winter of snow and ash.

            “You know…” Sawyer said, his voice still sounding like a soft murmur, “It wouldn’t be too bad to relax once in a while.” Not letting her respond that she was pack leader and she had to watch out for the rest of them, he left Tyra standing there in the grass while he went to go climb the tree and watch out for the others. Tyra let herself smile as she watched them. He was right. Again. This place was turning out to be a safe enough haven, even if it was for a short while.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Creatures

So, I've been thinking.

I have lots of pieces or half-pieces that may or may not ever see the light of day. I probably love them all for one reason or another, otherwise I wouldn't have kept them. And since I've been putting myself out there more and more, I want to be able to give my writing decent exposure in between published books.

That, and I just think this'll be a fun thing to do.

So, for the remaining month of February (why is it pronounced 'Feb-u-ary' yet there's an extra 'r' in there? Or do I just say it funny?) I'm going to post a series of short stories (or in some cases, the first 1,000 words of something longer) to my blog every saturday. So...Four little spurts of bloggish literature, including the one I've got below. We'll see how this goes, responses, all that good stuff. Don't worry, if stuff comes up during the week, I'll still be posting general blogging things. But I just thought this might be a fun thing to do.

Anyway.

For your Consideration:

Creatures

            It was late. 
            I was tired of fighting this war with a creature that couldn’t be killed. 
            But it was my job. My duty. My suicide attempt because there was nothing left for me other then this. 
            The world outside had fallen silent. The Air Raid sirens had worn themselves out. The radio towers and wireless signals were gone. Mankind had killed themselves and left silence and ash for the rest of us. 
            We thought it was over when the last of the bombs fell. We were wrong. 
            Out of the ashes and the silence and the death rose the monsters. 
            We couldn’t fight them. We didn’t know they were real. But without reality to hold them back, they came like a swarm. 
            Monsters. Demons. Nightmares. Whatever you want to call them. They washed over the rest of use like a disease. 
            They ride through the pictures and the mirrors, always staring at you, always there. Black, empty eyes. The appearance always changes, but there’s always something wrong with them. If you look them in the eyes, they enter your soul, tear it from your body, eat it and enter your shell. They walk in our forms, speak our tongue, fool our loved ones into becoming another meal. Another shell. Our earth is too violent for their frail bodies. That was when we realized that we had a hope. And we fought back. 
            We managed to trick the tricksters. Pull them from the mirrors and pictures and shop windows and shadows; pull them from everything into our world. At first we turned away from their screams and writhing cries. We killed them but couldn’t stomach the consequences. But as we killed more and more, we cared less and less. We remembered those that they killed without so much as a glance into the souls that they stole. Then we watched them burn. A few of us still turned away. 
            When the compassionate ones were taken by our prey, we attacked them relentlessly, incessantly, insanely. We reached into their world, grabbed them, pulled them into the toxic environment that we called home and held them down. We cheered as their life faded away. We celebrated as they died. We killed and killed until there was one left. 
            And then it struck back. The creature killed us. It laughed at us from empty human lips before it slipped back into safety. It tricked us. It killed us. It killed and killed until there was one left. 
            Only one. 
            I tracked the Shadow into an old abandoned house. A two-story house. Pictures of the family hung on the wall every few feet. Mirrors hung down every corridor. The counters were made of reflective marble. I made a camp and sat, waiting. 
            A game was being played. 
            The fact was cruel, but it remained unchanged. Whoever won would be alone. 
            In the end, I suppose we became what we hated. Each other. 
            It is late. 
            I am tired. 
            But I have nothing else. 
            The kill is all that matters.

I have strange dreams. But they make good stories. :)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Author Interview

My first interview is up! Lots of thanks to Mercedes Fox!!

Check it out here!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

50-Author Giveaway!

Hey all!

Remember the cross-promo I said I signed up to be a part of?

Well...

It's here!!

Here's the promo for it:

Do you love reading fantasy books? Then this giveaway is just for you! 50 authors have teamed up to bring you the ULTIMATE giveaway -- a Kindle Fire loaded with 50 fantasy ebooks! Even better, this contest doesn't just have one winner, but SIX! One person wins the kindle, and an additional five people will be given one of the 50 ebooks listed in this giveaway -- their choice. PLUS you can earn unlimited extra entries! Click here to enter.

Well? What are you waiting for? 

Click here to enter the giveaway!!