Legend Goddess (Wednesday Words 3.30.16)

Welcome to a piece of Wednesday Word’s flash fiction on Darkling Dreams!

A good friend of mine, P.T. Wyant, is doing a blog post every Wednesday called Wednesday Words with a new prompt for a bit of flash fiction writing, just to get in the habit of writing something, anything. (Even if said flash fiction is complete garbage at the time. Garbage is better than nothing though, right?) If you’re looking for some inspiration yourself or just something to aimlessly write, then go check out her blog for this week’s prompt!

With that being said, I am going to share what I came up with for this week’s flash fiction prompt based off an occurrence. So here is my very rough around the edges minute of inspiration based off her prompt. I’d love to hear what you guys think of it!

(Please excuse any errors you may see, I said it was rough around the edges.)

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Legend Goddess

My fingers trailed along the spines of books lining the shelves. The old, weathered wood sagging under their weight. I breathed in deep the musky smell of second hand books. Cracked spines, yellowed pages, earmarked chapters, worn covers. This was my heaven, my sanctuary.

I could lose myself for hours upon hours inside Treasured Pasts, just roaming the laden shelves. I could pick out book after book, flipping through the delicate pages to fall into the embrace of adventure and fantastical realms.

My heart always seemed drawn to the section of books labeled by a wooden sign hanging from the ceiling, the word FANTASY painted delicately across its dark surface. I would find a stack of five books or so that caught my interest and curl up on the old reclining chair to pass the hours of day by reading. The shopkeeper knew me by now and had no qualms about me spending my hours reading by dull overhead lights, dust mites floating in the rays of sun that streamed through the paned glass front window shop.

Today though, my hands and feet were pulling me to a different section of the books. The mystery and adventure sections, looking for a thrill of excitement in my reading for the day. Once more my hands trailed over the worn spines until I felt the pull to a certain volume.

I stopped at the prickle of finding the right book and pulled out the dark green hardback book, glancing to the cover to see what it was called. However, my attention was quickly diverted back to the book shelf as I saw something else stuffed behind the volume I had selected.

Curious, I tilted my head a little and set the book down on a stool, pulling out the volume next to what I had taken and placing it down as well to see what had been hidden behind. Reaching into the dark crevice, my fingers brushed against worn leather and I pulled out a black leather bound book, the edges decorated with sewn cord in a spiral pattern. It looked less like a book and more like a journal as I turned it over in my hands, being gentle with the aged pages and cover.

Forgetting about the original volume I had pulled out, I walked to the cushioned chair and sat down, dust fluffing up around me as it wasn’t my normal seat. Opening the journal, I found that it wasn’t blank. The pages were written on, the handwriting neat and poised as it scrawled across the aged pages fluently. The pages didn’t have any lines on them, but whoever wrote in the journal kept the lines of words neat and straight, as if they had had tons of practice. Something I myself was never good at. My writing looked like waves if I didn’t have lines to follow.

I thumped through the yellowed pages carefully, my eyes scanning the entries, each one dated a time before I was even born. Let alone thought and planned out. Once I reached the final entry, I paused as a certain line caught my interest and then began to read the whole entry.

June 5th

Everything is dying. Crops are failing, the hillsides are browning. Rivers run dry, the earth cracked in their beds. The animals are eating decayed grass, and our food supplies are running low now too. Everyone is losing weight. If we do not get a break from this blistering weather, if rain does not fall soon, we will be nothing but shriveled, burnt corpses upon the earth.

Legend tells of a hidden cave somewhere in the mountains. A cave that supposedly belongs to a Goddess, a woman of grave beauty that was banished away for the storms she would create when she became angry at the men flaunting around her. It is said that if one can find her, and if one can offer her what she wishes, then she will grant a single wish for their good fortune in season.

I fear this legend is but our only hope of survival in this dire drought. It has been bone dry for too many moons now. Though I have only a clue of what it is this Goddess may want, it is the only choice presenting itself to us. For desperately praying for rain has not yet given us a measly tear from the sky.

We must do more before it means our slow deaths.

I must do more.

I fear this journey may not see my return to home, so I ask whoever finds this journal to simply not follow. This is my bargain to take, my willing sacrifice for our land, our town, our families, children, and animals.

I set out tomorrow at dawn, and should I not return, I bid you all farewell.’

My brain whirled a little as I set the journal down in my lap. I couldn’t help but wonder what year this had been, years had never been listed. Not to mention who it even belonged to. There had been no names listed though, no page for a dedication of ‘property of so and so’. It was a complete mystery, an intriguing one at that.

I flipped through the journal once more and this time as I ran my hand over the leather cover, I found a lump. Carefully flipping to the front of the journal, I ran my fingers over the material until I found a small slit in it. Being gentle so as not to destroy the journal in its delicate state, I fingered the opening and pulled out an old, small brass key with an inscription on it.

I held it up to the light, turning it around and looking at it curiously. It seemed I had found more adventure and mystery than I had set out for at the beginning of the day.


Now you can find this flash fiction work and others on my profile on Wattpad! Click here for my profile and go dive into a sea of Shards of Imagination!

Shards of Imagination Cover Final

Cover made by @_teenagers on Wattpad

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Creeping Closer

The first session of Camp NaNoWriMo is only three days away…

I’m so not ready.

Well, maybe a bit ready.

I’m definitely not ready.

I know what I’m working on for the month. I know my goal and how I’ll stretch that goal if I get close to it. I know where I’m at in the story and I have a couple chapters planned ahead yet.

Of course, once I get close to the end of those chapters I’ll have to draw up some more on where things are headed, but I have the general idea.

I have the next two days off to get myself fully sorted for Camp, and I also managed to get the first day of Camp off from work to get myself a head start on writing. As I learned yesterday, I’m going to need it come the last two months of April because it seems managers are once more going on long vacations for two weeks, which means more stress and more hours and less time to write.

Go figure.

So I suppose I better get my head start and write like mad at the beginning of month so I’m not struggling to stay afloat towards the end of the month. Fingers crossed that actually goes to plan.

The two days off means another list to do and getting myself set because I will not have any time on Thursday with work to be ready for Friday.

It’s so close now. So close. I’m getting really excited, and nervous.

Camp NaNo, here I come! Ready or not!

(Mainly not.)

Snippet Sunday: March 27, 2016

Welcome to Snippet Sunday on Darkling Dreams!

Where writers come together to share a few sentences (8-10) of their current project — whether it’s a recently released novel, a WIP (work in progress), or an older manuscript that’s being revived. Intended to hook readers, gather feedback and build an author’s fan base, Snippet Sunday is the FB group that does all three.

snippet sunday

Happy Easter, peeps! Enjoy the time with your family and get hyped up on lots of sugary marshmallows and candy eggs. Don’t forget the jelly beans either!

I am going to continue on with the first book in the Dark Heir Chronicles yet, Fated to Darkness yet. I’m just going to keep rolling with it up through April for Camp NaNo and then switch to something different in May. I know, that’s a lot of Fated to Darkness snippets, but this series is my baby.

Previously on Sunday Snippets: Four year old Heather had been kidnapped from her home by a woman clad in black and whisked off to another realm where she found her kidnapper wanted her to be her Heir. But not just any Heir. After being locked up and put through a ritual that has changed her and her life forever — though she does not yet know it — she has found herself in a small bare essential room with a tiny bathroom, and her new mentor has instructed her to clean herself up and be ready in ten minutes. Having talked of what Ciara finally wants of her, she has now gone through three trying lessons under her mentor’s thumb, and has since passed out.

I’m skipping ahead about two pages from last week’s snippet. From Heather’s defiance, Ciara has once more dragged her off to train with magic, but it hasn’t stopped Heather’s insistent refusal of what Ciara wants of her. Ciara speaks first.

(Some sentences may have been creatively edited and punctuated to try to fit the ten sentence limit. I’m over, again. Can we just agree that my snippets will always be a little longer but not too long?)

~*~*~*~

“You shall be whether you like it or not. Don’t believe in hope that you can overcome it, Heir. I have many a ways to make you listen other than torture. Magic can do many things, including forcing someone against their will. I am being kind in not forcing you, am I not? I am giving you that chance to prove yourself, to listen on your own and earn maybe a small ounce of respect and worthiness of being my Heir.”

“But I don–“

“Hush!” she yelled, cursing Heather again. “I have been generous so far in explaining, Heir. Do not think I shall do that all the time for I will not. It seems since you refuse to listen and accept your fate as the Dark Heir, you must learn the hard way. Get up, now.”

Heather was afraid to, but not wanting the woman’s furious wrath, she got up slowly.

“Here is your wake up call,” she sneered.

Ciara’s mind suddenly slammed into Heather’s with so much force that it knocked Heather back off her feet. Her hands flew to her head as she cried out at the explosion of pain, having no idea what had just happened. It felt as if she had been hit in the head and have it split open all at once. Ciara remained cold and uncaring as she glared at her, pulling up memories of past Heirs she had had doing her reign of terrors with destruction, chaos, and a world of pain to others.

Each and every memory she pulled up passed to Heather through the connection Ciara had made to her. It was a like a slide show of images, sounds, emotions, feelings, and words flashing through her mind at breakneck speeds.

The sounds of panicked cries, the screams of pain, and the shouts of angered and fearful voices. Flashes of a young girl or boy — all seeming older than herself — creating chaos within packed streets, more even of these people torturing or killing someone. Grins of wicked glee playing across their faces, others having blank cold expressions. Blood splatter, the twisted pain of a curse, the sharp sting of a cut. Dark flashes of raw magic destroying homes and fixtures. Running people as they tried to avoid the chaos being wrought upon them.

Through it all was the constant quick flash of Ciara standing behind the child causing the pain in the streets. The same satisfied and twisted smile upon her face as she watched her Heir cause destruction, destroying a town and terrorizing the people within it.

This is your fate, Heir. Who you shall come to be. The Dark Heir, through and through.

The sudden voice accompanied the images in her head and it startled her. It sounded so much like Ciara. No, it sounded exactly like her. She was already horrified by what she was seeing in her mind and this voice in her head only added to the horror. How was it possible she was hearing her voice in her mind? How was it even possible she was seeing all these things so clearly?

~*~*~*~

I think this scene will be ten times more powerful once I play around with it in edits, for it’s more than just a look at the past…

Fated to Darkness Cover Final

This story is not yet on Wattpad because it is my baby that I hope to publish one day, and if no one will publish me, I am self publishing. But it’s also not on Wattpad because it’s in first draft phases yet. So there will be no “if you wish to read more…”

However! If you wish to read anything else that I do have finished, you can hop on over to  my profile on Wattpad and check out what I have to offer. I love to hear any and all feedback on my work as well. Comments are greatly appreciated, as are the reads.

And if you’re looking for some other great snippets of fellow authors,
hop on over to Facebook and check out Snippet Sunday!

Lists and Progress

This week has been a series of big ups and downs for me. It started off decent enough, and now it’s just gone way downhill.

Remember me saying last Friday I was going to have four days off to tackle a ginormous to do list? Turns out I had 29 items listed on that list, by Wednesday when I went back to work I had gotten it down to four items left.

(Though when I write lists I tend to go into small break down details. Or I’ll add really minor things so that I don’t forget them. For instance, I added one item that read “take papers down to recycle”. That literally takes a whole three minutes to do, so it’s really minor, but I would more than likely forget it if I didn’t write it down. In the spectrum of breaking things down, I sort of list steps or break them into parts so it doesn’t look so daunting. One of the things I had to do was set up my Sunday Snippet posts through part of May so I don’t have to worry about them during Camp. Well, I didn’t just write “set up Sunday Snippets”, I broke it down into three items: set up Sunday Snippets for rest of March, set up Sunday Snippets for April, set up Sunday Snippet for May 1st. See? Less daunting.)

Anyways, of those four things I had left, one had unforeseen circumstances come up to prevent it from happening, another I resolved could be done later in the week because I had nowhere to put it anyways once it was done early, a third I could do after work on Wednesday, and the last was one I just didn’t get to.

Overall I’d say I did pretty good then.

Except, that one item for after work Wednesday didn’t happen when things began going downhill fast, and I have yet to accomplish the one item I didn’t get to because of that downhill motion too. So I’ve kind of come to a grinding halt, again.

I did manage to finally be caught up on all my journal entries that should have been done last month before I got royally sick. I also finally got some Sunday Snippets printed from here for Rivers of Black because I want to re-edit it and the snippets I shared held a few changes I want to keep. However, editing that story was supposed to be my focus for March and you can guess that didn’t go as planned at all now.

I’ve still got a week left to March to work on it, but I should be focusing on being ready for Camp then. Which means I’m making up another list of things to do. So I’m thinking editing might come back around in May. Maybe. Hopefully. Plus there’s more that has popped up on the I-need-to-do-this-before-Camp scale now…

Yeah, it looks like I’m making another list before work today.

Burning Murder (Wednesday Words 3.23.16)

Welcome to a piece of Wednesday Word’s flash fiction on Darkling Dreams!

A good friend of mine, P.T. Wyant, is doing a blog post every Wednesday called Wednesday Words with a new prompt for a bit of flash fiction writing, just to get in the habit of writing something, anything. (Even if said flash fiction is complete garbage at the time. Garbage is better than nothing though, right?) If you’re looking for some inspiration yourself or just something to aimlessly write, then go check out her blog for this week’s prompt!

With that being said, I am going to share what I came up with for this week’s flash fiction prompt based off a three word combination. So here is my very rough around the edges minute of inspiration based off her prompt. I’d love to hear what you guys think of it!

(Please excuse any errors you may see, I said it was rough around the edges.)

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Burning Murder

Flames licked the dusk ridden sky, deepening the skies colors of blood red and burnt orange, smoke making everything hazy as if the sky itself was set ablaze. The crackle of roaring flames was accompanied by shouts of panic and yells of orders. People scrambled, trying to assemble themselves as the cottage burned, the straw roof catching fast and letting embers drift through the sky on the winds, threatening the dry countryside around the farm.

The village folk that had come to help could hear the screams of horses, squawks of chickens, and squeals of pigs from the barn not too far away, all panicking at the smell of smoke in the air. They could only hope a stray ember didn’t land on the dry wood as well and turn it to dancing orange flames along with the cottage.

“Grab the buckets! Form an assembly line! C’mon, people!”

The voice bellowing out was that of the village guard, trying to rally the people quickly as the flames sprang higher in the sky. Almost the whole cottage had gone up in smoke and ash already, pretty soon it would be too late.

No one had any answers for how the fire had started, but they all knew it only took one spark in the dry spell they had been having. Everything was suffering from the drought: crops, the land, people’s pocket books.

“Was there anyone home when the fire broke loose?!”

“We don’t know!” a woman answered him frantically, hitching her skirts up as she fell in line and started to help pass the buckets of water, but with the wells already half dry in the drought…

As if on cue to the woman’s answer, the person at the front of the line to throw the water on the burning building gave a shout when the front door burned off its hinges and collapsed. He could now see inside the blazing home and through the smoke and flames he could just make out a basket tipped to its side haphazardly on the floor, with something ruffling the blanket that had spilled out covering a bulge. Through the noise, the sound of terror filled cries could be heard from within. There were two still forms crumpled on the ground not far from the basket.

“There’s a baby in there!” he shouted, passing off the bucket back to who was behind him before bursting through the growing flames to go for the child.

“Roland!” the guard called, cursing when the man disappeared into the burning cottage, getting as close as he dared.

Roland coughed, putting his sleeve over his nose and mouth to try to avoid the stifling heat and thick smoke in the air. He could hear wood splintering above him as the fire ate away at the beams in the roof. Glancing up, he quickly rushed forward to scoop the crying child back into the basket and picked it up.

A crack and groan alerted him of the beam coming down and he jumped back quickly to avoid its smoldering crash.

“Roland! Get out of there before it collapses!”

He flicked his gaze to the crumpled forms of the parents, noticing spots of red spread across the fronts of their shirts and necks, and knew they were dead. Killed was more likely, then the baby left behind by the assailant, and the place torched to rid of evidence. Another groan of structure shifting sent him running back through the front door as the roof started to collapse him.

“Roland, you fool!” the guard scolded once he was out, guiding him away as he coughed and wheezed for air from the smoke, his eyes streaming.

The baby was still faintly crying, the child’s own lungs full of smoke, and he handed the basket off to the doctor’s wife as she came bustling up to him, cooing to the frightened child and taking them off to be checked.

“Th-They’re dead, killed,” he coughed.

“Who? Who’s dead?”

“The child’s…” He hacked for a second, leaning over on his knees as the guard thumped his back a little. Then he straightened. “The child’s parents, murde–”

His words broke off with a choke. No one had heard the distinct twang over the noise around them, but screams of fright from women and shouts of surprise from men added to the din of the crackling flames as the brave savior sank to his knees, then fell face first into the ground, an arrow lodged through his heart.


Now you can find this flash fiction work and others on my profile on Wattpad! Click here for my profile and go dive into a sea of Shards of Imagination!

Shards of Imagination Cover Final

Cover made by @_teenagers on Wattpad

The Benefits of Flash Fiction Writing

I promise this is not going to sound like a lecture. I hope at least.

For those that don’t know what flash fiction writing is, here’s a little explanation:

Flash fiction writing is about just taking a quick idea and seeing what it sparks. It’s to write a couple hundred words or so on a random prompt and just see what you can come up with. Sometimes there is a word limit, other times there isn’t, but it is never enough to consider a short story really. It’s an exercise to expand your skills in writing.

Take something random, like say three words that have no relation, then try to weave them into a quick tale. The words may not even be something you’d normally use. Maybe yarn, the sun, and a Goddess. Find a way to make a brief tale of those things. Or it could a simple question or topic. Say hands for instance.

It’s a quick prompt to test your skills of writing. Can you write a brief tale within a word limit of a couple hundred? Can you weave three random words together into one? Can you use an image or a question for another one?

That’s all flash fiction is, to get the creative juices flowing and learn to discipline yourself as a writer.

How does this help you?

It can help in many ways.

For instance, if you’re like me and do not know the meaning to short and sweet, a word limit on a flash fiction challenge can force you to write a concise tale without babbling in the minor details or beating around the bush. It helps you become more focused and to the point. Sometimes the shorter the tale, the bigger punch it can hold, if taken time to work at.

Another way it can help is just by getting the creativity flowing again. Say you’re stuck with writer’s block on your current WiP, getting absolutely nowhere. You could take a quick break, step back away from it, and go try your hand at a quick flash fiction to see if it makes your characters jealous enough to talk to you again. And you never know, it could even spark a whole new idea or even fix something you have a plot hole in.

Flash fiction can also allow you to expand your horizons. Try your hand at a different genre for a moment, or a different idea you normally wouldn’t do. It could allow you to take an idea that’s been nagging at you and play around with it a bit as well, see where it takes you. Even a chance to write a scene that is nowhere near where you’re at in your WiP.

One other thing flash fiction can help with is becoming consistent. If you find a challenge set every week, make yourself sit down and try it. It will help you get in a rhythm that you can hold yourself accountable to. (Especially if you tell yourself it’s becoming a new blog post day like I have with my Wednesday posts.)

By taking part in these challenges, you stretch your writing skills and test your strengths and weaknesses. It can help you to grow to become a better writer, in more ways than one.

At least, this is what I have come to learn as I started to partake in flash fiction challenges. I only began doing them this year in January, and anyone that follows my blog sees the Wednesday posts going up with my hand at flash fiction that week. By holding myself to posting them to my blog and Wattpad, I hold myself accountable to make sure I stick to a pattern of doing them. By doing them, I try my hand at a prompt I never would have come up with and an idea that never would have sparked. I also learn to try to keep things shorter, to broaden my topics a little bit because we all have those go to genres of ours that we are most comfortable in.

Really, flash fiction has many benefits and is definitely worth the try in my books. It can be fun. Sometimes you don’t have to follow the prompt exactly, let your imagination run a little, and sometimes you can hit right on it. It’s all a practice.

So would you like to give it a try?

If you do, here’s two shout-outs to two authors I know that host a flash fiction prompt each week.

The first, a good friend of mine, is P.T. Wyant. Every Wednesday she hosts her Wednesday Words prompt for the week for flash fiction, and that is where I get my prompts from for my posts. Her prompts vary from pictures, to word groupings, to lines to incorporate in the story, to a question, to really whatever sparks her fancy. Which is great, it gives you even a variety. She doesn’t specify a word limit either, so let your imagination run wild for as much or as little as you can manage.

The second shout-out is going to another fellow author I know from the Snippet Sunday group, Siobhan Muir. I only recently became drawn to her flash fiction challenge hosted every Thursday called #ThursThreads. But her challenges are a little bit different from Wyant’s. For hers, you are left using a line from the last week’s winner’s entry in the challenge to incorporate in your own entry for that week. And you also have a 250 word limit — which can help you practice short and sweet if you’re like me. Her challenges are judged by fellow authors that participate in the challenge, and at times there might even be surprises thrown in the challenge. You have the chance to be a winner or get an honorable mention also if your story strikes deep in the judge. Her challenge is very interactive among those that try.

While I have been doing the Wednesday Words prompts since the second week of January, only last week did I finally try my hand at Muir’s Thursday Thread Challenge. It was the 4th Anniversary of her challenges so it was a special one that even offered prizes to the winners and honorable mentions.

So I figured I’d give it a shot for once, try my hand a being short and sweet for once. Oddly enough, I managed it at the first go with 205 words — maybe because I was exhausted at the time and just rattled something out on the prompt when the words struck me. And low and behold, I was met with a surprise when I came home from work the next day to see the announced winners.

ThursThread

Yep, that’s right. I came home to see shout-outs to myself for winning an honorable mention with my entry. My half asleep, dazed and lyrical entry actually won. You can imagine my shock and total excitement, especially seeing this challenge was offering prizes for the Anniversary. But just the fact that I won the mention was enough to send me into all smiles and jumping up and down in excitement. I do not ever win when I go for contests and challenges.

So before I ramble on any further in this post, I will leave it off at those shout-outs and my honorable mention entry for any that wish to read:

We’ve stalked each other for hours. A game of cat and mouse. Ring around the rosy.

I was sure we were simply going in circles, following each other’s never ending trail, never gaining any ground on the other. The same trees, same brushes, same boulders, same blade of grass we continued to pass.

It was endless. Or was it?

The day would soon wane to night, the animals changing tune and switching shifts. Darkness would creep over the land, snuffing the light out. It would be the end of the day, but not the end of our hunting.

Pick a sheltered tree, an abandoned cove, a cover of brush and bed down once more till the crack of dawn and chorus of birds had us once more going in circles.

Would it ever end? If one of us was simply to turn around and back track, would the other as well? Or would we finally run face to face with weapons clashing?

I’m sure we’ve stalked each other for hours in this endless blood feud, days on end even. Will it ever come to pass by blade through heart? Or must we wander in circles round and round till one falls to nature before sword?

And as P.T. just pointed out to me, the point of flash fiction is short and sweet, and this post is in no way short and sweet. Oh the irony… I’ve got a lot to learn yet.

Snippet Sunday: March 20, 2016

Welcome to Snippet Sunday on Darkling Dreams!

Where writers come together to share a few sentences (8-10) of their current project — whether it’s a recently released novel, a WIP (work in progress), or an older manuscript that’s being revived. Intended to hook readers, gather feedback and build an author’s fan base, Snippet Sunday is the FB group that does all three.

snippet sunday

Blessed Ostara, everyone! It’s finally SPRING!! Except winter is going out with a bang for me. Beautiful sixties and seventies weather the past couple weeks and now I’m back down in the thirties and forties. Go figure.

I am going to continue on with the first book in the Dark Heir Chronicles yet, Fated to Darkness yet. I’m just going to keep rolling with it up through April for Camp NaNo and then switch to something different in May. I know, that’s a lot of Fated to Darkness snippets, but this series is my baby.

Previously on Sunday Snippets: Four year old Heather had been kidnapped from her home by a woman clad in black and whisked off to another realm where she found her kidnapper wanted her to be her Heir. But not just any Heir. After being locked up and put through a ritual that has changed her and her life forever — though she does not yet know it — she has found herself in a small bare essential room with a tiny bathroom, and her new mentor has instructed her to clean herself up and be ready in ten minutes. Having talked of what Ciara finally wants of her, she has now gone through three trying lessons under her mentor’s thumb, and has since passed out.

Picking up right where I left off from last week’s snippet with Heather’s first real act of standing up this bitch, I mean witch. Ciara speaks first, and she is asking the question to Heather’s wish to go home.

(Some sentences may have been creatively edited and punctuated to try to fit the ten sentence limit. I’m over, again. Can we just agree that my snippets will always be a little longer but not too long?)

~*~*~*~

“Why?” she hissed.

Heather choked a little on the grip on her neck. Her small hands tried desperately to grab at Ciara and pry her fingers away but her grip was too strong, and Heather too weak to do that to someone so much bigger than her. Color rose to her face from the pressure on her airway, the long fingernails of Ciara’s digging painfully into her skin.

“Y-You mean,” she croaked out. “Y-You evil, like Disney bad guy! Mommy said never go with stranger. N-Never listen to stranger that mean or offer something, or want. They bad guys, like you!”

“And you think that I am a bad guy?”

She tried to nod but couldn’t manage it, instead choking again, still grappling at Ciara’s hand. “Act like bad guy.”

At that, Ciara actually smiled, something dark that nearly stopped Heather cold from defying anymore. It was a sadistic smile, awfully cold and proud of who they thought they were.

“There are many bad guys out there, Heir,” she whispered in a sinister way. “I am but one of them. You can’t avoid them all, you can’t defy them all. One will break you down, one will hold you captive, and one will turn you into someone else. Don’t hate the bad guy, Heir, not when it is who you will become.”

Heather’s eyes widened, horrified at that sentence. She didn’t want to be one of the bad guys. The bad guys were always defeated within the fairy tales. They were always alone and hurting, they always failed. She didn’t want that. She didn’t want to hurt people.

“No!” she choked out. “I no bad guy!”

“You will be my Heir, and to be such, you must be cold hearted and evil just as I. A bad guy,” she sneered.

“I don’t want!”

“You will want!” Ciara snapped back. “You feel that thrum? That adrenaline-like rush? It’s powerful and it is part of who you are now. Dark, wicked, evil. Like I.”

“No! I be like daddy, not you!”

Her grip tightened on Heather’s neck even more, causing her to gag for air. Her dark green eyes flashed dangerously at the continuous refusal and she suddenly threw Heather to the ground, looming over her.

“Forget that life, witch. You are not a mortal anymore. There is no returning to anything you deemed mortal. You shall grow to one of my standards, not those of a pathetic fool crippled by too much weakness.”

Heather tilted her head up to look at her. Fear and also anger played across her eyes. That little spark of magic was riling up, and somehow she thought that was what was fueling her anger alone. It was an adrenaline rush, it was dark she could tell from the cold prickling that came along with it. It seemed to feed off her fear and want, turning it to fury. She had no idea how it was happening or what it was doing but she liked the anger better than the fear and she latched onto it.

“I want go home!” she yelled.

“To what?! A life that which you can no longer be a part of?”

“They still family!”

“Family is weakness! Caring is weakness! As is any sort of loyalty and pathetic gestures of love!” Her tone was filled with contempt and disgust at the thought of it all, sneering the word ‘love’ especially.

“Mommy always said love was strength!”

~*~*~*~

Things are really heating up between these two, but is it going to cost Heather?

Fated to Darkness Cover Final

This story is not yet on Wattpad because it is my baby that I hope to publish one day, and if no one will publish me, I am self publishing. But it’s also not on Wattpad because it’s in first draft phases yet. So there will be no “if you wish to read more…”

However! If you wish to read anything else that I do have finished, you can hop on over to  my profile on Wattpad and check out what I have to offer. I love to hear any and all feedback on my work as well. Comments are greatly appreciated, as are the reads.

And if you’re looking for some other great snippets of fellow authors,
hop on over to Facebook and check out Snippet Sunday!

Plans Hitched

I am cutting this post extremely close to the midnight deadline of Friday tonight, and I am so blaming work for that. You see, today was supposed to be my first day off of a period of five, after working seven days straight.

Supposed to be.

At 9:45 this morning, I was rudely awakened by my phone going off on vibrate. I was trying to catch up on sleep after only getting an hour of Z’s the night before, and not going to bed until 4am as well last night. (I know, I’m a idiot night owl.) But there’s my phone buzzing off the hook, and at first, this was my initial reaction:

*Buzz!*

Who the hell was bothering me now at that hour? The only people I know and talk to knew I was going to try to catch up on sleep this morning.

*Buzz!*

Oh who cares, it was just a text, they could wait. So I rolled back over, got all settled once more to fall back asleep for another hour…or two…

*Buzz! Buzz!*

And after the fourth buzzing, I knew it was no longer a text, but someone was calling me. And there was only one person, or place, that would be calling me at that time in the morning. So, naturally, I’m starting to swear rather violently into my pillow.

*Buzz!*

Finally I grabbed the phone to stare at the dreaded word “work” on the caller ID. My first urge was to just let it go to voicemail.

*Buzz!*

And then I remembered that I screwed up the past few times they needed me and my phone was off or dead. (Can you tell I don’t use my cell phone often?) So begrudgingly after the next insistent buzz, I answered the phone with a groggy hello and am asked to come into work to pick up a cashier shift until four because the morning cashier called off and there was literally no one else they could call but me.

And what do I tell them?

Well, my first answer was can I see if I have a ride, to buy me some time to contemplate saying no since I did have plans today. Twenty minutes later I’m calling them back and telling them I’ll be in to work the shift. Go figure.

So my five days off has turned into four days off after working eight days straight and I am still so exhausted. I had plans, plans that were now bumped back a day and nearly screwed over as well, plans that are now going to force me to be up late yet again instead of catching up on the sleep I had interrupted this morning. And plans that had initially meant doing this post when I woke up this morning.

Four days off is still decent, yes, I do realize that. But my to do list is also growing endlessly and I really wish I had today to be able to cross off the two things I had wanted to get done today, maybe three.

I had it all planned out as well. It was going to go: read a chapter, schedule a Snippet post for the rest of this month and April with Camp coming up, read a chapter, schedule a post, etc etc. And I thought about throwing the laundry in that mix afterwards, if not a few other minor things. I was even going to resign myself to staying away from Wattpad for the day. What I had wanted to read throughout the whole day to break up its boring drone is now going to have to be hurriedly read late into the night, and I won’t get to sleep in tomorrow either. No snippet posts were scheduled, and no laundry was washed. Nothing was crossed off that endless to do list.

Now I’m not quite sure how the rest of my four days is going to go. Though I do know that phone is getting turned off pretty soon for I need these days off to get things done. Once I go back to work Wednesday, I work until Easter, and if I don’t get these things done before Wednesday it is going to be a it’s-not-going-to-happen-then moment.

These four days are going to be crucial to me. Crucial as in I either get caught up and ready for the holiday, or I will be even further behind. Because, don’t forget, Camp NaNo starts in exactly two weeks, so I am running out of time quickly to be caught up so I don’t have to focus on anything but writing in April.

So here’s praying the rest of my plans go as planned and things run smoothly, because I do not have time for anymore hitches. Wish me luck, and a put a good word in for me to the universe so it actually listens and plays nice this time. It’d be quite helpful…

Embermyst (Wednesday Words 3.16.16)

Welcome to a piece of Wednesday Word’s flash fiction on Darkling Dreams!

A good friend of mine, P.T. Wyant, is doing a blog post every Wednesday called Wednesday Words with a new prompt for a bit of flash fiction writing, just to get in the habit of writing something, anything. (Even if said flash fiction is complete garbage at the time. Garbage is better than nothing though, right?) If you’re looking for some inspiration yourself or just something to aimlessly write, then go check out her blog for this week’s prompt!

With that being said, I am going to share what I came up with for this week’s flash fiction prompt based off an occurence. So here is my very rough around the edges minute of inspiration based off her prompt. I’d love to hear what you guys think of it!

(Please excuse any errors you may see, I said it was rough around the edges.)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Embermyst

Mist hung thick and heavy in the air, blanketing the forbidden forest in a quiet solitude. The thick, vine woven tree trunks held bare branches bent at odd angles. The moss and stones being the only thing that dotted the bare landscape.

A single dirt road led to a stone archway in the path, the one landmark within the forest, and that was where Death was walking to.

Not every soul had the ability to stumble upon it. Only those ready to move on — to either a worse fate or a better one — had the ability to see the archway. The souls in this forest either condemned themselves to a life in the Underworld, or they learned how to free themselves to move on peacefully and return to the Earth to reborn once more.

Most, he learned, didn’t know how to do either.

Too many of them were stuck in their own numb rut, their ghostly white images floating aimlessly through the forest with pitiful moans and cries. Sometimes it was even enough for Death himself to feel a shiver run down his spine.

As he drew closer to the archway, he noticed one lone hazy figure floating in front of it, vacant eyes staring into the archway. He wondered if the soul could see anything in it this time. There wasn’t any shimmering of light or sparks of fire flickering among the space in the archway, which made him believe the soul was simply just staring at nothing, just like the rest of the unfortunate souls that were stuck in the world between life and death — Embermyst as it was called.

His bony hands gripped his staff, the soft plunk of it hitting the ground as he walked slowly towards the poor soul. His black cloak billowed around him, the cold feeling of death radiating from him, covering the entire realm as well. Any souls he passed would quicken their aimless wander away from him when the feeling grew stronger. They all knew his presence, but they all failed to realize he could do nothing to them. He was merely the overseer of the realm, what happened to them was entirely their choice.

When he finally reached the floating soul at the archway, he paused only a few feet away at their side, watching them from under his hood. It was definitely a girl, long hair flowing around her shoulders like it was rustled in an unknown breeze. She looked rather young also… Too young to be stuck in this realm, too troubled. He wondered how she had gotten here, what had caused her soul to slip from her body and travel here. It was obvious she hadn’t been here long unlike some of the other souls. Her form wasn’t so hazy, so strikingly white or transparent. The longer a soul was here, the more they began to fade away with time.

He gripped his staff a moment, then reached his free skeletal hand out, letting it rest on the soul’s hazy shoulder. She didn’t move. Again, unlike the rest of the souls who fled at his overwhelming presence, she just stayed there, vacant eyes that still held a tinge of bright green color from her life staring into the archway as if she was waiting for something.

His touch allowed him to see exactly how she ended up here in flashes. Scenes of images flitting through to him in quick succession. A crypt sprung open. Numerous other hazy souls of spirits surrounding her. Then one by one, the souls attacking her, and disappearing into her body before he saw a brief flash of her soul being forced out of her body. Anger and pain flooded through the images to him, and he frowned, letting his hand drop.

The girl had been forced from her body, but why?

He knew there was nothing he could do for her, but he still wished there was. She shouldn’t be here. What he saw shouldn’t have even been possible for so many individual souls to possess the same body. Only the malicious souls would force the owner’s soul out of the body as well.

What had she done to these souls to deserve this?

“Kailyn…”

The faint voice he heard calling out caught Death’s attention, looking to the archway. Had he imagined that? No voice ever spoke in this realm except himself, for no living person ever came across the threshold.

“Kailyn…”

The voice was slightly louder now and there was no mistaking it was someone calling out. The soul in front of him picked her head up slightly, still looking into the archway. She didn’t belong here, he knew that, her body still lived, and now he wondered if she knew that too.

“Kailyn…”

A third time the voice floated through and now Death was sure the source of it was coming from the archway. He stared into it, seeing right through it to the other side of the forest, just as he was sure the soul in front of him was doing. Only a moment later, the air in the archway started to shimmer. The mist engulfing the place began to part a little bit, rolling back along the ground.

Death watched in curiosity and amazement as he started to see a long, dark hall inside the archway, and it in a figure walking towards them, coming closer and closer. He saw the figure was a boy who didn’t look much older than the girl’s soul as they stopped right in the archway, standing right in front of her hazy image. Only a slight shimmer to the air separated them. Slowly, the boy held his hand out, breaking right through the shimmer. The first living person to ever cross his realm, if even by a hand and wrist.

“Kailyn…” The boy said gently once more, watching her hazy image with worry and care. “You don’t belong here. Come with me, come back home. We can help you.”

She did nothing at first, almost staring right through him. Death wondered if she even knew he was there, and he found himself silently encouraging the girl’s soul to go to him.

“Kailyn, please,” he near pleaded, still offering his hand.

But like every other soul in this forsaken realm, she was numb and non-reactive.

Death frowned, walking up behind the girl. The boy’s eyes widened as he caught a glimpse of his hooded figure, his bony hand on his staff, and he heard his breath catch in fear. Before the boy could say anything though, he put his free hand on the soul’s back and gently pushed her towards him.

“You do not belong, soul. Go with him. You are still living.”

His voice sent chills through the girl’s soul when his presence couldn’t. As if on autopilot, her hazy hand slowly reached up and fell into the boy’s open palm. She almost went right through his hand, but the boy held on to her hazy image, starting to walk backwards and pull her with him.

“I’ve got you,” he breathed softly to her.

Death near held his breath as her soul passed through the shimmer bit by bit, until she was finally through and the boy was leading her vacant soul back down the corridor to the land of the living. He smiled in spite of himself as the shimmer began to fade, and their figures faded as well, back to the living. For once he saw a soul get a second chance, and he hoped the boy was successful in returning her to her body, despite the risks he knew it would entail.

He turned from the archway and began to walk off, contemplating.

Perhaps…it was time to break the rules and laws and make sure these malicious souls ended where they belonged, and the girl’s soul returned where she belonged.


Now you can find this flash fiction work and others on my profile on Wattpad! Click here for my profile and go dive into a sea of Shards of Imagination!

Shards of Imagination Cover Final

Cover made by @_teenagers on Wattpad

Dreams and Writing

How many of you out there have had a vivid dream that turned into this amazing plot and storyline?

Probably a lot of you.

Our imagination loves to brew up crazy ideas and scenarios in our heads while we dream. The tricky part is remembering them when we wake up so we can use them.

Although, the other tricky part is making sense of whatever the hell we dreamed.

I seem to have both problems.

That could be partly due to the fact I try to analyze my own dreams, for I know they always mean something. Even if that meaning is jumbled and unclear at first. Some dreams turn out more vivid than others, some dreams I hardly remember as my alarm clock goes off and startles me out of it. And others… Others have become stuck in my head.

Lately, for reasons unknown yet, I seem to be getting a lot of dreams that I’m considering nightmares. Why? I really don’t know, and I’m not too sure what they all mean just yet. These dreams are happening to be the ones I do remember, at least parts of them. A stolen word here, a flash of images here, an emotion there. The dream catcher hanging above my bed isn’t helping this time either, though I do believe that’s due to needing to clear the negative energy from it.

Now, while none of these dreams I’m having are turning into plot bunnies or ideas. Wait, let me rephrase again. One whacky one could very well turn into a plot bunny or storyline, seeing as I was somehow my own character… But the rest aren’t going to help in any plotting.

Still, it can’t hurt to write down the dreams in a dream journal, and then who knows? Maybe one day you’ll flip through that and find a new bunny popping out at you from something old and long forgotten.

I guess I’m just really wondering how many of you out there incorporate your dream ideas into something awesome. Or how many of you have come up with your baby stories based on dreams.

I know some of my plots and storylines have come from some crazy dreams, and others have just bloomed and bred up in my mind with the plot bunny factory. I wonder if the crazy dream ideas are really just the plot bunnies getting high off something at night and hallucinating.

Actually, that sounds like a very viable reason for the dream ideas!

Someone must have slipped some PCP into their carrots for the whacky out-of-this-world dreams I get. I don’t think they went easy on the drugs either with me.

Of course, it seems that the ideas that come from dreams seem just…

dream idea

Get what I mean? I think I’m going to blame the hallucinating, drugged up plot bunnies for these ones…