Saturday, June 28, 2014

Laughter is the Key

I was the only human for miles and miles around. He was elven, as were his two wives. I’ve never seen elves who were so evil. They’d come visit from time to time, to make my life miserable. The fairies would all hide. One day they brought their kids, or at least I figured it was their kids, the boy was trying so very hard to be like daddy, cruel and evil.

I knew I would never regain my peace, so I started packing my things or giving them away. The fairies had brought me many tiny treasures over the years, and I was giving them all back; they were such delightful creatures, always able to make me laugh. When the elves came this time, there weren’t many elves left – maybe a dozen or so.

I was talking with the wives, and it occurred to me that they weren’t really evil; they had simply been twisted somehow. When asked for any reasoning for anything they did, they got really confused, and then they’d try to cover it up by laughing, but it was all wrong somehow.

I was terrified for myself, but now I was afraid for them too. Then a special little fairy I’d named Dawn, popped into view behind the two wives, who were, by the way always holding or touching each other, maybe for mutual support in their evil environment. Dawn made a face behind them, baring her tiny pointy teeth and sticking out her tongue. She was being serious; it was probably the one serious moment in her entire life, but for some reason it struck me as really funny.

Of course, the wives were stunned. They had just been making fun of me, trying to laugh at me about something. I’m sure it was something the fairies laughed at me about all the time, but Dawn was telling these elves that it was one thing for the fairies to laugh at my antics, quite another for some evil bitches to do. Of course, tiny Dawn wouldn’t dare do such a thing to the face of any elves, let alone these evil creatures.

And then suddenly Dawn vanished from my sight, down behind the two women. The boy had her by her feet. Oh he was so happy with himself. He ran, me chasing him, but he wouldn’t let go. I tackled him and started hitting him; calling him an evil little cockroach. He might have been half my size, but he was an elf; he was nearly as strong as I was and easily twice as durable. Taken by surprise, I got in good solid hits, keeping him stunned, but still he didn’t let go. Finally, my hand found his knife, a thin, curved, bone-handled thing; it looked as evil as his soul.

My first inclination was to drive it into his evil heart, but I’d never killed anything before. Instead, I drove it into his wrist, pinning his arm to the floor with my fury, the thin blade allowing me to penetrate the wooden floor pretty deep.

He screamed, which of course brought his daddy from away from his pilfering, but he also let Dawn go. She couldn’t walk, and she could scarcely fly, but she made it out of sight before the elf saw her.

I backed away, my goal achieved, and not a little horrified at what I’d done. The elf unpinned the boy and started to go, half carrying him. The wives, now they were a puzzle. One would assume one of them was the boy’s mother, but both of them, standing shoulder to shoulder, merely looked at me with a stunned, confused, hopeful look on their faces as they followed their husband.

As soon as they were gone, as soon as I felt their evil aura had left, I turned to find Dawn. She was so tiny; I knew there was no way I could set her bones, but I wanted to try, I had to try something. I called for her, searching every hiding place, crying and tearing the rest of my place apart.

When I finally found her, she was just lying there; two others were with her. Her lower legs were mushed out of shape. “Oh Dawn, I’m so sorry. What can I do?”

I don’t know that they understand what I say; I certainly can’t understand what they say, not in so many words. Mostly we just try to make each other laugh. The signals I got in reply to my question were pretty clear. Dawn pointed at me. She pointed at her mouth and chomped her teeth, and then she drew a line across her throat.

The other two looked from her to me. I could see the sadness and horror in their tiny faces. But Dawn was saying something to them, and they seemed to understand and agree. Somehow, this horrible act would be a good thing. How could I do such a thing to such a sweet creature? The only good thing I could see was I would be ending her suffering by a few minutes. I looked at her legs; it was such horrible suffering.

As Dawn began to swoon, and was no longer able to press her argument, the other took over. For some reason, this was urgent. They wanted me to do this thing before she died.

For the first time in many, many years, I prayed for guidance, and then I carefully picked up Dawn’s fragile body; she was no bigger than my first finger and her wings were as transparent as a dragonfly’s. I heard myself saying, “I’m so sorry” over and over again.

Dawn opened her eyes one last time and smiled, nodding. Just to make sure, I held my other finger up between us for a moment, then touched her with my nail, held it up again and then made as if to bite the end of my finger off. She nodded again, smiling painfully. I looked at the other two and saw that others can come to watch. They nodded, waving me to do it, to get over with.

I closed my eyes and did their bidding, certain it would be every bit as gruesome as my mind was telling me it should be, but it wasn’t. There was no neck to bite into, no head left in my mouth that belonged to a sweet adorable Dawn, no broken body left in my hand.

Where I had pictured myself with a head in my mouth, not knowing what to do with it, whether to swallow it or spit it out, not wanting to spit it out, spitting was insulting. Where I had pictured myself holding a now headless body, not knowing what to do with that either, not knowing what the fairies did with their dead. All those issues vanished in a shower of sparks which carried no heat, just a burst of colorful lights, lights that sank into my skin, and then she was there, as if resting on my cheekbone only on the inside. I touched my cheek just to make sure. The two fairies were smiling now, and the others were catching on. Dawn wasn’t dead. She had given herself to me. She was part of me now. Now all I had to do was figure out why.


Why do you think Dawn would do such a thing?


Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Mystery of Planet Wer - Teaser

Justin is the hero here, and he is a werwolf. Everyone on the planet were affected with a type of lycanthropy when they colonized the planet, and now the populace has been quarantined. No one can go to the surface without being affected. Part of Justin's job is to introduce potential visitors to the consequences of a careless visit. Little Miss Robin is a blind girl in a society where blindness is nearly unheard of. And before you ask, no, this is not a romance, though there is plenty of love between these two. I'll get this one published one of these days. I promise


Curly wiped at imaginary stains as he tried to control his laughter. “You did real good this time. I really like the one about meeting in the CO’s office. That one will be talked about for a while, especially if someone takes you up on it,” said Curly with another chuckle.

“The questions were easy this time, but you missed the little girl. That was the clincher. She pranced right up front here and asked if she could pet me ‘cause she missed her dog. Then she announced to her mom across the room that I was warm. She was so cute and her mom was so scared.”

“I didn’t see them.”

“No, you were back in the freezer splitting a gut.”

“Justin, look.” Curly pointed to the back of the room.

Still seated at the back of the room against the wall was a young woman. She seemed to be patiently watching them.

Turning to face her, Justin asked, “Ma’am, can I help you?”

“No, not really ~ well, I was wondering what you looked like?” she said quietly.

“Ma’am? I don’t understand. You’ve been here all afternoon,” said Justin.

“Yes, but you see, I can’t see you and I have never seen a wolf, nor has one ever been described to me.”

“I beg your pardon, ma’am, I didn’t know…um…I’m sorry, I don’t know how to tell you either.”

“That’s a good one, Justin. She did it. She asked the question you couldn’t answer. Now that’s one for the books,” said Curly.

Justin threw a glare over his shoulder that only a wolf could, accompanied by a rumble in his chest that only Curly could hear, then he returned to the problem at hand. He walked over to where the woman sat. “Well, ma’am, I’ve never heard of anyone who couldn’t see. I don’t know how to tell you how I look.”

With a secret smile, she stood and said, “If I can borrow a phrase from earlier…can I pet you?”

Both Justin and Curly started laughing and Curly said, “It’s a date. I’m out of here. Listen, honey, if you need a stand in rep. in the captain’s cabin let me know, I’m easy to find. See ya.”

The easy laughter faded and a slightly more formal air returned between the two remaining. “Pardon me for laughing; I had no intention of making fun of you?” Justin said as he pulled a chair around to face her and sank into it, she followed suit with delicate grace.

“Oh no,” she said with a glowing smile, “I said that on purpose. Not only does is accurately describe how I see the world, but it also caused you to relax. Your laughter sounded very nice too,” she said, as she reached out a hand to where he sat.

He found her clear hazel eyes captivating and her smile enchanting. The desire to touch her porcelain skin and run his fingers through the curls of her dusky hair tingled through his nerves. He reached out, and with a fascination new to him, he watched her hand disappear in his grasp and emerge again exploring up his arm to his shoulders and face. “Do you have a name I may use, ma’am?” he managed to ask.

“Yes, I do, I’m so sorry. I forget myself. I’m Robin Dupree of Earth.”

“Of Earth,” he said surprised. “That means you’ve been in space for at least three years, and by the most direct route at that, though a charter might get you here in one. Few people travel so far.”

Her hands finished with their exploration of his face and shoulders and she said, “Actually, I think it’s been closer to five years. I’ve been wandering, or of late, I’ve begun to say I’m searching. Can we walk around some? I think I’m getting a little stiff.”

“Of course, please allow me to give you a tour of the ship,” he said as he rose to his feet feeling like a kid with a new toy, delighted that she wanted to spend more time with him.

“Oh, my word, When do you stop standing up?” she exclaimed softly in mock alarm, her touching hand following his rise. Then she reached a hand up to see just how tall he was. “Oh my,” she said in true awe when she discovered she could only reach his cheek. “You are tall.”

With a soft chuckle rumbling through his chest, he teased her. “Well, come on; stand up so we can go.”

With a playful swat at his elbow she said, “I am standing. I’m almost five feet tall after all.” She was also chuckling.

“I guess I’ll have to keep an eye on you then. You’re so short, I might loose you.”

She took his arm and they left the room together. He had to take special care that his elbow didn’t give her a black eye.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Here's another teaser for you. This one will be published someday in a collection of short stories.


The royal healer straightened her back and wiped the sweat from her brow. She knew the king was watching her from the balcony and she hated to be under such pressure, but it went with the job. Today, it was the prince beneath her hands.

The king turned on the intercom and asked, “What do you think, Healer?”

“I’m sure he’ll be fine. He’s strong.” But in reality she thought it likely that he would be dead by this time tomorrow. She felt it would be her fate too, but one could never tell when it came to King Uther.

“I need him to live, Elizabeth. You do what ever you need to, to make that happen.”

“As you say, my lord.” But he didn’t want to live, and his injuries were bad enough where that attitude made a difference.”

The king left the viewing deck, and a few minutes later, he came right into the sterile room with them. “You don’t sound too sure. Wake him up and let me speak to him.”

“That isn’t a good idea, my lord; with him awake he could fight this.”

“I said wake him.”

The healer shook her head and did as she was commanded. When the prince opened his eyes and looked around, she could see the heartbreak deep in them.

“Jake,” called Uther. He leaned closer into the range of vision of the man on the table. “Jake, I need you to live. I need you to tell me what went wrong out there.”

“No,” said Jake “No,” he whispered again and closed his eyes. “No,” he breathed again and turned away. He would have rolled onto his side, showing them his back if he’d been stronger, but he lacked the strength to lift his hand and so had to be satisfied with merely turning his head away.

“What are you saying? I need to know, and you are the only one who can tell me.” When he got no other response from Jake, Uther turned to the healer for an answer.

“Perhaps he doesn’t want to be the only one to have survived,” she supplied.

“I don’t care about that. As my son, he doesn’t have the luxury to just die because he wants to. You make him live; do you hear me? Do whatever you have to, but you make him live. That is a command of the highest order.”

“What you ask could destroy him,” she warned.

“Do as I say, Healer,” said the king and left abruptly.

That left her with no choice, so she took Jake’s head in her hands and began a hypnotic mantra. “Jake, hear me. Sleep and heal – sleep and heal. Jake, hear my words – sleep and heal…” She kept repeating the command until his no’s turned into a repetition of her words. Only then did she allow him to drift into the sleep she ordered.

After a week, it was obvious that the healing was indeed taking its toll on the prince. Even with enriched feeding tubes, he was wasting away at an alarming rate. She didn’t dare to continue the therapy any longer so she disconnected him from the life support and began the routine to slowly wake him from his coma. Then she sent a notice to the king, informing him of her actions.

When the king came in to see, he was appalled at the apparition before him on the bed. “What’s the matter with him? What did you do to him?”

Jake’s face was pasty and skeletal, his body, under the blanket, was no better. “I told you that forcing him to live could destroy him. Everything in him went to healing the damage, and he had no will, so other resources were sacrificed.”

“He will survive on his own now, won’t he? Wake him up. I’ll be back here in the morning to speak with him.”

“Yes, your grace,” said the healer to the king’s back as he left the room. She would have protested again about waking Jake, but she knew it would have been just as useless as the last time. Besides, he was already out of hearing.

She watched the king’s retreating back until he was completely out of sight then she turned her attention to Jake. What the king asked was not the best action for her patient, but he was her king; she had no choice. With a sigh, she touched the side of his head and called to him. “Wake up, Jake. Wake up.”

Slowly he opened his eyes and looked around with a bemused expression on his face. By the time he finally found and recognized her, she could tell that he knew things were far from right. “What have you done to me?” he asked in a pain-filled, accusatory whisper and rolled away from her. The move was painful and he curled tighter into a ball with a moan.

Late that night Jake rolled painfully out of the bed, he wrapped the blankets around him and made his way down the hall. He had no destination in mind. He had nothing in mind at all, really. He made it out of the royal hospital without encountering anyone, and then, taking a route known in his bones, he made it past the guard at the gate of the royal compound without being noticed, and due to the late hour, out of the high city unnoticed as well. As he staggered through the empty streets of the lower city on his way to the outer walls, his mind roamed through the haunting memories that plagued his dreams.

An order came down from the king; select a unit to go out and test the numbers and strengths of the rebels outside of the city again. The next unit on the roster happened to be the unit led by the king’s son, Jake. When the battle was engaged, they discovered the rebels had put far more troops into the field than expected, their equipage was in excellent repair and their strategy showed the workings of a new mind. When Uther did not authorize reinforcements, Jake’s unit found itself cut off and abandoned. When it was all over Jake was the only one left standing, though not for long. By the time the cleanup crew came out to reclaim the bodies, Jake was in very bad shape and fervently wishing for an end.

The memories drained at his weakened state as much as walking in the chill streets did. By the time his energy and determination ran out, Jake found himself at the end of a blind alley without the strength to turn around and retrace his steps to continue his journey. He collapsed on a heap of trash bags. Just before he resigned to the beckoning darkness, one last thought rang clear. What better place to die than among the trash like the rest of his unit.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Mage King Teaser

This is it!!! This completes my trilogy. I'm so excited, are you?


Sean leaned back against the mast. He rested his head against the cold wood and his eyes found the moons halfway down from their height. They were so still, so quiet. He reached a hand up as if he could touch them, and the sight of his hand reminded him of other things he could do to burn off his restless energy and still his mind.

The boat was too narrow for him to swing his swords unless he could be sure the deck was empty, so he left them in their sheaths. He was just getting into it, just starting to feel the rhythm, when a fierce fire lit up his back, and a moment later he felt ice cold water hit him in the face with stunning force.

Laon had been watching over Sean from the dark shadows of the stairwell leading to the lower deck. Though alert, he could not react before the sailor had launched Sean over the rail, less one money pouch. He snatched the man by the throat before he had the chance to weigh his treasure, and bent him over the rail dangerously far while at the same time looking for some sign of Sean in the dark waters.

Still clutching the man by the throat, Laon sounded the alarm. “Alert, alert!” he roared. “We have to stop! Get up everyone! Get up!” He turned his attention to the man in his grip. “Stop this thing.”

Under Laon’s grip the sailor was unable to speak, he just shook his head, frantically clawing at his grip.

The barge captain was on the deck in seconds. “What going on here?”

Laon was so furious and anxious that he could scarcely speak. “This…” As Laon shook him, the man in his grip clawed at Laon’s wrist, bringing the filched purse up to everyone’s notice. “He pushed the king over the side. We have to stop. We have to find him.”

Even though the sailor had been unable to speak under Laon’s grip, now his eyes bulged. No one had known that Sean was the king and everyone knew what kind of man the king was. No one took the time to consider that Sean and the king they all knew might be two different men.

All the shouting roused the rest of the barges in turn and lights were lit and held over the side in an effort to see something in the water.

The captain cinched the sailor to the mast and Laon promised him that if they couldn’t find Sean, he would send him into the water after him, and the captain promised to help. The purse was given to Laon.

The captain tried to explain to the frantic Laon their handicaps. They couldn’t just stop; if they threw out their anchor, the rest of the barges would run into them and even if they all were able to stop without mishap, any one of those anchors could hit their target, or the rope could catch him and tangle him. They had to look first before they risked trying to stop.

A shout went up from the second barge. Someone had spotted a red stain on a chunk of ice.