Blogophilia 25.10: Fallon Part 1

I mean to blog. I really do. I just haven’t had time, I guess. Dad is home and doing good. Mom is still kicking. The cat is at the vet today, though. I did get Daniel edited and published, and will work on tidying Dismas up next.

Anyway, it’s time again for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where Martien gives participants prompts to use in their blog. This week’s prompts are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 25.10 Topic – Puppy Love
Hard (2 pts): Include a Kate Bush lyric
Easy (1 pt): Include the phrase “An Elephant Never Forgets”

This is slightly longer than usual. Okay, it’s almost twice as long as usual. What can I say, they just wouldn’t shut up. Part 2 next week.


“…And they call it puppy love…”

With a grunt, Fallon kicked the record stand. The arm jumped, the needle skipped, and the syrupy music died.

“Hey!” Lara jerked up from her magazine, chocolate eyes narrowed. “What the hell was that?”

Fallon pulled back to kick the stand again, but she leapt to her feet and pushed him back. “You’ll scratch it!”

“Good. I’m sick of that song.” He flopped on the couch and dropped his head back.  When he spoke he could hear the soft southern drawl, more pronounced with his irritation. “I’m sick of all your music. Can’t you get something new?”

Laura fussed with taking the record off and carefully putting it back in its sleeve. “I don’t like any of the new stuff. Music peaked-”

“In the fifties and early sixties,” he finished for her. “But we’ve been stuck there for twenty years. Isn’t it time to give that crap a rest?”

She shot him a dark look then carefully placed another record on the player. As a do-wop song by the Platters echoed through the room, Fallon made a show of burying his head under a pillow. “For the love of God. I go on duty in two hours. Can’t you wait that long?”

“Fine!” She jerked the arm off the record with a huff, then dropped back to the floor and her magazines. “We can just sit in silence for two hours. Is that better?”

He didn’t bother to reply. It didn’t matter what he said, he couldn’t win – not against his sister. She always found some way to twist things around, and if she couldn’t she’d resort to pouting.

Just like when we were kids.

As the quiet settled around the little apartment, the snip-snip of the scissors seemed too loud. His curiosity piqued, he dropped the pillow and leaned forward to see what she was doing. He looked form a pile of random magazine images, all neatly cut out, to the current heart shape she so carefully snipped.

“Another collage?” he asked finally.

“You don’t need to sound so disparaging.”

“I wasn’t disparaging. I just asked-”

“I was the way you said another. Like it was a waste of my time.” She stopped cutting to look over her shoulder. “I’ll tell you who doesn’t think it’s a waste of time: Warren.”

Fallon’s teeth ground together at the name and his mind conjured a vampire with dark hair and a leather jacket; something straight from one of her fifties rock ballads. A bad boy with a chip on his shoulder. He was just missing the motorcycle.

“I thought we discussed him.”

Laura scoffed and went back to her work. “No, you discussed him. I said I liked him, and you said-”

“That he’s trouble. He’s not the kind of guy who’s going to appreciate you making a collage for him.”

“That’s what you think.” Snip-snip. “He likes them. He thinks it’s artistic and creative. There’s more to him than you think.”

“Right. And after he’s gotten what he wants-”

She set the scissors down and drew a steadying breath. “Fallon, I am one hundred and forty years old-”

“One hundred and thirty-eight.”

“Close enough!” she snapped. “As I was saying, I’m more than an adult, Fallon, and I don’t need you to look out for me.”

“You’d rather I just sit back and watch you get your heart broken, again?” He saw her stiffen and regretted his words. “I’m sorry. But-”

“Why don’t you go to work?” she asked through clenched teeth.

“My shift doesn’t start for…” He realized escape was the best option. “Yeah. Good idea.”

He scurried to his bedroom and changed into the black uniform of a greater guard. A quick brush of his hair yielded the same results as usual; it went where it wanted. He flicked the blonde curls that brushed his shoulders. If he’d only had time to grow it longer before he was turned.

Or cut it shorter.

The curls were his curse to bear through eternity, just like Lara was his curse. Except he sometimes got a break from her for a decade or two.

Dressed, he trooped back through the small living room. He quipped a goodbye that was ignored, then headed out into the carpeted corridor. He knew he’d made her really mad, but he’d meant well. He really didn’t want it to be like the last mess.

With that thought, he headed to the office. A group of five guards waited in a knot inside, while another sat behind the desk, on the phone.

“Look, I need one more to send to Malick…He wants to choose Executioner Griselda’s support himself this time…You know how he gets when he’s bored…I doubt he’ll choose you-” He broke off when he met Fallon’s eyes. “Never mind. Lucky number six just walked through the door.”

Fallon held up his hands. “I’m not on duty for another hour and some.”

The guard hug the phone up. “I don’t care. Report with the others to Malick’s chambers. He’ll choose some of you to accompany-”

“Executioner Griselda,” Fallon said irritably.

“Right, right. Off you go.” The guard motioned them with a wave of his hand, then turned back to paperwork, as if he was just too busy to be bothered.

Fallon bit back his argument and followed the others out the door. Though they were all from a different shift, he’d worked with them before on different things. He fell into step next to Fletcher. Vampires were pale by nature, but Fletcher gave the word a whole new meaning. His black hair and dark eyes made the effect worse.

“So what’s the assignment?”

Fletcher shrugged. “No idea, though I don’t think it’s anything important.”

“I hate when Malick does this, especially when it’s something trivial. Doe she really need to hand select us?”

“Especially when he’s let the guard on duty or the Executioners pick for more serious assignments. I think Noris was right. Malick is just bored.”

Fallon barely hid a snort. “If anyone knows it’s Noris. He’s been a guard for – what? A hundred years?”

Belle, the only woman in the group, looked back. “Something like that. I heard he’ll never advance because he helped in a revolt, then came crawling back. I have no idea if it’s true.”

They fell silent as they boarded the elevator. The deeper they went in the citadel, the stronger the presence of the ancient masters became. By the time they stopped on the lowest floor, Fallon could hear his heart hammering in his ears. He took a deep breath and tried to force the fear away. Malick didn’t call them downstairs to punish them. Hell, he hadn’t even asked for anyone by name.

The guards marched down the black corridor in a knot. Fallon nodded at those tasked with guarding the hallway that lead to the High Council’s personal chambers. He couldn’t imagine having to deal with the full blast of them all the time.

The hallway wound down around a corner and finally to Malick’s doors. Before they could even knock, the master’s booming voice bid them enter. Fallon and Fletcher dropped to the back of the group as they headed through an anti-chamber and into an open room stuffed with plants and a fountain. Grow lights kept the vegetation alive, a change from Malick’s old habit of having them dragged upstairs before sunup and back again after sundown.

Unlike us, they need their sunlight.

In the center of the room stood Griselda. Tall for a woman, she was dressed in the customary black, with a silver medallion around her neck, and a long coat folded over her arm.

In front of her, Malick sat on a carved bench, his red robe a contrast to the zebra skin that hung behind him. A long silver beard and silver hair gave him the appearance of wisdom, while dark eyes sparkled with the power of his years. Fallon looked everywhere but his face. He studied the new shoots of a plant, the fraying edge of a rug, and even the soft wisps of Griselda’s blonde hair that had come loose from her bun. Anything was better than looking at him.

Malick waved his hand, and Griselda turned her cornflower blue eyes on them. “I need four of you for an easy assignment. In total, we should be gone no more than a week.”

No one spoke, so she added, “We will head to California by plane. If this is a problem for anyone bow out now. I don’t want to find out you’re afraid of flying after we’ve taken off.”

One of the guards stepped back sheepishly, but no one else moved. With a chuckle, Malick stood and laid a hand on Griselda’s shoulder. “My child, do not be impatient with them. I believe our presence overwhelms them, yes? Most are young.” His eyes darted over the group, and they unconsciously drew closer to one another, as if the small power of numbers could save them. Fallon felt the master in his head for a moment – a burst of intrusion, like a match flaming to life and then dying in the same breath. Though he wasn’t a mind reader himself, he could almost feel as it happened to the others; as Malick peered into their heads and abandoned them as quickly.

“There.” Malick suddenly motioned towards Fallon, Fletcher, Belle, and another. “Take them.”

Fallon’s heart raced as the master looked over him, but the ancient vampire as quickly turned away and moved back to his bench. “I believe things have been arranged already?”

Griselda bowed low. “Yes, master.” When a flick of his fingers said she’d cow-towed enough, she straightened and marched for the door. “Meet me upstairs in five minutes.”

The chosen hurried to their rooms to pack. Fallon found Lara still cutting things out, her music playing full volume. He shouted over it to say he’d be gone a few days, but got no reaction. With a shake of his head, he tossed clothes and toiletries into a bag, then tried a final time to tell her goodbye. She pointedly ignored him, and he tried a final, “I’ll write when we get there, so you won’t worry.”

“I won’t worry,” she said icily.

But he knew she would.

Fletcher and Belle were already upstairs. When the fourth joined them, they headed out into the night. Heavy clouds obscured the sky with the threat of rain, and frost crusted the dead leaves. Winter would be there soon. Another winter in a string of so many.

One hundred and forty, he thought wryly.

A van waited, a guard in the driver’s seat, Griselda next to him, eyeing her watch. They climbed inside, and settled in for the short trip to the airfield. A rural strip designed for crop dusters, it had been modified over the years to handle The Guild’s bigger planes. Though the vampires were supposed to be a secret, somehow the mortals always did just what was needed. As if Malick was manipulating them from deep in the earth.

He probably is.

The van came to life and the radio snapped on. Fallon closed his eyes, safe at least from Lara’s fifties collection.

But the question remained. Why had Malick chosen them? Had he seen something when he looked into their thoughts? Or had he chosen them based on abilities? He couldn’t imagine that. Griselda was an agonizer, Belle a titan, and Fletcher and the other were phantoms. How would his own angel eye ability help? True, it was rare, but it wasn’t especially useful. Seeing the future, now that was something, but seeing the past…

His master had called the ability a curse; and sometimes it was. To see past moments captured like a painting, to hear old sorrows, and betrayals, all the dark things that people would rather forget. Though the past wasn’t always made of those moments, those were the ones Fallon most usually saw, as if his subconscious will was bent only on misery.

“…Let me steal this moment from you now…”

Fallon focused on the song for a moment, then shook his head. It wasn’t really like stealing their moments. He couldn’t feel them like a mind reader could, or look through their eyes, only see what had happened, like an observer watching playacting.

And it’s just as well, he mused. Memories could be faulty, biased, twisted. Even the most talented mind reader was never guaranteed the truth, only their victim’s version of it. On the other hand, he could see things as they’d happened, with no interference, like a fortune teller in reverse.

So even if they’ve forgotten something, I can still find out the truth. Lara had once joked that it was like asking an elephant what had happened. When he’d asked what she meant, her answer had been a groan worthy, Because an elephant never forgets!”

Her sense of humor needs some real work.

The van stopped at the airstrip, and they filed out to a waiting plane. Decorated in leather and frosted glass, the interior resembled a board room more than a vehicle. A sign of the modern times.

Fallon belted himself into an overstuffed seat next to Fletcher. Griselda took one farther away. Once she was situated she pulled out a Walkman and popped a pair of headphones on. Fallon could just hear the refrain of a song he didn’t recognize.

Probably too modern.

Fletcher checked his watch as the plane rose in the air. “We should get there well before sunrise. I imagine they have a place to stay worked out already.”

Belle leaned over from a nearby seat. “I hope so. I don’t want to be caught in the sun again. Not that it would hurt you.”

Fletcher arched an eyebrow, and she explained, “As pale as you are, you’ll just reflect the sun back.”

Fallon chuckled and settled in for the flight. Hopefully it really would be an easy assignment.


They landed at a quiet airstrip in California. With an hour to sunset, they hurried to a nearby den. Their hosts’ lack of enthusiasm was palpable, but Griselda only commented how lucky they were to be able to help The Guild.

They don’t look like they feel very lucky.

The next evening they set out to take up residence with another coven. Their den was a small house near the ocean. Fallon could smell the salt water and thought of Lara’s Beach Boys collection. Though they were just on the edge of the so-called “musical peak”, she owned every album.

“Why don’t we live near the beach?” she’d asked more than once. “We could learn to surf. Wouldn’t that be fun?”

It sounded horrible to him. Plus – “Because The Guild isn’t near the beach.”

“You don’t have to work for them, you know. Most vampires don’t.”

This was usually where he sighed. “I know, but I like it. I get to travel, and we don’t have to worry about coven wars or territory disputes, or hunting rights. If you want to go live on the beach, you can. You don’t have to stay here.”

And that was when she usually got mad, hurling couch pillows and accusations. “You’d like that. You want rid of me, don’t you? You’re sorry that you turned me!”

And of course he wasn’t really, and they both knew it, but it gave her something to say, something to make him defend against, and once he was on the defensive he’d already lost. Not that he was sure what the contest even was.

He still remembered when she and their brother Orson were turned. Fallon had been given the immortal gift on the battlefield, after the battle of Pleasant Hill. There’d been no hill, had the bloody engagement had been far from pleasant, more like hell. Worse, they’d given the win the Yankees, though the Union had turned tail and run afterward.

Not that he’d been there to see them retreat. He remembered lying among the tall grass, gasping for air, and watching the sky darken. Moans sounded around him like crickets, quieting as men lost themselves to the endless slumber of death. He’d thought of his girl, Clarice, and of his family, and prayed that they’d at least find out what happened to him; that he wouldn’t just be reported missing as so many other men were.

That was when Lucien found him. He learned later that the vampire and his coven were combing through the remnants of the battle in search of food, but at the time he took them for angels or demons; a sign of his transition to the afterlife.

Lucian had looked him over, form the spill of his curly blonde hair, to his smooth, dirt smeared face, and declared that the “boy is too well made to allow death to take him.”

Though Fallon had lost consciousness, Lucien carried him back to their den and turned him. It had taken Fallon time to adjust to everything; to warm to Lucian, his mate Eva, and the others. But even warming to them couldn’t stop his worry. His father had been killed in Donaldsonville, leaving his mother alone to take care of his sister and younger brother, one eighteen and the other fifteen.

Kinder than many masters, Lucian not only let Fallon sneak home a month later, but accompanied him. They found his mother dead of sickness, Lara ill, and Orson determined to throw his own life away in the war. As a new fledgling, Lucien warned that Fallon wasn’t strong enough to turn both of them himself, and so he Orson, leaving Lara to Fallon.

Maybe that’s why Orson never wanted to stay, Fallon mused. He didn’t have the same connection as Lara and I.

They’d left the next night for Lucian’s den. Fallon had thought of visiting Clarice, of maybe turning her, too, but his new master refused. “You’ve already asked a great deal, and been granted it. Do not push for more.”

Fifty years later, Fallon had gone home looking for her, curious how her life had turned out. He couldn’t find her, or anyone who knew where she’d gone. His story about being distant relation – because how could he explain that he hadn’t aged? – was suspect and he’d given it up.

Just one of those little mysteries we’re not meant to know the answer to, I suppose.

Not that it mattered. If his strange ability had taught him anything, it was the futility of dwelling on that which had already come to pass.

You can’t change it, anyway.


The assignment was to handle a dispute among covens. Four of them, including their hosts, claimed that the hunting territory belonged to their coven first, and that the others were interlopers who’d muscled in.

He wrote Lara a quick letter, to let her know he got there safely and what was going on. He imagined her question, “Why does the territory matter so much?” and added:

“The territory makes a difference because if too many vampires hunt people in the same location, the mortals start to notice the high rate of disappearances. And noticing can lead to investigating, which leads to mortals discovering us. It’s important for covens that share hunting grounds to work together to keep human casualties low enough not to draw attention, and if they can’t get along then someone has to relocate. The Laws say that it’s first come, meaning whoever was here first gets to stay and the rest have either capitulate or leave.”

He stopped from adding, “This is why I like working for the Guild. We don’t have to worry about this.”

Griselda gave him permission to mail it, and then set him to work at coven number two’s den,  leaning against  the wall, his hand on his weapon as he tried to look menacing. She interviewed them, and logged their claim of first ownership. The experience was the same at the third coven and the fourth, and when they returned to their hosts early in the morning, they were no closer to a resolution.

“I’ll contact The Guild and see what information they have. Meanwhile, you!” She turned her blue eyes on Fallon. “You’re an angel eye, yes?”

He nodded.

“Can you determine the truth? Who was here first?”

“I can try,” he offered uncomfortably. “I can’t make promises.”

She nodded. “Do what you can. In the meantime, tomorrow Belle and Fletcher, you will visit the local courthouse and check property records.”

They saluted and Belle asked, “What if we can’t determine who was here first?”

Griselda scoffed. “In five days I’ll make a decision regardless, even if I have to flip a coin. The covens will respect the ruling or die.”

Death. The Executioners’ usual means of forcing compliance. Always effective, it was guaranteed to work. Either they did as they were told out of fear, or they suffered the consequences. Either way, the problem was solved.


Topic: Colleen

Picture: Doris

1) swimming hole 2) Taking a dip 3) get back here 4) following 5) get in here 6) this one is really hard. 7) I bet Jonathan “magically” guesses it, though. 8) Yeah, I’m still suspicious. 9) natural pool 10) shallow 11) where’s the beach? 12) rock and pool is nice and cool 13) secret place 14) tucked away 15) come on in, the water’s fine 16) canyon 17) painted rocks 18) water in the desert 19) oasis 20) just swimmingly


Dismas Part 4 (Final)

I realize this is not a blogophilia post, but I need to finish the story up or else ruin my schedule.

Dad’s exploratory surgery turned into just surgery. They went ahead and hollowed out his prostate, so he’s staying a day or two for observation. The brother and I are going to see him tomorrow.

Also, my weekend surprise (that I had to move everything around for!) has been cancelled by hubby, which is fine because now I am going to spend Saturday getting Zapados, then the meteor shower, and Sunday we’re going to see Twister at the drive-in in Bellevue. I even bought the tickets already. wOOt!

Anyway, on to the rest of the story:


At last, the citadel loomed in the distance. What power Malick held outside of the world of vampires was unknown, but somehow he had managed not only to have train tracks cut across their land, but a grain elevator built right above. Though the presence of busy mortals seemed like a bad idea, it worked in their favor. The humans were unsuspecting guards during daylight hours and were long gone by nightfall. That vampires came and went at night, many by rail, was barely noticed and chalked up to farm business or some other nonsense. Unwilling to acknowledge anything that was really out of the realm of ordinary, humans were easy to roll over.

Unlike Malick.

Dismas’ stomach clenched as they slowed the horses. Inside Malick was waiting to cast judgement and pronounce fate. He glanced nervously to his companions, but neither met his gaze, as if looking into another’s fear filled eyes might compound their own terror.

Among the collection of buildings stood a stable and a guard. The vampire gave them long once overs, but said nothing as they dismounted. Noris clicked his tongue and nodded toward the building, signaling the need for the stable boy. The guard gave a grunt and then called the youth, a slinking human who was barely more than fifteen. With bent shoulders and down cast eyes, he hurried out to take the reins beasts’ reins.

As though they were just members of the masses, the guard ripped claim tickets from a roll and handed them over, so they could collect the horses later. Or that was the idea. Dismas was fairly certain they’d never see the animals – or the star strewn sky – again.

Still he followed Asher inside the small building marked Office in hand painted letters. The vampire that sat at the desk looked more farmer than fearsome, and an old dog lay sleeping near a cold potbelly stove. Though Dismas didn’t touch it, he knew the creature was as immortal as its owner.

Their receptionist motioned them to a door in the back, where stairs led down. Dismas’ heart sank with each step, and his unease grew. He could feel Malick below, like a pulsing bead of darkness that got heavier the deeper they went.

A guard stood at the bottom of the stairs, leaning bored on the banister. He snapped straight when he recognized them. “What are you doing here? Intruders!”

“No-” Asher began, but before he could finish five guards swarmed around them, bladed weapons raised menacingly.

“You thought you and your ilk could attack us again? Where are the others? Hidden outside? No matter. We’ll find them!” He motioned to one of his fellows who broke away to inform the others. Dismas knew the hateful bells would soon toll, and guards and Executioners would swarm up the stairs, expecting the blood of enemies.

“We aren’t attacking!” Dismas cried, conscious of Noris’ I-told-you-so expression. “We don’t know where the rest of them are!”

The guard scoffed. “Of course. We believe you. It isn’t as if you’ve betrayed us in before. Wait.” He rolled his eyes. “We’ll take them down to Malick.”

Dismas’ reply was a strangled sound of fear as they shoved him forward. Though not a dream stealer, he could feel the same terror radiating from his companions. They knew what this meant. They knew what Malick would do…

Noris suddenly dug in his heels and lashed out, knocking aside two of the guards. He sprang past them, racing for the stairs, but a third guard knocked him to the ground and pressed the point of a spear under his chin.

“Malick will kill us!” Noris cried desperately. “Please!”

The guard sneered as those Noris had knocked away jerked him back to his feet. “Then you shouldn’t have come back.”

No, Dismas agreed. No, we shouldn’t have.

The guards bound their hands, then dragged them through the door and down a corridor. Elevators, still something of a novelty in rural America, were lined up, the attendants waiting to whisk passengers to the different floors. Too small to fit them all, they broke up into groups.

Dismas captors stood inside the car, shoulders stiff, hands fidgeting, as they descended. Dismas wished there was a way to capitalize on their discomfort; to take advantage of it and run. But, trapped in the tiny capsule, there was nowhere to run.

The elevator stopped and the attendant opened the doors. “No trouble,” one of the guards huffed at Dismas before they dragged him out into the corridor. Hard wood floors and painted walls, peppered with doors, stretched in a long, straight line to finally curve out of sight. As they marched down it, a group of guards dashed past, ready for the fight that didn’t exist.

The guards pulled Dismas to a stop before a large set of double doors. Malick’s presence left his knees quaking and his mind reeling off old, familiar words.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…”

One of the guards knocked on the door and was answered in kind. The sound echoed, ominous and heavy.

“…He maketh me lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside still waters…”

The doors swung open to reveal a cavernous room, the walls half lined with marble and carved white stone. Pillars loomed, and scattered candelabras threw crazy shadows on a row of chairs near the back where five figures were seated.

“…He restores my soul. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake…”

The guards half pushed, half pulled Dismas inside. Footsteps echoed heavy on the marble floor as they drew closer to the chairs, to the waiting masters, to the High Council.

To our doom.

“…Ye, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”

The guards stopped and snapped a salute, then retreated, leaving the three of them alone in the center, hands still bound behind their backs. Dismas’ kept his eyes on his feet, as though he was trying to memorize the scuffed pattern on the toes of his boots. Just beyond, in his peripheral vision, he could see the seated laps of the council. Celandine’s blue skirt and neatly folded hands, the vivid robes and dark hands of Obi. Heng’s light yellow robes, Eileifr’s sapphire clothing, trimmed in gold, and finally the deep scarlet of Malick’s dress, a single dark shoe peeping from beneath.

Though he didn’t look up he could feel their gaze on him, none so strong and dark as Malick’s. It was as if the ancient master could see through his skin and bone. To his very center. Like being with Kateesha only a thousand times worse.

“…I will fear no evil…”

“Master,” one of the guards ventured. “If they are here, then the rest of their army-”

Malick’s chuckle was soft, a summer breeze ruffling the leaves. “Relax, and be at peace. There is no army, no imminent attack, only three traitors who have crawled back to us on bended knee to beg forgiveness and protection from the one they once swore fealty to.”

“…your rod and your staff, they comfort me…”

Malick dismissed the guards with a flick of his hand, then addressed the three prisoners. “So you have returned, my children. Abandoned that quest which seemed so urgent and certain only weeks ago? Turned your backs on she you adored as both master and goddess? How fickle is your favor!”

“…Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies…”

Asher shuffled forward. “She was never our goddess, s-sir. She…She convinced us to…When she spoke it seemed so clear but…”

“Yes,” Celandine said coldly. “She uses her will to weave a spell around weaker minds. A dangerous game she has played too many times.”

Malick’s chuckle came again. “You would fault her for using those gifts she was given.” His tone suddenly turned serious, and Dismas flinched as though he’d been slapped. “But such gifts should not be used against her father. For that there can be no forgiveness.” He stood. “Tell me, children, why should forgiveness that is denied her be given to you?”

“…Thou anointest my head with oil…”

“Because…because…” Dismas looked up to see Asher’s desperate expression.

“Because you only followed orders?” Malick suggested. “Because you saw the folly of your ways? Because you are sorry? What good does such remorse do? Will it bring back the dead? Those you fought, and killed in your revolt?”

Dismas felt the burn of Malick inside his skull and suddenly he saw the battle as it had been, saw Josiah laying on the floor in a pool of his own blood while the hateful bells screamed-

“Enough of this,” Eileifr interrupted. “They have returned. Their contrition is true, or you would have said otherwise. They will remain, though they are stripped of any rank they may have possessed before their departure. Guards, unbind them.”

Dismas heart stuck in his throat. He heard the guards footfalls as they drew close, felt as they tugged at and finally freed his hands, yet it was all far away, unreal. A dream that was happening to someone else. They were going to be put to death, not freed.

Malick’s chuckle was in his head, followed by his voice, “And yet you still breathe. Is not life full of miracles?”

Dismas was dimly aware of Asher thanking the council, and of Noris pulling him out the doors and into the corridor. The other two’s words flowed around him. They’d need to find new accommodations, reapply for their guard positions, try to claim any belongings they may have left behind. It was a list of tedious, tangible things that Dismas couldn’t wrap his head around.

He stopped, mid stride, and stared at his hands as if he’d never seen them before, at the half-moons at the base of his fingernails, and then his pale palms.

Asher and Noris stopped and came back to him. “Are you all right?”

Dismas met his companion’s gaze. “We’re alive. We’re actually alive. They spared us.”

Asher arched a golden eyebrow. “Yes. Just a moment ago. As I said they would,” he added with a note of smugness.

Noris scoffed. “It must have been a moment of divine intervention. Only the angels of heaven or God himself could turn such a verdict towards us.”

God. The God Dismas swore he didn’t believe in, yet prayed to all the same. Had it truly been his will? If so why? Why would he intervene for the sake of a monster? Did it matter?

Asher flung an arm around Dismas’ shoulders and they started down the corridor again. “We can share a room for today, but tomorrow I’m going back to reapply for a guard position. There should be some openings.”

Openings. Of course. And if they were lucky, if God was truly with them, they would get their positions back.

“…Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Dismas crossed himself and prayed silently that Noris was right.


The brother sent Daniel back to me, so I just need to get mom to read it and then I can publish it. I even have the cover done. Now to start thinking of a cover and title for this one. Hmmmm….

Off to work on The Vampire Prophecy and then bed.

Have a finished story kinda day!

Jo 🙂


Blogophilia 23.10 – Dismas Part 3

I haven;t been blogging lately for no good reason except laziness. I’ve had some exciting pokemon adventures, Mom went to ER, Dad has his exploratory surgery tomorrow, and I haven’t bothered to write about any of it. I need to get back in the groove.

In the interim, it is time for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where Martien gives participants prompts to use in their weekly post. this week’s prompts are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 24.10 Topic – Walk, Don’t Run
Hard (2 pts): Use a Regina Spektor lyric
Easy (1 pt): Include a radio station call letters
**Of note, I have used the call sign – WAIO (95.1 from Honeoye Falls, New York) as a person’s name because it would not fit otherwise without just sticking it in as a cheesy line in the intro.
Now, on with the story. I’d hoped to finish it, but it’s 3:30 so not gonna happen. Maybe next time.

A rough voice cut into his thoughts. “Do you want in?”

He blinked at the offered game and shook his head. The vampires shrugged and started the next match. As they did, Noris nudged his foot. He ignored it, but a second and third followed. At last he looked to see the vampire’s hand pressed to the table, a curl of something white barely visible at the edge of his palm.

It took Dismas a moment to realize that it was a note that Noris was trying to pass him. He’d taken it and read the words, “Meet just after sunup in the ruins of the shed. Shade should be enough.”

Though he tried to catch Noris’ eyes with questions, the vampire made a sow of standing and stretching before he wandered away. Dismas looked to the message again. Would the shade be enough to shield them from the sun’s rays? And even if it was, what was the meeting about?

But he knew. He’d expressed his concerns to Noris once, and knew the vampire felt the same. It would be a meeting about escape.

Dismas wadded the note and chanced a glance at Kateesha, seated on the bench, a book in her hand. Though dotted with mildew, its pages curled and the words on the spine indecipherable, she poured over it as though she was a goddess reading the very words of Zeus himself.

She looked up suddenly and smiled, as if to say, “You can meet all you want, but you belong to me.”

The thought made him shiver, even now, surrounded by heavy trees and dewy underbrush.

They’d had their meeting; Asher, Noris, Waio, and himself. The shade had been adequate, but more importantly, they’d come to an understanding: they needed to leave. Asher wanted to return to The Guild, to beg forgiveness, though Noris cautioned against it. Malick would not forgive them. The vampires had bickered, until Dismas interrupted.

“The destination is not as important as the escape. Let us effect that first, then worry about the rest.”

Dismas and Waio crept back to the cottage, leaving the pair to bicker in the shrinking shadows. Dismas had cast a glance at his companion. He knew very little about him. He’d been at the citadel, but not a guard. Though his skin was darker than Dismas’, his heritage was less straight forward. Born to a dark mother, with a white slave owner for a father, Waio had had a rough life and when vampirism found him, he’d been ready to turn some of that roughness back on a world that had failed him.

But that was the limit of Dismas’ knowledge. How Waio had landed at the citadel, or come to be recruited by Kateesha, he didn’t know. That tiny bit of information had been gleaned one night around a fire as they waited for Kateesha’s orders.

Silently, they pushed the cottage door open and crept toward their sleeping places, when a shape stepped from the shadows. A smile curved over full lips, and dark eyes danced.

“I hope your secret meeting went well, my pets.”

Dismas drew back, and Waio cursed. In an instant Kateesha closed the space between them and snatched up the younger vampire. Waio swung, but she snapped his neck and left him hanging limply from her grip.

“What should we do with one who would break his oaths?” Kateesha asked with false sweetness. “What punishment would fit?”

Dismas heart pounded and his throat tightened. Could he make it to the door before she got to him? Could he get outside? Then what? Where could he go? Already the sun was creeping higher, chasing away the saving darkness with rays that would burn him to dust.

“Now, now, pet. You would leave before you have answered my question? That’s not very polite, is it?” She stepped closer, lugging Waio’s limp form as though he weighed nothing. “I asked what we should do with one who betrays those who trust him; those who believe in him?”

Dismas’ tongue wouldn’t work, and she laughed at his terror.

“Since he wanted to escape, what do you say we let him?” When Dismas didn’t reply, she snapped, “He wanted to be free so badly, let us free him.”

She marched to the door and threw it open. Outside, the sun was already creeping across the yard, moving closer to the house.

Kateesha heaped Waio’s limp body before the house just as Asher and Noris came around the corner. Dismas didn’t look at them, though he could almost feel their horror.

“And so the rest of the conspirators return,” Kateesha purred. “Hurry inside, my ducklings, before the light of day catches you.”

As they came inside, Asher shot Dismas a look that was half terror, half confusion.

Kateesha left Waio in the yard and came back inside, wiping her hands together as if dusting off from some arduous task. “I am disappointed my pets, though I know the idea wasn;t yours, was it?”

No one spoke, and Kateesha’s face hardened. “It was your friend’s idea, was it not? To break your oaths – to break my heart!”

Was it? Dismas looked to Noris, who looked to Asher. The blonde swallowed and finally murmured, “He-he did suggest…”

Kateesha patted his head. “As I thought, my ducklings. You have been led astray. But you may come back to the fold. Kneel before me and say you’re sorry.”

No one moved and she snapped, “On your knees, children!”

Dismas dropped to the floor against his will, his head bowed in terror. He chanced a glance to see the other two in the same position.

Kateesha stood before them, her toes peeking out beneath the hem of her dress. “Now say you’re sorry for the trouble that you caused. Say it!”

Dismas managed to mumble, “I’m sorry.”

She jerked his head up by a handful of curly hair. “Say it again!”

“I-I’m sorry.”

Kateesha pushed him away. “You are forgiven. This time. Do not betray me again.”

As she started to walk away, Noris raised his head. “What about Waio? Should we not bring him in before the sun-”

“Leave him,” Kateesha snapped. “Let his skin blister, burn, and peel. Let him die in agony, leaving only ashes, for such is what happens to those who disobey. It’s a lesson you and your friends will do well to remember, lest I must teach it again.”

It was a lesson that had made them even more determined to run.

When the sun sank, all that was left of Waio were ashes and a few chunks of burned bone. His remains were unceremoniously kicked aside as vampires hurried out to feed, some perhaps not even aware of them. Dismas looked from a charred remnant to Noris. If they were going to go, they’d better do it fast.

After feeding, he was given the first guard duty, side by side with one of Kateesha’s faithful. Though Dismas had sworn away God, he secretly felt the deity was with them that night. There was no other way to explain how Noris had been able to sneak behind the vampire and draw the knife across his throat, severing his vocal cords.

Dismas had helped to lower the gagging thrashing vampire to the ground. “I am sorry, friend, but as you know the wound will not prove fatal, only inconvenient. When you are filled with blood again, it will be healed and you will be whole.”

Noris crouched down to whisper, “Know that we could have killed you, but chose not to. Remember always that we spared you.”

He stood quickly, wiping the knife on his pants. “Asher is standing by with the horses. Come quickly.”

Dismas made to dash, but Noris took his arm. “Walk. Don’t run. To do so might draw unwanted attention. You must act natural.”

“Natural?” Dismas whispered back. “She knows! She killed Waio last night, and she’ll kill us!”

“She has to catch us,” Noris replied. “Come.”

And so he’d come. They’d met Asher, climbed in the saddles, and ran through the night as though the hounds of hell were on their heels. And maybe they were.


That first morning, as they’d taken shelter in a barn, Archer had brought up their destination again.

“The Guild will kill us,” Noris snapped.

“As will Kateesha,” Asher bit back. “At least within the citadel we will be safe from her and her anger, or do you wish to end as Waio?”

Noris cursed, but finally agreed. With two for, that made Dismas’ opinion inconsequential. Not that he knew what his opinion was. Both paths led to death. It just depended how they wanted to die. At least the other Executioners would probably make it quick, not drag it out like Kateesha would.

“Blister, burn, and peel.”

They rode through the darkness, ever sure of pursuit, even as they drew closer and closer to the citadel without incident. Each day Dismas’ sleep was shrouded in red lipped phantoms demanding his blood, while his nights were a blur of traveling through heavy trees, and across moon drenched fields, always looking over his shoulder.

At last, the citadel loomed in the distance. What power Malick held outside of the world of vampires was unknown, but somehow he had managed not only to have train tracks cut across their land, but a grain elevator built right above. Though the presence of busy mortals seemed like a bad idea, it worked in their favor. The humans were unsuspecting guards during daylight hours and were long gone by nightfall. That vampires came and went at night, many by rail, was barely noticed and chalked up to farm business or some other nonsense. Unwilling to acknowledge anything that was really out of the realm of ordinary, humans were easy to roll over.

Unlike Malick.

Dismas’ stomach clenched as they slowed the horses. Inside Malick was waiting to cast judgement and pronounce fate. He glanced nervously to his companions, but neither met his gaze, as if looking into another’s fear filled eyes might compound their own terror.

Among the collection of buildings stood a stable and a guard. The vampire gave them long once overs, but said nothing as they dismounted. Noris clicked his tongue and nodded toward the building, signaling the need for the stable boy. The guard gave a grunt and then called the youth, a slinking human who was barely more than fifteen. With bent shoulders and down cast eyes, he hurried out to take the reins beasts’ reins.

The guard ripped claim tickets from a roll and handed them over, so they could collect the horses later. Or that was the idea. Dismas was fairly certain they’d never see the animals – or the star strewn sky – again.

Still he followed Asher inside the small building marked Office in hand painted letters. The vampire that sat at the desk looked more farmer than fearsome, and an old dog lay sleeping near a cold potbelly stove. Though Dismas didn’t touch it, he knew the creature was as immortal as its owner.

Their receptionist motioned them to a door in the back, where stairs led down. Dismas’ heart sank with each step, and his unease grew.



topic: Tyler

picture: Doris 

  1. Two’s company 2. Three’s a crowd. 3. reflecting 4. reflections 5. blue skies. 6. eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. 7. walking on sunshine 8. walking on air 9. If Jonathan gets this right this week I will know he is using voodoo. 10. Just saying. 11. One is the loneliest number 12. All by myself. 13. Hello, is it me you’re looking for. 14. Now I’m using cheesy song titles. 15. cloudy with a side of meatballs 16. in the clouds 17. heavenly 18. I’m already there. 19. in heaven 20. where are the harps?


Blogophilia 22.10 – Dismas Part 2

It’s time again for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where Martien gives participants promts to use in their weekly blog. This week’s prompts are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 22.10 Topic – Through the Glass
Hard (2 pts): Incorporate a Billy Joel lyric
Easy (1 pt): Include the word “wildfire”


We continue the Dismas story from last week. Either next week’s entry will be very long or this one will take four weeks to write. I don’t know which.


A noise came at the other side of the door. Dismas sniffed and recognized John’s scent. A fellow guard, he’d been more than eager to come. Unlike Dismas, that enthusiasm had remained, and when he came outside, Dismas could see it still shining in his eyes.

“I’m here to relieve you.”

Dismas didn’t argue, only stood with a grunt and headed inside. A rough table and chairs were gathered in front of an old hearth; ancient herbs still hung from the rafters by rotting strings, and a shelf of jars had gone cloudy, so that it was impossible to see through the glass to what was inside. It was an old cottage, long abandoned by mortal occupants and left to rot. That they had taken it showed their desperation.

Kateesha scoffed from her place on a low bench. “We are not desperate, my friend. Only using what is at hand.”

He cringed and dropped his eyes. Like Malick she could climb inside his mind. How could one be comfortable when their very thoughts were not their own?

Kateesha’s eyes glowed. “Why do you worry, dear one? Do you have thoughts we might find…” She stood and sashayed to him. After a long once over, she drew out the word, “…unpleasant?”

His eyes struggled to look anywhere but her. With a laugh, she chucked his chin and moved away. “It is not a sin to doubt, pet, so long as you do not betray us.” She spun back, her eyes narrowed. “And I have faith you will not betray us.”

Though he made a noncommittal sound, the fear pooled in his knees. She didn’t need to remind him that betrayal meant death.

As does staying.

He took the empty chair. Two of the table’s other occupants were embroiled in a primitive game of checkers, while the third watched and muttered advice. Dismas leaned his chin on his hand and watched the players move their pebbles around the board marked with chalk. He remembered playing the game with his brother a long time ago. Like the vampires, they’d used pebbles, worn smooth by a creek, and dotted with paint to denote the colors. Their board was piece of worn cloth, the checker pattern painted in crooked lines. He couldn’t say how many hours they’d spent at it while their father gave sermons, or tended to the sick, or drove the wagon from one lonely place to another, spreading God’s word like wildfire and handing out comfort and brimstone in equal measures.

Those long journeys by wagon were both irksome and exciting, a mix very little in life had managed since. Maybe the loss of such feelings came with the end of childhood, like so many other discomforts. Being a man wasn’t all it was said to be, and many times Dismas wished he could go back to those heavy summers, where bugs buzzed in tall grass and old ladies gave them tea and hard cookies. He’d even welcome the summer he was sick to sitting there in a crumbling old cabin, waiting for the Executioners to attack. A fever was better than this.

And at least mother told me stories, he mused to himself. He remembered snatches of his favorite, “Once upon a time in the land of misty satin dreams there stood a house, and a man who painted. Day in and day out he painted woodland scenes; squirrels and rabbits, deer and trees, but never people. However, such was his skill that he could have painted them easily.” Dismas’ memory ran out there, though he knew the gist of the rest. The artist had once painted portraits in his youth, but had discovered that he had a knack for painting a person’s true form; the person they truly were inside. Surrounded by kind people, the talent was celebrated but then, on the eve of his wedding, he sat down to paint his bride. As the brushstrokes fell he discovered who she really was – not sweet and beautiful but ugly and dark. Furious with the painting, she broke the engagement, and he went to live alone in the woods and swore to never paint a portrait again.

But, A beautiful, but wicked, queen wanted him to paint her portrait. He refused, and she started doing terrible things, like burning his cottage, and sending woodsmen to cut down the forest, until he finally agreed. Of course, the painting he did revealed her for the ugly woman she was, and he was thrown in prison until someone freed him. The prince perhaps? Though Dismas wracked his brain he couldn’t remember who it was, or why, or even what the moral of the story was supposed to be.

Whatever it was, I guess I didn’t learn it.

Unlike the myriad of bible verses that were burned into his brain. His father had one for every occasion and had raised Dismas and his brother to do the same with the understanding they would follow in his footsteps, called by God to be ministers. Though his brother fell in line with his destiny, Dismas had never felt the call of the word, and was more than happy to escape what he saw more as a burden than a blessing. Like the man running to his cottage in the wood to hide with his squirrels. Maybe that was why he’d always liked that story?

A rough voice cut into his thoughts. “Do you want in?”

He blinked at the offered game and shook his head. The vampires shrugged and started the next match. Dismas chanced a glance at Kateesha, seated on the bench like a queen, a book in her hand. She devoured words the same way she devoured blood, and she didn’t seem to be particular about the source or quality of either. The book she held now was dotted with mildew, its pages curled and the words on the spine indecipherable, yet she read it as though she was a goddess reading the very words of Zeus himself.

As though she felt his scrutiny, she looked up and smiled, something smug in her eyes, as if to say, “You can look to the past all you want, but you’re mine now.”

The thought made him shiver.


And now for guesses:

Topic: Dianne Jillian

Picture: Dahlia

  1. broken wings 2. fallen angel 3. dark angel 4. shadow puppets 5. shadow on the wall 6. angel of darkness 7. guardian angel 8. in the shadows 9. how the heck does Jonathan keep guessing these? 10. I think he might be cheating. 11. He is the evil twin  12. maybe I should wait and just copy his guesses – except then *I* would be evil…. 13. silhouette 14.  devil is an angel too 15. light and dark 16. shadow and light 17. black and white 18. or rather nothing is black and white because everything is… 19. Shades of Gray 20. that’s like a plug for my book, which is free from all ebook retailers. (Just saying).

Tags & Such

Yesterday I was grateful for the brother’s help. We made a semi-complicated dinner and made two batches of different cookies at the same time. I couldn’t have done it on my own, that’s for sure!

Today I was thankful for hearing from Teresa. I have been worried about her, and in fact was just thinking about her last night, and she popped up in my PMs today! So here’s hoping she continues to get better.

As far as what I’ve been doing…not much that’s worth sharing. Cooking. Cleaning. I did get some tags made the other day and I guess I should share them just because.


(If you wanna check it out – this one is kinda funy)


(if you wanna check it out – this one is kinda sad)


(if you wanna check it out – this one is twice the length of the other two.)


(If you wanna check it out – this one is seriously modeled off of a Hallmark Christmas special – but with vampires!  WARNING: unlike the others it is pubbed direct through Amazon who half time won;t set it to free but it is ALWAYS free on Smashwords)


(If you wanna check it out – it’s got unrequited love)

And now I need to go work on the TTC page for the week.

Have a happy tag kinda day!

Jo 🙂


Blogophilia 22.10 – Dismas Part 1

I made it back from Missouri. I know. I quit blogging. But I didn’t do anything that exciting to really blog about, so you didn’t miss much. I mean, I enjoyed it a lot because I like low key things that there’s not much to say anything about, but it was just “we watched movies and ate something”. And though I could tell you my opinion of the movies and TV ( Trolls – not good; Moana – cute; Inception – had seen it before and love it; The Blair Witch (new one) – ergh; Chips – better than I expected; Kong Skull Island – can we say Godzilla Crossover? Whoo-hoo! I have chills!; Split – OOoooo. I hope there’s a follow up with the Unbreakable guy; more Big Brother – why not?, Ice Fantasy – I have added this Chinese drama to my watch list now) there’s not much else to say. Oh, we did play Cards Against Humanity and I won for the first time in my life! That was something.

Anyway, it’s time for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where Martien gives participants prompts to use in their blog. This week’s prompts are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 22.10 Topic: “Night Life”
Hard (2 pts): Quote Dante Alighieri (A great flame follows a little spark)
Easy (1 pt): Use a lyric(s) from a Steve Nicks song (We fight for the northern star)

We finished Daniel up the other week, so now it’s Dismas’ turn. This story takes place in 1893, more than 100 years after Daniel’s. Funnily enough, though, Kateesha is still in it!


Dismas leaned back against the rough wall and listened. A mortal’s ears would have heard only silence, but to the ears of the vampire there was a symphony of sound. Crickets chirped. Leaves rustled. Things scuttled through the shadows. The world teamed with night life.

Like us, he mused, though no humor followed the statement. It was a fact, like so many others – like the fact that they would soon be dead.

He glanced toward the low doorway, the way securely shut against intruders. Intruders. It was an idea they’d have once laughed at, just as posting a guard would have been unnecessary, but that was before they revolted.

He ran his hand through his tight, curly hair and closed his eyes. He pictured the citadel in Iowa. Though not completed, what was done was fantastic; an underground castle meant to house the vampire government, their servants and slaves, and those who worked with them. It had taken Dismas thirty years to work his way from lesser guard to greater guard, a promotion that meant higher wages, more respect, and a direct working relationship with the Executioners, the enforcers of immortal law. Though he’d always admired the dark skinned Tormentor, as Kateesha was known, it was the change in status that led him to where he was.

Kateesha was a controversial figure among. She’d come back to the Guild twenty-three years ago, looking both contrite and amused. Though she’d run for her life, and been sentenced to death the last time anyone saw her, upon return she was made head of the Executioners. It was an office that suited her, though it wasn’t just her skill that had earned her the position. Being the daughter in blood of the Guild’s head had helped.

Dismas knew the stories; knew she’d been excommunicated last time for disobeying orders, for killing and reveling when she was supposed to be doing something else. He also knew that her partner had died for the sins, while she escaped. Rumor said an ex-lover was tasked with the job, and so let her go. But, if what he’d witnessed himself was any indication, there was a chance she’d simply talked her way out of it.

Her honeyed words were the reason he was there instead of tucked safely in his quarters at the citadel. He remembered the last meeting in crystal clarity. Kateesha stood before them, clothed in a fashionable scarlet dress, her bosom barely constrained by a low-cut bodice, her dark eyes shining with the passion of a thousand suns. Her voice was low, sweet, suggestive. “Ask yourselves, are you truly happy here? With this way of life? With rules, dictates, paydays? Have we not left such tiresome thigs behind with the mortal coil? When we escaped death did we not succumb to our darker sides? What room is there is a life of blood and night for the niceties of society? For bowing and scraping, for calling sir and madam, for taking orders and accepting our coins? Should we not embrace what we are to the fullest? Should we not explore our newfound power – exploit it even – or at the least put it to some use beyond that our masters deem needful? We fight and follow orders so that those in power can keep their power. If they wish for control, should they not keep it themselves?”

The mention of those in power – the reminder of Malick, and the other members of the High Council – had left many of the attendants uncomfortable. Kateesha soothed their concern with a gesture. “Fear. Such is the reaction they wish you to have. They are secure in your belief that they cannot be toppled, that they are too strong, but that is a falsehood. They may be old, they may have power, but what can their small power do against the strength of many? Like the tide sweeps away the shells, so shall we overpower them.”

Josiah, a fellow guard, looked at the assemblage. “I apologize for the interruption, but the number gathered here…I wouldn’t go so far as to call us many.”

“Not yet,” Kateesha said. “But more will come. A great flame follows a little spark. We are that spark. You are that spark. We fight for our rights, for our freedom from those who would dictate who and what we should be. We fight-”

We fight for the northern star, or might as well.” Josiah shook his head. “I beg pardon, but though I can feel the press of your will, I shall not succumb to it as these others have. I will not betray your intentions, but neither will I follow them.”

A general murmur of “coward” followed him to the door, silenced only when Kateesha held up her hand. “Pray, let him go. We want none to join us whose intentions are not pure, who does not burn with our purpose, for such a soldier would not fight with fierceness, only obligation. If our masters have taught us any lesson, it is that obligation makes for a weak companion.”

Dismas had felt smug as Josiah left their ranks, as the whispers continued, but now he realized that Josiah was the one who should have felt smug; the one who was right.

The one who won’t be massacred by an Executioner for revolting.


Yeah, it’s a short piece, so expect a longer one next week to make up for it.

And now for guesses:

Topic: Christopher Mitchell

Picture: Linda Thurman

  1. party hard 2) party time 3) dance party 4) college time 5) fraternity 6) weekend calls 7) dance, dance revolution 8) footloose 9) dancing in the dark 10) party hardy 11) when the gang gets together 12) summer fun 13) out on the town 14) wooo girl 15) drinking and dancing 16) I came to party 17) dancing to the beat 18) I wanna dance with somebody 19) cheap beer 20) mosh




Lazy Day Three 

Wednesday was a lazy day. A couple trips to the store, breakfast for dinner, and TV pretty much wraps it up. Not bad at all.

We did try an aloe drink:

It was mostly grape juice with jelly bits of aloe in it, so not bad tasting. Unlike the chips:

They’re missing something, though Ryhan liked them.

I mentioned TV right?

We watched Annabelle, which was okay, Bye Bye Man, which was pretty dumb, and The Smurfs Lost Village which was cute, and I was subjected to Big Brother, ha ha!

Oh, and my rash is getting better. 

More excitement later.

Have a good one!

Jo 🙂

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