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Blogophilia 12.11 – Honeymoon Part 4

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

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 13.10 Topic: The End of the World
**BONUSES:
Hard (2 pts): Quote Leonard Nimoy
Easy (1 pt): Include the phrase “tooth and nail”

 

Continuing the story from the last three weeks. I had planned to start working on my Executioner stories with next week’s blogophilia, so I may post the remaining pieces of this one as non-blogophilia posts.

Anyway, Verchiel has intruded on Jorick and Katelina’s honeymoon and dumped a vampiress named Sharon on them – a vampiress whose cruel master is hunting her. What is his plan? Does he even know?

***

They fell into silence. Katelina knew she should suggest some kind of entertainment, but she couldn’t think of one. It had been hard enough to find things for Maeko and her boys to do, and they were happy just talking or playing games. There was a TV shoved in the corner that Katelina had made Jorick buy, but they couldn’t get any channels. She assumed they needed some kind of booster antenna, but the specifics escaped her, and the employee at the twenty-four hour big box store seemed to know even less than she did. “Come back in the daytime,” he’d suggested, like that was going to happen.

The door thumped open and closed, and Verchiel appeared, looking ruffled, a cut on one cheek.

Sharon leapt to her feet. “Are you all right?”

“Yeah, yeah. I’m fine.” He waved her off and turned to Jorick. “I ran into Eli.”

“And?” Katelina demanded.

Verchiel seemed to suddenly notice Maeko and the knot of males. “Oh! You have company! How rude. I-”

“You can do that later,” Katelina snapped. “So, about this Eli guy?”

Verchiel touched his cheek and looked surprised at the crimson on his fingers. “Ah. Yes. I ran into him. It wasn’t much of a fight, not a tooth and nail brawl or anything, but he made his opinion known.”

“Did you kill him?” Verchiel shook his head no, and Sharon’s hands fluttered, like a distressed butterfly. “What am I going to do?”

He moved to lay a hand on her shoulder. “It’s not the end of the world.”

“But it is! You said if he took it before the Lesser Council they’d rule in his favor.”

“They would,” Jorick agreed.

“But it won’t come to that. We just need to negotiate.” Verchiel’s cheerful façade flickered and Katelina saw something in his eyes. “You won’t like it, but he’s requested a meeting.”

“What?” Sharon stepped away. “You didn’t agree?”

The redhead shrugged. “It won’t hurt to see what he has to say. Unless you have a better idea?”

“You should have killed him!” Sharon moaned and covered her face. “You don’t understand, I can’t see him!”

Katelina felt the crush of her fear; paralyzing and cold, like being encased in ice and powerless to break free. When she’d wanted to be a mind reader, this wasn’t what she’d had in mind. Not mine, she told herself firmly. Not mine.

Maeko stepped to Sharon’s side and gently patted her back. “Sharon-san will not be alone. We will be there.”

“He won’t be alone, either,” Sharon muttered into her hands. “He’ll have Robin and-and Zeke,”  she whispered the name with a shudder. Her voice hardened and she added, “And Dilana.”

“I don’t know who will be there,” Verchiel admitted. “But I’m sure we can handle anyone he brings.” He looked to Jorick for conformation, but the dark vampire only grunted.

“Anyway,” the redhead went on, his usual cheerfulness back. “We agreed to meet at Loren’s house tomorrow evening, and hour after sunset. We’ll talk to him, and convince him to let you go. He can’t keep you forever. After all, change is the essential process of all existence.

“He’ll never agree to it,” Sharon said bitterly. “And the rest will take his side.”

“We’ll see.” Verchiel gave her a wink. “It might turn out better than you think.”

Sharon wailed and Maeko gently led her out of the room. “Come, Sharon-san, you would like to rest, yes?”

Their footsteps trailed away. Hikaru frowned after his mistress, and flicked long black hair back from his face. “I do not like this.”

“Neither do I,” Takeshi agreed, leaning on his cane, his bright orange hair like a miniature sunburst in the gloomy room.

“I’m sure it will be fine.” Verchiel rubbed his hands together. “Who wants a snack? After my little tussle, I could use a bite.” His eyes wandered towards the still human Ryuu and then away.

Jorick gave a low growl. “We haven’t agreed to harbor her, or to help.”

“You’d turn her away?” Verchiel asked with mock outrage.

“In case you missed it, Katelina and I are supposed to be on our honeymoon!”

Verchiel chuckled. “Honeymoon? Here? You’re right, I missed it, and I bet she did too. A honeymoon is supposed to be somewhere exotic and romantic, not just hiding out in your house.” He tipped Jorick a wink then evaporated before Jorick could kill him.

 

Maeko left Sharon on the air mattress in the guest room, as Jorick was calling the old junk room. The amenities included some stacks of boxes, an old bicycle, and two air mattresses. It wasn’t what Katelina would call luxurious.

“It’s like camping!” Maeko had assured them when they’d shown it to her. “It is perfect.”

But of course she’d say that.

Katelina didn’t understand the quiet conference the vampiress had with her boys. They spoke in rapid Japanese, breaking now and then to nod. If they’d been human, she’d have been able to pull a sense of meaning from their words, a kind of low level mind reading. As it was, she was able to guess enough, added together with their facial expressions, to give her the gist. Hikaru and Takeshi cautioned against involvement – they were visitors in a foreign country, set to leave in two days. Did they want to risk casualties, or entanglement that might delay them? Maeko, meanwhile, assured them everything would be fine, that they worried too much, and that it was their duty to help.

Though Katelina hated to say it, she almost agreed with the guys.

****

guesses:

Topic: Lisa Conrad

Bonus: Jay Sole, Tyler Myrth

Pic: Colleen

1) Hanging on, 2) holding on, 3) upside down, 4) like a bat, 5) tastes like chicken, 6) fairy in disguise, 7) fluttery, 8) hanging out, 9) just chilling, 10) Mind if I stop here?, 11) tattered, 12) beat up but still beautiful, 13) bruised but not broken, 14) taking a rest.

Blogophilia 12.10 – Honeymoon Part 3

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

 

I’m continuing the Honeymoon story from the last two weeks 🙂 In June I am going to have to get with it and start on Executioner stories again.

The bushes parted and a redheaded vampire stepped out. His hair was wild, and his new coat torn. He fixed them with violet eyes and said, “Eli’s coming.”

“Who?” Jorick demanded.

The bushes rustled and a second figure stepped out. Curly brown hair fell around her shoulders, and an uncertain smile played on her lips. “He’s…well…”

“Who is this?” Jorick cried, but Katelina recognized her.

“You were at the wedding.”

She nodded emphatically, and Verchiel said quickly, “This is Sharon. Sharon, that’s Jorick and Katelina. As I was saying, Eli’s coming, so I wondered if I could leave her with you for a few days?”

Jorick roared, but Katelina hushed him. “Who is Eli, and why does she need to stay with us?”

Verchiel’s expression turned tragic. “It’s a terrible story, full of jealousy, cruelty, and a rather long blood debt. But it’s a story better told later. I did mention-”

“Eli’s coming,” Katelina and Jorick said in unison.

He nodded and took Sharon’s arm to tug her towards them. “Here.” He handed her off to Katelina, who wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to try to distract him.”

Verchiel disappeared in a streak of red and black, almost too fast to see.

“Sorry about this,” Sharon said. “It was his idea.”

“I’m sure it was.” Jorick turned back for the house, his shoulders stiff and his hands wadded at his sides. Katelina could feel his anger and annoyance, but what was there to do? They couldn’t leave the woman out here with some mysterious Eli on his way.

She motioned Sharon after her, and followed Jorick to the house through the balmy air of night.  As they drew close, she saw a small group gathered on the porch. A Japanese girl, dressed in a puffy pink dress, looked no more than thirteen. Three males clustered around her. The tallest had long black hair, while a redhead leaned on a cane, his right trouser leg tied off above where his ankle had once been. The third was still human and no more than seventeen, if he was that old.

It was their guests.

“Jorick-ue!” Maeko hurried towards them. “You have brought a new friend!”

“I don’t know who she is,” he said flatly, stopping before the diminutive vampiress. “Verchiel dumped her on us.”

Sharon cringed into herself. Katelina felt the prickle of her humiliation and sighed. It wasn’t her fault . “There’s someone after her.”

Maeko bowed and introduced herself, then took Sharon’s hand and led her onto the porch. “I am sure Jorick-ue means to welcome you. Let’s go inside and discuss your circumstances.”

Jorick made a noise that said she was wrong, but they followed the pair into the living room. Maeko sated Sharon on the couch, then perched next to her, motioning Katelina to take the other side.

Sharon wrung her hands uncomfortably. “I met Verchiel at the citadel, where we went to the wedding.”

Maeko nodded encouragingly. “I thought Sharon-san looked familiar.”

Sharon shifted uncomfortably. “Yesterday Eli showed up. He’s-he’s my master. Was my master. I suppose he still is, but my blood debt is paid. Or he said it was.” Jorick coughed, and she cringed farther into herself. “After he released me, I left right away. He was fine with it, until Robin saw me at the citadel with Verchiel. I know he called Eli, and that’s when he came running. He claimed he hadn’t released me; that I ran away, and that I owed him another twenty years. But I don’t. It’s been thirty already! It’s ridiculous.”

“Blood debts can last centuries with an unscrupulous master,” Jorick muttered.

“Who’s Robin?” Katelina asked.

“A friend of Eli’s. He’s a sniveling snake. I knew as soon as I saw him that trouble was coming. I warned Verchiel about it.”

“Are Sharon-san and Verchiel-san a couple?” Maeko asked delightedly.

Sharon flushed and shook her head. “Unfortunately no. He’s fun, but I don’t think he looks at me as anything serious. I thought he might, when he first volunteered to get me out of the citadel, but I don’t think so anymore.”

“It’s hard to tell with him,” Katelina said quickly. “I’m curious where the jealousy and abuse come in.”

Sharon looked away. “He…he wasn’t a particularly kind master. He never loved me, not a real, normal love, but as I said, as soon as he found out I might be with someone else…”

She trailed off and Katelina decided to let it go – for now. “So this Eli followed the two of you from the citadel?”

Sharon nodded.

Jorick made a low noise. “I’d like to know why Verchiel chose to come here in the first place.”

Sharon shrugged. “He said he had a friend here who’d be willing to help. Isn’t that you?”

Katelina hurried to answer before Jorick could correct her. “Of course we’ll help you. I’m just not sure what we’re supposed to do.”

“I don’t know what his plan is, either,” Sharon admitted. “I thought we’d discuss it on the way, but he had music going the whole time. His taste is bizarre. Everything from American Pie to ACDC.”

Maeko patted Sharon’s knee. “It seems the best thing to do is wait for Verchiel-san to arrive and tell us what he has planned.”

“Assuming he’s thought that far ahead,” Katelina muttered.

*****

I may add some more next week.

And now for my guesses:

Topic: Irene

Bonus: Rebecca, and Dave Coon

Picture: Jessica Brooke Miller

Secret Phrase: Light in the dark, In the shadows, In the basement, Light left burning, Who left the light on?, Can’t believe the power is still on, Abandoned house, alone in the dark, Left in a hurry, That was some party

Blogophilia 11.10 – Honeymoon Part 2

It’s time for blogophilia, the fun blog group where Martien gives participants prompts to use in their blogs.

This week’s prompts are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 11.10 Topic: Any Way the Wind Blows

**BONUSES: Hard (2 pts): Incorporate a Laura Nyro lyric

Easy (1 pt): Have gold in your blog

 

Continuing the honeymoon story from last week:

 

It was some time later when Katelina headed up the basement stairs. She wound through the small house to the living room. A couch and two winged back chairs sat waiting before a cold fireplace, but there were no vampires.

Jorick stepped into the room behind her. He paused to press a kiss to her neck, then murmured, “It looks like they’re out. We didn’t need to hurry, after all.”

“They’ll be back.” Katelina stepped away from him reluctantly. “In the meantime we should go feed.”

They headed outside into the deepening October evening. Autumn leaves crackled under foot and rattled in the trees. A dark sky spread overhead, strewn with windblown stars.

Any way the wind blows, they still sparkle.

They made their way across the yard and through a stand of trees. On the other side, the grass fell away into sand, the end of the world, as Katelina thought of it.

Jorick took her hand and tugged her gently down the beach. She glanced down at their fingers intertwined and noted the glint of her golden ring – her wedding ring. Something she swore she’d never wear, yet there it was, riding on her finger as though it had always been there.

And will always be there.

They followed the edge of the ocean, careful to avoid the tide slipping in and out, down past Loren’s empty house and on to a winding path. They followed it away from the moonlit beach and up into a thick group of trees. There, Jorick enchanted a raccoon and a pair of squirrels.

When they’d finished feeding, they made their way back to the house. Though Katelina knew they should hurry – they had guests – she couldn’t make herself want to. The moonlight shimmering on the dying grass, the smell of the ocean, the sound of the waves crashing; it was invigorating.

Jorick evidently felt the same, because he turned away from the small house and headed farther down the beach. They’d nearly reached an abandoned house when a loud crash sounded in the greenery. Jorick dropped Katelina’s hand and spun, fangs bared. She dropped into a fighting stance, when a familiar scent caught her nose.

Jorick growled, but relaxed a little. “What are you doing?”

The bushes parted and a redheaded vampire stepped out. His hair was wild, and his new coat torn. He fixed them with violet eyes and said, “Eli’s coming.”

To be continued

And again this week I’ll try guessing:

Topic: Barbara Kausteklis 

Bonuses: Stormy Gail Dormire  & Gerard Villegas

Picture:  Rebecca Grusendorf 

Phrase: into the light, staring into the sun, looking out, sun through the clouds, on the ledge, out the window, heavenly, golden light, ready to jump, ready to fly, off in the clouds, daydreaming, sunlit, golden clouds

Thankfulness 128: Pompeii Exhibit

I’ve had a bit of a Pompeii thing since I was a kid. A lady at our church gave us some old National Geographic magazines, one of which featured Pompeii.

Image result for national geographic pompeii

Interesting fact: I still have that magazine.

Anyway, so when we saw the billboards for the Pompeii experience in Kansas City we had to go.

I was really pleased with the exhibit. They had some great artifacts (see farther down) but of course the star attraction for me was the plaster molds. All the people in Pompeii died and were buried under layers of ash and such that later hardened into rock, around the bodies. The bodies decayed, leaving cavities that archaeologists filled with plaster to reveal life-like figures that show the people at the moment of their deaths. morbid but also fascinating. I’ve spent years looking at pictures of the casts so getting to see them in person was really something.

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The crouching man: This victim of Vesuvius was discovered during excavations at the southern walkway of Pompeii’s Large Palaestra, or athletics ground. When he died the man was wearing boots and a hooded cloak. He had covered his mouth with the edges of the cloak as the toxic fumes and volcanic ash overcame him.

Front view where you can see him holding his cloak over his face.

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The Guard Dog:  This dog was left chained to a post to guard the House of Orpheus when the occupants fled. The bronze studs around its neck are all that remains of a collar. As the pumice fall-out deepened, the dog climbed higher — until eventually it ran out of chain and was suffocated.

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Mother and child:
This mother and child was found in House of the Golden Bracelet alongside the father and older sibling. The family sought refuge under the stairs on the lower level of the home. The family was incredibly wealthy, as the woman was found wearing numerous gold bracelets and a snake headed armlet, which suggests that this family was the owner of the home. Both the mother and the child are frozen in a boxer-like pose, which was caused by the extreme heat.

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This child is also from the House of the Golden Bracelet:

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One of the most detailed casts, you can see his face and the wrinkles in his tunic:

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The man on his side was found in an alley with three other people:

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And a child:

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As I said, they had some amazing artifacts besides that. Here’s a handful:

My favorite things were the statues and frescoes because you could SEE the human involvement there. You could see where someone had chiseled the marble, or the paint strokes that someone left. They’re long dead and gone, but their brush strokes remain; their little piece of immortality:

And for those who love social media stuff, they even had a selfie station in the gladiator section:

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And I’ll leave you with that and say that if this exhibit comes to a town near you I highly recommend it. I loved it. My only wish is that I could have had a little more time (I got kind of rushed through and only got to spend two hours in it. Another hour would not have been amiss). Oh, and that I knew they allowed pictures so I could take my good camera.

Have a surviving Pompeii kinda day!

Jo 🙂

03

Thankfulness #127:WACOM Tablet

Today I am thankful for my Wacom tablet. Since I did the radical uninstall/delete everything/re-install it has been working every time I plug it in.  Like it’s supposed to. With it working, it makes doing the weekly turtle comic page so much easier. I’m also getting better at drawing with it (though I am not 100% as good with it as I am with say paper and a pencil, but hey, it’s getting there).

I’m not sure what my favorite panel is this week, so you might have to go check it out for yourself.

Not much else. We ran to Red Oak after hubby got home to transfer money around and so we got Chinese for me for dinner and KFC for everyone else. Having learned from the last time we ordered from Chen’s Kitchen and got enough food to literally last the two of us three days, I ordered small. But, after supper tonight, I still have enough for lunch tomorrow and maybe a snack. I will say this, that place gives you plenty of food (I got a single order of Beef and mushroom, a half order of Lo mein, and an appetizer order of fried wantons. Yummmmm)

The bro and I went pokemoning again, so I made my target steps (yay) and got a cool pic of the Axe Murder house (The green is a filter)

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Not much else, so I’ll end it here and go work on the fantasy novel.

Have a Lo Mein kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Thankfulness #125: Moving the Trees

Yesterday I was not thankful to find out that our neighbor Joanne passed away. She was an older lady who’d gone to stay with her children in Des Moines, so while it wasn’t a shock, it was still sad. I won;t pretend we knew her well – we’re not good neighbors. Maybe we spent too many years in apartments, but I tend to have a “mind my own business” kind of attitude as opposed to the stereotypical small town midwest “we’re all family” belief. But the few times I did talk to her, she was very nice, and she let us have lilacs from her tree and peonies from the bushes that border our yard.

As I mentioned, she went to stay with her kids over the winter, and I was pretty sure she wouldn’t come back – not because I anticipated her passing, but because I imagined they’d keep her with them. Our first year here we planted some pussy willow trees very close to what I assume is the property line (the lawn mower guy says our garage is right at the line, though that creates an odd thing where it would mean that our garage roof overhangs onto their property, which I can;t imagine the city giving a permit for, but whatever.) Assuming he’s right, then the trees were pretty much on it (there was a misunderstanding between myself and the person who planted them about where they were supposed to go). When it was Joanne next door I wasn’t that worried about it, but with the chances of the house being sold, it could be a concern. So I hit google, where a website informed me they could be moved if we did it while they’re young.

I made plans to do that when it warmed up, but, even though it’s May, those trees were still there, right on that line. I’ve been buried under working on the book, hubby has been doing six 11 hour days and if someone does have a minute we have plans with someone or else it’s raining. But, with Joanne’s passing came the very real push that they WILL be selling the house, and probably soon, so we need to get it done.

We got it done today. The root systems looked nothing like the online diagrams. Instead of spreading out they pretty much went down, down, (to goblin town – little LotR reference there) and there weren’t very many of them, so hopefully we didn’t somehow miss something and hack off all the roots. I did learn that I don’t like digging, at least not with the short handled shovel we have.

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Now we’ll see if they die…

We also took the birdhouse down (I am going to paint it and put it back out in a new location), but there is a metal eye/anchor that we can’t get out of the ground. The thing goes down for probably four feet. It’s on the list to tackle later this week.

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This does not do it justice

And now I have to get to work reading on the fantasy book. Been so long since I worked on it with the brother that I’ve forgotten what’s happening, so I have to start at the beginning. He’s not happy about it, but I can’t help it.

Have a tree moving kinda day!

Jo 😉

Blogophilia Week 10.10: Honeymoon part 1

It’s time again for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where martien gives participants prompts to use in their blogs.

This week’s prompts are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 10.10 Topic: Sunday Morning Sunshine

**BONUSES:

Hard (2 pts): Quote Mark Twain

Easy (1 pt): Mention Voting

I’m taking advantage of Blogophilia time this week (Yes, I have scheduled it) to start working on a special short story that takes place after the end of Goddess of Night (the book I just published). I’m planning to finish it , edit it, and offer it as an incentive to people for finding typos in the books.

If you’ve never read my books, you don’t need to know anything except that they’re vampires.

******

Katelina opened her eyes and blinked at the twilight bedroom.  The four poster bed, hung with heavy red curtains, felt medieval. The carved wardrobe and cement walls added to the look, and for a minute she imagined she was in a castle. Outside would be royal gardens, dripping with Sunday morning sunshine.

Except, if there was, I’d be burned to a crisp.

She rolled over to look at the man sleeping next to her. Jorick’s dark hair fanned out on the pillow. Long lashes rested on his porcelain cheeks. She might not have the castle, but at least she had her prince.

She glanced at the golden ring on her finger. Not only did she have her prince, but she had him forever.

As though woken by her scrutiny, his eyes opened, followed by a gasp for air; someone who didn’t need air suddenly deciding they did.

He saw her and smiled. “Good morning, little one.”

“Good evening,” she corrected.

He pulled her to him. “It’s our morning,” he murmured before he claimed her lips. She melted against him and it was only the memory of their guests that pulled her away.

“We’d better get up and see to Maeko and the others.”

“I vote that we let them see to themselves. They’re adults.”

Though technically true, Maeko didn’t look like and adult, but like a thirteen year old girl. Her boys, as Katelina thought of her three-some entourage, were older, but still looked barely college aged.

“She’s older than you,” Jorick reminded her gently. “And she can take care of herself for a day. It’s our honeymoon.”

“Then you shouldn’t have told them they could stay with us,” Katelina pulled away from his grasping arms and reached for her clothes.

“I didn’t. You did. You said there was no sense in them traveling all the way from Japan just for the wedding and that they should stay with us a few days after to visit. It’s been a few days.”

“It’s been two,” she corrected. “Now I need to get dressed.”

“The finest clothing made is a person’s own skin.” He caught her around the middle and pulled her back to him. “And yours is perfect.”

She flushed at the compliment, and the feel of him against her back, his hands on her. “I think Maeko would disagree.”

The warm brush of his lips on her shoulder sent goosebumps down her spine and left her hesitating for a moment. That moment was all he needed to roll her over and press her down into the mattress, a wicked gleam in his eyes.  “Then she’d be wrong.”

His hot kiss silenced her objections.

To be Continued (maybe here, maybe not…)

Have a good one!

Jo 🙂

PS – I’m going to try guessing this week.

Topic: Colleen

Picture: Kim Herndon

  1. Good ol’ Days. 2. That Coffee is Cheap! 3. Read all about it. 4. Quiet street corner. 5.Cigar Shop 6. Stare down. 7. Original social media 8. What are you looking at? 9.Malted Milk and cigars – yum. 10. down the sidewalk 11. Step on a crack and you’ll break your mother’s back  12. litter free zone 13. early morning 14. Off to the office. 15. early Bird gets the newspaper 16. No traffic. 17. Breakfast Special. 18. All dressed up. 19. I need to raise my prices  20. downtown.
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