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Blogophilia 12.11 – Telith Part 2

It’s time for blogophilia, the fun blog group where Maritne gives participants prompts to use in their weekly blogs. This weeks prompts are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 12.11 Topic: Breakaway
Hard Bonus: Mention a Movie from the 70’s (Towering Inferno)
Easy Bonus: Make up an excuse (I’ll get burned to a crisp if I don’t stop)

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A quick bit of Telith. I know, I should have added more, but finishing Jorick’s story took a lot out of me.

**

Telith drove through the night, finally stopping for a motel near sunrise. He’d had plans to stay with a coven at the half-way point, but there was no way he was going to make it.

The room was nice enough, and the window covered in two layers of sun-blocking curtains. Telith dropped into bed fully clothed and dialed Roger’s number. The phone rang and rang, finally going to voicemail.

That doesn’t bode well.

He tried some of the other guards. With each voicemail hello, he got more and more concerned. He’d blown Roger off – who could really attack the citadel? – but maybe it was serious. Maybe they’d all been butchered.

Especially if it really was the Hand of Death.

Telith swore and tried the number for the guard’s office, but got a busy signal. It was the same for the Executioner’s office, the welcome office, and the staff check-in point. He didn’t have the number for the seed office on his phone, or any of the other contact points, but he suspected they’d be the same, anyway. Damn, was the citadel even standing? Or was it a smoldering wreck? He pictured a scene from The Towering Inferno, the actors replaced with his fellow vampires.

Even if that’s the case, there’s nothing I can do, he told himself. He was on his way, going as fast as he could.

I have to stop. If I keep going, I’ll end up burned to a crisp, too.  Not by fire, but by the sun.

The most inconvenient part of immortality.

He rolled over and closed his eyes, but his brain kept playing imaginary scenes. He saw an army led by a faceless goliath. They swarmed across the rural location, knocking down the grain elevators, burning the seed office and other outbuildings, blowing up the train cars.

Except there aren’t train cars there, anymore, he reminded himself. The spur that had once brought grain the elevators, and vampires to the citadel, was closed now.

The small change in scenario did nothing to improve his mental landscape. The Hand of Death’s undead army continued their attack, bombs exploding. His imagination switched to the floors beneath the ground, where plaster rained down. Vampires screamed, crushed to death as the floors collapsed, leaving piles of rubble and twisted, broken limbs.

Stop thinking about it! He shouted at himself. There was nothing he could do. He wouldn’t get there until late tomorrow. Worrying didn’t help anyone.

But it doesn’t stop me from doing it.

**

Telith woke as the sun sank the next evening. He leapt from the bed, grabbed his stuff, and headed out without even changing.  His meal was a snack at the side of the road; using his phantom powers to make himself invisible long enough to pounce on deer.

He wanted more blood, but he let the animal breakaway, and headed back for his car. He should have taken an airplane. That would have been faster. He never thought of planes, though, not right off. Hell, his first instinct was still a horse. Cars and planes hadn’t existed for the first two-thirds of his life, and for some reason his brain didn’t want to let go of that.

He was a good piece down the road when he decided to try Roger again. A great idea, but his phone was dead. The charger wasn’t plugged in – had he left it at Bray’s? – so he tossed the device in the passenger seat. What did it matter, anyway? It’s not like any of them can answer.

Because they’re dead.

He was sure of that, sure they’d all been slaughtered. Maybe the Hand of Death had swept through, killing them one by one in magnificent sprays of crimson. He imagined the floor wet with the blood of so many dead, and saw the monster-like man wading through the carnage, tearing his enemies apart with his bare hands.

**

continued next week

now for guesses:

pic: Jonathan

topic: Colleen

  1. faster than the bear 2. run! 3. fly, you fools 4. dinner time 5. wildlife photography 6. a day in the country 7. get away
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Blogophilia 10.11 Tellith Part 1

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

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 10.11 Topic – TMI (Too Much Information)
BONUSES:** Hard (2 pts) Include a line from Mark Twain’s ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’
Easy (1 pt) Include a mode of transportation

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I was trying to do complete (or at least half) stories, but it;s not happening this week because most of my writing time is going to the Jorick short that will be in the Creature Feature anthology.

This story takes place during the end of Ashes of Deceit. (book 4 in my series)

***

Tellith wedged the edge of the blade under the flap of loose paint. He scraped, watching the bits of old paint drop down to the plastic. With a flick of his wrist he started again, on another chunk. Scrape. Scrape. Scrape.

With a huff of impatience, he blew a frizzy curl off his forehead and looked at his brother. The opposite of Tellith, Bray was pale with red-gold hair and freckles. The disparity wasn’t caused by an unfaithful mother, or a philandering father. In truth, they weren’t brown brothers, but had become so in the afterlife. Turned by the same master, they were brothers in blood.

And that was the only reason Tellith was there now instead of at the citadel. He was burning up two week’s worth of vacation to help Bray paint his den. It was a tedious job that he was sick of already.

“Why don’t you just hire someone to do this?” he asked testily.

Bray paused scraping to roll his. “You know anyone? It’s not like I can hire a human crew. Business hours…”

It was a valid excuse, but Tellith wasn’t interested in admitting it. “Yeah. Yeah. You’re just lucky they let me off for this.”

They went back to their work. Scrape. Scrape. Scrape. Finally, Bray asked, “You’re still just a guard?”

Tellith tried not to be annoyed with the question. “A greater guard, but yes. Though at the rate the Executioners are dying lately I’ve got a chance.”

“Oh?”

It was obviously a polite inquiry with no interest behind it, but Tellith felt like making Bray suffer. “The Hand of Death has been back at things, apparently. I don’t know that you’ve heard of him?”

“Not really,” Bray muttered.

Tellith bit back a smile and launched into a long winded story about a vampire named Jorick, the legendary Hand of Death, son of Malick, the head of the Executioners. Jorick had been an Executioner once, long ago. After trying to kill everyone in the citadel, he’d retired only to resurface a few months ago.

“Since then, five Executioners have died.”

Bray stopped scraping to look at him. “You don’t have that many of them, do you?”

“Twelve. So Jorick has wiped out almost half of them. Of course they’ve been replaced.” He started on a long drone about the process; how Malick called the candidates before him, probed their minds, and made his choice, but his ringing cellphone interrupted him.

“better get that,” Bray said with relief.

Tellith was tempted not to, just to aggravate him, but he tugged the device out. Roger’s name flashed on the screen, and on a whim he answered.

“Well hello! You just had to bother me on my vaca-”

Roger cut him off. “Where are you?”

Tellith gave an impatient huff. “I already tried to tell you. I’m on vacation, helping Bray repaint his den. You remember, he was in the coven with me-”

“Yeah, yeah. We’re under attack here!”

Tellith blinked at the partially scraped house. “What? Are you serious? What’s going on?”

“No, I’m joking,” Roger said sarcastically. “Yes. I’m serious! Get your ass back here before we’re all killed!”

“It’s a two day drive from here. If I left this minute-”

“You’d be here in time to bury us, maybe,” Roger snapped.

Bray looked up from his work. “What is it?”

“It’s Roger. He’s a greater guard, too. He says they’re being attacked.” Just then he heard the sound of an explosion on the other end of the line. “Holy shit. What was that? Roger?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m here. I think they’re blasting their way into the citadel!”

“Who is?” Tellith practically shouted.

“I have to go. I’ll see you if you ever get here, assuming I’m not dead!”

“Roger!” Tellith yelled into the phone, but it did no good. The line went dead.

He thought about calling Roger back, but if he really was fighting for his life it would just be a nuisance. Frustrated, he jammed his phone back into his pocket.

“What the hell is going on?” Bray asked, his task temporarily forgotten.

“I don’t know. It might be the Hand of Death.”

Bray shook out of his surprise and turned back to his work. “Aren’t you glad you’re here?”

“No. I’m going to have to go back.”

Bray spun back to him. “Are you kidding? You promised me two weeks, but you’ve only been here one. We haven’t even started to paint yet! Besides, it’s safer here! Why would you want to go running back? You sad yourself this Hand of Death killed half the citadel once. Do you want involved in that? The average man don’t like trouble and danger.”

“But I’m not average,” Tellith said, tossing the paint scraper onto the patio table. “I’m sorry, Bray, but I have to go. They’ll be requesting me officially pretty soon, anyway.”

Bray sighed. “Fine, man, whatever.”

“Look, I’m sorry-”

“Oh, don’t worry, I’ll just have to prostitute out the rest of the coven to raise enough money to hire someone that won’t ask questions, like why we’re not home all day. No big deal.”

“That’s a little TMI,” Tellith smirked. “You’ll be fine. We were almost done scraping, and you could make the rest of your lazy ass coven do the painting.”

“Good luck with that. The prostituting thing was more likely.”

Tellith chuckled as he ducked inside the house and hurried to the back room where his bag was. He gathered up the things he’d scattered around the house; bath supplies, extra clothes, a book, and hurried back out to his car.

Bray waited as he threw the bag in the backseat and climbed in. “You could come with me,” Tellith suggested.

“Hardly,” Bray answered. “Good luck not getting killed by the hand of the dead, or whatever his name is.”

“Jorick,” Tellith called as he fired the vehicle up. “And thanks! Good luck to you with your paint!”

He peeled off, leaving a spray of dirt and gravel behind in his haste.

Not that I’ll get there in time to do anything except bury them.

**

Guesses:

pic: Nissmech

topic: Stephen

  1. traffic jam 2. in the city 3. downtown 4. overcrowding 5. summer in the city 6. limousine races 7. city traffic 8. Busy afternoon 9. transportation 10. they need some stop lights.

Blogophilia 8.11 – Mary Part 1

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:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 8.11 Topic – Birds and Bees
BONUSES:** Hard (2 pts) Quote or include a line from E.E. Cummings (You are my sun, my moon, and all my stars,)
Easy (1 pt) Include a town from Vermont (Killington, Vermont)

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This story takes place June 9, 1912 in a little Iowa town I am familiar with. Heh-heh.

**

Mary slowed her pace to a jog and looked over her shoulder. She could just see the guards in the distance, running to catch up. If they were human, they’d no doubt be huffing and puffing by now. Luckily, they weren’t. They were vampires like she was.

If only they were as fast me.

The Guild called her special ability wind walking, though Madam LaFete had called it Outrunning the Shadows, because even the shadows were too slow to catch you. She remembered in the early days trying to see if that was true, if she really was faster than her shadow, but she’d never come to any conclusions.

Mary slowed her to jog to a walk, and finally stopped altogether. While she waited, she sniffed the summer air, heavy with the threat of rain. The scent of flowers and fresh grass filled her senses. Night dew, and damp earth followed, with subtler tones on their heels. She could smell smoke from the nearby town, the coal and oil of the train yard, and the life, the blood, of the populace.

The guards caught up. Mary tapped her foot impatiently, expectant eyes on Jared. The guard sniffed the air and nodded, his hunter abilities finding the scent that even she couldn’t.

“He’s been here. The trail goes into town.”

Mary tightened her grip on her mace and nodded. They’d been hunting him for ten months, since Utah. They’d been to slow to cover that crime up, but they’d been in time in Colorado Springs. She’d been in charge, traveling with the same set of guards she had tonight. When greeted with the crime scene – six dead people, still in bed, their flesh torn the night before by vampires fangs – she’d first thanked the unknown that no one had discovered the bodies yet. But they would soon. Six people were too many to just disappear without causing a man hunt, so how were they going to cover up the slaughter?

It was Jared who’d suggested a murder scene. That was what had happened, anyway, so it would be less work to hide the evidence. The only thing they needed to do was cover up how they’d died. Deanna found the axe outside, and with great efficiency, hacked up the bodies, obliterating any sign of vampiric teeth marks. As they scoured the houses, double checking that the vampire had left behind no other clues, Jared had covered the corpses up.

Mary remembered glancing over his odd work and asking him why.

He’d frowned. “I don’t know. It seems respectful.”

She could tell by the set of his shoulders that he expected laughter. Instead, she motioned to a mirror. “Then you should cover that as well. They say the souls of the dead can get trapped there.”

In the end they’d left, exiting through a window and leaving the door locked. The puzzle they’d left behind had stumped the human authorities, which was good enough for her.

From there, they’d followed the rampaging vampire to Illinois, then to Kansas, and to Ohio. There they’d almost caught him, but he’d fled before Mary could lay her hands on him – or before he could butcher another family of humans.

A fellow wind walker, he’d been fast; faster than even she was. He was the kind of fast Madam LaFete had meant when she said they could outrun the shadows.

I bet he can.

The chase had gone on, winding around the country, following the rails. Only a few days ago they’d had to clean up after him in Kansas, again. Though they’d used different methods in several of the crimes – including burning the houses down, like in Killington, Vermont –  they’d gone back to the axe for that one because there wasn’t time for anything else. They were right on his heels, and to stay longer would risk losing him.

We’re so close!

Though her official orders didn’t say she couldn’t return to the citadel until the rogue was caught, she was determined not to. To do so would lose days, or weeks, to travel and give him even more of an advantage.

It doesn’t matter, she told herself. Because we’re going to catch him tonight.

If their map was correct, it was a fitting location, too, not far from the citadel. They could capture him and be there before the sun rose, their nine month hunt finally over.

She motioned the guards to follow, and headed into the town, letting Jared and his hunter senses lead the way. As she walked, her mind wandered back to the citadel, and her rooms there. She’d left to investigate the scene in Utah, never planning to be away so long. She could only imagine the dust that had gathered on the furniture since, ho stale the linens would be. Had she made the bed, she wondered for the thousandth time. She remembered packing a case, jamming extra shoes and clothes inside, but she couldn’t recall if she’d tidied first, or left it for when she returned.

If only David was still there. He’d have taken care of things while I was gone.

Except, that was the reason he wasn’t there anymore.

She could still see the letter in her memory, the blotted writing, the wrinkled paper.  I love you, he’d said. You are my sun, my moon, and all my stars, but how can a man live when that light is forever missing, when your place is forever vacant while you follow orders? In a vacuum of eternal night, I am left to wander alone, with a starless sky and a sunless dawn. I have asked you before to leave the Executioners, to come away with me. I have been patient, I have tried to live this way, but I cannot endure any longer.

Cannot endure. That note was all he’d left behind, set carefully on the sideboard where she’d see it right away. Even now, four years later, the memory of it punched her in the stomach and stole her breath. At the time she’d thought wildly of following him, finding him, giving up her life as an Executioner. But Madam LaFete’s words echoed too strongly inside her.

“You give up a part of yourself for a man, and soon they want another, and another, until there is no piece of you left, and when they look into your face, they see only a reflection of themselves. They may think that makes the happy, but it doesn’t. And when they realize that, child, they will leave you empty and alone, to seek a new pair of eyes to gaze into.”

Besides, David had been there for forty years. That was as long as any human relationship lasted – longer than many. The heart was never made for eternity, for immortality.

And neither is the soul.

She pushed the old thoughts away and concentrated on her surroundings. A quiet town, wrapped in the mantle of sleep. Trees swayed in the cool night and crickets chirped. Heavy clouds obscured the stars, and overworked the gas lights that tried their best to light the streets. In the quiet, without humans and their constant to and fro, the birds and bees and squirrels were free to roam.

A stray cat yowled in the distance, a tom singing for a mate. Mary wondered briefly if he’d land a lady, or if his call would go unanswered. That was the normal way of it. Those who wanted love were left wanting and those that didn’t, who only wanted to use it for their own gain, they found it in shovel fulls.

Like Daquin.

To think of two men in a span of a moment was too much, and she chided herself. She needed to be on the lookout, alert, if she wanted to catch the rogue, not ruminating on old heartbreak.

Jared drew to a stop and sniffed. His eyes lit, and he motioned them around a corner and down the road. They picked up speed as they went, and as they reached the edge of town, even Mary could smell the rogue.

He’s still here.

She didn’t wait for the others, but lunged ahead, leaving them and the shadows to catch up to her. The dark world flew by, and she skidded to a stop. She’d gone too far. Spinning back, she saw a small white farm house. Dark windows tried to convince her everything was fine within but she knew better. She could smell him, smell the blood.

He’s already killed.

Cellar doors stood open – his entry point? She dropped down the stairs into a small, damp room, but there was no other opening, no connection with the interior of the house. Cursing silently, she popped outside again, slamming the doors shut out of habit.

The sound echoed in the still night and she froze. Had he hear it? He’d have to be deaf not to. And now that he had, a simple sniff would tell him who was outside.

A sound came from inside. A door shutting? Furniture scraping? She wasn’t sure, but it meant motion, movement. She tensed, eyes moving over the doors, the windows, waiting for him to rip his way outdoors and then-

Jared and Deanna appeared, slowing when they noticed her.  She motioned to the house, telling them he was inside, but there was no point. They could smell him just as she could.

The pair split up. Deanna went around the back side of the house, while Jared joined Mary. If only one of them was a whisperer, they could have made a silent plan. Without those powers, they were left with hand signals and urgent nodding to get the point across.

There were three doors, one in the back and two on the front porch. Mary hoped Deanna was watching the back and motioned Jared to the porch with her. As long as the rogue didn’t go for a window, there was no way he could escape.

You’re mine this time.

**

to be finished next week

Topic: Stormy

Picture: Colleen

  1. bouquet 2. spring flowers 3. May flowers 4. token of affection 5. fresh 6. spring blossoms 7. How does your garden grow 8. blooming 9. blooms 10. maybe now that it’s stopped snowing we can get some of these.

Blogophilia NOLA style

Though I’ve left my hometown to visit our friendly zombie Jonathan, I’m still determined to get my points my blog for the week.

We went to New Orleans today and the highest compliment I can pay it is that it’s just like TV. Of course We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. Or so they say, I’m thinking more likely it IS like TV.

We walked around a lot, pokemoned and ate some fun things. Hubby enjoyed his crawfish gumbo but that was too much for me.

Now a few pics and I’ll see y’all next week with a story. (Since its mobile I cant make a gallery. Sorry. Guesses are after the pics.)

Topic: Colleen

Picture: Stormy

Photo guesses; 1 in the jungle 2 the lion sleeps tonight 3 nap time 4 sleepy 5 aweembo wep 6 bed of reeds 7 lazy afternoon 8 passed out 9 tired 10 cat nap

Finally it’s here.

Three Hoodies Save the World

Along with a suitably tawdry cover Sods Law is finally finished and on Amazon.

It took umpteen edits but finally I believe it to be error free. Amazon picked up fifty speeling mistakes but thankfully they were just our version of English versus that spoken on the other side of the Atlantic. I did consider using American English as I did in my Old Geezers series. But they were set in America and the characters were American. Sods law is set in England so I decided to leave it be.

It concerns Arnold Pratt’s painful reinsertion to life. After twenty years of sitting and watching television, suddenly being pursued by three police forces, and the Security Service for crimes he didn’t commit, the bodies begin to mount up. Pretty soon he’s going to have to make a decision. That’s if Petunia doesn’t do for him first.

Here’s a couple of excerpts to whet, and hopefully…

View original post 295 more words

Blogophilia Anniversary Week 2

It’s time again for Blogophilia. This week has a lot of prompts:

Ecrits Blogophilia TOPIC for Week 2: “11th HOUR!!” (get it??? It’s our 11th year!!)
BONUSES: Choose from below the bonus suggestions you have NOT used already last week.
  1. Repost one of your favorite Blogophilia posts (please provide the link to the old favorite blog) 
  2. Incorporate a line from Paul Coelho’s book “Eleven Minutes” – (Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.)
  3. Mention Mars and include a Looney Tune – (porky pig)
  4. Name something you would give as an 11th anniversary gift – (steel rose)
  5. Name something that you might do with a friend at 11 PM – (get drunk)

Yeah, it’s a long list, but I’ll do anything for points, and have been since at least 2009. Back then I did a lor of odd things for Blogophilia, including flash fiction just because I needed those points baby! Don’t believe me? Check this one out – ramblingsfromthedarkness.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/hair-of-the-dog-a-blogophilia-re-post/ – it’s a repost, of course, because the original was on MySpace.

Ah, MySpace. I stayed there until the eleventh hour, when they forced the final 3.0 update that made blogs impossible to use. It was the kind of thing that made you want to get drunk and fling steel roses at the heads of the geniuses who thought of it. Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds. But then it also rushes back again. We all (mostly) recovered, though I’ve been thinking lately of people who disappeared when MySPace folded, people I never found again. Kind of sad, huh?

You may be wondering where this week’s continuation of Krill is at. Well, it’s nowhere, thanks to alien invaders from Mars… okay, no, it is thanks to y spending two and a half days fixing my laptop’s issue (long story but suffice to say I disabled windows updates and deleted the updates folder finally, and voila, the 100% disk usage is fixed.)

Anyway, I used the other prompts last week, did my meet n greet then, and so I have all the points, baby! And, as Porky Pig would say, “Thabba-Thhe-Thubba-Thhee-That’s all folks!”

Guesses:

Pic: Jonathan

  1. bad egg 2. eggs-elent selection 3. not me 4. imminent danger 5. good egg 6. hand of fate 7. cracked 8. stay quiet 9. choices 10. eleven eggs sitting in a carton…

 

Hair of the Dog – a Blogophilia Re-post

For Blogophilia’s Eleventh anniversary they’re asking us to repost our favorite blogophilia post. I don’t know what y favorite post is, but this was a fun one.

 

December 18, 2009 – Friday 6:39 AM

Flash Fiction – Blogophilia 42.2
Current mood:  sleepy
Category: Writing and Poetry
It’s time once again for Blogophilia. I am very late, for various reasons. But, I am throwing this up at the last second. Because of that it will not be anything spectacular.

Blogophilia 42.2 Topic: “Hair of the Dog that Bit Me”

Bonus points
(hard, 2 pts): mention a former diplomat of the USA (NOT someone stationed here for another country)
(easy, 1 pt): include a speaking penguin

“…Peter Galbraith stands to make hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraqi oil money by cashing in on his links to the Kurdish regional leadership in Iraq…”

I flipped the channel before the newscaster could continue. My leg throbbed and, quite frankly, I just didn’t care.

Penguins suddenly filled the screen. They were familiar penguins; penguins from Madagascar, no less.

“Rico, are we missing any passengers?”

“Just two, Skipper.”

“That’s a number I can live with. Good job!”

Oh. I’d seen that before. It was cute, but not what I wanted. It was far too fantastical, after all. Talking penguins? Give me a break. Next they’d have give the tooth fairy her own show. Aggravated with life in general, I clicked the button again. And again. And again and-

“It’s almost done,” my Aunty Marie trilled from the kitchen. “Just have to add the last ingredient!”

“You mean a hair from the dog that bit me?” I asked, looking very unenthusiastic.

“Yes dear, now to let it simmer!”

I muttered something inappropriate and smashed the button repeatedly, but there was nothing worth watching. There was never anything worth watching. You’d think with the price of satellite television there would be something! But, noooooo!

It didn’t really matter because my Aunt Marie came tripping out, a steaming bowl in her hands, and a delighted look on her face. She handed me the bowl with a delighted look on her face. “Now drink up dear.”

I did as she said, and it tasted as awful as it smelled. Aunt Marie’s concoctions always tasted bad – but they worked. You had to give credit where it was due.

I handed her back the empty bowl, a grimace on my face.

“No need to look so sour, ducky,” she clucked. “Just give it a minute and your leg will be all better and that nasty, nasty dog will have what’s coming to it, hmmmm?”

She disappeared back to the kitchen and I went back to my television. As she predicted, no less than ten minutes later my leg was fine. You couldn’t even tell the bastard had bit me. It took twenty before I heard the neighbor girl shrieking that her doggy was dead.

Ha! It was handy sometimes having a witch for an Aunt.

*************

Personally I love the Penguins. They’re awesome.

Song playing at the moment – “Do They Know It’s Christmas Time” – Band Aid

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