Blogophilia 35:10

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

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 35.10 Topic – Look at the Magical Colors
Hard (2 pts) Use a song title or lyric from Taylor Swift
Easy (1 pt) Mention a blue object
Victoria is helping me with my weekly blog. I am on vacation so no story this week. I have been looking at the magical colors of fall trees in West Virginia visiting friends. It’s been a lot of fun so far. And we haven’t had to listen to any country music, not even Tim McGraw. We did bring a lot of luggage, including my blue suitcase.
No guesses this week coz time is short, but this is eight point so, that’s okay!
Jo 🙂

Trip to WV: Day 1

We’re on the road….

I took lots of pics… apologies but the gallery feature is not working 😦

We stopped in Mt. Pleasant for food

And visited hubby’s step dad for awhile, then stopped at Burlington where a nice guy in the gas station told us they now had Sonic.

Then we made it to Peoria where we got a room

And now back to it!

Have a sonic kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Blogophilia 34.10 – Griselda Part 2

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 34.10 Topic – “Wayward Bound”
Hard (2 pts) Incorporate the musical term “requiem”
Easy (1 pt) Quote Jerry Seinfeld

I’d hoped to finish this story this week, since I will be wayward bound next week on a trip to West Virginia (don’t worry, I’ll still blog, but no story writing time) However, I didn’t get this finished because I’m not sure where it’s going.

Last week we met Griselda, whose car broke down, and whose human guard dog has been visiting with another Executioner’s human on a romantic basis. Tsk Tsk.


When she woke the next evening, she found that Sergei had unpacked her bag. A stylish dress lay draped over her vanity chair. Red, with a small waist and long full skirt meant that ended midcalf. Though catalog and store shopping had recently become popular – there was even a new boutique in the citadel’s shopping area – Griselda was rarely able to buy clothes that fit right. Taller than average, pre-made clothes were usually too short for her. Not that she couldn’t make her own – shed been sewing for herself since she was a child. Still, the idea of being able to just pick something up and drop it on was appealing.

And this should fit. The lady who’d worn it had bene tall, too. She’d had dark hair secured with a clip, shiny shoes, and a matching handbag. And she had made an excellent meal the previous night.

Before the damn automobile broke down.

Griselda put on the myriad of support garments expected of a woman – fewer than the last decades had seen! – and slipped into the dress. She had to breath in deeply to zip the back, but otherwise it was a perfect fit.

She turned this way and that in the mirror, and gave an experimental twirl. The silky skirt flared, then fell back into place when she stopped. The small waist was all right for standing, but she suspected sitting might be an issue. Maybe she should pull out one of her old corsets?

She heard movement in the next room, and abandoned her fashion to investigate. Sergei moved between the furniture, pouting and pretending to dust.

“I left the red dress on your vanity,” he said petulantly, eyes on his task. “I wasn’t sure if it needed laundered or not. I imagine they’ll be an extra charge for it since it’s a dry-clean item.” He looked up and stopped. “Oh. You’re wearing it now?”

She glanced down at the garment, then back at him. “And why not?”

“A cocktail dress is an odd choice for the daytime.” He snickered, flicking the feather duster uselessly.

“If I wanted your opinion, I’d ask for it, human.”

“Excuse me, master.” His bow seemed mocking.

She crossed to him and grabbed him by the front of his shirt before he could react. “Yes, I am your master, and forgiveness is something you’d be well placed to beg for.”

She shoved him away and swished for the door. “Is Verchiel home?”

She could hear the frown in Sergei’s voice. “How should I know?” A hard look from her, and he relented. “He was on an assignment yesterday, but Valerie thinks he’ll be home tonight.”

“Good. I plan to have a chat with him. I’ll be back.”

Wisely, Sergei kept his mouth shut.

Griselda stopped first at Verchiel’s apartment. After several short, angry knocks, his guard dog opened the door. Dressed in some kind of overlarge night dress, one slim shoulder was exposed. Her long dark hair was unbound, and her china doll face wore no makeup, not that she needed any. With milk skin, her dark eyes were a better contrast than lipstick could ever offer.

“Yes?” she asked, with the right amount of reverence and timidity. As if it had been practiced a hundred times.

It probably has.

“Where is your master?”

“Master is on assignment.”

Griselda tapped her foot impatiently but the human only blinked large liquid eyes. “And when will he return?”

“Master should return soon.”

It wasn’t much, but it was enough. “When he gets here, tell him Griselda wants a word. Understand?”

The girl nodded. Griselda turned to find herself confronted with a short vampire. Red hair stuck up at odd angles on top, and fell to brush his shoulders. Violet eyes were just as weird, as was the perpetual grin he wore.

It was Verchiel.

“Zeldy! Are you looking for me?”

Griselda bit back the desire to slam him into the wall. “It’s Griselda, to you.”

He gave a sweeping mock bow. “My apologies, Mighty Griselda. Now what can I do for you?”

“You can keep a tighter leash on your dog.”

Verchiel scratched his head. “Hmmm. A dog? I don’t own a dog. I mean, I could file the paperwork and get one, but they’re kind of inconvenient indoors like this. Where would he pee?”

“What do you think you’re doing?”

He paused to look baffled. “I’m standing in the hallway…just coming back from an assignment…I’m talking to you-”

She cut him off. “Do you think you’re being funny?” He grinned and she snapped, “I don’t need you to be funny. I don’t want to be entertained, I want this situation resolved! If you won’t do something then I’ll go to Ark – or Malick!”

Verchiel sighed, and then suddenly drew up, his face serious. “Go inside, Valerie.”

The human, who’d been hanging in the door, nodded quickly and disappeared inside. As the door shut, Verchiel turned his attention to Griselda. “What are you claiming she’s done?”

“I’m not ‘claiming’ anything. She has done – and you know damn well what it is. I don’t want to see – or hear about – her being near my guard dog, or I will report both of you and demand that she’s destroyed.”

Verchiel’s eyes narrowed and he rubbed his neck. “Why do you care? Are you jealous?”

She gaped at the implication. “Of course not! But he is my property. His job is to guard my den – and me – from the rest of you. How can he do that if he spends all of his time preoccupied with fucking your bitch in heat? I’m not stupid, Verchiel. You have her seducing everyone’s guard dogs so you can use it to your advantage. One day she’ll come to my door while I’m asleep. Sergei will let her in and, the next thing you know, my heart will be on a plate and Greneth will be writing a requiem for my funeral.”

“You really think that’s what’s going on?”

“I know it is. You might be able to fool Beldren or Zuri, but I’m on to you. You want to kill the rest of them in their sleep? You go right ahead, but try anything with me and I’ll cut off your head and nail it to the wall. Are we clear?”

He held up his hands. “Ooooo. Scary!” He dropped them, and his featured hardened. “I’m not afraid of you, Griselda, any more than I am the rest of the Executioners. And I don’t need to use Valerie to infiltrate your dens. If I wanted to kill you, I’d do it in the hallway, not in the middle of the day, but don’t worry, she’ll stay away from your pet.” He cocked his head to one side. “I just wonder if your pet will stay away from her?”

Griselda scoffed. “He doesn’t have a choice.” She leaned down, pressing her face close to Verchiel’s. “See that you keep your end of it, or I will have her put down.”

She turned on her heel and stormed away, the cocktail dress swishing with each angry step.  She reached her own door, hand on the knob, when a voice called, “Zelda!”

She looked up to see Bren, hands on his hips as he surveyed her.  “I heard you had some automobile trouble?”

“You could call it that.” She stepped away from the door and lowered her voice. “Your guard dog. Has he been fraternizing?”

Bren’s face darkened. “With Verchiel’s mongrel, you mean? Only once. I took the skin off his back, and he’s stayed away since.” His scowl twisted into a grin. “Having trouble with yours?”

She hesitated. She trusted Bren only because Senya controlled him. But how far did her control extend? “Perhaps.”

Bren moved closer. “Take my advice. Remove a few toes, or a finger or two, and he’ll straighten right up.”

“And then he’d be…defected.”

Bren blinked. “I don’t think that’s the word you want. Impacted maybe?”

“Weakened,” she snapped. “What good is an injured guard dog?”

He shrugged. “Do what you want. You could always put him down and get a new one.  There are several humans working on the sixth floor. One of them would probably be happy for the promotion. Though I’d be careful which you choose. Rumor is you-know-who frequents a few of them for recreational purposes.”

Griselda wrinkled her nose. “I wouldn’t be surprised.”

Bren stepped back, and his voice sprang back to normal. “Have you fed yet? I was on my way to the café.”

“Where’s Senya?”

“Out. A week or two. You know how it is. Ready?”

She wasn’t sure she trusted Bren without Senya’s leash, but what could he do in public? Jam a dagger between her ribs? Even he wouldn’t get away with that.

Ark probably could.

With a nod, she followed Bren out of the Executioner block and into the public area of the citadel. The café was brightly lit and decorated to resemble a sidewalk café, with wicker chairs and crisp white tablecloths. Plants hung from hooks around the wall. Murals were painted like a cityscape, complete with a blue sky overhead.

Bren flashed his necklace at the attendant just inside the door. The vampire rushed to find them an empty table, bobbing his head as he stumbled through a welcome speech.

Bren smirked. “Relax. We’ve been here before.”

The attendant bobbed a final time and hurried away, promising that a waiter would be along any minute.

Griselda looked toward a menu board painted in pink and blue. It listed different glass sizes and add ins.

“I’m thinking…spearmint,” Bren said. “You?”

“That sounds fine.”

“We could get a pitcher then?”

She shrugged it off, and let him order. As the waitress bustled off, Bren leaned back in the chair. “I’ll go up to the sixth floor with you, if you want.”

Griselda toyed with the napkin. “It would mean training a new one.”

“True, the training is a pain, but better to know your dog is loyal than have one who lets the enemy in.”

She flicked her blue eyes to his face. “What an odd way to phrase it. The enemy.”

He shrugged. “If we didn’t have enemies, we wouldn’t need locked doors and guard dogs in the first place.”

“True. I just find it…interesting. We’re supposed to be part of an elite team, working together, and instead we need guard dogs to stop us killing one another in our sleep. It’s like a fractured coven, who’s been together so long they’ve lost any affection and feel only hate.”

“I wouldn’t say I hate everyone,” Bren replied.

She leaned her elbows on the table and surveyed him. “Then tell me who you feel affection for among the Executioners – who you trust with your life.”

He scoffed and waved it away. When she continued to stare, unblinking he muttered, “I-I don’t know.”

“Not even Senya?” Griselda asked with mild surprise.

The waiter appeared before he could answer. He deposited the pitcher, and two tall glasses. With a flourish he filled them, then asked if there was anything else.

Bren dismissed him, and they drank their breakfast in silence. Griselda inhaled the minty scent, and thought of her childhood home, and her grandmother’s herb garden. The memories were blurred by time, and over bright with sunlight, but she could still feel the warmth that had shone in her grandmother’s eyes; a warmth that had bene extinguished far too soon.

“I might trust Senya.”

Griselda looked up sharply. “What?”

Bren set his empty glass on the table and fixed her with an irritated stare. “You asked if I trusted Senya. I said I might.”

She suppressed a smile. “I suppose that’s something.”

They finished their breakfast and, though her mind wasn’t made up, headed upstairs. The sixth floor was a mix of humans and vampires, including human only areas. Though Griselda failed to see the point, the vampire government had human emissaries, and they didn’t like being close to the monsters if they could help it.

She followed Bren to a restaurant. The heavy scent of cooking meat overpowered the smell of the occupants’ blood and made her think of bodies burning – the official approved way to dispose of vampiric corpses.

They stopped just inside the door and he scanned the customers. With a frown, he shook his head and motioned her out and further down the hallway. A recreation room wasn’t what he was looking for, and neither was an exercise room.

Bren made a low noise in his throat. “Where is he?”

“Who?” When Bren didn’t answer, she pressed, “I thought we were looking for a human replacement?”

“Of course, but we’re not going to recruit one ourselves,” Bren snapped back. “Don’t you know how it works?”

She didn’t reply. All of the guard dogs she’d had so far had come from outside, found while she was on assignment. She had no idea how it was done in the citadel.

Bren took her silence as an admission of ignorance. “To procure a human, one sees Harry, as he’s calling himself now.  You tell him what you want – male, female, snack, dinner, play toy, sex partner , whether you plan to let them live or kill them – and he finds what you’re looking for.”

Griselda arched a suspicious brow. Was Bren in the habit of procuring humans? For what? The way he’d casually tossed out play toy and sex partner made her wonder.

They checked a few other places, and circled back to the restaurant. Bren stepped inside, and gave a triumphant cry. “You!”

A short man with a mustache looked up from a glass of crimson. Dressed in a light sport coat and button down shirt, his hat was perched on the table near his arm.

“Ah! Sir Executioner!” The man stood quickly and gave a half bow. “And madam, my apologies for not recognizing your office immediately. My mistake. How can I help you tonight?”

Griselda touched the silver medallion that hung around her neck, three circles intertwined. The emblem of the Executioner, and a piece of jewelry that no doubt looked odd with her dress.

Bren surveyed the diminutive figure with a grunt, and dropped into a chair. “Zelda needs a new guard dog.”

“Of course, of course.” The man smiled, showing a set of sharp fangs. “What does the lady have in mind?”

Griselda straightened her full skirt. She had no love for humans, but even so this seemed strange. Like ordering a sofa. “I’d like a female.” She thought of the casual way Bren had mentioned snacks, sex, and play toys. When a human drank vampire blood they created a bond – a bond that would trump their loyalty to her. “One who hasn’t been preyed upon.”

The man gave a small cough. “That is quite a request, my dear. I’ll have to have someone in the field procure a new recruit. That will be expensive.”

Expensive? Did he expect her to pay? The other humans had been free!

“She’s good for it,” Bren said dismissively.

“Of course.” Harry lifted his hat and tugged a notepad out from under it. He unclipped a small pencil form it, licked the tip, and offered her a full smile. “What specifics do you have in mind? Age? Height? Build? Appearance?”

It is like ordering a sofa.

“I don’t care,” she snapped. “So long as she’s young enough to train, but old enough to defend herself.”

“Mid-twenties?” Harry suggested. “Late teens is more popular, but they can be emotionally fragile if you’r eplanning to keep her for a time. You are planning to keep her?”

“Yes!” Griselda cried. “I want her as a guard dog.”

“Right, right. That curious arrangement you Executioners have at the moment.” Harry scribbled on his pad.  “I assume virginity isn’t important? It’s extra, you see.”

“Of course it’s not important!”

“Mmhmm. All right, I’ll get the men on it. It might be a day or two, if that’s all right? I can send a message to…” he trailed off meaningfully.

“Griselda,” she said stiffly.

“Good, good. Executioner Griselda.”

Bren rolled a pepper shaker. “How much is it going to cost?”

“I can hardly negotiate the price when I don’t know how much work it will be to procure, now can I?”

Bren snorted. “No, I’m sure you can’t.” He stood and leaned over the table, his face close to Harry’s. “See that it’s reasonable, hmmm?”

Harry smiled serenely. “Of course, of course. I’m always reasonable.”

“Right.” Bren rolled his eyes and motioned Griselda after him. She glanced back to the short man, then followed. They were both quiet until the elevator doors had shut.

“He usually comes through faster than he says he will.”

Griselda tugged at her skirt. “You’ve used him before?”

“Of course. Where do you think my guard dogs come from?”

“I assumed you caught them yourself.”

Bren chuckled. “I don’t have time to mess with that. Let Harry handle it.”

The elevator  stopped on the fourth floor and the doors swished open. A harried guard rushed inside. At seeing them, his face lit up. “Sir, Master Malick requires you.”

“See what I mean?” Bren asked with a smirk.  “Who has time to hunt?”

The elevator stopped at the third floor. Griselda thanked Bren for his help, and disembarked, leaving him and the guard to see what the ancient master in the basement wanted.

She paused at the door to her apartment and sniffed. She could smell Sergei inside. Alone for a change.

No doubt Verchiel’s mongrel is busy tending to her master.


No story next week, but you’ll get the end of this the week after I hope.

And now for guesses:

topic: Stormy

picture: Myke

  1. vintage 2. retro 3. shiny 4. back in the day 5. antique 6. classic 7. red racer 8. race 9. drag race 10. chrome 11. happy days 12. cruisin’ USA 13. on the strip 14. roadster 15. gas hog 16. need for speed 17. rebel without a cause 18. ready to rumble 19. low rider 20. little red corvette



Thankfulness #8

I may miss next week’s thankfulness because I will be out of town. We’ll see what happens.

And now, for a week of thankfulness!

1. This was a hard day, as it was the night when our cat, Muffins, passed away after a massive seizure. I suppose I am grateful that she is no longer suffering.

2. On Tuesday I was grateful for all the warm thoughts on FB. I won’t lie, I didn’t get much done that day except taking the movies back. I am also grateful we have a movie rental place in Red Oak, but I think I have used that before.

3. I was thankful for getting the first coat on the porch trim and columns, despite the cold wind and the millions of little black bugs that kept landing in everything.

4. I was thankful for getting the second coat on the porch trim and the first coat on the outside. The brother had to do the stuff on the extension ladder because I am a chicken and can’t climb up it. The step ladder scares me.

5. On Friday, I was thankful for getting the porch paint finished (except for the railings which hubby is building)

6. I was thankful for finally getting our repurposed coffee table swapped in. It was free and is actually the top of an entertainment center, but since we had scrap wood laying around, the brother made feet for it and filled in the middle that was empty and backless. Not only does everything fit in it muuuuch better, but I am finally rid of the hated glass top that always looks dirty no matter what I do.

I was also happy to get to try the A&W dark chocolate shake. MMmmMMMmm. I want another one.

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7. I was thankful for getting some more painting done on the house. This is pretty much the last week we’re going to have for it, so the more we have done, the better.

And that’s all for now.

Have a painted house kinda day!

Jo 🙂



Old Fort Madison

In June hubby and I visited Fort Madison, Iowa. Though I lived near there for a few years, the old fort was an attraction I’d never seen. Hubby vaguely remembered having visited it at some point, and also when it was built (he said they had men from the nearby prison build it.) Since we all know that hubby and I love historical stuff, we had to go.

I enjoyed it a lot, though initially I thought it was a bit pricey, the amount of things they have there are worth the price – we spent a couple of hours there but could have easily spent five or six had we decided to read all the material they have on display. (The man who runs it went to Washington and dug up all the paperwork pertaining to the fort – from records to receipts – and a lot of it is copied off and organized in binders. I did flip through a couple and found it quite interesting. If we’d had more time I’d have looked at a lot more of it, but we were limited…I forget why.)

Though there were re-enactors, who were pretty knowledgeable, the highlight was talking to the guy running it, Mr. Watkins. I’m a bit anti-social, especially at museums and such, and prefer to read exhibits usually rather than chat with people because I can never think of any questions, or anything to say that makes me seem intelligent, but I really enjoyed talking to him. He has a passion for the period in history and it translates well. By the time we were done talking to him, we were as excited as he was!

(Here’s a video of him firing the musket that was really fun to watch.)

There’s a website on the fort and the history that does a better job than I could at telling you about it. But, one thing I was interested to learn was why it had to be rebuilt – I always wondered where the original went. Apparently the soldiers themselves burned the original down when it was abandoned! There was also an “Indian attack” on the fort at one point. Led by Tecumseh, it was part of a large organized strike on several places, all done simultaneously.

Anyway, check out the website! I admit, I didn’t expect it to be that exciting – I mean, it was a fort/factory (aka trading post) but it really is pretty interesting. (There’s a voice over that tells you a brief history after it first opens – and it looks like they have an awesome Halloween event going on called Dead Zone… OOoooOOooo.)

And of course, I took a bunch of photos. Here are a few. There are more in my Flickr album as always. 


And now I need to go to bed.

Have a loving history kinda day! (And don’t be surprised if something on this shows up in one of my vampire stories some day!)

Jo 🙂

Blogophilia 33.10: Griselda 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:

Topic – It Was A Disaster
Hard (2 pts) Quote from a J K Rowling book Easy (1 pt) Mention a Car Part

Last week I got a whole story done, but no such luck this week. I’m not even sure where this is going yet, to be honest, but I guess we’ll see next week.


Griselda tossed a packet of papers on the Executioners’ desk. The guard behind it looked up from a typewriter. The clacking of the keys dropped off as he stared. “How-How did it go?”

Griselda slopped wet bangs from her face. “It was a disaster. My car broke down.”

The guard glanced at the damp paperwork. “Um… I don’t suppose you know what’s wrong with it? I mean, you are a woman.”

“Oh of course, being a woman how could I?” The guard recoiled at her fury and she added, “I think it might be the alternator. Again.”

The guard looked over the request form. “So you want a new car?”

Honestly, if you were any slower, you’d be going backward! Yes! I’m putting in for a new car, and I’m filing my paperwork from the assignment.”

“Of course, of course.” The guard gave a sharp nod. “Well…um…I think I have everything. You probably want to go change.”

“And why would I want to do that?” She asked sarcastically.

“Well, you are dripping on the floor. A bit,” he added hastily. “I – I don’t mind the puddle. I can clean that up in a jiffy but, you know, it can’t be comfortable.”

“You’re right.” She purposefully wrung out her shirt, watching the water splatter on the tile floor at her feet.

How’s that for a puddle, jackass?

He was at least smart enough – or else to shocked – the comment. She grabbed her soggy overnight bag, then stormed out of the office and down to the elevators. A pair of vampires signaled her to hold the door, but one look at her face – and silver medallion around her neck – and they backed off.

Good. I’m not in the mood.

She exited on the third floor and stomped her way to the Executioner block, the area of The Guild’s citadel where the Executioners lived. Behind the locked door a square corridor was lined with their apartments. Though some of her fellows thought it was a sign of their rank – to keep them separated from the rabble – Griselda suspected it was to protect them from the rabble. As law enforcers, the Executioners had more enemies than friends.

She let herself through the block door, and then into her apartment. Quiet and clean, it looked like it had when she left five days ago on what was supposed to be an easy assignment.  What might have been easy, had she had all of the intel, and if her stupid vehicle hadn’t decided to die in the middle of a storm.

At least it was within walking distance. If one considered five hours on foot walking distance.

The guards had fared worse. One was stuck behind to watch the car, and the other had accompanied her, carrying her bag and listening to a growing strong of curses. She assumed that someone would go to rescue the one they’d left behind and bring the car back with them. But they’d better not try to fix the piece of junk and stick her with it again. It was from 1939, for crying out loud. How could they expect it to still work right?

When she’d picked the Roadster out, she’d been excited, and she had to admit it still looked good, if not a little dented. But it was 1956, and she needed something new, something that blended in better, something bigger.

And faster.

A key ground in the lock and she spun, hands on her hips, as Sergei slid inside. He spotted her and froze, half in, half out of the door, his eyes wide, and his dark hair ruffled.

“And where have you been?”

“Oh, you’re home, mistress.” He stepped through, closing the door behind him. She flicked angry eyes over his rumpled appearance and he quickly straightened his clothes and tried to flatten his hair. “How was your trip?”

She tapped her foot. “I asked where you were.” He looked at the floor, and though didn’t have mind reading powers, she could feel him trying to think of something. “You with Verchiel’s guard dog again, weren’t you?”

Sergei rubbed the back of his neck. “Well, in a manner of speaking-”

“How many times have I told you stop fraternizing with her? Don’t you understand that it defeats the entire purpose of having a guard dog if you make friends with one another? Or in your case, more than friends?”

“I don’t-” He broke off at the look on her face. “Yes, mistress.”

“Good. And don’t try to give me any crap that you’re in love with Verchiel’s guard dog. You’re not. You’re just using her as a convenient bed fellow because she’s willing.  And like her master, she’s willing with everyone, no doubt.”

“She has a name,” Sergei muttered. “And she’s not loose.”

“If she is with you, then she is with the others, too. A liar lies to everyone. A thief steals from everyone. And a whore whores with everyone. Now, I’m going to take a shower. Don’t open the door to anyone. Not even your little whore.”

She shut herself in her private bathroom and stripped off her wet clothes. At least Sergei had kept the place clean while she was gone. There was nothing worse than coming back to a mess.

Except coming back to find Sergei and Verchiel’s guard dog mating.

After that, she’d punished Sergei and thought he’d gotten the message, but apparently not.  Or maybe he had and the little floozy pushed it. Men were notoriously unable to resist the lure of the fair sex, especially when one offered herself so willingly.

Griselda climbed in the shower and let the hot water run over her. Truthfully, she wouldn’t be surprised if Verchiel encouraged his human guard dog to be a whore. It was a good way to infiltrate the other Executioners’ houses. And most of the guard dogs were male, which made them easy prey. Train them with sex, make their brains soft, and soon Verchiel – or just as likely his guard dog herself – were sneaking in during the day, pounding a stake through your heart.

It’s not going to work with me.

No, if Sergei couldn’t be trusted, then it would be better to be rid of him and find a replacement. A woman this time. One who’d figure out Verchiel’s game and be too intelligent to fall for it.

With my luck, he’d turn to seducing her himself.

And if not him, then one of the others. Beldren was suspect. And Zuri. He was too quiet. It meant he was observing, analyzing, plotting. And Philip. Now there was a heartbreaker just looking to cause trouble.  He’d been promoted at the same time she was, and she’d never trusted him as far as she could throw him.

Franklin was just as suspicious, and Migina was no better. The way she sneered at everyone made her opinions clear. Really, the only ones Griselda trusted were Senya and Bren; Senya because she was so blunt that you always knew where you stood, and Bren because Senya controlled him.

And they’re all a million times more trustworthy than Jamie or Ark.

They’d been Executioners the longest, and had earned the titles of captain and second in command, and they both used it. In fact, it was an incident with Ark that had prompted the human guard dogs in the first place.

Griselda liberally soaped herself as she tried to remember how it had happened. She hadn’t been there, but Greneth had heard the whole thing and reported it to her.  Ark and Beldren, wasn’t it? Yes. They’d gotten in a fight and Beldren threatened Ark with something like sneaking in his room and cutting his heart out while he slept.  Then, in the middle of the day, an earsplitting scream had wakened Greneth. He’d grabbed his weapon and run to the Beldren’s room, where he found the Executioner up, sword in hand, shouting that Ark had been in his room, trying to kill him. Ark denied it, but Beldren when Beldren returned from his next assignment he had a human with him.

“To keep an eye on things while I sleep. A guard dog, if you will.”

No one liked the idea of Beldren having a human running free while they were unprotected, and so they’d each gotten their own. Even Jamie, who’d rolled his eyes and commented on the stupidity.

It might be stupid, but I don’t see you sleeping alone.

That had been in ’42, she was pretty sure, and since then she’d been through three.  Since Sergei can’t think with the brain in his head, it looks like I’m going to have to find number four.  Though going through them quickly wasn’t unusual. Verchiel had been through two already, both women, and she imagined when he picked his next it would be a woman too. A good looking, cute little thing that he could encourage to be friendly with the men.

I know what you’re up to.


And now for guesses:

topic: Trevor

picture: Tyler

  1. Duck l’orange 2. Who’s hungry? 3. Today’s special is duck! 4. Duck; the gift that keeps giving 5. Quackers! 6. Polly want a quacker? 7. It’s daffy! 8. How do you get down off a duck? 9. A ladder! Ha ha! 10. looks like a duck, quacks like a duck… 11. choked up. 12. choke your….duck (cough)  13. Isn’t this a pretty duck? Half off today! 14. Look what I got for my birthday!  15. I wish I had some of Jonathan’s voodoo because this is ducking hard. 16. duck, duck, goose. 17. I found the duck! 18. I wonder if that’s the right way to hold a duck? 19.  It’s a strangle hold! 20.  this is just ducky

7 Days of Thankfulness #7

I’m a day of this week because we had a family pet emergency last night. Sadly, at the end our cat Muffins passed away, but that’s another story in itself.

Now for last week’s thankful points:

1. I was thankful for being able to complete the 60 day song challenge! Thanks to Catie Muller tagging me every day, I made all 60 days!

2. I was thankful for being able to do all of Greneth’s Executioner story in one swoop – that has put me ahead a little bit so that I now have stories to publish through the first part of November (Franklin is processing, Greneth will go up for the 24th, and Fallon the first week in November or so) which should give me just enough time to get a fourth done and edited and a fifth started before I need to publish that fourth one. Whoo.  I was also thankful for the Blogophilia prompts that inspired me to make Greneth a Halloween story. I hadn’t planned to do that, so it was awesome.

3. I was thankful for all the fun I had at Wednesday’s Live Write at the Bistro. I co-wrote an outlaw story with Jonathan Harvey. You can check it out on his facebook if you want to.

4. I was grateful to get the front of the porch painted in between rain showers. Hubby put the pieces on, but then it rained the next two days, so I was thrilled to finally have it be dry enough to paint.


5 – I was thankful that the apple dumplings turned out well. My dad loves them – he used to come down to Bolivar every fall to visit and get them at a restaurant there. Needless to say, he hasn’t had one in a few years, so I thought what the heck – can’t be too hard. They turned out really tasty.

6 – Saturday I was thankful to celebrate my mother’s birthday. We got her an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen that only ended up melting a little bit… but it tasted good. I was also grateful that she liked all of her birthday presents.

7. I was thankful that we were finally able to get the pillars up on the porch. Weirdly I don’t have any pictures, but you’ll get some next week because I’ve started painting trim.

And now I’m going to go check out this week’s blogophilia prompts and start a battle plan for tomorrow’s new executioner story. I think it’s Griselda’s turn.

Have a thankful kinda week!

Jo 🙂

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