Monthly Archives: August 2015

SONG FLASH FICTION — ROOTLESS TREE

Hey all. I’m crying. August is already HALFWAY THROUGH!!!! How is that even possible? I don’t want summer to end. I don’t want to go back to school, and lunches and timetables and schedules and endless hours at the arena. I want to stay with long, summer nights, warm breezes, my kids turned vampires and no, I repeat, no schedules other than mine!

But, sigh…guess I’ll have to make peace with it. Or go kicking and screaming…yeah, kicking and screaming. Anyway, it’s already time for another music flash fiction. This month’s song is called Rootless Tree by Damien Rice. He’s hilarious most of the time, but here’s the ballad version of the song. And because I’m trying to finish my Halloween story for a collection… no, I don’t have a freaking title yet, thanks for reminding me… it’s going to tie into that. Which actually ties into the picture fiction from this month, as well. More Daniel… which tied into last month’s picture fiction. Yes, I also see the trend here. Work with me, folks. If you want to read the others, here’s July’s picture, and August’s picture. Or just jump right in…

 

“Thanks for the lift, Arrynn. See you in a couple of days.” Daniel shut the door to her car, taking a few steps away when the window rolled down. He glanced back over his shoulder, doing his best to keep his expression even—same way he had all shift.

Arrynn frowned, staring at the moon heading toward the distant horizon. “I didn’t want to say anything with Jimmy around. Then it never seemed like a good time…”

He arched a brow. “Say what?”

“You should have taken today off. Should have given yourself that luxury.”

His teeth clenched together, and he knew the muscle in his temple was flexing with every damn breath. “I’m fine. Would have stayed home if I thought I couldn’t handle it.”

She snorted. “Fuck, you’re stubborn. It’s not about handling shit. It’s about allowing yourself to be human, you dumb sod.”

“Thanks. I think you’re special, too.”

He cursed as the words came out with more raw emotion than he’d planned. And fuck, he could tell by the way she inhaled, she’d noticed. Hell, she always noticed.

Arrynn sighed. “You’ve got my number if you decide you ever want to…talk.”

She rolled up the window, checked over her shoulder then took off, her car quickly fading into the darkness. Daniel watched until the headlights disappeared before turning and walking up the path to his door. He climbed the short set of steps to his front door, drawing a deep breath before twisting his key in the lock and swinging the door open. A single light burned in the kitchen, the dull glow sending a shiver down his spine.

Didn’t matter that he’d been coming through the door for months, he still expected to see some evidence of Isabel. That despite all he’d done—all Arrynn and Jimmy had helped him accomplish —he hadn’t managed to fully free himself. That a part of her would always live on, even if it was just in his imagination.

He headed for the fridge, grabbing a Smithwicks before continuing into the living room. He kicked off his shoes, placed his feet on the coffee table and relaxed back, taking a long pull of the cold liquid. The beer soothed the edgy feeling prickling his skin, and he closed his eyes, allowing his mind to drift. He still couldn’t believe he’d only been working at Threshold for under six months. God, it felt longer. Lifetimes.

An image of Isabel flashed in his head. One year. Today. Hell of a way to spend an anniversary. Shit, hell of an anniversary to have. He reran Arrynn’s words. Burned his gut that she was right. He’d been off his game today. Distracted. He should have taken the damn shift off. Not put his partners’ safety in jeopardy because he had something to prove. Because he couldn’t admit that he hadn’t wanted to be alone in the damn house all day. That he was scared the voice he’d been hearing was real.

Isabel’s voice.

He pushed aside the thought. It was fatigue. Guilt. The fact he hadn’t experienced anything other than random visions, words, was proof that it was all in his head. If she really was still around, surely she’d have made her presence known by now. Broken dishes. Objects out of place. Flickering lights and cold shivers…

 You’ll never be free…

He snapped open his eyes, twisting his head toward the echoed sound. Nothing. He pushed to his feet, taking a few steps in that direction when the floor creaked behind him. He spun, blood running cold as he stared at a faded image of Isabel standing beside the window—her head turned away as she stared out the glass pane, her white dress eerily bright.

He shook his head, standing his ground. “You’re not real.”

He gaze swung to him, her eyes filled with sorrow. “Aren’t I?”

“I did everything right. You’re just my imagination.”

She laughed, but it wasn’t maniacal like it’d been before. “Then, you’ve got nothing to be afraid of.”

“What do you want?”

“You know what I want, Daniel.”

“I’m not going with you, Isabel. Figment or not…I know how to protect myself. How to fight back. You won’t find the weak man you left before.”

Her head tilted to the side. “I never thought you were weak. Quite the opposite. You were always too strong. Too dedicated. Out to save the world. Save everyone, except me.”

He raked a hand through his hair, scratching at his scalp. “If I’d known… Fuck!” He grabbed the beer bottle and tossed it across the room, hitting the glass. Liquid splattered against the panes before the bottle crashed to the floor, breaking into a kaleidoscope of tiny shards.

Isabel flickered, winking out only to return. “When are you going to realize you can’t ever get rid of me? That I’ll always be a part of you. It doesn’t matter how much salt you use, what you burn—I’ll still be here. Waiting. I’ll always be waiting.”

He scrubbed a hand down his face. “No. This ends.”

She frowned. “What’s wrong, Daniel? Don’t you want me anymore?”

“You’re dead. I can’t…” He huffed out a breath. “What I want is for you to find peace, Isabel. To cross over. To leave me the fuck alone to try and find some shred of happiness in this life. I need you to let go this time.”

Her image flared then dimmed. “I’m living in Hell, Daniel. You should have to live in one, too.”

She vanished, nothing but drops of beer shimmering on the glass.

“Fuck!”

He sucked in a few quick gasps, reaching for his phone. He unlocked the screen and hit the contact number before he had a chance to second guess himself. Arrynn picked up on the second ring.

“Daniel? Everything okay?”

He closed his eyes as he released his breath. “I…you want to have a drink? I could really use a drink.”

A pause before her exhale sounded on the other line. “I’ll pick you up in ten. Wait outside for me. And Daniel…I’m glad you called.”

“Ten minutes.”

He hung up, heading for the door. He didn’t pause when Isabel appeared in front of him, continuing through her. A shiver of cold beaded his skin but he ignored it. It wasn’t real. None of it was real. He just needed to rest. He wasn’t crazy.

 

And that’s it for me. Now, I believe most of the other ladies are on deadlines, but Bronwyn has come up with a fabulous story. Check it out.

Bronwyn Green

YOU MIGHT BE A CANADIAN IF…

Hey all. It’s hump day and time for another blog. Trying to keep at it. Where does the time go? I’m always surprised when bam, it’s Tuesday again and I haven’t written the blog. And how is it already nearly the middle of August? I has the sad over that. I don’t want this summer to end. Endless sunshine, no school, fun times had by all….

Anyway, this week is our own version of the ever famous… you might be a redneck… Only we’re picking out own topics. And hell, I might as well go with something I’m familiar with…

You might be a Canadian if…

— You have a hockey stick in your car and use it for anything but hockey.

— You love eating beaver tails in the winter.

— You say it’s FRESH when it’s -20 degrees out, because that’s not cold yet.

— You think it’s warm when it’s 25 degrees.

— The cashier at Tim Horton’s knows your order before you do.

— You are constantly searching for Tim Hortons when you go abroad and wondering how they survive without it.

— You know they’re called Timbits, not doughnut holes.

— That the correct spelling of colour is with a U.

— You say sorry if someone bumps into you. Then apologize for saying it.

— You pronounce it SOREry, not sarry… And it’s PROgress, not pragress.

— You can name at least 10 Canadian bands just to prove we have some.

— You know the population of Canada because non-Canadians will ask and still be amazed we have less people in our entire country than just California.

— You answer seriously when someone asks you… hey, do you know Gordon? He’s from Canada, too.

— You’ve set something on fire in an attempt to curve a hockey stick.

— You feel SOREry when the Comedian isn’t funny.

— You know how much ‘gitch’ to pack before you’re ‘hooped’.

— You drive on a parkway and a highway, but not a freeway.

— You don’t drink beer under 6%. But then it’s not really beer, is it?

— You can spot a Canadian TV show from the first five seconds.

— You think plain ‘green’ money looks weird.

— The only thing better than maple and bacon is maple bacon.

— You can hum the Hockey Night in Canada anthem.

— You actually do say, eh. (I know Jarman, the UP says it too, but we invented it, damn it)

— Towns name streets after hockey players instead of actors.

— You call them hydro lines. And logging roads.

— The phrase Homo milk isn’t offensive.

— You have a large collection of Canadian Tire cash sitting in your junk drawer.

— You’re not allowed to have a loaded gun anywhere in your house or car. Ever.

— You’ve never taken any SATs…and know that College and University aren’t even remotely the same.

If that isn’t enough… watch this video. I freaking love it. Then check out the other ladies… eh.

 

Bronwyn Green  |  Kellie St. James  |  Gwendolyn Cease

These are a few of my favourite things…

Yes, it’s the first Wednesday in August. Actually, I’m not happy about that. I’m nowhere near ready for summer to be on the way down. I haven’t had enough time off of school. Off of hockey and driving and lunches and hockey and driving. I love the long days. So. Damn. Much. There’s just something magical about being able to walk at 8 o’clock at night, and it’s light. OF the warm days and cool nights. I’m really enjoying this summer. I don’t want it to end, damn it.

But, alas, it’s not over yet. Just a reminder that it’s swinging the other way. So, on to today’s post. Favourite Things — Photos and Art. Now, I originally thought it was supposed to be artists or photographers we love, but I’ve been educated that it can just be favourite pieces we have on the walls.

So… I literally have one freaking piece of art on my wall. One. But, I took some photos of some that I’m in the process of hanging, so.. you get maybe four pictures.

Okay. This is a picture the amazing Bronwyn Green gave me. It’s up the UP and I absolutely adore it. IT IS THE ONLY ONE ON MY WALL! That’s how much I love it. I shall treasure it always, and not just because I love the picture. But because it’s from her. And I would totally get more of his work. This guy is awesome.

UP-photo

 

This next one, my daughter made when she was like 4. She shakes her head and doesn’t get why I like it but… you all know. It’s her hand prints. HER FREAKING TINY HAND PRINTS. And the poem… it makes me cry.

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This last one… … It’s an elephant cross stitch I made for my mom. And inherited after she died. But I like it. The one and only one I’ve ever done.

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Now… for the record. I love Robert Bateman. LOVE. HIM. I would love to have some prints by him. The eagle ones. The wolf ones. This is one of my absolute favourites… And I could paste endless pictures from him. Love. His. Work.

so yes, a short post. Mostly because I don’t have a lot of art. Most of the stuff is pics of my kids. That’s what fills my walls and brings me joy, lol. Now check out my gal pal… just her and I this week… she has awesome art.

Bronwyn Green

 

 

A PICTURE’S WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS — AUGUST

I’m baaaaccccckkkkkk.

Yes, and I said that with that creepy kid voice from Poltergeist, only changed that one word. First off, it’s good to be back. I honestly didn’t think I was going to get another spare moment for…well…ever. That’s how it feels when you’re under a deadline and you’ve left things. Okay, I didn’t really leave them. I had blocks, other commitments. You name it. But it all boiled down to having to focus on one thing and one thing only.

The good part. I finished the book and I’m stoked for when it releases. It’s my first MM book and my first angel book. From Grace: Gabriel will be releasing this October. More details to follow as I get them. I’ve also decided to make it a series, so there’ll be at least two more books to come.

Okay…on to the flash fiction. I was going to do a bit from the next angel book, but…I realized it could have some spoilers in it, so…. alas, it’s going in a completely different direction. Here’s the beautiful photo…and a peek into the minds of my next characters, for a Halloween story I’m writing. Not sure this will be part of the book, but…it’s an insight into my leading man. It’s connected to the bit from last month. If you want to read that the go here… July Picture Flash Fiction. It’s not necessary but  feel free. Otherwise…

08-2015 - BeachFire

“You know you only have to burn the bones, right? Not send the ashes into space.”

Daniel clenched his jaw as Arrynn shuffled in behind him, her arm lightly brushing against his. He didn’t turn, didn’t make eye contact. He couldn’t. Not without wanting to fucking scream. Grab her arms, give her a hard shake and demand answers he knew weren’t hers to give. Make sense out of a reality that was so far beyond sensible, it wasn’t even dust in his rearview.

He watched the flames lick at the bleached bones, the tiny sparks lifting into the air like hundreds of fireflies taking flight. “No harm in being sure.”

She snorted. “Guess that’s one way of looking at it.”

He cursed under his breath, ignoring the warning bells still ringing in his head as he twisted to meet her gaze. “You got something you want to say?”

Arrynn shrugged, kicking at the sand with her boot. “I think you already know.”

“Being thorough doesn’t make me crazy.” He laughed. “What am I saying… We hunt fucking ghosts for a living. We’re already crazy.”

“We do what’s needed so others don’t have to know the truth.”

He turned to face her, his hands fisted at his sides. “And what truth is that? That ghosts are real? Or that they’ll fucking kill you if given the chance?”

Arrynn sighed. “Not all spirits become vengeful.”

“No. But it only takes one to change your life.” He spun, staring at the mix of orange and yellow as it rippled along the pile.

A hand cupped his shoulder, the easy weight nearly taking him to his knees. She moved in closer, her breath tickling the hairs on his nape. “You know it wasn’t her fault, right? Dying the way she did…”

He pulled away from her touch. He didn’t want her pity. Her understanding. Fuck, he didn’t want anything other than to bury every last memory. Find a way to get through the day without the overwhelming sense of guilt smothering him.

He shook his head. “I know it wasn’t her fault. It was mine.”

“Daniel…”

“This would all be a lot easier if everyone just stopped coddling me!” He glanced at her over his shoulder. “We both know it’s true. I let her go off alone. Left her vulnerable. I was supposed to protect her.”

Arrynn scoffed. “Oh, so now you’re the one who murdered her? Only one man is to blame, and his ass is doing twenty-five to life, without the chance of parole.” She closed half the distance. “All I’m trying to say is…at some point, you’re going to have to forgive yourself. Move on. This…” She waved at the equipment spread out on the sand. The fire reaching toward the sky. “This is just a bandaid. A temporary fix. Until you deal with Isabel’s death—”

“I’ve dealt with it.”

“Oh, baby. You’ve done everything but deal with it. You hunt. You kill. You send a steady stream of spirits back across that veil, but you haven’t come close to dealing with her death. I see it, Daniel. We all see it.”

She glanced at the fire, then headed for the path, stopping behind him. “You know how I feel about you. But regardless of that, watching you fight her ghost at every turn…even when it’s not there… It’s not just killing you. I’m not saying you need to forget, just…let it go. Let her go.”

He caught her arm as she moved past him. “It’s not her I can’t let go of. I know she’s dead. I know that whatever we had… I’m not stuck in the past, Arrynn.”

“Then what?”

He let his head bow to his chest. “It’s knowing I couldn’t save her soul. That I let it continue until there was nothing left but anger. Blame. Resentment. That my legacy to her was letting her turn into the very monsters we hunt.”

“You weren’t a hunter, then. Hell, you thought you were imagining it.”

“And now you know why it haunts me.”

He released her, shoving his hands in his pockets before he wrapped them around her and didn’t let go. Until he’d sealed his mouth to hers to stop the screams. Stripped her down and buried himself inside her until there was nothing left but them. This moment.

Arrynn sighed, the sound a mixture of sadness and resolution. “I’ll be in the car with Jimmy. Make sure the fire’s out.”

Her feet padded across the sand, the soft scuffle slowly fading. Daniel stared out at the rising sun. He knew Arrynn was right. He needed to move on. Stop dwelling on facts he couldn’t change. Find a way to make peace with the ghosts he’d never be able to banish.

I’m waiting for you Daniel. I’ll always be waiting.

Her voice echoed around him, the soft caress of her fingers along his neck making him jump. He turned, searching the beach, breath held, muscles clenched, only to stare into the unrelenting darkness.

Daniel hissed out his breath, picking up his bags before kicking sand over the flames. It must be the fatigue. His mind playing tricks on him. He’d seen to it Isabel couldn’t hurt him again. Couldn’t hurt anyone. He’d won…hadn’t he?

 

And that’s all for me. Please check out the other two ladies. I’m sure they’ll have amazing stories.

Bronwyn Green  |  Kellie St. James