Monthly Archives: June 2016

SONG FICTION ~ TOAD THE WET SPROCKET

So, for the first month, this will be done ahead, lol. Only because this is the yearly writer’s retreat, and I’ll be unplugged when this actually posts. I suppose it’s a good thing in the end. It just means I had to rush for Friday instead of Monday. This month, the song is Little Heaven by Toad the Wet Sprocket. I’m not familiar with the band, though I did like the musical score. The lyrics are a bit… different. I honestly didn’t really ‘get’ the song, but here is my best shot.

And… I decided to resurrect a previous post… hunting buddies…Kent and Seth. If you want to read that first part, go here… or… read on.

“Damn it, Seth, open the damn door.”

Kent fisted his hand against the smooth surface, knocking again when nothing sounded beyond the closed door. It’d been twelve hours since he’d dropped his buddy off at the rundown motel, and more than a couple past when Seth had said he’d meet up with Kent at the dinner. If they lived a normal damn life, Kent would have simply chalked it up to lost time or another round of hot sex with his one-time stand. But there was nothing ‘normal’ about their lives, and he had a bad feeling Seth wasn’t merely handcuffed to the bedpost, a half-clad woman straddled across his hips.

Silence settled around him, the eerie quiet spurring him into action. He reached into his pocket, removing a small set of tools. He glanced around, then bent low, quickly picking the lock. Unease churned in his gut as he straightened, removing a pistol and a flask of holy water. He checked his other supplies, then took a deep breath. The door swung open as he straightened, the interior still encased in shadows. He took a cautious step forward, sweeping the immediate area before moving beyond the threshold. He inched his way inside, cursing under his breath when the door slammed shut behind him, the air heating around him.

He sighed inwardly. He hated being right.

Kent tucked his gun into the back of his pants, then grabbed a salt bomb from his pocket. While it wasn’t as effective against demons as their salt rounds, it would send any unwanted company packing long enough he could search the room. He inched forward, hand at the ready when the floor creaked near the rear, followed by a soft scuffing sound. A raspy breath preceded the attack, Seth’s form blurring into focus from the darkness.

Kent reacted, grabbing his buddy’s arms as the man launched himself at Kent, lips curled into a snarl, his eyes nothing but solid, black discs. They reeled backwards, slamming into the wall. The salt shot out of his hand, landing off to his right in a sea of white, the crystals too far away to do any good.  A picture as it crashed to the floor, bits of glass shattering across the worn linoleum.

Seth fisted Kent’s shirt, lifting him off the ground. “Kent Foster. Must be my lucky day. First, I catch your bitch with his pants down…literally. And now, the big man, himself.”

Kent grinned. “Malcom. Thought we’d sent you back to Hell for good, last time.”

“Guess your latin isn’t as good as you think.”

“My latin’s fine. Seth’s, on the other hand…”

The demon growled, tossing Kent across the room. He landed half on the bed, continuing to the floor and into the small table pushed up against the far wall. Pain sparked through his ribs, stealing his next breath. Footsteps pounded across the floor before his partner grabbed him, once again hoisting him off his feet. The scenery swam as nausea roiled through Kent’s stomach.

“Damn it, Seth, fight him. You’re better than this.”

“Sorry, Seth’s not available right now. But points for trying.”

“He’s not gone. He’ll find his way back.”

“And here I thought you were the brains in the relationship. The dependable one. Seth doesn’t have any control right now. In fact, he can’t even stop me from spilling his greatest secret.” He leaned in close, the overwhelming stench of sulphur burning Kent’s senses. “All these hookups, the hot one-night stands—they’re all just distractions. A way of keeping him from telling you the truth.  That all this time, and it’s really you he’s been pinning for. Who fills his thoughts. Who he wants hot and sweaty between the sheets.” Malcolm laughed. “I do believe he’s in love with you.”

Kent stilled, his hands wrapped around Seth’s arm, feet still dangling above the floor. His stomach plummeted into his boots, his breath stalling in his chest.

Malcolm shrugged. “If only you could see your face… Almost makes me want to spare your life.” He yanked him closer. “Almost.”

“Fuck you.”

Kent flicked his thumb, popping off the top of the flask then tossing the holy water across his buddy’s face. Steam curled off the man’s skin, a sharp hissing noise filling the room. Seth staggered backwards, releasing Kent’s neck. Kent fell to the floor, hitting hard. The room shifted slightly, before he managed to roll onto his feet. He reached for his pocket, grabbing his phone, only to be flung against the wall, an invisible hold tightening around his throat. He clawed at the force, lungs burning as they tried to inflate.

The demon stepped in closer, the marks from the holy water just starting to fade. “Did you really think that would be enough? I dare say you’re losing your touch.”

Kent activated his phone, using his thumb to start the recording. His taped voice broke the momentary quiet, the ancient words sounding around them. Seth’s body reeled backwards as he palmed his head to cover his ears. Spasms shook through his muscles, pain twisting his features into a scowl.

The hold on Kent’s throat vanished, and he fell to his knees, dragging in a few painful breaths. Spots danced across his vision, a dull ringing in his head. He gave himself a mental shake, finally staggering to his feet. Seth had collaapsed onto his knees, his hands still holding his head. His buddy lifted his face, sneering at Kent when their gazes clashed. The other man’s focus shifted to the phone and he reached for it, flinging it across the room.

The words cut off as the cell hit the wall, the last phrase hanging in the air. The demon laughed, only to scream as Kent picked up where the recording had left off, reciting the latin exorcism. Seth reached for him, those invisible fingers curling around Kent’s throat again. Pain burned along his flesh, but he pushed forward, still muttering the words. Pressure built along his chest, the tight feeling shading the edges of his vision into grey.

“I won’t go back…”

The demon’s voice keened into a scream as Seth’s head tilted back, a surge of red smoke pouring out his mouth. The mist whirled toward the ceiling, coiling in on itself before exploding outwards, disappearing in a blur of crimson fog.

The grip around Kent’s neck vanished, and he fell forward onto his hands,  gasping in a few painful breaths. The scenery swam, churning his stomach before finally stabilizing. Kent raised his head, looking at where Seth had been kneeling. The other man had collapsed onto the floor, a slight grimace gracing his face.

Kent crawled over to his friend, checking for a pulse, exhaling a relieved breath at the steady thrum beneath his fingertips. He gave Seth a firm shake. “Damn it, Seth, wake up.”

Seth groaned, rolling his head to one side before slivering his eyelids open. He blinked a few times, squinting at Kent as his eyes seemed to finally focus. “Kent? What the…”

Kent arched a brow. “I told you things would turn out ugly.”

“Actually, you said she’d turn out to be a werewolf. Technically, you were wrong.”

“Right, because red-eyed demon is such a step up.” He gave Seth a playful shove. “So, where’s your date?”

Seth punched Kent in the shoulder. “Like I fucking know. The last thing I remember clearly was kissing her, then bam…demon possession. Maybe she took off.”

Kent groaned. “Are you seriously telling me you went straight for the nasty without testing her first? No silver? Salt? Not even a splash of holy water?” He shook his head. “Either you’re losing your edge or you need to get laid more often, because that was just reckless.”

“She was a hunter. I assumed she’d be okay.”

“And that was your first mistake.”

“Save the lecture, Kent. I know I fucked up.” His smile faded and Seth stumbled to his feet, tripping his way over to the far wall. He braced his weight on one hand before glancing at Kent over his shoulder. He opened his mouth, looking as if he wanted to ask Kent something, then quickly closed it again.

Kent sighed then stood, making his way across the room. He stopped an arm’s length away, watching Seth’s other hand fist and release at his side. “We should talk.”

“How about we drink, instead, and forget what that fucker Malcolm said. He was just trying to mess with you.”

“So, you’re saying he lied? About everything?”

Seth’s face paled. “I’m saying that it was a demon. You know better than to trust anything they say.”

Kent palmed the wall beside Seth’s head when the man tried to push past him. Kent leaned in close, allowing his breath to feather over the other man’s face. “You want to know what I think? I think that bastard just outed you and you’re so damn scared you’ll say anything to avoid a confrontation.”

“Kent—”

Kent cut the man off with a hard press of his lips against his. Seth stiffened against him, fisting Kent’s shirt, holding him firm before slowly tugging him closer. Kent moaned into the kiss, pushing his tongue inside, tasting the pure essence that was all Seth before finally pulling back. He didn’t move far, resting his forehead on the other man’s as he breathed the guy in.

Something settled in his chest as he stared down at Seth. He gave the man a smile. “Still think we have nothing to talk about?”

And that’s it for me…. go check out the other ladies.

Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica Jarman  |  Kayleigh Jones

 

 

PROMPTLY PENNED ~ JUNE

Not sure how we end up with two flash fictions in a row, but… It’s time for June’s Promptly Penned. I love seeing where everyone goes with this one.  In the past, I’ve tried hard to use the prompt as the opener, but…when I saw this month’s, I decided it had a very specific location.

Here’s the prompt…

Person A: “How long have you been standing there?”

Person B: “Longer than you’d like.”

I think you probably know where I want these lines to go, lol. So, without delaying any longer…

Promptly Penned

Devlyn paced the length of the room, hands fisted at her sides, heat simmering beneath her skin. She did her best to stem the anger burning hot in her stomach, but each deep breath only infused Ryker’s scent into her senses, reviving the memories she’d spent the past six months burying.

She paused at the back of the sofa, allowing her frustration to manifest by punching the top of the cushions. The material scratched at her knuckles, the slight sting easing the tight feeling clenching her muscles. What the hell was she doing? And why had she even agreed to work with the bastard after everything he’d done.

Or hadn’t done.

She hissed out a curse, allowing her head to tilt up as she strove to control the frantic beating of her heart. God help her, but she still had feelings for the man. Still shivered at the sound of his gravelly voice, still reacted physically to his presence. It didn’t matter that a part of her wanted to claw at his chest and rip out his heart—a larger part wanted to love him. Hear him whisper her name as he held her close, making her feel whole when she rarely felt anything other than emptiness.

“You goddamn, son of a bitch!”

She let her voice echo in the small room. Just another factor that pissed her off. For some unknown reason she’d allowed him to convince her to stay behind—heal. Well, her side could heal after they stopped Strider from hunting down every last mark they had. Destroying not only the centre’s reputation, but years worth of work on cases still waiting to be brought to trial. Until then, she’d work through the pain. Besides, the wounds were nothing compared to the hollow feeling inside her chest. The one that made it hard to breathe whenever Ryker was around.

A dull ringing tone interrupted her thoughts and she made her way over to the coffee table. One of her burner cells vibrated across the wooden surface, the name Penelope Reid flashing across the front.

Devlyn grabbed the phone, putting the call on speaker as she answered it. “I thought this mission was silent running. No communication with anyone, even you.”

Penelope snorted. “Is that any way to say hello to your best friend? You seriously need some down time, Dev.”

Devlyn grinned, darting to the fridge to grab a beer as she raised her voice so her friend could still hear her. “While that’s true, I also know that if you’re calling me, it’s not as my BFF. So spill. What the hell does the director want now? Isn’t it bad enough I have to work with Ryker?”

“Which is exactly why I’m calling—as your friend. When I heard…” She sighed. “You okay?”

“You mean besides standing here warring between wanting to kill the bastard and wanting to pounce on top of him and fuck him into submission? I’m peachy, thanks.”

Penelope tsked her. “We both know you want to do far more than fuck him.” The woman’s breath sounded through the room as she exhaled. “You’re still in love with him, aren’t you?”

Devlyn flopped onto the sofa, taking a swig from the bottle, glancing at the phone. She contemplated taking it off of speaker, then changed her mind. Ryker wouldn’t’ be back for another hour or two, and it made the cabin less lonely hearing her friend’s voice fill the space.

“Devlyn?”

“Love’s nothing more than a mirage. An image you see in the sand that’s not really there. And I, for one, am not going to be fooled again. Especially by the same, arrogant jackass I let break my heart before.”

“You do know you use deflection when you don’t want to answer a question, right? Like changing the subject or making a blanket statement.”

“I thought you didn’t want to be an operative? Because it sounds a lot like you’re profiling me.”

“Just because I’m calling you on your bullshit doesn’t make me the enemy. It makes me your friend. One that’s worried this situation might end up getting you killed.”

Devlyn groaned. “Thanks for that vote of confidence, sweetie. Glad to know you admire my skills as a field agent.”

“That’s not what I meant and you know it. I’m merely worried that being around Ryker will be distracting. And god only knows what might happen if you’re too focused on him instead of the mission.”

“I’m fully focused on the mission.”

“Which one? Where you stab him in his sleep or fuck him?”

“Currently? I’m leaning more toward killing him, though I’d never stab the bastard. Way too much clean up involved.”

Penelope sighed. “And there you go using humour to cover your feelings. This isn’t healthy, Dev. It’s just me. Can’t you just be honest for one second? It’s not like I’m going to tell anyone.”

“You already know the answer to that.”

“Why is it so hard for you to admit you’re still in love with him?”

“Because he left. And not just with my DVDs or my favourite sweater. He left me for dead. Bleeding on that godforsaken platform, without so much as a backwards glance. Admitting I ever loved him is…weak.”

“I don’t think it’s that black and white. He must have had a reason. Have you asked him?”

“Fuck, no. Besides, it doesn’t matter. He’s had six months to explain…I don’t care anymore.”

“But that’s the problem. You do care.”

Devlyn rubbed her hand down her face, letting her head fall back against the cushions. “Admitting I feel anything but soul-deep anger towards him is…”

“Is the truth. One that scares you more than facing Strider or a dozen rogue agents. Because it means you’re human.”

“It means I’m stupid. Ryker’s made his feelings and his priorities clear. And I’m didn’t make the cut on either list.”

“You’ll never know that unless you talk to him. Hear what he has to say. If nothing else, it might give you some closure.”

“Don’t worry, Penelope. I have all the closure I need in the form of the front door.” Devlyn rolled her shoulders, taking another drink. “I’m fine. Just…see what you can do to track down those two leads for us. The quicker we find Strider and haul his ass in, the quicker I get to go back to being—”

“Alone. You’ll go back to being alone and miserable, like you’ve been since you and Ryker split up.”

“Maybe. But it beats the alternative.”

“Being happy? Loved?”

“Hurt. Again.” Devlyn leaned forward, bracing her elbows on her knees. “Come on. Do you really believe there’s anything he can say that justifies how he left? Honestly?”

“As a matter of fact, I do.”

Devlyn jumped when the male voice sounded behind her, tripping to her feet as she reached for her weapon, pointing it at the man standing in the doorway, a couple of bags of groceries snugged in his arms. H’ed centred his gaze on her, those brilliant blue eyes studying her every move.

She forced her arms to lower, tucking away her gun before crossing her arms on her chest. Penelope’s voice sounded over the speaker, but all Devlyn could do was stare at Ryker’s blue eyes. Her lungs burned in protest and she realized she was holding her breath.

She reached for the phone, muttering a token “I’ll call you back,” at Penelope before tossing it down. Her pulse thrummed in her head as she gathered her composure, nodding at the man. “How long have you been standing there?”

A cocky smile lifted his lips as he leaned against the doorframe, looking as if he didn’t have a care in the world. “Longer than you’d like.”

 

And that’s it for me. Now go and check out the other ladies….

Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica De La Rosa  |  Kayleigh Jones  |  Paige Prince

PICTURE FLASH FICTION ~ JUNE

The hallway point of the year. Wow… just wow. And it’s time for another picture flash fiction. A pretty cool photo this month. Of course, as I’m writing the post I still have no idea what I’m going to write, but…. no excuses, right. I’ll just make this up as I go along 🙂 So… here’s the pic and the resulting story….which is going to be insanely short because I’ve spent most of the day trying to resurrect my iMac.

WomanWaves

“For the love of god, Becca, put your damn arms down. Or are you suddenly a water bender? A goth water bender. And who the hell wears high heeled boots to the beach, anyway?”

Becca glared at her brother over her shoulder, sticking her tongue out at him before begrudgingly lowering her arms. She turned back to stare at the lake, watching the large swells roll into shore, covering the tops of her boots. The white water crashed against some rocks off to her left, the constant beating of the waves soothing something raw inside her.

This is what she needed. What made the tumbling feeling in her gut bearable. What made her believe that, even for just a moment, she was normal. Just a regular girl watching the clouds drift across the sky above a sea foam green lake. A flock of seagulls chattered overhead, diving and rolling in the gust of wind that kicked up her hair, nearly knocking her hat off her head.

She inhaled, rewarded with a strong scent of fresh water and early spring. She’d always loved this time of year—watching everything awaken in waves of green and pink and yellow. But not today. Today the hint of warmth in the sun only served as a reminder of what little time she had left. How her life was about to become nothing more than endless prison.

She released a weary breath as she turned to face Nicholas. “You’re just jealous because you’d be stuck wielding fire.”

Nick winked at her as a grin spread across his face. “Can’t help it if I’m…hot, sis.”

She rolled her eyes. “Seriously? Can we not go there? I’d rather not spend my last few weeks thinking about you and hot in the same sentence.”

His smile faded. “These aren’t your last few weeks. We’re going to find a way to stop this.”

Guilt settled in her gut. “I know you want to believe that. That you’re doing everything you can, but… We’ve been searching for a way to stop this for months, and all we’ve unearthed is a bunch of useless glyphs we can’t even decipher.”

“We’ll find the key. We’re close. I know it. I can feel it.”

“Nicholas—”

“No!” He paced away, kicking at a shell and tumbling it into the frothing waves. “I won’t just give up. You’re all I’ve got, and I’m not going to stand here and let that monster take you because of some ancient agreement between our ancestors and the damn faery realm. The entire island can turn into a barren wasteland for all I care. He can’t have you.”

She speared her fingers through her hair, giving him a small smile. “Maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe—”

“What? His Royal Highness, Prince Douchebag will be nice? You’ll fall in love and live happily every after?”

“I wasn’t going to say that. It’s just…maybe he doesn’t want this any more than I do. Maybe he’ll back out.”

“Right, because that’s happened exactly zero times in the past thousand years. We might as well stop searching for the solution now.”

She snorted. Her brother definitely had a way about him. She’d grant him that much.

Mecca walked over to him, playing a hand on his shoulder. “Then what the hell are we doing standing here? Pretty sure that key you keep talking about isn’t hiding in the sand.”

He straightened, giving her a playful shove. “Now that’s the Becca I know and love.”He motioned toward the hill behind them. “Shall we?”

She nodded, taking one last glance at the water, hoping it wasn’t her last.

 

That’s it for me. Go check out Bronwyn’s amazing piece, here… Bronwyn Green.