Monthly Archives: September 2016

PROMPTLY PENNED ~ SEPTEMBER

September is already here. How did that happen? And it seems summer is well on its way out, sigh. I love summer. Not the heat, but the long days, the no school, and dollar drink days at McDonalds, lol. But fall means cozy sweaters and no bugs. (I’m trying to be positive here, folks, because short days, rain and school… not my fave.)

Anyway, it’s Promptly Penned time. This month—I don’t even know. I’ve been staring at it and I have no idea what to do with it. Are they getting harder on purpose? I think so…here’s the prompt…and the resulting story.

In school, tests started with a class bell and ended with a “pencils down”, outside of school things weren’t so well defined.

Promptly Penned

U.S. Marshal Casey O’Toole leaned against the wall, waiting to hear his name called to enter the room—complete the last part of his practical weapon’s training before being deemed ready for active duty again. Just one dark space with a dozen random targets was all that stood between him and reclaiming his badge.

He nearly laughed at the thought. As if one test could erase what had happened. Stop the nightmares from drenching his body in sweat every night. Bring his partner back to life or fade the puckered scars on Casey’s shoulder. Make him forget.

Casey closed his eyes as the inklings of a flashback gnawed at his senses. He’d managed to fake his way through half a dozen psych evals and two other exams. Surely he could hold it together long enough to walk through one stupid room. Reclaim the one aspect of his life that hadn’t walked away in the aftermath of the incident.

His ex’s voice rattled inside his head. They’d been in a bad place before he’d gotten shot. Having to go through physical therapy to regain full use of his shoulder had obviously been too much for her to deal with. Of course, the fact she’d been sleeping with a buddy might have been part of the reason she’d moved out before he’d even gotten home from the hospital. But knowing she would have left regardless didn’t lessen the sting much.

A blast of static broke the relative silence, a scratchy version of his name echoing through the room. Casey drew a deep breath, then made his way to the door. He’d done this walk-through a dozen times. He didn’t know why if felt different this time. Cared even less. He only had one job—pass.

He nodded at the handler as the other man motioned to the door, visually beginning the test. Back in school, tests had started with a class bell and ended with a “pencils down”. But outside…outside of school, things weren’t so well defined. More of a long, never-ending test that summed up more than just passes and failures. It shaped who he was. Who he’d become. Casey only hoped that the darkness he’d pushed deep down inside him wasn’t the part that would walk out of this exam. That something of the man he’d once been still existed.

 

Sorry this was late. But run off and read the other ladies if you haven’t already.

Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica Jarman  |  Jessica De La Rosa

A PICTURE SAYS A THOUSAND WORDS ~ SEPTEMBER

It’s that time again. And wow… I’m not sure where the image came from but damn… I have no idea what to write for this one. But… I shall do my best to pull something out of my preverbal arse… so. Here is the image, and the resulting words 😉 Not going to be all that long.

BarbedWire

“Are you sure this is a wise idea?”

Grace Porter glanced over her shoulder as her brother’s voice broke the relative silence. Patrick had been antsy since she’d first proposed the idea. Now that they’d reached the abandoned warehouse, his restlessness had escalated. Hell, she couldn’t miss the way his hands shook as he scanned the area, no doubt looking for anything out of the ordinary.

She grinned at the thought. They were in the midst of demon territory about to summon a far great power and Patrick was worried a mugger might happen along. She’d be happy if they lived long enough to recite the summoning spell.

Grace gave his shoulder a light punch. “I thought you agreed this was our only option.”

He frowned, crossing his arms over his chest. “I did, but that was before I realized we’d have to come here. Why can’t we just perform the summoning somewhere safe? Like the barn behind the house?”

“I told you. The kind of power he has…” She sighed. “We’re liable to level the area as much as get it right. And if I’m going to die trying something this desperate the last thing I want is to take out the rest of the coven with us. That’s if they don’t decide to kill us once they discover what we’ve done.”

Patrick’s expression softened. “You’re stronger than all of them put together. Between the two of us…they’d be lucky to mess up your hair let alone hurt you.”

“A wise person doesn’t take anything for granted. You know better than anyone there’s safety in numbers. And they outnumber us eleven to one, brother dear.”

He gave her a light shove. “I’ll side with you any day.”

She grinned, hoping she wasn’t sentencing them both to an early grave, as she followed the fencing around to the back. Despite being empty, the main entrance fronted a fairly busy street and Grace didn’t want to risk being seen entering the building. Having a couple of cops show up in the middle of their spell wouldn’t do them any favours.

She picked her way through the thick grass to a spot near the rear. Layers of barbed wire blocked her way, the sharp ends gleaming in the rising moonlight. Patrick cupped her shoulder, motioning her to stand back as he grabbed a few lines of the wire, fisting them tightly in his hand. He muttered a short incantation, and she watched as the metal glowed red then simply melted into a puddle on the ground. Her brother repeated the procedure with the rest of the wire, grinning as he waved her through the narrow opening. She sidestepped through, careful not to cut herself on the broken ends before heading for a door next to a loading ramp.

She flicked her hand at the single lamp burning overhead, breaking the glass and casting the area into deep shadows. Patrick darted ahead of her, using another spell to break the lock and open the door. A hushed squeak was the only hint of noise that followed before he waved her inside, closing the heavy metal door behind them.

He scanned the area, moving in close to her. “Pretty sure any security they had in here is long gone, but just in case…”

She nodded, removing a few supplies from her bag . She placed the objects on the floor, chanting the spell before tossing the final ingredient on top of the others. A flash of light filled the room then winked out.

Grace smiled at Patrick. “That should disable any cameras or alarms for about thirty minutes. With any luck we’ll be gone before then.”

“If we’re not dead.”

She swatted his arm, shaking her head as she headed for a doorway on the other side of the open space. Uncertainty gnawed at her resolve as she wove her way to a small room on the lowest level, her brother using another spell to light their way. She stopped in the centre, spinning around before grinning. “This is it.”

Patrick didn’t speak, just bent low and set to work inscribing a sigil across the floor. The scent of paint infused the air, increasing the jumpy feeling in her stomach. God, she hoped this wasn’t a one-way trip. That she really was as strong an everyone claimed. That she wasn’t about to sentence her brother to death.

He straightened a few minutes later. “Ancient summoning circle, check. Now all we need is some blood and the right spell cast by…” He pointed at her. “Yours truly.”

“I’m not sure what’s scarier. That the blood is the easy part or that I’m starting to wonder if this was a bad idea.”

“If anyone can pull this off…” He raised his chin, confidence shaping his features. “I believe in you, sis.”

“Let’s hope I don’t let you down.”

“It’s not like the alternative is any better. If we don’t try this…”

She nodded. “Like the saying goes… Damned if we do…”

“Considering who you’re planning on summoning, I think the ‘damned’ part is more than fitting.” He grabbed her shoulders. “You sure you’re ready? I know we’re desperate but—”

“No buts. He’s our only hope.”

“Then let’s get this show on the road before I change my mind and take us both as far away from this place as I can.”

Grace glanced at the sigil as Patrick removed a silver knife from the bag. “Guess it’s time to see if I can live up to all the hype. If I’m as good as they say and if he really does exist.”

 

And that’s it for me. Go check out Bronwyn Green and Jessica Jarman for their amazing tales.