Completely Alone

Apparently, I was a fan of fires the night these exercises were done.  There’s something other worldly about fires, don’t you think?

  • Stuffy
  • Cold
  • Perceive

Sam walked into the stuffy room and immediately removed the blue and black striped scarf that was wrapped around his neck. From the way it felt in this old rickety house, it would be hard to believe that it was blistering cold outside. Sam walked over to the roaring fire, its flames snapping and popping as if angered by his presence and warmed his hands. The ache in his bones was disappearing when he perceived movement coming from behind him, but that couldn’t be possible because the land lord assured him he’d be completely alone.

Three Great Pyramids

I have to confess that I had recently watched Gods of Egypt before writing this story. It was entertaining and it left an impression. I love stories that bring ancient Egypt and its mythology to life.

  • Avulsion
  • Mug
  • Eternity

Alric was walking down the sandy alleyway, entranced by the silhouettes of the three great pyramids in the distance. He was too enthralled by the scene before him to notice that he was being followed and taken by surprise when these men shoved him to the ground and mugged him. They were covered in black tattoos that honored the destructive god of Set and with no explanation, they tore his heart from his chest with their bare hands, as if through avulsion. Alric lived just long enough to see his still heart in the hand of his murderer.

He thought that was going to be the end, until he found himself at the silver scale ready to weigh his soul to see if he was worthy to enter the afterlife, where he’d live out his eternity. Alric, didn’t think it was possible to feel this nervous when he was dead, but the white feather on the left side of the scale suddenly looked very heavy.

Unblinking Stares

I had to write about a creepy porcelain doll…

  • Nine
  • Curly
  • Porcelain

Gabby stared at the nine porcelain dolls lined up along the white shelf above the fireplace. Their faces were cracked with age and abuse except for one. This particular doll had blond curly hair and a blue dress that was tattered, which was the only indication that it had seen years of use. Gabby never liked dolls, they gave her the creeps with their unblinking stares.

“Max,” she called out toward the upstairs bedroom. “Can you hurry up? I want to get out of here.”

“I just need a couple of more minutes. A few more tugs and this old lock will give way, I know it.”

“Great,” she muttered to herself. She cast her gaze over the dolls once again, but this time the blond haired doll was missing.

Until Next Time

I’ve been wanting to write a little steampunk adventure and this story starter gave me just that opportunity.

For Lucy – I hope you like flirtatious adventure.

“She saw the gun, covered every so slightly by his sleeve, and looked at what he had his eyes trained on – The royal carriage coming up the drive.”

How rude, Leanna thought to herself. She could not abide being interfered with, so he had to be dealt with. She quietly mumbled some unladylike words to herself as she realized the only way was to give up the advantage of her current position. Her predicament rankled, but she did the only thing she could and jumped down from her concealed perch in the green-leaf covered tree above. The blonde haired man didn’t know what had happened, just that the bright day suddenly went dark as he was hit from behind.

Leanna took consolation in the fact that he’d wake with a headache. “Sweet dreams,” she whispered as she dusted off her black pants and glove clad hands. Leanna didn’t have time to waste, however, as the opulent carriage covered in colors of gold and burgundy continued its steady march toward her. Quickly, she dragged the rather heavy unconscious man behind the low lying bushes. She did not have time to resume her previous position, so instead, began to run alongside the road obscured by the bushes and trees, hoping that her built up momentum would allow her to catch the carriage.

As it began to pass her, she pushed herself forward with a momentary burst of speed, allowing her to latch onto the window sill and golden foot rail of the carriage door. Leanna’s position was a precarious one, and she could feel her hold slipping, when a strong hand grabbed hers and helped her through the window opening. She tumbled inside, not the graceful entrance she had planned, and she silently cursed the fellow who had forced her descent from her hiding place too soon. Her anger at the indignity of the situation was quickly displaced by the happiness she felt when she saw the face of the man who came to her aid, Richard. He was as handsome as ever. Dark stubble darkened his angular chin and the dark blue collar peaking above his gray jacket set off his stormy hazel eyes. Leanna could not have been more delighted and, even though it was not obvious from the disapproving look on his face, she knew the feeling was mutual.

Leanna righted herself and took a seat on the cushioned bench opposite Richard, who remained silent, leaving the conversation to her. “It’s a shame that we find ourselves on opposite sides of the law,” Leanna declared with a small pout. “Otherwise, I’m quite sure we’d be the happiest couple in all of England!”

“Is that so?” Richard replied, attempting to keep a straight face. He hated to admit it, but he found Leanna to be the most irritating and bewitching woman he’d faced in his years of being a detective.  He very much looked forward to their encounters. No one made his pulse race like she did. Richard often wished that they could have a future together, but such thoughts were useless fancy. The law was nothing compared to the other obstacle in their way.

“Mmhmm,” she uttered. The sound came out sultry and the intensity of her stare made the interior of the carriage feel a little too confined.

“Stay right there,” Richard commanded as she began to move to sit on the bench next to him. She looked disappointed and settled back into her seat opposite him.

“You’re hurting my feelings,” she declared with a pout as she leaned forward.

Richard leaned in to meet her gaze, their faces a mere inch apart. “I’m very sorry,” he said as soothingly as possible. Leanna took that as an invitation to caress his face and Richard reveled in the touch of her gentle hands, then cuffed her. The look of surprise when she heard the silver cuffs click around her wrists was priceless. Their interlude had come to an end and he was both sorry and grateful.

Leanna slumped against the back of the seat in defeat. “At least tell me where you’re taking me?” The annoyance was thick in her voice.

“To the palace. You’ve been very busy the past couple of months.”

“You know me. I abhor being idle,” she said nonchalantly.

Richard couldn’t help but laugh, “So you decided to start robbing the royal carriages? You couldn’t have chosen a past time that was a little less inflammatory?”

“I prefer the challenge,” she shrugged.

“You’re the princess for God’s sake! You could do almost anything you wanted.”

“True, but not nearly as fun.” She cast him a mischievous smile that could melt the heart of any man. Richard’s knees felt weak and he was relieved that he was sitting down. “Are you sure we’re going to the palace?” she asked.

“Of course,” he said, but the look in her eye made him question his certainty. Richard pulled back the red velvet curtain to look out the carriage window. “We’re going the wrong way,” he groaned. “How did you…?” he trailed off.

She winked at him as the carriage came to an abrupt halt, causing Richard to lose his balance and fall into her lap. Leanna leaned over him excitedly. “Darling,” she talked softly, “it’s been a pleasure as always.” Their lips were a breath apart and Richard moved to close the gap when she backed away and stated, “I really must be going. I can’t have my brother finding me.” She opened the door and shoved him away so that he fell out of the carriage onto the soggy ground, ruining his gray trousers. Leanna was a vision as she descended from the carriage. Her wavy long dark hair was tied politely back with a burgundy ribbon, her black form fitting pants showing the curves of her body, and the femininity of the frilled white blouse balanced the toughness of the black boots she was wearing. Even informally attired, she looked nothing short of the princess she was.

Richard was slowly taking in her beauty when he noticed that her hands were no longer cuffed. He chastised himself, when he realized that she had picked his pocket during their intimate moment. Leanna approached him, dangling the cuffs in front of her. “Now, my dearest Richard, I must take my leave,” she kissed his cheek and then gently, his lips. He was still reeling from the sensation when he felt the snap of handcuffs across his wrists. He looked down at his hands in disbelief, then back at Leanna. She flirtatiously shrugged her shoulders in response then threw the keys into the woods. “Until next time,” she said seductively as she gently tapped the tip of his nose with her finger then walked away. He watched stunned as she alighted into the basket of the tethered hot air balloon. She blew a kiss at him and waved as she rose up into the clear blue sky, quietly drifting out of sight.

“I look forward to it,” Richard whispered into the wind.

Coming to an End

I had a lot fun creating such a dire situation in a short amount of time.

  • Pensive
  • Silver
  • Tomorrow

“If we don’t figure this out now, tomorrow will never come,” Dorian said in a dire tone as he banged the table in frustration. The pages of the open book in front of him fluttered at the disturbance.

Lara looked pensive, “What about silver?” she blurted out.

“What?” Dorian asked. “What did you just say?”

“Silver,” Lara repeated.

A wide smile spread across Dorian’s face, “Perhaps, the world won’t be coming to an end after all.”

Slender and Red

Everyone had a lot of fun fitting the word “stapler” into their exercise. It seems like such a mundane word, but even the mundane can add richness to a scene.

  • Stapler
  • Pot
  • Keen

Gavin slowly circled the wooden table and looked at the objects strewn across it. Carefully, he picked up the item that was slender and red, “What is this?” he asked.

“A stapler,” Sandra replied in an exasperated tone. She yanked it out of his hand and put it back on the table. “Look, I know you’re keen to learn all about Earth, but we don’t have time right now,” she pushed Gavin over to the pot that was on the stove. The water was just beginning to boil.

Gavin looked at the pot and its contents then back over at Sandra, “Are you sure you want to proceed? There is no reversing the spell once it’s begun.”

Sandra looked the elf directly in his big green eyes, “I’m sure.”

Jumping the Hurdle

Four years ago or a little more by now, I had this crazy idea for a novel and I began writing it. I was working on it off and on over this period of time, sometimes going months without writing a single word. Around two years ago, a couple of my friends began harassing me about joining a writer’s group that could help keep me on track. I was very reluctant as I felt I wanted to write on my own time and I thought joining a group might be too much pressure.

Well now I can say that, as of yesterday, I submitted my manuscript to start the editing process with Witching Hour Publishing. I couldn’t have done it without the support as well as the gentle kick in the ass by the awesome Ink Slingers Guild (the writers group). I also owe a lot of thanks to my two aforementioned friends, without whom, none of this would have happened.

There’s still work to do to get to the final product, but I never would have gotten here if it wasn’t for this amazing group of people. ErikaCourtenayLisaNicoleJen Rhiannon, and Desi, thank you so much, I love you all and I looking forward to the rest of the journey.

Feathers Within

Feathers floating to the floor always makes me think of magic, so I had no choice other than to put a magical bent on the exercise response below.

  • Basket
  • Spinning
  • Feather

Malia accidentally dropped the wicker basket on the ground causing the feathers within to stir in the air. “Wonderful,” she said sarcastically as she watched the beautiful white plumes gracefully float to the floor. Slowly spinning around, she assessed whether anyone else was in view, but she was alone. Malia then closed her eyes and started to chant, her words quiet and invoking the power of the wind. The feathers began to rise and whirled around, gently settling back into their proper place. Malia straightened her skirts and picked the basket back up, whistling all the way back home.

Long Slow Blinks

Okay, I was getting tired by the time we got to this writing exercise, so I was happy that I managed to get all of the words into a coherent blurb.

  • Trip
  • Blink
  • Coffee

Castile took long slow blinks as he let his eyes adjust to the darkness. He really wished he had had that last cup of coffee the barkeep offered. He stared at the golden idol sitting on a stone pedestal at least twenty feet across from him. The trip had taken much longer than he anticipated, two days to cross the Barren Valley, to the base of the Raven Mountains. Now he