Sunday, October 26, 2014

Raif and Me: Part 4

It's back around to me again.

I've been working with my two friends, Kelly Martin and Wendy Knight, on a pass-around writing experiment. And this story has definitely taken some surprising turns already.

Need to catch up?
Read Part One here.
Part Two here.
Part Three here.

And without further ado, Part Four:


I knew I couldn’t. No matter what the Cooperation said. Not with him this close. Not with the memory fresh in my mind.

“They want you back, Raif.” I whispered it, but I knew they were listening. “They aren’t too particular about how they get you.”

His eyes betrayed no emotion.

“Why now?” It came out a growl that reverberated deep in my own soul. “Six years, Tabitha. That’s how long you’ve been watching me. Why now?”

“I-I-I don’t know.”

He stepped closer.

I couldn’t breathe. I could only stare into his eyes and hope he heard the things I couldn’t say. Not with the Cooperation listening. And shouting. So much shouting.

I knew they were sending back up. I had failed in my task. But I didn't care. I was under Raif's spell. Exactly where I'd wanted to be since the last time he'd held me.

His breath was warm on my forehead. He lifted his hand slowly to my face. I closed my eyes in anticipation of the familiar touch.

The touch I had craved for the last six years.

But it wasn’t familiar.

Instead of the velvet warmth I remembered, the cold distant texture of a black leather glove caressed my cheek. Raif gingerly pushed my hair behind my ear. My eyes shot open the moment I knew, but it was too late. He ripped out the earpiece by its roots before I could react, sending me spiraling into darkness.

I heard a blood curdling scream, then just as I fell into the thick haze of black silence, a whisper that sent a jolt down my spine.

“I’m sorry, my love, but justice will be served.”


Stay tuned for Part Five, coming next week from Wendy Knight.





Monday, October 6, 2014

Raif and Me: Part 1 — a Pass-Around Writing Experiment

Just for fun, two of my friends (Kelly Martin and Wendy Knight) and I have decided to do a pass-around story. I'm starting it off with the section below, and each of them will take a turn picking up where the person before them left off and just take the story where it leads them.

Without further ado, I offer you the first installment of Raif and Me a Pass-Around Writing Experiment.




Raif Michaelson's routine never changed. On Mondays, he left the house at 8:07 and walked three blocks to the bus stop on the corner of Elm and 17th. He sat with his backpack hugged tightly to his chest and waited exactly six minutes for Bus #12 to arrive. When he boarded the bus, he sat close to the window in the third seat back on the left hand side. Then he read twelve pages in Plato's Republic.

The same twelve pages every Monday.

At the bust stop at 35th and Longfellow, Raif disembarked and walked 132 steps to the Walker Building, entered through the middle doors, stopped and sanitized his hands at Sanitizing Station 4, then disappeared around the corner to the right.

He reappeared at precisely 4:12 in the afternoon, repeated his hand sanitization at Station 4, opened Plato's Republic, and left the building through the single door on the left, walked 137 steps to the bus stop at 35th and Longfellow without looking up from his book once.

Bus #71 arrived nine minutes later. He read fifteen pages in his book — the same fifteen pages every Monday — and was dropped off three blocks from his house at 5:03 P.M.

That's just Monday, but I can tell you that the only thing that changed from day to day, Mondays through Fridays was the pages that Raif Michaelson read in Plato's Republic.

On Saturdays and Sundays he never emerges from his house.

How do I know? That's your next question.

I'm Tabitha Charles. Some might call me a stalker. I prefer to think  of myself as a Raif-ologist.

For the last six years, I have lived and breathed Raif Michaelson. Call it an obsession if you'd like. I've studied him intently. Every move he makes. And what I've found is unwavering predictability.

That's why when Raif Michaelson, dressed all in black, emerged from his house at 7:07 P.M. on Friday, October 31st, I was completely taken by surprise.



I can't wait to see what the next installment holds!

Some time in the next week, Wendy Knight will add her part, continuing the saga. Please look for it on her blog at www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WonHundred Word Wednesday: The Trap



THE PINK GLOVE LAY ON THE GROUND, ALMOST COVERED by mud. But Darwin saw where she had dropped it and the sly glance over her shoulder as she crossed the road, tugging her skirts to avoid the muck. She had meant for him to see — as close to an invitation as he would get.

Darwin didn’t wait to be told twice. He bounded into the busy street, narrowly missing the dairy wagon. He scooped up the glove and shook it, spattering mud all over his clean shirt.

“Miss!”

She looked at him through dewy lashes.

“I believe you dropped this.”



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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Mythology Files: Aphrodite



I am Aphrodite.
I see you staring. Go ahead. Stare. You’ll never see anything this hot again as long as you live. That’s a fact. Carve it into stone, baby.
Oh wait! Been done.
Venus de Milo ring any bells?
Speaking of ringing bells… Alexandros of Antioch, the sculptor… well, I’m not really a girl who kisses and tells… What am I saying? I totally posed for that statue. He was never very good at carving hands.
You wonder why I can do that. Don’t you? Be unfaithful to the husband I was given to? Hephaestus. The god of fire and metalcraft. One of the strongest of the gods, if you ask me. He is also the kindest. I don’t deserve him.
And he doesn’t deserve me.
I have a reputation to maintain. Love and beauty.
You think I’m vain.
It’s okay. I know what the other goddesses say about me. That I’m vain and I have a one track mind. The gods, on the other hand, say… other things.
The truth is I’m lost.
I don’t know where I came from or how I got here.
The others — they all have a history, a lineage. They can trace their ancestry back to Gaea, the Great Mother.
What’s my story?
I floated up on the shores of Olympus on the foam of the sea. That’s it.
No mother or father. Nothing.
So why did they accept me as one of them?
Because I’m beautiful.
It’s all I’ve got. It’s all they see. I lose that one thing, and I will shrink back into oblivion, return to wherever it was that I came from.
Hephaestus doesn’t deserve the kind of baggage I bring. He is a gentle, sweet, giving soul. All I know how to do is take. I know it sounds heartless, but if I stop now, I will lose everything.

So to concede the apple to any other goddess? Yes, even to the queen… I can’t risk it.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WonHundred Word Wednesday: That's Love

PROMPT: The truth about love.



He raised a calloused hand, weathered by age and hard work, to shield his eyes from the sun and cast a weary glance far into the distance.

Though the days had stretched into years, he knew that some day he would see the figure moving toward him — that familiar gait, though perhaps a little slower for the passage of time — but there he would be… coming home at long last.

Every day the old man stood at the end of his driveway and watched the dusty road with that one hope.

Some day… perhaps today… the prodigal son would return.


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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WonHundred Word Wednesday: Curiosity

PROMPT: You find a box in the attic that isn’t yours.


It was hand-carved, overlaid in hammered gold. I blew dust from the top and set it on the floor before me. What could be inside? So many possibilities. The runes encircling an engraved eagle spelled out a warning. I smiled. Curses were a myth. Weren’t they?

Whatever was in that box… I had to know.

I slid the ivory pin from the latch and raised the lid. The hinges creaked their objection.

Then the rushing wind, like a thousand bats taking flight with a screech. I gasped and slammed it closed, but t’was too late.

“Pandora! What have you done?”


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Saturday, May 10, 2014

NEW RELEASE: from Wendy Knight ~ Warrior Everlasting



Fighting alongside the boy you shouldn't love is hard enough. Doing it while riding a unicorn who would gleefully fly to her death with you on her back is worse. What makes it insane?
Doing it in hell.

Scout and her unicorn, Ashra, risked everything just to make it into Aptavaras. Their plan is to free Scout’s family and the stolen souls, and seek vengeance on the man who took everything Ashra had once lived for. What they hadn’t counted on was Trey and his unicorn, Torz, following them.

It might be the only thing that will save them.

Because in Aptavaras, the soul stealers are many and the chances of survival are slim. Even if they can get past the demons, trick the demon master, rescue the souls and escape with their lives, there’s only one person who can open the gate, and he’s on the outside defending the world. But Scout, Trey, Ashra and Torz have one thing the soul stealers don’t—


A reason to live.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Mythology Files: Hera



I am Hera.
Don’t pretend like you don’t already know who I am.
Everyone knows who I am.
I am the queen.
Everyone else answers to Zeus. But Zeus… he answers to me.
I know what people say about me. That I’m a jealous, vindictive wife. That I am a vengeful witch.
People should mind their own business.
It’s never a good idea to poke your nose in where it doesn’t belong. Especially when it comes to how I deal with my husband’s… how should I put it? Shortcomings.
And he has a plethora.
As the goddess of marriage and fidelity, his philandering is more than just a broken trust and broken vows. It is a blasphemous offense to my divine nature. I deal with it accordingly.
Case in point.
Io. A mortal woman. I can honestly say I don’t know what he sees in any of them, but Io? Mousy brown hair, dull brown eyes, short and far too tan. And cankles. She had cankles. A hideous creature. She reminded me of a bumbling bovine — and not the sacred kind.
Not that I believe it was Io who started the whole affair. That was definitely Zeus. I know how persistent he can be. When he asked me to marry him I refused. I refused him over and over and over again. He would not give up. But I knew even then he would be unfaithful. He had a wondering eye and already was collecting a harem of immortal wives. Metis, the Titaness, for starters. She is no longer a rival, however. After an unfortunate incident during a shape-shifting game, Metis now resides in Zeus’s head. Forever relegated to advising the king of the gods from within.
Like a tiny little conscience.
Well, I use the term loosely, because either Metis turns the other way when Zeus is slumming it with mortal women, or his thought process bypasses his head altogether. My drachma is on the latter.
Like I said, he’s persistent. After I refused his proposal multiple times, he got creative.
He turned himself into a bird.
You heard me correctly.
The great god Zeus shifted into the form of a bird and hopped around pitifully like he had a broken wing. My intention was to help the bird.
What?
Don’t judge. I felt sorry for the poor little thing.
I scooped it up into my arms and suddenly I wasn’t holding a bird anymore. It was Zeus. And I knew that he would never give up, so I agreed to be his wife. And his queen.
So yes, I know it probably wasn’t Io doing the pursuing. Zeus has always been the pursuer. It’s not new. But I can’t just go around punishing the king of the gods. It undermines both our authority. That leaves the pursuee. Always. And sometimes, I also punish their illegitimate offspring. And to answer your question… I sleep fine. Someone has to suffer the consequences. It is simply the way things are.
Zeus turned Io into a snow white cow in order to hide her from me. Fitting, considering the cankles. But I am very good at playing the game. I insisted he give me the lovely little cow as a gift. He thought he was getting away with something, and he didn’t want to give up his little secret, so he indulged me. I set my personal bodyguard to watch her 24-7. How can anyone do that, you ask?
Argus was no ordinary bodyguard.
He had one hundred eyes spread over his entire body. They were never all closed at once. Never. He was the perfect watchman.
Until Hermes—
I hate to even think about it. The little rat.
You may as well know the story.
Zeus sent Hermes to rescue Io. The coward wouldn’t do it himself. He was too afraid of me finding out about his torrid love affair with cankle-girl. Since Argus was on duty, she wouldn’t be able to escape, and no one would be able to help her. Except Hermes.
He literally bored Argus to death.
With the longest, most pointless, most stupid story ever. It went on and on and on. Argus fell asleep. Every last eye closed. Then Hermes used his wand to make it permanent.
I will never get over that. Argus was my favorite. Ever.
That was just one of a multitude of incidents. Zeus owes me big time.
And I. Never. Forget.
This beauty contest? Should NOT even have happened. Zeus should have just given me the apple and let life go on.
I’m the queen of the Greek gods. No woman — immortal or otherwise — can hold a candle to my power and beauty. And that is a fact. Zeus would never have chosen me as queen otherwise. So why is he hesitating now?
Cowardice. It’s disgusting.


Read more of the story on Wattpad.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

WonHundred Word Wednesday: Young Love

PROMPT: You know what they say...



It started with a movie. I asked Betty. She accepted. Afterward on her porch, I said goodnight seven times, hoping for a kiss, until her father flicked the light off and on. I said goodnight one more time and turned to go, but she reached up on her tiptoes and kissed me on the cheek.

That spot burned all the way home. And I knew I was in love.

The next day at school she told me. “I’m moving to Arkansas.”

Mom said, “You know what they say… ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder.’


I asked Paula to a movie.


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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

NEW RELEASE: from Kelly Martin ~ Hindsight: Out of the Blue

Hindsight #1: Out of the Blue
Kelly Martin
This novella is the first in a three part series.

Start at the beginning...
You want to know how it all began.
How I fell for her? How I started to love...?
You want to know how I met Oliver Weston. How I grew to hate him? Why I did what I did?
You want to know how it all began?

Because every story has a beginning, doesn't it?
Even mine.
Especially mine.
I loved her. I still do.
And I hated him. Still do.
So this is it. The start. My 'in the beginning'.
This is how an average guy from Oklahoma ended up here... talking to you.
It all started innocently enough. I needed a place to live. Jordan needed a roommate.

It hit me out of the blue.
I only wish it had ended differently.
But we will get to that later.
Start at the beginning... are you sure you are ready?

Excerpt
I should have followed my gut instincts. We would have all been happier. I know I would have been. I would probably be with her right now. Not talking to you…
No offense. You are great and it’s helping… I’m going to get back to the story now before I put my foot in my mouth some more.
Okay, so I walked up the stairs, well, limped if you want the correct word. Limped because my knee was killing me from all the walking on campus and the God-forsaken stairs.
God-forsaken. Let’s go off on that tangent for a second. See, Sheriff Rivers asked me if I believed in God. If I was a church-going man. And I answered him yes. Yes, I was… actually I said my father was a preacher which basically means the same thing. I went to church. I believed in God. I was saved at a very young age. You need to know all of that before we go on with this story. You need to know that I prayed and I had every faith that everything would turn out okay.
Here’s the sixty-four thousand dollar question… do I believe in God now? Three months later? I guess we’ll have to get to that part, won’t we?
I didn’t have any of these thoughts as I climbed up the stairs. I did, however, remember just as I got to the landing on J’s floor that she had been mad at me. And I wondered, for a split second, if she still was. I didn’t have to wait long.
A shoe.
A SHOE.
A red shoe.
A red high heeled shoe.
Flew past my head.
I had to do this really cool Matrix move to keep the stiletto from impaling my eyeball.
Yep. Still mad.
I had a choice. Go up the stairs and sulk or go talk to the girl. Maybe apologize. I wish I could say it was an easy decision. A deadly object had been thrown at my head after all, but I decided I’d take the high road for once in my life and go apologize to her.
Didn’t mean that I went in all confident, though. I have to say, I kept my hands up and sort of shuffled into the room. I mean, I knew enough to know that shoes came in pairs. Only one had zipped by my head. She had another one in there somewhere.

Author Bio


Kelly Martin is the author of epic reads that you, your teen, and your Grandma Fannie can all enjoy together. She has been on several Amazon best seller lists... has won awards... and occasionally sleep (if she can ever get past that one level of Candy Crush... sigh)
She loves God, chocolate, Sleepy Hollow, and useless trivia.
Believes in Sherlock Holmes. (Seriously, a total fan girl!!!)

A list of her books
Crossing the Deep
Saint Sloan
Big is Beautiful: A Love Story
The Deception of Devin Miller
The Afterlife of Lizzie Monroe
Saving Sloan (Saint Sloan Sequel)
Hindsight: Out of the Blue (Part 1)
Coming in June: Hindsight: The Black Heart (2)
In progress: Betraying Ever After: A Shattered Fairy Tale

Buy links

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Mythology Files: Athena


I am Athena.

Goddess of wisdom, that’s my official title — though there are a plethora of other subjects that fall under the umbrella of my authority.

War strategy.

Arts and crafts.

Justice.

The list goes on.

I know you’re wondering why I’m here. It’s a fair question. One I have asked myself many times. Ordinarily, I don’t go in for this whole thing. Beauty, drama… the thought alone repulses me. So I understand your confusion. You would think my wisdom should have precluded me from getting involved.

I had a momentary lapse in judgment. That is all. And now I can’t seem to undo it.

I’m sure you’ll find this hard to believe, but I occasionally have fits of temper. I’m not proud of it. In fact, pride is actually my pet peeve, hence the rage.

You’ve heard of spiders? That is an example of my handiwork. True, they are amazing creatures, capable of intricate and beautiful weaving (one of my fortes), but the fact is spiders are a product of my temper… Of course, in that particular case, it was righteous indignation. Most of my fits of temper fall into that category.

Medusa? Yeah, another victim of my indignation. Well, I say victim, but really she brought it on herself. She and Arachne both. Two peas in a hubris-infected pod.

My mother is a Titaness, Metis, the goddess of prudence. She had a momentary lapse in judgment at one point which led to my birth taking place inside my father’s head.

Yes.

You heard me correctly.

In. Side. Zeus’s. Head.

Of course, it hurt him more than it hurt me. I can’t imagine having my head split open by Hephaestus’s axe. But when all was said and done, I emerged from my father’s skull the fully grown goddess you see now.

Zeus has momentary lapses in judgment all the time. None of us are immune. It’s just that with wisdom being my strong suit, you would think I would be a somewhat less susceptible. Discernment is my first nature after all.

Case in point, I’m a virgin.

Before you start jumping to conclusions, understand. That’s by choice.

No matter what anyone tells you, casual sex is an entanglement that offers only trouble and heartache. You can trust me on this one. But in case you need proof, just look at the problems Aphrodite has. And Zeus. It honestly gives me a headache just thinking about it.

It’s not that I’m against love, mind you. I just happen to believe that I deserve a god (or man) who doesn’t make me share him with any other goddess or woman he takes a fancy to.

Until that one comes along, abstinence is the wise choice.

So why do I care who wins the golden apple?

It’s obviously not for the sex appeal. But there is a logical explanation.

I don’t like pride.

You can look at my track record for evidence of that. And when I find it in mortals, I punish them. Severely.

In immortals, pride comes in epic proportions. Unfortunately, I can’t just turn them into insects. If I could, Aphrodite would have been morphed into one of those nasty lovebugs long, long ago. She’s worse than Narcissus. And that is saying something.

Pride makes people, mortal and immortal alike, stupid. And as the goddess of wisdom, stupidity is something I simply cannot abide.

Aphrodite is getting far too big for her britches, to coin a modern phrase. And Hera, well, I know she means well, but this whole I’m the queen prima donna attitude has reached critical mass.


This is why I must win the golden apple. I’m the only one who can absorb the compliment and not have it go straight to my head. I’m doing this for the good of everyone.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WonHundred Word Wednesday: Stalking Ashton

PROMPT: Do you want fries with that?


Ten years. That’s how long I’ve loved him.

He doesn’t know I exist — never once noticed me — but I’ve loved him for ten years… from the other side of my binoculars.

Every day I’ve watched him. Every night I lay awake pondering what I would say to him if he ever were to look my way: “Hello, Destiny. I’ve been waiting for you to walk into my life,” or “Do I know you or have I just seen you in my dreams?”


But no… I took one look in those baby blues and blurted, “Do you want fries with that?”


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WonHundred Word Wednesday: That's Mine!

PROMPT: Today's Horoscope: Your prized possession will end up in someone else's hands.


Jason smiled and held my hand. I could get lost in those deep blue eyes, and I did… often. I squeezed his hand and released it.

"I have something for you." I reached up behind my neck and unclasped my senior key necklace. It was my most valued possession — a symbol of my accomplishment, a sign that I was near to liberty. I re-clasped the chain and dangled it over his open palm, gazing deep into his eyes so he would know the depth of my feelings for him.

That was last week.


Today Wendy walked into class wearing it.



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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WonHundred Word Wednesday: Heart Trouble

PROMPT: That's what happens when you follow your heart.



The alarm pierced the air, sending a sudden shiver down my spine. Red-handed. That’s how they’d find me.

Get in. Get the goods. Get out. That was the plan.

But somewhere between picking the lock and making off with the score, my plan had gone horribly awry.I thought I’d had every detail accounted for… everything but my blasted Achilles’ heel.

All my life I’d been told to follow my heart — it would lead me where I needed to go. But I think something is wrong with my heart’s GPS. It only ever leads me to trouble.

Well… trouble and chocolate.

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