Sunday, April 24, 2016

Ketching up with K-U for Blogging from A to Z with One Word/60 Seconds

This is going to be a multi-letter post starting with K for Ketching up. I know I know it's not
supposed to be spelled like that but hey, making up words worked for Shakespeare. :)

The following Ketching-up entries will be from my One Word/60 Second list. What's One Word you ask? Well, it's actually a fantastic site OneWord.com. You are given a single word with a 60-second timer. You are to write as fast as you can what that one word inspires. It's a great way to warm up your muse or even shake a bit of writer's block. Maybe even get a good story starter or prompt to save for later. Okay, now I'm going to Ketch-up, I hope you enjoy the following OneWord/60 Second entries. 

L-Local
Instead of staking out the local chop shop he could be out with Gina, or Lola. Oh yeah, Lola. He popped the lid off his coffee and tossed it onto the dash with the rest of the night's collection. Maybe this one wouldn't taste like used oil.

After seven hours of crap coffee and no action, he watched the sleek sedan pull up to the garage door. The detective took a tentative sip and sighed as a big man stepped out of the car and straightened his coat, the hood he’d been looking for. He regretfully tossed the first decent cup of java all night out the window and flipped on the flashing lights. At least his wasn't the only date night to get ruined. 

M- Mystery 
The clatter of a coffee cup being set on the desk brought his attention from the files long enough to grunt thanks. This was one hell of a mystery, he had no idea where to start the search for this dame's sister. She was like smoke in fog, and he was one puzzled gumshoe.

N-New
The gun trembled slightly in his hand, this was his first day in uniform on patrol. The leather of his new holster still shiny. He was supposed to be sitting in the coffee shop eating donuts not in the middle of a face-off with a gang punk and an AK pointed at his head.

O-Optimism
Have some optimism, there’s a silver lining to every dark cloud. That’s what my mother would say when we were frightened of the creatures in the dark. She couldn’t see them so she didn’t think they existed. Even now as I cower under the covers, a grown woman I find myself whispering those words. Could there really be a silver lining to the dark shadow looming over my bed?

P-Panel
Looking down he saw a wooden panel loose on the desk. The jutting corner begging for discovery. Gently he pried at it with the tip of a pin. The panel fell to the floor revealing a compartment. Reaching inside he pulled out a diary, the first line read…. “My God,what have I done?”

Q-Quiet
The room was quiet but for the sound of water dripping from the corner. It was dark and damp, smelled like dirt, a basement maybe. She twisted and pulled at the ropes on her wrists. A sound from the corner made her pause. Scratch.. scratch...the rustle of paper or maybe cloth then a large rat ran across her feet. She gasped and wiggled her feet as much as the ropes would let her. There wasn't much time left, she worked harder and managed to loosen the knots just enough. Her hands trembled and pulled furiously on the other bonds until the door creaked and a sliver of light crept toward her. He was back.

R-Routine
A routine day in the shop was all I wanted. Just a normal unbothered day of customers, dusting antiques, and inventory. Until the crate arrived, until I opened it. The contents would change everything I knew. No more routine days in the shop.

S-Secluded
This part of the jogging path was secluded from the park. Usually, she enjoyed her run in the quiet of the night, but something about the thick copse of trees on each side made her feet move just a bit faster. She felt eyes bore into her back as she broke out into a full run. Her breath panted harder as footsteps began to echo hers from behind. They were getting faster, closer. She didn't dare glance back. Run just run, she told her feet, and they might make it out alive.

T-Trapped
The door slammed shut, he could hear the bolt slide into place. "Damn." There was always a reason those mysterious notes say come alone. It was a trap, his gut was right instinct had been right but he came anyway. Now he had two options, wait for his captor to kill him or search for escape.

U- Unplanned  
He stepped back and gazed at the blood spattered on the wall. The victim had been removed but evidence of his violent death was painted dark red across the wall like a high gloss white canvas. The pattern of spray and dots seemed geometric, a kind of unplanned art. Or was it? Maybe the killer fancied himself Monet or Van Gogh. Maybe Dali, the bastard was definitely mad. 

There we go all Kaught up. Oh, you really didn't think I'd stop with Ketch did ya? :D Now it's your turn to try a muse wake up with One Word. Pick one of these words above and time yourself writing for 60 seconds. What did you get? 



Jailbreak: an excerpt from Outlaw Born

Ben growled and pulled at his bonds. He wouldn’t hang here, on some ranch in the corner of Arizona. It was a jail, a nicer furnished one but a jail the same. Ben Mason was a decorated soldier of the Union Army. A man with more honor than Hammond and his Pinkertons could muster in a finger. The fact Ben was now wanted for robbery and murder aside.

 The wooden chair creaked with his efforts, it wasn’t a stout chair. Ben rocked forward onto his feet and fell back to the legs of the chair. He took a breath and rocked again, this time catching his balance. 

Ben stood stooped tied to the chair. “Well, this is effort rewarded, now what?” He raised his head as far as he could as he looked for something to free him. Nothing useful came to sight and his time was close to run out.

Standing like this he could see through the window and the horizon as it began to show color.

With a sigh, he shifted the chair on his back and pushes off the floor falling backwards hard. The old chair split apart, without the structure the ropes fell loose around his body.

Ben groaned and rubbed his scarred shoulder, which took the brunt of the fall. It took a moment for him to untangle his body from the mess. A moment too long, the door creaked open and one of the Pinkertons stepped in.

“What the hell?” He opened his coat and started to draw his weapon.

Ben grabbed a broken leg of the chair and swung at the man’s gun hand. The half-drawn weapon clattered to the floor. Ben swung the wooden leg back as the Pink tried to dive for it.

The wood connected knocking the other man unconscious. Ben watched the Pink collapse on the floor as he picked up the gun. He peered out the window to see four other Pinkertons busy with preparations for his hanging.

Ben moved into the bedroom and looked out the window for any others. It was clear. “One thing you can count on is a Pink being over confident.”

He quietly jumped out of the window, crouched and made his way to the corner of the house. Ben searched any sign of his men. He eased closer along the side of the house.

Charlie and Dawson were tied up next to what was left of the barn. The bastards had burnt it down for entertainment. Smoke and embers were all that remained of the building now. Ben used the smoke as cover to get to the men.

Charlie spun his head at the sound of burnt wood cracking under foot. He relaxed at the sight his friend. “Ben, they’ll be back soon. They’ve got plans…”

Ben nodded as he examined the knots; he needed to cut them free. “They’re busy craftin my noose.”

Dawson glanced out to keep watch as Ben worked. The men felt the ropes give way. Charlie grinned as he rubbed his forearms. “Let’s get the hell out of here, boss.”

Ben nodded to him. “You know where to go.”  He checked the chamber of the Pinkerton’s revolver. Six bullets, there would be no room to miss. Ben could feel Charlie and Dawson at his back as he started to move toward his goal.


He waited a long time to get Hammond in his sight. He wasn’t about to spoil the only shot he may get at the man. “Go, Charlie, get Dawson out of here, I’ve unfinished business.” 

Outlaw Born is a novel in progress this is a little taste of the tale. You can read the first chapters on Watpad. 
About Outlaw Born
The war forced Ben Mason into long separations from family and set him on the battlefield against brothers. His luck left him more often than it came to him. He fought through it all to rid himself of the tarnished name given to him by his father and return home safe to his family. 

What he finds forces him to realize his battle has only just begun. When the law fails to offer justice, Ben embraces the legacy he had fought so hard to escape. Blood is the only path when you're Outlaw Born.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Ides of March

It was dark in the alley, the perfect cover to watch for him. The club across the street was alive with music, lights and people. Maybe she should go in… no,  he would come out. She just had to wait.

It was damp and cold after the evening rains, but, nothing she couldn’t stand. There had been too much planning done already to waste the moment. It had to be done tonight. Suffering a bit of cold would be worth it in the end.

Loud music flooded the street when the club’s doors were flung open. There he was, that was him. He walked out alone, no tramp hanging off of him like so many others who had left before him.

He walked into the parking lot next to the club, paid no attention to the rest of the world around him. 

When he paused to light a cigarette she grinned. It was him, he was perfect. She walked over to the lot and smiled at him.

He smiled back. “Good evening.”

She didn’t reply, mustn’t seem so anxious. She walked over to her car she let go of a frustrated sigh as she gazed at her rear tire. “Damn it, not now…”

She sat her purse on the roof before she moved to the back of the car and opened the trunk.  She leaned inside and pulled out the jack and walked around to the flat tire.

He walked over and grinned. “Have a flat, can I give you a hand? No sense in a beautiful woman getting all greasy.”

She laughed and smiled back. “Thanks, I really appreciate it. I’m a serious girl with this stuff.”

He grinned and slid the jack under the edge of the car. “I’ll say you forgot a part. Do you mind if I look in your trunk for the tire iron?”

“No, go ahead. See I told you I have no idea what I’m doing there.”  She grinned then shifted to accentuate her ample form for him.

He smiled and walked around to the trunk. He pulled his eyes from hers and looked in. The iron was way in the back. He had to bend half into the trunk to reach it.

She watched and waited until both his hands were inside the trunk. Quickly, she moved to him and sank a needle into the back of his neck. Her thumb pushed the plunger as she glanced around, to make sure there were no other eyes on them.

In  seconds, he slumped, collapsed half into the trunk. She grinned as she tossed the needle inside then hefted the rest of him. 

For just a moment she paused and looked down at her victim. The rest of the night would be spent in blood as she has done since the betrayal. None leave her now. He will be hers tonight and in the morning, she will bury him near the others. “Beware the Ides of March.” 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Half Excerpt

About HALF
Guarding CEO Alex Blazen during a charity gala was an easy job for Valeska Gorstef...until all hell breaks loose...literally. Forced to face her own darkness, Valeska may lose her only chance to live a human life. Two sides of her soul will be at war. Which HALF will win?
Purchase links:

EXCERPT
Valeska stood within the darkness of the room and felt it breathe. The dark was a living creature part of what she was. Her darkness, her vampire, and she hated it. A bit of dust and the stain was all that was left of her father. Once she had thought killing him would free her to live a normal life, but that was just a pretty lie.

After all this time, she still had to exist in the twilight between two worlds. Trapped. She was lost in the past when she heard footsteps and smelled Alex’s cologne before he reached the room. Good. He’ll see the darkness and run. It would be that easy to stop this before I want any more than I can have.

Alex didn’t run. Instead, he walked over, embracing her and kissing her blood covered mouth. All he cared about was showing her it didn’t matter. That he loved her human or not. Plying her lips with his tongue, he gently pushed into her mouth and met sharp fangs.

She tasted fresh blood and pushed him away roughly. “Alex stop! I haven’t fed enough.”

He gazed at her and the concern she saw there was more than she could bear. “I couldn’t. I couldn’t take an unwilling victim, not even a four-legged one.”

He looked beneath the splatters of blood to the pain her eyes held. What horrors she must have endured to survive over six hundred years of life.

She wanted to push him far away. “Don’t you see me? This is Valeska Gorstef. Alex, I can’t change what I am. I can smell the sweet copper scent of blood in your mouth. I can hear your heart pumping more through your veins and I want it. I want to taste you in ways that have nothing to do with passion.”

The video flashed in his mind. “I see the beautiful woman who walked into my office three days ago. I see the dark desire in your eyes. Blood isn’t all you want.”

She shook her head. “Alex, you don’t know what you’re asking.” Valeska felt her control starting to slip.

“No, I don’t.” Alex unbuttoned her shirt, peeled the blood soaked fabric from her shoulders. He pulled off his own shirt and tossed it in the pile. She was dizzy from bloodlust and need. Need to give in, need to love him.

She stood stiff as he embraced her and kissing, caressing first one lip then the other. He was more careful exploring the warmth of her mouth. He licked her fangs tasting the sweet copper in her mouth.

Weakening with the scent of his body so close, she kissed him back him feeling his warm clean skin. They fell to the floor, she rolled over him. “We can’t do this. I have to feed.”

He grabbed her face as he kissed her again. “Then feed.”

Part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this April. Be sure to stop by the linky list to discover more awesome blogs . 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Grave Dancer

It was dark in the chapel, a new moon shed no light in the old abandoned building He sat on a pew moved under a window he watched and waited. Tonight he was prepared with camera, recorder, extra batteries, and a thermos of hot coffee to combat the chill of the night.


His hands wrapped around the tin cup absorbing the heat as he took a long sip. It was almost time, almost. He was afraid they wouldn’t come, he wouldn’t see her again. That it had been all a figment of his drunken mind.

Every night since that first one he had waited to see her again. He glanced back out the window he saw a glow fill the ancient graveyard. 

The glow was a soft bluish green like the ocean. The air felt damp heavy as he tossed aside the half full cup to get up on his knees for a better view out the broken window. His camera was in hand as he searched the worn headstones for her. 

The earth below a few of the stones shifted as a mist formed above them, taking shape. Arms stretched toward the sky as feet touched the ground. The figures yawned and moved as if waking from slumber.

He watched from his perch in the window holding up his camera to get the proof he wasn’t mad. They were real. The women there were like wisps of wind, ethereal. He could see them clearly in their ivory burial gowns, their skin fair as fine porcelain. But there was a touch of dream about them as they moved. Shifts in the misty glow would show them transparent.

His interest focused on one as she turned her skirt swirling the brittle leaves over her grave. She seemed to dance to some silent tune, perhaps only her kind could hear. Suddenly she stopped and walked back to her tombstone.

A cream colored rose lay on the aged marble. A soft smile of wonder slowly spread across  her pinked lips. She touched the petals gently as if it would fade away. When it didn’t she picked it up and brushed her cheek against the silken petals before she inhaled the sweet scent. 
  
A few of the other spirits began to gather to see the flower. Some searched their own stones. She smiled and held it out for them to sniff and touch lightly it had been so very long since anything but decay grew here.

The wind blew leaves around them, though their delicate forms. One jealous spiteful spirit marched over. Around her, the mist seemed darker, and aura of her cruel days in flesh perhaps.

Her hand closed over the petals and crushed the flower leaving only the stem in the sweet spirits hands.

The others began to walk away to play on their night of freedom.  The dark soul raised her chin and moved as far from them as her existence would allow. 

He watched wanting in that moment to run out and tell her not to be sad. The expression of loss on her sweet face was almost too much for his own heart to bare. How was he to know something as simple as a rose would cause so much.

Out the window, he saw her chest rise and fall in a ghostly sigh. The spirit knelt on the dead grass and picked up every petal, caressing it lightly in her hand. When they were all gathered she sat on a cracked marble bench and marveled.

She could still smell the sweet fragrance; the petals were still soft like her favorite velvet gown. She held them to her face and smiled. A petal escaped, slipped through her fingers to float into her lap.

She stood and watched it float gently to the worn earth. Suddenly she raised her hands and spun around tossing the petals in the air. As they fell around her catching on her hair and dress she danced in them.

When they had all fallen she gathered them to dance again in the glow of the mist. Her gown flowed around her, arms gracefully moved through the air, her dark hair flowed free around her shoulders lifting as she turned.

There was no sound but a soft rustle of leaves but he could imagine her joyous laughter. Something made her pause and look up. She brushed a strand of hair from her face and sighed. She gathered up her petals and carried them lovingly back to her grave.

She held her hands over it then slowly turned her palms letting petals fall like soft rain over her stone. With a gentle smile, she yawned and stretched as the mist appeared to grow thicker. Soon the others were in their places as well the mist began to fade until a glimpse of the sun could be spotted over the trees.

There was no more dancing the only evidence of the night being the cream-colored rose petals strewn over the darkened marble stone.



Part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the letter G. Be sure to visit the linky list on the site by clicking on the badge below for more great blogs to follow and read all through April!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Farrier's Fate

The heavy scent of sulfur filled his nose when he walked into the barn. An icy chill slid down his spine as he raised his lantern. A figure stood in the center of the barn. The farrier moved toward it. “You sent for me, sir?”

The figure in black let out a breath from the stump of his neck. Once there was a head there surely. Now only gore and bone, the creature gave off an odor of decay mixed with rose petals. He raised his arm and extended a long finger toward a stall.

The farrier nodded with a half bow before moving to it. He never knew how to address the coachman. The thing must have some kind of supernatural sight to guide The Black Coach on its nightly collection of spirits.

The beast in the stall raised its head as the farrier stepped into its domain. Its muscles flexed under the onyx skin as a hoof stomped and scraped the wood floor.

He reached out a hand and stroked the nightmare's neck. It turned a blood red eye to meet his. The farrier looked away before it could see into his soul. Those eyes could make a man relive his deepest pain.

He set down the bag of tools and pulled on the thick heatproof gloves. They were cumbersome at times but better to deal with the discomfort and aggravation of the gloves than to have his hands burnt with the heat the beasts gave off.

Perhaps it was the heat of their bodies that caused the metal to twist and warp on their hooves.  Their manes and tails looked like hellfire dancing as they ferried the coach. Fables have said they were fallen souls such as him. Others guess they were created from hellfire in the great pit. Or perhaps it was better not to know. His soul knew too much of this place already.

He lifted the hoof between his thighs to examine the warped metal shoe. As he worked to reshoe the demon horse his mind recalled the night the coach came for him. Not to take him to the next life, that would have been a blessing.

He stood over the corpses, his hands dripped in blood and gore. The last victim had taken their final breath and he stood over the body, to watch the eyes fade as the soul left the body. It was then he heard the thunder of hoof beats.

He turned and ran down the alleyway, turned corner after corner until the sound faded. When his lungs started to burn he stopped and leaned against a trash bin to catch his breath. He was sure he’d escaped his fate. Until he felt the darkness around him move.

The farrier looked down the alley and there sitting at the end, waiting for him. The Black Coach, the nightmares stomped and shifted impatient to get on with their task.

The Coachman walked headless over the cobbled ground toward the farrier. What happened next was too much for his mind to bare remembering.

The Coachman’s cold fingers sunk into his body and tore out his coward’s spine.

 The dark creature now used it for his whip. The farrier was cursed to serve The Black Coach until his soul paid for his evil deeds.

He finished with the last tack and dropped the hoof with hands that trembled. He gathered his tools quickly to go back into his abyss until the next time he was needed. This would be his fate for a long time to come.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Evan's Eagle

He walked through the wood and metal skeletons of the airship yard. Rows of dirigibles in various states of repair or construction, workmen shouted for tools or commanded parts be placed. A welder sent bright sparks of metal into the air as his blade cut down into a beam.

Evan brushed the hot sparks from his skin as he turned down the next row. That’s where he saw her, where he fell in love. She was almost finished with her outer framing the gas bag lay empty and lifeless within.


He moved closer careful to stay out of the workers' way. Nothing should delay his first command. It is his turn to defend his country and were her medals for heroism proudly on his chest. He, Evan Alexander Khale had been chosen to captain this airship long before the military recruited him into the dirigible corps.

A mechanic paused his task and pulled a dirty cloth from his back pocket. He recognized the man in uniform and quickly wiped the sweat from his brow. He stuffed the cloth back into his coverall pocket and walked over to the man his hand extended. “It’s an honor to meet you Captain Khale. Are you here for inspection, sir?”

Evan shook the man’s hand, too late in realizing he’d worn white gloves now speckled with soot and grease. “No, inspection. I just wanted to see her progress.”

The worker’s chest puffed up as his thumbs locked around the straps of his coveralls and gazed up at the structure. “She’s a full week ahead of schedule, Captain. A fine bird she is, all the latest technologies.”

He grinned and pulled a flask from his boot. After he took a deep swig, the mechanic offered it to Evan.

Evan took a swig, the homemade corn whiskey was stronger than he expected. The amber liquid caused him to sputter and cough for a moment.

The mechanic gave Evan a sharp pat on the back. “Apologies, Captain. I shoulda warned ya the brew could curl a dog’s whiskers.”

Evan nodded. “That I believe, workman.” Recovered, he righted himself and watched them fill the gas bag. The dirigible began to hover as far as the mooring lines would allow.

The supervisor called for all hands to aid in securing the gondola to her frame. The mechanic grinned and tipped his cap. “Better get back at it. Don’t worry none, we’ll have this beauty ready on time. She’s gonna soar, wait and see.”

Evan gave him a reserved grin back and looked at his girl. Indeed, she would soar like an eagle, and he at her wheel.

Part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge. Be sure to visit the list to discover more great blogs