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NANOWRIMO 2012

31 Oct
#NANOWRIMO  starts tomorrow. I never plan. I never plot. I flex the imagination a day or two before and then let my mind run wild. NANO isn’t about plotting or perfection. It despises the editing process. It’s all about freewriting and letting the imagination burn with new ideas.
My wrimo nickname is rockmybobbysocks Please feel free to find me and add me. For tomorrow… Tomorrow it begins.

“What is it you want?”
“To be free.”
“Free from what?”
“From them.” Dani pointed out of the dusty, stained window of the apothecary shop. Her family stood at the edge of an apple cart, her brother younger by only a year, pocketing apples, while her mother and father argue with the vendor.

“Are you sure? Once you do this, there is no going back” Magda held the small green bottle tight between her gnarled thumb and forefinger. The bottle glistened in the light of the candles placed strategically around the shop. each corner lit to mark like a compass. They stood at North.

“I can’t take it anymore. They won’t let me go. The pain is too much. I do everything they ask of me in the hopes that it will change.”

“There are other ways, child. I know what your father and brother do to you. I know what your mother allows. they can be punished. Why not go to the law?”

“It’s not enough. I want a guarantee. We are of noble blood. There is no justice for the bastard daughter being used in such a way.”

Magda snatched the bottle before it could slip into Dani’s hands and held it tight to her bosom. “I warn you child, ingest the contents of this bottle and you cross the line between good and evil. There is no place for your soul. You will wander for the rest of your life, poison to all mankind.”

“My life is over. What am I fit for? I fear I will end up birthing an incestuous bastard child of my father’s or brother’s. What will I do then? With an evil deformed child of incest!? Will you take that child, Magda!? What if it happens? What will i do? I’ll die! The child would be damned.”

“I see. So you do have a fear that is worse than your own fate.” Magda took the small pieces of copper from Dani and handed her the bottle. “Ingest it now so I may know that you do not slip it to another.”

Dani took the bottle in her shaking hands, took a deep breath and popped the small cork. She downed the hot, tart liquid and winced as it burned fire down her throat.

“Here.” Magda handed her a cold earthenware mug. “Drink this. It will sooth the burn.”

Dani drank the strangely sweet milk in one gulp and sighed at the peacefulness that overcame her. She swayed a moment as her mind became fuzzy.

Where am I? were we not at North?

She opened her eyes to Magda across the room, at the northern candle, only to find herself at the southern candle, hand in flame.

“It is done. Flames will never burn you. Ice will never blacken your soul. For your soul is now the blackest of black. And always remember, you are the poison of god. You are the cleanse. Any man whom you are intimate with, will face the consequences of their actions.”

“Magda, what have I done?”

“You have changed the eternal thread of your destiny. Your world is now distorted. Be wise with your choices, child. And do not forget the opium for your father. He will be quite remiss if you do.”

Dani picked up the small satchel next to the door and forced herself to stop shaking.

Tonight…

Tonight it will be all over

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Random Love

9 Oct

It’s just one of those things, ya know?
Like rain on an important day.
Or not being able to find your keys when your late.

I just… I just missed the train.
And there he was.

I didn’t understand, at first.
He was so… so unattainable.
He was beautiful.
My mind refused to wrap itself around the idea that he may have noticed me too. How could he not, though? I stared at him, slack jawed like a confused fan. I didn’t know whether I should run for his autograph, or run screaming for my life.

I didn’t know any better.

Sometimes that happens, ya know?
Like bumping into a hot iron.
Or taking a turn too fast on the road.

I was ignorant. I fell like a tree chopped at the ankles.

He was everything.
He was light and strength and glorified sex in dark denim jeans and a ridiculous plaid sport coat. He seemed cold, his scarf, too thin.

I stared for 10 minutes straight when the next train pulled up and I shook myself.

It was like Fate, ya know?
Like walking up to the cab stop to find a cab waiting for you.
Or finding that missing ring in the spot that you looked a million times before on the night you needed to wear it.

I never saw it coming.

I was blind. I didn’t catch on until my world was burning down around me.
I sat in the corner of the traincar as people piled on. It’s like they brought the fog in with them. Everything was just so cloudy. I stared at the book in front of me, not really seeing the words. we hit a turn and the body standing in front of me leaned in.

His ridiculous plaid coat brushed my book and I looked up.

He smiled down at me.

I never made it home.

It was one of those things, ya know?
Like the kind of love you would fight for.
Or the kind of love you would die for…

Update

27 Feb

Mora is 18 chapters strong now. Nanowrimo fell apart when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and my world came crashing down. she’s the last parent i have left. its been a basket of stress hand delivered every day by disease.

regardless tonight I decided to try mapping out a new story… horror/fantasy/mystery. you know me… can’t stick to a genre to save my life. wanna see the first page or two? here….

“The Gods will tear this world a sunder before they will ever allow you to have it.”
“Pretty words from a man who will soon be buried so far into the underworld, there will be no ascension.” Geribaldi rolled the ancient gold coin between his knuckles on his left hand while aiming the silencer with this right. “Do you not understand? There is no stopping it. The Emergence is coming and there is nothing you or any of your brotherhood can do.” He chuckled as he leveled the barrel at his victim.
“Oh, the game is nowhere near over, Danello. You can kill me, but you will never get your hands on all of the pieces.” He didn’t even struggle against his restraints, accepting of his fate as he knew it would one day, arrive at his doorstep, just as the fates had told him so many years ago. He took the oath and the coin knowing full well the danger they brought.
“I will ask you this only once more. Where is the Pendant, Hamid?”
“In the pits of Hell. Where I am sure, I will be seeing you soon.”
With a frustrated growl, Geribaldi pulled the trigger firing off the singular shot that ended Hamid’s life. He stepped out of the small cave in the central Theben Desert. He lit his cigar and puffed away as he waited for his transport.
“It is not like you to tell the future, Hamid. Yet, I am sure you are correct. By the time this is over, I will see you in the pits of hell, and if I must go that far to retreive the damned pendant, I will.”
He shielded his eyes as the helicopter lowered the rope ladder down to his location. He climbed into the helicopter and surveyed his small team. “Any word?”
“Sir! We have word that the pendant is in Los Angeles. It may be a wild goose chase, unless you have word of otherwise?” The young soldier had shown so much potential in training. He was definitely going far in the private sector.
“Nope. That sounds like as good of a place as any to start the new search. Please report to HQ that I have retrieved the coin.”

Nanowrimo 2010

4 Nov

So this year I’m using NANOWRIMO as a way to actually finish a novel. I’m thinking this might actually work as its a complete challenge and I love challenges.

Last year I didn’t succeed due to a move and alot of stress … and well let’s face it, excuses.

This year I don’t actually have that ability. NO EXCUSES! the story I’m working on is just way too important to let god. Its not just the main character that is haunting me this time, its the world.

I wrote an entire plot idea here but decided for safety’s sake it probably isn’t a wise idea. Sooo you’ll just have to see. I have three fantastic friends who are reading as i write and so far good reviews. I trust them to be brutally honest when it could be crap vs captivating. we’ll see. all i know is i am dying to find out what happens to this girl and if I can just make it a single story about her while thing about another character I may get to spin off with, without making it a sequel! we’ll see.

I have to sleep I’m late and very tired. too much writing working and being broke.

goodnight!

Mora Chapter 2

5 Sep

I cannot tell you how excited I am that this story is progressing. There are definite moments of struggle for me but mostly its been a hell of a ride. Here is chapter two (I’ve just finished writing chapter 5)!

Chapter 2

“Climb onto the cart, girl. You may ride within, on the roof, or you may walk.” Josef said as he strapped the cart rigging to the Blusterbeast. Its mighty horns protruded from its forehead and shone in the early morning sunlight as it stamped its massive feet. Its rough skin was wrinkled over a body that was big enough to hold four of me on his back with no problem.

Gemma was a rare Oasis blessed with a female and a male Blusterbeast and every ten years, we would be blessed with a yearling. I walked up to the cart and the eye of the Blusterbeast rolled to stare at me. He always frightened me, even as an adult. That bulbous blue eye followed me as I wandered to the cart I would be riding in. Its lashes fluttering in the soft breeze of the morning.

This year we were trading its child. The baby with softer skin was just under my height with three small humps on its forehead where its horns would come in. We were trading her for a wife. The baby was tied to the back of the cart that I was to ride and I couldn’t help but wander closer to it.

“Stop there, girl. Do not touch it. It will become attached to you and we need it to be attached to its new owner.” Josef yelled at me from the top of the front cart. He had the reigns in his hands as the men did a count and check of the wares and baggage. I was granted a bag full of alpaca yarn I had spun and dyed myself, my collection of needles and hooks, and my small sketchbook with my patterns and designs. They saw it as a trade of craftsman, but I saw it as a luxury they were allowing me. I never could admit the pride I felt from my creations. Or the secreted patterns of intricate designs I had created. Only my mother knew.

I climbed onto the top of the cart and settled myself in, my bag of yarn on one side, my patterns on the other. I intended to keep myself busy as we made the three day treck across the Deadlands to the meeting place. I decided I should start on a blanket, as I had to leave mine behind.

The caravan started into the woods that surrounded our clearing and I suddenly felt the trepidation of this journey. The little yearling walked trudged along next to the cart, once in a while making strange soft noises as we continued to the border of the oasis. I said a quick prayer for strength and started on the blanket.

Hours had passed and my fingers began to cramp as we came to the edge of the wood. It was like a line drawn in the land. There were barren trees and then, nothing. Pure white sand as far as the eye could see. We stopped and Josef walked across the tops of the carts. He reached me and stopped. Just at the edge of my skirts.

“It will get hot quickly, but we will not stop. If you choose to go inside of the cart, now is the time to do it. If you need to relieve yourself, also, now is the time to do it. I have made this trek a thousand times and more to the point that I understand if you feel the need to remove the top layer of clothing. I will not be looking back at you unless you call my name. If you feel faint, sick, dizzy, call my name. If you need to stop and relieve yourself, call my name. If you hear me call out to you, or if we stop, you need to dress quickly and come down from the top of the cart.” He sighed a heavy sigh and looked directly at my eyes for the first time in my life. I couldn’t help but feel frightened as a man had never looked at me before.

“I need to warn you, there are such things as storms you’ve never seen before. There is no rain, just wind and the wind will create a devil in the form of sand. We will stop, we will ride out any storm that comes our way. You will need to be inside the cart. It will be blinding if you stay outside during a storm. Do you understand?”

“Yes. I have prayed heavily for strength and to grant us safe passage. I can only knit, and pray.” I held up my needles so he may see the creation I’d started and he nodded his head. Josef turned, and walked back to the front cart. I was sitting on the third and last cart. I stood, and climbed down, wandered into the wood a bit, relieved myself and came back, only to sit on a small cushion that was not there before. He said nothing, and I did not thank him. I sat and continued my work as we started out into the Deadlands.

Josef was right. It was not long before I was stripping my overdress from my shoulders and setting up the screen above my head. It was hotter than anything I’d ever experienced before in my life. Sweat poured down my back and between my breasts as I continued my project in silence. All around was nothing but sand. Gemma had disappeared from my sight quite a while ago and I had sat in silent reverence to my new found status. Many hours had passed when we stopped by an outcropping of rocks. It was as if a hillside of limestone stuck out of the sand, offering us shelter from the night. I slipped my overdress back on after I inspected my now much darker skin.

“Why do we not continue through the night?” I asked as I climbed down the cart and avoided the baby blusterbeast.

“There are creatures you’ve never imagined that survive in this desert. We cannot become their nightly meal. We must stay protected. I shall rise with the sun and we shall start again. You are set up to sleep in the last cart. I shall sleep in the front. If you hear anything, play as if you were dead. Do not make a sound.” Josef walked away and proceeded to set up camp against the large rocks.

Soon, he had a small blaze going as he cooked poultry over the fire. I sat across the pit and ate in silence. I feared him. He was a man and I knew nothing of them. I knew Gemma was filled with them and they did hard labor but I knew nothing of their inner thoughts, their minds. I had heard the tales of ancient men wallowing in the pleasures of women. We were merely slaves to their wills. We looked the way they wanted us to, we spoke the way they thought was proper. We were there strictly for their pleasure even if it caused us pain. The acts were never described but the idea was sickening to me.

As I thought about it, I couldn’t help the curious idea that crossed my mind. How were we any different now? The elders were made up of men. I have no rights. We are not a people of freedoms. The thoughts alone made me want to cry. Not because of my situation, that was unchangeable. But because it was a grievous sin to question the life I was granted.

The sound of a lone screeching animal filled the night and I began to shake in fear. “Drink some water, and go to sleep. I will keep watch with the beasts. We will be okay.” He handed me the large skin of water and I drank my fill.

I stripped in my cart and rolled out my bed. It was nothing but a stuffed pelt but at least it was something. Once the night set in, the temperature dropped to the point of me shivering even with my thick shawl wrapped around my shoulders. I huddled in my pelt and slept with my yarn bag as a pillow. I fell asleep to the sound of wind and screeching birds.

The next morning I awoke before the sun, listening to Josef getting ready to leave. I dressed and stepped out in time to watch him feed the yearling. “Will you be riding up top, Mora?”

“Yes, I think so. As long as I have the canopy up, I feel better than in the baking heat of the cart.” I walked away down a hill of sand and relieved myself before climbing back up on the cart and readying myself for day two.

We started again, just as the sun was rising in the east. The heat pounded down on us as we delved deeper into the Deadlands and I slowly began to feel as though we were lost. I drank sparingly from my waterskin and continued my blanket project, fearing the results of letting my mind wander again. I had much atonement to be done once I became a member of my new Oasis.

At some point during the day, I had the sudden urge to look up only to be blessed with the view of the the skeletal remains of a huge beast. I stared at it in shock as I realized I would fit perfectly into the belly of that long gone creature, until I noticed someone had already thought of that. There, within the rib cage rested the skeleton of a human being. It leaned up against a giant rib, its bleached white teeth grinning from a broken skull.

“Don’t look at it.” Josef said from the first cart.

“I am sorry.” I said back. Turning my head, I knew the image would forever be burned into my memory.

“We will have only two more nights and then you will be with your new family. You were chosen for a reason, Mora. You represent the Gemma Oasis very well. You are a model member of the Oasis and we feel as though we honor Dios in this trade. You must look upon that with humility and grace.”

“I do. I no pride. However I know that I must continue to try to do my best for the sake of Gemma.” I answered remotely. It was a natural response, one taught to me as far back as I could remember. Everything was done for the sake of Gemma and Dios.

By the end of the second day, my hair was soaked with sweat and my waterskin was half empty. I sat in nothing but my underthings beneath the small canopy I had put up on the top of the cart. Once in a while a huge bird would fly across the sky, silent in its vigilance. Its wings glittered in the sunlight and all I could think of was to be free and be able to fly. We stopped at a small watering hole, allowing the blusterbeast and its yearling to drink deeply, replenishing its internal supply. I myself refilled my waterskin before climbing back up and continuing the blanket.

We rode on for what seemed like forever until the sun began to set. Josef stopped, I dressed and he set up camp. The blanket was now large enough to cover a small child’s bed, in soft muted colors of the trees. Greens, browns and a few soft hints of yellow. We sat and ate and again I curled into my stuffed pelt for sleep. The wind picked up tonight, howling through the rocks we had chosen as our sanctuary. The door of my cart rattled as the wind blasted against it, yet still, I was able to drift into sleep.

I awoke to the sound of stomping as my cart shook from force. I dressed and peeked through the latched window only to be blasted by sand. I could hear the yearling crying and mewling in the horrible storm.

“Josef!” I called out.

“Josef!” I screamed but there was no response. The wind whipped my door open and I could barely see the yearling struggling against the storm. I reached out, grabbed its rope and pulled it in. I could hear the screeching birds as they flew above the sand storm.

“Hear me Dios! Save Us! Do not let us parish in this storm!” I screamed into the night, tasting the sand on my lips.
Finally the yearling reached the cart and I hauled it inside. It was huge, the floorboards creaking under its steps. Its eyes watering and red as its second set of lids had not fully developed and the storm had caused much pain. I pulled the door shut behind it, latching it with a large piece of wood.

The yearling collapsed next to my pelt, whimpering. I took my waterskin and dripped water over its eyes, washing away the sand. “Shhh… It’s okay. We will survive this together and in the morning, Josef will take us home.” I whispered in its ear. It seemed to calm itself to the sound of my voice as I rinsed its eyes and settled it down next to me. There I sat, all night, with the head of a blusterbeast yearling in my lap as it slept, and a storm raging outside around us.

Captive

17 Aug

she stood at the window while he paced the room. Her heart pounded at the idea of him pressing that gun to her head. she didnt know what it was about this man, but he scared the shit out of her and she was ashamed to admit she liked it.

She was always too demanding, dominant, strong and now he’d taken her from the casino floor and tore away at her defiance. She sweated at the idea of defying him again. Suddenly she felt his hot breath on the back of her shoulderblades.

“You have the money. I know you do. You will give me every dime you owe me or I will splatter your brains all over the las vegas strip.”

Her mind spun at his threats. She wanted to slap him, but feared he’d shoot her just to show her he meant business.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She held her breath. Dear god let him believe in the lie.

“You don’t, do you?” He pressed the barrel of his revolver into her spine and the cold steel brought goosebumps across her flesh.

“Not a word.”

“Then there’s no point in keeping you alive, is there?”

She shivered as he cocked the gun and kissed her neck just behind her ear.

“Please…” her whisper was barely audible over the blood pounding in her ears.

Witches (untitled work)

25 Jun

So apparently my scene breaks didn’t survive the transfer from word to wordpress. Funny how that works. But here is what I have been working at. Just a lil ditty that was stuck in my head and I can only hope this one can continue. 🙂 there’s a total of 29 pages of it in word.. thats a good start for me.


so here ya go.. hope you enjoy.

“Hand me the clear bottle with the red powder in it.”

“What is it?” Janey shook the bottle.

“She said it was dragons fang. Its integral for the spell to work.” I took the bottle and popped the tiny little stopper. The woman behind the counter thought I was joking at first when I made my proposition, but with every dime from my mad money account, I bought all I needed to make Justin fall in love with me. He saw everyone else but me and I was determined to change that fact.

“You know they say if you don’t know what you’re doing, you shouldn’t be doing it. Do you have any idea what you’re doing?”

“I’ve read up on it. It’s all a matter of faith and belief. I think I have enough of both to muster this thing into gear. Besides…” I muttered as I poured the contents of the vial into the small copper pot. “It’s a tiny spell. Nothing major.”

The contents of the pot began to bubble even though there was no fire beneath it. An acrid stench began to waft into the air and I felt the urge to begin the chant. My mind cleared and I pictured Justin; tall, beautiful, tanned. He was a glory to my eyes and forever burning into my memory with his winning smile and dimpled chin. My heart began to pound and I instinctually wanted to shy away. He was too much for me. Yet, I wanted him more than anything I could possibly conceive.

“Love is blind.

“Love is pure.

“Send my call,

“To his ear.”

Janey shook and shivered across from me as I took the willow reed wand and stirred the contents. We recited the small incantation until the concoction was thick like mud, smooth as paint and the color of molasses.

The purpose was to only nudge him a lil in my direction. Nothing major, just give him the strength to see me. I concentrated on him, smiling at the idea of him being mine and began the second part of the chant.

“Bind his heart

“with Love and Lust.

“Be it unending

“until I say enough.”

I took the sharp little antique hatpin that was once my Grandma Rose’s and stabbed the tip of my left ring finger. The bright red droplets of blood dripped from my finger and everything changed.

My mind screamed as light filled the room from the bowl. I could hear Janey scooting away, the chant being torn from her lips regardless of her own choice. The light blinded and burned and something in my mind, a humming a soft unrecognizable tune flooded my ears and mixed with the light. I felt my body lift, weightless and my spine bend. And suddenly I was humming. The soft hypnotic tune poured from my lips and the power I knew nothing about, surged through me and into the light. Into the bowl.

I hit the carpet of my small studio apartment with a thump that knocked the wind out of me. “What the hell was that?” I coughed.

Janey scuttled out from behind my sofabed and whimpered. “Oh. My. God.” She said as she stared around the room, looking for proof of what we had done. “What the hell just happened?”

“The spell. It had to be.”

“I… I had no idea it would actually work.”

“Well, we don’t know if it’s worked yet.”

“Only one way to find out.” Janey lifted the receiver on my old pink rotary phone and pointed it at me. I had Justin’s number for study group’s sake but had yet to use it. My fingers trembled as I flipped through my bedazzled phone book, looking for his number.

It rang and I almost threw up. I hadn’t even gotten to the D’s yet.

“Ahoy hoy?” he chimed, chuckling at his own joking manner.

“Hello?”

“Evelyn? Is that you?”

“Yes…” I whispered into the receiver as his voice made me want to giggle hysterically.

“Hi. I… I’ve been meaning to ask you something. Come to dinner” He didn’t even hesitate.

“You can’t mean that?” I shook my head as Janey stood by listening and practically hopping in place.

“I’ve been waiting for you. I have no idea why I didn’t just pick up the phone and call you earlier. Come. Meet me tonight and I promise to show you a fantastic time. Come to my house tonight at 8pm. Don’t be late.” And with that, he hung up.

I stood staring at the dead receiver in utter shock. “It worked. I can’t believe it worked.”

“That. Was. Awesome.” Janey sat on the sofa and heaved a sigh of relief. “For a minute there I thought we opened up some creepy portal and like ghosts and demons were gonna come flying out of your little bowl!”

“Did you feel that?” Marla set the teapot down and leaned back in her Adirondack chair.

“It was strong. Something of that strength is requiring a permit and I know you have not signed out on anything today.” Ervis set his teacup down and stared out of the fouth story window. “Tell me I was out when you signed a permit for that, Marla.”

“Nope. That was one hell of an unsanctioned spell that was just cast.” She sighed and stood as the phone began to ring. “Yes I know. I’ll send Ervis out now.”

“Death?”

“No. Apparently, She wants recon first. We haven’t had an unsanctioned spell of that proportion in our area in more than thirty years. Call me when you find out what happened.”

Ervis stood and slid into his coat. The idea of someone out there releasing that much energy into the air frustrated him to no end. His job was mainly easy, policing and keeping the peace within the backland was easy. Most people in the area got along swimmingly. The disputes were usually minute and only took him a moment to settle. His own generation had not seen anything unsanctioned before.

He could taste the apprehention on his tongue as he closed his eyes and concentrated on the sonic boom of energy. It had been released across Rancho Cucamonga, through the suburbs reaching him in Claremont. That was enough to warrant a death sentence.

A spell like that was usually tied to control or death. Neither was allowed these days. The rules of magic had changed within the last one hundred years and for good reason too. The Enforcement was created to put a stop to the battles of magic and power. The destruction of individuals by magic was no longer allowed. Disputes were brought to The Enforcement and they made all final decisions. It was law, not unlike the laws of man, but more to the laws of magic.

Ervis stood on the street corner and felt the pull from the residual layer left behind. Either someone was very dangerous or just very stupid. Or worse, both. “Damn.” He muttered. “There goes my vacation.” He got in his car, opened the windows to allow the fall breeze in and followed the trail.

I pulled my dark unruly hair into a high ponytail and stood in front of the bathroom mirror. My hair had always been the same wavy mess since I was a child. My mother used to attack me with a brush and beat my hair into a braid so I wouldn’t get tangled in it during the day. Now that I am older, I just don’t have the strength to control it and let it do what it wants. Which explains the massive knots and frizz.

“Want me to braid it?” Janey said while leaning on the doorjamb and grinning at me.

“Nah,” I muttered. “you’ll just lose a finger in it.” I began the strenuous phase of braiding down the ponytail.

I’d decided to wear my nice knee length black a-line skirt and pink scoop neck top with matching pink cardigan. I had my little black flats set by the door and all that needed to be done was my hair. I rarely wore any makeup so I had already dabbed a little lip gloss across my lips in a pretty strawberry color and was almost ready to go.

Janey stood in her funky pink flannel pajamas with little rainbows and clouds all over and watched as I prepared for the biggest night of my life. “So I’m packing a condom in your purse, you know… just in case.” She grinned as she held open my clutch and stuck that, my wallet and the lip gloss in there.

“You’re foul. You know that?” I chuckled as I eyed her through the mirror. “I’m not going to sleep with him on the first date. I may be practically obsessed with him, but I’m not easy like that.”

“Sure you’re not.”

“Shut up.” I grabbed my purse from out of her hands and headed to the front door. Our apartment was small and packed full of books and such but I loved it. Janey started out as an outstanding roommate at the beginning of college and ended up becoming my best friend. She was brash and honest and never hesitated to say what she felt. She was also weary of me goofing around in the occult and thought my tarot cards were a total joke. But she supported me in everything I did and who better to slip a condom in my purse but her?

“Be careful okay?” she hugged me tight, reminding me of my mom.

“I’ll call your cell as soon as I’m on my way home.” I smiled and slid into my flats.

“If you don’t call, I know you won’t be coming home.” And with that, she shoved me out the door, car keys in hand.

I drove to Justin’s house, knowing exactly where I was going. I’ll admit it. I’d cruised the place on countless occasions dreaming of parking and stepping up to the door. Now, as I parked my car, my heart hammered in my chest like a crazed blacksmith and all I could do was pray I didn’t throw up on anyone.

I knocked and as the door swung open my mouth fell open and slack. Justin stood in a pair of artfully faded jeans and a cableknit sweater in chocolate brown. His hair was shaggy in a contemporary cut that fell in his beautiful blue eyes. My eyes fell onto his smiling lips and his dimpled chin. That dimple. I’d wanted to touch it to see if it was rough from shaving. I’d wanted to kiss it and lick it and now I was staring at it as if he had a grotesque growth on his face. I quickly met his eyes.

“Hi Evelyn. Come in. Let me take your sweater.” I stepped into the house and didn’t know what to say. It was a typical bachelor pad but on much bigger proportions. It was a huge house in one of the new housing developments that bordered Alta Loma. It had sports memorabilia all over the walls and a huge tv facing a much used giant brown sofa. He lived in the house with three other guys and they definitely used it well.

“Hi. So where’s your roommates tonight?” I said as I looked around the downstairs of the house.

“How did you know I had roommates?” he asked as he led me to the dining room.

“Oh I heard you mention it once in class.” I lied as I bit my lip. I had witnessed his roommates come home as I made with the cruising of his house. I worried that I’d reached stalker status with that realization.

“Ah. Well, I sent them out. Or at least bribed them to stay in their rooms for the night. Okay? I hope you like Italian because that’s really all I know how to cook.”

“You cooked?” I sat in the chair he had pulled out for me and smiled at the spread on the table. There was spaghetti, baguettes, salad and wine.

“Of course. I wanted to impress you. I hope you like it.” He served me a plate then sat and served himself. We ate and talked and drank as I swam in pure happiness of seeing him spend time with me. I felt lavished in attention even though he talked of nothing but himself and his addiction to baseball. I didn’t care though, as long as he continued to look at me as if I were the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen.

“Bring your wine with you.” He said as he took my hand and lead me into the living room. “I figured we could sit and watch a movie. Wanna stay a while?” he said as he popped open the cover to Ocean’s Eleven.

“Absolutely.” I sat on the sofa and set my wine glass down when I heard footfalls coming down the stairs. I recognized Doug from an econ class I had taken last year and smiled and waved.

But he didn’t wave back. He stood at the bottom of the stairs and stared at me like I was fresh meat and he was a starving tiger. His eyes burned and his nostrils flared as he stood stock-still. He was in nothing but cargo shorts and socks, hair wet as if he’d just stepped out of the shower.

It all happened at once. My mind sees it now, like an out of body experience. One minute he stood at the edge of the stairs wound tighter than a vice around a grapefruit, ready to bust, and then next he had me pinned on the couch. I was too shocked to scream. His body pressed hard against mine, his athletic chest hot as my hands splayed across him, attempting to push him off.

He kissed me, his tongue boring down into my mouth with a severity that made me whimper under him. He tasted of too much scope and need. Pure need. I couldn’t understand it. He’d never even noticed me before and if we hadn’t been placed in the same work-study group, he wouldn’t have even known my name. And now he was practically raping me as his hands slid up my side and gripped my breast hard.

And then he was gone.

I heard something crunch as he was slammed into the wall behind the sofa. My heart pounded as I flew up from my seat and ran for my purse and sweater. I needed out of there as I caught glimpses of Justin beating the living shit out of Doug. They growled and swiped at each other like beasts; animals fighting over a potential mate. I screamed for them to stop as I ran out the door. The last thing I saw was Justin pressing his forearm into Doug’s throat. I had already pulled my cell phone from my clutch and and began to dial 911 anonymously.

I drove like a bat out of hell as I headed home, tears streaming down my face. I slowed as I turned the corner and watched the police come barreling down the street toward Justin’s home and hoped they’d get there in time. I could only think that maybe, just maybe this was my fault.

Ervis sat in his Audi and watched the pretty plump girl with the long legs run for her life from the frat house. She looked shaken as she clutched her purse to her chest and scrambled into her car. She was tall. At least taller than most women he’d dealt with. Her long braid flailed behind her as she ran. He sniffed the air and knew the trail ended with her. She was his culprit and all he had to do now was catch her. But before he could blink, she’d made a U turn in the cul-de-sac and was already turning down the street.

“Damnit.” He muttered as he started his engine and took off like bolt to follow her only to almost get creamed by two cop cars practically flying down the street. He stopped and watched as they waved him on but ran from their cars into the open front door.

Ervis could see the two men being dragged out of the house. One bruised and bloody, coughing and hacking, the other being restrained and practically dragged to the squad car yelling “SHE’S MINE!” the entire time.

He watched the evidence of the spell and had a sinking suspicion the pretty one running for her life made a lil booboo while messing where she didn’t belong. He all he knew was she was powerful and apparently, didn’t know it.

She would have to be captured, educated and then maybe, just maybe she could re-enter society without being a threat.

“And then he grabbed Doug and they started fighting.”

“Like bar brawl style?” Janey curled up on the couch and watched me as I paced back and forth in our tiny apartment.

“Yeah. It was horrible. I hope they didn’t kill each other. I mean, that’s blood on my hands, ya know?” I absently rubbed the bruises on my breast and sat next to her. I shivered as I remembered the events from earlier tonight.

“I doubt it went that far.” She shrugged and handed me a cup of cocoa.

“You don’t understand. They were vicious. Like animals. It scared the hell out of me. I don’t understand what went wrong, but I’ve never seen that side of anyone before in my life.” I sipped my cocoa.

“DO you think it was the spell?”

“I don’t know.”

“Are you going to class tomorrow?”

“Yeah. I’m nervous about going. I mean what if he’s there? Oh my god what if he’s not!?”

I sat in my chair in class and tried not to stare at the empty seat two rows up. The class was small and yet I felt like I was being crowded as time ticked on and I realized Justin wasn’t coming. I worried and stressed until I glanced elsewhere and noticed every male eye in the room was cocked to the side, peeking at me.

I felt hot, uncomfortable as the guy behind me ran a finger into my hair. “Stop!” I shouted, tense and suddenly embarrassed.

“Miss De Niza, is there a problem?” My professor stood at the front of the class in her khaki suit looking frustrated, strangely, with me.

“N… no.” I scooted out from my desk and hurried to the door. “I’m sorry. I need to leave.”

“How do you expect to pass this course if you leave in the middle of it?” she huffed. It made no sense. She was never even remotely negative toward me. As a matter of fact, all of my professors praised me the most.

“I don’t know. But I have no choice.” I hustled through the door and headed away from the center of the campus to the parking lot. First Justin didn’t show to class after one wicked fight, and now my own professor who usually loves me, now hates me. It made no sense! It had to be the spell. I needed to head back to that store. I needed to speak to that woman. Maybe she could help me.

I hurried, not even stopping at the crosswalk as I hopped down from the curb and into the lot. If I hurried enough, I’d just make it to the little shop before she closed and maybe, just maybe stop this nonsense.

“Hey.”

I stopped short and turned as one little word made my knees quake. He stood leaning against a stop sign just at the edge of the parking lot, watching me.

“Yes, I’m talking to you.” His naturally tanned olive skin was flawless except for a small scar across his left cheek. It bisected one of a set of dimples that only made him more dangerous. He was tall and broad, with curls that were out of hand and eyes that were the deep brown of espresso. They made me thirsty and yet gave me cottonmouth all at the same time.

“Oh no, not again.” I backed away as I stared at him.

“Not again? How many times have you cast this spell?” He straightened up like a giant cat and stepped forward casually.

“How do you know…” This was bad. Real bad.

“How could I not? I’m sure every empath in the city felt your little enchantment. Now if you’ll just come with me…” he reached for me and my knee jerk reaction took over. I turned, and fled.

I reached my car and skidded to a stop only to collide into the stranger. “How?” I didn’t want to even contemplate how he beat me to my car. “Let me go!” I struggled as his hands were like shackles on my upper arms, pinning me to the driver’s side.

“Listen and and listen well. I’ve no time for games. What you’ve done is an egregious act and you must be dealt with. No matter how far you run, no matter where you hide, we will find you. For god’s sake stop wiggling and listen!” He shook me with all his might and I saw stars.

“Please. It was an accident. I… I just wanted him to notice me.” I whimpered.

“Come.” And with that he pulled, almost dragged me to a sleek grey Audi. He threw open the passenger door and and shoved me in. I had only a brief moment to fight with the door handle when he slid in next to me on the driver’s side.

“Don’t bother.” He glowered at me as I wrenched at the handle. “Put your seatbelt on or I’ll tie you up and throw you in the trunk.”

The seatbelt clicked in place and I crossed my arms under my ample chest. “Where are you taking me?”

“The Enforcement. Marla would want to see you first.”

“Marla?”

“She will need to see your license and the sanction for the spell.”

“The WHAT!?” I stared at his stern face and had no clue as to what he was talking about.

“I am assuming that you did not get permission for that lovely little trifle that you cast yesterday. You’ve broken carnal law. Rule number one. There is a price.”

I sat in the warm seat and shivered. “This is a joke right? It has to be a joke, right? RIGHT!?” panic laced my voice as he sped through the Inland Empire heading further into the hills toward Mt. Baldy.

“What kind of idiot are you that you cast a spell and not know what you have done? How could you be what you are and know nothing?”

“Hey! Don’t you call me an idiot! I’m not the one dragging and kidnapping women from Chaffey campus grounds. Who the hell do you think you are!?” False bravado filled my lungs and burned, as I suddenly wanted to scream every dirty word I knew in his angular, beautiful face.

“I’m simply an enforcer. You, however, are a moron. Stupid humans always like to play with fire. I don’t know which is worse. Those who fear what they don’t understand or those who sell our shit to idiot witches to know nothin, with no fear of the unknown.” He gritted his teeth and took a deep breath to calm down. “You’re going to sit there, shut up and take your punishment.”

“You can’t do shit to me you big oaf! You’re going to let me out of this car, and you’re going to go get help, because let me tell you mister! You’re a nutball! Completely off your rocker!”

Booming dance music blared out from the speakers, bass vibrated under my seat as he attempted to tune me out. I couldn’t believe it. I was being kidnapped. By a madman. In a really nice car. What the hell?!

I had to think this out. I had to be smart. Everyone said I was a brilliant young woman who would go far. Now I just had to figure out how far I could go and survive because I was being kidnapped by a giant Neanderthal. So while he drove, I contemplated. He had to open the door at some point. He had to stop somewhere. Right?!

Midway through the drive, the Neanderthal checked his blackberry and suddenly changed directions. We were no longer heading through the city toward the valley. We were now heading toward the hills. I didn’t think my nerves could be tweeked any further, but now, knowing that we were heading into seclusion scared the shit out of me. Further than anything else I’d witnessed so far. Worse than Justin and Doug’s fight, worse than the spell, worse than the initial fear that this stranger was kidnapping me, was the fear that was now taking me into the very place you always read about psychos dumping the bodies of pretty girls when they are done with them.

He sped down the 210 freeway, past La Verne, past San Dimas, and turned off at Glendora. I huffed a sigh of relief until he made a hard right and practically flew up the secluded road into the Angeles National Forest. That was it. I’m going to die tonight. I thought to myself as he drove on, the only light showing the trees lining the road came from his headlights.

He slowed considerably and turned down a dirt road. The car suddenly inclined as we climbed into the mountains. He handled the stickshift with ease as we made our way up the mountain until he made one last turn and turned the engine off.

“Where are we?” I demanded.

“Don’t worry about it.”

“Are you going to be psycho, mutilate me and send my mother my thumbs of something equally creepy and sick?”

His chuckle was deep and dark. His face turned to me and I stopped breathing completely. His smile was nothing less than the devil’s grin itself shining at me in the dark of the silent car. “You’re an idiot. I’m not going to kill you. God. What the hell were you thinking?”

“Oh, I don’t know. That you kidnapped me, were gonna rape and murder me in the freakin forest?” I snapped indignantly.

“You’re not that lucky.” He continued to chuckle as he got out of the car and I snapped off my seatbelt. This was it. I had to get out and run now or I had no chance at all.

I threw the car door open, left everything behind but my cell phone and took off at a dead run from the car. I ignored the road and ran straight into the trees.

“HEY!” He yelled behind me as I ran for my life. I ignored him and concentrated on my instincts. I had to keep going southwest. I had to keep running.

I heard the shift in the foliage around me and knew I wasn’t alone. How stupid could I be, to take off into the forest and not think about the wild animals? My heart hammered and thundered into a rhythm my ears couldn’t keep up with. There was something in the trees running after me and it wasn’t the creepy Neanderthal.

It paced me then ran past me. I couldn’t see anything but the trees in front of my face and the frozen breath escaping my lungs at an alarming rate. And than it happened. My foot caught onto a root and I tumbled. My cell phone flew from my fingertips. I hit the ground, the wind being knocked out of me as I rolled and stopped only to see the eyes. Yellow, round as the moon, eyes stared back at me through the forest. It was huge. Something watched me, hunted me, paced and was now ready to kill me.

I had made a deadly mistake and now, instead of being dead by that creep’s hands, I was going to die by the teeth of whatever the hell was out there.

“No.” the voice came from the forest and echoed in my ears, past my heartbeat.

“But I am hungry. And besides, she played fair. She ran, she fell and I won.” The responding voice growled in a gutteral voice that was ragged.

“She is Marla’s guest.”

“Damn.”

“I know. I’ll let Marla know you’ve been duped by her guest and maybe she can compensate you.”

“I do not want to be compensated. I want to hunt. She gave such good chase. She is plump and tender yet runs like a foal.” The gutteral voice came closer until I could see a muzzle covered in the blackest fur I’d ever seen. It looked soft and I had to fight every urge in me to want to reach out and pet it.

“Back off, animal. She’s a fool. She already wants to make you a pet without seeing you as her predator.”

Large hands slid across my shoulders and under my knees, lifting me away from that soft fur and those amazing yellow eyes. I almost fought and knew deep down something was wrong. I should have been screaming for my life. I should have been thrashing and running, instead I was curled into the creep’s arms, nuzzling his chest, marking him with my cheeks, like a cat.

“If you die tonight, it will not be by my hands or by his claws. I can promise you that. But you have to stop making suck idiotic decisions.”

“I’m not an idiot.” I mumbled into his chest as I took deep breaths of his expensive cologne and the smell of something spicy. His skin. It had to be his skin.

“Sure. You’ve definitely proved that.”

We walked into a clearing and my eyes suddenly focused. I’d lost my glasses in the forest, but could see that there was a huge Victorian house, all light up like it was Christmas, stood in the center of this rounded clearing. He held me tight as he carried me over the steps and through the front door. Suddenly there was silence. That was when I felt the wetness and pain. I’d torn something open, either my leg or an arm. Some bodypart was bleeding on the redwood floor of this fantastic old house.

“Ervis, you made it. Good god what’s happened?” the soft lilting voice came closer and I buried my face into his chest. I was scared and embarrassed. I looked like shit and these people wanted to punish me for something I knew nothing about.

“She ran into the forest.”

“Ah.”

“Yeah. Donavan almost had her when I caught up to her. She’s still mesmerized. You’re going to have to do something to appease him though. He had every right to hunt her. She was free game the moment she bolted from the car.”

“Take her upstairs. I’ll be up shortly to clean her up and we’ll sort this out. She’s much younger than I thought…” She walked away, dismissing her prisoner.

“You have no idea, Marla. She’s practically a child in this body.”

I felt more than saw him climb stairs. He stomped into a room and set me down onto the bed.

“She’s had a fright, hasn’t she?” Marla quietly closed the door behind her and stepped to the edge of the bed.

“She has no damned idea what she is. It was like dealing with a bratty five year old.”

Marla chuckled. “For a child, she really gave you a run for your money. You were supposed to have her here yesterday, which obviously didn’t happen, and she had you running through the woods as if it were solstice.”

“I told you about the cops and the boys yesterday. I couldn’t risk it. If they mentioned her in the police reports, there would have been a mess.” Ervis sighed and sat hard into a victorian chair.

“Hey! Watch it. That chair’s older than your grandmother.”

“Sorry.” He sighed. “Tonight she practically called me a homicidal maniac and then went totally silent. I thought she went into shock, but apparently she was just plotting her escape.”

“Admit it. You thought she was just some ignorant mix who wasted their count on a love spell gone awry.”

Ervis shot Marla a dirty look and sighed again. He nodded and I decided to stop playing possum.

“Who the hell are you people?” my voice shook as I whispered at them.

“Ah. She joins the conversation.” The woman named Marla crawled up next to me on the bed and grinned as she leaned over me. “I’m sure you’ve got a thousand questions, but lets get you cleaned up first.” She reached across me for the vintage white and gold rotary phone on the nightstand and hit a single red button.

She was middle aged, probably in her late forties early fifties, with red and silver salt and paprika hair, the curls brushing my face. She was curvy, with wide hips and a waspy waist that could be admired even while she hunched down over me. Her hands were delicate on the top and calloused on the bottom. She gripped the phone with a firmness that only came with leadership and wisdom.

She spoke quickly, ordering sandwiches, glasses of sherry and cups of tea. When she hung up she stared directly down at me, studying me with a strange smile. I couldn’t help staring back, drinking in her tender laugh lines around her heart shaped mouth, her flawless skin, her high cheekbones. It was her eyes, though, that shocked me. They were the green of sliced limes bobbing in light beer on the beach under a palm leaf umbrella. It was the green that reminded me of spring break and shy trips to Santa Barbara with Janey.

“She is scared I will kiss her. I wonder if I should just to see what she’ll do.”

“Stop it.” I said, indignantly.

“Ah. There’s the conscious bite I needed from you.” Marla backed up and sat on the edge of the massive four-poster bed. “Ervis, get the first aid kit from the bathroom and bring it to me.”

He stood, tall and tired. I couldn’t help watching him as he walked into the adjoining bathroom, thinking of him chasing me down in the forest and carrying me back.

“What was out there?” I asked.

“So curious, aren’t you?” she smiled. “That was only Donavan. I see no harm in telling you, as you’ll learn quite a bit in the short time you’re with us. I have no idea what they will do with you. You’re going to be such a shock to them.”

“Who?”

“The head of The Enforcement. They are our lawmakers and upholders. You’ve broken carnal law but you are such an anomaly. Most witches your age have not only come into their power, but have their parents to guide them through it.”

“Whuh.. witches?” I felt like I was alice and my rabbit hole was too small for my big ass, so instead, I was stuck in the upside down hallway, forever falling.

“Oh child. You cannot be that ignorant.”

“Oh, she is.” Ervis stepped out of the bathroom with a large white first aid box. He set it on the bed and opened it. He pulled out bandages, tape, and strange vials of creams, pastes and what looked like rubbing alcohol. I flinched.

He wrapped his massive fingers around my ankle and yanked my leg straight. And I saw it. Nasty, shallow gashes all down the front of my leg. I must have torn it up pretty badly when I fell in the forest. Why hadn’t it hurt at the time? The more I stared at it, the more the pain came rushing at me.

“hssss.” I bared my teeth and fought back tears. I’d torn myself up running from some horrible creature named Donavan in the forest. Donavan.

“What the hell is Donavan?”

“Are you sure you want to know?” He never looked up at me as he took his bare hands and rubbed in the pastes and clear liquid, which didn’t burn at all. Strange.

“I think I have a right to know.” I was more curious than anything else.

Marla chuckled. “curiosity killed the cat darlin. And you’re just full of it.”

“He’s a wolf.”

“Uhhh… I heard him speak. Wolves don’t speak.”

“He does.”

“How?” My mind tried to wrap around what he was telling me.

“Well, he’s not a wolf all the time.”

“Shut. Up.” I stared down at Ervis and he stopped and stared back at me. We had our lil showdown until Marla was giggling to no end.

“You two! I can’t get over it. How fantastic is this!?”

“What the hell is she talking about?” I gave her the eye.

“Nothing. Yes he’s a wolf but not all the time. I know you’re not that stupid. Two plus two, girl. Two plus two.”

“Oh my god you’re crazy.” I turned to Marla. “He’s crazy right? I’ve been kidnapped by your crazy son? You people aren’t going to chainsaw massacre me are you? Because I’ll be honest, you’re makin me a lil nervous.” I tried to tug my leg back but he had it clamped firmly to the bed.

“He’s not crazy, werewolves are real, you’re a witch and what you did yesterday could get you killed in our world.” She pouted. “There. Satisfied? Someone had to yank that bandaid off.”

I sat there, staring at her, slack jawed.