Happy to report I am nearly finished with this work.
Friday, October 18, 2013
On the planet of the dead, Ebara, the living and dead walk hand in hand through life. The dead soaring through the skies, spirits (ghosts) can grow enormous in size to become demons that hunt the living for their life force to live again. The dead bound to land return as various forms of ghouls (zombies), including the recently dead brought back as domestic servants called returned souls.
Young Nista has such a strong light (life force) that demons constantly show up to wreak havoc wherever she is present. If she were a flame, they would be her moths. Sold out of frustration to an order of demon hunters, she is trained as a demon warrior. Now, 17 and in love, Nista sets out to rid her world of demons for all times. The price might be too high, but doing nothing is not an option. Whether she lives or dies, demons will rue the day they angered her.
Bad attitude, hatred, and strife are great qualities that keep demons alive, but guess what? Nista harbors the same traits and she hates bullies, especially dead ones. If she grasps one and pumps her power into it, it glows as bright as the sun and then pops like a hot air balloon. Nothing gives her greater satisfaction. Demons beware, a demon warrior is coming for you.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
As the growing season draws to a close for my little garden, I thought I might give an update. Seems like it has rained every day for two weeks so I am just now getting back out into the garden. I didn’t plant Sugar Babies this year. I chose Yellow Dolls and Orangellos. Instead of using pods and planting seedlings, I waited and planted directly into the ground. I dug a hole and mixed manure with the dirt. Here is a pic of the growing plant.
After it was up, I built a hill by removing dirt at the edges to make a moat for water collection and voila. Here is the moat days later. The trench is hard to see at the top and left but it is there. It is deeper on the bottom side to collect runoff water when it rains. And as you can see to the right, the tarp that will cover the ground so I don't have to weed my garden.
Here is a pic.
I generally wait another week because it rains weekly. I test how the water will flow and make adjustments, then I put straw all over the tarp and sit back and watch. This time I had plenty of melons from one hill in which I planted two seeds. Only one plant grew and provided enough so I am happy about that part. Here is a pic of the growing melons.
Notice the straw. Rain passes through and collects in trenches that lead to the main moat. The two on the left are the Yellow Dolls. They are not that heavy and fit in the palm of your hand. Finally, the final product is ready. I have found that once a bud appears you can begin your countdown to picking. The side that touches the ground does turn a cream color. You can thump the melon for a hollow sound. You can also do the countdown from birth. For these yellow dolls, they require 3 weeks to get ready = 21 days. I generally start picking at that time and try one a day until they are gone. They are excellent. Here is a picked product:
Put them in the fridge for a while and then grab a spoon and you can enjoy a sweet treat. I hope everyone had a successful garden this year.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Scheduled Projects for 2013:
A trilogy delving into an alternate world where communicating with the dead is common place.
Progress on Necromancers I (first draft)
Scheduled for December 2013
This is coming along so I decided to post the first chapter. It needs work but it's a draft. Let me know what you think.
Chapter 1: Shock
Death is not an ending. It is the beginning to something new, challenging, and exquisite. What will you become after death? On Ebara, the planet of the dead, death takes many forms: spirits or ghosts that soar in the skies, half-dead flesh feeders called ghouls, returned souls—the dead raised by Necromancy who transform from spirit to flesh at will—serve the living as household staff. These are the major death transformations. As to the living, some have “dead powers” allowing them to commune with the dead, order the dead, fight and kill the dead. On a planet that struggles on every level, life is a treasure and wanted in any form. Most would sell their souls for a chance to live again, no matter the form. Would you?
The Foothills of Talbeth.
It was my first trip from home, a pilgrimage to the southern villages in search of lodging and food. Days of scarce eating withered my soul as well as those in my company to the point of reducing us to mere stick figures capable of being swept away by the gentlest of breezes. I looked around in wonderment. To them the trip meant dodging demons of the air and land while to me it meant excitement. All I beheld thrilled me: the dusty land, scantily clad trees in the distance, and soft gravel beneath my feet. I noticed that as I stepped on stones they either crushed or pushed into thin hot soil and I was weak, thin framed. Everything in this place was just as weak and in search of a respite. I pray to the Heavens we find one soon.
“Keep a sharp eye out for the next Bessie, Nista,” said father, scanning all sides of the shabby landscape before him in search of his prize. Bessies were safe platforms we stood on. They blended into the landscape so as not to make them appear as haughty obstructions the people would loathe. On a grassy plain they would be green as the grass from a distance so as not to spoil the view. The last one we stood upon was a white slab of concrete approximately four by eight feet with black and gold writing littering its surface. They were spells and incantations placed on the surface by master casters of our world. You didn’t need to know the characters, letters, or words to receive the protection. All that was required was that you reach and stand upon it. Once you did, an unseen field rose at its edges to build a wall around you to protect you from demons. None could pass through and attack you. Throughout the land they sprouted were spirits frequented as shelters for the living. Maps showed their locations and signposts announced them as if they were rest stops along a roadway. We always received word of the newest locations from travelers to our small village. That is, before everyone gathered their meager possessions and left to avoid starvation. Taking your chance with spirits was better than starving. So we, like the others, prayed to the Heavens for safety and began our long march.
“Why are they called Bessies, father?”
The air was hot and would soon become even hotter as the day drew to a close. A nice wind would help but it was not in the cards for the evening. We were a small family of four: father, mother, me, and the future brother or sister tucked away in momma’s womb.
“Shh, Sybil, shh!” said mother.
I liked how mother stroked her large belly to soothe the rambunctious youth and calm it. Sybil was a kicker and often kicked me when I slept next to momma. Momma said she was just anxious to be born. How could she know what awaited her? She lived in a cramped space with no way of knowing that to be unleashed on the world in its condition meant nothing but heartache, if she were lucky.
“Kicking up a storm, is she?” asked father.
He was a thin man and when he chuckled it was more like he coughing, but you could see the love he had for mother and Sybil in his eyes. They could do no wrong. Me, I was altogether another story—the bane of his existence.
Father never answered my question, it was typical to divert to baby talk. We marched on and made our stop at an abandoned park. I watched them place a blanket on the grass and unpack for a scarce meal of bread, fruit, and water. I lay on the blanket looking at the sky wandering what lie beyond the twinkling spheres of heaven. I can’t say how long I stared, eventually I started to drift.
A small sound as if a sniffle announced itself. Father turned his gaze to fasten on the interloper. In an instant the brown eyes that held joy now scorned the sight they beheld. His features visibly sagged as he gazed upon the horrid sight before him. Bile rose to his mouth. He forced it down while crinkling his nose. He spat a thick dark on the grass.
Momma rubbed her belly again before fastening her eyes on the un-heavenly sight. Her hands stopped their circler movements of joy. Long thin fingers with scratches and cuts from days gone by no longer moved. The fingers, thin from malnutrition, showed tightened veins that stretched as little roads on a map. The fragile fingers shook.
Suddenly, two sets of eyes darted about the landscape. They searched, knowing trouble was on the horizon. Momma searched east and west while daddy stood searching north and south. They perfected their routine to guard against what they could not guard against. The wind blew through his short dark hair. He shuddered, eyes growing wider, mouth gaping, searching harder for the terror that waited. I felt the wind caress my scalp and saw it blow through mother’s hair. Her eyes widened, her mouth hung open. She looked to her husband. Something was wrong. She would always stroke her long blond hair as her tell, her early warning system to announce to all that spirits were coming.
“I feel it, Becky. Mardour is coming.”
We had sat on a blanket on the grass to enjoy a meal before bedtime under the stars. We hoped a cool wind would blow. Today would not be that day. I watched father direct mother to safety and once again felt that strangeness, that abandonment that consumed me during these times. They rushed to the concrete slab that once lofted itself as the foundation of a small bathroom. They crouched low upon the surface with him covering her, her belly pressed into the slab, her face hidden in his small chest.
“Go away! Go back to Mardour! Leave us alone!” he shouted, his voice breaking with fear.
I looked about to see the spirits he spoke to. Not seeing them I turned to see mother bury her face deeper, sobbing loudly. She wrapped one arm around him and clutched at her belly with the other to protect little Sybil as best she could. Daddy threw what was supposed to be our tent over them. If not for the present trouble they would look as if they were sleeping under a cozy blanket beneath the stars. I gazed at the writing starting to glow on the tent’s surface—a cheap spell he paid for by bartering away our tattered house.
“Leave us alone!”
I didn’t wait to see what would happen next. I ran to join them. I dove under the cover determined to reach their safe arms and wedge myself in the tiny crack between them. Sybil could kick me all she wanted, I needed that space.
“Oh the Heavens!”
“What is it?” asked mom.
“Something is coming, crawling, coming straight out of Mardour.”
I didn’t need to see his face to know what he meant. I felt the cold wind, but it wasn’t the wind.
“Go away!” father ordered again.
It must be near me because he bat his hand in my direction. I wanted to look behind me but was too afraid. Normally spirits don’t frighten me unless they are the big ones that take the shape of people. I like the small, fluffy, shapeless ones. They remind me of clouds. I can play with them all day. But I had a feeling these weren’t those kinds.
I burrowed upward through the resistance around me. Inch by inch I went while daddy batted and screamed trying his best to protect us. I broke their grip and felt safe. I got brave so I poked my head out to take a look.
“Daddy?” he looked at me with horror in his eyes.
“Go away,” he screamed. He pushed me down to reclutch his shivering wife to calm her. The pushing and screaming were somehow lost on me. Again, I burrowed upward then lifted my small head. Surely he would recognize the black patch of hair as me. “I said GO AWAY!” with his gathered strength he flung me from between them to the hard ground. I rolled several times before coming to a stop a good distance away.
A howling came from ahead of us. We were in a demolished park with fallen tree limbs and twigs that jabbed at me on all sides. I stifled a scream of pain so as not to alert the spirits that howled so. My young eyes opened wide as I searched for a voice to connect with the gruesome howl. Finding none I moved on scratched and bloody hands and knees in an effort to scamper back to the safety of my parents.
I screamed as a red specter flew between my parents and me. I shook with terror listening to the eerie sound of what could be laughter from the creature. My heart pounded as I righted myself for my journey to safety. Another specter, this one dark blue with smidgens of yellow that formed carnivorous teeth from a hideous mouth shot by me with a howl of its own.
“Stay back!” that came from father.
Whether out of cruelty or concern I didn’t know, the words could never register with me, so I rocked on my heels, ready to advance. I checked both directions as if checking for traffic along a busy street. I heard my mother’s pleas mixed with my father’s. They seemed to be coming from miles away from a deep dark tunnel. I strained to hear them and keep watch. My fingers gripped the dirt in front of me as I crouched low to the ground, a runner in sprinting position waiting for the sound of the starting gun. My tongue dipped out of my mouth to caress the bite marks of days gone by on my chapped bottom lip. I drew a long breath. I listened to my beating heart as it drowned out the distant voices. I flexed my small fingers then dug into the dirt more, tilting forward.
A second red specter flew by, this one froze my soul by looking directly at me as it passed in the night with a wide grin. Then, before I could think, another aimed directly at me. I turned and ran in a new direction with all the speed I possessed. Ahead of me was a bathroom. It had no doors. Three commodes in various states of decay faced me. I didn’t have time to think about their condition or stink. I could feel cold fingers at my back. I pushed harder and dove into the middle structure. I crawled forward and snaked my thin body around the back of the commode and drew my body into a tight circle.
I slammed my eyes shut with all my might and listened to my panicked breathing and the gruesome howls that flowed around the shack.
It took some time but I calmed. Why I was still alive I had no idea. I calmed further but never moved. Something about the closeness to the ground drew me into a peaceful state. I felt warm all over, though there was a chill in the night air. I could hear distant singing—mother singing me a lullaby. The tug of happiness in my belly radiated outward to my limbs to further soothe and calm me. As the night drew on, I slipped into sleep while slinked around an old commode with more scratches, dents, and chips than I cared to count.
The next morning, I lay curled blissfully sleeping. Suddenly my eyes flew open. If not for out of place barrels and the like, no one would have imagined anything had occurred. A twinge of fear danced across my face as my breath caught in my throat. Could this be like the last time? I looked up, breathing heavy and fast. My eyes darted about the playground in the hopes of finding what I knew not to be there. I could pray but it would do no good. Why did I go to sleep? Why didn’t I keep a lookout? I sprang to my feet wiping moisture from my face and neck as I looked about. Across the ways I didn’t see anyone. The slab my parents had been on was now empty. A couple quick chaotic breathes escaped my lips. I sounded dreadful and knew it. I closed my eyes to center. Moments later my breathing regulated then slowed.
I took my first careful step by extending a bare foot onto the soft grass before me. It felt right. I placed my other foot on the grass. After another breath I moved toward the empty slab. Perhaps there was a note. Approaching the slab I saw the enchanted writing that protected any who stood on the slab. At the far edge I saw a small folded bag. Too small to contain food, perhaps it was a letter. I knelt on the slab and with careful fingers opened it. I pulled my raven hair back to peer inside. My face meshed into confusion. Turning the bag over, I watched two thin bars fall to the slab. I shook the bag as if it held something more.
A sound startled me. I turned. I made out figures in the distance. Someone needed help. Forgetting my food, I ran toward possible danger.
I stopped in my tracks when I saw what it was — a small air demon circling my frightened parents. My eyes tightened as they usually did during these times. Once I was told the gray left them and they turned black. I didn’t care or have time to think on silliness. I ran with all my might, scowling and with fists balled ready for action.
My mother huddled next to my father clutching him tightly and whimpering while the phantom danced wistfully, howling at their fright. It stopped to glower then as a petulant child it stuck its tongue out before continuing its mockery. I had seen ones like this one and knew what it was doing though I was a good ways off. I didn’t like their kind, not at all. They were bullies. They taunted their prey to heighten their emotions to make them a more tasty and powerful meal. High emotions, like fear, flowed from their victims in waves to these demons.
Daddy was a frail man. He spent hours in the field during long summers and begged during winter when food ran out. He was not a man of common sense as many said, thinking I didn’t hear or understand their conversation. I knew he would be no match for the demon, electing to barter and beg instead of fighting. He clutched mom while watching the spirit. I knew what he was thinking, that this was nothing new. Nothing to worry about. Often when he farmed spirits would show up to torment him and the others. Usually they were child spirits looking to cause mischief before moving on. It was the larger older spirits that he truly feared. They were the ones who would take your life no matter how much begging you did. For them, taking your life gave them life and who wouldn’t want to live again? he clutched mom trying to calm her and keep her quiet so as not to rile it further or attract more menacing creatures to them. Apparently bartering hadn’t worked.
“Stop!” I had no idea why I said it or if it would have any effect. The sight of the creature tormenting my parents was enough.
Father whirled around. “Nista?”
I broke into an all-out run. My tiny face shrank into a scowl of determination. Nobody bothers my parents, not if I have anything to say about it.
“No, Nista. Stop,” he commanded.
The words fell on deaf ears — I was in full sprint mode. The demon saw me coming and gave its own scowl. It stopped its mocking dance and zoomed toward me. It stretched its arms out in a brisk run toward me while I echoed the movement. Somewhere in the middle we met with a force that knocked me backward. We rolled on the ground, coming to a stop in each other’s death grip. For me, I treated it as a child my age, a school ground bully. I grabbed it and wrestled. The spirit showed signs of a solid form just before contact. At impact it drew energy from me to become completely solid. It was a girl of my age. Slowly dark hair grew and a smudgy face took shape. Hands gripped harder to draw more power. I became weak. I had been through this before and knew what to do. This spirit was young and didn’t know the proper procedure to fully restore itself and probably didn’t care. Mischief was its chief concern. I saw the look on her face and realized we must look like two teenage girls fighting over a boy or some other foolishness.
Wanting more power, the girl squeezed me tighter and began glowing. I griped her tighter and before long, the girl screamed. She glowed as bright as the sun then shattered into a million pieces of light.
My mom held her belly running to me in full gallop mode. For a woman in her eight month of pregnancy, she showed the grace of an athlete in her prime. She stopped short of me, gawking. I lay on the ground looking up at her. She looked bewildered. I was alone except for her and she turned about for evidence to the contrary.
“Wh-where did it go?”
I shrugged not knowing how to answer.
“I don’t know, momma. It just . . . left.”
She looked about then turned. “John.” He hadn’t taken a step. “John!”
“Where were you going, momma? Were you going to get some more food? I don’t need it all.” I searched her face.
She smiled longingly. “It’s okay, baby. We were just taking a walk and didn’t want to wake you.”
My face lit up with pure joy. I knew it. I had the best parents in the world.
Father arrived stopping short of me. He sneered down at me as if I had caused it all. He motioned with a thin, callused finger then moved in that direction. Mother helped me to my feet. We fell in line and trailed as he set course for town. I wanted nothing more than to lie down and take a nap. Together, we assisted each other so we could keep up. Joy flooded me with every step. The air demon stole strength from me but it could not steal my joy.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
This series follows 19 year old Zora Baker and her two best friends as they travel across and survive Zombie Earth. Join them for each of their adventures. Be prepared to laugh, cry, and root for this trio as they bring humanity to a zombie-filled world.
While you are here, let me introduce you to my vampire series by giving you the first book FREE! Checkout Vampires aRe ReaL to see how it all begins. It includes the first TEN chapters of the book CAVERS:A Vampire Tale. Get your FREE ereader copy from SMASHWORDS for ALL ereaders.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Friday, December 21, 2012
Though this is an action adventure, fun YA story, it contains trace horror elements of a dangerous world. I thought I might give an excerpt from one of the few chapters that bring home the dangers of the vampire world.
Vampire Babies Are Deadly
While the girls slept, trouble brewed during the nightly feedings in the nursery. Mira, a thirty-five year old woman, was alone with the three babies. She was an expert at feeding, and often fed two at once with no issues. Tonight she fed the first two simultaneously in their cribs while singing to them. When they finished their bottles she picked them up and put them back into their incubators one at a time.
Mira went to the last baby, Jessie, who needed changing first. She changed her diaper and sang to her as she sat her in the crib. Jessie was a bit gassy so Mira put her over her shoulder quickly and patted her on her small back. Jessie threw up a little bit on her shoulder so Mira put her back down. Mira took off her jacket and laid it over a chair so she could check her blouse to see if it needed changing. Satisfied there was no problem with her blouse, she went back to playing with Jessie before giving her a bottle. Jessie took half the bottle before turning her head and throwing up, requiring another pat on her back. Jessie saw the jacket and the crest and cooed as she was being rocked by her caregiver. Without thinking, Mira lifted her and kissed her and put her over her left shoulder. From this position Jessie could no longer see the jacket or the crest. Being next to Mira’s neck she felt her pulse and smelled her warm blood.
As Jessie listened to Mira’s pounding pulse and smelled her blood, her once-green eyes darkened to a reddish-brown. As Mira rocked and sang to her, Jessie’s little arms began stretching and wrapping around the woman’s neck. When her hands reached each other, the baby’s fingers interlocked and fused. This fusing made an unbreakable wrap around Mira’s neck. Jessie opened her mouth, shifted to get a better focus – and closed gently on the woman’s neck, sealing Jessie’s lips tight upon her. Her suckers protruded, moved carefully and gently to the woman’s skin, and extended a tiny black needle. With a gentle prick, they pierced Mira’s skin.
It happened with little resistance from Mira because she barely felt the punctures. Jessie’s body worked on instinct and began first pumping a hallucinogenic toxin into Mira’s system that gave her feelings of joy and happiness. She continued to sing and rock the baby with no warning that her life was about to be drained from her body. Nor did she notice as Jessie began sucking the blood from her neck and the arms of the little baby tightening their grip.
Like a tic or a leech, a small stream of blood flowed into Jessie’s mouth, down her esophagus to her stomach, which became darker and redder as it filled. After a couple pints her round belly expanded so it could take in more blood. Now Mira began to feel the effects.
Mira’s euphoria suddenly vanished. It was replaced by dizziness. Fighting confusion, Mira gathered her wits, and realized – too late – what had happened. She tried to push the baby away from her chest but it was locked around her neck and would not move. She panicked, started screaming – but she was alone. She hit at the baby and tried desperately, fruitlessly, to pry it off. Each time she pulled the baby, it came back to her, tightening its grip like a constrictor.
With her strength draining and her breathing being choked off, she collapsed to the floor and passed out after a few more minutes of futile struggling. Once she slipped into an unconscious state, the baby released her stranglehold and fed from her neck freely. The baby’s belly grew bigger and resembled that of a pregnant woman in her ninth month. Slowly her legs started expanding and growing longer; they turned darker as blood spread from her stomach into her limbs. Mira’s body seemed to deflate and crumble as the engorged infant continued to feed. By the time Mira’s heart gave its last beat, Jessie had doubled in size.
# # #