Posts from the ‘NaNoWriMo’ Category

Adventures in NaNo

DAY 5: 

Desina watched her best friends try on clothes and fought the urge to sigh. She eyed Becka’s plentiful bust enviously as the young demon held a blue top up with a swooping neckline, then her eyes bounced towards Tylee’s breasts, thrust up in a blatant invitation by her lacy bra as she flicked through the selection of clothes they had in their private area of the store the were in.

“Desi why don’t you try something on?” Becka coaxed, turning to see the slender young demon still sitting on the small white couch to one side.

“I don’t think anything here will fit me.” Desina replied wryly, and Tylee rolled her eyes, coming over to flop down on the couch next to her.

“Don’t be a stick in the mud.” she pouted, tugging at the hem of her friend’s shirt. Desi tried to push her off, and in the ensuing wrestling match they ended up on the floor in a tangle of sleek limbs and tearing fabric. Their friend Eden chose that moment to walk in, completing the foursome, and he eyed the girls wrestling on the floor a moment before joining Becka on the sidelines.

“Isn’t it a bit early for girl-pile?” he asked, and she shrugged. Desina finally managed to roll Tylee over and pin her down, baring her sharp teeth briefly before getting to her feet.

“Look at this Ty! My shirt is ruined!” she said angrily, snatching up her jacket and pulling it on as she stalked out of their area, zipping it up as she went. Ignoring the way her friends called out after her, she stalked through the store, walking off her anger with her tail lashing around her slim legs angrily. Pausing at the fountain to fix her boots, hiking them up over smooth brown knees where they were supposed to be, she became aware of eyes on her. A small group of male demons perhaps a few years older than she was were shooting her tiny skirt admiring looks. Flicking her forked tongue at them, she strode away, in no mood to be ogled. With a sigh, she brushed her long black hair out of her face, deftly avoiding the small black horns that grew from her forehead over intense eyes the color of mocha.

Outside in the warm night air, heat enveloped her like a physical thing, pressing intimately against her skin as she paused to light a cigarette. Blowing smoke out, she allowed the last of her anger to ebb away. In truth, it wasn’t so much that she was pissed at Tylee for ripping her shirt, just that this was not a good day to tease her like that.

“You know you’re begging for trouble dressing like that.” a deep voice spoke from behind her, and Desina jumped, whirling around. From the shadows behind her a tall shape morphed into the bodyguard her father assigned to watch her.

“By the Host Adrian you scared me.” she said with a sigh of relief that it was only him. “Don’t do that!” He nodded absently, eyes on the slice of bare skin between her jacket and her skirt, as well as the mostly nonexistent cleavage in the wide gap of her neckline, which showed the edges of her bra. “What are you looking at?” she muttered with a scowl, blowing a short puff of smoke out her nose and turning to face the parking lot again. “There’s nothing to see there anyway.”

“You think tits are the only thing you’ve got to look at?” his next words came on a hot breath up the back of her neck, and she couldn’t help but shiver a little at his nearness. The tip of Adrian’s tail traced up her bare thigh, only to stop teasingly short of slipping underneath. Catching the direction her thoughts were going, Desina stepped away from him, folding her arms and puffing on her cigarette.

“You are going to get so fired if Daddy ever catches you doing that.” she said with a faint smile curling the edges of her mouth. “And yes, I KNOW that tits are all anyone’s got to look at.”

“More of an ass man myself.” he replied nonchalantly, lighting his own cigarette and casually scanning the darkness around them like he was supposed to be doing. A gun was holstered at his hip, but Desina knew that he wouldn’t need to use it to neutralize an attacker if someone were ever stupid enough to pose real danger to her.

“What makes you think your opinion matters that much?” she asked, needling her guard- which was her second favorite pastime. His heated black eyes scorched a path down her body, and he smirked.

“Funny how a nobody like me can turn you on, isn’t it.” he commented, and she glared even as she felt her cheeks heat up with the truth of his words. Adrian did turn her on, more than she liked to admit, but she was out of his class. There was a huge difference between Higher Demons and Middle Demons in her society. That thought brought her mood down again, and she looked away. Immediately he noticed the change and the smile dropped off his face. “I’ve stepped over a line. I apologize.”

“It wasn’t you.” she sighed, waving it off as she crushed her cigarette under the high heel of her boot.

“What then?” he prompted, and she arched an eyebrow at him. “Don’t give me that look, I’m a good listener.” he said. “No guaranteeing how much use I’ll be if you cry though…”

“I don’t cry.” she scoffed, then relented a little and added “It’s just…not fair. Becka and Tylee both fill out a bra so well. I look pretty pathetic next to them. When we go out together, it seems like the guys are too busy ogling them to even notice me.” Adrian gave her a faintly surprised look, then shook his head a little.

“So what you’re saying is that you’re jealous because you DON’T get sexually objectified?” he said, and she was about to reply when suddenly the small earpiece in his right ear popped to life with something she couldn’t hear. Immediately he tensed, and she could see him go into full alert. Becka, Tylee, and Eden came running out looking panicked, and Adrian herded them to the parking lot quickly. Eyes darting between the limos and the brightly lit store, he seized Desina by the shoulders and said “Get to the cars with the other girls and STAY PUT! You hear me!” He gave her a little shake to punctuate his words, and she nodded, watching as he went barreling in.

“What happened!” she asked as she unlocked the limo door and helped Becka in, who was sobbing hysterically.

“W-we were in the changing room still when th-there were gunshots. Some men in masks came in and t-tried to grab us.” Tylee quavered. Shots split the night air behind them, and Desina felt fear stab her gut. She stuffed Eden in behind the girls, then shut the door.

“Desi where are you going!” Becka cried, but she ignored her friend, running towards the store.

Inside, she could hear commotion coming from near the fountain at the center of the store. More shots made her flinch, but she kept going until she could see the fight. Becka’s guard was knelt beside Eden’s man, trying to stop the blood welling from his chest while Adrian took on three men in black masks. One more was on the second level, aiming down at them. Crying out, Desina tripped forward and that drew attention to her. In a rapid change of events the masked men withdrew, tossing a black disk behind them. She rushed forward to cover Adrian’s body inadequately with her own, right as the bomb went off in a huge burst of magic.

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Adventures in NaNo

DAY 4: This is incredibly NSFW. Also, if you’re afraid of catching “the gay” you should probably look elsewhere. 

Like here.

Or here.

Also here.

And one more to tickle your delicate fancy. Because the number of people offended by baby ducks versus the number of people offended by those of us who like our partners with the same bits is somewhere in the ballpark of 1 to a million and a half.

Adventures in NaNo

DAY 3: 

Max watched the red of the limo’s brake lights disappear through the rain, and chewed on her lower lip. Taking a deep breath, the girl turned to face her new home, and began the walk up the long, curving road leading to the mansion at the top of the hill. Throughout her walk, her only companion was the soft sound of rain pattering against leaves of the trees lining her path, winding like a snake along the cliff where a raging sea beat relentlessly against the rocks.

Some time later, a sound broke the silence, making her look up. The chirping cry came again, and she drifted to the edge of the cliff, peering over cautiously. Stranded on a ledge several yards down, was a creature like she had never seen before. Small and black, it looked like a large lizard, except the thin set of leathery wings that attached just behind its shoulder blades. It looked up at her and let out another mewling cry, buffeted by the wind and holding desperately to its little ledge of rock. Max looked around, then dropped her suitcase and tightened the straps of her backpack. Dropping to her knees, she rolled onto her belly and dangled the lower half of her body over the cliff’s edge, finding a toe hold and starting her careful descent. Through the slow climb down, the wind clutched at her, tearing her dark hair free of it’s ribbon and sending it whipping out in tendrils around her.

(It would be simpler to jump from the top.) a soft female voice whispered in her ear, and Max ignored the ghost floating at her shoulder, staring curiously.

“Not trying to kill myself.” Max grunted, reaching out for a handhold and pulling her body across, flailing in midair for a moment. With no other choice, she jacked her body sideways and jumped, squeezing her eyes shut until there was the abrupt halt of a rock ledge under her feet. When she cracked her eyes open, relief flooded her, turning her knees weak. Clinging to the cliff face with one hand, she held the other out to the small creature huddled a foot away. “Come on, come here boy.” she coaxed, and the creature cocked its head, snaking a long neck out to sniff her fingertips inquisitively. The ghost watched impassively from where she floated several feet away.

(Why sacrifice yourself for this creature? In my time they were hunted and killed.) she sniffed, making Morgan roll her eyes. The little thing finally scampered over, climbing up her arm and digging sharp claws into her skin in an effort to keep its balance. Max cried out in pain, and it cheeped, snaking into her backpack as a place to hide. Once she’d found her center again, Max started the long climb back up, with the ghost at her side the whole way, calling out things that were less than helpful.

Finally she reached the top, dusting herself off lightly and pulling her backpack around to peer inside. Her newest rescue was sound asleep, curled in a ball and snoring a little.

“Well, I guess you can come with me then.” she muttered. “Haven’t exactly seen anything else like you around here.” Setting the pack carefully down, she peeled her tee shirt off, draping it over one arm and twisting her head to survey the damage that had been done. Scratches in sets of three scored the back of her right arm, as well as that shoulder, snapping one strap of her camisole. That one hurt the most, so she folded up her shirt to form padding between her shoulder and the strap of her backpack. Then she picked up her suitcase again and continued on her journey.

By the time she finally arrived at the wrought iron gates surrounding the mansion, it was dusk, and her shoulder had bled through the shirt cushioning it. Max pushed at the gates, then peered through them to call “Hello?” There was a clunking sound somewhere nearby, and she jumped back as the gates slowly creaked open, allowing her to step through. Pale gravel crunched underfoot as she made her way up the driveway, coming face to face with a large, sprawling mansion. A soft chirp and some squirming announced the lizard in her pack had woken, and a second later she felt its head poke out to nuzzle her cheek, looking around as she came up the steps, reaching out to knock on the hardwood door sporting a snarling gargoyle’s head for a knocker. “Maybe no one is home.” she murmured, and the lizard trilled, ducking low as the door suddenly swept open.

Standing in front of her was a tall man in his forties, looking as stern as she had ever seen. Piercing blue eyes bore down on her, and there was no recognition on his face. Max swallowed hard, then gave him a hesitant smile.

“Are you Alec Stone? Do I even have the right address…?”

“Who are you.”

“Max- um, Maxine. Carrie’s daughter? Carrie your sister?” He cocked a dark eyebrow, then stepped aside and motioned her in. The door shut behind her with a sense of finality, and Max fought the urge to wince. “I’m sorry if I barged in on you, mom said she’d called.”

“She did. I just did not assume she would be so bold.” Stone replied. “You’re bleeding. What happened?”

“Well there was this little…lizard…thing, over a cliff. I climbed down to get him and he kinda freaked out and when he climbed into my backpack he-” Stone held up a hand to halt her explanation, and stepped in close, peering into her pack, where the small creature chirped at him.

“Do you know what this is?”

“Um…no?”

“It’s a dragon, *silva draco* if I’m correct. The preserve will most likely be looking for it.” With that her uncle straightened, and steered her back out the door. “Besides that I suppose you will need medical attention. We’ll go into town.”

************************************************************************************

Max arrived in Boulder Creek around noon, and headed straight for the Dragon Preserve. In salute to the warmth of the day, she wore only a pair of short denim shorts and a flowing top with butterflies printed on it, baring her newly scarred shoulder, though it was too nice a day for her to feel self conscious about it. Waving a greeting at Holly, Max headed straight for the Silva room, stepping in and closing the door behind her. Immediately Drake came to meet her, trilling happily and hovering as she pulled on one of the heavy leather sleeves hanging by the door. As soon as she held her arm up he landed, inching up to her shoulder and nuzzling her cheek.

“I missed you too.” she laughed softly, kissing his scaled nose. He blew a puff of smoke at her, then whipped his head around as the door at the far end of the room opened, letting a high stack of crates supported by jean clad legs in. Orin kicked the door shut behind him, and maneuvered around awkwardly thanks to the wiggling dragons enclosed in the crates. Seeing the stack about to fall, Max quickly rushed to help, offering extra support from her side. Orin let out a sigh of relief, poking his head around.

“Oh thank you- Max! Hey! Max, hi…Max.” he stammered, turning beet red as his glasses slipped another inch. She helped him set the crates down, and smiled as he shoved his glasses up his nose with one finger. Due to the humidity of the room, he had stripped down to his undershirt, the tank top showing off his slim frame and arms, one enclosed with a bulky leather brace much like hers. Sweat caused his already unruly black hair to stick out at several different angles. “What are you doing here?”

“Just thought I would stop by and see Drake. I hope that’s okay?” she glanced at him as she straightened, and he nodded vigorously.

“It’s always good to see you! I mean, for Drake’s sake of course he really misses you.” he mumbled, going redder, if that was possible.

“Of course.” she agreed with a smile as Drake landed on her sleeved arm, chirping and trilling. “So, do you need any help?”

“If you want to, you can let those guys go while I start getting everyone fed.” Max nodded, and crouched down in the grass to start unlatching the crates Orin had been carrying. The dragons were all quite pleased to be out, and swooped around her, chattering and chasing each other, making her laugh. Drake took off to join them, and for a minute she sat still and watched them swoop in and out of the trees planted in their habitat, a huge room with a glass roof. In following a pretty blue female’s flight path, her gaze landed on Orin- catching him staring at her. He blushed and looked away quickly, but she still smiled at him, straightening up to stack the crates and carry them to the small concrete pad by the back door.

“So what did you have them out for?” she asked casually as she picked up a sack of feed and headed out into the room, molding the special mash of seeds, fruit, and protein meal around the tree trunks like Orin was doing.

“A couple of them got sick.” he replied. “It was weird, I’ve never seen the symptoms they were exhibiting before.” Shaking his head, Orin sighed. “Anyway, they got better after a couple of days, so I think it might have just been something they ate.”

“That’s good.” Max nodded, and they finished up their chore in relative silence. She watched as the little dragons crawled expertly over the trees, nibbling at the thick layer of food coated there. It was supposed to simulate their natural feeding habits, but to Max it just looked cute. When she turned and found Orin standing nervously behind her, she smiled.

“So…that was my last chore for the day, and I have some extra time now. Um, if- if you wanted to, I have a lunch break and, um, do you maybe want to grab something to eat?”

“Sure, let me say good bye to Drake and I’ll meet you out front.” she agreed, and they parted ways briefly, only for Max to meet him outside the building a minute later. He’d obviously toweled off from the humidity of the Silva Room, and donned a plaid shirt, left unbuttoned over his tank top. Orin was tugging at his hair when Max walked out, but he stopped and gave her an apologetic look as she drew level with him.

“There’s just no taming it, I guess.” he sighed, making her giggle.

“That’s okay.” she said with a shrug. “I kinda like it messy. It’s…you.”

They walked further into town, making small talk all the way, and by the time they had found the diner and sat down, Orin was more relaxed than Max had ever seen him. A waitress came by to take their order, and then there was a lapse of silence in which Orin kept sneaking glances up at Max. “Will you quit looking surprised?” she chuckled, and he smiled.

“Sorry. I am, girls like you don’t usually go for guys like me.” he replied, shoving his glasses up his nose. “Happened in high school all the time, they’d say yes, and then stand me up.” He shrugged as their food arrived, and changed the subject. “So anyway, what are you doing in a place like this? Nobody ever moves INTO Boulder Creek.”

“Oh my mother decided I was being rebellious since I decided not to go to college, so she shipped me off to live with Uncle Alec.” Max rolled her eyes, and Orin cocked his head. Seeing the question coming, she answered for him, since his mouth was full. “I did pretty well in school, but halfway through my senior year it was like, what am I doing this for? Where is this going to get me in life- a good college, onto a steady job, where I’ll spend my life behind a desk. I just figured I didn’t want to do that, so I told her I was taking a year or two off. She freaked out, and, well, here I am.”

“Wow. So that makes you, what, eighteen?”

“I’m twenty.” she laughed. “Got held back a year when I was in first grade. I had a…hearing problem, so when teachers told me an assignment I literally couldn’t hear them.” She held back on mentioning the fact that her school had been haunted, and so full of ghosts that the whispers were deafening. No, Orin didn’t have to find out about the crazy until later. “Why, how old are you?”

“Twenty-five.” he replied. “I started my internship early because I graduated early- my parents home schooled me.” They talked a little about family after that, and Max breathed a sigh of relief that they had moved away from any dangerous topics.

When she got home, Alec was in his office, talking on the phone with a scowl on his face. Max intended on bouncing past with just a simple hello to let him know she was home, but he caught her eye and waved her in. A second later he hung the phone up, and turned his chair to contemplate her.

“That was your mother.” he said, and a sinking feeling started in the pit of her stomach. “She says that she’s through being upset with you over your college choices, and she would like you to come home to start touring campuses.” Frustration welled up, and Max drew a hissing breath, scowling as she looked away. Alec, always perceptive, noted that, but went on. “I informed her that I would speak with you on the matter, seeing as you are an adult, and can make adult decisions.”

“I don’t- I don’t get what is so hard to understand about me not wanting to go to school.” she said, running an agitated hand through her dark hair. “I need some time to put my head on straight before rushing off into things I don’t understand. Isn’t that what most parents want their children to do?”

“I would assume so.” Alec inclined his head in agreement. “What is it about college that you find objectionable, if I may ask?”

“Nothing.” she muttered. “I just, I don’t want to spend my life in an office. It’s been really tough the last couple of years and for once…when I’m here, I can really breathe. I’m sorry, that’s probably not making much sense.”

“It makes perfect sense.” Her uncle’s words made her look up in surprise, and he gave her a very rare smile. “That’s why I moved here. It is…peaceful.” A sigh filtered through him, and he said “I suppose your presence here through the summer would not be completely intolerable. You are nothing like your mother, very quiet.” A smile spread across Max’s face, and before she could think she flung her arms around him in a hug. He stiffened at first, then relaxed a little and patted her back before she pulled away, turning a little pink.

“Sorry. Um, I’ll go call mom and tell her I’m going to stay here for a little bit. I’ll say sorry in advance, there’s probably gonna be some shouting.”

“Understandable.” He nodded, and she left the room.

Adventures in NaNo

DAY 2:

Leaves fell softly from the trees above, gliding down through the air to caress the two shapes laying below. The girl lay flat on her back with one hand hooked behind her head. Beneath her solid weight, the earth pushed up against her, crushing grass between them. The silky flow of her gown did nothing to hide the glow of her pale skin, nor the round, plush curves of flesh she had been blessed with- made in the image of her Goddess. Her bright red hair fanned around her head like a halo, and the boy beside her stroked the silky mass free of leaves absently. By contrast he was the dark to her light- midnight black skin stretching smoothly over angular bones to compliment hair the color of a raven’s wing. He lay on his side facing her, dark fingers fluttering like shadows over her hair as he stroked her. Occasionally his hands would stray to her skin, though he never lingered for too long.

“Do you think anyone would notice if I disappeared?” she spoke softly, barely above the whispering of the wind in the trees above them. The weight of her discovery, and the only secret she hid from him, would not leave her.

“I would notice.” he pointed out, and she sighed.

“My mother would not. I am just another disappointment to her. I have been since I failed the Rite of Gaia.” she muttered, staring up at the waving branches above. The Rite in question was her ticket to womanhood, as well as full acceptance in the clan. To fail it, especially as a daughter of the Head Priestess, was disgraceful.

“It is a stupid Rite. I hate it.” her lover was suddenly angry, as his kind was prone to be, though after months of meeting in secret she was well acquainted with his brief fits, and let it pass.

“You hate everything.”

There was a moment of silence to prove her point, then he said softly “I do not hate you.” The girl was surprised at his words. Among his tribe, to have emotion was to have weakness- a soft spot for enemies to get their claws in and tear him to shreds. She rolled onto her side, halving the distance between them and bringing the two lovers almost nose to nose. Her hand darted out, pale against his skin as she stroked his cheek.

“Oh loveling.” she sighed. “What am I to do with you? The longer we stay together the more dangerous it becomes. You have taken my heart and molded a permanent place for you to dwell.” He traced her hand with his own, and placed it to his hard chest, bare skin hot under her palm.

“And you in mine. If our parents were to discover our sin…” She looked away, and rolled onto her opposite side, away from him. Indeed, it felt like sin, only magnified by her condition.

“I was taught that love is never a sin, if it is pure in intent. The feelings you give me are…puzzling.” she murmured, folding her arms to hold herself tightly, as if she were trying to guard her heart from the half unwanted forces of desire and passion that had driven her to his arms in the first place. She traced the delicate outline of a bright yellow leaf on the ground beside her, and a tear slipped from one eye, running across the bridge of her freckled nose to carve a channel over her other eye in its path to the ground.

“Do you think I wanted this!” her lover burst out. “I should have killed you when we first met, your kind and mine have been at odds since the day our Deities were formed! So why could I not find the strength to drive my knife through your chest! This would be damnably simpler if I had!” He sprang to his feet, and stalked several paces away to stand facing their two valleys, one to the left of the hill they stood on…and one to the right. After a moment she joined him, wrapping her arms around his waist and pressing herself to his hot back, nuzzling her cheek against the back of his shoulder, where he had been branded with the insignia of his tribe at birth. The scar was long healed now, carving a path of pale gray against his coal black skin.

“Sometimes true strength comes with the prudence to stay your hand instead of lashing out.” she whispered, pressing her lips briefly to his brand. His demeanor eased slightly, and he abruptly turned, letting his forehead drop against her shoulder and curling his arms around her in a rare display of affection.

“Our union is damned.” he said with a tone of resignation she had never heard come out of the stoic warrior’s mouth before. “I do not understand why our Deities would force us together only to tear you from me. I would fight the very earth we stand on- fire- lashing rain- the Deities themselves! Just to keep you at my side where you belong.” Abruptly his head lifted, gazing into her eyes with intensity that took her breath away. “Run with me.” he breathed. “If the Deities have damned us from the start, then blast them both!”

“Do not say such words!” she hissed, looking troubled. The whole of her being ached to obey, to escape the prison walls they had built around themselves brick by brick with each stolen kiss, each fevered touch, each secret meeting.

“No! I am through hiding!”

“You are frightening me with the seriousness in your tone.” she returned her eyes to his in a searching gaze. “Surely you are not contemplating such blasphemy, it is-” The remainder of her words were crushed in a scorching kiss, crushing her pliable body to the hard planes of his own.

“If it is blasphemy to love you, then I gladly sign my essence to the Hellgots.” he murmured, dragging the rough pad of his thumb over her plump lower lip and leaning his forehead against hers. “I belong to you.”

“And I to you- you know that…but to go against the Ancient Laws…” she looked down, and a sigh filtered through her. When she looked up again, his gaze had grown distant. She could nearly feel the walls around his heart coming back up, and so acted quickly. “Take me with you.” Hope dawned on his face, and she leaned up to kiss his lips gently. “We will go to the mountains, and in their shelter our love will flourish.” Hesitantly, she brought his hand to her belly, and looked up at him. “We should go soon, though. Our secret will not keep for much longer.” Astonishment crossed his face as he realized what she was telling him, bringing him to his knees in front of her. “I thought to tell you so many times, but with each instance my words and resolve have failed me miserably.” His gaze leveled with her belly, and in a slight movement he brought his hand against the swell there.

“I did not know this was possible.” he admitted. “Our people seemed so different…”

“Perhaps we are not as divided as we thought.” she reasoned with a gentle smile, relieved that he had taken the heavy news with such grace. Though she refused to acknowledge the idea, part of her deep down had been frightened that he might become angry enough to hurt her…or at the very least, that he would cast her aside and leave her to care for their bastard child alone. He rose to his feet again, and rubbed the back of his knuckles against her cheek.

“We will leave tonight.” he said. “Meet me here at the moon’s first rise. We will travel with her guidance, a night’s time will place valuable distance between us and those who will hunt us.” Her brow creased, and worry resettled on her shoulders, forming a hard ball in the pit of her stomach. She had not thought about the hunters both of their tribes would send, to bring them back, and if that failed, to kill them. “Do not be frightened.” he murmured. “I will protect you to my last dying breath.” She flung her arms around him in a clutching embrace, and then with a last kiss they parted.

Moon rise came almost too quickly for the girl. Clad in her winter kit, with a foraging pack on her back, she crept past the sentries and made her way to the hill. When she arrived, at first her over was nowhere to be seen. An irrational fear that she had been abandoned seized her, and foolishly, she almost cried out before a gloved hand clamped down on her mouth from behind. A familiar voice hushed her, and the fight immediately dropped out of her frame. She turned, and he smiled when he saw her. Fur lined leather breeches snugged to her ample legs and hips, and the long tunic of the same leather and fur did nothing but accentuate the swell of her belly under her cloak.

“Do you see now the reason for haste?” she murmured, and a low laugh escaped him.

“I do. Come, we have ground to cover before dawn.” She nodded, and they set off, leaving twin lives of secrecy behind.

It seemed that they traveled for ages. Through the day they slept, curled together in whatever shelter he could find them, and at night they walked under the silver glow of the moon, distant and cool yet oddly comforting. At times the girl wondered if she had made the right decision, just as the boy sometimes regretted ever involving her with him. She was not cut out for the hardship he put her through.

At last, they reached the shadow of the mountain, looming large against an endless night sky, dotted with pinpricks of light that were the stars he had used to guide them. She stopped on the path, breath clouding the air, and he paused to look back at her. It was his last look before the arrow pierced her shoulder, tossing her forward with a cry. War whoops shattered the night air as the boy’s tribe descended on them, his own shout lost in the chaos. He sprang forward, whipping out a blade of flint to slay two of his own tribesmen before grabbing her arm and hauling her backwards. Flinging his blade over one shoulder, it crunched through the bowman’s neck before the curve of it brought the weapon back to his waiting fingers. He dragged his lover to the safety of the mountain canyon, past the edge of safety for his tribe, and with no bows to pierce the darkness the air was filled with howls of defeat. They fell on deaf ears though. Back out of reach, he dropped to his knees, cradling her gently and staring down into pain-glazed eyes that pierced him as surely as the arrow had found her shoulder. Blood turned the leather of her tunic black in the darkness, and it seemed that the glow had had come to love was leeching out of her very skin.

“This is my fault.” he whispered, and she shook her head.

“No. Do not for a moment…blame yourself. I will be- oh!- very upset if you…do.” she said, laboring to speak past the waves of pain that threatened to suck her under. He cupped her cheek, prompting her to look at him, and in a swift movement he snapped the shaft of the arrow, pushing it completely through. Her eyes widened in shock briefly, before the blue orbs rolled back in her head, and she went limp. Further examination assuaged his worry. The wound was clean, and would heal…if he could get her out of the cold. He lifted her gently, taking them both further into the enveloping darkness of the canyons where they would be safe.

Through the winter, they carved out a meager existence. He had staked claim on a cave just deep enough to be safe and sheltered from the wind and snow, though it was still bitingly cold, and it was here she stayed as her husband was out hunting, whiling away the hours until his return by making them winter gear and blankets. It was hard, having no food stores to fall back on, and soon she was quite thin, with a wraith-like body struggling to support the life inside her. Often she caught her lover gazing on her with worry clouding his eyes, though he would never speak actual words to voice the depth of his unease. Instead he made sure that she received the largest portions of any meal, suffering the bite of hunger silently in order to provide for his chosen one.

The first day of spring arrived with dead silence and a rush of air that was almost warm, as if the entire mountain was breathing a sigh of relief that the darkness of winter was over. The woman woke early, as was her custom, to a strange stirring in her body. Pressure, alien and uncomfortable, bore down on her hips, and with a start she realized the furs under her were soaked. With her lover out hunting and not due back for days yet, she set about the messy female work of birthing. Several times throughout the next hours she felt sure the pain was too much, and once a slender looking fox stole round the mouth of the cave, slinking low to the ground and baring milky white teeth until she managed to chase it away by tossing sticks. After that, there was only silence, sometimes broken by the low, keening noises of pain she made but more often than not, going unshattered until, with a last heaving breath, her baby entered the world in a rush of relief and sobbing cries from the both of them.

Deeper into the maze of canyons, the man was following the path home. He had killed one of the many small deer that leaped from rock to rock, skinning and quartering it on the spot with sure fingers that had performed the task a thousand times before. Today, though, there was a new urgency about his actions. When he had left the cave several days ago, his lover had been sitting quietly, the gravid swell of her belly full nigh to bursting as it tried to contain a babe ready to appear any day. He hated to leave her like that, but they needed sustenance and there was none to be found in the direct area of their home. Now he walked quickly along the trail, pack full of meat, eyes always wary of predators that would take him from her if they could. He could feel eyes upon him already, though none were bold enough to attack, and that hastened his step, bringing him to familiar territory by nightfall. By now his feeling of unease had grown to near panic, and he pressed on through the night, though it was foolish to do so. Upon arriving at the cave, there was little light from the fire, and his pack hit the trail as he rushed to see what had happened. All around the mouth of the cave, feral dogs snarled, darting in and out. Blinded by rage, the man drew his blade, diving into the fray and delivering killing blows until there were none left. Panting, he ventured forward, tasting bitter dread as he softly called out to his woman.

Far in the back of the cave, the woman cowered, tucked onto a high shelf of rock barely wide enough to hold her curled frame. She had heard a commotion at the front, but did not dare risk herself or her son to see what had happened. Footsteps rounded the corner, and she let out a sob as her lover ran to her, holding out his arms for her to fling herself into. He held her tightly for only a brief moment as the babe between them set up a wail of protest, then she was released to silence him with a breast, and her lover was peering into the confines of her shirt.

“I have given you a son.” she said. “Perhaps the Deities are not so angry after all.”

NaNoWriMo: Part Two: The Revenge: The Return Of NaNoWriMo: You Only Write Twice In Paris: NaNo Is Back- And This Time It’s Personal!

Can somebody tell me where I left November?

I’ve searched among the scraps of paper and inkless pens on my desk. It’s not there. I’ve sifted through the pile of discarded ideas; shuffled my snippets of dialogue; ransacked my stress box where plot holes and dead ends live; I’ve even tentatively poked my head through the doorway to my imagination, though I didn’t dare to step too far in. For the life of me I can’t think of how I’ve managed to misplace an entire month. 

It’s November 30th. NaNo is almost over. I find myself disturbed by that thought more than I imagined. Yes I’ll certainly continue to write, it’s not as if the creative gears in my head will come to a grinding halt, but there was a spark of excitement that took me to places I’d never explored before. Actively searching for ideas; pressing my exhausted imagination to find enough juice to juuust make my word count for the day. 

And that’s saying nothing about the online community I found, writers that made me feel a little less crazy for one glorious, coffee-fueled, frantic month. I found people just like me, who talked about their characters like they were tangible and didn’t bat an eye when I crowed about having finished a particularly difficult scene. 

I guess this is goodbye, NaNoWriMo, but only until next year. I’m certain that I’ll carry what I’ve learned and accomplished into the rest of my writing habits outside the box of November. 

NaNoWriMo: Part Two: The Revenge: The Return of NaNoWriMo: You Only Write Twice in Paris

50,000! 

I did it! I wrote….a bunch of words that is not a novel…in 19 days! And I’m going to keep going, see how far I can get in the remainder. Maybe I’ll take a look at the outlines I discarded on Day 2, see if any of that can be salvaged. I reckon if I am for the “episodes” I usually do instead of novel format, I may be able to bring them back to life.

But not as zombies.

Because zombies are fuckin’ terrifying. 

NaNoWriMo: Part Two: The Revenge: The Return of NaNoWriMo

Broke 40k today! 

In other news, where the hell did November go? We’re essentially at the halfway mark. Two weeks down, two weeks to go. Day 15 out of 30. One half of November is gone. 

So far my plan to write a different story is going well. I’ve actually gotten two excerpts for running serials that I post elsewhere done. Which is a blessing because the natives are getting restless waiting for inspiration to strike me. It is a little disappointing in that I was hoping to have a complete novel, but hey, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. I do short stories well, so that’s what I’m focusing on. Strengths. 

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that people have different styles. I look at people who can go from A to Z in a coherent fashion, with an outline and fully developed side stories, all in a month…and I get incredibly jealous. By the same token I know there’s somebody out there that wishes they could fly by the seat of their pants and write short, complete story arcs in 5k words or less like I do. Everybody has a different writing style, so what’s yours?

The Universe Says No

Netflix will not stream. 

Cheaters never win! Guess I’ll have to write something if I want my Dr. Who fix.

NaNoWriMo: Part Two: The Revenge

Yes, I’m going to keep adding onto the title every time I write about NaNo. Let’s see how long it gets before November is over. 

Welp, let’s see. I threw out both of my outlines, because I got bored and couldn’t write with them. I’m about a week ahead of schedule. 18k words! Whoo! And right now, I’m waiting for more ideas to come, but they aren’t. I know technically I CAN slack off since I’m so far ahead, but I was really hoping to write every day. This is harder than it looks from the outside. Fuggit, I’m gonna go Internet some more until inspiration strikes. Maybe I’ll cheat and watch my motivational Dr. Who episode even though I haven’t gotten anything done today.

Am I allowed to do that?

NaNoWriMo: Part Two!

Oh my effing God.

Why is it that having a deadline makes me immediately lose interest in everything but looking at cat videos on the Internet? I write all day long, and yet now that NaNo has started, I’m like “Meh…I’ll do it later.” I was really really hoping to have a coherent story line, but it may just be random, jumbled bits of nothing.

I have the scenes written out- in my head.

I know my characters, exactly how they should interact with each other- in my head.

Inside my imagination there is a perfect world that is exactly what I want, written somewhere along the Oregon coast with forests pulled in from Yellowstone and a city planted nearby that is a Frankenstein’s monster of L.A., New York, and Chicago, plus more pollutants and giant filters that labor day in and day out to keep the city’s inhabitants able to breathe.

Outside of that city, deep in the forest, there is a small cabin where a young vampire can not choose between the men he loves, so he keeps them both. One, a vampire like he is, understands the complex nature of being something that should not exist. He knows what it’s like to feel anger and lust and raw feral instinct boiling just below the surface- what restraint it takes to hold that back. The other offers heat like he’s never felt before, being human and oh so alive. Having never felt what it was like to be alive, this lover draws him like a moth to a flame with the steady beating of his heart, and the frailty of his powerful body under the grip of a creature much stronger than he is.

But that’s all in my head. When I try to put words on paper, in a manner of speaking, nothing comes out but disjointed fractions of dialogue and brief passion. I think I may try a different approach, in writing my characters like their tales have already been spun. For thirty days, I will take my triad and put them in a new setting, one a day. They may die, to be born again the next morning…or they may find each other over and over, drawn together by threads of passion and destiny.