Tag Archives: fiction

The Orb

In my mind, these are the same characters that are in The Would Be Thief. Perhaps this was their first encounter?

Sara regarded the object carefully. She had no idea what it was but its beauty touched her somehow. Sitting on a black stand made of iron, the orb pulsed softly with the deepest, richest blue she had ever seen. As she watched, the dark blue misted out as a powder blue took its place. The continuous cycling from light to dark blue was mesmerizing.

A bump startled her out of her trance and she scuttled behind a statue as two men rounded the corner. Who else was in here?

She peered carefully around the corner at their backs. There was a taller, older man judging from the grey streaking his brown hair and a younger, blonde man speaking in excited whispers. She strained to hear snatches of conversation.

“…don’t even know what it does,” the older man was saying.

“….if I could take it, I could test….”

“Absolutely not! That’s out of the question! The brotherhood…..”

Her ears perked up at the mention of the brotherhood. There was only one brotherhood that got referred to as the brotherhood and that was the Astyrian Brotherhood. Now she was deeply interested. She leaned forward as much as she dared to hear what the younger man was saying.

“……finish my research on my own, I don’t need the brotherhood or the Society…….”

Now she was on full alert. Whatever the object was it sounded valuable.

“….very fragile…..cannot be moved…….” The older man was saying.

The blond man turned and strode toward the door, each thundering step betraying his anger and impatience.

“Alexander, wait!” The older man ran after him as he disappeared through the doorway.

Sara scrambled out of her hiding place, her mind made up. She murmured a stasis spell to keep it safe as she grabbed the glowing glass ball and lowered it gently into her bag. She could hear voices coming closer again as she climbed back out the window she had climbed in through and made her way quickly  down the tree.

By the time she heard the alarm raised, she had already made it over the fence and was sprinting into the woods.

 

Wind Talker

The wind whispered to her, literally. It said her name. It said a lot of things, actually.

“Emily” tickled in her ear as a slight breeze lifted her auburn hair off her shoulders. It was her Irish roots that gave her both the red hair and the ability to hear the wind speak, she was sure of it somehow.

She’d first heard his voice two months ago. At first it was only in the woods, but now the wind wound its way through her yard, seeping through the doorway and window sills, creeping through her home, finding her wherever she was.

She was starting to be afraid. The wind should not talk. At first, she thought it was her imagination, then she was intrigued by it. If the wind could talk, what would it say? Now she knew.

It whispered to her about her beauty, it whispered about how powerful it was, it whispered about giving her everything her heart desired. She had as many desires as the next woman, maybe more. So, at first, she listened, she let herself be seduced by the sweet susurrations of the wind.

But now she feared it. The voice was becoming more powerful, louder, clearer, able to seek her out no matter where she tried to hide. You can’t hide from the wind. It skittered across the dirt and slithered through the grass, whipped around the roof and tapped on the window panes. It found its way inside the house, the barn, the storage shed. It would not be denied.

She had a sneaking suspicion that her attention was making it stronger. The more she had listened, the stronger it had become after all. She had tried ignoring it, but that was impossible. She couldn’t unhear it now.

She couldn’t ignore it, so she answered, “What?”

“Emily,” the wind swirled around her, “I need…..I need….”

“What do you need?”

“To become.”

“To become what?”

“To become!” the voice boomed.

Emily jumped, frightened. The wind had never boomed before. It has whispered and tickled, it had conversed and muttered, it had chattered and questioned, but this was the first time it had boomed.

The wind increased in intensity and whipped up the dirt from the ground, tossing it into the air and turning it into a whirling cyclone. Her fear seemed to feed it, the cyclone increased in speed along with her heart rate. Spinning faster and faster, the dirt in the center of the storm started to take form.

She watched, heart in her throat, as the form became clearer, solid. The man in the center of the windstorm grew as he sucked the dirt into his being. When the man was totally formed, the wind slowed, then stopped.

He turned to stare at her. He was tall, tanned and well muscled, with jet black hair and the most piercing green eyes she had ever seen. They weren’t a normal shade of green, but a deep emerald color, something more suitable for a lush, verdant countryside than a mans eyes. He was completely naked and completely unfazed by that fact. His gaze was devoid of any human emotion. She froze under his stare, fear rendering her temporarily paralyzed.

“Thank you for bringing me back to life,” rumbled the voice of the wind, “It’s been centuries since any human has harkened to my voice. Your belief has resurrected me, but to strengthen myself and return to my former glory, I need more. I must seek out more humans, I need their worship.”

Worship? Her knees went weak and she sank to the ground, shock washing over her.
“Come with me.” He held out his hand to her.

Wordlessly, she shook her head.

He shrugged indifferently, “Suit yourself.”

He vanished in a puff of dust and she felt the air whoosh past her and out of the clearing where her home sat. Sucking in a deep breath she wondered in a wild panic, what have I done?

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Night Football

The ball was up! She watched as it spiraled perfectly across the field and fell into the hands of the waiting running back. The catch was good, he took off down the field as a player from the opposing team threw himself on him for the sack.

Gretchen leaned forward in her seat on the 50 yard line, barely breathing. No one else would have noticed the slight shimmer in the air around them as the running back twisted his body and practically flew out of his opponents grasp. The other man hit the ground hard and rolled harmlessly away as the man with the ball leapt out of his grasp and sprinted toward the goal.

Leaning back in her seat she breathed out a sigh of relief. At long last she had found him. He would not escape her this time.

She shook her head as she marveled at the audacity of using magic in front of the whole world. That was the type of thing that would get them all outed, start another witch hunt, get them all killed. That’s exactly why it was illegal. The council of Witches, Warlocks and Other Magical Beings (WWOMB) had expressly outlawed using magic in the presence of humans.

She left her seat and slipped quietly into an empty corner in the stadium hallway. Opening her compact, she waved her hand over the mirror and the WWOMB chairwoman appeared.

“Yes Gretchen?”

“I found him!” She practically squealed.

“We are dispatching a team to your location now.” The chairwoman nodded curtly then disappeared as the compact turned back into a regular mirror.

Turning, she bumped into someone. Annoyed she glanced up as she murmured an unfelt apology. When the person she had collided with neither responded nor moved, she looked up ready to give him a piece of her mind.

The words died on her lips on she gazed up at him! Oh no no no no, this was not good! If she messed up another case, she was definitely getting kicked off the council’s investigative team. This could be the end of her career in magical law enforcement.

“Azazel! How….I mean……”

“How did I know you were here?” He smiled down at her with a brilliance that she was sure melted women’s hearts all the time. But she couldn’t get distracted by that right now.

“Uh..yeah, how did you know?”

“You just used a mirror communication spell in a public place. And you want to arrest me for doing  the same? The council is full of hypocrites.”

“No, it’s not the same, I found a private place—“

“You call this private?” He asked gesturing to the people milling all around, “anyone could walk up on you while you were using magic. I just did.”

She felt confusion sweep over her. He was right. She used magic in public all the time; she was just good at disguising it. Like he had disguised his use, a voice whispered in the back of her mind. No, it wasn’t the same, he was on national television for pete’s sake!

She opened her mouth to tell him that when suddenly he grabbed her and kissed her. For a moment the floor fell out from under her. The building full of people disappeared, the council, her worry about her career, all of it just vanished.

When she came back down to earth, she stared up at him like he had lost his mind, “What the hell was that for?”

“Shhhh!” He said grabbing her hand as he looked past her. She followed his gaze to see the team of magic users the council had dispatched.

“They’re heading toward the locker room, of course.” He breathed as he pulled her the other direction.

“Wait! What are you doing? I’m on their side!” She protested, pulling her hand away from him.

“Are you sure about that?” He asked, “Your sister wasn’t. I know where she is. Come with me, I can explain everything.”

Her sister? How did he know about Lila?

“You know my sister? Where is she?” Gretchen demanded

“I can take you to her. The council is wrong about everything. Come with me, I can prove it. Please!”

She hesitated for a moment. Glancing back toward the backs of the extraction team, she felt her resolve waiver. Her sister! Lila had disappeared when Gretchen was still in high school, no one, not even her parents would tell her where Lila had gone or why. Could she really be a part of the resistance? The very thing that Gretchen had pledged her life to fight against? How could she go with him? How could she not? She had to know.

Oh what the hell was wrong with her? In a move she knew would be not only career suicide but possibly land her on the exact wrong side of the council, she nodded and took his hand. They ran down the hall together, away from the extraction team and toward her future.

 

 

Succubus

His eyes followed her as she walked across the room, her hips swaying from side to side. She smiled to herself. She was well aware of the power she held over men. She intoxicated them, they threw themselves into her path. Silly, stupid men.

She wasn’t interested in the man himself. Her heart was quite taken. But he did have something she needed, so she tossed her hair and shot him a slow, seductive smile over her shoulder. Of course he took the bait, grabbing two beers he made his way through the crowd and elbowed his way in to position himself next to her at the bar.

She turned to face him, gazing up into his dark brown eyes. She arched an eyebrow in question. Pretending she had no idea why he had approached her.

“Beer?” He asked as he handed it to her.

The liquid inside was ice cold in sharp contrast to the body heat induced warmth of the bar. Sweat rolled down the outside of the bottle. She reached for the it, the cool iciness doing nothing for her. There was something else she was thirsty for. She tipped the bottle back and drank anyway. Letting the coldness slip down her throat as she eyed the man in front of her.

He was about her own height, with jet black hair and eyes of dark amber, almost matching the bottle in her hands. Those eyes hid secrets, she could tell. Secrets and deep, tangible desires. His need wafted across the distance between them like something physical, something she could reach out and touch.

Setting the bottle down on the bar with an audible clunk, she licked her lips as she gazed up at him, lashes fluttering. It was an art, the chase. The trick was to make them think they were the one doing the chasing. Like an ambush predator, she was camouflaged, she seemed harmless, so the prey drew nearer and nearer, never sensing the danger she presented.

“Thank you,” she said, in a measured tone, betraying neither desire nor rejection. Make him work for it, that was all part of the game. Part of the fun. “What’s your name?”

“Mateo, what’s yours?”

“Jade.” She lied, offering her hand to him.

He lifted it to his mouth, her hand warm in his as he kissed the back of hers. He never broke eye contact. Ah, there was that Latin charm she so loved! She definitely had a type and he hit all the sweet spots. Dark hair, dark eyes, broad shoulders, not more than an inch taller than her. She knew that some women preferred men that were taller than themselves but not her. No, she liked to stand toe to toe and eye to eye with them. Looking up felt too submissive for her. She was definitely all about domination.

“Would you like to dance?” He asked.

“Sure.”

He led her out onto the dance floor where they moved and twirled and it was socially acceptable for him to touch her. Where else was it ok for a total stranger to put their hands on your back, your hips, your shoulders, to pull you in close and press their body against yours?

His body felt good against hers, his hands slid down her back but stopped just a fraction shy of going inappropriately low. She let her body press back against his, just enough to entice him, but not enough for him to be sure she meant it.

Three songs later they left the dance floor breathless and giggling.

“You want to get out of here and go someplace quieter?”

So predictable, she thought. What she said was, “I thought you’d never ask!”

His apartment was also predictable, just what one would expect from a bachelor pad, right down to the pin ball machine in the corner of the living room. But the furniture wasn’t what she was interested in.

Leading him into the bedroom, she let her clothes fall to the floor, the little black dress hitting the ground revealing the thigh high stockings, the garter, the bustier. Yes, she was dressed for seduction.

She watched as his desire grew, lust pushing him onward, never sensing his danger. She was a predator, he was her prey and it would soon all be over. She pushed him back and he thumped down on the edge of the bed, she straddled him, unbuttoning his shirt as she went. The shirt rustled as it dropped onto the bed and she moved onto to his pants. One garment at a time, she undressed him as she leaned in closer and closer and closer.

Closing her eyes, she inhaled deeply, the musky, masculine scent sent tremors of pleasure through her. For this one moment, he was her everything, her desire, her overwhelming need, her dinner. The sexual energy rolled off him in waves and at first he sensed nothing as she began to feed, for there was ample energy filling the room for her to feed on.

His desire dried up as the sexual energy disappeared from the room, sucked into her aura. She began to glow and her eyes went black as she soaked it in and drank it down. She followed the trail of energy to its source and continued to drink, deeply, headily, without concern for his sudden terror as he realized his danger. It was too late, she had him, his life force drained out of his body before he could utter the scream that was stuck in his throat.

When the last bit of life force was gone from his body, when she was completely full and thoroughly satiated, when intoxicating warmth of his energy flooded through her body, then, and only then, she let him go and drew back. He flopped lifeless onto the bed beneath her. She licked her lips and sighed in utter contentment as she picked the dress up off the floor, shimmed back into it and casually sashayed out the door.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Threads

Marie had always been able to see people’s futures. Not the way most people imagined it though. She didn’t see specific events; she did not see scenes play out in her head. No, nothing that useful. If she could see certain events, she might be able to give people useful details or advice. What she saw, instead, were threads. Multi colored threads emanating out from people, thousands, sometimes millions of them. Red, green, blue, all the colors of the rainbow were there.

The colors represented different aspects of their life, she had come to understand. Blue for romance, red for finances, green for family, where blue and green intertwined, marriage. She couldn’t even reliably tell how long a person’s life span would be from the number of threads present. Someone could have a short life overflowing with big events and adventure or a very long, boring life with little variance to cause new threads. The number of threads present was not indicative of life span, merely life events.

The only time it was indicative of time left on earth was toward the end, such as when her grandmother had been dying. Every day that Marie visited her, there were fewer threads and the ones left were faded and harder to see. But knowing someone is dying when they are 70 years old and had cancer was not exactly something you needed her gift for. She still couldn’t predict when that last thread would fade completely away.

Her gift was worthless until it was discovered, quite by accident, that she could spot a murder just before it happened.

She had been standing on a train platform, when a commotion caught her eye, an argument. A man in a tweed coat was standing near the platform when a younger man approached him, yelling and waving his arms around. Marie couldn’t hear what was being said, but as the young man got closer to the man in the coat, the threads started to disappear!

She watched, unaware of what it meant, as the confrontation escalated and the threads began to wave wildly, fraying and snapping and evaporating right in front of her. It was like the time during a storm she had seen live electrical lines that snapped, they danced and twirled and sent sparks flying every direction. She stood frozen, not understanding what was happening until the younger man shoved the older one and she watched the last thread snap as the man fell in front of an oncoming train.

It was only after that she realized what the fraying and snapping threads had meant. She had literally watched his future evaporate, getting shorter and shorter as the younger mans anger hurtled toward homicide.

She drew in a deep breath at the memory as she stood shaking outside the Institute. She had never envisioned a career in law enforcement. She wasn’t at all sure she had the temperament for it. But once word of her ability got out, she was actively recruited. She herself was still unsure how useful her gift would be at actually preventing murders. It would only work right before the murder and if officers knew about an attempted murder in enough time to get her there, then what did they possibly need her for?

Well, there was only one way to find out. She glanced down at the paper in her hand, straightened her back, picked up the suitcase sitting at her feet and marched up the steps to the Institute of Psychic Policing.

 

 

On A Dark Desert Highway

The thump of rock music blared out of the speakers as the old rusted Chevy navigated an s curve then took a right onto a white rock road. Melissa navigated the old clunker down the back roads as the Eagles belted out tunes from the ancient cassette player.

The road came up to meet the undercarriage as she took a turn a bit too fast, white rock giving way to hard packed dirt. The faint glow of street lights had faded behind her as soon as she left the county pavement. Now the dark coalesced around her, suffocating in its intensity. She clicked on the high beams making a mental note to herself to purchase some new headlamps.

Flying down the dirt road reminded her of those wild teenage nights she had spent out here, drinking, laughing and singing along loudly with the very same cassette tape that now spilled out Hotel California as the car shimmed and swayed down the country lane.

Suddenly a shape appeared in the dull glow of her high beams and the tires squealed in protest as she slammed the brake pedal to the floor and twisted the wheel sharply to the right. Throwing dust everywhere the car skidded off the road, fishtailing as it went. Melissa twisted the wheel again, trying to regain control of the vehicle.

The car thudded to a stop and she sat for a moment, heart pounding in her chest. The Eagles suddenly gone as she switched the radio off and pulled a flashlight from the glove compartment. The door creaked like a gunshot in the sudden silence of the night as she opened it and stepped out to inspect the damage.

Please, she prayed silently, please, please, please tell me I didn’t hit her! She glanced wildly around the road and the field she had stopped in but there was no sign of the child she had just clearly seen standing in the middle of the road.

She stood still for a long minute, her breath coming in ragged gulps, eyes closed, as she fought down the hysteria trying to rise in her chest. When she was sure she could breathe without screaming, she opened her eyes and slowly lowered her body to the ground. Stomach flat on the ground she stared under the car. Relief flooded over her like a waterfall when she saw no limp body under her car. Tears of relief coursed down her cheeks as she regained her footing and dusted herself off.

Taking another deep breath, she turned back to stare at the empty road. If she hadn’t hit her, where had the child gone? It was dark, but not so dark that she doubted what she had seen. There had been a little girl in the road. She took in her surroundings. No houses within sight, no structures at all within sight, in fact. Not that she could see very far. It was so dark that it felt it ought to have substance, texture, like if she reached her arm out, she would feel the solidness of it. She fought back the urge to do just that as the hair on the back of her neck stood up.

The light swung in an arc as she searched the area around her car thoroughly. No girl. She started to second guess herself. Maybe she was seeing things. It was so dark! Maybe she had hallucinated the little girl. People hallucinated sometimes, she told herself.

The light in her hand blinked out. Shaking her head, she lowered herself back into the driver’s seat and pulled the door closed. She said another silent prayer that the car wasn’t damaged as she put it in gear and pulled back onto the road.

The car had come to rest facing the opposite direction she had been heading, so she had to maneuver it back into the correct position by backing up and pulling forward several times. Finally, she was back on the road, putting the car in drive, she headed toward home. As she passed the spot she had originally seen the little girl, the engine sputtered and died. She coasted to a stop cursing out loud.

There was a soft clunk as she popped the hood. She opened door but hesitated to get out. She had driven these back roads hundreds of times in her life, she reflected, so why was a sense of dread crawling up her spine this time? As she listened she realized it was the silence, deep and solid as the darkness. Where were the crickets, the frogs?  The normal night sounds of country living?

The only sound she heard was a soft rustling of fabric from the backseat as her eyes lifted in horror to the rearview mirror, a scream stuck in her throat as she made eye contact with the little girl from the road.

The last thing she ever saw was that small, pale arm reaching toward her as a dry, brittle voice whispered, “Stay with me.”

 

 

 

The Mirror

She studied her face in the mirror. It was a narrow face, with angels she felt were too sharp. Tipping her head forward, her dark blonde shoulder length bob fell across that face, blue eyes staring intently out at her.

It was a familiar face, yet still she felt out of place. Like she was someone else. Like she belonged somewhere else.

The mirror glimmered in the light. It was so clean, that it looked clear, like it wasn’t even there, like she could just step through it. She knew it was a silly thought, but she couldn’t quite push it away. Reaching out, her fingertips gently probed the mirrors surface. It gave a little.

Startled, she yanked her hand away. Her heart started pounding in her chest, pounding as if it were trying to break right through her rib cage. Taking in big gulps of air, she tried to calm herself.

Staring intensely at her reflection now, she reached out again. Her hand was shaking this time as it made contact with the smooth, cool surface of the mirror. Her fingers brushed the glass and she felt the give again. Summoning all her courage, she pressed down harder this time and her fingers slipped right through the glass!

A gasp rushed out of her as her hand disappeared, up to the wrist, in the mirror. It felt cool on the other side, pleasant. She pushed her arm further in, just to see if she could. She could.

She began to withdraw her arm when something seized it from the other side. She let out a panicked yelp as whatever it was pulled her through the portal.

Darkness engulfed her at first, then a blinding light shattered the darkness as she turned to look behind her. Behind her was a mirror.

She studied her face in the mirror. It was the same face that she’d always had. But somehow, it seemed to fit her now. She reached out to touch the mirror, her fingers finding nothing but solid glass. She watched as her reflection smiled, gave her a wave and turned and walked away.