Maudlin Girl Pt 1

Sharon’s note: I’ve been playing with this character for a long time, and am thrilled that I finally found a place for her. This story may or may not share a universe with another story on the blog. Okay, I won’t be coy. It totally does. I’ll leave it to you to figure out which one, though. Welcome to part 1 of 8. Warning: Author does love a Mad character.

Paloma and Brian were arguing softly in the front seat, and I was staying very, very quiet. If I didn’t draw attention to myself, maybe no one would notice that I couldn’t remember why I was there. Our instruments weren’t in the van, so we weren’t going to a gig. Why had Alex let me play with his phone? The stupid vampire knew I got distracted.

He was sitting on an ice chest next to me, not looking like himself at all. Normally, Alex was the life of the party, flamboyant in dress and mannerism. Tonight, he was dressed for bad business. Dark, practical clothes made for doing real work. His face was more serious than I had ever seen it. I could practically taste the tension coming off of him.

Oh! Good friend opportunity and a chance to jog my memory over what the heck was going on. I nudged his leg with mine. “Hey, you okay?”

He smiled, lips pressed tightly together. It wasn’t a happy expression. “Oh, I’m fine. It’s just been a while since I misplaced some aggression. I am mentally preparing.”

Well, that was unhelpful. No, wait, I could work with this. “So, uh, what does this remind you of? You know, it probably has to be pretty similar to the current situation for you to be able to project your problems on it.”

A ghost of Alex’s normal smile invaded his current one. “Subtle as always, Roxy. So, do you want to admit that you can’t remember what’s going on now, or pretend for a little bit longer?”

I huffed and my chin dropped to my chest. “You know me way too well. Would it have hurt you to play along for a little while? For my vanity?”

“Well, I’m sorry for the damage to your vanity.” He tweaked my nose. “Will filling you in again be enough of an apology?”

“Please.” I nodded and leaned against him, shoulder to shoulder. A bit more of the harshness melted from his posture and his calm was soothing.

“Brian got a message from his sister that she was in trouble. It seems she’s finally figured out that the pack she joined is no good, and she wants out.” Alex plucked his phone out of my hands and put it in his pocket.

“Oh! I remember this. It was one of those ‘traditional’ packs, right? The ones that tout the line about getting closer to their wolf roots but still go by the whole toxic alpha thing?” I shook my head. “Jeez. That BS was disproved years ago. I don’t get why they insist on preaching it as the ‘natural way’.”

Alex chuckled. “What you seemed to have forgotten is that werewolves are a combination of human and animal. Toxic alphaism isn’t a wolf thing, but it is very much a human thing. Blaming it on wolves so they don’t have to own it is also a human thing.”

I sighed and wrinkled my nose. “Yeah, humans are the worst.”

“Aren’t you glad we aren’t human anymore?” Alex’s smile had a teasing edge, and I frowned at him.

“I am human.” When he cocked a knowing eyebrow at me, I crossed my arms. “I am mostly human.” He started laughing, and my lip pulled out in a pout. Stupid vampire, mocking my denial. “Trying to be human.”

He patted my leg. “Sweetheart, it’s fine. You don’t have to be human to be a good person.”

“We’re here.” Brian hopped out of the van, barely taking the time to put it in park.

Click Here To Read More of Our Stories

Maudlin Girl Pt 1 Pt 2 Pt 3 Pt 4 Pt 5 Pt 6 Pt 7 Pt 8

Liminal Spaces Pt 11

Sharon’s note: I get a kind of twisted joy when the annoying character in horror realizes they are screwed. Even if I’m writing it. Really, it’s satisfying in a way I don’t have words for. Warning: Sometimes the author is the biggest villain.

Elizabeth laughed at my gaping jaw. “Really, you wouldn’t think I would be so shocking after following two ghosts here.”

“You’re a starved naked vampire ghost, Liz.” Kathy rolled her eyes. “I’m dead too, but even I understand there are orders of magnitude.”

“If she’s so desperate to ‘know’ that she runs off into the dark with two ghosts, one might assume she was prepared for anything.” The glow of the lamp outlined every line of Ernie’s face, making his smile look sinister. 

“Will you two quit picking on the living girl?” Kathy put her hands on her hips.

“Only if you stop calling me Liz.” It was impossible to tell if Elizabeth was grinning or snarling. 

I finally got myself together enough to stammer out, “How did you get down here? How did you even get captured? How did you die?”

“Nosy little thing, aren’t you?” Elizabeth chuckled as she circled me. “And she’s not bad looking either.”

“I thought you might like her. Not too skinny like a lot of girls these days. Nice breasts.” Ernie leaned against the wall, arms crossed.

“I thought he was supposed to be shy,” I said to Kathy. My stomach was starting to sink, and I didn’t like the way Elizabeth was looking at me. It was like being creeped on, but hungrier. 

“He normally is.” Kathy moved to stand next to me, inserting herself between Elizabeth and me.

“Get out of the way, girl.” Elizabeth bared her teeth again. “You aren’t involved in this.”

“I brought her down here to be safe. That kind of makes it my business. Now what are you doing?” Kathy puffed up like an animal warning off a predator.

Hands like steel cables locked around my arms, pulling them behind my back. I tried to jerk away, but couldn’t move an inch. Ernie’s voice Rumbled right behind my ear. “Leave, Kathy. We have plans for the girl.”

Kathy’s head whipped back and forth between Ernie and Elizabeth, her eyes going wide. “You’re going to possess her? No. No, I won’t allow it.”

“You can’t stop us.” Elizabeth arched her back, skin straining against her ribs as she laughed, a mad, evil sound. 

“Stop? No.” Kathy’s hands balled into fists, knees bending slightly. “Run, Maggie.”

I jerked in Ernie’s grip. “I ca-”

Kathy disappeared, and Ernie wrenched away with bruising force. Elizabeth shrieked and lunged at me. I ran, sprinting into the dark tunnel, faster than I ever ran before.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8

Click Here To Read More of Our Stories

Carnival Girl Pt 13

Sharon’s note: I know technically you can have a romance without an action scene, but I’m writing this story, so let there be a fight scene. Warning: Author’s obsession with dark carnivals is showing.

The clown charged the booth with its arms outstretched. A glove hand swiped at Jim’s face, and he brought the cleaver down on the wrist. With hardly any resistance, the hand separated and flopped onto the counter, dark brown sludge spraying from the stump. 

“Run!” he screamed at the woman on the ground. She stared at him with slack jawed shock, clutching her bleeding arm to her chest. The clown punched the booth with its remaining hand, sending a chunk of wood flying into Jim’s face. He yelped and fell to the floor, dropping the knife and it skidded partially under a table. 

More wood fell as the clown skittered over the counter, fighting to squeeze itself down into the confined space. Jim rolled to avoid the giant clown shoe that stomped down. He grabbed another jug and brought it up just in time to meet the hand coming down. Gray claws sprung through the glove and into the plastic. Oil sprayed up into the clown’s face, making its drawn-on features run. It pulled back, shaking its hand, to dislodge the jug from its claws.

 Jim scrambled to the cleave and snatched it from under the table, dragging a long handled lighter out with it. He swung the cleaver at the clown’s face, and the face cracked like it was really an egg. The foul smell of rotting sulfur gagged him. Splattering Jim with viscous brown liquid, the clown reared up, jabbing its arm stump across its face, screeching like an angry hawk. 

“Die!” Jim grabbed the lighter, clicked it to life and jammed it into the clown’s oil soaked jumpsuit. The suit smoldered for a second under the flame, but didn’t catch before it tried to grab him. Screaming, he hacked at the clown, catching the arm, the chest, and with one last swing, straight across the mouth. The head exploded, showering him in rancid goo. The clown’s body started to fold in on itself like a deflating balloon, flooding the ground with foul smelling brown liquid.

Climbing over the counter, Jim fought the urge to vomit. The injured woman was still sitting on the ground, not moving. There were more people screaming, and more people dying, and he could either help her, or save someone else. Time to split the difference. He grabbed a woman who was rushing by the arm. She screamed and swung at him, missing wide and nearly toppling them over. Jim jabbed a finger towards the woman on the ground. “Help her! Get her out and to a hospital or something.”

The woman looked at him in blank terror for a moment, then shook herself aware. With a sharp nod, she seized the woman on the ground and dragged her to her feet. Together, they hobbled towards the exit and Jim ran against the crowd towards the ferris wheel.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11

Click Here To Read More of Our Stories

Another Supernatural Academy Story Pt 1

Sharon’s note: I read supernatural academy books. Most of the time they’re pretty bad, but that’s what makes them entertaining. I thought it would be more fun to make fun of them, and it is. It really is. Warning: Set up ended up more serious than the author intended. Oh well. The jokes are coming, she promises.

I rubbed at my eye again before staring at my eye in the mirror. The weird red glow that hovered above my iris like a star on a sapphire was still there. It didn’t interfere with my vision, but it was freaking me out. Glowing spheres floating through the night and smacking into my eyeball was not something I had a coping mechanism for. What was I supposed to do? Go to the hospital? It didn’t hurt. I was leaning towards going to the urgent care.

There was a heavy knock on the door. “Jess? Hurry up! Other people got to use the bathroom.”

“Yeah, yeah.” I unlocked the door and Ricky pushed past me before hustling me out. As I turned to him to ask for a ride, he slammed the door in my face. Ass.

It didn’t surprise me that he didn’t notice the glowy red thing in my eye. There were six people crammed into the three bedroom, one bath, house we shared, but we generally tried to ignore each other. None of us liked sharing a domicile, but it was an unfortunate necessity for poor college students. Silent avoidance made for awkward, but mostly good housemates. 

I went to my room to gather up my things. Calling an ambulance seemed kind of extreme, and really expensive, so I used my phone to call for a ride. I was stuffing a couple of textbooks in my bag in case I had time to study while I waited when Amy stalked in. I shared the room with her, so it made sense she would come in without knocking sometimes, but she always did it and it drove me up a wall. It wasn’t that hard to remember and I never forgot. 

“There’s a guy at the front door for you,” Abby said. She threw herself down on her bed and glared at me like I’d stolen her favorite top and lost it at a one night stand’s place. Ever since she’d done it to me, she’d acted like I’d done the crime. The guilty were always the most defensive. I hated people. 

“That was quick.” Either the driver was just down the street, or there was someone else here. And why hadn’t Abby commented on my eye? She wasn’t as unobservant as Ricky. Maybe it wasn’t as obvious as I thought. Maybe I was hallucinating it and it wasn’t really there. Either way, I needed to see a doctor. 

Whoever had showed up to talk to me, I wasn’t in the mood. I stomped to the front door and flung it open. The man on the porch radiated ‘lawyer’. He wore a neat black suit and carried a black leather suitcase. His dark hair was slicked back and his gold framed glasses sparkled in the morning sun. What oddly stuck out to me was his shoes, black leather loafers with shiny pennies tucked in the front.

“Ah, you must be the young lady I’m looking for.” He had a weather forecaster’s smile, professional, but it didn’t reach his eyes. “I am here to change your life.”

Oh. He was a scammer. I shut the door in his face. 

“No, wait!” he called through the door. “It’s about the thing in your eye. You have to be curious about it. I can tell you about it.”

I bit my lip for a second, then opened the door. “You can see it? It’s really there?”

He broke into a real grin, and it was somewhere between nice and goblin-esque. Goblinesque. Was that a word? Didn’t matter. 

“Oh, it’s there, and I have so much to tell you.” He hefted his briefcase and bounced on his toes, looking more like an excited kid than a lawyer. “I’m not going to lie. This is my favorite part of my job. Welcome to the wonderful world of magic.”

What? I shut the door in his face again.

Part 1

Click Here To Read More of Our Stories

Good Boy Pt 10

Sharon’s note: Welcome to the last episode! I like sweet, goofy romances. When it reads like erotica-light (or sometimes, not-so-light) and that isn’t what I got the book for, it annoys me a lot. Sometimes I want to read about love that’s about the emotional connection and actual courtship rather than how the romantic interest affects the blood flow of certain body parts of the main character. Warning: Sometimes love is silly, cute and awkward.

“Thanks for the ride,” I said as Sam pulled the car out of the hospital parking lot.  

“No problem.” He spared a glance from the road to shoot me a smile. “How’s your head?”

I automatically touched the bump on the back of my skull that was still tender. “It’s fine. The doctor said everything looks good. Mostly I just managed to scare the crud out of me and Baskerville.”

“I’ve told your dad a hundred times, that dog needs to go on a diet.” He smiled, shaking his head with a silent chuckle. 

“Have you ever tried saying no to him?” I raised an eyebrow. “You’ll just be sitting there with your lunch and he’ll be staring at you with those big eyes. It would take a heart of stone to resist. Besides, Bask is twelve years old. I’m not sure how much a better diet will extend his life.”

“You never know. Once you’re a werewolf, the word impossible loses meaning. Maybe he could live to see a hundred.” 

That. . . was something I hadn’t thought much about. What else was possible when werewolves existed, and one of them wanted to be your boyfriend. I was fixating on that, wasn’t I? A world of possibilities, and all I could think about was a guy who said that we were magically perfect for each other. Fine, I just had to deal with a dragon in front of me. Were dragons a thing?

“So, Dad’s coming back on Sunday. After that, I’m supposed to go home,” I said, staring out of the window. 

“Oh.” The disappointment in Sam’s voice was heartbreaking. “And you live like four hours away, right? Maybe I could come visit you.”

“Yeah.” I took a deep breath. Being in the hospital gave you lots of long waiting times to think, and I had put it towards making a decision. “Most of my job is done remotely, and I need to go home to straighten some stuff out, but I’m going to be moving into town. Dad is getting older, and while I’m really happy he isn’t alone, his wife is the same age. I’d feel more comfortable if I was close by, and . . . I wouldn’t mind, maybe, if we started seeing each other, you know, a little more seriously.”

I stared hard at the passing scenery, willing the burning in my cheeks to stop. Sam cleared his throat, and I glanced at him. He was blushing too, and visibly fighting a huge, dopey grin. 

“I, um, I like that idea. Hey, let me know if you need help finding a place or moving stuff or-” He cleared his throat again. “Just let me know if I can help.”

“Well, I definitely don’t feel like cooking tonight. Maybe you could bring over some pizza and we could watch a movie.” I held up a finger. “Just watching a movie mind you.”

He flexed his hands on the steering wheel and chuckled nervously. “I’d like that.”

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7

Click Here To Read More of Our Stories

Liminal Spaces Pt 10

Sharon’s Note: I didn’t start out liking horror, movies or books. I was a really creative kid, with a great imagination, so I was scared of everything. Eventually, I got tiered of being afraid, and one by one, I started to face my fears. It turns out, when you chase the monsters in your head, they run. Horror became fascinating, because it was more roller coaster ride than nightmare. I’m still learning to write horror, and it’s a hell of a ride. Warning: Terrors from the dark are rarely as scary if you drag them into the light.

It felt less like a hall and more like a mine shaft. The second door in the morgue led to a long tunnel at the bottom of a ramp. According to Ernie, it led to another building with the incinerator. He carried the lantern ahead of me, the light dancing over the struts that held up the roof and spooked the occasional rat.

“Hey, what’s with the rodent problem?” I skipped to the side to get out of the way of one that ran right at me. They seemed to avoid Ernie and Kathy.

She frowned, swinging a foot lazily at another one that passed. It jumped away with a squeal. “They congregate anywhere there’s a body. You want to find a corpse around here, just follow the scratching.”

“Why?” I moved closer to the ghosts in hopes of avoiding a rat up my pant leg.

“Damn if I know,” Ernie grumbled. “This place was strange even before my father started his experiments. It’s why he sought it out. The rats were here first.”

“Why is that creepier than anything else I’ve seen here tonight?” I muttered. 

Kathy chuckled. “It gets a lot worse, believe me. There are literally places here where the dead fear to tread.”

And that made me more nervous than I wanted to admit. It was cool in the tunnel, but I only just now was getting goose pimples. I cleared my throat. “So, who is Elizabeth?”

“She was a vampire who controlled most of the western seaboard at one point. My father went through great lengths to get ahold of her, thinking that her strength would be valuable to his experiments.” Ernie shook his head with a smile. “Her endurance was amazing, and she survived long enough that she managed to break free of her containment. She fought her way through the hospital and almost made it out through these tunnels.”

“If she made it this far, what stopped her?” The tunnels were starting to feel claustrophobic as the temperature dropped further and the light didn’t penetrate as far into the darkness. “Is it my imagination, or is it getting spooky in here?”

“It is.” Ernie pointed down the hall. A lone figure sat against the wall, arms tucked around its legs. “As for the rest of the story, I think the one who lived and died it is the best one to tell it. Maggie, this is Elizabeth. Elizabeth, this young lady would like to ask you some questions.”

The figure unfolded and stood. My guess was at one time, she was an attractive woman. She was tall with sharp, delicate features. Even her skull was shapely under hair cut so short it showed scalp in some places. Her posture was perfect, with her shoulders back and her head held high. Not everyone could pull off being a naked, emaciated corpse with that much grace. 

“Well, I’m afraid I haven’t entertained in a while, but I always appreciate a little company.” She smiled, showing fangs that looked too long to talk through and pale, receding gums. “Very well, Miss Maggie, have a seat, if you don’t mind the rats. You can ask me anything.”

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8

Click Here To Read More of Our Stories

Carnival Girl Pt 12

Sharon’s Note: I’m a sucker for that moment when our hero decides to turn and fight. It’s inspiring, and gives me the warm fuzzies. I want a scene that makes me almost antsy, because I’m ready to join the battle right beside the main character. Hopefully, this is at least a little of that. Warning: After writing this, the author kind of wants to hit something.

Jim held on to the clever so tight his hand hurt. He gestured for the couple to follow him towards the front gate. The carnival was bustling, the crowd seemingly unaware of the danger they were in. He wanted to yell and warn them, but he doubted they could even hear him over the din. They would just think he was crazy if they could. 

Other than a drunken jerk who swore at Jim for bumping into him, they reached the front without incident. No one was manning the ticket booth in the front. Actually, once he thought about it, Jim hadn’t seen any of the carnival personnel. People came and went without paying, and took food left out at stalls that weren’t making any more. The rides were running, but no one was working them. Unease hit his stomach like a ball of ice.

“You two get out of here,” he urged the couple. “I’m going back to help Wendy.”

“Should we. . . should we call the cops or something?” the woman asked.

Jim licked his lips. “Uh, maybe? I don’t know how much good it will do.”

The man turned her around and they made their escape. Jim ran back into the crowd. Wendy has said that he should follow the sounds of fighting to find her, but he couldn’t hear anything above the cacophony of the crowd. There were way too many people clogging isles that were suddenly too narrow. He couldn’t find the signs that would point him back towards the haunted house so he fought his way to the ferris wheel because it was the only landmark he could see clearly. It towered above the tents, so much taller in twilight than it had been during the day.

Screams rose above the din, and the crowd started to surge. Stampede. The word rang through Jim’s head, and he pushed his way to one of the food stalls. He jumped over the counter as the huge mass of people charged towards the exit. Something hit the side of the stall hard enough to make it shutter, the wood rattling, and he ducked down next to some giant jugs of oil. 

Sounds of pain and panic became a constant, ear-splitting drone, but was almost drowned out by the thunder of running feet. Both of Jim’s hands wrapped around the handle of the cleaver, clutching it to him like a life-saver. Wendy had said that the knife knew what to do. He believed in the knife, and he believed in her. 

With a deep breath, he stood and forced himself to look above the counter. The crowd had thinned, and was giving a wide berth to something in a clown suit. The figure stood at least eight feet tall, in a baggy, dirty white sack of a one piece splattered with crusty brown and fresh red stains. A white oval like a giant egg sat on its neck, a happy, fake face painted on in still dripping blood. No, the mouth wasn’t painted on. The teeth that jutted from the gaping maw were saw-edged triangles, tangled with strips of green cloth. A woman cowered on the ground in front of it, her arm a bloody mess beneath the remains of a green shirt. 

The clown thing reached down to grab her with one, clumsy gloved hand and Jim acted without thinking. He grabbed one of the smaller jugs and hurled it at the monster, where it burst open, spattering it with cooking oil. 

“Hey! Hey, asshole! Come and get me!” 

With a hyena laugh, the clown thing complied.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11

Click Here To Read More of Our Stories

A Choice of Devils

Sharon’s note: This story was built around the first line. If the rest of the story sucks, that’s fine, but the first line is solid. 🙂 Warning: Swearing and a not nice protagonist.

“You are going to die here. Whether or not you walk away from that is up to you.” Annabel wiped the blood off her knife in short, angry strokes. She hated this. She hated doing this. She hated herself for doing it, but she didn’t have a choice. Maybe if she kept telling herself that, she’d believe it.

The man known as Drop spat blood on the floor next to where he sat. She had knocked out one of his teeth while interrogating him. “What the hell are you talking about? Dead is dead.”

Anna put down her tools and really looked at her captive. When she’d snatched him off the street, he’d been dressed nicely, black slacks and a silky red button down shirt that contrasted amazingly against his dark skin. Well, it had. Getting splattered hadn’t improved it, since red didn’t actually hide blood. There were also smudges of grime from the various times she’d thrown him around. Even though it was currently empty, it had been a storage room, and the smell of cooking oil lingered like a ghost. Some must have spilled, because it mixed with the cobwebs and dust to give the floor a light coating of slime.

She walked towards him, the heels of her cowboy boots clicking against the floor. He braced himself and lifted his chin in challenge. “Go ahead. Hit me again, bitch. I’m not telling you anything.”

“I knew that five minutes in, but I had to try.” She leaned down, studying him in the light of the single, bare bulb. “You’re tough, I hit you pretty hard. You’re also brave, and didn’t even flinch when I pulled out the blades. According to your file, you’re also smart.”

“Too bad you’re not.” He surged forward to headbut her, cracking his forehead into her nose. Stunned, he fell back on the floor, eyes unfocused. That had been a good shot. She rubbed a hand across her face. It hadn’t hurt, but it hadn’t been comfortable either. 

Time for a demonstration.

Anna snatched the front of his shirt, balled it in her fist, and lifted him into the air. Drop’s eyes focused and widened. She’s allowed him to see a little of her strength before, but now she hid nothing as she brought him close to her face and bared her fangs at him.

“Fucking cowgirl vampire!” he howled as he kicked at her. She chuckled as she dropped him. 

“Right on the first try.” She backed up a few steps and allowed him to scramble back to the wall. To his credit, he wasn’t just staring at her in terror, but his eyes were flicking around the room, looking for aid or escape. There was none. “Look, Bremen said that I was to kill you whether you give up where Sid is hiding. I have to do it. Bremen made me a vampire, so I don’t have a choice. I also can’t hurt him. What he didn’t tell me was that you had to stay dead. Here’s the deal; I turn you into a vampire, and you kill him for me. You get to live, for a value thereof, and I get my freedom.”

His look turned calculating. Anna’s guess had been right. He was quick. “And how bad does being a vampire suck?”

She considered the question a moment before shrugging and answering honestly. “It has its upsides. Strength, speed, and powers that I’ll teach you. You have to drink blood, but that’s not as hard to come by as you might think. You’ll develop a very bad sun allergy, but as I understand it you work mostly nights anyway.”

“What about you and me?” His eyes bored into her, and it was more uncomfortable than the headbutt. “You’d have the same control over me that Bremen has over you, right? What if you and I get crossways?”

She chuckled humorlessly. “Then you can do what I did, and wait a hundred a fifty years to find a loophole and do exactly what I’m doing now.”

Drop was silent for a full minute while he thought, then nodded. “You got a deal. How do we do this?”

Click Here To Read More of Our Stories

Good Boy Pt 9

Sharon’s Notes: Having someone you can talk to is important, even if you don’t expect them to answer you back. Always make sure you have someone to talk to. Even if it’s just a beloved pet. Warning: Author speaks her secrets to the bees.

Baskerville danced and grumbled at me as I opened the front door. I rushed to the back to let him out. He clamored after me, huffing at the exertion. 

“Dad needs to put you on a diet,” I informed the dog as he rushed out to find a good patch of grass. 

My brain churned over everything I learned. The existence of werewolves, fated not-quite-true love, and last, and possibly least, the fact that Sam was looking for a committed relationship. It was the very definition of things happening too fast. 

I followed Baskerville outside to sit in one of Dad’s decrepit lawn chairs and stared up at the stars. The sun bleached plastic swayed under my weight for a moment before deciding to hold. A cold nose touched my hand and I smiled down at the old dog.

“What about you, huh? Did you know that Sam was a werewolf?” I rubbed his ear and his tongue lowled out, dripping drool onto the grass. “Is it weird that I don’t think I mind? He doesn’t turn into a man-eating monster or anything. It’s the other stuff I can’t wrap my head around. Shapeshifting wolf men are fine, but magically selected dating? What the hell even is that?”

Bask flopped onto his back for belly rubs, and I obliged. It had always been his price for listening to me work out my problems. “Sam said humans don’t feel it because they have no magic. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to feel that kind of instant connection to someone. Sure, he’s hot, and I definitely like the way he looks, but that’s attraction, not . . . whatever the hell this is supposed to be. It’s not fate, or if it is, it’s the non-fixed kind. Sam said I don’t have to act on it if I don’t want to. I can just walk away. He doesn’t want to. He’s ready to settle down and have a family.”

I stopped petting and Baskerville grumbled in complaint. I resumed out of habit. “That’s the sticking point, isn’t it. Not anything supernatural, just that I’m not sure I’m ready to commit. Hell, I don’t even know if I want kids, much less if we could have any. I didn’t think to ask. Oh, hell. What does that say about me as a person, Bask? I don’t know what to do with my life, and that has me more worried than werewolves.”

I put my hands over my face and they smelled like dog. He rolled to his feet and put a paw on my knee. The poor old thing didn’t move well anymore, but he was trying his damndest to climb into my lap because he knew I was upset. I gathered him up and the chair trembled in an effort to hold us both. No matter what else was going on, it helped a lot to know that a dog loved me.

“You know what? I think that I’m going to stick this out a little longer. Give it at least until Dad gets back to decide if I even want to try to make this work. After all, it’s fate recommended, not mandated, right?”

Bask wiggled, trying to lick my face and the chair broke.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7

Click Here To Read More of Our Stories

Liminal Spaces Pt 9

Sharon’s note: I understand the need to know. I’m a very curious person. That being said, the character that charges in stupidly with no plan and a manic need to follow something are kind of annoying. You know they are going to get people killed, the author is counting on them getting people killed, and the only thing up in the air is whether or not the idiot themselves die. That being said, they are such fun to write. They make moving the plot easy. Warning: Author plans to have a little fun with this.

“Not every patient that came to this hospital was human. Monster though he was, my father thought of himself as a healer. He welcomed those with strange afflictions and promised that he could heal them.”

“What were they?” My thumbs trembled over my phone.

“Every kind of thing.” The leer on Ernie’s face sent a shiver up my spine. “Those cursed by the moon to change their forms and hunt men, those who were brought back from the dead to feast on the blood of the living-”

“Werewolves and vampires. You’re saying that he experimented on werewolves and vampires?”  I would have scoffed at the idea before I saw ghosts.

“Among others. They all came to be made human, but only found pain and death.” He laughed, and it was bitter. “Not a single one of my father’s special patients lived, though it took a very long time for them to die. Their ability to heal was a curse, and one he hopes to pass to me by cutting out a vampire’s heart and sewing it into my chest.”

“That . . . sounds painful.” I swallowed hard.

He shrugged. “Not for long. This was well before the invention of heart transplants. Despite everything my father did to me beforehand to make me survive the operation, I was dead before he even got my heart all the way out.”

I stared at him for a moment. He looked bored, and slightly amused. “You are oddly calm talking about your extremely horrific death.”

He and Kathy laughed. She strolled over to pat me on the shoulder. “Death is traumatic, but you either have to come to terms with it or you become a screaming maniac like that guy in hydro.”

“What happened to him?” 

“He was locked in a tank full of water and drowned. Even werewolves need to breathe.” Ernie shook his head. “He never leaves that box, and if anyone gets close enough to grab he pulls them in and tries to suck the oxygen out of their lungs so he can survive. He’s killed two people.”

“One of them is still huddled in a corner murmuring monosyllables.” Kathy rolled her eyes. “Death craziness is contagious.”

“Don’t be harsh.” He glowered at her. “He’s only five years dead.”

“I wasn’t that crazy right after I died, and McBride killed me personally.” She crossed her arms and turned her attention back to me. “You want to talk about being stuck in the past, the evil doctor keeps killing people because he thinks it will hide his special experiments.” 

“Well, it’s worked so far. No one knows anything about this.” I said, focusing on my notes. When they were quiet for a long moment, I looked up. They were both frowning at me, hard. “What?”

“Please don’t justify anything that man does.” Earnie’s glare made me gulp.

“Sorry. Does this mean that you won’t take me to see a non-crazy supernatural? I’d love an interview.” 

“What are you, stupid?” Kathy swiped at me, and her hand passed through my head. It felt like walking through a cobweb that left a sticky residue on my brain as it passed through. “I brought you down here so that you’d be safe. Your ass is staying here.”

“Oh, come now. We can take her to talk to Elizabeth. She’s a very pleasant lady. We don’t even have to go out into the main building. She’s down in the tunnels.”

Kathy grabbed my shoulders, hands solid this time. “Maggie, listen to me. This is a horrible idea. Please, just stay here.”

I shrugged off her hands. “I have to know.”

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8

Click Here To Read More of Our Stories