Short Story Friday

Murder Mystery

by 

Vicky Holt

 

Detective Carpenter leaned over the dead body draped half-in, half-out of the kidney shaped pool.

He kept his hands in his pockets and stood still, letting forensics work their way around the scene without him trudging through it.

Green nudged him with his elbow. “Murder, right?” Green’s sniveling voice grated, but Carpenter’s lips remained in a thin line.

He squinted, noting the female’s pale skin everywhere except for dark purple bruising on her back where her kidney would be.

“I mean, she’s naked in a pool,” Green said. “She could have been skinny dipping. But that bruise! It’s as purple as grape jam.”

Carpenter squatted. He pulled out his pen and used it to lift the wet locks of black hair from her face. The thick hair coiled like a snake on her shoulder.

Her eyes were closed. A traditional pearl earring studded the one ear visible to him. Her lips appeared to be crusted with sugar. A jolt spasmed through his gut.

“Do you think she had sexual congress before she died?” Green said. “I mean, she’s a babe.”

Carpenter stood up and smashed his fist into Green’s face. “I don’t care what the agreement was. You’re never riding with me again.”

The forensics team yelled as Green stumbled around the scene. Carpenter stalked to his car and punched in Celia’s number. It went straight to voicemail, and Carpenter tasted sugar when he licked his lips.

 

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Short Story Friday

A Lunch Date Gone Wrong

By:

Victoria Clapton

2019

 

The bright orange glow from tonight’s full moon glowed over the mostly empty benches on Jackson Square. It was a cool, autumn evening in the French Quarter. Most of the tourists and artisans headed home over an hour ago and were now missing the magical ambience that situated on the old cobblestones.

“Are you ready, Sybella Rose?” I shivered as Demien’s hand came to rest in the small of my back, reassuring me that this idea of a date, a date with a vampire, wasn’t crazy.

I held up a heavy picnic basket my friend Aloysius had filled and smiled. “Sure.”

Like me, Demien loved to go down to the river at night, to watch the waters of the Mississippi roll by in rippling shimmers, so I didn’t even ask him where we were heading for our lunch date at 2:00 a.m. Over the levee, towards the moonwalk, we had a spot.

He made no sound as he moved, guiding through shadows. Only his long dark hair, ruffled lightly in the breeze. The sweet, citrusy scent of bergamot assaulted my senses with every step he took, and I fought the irrational urge to reach out for him, to pull him into a kiss that he may not even want.

Recently, I’ve made a career at throwing myself at the almost five hundred year old vampire walking gracefully beside me. I physically could not stop myself. I needed to touch him, to consume him, to be consumed by him.

As he showed no signs of insatiable attraction, I can only assume he is not afflicted by the malady, a curse known as The Binding, as I was. This, too, his ability to ignore the urges pressed upon us, drove me even more insane.

Someone listened to Trombone Shorty in one of the cars that pass by on Decatur Street. This town, my beloved New Orleans, embraced its culture like no other place.

“Where are your thoughts?”

I hadn’t realized that Demien had paused at the crosswalk, waiting for the signal to cross over Decatur, and now scrutinized my temporary silence.

“I was just thinking about New Orleans and its artists. Such a special place.”

The walk light flickered, and we crossed the street. I did not even bother with why a vampire cares about crosswalk procedures at two in the morning. Demien was filled with so many conundrums, keeping up with them was impossible.

“That’s why we locals fight so hard to keep outsiders from ruining it.”

I panicked for a moment, right in the middle of the road, when it occurred to me I no longer held the heavy picnic basket. Demien urged me along, shaking the picnic basket he must have grabbed from me at some point as he guided me towards our lunch destination.

Nerves assaulted me. No matter how long this went on, I continued to find myself baffled at the way Demien’s presence both calmed me and shot my nerves to frazzled. I could never predict what he would do next. His actions caught me off guard.

So, I stood there on a grassy patch near the moonwalk and the river, watching him spread out a checkered picnic blanket for me to sit upon while we dined…well, while I dined.

His movements held my attention as he carefully unloaded the basket–a bowl of fruit salad, a po’ boy dressed, a few bottles of Abita Amber. The snacks kept coming, more food than I could eat.

My mouth draped open as Demien opened each item of food, arranging it beautifully before me, and then held his hand out to help me sit in the Victorian skirt I had chosen to wear tonight.

This man, this vampire, was ruthless. Terrifying. I had seen him kill. I’d felt his violent rage against me, and I could not reconcile the horror with his heart.

“How was your day?” He motioned for me to begin eating as he stretched out his impossibly long legs and leaned back on his hands.

“You’re beautiful.” I murmured, then cursed. I hated this curse. I took a breath, then I answered his original question like a normal person. “JoJo taught me how to draw a few veves today, but I had to promise not to catch anything else in the shoppe on fire.”

“Again?” There was a smile in his tone. I could not control the magick inside of me, everyone knew it. Asking me to not let my emotions take over, to not magickly ignite the voodoo shoppe or anything else into roaring flames was almost a joke.

“Look, Mr. Vampy-Pants, this is your fault.” I was teasing, but his dead body lost whatever semblance of pretend mortality he acted out as it froze into complete stillness and his gaze settled onto the water.

He had slipped back into the dark place where he resided, and I had to do something before my stupid comment ruined our lunch date.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way, you know. Believe it or not, even though you are a huge pain in my ass…I enjoy your company.”

“You’re not eating.”

“Jerk!” I whispered under my breath but picked up the po’ boy and took a huge bite.

He scoffed but relaxes somewhat, and I focused on my food to keep from crawling into his lap and begging him to take me right there in public.

The moment between us was peaceful, enjoyable even, until a whirring sound and a warning yell pulled me from my happy place.

“Watch out!”

Demien scooped me up in a blur, and the eruption of thuds and thwacks in the place where we’d just been sitting took me by surprise.

“What the bloody hell?” I declared, though I’m less concerned with what interrupted our moment than the loss of Demien’s arms when he released me.

I took in the tenseness in Demien’s shoulders, the way he ever-so-slightly crouched, and looked beyond him to see that some punk had been out on the Moonwalk in the middle of the night in roller skates and had lost control, careening through the grass straight on top of our picnic.

Demien’s anger froze the kid into place. Having let his guard down with me, he’d slipped straight into predator mode at the first hint of me being in danger.

I stepped around my solid hunk of vampire and offered a hand to the kid who’d plummeted upon our lunch. “Here, let me help you up. Are you hurt?”

He stuttered and stammered, “N…no. I’m fine. I’m so-sorry.”

“Okay,” I said calmly. “You should go.”

Like any rational person, I thought that if anyone should get bitten here, it damned well better be me, but I kept my thoughts to myself and aided the kid to his feet.

“Sorry, again. I didn’t mean to…” The kid’s preservation instinct kicked in and he took off into the night.

I took a deep breath and began picking up the remnants of our lunch date gone wrong, and then pulled on the bond between us. “Demien, come to me.”

I didn’t know if he’d succumb to my request. He was just as likely to disappear into the night. I packed everything away except the blanket, which I flipped over.

“Demien, come and sit.”

He didn’t look at me. Deep down, I knew he couldn’t. He was fighting the demon inside of him, the predator that had wanted to kill, that still wanted to kill. But he once more found a place on the blanket.

Relief rushed through me…then insanity. Without any hesitation, I maneuvered my body until I was sitting between his two legs with my back up against his chest. My bare neck waiting, beckoning just below his mouth.

“Sybella,” he growled in warning.

His fangs brushed against my skin.

“What? Didn’t we come here for lunch?”

 

 

 

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The Weaver–Cover Reveal!

THE WEAVER

by

Heather Kindt

 

Most writers choose the endings to their stories . . . most writers are not Weavers.
Laney Holden is a freshman at Madison College whose life goes from normal to paranormal in a matter of seconds. When the antagonist in the book she’s writing shoves her down the stairs at the subway station, she learns she is a Weaver. Weavers bridge the narrow gap between fantasy and reality, bringing their words to life.
Laney soon meets William whom she also suspects is a character from her book—one she’s had a mad crush on since her pen hit the paper. But he’s in danger as her antagonist reveals a whole different ending planned for Laney’s book that involves killing William. Laney must use her writing to save the people closest to her by weaving the most difficult words she will ever write.
THE WEAVER is the first installment of The Weaver trilogy. It is an NA paranormal romance set in a small town on the north shore of Boston. It will leave you wanting more.

 

 

Coming Fall 2019!

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The Parliament House

The Wild Ones

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Young Adult
Date Published:  December 19, 2018
Publisher: Books To Go Now Publication
 
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The Wild Ones is about 7 young wild horses left on their own. How they survive and are eventually gentled by the men of the Circle bar X ranch. The horses talk amongst themselves but not to the humans in the story. It is told from one of the mare’s point of view. This is her first novel written from a picture of two black/grey horses on a calendar and what her father taught her.

Excerpt

Chapter Two

Over the next year, Molly did a good job of caring for her six foster babies and her son. We formed a strong bond. The older colts helped her as much as we could to look after the younger ones.

Then one day, Molly told us, “I’m going off alone. I want time to myself. Do not follow me this time. You older ones look after the young ones. I love you all. Good bye.” Molly looked at her foster family and her son for the last time. She had felt age creep up on her. Pain replaced her zest for life. She was going off to die alone. She knew we were old enough now to care for ourselves. It had been a long scary year for her. She knew Baby would be her last and may have grown up with one of the other mares as a foster mother. But it was she who became the only mother for all of us. She knows she had done a good job, as she tiredly trudged around the lake.

We don’t know what she meant as we watched her walk away over the rise. Usually we followed her wherever she went. Now we were alone.

We knickered and whinnied, and waited for Molly to return. I finally believed she wasn’t coming back. The way she said good-bye and not to follow her. What are we going to do now? I wonder, and when should I tell the others I think she isn’t coming back. Sooner would be better than later. Then we can decide what to do and who will lead us now. I call, “Hey, guys come here. I want to tell you something.”

“What is it, Angel?” Blaze asked, as he came over to me. He was the oldest by two days.

“I think Molly isn’t coming back.” I said and looked at Baby and Cheekie, they were closer to Molly because they nursed longer than the rest of us. The rest of us took what was left one at a time when they were finished.

Baby was upset, “Why do you say that about mother? She loved us and wouldn’t leave us alone.”

“Baby,” I said softly, “I am sorry, but the way she said good bye and not to follow her. We had always gone with her. She was old and tired. It was a hard job to look after us. We hadn’t always been good. Yes, she loved us; that is what kept her going as long as she did.”

Blaze said, “Angel is right, we are on our own now. We must decide what we are going to do and who is going to lead us.”

Cheekie said, “Blaze and Angel are the oldest and if we all co-operate like the family Molly taught us to be, we can survive on our own.”

About the Author


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Gladys Swedak lives in Vancouver B. C. with her partner and two cats. She likes to read, do handcrafts and is learning art. She is a spiritual person and a member of Unity of New Westminster. She likes to write fiction and about animals.

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Melting Ice

Title: Melting Ice
Author: Ginger Sharp
Genre: Sports Romance
Cover Designer: Michael Sharp
Editor: Kathy Krick
Publication Date: December 30th, 2018
Kris O’Neil is a rookie hockey player with a brooding sized chip on his shoulder about life, love, and women. Lexi Morgan is a trusting girl who expects the best out of everyone and is slowly becoming disillusioned about romance and men. When these two meet, sparks fly, tempers flare, and both learn to deal with the baggage in their mutual lives. Melting Ice is a modern day story about how opposites attract regardless of their pasts and present situations. Can Kris and Lexi prove that love can always find a way, or will they lose each other in the stresses of life.
 
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Ginger Sharp resides in New Jersey. For many years she worked in the information technology field. She has a love for traveling to other countries. Ginger is an avid supporter of animal welfare. Her first book, “Lost Her,” made its debut in 2013 on Amazon, which is followed by many other steamy adult romance novels. For more information on the author and the Lost, Beauty, and Parker’s Legacy series, visit gingersharp.us and follow Ginger Sharp Facebook: facebook.com/GingerSharpAuthor For a listing of her current works in progress, please visit her at gingersharp.us
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