Spooky Lane (a short story)

The scorching Hades’ vapors rose throughout the concrete jungle of countless miles of shabby homes, and boarded-up buildings. At the corner, filled with vulgar men and teenagers displaying their herd mentality: sexual gestures, hooting, and hollering to the streetwalkers. The prostitutes moved on, taking their cue; I did too.

Droplets of sweat dripped on my back as I strolled. My mother’s voice nagged at me, wearing Daisy Dukes, a short tight top, and my dirty white tennis shoes. For I was proud of my slender physique and my plump breasts.

But I couldn’t change my clothes. My boyfriend and I had a violent argument when his unstoppable wrath erupted. That’s when I scrammed from our apartment. On my way out, I snatched my purse.

I spotted trouble. Piercing eyes generated a frigid chill, seizing my spine. A shadowy figure emerged a half block away. Creepiness rushed into my skin forming goosebumps. I wished I hadn’t sold my pistol. My boyfriend had persuaded me; I regretted that decision.

The silhouette approached.

Panic engulfed me; I searched for refuge. Paradise Diner across the street with faded ocean waves painted on the windows. I dashed. A brand-new 1990s Cadillac whizzed by me. My heart pounded.

Air whooshed. “Hey, Dumbo!” I shouted.

I entered. The realistic paintings of palm trees on the walls, multi-colored lights of seashells hung from the ceiling, and beach decor. The relaxing atmosphere calmed me. On a business trip with my dad in Charleston, we ate at a local seaside restaurant, and this cafe reminded me of the place.

I stopped, before crashing into the waitress in a bright-white, tidy, uniform with her brunette hair in a tight bun, and wore nurses’ shoes.

“Sorry.”

The woman zoomed by me.

“Am I invisible?”

At a corner table in the back, a tall, stocky man in a gray T-shirt and tan Khaki shorts stood. “Miss, are you okay?”

She rammed into me and I collided with the floor.

“So sorry! I didn’t see you.” She offered her hand. “The hot weather is making me crazy.”

I took her hand. “I’m fine. The heat is from Hades.”

The man appeared. “My father told me demons come out to play causing chaos to us.”

“I can believe it.” My legs shook, and everything spun.

A softness touched my arms. I missed that. My boyfriend’s rough hands carried such harshness just like his words.

“Please, my dear, come sit at my table. Alice, bring a glass of water?”

He tucked his arm under mine. I was safe from the evil lurking in the shadows outside. A few seconds later, I sat, sipping on the water.

“I’m Sam.”

“Jane.”

“Are you feeling better?”

My body slowly relaxed, and I was protected in the cafe. “I walked for hours in this part of the city. I must have gotten lost somehow.”

He smiled. “It happens on a hot day like this, but you’re safe here.”

“My mind must play tricks on me. A shadow that looked like a man coming towards me.”

The waitress placed another glass of water on the table and stared at Sam.

A wave of dizziness hit me and everything spun as I placed my hand on my head. My fingers were wet. Blood was on my hand. It was my blood!

“What is going on?” I asked as panic filled me with dread.

Sam touched my arm. “Our time is short.”

“I don’t understand…”

“What do you remember?”

“Thomas, my boyfriend, and I had a nasty brawl. I refused to have sex with him. He tried to rape… A pain in my head.” I sobbed.

“He took his trophy, struck your head several times out of his rage.”

“I’m not dead!”

He patted my hand. “Not yet.” He sighed. “The hospital staff has worked hard to save your life to ensure your choice.”

“Are you death?” I studied him.

“Your Guardian Angel.” He paused. “You need to decide.”

A powerful desire to be a wife and mother filled me. Revenge pulsed through my veins for Thomas needed to pay for his crimes too.

In a bright room, shrieking alarms surrounded me, my body ached, and an exhausted man with a receding hairline wearing a pair of dirty scrubs examined me.

“I’m Dr. Morris, your physician at the ER.” He squeezed my fingers.

“Hospital?” I mumbled.

He nodded. “You’re recovering from a serious head injury. Relax, to allow the medicine to work.” He smiled. “You’re a lucky young lady that you survived the head trauma and the severe beating, but in time, I believe you will make a full recovery.”

“Where’s my mom?”

In the doorway, stood my mother in her sloppy clothes with dark bags under her eyes. She bolted to my bedside and held my bruised hand.

In the bed, I vowed to make a full recovery and hunt for Thomas to give him my revenge!

The Hundredth Queen review

Alexandra Mars

I finished reading The Hundredth Queen by Emily King and is the first book in a series of four books so far. I found it was an interesting, a gripping read, and looking forward to reading more of the series.

The story is about an orphan girl named, Kalinda plagued with fevers that live at the temple. With other orphan girls run by the sisterhood in the far remote area of the realm.

I like that the author took her time without killing the suspense allowing the reader to develop a relationship with Kalinda and experiencing her struggles. I don’t normally read stories that have an India feel. Ms. King did an excellent job explaining the meanings and symbols without bogging down the story.

The first person point-of-view, told through the eyes of Kalinda, giving the tale more tension and danger. I understood her struggles, desires, and fears. While Kalinda…

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The Queen’s Poisoner Review

I enjoyed reading The Queen’s Poisoner by Jeff Wheeler. This book was different from other fantasy novels I have read. The story followed an eight-year-old Owen taken away from his family to live at the castle with the king.

At first, I wasn’t sure about the novel, if I wanted a read about an eight-year-old boy, what he might have to endure without his parents. I am glad I did, for it was an excellent read.

The Beginning

The story opens where Owen’s parents made the wrong choice by going against the king. They lost one child because the King ordered his death. Owen fate was sealed, to be taken away and forced to live at the palace.

After that, Owen’s story started with the journey heading to the king’s castle. I could relate with Owen being terrified and dealing with the pain being separated from his parents.

The Middle

Once Ankarette was introduced and Owen’s transformation begins. She helps him to adjust living at the castle, teaches how to thrive, and lessons on politics.

Evie was another great character that was introduced halfway through the story. She was a strong-will little girl taught Owen to be brave in dangerous situations.

The Ending

The climax of the book had me reading into the late hours; I wanted to see how Owen would save his family from the King. It was awesome!

The Ending was great. It wrapped up Owen’s storyline and that leads to the second book in the series.

World Building

Another thing I like about the novel, the author took his time to develop the culture and explained certain meanings to Owen. I had no trouble understanding terms and descriptions.

The descriptions are amazing and there were times I felt I was with young Owen and walked with him on his journey. The way the rivers and the fountains such detail that portray the spiritual meaning.

I’m looking forward to reading book two.

Feb 1, 2019

I sighed, the reminders are telling me Valentine’s Day is coming. The biggest sign is The Hallmark Channel’s countdown by showing romance movies with a Valentine’s theme.

Let the joy begin! Not!

Is Valentine’s Day an actual holiday? A product of our culture to sell cards, jewelry, flowers, and candy? The advertisers start their campaign as soon as Christmas is over. This year right after Christmas, retail stores made room for Valentine’s merchandise. I moaned. The closer February 14 comes, there’s an increase of love songs on the radio. Then everyone is discussing their plans for love day. They ask me, what I am doing. I am like… well, staying home with my cat and watching an action-pack movie where everything blows up. No one asked me anymore.

I have a love/dislike for Valentines started in grade school. It didn’t take me long to figure out my ranking on the popularity scale.

Even as a child, I dreaded this day with cutout pink hearts and cupids with red arrows plastered on classroom walls. Art class, I sat at my desk decorating a small paper bag with hearts and other Valentine theme to prepare for the party.

A small decorated paper bag hung on the wall or at my desk in hopes of cards delivered by my classmates.

I hoped my popularity would improve each year. False hope was never my friend, and I learned it was better to live in reality.

As I got older false hope faded.

I remembered, secretly desire a cold because I didn’t want to attend the classroom party. It didn’t happen.

Sometimes, a teacher mandated everyone would receive a card. One classmate discovered a loophole. She delivered the first round and proceeded by handing out two more rounds for her friends. Her friends did the same.

She counted her cards out loud for everyone to hear. They bragged about how many cards they received. The wisdom of youth.

I am thankful my parents made Valentines’ day special for me. I’m not sure, if they understood what I went through at school. If they sensed, it wasn’t easy for me.

The lesson I learned you can’t force people to like you or buy love. It must come willingly from another person. The second lesson it is okay to be by yourself.

Not to be in a wrong relationship will create more invisible scars on my tender heart because it only hurts me.

The most important lesson I learned to be surrounded by people that love me.

So, I’ll spend Valentines with the people I loved.

Jan 31, 2019

I will work on three writing projects for February. Well, I have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), and I like to work on different projects.

The first project is a short story, and I have written chapter 1 of the first section. My word count says there are about 2,000 words and my goal total was 4,000 words for the story. I’ll be increasing my overall word count for that project is my main focus. My goal is to write half of the first draft.

The second writing project is I’m reworking a novel. That has been a challenge for me; my mind is playing out different scenarios with the characters’ storyline. I need to work on a possible ending to help guide me to write an intriguing middle. So, that’s my goal for project two.

The third project is that I am writing the first draft of a novel. I took a break allowing the creative juices to replenish. My goal is to write three chapters this month.