Writing Prompt

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It's time for another promptly penned - we all start with the same prompt and see what we come up with. I changed the tense of the prompt and split it all up because...well, I did. The actual prompt is in bold within the fic. 🙂


They said I was a traitor. That word was spat at me more than once today. Maybe I was. Though I’d pin that label on them before taking it myself.

And wasn’t that a kick in the fucking nuts. My own parents. That they were capable of… That I’d been blind to everything they… That… That…

I fought the sudden surge of vomit in my throat. Struggled to maintain control. Now wasn’t the time to lose it. That would come later. But fuck—spots danced across my vision, and I couldn’t draw a full breath. I dragged shaky, clammy hands over my face and tried to stay upright.

“Samuel?”

The small trembling voice penetrated the panic crippling me. Effectively obliterating it. She was what this was about, what I needed to be about right now. And keeling over, puking my guts out, wasn’t going to help my sister.

I turned toward her and cringed. She wasn’t looking at me, but at our parents…her tormentors. I could only imagine what was going through her young mind as she stared at them. Sprawled across the wood floor, lifeless, expressions of horror forever etched on their faces, completely lifeless.

Because of me. Another violent wave of sick pushed up my throat, nearly gagging me. She had to be scared out of her mind…of me. How was I going to—

“Samuel?” she said again, turning and rushing at me. Tears burned my eyes, blurring everything as her rail thin arms wound around my waist tightly.

“Hey,” I murmured, running my hand over her snarled hair. Fuck them, they couldn’t even bother to brush her motherfucking hair! “We need to go, now, Mel.”

“Go?” She tipped her head back, and wide, all-too-serious green eyes blinked dup at me. “I can…I can leave?”

“Yeah,” I breathed. Clearly my throat, I continued, “Yeah, sweetheart, you can leave, and you don’t ever have to come back. They can’t ever hurt you again. I promise.”

“With you?” she said, so loudly it echoed off the walls around us. “I can go with you, right, Samuel? ‘Cause we’re the same…” She smiled brightly. Despite everything, joy radiated from her. “They didn’t know that. They thought it was just me, but that was so wrong. I knew before you killed them with—” Her smile faltered slightly then firmed up again. “We’re the same,” she repeated. “I can feel it.”

She lifted her hand and grasped mine, sparks of the power housed in her tiny body pushing out insistently. I nodded and let my own magic answer, let it twine around hers, surrounding her protectively.

“Yes,” I croaked. “We’re the same.”

I dropped a kiss on her forehead and tightened my grasp around her fingers then led her out of the house. She blinked then squinted as we stepped into the bright sun.

“Where are we going?”

“I don’t know, yet. But I’ll figure it out, and it doesn’t matter.” I helped her into the car and buckled the belt around her before meeting her gaze straight on. “We’ll take care of each other, Mel. Do whatever it takes. Just like we did today. It was us or them.”

She nodded solemnly. “Us or them.”

I straightened and shut the door. Staring at the large house—a rich and beautiful prison, nothing more—I stopped trying to hold it all back. With a rush, my magic, fueled by my rage, exploded outward.

Flames filled the building before me, engulfing and destroying the evil that lived there, that dared to hurt that sweet and innocent girl. I didn’t wait, didn’t need to see the end result. It was done.

Yeah, they could call me a traitor—and many would—all I knew was that I did what I had to do.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

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It's time for another flash fiction - this one inspired by Halsey's "Ghost".

I'm again visiting the world of my Albion's Circle series. This takes place not long before the series begins. A small glimpse into Anna's head...before she finds out that her dreams are more than she realizes.


~Anna~

Music pulsed.

Lights flashed.

Bodies pressed against me. From every side. The touches, the scents, the heat… All of it, surrounded me, filled my senses, driving everything else out.

I closed my eyes, as anxious to escape what was happening as I was desperate for it. I sighed in relief as hands circled my waist and pulled me back against a very hard, very male body. I leaned into him, letting my head fall to his shoulder, as our bodies began to move.

His lips glided along my ear, and his breath tickled as he whispered, “Fuck, you feel amazing…”

Jamie.

My heart sped up. From excitement, from the knowledge of what the night would bring…from shame. Shame that I was using him. Again. And an even deeper, more painful shame that probably wouldn’t be the last time.

Hands firm on my hips, Jamie turned me to face him. I opened my eyes and, tipping my head back, met his gaze. Swallowing the immediate disappointment I always felt when I looked into his gray-blue eyes—and hating myself even more for it—I forced a smile.

He grinned then jerked his head toward the front of the club. “Let’s get out of here.”

Heat coiled in my belly, and I trembled slightly as I nodded. He grabbed my hand, and as I let him lead me through the crowd, I tried desperately to hold on to the excitement and desire. And not think about the tendrils of dread and regret weaving their way through.

I could only hold it off for so long, I knew. It was inevitable and would fill me to bursting soon enough. Because I wasn’t going to find what I was looking for in Jamie’s bed, in his arms, any more than I’d found it is this club or with any other person. I gritted my teeth as another face flashed in my mind. Another set of blue eyes—clear and piercing and haunting.

I shoved all away as Jamie pushed me up against his car and took my mouth. I let myself to fall into the kiss, to become lost in the bliss of his touch, because however temporary, it dulled the edges, softened the harshness of not having what I yearned for.

And made me forget, for just a little while, that I was searching for something I couldn’t reach. Because it wasn’t real.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease
Kayleigh Jones | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

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It's time for promptly penned flash fic. This one is a short one - I'm currently sitting at O'Hare waiting to take the 2nd leg of my journey home from my mini-vaca.

For this one, I'm visiting the world of my Albion's Circle series. This is a glimpse into one of the Circle's previous lives...before the start of the series. The prompt will be in bold within the story.

I hope you enjoy. 🙂


"One Last Time"

~Merlin~

I gripped the rim of the porcelain sink and tried to steady my hands.

“One last time,” I whispered to myself.

“Merlin, you can’t do this.”

Lifting my head, I stared at the warped mirror, at the blurry reflection of my best friend. My king. Always, always my king.

“I have to do this.”

“No, you don’t!” he protested. “We’ll find another way. You’re not thinking clearly…so soon after Annwyl—”

“Damn it!” I slapped the sink with both hands and spun around to face him. “There is no other way. Losing Annwyl isn’t blinding me to reality, Arthur! Don’t you think I’ve searched? Looked at every motherfucking option before settling on this?”

“She wouldn’t want you to do this,” he said, voice quiet and shaky as he grasped my arms. “I don’t want you to.”

“We’ve run out of options, Your Majesty. Our wants no longer factor into the equation. This is how we will stop Mordred, so we’ll do it.”

His blue eyes, so unfairly old even though they peer out from a youthful face, glistened slightly, then, finally, he gave a curt nod.

“One last time,” I repeated my earlier vow.

“Logically, I know we don’t have much choice. This is what we agreed to back in Camelot, the first time around. We have to use whatever we can, even dark magic, to stop the threat, but I hate it,” he practically spat the words. “Every time you go down this path, we lose a bit of you, Merlin, and one day…”

He cleared his throat, released my arms and turned away. Before walking out of the tiny bathroom, he continued, his back to me, “One day, I’m afraid, you’ll be beyond our…beyond my reach.” His entire body went rigid. “I’ve had enough heartbreak, and that is one I don’t know if I could come back from. So please, no more than necessary, Merlin. Promise me.”

“I promise.”

Alone again, I turned back to the mirror and glared at my reflection. I felt my magic expand, pushing almost painfully against my skin, in anticipation of what I was going to allow it to do. “One. Last. Time.

Liar.


Bronwyn Green | Kris Norris

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Time for another flash fic. 🙂

I'm currently sitting on Bronwyn's couch, after a fantastic weekend with her and Jenny Trout (and so many awesome authors!) at the Rust City Book Con. We had so much fun, and I had a blast hanging with friends - old and new. I've a couple more days here at Bron's then it's back home. It's been a great visit and a wonderful break. A much-needed one. 🙂

Okay, so flash fic...I'm tying this one to a previous flash fic ("Let's Get Out of Here") because...well, that's what I did. I know, brilliant, right? But this can be read on it's own, if you like. 🙂

This is pure, unapologetic fluff, because that's what I needed tonight. And I figure I don't do it enough. LOL

"Uncertainty"

With a sigh, Penny glanced up from where she’d been tracing patterns in the sand. Her sister and her friends closer to the water’s edge, taking what they thought were artsy photos of each other. They looked and sounded like they were having a good time—and Penny supposed that was what mattered, but she really didn’t want to be here. But she’d given in to Jane… She was actually getting better at not doing that—not always easy because old habits and all—but her big sister had made such a big fuss about Penny not doing anything with their friends for a while, and she’d felt obligated. Though honestly, calling them “their friends’ was a major stretch. They were Jane’s friends. They tolerated Penny tagging along because Jane was just the kind of friend you did that for.

“Come on, Pen.”

Startling as her sister dropped onto the sun-bleached log beside her, Penny shook her head. “What?”

“This was supposed to be fun,” Jane said pointedly.

“Looks like it is.” Penny nodded toward the other girls.

“Hey.” Jane bumped shoulders with her. “Are you okay? You’ve been moping around, not wanting to do anything… Not since the party you skipped out of early a couple weeks ago.”

“Nothing’s going on,” Penny said quickly. Too quickly, damn it.

It wasn’t as if anything was wrong. Not exactly. She was just figuring shit out in her head. And until she had it figured, she wasn’t sharing. Definitely not telling her sister she’d suddenly developed feelings for one of her friends, and he apparently had feelings for her too—they’d ditched that party together and had spent the night just talking and laughing. Getting to know each other better. They hadn’t really done anything beyond that, though he’d given her a sweet kiss and long hug when he’d dropped her off, along with the promise of a "real date" soon.

Then, the two days later, Brad had gotten a call that his dad was in the hospital after having a stroke, and he’d headed back home immediately. Penny felt enormous guilt that, since then, she’d been wallowing in the uncertainty of what was between them while he was dealing with something so serious. But she couldn’t help it. She wondered if what had started between them was real. Did he still feel something or had he just been satisfying some curiosity? Maybe now he realized this wasn't, as he'd said, what he'd been waiting a long time for.

He’d texted her a couple times, but he’d been so wrapped up with visiting his dad—who, thankfully was going to be okay but would have a long recovery ahead of him—and helping his family that that even those messages were few and far between.

She wondered if the situation he now found himself in meant he wasn’t going to return at all. Maybe he’d transfer to a college closer to home. Didn’t that just figure? She’d found something with a funny, sweet, and hot guy, when she’d least expected it, and it was going to be yanked away before it had really even begun. Penny grimaced and looked out over the rolling waves. She was the fucking worst. Selfish, selfish Penny.

She jolted, startled again, as Jane wrapped an arm around her. “I really thought you’d have a good time with us today.”

Slightly bewildered by the teasing tone, Penny lifted a shoulder in a half shrug. “Just go; have fun. I’m fine. Though, it’s too damned cold to be frolicking on the beach, you crazy person.”

With that, she pulled her phone from her pocket, to do her hourly check for any missed texts—she cursed herself every inch the fool—finding nothing. Again.

“Hmmm.” Jane’s arm tightened a moment, an affectionate squeeze. “I think maybe things are going to get better now.”

“Really?” Penny asked absently. “How do you figure?”

“David and the others just showed up.”

“Oh joy.” She rolled her eyes. Just what she needed, everyone paired off with their boyfriends so she could feel even more alone. “And how would that possibly make a diff—” Her words dried up on her tongue—along with every ounce of spit—as she looked over at where David’s car was parked behind Jane’s. Her gaze immediately locked on to the tallest of the group making their way down the beach toward them, and her heart began to hammer wildly.

“Because Brad’s back,” Jane whispered.

Penny whipped around to face her sister. “Why… How… Jane.”

Her sister smiled, pulled her in for a tight hug then pressed a quick kiss to her forehead before standing. “Wasn’t too difficult to figure out. Even if you don’t talk or share…” She sighed. “I know you, Pen.”

Swallowing around the sudden lump in her throat, not even sure what she was feeling exactly, she stared up at Jane.

“He’s a great guy,” she said, so quietly Penny could hardly hear her over the laughter of the approaching guys. “And you’re amazing…you’d be really good together and really good for each other.”

Penny opened her mouth to respond, but just then, David jumped in front of her and grabbed Jane round the waist in a huge hug.

“We’ve brought food and beer, as ordered,” he said cheekily.

Unable to stop herself from laughing at her sister’s boyfriend, Penny shook her head. A hand suddenly appeared in her line of vision, and she tilted her head back to look into dark blue eyes, which were crinkling as Brad smiled down at her.

Breathless and a big shaky—God, she hoped he didn’t notice—Penny grasped his hand and let him pull her to her feet.

“Hey, Pen,” he murmured.

“Hey.”

He stared at her a long, long moment then lifted their hands so he could press his lips to her palm—just like he’d done the night of the party before they’d taken off.

Overwhelmed, she brought her other hand up and, without thinking of everyone around them, ran her fingers through his short hair. “Missed you.”

His mouth broke into a wide grin, and he drew her closer. As he folded her into his arms, she glanced over and found Jane watching them. When she met Penny’s gaze, her sister just smiled brightly before turning and walking away with David.

Penny closed her eyes and rested her head on Brad’s shoulder as she let his warmth seep into her body. The uncertainty still swam beneath the surface, but it wasn’t as sharp as before.

He skimmed his palm over her hair, and his breath tickled her ear as he spoke. “Missed you too. Fuck,” he kissed then nuzzled against her cheek, “how I missed you.”

“But you’re here now,” she said, then leaned back to meet his eyes. “Right? Or do you need to go back? Is your dad okay? He’s home, now? Do you need—”

He laid a finger on her lips, chuckling. “Slow down. I’m back. For good. Dad’s home now, and I may go and visit more often than I did before, but just for visiting.”

“I’m being stupid, I know,” she said quickly. “I mean, we just hung out once, as maybe more than just friends. It’s not like we’re togeth…like we’re—”

“Oh, but we are,” he drawled, halting her babbling. “Penny…we so fucking are.”

Her chest ached slightly, and her lips tipped up in answer to his beaming smile.

“Thank god.” She threw her arms around him and brought their mouths together roughly.

The rumbling chuckle and his answering enthusiasm as they fell headlong into the kiss erased any embarrassment Penny felt, and she let herself just be. Be with Brad, in his arms—filled with the odd mixture of excitment, happiness, and contentment.


Bronwyn Green | Siohban Muir

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It's time for another promptly penned - we all start with the same prompt and see what we come up with. This is part of an idea I have floating around in my head... The actual prompt is in bold within the fic. 🙂


“Ma’am, you can’t go down there.”

Cecilia froze at the loud announcement. Then, mortification washed hotly over her body as she realized her leg was still hiked up in the air. Like a damned dog about to take a piss on a hydrant. And wasn’t this just the fucking cherry on this perfect shit sundae of a night?

Lowering her foot back to the ground, she took a deep breath and tried to reclaim even a fraction of dignity. Coming up woefully short—and getting to the point she really didn’t even care anymore—she turned.

“The floor down that aisle has just been washed and waxed. You can’t go down there.” The store employee rolled his eyes then, with a sneer, added, “That’s why there’s tape there...ma’am.”

Fisting her hands, Cecilia focused on the bit of her nails in her palms and counted to ten. She didn’t need this. She just wanted this night to be done. She’d escaped dinner her parents, their meddling, the ambush of her cheating ex…

“Look,” she said, trying to keep the sharpness out of her voice, “I only need to grab one thing and—”

Ma’am.” Well, he certainly wasn’t trying to keep anything out of his voice. “You cannot go down there.”

“I just—”

“It’s a liability issue,” he continued, talking right over her. “We can’t risk a customer injuring themselves, which is why we have the tape up. Please move along, ma’am.”

Annoyance flared, and Cecilia took a deep breath, and even as she opened her mouth to speak, she knew she was going to regret this come tomorrow. Hell, come ten minutes from now, but she was simply out of fucks to give.

“All right.” She bit out each word, glaring at the pimply-faced, condescending child lecturing her. “Then, why don’t you hop on over and grab me a package of toilet paper, so I can ‘move along’?”

“I can’t do that, ma’am.” He folded his hands in front of him.

“You can’t do that?” she repeated. “All right. Can you tell me where else in this store stocks toilet paper? You are a twenty-four-hour store, aren’t you?” she said quickly before he could answer. “I should be able to come in here, at any point during the twenty-four freaking hours of the day, and be able to get what I need, right? That’s the point of this place, isn’t it? If a customer can't even count on being able to—”

Her throat tightened suddenly, cutting off her tirade, and her vision blurred. Well, this was it. She’d hit Rock Bottom. Yelling at a kid about toilet paper in the middle of the grocery store… Yeah, Rock fucking Bottom.

“There’s no need to raise your voice,” the employee hissed. “I’m s—”

“Whatever.” Cecilia shook her head frantically and, fighting the emotions choking her, spun on her heel.

Get out, get out, just get out, was all that ran through her mind as she rushed from the store and hurried across the lot to her car. Breath hitching painfully, hands shaking, she pulled her keys from her purse…and promptly dropped them.

“Fuck.” She twisted and, back against the car, slid down until she landed on her ass. “Get a hold of yourself,” she muttered.

So, it had been a shitty day. People had shitty days and didn’t freak out at innocent—albeit annoying—grocery store employees over stupid things. She swallowed thickly. Okay, it was more than just a shitty day. It’d been a series of shitty days…weeks…hell, months. And every time she thought she had a handle on things, that she was making some sort of progress and getting back on track, something or someone came along and knocked her for a loop.

Tonight was just another one of those times. She hadn’t expected Nick to show up at her parents’ house. She sure as hell hadn’t expected to learn they had invited him. Or to have them plead his case for reconciliation.

She pressed the heels of her hands to her eyes. They’d backed her lying, cheating asshole of an ex-husband. Accused her of being selfish and unreasonable. How did she deal with that? Where did she even start? By freaking out in public, apparently. She laughed—a strangled, desperate sound that quickly morphed into a sob she tried desperately to pull back inside.

“Oh, hey, now.”

Cecilia startled at the deep voice and, dropping her hands, found herself staring into the clearest blue eyes she’d ever seen. Eyes that seemed even bluer for the smudged black lining them. She couldn’t move, couldn’t make her mouth form words as she took in the man crouching in front of her—his shaggy black hair, pierced ears…and lip...his dark shirt with the sleeves rolled up to expose lean forearms, his long almost elegant fingers and the simple silver rings adorning them, his tight black jeans…

“That bastard certainly isn’t worth your tears, caridad,” he continued, voice low and soothing, a hint of an accent she couldn’t quite place. Not British…not exactly. He tilted his head to the side, his full lower lip caught between straight white teeth, and studied her a moment.

“Though, I’m guessing this,” he gestured from her head downward, “isn’t simply because of some loo rolls or a bratty kid with his head up his arse.”

When she continued staring, silently, he sighed. “Well, I can help with one of your problems tonight.” He held up a package of toilet paper and grinned. “Jumped his blasted tape when he wasn’t looking. Can’t have a pretty girl going without the necessities, now, can we?”

Cecilia pressed her lips together, unsure exactly what she was feeling. Whatever it was, whatever this man, with his blue, blue eyes and simple kind act, was pulling from her, it was overwhelming. Almost too much after…after everything. She tried to calm down, to thank him. Then, he reached out and laid his hand on her shoulder. And, she promptly burst into tears.

Well, shit. Apparently, Rock Bottom has a basement, and Cecilia had just tumbled headlong into it.


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris

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June's song flash fiction is inspired by one of my favorite songs - Mumford and Sons' "Ghosts That We Knew".

I've jumped in the world of my Arthurian series "Albion's Circle" for this one. I've done a few flash fictions in this world, if you want to take a look.

Merlin's Cave
"The Hammer's Coming Down"
"I Will Possess Your Heart"
The Coldness
"Ever the Same"


“Promise me.”

Gut churning sourly, I stared at Guinevere—lying on the bed, frail and fading, almost lost amidst the bedclothes. My queen, my friend, the only one I had left. But soon, she’d be leaving me. Just like the others. Then, I’d be well and truly alone. Left with the ghosts of everyone I’d ever loved.

“Merlin.” Her voice, weak and raspy washed over me as she grabbed my hand. “Please. Please, you have to promise me.”

“I already did,” I reminded her quietly, reaching out to cup her face. “You don’t need to worry. I’ll take care of everything. All the arrangements are in place. Everything wil be as you want it. I promise.”

Her lips curved ,and she leaned into my touch. “I’m tired. I’m ready to be with them again.”

Them. I closed my eyes against the wave of pain thinking of our friends, long gone. Morgana, Lancelot, Galahad and the rest of the knights. Arthur. My throat tightened. Annwyl.

So many lost to us. Years and years of loss—lifetime—until it was just the two of us. We did the best we could—Guinevere ruling the kingdom after Arthur fell in battle, hoping he would be proud of her. He would have, of course. I never doubted that, even if she did, at times. Guinevere had a strength to be envied and had never wavered. Not when she'd lost her husband and king. Not when, years later, she'd lost her lover.

“You will come?” she asked, her thin aged fingers squeezing mine. “It’s time, don’t you agree? Long past time, I believe.”

I opened my eyes and met her weary gaze. Unlike my dear friend, I had not endured the pain of loss so well. In the final battle against Mordred—so long ago, although it was still so fresh in my old mind—I’d lost so muchmore than I’d been prepared to lose. Not only had I watched my king, my best friend ,struck down by our enemy, but my love, my Annwyl had been lost as well. And it had been my fault. My magic that had drained the life from her. Faced with that, I’d gone mad. I’d lost the control I’d always taken such pride in.

Technically, the battle had been won, but I’d retreated. First, without choice. Dragged away by Morgana and Galahad while I raged against the twisted turn of fate after everything we had been through and everything we had sacrificed. Then, I’d stayed away, remained alone, because how could I return? A Camelot without Arthur, without Annwyl was unthinkable. But eventually, when my queen needed me, I’d made the city my home once again. I played the role of advisor and friend and supporter, just as Arthur and Annwyl would have wanted.

In all that time, though, I’d never visited their final resting place. Guinevere had gone against tradition, ignored her council, and refused to bury Arthur with his ancestors. The Circle would be together for eternity, in both life and death, she had decided, and no one would sway her.

Now, she was to take her place with Arthur, Lancelot, Galahad, and Morgana.

“You need to make your peace, Merlin. Before it’s too late and you’re joining us in rest.”

“The rest is only temporary.” I lifted a shoulder lazily, despite the tension stiffening my body. “All too soon, we’ll be back together, alive and well.”

“And back into danger,” she added, dark eyes shining and lips curving.

I nodded. That was the deal we’d struck, after all, to gain the power we'd needed to defeat Mordred and his army. The Circle had been formed. Defenders of the world against Magical threats. Brought back again and again when we were needed. Christ, I was exhausted at the prospect, though my heart raced at the thought of the reunion with our loved ones.

Silence settled over us for several minutes. Guinevere’s grip on my hand loosened, and she closed her eyes. I watched, having to blink back stinging tears often, as her breathing gradually slowed.

Suddenly, her fingers tightened, and eyes still shut, she spoke, barely above a whisper, “You’ll come, won’t you? You wouldn’t deny an old woman her final request, would you?”

“Oh, but I would. Easily.” Swallowing around the lump in my throat, I shifted to lean over her and pressed my lips to her forehead. “But deny a friend? Never.”

I settled back in the hard chair, body aching and feeling every year I’d lived on this earth. Every damned minute of existence. But I would not complain. As much as I dreaded being alone, being the last of our people left, I would see Guinevere though her final journey…of this life, at least. And I would keep my promise.

Three days later, I stood just outside Camelot, where the rest of the Circle had been laid to rest. Still numb with the grief, I traced my fingers over the sun-warned stones marking the newest grave.

“Goodbye, Guinevere,” I whispered before moving down the line. I pressed my hand more fully on the next pile of stones and nearly choked. “Arthur… I saw her through until the end, my king. She was everything you always said she was and so much more. The queen Camelot needed after…after everything.”

I closed my eyes for a brief moment and took several deep breaths. Then, I forced myself to continue, touching Morgana’s, Lancelot’s and Galahad’s graves, silent but my mind filled with memories.

Coming to the final marker, I began to shake. I lowered myself painfully to my knees and pressed my forehead against the cool stones. The shaking intensified, and as I gasped for air, I realized I was sobbing. Unable to hold it in any longer. I was finally as alone as I’d always felt since the moment I lost her. My Annwyl.

“I love you,” I whispered hoarsely. “I never wanted to be without you… My only thought is joining you, love. There’s nothing left for me here in this world, in this life.”

But for now… I sighed and pushed to my feet. For now, I had no choice. I would live with the memories, the ghosts , with my regrets, and with the promise of the day I’d be with Annwyl and my friends again.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Kris Norris |Siobhan Muir 

3 Comments

It's time for another promptly penned - we all start with the same prompt and see what we come up with. This is part of an idea I have floating around in my head... The actual prompt is in bold within the fic. 🙂


Before I even got to the front door, I felt something was...off. And lately, with everything happening - my life being pretty much turned upside down - I'd learned to trust my gut. When I saw the door ajar, I stopped and lifted my arm to the side, stopping my sister in her tracks.

"What?" she said loudly.

"Go wait in the car," I ordered. When she shoved at my arm and tried to move forward, I grabbed her elbow and added, "Now, Char!"

"Why?"

I pointed and watched as she looked up at the door. Her eyes widened and she turned to me.

"Why is it just me going to the car, then, you dumbass?" she hissed, reversing our positions, her hand now clutching my biceps, fingers digging in hard. Looks like I'd have some colorful bruises. Again.

"I'm going to go check it out," I explained, pulling from her grasp. "Just go back to the car."

"No way," she protested, as I made my way up the steps onto the porch.

I pushed opened the door and stepped inside the dark house. My eyes adjusted immediately, and I surveyed what I could see from the entryway. It wasn't a big house - a tiny two bedroom rambler with an open floor plan, so I could pretty much see everything except the bedroom and bathroom. Nothing seemed out of place, and there wasn't anyone in sight.

"Cam! Seriously, let's go. What are you going to do if there's still someone here?"

Damn it, she was right behind me. Of course she didn't listen. Because she never did. I turned slightly and stared at her hovering in the doorway. I sighed when I saw her pale face and worried expression. Shit.

"Go to the car," I tried again. "Until I know it's safe."

"What about you? What the hell are you going to do if there's someone..." Her gaze darted around, and she lowered her voice. "If there's someone here? ."

I snorted. Charlotte may still me as her geeky little brother who'd been bullied all through school, who ran from rather than confronting anything physically threatening, but so much had changed. I was more than capable of taking care of myself against anything and anyone. Not that I could do much with her on my ass. Because she didn't know...

I didn't say anything for a while, just listened to the silence of my surroundings, trying to figure if somone was actually there in the house with us. I didn't think so, but if I was wrong, she was at risk.

"Just call the police, okay?" she continued with a huff. "No one has time for your Nancy Drew shenanigans!"

"Nancy Drew?" I shot her a weak glare. "At least call me a fucking Hardy boy, Char."

"Whatever."

"I don't think anyone's here," I said calmly. "But just wait in the car while I check the rest of the house. If I'm not out in five, call 911."

"No way," she said again. "I'm not leaving you alone."

Damned her and her protective and stubborn tendencies. Though, it was definitely a shared trait so it was probably a bit hypocritical to fault her there.

"Well, stay back at least."

"Whatever you say, Nancy."

I didn't dignify that with an answer and started walking across the living room toward the bedrooms.

"Use your phone for a light, so you can see." she whispered.

I cursed under my breath. Right. It was dark as fuck, and I shouldn't be able to see as well as I did. I dug my phone from my pocket and turned the flashlight app on. Without speaking, I made my way to the first bedroom - easy enough to clear since there was only a desk and a couple of boxes I had yet to unpack in there.  Not much to see in the empty bathroom either.

The door to my bedroom was shut. I hadn't closed it when I left. I took a deep breath as I grasped the doorknob. Turning it, I pushed inside the room. I listened carefully and glanced around the room. No one was here. Though I was sure of that, I still opened the closet and looked inside.

I walked back and flipped on the light, calling out to Charlotte. "No one's here."

I heard her shut the front door, followed by the thunk of the deadbolt sliding home.

"You're still calling the police, right? Is anything missing?"

My gaze fell on my dresser, and my heart pounded wildly. Heat rolled over my body and my palms grew damp. No. No way. No fucking way. I stumbled the two steps to the grab the sheet of paper that lay on the wooden surface. Right where the stupid stuffed bear had rested. The bear he had won me on our first and only date.

Fingers shaking, I read the words scrawled across the paper.

Miss me, darling?


Bronwyn Green |Deelylah Mullin | Kris Norris

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Today's photo fic takes place in the world of my poor neglected serial "Your Lies".


I sat in the coffee shop, ignoring the buzzing of my phone—been doing that since the conversation with Mom earlier. When I’d told her I wasn’t going to stop seeing Maddock Roberts, that he wasn’t the enemy. Not the way Mom thought he was. Sure, his family embodied the anti-magic movement, but Maddock wasn’t like that. Yeah, when we’d met, he was leading anti-magic rallies on campus and seemed to think along the same lines as his parents, but that had changed. He listened to what I said, what my friends said. He wasn’t unreasonable.

Though he didn’t know I was a magic user. While I didn’t think he was as bad as his family or his friends, I wasn’t at the point I’d out myself that way. I wasn’t stupid. Despite what Mom thought.

I understood where she was coming from. She was worried. I totally got that. But what she was doing—calling and texting constantly to tell me I need to come home, calling Kyle so he was constantly harassing me too. It was infuriating. The last straw though? Finding out she had someone basically spying on me and reporting back to her. This morning was the first time I’d talked to Mom in a week after finding out that little tidbit. And the worst part? She wasn’t even sorry. Not even a little. Just dove right back into how unsafe it was on campus, especially with Maddock in the picture. I’d hung up on her. Felt a little guilty about that—until she kept calling and texting, and within an hour, Kyle was doing the same.

“Hey.”

I jolted and felt my face heat as I met Maddock’s clear green gaze. Shit, I’d lost complete track of time and been too caught up in my thoughts to notice when he’d walked in.

“Hi,” I said, cursing the breathlessness of my voice—though it was a regular occurrence.

Whenever I saw him, the emotions I felt for him were like a punch in the gut. Not to mention my magic swelling, practically reaching for him every time he was near. It was why I wasn’t willing to give this—give him—up with without a fight. Even if a small part of me could concede this was likely going to end poorly…especially when he found out about me. Did that make me naïve? Mom and Kyle would say yes, obviously. But I didn’t think so—not when I was prepared for that possibility. Not when I was going to protect myself for the eventuality that he was going to know that I was the thing his family hated, the very thing he spent his whole life fearing and speaking out against.

“Ready to take off?” He frowned when my phone skittered across the tabletop, even more so when I hit ignore and shoved it into my pocket.

“Yep.” I snagged my backpack, slinging it over my shoulder as I stood.

He grabbed my hand, tangling our fingers, and together, we walked out of the café into the cool night.

“So, still not talking to your mom?” he said softly, after we’d gone a few blocks toward campus.

I sighed. He knew I was upset with her. Knew it kind of had to do with him. Not the full extent of it, of course—I’d let him assume that it was because we were Sympathizers while his family was very vocal in the anti-magic movement.

“I talked to her this morning,” I admitted. “She just didn’t like what I had to say.”

“I don’t like being the cause of problems between you and your mom.”

“You’re not. Really,” I said quickly when he opened his mouth to protest. “She doesn’t even know you, so it’s not you. She isn’t happy she can no longer control what I do. That’s what it comes down.”

He hummed, lips turned down, and squeezed my hand. The hairs on the back of neck suddenly stood on end, and an energy I didn’t recognize slid along my skin. I looked over my shoulder and saw a young woman about my age, with long dark hair, dressed all in black, walking behind us, a cell to her ear. She spoke in a low tone, but now I was aware, I caught a few words—yes, with him…will see where they…will keep you updated—and anger rose swiftly, to the point I nearly gagged on it. I came to an abrupt stop and letting go of Maddock’s hand, spun around.

The woman stopped, too, just as she was pocketing her phone. She stared, wide-eyed at me, mouth hanging open slightly.

“I told her to call you off,” I bit out, shoving down the power that snapped inside me, aching to get out of the confines of my skin.

“What?”

I rolled my eyes at the forced smile and fake confusion. “Since she’s not getting the message, I’ll tell you. No more spying for my mother. Back the fuck off of me. If I see you again…”

I let the implied threat hang in the air, not willing to say more with Maddock standing right there. And honestly, I didn’t exactly know what I would do but it wasn’t going to be pretty, damn it!

The confusion—which didn’t look so fake anymore—clouded her face for a moment longer then cleared.

Before she could speak again, though, Maddock took several steps forward. “Get the—” And nearly fell back onto his ass when she had no problems revealing her power on the dark, nearly deserted street.

The intense energy radiated off her, sparking off her open palms, lifting her hair wildly. My magic nearly suffocated, pushing out, out, out. Wanting to answer the blatant show, desperate to protect. Protect the man beside me with a desperation I’d never felt.

“Don’t threaten me, Maddock Roberts,” she sneered. “I would have no problem eliminating the problem you pose to us. It would be easier than you could imagine.”

I moved forward, placing myself between them, staring into the woman’s dark eyes. “It would be harder than you imagine.”

“You would align yourself with him? He would see all of us caged like animals!”

“You don’t know him,” I shot back. “Leave now.”

In a blink, she pulled her magic back and straightened to full height. “You’re going to regret this, Delia,” she said.

I frowned at her words, at her tone. It was a warning, yes, but she didn’t sound threatening. She sounded…sad, resigned.

“You don’t know him either,” she continued. “His family. This is going to end badly—for you more than any of us. He can’t be trusted.”

I shook my head, almost violently. “You’re wrong. And you can tell my mother that.”

She chuckled hollowly, backing up a few steps. “Don’t know your mother, but if she’s trying to stop this,” she gestured between Maddock and myself, “she’s smart, and you should listen to her. Listen to Kyle. Choose who you associate with more care, before it’s too late.”

With that, she turned and walked away.

“Kyle? He sent you?” I called after her. I got no answer, except a quick glance as she turned a corner out of sight.

“Delia?” Maddock moved in front of me and cupped my face in his large hands, dipping his head to catch my gaze. “Well, that was…something. Haven’t been confronted by a magic user like that before and— Shit, you’re shaking, baby.”

“I’m okay,” I lied, eyes burning, vision blurring.

“Who’s Kyle?” he asked quietly, fingers catching the stupid tears I couldn’t hold back.

“A friend. My…my best friend.” I swallowed past the lump growing in my throat. “At least I thought he was.”

“He’s a magic user. Like her.” He jerked his head in the direction the woman had disappeared. When I didn’t answer immediately, he smiled and brushed his thumb along my bottom lip. “It didn’t take me long to figure out someone close to you had to be a magic user—you’re so dedicated, so passionate about protecting them. It’s clear that it’s not just a cause for you. It’s personal.”

Still unable to speak, because the truth—like my magic—was so close to the surface, I was terrified all of it would come spilling out, I just nodded.

“It’s going to be all right.” He released his hold on my face and wrapped his arms around me.

I gave a strangled laugh as I returned the embrace and leaned into him. Into his warmth and strength.

“It will be,” he insisted, running his palm over the back of my head, fingers massaging my scalp. “We’ll make it all right. You and me. Because she was wrong—you do know me, and I would never do anything to hurt you.” He pulled back and looked me in the eye. “You know that, right?”

“I do,” I whispered then pushed up to kiss his tempting mouth. And I did. I knew he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me—as he knew me now.

 


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

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Hi all. Today is a promptly penned post. I gave it a fair shake, I swear.  It's been all kinds of crazy here. The hubs is off on a long-ass business trip, I'm sick, and life, in general, with its regular brand of madness... But enough about that. Here's what came to me. The prompt will be in bold in the story.


"Hurry! Before Gran comes back!"

I glanced over my shoulder and glared at my little sister, Hattie, who was in the window, keeping a look out. Or at least that's what she was supposed to be doing. Instead, she was staring at me, clearly freaked out.

"Shhh. Keep watching, for crying out loud!"

Once she did that, I turned back to the bookshelf in front of me. Perched on the chair I'd dragged from the desk, I reached as I high as I could. Almost there... My fingers scrabbled along the spine of one of the books I was after. So close...

They were my mom's, and I just wanted to see. She had magic, just like Hattie and me. And there had to be something in them, something more than what Gran was teaching us. We weren't like kids in books who had no idea what they were - we were witches. Or magic-users, as Gran called us. We were meant to keep it secret from everyone else but here, in Gran's cottage, she was teaching us all about ourselves and the "great power and responsibility" we had. Or so she said.

Honestly, based on what we've learned so far, magic wasn't all it was cracked up to be. For example, there were 20 spells for making tea but none to save yourself from falling off a cliff. What was the point of it all then? How was dinking around like this supposed to be a responsiblity? I didn't get it. So, I thought if I could read Mom's journals and her books, maybe I could figure some of it. And...well, I missed her and Dad. I wasn't stupid or anything. I didn't think magic could bring them back or let me talk to them from the grave. But this could make me, and Hattie, feel closer to them. Even a little.

I was able to drag the slim book closer to the edge and grasp it fully. I pulled it down and cracked it open. My breath caught at the sight of my mom's handwriting on the pale pages. Before I had a chance to read anything, Hattie squealed.

"Cody! I see her car!"

I jumped off the chair - I'd get the other books later - and dragged it back to the desk. I heard the front door open, creaking on its hinges. Hattie stared at me, face pale, gray eyes wide.

"It's fine. Sit on the couch," I whispered, tucking the book into the loose waistband of my pants, the cover hard and cool against my belly. I yanked my t-shirt down to cover it.

My sister sat on the couch carefully and faced the TV, which was playing some ridiculous educational program neither of us had any interest in, but Gran thought was worthwhile. I ignored the guilt that weighted on me as I flopped down next to her. The book was our mom's - and by all rights, it was ours now that she was gone. And I wasn't a little kid anymore, no matter what Gran thought. I was ready to know more about magic - certain there had to be more.

"Sorry it took so long!" Gran exclaimed as she came into the room. "Mrs. Miller was feeling more ill than she let on, and I wanted to be sure she was all right before I left."

"S'okay," I mumbled.

"You must be starving." She dropped kisses on the tops of both of our heads before hurrying toward the kitchen. "I'll make some sandwiches."

As soon as she was out of sight, I sprang up. I looked down at Hattie, and she nodded. We'd promised to always look out for each other, and I knew she'd keep her mouth shut.

"We'll look at it tonight," I whispered, then ran out into the foyer and up the narrow stairs to my room. Heart pounding, I pulled out the book. Unable to resist, I opened it again and ran my fingers over the words - words Mom had written - and my eyes started stinging.

"Cody!"

I nearly fell over when Gran's shout traveled up the stairs.

"Yeah?" I yelled back.

"Come on down. You can practice the new tea spell you learned yesterday while I fix lunch."

I huffed a laugh then answered, "Be right down, Gran."

I shut the book and shoved it between my mattress and the boxspring. I knew this was the right thing. There had to be more to magic, more to me than making tea. And I was ready to learn it all.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah MullinGwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir