Tag Archives: Siobhan Muir

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Last song fic of 2017! This week, we're inspired by "Chances" by Five for Fighting.

Even though I love this song, it took me a while to come up with something, but I finally did. I'm actually revisiting a flash fic I wrote - the first song fic I wrote for 2017. Kind of bookending the year. LOL

You could read this on it's own, but if you want to take a look at the piece - it's a short one,

Albatross by Susan McKeown


God, I was going to barf.

I fiddled with the coffee cup in front of me and focused on breathing slowly—in and out, in and out—hoping it would calm my nerves.

A simple coffee date shouldn’t fuck me up this much. I didn’t even know if this could be considered a date.  And it was so far from simple it wasn’t funny. Meeting your husband for coffee after not seeing, or even speaking to, each other for nearly a year… Yeah, not remotely simple.  I bit back the hysterical laugh that bubbled up.

I had no idea what to expect. The last time I’d talked to him had been right after he’d left me. Oh, how I’d hated him them. Or I’d thought I did. Who knew? Maybe I actually did in that moment. Hated him as much as I loved him. Because the love hadn’t gone way. Even when I was drowning in the pain that had eventually driven him away, I’d loved him so much.

Now, months later, there was no hate. Just gratitude that he’d done what I couldn’t. I would have clung to him, to our marriage, until my last breath. And I had a feeling that would have killed the love—slowly and painfully and to the point of no return. He’d been strong when I couldn’t be.

Now, I was filled with a sickening mix of hope and fear. The fear was winning, by far. For all I knew, he’d moved on, and this was some kind of act of closure for him. I swallowed thickly and straightened in my seat. If that’s what this was, I’d deal. I may not have been strong then, but I was now. And I wouldn’t fall apart.

The bell above the door jingled, drawing my gaze as it had every time, and my breath caught painfully. Fuck, he looked good—healthy and tanned, his dark hair wind-tousled, his jeans and t-shirt molding his body.

Seeing me, he smiled and strode through the shop toward me. I rubbed my damp palms over my denim-clad thighs and pushed to my feet. He didn’t hesitate when he came close—he pulled me in a tight embrace, face turned into my hair. I heard him inhale deeply then let out a long sigh.

I squeezed my eyes tight, trying to hold back the tears that threatened. Wrapping my arms around his waist, I leaned into him, soaking in his warmth. When he pulled back, he brought his hands up to my face, cradling it as he stared down at me.

“I missed you,” he murmured roughly. “Thank you for meeting me. I was afraid you’d… I wouldn’t blame you if you told me to fuck off after…everything.  I…I’m so sorry.”

I shook my head. “No apologies. Please. It took me a while, but I know you did what you had to. For both of us. It’s okay.”

He pressed his lips together then huffed out a short laugh. “You were always too forgiving. Especially with me.”

I rolled my eyes, then we both sat at the small table. “Oh, do you want a coffee?” I asked.

“Not yet,” he said quickly. “We need to talk.”

My stomach dropped. This was it. Shit.

He reached out and took my hands. I looked down and couldn’t hold back the tears this time when my gaze landed on the gold band circling his finger. The sight pushed the hope inside me higher.

“How have you been?” he asked quietly, his thumb dragging over the ring that still sat on my finger. Was he as relieved by the presence of my wedding ring as I was by his?

“I’m good. Better. Still have some bad days, but I don’t think that’s ever going to go away. She was our baby, and she’s gone” I took a deep breath and met his gaze—so full of understanding. “But I’m not lost in the grief anymore. I’m…good.”

“I’m glad.”

“Are you? Are you good, I mean,” I blurted. “Did you get what you needed by leaving?”

“Yes…and no.” His fingers tightened around hers. “I hated myself for doing that, but I…we needed the time and space to heal. It was too hard—dealing with my own grief in the face of yours. I just wanted to make it better for you, and I couldn’t, not when everything I was feeling was so—”

“I know,” I said when he choked on his words. “I know.”

He smiled, eyes glistening. “So, yeah, I got what I needed, but I missed you so fucking much. I missed us.”

“So, this isn’t you…breaking up with me for good?” I joked weakly, even as panic tightened my throat.

“What?” His eyes widened. “Is that what you thought?”

I lifted a shoulder. “I didn’t know what to think, to be honest.”

He stared at me for a long moment. “I spent the last month trying to build the courage to call you. I was so afraid you had moved on, maybe found someone else, who could give you what you need.”

“You did give me what I needed,” I protested. “Even if I didn’t see it then, even though it was so damned hard and hurt so much. You were always good at that—giving me what I needed.”

“I love you,” he said simply.

I inhaled sharply. “I love you, and I missed you, too, missed us. There isn’t anyone else—how could there be? And, yes, I have moved on—away from that dark place I was in—but not to where I wouldn’t want to be with you.”

“I’m not asking to come home,” he continued. “Not yet. I don’t think rushing into that would be good for us. We can’t pretend the past year didn’t happen.”

I nodded slowly, practically holding my breath as I waited to hear what he had to say.

“But I do love you and want to be with you, so much I can taste it, but I think we need to go slow. Would you…” He wet his lips. “Would you go out with me?”

I laughed, feeling light for the first time in a long, long time. “Yeah, I would totally go with you. So, this,” I gestured around the coffee shop, “is a date, then? I'd been wondering that since you called.”

He grinned, relief clear in the way he relaxed back in his chair, still holding one of my hands. “Absolutely a date.”

With that, the hope overcame the fear, and I found myself looking forward to the future again, to trying to get back something I'd lost and building something new, something stronger. And no matter the outcome, I knew it 'd be worth it, because if anything was worth taking a huge risk for, it was love. My love for and with this man.


Bronwyn Green| Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

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It's time for photo flash fic - the last of 2017! Enjoy, and be sure to check out what the photo inspired everyone else to write!


ALL RIGHT

I walked around the dining table, straightening the place settings, fixing the ribbons—not that they needed it. I just needed something to do. Something to keep my mind off the coming meal.

“Why did we have to invite them again?” I said, knowing Bran stood behind me, even though he hadn’t made a sound. I could feel his gaze on me.

“Because it’s Christmas, they’re your family, and that’s just what you do.”

I turned and looked at him. With a soft smile, he pushed off the doorjamb he’d been leaning against and crossed the room.

“It’s going to be all right,” he said, wrapping his arms around me and pulling me close.

I closed my eyes and leaned into him, feeling a bit of the tension leave my body. Not all of it—not even close, but a bit. He ran his palms up and down my back slowly.

“I don’t know that I can forgive them for everything,” I admitted quietly. “They were thoughtless and cruel and…and…”

“They were,” he agreed. “And you don’t have to forgive them. You want I should call them now and tell them to bugger off?”

I choked out a laugh and burrowed closer. “Tempting…but no. How they behave tonight—towards me, towards you—will help decide if I can let them back into my life.”

“There’s a girl,” he crooned, pressing a kiss to my temple. “It really is going to be all right.”

I pulled back and met his gaze. “Yeah, but it isn’t right now.”

“No, it isn’t,” he said solemnly, bringing his hands up to cup my face. “But we are. No matter what—we’re all right.”


Bronwyn Green | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

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Time for a flash fic. We're writing flash fic inspired by Travis Collin's "Call Me Crazy"

I had a hard time with this one - don't know why. Finally went with pulling some lines and coming up with something from those... The lines I went with are:

To the life we had
To the rules we broke
To the plans we made together that you left to me alone
To every dream, every good night kiss
And so you had to leave
Did you have to leave, like this


I stared at the number on the screen, chest aching. I shouldn’t call him. I knew that. Really I did. But… It felt like I needed to. Until now, I’d had no way of getting ahold of him. I’d had nothing but memories of the life we’d built together. And the unbelievable pain his leaving had caused.

Then, I’d heard Ryan talking to him on the phone—fuck, just hearing his name had jumpstarted something in me, made me feel alive when I’d just been existing all these months.

I hadn’t hesitated, when Ryan had ducked into the bathroom, in grabbing his phone, finding Dominic’s number, and plugging it into my contacts.

That’d been four days ago. Four days of telling myself I shouldn’t call. Four days of remembering the years we’d spent together, happy and in love, and dreaming of a future. Four days of picturing him in my head, imagining his smiles, his soft, sleepy goodnight kisses, the way he would look at me as if I was all he needed. Four days of knowing I was going to call, eventually, because how could I not? Finding his number, now, was a sign, right? A sign that we could make this work again. All I needed to do was call.

Mind made up, and fingers trembling, I hit “call” and brought the phone to my ear.

“Hello?”

Oh god, his voice. My stomach clenched at the sound. Memories had nothing on actually hearing it again. I wet my lips and swallowed the lump lodged in my throat.

“Dom,” I breathed.

A long silence. I pulled the phone away, saw the time still counting up on the screen, then tried again. “Dom, it’s me.”

“You shouldn’t— Fuck.” He sighed heavily. “Goodbye, Grant.”

“No, no! Wait. Please! Don’t hang up,” I pleaded, hating the fact I was begging but, at the same time, grateful because I could still hear him breathing on the other end. “I just needed to hear your voice. I…I…I miss you.” When he didn’t respond right away, I asked, “Don’t you miss me?”

“No.”

I frowned at the harsh reply then shook my head.

“You don’t mean that,” I whispered. “You love me. I love you. We’re meant to be together. All the plans we made…the dreams we had for a life together… That doesn’t just disappear, Dom. It just doesn’t.” I shoved a hand through my hair, pulling slightly on the strands. “I’ve been thinking, remembering all of that. I can’t stop thinking about you. How you look when—”

“Well, try harder,” he snapped. “Or if you want something to think about, something to remember, remember that last night. Or were you too drunk to remember clearly? Because I remember it all too well.”

“I said I was sorry, and I am. I never meant to hurt you like that. It won’t ever happen again,” I vowed, even as his beautiful face, bruised and bloody, filled my mind and made me want to vomit.

“I’ve heard that before. Believed it the first couple times you said it.” He sniffed and cleared his throat. “The man I fell in love with left long before I walked out the door, Grant. All the plans, the dreams? Were destroyed long before that night, and you know it.”

“Dom, please, give me one cha—”

“No. No more chances. You already used them all up.” Then, voice quieter, softer, he added, “Keep getting help, Grant. Get better. Be happy.”

The click echoed in my ear—just as loudly as the slammed door all those months ago had, and yet somehow, more final than anything I’d ever heard.

“How can I without you?”

Of course, that was the question I'd been asking myself since that night. And hearing him again, I was farther from an answer than ever.


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

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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

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Happy May Day! 🙂 Today's a photo fic post. Usually we end up picking stock photos for these but this picture is actually one I took a few years agao when I was in the UK. It's one of my fave pics from that trip - this day was one of the highlights of my time there.

We visited the Neolithic henge stones in Avebury, and it was an amazing experience. While walking around the henge, there was this tree with carvings in the trunk and hundreds of ribbons tied to the branches.

Anyhoo, I'm visiting the world of my serial, Your Lies (which I'll be posting chapters from again soon!)

For those interested, here are links for the other flash fiction peices that are kinda connected/set in that world:

The Lies Begin
Lying in Wait
Lying to Myself
The Lies We Tell
The Choice Lies Before You 
"Little Heaven" (Song Fic) 
Uncertainty
Promptly Penned #9 

This story isn't about the hero or heroine of the serial but a follow up to a couple of flash fiction pieces I did from this world.

Awakening (from Male #1's POV)
"Iowa" (Song Fic) (from Male #2's POV)
Promptly Penned #15 (From Male #1's POV)

For this piece, I'm still in Male #1's POV. So here we go...

"The Conversation"

My chest grew tighter, and my magic vibrated as I got to the top of the hill and came to stop beneath the huge tree. My power had been calmer the past few days. Getting away from campus, away from my responsibilties, my assignment had been exactly what I needed. I dreaded going back, but I didn't have a choice. Not really. I hated it, but it was important, necessary. It was what I'd been working for ever since...

I laid my hand on the rough bark - right over the carved names, Molly, Squidge, Owen - and closed my eyes for few seconds.

"Hey, Mol," I whispered, tracing a finger over her name. "Sorry it's been a while. Haven't been able to get back 'cause..."

Sighing, I let my arm fall to my side then turned around to sit with my back against the tree. Letting my head rest against the wide trunk, I looked up at  the hundreds of ribbons tied to the branches and dancing on the gentle breeze, and thought of Molly. I hadn't visited her grave since the day we'd buried her. Just the thought of it made me want to boot. But here...here, I felt close to her, like I had all those times we'd come to this spot before. Tying our own ribbons among the rest, making our wishes. Stupid innocent childish wishes.

And we'd talked. About everything. If there was one person in this life I'd been able to tell anything, it'd been my big sister. Sure as fuck didn't have that now. So when I could, I came here and talked to her. And, somehow, no matter how silly and useless it was, it helped.

"Fuck, Mol, it's so hard ," I continued quietly. "Doing this. Hiding what I am. Having to be around the fucking assholes, day in and day out. Having to see him. Nick." I practically spat his name. "Pretending I don't know what he did to you."

I scrubbed my palms over my face, magic pulsing quickly beneath my skin. Getting worked up wasn't going to help anything. I had to stay the course. For me. For all the magic users suffering. For Molly.

"Things are moving in the right direction, though. I'm where I need to be to do what needs to be done. Maddock and Delia..." I laughed lightly. "I had my doubts about them, even with what I've seen. Thought there was no way Maddock would ever be on our side, let alone a driving force. Not with what he came from. I could see he's a good guy from the start, completely in the wrong about magic users and magic in general, but beneath it all, he's good. But still, I doubted. Then, he met her. And, man...drawn together from the first moment, those two. But, shit, things are going to get so much worse before they get better. For Maddock and Delia."

I closed my eyes again, the images from my dreams flashing behind my lids. "And for me." I swallowed the lump in my throat that threatened to choke me, knowing what was coming. And soon. "I'm scared, Mol. So fucking scared, and I have no one."

I sat, silently, tears blurring my vision. Deciding enough was enough, I pushed to my feet and turned to look at our names again - carved into the wood years ago by Molly when our baby brother was born. I tapped Squidge, remembering how much I hated the stupid nickname she'd given me and wishing more than anything to hear it again.

Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out the length of silky green ribbon. I ran it through my fingers.

"You're probably wondering why I haven't mentioned him yet." I smiled even as my heart thudding painfully, The day Molly had been taken, I'd lost more than a sister. I'd lost my chance with a beautiful guy who was fucking perfect. Traded what could have been with him for the path I was on now. And even though I knew it was the right thing, I couldn't completely banish the regret I felt every second of every day.

I pictured his gorgeous green eyes, same damned color as the ribbon I held now. I remembered how they looked at me before, the happiness, joy, lust and the beginning of something more in them.

"I thought going away to university meant being free of him, of the reminder of what I couldn't have anymore, but... What were the odds we'd choose the same damned school?  I see him almost every day, and it hurts. So fucking bad. He hates me, Mol, and it kills me." I cleared my throat and moved over to one of the lower branches. "But for the greater good and all that, yeah? More important than something that could have happened."

I reached up and tied the ribbon around the limb. And made the same wishes I made every time I was here, every time I talked to my sister.

I wish you were here. I wish I could have a chance with him. I wish things were different. 

Stupid childish wishes, still.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Siobhan Muir