April Photo Writing Prompt – Lying in Wait

 

photopromptTotally late on this one… Got in super late from a weekend away last night and passed out. And I’d spent the 4 of the last 10 days in the car. Not particularly fun, even though the visits in between were lovely.

Anyhoo, I’m not wimping out. I have a flash peice for this picture. The upside to hours upon hours in the car by yourself? Lots of ideas pop up and there’re no distractions as they come to ilfe in your head.

This is another glimpse into Delia’s life. She’s the heroine from my NA serial that will begin next week. Squee! So excited about it. You can check out the last tidbit from Delia HERE before reading on…or just read on….

04-2015- CoupleNight

Lying in Wait

I leaned against the tree, scratching the growing number of bug bites on my exposed skin. And there was a fair amount of it. Should’ve changed out of the thin, short dress I’d thrown on that morning, but I hadn’t expected to be standing here long after night fell. And honestly, the air was heavy and thick with humidity, even now, and I’d be sweltering in anything else. The small amount of relief I felt as the stingy breeze coasted over my damp skin was worth it. I smacked my neck, grimacing at the smear of blood on my palm. Mostly worth it.

Where was he? I peered down the dark street. This was the way he’d come back, the way he always came back whenever he left for…whatever he was doing. He still wouldn’t tell me anything, saying I was too young, that Mom would have his ass if he involved me at all. Of course, Dad just talking to me about magic, in general, was enough to get her blood boiling something fierce. Which was why I’d waited for her to doze in the recliner before slipping out to meet Dad when he returned. I figured this was the only way I’d get him to share anything about his secret outings. Not that I’d been successful to this point, but at home? No chance there.

Oh, he’d be annoyed when he saw me. He’d get out of the car, all frowns and glares, but that would only last a moment before he’d shake his head and and nod for me to get in. And even if I couldn’t get him to spill about, we’d talk about magic. Freely and without worried looks. I swatted at another mosquito buzzing around my ear and sighed. I knew Mom didn’t mean anything by it. She really didn’t understand why we needed to talk, why I needed to learn about what was inside me. How could she? She wasn’t a magic user. She didn’t feel the power thrumming through her, pushing ever outward as she had to hide that part of herself from everyone out of fear. She couldn’t imagine what it was like to feel as if she were dying because something that was so essential to who she was was being smothered.

“Delia!”

I spun at the soft call, grabbing the tree truck for balance as I tripped over my own feet. Squinting into the night, I tried to find the source of the voice, and nearly fell on my ass when a tall figure stepped from the shadows across the way onto the asphalt.

“Kyle? What are you doing here?”

“Was…was…”

He braced his hands on his knees and bent forward, gulping air. I hurried closer to him, joining him on the road. and saw he was drippping with sweat. His jeans were torn at the knees, filthy, and when he straightened, my stomach roiled when the streetlight illuminated a nasty gash along his temple and the blood coating half his face.

I closed the distance between us and reached up. Before I could touch him, murmur one of the healing spell Dad had taught me, Kyle grabbed my wrists and shook his head, wincing as the movement obviously pained him. He glanced around nervously.

“Not here. Not now.”

“What’s going on? What happened to you?”

“There’s no time to explain. You have to get home. Now. And when they come, you know nothing.”

“When who comes?” I pulled free of his grasp but didn’t move back.

“I was with your dad and mine. They…they…” He pressed his lips together and swallowed audibly. “They were taken, and there are going to be people asking questions. About your dad, about…”

Kyle and his father were the only people other than my parents who knew what I was. Because they were magic users, too. What the hell had they been doing? Who had taken our fathers? Where were they? What was going to happen to them? The questions battered at my skull, and I clenched my hands into tight fists.

“Fuck, Dee!” Kyle grabbed my arm and hauled me to the side, off the road and into the cover of the surrounding forest. “You need to pull it in.”

I followed his gaze, looked down, and saw my hands glowing as my emotions spiraled out of control.

“Where are they?” I gasped.

“I don’t know. They told me to run, and I did. I ran. I didn’t even try to–”

His shame bore down on me, heavy and suffocating. I shoved through the worry and fear and wrapped my arms around his waist. He was just sixteen – a year older than me. If someone had managed to take down both his and my dads, Kyle wouldn’t have stood a chance.

“They said run, you run. That’s the rules,” I said softly.

“We have to go home now.” His voice was flat and dull as he held me tightly. “And when questions are asked – ”

“I know nothing,” I finished, pulling back and looking at him. Before he could see what I was doing, I whispered the spell and touched my fingers to the cut on his head. When he opened his mouth to protest, I spoke first. “They’ll ask more questions if you’re injured.”

He nodded reluctantly. “Yeah, they would. Come on.” He grabbed my hand and started pulling me through the trees toward our homes, rather than along the road.

“You tell me what happened, right? What you were doing?” I asked quietly as we stumbled along in the dark.

“Yeah, I’ll tell you everything I know,” he assured. “When it’s safe.”

It was quiet, except for the sound of our feet in the brush, for several minutes. Then, I could taken it anymore.

“They’re gone, aren’t they? Our dads, I mean. They’re not coming back.”

Kyle tripped slightly ahead of me, and he glanced back, face pale, still streaked with blood. And his blue eyes shining with tears. “I don’t know, Dee. I really don’t know.”


 Be sure to check out the other peices inspired by this month’s photo!
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease Jessica De La Rosa
Kayleigh Jones | Kris Norris | Paige Prince

March Photo Writing Prompt – The Lies Begin

photopromptI can’t tell you how long I stared at this month’s picture trying to come up with an idea. A happy one, no less, because apparently I’m depressing people. 😛

Well, something finally came to me. This short is actually connecting to the New Adult serial I’m working on – Your Lies – which will be coming twice a month starting in April, and I’m super excited about it. This is a glimpse into the the past of Delia, the heroine.

I don’t know that I can call it happy, but I don’t think it’s necessary sad or depressing… I didn’t break her, Norris, I didn’t break her! 

03-2015 - Orb

The Lies Begin

Parents are stupid.

They think they’re smart, that kids don’t know what’s going on, but they’re wrong. Kids aren’t stupid. Well, some kids are, like Todd Pratt across the street. He was the dumbest. But I wasn’t. I wasn’t stupid, even though that’s how my mom and dad treated me.

I picked at the loose thread on the arm of the couch as I listened them fighting. They weren’t shouting or anything. They were pretending they weren’t fighting—Mom would say they were “having a discussion”—but talking all hushed and behind their bedroom door didn’t make it less of a fight.

That was all they did anymore. Fight. I swiped at my stinging eyes. I wasn’t going to cry like a baby about it, but it made my stomach hurt. ‘Cause it was my fault. If I wasn’t like this, they wouldn’t have anything to fight about. And it was always about me. Even before I messed up today, I’d heard them. The way they’d say my name or the way they’d look at me… Something was wrong with me, and they must have seen that a long time ago.

I didn’t want to be diffrent or messed up. I just wanted to go back to the way it was before–when Mom would smile at Dad like he was the best thing ever, and he would hug her and swing her around when he came home from work.

I sat up straighter when I heard the bedroom door open. Mom hurried over to me and sat beside me on the couch, but Dad walked over and looked out the window. And he looked mad. I felt sweaty and gross all the sudden.

“Delia,” my mom said. “I want you to know we’re not angry with you. You didn’t know any better. Thank goodness it happened here at home and not where—”

“Sylvie!” Dad’s voice boomed, and both Mom and I flinched.

“We’re not angry,” she said again, really slow. “But you can’t do…what you did anymore. Ever. It’s too dangerous, and you could get really hurt.”

“Okay,” I said when she stared at me like I was supposed to say something.

“And,” her eyes flicked over to my dad then back to me, “if anyone, anyone, ever asks you about it, you need to pretend you don’t know what they’re talking about.”

“You want me to lie?”

See? Parents were stupid. How many times have they told me lying was wrong? It was bad, and I should never, ever do it. Now, I was supposed to lie.

“Delia, honey, this is important. I wouldn’t tell you to do it if it wasn’t. No one can ever know what you are and what you can do. Promise me you’ll keep it a secret.” She grabbed my shoulders. Her fingers dug in, and it hurt! She gave me a little shake when I tried to pull away.

“Promise me!”

“Ow! Fine. I promise! Geez, Mom!” When she let go, I rubbed at one shoulder and glared at her.

“Good.” She stared at me, her lips jiggling weirdly. “Now, go get ready for bed.”

I jumped to my feet and looked at my dad, but his back was still to us. My stomach squeezed painfully again. I hurried into the bathroom, and as soon as I was in the small room, I heard them talking in quiet, angry voices again. I slammed the door, not caring if it made them mad. Because they made me mad. They wouldn’t tell me what was so wrong with what I could do or what wrong with me. They wanted me to stop doing the one thing that made me feel…like I was special. And now, I had to lie too.

After brushing my teeth and washing up, I went into my bedroom without looking into the living room. I didn’t hear them talking anymore, so that was nice. The worst was when the fighting happened at night. It just kept me up and made me feel sick.

I changed into my pajamas and crawled into bed. Before I could turn the lamp off, there was a knock on the door. It opened a bit, and my dad stuck his head in my room.

“Can I come in, Dee?”

“Yeah.” I sat up and scooched my back against the headboard.

He shut the door behind him and came to sit on the edge of the bed. “There is nothing wrong with you.”

My breath went funny, catching in my throat. How did he know I had thought that?

“Your mom’s just worried. For good reasons, but she also doesn’t understand.” He sighed loudly. “She’s not like you and me.”

“You? You mean, you’re…”

He held his hand out, and muttered a few words. A circle of light appeared, hovering above his palms. “You can say the word, Dee. When it’s just the two of us, you can say it.”

“You’re magic.”

“Yes.” He twisted his wrist and sent the orb spinning. “They call us magic users.” He scrunched up his face. “But it’s so much more than that. We don’t just use magic. It is a part of us; something that can’t be separated or ignored. The magic is -” He sighed. “I”m getting ahead of myself. The important thing for you to understand is it’s dangerous for people like us out there. That is what upset your mother. She’s afraid of what could happen to you. Here, take it.”

I reached out and laughed in surprise when my fingers wrapped around a solid ball. It was smooth like glass, but warm to the touch. I held it in both hands and looked into my dad’s eyes. It was weird, because he looked so happy, but sad, too.

“I’ll teach you,” he said quietly. “How to use it, but first, I need to teach you to be safe from those who would hurt you if they knew.”

“Why would anyone want to hurt me?”

“Because they don’t understand, and people fear what they don’t understand.” He brushed a hand over my hair. “You are so special, Delia. This is a gift, and you should never fear what you are, but you always, always have to be careful. And that’s why you have to do what your mother said. If anyone asks about magic or magic users, you pretend you don’t know anything. That’s one thing that will keep you safe.”

I nodded. “Okay, Dad.”

“I know you have to have questions, and I promise I’ll answer them soon. But for now,” he smiled that huge smile I hadn’t seen in a long time, “I want you to show me. Show me something you can do.”

He hadn’t been home earlier when I’d gotten frustrated doing homework and had sent my books flying through the air without touching them, making Mom freak out. I thought for a moment, deciding what to do. Taking a deep breath, I stared at the orb in my hands. My whole body felt warm…and just nice, like everything was right and like it should be. Then, dozens of beams of light, all different colors, streaked inside the ball. The glow lit up Dad’s face, and his smile widened.

“Beautiful,” he said quietly.

But he wasn’t looking at the orb anymore; he was looking at me.


Be sure to check out the other peices inspired by this month’s photo!
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn CeaseJessica De La Rosa | Kayleigh Jones | Kris Norris

February Photo Writing Prompt – Always Watching

photoprompt

I was bound and determined to write something happy this time around since both my January posts (photo & song prompts) were a bit on the down side. LOL I have failed in that quest. But now, I have two more characters clamoring around in my noggin. o.O JUST what I needed.

Here’s this month’s photo inspiration…
02-2015 - WinterCottageALWAYS WATCHING

I felt his gaze, the weight of it, but didn’t show any reaction. He wouldn’t want me to—I’d learned that real quickly. Watching me was something he did, had done for since we met at the beginning of the term through mutual friends. But if I were to glance up, meet his gaze or give him any clue I was aware of his near constant perusal, he’d flush—rather prettily—and look away. Then, avoid being around me for days. And that was the last thing I wanted. As fucked up as it was, I’d take whatever I could get from Eli Hannigan, even if was just being around him in the safety of our group of friends and the heaviness of his gaze.

“You’re coming tonight, right, Trev?”

Startled, I slid my gaze over to Olivia, careful not to go too far and look at Eli—a difficult feat since the petite brunette right next to him.

“Tonight?” I managed to ask as my stomach soured at just how close the couple sat together on the common room sofa.

Olivia threw her head back and laughed. “Where is your head? We’ve only been talking about this for the last half hour. Party tonight at Eli’s family’s cottage. Plan on staying the night, getting drunk and having a good time.”

I couldn’t help it; I flicked my eyes toward Eli, meeting his blue-gray gaze fully. Forcing a smile, I replied, “Fun as that sounds, I’m busy.”

“Busy with what?” Tyler, my so-called best friend, the person who introduced me to Eli and pretty much the only person who had any idea what I felt for the other man, snorted and nudged my shoulder. “Finally making time with that guy from the bookstore?”

Before I could answer, Olivia bounced her seat excitedly. “Oh, you have a date? Bring him along. The more, the merrier, right, Eli?”

A muscle in Eli’s check twitched as he clenched his jaw. Surprised filled me as he kept his eyes firmly on me. “Supposed to be a small get together, Liv,” he said tightly. “Last thing I need is a bunch a dumbasses trashing the place and having my dad all over my ass, like last time.”

“It’s one more person!” She shook her head, chuckling. “Trevor was already included in the original head count. Adding one more isn’t a big deal. Besides, don’t you want to meet the guy Trev’s been mooning over?”

That muscle twitched again, and he shoved a hand through his short brown hair before lifting a shoulder. “Sure, why not?”

“We’ll see, I muttered.

I pushed myself up from my position sitting on the floor and stood, anxious to get back to my dorm. To be free of his gaze, now filled with annoyance and…a hint of anger, just for a little while. Though I knew, even as I walked away, feeling its heavy, heated weight on my back, I’d be back for more. I always was.

* * * *

The party was winding down. Music turned off. Those who hadn’t already passed out stumbled up the stairs to find a flat surface to sleep for the night. I glanced around the cozy cottage and shook my head. Fuck this, I thought as I grabbed my jacket from one of the hooks near the door and shoved my feet into my sneakers.

I wasn’t even going to come at all. I’d been set to settle in for the night and study or zone out in front of the TV. Instead, I’d gotten in my car and, using the directions Tyler had scribbled out for me, driven out in the middle of fucking nowhere. All to watch my friends and people I didn’t really know get wasted and be stupid. And to be watched by Eli, who, despite this being his party, kept distant from everyone. Including his girlfriend. I shook my head. Fuck, I thought Olivia was his girlfriend. They acted like it most of the time, but she’d spent most of the night with Eli’s roommate Sam. They hadn’t done anything, at least not that I saw, but it was just odd that I hadn’t seen her and Eli near each other at all over the course of the evening. And his gaze had been on me, not her, but that was nothing new. That was familiar.

Whatever. Not my fucking circus. I turned to the door, the anxious need to escape overwhelming me again.

“Hey, where are you going?”

I froze in the open doorway as Eli’s voice washed over me. Just for a moment. I inhaled deeply then looked over my shoulder with a grin.

“Heading back. As many people as there are here, I’m guessing every bed is claimed. I’d rather go back to mine than crash on the floor. Fun party, Eli. See ya around.”

I stepped outside, and the bitter cold slapped me in the face as I pulled the door shut behind me. Rubbing my hands together, I walked toward where the cars were parked along the dirt road that led out here. Snow crunched under my feet, and my breath froze on the still air.

“Trevor!” Eli jogged past the line of cars just as I pulled open the door of mine. “You can’t leave.”

I leaned inside and started the engine then straightened to watch him stumble to a stop. The small amount of light from the car’s interior illuminated his wide eyes and lips parted as he panted slightly.

“Course I can. Christ, Eli, you’re not even wearing a coat. Get back inside.”

“You can’t drive back into town. You…you’ve been drinking. ‘S’not safe.”

“No, I haven’t. As you well know since you were watching me all night,” I mumbled.

His brow furrowed, and he pressed his lips together a moment then blurted, “You didn’t bring your boyfriend.”

I let out a bark of laughter. “Don’t have a boyfriend, Eli.”

“That guy…the one from the bookstore. Tyler said—”

“Tyler’s a shit stirrer and sees what he wants to see. Now, get your ass back inside before it freezes off.” I gave his arm a light shove. “Have fun the rest of the weekend, yeah? See you guys when you get back.”

He breath quickened, from the cold, I thought, until he surged forward and pressed his lips to mine. I grabbed hold of the top of the door, fingers aching as I fought not to launch myself at him.

With a gasp, he broke away. “Fuck. Fuck, Trevor, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have— Fuck.” He glanced at cottage, a frantic expression on his face, then back to me. “We’re drunk. That’s all. Stupid and dr—”

I grabbed him around the back of his neck and yanked him forward, slanting my mouth over his. Sliding my hands up into his hair, I gripped the ridiculously soft stands and let myself all into the kiss, the feel of him, his taste.

After a final slow lick along his bottom lip, I drew back and let my forehead rest against his. His hands trembled where they fisted the front of my jacket, but he made no move to back away.

“You’re not the only one watching,” I whispered. “This wasn’t some stupid, drunk thing, Eli. You haven’t had a single drink since I got here hours ago. So, cut the bullshit.”

“I’m not like you,” he said, his voice just as quiet as mine.

From anyone else, I might have taken offense, but there was no disgust or censure. I could practically taste the fear on his wobbly words. I closed my eyes a moment, cupping his face as gently as I could.

“Nothing wrong with you if you are.”

He shook his head, and his breath swept hotly over my face. “I wish things were different. That I could be…

Abruptly, he released his hold and stepped back. Squaring his shoulders and setting his jaw, he seemed to be building a wall around himself, effectively shutting me out.

“See you Monday,” he said flatly and started back toward the cottage. After a few steps, he paused and looked back. “Be careful, yeah?”

“Yeah,” I breathed watching his shadowed figure fade into the night.

After sliding into my car, I rested my forehead against the steering wheel, eyes squeezed shut. Fuck. The last thing I needed was to be hung up on some closeted guy—no matter how gorgeous, how nice, how tempting he was. Eli was a friend, nothing more. He was unwilling to be anything more. I pushed aside the memory of how frightened he’d seemed. I was just overthinking that. Coming out could be scary for anyone. I could make sure he knew I’d be there to support him if and when he took that step, but waiting around for something that may never happen? No. It was time to move on.

That thought, that resolution, firmly in my mind, I straightened and put the car in reverse. As I turned, pulling a U-turn, the headlight’s beams crossed over the stone cottage. My heart ached and I had to swallow around the huge lump that formed in my throat. Eli stood on the steps, hands shoved in his jean pockets, slightly hunched over.

I felt his gaze, the weight of it. Heavy, familiar and…so fucking sad.


Make sure to check out what fabulousness the photo inspired from the other ladies. :) 
Bronwyn Green  | Kayleigh Jones | Kellie St. James | Kris Norris

January Photo Writing Prompt – Merlin’s Cave

photoprompt

As I mentioned in my 2015 goals post, some new things are happening on the blog in the coming year. This is one of them! The first Monday of every month, a wonderful bunch of ladies and I will be posting a photo along with a flashfiction peice inspired by that photo.

This month’s photo sent my mind immediately running to a character I’ve already written–and am still writing. Merlin from my Albion’s Circle series. So, I just went with it…

01-2015 - ManIceCave

MERLIN’S CAVE

I flipped up the collar of my coat and ducked my head. More out of habit than actual need. I didn’t really feel the frigid wind or the bitter cold. I didn’t feel much of anything. Hadn’t in a long, long time.

Which was why I was here. I needed to remember, needed to see their faces again, needed to feel.

The stones and gravel crunched under my boots as I made my way to the mouth of the cave. I hadn’t been here in… I chuckled softly—a humorless sound lost in the howling gusts. I hadn’t felt the need to come here in several lives. I hadn’t felt the need because it’d been so long since I’d been alone. Well, and truly alone. In all the lives I’d lived, in all the centuries since Camelot, there had been many years spent on my own, but not like this. Usually, at the end of it all, when the battle was over, I had someone there. Arthur or Galahad or one of the others standing by my side. There to help shoulder the burden, to balance the darkness inside me with their light, to remind me of what I was fighting for every life, to remind me it was all worth it.

But this life, there was no one. They were lost. And it was my fault. I’d done what needed to be done to stop Mordred, but I couldn’t stop. I clenched my jaw as images of fire and destruction and the sounds of screaming played in my head. I hadn’t stopped until everyone was gone.

I paused at the cave’s entrance and took a deep breath, the cold air burning my lungs. My magic throbbed inside me, pushing against my skin painfully. I hadn’t accessed it, hadn’t let it out, since the last battle ten years ago, and it was not happy.

I walked slowly inside, eyes adjusting to the change in light, and forced myself to continue deeper. When the darkness became too much, I lifted my trembling hand…and let it hover in the air. Fear and uncertainty overwhelmed me as my power jumped and vibrated, desperate to get out, to be used. It’d been too long. I didn’t know if I could wield it with any control.

Don’t be silly, Merlin. It’s a part of you. Trust it.

I closed my eyes as her voice sounded in my head. Oh, I knew it wasn’t really her voice. I hadn’t heard that since Camelot, but it’d always, always be her I heard when I needed a swift kick in the ass.

I inhaled deeply and loosened the decade-old hold I’d kept on my magic. Lights flickered through the cavern. Wild and erratic at first, all over the place. Then, they all converged and a large orb glowed, suspended near the roof of the cave, illuminating the large space.

I swayed on my feet, lightheaded and intoxicated as my power flowed out. It danced around the room before coming back, twining around me, embracing me, comforting me. My eyes stung as my gaze settled on the frosted cavern wall before me. What I’d etched into the stone all those years ago was barely visible, but I knew it was there. Power swelled and crackled in the air as bright lines appeared on the wall. I laughed, the sounded echoing, as the images I’d created were re-carved before my eyes. My magic was bringing them back without my even having to directing it.

I stepped forward and lifted my fingers to trace along the line of Arthur’s crown as I studied his face. Arthur Pendragon. King of Camelot, High King of all of Albion. The greatest of us all. My best friend.

My throat tightened, and I swallowed with difficulty. I made my way slowly down the length of the way, the orb of light following me so I could make out all the faces staring back at me. Lancelot and Guinevere, Gawain, Morgana, Percival, Erek and Owain. I stopped in front of Galahad, smiling at his cheeky grin even as I fought against the pain weighing down on me. And knew it was going to crush me. Destroy me the moment I took another step.

The orb moved past me, and Galahad’s face fell into shadow as the light concentrated, centered on what I avoided…and what I wanted to see more than anything. And of course, my magic knew that. I could feel it pulling, drawing me to stand before…well, her.

Annwyl.

I traced the lines of her face, imagined the warmth of her skin even as the frozen stone scraped the pad of my finger. And, suddenly, anger surged. The years that separated us, the guilt of not saving her, the utter grief of losing her time after time choked me. I slammed my fists against the wall, and it cracked—fissures crept outward, obscuring her likeness. Immediately, the fractures flared brightly then knit back together.

“I miss you,” I whispered, pressing my fingers to her lips. “I’ll find you.”

I turned away and stumbled to the large boulder in the center of the cavern. As I sat, I forced myself to look at Annwyl’s face again, even though it hurt. I deserved that. I deserved every ounce of pain and torment.

“I promise. The next life, I’ll find you. Just…just wait for me, this time. Please, wait for me.”

Make sure to check out what fabulousness the photo inspired from the other ladies. 🙂 
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa | Kayleigh Jones | Kris Norris