Wednesday Randomness: First Meeting

This is a new feature we’ll be doing a couple times through the year – highlighting characters sharing firsts. We can post something from an already published work, a work in progress or something completely new. This time, we’re talking first meetings.

I decided to share the first time Grace met Noah and Ethan in Santuary.

This new world is full of risks, but which is greater…being alone or trusting others?

For Grace Summers, life after the super solar flare and deadly viral outbreak can be summed up in one word. Alone. Having lost everyone she loved, Grace travels on foot to her family’s remote hunting cabin, where her father had stockpiled food and supplies for this type of situation.

Along the way, she meets Noah Hill and Ethan Erikson, a couple traveling the same direction. Grace struggles with her attraction to the pair until they make it clear they are just as interested in her.

With Noah and Ethan, Grace is no longer alone, but can she bring herself to trust them in this new world where everyone is just trying to survive no matter the cost?


The sound of Callie’s growling jolted Grace upright from where she’d slumped farther against the tree trunk. She gripped the rifle and jumped to her feet, even before her eyes were fully open. Bringing the gun up snugly against her shoulder, she scanned her surroundings to find what had Callie sounding the alarm. She didn’t have to look far.

Her heartbeat sped and her breathing stuttered when her gaze landed on two men standing no more than twenty feet away.

“Whoa.” The taller of the two stepped forward, palms out in a peaceful gesture. He stopped in his tracks when Callie let out another low, menacing growl and moved in front of Grace. “Wanna call off the hound?”

“Wanna keep moving?” she returned.

“Not really,” the other man snapped.

“Let me rephrase.” She shifted slightly until the rifle was leveled directly at him. “Keep moving.”

“We’re not looking to cause any trouble,” the first man assured. “I’m Noah; this is Ethan. We’re just passing through, looking for a place to catch a few winks before moving on.” He gestured around. “There’s plenty of room, and we’ll share.” He pointed back at his partner, who sighed and lifted a hand. Four good-sized fish dangled from a line held between his fingers.

“Not interested.” Grace widened her stance and waited. The last thing she needed was two strange men hanging around. She wasn’t going to feel guilty about sending them on their way into the night. Honestly, if they couldn’t understand why a lone woman wouldn’t want two strange men hanging around, they were idiots.

“God, enough.” Ethan stepped forward. “You have no claim on the place. It’s late and dark; I’m tired and fucking hungry. If you don’t like it, you can move on.”

“Ethan,” the other man admonished. “There’s no need—”

“Hey,” Grace interrupted, exasperation edging out the panic. “Last I checked, I’m the one holding the gun, so I’m sure as hell not going anywhere.”

“Look, sweetheart—”

“I’m not your sweetheart!” she snapped. “Do you always make everything so damned difficult? I was here first, and I don’t make camp with men I don’t know.” For good reason. She shook her head slightly and tried to push thoughts of her last, and only, encounter with another person on this journey. Her stomach roiled, and her dinner threatened to make a reappearance.

Ethan let out an annoyed huff of breath, and Noah moved closer to him. Grace watched as he ran his palm down Ethan’s arm then wrapped his fingers around the other man’s hand. Ethan turned his head, and the men exchanged a long look before responding.

“And that’s completely understandable. Smart,” Noah said “But it’s late, dark; we aren’t going to be able to get much farther in any case. We just want to eat, sleep, and, in the morning, we’ll be on our way. How can we make that happen? What can we do to ease your mind?”

Grace’s gaze drifted back to their linked hands, where Noah’s thumb slowly rubbed the back of Ethan’s hand. She tightened her grip on the rifle and inhaled a shaky breath.

“You’re lovers?” she blurted, jerking her head back to look at their faces.


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

January 2019 – Photo Fic

First flash fic of the year. Yay! We’ve all be given the same photo and have to come up with a story to fit. Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Sometimes, I hated my job.

Okay, to be fair, I always hated my job. The necessity of it.  Though, I had to wonder, did being part of a secretly growing rebellion actually count a job? Or was it a mission? A quest? Or just a series of trying tasks shoved upon me in between having to fight for my life? And, in the end, did it fucking matter?

“I don’t understand.”

With a sigh, I shoved aside useless ponderings and focused on the task at hand. Vetting a possible recruit. Oh, joy. Glancing over at the man in the passenger seat, I stopped the car and put it in park.

Daniel Hartford, my latest assignment—cute, clean-cut, smart, a recent self-proclaimed Sympathizer of Magic-users.  He also happened to be the son of one of the most influential couples in the country. The Hartfords were old, old money…and very vocal in their staunchly anti-magic stance.

The leadership wanted to know if he was on the level, because if he was… Well, he could be a helluva asset with the access he had.

Which was why Daniel was now my problem.

He’d already been checked—I’d gone over the files last night—by several of the higher ups, and they liked what they’d seen, so they requested me.

The human lie detector.

I hated that they called me that. Never to my face of course. Because they avoided face to face with me as much as possible. And who wouldn’t? Feeling others’ emotions, knowing when someone was lying…seemed like a pretty awesome power to manifest, but in reality, it led to a very, very lonely life.

I was an asset the leadership never hesitated to be use, but never someone they wanted to actually have around. Everyone had their secrets, after all. Even the good guys.

“Ms. Carter?”

Daniel’s soft query pulled me out of my head again, and I inwardly cursed my distraction. I had a job to do, and it was time to do it.

“I told you to call me Emma,” I reminded him. “I know this doesn’t make sense, but it will. Come on.”

I exited the car and waited for him to do the same before walking toward the house in front of us. Remaining silent as I lead him across the lawn and up the steps to the front door.

So far, I hadn’t sensed any deception from Daniel. So, that was good. Everything I’d gotten from him, so far, assured me he wasn’t an actual threat, a possible plant from the other side.

Didn’t mean that he was a strong ally, though. There was a world of difference between sympathizing with Magic-users and actually being willing to act and fight for them, sometimes in violent ways. Not to mention putting your own life at risk.

Before I’d give my approval, I had to be sure that there was more to Daniel Hartford than simply rejecting his parents’ beliefs and making an impulsive stand against them, because trusting him was a huge, huge risk. And, at this point, I had nothing to assure me of that the risk was worth taking. While he’d never publicly aligned himself with his parents’ stance on magic, neither had he ever shown any support for Magic-users. Not until two weeks ago, when he’d made contact with one of the more public Sympathizer groups and inquired about the cause.

It seemed like an unlikely first leap to me.

Turning the knob and pushing the unlocked door open, I gestured for him to enter. He frowned then moved past me…immediately gasping as he walked into chaos. Shock and confusion pulsed on the air between us as we moved through the main level.

The old house was, to put it simply, a disaster. Ransacked with no care for the destruction caused. The floor was littered with books, papers, toys…

“What happened here?” Daniel asked, stopping in the doorway to the back room. It’d once bene a library or an office. Now, like the rest of the house it was in shambles. He turned back toward me. “Look, I don’t know why you brought me here, but I’ve already jumped through enough hoops when all I want to do is help. If you’re not going to tell me—”

“The family that lived here was on the watch lists. Suspected of having magic,” I explained, though I knew he had to have heard of the blasted lists, given who his parents were. “Your father reported them—he worked with the husband, insisted the entire family be brought in for questioning.”

I tilted my head and concentrated. The shock radiating off him was genuine. He hadn’t known about this family, this incident.

Inhaling deeply, he looked around. “So, what happened? Did they… Did they resist back when the police came to get them? They used magic to fight back?”

“No.” I stepped closer, keeping my gaze locked on his face and my power centered on his every reaction. “They weren’t magic, Daniel. They went quietly, didn’t resist. They were questioned, again and again. Then, after days, they were supposedly released, but they never made it home.” I hesitated a moment, throat tight. ”Their bodies were found in shallow graves outside the city several weeks later.”

“No, no…” He shook his head then gestured around them. “This was a…raid…an invasion. If they went quietly, why— They were killed? You’re saying that they were killed because my father reported them, because there was just a suspicion that they had magic?”

As his emotions prickled hotly over my skin, I felt an inkling of regret for what I was doing but quickly squashed it. This was as much for him as the cause.

“Daniel, in the countless witch hunts in our history, very few of those killed, who had their lives and family destroyed, were actually magic. All it took was a suspicion, a rumor…” I reached into pocket and pulled out the small stack of photos, flicking them one by one, “Henry…Penny…Grant…and Lucy,” onto the floor in front of him. “They aren’t the first innocents to die, and they won’t be last.”

The color drained from his face as he stared down at the images, his throat working convulsively. He crouched down, tracing a trembling finger over the photo of four-year-old Lucy laughing at camera.

I backed away from him, overwhelmed by his sadness and anger, but determined to finish this, so we could both move on. “I understand that you don’t share your parents’ beliefs, Daniel. That much is obvious, but what you’re trying to sign up for is much more than standing on opposite sides of an issue.”

His head snapped up, and he glared at me fiercely. “I’m not an idiot.”

“No, you’re not,” I agreed. “From everything I’ve heard and seen, you’re incredibly smart with a world of opportunities. What I’m trying to say—rather poorly, I admit—is war is coming, Daniel. It’s inevitable, but you don’t have to be on the front lines. Most of us… We don’t have a choice. We’re fighting for basic rights, for our lives, but you’re lucky. You do have a choice. Being a Sympathizer doesn’t mean you have to risk everything, risk your life. No one would blame you for avoiding that.”

He looked back down then picked up the pictures, stacking them in one palm as he stood. He stared at the little girl, again, for a long, tense moment, then he tucked the photos in his back pocket. Clearing his throat, he walked over to me. I lifted my chin to meet his gaze, my own eyes stinging at the sight of the tears in his.

“I would,” he rasped. “I would blame me.”

Truth.


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

Promptly Penned #34

It’s time for another Promptly Penned post. We’re all given the same prompt and see where it takes us. This week is a bit short and sweet and, dare I say, kinda fluffy (well, much fluffier than I could have done with this prompt LOL). Because that’s exactly what I needed, right now. 🙂 The prompt itself is in bold in the post.

“For God’s sake!” I shoved at his shoulder then, turning away from him, put distance between us. “I’m trying to have a conversation with you!”

“And I’m trying to subtly avoid it!” he shot back, amusement coloring his voice, like he was holding back laughter.

“Ass,” I muttered. “This is important to me, you know, and we have to talk about it eventually.”

“Didn’t think there was anything to discuss, really.”

I jerked away when he touched my arm, and his answering chuckle made my blood boil.

“Nothing to discuss? I don’t know why I even bother anymo—”

My words morphed into a startled yelp as he grabbed hold of me and hauled me back across the mattress. He wasted no time in getting me on my back and pinning me down. I narrowed my eyes at his stupid laughing face. Before I could say anything, his expression softened.

“Babe,” he sighed. “There’s nothing to discuss, because you’re not going anywhere. Of course I’m introducing you to my parents when they come for the holidays. I’m not hiding what we have. You’re not my dirty little secret, not ever.” He dropped a fast hard kiss on my mouth. “And you bother because you love me.”

I rolled my eyes at his exaggerated drawl but brought my arms around him, unable to hold back the low moan as he dragged his lips along my jaw.

“And I love you. Now,” he breathed the words against my arched neck, “let me show you how much. No more talk tonight, yeah?”

I made a small sound in the back of my throat. Not exactly a sound of agreement but close enough. Of course there was still loads to talk about. His parents were coming to visit. and they didn’t know about us yet. Didn’t know I was now officially living in their son’s house…where they would be staying for a full week.

I let out a shuddered breath as he kneed my legs apart and settled heavily between them, pressing me delciously into the bed. Tomorrow… Tomorrow was soon enough to talk about all that. And I could admit, even if just to myself, I didn’t exactly mind his method of avoidance.


Bronwyn Green | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: Wordless Wednesday

Or not so wordless

 

 

 

 

Working on a cowl and messy bun hat for my daughter for Christmas.

 

 

My daugher, her guy and their dog on Halloween. (The dog’s name is Marshmallow LOL)

 

 

 

 

The weird stuff I find when searching pinterest. I can say, when I searched natural beauty products, weed lube didn’t even enter my mind…

 

 

 

 

What my week has been like. Seriously.

 

 

 

On an important note, everyone in the house who could went and voted today.


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Siobhan Muir

November 2018 Photo Flash Fic

I hope the weekend was a fab one – I spent most of it being lazy. Gotta do that once in a while. 🙂 It’s time for November’s photo flash fic. This is the photo we’re working with:

“Mom? What’re we doing out here? Where are we going?”

This was not how I expected to spend my thirteenth birthday. Sure, we’d had the cake and ice cream, but we didn’t even get to the presents before my mom took my hand and pulled me outside with her. Now, she, my older sister, Petra, and I were walking through the woods. I was freezing, and it was just creepy out here. It was dark and foggy, and I could barely see where we were going. So, yeah, not exactly the birthday of my dreams.

Mom stopped suddenly. “We’re here.”

I looked around. Where was here? This peice of woods didn’t look any different than any we’d walked through already. I glanced at my sister but she was staring in the same direction as my mom was, and her jaw was tight. Good, at least someone else wasn’t happy with what was going on.

“It’s almost time,” Mom murmured then she turned to me, with a smile even I could tell wasn’t real. “Baby, you’re thirteen, now. It’s time for you to know.”

“Know what?”

“The women in our family have a gift -”

Petra snorted. “Gift? More like a curse. At least be honest with her, Mom.”

“Stop it,” Mom snapped. “You have only known for three years. One day, you will see this for the gift it is.”

Rolling her eyes, Petra shook her head. “Don’t count on it.”

With a sigh, Mom turned back to me. “Elena, this is a gift every woman in our family connects with on the day of their thirteenth birthday. It can seem scary, and it may be difficult to see it as a gift, especially when you’re so young, but it is. It’s a part of you, and part of why you are so very special.”

I shivered, not from the cold but because I had a feeling what was coming was going to change everything. And I didn’t want anything to change.

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

“Look.” She gestured ahead of us. “What do you see?”

“Trees. We’re in the woods.”

“Look harder,” she said firmly, her fingers squeezing mine. “Focus.”

“On what?” I muttered. There was nothing there. It was trees and bushes and fog and– My eyes narrowed, and my breath caught. There was somthing there, something big…HUGE…in the mist. I jolted when cold fingers wrapped around my free hand. I turned to look at Petra and met her gaze. Her dark eyes glittered in the mist-muted moonlight… Was she crying?

“You’re not alone,” she whispered then faced foward, again.

As I turned back, my heart thundered, hurting my chest. Suddenly, it was as though the woods around us disappeared. Melted away to be replaced by gardens with pointy trees, like the kind on those big historical estates we visited on our last vacation, and beyond that a massive brick… House was too plain a word. It wasn’t quite a mansion, but it was much bigger than most of the houses around here.

I was about to ask my mom what the heck was going on when movement caught my attention. I blinked several times, and took half a step forward. People. There were people walking around the gardens, some close enough I could almost touch them. And they were all dressed…in costume? No, it was more like those people dressed like they were part of a reenactment or something.

“Mom?” I choked out. “What is this?”

“The past,” she said simply. “Our gift is our connection to the past.”


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: October 2018 Brain Dump

Time for a brain dump!

Mostly, what’s on my mind, right now, is writing. Which is a good thing. LOL I’m actually writing regularly and making good progress on the book I’m working on. Quite a change for me. I actually feel like I’m a writer, again. And frankly, it had been feeling a bit like this when it came to writing:

But no more! Some of it is due to the fact I’ve been a bit more…hmm, assertive when it come to claiming my time for writing. 

That’s always been a challenge for me, I’ll admit. I always tended to put everyone else’s stuff ahead of mine. Granted, I still do that – hard to change a life’s worth of habit in a short time – but I’m getting better.

I’ve been thinking a lot about our dog, Sascha. She died a little over a week ago, and it’s been rough. She passed in her sleep peacefully, and I’m grateful for that. We’re all doing okay, but it’ll hit me at the strangest times. Like, the other night, I started to call for her to let her out one more time before I went to bed. Then, promptly started crying. Here she is, where she was happiest…in a hole she just dug LOL 

Other than that, it’s been pretty standard here at Chez Jarman. Work, school for the kiddos, trying to make the house not look like a bomb went off in it, getting to laundry often enough that everyone has clean stuff to wear… Yeah, the usual. 😀


Bronwyn Green | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: Promptly Penned #33

It’s time for another Promptly Penned post. We’re all given the same prompt and see where it takes us. The prompt itself is in CAPS in the post.

Closing my eyes, I braced my hands on the edge of the sink and dropped my head down. Everything hurt, I had blood everywhere – could still feel some dripping down my face – and it was taking everything in me not to puke my guts out. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Tonight had not gone as planned.

Plan? What plan? You had no plan!

Christ, I was hearing James’ damned voice in my head, now. I supposed it was appropriate since he hadn’t said a damned word since we’d gotten home. The silence was deafening, and apparently, my brain was going to make up for that.

“Hey.”

Yelping, I straightened, and immediately stumbled backwards. Would have ended up on my ass or cracking my head off the tub if James hadn’t stepped forward and steadied me.

“Sorry,” he murmured.

“Not your fault. Didn’t hear you come in.”

“Obviously.”

Narrowing my eyes at the dry drawl, I met his gaze in the mirror. “You need something?”

He stared for a good long minute or two then, reaching around me, he pulled open one of the cabinet drawers and withdrew the first aid kit. He motioned with his free hand. “Sit.”

Still watching him warily, I sat on the closed toilet as he opened the kit and began setting out supplies. He then grabbed a couple washclothes from the other drawer and wet them. As he was doing this, he caught my eye in the mirror.

“ALL THAT BLOOD LOOKS GOOD ON YOU, babe. IT REALLY BRINGS OUT YOUR EYES.”

“Smart ass,” I murmured.

He was trying to downplay everything, make me laugh – I knew that. But I wasn’t listening to his words, now. Because the slight catch of his voice, the stiffness in his posture, the tightness around his eyes were all telling another story.

He was freaked out.

A look I rarely saw on the man.

Shit.

When he turned toward me and lifted the washcloth, I caught his wrist. “I’m okay. I promise, I’m okay.”

He jerked out of my grasp and took a step back. Pressing his lips together, he closed his eyes. His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed audibly before taking several slow, deep breaths.

Then, those clear blue eyes were on me, bright and almost wild. “Well, I’m not.”

“Wha–” I cleared my throat as fear jumpstarted my heart and froze my skin with an instant prickling sweat. “What’s wrong?”

“If you’re going to keep ignoring everyone’s advice and feedback and keep doing shit on your own, I can’t…” He gestured between us. “I can’t do this.”

My mouth went dry. “Don’t…don’t say that.”

“I’ll still be here,” he said stiffly. “I said I’d help, and I will. I will always help protect you. But I can’t–” He broke off, mouth snapping shut.

Blood rushed in my ears, and I actually started to shake. If freaked out was a rare look for James, this – damp eyes, muscle twitching in his cheek from clenching his jaw, hands fisted at this sides and his posture no longer stiff, but…defeated – this was even rarer…and infinitely more unnerving.

“When I caught up to you,” he continued, voice quiet and rough, “you were on the ground, covered in blood and not moving. I thought you were dead… All because you’re too damned impulsive and believe invincible – and fuck if your friends will tell you otherwise because they’re under the same fucking misconception.”

“James, I’m sorry.”

“I know, but sorry isn’t going to save your life the next time. I know how important what you’re doing is to you. I get it, but you’re more important. Don’t you understand that?” He stepped forward and cupped my face, his hands cold and trembling. “You are more important. Losing you is going to destroy me.”

“You’re saying it like it’s a given, but it’s not,” I said quickly, desperately. “And, if you’re really staying, no matter what, I don’t see how not being with me would make it easier if something were to happen to me. It’s not like our relationship, or rather lack of, is suddenly going to wipe away the feelings you have.”

“It’s a given if you keep doing what you’re doing,” he countered then sighed, thumb skimming along my lower lip. “Nothing is going to wipe away my feelings for you, but I can distance myself, try to protect myself for the inevitable.”

I shook my head. “So, are you breaking up with me?”

“Are you going to admit you’re important, and start acting like it?”

“That sounds like emotional blackmail.” I stood, crowding into his space and settling my hands on his hips, and his fingers twitched against my face. Panic was still kicking my ass, but relief was quickly pushing it out. If we were done, he’d outright say it.

“Babe,” the corner of his mouth quirked up, even though his voice was still raspy with emotion, “I’m a thief, a criminal, and you’re surprised over a wee bit of emotional blackmail?”

I pressed even closer and rested my forehead on his shoulder. His arms came around me fully, and my chest ached as I heard him sniff. “Not really blackmail, just honesty…but still brutal.”

His embrace tightened momentarily before he let go. “We need to get you cleaned up.”


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: If You Could Pack Up & Leave on Vaca Today…

This week’s topic is…If you could pack up and leave on vacation today, where would you be off to? Easy answer. I would head back to the UK & Ireland in a heartbeat. I would rent a little cottage somewhere and write, and periodically take day trips to see all the things. 🙂


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: Promptly Penned #32

It’s time for September’s Promptly Penned. This month’s prompt is: You’re in an interrogation room. A man walks in and throws a bunch of photographs on the table in front of you. The photos are old and were taken at different points in history. You’re in each one. He demands to know who you are.

This was the perfect prompt to fit into my Albion’s Circle series. So, here we go.


~Merlin~

Eyes closed, I focused on my breathing. It was over, finally. I’d spent the last week cleaning up Mordred’s mess. Now, I could rest easily that nothing with his taint remained or influenced anyone or anything.

Of course, now that it was over, that meant I was alone. And nothing could distract me from that cruel fact. My chest ached as I drew in another long breath. It wasn’t the first time, and likely wouldn’t be the last. But I’d hoped. Even knowing, accepting, that we couldn’t come out of the ages old battle with Mordred without casualties, I’d still hoped and prayed that someone would be left behind with me. While preparing for the opposite.

But even preparing didn’t diminish the overwhelming press of anger and grief. Yes, we had prevailed—Mordred was defeated, again, this time around—but Annwyl was still lost. And Arthur…Morgana…the knights. I wouldn’t see them again until the next life. All I could do now was wait. And I hated every second of it.

“Mr. Eliad, thank you for coming in. I’m Detective Andrews.”

I opened my eyes, watching the tall, fair-haired man enter and close the door behind him. “You’re welcome, though I was hardly given a choice, detective.”

“Well,” he lifted one shoulder as he sat across from me, “thank you for coming in so calmly, then.”

“Mm hmm.” I folded my hands and rested them on the metal table and straightened in the less-than-comfortable chair. “Perhaps you could let me know what this is about?”

“You were seen near the site of the explosion in the warehouse district last week.” When I didn’t answer, he sighed and laid the folder he held on the surface between us. He withdrew a couple of photos and set them, one by one, in front of me. “You were caught on camera. You look injured, covered in dirt or soot.”

I glanced down at the pictures. Though grainy, they were clearly of me. And certainly not at my best. I met his gaze and lifted a brow, remaining silent.

“Could you tell me what you were doing in the area?” he asked.

“Just walking around.”

“Really?” He snorted. “You just happened to walking around an area that had practically been leveled, looking like you’d barely made it out of said area?”

“Yep.”

“Why were you so dirty, then? You strike me as a fairly well-kept person.” He gestured towards the clothing I currently wore then tapped one of the photos. “Nothing like this.”

“I’d been gardening before my walk. It’s messy work.” I couldn’t hold back the smirk curving my mouth.

“Messy work?” He pursed his lips then nodded. Opening the folder, he continued, “I did some digging and found that you often find yourself around ‘messy work’. Nearby the wreckage of another explosion, the fallout of an earthquake that decimated half a city out west, evacuating another city from a horrendous flood…” As he spoke, he flipped picture after picture toward me.

I lifted one, stared at my own face—filthy, grief-stricken, exhausted. This photo was a copy of a one from decades ago. This was more than just a little digging, and something this detective—or anyone else—shouldn’t have access to.

“Where did you get these?” I demanded, voice soft and steady.

“That’s not important. What I want to know is how you’re in all these photos—because as impossible as it seems, they’re all of you! What did you have to do with the explosions last week? Good men and women died, and I want answers!” He slapped a palm on the stack of photos…and looked vaguely disappointed when I didn’t jump or outwardly react. “Mr. Eliad, you need to start talking. The truth now, not some inane tale of gardening and walks.”

“The truth?” I laughed harshly. “Okay, the truth is my name isn’t Eliad. I just took that name this time around. My first name is Merlin, though—I bet that seemed odd to you, right? Not exactly a common name, nowadays. Well, I wasn’t named for the famous wizard in all the stories. I am him. I am King Arthur’s Magical—yes, the King Arthur. And the truth that you want so desperately is nothing like those stories, which for the most part are ridiculous, and I had a hell of a fun time making them up.

“I, along with my king and others, are brought back to fight Mordred—another familiar name, yes?—and save this wretched Earth and its people, time and time again. That was what was happening last week, and that was just the final battle. This time, we’ve been fighting for months, and now, I am tired. I’ve lost people, as well, Detective Andrews, and now that the mission is complete, I would like my time to remember and grieve for those lost…including those good men and women you mentioned.”

“You’ve got to be—”

I waved a hand between us, and he froze. Rubbing my aching temples, I stared down at the photos. “Though it seems I’m not done cleaning up quite yet. Where did you get these photos?”

“They were mailed to me,” he responded woodenly.

“All of them? Even the ones from last week?”

“Yes.”

“Do you know who sent them?”

“No.” He shook his head. “They were in large envelope. There was no note, no return address. The lab wasn’t able to find any fingerprints on the envelope or the photos so it was all a dead end.”

“For you, maybe,” I murmured. “Do you have the envelope? The original photos you received?”

“Yes, in evidence.”

“Go get them, please.”

Without a word, he stood and left the room. I stacked the photos neatly and closed them back into the folder, annoyance filling me at the inconvenience of all of this. When Detective Andrews came back in, he immediately handed me the evidence bag containing the envelope and photos. I tucked that into the folder, as well, then pushed to my feet, taking all of it with me. I met the other man’s gaze and sighed.

“You seem like a good cop, following any lead. Unfortunately, this is one case that the truth isn’t going to be revealed. Can’t be.” I reached up and touched his forehead, muttering the memory spell quickly. “Forget the photos; they don’t exist. I came in today to tell you what I saw when I was out for a walk the night of the explosion.”

I dropped my hand and cleared my throat. Andrews blinked several times then took a step back, opening the door for me.

“Thank you again, Mr. Eliad, for coming in. We appreciate your help in the matter.”

“Of course.” I strode out the room, but before leaving the building, I went to bullpen and asked where Detective Andrews’ desk was. Then, walking by it on my way out, I spoke the spell that would erase any mention of me from the good detective’s notes—both written and on his computer.

I tightened my grip on the folder as I stepped into the bright sunlight. I needed to get back home and figure out who had sent these in.

It wasn’t quite over. The mess wasn’t completely cleaned up. My grief would wait…my ever-patient companion.


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: Wordless Wednesday

Breaking the rules and using words… Didn’t have a clue what to post about so I just pulled up recent photos on my phone – some I took, some I screenshot to send to people. *shrug* It’s a hodgepodge – and more than a little indicative of my headspace lately. LOL

Ladies of the Lake Readers Group

Eden Books Kickstarter


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease |  Siobhan Muir