April Rambles

Hello and how has everyone been doing? Are spring allergies getting to you yet? It’s a beautiful season, but goodness I hate it because it causes me so much misery. Yes, yes, I do take antihistamines to function, but that’s not how it should be, right? 🤧

It’s been a while since I posted, mainly because life is pretty mundane and not worth sharing with the world. Sometimes, I post to Instagram because I like sharing pictures – they are truly worth a thousand words. Recently, I found out that a famous romance author I follow no longer maintains the blog on her website because it’s “old skool.” She’s moved to Instagram as her main platform of connecting with readers. It gave me some food for thought, but in the end I decided to continue popping in here and continue writing short updates. I don’t know that everyone who reads this is on Instagram (probably?), and managing multiple accounts in the ever-changing social media landscape is exhausting. Please don’t harpoon me for this. Maybe I am more old-school than most. Maybe I need an assistant to deal with this thing called “self-promotion” (who doesn’t?). But I’ll work on reviving my Twitter. Anyway, I love you all.

Among other, more relevant happenings, I sent Sky Song manuscript to record an audio book. So that’s coming up in a month or two on Audible. 👏

Also, in my quest to make my books more widely available, they can now be accessed through Barnes & Noble and Kobo, as well as Amazon (except for Sky Song which is still only on Amazon but will be available mid-May from other retailers). iBooks is next on the list to conquer. This is super exciting to me and makes me feel like a big girl.

I continue to work on the next installment in the Rix Universe, Rosamma’s journey. The action takes place almost entirely in space on a derelict space station. I have almost decided on a title, but keep going back and forth. Calling it a Galactic Hot Mess would not be inappropriate. The pirates are gross. The ick factor is high. There’s a robot ho and a dead body in the freezer. I know, in a romance novel. I hope you like it.

Meanwhile – meanwhile – using the free time I don’t have, I’ve been experimenting with a different writing style using the same familiar themes. I have a project in mind that may never come to fruition, but I’m sharing a snippet from the middle of a story I’m playing around with. The premise: he’s a feral warrior of sub-human species (think Orc or Neanderthal but not as dumb). He is in a program to be “humanized.” Then we have the expected sequence of events: He meets a girl. He likes the girl. She’s in danger. He takes it upon himself to protect her. But “humanized” means he isn’t the man he once was…

Warning: Language, graphic violence


  I walk along a fence. The dense shrubbery is tall and protects me from the garden lights. I’m shrouded in darkness. It makes me comfortable. Darkness is my friend. It was my old friend, and is my friend again for the night. Only for this one night. 

The small bow is poking me in the back, reminding of its presence. It’s light and doesn't have a long reach. I squint as I gauge the distance to Merah’s house.

Merah. My lips and tongue form the sounds of her name, but I keep it silent. I like saying her name. Here, in the darkness, I can admit it. This night is wrong for many reasons, and I know it. And I indulge. 

Merah. It’s a hex. Every time I utter it, it draws me closer to her. It’s binding. That’s why I rarely call her by her name, even in my dreams.

The lights are on in her house. Two windows upstairs. It’s her bedroom. I know the layout without having set foot inside. I’ve studied it. They really shouldn't make house plans so easy to find.

She invited me in. I declined. If she asks me again, I will decline, too. Boundaries are important. She is fragile now, but in time, she will move on without wanting me close. I hope she keeps me as a friend like she says she will. I hope I can handle it.

I settle in against the shrubs, downwind. Not that it matters with humans. Unless it’s a pile of shit, they can’t tell what’s under their noses. 

I’m secure in my hidden position, knowing there are no vantage points to spot me in the dark. Funny, I didn’t even think about it. Coming in, I already knew a perfect spot to hide. I already knew there was one. I’d noticed it without realizing it. Hunter instincts are hard to squish.

And so I wait.

This area is very quiet. The houses are big. The neighbors are hermits. Not a body in sight. Two cars - two cars - drive by in as many hours. She is right when she says it’s like living in a park. Peace.

The lights in the homes around me go out. Hers, too. She turns down for the night. Sweet dreams, my pet. Tonight, you’ll sleep well. I promise. 

I wait.

The air is fragrant with abundant flowers. An owl hoots in the night. Yes, peace. If I close my eyes, I can almost pretend I’m a small boy again, walking in the woods with my elders.

But I don’t close my eyes. I keep watch.

The yesterday's man comes creeping from around the corner. How stupid. I can see him plain as day. I can also hear his footsteps. He has a strong body, and he moves in a fluid, athletic way. Stealthy for a human, I suppose. 

I don’t move. The soft wind brushes against me, heightening my senses. I catch a distant whiff of his aftershave. My eyesight sharpens briefly before settling. Blood rushes through my body. I grow hot. Inwardly, I’m calm. I’ve got what I need to accomplish this. 

I watch the man watch her house.

He pauses, concealed in the shadows under the small balcony. He is listening and scanning the area. All is quiet, I know. I want to shake my head at the purposeful folly of humans. They don’t know when to quit.

Tonight, he’ll die.

The man comes out of the shadows and edges closer to the wide glass doors. Glass doors are never a wise idea, but I can almost get why people want them. It’s the view. And, of course, they believe this area is safe.

No place is fully safe. Ever. My pet is learning this hard lesson fast. 

The man’s back is now turned to me as he hunches over the lock. He wants to break in without shattering glass. He has it all planned. My hand inches toward my lower back, feeling for the hard outline of the bow. I take it out without a sound.

The man pauses and throws a furtive glance over his shoulder. He’s on high alert. Seeing nothing, he goes back to his task. 

I pull a short arrow from my boot. The bow is light and child-sized, but the arrow is weighted. I stretch my arm and slide it in position. The string is tight as I pull it. The weapon feels good, balanced. I aim.

The man keeps looking over his shoulder. I know he can’t see or hear me, but he feels me watching him. Even the most urbanized humans possess enough residual instinct to sense danger, and he’s sensing it now. 

He’s done with the lock - I hear the metallic click of it breaking. I move my foot lightly, scattering gravel with a crunch. He whirls around, dropping into a crouch, a gun in a two-handed grip. A gun. Did he plan to shoot Merah as she slept in her bed? 

He angles his body as he moves the gun right and left, peering into the darkness where I stand. His face is towards me. His face is my target. The tension in my shoulders is almost unbearable - a little bit of a strain of my weakened muscles, but mostly just anticipation. I lift my finger off the string, and it’s with regret. My hunt is over. 

The stubby arrow shoots forward with a quiet twang. The man reacts, turning away, but he’s too slow. The arrow finds his left eye and pierces it. It’s done. He drops to the ground with an aborted moan. His gun falls next to his twitching legs.

I wait until he stops twitching and dies.

I glance at her windows. They’re dark. She’s sleeping. 

Tucking the bow back into my waistband, I make my way to the body across her lawn. At this moment, I’m at my most vulnerable. But I’m willing to risk being seen on surveillance cameras. I can’t leave the dead man at Merah’s back door for her to find. 

I collect his gun and then lift his body into my arms. He’s heavy as fuck. I wish I had my old strength back… I slam the mental door on this kind of thinking. I’ve got what I need.

Staggering under the dead man’s weight, mindful of the blood seeping from his skewered eyeball, I fade back into the shrubbery and drop him at the spot where I stood. I wipe the gun with my shirt and put it on top of him for others to find. I leave the arrow where it is, sticking out from his skull. Let them guess. 

He’s off her property. 

Her windows are dark. My pet is sleeping soundly, undisturbed. Like I promised she would.

I start walking home. The bus doesn't run at night, and I need this walk. I’m still hot, and I don’t like it. I breathe deeply, inhaling with a full chest. The night is too warm to cool me down. I walk slowly on purpose, defying my racing heart’s desire to run. 

The canal glistens wetly under the weak light of the quarter moon as I approach. The water is deep and murky, and never still. It flows and ripples, restless, and my skin ripples in response. 

I try to take another breath and I can’t. The hot fullness inside me has reached its max. I can’t pretend anymore. I feel. I feel the thrill of the hunt. 

I reach for the bow and hurl it from the bridge. The spare arrow follows with a plunk. 

I force myself to keep walking, blocking the burning fullness that threatens to consume me. I wait for it to subside or at least to stop growing. I fear I can’t take it anymore without falling apart.

It’s nice to keep them not dead. I think about the kind doctor. I agree with him.

But killing can feel nice, too. 

I think about Merah. I always think about Merah. It calms me, but not tonight. 

Her widows are dark. The man is dead. It feels nice. 

Thoughts spin in my head. 

I want to go back to her house. I imagine myself doing it.

I open the glass doors with the broken lock and take the stairs to her bedroom. Her windows are dark. She’s sleeping. I lean over. “He’s dead,” I whisper, waking her. I can see her eyes, large and frightened. “Don’t be scared. I will never hurt you. I want to keep you not dead.” She reaches up and lays her hand on my face. Her touch is divine. She understands.

I’m alone on the bridge. The murky water flows below me. The night surrounds me. 

I burn.

Merah. This time, I say her name out loud. 

My body goes into a shuddering spasm, and I stumble. I double over, retching. My head pounds, my heart races, and sweat runs down my temples. I don’t know where I am, and I don’t know what to think. I hurt all over. My every nerve is agitated, and my every muscle is locked in a viscous cramp. I’m being pulled apart by invisible forces, and they are going to prevail…

When my vision clears, I’m no longer on the bridge. I’m slumped against a wall in an alley. My nose twitches, and I register the sour smell of rotting trash. That and the dingy cracked wall against which I sit in a puddle of oily water and my own vomit tell me that I’m in Aulder. I’m almost home.

I rise to my feet, afraid my legs will buckle. They feel weak. My entire body aches, but I can function. There, that’s the direction to my rooms. I head over, weaving like a drunk. 

I had a blackout. The pain was no fun, too. They had warned me about a negative reaction. They didn’t fucking lie.

The pub on the corner is still open. Beats of music and laughter are coming from the windows. Light is streaming from inside, spilling on the street.

I look up at my home. My windows are dark.

This is how it should be.

6 thoughts on “April Rambles

  1. I love it!!! I love the emotions of your character juxtaposed with the quiet calm of the night. I could see this scene in my mind. Wonderful work.

    Also, please keep posting here. I tend to stay off social media site like Instagram and Twitter because they’re too addictive. 😅


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