Bloodsucker, an excerpt

Since I’m posting excerpts and all, here is one for Bloodsucker.  If you like it and want to read more, Bloodsucker is available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited!

D_L_Spartan

 

In the morning Jane awoke to find herself alone in bed. A note next to her said,

Jane,

I had a lovely time with you last night. Please make yourself comfortable. I will be home around six tonight, and I would like to see you again. If you have other plans today, please call me. I don’t want to lose track of you. If you stay be warned, my mother may stop by to clean and bake. It’s what she does. I’m sure she’ll like you because she likes everyone I like.

Loren AKA Larry

“His mother,” she thought with a dark smile, “Oh, yes. I think I will stay.”

Not that she had much choice; she wasn’t a creature of the day. As she placed the note down, she realized how hungry and how naked she was. She looked around the room but couldn’t find her clothes. Then she heard noise from the kitchen. She found a pair of boxer shorts and an old college sweatshirt. As she dressed, she pondered how to explain herself to whoever was in the kitchen. Lord, she hoped it was his mother. Damn, she was starving.

“Good Morning, sleepy head,” an older woman said, as Jane entered the kitchen. “Loren warned me you might still be asleep. I fixed you some toast and eggs.”

“Good Morning” Jane replied sheepishly. Despite her age, Jane had never done the walk of shame or met the parents, let alone both in the same minute.

“Thank you for making breakfast,” Jane said as she began to compose herself. Sarah turned away from Jane, and now it was time to feed. Jane seized Sarah and knocked her to the ground. Jane bit into the back of Sarah’s arm, near her armpit. It was an area difficult to see, and the bite would heal before anyone was the wiser. Jane fed on Sarah’s limp body for several minutes, not spilling a single drop. Centuries of practice had made her extremely neat and clean when she fed. Jane also knew how much to feed. She had no intention of killing her; she just needed to feed right now. When she was finished, she straightened out her clothing and carried Sarah to the couch. Jane placed a warm compress on her head and fetched a glass of water. Sarah woke up was confused, Jane explained she had collapsed.

“Didn’t you have breakfast? You fell and hit your head! Are you hungry? Should I call Loren?” blurted Jane.

“No, don’t call Loren, he’ll just worry, and he has enough to worry about now. Please, maybe I should eat something.”

Jane handed her the plate of toast and eggs, as well as a glass of water. “Thank you, Jane. You are such a sweetheart.” Sarah cooed. “How did you meet my son, Dear?”

Jane stuttered, she didn’t know how to answer. “I met your dear son, soliciting for a trick” didn’t seem like the right response. Neither did “Your son was looking like a sexual predator in a city park, and I thought he might need a date.” 

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A Hero’s Mistake, an exerpt

So eventually my second novel will be out, and I am, in theory, supposed to create interest in my book, so people will be excited about it and want to buy it.  So, here’s a teaser for A Hero’s Mistake. I hope you enjoy it.

a hero's mistake ebook

“Cate, please. Do calm yourself. You will be doubly miserable if you cast up your accounts at the party,” her brother said trying to soothe her.

“I don’t think I can do this,” she groaned. The ladies to be attending this party were to be some of the most popular and influential women in her community. And of course, Mr. Herring would also be there, expecting her to talk to him. He would also likely expect her to make sense, and not to vomit on his shoes. She most assuredly was not confident she wouldn’t disappoint him.

As they exited the carriage, Cate swayed slightly, but enough that her brother took notice.

“Go to the retiring room for a moment and compose yourself. I’ll find Mr. Herring and keep him entertained until you are feeling better.”

“Thank you,” she gave him a weak nod. “Yes, I’ll come find you once I’m feeling more myself.”

With that, they parted ways.

Cate wasn’t familiar with this house since she had never been here before. She found a footman, who gave her directions to the retiring room. Now was it two rights, then the third door on the left, or the third right and two doors?  She felt a bit foggy and wondered if she wasn’t becoming ill. The chatter from the partygoers filtered through the hallway and only managed to increase her anxiety. She opened the door she thought was the correct one, as it was slightly ajar.

She apparently was mistaken, the room she found was a linen closet, and it was dark and cool. It was possibly more perfect than the retiring room because here she could be sure no one would bother her. There was a small step stool in the corner, likely so some small maid could reach the upper shelves without having to bother anyone, and it looked to make the perfect little seat to rest on and compose herself. She entered the room and closed the door behind her, it made a somewhat disconcerting thunk as it latched, but her distressed mind didn’t register the sound until it was too late.

She tried the handle and indeed, the mechanism was stuck, if not locked. It was probably the reason the door had been left slightly open in the first place. But there was no sense in panicking. This was a large house, surely a maid, footman or another guest would pass by, and she could then alert them to her situation. It might be a trifle embarrassing, but less so than disgracing herself on Mr. Herring or any other guest.

She took a seat and decided to use her time to compose herself and feel a bit better. She must have fallen asleep for a moment because the next sound she heard was her brother loudly whispering her name in the hall outside her closet door.

“Christian,” she returned, also in a loud whisper. “I’m in here.”

“Where are you? The closet? Really Please, Cate. Come on out. It’s time for you to meet Mr. Harring. He has, in fact, been quite eager to make your acquaintance,” Christian said to the closed door.

“I can’t. The door, it’s stuck, I can’t seem to get it open.” To demonstrate her situation she tugged on the doorknob, it rattled a bit, but the door didn’t budge.

“Stand back. I’m going to push,” and Christian shoved the door hard. Hard enough to burst it open with no small amount of force, until it made a muffled, but sickly thump and abruptly stopped, followed almost instantly by a second thump, sounding quite like a body falling to the floor.

The Stormy Night

Zephyr Wyndham

It was a dark and stormy night because, ugh! Of course, it was. It’s always stormy when I’m in a bad mood. I mean, it was my fault it was a stormy night. The dark was just part of the whole definition of night.

My congregation had gathered tonight to pray for the country. Today, the United States declared war on Germany following the sinking of the Lusitania. No one in this little town of Bourbonville, Kentucky had been on the ship or even had known anyone on the ship, but it was what it would take to bring the nation together against the Germans. War. My adopted country was going to war, and there was an air of fear, sadness, and excitement circulating in the small church.

Not that it was my problem or even the reason for my bad mood. After forty-five centuries of life, a little scuffle amongst the humans wasn’t much of a concern for me, except that it bothered the people of my small town. How an ancient Sky Elemental managed to become a preacher for a religion younger than he was was a long story and one for another day.

Taking in a deep breath to calm myself, I focused on the issue at hand. My parishioners needed comfort, and they needed direction. Without a reliable moral compass, they might drift astray and indulge in behaviors that were unbecoming of humanity in these modern times. I preached my standard fire and brimstone, something about avoiding sin, keeping to the scriptures and the dire consequences should they fail. However, the crowd was restless. The fear and excitement creating a distraction that my storm only added to.

Even I stopped paying attention to my words though. The sermon fell from my lips like a practiced rhyme.

It wasn’t the war that had me distracted; it was the pious man sitting in the second row that captured my attention. The rage and hate burning in his eyes were more than just the anger of sending his sons to war. This was an older rage. He was the source of my anxiety and foul temper.

He looked like he could be familiar, but I couldn’t be sure from where. Bourbonville was a small town, but there were a couple of churches, and not everyone attended. I could have seen him around town, or I could have a history with him I’d merely forgotten. The bulk of most of human history was already stuffed in my brain, along with countless dead languages. One face in the crowd wasn’t going to leave a mark. But it frustrated me none the less that I couldn’t figure out who or what he was.

I finished up my sermon and closed the service, all the while the man was still glaring at me with hostility. As I was shaking the hand of Mr. Farmer, a local farmer worried for his son, the angry man approached me.

“Hello, I don’t believe we’ve met before. I’m Zephyr Wyndham,” I said by way of introduction.

The man scowled and looked at my hand like I had presented him with a viper instead of five pudgy fingers. The man was huge. Huge for a human and huge for a non-human. Not that I’d met too many like myself. It turns out we are a rare bunch but this man was clearly as inhuman as I was.

“Syzmon Warchek.” The angry giant said as he gripped my hand firmly but not crushingly so. He could have if he wanted, that much was clear, and it was even more terrifying to know he had restraint behind his rage.

“What can I do for you, Mr. Warchek,” I asked, gesturing to my small office away from the few lingering parishioners. A crash of thunder encouraging them home.

“I need you to kill me.” The man said as fangs, unlike any creature I had ever seen before, descending from his mouth, and fur began to sprout from his pores, covering his entire body.

Syzmon Warcheck

I had done my research. The man preaching was a fraud. I traced his personal history back through six generations, more than four hundred years, and it was clear that he had been moving from place to place, town to town for centuries, hiding his true identity. I had been stalking him for close to a decade now, and I knew what he was. He was a vampire. It was the only thing that made any sense, and it was his fault that I was like this. Cursed and trapped between three worlds. I intensified my scowl and clap of thunder shook the building. It seemed almost in reaction to my threat.

Well, it wasn’t exactly this guy’s fault I was this way. He didn’t have anything to do with it if I were going to be honest about things. But he represented the evil within me and the evil in the world and tonight I would end him and myself.
I waited until after the service before approaching him. I didn’t want to cause a scene. These people seemed like decent folk, even if they had an abomination as a preacher, and they didn’t deserve to witness the carnage he had planned.
It was when the preacher put his hand out in greeting when I first had my doubts.

“Hello, I don’t believe we’ve met before. I’m Zephyr Wyndham,” he said.

His skin was old, and his fingers were pudgy. Not anything like my ancient but perfectly supple skin and his should be older than mine if my research were correct. A crackle of lightning electrified the air as I gripped his hand. I had no intention of hurting him here, so my grip was firm but gentle. No point in announcing my dark intent before I needed to.

“Syzmon Warchek,” I said through gritted teeth. I didn’t like how this storm felt, and this vampire was unlike any other I’d ever come across. And I knew all about unusual vampires since I was one of the strangest.

“What can I do for you, Mr. Warchek,” he asked as he escorted me to a small office and closed the door behind him.

Thunder shook the windows of the church, but the preacher, Mr. Wyndham, didn’t even flinch, although several lingering church members did scuttle out with comments of getting home before the storm got any worse.

“I need you to kill me,” I said as my body, the second curse upon me, began to transform. Huge teeth filled my mouth, and the familiar itch of fur bursting from my pores assaulted my senses. And with a mighty lunge, I lept towards the preacher expecting to him to retaliate or at least for the sensation of blood to fill my mouth.

Instead, there was a crash, and the brightest flash of light I’d ever seen. I thought I’d gone blind from the intensity of it, but after a moment, or an hour, or a week, I couldn’t be sure, my vision returned to me. Only to see the preacher, standing in his office, a gaping hole in the roof of the church and rain falling down on me.

He extended his hand and pulled me up with more strength than I imagined his smaller body could contain.

My skin felt electrified, and his touch amplified the feeling.

“I’ll not kill you, and you’ll not kill me,” the preacher said calmly. “But you will need to repair the damage to my office.”

For more #flashfictionfriday stories, check out steelstashwriting.com
and selkiemade.tumblr.com

The Rogue’s Good Day

Why does blood have to be so damn hard to get out?

It was a thought Airon had on a regular basis. This time it was a spreading stain on his new linen shirt that prompted the lament. But Airon wasn’t in a great mood, so he felt the irritation more than usual. It was a hot day,  and blood wasn’t a liquid that was effective at cooling a person, especially if splattered all over them. Not to mention, he really liked this shirt.

But the bulgy, bug-eyed ogre really had it coming, or so he’d been told, and Airon was an assassin by trade, so the blood was an occupational hazard. It wasn’t that Airon really cared what the ogre did to warrant death, Airon just knew he deserved it, and that was enough. Besides, it was an easy job, for the most part, that didn’t take up too much of his time. Except for today.

A quick glance at his watch proved that his timing was okay, if not a bit tight. He wouldn’t be able to go home and change his shirt, but he had his jacket with him. It would be overly warm, but he could fix that.

With his coat zipped all the way up, Airon made his way to his destination. A crisp, light breeze whipped up around him, pinkening his cheeks. A few passers-by shivered as they passed, some even examined the sky looking for the source of the sudden chill in June, but no one suspected the truth. And the truth was there were many kinds of strange, almost human beings living among the humans, and Airon was one of them. Most of his less than human features were subtle, and he was able to go undetected, unlike his ogre friend back there. Airon was an elemental being, a Genasi, and he could control the weather or at least, a small portion of it.  If he could control all of it, global warming wouldn’t be a thing, and he wouldn’t be sweating his balls off.

He passed a group of school children, eager to play in the park, but hesitating to venture out of the shade into the heavy heat of the noonday sun. In moments, a big fluffy cloud formed over the park and the temperature dropped. Airon could hear the gleeful laughter as the kids began their games. It was good, and he felt his mood lighten.

Airon approached his destination, a massive, high, featureless wall. With a quick and surreptitious glance around him, he made his way to a section blocked off from the view of the street by an adjacent windowless building. It would be depressing if it weren’t exactly what he needed. With skills honed over the decades, he scaled the wall quickly and launched himself over the other side. Experience told him he would land in another isolated area, one very close to his target.

With a snap of his jacket and a straightening of his spine, he approached his next target with the same calm confidence approached everything with. He just had to avoid the zookeepers until he maneuvered himself into the crowd of paying patrons wandering from the elephants to the polar bears.  It wasn’t that he couldn’t afford to pay the admission price, but he enjoyed outwitting “the system” and sneaking into the zoo made him feel invincible.  Besides, he was performing a service, albeit one they didn’t understand.

The zoo was a bit quieter than normal, but it was June, and it was solidly over ninety-five-degree Fahrenheit. Most people were hiding in air-conditioned buildings waiting until the sun set.

The huge bears languished. It was too hot for them, and it was cruel that they were kept in this way, south Texas was no place for polar bears. But here they were. These weren’t creatures of the sub-tropics, these were majestic beasts of the snow and ice. It made him angry that they weren’t able to be free, but he wasn’t in the business of rescuing enormous predators, but he could make things better for them.  Airon sat on the observation bench and began his work. Sometimes his work involved hurting people, but only the ones who really needed it, but this was what mattered to him. And in a blink of the eye, snow began to swirl in the polar bear enclosure. The bears perked up and began to play in the flurries, snow collecting on their giant heads and in their fur. Later, Airon imagined the zookeepers would be confused, but they never seemed to make a big deal about it.  He had been doing this for months, nearly every day, and there had never been mention of it anywhere. If there had, he would need to stop visiting the polar bears. Humans couldn’t know his kind existed, but as long as nobody commented on the unusual weather inside the Arctic enclosure, he would keep coming to make sure the bears were comfortable.

The air temperature dropped around him, and he noticed a few people lingering around, watching the playful bears, and enjoying the sanctuary of the cold he had created.  Soon a few had to move on, not being dressed for the freezing temperatures. Airon pulled his jacket closer, the chill was even more than he enjoyed, but the happiness the polar bears got from his special visits more than made up for his discomfort. It was a very good day, tomorrow was looking pretty good too.

This story was inspired by some silliness from www.steelstashwriting.com, check him out for more flash fiction stuff. (He seems to like it.)

I’m still here!

I’ve been remiss in the neglect of my blog.  I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been focusing on some really new and exciting things, but the truth of the matter is, that it hasn’t been.

So far I’m missed lots of really important goals in the last few weeks.  I lost a DietBet, I failed my CampNano goal, and I’ve missed personal deadlines. Mostly podcast and writing goals.

Why you ask?

Because LIFE!

Apparently, I’ve hit a bit of a weight-loss plateau sooner than I thought I would, so that’s been a struggle.  It makes eating right and hitting the gym that much harder when you don’t see the progress you have grown accustomed to.

The kids were out of school for a week because of #RedforEd, a cause I fully support, but having an unexpected seven days sucked out of my schedule definitely put things on the back burner. Also, they are still planning to begin summer break as scheduled, so those days are lost.

Then there was a power outage for a day, a scheduled power outage, and the installation of solar panels!  HURRAY FOR SOLAR!  But I failed to realize that installing solar panels would involve loud hammering and other noises.  Totally understandable and predictable, but not optimal for recording/editing podcasts. So that got pushed off.

And then, There’s Hero’s Mistake.  Life has also grabbed hold of the people I rely on, and that’s been delayed.  Again, it’s understandable, but yet another goal has been pushed off.

I know I’m going to have to re-adjust my expectations for the summer, not much writing will happen the way I need it to, but maybe the kids can create a podcast/YouTube channel, and everyone can have fun while hitting other goals.

I’m trying to remain optimistic. My twitter is always gaining followers, occasionally writers I respect and admire retweet something I comment on or follow me.  (You can find me on twitter as @dl_spartan and follow me too!)

My therapist changed up my meds, and that has also been an adjustment.  Managing my depression better, while keeping my anxiety at bay has been a challenge. Especially when sometimes the meds don’t make me feel OK. They say it’s temporary as I adjust to the new medications, but that doesn’t mean I feel any better about it.

I’m trying to keep a positive outlook, and in the next couple of weeks I hope to hammer out some stuff so check off a few things from my  ToDo list, but once you’re in a hole, it’s so hard to crawl your way out.  I guess the good news is that I didn’t’ plan on getting much done with over the summer; with the kids’ activities, vacations, and whatever else tries to claim my attention I figured keeping my expectations low was a good plan. So hopefully I can get a bit ahead and close the gap by the time school starts back up again.

I do plan on posting some fun, new material soon (not just me bitching about how life in general). I have my Kitty Shifter Short in the works as well as another couple shorts, I’m turning “The Green Gecko Bar and Grill” into a podcast (which should be out early June), and I hope to have Stan’s Ghost to the point where I can tease a bit of it.  I also have an idea for a podcast and I’m recruiting a team for that right now, and that seems like it will be fun and interesting.

I’m also hoping to start a book review here, mostly naughty books, but if a fellow Indie Author needs some exposure, I’ll happily share that as well.

So please bear with me, better stuff is coming soon.   (and this post is a positive sign since posting any sort of update was a plan, so WINNING!)