#SampleSunday FanFic: Vampire Academy

This is from a FanFic that I’ve been writing for Vampire Academy.  Check out my FacFic Page to read more.

Excerpt from Chapter 1: Memories

My memory faded quickly when shattered by the muffled screams of a girl in house we were watching.  Her shrieks were muffled by the weight of sleep, and perhaps a pillow.  I did not react.  Then I noticed a change in the darkness of the room from which I had heard the scream.  Movement.  The other guardians, ten in all, were chatting with one another through our communication system.  I quickly called them to attention, and they fell silent at my command.

I heard a soft, melodic voice call out quietly, “Liss.  Liss wake up.”  The concern in the speaker’s voice startled me and all my muscles tensed in response to an unseen danger.

“Andre.”  The girl who screamed was now moaning, still lost in sleep, fearing evident in her mumbling.  “Oh God.”

The girl must be ‘Liss’ or Princess Valissa Dragomir.  The oldest survivor of a Royal family assumed the title suiting their status.  Since Valissa was the last of the Dragomirs, her rightful title became Princess, a title inherited when her family died several years ago.

“Liss, you aren’t there anymore.”  The first girl frantically sang.  “Wake up,” she pleaded, her voice sharpened by the worry of the nightmare that made the Princess scream.

It was easy to assume that the girl with the Princess was Rose Hathaway.  When I arrived at St. Vladimir’s, I was given a file on each girl, and I knew their histories well.  Rose was the daughter of the well known and highly respected guardian, Jeanine Hathaway.  According her file, however, she lacked the discipline and appropriate attitude to carry such a respected name.  Valissa was mostly a quiet individual, though her file was marred by the indiscretions that were certainly influenced by her loyalty to her misguided novice friend.

The girls had been best friends since they began school together at the age of 5.  Rose was with the Princess the night her family died in a car accident, and according to her file, it was a wonder that she survived.  A notation in the file indicated that their friendship became even closer after the accident, the two hardly seen separated, and Rose began to demonstrate protective behaviors  Alberta, the Head of the Guardians at the school decided to observe the friendship closely to determine if Rose could be trained to be Princess Valissa’s full time guardian following graduation.  A couple of days before the girls’ disappearance, they both began acting strange and Valissa seemed frantic and bothered.

Based on the information provided in the file, I held a very low opinion of Rose Hataway.  Being raised at the Academy, she understood the value and importance of the Princess.  The file made it clear that Rose’s defiance of authority was to blame for her disappearance and despite her frantic attempts to stop her friend, Valissa joined her when she left.  No guardian would endanger a Moroi as Rose had and I agreed with the school’s decision to expel Rose upon her return.

But there was something in the urgency of the movements in the shadows and the concern-filled plea of the girl that gave me a moment’s hesitation when I recalled my opinion of her.  Despite her record, could her intentions have been misunderstood?

With my heightened senses from my dhampir blood, I could hear the fear in the ragged breathes of the dreaming Princess.  As her breathing slowed, I stilled myself, not even realzing until that moment that I had begun to run to the girls.  I was at the edge of where the lights met the shadows now, visible, but I didn’t even dare to take the step backwards to conceal myself in the shadows.  My hearing was more sensitive than a human’s, but nothing compared to that of a Moroi.  Even one step could alert the girls to our presence, something we really didn’t want to do.

“It’s okay,” Rose comforted Valissa.  “Everything’s okay.”

“I had the dream.”

“Yeah.  I know.”  A hint of concern lingered in Rose’s voice and I wondered what dream haunted these girls’ rest.  Several moments passed an the girls breathing seemed to slow.  No movement in the shadows.  A light came on followed by no other indication that they were still awake.  I began to think the girls were asleep again and contemplated moving from the light when Rose spoke again.

Published in: on 06.19.2011 at 6:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Flash Fiction: Victoria Falls

Here is my first stab at a flash fiction. Not sure how I feel about it. Honest critiques are appreciated!

Victoria Falls

Simplicity.  Monotony.  Words that hold such negative connotation for most of America, but in Victoria Falls, they’re qualities we love.

Not much has changed here over the past several decades.  Our banks still have tellers and withdrawal slips.  Our grocery store still has Billy who bags our food.  Most people drive trucks older than me.  They don’t break down often when every man in the town knows how to fix them up right again.

It’s a quiet town.  Less than 500 of us. Nothing exciting.  Comfortable.  Reliable.

I walked through town as I did every Wednesday.  I needed to stop at the bank for mama, the grocery store for the bakery, and the library for me.  I said hello to the same friendly faces I saw each morning, answering questions about the latest good book I read or newest flavor of cupcakes in the bakery.

When I turned the corner, the sheriff would be drinking his lemonade.  His son was my age, and Sheriff Morgan was trying to marry him off. He’d tilt his hat and ask me to join him for dinner.  I would agree to think about it as I stepped over the loose cobblestone that would trip up the unexpecting traveler. But Victoria Falls didn’t accommodate many travelers.  The Inn only ever rented rooms to unfaithful husbands.  Maybe once a year, someone traveling through the state would stop at night.  But the barren town usually scared them away before breakfast.

Four rusty trucks would be parked right outside the bank.  The only four parking spots on Main Street.  Three older ladies would be chattering away on the park bench they occupied across the street.  Gossiping.  Always the same stories.  Mr. Macky was cheating on his wife.  She didn’t know.  Had I heard?

I chuckled as I thought about the conversations I was about to have.  I turned the corner, stepping over the loose stone with ease.

“Morning, Sherriff.”

“Janelle,” He said as he tipped his hat.  “Will you be joining us for dinner on Friday?  I’m sure Matthew would be please to see you again.”

“Anything good planned for dinner?”

“Roast beef and potatoes.”  The same as every Friday night.

“Sounds delicious, Sherriff Morgan.  I’ll give it some thought.”  He winked, knowing we’d repeat our conversation again next week.

As I was approaching the bank, several people walked past, animate in conversation.  It was unusual.  The change was unnerving.  I didn’t like it.

A moment later, a truck passed on the road.  The green one that usually parked in the first space in front of the bank.  I stopped, looking around.  Few were on the streets as usual, but they all wore the same expression.  Something was different.

I came to the bank, and where the green truck should have been, sat a slick silver car with dark windows.  The wheels were black, the paint was perfect.  It was a city car, far, far from the city.  Across the street, sitting on the bench, was a man I had never seen before.  Behind him, three very angry older women glared, their expressions showing just how unwelcomed he was to occupy their bench.

The man didn’t notice.

Watching him over my shoulder, I turned into the bank.  The teller and manager were whispering to one another, heads together as they stared out the window.

“Do you know who he is,” the teller asked me.

“Never seen him before,” I responded.  Elsie knew how to handle my transaction without asking and did so while still watching the mystery man across the street.  I thanked her and continued on my way.

The thing about living in a town where nothing changed was the comfort in knowing nothing would change.  When it did, it made me anxious.  My path would take me past the bench with the stranger.  What would I do?  Should I talk to him?  I wasn’t sure.

As I crossed the street, I noticed his featured were distressed.  He wore perfectly pressed clothes of mundane ordinary styles too nice for Victoria Falls; khaki pants and a spotless white button up shirt.  The smudge of dirt across his cheek and a small spot of blood below his breast pocket marred his otherwise perfect appearance.

As I walked by, I tried to ignore him, but his broken spirit called to me.  “Are you alright, sir?”

“Just trying to hide.”

“Victoria Falls is a great place to hide from the world, but not from us.  You kinda stick out in this town.”

He looked up and noticed the appraising faces.  “I had no idea,” he said as he chuckled.  Extending his hand, he announced, “I’m Adam.”

“Janelle.  It’s nice to meet you.”  I said as he closed his hand around mine.  I lowered my voice, as to not be overheard by the older ladies, “You’ve stolen the perch of the town’s gossips, ya know?”

He looked at me tentatively, uncertain how to take my sarcasm.  Noticing my smile, he offered me one that made my heart melt.

“What’s there to do in this in the place other than occupy a bench and gossip all day?”  He asked in mock seriousness.

“Well, I was heading to the library.  You could join me if the bench is too crowded.”

He chucked again as he stood to his feet.  “Ladies,” he said as he turned to the hens cackling behind him.  Offering a deep bow, he said “My sincerest apologies.”

He smiled at me again and followed me down the street towards the library.

There was something about this stranger that comforted me.  And of course that made me anxious.  His perfect appearance and perfect car weren’t right for Victoria Falls, but his jocular attitude and nonchalant demeanor matched those of the towns’ patrons.

Conversation was easy, but I noticed that Adam carefully kept the topic away from him.  That made me curious.  People didn’t often choose Victoria Falls as a hiding place, though it made a good one.  Fit in here, and it will always be a welcoming home.  A safe place.  Upset the town, and it’s not longer friendly.

From the looks Adam received throughout the day, I wondered how long his presence would be accepted.  I heard others speak of him the way they would speak of a rodent in their pantry.  Even when checking in at the Inn, Adam faced hostility.  The people of Victoria Falls were making their opinion known.  Adam was not a welcomed occupant.

The following morning, I continued my routine as I did most Thursday morning.  No trip to the bank today, but the library and the bakery were daily adventures.  The town maintained an ominous feel, one I recognized as a warning that Adam was still a visitor.  It was no surprise when I arrived at the bakery and he was there waiting for me.

He jumped to his feet brandishing a cup of coffee.  A giggle escaped as I accepted his offering.  Venturing, I questioned, “Rough night?”

“I’m not sure I’m welcomed in this town,” he said.

“You’re new.  Give them time.”  It was all I could offer, though I knew the town’s opinion was unlikely to change.

The day progressed as it normally would, save I had fewer customers than normal.  Some people would glance in the front window and scurry away once seeing Adam, but most of my normal customers were nowhere to be seen.  Adam seemed to notice my uneasiness and purchased more muffins than I would normally sell in two days.  It wasn’t my sales that concerned me, though.  It was his alienation and my inability to understand it.

But that didn’t last long.

As I walked Adam back toward the Inn, trying to extend the hospitality I felt the town was lacking, we were accosted by a thick, chilling fog.  My breath instantly turned to ice hanging in the air.  Supernatural ire wafted around us, forcing tears to my eyes.  The fog broke around the shadow of a caped man.  His bare chest seemed unaffected by the cold that cripple me.  He eyes burned into mine, calling me forward.  My muscles responded as my mind shrieked its protest.  No sound parted my lips.

He welcomed my approach with a smile, revealing two sharp fangs.  The sight excited me, quickening my pace to his welcoming arms.  I was entranced by the demon of the night, unaware of anything else.    The screaming in my mind began to fade as I lost all realization of danger.  My mind was numb, my body longing for the mystery of the Vampire’s Kiss.

I brushed my hair over my shoulder, revealing the tender flesh of my neck.  Tilting my head in submission to an unspoken command, I took the final step into the vampire’s embrace.  His arms held me too tightly for comfort as he lowered his mouth to my offering.

The vampire’s breath on my neck melted the numbness that had clouded my thought; panic rose in its place.  My attempts at freedom were useless against the strength of the dark creature and I was seized with terror.  I clenched my eyes together and braced for the pain of the vampire’s bite.

But it never came.

Instead came Adam’s grip around my waist and he pulled me from the clutches of the demon.  Keeping himself between me and the vampire, Adam protected me from the attack.  The two men fought as the fog thickened around us, and again I was left alone and freezing.

A wail shattered the silence and the fog dissipated.  Adam’s voice reached my ears, “Return to them, those who sent you, and tell them Victoria Falls will fight back. The Vampire Assassin will fight with them.”

Published in: on 06.07.2011 at 9:34 pm  Comments (4)  

Samantha’s Prayer

The shower favors I made with the first poem I've written since high school.

A wonderful friend of mine celebrated her pregnancy at her baby shower this past weekend. I was in charge of favors and I had this great idea to make vanilla sugar as a favor. I wanted to find a cute poem that I could include but nothing seemed just right. I found one poem that was okay so I decided to tweak it just a bit. After all was said and done, not a single word was from the original poem.

I don’t write much poetry. This is way outside of my realm. But I’m proud of it, so I thought I would share.

Samantha’s Prayer

Samantha is a miracle blessed to Brad and Kate.
A life to cherish and to love; a life we celebrate.
Lord, we pray you keep her safe, her soul so pure and sweet.
May her heart know Your love with each and every beat.
May her two tiny feet, with her tiny toes,
Lead her life to the path so You’re the God she knows.
May her little hands, and her little fingers, too,
Bring about Your will to others, so they know You’re true.
You’re the King of kings, Lord of lords, highest of the ranks,
We praise Your name, oh Lord, and for this girl give thanks.

Published in: on 06.06.2011 at 9:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Nostalgia

I was organizing some files on my computer and I found an old piece that I wrote for my freshman English class.  I still remember how much fun it was to write this!

The words spoken to me were that of a thousand swords piercing my heart.  My friend, he labeled me… ME… not as a friend, not as an assistant, but as his squire.  Squire!  And dare he not… but… oh… he did, he offered me money, one shilling for a job I would willing run, a task I would do out of the kindness and loyalty of my heart.

Pain caused by a friend, mixed with rage and anger in my heart caused a combination of great danger within me.  Bitterness and fury began to brew an awful potion within my body, using it as a caldron.  This potion made me yearn to speak harsh, unwanted words to this so-called friend.  But somehow, through a power unknown to me and foreign to my soul, I spoke soft, calm words swallowing those of hatred that swam in my head and danced on my tongue.  “It shall be done, master.”

Off I was, enraged and insulted, to return to the inn and fetch the sword that belonged to Kay, a task worth the offer of a shilling.  Anger still roared in my body, running through my veins, mixing with my blood, and filling me with thoughts and feelings unwelcome.  A shilling!  A shilling!  My body tremble with the thought and my blood began to boil.

“To offer me money!”  I cried to myself. “To look down at this beastly little donkey-affair of his great charger and call me squire!  Oh, Merlyn, give me patience with the brute, and stop me from throwing his filthy shilling in his face.”

To my great displeasure the inn was abandoned, the doors double locked and the gate chained, and captured inside was Kay’s sword, confined like a hostage in this prison.  What was I to do?  I couldn’t return to Kay without his sword, or… Or… if I did, humiliation would fall on Kay and he could have a glimpse of how I felt.  Revenge?  Me seek revenge on my friend of many years for an act he committed mindlessly?  That is couldn’t do.  To my friend Kay, though he insulted me, I must be loyal, a sword for him I was sent to get, and with a sword for him, I will return.

Upon the back of my stead, I sat, and off we went in search of a sword suitable for Kay’s competition. I hoped to find a swordsmith, but to my ironic shock, none were found in the town I occupied.  In fact, it appeared that I was the only occupant of the town at the time, for everyone gathered at the arena for the great tournament.

One street left to search, three buildings stood together on the right, and to my left four buildings existed.  Straight ahead the road did end with an elegant church.  Guarded by a lych gate, the church stood alone in its beauty trying to tell a story I didn’t understand.  I decided that to this great church I would retire and catch my breath.  I fished in the sea of words to find my explanation to Kay for why I returned with no sword in my hand.  Time and time again I rehearsed my dull but true misfortunes of the afternoon.

I approached the gate and there my brain absorbed the extraordinary site of the churchyard.  Once at the foot of the gate, I dismounted my trusted stead and tied his leather reigns to the wood posts.

Ahead a beautiful church stood with walls of white stone, and the windows… oh… the windows.  The windows were made of glassed stained in all colors of the rainbow and elegantly the pieces were placed together to form exquisite designs of men basking in glory.  A great light shone through the masterpieces of glass casting tinted shadows over the churchyard.

Music rang in my ears, and I was being beckoned to follow the path of gravel.  It wound this way and that way leading me through the shadows of the glorious men.  My ears became keen to the sound of the gentle melody of the harp.  As my feet disturbed peaceful path, the music became louder and more intense.

Twisting and turning, the road led me blindly to a sight I knew not to be existent, a sight that one can only dream.  I stand here now in front of this marvel, this miracle, this… this… I stand here now in front of wonderful sight.  The pure silver brighter then the sun, the stones, of color more vivid then paint and neatly arranged.  For this sight that I do fix my stare is none other then a sword piercing an anvil set in stone.

Published in: on 04.11.2011 at 11:13 am  Comments (1)