WIP Wednesday — Share What YOU Are Up To!

Hey friends! Welcome or welcome back to WIP Wednesday, the first Wednesday of the month! This is where I share a snippet of a work in progress, and if you feel like it, you do the same. It’s okay if your work is raw, because what I post always is. We don’t do critiquing here, just sharing (though encouraging words on other people’s work are always welcome.)

Today I’m sharing the first few paragraphs of The Equinox Stone, the second book in my paranormal romance trilogy.

 

 

 

He was naked in the wilderness at night, shivering in the cold. How long had he been out here? He must’ve staggered away from some accident that had left him dazed… although that didn’t explain the lack of clothing. As he walked, he felt over the surface of his head and found no soreness or injury. As far as he could tell, he wasn’t hurt in any way, although he might literally freeze his dick off if he didn’t find help or shelter soon.

Rocks cut into the numbing soles of his feet. He could barely distinguish the ridges of the short mountains on the horizon from the sky. The wind kicked up and he hunched over, trying in vain to cover himself with his icy hands, utterly bereft of dignity. Maybe he should just curl up in a ball on the ground — but no, that could mean death. He kept moving, looking for a house, a road, something. If he’d had a phone, and if there were any kind of signal here, he could’ve called 911. He couldn’t think of the name of a friend. Loneliness and a deep sense of abandonment engulfed him like the darkness.

Light in the distance. Headlights. He broke out into a run, his heart thudding hard in his chest. “Hey!” His voice sounded strange to his ears, deeper and more growly than he’d expected. “Over here!”

The vehicle came straight at him, bumping over the rocky terrain. He stopped still in his tracks. It pulled up close enough that he took a step back, shielding his eyes from the blinding glare of the headlights. Two figures exited the black SUV, leaving the engine running. and one of the back car doors opened as they advanced.

Both men held guns. Shit.

 

WIP Wednesday -- Bryn Donovan, The Equinox Stone

 

I can’t wait to see what you’re up to! (I work full-time, so sometimes I don’t get a chance to look until after work, but sometimes I can check in at lunch. 🙂 ) And whether you feel like sharing this month or not, thanks for reading, and happy writing!

 

 

 

 

33 Replies to “WIP Wednesday — Share What YOU Are Up To!”

  1. Love your scene! I am just beginning Xander de Hunter’s next novel – it doesn’t even have a working title, yet. If you aren’t familiar with my Sea Purrtector series, Xander is Catamondo’s answer to 007, but he has temporarily been promoted to Purrsident. If you are interested in seeing things from a cat’s perspective, these first 2 pages might interest you.

    Xander tried to block out Mischief and Merlin’s whoops of glee and focus on the massive amount of email that required his attention. If he’d realized that he would need to deal with at least fifty times as much correspondence, not to mention demands by the media for interviews, he would never have agreed to step into Purrsident Mitzi’s position. Yet he had been ignorant enough to believe being asked was an honor!
    The official election couldn’t happen soon enough to suit him. Unfortunately, Catamondo only held elections each year during Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice had just been celebrated last week, so the coming half year would probably be the longest trial of his life.
    When a breeze ruffled his fur, he realized that he needed a break. Shoving his iPhone aside, Xander got up and did some stretches. Quickly, he began feeling better. If Mitzi had been bombarded with half as many cats vying for a moment of his attention and the mountains of correspondence that demanded a response, it was no surprise she had gotten ill.
    Why on earth would anyone volunteer to go into politics?
    Was this why Merlin was so thrilled to resign from his promotional work for Elegant Eats and devote his attention to his Purrtectorate and – for now – to teaching Mischief how to surf?
    Thank Hathor that he only needed to hold down the Purrsident office until the next election. After working with Cheyenne for the past eight days, he understood how competent and sweet she was and why Merlin had his whiskers in a twirl about her. With her intelligence and purrsonality, she would be ideal to be Purrsident, not simply his aid… Could he convince her to run?
    Before he was done with his stretches, Commandant Cupcake’s chef rang the dinner gong. Xander finished an abbreviated version of his routine before heading to the dinning room, where the aromas did not inspire and, since this was day three of his visit to Diego Garcia Purrtectorate, he didn’t expect anything mouth-watering. Commandant Cupcake was waiting for him at the kitchen door. His surlier expression seemed to be permanent. For the zillionth time, since meeting the smallish, grey tom, Xander wondered if Cupcake was born bad-tempered, trying to out-grouch Grumpy Cat or if being Purrtector on an isolated island, which was basically a military instillation was the cause of his barbed comments and snide remarks.
    Pasting a friendly smile on his face, Xander moved toward Commandant Cupcake. In return, his host hissed, “Where are the others?”
    “Still riding the waves.”
    Cupcake growled. “How that pair ever gained the credentials to be Purrtectors, I’ll never know.”
    “Technically, Mischief is still my apprentice and is merely filling my position of Sea Purrtector while I fill in for Mitzi.” He didn’t add how much he was looking forward to returning to being a Purrtector.
    Commandant Cupcake hissed an insult.
    “Do you object to them having a vacation or are you transferring anger about something else to them?”
    “What’s that supposed to mean?”
    Xander sat down, covered his toes with his tail and then raised a brow.

    1. Jeanne, how cool that you’re on the next book! I’ve probably said this before, but you’ve done such original world-building with this series. By the way, I cannot stop thinking about surfing lessons for cats! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Bryn, I’m intrigued by the descriptive detail you’ve included in these paragraphs, broken by the unexpected, and implied, intense action. My own WIP is actually to find a decent writer’s conference that fits my needs and isn’t too far from home. I find I’m doing a lot of planning, and reading about writing, but little actual writing these days. Your posts are often breaths of fresh air and calls to action for me!

    1. Hi, Sheila! Ahh, that sounds like a great work in progress. I get so inspired by writers’ conferences, even though I don’t go often! I hope you find the perfect one. Thank you so much for the kind words — I really appreciate that!

  3. I really like this excerpt, Bryn! The voice is great and you’ve definitely hooked me right from the start.
    I have been sharing my mermaid story here for awhile now, and I thought you all might like a glimpse of when Neri met Edmund. I hope it’s not a repeat.

    He was alive.
    She had saved a human life. She couldn’t help Twyla, but she had helped him.
    Now what?
    She spread out his limbs, making him as comfortable as she could. His eyes
    were still closed, thank goodness, and he smiled sweetly as he said, voice so cracked it was painful to hear, “Experiment . . . clearly not a success.” Then he lay there, breathing heavily, as if the speech had worn him out.
    “Ssh,” was all Neri dared to let herself say.
    Don’t speak. Don’t open your eyes. Teach me to breathe like you do–and she matched his rhythm: in, out, in out. Just don’t see me. It’s all over when you do.
    Maybe it was over when she saw him.
    She always said human faces were the dangerous part.
    Neri bent closer to look at him, brushed back his long hair, red like cannon fire.
    There was a scattering of golden dots across his straight nose, and his lips were chapped but well-shaped, coming together like two perfect halves of a shell. Neri brushed her fingertips against them, to feel the soft brush of his breath.
    He was warm, so warm she pulled her fingers back in alarm. Hesitantly, she
    touched him again, stroking along his cheekbone, wanting to absorb some of the heat. Never before had she noticed she was cold. Now she longed to set her cheek against his and let the warmth infuse her skin, like a seal sunbathing on a rock.
    Then his eyelids flickered, threatening to open. Neri got a glimpse of earth-brown
    iris, and placed her hand over his eyes. You mustn’t. Mustn’t exert yourself, mustn’t try to get up, mustn’t see . . . Me. But he was fretful, feverish, perhaps? Clearly agitated, and she needed to soothe him. So Neri did the only thing she could think of. She began
    to sing.

  4. Thanks for sharing, Bryn! Looking forward to what happens next.

    Last month I shared James Vega’s thoughts on his commanding officer dancing the tango with her alien boyfriend. Here’s a scene from earlier:

    Kimberly Shepard was tired. Tired of roadblocks. Tired of politicians—four of them!—sacrificing billions to save their pride. Tired of telling people the Reapers are coming. Tired of explaining to people the Reapers are here. Tired of being a science project. Tired of being a prisoner. Tired of lecherous men giving her pet names. Tired of being alone.

    EDI and Joker were great, sure, and Joker’s hell-yes-you’re-alive hug, while welcome, was so exuberant she’d worried he’d break a rib—hers, not his. She smiled at the memory, replayed it in her mind as she changed into a C-Sec tee and cotton pajama pants, combed out her hair.

    And faced the empty bed.

    Queen sized.

    The bedside table on the right was empty, too. No blue targeting visor. No three-fingered gloves. No not-so-secret notes on human courtship rituals.

    The last time she’d slept in this room, Garrus had kissed her, promised to be waiting for her after her court martial. She’d been denied extranet messages for the past six months, so she didn’t know if he’d tried and the messages had been wiped by Alliance brass, or if he’d just been waiting until he knew she was free.

    Now Palaven was on fire. Citadel intel said he was there. So were the Reapers. In full force.

    Tomorrow, the Normandy’s stealth engines would get them in and out of the moon outpost, Menae, with the Primarch, and the hope he’d be grateful enough to convince the Summit to send fleet support to Earth.

    In and out. Quick shot. With no idea where Garrus was below and if he needed help. A humorless laugh escaped her lungs, echoed off the bare metals of the room. Of course he needed help.

    She shoved the panicked, spiraling thoughts from her mind. Forced her stiff fingers to pull back the comforter. Made herself curl up in the bed.

    She kicked one foot out from under the hot, heavy blankets, wiggled her toes. The sheets were pleasantly cool against her cheek, but they didn’t smell like Garrus. Like the fancy turian moisture soap she’d found for him on the Citadel. It wasn’t flowery or foody—at least not any food scent she’d found on Earth. Did fresh water have a smell after it was purified? Was that it?

    She didn’t get dextro scents. She didn’t care. It was clean and it was Garrus as much as spent thermal clips and firing algorithms. She’d have to ask Cortez to order her some. She didn’t care if it took all her credits to get a single damn bottle. She could live off rations forever. If Garrus wasn’t at her side, she was at least going to have some of his damn soap.

    She tried her favorite position on her right side, but didn’t feel sleepy. Flipped her pillow over when the side against her face got too warm. When that side was no longer cool, she stole Garrus’ unused pillow from the other side of the bed, tucked the unheated fabric in the crook of her neck. She rolled to her back, stared up at the skylight. Billions of specks of light zipped through the black sky as the Normandy raced toward Palaven.

    Space was too damn cold, even for her, without Garrus.

    She was tired. The wrong kind of tired. And alone. If only there was someone …

    “EDI.”

    “Yes, Shepard.” The A.I.’s voice drifted down more gently, more intimately, than it did when Kimberly was on the bridge.

    “I’m lonely.”

    “I am here, Shepard. I will keep watch through the night. It is safe to sleep.”

    Kimberly sighed into her pillow, relaxed her shoulders. There were times EDI seemed more human than humans.

    “Thanks, EDI.”

    Thanks for reading! This excerpt is also on Tumblr. Garrus and Shepard’s Mass Effect 3 romance is in the works. Stayed tuned for updates and a publish date! Read their ME2 romance, Shakarian, on AO3.

    1. DAFan thanks for posting! You don’t need to know anything about Mass Effect 3 (I don’t) to enjoy the hell out of this. I really felt for the character. Loved “Joker’s hell-yes-you’re-alive hug, while welcome, was so exuberant she’d worried he’d break a rib—hers, not his.” by the way.

  5. Hey, that was an intense moment from your WIP!

    Here’s a little scene from my WIP, it’s something I’ve written about two months ago. I haven’t done that much writing in Januari, mostly really busy with school.

    June found Morgan in the library, bent over a huge leather-bound book. ‘Not your usual place,’ she said.

    Morgan looked up at her. She shrugged. ‘Sometimes I feel like reading a bit.’ She nodded at the picture in the book. It was a woman with dark hair, standing on some kind of pedestal, a few birds flew around her head.

    ‘She’s on one of the tapestries.’ June leaned in closer, but Morgan closed the tome. A cloud of dust flew into June’s face.

    ‘True.’

    ‘What’s the story behind that?’

    ‘I never said there was a story.’ Morgan got up from her chair.

    June wasn’t fooled. If her friend was acting like this, there had to be a catch. She asked Morgan to take her to the tapestries. With a deep sigh, she said okay. While making their way there, June wondered what had put Morgan off like that. She wasn’t someone who was easily fazed. The more she thought about it, the more worried she became. They walked down the hall, to somewhere in the Middle Ages.

    ‘King Arthur.’ Morgan nodded at the tapestry of the ruler. ‘One of the few non-magical humans on these dusty things. And behind him-’

    The same woman stepped out from the embroidered forest. She put a hand on the king’s shoulder. ‘-Morgana le Fay.’

    It took a few seconds to dawn on June. ‘She’s your ancestor!’

    ‘Not that loud,’ Morgan said.

    June clasped her hand over her mouth. ‘Sorry.’

    The tapestry depicted how she had healed her half-brother’s wounds. Morgan McKeith sighed. ‘She wasn’t, well, a completely bad person. Supposedly really skilled in the healing arts. I haven’t inherited that.’ She laughed bitterly.

  6. I love your excerpt! It was really intriguing!
    I recently started working on project that I’ve been calling Kingdoms Unseen. There are the first few paragraphs.

    If Princess Orianthe Galatea was being completely honest with herself, she wasn’t all that surprised when the captain of the Evgeni family’s Royal Guard barged into the state meeting and announced that Atlantis had officially declared war against Blaine. She just leaned back in her chair and hid a smile. Grandpa had been swearing for years that the tension between the two island kingdoms was going to build until it climaxed in war. It now appeared that he had been right.
    And from the look on his face, her father was remembering the same thing. “When was it declared?” He asked the captain.
    “Two days ago, Your Majesty,” The captain replied. “Both Atlantis and Blaine are looking for allies.”
    “Of course they are,” King Deniskov Evgeni said with a sigh. He pinched the bridge of his nose with his thumb and finger, looking more annoyed than worried. Orianthe noticed the fear in his eyes, however. “Send word back,” He told his captain. “Tell them we refuse to ally either of them in war.”
    Orianthe’s father, King Gavin Galatea, turned to the captain of their own Royal Guard. “I want you to do the same,” He said to him. “Corinna hasn’t fought in any battles since the Arcanum War; I don’t plan on them fighting a second one.”
    Orianthe covered her snort with a cough and, across the table, King Deniskov’s son Ajax brought his hand to his mouth to muffle his snickering. Nobody knew what happened during the Arcanum War. Hell, nobody knew if it had happened, period.

    1. Hi, Alex! Thanks so much for the comments 🙂 Your project sounds like soo much fun! I love stories that get right into the action, too. And love that last line. Thank you so much for posting!

  7. Poor guy! Sounds like he’s really in a tight spot!

    Another excerpt from Atlantis On the Seas of Fate, book 3 of my Atlantis trilogy:

    Shahin sat in his shop sewing, content for the most part. He paused to examine his work, nodded in satisfaction, then resumed. Business crawled slower and slower by the day. Lucky for him that he had something to work on in the first place.

    The Atlanteans had finally started to grasp the seriousness of their situation. War had at first skyrocketed their economy. But now the weeds of their thoughtless extravagance emerged from the darkness. Soon, he might have to close his business indefinitely.

    Bad as that prospect was, he nevertheless preferred it to his old life. His mission to India with Ptah had demonstrated once and for all that he never wanted to live that way again. He was tired of war, tired of violence. He had spent the best years of his life in the name of a cause, and for what? No more missions, he’d told Werta. And he meant it.

    Looks out the window above the city at the Atlas Mountains, just visible through the mist hanging around them. Atlanteans told a story to their children about a dragon who’d been imprisoned within the caverns beneath their snow-capped peaks, thousands of years ago. Most believed the tale a myth. Knowing what he did about dragons, Shahin kept more than an open mind to the possibility.

    The door chime sounded. “Ah, Miss Irune. Here for your dress. If you’ll wait but a moment, I’m nearly finished.”

    The girl smiled, her sapphire eyes shining with adoration. “Take your time, Mr. Shahin. I’m in no hurry today.” She never was.

    She turned to examine a shimmering bolt of fabric, and he quietly exhaled. He knew she bought from him in a feeble attempt to help keep him in business. The girl was in love with him, any fool could see that. He had to walk a fine line, trying to maintain friendly courtesy to a customer without giving her any false hopes.

    “I’m happy you’re back,” she said. “Did you have a nice trip?”

    Shahin already had a prepared response to such questions. “It was a welcome change of pace. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch anything.”

    “You didn’t really go fishing, did you?” She brushed a strand of her lovely auburn hair behind an ear.

    He looked up, certain his expression gave away nothing. “Why would you think that?” he asked with a casual air.

    “I hear people talk. They say you’re a spy, and not to be trusted. You know that, of course.” She smiled again. “I don’t believe them.”

    Shahin kept his eyes on his last stitches. “War tends to frighten people,” he agreed. “But you must remember that not all gossip is false.”

    She said nothing.

    He looked up to find her eyes searching his own for answers. He offered a smirk to break the tension. “Really, my dear. It was only a fishing trip.”

    To his relief, she laughed. “Oh, Mr. Shahin, you are a tease!”

    “I try,” he returned, thankful that she’d ceased the interrogation.

    “I’m going on a trip myself, you know.”

    He proceeded to fold and wrap her dress in his most colorful paper in stock. She was his only customer anyway. He couldn’t give her what she truly wanted; why not give her the best of what he could? He lowered his voice. “Is it a secret mission?”

    She giggled again, pressing her hand to her chest. “Oh my, no! I’m going with my family to Chichen Itza. You know, Admiral Itza’s home city?”

    He dipped his chin. “A wondrous metropolis, I’m told. I’ve never been myself. You must tell me what it’s like when you return.”

    “I’ll draw some pictures for you!” She batted her long lashes, paid for the order, and promised more orders when she returned. “Goodbye, Mr. Shahin.”

    “Have a pleasant trip, Miss Irune.”

    A sweet girl, he thought, watching her amble down the street through the window. She deserves better than to throw herself away on me.

    Here in Atlantis, there was hope for a peaceful remainder of his life, even a home. But a wife and family? Out of the question. Even he wasn’t that selfish. A man with his kind of past couldn’t ensure the safety of intimate connections. One never knew when they might be used as tools for vengeance. He would not do that to innocent Irune.

    He refused to entertain thoughts of possibilities with that lovely red-haired girl. Instead, he turned his attention to the recent news.

    The situation of Ker-Ys posed quite the mystery. Given his connection to Atlantis’ enemies, Shahin naturally held his own theory on why the city was spared. Nothing concrete, however, and he decided against sharing it with anyone. He required more information first. But rather than go out and find it himself, as he’d done in the past, he intended to work with whatever came his way. Any more effort would thrust him directly into the conflict.

    He glanced around the shop, rubbing his hands together as he searched for work to do. But he already knew there was none. His hands fell to his sides. “Maybe fishing isn’t such a bad idea?”

    1. Jennifer! So glad you posted this. I really like your main character! Loved these things especially:

      “But now the weeds of their thoughtless extravagance emerged from the darkness.”

      “He couldn’t give her what she truly wanted; why not give her the best of what he could?”

      Wow, Chichen Itza. This is interesting.

  8. I’m not into fantasy but I do like your prose, Brynn. I’m more for historical fiction (or, as my cousin termed it, hysterical fiction). Here is a small snippet from my W.I.P. named ‘Searching for Mercedes’.

    In 1748, Belfast had a population on the verge of 10,000 residents. There was a goodly number of migrants from rural areas of Ulster and beyond, a large contingent of Scottish descendants, even Scots themselves, and a smattering of northern county English. Approaching 1750, the town was becoming more prosperous with each passing year. It contained all that was required for Belfast to be recognised as a small yet fairly important regional centre. A lively port, custom houses and warehousing were well established and gave benefit to the market areas and Brown Linen Hall, ensuring high monetary returns for the various merchants, one of whom was Wendell Harper.
    Wendell Harper’s girth had expanded over the years since the birth of his second daughter. From that time onwards, during which his wealth grew substantially, his businesses involved less hands on labour when he could afford to hire it. He dealt mainly in the purchase, resale and export of linen, the minor trade of cotton selling and coal while the seams lasted in East Tyrone (after the completion of cutting the Newry Canal all the way south to Carlingford Lough).
    He had built a grand house on a few acres of land near the Blackstaff River. Both daughters had indeed come into the world in the main bedroom of the Ormeau home.
    In that she was born to one of the most successful Belfast merchants, Myrna, his second child, counted herself as most fortunate, and had been raised with that belief by loving, responsible parents. At five feet and eight inches, twenty year old Myrna Harper was unusually tall for an 18th century woman. When not gathered in a bun or bundled up with a coloured ribbon, her raven-coloured hair fell to the middle of her back.
    Although her father was a true, pale-skinned Celtic Scot, his wife was the daughter of Manuelito and Ivana Ortega. Manuelito had fled Estremadura in the Summer of 1683 during another purge of those not strictly aligned to Catholicism. The two made a long and dangerous journey north-west across the countryside and found their way through the Pyrenees into Western France. They travelled north to Cherbourg where a distant cousin of French-born Ivana’s resided on the northern coast facing across the Channel to England. He sheltered them for a month before they made the short crossing to England. The couple had already decided to put as much distance between themselves and the western plains of Extremadura. They kept travelling north and finally, convinced that no inquisition agents would ever find them, settled in frigid Dundee. It was 1686 and they had been moving in all weathers for 30 months. The Ortega’s had enough capital left to purchase a small cottage and workshop at the edge of town and Manuelito returned to his trade as a blacksmith, earning enough to feed and clothe his family. Ivana presented him with two daughters in 1691 and 1693, Alynia and Mercedes.
    In 1706, Wendell Harper became one of Manuelito’s regular customers. The Celt owned a string of working and hunting horses and a small, inherited property north of the town. The first time he laid eyes upon the adolescent Alynia, while she was on holiday from a convent school in Edinburgh, he was totally enchanted. He kept a distance from her and waited four long years before asking Manuelito if he might perambulate with the 19 year old woman. The Spaniard, well aware that Wendell was a decent, honest and hard working young man of moderate means, consented. Ivana accompanied the couple on their walk and carriage ride, the first of many. There followed a two year engagement and, on her coming of age, the young couple married. It was a mixed marriage; a Scottish Presbyterian to a Catholic. Fortune dictated that it was of little consequence because none of the parties, including the Spanish in-laws was religiously minded.
    Wendell, an only child, was a restless youth and that agitation followed him into manhood. He bore a strong belief that the possibility of wealth awaited him beyond the Scottish border. He heard through a friend that great opportunities were becoming available in Ireland’s north for those with a little money and a desire to succeed. Wendell and Alynia deliberated on the life-changing move and, after discussions with both sets of parents, decided to sell their home, land and animals. It was in the Spring of 1714 when they crossed the wild Irish Sea to Belfast. Accompanying them, with hopes of a better life than that which Dundee offered, was Alynia’s younger sister.
    The young woman, Mercedes, was a troubled soul and caused Wendell no amount of anxiety. When it was decided that she should return to her family in Dundee, Mercedes disappeared and was not heard of again. Such disappearance caused a severe rift between Manuelito and Wendell. The Spaniard reminded his son-in-law of the oath made to keep Mercedes safe and Wendell claimed he had tried his very best but the girl had the devil in her soul. They did not speak again because Manuelito died a few months later. As a postscript, Ivana received a letter from her younger daughter, passing at that time through the town of Omagh, Tyrone, which told her the girl was in fine health and travelling around Ireland with a truly upstanding family. Mercedes wrote that she would return home in the fullness of time but she hadn’t done so by the time Ivana passed five years later. Alynia received £50/00/00 when the Dundee house and smithy premises were sold. Half of the sum was locked away in a bedroom cupboard in Alynia’s fervent hope that Mercedes would return, if not to Dundee then to the Ormeau house.

    1. Hi Lawrence! Thanks so much for the compliment. “Hysterical fiction,” haha. This has a real historical voice and you can tell that you’ve done your research, which I always appreciate in historical fiction. When I read historical fiction, I like to learn things, which I certainly did here. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Here’s a snipit from chapter 2 of my manuscript for Batter Days, my first novel.

    Ally sat there completely frozen. Of all the things she had imagined he would say, that was not one of them.
    “W-what?” she stammered, unable to come up with anything more to say.
    Instead of calmly explaining where he was coming from, Kyle sighed. “Let’s be honest, Ally. This isn’t really working anymore. I think we would both be a lot happier if we just cut our losses and moved forward on our own.”
    She blinked unmoving as she tried to process what he was saying. How could this be possible? Ally couldn’t understand how she could have possibly misread the situation so entierly. Her mind went back to the voice she’d heard on the phone the night before.
    “Is there someone else?” she asked, terrified of the answer.
    Kyle didn’t answer her right away. In fact, he didn’t even look at her.
    “Kyle?”
    “No,” he said, finally looking at her. “There’s not someone else.”
    This only confused Ally more.
    “Then,” she began, “what is it?”
    There was another long pause while Kyle took a deep breath and looked down at his now folded hands that were resting on the table. The air grew thick around them while Ally waited for his answer. With each passing second, she could feel herself slowly losing control of her thinly veiled emotions.
    “We,” Kyle began, “we just don’t work anymore. We want different things. We just… we just don’t fit.”
    Ally didn’t have an answer for that.. She just sat there in silence and watched as he stood from his chair and threw some money on the table to pay for his meal before grabbing his things and walking to the door, leaving Ally completely alone.

  10. Snippet from chapter 1 of Book 3 of a trilogy. Not technically supposed to be working on it until April but it’s been in my head so I couldn’t resist. So, sorry in advance for much confusion but it’s all I’ve for so far.
    —-
    Light spilled along her eyelids and Cody groaned against it. Lightning bubbled under her skin, striking along her nerves, gathering at her fingertips. Branches and leaves cracked under her as she shifted, her palms crushed them, grabbed them, held tight. Voices echoed along her consciousness, distant, familiar. She opened her eyes, blinking, disoriented as towering trees came into view. A hazy yellow light, accentuated by fog, rolled around her and extended as far as she could see. In the distance, a scream.
    Cody sat up. Her vision swam and, for an instant, she saw tombstones, a familiar face. Trees swam back into view and then solidified completely. A breeze blew by, The trees didn’t sway and Cody felt the lightning streak up her spine and curl around her throat. She coughed gently and stood, swaying gently. Her left knee gave and she caught herself on the trunk of a tree, the bark grating along her skin. When she pulled back, blood covered her palm.

    1. Ivy! Man, I love it when a story won’t leave me alone, don’t you? 🙂 This is so surreal and I love the original language. I’m so excited you’re writing a trilogy! I want to see more!

      1. I do love it unless I’m supposed to be working on something else! xD
        Thank-you, I’m glad you enjoyed it, I actually finished the whole dang chapter. 0_0
        The first two books are actually up on Wattpad for the time being.

  11. Really enjoy your posts! Here’s the beginning paragraphs of my WIP:

    The October air, cool, and crisp stung Rachel’s nostrils. She barely noticed the rich, jewel tones of the large oak trees lining the pitted gravel and dirt road. Sweet scents of fresh hay cuttings permeated from nearby farms. An afternoon sun briefly added warmth while descending to a distant horizon. Rachel shivered, thinking of the coming bitter cold and the end of another year. Montana winters could be, and often were, brutal. She drew her jacket closer. The walk alllowed her thoughts to drift to the events of one week ago.

    The culprit, Charles Dogood, was a handsome, tall man with playful brown eyes. He was also a complete idiot-a nit-who didn’t deserve the time of day, let alone a woman like her sister, Sarah. A small dust devil kicked up particles of dirt and dried brush causing Rachel;s eyes to tear-up. She dabbed her eyes with a tissue, blew her nose and jammed her hands back into her pockets.

    This is terrible. All the gifts have to be returned. How could he walk away like that? And of all the times to tell her, two hours before the ceremony!

    She kicked a small rock and looked toward the sky.

    Are all men part of a sub-species? Or just the ones I know?

  12. I’ve never shared before, but here I go. From “My Man Jack”, a short story being published in an anthology this summer. I am still fine-tuning it, so all comments are welcome. This occurs mid-scene:

    Linda went out and stood by the bike. The keys were in it. Something must have distracted him. Jack would never leave the keys in his bike like that.
    A chill went through her. The wind had picked up, and she flicked her hair out of her face. It was so quiet she could hear the birds’ serenade.
    Her boots crunched on the gravel as she went to the corner of the store and peered around it.
    Her heart tightened and she screamed, “Jack!”
    He lay on his side, in a fetal position, facing the building. Black blood pooled around him. His arms wrapped around his stomach.
    Linda dissolved into tears and fell to her knees. He moaned and opened his eyes.
    “Linda?” His eyes closed.
    She dug her phone out of her coat pocket with a shaky hand and dialed 911.
    “Stay with me, Jack. Don’t you dare leave me! Shit! Shit!” Tears streaked her face.
    She told the 911 dispatcher what little she knew – their location, the blood. She looked around wildly for help, but there was no one. And she couldn’t leave Jack…wouldn’t.
    She put his head on her knees. “Jack. Help’s coming. Stay awake. Jack! Stay awake!” She slapped his cheek.
    “I’m not gonna make it, Babe.” His hand went to her face. He brushed his thumb across her lips. “I’m sorry.”
    He coughed and his blood splattered her face and neck.
    “Who did this? Jack, talk to me! Stay awake!”
    Linda wiped her eyes, bent, and put her lips to Jack’s. She moved her mouth to his ear “You have nothing to be sorry for. You’re a good man. You’re a good man. You’re my man, Jack.”
    “Linda.” His breath came in short spurts. “I’m scared for you.”
    She wept over him, clutching at his jacket, face, anything to hold on to.
    His’s hair was matted to his forehead. He squeezed his eyes shut and drew his legs into his chest.
    “Help!” Linda collapsed onto Jack. “Somebody…”
    Jack moaned once more and it was over.

  13. Oh dear. He’s certainly in a pickle. Definitely want to know what happens next.

    Here’s my wip, only a short piece this time…
    ~*~
    For the first two months of her working the help line, Maria and I do not get to socialise with Sarah. Surprisingly, it is Maria who mentions it to me. With the young woman’s details now on file, I encourage Maria to call her.

    “Hi, Honey, it’s Maria. How are you?”

    “Hi, Maria, I’m good. How are you and Tony?”

    Standing beside my wife, I can hear the conversation without us sharing the phone. One of the good things about being a therian.

    “We’re good, Honey. Was just wondering if you had plans for Sunday?”

    “No, I don’t. Why?” Her voice comes through shy and hesitant.

    “How would you like to go to one of the cafes in the Manly/Wynnum area?”

    “Sounds good. Which one and what time?” Sarah responds after a slight pause.

    After settling the details and ending the call, we look at each other.

    “You like her, too, don’t you?”

    “I do but I don’t know if she would go for it. The death of her husband is still fresh for her.” Maria responds softly.

    “I know. So, I guess we judge the situation one get-together at a time, my love.”

    1. Thanks for posting, KC, and I’m sorry I’m so late in replying! The last few days, I’ve hardly sat down. 🙂 I always love seeing this story of yours and I’m really curious about how this relationship is going to develop.

  14. Here is the first page of a story I’m working on.

    “It was right here.” Mrs. Susan Rehagen sobbed. “Do you see where it was at?” She pointed. “I just got it repainted so it would be fresh and new for next summer. Now it’s gone.”
    “Yes Mrs. Rehagen I see where it was at.” George Smartly said.
    She waved her hands in the air. “I came out for the newspaper and it was gone, stolen. See the bare spot. Now my lawn is not in perfect shape.”
    What George could see was that she hadn’t changed her clothes. He remembered his kindergarten teacher as well dressed. At least this meant she hadn’t change a thing and he didn’t mean her clothes. She was still in her blue bathrobe with embroidered red double cherries with green leaves. The pink fuzzy slippers protected her feet from the cold chill in the air. Her died reddish brown hair was still in the pink foam curlers. It was a shock to him not to see her in perfect shape. He had to put all his efforts into not staring at her with his mouth open.
    “Do something. Don’t just stand there looking at the ground. It’s not going to magically reappear.” She pulled the robe tighter around her. “I don’t know why I called you George Smartly. You are only ten. What can you do that the police can’t do? I should’ve let the police handled it.” Tears welled up in her eyes.
    “You called the police before you called me. They don’t do much for this small of a theft. I will get to the bottom of all three crimes.”
    “I’m the fourth victim. What does he want them for?” The tears over flowed and left streaks of yesterday makeup down her wrinkled face. The black of her mascara left lines like stiches in the valleys of her face.
    He patted her on the arm. “It will be ok. I will find the culprit behind this and bring him to justice.” He pulled his little black note book and pencil out of his pocket. “When was the last time you saw it?”
    She put her finger to her lips smearing what was left of her bright red lipstick. “Mmmm. Yes, it was yesterday. I just got it back from the painter. I paid him and had him leave right here.” She pointed at the bare spot. “That was around one in the afternoon.” More tears appeared. “I came out this morning around 8 and it was gone.” The tears fell making the black lines on her cheeks longer.
    He patted her on the arm again. “Who painted it for you?”
    “Patrick Somerville. Everyone knows that.”
    He was sure there were others in town that painted not just Mr. Somerville. “What is the value of the item?”
    “It is priceless. I can’t get another one. Each year they have a different one. I have a whole collection, each different from the next. I love them all but that one was my favorite.”
    George sighed. She was making a mess of her face with the tears. “No, how much did you pay for it?”
    “Let me see. I’ve had it for about fifteen of years, maybe ten dollars. I bought it at the five and dime.” She wiped the moisture from her face with her finger smudging black under her eyes.
    “The five and dime?”
    “Oh yes you are too young to remember the five and dime.” She ruffled his hair. “It called Carville Dollar store on twitchy street.
    “I know the place. My mom liked that store.”
    “Yes bless her soul. You look like her with your blue eyes and curly brown hair.”

    1. Hi, Marjorie! This cracked me up:

      “Yes Mrs. Rehagen I see where it was at.” George Smartly said.

      And I love how it’s weird for the kid to see this teacher when she’s not all put together — very realistic. Thanks so much for sharing — I hope we see more of it!

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