joannebest











{November 30, 2015}   Delilah’s Fiction Relay Part 9

fiction-relay
Finally my Lovelies! Delilah’s Fiction Relay Part 9! That pesky little thing called Real Life came knocking hard, so please forgive my tardiness. We’re still in the beginnings of this Fiction Relay, so if you haven’t been following along, well, shame on you first of all, but please feel free to go here, the Home page, where you can see what it’s all about, who’s playing along, and links to all the chapters. You can also go here to the Summary Page to catch up a bit on each chapter. We’re still early in the game, so settle down, pour yourself something tasty, sit back and enjoy the journey with us. We have no more an idea where this is headed than you do, so lets all find out together!
And away we go…..
~
Joey wiped down the pristine bar for the fourth time, although it was already so shiny he could see his own reflection.
A rather nice reflection it was, if he did say so himself.
It was a nervous habit he had when he felt like he had no control over anything. Mindless cleaning by rote kept him occupied. His brain whirled as he tried to piece together the puzzle that was now taking up a good portion of his life, courtesy of Rosalie.
Sure, he loved her like the sister he never had but she’d gotten herself into a mess and as usual, he gladly attempted to put together the pieces for her.
There was nothing Joey wouldn’t do for Rosie, after all, she’d saved his life when he needed saving the most and he knew he could never repay that debt, even though she shrugged it off.
That was his Rosalie, strong, courageous, beautiful, and always there to bail out her friends whether they asked or not.
But she prided herself on taking care of her own problems and did her best to keep everything hidden behind a forced smile. Rosalie found out the hard way that relying on other people usually ended up in disappointment and heartache.
Never again would Rosalie trust anyone aside from Joey. She’d been hurt too many times.
Well, it was time to turn the tables on Rosie, she needed help and this one was too big for Joey to handle himself. He needed assistance, so without letting Rosalie know, he called the only person he knew capable of taking care of things, legal or not.
There was only one not-so-little problem and it was a doozy.
If Rosie found out he was working with Charlie behind her back, trouble was sure to follow.
Rosie was on her way to see Joey now. They’d been searching for her “sister” for over two years now to no avail, but Joey had just gotten some information that could either find her or lead to yet another dead end. Every time they seemed to get closer to the truth, another obstacle was thrown in their path. They weren’t even sure if they were following the right path, the last three women who were supposedly the sister Rosalie was looking for turned out to be false leads. Even if this girl turned out to be the one they were looking for, there was no solid proof she even knew anything about the gem, or if she’d admit anything she might know.
Rosalie had never met her, it was only through her deceased Mother’s journals that Rosie became aware of the possibility of a sibling. The more she read the more she became suspicious there was some sort of mysterious cover-up. Her Father was no help, he was too busy increasing his fortune to acknowledge his daughter. Or was that daughters?
~
Charlie was the source of the latest update and there was no way Rosalie could find out. She’d be furious that Joey confided in someone else but if she discovered that someone else was her neighbor Charlie, all hell would break loose.
Rosalie seemed to have taken an instant dislike to Charlie. In Joey’s world, and knowing Rosalie as well as he did, instant dislike translated to an attraction to Charlie.Rosalie would never admit it but Joey knew her better than she knew herself and she was unwittingly showing all her tells. That in itself was out of character for Rosie.
If Joey wasn’t careful this whole undercover shit could blow up in a colossal way.
~
Charlie had to admit, he was having a good time messing with his cute neighbor. He hadn’t missed the flustered look on her face when she saw him dressed closer to his real self rather than the old ratty robe he wore as part of the character he was playing.
A man had to make a living, and even though Charlie had a hefty bank account between his inheritance and his tendency to live frugally, he socked away most of the money he made on the occasional jobs he took on.
He got bored easily and working undercover was unpredictable. Anything could happen and usually did but Charlie was always prepared for anything that might come his way. While he tried to stay away from guns, he was an expert when it came to Martial Arts and like a true Martial Artist, he kept that fact close to the vest. No need to advertise his skills, no need to let anyone know he could kill a man with one move using the right pressure point.
Better to try and keep a low profile, carry himself around with a scruffy beard and worn clothing. People like that tended to blend into the crowds becoming nearly invisible which was a big plus in his line of work.
He knew Rosalie trusted him about as far as she could throw him and he took a perverse pleasure in encouraging her opinion of him.
Easier to get the job done if he kept his distance from her, but when he thought of those eyes of hers, and that pert little figure she tried to hide, he couldn’t help but play with fire.
Joey told him in no uncertain terms that Rosalie was off limits as far as the romance department was concerned.
Looking down at the scruffy little tabby that had followed Charlie home a few weeks back, he scooped him up and laughed as Ripper purred loudly as he brushed along Charlie’s face, claiming ownership.
“Well Ripper old boy,” Charlie said as he stroked the cat affectionately, “Joey may have put romance off limits but he never said anything about some mutually agreed upon sex.”
Charlie grinned as Ripper meowed in agreement.
He’d seen a lot in his line of work and Charlie was sure there was a lot more to Rosalie than met the eye.
~

Over to sylvialoves for the next chapter!

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cryin4
“Lost and useless much?”
I can’t win with her. She’s here, she’s gone. She’s back, she disappears again.
“Sound familiar chica?”
Perched on my desk, she looks down at me, all nonchalant and judge-y at the same time.
“Don’t you have someone else to bother?” I mutter.
I try, I really do try, yet my Muse refuses to leave me alone which is kinda contradictory when you think about it.
I mean, she’s supposed to muse me, help me stir up my brain, give me something to write about, but no, she’d rather hang around my personal space and annoy me. Without inspiring me.
She gets more amusement out of me than I get inspiration out of her.
“Hey little missy! I’m not supposed to do anything.” She hops off my desk and starts pacing.
Shit.
I hate when she starts pacing.
“It’s not like there’s some big payoff for me chica,” she crouches in front of me and grabs me by the chin, forcing me to look at her. “You’re more like a punishment if you ask me.”
“I didn’t ask you,” I snap.
Her kaleidoscope eyes hold my big baby blues so intently I can practically see wheels turning in her head. Not good.
“Hmm, punishment….”. Her eyes glimmer and shine with something resembling excitement.
Aww hell, here we go again. I can’t help it, I pull away from her and bang my head on my keyboard. On purpose.
Her right hand flies out to grab my hair, yanking my head back.
“Youch! Knock it off, I’m not in the mood for your shit!” I attempt to escape her grip but she won’t let go.
She opens her perfect red stained mouth, her eyes flash the same shade of red and I prepare myself for the verbal onslaught to come but it doesn’t.
Instead she closes her mouth and her eyes transform into a calm waveless ocean.
She continues to stare, not saying a word.
It’s an old fashioned staring contest going on for what seems like hours. Maybe it is hours, I don’t know anything anymore but I stare back anyway.
I swear there are tiny little gears turning inside her pupils and that scares me more than her red-eyed look.
Then, the strangest thing happened.
She switched gears, pardon the pun, in a big way because, for the first time in ever, she, She, my Malevolent Muse and Mistress of my Fate showed me something I never ever imagined I’d see; a tear, a real live salty tear slipped from the corner of her eye.
I was so shocked by her display of any emotion other than anger or sarcasm which probably doesn’t fall in the emotion category anyway but still, what the hell?
Why is my Muse kinda crying?
What did I do now? Because everything is my fault it had to be something I did or didn’t do, yet still I remained stoic.
Unfeeling.
Uncaring.
Indifferent.
And yes, my default mode, frozen.
Another tear followed and if I’m going to be truthful with myself, my stoicism was beginning to crumble.
I try and hide it but when it comes down to it, I’m a crybaby. And I have a lot to cry about these days, yet I refuse to let myself fall apart. Maybe I’m afraid I’d pull a Humpty Dumpty and never be able to put myself back together again. Maybe I’m afraid if I start to cry I’ll never be able to stop.
“Chica,” she whispered her pet name for me, soft, gentle, dare I say caring?
She stopped yanking my hair and instead a soft bristle brush appeared in her hand as she gently brushed my hair, slow, soothing, a reminder of my Mom doing the same when I was a little girl.
She began to hum softly, a few words slipped out and I realized she was singing a song my Mom used to sing to me. I closed my eyes, my mind taking me back in time and it was Mom’s voice I heard, “when I was just a little girl, I asked my Mother, what would I be”.
I took a deep breath and realized I couldn’t remember the last time I let myself just breathe. I was so used to chaos in my life that, even though the other shoe had already dropped, even though my life had turned inside out, I didn’t trust, well, anything anymore.
My Muse? She came and went, in and out of my life, she delighted in torturing me, she had the same ridiculous sense of humor I had and she was convinced there was some world-saving that needed to be done and for some reason, she insisted I had a role to play in the upcoming Apocalypse.
But this was a different Muse, another facet to her many personalities I’d never seen and certainly never thought she was capable of, compassion looked good on her.
I, on the other hand, looked like hell. I was the portrait of Dorian Gray in reverse as I spent my days in my Dad’s old sweatshirt and my Mom’s old sweatpants, as if wearing their clothes would somehow bring them back to life.
As she continued to stroke my hair, “Que Sera,Sera” lyrics filled the air. I mean literally, each word she sang formed in the air, swirling around my head, wrapping around my body like an Angel’s hug, bringing me a comfort I hadn’t felt since my life fell apart when my Mom died.
I tried to keep it together but my eyes welled up, I blinked furiously, trying to keep my tears from flowing but I failed.
Like a waterfall, tear after tear fell, fast, furious, and then, without my permission, I began to sob uncontrollably.
Her arms pulled me into a hug, the kind of hug my Mom used to give me.
I broke down completely.
The world I carried on my shoulders for so very long was finally too much for me to handle, the fact that my Muse, of all people, was holding me, encouraging me to let go, to stop trying to be strong and let her carry me for awhile was something I filed away in my mind to be pulled out another time but for now? I let myself feel.
I let myself unfreeze and feel emotions I’d locked up tight and she let me.
It wouldn’t last, this I knew without a doubt, but for now, as I sobbed my broken heart out, as I soaked her clothes with my long hidden tears, for the first time in longer than I could remember, I accepted comfort. An unusual feeling for me, but it felt right, and while I knew reality would set in, things would get back to what passed for normal and the World Saving gig would rear it’s ugly head again soon, I treasured this time.
She, who delighted in driving me crazy, seemed to be the only one to get through to me, to let me be weak at a time I needed to be weak.
“Don’t get used to it Chica,” she said softly as she continued to stroke my hair. “I may have frozen time for you, but I can’t stop time forever.”
She gently held my face, forcing me to meet her gaze. “Let it out my sweet Chica, let it all go. We have a lot to do and while I admit your sadness is so loud it pierces my ears, you need to let it out because you are too full of sadness to let anything else in.”
“Cry little one, cry for everything you haven’t let yourself cry for, I need you strong for the upcoming battle.” She leaned in and kissed my forehead.
“The time grows nearer Chica, you can do this with my help, together we can win, but I need you strong. And you will be little one, this I promise you.”
My sobs grew quieter, my tears slowed a bit as a calmness began to settle over me.
My Muse continued to stroke my hair and softly sing, ” what will be, will be”.
And for once, without any inner argument, I believed her.
cryin3



{September 5, 2015}   Lowering Liquid

jack3

the level lowers quickly,
that dark liquid magnifier,
a bottle lessens to a drop and another cracks open,
see, it’s the weekend you know, and everything must go
according to a fantasy schedule, unshared and unbelievable,
easier to play along till your bones are suddenly screaming from an unintended stumble,
collision unexpected and yes, balance no longer works,
soft reasonable patient words unheard,
slurry mumbled snark, the kind where they’re only kidding and
don’tcha have a sense of humor,
your sanity questions you to shake things up
and a bump grows on your eyebrow, stabby painful and nothing new
lather rinse repeat because it never goes away.
they fight for control but Jack always wins these days,
an occasional visitor who tends to overstay his welcome,
I think he sucks,
but when it’s over no one remembers the demon, just the angel,
all a figment of my imagination

jack



{April 28, 2015}   Beginnings ~ Persephone My Way

perseph6

The minute I heard the ground begin to open up beneath me I should have bolted.
Turned tail and run like the devil was nipping at my heels, which wasn’t far from the truth.
Because I was so set on proving I was perfectly capable of being on my own I let myself get carried away by the King of Hell Himself.
Because I was young and stubborn and wanted to piss off my Mother I got myself kidnapped.
Ok, so maybe I am being a little hard on myself but do I deserve anything better?
I knew I was playing with fire, I knew Hades had his eye on me. I knew I should have listened to my Mother but I was getting tired of being sweet and innocent little Sephie. Tired of the same old thing day in and day out and never really having much fun.
I was bored with my life, bored with myself. Bored with the day to day sameness my life had become.
I wanted something different, something to shake up the norm.
I wanted an adventure.
Be careful what you wish for isn’t just a cliché because I found out the hard way it’s damn well going to come back and bite you on the ass.
Sure, it was exciting in the beginning. Isn’t it every girl’s dream to be swept off her feet in the name of love, consequences be damned?
It never occurred to me I did nothing more than exchange one prison for another.
~
I admit it, I’ve been a brat lately.
Hades isn’t too thrilled with me and neither is my Mother these days but somehow, I can’t seem to muster up the energy to care.
A lie of course, I was born to care and the real problem is I care too much about everything and everyone.
Except myself.
I’ve spent so much time trying to make everyone around me happy and content that somewhere along the line, I’ve neglected my own needs.
And now I’m miserable.
I’m driving everyone, including myself, crazy.
~
Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not whining, I get it, I understand the position I’m in is completely my fault.
I knew better than to fall for Hade’s manipulating ways. He’s a charmer when he wants something and he decided he wanted me.
I just wanted something, anything, to break up the monotony of my life and it didn’t take much for Hades to tempt me away from the light, “just for a little getaway” he told me. He even agreed to my little caveat, he’d cover for me and we’d go with the kidnapping story if I agreed to spend some time with him.
I figured I could finagle my way out of anything until I realized Hades seemed to be sincere when it came to his feelings for me.
He didn’t want to let me leave.
He was insistent I stay with him.
No amount of tears or temper tantrums moved him. He decided to back out of our agreement and play by the book. It wasn’t that I ate while I was there, it was what I ate.
Stupid pomegranate seeds became my downfall.
A deal is a deal as long as it was in his favor.
So even though I was dragged literally kicking and screaming to the altar, there was no way out.
I was married to Hades.
After a knockdown drag-out fight, also known as my Mother punching Hades repeatedly in the face until he agreed to let me spend a few months a year above ground with my family and friends, he and I settled into a somewhat comfortable rhythm. But lately, we were out of sync.
Something was going on with him and I couldn’t figure out what he was up to.
His mood swings were worse than mine and he had a temper like no other. Oh he was good at hiding it when he wanted but he had a few tells that let me know when trouble was headed my way and by the twitching of his eye I knew this false sense of security he had lulled me into was slowly turning. Problem was, I wasn’t sure which direction we were headed.
Hades can be sweet as honey, but he can also be a downright mean son of a bitch with a sadistic streak I almost admired for it’s sheer audacity.
Except when he aimed it in my direction.
He’s been treating me with kid gloves lately, yet that constant twitch near his left eye told me he was up to something.
I knew him better than anyone, his patterns were predictable and though I hate to admit it, so were mine.
He’d accuse me of something I didn’t do, I’d defend myself, he’d keep his stone cold icy glare on me while remaining silent until I couldn’t take it anymore and before I knew it I was crying my eyeballs out begging for forgiveness, then thanking him for it knowing all the while I’d done nothing wrong.
All signs were pointing in the usual direction, Hades was nearing an explosion aimed at me. I think it made him feel all manly to see me cry and beg for forgiveness.
I’m as good at hiding my emotions as he is, although he hasn’t picked up on it yet.
There’s one other thing he hasn’t noticed, I’m no longer the same Persephone I used to be.

perseph10

AUTHORS NOTE: This is a work in progress I’ve been neglecting, Persephone has been nagging me to pay her some attention and she’s a force to be reckoned with…what else can I do but give in to the muse (not that Muse, but Persephone’s muse) and what better place to start than the beginning? I think…



musee3

She towers over me in all her glory, her breath fetid with a hint of dead flowers.
I feel each exhale slide over my flesh, leaving deep angry gashes seeping rivulets of blood.
I’m frozen in place, my body encased in an icy coating.
I notice as I shiver violently, tiny little cracks begin to weaken the ice, leaving me free to move. She paces back and forth, a stream of profanity falling out of her mouth, relentless.
I inch away slow, steady, quietly, hoping she won’t notice.
Of course it doesn’t work.
“There are rules missy,” she yanks my hair painfully as I crawl toward the front door.
“I don’t follow rules,” I spit the words out, along with several back teeth.
“You don’t need them anyway,” she sneers,”back teeth, not rules. Rules are meant to be broken, just like you.”
She looks me over like I’m dessert. It’s creepy how much she looks like my Muse and I have to keep reminding myself she’s not.
“I-”
“-always wanted that hollow cheekboned look, is that what you were about to say?”
She’s crouched in front of me, head cocked curiously.
“You’ve never been trained have you?” She snaps her fingers and a riding crop appears in her perfect hands.
“I don’t need to be trained, I’m not an animal.”
I push myself up to a kneeling position.
The jeans I was wearing have turned into fishnet stockings complete with garters and black spiked heels.
“Well you’re a miserable excuse for a human chica. I’d go with the pet label if I were you. You’re not so good with order-following but you will be when I get through with you.”
The handle of her riding crop trails along my spine and my body trembles involuntary.
This was usually the part where my Muse comes to my rescue, where the hell is she? I can fake my way out of pretty much any situation, but this one? This Evil Version of my Muse? She seems to know my every move long before I do.
If I wasn’t doubting my sanity before this, I sure as hell was now.
“Come now. Be a good little pet and get back to the parlor said the spider to the fly. We have an Apocalypse to monitor.”
In the blink of an eye I’m shackled to a straight-backed chair, hands behind my back, legs apart and unable to move.
I can speak though, she hasn’t gagged me this time.
“Where is my Muse? And my friends? What have you done with them?”
“Ha! Friends? How cute.”
Sarcasm drips heavy from every word she says.
“Now shut up and watch. Let’s see if you can write your way out of this, missy.” She draws out the last word, snakelike.
Griping my hair by the handful, she holds my head in place to make sure I’m watching the horror unfolding on my television.
The sight on the screen makes me scream loudly.
evil muse

AUTHORS NOTE : This is a snippet from my latest super-somewhat-secret WIP, because it’s Sunday…to be continued…



{March 28, 2015}   Abduction ~ Muse Adventures

chairr

“Tie her hands tighter, she’s a sneaky one, she is. Thinks she can get out of anything. Make sure she can’t get away.”
“Hey! Wait a minute,” I said indignantly. “What the fuck is go-mmmmmmowww!!!”
“Gag her; the only time she shuts up is when she has something in her mouth.”
I thought the voices sounded vaguely familiar but couldn’t quite figure out who was talking. Whoever they were, they’d blindfolded me. They must be pro’s.

One minute I was sleeping the sleep of the depressed and exhausted, next thing I knew I was tied to a chair, couldn’t see a thing, and somebody had shoved something in my mouth so I couldn’t say a word.
I hate when I can’t say a word.
I also hate the taste of the washcloth somebody shoved in my mouth to shut me up. It tasted like soap.
Another voice spoke up. “Can’t we cut her some slack? She’s had a rough time lately; you know it could just as easily be one of us tied to that chair.”

I heard a deep male growl followed by yet another voice, this one female, whispering something to the growler about how they had to do this but they didn’t have to be so rough. I assumed she was talking about me.
I had no clue as to what was going on. It couldn’t be kidnapping because nobody I knew had money for ransom and besides, who would want to kidnap me anyway?

Maybe I was dreaming. Except the washcloth in my mouth and the restraints holding me down threw that theory out the window. I couldn’t even ask them what they wanted because whoever shoved the washcloth in my mouth decided duct tape was needed to keep it in place, my tongue was starting to hurt from trying to push it out of my mouth and I was doing my best to squirm my way out of the restraints.

“We’re not trying to hurt you,” another voice this time.
How many people were here?
“We just want to talk to you. And we want you to listen. If you promise to listen to what we have to say nod your head and we’ll take off the blindfold and get rid of that washcloth. But if you don’t let us have our say, it goes right back in, ok?”

Huh? Who were these people and what did they want with me?
Only one way to find out so I nodded my head and true to her word, the calm-voiced female took off my blindfold then took a step back. Maybe she wanted to gauge my reaction before she yanked off the duct tape.

Can’t say I blamed her when my eyes adjusted to the light and I saw I was surrounded by people I both knew and didn’t know. There was a familiarity in each pair of eyes watching my every non-move but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
I knew them, yet didn’t.

I sat still, my eyes taking in each and every one of them staring at me.
They stood around me, arms folded. I could feel the hostility in the air, mixed with disappointment and all of it aimed at me.

“Well? What do you have to say for yourself?”
The woman speaking was so beautiful she was hard to look at. She seemed to glow but it was her eyes that bore into me, kaleidoscope eyes swirling with colors that had me mesmerized.
Dressed from head to toe in tight leather, she held a whip in her right hand, smacking it against the palm of her left hand.
When I didn’t answer she cracked the whip in the air coming dangerously close to my face.

“You do realize she can’t answer you till you take the gag out of her mouth,” said the large green man with the yellow cat-like eyes.
Leather-girl’s eyes flashed red at green man. The look of annoyance on her face rose to a level I’d never seen before.
She was scaring the hell out of me but I tried to keep calm and breathe.
Through my nose.

Green man and leather girl were now involved in a stare-off and if I had to guess, they were arguing silently.
Who were these people and what did they want with me?

As their silent argument continued my eyes took in the rest of the crowd surrounding me.

A tall thin woman with gorgeous red hair and flashing blue eyes stood next to two identical strapping hunks of men. One of them winked at me and flashed a grin revealing fangs. The redheaded beauty jabbed him in his side with her elbow.

There was a young boy, looked to be in his late teens wearing glasses that were obviously the wrong size.
He kept pushing them up the bridge of his nose, but I could barely see his face, his hair was unkempt and covered most of his features.
Standing next to him was another woman, by the looks of her she was young but her eyes made her look like she’d been through too much for any one person to handle.
Something about her stirred something inside me, made me want to comfort her which was kinda weird considering she was part of the kidnapping contingent.

Standing next to them was a tall statuesque woman; her hair flowed down her back in natural curls, an aura of goodness emanated from her and she looked at me with a mixture of kindness and disappointment.
What the hell did I do to her?
She was flanked by a dark dangerous looking man on one side and a dog with three heads on the other.
I wondered if somebody spiked my drink last night and I was hallucinating.

The arguing between leather girl and green man had slowly grown from silent to loud and louder until they were screaming at each other.
“Would you two knock it off?”
A woman I hadn’t noticed pushed her way through the crowd surrounding me and leaned into me. She looked oddly familiar and eerily like me but I couldn’t figure out how I knew her.
“Sorry doll, it’ll only hurt for a second.” With that she yanked the duct tape off my mouth and pulled the soapy washcloth out of my mouth.
“Oww!”
I couldn’t help it, duct tape hurts when it’s yanked off your face.

“See? I knew she couldn’t be trusted to keep her mouth shut! Give me the tape!”
Leather-girl snapped her fingers and held out her hand impatiently.
The other one, the one who looked like me rolled her eyes before she snapped at leather-girl.
“Would you shut up already?”
She turned back to me and missed the sneer on leather-girls face.
It would help if I knew their names.

“It would help if you gave us all names and stopped flat-leaving us. And by the way, I did too see that, eyes, the eyes in back of my head are the same as the eyes on the front of your face.”
My mouth was agape. Huh?

“Look babe, this is it. We’re fed up. You’re the one who created us.”
She stopped and looked around at the small crowd surrounding her. And me.
“Well, most of us.” She shook her head as if to clear her mind, the way I sometimes do.
“Anyway that’s not the point. Point is, you’ve been dilly dallying for way too long and you’re unfocused, which in turn, makes the rest of us unfocused.”
Leather-girl growled along with the, umm, vampire dude as kinda-me shushed them.
She turned back to me, finger lifting my chin till our eyes met. It was like looking in a mirror and seeing disappointment staring back at me. I can only assume my confusion was responsible for my uncharacteristic quietness.
Also, leather-girl was eyeing me up like I was an ice cream sundae.
I couldn’t decide if I loved her or feared her. Maybe both.

“Chica, you really need to get moving.”
Whatever she was about to say came to a full stop.
The jig was up.
Nobody calls me chica except my Muse. I’d slap my own stupid head if my hands weren’t bound.
It was them.
All of them.

My own characters kidnapped me.

compg
to be continued…
mymuse1<



sickgirl8

“But I don’t have enough time to start it, never mind finish it!”
The whine in my voice has my cat looking at me like I’m a lunatic. Or a banshee.
A lunatic banshee.
My Muse, on the other hand, is totally not amused as evidenced by the look on her face.
“And I’m sick! Like, really sick!”
Of course she doesn’t say a word, which is worse than any words she could have thrown at me.
She arches an eyebrow, her red-stained mouth sterner than my fifth grade teacher’s ever was.
I recite a litany of all the reasons I haven’t been writing and they sound lame to even my ears.
She looks bored as I continue to babble.
After a good five minute diatribe justifying my legitimate reasons for not writing she pushes away from the wall she was leaning against and gets in my face.
“I. Don’t. Care.”
I open my mouth to answer her but she stops me with a slender finger to my parted lips.
“Shut it chica,” she knows I hate when she calls me that so I hear it a lot. “You said you were going to write, didn’t you?”
“I did but-”
“No buts,” she looks me over and smirks, like she knows something I don’t.
I’m sure she does.
“You can fuck around all you want missy, but not on my time!”
I know she’s pissed when she curses. I’m the one with the gutter mouth, not her.
She must be extremely pissed.
“Of all the wanna-be’s out there I wind up with you.”
She’s pacing now.
I blow my nose again.
“You’re making this whole Muse gig a drag chica. I’m a fucking Muse and you’re not doing a damn thing about it! I couldn’t get somebody with discipline, no, I have to get Little Miss Helps Alot, always serving somebody else’s master, in a manner of speaking,” she gives me a dirty look when I roll my eyes.
“Nothing is coming to you dipped in chocolate on a silver platter you know,” her voice was rising in volume.
My cat fled the room earlier. Lucky cat.
“I can’t do what I’m supposed to do if you won’t start doing what you’re supposed to do! You can’t fix everyone else’s life when you’re not paying attention to your own!”
Ouch.
She got me with that one. And I was also thinking about chocolate now.
“Enough!”
Frozen in place I know I’m in for something. She has a golden twinkle in her eyes I’ve never seen before but a lot has been going on under the surface, things I would have noticed if I paid more attention. Unfortunately for me, I always seem to find these things out too late. Again, my own fault.
“What did you promise Miss Ana?”
“I didn’t exactly promise, I said I was going to try-”
“Trying is for losers. You don’t “try”, you DO!”
“But I’ve never written anything like that before, what if I get it wrong? She’ll hate me and think I’m a lame loser.”
“How’s that’s any different from your normal bland self?”
She loves to throw my words back in my face. They don’t have to be exact, just in the same ballpark but damn, she hits a homerun every time.
“What part of ‘I have the flu’ don’t you understand?”
My scratchy voice sounds like there’s a clothespin on my nose and it disappears every other syllable or so. My voice, not my nose.
“You’re doing it again.”
Her voice vibrates through my fevered brain. She sounds psychedelic, like some old hippie movie from the ’60’s where pretty girls in see-thru dresses and long flowing hair danced barefoot in circles while contemplating the wonders of the universe during an acid trip.
“I’m sick,” my voice has that whining tone to it and it hurts even my ears.
“Don’t even try it missy.”
My Muse takes no bullshit from me, even when it’s not bullshit. I’ve been legitimately sick for way longer than I care to admit. I tend to hide my weaknesses and push on through whatever it is life throws at me best I can but I can’t fool my Muse.
She sees right through me. Which shouldn’t be that easy considering I’m in flannel pajamas shivering under a pile of thick comforters. I’m surrounded by tissues and bottles of Gatorade, both empty and full. I’m also hacking my lungs sore while my left nostril is racing my right nostril to see which side can run fastest. They’re pretty much tied.
“The only thing I’m ‘trying’ to do is stop being sick so I can get back to normal,” I snap.
She let out one of those deep throaty laughs that always manage to make me feel like I’m in for it.
‘It’ varies, depending on her mood.
“Normal, chica?” She stomps around the room, the click of her heels making me regret my love of hardwood floors. She has to know each time her foot hits the floor the sound vibrates through my head, amplified by 11. “You wouldn’t know normal if it bit you in your cute little ass.”
“There will be no biting of my ass!” I grumble through the pillow I’d yanked over my head.
“For now.” She grabs the pillow off my face and I struggle to get it back but she holds it just out of reach. The light hurts my eyes and I don’t want to see her dressed in my favorite red leather pants. Wasn’t she just wearing a nurse’s uniform? She makes my bedridden-self look ragged and pathetic with my greasy hair piled on top of my head in a stringy mess and my- “Hey! Those are my pants! Who said? Get those pants off!”
She gets that look on her face, one eyebrow arched, blue eyes sparkling and her red lip-sticked mouth pouty and wet.
“Now, sweetie? None of that right now. Aren’t you contagious?”
She reaches down, pressing her forehead to mine the way my Mother did when I was a little girl.
She clicks her tongue, plants her hands on her leather covered hips and releases a pitiful sigh.
“You’re no fun when you’re sick.”
I sneeze loudly. She doesn’t bless me.
She sinks onto the bed next to me looking almost concerned, but I know she’s disappointed in me. In an evil-muse sort of way.
I don’t get it. She’s my Muse with a capital M but she hasn’t been musing me lately. She’s been absent and I’ve been wordless.
“You’re sick chica, and I can’t believe I’m making excuses for you,” she huffs. “Once. Just this once I’ll give you a pass. But don’t get used to it!”
Six sneezes later I realize she’s gone again.
I need her.
Hate to say it but it’s true. I need my Muse and she’s not gonna be back until I start writing again on my own.
She may be my Muse, but neither one of us had to like it.
I sneezed a few more times and slowly fell asleep as it came to me that the only way I could beat her at her own game was to write before she came back, that would show her I don’t need her.
She was nothing but trouble plus she kept stealing my clothes.
I drift off to sleep to the sound of someone going through my walk in closet. I can still feel her hand on my face. Maybe she cares after-all.
~TO BE CONTINUED~
sickgirl



24hour wooden spoon challenge
The gauntlet was thrown down so what else could I do but accept? Anne Ferrer Odom http://www.flashinganne.com/asiberianvacation/ has challenged me to participate in The 24 Hour Wooden Spoon Challenge. The rules? Write a 2k word story in 24 hours including the following parameters:

sports romance
wooden spoon
cooler of Gatorade

Please be gentle, I’m a newbie 😉 so with no further ado, here ya go!

“It was a dark and snowy night, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse, blah-blah crap.”
I deliberately mashed-up whatever words popped into my head as I wiped down the bar for the final time. I was thinking of closing early tonight.
It was another bust, a waste of time and money opening the bar during a snowstorm when the house band cancelled. Hell, even the hardcore regulars didn’t want to come out in this weather. I didn’t blame them but somehow, I was sure of it, James would blame me.
His bar, his rules, and he asked me to keep an eye on it while he was out of town.
“Just a day or two,” I grumbled to myself. “Liam in trouble and James runs. Every. Damn. Time.”
All he wanted me to do was make sure the bar opened and closed on time. Nothing more, nothing less.
Yet here I was pouting like a kid, alone in a cold, empty bar washing down already clean bar-tops. Even the bartenders and the cook called out. Hence me here alone in a howling snowstorm.
I was doing nothing more than making myself cranky and it wasn’t even midnight yet.
Screw this, I thought to myself, we’re closed. Executive decision.
I locked up, shut most of the lights out, looked at the clock and immediately felt guilty.
James would think I was insane for even opening the bar but I gave him my word and my stubbornness wouldn’t let me go back on it, valid reason or not.
And it had absolutely nothing to do with the way his jeans fit perfectly in just the right places.
Or the way his voice made me shiver in places I didn’t even know I had.
Or the way he twisted his one eyebrow when he saw through my feigned disinterest.
I thought I turned the heat down because it couldn’t be my train of thought heating me up.
Nope.
“Ok,” I said to no-one,”I’ll stay until midnight but I’m keeping the doors locked and….”
I looked around the bar, eyes spying the pool table, deciding to play pool until midnight, leave my car here and walk the few blocks home. I’d even pony up the quarters so I wouldn’t feel so guilty about the shots of Jameson I was about to pour myself.
“In for a penny, in for a pound,” I muttered as I turned on the jukebox and programmed an eclectic selection, starting with some good old fashioned punk music to match my mood and stop my moping.
After throwing three shots in succession down my throat I began to feel a little warmer, wishing I hadn’t worn my favorite blue cashmere sweater. Sure it made my eyes sparkle but right now it was making me sweat.
I walked over to the rack and chose a pool cue, the Jameson doing it’s job as I felt warmth rush through my body. A Nick Cave song came on and I swayed my hips to the beat, slithering to the pool table, racking the balls, ready to channel every bit of stress through that wooden stick. I wasn’t messing around, I was determined to get every damn ball in a pocket without scratching.
I did pretty good the first game, didn’t scratch once. And since that was the only rule I gave myself, I expected my winning streak to continue.
Another few rounds and I began to get bored, but I still had one more ball left on the table.
“Damn it’s hot in here,” I said out loud as I threw back another shot.
I really wasn’t drunk, just comfortably numb and careless. Or was that carefree?
Oh who cared? Whatever it was had me thanking my lucky stars I’d worn a camisole under my sweater because I ripped that sweater right over my head when “Hey Big Spender” came blaring out of the sound system, making sure to swing it around as I swiveled my hips before throwing it over my shoulder, grabbing the pool stick like it was a stripper pole.
I ran my hands up and down it before leaning over the pool table, wiggling for the hell of it and damn if I didn’t scratch.
“Oh no you don’t!” I yelled as I slid across the table, ass in the air as my hand grabbed the cue ball right before it sank into the corner pocket.
“Ha! Gotcha!”
“You little cheater,” growled a very familiar voice.
Shit.
James.
Here and now watching me make an ass of myself. And, kinda cheating.
My ass! In the air!
I hopped off the pool table and nearly fell, especially when I noticed my cherished sweater was now covering part of his head. Shit, how long was he standing there?
I was so fired. And I didn’t even work here.
“James! What are you doing here? I mean I know it’s your bar but aren’t you out of town with your brother and it’s snowing and the bands cancelled and is it hot in here and not one customer came in tonight, can you believe that, but I’m here anyway because you know me, when I give my word you can count on me and everyone called out because of the weather and…cheater?”
I knew I was babbling and should really just shut my mouth but I also knew that wasn’t going to happen because, “cheater??? Did you just call me a cheater???”
He didn’t say anything, just walked closer to where I was leaning against the pool table.
It was kinda hard to read the expression on his face, what with my sweater covering part of it but I swear I could see his lips trying not to twitch.
“Give me that!” I pulled it off his head, figuring I’d try the old turn everything around on him trick.
“First of all,” I began, “don’t sneak up on me like that! I could have killed you by mistake!”
Now I could see his face.
Yeah, he was definitely trying not to laugh so I let that fuel my anger some more.
No way I was going to let him know how embarrassed I was.
Oh man, I was starting to get a headache. Why didn’t I just stick to my usual Gatorade instead of Jameson?
“And I DON’T cheat! I won every game fair and square Mister.” I poked him in the chest for emphasis and immediately had a hard time swallowing when I felt what he’s been hiding underneath his clothes. Why were we avoiding getting involved with each other? At that moment I couldn’t think of one good reason.
He stared me in the eye for what seemed like forever and my mouth was dry. Just my mouth.
“Wanna play?” He drew out those two words like a lovers kiss, his arms on either side of me, pinning me against the pool table.
James and I had been doing this dance for a long time. A very long time.
Life always got in the way.
But right now, in this bubble of time, the two of us locked in here while a blizzard raged outside, I couldn’t think of a single reason why we still never got around to scratching the itch we both had for each other.
“Pool?” I squeaked.
His hands grabbed my hips so quickly I didn’t realize it until I was sitting on the pool table, my legs open and James standing right in the middle of them, pushing me back a little further.
“We’re long past pool pet,” his one hand came up and tangled in my hair, forcing me to look at him. He pulled back just enough to hop up next to me on the pool table, pulling me closer to him, his mouth a breath away from mine. His eyes were dark with the same desire I was sure reflected in mine.
I could fight it as much as I wanted, try to lie to his face and convince him he had no power over me, but my eyes always gave me away.
“We’ve talked about this sweetheart,” his voice alone made me throb. “You know I don’t take this lightly. If you want to play, we play by my rules, and you know what that means.”
His hand was still in my hair, his mouth so close I could practically taste the mixture of nicotine and cinnamon from the gum he’d chewed.
My tongue darted out as I licked my lips, he had to feel the way my body trembled as I whispered two words.
“I do.”
“Do you really?” he asked before catching my lower lip with his teeth.
My tongue slipped into his mouth, desperate to taste him as his hands lowered to my hips, sliding me off the pool table, maneuvering me between his legs. His hands were the only thing keeping me from melting into a puddle right where I stood.
He tasted like manna from Heaven and I was starving.
“You know you’ve got to pay for those shots you’ve been helping yourself to.” I groaned as he pulled his mouth away from mine.
“I-” He didn’t let me finish, instead he flipped me down over his lap, his big hands running over my ass like it belonged to him. I could feel how hard he was through two pairs of denim and tried to finagle my way to the zipper of his jeans when he grabbed my small hands with one of his.
“Wait.” He said.
“Why?” I whined in reply, wiggling against him aching to relieve some of the throbbing threatening to explode any second.
“Because I said so.” And with that a sharp sting vibrated through my body as he smacked my ass.
Holy shit.
James just did what no-one else had ever managed to do, he shut me up.
And it felt good.
“Did I just hear the sound of you not talking Lizzie?”
I tried to speak, I swear I did, but all I could do was moan.
“Now by my count, because I’ve been here a lot longer than you noticed, I believe you had four shots. Is that right Lizzie?”
How in the world did he expect me to speak when he had me ass-up over his lap, more turned on then I’d ever thought possible?
“Mmmm-hmmm,” was the best I could do.
James let out a laugh at my inability to talk. It was a running joke between us that I could never stop babbling.
“Oh this is precious,” he said, “I should have done this a long time ago. You really do have a perfect ass ripe for a good spanking, but that’ll have to wait, for now, it’s payback time.”
“Gah…” Nope, still couldn’t speak.
“The question is,” he slowly ran his hand over my ass in ever-widening circles, stopping just short of the part of my body that throbbed the most.
“Do I drag this out slowly?”
I nearly flew off his lap when his hand came down again, harder this time. I was soaked through my panties.
“Or should I get it over with fast?”
Another whack to my ass and I groaned loudly. He was torturing me in the very best of ways.
“How many was that Lizzie?”
“Uh, two?” I lied.
“You know you just earned another one missy.”
I waited for another smack but nothing. The anticipation was driving me crazy. I didn’t even realize he’d let go of my hands until, head hanging down, I saw a pool stick in his hand as he smashed his foot against it, breaking it in half. I couldn’t stop the gasp that escaped my mouth.
“You know Lizzie, it’s a shame we’re not closer to the kitchen, a wooden spoon would do wonders but,” he ran the broken pool stick over my burning cheeks. “We’ll have to improvise this time.”
This time?
How was it possible to get any wetter than I already was?
Three more swats, this time with the pool stick and I exploded, long and hard, my entire body on fire, shaking and shuddering.
He threw the pool stick across the room and pulled me up, undressed us both in record time till we were both on the pool table, me on top as he sank me down, filling me completely, a satisfied grin on his face as he watched me come as many times as he smacked my ass.
And then, finally, he let himself go, growling my name as we both went over the edge together.
I had a feeling I was going to need a cooler of Gatorade if I was going to keep up with James.

Authors Note: Lizzie and James are two characters I’ve been playing with for awhile. For purposes of this story, the fact that they are vampires doesn’t matter 😀 If you want to read more about their ever-evolving relationship, feel free to go there———–>
Also, I will be challenging someone else and adding the information here. Be back soon because I have to post this within the next 34 minutes else I be banished to the corner.
Which I probably will anyway because I forgot to tag Ana
https://governingana.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/wooden-spoon-writing-challenge-new-years-eve-updates/

ETA: I have challenged Ana to write 2k words in 24 hours, must haves: a wooden spoon, a pearl necklace and an empty bottle of Chanel No. 5. Go!



{August 14, 2014}   Fiction Rally Part 4

[hides head in shame and embarrassment] FINALLY! Fiction Rally Part 4! It’s totally my fault that it’s late [prays TRG won’t throw items at me across the Atlantic Ocean]and I won’t even make excuses. In case you’re just joining in, this is part 4 of the Fiction Rally. You can read Part 3 here
http://thereclininggentleman.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/fiction-rally-part-three/#comment-6389, and because I’m so late with this, there are links to Parts 1 and 2 there as well. Without further ado:
~
Lilly looked at her watch for what seemed like the trillionth time, as if the hands would move faster just by the power of her stare.
She was used to that, getting what she wanted when she wanted went without saying. But right now, she was not getting what she wanted and she was not happy about it.
“Where the hell is he? He should have been here by now,” Lilly’s heels clicked against the marble tile of her parlor floor as she paced back and forth, talking to her empty flat. She took care not to walk over the few accent tiles her Father had agreed to have installed for her. She’d considered having the entire floor done with Pietra Firma’s most exclusive tiles but Daddy dearest hadn’t been too keen on the idea of spending well over twelve million pounds just for something to walk on. Normally, Lillith would put up a fuss and eventually get her way, but she had too much on her mind lately.
She half-smiled as she looked down at the LuxTouch tiles, beautiful black marble inlaid with mother of pearl and abalone shell, the brilliant raised diamonds forming a floral pattern.
But right now she was beginning to see them through a haze of red as she began to imagine Daniel’s blood running through the tracks on the tile, if she didn’t hear something from him soon Lilly was going to smash his head against the floor. It seemed like the right thing to do if he didn’t produce, he hated those tiles and made no bones about it. He told her she reeked of pretentiousness. He told her that after this, he was done.
Lilly decided to let him think that.
She was nowhere near done with Daniel.
And Jennifer?
Well that was a different story but Lillith’s perverted sense of humor couldn’t help but use Daniel to continue her plans with Jennifer.
“Who am I kidding?” Lilly said to the empty room, “My plans aren’t with Jennifer as much as for Jennifer. Little “Sister” may think we’re about to bond but it’s not going to be the bonding she expects.”
Pouring herself a dry martini with 4 olives, Lilly sat on her black leather sofa, admiring her reflection in the mirror across the room.
She was gorgeous and well aware of it. Her sleek blonde bob, parted slightly off-center, accented her cat-green eyes perfectly, her sharp cheekbones like subliminal arrows emphasizing their feline shape making it hard to break from her gaze. Her lips were full, kissable, the kind of lips men dreamed of kissing and women dreamed of owning. Some women paid good money for lips like this but Lilly’s were genuine.
One of the few things about her that was.
Finishing the last olive after downing her martini, Lilly got up, made another martini, this time with 5 olives, then walked over to the penthouse balcony, looking out at the Waterloo Bridge in the distance. She imagined Jennifer on The London Eye, stuck on top then plummeting to her death, just another piece of trash on the street, out of her life, out of Daddy dearest’s will, out of Lillith’s hair.
She took another sip of her martini, pulling an olive into her mouth and rolling it around her tongue before biting down on it.
“Where the fuck is Daniel?” Lilly walked back into her penthouse, her mood getting worse by the minute.
If he wasn’t so good in bed she would have gotten rid of him a long time ago.
He hated sleeping with her.
She knew it yet it gave her a sense of perverted pleasure knowing he had no choice in the matter. He owed her. He owed her big time, and even though they’d been lovers it hadn’t lasted long.
Daniel wasn’t like most men, he wasn’t easily controlled and while his body reacted to hers, he told her in no uncertain terms that he wanted nothing to do with her and her world. Lilly didn’t appreciate his brutal honesty and when she found out he’d gotten on the wrong side of the wrong people she decided to step in, pay off his debt and have him beholden to her.
Truth be told, Daniel wasn’t even Lilly’s type, she just wanted to fuck with him for having the audacity to turn her down. He was handsome enough, in a rugged way, but he was nothing, no one. He couldn’t do anything to further Lilly’s lot in life, perfect as it may be.
Lillith was her Father’s Daughter. Cold, calculating, and with a desire to rule the world, at least, the parts within her reach.
Jennifer, on the other hand, didn’t seem to inherent any of Daddy dearest’s qualities. Jennifer was more like her sniveling Mother, another one of Father’s castoffs, weak and pathetic.
Admittedly, Lilly had only met Jennifer once, when they were in their early teens. And that was at their late Grandfather’s funeral. Lilly never understood why they even bothered to show up. Daddy was 3 wives past Jennifer’s Mother, none of his other ex-wives showed up. Lillith was sure they were sniffing around for money but they just paid their respects and quietly left.
Glancing at her watch again, Lilly felt herself wanting to frown at Daniel’s lateness but didn’t want to have to suffer the effects of frown lines over Daniel. Or Jennifer.
Lilly had been planning this little game for weeks, ever since she found a picture of Jennifer in Daddy’s desk, along with a few letters, a little too friendly in tone for Lilly’s liking.
Things had been set in motion weeks ago, all Daniel had to do was make the drop and get his ass back here.
He thought he was getting his last payment, and he was getting his payment.
It just wasn’t going to be his last one.

tile* this is what the tile looks like, they say they were made so you should walk barefoot to get the “full experience”..,i think it would kinda hurt but that’s just me…



{June 30, 2014}   Fiction Rally Part 2

Finally, my lovelies, as mentioned before, after much begging and whining on my part The Reclining Gentleman
http://thereclininggentleman.wordpress.com
has been gracious enough to write another version of the Fiction Relay, but this time it’s called the Fiction Rally and it’s just TRG and this girl here writing what will be, well, actually we have no idea what it’ll be, but that’s half the fun. So after going here for Part 1,
http://thereclininggentleman.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/fiction-rally-part-one/
please, enjoy, Part 2 of the Fiction Rally. Where this will go? C’mon along for the ride, we’ll find out together!
~

Hidden behind a copy of a newspaper someone else had left behind, Daniel patiently waited for the train to enter the darkness of the tunnel.
Thankfully she stepped into the carriage alone, no other passengers to get in his way, no foreseeable obstacles, this should be easy peasy, just the way he liked it.
To the casual observer he appeared to be absorbed in the newspaper he held in front of his face, as if he didn’t notice anyone else boarding the train, but he was aware of every movement she made.
Daniel had gotten rather good at observing everything around him while remaining unnoticed. Another little trick he’s picked up on the road, his ability to blend in had saved his own neck on more than one occasion.
It wasn’t long before he noticed the chugging of the train had lulled her to sleep, a deviation from her normal routine he intended to take full advantage of.
Danny took it as a sign, now or never, it was time to earn his paycheck.
He’d been riding this route for weeks now, memorizing the stops, timing the length of total darkness as the train made it’s way through the tunnel, working out every possible variable he could imagine so he’d be ready for anything.
It was simple really. All he had to do was drop off the sealed envelope into her bag and get out of there.
That was it.
Once he was done, he was done.
For real this time. Not only would his debt be paid off but he’d have enough money left over to get out of this place and leave his run of bad luck behind him.
Hell, if he played his cards right he might be able to get out of the bloody country, he needed to leave the past where it belonged and move on. Daniel would have laughed out loud if he was alone, playing cards is what got him in this particular position in the first place. But this was it. This would be his last “errand” to pay off his tab and then he’d be free of the whole lot of them.
As the train entered the tunnel he stood up quietly, hoping the swaying of the cars would keep her sleeping. After the last botched job, Daniel wanted to be sure there was no blood on his hands with this one.
~
Never much of a napper, Jennifer rarely fell asleep riding a train. She was more inclined to stare out at the scenery as it flew by, sipping on a cup of caffeine as she planned out her day. Then again, this wasn’t her usual day. In fact, things hadn’t been “usual” at all these last few weeks and she hadn’t been sleeping well on top of everything else. When she did manage to sleep for any length of time her dreams were always dark and muddled. She’d wake up shaking, covered in sweat, a feeling of dread in the pit of her stomach.
Her dreams always began differently but they all ended the same way, Jennifer crouched on an unfamiliar floor in an unfamiliar room cradling the body of someone dying. She never saw who it was dying in her arms, but every time without fail she, Jennifer, was crying and shouting for help in her dreams until she inevitably woke herself up, heart racing, eyes swollen from crying in her sleep.
It was enough to put anyone off sleeping but unfortunately the body needed it’s rest, and between the emotional roller-coaster she’d been on and the motion of the train, Jennifer was exhausted. Inevitably, her eyes closed and she began to doze off.
~
Daniel took small measured steps as he inched closer to his target. The last thing he needed was for her to wake up and catch him messing with her belongings. Truth was, he had no idea what was in the envelope nor did he want to know. All he wanted was to be free of the bullshit hanging over his head. He’d taken on some pretty undesirable tasks in an attempt to get out of the sticky situations he too frequently found himself in, but this was the last of it.
A slip of an envelope into a stranger’s bag and he was on his way to another life.
He’d been keeping tabs on her for weeks as per instructions.
Getting to know her routine was easy with the packet of information he’d been sent, she rarely strayed from it, she seemed to be a creature of habit.
But Daniel was waiting to catch her alone and there always seemed to be someone near her.
Time was running out for him, he was beginning to worry, imagining he’d have to stumble near her in a crowd and slip the envelope into one of her bags.
Until today, when she deviated from her normal routine.
This was the first time he’d seen her take an afternoon train and somebody up there must have been looking out for him because this was also the first time he’d been alone in the same car as her.
His hands were shaking as he realized her bag was slightly open, just enough to make the drop without having to touch her belongings although he did make sure to slip on a pair of gloves just in case.
Whatever was in the envelope, Danny didn’t know if it was legal, illegal, or, for all he knew, it could have been something as simple as a love letter. It didn’t matter to him, all he cared about was the payoff and a plane ticket out of this place.



et cetera