Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Witch's Moon, More Sneak Peeks!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! My muse has been a busy bee, but she's not wanting to work on what I want to work on. On the other hand, I do need to try and finish Witch's Moon, so I guess it's not a bad thing that she wants to work on that story! Today's offering is the first little bit of chapter 2. I hope you like it.

~ Rebecca

Guts & Butts Gazette

Maggie Dishes the Dirt

Bon jour, pups and kitties, Maggie’s back with the latest scat on all the shifter doings. Which pack leads the pack? Which mutt is sniffing around someone else’s tree? It’s all here and it’s all true. Well, most of it’s true. I just put it out there. Your decision, darlings.

This week has been a busy one! A little birdie told yours truly that all is not well in Casa [REDACTED]. It seems that a member of that family is having a rather expensive problem with bowel incontinence. Or vowel incontinence, you decide which is which. (Wink, wink)

Also of note, Java Joe's has a new Talbot's Peak teamed menu. Yours truly suspects that the coffee monkey that brainstormed it had a hidden agenda. While the old menu poked fun at compassionate doctors and the complexions of the young and fabulous of Hollywood, this new one seems to be poking fun at the scions of powerful local families. Honey, you do realize that these people eat meat, don't you?


-We regret to inform you that, due to your recent legal troubles and the repercussions thereunto, we must release you from your position as a freelance columnist. Well, that jus bites!- Mooney groused. -My own brother. My own fur and blood! So much for pack loyalty and talk about the paper making sure everyone in the pack had a job. Now, how am I going to pay that stupid fine?-

I smirked as I listened in to the beta wolf's thoughts. It had been only twenty-four hours since Mooney's court appearance, and it sounded like Nick hadn't let any moss grow under his feet about mitigating the damage it had caused to the paper. I'd have to remember to take a peek at the gossip column to see if Maggie managed to talk Nick into including Mooney there, too.

Telepamancy wasn't usually quite so useful a spell since it only picked up clearly defined, unguarded thoughts from someone I targeted when I cast it. It wasn't like true telepathy. I couldn't use it to pick thoughts out of thin air. Most people just don't sit around thinking in full dialogue and few of the supernatural set would do it around a witch. My kind is sort of known for being able to harvest unguarded thoughts, after all. Mooney McMahon not only thought in complete sentences, he broadcast those thoughts so freely that any adept could sense them almost without needing to cast the spell. I tried to peek at the screen of his laptop but he noticed and slammed it shut.

"You gonna order anything?" I asked with a smile. I promptly bit my lip when he continued with the mental griping.

-This is the downside of using the free wifi at the coffee shop, they expect you to buy something,- he groused. -Why do they call it free wifi when it's not actually free?-

"Sure, ah, Marissa," he said out loud, nervously glancing at my name tag. -Nice tits- he added silently before turning his gaze to the menu board. I slammed my spell down. I really didn't want to hear him sexually assault me in his mind's eye, thanks.

"A... macchiato," he said after a moment.

"Macchiatos are chick drinks," I told him. Normally, I don't interfere with a customer's choice, but, well. He was kind of cute. In an asshole sort of way. And he'd been kicked around a few times already this week, even if he'd had it coming. "How about a mocha?" I suggested.

"Ack! No, I can't stand chocolate," he shot back.

"Dude, that sucks. Well, how about a cup of house blend, then?"

"House blend? That'll work," he said with a relieved smile. A real smile, without any hint of his usual smarmy charm. Oh, sweet Mother Goddess, Mooney McMahon was smiling at me. Not one of his fake lady killer smiles that made it clear he wasn't actually looking at me, a mere human. A real one that included eye contact.

"One cup of Kona Joe coming right up," I said as I tried to convince my stupid stomach there were no butterflies in it and that he most defiantly had not meant anything by it. He probably didn't consider me worth flirting with. Yeah, he may have admired my--crap, not helping. I smiled nervously at him before scurrying into the back room to retrieve my stash of special Kona blend. Double crap, did I really offer him a cup of my private stash? Yes. Yes, I did. Ah, well. He did smile at me.

"Well?" Lex asked the moment I stepped into the back to grab the tin of Kona Joe, the specialty roast I ordered in from a little house roaster in Kailua, Hawaii. I snatched the tin out of my locker before turning around and giving him the stink eye.

"Don't give me that look, monkey-child. He's perfect for my purposes. I need an investigator who won't raise any suspicions."

"Lex, we've been trying to crack the Yakooza stronghold for months. It's impregnable. What do you thing Mooney McMahon can do that we haven't tried already?" I asked incredulously.

"Have you no vision, girl? He's a well known face in Talbot's Peak."

"Yeah, well known as a bumbling idiot," I grouse, ignoring the fact I was about to make him a cup of my special brew.

"Exactly!" Lex exclaimed. "He'll blunder in to situations you have been too cautious to venture into."

"Because I'd like to live to see my next birthday!" I retorted. "Zere Ghan is not exactly forgiving. If he or one of his sons detects me, I won't."

"That is my point, child. The wolf, who is well known for blundering into situations, will not hesitate to blunder into this investigation, as well. And you will stay close to him to see what shakes loose."

"I will?" I asked doubtfully.

"Yes, you will," Lex confirmed. "You will play ball with him, or what ever metaphor you prefer, so that he opens up to you. So that he keeps you fully appraised of what he does and where he goes, perhaps even take you along."

"And what will you be doing whilst I whore myself to your pet wolf?" I asked darkly, feeling dirtier and dirtier by the second.

"I'm not telling you to sleep with him, child. Just keep him company. Flatter his ego. Listen to him when he talks about unimportant things and he will open up to you about other things, as well,"

"And if he's too principled to tell me sensitive things about your case?" I asked. I'm not sure why I felt compelled to defend Mooney at this point. To be honest, I kind of thought it would be easy to coax the braggart to spill his guts to me. But compelled I was. Apparently, I was just as susceptible to Mooney's smiles as Lex thought he would be to mine.

"Oh, he'll know you are a safe person to open up to, child. I intend to send him out with you on your planned excursion to that warehouse you found."

"Wait," I said sharply. "I thought you were backing me up on it."

"I was planning to do so. But now Mooney can do it. If the two of you are discovered, you can play it off like a date gone wrong. Considering he spent last night getting hammered and trying to vandalize the house of an elderly lady with toiletries, it wouldn't be a stretch for Ghan's men to think he'd taken a date out to an abandoned warehouse."

"True," I relented. I glanced down at the tin of black sin in my hands and signed. It would have been nice to have had a little harmless flirtation, even if it was with a goof like Mooney McMahon. But true to the story of my life, even this had become just a little sordid. I shrugged and began brewing him a cup of my favorite roast anyway. I couldn't keep Lex from making things sordid, but that didn't mean I couldn't find some enjoyment in it.

When I took his coffee out, Mooney was hunched over the keyboard of his laptop, smiling with suppressed glee and two-finger typing like a madman. He looked up at me as I set his coffee down and shot me another butt-head free smile of thanks and I smiled back. I then turned my back without a word to him and found something far away from him to keep my hands busy and off him. Holy shit! Did the wolf really not realize how hot he was when he wasn't being a prick?

My reprieve didn't last long. About ten minutes later, as I was wiping down tables that didn't need cleaning, a whole gaggle of seventeen year old girls came into the shop, bickering amongst themselves. The Goslin girls were identical quintuplets and some of my best customers. They were also geese and therefore a bit flighty yet vicious when they felt someone who belonged to them was threatened. As the enabler of their caffeine addictions, they had long since ago decided I fell into that category. Lucky me.

Judging by the way they kept shooting me furtive glances between bouts of tugging a newspaper out of each other's hands, I assumed I had managed to get myself mentioned. This was not usually a good thing for people like me. Shifters were an open secret in Talbot's Peak and were pretty much the main power in town. The only time a human managed to make the paper was when a shifter wanted to make their life hell. I'll give you two guesses how I made it into the Gutts & Butts Gazette, but I bet you'll only need one.

"Hi, Marissa," Gloria Goslin finally said. She was the spokeswoman of the group, so I wasn't overly surprised when it was her who finally chose to speak up.

"Hey, Glo," I replied in an airy, off-handed tone. "What are you guys in the mood for today? I just added a few things to the menu." A burst of nervous giggling followed my words. Yep, Maggie had ripped me in the gossip column, all right.

"Yeah, we heard!" she shot back in a high pitched cutsy-annoying whine, the teen standard for I'm so sorry but people are talking about you. Not me, but other people are. I had lots of experience with people talking about me, by the way. Lex had made sure I went to actual public schools growing up. As he'd never stayed long in any one place, a natural freak like me never had time to make real friends. Freaky little witches who live with freaky little bald men who were clearly not blood related to them tend to get teased, bullied, and generally made fun of when they have no friend base to watch their backs.

"Yeah, we heard all about it," Gracie Goslin joined in.

"We want you to know that we have your back," Georgia Goslin added as she glared at Mooney like she thought he was going to jump up from his spot at the counter and try to eat me now that he had an audience. Mooney, for his part, was looking at the screen of his laptop with one eyebrow raised. He glanced up at the menu board, then went back to reading his computer screen.

"I'm good," I said with a sigh. "Let me guess, Maggie ripped me in the gossip column again?"

"Yeah," all five girls said, their heads bobbing in a very goose-like motion. I chuckled, partially at them and partially at the situation.

"And I'm going to have to thank her for that the next time I see her," I said, shaking my head. "Gotta love free advertisement."

"You aren't worried about--" Gloria began.

"Being eaten by angry werewolves?" Georgia finished with a loud stage whisper that sounded more like a hiss.

"Is that Wolf's Tale thing about me?" Mooney cut in loudly. I glanced back at him, trying to decide how I was going to handle that conversation, when none other than Leona Lane, star reporter, walked in with Brand Fliddermous, the local cattle baron and brother of Joker. Oh, this was going to be interesting.

"Good morning!" I said with forced cheerfulness as I quickly made my way behind the order counter, leaving the gaggle of hissing goose girls behind. Leona looked hard at me, as if sizing me up for either a story or a body bag. Mooney scowled resentfully at her as if he thought she was there to rub it into his face that he no longer had a job at the paper like she did. Brand was gazing at the menu board with a bemused smirk.

"Joker's Wild?" Brand asked, finally looking at me. I smiled brighter and swallowed my nervous stomach, which was trying to climb my esophagus to escape it's doomed body.

"Yep," I said. "I've had several requests for a Talbot's Peak themed menu. I decided to honor several of the leading families by coming up with a drink for each."

"And what flavor, pray tell, is my family's coffee?" he asked, his smirk growing very brittle looking. I gulped hard.

"Caramel and Creme de Cocoa in a latte made with a rich Bavarian roast espresso," I squeaked.

"That sounds really... Good, actually," he said thoughtfully. I realized that he had been expecting an insult to his family, probably because of how Maggie had phrased the mention in her column. When things slowed down a bit, I needed to take a quick look to see exactly what she'd written.

"Want to give it a try?" I asked carefully.

"Sure, why not."

"And I'll have the Wolf's Tale," Leona said, openly grinning. "I assume that one is in honor of the Moon-Dog, right?"

In case you were wondering, having a leopardess grin at you like that is terrifying. It's like there's a little area in the back of a human's vestigial lizard brain that recognizes it as, "DANGER DANGER DANGER!" I responded to this danger signal the way I usually do, by being a smart ass.

"Oh, no," I said, shaking my head and made my eyes as wide and vapid-looking as I could. "It's in honor of all the news reporters in town. I named it the Wolf's Tale because the local paper is run by wolves. And so is the town's only investigator." I smiled at her then, a clear, guileless one to make sure she realized I was being very sarcastic, and hoped I read her right.

I had. Her feline grin morphed from a threatening one to a very amused one.

"We have a werewolf investigator now?" Gloria squawked excitedly. "Who?"

"Mooney, of course," I said as I shot a nervous glance his way. He was watching me, a peculiar look in his eye. "Was I not supposed to tell anyone?" I asked him nervously.

I was right to be nervous. I only knew that Lex wanted to hire him as an investigator because I was in on it. Mooney may or may not have known that. He certainly had not confided in me that he had a PI background or a job offer from my boss. I had no idea how he was going to react to this. It had been blind dumb luck that I had been managing the potential fallout of Maggie's revenge so well. How Mooney reacted could be the nail that held it together or it could be the puff of wind that blow my house down.

He shrugged and went back to starring at his computer and sipping his coffee. "It's no big deal, babe," he said with a partially hidden smile. "People can't hire me if they don't know I'm going back into that line of work."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Rising Sun's Invitation

Sun in Taurus howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers. And Happy Earth Day!

With that in mind, I hope you enjoy today's flash scene.


The Rising Sun's Invitation

"The rising sun's invitation," Selauni murmured to herself. Bathing in the bright sunbeams she luxuriously stretched, then moved through the arch-like opening at the base of her tree trunk home. Somehow, the enormous oak had survived among the pine and fir.

Drawn to what was now called Talbot's Peak territory in supernatural circles, Selauni had discovered the old wise tree on a walkabout, and asked permission to live within. So far, the arrangement was one of harmony and friendship.

She gave the big oak a loving pat, then hopped onto an emerging patch of green, the first leaves of wild violets. Her bare feet thanked Selauni. With joy singing through her, she jumped onto the next small clump of emerald green, made more brilliant by the morning sun.

Smiling, Selauni made a fun game out of jumping from patch to patch of new green life with the minimal use of her wings -- already fluttering to catch rays of sunlight. Although, her fun wasn't merely a game.

Selauni learned the sacred matrix of each plant, their frequencies musical notes inside her as she hopscotched through open areas of the forest. Later she would prepare her healing elixirs for the fae community, and whoever needed them.  

A family of squirrels interrupted their search for breakfast to scamper around her, then playfully dash and dart in front of Selauni as she leaped, then hovered above wild iris blooms. Tinkling laughter at their antics, Selauni sent them her vibes of happiness.

When the fragrance of rushing water captured her senses, Selauni hopped in a direction she hadn't explored yet. The breezes carrying the scent of snow-melt and spring growth gently flapped the filmy dress she wore. A gift from her spider friends, the frock shimmered like pearls held in firelight.

Wanting to find out about the stream -- if it was pure enough for bathing and for her elixirs -- Selauni silently picked her way over the slick rocky surface that overlooked the water. Already tiny bits of moss had appeared, and spikes of green broke through the thin layer of soil.

Another smell caught Selauni's nostrils even as she halted and raised her gaze. A naked man bathed in the deep wide stream. Startled, with her heart thumping swiftly,  she slipped behind an outcropping of rock, and almost stepped on a scurrying lizard.

Peeking above the rock, Selauni could barely believe her eyes. Whoever he was, the large man was magnificently formed. At least what she could see of him. His back was to her, and the dark-hued, sparkling water covered most of his ass.

Unable to move, Selauni watched sculpted muscles flex beneath tan golden skin. The man leisurely washed his torso, and when he raised his arms, Selauni panted with unexpected and unbound desire.

Could a woman fall in love with a man's arms? Lust, she quickly amended. Nothing but lust, a rare condition for her. Yet, his arms were so bold, so beautifully shaped and muscled ... "Dangerously irresistible," she breathed out.

As if the swirling breeze carried her words to his ear, the man twisted at the waist casting his gaze in her direction. He couldn't be merely human if he'd heard her, or even sensed her presence. Protected by the natural cloaking energy of her kind, she could only reveal herself by will.

Latent power in every line of his body, the man slowly spun toward her. Selauni ducked down, the image of his broad gorgeous chest filling her mind's eye. She mentally groaned with need. 

Even as her breathing quickened, a sudden warning sliced through Selauni. Yet the man's low melodic song had begun. Oh-frick-no!

With her wings already beating furiously, Selauni whipped around to flee. Too late, the song's ancient tones trapped her. Invisible tendrils held her tight. Before darkness fully claimed her, Selauni dropped to her knees.

How strange, she thought, there'd been no hint in the man's physique about his true heritage as a Gradjinn, an offshoot race of Djinn. Frick-frack!

Snapping back to consciousness, Selauni stared into commanding eyes ignited by green fire. Brawny arms enfolded her, while the stream's cold waters swirled around her dangling legs.

"Who knew when I awoke today that luck would so favor me?" The man wove his baritone voice around her, increasing his magickal hold.

Selauni fought to merely think instead of being swept away by his supernatural force.  And good frick! The lustful sensations swamping her. Even her eyelids had lowered to half-mast. "Luck," she mumbled through lips that felt like plumped up pillows.

"I am in need of a pleasure consort." His unblinking gaze roamed over her face, and approval lit his eyes, making them appear like emeralds blasted by sunlight.

Selauni did her own staring at the strong carved planes of his face. Only the slightly odd shape of his eyes gave away his Gradjinn heritage.

"If I am to be of service to Dante, my long lost cousin," he continued. His thumbs glided over her skin, caresses that inflamed her passions. "I need a woman who is able to match my power and my carnal desires."

Selauni felt herself frown but wondered if her brow had actually wrinkled.

"As you must know I am only part Gradjinn, beautiful fae. Most of my ancestry is human and werewolf."

If his words were true, then Selauni knew exactly how to escape his magick. But did she want to?


Btw, romance readers, this offer is at ALLROMANCEEBOOKS...


Wishing you full moon shapeshifting on the wild side…


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kindred Spirits

Meanwhile, on the road to Talbot’s Peak, Cochrane had finally cooled down enough to realize he’d need more than a single gun and a couple grenades to take down a town full of shapeshifters. He needed more weapons. Also a plan. Also clothes. Otherwise he was just setting himself up for another dunk in purple paint, or another threat of butt probes. Or worse. Who knew what tortures the twisted minds of shifters could come up with?

He slowed and started watching the side of the road for signs of habitation. Talbot’s Peak was an aberration. Most shifters preferred to live solitary lives away from humans and even their own kind. Somewhere out here in No Human’s Land some lone shifter had a house, clothing, weapons and information Cochrane could use to carry out his assault.

Sure enough, that wide cut through the trees had to be an access road. He rolled the Chevy up it at a cautious creep. His guess was proven correct when he was stopped by a chain across the road. The sign dangling from its center read Private Road Keep Out Tresspassers Will Be Shot This Means You Asshole. The sign was only moderate size, the printing small but in blood-red letters.

Cochrane grinned. You’ll be shot meant We have guns, which mean soon Cochrane would have guns. He parked the car, palmed a grenade from his glove compartment, stepped over the chain and started up the road.

Damn, it was awfully quiet for dawn in the woods. Too damn quiet. Nothing but the sporadic gobble of wild turkeys. Cochrane climbed at a steady pace, slowed by the need to place his bare feet carefully to avoid jutting stones. Damned butt-probing bunny could’ve let a man keep his shoes. “The bunnies die first,” he muttered.

Something rustled the brush off to his left. Cochrane jerked in that direction. Almost at once he heard the clack of a shotgun. A voice said from his right, “This is as far as you go, mister.”

Cochrane turned slowly. Christ, it was a damn kid. A stupid shifter kid had got the drop on him. The kid was ugly, wiry and knock-kneed, but he held that gun like a pro. Cochrane peered around carefully and spotted another boy with a crossbow closing in from his left, and a girl with a wicked-looking knife edging up beside the boy with the shotgun. Noises from behind him indicated yet another one moving in from deeper in the woods.

Could they be human? Shifters didn’t normally go in for man-made armament.

Cochrane raised his arms, the grenade concealed in his hand. “I’m not here to cause trouble,” he said. “I need clothes and maybe—”

“You need to get your ass off our property.” The voice behind him was hard, no-nonsense and adult. “We don’t take kindly to visitors, especially not humans.”

Okay, that answered that. Must be herbivores. That meant they could be bluffed. Cochrane displayed his hand. “I got a grenade.”

“Big whoop. I got a grenade launcher.”

Cochrane risked a glance over his shoulder. Holy shit. That mother was almost as big as the wizened, ugly hillbilly wielding it. At this range there was no chance he’d miss. Cochrane snapped his jaw shut and froze.

“Good boy,” the man said. “Now toss that pineapple to my girl there. With the pin still intact, if you please.”

He did as ordered. The girl caught the grenade with the ease of an outfielder snagging a pop fly. She examined it while her brothers kept him under guard. “It’s real, Pa.”

“Thought so,” the old guy said. “You’re a hunter, ain’tcha? Thought you’d get the drop on us, eh? How come you’re nekkid?”

“How come you’ve got a grenade launcher?”

“’Cause the government won’t let me keep a bazooka. Goddam federal regulations.”

“Screw the Feds. Ever heard of Dingles Hooper?”

The man’s expression lightened. “Yeah. He’s that Canadian fellah runs the trading post up by the border.”

“You want a bazooka? Let me go and I’ll put in a good word for you. The man has a way of getting things.”

The old guy looked thoughtful. “What’s your name?”

“Abel Cochrane. Yeah, I’m a hunter. I know my weapons, and how to get ‘em.” He nodded toward the grenade launcher. “That is one fine piece of artillery.”

“Should be, for what I hadda pay for it.” He looked toward his daughter, who was casually tossing the grenade from palm to palm. She nodded. So did the boys. “Tell you what. Instead of splattering you all over the trees, we’re gonna take you in. Put in a call to Hooper. If he says you’re on the up-and-up … well, we’ll have to see.” He made an even uglier face. “We need to get you some clothes. That poor puny little thing is wretched.”

He gestured with the grenade launcher. Cochrane started walking, ringed by the males with the girl in the lead. He had no doubt any one of the males wouldn’t hesitate to fire his weapon of choice. The girl would probably hurl the grenade. He imagined her throw would be accurate.

In spite of the situation, he discovered he liked this bunch. They were his kind of people.

The boy with the crossbow sidled up to him. “Can Hooper get us a flamethrower? Our old one gave out.”

“Don’t bother the prisoner, Jimmy,” his dad snapped. “We gotta interrogate him first. You run on ahead and tell your ma to put fresh coffee on. This could take awhile.”

The kid took off. The old guy got the ball rolling by asking, “You get your grenades from Hooper?”

“No, from this guy Elkins in Wyoming. He only handles the little stuff, though. You want to get serious, you call Dingles Hooper.”

“And you say you know Hooper personal?”

“We’re not tight, but we don’t shoot each other on sight. Anything you want … well, I might be persuaded to assist.”

“Yeah,” the old guy said. “You will be.” But he was grinning now. Cochrane took in the first easy breath he’d drawn in a long while. For some reason, he felt like he’d come home.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Our Tale Continues

Satin curled up against her favorite pillow, wiping her eyes.  Two days without Kent and she felt sadder than she ever imagined.  His mark and possession tattooed her with no doubt of who she belonged to.  Not bad she kept telling herself.  Yet, the forlorn feeling threatening to drag her down into the depths of longing and heated need refused to be sated.  New batteries for her toys topped the shopping list she worked on.

Kent claimed her with his bite on their second round of sexual play.  His nipped never drew the blood exchange he whispered of as he brought her to one powerful orgasm after another.  His own release had his head tossed back with his neck exposed.  Her bite drew the blood that flew over her tongue binding them in a way neither suspected.  Now she knew.  Did he?

Kent carefully packed his guitar back into its case.  Two gigs behind them and the band was on the road to their next destination.  Two lonely nights without the woman of his dreams beside him.  Sex paled compared to love making.  He hadn’t known the difference until he gave into her spicy pheromones coating him with her presence and existence.  Love songs came from the heart.  His feelings flowed out across the stage and into the audience pouring out his need and longing for one who now claimed a piece of him.  What did their future hold?


Hey Gang!

Sorry for the short post.  Busy week here at the Spice homestead.  With the weather changing and work needing TLC, I've been busy.  Satin and Kent's story appears to be taking a turn neither expected.  I wonder if this one will be come a serial.  

Enjoy the warm weather and change of seasons finally.  I'm loving it!

Remember to take time to rejuvenate with a good book or two.  Share them with your spice and loves!  I know I am!

Until next week!


Friday, April 18, 2014

Eye Candy Friday!

Alas, Mz. Muse and I have not been able to hook up this week due to life exploding all over us.  I'm drowning in school work, Mz. Muse is drowning in, well to be honest she's the lucky one this week as she's drowning in pleasure.  No unattached Peaker living in my brain is safe from her lascivious intentions.  She said something about stocking up so that we can write our collective asses off this summer.  I think she just likes sex and really, who can blame her.  :)

So in honor of Mz. Muse Liven' La Vida Lustful I figured this would be a good week for sexy pics.  I mean, who doesn't need a good pick me up once in a while?  This author got hers last weekend when she took Darling Diva to the movies to see Divergent.  Hours in the dark spent looking at this guy...

Muse and I left the theater with a smile on our face and a new eye candy to ogle!  So I thought I'd share a little Theo James with ya'll.  Enjoy!

Have a great week-end!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Random Flash Out Of My Junk Folder

The Leprachaun story seems to have stalled out in my brain and I am suffering a book hang-over after reading Jennifer Harlow's latest offering, "Werewolf Sings The Blues." And if you have not read it, OMG! I lover her books, but this one's like a speeding freight train. It just sort of slammed into me in chapter 17 and didn't let go until the very last page!

So anyway. Book hangover, no more progress on the serial flash. So I dug into my files of half baked stories and pulled out something to share. Please pardon any typos; I know there's probably more than a few. I hope you like it.

~ Rebecca

Locker Room Hunting

The slow tick-tick-tick of water dripping onto soggy wood was the only company I had as I hid behind a ratty cotton shower curtain. The locker room wasn't filthy, just run down. The faucets all leaked, the cedar floor mats were all warped, and the tile that wasn't covered in wooden mats was cracked. Which probably explained the presence of the mats, I supposed. There was no mold or mildew, which I would have expected considering the constant moisture from drips and the air or general neglect about the place.

A snuffling sound joins the plop of water on wood. The werewolf has found her way out of her impromptu cage. She'd done it quietly, too. If not for the sound of her snuffling on the floor trying to catch my scent, I would have had no warning at all that she was coming. The tattered shower curtain bursts open and there she stands, growling fiercely in all her puppy glory.

"Oh, no!" I exclaim with fake panic. "She found me! Ah, ah! She's getting me!" I continue as my young daughter clambers into my lap and proceeds to give my face a thorough tongue bath. "Ack! I'm covered in Ro-Ro slobber!"

I giggle at the happy puppy noises she making and proceed to tickle her back. I had blown my mind when I discovered that Ramona, my two-year-old werewolf daughter, was ticklish in the ribs in both forms. How could I have known? It's not like I was a shape shifter.

My first clue that humans were not alone on this planet was when I gave birth to a wolf pup, the parting gift of my asshole ex. I had told him I was pregnant. He accused me of being a whore and trying to pin some other guy's brat on him because he couldn't knock me up. I found out later that it was incredibly rare for a human woman to be able to carry a werewolf pup past the first month. Something about our bodies recognizing the foreign DNA and rejecting it.

"I didn't hear you tip over the laundry basket this time," I say to her as I fondle her ears. She barks once and wiggles out of my lap backwards, her puppy tail wagging madly.

"Again?" I laugh. "We've been playing 'find momma' for nearly an hour, Ro-Ro!" She yips and spins in place. "Ok," I concede. "One more time, and then we get down to work." I pick her up and deposit her squirmy butt back in the empty laundry basket. She's getting bigger, about the size of a two-month-old malamute puppy now, so the basket's almost too small to present a challenge for her. I'd have to come up with something else for next month's full moon.

A burst of static from the intercom interrupted my thoughts. "Paging Rhonda De La Cruz. Ms Rhonda De La Cruz, please pick up a white courtesy phone." Another crackle of static signaled the end of the message.

"Well, shi-- er, shoot," I say, looking at Ro-Ro out of the corner of my eye. I didn't know how much she understood in werewolf form. She barely spoke in human form, mostly one syllable words. Especially swear words. I'd gotten pretty good at watching my potty mouth in front of toddler Ro-Ro, but sometimes I still catch myself slipping up in front of wolf pup Ro-Ro.

"C'm on, munchkin," I saw as I hoist her back up. "Mommy needs to find a white courtesy phone."

Luckily, I find one just inside the locker room I'd chosen to be our impromptu full moon puppy training gym. I wasn't ashamed of my daughter but I didn't want to parade her around in this form, either. According to my mentor and boss, Malcom, she was the only known full-blooded femwolf alive. And she was born, not turned. This made her incredibly vulnerable and made my job as her primary source of protection dicey. I preferred to leave her enmities unaware of her existence.

I take my call, retrieve my message--nothing important--and then smuggle my squirming daughter back to our room. Call me paranoid, but it seemed to me that the easiest way to locate me would be to page me. There was no good reason for anyone at this convention to know where I was at eleven 'o clock at night. It might be nothing or it might be something. Either way, I'd rather be back in my room with my stash of defensive equipment. Ro-Ro would just have to do her scent training there, where I could ward her.

I'm not a witch but I had spent the two years since her birth learning everything I could about things that went bump in the night. For instance, I'd learned that there was a good deal of defensive magic that could be done by non-magic users. Some runes that drew power from collective belief, some herbs that worked on a physiological level to discourage would-be attackers.

Powdered wolf's bane worked on werewolves the same way mace worked on humans. Peridot irritates tolls enough to make them steer clear of it. Undead and soulless things couldn't cross thresholds warded by salt. Tourmaline warded against psychic attack. There was a Norse peace prayer that, when chalked on a wall, cause those with ill intent to ignore you.

I had some of those tools with me at all times, along with my Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun. I couldn't very well set up a salt line in a public locker room, though, and never mind trying to chalk Norse prayers on damp walls. So, back to our tiny room with its double twin beds, microscopic 3/4 bath and arthritic a/c unit.

But first, a little parting gift. Just in case I was right. The spell was mostly harmless and would resolve at sunrise. It was enough to let me know if someone tracked my call to that particular courtesy phone. I may be paranoid, but that didn't mean someone wasn't out to get me.