Soulmates: Dark #FlashFiction

He was my kind of gorgeous; sweet, funny, great singing voice, protective and a little good looking. Others thought differently with his jerk nature I tended to overlook, tad overweight (just more to love), controlling habits and he was a bit immature.

Still he was my soulmate and I was his. I loved everything about him, but every time we were together things would go wrong. Little things that all couples go through, so we stuck it out. That is until things went really wrong.

I came home one morning, from working nightshift at the hospital, to find another man in my waterbed. Normally I would be ok with this, I’m weird like that, but the poor man was black and blue, tied to a hook in the wall above the bed and looked terrified.

“Leo, what’s going on?” I asked tentatively.

“I needed release, you weren’t here like always. He showed up to deliver a package. I don’t have preference.” He grunted out, still buried deep inside the postman and thrusting. “He took a bit of persuasion but he is better than the corpses in the basement.”

“There are dead bodies in the basement?” I tried not to freak out. That would explain why I’m not allowed in the basement.

“I shouldn’t have said that. Now I’m going to lose the only person that has been able to keep up with me. When you’re home that is.” He kept going, as if in a hypnotic state. “You know they didn’t start out like that. I just couldn’t have them screaming when you are home.”

Mentally I thought of all the places I could run, but he has alienated me from all my friends and family. The cops would think that I was in on it because God only knows how long it has been going on. There is nowhere for me to go.

In order to save my life, I knew what I had to do: join him.

I stripped my clothes and eased down on the unnamed postman’s appendage, facing Leo. “Think of all the fun we could have together.” I said hoping to entice him.

Matching him move for move, I rode them. At the right time, I arched back to the bedside table and grabbed the dagger I keep for protection.

“Rose!” He called out and I plunged the knife deep into his heart.

“That is for thinking to kill me.” I pulled it out and went in again, loving the feel of his warm blood coat my body. “That is for not sharing.”

#FamilyLegacy Short-Story Chapter 3

Jack pauses to cough into a handkerchief. “It might sound cliché, but the weather wasn’t that good that night either. Dark clouds covered the stars, thunder rolled, the lightning crackled but rain hadn’t come yet. It didn’t drop until after the car fire got going really well.” He zones out, not seeing me. So far gone in the past that I can almost see ghosts flit across his eyes.

My voice comes out soft and breathless. “That’s horrible.”

“Yep, but it wasn’t like your mom had the best beginning to life either.”

“How so?”

“Well you know how your grandma died with Tasha Raelynn’s brothers and sisters in the train wreck yea?”

“Yea.”

“Well she ended up in her grandparents care after that. Her dad was a criminal that was in and out of prison. Your strict great-grandmother swore Tasha would never be raised by him. He died in federal prison of prostate cancer or something.”

“That would explain why I never got to meet him.” I bite my lower lip in surprise.

“Then your great-grandpa still has some PTSD from WWII.”

“I know that. It has gotten better over the years, but he still has some bad days.”

“Who wouldn’t after taking shrapnel from a grenade from the wrong side of Normandy Beach?”

I gasp. “Wait, he took friendly fire?”

“Yes, ma’am. He hasn’t told you?

“No. He doesn’t talk about the war and no one else will talk about family history at all.” That would explain the deafness in his right ear.

“No one thinks it was on purpose, but it still happened.”

“How do you know all of this?”

“Your mom and I did some digging into the family for a school project.”

“Neat.” I saw solemnly.

“Well I better be off. I just came by to say hi to Tasha. If you need me, you know where to find me.”

I give him a quick hug. “Ok. See you later.”

He dusts off his pants and leaves with a quick wave. He stops and turns back, “you know the saddest part of this mess is the wreck happened just one week after you were born.”

“I hadn’t realized it was that soon. I didn’t get any real time her after all.” Shock.

I get up and stretch. “I need to get back to Shayla before your grandparents scar her for life.

Bye Mom, I’ll be back to see you, maybe next year. I will make sure to bring Shayla too…at some point. Probably not until later when she can fully understand death, but still she will come to know you. We have all the hours of home videos for her to go through.” Out of selfishness, I decide that I will keep the gory details of mother’s death to myself.

My little girl never needs to hear of how her grandmother died in a fiery car crash that threw her from the Trans Am because of her lack of seat belt. Or how the drunk driver got away with murdering her and three of her best friends.

One last look at the pink quartz tombstone in the shape of a heart, then I am on my way home and back to my daughter.

Tasha Raelynn Smith

Daughter and Beloved Mother

1975-1991

The Loss of a Great Grandfather (A Short Story)

Those damn bagpipes haunt my dreams, every single night. While the horned version is heard throughout the town every afternoon at seventeen hundred hours. That tune signals the end of the day and that the fallen have returned home. It has to be the saddest song in the world, in the history of music.

A the song blasts through my hearing, I can see him. Thin and frail, his tattered uniform resting, folded neatly on his chest, my family had opted to put him in a white t shirt and overalls for the great-grandchildren to recognize him. The funeral home tried their best to put a soft smile on his face, but it did not turn out quite right. His full head of white hair was combed perfectly to represent the gentleman he was, even if it was against Army regulation length.

I haven’t felt much of anything since the day my dad received the phone call from the hospital telling us that my great-grandpa had past away. I remember having to ask two or three times for him to repeat the message, because I couldn’t believe it. I had just seen him two days before and he was fine. Well maybe not that fine, he did say something about great-grandma being there next to me and the best friend he lost in the war was looking out the window saying something about “the U-boat’s about ready Jackson.” He was having one of his bad days, but not so bad that he didn’t recognize me. I was grateful for that moment.

At the funeral I did okay up to the point of the graveside service. Beautiful summer day, what would have been his 88th birthday, and the nameless preacher prattled his “ashes to ashes” speech that I didn’t listen to…or don’t remember listening to. My eyes were glued to the dark brown casket draped in the red, white and blue flag. I couldn’t get my mind to move past the thought that this man had survived D-day at Gold Beach, shrapnel from enemy fire and the loss of his childhood sweetheart, to be brought down by the flu.

Again all was fine until they played that blasted song and three men, just three men, pulled their trigger seven times. Even though they aimed for the open sky, each shot was a fresh wound in my heart. My body trembled with every bang, until I couldn’t take anymore and had to walk away. They presented my great-uncle, the jerk of the family who hadn’t seen him in the five years before his death, with his flag. And just like that, my great-grandpa’s life was officially over. The family scattered like roaches in the light of a fridge before he was even lowered into the ground.

Now no one ever talks about him. What he did for his country or family. If it wasn’t for pictures and fading memories, no one would know he even existed.

20 years later and I’m at my husband’s funeral. Staring at an almost exact casket and mentally preparing for the seven gunmen. I learned my lesson the first time around, always get seven. Our big military family surrounds me on all sides as the preacher gives the almost identical speech I don’t remember from back then. The only difference I see is great-grandpa was surrounded by Army uniforms, now I am in a sea of Marine blues.

 

Cursed Cross

I have a friend, call her Lisa. Lisa is not religious, but wears a cross around her neck. She likes what it represents and gives her a sense of…something transcendent that no one can describe.

It is just a simple silver Irish cross on a simple silver chain hanging around her neck. Lisa hates anything too tight around her neck, so the chain is on the looser side with no fear of choking her. At least there shouldn’t be.

Lisa can wear it for months, only taking it off to shower, with no problems. One morning she will wake up because the chain has grown tight. Squeezing her throat shut in her sleep.

She’ll wake up and adjust it, but it still feels tight. The links rub and grind into her skin causing a rash, even breaking and drawing blood in places. No other necklace she owns will do this.

When the cross becomes too tight, she will take it off and hide it but without it on she feels vulnerable. To what she doesn’t know, she just HAS to wear it. So after a day or two, Lisa will put it back on and wait for the next time it tightens and tries to kill her.

At least she used to, Lisa died of strangulation last night. She left a strange note giving the necklace to me…

#BookReview: Loki (Highland Clan Series Book 1) by Keira Montclair 4/5 Stars

Loved it, but about halfway through I began to lose interest. It just seemed like the book should have been split into two but kept going, which is why it took me so long to get through it. Still worth a good read.

#ASI: Ellen Chauvet

Hi Ellen, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

 Discuss your newest book. My newest book is also my first book and is titled “When Darkness Falls”, The First Vampire Redemption Story. It is the first in a series of at least 3 books. It tells the story of Lexie, a vampire executioner who doesn’t know she is one. When her best friend is murdered by vampires, she is thrown into a five-hundred-year-old secret and meets her Amant de Sange or Blood Mate, Etienne Benoit. She chooses to step into her legacy as a ‘Chosen One’ and begins her journey into a dark and dangerous world. Lexie and Etienne fall in love and when he betrays her she vows revenge. Read it recently, loved it!

EC.jpeg

 Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I’ve always been an avid reader and thought that ‘someday’ I would write a book. I’ve loved all of the Anne Rice novels and when a friend introduced me to Buffy, The Vampire Slayer I became intrigued by the idea of ‘good’ and ‘bad vampires’. I started reading as many vampire books as I could get my hands on including Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Pike and Stephanie Meyer. They were my research, and when my work commitments changed, I decided it was time to write. I wrote the first draft in 9 months, took a year off when my husband became terminally ill, and then pursued the dream when he died. I found a great writing coach and the next 4 years were spent in rewrites, editing, and polishing. A great publisher found me and we published the book in March of 2016 on Amazon’s Create Space and Kindle. I’m sorry for your loss.

What are your current projects? My current project is writing the second book in the series.

What books have most influenced your life most? When I was a teenager I read a lot of Hemingway and loved his style of writing, so definitely Hemingway. Probably most of all though would be Anne Rice.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? I have two main characters.

Lexie is a Southern Belle from Atlanta, Georgia and was brought up in a strict Southern Baptist household. She’s rebelled against the suppression of her Mother and lives in Paris working as a translator for the United Nations. She’s attractive, sassy, a bit promiscuous and wonders if this is all there is to life.

Etienne is a 500-year-old vampire who was turned against his will and has created an organization to fight against ‘dark’ vampires. He’s sophisticated, handsome, ruthless when he needs to be and resigned about ever finding his Amant de Sang (Blood Mate). He falls hard for Lexie and when he is forced to turn to the ‘dark’ side, vows he will find a way back to her.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  The message is that there is good and evil in all of us and it’s ok. It’s part of being alive (or undead as the case may be). Every day we have a choice between good and evil.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? I’d like to see Olivier Martinez play Etienne and Jessica Chastain play Lexie.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? I had the time and the dream.

Do you write full-time or part-time? I’m lucky enough to be able to write full-time. I don’t write every day full-time, but when the story or the characters are demanding my attention, I’m disciplined and write 3 to 5 hours every day.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? The rewrites. Then I realized they are the key to honing my craft and producing something that people want to read.

What is the easiest thing about writing?  Creating the story.

 What book are you reading now? I’m reading “Find Me When The Sun Goes Down by Lisa Olsen.

What is one random thing about you? I love horses and music

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer? Tablet and computer

 What does your writing process look like? My writing coach trained me to do a lot of what she calls “laying on my bed writing”. In other words, really thinking about where I want to go in a particular paragraph or chapter and making sure my characters are always in character. Also doing the required research – I’ve learned to love research. When I’m on a roll, I’m always in my office by 9am anxious to discover what my characters have been up to overnight.

 Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? No

How important are names to you in your books?  Names are very important as they have meaning.

 Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I’m still in the marketing process and so far so good.

What is your favorite book and why? I gave this a lot of thought and I don’t really have a favorite book. I have favorite authors.

 Do you have any advice for other writers?

  1. Never give up – just keep writing.
  2. Don’t listen to the little voice in your head saying you can’t or you’re not good enough or no one wants to read what you want to write about.
  3. Don’t edit your work as you go – get that first draft done and then edit.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? See friends, listen to music, watch TV, travel – in many ways I’m never not writing. I’m always thinking about writing even when I’m not sitting at my computer.

From where do you gain your inspiration? Everywhere – but particularly other authors who write about vampires.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? I don’t have an opinion about that – I’m traditionally published and I love my publisher.

How do you market your books? Facebook, Twitter, word of mouth, author interviews, pod casts

Would you or do you use a PR agency? I would and I don’t.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Authors need to also be entrepreneurs. Writing is not only creative it’s a business and I think many authors are not business people. I’m lucky in that regard as I was a business woman first and then became an author. Create a marketing plan and stick to it and keep talking about your book – to anyone who will listen.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

Right now a lot. The book is newly published and it takes time to build an author platform and develop one’s readership. I’m willing to put in the time and energy to get my book known.

What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? My publisher has been extremely helpful in that regard. She discovered a tool we’ve been using and it’s been extremely productive. We’re still working on attaining reviews and know that it takes time and energy on both our parts.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? Not really.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? No

Which social network worked best for you? At present Facebook seems to be working well. And I’m also creating a presence on Twitter.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

 

I did a press release for the Horror Writer’s Association – not sure how successful or productive that was. I did a book launch here in Vancouver and it was extremely successful. Sold out of books I had on hand and could have sold more. Launch was promoted through Facebook.

 

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? I’d like to meet Bram Stoker. Fascinating mind.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

 

Sit down and write – don’t critique – just write.

Everything I said above

 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

 

I have a blog – ellenchauvet.wordpress.com

Website – ellenchauvet.com

Find me on Facebook

#BookReview: Highland Repress by Riley Morano 3/5 Stars

Overview: Ashley and Tristan celebrate the arrival of their first child, but the day is soon turned dark when the clan tart appears to badger them about her child being his. She persists and later insists that Ashley’s father is the father of her child instead. A battle is stopped before it is begun and a second almost takes the life of brother and sister.

Opinion: Way too fast paced. You almost get whiplash from all the action. It is just go, go, go without a break in between one child being born, to a wedding, then almost death and sudden premature labor.

Recommend: Maybe.