Illusion Of Control

Moments ticking ebb away
Words falter, afraid to stay
Slipping past all time or reason
Broken heart, confusing treason
Anchored by what is illusion
Feeling this was an intrusion
Speculate the emotional state
By which we now separate
A rift it grows canyon wide
on either cliff we stake our side
The grip I bore on your heart
By windy gale now ripped apart
And I so vigilant to behold
How easily you could have sold
Buying in to fear and doubting
Drowned by how gaily sounding
The banshee wail, now strong to sing
How we fail in this floundering
But I, yet I thought we Two
Whole, Loved, just me, just you
Alas how wrong my thoughts confound me
When this turn abhorrent, astounding
Shakes me to my frail core
We are not so strong to form
Bonds of eternity for communion
Again I peer to this illusion
Control, control, or say it now
I was merely played, and yet how
Was I blind to your advances
Risking all in flighty chances
Here you lie in ruin, despair
In your eyes, a glassy stare
Comfort, I find now there
Naked, your soul lays bare
And now my time has come
To turn with a solid sum
Done, done am I with your tricks
The tumbling ruins, this house of bricks
Home no longer, I set out alone
To all irrational design to roam
And leave you wondering how I stole
All illusions that you had control

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The Dark One

I am the broken.
Cracked, elusive, always changing

Shifting as water.
Fluid without remorse

And yet I am.
Full of regret for this wasted life

Hurting you, hurting me.
O how deeply run your scars

Burdened I carry this hate.
Mournfully crone regret.

Don’t scorn me,
I despise myself enough already

Desperately wicked,
Snuffing out the Light

Pray, save me.
Cast me not aside

Give grace to spare me!
This aching soul filled with regret

Authoring and Littles

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It has been said a number of times that friends are impressed with the amount of writing work I can do, and raise two small children ((almost 3, and 7.5 months)) at the same time.
Even now as I write this, I am holding a sleeping baby in my arms.

On the one hand, there isn’t as much work happening behind the scenes as they might believe.  This time last year I was publishing my first short story, The Precious Jewel for debute in Den of Thieves: A Den Of Quills Anthology, I was blitzing through episodes of The Ranger Of Severum, and I was writing my High Fantasy series.

Being able to write and blog are only two hobbies of like, five, I enjoy doing, and it’s becoming difficult to have to choose which one to do in my free time.
Do I read?  Do I workout?  Do I write?  Do I paint?  Or Draw?
Better yet, DO I SLEEP?!?!

The baby has now woken up and every few words or letters, I have to push away at her little smacking hands as they hit at the laptop keyboard.  She giggles, finding it a game, I move the computer, and then she pulls on my clothes, to stand up and reach over my lap to try at it again.

What it all boils down to is time management.

 

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Exercising is difficult to make time for with littles.  Especially when they demand your attention all day long.  But, what I have found is I can get in an hour of cardio by doing squats, and swinging the kids around, and dancing with them, doing jumping activities, all by including them in my fitness goals.  Swinging a 26 pound child up in the air, and down through your legs while squatting really works your thighs, and you feel it for the next three days.  Doing the various leg lifts lying down on the floor, planking, sumo-squatting, bridges, yoga positions, you suddenly become a bridge, or a mountain for cars to drive up and down, all the while you’re toning, slimming, trimming, and making your goals happen without having to duck off to the gym in time you really don’t have.

Painting and drawing can also be activities to do while in the living room.  Set up the canvas on the counter, with all of your tools out of reach, and stand and paint while watching the kids.  Boom, easy.

Reading and writing are the tricky ones, as both are full attention activities.  So, when going to bed at night, or during naps in the afternoon….  I play games and scroll through Facebook, because I suck at time management.  ((I have written 440+ words and it’s taken me roughly thirty minutes, because Facebook))

Usually I read myself to sleep, once my pocket game has been taken care of.  I’m currently beta reading for an author friend of mine, and I find his book is best executed at night before going to sleep.  My husband works nights, so I have from the time the kids go to bed, to when the baby wakes for midnight feeding, to myself.  And again, I have to pick “Do I work, or do I sleep?” and in the end, socializing wins most times.

Mothers are secluded creatures who need to clear their headspace.  Clearing headspace involves mindless activities and SOCIALIZING with other people.  So, my writer friends on the internet are readily available to socialize with when I want to sit and do absolutely nothing when I’ve been going, going, going all day.
This, by no means, means I am inactive during the day.  All the day long, I’ve been working through my writers block lately, to try and plan out the course for action in my High Fantasy series.  One day, I hope to set the world of Eldegras in orbit for the world to see.  I’ve just spent the last two years trying to clean it up and make it ready.  This became an even slower process in bearing children.  Along with the kids comes managing the household, doing laundry and dishes, and cooking and cleaning, and being wifely by spending time with the husband….  All of the responsibility!  Nobody should be surprised when all a woman wants to do is mindless nothing on the internet.

 

My simple advice to mothers everywhere, workout with the kids, do your hobbies with them, and in the quiet moments you have to yourself do whatever the hell you want to.  You deserve it.

Oh.  And Coffee.

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Books You Must Read in 2016

After the previous blog of promoting authors and it’s great success, I have decided to arrange a book list too!

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Kyra Dune: The Dragon Within

http://www.amazon.com/Kyra-Dune/e/B00A5WOHGQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1437859997&sr=8-1

 

M.A. Rey: The High Kings Will

http://www.amazon.com/M.A.-Ray/e/B00IREBFUU

 

Kim Fry: Scream For Me

http://www.amazon.com/Kim-Fry/e/B00HJEGTIM/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

E.H. Demeter: Secrets

http://www.amazon.com/E.H.-Demeter/e/B00QP2PXA4/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

Angel Thomas: Shadows Of The Mind

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00SARZLFY

 

Angie Grigaliunas: Nightmare In Writers Retreat

http://www.amazon.com/Angie-Grigaliunas/e/B00SADA9NM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_2

 

Rosa Arcade: Notes To My Younger Self

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/484884

 

Beth Hammond: Sound Of Stones

http://www.amazon.com/Beth-Hammond/e/B00QZKJ8UW/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

Stephanie Ayers: Til Death Us Do Part

http://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Ayers/e/B00H1XOA50/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1453231578&sr=1-2-ent

 

Nathan Jarmusch: Den Of Thieves, A Den of Quills Anthology

http://www.amazon.com/Den-Thieves-Angel-Blackwood-ebook/dp/B00WUN4RQI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453231649&sr=1-1&keywords=den+of+thieves+anthology

 

Christine Haggerty: Acquisition

http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Haggerty/e/B00H1YLN4A/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1453231702&sr=1-2-ent

 

Eric E McClure: Touch Of Life

http://www.amazon.com/Eric-E.-McClure/e/B00J7PFPSG/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1453231749&sr=1-2-ent

 

Lorraine Johnston: Later Tartan Gator

http://www.latertartangator.com

 

Shelley Roe: Heroes, A Pheonix Quill Anthology

http://www.amazon.com/Heroes-TPQ-Anthology-Shelley-Roe-ebook/dp/B016FR57NQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453231882&sr=1-1&keywords=heroes+a+tpq+anthology

 

Paul R Davis: Drowning In The Sands Of G’Desh

http://www.amazon.com/Paul-R-Davis/e/B00WXHL32W/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1453231943&sr=1-2-ent

 

RA McCandless: The Flames Of Perdition Series

http://www.amazon.com/Tears-Heaven-RA-McCandless-ebook/dp/B00H4IBDSE/

 

Christopher Taylor: Old Habits

http://www.amazon.com/Christopher-R-Taylor/e/B00OM67WB8/

 

Alizabeth Lynn: Cancer Sucks

http://www.amazon.com/Alizabeth-Lynn/e/B00R0U1QH4/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_5

 

Thanks so much to the authors who helped to put this blog, and the previous ones together! – Dana Villa-Smith

 

 

 

 

 

Authors You Must Read In 2016

Welcome to the year 2016!
With all of the bright new things happening in 2016, we definitely should start the year off RIGHT!

What does that mean for you? Books! New books are such a wonderful gift to yourself to help accomplish your goals of being more focused and fulfilled in the coming year.

This coming year I’ve already done half of your job for you and compiled a list of authors and their books which you simply must read this year.

We all have that reading list of books that we intend to read. I know. I do too. However your reading list just isn’t complete without these lovely people to pepper into your list.

If you’re part of a book club, a reader’s circle, or you simply read for your own pleasure, these authors are definitely worth checking out!

 

Christopher Taylor

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Christopher Taylor is the author of three novels — Snowberry’s Veil, Old Habits, and Life Unworthy — along with many other works for role playing games. He lives in Oregon and is always at work on another novel.
A life long dreamer, Christopher encountered fantasy in The Hobbit at a young age and for him it was like coming home. He learned to play AD&D in 1979 and his gaming experiences as player and GM have shaped his storytelling and world building skills to a razor sharp edge.
Both Old Habits and Snowberry’s Veil are set in his game world Jolrhos and reflect his love of both the wilds of Oregon and the gaming worlds he’s been a part of.
Christopher checks the back of closets for Narnia and feels odd writing about himself in the third person.

Personal Website: http://alphawolf10.wix.com/kestrelarts2
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KestrelArts
Twitter: @KestrelArts
Amazon store: http://www.amazon.com/Christopher-R-Taylor/e/B00OM67WB8/
Smashwords store: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/KestrelArts
Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8240885.Christopher_Taylor
Lulu store: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/kestrelarts

 

 

Angel Blackwood

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Angel Blackwood is primarily a fantasy author, but she does dabble in other genres when the mood strikes.  She likes going on adventures with her family, rainy days, and all sorts of strange music from symphonic metal to steampunk.
She’s always got somthing in the works, usually several things at once.  You can check out her facebook author page for updates on her latest projects, interesting articles, and all sorts of other things.

Angel is currently featured in several anthology works
Shadows of the Mind: An Anthology of Horror — http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Mind-Anthology-J-Feldman/dp/1518789315/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Forgotten Places — http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Places-Josh-Walker-ebook/dp/B01A4O40XY/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Curse Of the Heroines — http://www.amazon.com/Curse-Heroines-Fantasy-Writers-Anthology-ebook/dp/B015CVIQD4/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Den Of Thieves — http://www.amazon.com/Den-Thieves-Angel-Blackwood/dp/1936099853/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
The Road Taken Anyway — http://www.amazon.com/Curse-Heroines-Fantasy-Writers-Anthology-ebook/dp/B015CVIQD4/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

All of my published works can be found at
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00SARZLFY

 

 

Rosa Arcade

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Rosa is an author of both fiction and non-fiction. Her books include the high fantasy novel, Half-Elf: Touch of Insanity (out of print), a self-help book called, Notes to My Younger Self, The Job Hunter’s Guide which is a great resource tool, and its free companion book, Samples and References: A Companion Book to The Job Hunter’s Guide. She has also co-authored 4 publications and her poetry has appeared in several anthologies.

Rosa has studied acting, music, as well as writing for non-fiction, fantasy, and film. Over a dozen of her scripts have been produced to date, including short educational and promotional videos.

Rosa is the creator of the animated series, Zomb-Eh? She is also the artist and writer for Eeyayho’s Adventure, a family-friendly video game created by her daughter. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and children.

Author Site:  www.RosaArcade.com
Blog:  www.iamrosa.com
FB Page:  www.facebook.com/iamrosa.fanpage

Notes to My Younger Self: A Personal Guide to Happiness
Kindle – http://tinyurl.com/mbswo32
Print – http://tinyurl.com/lfbkclm

Job Hunter’s Guide [Revised]
Kindle – http://goo.gl/0RgI41
Print: http://goo.gl/f7GZcW

Eeyayho’s Adventure
Official Site: www.eeyayho.com
FB Page: www.facebook.com/eeyayho

Zomb-Eh?
Official Site:www.zomb-eh.com
FB Page: www.facebook.com/ZombEh.Fanpage

 

Stephanie Ayers

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Stephanie Ayers is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Our Write Side and graphic designer, editor, and proofreader for Mother Spider Publishing. She is also a full-time world-building ninja, six-time published author, and part-time freelancer from central Virginia, crafting her own story and avoiding growing up at all costs. She mothers her children, loves her husband, attends church, and avoids all things zombies.

Stephanie has been a regular contributor and leader for Bloggy Moms and Just Be Enough, and writes content for Blogmutt in her spare time.

She published her debut novella, Til Death Do Us Part, in 2013, and her work appears in several anthologies and collections, notably Precipice 2 and Endless Darkness. Her poetry has been featured in magazines and as podcasts on Eat Sleep Write.

You can find a full listing of her works on her Amazon author page.  She shares her writings and life musings on her personal blog, Written. Additionally, she hosts the exclusive Master Class and Fractured Friday writing prompts and hosts a writing wisdom column every Wednesday.

CONNECT:

https://www.facebook.com/theauthorSAM
https://twitter.com/theauthorSAM
https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanieayersauthor
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SAMAWriter/posts
https://www.pintrest.com/stephanie_ayers/
https://www.instagram.com/geniegirlgraphics/

 

 

 

Beth Hammond

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Beth Hammond is an author/illustrator who writes anything from YA fantasy to children’s picture books. She is a wife, mother, and lover of life. Her early years were spent serving in the military, middle years spent raising babies, and figuring out her place in the world.
Her later years are yet to come, and filled with hopes and
endless dreams. She spends her days creating worlds through words and illustration.
“Don’t write what you think will sell. Write what you want to read.” – Beth Hammond
If you want perfection, I’m not your girl. If you want a sappy love story, move along and I wish you well. But if you’re looking for a fantasy that tells a tale reminiscent of classics like “The Never Ending Story” then we might be twins. Wait, what color shirt are you wearing?  Oh, and one more thing, if ridiculous humor thrown in at the most awkward moments makes you roll your eyes, don’t read this book. You’re welcome.
The Sound of the Stones on Amazon:
 The Sound of the Stones on Barnes & Noble:

 

Kyra Dune

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Kyra Dune was born in Oklahoma, but spent most of her life travelling with her family.
She is the author of more than two dozen fantasy novels, including:
Shadow of the Dragon, Elfblood, and Firebrand. As a child, her favorite stories were those that told of ordinary children being whisked away to magical lands. She has yet to find her own secret wardrobe or rabbit hole, but she hasn’t given up the search. You never know what might be waiting over the next rainbow.
With NUMEROUS books available, Kyra Dune is well worth checking into.

 

E.H. Demeter

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E. H. Demeter is the mother of two wacky kiddos, and she’s married to the love of her life. She lives in South Carolina, where she loves to hate the heat and miss the rain. She can almost always be found with her nose in a book and a notebook on her person. She writes in every free moment she has, and she’s been writing for as long as she can remember. It’s truly her passion, and she fuels it to the best of her ability.

Secrets, Book One of the Rune Trilogy, is her first book!  Also featured in three anthologies, with promise of more coming, E.H. Demeter is certainly a worthy addition to your bookshelves.

Instagram: @TheDarlingWordsmith
twitter: @EH_Demeter
Alizabeth Lynn

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First of all, Alizabeth Lynn is a cat. No, really—everyone who’s ever met her agrees she must be. She prefers sleeping in sunlight, hogging the keyboard, and refilling her plate before it’s anywhere near empty. When she’s pretending to be human, however, she writes paranormal romance, fantasy, and a bit of horror. Her style of romance is a bit on the light side, but some of the violence is almost as bad as trying to tame a wild pride of lions—bloody, disfiguring, and out-of-control.

She’s been writing for as long as she can remember, and even still has the very first poem she ever wrote, around the age of six. She’s been included in two anthologies, Nightmares: In Writer’s Retreat, and Cancer Sucks!, both of which came out in October, 2015, and her first novel, Crimson Bayou, is due for release on March 09, 2016 through Burning Willow Press.

A Northwest Louisiana native, Alizabeth currently resides in West Texas with her loving fiancé. The wonderful man in question works his tush off so that she can stay home with their two children and follow her dream of authorship. However, when she’s not following her dreams, or reverting to her natural feline form, she can be found with her nose buried in a book, or up to her neck in dirty diapers. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Until Crimson Bayou comes out on march 9th, I’ve only been included in two anthologies. They are Cancer Sucks! and Nightmares: In Writer’s Retreat.

Cancer Sucks! : http://www.amazon.com/Cancer-Sucks-E-H-Demeter/dp/1518702252/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1452555972&sr=8-2&keywords=Alizabeth+Lynn

Nightmares: In Writer’s Retreat: http://www.amazon.com/Nightmares-Writers-Retreat-E-H-Demeter/dp/1518813771/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452555972&sr=8-1&keywords=Alizabeth+Lynn

And I can be found across the internet in these places:

 Facebook: www.facebook.com/AlizabethLynnAuthor
Website: http://alizabethlynnauthor.weebly.com/
Instagram: @authoralizabethlynn https://www.instagram.com/authoralizabethlynn/
Twitter: @Red_Tempest13 https://twitter.com/Red_Tempest13
Tumblr: http://redtempest13.tumblr.com/
Email: alizabethlynnauthor.com

 

Lorraine Johnston

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Lorraine Johnston is from Glasgow, Scotland. She was a children’s nanny for thirteen years and spent many hours making up stories for them using her vivid imagination. This was always met with giggles and laughter. She worked for a New Orleans family, and through them, was introduced to The Crescent City. After many years and many visits, she considers New Orleans to be her home away from home. Lorraine started writing in October 2011 and quickly discovered how much she enjoyed creating children’s stories. She was passionate about writing a book set in New Orleans, while adding a little Scottish flavor to her story. Later Tartan Gator is her first children’s book, but it certainly won’t be her last!

http://www.latertartangator.com

Barnes And Noble — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/later-tartan-gator-lorraine-johnston/1115305127?ean=9781620861967
TV Interview — https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zWmIzfR7qPM
Podcast Interview — http://www.underthetartansky.scot/podcast-episodes/2015/7/27/utts-006-later-tartan-gator-a-new-orleans-tale

 

 

Paul R Davis

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With the experiences of mission trips to Guatemala, international travel, a Tough Mudder, teaching in Kentucky and Wisconsin, and a few forced experiences out in mother nature, Paul R Davis seeks to put the excitement of life in his books, inspiring others to seek adventure.

Inspired by Arabian mythology, Drowning the Sands of G’desh brings readers into an epic holy war filled with conspiracy and self-discovery.

His first book has previously been featured here on my blog.
He is also featured in two anthologies.  Den of Thieves, and Heroes.

http://www.amazon.com/Drowning-Sands-Gdesh-Scrolls-Chaos/dp/1458219615/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448396855&sr=8-1&keywords=G%27desh

Paul also runs a website hosting his world lore!
http://www.landsofvolden.com

Amazon Profile: http://www.amazon.com/Paul-R.-Davis/e/B00WXHL32W/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Paul-R-Davis-341392279311292/?fref=ts

 

 

Angie Grigaliunas

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Angie Grigaliunas (grig-ah-LOO-nahs) is a fantasy writer and blogger.
She’s a country girl at heart, in the sense that she wants to be in nature and away from civilization. She loves Jesus, the woods, and the stars, and has always wanted to be a superhero with a secret identity. Seriously.
She has completed three books: one about elves that needs a massive revision before it ever sees the light of day, one that is part of her current story but also needs a massive revision to fit a new storyline, and the actual first book (Sowing) in her dystopian/medieval/grimdark/semi-romance series (The Purification Era). When she’s not writing, she’s usually Facebooking – ack! – or thinking about story stuff. Despite several of her writing friends claiming she’s Canadian, she is not; she lives in Ohio with her dear husband and their crazy cats.

She, too, is currently only published in anthologies, and each of them can be found under her amazon profile.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Angie-Grigaliunas/e/B00SADA9NM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_2
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/angiegrigaliunaszewriter
Blog: http://www.angiegrigaliunas.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter/Angie_ZeWriter
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/angiegrigaliunas
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13436876.Angie_Grigaliunas

 

 

Laurie Wetzel

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Laurie Wetzel has always had a passion for writing, but it wasn’t until a New Year’s resolution in 2011 that she finally shared with her husband her lifelong dream of being an author. He read the very first draft of Unclaimed and gave her the words she needed to hear: “This is what you need to be doing.” Three years later, her dream became reality when the first book in the Unclaimed Series was published.

Laurie lives in Mankato, Minnesota, with her husband and two young sons. She became a thyroid cancer survivor in 2014 and has since helped raise awareness and donations for research through events held in person and online. When she’s not writing, working, or spending time with her family, she’s reading, working out, or catching up on her favorite shows.

For updates on Unclaimed and Ignited as well as other works in progress, feel free to check her out online.

Facebook: /LaurieRWetzel
Twitter: @Laurie_Wetzel
Website: lauriewetzel.com

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1luhvqu
Itasca: http://bit.ly/1oNzNlQ
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1qkAcZB
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/enUS/ebook/unclaimed6
Copia: http://www.thecopia.com/catalog/details.html?catId=16411029
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/unclaimed/id909062319?mt=11
Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/book/236768070/Unclaimed
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1ldQHdW

 

M.A. Rey

M.A. Ray keeps her meat shell in Wisconsin, where it lives with a husband, two kids, and a cat. Her heart is housed in a lump of stone, the location of which will not be disclosed here. She writes things. Her latest novel was Steel for the Prince: The High King’s Will.

You may find her at http://menyoral.com; the things she writes are available for viewing or purchase here. http://www.amazon.com/M.A.-Ray/e/B00IREBFUU

 

 

Kim Fry

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Kim Fry is a wife, mother and fiction writer who makes her life in Casper, Wyoming. She has a dark sense of humor and an enormous obsession with Edgar Allan Poe. Some of her work is currently posted on Wattpad under user name KimFry. Her horror/thriller, Scream for Me, won the 2012 Watty Awards for ‘On the Rise’ in horror. She writes many genres, including fantasy, horror, thriller and paranormal. 

The Ranger Of Severum: Episode 9

While Trillian was on his way through the city, Yulissa found him first, “Trillian!” he heard her call. Looking around for her, he tried to swallow the lump of nervousness building in his throat. His eyes lighted on her coming across the square.  She was dressed in riding clothes which accentuated her willowy figure. He couldn’t help but admire the way she looked in them as her cloak swirled with her quick steps.  Her boots rode up to her knees, hiding whatever was left of her burgundy leggings which dove into them.  Her traveling tunic was grey, she wore a dark leather vest, and matching belts about her waist.  Her cloak swagged over to one shoulder, clasping in a large golden brooch, and her hair was braided hanging over one shoulder.  Trillian wished he could stop looking, but with women off limits, he’d never had the chance to really admire them before.

Her brow drew together in confusion as she approached, “Aren’t your wings healed?”

Watching her eyes flick back and forth caused his heart to skip a beat, “Um, yes.” He stuttered, “I haven’t tried to hide them away yet.”

“Could you try?” She prodded with a hint of alarm.

He smiled playfully, “Do they bother you?”

Her expression did not relax as she laughed, “No, not at all. It is rather important, though, that you do.”

“Why?” Trillian asked with a laugh, though the way she asked cause an alarm to sound in his head.

Yulissa’s actions gave him the impression she was in a hurry. Visibly she tried to relax and smile, “I haven’t had the opportunity to see you without them.”

Raising his brow, he tried to figure her out. He didn’t care for the way she nervously looked about, or how she seemed to fidget impatiently. After all, in his mind, she could have left the city at any point if it bothered her so much. And why was she so interested in him all of a sudden?

Trillian had to admit after six weeks of this cumbersome wear of his wings, he was ready to hide them away again. Standing his full height – which was difficult enough with the kink in his spine – Trillian dropped his head back, bracing in case of lingering pain, and folded his wings. He didn’t know what it looked like to hide them away, only what it felt like, but considering the woman’s reaction, Trillian could only guess it was certainly an unusual sight.

Yulissa’s eyes had widened, whether it was out of fear of disbelief Trillian did not have time to ask. As soon as his wings disappeared, she took hold of his arm, “Alright. Come with me. We haven’t any time to lose. Quick, this way.”

Bewildered with confusion, Trillian found himself following. “Where are we going?”

“No time to talk.” Yulissa stated, dashing to the northern side of the village.

Darting between row houses and narrow alleys, Trillian tried to make sense of the situation. Considering it had been his home for the last twelve years, it felt strange to be sneaking through the town. A few villagers watched curiously as they fled through the back streets. Trillian did his best to not make eye contact, feeling his cheeks redden with embarrassment.

When Yulissa finally did stop they were in the forest, safely out of sight from Severum.

“Would you mind telling me what this is about?” Trillian panted. Having physically exerted himself for the first time in six weeks he felt as though he might fall to his knees. Not to mention his aching back from sagging to one side for so long.

Taking three exaggerated steps toward a large oak tree, then five more to the right towards a pile of bramble, Yulissa crouched and began digging with her hands, “There isn’t much time to explain, my ship leaves tomorrow morning, and we need time to travel.”

Trillian reeled back, “What do you mean time to travel? I can’t leave Severum, you’re out of your mind. We don’t even know you.”

“The name is Yulissa, I’m a Realm Jumper, your life is in great danger.” Brushing off a small pouch, she opened it checking it’s contents. Seeming satisfied, she closed it up again, sticking it under her belt, then took six exaggerated steps to a grouping of bushes.

“My life? How would you know?”

Bending down into the bushes, she pulled out two large packs, “Listen Trillian, I’ll have plenty of time to tell you later, but right now you need to move.”

Irritation growing, Trillian put his hands to his hips, “If you don’t start talking right now I am going to—”

“Here.” She tossed him one of the packs carelessly, clearly not paying any attention. “And here is a cannister of water. You might want to drink some now before we get going, you sound rather thirsty.” She was referring to his pant.

He looked down at the cannister, then back at her. Yulissa pulled the strap of her bag over her shoulder, tapping her foot as though impatiently waiting for him to drink.

Trillian again found himself complying to the request. After a long drink of water, he did feel a bit refreshed. He capped the cannister off, putting the strap around his neck.

They stood staring at each other, both expecting the other to do something.

“You good?” She threw her hands out, “We need to go.”

“First, I need to know where you’re taking me.”

Yulissa shook her head, “Even if I told you, you’d never believe me.”

Trillian grit his teeth. His curiosity had kicked in, which created a great deal of conflict in his head. His duty to Severum and the likelihood of being murdered by Sideon for running off being the highest of confliction.  “I’m not going to go with you unless you give me some kind of reasonable response. My life could very well be in danger if I left the Severum.”

“You mean Sideon?” She laughed, “Your step-father is a coward. Especially since he thinks primitive distractions like women need sent off and away from his boys so they can fight mindlessly for him.”

“This coward you reference took the city over and killed my father.” Trillian defended angrily, “Who do you think you are anyway?”

Yulissa huffed, “Trillian, I guarantee I am your friend. Mark my words, Sideon is a coward. Everyone in all the Realms knows it, except for you blind fools in Langoria. Why nobody has tried to overturn your ridiculous leader is beyond me. Clearly your realm fantasizes your dark ages too strongly to have any form of common sense!”

“You’re unbelievable.” He exclaimed, “Are you listening to a wor—”

“No, you listen to me,” she started with vehemence, “you are wasting valuable time. Either you come with me willingly, or I will tie you up and drag you along behind me, do you understand?”

Taken aback, the ranger was at a loss for a reply. His mouth dropped open, but nothing came out as they met eyes.

“Good.” She whirled around, “now follow me. We haven’t much time.”

The ranger found himself complying yet again, put his pack over his good shoulder, and followed silently behind her into the forest.