Horus the vampire protector

Vote for the new short story

Elijah the Bloody is drawing to a close. Only two more chapters left. If you want to read more about Elijah, then why haven’t you read Dawn’s Keeper yet? That sexy, powerful mage is front and centre, along with the lethal vampire, Dawn.

Speaking of lethal vampires…long time ago, there was one who could withstand the daylight. She became the protector of her race, obliterating any army that came near their homesteads. Horus, daughter of Isis and Osiris, is introduced in Assassinated Love which is the love story between Isis and Osiris, as well as the origins of vampires.

Vote below for which short story you wish for me to write. It’ll follow the same format as Elijah the Bloody, a chapter released each Wednesday.

Dragonswan Sisters by Jen Winters

Dragonswan Sisters by Jen Winters – Chapter One

Don’t worry, I haven’t stolen Jen’s work! We are doing a short story swap each Monday for the next month or so. I’ll post Jen’s tale of the Dragonswan Sisters and she will post Elijah the Bloody.

You can visit Jen’s website here. And now, on with the story!

Chapter One

Margaret’s focus was interrupted by the entrance of the touring group into the large kitchen. While the tour’s route was corded off by red velvet rope from the rest of the kitchen, the voice of the tour guide, Janean, retrained Margaret’s attention from the cook pot of what would be apple butter onto the new arrivals.

Without thinking, she counted the number of band aids in the group of fifteen. 1, 2, 3, 4…7. Seven. Not too bad for the first tour of the day. She looked at the recipients of the cuts, noting sadly that one of them was a woman who looked about ready to give birth. Glancing to her sister, Gretchen, they caught each other’s bright green eyes at the same time, exchanging pitying frowns in regard to the pregnant woman.

“Hey! Are you the Dragonswans?” The voice that interrupted their moment was loud, raucous, and male.

Margaret turned to him. “Yes we are,” she signaled to one of the sous chefs to take over her pot. The kitchen was buzzing with activity getting the harvested apples preserved in one form of another. She walked toward the man who possessively held the pregnant woman’s arm in his meaty fist.

He jerked the woman roughly once Margaret was only a few feet away. “Look at this! She cut herself on your stupid knife in the orchard. You’re going to have to pay for this.”

The woman gave the man a shocked look. “It’s fine, Junior. It’s just a—”

“Shut up, Lee!” Junior growled, jerking the woman’s arm again.

Cowed, the woman hung limply from his fist and stared at the floor at Margaret’s feet, while the man gave Margaret a creepy once over. Today was the first day of the October festival and Margaret had dressed for the occasion in a bright green peasant blouse matched to pumpkin themed leggings under a bright orange tulle skirt.

Margaret was about to protest when her peripheral vision clouded with a dark mist and the tell-tale signs of a visitor popping into their kitchen. She flicked her wrist and suddenly the room became silent and still except for her sister and their visitor.

“Hey!” Gretchen protested the freezing of the room and its occupants, but quickly stopped short when she realized they had company.

Margaret looked at the new arrival and smile at him. He appeared to them as a small red-winged, fire-breathing, Chinese dragon. His claws clicked the tiles beneath him as he slid along the floor to the feet of the pregnant woman. Margaret watched him carefully when his tongue flicked out like a snakes, tasting the woman’s essence. While she had learned from a young age that this creature was indescribably unique, his behavior at that moment was completely new to her.

“What is it, Long?” she asked, examining the stilled woman more thoroughly.

The dragon lifted his head to her and winked before transforming into the archetype of Asian masculinity. “She made the sacrifice and called to me,” he explained, embracing Margaret with a chaste kiss before pulling Gretchen into a not-so-chaste embrace. “What should we do?” he asked her when she pulled away from his puckered lips, deftly avoiding a kiss she had been spurning for years, much to Margaret’s chagrin.

Unfazed by Gretchen’s snub, Long’s gaze slid toward the man with the meaty fists bruising the poor woman’s arm. Margaret followed his gaze and then looked at her sister.

Only ten minutes separated them in the age department, and while Margaret was older, Gretchen always acted as if she was. “You are absolutely not going to do anything. You are going to tell us what she requested and then you are going to let us handle this.”

The dragon gave her a whimpering frown that even Gretchen couldn’t deny was sexy as hell. “Aww, come on, darling. This could be fun. She only wants to be free of this man. Don’t you think I could free her without you?”

Gretchen’s eyes narrowed at him in the way Margaret always referred to as steel-green-death. “Your idea of freeing her will more than likely cause physical harm to this man, and while I may entertain the idea of an abuser getting his just deserves, I would much rather do this the right way and put him behind bars for assault. So, you will let us handle this.”

Long sighed and gave her a cocky half grin. “One of these days, Gretchen, you will find yourself in need of my kind of help. I look forward to that day like a virgin to her first orgasm.” He winked when she blushed and disappeared from the kitchen.

Margaret gave her sister a sly smirk. “I wonder what kind of need he’s talking about,” she teased, unashamedly taking Long’s side in this back and forth between them.

Gretchen smacked her arm and huffed. “Don’t start on that again, Margaret. What are we going to do about this woman and him?” She waved a disgusted hand in the man’s general direction.

Margaret shrugged. “I’ll get her away from him and you can get security to escort him off the premises.”

Gretchen nodded. “That will work for now, but we’ll have to come up with something better soon.” Taking her place back where she was before Margaret stilled the room, Gretchen felt the slow crawl of dread climbing up her spine.

As soon as her sister was in place, Margaret flicked her wrist again, and the room was again buzzing with activity as if time had never stopped for them. Margaret immediately caught the woman when she stumbled, and pulled her away from her abuser. “Well, now, we can’t have anything bad happen to a woman with child. I’ll just take her to my physician and see what he can do for her,” she said, leading the woman out of the kitchen and leaving the abuser flabbergasted in her wake.

Before they were out of hearing range, the man started a ruckus in the kitchen, which Margaret felt sure Gretchen would use to have him escorted away.

“My husband—” the woman began, trepidation stalling her in her steps.

Margaret hushed her, rubbing her bruised arm. “Don’t you worry, sunshine. He won’t be on the property for long. What’s your name?”

“Peggy,” she answered, glancing behind them.

Margaret chuckled softly. “What a perfect name. Let’s get you settled in the guest suite and the physician will be in soon.”

“I really don’t need a physician, Ms. Dragonswan,” Peggy protested, but Margaret noted her steps as she followed did not falter for a second.

“Oh, sweetie, call me Margaret. I am certain that a little check-up from our doctor won’t do you any harm.”

Margaret gave Peggy a kind, almost ethereal smile and brought her to an over-sized door on the second floor of the mansion. Behind the door, Peggy audibly gasped when she saw where Margaret had taken her. The guest suite began with a comfortable sitting room filled with bookshelves, comfortable furniture and a small table with a lovely tea service. Apple butter sandwiches cut in perfect squares, apple tarts, and even a small tub of apple ice cream called to Peggy from the table.

“Darling, the table has been set for you, go ahead and serve yourself, I will be back shortly with the doctor.” Before Peggy could protest, Margaret held up her hand. “Don’t. You and the baby need proper care and since you cut yourself on our athame, you are now our responsibility.”

Peggy gave Margaret a weak smile. “Thank you,” she admitted at last.

Margaret gave her a quick hug and left her to fulfill her promise.

Making my son happy, Writing exercise

Ghost Town – Chapter Four

Read Chapter Three here

Screams, some harsh and loud, others a wailing against death, filled the air. People were hurt, shocked at such an outcome. The ghosts swarmed the town, taking advantage of the confusion their cannon had caused.

Bones yelled orders, searching for the humans who might fight back. Many would not, though, their spirits broken along with their homes and bodies. Jade and Chet both sped through the air, abandoning the cannon. It had no use now. It had served its purpose.

“Bring the leaders to me. I will make an example of them!” Bones commanded. This town was his and no one would dare to fight back. Not after he showed them the price of disobedience.

Within the hour, a mass of bodies huddled in the town square. An unending moan of pain vibrated from them. The leaders, three of them, knelt before Bones with straight backs and lifted chins.

One of them, a tall man with a shave hair and a scar running down his face, spat on the ground at Bones’ feet and sneered, “This is our town and we will take it back.”
Bones laughed as he floated closer. The power of the lay lines boosted his own natural power. So much strength and a near limitless source of energy. This, this was the true reason why the ghosts wanted the town. They would have no worries of fading away, groundless to this plane. No, the lay lines would feed them for centuries or more.

“This is our home now. I’d suggest you humans get used to that idea. We will not leave. Try to force us and you will find just how dangerous of an enemy we are.” Bones floated closer and, in a blur, slammed his essence into the human’s body. Had the man been expecting such an action, he might have succeeded in blocking Bones. Instead, he lost all control of his body.

Bones settled, adjusting to the unfamiliar weight. He curled his borrowed lip in disgust. So limited and lacking. Had he really lamented the loss of his body after death?

He turned to the assembled mass, lifted the arms high and shouted, “We can control you, control your bodies anytime we choose. There is no way of stopping us. Just think of the damage we could do to your fragile shells. Take you to a cliff and jump off. Put a gun to your head and pull the trigger. Kill your loved ones. And we wouldn’t take any damage. Either bow before us or leave. This is your only chance.”

Silence descended. As one, the humans bowed down to their new rulers. Several fell, unable to stay upright due to broken bones. They made no move to pick themselves up. Bones flicked a sharp glance to the two leaders and both grudgingly dipped their heads. He made a mental note to keep an eye on them.

With a quick push, Bones exited the human, grateful to leave behind the cumbersome reminder of mortality. Chet and Jade flanked him, a show of power and solidarity. The rest of the ghosts gathered behind them and cheered.

This was their town.

Ghost Town.

Making my son happy, Writing exercise

Ghost Town – Chapter Three

Read Chapter Two here

“The cannon is set up and ready for use, Bones.” Jade’s usual high pitched tones were hushed. For once, she showed proper respect for their mission.

“Good. While they sleep, all snug in their warm beds, we attack. Cut them down before they can rally against us.” Bones snorted with laughter. “Then again, these humans have no idea how to fight us. They’re pathetic. We’ll have the town before daybreak.”

Chet floated closer to Jade and stared longingly at the sleek piece of technology. Bolted to the ground, its black body blended into the surroundings. He said, “I’ll use the cannon while you two lead the charge. The others need to see their leader out front.”

Bones nodded and turned away from the weapon. Several hundred ghosts hid behind the hill, waiting for instructions, anxious to finally claim land as their own.
His voice rang out, clear and crisp. “On the count of ten, the cannon will fire. It will knock the humans flat on their asses, leaving them vulnerable to us. Do not kill if you can avoid it. We don’t want any vengeful ghosts disrupting our plans.”

Facing the town, Bones lifted his arm and counted down. When he reached one, he dropped his arm. The cannon fired, releasing a sonic charge designed to attach the human nervous system. The ghosts cried out and swarmed over the hill.

Read Chapter Four here

Making my son happy, Writing exercise

Ghost Town – Chapter Two

Read Chapter One here

“Well, what did you learn?” Chet asked.

“I forgot how easily distracted humans are. Were we like that? Centuries of death has burned away the memories.” Bones lamented.

“We were all like that. The living doesn’t realize what they have. They squander it with pettiness. It matters not. We will take the town from them.” Chet floated above the chair, not caring how it look to others. He no longer maintained any human pretenses.

“And the weapon is ready?” Bones pulled his wandering thoughts away from the humans. They were merely obstacles to overcome. The town will belong to the ghosts, making slaves out of any who stay behind.

“Yes, the weapon is ready. Jade tested it earlier today”

“Good, we use it tonight. I want the town cleared so we can take over. I want the magic.” Bones drifted away from Chet, his mind consumed with the unlimited energy hiding within the earth beneath the town. The stupid humans couldn’t feel the power, had no clue what they’d built their houses upon. Bones knew. And nothing would stop him from gaining control of it.

Read Chapter Three here

Making my son happy, Writing exercise

Ghost Town – Chapter One

My six year old son wanted me to write him a ghost story. He gave me the plot and the characters. I filled in the rest. And he’s demanded for me to publish the story. So for my hard task master of a child, I’m putting it on my blog. Enjoy!

The ocean breeze drifted across the rocky shore bringing with it the tang of salt and a hint of burning firewood. Bones squatted next to a downed tree, it’s rotting trunk perfect cover for him. It wasn’t often he tried consciously to hide from others as it came naturally to him. Bones had no corporal form, a ghost in more simple terms.

The ringing of metal against metal held his attention. Two humans fought near their campfire, slashing each other in earnest. Shouts and grunts accompanied every clang. Other humans circled around them, their yelling indecipherable and paper clutched in their tight fists.

One of the fighters slipped, dropping to one knee. The other man took advantage and pressed the tip of his blade against the fallen opponent. Silence descended upon the crowd, eyes riveted.

“Yield or die!” The victor’s voice boomed across the distance, travelling to Bone’s ears with ease.

After a moment’s hesitation, the defeated human flung his sword to the side. Cries rose from the crowd, some jubilant, others angry. Paper exchanged hands.

Bones slipped further behind the tree, not wanting the humans to catch sight of him. Many walked away from the fire, disgusted.

Read Chapter Two here

Writing exercise

The origin of the werewolves – Enforcers and Coterie mythology

One of the groups I’m in posted a picture of a woman with a wolf and challenged us to write something about it. The image created a tale in my mind, one that explained the origins of the werewolves in the Enforcers and Coterie universe. I hope you enjoy and if you want to read more about the werewolves, then check out Sylvia’s Torment.

His wet nose pushed into her palm, an apology and a plea. He needed her forgiveness. Her red hair steamed across his back as she hugged onto him and hot tears scalded his skin. Stuck in wolf form, he couldn’t comfort her. Couldn’t tell her it’d be fine.

She’d always told him his quick temper and cutting tongue would get him into trouble. As usual, she was right. Who knew the witch wasn’t all hot air and actually had power to back up her words?

Cursed to walk this earth as a wolf until he performed an impossible task, but the witch hadn’t told him anything about the damn task.

A tiny shudder reminded him he wasn’t alone. Wallowing in pity wouldn’t help. Straightening his shoulders, he lifted his head and nudged her cheek. She lifted her head and sniffed. With a quick swipe at her eyes, she erased the evidence of her sorrow.

“Fix this,” she hissed at him, anger overtaking her normally sweet nature. “Fix this somehow. You can’t stay as a wolf.”

He sat down, ignoring the rocks poking into his backside.

Ozone tickled his now sensitive nose and he sneezed from the onslaught. His body tensed. This smell meant one thing.

A witch.

“Why hello, little wolf. Are you enjoying your new form?” she snickered at him.

Cara stood and stalked towards the witch. “Change him back.”

He caught hold of her cape with his teeth and pulled her backwards. No sense in both of them irritating the other woman.

The witch’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “Imagine that. You’ve learned something already.” Her expression turned sly. “Would you like me to remove the curse?”

Releasing his hold on Cara’s cape, he nodded and tried to look properly contrite. A hard feat when he no longer had human features.

“Then I shall give you the way to break the curse. Your impossible task. Bring me a bucket filled with lava.”

He cocked his head, unsure of how to accomplish this task. First, he was a wolf with no hands. How could he carry a bucket, never mind one filled with hot liquid rock? And where would he find a volcano? There hasn’t been an active one around here in centuries.

This was…an… impossible…task.

Damn it.

Did he really think she’d go easy on him?

***

For thirty years he wandered, searching for some way to fulfill his end of the bargain. He avoided all civilization as none would accept a wolf in their midst, afraid he’d eat their livestock. And perhaps he would. Instinct had become harder to deny as each day passed.

Not once did he visit Cara, afraid of hurting her, or worse, giving up. She would’ve grown older, aging while he stayed in this magical form. A beautiful girl, now a mature woman, surely one who’d moved on with her life.

One day, feeling lost and hopeless, he climbed a large mountain and looked down. Before him spread out the lush beauty of the forest. A deep scar carved its way through the trees, dark rock making life all by impossible. Several centuries would need to pass before any vegetation would grow again.

Turning his back on the forest, he continued further up the mountain. Trees clung to the rock, skinny and sparse the higher he climbed until finally he reached the top. Expecting a peak of jagged rocks, instead he found a massive crater. Confused, he stared at it, wondering what had happened. Did an angry witch destroy it in a temper?

He settled back on his haunches, puzzling over this when it came to him. A volcano. An inactive one by the looks of it, but one nonetheless. He howled his frustration. To finally find one and it no longer had any lava. He dropped onto his belly and covered his snout with his forepaws. Maybe he should give up. Accept defeat. Even if he’d found lava, he still couldn’t carry it back to the witch.

Lifting his head, he clawed at the black rock. At least now he understood why a vicious scar ran through the forest. It must have erupted at some point and leaked the molten lava down the mountainside. Afterwards it would’ve cooled and formed into hard rock.

A tingle of excitement wormed up his spine and he jumped up. He wasn’t defeated yet. He’d found a volcano and soon he’d break this curse. Racing down, dodging trees and bushes as he went, he mentally mapped out where the nearest village lay. A few hours if he ran full speed. Hope lent him energy.

Soon the village came in sight and he slowed. Caution became the name of this little game. He couldn’t get caught. Not when he was so close to his end goal. All he needed now was a bucket. A twinge of guilt poked him at stealing, but he refused to stop. This was his chance.

Moments later he spied what he needed. Slinking in on his belly, he wormed closer and closer to the metal container. He snatched the handle between his teeth, elated it was empty and raced away. Shouts rang out behind him. They faded away, unable to keep up with him.

***

He scratched at the door and whined. He would’ve barked except he still had a firm grip on the handle between his teeth. Not once had he put it down, worried it’d disappear if he did.

The door swung up and the witch glared at him. “Eh, what’s this? What do you want?”

With a triumphant grin, or as much as a wolf could make, he placed the bucket at her feet. She shook her head then gathered a bit of energy. Ozone curled through the air. “Mind-speak spell. Tell me what this is about.”

Your bucket of lava. I’ve done your impossible task. Now please lift this curse.

“This isn’t lava. It’s rocks. You haven’t completed the task,” she argued.

You didn’t say it had to be molten lava. You said a bucket filled with lava and that’s what you have. These rocks are hardened lava.

“Tricky, wolf. Really tricky. Fine, I’ll lift the curse. However, from now on your descendants will also learn from the error of your ways. As you spent thirty years as a wolf, they will get thirty years as a human. After that they will then change into wolf form. A small caveat, they can shift between forms at will. Perhaps they’ll learn not to be so hasty with their words when it comes to someone more powerful than them.”

***

“And that is how werewolves were made, Bobby,” his mother said as she smoothed the hair from his forehead. He loved this story and begged her to tell it every night.

“Mean old witch,” he complained without any real heat.

His mother smiled. “They were both to blame. He should have been more respectful. Not because she was powerful, but because words can hurt. And she shouldn’t have reacted in anger. She used her magic to cause him pain. Remember though, we don’t call them witches or warlocks. That’s a derogatory term. They’re mages.”

Writing Tips

Day 8

Rewrite a fairy tale from the bad guy’s point of view.

Jack and the Beanstalk has always disturbed me. There was something about the story that just seemed wrong and off but it wasn’t until much later in life that I finally understood what it was. Jack was a thief and a murderer.

The giant, whom we never learn his name, comes home from a hard day’s work. He finds someone has broken into his home and subsequently steals a bag of gold from him. Next day, it’s his goose that lays a golden egg. On the third day, he finally catches the thief in the act, stealing his golden harp. Did you ever wonder why the harp yelled out to the giant for help? Does this seem like the actions of someone wanting to be “freed”? When the giant chases the thief, he is then murdered when Jack cuts down the beanstalk.

What moral is this telling to our children? It’s okay to break into someone’s house, steal their things and then kill them if they object but as long as you’re poor and they’re not?  That if someone is different from you, then they’re fair game? The giant was a giant. That’s it. That was the sole difference between them. Sure, he had the line of “Fe, fi, fo, fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman.” However, that didn’t mean it was okay to break into his home. Jack was in the wrong and the giant was well within his rights to protect his property.

And speaking of the giant, why didn’t he have a name? Well, you don’t want to sympathize with the “bad guy”, right? As soon as he receives a name, he’s humanized. You no longer feel quite as compelled to root for Jack.

This is my story about Jack and the Beanstalk told from the giant’s point of view.

Working the field was hard, dirty work. Andrew didn’t complain though. The work needed to be done and he was the best one for the job.

The setting sun told him it was time to go home. He knew cheese, meat, and bread would be waiting for him. His stomach grumbled at the thought.

Wearily, he pushed open his front door, the loud creak echoed through his home. He reminded himself to oil the hinges, the same reminder he given for the past month.  Fixing the door just wasn’t a priority after a long day. He only wanted to sit and eat.

Sniffing, he realized something was wrong. There was a strange smell in the air. An Englishmen! One of the downworlders had been in his home. Maybe was still in his home!

“Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman!” He bellowed, hoping to scare him into the open.  Squinting at the floor, he saw nothing move. Englishmen were tiny creatures, no bigger than a mouse to be sure, although more crafty and devious.

Tired after working hard, he sat down to his supper and barely finished eating before his head began to droop. Not wanting to fall asleep so soon, he pulled out several bags of gold and counted them. It soothed him to see his gold.

Soon, his eyelids felt heavy, impossible to hold up. They drooped down and he nodded off.

The next morning, he woke. Confused, he stared at his kitchen table. For a minute he couldn’t remember what happened. As he glanced around, he noticed something wrong, something missing. One of his bags of gold was gone! That Englishman had stolen his gold. He slammed his fist on the table. How dare he!

Quickly, he shoved the remaining bags of gold into his chest and locked it up tight.  Too angry to even eat breakfast, he stomped off to the fields, muttering the whole way.

Another back breaking day finally ended. He trudged home slowly, aching and sore from sleeping at the kitchen table and from stooping over most of the day. As his home came into view, he quickened his pace. Was that Englishman back?

Flinging the door wide open, he took a deep breath. Sure enough, the fresh scent of the intruder assaulted his nose. Wanting to frighten him into never coming back, he boomed,

“Fee-fi-fo-fum,

I smell the blood of an Englishman

Be he alive, or be he dead

I’ll have his bones to grind my bread.”

He waited, wondering if he’d see the nasty little intruder. Nothing stirred. As before, Andrew sat at the kitchen table and ate his supper. This time, he didn’t want to fall asleep at the table. He walked over to the pen he had set up in his den. Sitting on the couch, he leaned over and said to the goose within the pen “Lay!” and the goose laid a golden egg.

Petting the goose, he praised it for doing such a good job. Within minutes, Andrew felt sleep sneak upon him. He stretched out on the couch and passed out.

Morning came bright and early. And quiet. Much too quiet. He shot upwards and rushed to the goose’s pen. She was gone! That dirty, thieving Englishman had stolen his goose. He was going to savagely beat that Englishman if he ever got his hands on him.

Stomping to his bedroom, Andrew quickly changed, brushed his teeth and rushed out the door to the fields. He spent all day in the blistering hot sun.

This time, he rushed home, wondering if the thief had dared to break in his house again. The scent of that bloody Englishman drifted through the air. Furious and shaking in anger, he yelled out, this time meaning it,

“Fee-fi-fo-fum,

I smell the blood of an Englishman

Be he alive, or be he dead

I’ll have his bones to grind my bread.”

If he got his hands on that thief, he would grind his bones for his bread. Although it sounded pretty disgusted to actually do. As per usual, he didn’t see anything out of place. Deciding it was time to bait a trap for the thief, he brought out his golden harp.

“Sing,” he commanded her. Her lovely voice filled the air, the sweetest song ever. Exhausted, he slumped down into the kitchen chair and soon began to snore.

“Master! Help, help me, Master!” The lovely voice woke him from a deep sleep. The thief was stealing his harp!

Leaping to his feet, his chair crashing onto the floor, he raced after the Englishman. The little guy was quicker than he should’ve been, especially while carrying the harp.

Several feet outside of the castle, Andrew saw the bolt hole the thief had been using. It was the top of a beanstalk poking through the solid clouds. The little man jumped down the hole, racing along the beanstalk. Andrew followed.

Within a few minutes, he felt the stalk shake. He looked down and saw the thief standing at the base, whacking the beanstalk with an ax. He tried to hurry up, tried to race downwards, but he couldn’t move fast enough.

The beanstalk toppled over and with it, Andrew fell. His last thought was the realization that this thief was also a murderer.