Wilde's Fire

The exciting first book of the Darkness Falls series!

Wilde's Army

The second installment of Darkness Falls.

Wilde's Meadow

The conclusion of Katriona and Arland's story.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

9 Lives

Cats are supposed to have nine lives, and my cat Doc knew how to use them. When we moved from the city, he was just as lost as the rest of us. My parents insisted on sending the cuddly feline out into the unknown, only allowing him to enter when he was hungry. We couldn’t leave his food out, or the mouths would multiply.

Doc was all white with the tiniest patch of black on top of his head, right between his ears. He earned his name because he reminded us of a doctor in a lab coat. Okay, I’m not sure if that’s true, but it’s the story I’m sticking with.

At night he’d jump on my window, claws sticking through the screen. He’d cry and scratch, and I’d let him in. Over time the two of us formed a bond so strong, I’d call to him as soon as the bus dropped me off after school and Doc would bound down the rock-lined driveway, tail sticking straight up, and rub figure eights around my ankles.

One day, he didn’t greet me and immediately I knew something was wrong.

“Where do you think he could be?” I asked Kris.

“I’m sure he’s just eating a mouse or something.”

Mouse carcasses were common things to find on our back porch. “Yeah, you’re probably right,” I said, frowning.

But when we reached the house Doc still wasn’t anywhere to be found. I looked under beds, under cars, in the barn, under the porch—anywhere I thought he might hide, I searched.

My legs bounced. My heart raced. Somewhere deep inside I knew he was hurt, but I had no proof.

Mom and Dad arrived home, and I was sick with worry. Dinner wouldn’t go down. Tv wasn’t interesting. I went out back and called for him over and over but received no response.

No little meows. No soft affections. No nothing.

The sun lowered, disappearing below the Texas horizon. Dad grabbed a flashlight and together we went outside.

“Kitty, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty,” I called.

The crickets responded with constant chirping, but Doc remained wherever he was.

Me—chirp, chirp—ow.

“Did you hear that?” Dad asked.

I ran toward the trailer then stuck my ear to the plywood dad nailed along the bottom, listening for signs of life. Faint meows met my ears.

Dad ran up the stairs and into the house then returned with a hammer.

We pried the plywood back and found Doc lying on the ground. He was swollen and from the way he slowly moved his head toward us, we could tell he was stiff.

Dad slid on his stomach, reaching for the cat, and after what seemed like an eternity, he pulled my little friend out.

Puss and blood oozed from a wound at the base of his tail.

Tears streamed down my face. “W-What’s wrong with him?” I fell to the ground and rubbed my hand over his soft head.

“Looks like a snake bite . . . .”

We brought Doc in the house and made him comfortable for the night. It was too late to take him to the vet, but my dad promised we’d go in the morning. When the morning came, Doc was still with us. We put him in a box with some blankets and drove to the nearest vet clinic. They confirmed he’d been bitten by a non-venomous snake, and they needed to clean him up.

“She should wait outside,” the actual doc said, glancing at me.

Mom and Dad took me into the waiting room. I couldn’t understand why everyone wanted me away. Doc was my kitty, he needed me, I’d like to think he wanted me. But as the vets worked on him, Doc cried ear-piercing, mind-numbing cries of agony. My head pounded. My heart ached. Listening to him howl was awful, and it was the reason I decided to change my mind about becoming a veterinarian.

A couple hours later, the doctors brought a sedated and bandaged little kitty out to me and sent us home—my parents with a hefty bill and me with my best friend. After that experience he never had to scratch my window screen to get in; I refused to let him out of my sight.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Is it Sunday already? Wow! Where does the time go? I've picked six (sounds like the lottery, doesn't it?) fresh lines for your reading pleasure. I've frightened you, I've given you sweet . . . now it's time for FUN.

~“You remember that time we brought Uncle John and his girlfriend Cindy out here with us?” Brit asks.

I nod.

She pulls a dirt-encrusted bottle out from behind her back. “Well, I stole this bottle of rum from them and buried it . . . with a little help from a stick.” She’s proud of herself—I haven’t seen her look this giddy in months.

“You didn’t?!” ~

Thanks for visiting. If you'd like to see other amazing authors who participate in Six Sunday, click here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Climbing Trees

A huge Oak tree grew along our farm’s property line. Lush, green grasses sprouted under expansive shade the tree provided. The area was like a secret meadow intended for only my brother and I.

On windy days I’d venture away from the house and spin in circles in the meadow, allowing the tall grasses to tickle at my legs. My hair whipped my face, but I’d smile—this was heaven.

One afternoon Dad nailed boards into the trunk of the Oak, so Kris and I could climb up and imagine worlds far beyond the one we lived in. We discussed imaginary wars and how we wanted to design our military base high up in the branches.

We could see for miles. Rows and rows of cotton made up the landscape to our right, and grazing cattle filled the fields to our left. Every white bud on the plants was an enemy; each cow was something we had to protect.

Mom called for dinner.

“We’ll discuss storming the alien ship tomorrow,” Kris said, climbing down the tree. He waited for me at the bottom. “You coming?”

Suddenly the ground appeared far away. My hands sweat and I imagined falling on my back with the wind knocked out of me. Shaking my head, I said, “How do I get down?”

Kris arched his eyebrow. “The same way you got up.”

“It’s not the same way.” I leaned forward, everything inside me screaming to cling to a branch for dear life. The first board was further away than I’d remembered. How was I supposed to get my scrawny legs to it? My face flashed hot; my stomach turned. “Can you get Dad?”

“Just come down,” he said. “You got up, you can get down.”

“Please . . . .”

Kris propped his hands on his hips and shook his head.

Mom called for us again.

“We’re going to get in trouble if you don’t hurry.”

His voice teased at my fears. What was worse, falling and dying or having Mom and Dad mad at me?

“Please go get Dad?”

Kris narrowed his eyes. “You’re acting like a baby. Just lie on your stomach, hold onto a branch and slide your feet over the side.”

“What if my feet miss?”

“I’ll tell you which way to go.”

Getting on my stomach, I followed Kris’ instructions to the letter, but my feet found nothing but stairless bark. I lost my resolve and scrambled back to the top. “I can’t do it.”

I turned around, but Kris was gone. I was alone, standing in a tall tree in what used to be my favorite meadow. How could he leave me? Where did he go? How was I going to get down?

So not to lose my balance and fall, I sat down and folded my legs over each other. Twenty minutes later, I started screaming for my brother or dad or mom—whoever would come, but no one did.

Five or six more times I attempted to climb down, but couldn’t find the stairs. I wound up paralyzed by fear, dangling on the trunk.

Then I heard my dad whistling. The normally agitating sound was sweet relief to my nerves.

“Dad,” I screamed.

He carried a ladder and headed straight for me.

Struggling to maintain my grip, I sighed when the I felt the metals steps beneath my feet. I climbed down and hugged my dad. “Why did Kris leave me?”

“He thought you’d find your way down eventually. Guess I’ll have to add another step for you.”

My hands stung; my heart raced, but I was down and alive. On solid ground. I swore never to go up that tree again, and to punch my brother as soon as I got in the house.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Guest Blog: Jason McIntyre

Today I'd like to welcome a good Twitter-bud and amazing writer, Jason McIntyre. I've had the pleasure of reading some of his work and let me just say, I wasn't disappointed. I have BLED and can't wait to devour it. Okay, I'll be quiet and let Jason do the rest of the talking . . . make sure to leave him a comment!

Hot Blood: My new book ‘Bled’ turns up the heat

What is it about scary stories in the summer?

I’ve written my share of books and shorts that take place in the icy vastness
of a desolate winter but if we think back on our childhoods of watching movies and reading books, so many of the suspenseful and horrific ones take place on a hot summer’s night. Or out at the lake, in the woods, even in an inner city neighborhood during a heat wave.

I wonder if it goes back to the idea that we often step out of our routine -- and thus our comfort zone -- during summer holidays from school and work. We try new things, go new places. It’s a time for escape, but also for being confronted with some unusual things -- strangers or ideas or locations that might be totally new for us.

Bled takes place across the span of a hot summer in a beach town called Dovetail Cove. It starts on the May long weekend and rattles its way to conclusion in the blazing heat of an un-air-conditioned downtown cafe. A young woman named Teeny McLeod is a working class gal trying to make ends meet for her family. For Teeny, there won’t be many days in the hot sun improving her tan. She won’t be drinking at the pubs with friends. She’ll be fending of the advances of lazy office workers who come in to stare at her legs and make cracks about how they take their coffee.

Does the heat add to the tension? Or to the confusion? Does the lazy lolling waves of cigarette smoke hanging in the air make the tale a tighter squeeze on the reader?

I hope so. Really I do. And I hope you’ll consider giving the story a read to discover whether it does or not, too. Remember, I love feedback from my readers. I hope you’ll get in on Bled!

Bled: About the Novella

She only wanted to leave. But he took that option from her. Now she wants it back.

Set on the same island as the reader favorite Shed, the latest literary suspense novella from bestselling author Jason McIntyre picks up the Dovetail Cove saga with this story of one lonely woman...trapped.

Tina McLeod is on the cusp of a new life. Extraordinary change is rare in her world but this newsflash means she can finally leave her small island town for good. No more pouring coffee for townsfolk in Main Street’s greasy spoon, no more living under the weight of her born-again mother. That is, until Frank Moort comes in for his usual lunch and dessert on an ordinary Friday in May.

Bled sees things turn backwards and upside down for each of them. Their encounter is prolonged and grotesque, the sort of thing splashing the covers of big city newspapers. Both are changed. And neither will come out clean on the other side.

A story about taking what’s not yours, Bled explores pushing back when you’ve been pushed too far. It paints in red the horrors from our most commonplace of surroundings: right out in the open where nothing can hide behind closed doors and shut mouths.

Bled: Teaser Trailer

Click HERE to view the trailer.

About the Author

Jason McIntyre has lived and worked in varied places across the globe. His writing also meanders from the pastoral to the garish, from the fantastical to the morbid. Vibrant characters and vivid surroundings stay with him and coalesce into novels and stories. Before his time as an editor, writer and communications professional, he spent several years as a graphic designer and commercial artist.

McIntyre's writing has been called darkly noir and sophisticated, styled after the likes of Chuck Palahniuk but with the pacing and mass appeal of Stephen King. The books tackle the family life subject matter of Jonathan Franzen but also eerie discoveries one might find in a Ray Bradbury story or those of Rod Serling.

Jason McIntyre’s books include the #1 Kindle Suspense,
The Night Walk Men, Bestsellers On The Gathering Storm and Shed, plus the multi-layered coming-of-age literary suspense Thalo Blue.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Today is Sunday, that means you get six more lines from my novel. I've toned it back this week--thought you could all use a little less tension and a little more sweet.


~He dunks a stick in the small pool below his feet, attempting to drown an evasive water strider. “Are you glad we came yet?”

“No,” I say, grinning ear to ear. I am of course having fun, even though I’m concerned about the strange events.

Brad pulls me into his shoulder. “I am.”~

To see other authors who participate in Six Sentence Sunday, click here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Word of the Day is Poo

Being at work is not something that normally brings me to hysterics, but yesterday was no normal day. In fact the entire last month of my life has not been anything close to business as usual. Earthquakes, hurricanes, torrential rains . . . .

“Insert Employers Name Here, this is Krystal.” I answered the phone like I do every time it rings.

The person on the other end droned on and on about something I didn’t have the ability to help him with, but I couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

I sighed and twisted my finger through the phone cord until the base slid across my desk. “Oops. Oh no, sir, I wasn’t talking to you. Let me transfer you to the appropriate person.”

Pour soul!

Reaching to hang up the phone, I froze. A small speck of black about the size of a grain of rice lay on my desk. What is that? Upon closer inspection, my ick alarm rang.

Oh, God, I have mouse poo on my desk. Moving everything, I searched for—and found—more.


A sudden urge to wash my hands, take a shower, bleach my desk, run from the room and scream YUCK, hit me hard.

My files, the window ledge, my desk, the floor—every place I looked there was poo. How did I not notice this before? How long has this little beady-eyed monster been running rampant in my office?

I mentioned something to my co-worker. We were disgusted together, but decided to let the Building Service manager know.

This is how my e-mail went: I think I have a mouse. I've found droppings on my desk. Do you need to see the droppings or can I go ahead and clean it? Can we set up traps? Eeek.

While waiting for a porter to come down and collect scat as proof—why the manager didn’t believe me, I’ll never understand—my coworkers and I searched everywhere. It wasn’t just on my desk; it was on everyone’s desks and files.

Thank God!

I was beginning to feel gross. Like maybe the mouse had a fascination with ONLY me. Like maybe I left tasty treats out for the damned thing to eat.

The poo was collected, desks were sterilized, floors vacuumed and traps set. We could go back to our regularly scheduled work.

But I keep expecting a ravenous beast to pop out from behind my phone or monitor or appear in my overhead cabinets. Yes, I know mice are sweet and cute, but not when they’re pooing on everything. Guess I’ll have to eat my cheese somewhere else.


Monday, September 12, 2011

A Tragic Day in History

I told myself I wasn't going to write a 9/11 post. What I experienced was nothing compared to what so many went through that day. But at one in the morning yesterday, I did write. Why? I'm not sure. To save it forever. To let my kids know what being a parent during an attack feels like. I don't believe what I wrote even touches on how I truly felt--on how concerned I was for my country, how sick I was for all those families, how scared I was to be in this city and how desperate I was to get to my son.

For those who'd like to read, I will stop talking and let you have it.

My day started out like every other. I woke up, drank a ton of coffee, rushed to get dressed, dropped my son at daycare and carpooled to work. Papers stacked up on my desk, many needed to be copied. Our Xerox room was in the middle of our office. Placing my phone on voicemail, I grabbed the papers and resigned myself to spend the rest of the morning alone.

White-haired Bob peeked around the corner, his eyes wide, his knuckles gripped the door frame. “A plane just hit the World Trade Center.”

I had no words to offer. I didn’t understand the implications of what he’d just said. My knowledge of the World Trade Center didn’t go beyond the name. I wouldn’t say I lived a sheltered life, far from it. But what I will say is I didn’t live a life far reaching outside myself.

Continuing with my copies, I thought about what he’d said. A plane hit a building. Oh my God. A plane hit a building. I stopped what I was doing and turned to find Bob so I could ask him what that meant, but he was standing in the doorway again. Tears filled his eyes.

My heart stopped.

“Another plane just hit. It’s a terrorist attack.”

I knew the definition of the word terrorist. Abandoning the copy room, I found an office with a tv and watched smoke billow out of two of the tallest buildings I’d ever seen.

Unsure of whether to sit down, run away, cry or scream, I didn’t move. Frozen by the sheer magnitude of what was happening. Bob and our other office mates stood around the tv in much the same way as me.

Suddenly the news switched from images of the destroyed Twin Towers to those of grief-stricken reporters informing us the Pentagon had been hit by a plane.

I ran for the phone. Working in D.C. comes with concern for personal safety, but never once did I imagine anything would actually happen. Not like this. How would I get home? I carpooled. My carpoolers weren’t in my building. The phone wouldn’t dial out. There was nothing but silence.

My son. My sweet little boy was forty miles away from me. I wanted to know he was safe. I wanted to know he’d be taken care of. I wanted to get to him. Repeatedly I tried to use the phone; a call would connect, then drop. I couldn’t see through the tears. Couldn’t focus through the worry.

After trying for half an hour, I finally got through to my carpoolers—they’d left me. People were fleeing the office. None of them lived in the same direction as me.

I was stuck.

Trying the phone again, I got through to a friend who was willing to go pick up my son. The news misreported many downed planes, potential targets, areas to be affected . . . areas near my home.

I was beside myself. Alone, I sat in front of the tv, watching in horror as people lept from unimaginable heights to escape being burned alive. Why? Why would anyone do this? How could someone hate so deeply to take innocent lives? How could anyone take pleasure in this? How?

A trembling hand gripped my shoulder. “Krystal, you’re still here?”

Looking up, I saw the swollen face of my friend Karrie. “I have no way home.”

“I’ll take you,” she said.

I shook my head. “But it’s out of your way.”

“Who has your son?”

“A friend.”

“I’ll take you, but we are going a little later. I heard a lot of people ran out of gas waiting to get out of the parking garage.”

I don’t know what possessed me to do it, but I stood up and wrapped my arms around her, sobbing into her shoulder. We backed away and stepped onto the balcony of the eleventh floor of our office building. The sky turned from blue to black. The Pentagon burned and we could see it.

The two of us didn’t say much, we just sat there and watched while crying. How could this happen here? Those poor people. All the families affected. All the lives lost for nothing.

The streets cleared, the air was crisp and eerily quiet. Washington D.C. is a busy place. The typical traffic jammed roads were empty. The only people on the sidewalks were plain clothes cops. No planes flew overhead.

“You ready?” Karrie asked.

I nodded.

We were the only people left in the building aside from security. The bing of the elevator sent a shock through me. It took us thirty minutes to drive home. We didn’t pass any other cars. I imagined the end of the world would be that quiet—and that’s what the day felt like.

But it wasn’t and never will be. Americans are strong. Humanity stronger. People came together. We fought. We rebuilt and we survived.

There may be hate in this world powerful enough to strike fear in the hearts of millions, but the good nature of most humans will always prevail. No matter how hard people try to hate, we will always try harder to find peace.

Please say a prayer for all those who were tragically affected on 9/11 and hug your families daily.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

What is going on this week? Hmmm, looks like a bunch of scared kids to me.

~I squeeze Brit’s hand to get her attention. She looks at me; in this moment I know what I have to do to save her and Brad.

“I love you,” I mouth to her.

She mouths it back.

I turn around and shove Brit in the chest as hard as I can, knocking her through the entry to the cave, where I pray she’ll make it home to safety.

Shrieks of rage come from behind me; the creatures begin running. ~

To see other authors who participate in Six Sentence Sunday, click here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I’m afraid of spiders.

I’m afraid of snakes.

I’m afraid of falling from great heights.

On occasion I feel a need to remind myself of things that make me scream—like this past weekend. Me, my husband and our three adorable children made a quick escape to Pennsylvania and visited Hershey Park and Dutch Wonderland. The trip was sort of our “Last Hoorah” before school started.

Kid #1 is eleven years old; things that excite him are fast, tall and usually make women and men scream like little girls.

Kid #2 is four years old; she screams like a little girl way too often and likes things that are fast and tall, but is only allowed on rides slow and short.

Kid #3 is one; she screams. Period.

To make things fair my husband and I rotated kid pairings. He and Kid #1 took off toward something called the Great Bear and the girls and I found food. Yes. Food. When the boys returned, Kid #2 and I rode a mid-level roller coaster she was tall enough to get on.

But this is all beside the point.

The point is my pairing with Kid #1. We stood in line for ten minutes to ride something called Storm Runner. It’s one of the water pressure coasters that launches riders forward at speeds capable of making your head plaster to the seat.

“Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God,” Kid #1 screamed.

Weeeeeeeee was the only thing coming from my mouth.

“Can we go on that one?” Kid #1 asked, walking down the exit ramp and pointing at a mammoth of a ride.

My fear of heights doesn’t apply to roller coasters. As long as I’m moving forward, I’m not worried about falling—and hey, the ride Kid #1 and I just got off of shot us straight up in the air at fighter jet speeds. I can handle anything. “Sure.”

But my brain wasn’t thinking logically. The other coaster shot us up and over the tall incline really fast; this coaster took a slow approach. The climb was so steep I felt as though I was sliding backwards out of my chair. Blood rushed to my head, making me feel tingly all over. Panic took control—I wanted off. My hands were sweating. I was going to fall. Someone please help me!

But my son was with me, so I had to keep these thoughts inside. We were not going to die; everyone else survived.

We reached the top, creeped over the edge and then shot straight down, up, around, sideways, in circles, upside down, this way, that. I’m blacking out. What the hell? Why am I still screaming? I need to breathe. ACK! Ride over.

I was woozy. Had to walk slow. Couldn’t think. Sweating from head to toe. What’s my name again?

I have a new fear: I’m afraid of Fahrenheit at Hershey Park.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Well, it's that time again. For those of you who enjoyed last week's six, you may find this intriguing as well. It doesn't pick up from the exact place I left off, but in the same chapter. My trio's little world just turned upside down and they are in for an even ruder awakening.

~ I take slow breaths, in and out, force the visions to the back of my brain and open my eyes into this strange, dark place. Brad helps me to my feet and holds onto my hand, steadying me. There is no moon, there are no stars above our heads, no street lights, nothing but darkness. Our flashlights—providing the only light that can be seen—lie on the ground, shining on something approaching. What I see doesn’t make any sense; the beings before us must be remnants of the visions I’ve experienced. But I see the panic on Brad and Brit’s faces and know the beings are real. ~

To see other authors who participate in Six Sentence Sunday, click here.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Last Hoorah!

Hey all you wonderful blog followers out there. Friday has come and almost gone and I've not posted an update since Monday. I did have a lovely guest blogger yesterday, but I realized I've been a little too quiet this week--and last. Okay, maybe the week before too.

I have a laundry load of excuses, but will spare you the details.

Anyway, I've got some family time planned for the weekend. Loading up the car and hitting the theme parks. School starts Monday and we're going to have a last hoorah before our lives are restricted to scheduled activities--like sleep, open houses, sports and other extracurricular things. Life will belong to the public school systems.


I hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday weekend (if you're in the US--if not, just have a great weekend, okay?).

Oh, and don't miss Six Sentence Sunday!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Guest Post: Johanna K. P.

When Johanna K. P. and I talked about her visiting my blog, we discussed how I always share memories of my childhood or current life and how she could fit in. Well, she went a little further and wrote a story about a Christmas gift, turning it into a satirical piece that will surely live on in your memories. So, without further annoying commentary by me, I bring you SNUGGIE!

Hi everybody! My name is Johanna and I’m a writer. It’s my first time doing this… I’m a lawyer by day….. but I was born to write. I also like to spend my time blogging and tweeting. Writing is really my thing, you know.

I met some wonderful people via Twitter, thank you for all these amazing moments you gave me. It was really nice of you to be so welcoming. So….. I wasn’t really sure what to talk about in this post. My genre is more oriented towards horror and generally, dark fiction, but hey, Krystal warned me, so I will watch my language here, and not talk about zombie killers and such…. Guys, no honestly, you have nothing to be afraid of.

Alright, alright, suspense is killing me, and I’m sure it’s killing you too. I wanted to talk today about the climate issues I was having at work.

Calm down, I swear it will be interesting.

You must know that it’s probably 90 degrees outside, but inside my office, it’s a cool 72 degrees at all times, which means that sitting down for 10-12 hours a day, it goes down to 50. I see some of you nodding so this confirms I’m not the only one suffering from that condition. It’s called being a woman.

What did I do to remedy the issue? Well, I snuck in my space heater despite being told not to, because the building where I work is “green”. Yeah, whatever I thought. My comfort comes first. It was a happy few months until the unthinkable happened. I… witnessed my space heater die at my feet this morning. A strange smell of something burning told me that it was better to unplug it, and after much consideration for my co-workers for not causing a fire, (thank you), I discarded it. I couldn’t shed a single tear, the reason being that I was too cold to even feel sad. (sigh)

Now, what was my option? I didn’t have a sweater or a jacket with me, and my legs would stay cold anyway even if I had one. Desperate to end my battle with modern ice age, I decided to consult the oracles, i.e. Twitter, and got a response pretty quickly indeed.

A very thoughtful tweep told me to just get a snuggie. She even said “one of our co-workers has one, and since she has no dignity left, she wears it at her desk. At least, she feels toasty all day!”

Now (I see your interest for this post growing by the second), that was a good idea... in theory. You see… (Gosh this is getting hard) I have a problem with… snuggies. I… I always abhorred the blanket with sleeves…. From the first day I saw the commercial on TV. (Oh Lord please help me) And I hate them even more now. This is why…

Christmas day. I had been waiting all night for this, and could not be more eager to unwrap all my presents. I was so excited…. You have no idea. I was boiling with anticipation. This was supposed to be the best day of the whole month (well after my birthday of course). After much joy and excitement, and gifts I didn’t really care about, I was finally given THE gift. Everybody spoke unanimously. This was it. The big moment of the whole morning. I could not stay still. I felt like I was 5 again.

When I finally tore off the paper, I remained speechless. I looked at it for a long time, and then, I screamed. After tossing the gift aside, I threw myself on the floor and I cried, feeling totally distraught. I could not think clearly. These images kept coming at me….

I pictured myself wandering among deserted streets… Just imagine New York City without anybody around. (That’s actually a pretty cool thought… Let me sit on this for one second. Yeah. I can totally see it. Wow, that would be heaven. Alright… sorry… Back to my story.)

Buildings in ruin, shattered windows, a door squeaking in the distance… (A squeaking door in New York?? Ok… No, that sounds fine… This is fiction after all.) Alright… you got the picture. It was just the whistling wind and me. Or so I thought. I knew I sensed a presence shadowing me but I saw nothing. The breeze kept playing with my hair, as I nervously glanced to my left and to my right, my finger slowly aiming at the safety of my gun (Picture a big gun, like in Resident Evil or Underworld… yeah.) Somebody or something was there watching me…

Suddenly I saw it. It was standing about a hundred feet ahead of me. I…. lost my breath for a second, my hand running to get my weapon out of the holster…. I was so scared. It was not my time…. No, not yet. I…. kept moving. I could feel the sweat running down my spine, my eyes searching for an escape route but finding none. It stayed put…. It was just looking at me. I swallowed and realized my mouth was really dry. I murmured a prayer with every step I took that brought me closer to my fate. It was waiting for me.

I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t think this through. I wanted out of there alive, you know. So, I did it like in The Matrix. I just pulled my gun and I started throwing karate moves while running (yeah I did both at the same time). I also began shooting like crazy, hitting everything but my target…. My fear gripped my guts until I felt my stomach turn upside down, making me sick to the point where I thought I would pass out but I had to keep fighting. It was now or never. I screamed like a warrior, and I pulled the trigger until my index finger hurt so bad I had to stop. How many bullets did I have in that gun? (I never reloaded, that was awesome. Anyway….) I kept shooting, making a weird face, mouth open, eyes bulging out of their sockets, I sounded terrifying, until I was the last one standing.

I could have looked really badass you guys! I was supposed to be a hero. But no, that was not for me. How do you want to look cool fighting a creature from another dimension when your super sexy black duster has been swapped with an ugly pink blanket with sleeves? Yes, I’m cold all the time so what? I have a reputation to preserve! Who gives snuggies as Christmas gifts? Like really? Where’s your imagination gone? On vacation? I just couldn’t believe this! Like I’m waiting all Christmas for this, and then…. Yeah…. Whatever.

You know what, I don’t deserve this. I’m a writer and I live for that stuff. I fight weird creatures all the time in my dreams. I can’t let this get to me. People who don’t write don’t understand. “What’s the big deal? Who cares if it looks freaking ugly on you?” Guess what? A hero keeps her dignity intact AT ALL TIMES. No matter how cold, I don’t wear blanket with sleeves. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to buy myself a new space heater.

Johanna K. P. lives in New York City. Always on the go, she's a lawyer by day, and also a cat lover and a piano player. She writes SF/UF/Horror and generally dark fiction. Her WIP is titled "The Manicheans". You can find more of her work here.

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