Hey folks! I had to re edit the footage of this one because it was out of frame. Yikes. Good thing I’m a writer, not a camera person. Right?
Anyhow, here’s the YouTube link. Enjoy!!
Hey folks! I had to re edit the footage of this one because it was out of frame. Yikes. Good thing I’m a writer, not a camera person. Right?
Anyhow, here’s the YouTube link. Enjoy!!
Behold! My latest interview with Dr.Paul on Impact Radio USA.
Peace until next time.
It’s a paperweight…
It’s a wheel chock…
NO! It’s author Linette Kasper’s debut YA fantasy novel “Daimon“! Linette may reside in Northern Virginia, but her I’m-gonna-love-you-forever-no-like-literally-forever-tale-of-romance-gone-dark type novel weaves its mysterious tale around the historic city of Richmond, Va.
Megan, our scrumptious and sometimes sarcastic, female protagonist is still coping with the loss of her mother when– in true Cinderella fashion– her dad decides it’s time to move on. That’s right– he’s ready to tie ye ‘ol knot again.
Moving on– it’s a good thing, right? “Onward and upward.” That’s what they say. Perhaps forward motion is optimal– well, that is if you’re not planning to marry a half-crazed psycho– Erin, remember to edit this and take that out– you can’t belittle the anti-social personality disorder community by comparing Megan’s stepmom to a psychopath.
crazy-bitch-ass stepmom, Vanessa decides to physically abuse her in public by slapping her at a bridal shop, Megan takes off. Who can blame the girl? And I’m not even going to start on the employee who kinda just watched and didn’t really do anything… you know… like telephone DSS. Did Kasper mean this as a sly critique of the social system in the United States? You be the judge… like maybe, literally… Megan’s dad, Jack, is a lawyer… Okay, not funny… moving on.
I don’t have the answer to that question, BUT I caught up with Linette and her crazy schedule to ask her, “If you put a dollar in a claw machine and it broke down, would say nothing or complain?”
Her answer? “Depends on if that means it’s broken or faulty. I may grumble to myself, but I’m not one to complain or make a scene, so I would chalk it up to not being meant to be and move on with my life. If the machine were broken, I would report it so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
So maybe the claw machine isn’t meant to be, but I know what is– “I know what is” can be read in one of those over-used-I’m-gonna-do-a-high-pitch-sing-song-voice type deals. When Megan takes off, she drives to the cemetery where her mom is buried, and it is there that she meets a dark figure in the night.
Who could it be? Does she live? Does she die? Did Vanessa follow her? Who is the mystery stranger?
“He was stunning, like an otherworldly being, with beguiling eyes that took me in as I was taking him in and bow lips that naturally turned at the corners into a slight smile. Tall and lean, he was dressed in khaki pants and a pinstripe shirt that opened to a fitted black t-shirt” (Daimon).
He had me at khaki pants– swoon. There’s just something about an ironed inseam that gets me every time kinda like the hot fudge melting the ice cream on my sundae…
Oh, book review– forgot. So, we know our mystery guest is a “he“, but who exactly is that?
Cue 1970’s jazzed out theme show song, lower psychedelic backdrop: “Meet David, he’s a mysterious hot n’ sexy dream boat whose hobbies include, lurking through cemeteries, cryptic dialogue that deflects any questions about himself, and being cryptic in general.”
That wasn’t a quote from the book, by the way.
So, who is David, really? Megan wants to know, I want to know, you are sitting on the edge of your seat right now– leaning in– because you want to know…
But, like any good novelist, Kasper doesn’t tell us right away, however I managed to garner a few answers out of her about what she’d do in a cemetery if she came upon a smokin’ hot stranger.
“I’d definitely be leery of him, keeping my distance until a I felt a little more comfortable. I’m not a social person and people are not apt to approach me, so I’d wonder if there’s an ulterior motive.” — Linette Kasper.
Ulterior motive would be the perfect time for me to introduce Brian, David’s scrumptious, frightening nugget of a roommate, along with Odette, Madeline, and the shy, quiet Cary.
I hesitate to spoil much about Brian, other than to say he’s got all the girls swooning– including Vanessa. The only one who’s uncomfortable seems to be Megan, but why? Could there be more to find out about Brian?
Yes, why yes there is… want to know what he’s up to?
Whatchya scared of? I don’t bite…
Now lean in!
If you want to know, read the book!
Got you, right? No?
Next, I bet you expect me to tell you that Megan is the melodramatic-loner type that lurks the high school and narrates her lack of friends–
but I’m not! Wow, you’re thinking…
maybe this is exactly what “Twilight” should’ve been– no, not linking “Twilight”. I’m lazy and you can Google it.
Megan has friends– even if they fail to question her hanging out with strangers in cemeteries late at night. David’s hot, right? He can’t possibly he dangerous– the ever so bubbly Claire, sporty no-nonsense Erin, and the-boy-next-door-who-Megan-should’ve-ended-up-with-instead-of-some-spooky-cemetary-stranger-but-didn’t-and-now-the-reader-will-feel-sorry-for-him-through-the-whole-novel… oh, I was talking about Ben.
Ben? A love triangle, you say? Oh, the plot grows jucier and jucier and we haven’t even gotten through the first couple hundred pages.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where the hell is my coffee !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Immaculately edited and polished, “Daimon” is a five-hundred-ninety-four-page, action-packed, supernatural, thriller, mixed with a touch of chic-lit and sentimentality ATOMIC-BOMB and Kasper paints a superb photo.
“Daimon” is a must read for young adults and adults alike.
Until next time, folks! Thanks for reading my review and WRITE ON!
I’m back to the blog once more. Guess what that means…
I have gas station nachos?
More episodes of the Chronicles of Ashzaria?
You published your second full-length novel?
YES!… well, tomorrow. That’s right, August 22nd, I’ll be releasing the second installment of the ‘Sync’ Series, “Menoetius”. Finally!
I won’t lie– I’ve worked hard on the proofreading and editing phases to bring a smoother, better narrative into this action-packed series and I feel amazing about it.
What else have you done, Erin?
Well, I’m glad you asked…
Today I started a YouTube Writing Workshop that I intend to upload videos to on a weekly basis. I’m excited for this project because I get asked a lot of questions about my writing process, and I cannot wait to try to answer them.
You can find the video on my YouTube channel, but just in case, I’ll enter the link on this post, too.
Hmm… are the thumbnails the worst expressions? Who sits in the cubicle at YouTube Inc. and monitors these things?
Well, my next video will be in landscape mode… I’m a newbie, so give me a break.
For now, I’m out. Sorry for the short post. I will be writing more over the upcoming weeks/months. Yayyy….
In the mean time, check out my online shop for all the “Synchronicity” Fandom…
ANNNND… the new page for my domestic violence support website, When She Walked Away.
Peace, my friends. Look for more updates and articles SOON!
Lately, I’ve become a bit obsessed with listening to slam poetry. So… I thought I’d try my own.
Linked to the post is a video I uploaded onto Facebook. I was trying to use poetry to contribute to the dialogue surrounding domestic violence. I will add that I placed a trigger warning on this. Please watch at your own discretion.
If this moves you, feel free to share, or leave a comment.
If I could love in words
I’d write a sestina
As long as her legs,
filter it in sepia
silk sheets shrouded in a vignette.
She is a maze
I need to understand,
before I breathe.
lines of iambic pentameter
rhyming in my head.
in complete stanzas.
tangled metaphors lost in
splayed on my pillow.
drops of moonlight
painted by angels,
encased in gold.
Her body’s a sonnet
I want to wrap around me
while I spew pathetic
“Misa,” Ajah grumbled as she struggled with the zipper. “Hold still.”
Misa inhaled a deep breath and held it while Ajah continued fighting with the obstinate fastener. “You volunteered to help,” Misa reminded her best friend.
“I did. I’m excited for you. You and Doran have been friends for as long as any of us can remember.” She giggled before continuing. “Now you can be friends.”
“There’s still two months before Matrice,” Misa’s cheeks grew hot as she responded to her friend’s comment. “Tonight is only Fesztiv.”
It’s important to note in Astridia, regardless of your region, marriage comes with a great ordeal of pomp and circumstance. This not only serves as a means of courtship between the two about to be married, it acts as a platform for families to bond and discuss business and serves as a clear communication to the couple they are welcome to seek support from close family and friends.
After a proposal is accepted, there is two months until matrice— known on Earth as marriage— and an event is held each weekend, the first being Fesztiv which is an elaborate feast.
Ajah finished zipping the back of Misa’s strapless blue dress, chosen by her mother and ostracized by her dad for being, “so damn short the guests wouldn’t have to strain too hard to see everything if she as much as bent at the knee.” Her mom laughed before putting her foot down and, per usual, got her way by arguing that Misa was a beautiful young woman and should be enjoying her youth.
To her surprise, Misa actually loved the dress and her feeling toward it didn’t change as she glanced out her balcony’s window and gazed at the twinkling lights icing the trees and lacing themselves around the garden’s trellis.
The first car pulled up and a distant cousin got out and gave her keys to the valet before continuing up the decorated path. Misa’s stomach flipped and she turned to Ajah. “I’ll meet you downstairs. I need a minute.”
Ajah shrugged an okay and shimmied on downstairs in hopes that Terron had finally arrived. Ajah’s family was in agriculture and Terron’s worked in law. The two knew, in practicality, they couldn’t be together. The fact failed to stop them from embracing any opportunity to interact. Secretly, Misa pitied whoever married her best friend, because she knew Ajah would never really move on from Terron and why the two families allowed the girls to continue meeting, Misa didn’t understand. She eavesdropped on her mom speaking with other women in private about the scandal.
To Misa, it was dumb. Why couldn’t her friend be with whoever made her happy? Why couldn’t Misa?
Even if her love was as fabricated as the silver-eyed, sand-haired concoction she’d dreamed up over the years, she could be content in her own mind. She’d never actually spoken to Soras. He was more like a figment wound in warm breeze, a spark of something that she felt should’ve been, but wasn’t.
She continued down the hall and entered an empty bedroom. For an ephemeral moment, Soras filled the empty space until Misa bent and grasped the edge of a wooden dresser to keep from falling.
A woodsy scent filled the room. “Fair warning, Great-Aunt Ceyne is here and swears she’s going to pop you with her cane if you don’t get downstairs soon.”
Misa turned and found herself face-to-face with a new Doran; she’d never seen a cleaned-up version of him. His messy black hair was smoothed back and gelled and after all the years they’d ran through the fields and played hide-and-seek, a realization smacked her harder than Great-Aunt Ceyne could’ve with her cane— Doran, with his baby-smooth skin, wasn’t just good looking; he was hot. In the dim lights of the spare room, his eyes were a swirl of caramel and chocolate against the traditional black and white suit that was completed by a tux.
Their eyes locked together and refused to part. “I-I was—” Misa began, but before she finished, Doran’s hand was on the small of her back and he pulled her to him until their bodies were closer than they’d ever been. His mint breath lingered and the sudden thought that if she opened her mouth, hers would be sickening, caused her to stiffen.
“Are you uncomfortable?” Doran’s right eyebrow lowered.
Thinking about her potentially horrendous breath, Misa glanced down. “No,” she whispered.
“Then, what is it? Is this too much too soon?” His expression continued to grow tense.
She wasn’t going to tell him in the otherwise empty room with his strong hand holding her, while their eyes absorbed one another that the trivial possibility of shameful breath would be the cause of her retreat. Instead, she cleared her throat and said she needed to use the restroom before they joined the night’s festivities.
Doran, who found himself an equal mix of relieved and irritated, waited in the long hall wondering how her lips would feel when they finally met his. More important, was the question of when? She loved him as a friend; he knew that, but wondered if her affection could grow over time to meet his.
Years prior, she confided in him about Soras and the crazy blend of emotions she experienced when she thought about her creation. The first few times she mentioned it, Doran listened with interest and pondered Misa’s knack for creativity, but the more she spoke of Soras, the greater her preoccupation seemed. That concerned Doran; perhaps, Misa would begin to believe that Soras was real.
Someone tapped his shoulder and he turned. “Ready?”
He nodded. “As I’ll ever be.” Probably more so than you, he finished in his thoughts. Her shoulders made an elaborate up and down movement and Doran knew Misa didn’t want to be there. That thought sliced him as they walked down the hall and stood at the top of the stairs where they overlooked groups of familiar faces all engaged in conversation and laughter that flowed above the music. He leaned over and whispered to Misa. “If we hurry, we can get to the food without making a scene.”
She held back a giggle and he grabbed her hand as they both rushed down the stairs and weaved through a group of guests who were engaged in laughter until they reached the buffet table, unseen. “You’re good,” she admitted to an already gloating Doran.
“I recall being pretty good at hide-and-seek too,” he taunted.
She nudged him. “Hey, I remember winning a few times.”
“Oh, yeah?” he challenged back, strategically moving closer to her.
It must’ve worked because she inched toward him until her breath was on his neck. That was the second time he’d been ready to kiss her and the second time it’d been interrupted. The group they managed to dodge early turned to dote on the young couple. Their interest was enough to garner the attention of the rest of the guests.
Misa’s dad came forward and raised his glass. “A toast…” he started, but Misa’s attention had been drawn elsewhere.
Misa stared into Soras’ salt-gray eyes. “I can’t marry him,” she cried as she was drawn into Sora’s strong arms. He’d never seemed so real.
He held her tighter, “Shhh.” Misa sobbed harder until Soras took her face in his hands. “He genuinely cares for you.”
“He’s my best friend, but you… you’re— I don’t know. God, you’re not even real!”
Soras ran his hand down her arm until he reached her hand and his fingers locked with hers. “I’m very real,” he promised, “I just can’t be there, with you.”
Misa looked at him with an expression mixed with resentment and anger. “No,” she began, “I created you.”
Soras let out a quick chuckle and kissed her forehead. “Something’s happening and I don’t know what it is, but it’s not right.” His words faded with his body and Misa was left, alone.
“…Misa? Hey… uhh…” A familiar hand waved in front of her face. “Hello?”
When her eyes met Doran’s, they were gleaming, but not with happiness. Her cheeks reddened. “No!” she screamed to the horror of the guests. “I’m not supposed to be here.”
Before Doran or anyone else could respond she turned and ran. After a moment’s pause, he followed after her. He searched in the darkness until he found her leaning against a tree by the side of the drive. He cleared his throat. “Misa?” he asked, sheepishly.
“Go away, Doran. You got what you want.”
He sighed and stood in front of her. “No, I can’t make you happy.” He paused for a while and hesitantly finished. “But, I know where you might get answers,” he admitted.
The last remark got Misa’s attention and she wiped a tear off her cheek and yawned from the exhaustion of nerves and frustration. “What?”
“When you started telling me about Soras, I didn’t think much of it. Weird? Yeah. Concerning? No. You continued to talk about him and the more you told me, the more I started thinking you believed yourself,” he explained. “I did some research and I know a guy who might have answers, but we should go now.”
Misa’s forehead crinkled. “Right now?”
Doran nodded. “Yeah, before more people find you and start demanding explanations. It’d be easier if we left and came back in a day.”
“How?” Misa’s stomach turned at the thought of having to rationalize taking off with Doran to her parents.
“I don’t know.” He put his hand on hers. “Do you want answers, or not?”
“I do.” Misa wanted to know more about Soras. Was she losing her mind? Or was he real and somewhere in Astridia?
Her and Doran walked to his car without saying a word. Once they were on the way, Doran gave her a better explanation. “His name’s Sabik and he has an intriguing story. When he was younger, he worked in science and technology and built quite a following when he invented a translation device…”
“Oh?” Misa wasn’t sure where he was going with everything.
“Yeah, it translated Achai into other languages… like languages not spoken in Astridia. It proved the existence of other dimensions. It put him in a unique situation,” Doran finished.
“You think Soras is from another dimension?” She wasn’t ready to accept that type of answer.
“Not necessarily, but I see how the thought of him eats at you. I think if anyone might have a scientific explanation, it’d be Sabik. Although, he retired a long time ago after his wife passed away.”
Misa appreciated Doran’s dedication to her Soras dilemma, but wasn’t sure that Sabik could help. She yawned and closed her eyes from exhaustion.
“Hey, wake up. We’re here.” Doran tapped Misa’s shoulder gently to avoid scaring her.
She stretched and yawned. “Huh?” she mumbled.
“We’re at Sabik’s.”
“Oh,” she stared out Doran’s window at a ranch-style home settled in between two other houses of similar design. “Doran, this is weird. He doesn’t even know we’re coming. I feel stupid,” she complained.
“It’s worth a try. Right?”
She shrugged as he opened the door and got out. He waited for her to catch up with him before he continued up the sidewalk. As they neared the porch, a curtain swayed and the door opened before either of them had a chance to knock.
An elderly man stood before them. He was tall and thin with wisps of hair on either side of his bald head. His eyes, though, were a deep cerulean blue, perhaps the only feature still attractive about him. He raised his eyebrows. “Are you two lost?”
Misa wasn’t sure what to say and Doran spoke up. “Sabik?”
“You need to eat?” the man leaned closer to them.
“No. Are you Sabik?”
Sabik studied the boy’s lips as Doran spoke louder and slower. “I suppose I am,” he answered. “You kids aren’t from the news, are you? I don’t do interviews these days.”
“We’re not, but we do have a question. I’m hoping you can help her.” Doran motioned to Misa who gave a short smile.
“Fur?” the older man scowled. “You aren’t into anything illegal, are you?”
Doran shook his head. “No. We have a question,” he reexplained.
“I have an idea. Why don’t you two come on inside so I can get my ears straight,” Sabik offered. Mira and Doran nodded in response and followed him into his home. “Want something to drink?”
“No, we’re fine,” Misa answered looking around the room at frame after frame of a younger, extremely handsome Sabik with jet black hair and flashy blue eyes. He was so happy in every photo of him and some woman that Misa’s heart flipped a little. Would she ever be that lucky with Doran?
“You’re nine?” he scrutinized her. “You sure don’t look nine.” He turned back to a countertop and began fumbling with a couple small devices he attached to his ears and adjusted. “There, good as new.” They stared at him for some time. “Don’t mind me. I whipped these babies up years ago. Right before I lost Meissa, my hearing started to go and I made up my mind I wasn’t going to miss one word from those enchanting lips of hers.” Sabik shook himself from the memory. “Now that I can hear ya, what do you kids need?”
“Answers.” Doran spoke up. “And you may have them.”
“I’m listening,” Sabik motioned for him to continue as he slowly took a seat in the blue recliner.
Doran looked to Misa to explain. She hesitantly spoke. “Years back I made up this guy named Soras.”
Sabik blinked. “Okay…”
“He feels real. It’s like I travel to a different place or something. He’s real even though I know he’s not.” Misa stumbled to explain her bizarre meetings with Soras. “He consumes every part of me…” she hesitated, knowing a continued explanation would hurt Doran.
Sabik sat quietly with his hands folded and stared at the carpeted floor. Misa’s explanation forced him back to a time when he was young and met Meissa. “Soras, you say? Does he look the same each time? Same features and all that?”
“Yes. Actually, every time I see him, he becomes clearer. In the beginning, everything was shadows. Yesterday night, he touched my face and his hand was warm and soft.” She shivered at the memory of her fabricated lover.
“It’s a progression, then,” Sabik remarked.
“What does it mean?” Doran had been standing in the background half-relieved at the possibility of answers and saddened by how Misa’s eyes brightened as she spoke of Soras.
“They were called Anchors. They existed on each plane to keep out interdimensional travelers known as The Ones Who Walk in Shadows, or TOWiS. This was all long ago and Anchors no longer exist, nor does interdimensional travel.” The man winced as his memories stirred. “I cannot say what phenomenon you are experiencing young lady, but I can tell you with confidence your body remains in Astridia.”
Doran shrugged. “So, what gives?”
“I told you, Doran, there’s no explanation,” Misa sighed. She knew it’d be a long shot, but traveling with Doran seemed like a better option than trying to talk her way through the spectacle she made at the party.
Sabik stood and shuffled to a shelf of books. He took his time thumbing through some pages and muttering incomprehensibly to himself as he did. Finally, he placed a book back and sat down in the chair once again. “There’s an explanation, but it’s not one you’re going to like. When we battled TOWis, I learned more than a man ever needed to know about the surreal.” Misa and Doran leaned in and waited for more, but Sabik only chuckled. “I’m not going to go into details. That’s another story for a different time. I think your souls are fighting to stay together.”
Misa shook her head. “I don’t understand.”
“When our bodies pass on, our souls travel to Ashzaria where they remain with their mates until the Oracle sends them to another life. The cycle continues until our souls max out their ethereal energy or fall into a deficit. The Oracle oversees that soulmates continue in the same planes, not necessarily at the same time. The rule is that they must exist in the same dimension.”
Misa looked on in disbelief. To her, Sabik’s explanation was the mere ramblings of a senile man, but Doran pushed to find out more. “What happens if they don’t?”
Sabik adjusted his wristwatch. “I don’t know, really.” He looked at a doubtful Misa. “But if your souls are fighting hard to stay together, it can’t be anything good.”
The rhythmic tick of a wall clock was the only sound in the small living room as each one of them pondered Sabik’s reply until the chimes from the timepiece jolted them from their thoughts.
Misa jumped up. “I need to get out of here.” With that, she charged out the front door and Doran could hardly keep up as he said a quick goodbye to Sabik and followed after her.
He found her in a small park hunched over and crying. Without a word being spoken, he pulled her to his strong, warm body and held her and refused to let go until she was ready.
The title is true. I recently joined a gym and it serves free Tootsie Rolls and I think that’s absolutely majestic.
Where have I been besides the gym? Writing. Editing. Revising. Aaaaand that is the reason for the tumbleweeds rolling across my blog.
Although, if you follow my author page on Facebook, you’ll see some updated posts every now and then.
Anyhoo, just came on to post a new trailer because I’m working on Part 5 of the Chronicles of Ashzaria: Soras and it’ll be out sometime Monday! (Hopefully in the morning).
Will Misa marry Doran? What if she falls in love with him while her soul is in Ashzaria and Saros is on Earth? Staaaaaay Tuned!
The music in the trailer is ‘Take me to Church’ by Hozier. Enjoy!!
(Author Note: Before I begin, I want to say thank you to those who’ve been with me since part one of ‘The Chronicles’. Writing them is a hoot! They might seem a little rough. I’ll admit, I do the best I can with editing and would also like to thank Amber for helping out and reading through them even though she’s crazy-busy a lot of the time. We’re now getting into some bizarre territory and honestly, one of my favorite parts to write. Who can’t love an ol’ fashioned ghost chicken every now and again?)
Saros awoke, the pain of Mira’s loss stabbed him harder than the throb in his back from the cheap, overused hotel mattress. Other than the prospect of relief from the hot water, taking a shower seemed pointless since he had no clothes to change into and little money to buy some. He knew he lacked resources, but right then, he didn’t care. His only preoccupation was how Mira’s warm lips collided with his own between decaying clouds of cigarette smoke and then, she left.
He picked up the daisy from its spot on the rickety end table next to his bed and twirled the still green stem around in his fingers. As the petals spun, he marveled that he hadn’t even bothered to put the flower in water, yet it continued to thrive.
He’d never seen anything like it; at least, not in his earthly lives. It was while taking a shower he decided to seek out answers, if for no other reason than to occupy himself and get Mira off his mind. He stepped out, mindlessly throwing on his old clothing and tying his shoes afterward. He did what he could to straighten his sandy hair, grabbed the flower, and checked twice before sneaking down the stairs and crossing an empty lot before being seen.
Staying the night at a motel and not paying was against Saros’ principles, but desperate times called for it. He knew he’d have to leave the town, fast. So, he bummed a couple rides and headed back into Missouri.
He stopped late afternoon in a small city named Everest Springs. The driver dropped him off on a main street that seemed to run straight through the town. Hungry, he pulled his wallet and noted a ten-dollar bill in between two twenties. That was it— fifty dollars.
He sighed, he needed a job, but first, he needed answers about the immortal daisy he felt compelled to carry with him and before both of those things, he wanted to eat. He looked to his right and then left and saw a hanging sign for Pine View restaurant.
Saros headed across the street and nearly bumped into the waitress who was turned away from him and locking the place up.
“You closing for the day?” Saros was confused, it was just a little past two in the afternoon.
She squinted her eyes when she looked up at him. “Yah! Guess you’re from out of town, huh?”
“Kay, well. Sherriff’s put a three ‘o clock curfew on the entire county,” she explained, as she turned the lock.
“Odd,” Saros mumbled, hoping the frazzled lady would elaborate.
She did. “The other day was a normal one. We was up by the counter listening to the buy, sell, trade show. Dean from down the road came runnin’ in like Satan himself had set foot in our town. He was real anxious-like, saying that everyone should get back to the farms and take a look. We close the place up and I run out to the old homestead. Daddy’s out at the barn with Momma. Craziest thing— all the chickens were dead.”
Saros’ expression was incredulous.
The waitress continued, “I ain’t joking with you. All the chickens in the county. All of ‘em— dead.”
“Was it an animal attack?” he concluded.
“No, there wasn’t any sign that they’d been physically harmed. ‘Sept they were dead. But that’s not the weirdest part…”
“It gets stranger?” He narrowed his eyes, wanting to know even more.
“Yah! Our roosters crowed at four in the morning and then again around six-thirty. We still hear them. We’re not the only ones, either. A lot of farms began makin’ those same claims.” She ran a hand down her upper-arm.
“O— Kay…” Saros was racking his brain for any sort of logical explanation. The situation sounded familiar, like something he’d ran across in another life, but over eight-hundred lifetimes had a way of tangling memories.
“You ain’t gotta believe me, but I don’t have a reason to just go makin’ this stuff up,” she turned to a patrol car that slowed down. The officer waved and she returned the greeting.
“No, no… I believe you, I guess. Do they know what killed the chickens?” Saros folded his arms. Surely, there’d be a medical explanation. Maybe some chemical in the food?
“Nothin’. They’ve ran tons of tests, but they can’t find anything in their systems,” she paused and sighed. “They’ve sent a few of ‘em off to some advanced labs in the city. And until they have answers, the whole county’s on some type of martial law.” She added, “We didn’t even have church last Sunday.”
“I suppose it’s getting close to three then. Where can I stay in this town?” Saros ran his hand through his thick hair and looked at the waitress who scrutinized him.
“You carry’n a gun or anything?” She looked him up and down.
“No,” was his simple answer. Then he remembered, “Just the daisy.”
She scrunched her nose. “You just go ‘round carryin’ that daisy? It ain’t real, is it?”
The girl reached to touch it, but Saros pulled it back and looked down. “No, it’s not.”
“Well, I suppose you can come back to my place. It’s just me. Mom and Dad’s right down the road, though. So, don’t you try nothin’,” she warned.
Saros looked in her grey-blue eyes and studied her pin-straight, light blonde hair that frizzed a little at the ends. Nothing about her was attractive to him, but she seemed nice. “Don’t worry, I’m harmless,” he assured her.
“C’mon.” She gestured toward a faded pickup and they both walked over and got in.
The ride to her house was silent, except for a cassette tape of Kenny Rogers that sauntered through her speakers. She drove and Saros focused on the situation. What could’ve killed the chickens? Why were their crows still being heard? Where had he ran into ghost chickens before? It was somewhere during one of his Earth lives, but which?
It was that agitating feeling of having the perfect word on his finger tips and not being able to recall it. Maybe he needed a little rest and he’d remember. From out of the silence the waitress spoke up. “We’re almost there. By the way, never got your name. I’m Tammy.”
Saros nodded. “Hey, name’s Saros.”
“That’s an interesting name you got there,” she mentioned.
“You don’t like it?”
“Didn’t say I didn’t like it, just different. That’s all. Hey, didn’t see ya carrying any luggage. If you need spare clothes and stuff, I can get them for ya when we reach the house.” Tammy offered.
Saros was growing suspicious of her eagerness. “That’s sure nice of you.”
“Well,” she shrugged. “In a town like this, you gotta take care of one another. Ya know?”
He agreed and they reverted back to the bluegrass silence until she turned down a graveled path and parked in front of a brown one-story-double wide. Some clothes sat out on a wire line connected to two trees.
When Saros opened the door, a brown blood-hound greeted him. “Sammy! Don’t jump on the man!” Tammy scolded. Saros chuckled and pat the dog on the head. Tammy turned to him. “C’mon, I’ll show ya ‘round here.”
She took Saros on the tour of the small, but comfortable home. As she did, his mind lost itself in speculation of him and Mira living somewhere like that. How they could sit outside on the wooden porch as a twangy wind weaved around their laughs. How he’d grab her around the waist and kiss her all the way into the living room. How he’d catch her head with his hand before it fell against a tan sofa.
“…So. That’s it… Oh, I’ll show you to your room and you can clean up, if you’d like.” He jolted at her words. “Hello?” She waved a hand in front of his face.
“Uh, yeah…” In his daydream, he’d missed everything she told him.
Tammy sighed, thinking the traveler was probably tired and half-scolded herself for taking him in. She knew she’d be the conversation that’d linger between glasses of lemonade and hair-dryers, but she didn’t care. Hadn’t she always been the go-to for whispered intrigue?
“Well, there’s clothes hangin’ up already in that closet, right there. Shower’s down the hall. Get yourself cleaned up and rested. I’m gonna get to makin’ dinner.”
“Heh, thanks,” Saros half-replied.
Tammy turned and left him to it. He placed the daisy on his pillow and sifted through the clothing that hung in the closet. He wondered where she’d gotten it all. Maybe a brother? Maybe she had a plethora of male visitors? Regardless, it wasn’t his place to judge.
He came across a fresh pair of jeans and simple navy cotton t-shirt that looked as though it’d fit him. He grabbed them and took off toward the bathroom where he found razors, deodorant, basically everything he’d need to clean up. He wondered if the woman was her own hotel.
He washed and returned to the bedroom where he lay against the fresh sheets, reveling in the comfort of the mattress. Saros closed his eyes until he heard Tammy’s shrill call for dinner. He got up, straightened his shirt, and headed down the hall.
When he reached the kitchen, she was setting food on the table and he hurried to help her out. “Brace yourself,” she warned.
Saros didn’t get the opportunity to ask why. From out of nowhere, an army of crows and cackles sounded. “What the— ?” he started.
She nodded her head. “Told ya so!”
After a moment, they stopped and Tammy resumed setting out the food. When they were settled, Saros helped himself to the spicy, watering pork-chops that dissolved on his tongue. He filled his plate several times, not wanting to look like a pig, but also thinking it was one of the best meals he’d eaten.
Saros helped Tammy clean up after dinner and they sat for a while watching some game shows and, to his chagrin, reality television. Hours passed when she stood and announced that she was going to bed, but he could stay up if he wanted. He declined and followed her, turning at his bedroom and shutting the door behind him.
He picked the daisy up and put it next to him. He stroked its white petals and pretended it was Mira’s hair he was running his fingers through. He closed his eyes.
A rooster crowed and Saros looked around the darkness of his room. He steadied his breathing and reminded himself of the ghost chickens before finally getting his bearings. He’d no more than sat up when his door creeped open. Tammy was standing in the entrance of the spare room in cut-off shorts and a bra.
“Wha—” Saros started, uncomfortable because he wasn’t attracted to the petite blonde in the least.
She placed a gentle finger against her lips and shushed him before sifting through his soft hair. She whispered, “Is this what Mira would do?”
His forehead crinkled and he bit his lower lip. How did she know? What did she know of Amiralina? He couldn’t ask; she had him pinned on the bed, her thin body hovering over his. Her breath a sickening cinnamon smell, she neared his lips and he tried to move away, but her fragile body somehow overpowered his own.
“N-no…” he stuttered and sat up. His forehead was coated in wax-sweat. It was a dream. Thank God, it was a dream.
Then, a whisper.
At first, he looked at the daisy, picking it up and clutching it to his chest. Another whisper. Saros…
It was Mira’s voice. He pulled the curtains back and looked out the window. Her black hair flowed in spring wind as she drifted into the forest.
So, like any love-sick fool who had yet to come to his senses, Saros pulled on his jeans, t-shirt, and shoes. He was quiet as possible as he snuck down the hall, still grasping his daisy. He gave the door a gentle pull until it closed and made his way off the make-shift porch.
Saros… Came the seductively, eerie whisper.
The logical part of him knew it couldn’t be Mira, but he wanted to believe it was. So, he continued following the sound until he entered the wooded area that surrounded Tammy’s home. The crunching of the forest floor made him glad he’d put on shoes.
And just like in most scary movies involving nature, Saros was standing still, adjusting his eyes to the dark surroundings and strange noises, being stupid in general, as thick roots grew over his feet, knocking him to the ground. “What the actual hell?” He muttered while he kicked in a fallacious attempt to free himself.
The whisper evolved from Mira’s welcoming voice to something sour.
As he struggled to escape, a dark wisp approached him and Saros knew immediately with whom he dealt. “Why do you want me?” He called out in an angry voice.
The wisp took its time to manifest and floated until it became its best impression of a hooded figure. “You know…” The voice wavered. “We need your energy. You’re the oldest of souls and when we felt your presence nearing us, we had to have it.”
“You just killed thousands of chickens. Isn’t that enough energy? If they’re still crowing, you didn’t even siphon it all,” Saros contended, knowing it’d be impossible to argue for his life. The Forest Walkers were a stubborn bunch; they were the very essence of nature. He didn’t know why they desired his ethereal energy, but he wasn’t about to give it up.
The figure bent to him and he braced himself. It reached its slimy fingers to the daisy. “What’s this?” It asked as Saros jerked the flower away.
“A daisy,” he answered simply.
“Yes, but I sense it is more than a simple daisy,” the misty figure replied. “There’s an energy to it.”
Saros thought of Mira. “You cannot have it. Take me, leave it be.” He hung his head. “I won’t fight you.” Why was he willing to die for the flower?
The apparition thought for a brief moment, that seemed more like eternity to Saros. Finally, it answered. “No…” It seemed to contemplate further. “I want to know more about this exceptional flower.”
Seriously, Saros thought because he’d wanted to know for days.
“I don’t make deals, but I am going to make you one. Have you heard of the Vein of Elisha?”
Saros jumped. Of course he had, but it didn’t exist anymore. “It’s extinct, right?”
“Nearly. The last of it is being held by Kansas City Jo. You find him, secure the Vein of Elisha, and I will have enough ethereal energy to wage war against the human race and provide you with the answer you are wanting about the flower. Unless, you decide to go against our plan.”
Saros shook his head. “I don’t have a pony in this show. You want to wage a war, do it. Earth isn’t my favorite dimension anyhow,” Saros shrugged, anxious to seek out the plant.
The figure took in a staggered breath. “We have reached a deal, I believe. Hasten in what you do, our spirit dies a bit more each day. If you cannot get the plant, I will be forced to capture you once more, and I will not be in the mood to negotiate,” the smoke warned to a grateful Saros.
“I want answers, you want enough ethereal energy to wipe out Earth. I believe we have a deal.” Was his response.
“Very well.” The roots loosened around Saros’ feet. He stood and brushed himself off.
Saros didn’t like making deals with the Forest Walkers, but if it meant getting answers about the daisy and how it related to Mira and him, the offer seemed enticing. Equipped with the only information he had and without giving another thought to Tammy, he headed down the gravel road and continued until he reached city limits.
He wondered how much time the Forest Walkers would give him. The more complex question was where he’d find Kansas City Jo. It only made sense with a name such as that, Kansas City would be the perfect place to begin his search. He started walking north as the sun rose and lit the fields next to him.
He continued through the day, pausing to flag down a car here and there, but with no luck. Though, he knew the Forest Walkers were making good on their promise and backing his journey; each time he started getting too hot, a cool wind breezed past him, a hint of Mira’s freesia scent embedded within. If he was hungry, he’d run into a patch of strawberries or an apple tree.
Relief overcame him as a four-door station wagon slowed and stopped a way in front of him. A middle-aged guy pulled his sunglasses down. “Hey, kid. Where ya goin’?”
“Up north. Kansas City,” Saros replied.
I’ve waited for months to be able to begin this part of ‘The Chronicles’. This is where it gets interesting.
I was so excited I made a trailer that I’m going to try to link up to this post.
If it doesn’t work, sorry!
Nice! I think it worked!!
Look at me learning to technology!
Enjoy and look for Part 4 coming at ya’ll tomorrow!!
(Sorry, I think it’s on here twice…) Yikes!