Somewhere Beyond the Fields (#2)

This is an evolving story, if you missed the beginning, start here.

Somewhere Beyond The Fields

     Ald let out a heavy sigh and lead Pistol past Ellie towards the tack shed. After a few steps he said, “An animal with big eyes, then?”
     Ellie followed to the side, she knew better than to follow directly behind a horse. She kicked at a loose rock in her path and replied, “Well, sort of, I think. In The Book of Three it was a pig named Hen Wen. I guess pigs do have big eyes…” she trailed off as Ald spun to face her.
     Pistol jerked his head, not expecting Ald’s sudden motion. The horse lifted his top lip and laid his ears back in annoyance. Ald reached a hand to stroke Pistol’s muzzle and frowned at Ellie, “Come on Elle, really? Am I missing something? How is a bug-eyed animal going to tell us where the treasure is?”

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Charles F. French Blogtour: Part 2

20160916_140100I know I’ve been eagerly awaiting Part 2 of Charles F. French’s Blogtour interview, and I am happy to share that the wait is over!

If you didn’t catch Part 1 of the interview, be sure to click here and see what you missed. 

Charles is a fellow blogger, professor and author. His novel, Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I, has been released on Kindle, and the print version will follow later this month. He was kind enough to answer some questions I had regarding his writing process and his novel:

Q: Can you give me the backstory of some of your characters?

Roosevelt Theodore Franklin is the protagonist of the novel. He is a retire Marine Corps officer and a retire History professor who lost his beloved wife, Sarah, to cancer a few years before the story begins. His two closest friends, Sam and Jeremy also have lost loved ones to death. Sam is a retired homicide detective, and Jeremy is a retired antiques dealer. Sam’s son, when he was a teenager, committed suicide, and Jeremy’s partner, died in his arms while the two were attending a gallery opening.

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Charles F. French Blogtour: Part 1

20160916_140100

Please enjoy the first of a two part interview with Charles F. French. Charles is a fellow blogger, professor and author. His upcoming novel, Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I, is going to be released later this month. He was kind enough to answer some questions I had regarding his writing process and his novel:

Q: What was the main inspiration for your novel?

Several ideas for novels have come to me in what might be considered an odd way, although I do not mind that at all! I had an image one day of a tall, older, dapper gentleman, dressed in a tailored old-fashioned, British wool suit, with short hair, and I wondered who he was. Slowly I worked with him, and the idea for the story emerged. In terms of inspiration, I certainly can point to several novelists, all of whom have influenced me with their thematic concern of the necessity for ordinary people to confront evil: Bram Stoker, John Connelly, and Stephen King.

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Parrot Peril

parrot

You wake up to find a strange young woman in bright clothes eating breakfast in your kitchen. Perhaps not coincidentally, your pet parrot is nowhere to be seen…

     Growling, I slapped at the snooze button on my beside clock for a third time. I missed the clock, hitting the half empty cup of water on my bedside table. It fell over, water spreading across the nightstand and then down onto the floor. I continued to lay in bed for another minute, listening to the blaring of my alarm compete with the dripping water for attention. Sighing, I rolled to the edge of my bed and swung my legs over, sitting up.
     My feet hit the soggy carpet and I grimaced. Reaching to the clock, I disabled the alarm and then glanced around my room. I was behind on laundry, delinquent socks and crumpled pants were carelessly arranged throughout the space. I reached down to the footboard and grabbed a shirt that was hanging over one corner. Slipping it on, I stood up and stretched, realizing my shirt was on inside out. Groaning aloud, I trudged towards the bedroom door, eager to change the direction of my morning.
     A sizzling sound met my ears as I pushed the door open. I could smell eggs cooking, and something sweet, perhaps pancakes, and oddly enough, chicken. Wiping the drool from my mouth I glanced down the hallway towards the front door of my apartment. The deadbolts were engaged and the chain lock was still hooked, confusion washed over me. Who is in my kitchen?

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Forgotten Foes

bear“Out there, in the wilderness, we discovered the bones of a god.”

     “Enyi, when can we stop for a snack?” Reya fluttered around Avante’s shoulders, poking at him with her tiny fairy fingers. Avante waved his hand, missing her purposely, but forcing her to shy away slightly. She frowned, “Enyi, you need to eat something. You’ve walked for three stretches without resting.”
     Avante slowed to a stop and let out a heavy sigh. He adjusted the strap pulling against his shoulder. Saiph was a heavy burden to bear, but he proudly carried her without complaint. His relationship with the blade had been determined before his first kick in his mother’s womb. Wielding Saiph in the name of Her Grace was his destiny. He barely registered the silent objections from his weary body after all these years. 

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Simple Explanation

nametagHe’d never had trouble on his first day of school before.
This year was different. Everything was wrong.

 

     Peter hiked his backpack further onto his shoulder and strode down the hallway, his brow furrowed in concern. He’d never had trouble on his first day of school before. This year was different. Everything was wrong. The simple explanation was that it was his first day of high school, and it was bound to be problematic; but he dismissed the notion without a moment of consideration. Nothing he had experienced thus far today could be a result of just his nerves. It had all started as he waited for the bus.
     Since Peter only had a learner’s permit, he was forced to take the bus to school for the time being. As he stood at the street corner in the early morning light, he had been uncomfortably aware that he was the only high school student in his neighborhood waiting for the yellow-transportation-mode-of-embarrassment. He’d been further abashed when the bus had driven right past, without slowing to consider him. Peter had cursed and ran after the bus, yelling and waving his arms at the driver in hopes of gaining attention. Luckily, there had been a stop two blocks later, allowing him to board.
     As Peter continued down the laminate corridor towards his assigned home room, he approached one of the locker areas. His eyes skimmed faces, looking for someone of familiarity. With a heavy sigh, he relented searching, he didn’t recognize anyone in this hall. But as his eyes had been distracted, his body had continued forward, he bumped into the back of an unsuspecting girl with a high-top ponytail. She scrunched her face up in a disgusted look and waved her hand in front of her nose, she obviously smelt something offensive. Peter stepped back and bowed his head, hoping to meld into the crowd and stay anonymous. The maneuver worked, and he hurried past the remaining group.

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Dinner Disruption

[Prompt: “The butler did it.” ]

rug     A mere dinner party remained between Mark and joining the elite ranks of society. Tonight he would meet Sarah’s parents for the first time, which just happened to coincide with the calculated timing of his proposal to their daughter, who happened to be the only heir of their immense wealth.
     Of course none of this was an actual coincidence. Mark had been working toward this day for nearly a year, going to great (and sometimes questionable) lengths to gain Sarah’s admiration. In the process Mark had lost the few acquaintances that could stand his narcissistic tendencies and emotional indifference; it hadn’t been much of a loss for either party involved.
     Mark was intelligent, good looking, and always dressed smart. Other men often found themselves aspiring to replicate his look, confidence and cool demeanor. But unknown to most that he met, Mark was a special type of monster. Although he didn’t exude any telling behavior, his heart was as cold as a frostbitten appendage.

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Tempting A Response

[Prompt: The story behind how that one random shoe is lying in the road ]

     shoe“I swear, if I have to pull this car over, you kids are going to regret it!” my mother growled from the driver’s seat. I stopped smacking my little brother in the back of the head to glean more information.
     “What are you gonna do when you pull over?” I asked without a shred of respect.
     My mother sighed heavily and glared at me through the rear view mirror, “Tom, don’t push me any further. I mean it.”
     I rolled my eyes and went back to annoying my baby brother. My mom deserved this abuse after embarrassing me in front of all my friends. Being 15 with a driver’s license, my mom had no excuse for pulling into the school parking lot and barking at me to get in the backseat to take care of my brother’s spit up. My defiant glare had prompted her to add a comment about relaying my behavior to my shrink, catching me completely off guard and rousing laughter from my friends and any other person within earshot.

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The Intervention

[Prompt: A pirate crew confronts their captain about his drinking problem ]

     Tobias swabbed the deck and eyed his crew mates with a thoughtful look. Each one of the men had surprised him by agreeing to be part of the intervention. The crew of the Angry Kraken was different from other ships Tobias had served on. ‘Every scurvy dog for himself’ wasn’t the way the Kraken functioned, and it was part of the reason Tobias had worked so hard to join the crew. 
     As a young sailor, Tobias had drifted between ships, yearning for a captain to capture his adventurous soul. All he had found was men filled with greed, uncaring for the livelihood of their crew, and eager to send any naysayers to the plank. Tobias began to hear rumors of a ship with a captain who had the power to coax any man to his crew, and gain their pledge of undying loyalty in return for adventure and riches beyond their dreams. This piqued Tobias’ curiosity more than anything, but after reaching a port from yet another dismal voyage, Tobias vowed to find the ship with the charismatic captain. 

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The Eighth Sin

[Prompt: Satan gathers up all the lesser demons and announces that they’re going to be adding another sin to the seven deadly sins and whoever comes up with it gets to be in charge of that department ]

“Indifference!”
    Sneche kept his head low as the other demons around him eagerly shouted for Satan’s attention. Naming the next major sin would go down in history for both mortals and immortals, yet Sneche only wondered what was the catch. If he had learned anything over the centuries, it was that Satan was a smooth talking salesman. It was all sugar until a contract was signed and a soul forfeited. Many of the other lesser demons around him jumped at the opportunity presented to them, to own their own department of the next trending sin, but Sneche wasn’t biting. A job in hell was still a job in hell no matter how many frills were attached to it. Sneche liked not having responsibilities. When the mortals spouted off names of demons they thought they knew, Sneche’s name was never brought up and he preferred it that way. The less attention he drew to himself, the less likely he was to be the focus of Satan’s wrath when something went wrong.
    “No,” Satan was shooting down the latest suggestion, “It’s too much of a gray area between me and Him.”
    “Mullets!”
    Satan didn’t look amused, “We’ve been over this. It can’t be a physical trait.”

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