#Fairies, #Myths, & #Magic October Spooktacular Author Spotlight Guest Post – Vashti Quiroz-Vega

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Since it’s Halloween, I have another special treat. I’ve invited fantasy/horror author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega to share a terrifying tale with you all. It’s a spooky read, so be prepared to get the shivers! Vashti said, “It’s a story that I wrote years ago (2013), and I’ve completely revised it for your blog.”

But first, let me introduce you to Vashti. I’ve had the pleasure of reading her poetry and stories for a few years now. Vashti and I also share the love of Pomeranians, with both of us owning dogs of this breed. She writes some scary stuff, so grab a cup of coffee and settle in. This is one Halloween tale you won’t forget!

AUTHOR: Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of fantasy, horror, and suspense/thriller. When she isn’t creating extraordinary worlds or fleshing out powerful characters, she enjoys reading, traveling, kayaking, photography, and seeking adventures.

An award-winning blogger and writer for over ten years, she is devoted to giving her readers unique, compelling, dark adventures with descriptive narratives sure to make the hairs on the back of their necks stand on end.

Visit Vashti’s blog, The Writer Next Door for a collection of short stories, articles, and poetry available free to her readers. Vashti lives in Florida with her husband and fur-baby, a Pomeranian named Scribbles. Check out Vashti’s new release, The Fall of Lilith.

Raven’s Masterpiece

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

“Raven, I can’t believe you’re really going through with it.” Nina stared at her openmouthed.

“Once you and Travis leave for college, there’ll be nothing left for me in this small town.” Raven wrapped her arms around herself. “Besides, I’m an artist! I need to expand my wings and fly!” She swung her arms outward and fell back on the grass surrounding Lake Creepy-Crawly.

“But––New York is such a big city. Aren’t you afraid you’ll be swallowed up by the masses?”

“I plan to shine bright like a Nova. By the time I’m through with that town, everyone will know my name.”

Nina glanced at Raven and giggled. Raven joined in her laughter and jumped to her feet.

“Let’s go in!” Raven grabbed Nina by the arm.

“Go in where?” Nina dragged her feet.

“Let’s go for a swim in the lake. For old time’s sake.” Raven bobbed her head, her blue eyes glittering with mischievousness.

“No way!” Nina wrested her arm from Raven’s grasp. “Why do you think the town nicknamed the lake, Lake Creepy-Crawly? If you go in, you won’t be swimming alone. There are things in that lake.”

Raven waved her hand dismissively. “That’s not true!”

“It is!” Nina stared wide-eyed. “No one has gone swimming in that lake for years. Not since the incident.”

“Do you mean when the fish died?”

“It was more than just a few fish. Old man Sam said that the big company out by Expiry road had something to do with it. He saw them dump things into the lake one night. The next morning, the lake’s fish were floating on the surface. Dead.”

“Old man Sam drinks!” Raven threw her head back and laughed.

Nina frowned. “Yes, but he wasn’t the only one who witnessed the dead fish, and everyone knows that nothing grows or lives in that lake anymore, except––except those things.” She shuddered.

Raven stared at her friend’s glum expression. “It’s been a while since that happened. Those things have probably always been there. Besides, they’re tiny.”

“They were tiny. With time, everything changes––and not always for the best.”

Without waiting for the end of Nina’s sentence, Raven ran and jumped into the lake. She splashed around laughing and shouting.

Nina stood near the bank of the lake watching her friend dipping in and out of the water. A powerful feeling of foreboding enshrouded her like a suffocating blanket. She shrunk back and shuddered. When Raven emerged from the lake, Nina let out a harsh breath.

She ran to Raven. “You’re nuts! Sometimes I think you just do crazy things to torment me.”

Raven scoffed. “Who’s being dramatic now, huh?”

Nina picked up the blanket they had been sitting on and tossed it over Raven’s head. They laughed, and Raven pulled the blanket off and wrapped it around her shoulders.

“Ugh!” Raven tilted her head sideways and pounded on it with the palm of her hand.

Nina narrowed her eyes. “What’s wrong?”

“There must be water in my ear.” Raven tilted her head and shook it. “There, I think that did it.”

“I don’t know how you could swim in that murky water. Look at it—it’s black!” Nina crinkled her nose and pointed to the lake.

Raven rolled her eyes. “Let’s go home.”

“Yes! You need a shower.” Nina giggled, pinching her nose and waving her hand as though to clear the stench in the air.

“Give me a hug!” Raven ran after her shouting in a creepy voice. “Me want big hug!” Nina ran from her screaming and laughing.

*Two months later *

“Campus life is great! ” Nina raved on the phone. “I’m really enjoying myself here. I’m doing really well in my classes, and I’ve made some new friends. Oh, and Travis says hello!”

“That’s great. I’m doing okay, too. I’m painting almost non-stop. I showed one of my works in progress to the manager of a posh art gallery downtown. He was impressed and offered to show my work in early November.”

“That’s awesome, Raven!”

“Will you come for the opening?”

“But we talked about me visiting for Halloween, remember? To see how New York celebrates our favorite holiday?”

“You could stay through the first week of November.” Raven’s voice was sullen.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Why do you ask?”

“You don’t sound like yourself. Aren’t you excited about Halloween and your very first art show?”

“Of course I am. It’s just these headaches––I can’t seem to shake.” Raven groaned.

There was a long pause. Nina cleared her throat. “Um. Have you seen a doctor?”

“No. It’s only headaches. Two Advil, and I’ll be all right.”

“But if you can’t get rid of it—”

“The pills will help take the edge off so I can get back to work.”

“Alright, but if the headaches continue, you’ll need to see someone.”

“Yeah, well––If I want to have these paintings done by the opening, I’d better get back to work. We’ll talk again soon.”

“Okay. Bye, Raven. Take care.” Nina hung up the phone and stood by it, fidgeting and twisting the ring on her finger.

*One month later*

“Aaaahhhhhh! Aaaahhhhh! Get out of there!” Raven pounded her head. She collapsed to the floor and pulled her hair with both hands. She screamed and groaned as she squirmed on the floor of her one-bedroom apartment.

A banging on the door did not stop her howling.

“Miss Raven! Open the door, Miss Raven!” yelled a woman’s voice. “That racket is driving everybody crazy!”

Raven opened the door. Her long dark hair was disheveled and covered a good portion of her face. Her shoulders were scrunched around her ears. Her blue eyes, once vivid azures, were now dull and foggy, with intense redness where the whites should be and deep dark circles underneath. Her usually rosy lips were pale and dry.

At the sight of her, the building superintendent flinched and squinted, as though trying not to capture all the unpleasantness at once. “Are you ill?” She glanced sideways at her and wrung her hands.

“No. I’m fine.” Raven looked down.

The woman curled her lip. “You don’t look too good. Maybe you should see a doctor.”

“A doctor can’t help me with what I’ve got!” Raven yelled, startling the woman. “You need to leave me alone.”

The woman’s body stiffened. “I have received countless complaints from your neighbors about screaming, loud banging and crashing noises coming from your apartment.”

“You keep knocking on my door!” Raven clasped her hands over her head.

“And each time you tell me that the noises will stop, but I keep getting complaints from your neighbors.” The woman took a few steps back. “If the noises don’t stop, I’ll have to call the police.”

“I assure you––the complaints will stop.” Raven glanced up and looked right into the woman’s eyes, the smile she wore dripping with a silent threat.

The superintendent turned and rushed down the steps. “Make sure they do. I don’t want to come back here again.” Her voice trembled. Raven followed the old woman with her eyes until she was out of sight.

*

“Hello, Raven. How are you? I’ve been calling and leaving messages, but you never return my calls.”

“Hi, Nina!” Raven replied in an excited voice.

“Are you alright?”

“I’m great!”

“Why are you yelling? You sound manic. Are you sure you’re fine?”

“I’m just excited to hear from you. I’m sorry about not returning your calls. I’ve been very busy, working on my paintings. I’m all done now. I have leftover materials, so I’m using them to decorate for Halloween. You’re still coming up, right?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Good! I’m throwing a Halloween party! I’ve invited some friends and neighbors. You’re going to love what I’ve done with the place.” Raven’s voice sounded strained.

*All Hollow’s Eve*

“Raven is going to be surprised to see you. I hope she doesn’t mind that I’m bringing you.” Nina bit her lip.

“Why would she? Travis furrowed his brow. “I’m your date for the party.”

“She hasn’t been herself lately. Sometimes on the phone, she seems despondent, and her voice is barely audible; other times, her voice is excited and shrill. But the last time we spoke, it was more like a groan or a growl.”

Travis tilted his head and shrugged. “That’s weird.”

“She’s been having these terrible headaches but refuses to see a doctor. I’ve been calling her all day, but I haven’t been able to reach her. And yet, she knows I’m arriving today. I hope she’s okay.”

“Well, she’s throwing a Halloween party. How bad could she be?” Travis gave a half shrug. “She’s probably busy putting the party together.”

“You’re right. Halloween was always our favorite holiday. She’s probably knee-deep in Halloween décor right now.” Her lips curved into a faint smile. “Anyway, thanks for coming with me.”

Travis and Nina approached Raven’s apartment building. They rang the buzzer several times, but no one answered. Travis pressed on the inner door, which swung open.

“Hello,” he called.

There was no answer, so Travis and Nina started up the stairs. When they reached apartment 5B, they found the door ajar.

“I was expecting festive lights and blaring music.” Travis squinted.

“Why is her door open?” The door creaked as she pushed on it, and they entered the dimly lit apartment. All the lights were off, except for a small lamp on an end table near the sofa. The curtains were drawn. The smell hit them almost immediately––rancid, jolting—a stench to make the inside of their noses burn.

Travis turned away and covered his nose. “Wow! She really went all out with the macabre theme.”

Nina glared at him. “Something’s wrong. What is that stench?”

“That is one of my best works,” a dark, sinister voice answered. Nina and Travis jumped and looked toward the voice. Nina’s legs faltered. If it weren’t for Travis, she would have fallen.

Nina gasped. “Raven?” When she saw her, she covered her mouth with her with both hands to stifle a scream.

Raven’s skin appeared ashen and leathery. Her ratty, black hair framed her face like curtains. Her eyes were bloodshot, and she wore a raggedy long black dress.

“Do you like my painting?” Raven tottered toward her.

Nina reached for Travis’ hand and gave it a squeeze. “Your––painting?”

“Yes, come and have a look.” Raven beckoned her.

Nina and Travis followed Raven deeper into the apartment. Their hands trembled, and the hairs on the back of their necks stood on end.

“At first, I couldn’t figure out what my series of paintings should be about.” Raven waved a paintbrush like a conductor’s wand. “Then an explosion of light went off in my head.” She turned and looked at her friends with wide eyes and an unnerving grin. “Why not make paintings of my neighbors gathered for a great supper?”

“Interesting concept.” Travis hunched his shoulders and shrunk back from her stare.

Nina stepped closer to the painting to have a better look. She gasped and stumbled away. She retched and covered her nose with the back of her hand. The stench seemed to be coming from the painting itself. Its surface was slathered in dark red paint, and there were rubbery objects attached – no doubt the type of props that gag shops offered around Halloween. Nina rubbed the nape of her neck and looked around. All of the walls were adorned with the dark red paintings.

“So, you like them?” The manic tone was back in Raven’s voice.

“Well…” Nina wrung her trembling hands.

There was a long pause. Travis swallowed hard. “I like your costume, Raven.” He pulled at his collar.

As Raven brought up her hand, Nina noticed that the handle of the wooden paintbrush had been sharpened to a point. Before Travis realized what was happening, Raven had stabbed him in the chest. He stumbled backward and fell on his back. Nina wailed, rushed to him and dropped to her knees. She began to shake him, but he lay still, his eyes wide open.

Nina stared with wide eyes and open mouth at the monster that was once her friend. “Why Raven? Why did you do that?”

“I’m not wearing a costume.” Raven looked at her with an indifferent expression. “Do you like my paintings or not?”

Nina was sitting on the floor beneath one of the paintings. She peered at it through vision blurred with tears.

“Well? What do you think?” Raven’s voice began to take a vicious tone. Nina jolted and wiped the wetness from her eyes with trembling hands. She shuddered as she was finally able to see the painting for what it was. Those rubbery objects attached to its surface weren’t from the gag shop – they were real intestines, brains, hearts, tongues, spleens, and who knows what else. How many people died here? Her stomach churned, and the room began to spin.

“Tell me!” Raven growled and clenched her teeth, as saliva foamed and oozed down the sides of her mouth. Then she became calm. She studied Nina’s face and smiled.

Nina wrapped her arms around her body, shook her head and sobbed.

“Don’t cry. If you don’t like it, I can always improve it.”

Nina wiped her face and stared at her crazed friend.

Raven lurched over to Travis’ body and grabbed his head, lifting it by the hair. She buried the tip of the large paintbrush into the tear duct and popped the eyeball out. She did the same with the other eye to the rhythm of Nina’s wails. She grabbed the eyeballs dangling from his cheeks and yanked them from the optic nerve.

Nina felt an expansion in her head and weakness throughout her body.

She cannot have a fainting fit. She had to get to her feet. She clenched her fists and panted. Her eyes shifted to the door. Raven stood between her and the exit.

“Here we go. Much better, right?” Raven attached Travis’ eyes to the bowl of soup in the painting. The painted bowl was now crowded with eyeballs. “My neighbors were always watching me, so I decided to paint an homage to their prying eyes.”

Trembling, Nina stood up. A shriek escaped her lips. Her hands flew to cover her mouth.

“I knew it! I knew you wouldn’t be happy for me.” Raven stomped her feet and pointed the sharp end of the brush at Nina. “I knew you wouldn’t like my work. Well, I have a few more improvements to make, but for the final touches, I’ll need something from you.”

Raven lunged at Nina, clutching her filed paintbrush.

Nina’s legs started moving, as though on automatic pilot. Raven chased her, howling ghoulishly. Nina ran to the kitchen and grabbed a knife from the countertop. Raven charged and ran into Nina’s extended arm, which held the knife. Raven stared into her friend’s eyes and moaned. Nina thought she heard her murmur, Thank you.

Nina released hold of the knife, and Raven slid to the floor. Nina kneeled next to her and rocked back and forth, bawling. She pressed her hands against the sides of her head.

“Why? Why did you do this? Raven––why? What happened to you?”

She saw the answer to her question as Raven took her last breath. They crawled out of her ear by the dozens—the wiggly wormy things she recognized from their hometown lake. The parasites were vacating Raven’s head, no longer having a live brain to feed on.

©2017 Vashti Quiroz-Vega

*Photo credits: Pixabay.com

Is that a creepy story or what? Yikes! Vashti creeped me out!! Speaking of dark stories – Vashti has a new book out and it’s a dark fantasy. You won’t want to miss this one!

 

“In The Fall of Lilith, Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts an irresistible new take on heaven and hell that boldly lays bare the passionate, conflicted natures of God’s first creations: the resplendent celestial beings known as angels.

If you think you know their story, think again.

Endowed with every gift of mind, body, and spirit, the angels reside in a paradise bounded by divine laws, chief of which are obedience to God, and celibacy. In all other things, the angels possess free will, that they may add in their own unique ways to God’s unfolding plan.

Lilith, most exquisite of angels, finds the rules arbitrary and stifling. She yearns to follow no plan but her own: a plan that leads to the throne now occupied by God himself. With clever words and forbidden caresses, Lilith sows discontent among the angels. Soon the virus of rebellion has spread to the greatest of them all: Lucifer.

Now, as angel is pitted against angel, old loyalties are betrayed and friendships broken. Lust, envy, pride, and ambition arise to shake the foundations of heaven . . . and beyond. For what begins as a war in paradise invades God’s newest creation, a planet known as Earth. It is there, in the garden called Eden, that Lilith, Lucifer, and the other rebel angels will seek a final desperate victory—or a venomous revenge.

“[A] compelling narrative that . . . strays far from traditional biblical text . . . A well-written, descriptive, and dark creation story.”—Kirkus Reviews”

❤ CONNECT WITH VASHTI QUIROZ-VEGA ❤

BLOG: The Writer Next Door

TWITTERhttp://twitter.com/VashtiQV

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGEhttp://on.fb.me/1g0da7d

GOOGLE+https://plus.google.com/+VashtiQVega

PINTERESThttps://www.pinterest.com/vashtiq/

HAPPY SPOOKY HALLOWEEN!

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Tuesday Challenge Recap & A Month of November Poetry Prompts

Happy Halloween

WELCOME TO POETRY TUESDAY!

I’ve had a brilliant idea concerning the poetry challenge for November 2017. Today, I will give you five weeks’ worth of prompt words. (I won’t be doing another post until December 5th so that I can participate in NanoWritMo). That way you can still carry on with your poetry.

BUT HERE’S THE CATCH: For the entire month of November, you can’t use the prompt words! You MUST use a synonym!

Have fun and please support the other participants in the challenge by commenting and sharing their work. ❤

 


HERE ARE THE NOVEMBER PROMPTS

10/31: FRIGHT & NIGHT

11/7: AUTUMN & LEAVES

11/14: SMELL & COZY

11/21: THANKS & FAMILY

11/28: PLENTY & MEANDER

Please note: We are all students of poetry. I have given you the instructions on how to write the different forms. Try your best to be as exact as you can.

The most meaningful change you will learn about is in writing a Haiku vs. a Senryu. Also, remember, pronunciation in various parts of the world will affect your syllable count. Go with your gut on deciding the syllable count. You are the poet and the creator of your own work.

The main idea behind my sponsoring this challenge is to help everyone learn how to write various forms of poetry. Remember, if you are sending your poetry for publication in literary journals, contests, or self-publishing, you should know the correct forms and use them. Check the rules by clicking on the links below. ❤

For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below. Click on the link to learn about each type:

HAIKU IN ENGLISH 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Haiku is written about seasonal changes, nature, and change in general.

TANKA IN ENGLISH 5/7/5/7/7 syllable structure. Your Tanka will consist of five lines written in the first person point of view. This is important because the poem should be written from the perspective of the poet.

HAIBUN IN ENGLISH Every Haibun must begin with a title. Haibun prose is composed of short, descriptive paragraphs, written in the first person singular.

The text unfolds in the present moment, as though the experience is occurring now rather than yesterday or some time ago. In keeping with the simplicity of the accompanying haiku or tanka poem, all unnecessary words should be pared down or removed. Nothing must ever be overstated.

The poetry never tries to repeat, quote, or explain the prose. Instead, the poetry reflects some aspect of the prose by introducing a different step in the narrative through a microburst of detail. Thus, the poetry is a sort of juxtaposition – different yet somehow connected.

Cinquain

Senryu in English 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Senryu is written about love, a personal event, and have some sort of irony present.

Image credit: Pinterest.com

(Currently, free-verse prose poems are NOT part of this challenge)

Here are some great sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables.

thesaurus.com

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

howmanysyllables.com

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site for all my Haiku and Tanka poems. Click on the “Workshop” tab to create your Haiku or Tanka.

THE RULES

I will publish the Tuesday prompt post at 12: 03 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Denver Time).  That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world.

WRITE YOUR POEM ON YOUR BLOG as a post.

How Long Do You Have and Your Deadline: You have a week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Monday at 12:00 P.M. (Noon) Denver time, U. S. A. This will give me a chance to add the links from everyone’s poem post from the previous week, on the new prompt I send out on Tuesday. I urge everyone to visit the blogs and comment on everyone’s poem.

The rules are simple.

I will give you two words that you need to use (in some form) in the writing of your poetry. This will be a challenge in writing your Haibun poem. Follow the rules carefully.

The two words can be used in any way you would like to use them. Words have different definitions, and you can use the definitions you like. Feel free to use synonyms for the words when the poetry form calls for it.

LINK YOUR BLOG POST TO MINE WITH A PINGBACK. To do a Pingback: Copy the URL (the HTTPS:// address of my post) for the current week’s Challenge and paste it into your post. You may also place a copy of your URL of your post in the comments of the current week’s Challenge post.

Because of the time difference between where you are, and I am, you might not think your link is there. I manually approve all links. People taking part in the challenge may visit you and comment or “like” your post. I also need at least a Pingback or a link in the comments section to know you took part and to include you in the Weekly Review section of the new prompt on Tuesday.

BE CREATIVE. Use your photos and create “Visual POETRY” if you wish, although it is not necessary. Use whatever program you want to make your images.

As time allows, I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY. Remember – I’m participating in Nanowritmo and all comments on my blog must be approved before they appear. Be patient. I’ll go through everything in the evenings. ❤

If you add these hashtags to your post TITLE (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetry may be viewed more often:

#Haiku, #Tanka, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose #Synryu, #CinquainPoetry

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE YOUR TWITTER ACCOUNT LINKED TO YOUR BLOG – I WILL NO LONGER TWEET YOUR POETRY… THERE IS NO SENSE SINCE YOUR TWEET BECOMES PART OF WORDPRESS.COM AND THERE IS NO ATTRIBUTION BACK TO YOU.

You may copy the badge I have created to go with the Weekly Poetry Challenge Post and place it in your post. It’s not mandatory:

HERE’S WHO JOINED US LAST WEEK FOR OUR 56th POETRY CHALLENGE USING THE WORDS – EERIE & COSTUME

Nature – Reena Saxena

Voodoo – Poetry by Sarah

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Tuesday Challenge: EERIE & COSTUME #Haiku #Senryu #Cinquain | But I Smile Anyway…

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Tuesday Challenge: EERIE & COSTUME – Mick E Talbot Poems

Costumes – #Tanka | Trent’s World (the Blog)

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Prompt Eerie & Costume | Annette Rochelle Aben

Colleen Chesebro Weekly Haiku Challenge. 24/10/17 | willowdot21

Poetry Tuesday: Haiku – Jane Dougherty Writes

War Paint | like mercury colliding…

Reverend Zombie – Smell The Coffee

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge – It’s the Costume – The Bag Lady

#Tanka Tuesday 10/24/17…as Halloween comes… – Frank J. Tassone

thoughts and entanglements

Haibun – Eerie & Costume | radhikasreflection

Bite | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

#Tanka: Guise | Charmed Chaos

Haiku – The Orange & the Black – CroneChronicler

Cinquain: Eerie & Costume – tea & paper

graveyard drive (tanka #17) – Stories

Wind Sighs of Dreams: Haibun | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

Witching Hour – In Emma World

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Tuesday Challenge: EERIE & COSTUME | M J Mallon Author

Don’t FORGET! If you are selected as my Poet of the Week, your poem will also be featured in my bi-monthly newsletter.

Sign-up HERE.

This week’s Poet of the Week is Story Teller from their blog, Stories. Graveyard drive (tanka #17), was the perfect Halloween Tanka. Although, that wasn’t the main reason I selected the poem. I especially liked the way the Tanka told a story. It put the reader in the middle of the scene, and your five (maybe six) senses exploded with spooky mind images from the words used. Well done.

graveyard drive (tanka #17)

crossing the graveyard

there is an eerie silence

moonlight casts shadows 

veiled behind the ensemble

sending shivers down the spine

 ©2017 StoryTeller

See you in December! ❤

#Fairies, #Myths, & #Magic October Spooktacular Author Spotlight Guest Post – “When the Tide Turns,” By Hugh W. Roberts

HAPPY CREEPY HALLOWEEN!

halloween-2813778_1920

Today, I have a special treat for you! My friend and author, Hugh W. Roberts, has agreed to share with us a sneak peek into a creepy story that will appear in his second novel of short stories when it’s published.

Author, Hugh W. Roberts

If you don’t know Hugh, from his blog Hugh’s Views & News, you are missing one of the most beautiful people on the planet. Always gracious and a great blogger and friend, he always makes you feel good with his kind and humorous comments.

Since I’ve known Hugh, we’ve discussed quite a few pumpkin recipes. Pumpkins are native to North American, but not in the U.K. This year, Hugh surprised me. Yes, he took the plunge. He grew pumpkins!

pumpkins

Image Credit: Hugh W. Roberts

Just so you know, Hugh is also a master in writing flash fiction with endings you never expected. Take it away, Hugh!

Image credit: Pixabay.com

“When the Tide Turns”

By Hugh W. Roberts

It was the stupidest warning any of the young men had heard. ‘Don’t go on the beach. If the tide doesn’t get you, then the Sandman will.’

Coming to the end of their final year at college, the old guy in the beaten-up Ford in the car park at the beach was not going to put them off. Anyway, right there in front of them, paradise awaited.

“I thought you said high tide was 15:06,” said Alan.

“It is. I checked the website, and it said 15:06,” replied Carl.

“The tide times are different on this beach. That’s another reason why there’s nobody on it. Unpredictable the tide is,” warned the old man sat in the car.

“It doesn’t matter guys. Just look at that golden sand and sparkling sea,” shouted Ben. “Ignore the old guy, he’s probably on something. YOU ARE, AREN’T YOU, WEIRDO!”

Turning around to face the old man, Ben saw the deadliest of stares.

Image credit: Pixabay.com

“I’m warning you boys, go down on that beach, and none of you will come off it alive.”

“Yeah, OK weirdo, you just want this place to yourself,” called out Ben. “Besides, we’re kind of a bit old to believe in the Sandman. Come on guys, last one in the sea gets to raid their old man’s fridge for the beers.”

With that, Ben ran towards the sea. It wasn’t long before Alan and Carl followed him, while the old man shook his head.

***

Twenty-five minutes later, Ben was the last one to start making his way out of the sea.

“Why has nobody ever told us about this place?” asked Carl.

“Would you want to tell anyone?” asked Alan, as he dried himself. “It’s beautiful. Best swim I’ve ever had. Anyway, I think the tide is turning, so we’d better get back to our clothes. Let’s hope that weirdo in the car park has gone when we get back.”

Standing up, Carl wrapped a towel around the top half of his body to take away a slight chill. He turned around to face the beach and suddenly dropped the towel to the sand.

“Did you see that?”

“See what?” asked Alan, looking over his shoulder.

“Something over there; moving in the sand.”

“Get out of here, dude, you’re just trying to scare us,” laughed Alan, as Ben joined them.

“Seriously, something is moving in the sand,” said Carl, pointing to the area just in front of where they had undressed and left their clothes.

Looking back over his shoulder, Alan couldn’t see anything. “You’re playing games, dude.”

“No, seriously, take a look,” said Carl, as Ben flicked water droplets at him.

“Look at what?” asked Ben.

“Over there. Something is moving in the sand,” replied Carl, as he pointed towards the piles of clothes.

Image credit: Pixabay.com

“I don’t see anything, apart from sand and three piles of clothes,” laughed Ben. “Stop messing with us, dude. I didn’t see anything as I came out of the sea. Why’re you letting that weirdo of an old man get to you? Come on, I’ll race you both. Last one back to the clothes has to date and bed the Swanson twins.”

Before they knew it, Alan and Carl watched as Ben started to run towards the three piles of clothes, which were halfway up the beach.

“NO! COME BACK, THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE SAND,” screamed out Carl. However, Ben continued to run towards the piles of clothes, laughing, while calling the other two boys names.

A sudden scream from Ben filled the air when he finally reached the piles of clothes. His screams got louder as Alan and Carl watched in horror as Ben seemed to be pulled into the sand.

“HELP ME GUYS, SOMETHING’S GOT MY LEGS!” screamed Ben, before quickly disappearing.

For a few moments, Carl and Alan stood in amazement, not able to move. It was only the touch of cold water washing over his feet that made Alan speak.

“How the hell, did he do that? “You two had better not be pissing me about. BEN! YOU CAN COME OUT NOW. I’M COUNTING TO FIVE, AND IF YOU DON’T SHOW YOURSELF I’M GONNA KNOCK YOU SENSELESS, MATE!”

“Don’t walk on the sand.” begged Carl, “it’s not safe. The old man was right. There’s something in the sand.”

“We got to go, Carl. The tide’s coming in so unless you want to drown, you need to start walking now.”

With that, Alan started to walk away, while Carl tried pulling him back.

“Get off me! I swear I’ll knock you out. You two aren’t going to scare me.”

Pulling himself away from Carl, Alan started to walk towards the area where Ben had disappeared. Feeling a little scared, when he finally reached the piles of clothes, he turned around to face Carl.

Image credit: Pixabay.com

“COME ON, IT’S SAFE. THERE’S NOTHING HERE,” Alan called over to Carl.

Carl remained where he was, the water now above his ankles.

‘You’re going to drown, dude,” said Alan to himself, as he jumped up and down on the sand.

Carl remained fixed to the spot.

“Where are You B—”

It was the feel of two hands around his ankles that made Alan stop talking. However, the touch was sharp, as if somebody was rubbing sandpaper hard into his ankles.

“Argggggh,’ he screamed while looking down at his feet, which had disappeared into the sand. The last thing Alan saw before being dragged under the sand, was Carl running along the shoreline.

***

Screaming for help, Carl ran down the shoreline, not wanting to touch any part of the sand that was not under water. To his relief, he saw a large wooden walkway coming down to the shoreline and ran towards it.

Image credit: Pixabay.com

Stopping beside it, he hesitated at first, but the tide was now coming in fast, and this was his only escape. Although exhausted, he found the energy to run up the wooden walkway, making sure that his feet went nowhere near the edges. When he got to the top of the walkway, he was relieved to see two cars in the distance. One was Alan’s car, the other belonged to the old man.

Although small stones embedded themselves into his bare feet, Carl made his way quickly to the car park and only realised he was still naked when he reached the old man’s car. Winding down the driver’s window, the old man spoke.

“I told you not to go on the beach. Why didn’t you listen to me?”

“You need to get help, please,” begged Carl, “phone the police.”

“Oh, it’s too late for them,” said the old man, as he opened his car door.

In horror, Carl watched as layers and layers of sand began to fall out of the old man’s car and crawl towards him.

Nobody heard his scream.

©2017 Hugh Roberts

Meet Hugh Roberts

Hugh W. Roberts published his book of short stories, Glimpses, in December 2016.  He lives in Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom.

 

Hugh gets his inspiration for writing from various avenues including writing prompts, photos, eavesdropping and while out walking his dogs, Toby and Austin. Although he was born in Wales, he has lived in various parts of the United Kingdom including London where he lived for 27 years.

 

Hugh suffers from a mild form of dyslexia but, after discovering blogging, decided not to allow the condition to stop his passion for writing. Since creating his blog ‘Hugh’s Views & News’ in February 2014, he has built up a strong following and now writes every day. Always keen to promote other bloggers, authors, and writers, Hugh enjoys the interaction blogging brings and has built up a group of on-line friends he considers as an everyday essential.

 

His short stories have become well known for the unexpected twists they contain in taking the reader up a completely different path to one they think they are on when reading one of his stories. One of the best compliments a reader can give Hugh is “I never saw that ending coming.”

 

Having now published his first volume of short stories, Hugh and is working on the next volume. A keen photographer, he also enjoys cycling, walking, reading, watching television, and enjoys relaxing most evenings with a glass of red wine.

 

Hugh shares his life with John, his civil-partner, and Toby and Austin, their Cardigan Welsh Corgis.

CONNECT WITH HUGH W. ROBERTS

Blog:  https://hughsviewsandnews.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HughRoberts05

Flipboard: https://flipboard.com/@HughWRoberts

Stumble Upon: https://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/hughroberts05

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hugh.roberts05/?hl=en

Google+: https://plus.google.com/108647661887874692677

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hugh-W.-Roberts/e/B01N40ZABP/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16123684.Hugh_W_Roberts

Happy Halloween


As part of my continuing efforts to support independent authors if you are interested in participating in my Author Spotlight – Guest Posts, I am looking for themed posts about fairies, myths, and magic. If you are an enthusiastic author and would like to be featured on my blog, please click HERE to find out more. ~Colleen~


101417_2041_ColleensBoo4.pngSleep Tight! Don’t let the bed-bugs bite! ❤

Happy Samhain Blessings & Happy Halloween

I’m celebrating Samhain a day early because I have something special planned for tomorrow, so make sure to stop by.

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday of the year. I don’t know if it was the idea that for one day out of the year, I could be whoever or whatever I wanted, or that I just loved the revelry and beauty of the autumn season. Those reasons are all tied up together like a gift with a huge bow.

My happiest childhood memories always occurred during the fall. My parents were avid photographers (stereo), and I remember traipsing around the state of Wisconsin gazing at fall color, walking in the woods, and posing for photos. To this day, I have never seen fall color that rivaled those days long ago.

Image Credit: Facebook.com/TheWhiteWitchParlour

I consider myself to be a Pagan Buddhist which involved my departure from the traditional Christian holidays and traditions. My spiritual journey has allowed me to become comfortable with who I have evolved into. What a great place to be.

Did you know that Halloween derived from the pagan holiday, Samhain (pronounced Sow-in, “Irish”)? The roots of the holiday are based on the Gaelic festival of the harvest and the beginning of winter.

Wikipedia shares:

“This is about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with ImbolcBealtaine, and Lughnasadh. Historically, it was widely observed throughout IrelandScotland and the Isle of Man. Similar festivals are held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall), Kalan Goañv (in Brittany), and Samaín (in Galicia).”

Image Credit: Pinterest.com

Samhain is much more than trick-or-treating, although if I still had little ones, I would be right there leading the pack of kids down the street. The weather will be too cold to sit outside and hand out candy this year. I will miss that.

This will be the second year that my husband and I will celebrate Samhain. Homemade chili and gluten-free cornbread are on the menu. I have prayers planned for our deceased ancestors and will make sure to recharge my crystals in the moonlight if possible. I’ll raise a glass of ginger rum and toast the changing of the seasons. Won’t you join me?

Image Credit: Witchywords.blogstpot.com

NOW – You know I can’t stray far from the myths of the fairies… especially on Samhain!

Image Credit: Jasmoonbutterly.blogspot.com

It has been rumored that Samhain Eve is when the veil lifts between our two worlds (Earthly and the Otherworld) and the fairies and other immortals freely roam the earth. Only the bravest of men ventured out on Samhain Eve. The possibility of meeting one of these lost souls or “scary fairies,” was just too high! Many folks stayed safe inside their homes.

La Dia de Los Muertos, the day of the dead, sprang forth from this belief that the dead walked the earth on Samhain Eve. Sugar skulls are made to commemorate the event to this day.

sugar-skulls-1528767_1920

Speaking of “scary fairies…” On Saturday, October 28th, I shared a post called, “Six True Magical Encounters With Real Fairies: (True Fairy Encounter Series).” I revealed my fairy encounter (which happened in early November 2014), and I asked readers to share their experiences too.

Here is what they said:

D.G. Kaye reminded me of a photo she shared on Facebook. At the bottom, near her feet was a fairy orb. She had never seen one before and was amazed that the wee ones had made contact with her. Sometimes we don’t know they’re there.

Image used with Permission ©Debby Gies

Ksbeth said: “I always teach my kinders about the fairies and try to get them to keep an open mind to them.”

Liz H, From the Valley of the Trolls, shared this post: Tag You’re It. Yup, she’s had troll sightings! You’ll want to read this!

AutismPsychologySpirituality said: “Wow! I’ve never had encounters with fairies but loved reading your encounter. I’ve been seeing orbs, animals, colors, and rainbows. I’m always seeing fire rainbows. Rainbows around the sun, rainbows everywhere.”


I’m convinced that fairies and rainbows are connected, and I incorporated that belief into my debut novel, The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy. A rainbow is a natural gift from the elemental world. When we see one, we believe in magic, if even for a little while.

I’ve seen fairy orbs also. I wrote about fairy orbs HERE and made a video:

DO YOU BELIEVE?

Have a safe and Happy Halloween! ❤

Six True Magical Encounters With Real Fairies: (True Fairy Encounter Series)

happy samhain

The countdown to Halloween (Samhain) is on!

Do you believe in Fairies? Have you ever had an encounter with a fairy-like being? If so, write about it! What are you waiting for?

Do you know how I became a fairy whisperer? Let me tell you the story of the greatest experience I have ever had.

While on a walk during a warm, foggy morning in November 2014, I had a close encounter of the fairy kind. At the time, we were living in Pensacola, Florida. I still remember the day, as if it has been carved into my memory; something I will never forget.

Road I took on my walk

The road I took on my morning walk

As I walked along the road, I heard a sound that instantly caught my attention. At first, I considered the possibility that the sound might be an injured bird rustling in the thick underbrush. I peered into the foliage and drew back in surprise. At first glance, I thought I saw a ruby-throated hummingbird with brilliant green feathers. However, that was not so.

Instead, appearing in front of my eyes was a tiny green swamp fairy fluttering on delicate wings that looked like transparent leaves. She had hair the color and consistency of corn silk. Bottle green leaves adorned her small body. The heady fragrance of lavender, patchouli, and sandalwood wafted on the air.

I stood there at the edge of the road transfixed by the vision. I realized then, I had witnessed a miracle. I had been given the gift of fairy vision.

Spot where I saw the Swamp Fairy

The spot where I saw the swamp fairy

The petite winged-being stared at me with eyes as green as the leaves she was hiding in. I must tell you, this meeting felt something akin to a spiritual encounter. An overwhelming feeling of peace and love surrounded me and held me within its grasp. In an instant, she was gone. The swamp fairy vanished into the fog that swirled around me.

I shook my head and continued my walk. My feet felt lighter that day. I knew something had changed. The swamp fairy had ignited my imagination. I knew what this fairy encounter meant. I had been granted the ability to become a fairy whisperer.

Soon after, I started to write stories about the swamp fairies which I posted to my blog. The stories came in quick succession. Next, the dreams started. I began to channel the stories of the fairy nymphs that had inspired me that day long ago.

Each day on my walks, I observed the real swamp as it was crowded out by the building of new homes. The natural wetlands were disappearing at a rapid rate. Slowly, a story began to form in my mind.

Land next to fairy swamp

Fairy Swamp is found behind this development site in Pensacola, Florida

By fall of 2015, we moved to Colorado. The dreams continued and have grown even stronger. The stories changed.

The fairy nymphs wanted me to tell their stories. And, that is exactly what I have done. The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy is that story, which I published this year. Click here to read this exciting novel.

OOOO Spooky

So, share your fairy encounter in the comments or link to this post and I’ll mention you on Monday, October 30th in another post dedicated to Samhain.

In the meantime, this video will have you believing… watch it if you dare!

 

howl at the moon Thanks for stopping by! ❤ P. S. The sharing buttons are at the top right of the post or on the home page of colleenchesebro.com. Thanks for sharing! ❤

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Tuesday Challenge: EERIE & COSTUME

WELCOME TO POETRY TUESDAY!

I’ve had a brilliant idea concerning the poetry challenge for November 2017. Next Tuesday, I will give you five weeks’ worth of prompt words. That way you can still carry on with your poetry writing. BUT HERE’S THE CATCH: You can’t use the prompt words! You MUST use a synonym! I hope you will support each other with visits to blogs and by leaving comments. Tell me what you think in the comments. ❤


Please note: We are all students of poetry. I have given you the instructions on how to write the different forms. Try your best to be as exact as you can. There are no tests, and I don’t grade your work. LOL!

The most meaningful change you will learn about is in writing a Haiku vs. a Senryu. Also, remember, pronunciation in various parts of the world will affect your syllable count. Go with your gut on deciding the syllable count. You are the poet and the creator of your own work.

The main idea behind my sponsoring of this challenge is to help everyone learn how to write various forms of poetry. Remember, if you are sending your poetry for publication in literary journals, contests, or self-publishing, you should know the correct forms and use them. Check the rules by clicking on the links below. ❤

For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below. Click on the link to learn about each type:

HAIKU IN ENGLISH 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Haiku is written about seasonal changes, nature, and change in general.

TANKA IN ENGLISH 5/7/5/7/7 syllable structure. Your Tanka will consist of five lines written in the first person point of view. This is important because the poem should be written from the perspective of the poet.

HAIBUN IN ENGLISH Every Haibun must begin with a title. Haibun prose is composed of short, descriptive paragraphs, written in the first person singular.

The text unfolds in the present moment, as though the experience is occurring now rather than yesterday or some time ago. In keeping with the simplicity of the accompanying haiku or tanka poem, all unnecessary words should be pared down or removed. Nothing must ever be overstated.

The poetry never tries to repeat, quote, or explain the prose. Instead, the poetry reflects some aspect of the prose by introducing a different step in the narrative through a microburst of detail. Thus, the poetry is a sort of juxtaposition – different yet somehow connected.

Cinquain

Senryu in English 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Senryu is written about love, a personal event, and have some sort of irony present.

Image credit: Pinterest.com

(Currently, free-verse prose poems are NOT part of this challenge)

Here are some great sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables.

thesaurus.com

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

howmanysyllables.com

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site for all my Haiku and Tanka poems. Click on the “Workshop” tab to create your Haiku or Tanka.

THE RULES

I will publish the Tuesday prompt post at 12: 03 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Denver Time).  That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world.

WRITE YOUR POEM ON YOUR BLOG as a post.

How Long Do You Have and Your Deadline: You have a week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Monday at 12:00 P.M. (Noon) Denver time, U. S. A. This will give me a chance to add the links from everyone’s poem post from the previous week, on the new prompt I send out on Tuesday. I urge everyone to visit the blogs and comment on everyone’s poem.

The rules are simple.

I will give you two words that you need to use (in some form) in the writing of your poetry. This will be a challenge in writing your Haibun poem. Follow the rules carefully.

The two words can be used in any way you would like to use them. Words have different definitions, and you can use the definitions you like. Feel free to use synonyms for the words when the poetry form calls for it.

LINK YOUR BLOG POST TO MINE WITH A PINGBACK. To do a Pingback: Copy the URL (the HTTPS:// address of my post) for the current week’s Challenge and paste it into your post. You may also place a copy of your URL of your post in the comments of the current week’s Challenge post.

Because of the time difference between where you are, and I am, you might not think your link is there. I manually approve all links. People taking part in the challenge may visit you and comment or “like” your post. I also need at least a Pingback or a link in the comments section to know you took part and to include you in the Weekly Review section of the new prompt on Tuesday.

BE CREATIVE. Use your photos and create “Visual POETRY” if you wish, although it is not necessary. Use whatever program you want to make your images: Canva.com
Crello.com

As time allows, I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY

If you add these hashtags to your post TITLE (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetry may be viewed more often:

#Haiku, #Tanka, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose #Synryu, #CinquainPoetry

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE YOUR TWITTER ACCOUNT LINKED TO YOUR BLOG – I WILL NO LONGER TWEET YOUR POETRY… THERE IS NO SENSE SINCE YOUR TWEET BECOMES PART OF WORDPRESS.COM AND THERE IS NO ATTRIBUTION BACK TO YOU.

You may copy the badge I have created to go with the Weekly Poetry Challenge Post and place it in your post. It’s not mandatory:

Mick Talbot created a new poetry form! Check it out: EPANALEPSIS.

HERE’S WHO JOINED US LAST WEEK FOR OUR 55th POETRY CHALLENGE USING THE WORDS – QUIET & SPACE

Deception – Reena Saxena

Blind Eye – By Sarah

Tanka Tuesday: Quiet & Space – Jane Dougherty Writes

Mountains of My Mind #Haibun #Tanka | Trent’s World (the Blog)

Colleens Weekly Poetry Challenge Quiet & Space | Annette Rochelle Aben

#Tanka Tuesday 10/17/17…the beauty of silence and space… – Frank J. Tassone

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Tuesday Challenge: Quiet & Space | But I Smile Anyway…

Road to Solitude – Stuff & What If?

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge Quite & Space – Tessa Can Do it!

Silence-a senryu – Stories

The Quiet – Smell the Coffee

That distant look – Playing with words

Haibun: Quiet & Space – tea & paper

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge: Quiet and Space. | willowdot21

Tanka Tuesday–Quiet and Space | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

Noise | like mercury colliding…

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Tuesday Challenge: Quiet & Space – Mick E Talbot Poems

Together… | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Escape – A Tanka – In Emma World

Poetry Challenge Quite & Space – Robbie’s Inspiration

#Haiku -(Double): Smoke – Charmed Chaos

Don’t FORGET! If you are selected as my Poet of the Week, your poem will also be featured in my bi-monthly newsletter.

Sign-up HERE.

This week’s Poet of the Week is Robbie, from Robbie’s Inspiration. In addition to her love of writing poetry, Robbie is an accomplished fondant artist. Seriously, you’ve got to visit her blog here to find out more!

I chose her Senryu because it speaks of a universal truth. Remember how I always preach advise about how our poetry should connect to our readers? Well, this Senryu is a perfect example of that ideal. It meets the definition of a Senryu too, with a humorous look at motherhood! 😀

Becoming a mom

means absolutely no quiet

or personal space

©2017 Robbie Cheadle

Image credit: Pinterest: Halloween Meme

Here are the two words for this week’s challenge: EERIE & COSTUME

(any forms of the words and don’t forget to use synonyms)

IT’S POETRY TUESDAY! JOIN IN AND GET YOUR POETRY ON!

#Fairies, #Myths, & #Magic October Spooktacular Author Spotlight Guest Post – C. S. Boyack, Paranormal Author

091917_2010_FairiesMyth1.png

I’ve brought C. S. Boyack back to share a terrifying story with you that will literally give you the creeps. This one is lots of gory fun!

I know many of you know Craig, but for those of you who don’t, and so you can get a sense of why he writes what he does, please let me introduce you to C. S. Boyack:

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Author, C. S. Boyack

“Magpies”

By C. S. Boyack

It’s been two days since I slid off the county road. The wreckage of my car blew the windshield out, and the nights were freezing. I haven’t heard a siren since the wreck. Last night, the flashing blue lights and sound of a snow plow told me any tracks I left got erased.

I managed to dig out some of the clothes I intended to drop at the Salvation Army and pile them around me. I know things are broken, my leg for sure. My left breast is bloody where the seatbelt caught, and the airbag fried my hair. I have a deep cough, despite only being able to take shallow breaths.

A deep thud hit on the roof. The snow knocked off branches and pinecones all over the forest. The clunking moved across the roof, and a magpie looked down through the hole where the windshield should have been.

It spread its wings and glided to the car hood, crow hopping until it reached a beam of sunlight. It ruffled its feathers and soaked up the warmth.

“Shoo!” My voice croaked from all the yelling I did. I broke into a wet cough that tasted of blood.

The bird turned my direction. “Sorry lady, but today is the day. We’ve been watching you.”

“Go away. Get some help if you can talk like that.”

“Don’t work that way. Birds have a code. We can’t start eating until you’re gone, and we can’t fly for help.”

A shiver, more visceral than the frigid temperature deserved, ran through my body. This beautiful black and white bird intended to eat me. I wriggled deeper into my pile of used clothing. “Please go away.”

“I feel for you, lady. Really, I do. Winter’s a tough time out here, and food is scarce. Some of us starve to death every year. When a gift like you shows up, we’re risking our lives to just go away.”

“What about my life? How can you be so callous about it?”

“I didn’t wreck your thing-a-ma-jig there. It really is unfortunate. I only hope you go before dark. After dark, something else might find you, and there would be precious little left for me.”

“What comes after dark?”

“The bears are all sleeping, but wolves are always around. They won’t even wait for you to move on. Nasty, brutal creatures, they just start eating the minute they show up.”

“Are they nearby?”

“I didn’t see any when I flew in this morning.”

Another magpie landed with a spray of snow. “Am I number two then?” she asked. “I was heading for the landfill and remembered the wreck. Thought it might be nearly time. I’ll tell you, something fresh would do me a world of good.”

“Winters seem to get tougher every year, don’t they?” number one said. “Have you been to the roadkill on the edge of town. Someone hit a nice young doe.”

“All cleaned out, I’m afraid. A coyote got the last decent bit two nights ago.” She turned to me. “I don’t mean to rush you, dear, but do you think you’ll be much longer?”

“You’re awful. Waiting for my life to end. I don’t want to be eaten. Go away.”

“None of us want that,” number one said. “There isn’t much we can do about it after we’re gone.” He turned to the second magpie. “If I dropped over dead, would you eat me?”

“Absolutely,” she said.

“Would you start before I passed?”

“Of course not. I’m not a wolverine. Birds have a code.”

“See, lady. We’re back to the code again. You have nothing to worry about from us. We won’t hurt you.”

A larger thump landed on the roof. “What was it? I say hypothermia.” A raven hopped onto the car hood and stood beside the first magpie.

“It hasn’t happened yet,” the female said. “Besides, I think it’s going to be from shock.”

“You’re both nuts,” the first magpie said. “She’s got some bad injuries. I think she’ll bleed out internally first.”

“Oh come on,” the female magpie said. “She’s been talking to us. That’s a sign of shock.”

“I’m not saying she isn’t in shock. I just think the cold will take her first,” the Raven said. “Some nice internal blood clots would be tasty though.”

“She’ll probably have some of those too, but I still say shock takes her.”

“I’m still here,” I said. “I’m scared, cold, and in pain. Please go away.”

“Can’t do that,” the Raven said. “What you’re going through is tragic. We all respect that. That’s why birds have a code.”

“Are you sure I’ll go today? Someone has to be looking for me.”

The first magpie said, “Oh yeah, you look bad. There are bruises all over your face, blood in your hair, and you’re so pale it will probably happen before noon.”

“I’m not in any pain.”

“That’s the first step toward hypothermia.” The Raven puffed up his chest.

“What’s it like? You must have seen it before.” I started coughing violently.

“There’s that internal bleeding I told you about,” the first magpie said.

“We really don’t know, dear,” magpie number two said. “None of us have ever died before.”

“They say there is a light at the end of a tunnel, and I just wondered. Is it that way, or is it darkness? Maybe there really is a grim reaper.”

“We’d all like to know, lady,” the raven said.

I nodded off and jolted awake. The sun was higher, and snowmelt dripped off the highest branches. Another magpie perched in a bush, and a second raven on a low branch. “A regular damned smorgasbord for all of you. What you’re doing is terrible.”

I nodded off and snapped awake twice more. Each time there were more birds. Finally, I nodded off and felt warmth returning. My pain lessened, and the pain in my chest went away. Then I heard the first magpie.

“Let’s call it. Time to get ours before the coyotes arrive.”

This story was creepy and came from C. S. Boyack’s book, The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack, Part II. It is his second collection of short stories and micro-fiction. Every story can be read in a single session. This time there are a few tributes to the pulp era. Stories include science fiction, paranormal, and horror.

 

Don’t forget… C. S. Boyack is running a Halloween Special on his blog!

Many authors do something special during October, and I’m no different. Every Tuesday this month, I’m posting a micro-fiction that has a Halloween theme. I call this Macabre Macaroni, and you can read more stories for free on my blog, Entertaining Stories.

❤ CONNECT WITH C. S. BOYACK ❤

Blog – Entertaining Stories

My Novels Amazon

Twitter

Goodreads

Facebook

Now let’s see if I can wake up from this dream about a bunch of birds! Hey, are you interested in appearing on my Author Spotlight – Guest Posts? I’m looking for themed posts about fairies, myths, and magic. If you are an enthusiastic author and would like to be featured on my blog, please click HERE to find out more.” ~Colleen~

EPANALEPSIS POETRY (NEW FORM)?

So, poetic friends… what do you think? Mick has created a new poetry form called epanalepsis. Stop by his blog and tell him what you think. ❤

Mick E Talbot Poems

EPANALEPSI

I think I might have created a new form of poetry? If I have then my gratitude goes out to Stuart Aken please click on his name and you’ll see where I am coming from, thank you, Stuart, too. Please do click on the title link above as all the definition/s can be used. To reiterate, please do click on the title, as the definition will become the rules, two of which can be found in my examples, the first blatantly obvious, the second in the first line of the fourth stanza. Feedback please, more on it being a new format, and of course critiques on the poems. Oh the name of the form, (if it is new), ‘Epanalepsis Poetry’. As is I can’t find any reference to this format, fingers crossed.


PERFECTED LOVE

together we will always be together
alone again never again alone
together now and forever together

View original post 86 more words

#Fairies, #Myths, & #Magic Spooktacular Author Spotlight Guest Post – “The Dawn Fangs,” by Charles E. Yallowitz

WELCOME… ENTER IF YOU DARE!

Today’s spooky author guest post is from Charles E. Yallowitz. Charles writes epic fantasy novels that transport you to another place and time. His imaginary worlds are filled with the battles between good and evil featuring an incredible variety of creatures: half-elves, dwarves, drites, the undead, and much more. Currently, he is working on a new series. If you love vampires, this post is for you!

“The Dawn Fangs”

By Charles E. Yallowitz

Thank you, Colleen, for letting me be a guest. My name is Charles E. Yallowitz, and I’m the author behind the Legends of Windemere, which is a fantasy adventure series. Currently, I have vampires on the brain because while I’m promoting and finishing up my current series, I’m starting to write the next one.

This is all about the vampire civil war that took place after the Great Cataclysm and saw the rise of a new breed of blood-sucker. While the Dawn Fangs have made a few appearances as enemies and allies in Legends of Windemere, they’re still a mystery since their origin is a pretty long story to tell. That and I’ve been wanting to write a vampire story since 1999. Unfortunately, the landscape of this genre has changed to one of more romance than horror and saturation. Pretty sure the instant people read vampire, their minds went to one of many YA stories that involved a young woman falling in love with a handsome man that is lacking a pulse. So, what did I do to make the Dawn Fangs stand out?

  1. Putting them in Windemere, which is a world of magic, helped to make changes since the Earth-based parts of the mythos no longer worked. For example, a cross wouldn’t make sense in a world without Christianity, but they could still be weak against holy magic. The counting thing, needing soil to sleep in, and many of the other more minor weaknesses were eliminated as well.

My goal was to make the Dawn Fangs the alpha predator of this world.

  1. One of the aspects that was always in this series was that at least the main character would be immune to sunlight. Now, I made that a central part of these new types of vampires. The Old World species lose their powers in the sun, but the Dawn Fangs remain strong. This gives the new monsters an advantage in their civil war, which I countered by making it that Dawn Fangs can’t use magic like their predecessors.

It is a big gamble because everyone thinks of vampires being hurt by sunlight, which is actually more of a Hollywood thing. Read ‘Dracula, ’ and it’s said that he’s only weaker in sunlight instead of hurt. So, I actually went back to an older version of the mythos at one point.

  1. Without magic, I needed to give the Dawn Fangs something to make them terrifying and superhuman physical abilities wasn’t enough. I played a lot of Vampire: The Masquerade, which has every vampire type with three powers. They worked with clans, but I decided to make every Dawn Fang unique. Each character has a different triad of abilities that fall into a Body, Mind, and Magic division.

For example, one that shows up in Legends of Windemere: The Mercenary Prince has claws (Body), talking to spirits (Mind), and moving through shadows (Magic). This added a level of danger since any heroes running into these vampires won’t know exactly what they’re going to deal with.

  1. Much of the differences have been physical, but the biggest one I came up with ended up changing their entire society. This would be that while Dawn Fangs are vampires, they aren’t undead. Holy magic is still painful, but they have heartbeats and can eat regular food for a little energy. Combined with the sun immunity, I realized that they could live among mortals, which is why you occasionally see one in the background of a story. Dawn Fangs can be your neighbor, a tavern owner, a carpenter, or whatever any mortal could be. I didn’t realize what I was doing here, and I did fear I was making them less monstrous.
  2. As much as I wanted these characters to be forces of destruction, I realized I couldn’t make them good guys like that. This altered their entire society, which became one of predators to one that simply wanted to live in peace. Any Dawn Fang that causes trouble is brought to their own court, so they exist within and outside of the mortal societies.

They are still deadly and should be feared, but my vampires seemed tired of the hunted and hated creature cliché. I was a little disappointed in this until I realized it worked so well for the world I was making. Now, I could do so much more with Dawn Fangs instead of making them nothing more than antagonists or the occasional random encounter.

  1. After I accepted #5, I decided that I should take the final step and make them act somewhat human. They still have the desire to drink blood and have some disdain towards mortals, but the Dawn Fangs feel the full range of emotions. Love, fear, loyalty, and honor are there, which I’ve found many people don’t expect from vampires. If angered, they will become the traditional killing machine, but they have dreams beyond that. One might have the ability to change their voice to any other one they hear, which leads to an interest in singing. A heightened sense of smell and taste could cause a Dawn Fang to be more into cooking than hunting. The sky became the limit for what roles they could have.

So, that’s the basics of the Dawn Fangs, which are a dangerous species that seem to have no interest in terrorizing humanity. There is another reason for this, but it’s a big part of my 2018 series, War of NytefallLegends of Windemere still has some hints about it, but the real time for these vampires to shine is in their own series. Hope everyone enjoyed this peek behind the curtain.

On September 15, 2017, Charles released the fourteenth novel in his Legend of Windemere series, called: Path of the Traitors.

 

Also, The Legends of Windemere, Book One is offered as a FREE Kindle download on Amazon.

MEET THE AUTHOR

 

Author, Charles E. Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn’t working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. ‘Legends of Windemere’ is his first series, but it certainly won’t be his last.

Amazon Link

Link to buy all 14 books as a collection on Amazon

❤ CONNECT WITH CHARLES YALLOWITZ ❤

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

You rockThanks for popping in to meet Charles and his books. Don’t forget to check them out! ❤

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Tuesday Challenge: Quiet & Space

Welcome to POETRY TUESDAY!

Image credit: Pinterest: Positivewriter.com

An update on last week’s message where I asked for someone to take over the challenge for November 2017 while I participated in NaNoWritMo. The only responses I received were from folks who didn’t even participate in the challenge.

So, to keep things simple – from October 31st through November 28th there will be no weekly poetry challenge.

I’ll restart the challenge on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. Thanks for your support. ❤


Please note:
We are all students of poetry. I have given you the instructions on how to write the different forms. Try your best to be as exact as you can. There are no tests, and I don’t grade your work. LOL!

The biggest change you will learn about is in writing a Haiku vs. a Senryu. Also, remember, pronunciation in different parts of the world will affect your syllable count. Go with your gut on determining the syllable count. You are the poet and the creator of your own work.

The main objection of this challenge is to learn how to write various forms of poetry. Remember, if you are submitting your poetry for publication in literary journals, contests, or self-publishing, you should know the correct forms and use them. Check the rules by clicking on the links below. ❤

For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below. Click on the link to learn about each type:

HAIKU in English 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Haiku is written about seasonal changes, nature, and change in general.

TANKA in English 5/7/5/7/7 syllable structure. Your Tanka will consist of five lines written in the first person point of view. This is important because the poem should be written from the perspective of the poet.

HAIBUN in English Every Haibun must begin with a title. Haibun prose is composed of short, descriptive paragraphs, written in the first person singular.

The text unfolds in the present moment, as though the experience is occurring now rather than yesterday or some time ago. In keeping with the simplicity of the accompanying haiku or tanka poem, all unnecessary words should be pared down or deleted. Nothing must ever be overstated.

The poetry never tries to repeat, quote, or explain the prose. Instead, the poetry reflects some aspect of the prose by introducing a different step in the narrative through a microburst of detail. Thus, the poetry is a sort of juxtaposition – seemingly different yet somehow connected.

Cinquain

Senryu in English 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Senryu is written about love, a personal event, and have some sort of irony present.

Image credit: Pinterest.com

(Currently, free-verse prose poems are NOT part of this challenge)

Here are some great sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables.

thesaurus.com

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

howmanysyllables.com

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site for all my Haiku and Tanka poems. Click on the “Workshop” tab to create your Haiku or Tanka.

THE RULES

I will publish the Tuesday prompt post at 12: 03 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Denver Time).  That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world.

WRITE YOUR POEM ON YOUR BLOG as a post.

How Long Do You Have and Your Deadline: You have a week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Monday at 12:00 P.M. (Noon) Denver time, U. S. A. This will give me a chance to add the links from everyone’s poem post from the previous week, on the new prompt I send out on Tuesday. I urge everyone to visit the blogs and comment on everyone’s poem.

The rules are simple.

I will give you two words that you need to use (in some form) in the writing of your poetry. This will be a challenge in writing your Haibun poem. Follow the rules carefully.

The two words can be used in any way you would like to use them. Words have different definitions, and you can use the definitions you like. Feel free to use synonyms for the words when the poetry form calls for it.

LINK YOUR BLOG POST TO MINE WITH A PINGBACK. To do a Pingback: Copy the URL (the HTTPS:// address of my post) for the current week’s Challenge and paste it into your post. You may also place a copy of your URL of your post in the comments of the current week’s Challenge post.

Because of the time difference between where you are, and I am, you might not think your link is there. I manually approve all links. People taking part in the challenge may visit you and comment or “like” your post. I also need at least a Pingback or a link in the comments section to know you took part and to include you in the Weekly Review section of the new prompt on Tuesday.

BE CREATIVE. Use your photos and create “Visual POETRY” if you wish, although it is not necessary. Use whatever program you want to make your images: Canva.com
Crello.com

As time allows, I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY

If you add these hashtags to your post TITLE (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetry may be viewed more often:

#Haiku, #Tanka, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose #Synryu, #CinquainPoetry

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE YOUR TWITTER ACCOUNT LINKED TO YOUR BLOG – I WILL NO LONGER TWEET YOUR POETRY… THERE IS NO SENSE SINCE YOUR TWEET BECOMES PART OF WORDPRESS.COM AND THERE IS NO ATTRIBUTION BACK TO YOU.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW TO LINK YOUR WORDPRESS BLOG TO TWITTER

You may copy the badge I have created to go with the Weekly Poetry Challenge Post and place it in your post:

HERE’S WHO JOINED US LAST WEEK FOR OUR 54th POETRY CHALLENGE USING THE WORDS – Haunt & Ghost:

(Please make sure to visit the other participants. Remember, we learn from each other. <3)

Frozen Minds – Reena Saxena

The Haunting You – #Haibun | Trent’s World (the Blog)

Tanka Tuesday: Ghost & Haunt – Jane Dougherty Writes

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge Ghost & Haunt | Annette Rochelle Aben

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Tuesday Challenge No. 54: GHOST & HAUNT – Mick E Talbot Poems

Colleen Chesebro Weekly Poetry Challenge NO. 54. | willowdot21

Haunted | like mercury colliding…

#Haiku (Double): Lady | Charmed Chaos

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Tuesday Challenge No. 54: GHOST & HAUNT #Cinquain #Senryu #Haiku | But I Smile Anyway…

http://butismileanyway.com/2017/10/10/colleens-weekly-poetry-tuesday-challenge-no-54-ghost-haunt-cinquain-senryu-haiku/

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 54 – Ghost and Haunt – Oct 10, 2017 | Tessa Can Do It! Positivity is Catching!

haiku #31 – Stories

Snowdrops | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Haunted | method two madness

Colleen’s teeny weeny Japanese poetry challenge – Afterwards

Cinquain: Ghosts and Haunt – tea & paper

Reflection (Senryu) | Darkness of His Dreams

Tanka – Ghost & Haunt | radhikasreflection

Undone Dreams (Tanka) | Darkness of His Dreams

The Usual Haunts | Lemon Shark Reef

Two Trains: Haibun | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

“The Specter,” A Cinquain – Colleen Chesebro – The Fairy Whisperer 

Haunted – Double Tanka – In Emma World

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Tuesday Challenge #54: Ghost & Haunt (Cinquain)/Stuff & What If

A River in Egypt – Smell The Coffee

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Tuesday Challenge No. 54: GHOST & HAUNT | M J Mallon Author

#Tanka Tuesday 10/10/17…of #ghosts, #hauntings, #beauty and #dreams/Frank J. Tassone

Don’t FORGET! If you are selected as my Poet of the Week, your poem will also be featured in my bi-monthly newsletter.

Sign-up HERE.

This week’s Poet of the Week is Elizabeth from Tea & Paper. I chose her Cinquain because I enjoyed the synonyms she selected. Her poetry also tells a story. I can see her reminiscing about her family heritage over a cup of tea. Splendid!

Ancestors

Ghost’s silence

Bones, particles, air

Spaciousness haunting my thoughts

Magnificent

©2017 Elizabeth, Tea & Paper

Here are the two words for this week’s challenge: QUIET & SPACE

(any forms of the words and don’t forget to use synonyms)

POETRY TUESDAY! JOIN IN AND GET YOUR POETRY ON!