Free Flash Fic: Blood

So, I had all these posts planned for October, mostly revving up for Nanowrimo and explaining why you should do it and how to go about it, but work day-job need money to live blah blah blah busycakes. So have a free flash fic.

PS: My books are still on sale!

 

BLOOD

 

I was a boy when the monster killed my parents. Of course nobody believed me. It was put down to a bear attack. But I know what I saw. I watched from under the bed as it fed on them. And when it was done, it sniffed me out, lifted the bed off me like it was made of cardboard. It bent down and put its big ugly face in mine, its breath fetid with the stink of their blood, and stared at me with nightmare eyes that I still see every time I sleep.

Then it left.

I don’t know why it spared me. I don’t care. It orphaned me. I’m going to make it wish it had killed me.

My entire life prepared me for this. Learning about it, studying the lore. I found others who had seen it, who had been victimized by it. I found those who knew how to track it, and how to kill it. They taught me, and when I was ready, I hunted it.

I found others of its kind, and killed them. It took a silver-tipped sword, forged by monks and tempered with holy water. Beheading worked. So did stabbing through the heart, but the heart was hard to locate, so I generally stuck with beheading. I’ve taken out five of them since I started hunting. But none were the one I wanted.

That one is here before me now. I tracked it to a back alley in Tulsa of all places. I know it by its eyes. It’s looking at me, and I see recognition. And regret.

Good.

I draw my sword. It swipes at me. I dodge, but not fast enough. Its claw grazes my arm. Not deep, but it tears through my coat and makes me bleed.

We dance like that for several minutes. Time slows, and it feels like hours. Then my sword finds its home, slices clean. The head falls, and just like that, my life’s work is done. My parents are avenged.

I hear a wild howl, and I turn. My monster had a mate, and she charges me. I raise my sword. She runs onto it. Miraculously, it finds the heart. She falls.

I pull out my blade and wipe it on her fur. I hear another wail, this one small and pitiful. It’s coming from a Dumpster.

Inside I find another one. Just a pup. An orphan now, like me. If I spare it, it’ll only grow up to be a killer. And it’ll want vengeance. Also like me.

I won’t make that mistake.

I raise my sword, but as I look in its eyes, I see only myself.

It trembles as I wrap it in my coat and tuck it under my arm. As I carry it to my car, I wonder first how it will ever forgive me. Then I wonder how on earth I’ll feed it.

We’ll figure it out, together. We’re family now, bound by our parents’ blood.

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In Which Lame Blogger Is Lame

(Cross-posted #)

First, the “Lame Blogger Apologizes For Being Lame By Not Updating” portion of today’s post – sorry, y’all. I wish I could say I’ve been too busy to blog, but the truth is that I just haven’t felt up to it lately. I haven’t felt up to much at all, really. I haven’t been sick with the flu or anything, but it’s been one thing on top of or after another keeping me down. The SAD and allergies I wrote about last time, hormonal wackiness, insomnia and other disordered sleepy-time fun, and inadvertently ingesting things that didn’t want to leave my stomach without a fight have all added up to me spending most of my waking hours on the sofa, wrapped in an afghan and alternately staring unproductively out the window or at my laptop screen. “Bleah” pretty well sums up how I’ve been feeling lately.

Continue reading “In Which Lame Blogger Is Lame”

I’m in a good place again, which is nice, because I haven’t been for quite a little while now. Even before I got sick I was tired and moody and blue and generally no fun to be around. A number of things contributed to snapping me out of it, not the least of which were getting back into a gym routine and going to bed earlier (because if I take care of my physical health, my mental health will follow; I know this. So why do I always need to be reminded?). But what really helped was Saturday. And what happened Saturday? Not a blessed thing.

We had planned to go to my mom’s to do some cleaning and retrieve some stuff we left there, but both of us started the day out feeling completely wiped. Must have been something in the air, because even Speedy Pete was more Sleepy Pete that day; although I’m sure all of the errand-running I’d done the day before, coupled with dinner and a night at the opera with Tess (La Boheme, which shall henceforth be known in my house as “Boring Italian Rent,” because that’s pretty much what it is, and I gotta say, I prefer the Catchy English Rent; I am so not high-brow), had something to do with it.

So I declared it an official Lazy Day, and we both proceeded to ignore the messy kitchen and living room and all of the boxes that still need to be unpacked and instead sped the day alternating between napping and vegging. The most productive thing I did all day was read a magazine. And man, I cannot tell you now much I needed a day like that. Even when I was sick, I puttered around between naps trying to get things done around the house. It had been so long since I’d had a DO NOTHING day that I wasn’t sure I remembered how to do them.

Sunday was a different story altogether. I had energy, I had motivation, I had a new magnetic To Do List pad on the fridge that I was rarin’ to put to use, and let me tell you, things in my house got DONE. The kitchen and living room got cleaned, the recycling got sorted, the bathroom shelves got assembled and installed, the bathroom got cleaned and organized, a puppy sweater got halfway knitted, and I was a domestic DIVA. I finished a new scene for the novel, too. I RULE.

Or at least, I ruled yesterday. Today, not so much with the ruling. But for now I’m content to rest on my laurels.


So in an effort to both restore sanity around here and maintain it through NaNo and the holiday season, hopefully avoiding becoming burned out and spending Christmas in a rum-scented, nutmeg-garnished funk, I’m abandoning the ridiculous notion of having Hero Factor both finished and ready to start posting this year. This doesn’t make me a flake. There are SO MANY OTHER things that make me a flake. This only adds more weight to the accusation. But I am a flake who knows her limits. Sometimes I forget them, and bite off more than I can chew, and then remember said limits when I choke and almost die. But anyway.

So, for now I’m writing, a little bit each night before bedtime, a little in the mornings before work (on the days I don’t hit the gym), a little on weekends. And I’m editing the earlier chapters when I get time. I still want to finish the manuscript before NaNo. Maybe that’ll happen. Maybe it won’t. Either way, I’m not going to make myself crazy trying to get it done.

But I WILL get it done. That’s the important thing.

UPDATE: Y’know, it only just now occurred to me that NaNo is optional, and that the truly sane thing would be to skip it this year. I could still play along, unofficially, by trying to finish THF by the end of November. But I have this novel to finish, and I still have last year’s NaNo project to rewrite, so…why am I wanting to dive in and hammer out a third novel right now, exactly?

I need to examine this question. And somebody needs to examine my head.

Hey, you know what’s not cool? Sinus infections, as in, the thing that’s had me down and out for the last three days. That’s what. On the bright side, it afforded me some badly needed rest. I figured I was due to get sick in one way or another soon. I knew that if I didn’t slow down and get some quality rest, my body was going to rebel and force it on me, and that’s exactly what happened. So the rest has been nice. I could do without all the snot and the sore throat and the pounding headaches, though.

In other news, our AC quit working. Thankfully it waited till fall, so it’s not an emergency. We suspect we might have mice in the vents and may need to call an exterminator, but for now we’ve got a call in to our friendly home warranty service department. Pay attention, kids: if you buy a house, be prepared for it to break in all kinds of ways after you move in.

I still managed to post a couple more scenes for the Beauteous Beta Babes, so this crud hasn’t thrown me too far off schedule. I’ll try to get some more done today, since I think the antibiotics are kicking in and I can stay upright for more than thirty minutes at a time. I hope you guys are all doing better than I am. Hopefully I’ll be back in action tomorrow.

There will be no writing tonight

And this is why:

I’m going to pick him up after work, and then I am going to take him home and feed him and pet him and love him and squeeze him and call him… probably not George. But certainly not Peewee, which is what his current/soon-to-be-previous owners inflicted upon him. It may not be as dramatic a rescue story as Fizzgigg’s, but I’ll take it.

Not!Peewee is 5 months old, and I cannot wait to meet him.

I just need a name. Any suggestions?

I need a nap

I wanted to start forcing myself to write a ficlet a day, to get myself back into a daily writing habit, but now that I have a bit of free time my head hurts and I can’t think straight. My brain is full.

I’m having an ADD moment. Apparently the Mega Mind that I ran out of a month ago has finally weaned its way out of my system. As recently as yesterday I was amazed at how well I was doing without it, and wondered if I still needed it anymore. Guess I do. It’s very irritating, because I ordered a refill from the company with the UNBEATABLE prices before I ran out — again, let me remind you, more than a month ago. After an e-mail to ask, WTH? Where be my brain pills? and I was informed that they’re on back order (it’s so nice how they informed me as soon as they knew they didn’t have my item available–oh, wait), I wrote back and told them to cancel my order and refund my money. Low prices are only great if, you know, you actually receive the item you paid for. Lesson learned. I’ll be going back to Vitacost. Reliability is worth a few extra dollars.

In a very roundabout way, this post really is about writing. Which I might be able to do if I could just find a quiet place to sit and close my eyes for about fifteen minutes.