Monday, June 10, 2013

Poll: Vampires are real

Vampires are real. But what kind of vampires are they? Which do you think would be the "real" vampires?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Hiatus

The following is Cross Posted across all of my blogs:  Fictional Omens, Mind the Thorns, and Bastion: The Last Hope.

So much to talk about and so much to write and to do and honestly no time for it all.

This is the end I want to make a public explanation of what's going on.  As many of you know, my day job is teaching.  This time of year is always incredibly challenging as the school year comes to a close, students seek extra last minute help, papers need to be graded, and life just has to wrap up.  To this end I've just been unable to keep up with much of my writing.

Mind the Thorns has suffered a great deal from neglect of late, partly from timing, partly because of the nature of writing something reader-directed.  Bastion has completely eaten up its buffer and while I love my blog, and I have plenty to comment on, there isn't time.

Officially, all web novels will return to regular posting on or around July 1.

Now, why the wait?

For Mind the Thorns, posting will resume much sooner than later.  I just need time to sit down and write.  Thankfully there's a plan in place I just need to keep pushing on.

For Bastion, I really need time to rebuild that buffer, collect videos from my cast, plan the next dozen chapters, and then be ready to write so that if I am forced to fall a little behind your regular updates aren't disrupted.

I appreciate the patience of all my readers as I push through this period and hope you all return at the beginning of July to engage in these projects.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chapter 26

Chapter 26

"You look ravishing."

Thomas smiled that genuine smile that made Regan's cheeks burn with nerves.  She turned and faced the long mirror hanging in her living room.  She had work to do this evening, possibly a life to save.  That was if her suspicions were true and Jeremiah, Lord of the Library of the Straits, did have something planned.  Regan was making a point not to think about the number of vampires that would be at this party and the fact that this was her own first introduction to most of them.

She had to admit that she looked good.  The dress fit like a glove, tailored with the kind of precision that only a master, and fourteen thousand dollars, could produce.  Emma had been waiting at dusk with her tackle box of makeup and a stylist friend.  Henri had already come and gone, insisting on making some last moment adjustments to bust and to the back draping.  He had looked tired and Regan was forced to wonder if he had slept at all from the night before.  His work done, he had kissed her cheeks and gave her a final look, his eyes a little wet.  Regan supposed it a mix of professional pride and fatigue overtaking him.  Even Shannon, her newly hired personal assistant, had arrived promptly at nine thirty to provide Regan with her first meal of the day.  She was currently sleeping it off upstairs.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Chapter 25

Chapter 25

When Regan was twelve she went to her first formal dance.  She had been given an allowance for a dress and shoes and left to her select her own gown.  It had been in that moment that she first saw pity in the face of her best friend.  Where Emma had selected a dress with a short skirt and spaghetti straps, Regan's selection was long and flowing, its high neckline not only hiding her budding chest, but her shoulders as well.  Emma had tried desperately to get Regan to consider something else, presenting asymmetrical skirts, off the shoulder cuts, backless, strapless, and even a cat suit with flared pants as alternatives.  Regan would have nothing of it and had insisted that her dress was perfect.

Regan had suspected that her father did not understand the drama that had risen over the last hour when he picked up the girls from the mall or how it was that the usually glowing Emma was so dour.  Regan for her part had refused to make eye contact with Emma.  The drive to drop off Emma had been awkwardly silent, the drone of the NPR reporters providing the only thing approaching conversation.  Regan had given quiet thanks that her father did not ask what was going on.  She could clearly remember how badly she prefered the silence.  By the time they had deposited Emma on her doorstep, her father seemed to accept that something had happened and that Regan would manage it as she always did.

The fight had been forgotten, of course, over the next few days and did not resurface accept for that moment when Emma's mom had picked up Regan to take the two girls to the dance.  Each girl had offered a terse "you look nice" to each other, and then walked stiffly back to the car.  Regan could remember the look of concern on her father's face as they had backed out of the driveway and he watched from the front porch.  But within minutes of reaching the dance, the two were engaged in a long conversation about Emma's streak of shockingly white hair that she had added that evening, Emma's mother's disapproval, and of course, which boys would be most interested in it.

Over the course of the evening, neither had really budged from the small stretch of bleachers they had staked out.  Emma had been asked to dance by a boy seventeen times, five of them for slow dances, twelve for popular songs.  Regan's count had ended the evening at ten, eight slow and two fast.  When she was asked for dance number eight, a slow dance, she felt she was winning in the count that mattered until Matt Newcastle groped her ass halfway through the song.  She had not exactly known what to do about the advance; it was decidedly unwelcome, but she did not feel  confident she should react at all to it.  She did not want to appear the prude and therefore ignored the gesture, turning and beelining back to Emma's side as the song faded and another began.

The entire ordeal had taught Regan many things, facts that the next five years of school and dances would regularly affirm.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Chapter 24

Chapter 24

"You'll never get away with this," Regan shouted up from bottom of the well, trying to ignore the sensation of ice cold water flowing down the inside of her boots.  Nine hundred eighty six dollar and ninety seven cent boots, to be precise, not that the additional expense did anything to help keep her feet dry when they were submerged.

Jermiah Book, Master of the Library of the Straits smiled down at her. "Oh, but I already have," he answered with a grin.  "And there's no meddling kids with their dog to stop me."  He knelt down as though he were not a good fifteen feet above her.  "Just be glad that I still need you, dear Miss Fairchild.  It's the only reason I'm covering this and sparing you the noonday sun."

"I'm not helping you," she spat back defiantely.

"Such a curious thing to say in your position, girl," Jeremiah shot back.  "After all, I could also leave this uncovered and allow you to aquire quite the tan by midday.  I would think that someone in your position would be a bit more compliant."

"You haven't given me a good cost-benefit analysis to compare it with."  Regan paused.  "Have you considered that, really, as it applies to you?  Surely you could use an objective pair of eyes to review the accounts on the library.  I would wager that with your operation you're probably bleeding about thirty  forty percent of your gross revenues, which if you were able to harness them I could reinvest and leverage for a fifteen percent margin benefit.  Then when you consider the misappropriation of material resources in procuring and managing those margins you will probably find a gross improvement of twelve percent across all of your accounts."  She could feel the power of the words coursing through her as she talked, projecting confusion and compliance upwards as she had done with others.  To her surprise  Jeremiah only smiled back down at her.

"Well said, bookkeeper.  But, sadly, I'm afraid I've been around long enough that those powers have little effect on me now, at least by someone your age.  I admire your effort but now am forced to bid you good evening."

And with that one of the stone servants of the library covered the hole, sealing Regan in the darkness.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chapter 23

Chapter 23

Regan paced the short length of her kitchen waiting.  She had a nervous energy, unsure what to do, but unwilling to start anything significant only to have it interrupted.  A few times she started to work on some files for her one of her clients.  Summers were terribly slow, the exception being a law firm that had shifted its fiscal calendar to end on September first.  She found her tablet computer and started to sift through some of the records, trying to keep her mind busy, leaning over the kitchen counter.

Yet again she found herself forced into the role of the servant.  Go get this.  Go get that.  Do this because I command it.  Do not do this because we forbid it.  Smile.  Dance.  Laugh.  Cry.  Obey.  Obey.  Obey.

Her fist came down with the kind of finality that only vampiric strength could provide, breaking through the glass of the tablet’s screen and sending shards flying in an upward spray.  She swore as she stood again, and swept the destroyed gadget off of the counter and into the trash.  She was going through computers at a faster rate than she had budgeted for and out of continued frustration send two jars, one containing uncooked noodles and the other dry lentils, smashing into the wall as well.  She stood a few moments and looked over her miniature tempest of destruction, her blood spread in wide swatches across the granite backsplash.  It was then that the pain in her hand began to register and she forced calm upon herself while she began to pick the shards from her tablet out of her hand.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chapter 22

Chapter 22

Regan and the gentleman settled into a table at the back of the bar area.  He had been quite the gentleman, his hand in the small of her back as they walked through the crowd, not pressing her forward but simply reassuring her that he was still with her.  With a gentle touch on her right side he had steered her towards the corner booth, secluded, shadowed and far removed from the bulk of the patrons.

She knew on some level that she should resist, that it was a bad idea to be so trusting.  She had been burned so many times that there was no reason to believe that this time would be any different.  She glanced over at her companion as he took his seat and slid along the vinyl padded bench towards her.  Perhaps it was his unassuming demeanor, or perhaps it was his disarming smile.  She just felt comfortable with him.

There were no scents of mistrust, fear or disdain that she often detected around most mortals.  In fact all she could really smell was the rich aroma of her wine and the bitter tang of his beer.