I’m a little annoyed that Screwpulp didn’t send me an email when the look was ready. I was wondering as to the status and checked my account and POOF! There it was. Yay! So, now I’m posting the link just everywhere. I mean, it’s free. You can’t go wrong with the price. 😉
Now that this story has been edited (and bless all your hearts for not pointing out the copious and sometimes hilarious typos in the posts) and has a cover, I’m seeing about posting it around to sell! 😀
As for what project I’ll finish next? Er… I have no idea. I’m just GOING. But look for Winter Boot in the coming days! As soon as I figure out this file conversion nonsense…
I have been terrible about updating but I have been so disgustingly busy. I will be updating on a normal-ish basis this month. ^_^
Winter Boot is done and ready for posting. Book three is coming along at a pace I did NOT expect. 0.0 The words are flying our of the pen. It’s amazing. I am postulating a new story for Fiction Friday (something I’ve already started… No new projects) and slowly but surely my project list is whittling down.
I dunno if you’ve been following my Twitter or Shelfari accounts but I have also been reading like all get out. I seem to be on a horror kick lately, which will have to stop soon because it’s fucking depressing. But I’ll be twice damned if the books aren’t amazing.
I have also posted another book review. Read. Enjoy. Comment. 🙂
“Leave the phone under the table and hide. When you hear me say so, blow the whistle in the bag!”
Rabbit dives into the bag and I push the phone under the scary mirrir where it disappears into the darkness. I can feel Rabbit squirming to find the whistle as I search for a big enough patch of shadow to hide me.
I crouch behind a giant pot that stinks of rusty ice. I can feel the cold seep through my mittens as the skittering grinds into the room and the Cold One drags herself near me. Her toenails on the floor hurt my ears and I fight really hard to keep from whimpering in pain.
The Cold One scuttles over to the table and leans on it so hard it groans. The small weight of the whistle is suddenly in the palm of my hand and fear steals more of my breath than the cold. I watch her curl her spindly hands over the edge and press her face right against the surface. I think for a second about wet tongues getting suck on poles but I bet the Cold One doesn’t stick to anything.
A horrible sucking sound makes me clap my hands over my ears. Frog and Rabbit burrow deeper into my coat and all I want in the world is to scream for her to stop. When I peek, I am instantly sorry I did as I watch jagged spikes grow from the bent back and hunched shoulders to make her look like a great big, scary, ice porcupine. The house shakes and groans as the noise stops and I swear it’s even colder; so bad my throat hurts when I breathe.
“Do it NOW!” I hear Marsalla scream and I take a deep, burning cold breath and blow on the whistle so hard, my face heats up. I’m exhausted and panting when I stop just in time to hear the little phone I left under the table say; “Run like hell! Don’t forget the necklace till help!” before it explodes in a burst of orange light.
When the bits of toy phone hit the ice, black goo leaks out and the Cold One roars. I don’t stick around to see any more and I do exactly what Marsalla sais. I hold the glowing candy out in front of me with Rabbit in my other arm and run as fast I my shaking legs and flopping bag will let me.
It’s seconds before I hear angry growling and scratching behind me and I dare to look back. Black ooze splatters around the Cold One as she runs after us, making such a mess, she slips in it, stumbling to the ice floor as I flee around a corner.
The candy jewel flutters when I make a wrong turn and gleams bright in the dark when I’m right. I nearly scream with joy at the sight of the front door but I feel a snag on my hood.
“Cheater!” The Cold One screams. “Sneak thief! Tresspasser!”
I hear the cricking whine of ice forming on my hood and pull hard to get away from the leaking ice monster. My hood doesn’t rip, it snaps where she touched it. In my panic, the candy necklace gets so hot, I have no coice but to throw it at her.
When it hits her in the cheek, a huge black mark of rot forms. I don’t watch it spread, I yank hard and run away from the wailing. The house is shaking under my feet. The wail becomes a howl when my mittens hit the door knob. I don’t even have to pull; the door crumbles to shards of frozen wood. I jump over them, side stepping the trap door, and reach the gate trembling all over. I don’t trust looking back anymore, not till I’m off the sidewalk and halfway into the empty street.
I hear Frog and Rabbit gasp as we all watch the house fall in on itself. Steam rises from the black ooze creeping over the whole thing. A blackend, clawed hand reaches out of the doorway, scraping at the wood. She screams louder, hissing and spitting under the rubble. I take a step back and bump into something soft. I hand hands on my shoulder and I look up to see the frozen prince smiling down at me. He gives me one calming pat before gliding around me.
His feet leave no prints as he passe the gate and walks silently up to the scratching hand. He looks at the Cold One, watches her try and crawl from the junk and I can see his skin glow golden brown. Light pours from his skin and with one final scream and a blinding flash, I’m pushed back by the force of a warm wind so hard, I pass out.
If you saw on my Facebook and Twitter, I finished another short story! Winter Boot was it. There’s probably typos but hey! Here’s the next chapter! 😀
The room around us is filled with the same light eating fog that surrounds the house, the floor so cold, I can feel it through my boots as I hurry to the dim outline of a door. I don’t wait long before squeezing through it and I don’t think about getting cought until I hear Rabbit’s horrified gasp.
“Sorry.” I whisper and my blush of embarassment is so warm, I’m sorta glad I goofed.
“Just be more careful!” She scolds me.
Being extra, super quiet, I follow the tug of the hidden candy around my neck. When I slip on the icy floor and catch myself, I find the walls sticky; groianing umder the press of my mitten. I look down at my two friends and we all share the same look of stomach rumbly nastiness.
The jewel leads me down the squishy hallway to a grey, dirty cersion of Marsalla’s warm and pretty kitchen. A pot boils on the stove, way too small to fit the three of us inside it. I would snoop to see what is in it but the jewel shivers around my neck and pulls me around the corner.
Frog hunkers down deep in my pocket. Rabbit squeeks and pressed against me. I don’t think I’m breathing. My eyes tear as I focus on everything the three of us thought we would fine in Masalla’s home because of how people talk. But it’s here. All of it. Jars of creatures, most not moving and others wishing they weren’t, bones littering the floor, some with meat still on them, and a black table with a mirrored top covered in tiny animal skulls and dripping candles. And the smell… How could it just be in this room? How did we not smell it from the hallway? It smells like something the dogs rolled in that made Auntie throw up.
When the jewel urges me inside, I can almost feel it apologize.
Downy feathers fly up, disturbed by my steps as I move and forcing me to look around. I see my poorly repacked bag and rescue it from the floor. With it on one shoulder and Rabbit on the other, I move to the table. I feel the jewel heat up when I look down into it, wax smeared and dribbled all over the edges and a wet, red handprint in the center. The glass shimmers with the frozen man’s face, the handprint making the blue features look wobbly.
“What should we do?” Says Frog in a shivering whisper.
Before I can guess, a low beep comes from the backpack. With Rabbit watching for the Bone Woman, I pull out a tiny cellphone toy. Blinking in confusion as it beeps again in my hand, I hopd the pastel plastic up to my ear.
“Boot?” Marsalla whispers through the toy.
I sputter a minute before answering. “Yes?”
“A real phone won’t work there. I bet whatever is sucking up the warmth is sucking up all kinds of energy so I rigged up this toy.” Marsalla fumbles with the phone on her end. “What do you see?”
“It’s a mirror with candles on it.” I lean forward and shiver. “I can see the Prince’s face but there’s a red hand on him.”
Marsalla gasps. “She’s sucking the life right out of him. Don’t touch the glass. Don’t touch anything, actually.” I hear glass bottles being moved through the ear piece of the toy. “What else did you see?”
“Not much. The walls are sticky and the Bone Lady had us in cages.”
“Ugly, hunched, skinny old bat.” Rabbit huffed. “I bet she would eat me.”
“Boot, be careful! That’s the Cold One!”
I hear skittering heading towards us from the hallway, like the dogs sound when they run around the kitchen, nails clocking on the tiles.
“Get out of there! Whateve ryou do, don’t let her touch your skin!”
“I don’t understan-”
She’s draining the life from the Prince through his blood on the mirror! If she touches you directly, you’ll die!”
I’ve basically decided that if school is closed, I’m home. I mean, if the roads are too dangerous for the kids to go to school, they’re certainly too dangerous for me to drive her to the sitter and drive myself to work. So, fooey on them; as my Ma would say.
Since last month I managed to complete my goal of finishing one short story (Winter Boot) for that month and I also kept writing Lost Brother; I’ve moved on to the next short story I’ve had in progress called Old Soldier. My goal for the month is to wrap that bad boy up and cross it off my WIP list! 😀
I’ve been doing so well I am SO psyched to have enough stories to put a collection together and sell it. 🙂
Remember waaaaayyy back when I was doing Fiction Friday and posting Winter Boot? Remember when I kept meaning to finish it and getting distracted by various shiny objects? Well, no more delays! Winter Boot has a complete written draft now! 😀
Once I get it typed up and edited, it will be posted on Fiction Friday again. 🙂 When it’s complete, another short story will take it’s place. I’m not sure what the next short will be but I have had a horror story percolating in my brain for awhile. The other ones I have in progress are erotica submission calls I didn’t finish in time but I still have the cool story. Those are too smutty to put in the blog. They’ll go direct to sale when complete. ^__^
I know the year is still young but I’ve been doing amazing with my daily goals. So much so that I’ve increased my page goal from 4 to 5 pages daily. If I can keep this up? Expect my Amazon Author Page to be bursting with titles. 🙂
I’m sure you’ve all been wondering where I’ve been all this time. Of course, I’ve since recovered from whatever sickness I’ve had and with that new-found health, I went immediately back to work on book two of my vampire series. I have an irrational zeal to get this thing up and published before the end of the month and based on how I flew through this last round of edits, I just may be able to pull that off.
As a result, I have a polished draft but EVERYTHING else went by the wayside. I don’t even know where Winter Boot is, much less have a written conclusion for it. =_= Rest assured, it’ll turn up – they always do – and I’ll resume my regular updates on other projects as I get through them.
And hopefully more blog updates. I know you’re all DYING to hear my nonsense. 😉
I wake up to the sound of my bag being picked through and the painful creak of rusty metal. First I see the metal bars of my cage, them a small glass bottle sails towards me. I flinch when it hits the ground but doesn’t break. Turning to the source of the noise, I see a shuddering, hunched body of dancing colors. All the color the darkness ate or the snow covered glimmered on the creature’s skin.
The moment I move, it’s eyes are on mine, dingy yellow and squinted at me in suspicion. “Where is it?”
“What lead you here.” I think it’s a she. The wobbly voice sounds a bit like a girl. “I know Marsalla gave you something from the prince. Where is it?”
I feel the candy pulse under my coat. “I was just walking with my friends and we fell into your house.” I look around for Frog and Rabbit but only find Rabbit in a smaller cage hanging next to me. Everything in the room around me is flat, painted a furry gray except for puffs of white from my breathing and Rabbit’s. She looks at me before looking back to the skinny, bone woman.
“Liar.” She growls, and turns back to the mess she’s making.
I look down and there’s only a couple of inches between me and the floor but I don’t dare reach for the little glass bottle. Everytime I breathe, the metal cage creaks. I don’t know what the bone woman will do to me if I move more.
I feel a poke in my side and see Frog’s glittering eyes in my pocket. He gives me the froggy version of a thumbs up and I smile.
Bone Woman finds nothing useful to her in my bag and she skitters away in a huff, ragged clothes dragging on the ground. I think of Auntie telling me not to be seen looking raggedy. For a moment I miss her.
“Maybe hunger will loosen your tongue.” Bone woman rasps and a door slams somewhere in the gray mess around us.
I hold my breath. By the time my body forces me to gasp, Bone Woman hasn’t come back. Frog crawls out of my pocket and hops up to my knee, shivering in the cold room. “Don’t worry, Boot. I saw where she hid the key, I can get to it and we can get out of here.”
“Be careful!” I call after him as Frog jumps to the floor. I worry about him since he can’t warm himself but I am relieved when Frog is bouncing back to me with a tiny gold key. I pick him up to take it and put a grateful and proud little Frog back in my warm pocket.
I don’t hesitate once my door is open, running right to Rabbit to let her out. The candy jewel pulses happily as the three of us repack the bag and leave the cages behind.
“I don’t like that.” Frog whispers. “I don’t like that at all.”
I more than “don’t like” what I’m seeing. The black stain in the distance is a scab on the landscape, eating the light around it.
I feel Rabbit’s weight press against the outside of my boots. “We really have to go there?”
“If we want to save the Frozen Man and end this winter?” I sigh, releasing a cloud of vapor from my scarf. “Yeah.”
Frog defiantly lifts his head higher out of my pocket. “I could get used to the cold. And the snow is kinda pretty.”
“Oh, hush.” Rabbit hisses, shaking her head so her ears fall back to her neck. “The sooner we go, the sooner we can go swimming again.”
I remember swimming. Sometimes I dunk my head under the water in the bath and pretend I’m in a warm lake. Craving the real thing, I move forward.
Only now do I notice how much distance we’re traveled. Familiar houses are shadows in the distance and only skeletal trees line the frozen river. The landscape is slowly devoured by the curling darkness ahead of us.
It only grows more silent as we get close enough for the house to take shape. If not for the shadows, it woul dhave been a normal house, complete with white fences and flowered curtains in the windows.
I stop across the street, watching the house and the dark when Rabbit bumps me on the heel.
“Boot, there’s a light in the bag.” She whispers.
The feelin gof the house watching back makes me round a silent, empty block to hide before fishing through the bag for whatever the light is. I probably shifted he bag and knocked a lamp back on.
I pull up what appears to be a candy necklace. The diamond shaped lump of sugar in the center is carved with the simple instruction; “Wear Me.”
All three of us blink at the glowing candy in confusion and a few moments pass before Rabbis finally says “Marsalla is weird.”
Braving a blast of cold air, I stretch the necklace over my head and quickly tuck it into my coat so I can put my hat and hood back on. Before I can zip up, I feel it tug me towards the house and it’s light-eating darkness. Reluctantly, I follow the candy’s instructions and approach on soft feet to make as little noise as possible. My friends are quiet as I move across the street and my eyes adjust to the dark in no time.
The wood fence is decaying away and I try to ignore the fact all the edges are chipped with what looks like teeth marks. The candy light leads me and my friends right up to the front steps and to the door.
“So…” Frog says after a moment. “Do we knock?”
The necklace dims and I get the feeling that’s a bad idea. “Let’s just go in.” And I lift my hand to the brass knob.
“Boot!” Rabbit hisses in warning but I still give the door a shove. Frog and Rabbit hide deep in my pockets at the rush of warm air blowing out into the night but that’s all that comes at us. No monsters, no teeth, no nothing. So, I step inside.