#OctPoWriMo Day 31/100 Word Wednesday: Poem – Acrostic – “The Flapping” #poetry #100WordWednesday #amwriting u


For OctPoWriMo Day 31 the theme is an Acrostic poem with the word mysterious. Also combining with Bikurgurl’s #100Word Wednesday prompt. 

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Credit: Heather Sanders

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Mist veils the horizons as sunlight peaks, 

Yellowish-glitter highlights the forest in gold dust. 

Strange flutters heard as the fog dissipates, 

Trite concerns to the silence heard, no boisterous bird peeps.

Everchanging, the fog leaves and returns, slithering into —

Remenants of rabbit holes and homes dug by foxes. 

Ill winds blow but the fog conceals their bitterness, 

Only the sunlight crawling beneath the fog bodes well. 

Universal symbol of hope from night’s darkest creatures still dwelling, 

Sounds of eerie flapping again, fading into slumber. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

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Day 26- NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge/Tale Weavers: Poem – Wrapped Refrain (2) – “Under the Same Moon” #poetry #AtoZChallenge #NaPoWriMo #future


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write about wondering what “future archaeologists, whether human or from an alien civilization, will make of us . . . exploring a particular object or place from the point of view of some far-off, future scientist.” Thanks to Michael of last week’s Tale Weavers from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie who provided a prompt about the moon. As well for A to Z Challenge for a GoodRead’s quote the letter today is the letter W. 


The Moon
Credit: Michael – MindLovesMisery’s Menagerie

” . . . All that is now / [a]ll that is gone/ [a]ll that’s to come / and everything under the sun is in tune/ but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

“There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it’s all dark.”
Roger Waters


Gazing into the future, ‘neath a pale moon gleaming bright,

Hard to believe, people who were, saw the same moon’s shining light.

They had houses, electricity.

So many ethnicities.

It’s different now, the gene pool changed,

Those who look unique all estranged.

All look like us, all brown eyes, dark hair, and medium skin too.

I can scarce picture blond, red-haired, green eyes, or eyes so blue.


Genetic defects they called them, so now we’re all plain, the same,

It’s weird to think, they dyed their hair, all colors, none went gray.

How was it to be individual,

Not for the whole good — sacrificial.

What makes a person now is,

Incredibly different knowing this —

Society of people who fell as those before left their cities,

Frames of what once was, rusted metal, not all that pretty.


Their language full of slang, we cannot pin down lingiustics,

Cannot find words, spoken globally, their lyrics I sing.

But their music is strange, listened —

To some and our technology it fits.

Technology they had weird, but we —

Discover strange things, sound gleaned.

Words not understandable but melodies clear and bright,

 Music is forbidden, I sing in secrecy to ancient tunes light.


Some days we watch their stories, their films, when the moon is round.

My favorite days, those brilliant plays, words with lovely sound.

And we find little toys, scrapbooks, phones,

While in the distance the guns drone.

Each man, each woman a soldier,

Controlled by who knows? With no souls.

No hope as those gone far ago had, of a war ending soon,

Gazing into the future, we lived under the same moon.


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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Day 10 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge/ Photo Challenge: Poem – Free Verse -“The Swan” #amwriting #poetry #AtoZchallenge #NaPoWriMo


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to “write a poem that is a portrait of someone important to you. It doesn’t need to focus so much on what a person looks (or looked) like, as what they are or were.” The corresponding GoodRead’s Author’s Quote for the A to Z Challenge, begins with the letter I. Thanks to NEEKNERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie who provided the wonderfully creepy photograph.


Credit: saccstry.deviantart.com
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If I’d been born a ghoul, I think I would’ve killed people. I just happened to be born a human. That’s the only reason why I’m allowed to live a moral life.” ― Sui Ishida

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I knew her as a little girl,

Though others thought her odd.

She had that “something” about her,

People either loved or abhorred.

At first, I thought, she was enormously strange,

But her quirks endeared me to her.

She protected me from those cruel girls,

One smile from her, they stumbled away on their heels.

She had shocking violet hair on one side,

She was never quite a blond. 

Always experimenting with new looks,

Trying to glean from her appearance,

Who she was inside herself.

Her eyes a brilliant cornflower blue glimmered,

When some person made her enraged.

Her friends all knew some stupid student,

Would soon regret their actions;

She only had to smile.

And some bullies face turned violet, rouge, or primrose.

My friend was odd but lively,

Never afraid to do anything. 

Dragging me along, to be a part of her drama.

Of her wicked practical jokes,

Others whispered she was a bit ‘Tim Burton,’

Calling her the ‘corpse bride.’

But she would always smile,

In a way that scared many,

Who never knew the truth about her —

She was passionate, kind, and loyal.

If you could get past her walls, her insecurities,

She was most lovely and grew to be a beauty.

Her hair still half-purple — it was her thing.

How we knew her for her. 

Her terrifying smile gleamed, 

She could now afford braces,

For teeth that had scared everyone.

And when the braces disappeared,

Her teeth stood in straight white rows.

Her grim frown had turned forever upside down,

She was no longer that weird girl.

Though there was still ‘something’ about her;

Strange became a talent, something sought after,

When she transformed into a swan.

She became a cut diamond, no longer rough, she was —

Perfectly odd. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Notable Quotes April 2017 Part One #pinterest #quotes #books 


Happy April! Here are some more quotes. I think you’ll like them, they’re book quotes again for the most part 🙂

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Photo Challenge: Poem – Synchronicity – “The Thief” #amwriting #poetry #fiction


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting. 

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Credit: Anja Buhrer

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“But how can one regret what, to the mind, has never existed? Even loss is an inaccurate description, for what loss is without the awareness of losing?” – Nicole Krauss 

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Reflections or shadows briefly stand,

Together as soulmates, us two

Lovers.

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Your illusion captivates,

Your splendour resilient,

Eyes bright.

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Even mirror images,

Destain to show your glory told, 

Goddess.

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Knew you once as a child laughing bold,

Called you names and pulled your hair,

Cute girl.

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You’ve grown and you’ve changed,

Hair black and sweeping, shoulder length,

Glossy.

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Green eyes telling a story of —

Smiling lips, straightened teeth gleaming

Perfect.

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Stubborn chin, lovely breasts rising,

Fluted waist, lush body, legs —

Stellar.

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Curves run imagination wild and I, 

Stare, hopeful to hear your lilting voice —

Whisper. 

*****

I examine our reflections,

How strange you hate your beloved —

Husband.

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Caring for you as Alzheimers, 

Steals your lifememories; you’re —

Forty-nine.

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Synchronicity Poetry — A type of poem with events simultaneously related. The last two stanzas reveal a twist and the syllable count for each stanza is 8, 8, 2. 

Please see Shadow Poetry for more information. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Notable Quotes: November Part One #quotes #pinterest #cursebreakerenchanted #melindakucsera


Before I give you my first round of monthly quotes for November, I would like to tell you all about a special event my talented friend and writer Melinda Kucsera is holding for her newly published book: Curse Breaker Enchanted. 

From November 13 to November 19, Melinda is holding her ‘Kindle Count Down.’ You can purchase her wonderful fantasy tale for 99 cents during her count down. To visit her page please click her book title above or click HERE
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On to the quotes. My apologies if there are any repeats from the Three Quotes for Three Days Challenge: 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Interview With Mark Reynolds


Welcome back to my bi-weekly interview series. This week, I’m excited to share with you the creative, thoughtful, and accomplished writer Mark Reynolds. Please check-out his fantastic blog here: Coloring Outside the Lines.


Mark Reynolds
Mark Reynolds

1. Mark, Please Tell Us About Yourself?

Hello, I’m Mark Reynolds, a.k.a  Coloring Outside the Lines. I live outside of Cleveland, Ohio on almost four acres of land with trees and gardens; the edge of a rural area. My Mom and Dad were from small farming towns in Western Ohio.

I’m a professional street-walker. Calling myself a Mailman sounds too boring.  I’m also a traveler. I have the vacation time to find cheap flights to any place I want to go, South or West. I also play in the dirt or garden. I like to grow food and have flowers and plants everywhere. Having many gardening areas cuts down on running the lawn mower on  grass. I’m a person who enjoys nature. We live with several critters such as  birds, deer, turkeys, raccoons, foxes, and snakes. I play photographer once in awhile and I have plenty of photos of many creatures and all kinds of landscape.


2. When Did You Start Writing and Blogging?

Complicated question. I began writing as a freshman in College. I wrote short stories for awhile. I could do dream sequences well, but writing the dialogue and including substance in my short stories was difficult for me.

Then a couple decades or so later,  I blew out my knee and was trapped on a couch for a month with a leg brace; that was about a year and half ago. During this time, I started my blog cleverly with a web address of Any1mark66.  My blog changed after taking a WordPress Blogger University Course.


“I like to grow food and have flowers and plants everywhere. Having many gardening areas cuts down on running the lawn mower on grass. I’m a person who enjoys nature.” – Mark Reynolds


3. What Does Writing and Poetry Mean To You? Why Do You Write?

Writing is all about expression. Poetry for me is spontaneous writing. A stray thought or string of words can be woven into an image. There’s a challenge to producing a particular feeling you can convey to others. The meaning of fiction for me….that’s personal!

Every fictional story should display a character gloriously flawed and have the ability to connect to the reader with something familiar, they can find in themselves or others. Real life connections are unique to each of us but if I can get a reader to buy in to the theme of my writing, than the reader can embrace my characters. Additionally, I write because it’s fun, and you can’t kill people in real life, but you can in a fictional story.


4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?

I participate in several writing challenges. I especially like to mix music with fantastic writing using the lyrics in songs. Nature is also always available for inspirational ideas. And those characters you can kill in writing are fascinating.There’s a quality to them and they inspire me to use different methods to explain why the die and how. Also, I have stray or random thoughts which keep giving me writing ideas. I use my spontaneous writing when I write serial stories which can be built into bigger works of writing.


“Every fictional story should display a character gloriously flawed and have the ability to connect to the reader with something familiar, they can find in themselves or others. Real life connections are unique to each of us but if I can get a reader to buy in to the theme of my writing, than the reader can embrace my characters.” – Mark Reynolds


5. Do You Find There Is a Time Of Day You Most Like to Write? What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects?

I write at several different times in a day. Poetry is usually, a  morning exercise. Flash fiction and stories are easier to write in the afternoon or evening.  

I’m finishing up some of my fictional serial stories. I am doing a rewrite of the fairy tale: Little Red Riding Hood which I call: Beware of The Red Cape. In my version, Red is not the small innocent girl you read about in most fairy tales.

My other serial writing project is about a stalker. The stalking begins at a soccer practice and we’ll just say, hasn’t ended yet. Or, maybe it has? I’m not sure yet. I’m still working the serial story out.

I also have a serial story about a Granny whose ghost has become rather strange, a bit crazy. My Granny character has changed slightly as the serial has developed. My characters like to tell me how they wish to be viewed.


6. Have You Attempted To Publish Any of Your Writing? Or Are You Planning to Publish Writing In the Future? Can You Briefly Describe Your Current Publishing Process?

I have been waiting to hear from a group doing a collection of stories from writers with Amazon self-publishing. I have submitted several pieces to this group.I have heard back twice and generally been told, ‘We are not looking for this now but we may contact you in the future.’ So, still waiting unfortunately.

If I understand the process of self-publishing right, I may have professional editing done and have Amazon recommend cover art for my book. It will be in the form of an E-book. I’m not buying a bunch of hard copy books upfront; Amazon does offer demand printing if I wish to go that route in the future.


“And those characters you can kill in writing are fascinating.There’s a quality to them and they inspire me to use different methods to explain why the die and how. Also, I have stray or random thoughts which keep giving me writing ideas. I use my spontaneous writing when I write serial stories which can be built into bigger works of writing.” – Mark Reynolds


7. What Is Your Writing Process Like? Do You Prefer Certain Genres for Reading and Writing?

I suddenly, have an idea; I lose said idea. Then, my idea returns similar, but changed and slightly twisted. Next, I peck out my ideas on my phone or IPad. I prefer to write my entire story all at once. If I come back to the story, my thoughts may change. I want a certain feeling when I write and that’s hard to recapture at a later time if I leave it. I will, however, go back to my writing and play with some new ideas later. But these ideas often become new stories on their own.

My preferred areas of reading include science-fiction books, suspense books, horror books, historical reads, science books, and books on nature. Although I write poetry, I have never read much of it.


8. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers? 

Forget what you think you know about writing and write outside the boundaries of your daily life.  If you have to research a bit about a subject or place and learn its history, it builds a greater depth of feeling in your writing. Researching and visiting places to come up with new ideas, or more in-depth ideas, will give you a stronger voice in your writing. 

Oh yeah, fail at what you want (to write or do in life) once in awhile. Failure teaches a person things; no one ever learnt much from doing something right all the time.


“If I come back to the story, my thoughts may change. I want a certain feeling when I write and that’s hard to recapture at a later time if I leave it. I will, however, go back to my writing and play with some new ideas later. But these ideas often become new stories on their own.” – Mark Reynolds


9. Is There Anything Else You’d Like to Share With Us About Yourself Or Your Writing?

I have a passion for spreading information on things such as the food we eat. We have terrible options for fresh food and for finding out what is actually in the food we eat from the supermarket.

Food labeling isn’t often correct and there should be laws to make the labels on the food a person buys truthful and clear. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are terrible for a person to ingest. You may disagree with me, but try dumping weed killer on your garden plants and eating them, its about the same. But of course it’s safe.  Ask the people who made the weedkiller. 


“A genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques (i.e., a genetically engineered organism). GMOs are used to produce many medications and genetically modified foods and are widely used in scientific research and the production of other goods. . .

The Organic Consumers Association, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Greenpeace stated that risks have not been adequately identified and managed, and they have questioned the objectivity of regulatory authorities. Some health groups say there are unanswered questions regarding the potential long-term impact on human health from food derived from GMOs, and propose mandatory labeling or a moratorium on such products. 

Concerns include contamination of the non-genetically modified food supply,effects of GMOs on the environment and nature,the rigor of the regulatory process,and consolidation of control of the food supply in companies that make and sell GMOs,or concerns over the use of herbicides with glyphosate.” – Wikipedia: Genetically Modified Organisms


10. Can You Please Share Some of Your Favorite Pieces of Writing With Us.

Beware The Red Cape: Part One

By Mark Reynolds

“Jezzibelle! Jezzibelle! Where are you?”  Mama calls out.

She washes her hands with lye soap as she looks out the open window.  Mama is nervous about sending the girl off alone.  She is of age now, but so easily swayed from her chores.  Mama knows the family trait to do the easy gains runs deep in her.  But Mama’s love can cure all ills.  Her Mama told her the way to be.  It’s that figure Jezzibelle is developing she is more concerned with.

Her own Mama has not responded to the traditional cures.  Leaches have proved ineffective to her maladies.  Herbal wraps have made her skin glow in the palest of white, lacking the rudiness of life.  Charcoal chunks have pasted through her without taking the problem with them.

Mama shuffles through bottles of homemade wine.  Dandelion wine, it’s pale yellow color and gentle flavor would be prefect for a picnic.  Today it’s a message to get well.  A smoked chunk of beef rests inside a burlap sack.  Two half pieces of bread complete the basket.  A single sage smudge stick wrapped inside kept out and bugs.

“Where is that girl?  I shouldn’t trust her.  My Mama isn’t getting better since Jezzibelle has taken over the role of care taker.  I hope Jezzibelle isn’t a burden to her.  Mama loves her so.  The red cape of velvet came from her grandmother.  It gave her a certain glow of vibrant womanhood at the young age.  And I remember being that age….The day Derrick came to the farm…I could careless he was so much older.  There are men waiting to get a hold of her.  Her uncles tell me how much she would fetch us.  Maybe the men know best.  It’s a lot of money.  She will need someone to keep her well.”  Mama reflects on the regrets of life and what future her daughter will be strattled with.

“Mama, what is it.  I was playing with Mindy’s dog.  He’s so cute.  I wish we could have that dog.  He keeps the ghastly beasts from the forest at bay.  Please, could we get one! I really think it would be best.  They haven’t lost a single chicken in months. And I would…” Jezzibelle tries to plead her case.

“Enough child!  You know what I need from you.  Take that basket to grandmother!  She hasn’t been by.  She still bed ridden.  You must take care of her for me.  I packed it well.  It’s early.  The field and woods will be cool.  Make haste child.  If it gets too warm the animals will smell the food.  They will stalk you, and steal the food.  Those ugly old wolves might hunt you too.  Take your cape!  Grandmother will only recognize you in it.  Her vision was really poor last week.”  Mama is nervous and shaking.  “Don’t you snoop around her corners!  She will hear you!  She doesn’t like snoops.  You may get her home one day.”

“Mama, I love grandmother.  Will she be ok?  I fear she’ll die.  I’ll never have her long enough. I want her to know my babies.  I don’t want to live there without her.” Jezzibelle kicks at her feet and tries to avoid her mother’s gaze.

“Stay on the path!  Don’t stop to talk to anyone!  There are strangers who might want this food or try to take you away.  A pretty girl like you needs to be careful around strangers.” Mama warns her.

“You worry too much, Mama.  I’ll be fine.  I have seen a few people in my trips.  They know me now.  They will help me.”  Jezzibelle puts her hand on Mama’s arm.

Mama looks at her with a mix of unsure feelings and hope. Her heart lends itself to worrying about one thing at a time.

©MarkReynolds (2016).


Here Are Some More Links to Mark’s Writing On His Blog:


Thank You so much Mark for the interview. It was great to read about your writing process, your inspirations, and your thoughts on writing and other topics. Here is one more link to Mark’s Blog: Coloring Outside The Lines


If you would like to be interviewed on my blog and share with other writers and bloggers about your writing and the process involved with how you write and how you publish your work, you can reach-out to me on my Contact Page.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Day 30 – NaPoWriMo – Flip a Poem –  ” Funny Strange Place”


Actual Poem: 

It’s a funny and strange pace

To live the lives we’ve made.
One minute we are content and the next minute yearning for nonsense.
We think it’s all a big giant horse race.
To experience everything without that piper getting paid
And I urge you to think wisely, to consider the charms of the world, hence;
You will not understand my point of view
When life unleashes it’s screws into you
It’s hard to stay innocent and difficult to stay pure.
Perhaps, you think that by now I should have brains in lue
That I should know better and have thought this through.
But there are many ideas and things in this world that present too big a lure
I have made my decisions and buried my sensitivities
When you set out to learn by doing, you better choose carefully. 
Turned Upside Down: 
When you set out to learn by doing, you better choose carefully. 
I have mad my decisions and buried my sensitivities 
But there are many ideas and things in this world that present to big a lure
That I should know better and have thought this through
Perhaps, you think that by now I should have brains in lue
It’s hard to stay innocent and difficult to stay pure
When life unleashes it’s screws into you
You will not understand my point of view
And I urge you to think wisely, to consider the charms of the world, hence:
To experience everything without that piper getting paid
We think it’s all a big giant horse race
one minute we are content and the next minute yearning for nonsense
To live the lives we’ve made
It’s a funny and strange pace

5. How Was Last Night For You: That Evening and the Next Day


Chapter 4 is here.

Chapter 5: That Evening and the Next Day

John carried and half stumbled as he brought Nina to his bedroom. He brought her body against his on the king size bed.  John kissed Nina’ s face — her cheeks, her eyelids, her lips, were spared no expense. He stroked her back and slowly lifted her turquoise blouse from her body, over her head and murmered ” beautiful  . . .” He continued to kiss her and his hands roamed freely over Nina’s soft naked skin. John’s hand slid down Nina’s stomach and she moaned as he popped the button on her jeans. She felt feverish as he lazily moved the zipper of her jeans down.

John flicked open the back of Nina’s bra and slid her panties down. She worked on the buttons of his shirt and undid his jeans. Nina began to think about what John had told her earlier.Sea witches? And then she wondered if she was the only woman in his life, in his bed. But he had told her he was careful about the woman he went out with. Should she just go with the flow, consequences be damned? Nina wished she could do nothing but feel John’s hands as they caressed her waist and breasts but the cogs in her mind kept turning.

She kept thinking about everything John has said until a pleasurable haze began to invade her senses. John kissed her naked back and she thought, she could be a woman he loved. She was falling for him hard and fast like the Drop of Doom at the summer fair. Could she love him? Would he sacrifice everything for her, even himself? She barely knew John. This was officially there second date. Didn’t she have a rule about sleeping with men, not before she loved them or trusted them. She had a vision of her ex -Tyler and him cheating on her the entire time they were together. But her desire for John was making thinking difficult.

John sucked on her nipples and Nina cried out in pleasure. She put her arms around John and threw back her head. She stroked his arms, backs, and biceps. His lips returned to ravage her delicate throat and before she knew it he was kissing his way down her body until he reached her center. A glorious feeling built up inside her with the movements of his tongue. Pleasure rained down upon her in and a shaking heavenly languor fell over her.

John kissed his way up Nina’s stomach until he was inside of her and began to move at a pace that Nina found electrifying. She could feel herself building again. A wonderful feeling of release and pleasure gripped Nina’s whole body again. Soon John was following behind her orgasms with is own release. He rolled to his side and they both tried to catch their breath.

When John had cooled down a bit he pulled Nina into his neck and stroked her back as they faced one another in bed. Nina was so tired and she drifted asleep with satisfaction. My Nina . . ” John said. When did she become his Nina. John’s face relaxed becoming youthful in sleep and the couple quieted to the repetitive rhythm of breathing in the night.

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Talise was picking up sea shells by the cave with the looking glass, hidden behind some large rocks at Lake Sirene. Her family had lived in Adare for generations. For hundreds of years the women in her family had been witches. Mermaids who rose from the the lake and wondered around among the people of Adare without anyone knowing who they truly were.

Not all mermaids were sea witches. But Talise was a special kind of mermaid and had lived a long life compared to most humans. Life had been hard on Talise since she lost her first love decades ago. She had wanted to settle down again and have a family. She had wanted to blend in with the humans. But the man she loved above any man alive had betrayed her. He had only been using her for sex, for her looks. Her green eyes darkened in anger when she thought of John. She had been with many men in the past eight years. Trying to find one who made her feel like she had felt with John. But no man compared to him, to their relationship.

She had hated him so much. But she desperately wanted him back. Perhaps, John and her could start over. Maybe he could fall in love and sacrifice for her and break the curse. She might be able to arrange that seeing as she was the sea witch who cast the curse in the first place.

Talise went into the cave where the looking glass hung. The mirror was made of  natural reflective crystals on part of the cave’s stone walls. Talise looked in the mirror and she saw John with Nina again. She had tried to put an end to Nina using that woman who had grabbed on to Nina’s shoe. Talise had tried to drown Nina then. Apparently, she had forgotten when John truly cared for a woman, he could protect them. He could intercede and stop the bad things which occurred from effecting a woman he cared for. Maybe John was falling in love with Nina?

Talise laughed at this. It had only been a few days. There was no way John loved Nina and Nina loved John. John wasn’t one to fall in love easily. He was probably into Nina for the same reasons he had been with Talise– the woman he knew as Tia.

Slowly, Talise drifted out of the cave where the looking glass was. She made her way back into the sea and began to swim. Her legs turned into a fishes tail and she swam to the harbor at Sirene Lake where all the boats docked. She rose from the water a glorious beautiful woman. Her green eyes beguiling and mysterious. The men and their fishing boats couldn’t quite believe what they saw. Lucky, she had the magic to make it appear as if she had clothes on.

Talise was going to meet Nina, to warn her away from John. She was going to catch up with John later too. Either he would be with Talise and love her as he used to or he would suffer the consequences of choosing Nina. Talise smiled. She had been so naive when she had first loved John. She wasn’t naive anymore.

——

Monday meant work for Nina. More files to file, more reports to write, more market research, and lucky for her lunch with Rianne at their favorite local Mexican Restaurant The Chili Burrito. Nina worked close to home. Work at Wilus was only fifteen minutes away from her condo. Her gym was close to work too. She didn’t love her job but she loved to be busy. Despite her determined faith in John and other people, Nina new she was often blind to other people’s faults. She was a gentle soul and graceful woman.

But the puzzle that was John Eric, was an intriguing one and Nina did not understand how John could live with the kind of events that happened everyday in his life. An unfortunate event occurred and John seemed to take it all in stride. Sometimes he was even a bit callous, as if he didn’t care much that another bad event was about to occur.

A sea witch had cursed John. A sea witch he had been in love with, who dived into the sea, never to be seen again. There was such a Brothers Grimm quality to what John had told Nina that she scarce believed what John said. She thought of the little mermaid who had lost her voice to the sea witch for a pair of legs that always hurt her to walk on. But John had not been innocent as the little mermaid had been, so his existence because of the curse was much worse.

Nina needed to discuss John’s strange tale with her bestfriend since high school. Rianne worked in an office close by as an accountant. Nina needed to discuss the entire situation with Rianne’s logical mind.

At 11:45 am, Nina scrambled to have most of the work she needed to have done before lunch and headed out fifteen minutes early, hoping to stretch her hour lunch into an hour and a half with Rianne.

Rianne arrived all smiles and elegance. Nina saw her brunette curls as she came in the front door. Rianne’s deep brown eyes caught Nina’s eyes from a round pretty face. Rianne was six-inches taller than Nina. She bent down to hug Nina’s petite curvy frame and squeezed her tightly. “So how’d it go with John?” Rianne asked slyly as she skipped hellos and cut right to the chase. Nina looked up at Rianne, eyes alight and she smiled.

” It’s going fantastic, it’s going really well. . .it’s only, I’m not quite sure about him. He’s handsome, funny, has a good job, but he has a lot of baggage. Crazy baggage. Things you could hardly believe. Remember I told you how bad stuff seemed to happen around us that first night we meant, well it happened again at the restaurant. The chandelier dropped and shattered!” Nina paused for emphasis and to take a breath. “And John had this wonderful, unbelievable, and eerie tale to tell me about his life about why he thinks he’s cursed. I just don’t know what to think . . .”  Rianne laughed.

” Hmm… he does seem a bit odd. But just breathe and tell me the rest slowly. You’re talking about everything so fast. I know your excited and confused but we won’t find any solutions to your problems with John that way,” Rianne announced practically.

Nina studied the menu while she thought of where to begin with yesterday’s date with John. The waitress came by and both Rianne and Nina ordered chicken tacos and strawberry margaritas. They chatted about random things until the waitress brought their food and then Rianne looked at Nina expectedly. Nina bit her lower lip thinking where to begin.

Nina told Rianne about the lunch her and John shared and repeated the odd bit about the chandelier falling inside the restaurant. She told Rianne how John had known the chandelier was going to fall and then told her he was cursed by a sea witch who was his ex from eight years ago. For this reason, bad events occurred all around John. Nina told Rianne she and John cared a lot about one another quickly and also that the caring protected Nina from becoming hurt by the bad events. Some of John’s past such girlfriends weren’t so lucky.

Nina finished discussing with Rianne the details two women talk about in regards to men — how hot he was and how nice he was to Nina in bed. How well he treated Nina. Also, how he had asked her on another date, to a work function, and Nina needed something to wear. Nina also begged Rianne to come with her to John’s work function.

” Will you please come. I would feel so much better if you were with me Rianne.”

“I’m not sure. I have a lot of work to do Nina.”

“Oh come on he has brothers and if he is hot I’m sure his brother’s will be too. And good catches. They all have Trust Funds.” Rianne laughed and agreed to come to John’s work event with Nina.

“Okay, Nina. I’m most interested to meet John and his brothers.” She laughed.

Then Rianne brought the conversation back to Nina’s relationship with John.  Rianne had held her hands over her mouth the whole time Nina talked to her. She gasped at the appropriate times and squealed just a little when Nina told her she was going out with John again. Then she gathered herself together and gave her usual logical advice.

“Nina I hate to say this but maybe this guy John has a bit of a complex and only thinks bad things happen around him or to him all the time. Your eventful nights with him could have just been flukes. I mean you were only out with him two times.” Rianne cleared her throat, ” it seems to me that someone being cursed in real life, isn’t logical. Magic isn’t real. His ex-girlfriend cursed him. It doesn’t actually mean he is. . . The whole story he gave you is a bit out there Nina. I mean maybe it could be true but probably not. I think he’s hiding stuff from you. And he doesn’t want to tell you the truth. Either that or he’s delusional.” Rianne took a few bites of her chicken taco and Nina and her ate in thoughtful silence.

” Your such a pragmatist,” Nina complained to Rianne, ” I think there is a lot of truth to what he told me. I mean, you didn’t see him when he told me about Tia. He was shaking and looked deathly ill. He really believes what happened to him and the terrifying ordeals he goes through today are because he is cursed. And because I was with him both days, I’m more inclined to believe him then to doubt him.”

Rianne sighed. ” Your such a dreamer Nina, he was probably trying to get you into bed. I’m glad both times have been fantastic and all but do you really want to get into a relationship of any kind with this guy if what he says is true. You could become seriously hurt and not just your heart, I mean physically. John may know when an accident is about to happen but you don’t. It doesn’t make sense he could save you all the time even if he cares for you. I’m sure he’s meant other women he’s cared about before.” Nina looked at Rianne shocked.

“Aren’t you happy for me Rianne? You know how hard it is to find a good guy in Adare. Well, mostly good guy. But he wants to date me and likes me for me. He trusts me. He’s interesting, charismatic, and mysterious! I  like him a lot.”

Rianne sighed and finished off her chicken Taco. ” I  hope you know what you’re doing Nina. You’re my best friend and I’m only looking out for you from some lunatic. You have such a good heart and you always see the best in people. You forget to see the worst. But if you say he’s a good guy,  I believe there must be something about him you trust. Just be careful and bring mace with you when you go out.” Rianne said laughing. She snorted which made Nina laugh as well.

” Let’s talk about something else” Nina said finally getting herself under control. Let’s talk about you Rianne. Any new man in your life?”

Rianne laughed.” Yeah right, I’m a boring  accountant and I don’t meet fanciful fairy tale princes who are cursed. I have my CA to work on.” The pair of women continued talking for another half an hour before Nina had to walk the two blocks back to work.

Nina felt better after talking to Rianne. She knew she had to be careful with John and she felt grounded. Nothing like Rianne to bring out the practical side in her. Nina checked her watch and double timed it back to the office.

John’s work fundraiser was Thursday and it was only Monday. It was going to be the longest week ever. The event was a cocktail affair, a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity, a charity that built houses for people who couldn’t afford them. In return, the person worked on the house and later would pay the mortgage. Merger’s fundraiser also supported children and helping them learn to read in the community.

Nina thought the fundraiser would be fun and was excited to be by John’s side. She was curious to meet his brothers. She wasn’t entirely a fan of them right now but they might grow on her. Maybe one of them would be nice, single, and good for Rianne. Nina chuckled, and sat down at her desk.

The next day dragged as did most of the week. She talked to John a few times on the phone and texted him, but that was all.  The day before the event she went out to find an evening cocktail dress in her budget.  If she didn’t find a dress she had a couple choices at home that might work. But she wanted a new and stunning dress. Her Mom, Heather, had always told her to look her best, even if she felt nervous at an event or party. You could look put together even though you might not feel it.

Nina felt herself growing tense. But she quickly let her tension  go as she worked out at the gym on Wednesday night. ‘Whatever,’ Nina thought. It was only a work thing for John, no biggie. And Rianne would be there with her. Nina couldn’t help but feel scared about what might happen at the fundraiser. Would another bad event occur or could John and Nina be together and simply be a normal couple.

Please Read Chapter 6 here


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