Fiction: What A Million Dollars Won’t Buy #amwriting #fiction


Here’s another piece from my course, edited of course.


Credit: Paul Paul @ProdigyPaul via Unsplash.


Eugene steps onto the plane as his stomach summersaults. In Eugene’s seat, fellow author Jerry Norman, reclines.

“I need the legroom, let an old man have the aisle.”

Eugen shakes his head ‘no.’ He stows his carry on and sits. “Thanks a million for not making this difficult, Jerry. The aisle seats are quicker to leave from when the plane lands.” Eugene winks.

Jerry’s eyes narrow. “I’d watch it if I were you. I don’t like you sassing me.”

Eugene grins, then his stomach flips. The plane’s wheels come off the runway, and he buries his face in his hands. He swears under his breath between prayers until the plane achieves flying altitude.

Jerry laughs, “Think you’re some tough guy, eh? You take an old man’s seat than can’t handle take off?”

Eugene rolls his eyes. He notes Jerry’s red face with sweat gleaming. His hands are fisted tight around the armrests. “I don’t think you’re such a flier yourself. You’re a bit of bullshitter, aren’t you, Jerry?”

“That’s neither here nor there, Eugene. I’ve ridden on a plane that’s nearly crashed. Stop being such an asshole. I’m not a bad guy.”

Eugene snorts. He removes his iPad from the seat pocket and closes his eyes to the latest Avengers movie. When he awakes, screams of terror resonate. His stomach lurches as the plane nose dives, rattling, bumping up, and down as the left engine sputters.

Eugene believes he’s having a nightmare. He blinks, and everything around him occurs in slow-motion. The breathing masks tumble down, and Eugene gulps in oxygen at a slow even pace.

Beside him, Jerry has knocked his head on the window and passed-out. Despite Eugene’s dislike for him, he stretches as far as he can. He displaces his oxygen mask for a moment, and attaches Jerry’s. Then, he does the only thing he can think of doing, he smacks Jerry across the cheek to wake him.

“Jerry, come on. Your head’s bleeding, and you can’t sleep until you see a doctor.” He watches Jerry’s pupils dilate as he sucks in deep breaths of oxygen. Eugene’s numbness permits him to remain calm as the plane alters from a nose dive to a straight position above a grassy field. The landing is rough and jars everyone. At the end, Jerry catch’s his eye. Both mean realize the plane nearly crashed.

Eugene’s numbness fades as his nails dig blood-filled crescents into his palms. When they leave the plane and slide into a verdant feel, he turns to Jerry. “Stay awake, we need to find you an ambulance before you fall down right here.” The other author leans against Eugene, as he supports him. They find a paramedic who checks them both over for injuries.

Eugene thinks of the million dollars he could’ve had for arriving early to the writer’s conference both and he Jerry were attending.

“All that money wasn’t worth this.” Jerry fumbles over his words, but Eugene knows they are the absolute truth. He nods at Jerry lying in a stretcher in an ambulance waiting to leave for the hospital.

“I’ll come with you, Jerry, might as well. Someone has to call your family and let them know what happened.” Jerry makes a noise, Eugene assumes is agreement.

He closes his eyes for a moment. One million dollars.


©Mandibelle16.(2018) All Rights Reserved.

Maydays: Fiction – Part 2 – After The Plane Crash #Maydays


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Thanks to K.L. Caley of new2writing for hosting #Mayday prompts. Today’s theme is a battle or fight of some kind. Also, Part 2 of a continuing series After The Plane Crash. Read Part 1 here. The battle I’m showing is the main characters fight through her fever and aches from being lost in the wild two weeks.

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Please read Part 1 here.

——-

“Young lady are you awake.” A woman’s voice whispered to me quietly. “What’s your name?”

I make a noise, not wanting to leave the land of my dreams. It’s safe and peaceful here. Danny is with me and we’re drinking a beer together like old times. I know my friend is not real but I don’t want to admit to myself in my dreams; Danny is dead.

A gentle hand feels my forehead. “She has a high fever. I’m not surprised being out in the wilderness that long. She’s sweating. I think it was an excellent thing the doctor got here so fast and we were able to hook her up to an IV to get some fluid and nutrition into her body.”

 The woman’s voice was soft and sensible. She sounded like the voice of a lady who was a mother. She smoothed back my hair and I sighed in my state of half sleep. I was cold and sweating at the same time. Iceness overcame me and I shivered trying to pull plush blankets around me as I sweated.

“Aunt Tabitha, what can we do? If we keep giving her the IV as the doctor said, and introduce her to some soup and other food in a few days, do you think she’ll be alright?” 

The voice I heard speaking was the deep male voice I had heard before I passed out. The voice had a rich timber, it sounded young and attractive. 

A small smile shaped my lips, then I groaned as cold sweat overcame me. “Poor thing,” Aunt Tabitha said. “I’ll take care of her Eric. Don’t worry, your Auntie took care of you when you were ill as a child and I would do the same for this poor young woman.”

“I appreciate it Aunt Tabitha. I really do. I didn’t know who else to call. The workers wanted nothing to do with her.They thought she had some awful disease the way she appeared to them.”

Tabitha gave a harsh laugh. “Ha, those locals are full of stories and superstitions which have no basis in reality. This woman will be fine. When I clean her up a bit and later when she can wash her hair, I imagine she’s a beautiful girl, Eric. I hope the man who died in that plane crash wasn’t her boyfriend.”

“ I don’t know . . .” Eric said softly. “I’ll leave you too it.” I heard him walk away and a door shutting.

 I was awake but not fully. I faded in and out of feverish dreams, nightmares where I was trapped in a never ending forest. No animals in sight. Nothing edible and carrying no water. Only dead silence filling my ears.

I was dressed in a bra and panties and had nothing else on — not even shoes. Darkness descended and it began to snow and my body was wracked by cold as the wind picked up and the snow built up around me. I couldn’t move. I was so cold I was frozen stiff like an ice sculpture; I shrieked aloud.

——–

Eons pass where I am stuck inbetween what’s real and what’s in my dreams. I dream about my Mom and Dad, how worried they would be about me. I know it’s been past two-weeks now since the plane crash. My feaver hasn’t abated for days but Aunt Tabitha dutifully stays at my side. At night there is a hired nurse. A thin bird-like woman who doesn’t speak English but sees to my needs. 

Aunt Tabitha is with me whenever she can be. I’m aware of her reading on her tablet. Sometimes she reads to me, but I want to tell her she’s only giving my mind more material for nightmares. 

I know she has asked me my name several times but I have trouble finding a voice strong enough to answer her when I feel semi-lucid. Only when nightmares overwhelm me do I scream and plead for them to stop using my voice loudly.

Today my head feels much clearer. I look to see the IV attached to my arm and am thankful it’s giving me nutrients because I think food would repulse me right now. With heavy eyes I scan the room. Strangely, Aunt Tabitha isn’t here. 

I move my head and neck gently, testing my muscles which ache from being in bed too long and from hiking through the woods. I wiggle my toes and stretch my legs. I straighten my arms infront of me and put my arms above my head, stretching my whole body like a cat. I feel a jolt of pain in my side.

Pain throughout my body becomes apparent. Bruises and scrapes mostly. I look at my one wrist and see it’s wrapped in a bandage.I must have sprained it. I’m not sure why I didn’t notice when the sprain occurred.

I feel dirty and have the urge to scrub my body until my skin is pink. A bath would be heavenly. My hair is limp and greasy on my head, I can’t remember ever having hair this scungy. 

I lean up in bed regarding the room around me. It’s a large bedroom and the room,  a work of art and design. The room has a peaceful ambiance, painted in grey-blue.

The furniture including the head board behind me is bleached wood like drift wood from the ocean. I feel relaxed in this place, gazing towards a giant white window with a padded blue window seat full of pillows matching my bed’s dark ink blue duvet and silver and white striped sheets.

I haven’t seen the sun in days. The bright white light of the sun bathes me through the window, but is too bright for my eyes. I shade my face with my hand and gaze in awe at the lush greeness of the mansions front yard. They’re fountains and flowers in the distance.

“Wow,” I say and my voice feels gravelly. I start saying random words and sentences aloud to make my voice sound normal but I can’t seem to rid my voice of its weakness.

 I raise my body into a sitting position, crossing my legs under the bed covers. My body cooperates slowly and with aches, but I manage. 

I have decided to have a bath or showe.  I’m certain I can stand and walk. On careful feet as if I were a toddler, I slip out of the bed and start walking to the bathroom I spied at the end of the room. 

It feels so far away at first but my legs remember how to walk quickly and my steps are more assured as I go. Resting against the door frame, I peer into the bathroom.

There is a large tiled glass shower with a wooden bench inside; I am thankful for the bench.The bathroom is designed well with a heavy marble countertop, twin sinks, and dark blue cabinets underneath the counter. A vanity table near by, holds a few cosmetics, clearly for a woman. The toilet is inside a closet in the corner of the bathroom.

I drop my clothes on the wood floor, carefully removing them as my muscles are still sore. The loose grey sweat pants and large white T-shirt are far too roomy to be my clothing and I leave them on the floor.

 I open up the shower door and hobble over to the bench where I sit turning on the shower nozzle convienantly located near my head. The shower is hot, too hot at first. But the showerhead gives a cleansing rainfall shower. I sigh in pleasure as the water washes over me. Picking up a puff hanging on the wall, I squirt jasmine scented Dior body wash on it. I scrub my body free of natures dirt and fevers sweat. 

My body’s skin is as pink as I imagined, when I reach for Dior face wash and volumizing shampoo. I wash my hair four-times before I’m satisfied it’s clean and I condition it, letting the conditioner soak into my dry long brunette strands before washing it out. The sun has caused some of my brunette strands to bleach blond.

When I’m done washing, I relax and let the hot rainfall water run massaging my muscles which ache. I stay inside the shower longer then necessary but I haven’t felt this well in forever.

 “Are you ever coming out?” a deep voice asks outside the shower chuckling.

I gasp and quickly turn the shower off fumbling. I cover myself with my hands uselessly. Eric is outside the glass shower and I’m naked inside, no towel within reach.

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

27.How Was Last Night For You: A Stranger on an Unknown Beach


Please read Chapter 26 here.

Chapter 27. A Stranger on an Unknown Beach.

He was happy and content, floating amidst graduations of colour. He had never felt such tranquility in life.

He was awake suddenly and strolling on a picturesque beach. White sand almost burned his feet but he buried his toes down into the sand, and his feet cooled.

Gazing down at himself he saw he was only wearing swim trunks and a white T-Shirt. Sunglasses adorned his eyes and he knew it was his favourite pair of sunglasses. The sunglasses he broke some time ago he remembered. How odd they were in one piece now.

He languidly walked through the surf on the beach. Was he on vacation? He couldn’t recall. He didn’t even know what he was named. It was slipping his mind. How could he not know his own identity?

Sleep had held him in her vivid colours and luminescence for ages. His mind was foggy and he had forgotten details of his life he thought he should know.

In his mind, he kept seeing her . . . Nina. His beautiful blond haired girl smiling with pretty pink lips. He knew Nina had helped him break his curse because he loved her. He hadn’t loved anyone as much he loved her, ever.

Wait, he had been cursed? He couldn’t recall why.

But he pictured beautiful Nina in a pink bikini and grinned. He wished she was here so they could be alone and he could sip Corona and talk with her.

He’d convince her to go into one of the two cabanas where he could touch her smooth creamy skin. He’d remove the pink bikini that was the same shade of pink of the heels she worn when they first met… How had they met?

He sighed, lonely at the thought of not being able to be with Nina. He was by himself here on a fabulous beach which stretched for miles either way.

There was a cottage up some stone steps where he had been living,  but other than this cottage, and the cabanas, there were no other dwellings as far as he could see.

Fully awake and lucid (he believed), he thought of Nina. He knew had a family besides her too. Their faces were blurred images in his mind.

He recalled two rambunctious little boys laughing with him as he played with them and their construction trucks in the sand. His nephews . . .and that led him to who they looked like — Jasper his older brother. He had a younger brother too — Jordan.

She had given Jordan her soul.MHe didn’t know why she had done it or how he knew since he had been lost in colour and light then. But he could feel a darkness, a shadow when he thought of her.

Yes, she had cursed him. She had separated him from Nina. He hated her.

He knew in the end, the lake had swallowed her corpse and dying she hadn’t been darkness or light. She had been both.

So much did not make sense to him he thought struggling to think. Sitting down on a stained Adirondack chair, he leaned back, squinting into the sunlight in his sunglasses. The sun was incredibly bright. He was sweating in the heat. Could this be Mexico? The Carribean?

Not too far away from him he noticed an older man walking barefoot through the sand towards him. The man had a grey straggly beard and the man’s gate was self-assured.

How how had he not seen the man coming in the distance? He stood, a tad frightened at the thought of someone else being here where it felt he had been alone a long time.

He faced the man as he stopped at the steps and the man said: “John? Is that you? You’ve haven’t been this healthy in years. You’re well rested and I believe you’re bored of paradise.”

“I’m John?”

“Yes, you should’ve remembered your own name by now Mr. Eric. You’ve remembered Nina.” John flushed unaware the man had been privy to his inner thoughts.

“I don’t know you,” John said, his name and identity rushing back to him in torrents of thought.

“I need to see if Nina is okay. I need to check on Jordan. She did something to him. Talise or Tia, whatever or whoever she is, she put a ring on Jordan, one he can’t take off.”

“It’s an emerald with a silver band, and the emerald colour matches Talise’s eyes. Beneath the emerald her soul floats. It’s dangerous, why did she put a ring, her soul on Jordan?” John asked afraid for his brother.

“Good questions John,” the man said walking up the steps. He came up to John and shook John’s hand which John shook back without thinking.

“You have a good hand shake,” John told the man. “It doesn’t fit with the rest of you . . . You look as if you’re . . .weathered. You’ve been through tough times I think. It appears as if you live on the streets because your clothes are dirty and worn.”

“No offence, they haven’t been washed in a long time, and you need… you need a shower man.” John peered guilty at the homeless man, ashamed of what he had said.

The homeless watched him closely, his face expressionless in creases and wrinkles of acquired wisdom. Suddenly, the man smiled and let out a boisterous laugh, his deep creases becoming more pronounced.

“Yes, John. My appearance of late has been a homeless man. And if you’re offering me a shower and clean clothes, I gladly accept.” John smiled grateful the man wasn’t offended by his words.

“Come into the cottage and make yourself comfortable,” John remarked easily becoming a host. He peered in the fridge, “There’s trays of fruit and another of vegetables. Some steaks I can grill if you’re interested? There is even craft beer, AlleyKat,” John said grinning.”I don’t know how this all got here? Was it was here before I woke up?”

The homeless man only smiled at John and headed for John’s bedroom, “Where’s your closet John? Ah there.”

John followed the man to the master bedroom into a walk-in closet full of beach clothes and clothes one didn’t wear to work. “This is wonderful,” the man said, “Can I stock up for the road?”

“Of course,” John said. “I’m not sure any of this –the clothes, the cottage, and the food –even belong to me.”

The man smiled again at John, a curious light in his brown eyes.”After my shower we can sit and eat. We can talk all you want. Chill a few beer for me in the freezer will you?”

John regarded the man thoughtfully, trying to remember him.”Who are you?” John asked.

“I’m here to help” the man remarked, peaking back at John before he shut the bathroom door with a bang. John heard the sound of water streaming.

He wasn’t sure what to do. Usually, John was head strong and sure of himself. He had had to be with the curse from Talise, the sea witch who’d been his girlfriend in the past.

John felt enraged with Talise. She had  separated him from his loved ones with her cruel curse. He was afraid for both Nina and Jordan.

Perhaps, the homeless man could return John to his family, especially Nina. He would also like to know where exactly he was?

His mind made up, John decided if this homeless man was here to help him, then John should be a good host, as his mother had taught him.

After all, John was filled with so many questions he needed answering. There was much he didn’t know about current events since he died.

The old man was keeping many secrets, John was sure. Not to mention, John wondered if the man might be benevolent magic of some kind? He could use some magic now.

John set out the fruit and vegetables on a large coffee table on the patio. He got out the steaks to Barbecue (they were already in marinade) and placed six beers in the freezer.

John went back on the patio to warm the Barbeque up, and he waited for homeless man to emerge.


 

A couple of hours later, John was sitting on the patio having finished his dinner and two icy   beers. The homeless man could really put his food away and he’d had four beers as well.

“Are you hungry still? There’s extra steaks in the fridge I could bring out to Barbecue if you like? And there’s some lemon cake?”

The homeless man patted his belly, “I think I’m full now John, but thank you. By the way, you can call me Norman.” John nodded teeming with questions.

“Alright, Norman. You told me you were here to help? I thought you might be able to answer my questions such as why I’m here when I’m supposed to be dead? And who are you?” John asked.

Norman peered at John curiously. “You don’t know then? You haven’t figured it out? You’re not dead John. You’re in-between life and death, between the spaces between spaces so to speak.” John was even more confused.

“So, is the beach and cottage like purgatory? Where’s my body at if it’s not dead?”

“Your body is here and you’re not in purgatory. You’re not Catholic John, you’re Anglican,” laughed Norman.

“As for me, I’m here to help you and Nina. It’s my job, helping certain people in difficult situations. I know you want to go home, but there are some things we need to discuss first.”

“Rianne would know who I am,” Norman said.” She went to buy Chinese food and Talise’s bewitched boyfriend Malcolm, knocked her head against the wall and Rianne passed out. Which, is the reason Nina was alone when Talise kidnapped and bewitched her.” Norman explained.

“I woke Rianne up and made sure she was okay, so she could go back to Nina’s condo and call Jasper who called Jordan, to come help you and Nina.”

“They decided to bring your sailboat out at night, even though it’s impossible to see in the dark. It was windy at least. I helped them find you and they would have never seen you if I hadn’t been there.” Norman said.

“How could you help them on the Sirene at night?” John wondered and Norman smiled secretively.

“I whispered in Jordan’s ear as he sailed the boat. My form isn’t always a homeless man or a human. Sometimes I’m an extra push in someone’s mind to get them moving. Or a whisper their ear such as I was with Jordan.”

“You’re magic?” John asked, trying to understand Norman.

“Magic is as sufficient a word as any.”

“So what are you? A wizard?” John questioned and Norman laughed again.

“I’m here to help and I’m on your side,” Norman said.

John realized Norman was providing him with the only explanation he would receive. John changed his line of questioning. “I’m worried about Nina and my family. How long have I been gone?”

Norman appeared to be thinking. “You’ve been gone four-months now, nearly more. Nina she doesn’t give up hope. She convinced your family to hold the funeral off for months. She believes in her heart you’re out there somewhere. She’s right you’re here.”

“I need to get back to her. Has my family had my funeral?”

“You’re funeral is tomorrow, Saturday. Nina doesn’t think your dead, she’s only attending out of respect for your family.”

“Your nephews, Sam and Eric, don’t know you’re gone yet. You should probably get back there soon if you don’t want to break too many hearts more then you already have.” Norman said thoughtfully.

“Ok how?”

“In time,” Norman said giving John another secretive smile. His brown eyes glimmered with knowledge. “You wanted to know about Jordan and the ring Talise put on him with her soul inside?”

“Yes, absolutely. How do I help Jordan get rid of the ring?” John asked desperate.

“You can’t help Jordan, John.” Norman replied. “The ring and Talise’s soul is Jordan’s path to travel down. Just as you’ve have your pathway and responsibility regarding Nina, now Talise is Jordan’s responsibility.”

“But why?” John argued, “Isn’t Talise dead and gone. She’s evil! Just because she did the right thing by me and Nina in the end, doesn’t mean she isn’t still malovelent, does it?”

“Her soul was still in Jordan’s ring last time I checked. Talise chose Jordan. In the end, she saw something in him, she never saw in you. It was something like what she found in Ethan. But closer to what you and Nina had in each other when you first met.” Norman explained.

“She’s not gone?” John said afraid.

“No John. But Talise isn’t a sea witch anymore. A mermaid yes, but with no magical abilities. She gave them up. Talise is redeemable.”

“Are you kidding me?” John yelled.

“Don’t worry about it. You can advise your brother with her but Talise is his problem in the end. Let it go.” John was incensed but a feeling of calm washed over him as he regarded Norman. How did Norman do that?

“Why do you want to go home John. Beyond your family and being with Nina, why do you think you should be alive?”

John gasped. “I didn’t expect that question. I . . . It’s not fair. Curses are supposed to work out if you break them. They shouldn’t end in death. Talise cursed me, she told me I would have to sacrifice myself for the woman I loved, and I did.”

Norman nodded, urging John to continue. “Nina helped me, she loves me.Together we broke my curse so terrible events would stop occurring around me each day.”

” I should get to be with Nina, raise a family with her, be with my parents and brothers, and grow my business. If I die, it’s not fair. The curse was a lie because spells which are broken end happily,” John argued vehemently.

Norman peered at John from his seat around the patio table, the sun was beginning to set.”That’s not real life John, you know that. What you believe is some Disney fairytale and real life isn’t Disney believe me, I know. Do you think there would be homeless men in a world where everything was fair?” John starred at Norman confused.

“It’s not about life being fair. Or curses having a happy result.”

John stared at his hands at loss for words. “What’s life about then?” He asked feeling angry and betrayed.

“I’m glad you asked,” Norman said, brown eyes gleaming.

Please Read Chapter 28 here.


 

©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

Sunday Flash Fiction: Shadowless


Peter Pan taught me that it is vital to keep your shadow close; it can be an easy enough part of yourself to lose. Sometimes, I think I would rather not have a shadow but then I consider, that would be like a vampire looking into a mirror and not having a reflection because they’re a vampire. Without a shadow or a reflection, you would be something inhuman.

That’s why I’ve never understood how I remain human but my shadow went missing one night. People don’t notice, but I do. It doesn’t matter the source of light, rays of the sun or a glow from the light bulb, but I have no shadow;  it left me in my sleep.

I had this nightmare I don’t remember. I was sweating and I woke up screaming and I’ve never done that before. I’m sure it was the Sandman, or maybe the song,”Enter Sandman” by Metallica had me uptight.

But in the night, ” [I] sleep with one eye open, holding [my] pillow tight,” so when the Sandman comes in my dreams, I can steal back my shadow and sew it to my body as Peter Pan did.

I’m not sure how that will work yet, but I’m tired of being a freak without a shadow. You think I would have superpowers at least, but losing your shadow doesn’t work that way. Dogs don’t like you anymore, cats hiss, animals at the zoo all go wild when you pass by.

It appears I’m some unholy being, and I don’t even know what I am.

——

Shadow
Alistair Forbes
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Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF each Sunday.

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©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

19. How Was Last Night For You: Talise’s Cave and John’s Nightmare


Please read Chapter 18 here.

Chapter 19: Talise’s Cave and John’s Nightmare.

John had borrowed a motor boat from his brother Jordan, who enjoyed taking the boat out fishing. He had considered asking Jordan to come with him, but he hadn’t wanted to risk his younger brother’s life. John had his sailing boat but it wasn’t inconspicuous enough for him to take out to Tia’s hallowed cave.

An immense moon hung in the night sky, as if it were a giant orb of white gold. John recalled the full moon when he had first meant Nina. He thought about Nina always, without meaning to think of her.

It had only been a week since John had last seen Nina, at his parents house,  and he missed Nina exceptionally. During her time healing from her concussion, John and Nina had been inseparable. John felt a sickening in his stomach when he recalled how he had left Nina, crying and begging him not to end their relationship.

But stronger than the misery John felt missing Nina, was the fear he perceived for Nina’s life. John had snapped when Nina was almost mowed down by a giant red pickup truck, surely Tia’s doing. He had taken the only action he could think of without exploding in rage, frustration, and  animosity concerning Tia; John left Nina hurting.

John had realized the best way for him to keep Nina safe from Tia, was for him to keep his distance from her. Especially since Tia was after Nina, and wanted her heart. Maybe now, Tia would take John’s heart. It wasn’t as if John had much of a heart left after being cursed to have horrific events occur around him for ten-years, and after letting Nina go.

On the way home from parents house,  John experienced a ‘feeling’ he hadn’t sensed it a while. A horrific event was about to occur. Two vehicles behind John’s Mercedes collided and were in a serious car accident. John had called 911 immediately and the Adare Fire Department had had to bring in the ‘jaws of life’ to cut a critically injured man out of his smashed white Corolla. John had given a witness statement and stopped to assist at the wreckage. He knew that he was the one whose curse was responsible for the severely injured people and their destroyed vehicles.

John’s curse had returned and the fact further enraged John, who was already in a dangerous  mood due to Nina’s near accident. He had gone home and worked the hell out of a punching bag and pulled out his favourite luxury vodka.

Nina was the most precious person to John, he loved her. He hadn’t admitted it to her but it was true. He knew it inside. John had asked Rianne and his family to keep on eye on Nina after his fight. Even if having his family in Nina’s life was weird when Nina and John weren’t speaking. Rianne was at Nina’s condo tonight while John was out, searching for Tia’s soul or the dagger that she carried.

Jordan’s motor boat puttered along the Sirene Lake, it wasn’t exceedingly noisy, so John had some stealth approaching Tia’s cave. The night was clear and the moonlight lit John’s path. He was guiding the boat along some stone edifices when he came to the hidden piece of white beach and cave, Tia’s sanctuary.

Tia and John had come here years ago, to make love and enjoy each other’s company. Tia had insisted John and her come here to relax and be together. Presently, in the chilly night air, the former haven of white sand seemed forbidding. John brought the motor boat as close to the beach as he could. He dropped anchor, stepping out into the freezing water, grazing his thighs. No matter, John had worn a black wetsuit for his mission.

John carried a flashlight with him, but he didn’t turn the flashlight on. He was waiting to see if Tia might be here. In the past, John knew, Tia slept in her cave. She didn’t seem to feel the cold as human’s did. She came to her secret place when she was angry or hurt, so there was a substantial chance, Tia was here.

He should stop calling her Tia, John thought. The young girl John knew as Tia no longer existed. Talise was the name of the seawitch, the horrible bitch who tried have Nina run down and had given Nina a serious concussion.

Warily, John tiptoed through the white sand in his bare feet, heading for Talise’s cave with the fantastic crystal mirror, Tia’s looking glass she called it. As he crept, John recalled the dreams he had been having of Talise lately. In these dreams he felt as if he was stuck in quicksand. He could not make his own body move. He had no control, as Talise dragged Nina out into the deepest part of the Sirene Lake where Nina was murdered.


 

” John, help me!” Nina screamed to John in his nightmare.” Why won’t you move? Talise is trying to drown me and I can’t get free. Talise’s magic has made her strong.”

In his nightmare, Talise would laugh maniacally at John, while forcing Nina into more treacherous depths.

” You can do nothing, John,” Talise would say, her voice gravely and low. “Nina your heart is mine! No one will find you in the middle of the Sirene Lake, no one can save you from my cursed dagger. Going through your heart, the dagger will be sharp and painful Nina. I will kill you slowly, to take your soul. The ritual requires me to do so. And I don’t mind at all . . .” Talise raged.

“It’s your fault Nina. You should’ve stayed far away from John. I warned you he was not for you. John’s mine. I merely wanted him to suffer before I came back to him. We are meant to be… but you changed fate. Now John loves you and I’ve been forced to bewitch him. John can only do what I order him to do — he has no free will. He’s going to watch from the shallow water, while I kill you and steal your soul.” In the nightmare, Talise was evil. She had become a depraved shadow of her former self.

John would try with all his might to move his body, to stop Talise. But always, the same event occurred in his dream. John regarded Talise in abhorrence and loathing as she stabbed his beloved through her heart. Talise took her time, drawing out Nina’s suffering. Tears flowed down John’s cheeks as Nina languished in agony, begging for Talise to kill her faster.

Then, the life would perceptibly flicker out of Nina’s pale blue eyes. John could always see this detail well. John would feel as if he was holding Nina as he cried witnessing deep red blood, Nina’s life force, seeping out of her body into the Sirene Lake.

Talise would chant an ancient language, while John wept with fury, experiencing a sharp pain in his own chest, at Nina’s death. Then a luminous glowing  orb would float above Nina’s body. Nina’s soul would arise and come to rest in a special container Talise held in her hand. John was traumatized. He could see the details of the container well. It was a clear, round, sphere, materialized of magic.

Talise would laugh maniacally watching John grieve. John remembered in his nightmare, the feeling of himself dying inside as Nina’s corpse, white and stiff , floated by Talise in the Sirene. John didn’t understand why his his nightmare felt so life-like.

Inside John experienced immense sorrow and rage against Talise. But he had no control over his free will. When Talise called for him to join her deeper in the Sirene Lake’s water, John obediently swam out to her. Talise gave John Nina’s soul, brilliant in the magic orb. In his nightmare he recalled thinking, it was his last piece of Nina. Talise smirked as John grasped the sphere and hid it in his pocket sadly.

John tred water in the Sirene Lake, while Talise appeared to float effortlessly. When Talise tried to kiss him, more tears leaked out of John’s eyes. He was crying for Nina and could not stop. But John didn’t make a sound as Talise demanded he kiss her. He did so with ardor, even though it wasn’t ardor he felt for Talise, only disgust and loathing.

John had woken every night that past week, since Nina was nearly hit by the red truck, sweating profusely with tears running down his stubbled cheeks. The nightmare drained John and he had a feeling, this dream could become reality if he did not stop Talise. Nina could die and John would be doomed to live a life, a slave to Talise’s desires. John involuntarily shivered.

Please Read Chapter 20 here.


 

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