Tag Archives: flash fiction

Sci-fail

So…I know you came here today, expecting something wonderfully written, to do with the terrifying Post-apocalyptic Sci-fi story. I’m sorry >.< I come to you today with one a beginning of one. This story just went nowhere for me. I lost all enthusiasm for it about the same time as I contracted a nasty 2 1/2 week long flu that literally had me down in the dumps. Sci-fi really doesn't seem to be my thing – however…however, the genre for next month? That's something I'm enjoying already. Steampunk Fantasy!

But, I digress. Without further ado – I present you with all I wrote….untitled.

I hunched, shivering, against the wall that had once bound a mighty river in its set route. Now, of course, water was a premium, as the Thames had been drank, emptied. All of the waters had that led into England. The seas remained, but I had never seen one. I didn’t want to. I wasn’t alone in my cringing state. I couldn’t be. There were a dozen of us, all in the same state. Thirsty, starved and dirty. We wore the scraps of clothing on our back as we roamed the streets of London, abandoned by all but the most desperate. The speeding winds beat at me, whipping my hair and clothes about my body. A scream came from somewhere beside me. ‘Davida’. I knew that scream, knew that voice. She was my sister, my only family member remaining.
And yet, I didn’t lift a hand to save her. She’d been marked days beforehand. A fungus, a mould particular to them, had sprouted across her back. We all knew what it meant. We knew what would happen if we tried to stop this. We were born of the first generation after they came to Earth. We’d all believed they were here to bring something new to our lives – to make them easier, somehow. Instead, everyone lived prosperously for a month. A single month in which crops bloomed and the governments were able to put by enough to get everyone through the winter. And then my mother said the Thames itself had dropped by a full foot when the tide came in one day. Davida’s screams stopped suddenly, and instead a slurping sound came from above us.
My fist filled my mouth as I bit down on it. I felt hot tears slid from my eyes – draining away water I couldn’t risk losing. I couldn’t curse, and who knew what would happen if I lifted my head. They could choose me next. I flinched as her body fell to the ground, a meaty smack as she landed on the pavement. She wasn’t my sister any more. She was a sack of meat and broken bones – but I could see the gaping hole where her stomach had been. Every organ was missing, her bones protruding up through the ruined mess of her skin like the skeletal remains of fingers, seeking help that would never come. I stayed still, but red filled my vision. It was the rough grip around my ankle that stopped me from moving away.
I focus my attention on the cracked paving at my feet. Weeds had tried to grow through before the relentless sun and lack of water had dried them. I hoped they fed well on my sister’s blood. I darted my glance along the tanned, scarred arm to Charlie’s face. He was watching me, but looking up. We held still, our gazes locked. He didn’t look at me in sympathy. It was hate and a promise at revenge. I grit my teeth on a fold of skin in my cheek and tasted the metallic wash of blood. ‘Damn…’ Now I had to keep my mouth shut – and wouldn’t you know it? That’s a hard thing to do when you needed to keep yourself under control. I wished for a moment to scream – but there was a lurching, gluttonous beast. A small disk kept it up in the air. Limbs, too many to count, hung down from it, lax from feeding.
I had to keep still, Charlie wouldn’t let me go. He wouldn’t let me get my revenge – and to be honest, I didn’t think it’d be a good idea anyway. Who knew what tools or weapons the beast from beyond this world had? I wasn’t sure myself, and didn’t want to think about it.

Please, tell me what you think of this atrocious attempt at sci-fi! I know…it’s so cliche, I cannot believe it. >.<

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World-building Challenge

Once again, I’ve gone on to another challenge, another sauntering look at what I can do to make myself a better writer.

Last week’s challenge was a little bit of let-down, to coin a phrase. I was hoping someone would comment on it, take part – anything. Instead…it went unnoticed. That was upsetting. I wanted people to be able to join in, to explore what can be done. To find new ways to teach themselves as writers. However, this journey isn’t just about others, it’s about me. That leads me on to the next part – this week’s challenge!

This week, the challenge is again from Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction. Jennifer Don chose this week’s challenge, which was to do with Worldbuilding – something which every author should work on – especially if you write any type of fantasy or science fiction. This is something so close to my heart that I cannot help but to enjoy it. I enjoy looking at ways to craft my own worlds, to make them unique, compelling and able to be related to. Characters in this setting are often formed by their world, which made this challenge a little more exciting. Coming from page 222 of the book, this week’s challenge was definitely a fun one. It didn’t require too much preplanning, thankfully!

 

Aeron Alfrey’s flying city (2009)

Take a close look at Aeron Alfrey’s flying city (2009). Several questions might occur to you. Is the setting fantastical but realistic – or is it surreal? What kind of cause-and-effect might exist here? What are the creatures lying dead on the ground? Is the city fleeing? Is it in the midst of being destroyed? Construct a reasonable rationale for the setting of this image that might lead to a story, even if it uses the logic of dream.

This was what I came out with – I enjoyed this challenge, especially when looking at the shapes the flames made – monsters, seeking something? An idea that came from a character inside there…something different, for me!

The world burned beneath us. Creatures of flame licked at the bottom of our home, the earth clods supporting it dropping down into the fire-drakes. My father stood at the doorway, his arms lifted as he sought to keep us from landing, from the fire eating up our home, and then – ourselves. We were lucky to be in this world of magic. If we were like a normal family, we would be down there now. If things were different, our bones would have blackened in the touch of the lashing flames. Instead, I sat on the bay window of my room, and read. Dante’s hell had come on Earth. I just had to hope we were strong enough to keep ourselves above the ground long enough for it to die down. I jumped a little as one building tottered on the edge…and fell, to be devoured by the ferocious inferno.

Why not join in, see what you get from the same prompt! Let your imagination run wild. I know mine did! See you next week for my next challenge!

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Flash Fiction!

While most stories begin in the darkness, ours begins in the light of day. Our first target for this story, a slender feral wolf, long-limbed but still small for her size, with wise golden eyes lingering in a face highlighted with silver white. Our second, a black German shepherd with eyes more gold than brown, stepping into the trees for the first time in his rather young life. With neither large built, though the dog held faint promise of being terrifying with a broad chest and noble, slanted head.

 

The she-wolf, at the start of the days sleeps alone, devoid of her pack. The reason for it isn’t seen, though it’s clear from the shine to her silky coat to her sleek muscles that stretched like a sheath across her body. For now though, she sleeps, golden eyes shielded from the light as she breathed heavily and slowly. She was relaxed, only the faintest hint of movement making her toes twitch and her massive paws pedal the air as she dreams. We aren’t to know what she dreams about at this moment, only that the slightest hint of a whine, drifting from her muzzle and disappearing into the air that draws the shepherd to her side…though he is not the first.

 

Indeed, he runs through trails, as hyperactive as any dog let off the leash and given the freedom to roam. Everything he can smell, he does. Everything he can mark as his, he does in his misguided sense of possession. But he’s not completely alone. The pack that have made this place their home run with him, unseen in the trees and silent as they run paths they know better than the prey they hunt. They don’t lift their voices in a call for a hunt, lacking their guiding light- the she-wolf who with her white coat leads their charge and makes their decisions for them.

 

Grey-coated individuals split off, wheeling towards the back of his trail and cover his betraying scent with their own, reaffirming that they own this place to any that may try and take their boundaries from them. Softly, they break off, having done their job and disappeared into the distance while they await the ringing cry that will draw them back to the star in their silent sky. Instead, it is the dog that stumbles across her when drawn by tiredness, his youthful energy depleted in his urge to drink.

 

His nose twitched before flaring, his sore paws stilling slightly before his head lifted and he let out a soft whine. There was water ahead, plenty of it and it was so fresh that he was lost to the scent. His paws pounded on the ground, beating fast as he raced headlong into the clearing where the river and the she-wolf sit. Her body is unseen in his run; his muzzle plunged into water as he drank thirstily. His pink tongue is dampened by the water, curling it into his muzzle as he sated the thirst that had had him panting.

 

Only once his thirst is quenched, as surely as a fire is put out by a bucket of water, did his head raise and his odd eyes fix on the dreaming white wolf and her soft whimpers as she dreamed. Like any dog, he didn’t realise she was a wolf, plunging through the water noisily and then shaking so the water splattered her. Her whines stopped abruptly, her fur shifting all over her body before she leaped to all fours. Her hackles were lifted, from neck to hip and her teeth flashed in the light as a snarl forced its way from her throat into the space between them.

 

He slid to a stop, cringing to the ground as the animalistic sound echoed in his mind, drawing to something inside him that screamed of the danger a wolf could wreak on a dog. Nothing in him even allowed for an attack on her. Instead, he turned to the side on stiffened legs and presented her with the slab of his shoulder. Not even a growl prickled at his chest, which in turn eased the sounds slipping from the wolf’s chest into silence.

 

And silence was what reigned, for minutes until the she-wolf broke it.

 

“What the hell do you think you were doing, rushing towards me and waking me up?! I could have ripped your throat out…or called to my brothers and sisters so they could have protected me.” Her voice was low and silky, though the threat was implicit in her words. The dog himself was stunned, sinking onto his muscled haunches before he shook his head in disbelief.

“What the…how…how do you speak dog?” His voice was disbelieving, his head tilting to the side as he let out an inquiring whine.

 

She snorted softly, rolling her eyes before shaking her head in disbelief and glaring at him.

“We speak the same language, you idiot of a dog! Your sorry kind descended from the nobility of my own!” He words were forced out of stiff lips as she remained on edge, stiffened and on the verge of growling. A shake was all that he did before his nose flared slightly, and his ears perked upright. With such a start, was it any wonder that the pair became firm friends…and then, when time came, her mate, and fellow alpha?

 

She didn’t take long to change; now her new mate had met the pack and her stomach was swelling. Despite his ‘dog’ title, he wasn’t seen as being out of place. It took them a while to teach him how to hunt, but as she slowed down, he only grew stronger. Their bond was intense, the affection they felt clear among the wolves…and even more intent when he lost his collar the day that she went into labour.

 

It was that day that his yelps and whines drew the pack as he guarded the den from them, despite the jealous snarls coming from below and the occasional squeaking shape. Three days and three nights she was down there, so long that silence reigned in the clearing and the pack worried until they were anxious and pacing. That was when the gaunt face of their beloved alpha, mate…sister, slipped from the darkness and drank thirstily in the lake.

 

One by one, they were led down to look at the pups, a black cast to their coats and slightly larger ears the only difference to the fat pups, erupting into squeaking balls of fury as their mother laid down and curled her large body around them. The black shepherd curled at the entrance, his muzzle just pressed in through the entrance so their voices could meet in quiet conversation. He was guarding them, jealously providing his back to prevent any harm from coming to the pups and his mate.

 

The pack fed them all, hunting taking places endlessly as the wolf fed herself up in preparation for the pups wanting more milk as they grew ever bigger and took their fathers build for their own…for that was clear. They were already deeper chested with narrower paws than most wolf pups were at birth, but with bald tails and ears, they were almost indistinguishable from others of their blood-kin.

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What does America’s Next Author mean to me?

For the past two weeks (and a few days) I’ve been involved in a huge competition which makes use of your skills in social media as well as writing. I used a piece which involves characters from my upcoming book, Echoes of Winter but in a different setting where magic flows and wolves can fly. (But only if they have wings, of course!)

It’s been an interesting thing to do – I’ve asked people for honest reviews and mostly the feedback has been amazing! Short stories aren’t my forte but this one seems to have appealed to people for some reason. Some people didn’t think the pacing was too fast, or that I told rather than showed the reader what was happening/in the scenery. Some people believed that this was part of a larger piece (which it isn’t, but I do plan another short ‘installment’ to finish the story.)

Other people are fascinated by the ideas represented in the story. Two friends, close enough to call themselves sisters, are torn apart by the depression of one and her failure to care about the responsibilities she has. What made people even more interested was that these weren’t humans – these were wolves and yet they had emotions like those everyone feels.

Relying on other people to review and vote is a patchy business and yet I’ve managed to remain in the top ten for the last week and a half! I’ve had a lot of support from friends and writing groups, who often go and hit the tweet button. The reviews count as well, as I prefer honest reviews. If you love it, write that and more importantly…tell me why! If you hate it, again – I want to know why you hate it.

An author can only progress with the constructive criticism of the type I’ve received, so thank you to everyone who HAS reviewed it.

Interested in reading yourself? Does this synopsis sound like something you could enjoy?
‘When winter springs a challenging blizzard onto a pack besieged with doubt? What will happen to the wolves that have been chased from their home, have lost their Alpha male and are watching their Alpha female die? Well, if Kamduis has anything to do with it, she’ll have a lot to do with it! Read on for this tale which mentions the wolf goddess Luna, winged wolves and betrayal between two sisters who have no real bond but the love in their hearts and the song which joins them together as pack.’

If so, then take a look here!
http://www.ebookmall.com/author/dom-goodall


Dominique Goodall is the author of the soon to be released Echoes of Winter, book one in the Seasons of the Wolf series and a self-confessed wolf addict. She has currently been published in two anthologies by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing and is currently working on getting herself better known by sending in manuscripts for as many different anthologies as she possibly can.

As much as she loves to admit it, she never will be able to count her wolf stuff- there’s nothing left for her to be truly able to collect without her own home.

She can be friended on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/WaterSinger

Her author page on Facebook is here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dominique-Goodall-author/250907358312446

The page for Echoes of Winter is here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Echoes-of-Winter/355235744499607

Her twitter name is: https://twitter.com/#!/DomGoodall

And her blog can be found here: https://dominiquegoodall.wordpress.com/

And the trailer for her book is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kix63EXBW50&feature=plcp

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America’s Next Author

As not many of you know, I’ve been working on something new to get myself exposure as a writer – America’s Next Author! And yes, I know I’m in the UK – but I can still apply. I’ve been on a rollercoaster with the place I’m in for this contest. I entered at 17th…then hit 16th…and then shot up to 14th and stayed there for a day or so. After that I zoomed up to 10th and when the new round started…

I found myself in 1st place! I stayed there for ONE DAY before dropping to 2nd and today I dropped to 5th. I need your help to boost me back up the ranks and through round 2!

How can you help, I hear you scream? (In my mind and prayers, at least!) Well you can help with a vote on the site, a like on facebook, a tweet (if you use twitter), a share on LinkedIn (again, if you use it!) and most importantly of all, an honest review and rating! This is the most important part of this for me, it honestly is!

Here’s one review and a five star one at that!

‘Clearly, the author has a lot of knowledge of and/or experience with wolves, and that shows. The characters of the two main characters are distinct and engaging, and the story is told with careful attention to detail. While this is clearly part of a larger piece, it stands on its own extremely well. I found myself wanting to read more about this pair and to learn more about the extraordinary winged wolf.’

My entry
http://www.ebookmall.com/author/dom-goodall

And the final thing I can say is…THANK YOU! (and yes! It includes wolves!)

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Crimson Snow

Debra Jayne East is my guest today for the MK tour, and what a wonderful stop it is! We were given the challenge of a flash fiction to an image prompt – and Crimson Snow is what Debra came up with.

Crimson Snow

Amera Roberts pulled the covers closer as the frigid air assaulted her lithe body. Her arms and head were exposed by the pitifully thin covers, but she had nothing better to use. Her caretakers had left her six days ago on her eighteenth birthday and they had taken everything except her bed and dresser. She had got up for breakfast as usual and to her surprise, she opened the door to a bare room and scribbled note. She still turned the cryptic message over in her mind with anger. Time to worry about the meaning later, but now, she must try to survive with very little wood and an ever dwindling supply of food.

In the dim light of morning, her mind foggy from hunger, she procrastinated whether she should get up to check the fire. In her heart, she feared it must be out already, but she knew her life depended on getting some warmth in the frigid temperatures of early dawn. As her bare feet met the cold stone floor, she cringed at the brief contact before she found her slippers. Her breath painfully expelled frozen little puffs of air as she dressed herself.

Throwing the blanket over her shoulders, she ran the few steps to the hearth and grabbed the fire poker to scrape around in the ashes to find embers. Her heart began to sink. She had only one more match and wanted to save it for an emergency. Panic filled the empty space in her stomach and just as she dreaded the worst, a tiny, glowing, ruby ember sparked warmly and she let out an audible sigh. Frantic, she hurriedly gathered her basket of pinecones and threw a few on top to keep it burning.

Moments later, she laid the oak logs carefully and was rewarded with the crackle of burning wood. If her fire burned out she would have no way to cook her meager allotment of food. If she was really stingy with her rations she could hold out for three more days. It was difficult when she had not been full for almost a week. A dozen potatoes and half a loaf of bread could only go so far. One day she had given into weakness and consumed an extra cup of tea to stave off her hunger. Today, she was sorry for that extravagance because now her little tea box was empty and she would miss her morning cup.

Amera measured her small cup of meal carefully for porridge and added it to the bowl of hot water from the kettle. Sweetened with the last spoon of honey, she ate her meal in silence and waited for the light of dawn to warm up the room.

She finished the last bite, then dared to look out the front door in case her beloved Spike had returned from a hunt with a tasty rabbit or other small game to eat. He had disappeared the next day after Fran and Gregory Braithworth had vanished and she wondered if he went to look for them. Fran did not have much use for the strange little black-faced dog but Gregory adored him. He took him hunting on his trips to the glen and saved little tidbits from his meal for him. The snowstorm had prevented her from looking more for her precious dog that night and now tears stung her eyes as she wondered his fate.

It was over five minutes until she pried the door open partially while the snow trickled in its opening. No sign of her small trusted friend. Now, there must be nearly a foot of snow on the ground and the air smelled of more. She would never see his tracks now if it snowed again. He may be dead by now if he didn’t find a barn or cave to go in. She would die also if she could not get out to gather wood and search for food.

Disheartened, she closed the door and went over by the fire to soak in its warmth and read the message for the tenth time. Carefully, she unfolded the scrap piece of parchment and read the few lines that made her temper boil.
“This, your eighteenth birthday. Our agreement is up. You are a burden to us no more. Your time is up Amara. You must face your destiny. Shortly, your husband to be will come for you. Do not run from him because he will find you and you will be sorry you ever ran. The snow will be crimson with your blood.”

Quickly, she folded the note in her pocket and ran to the closet… Husband to be? They had pledged her hand in marriage without even telling her and that he would kill her if she ran? What did they mean by arrangement anyway? All these years she stayed here dreaming of a life outside this glen. They told her nothing of getting married! She had stayed here to please her guardians only to face this calamity?

Through clenched teeth she pulled on old boots left behind by Gregory and wrapped herself as warmly as possible. She had no time to worry about some senile old groom who might come for her. She must go to find wood and food or die here but it would not be without trying.

Bravely, she tramped through the hard crust of white up the hill to the gate. She headed for a clump of trees with some saplings and felt in her pocket for the small hatchet she always carried with her when she went out alone. These woods always seemed ominous on the other side of the hill. She felt safe with Spike, who would bark at anything that moved, but now she was alone and greeted with silence. It took an hour to cross the meadow to the small forest of trees laden with fresh snow. She was exhausted by the time she got there and felt the cold creeping into her feet. Anxiously, she looked at the low-lying branches that were too thick for her to cut with so small a hatchet. Down through the trees she saw a clearing with several small cedars. She was sure she could make out a few broken limbs. Painstakingly, she trudged the path and was only a few feet from the trees when she heard the crunch of something coming through the woods behind her. Panic engulfed her as she glanced around to see the culprit of the disturbance. In the distance, she saw an ominous rider on a black horse bursting through the trees.

Amera’s raven tresses fell down from her wool cap as she lurched for the cedars to escape the rider. It dawned on her that the horseman might be her mysterious husband to be. That panicked her even more. As she stumbled in the snow, she suddenly remembered the warning Fran had scribbled in her message. “Don’t try to run, because he will find you. The snow will be crimson with your blood.”

The thought fueled her energy and she glanced behind to see he was less than a hundred yards behind. His face was hidden within the hood of his cape. She sucked in large breaths of cold air and headed for a small knoll covered with snowdrifts and rocks. All the while, the fear of not knowing his identity was like a bullet in her chest. Damn them for doing this to her!

As she neared the rocky hill, she stumbled and fell to one knee. Before she could pick herself up to run, a luminous weapon flew overhead and landed in the snow ahead of her. Frozen in shock she suddenly knew who her suitor was!

Merlin!

Debra Jayne East was born the oldest of six girls in Martinsville, Virginia. For as long as she could remember, she loved to keep journals, write poetry and short stories. She researched her family tree and suddenly she understood why. Her distant relative, Violet Florence Martin was an Irish author, born in 1862, who co-wrote a series of novels with cousin Edith Somerville under the pen name of Martin Ross in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Learning about her heritage encouraged her to follow her dreams. After she encountered a near-death experience during a routine surgery, she realized her time had come to follow her heart and pursue her calling to be a writer. Her first novel, Radiance:Love after Death was released by XOXO Publishing in June of last year.

Marena Jacobs was not your typical kind of heroine. She’s divorced, in her forties and a workaholic. “I always love to read about people and situations that are out of the norm. I believe many readers get tired of getting the same old cookie cutter description of a breathtakingly beautiful heroine and a devilishly handsome man.

“Most women don’t look like they just stepped from a photo shoot. We may have a few extra pounds, we sometimes have bad hair days and everything we say is not witty or perfect. Diversity is what makes us all beautiful and real. I think readers will like someone they can identify with. I will also say the paranormal aspect of my novel is based on a few things that really did happen for those of you who like that kind of thing, and you wont be disappointed. “

Debra lives in North Carolina close to the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoys photography, volunteering and spending time with her family. Currently, she completing a second book in her Radiance series and also working on a science fiction novel.

Buy links and Social Media:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Radiance-Love-after-Death-ebook/dp/B005KQ5E32/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326066658&sr=8-1
XOXO Publishing http://www.xoxopublishing.com/Products/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=160#.T9aPyMg1oeM.twitter
http://debrajayneeast.blogspot.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/#!/juliet2cool4u
https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Debra-Jayne-East/177696055623372

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Interview: Convel

Today I’m going to be shaking things up, and thought that maybe you’d like to hear from a character in Echoes of Winter. Convel is the main character, and the one wolf that we’ve been with from the beginning of the book. This is only able to be done with the help of a special machine from Japan – the canine translation machine. Batteries were included.

*Upon hearing clicking upon the ground, our interviewer puts down the pad of paper with her questions on and rushes to the tap, filling a bowl of water up and then adjusting a machine on the table. She soon hears scratching on her door and stands up, opening the door to welcome the large black wolf into the room. He walks straight to the bowl and drinks thirstily, her eyes anxious as she waits until he is settled before turning the machine on. On the side reads the words Canine-translator.*

“Afternoon Convel, I’m hoping you didn’t have to travel too far from your pack today…” *As the wolf begins to growl, the machine converts his sounds into words, thus forming intelligent sentences in a masculine voice. As soon as it’s up to speed, the answers come through thick and fast.*

“Travelling is fine, thank you. They think I’m on a hunting trip or that I need some space.”

“I’m glad! I’m sure you want to get back home, so I’m just going to get on with the questions, so feel free to answer them with as much or little as you want.”

Interviewer: Are any other people living with you? Who are they?

Convel: There are quite a few others living with me now, my brother Faolan and his friend Baker, plus my pack-mates, Tikaani, Teira, Amore, Morte and Draven.

Interviewer: Tell me about your parents. How well do/did you get along with them?

Convel: Until I was ready to leave my pack, I was really attached to both my parents, but I’ve not seen them in more than a year. My mother was my favourite parent though- she had more patience than my father, he was the Alpha so he didn’t spend much time with us pups when we were growing up.

Interviewer: What was your birth order? How many siblings did you have? Older? Younger?

Convel: There were a lot of us! I’ve got a younger brother, Faolan. He now lives with me, plus four sisters! One of them is older than me, the rest were younger. I’ve got Ayame, she was always one of my favourites. She used to cuddle with me when it was cold, then it was Larentia. She was the dominant one in our litter – the one who most liked to be the winner of our play fights.

My last two sisters were Waya and Tala – but Tala was the one I never really got along with. She was the odd wolf out in our pack…

Interviewer: Who else was in your family while you were growing up? How did you get along with them?

Convel: I grew up with Steam being my closest ‘relative’. I think she was my father’s mother, but I can’t really remember. She wasn’t too fond of familial bonds. Otherwise there were three other wolves, none of them related to us. There were Nuntis and Otsoa – the Beta male and Beta female and then Lyall, our Omega, the most submissive wolf in the pack.

Interviewer: What were three things you liked to do when you were a puppy?

Convel: I loved to practise my hunting, play-fight and howl. Just typical puppy things, you know! I just loved spending time practising the things that would make me stronger.

Interviewer: What were you afraid of when you were a pup?

Convel: I was only really afraid of strangers. And the Humans that mother told us about – they sounded really scary! Until I met one, that’s when I got this. *Convel turned to the interviewer and showed off the black collar which was mostly invisible where his fur meshed over it.* Both myself and Teira wear these, we met the Humans and ended up with them.

Interviewer: How did you respond to the physiological and psychological changes in your life as a teenager?

Convel: I don’t really know- I got bigger quick and had to assert my dominance quicker- that’s when I discovered I was nearly as strong as my father was. I didn’t know what to do about it though!

Interviewer: What makes you happy now?

Convel: Running with the pack, hunting and running through the territory. We are the only wolves in that area, well…apart from Singer’s pack, but they live higher up than us.

Interviewer: What is your greatest fear?

Convel: Losing more of my pack. I’ve lost enough of them as it is, thanks to those who were around us.

Interviewer: What would you change about yourself if you could?

Convel: I wish I could see into the hearts of those around me. I hate the way that I’m able to be deceived because I want to see the best in everyone.

Interviewer: What is it that you have never told anyone?

Convel: I never wanted to be an Alpha as a pup. I saw myself as more of a Beta, helping the Alpha keep control of the pack.

Interviewer: What do you want?

Convel: To keep my pack and future pups’ safe and to protect my territory from any intruders. Getting the Humans to leave us along would be good, too.

Interviewer: Who do you look like? Your mother, father, or someone else?

Convel: Definitely my father. We have the same eyes, coat colour and build – but I’m taller than he is. I’ve always been bigger than he was.

Which Word Do You Think Describes You Best?

Nervous or calm? Calm when I can be.

Teacher or student? Both, but mostly teacher.

Leader or follower? Leader. I’m an Alpha, it’s what I do.

Brave or fearful? Brave – I’ve had to be.

Religious or superstitious? Both and neither. Lightning and Boulder are the ones who watch out for us, and I respect that.

Humble or proud? Proud.

Tall or short? Tall.

Long fur or short? Long, at the moment. It’s the winter coat, you see.

Honest, stretch the truth when necessary, or all out liar? Stretch the truth when necessary. The pack don’t need to know everything.

Introvert or extrovert? Introvert.

*As soon as he finishes the final word, the machine stops it’s gentle whirring and just clonks, leaving the room silent apart from the breathing of our interviewer, and the panting of the wolf. She gets up and refills the water bowl, placing it in front of the black wolf and stepping back. He drains the bowl then moves to stand by the door, waiting for her to open it expectantly. She opens it, then watches as he slinks down the hallway until he is out of sight, before returning to examine the translator machine.*

“Damn it, the batteries died!”

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The Death of a Sibling (flash fiction)

There was silence in the forest, the same silence that was almost deafening in its intensity. Something was about to happen, because the world was holding its breath. Through the trees, something approached, because the birds stopped singing in the trees. As a body was hurtled through the bushes, a flock of birds took off, their wings beating together noisily as they escaped the dogs hunting through the forest.

They weren’t the best of hunters though they were sleek, lithe and deadly, but just not the best adjusted for the stalking yet. They were too young yet, a mere nine months old and mostly grown, though still gawky, looking out of place.

Three pups, two female and one male growled as they slipped from between the trees, the two females instantly rounding on their helpless brother.
“It’s your fault! You made us lose the rabbits. I’m telling mom on you. You know we’re the better hunters.” The first female Doberman spoke, her fur the rather odd mixture that occasionally appeared. Her shiny coat was chocolate brown, with the typical markings of muzzle, ears, eyebrows and legs in tan.

Her sister was almost identical to her, though the classical black and tan appeared on her body, a look mimicked by her brother. As it was, she kept quiet for a moment, her brown eyes watching the interaction as though she were puzzled. Her head even cocked to the side slowly before she shook herself off and growled softly in the back of her throat.
“She’s right. You are silly, too loud to be hunting with us, Hunter. All you do is thump about like a clumsy Human! You know that we need to feed ourselves as much as we can. They can’t spare the food and mom will get angry with us.” She snorted as she turned her back on him, her short tail standing at attention. “Hunter in name only. That’s all you are.”

She ignored the pleading voice behind her, one of her upright ears twisting back as she heard the soft whimper of her more submissive, less blunt brother.
“But…Baker! You know mom said we had to stick together, and that we needed to practise hunting in a pack. And Brier, you told me you wouldn’t ever leave me behind.” The sound of his whining got on Baker’s nerve enough that she turned back around, her sister at her side. Brier growled softly, her head dropping down as Baker bared her teeth and began to slink towards the shaking form of their brother.

He was still with fear, not noticing the lynx sneaking behind him. A snarl from Baker had the cat pausing then continuing on. The tawny coat was specked with silver, gold and tan and the lynx paused. As the pair of young dogs sped up, the cat leaped, pouncing upon the hapless dog-pup on the ground. Blood spilled from between her claws as she raked her claws along the short-furred sides, Hunter screaming as the pain blossomed through his body.

The lynx sprang away, as cool and cocky as a cat could be when the two dogs crouched over the form of their brother, their eyes glaring hatred at the feline who sauntered away without a care in the world. Baker whined the second the cat was out of sight, and nuzzled at his cheek.
“Come on, Hunter. You need to get up so we can get you to our Human. He’ll make you better.” She kept nosing at the still body of her brother until horror filled the expressive brown eyes and she let out a ringing howl, shaking her head. “No, no, no. Brier, he can’t be dead. He just can’t be! He’s our only brother!”

As the pair mourned their brother into the darkness, a pair of sullen eyes watched them, the angry look in its eyes turning triumphant and proud as they hesitated, not wanting to leave him before their mom and their Human got there to help.

 

This is part of the story of Baker, the Doberman who appears in Echoes of Winter. Baker was raised with her brother and sister in a Human village. This is something that is unusual in the setting – most humans are dead, and only very few individuals in each breed of dogs remain ‘pure’. Baker is based on a friend of mine, who has the same mock-mean outlook on life.

 

Now this is the part I’m honestly not liking- I have to ask a favour of everyone who is reading my blog posts. In order to make my giveaways and launch amazingly special, I need to have money to do so. The only way I can do that at the moment (mainly because I’m a carer, which means money is tight) is to hold a fund-raiser and the best way to do that is here – and the best part is if I don’t make my target, you get your money back! If I do, then you also reap the rewards, gaining some of the swag I’m going to be making/buying with the money!

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The Death of Trust (flash story)

Tikaani snarled softly as she slunk along the ground, her nose twitching lightly as she paused. One paw lifted up as she tipped her head to the side, her nostrils flaring slightly as she shuddered before shaking her head and then growling, the sound rumbling deep in her throat and chest. She was an imposing sight for such a small she-wolf. Her fur was completely black, from nose-pad to tail tip and her eyes were so gold that they had green glints, giving her a rather steely gaze whenever she saw fit to offer it to one of the pack who were currently clustered behind her.

She wasn’t the Alpha yet, but the Beta of the pack, the one who ruled with her teeth and her head. Never had she let herself losing her mind to anything that could approach anger- she never needed to. The pack was more than aware of the fact that she could have torn each of their throats out as soon as look at them. As it was, her prey today wasn’t ordinarily on the menu for a wolf such as her.

Those cold golden eyes gleamed, then glistened as she dropped her head and stepped forwards menacingly, her lips wrinkled back to reveal the white daggers which were seated in the maw now gaping open threateningly. The ‘prey’ in front of her backed up a step, confusion filling the amber eyes as the Alpha female tilted her head to the side. A pretty wolf, she was mostly white with just the hint of a silvery grey which travelling over her cheeks. Black tipped her tail, which promptly trailed against the ground as she growled menacingly.

“Tikaani? And…the rest of you? What is the meaning of this? You do know that Amoux will leave you out for the carrion eaters if you harm one bit of fur on my body, don’t you?” Tikaani’s grin widened at Arinaya’s speech, the hatred inside her burning deep. She stepped to the side as soon as she felt the heated gaze of Amoux on her back, dropping her head deferentially as the male wolf stalked past her to his mate.

“That’s what you think, my dear. You are old now, and I need a bitch by my side that will be able to produce pups. You have a choice- become an exile or face down Tikaani here. You know you are no match for her, your teeth are blunt and you haven’t hunted in moons.” Soft snarls rumbled through the she-wolves, their ears perking as they locked their eyes on each other.

“I’ll fight…” Arinaya’s voice was soft, trailing off as she looked at the lean, toned frame of her chief huntress. The one wolf she had thought she could trust, especially since she was only young- two year old wolves weren’t meant to be so ambitious. As it was, they both took their time with stretching, Tikaani running her tongue along the sharp teeth which she was so eager to plunge into flesh.

It only took a moment for the two wolves to clash, Amoux standing amongst his pack and snarling softly in excitement as he watched. Their teeth snapped at each other, the sound of fangs crashing, each sound that was each she-wolf trying to get the upper hand ringing out over suddenly silent lands. Tikaani landed the first blow to drag blood out, her teeth clamping on Arinaya’s cheek and jaw to seize a tight hold.

Arinaya was an experienced fighter however and as soon as she felt blood dripping down onto the ground she twisted her own body, her whole body writhing in her grasp before snapping back at Tikaani’s face. The blood spurting between her jaws fired up that primal heart which stirred inside her, her spine arched as she stepped back and made a show of licking the blood from her jowls.

Tikaani howled, the rage in the sound evident from the way she dropped her head. Her tail curled in against her stomach, her eyes narrowed and the snarl currently disfiguring her face. Arinaya felt a quiver of panic, deep in her stomach at the demonic look of the other wolf, the Beta who was taking over her position. She flicked her amber eyes to Amoux, something in her gentling despite the betrayal she felt.

Her distraction was all that Tikaani needed. She was fast, she had to be to be chief hunter and that was what made her next move so clever. She slipped across Arinaya’s body, seizing her by the hip and suddenly heaving her over, all the muscles under her summer-short coat tensed and hardened as with sheer will the smaller wolf forced the larger one onto her back.

Arinaya met the gaze of Tikaani, pain and betrayal clear as she submitted to the relentless female. She was straddled by her in an instant, the black body topping the white easily.

“How could you do this to me? I know he’s not your father, but you do know he’s using you, right dear?” Her voice was rather unconcerned for what she was facing, the love in her eyes almost making Tikaani turn her head away in shame, though she dare not turn her face away from her mother.

“Oh, I know mother. He won’t stay Alpha alongside me long enough to even get close to the breeding season. But that means you need to die mother, which is why I let you die with dignity. You know you’ll be dying the way each wolf should, under the fangs of another rather than the hooves of the prey.” Arinaya nodded, lifting her chin and bearing her throat to the savage teeth of her daughter.

She didn’t disappoint either, sinking her teeth in deep and shaking her head until she pulled her face free with blood and gore clinging as high as her brow. She watched the final death throes, felt the convulsions in the body below her and rode them out. She only stepped free of the body when  it was both still and the almighty heart no longer managed to beat, the body almost immediately beginning to cool. The fur of her face was spiked with blood and as she looked down at her mother she sighed a little. “Goodbye mother. Run free…and I’ll name a pup after you.”

As soon as her voice broke, she disguised the whisper as an attempt to clear her throat of the clinging fur which littered her tongue, her head lifting in a howl that just oozed with triumph, pride and contempt. One by one the pack she now ran lifted back their heads in soft calls, Amoux last of all. His howl became strangled as Tikaani fastened her jaws around his jugular, slowly crushing the life from the dominating, manipulating male who seemed to fade in size as she tightened her jaws, bit by bit until he was limp and choking at her paws.

She stared down at him, lowering her head down to whisper into his ear as the last sparkles of life faded from the darker gold eyes, helplessness and pain sparking briefly before life failed in his body, the crushed windpipe meaning he suffocated quickly.

“You were never good enough for me. Worthless male, needing a wolf bitch to do what you didn’t have the guts for. You learned your lesson in the end, you didn’t watch out for the silent killer. Did you really think I’d suffer you to live after what you put us all through?

This was a scene from Tikaani’s life, which quickly sprang to life and went from a flash fiction to being even longer. I’m loving writing lately, really getting to enjoy these small snapshots into the amazing lives of the characters who sustained me during the writing of Echoes of Winter. Echoes of Winter has become my literary baby, hopefully the first of many, and what a difference it has made to my life! Far more disciplined, I’ve learned more than I thought possible and it’s something which I truly have enjoyed and I AM looking forward to writing book two.

Now this is the part I’m honestly not liking- I have to ask a favour of everyone who is reading my blog posts. In order to make my giveaways and launch amazingly special, I need to have money to do so. The only way I can do that at the moment (mainly because I’m a carer, which means money is tight) is to hold a fund-raiser and the best way to do that is here – and the best part is if I don’t make my target, you get your money back! If I do, then you also reap the rewards, gaining some of the swag I’m going to be making/buying with the money!

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The Death of Innocence…(Flash Fiction)

This piece centres around Amore and Morte, two wolf-dog characters from Echoes of Winter. This is a scene from when they were both only young, and back in their birth-pack…

Morte growled as she pounced onto her sister, snapping gently at her shoulder before flopping beside her, panting lightly. Her breathing rattled her rather stocky rib-cage as she tipped her head at the limp body of the young wolf-dog who was the utter opposite of her – slender where she was stocky, lady-like where she was tom-boyish. Their eyes and coats were even the same opposites, light on one and dark on the other. Her voice was sweet, high-pitched in its youth and innocence.

“We need to go back to the den, Amore. Dad’ll be home soon, with the hunting party…and I’m hungry!”

The female nestled beside her sighed lightly, twisting to her feet in a single movement before shaking off her coat and then lapping away as much off the mussed up, dirty pelt down as she was able to. Morte watched her sister carefully, frowning a little when she noticed how quiet she was, when normally getting her to shut up would have been like trying to get a crow to stop cawing, or a rabbit to stop thumping; you’d need to really make yourself heard for that to happen.

It made Morte frown, before she slunk closer to her sister and prowled along at the side of her smaller twin, her head swinging about as she played at being a guard – the position in the pack she could see herself occupying easily enough. They were the first line of defence in the pack, the first ones to answer a threat and put them down completely.

The pair brightened up swiftly, as yearlings often were. Their tails wagged as they chased each other around the territory, trusted now to do things like that – their pack was strong enough to withstand those on the outlying borders, and they were in the very depths of the woods. Morte often bounded at Amore, who was more agile, darting out of her way and developing a stinging nip which was forgotten moments later.

It didn’t take long for them to end up at home, despite the playfulness. Their tails wagged constantly as they licked lightly at each other’s cheek before composing themselves. Their heads lifted proudly, their ears were perked and their paws lifted high as they trotted forwards, containing their excitement and presenting themselves as they should be – the heirs of the pack, growing well and with all the manners they had been taught to show.

It was only as they neared the den that Morte hesitated, one of her paws lifted as she growled uncertainly, her head swaying before her whole body went slightly limp. There was something about what was waiting for them ahead that had her breathing get faster, her eyes go cloudy – and Amore rush back to her side with a gentle nuzzle that did nothing to bring her from this fugue.

It seemed to be almost timed. As Morte lifted her head up, focusing her eyes on her sister, a grieving howl rang out ahead of them.

—-

I’m also going to announce the name of the series Echoes of Winter is the first book in. Keep an eye out for….

*drumroll please*

Seasons of the Wolf!

Find out all new details concerning Seasons of the Wolf on the brand new page found here

For information on Echoes of Winter, the first book of Seasons of the Wolf, look here

And finally, if you are interested in me as an author, check out my OWN page here

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