my passions, my loves, my interests, my thoughts, my ramblings - come inside and warm yourself on the heat of my muses!
Julie L. Hayes
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Silver Flash Double Feature
Wednesday again and time for another Silver Flash! Brought to you by those fabulous authors at Silver Publishing! This week's Prompt Diva is once again our Fearless Leader, Ryssa Edwards:
"Well, I don't know about you, but I like to know what I'm getting into."
Use the following elements in your story: key, paper, raw meat
This week, I've written a flash for each of my continuing series - Lust Never Sleeps, and Scent of a Wolf. I hope that you're enjoying them as much as I'm enjoying bring them to you!
Scent of a Wolf 3
In desperation, Shaw pinched the bridge of Jareth’s patrician nose, forcing him to breathe through his mouth. He watched as the almost glazed look began to leave his friend’s eyes. So that’s the key, block the olfactory senses and the madness goes away of its own accord."
An annoyed Jareth tried to shake Shaw’s grasp of his proboscis, but the other man held on as well as he could. “Quit fighting me,” he protested. “We have to hurry, or they’ll get away.”
“Who?” Jareth demanded to know.
Tardily, Shaw realized that without Jareth’s ability to follow the redhead’s scent, they’d have no way of knowing where he or his two pursuers had gone, so he relinquished his grip, resigned to the fact that he would lose the other man to the strange trance again.
Immediately, Jareth went on point, turning in the direction in which his quarry had disappeared. “Yes, go gettem,” Shaw muttered, making sure to stay right behind him. If need be, he could shift and allow the hawk to take over the chase, but he’d rather not do that if he didn’t have to. Especially not in this miserable drizzle. Jareth began to lope, and Shaw stretched his shorter legs to keep up with him.
Unaware of any of his pursuers, Cameron was losing patience with this infernal weather. He’d have to strip out of his clothes and drip dry as it was, once he returned to his room. Luckily, his roommate had recently acquired a girlfriend with her own digs, so he was seldom there anyway. It was the next best thing to having his own place, but he envied Luke the reason for his making himself scarce. Although he tended to be a lone wolf, he sometimes thought it would be nice to be part of a pair. His relationships hitherto tended to be of the hot and quick variety—they burned bright and then fizzled away like used firecrackers, leaving him wondering where the spark had gone.
Enough was enough. Cameron decided to take shelter from the miserable weather in a used book store situated along his route between Marco Polo’s and the campus. Stolen Hours by name, it was run by a pleasant middle-aged couple, Eddie and Oliver. He’d made their acquaintance shortly after he’d begun attending the university; it had come highly recommended by a now ex-boyfriend. He liked the bookstore far more than he had whatever his name was. It was a nice place to relax, and curl up with a good book. The owners encouraged reading on the premises. Besides, he had nowhere pressing to be. It was the weekend—his time was his own.
Sometimes he almost missed the entrance to the store. It wasn’t flashy, and had no neon lights in the windows to advertise its presence, unlike most of the other retail establishments that littered the street. Compared to them, it seemed rather dark and nondescript, the sort of place that you might easily pass by and never known you‘d done so. Even the door was old fashioned: heavy dark wood, decorated with an antique brass door knocker, in the form of a stylized sun. It obviously served no actual purpose, but it added to the atmosphere of the place, and it was interesting. Cameron glanced at it briefly before pushing his way into the store.
Rutledge was both repelled and fascinated by Chambers, even having seen him in action before. The way he sniffed at the air was… rather unnerving to say the least. Give the man a piece of raw meat to smell and he was in heaven. He would have preferred if the man had shifted first, before calling forth his ferret senses, but there’d been no time. And this was not the place. They had been given a job by their employer, and do it they must. Seeker had been most adamant about their obtaining their quarry. And what Seeker Harcourt wanted, he got. Whether it were animal, vegetable, or mineral. Seeker was a collector with most eclectic tastes. Why he wished this redheaded human, they did not know. Theirs not to question why, theirs but to…. Collect. Or die.
They had unfortunately lost sight of the redhead due to some unforeseen and ill-timed foot traffic which had intervened between pursued and pursuer. Which was why Chambers was having to scent him out. Rutledge impatiently tapped his foot as the other man got his bearings. He could barely contain his desire to box him until his ears rang.
Ah, he had something. His small eyes seemed to grow even smaller, evidence of his ferret-like nature. “Onwards, Rutledge!” he cried. “The game is once more afoot!”
Stolen Hours had not been designed with the intention of being made accessible to the public, but that had become its destiny. The rooms were what might be termed intimate, while there were alcoves which served as reading nooks, affording some privacy for those who were so inclined. On the second floor were more of the same, while the entire third floor was the living space of the owners. They did very well for themselves—at least on paper—and were happy with the lives they led.
Cameron nodded to Eddie as he entered the establishment, standing for a moment on the thick braid rug before the door, shaking off his dampness before proceeding up the stairs situated just before the counter where customers brought their purchases.
“Unfortunately.” Cameron loved the mythology section; he could lose himself there for days. Even though a lot of the stories relating to lycanthropy were more humorous than accurate. Grabbing a random book from the shelf, he settled down to read, quickly losing himself in an old Russian fairy tale.
Suddenly, he paused, senses alert. He felt the presence of another shifter. Friend or foe? He tingled with anticipation.
His hackles rose, even as he turned…
… to find himself looking into eyes the color of midnight.
to be continued
Lust Never Sleeps 10: I've Never Seen a Purple Cow
Darryl stared at the enormous purple bovine. He didn’t know which he found more astonishing—its unusual shade, not generally found contained within nature’s palette, or its ability to carry on an intelligent conversation. Although the words it had uttered seemed distinctly biased against his lover, which was cause for some consternation.
“And just what are you meant to be, Brushton?”
What? That was Sawyer’s voice. Darryl wondered at its detachment. Were purple cows regularly found within the scope of his world or… He regarded the creature again and only then did he take notice of what he’d not realized at first glance. The “cow” was no actual cow, but a man in a cow suit. Udders and all.
“What does it look like? A man has to make a living, you know.”
The cow named Brushton—or rather the man— grabbed a chair from a nearby table and slid it beneath theirs, joining them. He removed the head of the animal, and set it carefully on the ground. Darryl saw that he was also a redhead, much like Sawyer’s ex, and his features were of a similar ilk.
“And what the hell are you doing with my sister?” He pushed back the damp hair which attempted to fall into his face. “You’ve got a lot of nerve, Sawyer, after what you’ve put her through.”
Ah, that explained much.
Sawyer merely rolled his eyes in the way he had of showing his disdain for almost everyone and everything.
“Brushton, calm down,” Amandine said. “I’m here of my own free will. First because I was asked to be, and second because I admit to being more than a little bit curious about what dear Sawyer has in mind this time.” She held up an imperious hand, instantly gaining the attention of their waiter, who rushed over to be of service. “Another bottle of the same, and bring us another glass,” she directed him. He scurried to obey.
“What else? No good, of course.” Brushton ran a curious eye over Darryl, as if he’d only just noticed him. “Hullo? Who have we here? Don’t tell me he’s got the nerve to bring another of his doxies to wave in front of your face.”
“Wait just a minute there,” Darryl protested. His color rising, he pushed back his chair. He was getting tired of being treated as though he were either invisible or incapable of speaking up for himself. Before he could gain his feet, however, he felt Sawyer’s hand upon his arm, and he’d been pulled back down. Except that rather than finding himself in his own chair, he was now perched atop Sawyer’s lap. Minor difference but one he rather enjoyed.
“No brother dearest, it’s not like that,” Amandine hastened to assure him. “If you would manage to contain yourself for a moment, I’d like to hear what Sawyer has to say.” When her brother opened his mouth, as if to protest, she raised her brows at him. "Well, I don't know about you, but I like to know what I'm getting into."
“Getting into? You mean he’s got a job for us? Well, why didn’t you say so?” He leaned back in his chair, crossing his cow legs into a more comfortable position. When the waiter returned with the new bottle, he waited to receive a glass and drained it with a satisfying smack.
“We? I never invited you,” Sawyer pointed out. “The invitation was for Amandine alone.”
“Well, you have two of us now. By the way, what do we call him? Flavor of the month? Or does he have a name?”
For his unfortunate wit, Amandine smacked him with her parasol.
“Thank you my dear.” Sawyer inclined his head politely toward his ex-wife.
“Anything for you. Lovie.”
He winced at her use of his own familiar endearment, pushing on as if she’d not spoken. “Brushton, meet Darryl. And be nice when you address him. Darryl is here to stay. He’s permanent.”
“Don’t you say that about all of them?” Brushton inelegantly snorted.
Without waiting to be asked, Darryl held up his hand. Brushton whistled, his eyes growing wide. “Aren’t you the lucky duck?”
Sawyer smirked. “Darryl, my love, meet Brushton Sinclair. One of Lust’s biggest con men as well as my ex-brother-in-law.”
Darryl extended his hand for a quick shake.
“Thank you, Sawyer, it’s not often I receive such a compliment from you.”
“I wasn’t referring to your skill,” Sawyer returned pithily, which earned him a bleak look from Brushton. He self-consciously passed his hand over his rounded belly, temporarily studded with udders.
“So, my darling Sawyer, do tell us what sort of trouble you’re in now.” Amandine drew his attention back to the
matter at hand.
Sawyer leaned toward her, burrowing his face against Darryl’s shoulder, peeking saucily over it. “What makes you think I’m in trouble?” he hedged.
“Because you’re in Lust,” she pointed out.
“What’s wrong with that?” Darryl interjected, frowning. He sensed that there was a story behind that simple statement.
“Because there’s a price on your head,” Brushton added. “A rather huge one. Luckily for you, Sawyer, I’m not as mercenary as some, or I’d turn you in and collect it.”
Darryl seemed more concerned about his words than Sawyer did. Sawyer waved one hand, summarily dismissing the notion. The other held Darryl upon his lap.
“Let me guess? Messrs. Salisbury and Schrodinger?”
“Who else?” Amandine shrugged. “What have you done to them now?”
“I believe you have that wrong, as usual, my dear ex. You should be asking what have they done to me and what are we going to do about it?”
“Well, then, do tell, Sawyer. Don’t keep us in suspense. What have the gruesome twosome done to offend your tender sensibilities?” She raised her glass to her lips, sipping at the expensive vintage.
“Something went very wrong. They stole my diamonds, they did!” Sawyer cried indignantly.
“Not the Vendaloozens?”
“The very ones!” he cried. “But I’m getting them back!”
to be continued
Don't forget to visit the other Silver Flashers and read their marvelous flash fictions!