Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fiction Friday (or Saturday) is Back!! Episode 1 of a New Tale

         Change.  Why do people always say change is good for you?  Why does everyone always try to make you think change will make you a better person…a stronger person? 

“Change will keep you sharp.”

“The only constant in life is change.”

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

          Yeah, well it’s all crap, total bull.  Change is scary.  Change can be stressful and nerve racking.  Change can hurt.  Change can rip you apart and leave you a different person.  Someone you don’t recognize and never wanted to be.  No one is immune to change, but some of us get more than our fair share of it.  Some of us face changes so large and devastating we end up barely recognizing the person we were before the big Change in our lives happened.

          Oh, and did I mention change also likes to blindside you when you’re least excepting it?  One minute you’re driving along the interstate with your parents and the next, BLAM…you wake up in the hospital, trying to figure out how you got there and wondering why no one will tell you anything about what happened.  The nurses just keep pumping medicine into your IV and giving you sympathetic looks when you ask them about the shadows on the walls.

“Just relax Jessica.  It’s just your eyes playing tricks on you from the medicine.”  Looking back on it now, I wish she had been right.

          Then a few days later, the doctor, my doctor, comes back in with an entourage of people:  doctor, nurse, social worker and my dad’s lawyer.  They’ve all come to break the news to me that my parents are gone and that my life will never be the same again.  They’ve all come to tell me that there was a car accident and that I’m a 20 year old orphan now, but all I really want to know is why no one is watching the shadows on the walls and who the guy in the doorway is.

“You sustained a concussion, two broken ribs and a hairline fracture to your tibia.  However overall you are relatively uninjured and you’re healing rather quickly.  It’s actually quite remarkable, you were extremely lucky.” Says my doctor with what I think is supposed to be a comforting and pleased look on his face.

Lucky?  Uninjured?  Is he kidding?  I’m the polar opposite of uninjured.  My body would heal, but my psyche would never be the same again.  My parents were gone, my life as I knew it had just been turned upside down, I was seeing things floating around my room and there was a stranger hanging around that no one was looking at.  Yeah, I was pretty far gone from being lucky and uninjured.

          Dad’s lawyer stepped closer to my bed, “Jess, I just want you to know that everything is being taken care of for you.  We don’t have to discuss the details right now; there will be plenty of time for that later.  Just know that you don’t have to worry about anything, I’m taking care of it.”  He reaches out and gives my hand a little squeeze.  His hand is soft and slightly clammy; I resist the urge to pull away because I know he’s just trying to comfort me.  Even though there is no comfort for me at that moment.  There is just the pain and the shadows and the man leaning against the door frame.

          I turn my head and look up into his face, “Mr. Dawson?  Who is that?” 

“Who?”  he asks me with a puzzled look.

“Him.”  I flick my eyes to a spot over his left shoulder. “Behind you.” I say in a low voice.

          Mr. Dawson looks over his left shoulder, “Who Jess?  There is no one there.”  He turns back to look at me with confusion and worry on his face.

          I flick my eyes back to the doorway, but this time it’s empty.  “He was right there!”  Panic starts to rise in my voice as I watch the shadows start hopping around the room on their own accord.  Nothing is making sense and I’m starting to lose control.  I start yelling, “What is this?  What’s going on?  Why can’t you SEE them??”  I start thrashing and trying to get up.  The pain from my injuries lances through me like a bolt of lightning and I gasp.  Doesn’t matter, I need to get up, to reach out and touch them and see if they are real or if I’m losing my mind.  I need to find the man.

          I never felt the needle.  I felt the doctor grab my arms, pushing me back down towards the bed.  I felt Mr. Dawson’s hand release mine as he was pushed out of the way.  I heard the nurse say, “Hold her still.  This will only take a minute.”  Then, there was nothing. 

          The next time I woke up, groggy and confused, he was sitting in the chair next to my bed, waiting and watching.  I laid there staring at him for what seemed like several minutes, trying to figure out if he was real or just my imagination again, like the nurse said.

“I can assure you, I am most certainly real.”  He said calmly, as if he’d read my mind.

“I don’t believe you.”  I said equally as calm.  It must be the drugs.  He’s just a figment of my imagination.

“Suit yourself.”  he said.

“If you’re real, how come no one else can see you?”  I asked.

“Because I don’t want them to.”  He said, as if it was the most obvious answer in the world.

“Who are you?”  I asked, still trying to fight my way out of the drug fog.  I was starting to feel sleepy again and I wasn’t sure how long it would be before I passed out again.

“Well according to you, I’m just your imagination.”  He said with a smirk.

“Who are you?  What do you want?”  I could feel my eyelids getting heavy again.

“You can call me Caleb.  Tell me Jessica, can you see the shadows?”  Caleb asked causally.

          I paused, blinking at him.  “You can see them too?”  he had my attention now.  Or at least what attention I had left before the drugs took me back to La-La Land again.

“Yes, I can.”  Caleb said with a slight smile.

“What are they?”  I slurred.

          He didn’t answer me right away, just tilted his head slightly to one side and looked at me.  “Sleep Jessica.  You’ll know soon enough.”  Caleb said softly and I felt myself succumb to the drugs coursing their way through my body.

          Even now, eight years and a lifetime later, I can still remember those days like it was yesterday.  I can still feel what it was like being in that hospital room.  I can still remember the panic and fear I felt as I watch the shadows for the first time.  Gliding around my room; tormenting and terrifying me.  I can still remember the way the police came and asked me questions.  I remember the looks of pity on their faces and the overwhelming feeling of loneliness and loss.  Most of all, I remember Caleb.

          Today, I’m a different person.  I’m nowhere near the person I thought I would be, but I’m alive, kind of.  Truth is I’m not quite sure what I am now.  The only explanation I’ve been able to come up with is that the accident changed my perception.  Allowed me to see things other people can’t.  Not just ghosts, but all the other unworldly things that go bump in the night and terrify sane people.  I guess I’m not entirely sane anymore either, but really, who is? 

          I’ve seen and done a lot of what most people would consider bizarre things over the last eight years.  Not all of them sane and most of them half a step away from getting me killed, but I need answers.  I need to know who or what I am now.  I need to know why I can see the things I do and why I have an unexplainable desire to destroy some of them.  Most of all, I need to know who or what Caleb is…and who I am.
This piece is also part of a fiction writing group that I belong to. Our shared theme this week was this:
Things do not change; we change.
~Henry David Thoreau
There are several other awesome writers in this group and I am honored to be a part of it.  So PLEASE, go check them out!  They ROCK!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Fiction Friday! May Episode #2

         When I stepped through the door of my childhood home for the first time in five years, the first thing I noticed was the feeling of comfort and piece that washed over me.  I had struggled over the years to build a normal life away from this world, but I had never felt like I truly belonged in it.  I had kept to myself, stayed out of trouble, worked hard, didn’t draw attention to myself, but I had never really felt content.  However standing in the foyer of my mother’s (now my) home, I felt like I was truly where I was supposed to be.

          Jeff came through the door behind me carrying some of our bags, “man Ella, my apartment is cleaner than this”.  Jeff said turning up his nose.

“What did you expect?  It’s been locked up for five years Jeff, and the last time I checked we don’t have a House Elf to keep everything tidy.”  I said sarcastically as I walked into the front parlor.

“House Elf?  What the hell are you talking about?”  Jeff asked.

“A House Elf…Harry Potter…Dobby the House Elf…oh nevermind.  I forget you’re allergic to books.”  I responded.

“Hey, I read!”  Jeff said indigently.

“Uh huh.”  I mumbled.  “Looks like someone closed the place up for me.”  I was standing in the front parlor, to the left of the entryway, surveying the room.

“Yeah, mom and I did that.  She wasn’t sure when you’d be coming back, so we covered everything up after you said you weren’t going to stay here.”  Jeff said.

“Here, help me get these off.”  I grabbed one of the sheets and slid it off a couch, then another that was covering a chair, then the coffee table, etc etc.  Jeff uncovered lamps and a couple of large empty pots and statues located around the room.  He tried the switch on one of the lamps and amazingly enough, it turned on.  I guess we had utilities.  Bonus! 

          I must have looked surprised the lamp turned on because Jeff shrugged and said, “Mom kept them going.  I asked her once why she bothered and she said because she knew you’d be back, just not when.”

          Closing up the house, making sure the utilities were taken care of, and placing the wards on the outside of the doors and windows to keep trespassers and burglars away were all things I hadn’t give any thought to when I left.  Leave it to Aunt Agnes to step up and deal with my responsibilities at a time when I couldn’t.  Even though she had lost her sister and was grieving just as much as I was.

“I’ll send her a check tomorrow.”  I said nonchalantly.

          Jeff looked at me and gave a small snort of laughter, “for five years worth of utilities?  Who are you kidding El, you don’t have that kind of money.”

          I didn’t say anything, but just continued too around the room.  “Wait, do you?”  he asked.

          I didn’t respond, of course I have that kind of money.  I have that and plenty more, but the less Jeff knew about that the better.  I love my cousin, but he’s really bad with money.

          The room looked like it was in a time warp.  Everything was exactly where it had been for years.  Nothing was out of place.  It was all still perfect.  I felt a sudden wave of sadness wash over me, but I took a deep breath and clamped down my feelings.

“First thing first.  We need to get the wards back in place and then we need to get this place cleaned up.  This much dust and staleness in the air isn’t going to help us if Simon manages to find me right away, and I doubt I can sneezed him to death.”  I said sarcastically.

“Um…El?  What about food?”  Jeff asked.

“Until I can get a better understanding of who/what Simon is, plus brush up on my defenses and combat skills, and figure out what he wants with me, I’m pretty much grounded.  Which means you are on gopher duty my friend.”  I said with a grin.

          After I had drafted a list of essentials and sent Jeff to the store with a wad of cash (knowing full well I wouldn’t be getting any change), I walked through the kitchen I would soon be scrubbing toward the back of the house.  The kitchen was large and open, with decent appliances and a large cook’s island with stools on one side in the center of it all.  There was also a small kitchen table set into a nook overlooking the back lawn and I could still see myself sitting at that table eating breakfast and looking out the window.  I stood in the kitchen for a moment remembering how much time I had spent with my mother in this part of the house.  Watching, learning, studying, helping, and trying to be perfect above everything else.  I had thought learning it all; practicing until I was flawless would somehow protect both of us from the dangers surrounding us.  I believed the better I was, the safer we’d be.  I was so na├»ve, and so wrong.  Because no matter how good I was, I wasn’t able to save my mother.  Which meant the world had lost a truly strong and beautiful woman.

          I shook the memory off and went into the greenhouse off the left of the kitchen.  Nothing was growing in here now, but the room still smelled of earth and I could still see all the plants and herbs that use to exist in this room.  It was one of my favorite rooms in the house and I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed it.  Even though there was nothing currently living in the room, there was a fair amount of dried herbs my mother had processed and stored in the cabinets throughout the room.  I found the bag of dried sage, the piece of thin cloth and the roll of twine I was looking for and went back into the kitchen.

          I wrapped the cloth tightly around the sage and had just finished tying the twine around it when I heard the front door close and Jeff’s footsteps in the hall.

“Ella?”  he called.

“In the kitchen.”  I called back, putting the final touches on my sage wand.

          Jeff came in loaded down with bags and proceeded to dump them all on the island I was working at.  “Cleansing wand?”  Jeff asked.  Even though he tried to hide it, Jeff was smarter than he looked.  He just typically chooses not to broadcast it.

“Yes.  I need to get the wards back in place and purge the house.”  I said getting up from my stool and heading towards the back door.  Jeff followed me.

          The back lawn of the house wasn’t in terrible shape, but I could see where most of the trees and shrubs had become over grown.  I would need to spend some time out here eventually, but that was a project for another day.  There was a large thicket of trees that lead to a small nature preserve that back up against my property line.  The tree line was dark and shadowy and didn’t make me feel very comfortable considering the last couple days.  I lit my sage wand and started repeating the spell my mother had taught me years ago.  I walked the entire perimeter of the house, the smoke from the burning sage helping to seal with wards I was placing.  The wards should camouflage our presence and keep the Others away for awhile.  Hopefully.  It had been a long time since I’d used magic like this and I wasn’t entirely sure what I was up against yet.

“That should do it.”  I said when I ended my walk around the house and stepped back onto the back porch.  I stopped short on the porch.  I suddenly felt cold and had the feeling we weren’t alone.  I looked hard into the trees at the back of the property, and couldn’t see anything looking back at me.  But something felt, wrong.   Just as I was about to say something to Jeff, the feeling disappeared.  It was as if someone had snapped their fingers and vanished.  I felt a chill go down my spine, but I shook it off.

“Are you sure it worked?”  Jeff asked.

“Let’s find out.”  I said, opening the kitchen door and walking through.

          Jeff tried to follow me and stopped.  “What the hell?”  He asked looking very confused at the doorframe.  “I can’t walk through.  Why can’t I walk through?”  He asked, suddenly alarmed.

“Because you haven’t said the magic words.”  I said with a grin.  My wards were working.  Unless you know what to say at any of the doors or windows, the house wasn’t going to let you in.

“Please.”  Jeff said exasperated.

“Nope.  Not the right magic word.”  I said.

“This isn’t funny El.  How do I get in?  What’s the lock phrase?”  He asked starting to look a little panicked as he kept trying to push against the barrier.

“House Elf.”  I said with a smile.

Jeff was not amused.

This post is a part of a writing group I'm participating in, all writing on the same prompt each week. After WAY too much time away from these challenges, I am back and ready to keep this going.

The prompt for this week was a simple one, let your characters work through the old saying, "Perfect is the enemy of good."

Please make sure to check out the pieces written by the others in the group:

And don't forget to check out our Twitter pages at:


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Friday Fiction Returns - May Prompt #1

          I woke up slowly again, only this time my head felt like it had been split in two.  I didn’t move right away, I just lay quietly where I was and listened.  Listened and wish someone would kill me and put me out of my misery.  Plus I really had no idea where I was and I wasn’t too eager to find out.

          I knew someone was in the room with me, I could feel their presence.  I could also hear someone moving around in another room.  Dishes were banging so I assumed whoever it was, they were in the kitchen trying to be as loud as possible.  Or maybe I was overly sensitive because of the pain in my skull.

“Geez El!  You can stop pretending to be asleep, I can feel you projecting.”  Jeff said annoyed.

“Sorry Jeff.”  I said not looking at him.  My voice was a lot steadier than I had expected it to be, I guess that was a good sign.

“Man, feels like icy fingers all over me.”  He was apparently sitting in a chair near where I was laying because he sprang up and called into the other room, “She’s awake.”  I winced at the noise.

          I suddenly knew exactly where I saw.  I should have guessed, the familiar smell of lavender in the air, the feeling of comfort and safety, the fact that I had left it to Jeff to figure out what to do with me after I passed out…Aunt Agnes’ house.  Of course, where else would Jeff take me?  I groaned inwardly.

“Good.  Who’s ready for tea?”  I heard Aunt Agnes glide into the room and set a tray down on the coffee table next to me.  I still hadn’t opened my eyes.  Maybe if I didn’t open them I wouldn’t have to face the lecture.  Yeah, I’m not that lucky.

          I lifted my hand and rested it over my eyes as I struggled to sit up.  I came to sitting position on the couch and slowly lowered my hand, opening my eyes and looked around, trying to get my bearings.  Aunt Agnes was sitting in a chair on the other side of the coffee table, arms and legs crossed, and Jeff was leaning against the doorway frame with his hands in his pockets.  I glared at him.

“I didn’t know where else to take you El.” Jeff said shrugging his shoulders and looking sheepish.

“Don’t be angry with him Ella, he did the right thing bringing you here.  Now, judging from the little information I was able to get out of Jeff and the fact that you look as white as a sheet, I’m assuming you have a headache.”  She said matter-of-factly as she started to pour tea into the cup in front of me.

“I think my brain is bleeding.”  I said in a deadpan voice.

“More like melting.”  She responded.

“Not funny Aunt Agnes.”  I said annoyed.

“Well it was a little funny if you could have seen the expression on your face.”  She said with a shrug. 

“Drink your tea.  You need it.”  Aunt Agnes said indicating the cup in front of me.

          I picked up the delicate tea cup and sniffed its contents.  It smelled like cough syrup.  I had no desire to drink this or anything else right now.  I went to place the cup back on the tray.

“Drink it Ella.”  She said sternly

“I don’t want tea Aunt Agnes.  I want my bags and I want to get out of here.  I need to get out of here.  I just need a minute to get back on my feet.”  I said and made the mistake of trying to stand.

          Aunt Agnes sipped her own tea and watched me silently as I flattered, lost my balance and landed back on the couch with a thump.  She was pretty woman for her age.  Long, curly black hair with just a touch of grey streaked through it that was currently pulled back away from her face in a loose braid.  Aunt Agnes was a petite woman, with a deceptively delicate looking frame.  She was a lot stronger than she looked, but it was her eyes that stood out on her.  Glass green eyes, my mother’s eyes, my eyes.  Eyes that were currently icy as she looked at me.

“That must have been some spell you threw at him.  Either that or you are really rusty.”  She said.  “Ella, you have two choices.  You can either sit on that couch and drink your tea and tell me what the hell is going on, or I can force you to drink it.  We both know I can and that you wouldn’t like it if I did.  Your choice, which is it going to be?”  She asked me calmly.

          I looked at her for a few seconds, trying to determine how serious she was.  I picked up my cup and took a sip, and just as I had suspected, the tea tasted terrible.

“Good choice.  Now, will you please tell me what happen tonight?”  she asked exasperated.

          I told her everything that had happen.  Starting from the train station, the confrontations with Simon in my apartment (I left out the kissing part since I’d convinced myself that it hadn’t happen), being locked in my apartment, calling Jeff, Grover’s strange behavior and finally my last ditch effort to escape.  When I finished my story, both she and Jeff were just staring at me.  Aunt Agnes had a look of bewilderment, and Jeff had a look of terror on his face.

          After what seemed like an eternity of Aunt Agnes staring at me, she finally started shaking her head and asked quietly “when are you going to stop trying to run from your fate?”

“Don’t start.”  I said gruffly, setting my empty cup back on the tray.  I hadn’t even realized I’d finished its contents.

          I could see the color start to rise on Aunt Agnes’ face and then her angry voice, “You have to stop trying to deny your birthright Ella.  The more you try to fight this the worse it’s going to get.  You need to accept who you are and start embracing your powers.  If your mother…”  She trailed off.

          I winched, the pain in my head had subsided, but not the pain in my heart.  “Mom’s not here anymore Aunt Agnes.”  I said in a whisper.

          I watched her face soften as she said, “I know Ella, but it’s time to stop denying who she was, what she was and what you are.”

“You’ve let your defenses grow lax and after your display of power tonight, power that even I felt by the way, you are going to start attracting a lot of attention and you need to be prepared.  Your mother wouldn’t have wanted you to spend your life hiding and running, she would have wanted you to fight and embrace what is in your blood.”  She said.  “It’s time you went home.”

          I just looked at her for several seconds, “I can’t.”  I said pain running through me again.  I hadn’t been to my mother’s house, my house, ever since she had died.

“Yes you can, and you need to.”  She said.  “Jeff will go with you.  He’ll stay with you and help.”

          Jeff’s eyes grew huge and his mouth dropped open, “wait, mom, what do you mean I’ll stay with her?  I’ve got things going on I can’t miss, I’ve got…” he trailed off as his mother’s piercing gaze landed on him.

“It’s time you grew up too Jeffrey.  You have spent enough time not living up to your potential and responsibilities.  You will stay with Ella until we know for sure it’s safe.”  Aunt Agnes said sternly.

          Jeff shoved his hands back into his pockets and leaned back against the wall, defeat clearly written on his face.  There was no crossing Aunt Agnes when she laid down the law.

“Ella, go home.  Learn from your mother’s things and prepare for the days to come.  Does your head feel better?”  She said, even though she already knew the answer.

“Actually, yes.  I feel fine, good even.  What was in that tea?”  I asked.  She just smiled.

“How are we supposed to get into the house anyway?  It’s locked and I doubt El has keys for it.”  Jeff asked from the doorway.

“The house will know Ella.  You won’t have a problem getting in.”  Aunt Agnes said mysteriously.  “Go now, and come to me when you have questions you need answered.”

          Thirty minutes later, Jeff and I pulled up in front of my mother’s house.  Well, my house now.  I was a large three story, Victorian era house nestled into the end of a dead-end street.  I had been paying a landscaping company to keep the outside lawn and trees looking nice.  I didn’t want it to start looking like a haunted house, even though that’s what it felt like to me.

          Jeff and I walked up the front steps and onto the porch.  Jeff tried turning the door knob, but it wouldn’t budge.  I stood staring at the door for a moment.  It had been five years since my mother died and I had been inside this house.  I reached for the knob and felt it turn easily in my hand.  As I pushed the door of my childhood home open, I also opened the door to my past, my present, my legacy and hopefully, my future.
This post is a part of a writing group I'm participating in, all writing on the same prompt each week. After WAY too much time away from these challenges, I am back and ready to keep this going.
The prompt for this week was a simple one, in keeping with the idea that May is the month that we celebrate mothers.
Begin your piece with the following phrase, "Your mother..."
Please make sure to check out the pieces written by the others in the group:


Friday, April 5, 2013

April Fiction Friday - Episode #1

      I sat in the chair and watch as Grover, my possessed cat, leap down from the coffee table and sauntered over to waive himself around Simon’s legs, purring as if Simon were holding the ultimate kitty treat.

“How did you get in here again?”  I asked him calmly.

“Through the front door.”  Simon responded still leaning against the doorframe.

“You’re lying, the door won’t open.”  I said pointing a finger at him and shaking my head.

“Oh Ella darling, you’re not the only one who can play tricks.”  Simon said and winked at me.

“You did something to the door.  What did you do to my door?  Why couldn’t I leave?  How did you do it?”  I was asking too many questions all at once again.

          Simon just looked at me grinning.  “Let’s just say I had a feeling you would try to run again and I put you under house arrest.”

“Why?  What do you want from me Simon?”  I asked, terrified of the answer.

          Simon seemed to consider the question for a few seconds.  “I’m conflicted about you.”  He said with a sigh.

          Well this was new, “Conflicted?”  I asked confused. 

“Yes, I’m not sure what to do with you actually.  You intrigue me.”  Simon said moving away from the door frame and coming back into the room to sit on the coffee table facing me.  What was it with people and animals sitting on my coffee table watching me?

“There’s another chair you know.  You could sit in it.”  I said with no warmth in my voice.

“Oh, we are being hospitable now?  Well, I prefer to sit closer to you, just in case.” He said with another grin.  I didn’t respond.

          The phone I had dropped was still lying on the floor, next to my foot.  I was hoping Jeff hadn’t chickened out on me and was still on his way here.  It was time to start stalling.

Grove jumped up to sit next to Simon, looking like a tiny furry solider waiting for instructions.  “What did you do to Grover?”  I asked warily.  Watching as Simon started stroking Grover’s back, never taking his eyes off me.

“Grover is fine.  He’s just keeping an eye on you for me.”   Simon said

“How?”  I asked, suddenly genuinely curious.

“We all have an animal we can call Ella darling, mine happens to be cats.”  He replied as if this was something I should already know.

“You talk to cats?”  I asked in disbelief.

“More or less.  Are you saying you’ve never talked to Grover?”  He asked, a sly smile on his face. 

“Yeah, well, that’s different.  He’s never talked back to me.  Because cats…don’t…talk.  What are you?  The Cat King or something?”  I asked sarcastically.

“No.”  He said simply.  This was going nowhere.  I needed another tactic. 

“Taking a last minute trip Ella?”  Simon asked, gesturing towards my bags sitting on the floor behind my chair. 

          There was no use in denying it.  I had been trying to run and he knew it.  “How did I get to the couch Simon?  The last thing I remember you and I were standing over there and you grabbed me and it felt…ummm…unusual.”  I didn’t want to talk about the kiss.  Nope, the kiss didn’t happen.  La…La…La…La….

“Then I woke up on the couch thinking it had all been a dream until Grover scared the hell out of me with his Stepford Cat routine and decided it was time to vacate.”  I said angrily.

“You fainted.  It’s partly my fault, I should have had better control, but you surprised me when you kissed me and my shields slipped.”  he said. 

When I kissed him???  No, there was no kissing.

“I don’t faint.  This isn’t 1893 and I’m not some stuffy Victorian Lady.  I don’t faint.  I’ve seen some pretty messed up things over the years (some of which I caused) and I’ve never fainted.  And there was no kissing you pompous ass!”  I was starting to sound like a lunatic.

          Simon stared at me with a new expression on his face, disbelief.  He had a way of sitting very still that unnerved me.  I was saying too much and running out of time.  Where was Jeff?  I had one more shot to get out of here, but I needed Jeff to pull it off.

“Denial isn’t becoming on you Ella.”  Simon said with a smirk.

“Cut the crap Simon and tell me what your deal is and why you’re here.”  I said with venom. 

          Simon never had a chance to answer me because at that moment Jeff came crashing into the room swinging a baseball bat and connected with a lamp on the table next to the doorway.  Simon’s attention shifted away from me momentarily and I saw my chance.

          Simon had jumped so fast towards Jeff that I barely saw him move.  I was hoping Jeff would do something to distract Simon long enough for me make one last attempt to get out of here.  It looks like luck was on my side tonight. 

          Everything happened in a split second.  Jeff came crashing into the room, Simon lunged for him and I dug down to the deepest part of my being and focused all my energy, everything I had been taught about control, into one action.  I raised my hands out in front of me and focused on making Simon stop.  I poured all my energy, anger, fear and power into the room, focusing on Simon and yelled “Stop!”  Simon froze a mere two steps from Jeff.  Jeff was holding the bat up and was about to swing at Simon when he stopped and looked at the unmoving figure in front of him.  Jeff slowly lowered the bat and turned to stare at me open mouthed.

“What the hell?”  Jeff asked me looking like I’d just grown a second head.  Well, maybe I had, using this much power all at once was unpredictable.  Plus there was no hiding from The Others now.  Using this much energy all at once was like setting off a beacon in the sky saying “Victim here, victim here.”

          I was still focusing everything I had on Simon, willing him to stay still.  I could feel him pushing back against me and I knew I didn’t have much time.  “Jeff, pick up my bags and take them out to your car.  Be ready to get out of here, we won’t have much time.”  I said calmly, still focusing on Simon.

“Is he dead?”  Jeff asked.

“No.  But she might be when I get out of this.” Simon said angrily, moving only his eyes and mouth.

“Holy shit!  El he’s talking!”  Jeff said as he dropped the bat and backed up hastily.

“My bags Jeff.  Now!”  I said to him.  Jeff scrambled to get to my bags, grabbed them and headed for the door.

          I had managed to walk slowly towards the doorway while keeping my hold on Simon.  I was facing him and I could feel the rage coming off him, pushing against me, he was trying to break free of my hold.  “Release me Ella.”  Simon said through gritted teeth.

“No.”  I said and inched my way towards the hall.  I didn’t have to go far to get to the door and Jeff had left it open for me.  I was starting to feel the strain of the energy holding Simon, I couldn’t hold it up much longer. 

“I underestimated you Ella.  I won’t make that mistake twice.”  Simon said and I felt him push harder against my hold.

“Yeah, most people do.”  I responded, resigned to the fact that I he was seeing the real me and that the ordinary life I had built here was over.

“I will find you again Ella.  We’re connected now and you can’t run or hide from me.”  Simon said.  He was probably right, but I was never the kind of girl that didn’t put up a fight.

“Take care of Grover for me.” I said simply and reach down to throw all the energy I had towards him and sever the hold.  Simon looked like he had been pushed across the room and landed sprawled on the couch.  I crossed my fingers and blinked.

“Jesus!”  Jeff yelled when I was suddenly appeared next to him in the car.

“Go!”  I yelled and Jeff stomped on the gas.

          I turned around in my seat to see Simon standing where the car has just been, a furious look on his face as he watched us speed away.

“I’ll be seeing you soon Ella darling.”  I heard whispered into my ear right before I passed out for the second time that evening.

This post is part of a weekly fiction challenge I'm having a lot of fun with. This month's theme is romance and this week's prompt was:

"Your character (new or old) has been stuck in a rut of inaction or stinkin' thinkin', encumbered by doubt or memories s/he has been unable to shake. In a moment of whim and unbridled mirth, who knows: faith? s/he decides to throw caution to the wind and just go for it, do what s/he has been avoiding out of fear, or just sheer bad timing or dumb luck. The stars have aligned: this is the moment. S/he goes for it... you decide if the venture is successful or not."

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