Monthly Archives: January 2017

Fiction: Princely Save [Part 2 of 2] (864 words)

Apparently, he was not thrilled with his marriage aspects either. And I had unknowingly just given him an option out. It was an easy enough lie. After all, we had known each other since he was in the cradle. All those years we spent, a childhood love could have developed.  It didn’t, but it was an easy enough lie.  My father wasn’t likely to deny the proposal of a prince, and the King and Queen found a away to pretend this marriage was a good strategic move.  I moved into Prince Martin’s court to prepare myself for my wedding, where I was safe from the temper of my ex-fiancé. Martin and I were friendly. You know better than I do how sweet he is when he puts his mind to it, and I had a good time when I spent time with him.  I think we both hoped that maybe the friendship and comradery we had for each other could develop into love—it’s been heard to happen—but we weren’t so luck. But, we were—are—friends, and I was happy talking to him and sharing with him, so we settled happily into the idea of a marriage for friendship–because we most certainly could have done worse.  Of course, when we were married, we did as was expected of us.  After all, he was a prince, sooner than we could know to be King. He needed sons. He was good to me, and I was good to him—but it still wasn’t love.  Well, not for each other anyways. You’ve seen our two boys, our precious little girl. Who couldn’t help but love those three? We love our children and we loved them together. We thought that was good enough, that we were happy with our lives. We thought that this was the best we could get.

That was until two years ago. I watched Martin fight it. For two solid weeks, he was quiet, sweet to our children in away he had never been before, and kind to me in a way I almost didn’t recognized.  It took me a while to realize it was guilt. He still loved our children, and he still cared for me for the years of companionship, but he was starting to feel something else.  It didn’t take me too long to put all the pieces together.

That’s when I asked about you. Martin was hesitant at first—he didn’t want to hurt me and I understood that, but the truth was more important. And I wanted him to be happy. I didn’t want him to spend all his time beating himself up for something he couldn’t help.

Martin couldn’t—can’t—divorce me. My parents, who understood it wasn’t for love, would have understood the formal divorce, were dead. My brothers, who were sold the story of my love, would not understand, and would make a bitter enemy. We are a kingdom in peace, and love was not enough to begin a rebellion within a court. I told him to go to you, to court you carefully, to warn you of the gossip. I sent my sister and my cousin to feel you out and to make sure that you loved Martin as a man, and not just for a power play and his position. I told him to tell you that we loved each other as kin now, just for our children, that he was free by me to love you.

Oh, and he does love you, Amy, with all his heart. I’ve known him most his life and I’ve never seen him like this. The nights he must come to our shared bed, to keep up the pretense of our marriage, his talk is all of you, giddy like a school boy as he tells me how much he enjoys your time together. At my urging, he tells me his ideas for you—gifts and dates he’s planned, so you can thank me later when I tell you of two rather atrocious dresses that were almost cut for you. But, he loves you—so fully that I almost wish I could take back our marriage, but—and you’ll forgive me when you cradle your own child in your arms—not completely because of those three kids. I’d like to believe that he loves our children enough to not wish our marriage had never existed either.  And I know he loves you, and he already loves that lie in your, and he’s excited to have a new child with you.

And you love him, and I can see you feel guilty for doing so, but I’m asking you to not. Enjoy the fact that you are a few days away from a beautiful, hopefully healthy child, a half-sibling to the royal heir, loved by his father and cared for by the highest of orders. No one will speak badly of the king because this is expected of him. People will whisper of a hatred between us because they will expect us to be catty. But, I feel no ill-will to you at all, and I hope that you can find a way to honestly believe that.

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Posted by on January 31, 2017 in Stories


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Fiction: Princely Save [Part 1 of 2] (532 words)

King Martin’s childhood is no secret. Everyone knows the tale of how Queen Margaret went into hiding and gave birth to a little boy away from court as his father’s kingdom was attacked. She left the boy to be cared for with a sweet family while she returned to join her husband  in his captivity under the False King. They say that he was raised by a poor, peasant family, but that’s not quite true. He was raised in a poor home, but it was my eldest sister who raised him, the first daughter of Duke Krallen. Martian was raised in a simple home, but with all the teachings of a high bred family, so that any moment Martin would be ready to return to the court at a moment’s notice, as soon as the False King was thrown down.  Since I was only two years his senior, the closet in age to Martin of all the Duke’s family, I was often sent to visit the young prince, to be friendly, since he wasn’t allowed many friends for fear that people still wanted him dead. In fact, I was with him when the news of the true rebellion came. I watched him ride off, only ten years old, to lead his small collection, to rejoin his father and reclaim his place. When the true King was on the throne again, my family was invited to visit him in court.  In fact, I was Martin’s first courtly dance partner. I was so much taller than him at the time, it would have been comical if Martin didn’t have that regal grace and ease that he is so well known for.  He was good to me, a kind and friendly companion, but from then on, he was just my prince. A young boy, and then a man, that I saw once or twice a year as his campaigns passed my father’s lands.  With the exception of the prayers said for the royal family every morning, I forgot about him in my day to day.

Until of course, I was seventeen. I was the youngest daughter of ten children, and my inheritance would be slim if there was any for me at all. To marry me, my father was going to take any proposal he could get. The proposal that came was from an absolutely gruesome man. He was twenty-six years my senior, all ready married five times with five dead wives buried on his lands, known for his temper. My father was not pleased, but he knew he wasn’t likely to get any better offers, so after stalling as long as he could to see—he accepted the proposal. My mother couldn’t tolerate the thought of it, so she whisked me off to court. To this day, I’m not sure how she did it, but she got me a private audience with the young prince. I told him of my proposed marriage and how I feared for my life. I implored him to remember that I was kind to him as a child, and begged him to prevent the marriage from going through.

I didn’t expect for his response to be so live altering.

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Posted by on January 30, 2017 in Stories, Uncategorized


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Fiction: Legal Theft Project–Real Estate (511 words)

The car ride had been utterly silent. Since leaving the fifth and final place they were looking at today—the train wreck of viewings that the realtor had set up for them—Neither Harvey nor Nessa had anything to say. Not anger or frustration, just dejection.  Nessa did swear quietly as the key got stuck in the door of their three-room apartment which was supposed to be just a temporary place but through one roadblock or another had turned into their home for almost two years now.

“Well, I like the third place. It wasn’t that bad.” Harvey smiled coming into the main room, trying to lift Nessa’s mood.

“Really?” she collapsed on the futon dramatically. “Everything there smelled like fish. And not faintly like fish, but like someone hid week old tuna and herring in all of the air vents and turned on the heat for six months.”

“It—wasn’t that bad,” Harvey protested weakly, lifting Nessa’s legs to sit down on one end of the couch, before pulling her feet into his lap. She sat up a little to raise an eyebrow at him and he shrugged, starting a half-hearted foot rub. “Okay. It was that bad. But I did like that third place for everything else.”

“Yeah—I did too.” She flopped back against the cushions, “New goal: find a place exactly like the third place we saw today, but doesn’t smell like it’s where bad fish go to die.”

“Noted.” He smiled, leaning his head back without ever stopping the gentle foot rub. “I thought this was going to be so easy. I thought for sure we’d have a place by now.” He mumbled to himself.

“I told you,” she groaned, a hand waged vaguely in the air which may have been an attempt to send a rude hand gesture in his direction.  “I warned you. I tried to tell you that your time line was unrealistic. I tried to warn you.”

He added new vigor to the foot rub now. “I know, I know. You were right, and I was an idiot for not listening to your well-organized research.”

“That’s right you were,” she grumped to the ceiling, “It was good research.”

“It was, love, it was very good research.” While continuing the foot rub with one hand, he reached out and brought her hand to his lips. “The best of the research.”

“Yes, and don’t you forget it.” Nessa sighed, pressing her hand gently against his lips in the lazy way of kissing him back.  When Harvey dropped her hand to go back to the foot rub, Nessa propped herself up on her elbows. “We’ve got to fire Karen.”

Harvey laughed. “Oh yeah, we definitely do. I’m pretty sure the fourth place was an active drug lab. We’re not going to find someplace we like with her. We need to find a realtor more along our view for a home.”  Harvey paused for a second before— “I almost hate to ask, love…”

Nessa rolled her eyes, but smiled. “Don’t worry, Har, I’ll do some research.”

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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in Stories, Uncategorized


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Fiction: Family Choice [Part 4 of 4] (1082 words)

Inside, Kiley Rae was nowhere to be found.  Lord Hutton’s other bodyguard was waiting to protect The Lord again, and Rika, Charlotte, and Lilith were standing with their heads together, whispering frantically.  When they saw Brianna come in, Charlotte and Lilith rushed over to envelope her in a hug, and Rika stuck her hands in her pockets and gave Brianna a small smile.

“Is everything going to change now that you have a real family?” Even though she was fourteen now, Charlotte still had a way of making Brianna see the eight-year-old girl who first found her.

“No. Nothing’s going to change. You three are my family. That man might know my real name, but he’s a stranger to me, do you understand?”

Even Rika gave Brianna a full fledge smile at that. “We understand.” Charlotte told her happily.

“Now, I have got to go and talk to him for a while, because the rich man is trading me a favor to do so, but when I get out, I expect you guys to be in the room and ready to go to bed, okay?” Brianna gave a quick nod to Rika, who came forward and took each of the younger girls by the hand, and pulled them back gently, so they were all standing in a line about a foot away. She nodded back at to Brianna, a promise that they would be in bed when she got out, and then Brianna turned and headed into the private room that Davy kept for special occasions.

Kiley Rae lit the candle sitting on the center table as she entered.  She expected to be followed by Lord Hutton and his second bodyguard, but she was not. The door shut neatly behind her, and for the first time in nine years, she was all alone with her brother.

“Wini—“He started.

“Do not use that name. I am not Wini anymore.  I haven’t been for years.”

“Okay. What would you like me to call you then?”

“For a while, I have been called Brianna. I suppose you can call me that as well.”

“Very well.  Brianna.” It sounded weird coming out of his mouth. She did not like him calling her Brianna. She did not like him calling her anything. She was too mad to want to deal with him at all.

“Kiley Rae.” She said in response, “That’s really all I have to say to you, so unless we are sitting her in silence until the candle burns out, I suggest you do the rest of the talking.”

Seemingly despite himself, Kiley Rae smiled. “Still as strong willed as ever, huh? Well, okay then. I will do the talking. First things first, I did not abandon you.”

“Were you kidnapped?”


“Kidnapped? Taken against you will? Threatened with bodily harm and forced to go places you never intended to go?”

“I…No, Wi-Brianna.”

“No. I am sorry, if you were not taken against your will, then you did abandon me. Feel free to tell your story anyway you want, but don’t deny that you abandoned me, because that’s the only way I will ever see it.”

Kiley Rae curled his lips in over his teeth until they were a thin line. Brianna recognized that her brother was getting angry, and she got a sick sort of pleasure for that. “You hate me, don’t you?” He asked.

“More than you could ever imagine, dearest brother.” Brianna finally sank into one of the chairs surrounding the center table, and Kiley Rae followed in suit. “I have a real family now, Kiley Rae. We’ve been together for six years, and we’re still sticking together and supporting each other.  The only reason I am here is as a favor to one of the more powerful men in the entire country. As soon as this candle goes out, I am done with you. I am going up to my room, in the place that I call home, and you can go off with your cushy job and rot for all I care.”

Brianna leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms over her chest, and glared at her brother. She knew that a twenty-two-year-old woman should not be sitting here throwing a silent temper tantrum, but facing her brother again made her feel like she was a whiney teenager all over again.  She figured it was only a matter of time until she stuck her tongue out at him, at this rate. Kiley Rae mimicked Brianna’s pose, but she imagined that he probably looked a lot more intimidating with his arms crossed angrily over his chest then she did.

“Fine,” he spat, “Fine. We will just sit here until the candle burns out. Forgive me for trying to make amends, Brianna.” After he said her new name, he literally spat on the floor, “I wo not bother you again.”

“I’d appreciate it, Kiley Rae. Please, run away, it’s what You are best at.”

They glared at each other forcefully for a while, and then Brianna got up quickly, knocking her chair to the ground, and crossed to the one window in the room, staring out at the streets of Varch.  Kiley Rae started muttering under his breath, and occasionally Brianna caught bits of things like “Stupid, Stubborn Girl,” and a few very derogatory names for females in general. But she would not rise to his anger again, so she simply continued to stare out the window.  Finally, the light that danced around the window disappeared, and Brianna heard a thunk, before the door slammed shut behind her.  Her brother was gone and good riddance. If she never had to deal with him again, it would be too soon.

She turned around to face the mostly dark room. Stuck into the table was Kiley Rae’s knife, which was pinning a small slip of paper to the table. It was an entry card, labeling the holder as a guest of Lord Hutton Reignat, and allowing that holder access to his lands in the Royal City of Jigika whenever they wanted. Brianna pulled the knife out of the table, and slipped it into her waistband. She considered burning the entry card for a long moment, but instead just slipped it into the hidden pocket she had sewn onto the inside of her shirt. With the weight of her brother’s knife leaning against her hip, Brianna headed up to her room where her girls, her family, would be waiting for her.

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Posted by on January 26, 2017 in Stories, Uncategorized


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Fiction: Melanie’s Threat (504 words)

“I don’t trust you.” Anthony turned around to see his fiancée’s older sister, Melanie, standing there. Somehow, they ended up the last two in the room. He couldn’t remember ever being alone with her before. There was something unsettling about it.

“I’m sorry? I must have misheard you,” he laughed, trying to ease the tension. She smiled, but it didn’t make the feeling in the room any better.

“I don’t trust you. My gut tells me you are going to hurt my sister. And I trust my gut.” She elaborated. She looked at him for a second longer, her eyes narrowing, and he suddenly felt very small. She was half a foot shorter than him, eight years his junior, and his fiancée’s nerdy sister. How was she making them this nervous? “If you hurt her—bad things will happen to you. And yes. That is a threat.”

Anthony was starting to get a little mad now. Who did she think she was? “Well, I’m sure Madison will be glad to hear that you threatened her fiancé at their engagement party.” He tried to counter.

This time, she laughed. It was a light, sweet laugh that reminded him of Madison. He found that even more unsettling. “Oh, I’m sure she won’t like it.  I’ll probably get a stern talking to. ‘Melanie Angela, where do you get off talking to him like that?’” Melanie smiled kindly, lost in thought of her little sister. Then she gave a little shake of her head, and refocused her attention on Anthony. “But she’ll still believe it’s an empty threat. You see, my family doesn’t know what I do with my free time, or who my friends really are. They wouldn’t believe that I could hurt you in any real way.”  She took a step towards him, and he took an automatic step back. She smiled again. “What is important is that you believe I could hurt you.” She took another step forward and he scrambled back until he hit the wall behind him, putting as much space between them as possible. “Excellent.”  She turned around, heading back towards the life of the party. “I’ll be watching you, Anthony.  If I can stop you from hurting my sister, I certainly will.  Make sure not to slip up, okay?”

With a final glance back at him, she left the room—and it was almost like a spell was broken. Anthony laughed at himself, pushing away from the wall and straightening his shirt. Melanie was a geeky homebody. Her friends were obsessed with Doctor Who and Harry Potter. He could understand a sister’s need to protect but really? Such theatrics? Well, he guessed that living half her life in the worlds of fiction, would leave her with delusions of grandeur.  He was an idiot for falling for it.

He stepped back out into the party, and wrapped his arms around Madison’s waist. He spared a glance for the laughing Melanie, discussing some show with her mother.

Really, what could she do anyway?

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Posted by on January 25, 2017 in Stories


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Fiction: Family Choices [Part 3 of 4] (803 words)

Together, Kiley Rae and Wini traveled as much as they could. Wini learned to steal and con. Kiley Rae learned to fight and protect. Together they did what they needed to get by. They always had something to eat, and someplace to sleep, whether that was in an inn, in a field, or in an alley. Kiley Rae always tried to make sure that his sister was comfortable.  For seven years, they worked together.

But then one day, Wini woke up, and her brother was gone. She waited there for the rest of the day, thinking that perhaps he had gone off on a job that she had forgotten about, or had gotten lost and needed some time to find his way back.

He never came back. She was on her own.

From that point on, the thirteen-year-old girl had to be an adult for herself, just so she could get by. For a couple of years, she never gave a name, and when she finally did start to socialize again, she dropped her first name entirely, and went simply by Brianna.

But now, Kiley Rae was standing in her home of the past two and a bit years, calling her Winifred like he still had that right, and pointing a knife at her. She wrapped her arms tightly around herself, ordered herself not to cry, and wondered just how long she would have to stand out here until her brother and his rich benefactor left.

She heard a soft cough behind her, and she turned around, fully expecting to have to face Davy and apologize for storming out the way she had. The last thing she expected to see was that rich pretty boy that Kiley Rae worked for, standing in the back alley of an Inn, looking only slightly less comfortable than he had inside. Brianna suppressed a squeak of surprise, and dipped into a quick bow.

“Miss Coney, I take it?”

“Er. Yes. I’m sorry for— “

“I am Lord Hutton Reignat, Miss Coney, and there is no need to be sorry. Apparently, tonight is just continuing to be very different than any of us imagined it would be.”

Brianna’s mind spun for a second, mentally searching through all the books she had read for why that named sounded so familiar. Finally, it hit her. Lord Hutton Reignat, the youngest son of the King Matten’s younger brother, Lord Barthew Reignat, and first cousin to Prince Leverson.  Brianna bowed again, a little bit lower this time. “Still, I apologize for storming out on your Grace; I have had a bit of a shock.”

“Please, Miss Coney. I appreciate that you are trying to be respectful and formal and the like, but I would greatly appreciate it if you stopped bowing and spoke straight to me.”

“Alright. Then, I am not sorry I stormed out. I am annoyed that that man is in my home. I have considered him dead for just about nine years and it was much easier to think of him that way, so I’m probably going to continue to do so. To be honest, I am going to stand in this alley until you leave with him, or you all go to bed, in which case I will sneak up to my room and stay there until you leave with him.”

Lord Reignat smiled at me. “You certainly are speaking straight. I appreciate that.  Now, Miss Coney, I am no stranger to inter-family conflicts. In some ways, my conflicts are much worse than this with your brother. In others, they pale in comparison. Mostly, if you will excuse me for speaking straight as well, I am just fascinated by you. Regardless, I am here to request an audience, on behalf of your brother, just so you can hear him out. Davy is setting up a private room as we speak. Just give him a candle’s worth of your time, as a favor to me.”

Brianna considered the offer.  If you burned average sized candles day round, it would take twelve candles to get from sunrise to sunrise.  So, what was a candles’ worth of being uncomfortable and angry be worth to her? Being a favor up on the King’s nephew? Yeah, that might just be worth it. She didn’t know what she would use that favor for, but it certainly couldn’t hurt.

“Very well, Lord Reignat. I will listen to him, but I will not promise any else.  I fully expect to be equally as mad at him, if not more so, by the time the candle has burned out.”

“That’s your right, Miss Coney. And please, call me Hutton.” Hutton stepped out of the way to allow Brianna to enter the building first. Despite speaking straight with him, Brianna gave the lord one last bow before heading inside.

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Posted by on January 24, 2017 in Stories, Uncategorized


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Fiction: Goodbye Letters (525 words)

Dearest Quinn,

You know how much it breaks my heart to write this.  I love you more than life itself, and I love Margaret even more than that, which is hard to believe is even possible.  However, we can have no false hopes about tomorrow. What I have to do will most likely kill me.

No, I said no false hopes. What I have to do tomorrow will kill me. I don’t mind though, I know that I will protect you, Angela, and most importantly Margaret, with my actions.  Your lives (and the lives of all the other Magels) are easily worth mine.  I know that in your head you agree with me, although I know in your heart you do not want to see me go.

The reason this letter is so hard to write is because by the time you read this, I will already be gone.  I know you and Angela want to come and help me, but I know if you do, you’ll be dead too.  That cannot happen.

Try to keep Margaret calm. I know she will be very upset when I don’t come home after a while.  How do you explain death to a two-year-old? I’m sorry—I guess in some ways I get the easy end of this all here.  Try to tell her good things about me, and never, ever let her doubt how much I love her.  I will love her until the day she dies, and beyond.  Please, keep her safe.

Please, don’t let Angela stay mad at me for too long. I understand that she will be mad me, because that’s how she has always dealt with things she doesn’t, but don’t let her stay that way.  She’ll regret hating me later.  I know it.  Remind her that I love her like the sister I always wished I could have.  Remind her that she has a very special place in my heart.

And Quinn. Oh my Quinn. You have no idea how blessed I feel to have you in my life. I never thought that I would have anyone in my life to love the way that I loved you, and I was sure that no one would ever love me the way you love me.  Quincy Alexander, as far as I am concerned, you are the best thing to have ever happened in the entire world. Thank you for being my everything.

Don’t worry about moving on if you get lonely. It’s hard to be alone.  I was alone for so long, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  I will never doubt how much you love me.  All I ask is that you don’t forget me.  I don’t truly believe you will. To be honest, I don’t believe you can.

Well, this is it.  If I don’t leave now, I’m not sure I will ever have the courage to. I know you’ll miss me, and I’m sure I’ll miss you too. Try to live a happy life without me anyways. Call it my dying wish, if it makes it easier for you to try.

All my love and all my hope,


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Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Stories


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Fiction: Legal Theft Project–Old Mill Bridge (632 words)

“Did you see?” Marlee came into the room and bounced down on my bed, making my notes jump a few inches in the air.  I glared at her as piles separated out from what I’d placed them in. Nothing like younger sisters to make research papers so much more frustrating.

“I’ve seen a lot of things, want to narrow it down?”  I replied, fussing with the papers to get them back into the proper order.

Marlee stuck her tongue out at me for being bratty with her. “Old Mill Bridge is gone.” She offered, stopping me in my fidgeting tracks. She had a smug little smile now, proud of herself for catching me off guard.

“The Bridge? It’s gone?” I repeated. Marlee nodded solemnly, placing a mocking hand over her heart, in memory of the bridge so old and in such disrepair that people were forbidden from driving on it before we were even born. “Did the storm take it out?” I asked, referring to a decent sized thunderstorm we’d had two nights before.

“Nope. A proper construction crew came in and took it out. At like, three in the morning.  Dad thinks it was so that the historical people couldn’t come down and protest them taking it down.” Marlee lounged back, squishing some of my papers. I was still too dazed to care.

“They tore the bridge down in the middle of the night.” I summarized.

“I’m kind of bummed out.  It was like—a stupid senior year rite of passage to be dared to cross the bridge drunkenly at least once,” Marlee sighed, tucking her hands behind her head. “What stupid thing am I going to get to do now?”

The fact that the bridge was gone finally settled somewhere in the back my mind—clicking into place so I actually understood what the words meant. “I’ve got to go.” I jumped up and grabbed my car keys off my desk.

“What are you doing? Can I come?” Marlee called after me, but I ignored her.

I stuck my head into the living room where my parents were sitting. “Gotta go out for a second, I’ll be home soon.”

“Say hi to the old bridge for me,” My dad called back as I was already half way out the door.


When I pulled up, she was already there, her car parked at an angle off the side of the unused road. I parked next to her, and Chrissy gave me a smile from the driver’s seat.

“I knew you would come,” She shouted at me as we got out, “With your obsession with this place, someone would have had to tell you sooner rather than later.”

I approached her and she wrapped an arm around my waist. Together, we walked passed the ancient blockades that told cars to stop, and around the little bend to the bridge.

There was yellow ‘do not cross’ tape put up across the road, and a stack of old wood, haphazardly placed on the other side of the river, along with two big construction-y looking trucks, abandoned for the day.  I felt something tighten in my chest and tried to squash it down. Crying over a bridge would rank in one of the silliest things I’d ever done.

“We’re not upset about the bridge,” Chrissy said aloud, as if she could read my thoughts, “We’re upset about the memories we had there.” She said it as if she was reassuring herself as well.

“Yeah. Yeah, that’s it.” I agreed, leaning my head against her shoulder. “After all, a lot of first happened there, didn’t they?”

Chrissy chuckled. “That they did.”  She put a hand to her heart, just like my sister had earlier, but with world’s more sincerity. “Goodbye, Old Mill Bridge. Thanks for everything.”

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Posted by on January 20, 2017 in Legal Theft Project


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Fiction: Family Choices [Part 2 of 4] (901 words)

When they reached the top of the stairs, Brianna put on her very best dealing with customers smile, and crossed over to the best table in the house, where Davy was practically falling over himself in excitement.  Brianna had to admit, the man certainly did look important. Well, more important than anyone who usually graced Davy’s Inn, at any rate. For starters, he had legitimate body guards, in uniforms and everything, instead of the usual local thugs. There were two of them, making a V behind his chair, back towards the man’s chair, watching the rest of the room.  The one that Brianna could see face on as she approached the table her gave her and the wine bottle a quick one over, before nodding curtly to her, and causally resting his hand on the sword strapped to his hip. The next clue was his clothes.  Most of Davy’s regular customers wore basic browns and blacks, clothes that would hide dirt, and could be worn several times before being washed.  This man’s clothes were a combination of white and pale blue, although he looked a little bit dusty and wrinkled from his travels. He was your typical good looking man, broad shoulders, square jaw, dark hair, dark eyes, that sort of thing, but he looked slightly frazzled, like he had not expected to be here, and he was not quite sure what to do with himself now that he was.  The fact that his hair was starting to curl around the edges due to the humidity was only adding to the frazzled effect. Brianna resisted the urge to laugh, but dipped into a slight bow and presented the wine bottle to Davy.

“Ah, yes. This is our finest wine, and this here is our most knowledgeable waitress.  Anything you want or need to know about Varch, Miss Brianna here can answer it for you. She will be taking care of you while I go back to the kitchen and personally cook your orders for you.”

“Davy, you are too kind to me.” Brianna said with another quick bow. With one quick movement, the bodyguard that Brianna had not seen before drew a dagger and turned to face her.

The second she realized what was happening, Brianna drew her own little knife out of her waistband, and met the guy’s wrist with her own, forcing his knife to point away from her, and took a quick step to the side.  Her reaction time was slow, it had been over a year since she had been last attacked, and she was sure that if this man had honestly wanted to hurt her, he would have.

But he did not. He was honestly just shocked to hear her voice and reacted on instinct to being surprised. But his shock was nothing compared to the shock she felt when she finally got a good look at him.

“Kiley Rae?” She asked, thoroughly convinced she was wrong.

“Winifred?” the bodyguard asked in return. Instantly, Brianna shifted from shocked to angry.

“I haven’t used that name in a long time, and I don’t plan on using it again now. If you will pardon me, Lilith will be more than happy to take care of you for the rest of the evening.” Brianna slipped the knife back into her waistband, and walked away from the table, leaving four very shocked men in her wake. She passed Lilith, who was also staring at her with her mouth hanging open. Brianna pushed back through the store rooms into the alley way behind the Inn. A teenaged couple that was doing something inappropriate let out a strangled noise of shock, and disappeared around the corner. Normally, Brianna would chase them down to find out who their parents were, and report them. Today, Brianna found she could not give a rat’s ass.

How dare he show up here? It had been almost nine years since she last laid eyes on Kiley Rae Coney, and it had been equally as long since someone had used her real name. Winifred Brianna Coney grew up with her mother, father, and three years’ older brother, not too far away from this inn. Not exactly well off, nor terribly poor, so Wini thought her life was perfect.  She was going to grow up to be a seamstress like her mother, she loved to read like her father, and she and her brother would practice fighting in the backyard, just in case a war came and they need to sign up to protect their homeland, but that was just all a big game to them. But one morning, six-year-old Wini and nine-year-old Kiley Rae were left alone for the day while their parents went off to a nearby town, so that their mother could do a few alterations for a well-off client. They promised to be home before the first candle burnt out after dark.

Three candles into the night, Kiley Rae and Wini went looking for them. Not too far from Varch town limits, they found their parents, dead, missing everything that could be considered valuable. Being young parents, the Coneys had never considered telling anyone what they wanted done with their children in case of a moment like this. For weeks, arguments were held about what the proper thing to do with Kiley Rae and Wini was. Exactly a month after their parents’ death, they ran.

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Posted by on January 19, 2017 in Stories


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Fiction: Numbers (529 words)

“Rodney!” Emma sprinted down the hallway, sliding on the tiled floors with her socks. “Rodney, Rodney, Rodney!” She repeated, slipping just a little past his door in her excitement, and having to back track a bit.  She had the biggest grin on her face as she came to a stop outside his room and started knocking repeatedly, loud heavy blows on the wood.

When Rodney finally opened the door, he was in pajama pants, a tank top, and all the hair on the left side of his head was standing on end. “What? Good lord, what on God’s green earth could cause you to make such a racket?”

“I’ve figured it out.”  Emma said simply.

There was a beat while that sunk in and pushed through Rodney’s half asleep brain. At first, he just blinked at her like she was crazy.   But then, slowly, a grin spread across his face, bright and ear to ear.  “You got it? You figured it out? You’re sure?” Emma nodded so hard she made herself a little bit dizzy. Rodney stepped out into the hall, not bothering to get proper clothes or even a pair of shoes.  “What are we waiting for, Em—lead the way.”

Watching the security tapes later, you would never imagine they were about to change the world as we know it. They made quite a pair.  They sat in an official government lab, her in an old hooded sweatshirt, a pair of blue jeans, and socks, but no shoes, her hair a mess and the distinct wide eyed look of a woman who hadn’t had a proper night’s sleep in a while.  He was still in pajama pants, tank top, and his hair sticking up at all kinds of odd angles. They stood silently in front of a fleet of white boards, occasionally pointing at something while the other nodded, or stepping forward to write string of an equation in a perfectly straight line. For four and a half hours, they didn’t say a word, just analyzed those boards and wrote out strings of letters and numbers that would take years of schooling to even come close to being able to understand.

Finally, around day break, they both sat down at one of the little tables to the side of the lab, markers finally capped. He was breathing heavily, panting almost like he’d just run a mile rather than standing still for several hours. She kept smiling even as she laid her head down on the flat surface in front of her. When the Colonel finally came in for his usual check on them around 9am, they were still sitting there.

The Colonel looked up at the boards, about to make one of his usual jokes—about how it always seemed like they were doodling instead of working—but Rodney held up a hand to stop him.  “It’s ready,” he laughed, almost like he couldn’t believe it, “It’s ready. It’s time for us to take it to trials.”

After confirming three times that Rodney was sure, The Colonel turned on his heel and left the room. So much was done, and still there was so much to do.

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Posted by on January 18, 2017 in Stories


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