Weekly Short Stories Contest and Company! discussion

Weekly Short Story Contests > Week 364 (May 31-June 6) Stories Topic: Eye of the Storm

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message 1: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4214 comments You have until the 6th of June to post a story and from the 7th to around the 11th of June, we’ll vote for which one we thought was best!

Please post directly into the topic and not a link. Please don’t use a story previously used in this group. Only one submission per person is allowed.

Your story should be between 300 and 3,500 words long.

REMEMBER! A short story is not merely a scene. It must have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

This week’s topic is: Eye of the Storm

Thanks for the suggestion!

The rules are pretty loose. You could write a story about anything that has to do with the subject/photo but it must relate to the topic somehow.

And most of all have fun!

message 2: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9027 comments I know I already have a metal band from Demon Axe called "I Am Death", but this synopsis was written before I even made mention of the band. Here's how it goes:


1. Kobra, Street Illusionist
2. Lux, Kobra’s Assistant and Girlfriend
3. Keith Turner, Racist Murderer
4. Nameless Black Protesters
5. Nameless KKK Members
6. Nameless Police Officers

PROMPT CONFORMITY: Kobra’s angel of death gimmick involves heavy windstorms.

SYNOPSIS: Protesters, counter-protesters, and cops are gathered around the Paulson City courthouse awaiting the verdict against Keith Turner, who went on trial for murdering an eight-year-old black girl. Keith is eventually found not guilty and the outside crowd erupts into riotous hysteria. Kobra and Lux use their illusionary tricks to convince the police and KKK members that Kobra is an angel of death who came to earth to cleanse the world of evil and tyranny. Among the magic tricks he uses include levitation, pyrotechnics, voice manipulation, and Hollywood windstorms. Kobra and Lux hope that their bluff will be enough to scare people into leaving the black protesters alone and releasing them from police custody.

message 3: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (last edited Jun 01, 2017 09:29PM) (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4214 comments Great to see you have a synopsis already itching to go, Garrison!

And just a special note to members. Like a little fyi to the curious: I didn't put a name on who came up with this week's contest because the one I used was by a person whose account has since been deleted. (I guess it could have been Al's old account but only she can attest to whether she came up with it if she has!). Just mentioning in case anyone was wondering.

message 4: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Here's chapter 28 of 'Karsten Pasternack And The Quicksilver Caduceus'. Feedback is always welcome.
Title : The Lightning Transporter
Author : Edward Davies
Word Count : 1501
Rating : PG

"What do you mean, she's her daughter?" Karsten asked with surprise, "They don't even have the same surname!"

"Patricia uses her maiden name." Gavin explained, "and Gail uses the former part of my surname - Ballad-Howells."

Karsten stared at Gavin, "So you're her dad, then?"

Gavin nodded, "Yeah, I'm surprised nobody explained thjs to you, kid."

"So Gail is called Gail Ballad-Howells?" Karsten clarified.

Gavin nodded.

"And you're Gavin Ballad-Howells?" Karsten concluded.

"That's right," Gavin confirmed.

"Okay," Karsten shrugged, "I guess that makes a sort of sense."

Karsten looked at Patricia and smiled at the others surrounding him. Finally everything looked like it was almost back to normal, aside from the lavender petals and graffiti on the walls. All they had to do now was head home, and from what he'd been told the Citadel was the only place in the 300 from where that could be achieved.

"Does this mean we can go home now?" he asked, basically aiming the question at anyone who might answer him.

"Why, I don't see why we couldn't head home," Isador smiled, "now that we're inside the Citadel, it's a minor task to head back to Earth."

Karsten looked at Gail, who looked back at him. What if he never saw her again? What if, after they got back to Earth, he discovered she lived on the other side of the planet?

"What happens after that?" Karsten asked, looking sadly at WInfrith. WInfrith understood what Karsten was getting at, but didn't want to embarrass him too much.

"I'm sure we'll see you again someday," Winfrith told him, "Someday not too far from now."

Karsten tried to smile, but found it hard to feel happy.

"All we need to do now is bring Carter inside the citadel," Matilda smiled helpfully, "so we had better head on over to the lightning transporter. He won't fit through the gates."

The group headed back up the steps, leaving the prison filled basement behind, and found themselves back in the main courtyard of the citadel, not too far from the main gates.

"We won't be long," Patricia called out as they headed towards another building, but Carter didn't reply - it looked like he might have been asleep.

The group headed through a set of large doors that led into a room that could only be described as shiny. There were crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling every ten feet or so, and a long table covered in crockery and cutlery that sparkled in the light. The walls, like the rest of the citadel, were covered in Patricia's crazed graffiti, but even so the room still seemed to glisten as it stretched deceptively upwards, seeming to almost reach the sky.

At the far end of the room was a contraption that looked like it wouldn't have been out of place on the set of a Frankenstein movie. It was connected by numerous cables to something that disappeared into the high ceiling, and metal poles of some kind jutted out of the sides while fluid filled containers adorned its body. Behind the contraption were the largest set of double doors that Karsten has ever seen, spanning the entire width and height of the already sizable room.

"What is that thing?" Karsten asked, looking puzzled.

"That," Gail said almost proudly, "is the lightning transporter."

Karsten looked confused, "I didn't think could get us home," he said, "I thought it could only retrieve people back to the Citadel."

"That's right," Gail nodded, "we're using it to bring Carter inside."

"Oh," Karsten nodded, "that makes sense."

He watched as Isador and WInfrith approached the machine, consulting a console that stood near its base, moving some levers and pressing some buttons. Finally Winfrith pulled down on a lever and the lightning transporter began to crackle and live up to its name.

Within a few seconds the machine reached a crescendo, then died down as Carter appeared in the middle of the room, looking completely out of place in his train form.

"Great," Simon grinned, now we can head home."

But before Simon even finished speaking, the doors on the side of Carter opened up and from within emerged a terrifying form.

"It's the Foolf-Wox!" Pablo cried out as the two-headed beast appeared from within Carter, shambling slowly across the room towards them. Carter, who had been sleeping, opened his eyes to see the monster leaving his cabin and heading towards his friends.

The Foolf-Wox leered at the group, then focussed its two sets of eyes on Patricia and seemed to stop mid-thought.

"What's it doing?" Jessica asked, "Why is it looking at you so funny?"

Gavin sighed, "Patricia told the creature how to get here," he said, "I'm still not sure why."

Patricia looked guiltily at her feet, "I needed help in getting all of you back to the 300. I thought they might be my best bet in getting you all rounded up, especially if you thought they were behind the Citadel being taken over. So I told them that Winfrith had a spare caduceus and where he would most likely be."

"That probably wasn't the best idea," Simon mused.

"Do you think they'll still do what you ask?" Gail queried, "I mean, they did before, right?"

"Maybe," Patricia said, "I can try anyway."

Taking a few steps forward, Patricia looked up at the slathering two-headed beast and cleared her throat, "Mr Wolf, Mr Fox," she said, "I don't think I need your help anymore. You're free to go."

The beast looked puzzled for a second, then furrowed its two brows, quickly leaning forward and swiping at Patricia. The woman flew against a wall, collapsing to the ground in a semi-conscious heap.

"Quickly!" Carter cried out, opening his doors, "get inside!"

"What about Patricia?" Gavin wailed.

"Don't worry," Carter replied, "I'll sort her out."

The group ran past the Foolf-Wox, narrowly avoiding his flailing arms, and clambered inside Carter. Immediately Carter drove over to where Patricia lay, parking with his doors facing her, and Gavin and Karsten helped pull her aboard.

"Are you okay?" Gavin asked.

"I think so," Patricia groaned, "just hit my head, that's all."

"We need to do something other than just hide," Simon cried, "that thing is going to attack us regardless of where we might be hiding."

Gail smiled at her mum and dad, "I've got an idea," she said, opening Carter's door, "you guys wait in here."

Before anyone could stop her, Gail jumped from Carter's cabin and slammed the door closed behind her.

"What is she doing?" Karsten asked, panic in his voice, "She'll be killed!"

"She'll be okay," Gavin said calmly, "She knows what she's doing."

"What is she doing?" Pablo asked, looking through one of Carter's windows. The others joined him, careful to step over Eve, who still lay unconscious on the floor, and watched as Gail stood just outside the vehicle, facing the double headed monster, lightning flickering from her fingers which she held in the air.

"She's creating a storm," Patricia said, smiling, "she's going to zap him back where he came from."

"How?" Karsten asked.

"I'm sure she'll think of some way," Isador said.

"But what about us?" Karsten asked as the wind in the room began to pick up, torrential rain somehow hammering the ground that the beast was standing on.

"She's staying close to us," Winfrith explained, "so we'll be in the eye of her storm. The only one effected should be the beast."

"Should be?" Karsten repeated.

"Winfrith nodded, "Should be," he repeated, and the group watched as rain, clouds, and lightning bolts filled the room.

The beast backed away from Gail, which probably wasn't the smartest thing for it to do. Moving towards her might have saved him from what happened, but instead he got a little too close to the lightning transporter for his own wellbeing. Gail's storm clouds fired lightning at the device and at the beast, and the combination lit up the two headed monster like a Christmas tree. The caduceus hanging from his neck began to glow, then a bolt of lightning struck the chain holding it in place and it fell to the ground. For a brief moment the beast appeared to split in two as it glowed brighter, then in a puff of smoke it was gone.

"What happened?" Karsten asked, having watched everything with the others from the protection of being in the eye of Gail's storm, "Did he blow up?"

"No," Isador said, "when the Caduceus snapped from his neck, it's power most likely vanished with it. It means the caduceus will not work anymore."

"And what about the creature?" Karsten asked, watching Gail as she returned to Carter.

"Most likely sent back where it came from," Winfrith sighed, "or someplace close to where it came from, anyway."

"So, can we go home now?" Simon asked, "I'm kind of sick of this place right now. It's not as fun as it used to be."

"Of course," Winfrith said, "let's head home."

message 5: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9027 comments AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: I Am Death
GENRE: Magic Realism
RATING: PG-13 for racism, violence, and swearing

Kobra and Lux embraced each other lovingly as they watched the scene unfold from their abandoned building hideout. Black protesters, with rage on their faces and profanity on their cardboard signs, surrounded the courthouse waiting for the perfect moment to unleash their fury. White hooded Klansmen stood on the opposite side with nooses and effigies to show their disgust. In between the two extreme parties were police in riot gear, armed with batons, tear gas grenades, and facial expression fiercer than an entire hunting party of starving wolves.

Lux, dressed beautifully in a fairy-like white dress, black knee high boots, and a glittery mask over her stunning blue eyes, gazed into her lover with and said with the softest voice, “What will happen if this plan doesn’t work?”

Kobra, with a snake’s mask covering his face and black robes with skeletal armor covering his toned body, stroked his girlfriend’s long black hair with soothing comfort and said, “Let me put it this way, my love: we don’t have a choice. Any minute now, the verdict for Keith Turner will be revealed. No matter what it may be, this city will descend into chaos in a heartbeat. I never really did like politics, but I hate senseless violence even more.” He touched a gentle finger underneath Lux’s chin and said, “Everything will be alright. The devices are rigged, everything is in place, and we’ve rehearsed this act until the end of time. They’d be foolish not to be frightened by Death himself.”

“I love you, Kobra.”

“I love you too, Lux.”

The two magicians shared a passionate tongue kiss only to be distracted by the noise going on outside. They peered out their window and saw Keith Turner and his lawyers dancing happily down the courthouse stairs. No shackles. No cuffs. Not a damn sign that he had been found guilty. The long brown-haired defendant even had a sadistic smile on his face. Kobra shuddered to think that was the look he gave the eight-year-old black girl before he murdered her in cold blood. And now the illusionist’s blood came a rolling boil now that this racist son of a bitch would walk free.

Just like Kobra predicted, the scene outside the courthouse descended into madness upon hearing the news that Keith Turner was free. Black protesters shouted and scrambled toward the heavily-guarded murderer while slinging their signs like steel chairs in a wrestling match. The KKK members swarmed the protesters and threw haymakers and shin kicks, not to mention a few choice N-words and other delightful racial slurs. The riot police struggled to maintain order and instead resorted to swinging their batons at anything that moved, be it protester or Klansman. Blood filled the streets of Paulson City and Mr. Turner watched from the stairs above without an ounce of warmth in his heart.

“It’s show time, Lux. Levitate me!” demanded Kobra. The magician had thin wires running through his robes that were undetectable by sunlight, yet powerful enough to hold his 180 lb. frame. Once Lux pounded a few buttons on a nearby control panel, those wires gave the illusion of floatation as Kobra “levitated” out of the window and high above the riot in progress.

Only a few rioters and police officers stopped to watch the floating death angel with wide-eyed awe and wonder. Kobra gained everyone’s full attention when he pulled a tab inside his robes and unleashed a pair of metallic angel wings. He winked at Lux inside the hideout and prompted her to activate the flamethrowers rigged on both sides of the street. This burning gesture was on cue with Kobra raising his arms in the air and extending his fingers like a sorcerer casting spells.

What once was a riot full of angry people and weary cops now turned into a theater with a dumbstruck audience. No more bloodshed, no more racism, just shaky bodies and faces of fear. Kobra loosened a few bladders and bowels once he swung his arms to the side and summoned a hurricane force wind around his body. He threw down his hand and tossed a rigged lightning bolt onto a gimmick fire hydrant, which exploded into a secondary Old Faithful.

One of the cops pulled out a shotgun and tried to squeeze off a few shells in Kobra’s direction. The combination of wind, lightning, and fire blew the ammunition every which way and almost blew out one of the covered-up flamethrowers. Instead of wiping off his sweaty brow in relief, Kobra went right into his distortion box-voiced tirade against the masses.

“Fools! Each and every one of you! You’re nothing but goddamn fools!” shouted the masked illusionist. “You’re gathered here today to spread mayhem and murder, the same mayhem and murder that the idiot in the gray suit was so happy to commit not too long ago!”

Even as Keith Turner stared daggers at him with a brown-toothed smile, Kobra wouldn’t shake and stutter so easily. The magician pointed an elongated, bony finger at the killer and shouted, “If you think you’re going to get away with your sins so easily, you’re sadly mistaken! I am Death himself! I am nightmare fuel! I speak the words of every victim you have claimed! That girl you killed had a name! That name is…”

“Shut up! Shut the fuck up!” Keith interrupted with a booming voice. “Does anybody else here think this Angel of Death garbage is a bunch of bullshit?! Am I the only one who sees this cocksucker for who he is?! You don’t scare me, snake boy! None of y’all niggers scare me either! White power!”

With Mr. Turner performing a Nazi salute, the KKK members did the same before clashing with black protesters and riot police once again. Their nationalist rage transformed back into pants-wetting, voice-stealing fear once Kobra shot a lightning bolt a jimmied mailbox and ignited the flamethrower underneath. “Silence, you fools!” shouted the Angel of Death.

“If you think those streets are bloody now, keep testing my patience!” bellowed Kobra. “I shall turn this city into hell itself! I shall turn this world into a necrocosm! I shall avenge every restless soul…”

“Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah! Yeah, we get it! Armageddon and shit!” yelled Keith with his arms folded and arrogant anger etched on his face. “Tell you what, shit head! Why don’t you float on down here and I’ll rearrange that pretty little snake face of yours! No more magic tricks and hocus pocus bullshit! Just you and me slugging it out, baby!”

Kobra sweated profusely inside his costume trying to think of ways to keep his bluff alive. He had an idea, but it was risky. But with no risks came no rewards. Either this would pay off or it would get him killed. “Tell you what, Mr. Turner,” said Kobra in his usual demonic aura. “Why don’t you come over here instead! You think this is a gimmick?! You think this is a fairytale?! I don’t deal in fairytales, you sodomite! I deal in death! Bring your bastard ass over here and prove to me you’re more than just a coward who targets children!”

Keith took off his suit jacket and angrily threw it to the floor before cracking his knuckles and putting his dukes up. He breathed heavily like a beast ready to jump on its prey. But then he chuckled egotistically and said, “Who am I kidding? I’m a free man. I’ve got nothing to prove to you. You’re the one breaking the law, not me. Hey, officers! Do your job and put this pinheaded asshole on trial! Maybe these jiggaboos out here can get a hashtag going on Twitter that says Snake Lives Matter or some shit.”

“Suck my dick!” shouted a random protester who threw a cardboard sign at Keith. With kicks, punches, elbows, and knees being thrown every which way, the rioting crowd and the armored police were back to square one with the bloody violence.

Kobra had one last trick up his sleeve and he had to make it count. He turned to his lovely partner Lux and gave her thumbs up before dragging that thumb across his throat. She smiled and nodded at him before pulling the biggest lever her control panel had. Slowly but surely, a parked police van on the sidewalk levitated off the ground with the same invisible wires to support it, though nobody could see them.

The fighting ceased once again despite Keith Turner’s constant bellowing that this was just another “hocus pocus stunt”. The higher in the air the van got, the more the crowd parted like the Red Sea. Protesters, cops, and Klansmen alike dispersed from the streets running like Olympic athletes. They left behind a battlefield of blood and bodies. There were even wounded bodies in the streets struggling and crawling to get away.

“This is horseshit! This is absolute horseshit!” Keith complained. He jumped into the nearly empty streets and started kicking the dead bodies of black protesters. “I’m so sick of this crap! Black lives don’t matter, motherfuckers! Your lives don’t mean shit to me! I’m sick of that stupid goddamn hashtag going around the fucking internet! You hear me?! I said do you hear me…”

The wires, being thin enough to evade detection, were bound to snap with that much weight underneath. Kobra knew this part of the illusion was a bad idea and covered his eyes, not wanting to watch his cinematic masterpiece crumble beneath him. But the sound of metal crunching on concrete deafened his ears, he opened his field of vision again to see that the only thing crumbling beneath him were Keith Turner’s bones. He was crushed underneath the wrecked vehicle with just his head poking out and his eyes bulging from his skull.

The poetic justice brought laughter to Kobra’s throat from the depths of his belly. It was an evil laugh that only a sick and sadistic demon could pull off. He even raised his hands to set off more flamethrowers and lightning bolts to keep his gimmick alive in the eyes of those still hanging around (which weren’t many). The howling laughter continued even as Kobra was slowly being pulled inside the hideout by Lux’s controls.

The illusionist stripped off his robes, skeletal suit, and angel wings to reveal a T-shirt and jeans underneath. “How did I do?” asked Kobra with a sexy smile on his face.

Lux wrapped her silky arms around her lover’s neck and said in a seductive voice, “I hope they give out Oscars for performances like that. You were wonderful, my dear. You even had me scared for a minute. Come here, sweetheart.” The magic-wielding couple pulled each other in for an emotional kiss. This illusion was a long shot in the making, but it paid off handsomely. Magic was real whether it was in the bloody streets of Paulson City or in the embrace of two passionate sorcerers.

“I love you, Kobra.”

“I love you too, Lux. Don’t ever forget that.”

message 6: by Sofia (last edited Jun 03, 2017 01:34PM) (new)

Sofia | 15 comments Author: Sofia Spencer
Title: A Series of Stars
Word Count: 1052
Feedback is always welcome!

Maybe it was because we were dumb, or too stubborn to quit. Maybe it was because we were the perverse sort of lonely where “alone together” typically means no one at all. Maybe it was because we were the opposite kinds of strong. Noah, a metaphor for spider silk coated with wrought iron steel, a weapon that wins battles and loses wars. Me, a raggedy piece of cotton that never quite unravels, a white flag that never seems to wave. Maybe it was because we made a golden fairytale out of a pewter life.

We were the type of close where profound thoughts flew just as freely as insults. The type of passionate where caps lock basically equated to a vowel. The type of confidantes that left Noah’s coats stained with the salt from my fiery tears and my phone exploding after Rupaul’s Drag Race. The type of friends riddled with more holes than Michigan roads, too dark for the suburban world, but too bright to give up on it.

On a night with a greasy sky and frigid air, we came to an elementary school playground. It was silent, save for the slurping of our overpriced icee’s and the cheap chattering of my teeth. Perching on the steps before the slide, Noah turned away from me.

“Look at the Big Dipper. How did we find a way to connect the dots in all that emptiness?” He asked me.

If Noah were an element, he would be air. He is air because he is everywhere and nowhere at once. As essential to his friends as breathing, he could make himself a presence just as easily as he disappearing. Hiding a million pieces of himself in a billion different places, each one on a separate star, he thought there was beauty in the mystery and he was terrified of not being one. Perhaps he was wondering how to connect the strewn about bits of himself without sacrificing their integrity But he was already a constellation.

“The same way you decided to become an actor: by living long enough and hard enough to see the truth” I replied, “It’s the same way you see me.”

Noah understood people the way politicians want to. Most of the time, he understood himself even better. After all, despite my psychologist mother, it was Noah who diagnosed my depression. It was Noah who told me I was more than I thought, that I had a blinding spark inside me. It was Noah who made me believe it.

“Guilty, I am quite profound.” Noah said, a smile emerging underneath his playful smirk, lighting up his poignant green eyes with self-adoration.

In the spirit of Angelica Schuyler, Noah was never satisfied-not with the world or with himself. We had that in common. Yet, it was an unequal balance. Because Noah was a gay boy ostracized more for his haircut (if only by me) than his sexuality, so he had a stubborn itch to fight and an army to help him do it. Because I was mercilessly ridiculed by my family for preferring studying to socializing, so I was exhausted by conflict. I wasn’t defenseless, but I had yet to fire the first bullet in my moral battle.

“You always talk about how great you are. I don’t think you believe it.”

I fidgeted, my sandals scraping against the slide. It was even colder than my forgotten icee.

“What do you mean?” He seemed surprised, usually he was the one offering insight into my psyche. Not the other way round.

Noah’s personality has more layers than tumblr has fandoms. And, like tumblr, his motivations are eccentric at best. I’d spent two years peeling back as many coatings as possible, unwrapping each one with the ferocity of a child on Christmas morning. A pile of presents without an end; Noah might always be a bit of a mystery, nevertheless, I understood him better than he realized.

“You pretend to think so highly of yourself: singing in the hall, equating yourself to a god. But I feel it’s because you think that if the world thinks you’re great, you will too.”
“Maybe on some level” He responded, staring down the play structure, “You know, I underestimate you, after two years you still manage to surprise me.”

Unlike me, Noah is not used to surprises. Eighteen years of studying musicals has left him able to guess plot twists on and off the stage, a master of motivations both peculiar and mundane. While he didn’t elaborate, I could tell from the scrunching of his eyebrows that I had struck a cord.

“We’re more alike than you realize. I’m stronger than you know.”

He doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t want to lie by agreeing. He’s seen too many breakdowns to be convinced so easily.
“It’s impossible to move a mountain if no one else pushes.” I argue

And it was true. I faced a mountain of depression every day, hiking up with a sweaty forehead and a ten-pound backpack. And Noah was even less athletic than me.

“I don’t give you enough credit, do I?”

“Only sometimes.” I replied coyly. Now I was the one smirking.

Something changed after that night. A role reversal of epic proportions. Because on some level we had always been unequal, a scale of strength always weighted in Noah’s favor. Noah with the perfect parents and perfect future and perfect support system stretching up to Everest. Me with the miniscule battalion and uncertain future and pathetic foundation crumbling into Mariana’s Trench.

But I had seen something in him, an insecurity no one else had deigned to notice. For the first time in our friendship, we were equals. It wasn’t because he became less in my eyes, I just became more in his. More than a spotlight for his acting, more than a confused confidant, more than a surrogate grandma always trying to feed him. I became what he was for me: a beacon of hope in a world swirling with storms.

Maybe we weren’t dumb, lonely, or even just bored. Maybe our questions don’t have answers but that doesn’t mean we stop asking. Our lives may be in the eye of a hurricane, everything worthwhile blowing by too quickly to see, but we found something worthwhile in each other. For the moment, that was enough.

message 7: by Marissa (last edited Jun 04, 2017 07:34PM) (new)

Marissa Bauer (theskyfeelinlovewiththemoon) | 14 comments Author:Marissa Bauer
Title:Wolf Without Honor (Chapter 12)
Genre: Supernatural Romance(still being worked on)
Word count:1167
Rating:Mature, swearing and Violence

A low growl had begun to build up in the back of his throat. This time they had gone too far. It was one thing to go after the pack members, grown adult shifters who could defend themselves against danger. But it was against every code that the shifters had set in place to lay hands on a female once the challenge had been issue. Both challengers where to keep their distance til the fight had been fought and there was a winner. Even if the female had already made her claim on the male she preferred.

But as Raoul crossed the Burning Wing Arena unpadded worn wooden floor, his rage had risen to that of a wild beast that was calling for the blood of his enemy. Mounted like some kind of medieval prize, to the large oaken pillar that stood just inside the fight ring was his mate. Quartz Griffin. The spunky half-Kitsune female who had risked everything to spy on rival pack that had just been forced into their town. Thick chords of barbed wire encircled the delicate dark haired shifter’s form snugly from ankles to the base of her slender neck. Fresh blood still seeped from the wounds as if she had struggled fiercely against her capturer.

Still the way her head lolled to the side and silver lines that spread from the marks suggested that they had intended for the Halfling to feel as much pain as possible. The feint coloring of old and new bruises marred her sun kissed skin. Raoul shook his head as he felt his beast rage at the poor treatment of his mate.

“Kiryrus” Raoul’s voice boomed through the area, as a lean shadow slowly peeled itself off the wall.

A vicious smirk slowly pulled at the corners of the younger male’s lips. “Something wrong, Raoul?”the pale silver haired male challenged as he lazily sauntered over to the pillar as other shifters began filing into the area to watch the fight.

A low moan escaped from Quartz’s pale dry lips as the male traced his tongue along the silver barbedwire cut. “Enough games. You wanted this challenge then let’s get it started”
Raoul’s voice had gone dark and flat as the two of the official guards entered into the ring to make sure the fight was fair. Those the rage from his pack mates and friends at Quartz’s horrible mistreatment, the by-standers knew it would be anything but a clean fight. This challenge was going to be to the death. A display of power and alpha pride in the code or lack of code. Which meant the male was still living in the past, where it was nothing but raw fury and survival that would keep a shifter on top of his clan or pack. But even as Kiryrus stepped away from his female, Raoul knew the male was already doomed. The blacken shading that drown out the once clear bronze colored gaze said it all. The male had crossed the sacred line and made a deal with the devil to get the upper hand over the other leader. No matter what the outcome of the fight, Kiryrus’s pack was bound to suffer the same damnation as their leader.

With the same slow steady pace he had used when coming up to Quartz ,Kiryrus made his way over to the center of the ring,His hands shoved nonchalantly in his pockets. “If that’s what you want boss man. But let me show you this first. “Slowly his right hand slipped from his pocket and reached down to the hem of his loose fitting grey muscle shirt. Jerking it up with a new giddiness the young shifter beamed at the on watching shifters with a manic smile. “Don’t you see it? The master has chosen me, over all you common beasts that swear you lead under the will for the father god and mother goddess.” At this point his voice had swayed with the unnatural lure of insanity as others stared in horror at the demonic eye stared out from the center of his well-defined muscular chest. The eye seemed to glare out on its own as the tight slitted white pupil glared at the scene from the blood red and black realistic tattoo.

It showed that final view, the clear line between the purity of the shifters and the damnation of what happened when the darker nature of the beast clouded the judgment of the mortal. The eye of the storm and the one thing that shouldn’t be allowed to linger in their shifter city. As if hearing Raoul’s thoughts, Kiryrus tipped his head at a near impossible angle.” You should know, that should you fall. Quartz will be a wonderful sacrifice, the first mates of many to satisfy this burning hungry that consumes everything in it’s path.”He finally stated as he flashed a blood stained full fang grin.

-That does it- Letting loose a rage in fueled snarl, Raoul let the shift take over him. In his place stood the large dark golden brown wolf, his pale orange burning with the need to go after the enemy. Kiryrus had allowed his own change to place and what once would have been a sleek silver male in his prime stood a six eyed hellion that was as dark as a bottomless abyss. A demonic eerie howl left the male as the towering creature charged head first into leaner alpha male. The sound of the two heavily muscled beast hitting into each other was that of thunder through an open field.The powerful jaws snapped together grabbing on to flesh and drawing blood. Raoul ripped his head away from the larger male, spitting out black blood that burned as much as silver would have had it cut his skin. Pain roared through his mind as he twisted out from under the heavier male an locked his teeth around a leg crunching down with in the inhuman strength they had been gifted with. Somewhere above the adrenaline rush and blood pumping hard through his veins, Raoul heard the shrill cry of Quartz. Her cry wavering in and out but nothing held his attention more that it was filled with terror.The pain radiated from her in waves that snapped the male out of his blood soaked rage, as the need to comfort his mate overwhelmed him.

(Though it's not completed, feel free to let me know what you're thoughts on this is so far.I do know it is short as well.)

message 8: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9027 comments I just thought of something unintentionally silly about my story this week called “I Am Death”. Kobra and Lux are a romantic item, but they need a Hollywood it-couple name that combines their individual names. The best possible choice would be…(sigh)…Klux, which is ironic for two people trying to break up a race riot involving KKK members. I swear this is just a coincidence. Hehe!

message 9: by Joy (new)

Joy Crain | 41 comments Refuge

by Joy

(Hey guys, remember me?) Enjoy!

Caitlyn O’Donald huddled the infant close to her chest as she wrapped her heavy coat around her body. Her car had broken down at precisely the wrong time. The lightning storm had arrived earlier than expected and now she was trapped...in the middle of the road...in God only knows where.
A lightning bolt struck in the distance and a loud boom followed. Caitlyn tucked the sleeping baby as close as she possibly could and prayed for help. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to happen. Her job had simply bent to get the baby from Point A to Point B as soon as possible with no questions asked.
Thank goodness the baby was asleep. She didn’t know how she would have managed if she were awake screaming and kicking, yearning for a mother’s love and care...the kind Caitlyn couldn’t give.

And the worst of it all, no one knew where she was. The mission had been top secret and she had no way of calling for help. She leaned back in her seat, thankful that the car shielded both her and the baby from the rain and closed her eyes.
What a storm!
Luke Mayberry tipped his cowboy hat down and urged his horse, Monte forward. He tightened his grip on the reigns and brought his horse to a trot. Just a few more miles and he would be home. The rain had soaked his clothes through and already his body was beginning to shiver.
Monte feeling just as uncomfortable as Luke whinnied in the rain and Luke bent down to pat his long nose. “We’re almost home.”
He raised his head and squinted through the rain. If he could only find the road he would know where to go.
There! Out in the distance! Where concrete met the grass. Thank God. And not a moment too soon.
He spurred forward at a gallop. The rain was heavier now and thunder struck in the distance. Monte reared but only a moment before taking off at a full blown run. Luke scanned the horizon, surprised to see a lone car on the road.
“Come on, boy! Ya!” Luke dismounted as soon as Monte came within close distance and ran to the driver’s seat, surprised to see a lone woman cuddling a baby.
He tapped the window, nearly scaring the poor woman who had been dozing out of her wits. Thankfully, the baby stayed asleep.
“You okay!” Luke shouted.
The woman gaped for a couple of seconds before responding by rolling the window down an inch for him to stick his face in. “The car won’t start.” The woman was half petrified and half drowsy. Not a good combination.
Another lightning bolt jilted through the clouds. Luke bit his lower lip. “Okay, hang on. I’ll go home and get my truck and then I’ll come back for the two of you! I promise!” He dashed away, remounting Monte and started away at full speed.
Caitlyn breathed in a breath of air as she rolled the window back up, cuddling the sleeping baby in the crook of her arm. Every inch of her had told her not to take the man up on the offer. This baby was too important to risk losing her. But what other choice did she have? There was no way she and the baby were going to outlast the storm in her broken car.
True to his word, half an hour later headlights were seen in the distance. The driver leapt from the driver’s door with an umbrella and ran to the door. Caitlyn cuddled the baby close, using her clothes to shield her from the rain as she exited the car with the stranger’s help.
“You okay?” the man bellowed, fighting to be heard over the thunder.
“Much better now, thank you!” The two made a mad-dash to his truck and the stranger made sure that both her and the baby were settled in comfortably before running around the front to his seat. He shook the umbrella of rain and closed the door.
He breathed in a sigh of relief, throwing his head back and smiling. “Good thing I found you!” His blue eyes twinkled in her direction then at the baby’s.
“She’s a beauty,” he mused. “I’d take it she takes after her father because she doesn’t really look like you.”
It took a moment for his words to register before Caitlyn shook her head. “Oh, this isn’t my baby.”
The stranger’s lips curled up into an “o” shape. “Oh, sorry ma’am. I just assumed.”
“She’s a friend’s baby. I was just taking her back home.”
The baby punched her fist lightly in her sleep and let out a sound before settling back in. “Hard sleeper,” the stranger mused. “Luke,” he reached his hand out to Caitlyn who shook it.
“Caitlyn and Baby Doris.”
“Nice to meet you both,” Luke smiled.
For several minutes while driving down the old road leading out to the farmhouse he shared with his sister, he found himself staring at Caitlyn. Even wet and shivering with her hair matted he could tell she was beautiful. He pushed the thought from his mind once he saw the familiar sign welcoming visitors to the Mayberry Ranch.
Once parked, Luke helped Caitlyn and the baby into his humble home where his sister was waiting for them. “Goodness, that baby!” Hannah cried the moment she saw Caitlyn with the baby enter. She held out her arms to take the baby. “I’ll get some milk for her.” She looked back at Caitlyn. “Hi, I’m Hannah, Luke’s sister.”
Caitlyn seemed reluctant to give up her baby but finally surrendered, easing the infant into the woman’s arms. “I’m Caitlyn.”
“I found her out on the road. Seems she was having car trouble,” Luke said, removing his boots and wet socks. He removed his hand and hung it on a hook, dark curls tumbling across his forehead.
“Good thing you brought them here,” Hannah agreed. “Now, go get into some clean clothes ya hear? And take Caitlyn into my room. We look just about the same size.”
“Oh no!” Caitlyn protested. “That is much too kind.”
“No problem at all,” Hannah chuckled, turning on her heal. “I’ll have something nice and warm whipped up for you in no time at all.”
“Better listen to her,” Luke chuckled lightly. “She won’t take no for an answer.
Caitlyn pursed her lips but allowed him to direct her into one of the rooms.
This wasn’t part of the plan.
Caitlyn pulled an old sweater over her head and pulled her wet hair into a ponytail. She looked as awful as she felt but at least she was warmer. She immediately took out her cell phone and plugged it into the charger. As soon as the battery was enough to make a phone call she was going to call her brother and report to him why she hadn’t made it to the checkpoint at the time they had agreed on.
She pulled her CIA badge out of her pocket and put it on the dresser. She put on a new pair of pants and returned it back into her pocket. Feeling better that she was looking semi-decent, Caitlyn ventured from the room into the living room where Luke was poking at the fireplace.
He turned to her. “Hey! Feel better?”
“Much.” Panic grew in her chest but she swallowed it down. “Where’s the baby?”
Luke stood straight, stretching his arms over his head. “Asleep. Hannah fed him and he’s out. Looks like he had just as a rough day as you’ve had.”
Caitlyn rolled her eyes.
You have no idea.
Hannah appeared a moment later with soup in two bowls. “Good, I’m glad you got into something warmer. Come. Eat!”
Caitlyn’s stomach growled and she readily accepted the bowl of soup. Luke and Hannah sat at opposite ends of her. “I put the baby in the old nursery,” Hannah said. “She’s a dear.”
“The baby isn’t hers, Hannah,” Luke informed. “She was bringing her home in her to her family.”
Caitlyn was glad they didn’t pry. Fifteen minutes later she had excused herself into the bedroom where she had left her phone thankful that there was enough charge for her to make a call.
Ben answered on the second ring. “Caitlyn, thank God, I was about ready to send several squads of cars after you!”
It was good to hear his voice again. Caitlyn removed her badge and set it on the vanity before sitting on the bed. “The baby was successfully extracted,” she stated. “But I ran into trouble trying to make the checkpoint. The car broke down.”
“And the baby?”
“She’s fine.”
“So where are you now?”
“A ranch house. About fifteen minutes from the road. It’s called the Mayberry Ranch.”
“Okay…I’m glad you’re safe. Are you sure you weren’t followed?”
“I’m sending a team to extract you tomorrow. Lay low until then.”
“Yes, Sir.”
The phone call ended abruptly.
“Who was that?”
Caitlyn swirled around, surprised to see Luke with her badge in his fingers. He pinned her with a glare. “Who are you?” he demanded.
Caitlyn reached for her badge but he swiped his arm around his back. “Tell me who you are.”
“My name is Caitlyn.”
Luke brought her badge out from behind him. “You’re a cop.”
“CIA,” she responded.
“What are you doing here?”
“I’m not supposed to be here, remember?”
Luke let her take her badge. “Are you in some kind of covert operation or something?” he asked.
“Classified,” she responded.
“I’ll take that as a yes.”
She nailed him with a glare. “Where’s the baby?”
“Hannah told you. She’s in the nursery asleep although I have a bad feeling that the baby is somehow important in your mission.”
Caitlyn scoffed, pushing past him and locating the nursery. She pushed the door open and stood over the cradle where the baby was sleeping. She let out a breath of relief. Good.
Luke’s shadow appeared in front of her. “She’s fine. She’s safe here and so are you.”
She felt him place a warm hand on her shoulder. “Is her name even Doris?” he asked.
Warily, Caitlyn shook her head. The baby’s name wasn’t Doris. It was Rain Callaway. The daughter of Senator Gerald Callaway who had been kidnapped at birth moments after she was born.
The memories of the reports flashed through Caitlyn’s mind. She had been one of the ones who had investigated the crime scene. Beth, Rain’s mother, hadn’t stopped crying throughout the entire investigation, nearly breaking Caitlyn’s heart in the process.
No! Caitlyn snapped out of her memories and reached down to pick up the sleeping infant. This baby was going to be reunited with her family even if it killed Caitlyn. Her kidnappers had been difficult to locate and it had proved to be an even more difficult rescue mission. Several had lost their lives on both sides of the law.
Rain yawned in her sleep. Luke retreated back into the hallway. “I won’t ask a lot of questions. I know better than to do that. But I promise you that you and the baby will be safe here.”
And for some strange reason, Caitlyn did feel safe and not just because she had passed several shot guns as she passed from room to room.
The next day, several squad cars had pulled up to the house followed by dozens of jacketed FBI and CIA agents. Luke hadn’t slept the entire night but remained posted at the front door with his shotgun, ready for anyone or anything to happen. He had been determined to protect the young woman and the baby with his life if necessary.
The storm had passed and that’s when the squad cars had come. He couldn’t remember the last time the ranch had had so many visitors. Hannah even had offered to fix twelve dozen men and women breakfast. Bless her heart.
He sat on the steps, watching Caitlyn hand over the baby to a crying man and woman who clutched the baby close, thanking her for all she was worth. The smile on Caitlyn’s face mesmerized him.
Two hours later of questioning and thanks, the squad cars set out except for one. Agent Ben O’Donald thanked both Hannah and Luke for their services before announcing that he and Caitlyn would have to leave to report back to Washington.
“You’re leaving so soon?” he asked Caitlyn the moment the two of them had some time alone.
“I have to,” she smiled. “But I’ll be back.”
“You will?”
“Sure. I owe you an explanation as well and much more.”
Luke couldn’t help but feel his heart soar in his chest as he watched her drive off with her brother. She would come back. And then maybe...just maybe...
He chuckled to himself and turned back into his cabin.

The End

message 10: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4214 comments Happy to see new postings guys! Will put up the contests tomorrow and you have some time to put any stories you are planning to place on here. Just let us know as soon as you can! :)

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