Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New story idea for the blog

So I had a new story idea for the blog, a good thing since I just hadn't had any writing inspiration in weeks. I hope you like it.

~Rebecca

**********

Samantha parked her 1989 Toyota whoopty car in the last open spot at the strip mall just off the highway and sighed. She had a degree in business, more than a decade worth of experience in corporate accounting. And she was delivering pizza in the middle of Nowhere, Montana because this was where her car, dubbed the Crappy Corolla by her boss, had broke down six months ago. It wasn't even a real town. There was a real town down the road a few miles, called Talbot's Peak, but this was where the only motel was, so here is where she'd stayed.

That fateful day, back in February, she'd had high hopes for a job interview in Kennewick, Washington, which she hadn't made it to. She'd had two-hundred dollars in her pocket, which hadn't been enough to fix the clutch on the Crappy Corolla. She had had plenty of clothes, though, since everything she'd owned had been jam-packed into the trunk and back seat. She might have cried about her lot in life that day, but hadn't bothered wasting her energy. As a product of the South Dakota foster care system, she'd been through worse and had learned how to land on he feet.

The first thing she'd done was get a room at the motel, and then she walked up and down the strip mall looking for a job. She'd found one slinging pies at the pizzeria. Six months later, she was still working there, only delivering pies now that the Crappy Corolla was operational again. She kept telling herself that it was only until she had enough money saved up to make another push for civilization. It wasn't exactly a lie. She had had car repairs to pay for, and room and board to pay for, but she'd managed to save up almost five-hundred dollars, more than twice what she'd had when she first arrived, but experience had taught her that the more money you had, the easier it would be to relocate. High hopes were not enough.

A knock on her window startled her, and she quickly rolled it down. Her boss, Jerad, was leaning over, peering in at her with a frown on his withered, craggy face.

"You ok, girl?" he asked, his gravely voice pinch with concern. "You been sitting out here a while."

"I'm fine," Samantha sighed. "Just have a bit of a headache tonight." She squinted, trying to read the cheap clock on the wall of the pizzeria, a task that would have been easier if the window hadn't been fogged over with years of grease, grime, and fingerprints. Jerad kept a clean store for the most part, but like most guys who had no women in their lives, he never seemed to notice things like dirty windows. If she wasn't mistaken, it was a quarter to ten. Only an hour and fifteen minutes to closing time.

"Well, how about you take one more run for me and then call it a night," Jerad said gruffly. "I've got enough people to cover the closing shift."

Samantha smiled wanly up at the old coot who'd given her a chance six months ago and nodded her thanks. Because here was the real reason she was still in Nowhere, Montana: people who actually gave a damn if she was feeling ok.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Miss Cardinal's Bomb Squad

 From ~digital-art-gallery.com~

Almost Full Moon howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.

Yes, it's been a busy day, so once again: *Continued from last week, a short flash scene 'cause that's all I can manage.* ... To Quote: "Our Talbot's Peak saga continues. The bad guys have made pests of themselves, and are harassing our beloved mayor, Gil. Well, they just might be real sorry after Operation Crunch."

Okay, how sorry will the bad-guy bureaucrats be having to drive a wolf and saber-tooth mangled car that has also been especially decorated by Miss Cardinal and her bird-shifter friends? 

Note: Pat Cunningham introduced Miss Cardinal in one of her previous flash scenes.

~~~

Miss Cardinal's Bomb Squad 

Madder than a wet hen, even though she was a cardinal, Carlotta streaked through the sky. Another job interview had gone sour, south, whatever... because gosh, gee whiz, what the bird crap... the potential employers were always looking for 'crap' on the chair she'd occupied. The birdbrain idjits couldn't even grasp the fact that when in human form, her body actually acted human.

Soaring over the highway out of town, Carlotta seethed, so hot with anger she wondered if she was about to internally combust... or, instead of spontaneous human combustion, it would be spontaneous bird combustion while in flight. Her grim mental chuckle followed that thought.

Wanting to wing faster, wanting to be impressively dangerous with a wicked beak and wicked talons, Carlotta wished she could temporarily morph into a bird of prey... an eagle, a hawk, a falcon, any raptor would do. But no, oh noooo... she was a mere cardinal, a songbird to be preyed upon.

What the...!!! A UFO parked on the highway... Carlotta screeched to an aerial halt... well, almost. Her wings fluttered rapidly as she braked, and attempted to hover at the same time.

Okay, she'd heard rumors about there being an ET residing at the Pleasure Club, who *get this* had his own disc craft. Curiosity grabbed Carlotta, and she flapped her wings to steady herself, then flew to investigate. After all, she doubted Dante and his super team, would allow a bad-guy ET to land in Talbot's Peak territory.

Well, not without a battle. And no such fight seemed to be happening. Instead, as she closed in, two shifter bikers she recognized as Durk and Zeo, were attacking a car. Most savagely attacking.

Now Carlotta winged faster, her curiosity piqued beyond bearing.

Ah-ha! The state bureaucrats who'd made pest of themselves, it was there taxpayer-paid-for ride. Circling above the fang-ripping action, Carlotta realized the two state agents where nowhere to be seen.

Inside she cheered Zeo and Durk on, and wished deep inside she could mount her own ferocious assault. But no...she was only a small cardinal girl... even shifted to human, she was small, delicate in appearance. There was nothing intimidating or fiercely dangerous about her.

Frustration whipped through Carlotta. But WAIT! She did have a way to express her displeasure with the bureaucratic harassment the Peak had been experiencing of late.

Yep, cheepers creepers -- as she liked saying -- she had a way to help 'decorate' the car, too. 

Bombs away, bird style.

Carlotta mentally smiled. And why not invite a few friends, any bird shifter in the range of her shrill rallying calls.

Once Durk and Zeo backed away, and began changing to their human form, Carlotta dived. With a new determined fierceness owning her, she dive-bombed the car.

Plop! Plop! Plop! She let loose.

Soon, she wasn't the only bird 'letting loose'. The sounds of steady plopping became a vengeful and beautiful music to Carlotta's ears.

She soared high to get a better view. Noticing the white-drippy unevenness of their attack, Carlotta mind-squawked, 'Tactical flock, everyone.'

Immediately, she and the other bird shifters became a  flock. Flying upward, they coordinated their flight, then circled above the car. With strategic precision, they dropped their poop bombs. Ploppity, plop-plop!

TO BE CONTINUED...
~~~~~~


Wishing you love and passion on the wild side ~ 

Savanna 

Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance

Monday, July 27, 2015

Chariots of the Dogs


The idea well ran dry today, so I went rummaging through the archives and unearthed this bit from one of last year's newsletters. Now everybody gets to read it. Enjoy!

# # #

Sophie leaned on her back porch railing and gazed longingly up at the sky. Too much light leaked over the landscape to really see the stars, but a few determined celestial orbs blazed defiantly overhead anyway.

“I wish I may, I wish I might,” Sophie murmured. “I wish there were more cute boys in this neighborhood.”

The words had scarcely left her lips when one of the stars began to grow. An airplane, she figured, or maybe a satellite. If so, it was falling. Toward her.

She clung to the rail and watched it plummet. Just before she dashed inside she realized it wasn’t going to hit the house. It was cruising in at a rapid descent, but obviously under some sort of human—or alien—control.

Yes, alien. Now that it had gotten closer she could see its shape clearly in the streetlights. A flying saucer. An honest to X-Files flying saucer! Sophie stayed at the railing. Would the aliens be friendly? And cute?

Maybe they’d be Klingons. Klingons were awesome.

The saucer came to a reckless, skiddy landing in the backyard. Its hatch popped open and half a dozen really cute guys tumbled out. They had to be brothers or cousins or something because they were all blond and looked vaguely alike. Sophie didn’t recognize any of them from school. Maybe they were engineering nerds from college out in Billings.

They lined up in front of the porch and grinned at her. One of them spread his fingers in the Vulcan salute. “Greetings,” he intoned. “We are space coyotes from the planet Talbot’s Peak, come to sample Earth women. Are you an Earth woman ready to be sampled?”

“You are not,” Sophie said. “You’re techies from Billings, aren’t you? I’ll bet that’s not even your flying saucer.”

“Is too.”

“Sort of is too,” one of his brother/cousins clarified. “We kind of borrowed it from this guy our cousin Ewan works for.”

“Appropriated,” another said. “That makes it official. Whatever, it’s ours tonight. So.” He dug the toe of his boot into the lawn. “Y’wanna go do something?”

“Yeah, okay.” Sophie dashed down off the porch. Up close the guys were even cuter, like a pack of rumpled puppies. And they had the coolest transportation ever. Wait’ll she told Nancy and Amber this weekend! “Can we go to the mall?”

“Sure.” Suddenly wary, the spokesman said, “You’re over eighteen, right?”

“Of course I am,” she said quickly. “Are you?”

“Uh, yeah. I mean, if you count it in dog years, we’re way older. Your parents aren’t gonna come after us with a shotgun, are they?”

“Nah. They’re not even home. I’ll tell ‘em I went out with my girlfriends.” Explaining the flying saucer might be trickier. Didn’t Nancy’s brother do a science project last semester? That would have to do. She let the space coyotes take her hands and lead her into the ship. “Can I drive it?”

“Maybe on the way back.”

# # #

Once at the mall, the coyotes quickly got distracted by the video arcade and the food court. They were teenage boys; it couldn’t be helped. Eventually Scott, the oldest, looked up from nachos and pinball long enough to ask, “What time is it?”

“Mrgrrph,” Rory said. He swallowed his bite of roast beef sub and repeated, “I think it’s after 10.”

“We should probably get the skimmer back. If Dante finds out it’s gone, he’ll be pissed.” He looked around. “Didn’t we have a monkey girl with us?”

“She left a while ago. She ran into some friends of hers. I think they went over to the east entrance, where the Goth kids hang out. I’ll bet they’re trying to pick up vampires.”

Scott made a face. “And they say we have bad breath. Better get the pack together. Hey, I know! Remember that big ugly ape with the sheep ranch? Let’s zap over there and buzz his flock.”

“That’ll be rockin’. You know how to get the viewports open? I want to hang out the window.”

Saturday, July 25, 2015

AND THE BAND PLAYED ON




Gill looked out over the back of the house, looking for any subtle difference.  Anything he could notice.  There wasn’t once speck that caught his eye.  Not even Vernon’s or Miss Ellie’s.  Even the local hawk shifter from two blocks over could locate the one thing Woody said would be there.  Damn, the work ranked up there with extraordinary and out of this world.  Well, given that supernatural powers and human created it, that last part rang true.

“Woody,” Gill began moving to his left, closer to the dragon shifter who had taken up residence with his band in the in-suite apartment in the subbasement of the mansion.  “You’re right.  It can’t be seen.”

Woody laughed.  Smoke rolled out his nose, clouding the area between Gill and he.  “Acoustic music doesn’t reverb walls and travel like higher frequency amps would.  Look even we know when to take things to a lower level.” He turned to Gill grinning at his own pun.

“I’m glad we’re able to accommodate your lair with your needs.  Even the rest of your band found room to settle in.” Gill counted the pile of broken packing crates littering the yard. He lost count as a flash of flames came closer than he liked.

“Easy, Ned,” Woody cautioned.  “Too close quarters to let the flame rage like that.”

“Sorry bloke,” a strong British accented voice said.  Ned stood close to six-foot-seven.  His closely cropped red hair, goatee, mustache, and piercings created an image of badass biker from the UK.  Behind steaks sizzled on the barbecue.  A chef’s hat sat at an angle on top of Ned’s head.  

“No harm,” Gill offered, glancing over his shoulder hoping he didn’t smell more smoke or a singed smell.  Living above a group of dragon shifters was going to be very different.  Then there were the papers Woody presented to the state agent in triplicate plus the signed letter from the supernatural council and the world president of preternatural relations.  It basically said the hills belonged to Woody deeded down through centuries of old English law and current US law.  Wasn’t a damn thing the state could do about it. No fracking could take place unless Woody or his descendants approved it. Given his groups’ polygamous views and fertile reproductive systems, the chance of a warm spot freezing over for ice skating and Beelzebub selling his rights off was more probable. 
 
“Do you think we’ve got a period of peace and quiet finally happening again?”  Gill reached for his son as Chloe handed him to him.  

“Peace and quiet?”  Woody laughed.  No smoke rolled out of him this time. Heat blasted off in spurts as his eyes glowed.  “For a while.  Someone is waiting out there to try to reclaim what they think is theirs.”

Gill swallowed hard.  Had looking over their shoulder as a town become a way of life?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HAPPY WEEKEND GANG!

Hope you like the new additions moving into town.  Sounds like digging in and drawing lines is happening.  What is going on at the state capital?  What integrations and plans are taking place there?

Middle of July already.  How is life and summer going for you?  Good, I hope.  The Spice Homestead is enjoying the warm weather.  We're getting together and sharing books, good times, and enjoying each other's company.  Remember to keep a good book or two handy to share with your loves and spice.  I know I am!

Until Next Week,

Solara

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Durk and Zeo, Crunch Time


Leo Sun howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.

Sorry for the late posting, it's been a too-busy day.

Yep, once again: *Continued from last week, a short flash scene 'cause that's all I can manage.* ... To Quote: "Our Talbot's Peak saga continues. The bad guys have made pests of themselves, and are harassing our beloved mayor, Gil. Well, they just might be real sorry after Operation Crunch."

Finally ... Operation Crunch, It's a Go!

~~~~~~

Durk and Zeo, Crunch Time

"Smells like Blade Runner -- our own alien Bugs Bunny -- scared the piss out of those revenuer agents," Durk yelled to Zeo. The wind ripped away his words, but Durk knew his motorcycle buddy heard him. They were a team on the roads and the highway that led out of Talbot's Peak.

"What a stink!" Zeo roared above the wind, even as he roared his speed racer, zooming toward the UFO-stopped car. "What do those guys eat? Smells like they bellied up to a carcass with the buzzards."

"Wahooooo! Look at them suits run." Durk pumped his fist, yet didn't come close to losing control of his cycle. "Almost faster than a speeding bullet." He bent over the handle bars anticipating the crunching-destruction he and Zeo were about wreak with the deadly power of their fangs.

"Run, ugly rabbits, run!" Zeo celebrated. For a split second, he glanced at Durk, a feral grin on his face.

"Hell, don't let Blade Runner hear you," Durk shouted. "He's an effing master with that ET sword of his."

"Run, a-holes, run." Zeo hit the throttle accelerating to what they called hyper-zoom.

Once they neared the abandoned car, Durk in concert with his best bud, Zeo ... together they drastically cut their speed, then slid to a cooler than cool stop. Now only a few feet away from the doubled over, belly-laughing, life-size Bugs Bunny in a silver space suit, Durk removed his helmet without removing his gaze, as he knew Zeo did also.

"Hey, doc, what's up?" Zeo wise-ass cracked, even as he threw a leg over over his bike, and dismounted.

The two of them sauntered toward Blade Runner, who remained bent over. His long bunny ears shook like the tails of bitch in heat as he continued chuckling. A surprise to Durk, the strange snort like sounds didn't squeak.

"Operation crunch." Blade Runner shot upward, his expression warrior-intense. "Go to it, boys. Dante asked me to remind you to spare the engine. We want those scumbag in suits to get the heck outta TP territory." 

"Sure thing." Durk tore off his leather jacket, then slung it toward his speed racer. Not caring where it landed, he then yanked off his boots, and shucked his black leather pants. As he peeled off his white muscle shirt, his shift to wolf began. "Swear on the full moon," he growled in his wolf-gravel voice, "I can't wait to get my chompers around those fenders and do some real serious damage."

"The roof is mine," Zeo snarled around his emerging sabertooth fangs.

****

"Operation Crunch is a go," Kitty whispered and leaned toward her super-tech monitor. Her blood ran on the wild side, and she held her breath waiting the few minutes it took for Durk and Zeo to morph.  

Unballing her clenched hands, Kitty cast a quick glance at her office door to make certain it was locked. "On with the show."

Huge hulking wolf and musclebound sabertooth tiger, otherwise known as Durk and Zeo ... they leaped in tandem toward the hapless car. In a frenzied nightmarish attack, Durk's snapping, jerking jaws, and Zeo's monstrous plunging fangs ... together they worked as a perfect team, mangling the once pristine sedan.

About five minutes later, all four fenders sported tooth holes and were crumpled  beyond recognition, as was the bumper, which now hung twisted, and at an odd angle. The roof and trunk, under assault by Zeo's weight and gargantuan fangs, were now decorated by large, moonscape dents, and gnarly gashes that crisscrossed every which way. 

"Now that's primitive art," Kitty murmured. She smiled. 

TO BE CONTINUED...
~~~~~~


Wishing you love and passion on the wild side ~ 

Savanna 

Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance

Monday, July 20, 2015

Take This Job And ...


"So tell me," Tyson said. He did his best to keep the boredom out of his voice. "Why do you want to work for Beaver Brothers Construction?"

"Well." The young woman fluttered her hands like feathers, caught herself, and folded her hands in her lap. "I have three years experience in an office setting, I've worked with Microsoft Office, and my typing speed is—"

"Excuse me, Miss Blandon. You've already told me your qualifications. I'd like to know why you want to work for Beaver Brothers Construction." In his head, he was thinking, Why me? Why do I always get interview duty?

Because, he thought morosely, beavers were a patient breed—you cut down trees with your teeth, you'd better have patience—but not necessarily with other beings. Except for Tyson. He got along with everybody. By default, he'd become the family business's HR department.

"Oh! Well, everybody's heard of Beaver Brothers, you're a stable company, a great place to work, and … and … "

She was becoming flustered. Tyson couldn't help himself. He looked at the seat of her chair.

Miss Blandon flushed a furious red, as befit a cardinal shifter. "I saw that!"

"Excuse me?"

"I know what you're thinking. 'She's a bird, the first time she gets upset she's going to shift and poop all over everything.' We don't all do that, Mr. Beaver. I have never—"

"That's not what turned up in your background check. You might want to revise your Facebook page."

"Well!" She shot to her feet and glowered at him, all five feet of her. "This is species discrimination. You'll be hearing from my lawyer." She stormed out.

Tyson looked at the chair. It was still clean. He'd have to remember to check the rug for spots before he left today. "Next," he called wearily into the intercom.

A young man came in and sat down. Tyson sat up. The young man wasn't nervous at all. Tyson couldn't say the same. He snatched the copy of the resume the young man held out, and tried not to be obvious about checking the state of his fingers. "Mr. Kelso?" he said.

"Randy." The young man smiled. "Let's cut to the chase. I'm a guy and I'm a secretary. I promise I'm fully qualified."

Tyson tried not to wince at the word chase. "You're gender's not the issue, Mr. Kelso. We've hired carnivores before. They usually don't last long. Most carnivores don't like taking orders from herbivores."

The young man shrugged. "Bet you've been hiring alphas and betas. Even deltas get bristly. I'm an epsilon. Practically an omega. Everybody bosses us around. We just take it. It's our nature. My last job, I worked for humans." He sat back to let that sink in.

Tyson consulted his resume. "Why did you leave your last job?"

"I didn't. They left me. They shut the branch office and moved back to Billings. That's what I get for not working local."

Tyson couldn't argue with that. "You seem to have the required office experience."

"I started out working for the Hancocks. That's the nature of a wolf pack. Orders come from the alphas or betas. Everybody else is support."

"Why do you want to work for Beaver Brothers Construction?"

Randy snorted. "I need a paycheck, man. Nobody else is hiring. It's wolf-eat-wolf out there."

"Speaking of that … you know we're herbivorous here? This might not be the best company for you."

"On the contrary. Most of your contracts come from herbies, right? I mean herbivores. No offense. Anyway, think how impressed they'll be when they see you've got a wolf working for you. They'll be thinking, 'Damn. Nobody messes with these people.' If you get any carnie or human customers, I can handle them. When you're low-rank, you learn fast how to handle folks. Nothing ranks lower than a secretary."

You got that right, Tyson thought. "You might get flak from the workers. They're not going to trust you, you know."

"Why not? We don't hunt beavers even in the wild. Your teeth are bigger than ours. It's easier to just buy a steak. Look, I'm used to sitting by myself in the lunchroom. If I brown-bag it, I can bring hummus or something. One meatless meal a day won't kill me. Might even do me some good."

He certainly had the right attitude. And an impressive background. Worked for the Hancocks and humans. That might come in handy. The company was looking to expand. "Mr. Kelso, I'd like to give you a two-week tryout period. If you live up to this"—he waved the resume—"and you don't make the rest of us too uncomfortable, you've got a job here."

"Thank you." The wolf looked honestly relieved. "You won't regret it."

No, Tyson figured, they just might not at that. He shook hands with the new company secretary, and this time didn't even bother to check his fingers. "Welcome to Beaver Brothers."