Mid-September howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
First, take a look at this new Nessie sighting.
HEADLINE-SNIPPET: Is this the Loch Ness monster?
Is this the Loch Ness monster – spotted 150 miles from its traditional home?
Photographer Ellie Williams captured this amazing image of what she believes to be a creature from the deep while taking snaps in the Lake District.
The 24-year-old had set up her camera tripod to automatically take photos throughout the day at Windermere.
It was only when she reviewed the images, which were supposed to be of the colours of the changing seasons, that she came across the shocking snap.
Then, here's a flash-scene I wrote back in August 2011. Since it follows the *lone wolf* theme Pat intro-ed for her Monday flash, I thought you might enjoy it. Plus, I added a little update.
Anyhoo, I need time to finish polishing my mss, Ride the Roan Stud, so I can submit it, then move onto the my next WIP. I've been begging for an out-of-time closet where I can write to my heart's content, then simply step back into current time... but, so far, my request to the writing goddesses and gods has fallen on deaf ears... yeah, maybe, someday. ~silly grins~
Freedom was a beast she wanted to ride.
“Get yer motor runnin’... head out on the highway,” Kristy screaming-sang the words of the Steppenwolf song playing in her head. She barely heard them because they were whipped away by the blast-furnace winds on either side of her.
Why she’d hopped astride her Harley, roared it into gear, and taken off down the nearest highway beneath the high noon sun... well, she knew why. Freedom was a beast she wanted to ride.
No, not wanted -- had to ride. Right now.
Kristy hadn’t just reached the end of her rope, she’d been forced to climb way past it. Her nerves shrilled painfully, every last one of them. Yeah, like chalk scraping on a chalkboard. So too bad she was old enough to remember and cringe at that sound. Even now.
Good god! Where had her life gone?
To hell and back several times, she answered herself.
And, no, as she’d patiently and impatiently explained to family and friends, freedom wasn’t the name of her bike. Freedom was what she wanted. What she craved. What she yearned for until it became a torment inside her, and finally she acted.
Acted, despite all the endless, weight-of-the-world responsibilities calling her name each and every moment of every effing day. Christ, she was tired. Tired in body, mind, soul and spirit, as she put it to herself.
Hell, on top of it all, she had unbidden visions of being hooked up to some mad scientist’s colossal, sorta steampunk battery. Static electricity sizzled the air, waves and waves of it. In true movie style, gigundis, streaking bolts of lightning formed and flashed to white hot, and Kristy saw her listless body juiced up.
As the vision-fantasy progressed, and it always did, the leviathan flares of lightning raged around her. Edged in a fiendish shade of purple, the sinuous flares danced and twined like frenzied dragons. Until finally she heard, “She’s alive...she’s alive!”
These days riding her Harley, whenever Kristy could manage the time, had become her only escape. Her only true joy.
Sheer, fierce, get-away-from-it-all freedom, that’s how Kristy described it to herself, as she hauled ass down the twisty, backwoods highway to nowhere. At least, nowhere she’d ever been.
To freaking hell with everything she had to do... everything that was expected of her. Her life had become little more than a day to day grind -- an existence she’d never wanted.
Crap, double crap! Even her ongoing sacrifices weren’t appreciated, much less noticed.
So, the sun relentlessly beat down on her back now, and she sweated like a pig. So, heat waves shimmered up from the asphalt, putting her into a light trance. Every now and then, she felt instants of relief as she zoomed through the shade of a tall tree. Especially since the highway’s elevation increased.
“Lookin’ for adventure...born to be wild,” she shouted the lyrics that were her soul.
On a flat stretch Kristy hit full throttle, and revved the Harley to flying speed. Leaning forward like a jockey, she smiled as she focused on the center line.
The zone enveloped her. Born to be wild, she rock-n-roll howled in her mind.
Everything felt incredibly deliciously perfect. The fast hot vibration between her thighs. The powerful roaring beast-machine beneath her that seemed to come alive. No, to be alive.
The sparse, old wood forest around her blurred, and the sensation of speed thrilled through Kristy. Speed, she adored it to her core.
Peace enveloped her, even as pure excitement shot through her like bolts of electricity.
“I’m alive! I’m alive,” she chanted.
The creature she suddenly glimpsed from the corner of her right eye, just before it dashed in front of her, had to be a wolf. It had to be, but it was too large, not shaped quite right. And why was it suddenly standing on two legs... just before...?
Kristy swerved with all her might to the left, and knew her time had come. I’m dead...I’m dead, she sang as the rear tire screeched her death. No matter what her excellent reflexes tried to do to save her, the Harley slid along the asphalt for such a long time, out of control.
This was as good a way to end her life as any -- saving an animal -- even it had been stupid enough to run in front of her when there was no other traffic. Because her last look at the enormous, dark gray creature before she smashed into the guard rail, and was propelled off the road... before the massive tree trunk filled her vision... it had been a wolf of some type with an almost human look to its eyes.
No more fucking bills to pay, she thought. No more taking care of everything for everybody else. No more struggling like a complete idiot day after day with very few moments of relief.
Still, Kristy felt sadness at the loss of her life. This wasn’t how she’d wanted to die, splat against an unforgiving tree trunk. But then when had she ever gotten what she wanted?
Except for the Harley, that was about to be blamed for her somewhat early demise.
Darthos couldn’t let the woman be murdered by the two serial killers waiting around the next curve. Already, the lab-created, human hybrids had claimed thirty lives he knew about.
Craving their next victim, they’d been about to chase the Harley rider down in their deceptive-looking, super-charged pickup truck. Using the isolated forest to their advantage, they planned to toy with her for miles, then go for the thrill kill.
Darthos had been tracking the two teenage males for the past week, and had come upon the scene too late. There’d been no way to capture the pair quick enough to save the woman. If he’d made his presence known and tried to stop the genetically bred killers, they would have eluded him while still sport-hunting the woman.
Not that it had been a particularly smart move on his part to send her careening into a monolithic sized pine tree. Darthos regretted that.
Dammit-ram it, the bare trunk she bounced off like a flung ragdoll was about twenty feet high. As he judged it now, the pine’s girth had to be four foot in diameter. He’d have to heal the tree’s extreme lacerations once he brought her back to life.
No evidence of the accident could remain.
Darthos raced as wolf toward the limp, nearly lifeless woman. He thanked the One Spirit she remained unconscious. Having rolled down the long incline, she lay on her side mostly, her body cushioned by a thick bed of pine needles.
Damn, stop the presses! Darthos had never seen a Harley so mangled and twisted. And he’d witnessed quite a few after they’d been wrecked by Hell’s Angels. The chrome brute could have been a gruesome art piece in a museum -- the artist hailed for his eccentric genius.
Darthos gently licked the woman’s bloody, torn up face. Not wanting to waste his energy, he didn’t shapeshift into his human form. Besides, his saliva as wolf entered her bloodstream, preparing her body to heal at a rapid pace.
Darthos hoped he could breathe life back into the woman fast, and affect her resurrection without too many questions. Yeah, yeah, likely just delusional thinking on his part, since he couldn’t morph until she was close to being totally rejuvenated.
As soon as the woman moaned, and while she remained on the edge of unconsciousness, Darthos pressed his nostrils to hers, and blew softly. He kept breathing his life force inside her until her eyelids flew open, and remained wide apart.
Saucer-shaped green eyes -- the color of a deep forest just before twilight -- focused on him. The woman stared in utter disbelief.
“What the bloody fuck...?” she sputtered. “This can’t be heaven. You’re not an angel,” she accused angrily, “you’re...you’re a wolf!”
Darthos backed up several steps as she bolted upright, her gaze fastened on him like a hunter’s rifle. Halting, he pointedly directed his gaze at her legs.
She followed, and when she caught sight of her youthful shape, and the beautiful gleam of her skin through the blood-soaked rips in her heavy-duty denims, the woman uttered a sharp startled cry.
Now frozen in place, she watched him with a glassy bewildered expression. Even as he slowly shifted into a man, she didn’t move. Couldn’t move judging by her fear-scent.
“There’s no time,” he began. Sirens wailed in the distance. Someone must have reported the Harley. Or the teenage killers had discovered his presence, and knowing they couldn’t overcome him, this had been their little fuck-you gift.
Darthos offered his hand. “You’ll have to come with me.”
“Where...?” broke through her obviously parched lips. But it was the lost, forlorn, scared-down-to-her-toes look in her green eyes that did him in, that grabbed his heart.
Seizing her hand, Darthos hauled her upward. “Got a new place in Talbot’s Peak. You’ll fit right in. I promise,” he added, before whipping around and tugging her after him.
In short order, the woman gave up, running lithely with him. Darthos sensed her surprised yet reluctant joy at how superbly her body worked.
Somehow he’d make it up to her with a new life. After all, his decision had been spur of the moment, and at least, she’d been saved hours of mental and physical torture.
And hot damn, if she wasn’t one beautifully packaged woman. Darthos decided he couldn’t wait to unwrap her. One way or another, he’d make his unit commander understand. That, or he’d go lone wolf on the super bad hybrids.
Talbot's Peak, September 2015
Wearing the Halloween costume she'd designed for this year's Unmasked Ball at the Pleasure Club, Kristy sauntered into the bedroom. "What do you think... my very own big bad wolf?"
Darthos rolled toward her in that sexy wolf way of his, and like always desire madly thrummed through Kristy. Yeah, too bad the sheet covered his exceptionally hot assets.
A slow grin of sheer appreciation appeared on his rugged, unshaven face as her wolf-man roamed his gaze up and down her barely covered assets. "I could eat you up, darlin' little red riding hood." He paused, a wicked twinkle in his dark eyes. "And come back for more."
"Mmm-mmm, devouring does sound good." Kristy languidly rolled her hips, then provocatively thrust one of them. She palmed it. "But am I delicious enough to chase through the woods?"
Wishing you love and passion on the wild side ...
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance