Meelo-part 2

Second part in a short story published in four parts based on a supporting character from my novel in progress. Get caught up with part 1 and read on to find out Meelo’s fate. 

When the guard came back he was accompanied by five women. The first three were unfamiliar, but the last two Meelo knew well. He hadn’t seen Olivia or Kestrel in a long time. All five women were carrying babies a year old at the oldest. Kestrel’s was tiny. The baby—he wasn’t sure if it was a boy or girl–couldn’t be more than a few months old.

Kestrel smiled weakly when she saw Meelo, but the baby began fussing and she nervously tried to quiet it. Both Olivia and Kestrel looked haggard. Their hair was damp on the back of their necks and each had deep dark circles under her eyes. Meelo knew Olivia had had a child on purpose, thinking family duty would be easier than work duty, but she didn’t look like she had it any easier than Meelo and Bennett and the others. Kestrel had not wanted this, though Meelo could tell she cared desperately for the baby. Bennett wouldn’t tell him who had done it to her. Continue reading

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Meelo-part 1

Okay, so I’m getting close to finishing a first draft of the sequel to The Darkest Hour, and it’s really getting me excited. I want everyone to read it! (But you can’t because it’s a first draft and is way too long and probably horrendous.) This story is written from the perspective of one of the side characters in the sequel. His name is Meelo. I wrote it after Meelo’s part in the sequel (Raymond’s story) was over because I just couldn’t leave him in the situation that Raymond was forced to. Meelo could have an entire book to himself, but for now, we’ll both have to be satisfied with this snapshot of one of the most important moments in his life. It’ll take a few weeks to post his whole story, so stay tuned.

The weary indentureds rubbed their hands together for warmth as they waited for the truck to come to a stop. Meelo couldn’t wait to get to second meal. He’d gotten almost nothing at first meal this morning and had shared that with some late arrivals. At least he wasn’t on snow clearing duty. Thank heaven for the little bit of seniority they’d earned. The canning factory wasn’t pleasant, but it at least had warm areas. Smelling the hot fruit as it made its way into the cans did nothing to abate his hunger though. He could no longer remember what it felt like to not be hungry.

It was clear from the number of trucks still absent in the yard as they staggered out of theirs, that they’d beat enough of the other indentured crews back to guarantee a full plate at second meal. Meelo’s stomach twisted in anticipation. But as they all moved toward the dining hall, half a dozen citizens blocked their way. Continue reading

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The Next Appointment

In honor of Halloween, here’s a spooky flash fiction piece I did a while back . It was inspired by something I saw, so I make a cameo appearance in it. It should probably disturb you that this is what I thought up after seeing someone standing in front of a house one morning. 


He was early.

Usually his timing was impeccable, but today had just been one of those rare occasions where his appointments were not back to back, but were close enough to make it pointless to go home in between. He stood outside the house in the dusky morning waiting for just the right moment to meet the client. It was the recognition that he craved. The instant they knew him.

A runner jogged along the quiet suburban street and he searched his records, hoping her file was close. Female runners often provided deliciously gruesome appointments. Unfortunately, there was nothing on this one. He shrugged and strolled up the walkway, pulling his overcoat more closely around his chest. Earth was so cold. He missed the hooded robe he’d become so famous for, but he had to admit the overcoat and hat were much more practical given the lack of heat on this dreadful world. If everything went as planned, he should have just enough time to personally escort this fellow into the fiery depths before moving onto the next client. He could use the thaw.

It was almost time. He left the walkway, opting for the balcony where the man—an early riser—spent each morning drinking coffee and voyeurizing the neighborhood. He was hoping when the client saw him, he’d drop his mug and it would shatter. He had a soft spot for the dramatic.

Unfortunately, this client wasn’t particularly surprised. Such is death. They stared at each other and the client sighed, sunk into his vinyl chair, and nodded. The reaper sighed too. Perhaps the next appointment would be more entertaining.

He swooped in and took the soul. Hell’s brimstone awaited them both.

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Chuck’s First Surveillance

This story introduces Chuck, an…associate of Ethan who you may remember from previous stories. He’s going to be a re-occurring character if I can get some writing/editing done on his story. This is just a snapshot. 


Ethan did not look like a janitor.  That is what Chuck was thinking as they rode the elevator up to the top floor of the office building.  Ethan was dressed like a janitor, but he stood too straight and looked too confident. Chuck was dressed in the same grey uniform, and felt as if anyone they passed would know immediately that he was a fake when he couldn’t manage to roll the mop bucket down the hall without sloshing water everywhere.

They didn’t talk on the way up or as they walked through the halls.  Chuck’s shoes squeaked on the floors.  Ethan, who appeared to have the same shoes, walked silently.  They passed one office worker and Chuck felt like panicking, but Ethan just nodded to him and continued on. Ethan stepped into a conference room, closed the door, and turned off the light.  When he opened the dented handyman’s toolbox he’d been carrying, a large gun loomed on the top.  Ethan took it out and set it on the table.  Under it was a large camera, a pair of binoculars and a few other things Chuck couldn’t distinguish in the dark.  Continue reading

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O Words, Words, wherefore art thou Words?

blank pageDo you think Shakespeare ever had writer’s block? If he did, then that’s at least one thing we have in common. This last month has been a blank when it comes to writing my novel, the sequel to The Darkest Hour.

Admittedly, this sequel (which I can’t think of a name for yet) has been harder to write than the original, in part because it’s written from a male point of view. The Darkest Hour is written from Princess Rory’s point of view. With Rory’s story, I could be her. I was in her head and feeling what she was feeling. Often when men write female characters, I want to gag at the stereotypical or very unnatural way they portray them. I think women writers are just as guilty of messing up their male characters, hence my nervousness at choosing to write from a man’s point of view. (It’s Raymond who narrates this sequel, in case you were wondering.)

But despite the difficulty in finding Raymond’s voice and keeping it somewhere in the realm of realistic, I had created a story that was fun and exciting (and needed a lot of editing, because it’s a first draft) until last month when I finally reached the pivotal scene in the story. This is the scene that I first imagined before any words had been written. It is the scene the main character has been heading towards the whole time. It’s been in my head in a very dramatic and heart wrenching way for months, possibly years. So, when I got to this scene and put my hands to the keyboard, all of the sudden, nothing was there. Continue reading

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My Dog for a Morning

dogMy love of all things furry began when my family got a dog. I was three years old. Her name was Heidi and I loved her instantly. After the first night Heidi spent at our house, my mother went to check on me, but I wasn’t in bed. I was lying on top of the golden colored dog. Heidi did not spend long with my family. She was old when we got her, and one of my first memories was of some tall, faceless person taking her leash to lead her to her death, as my tiny heart broke.

Later we had a couple cats that took another piece of my heart when they, too, left this mortal existence. As an adult, I have two cats, but the desire for more fuzziness in my life is never completely abated. Surprisingly, running has introduced me to more than one furry friend.

I always hope to find animal friends on the streets, to the point that sometimes I foolishly assume animals will be my friend when they most definitely are not. (Raccoons are not your friend!) Continue reading

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Interview with Claire Bartlett

I recently found the website and Twitter hashtag #51writers which is a group of writers dedicated to writing strong female characters. There are so many great writers in this 51writers community and I recently had the opportunity to interview one of them. Keep reading to learn more about Claire Bartlett and her YA novels. Continue reading

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