Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lots of distractions

Another week's gone by and I still haven't caught up on The Dragon's Fire. Work seems to want to follow me home, but I should be over the halfway point this weekend, and I know where I'm going with things, so as soon I get done with this work project, it should be smooth sailing. In the back of my mind, I want to say the fist draft will be done by the end of next week, but I'm not that crazy.

I did decide that when I finish the three books I'm working on, I'm going to take a quick break from those series to finish the one that started it all. I was reminded this week that I never wrote that sixth Avery Clavens book, so I'm going to write it and clean the first five up and then publish them all on Smashwords for free. It's been something that I've wanted to do for two years and it's about time I do it.

Just a quick note of thanks to the two of you that commented on my last post. There's a reason why you two get acknowledgments when it comes to my work, and thanking me for thanking you goes to prove that.

So, I'm going to get back to The Dragon's Fire now, but since I love you all so much, I decided to share the really, really short stories I wrote the last two weekends for challenges given to me. They couldn't be more than five hundred words and they both had a theme. The first one's theme was what happens when a valuable object is found to be replaced, and the second one was what happens when a situation that was going well takes a disastrous turn. Both are set in the world of Nyx Slaughter, so some of you may recognize the characters.

Clyde's in Trouble

Hey, that's not my priceless painting

Clyde was a Hellhound, and according to him, he was the smartest Hellhound in existence, but the people he spent most of his time with didn’t exactly agree. Finding trouble was practically a calling for the young, wrinkly mutt, and even though he thought that made him smart, the others didn’t.

Clyde lived in a house full of vampires and werewolves, which was a little uncommon for a Hellhound. Most resided in Hell, but Clyde had been gifted to a vampire, werewolf mix named Nyx. His life was pretty easygoing, so he didn’t have a lot of complaints.

However, he did have a lot of explaining to do, on a daily basis.

“Clyde, where did The Scream go?” Nyx asked, with her hands on her hips as she tapped her left foot angrily.

The rest of the group that had gathered were staring at a portrait that was clearly not The Scream where the original, priceless piece used to hang on the wall in their home. Sebastian was a pretty old vampire, who had gathered a massive art collection and loved showcasing it around his many homes.

“Why do you always have to blame me when it very well could’ve been one of these other yahoos that you spend your day with?”

Clyde tried to act innocent, but everyone in the room knew he was the culprit. Figuring out how a Hellhound, who only stood three feet tall, could reach up and move a painting that was hung six foot in the air was the only part that confused anyone.

“You put a picture of a dog Mona Lisa in its place. I think it’s pretty obvious who was involved. Where is the original and who helped you change the paintings?” Nyx was clearly mad, but Clyde knew his mistress loved him, so he wasn’t too worried.

“I knew I should’ve gone with the cat Mona Lisa,” Clyde whispered under his breath.

Everyone in the room had perfect hearing, so no one missed his words. Clyde sighed, overdramatically. He didn’t want to throw his partner in crime under the bus, because there were only so many things a Hellhound could do without opposable thumbs. Deciding to keep mum on who’d helped, Clyde weaved a quick tale of a possible reason for the painting’s disappearance.

“Okay, you got me. I was running around chasing that electronic ball thing you got me last week and slammed into the wall. Sadly, The Scream came crashing down and glass shattered, causing the canvas to get a giant tear right down the middle of the scary guy’s face. Personally, I thought it was an improvement, but I didn’t think you’d see it that way, so with a little help from one of the kitchen chairs I made the switch.”

So it wasn’t quite the wild tale of what really happened, but it was a lot safer than telling Nyx that he and Jake had had a massive food fight and mustard really didn’t wash out.

Jake's got a Date

At least the steak is good

Jake was a ladies’ man. There was no denying the fact. He loved the ladies, and they demonstrated time and time again that they loved him. He’d been trying to change his ways, to prove to some of his friends he could, and the woman sitting across from him was the first one he’d taken out in weeks.

For Jake, going weeks without a date was akin to years of celibacy. As a werewolf, he had what some would call a very healthy appetite for certain things. Food was one of those things, and the New York strip steak in front of him was helping keep the appetite best saved for the bedroom at bay.

“So, are you going to tell me anything more about yourself?” Jake asked the beautiful brunette sitting across from him. They’d been having a very pleasant conversation, but Jake didn’t think he’d learned a single thing about the woman, other than he loved her bright green eyes.

“Things are going so good, Jake. Why do you want to ruin it by getting serious?” Cybille queried back.

Her crimson lips curved up to reveal perfectly straight white teeth. The relaxed feeling Jake had had through the fifty minutes they’d been sitting at the table started to fade. There was something in the smile that made him believe whatever she said next was going to make him lose all his appetites.

A sulfur stench came from nowhere. Jake had always prided himself with having a good nose, but some beings had an even better ability to cover their scent. He’d wondered why he couldn’t pick up what Cybille was, and quickly realized there was a good reason, she was hiding it.

Jake cursed, not just one word, but a whole string of obscenities. Thankfully, Jake saw someone he wasn’t expecting coming straight for the table, followed by a few other people he was happy to see. Cybille must have felt them, because she stood and turned to face them, while Jake remained seated.

Nyx, a woman who was very rarely not prepared for everything, brandished a pair of guns and started firing. Jake didn’t know what kind of bullets Nyx could possibly have that would do any damage to what he was fairly certain was a succubus, but they were enough to make everyone else in the restaurant either take off running or hide under their tables.

Cybille laughed, a very unladylike, menacing laugh. “I’m going, I’m going. It was nice meeting you, Jake.” Without further delay, the succubus disappeared.

“Thanks. I’m not even going to ask how you knew I’d need some assistance. You might want to go tell the people who scattered the fun’s over,” Jake said as he picked his fork back up.

“What are you doing? Let’s get out of here,” Nyx insisted, looking around at the empty and disheveled tables.

“Now that she’s gone, I can’t very well let this perfectly good steak go to waste.” It was a really good steak.

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