On Christmas Night…

Author’s Note: I decided to do one more take for Didi Oviatt’s December WIP writing prompt challenge. Just because. 🙂

***

Elsie put on her lavender chenille pullover shirt. It was at least five years out of season, but she still loved how soft it felt. Plus, it looked amazing with her black dress slacks. She smoothed down the hem and went to work on braiding her frizzy hair.

Hildreth sauntered into the room. “Hey, Els. I just got a call from Master Shinowa.”

“Oh? What’s wrong?”

“Jim-Marie apparently went out to eat with some of the other trainees and they all came down with food poisoning. So, needless to say, he and Master Shinowa are going to be no shows to our Annual Hunter’s Only Get Together Fun Filled Extravaganza Of Amazing Good Times Had By All, which is also known as the AHOGTFFEOAGTHBA party.” He scratched the back of his head. “I think we need a catchier acronym because there’s just no way to pronounce that attractively.” He gasped and his expression brightened. “No! All we have to do is rearrange the letters a little and boom! We can call our party the Agatha Hogboffet Party! How awesome is that!”

Elsie laughed. “You’re nuts.” She tied up her braid and strolled over to him. “And demented and a complete lunatic.”

He grinned. “You’re forgetting a very important noun.”

She stopped in front of him. “An absolute idiot.”

“Hm. Idiot would have worked just fine on its own.” He wrapped his arms around her waist. “But absolute idiot will do as well.” He scrunched his fingers into her shirt’s soft fabric. “Mmm. I love how this shirt feels on you. So soft and pretty.”

“Are you talking about the shirt or me?”

He let out a surprised laugh. “Why, Elsie Mayhew!” He went into a broad, undefinable accent that may or may not have been Southern-inspired. “I’m just all shocked and appalled! What an audacious thing to say! My good gracious!”

She laughed. “Such an idiot.” She pulled him into a kiss.

****

Hank and Dave stood outside Mark Caten’s bedroom. They were dressed in their full guard uniforms – red-orange hooded robes with ornate white and gold masks.

Dave huffed out a breath. His full face mask amplified the sound. “It isn’t fair. Why do we always have to do the Christmas shift? It’s become almost a tradition.”

“Hey.” Hank switched his spiked club into his other hand. “Just be glad that we get to do it together. Remember what happened last Christmas?”

“I don’t want to think about it. That was awful! I missed you so much.”

“I missed you too, babe.”

Dave sighed again. “I wish I could just grab your hand and run to our room and—”

Hank edged closer to him and took his hand. “So do I. But morning will come and then—”

Dave’s heart fluttered in anticipation. “And then.”

“Baby, I’ll be all yours.”

“Eeeeeeeeee! You’re so romantic!” Dave dropped his weapon and flung his arms around Hank’s neck.

Hank laughed. “Oh, I love you.”

***

Ambrose sat beside Barbara in the pew.

The church was dark with only candles lighting the ceremony.

Ambrose tried his best to stay focused on the Mass happening in front of him. Then, Barbara folded her fingers with his fingers.

A contented smile stretched across his face. He looked to the tabernacle and whispered a soft, two word prayer, “Thank You.”

The choir sang the Kyrie and, in the candle lit darkness, they sounded like angels.

***

Hildreth released Elsie and smiled lovingly at her. “It’s going to be an awesome Christmas.”

She spread her hands on his chest. “And you know it.”

***

“Is it midnight yet?” Dave asked eagerly.

“Not yet.” Hank checked his watch. “Just a couple more minutes.”

Dave lowered his hood and untied his mask. He set the mask next to his fallen weapon. “How about now?”

“Not yet.” Hank lowered his own hood and removed his mask. He dropped the mask on the ground.

Dave embraced him and laid his head against Hank’s chest. “How about—-”

“Now.” He hugged Dave. “Merry Christmas, babe.”

***

Ambrose glanced at Barbara and smiled.

She looked straight ahead with that very serious and very intent expression on her face. And he just couldn’t resist. He kissed the rim of her ear and whispered very softly, “Merry Christmas, darling.”

She looked up at him and smiled. “Merry Christmas.”

 

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/2019/12/04/dec-wip-writing-prompt-challenge-winter-tradition/

A Fey’s Winter Tradition

Author’s Note: Didi Oviatt has a new WIP writing prompt — the very last one of the year! Believe it or not! This month, the writing prompt is WINTER TRADITION. She wants to see your characters indulging in a winter tradition. Anything goes as long as it’s true to your character’s personality and settings.

And here is mine. Head canon: This is taking place after the whole resolution to my WIP. So, Isellta is still having issues with everything he’s gone through, which makes me feel awful for the poor thing.

****

Robin walked home, feeling vastly satisfied. It had been another successful hunt that hadn’t ended with him being staked.

That in itself was reason enough to put him in a good mood. But then he thought about who was waiting for him at home. His heart skipped several beats. His steps quickened until he was flat out running.

The air was cold and smelled like snow waiting to fall. It breezed past his face in frigid streaks, but he kept running until, at last, he reached their driveway.

He was home and Isellta was sitting on the front porch with a hot drink curled in between his hands. The porch light shined down on the fey.

Robin ran up the driveway and stopped in front of him. ‘Darnation! I sure hope you weren’t waitin’ out here all night.”

Isellta shook his head and looked down into his drink. His large black wings lay flat against his back.

Robin sat beside him. “What’s wrong?”

“Bad dream.”

“Oh.” He took the mug away from the fey and set it on the porch. “You okay? Can I touch you?”

Isellta nodded.

Robin wrapped his arm over Isellta’s shoulders. “It’s okay. I’m here.”

Isellta leaned his head against him. “It wasn’t as bad as…It’s been worse. I’ve had worse dreams, but…”

“Shh. If you ain’t wantin’ to talk about it, don’t. It’s okay.”

Isellta curled his hand on Robin’s chest. “I’m glad you’re safe.”

One of these days, I gotta find out what went down o’er there. What all did they do to him? I could ask, but he ain’t ready to talk ’bout it. I can tell he ain’t ready.

Robin kissed Isellta’s head, which caused the fey’s wings to flap. He smiled into Isellta’s soft blond hair. “I love you so much.”

“I love you too.”

They sat like that for several minutes. Neither wanted to let the other go. Robin kissed his head again. “Got good news for you. It’s gonna snow tonight.”

Isellta raised his head. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah. Plenty sure. The air smells like snow.”

“Robin?”

“Hmm?”

“Can we stay up and wait for the first snow?” He lowered his gaze. “I know it seems like a silly thing to do. Maybe you don’t want to do it with me. I’d understand. But it was a big winter tradition in my schie a kehn. As soon as the temperatures changed to where you just know it has to snow, everyone would go outside and wait for it. There would be a big celebration afterwards.”

“Huh. I thought you fey would get more excited about Spring comin’.”

Isellta blinked quickly and tilted his head. “But Winter is a part of Spring. They are parallel lines that need each other’s existence. Without Winter, Spring loses its joy. Without Spring, Winter is an endless gray line.”

Robin smiled. “I’m guessin’ that’s true for people too.” He swept Isellta’s bangs off to the side and kissed his forehead. “Yeah, I’ll stay up all night with you and you’ll see. The first snow will fall tonight.”

“Even if it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter.” Isellta curled up closer to him. “Because I’m here with you.”

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/2019/12/04/dec-wip-writing-prompt-challenge-winter-tradition/

Five Thanksgiving Writing Prompts #2 – Four Hunters And One Half-Fey

While at your friend or family gathering this week, make mental observations about how the meal is organized. Who prepared it? Who announces it’s time to eat? Who is served first and how is seating arranged? Who cleans up afterward? Do people linger over the meal or are they quick to finish? Who takes more than their share of food? All of these observations give insight into how people view themselves and others. Incorporate these observations into characters in your WIP, thereby giving them more depth.

LM wanted to help Hildreth and the other hunters prepare the Thanksgiving dinner, but his stiff, crooked wings kept getting in the way. Any other fey would simply pull their wings into the matching sacs under their back skin.

But LM was not a full fey.

He was half-human and half-fey. His mixed parentage affected his wings, making them deformed and inflexible. The trec lun bone at the top of his wings was a solid, unjointed bone. So, there was no way for him to pull his wings away and no way for him to use them for expression. His wings would never be able to flap or flutter or flitter. The best they could do was bristle.

He stood off to the side and watched the ruckus going on in the kitchen.

“All right!” Jeff Farsigh said. “We got the turkey all cleaned out and stuffed back up. Now we need to get it into the oven.”

“I’ll do it!” Kaneshiro Shinowa said.

“Uhh, no.” Hildreth Mayhew said. “No offense, Shiro. But you kicked the last turkey at the oven.” He tapped the side of his face with his index finger. “Although, it is a very unique way to go about it. Too bad the turkey wound up on the floor.”

“Face down, no less.” Jeff said.

“Splat and dead.”

“It seemed like the most time efficient way to get it in the oven.” Kaneshiro shrugged. “Besides, it was very heavy.”

“Okay!” Jeff said. “Enough talking. Hildreth, put it in the oven. Kaneshiro, clear all of the junk off the table. Jim-Marie—”

The young boy snapped to attention. “Yes?”

“Supper won’t be ready for a few hours. When it’s close to ready, I want you to peel the potatoes and chop them up for mashing.”

“I can help with that.” Kaneshiro said.

“We’ll see.”

***

LM took a deep breath and exhaled.

Even though Hildreth, Kaneshiro, and Jeff seemed to be around the same age, give or take a year here and there, Jeff seemed to be the one in charge of everything. The other two men didn’t seem to mind or take offense. Even the young boy was unbothered by it all.

It didn’t quite makes sense to the half-fey. But he continued to watch them to figure them out.

***

The turkey scented up the kitchen. It smelled warm and deliciously meaty. LM left his corner to check it out. He approached the stove and carefully opened it.

Jeff appeared out of nowhere, somehow, and said, “Close that door. You’re going to let cool air in and you’ll ruin the turkey.”

LM closed the door and tilted his head.

Jeff pulled his wooden sword, Tsunachu, out of its scabbard.

The half-fey startled and stumbled back. “What?”

“Leave the turkey alone. Kaneshiro ruined one turkey with his madcap antics. I will not have you ruin the second one. Those things are expensive.”

LM stared, thunderstruck and lightning hit, at the sword in the former hunter’s grip.

“Out of the kitchen now.” He went into an attack position. “Or else.”

LM fled the room.

****

The half-fey spent the rest of the day hiding in his room. He thought about the three men. Such very different men.

They didn’t look alike.

There had different personalities.

Why were they such good friends? What connected them all together? What were the lines binding them?

Someone knocked on the door.

LM crept out of his closet. “Who is it?”

“Me. Hildreth. Hey. Supper’s ready. You gonna join us?”

LM considered saying no, just so he could avoid Jeff’s wrath. But the turkey’s scent had followed Hildreth upstairs.

It smells so good.

“I’ll be right there.”

***

The scent grew stronger and more potent as Hildreth and LM approached the kitchen. The half-fey kept sucking on his lower lip to keep himself from drooling everywhere.

Hildreth noticed and smiled. But he didn’t say anything about it.

“Is Jeff going to kill me?”

“What? Ohh. Did he threaten you with Tsunachu?”

LM nodded.

“Sorry. He gets pretty intense about his turkey, especially on Thanksgiving. It’s like a primal thing with him.”

“I don’t understand him.”

“Don’t worry too much about that. Jeff is Jeff. He has a lot of bad stuff in his past. A lot of regrets. A lot of grief. Sometimes that comes out in his behavior. Sometimes it doesn’t. Like I said, he is himself. I’ve learned to just accept that about him.”

LM puzzled that one over as they entered the kitchen.

He sat next to Hildreth. Jim-Marie sat on Hildreth’s other side. Kaneshiro and Jeff sat next to each other.

And there was food.

So much food.

Plates and platters and bowls and tureens of food.

LM sucked on his lower lip in anticipation.

Everything looked and smelled so good. It was like one of the dreams LM used to have at the freak show.

He wondered if he were dreaming now.

If this is a dream, it is a great and beautiful dream.

Jeff prepared his plate. Everyone else waited until he was done. Then, they all dug in.

It was a glorious and disconcerting mess of men and food and plates and noise and laughter and forks and knives.

LM felt dizzy by it all.

Everyone settled into their seats with their full plates and ate.

Before LM could regain his equilibrium, Hildreth put a loaded plate in front of him.

LM looked up at him, wide-eyed and surprised.

“It’s all yours.”

LM’s back muscles twitched in a feeble attempt to flap his wings.

But his wings rustled instead.

The half-fey smiled. A little bit of drool escaped his mouth, but he didn’t care. He looked down at his plate of food and felt genuinely thankful.

 

https://cosistories.wordpress.com/2019/11/27/5-thanksgiving-writing-prompts/

“I Want To Help You.”

Author’s Note: I already did one take on Didi Oviatt’s November WIP challenge.  But I really wanted to do one with my main vampire character. So, here it is! 😀

****

Ambrose wrinkled his nose in disgust as he reached inside the turkey. Fortunately, he didn’t have to dig around too much to find the package of giblets. He pulled it out and contemplated its existence.

“What am I supposed to do with this?” He examined the packaging, but there weren’t any convenient instructions printed on the plastic. “Is it even edible?”

Ambrose tore open the plastic and carefully sniffed the inside. “I don’t think it’s edible.” He carried it to the garbage and was about to drop it in. Then, he thought about it.

“I could ask Barbara.”

No.

She needs her sleep. I can do this!

He emptied the giblets into a small pot, filled the pot with water, and put it on the stove’s small burner. He turned it on low.

“Okay! Now, what to do with this big lug of meat…” He looked it over. “Uhhh. I guess I could put it in the oven as is, but it would taste very plain. It needs something. Something more to spice it up.”

Question is, what spices go well with turkey meat?

Ambrose opened the cabinet with all of the cooking spices. His eyes glazed over at the million small bottles and glass bottles and small plastic bags. “uhhhhh….” He picked up a baggie filled with a mysterious green spice.

What the heck is this?

The kitchen door opened and Barbara shuffled into the room. “mngh…Ambrose? What are you doing?”

He startled. “Ah!” He threw the baggie back into the cabinet and closed the door. “Uhh. nothing. I—uhhh—-”

She shuffled over to the stove and stared blankly at the turkey sitting in the pan.

“I know it’s very early in the morning, but I wanted to do this for you. I won’t be able to help you when day comes. My day exhaustion will knock me out cold. So, I’m helping you now.”

“At 4:00 in the morning?”

“At 4:00 in the morning.” He searched her expression. “Do you mind? Barbara, do you mind?”

A smile broke across her tired face. “Why would I mind? You’re doing me a favor and making a romantic gesture all at the same time.” She walked over to him and circled her arms around his neck. “I love it.” She playfully tugged the short hairs at the edge of his hairline. “All the same, I missed you, kitten.”

“I’m here.” He embraced her. “I’m right here, love.”

She pulled him into a kiss.

She didn’t have to pull all that hard.

Her semi-sweet chocolate and vanilla bean scent enthralled him. The touch of her hands, the feel of her lips, the softness of her breath, the slight pressure of her body overwhelmed him. Barbara. he whispered in her mind. I love you. I love you so much.

Barbara ended the kiss, but she still held onto him. “I love you too.” She kissed him one more time before releasing him. “So, let’s see what we can do about this turkey.”

“I can take care of it.” he said.

“I know, but I want to help you.”

His heart warmed. “Barbara, je t’adore.”

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/2019/11/02/nov-wip-challenge-cozy-holliday-at-home/

 

The Daily Spur Presents…The Princess Pink Pagoda

Author’s Note: This is an alternate reality meet-cute for Dave and Hank from my ongoing story inspired by the Daily Spur photo prompt.

Dave stood near the entrance to the Princess Pink Pagoda. He peeked inside the pink gemstone and pink glass bead curtain for the three thousandth time. Several couple wandered through the elaborate pagoda. Pink fabric Chinese lanterns competed for space with the more traditional pink paper Chinese lanterns. And that was just in the entrance. He knew that greater wonders lurked further inside.

“Come on, Mick! Where are you?”

Several couples strolled through, smiling and flirting with their special others.

Dave’s heart sank at the sight of them. “You said you’d meet me here. Why aren’t you here yet?”

His cell phone bleated a text message notification.

He quickly pulled it out of his pocket and went into his messages.

The first message at the very top was from Mick.

Dave bit his lower lip and opened the message. It read:

“hEy. somEthing camE up. not gonna makE it. maybE somE OthEr timE.  M.”

He read the message over and over again, hoping that a better one would spontaneously take its place.

But the message remained the same.

He huffed out a hurt breath. “You promised me. You promised that…you said…that…” His eyes teared up and in one quick blink, his tears fell.

A man’s plain cotton handkerchief appeared in front of his phone screen. “I don’t mean to be so forward, but you look like you need this more than I do.”

“Thank you.” Dave murmured. He rubbed his eyes with the handkerchief. The scent of Davidoff’s Cool Water cologne clung to the white material. Dave rubbed his nose and the scent whoofed up his nostrils.

“Why’s a cute thing like you standing here by yourself and crying?”

Dave raised his gaze and gasped out loud.

A man stood before him. He had a strong, capable look to him that did things to Dave’s inner damsel. The fact that he was handsome certainly helped matters.

“You? You think I’m cute?”

When was the last time Mick told me that?

The man smiled. “I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it.”

Dave blushed.

When was the last time Mick said anything kind to me? When was the last time he made me feel good about myself? When was the last time he made me happy to just be me?

“Did your…significant other break up with you?”

Dave put his phone away. “No.”

“oh.” The man looked disappointed, which crushed Dave inside. “I’m. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have presumed—”

“It’s okay. He didn’t break up with me. He just….I had such great plans. I read about this place the other day and I wanted to explore it with him. It would be so wonderfully romantic!”

“Oh?”

“But he isn’t here. He couldn’t make it. He…” Dave looked into the other man’s eyes.

He’s so sympathetic, so understanding. I want to sit down somewhere and share a bowl of ice cream with him. I’d love to go anywhere at all with him.

But I can’t.

I don’t like it when Mick does that sort of thing to me. I won’t do it to him.

“I’m. I’m sorry. I have to go.”

“Why? Is the spell going to end at midnight?”

Eeeeeee! Why is this guy so appealing?

Dave’s blush intensified. “No, but. Mick wouldn’t like it if…”

But does Mick really care?

Does he still love me?

I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.

The man held up his hands and took a step back.

No! Don’t go! I want to fling myself into your arms. Can’t you see it? Can’t you tell?

“Will you at least tell me your name?” He smiled. “Or should I call you Cinderella?”

“Eeee!”Dave promptly lost his wits. He rushed at the man and threw his arms around the man’s neck. “You’re so cute and flirtatious and I don’t even know who you are!”

The man laughed. “I’ll tell you my name if you tell me yours.”

Dave’s phone rang. He released the man’s neck and answered the call. “Mick?”

“Yeah, it’s me. Where are you?”

“At the Princess Pink Pagoda like I told—”

“Yeah, yeah. yeah. You’re always telling me about some dumb stuff or other. Look. Are you coming home now or what?”

Dave looked at the man.

“Hey. Dave. Quit spacing out. Answer my question or I’ll just hang up.”

“Sorry. I’m coming home now.”

“Good. Stop at the store on the way home and get a thing of fabric softener. And get the kind that I like. Nothing with the word ‘sparkle’ in it. You know what I like.”

“Yeah. Mick?”

“Sorry. Can’t talk. Got better things to do.” He ended the call.

Dave put his phone away.

“I didn’t hear what he said.” The man came closer to him. “But I can tell he doesn’t make you happy.”

“It’s okay.” Dave murmured.

The man shook his head. “You should be with someone who’ll make you happy.” He took Dave’s hand. “I’m Hank.” He smiled. “And I would love to walk through the Princess Pink Pagoda with you.”

Dave looked down at their hands.

I.

I shouldn’t.

Mick will be mad at me.

Dave thought about all of their most recent conversations.

Maybe he won’t be. I honestly don’t know if he’ll even care.

He looked up at Hank. “Hi, Hank. I’m Dave.”

https://thedailyspur.wordpress.com/2019/11/15/photo-prompt-240/

Love’s Bewitchment

Author’s Note: I decided to do a second story for Didi Oviatt’s October WIP Challenge. Just for the fun of it. This is a touch of a possible future with my two favorite vampire hunters. Just a possible future. No real spoilers here. 😉 

Elsie woke up and Hildreth wasn’t there. She sat up in a panic. “Hildreth?”

He didn’t respond.

“Hildreth!”

Still no response.

She fumbled with her blankets and tumbled out of bed. Her black hair frizzed all over her head.

Where is he?

Where?

She ran into the bathroom.

The light was off.

No one was in there.

“Hildreth!” She ran out of the bedroom and down the hall.

If he isn’t here…

What if he isn’t here?

I’m overreacting.

He’s okay.

He’s safe.

He’s—

The sound of Hildreth’s laughter came from their daughter’s bedroom.

Elsie darted over to the door and opened it.

Hildreth sat on their daughter’s bed. He was still dressed in his pajamas – navy blue with white trim. “So, your mom grabbed the fey by the front of her flimsy shirt and she said—” His voice went up into an uneasy falsetto, “—‘Keep your ghetto slum hands off my man!'”

“She said that? Mommy really said that?”

Elsie leaned against the doorframe and smirked.

He sounds like a severely drunk Miss Piggy.

“Yes, she really said that and she said it just like that.” He laughed again. “If you had seen her, you would have hid under your bed for a full week. She was so angry, so beautifully fierce. I fell even more in love with her.”

“Tell me a story about you.”

“About me? Hmm. Do you want a good story or a ghost story?”

She bounced on her bed. “A! Ghost! Sto! Ry!”

“All right, but you’ll have to sit still and listen carefully. And keep in mind: This story is completely true.”

“Oooooo!”

Elsie watched his expression as he spoke to their daughter. How he was completely engaged in talking to her.

He focused only on her.

His green-blue eyes sparkled.

His laughter brightened something inside of Elsie.

I love him.

He enchants me.

He bewitches me in so many ways.

I can’t imagine not having this handsome idiot in my life.

Their daughter let out a yelp and hid under her blanket.”Then what happened?”

‘Well…”

Elsie smiled.

And to think that I ever wanted Ambrose Smith. What a dope I was.

She entered the room.

Hildreth raised his head and smiled at her. “Hey, Els. Come to join our party?”

She sat next to him on the bed. “Yes. Continue your story.”

“Oh yes, Ma’am. Do you want me to start over?”

She put her hand on his upper leg.

He took a deep breath.

“Just keep going.”

Hildreth exhaled and nodded. He resumed his ghost story.

Elsie watched him as he talked.

Without trying to, he’s spinning a web of enchantment around me.

With every word.

Every gesture.

Every smile.

Just the sound of his voice.

And I am lost.

Hopelessly lost in a magic spell that he is weaving.

Lost and joyously bewitched.

Bewitched By You Am I.

Author’s Note: Didi Oviatt has a new WIP Challenge for this month and it is….Bewitched! Take your characters and put them under the spell of all spells. You can take this any ‘witch’ way you’d like. This was my take on it..

Isellta put the black witch’s hat on top of his blond hair and studied his reflection.

Black nail polish on his fingernails.

Elbow-length black lace gloves with no fingers. It was a strange, nonsensical concept the more he thought about it. They were gloves, but they had no fingers, which meant that they really weren’t gloves. But if they weren’t gloves, what were they? He had no idea.

Isellta flexed his fingers. “These gloves don’t make sense, but I like how they feel and how they make me feel.”

A close fitting black velvet vest with sequins and crystals sewn around the armholes.

Tight black jeans with a shiny gold zipper.

Isellta’s wings flittered at the sight of the zipper. “It’s so obvious. Everyone’s attention will be drawn down to it. I don’t want them to stare at that part of me.”

I could magically turn it into a plain black zipper. But I want Robin to see the full effect. I want to see his reaction.

Isellta flapped his wings.

Robin can be terribly nonsensical, but I think he’ll like it.

His wings flapped harder as he imagined it.

“I can change it into a plain zipper afterwards.”

Isellta slipped on the metal and gemstone studded slippers that had come with the costume. He gave himself one more look over and felt satisfied with what he saw. “Now to go find Robin.”

He turned around. Just as the bedroom door opened.

Robin barged into the room. “Darnation! I feel like a freakin’—” He stopped short at the sight of Isellta’s costume.

Isellta’s wings flared out in surprise.

Robin was dressed up in an open purple and gold embroidered vest that showed off his bare chest, gold and silver streaked harem pants, and curled-toed gold slippers. A gold hoop earring hung from his right ear. It looked suspiciously like a cheap clip on. His brown hair was its standard mess.

“‘sellta. You look…you…” His gaze travelled up and down Isellta’s costume.

Isellta stared at Robin’s bare arms, his bare neck and chest. “Robin. You are beautiful.”

Robin scoffed. “Yeah, me with my scarred up eye and my scarred up face. Real beautiful, that’s me.”

Isellta walked over to him. He touched the starting point of Robin’s scar – right in the middle of his forehead – and ran his finger all the way down.

Through Robin’s eyebrow.

Through Robin’s eye.

His cheek.

Underneath his jaw.

“Yes.” Isellta said softly. “Very beautiful.”

“Nice compliment and all, but I ain’t a thing like you. You ain’t beautiful, Isellta.” He laid his hand along the side of Isellta’s face. “You’re freakin’ bewitchin’. Right from the moment I saw you. That’s when it all started. You bewitched me, Isellta Mal Hoven, and I ain’t ever wanna break your spell on me.” He moved in closer and kissed him, accidently knocking the witch’s hat clean off Isellta’s head. “I love you.”

Isellta didn’t even try to respond to any of that, even though his heart was full of words. He threw his arms around Robin’s neck and pulled him into a full kiss.

He sent a single thought at Robin….I love you too.

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/2019/10/04/october-wip-challenge-prompt-bewitched/

A Cup Of Smoked Spice Mocha

Author’s Note: I already posted a story for Didi Oviatt’s September WIP Challenge, but I came up with one more idea for this challenge. So, yes. Here is a second story for her September WIP Challenge, just for the fun of it. 😉

LM sat alone in the coffee shop. He had taken on a form of a random person he’d remembered from The Institute. His wings were safely out of sight. No one would know that he was a half-human/half-fey. No one would harass him with demands.

He was safe.

He curled his hands around his cup of smoked spice mocha. He didn’t care much for the taste, but it had been Capernaum’s favorite drink. And today was the first anniversary of Capernaum’s death. It seemed fitting to have that drink in his honor.

Maybe he’ll reappear.

Maybe he’ll come back one last time. But we had said our final farewells last year. He’s gone now. He will never return.

I thought I would be fine.

I thought I’d be able to move on, but I miss him. I don’t know. Maybe I will always miss him. He was such a good friend to me.

Capernaum hadn’t been any taller or stronger than the other scientists at The Institute. He wasn’t ugly or handsome. Just a middling in-between. But there had always been a kindness in his eyes that had made the half-fey feel safe, like he had found his way back home.

LM closed his eyes and he could see him.

His short hair.

His kind eyes.

The way his eyes crinkled in the corners when he smiled.

“Oh! Thank you!” He took the coffee cup from the half-fey and took a long sip. “Mmmm. Best coffee ever.”

**

He put his hands on LM’s shoulders and crouched so they were eye to eye. “You don’t have to be afraid, LM.”

**

“What are you doing?” Capernaum ran into the room and pulled LM out of Josiah’s grip. “He is NOT to be experimented on. He is one of our own.” He punched Josiah in the face. “He is MINE!”

**

Capernaum wasn’t burnt. LM was glad to see that Capernaum wasn’t burnt, but his eyes were glazed over. His breathing was a dry rasp. “LM? I…I’m not…not—”

“Shh.” LM carefully touched his face. His skin was terribly warm and dry. “I’ll get you out of here. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of you. I’ll—”

Capernaum coughed, but it was all wrong. It came from somewhere in his throat. It sounded weak and ineffective.

LM’s stiff wings rustled uneasily.

“Antioch. Save…him…LM. not sorry….” Another weak cough. “not sorry I saved you. not…”

“It’s okay. I’ll get you out of—”

Capernaum stopped breathing.

LM opened his eyes. He was no longer kneeling on the floor in the burning Institute. He was sitting at a table in the StarCatcher’s Café with a cup of smoked spice mocha.

But Capernaum was gone and he would never return. Not even as a ghost.

LM cleared his throat. “Wherever you are, my dear friend—” He raised the paper cup in a toast. “—know that I am drinking this for you.”

He took a sip.

And know that I will never forget you.

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/september-wip-challenge-anniversary/

A Belated Happy Anniversary!

Author’s Note: Didi Oviatt has a new WIP challenge for September. The theme this time is: Anniversary. The challenge is to throw one’s characters into an Anniversary scene and see how they fare.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do with this one.

It ran a little long and could have easily ran a lot longer, if I let everyone have their say. But I’m happy with how it turned out.

****

Ambrose held Barbara’s hand. “I want to just stay here with you.”

She smiled. “I know. I want you to stay with me too. But you know it has to be done.”

He huffed out a wounded sigh.

“You are the show runner. Without you, there wouldn’t be any story.”

“Oh, there would be. It just wouldn’t be the same.”

“That’s true. So, go up there and do your thing.”

Ambrose kissed her, a quick tease of a kiss. “I’ll be back shortly.” He stood. “At least, as shortly as I can.”

“I’ll be waiting for you, kitten.”

He smiled. “I’ll come running back to you, love. I always will.”

“I know.”

Ambrose strode past the other tables.

Past Hildreth and Elsie, Jeff and Darius, and their master.

Past Jeff and Missy, Raven and LM, Sarah and a very uneasy looking Carthage.

Past Robin and Isellta, Dave and Hank, and Jay and Maelin.

All the way up to the podium.

He cleared his throat and tapped the microphone. “Hello? Is this thing on?” The microphone magnified his voice. “Okay. I guess that’s yes. Hello, everyone! This is our fourth year anniversary reunion special…thing. Although, to be honest, our anniversary was on May 26, but we all seemed to have forgotten about it. So! Here we are now!”

Ambrose scanned the audience. “I see a lot of people who were with me from the very beginning. Elsie and Hildreth. Mark Caten. Preyuna. But I also see a lot of people who have joined in over the years. Robin. Isellta. Dave. Hank. Jay. Maelin. And many others. I see even the unnamed Red Envelope hostess is here. Good for her. I’m glad you could make it this time.”

“I could stay up here and continue this monologue and bore everyone into a turgid stupor. Or I could—” He unhooked the microphone from its stand. The microphone let out a sustained objection. He smacked it against his hand a couple of times, which kicked its objections into a higher register. “Darn stupid thing.” he muttered.

Raven came on stage. “I beg your pardon, sir, but I believe this is not a portable microphone.”He took it from Ambrose and reconnected it to the base. The objections ended.

“So, what? I’m stuck standing up here? That’s dandy. I can just see the audience going deaf from boredom.”

“Sir. There is no need for such complaints.” Raven reached into one of the shelves at the base of the podium and pulled out another microphone. He pressed a couple of buttons on the handle and it buzzed to life. “Use this one.”

Ambrose frowned. “It doesn’t have a cord. How is it gonna work?”

“It will work, sir. Trust me.”

Ambrose took it. “If you say so.” He tapped the mic’s fuzzy head. “Testing.” It magnified his voice. “Oh, good. Thanks, Raven.”

Raven bowed. “My pleasure, sir.”

“Since you’re here, do you want to say a few words?”

“Just a few, sir.”

****

Raven took the mic back. “Well.  I hardly know what to say.” He seemed to think about it. “I am. I.” He cleared his throat. “It has been a privilege and an honor to spend so much time with such worthy companions. Robin and Ambrose and Missy and so many others. Because of you all, I have shattered the barriers around my heart. I have found happiness.” His expression softened. “I have found love. Love that I can hold and embrace. Love that I can share. I need not keep it hidden and confined.”

He left the stage and carried the microphone over to Missy.

She looked up at him. “My pretty shirtless Raven.”

He smiled lovingly at her. “My Missy. I love you so much.” He offered her the microphone. “Is there anything you wish to say?”

She eagerly took the microphone. “Lots of things but you know how I am once I get talking it’s hard for me to just stop. I’m just disappointed you aren’t wearing that see through shirt I bought you for Christmas last year. It looks so good on you and I think everyone should see how good it looks on you.”

He choked out a laugh. “Not in public, Missy.”

She shrugged. “I don’t get it. I probably never will.” She handed it to Jeff, but Mark Caten swooped in from seemingly nowhere and grabbed it from her.

“Ahh! Now this is so much better. Admit it, you dear slovenly masses. You were hoping I would go next, although, honestly, I should have gone first. I am the most important person in the whole room, but of course, you all knew that. Especially my dear Preyuna. She knows how important I am.”

Jeff snatched the microphone back. “Sorry. You’ll just have to wait your turn.”

Mark Caten gaped. “But I’m a god!”

“Tough. It’s my turn. Go back to your seat.”

“I see no reason why I should listen to a slug-faced dungbat like you.”

Jeff glared at him.

Jay and Hank came over and rescued Mark Caten from himself. They forcibly ushered him back to his seat. He objected the whole way back.

“Sorry about that.” Jeff said into the microphone. “Well.” He stood. “This past year…It’s. It’s been something. I’ll say that much for sure. The year isn’t fully over. We still have a few more months left to go. It’s anyone’s guess what’s going to happen in that small space of time. I will say that I’m. I’m happy. It’s been a long, hard road for me. I’ve had a lot of regrets that I’ve borne with me over the years. A lot of grief and a lot of pain. I could list them all, but I don’t think that’s necessary. I am slowly working my way through overcoming all of my negative feelings. Having Missy with me again helps. Being around Hildreth definitely helps. So, I’m going to hand it off to him.” He laughed. “Because I’m sure that dweeb has plenty to say.”

He walked over to Hildreth and handed over the microphone. “As long as he doesn’t get stuck inside his own head.”

“Who me? Never!” Hildreth took the microphone from his friend. “And for the record, I will pound you to the earth for bringing in those lemon custard doughnut holes.”

Jeff laughed. “How could I resist? They were there in the display case and I just had to do it.”

“Bleah!” Hildreth friendly punched Jeff’s arm. “I will totally pound you later.” He stood and glanced around. “Wow. This is a nice sized crowd. I wasn’t expecting everyone to show up. Hey! If anyone has a craving for lemon custard doughnut holes, there’s a box of 250 of them backstage.”

Dave jumped out of his seat and ran backstage. Hank got up and followed him.

“Huh. That’s a surprise. I didn’t realize anyone would take me up on that offer. Anyway, hi, everyone! It’s good to see us all together like this. It doesn’t happen very often. We’re usually sequestered in our separate cities.” He frowned. “I don’t think I’ve had any on screen time with a lot of the newbies. It probably will never happen, but who knows? Life can be pretty unpredictable. I know that for a fact. When I first showed up, I had no idea about all of the situations I’d get myself into. I had no idea I’d fall in love with—” He looked down at Elsie and smiled. “—my frizzy-headed wench.”

Elsie scoffed. “You would go with that one.”

He shrugged. “I wanted to work both frizzy-headed wench and Marauder into the same sentence, but it just didn’t work out.”

She took the microphone from him. “Such an idiot. But I wouldn’t have you be any other way. I love you, Hildreth Mayhew, just the way you are.”

He sat beside her. “And I love you too.”

***

Ambrose sensed that the microphone was never going to come back to him. He smiled and returned to his seat.

Barbara’s face lit up. “You’re back!”

“What did I tell you?” He kissed her. “I will always come back to you.”

“Hmm, but you didn’t run back to me.” she said teasingly.

He laughed. “You brat.”

She giggled.

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/september-wip-challenge-anniversary/