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Haiku Friday – Breeze & Blow

24 Mar

Welcome to The Writer Next Door blog! Happy Haiku Friday!

 

Breeze and Blow are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

  • I decided to share an excerpt from my WIP, The Fall of Lilith. The Fall of Lilith is a young adult/adult Fantasy with dark elements about angels. I hope you enjoy.

The Fall of Lilith, The Writer Next Door, Vashti Q, Poetry, Haiku_Friday, excerpt, novel

Illustration by Luis Royo

 When Lilith arrived at the tree, she marveled at its brilliance. She coiled her tail around its base, slid to a branch, and plucked one of its blushing fruit. She stared at it, but hesitated to put it in her mouth, recalling what happened when she bit into the fruit from the other tree.

The fruit was like none she had ever seen, draped in shiny reddish-gold. It was cold and smooth in her hand. She placed her mouth over it and sank her bloodstained teeth into its crisp, delicious flesh. The fruit squirted its sweet, succulent juice into her mouth. Its scent swathed her like a dip in a pool of warm water, conjuring images of Heaven’s light and bathing in the River of Life. The aroma was bright, cheerful, and more fragrant than any flower in Heaven’s Triumph Gardens.

Upon finishing the magnificent fruit, she began to undergo a transformation. She grew stronger, full of energy and vitality. The eyes on her wings gained the power of sight, having been of no use in the past. Now she saw in every direction at once, except directly behind her. The feathers in her wings became lustrous and able to withstand extreme temperatures. The inner frame of her wings became stronger, capable of enduring powerful impacts. Her tail grew longer and robust. The colors of her lower half were alluring and intense. She knew she was becoming godlike.

Blinding flashes of lightning sliced through the sky. Thunder, which followed closely, shook the ground. As the wind grew stronger, the numerous trees in the Garden began to disintegrate one by one. The dust left behind by the crumbling trees blew to and fro in the increasing wind. Flowers and greeneries no longer crooned melodies. The vegetation wailed and screeched as it ceased to exist.

Lilith scanned her surroundings. The colors of the Garden were gone, and only dreariness remained as it all turned to sand. She released the Tree of Life and leapt to the ground before it, too, dissolved. She lifted her eyes to the sky, now an ominous dark gray. A jagged bolt of lightning struck nearby; she screamed. Overhead thunder continued to rumble, boom, and clash. She jumped as her hands flew to cover her ears. She slithered ahead, leaning into the wind. Dirt and debris whizzed by her, whipping her face and body. She pressed her eyelids together against the sting of the violent wind. A heavy, humid smell spread through the air. The Garden of Eden was in turmoil. If she did not exit soon, she would suffer the wrath of God.

She flapped her wings. Thick, turbulent winds attacked her from every direction, making it difficult for her to take flight. Beating her powerful wings faster she lifted herself off the ground. She moved through the dense, forceful atmosphere, and finally escaped. Had she not eaten from the Tree of Life and gained supernatural powers, she would have perished. Once more, she headed to the cover of the forest. She settled on the tallest tree where she could overlook the destruction of paradise.

The wind grew stronger

Garden trees turned to grey dust

Eden’s colors blown

Flowers no longer sang, but

wailed as they ceased to exist

Writers Quote Wednesday – Mystery

20 Apr

Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”

~Albert Einstein

What is Mystery?

Any affair, thing, or person that presents features or qualities so obscure as to arouse curiosity or speculation.

I’ve decided to put myself out there and post a section of my work-in-progress, Dracúl. This is my first draft. Dracúl follows The Fall of Lilith and is the second installment of my Fantasy Angels Series. I thought this section had a lot of mystery, so it went well with this week’s theme.

Vashti Q-Dracúl-The Fall of Lilith-Fantasy-novel-fantasy-angels-series

Chapter 1- THE AWAKENING

 

I awoke to darkness and the smell of musty earth and mold. I gasped, feeling disoriented to the time and place. The air was humid and stinging cold. Trembling I shifted on the moist ground my eyes flitted in every direction searching for a source of luminosity. Filaments of moonlight scarcely passed the towering trees that surrounded me.

I raised my shadowy vision to the skies but did not gaze upon a single star. Instead, I saw a mass of dark, branches looming above me. The cold breeze blew and made the trees rustle like living things. Bare branches seemed to come at me like clutching clawed hands. An eerie howling and whistling made by the wind moving around them gave me a jolt.

My pulse began to thump loudly in my ears drowning all sounds except that of my fitful panting.

“Where am I?” My voice sounded small, brittle and unfamiliar. I was but a child. A boy.

Unsure what to do, I lifted my upper body off the wet earth and squinted into the dimness of the forest.

My mind was clouded. “Who am I? Why am I alone in this darkness?” I squeezed my eyes shut and then sprung them open again. My vision began to clear, but my mind was still a fog.

I passed my hands over my face and head. I inhaled sharply as my hands ran across two pointy projections extending from my skull. Shaking, I passed my hands over the rest of my body and noticed the skin below my waist was different from the skin on my torso, arms and face. My lower body was covered in dry, smooth scales cold to the touch.

Images of a tall creature with long extremities filled my mind. Where are my lower limbs? As my vision adjusted to my surroundings I saw that I had no legs. Instead, I had a scaly tail––like a serpent. There was a heaviness tugging on my backbone. I shook to remove the hindrance, but instead a huge pair of black, spiky wings distended from my back. My body tensed. “What sort of creature am I?”

Once more I closed my eyes. When I reopened them I saw colors––grayish green moss covered rocks and russet trees, a sea of gold and copper covered the ground as crisp leaves float down from trees and curl into the moist earth. I gazed at my arms and hands. My skin was red––as red as blood and my hands were clawed.

“Was I abandoned here?”

I wished to escape, but my reptilian lower body would not move. A gust blew chilling the air and blowing the trees. I feared getting ensnared by the trees’ clutches if I took flight. Hostile screeches from unknown creatures pierced the air. I whisked my head to and fro searching for the origins of the sounds futilely. Terror seemed to thwart logic and rational thinking.

Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and combining it with a poem, story or excerpt and posting it on your blog.

777 Writer’s Challenge – The Fall of Lilith

1 Aug

Hello. I have been invited to participate in the 777 Writer’s Challenge by the lovely and talented Eloise De Sousa from Thoughts by Mello-Elo. Eloise is an author who dabbles in different genres of books ranging from poetry, children’s literature to adult crime romance. Her blog covers a variety of topics that include her experiences and opinions on different subjects, and from time to time, details on books she is working on.

Eloise De Sousa

Author Eloise De Sousa

What is the 777 Writer’s Challenge?

The author/writer must go to the 7th page of a work-in-progress, go to line 7 on that page and share the following 7 sentences. The writer must also invite 7 other writers to take the same challenge.

It seems simple enough but for a writer, sharing a random piece of work, still in progress, is daunting. However, I accept the challenge and I thank Eloise for thinking of me. ❤

My book, (not yet published) The Fall of Lilith is divided into BOOK I – Heaven and BOOK II – Earth, so I will do the challenge for both parts of the book.

BOOK I – Heaven

The Fall of Lilith- Cover-Image

Illustration for The Fall of Lilith by Jeff Brown

This was war and she had never seen anything like it––none of the angels have. Lilith’s body trembled and waves of nausea plagued her as the realization that she, like the angels torn to shreds, was not immortal and could end in the same way. A sudden rush of blood to her head made it throb. She panted as her eyes darted in every direction. These strange sensations tormented her as she stepped over the splayed bodies of warrior angels whose once celestial glow had been extinguished by enemy blades.

She had done this. She had caused all this to come to pass.

 

 

BOOK II – Earth

The Fall of Lilith-Fantasy Angels Series-books

‘Fan Art’ for The Fall of Lilith by Denise Spencer

Lilith stared wide-eyed at her surroundings. Where beams of light shone through the trees, strange shadows danced. The jungle evoked memories of the terrors she had endured in the East and South Forests in Heaven. With each new noise, her heart leapt to her throat. Branches creaking, leaves rustling, birds squawking, hostile screeches from unknown animals, the beat of paws against the ground—these sounds created a symphony of fear.

“I must remain calm,” Lilith told herself in a low voice. “After all, this is Earth. I watched most of the event Creation, and I did not witness God create anything as menacing on this planet as in the forests in Heaven.”

Still, she knew much had happened besides creation during Creation.

The Chosen 7

Olga – Just Olga

Marje – Kyrosmagica

Colleen – Silver Threading

Sarah – Lemon Shark

Mel – Melissa Barker-Simpson

Alana – The Author Who Supports

Serins – Serins Sphere

 

 

 

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Happy Mothers’ Day!

11 May

Mother's Day

Being a mother is an attitude, not biological relation.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

 

 

Hello and welcome! I want to wish all the wonderful moms out there a happy mothers’ day! I hope you all have a fantastic day pampered by your loved ones (you deserve it). ❤

 

 

*For a very special treat click here to visit Life, love and Other Catastrophes to read a gorgeous poem written by my friend and talented poet Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin. You are guaranteed to love it. ❤

 

 

(A short excerpt from my novel The Basement)

 

 

Robbie’s mom smiled and warmly hugged him. She was about to tell him to wash up for dinner when she realized something was wrong.
Robbie’s eyes betrayed recent tears.
“What happened Robbie?” she asked. She saw the answer to her question almost immediately.
Robbie’s knees were scraped and bloody.
Robbie’s mom quickly cleaned and patched up his wounded knees. All the while she sang to him and gazed at him with her serene blue eyes glittering with love. She reminded Robbie of a cherub.
She healed his wounded heart with her melody. Her song was comforting and her words heavenly. It did not matter to Robbie she was not a good singer.
~The Basement

 

 

 

Mom and Me

Best friends mom and me

Picking flowers and climbing trees.

A shoulder to cry on secrets to share

Warm hearts and hands that really care.

~Unknown Author

First Mothers’ Day

New mom.

New fun.

So blessed.

This one.

Long nights.

Short days.

Go back?

No way.

~Unknown Author

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Dyane Forde’s Christmas Challenge

20 Dec
Author Dyane Forde

Author Dyane Forde

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to introduce today my friend and a very talented author: Dyane Forde

 

Dyane recently released her fabulous book The Purple Morrow. The Purple Morrow is a (light) Fantasy aimed at an adult audience. At the end of this post you will see the book cover, read a blurb from the book and there will also be information on how you can get your own copy.

 

Dyane Forde’s love of writing began with an early interest in reading and of words in general. She was always amazed at how linking words together in different ways had unexpected and pleasing results on others. People enjoyed what she created! This sparked a life-long desire to write all types of things, from short stories, novels, flash fiction, poetry…she enjoys trying genres and forms of writing which are different from what she’s used to; every story or book represents new joys and challenges. Dyane views writing as an amazing and intimate communication tool, meaning that it becomes a means through which she seeks to connect with others on a level deeper than intellect.

 

Knowing what a creative writer Dyane is and wanting to give you a taste of her brilliance I decided to give her a Christmas challenge for this post. I asked her to write a short holiday story using Santa Claus, Christmas tree, magic, and clairvoyant child as prompts (I know. I wasn’t easy on her), but I knew she was up for the challenge and she did not disappoint. So without further ado here is Dyane Forde’s Christmas story.

 

Oh! There’s a WARNING attached to this story: If you are overly sensitive, offend easily or are a hardcore Santa Claus fan who cannot stand the thought of viewing him in a negative light, DO NOT read this story.

 

 

Just Desserts

by Dyane Forde

Ö

He’s here.

The clattering on the rooftop followed by the clomping of heavy boots confirms it. After a flurry of grunting and neighing and the stamping of cloven hooves, the commotion on the roof falls silent. I must give the man credit. Sweet-faced and dolled up in red, white and black, the apple-cheeked hypocrite has trained them well. The team of massive, horned beasts cower at his every whim.

I narrow my eyes. He claimed he’d chosen me on a whim all those years ago. But it was righteous rage which had drawn me to him this holiday eve. That, and the voiceless cry of a child awakened in the dead of night by the shattering terror of a nightmare.

Huddling wide-eyed in the shadows cast by the multicoloured lights, that same boy, Ryan, watches me from across the room. Pine scents the air, and white-powdered garlands twist around banisters and snake along the edges of the door frames. In the far corner hulks the tree, gorgeously decked from the bottom up with all manner of holiday cheer, right to the garish star on top. It’s Christmas Eve and the fact fills me with more dread than joy.

Feeling for the child, I glide across the floor. Streaks of ice linger on the wood slats behind me. “Are you ready?”

The boy nods, dark hair flipping over a dark-brown eye. Even now, I’m amazed me he can see me. Very few can and, even then, doing so requires the help of a special ‘gift’. Ryan can’t speak, but he can see.

The clattering on the roof starts up again. The boy reaches for me but I back away. Ice crusts my slippered feet, spreading into glistening circles on the floor. “No, you can’t.” When he cocks his head to the side, I reach for the window and press my fingers against the glass. Frost blossoms from the tips, spreading outward in an etched, white coat. Ryan’s eyes widen with excitement and glee, but the trickle of ash suddenly dusting down from the chimney snares his attention, erasing the smile from his face.

“You remember the plan?” I ask him. “Don’t accept anything from him. Nothing at all, you understand?”

Ryan nods before dashing off to his spot.

Everything is ready. The plate of cookies and the tall glass of milk by the fireplace, the fire itself nothing but softly glowing embers in the grate. Christmas music plays softly over the radio. And snowflakes, fat as cotton balls, flutter past the windows outside.

He lands on the grate in a burst of soot and ash, cursing the closeness of the shaft. Squatting, he eases his rotund body out of the chimney and into the room. Oblivious to my child-sized spectre standing nearby, he brushes the soot off his coat and then stops to stretch the knots from his back.

He must smell the candy, for his beady black eyes flick towards the little table. Spying the milk and cookies, old St. Nick smacks his lips, readjusts his floppy red hat and hurries over only to slip and fall on the carefully concealed ice patches on the floor.

“Hello, Nick,” I coo, cutting off the string of curses spewing from his mouth. “Such bad language from someone who claims to adore children. One would think it’s bad for your image.” I kneel beside him, letting my hand hover over his rotund belly. Then heeding temptation’s call, I lay a finger on his coat.

“You!” He spits the word at me. Looking down, he grimaces and shrinks from my touch where a melting ice patch darkens the red velvet. “I thought I’d taken care of you ages ago!”

“Oh, no. One’s mistakes just don’t ‘disappear’.  They hang around, waiting for the chance to come back and bite you in the ass!”

“You’re not a mistake! You’re a menace!”

“If that’s what I am, then you made it so! I never asked for it!”

“Oh, but you did, you little devil. The moment you accepted my gift, you were mine.” He points with a finger. “Just like Ryan over by the tree. Children never refuse my presents.” Shifting, he pulls a beautifully wrapped package from behind his back. “Come here, son. Old St. Nick has something for you.”

Ryan looks at me and then at the gift. I shake my head vigorously.

Seeing he had the boy’s attention, Nick sits up and jiggles the box so it rattles. “Come now, boy. Don’t you want something from dear old Santa Claus? Aren’t you curious about what’s inside?”

We’d gone over the plan a few times but I should have known the lure of a gift from the man in red would be too much. Eyes fixed on the shiny wrapping paper, Ryan steps into the glow of the flickering lights and, arms outstretched like a sleepwalker, advances.

“You never could stop them from coming to me,” Nick says. “Children are all the same: easy as hell to trick.”

“How many have you swapped? How many parents have found gifts under the tree in place of their children?”

“Everyone likes my gifts.”

“No gift can replace a child!”

Nick laughs, a great booming trill. “How many? Lots! And like you, the stupid sprites run amok, filling the world with blankets of snow, bathing it in white!”

Ryan’s now only a few feet away. Nick yanks the box out of reach, replacing it with the open mouth of his great, big sack. Grabbing Ryan by the arm, he starts jamming him inside.

Ryan’s thoughts call to me. “Ja—!“

“Frost!” Nick screams. He drops the boy and the sack to grab his midsection. “How dare you!”

He charges, coming on like a red and black battering ram but I easily dodge his attack. Dancing around him like an imp, I poke him with a finger, laughing at the white patches forming on his coat, then poking some more, egged on by his irritated grunts. Finally, breathing hard, Nick quits lumbering around.

“You think saving one boy will make a damned bit of difference? I’ve been swapping for generations! If not this one, then the next–!”

“Not if I can help it, fat man!”

Nick gasps and goes pale. He looks at his chest, sees the flowers of blood forming on the white fur trim and pooling on the floor. I withdraw the ice knives, the red-coated icicles extending from my fingers gleaming in the fire and flickering lights. From the wounds, frost crackles across Nick’s body, freezing him solid.

I punch his face. He shatters. Santa-sicles slide across the hardwood floor.

At a slight touch from me, Ryan snaps out of the trance. Seeing the Santa pieces strewn about his feet, he smiles.

“You’re safe now, kid. How about you go on off to bed?” Waving a hand over him, I add, “And while you’re at it, forget about everything you’ve seen tonight.”

Ryan blinks. He stares as though seeing me for the first time until his eyelids droop and fatigue pulls at his face. Yawning, he heads for the stairs.

I walk over to the cookies, kicking aside the red, white and black chunks in the way. In three long gulps, I down the glass of milk.

And grinning, I bite into the thick layer of sugar frosting, savouring the sweet, sweet taste of revenge.

Evil Santa

Dyane Forde’s book:

Purple_Morrow_Cover-Final

BLURB: (A short description of the book)

 

The Rovers had been sent to decimate the Southernlands. Instead, they awoke its savior.

Ten years have passed since the Rover army tore through the Southernlands, leaving behind a trail of devastation and death. Most believed the attacks were random acts of brutality. The wise, however, knew the truth: the Rovers sought to destroy the one thing powerful enough to thwart their conquest. They were searching for the Papilion.

A new commander, bent on completing the mission left unfinished by his predecessors, leads the Rovers back into the Southernlands. Fierce and determined, he comes armed with a precious artifact and a secret purpose.

While the Southernlands reel under the new terror, the Purple Morrow, a harbinger of hope, appears to Jeru, an unsuspecting and solitary clan hunter. Finding himself enmeshed in a series of incredible events beyond his control, Jeru is compelled to take the first steps towards discovering his ultimate destiny.
dyane forde_writer
You can purchase Dyane Forde’s book, The Purple Morrow on amazon.com You can also buy it HERE and HERE.
Also check out Dyane Forde’s fascinating Blog: Dropped Pebbles
Gift a book for Christmas!

Gift a book for Christmas!

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope you enjoyed Dyane’s holiday story. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Happy Holidays!

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Descent Into The Basement

15 May

The Basement- Twitter- Card

Hello! Welcome to my blog. I’m Vashti (for those of you that don’t know me). Today I will share a chapter from my first novel The Basement suspense/thriller (MG/YA). I would love to read your opinions. What do you think happened to Natasha, as she heroically tries to save her friend Robbie?

Natasha ventured out of her home in the middle of the night to rescue her friend Robbie from the basement.

Natasha’s Descent

Natasha ran out of her building and down the street toward Robbie’s basement to aid her friend. It was dark and creepy outside. The streetlights were dim and cast weird shadows on the pavement. The block seemed isolated—as if the end of the world had come and she was the only survivor. Had she entered another dimension, a parallel world where she was the only person alive? She had a great imagination, but, under the circumstances, she did not feel it was helping.


When she reached the entrance to the basement, it seemed like the entrance to a great cave. She was afraid to enter, but determined not to waste any more time, so she stepped into the unknown. It was dark, and the light from the street did not illuminate past the first couple of steps.


Then a realization struck her. “I didn’t bring a flashlight! How could I have been so stupid? How will I get to the bottom without falling on my face and breaking my neck?”


Unlike Robbie’s mom before her, Natasha saw the big, yellow flashlight sitting in its dark little corner. She gasped and opened her eyes wide. “That’s Robbie’s flashlight!”
She grabbed the flashlight, searched for the switch, and flipped it. No radiance shone from its reflector. She turned it in her hand and heard a rattling sound. She tried to open the battery housing, but it was stuck. She unscrewed the top of the flashlight, figuring she could get straight to the battery compartment this way. She lost her grip on the flashlight; she fumbled, and it flew out of her hand. She squeaked and leaped toward it, managing to grab the flashlight, but not before a couple of the batteries rolled down the cement steps.

“Oh no.”  She pressed her rosy, full lips together tightly. “Now what am I going to do?”
Natasha pondered the descent into the basement. She decided the only way she would be able to do it would be to sit on the top step, and, in a seated position, slide off one step and then onto the one below it, feeling her way down with her hands, feet, and legs. In this fashion she went down, one scratchy concrete step at a time.
She knew her method would ruin her pajamas, but she figured it was a small price to pay. She never imagined she would be so scared. She was not normally afraid of the dark; then again, she never had reason to fear what was in it before.
At first she was able to see shadowy figures scuttling about. Ick! Bugs! She narrowed her eyes and wrinkled the bridge of her nose. After a while, she could not see a thing. She thought her eyes would eventually adjust and she would be able to see a little but that did not happen. She realized she was going to be blind down there and would have to fine-tune her other senses to get through it.
She proceeded to scoot down the steps on her bottom. A sluggish, heavy, ugly stench began to intrude upon her awareness as it filled her nasal cavities. She grimaced with revulsion. She pinched her nose and continued to move down, using only one hand to balance herself, since the other was trying to prevent the unpleasant odors from bombarding her nostrils, and she lurched. She slid to the next cement step hard, and in order to prevent hurting herself, she brought her other hand down on the step for support. When she slammed her hand hastily beside her there was a pop and a crunch, and then a squishy sensation on her palm.
“Eeeeww!” She imagined the gooey crack of a cockroach’s backbone under the weight of her hand. “Ick!” Immediately she began to rub her palm on the sidewall nearest her. She retched and vomited a little in her mouth.
As she moved farther down, she began to hear peeping and chirping sounds. She stopped. Her heart thumped in her chest. She listened carefully, her big almond-shaped eyes scanning to the left and to the right. She thought she heard a chorus of trills, peeps, and whistling echoing out of the basement. Birds? Mutant rats! Creatures that are part rat and part bird? What is making those sounds? Her muddled mind gave way to her efflorescent imagination. Her jaw dropped. I’m sure they can’t fly. Otherwise they would have flown out of this stinky basement by now. Poor Robbie, I must hurry! Panting, she continued to descend the steps one by one, until her feet could no longer find the edge of the next step, which meant she had reached the bottom and was in the basement.
Natasha got up off the last basement step, and, at the same time, she heard something cry out. Her hand flew to cover her mouth. She felt a swift breeze pass in front of her face driven by something heavy. She recoiled and heard a thump, something large hit the ground. What was that? The odd chirping and tweeting sounds became huffs and a low-pitch vibrating noise resembling a hum and trill combined. It was a soft, mysterious sound but spine-chilling just the same.
Then the sounds became—terrible noises, ferocious noises—all around her. She was terrorized, no longer thinking clearly. She was nauseated and numb throughout her body, wanting nothing else but to escape.

Terrified by what she heard, and felt and unable to see, Natasha panicked.

She became ashen. Her eyes darted in every direction, her pulse raced, and she gasped openmouthed. She turned and bolted, but not up the steps to safety. Panic disoriented her and she did not know where she was going, plus, she could not see.
Natasha jostled through what seemed like large, warm bodies, which brushed her legs and bumped into her. She made noisy, hoarse breathing sounds as she moved. Her fingers were spread so wide by tension they hurt. She opened her mouth to scream but could not produce a sound. As she scrambled to find her way, she slipped on one of the batteries she had dropped earlier, and something massive and horrible crashed into her face, smashing her delicate bones. There was a loud explosion in her head, and then there was no more panic, no more fear––there was nothing.

Click to purchase The Basement in paperback or eBook (Nook)

Click to purchase
The Basement in paperback or eBook (Nook)

amazon.com-The Basement-Robbies Rite of Passage

Click to purchase
The Basement in paperback or eBook (Kindle)

 

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It’s only water? Tell that to a drowning boy.

19 Apr
It's only water? Tell that to a drowning boy.

The rain is pouring down into the well. Wells are meant to hold water!

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog. The Basement: Robbie’s Rite of Passage is my first novel. It is a Suspense/Thriller aimed at an upper Middle Grade/ Young Adult audience (pre-teens & teens). The Basement is a coming of age story about a pre-teen named Robbie and the many issues he faces in his young life (bullying, verbal abuse, alcoholic father, puppy love . . . ) and how the encouragement and support of his mom, friends and neighborhood heroes aid him in the task of overcoming these obstacles. You will feel an array of emotions as you read this novel ranging from indignation and sorrow to laughter and delight, not to mention a bit of thrills and fright.

Please enjoy a chapter from THE BASEMENT, and let me know what you think in the comments below. Your opinions mean a great deal to me and will help me develop further as a writer. Thank you!

Joshua Rush as Robbie

Rescue Delayed

Before leaving to go get help, Nestor had cleared away the plants that concealed the well. Robbie and Barney were really beginning to worry. For a while, Robbie and Barney could look up at a circle of blue, but now the sky was somber, and rain poured down in buckets. The sun would set soon, and even the feeble light that allowed them to see each other would disappear. Robbie wondered what would happen if Nestor and the others returned after dark – would they be able to find the well again?

The boys had no choice but to wait, even though the rain did not relent and the water was rising.

“We’re going to need to stand,” Robbie said in a wobbly voice.

Barney nodded—he had also noticed the rising water. He tried repeatedly to get to his feet, but his efforts were futile. He sat rocking back and forth, wincing and groaning in pain.

Robbie passed his hands along the walls to try to find something he could hold onto. His hands came across something he believed to be part of a tree root. He scrunched his brow and pulled on the root to test its strength; it seemed to be anchored securely to the wall of the well.

“Barney, I found something attached to the wall that I can hold onto while I try to stand. It feels like tree roots. Maybe there’s something that can help you get to your feet on your side.”

Barney made efforts to pass his hands over the walls near him, but each twist and bend of his body was like sharp, hot knives slowly entering his flesh. He howled in pain and closed his eyes tightly, clenching his jaw.

“Are you okay?” Robbie asked with a worried grimace etched on his face.

“I’ll be all right.” Barney was breathless. “How about you? Can you stand up?”

Robbie grabbed the root with his right hand and pushed himself off the ground with his left arm, but an excruciating pain in his right leg prevented him from standing. As a consequence, he fell back to the wet ground and into a seated position. He groaned. He knew now he could not lean on his right leg and figured he probably fractured a bone when he fell.

The rain continued to pour, and the water level in the well kept climbing. Robbie bit the corner of his lower lip and made another attempt to get up, gripping the root with both hands and putting his whole weight on his left leg. Doing so, he was able to rise. The effort of standing had made him dizzy, and he faltered off balance. He rested his back against the wall to steady himself. As he tried to move closer to the wall, his foot slipped, and he almost fell again. When he finally got his back up against the wall of the well, he let go with one hand. He stared wide-eyed at Barney, who was almost submerged. Robbie extended his free hand. “Try to reach for my hand.”

“I can’t move. Everything hurts.” Barney grimaced in pain and moaned.

“You have to try. You’ll drown if you don’t! Please try!”

“All right, I’ll try again.” He strained with all his might to reach his hand. A screaming pain shot through his legs when he moved. His right arm throbbed, and his ribs ached terribly. Barney winced and wailed in agony. He began to wheeze as it became difficult for him to breathe. He was in bad shape. Barney moaned and shook his head. “I can’t.”

“Come on! You can do it!” Robbie encouraged him. “The water’s rising fast!”

The water level reached just above Robbie’s knees. Only Barney’s head and his shoulders were above the water. He needed to get on his feet quickly before the water covered him completely.

Barney reached his arm out as far as he could, but he could barely reach Robbie’s fingertips. Robbie’s hand was only eight inches away from Barney’s, but it might as well have been a hundred feet away. It was no use—he could not elevate himself. Even if he managed to reach the outstretched hand, Robbie was not strong enough to support his entire body weight. Barney’s broken legs could not sustain him, so he gave up trying. There was a squeaking, creaking sound when he breathed.

“Barney, don’t give up.” Robbie’s voice was heavy with sadness.

“I’m sorry I can’t get up. I really did try. I gave it my all. I think both my legs are broken and I can’t breathe right anymore.”

Robbie’s heart sank as he heard his wheezing. He bit his lip, his eyebrows drawn in. He wanted to help his friend, but he could hardly help himself. What would Superman do now? was all he could think at the moment.

It was getting dark in the well. The boys could no longer see each other. Robbie’s heart beat hard against his chest. His breathing was fast and shallow. He worried mostly about the water rising above his friend’s neck and drowning him. He lifted his eyes, but it was so dark he could not even see the opening to the well anymore. All he saw was darkness. He decided to pray.

“God, I know you can hear me even from down here. Please save my friend. I know you usually help those who help themselves. Barney did try to get on his feet, but he just didn’t have the strength to do it. Please stop the rain from coming down. Don’t allow my friend drown.”

Robbie closed his eyes while he prayed, although it would not have made a difference if he had kept them open. It was pitch black in the well. He looked up again and opened his eyes. He continued to feel big drops of rain tumble from the sky and mix with his tears.

“Barney, talk to me?”

“I’m still here, buddy.”

“Let’s keep talking to each other, just so we’ll each know the other’s all right.”

“Sure, but it’s not going to be easy for me. Every breath hurts.”

“All right, how about I just check up on you every so often. All you have to say is ‘OK’ or ‘I’m fine.’ Is that good?”

“Yes, Rob-bie, that’s fff…”

Click to purchase The Basement at amazon paperback and eBook (Kindle)

Click to purchase
The Basement at amazon
paperback and eBook (Kindle)

Click to purchase  The Basement in paperback or eBook (Nook)

Click to purchase
The Basement in paperback or eBook (Nook)