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Poetry Friday ~ A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

12 Apr

Hello and welcome, everyone!

The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy for me and I was not able to do as much writing as I wanted, so I plan to spend the day and weekend catching up. Please enjoy my story series, A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance, if you haven’t already done so and I will see you next week for another Poetry Friday. Happy Good Friday, Passover and Easter!


 

Doing the right thing

is hard when you do not know

what the right thing is

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Illustration by Melanie Delon

 

Today I’m sharing Part 1 of a short story series called A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance. I hope you enjoy it.

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

Who falls in love with a ghost?

 

I recall the first time I saw Abigail. She wasn’t attractive in my eyes. Her skin was as pale as an ivory mist. Her limp, blonde hair reflected merely a glint of sun. Her lips were thin and uninviting, but when she glanced my way with heavy-lidded sea green eyes, she captured my soul so completely I couldn’t look away. I should have looked away.

 

I had a task to do–so I watched. Abigail had a sweet way about her that lured me further into her world. Was it possible to take part in her world? I observed her. This girl did caring things for those around her and had a generous heart. Oddly, she never seemed to expect anything in return. Showing kindness to animals and nature was her way. She enjoyed singing, although she wasn’t very good at staying in tune. I spent hours, days, and then weeks watching her–trying to find something that would make my errand easier. I could not. What was it about this creature that held me captive?

 

Abigail was good, but also an odd and clumsy creature. I lost count of how many times I had to swiftly cover my mouth, fearing that my laughter would betray my presence. Once, she picked up a tarantula spider. It appeared to prance happily in place on her palm. She gazed at it wide-eyed and giggled with glee. Then she dropped it. The spider shattered when it hit the ground. She wailed for hours.

 

Another time she witnessed a small boy feeding bread to a swan. She ran to them and picked up a piece of bread lying by the boy’s feet. She attempted to feed the swan at the same time the boy did, but instead, she clumsily struck the swan’s beak, making it irate. She gasped as the angry bird took the boy’s arm in its beak and pounded his small limb with one of its massive wings. Abigail screamed for help and managed to pull the boy away, but not before the swan had broken his arm. The boy ran away to his parents, red-faced and howling, his arm dangling by his side. She dropped to the ground and created a puddle with her guilt and sorrow. She did not eat for days. That’s when I finally approached her.

 

“Why do you starve yourself?” I asked. She jumped and stared at me. “Do you wish to die?”

 

“No, I wish to live,” she responded, her eyes wide and pale lips trembling. “I hurt a small boy and deserve to suffer.”

 

“You did no such thing. The bird hurt the boy, but his arm is healing well. He plays happily as we speak, regardless of the cast he wears. You have no need to go on tormenting yourself.”

 

“How do you know this?” she asked, looking at me askance.

 

Thinking quickly I responded, “I was told about what had happened to the boy, and I just saw him minutes before I ran into you.”

 

She stared at me, brows crumbled and eyes squinted, and then she smiled faintly. “I’m glad to know this, thank you. My name is Abigail.”

 

“Then you must nourish yourself, Abigail.”

 

I looked around. A red fruit hanging from a nearby tree caught my eye. I picked it and handed it to her. She extended her hand slowly and took it. She bit into it, repeatedly holding the ripened, sweet fruit with both hands. She devoured it in no time. As she swallowed the last morsel, I wiped a bit of dribble off her chin. Her grateful smile turned her cheeks the color of an orchid rose.

 

I chuckled at how her face lit up. “My name is Azrael,” I told her. I’m not sure why. I reveal my name to few.

 

“It’s nice to meet you, Azrael. Would you like to walk with me?”

 

 “Yes. This forest is quite beautiful. I have always enjoyed hiking here. The smells, the sounds–fascinate me!”

 

She took my hand as we began our stroll.

 

“This beautiful place can also be quite dangerous,” I said. “Doesn’t that scare you?”

 

“No,” she said, her face as innocent and pure as a daisy.

 

We continued walking. She stopped to smell wildflowers, drink water from a small waterfall that emptied into a noisy river, to point at birds she recognized and insects. I thought today would be the day, but torrents of crystalline water gushed, white fluffy clouds whipped across intense cerulean skies, daffodils vibrant as stars quivered and danced in the wind. It was much too lively a day for death to intrude.

 

“I must leave now.”

 

“So soon?” She sighed heavily and her body slumped.

 

“The sun will set soon. Perhaps you should go home before it becomes dark and you can’t find your way back.”

 

She nodded with a frown. “Goodbye. It was nice exploring the forest with you. Thank you for a lovely time,” she said as she departed.

 

I rushed in the opposite direction. When I was sure to be far enough away, I crumbled to the ground.

 

“Why? Why must I carry out this burden?” I cried to the heavens. “There is no malice in her. She is a lamb!” I rubbed a deep burning ache in my chest as large drops fell from my eyes. I touched my cheek and looked with amazement at my wet fingers. A voice in my head reassured me that my daunting task was for the best. I rose from the ground and with dragging feet left the forest. 

 

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

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Illustration by AStoKo

 

Be sure to read part 2 and the finale of A Time To Mourn And A Time To Dance

PART 2

PART 3 – FINALE

Book Tour: Voyage of the Lanternfish by C. S. Boyack

24 Jan

Hi, everyone! I’m excited because today I have the privilege to host talented and creative author, C. S. Boyack. Enjoy!

CS Boyack-author-voyage of the lanternfish-blog tour-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-craig boyack

 

Thanks for the invitation, Vashti. You’re welcome to promote at my place any time you like. I’m here to talk about my newest book, Voyage of the Lanternfish.

I try to make every tour post unique, to give people a reason to read the post. This time the topic is some of the big decisions that went into this story. All authors have to make these kinds of decisions, and I’m interest to see if others faced similar things in drafting their stories.

I’ve written before about the plate of peas approach, where you scrape options away until the peas that remain are your story. That’s kind of the topic here.

My big decisions were Earth, or a fantasy world? Cutting throats or a bit more compassion. And finally, “Ere ye gonna write a whole novel wi nought but pirate speak, lad?”

One of the things on my mind was distancing myself from the most popular pirate franchise in history. I love Captain Jack, but this isn’t intended to be fan fiction. I decided to create my own world.

Part of this was to avoid going to places like Port Royal, Tortuga, and the rest. There may be some similarities, but I want my world to be bigger and contain different possibilities. I may have pulled a fast one on naming an island. Tortuga means turtle or tortoise. It’s the pirate stronghold. I needed one of these too, so I called mine Lagarto, which means lizard. I changed one reptile for another.

I also took my crew to places similar to Asia, the Mediterranean Coast, and even some wild moors.

I stayed consistent with the countries, even if readers don’t pick up on it. The bad guys are from a country much like England. There is a northern country that never gets visited, but all the ties to it are Germanic. This includes the original name of the ship that will become Lanternfish. My Asian part of the world is a mash up of several cultures. I stayed mostly Chinese, but allowed some drift into other areas too. It’s a fantasy world and this is one of the luxuries.

Pirates weren’t good people in reality. They came from all walks of life, but the situation that appealed to me was desperation. Common folk were treated like animals by those in power. Some of them developed a bit of backbone and rebelled. These people are the bulk of my pirate crew.

There were some looking to get rich quick, others who were more interested in striking a blow than gaining riches. In a novel, it’s a balancing act. I need readers to like my characters and be on their side. I went with the compassion, but a tempered version of it. No torturing prisoners, or walking the plank in this story. They are pirates, so there are some violent moments involved.

When it comes to pirate speak, I love it. However, it’s a nightmare to write, and spell check doesn’t like it either. This is one of those things that could drive readers insane too.

I chose to write it like any other book, but there are some secondary characters who drift into pirate speak. I ain’t afraid to butcher the English language a bit… in small doses. I want enough to get the point across without burning out my readers’ eyes trying to get through it all.

Readers will have to decide if these were the right decisions, of course. I love the story, but I could be a bit biased.

I hope your readers will give Lanternfish a chance. I’ll drop off all the important stuff for Vashti to add to the post.

How about it, you authors out there? What similar circumstances have you faced in writing your own books? I’d love to get some conversations going in the comments.

***

Voyage of the Lanternfish-C S Boyack-author-spotlight-novel-amazon-vashti quiroz vega-vashti q

 

Blurb:

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

Purchase Link:

http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07MP8V633

 

Bio:

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

blog tour-book blogger-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-C S Boyack-Lisa Burton_radio

Connect with C. S. “Craig” Boyack on social media:

Blog: Entertaining Stories

Twitter 

Amazon Author Page

BookBub

Goodreads

Facebook

I hope you enjoyed today’s feature. Check out Craig’s fascinating blog and follow him on social media. He’s a very talented author and a great supporter of other indie writers.

 

Blog Tour: The Curse of Time by M J Mallon

14 Apr

Hello, everyone! 

 

So, I had surgery on Monday––nothing life-threatening, but surgery nonetheless. Therefore, I’ve been a bit off my game this week. I apologize for the lack of ‘Haiku Friday’ this week, I will try to make up for it next Friday.

the curse of time-m j mallon-novel-fantasy-book-blog-tour-the writer next door-vashti q-vashti quiroz vega-bookworm

I have a special treat for you today. Author, M J Mallon recently released the paperback version of her book, ‘The Curse of Time’ and it is my pleasure to feature her and her book. I’ll turn it over to her now. Please give her a warm welcome.

M J Mallon-author-blog_tour-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega

In Her Words . . . 

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years at my lovely blog home Kyrosmagica: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, middle grade fiction and micro poetry – haiku and Tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

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(Click On Image To Purchase)

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Blurb:

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house. When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.

Q & A with Marje

1/ Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they are inspired?

When I have an inspiring idea I am driven by a demonic desire to write! With The Curse of Time, a flood of possibilities kept bouncing around in my brain and I could hardly keep up! Last week, I had a similar eureka moment. I was driving on my way to work and an idea for a ghost story hit me (fortunately no cars were damaged in the production of this story.) When this happens I get very excited and I am compelled by a sense of urgency to write my thoughts down. That’s a dangerous process when you’re driving!

2/ Do you prefer writing over reviewing the work of others.

It depends. I’d say I love both. When I read an exceptionally well-written book that stirs my deepest emotions I adore that feeling. I often cry. My tears might be tears of sadness triggered by a sad passage but sometimes I’m crying because I’m immersed in a book that speaks to me through the author’s voice. Equally, when I write a powerful paragraph I have the same depth of feeling. There is nothing like the power of words, words can thrill, shock and transport you to places you have never been before.

3/ How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

It has been such a phenomenal experience. It will be interesting to see how my writing process will change with book two –The Curse of Time is a series. The next book’s framework has already been written. Recently, I had the idea of incorporating the Midsummer Chronopage (which features a mythological fly,) into book two so I will be adding some extra passages/chapters to the narrative and looking at how this fits with the plot as a whole. Also I will be paying attention to constructive, well-written reviews to see how my readership responds to my book.

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Photo courtesy of Dr. John C. Taylor OBE:

4/ Do you base your characters on real people?

Some of my characters are based on facets of one or two people amalgamated together! I love observing people’s idiosyncrasies; listening to conversations, seeing how people dress, walk, move… From these impressions I create a character bank in my mind for future projects.

5/ What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

I’d like to give up full-time work! Working part-time would be ideal; I’d still have lots of anecdotes from my working life to inspire me to create characters. I currently work as a receptionist and I meet lots of visitors from different backgrounds and cultures. This is a perfect job for a nosy writer!

6/ Does a bad review affect your writing?

I haven’t had a really bad review and I hope this continues. My reviews range in star rating, some reviewers have ratedThe Curse of Time #1 Bloodstone five stars, some four and a few have rated it three stars. I think this demonstrates the authenticity of my reviewers. If I had all five star reviews I’d be suspicious! I do believe that reading a book is and should be a very subjective experience. Some people might not like my book, I get that, I just hope that the majority do!

7/ What’s next? Are you working on another book?

I am working on the second book in The Curse of Time series which I have entitled, The Curse of Time Book 2 – Golden Healer. In the second book in the series expect the growing friction between the protagonist Amelina and the antagonist Ryder to escalate. Ryder will introduce the reader to his birthplace, a place you would never want to visit and he will reveal aspects of his darker, shadowy side which have been partially hidden by his hypnotic personality. Be prepared to fly away with The Grasshopper to meet the most twisted rollercoaster you have ever imagined.

Beware-Time is indeed a cruel, relentless monster.

Esme and The Creature-illustration-book-M J Mallon-YA-novel-blog_tour-characters

Illustrations by Carolina Russo

 

Fun facts about Marje:

  1. I wish I could be wonder woman or MJ from Spiderman.
  2. I adore crystals, alternative therapies, the unusual and the strange. I’m a qualified Aromatherapist, Reflexologist, (I no longer work as a therapist instead I devote my spare time to reading, writing, blogging and reviewing.)
  3. Some say that I am a white witch…my blogging friends confer and have included me in the Sisters of The Fey, a writerly collaboration.
  4. My husband can’t remember asking me to marry him and neither can I. He suspects I cast a spell on him!
  5. I have travelled to many foreign destinations, including: Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Caribbean, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Rome, Venice, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Portugal. I would love the funds to travel some more!
  6. I currently work as a receptionist in a massive building, home to twenty companies. In quiet moments I observe peoples’ mannerisms, listen to snippets of gossip and dream up new story ideas.
  7. I love food! Asian food and anything spicy, yum…My mother is Malaysian and my father is Scottish so I grew up with a very varied diet.
  8. My motto is to do what you love! Stay true to your heart’s desires, remain young at heart, and inspire others to do so, even if the odds are stacked against you like black-hearted shadows.
  9. I studied Communication Studies at University, (marketing, media studies, public relations, etc.) My degree is coming in mighty handy now.
  10. I love cats but don’t own one (my husband and daughter are allergic,) so I adopted a virtual black cat called Lily who looks like my black cat character Shadow in my book: https://mjmallon.com/2017/05/17/shadow-welcomes-lily-the-cat-to-kyrosmagica/

 

Social Media:

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com

Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time

My Facebook Authors/Bloggers Support Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Tumblr: http://mjmallonauthor.tumblr.com/

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Follow The Curse of Time Blog Tour

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Enjoy the new week!

Writers Quote Wednesday – Fall From Desire

23 Mar

Hello everyone and welcome. It’s Writers Quote Wednesday. Today’s quote reminded me of a short story I had written a while ago, so I revised my story and decided to post it along with the quote. I hope you enjoy.

vampire_quote_writers quote wednesday_The Writer Next Door

Fall From Desire

By Vashti Q-Vega

For my transgressions, I was cast out of Heaven and exiled to planet Earth.

My fall was brutal as my six large white wings caught fire entering the Earth’s atmosphere. I cringed, cried and screamed as the flames consumed feathers and flesh. I looped and spiraled in the air, all the while stirring and reaching toward the flames, but there was no relief from the oppressive pain or the stench of roasted flesh. The fire was quenched when only the burnt bones of my wings remained. I wailed writhing in the air as the bony frames were yanked from my skeleton by a powerful force. This is what the male angels I led astray with my insatiable carnal appetite experienced as they fell from grace. I deserve worse for corrupting so many.

 

I splashed into a swamp.

 

The only light source was the brilliance of a full moon.

 

The swamp was dominated by woody plants and teeming with animal life. The water seemed to push down on me from all sides. I floundered and flailed my arms and legs, which only made me sink faster. I sank further and further into the swamp and away from the light of the moon. Soon, I was shrouded in darkness. My lungs burned for air. In horror, I screamed and warm, murky water filled my lungs. I shook and convulsed as alligators, snakes and all manner of swamp creatures witnessed the water take me away.

 

I opened my eyes. I was floating over the water. I survived? I was not sure how long I was unconscious, only that it was a different night—for the moon was no longer full. I trembled in fear and remained still, allowing the current to carry me wherever it may. As I came near the bank of the swamp, I took hold of a cypress’s knee, clambered to my feet and waded out of the water. I teetered and faltered, inexperienced in walking without wings. I am no longer an angel. The realization pierced my heart. What am I now? I broke the rules of celibacy in Heaven and tempted so many to do the same with my female ways. My lustful desires and sexual appetite were my ruin. Now I am alone, never to feel the pleasure of a caress.

 

My wide eyes flickered in every direction, trying to find a way out of the desolate and wild place. The potent, musky smell of decomposing vegetation and animal matter wafted into my nose, making me grimace with revulsion. There were no such smells in Heaven. Oh, how far I have gone from Heaven’s joyful fragrances!

 

I staggered in circles, my feet sinking into the spongy, wet ground. The moisture was so dense in this habitat that everything was wet. A film of moisture covered my naked body. Water soaked my long, blonde hair and pulled my curls flat. I heard the hooting of an owl. I turned toward a nearby tree and there it was, lurking in the shadows. Its large glowing eyes stared at me. Snakes slithered around my feet. Alligators remained immersed as they peered at me with their strange eyes peeking over the surface of the water. Where am I? There are only wetlands as far as I can see. How am I to survive here? I was not sure I wanted to live––not here. My body trembled, and desperate tears meandered over my cheeks and mingled with the moisture on my face. No one can hear me cry. I walked for miles. There were many sunrises and many moonrises, yet I remained alone in a world of swamps.

 

Swarms of mosquitos tormented me with their stinging and their buzzing in my ears. I had to deter countless attacks from snakes and alligators. I was covered in welts, bumps, scratches, bites and bruises from such attacks. My body itched, ached and throbbed. I deserve no less for sating my erotic desires without a second thought for the countless archangels, seraphim and cherubim I debauched with my impious, enticing and lustful ways.

 

I continued to wander the soggy swampland and began to feel an unfamiliar burning sensation in my middle. My strength was depleting, and I dragged my feet and panted. Feeling faint, I collapsed. I lay on the water-saturated ground and looked up at the heavens. What is happening to me? What have I become? I lay frozen for hours, feeling so alone, waving off a plethora of insects trying to invade my body. I would rather draw my last breath than spend the rest of my days alone in this sodden nightmare.

 

“What are you?” A masculine voice asked.

 

I jolted upright in a seated position and stared at a magnificent creature. “I––I do not know what I am. I have only knowledge of what I used to be.”

 

“Very well, then what were you?” He squinted his eyes and his eyebrows came together as he stared.

 

“I was once called Rachiel . . . when I was an angel in Heaven.”

 

He looked at me sideways. “You do not look like an angel to me.”

 

“Have you ever seen an angel?”

 

“Yes, as a matter of fact, I have, and angels have wings.”

 

“I, too, had wings. Large white wings—six of them,” I said, my voice quavering. “They were torn from me as I fell through the skies.”

 

He scrutinized me for a while with his piercing violet-blue eyes. “I believe you. I am not sure why, but I do. Perhaps something in your verdant eyes tells me you do not know how to lie.” His wide smile was stunning. “My name is Mendrion.” He was tall. His hair long, thick, the color of nightfall. Lengthy, heavy eyelashes framed his violet-blue eyes. His skin was like an ivory mist. He looked like divine pleasure. Enough, Rachiel! This is why you were cast out of Heaven! I shuddered and got out of my own head.

 

I gawked at his muscular body while he stared at my face and came closer. He searched for some of my hair that was not soiled, grabbed some and sniffed. He proceeded to nuzzle his nose against my neck, my shoulder, the top of my breasts. I closed my eyes. He breathed me in, taking in my essence. He looked up. I opened my eyes, and he stared into them. Then he walked around me, slowly, as he evaluated every inch of my bare body. He parted the long hair that fell down my back and saw the jagged stubs from where my wings used to stem. He passed his hands over them with a gentle touch, and then I felt him bring his face closer to smell the stumps. He came around to face me again.

 

“Are you in pain?” He did not look concerned but more curious.

 

“Since I have arrived on this planet, I have felt only pain, fear and sorrow.” I looked toward the ground.

 

“I can rid you of these malignancies.”

 

“How?”

 

“You need only say yes.”

 

I gazed at him. What am I to do? I am in much pain and I grow weaker with the passing of time. I shall not survive much longer without help. I bit my lip. I was unable to think with clarity.

 

“You do not trust me and I understand, for I have given you no reason to trust in me.” His voice was soothing.

 

“You are an elegant creature, but I do not know your mind.”

 

He grinned and lifted his muscular chest. He swaggered toward me and extended his arm. He passed his hand through my hair and caressed my face. Desire for him grew quickly inside me like a vine strangling all other emotions. Every fiber of my being was ignited. My chest heaved in rhythm with my shallow panting. It is happening again. I am overwhelmed with lustful desires.

 

“You, too, are beautiful to look upon,” he said. “But if you wish to rid yourself of pain and fear you must become what I am.”

 

“What are you?”

 

“I am vampire.”

 

I jolted and gasped. In Heaven, I had heard stories of such creatures from the Observers––angels whose task was to observe the beings on Earth. Vampires are the spawn of Dracul, the infamous son of Lilith and Satan. I recoiled from him.

 

“You know of my kind?” He came closer.

 

“I do.” My lips quivered.

 

“You need not fear me. I mean you no harm. I only seek what you seek.”

 

“What do you think I desire?”

 

“Companionship.” He extended his hand. “Come with me and never be alone again.”

 

I stared at his welcoming hand for a while.

 

“I shall offer this only once.” His piercing eyes were fixed on me. I reached my trembling hand to meet his and he pulled me toward him.

 

He held me tightly and pressed his full moist lips against mine. After the kiss I became lightheaded. Through eyes half opened, I watched as he opened his mouth exposing large canine teeth growing into fangs. I gasped, but before I could move, he sank his fangs into the flesh at the base of my neck. A combination of his saliva and my blood streamed down my neck. I cocked my head back and moaned, my eyes rolling back in their sockets. Both pleasure and pain moved through me. My body tensed. My entire being was at peak response. As he drew my blood greedily, I felt my body meld into his. A delightful pressure began to build inside me. I gasped and groaned with pleasure. The pressure continued to build until I thought I would explode. My body went into spasms of incredible delight, and my mind was flooded with a variety of pleasurable sensations. Then I felt a wave of dizziness, my body slackened, and darkness began to close in on me.

 

Upon opening my eyes, I saw the world differently. The colors of cypress trees became more vivid, and plants were verdant jewels. I almost felt the fragrances of nature. The alligators’ bellows and the hissing of snakes became mellifluous. I lay on the ground, and Mendrion sat next to me. He smiled, and I returned his smile. He kissed me on the lips, neck, shoulders and breasts. His hands caressed my body, and his touch was heavenly. As a vampire, my body was made for pleasure. I sensed so much more and every nerve ending in my body was excited. Every touch sent waves of pleasure throughout my body. I need not food, nor water—I may well live on his touch alone. I was in ecstasy, but then he stopped. He got to his feet.

 

“No, do not stop. I implore you.” I gazed into his eyes feeling affection for him and wholly devoted. “I love your hands and lips on my body.”

 

He extended his hand like he had done before. “Take my hand, Rachiel.” I beamed when he mentioned my name. “I shall allow you to keep your original name, for it pleases me. Now go and join the others.” His words filled me with confusion.

 

He pointed to the swamp.

 

I turned my face and gasped. My eyes opened wide with disbelief. There were other fallen angels like me in the swamp. They were all converted into vampires—no doubt in the same way as I was. There was not a happy face among them.

 

“Go on,” said Mendrion. “Take your place among them. You are now a swamp vampire. You shall feed on the blood of alligators, snakes, beavers, frogs and other swamp creatures.”

 

“I shall not!” I screamed. I clenched my jaw and held back tears. “You deceived me.”

 

“I told you only the truth. You no longer feel pain, am I right?” He waited for my response wearing a wry grin. “If you do not feed on the blood of these swamp creatures, you shall die a slow and agonizing death.”

 

“I shall go away!” I turned my head this way and that, my eyes flickering in every direction.

 

“You have nowhere to go. You belong to me now and there is no escape, for your blood calls out to me and I shall find you wherever you go. Besides, you can no longer live without my touch.” He was right—losing his caressing is what I feared most. “Join the others now, or you shall never feel the gratification of my touch.”

 

Upon hearing his final words my face slackened. I shuffled through the bog and entered the dark, gloomy water. I stood amongst the others, merely another beauty in the murky swamp. The others glared at me––another to whom they must share him with. We were all doomed to the same punishment. Our bodies made for pleasure and overwhelmed with desire, condemned to long for the touch of the same master.

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

Fall from Desire-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog-Victoria Frances

Illustration by Victoria Frances

 

Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog.

 

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Short Stories

17 Feb

It’s the middle of the week and that means it’s time for Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Welcome, everyone! I love short stories. I enjoy writing them and reading them as well. I have written several short stories for this blog, although it has been a little over a year since I wrote the last one. That’s because I’ve been so busy working on my Fantasy Angels Series and what little free time I have left after working on my series I use to work on my blog posts, social media, and blogging.

I haven’t had the time to write short stories in a while and that makes me sad because I love doing it. Anyway, I have gotten several new followers since I posted my last short story, so I decided to post the links to some of these stories. That way, those of you that have not read them can check them out, if you like.

A Town’s Perception

Murder She WrotePart 2, Finale

Raven’s Masterpiece

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance, Part 2, Finale

The Writer Next Door

“I would also suggest that any aspiring writer begin with short stories. These days, I meet far too many young writers who try to start off with a novel right off, or a trilogy, or even a nine-book series. That’s like starting in at rock climbing by tackling Mt. Everest. Short stories help you learn your craft.”

~George R.R. Martin

“A short story is the ultimate close-up magic trick – a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart.”

~Neil Gaiman

“I love short stories because I believe they are the way we live. They are what our friends tell us, in their pain and joy, their passion and rage, their yearning and their cry against injustice.”

~Andre Dubus

“I find it satisfying and intellectually stimulating to work with the intensity, brevity, balance and word play of the short story.”

~Annie Proulx

Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog.

Ronovan, from Ronovan Writes and Colleen, have joined forces! He has been linking his #BeWoW blog share (Be Wonderful on Wednesday) now to include: Be Writing on Wednesday. If you would like to combine both posts feel free to do so and link them to Colleen’s post. She will make sure and add you to the quote wrap-up she does each Tuesday. Please make sure and check out Ron’s blog for more writing inspiration and motivation!

Enjoy your day! And don’t forget to read one of my short stories.

They will haunt you . . . 

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Fall From Desire – Part 2

3 Jun

Fall From Desire-Victoria Frances-Art-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog



So as promised here is Part 2 and the conclusion of my short story Fall From Desire. If you have not read Part 1 you may do so here. I hope you enjoy it. As always your comments are most appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you.

Fall From Desire – Part 2

by Vashti Q

I gawked at him while he stared at my face and came closer to me. He searched for some of my curly blonde hair that was not soiled, grabbed some and sniffed it. He proceeded to nuzzle his nose against my neck, my shoulder, the top of my breasts. I closed my eyes. He breathed me in, taking in my essence. He looked up. I opened my eyes, and he stared into them. Then he walked around me, slowly, as his eyes evaluated every inch of my bare body. He parted the long hair that fell down my back and saw the jagged stubs from where my wings used to stem. He passed his hands over them with a gentle touch, and then I felt him bring his face closer to smell the stumps. He came around to face me again.

 

“Are you in pain?” he asked.

 

“Since I have arrived on this planet, I have felt only pain, fear and sorrow,” I said.

 

“I can rid you of these malignancies.”

 

“How?”

 

“You need just say yes.”

 

I gazed at him. What am I to do? I am in much pain and I grow weaker with the passing of time. I shall not survive much longer without help. I bit my lip.

 

“You do not trust me and I understand, for I have given you no reason to trust in me,” he said.

 

“You are an elegant creature, but I do not know your mind.”

 

He grinned and lifted his muscular chest. He swaggered toward me and extended his arm. He passed his hand through my hair and caressed my face. Desire for him grew quickly inside me like a Wisteria vine strangling all other emotions. Every fiber of my being was ignited like a tree struck by lightening. My chest heaved in rhythm with my shallow panting. It is happening again. I am overwhelmed with lustful desires.

 

“You, too, are beautiful to look upon,” he said. “But if you wish to rid yourself of pain and fear you must become what I am.”

 

“What are you?”

 

“I am vampire.”

 

I jolted and gasped. I had heard of such creatures in Heaven. They are the spawn of Dracul, the infamous son of Lilith and Satan. I recoiled from him.

 

“You know of my kind?”

 

“I do,” I said in a brittle voice.

 

“Do not fear me. I do not mean to harm you. I only seek what you seek.”

 

“What is it you think I seek?”

 

“Companionship,” he said, extending his hand to me. “Come with me and never be alone again.”

 

I stared at his welcoming hand for a while.

 

 

“I shall only offer this once,” he said.

 

I reached my trembling hand to meet his and he pulled me toward him.

 

He held me tightly and pressed his full moist lips against mine. I became lightheaded. Through half opened eyes, I watched him open his mouth and his teeth grow into fangs. I gasped, but before I could move, he sank his fangs into the flesh at the base of my neck. A combination of his saliva and my blood streamed down my neck. I cocked my head back and moaned, my eyes rolling back in their sockets. Both pleasure and pain dispersed through my body. My body tensed. My entire being was at peak response. As he drew my blood greedily, my body felt as if it were melding into his.

 

A delightful pressure began to build inside me. I gasped and groaned with pleasure. The pressure continued to build until I thought I would explode. Suddenly, I felt my body go into spasms of incredible delight, and my mind was flooded with a variety of pleasurable sensations. Then I felt a wave of dizziness, my body slackened, and darkness began to close in on me until I lost consciousness.

 

Upon opening my eyes, I saw the world differently. The colors of cypress trees became more vivid, and plants were verdant jewels. I could almost feel the fragrances of nature. The alligators’ bellows and the hissing of snakes became mellifluous. I lay on the ground, and Mendrion sat next to me. He smiled, and I returned his smile. He kissed me on the lips, neck, shoulders and breasts. His hands caressed my body, and his touch was heavenly. As a vampire, my body was made for pleasure and I sensed so much more. Every nerve ending inside me was excited. Every touch sent waves of pleasure throughout my body. I need not food, nor water—I could live on his touch alone. I was in ecstasy, but then he suddenly stopped. He got to his feet.

 

“No, do not stop. I love your hands and lips on my body.”

 

He extended his hand to me. “Take my hand, Rachiel.” I gasped when I heard him say my name. “I will allow you to keep your original name, for it is pleasing to me. Now go and join the others.” His words filled me with confusion. He pointed to the swamp.

 

I turned my face and gasped. My eyes opened wide with disbelief. There were other fallen angels like me in the swamp. They were all converted into vampires—no doubt in the same way as I was. There was not a happy face among them.

 

“Go on,” Mendrion said. “Take your place among them. You are now a swamp vampire. You shall feed on the blood of alligators, snakes, beavers, and other swamp creatures.”

 

“I shall not!” I screamed. I clenched my jaw and held back tears. “You deceived me.”

 

“I told you only the truth,” he said with a wry grin. “You no longer feel pain, am I right? If you do not feed on the blood of these swamp creatures, you shall die a slow and agonizing death.”

 

“I shall go away!”

 

“You have nowhere to go. You belong to me now and there is no escape, for your blood shall call out to me and I shall find you wherever you go. Besides, you can no longer live without my touch,” he said, and he was right—losing his stroking and fondling is what I feared the most.  “Join the others now, or you shall never feel pleasure again.”

 

Upon hearing his final words my face slackened. I shuffled to the swamp and entered the dark, gloomy bog. I stood amongst the others, merely another beauty in the murky waters. The others glared at me. We were all doomed to the same punishment. Our bodies were made for pleasure and overwhelmed with desire, but condemned to long for the touch of the same master.

 

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

Fall from Desire-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog-Victoria Frances



All illustrations are by the amazing Victoria Frances

Victoria Frances-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog-fall from desire

Victoria Frances-vashti quiroz-vega's blog-fall from desire


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Fall From Desire – Part 1

30 May

 

swamp-fallen angel-Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Artist Victoria Frances


Hello! I’m almost done with the editing of my Dark Fantasy novel, The Fall of Lilith. I’m very excited with the way it’s turning out and soon I will post an excerpt from the book. In the meantime, I bring you today Part 1 of my short story Fall From Desire. It is a dark fantasy written in a similar style to The Fall of Lilith, the first installment of my Fantasy Angels Series. I hope you enjoy. 

 

 

Fall From Desire

by Vashti Q

 

 

For my transgressions, I was cast out of Heaven and exiled to planet Earth.

 

My fall was brutal as my six large wings caught fire entering the Earth’s atmosphere. I cringed, cried and screamed as the flames consumed feathers and flesh. I looped and spiraled in the air, all the while stirring and reaching toward the flames, but there was no relief from the oppressive pain or the desperate stench of roasted fleshy tissue. The fire was quenched when only the burnt bones of my wings remained. I wailed writhing in the air as the bony frames were yanked from my skeleton by a powerful force. This is what the male angels I led astray with my insatiable carnal appetite experienced as they fell from grace. I deserve worse for corrupting so many.

 

I splashed into a swamp.

 

It was night, and the only light source was the brilliance of a full moon.

 

The swamp was dominated by woody plants and teeming with animal life. The water seemed to push down on me from all sides. I floundered and flailed my arms and legs, but it only made me sink faster. I sank further and further in the swamp and away from the light of the moon. Soon, I was shrouded in darkness. My lungs burned for air. In horror, I screamed and warm, murky water filled my lungs. I shook and convulsed as my eyes caught site of alligators, snakes and all manner of swamp creatures witnessing the water take me away.

 

My eyes snapped open. I was floating over the water. I survived? I was not sure how long I was unconscious, only that it was a different night—for the moon was no longer full. I trembled in fear and remained still, allowing the current to carry me wherever it may. As I came near the bank of the swamp, I took hold of a cypress’s knee, clambered to my feet and waded out of the water. I teetered and faltered, inexperienced in walking without wings. I am no longer an angel. Realization pierced my heart. What am I now? I broke the rules of celibacy in Heaven and tempted so many to do the same with my female ways. My lustful desires and sexual appetite were my ruin. Now I am alone, never to feel the pleasure of a caress.

 

My wide eyes flickered in every direction, trying to find a way out of the desolate and wild place. The strong, musky smell of decomposing vegetation and animal matter wafted into my nose, making me grimace with revulsion. There were no such smells in Heaven. Oh, how far I have gone from Heaven’s joyful fragrances!

 

I staggered in circles, my feet sinking into the spongy, wet ground. The moisture was so dense in this habitat that everything was wet. A film of moisture covered my naked body. Water soaked my long, blonde hair and pulled my curls flat. I heard the hooting of an owl. My eyes lifted to a nearby tree and there it was, lurking in the shadows. Its large glowing eyes stared at me. Snakes slithered around my feet. Alligators peered at me with their strange eyes peeking over the surface of the water while they remained immersed. Where am I? There are only wetlands as far as my eyes can see. How am I to survive here? Do I desire survival? My body trembled, and desperate tears fell and blended with the moisture on my face. No one can hear me cry. I am alone. I continued to walk for miles. There were many sunrises and many moonrises, yet I remained alone in a world of swamps.

 

Swarms of mosquitos tormented me with their stinging and their buzzing in my ears. I had to deter countless attacks from snakes and alligators. I was covered in welts, bumps, scratches, and bites from such attacks. My body itched, ached, and throbbed mercilessly. I deserve no less for sating my erotic desires without a second thought for the countless archangels, seraphim, and cherubim I debauched with my impious and lustful ways.

 

I continued to trek the soggy swampland and began to feel an unfamiliar burning sensation in my middle. My strength was depleting, and I became fatigued. I dragged my feet and panted. Feeling faint, I collapsed. I lay on the water-saturated ground and looked up at the heavens. What is happening to me? What have I become? I lay frozen for hours, feeling so alone, waving off a plethora of insects trying to invade my body. I would rather draw my last breath than spend the rest of my days alone in this sodden nightmare.

 

“What are you?” I heard a masculine voice ask. I jolted upright in a seated position.  I stared at a magnificent creature.

 

“I-I do not know what I am. I have only knowledge of what I used to be.”

 

“Very well, then what were you?” he asked with a curious look on his face.

 

“I was once called Rachiel,” I said. “When I was an angel in Heaven.”

 

He looked at me sideways and narrowed his eyes. “You do not look like an angel to me.”

 

“Have you ever seen an angel?”

 

“Yes, as a matter of fact, I have, and angels have wings.”

 

I, too, had wings. Large white wings—six of them,” I said, my voice quavering. “They were torn from me as I fell through the skies.”

 

He scrutinized me for a while with his piercing violet-blue eyes.

 

“I believe you. I am not sure why, but I do. Perhaps it is that something in your verdant eyes that tells me you do not know how to lie,” he said, and his big smile was stunning. “My name is Mendrion.” He was tall with a muscular build. His hair was long, thick and the color of night. Long, heavy eyelashes framed his violet-blue eyes. His skin was like an ivory mist. He looked like divine pleasure. Enough, Rachiel! This is why you were cast out of Heaven! I shuddered and got out of my own head.

 

Artist Victoria Frances

Artist Victoria Frances

 

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

Check out PART 2 of Fall From Desire

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Fantasy Angels Series

17 Apr

Author-Vashti Quiroz-Vega-fantasy-stories

 

“The world created for this story is truly amazing, epic in scope and rich in detail.”

Hello everyone! As some of you know I’m working really hard on the final edits of my second novel. It’s consuming a great deal of my time and I’m finding it difficult to keep up with everything else I need to do. Soon I will be able to share a few excerpts from the first installment of my Fantasy Angels Series so that you guys can give me some feedback on it. I would love to read your reviews. In the meantime, I will continue to make my book the best it can be. Today I will leave you with a few writing quotes and some fan art by illustrator George Miltiadis. Thank you for all the support and I will be back with more short stories and articles as soon as I’m done with the editing.  Love you guys! ❤

“I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know these fascinating characters and their world.”

 ♦

Her ruthless ambition for power and recognition led millions of angels astray

“Powerful and believable characters that live and breathe.”

 

 

I wasn’t sure what I’d done to deserve such a wonderful gift, and I wasn’t sure if it was insolent, but I thanked God for fallen angels.”
Jamie McGuire, Providence

 

 

 

I don’t know where people got the idea that characters in books are supposed to be likable. Books are not in the business of creating merely likeable characters with whom you can have some simple identification with. Books are in the business of creating great stories that make you’re brain go ahhbdgbdmerhbergurhbudgerbudbaaarr.”
John Green

 

 

 

“You don’t really understand an antagonist until you understand why he’s a protagonist in his own version of the world.”
John Rogers

 

 

 

“The only characters I ever don’t like are ones that leave no impression on me. And I don’t write characters that leave no impression on me.”
Lauren DeStefano

 

 The Fall of Lilith

(Epic Fantasy with elements of Horror about angels)

The characters in this story are angels depicted in a very unique way. It is a story of many twists, surprises and a bit of controversy.

Fantasy-angels-series-Gadreel-Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

 

Free Will-Lilith-Dracul-Fantasy-angels-series-vashti quiroz-vega

 

 

Lilith-fantasy-angels-series-vashti quiroz-vega-book

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The Fall of Lilith-Elizabeth Stock-Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 “The Fall of Lilith is an amazing story! It’s a fascinating reimagining of mythical events. I especially loved the vivid descriptions. The magnitude and beauty of heaven and earth is conveyed so well –– and the horror of the fallen angels suffering. The characters are also nuanced and fascinating.” ~Elizabeth Stock (Editor)

 What genre do you enjoy reading? Do you like reading dark fantasy novels? Have you ever read a dark fantasy novel?

 

 

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A Time to Mourn and a Time To Dance – Finale

31 Mar

a time to mourn and a time to dance

Hello, everyone! I hope you enjoy the 3rd and final installment of A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance. Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2 of the series before you read the finale. Your comments are helpful and very appreciated. Thank you!

 

 

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

 

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

“What is the matter?” I asked her.

 

 

“I feel weary, that’s all,” she said, but I knew it was more than that.

 

 

“Are we going for a walk today?”

 

 

“No, I don’t feel up to it.”

 

 

“Have you lost your will to live?” I asked.

 

 

She looked at me sideways and then scowled. “I do not want to walk. I do want to live!”

 

 

Sparks of life flew out of her eyes. I grinned watching her face twitch as she tried to remain serious but she burst out laughing instead. I sat by her side. She leaned her body toward me and rested her head on my chest. She closed her eyes and fell asleep.

 

 

I was overcome with emotions new to me. How did I get here? Why has this strange girl grown so fond of me? What does she see when she looks at me? Does she not see the darkness in my eyes? Does my long, sable, tangled hair not look suspect? I am large in stature and powerfully built––does this not seem menacing?

 

 

It would be so simple to place my hand over her small nose and mouth while she slept until she could draw breath no more, or break her neck with a quick flick of my wrist. She would never know death had come for her. But she slept the sleep of an infant over my beating heart. Surely death could wait for another moment, one that would be less filled with upright virtue and pure faith. She believed in me, and she saw goodness in me that no one had ever seen. Most people knew me instinctually and tried to flee from me in fright. She welcomed me into her heart. Yes, death could wait.

 

 

She awoke and as she opened her eyes, the day seemed brighter.

 

 

“How long have I been asleep?” she asked.

 

 

“Not very long. Did you sleep well?”

 

 

“I never slept more soundly.”

 

 

“Now that you’ve had your rest, would you like to go for a walk?”

 

 

She extended her hand toward me, and I reacted. She caressed my face. I closed my eyes to isolate the gentle stroking. No one had ever shown me such kindness. When I opened my eyes I saw the most beautiful creature I had ever seen, and she was touching my face in a way that made my heart beat faster.

 

 

“I must leave now. I promised my mother I would not stay out late today.”

 

 

She stood up slowly, and I watched her walk away. She looked over her shoulder once and smiled a lighthearted smile full of hope. That’s when I decided to disable the communication with above. I knew I could not complete this task. Not now––perhaps not ever.

 

 

I returned to the forest several times after that, but she never showed. After a few days, I decided I could not wait any longer. I missed her. So I went to knock on her door. A burly man opened the door, and I got the expected wary look.

 

 

“Yes, who are you looking for, son?” he asked while looking at me sideways.

 

 

“I’m looking for Abigail.”

 

 

The man’s face turned solemn. “What do you want with her?”

 

 

“She is a friend. I haven’t seen her in a while. I worry for her.”

 

 

“There is reason for worry. She is very sick. The cancer we thought––hoped she had defeated at the age of eighteen has come back with a vengeance. Her life is only about pain and anguish now.” His voice was hoarse, and wells formed in his eyes. “She was always such a sweet, happy young woman. She does not deserve to suffer so.” Shaking his head, he turned to go back inside the house.

 

 

“Wait! Please, tell me where she is?”

 

 

“Oh, you don’t want to see her like this. It is an awful sight.”

 

 

“I do want to see her,” I said. “I need to see her. Please tell me where to find her.” My heart stuttered, and a falling, spinning down feeling overtook me.

 

 

“She’s at the abbey with the nuns,” he croaked, turning his back on me as he entered the house and shut the door.

 

 

The abbey was not far. I was there in no time. I watched her briefly from a distance. She squirmed and groaned on the bed. I locked the door and approached her––my countenance tumbling into darkness. I waited too long. It is because of me she suffers so. I could have spared her this agony. When I reached her bedside, she glanced at me and smiled despite the anguish she endured but it was the kind of smile meant to soothe someone else’s spirit and it looked incongruous on her face.

 

 

“I knew you’d come,” she said between soft groans. I noticed the effort she made, trying to remain still and quiet, but at times a moan escaped her lips. I passed my hand over her head and caressed her ashen, emaciated face. She held my hand with both of hers.

 

 

“Abigail, do you want to live?” I asked, my voice quavering.

 

 

She shook her head slowly and whispered, “No.” Streams meandered down her face.

 

 

For the first time, I expanded my large, black wings and allowed her to see. “Don’t be frightened,” I said.

 

 

“You never frightened me. I knew all along you were an angel,” she said, wincing and whimpering.

 

 

“I am the angel of death.”

 

 

She gazed lovingly at me. “Give me peace.”

 

 

I reached for her and held her in my arms. I leaned my head forward, and she caressed my face. I kissed her on the lips. The sweetest kiss I’ve ever known. And she breathed her last breath.

 

The End

a-time-to-mourn-and-a-time-to-dance-vashti quiroz-vega

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

Do you believe that everyone has a designated time to die?  Do you believe in destiny? 

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A Time to Mourn and a Time To Dance – Part 2

27 Mar

 

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

 

Hello and welcome to Part 2 of A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance.  Be sure to read Part 1 if you haven’t already done so. Enjoy!

 

 

A Time to Mourn and a Time To Dance

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

The next day I visited the small forest outside Abigail’s home again. The forest was alive with her presence. She moved rhythmically to the sounds of the birds chirping, ducks quacking, water flowing, frogs croaking, and the whistling of leaves caressed by the wind. I hid behind a large tree and watched her sway, twirl, and pirouette. She moved gracefully–until she stumbled, plopped to the ground in a seated position, laughing wholeheartedly.

 

“Are you alright?” I asked.

 

She whisked her head toward me, grinning hello, jumped to her feet and hurried to me. “I knew you would come!” she gushed.

 

Her enthusiasm filled me with joy. “I couldn’t stay away.”

 

She giggled at my words. “Come, I want to show you something,” she said, grabbing my hand. She pulled me along a different path from the one we had walked the day before.

 

“Where are you taking me?”

 

“You’ll see…”

 

We arrived at an open area. “All right, stop right here,” she said. I gathered my brow as she paced forward and stopped in front of something, then waved me over. “Come, but be careful,” she warned. I took apprehensive steps toward her and after a few steps, I saw it. The hole.

 

“What is this?” I asked.

 

“This is a natural sinkhole,” she said in a matter-of-fact voice. “Isn’t it magnificent? It’s almost perfectly round. It’s beautiful, surrounded by vegetation and––”

 

“Enough!” I yelled, making her jump and recoil. I didn’t see beauty in this hole, hidden away in the middle of the forest. I only saw peril and fatality. “Many have lost their lives here in the depths of despair,” I told her, pointing at the hole. She stared at me, her green eyes wide and questioning. “Who do you think I am?” I asked in a thunderous voice. She trembled and her mouth hung open. “You don’t even know me, but yet you venture to bring me here? To this evil place?”

 

“Evil?” she asked.

 

“Yes, evil!” I said, watching her gasp and flinch.

 

She shook her head, covering her opened mouth with both hands. “I didn’t know,” she whispered through her fingers.

 

I sensed the pain and horror of the victims whose bones lay broken, discarded and forgotten at the bottom of the hole. A veil of blackness enshrouded me. I couldn’t see past her death. I stomped toward her. I grabbed her by the throat and lifted her off the ground. The thick odor of corpses long dead exposed my psyche to influences that led me to do what I was created to do––kill.

 

I released her neck. She coughed and wheezed, collapsing to one knee. I picked her up by the shoulders and dangled her over the hole. Her eyes opened wide. She glanced down into the pit and screamed!

 

“Please don’t hurt me!” she shrieked. “I don’t want to die!” She gazed at me with imploring eyes.

 

Her words touched my heart once more. She wanted to live. I swung her over my shoulder and hurried from that awful location. I placed her down on lush green grass near the edge of the forest. I looked at her through different eyes. Her hair was a sunburst on a blooming honey locust; her skin, opal cream; her verdant eyes, glistened like jewels. I wiped the moisture from them, and her luscious cherry wine lips quivered. Had my vision been so impaired that I had thought this creature less than perfect?

 

“You are a good man,” she said hoarsely, no doubt from damage inflicted to her throat by my tight grip. She tried to smile, but couldn’t quite make the expression.

 

“Go home now. Do not return to that hole. It is a foul place,” I said, helping her to her feet.

 

She stepped away, then hesitated and turned toward me. The look of gratitude on her face surprised me. She ran to me and kissed me on the cheek.

 

“Thank you,” she said and walked away. Abigail’s kiss on my cheek lingered and set me ablaze. I stood there like a statue, fearful that any sudden movement would end the moment too soon.

 

We continued to meet every day at the small forest near her house. We took long walks. Abigail danced, talked, sang and was excited by every small creature she ran across––from a butterfly to a snake. I enjoyed our walks. I relished her company. No creature has ever been so exquisite. I never wanted to leave her side. I had forgotten, if only for a brief moment, who––or what––I was.  I was the opposite of her.

 

One day I returned to our usual meeting place and found her sitting still on a rock. It was not like her to be so subdued.

 

“Hello,” I said.

 

She lifted her eyes and gazed at me. “I thought I would not see you today.”

 

“Really? Why?” I asked. She shrugged. Her body was slumped and her face slackened. She seemed strange, unfamiliar.

 

 

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

 

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