Tag Archives: Short stories
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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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A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

24 Mar
virtual_book_tour-son of the serpent-melanie delon-art-novel-fantasy-vashti quiroz vega

Illustration by Melanie Delon

 

Hello everyone! 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 laid eyes on Abigail. She wasn’t attractive in my eyes. Her skin was pallid like an ivory mist. Her limp, pale hair reflected merely a glint of sun. Her lips were thin and ill-defined, but when she looked my way with her heavy-lidded green eyes, she captured me. I couldn’t look away. I should have looked away.

 

I had a task to do–so I watched. She had a sweet way about her that lured me into her world. Was it possible to take part in her world? I observed her. She did caring things for those around her and had a generous heart. Oddly, she never seemed to expect anything in return. She was kind to animals and nature. She enjoyed singing, although she wasn’t very good at staying in tune. I spent hours, days, and then weeks observing 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 the small arm 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 looked 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. She smiled and her cheeks turned the color of an orchid rose.

 

I laughed. “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?” she asked with a large grin on her face. I nodded. “Oh, good! This forest is quite beautiful. I enjoy hiking here. The smells, the sounds–fascinate me!” I smiled and we began our stroll.

 

“This beautiful place can also be quite dangerous. 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. It was much too lively a day for death to intrude.

 

“I must leave now.”

 

“So soon, Azrael?” 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 very 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 end the life of such a creature?” I cried to the heavens. “There is no malice in her. She is a lamb!” I felt a deep burning ache in my chest. 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 task had good purpose. I rose from the ground and left the forest. 

 

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

Vashti Quiroz Vega-author-Azrael-angel of death-story-Vashti Q-blog tour-virtual_book_tour-son of the serpent

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

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The Train Ride From Hell – Finale

4 Mar

Happy Tuesday everyone and a warm welcome to my blog! Today I’m posting the fourth and final part of my short Horror series The Train Ride From Hell. I hope you enjoy the finale!

NOTE: You must read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 in order to follow and enjoy the finale.

WARNING: Do not read this series alone or in the dark.

The Train Ride From Hell – Finale

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

“Why do you watch?” the girl asked with furrowed brow. I gazed at her, and this time I felt love for her. I didn’t want her to suffer any longer.

 

“I don’t know, but I will not look out again. You were right to stay in your seat.”

 

“I stay in my seat because I already know what is out there and where I will be going,” she said with her face tight barely able to hide her anger and pain.

 

“How do you know this?”

 

“That isn’t important.”

 

“Where are you going?”

 

“My stop is Violence. I committed violence against you…”

 

“I forgive you!” I spurted.  She smiled faintly at me.

 

“…and I committed violence against myself–when I slit my throat after stabbing you in the belly.”  My hands flew to my mouth, and I continued to sob.

 

“I’m so sorry for what I did to you–to your entire family. You don’t deserve to be here. You’re just a child who suffered greatly, and you were traumatized by your mother’s death. You deserve a second chance.”

 

“There are no second chances here. I will be transformed into a twisted thorny bush and fed upon by beautiful women with wings. They will resemble you so that I will always remember the face of my victim. Every bite these creatures take will be devastatingly painful to me. Every branch torn and every thorn plucked will cause me unbearable pain and suffering, but every branch and thorn will grow back so that my suffering may be infinite.”

 

“No!”  I couldn’t bear the thought of this. My heart was torn to pieces.  “I don’t want you to hurt anymore.”

 

“What we want is no longer pertinent.” I looked at her wretched little face. This was my fault entirely–this young girl’s suffering and her ghastly fate. I must somehow undo this!

 

I left my seat and ran up and down the aisles.

 

“Conductor! Where is the conductor? I must speak to him!” I yelled. Immediately,  I heard his voice behind me.

 

“What is it you must say to me?”

 

“Do you have the power to remove someone from this train and release them from their fate in hell?”

 

“I do not.”  My heart sank.  “However,” he continued, “the people on this train have the ability to save themselves.”  The creepy conductor breathed new life into me with his words, and I lifted my head high.

 

“Surely you do not believe you can save yourself?” he sniggered. “You are a greedy, self-absorbed woman!”

 

“I am not attempting to save myself. I deserve whatever comes to me, but there’s someone here that is innocent.”

 

“No one on this train is innocent,” said the conductor in a malicious tone.

 

The young girl approached the conductor and me and held onto my arm, but hid herself halfway behind me. Her hands were cold and trembling.

 

“This girl is innocent! Everything she did, I drove her to do it. She was traumatized and not in her right mind. She deserves another chance.” The conductor’s face altered, becoming still more hideous and wicked, and his irises became red balls of fire. I was frightened, but stood my ground.

 

“She is not wholly innocent!” he growled. I flinched and the young girl hid further behind me. I could hear her whimpering.

 

“I will gladly take whatever punishment was meant for her!”

 

“You have your own punishment to bear!”

 

“Then I will accept her punishment as well as mine! She has already suffered enough because of me. She doesn’t deserve to continue to be tormented for the things I’ve done! It is my turn to hurt. I will suffer on her behalf!” I meant every word with all my heart.

 

The conductor began to grow out of his uniform. His skin became rough and a fungus green. He grew thrice the size, his face so ugly it was painful to look upon. His chest heaved with each audible breath. His long burly fingers balled into tight fists. He growled, and long sharp horns exploded out of his head. He stared at me with his red eyes and snarled, showing me his large, razor-sharp teeth. I trembled and my teeth chattered uncontrollably. I screamed and sobbed as the heat radiated from the monster’s blazing hide, singing my skin. I turned to shield the girl from the inferno, and what I saw stunned me.

 

She was aglow.  Airy.  She looked radiant and happy.

 

“I have been forgiven. Thank you, this was your doing. I am going to a good place now.” With these words her ethereal body floated up and traveled through the train’s ceiling, disappearing from view. “Thank you!” I heard her say again from the distance. I took a deep breath, feeling relief. She was safe now and she would never suffer again. I gaped at the monster before me through squinted eyes.

 

“I’m ready to receive my punishment and hers. Take me to whatever nightmare awaits me.” My voice quavered, but I had made my point. The beast slouched forward and with a thunderous roar, lifted his claws to attack me. I could feel its incredible rage!

 

 

I opened my eyes. The pain was excruciating. Groans escaped my lips. I couldn’t move.

 

“Welcome back,” said a man wearing a white coat. I stared at him in awe.

 

“Can you speak?” he asked in a kind voice.

 

“Yes,” I croaked.

 

“You’re in St. Francis Hospital. You were involved in a serious automobile accident. Apparently you received a serious puncture wound in your abdomen during the crash. You’ve been in a coma for the last few weeks. We didn’t think you would make it, but in the last couple of days, your vitals began to stabilize. I believe you’re going to be alright now.”

 

I must have seemed crazy to the doctor as I began to simultaneously laugh and cry despite the pain. Yes, I will be all right now, and so will she.

 

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

girl in paradise

Photograph by Amanda-Diaz (DeviantART)

Leave a comment with your thoughts. ;D

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Murder She Wrote – FINALE

30 Jan
Photograph by Shkoda Maria

Doll Face – Photograph by Shkoda Maria (MotyPest–deviantART)

Welcome! Today I’m featuring the 3rd and 4th installments of Murder She Wrote, which will mark the end of the series. If you have not read Part 1 or Part 2 of the series I recommend you do that first before reading today’s post. Enjoy and don’t forget to leave some comment love.

(Click Play to listen to music player ^)

 

 

*

“Jessica, what took place between Adrianna and me happened a long time ago, before I met you,” explained Mason.

“I know. It’s just that she said so many horrible things. She said you will never be as happy with me as you were with her.” Jessica’s expression was full of concern.

“And you believed her?” He caressed her face. “We dated a couple of times. After the first date, I knew she wasn’t for me. I went on a second and third date because I felt sorry for her. You see, she thought much more of our few dates than I did. I finally had to break it off. It was kind of a nightmare, really.” He reached over and kissed her.

“Nevertheless, you should have told me,” Jessica said, pouting.

“It was so long ago and of such little importance that it didn’t occur to me to tell you. I’m sorry.”

Jessica smiled faintly. “I forgive you.”

“I love you. There’s no one else. That’s why I asked you to be my wife.” He pulled her toward him and embraced her. Jessica grinned. Her ‘happy ever after’ was safe again.

“I have to get going,” said Mason, beaming. “There are a few things I need to take care of, but I’ll be back early afternoon, and we’ll spend the rest of the day…and night together.” Jessica nodded, let him go and watched him exit her house.

She eyed her phone on the coffee table. She picked it up.

“Siri, am I going to be happy?”

“I can’t say,” responded Siri.

“Why not?”

“I can’t say.”

“Siri, I hate you!” Jessica shouted into the phone. “I’m going to throw you in the furnace and get a new phone, because you suck!”

“I will try to do better,” said Siri.

“It’s too late, Siri!”

“You will be happily married to Mason Richmond,” said Siri.

“What?” Jessica stared at her phone. “What did you say?”

“I can’t answer that,” said Siri.

“Why not?”

“I don’t know how to respond to that,” said Siri.

“Liar!”

“I’m afraid that can’t be,” replied Siri.

“Just shut up!”

“My lips are sealed.”

“Am I in danger from Adrianna?”

“Yes, you are in danger—but not from Adrianna.”

 

 

 

Present day…

“Do you know of anyone who would want to harm your girlfriend?” asked the detective.  “Sir?”

Mason could not take his red, swollen eyes off Jessica’s corpse. “Um, yeah, actually. There’s this girl…” his eyes kept drifting back to Jessica. He broke down again.

“Sir, I’m sorry. We need your help to figure out what happened here,” insisted the cop. “What girl are you referring to?”

“It’s someone I dated a few times before I met Jessica. Her name is Adrianna. She threatened my fiancée, and she hasn’t been seen since.”

“When did this happen?”

“About a week and a half ago.”

“What did this Adrianna threaten your girlfriend with?”

“They argued, and she told Jessica that she would be sorry. Jessica told me that her words, tone of voice and facial expression gave her chills up and down her spine.”

“Cause of death is by electrocution,” interjected the coroner on the scene.

“What?” asked Mason. He jumped to his feet and stared wide-eyed at the coroner, a flood of questions causing his brows to knit together tightly.

The coroner explained, “The young lady died of a current of electricity whose path included the heart, which caused fibrillation and damage via burns, as well as cellular damage.”

Mason’s knees buckled and he fell. The detective and coroner moved quickly to aid him.

“How did this happen?” he croaked. “What electrocuted her?”

“I suspect it was her phone. She was still holding it in her left hand, and there is a burn mark on her left forefinger. I suspect it was the current’s point of entry. I am truly sorry,” said the coroner as he left the scene.

“I need to see the phone,” said Mason in a wobbly voice.

“I’m sure by now the forensics people have collected it for evidence,” explained the detective.

“I just need to see it, please,” begged Mason.

“We’re ready to take the body,” announced the removal service guy. The detective nodded. Mason froze and stared at Jessica’s body, which was covered in a white sheet. Suddenly, her left arm fell from under the sheet. He saw her finger. It was grotesque. Black and bulbous. Mason hunched over and retched repeatedly.

“Are you going to be alright?” asked the officer.

“I need to see her phone! Please, I just want to see it. I won’t touch it.”

The detective sighed deeply and took Mason over to the evidence table. He asked one of the forensic officers to show him Jessica’s phone. The officer searched and found the bagged iPhone. The phone seemed to be stuck on a certain screen.

“The phone still works?” asked Mason.

“No. However, we haven’t been able to change the screen or turn it off.”

“What does the screen say?”

“I don’t know. Didn’t read it. It’s probably just a glitch from when the electric charge was released.”

“May I take a closer look at it?” asked Mason. The forensic investigator gave him the bag with the phone.

“You can look at it, but don’t remove the phone from the bag,” said the investigator as he walked away.

“I won’t!” yelled Mason after him. His hands were trembling. He brought the bag closer. The screen kept flashing. There was a message on the screen. He read it out loud.

“If I must go, then I will take you with me, Jessica!”

Mason’s heart beat rapidly and thumped hard against his chest. His breathing became quick and shallow. He looked around. Everyone was busily attending to their work. He closed his eyes tightly, believing his weary mind was playing tricks on him. He looked at the flashing screen again.

If I must go, then I will take you with me, Jessica!”

Mason almost dropped the phone. He couldn’t stop staring at the flashing message. Suddenly, the screen stopped flashing.

“Goodbye, Mason!” said Siri.

The screen went black.  Mason flinched, and this time the bag did fall from his hand. Luckily, it landed on the evidence table.  Mason’s eyes flickered in every direction. No one had seen anything. He inched away.  He couldn’t take his eyes away from the iPhone.  He bumped into his dead fiancé’s couch. He plopped on it. He rubbed his neck finding it hard to swallow. He continued to gawk in the direction of the evidence table. He could hear the thumping of his heart in his ears.  “Did that really happen?”  Trembling he attempted to figure out what this all meant.

Siri_3D_winner angry_iPhone_murder electricution by iPhone

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Reflecting on 2013

7 Jan

Gaylord Palms_Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

2013 flew by! Where did it go? It’s been 10 months since I started this blog. Yesterday was ‘Epiphany’ Day and I was thinking about the stories and articles I’ve written, as well as the awesome guests I’ve featured and decided to do a re-cap of my most popular 2013 posts. Take a look and enjoy!

 

 

My most popular articles:

This is my most popular post to date. It is a chapter from my novel ‘The Basement’. If you have not read it and you’d like to, click on the illustration below.

It’s Only Water? Tell That To A Drowning Boy.

The Basement by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Illustration for The Basement by Denise Spencer

 

 

In this next piece, I wrote about an experience I had while at the Supermarket. Many people seemed to relate to my experience and it became one of my most popular posts. (Click on picture if you’d like to read it)

Am I A Sucker?

Sad-man-via-Shutterstock

 

 

 

This is an article I wrote after contemplating all the weird weather phenomena happening around the world.

How Will The World End?

How will the world end?

 

 

 

I wrote this next article after looking around on Tumblr and noticing the underlying sadness in many of the teens’ comments.

Why So Sad?

depressed teenagers

 

 

 

I wrote this piece after a very stressful and frustrating experience packing up my house and moving. It turned out to be funny.

Hello Stress!

Moving

 

 

I posted the following article in November and it turned out to be the most popular of my recipe posts.

One Of My Favorite Words: Scrumptious.

Table settings

 

 

 

 

 

My Short Stories:

This short story is one of my most popular and it was my first attempt at writing a Romance.

It Happened In An Elevator

It Happened In An Elevator

This next Romance short story followed.

When A Stranger Leaves An Imprint

Taylor Kitsch

 

 

 

For the month of October I promised some creepy stories (my specialty-Horror) and the next two short stories were born.

TERROR

Resin_Enchanted_Doll_by_Marina_B

Raven’s Masterpiece

Raven's Masterpiece

 

 

 

Of course I had to write at least one Christmas story for the month of December. Let’s just say it is a different kind of Christmas story.

A Christmas That Almost Wasn’t

Muscle Santa Claus

 

 

 

I’ve been blessed to have had many talented and interesting guest bloggers and spotlights on my blog. I will list the most popular, but please take a look around and enjoy all the writers, poets, bloggers and artists I’ve featured and interviewed because they are all truly awesome.

 

 

Reading Glendon’s story made me cry like a baby (again). I couldn’t help thinking of my father who’s not feeling great these days. It’s a lovely short story.

Disconnected by Glendon Perkins

feel_pain_2_______by_mehmeturgut

Photograph by Mehmeturgut

Check out Glendon Perkins’ Blog here.

 

 

Jackson Baer talks about an issue close to my heart–bullying.

Bullies – Broken People by Jackson Baer

Bullies

Check out Jackson Baer’s Blog here.

 

 

Alana exposes the truth about female friendships in her book ‘Women Behaving Badly’.

Women Behaving Badly by Alana Munro

Women Behaving Badly

Check out Alana Munro’s Blog here.

 

 

This touching poem will cause an earthquake in your heart.

Man Without A Name by Kay Leez

Man Without A Name

Connect with Kay Leez’ here.

 

 

Read about the fascinating (and opinionated) Miss Jazz

Q & A With Non-Fiction Writer Jasveena Prabhagaran

Jasveena Prabhagaran

Visit Jasveena’s Blog here.

 

 

I challenged Dyane Forde to write a Christmas story using certain prompts. Well, she blew me away with her short story! Check it out! Not your ordinary Christmas story.

Dyane Forde’s Christmas Challenge

The Purple Morrow

Visit Dyane Forde’s Blog here.

 

 

One of my ‘New Year’ resolutions is to focus more on my writing. I would like to write more short stories for this blog and finish my works in progress ‘Lilith’ and ‘Dracul’ (tentative titles). I hope to continue receiving in 2014 all the love, support and encouragement I’ve received in 2013. I truly appreciate you all and I promise to give you my best efforts and hope that’s enough to keep you entertained. Love you all!

What are some of your New Year resolutions?

New Year resolutions for 2014

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A Christmas That Almost Wasn’t

23 Dec
Muscle Santa Claus by _JULIANNA_

Muscle Santa Claus
by _JULIANNA_

 

Hello and welcome. In today’s post I am sharing a short story I wrote using these prompts: Santa Claus, Christmas tree, Magic and Clairvoyant child. I had challenged my friend and talented fiction writer Dyane Forde with the same prompts and she did a magnificent job. So I decided to challenge myself. Now, this is not a competition between me and Dyane. I was blown away by her story and wanted to challenge myself using the same prompts. You can read her story here. I hope you enjoy both stories. Thank you!

 

A Christmas That Almost Wasn’t

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

He had a crazed look in his bloodshot eyes. He staggered toward me, holding an enormous shotgun.

“Don’t move!” He waved the gun at me. “How did you enter my house?”

He continued to move in my direction, the barrel of the gun waving around like a banner. I was afraid it would go off by accident.

“Wait a moment!” I outstretched my arms before me.

He moved like a drunkard, expending tremendous energy with each step forward. I feared for my life. I retreated and bumped into the Christmas tree. The ornaments came crashing down all around me. I leaped forward to avoid getting hit by one.

“I told you to stay back!” His words ran into one another. “I mean it. I will shoot you!”

My foot stepped on an ornament, and I tripped forward. I heard the gun go off. Pain ripped through my chest, expanding like lava. A mist of darkness surrounded me, and I fell to the floor. The last thing I heard was the sound of a woman screaming.

“What have you done?”

*

“Mrs. Claus, your husband’s health is deteriorating. He may not be able to do his Christmas Eve rounds this year, or any other year for that matter, unless essential changes are made now.” The North Pole’s physician wore a grave expression.

“Oh, no! That would mean the end of Christmas!” Pepper Minstix’s cheeks flushed to match his berry sweater.

“No more Christmas?” Jangle began to sob.

Santa’s elves waggled and blubbered in despair.

“Shhh. Hush, now,” Mrs. Claus told the distraught elves. “Of course, Christmas will go on. We are going to do everything the good doctor advises in order to help Nick get better.”  She turned to the doctor. “Now, what is it you’d have us do?”

“First and foremost, Mr. Claus must lose weight,” the doctor ordered to a symphony of gasps.

“Santa Claus lose weight? That’s impossible!” Pepper shook his head.

“Nothing is impossible, my dear Pepper,” the doctor said. “Santa Claus can lose weight and regain his health if he gets help from all of you.” He pointed at Mrs. Claus and the surrounding elves.

“I do want to help him. I do, but how?” Jangle asked.

“Well, for starters, you elves can help by creating a gym where Santa can exercise every day. I charge all of you with the task of keeping him motivated.” The elves glanced at each other. “Mrs. Claus will have to cook healthier meals. Santa must eat a diet of lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruits and grains. It is the only way he will lose the excess weight and regain his health. It is the only way to save Christmas.”

Everyone  heeded the doctor’s advice. Mrs. Claus cooked food low in fat, salt, and sugar. Nicholas Claus was not thrilled with his new diet of mostly vegetables and fish, but he knew what was at stake if he did not do what the doctor ordered.

The elves got busy and fashioned a gym that would put envy in the heart of any man. Pepper and Jangle woke Santa at the break of dawn every day and accompanied him, grumbling and whining, to his exercise routine.

For months Santa Claus ate lean meats, chicken and fish, steamed vegetables, fruits and grains. He exercised every day in the gym the elves had built for him, and later, he was seen running up and down the snowy hills of the North Pole.

Santa Claus working out

Santa Claus working out

A week before Christmas, the doctor returned to see Santa Claus’s progress. What he saw caused his jaw to drop, his eyes to widen into saucers, and a large grin to form on his face.

“I can’t believe you are the same person I saw months ago.” The doctor grinned. “You don’t have an ounce of excess fat on you. You have completely transformed yourself.”

Santa Claus was no longer the rotund, jolly fellow of old. He was lean, muscular, and healthy. He passed his physical exam with flying colors. As a reward for all his effort, Mrs. Claus made him a new red suit to match his new svelte and youthful form.

Mrs. Claus

Mrs. Claus

Santa Claus was ready to do his rounds on Christmas Eve.

*

It was eleven o’ clock Christmas Eve. My wife and I had returned from a Christmas Eve party at a neighbor’s house. We left the party early because my wife can’t have two glasses of wine without wanting to first, take her clothes off, and then, fall asleep. I put her in bed, and the snoring began immediately. Damn, how such noises could come out of that pretty mouth, I’ll never know.

I wasn’t done drinking yet. I took a bottle of whisky from the fridge, where I had left it to chill. After I drank about one third of the bottle, I saw it: the large shadow of a monstrous man creeping around in our family room. I put the bottle down on the counter. I moved stealthily across the room and pressed myself against the wall between the kitchen and family rooms. I peeked around the doorway and saw him. He must have been nearly seven feet tall. He had muscles on top of muscles. My heart began to rush liquored blood to my head. My face was burning.

I could hear my wife snoring upstairs. I couldn’t allow any harm to come to her. I was so glad the kids were staying at their grandpa’s house. I ran as fast and as quietly as I could and grabbed my shotgun from the hall closet. I had to defend my home––that was all I could think about.

I ran into the family room and startled the big man. He dropped a large bag he’d been carrying. No doubt filled with my things. Things I had worked so hard to get.

“Don’t move!” I pointed my shotgun at him. “How did you enter my house?”

“Wait a moment,” he said in a deep, raspy voice as he walked toward me.

“I told you to stay back!” I pointed the barrel of my gun at his chest. He continued to move in my direction.

“I mean it. I will shoot you!”

“Wait! Wait, I . . . ”

I shot him.

He fell with a loud thump on my wood floor. My wife ran down the stairs.

“What happened? I heard a gun shot!” She turned the lights on in the family room. Damn! Why didn’t I think of that? When she saw the big guy sprawled on the floor in a pool of his own blood, she fell to her knees. “What have you done?”

“I killed Santa Claus.”

*

The doorbell rang.

“Oh my God! It’s the police!” My wife’s chest heaved as she panicked.

“No, I didn’t hear sirens.” I didn’t recognize my own voice. It was low and brittle.

“What are we going to do? How could you kill Santa Claus?” She sobbed into her hands.

“I didn’t know it was him. I didn’t recognize his silhouette in the dim light.” My entire body trembled. I was sobered by the jolt of seeing Santa pale and lifeless on my floor.

“Never mind that now.” She stared at me her eyes withered from crying. “What are we going to do?”

Someone jiggled the front doorknob. I grasped my shotgun, which lay on the floor. My wife placed a hand on my arm and squeezed. I sprang to my feet. I pointed the gun at the door. Was I really going to shoot someone else? The door opened. I lowered the gun.

My eleven-year-old son ran in. He didn’t stop to say hello to me, or even look my way. His eyes were fixed on Santa’s corpse.

“Oh, my!” My father-in-law paled as he walked through the door and saw the red-suited body lying limp on the ground.

Next, my fifteen-year-old daughter walked in. She did not say a word. Her hands were crossed over her mouth and her eyes were wide as she treaded lightly toward Santa’s body.

“He woke me up.” My father-in-law pointed his chin at my son. “He said I had to bring him home right away. There was nothing I could say to convince him otherwise. I had to bring him.”

My daughter stared at me with sadness and reproach. “He said you had done something awful and he had to make it better. I guess he was right.” She shifted her eyes to the gun I was holding. I instinctively moved it behind me. Her eyes narrowed.

“I, I didn’t . . . ” I couldn’t find the words to explain, and she turned away from me and stared at her brother.

We all hovered over Santa’s body now. My son was on his knees. His hands floated in circles over Santa’s head.

“What . . . ?”

“Shhh!” My daughter strangled my words and threw darts at me with her stare.

I gulped and stumbled backward. The bright red blood on the ground began to sparkle and retract toward Santa’s body until there was none left on the floor. A chorus of gasps ensued.

We gaped in awe as my son began to glow like a star. He placed his small hands on Santa’s forehead until he, too, began to glow.

My wife’s mouth moved, but words did not leave her lips. My father-in-law smiled as if he knew something no one else did. My teen daughter watched her little brother, frozen in place, hypnotized by the intense glow reflected in her eyes.

Santa trembled and levitated off the floor. Then he gently went back down. He began to cough. He inhaled deeply and opened his eyes.

Santa Claus lives again!

My daughter burst out laughing and my wife sobbed in relief. Her father placed a hand on her shoulder and grinned at my son. My little boy gazed at Santa Clause and smiled. I couldn’t move. I watched all of them through a blur of hot liquid pooling in my eyes.

My son got to his feet. He extended his hand, and the man in the red suit took it and stood. He looked at my boy with a familiar twinkle in his eye, and then they exchanged embraces. When they were done, they both looked at me. I couldn’t contain myself any longer. I fell to pieces on the ground; relief, happiness, pride, and love streamed down my face.

My son ran to me and hugged me. I held him tight. I didn’t understand how he knew to come home or how he did what he did, but those were questions to be answered at a later time. All that mattered at the moment was that my boy saved two lives this Christmas Eve—Santa Claus’s and my own—and he saved Christmas, too!

My wife joined my son and embraced us both and then my daughter, grandpa, and even Santa joined in. We held each other tightly and rejoiced in the Christmas miracle.

“Say it, Santa Claus!” my son yelled. “Go on, say it!”

“Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

muscular santa

30 Creative Illustrations of the Christmas Man: Santa Claus

 

Happy Holidays!

 

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A Town’s Perception

8 Dec

A Town's Perception

Hello everyone! Thank you for visiting my blog today. I’m featuring a short story inspired by a nightmare I had. The nightmare was somewhat bizarre, as night terrors often are, but what I remember of it became the creative impulse that led to this story. I’ll call it a Sci-Fi/Horror.

 

WARNING: The story is a bit macabre.

 

( ^ Click PLAY to hear soundtrack ^)

 

a town's perception_vashti quiroz-vega

A Town’s Perception

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

It began with the moon.

 

One evening I lifted my eyes to the skies, and the moon appeared to have doubled in size. After that, all sorts of curious phenomena began to occur. Everyone in my small town was in a panic.

 

Strange swirls of indescribable colors were seen in the night skies. During the day the sun shone blood red and colored the skies pink. It was as if we had been transported to a different planet overnight.

 

When I saw the ships in the sky, I knew it wouldn’t be long before they came for us, and I was right.

 

In the middle of the day, they came. I watched them disembark their ships, small groups at a time. They resembled men of diminutive stature with large heads. They appeared to waddle rather than walk. They wore weird metallic suits with respirators attached to their faces.

 

I rushed to my daughter’s side. She lay on the bed in her room, stared ahead at nothingness and wailed, as she had done for days.

 

My poor child. Her mind was not equipped to handle this invasion. I held her tight. I would not allow her capture. Who knew what these small creatures were capable of doing to her—-to us.

 

I pushed the barrel of the gun up against her temple to keep my hand from trembling. The cold metal did not stop her wails. Poor thing, her voice was so hoarse. I would extinguish the fire in her gullet.

 

I pulled the trigger. She fell on her side, her eyes still open wide, as if she could still see this nightmare. I shut her eyelids and finally gave her peace.

 

It was my turn. I’d convinced myself, like so many others in this town, that this was the only way out. I was the last to take action since I was taught to always have hope, but even those of us who always have hope had given up.

 

The priest took most of the townfolk. After his last sermon, he instructed the congregation to get on their knees and pray. While the town’s people prayed, the priest left the church and locked the doors behind him. Then he set the church ablaze.

 

Pitiful man of God, his mind also handled the crisis poorly. He burned those people alive: men and women, young and old. He had invited my daughter and I to attend his last sermon, and I agreed to go, but my daughter was not doing well, so we stayed home and were saved from a horrific death.

 

I live a block away from the church, and I heard the screams and howls of the burning souls. I ran down the street and was met with a fiery inferno. The stench of burning flesh and hair made me retch. I released the contents of my stomach right there on the street. What did it matter? There was no one around to watch me. I saw the priest stagger from the back of the burning building. My stomach was tied in knots.

 

“Demons! The demons are upon us,” he shouted. “If you remain they will take your soul!”

 

“What are you talking about?” I gasped and pointed a shaky finger at the combusting church. “There are people burning alive in there.” I ran toward the church’s double doors. The heat of the blaze stopped me. I sobbed unable to act.  Those were my neighbors.  My friends.

 

“You have to burn! Otherwise the demons will take your soul. I burned them because the fire will purify their spirits.” He stared at me with wild eyes.

 

My hands flew to cover my mouth upon recognition of what he had done. My legs faltered, and I fell to my knees. I trembled uncontrollably as the priest took steps toward me. I extended my quaking arms before me.

 

“Stop! Stay away!” I made an attempt to get to my feet, but my knees buckled.

 

“My dear, you must not remain alive. The demons will take your soul.” His voice eerily calm. He continued to trudge in my direction.

 

“You’re right!” I shouted. My head nodding briskly.  “I know I must die. I must tend to my daughter’s demise also.”

 

“What? Your young daughter is still alive?”

 

“Yes, she waits for me at home.”

 

“No, no, no!” The man of the cloth pulled on his sleeves and shook his head like a madman. “You must go to her! It may be too late already. The demons do not waste time. A young soul like hers is a prime target. Go to her! If her soul is still intact, take her life immediately and then take your own.” He took a lighter out and flicked it on. He bent over and put the small flame against the hem of his cassock.

 

I tried to scream as I watched the fire spread and grow on the flammable cloth of his priestly vestment, but I opened my mouth and sounds did not leave my lips. I gathered all my strength and lifted myself off the ground. I wanted to run. Instead I barely escaped the wailing priest who floundered, engulfed in flames. I staggered past him. The crackle and pop of his burning flesh lingered in my ears never to be forgotten. Noxious smoke attacked my nostrils. The stench was so great, I could taste it.

 

The very next day, the little men came.

 

It’s time now. My daughter is gone. The entire town is gone.

 

*

A gunshot is heard. Men in white lab coats and facemasks run into a young girl’s bedroom. On the twin bed, dressed in pink, lies a pre-teen girl and a thirty-something-year-old woman. Both females are deceased due to gunfire wounds to the head.

 

“We’re too late,” one of the men in lab coats said.

 

“Well, maybe it is for the best,” his partner said. “There is nothing we could have done to reverse the effects of the chemical agent.”

 

“It’s a shame what happened in this town.”

 

“Yes, but how could we know Compound K would have this effect on them?”

 

“No––we had no way of knowing that the solution we prepared to cause infertility in the men and women of this town would turn into a powerful, hallucinogenic, mind-altering drug when combined with their water.”

 

“We’ll have to look into the town’s filtering system before we try this again in the next small town.”

 

“I agree, but let’s not allow this small speed bump to deter our cause.”

 

“Doctors,” a young man interrupted, “you asked for bottled water?” The men nodded and each took a bottle. They hardly took notice of the fellow. The young assistant leaves.

 

“Of course it won’t deter us. Our cause to save the planet by ending overpopulation goes beyond a few casualties.”

 

“Well, I wouldn’t exactly call five hundred people a few casualties, but such things happen in the name of science.”

 

“Absolutely.” The scientist gulps down his bottled water. Suddenly, he sputters. His eyes widen. “Th-thi-this water was bottled right here in this town!”

 

The other scientist fumbles with the bottle, trying to see the manufacturer’s name.

 

“How could this small town have a bottled water company?” Wide-eyed and hands trembling, the scientist stares at the lettering on the bottle. He reads, “‘We take pride in our fresh, clean mountain water and we use the highest quality water filtration systems.’ They bottled this water four days ago.” He drops the bottle, and it crashes to the ground.

 

“No!” his partner yells. “We put Compound K in the water supply seven days ago!”

 

“Maybe it won’t affect us in the same way as the townspeople. We’ve only drank a small portion in comparison to what they must have drank in the course of several days.” His voice wavers and his body shudders at the thought of having ingested the solution that caused all the townspeople to go mad and kill themselves. The other scientist stares at him, unnervingly silent.

 

Unexpectedly, the first scientist cries out and recoils. “Stay away from me! Don’t come near me. You will never take me alive!”

 

“What is the matter with you?” Staring at his partner and looking perplexed the second scientist takes a step back. “Oh, no.” His face slackens as realization hits.

 

His partner continues shouting, “You’ll never take me alive, Nazi!” He grabs a lamp and charges.

 

The scientist wrestles with his crazed colleague and seizes the lamp from him. The madman bites him on the shoulder. The scientist beats the man on the head and shoulder repeatedly until the lunatic finally unclenches his teeth and falls to the ground dead.

 

The scientist falls back against the wall, panting. He slides down the wall, landing in a crumpled mess on the floor. He holds his head in his hands and stares at his partner’s limp body, whose blood meanders toward him. Rivers pour from his eyes. His body shakes and convulses.

 

His eyes do not reflect what his mind sees.

 

The flames of hell surround him while demons dance around and torment him with everlasting pain.

 

Copyright © 2013 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

 

Mass hallucinations

“Madness is rare in individuals—but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule.” ~ Nietzsche.

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TERROR

14 Oct

TERROR

(^ For creepier effect turn on sound-effect)

Hey everyone! Continuing my efforts to completely creep you out this month I will begin with a hair-raising quote by the master of horror: Stephen King. Enjoy the story. Oh! If you’d like to heighten the creep-factor, press play on the sound player just below the picture of the strange doll. Enjoy!

The 3 types of terror: The Gross-out: the sight of a severed head tumbling down a flight of stairs, it’s when the lights go out and something green and slimy splatters against your arm. The Horror: the unnatural, spiders the size of bears, the dead walking around, it’s when the lights go out and something with claws grabs you by the arm. And the last and worse one: Terror, when you come home and notice everything you own had been taken away and replaced by an exact substitute. It’s when the lights go out and you feel something behind you, you hear it, you feel its breath against your ear, but when you turn around, there’s nothing there…

~Stephen King

TERROR

 by Vashti Q

He touched me. His cold fingers lay upon my bare shoulder and made me shudder. His breath, icy, lingered on the hairs standing on end at the back of my neck.

 

I turned quickly.

 

No one.

 

My eyes flickered in every direction searching for his likeness. I was alone in my room.

 

This is not the first time this has happened to me. He still torments me. It was not enough to do so while he was still among the living. He visits me now as he did then . . . only at midnight.

 

At first it was only a touch, and he was gone—back to the place where phantoms dwell. Cold and piercing as was his contact, I preferred it to the unspeakable things he now does to me. I can’t get away so I lie awake, waiting for him, as I did not too long ago when he was still alive.

 

Alive, in the dead of night, he used to leave my mother in a drunken sleep and sneak inside my bedroom. He’d put a hand over my mouth and threaten to kill me if I spoke a word to anyone of the vile acts he would perform on my teenage body. Back then my mind would escape, leaving my body to suffer the terror and pain. I escaped to a faraway place to be by myself. Being alone then was a blessing. When he was finished with me for the night, I’d lie writhing in pain, bleeding and sobbing against my pillow as he once more made threats to end me before departing my room.

 

There is no escaping him now. He haunts my mind, my very soul, and being alone now is synonymous with hell. How do you rid yourself of a ghoul—an evil spirit that plagues your slumber? I wish I knew. Night after night, he tortures me. My shrieks and howls go unheard. I am on my own.

 

Tonight I will put an end to my suffering. I can no longer endure the hurt and anguish he inflicts on me. I should have done this long ago. Perhaps this would have been a better solution to ending the agony, rather than the one I ultimately chose.
Uggh! As I run a piece of glass along my wrist to the point of bleeding, I tell myself the excruciating pain is only temporary. My hand shakes uncontrollably, making it difficult to finish what I began, but I am determined to end this nightmare. I will be rid of him once and for all.

 

Argh! The agony! It is as if I just forced white-hot pokers into my arms. My fingers cramp and seize into claws. Slitting one’s wrists is not the painless, glamorous death the movies make it out to be. It is repulsive, foul, excruciating. I watch the blood gush out of me like geysers. There is gore everywhere. The smell of metal and fear assaults my nostrils. My chest feels tight. I scream. I cannot prevent myself from screaming in anguish. The pain. Oh God, the pain!

 

I feel a chill in my bones. I have an obscure sensation like something is expanding inside of me, filling me with haze. I . . .  I–––

 

 

*

The doctor bent over, hands on knees, panting after running from the other side of the hospital. “Nurse, how could she do this with your station right outside the room?”

 

“I heard nothing—only silence—but when I entered the room to administer the nightly medications, I found her like this.”

 

“Did you . . . ” deep breath, “move the body?”

 

“I found her just as you see her.”

 

“In all my years tending the mentally insane, I have never seen anything like this.” The doctor pulled a small tape recorder out of his lab coat and pressed the record button. “The patient is nude and covered in blood from head to toe. Her eyes are open and they gaze at me as if they could see me. Her arms are extended, her hands together, one over the other, palms up, resting on her thighs proximate to her knees. Her legs are crossed at the ankles.” He paused and took another deep breath. “The only visible wound on her body is a large laceration on her chest. It begins inferior to her sternum and extends to the left. It appears to be self-inflicted, although I have not been able to locate the instrument used.” The doctor gulped and continued. “Lying on the palm of her hand appears to be–––her heart.” He switched off the recorder.

 

“Do we have to move her?”

 

“Call the police.”

 

 

*

“This is how they found her?” one of the orderlies asked.

 

“Yes. Neither the doctor nor the police wanted to move her,” the other hospital assistant said.

 

“Strange. She looks like she’s just sitting comfortably in the chair, waiting for someone. Her dainty hands offering her heart as if on a platter. She should be slumped over, but she’s sitting upright and alert. Her open eyes look aware, and her face has an innocent tranquil quality. She looks as if at any moment she would break words. I don’t believe she was capable of doing this.”

 

“Of course she was capable! Both the doctor and police confirmed it. One of the CSI police noticed a large piece of glass jutting out slightly from the gash on her chest. She used it to cut herself open. I don’t understand how she could have that expression on her face after all that pain. Her faint smile and serene expression are unnerving. Besides, no one that ends up in this place is innocent. She murdered her stepfather in cold blood while he slept. Her mother awoke to find her straddling him, dressed only in his blood and gore. She stabbed him seventy-eight times. Her mother said she saw a demon in her eyes that night.”

 

“Why did she do it?”

 

“She claimed her stepfather abused her sexually.”

 

“Surely that must have driven her to it.”

 

“No, it would have been impossible for her stepfather to abuse her since he was paralyzed from the waist down.”

 

“Oh.” The orderly gawked at the young girl’s corpse. “Wow, she must have really been crazy.”

 

Copyright © 2013 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

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