Tag Archives: storytelling

SPOTLIGHT: Teagan’s Books | Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

10 Jul

#CreativityFound is one of my favorite hashtags, but I use it sparingly, and only when the person or subject matter is truly deserving. Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene is clearly worthy because she is the epitome of creativity and imagination.

“Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.”

~Native American Proverb

Teagan Riordain Geneviene-author-spotlight-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-vashti quiroz vega-writer-novel

 

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, is a true storyteller with a vivid imagination. She enjoys interacting with the readers on her blog and her readers take part in the creation of her serial stories. A southerner by birth, she was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there. She had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest. Teagan writes many types of fantasy, from what she likes to call “quest type” fantasy, to urban fantasy, to fantasies with a dash of mystery. Her blog, Teagan’s Books contains serial stories written according to contributions from viewers.

Teagan’s major influences include Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

The novella version of the serial that helped establish her blog is now available.

The Three Things Serial Story is a spontaneously written (“pantser”) story. Everything in it — characters, setting, plot, was driven by “things” left by readers of the blog Teagan’s Books, episode by episode. Each week readers left three more things. The story evolved according to what those random things inspired. The serial began with oscillating fan, which brought me the vision of the 1920s setting. The era and narrator continued in two more serials that followed. While it was not great literature, it sure was a fun ride!  Here’s a trailer to put you in a Roaring Twenties mood.

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“Creativity takes courage.”

~Henri Matisse

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Check out Teagan’s other books here.

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Connect with her on Social Media

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Amazon Author Page

Teagan Riordain Geneviene-author-spotlight-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-blogger-novel

Be sure to visit Teagan’s blog, Teagan’s Books. It’s one of the most creative, colorful and fun blogs you’ll ever visit.

 

Have a wonderful week and join me on Friday for ‘Haiku Friday’!

 

 

 

Writers Quote Wednesday – Mystery

20 Apr

Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

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

~Albert Einstein

What is Mystery?

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

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

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

Chapter 1- THE AWAKENING

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Was I abandoned here?”

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

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

A Town’s Perception – Short Story

31 Aug

 

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_The Writer Next Door

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.

 

A Town's Perception

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

Haiku Friday – Guide & Map

17 Jul

RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge

 

Happy Haiku Friday! This week’s prompt words are Guide and Map. Hmmm, not exactly poetic words. Well, this is what I came up with this week. I hope you like my haiku.

The Writer Next Door_mind_mapping

Mind Mapping

storyMindMap

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A mind map is a powerful graphic technique used to visually organize information and unlock creativity.

Have you ever used this technique for storytelling, blogging or to plan an event? Has it worked for you?

Read & Win Giveaway! The Search for the Last Flower

9 Nov

Hello wonderful people! I’m excited to announce the winner of the Read & Win Giveaway today. And here it is . . . drumroll please . . . Hugh Roberts! Thank you Hugh for reading every installment of my short horror series, The Search for the Last Flower, and for your wonderful comments. Your support and feedback was invaluable to me and I appreciate you. 😀 Please leave your email address on my contact page, and I will make arrangements to send you your prizes. This was truly a lot of fun for me. I hope it was for you too.

Hugh Roberts

Author Hugh Roberts

 

Hugh Roberts has a blog called, Hugh’s Views & News. You should check it out, it’s a blast. He has short stories, poetry, photo challenges, and a page where his doggie Toby speaks his mind. Yeah, so hurry over there and enjoy.

Here’s a bit about Hugh in his own words . . .

Based in Hove, East Sussex, in the United Kingdom, I write about all kinds of everyday life and what it brings to us all. Nothing too serious, most of the time just about the little things in life and how important they can be to all of us. Some of my posts will be humorous, while others may bring a tear to the eye.

I have always enjoyed writing and the fact I suffer from a mild form of dyslexia has not stopped me. Yes, I get things wrong with my reading and writing, but I always find those mistakes humorous and always laugh about it. I have never let dyslexia get in my way. Now in my fifties, I thought it about time I let my writing become public and becoming a blogger seemed to be the perfect way for me to do this. I lead a very happy life and always try to stay positive. I share my life with my wonderful Civil Partner, John, and our Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Toby, who I both cherish with all my heart.

I write about life, because I find it so fascinating. I have many stories to tell, some of which I have started to put into a book. My life has been incredible and I want to share it with anybody that wants to listen. I am also a wonderful listener and I love to be interactive with other people. I guess you could say I am a people person.

I have only recently got interested in photography and my blog now includes some of the photos I have taken. You will also find some of my short stories and poetry on my blog and I hope you enjoy reading them.

I welcome any feedback on my blog (good or bad) and hope my readers will engage with me by leaving comments on my posts. I promise to try to respond to all of them. After all, if somebody has taken the time to read one of my posts and leaves me a comment, then it is only polite for me to respond to that comment and engage with my reader. I want you all to enjoy reading my blog and hopefully you press the follow button and join me on my journey. I would love to have you come along for the ride.

Toby

Toby

Click on Toby’s picture and it will take you to his posts.

Please don’t forget to congratulate Hugh on his win! Thanks!

The Search for the Last Flower – FINALE

7 Nov

Hello everyone! Happy Friday! Today is the last installment of my horror series, The Search for the Last Flower. I will be announcing the winner of the giveaway on Sunday. In the meantime please enjoy the finale.

 

Blue-Poppies_nearestneighbor-2

 

Caleb had to leave this place as soon as possible. Already yellow eyes glared in his direction. He would not be responsible for Armageddon. He could find the answers he needed in his lab. If he could find a cure, maybe all could be set right again. But how could anything be right again?

 

Caleb ran outside the hospital. The walking dead were all around him. They overran his car. They smelled Lolita’s blood. How would he get to his lab? He couldn’t make it on foot. Already there were so many of them. But he had to make it. He was the only one who could end this.

 

He spotted an ambulance and ran to it. The door was open and he jumped into it, closed the door and locked it. The keys were in the ignition. It was lucky for him but not so lucky for whoever had to leave the vehicle in such a hurry. He sighed deeply, turned the key and fled the hospital parking lot.

 

He drove as fast as he could, which was faster than he’d ever driven. He scrambled around the ambulance’s dashboard and found the switch to turn on the siren. He flew past red lights and stop signs on his way to the lab. He was high on adrenaline, and he was certain he could fix the problem he had started if only he could make it to the lab.

 

He made a sharp turn and heard a thump in the back of the ambulance. He focused his hearing while continuing to keep his eyes on the road. He heard a crash and a slam. His heart began to thump.

 

Something pounded on the small window between the back of the ambulance and the front seat. Caleb’s eyes opened wide. Part of him wanted to turn and look, but the other part just wanted to drive on. He turned his head. It was one of them.

 

A large man, judging by the size of his fists and neck, was pounding on the glass. A dark, triangular nasal cavity stood where his nose once did, and his lower lip, as well as the skin of his lower jaw was missing. His entire face was red with blood, which made his yellow eyes stand out even more.

 

Caleb faced the road again just in time to avoid crashing against a building. His mouth quivered and his hands shook, even while he gripped the steering wheel. He had to make it to the lab. If this malady spread to other states or countries, it would mean the end of everything. He stepped on the throttle.

 

All he had to do was cross the bridge and he would be a mere minute or two from his lab. He would work night and day until he came up with a solution to reverse the effects of the elixir.

 

The thing on the other side of the small window did not relent. He shook the vehicle every time his large fists pounded on the glass. Caleb glanced at the window and saw evidence that the glass could shatter at any moment. He slammed his foot on the throttle but the vehicle could not go any faster.

 

He finally reached the bridge. The dead man kept striking the window causing damage to the edge of the glass. It began to crack and the next hard impact caused it to shatter into pieces.

 

Caleb gasped when he saw the pieces of glass fall to the front seat, and heard the man’s growl. The man stuck his head through the opening and tried to squeeze his wide shoulders through. He snapped his teeth at Caleb like a rabid dog.

 

Caleb shifted away from the monster and pressed against his door. The man backed away from the window. Caleb panted and kept taking glimpses at the opening as he swerved through traffic. It grew quiet. Caleb’s thoughts were muddled. Where did the man go?

 

The man crashed into the opening sticking his head, left arm and shoulder through––reaching for Caleb.

 

Caleb kept pressing his body against the door, but that was not far enough from the man’s reach. His driving kept getting more and more erratic as he tried fending off the monster with one hand and driving with the other. He veered into the next lane and almost collided with another vehicle. His pulse raced. He was midway on the bridge. Would he make it?

 

As he watched the road, the man grabbed his arm, tore into the muscles of his forearm with his teeth, and pulled them away. Caleb howled as the man gnawed on his arm. He caught a glimpse of his ulnar and became lightheaded. His eyes were rolling in his head. He wailed and yanked his bloody arm away from the man.

 

He was bitten.

 

Caleb sobbed and shook his head. He groaned in pain, shock, but most of all at the knowledge that he would soon die and become one of them. He would no longer go to the lab. There was no time for him to find a cure for this affliction.

 

He looked to his right and then his left. The poison course through his body. He was dying.

 

He swerved the vehicle to an ongoing lane, onto the shoulder and then off the bridge. As he plummeted over two-hundred feet to his death in an icy river, Caleb cursed the day he went in search of the last flower.

 

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

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I want to thank all my readers for their time. I hope this was a good ending for you. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. 

The Search for the Last Flower – (Part 11)

5 Nov

Welcome to Part 11 of my horror series, The Search for the Last Flower. I appreciate all the comments, shares, and tweets. You guys rock! I’m glad you’re enjoying the story––it’s why I right. 😉 (Part 12 is the final installment and I will be posting it on Friday.)

 

thesearchforthelastflower

 

 

 

Caleb snatched his keys, opened the back door of his car, grabbed Lolita and shoved her in.

 

Lolita groaned and squirmed in pain.

 

“Stay with me, Lolita.” He got into the front seat and started the car. He pushed the pedal to the metal and sped away, just as Dr. Smith placed his face against his window.

 

“Talk to me, Lolita.” Caleb drove recklessly, weaving through traffic, ignoring stale green lights and stop signs, trying to get the girl to the hospital as soon as possible. Her wails and shrieks were making his head throb. He sobbed and pounded on the steering wheel.

 

By the time Caleb had reached the hospital, Lolita was quiet and still. He slammed on the brakes in front of the emergency entrance. He swung his door open and jumped out. It was hard to stomach what he saw when he opened the back door. Lolita lay sprawled on the back seat, naked, completely covered in her own blood and gore. How would he explain this? What the hell––he had to do the right thing. This woman needed medical attention. He grabbed her and carried her out of the car.

 

He rushed inside the hospital, leaving his car parked askew with the passenger side front and back doors wide open. His car could be stolen, but the only thing on his mind was to save the girl.

 

“Help me! This girl needs help!” He ran into the emergency room bellowing. “She’s dying! I need a doctor!”

 

Some people sitting around stared wide-eyed, others gasped, screamed, and some jumped out of their seats staggering backward in shock.

 

Several nurses ran to him, followed by paramedics pushing a stretcher. Caleb placed her limp, motionless body down on the stretcher. A young doctor came running while putting on his stethoscope’s ear tips. He tried to find a heartbeat. His brow knit tightly. He shook his head and grabbed her wrist to feel a pulse and then he auscultated her again. Nothing. “I-I’m sorry sir. The girl is dead.” The doctor looked at Caleb and pressed his lips together. He placed a hand on Caleb’s shoulder.

 

Caleb pushed his hand off. “No––no, check again! She can’t be dead!” The doctor opened his mouth to speak but Caleb yelled, “Check again! One more time––please.” The doctor stared at him with a pitying expression and auscultated her once more. He took longer than the last time. He looked up at Caleb, still maintaining the stethoscope’s diaphragm on her chest and shook his head.

 

Lolita’s eyes sprang open.

 

The nurses gasped and recoiled. The young doctor stared at the corpse. Caleb looked into her eyes. They were wild, cloudy and yellow. The doctor placed his hand over them to close them. Lolita reached and bit three of his fingers off with one bite. The doctor stared in shock at the stumps on his hand as blood jet out from them like geysers.

 

Lolita sat upright and grabbed the doctor from behind. She bit right through his lab coat and shirt into his upper back. The doctor howled in pain and pulled away from her. He stared at her with a confused expression.

 

A nurse ran to help the doctor. Lolita jumped off the stretcher and seized the nurse by the hair. She bit her on the neck. As the nurse screamed and struggled, Lolita continued to bite pieces off her until she lay still, and someone else got Lolita’s attention.

 

The emergency room was in an uproar. Nurses, paramedics, doctors, and patients were running, crying, screaming. Caleb backed into a corner of the room and watched––immobilized by fear and dread. Lolita moved differently from Dr. Smith. She was faster, stronger, and more agile. She grabbed one person, took a few bites and then grabbed another. At least eight or nine people were bit so far, and she showed no signs of slowing down.

 

She must be stopped. Every person she bit would eventually become like her. He knew that now. She must not leave this place––everyone she’d attacked must not leave this place. But it was too late. Many of the bitten had already left the building.

 

As Caleb watched Lolita chase several screaming people out of the emergency room, he became lightheaded. He slid down the wall. He hugged his knees, rocked, and held his head. This would never end now. It would spread until everyone in the city was a crazed––can someone dead be called crazed?

 

He knew he should not sit still. This was all his doing and he had to fix it. He could return to the lab and figure out how to stop this before it truly was too late. He was the only one who could do it. He had to find the strength.

 

Caleb made an attempt to rise, but his legs trembled, his knees faltered and he fell on his rump again. He looked at his hands. They trembled like leaves in a windstorm. He took a deep breath. He had to calm down and take ahold of himself. The longer he lingered, the more victims of his elixir there would be.

 

He rose and looked around the emergency room. There were two paramedics lifting the young doctor, who had attended Lolita, off the floor and onto a stretcher. One of the paramedics bent over to lift the stretcher, his head too close the doctor’s face.

 

“No––get away from him,” Caleb said under his breath as he ran toward them. The doctor opened his eyes and ripped the paramedic’s ear off with his teeth. The paramedic staggered away, howling in pain. His partner dropped the clipboard he was holding and went to help him.

 

“It’s too late for him!” Caleb yelled at the paramedic who was trying to help his friend. “Get away from him and leave this place or you, too, will end up like the doctor.” The paramedic looked at his friend, Caleb and then the doctor, who had already jumped off the stretcher. He left his friend and ran away as fast as he could. The other stood in shock, putting pressure on the hole that was his ear. The doctor launched at him, knocking him to the floor.

 

He pulled his shirt apart, buttons flew everywhere. He gnawed on the paramedic’s belly until he made his way inside and began to feast on his intestines, while the man still squirmed and squealed.

 

Caleb staggered backward, retching violently. He looked around. Others who had been bitten and died were beginning to rise, animated by the synthetic essence of the Brazilian tribe’s last flower.

 

This was his doing. Could this be undone?

 

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

 

zombies

 

Thank you for reading! Leave your thoughts in the comment section.

Don’t forget about the Giveaway! Read, comment, and win!

The Search for the Last Flower – (Part 10)

4 Nov

Hi everyone! Thank you for visiting my blog and for reading Part 10 of my horror series, The Search for the Last Flower. I hope you like it!

 

 

the search for the last flower

 

 

She froze when she saw Dr. Smith lying on his bed in his pajama bottoms. She stared at him wide-eyed and then she began to scream nonstop. Caleb grabbed her by the shoulders and tried to get her to calm down, but she continued to scream. He smacked her face and she stopped. She sobbed and turned to leave.

 

“Lolita,” Dr. Smith called. “Come to me, Lolita.” His voice was rough, breathy, and the scariest voice she had ever heard.

 

“Go to him,” Caleb told her. She shook her head. “I will pay you well for a small amount of your time.” She closed her eyes tightly, shook her head again and hurried out of the room.

 

“Wait.” Caleb hurried after her. She kept moving quickly toward the front door. “Look––I will pay you triple what he normally pays you!”

 

“There isn’t enough money in the world to make me have sex with that––that monster!”

 

“I don’t expect you to have sex with him. Just remove your clothes and let him touch you a little––that’s all.” Lolita shuddered at the thought. “Give an old man just a few minutes of your time before he dies.”

 

Lolita sighed deeply and looked at the floor. “I only have to remove my clothes and let him touch me a little, right?” Caleb nodded. “Alright, but I leave in ten minutes.” She made her way back to the bedroom. Caleb followed closely behind.

 

Dr. Smith’s eyes were closed. He seemed motionless.

 

“Is he still alive?” Lolita took a step back.

 

Caleb stared at him for a moment. He walked over and shook him.

 

“Andrew, Andrew––” Dr. Smith opened his eyes. Caleb avoided looking at him in the face. “He’s alive. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can get out of here.”

 

Lolita took off her clothes. Her skin was smooth and flawless, like cream. Her breasts were plump and perky. Caleb could not turn away.

 

“If you’re going to watch, it’ll cost five hundred dollars extra,” she told him.

 

She trembled as she approached Dr. Smith. She climbed on top of him, straddling over his pajama bottom. When she got close enough her hand flew to cover her nose and mouth. The stench, cloying and nauseating, irritated her nostrils. Her face twisted in disgust as Dr. Smith’s cold, slimy hands grabbed her by the waist.

 

He pulled her closer.

 

Caleb’s face pinched. Then he noticed Dr. Smith’s eyes. Caleb squinted. It couldn’t be. Dr. Smith’s irises were yellow, as yellow as the eyes of the boy in the fire in the jungle. Ice water seemed to flow in Caleb’s veins.

 

Dr. Smith pulled Lolita to him and bit her breast. Lolita screamed, but the doctor would not let go. She wailed and pounded on his head. He gnawed and shook his head until he tore off the breast. She fell back on the bed, and Dr. Smith grabbed her foot with half of one breast still in his mouth. She howled and pressed the remaining breast tissue against her chest. Her caught leg juddered and the other kicked, trying to get away from his clutches. When he was done with her breast, he began biting off and eating her toes one by one. More horrific screams.

 

Caleb gawped at the scene before him, too frightened to do anything. Dr. Smith had become whatever it was that boy in the jungle had become.

 

The young woman lost consciousness. Caleb watched his father gnaw on that poor woman’s foot as if it were barbecue ribs. He panted and scanned the room. He could not figure out what to do.

 

Dr. Smith tossed Lolita’s leg aside. She regained consciousness and as she opened her eyes immense pain gripped her. Once more she began to wail and howl in anguish. He grabbed her by the arms and yanked her to him with ample strength and agility, as if reborn. He bit into her upper arm and pulled skin, muscles, tendons . . . each tissue fighting to stay together. She shrieked and cringed.

 

Caleb could take no more. He picked up a metal lamp from on top of his father’s night table and clobbered his father over the head several times until he finally let go of the girl. The heavy metal lamp dented his skull and should have killed him, but instead it only seemed to make him momentarily groggy.

 

Caleb gasped, carried the girl off the bed, and hurried toward the front door. When he reached the front door, he heard a noise. He looked over his shoulder––Dr. Smith was coming after them.

 

Caleb moved as fast as he could toward his car. Lolita clung onto him and tried to walk, but Caleb carried most of her weight and dragged her along.

 

As he approached his car, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his keys. He looked over his shoulder again and saw that Dr. Smith was emerging from the door. Caleb fumbled with his keys, trying to balance Lolita’s weight while he found the car key.

 

“Miss, you’re going to have to lean against the car until I open it.” He let go. He looked back—Dr. Smith was approaching fast.

 

He searched through his keys but his hands trembled and he dropped them to the ground. He bent over to pick them up and Lolita groaned and swayed, about to fall. Caleb grabbed her and pushed her against his car again. She was losing a lot of blood. If he didn’t get her to a hospital soon, she would die. He tried once more to pick up his keys. The doctor’s horrid stench preceded him. Caleb turned his head and saw that he was a mere few feet away and reaching out to him.

 

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

 

zombie-Attack-the search for the last flower-blog

We’re almost to the end of the series. I’ve had a lot of fun writing it. I hope you’ve had as much fun reading it. Thanks so much for your time.  Don’t forget to leave a comment. 😀

The Search for the Last Flower – (Part 8)

1 Nov

 Hello! I hope everyone had a good Halloween. Welcome to the 8th installment of The Search for the Last Flower. There are only a few episodes left so I will not be posting one tomorrow, Sunday 11/02. I will post Part 9 on Monday 11/03 to allow some readers to catch up. Thank you for reading!

 

the search of the last flower_anti-aging elixir

 

*

 

Six months later, Dr. Caleb Wilson and Dr. Andrew Smith introduced to the world a miracle elixir that would not only stave off aging, but also turn back the hands of time. The news went viral on the web, and the two men were in all the newspapers.

 

‘The Geniuses Behind the Cure for Aging,’ the headlines read.

 

The sound of champagne corks popping, chattering and loud music, gave Caleb a headache. He walked out onto the balcony of the fancy hotel and took a deep breath.

 

Moments later, Dr. Smith joined him on the balcony. “What are you doing out here?”

 

“I needed some air,” Caleb said.

 

“Look, I know parties aren’t your thing, but this is your party. You should be in there, shaking people’s hands––mingling.”

 

“Andrew, this is our party. I think you do enough socializing for the two of us. Besides, I’m mad at you––remember?”

 

“Come on, Caleb. When are you going to let it go?”

 

“You drank the elixir without giving me a chance to test it properly! What if––”

 

“What if what? Yes, I may have jumped the gun, but it’s over now. Testing the elixir on primates would have taken too long!”

 

“Yes, it would have taken a while, but what you did was dangerous and irresponsible!”

 

“But look at me!” Dr. Smith spun around. “I’m a sixty-two-year-old man, and I don’t look a day over thirty. I feel great, too!” Caleb scowled at him. “Come on, you know the elixir worked just like I thought it would. You should be happy. I haven’t felt this good in years, and I feel better every day–– I owe it all to you! Your anti-aging elixir works!” Dr. Smith grabbed Caleb, lifted him and spun him around.

 

“Alright, alright. Let go!” Caleb laughed and straightened his glasses. “Are you sure we did right by putting the product out on the market without further testing?”

 

“Yes, yes. You’ve done all the tests needed. You’ve practically drained me of blood with all your testing. I am fine and benefitting from the anti-aging elixir. Now all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the rewards of your labor.

 

 

*

 

“Andrew, where are you?” Caleb said into his phone.

 

“I’m just a few minutes away. I’ve been feeling kind of sluggish, and it took me longer than usual to get ready,” Dr. Smith said in a hoarse voice.

 

“What’s wrong? You sound terrible. If you’re not feeling well, you could have told me. I would have understood.” Caleb sounded concerned.

 

“Nonsense, open the door. I’m parking the car as we speak.” Dr. Smith ended the call.

 

Caleb gasped when he greeted Dr. Smith at the door. “Have you looked at yourself in the mirror? You look like crap! Have you seen a doctor?”

 

“Aren’t you a doctor?”

 

“You know I’m not that kind of doctor,” Caleb said.

 

“It’s just a cold. No big deal.” Dr. Smith coughed.

 

“You’re pale and your eyes are bloodshot and cloudy. I could hardly see your blue irises. How’s your eyesight?”

 

My eyes are fine. I have a sore throat and a low-grade fever. That is all.”

 

“Nevertheless, let me draw some blood. I’ll get it analyzed right away.”

 

“What’s my blood going to tell you now that it hasn’t already told you?”

 

“I’m not sure, but obviously there’s something happening in your body.”

 

“Fine. Do you think we could have dinner first?”

 

“Of course,” Caleb said, embarrassed.

 

Caleb and Dr. Smith had dinner and watched a movie. Caleb observed Dr. Smith closely the entire time they were together. He drew his blood and drove the 30cc vial of blood to the lab to have it analyzed that night.

Caleb couldn’t sleep after seeing the results of his father’s blood tests. The next morning he called Dr. Smith with his findings.

 

*

Dr. Smith stared at himself in the mirror. He almost didn’t recognize the face he saw staring back. He looked worse than the night before, and he felt worse, too.

 

Overnight, red, painful lumps had grown all over his face. What was happening to him? He was fatigued, had body aches, dizziness, and he coughed, sneezed and continued to have a low-grade fever. He opened his mouth and examined his throat in the mirror. The back of his throat was white with pus. He grimaced with disgust.

 

He bent over the toilet and vomited what felt like sulfuric acid. He wailed in pain. When done, he grabbed a small towel and wiped his mouth. The towel was stained with his blood. He looked at his hands and arms, which were trembling uncontrollably––more red lumps. He was covered in these painful lesions. It seemed all manner of bacteria had invaded his body, but why––how? Dr. Smith’s knees faltered, and he collapsed. Too weak at the moment to stand, he curled up in a ball and cried like a child.

 

The phone rang. Dr. Smith took a deep breath and clambered to his feet. He tottered past the mirror and glanced at his reflection. He jolted and almost collapsed again, but he held onto the sink. He rose and braved another look. It had been less then an hour since he last looked at his reflection. The red lumps had become large bruise-like areas. The center of some of these areas had become black––dead tissue. The skin in some of these black areas had broken and now oozed a greenish-yellowish fluid. Dr. Smith howled.

 

The phone had long stopped ringing. He stood frozen, holding onto the sink, afraid to move. There was a thudding on the door. He tried to take a step, but his legs were wobbly, and he couldn’t let go of the sink long enough to move forward.

 

“Open the door, Andrew!” Caleb pounded on the door.

 

“I can’t––” Dr. Smith thought he had said, but only a hoarse, whistling sound emerged.

 

“Open the door, or I will break it down!” Caleb banged on the door a few more times and then began to ram it with his body until he was able to crash through it and into the house.

 

He ran from room to room looking for Dr. Smith. “Andrew, where are you?” His heart throbbed. When Caleb finally entered the master bathroom, he froze. He turned pale and stared at the doctor. He couldn’t find the words he so desperately needed to say.

 

Dr. Smith groaned and extended a weak, fragile arm toward him. This caused Caleb to run to him. He lifted his father and helped him to his bed.

 

“You’re not well, Andrew,” Caleb told him.

 

Dr. Smith forced a chuckle. “I’ve already figured that out for myself.” His voice was weak and raspy. “What is happening to me?”

 

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

 

zombie_face_by_brucethebandit-d3iqj0z

Zombie Face by Christian Peña (brucethebandit on deviantART)

 

Don’t forget to leave a comment to qualify for the ‘Giveaway’. I’d love to hear from you.

Short Story – The Cursed Tree (Part 3) FINALE

30 Jul
Henri_Vidal,_Cain,_Jardin_des_Tuileries

Henri Vidal (1864 – 1918), Cain, Jardin des Tuileries

 

Hello! I hope everyone’s having a great week so far. I’ve posted the 3rd and final installment of my short story The Cursed Tree. How a story begins and ends is very important to me, so please let me know how you liked or disliked my conclusion to this story in the comments below. If you haven’t read Part 1 or Part 2 you should before reading the ending. Thank you for taking the time to read.

 

 

 

The Cursed Tree

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

Cain returned home and was at his best behavior. He was obedient to his parents and kind to his brother. I must be pleasant and amicable toward my brother so that when the time comes, he shall not fear to follow me, Cain thought.

 

There was a consequence to Cain’s feigned behavior. As he became nicer to Abel and his parents, it seemed to him that they too became more pleasant to be around. Cain began to enjoy his brother’s company and his parents’ new praises and attention. It seems that being obedient to my parents and kind to my brother has its rewards. I am enjoying my time with them, Cain thought.

 

Four weeks flew by and the time had come to take Abel to the tree. Cain observed his brother as he protected and guided his sheep. Once more he felt remorse. He dragged his feet back to the tree.

 

“I have changed my mind,” Cain told the tree. “I know longer wish to see my brother’s life extinguished.

 

“It is too late now, Cain!” the tree bellowed, causing Cain’s head to ache. “He must taste the fruit I bear!”

 

Cain shook his head. “No!” he yelled. “I no longer desire my brother’s death!”

 

“For years all you talked about was your hatred for your brother,” the tree said. “You spoke of your hatred for Abel while you watered me. You spoke of your hatred for your brother as you pulled weeds from around my roots. You said over and over again, as you pruned and cared for me, how your life would be so much better if your brother Abel were not around!”

 

“Things are different,” Cain said. “I am an obedient son and a loving brother now. Since I have been good, my parents show me more love and my brother is kind to me.”

 

“How long do you think this shall last?” the tree asked. “You are not being yourself right now. You are being who they want you to be, and the day you grow tired of being an imposter, they, too, shall go back to the old ways. Remember your parent’s preference for your brother. Remember how they all looked down on you, as if you were lesser than they.”

 

Cain’s heart felt heavy. His face and body slackened. He stared at the tree through eyes blurred with tears. “You are an evil tree, and the fruit you bear is an abomination!”

 

“If I am evil, it is only because you have fed me the hatred that consumes you,” the tree said. “The fruit I bear is a product of your hatred and your evil soul.”

 

Cain’s eyes opened wide, his breathing became shallow and erratic. He turned away from the tree, unable to stand its evil presence any longer. Cain ran as fast as his feet could carry him. When he arrived home he saw his mother watering the root vegetables he had planted for her.

 

“Mother!” Cain yelled. Eve jumped. “Where is Abel?”

 

“I do not know. He went looking for you,” Eve said, looking at him with a confused expression. “What is the matter? You look pale and distraught. Is something wrong?”

 

“I must find Abel,” he said in a low, hoarse voice. Then he hurried to the hill where Able spent most of his time with his sheep. Abel was not there. Instead, Adam tended the sheep.

 

“Father, where is Abel?” Cain asked. “I must speak to him.”

 

“Your brother went off to look for you,” his father said. “He went by the river where he thought you would be tending your favorite tree.” Cain gulped air and his legs faltered. He plopped onto his knees. His father hurried over.

 

“What is the matter, son?”

 

“Nothing, Father,” Cain said, clambering to his feet. “I have been running around looking for Abel, and I am a bit tired. I shall be alright soon.”

 

Adam responded, but Cain did not hear what he said, for his pulse beat loud and fast in his ears.

 

“I must go now, Father.” Cain hurried to the small paradise he had created by the river. Standing next to his tree was his brother, holding a half-eaten fruit in his hand.

 

“Brother, you did not tell me your tree has yielded fruit,” Abel said. “It is the sweetest and most succulent of all fruits.”

 

Cain approached Abel slowly, shaking his head––large tears falling from his eyes.

 

“Did you not catch the stench of evil and death that comes from this treacherous fruit?” Cain asked.

 

Abel gasped. He dropped what remained of the fruit to the ground. His face turned pale and he dropped to all fours. He sat on his haunches, and his tongue wagged out of his mouth. He rocked back and forth. His mouth foamed and he held his hands in front of him like paws. Then he ran around in circles on all fours, making growling noises and tearing plants apart with his teeth before eating them. Abel approached Cain and sniffed him. Cain retreated from him, his face twisted in disgust.

 

“He is wild, eats grass and runs around on all fours. He is mad and has the mind of an animal,” Cain said, his face red with rage. “Why have you done this?”

 

“It is what you wanted,” the tree said. “You could not kill him because he was human, but now he is but a mere animal. Kill him. Or do you prefer he live like this for the rest of his existence?”

 

“No!” Cain shook his head and sobbed.

 

Abel continued to growl and paw at him.

 

Cain stared at his brother Abel. Tears flooded Cain’s face. Abel was human only in appearance. He saw that now. I cannot allow my brother to go on like this, and I shall not put my parents through the shame of watching their beloved son walk on all fours and eat grass. I shall do what I have to in order to make this right, Cain thought.

 

Cain grabbed a large jagged rock and walked over to Abel. He lifted the rock over his head. “Goodbye, brother,” Cain said, and brought the rock down on Abel’s head again and again until his brother’s skull became one with the ground, and his warm blood covered Cain’s face and hands and colored the verdant grass red.

 

Cain saw what he had done and shouted to the heavens as he pulled the hair out of his head.

 

“My brother’s blood calls out for revenge, so punish me, oh God! I deserve your worst! But before you do, please, allow me to watch the destruction of this evil tree! I implore you!”

 

The earth rumbled and the sky turned an ominous dark grey. Large black clouds swirled across the heavens, colliding with each other. Deafening thunderclaps made the ground tremble. A jagged lightning bolt ripped through the sky and speared the tree, turning it to ash.

 

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

 

 

Tree-Lightning-the cursed tree

Did you enjoy the spin on this ancient story?