“Seven years?” Terrance stole a few strides to the window, parted the beige chiffon curtains a couple inches and peered out. “Interesting.”
He turned and strode back over to her. “You’ve been gone a week, or more precisely, seven days. In my time frame anyway. Add to that your nightmares you’ve been having for seven years.”
Sandra frowned still not understanding his logic.
“Don’t you see? Each day in my time-line represents one year in yours which means you have only been gone from my time-line for seven day but to you feels like seven years. Any memory you have of growing up in this time-line prior to seven years ago are false memories.” The glint in her eyes gave away the wheels turning in her mind. He knelt on one knee in front of her and placed one of her hands in his. He touched a gentle a kiss on her fingertips.
The warm, soft, tender touch of his lips melted her heart. He…he…she breathed deep, expelling a breath. Her chest heaved with the remembrance of the last memory she had before she vanished from 1845. Yes, she remembered it all. A sob and several tears rolled down her cheeks.
“My love,” whispered Terrance.
A distant, disembodied laugh echoed, and Sandra vanished.
(To Be Continued)
The warmth of his breath calmed her racing heart. Seconds ago the urge to flee gripped her, but now… “I don’t even know your name.”
“How can you not? We’ve known each other for years.”
“If that were true, I would know your name,” said Sandra, her back still to him. “And back up. You’re crowding me.”
He took three steps backward then reached his hand out. “Please, I mean you no harm. And my name is Terrance.”
The name stabbed her mind in familiarity, but she couldn’t place it. Was it true? Is she really Julie as he states? But that’s impossible. She swung around, took in his face, and gasped. A flood of memories pouring through her mind’s eye paraded one after the other. She blinked a few times and her breathing grew shallow.
Terrance saw the recognition stream across her face with a hint of pain. Something didn’t add up. Maybe she really hadn’t remembered being Julie. If that were the case, that means she didn’t run away, at least on purpose. A wave of remorse for his prior treatment of her when he first arrived assailed him, and he withdrew his outstretched hand, letting it hang at his side. “I am sorry, my love. Clearly something happened you are not aware of. Please, do tell me, what is happening inside that beautiful mind of yours at this moment.”
“I-I don’t know. I’m confused. The moment I turned around and looked at you, pictures of the two of us together flooded my head. Yet…yet I swear I was born as Sandra. I have memories of being a child and being called Sandra. How long ago did Julie leave you?”
“A week ago.”
“Then I can’t be her. Can I?” Then, for the first time, she noticed what Terrance wore. The first two buttons of his white shirt sat undone. His dark brown tailcoat created a broad-shouldered effect. “Wait, where are you from? Or what time are you from?”
“1845. I have been following your “tracks” so to speak through time. I was led here.”
“I’m twenty-three and have been in this time period all off my life. I swear to you. Then again, why am I having all of these memories?”
“Has anything strange happened to you over the years? Maybe the memories you’re having of this life growing up are the false one’s.”
“Why are you so sure I am Julie?” asked Sandra.
“Because you look just like her. Even down to your mannerisms. The way you hold your hand out and inspect the back of it and the way you latch onto a small amount of your beautiful locks of dark brown hair and play with the tips. It’s all her…or you, I mean.”
Sandra sighed and sat on the edge of her bed. “Leave me be.”
“I can’t and won’t do that. Now that I found you I am not letting you out of my sight. Let’s at least talk about the memories that flooded your mind moments ago.” He took two steps towards her, placed a gentle hand under her chin, and tugged it upwards to look him in the eyes. “Please.” In that moment a niggling of fear glinted within her eyes. “What? What is it? Tell me.”
She lifted her head out of the palm of his hand and focused on her hands clutched in her lap. “The Shadow Shifter.”
“He calls himself the Shadow Shifter. From a recurring nightmare I have had for years. Almost every night for the last seven years I have been haunted by him.”
(To Be Continued)
The aroma of fresh brewed coffee tapped my senses, as Sandra lay on the hotel mattress fit for a queen. The morning sunlight took the stage as it protruded through the beige chiffon curtains. She lifted one eyelid. The room sat in a dim light waiting for the sun to make its complete appearance. The scent of coffee wafted across her nose again. Mmm, so inviting. Wait. Coffee? She never made coffee, nor did she set it up on a timer. She sat bolt upright and glanced about. No one else was present.
The bathroom. She grasped the edge of the blanket, drew it back, then stepped out of bed. The feeling someone or something stood behind her overwhelmed her imagination, but that’s all it was…imagination, nothing else. At least she hoped that’s all it was. She didn’t look back, not wanting to feed into fear, so she pressed forward toward the bathroom to check it out. When she got to the door, she took a deep breath and let it out slow then shot around the corner to surprise whoever stood there. But the empty bathroom stared back. Of course, there was the tub which sat behind the door and across from the mirror above the sink, but the shower curtain was pulled back, so an empty tub reflected in the mirror.
She turned back toward the bed then jumped back a few feet at the sight of man standing by the window. She should have looked behind her when that eerie sensation prompted. His dark blond hair green eyed combination should have had a calming effect but it didn’t. Nor did he wear a pleasant expression. Instead he glared and his nostrils flared.
“Julie,” said the man an even tone.
Her chest heaved with every breath. The door to escape sat mere feet to the rear. She froze. “H-how did you get in here?”
“You ran, you little imp.”
Now fear and confusion set in. She had no idea what this man was talking about. “What? I don’t know you.”
“You know me well enough. You ran away from me. I told you I would give you everything, and you run?”
Sandra shook her head and creased her brows. “What planet are you from? You’re crazy. I don’t know you. I am from Port’s Cove, Oregon. And my name is Sandra, not Julie.”
The man walked toward her, so she turned, ran the last few feet to the door to escape and opened it mere inches before he was upon her slamming it shut. He didn’t move but remained behind me. His chest pressed against my back. His hand placed itself on my right shoulder.
“Julie, please don’t run,” his now gentle voice whispered in her ear.
(To Be Continued)
Thunder cracked and split a booming blast,
darkness shut the sunlight with one whap,
winds whirled wide and slapped me like a gnat,
rain encased within a cloud-filled sky
pelted passionate pellets till I die.
Lightning stung dark clouds and lit the night,
as day passed on and waved a sad good bye,
wind a swirl threw its tantrum true,
tearing trees and tossing them askew.
Where is yourself
that you hide
in your pocket?
Are you guided
by a helping hand
from a friend?
Do you not trust
hide from others?
Rise above your
Be strong within
and not put down.
Sing your strengths
The inner you
and not drown.
Tension within a story is the sense that something ominous/foreboding is around the corner. What are some ways you can create tension within your story?
Forms of Tension
- Increase conflict between your characters.
- Make the situation worse for your character(s). Ahh, the tension of the task. Don’t make what your characters have to do easy. Don’t allow them to get what they want right away.
- There is tension in surprise. Readers like to be surprised, whether it’s good or bad. Prolong it. Keep stringing them along until just the right time.
- Create an air of mystery. We all love a mystery.
If you are in the beginning stages of learning how to write fiction, DO NOT…I repeat… DO NOT inundate yourself with too much information at one time. You will get overwhelmed and risk putting out that learning “flame”. Take one topic, for example characterization, and learn a little about it each day. Take small bites. Trust me on this. Also, taking fiction writing class works just as well.
In fiction, there are 5 ways to start a scene
With Action– Hook the reader by providing something about the character. Maybe their past, choices they’ve made, their desires. It will depend on the story you’re writing. Make sure it flows with the plot.
With Summary– Not all writing within a story is showing. There are times you need to tell, too. This is where that comes in. When necessary, and when the story calls for it, begin a scene with some expository writing. Make sure it’s relevant and prepares the reader for forthcoming events.
Introduce Your Narrator– What you’re doing here is introducing your narrator to your readers. Open readers up to the narrator’s mind. What makes them interesting?
With Scene Setting– Describe a scene. I like to call this introducing what’s coming with visual flavoring particles. What you’re doing here is giving the reader a visual setup of the environment within the scene that will then lead to the action/reaction within it. It’s setting the stage, in other words. You’re just doing it with description.
With Dialogue– There is nothing like starting a scene with tense dialogue or, what I call, inviting dialogue. It’s the type of dialogue that invites the reader into it to become a part. It’s done in such a way that engrosses the reader, and they won’t put your story down.
Which of the above you choose to begin your scenes will depend upon your story and its the flow.