Posted in Short Stories

Love Forgotten (Part III)

“Seven years?” Terrance stole a few strides to the window, parted the beige chiffon curtains a couple inches and peered out. “Interesting.”

“What? Why?”

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)

Posted in Short Stories

Forgotten Love (Part II)

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)

Posted in Short Stories

Forgotten Love (Part I)

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)

Posted in Poetry

In Your Pocket by L. M. Montes

Where is yourself
that you hide
in your pocket?

Are you guided
by a helping hand
from a friend?

Do you not trust
but instead
hide from others?

Rise above your
defenses holding
you down.

Be strong within
but cautious
and not put down.

Sing your strengths
with embellishment
all around.

The inner you
will prosper
and not drown.

Posted in Emotions

Story Tension

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

  1. Increase conflict between your characters.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Create an air of mystery. We all love a mystery.
Posted in Starts

Learning Blowout

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.

Posted in Scenes

Starting a Scene

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.

Posted in Short Stories

Carousels and Nightmares (Conclusion)


“Mr. Potter?” asked Tom.

The clown’s smug expression fell and a pause hung in the air. He blinked twice and glanced from Tom to little Sheila.

“I’m right, aren’t I?”

The clown, mouth agape, nodded his head. “No one has ever guessed who I am. Not one person. How did you know?”

“If I told you, it would only work to your benefit. And how dare you scare a little girl like that?” A crinkled forehead worn by the clown, Mr. Potter, indicated confusion, so Tom continued. “Don’t give me that ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’ look. I can see by my daughter’s body language that you scared her. He turned to his daughter, “Sweetheart, did the clown scare you?”

Sheila’s lip quivered, as she nodded. “He said I had to stay here. I don’t want to be here anymore. I want to go home.”

Tom glared at Mr. Potter. “Get us out of here, and what do you mean I’m the only one who was able to guess who you are? Why is that significant?”

“It’s important because, without knowing that, you would not have been able to leave.”

“Where’s my wife? Where’s Connie?”

“Connie never said she wanted to stay, so she is still on the carousel.”

“I never said I wanted to stay. Sheila, honey, did you tell Mr. Potter you wanted to stay?”

“No! He’s a bad man. I want to go home.”

“There are others here?” asked Tom.



“All around. You just can’t see them. But they are content,” said Mr. Potter.

Tom had to be dreaming. Stuff like this never happens. “Get us out of here, please.”

Mr. Potter nodded and snapped his fingers. At that instant the countryside vanished and they were all on the carousel under the large tent. It rocked to a stop. Sheila jumped from her twin horse. Tom dashed off his duck, and Connie hopped off her horse and hurried to her daughter and husband.

The Present

“How come I don’t remember that?” asked Sheila.

“Do you remember your nightmares?” asked Connie.

“Remember them, I still have them. Why?”

“Those aren’t nightmares. They’re memories.”

“How do you know my experience in such detail, when I don’t? Dad only caught the last remnant of it.”

“The clown, well, Mr. Potter, never took his eyes off of you while you were there in the lollipop field. You just couldn’t see him. Later that evening, he came over to the house. We didn’t want to let him in at first, he but told us through the door that he had to tell us something that was a matter of life or death, so we let him in. He explained what had happened between you and your look alike, Shelly. The danger was that, since she escaped on one of the twin horses, she was now in this world.”


“Soooo…..that meant the two of you couldn’t live within 1000 miles of each other, at least not for very long. He took her in as his own which meant, with us being here in this house, one of you had to move. That’s why we moved clear across the country. To get away from her.”

“What happens if we live within 1000 miles of each other?”

“Whose dead body did you see in Mr. Potter’s yard?”

Sheila’s mouth dropped open. “This is my fault? I killed her. No!”

“When you bought this house a year ago, she was still living next door or in the area. And…..” Connie’s voice trailed off.

“Why didn’t I die?” asked Sheila.

“Because you were born in this reality. Shelly wasn’t.

“You should’ve told me. I never would have purchased this house if I had known.”

Detective Jameson, who’d been quiet up to this point, cut in, “You mean to tell me this whole thing is a result of two people being within 1000 miles of each other? One of whom is from a different reality? Are you kidding me? No. I don’t buy it.”

“Mr. Potter will verify everything,” said Connie.

“Wait a minute,” Sheila cut in. “I’ve been living here a year now. Why did Mr. Potter not say anything when I first moved in. Why didn’t he tell me then that I couldn’t live so close to Shelly? Not to mention, as long as I’ve been here, I’ve never seen her. The only other people who live there are the Mason twins, Tim and Tyson. They’re boarders of Mr. Potter’s.”

“Yeah, we found evidence of other people who might be living there. Where are are they?”

Sheila shrugged. “Beats me. Like I said, I’ve been at a writer’s conference. Last I saw them, though, was a couple of weeks ago. That doesn’t mean they haven’t been here. It just means I haven’t seen them.”

“There is one weird piece to this puzzle,” said the detective. “We didn’t see any evidence of a woman living there. So, if this Shelly as you say has been living there, there’s no indication of it. None. It sounds like our Mr. Potter has some holes of his own to help fill in the missing pieces to this weird story. Why don’t we go ask him?”

“Before we do that, I have a question I need answered,” said Sheila.

“What’s that,” said Detective Jameson.

“What tipped you off about the body in the back yard?”

A knock at the door interrupted.

“I’ll get it,” said Connie. She opened the front door and a uniformed police officer stepped inside.

“Excuse me ma’am. Is…” Seeing the detective in the living room, he nodded. “Detective, we found something you need to see.”

The detective dashed through the living room, calling behind him. “You both might as well come with me.” Then he was out the door.

Mr. Potter’s house

The police officer guided them through the front door of Mr. Potter’s house and into a bedroom. A queen size bed with no headboard stood in front of them facing the left wall. A chest of drawers stood propped up against the opposite wall. The medium green carpet and the gray colored walls gave off the feel of calm and secluded.

“Over here,” said the officer making a be-line to another door on the left wall. He opened it and stood aside.

“It looks like a closet,” said Detective Jameson. “So.”

“Look inside.”

The detective sauntered over to the closet door and poked his head around the corner. The light from the bedroom lit up the small closet in a dusky haze with a bit of light peppering the space. It was empty except for a few shirts hanging off to the right. He was just about to pull his head out when a sliver of bright light peeked out between two of the shirts. The detective pushed both shirts aside to reveal a swirling vortex. He hurried out of the closet. “I think I know how Shelly was able to live here without being noticed. But first we need to talk to Mr. Potter. Come on.”

Later that afternoon at the precinct

Sheila and Connie sat in the observation room in front of the two-way mirror waiting for Mr. Potter to be brought in to interrogation room one where Detective Jameson sat drumming his fingers on the table.

“Mom, where’s dad? Why isn’t he here with you?”

“He’s on a business trip,” replied Connie.


“He wouldn’t tell me.”

Sheila sighed and noticed her mother’s pained expression. She took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. “Moral support would have been nice. For both of us.”

At that moment Mr. Potter was led into the interrogation room and guided into a chair across from the detective.

“Mr. Potter, we found what looked to be a vortex in the closet of your bedroom.”

Mr. Potter’s eyebrows rose, and he gazed over at the two-way mirror. He moved his gaze back to the detective, but he didn’t answer.

“Come on, Mr. Potter. What’s all this about? If you didn’t kill her, then at least tell us what happened.”

Mr. Potter glanced at the two-way mirror again then back at the detective and blurted out, “Tom killed her. Tom, Sheila’s father killed her. This past Thursday.”

Behind the mirror, Connie and Sheila gasped at the same time.

“Mom, was dad on a business trip this past Thursday night?”

“Yes, that’s the trip I told you about. but, like I said, he wouldn’t tell me where he was going.”

“I was in Chicago.” Sheila remembered her phone conversation a week ago with her parents. She had been telling them of her up and coming trip to Chicago. Her father used that opportunity to come here and kill Shelly.

Mr. Potter continued. “If you were able to see the vortex, it means someone went into it.” A sad smile crossed his face, as he gazed at the two-way mirror knowing who went into it.

Sheila shot out of her chair, ran out the door, and entered the interrogation room where Mr. Potter and the detective were seated. “You’re lying.”

“No, I swear. I watched him go, and I saw him kill her.”

“Why didn’t you stop him?”

“He said he killed her for you. You see, Shelly had magical powers because she was from a magical realm. She bragged about giving you nightmares throughout your life after that time you and your parents spent on the carousel.”

“How did my dad know all of this?”

“She was able to go into the vortex at the end of the day and come back out in the morning. I thought you were all safe because up until a year ago, you lived out east with your parents. But I was wrong. One night, when she was supposed to be in the other realm, I woke up to a strange noise to find my whole bedroom wasn’t a bedroom anymore. At least not my bedroom. It was yours. Shelly was standing over you while you were sleeping and inducing nightmares. I could see how painful it was for you. I tried to make her stop, but she wouldn’t. You see, she wanted your life and thought if she drove you mad she could somehow kill you. It makes no sense, I know. But that was her logic. One night your dad walked in and saw her.”

“How was he able to see her?” asked the detective.

“After having been in that realm while on the carousel all those years ago, you are given the ability to see the other worldly things. When your dad walked in on her, she disappeared. So for years she taunted you. Last Thursday your dad showed up on my door step and asked to see her. She wasn’t there, so he waited for her. He didn’t have to tell me why he was there. I could see the malice in his face. But I let him in anyway. When she showed up, he told her she was going to stop her torcher of you. Well, as you can imagine, they argued. He grabbed her around the neck and strangled her. We dug a grave that night and threw her in it. Then he jumped into the vortex I had shown him, because he didn’t want to go to prison for doing something that protected his daughter.” Mr. Potter smiled then smirked.

“You sound happy about all of this,” said Sheila dumbstruck.

“Oh, you bet I am.”

Later that night

Sheila and her mother, Connie, sat at the kitchen table. “Well,” said Connie, “at least Mr. Potter is going to prison for being an accessory. It doesn’t make me feel any better, though. Your dad is gone.” She hung her head and wrung her hand in her lap. “I’m going to miss him.” A tear traveled down her cheek.

Sheila reached a hand across the table to her mother. “I know. We both will.”

There was a tap tap tap at the door, and both mother and daughter looked at one another. Sheila got up and pulled the door open. It was her dad.

(The End)

Posted in Short Stories

Carousels and Nightmares (Part IX)


Little Sheila bopped up and down on her carousel horse anticipating the ride’s movement. She’s going to go on a ride for real. It wasn’t just a carousel ride. The clown said so. Maybe someone will ride with her on the empty twin horse next to her, when she got there. The carousel lurched forward, but it didn’t go fast. She wanted it to go fast.

“Faster, faster,” yelled Sheila to the clown, as she passed him.

The clown smiled and waved his arms. The carousel sped up.

“Faster, I want more!”

The clown waved his arms again, and again the carousel increased in speed. This time the speed created a blur as it whirled around.

“Weeeee!” called Sheila.

Then the carousel vanished from sight. But from where little Sheila sat, the scene in front of her and all around her morphed into a field of patches of flowers an green grass. No, they weren’t flowers. They were lollipops. She wanted one. No, she wanted two. She stopped her horse and slid to the side to dismount, but something stopped her. “I want a lollipop,” she said to no one. She bopped up and down on her horse again and poked her bottom lip out.

“I can get you a lollipop,” said a voice behind her.

Sheila turned in her saddle and followed the voice that sounded like her own. A little girl who looked just like herself stood on the ground a few feet to her right.

“Who are you?” asked Sheila.

“I am you. My name is Shelly. You can come down off the horse and get a lollipop, if I get on the twin horse next to you.”


Shelly mounted the twin horse next to Sheila, then Sheila jumped down, ran over to a lollipop, and plucked one up. She licked the sucker several times not paying attention to what was happening around her. That is, until a strange noise caused her to whirl around.

Shelly kicked the horse with her heels, “Yah, yah.” The horse took off with Shelly on top and Shelly’s laughter carrying on the wind as she left Sheila behind.

Sheila, still holding the lollipop, ran after the horse. “Wait for me! Wait for me!”

The clown appeared in front of her, so she stopped. “I want my horsey. Where is my horsey going?”

“You wanted to stay here,” said the clown.

“No, I wanted a lollipop.”

The clown’s makeup morphed from a smiley face to a frown. He shook his head.

“I want my mommy. Where’s my mommy?”

The clown indicated with an outstretched arm, “Here is your daddy.”

Sheila turned in the direction the clown indicated and saw her dad jogging toward her.


Tom rushed forward, knelt next to his daughter, and scooped her into his arms. “I’m sorry, sweetheart.”

“Where’s mommy?” asked Sheila.

Tom stood up with Sheila in his arms and turned to the clown. “Get us out of here.”

“Oh, such demands and lack of manners,” droned the clown shaking his head.

“Please, get us out of here.”

“Only if you can guess who I am,” said the clown.

“That’s impossible with all that makeup you ha…..” Something familiar about the clown caught Tom’s notice. It was a nervous tick in the corner of the clown’s mouth. The slight movement could be missed if one blinked their eyes, but it was there, now, in the corner of this clown’s mouth. “Mr. Potter?”

(To be concluded in Part X)