As I walked up the steps to my apartment I found a bright orange eviction notice stapled into the cracked paint of the brown door. It came as little surprise as I’d been avoiding the landlord for two months. I only left in the middle of the night for minimal groceries and to find the remnants of half smoked cigarettes outside the bus station entrance. Anything as not to be caught in her gaze and questioned yet again why the rent remained unpaid. With as little noise as possible I opened the lock to the apartment, leaving the orange notice stapled to the door, and closed it behind me. Continue reading
Drink from the fountain of wine that pours from my body. Swim in a sea of memories from the souls of your ancestors. Your appetite for lust spurs my ingenuity. I hunger for more; to feast in the intelligence of old. Bend me to your will and mold me into something of use, according to the Ancients. Do not intoxicate my brilliance, but inhale the mastermind masked by voluptuous breasts and skin of every color. Taste me. Eat my essence. Devour my carnal eccentricities. Dip into the powers I possess. Make love using your words of wisdom. Never stopping. Never concluding; yet hold still, and absorb every bit of me. Roll around in my scent, and drive your imagination to frantic. Wrestle me; paint me; spread open the doors that await you; bow to me; worship me; torture me, consume me. I am your Aphrodite. I am your Pandora, Hatshepsut, your Isabella 1, your Cixi,–and your means to an end. I am every woman from the past, representing the power behind the reigns of the worlds you know not. Phantom winds knit through your bodies unnoticed; absorbing the souls of the few capable of a higher dimension–unrecognized. Close your eyes and feel me there. Bear witness to my fingers creeping up your spine and into your mind; let the harvesting begin….
by A. Joleigh
Note to blogger: Consider embedding the two youtube videos for which I’ve given links at the end.
Duels are often the most exciting and memorable scenes of a novel. Here are some tips Continue reading
Suspense is a feeling – the feeling of excitement, of tension, of fear, the feeling of needing to know what happens next. As writers, we aim to create suspense, because our readers love it. Continue reading
Chapter One: Deed of the Seed
There it was again, that neighbor’s door down the hall, slamming. The old woman huffed as she looked out the peep-hole. A hard looking man was striding along the passage. As he passed, her peep-hole went dark, just before the silenced bullet went through her eye, into her brain, and out the back of her skull.
At the other end of the hall, apartment #423, where the door had slammed, sat a corpse. The elderly man had three bullet holes in him, groin, heart, and right between the eyes.
Another resident, coming home slightly inebriated, slipped and fell in front of the old woman’s door, where her blood had flowed underneath into the passage. He screamed, scrambled to get out of the blood, and totally freaked out, completely wasting his good buzz. Someone called the police. It would be another two weeks before the body in #423, would be found by the super collecting for rent. He screamed too.
Detective Fred Thompson, was assigned the old woman’s homicide. He had already spent four days knocking on doors, asking questions, investigating every aspect of her life, and had absolutely nothing.
Miriam Joanne Radcliff (Henderson), 67 years old, widowed, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, had no enemies, and pretty much no friends (she’d outlived most of them). She lived on Social Security, and a small pension from her husband of 43 years.
Nothing she possessed had any value worth stealing, and nothing in the apartment had been touched, so robbery was not the motive. Her insurance policy would barely cover her funeral, so wealth wasn’t a motive either. It appeared to be a random killing, and that always led to fears of a serial killer, but there were no similar reported cases in the five state area.
“Fred, how’s the Radcliff, case going?”
“Well Captain,it looks like another dust catcher. I can’t find a single reason why someone would kill her, and forensics has nothing either, a 38 caliber bullet
with no striation matches in our system”
Captain Parks looked tired, and hung his head a second before answering: “Give it a couple more days, then turn in your report Fred. God, I hate dead end cases,
makes us all look incompetent.”
“Yes sir, will do.” But Fred had no idea where to go next, he’d be spinning his wheels the next three days.
It had been eight days since he turned in his report, and was still in a sour mood over it. Captain Parks, came bounding out of his office heading straight for his desk. “The superintendent at the building where the Radcliff murder happened, just found a body a few doors down from hers. Get over there, the coroner approximates the death about two weeks ago, they may be related.”
Fred was almost glad to hear of another murder, one that might lead to answers. “On my way Captain, as fast as traffic will let me.”
Chapter Two: Ants at a Picnic
The C.S.U. (crime scene unit), was scrambling over everything like ants at a picnic when he arrived. Finger print dust hanging in the air, vacuum cleaners sucking up every particle of dirt. Cameras flashing like a strobe light show. Evidence gathering in the modern world of science. He looked at the nearest tech and asked: “What do we know so far?” The tech looked at him, shrugged, and went back to his scrambling. Guess he would have to wait for the official findings, but he would take his own look around.
Dave Merre, the coroner, walked up to him: “Hey Fred, you draw this one?”
“Yeah, it might be tied in with the one down the hall, Dave”
“That would make sense, they seem to be about the same day, I’ll know more later, when I run lab tests. The caliber of bullet looks to be a 38 also. But this one looks to be personal. After all, who shoots a man in his jewels if they’re not pissed at him?”
Fred felt a little queasy at the thought of getting shot there, what man wouldn’t. “Yeah, as personal as it gets Dave, as personal as it gets!”
Okay, who had this guy screwed over bad enough to warrant dying like this? Was it a professional hit, and old Miriam, just collateral damage? How do you tell her loved ones that; “sorry, but she should have minded her own business”. Glad he didn’t have that duty, the P.R. department had one hell of a suck ass job.
“Okay, someone give me the background, who the hell is this guy?”
The first officer on the scene came up to him to give all he had garnered so far. “Yes sir detective, Officer Hansen, responding unit. The victims name is James Trenton, according to the super. He has lived here six years, always paid his rent on time, and lives a quiet life. Never had any complaints by other neighbors, or any problems with the building super. We’re running a background check on him now.”
“Alright Hansen, have everything you’ve got on my desk ASAP, and good work.” Hopefully the background would offer some clue, because right now it looked like they had as little as the murder down the hall.
Looking at the body, there was a strange sense that the victim was smiling. How could you smile when you just got shot in the jewels? He looked around the room, searching for things out of place, something missing. Nothing, it wasn’t robbery, wasn’t something that someone was searching for. The only thing made sense is it had to be something personal, a cold, calculated, killing. He would wait for morning, to get started looking at this guy’s life, and had a feeling it wasn’t a good one.
Chapter Three: Trenton’s Story
As Fred walked towards his desk, he saw that everyone else had been busy overnight. Looked like Officer Hansen, had dropped off his written report, and the background information that was in the system, and it had been organized already. He liked Hansen even more for doing that, saved him some time. There was also the coroner’s preliminary report. Time, and cause of death, bullet calibre (38), and ballistic match to the Radcliff, homicide. So there it was, the two murders were linked, but the coroner couldn’t be certain which was shot first of the two, margin of error on times of death. Flipping through the CSU report, it came as no surprise that there were no fingerprints, and nothing else which could be considered evidence of the killer’s identity.
Now let’s find out who Mr. Trenton is.
D.O.B. 10/12/1943, that would make him 70 years old.
Couple of speeding tickets, couple of parking tickets,
One DUI arrest, 1978. One in 2010, lost his car, and drivers license.
Married twice, both ended in divorce. A few domestic disturbance calls. Not a very nice guy apparently.
Here’s something interesting. Was considered a suspect in a rape case, in 1961, of a 15 year old girl. Was released without charges on lack of evidence.
No children from either marriage, and no relatives listed. Guess I’ll have the records department look to see if he has any brothers and/or sisters.
Arrested seven months ago for assault. He slapped a waitress on the ass at a bar down-town after he had a few. DNA recorded, and 1 year suspended probation.
Credit score of 620, no loans for him.
I guess I’ll have a couple of the flatfoots find out if his ex-wives are still alive, and interview them if they are still around. But I doubt either one of them even think of him anymore, but you never know with women, they can carry grudges a long time.
That evening found Fred, down-town, at the Bare Bones Beer Bar, otherwise known as the 4B’s. He wanted to check on the assault of the waitress, and see if she had a jealous boyfriend. As he entered the drinkery, he noticed it was as low class as one could find in the city, heading towards the bar, he motioned to the keep. “Hello, I’m detective Fred Thompson, 4th Precinct, homicide. I’d like to talk to a waitress working here named Julie Madson. Is she here, or do you have her address if she isn’t?”
The bar-keep looked at his badge, then answered: “Bo Michaels detective, and yeah, she’s right over there.” As he pointed to a dumpy mid thirties brunette serving a table near the corner.
“Ugh, thanks Bo, I’ll try not to tie her up to long, just have a few questions about an incident a while back.”
Bo grunted something as he went to tend to a customer. Fred headed to intercept Ms. Madson.
“Hello Ms. Madson, I’m detective Fred Thompson, 4th Precinct, homicide. I’d like to ask you a few questions about an assault on you by James Trenton, about seven months ago. Do you mind answering?”
“Not at all, what did that old fart do now?” she asked with a hint of disdain in her voice.
“I’ll get to that in a bit Ms. Madson. Are you married, engaged, or currently attached Ms. Madson?”
Laughing, she smiled at him and answered: “No. Why, are you interested detective? I don’t have time or energy for a social life, hell, this job, even with tips, barely keeps a roof over my head, and food in my gut.”
“Sorry, but I don’t have time for a social life either, so I commiserate with you. One more question. Do you have any family who might want to avenge you, for being assaulted by Mr. Trenton?” This time she didn’t laugh, but looked stricken.
“Detective, the last of my family, my brother, died two years ago in Afghanistan.”, as she broke down in tears. This interview was over.
I suppose I’ll pull that old rape case, and see if there’s any more there than I have been able to find so far, this is turning out to be another dust collector.
The next morning , Fred, was sitting in front of Captain Parks, desk, as the captain arrived for work. Captain parks didn’t break stride, but walked straight to his chair and sat.
“Captain, why didn’t you tell me you know Mr. Trenton?”
“Because Fred, I wanted you to come to me at the end of your investigation, so I could answer your questions. So ask away.”
“Why Captain? After all these years, and why Mrs. Radcliff?”
“James Trenton, brutally raped Agness Miller, in 1961, when she was 15 years old. She gave birth to a son in early 1962, and was shunned in her town as a slut for having a baby out of wedlock. Five years later she found a good man who loved her, and married Jason Parks, ten years older than her. She tried to be a good wife, and mother, but she suffered psychological issues that kept her withdrawn into herself. She became an alcoholic at 28, and committed suicide at 30. Jason Parks raised me as his own, and made sure I was loved, but I never stopped missing my mother. When I joined the police department, I read about my mother’s rape, and found the only witness, had recounted her story, and disappeared, one Miriam Joanne Henderson, 15 years old. I found out later, through years of investigation, she was in love with James Trenton, and had been having sex with him at that time. That is why she refused to testify.”
“Now, as to why, after all these years. I had no proof, until seven months ago, when he got arrested and we got his DNA. I had it checked against mine, and it proved he was the man who raped my mother. So I went and confronted him, and he laughed. So I shot him in the balls for the rape, the heart for destroying hers, and the head, so the last thing he would see, would be justice being served, by the seed of his own injustice. Then I shot Miriam for letting him get away with the rape of my mother.”
“Captain Parks, I’m placing you under arrest for the murder of James Trenton, and Miriam Joanne Radcliff. You have the right to remain……”
The howling winds of a predestined tempest fiercely echo into her ears. She sits outside her window, hanging her toes off the edge of reason. Tears rain down her fragile face, reminiscing a life where everything made sense. She is desperate to hold onto the hopes of a rescue from what could have been, an unknown, future love. Yet, with a broken heart, she lives in turmoil, with no hopes of a release from the grim nothing. Continue reading
You sit alone
Within the shadows of a stage.
Hear me, your muse, sing our song,
That I’ll sing ’til the end of our days.
Pluck the strings of your guitar.
Imagine the instrument’s my form.
Strum each cord to the pounding of my heart.
Invoke words of ecstasy…wanting more. Continue reading
View from the Open Sea (433 words)
Our dreams are but crystal drops falling from eyes tearing with joy or sorrow; their pings can be heard for miles around; their echoes bounce back to bless or to haunt. One droplet, the best droplet, shone as a white flare for a moment in time; smiles frozen on celluloid; romantic poses pasted into a sticky album and boxed away for latter days…It was just a tiny, liquid drop of youthful expectation collected in a bucket yet it promised the biggest prize. Of all those constrained in my little sea, on that cornerstone I fashioned my house knowing that, one day, I could look back and see it still shining like a beacon Continue reading
Unity candle, incinerated with passion,
ultimately smothered by sin.
Vengeance of an unyielding tempest,
never to forgive again.
It no longer beats to the rhythm
that they, themselves, once shared. Continue reading
In thirty years as an editor, I’ve found the same fatty words bloat the style of many authors.
Here is a notorious, fattening, calorie-rich word: ‘could’. If you cut it from your diet, your writing style will be come sharper and tighter.
Beginner writers are prone to overusing it. Experienced authors may use it a lot in their
The misshapen feckless man picked up a stool, and brought it to the table where she lay. He panted, allowing his shoulders to hang, and his posture to subside. He unbuckled the strap from her forehead, exposing the leather-burns, and removed the gag from her busted mouth.
Her comatose body lay there, tranquil. Her chin fully relaxed, leaving her lips slightly open.
Starting at her hairline, avoiding the bruises, he wound a wavy strand around his forefinger.
Some of you may remember that I had won first place in a poetry contest in the Darker Times Collection. The anthology is now available!!! To some of you multi-published authors this may seem old school, haha, so excuse my childish glee. Lol.
If you want to buy the anthology where I’ve been published, visit these links below:
Darker Times Volume Two — Kindle Edition (in the UK)
Darker Times Volume Two — Paperback (in the UK)
Darker Times Volume Two — Paperback & Kindle (in the USA)
I have been writing some experimental stories and would like to post them and get all of your opinions and feedback if you like? Not sure if that is something you all would like to get involved in, but let me know. I’m a little rusty since I haven’t shown any of my stories in almost a year now. Ack! I feel like I’m starting all over again.
Anyways.. HAPPY WEEKEND!! 🙂
Fatherless, motherless hopeless faithless
Born breaded delivered without a birth right
Born with a plastic spoon on the mouth
Denied the ripe fruits of a surname
Outcast ousted out of the family
Bastard banished bullied with abominations
Identified without any traces of identity
Rooted at the buttress roots of the forsaken family tree Continue reading
I wanted to write you all and let you know that although David and I haven’t been as active in your communities, we are still here. We haven’t forgotten you. 🙂 Our jobs have taken up a lot of our time but we are still receiving your emails and posting your stories.
We think of you all often and would like to hear any ideas on what you’d like to see on our site to help/inspire you more. Writing tips? Story prompts? Photo prompts? Are there categories that you’d like to see more of?
As some of you already know, I no longer have a Google + account, but I’d much appreciate it if you’d share this post with your circles so that others may still have the opportunity to see what’s going on in our gallery.
I miss you all very much. Please feel free to contact us and let us know your thoughts. You can either comment on this post below, or you may email us at email@example.com. I check the email daily and will reply A.S.A.P.
I’d like to do a 4th of July writing contest with prizes, but first I need to know if anyone is interested in participating. If I can get at least 5 people interested, then I will put something together with David.
A. Joleigh a.k.a PITA
The couch smells.
And the pillows are
kind of lumpy.
And my nose itches because
we haven’t bothered to evict
the colony of dust bunnies underneath. Continue reading
(DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES THIS CHALLENGE HAS BEEN CANCELLED. ANY ONE THAT HAS SUBMITTED THEIR WORK THAT WOULD LIKE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THE NEXT CHALLENGE, WILL BE EMAILED)
Welcome to the Mardi Gras Writer’s Challenge.
All information is listed below. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
And Why Beholdest Thou the Mote that is in thy Brother’s Eye: An arid wind swept up a cloud of sand and the tiniest speck of silica lodged in the corner of his eye. For a brief moment he saw with a previously unknown clarity, what must be done and how he must do it.
Hell Hath No Fury: The bridge was too narrow to accommodate pedestrians, but Jim had to cross the river. The setting sun blinded his vision and his iPod was screaming Layla by Derick and the Dominos in his ears; he was oblivious to the approach of his ex-wife’s car. Continue reading
“Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
He shivers while sweat dries on his naked back. He puts his pen down. He stares at his Continue reading
Does your novel-in-progress contain a scene where the heroine escapes from danger, with the villain chasing after her? Excellent. Readers love the these scenes.
Here are some techniques to make your escape scene exciting.
1. Point of View
Stay in deep Point of View. If possible, write the scene from the fleeing person’s point of view. This means showing only what this person sees, hears and feels. If the PoV Continue reading
Reminiscing about the last meeting
Wedding reception welded at the bus rank
Shadowed by the flamboyant vendors
Dressed colorful in natural colors
Suiting the broad bold wedding theme
Annulling sight harmonious from the significant
Playing a deaf tune to the married
Erasing the last memory of a private passive union
Union packed with blind eye witnesses Continue reading
Calling all poets!!!
I had such a great time with this last Writer’s Challenge, that David and I have decided to host another one for Valentines Day.
This time, we are going to make the Challenge about poetry. Now, I know there are hundreds of you poets out there in my groups. Now’s the time to come out of the dark and show us what you’ve got.
1) Poem can be any length. No maximum or minimum word usage.
2) The poem doesn’t have to be romantic. It can be horrifying, depressing, loving.. anything! 🙂 As long as it’s a poem, it’s acceptable.
3) Editing: you are responsible for any editing and/or proofreading for your entry. David and I have a lot to do on with our jobs that we don’t have time to edit each and every entry. 🙂
4) No explicit sexual poetry will be allowed. Passion, and sex are allowed, but do not be vulgar.
5) Submit all entries to email@example.com
Deadline: January 19, 2014.
Voting: January 20th – January 25th
Winner’s announced: January 26, 2014
Prizes: a romantic theme painted by A. Joleigh (reserved for winner by the public vote), a book of poetry (specifics will be announced soon), chocolates and a card sent to a secret love or someone you admire from afar.
***Voting Rules. A primary winner will be chosen by the public. Four other winners will be chosen by the hosts (David and me). All will have their poems displayed in the Challengers Hall, with their information and photo.
It was the wind that woke her, howling through the screens and lashing against the old house mercilessly. The lone tree that graced their backyard scraped across the roof with its gnarled, naked limbs, refusing to relent. Mariah turned to the glowing numbers on the alarm clock. 4:23. Her eyes went to her husband, soundlessly sprawled on the pillow next to her. The stark black ink of a tattoo peeking out from beneath the sheets called forth bygone nights that felt scattered by a wind just as strong as the one raging outside. Her Continue reading
A Christmas Tradition
By Tanya Miranda
Alicia straightens her black veiled cap as it hovers above the rims of her silvery eyebrows. It slides forward with every precarious step down the sparkling walkway. The pins are not keeping it in place.
“Be careful Alicia, there’s ice everywhere. The town cleaned up the snow, but this cold Continue reading
WRITING CRAFT: ALONE INTO DANGER
Have you written a horror story, or are you working on a frightening scene? Here’s a professional technique for making it even scarier.
Solitary adventures are more dangerous than group adventures. In nature, an animal which becomes separated from the herd is vulnerable to predators. To make your scene scary, let your heroine face the danger alone. Continue reading
WRITING CRAFT: CREATING CLIFFHANGERS by Rayne Hall
To keep the reader going, turning page after page even when she meant to do the dishes or go to sleep, place an exciting hook at the end of every scene.
Don’t end a scene with everything resolved, good and well. Instead, make the reader tense Continue reading
10 TRICKS FOR WRITING GREAT FIGHT SCENES
1. Choose an unusual location – the quirkiest place that’s plausible in your plot: a cow shed, a castle ruin, a catacomb. Involve the setting in the action: the fighters may slip on the muddy slope, leap across the fence, slam their opponent against the wall. Continue reading
“Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly…”
I sit at my drawing table, staring at the empty glass in front of me and the nearly finished bottle of whiskey beside it. The hushed busy noise of artists that once filled the studio has been replaced with a deafening damning silence. Their tables’ line up hauntingly in front of me, their ink stains the only reminder of the artists that once bled on them. I remember watching them pack their belongings into boxes earlier that day— pouring what’s left of the whiskey into my glass, and wondering if they feel as hollow as I do now. Scattered drawings and Continue reading
We are still forming the panel to be featured in our first Select Showcase: We are looking for five skilled writers to address the same theme in different ways.
The five chosen pieces will be featured in a Showcase that will be open for public display, as well as inviting professionals from the publishing world to come and view.
If you are ready to write “Published” quality work in 2,000 to 4,000 words, using the theme of FIRST LOVE, Continue reading
Just wanted to say hi to the voters and participants!
Check out the Writer’s Challenge and vote!!
The pain surprised her, she had thought it would hurt less this time. Looking down, a tear fell from her cheek and disappeared into the pool of warm blood. She needed to wash up, but her strength was gone, seeping out of her in that warm, sticky flow.
He’d gone now: gone to the pub. He’d be ‘drowning his sorrow’, as the saying goes, except it wasn’t his sorrow. It was hers. She looked at the implements of his torture, knowing she’d have to clean up before he came back. God knew she could do without feeling the weight of his fist on top of everything else. Continue reading