The Dimidiums Book Seven Sacrificial Tiger

I don’t normally print whole chapters, but this is one of my favorites. Goldiva is a 300-year-old Dimidium who loves to goad people. Her favorite to pick on is her great-grandson Trevor. He can give it back as much as she gives. Goldiva had barely escaped an attack from vampires. Hope you enjoy this.

Chapter Six
That Feeble Old Hag

Trevor and Janna were in Worthless, Nevada working with Barkley and Thomas when word of the attack on Goldiva reached them. They were interviewing newly converted Halblings, who had been cleared to assume life in Halbling and human communities. The four assessors were matching locations with job opportunities. They had been there one week already when Trevor and Thomas received calls about Goldiva.
“Stop the interviews,” said Trevor. “We’ll get back to them in a minute.” When the room was emptied and the door shut, Trevor explained, “Randolf’s house was attacked. About twenty Silent Ones broke in. Luckily they were untrained and inexperienced. Ulla and Randolf weren’t home.”
“Goldiva?” asked Janna.
“Johanna’s been sitting with her and Ulla.” said Thomas. “She had a heart attack.”
Janna gasped.
“Don’t worry about her,” said Trevor. “She’s too stubborn to die. Everyone else is fine and made it to their Safe Rooms, but she isn’t coherent right now.”
Tears formed in Janna’s eyes. “We have to go to her.”
“She’s recovering,” said Trevor. “Stefan says she’s receiving too many relatives already. He said that she’s unresponsive, so it’s best if we finish our work here.”
“That could take weeks,” argued Janna.
“There’s nothing we can do for her,” said Trevor. “We have a job to do. We’ll visit her afterwards. It’ll be better in a couple more weeks when the visitors trickle down to just a few and she’s had more time to rest. The atmosphere is pretty depressing there and she’s bedridden.”
“I bet she’s hating that and all those sympathizers,” said Janna.
Trevor grinned. “I’m counting on her being irritated. More fun for me. Don’t worry about it. In a couple of weeks the casino is hosting a 1930s party with a band. I was going to take you dancing that night.”
Janna nodded. “I’m sure you’re right. And that one night will do us good.” She sucked on her lip.
“Johanna said the doctor thinks she’s refusing to talk,” said Thomas. “Trevor’s right. You’d only be more visitors that can’t do anything for her.”
“Barkley,” said Trevor, “Stefan suggests heightened security to Vanquisher and Tracker families.”
“Already on it.”
“So? Back to work?” said Trevor.
Many of the vampires-now-Halblings had shown an aptitude for guard or Tracker positions. They were easily placed since those professions were in high demand. Other new Halblings required more testing and evaluating, and so it was two weeks later before the evaluations were completed. Trevor and Janna finished just hours before the 1930s night. They rushed back to their suite where Janna found a gift box on the table.
“For you,” said Trevor, “for tonight.”
Janna opened the box to find a silver sequined and fringed Flappers’ outfit complete with the headband.
“We’ve worked hard,” said Trevor, “and then this thing with Goldiva came up. I know you’re upset, but we had to get all these Halblings processed, so I want to make tonight special for you.”
Janna smiled at him. “Every hour I’m with you is special.” She kissed him and he responded yearningly, but then sighed. “Fun first, sex later. I want this to be a perfect night.”
When they arrived at the event, the band was playing jazz and Trevor kissed her hand and led her to the dance floor. They danced through several fun numbers and then the slow music began. Trevor took her into his arms, and like he did so often, as he swayed her to the music, he hummed in her ear.
When the music stopped, the band leader stepped to the mike. “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve received a request from Trevor Dittmar, one of our guests. Trevor, come on up here.”
Trevor took a surprised Janna’s hand and they walked onto the stage.
“This is a special night for you, isn’t it?” asked the band leader.
“On this day, five years ago, I found the love of my life right here in Worthless.” Trevor kissed Janna lightly on the lips and she blushed.
“And you have something to give her?”
“With all my love,” replied Trevor.
The band leader motioned to the microphone then prepared his band.
“Janna, you changed my life,” said Trevor. “You accepted me with all my faults and you gave me a beautiful family. Never could I ever have imagined a love that consumes me, but my love for you does and will eternally. This is one of my favorite love songs, words and music by Ray Noble. Published in 1934, it’s perfect for this evening.” Trevor smiled at her. As the music began, Trevor sang, his eyes solely on his wife, “The Very Thought of You”.
Tears welled in Janna’s eyes. Trevor put his arm around her, placing her head on his shoulder and swayed with her as he continued to sing. The room went silent and dark, with only the lights from the many twirling disco balls on the ceiling.
A myriad of smiling faces were on Trevor and Janna. When the song ended, he lifted her chin to him and kissed her gently. Janna placed her hands against her mouth and a soft cry escaped her lips as her eyes focused on Trevor. Trevor kissed her again. The audience clapped and whistled, and Trevor took her back to the dance floor.
“Whew,” said the band leader. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone sing that song with as much love as you did. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.”
Trevor bowed his head to the band leader, and the guests clapped again. The band began another song and Trevor twirled with Janna to the music, but Janna paused.
“I’m in awful pain,” she hinted.
And Trevor snorted. “Funny thing. So am I.” They walked arm in arm to the elevators. Once they entered and he pushed the button to their floor, he grabbed her into an embrace and kissed her fervently. He didn’t stop kissing her until the elevator stopped at their floor.
In their suite, Janna held his hand and walked backwards into their bedroom, kicking off her shoes. Trevor smiled mischievously at her and she whirled around. The room was filled with roses and the bed held several stuffed animals, each wearing a piece of jewelry.
“Like the first time you took me to Vegas,” she whispered. She turned back to Trevor, tearful again. “I love how romantically thoughtful you are. You remember every year and I wondered if that’s why you wanted to take me dancing, but this year with you singing to me…. That was the first song we ever danced to.”
“I wasn’t sure you’d remember that. I could never forget how I met you. You were standing behind me in line at the old grocery store wearing that yellow top with ties, those rich red lips calling to me. I wanted you right there, right then.”
Trevor took her in his arms and unzipped her dress. It fell to the floor. He stepped back and eyed her carefully from her head down. And Janna felt a thrill as she always did.
She unhooked the buttons on his shirt and slid it off him. She sighed contentedly at the sight of his bare chest. She ran her hands along it and then kissed it. She undid his pants and pushed them down and Trevor kicked them off. He picked her up and laid her on the bed, pushing aside the stuffed animals. He removed the rest of their clothing.
He picked up the remote and turned on the TV. He’d already set the station for the band music coming from below. He kissed her from her forehead to her lips, relishing every kiss. He nibbled behind her ear and fluttered kisses down her arm and back up, across her breasts, and to her shoulder where he sucked lightly and rubbed his fangs against her.
Janna inhaled sharply. “Now,” she said breathlessly. “I can’t wait anymore. The pain is getting worse.”
But Trevor only smiled at her and kissed her nose. “Not yet. I’m making this the perfect evening, remember? I want to take my time making love to you. I want you to know how I feel about you with every caress and kiss that I give you.”
As Trevor continued his loving, she squirmed and moaned until she could take it no longer. She sunk her fangs into the curve of his neck. Trevor responded with a deep growl. He bit down on her shoulder and she purred longingly, writhing. She wrapped her legs around him and Trevor groaned with desire, pushing down on her.
A hungry growl escaped his lips and his lovemaking intensified. He gave her everything he could throughout the night and they finished as dawn drew in the first rays of morning light. Trevor pulled Janna close to him and she sighed with satisfaction.
“Who knew?” asked Trevor.
“Who knew what?”
“That I would love you more right now, at this moment, than I did when I first realized that I loved you? That my love for you and my yearning for you continues to grow.”
Janna traced her finger around his chest. “I love you more too. It hurts sometimes.”
“I know.”
“And I still love your chest.” She kissed it.
“I already decided that if something ever happened to you, I’d kill myself. I could never go on without you. I can’t see my future without you.”
“I worry about you too and if something ever happened to you, I wouldn’t want to live. Of course, I’d probably miss your chest more than you,” she teased, “so don’t ever scar it.”
“It has many scars already. What if someday my chest is disfigured?”
“I’d still love it and you.”
They checked out of their room later that day and were about to leave when Nat approached Trevor.
“You have one smart son, Trevor,” said Nat, now buoyant and full of energy. “I never forgot his words to me in the cell; ‘You’re going to like your new job and someday not too far in the future you’re going to have your own family’. I’ve been hired full-time right here at a great salary and I couldn’t be happier. Thank you for what you did for me. And hey, I already met a girl and she’s real pretty, like your son told me. She said she’s your relative. She didn’t seem interested in me, but I’ve set my sights on her, so give me some pointers.”
“Were you always this cheery?” asked Trevor. “It’s irritating. I think I liked you better when you were a vampire. What’s her name?”
Nat laughed. “Yeah, I’ve been told I have way too much energy. I already have tons of friends here. I could make her really happy. Her name’s Jen and a real hottie. She came out for a weekend from the HB&B in Los Angeles to see her father. I took her out to dinner and even told her I was interested in her, but she said she didn’t want to get serious with anyone. I think about her a lot, if you know what I mean.”
Trevor snorted. “A real charmer, aren’t you? You see that Halbling talking to Barkley? The tall one? He knows Jen better than me. Go ask him how you can get in her pants.”
“Thomas? He evaluated me and suggested me for the job. Great. I’ll ask him. And thanks again. Wish me luck with her.”
Nat went to talk to Thomas. “Shame, Trevor,” said Janna. “You know how protective Thomas and Johanna are with Jen. Johanna has a list of possible husbands, but so far Jen isn’t interested.”
Trevor chuckled. “I know. I wish we had time to watch the show.”
“Sometimes your humor is downright cruel.”
“I wouldn’t go so far as cruel. Maybe just tainted. Let’s get going. We have an old hag to visit.”
“Don’t you dare call her that when we see her. You behave at her house.”
“Stefan said she isn’t making much progress and still won’t talk. Everyone’s acting formal around her waiting for her to die. What she needs is a good argument.”
“She still can’t talk?”
“Can’t or won’t.” said Trevor. “My money’s on won’t. I’ll get her to talk.”
“Be nice to her. She’s on her deathbed.”
Trevor grinned. “I’ll be as nice as she expects me to be.”
Once their flight landed in Braunschweig, Stefan was waiting and drove them straight to Randolf’s house.
“How’s she doing?” asked Janna.
“The same,” said Stefan. “Karla’s doctor said she’s going to need care around the clock from now on.”
“I bet she hates that,” said Janna.
“She isn’t responsive, daughter. I’m not sure she knows what’s going on.”
“Isn’t or refuses to be responsive?” asked Trevor.
“She hasn’t spoken a word,” replied Stefan.
At Randolf’s house, Janna dashed to Goldiva’s room. A scattering of relatives sat morosely around, whispering to each other.
“Grand-daughter,” greeted Ulla. “Let me introduce you to some of our relatives. I don’t think you’ve ever met them before.”
Trevor leaned against the doorway and observed the room, his wife, and Goldiva’s unresponsiveness. Goldiva was lying without moving. Her eyes were closed, a shawl was wrapped around her, and a knitted sleeping cap covered her head. “Where’s her cane?”
“Ulla put it in our room,” said Randolf. “She kept hitting us with it. We worried that as weak as she is, she’d try to get out of bed too soon, but as you can see, we don’t think she’ll live much longer.”
Janna glanced towards Goldiva as Ulla dragged her to the relatives.
“This is my grand-daughter Janna, married to Trevor, Stefan’s son. Janna, these are my two sisters from America, Lillian and Winnie. This is Randolf’s cousin Drake and his wife Grace. Drake is Pete’s son, one of Goldiva’s boys.” Ulla went on to introduce Drake’s many children.
Janna shook hands with everyone courteously.
“You said she’s married to Trevor?” asked Lillian.
“That’s right,” said Ulla.
“Isn’t that him slouching over there?” whispered Winnie. Ulla’s sisters glanced towards him.
“We’ve heard that you’re a sweet Halbling,” said Lillian. “It must be a difficult marriage for you.”
Trevor rolled his eyes, but he caught Goldiva fighting a smile.
“I have a wonderful marriage,” said Janna. “Trevor is thoughtful and loving.”
“Trevor Dittmar?” asked Grace a little too loudly.
The old hag’s fighting not to smile. Trevor watched as her lips quivered.
“Such a sweetheart,” said Winnie, “but you don’t have to pretend. The entire family knows how rude that one is.” She nodded her head towards the door. And Trevor caught Goldiva’s lips trembling again.
“I assure you,” said Janna haughtily, “Trevor is the kind of husband every woman wants.”
“I didn’t want him,” said Winnie. She and Grace laughed.
“You were a human when he married you, weren’t you?” asked Grace. “Then he even dared to impregnate you. Dangerous for human women. You gave birth to a Halbling boy? Weren’t you in labor for three days?”
Janna put her hands on her hips. “Turns out I wasn’t human. I’m a descendant of Master Ivarr of Sverige. Trevor rescued me before I died. He married me because he loved me, and I’d go through those three days of labor again if Trevor wanted me to. He won my heart.”
“Trevor?” asked Winnie. “Lillian, remember that time we came to visit Ulla, and Goldiva threw him out of the house because he bit her? Wasn’t he barely 3-years-old? I think she made him walk home by himself. Such a precocious child. Too stubborn to be taught good manners.”
“What do you expect when the High Council Member spoiled him?” asked Lillian.
Trevor watched to see if Goldiva would react and sure enough, she was fighting another smile.
“Excuse me,” said Janna curtly, “but I did come to see Goldiva, not discuss my husband’s childhood.”
“Of course, dear,” said Lillian sympathetically. “You best do that. She hasn’t got long now, you know.” The women shook their heads and grimaced.
Janna hurried to Goldiva and sat on the bed, grasping Goldiva’s hand. She squeezed it lightly and Goldiva turned towards her, but only blinked. Janna’s eyes filled with tears and she leaned down and kissed the old Halbling’s cheek. “Don’t die,” whispered Janna. “So many love you. I love you. You saved my marriage. You saved me. You mean everything to me.”
All eyes were on Janna, listening to her sad words. No-one had noticed that Trevor had disappeared.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
Everyone turned towards the sound, including Goldiva.
“My deepest wish is almost fulfilled.” Trevor placed his hand over his heart and inhaled deeply. “The old hag is finally on the verge of death. I had given up hoping.” He smiled wistfully. “When it happens, I’ll burn this.” He twirled Goldiva’s cane easily and thumped it several times on the floor. “Maybe I should help her over the edge. Then my wish will be answered today.” He twirled it again and thumped it on the floor.
“Trevor,” cautioned Stefan. “This isn’t the time for teasing.”
“Teasing? No, I’m speaking from my heart.” Trevor walked towards Goldiva using her cane with each step and pretending to hobble. “Who am I?” No-one answered. “I’m Goldiva. See? I’m hobbling like the old hag does.”
“Grandson,” said Ulla with a sniff. “Stop this behavior. Be respectful. Can’t you see she’s on her deathbed?”
“Why should I? We all want the old hag dead. It’s what we’ve been waiting for.” Trevor did a tap dance with her cane. “All of you are just afraid to give her that push she needs. Who’s in charge of the celebratory party?” He poked Goldiva several times with her cane. She remained expressionless.
“Trevor,” snapped Janna. “Behave or go home.”
The relatives were offended and whispered among themselves, shocked by his behavior. “So like him,” said Winnie.
“Anyone gone through her things yet?” Trevor called out. “No? Good. I call dibs.” He poked her again and Janna stood angrily.
“What’s the matter with you?” asked Janna. “Have some respect.”
Instead, Trevor poked Janna with the cane.
“Ow. Trevor, stop.”
But he poked her again when suddenly, Goldiva sat straight up.
“Give me my cane, you disrespectful troublemaker.” Goldiva reached for the cane, but Trevor pulled it back.
Surprised utterings echoed around the room.
“She’s out of her stupor,” Trevor announced, feigning surprise. He held the cane towards Goldiva. “It’s a miracle. Want it?” But whenever she reached for it, he pulled it away. Finally, she stood up and grabbed it from him then whacked him hard on the shoulder. “Faker.” Trevor grinned.
“I wasn’t faking. All this gloom in here was bringing me down. I didn’t feel like participating. What a bunch of boring Halblings.”
“Mother,” said Ulla, stunned.
“And you’re the worst of them,” said Goldiva, “hovering over me, sleeping on the floor at night, afraid I’d roll out of bed or die. Who could sleep while you’re sniffling and fussing over me? You should have left me alone. You know how much I hate molly coddling. Bring me a glass of brandy.”
“I have something better.” Ivarr had just entered. “This will aid in your recovery.” He handed her a small tube.
Goldiva opened it and sniffed. “Whose blood is it? It better not be from the Queen Bee’s collection.”
“It’s my private stock,” replied Ivarr.
Goldiva poured Eutychus’ blood on the floor. The women gasped.
“Mother,” chastised Randolf. “That blood is rare.”
“I don’t want blood from him. He killed my father and I saw him do it.”
“Goldiva,” warned Ivarr.
“How could he, mother?” asked Ulla. “Eutychus was long dead by then, and how could you have seen it? You were just a young girl.”
Ivarr shot Goldiva a quick warning then smiled patiently. “I thought maybe not, so I made you a health tonic instead.” He held out a vial and Goldiva drank it down.
Trevor snorted. “Still off a bit, aren’t you?”
“What do you mean?” asked Goldiva.
Trevor pointed at the floor. “That’s not pure blood. Look at it.”
Goldiva looked down. The red liquid had pooled, but the consistency was wrong.
“My guess is, the one on the floor is food coloring with drops of animal blood and you just drank Eutychus’ blood mixed with some tincture,” said Trevor.
Goldiva looked piercingly at Ivarr, but Ivarr remained nonchalant.
“Tricked me, did you? Ptui.”
“Too late,” said Ivarr. “You swallowed it already.”
This was followed by several more ptui’s from Goldiva.
“Really, mother,” said Ulla.
“Out! All of you out. I only want to visit with the hussy and the troublemaker.” No-one moved. “Get going or I start smacking.”
Once the room emptied, Goldiva turned to Ivarr. “How could you do that to me after what he did?”
“It’s not your time to die yet,” said Ivarr. “If anything, we need you more now than any time in the past.” From his robe, he took out a bottle of Peppermint Schnapps. “A gift.”
“Stubborn old Halbling,” said Goldiva. “I suppose it’s full of his blood too.”
Ivarr only smiled. “You’d have to drink it to know.” At that he took his leave.
Now, Goldiva turned on Trevor and Janna. “What took you so long to get here? I kept waiting for you every day. And you,” she pointed her cane at Trevor, “how’d you know I was faking?”
Trevor snorted. “You’re too tough for any vampire, and besides, you don’t want me to get my wish.”
“Goldiva―” but Goldiva cut Janna off.
“Don’t namby-pamby me, as if I’m some feeble old woman.”
“Then you’re alright?” asked Janna.
“I am not, hussy.” Goldiva sat on her bed. “”I’ll need assistance, maybe for the rest of my life. Even I know that. Damn vampires. Ulla’s been researching caregivers.” She looked up at Trevor. “If I get worse than this, I count on you ending my life.”
“You can count on me,” said Trevor. “It’ll be my pleasure. I’ll plan an interesting method. I might even do it before you ask. It’ll be the best gift anyone will ever give me.”
“And there isn’t any dibs on my personal things.”
“You won’t be here to stop me.”
Goldiva watched him for a moment then she broke out laughing. “Go on, the two of you. I have a life to live. I can’t spend all my time catering to you two.” Janna hugged her. “Still too much emotion,” Goldiva said. “It’s your mother’s fault. Well, get out and let an old Halbling finally have some peace and quiet. Ulla! Ulla!” she shouted.
Ulla rushed in. “What is it, mother?”
“Next time, come quicker. Help me back into bed and bring me that brandy. Call an exterminator to get rid of those family leeches waiting for me to die. They left a stinky gloom hanging over this room.”
Goldiva did continue to live, although she needed constant care. Ulla stayed faithfully by her side. Caregivers were hired, but they couldn’t handle Goldiva’s difficult personality and left within days of being hired. And so the years passed with little improvement in her health. That is, until sixteen years later when Jeffrey’s daughter Chloe graduated ahead of time and top in her class. Just as obstinate and determined as Goldiva, she took care of Goldiva for four years, nurturing her and getting her back on her feet, giving her back the quality of life that Goldiva held so dearly.

Love Honor and Respect to all

The Dimidiums A Work Still in Progress

The Dimidiums started out as one book. The story came to me while I was dusting shelves one day and never stopped nagging me. Then a second book came to be, and then a third.

Next thing I knew, The Dimidiums was a 5-book series, and then, of course, a 6-book series. Currently, there are seven books. Why does the story continue to progress? Who knows the workings of our muses?

Book One For Our Love
Book Two Blood Lust
Book Three For Our Love
Book Four Winds of Change
Book Five A Minion Arises
Book Six Sacrificial Tiger
Book Seven The Ultra Family

But wait. There’s a possibility of another book. We’ll see as the story progresses.

Has this happened to you, where you start out with one book and the story outgrows that cover?

Love Honor and Respect to all.

Tuesday Teaser

From The Dimidiums, Book Two Blood Lust:
“Cowards. Offenders of our laws,” yelled Ivarr. Filled with fury, he followed after them. He paused on the porch, waved his hand up, and the two men were lifted high above the ground, gagging.
With a swift downward flick of his wrist, they slammed onto the sand. His eyes flickered from green to brown as he prepared himself for their demise. He curled his hands towards them.
They gagged harder, unable to breathe or move when the woman inside uttered a plea for help. He released his hold and walked cautiously towards her. He leaned down and inhaled deeply, surprised by her scent. His mind raced. She couldn’t be. After all this time I’ve found her? He grabbed a pillowcase off a pillow and wadded it over her gaping wound.
He sniffed again, then placed his hands just inches above her body. He started with her head and moved his hands down her torso, his fingers spread out. He concentrated on the movement of his hands, his eyes flickering again. It was a long, slow process, but the only way to save her. Even though the flow of blood had stopped, he continued the treatment, unaware of how long he’d been working on her.
“Back away.” Barkley stood in the doorway and seven guards had crowded into the front room.
“You know this woman?” Ivarr didn’t stop his therapy, his hands now moving back up towards her head.
“I know her. Let’s play nice and we won’t kill you yet,” said Barkley.
Ivarr chuckled. He waved his hand and the men flew, scattering around the front room. He yanked the sheet off the bed and swaddled Janna and the pillowcase securely in it. “Leader of these Dimidiums, don’t play with me and I won’t kill you.”
Each time the guards and Barkley attempted to stand, Ivarr knocked them down playfully as if they were plastic bowling pins. Barkley took out his Halbling Peacemaker Stun Baton and aimed it at Ivarr. In an instant the baton flew into the kitchen, bouncing along the floor.
Ivarr hurried towards the front door, but got no farther. In front of him, Stefan crouched in attack position, snarling in an animal-like rage, his large fangs protruding, snapping at Ivarr. Behind Stefan stood four armed guards. Ivarr, unafraid, inhaled Stefan’s scent.
“I haven’t seen such an aura in a long time,” said Ivarr. “Interesting attack position. You have power. Good for you. You are related to this human. So am I.”
Stefan slowly straightened, awed by the Halbling in front of him, the folk hero he had long admired, the ancient whose name he’d given to Trevor. He dropped to one knee and bowed reverently.
“Is it you, Great Master? You’re alive?” Stefan ordered his men, “Kneel and bow. Before you stands one of our greatest Warriors.”

Of all the books I’ve written, The Dimidium series remains my favorite.

Love Honor and Respect

Sunday Snapshot

What would your emotions be if 25 years ago, you fell into an alien community (literally) and lived with them? Then, after 25 years, you’re returned home.

Aubrey is lonely and lost without those she learned to love, but she has no choice since the Yardanians left for war. She’s sent home to meet her family again, including her grown children, but her daughter isn’t that happy to see her.

I nodded my okay to Momo. “My handmaidens don’t frighten you, Jaden?”
“Nope, ‘cause they’re with you. My, what big eyes they have.” Jaden grinned.
His sentence caught me by surprise. And then we both laughed. Our laughs sounded the same, just like Tilmun’s, and that made me laugh even more, though I ended with a sniffle. His witticism had touched me and I felt a mother’s strong love awaken within me for this child.
A soft laughter had run through the room. I explained to my handmaidens the childhood fable and they laughed too.
“You’re still funny,” I said to him.
“Dad says I’m a lot like you.”
“I have a sense of humor?” I asked him. Then I turned to Imia and posed the same question.
“Your actions are in accordance with our principles governing consorts.” She patted my hand reassuringly.
Jaden smiled widely at me.
“Oh, ha, ha,” said Violet. “You think everything’s funny, Jaden.”
“Shut up Violet,” replied Jaden, still looking at me.
“You won’t get me near her or those things.”
I turned to the woman who spoke. “You are Violet?”
“What a surprise. You don’t recognize me, but you haven’t forgotten your precious Jaden. He was your favorite and I guess he still is.”
“I have no favorites. I love all my children.”
“All?” asked Violet. “You only had two. Or did you have several of those creepy things also? Where was your love these last twenty five years?”
“I gave birth to you. I’ll always love you.”
“That doesn’t make you my mother.”
“That’s enough.” The female sounded familiar from the tape recording and I recognized Betty’s voice. She looked sternly at Violet. “This isn’t the time. We have guests and we’re not here to give you attention.”
“Yes, mom.” Violet glared at me. Was she goading me to challenge Betty as her mother?
“I’m sorry that you’re upset,” I said. “This must be a shock to you. I left when you were small.”
“That’s right. Left, not died,” she retorted.
“Can it,” snapped Bill. “You remember the favor you asked of your mother and me? The big, perfect, fancy, expensive wedding you have to have with the honeymoon in the Carribean? Keep mouthing off and you won’t get a dime.”
“Bill, she’s facing a difficult moment,” said Betty.
“And we aren’t?” he asked. “Look at Aubrey. She can’t stop shaking. Can you see how afraid she is and how sad? This is a tough day for all of us. Besides, we have important guests in attendance. We don’t need our daughter’s negative attitude to make this day harder. Just remember what I said, Violet.”
Bill and Betty turned their attention to me. “I prayed for this every day over the years,” he said.
“I’m glad you’re safe,” added Betty with a smile. “What a wonderful surprise for us.”
I bowed my head to them, then turned back to my daughter. She showed no love for me. The years hadn’t changed her recalcitrant personality.
I wanted to say something to calm her, but I couldn’t think of anything, so I kept silent. Imia and Pintueen had been with me for so many years that they understood me as well as Rahzahn. Both rubbed my arms soothingly. Imia cooed, “Be calm, consort. We are with you.”

Love Honor and Respect to all.

Tuesday Teaser Opening Prologue to the Yardanians

The spherical black UFO emerged out of nowhere into the blue sky of Earth’s summery day. Remnants of the brilliant red and yellow glow from the fiery entry flared through the few billowy white clouds as the craft’s rapid descent slowed. U.S. fighter jets surrounded the alien scout ship, maintaining a safe distance from the craft’s heat. Pilot chatter filled the airways.
“Shit. Where the hell did it come from?”
“Did you see the flames upon entry? They gotta be baked inside.”
“As bad as that craft shook, I’m surprised it’s still in one piece.”
Their captain cut through the needless discussion. “Maintain silence. Stay in formation. Do not fire your weapons.”
Inside the craft the seven Yardanians listened and chuckled. Six of the tall aliens ducked to observe Earth out of the low front window. Scout ships were small and the Yardanians were crammed in, except for Prince Rahzahn, who occupied the only seat and operated the controls.
“Baked inside,” said Bayzar with a snicker. “Did we come in too fast for them?”
“Faster than their ships can handle,” replied Rahzahn. “Anyone uncomfortable on descent? Afraid? Need a hug?”
The others sniggered.
“They’ve got us surrounded,” joked Bayzar.
“Doesn’t that tell us all we need to know?” asked Rahzahn.
One of the guards regarded the jets. “They can do no damage to this vessel.”
“True,” replied Rahzahn, “but surrounding us tells us that they don’t trust us, and since they don’t, then they’re untrustworthy.”
“I agree,” said Bayzar. “That’s been my experience. Plus they’ve made a big mistake. They’ve shown us that our technology is beyond theirs.”
Rahzahn laughed. “I’m monitoring their weapons. This is their twenty-first century, but their equipment is archaic.”
Gardash, Second-in-Command Guard, feigned anxiety. “Don’t make a wrong move. Their fearsome power is scaring me. I’m quivering. Maybe I do need a hug.” He huffed at the planet’s backwardness. Rahzahn and Bayzar laughed.
“If that’s their only defense, I pity them.” Rahzahn continued to descend. “This country is supposed to be a leader in technology.” He landed on an abandoned airfield in a deserted hollow. Outside, heavily armed U.S. soldiers waited nervously.

If you like my storytelling, check out my books. They can be found wherever ebooks are sold.

Love Honor and Respect

Saturday Samples

My Dimidiums series will be a 7 volume set. What started out as one book continued to grow. Today I’m giving samples of the main character Trevor Dittmar.

Book One: A stocky fellow swooped down from a nearby tree in front of them and Chester immediately sized up the newcomer.
The man stood about 5 feet 7 inches tall, muscled and tanned. His salt and pepper hair was short, worn in a butch cut. A braid hung from the back to just shoulder level with a brown leather strap woven through it, a strange hairstyle for any normal man, thought Chester.
Trevor’s piercing brown eyes, set wide apart, regarded his prey. His thick black brows drew together while he studied the men. He took in a long whiff and his aquiline nose wrinkled as if they stunk. His full lips puckered.
He was dressed a perfectly pressed, long sleeved denim work shirt and clean navy blue jeans that looked brand new. Heavy duty steel-toed work boots completed his outfit.
“What you dressed for, a party?” Frank snickered. “What’s with the braid? You a fu-fu or somethin’?”

Book Two: “I didn’t ask you. Quit interfering. Why are all of you putting up with him?” asked Trevor.
“It’s like looking in a mirror,” mused Ivarr with a smile.
“You’re taking your anger out on him,” said Ulrich, “but I’d suggest you leave him alone. You’re no match for him.”
“We’ll see.” Trevor pulled out his Shaolin double daggers and assumed a basic fighting stance. “Come on, old Warrior, show me what you have. None of you find it strange that he just happened to be there at the right time?”
Ivarr waved his hand, but the daggers remained positioned in Trevor’s hands. He tried again. The daggers still didn’t move.
“There is only one Dimidium who’s strong enough to resist me,” said Ivarr. “He was a famed Shaolin monk during the Vampire Wars. Why is it you can do the same, unless you were trained by him?”

Book Three: Shīzi took a sip. “Better. Relaxing, don’t you think? Why are you here?”
Trevor looked away sadly. “I left her.”
“That I know. Ivarr informed me. Why are you here?”
“I wanted to be alone. I’m always hurting her.”
“You know me.”
“Do you know why I named you Little Tiger? Tigers are reclusive, solitary and elusive. They don’t like to fight, but they will if they have no choice. They’re riled easily and thus their enemies’ deaths are ensured. You reminded me of a young untamed tiger, and you’re much like Ivarr, who is also a tiger. So, why are you here?”

Book Four: As Trevor and Thomas were nearing the house, Trevor turned on his music player loudly to Japanese Drums beating out ancient war music. “Something to inspire us and catch their attention.” He skipped and twirled.
“I’m not dancing with you,” said Thomas. “I think the music psyches you out more than your enemies. You’re a bit scary, you know that?”
Trevor hopped and skipped as he moved forward and Thomas danced forward like a ballerina. Trevor burst out laughing.

Book Five: Trevor spun in place, his daggers at the ready, but the Cursed moved aside, again with the whisk of his hands, suddenly fearful of his nemesis, and although Trevor sliced into the Cursed’s arm, the vampire managed to break away and disappear.

Book Six: “Chloe!” came Trevor’s voice.
They heard Chloe running. “What is it, Uncle Trevor?”
“Your Ogre clan’s king phoned from Ogreville. He said you’re too irritating to take back.”
“Ugh! Well, everyone you know called and begged me to keep you here, that you’re the most irritating Halbling alive.”
Trevor snorted. “Impossible. You’d be on the phone day and night. That’s how many Halblings I know. How many can an Ogress possibly know? Don’t the villagers run away from you?”
“Ugh!” Chloe walked away.
“Chloe? I forgot to tell you. Your Ogre clan said you won the prestigious award, Most Irritating Ogress in a Lifetime.”

Book Seven: “Trevor.” Barkley gave him a huge grin and a pat on the back. “Glad you’re able to fight again.” Trevor stood to shake his hand, but before he could do anything, Lainie jumped on his back and wrapped her arms and legs around him.
“Idiot!” she yelled. “Giddy up.”
Trevor snorted. “Pregnant yet?”
“Nope. The big guy said no more kids.”
“I can help you with that. My offer still stands. I’ll give you all you want, one at a time.”
“I’m going to be too busy these next couple of nights, but thanks.”
Trevor twirled around. “Same thing as wrestling and you wanted to wrestle.”
“Funny thing about that. That’s how Janna describes your love making.”
Trevor laughed and spun faster with her.
“Trevor, quit teasing Lainie,” said Stefan. “Besides, Eberhardt wants you ready for battle. Lainie, get off him and find a seat.”
“Just like old times, huh, Sir Bossman?” asked Lainie. “Except there are no cell floors to mop.” Trevor leaned down and tumbled her off him.
“No, but there are plenty of sand grains for you to count one by one,” said Stefan. “I’m sure I can find containers for each grain. Now take a seat.”

And that’s Trevor the Tracker.

Love Honor and Respect

Wednesday WIPs

Ugh! I’m editing and revising 3 books at the same time. Have you ever had to do more than 1 book at a time? Whew. A lot of work.

I’ve been doing minor grammar corrections to Always, my first published novel.
A tale of a man who loves his uncomplicated life. Leave it to a 16-year-old girl to complicate it.

Dixie’s enthusiasm wore on him and he hated when they argued, which was often. He could never be what Dixie desired. She wanted more from him than he could give. She yearned for marriage and children, and to share joint ownership in his business, but he refused. Outside of England he could be wild. If she accompanied him, he couldn’t let loose. He wondered if she ended their affair because she suspected his behavior when abroad.
Last year Dixie broke off their relationship, sobbing for hours, gasping for breaths, while Simon shed not one tear.
They remained friends and stayed in touch, but he hadn’t heard from her recently. It seemed strange to him that she hadn’t mentioned her upcoming wedding or her work. He couldn’t picture Dixie earning a living or settling down as a housewife. He turned the conversation to James and Miranda Duff. “How are your parents?”
“They’re getting on in years. Mum still talks about how she wanted to raise her grandchild here, but Lucy is buried in the States. And she still goes on and on about you and Dixie’s break-up. Both Mum and Dad hoped you two would mend your differences. They love you like a son.
“I’m just as fond of them.”
“After your parents died, Mum worried whenever you went out of the country. Yesterday, she remarked how she wished you’d come by; it’s been ages. She also mentioned your mother as the kindest, most talented person she had ever met, how much she misses her, and what a shame she had to die.”
Simon thought of his mother, Amelia, a capable intelligent woman, who doted on him. “She was special. My father too. He taught me about the important things in life. I’m honoured to be named after him.” Simon turned his attention to the landscape.

I’m revising and editing The Dimidiums Book Two, Blood Lust. The name says it all.

“I wonder if Trevor’s door will open for me.”
“It has to. It must recognize you by now. You’ve been opening it, haven’t you?”
Janna looked at her confused. “The door can recognize me?”
Ina giggled. “I meant that father probably swiped your DNA on the door and said the incantation.”
“Like a spell? Like witchcraft?” Janna shuddered.
“Kind of.”

And, of course, I’m still chugging away on Betrayed, a three volume dark and steamy Scifi.

Gardash stared miserably out her window. “I may not blame you, but I’ll never forgive you. Rahzahn was abused by his father too, but instead of becoming like you, he refused to practice certain privileges with those beneath him. And with Aubrey? He’s specific about my conduct with her and I guaranteed him I’d comply with his demands.” He snorted. “As you’ve often said, I’m devious and a liar. When I’m in charge of her, I take advantage of the situation. I learned from you, but I’m smarter than both of you combined. I’ve tricked him into trusting me.”
The queen looked to me, begging, motioning towards the door. I took a step in the hopes of getting help, but Gardash pulled me to him.

Back to work…

Love Honor and Respect

Friday Fantasy

If you ask me why I write fantasies, I can only say because I love to read that genre.

The Dimidiums is the story of a race that is half human and half vampire. In fantasy, you get to create your world. Here is how the Dimidium race came about, in the words of the main character Trevor Dittmar.

“Do you have souls?”
“Do you have a soul?”
“It’s just that I’ve heard….”
“You must forget all those stories. Would you like me to tell you about the first one of us and how we came to be?”
She nodded yes.
“This happened a long, long time ago. His name was Eutychus. It means fortunate. People with this name have a strong urge to inspire others, but he was a weak, small human so his parents apprenticed him to the only man who would take him – a wizard. He spent years with him. The wizard was a cruel man and finally Eutychus could take no more. He ran away. As luck would have it, he met an alchemist named Angelos – messenger or angel. Eutychus considered him an angel because of his caring nature. Very intelligent too. He took Eutychus on as his assistant and taught him everything he knew.”
“Wizards and alchemists exist?”
“Shh. Let me tell the story. Together, they practiced alchemy for years. Now, during this time on the Earth, larger towns and many villages were developing. The Accurseds hid and attacked solitary victims, but when they were discovered, they were hunted and killed. They never became smart enough to know how to fit in with societies, and they still haven’t.”
“Accurseds? You said that word before.”
“Original vampires.” He hunched his back and puckered his mouth, holding his hands limp up to his shoulders. “They’re weakening over the years. It’s become difficult for them to maintain their archaic ways. Most have little hair. Yellowish white strands hang to their shoulders or longer. They’re very thin and almost translucent with the worst breath possible that smells like old blood.”
“So you call vampires Accurseds?”
“There are two types of vampires. Both awake during the night, but one group remains unnoticed by your kind. The Silent Ones, as we call them are healthier. They can come out during the times between night and day if the sun isn’t at its fullest, but they rarely do. They wear hats to distinguish their status in their groups. They feed on animals and humans, but they give us little trouble.”
“So there’s three types of you?”
“Again,” he said patiently, “we’re not vampires. Way back in Eutychus’ time, the vampires divided into these two groups. The smarter ones that we call the Silent Ones were willing to adapt. We have special Halblings that work with them when needed. Johanna’s husband Frederik is one. These vampires continue to adapt to modern life. The others, they refuse to change. They’re dying out, and we’re helping them.” He grinned at his joke.
“You were talking about those vampires in Las Vegas?”
“They don’t like us much and we hate them.”
“I thought you hunted animals. Do you wish you were human?”
“Do you wish you were a Halbling? I’m proud of my heritage.”
“What happened to Eutychus and Angelos?”
“They worked for years on many tonics to heal any sickness, to turn themselves into different animals and back to their own forms again. They only wished to help humanity to live enhanced lives. They were closer than brothers.”
“But one of them got bit, right?”
“Yes. One night they were stumped by a difficult formula, so Eutychus went for a walk in the cool air. This often cleared his head and helped him discover the solution, but he was attacked by an Accursed. You see, the Accurseds were losing their numbers and they tried to convert humans faster than ever. He left Eutychus in pain. They often do that.
“Eutychus crawled under some bushes and throughout the night and the next day he suffered greatly. He woke late in the night with a terrible thirst that burned his throat. He understood what happened to him and hurried to Angelos’ lab for help. He hoped they could make an elixir to cure him or perhaps he could be turned into an animal and disappear into the wild.”
“It hurts that much?”
“To be bitten, yes, if you even survive.”
She felt around her neck.
He shook his head. “We rarely bite, except in fights. Anyway, when he entered the lab, Angelos was asleep. Eutychus, overcome by his thirst, attacked his master, drinking, drinking, drinking until he was full, but he drained his mentor, who died. Eutychus was racked with guilt and still in pain, but he wasn’t one to give up. He began working on a potion by himself, mixing the blood of his master with his, and experimenting with many different elements, meticulously taking notes.
“Still, he needed to feed. He’d wait until he could stand it no longer, but he suffered greatly from guilt when he killed. In time, he developed a formula that did change him, but part of him remained a vampire. He could never do away with that part, but now he also needed food. Mostly he hungered for meats. He didn’t have to eat much, but he did require water again. He needed blood and water, but combining the two and trying to drink it that way made him sick, so he worked to improve his cure. It’s our life saver and we refer to it as nectar, the drink of the gods. Eutychus chose that word. Our nectar is indeed precious to us.”
“Is that what’s in your flask? That nectar? The one you claimed was a health drink?”
“Actually, we drink them in vials like this one. Sometimes I carry mine in a flask if I’m going to be out where people can see me. We’ve enhanced them. Eutychus still needed the blood of others to stay alive, so he set to work to improve the concoction, a solution that would nourish him with the least amount of blood and stop the constant sickness he felt. Eventually, he succeeded, but he was lonely. After all, he was the only Halbling. He wondered about reversing the first formula to change a female into what he was. He set out to find a woman. By now, he was quite old, but in a nearby village there lived an ugly girl that no-one wanted to marry named Agatha. He kidnapped her, fed her the potion, and it worked. He called themselves Dimidiums, Latin for halves.