The V Girl by Mya Robarts

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Year 21st of the civil war

Involved parts: Patriot army, Nationalist Army, United Sentinel army.

Number of Nationalist states casualties: 12,954,988.

Number of Patriot states casualties: 3,859,895

Number of United Sentinel casualties: 689,220

“Copulation without conversation does not constitute fraternization.”

Say among allied troops during WW2

Prologue

In the barely lit room, there are only some gym mattresses and a couple of mirrors. I’ve set the mirrors so I can watch myself losing the V of my nick name.

My “one-hour stand” climbs up the mattresses and touches my naked trembling body. His breathing becomes ragged, his eyes are dark.

I never imagined my first time like this. In my imagination, having my first time meant I would be in love.

I always thought I would only allow myself to be with someone in that way if I really, really, loved that person. He would also be unconditionally in love with me. He would be someone who would look at me as though I was his sun.

I wanted to lose my virginity to someone who adores me. Preferably someone who had said the five magic words: “Lila, will you marry me?” I wanted to have sex for the first time with someone I’d consider worthy enough to spend the rest of my life with. If I only had more time. Eighteen is too young in my book to have met the person to whom I want to commit my life.

I wish this occasion could have been a romantic spur of the moment situation. One thing leading to other in a natural manner and then…I wouldn’t be a V girl anymore.

That would have been an ideal situation. But I don’t live in an ideal world; I live in a world defined by a civil war.

My deflowering can’t be romantic or spontaneous. I’ve been preparing my first sexual encounter since I heard the troops were on their way to Starville.

I don’t love my sexual partner. He doesn’t love me either. But it has to be him or it is going to be a random guy from the troops…through force.

My “lover” hesitates for a moment. I feel his weight pressing me to the mattress. His body tenses. I wait for him to make the next move. But I’m afraid he has changed his mind.

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Rey is the only man I can think of who can serve my purpose. He’s the only boy in town who doesn’t despise me. He even protects me. Hopefully, he won’t find a reason to protect me from himself.

I don’t want to develop feelings for my best friend. Because of my plans, Rey has been in my thoughts constantly since the troops announced their arrival, and I hate it. To distract my mind from Rey, I venture a little further in the water current.

Feeling fresh now that I’m clean and shaved, my mood improves. I splash and swim in the water, allowing myself to relax and play.

If I swim to the other side, I might catch Divine and Joey making love in the river beach. Perhaps I should get a little bit of last minute instruction.

A rumble brings me out of my reverie and then I hear some distant shots. My survival instincts wake up and I’m instantly alert.

More shots. It isn’t possible. Nobody in town has access to gun powder or explosives. You don’t get caught with them unless you want to get executed. They have to be soldiers. Patriot soldiers.

Just then I hear sounds above the current noise. Steps on the river beach. I’m barely armed not to mention undressed and unprepared. My razors might keep Starville peeping toms at bay, but they’ll be useless against soldiers.

I hear steps approaching and I wade away. In no time I find myself far from where I left my clothes. My best chance to safely get out of this situation is to avoid a fight. I can remain hidden if I move to the other side of the river behind the rocks. If soldiers see me so vulnerable and naked, I’m doomed.

I need to hurry. I have to head home soon and make sure my dad and siblings are safe.

The steps sound like they come from only one person but I can’t be sure. As they sound closer, I notice they come from my right.

I don’t know what I’m more afraid of: the intruder being an armed soldier or the fact of being caught so exposed.

Trying to not splash attract attention, I put distance between me and the steps. Hiding behind some bushes and rocks, I submerge myself, leaving only my head above the water line.

I stand still. Several minutes pass and I hear nothing. When I consider it safe to leave my hiding place, I swim, splashing as little as I can.

Then I notice something that makes my heart skip a beat.

I’m not the only person here. There’s someone else treading the water. I can’t see how many people are around, but I can hear as someone else splashes.

A feel of panic rushes hot through my veins.

I’m surprised no one’s attacked me yet. Haven’t they seen me? Does the splashing come from Starvillers hiding from the shots as well?

For a moment there’s only silence. Then another shot startles me and I fight my body to keep calm. I swim as fast as I can, not caring about silence anymore. Better to put distance between myself and my possible enemies. The water and the current make my escape slow. I reach a point where the water is only at my knees and I’m hiding behind a trunk.

Then I see him.

A young man, so tall and built that for a moment, I think he’s Sasquatch minus the fur. The water only covers him around the thighs. No one in Starville, not even Rey, is so big or built. His strong muscles reveal years of military training and hint at the drug use that makes Patriot soldiers so inhumanly tall and big. Wet strands of sandy blond hair run down his broad shoulders. A tattoo on his back tells me he has been in combat and is to be respected. A soldier! Something tells me he’s alone.

My stomach clenches in panic. I’m terrified of Patriot soldiers. They are sadistic giants and killing machines. The tonics they take to build their muscles and stature make them extremely dangerous and violent. And horny.

I lose sight of him for a moment. He emerges in a different spot where the water is deeper. He is so tall, the water covers only up his waist while he’s standing. He must be at least seven feet tall. When he moves I can see his most private areas. Every part of him is enormous.

He’s in the very spot I left my clothes. I could wait for him to go, but what if others come to join him? What if they plan to camp here? I want to go home to check on my dad and the twins. The possibility of being discovered with no one to witness when he rapes me makes the hairs on the back of my neck prick. I won’t wait for the coast to be clear, risking discovery and gang rape.

He doesn’t seem to be in attack mode. The soldier is inclined and rubbing foam around his huge torso. He is bathing! I suspect he has a good reason to be unbothered by the shots. If he’s not startled, it’s likely whoever’s making the racket will take his side.

Suppressing the fear that runs through my veins, I force my mind to remain focused. For a moment, I consider attacking him while he’s so naked and defenseless. I’ve been practicing knife throwing with my rebel group. But I’m still learning and suck at it. I rarely hit the target. Besides, Sasquatch’s nakedness and apparent relaxed behavior are deceiving. I’m armed while bathing, so he probably is too. What if he alerts his companions?

I don’t stand a chance fighting against a trained unit of steroid-injected soldiers. At this moment my only advantage is my knowledge of the hiding places of this river. And stealth. I can do stealth.

He’s blocking the only way to get my clothes and the safer spot to get out of the river. There’s a gargantuan rock behind him that reaches not far from where I’m hiding. If I could climb it unseen, I could get back my clothes and escape. The only other option is to swim to the other side, where the current is too strong.

The soldier submerges frequently and emerges several minutes after. I pay attention to the soldier’s face. He looks extremely sad. Sadness isn’t an emotion I associate with soldiers.

When he rubs his face with foam and closes his eyes, I silently approach the low part of the current and climb the rock. I’m still naked and holding a knife awkwardly. If I can pass him, I’ll hide on the other side and then dress completely unnoticed.

I put my foot on the base of the rock. The water has made it smooth and slippery. There are few places to put my fingers and climb on. But I manage to climb my way up.

When I’m almost at the top, I toss my knife over the rock to free my hands. From here I can confirm the soldier is by himself.

Sasquatch is back under the water now and hasn’t resurfaced for a while. In spite of the danger, I’m impressed. He has lung capacity.

The higher I climb, the less visible I become to him. He finally emerges to take air, but I hide until he goes back under.

I’m close to my goal when my feet become slippery traitors.

I fall to the water below me.

But first. Straight toward the soldier’s head.

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Never Far Away by Marysue G. Hobika

 

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Never Far Away by Marysue G. Hobika
Publication date: May 20th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, RomanceSynopsis:

All Theo Baker wants is to get on with his new life as a student at Columbia, but his dreams keep getting infiltrated by the one girl who stole his heart—Stella, his sexy neighbor back home. They shared a kiss that turned his world upside down; only she said it didn’t mean anything to her. But he knows she lied and all he wants is a chance to prove that they could have something real, but it’s hard pining away for a girl who’s been avoiding him for the past year and a half.Incoming freshman Stella Freeman is excited about going to college for photography—her true passion. She’s never more herself than when she is behind the camera. Regardless of her father’s constant backlash, she follows her heart to the city where Theo is currently living. He’s the only boy she’s ever loved, but she’s pushed him away. Still, he’s never been far from her thoughts, even if he doesn’t know.

What will happen when their paths cross? Will they have a second chance to be with their one first true love?

This book is intended for audiences 17+

 

NeverFarAway

Excerpt:

“Wait,” I shouted. I searched for the right words. All I came up with was, “Why did you take so many pictures of me? Do you like me?” My face heated. I sounded like a dorky ten-year old boy on the playground at recess. I plowed ahead anyway. “Did the kiss mean as much to you as it did to me?”

There was only one way to find out. I took a step forward and touched my lips to hers. Her lips were warm and soft. I thought she’d slap me and tell me to get the fuck away from her, but she didn’t. She closed her eyes and sank into the kiss, kissing me back. I teased her lips open with my tongue. She responded and our tongues swirled around each other. The last kiss I shared with Stella was just a small preview. This was downright epic. I felt things I’d never felt before.

I moved my lips down her pale throat and kissed her softly. She reached up and wrapped her arms around my neck. I pulled her closer until our chests were smashed against each other’s, and I wondered if she could feel my heart beating. It pounded hard and loud. A soft sigh escaped her lips and I knew this wasn’t one-sided. She felt things too. I returned my attention to her mouth, biting her bottom lip, losing myself in the taste of her sweet lips. It was like being pulled under by a giant wave in a hurricane and then not knowing which way was up or down. I realized I didn’t know and I didn’t care. I never wanted to resurface. I was right where I wanted to be. Lost in a sea of emotions and passion with Stella at the center of the storm. I cupped the back of her head, deepening the kiss even further.

Suddenly she pulled away and I couldn’t breathe. I felt like a fish out of water. I wanted to reach for her and pull her back to me because nothing in my entire life had felt so right, but the look on her face told me not to. “What was that?” She narrowed her eyes at me.

“We were kissing.” She had moaned my name at one point and pressed her hot body against mine. There was no way in hell she hadn’t been enjoying it. “And you liked it.”

“No, Theo.” She called me Theo again. I was beginning to hate my own name. “I can’t do this with you.”

“I know you felt that too,” I argued. I didn’t understand why she was pretending she hadn’t been affected. She’d kissed me back. It had been honest and true.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I didn’t feel anything.” It was the same words she’d said last time after we kissed, only this time I knew she was lying. Her voice was shaky. Her body still trembled with aftershocks. I just didn’t understand why she’d lie. I stood on her porch for several minutes after she went inside, trying to figure out how I was going to get Stella to forgive me and recognize what we could have if she’d give me a chance.

 

BIO:

Photo on 2012-04-12 at 13.15 #2Marysue G Hobika grew up in Caledonia, NY and attended SUNY at Buffalo where she studied to be a Spanish teacher.  Currently she lives in Pittsford, NY with her husband, three children, and her two pugs.

She has learned that stories don’t write themselves and tries to make time every day to sit down and write. She does her best thinking while in the shower, driving her kids around, or right before she falls asleep. She keeps a moleskin notebook handy that a dear friend gave her as a gift, so that if an idea occurs she can write it down.

She doesn’t know where this journey will take her, but she has a lot of characters and stories floating around inside her head waiting to be brought to life.

  What genre is your book?

 “Never Far Away” is my first crack at writing a New Adult/Contemporary Romance novel. My resume includes 3 YA novels, and I was ready to branch out and expand my style and audience.

What inspired you to write this novel?

A real life event inspired this novel. I took a real situation—two neighbors fighting over seats on the back of the bus in elementary school, never really agreeing on anything, and placed these two antagonist characters years down the road. What happens? How are they different? The same? They share history, but can they share a future?

What book are you reading now?

Currently I am reading short stories in Spanish and meeting with a great group of ladies once a month to discuss them. Hablamos en español todo el tiempo y me encanta.

If you could have breakfast with anyone past or present who would you choose, and why?

 I would choose my mother. She died when I was in my early twenties and so much has happened in my life since then that I’d love to share with her—I finished college, got my first job, got married, and had kids. I’d love to see the look on her face when I told her I’m a writer too. I’ll never forget the day back in high school when she drove me to school and I suddenly remembered I had written an essay on a whim for a contest and it was due that day—typed. (This was before computers were in every household). My mom sighed and took the essay to work and typed it for me and dropped it off at school, and I won. She was proud of me then and I’m sure she’d be proud of me know. After breakfast I’d like to have her show me how to make an apple pie with her homemade crust because that’s something I miss.

What’s your favorite dessert?

My mom’s homemade apple pie, of course.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Creative, Happy, and Kind.

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Numen’s Trust by Pat Nelson Childs

200About the Author

Pat Nelson Childs currently lives in Maine with his faithful cat, Bo. He was born and raised in Rumford, ME. In previous lives, he owned a clothing store in Provincetown, MA and worked as a computer support technician for a large international corporation based in Ann Arbor. He presently mentors GLBT youth and is at work on his latest book. When he’s not writing (which is rarely), the author enjoys reading, watching movies, cooking and traveling. He also likes watching football, baseball & hockey and hanging out with friends.

Link: http://www.patnelsonchilds.com/about.html

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150About the Book

Seven years have passed on Firma since Rokey’s narrow escape from The Order of the Bone. All of Firma is now at war. The living god, Cyure, and his merciless hordes have succeeded in conquering all other realms save two – the kingdoms of Iceberg and Glacia, far up in the Northern Expanse. As refugees pour into these kingdoms from all over Firma, Rokey, Flash and their companions are working constantly to stay one step ahead of Cyure, who still wants ‘The Scion’ alive in order to steal his awesome, but still largely latent power. Just as things look blackest, High Mage Ellispon and his fellow scholars happen upon a key which at last will enable them to translate the ancient scrolls taken from Moribar years before. It is from these scrolls that they learn of a magical object known simply as “The Heart”, which offers them the means to finally unlock Rokey’s enormous power. The only problem – The Heart is not even in Firma! And so the final quest begins – a race to find this fabled object and to give Rokey the power he needs to confront Cyure at last, saving both the people he loves, and the land that he has already given so much to defend.

Link: http://www.chroniclesoffirma.com/NTsummary.html

[hr]

the roof of the hut burned like a torch, as Ellispon and the two scholars hurried to gather together the scrolls and all the notes that covered the table. A chunk of burning debris fell on Bantion, setting his tunic ablaze. In a panic, he screamed and ran out the door.
“Bantion!” Valengyll screamed, and ran out after him, dropping his pile of papers. Ellispon went quickly to gather them up, jumping to dodge another section of the burning roof as it fell. Rokey watched through the doorway as Valengyll tackled Bantion and forced him to roll around on the ground to put the fire out. The elf then leapt up and drew his sword to defend the two of them from a pair of attacking ogres. Groog flew outside and assumed his fiery dragon guise, then swooped down to aid Valengyll. Ellispon rushed over to Rokey, the precious documents clutched to his chest.
“I’ve got everything,” he yelled over the melee. “Let’s go!”
Rokey led the way outside, his sword drawn to protect the old mage. He looked around quickly. There were bodies everywhere, but he saw no other enemy fighters close by, so he hastened to aid Valengyll as he struggled against the ogres.
‘Ellispon!’ he heard Groog send, ‘there is a clear path to a large brush patch straight behind you. Take the documents and hide there with them.’
Though he felt guilty about leaving, Ellispon obeyed without hesitation. In this situation, he knew that he would only be a hindrance. The other three continued to fight, Groog distracting the ogres as the other two engaged them with their swords. The battle did not last long. Rokey’s swordsmanship had grown superb over the years, and Valengyll, though he lacked skill, fought ferociously to protect the injured Bantion. After one ogre had been dispatched and the other had fled, Groog returned to his normal size, while Rokey helped Valengyll carry Bantion, severely burned and moaning in pain, out of the clearing and into the brush patch where Ellispon awaited them. All around, they could hear the battle still raging.
“I’ve got to go find Flash,” Rokey said in a panic.
“Rokey, you can’t,” said Ellispon. “It’s too risky.”
“Master, what would you have me do…just leave him out there?” Rokey protested angrily.
“Rokey, if we lose you, we’ve lost everything,” Ellispon reminded him. “You’ve got to get out of here – open a door to No-When and go. Take these documents with you. If Flaskamper is still alive, he’s already heading this way. If not…if not, then you’d only be throwing your life away for nothing.”
‘Ellispon is right, Rokey,’ Groog sent. ‘You must escape. You are Firma’s only hope. I will fly out and try to find Flaskamper.’
Rokey was about to argue further when Valengyll spoke.
“Is there anything you can do to help Bantion?” he pleaded. “He must be in terrible pain.”
‘I’ll find Flaskamper and tell him where you’re hiding,’ sent Groog, and flew off before Rokey could argue.
Though sick with worry, Rokey found that he could not ignore the young elf’s plea for help. He crawled over to where Valengyll sat with Bantion’s head cradled in his lap. It took Rokey only a moment, though, to realize that Bantion was beyond all help. He broke the news as gently as he could.
“But he can’t be dead,” Valengyll sobbed quietly. “He can’t be. He was – he was my life.”
With these words, Rokey felt his own heart tearing in two, for he knew that Ellispon was right. All around them the woods were beginning to erupt into flames, and they could hear the cries of the dying everywhere. It would be suicide for him to go looking for Flash. On the other hand, just like young Valengyll, he couldn’t imagine going on without his love. A he sat there, stunned and unable to act, Ellispon suddenly seized him by the shoulders.
“You have to go now, son!” he insisted. “All of Firma is depending on you. You have to escape before it’s too late!”
A nearby tree exploded, showering their hiding place with flaming debris. As the dry evergreen needles around them began to smolder, Rokey suddenly felt all of his emotions draining away. Yes, there was only one choice. His own life might be over, but ‘The Scion’ had to go on. There was too much at stake to let his personal feelings cripple him now.
“Very well,” he told Ellispon, “but I need you with me, and you must make Valengyll come too. I need you both to help finish translating the scroll.”
When Ellispon agreed, Rokey closed his eyes and began to reach out to the nearest articulation. He found it nearly impossible to concentrate, but he had performed this task so many times now in practice, it was now much less difficult for him. Still, the process required him to harness and manipulate a tremendous amount of energy, so once the process was underway, Rokey found himself becoming more and more focused on the job at hand. Soon he had constructed a stable doorway for them between two nearby trees.
“Go now, Master,” he told Ellispon. “Take Valengyll.”
The High Mage stood, still holding the valuable papers in his arms.
“Valengyll, you must come with us now,” he commanded gently but sternly.
“No!” said Valengyll defiantly. “I won’t leave him!”
“There will be a time to avenge him, Valengyll,” Ellispon tried. “I swear to you there will be. But now is not that time, son. We need you now. Firma needs you now.”
“You don’t know what you’re asking, Ellispon,” Valengyll said.
I know, Valengyll, Rokey thought, desperately scanning the trees behind them for any sign of the dragon or Flash. I know.
As Ellispon continued trying to persuade the young scholar, Rokey spied a person running toward their burning hut. For a moment, he dared to hope, but as the figure drew closer, his heart sank. It was the Princess Alengra – alone.
“Princess Alengra!” he yelled, shaking off his growing feelings of dread. “This way!”
Alengra turned and ran toward him.
“Where’s Flash?” he asked when she reached him.
“I don’t know!” she cried. “He and Briander went someplace to talk. I was supposed to meet them here, but then the attackers came and –”
Her knees began to buckle. For a moment, Rokey worried she might faint. He could not risk destroying the doorway in order to catch her. Fortunately she recovered herself.
“Leni,” he said, “we have to get out of here. Go through the doorway with my two friends there.” He gestured toward Ellispon and Valengyll.
“Doorway?” said Alengra. “What do you mean?”
Just then Rokey saw a group of enemy fighters break from the trees and start running toward them. There was still no sign of Groog or Flash, but now he could wait no longer.
“Come on!” he yelled, grabbing her arm. Though clearly confused, she accompanied him willingly. “Ellispon! Valengyll! Inside now!”
Ellispon entered the shimmering doorway just ahead of Rokey and Alengra. Valengyll, however, did not follow. Rokey turned back, only to find him rushing, his sword drawn, toward the pack of encroaching soldiers. There was no way any of them could stop him. Valengyll had chosen to stay and fight – to give his life avenging his slain lover. It was a supremely selfish act, and yet, as Rokey pulled the doorway closed, watching the young elf charge fearlessly into the overwhelming onslaught, the emotion he felt most keenly of all – was envy.

Other Links:

website: http://www.chroniclesoffirma.com
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chroniclesoffirma
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RED TEARS BLUE BLOOD…… By M. O. Kenyan Part 3

Hi guys! As promised, here is the beginning of Alma’s story in the Interracial royal Romance.

Enjoy!!

“How did it happen?”

Alma was standing in the middle of the living room staring up at the portrait hanging on the wall. This was the hundredth person who had come up to her with that same question. She stared on as tears spilled as she thought about the night her life had taken a drastic turn.

She closed her eyes, the memory coming back to her as clearly as reliving the horror.

Alma and Kevin walked towards the movie theatre in downtown Nairobi. It was almost eleven o’clock at night and Alma had snuck out for the sole purpose of enjoying this evening with her boyfriend. Kevin had something else planned after the movie.

Tonight was the night their five year relationship was finally moving to the physical phase. He had it all set up, the roses, the wine and her favorite chocolates. They had thought about going straight to the main event, but they wanted this night to be perfect, and dinner and a movie was the start of a perfect night.

Alma rubbed her sweaty palms over her jeans. The movie was coming to an end and the twenty year old virgin was getting nervous.

“Are you alright?” Kevin leaned in and asked.

“I’m fine.” But it was obvious that she wasn’t. She tried to pull her sweaty hand away but he wouldn’t let her. He gave her hand a couple of squeezes that made splotchy noises because of the sweat but he never let go.

“I love you and sweaty hands will never make me not want to hold you.” He leaned down and kissed her exposed shoulder.

She was swimming in his brown eyes and diving in his sweet words, forgetting where they were and not noticing the small crowd that had begun to form around them. She hung onto his hand as they walked through the alley. There the dark shadows began to take shape, rippling away from the light and taking the form of men.

“Babe, I don’t think we should have used the shortcut.” The edgy nervousness in her voice was hard to hide.

He held her closer and tighter and said in a hush tone, “Just try not paying them any attention. If you don’t give them a reason to, they won’t attack you.”

She was trying his strategy but when she heard the stampede of feet rushing up to them. She knew there was nothing she could do to stop what was about to happen.

Kevin stopped and pinned her against the wall and shielded her with his body. He knocked the wind out of her but it was the only way he knew how to protect her. She grabbed the back of his jacket and buried her face in it. He didn’t look scared but with his body as close as it was to hers, she could feel the flattering thuds of his heart.

Alma didn’t look up, she just listened and waited.

The four men were challenged by the position he took so they closed in closer on them. They were only a few feet away from them when they each pulled out their weapons. The silver of the machete gleamed in the moonlight and caught Kevin’s eye.

“Don’t look.” He said to Alma and she didn’t.

“Why are you keeping her away from us?” She heard one of them say in Swahili, in the midst of three other grumbling ones.

“We don’t want any trouble. Just tell me what you want.” Kevin was shifting his weight from one foot to the other, as if he was getting ready to attack. .

“We want her.” The man’s words slurred as he emphasized ‘her’.

The guy with the machete took a step closer, resulting in a defensive response from Kevin. He tried to advance to him but Alma held him back, holding on desperately onto his jacket.

“Let go of my jacket.” There was a tone in his voice that she had never heard before, “I want you to run.”

“No,” Alma cried. She wasn’t going to leave him here alone. She was terrified and she didn’t know what to do or where she would run.  “I want to stay here with you.”

Kevin pulled his shoulder away so hard that a nail broke from the force. She yelped and lost her grip on his jacket and one step at a time he created a gap between him and her. She pressed her body back against the wall secretly hoping that it would open up and swallow her whole. His fingers balled into fists at his sides as he moved around and she followed. Soon all four guys were staring straight at them and behind her. She followed their gaze and sighed with relief- she had a way to get away. But she couldn’t leave him. She refused to.

“Come with me.” She held onto his hand but he pulled it away.

Without breaking his concentrated stare on the four men, he shoved her back then roared, “Go!” He glanced back at her for a second then in a sweeter tone of voice he said, “I love you. Please go.”

The gentle look in his eyes was enough to convince her. She turned around and ran as fast as she could. But then she remembered that she never said that she loved him.

Alma glanced back. She saw the silver machete raised in the air then brought down with great force. When it came back up, there was no glint, no silver just blood. She waited for a couple of minutes but she didn’t see Kevin get up.

Slowly she pedaled back before she turned around and ran. The sight of the blood seemed to have given her a boost. She was in the downtown part of town and she was sure there was a police station in the area. She didn’t stop running. She bumped into people, fell but got back up and kept running. The tears welling up in her eyes clouded her vision but she never stopped until she saw the blue cabin with red and yellow stripes- the police post.

Alma stood in the middle of confused police officers and civilians then shouted, “Help me!”

“How did it happen?”

The questioned pulled her back to her immediate reality. She turned and faced the blurred face and, answered in a whisper, “Just look forward. If you don’t give them a reason to, they won’t attack you.”

Alma’s mother held her by the shoulders and led her out of the room full of mourners. She couldn’t handle seeing her daughter in a vegetative state. She hadn’t said a word after Kevin’s death until that day of the funeral.

“Let’s go home.”

Alma didn’t resist. She let herself be led out the house but she came across another picture on the closed coffin. Kevin was smiling at her and she couldn’t help but smile back. Shaking her mother’s arms off her, she took as step towards the picture, until it was a breath away from her face. She lifted her trembling fingers up to his face, and traced out his eyes, nose and lips. Closing her eyes she memorized them and slowly his smiling face came alive in her, his laugh echoing in her ears mind.

Since the night of the murder all she saw when she pictured him was blood on a machete, and now she could see his smiling face.

“He’s so beautiful.” She whispered. Then quickly, her mother whisked her away.

Alma wasn’t allowed to attend the burial. Her mother thought it would be too scarring for her. So when her mother left her in her room, she climbed out of the window and began walking towards the cemetery. She covered ten kilometers but when she finally got there the burial was over. She roamed around the freshly dug graves and finally found the one she was looking for. Alma lay next to the grave draping her arm over the flowers and the mood of soil.

****

Alma tossed in her sleep as the night of the attack played in her mind. It was like a rerun she couldn’t turn off. She woke up in terror covered in sweat, and then she realized she was back home. The grief hit her once more, part of her hoping that the dark could swallow her whole. She knew she was being punished for being the one who survived so she decided not to.

Alma got up and marched into the kitchen. She pulled open the top draw and there she found what she was looking for. She picked up one knife and the gleam it gave in the moon light reminded her of the one that was used to kill Kevin.

She put her hand on the counter top, wrist up and one by one she sliced open her wrists.

Finally she felt like she was being set free. She went outside through the back door, leaving a trail of blood behind her. Alma leaned against the wall and breathed in the night air as the cold breeze gently blew past her, carrying her with it.

#

This marks the end of the prologue. Stay tuned to find out when this heartaching romance will be published. You don’t want to miss out!!!

Part 2

Part 1

Shades of Darkness ~ Excerpt

I’m so excited to have finished Shades of Darkness, Book 2 Redemption Series, that I had to post an excerpt! Sending it in to my editor today! 🙂

I’m attaching a pic of my inspiration for Haden, the new antagonist in my series you’ll love to hate!

Shades of Darkness

Prologue

Three Years Later

 

“So, is it true?” Haden demanded, grabbing hold of Jace’s arm and pulling him into the tiny supply room tucked away in the back of the bar. He kicked the door closed with the heel of his boot and leaned against the frame to prevent any untimely interruptions. Too long he’d been waiting for this moment, too long he’d been searching for the “sighted” one. “Did you see her? Does she have it?”

Jace looked over his shoulder as if to make sure they were truly alone before answering. Turning back around, he nodded, “Yeah, it’s…

View original post 1,418 more words

RED TEARS BLUE BLOOD…. By M.O.Kenyan part 2

As promised the continuation of Christoffer’s story. If you haven’t read the first part, click here. This is a love story you do not want to miss out on!

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She smoothed her fingers on the bandages over her son’s head and arms. Taming her puffy dress, she lay beside him and hummed a lullaby. Abellona had sung this lullaby to all her children just as her mother had sang to her.

“Fer, wake up,” she whispered in his ear a couple of times.

“Sir,” Lauritz’s personal assistant, Clark, called him,and behind him were the two agents responsible for his son.

Lauritz walked out of the room and closed the door behind him. He walked a few paces away from the room and the others followed. “Go check on my son!” He yowled at the doctor, who quickly scurried away.

“What happened?” His back was still turned to the trio as he growled.

“Sir, Prince Christoffer spotted us and sped off.”

“Christoffer was driving.”

Lauritz huffed. He expected as much, “Were they drinking?”

“Yes sir.” They stammered in unison, then one of them went on, “He was entertaining women at the club, and I think he was smoking some marijuana. When we went to intercept the man giving him the drugs he spotted us. Prince Lauritz arrived to take him to your mother’s ball but Christoffer convinced him to stay for a while. Then they disappeared.”

Lauritz’s lips curved into a sneer, “No one is to know about this,” He ordered then turned to Clark and growled, “Handle this!”

Clark’s job that night would be going round all tabloids and newspapers looking for any pictures, stories or hints that the prince was driving drunk, especially since they had just passed a new drunk driving law. If found out, Christoffer would be mandated to attend a public rehabilitation center in a penitentiary. Lauritz was a stickler for rules but when it came to his children they challenged him and his morals.

“Sir,” breathless the doctor came out of the operating room running. He was staring at the ground, staring past him anywhere but at Lauritz.

“My son?” Lauritz knew how to read faces and could see a man’s truth through his eyes, and this time, he didn’t want to believe what he saw.

“Sir, I’m sorry… the Crown Prince… prince Lauritz is dead.” He took a step back and bowed his head.

Lauritz fell back against the wall and grabbed his chest. The news seared through him and the fire of his grief settled in his heart. He stiffened almost imperceptibly,and then combed his fingers through his hair. He made a simple sharp exhalation thenjumped straight on his feet, and shook all the tension from his body.

“Bring the car around,” he whispered in a shaky voice as he dragged his feet towards Christoffer’s room. He tensed his face, cleared his throat of all emotion and opened the door. “Alisa, go with the guard.”

“But papa-,” she started and was quickly cut off by her father’s stern gaze. Her eyes were wild and searching as all her control began to slip. The tears rolled down her cheeks as she fought for breath.

Her trembling lower lip and tears were breaking his stern demeanor. “Don’t make me say it again.” He said firmly masking his grief with anger. He needed to get his family out of the hospital and in the confines and security of the palace before Lauritz’sdeath was leaked to the public.

Clark came back, no doubt after hearing the news over his earpiece. He knew better than to show his emotion.He aped his King’s expression and waited at his flank for orders.

Lauritz took a step back and whispered, “Arrange for an ambulance and a doctor to come to the palace with Christoffer.” His voice caught in his throat as he began, “get my son… Lauritzready as soon as possible. Arrange for a press conference tomorrow morning at eight. The funeral will be at ten. That will give the people enough time to get to the procession.”

“Papa, what is it?” Alisa could see the blank expression on her father’s face and it frightened her.

“Go to the car, Alisa.” He gave her a kiss on her forehead and then walked towards his wife. “Abellona, we have to leave.”

She didn’t move. She had no intention of leaving Christoffer in the hospital alone. Lauritz gathered her in his arms and carried her out of the hospital.

They drove in silence to the palace. The ballroom had been emptied minutes after they left. Lauritz was silent as his wife and daughter bombarded him with questions.

“Come with me.” He took their hands and led them to the family room. There was no way he could arrange his words to make the news any easier for them to take. “Lauritz is dead.”

Abellona jumped to her feet, her head shaking in denial. She ran out of the family room bellowing from the pits of her stomach. “No, no!” She screamed as if every muscle in her body had given in and she collapsed to the ground. “Please not my baby! Not my baby!”

“Mama!” Alisa rushed to her mother’s side only to be sent away.

“Alisa, go to your room.” Lauritz ordered as helifted Abellona in his arms and took her to their room.

In the dead of the night both boys were brought back to the palace. Christoffer was set in his room with a nurse and doctor at his call. Lauritz was taken to the great room; he was already cleaned and dressed, ready for the next morning.

*****

Christoffer woke in the darkest hour of the night. He felt like he was stuck in a dream, as he tossed half sick between grotesque reality and the savage frightening dreams. But they weren’t dreams.

Christoffer was running away from his demons. He didn’t know where he was and as much as he tried to open his eyes, he couldn’t escape the darkness. The pain was real but he couldn’t move his body. He tried to call out but all he could manage was a faint gasp of pain. But then a triangular light pierced through the darkness.

“Help,” he whispered as his eyes tried to make out what was coming towards him.

“Fer,” Alisa whispered, “Fer, are you awake?”

“Alisa,” he called out in disbelief, “Alisa is it you?”

The light went on and he squinted. Even though he was desperate to get out of the darkness he couldn’t stand the brightness.

“Turn it off!”

Alisa turned the light off and settled with a small reading light. She moved to the side of his bed and sat down, holding onto his hand as she wept. “Fer, what happened?”

Christoffer still didn’t know what had happened. The last thing he remembered was being in the car with his brother, then darkness. He closed his eyes and tried to push the memory further but all he could see was darkness and all he could remember was pain.

“Where is Lu?” The pain intensified the tighter Alisa held onto his hand, but he didn’t say anything. He needed some human contact and apparently, so did she,“Where is Lu?” he asked again.

But she didn’t answer.All she did was cry out his name.

“Alisa, sweetheart.” terms of endearment had always worked with his sister. He always treated her as if she was younger, and since she was the only girl he and Lauritz had always shielded her. “Look at me, tell me where Lu is.”

“There was an accident.” She cried.

He thought as much. He could feel the pain but he couldn’t move much and that part still bothered him. He was back at home so he didn’t think much of it. He chuckled then said, “Oh no, this is the third car this month. Let me guess, father and mother are giving him a tongue lashing.”

Christoffer, just like Alisa, enjoyed the same shelter Lauritz had given them. Whenever he could he would assume all the blame and responsibilities and this had kept Christoffer out of trouble so far.

“Oh Fer…” Alisa whined before breaking down once more.

There was something wrong. She wasn’t laughing or mimicking their parents. She was crying and this wasn’t like the times she would want her way with something. Christoffer tried to sit up but he couldn’t move.

“Why can’t I move?” Christoffer moaned as the pain held him in place.

Alisa got up and turned on the light. Standing aside as Christoffer took in the gravity of the situation. His leg was strung up on his bed frame, while his arm lay by his side, immobile. He raised his other arm and pulled off the linens trying to find the source of the stabbing pain. His chest was wrapped in a white bandage. His eyes widened as his head fell back on the pillow in disbelief.

“There is no way Lauritz is going to let Lu off the hook for this one,” he mumbled as he stared up at the light. “Alisa, get Lu for me.”

She didn’t move.

“Alisa did you hear me?”

She sank to the ground and burst out crying. Immediately, Christoffer had the urge to stand up and go to his sister but he couldn’t move.

“Alisa, come here and tell me why you are crying.”

“I’m going to get Papa.” She got up and took off running from his room.He could hear her scream out for their father.

He lay back in pain trying to find the words that could get him and his brother out of trouble. The broken arm and leg would only get him so far. He wondered what kind of injuries Lu had. But when his father walked in the wheels reeling in his mind stopped. He stared at the disheveled man, so unlike his perfect debonair father. His eyes were swollen and red, and his whole body shook.

“Papa, I’m sorry.”

Lauritz enveloped his son in his arms. His whole body shuddered as he sobbed. Christoffer stared at his sister who hang back crying as well.

“Papa, what’s going on? Where is Lu?”

Lauritz pulled away and looked into his son’s eyes and said, “You are the crown prince now.”

“What? Father what happened tonight is my fault.” He couldn’t believe that his father had passed over Lu for the throne, just because of the accident he caused.

“Lu is dead.” Lauritz took a step back and moved towards the door. “You are Crown Prince.”

Christoffer stared at his father in disbelief until he disappeared, closing the door behind him. His breath caught in his chest as his father’s voice rang in his ears. He shook his head as tears rolled down his temples. He finally realized that his nightmares were memories.

“I want to see Lu!” He tried to get out ofbed but he couldn’t. There were too many things holding him down. “Alisa, help me!”

After a couple of sedatives from his doctor, Christoffer calmed down and fell back to sleep. The next morning he watched from his bedroom window as the procession began.

Lu’s coffin was covered in the Danish flag. It was slowly loaded onto a horse drawn carriage. Alisa and Lauritz held onto Abellona as they followed the carriage behind. His mother hadn’t been in to see him and he couldn’t blame her. He had caused her the greatest pain ever and because of that he couldn’t bring himself to look into Lu’s coffin and say goodbye.

“How did it happen?” Christoffer’s father had kept asking.

‘I don’t know’ was his only response and when he asked for his mother, his father’s response would be ‘she’s not ready to see you yet’. Christoffer knew what that meant, she hated him for killing her son and he couldn’t blame her. Chrstoffer hated himself to. He didn’t deserve her forgiveness. He didn’t deserve anyone’s forgiveness.

Christoffer covered his face as he wept, full of disgust for himself.

“Lu, I’m so sorry.”

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Next week Alma’s story!!!

 

Other work by M.O.Kenyan Shades of Spring 1964: Letters to My Daughter and you can read the first chapters of this book here . And also an intense short story Checkmate

RED TEARS BLUE BLOOD…. by M.O.Kenyan

Hi guys! Hope you are doing great this Monday morning!

I have the prologue of a new book by M.O.Kenyan which you will all love. My sister was nice enought to allow me to help out with the editing and I must confess i have been unable to put it down! It’s just so hot!!

It’s about a reckless Dainish Prince and a social Kenayn girl. Both their lives are turned upside down when they lose the ones they love and blame themselves for it. For Prince Christoffer, it was his brother Lauritz who died sheilding him during a gruesome car accident and for Alma is her boyfriend Kevin who was butchered in the dark streets of Nairobi trying to protect her from being raped by a gang of assholes!

Both these deaths affect them to the point they feel the need to run from the anything and everything that reminds them of their guilt. But the guilt still follows them. But once they meet, the seek refuge in each other and a beautiful romance develops….

Until Christoffer is named Crown Prince and his dad has got some issues about Alma, so he does everything in his power to separate them.

The lengths are self-centered, selfish ass face of a King would go to is deplorable!

It’s one hell of a love story and you’ll love the ride!

PROLOGUE

“What happened?” Abellona lifted her volume gown as her feet shuffled out the grand ballroom, her dress swishing and swashing as she quickly moved.

The grim looks on their faces and the burrow of their brows as they whispered into their radios showed they were anxious to get her out of the crowd as soon as possible; whatever they had to say to her, they were worried about how she was going to take it. The unaware guests were left waltzing under the crystal chandeliers and polished marble floors. Her husband and youngest daughter were brought to her from different directions;all of them were being hurried towards the front door.

“Speak now before I lose my patience.”  Abellona voice elevated in fear but remained strong and composed. She was sure it wasn’t a matter of security otherwise there would be an army waiting for them at the door wanting to usher out all the other dukes and duchesses in the palace.

She was never hurried out in such a panic unless it was something important, but important in a bad way.

A gut wrenching feeling told her that this had nothing to do with the state. The whole night she had looked for her sons, and them not being here only added onto her fear.

“Your highnesses, there… there is no easy way for me to tell you this…” The head of security stared past her, his clasp hands trembled. “It’s the princes… they were in an accident.”

Her heart jumped into her throat as she choked out, “What accident?”

Her husband grabbed her arm, and rushed her out of the palace door to their waiting car.

“Your highness.” the chauffer bowed slightly as he held the door open for them and then soon they were racing out the palace gates, the rain beating down on their windscreen.

Abellona took out the rosary she had tied to the skirt of her dress and grasped it tightly in her palm. In a whisper, she said a couple of Hail Mary’s, offering up trades to the Almighty for the lives of her sons.

When they got to the hospital, a throng of people were outside after the immediate evacuation. They wereimmediately ushered into the private wing.  . A team of doctors and administrators greeted them, each giving an update of the condition of the two princes.

Their overlapping voices to Abellona sounded like buzzing bees and she quickly tuned them out.

“Queen Abellona? Queen Abellona?”

She turned to the voice trying to catch her attention. Then the man began speaking, but nothing registered.

Years of training helped her maintain an expression of composurebut inside, her body was slowly giving up on her as the emotion built on, one brick after another. She needed strength, a strong pillar of support. She stretched out her arm and caught hold of her husband’s jacket sleeve.

He felt her weakness seep through into him.Placing one hand on her back and holding onto her other hand with the other, he guided her to the waiting room.

“Sit down.” Lauritzwhispered and eased her into the seat. He sat next to her, her trembling hand still clutched in his. He then turned to the doctor, “What is the situation?”

“King Lauritz, maybe we should have this conversation elsewhere.” A doctor suggested, his eyes darting to the Queen.

Lauritz took one look at his wife and the blank expression on her face spoke more to him than it did anyone else in the room. A fist of emotion squeezed his heart as he restrained himself from wrapping his arms around her and holding her as tight as he could. But he was the King; bred to be calm and in control of all situations while in public and all emotions were to be expressed in private.

Lauritz knew her emotional state but he also knew his wife, she wouldn’t allow any detail about her sons to be kept from her. She was strong, and at times stronger than he could ever be. Her strength was built on love and faith and that drove her success, his success.

“No, speak now. How are my sons?” He asked keeping a keen eye on his wife.

“Prince Christoffer did not suffer any major injuries. He just has a broken leg and arm and a few cuts and bruises. I expect in a few weeks he will make a full recovery.” He paused then took a deep breath. He spoke again, his voice down to a whisper, “It’s Prince Lauritz who we are worried about. The best doctors are operating on him right now… but it doesn’t look good.”

Lauritz clenched his free hand into a tight fist as he battled to hold his anger in. Christoffer was his youngest child.He was free spirited and no boundary could contain him. Prince Lauritz was the eldest and his heir. He was responsible and thought everything through. He was always treated differently and responsibilities had been piled on his shoulders ever since he was little. He was the crown prince and a lot was expected from him.

Alisa, the only daughter and middle child, sat next to her mother, holding onto her free trembling hand as tightly as she could. She didn’t have the strength her mother possessed. She had been shielded throughout her life and couldn’t handle any situation without her parents or brothers.

Lauritz wished he could shield her from this too,

“Papa?”she whined.

“Not now Alisa. Can we see our son, Christoffer?”

“Yes of course, he’s in recovery.” The doctor ushered them to the abandoned hospital wing.

The king stared through the glass separating him from his injured son. “How did it happen?”

“We aren’t sure,” the doctor answered as he held the door open for the king to enter. He moved to the many monitors hooked on Christoffer’s battered body, reading the monitors and scribbling on his chart.

Lauritz looked over his shoulder and barked, “Find me the driver of the tail car!” Lauritz knew the kind of fun Christoffer was into. This fun had landed him in many problems and tabloids. He had appointed a tail car to follow Christoffer wherever he went at whatever time. According to what Lauritz was led to believe, they should have been able to control the situation and the accident should have been avoided.

“What good is that going to do now?” Abellona hissed as she moved towards Christoffer’s bedside with Alisa as her crutch.

She smoothed her fingers on the bandages over her son’s head and arms. Taming her puffy dress, she lay beside him and hummed a lullaby. Abellona had sung this lullaby to all her children just as her mother had sang to her.

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Read part 2

Stay tuned for more of Christoffer’s story next Monday! The Monday after that will be Alma’s turn…. so exciting!!!!

Other work by M.O.Kenyan Shades of Spring 1964: Letters to My Daughter and you can read the first chapters of this book here . And also an intense short story Checkmate

Contact M.O.Kenyan at

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LOVE FOREVER AFTER

‘Love forever after’ is about tragedy, life and love. It does not conform to the usual lovey dovey, chocolates and flowers tradition. The show of love is trust, sacrifice and life.

 

For richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, in death and in life

Chapter One
The church bells rang loudly, filling the cold quiet dead air. It was a suitable sound track for what was happening. The scenery also looked set, especially constructed with purple flowers scattered on the ground complimenting the green grass, just for this moment, this perfect heart wrenching, dream crushing, unbearable torturous moment. It was the first scene of my
new forever lonely empty life and the last scene before the credits rolled, of our perfect loving full life.
I’ve always wondered how it felt like to loose someone close to you- a friend, a family member or a loved one- but now I know, I know the pain so well sometimes it feels like an extra limb.
A limb attached to my heart, its sole purpose is to crush, shred and rip apart my heart over and over again like a wild animal devouring a poor helpless prey just at the thought of her, or when I felt her empty side of our matrimonial bed, or when I walked around our apartment expecting to hear her laugh echo and bounce off the walls making our home warm- a home that was now empty and hollow, yes because you aren’t here to fill it my love. Every essence of you made our home full and warm, but now it was cold and empty- like me.
Who would have figured it, me empty, cold and hollow after so many years of happiness?
Our happiness was in such abundance it should have lasted forever, right?
No, not really, never because I can’t feel it now, not even a little bit.
Maybe it’s because you aren’t here… definitely because you aren’t here, what other explanation could there be?
Well it should have, after you were taken from me, the least it could have done was leave me our happiness to go along with our memories. I should remember you and feel happy, not an aching sadness, I deserve that much.
Death
I’ve felt death, when my dad died I felt its impact, but I don’t remember it being like this, intense, malicious, tormenting, painful and amusing itself by making fun of me, at how vulnerable and impairing it could make me. Someone should give it a taste of its own medicine, see how it likes it.
I looked around at the crowd surrounding the beautiful mahogany coffin. Everyone she loved, everyone who loved her was here. They were all dressed in black crying as the priest said his prayers. They were sad, sadder than I have ever seen any one of them before. They were suffering a great loss. But she wouldn’t have wanted to see any of them cry over her death but celebrate her life.
She wasn’t going to like this one bit. When I suggested a party instead of a funeral they all thought I’d lost my mind. My mother Gloria was so horrified she called a psychiatrist to come fix me, I knew it wasn’t only for my benefit; her English pride needed her son to be sane in front of all the people who would come to the funeral.
Her brother Morris and sister Sandra however agreed with me. They knew her-not as well as I did, but well enough to know what she’d want and a depressing gloomy funeral wasn’t it.
Gloria wasn’t going to let us have a party, so she took it upon herself to organise everything.
It was a classy dignified funeral; she even gave out instructions on how our family was to dress. I chuckled, knowing how much of a fight my wife would have put up against my mother and the high class funeral she had organised.
Mother moved to stand next to me; she looped her hand on my pocketed arm. She looked up at me, her eyes red and wet, her cheeks stained with tears. She must have seen me laugh, wrong move, now she was going to be my constant unshakeable companion.
They brought a basket full of lilies to me, her favourite type flowers. I looked at the person holding it; his face was glum patiently waiting for me to take one. Mother nudged me, pulling my hand out of my pocket. I reached out and took one, then moved forward and laid it on top of the coffin. I lingered over it for a while, imaging how small it could have felt for her being inside it. She hated the dark and small spaces.
It was a good thing she wasn’t inside it.
I felt a hand on my shoulder, it was Morris, and he placed his purple lily. Sandra came next. She put a white one, then leaned over it and kissed the coffin before she moved back and stood next to me. Her eyes were red, but she wasn’t crying anymore she had a smile on her face. She moved between Morris and me, and then tip toed so she could reach our ears.
“Will, if your mother finds out she’s not inside there, she’ll kill us and cram all three of our bodies in it!”
“You know she would have haunted us if we put her in a box. I’d rather face an angry Gloria.” Morris said with a chuckle, but the sadness at the edge of it was very evident.
“She’s still going to haunt us for letting mother throw her an uptight funeral.” I whispered as someone came forward and placed a lily on her coffin.
My wife was a free spirit, she hated confinement and rules. She was an earth lover, an environment activist. That’s why we cremated her and spread her ashes in the sea. It was hard for me to see her reduced to ashes but there was no better way. She would keep being a free spirit; roam the world as she got carried by the wind.
She loved helping people; that’s why I donated all her organs; she would still help them even in her death. When she gave me the organ donor forms to fill out she said, “Why burry parts that could help a person in dire need of them. As much as we don’t like it, we are all spare parts to someone else’s body.”
Well, in a way, she is still alive; inside other people her body was still alive. If only it was possible for me to share my body with her, I would always live inside my head to be with her and forget the outside world.
She was the type to chain herself to a tree or break into a cosmetic lab and free all the animals. She went by the motto ‘do unto the environment, trees and animals as you would do unto yourself’. I became a vegetarian because of that, but I always stuffed myself with burgers when she was on one of her long protesting gigs. When we got engaged, I opened an account in her name for bail money that the bank was instructed to pay immediately she wound up arrested. I wanted her to be taken care of when I was abroad doing business or
visiting my mother in England. The thought of her spending a night in jail always gave me the chills. She thought it was the most romantic wedding present she could ever get- I scored some serious points there.
We had been married for six years before this happened, before someone decided to take her away from me out of sheer selfishness.
“Will you please step back, you’re hovering!” We jumped at Gloria’s scolding voice. She was really going to run this funeral by the script. We moved back a few feet, but still stood close to each other.
I watched as they lowered the coffin into the dark hole, and got a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was gladder now that she wasn’t in it. Sandra grabbed my hand and held it tight. I looked at her. She was staring at it, pain in her eyes. Her breaths sounded short, strained. Morris put a hand over her shoulder and held her tight against him. I could see he was trying to be strong for both of them, but the loss of his younger sister was taking a toll on
him too.
“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…” the priest went on with his prayers as the coffin hit the ground. Another man stepped forward with a shovel full of red dirt. He held it in front of me and waited. I took a pinch of it then he moved to Sandra, and then Morris. The two of them moved forward and poured the sand into the hole.
I stood there frozen. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I knew she wasn’t in there, but this felt too real, too final. She was dead and never coming back. My chest tightened, all the fears of never seeing or touching her again flooded back drowning me with all the moments we would never share again. Why did she have to die? Why not me? How could I be here and she wasn’t, this wasn’t how we planned to spend the rest of our lives.
“Will…” I turned to see Sandra look up at me, “its okay she isn’t in there,” she whispered.
I nodded, she was right my wife wasn’t in there so this shouldn’t be so difficult. I took a staggering step forward and faced the dark hole. I raised my hand over it; forcing my fingers open I let the red sand flow out of it.

A long line of people followed, pouring sand into the hole as they made their way back to their cars. This was their final goodbye before everything went back to normal in their lives, but for me it was the beginning of my slow long lonely death.
I looked down at the head stone and read the beautiful engraved marble. The phrase set in stone made more sense to me now. It felt like the words were not only curved in the rock but I could feel the pounding, chipping of my heart as the words were curved in it too.
Christina Lee Stanford
Loving daughter, sister, wife and humanitarian