Thursday, November 28, 2013

Friday Flash # 71: Surviving Elsewhere, Part 19 -- Journey to the City

(Link to Part 18)

We took quickly to the sky, none of us willing to stay too long in any place now, least of all me. The cottage quickly disappeared behind us and I glanced back only once. The broom was still sweeping up the mess, but other than that, the place appeared back to normal. Good. I could stop feeling guilty. I had other things to worry about.

We continued to gain altitude, but finally leveled off well below the scattering of clouds, though still high enough that I became far too aware of how I was sitting on a flying motorcycle with nothing between me and the far ground. I grabbed tighter hold of the seat and took a few deep breaths. My heart pounded too hard, but then it had almost from the moment I crossed over into Elsewhere.

Maggie flew back and forth around us with Edmond draped around her neck and across her shoulders. He had his eyes tightly closed and I suspected every one of his claws had caught into something to hold on. Maggie's wings beat gracefully as she climbed upward again. I didn't think anything would get past her.

Davis remained bent over the handlebars, his head turning from side to side as he looked for trouble as well. Apparently everyone got paranoid around me.

We'd gone about an hour before I began to appreciate the scenery. I watched the patchwork of fields, villages and stands of trees give way now and then to a body of water. A flock of birds took to the air off to the right, lifting from a stand of trees and curving off into the sky. Some of them glittered, catching the sunlight like flying prisms. A couple of the trees seemed to be waving as we passed.

Nothing, so far, had come after us, though. I hoped we weren't far from the city now, though I had to wonder what good that would do. I seriously thought I ought to tell them to take me back to the gateway and I would cross back to the other world. I would take my chances on Sheriff Creston.

Though neither of them had said I should go back and I trusted Maggie to take care of me still. I had the feeling there was something going on they didn't understand any better than I did, in fact. Maybe that meant going back over would not be any safer.

After all, there had been Tommy Creston, hadn't there? What he'd done wasn't normal. I wished I hadn't shot him, but what would have happened if I hadn't? How many more would he have killed?

Could I have gone to the officials and told them what I saw?

Gone to Sheriff Creston and told him that his son was a monster?

It was done. There was no going back.

I don't know how long I had been staring ahead before I realized I was looking at the city. The place was huge, with multi-colored buildings rising up into the sky. It looked oddly normal, except for a definite lack of smog. Oh, and the things flying around in the air off-set that idea of normality (which I suspected I was going to have to redefine anyway). A couple winged motorcycles went past us as we neared. So did a flying carpet. I watched them head into the shadow of the city -- and in the next moment the last feeling of normality disappeared.

Two of the buildings got up and moved.

They were not small buildings, either. They were huge, towering edifices of stone and glass which had been standing sedately at the edge of town. They looked as though they rose up on legs and started walking away. I saw smaller buildings fleeing like ducks before an ocean liner and everything parted to get out of the way and then settled back into the wake.

I wanted to ask if that was normal. I decided that maybe I just didn't want to know.

Maggie swept by and pointed down. Davis nodded and we spiraled out of the air and down towards a wide green area below. There were a few others around but no one seemed to take special notice of us.

I got off the motorcycle and gave it a friendly pat. It had been the best, calmest few hours I'd had in Elsewhere.

Maggie landed lightly beside me. Edmond opened his eyes and looked around.

"Ground," he said with the reverence some people use for chocolate or cheesecake. "Down and safe. I hate flying."

He pushed off of Maggie's shoulders and landed on the grass where he promptly rolled over and spread his legs out as though he was doing an odd version of snow angels without the snow.

Maggie rubbed at her neck. "He's heavier than he looks," she said but smiled. "I saw the towers take off as soon as we came within range. I don't think that was a coincidence."

"I was thinking the same thing," Davis agreed. "Where do we go from here."

"I think we should head straight for the court," she said. "You don't have to come along, Davis."

"I'll walk with you," he said. "It's a long ways between here and the court, and this boy is a magnet for trouble."

"What should I do?" I asked.

"Just be ready for trouble," Maggie said. But she smiled again, too. "Whatever is going on, once we get you to the court, they'll figure it out and fix it."

She sounded very assured, but I couldn't help but notice that Davis didn't look as certain. Not only that, but the buildings were still moving. Someone wanted to know I was here.

That couldn't be good.

To Be Continued. . . .

968 words

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Friday Flash # 70: Surviving Elsewhere, Part 18-- Teeth and Claws

(Link to Part 17)

I threw myself backwards out of the reach of claws and teeth; the thing that had been Davis a moment ago was now tall, lean and furred.

Did I mention the teeth and claws?

I knew better than to try and fight without a weapon. The creature launched from the cycle, which wobbled slightly and then rolled away in haste. Maggie shouted from above, and I barely had enough sense not to take my eyes off the latest enemy. I dropped below his leap and he went over the top of me. I kicked when I turned since he wasn't fully recovered yet.

No, I didn't harbor any belief that I could win this battle. The thing was huge and mostly muscle. I had started moving sideways, hoping I could get to the cottage and inside, though I had a sudden vision of being one of the three little piggies with a wolf at the door.

The thing howled and leapt. If I dropped this time, it would land straight on top of me and I would have no chance to defend myself. I had to stand my ground, though I thought my heart would stop when I saw the mouth open wide and two sets of clawed hands come at me.

There was no way I could survive the attack --

Except I wasn't alone.

Maggie swept in and hit the thing across the head with her staff. The blow was hard enough to stagger him, and the thing let out a yip that would have put a dog to shame. It didn't go down but the attack had stunned the creature and this was the best chance I would have. I made a quick look around -- I couldn't get back to the cottage, but I did see a broken branch where it hadn't been cleaned up from the flowerbed.

I leapt aside and bent over to grab the branch. Maggie flapped overhead, her shadow passing over us as I swung the branch. I hit him in the shoulder and he leapt back with a quieter growl, dark brown eyes narrowed in anger.

I still wasn't going to be able to take the thing. It had both brute force and intelligence. It was staying out of reach of the branch, obviously knowing I wouldn't have the strength to hold it up for long.

Maggie swept in again, but this time the creature ducked and she skimmed over the top with a curse. I could see how she couldn't maneuver in too tight a turn and had to pull up to avoid the cottage.

The creature, which didn't really look like any animal in particular, though I kept thinking werewolf, bent his knees, preparing to leap. I put the branch up, ready to swing, trying to force myself to be calm and steady. I met his eyes and he blinked. I think he expected me to be terrified, and I would have been if I had a moment to long to stop and think.

It moved and I started to swing -- and realized the creature had faked me out. I couldn't stop the motion and put myself off balance trying to pull back. I went down to one knee and the creature launched himself with a scream of pleasure. He had me.

Before I could react, claws dug into my upraised arm and I dropped the branch I was holding with the other. I tried to shove at the creature --

Maggie screamed, probably unsettling me more than my enemy, though he did turn his head with a snarl that showed far too many sharp teeth. Maggie's shadow passed overhead again and the staff swung and missed.

Edmond did not. He'd launched himself from Maggie's shoulder and landed, with all claws out, across the top of the thing's head. Claws dug furrows across the forehead and nose, perhaps even catching an eye. Edmond was moving too fast to stop and he tumbled on across to the ground while the thing howled in pain and rage. Blood flowed down the face and blinded him --

I grabbed the limb and swung. My own arm ached and my body trembled with the pain, but I had my chance. I hit him across the side of the head and he staggered back, shaking his head and eyes narrowing. I moved in and hit him again because I wasn't going to get much better of a chance --

The motorcycle engine roared.

"Out of the way, Mark!" Maggie shouted.

I wasn't sure where the cycle was, but I moved anyway. It turned out to be behind the creature and with a screech of tires, it leapt forward and ran into him, sending the thing into the air.

The cycle didn't have a rider, but I did see Davis -- I hoped the real Davis -- stepping out of he cottage. He had a hand to the back of his head and a look of grim pleasure as the creature landed on it's back and had an obviously hard time getting back up. I had moved in again and was ready to swing, but the thing made one small growl, spun and ran with a looping, limping step in the opposite direction.

I went back to my knees. I stayed there, stunned and thinking maybe if I didn't move nothing else would come after me. Just stay very small and very still.

Edmond reached me first. He was limping, too, but he had the look of a very satisfied cat.

"Thank you, Edmond," I said and ran a shaky hand down his back. He gave a slight purr.

Maggie landed a couple steps away and by then Davis and the cycle had both reached us.

"Let me see your arm," Davis said. He had gotten his supplies and knelt down to take care of the claw marks. "Not too bad. Let's get you bandaged and we can go."

Before anything else happened. I didn't argue.


996 words
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Sunday, November 17, 2013

New Release: Don't go Home for the Holidays!

The year is 1996 and the Sangre sisters think they work for the UN However, when things get out of hand over the Christmas holidays, they learn they're in the employ of aliens and their lives are about to become extremely complicated with mutants, time travel and psychic crossword puzzle books.

This book is intended to be silly, so abandon logic and have fun.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Merry Go Round Tour #28: The Projects of 2013

With only about 85k to go to reach 1 million new words this year, you can imagine that I've done a lot of projects. Not so many as you might think, though. A novel a month? It's possible for a first draft if you are really dedicated and writing has become your profession. You also have to want to write them, and not spend your time surfing the web, watching shows you don't particularly like, etc. Not many people can devote the amount of time I have to writing. I'm lucky.

If the first drafts are near or over 100k, you only need ten of them and there you are at the one million mark. However things are never that easy. For me, this year meant a lot of editing as well. I compare the original count to the new count. Sometimes there are new words, sometimes not.

If I am rewriting from scratch, though, I count them all. That's when I either write an outline based on the earlier story or I take the book, read a page and rewrite it. Those are drastic projects.

This years projects included getting something ready for publication each month.

The fiction publications were:

  1. Mirrors (Urban Fantasy)
  2. Vita's Vengeance (Science Fiction)
  3. Paid in Gold and Blood (Fantasy)
  4. Devlin's Team 2: Farewell to Summer (Science Fiction)
  5. Xenation: Draw the Line (Science Fiction)
  6. Waiting for the Last Dance (Contemporary Young Adult)
  7. Playing with Fire (Shorter, Science fiction)
  8. Badlands (Science Fiction)
  9. For the Honor of the Hunt (Collection, Science Fiction)
  10. Don't Go Home for the Holidays (November release, Science Fiction, Humor)
  11. Journey to Winter (December release, Fantasy)

(Link to all my work on Smashwords, which has formats for Kindle, Nook, Sony, Kobo and more)
So, besides those books, all of which were edited before publication, there were the last three 2YN books, a short book on writing short stories, and two issues of Vision in ebook format. That's probably enough work for anyone.

But those aren't the first drafts for the year. I started the year with the third Summerfield novel. I have the 4th ready in outline for the last of NaNo. I did a number of rewrites from scratch, including Badlands and a couple others that are on the published list, which then had to go through editing as well. Other new stuff included The Legend of Tom Luck, Connor of Northgate, Whispers of the Past, The Path: Ost, and a couple others that I can't call to mind right now.

(To be honest, this is mid-NaNo. I've already written over 100k, and it's a wonder I have a brain left at all.)

There is one project this year that I've found a lot of fun. I started by writing Flash Fiction every Friday. A couple months ago, I changed that into a flash serial series called Surviving Elsewhere. It has been a real challenge to write an entry that is right around 1k and have something exciting happen each time. I expect it to go for at least a year and then I'll probably rework it into a novel. I'm not sure. The serial is here on the blog and the link to all the sections is up above.

I have made a good dent on my 50 year project (also see link above). How will next year go? I have an outline ready to start on January 1. After that I have no idea what I'll do yet. Let's survive NaNo first. Which means . . . Yes. Time to get back to writing.

Friday Flash # 69: Surviving Elsewhere, Part 17 -- Back to the Cottage

(I will be using this picture for the next few weeks since I do not have time to do new artwork)

(Link to Part 16)

I didn't rest for long. Maggie landed beside me and went to her knees, and her wings drooped. I felt badly about everything, and didn't want to be more trouble. So I pushed myself over and sat up.

Edmond came over and rubbed against my arm and I almost went back down, but I was glad to hear his purr.

"Glad to see you're okay, Edmond," I said with a bow of my head in his direction. "Maggie --"

"We have to go." She sounded apologetic. "I need to get you somewhere safe. Somewhere with others to keep watch."

"To the city?" Edmond asked. I couldn't tell from his tone if this would be good or bad.

"I have friends there." She frowned "And I have enemies as well. And then there is the Council. I'd rather not go to them with this yet."

"They are bound to know something is going on. A storm like that one had to draw attention. And I felt something very powerful where you two went --"

"A dark path," Maggie said, using her staff to struggle back to her feet.

"Dark path," Edmond repeated, his voice softer. "You're lucky you didn't get sucked in --"

"We got in and back out," Maggie replied. She offered me a hand and smiled -- but I could see a hint of panic in her eyes.

"Wow," Edmond said. He sounded shocked. And he looked worried, with his ears back and his tail twitching.

Maggie pulled me to my feet. I looked back over the brook towards the distant trees and felt as though something dark and dangerous lurked there, ready to come after me again.

Or maybe I was paranoid. I feared what I would be like after a week here. A month sounded far too dangerous. But I had already stayed so long that I couldn't go back home. I was changed in ways I couldn't begin to name. When I thought about it, I felt as though I tingled. I wanted to talk to Maggie and understand what as happening, but right now the best I could do was put one foot in front of the other. I wanted to think

We began trudging over the slick, wet grasslands. At the top of the first hummock, I could see the remains of the cottage. When we reached the next rise, I saw something astounding; Davis was there, waving an arm to the tree, which stood up again, tottered briefly, and then seemed to settle.

By the time we were in hailing range, the broom was busy sweeping away the path and Davis was inside straightening stuff up.

"Sorry," I said looking at the damage, though much of it had already been repaired.

"Nothing that can't be fixed," Davis said. He glanced my way. "Mark --"

"I know. I'm a magnet for trouble."

Maggie told him what had happened, his eyebrow raising when she got to the part about the Dark Path. I repeated everything that had been said, but they were both shaking their heads in worry by the end.

"I'm taking him to the city," Maggie said. She sounded more certain than she had after we escaped the Dark Path. "We all know there's something more going on here that we aren't seeing. I'm going to get him to town where I can get help."

Davis glanced my way, his eyes narrowed. "I'll take Mark on the cycle. Otherwise you'll have to walk, and I don't think that's safe. Edmond, you want to ride in the pack on the cycle or let Maggie carry you?"

I thought Maggie was going to argue for a moment, maybe because Davis had made the decision without asking her. Then, however, she glanced my way and gave a quick, emphatic nod. Apparently the idea of getting me to the city as quickly as possible seemed like a good idea to her.

Edmond must have been waiting to see how this played out. "I'll go with Maggie. I like being able to see," he said. "Even if we are flying. And you might need an extra set of eyes on this one."

Because even I wasn't naïve enough to think we'd be safe in the sky.

We ate a quick meal before we took off, and Davis took care of a few more things at his cottage. I heard him puttering around, not as upset as I would have been, though once when he was in the bedroom something crashed and I thought I heard the start of a curse.

"Davis?" Maggie asked.

"It's all right," he called back out. "We'll leave in a few minutes."

The place felt calmer, and the last of the birds and pixies rushed out from under the bed and headed outside again. When we stepped outside, the night had only a few fleecy clouds and the sunset looked pretty. I tried to appreciate the peace and the beauty, but I still felt spooked by even the slightest breeze.

Davis went off towards a shed with a distracted nod. I had the feeling he couldn't wait to get rid of me, though at least the cottage looked almost back to normal, and even the tree looked good.

Maggie scooped up Edmond who gave a resigned sigh as he draped himself across her shoulders. She smiled at me and patted the cat's head. "I'm going up to look around."

She took off and I waited for Davis. He rolled the cycle out of the shed and pushed it up to where I crossed to him. I wondered why he hadn't just called it, like before.

"Climb on," he said and swung up before I answered. I swore the cycle gave a little shiver. Probably as upset about what was happening as everything else around me.

I don't know what made me pause and look into Davis's face, but when I did, I backed away in haste.

"Maggie! It's not Davis!"

The thing on the cycle growled and changed.


998 words
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Thursday, November 07, 2013

Friday Flash # 68: Surviving Elsewhere, Part 16 -- Escape

(I will be using this picture for the next few weeks since I do not have time to do new artwork)

(Link to Part 15)

I felt as though a rope of fire had caught me around the ankles and I was falling, though there was no sensation of actually going downward. If I hadn't been watching the opening and the way out, I would have completely lost all direction again.

I grabbed hold of Maggie when she started to slip away from me. Everything had happened so quickly that I didn't even have a chance to yell in protest though.

Something bounded over us. I felt a foot land on my back, shoving me farther into the dark.

"Hold on to me!" Maggie shouted and my fingers tightened on her arm in reflex and fear.

The 'rope' continued to pull us into the darkness and then released at the moment the figure leapt out into the light, moving so quickly I still couldn't get a clear look at it. I nearly cursed, desperately wanting to know who my enemy might be.

Then I saw that the slit of light was starting to close.

"Maggie!" I shouted.

Maggie was already moving, and dragging me with her. She had unfurled her wings and they gave great, huge flaps, the feathers brushing against my shoulders. We moved faster, but the slit of light began to shrink and I feared we could not both go out.

"Go!" I said, trying to pull free of her.

But Maggie had a different idea. She shifted her hold on me, and then tossed me ahead and out. I landed with one arm breaking my fall and felt a pain rush up through me shoulder again, though I paid that no attention. Rolling, I looked back to see the opening squeezing down, already so small I could barely see Maggie's arm, still reaching for me --

I reached in and grabbed her. "I won't let go!" I shouted. "I won't lose you."

The black closed in around my arm like a vise, tightening until I feared I would lose the arm from my elbow down. I could feel Maggie trying to jerk free, but I refused to let go, which was madness on my part.

"Maggie!" I shouted in fear and yanked --

And she came out. I wasn't even certain the dark opened to let her through. She surged forward and tumbled out over the top of me, landing in the dirt and mud much as I had a moment before. In the next heartbeat, the black shrank and disappeared with a sound like a balloon popping.

We were out. We were safe. Maggie gasped as she got to her knees, looking around with worry. I'd forgotten that our enemy had gone out ahead of us and might be ready to attack. The fear of facing an enemy again almost made me crazy. I understood paranoia far better than I had ever expected.

Maggie rose slowly to her feet, her wings folding to her back. I stood as well, still watching the woods and glancing at the sky where even a hint of a small cloud had me looking for cover. I needed to get control.

"We have to get away from here," Maggie said softly. She caught hold of my arm, as though I would protest. "Back to the cottage."

"Is it safe?" I asked, looking around frantically. I thought something moved in the woods, but it might have been the pixies she'd saved. I hoped so. I needed a little calm.

"Nothing appears to be safe," Maggie said, pulling me along just as she had in the darkness. "But it's the closest place to go. I think Davis might be back by now, too. He'll be able to help."

"Good." I would agree to anything, to be honest. My mind and body were too battered to disagree over anything right now. I needed rest. I needed calm.

We walked across rain slicked grass and weeds, up and down hummocks that I hadn't noticed in the hold of the elemental. A couple rabbits darted off as we neared, startling the hell out of me. Even a slight breeze had me looking for an enemy. I needed to calm down, and I feared I wouldn't any time soon. This place was making me crazy.

"Should I go back over, Maggie?" I asked. "Should I go home? I keep running into more trouble on this side. I'm not prepared to deal with this kind of stuff. Why is it happening to me?"

I had started sounding like a kid there, so I took a few breaths and tried desperately to find some adult way to handle this, when I really wanted to sit down and sulk.

"I don't know what's going on, Mark," she said and I grunted a reply, starting to lose what little strength I'd had from fear and adrenaline. My feet dragged and her hand kept me moving now. "This isn't normal."

"Not?" I said, too tired to form more than a single word.

"Not," she replied.

We reached the edge of the brook, still rushing with too much water. I was too tired to do more than mutter a curse and wonder if we might rest here until the water went down. Then I looked over my shoulder and worried about what might be following us.

"I'm going to carry you across," Maggie said and already caught hold of me under the arms. "I won't be able to carry you far, though."

"Maggie --" I stared to protest, but not in time. Her wings unfurled and she lifted me off the ground with huge flaps and a little kick. We barely skirted over the top of the water and then she dropped me into the mud and muck on the other side. I laid there thinking this was good enough. I could rest.

"Hey Mark," Edmond said, suddenly at my side. "You better get up. You don't want to be here when the water nymphs wake up."

I thought about tossing him in the water. I really did.

997 words

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Friday, November 01, 2013

Friday Flash # 67: Surviving Elsewhere, Part 15 -- Darkness

(I will be using this picture for the next few weeks since I do not have time to do new artwork)

       (Link to Part 14)

       The darkness echoed the words of whatever followed us, whispering at a promise I didn't truly trust. I still couldn't be certain the things was human -- human-like, at least -- or something else entirely. Should I trust the words that implied it would not attack? That we could leave this black, emptiness?

Maggie had stared into the darkness for a long, silent time. I couldn't tell if seconds or minutes had passed. But she nodded finally in the direction where the voice had been, as though she could tell the truth of what had been said.

Then she took hold of my arm again, and we turned the way we had been going. Or so I assumed. I was still too disorientated to tell one direction from another. I had to trust that Maggie would see me safely out of this darkness, just as I had promised to see her safely home on that night of my birthday, so many years ago.

Somewhere else, and a place I could never go back to.

Thinking of home had not been such a good idea. I hadn't expected to feel such sudden, overwhelming depression. I wanted to go to my knees and weep at the loss of everything I would never have back. So much I should have done differently. So much I could have changed. And the thought of killing Tommy drove the pain through my heart. How could I have taken his life? How could pulled that trigger. I didn't deserve to survive --

Somewhere in my mind, I knew this wasn't natural. The wave of loss and depression felt like a blanket trying to smother me. I suddenly fought to push it aside, letting anger -- another strong emotion -- push aside the depression.

I wasn't the only one under attack. I felt Maggie's slim fingers tighten on my arm and then start to let go as she took a ragged breath --

"No!" I grabbed tight hold of her arm this time. "No, it's not real."

"Mark?" she said. Tears ran down her face. "I'm so sorry, Mark. I brought you into Elsewhere. I should never have --"

I shook her. "Stop it, Maggie! I think we're under attack!"

She gasped and blinked, her eyes going from loss to anger in one blink. She looked over her shoulder again. "No, whatever you are. No. Not that easy."

She started away again at such a steady, fast pace that I had trouble keeping up with her. She had thrown off the depression faster than I could. I still feared too much, I think. But I held on to her now, and tried to keep up. But when I looked down for a moment --

"What the hell are those, Maggie?" I asked.

"Those?" she said, confused.

I nodded down at my feet. She looked and stopped.

Little balls of darkness were moving in odd, braiding movements at our feet. While I watched, one suddenly burst into bright light and I thought I saw the flutter of wings.

"Oh!" Maggie sounded surprised. "I think they're pixies, Mark. They must be trapped here. Yes, stay with us, little ones. Hold on. We're going out."

I hadn't known we were so close. Three steps and I could see a thin line of light, bright and blue as though we looked up at the sky. I laughed and thought I could hear the sound echoed at my feet.

"Keep hold," Maggie said softly, close to my ear. "We cannot trust it."

I took a breath to calm myself and looked down. The balls of dark stuff clung to may pant legs. Should I trust them, either? So much I didn't understand. So much I needed to learn before anything else happened. But I'd hardly had a chance to take a breath before the next problem hit. I couldn't believe stepping out of the darkness and into the light was going to be any better.

"Are things always this crazy here?" I asked at last.

"No," she said. She gave me an odd little glance and then turned back to the slit of light, which was growing larger as we got closer. "There's something odd happening, Mark. I'm worried. I think Edmond is, too."

I wanted to ask more, but then I decided it might not be a good idea to distract her right now and I didn't want whatever was still behind us (because it was there) to hear too much of what we said. Get out of one mess first, and then worry about what was going to happen next.

We were closer. I could see the shape of trees now. The blue was a cloudless sky, so the sudden storm had disappeared as quickly as it came. No surprise there, either. Everything seemed to happen quickly and with little logic in Elsewhere.

"Go, little ones. Out first," Maggie said when we were no more than a step away. I thought she sounded breathless. I didn't know what it took for her to get us here, and I didn't want to lose our chance to get out, though. I could hear the thing coming behind us.

"I know," Maggie said when I gave a slight twist of my head to indicated the sound. "We're almost there."

The little black balls began to leap out the opening, and as they did, the black fell away like dust and I saw bright colors darting straight for the woods. There had been more of them than I thought, and for a moment they made a rainbow line of luminous color as they escaped.

Maggie glanced my way and mouthed the world 'together' without saying it aloud. I gave a slight nod. When she moved, so did I.

But we were not fast enough. The think behind us let out a shout of anger and I felt something grab hold of me, and of Maggie, trying to drag us back into the darkness.

998 Words
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