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Literature
Fellowship Lost, Chapter 23, Part 7
John felt his bowels loosen, his knees buckle. His muscles forgot to hold his spine upright. First his shoulder, and then his hip connected with the stairway wall. He slumped, maintained his balance, but just. He sucked in air to scream—then couldn’t do that either.
It all happened in an instant, but felt like a year.
Not one cognizant thought raced through John’s head. Thinking took time, and there was none to spare. With nothing to fill his neuro-pathways, the synapses remained open and waiting, ready to pour power from the portion of his brain that had been trained to do impossible things. The floodgates opened on their own, sending a surge of electrical energy jangling through his nervous system.
There was no question what to do with it.
John caught his brother.
He never moved a muscle. But he caught him—inches before Scott would have crashed into the concrete steps, tumbled, breaking bones and skin, crushing vertebrae, rattling brain cells, shredding flesh
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Literature
Fellowship Lost, Chapter 23, Part 6
Asher bounced his head in a steady rhythm against the back of the carseat while he sucked on his two middle fingers. Together, the acts were meant to comfort. They did ease the shudders in his belly, but couldn’t drive them away. Nothing could. He needed someone to explain to him what that sound was that had filled his ears back at the pretty yellow house. A bang-whomp-thud-gong kind of noise. Followed by a deep, deep quiet. More than silence. Emptiness. Why did the memory of it make him shiver? Why did it keep repeating over and over, like an echo inside a well? And why was he sure—terrifyingly sure—his Da was bouncing his head against something, too?
   
Asher hadn’t been able to speak or think clearly since the nasty noise had exploded into his thoughts.  His head was throbbing with an icy pain, the kind he’d felt when his brother let him suck too long on a popsicle. Only worse. This pain didn’t just freeze his tongue. It reached do
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Mature content
Fellowship Lost, Chapter 32, Part 5 :icondenlm:denlm 0 4
Mature content
Fellowship Lost, Ch 32, Part 4 :icondenlm:denlm 1 9
Mature content
Fellowship Lost, Ch 32, Prt 3 :icondenlm:denlm 1 13
Mature content
Wednesday's Child :icondenlm:denlm 2 7
Mature content
Job Security :icondenlm:denlm 7 31
My newest grandbaby by denlm My newest grandbaby :icondenlm:denlm 1 13
Literature
Fellowship Lost, Ch 32, Pt 2
"Oo ga t' ill im."
The words were strained as though they had scant breath behind them, and Dina's ears were still ringing with shock. Still, she understood what he was saying. It echoed her intentions of just moments before. I've got to kill him.
But not this man.
The voice pleading with her was speaking in Zach's gravelly tones. The emaciated figure lying motionless on the hospital bed wore her father's distinctive features—the same blue eyes, same square jaw, same high forehead. Scarred but unmistakable. So unmistakable, Dina had nearly taken his life with a lightening bolt to the brain. She had halted only long enough to rub salt in the old bastard's wounds.
A desire to have the last word. That was all that had stood between minutes of continued existence for the man in the bed and final oblivion.
No, this was not Zach Karson, but she wasn't sure she shouldn't kill him anyway.
Like Treece and Reid Teller. Like Mun and Tem. But instead of borrowing J
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Mature content
Fellowship Lost, Ch 32 :icondenlm:denlm 2 18
Mature content
jax.com, Ch 6, Pt 2 :icondenlm:denlm 3 22
Mature content
Fellowship Lost, Ch 31 :icondenlm:denlm 2 19
Literature
Brides of Avermore, Ch 10
Beatrice did the math in her head. She was good with sums—had been from the moment her pa had put her to work tallying mugs of grog versus coins tendered down at Whistler's Tavern.
She made the calculations quickly. The Lord had asked three questions out of his allotted five, and she had passed on one. That gave him two more arrows to loose, and she had enough passes left to dodge them both. She sighed with relief. Bea Whistler had secrets of her own to keep and she feared the man was closer to one of them than he knew.
She was approaching the entrance of the dining hall when Lord Avermore stepped to her side. "You can rest easy," he murmured. "I shall ask nothing more."
Bea stumbled and Edmund caught her elbow for the second time that night.
"S'cuse me?"
"You said 'pass'. Then you sighed. I fancy myself an intelligent man so I deduce by those actions that you do not appreciate the direction of my questions. I shall ask no others."
"Humph. Matters not to me," she lied. Then she pu
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Mature content
jon.com, Ch 9, Pt 2 :icondenlm:denlm 1 8
Mature content
Fellowship Lost, Ch 30, Pt 1,2 :icondenlm:denlm 1 15
Mature content
jax.com, Ch 6 :icondenlm:denlm 2 15

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John felt his bowels loosen, his knees buckle. His muscles forgot to hold his spine upright. First his shoulder, and then his hip connected with the stairway wall. He slumped, maintained his balance, but just. He sucked in air to scream—then couldn’t do that either.

It all happened in an instant, but felt like a year.

Not one cognizant thought raced through John’s head. Thinking took time, and there was none to spare. With nothing to fill his neuro-pathways, the synapses remained open and waiting, ready to pour power from the portion of his brain that had been trained to do impossible things. The floodgates opened on their own, sending a surge of electrical energy jangling through his nervous system.

There was no question what to do with it.

John caught his brother.

He never moved a muscle. But he caught him—inches before Scott would have crashed into the concrete steps, tumbled, breaking bones and skin, crushing vertebrae, rattling brain cells, shredding flesh like flowers petals against sandpaper. Now, instead of laying sprawled atop the corpse at John’s feet, Scott hovered just above it, limp, unmoving—but whole and unbloodied. Like a sleeper in a hammock.

Shock, John thought finally.

Shock and surprise had saved his brother’s life. Or at the very least, from life in a wheelchair. A crippled Zach Karson would have appreciated the irony.

Zach, was John’s next coherent thought.

He knew in his gut it was the old man. Little Jay Bird had to gather up his testicles and act. Now.

hold on scott do not quit on me you hear?

Scott didn’t respond, but John could feel a railroad spike of pain radiating from the back of his brother’s head. If you feel pain, you’re living. Right?

John considered the best way to shift the body suspended in the air before him. He stepped back slowly into the gloom, towing Scott with him as he moved. This would be tricky. He had to keep an eye on the top of the stairs, the most likely place for Zach to be lurking. At the same time, he had to place his feet carefully. If he stumbled and lost his concentration, Scott could still fall to the concrete floor. Depending on how serious his head injury was, any drop could be catastrophic.

What if Zach is already down here? Behind you, dude? He could have hit Scott with something he lifted from the floor in the hall above. John had seen the old bastard do just that kind of kinetic trick before. Focus now. Panic later.

His heel came up against something hard, and he reached back with his hand. Not a wall. Some sort of counter. Metal. Solid. Sturdy. He moved along it gingerly, tapping lightly with the side of his foot until he encountered air. Still no movement from the staircase. If John had reached the corner of the counter, perhaps he could get them both behind it for cover. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could support Scott’s weight with his mind alone. And he might need that organ for something more defensive very soon.

John pivoted slowly, trying to keep an eye on the stairway and his brother’s dangling body at the same time. Scott was not much more than a dark shadow in a room filled with them. At some point since being caught in John’s mental net, his legs had started to bend at the knees, a sign that the power it was taking to hold him up and keep him moving was beginning to flag. A half dozen backward steps more and John felt something press into his back just above his waist. A horizontal joist of some sort, he thought. He groped with his hand but felt only metal mesh above, and empty air below. Some kind of raised walkway? he wondered. Scott had yet to make the full turn around the counter. Shift over, little brother, John thought. Come on now. Almost  there. The body pivoted like the needle on a compass. John coaxed it back toward him, until the darkness swallowed them. Good enough, he thought, and carefully let his power drain away, reaching out to find his brother’s head and cradle it in his palms. The rest of the body settled gently to the floor.

He knew he shouldn’t be moving him so much—if Scott had a neck injury, he ought to be kept still unless it was an emergency. Pretty sure Webster’s Unabridged would say this qualifies. He felt along his brother’s neck to his shoulders, slipped his hands under his armpits and pulled. Scott wasn’t a large man, but he was dead weight. John had to crouch, put his knees and heels into it, before finally inching him back far enough to clear the corner of the counter. A few feet more and they were under the joist—or shelf, or catwalk—as concealed as time and strength would allow.

It might have been luck. Or wicked calculating timing. John had no more settled back on his haunches to massage his temples then a disembodied voice rolled through the room, seeming to come from nowhere in particular, or everywhere at once. A soft baritone. Youthful. Almost playful.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are.”

“Wha….?” John murmured, without thinking. He was more puzzled than panicked. Who the hell is that?
Yep. I'm back. Again. Sorry to see so many of my old friends have also gone awol over the last hectic years. If you've been watching, I've posted several new sections of Fellowship Lost this past month. I am determined to finish it up, publish it, and move on to one of my many other unfinished manuscripts, probably The Brides of Avermore.

Here's an update of what's been going on in my world since last we chatted:

My son and wife gave birth to my fifth grand kiddo: James Stephen. The cutie is now a year old; his sister is nearly three.

I retired from my professional career as an ad agency copywriter and freelance advertising gal.

I moved to Minnesota to be closer to my daughter's fam, including the three original grands.

I am dabbling with community theater again, just helping out, with an eye to directing. The ultimate goal: help provide the sponsorship and fundraising materials that let the local thespian group purchase a rundown old theater and turn it into their new home base.

Lost 100 pounds and look and feel younger than ever. Having no stress from the previous grind of working in a pressure cooker ad agency has helped too! Nothing makes you feel peppier than getting up when you please and not facing other-people's deadlines.

Am struggling to find a writing group to share my work with and gain valuable critiques. Three local groups just aren't panning out. One seems on the verge of disbanding and isn't really my genre; another emphasizes how to sell your novels--not how you can improve them; and the last is made up of mostly rookies who write hunting and fishing articles. (I did mention I moved to Minnesota, right?) Sad to say, nothing comes close to the old dA... which appears to have died off in my absence.

That about covers it. Hope to recapture some of the old magic here. Wish me luck! 
  • Listening to: The AC
  • Reading: A Killer's Mind
  • Watching: Reruns of Dexter on Netflix
  • Playing: eenie meanie minie mo with story ideas
  • Eating: Braut stew
  • Drinking: Lemon water
Asher bounced his head in a steady rhythm against the back of the carseat while he sucked on his two middle fingers. Together, the acts were meant to comfort. They did ease the shudders in his belly, but couldn’t drive them away. Nothing could. He needed someone to explain to him what that sound was that had filled his ears back at the pretty yellow house. A bang-whomp-thud-gong kind of noise. Followed by a deep, deep quiet. More than silence. Emptiness. Why did the memory of it make him shiver? Why did it keep repeating over and over, like an echo inside a well? And why was he sure—terrifyingly sure—his Da was bouncing his head against something, too?
   
Asher hadn’t been able to speak or think clearly since the nasty noise had exploded into his thoughts.  His head was throbbing with an icy pain, the kind he’d felt when his brother let him suck too long on a popsicle. Only worse. This pain didn’t just freeze his tongue. It reached down and froze his heart. He couldn’t holler to the women in the front seat to go, go, go. To fly like a little gold bird. To rush like the wind through swaying trees reaching for the sky. To warn them it was no longer a beautiful, beautiful day.
     
He could only bounce and suck. Faster. Harder.  

Mama caught his eye in the rearview mirror. She frowned.

oh my little man what is wrong?

She bit her lip and tipped her head to one side.

are you seeing something feeling something?

He wanted to answer her. He tried and tried, but his words stayed stuck.

are you trying to be brave?

Mama withdrew her thoughts for a moment, distracted by something that seemed to puzzle her. She turned briefly to the woman in the passenger seat. “Lorin, do you hear that? That… knocking? Is that the engine? I swear, the last thing we…”

Then mama jerked, as though she’d been poked with a pin.

“Oh hell. Oh god. Oh no.”

Her gaze leaped back to the mirror. Asher took his fingers from his mouth for a moment. Then two moments. His mother gave him a tight smile and a quick nod. He sighed.

She spoke again to the woman at her side, but this time Mama kept her eyes locked on the road ahead—a road beginning to fill with rush-hour traffic. “Lorin, buckle up.”

Then she did something with her hands and feet that Asher couldn’t see, but definitely could feel as his little body lurched back into the carseat. The motion made him miss a beat and forget to bounce his head.

That was okay though. Mama had heard. Asher might not know what bang-whomp-thud meant, but Mama did.

Mama knew.
Hello, helllloooo. Anybody out there?

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John waited for his brother to catch up to him at the stairs. The hall behind them was dim and empty; the steps leading down from where they stood were darker still. But he could see a pale something huddled at the bottom. Or maybe crouching.

“Hello?” he called out.

The something didn’t stir.

“What do you think?”

Scott pointed to his glasses, index finger extended, thumb cocked. He chuckled grimly. “You’re asking me?”

John bent from the waist, leaning out over the stairs to try and get a better look. It wouldn’t be the first time he wished Zach had robbed him of something less useful than his depth perception. His left hand, maybe. “Don’t see any more blood up here.” He jerked his chin at the gloom below. “Logic says that’s a body.” He straightened. “But alive? Dead? Or even human—I mean, it all looks like soup to me. Could be a victim bleeding out. Could be the guy who bled him, hoping to take a pint from us, too.” He clenched his jaw, and waited for Scott to tell him what to do.

It didn’t happen.

John thought he knew why. He’s afraid it’s Dina. He turned to study his brother’s face. Then corrected himself: He’s afraid Dina may be the killer. Either way, he doesn’t know how he’ll handle it. The usually confident Consult was willing to give up a bit of authority to the man who believed in her without question. Who wouldn’t drop her in her tracks without being sure.

John shifted his gaze to the dark hall over Scott’s shoulder, then back down to the motionless bundle of unknown below. “Okay,” he conceded. “We could try to read its mind from here, but that won’t be much help. No thoughts could mean unconscious, dead or a strong psy capable of walling us out. Or a pile of old rags. So.” He inhaled deeply, and took the first step.

When Scott made a move to follow, he motioned him back. “At least one of us should stay clear, in case you’re right and it’s a trap.”

Scott paused, maybe considered taking back the reins. In the end, he nodded. “Be ready to go hot at a moment’s notice,” he advised. “And if you sense trouble. I mean, anything, I can be beside you in seconds. Don’t be a hero.”

“I’m not very good at it anyway,” John agreed. He turned back to the stairs and descended another step. “We’re stronger together,” he murmured to himself. “Stronger together.”

Halfway down, he wrinkled his nose, and lifted his arm to smother the smell with his sleeve: it was the metallic tang of blood. And something more. “Oh, hell,” he groaned.

“What’s wrong?” Scott called down.

John took the remaining stairs quickly, in case he could give his brother a different answer.

He lifted his leg high to step over the body curled at his feet. He took in the details as he clambered past, hoping against hope: Arms akimbo. One leg tucked up under the torso; another bent awkwardly at the knee—the blood-soaked trouser leg empty from the ankle down. Pale hooked hands. Pale, pale empty face. Definitely male. Eyes staring, unseeing. Still, John crouched and took ahold of the man’s wrist. Cold, damp flesh. No pulse.

“Shit. Damn. Son of bitch,” he chanted softly to himself. He raised his voice, calling back up the stairs. “We’re too late again, Scott.” He rose quickly to his feet, hyperaware of the shadows, the echo of his words bouncing around the too-big, too-dark space that surrounded him. “Don’t come down yet,” he cautioned. “Let me find a light, check for danger.”

He glanced up to tell Scott to look for a switch up there, as well. His mouth opened, but the words jammed tight in his throat. A large black five-pointed star was cartwheeling down from the heights, hurtling at breakneck speed through the air toward him. Silent. Loose limbed. Spread eagle. Head flopping.

His brother.

deviantID

denlm
Mistress Plotwist
United States
Starting this creative process far later than I should have, but better late than dead. For as my daughter threatened: "If you die before you finish that novel, you will go straight to hell." Whew. Missed it by thaaaaaat much.

Current Residence: Overlooking Lake Erie in Michigan
Favourite genre of music: Classic Rock, Opera, Very Early Oldies
Favourite photographer: Smurfette in Red - check out her awesome pix
Favourite style of art: I'm eclectic
Operating System: Macbook Pro
MP3 player of choice: My iPhone
Shell of choice: Station on the corner of Central & Talmadge
Wallpaper of choice: Black w/big pink roses from mom's livingroom
Skin of choice: The skin of any attractive willing male over 55
Favourite cartoon character: Dilbert
Personal Quote: Life sucks and then you die. Then they bury you in a box in the backyard.
Interests
Yep. I'm back. Again. Sorry to see so many of my old friends have also gone awol over the last hectic years. If you've been watching, I've posted several new sections of Fellowship Lost this past month. I am determined to finish it up, publish it, and move on to one of my many other unfinished manuscripts, probably The Brides of Avermore.

Here's an update of what's been going on in my world since last we chatted:

My son and wife gave birth to my fifth grand kiddo: James Stephen. The cutie is now a year old; his sister is nearly three.

I retired from my professional career as an ad agency copywriter and freelance advertising gal.

I moved to Minnesota to be closer to my daughter's fam, including the three original grands.

I am dabbling with community theater again, just helping out, with an eye to directing. The ultimate goal: help provide the sponsorship and fundraising materials that let the local thespian group purchase a rundown old theater and turn it into their new home base.

Lost 100 pounds and look and feel younger than ever. Having no stress from the previous grind of working in a pressure cooker ad agency has helped too! Nothing makes you feel peppier than getting up when you please and not facing other-people's deadlines.

Am struggling to find a writing group to share my work with and gain valuable critiques. Three local groups just aren't panning out. One seems on the verge of disbanding and isn't really my genre; another emphasizes how to sell your novels--not how you can improve them; and the last is made up of mostly rookies who write hunting and fishing articles. (I did mention I moved to Minnesota, right?) Sad to say, nothing comes close to the old dA... which appears to have died off in my absence.

That about covers it. Hope to recapture some of the old magic here. Wish me luck! 
  • Listening to: The AC
  • Reading: A Killer's Mind
  • Watching: Reruns of Dexter on Netflix
  • Playing: eenie meanie minie mo with story ideas
  • Eating: Braut stew
  • Drinking: Lemon water

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:iconsiobhan68:
Siobhan68 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2017  Professional General Artist
Happy birthday and many good wishes from Germany!
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Happy Birthday!
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:iconpenfury:
Penfury Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2015
I dreamed of you last night. We were talking the kinks out of a story knot.  Here's hoping your holidays are wonderful and warm and filled with family.   Tam
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:icondenlm:
denlm Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2015
Been thinking about you too. See my new journal for my heartfelt apology. Happy belated Christmas, Tam!
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:iconpenfury:
Penfury Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2015
Hope your Christmas was Merry and your New Year brings what you most desire.  No apologies necessary.  I understand how doing nothing leads to doing more nothing, I have that problem myself. Hopefully you spent your down time enjoying your freedom and visiting the grandbabies.  I will always read and comment when you choose to post.  I may comment when you don't post.  There is no point in writing if you don't enjoy it anymore.  I warn you, not writing can lead to some pretty wacky dreams, but then that could be just me.  Glad you are doing well.  Keep the cheery side up!   Tam
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:iconleoniesaintevire:
LeonieSainteVire Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2015
Happy happy day! ::hugs::
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:icondenlm:
denlm Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2015
You never forget to leave something here as well as FB. What a good friend you are!
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:iconleoniesaintevire:
LeonieSainteVire Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2015
::hugs:::
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:iconpharold:
PHarold Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Have a marvelous birthday! Hope all is well on your side of the world!
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