A Short Story

Hey guys. It's me again. I realized the other day that it's been a long time since I've posted any new stories. I need to rectify this. Today, I would like to share a short story about a twisted version of love. I wrote this one about a year ago for a short story contest. I hope y'all like it! Feel free to comment below.

Foreword: As with several of my other stories I've posted, this story contains strong violence, language, and sexual content. Please do not read if any of this offends you.

Be Mine

Blood. Blood is everywhere. Dripping down the lacy, white tablecloths. Covering the drapes, the chandlers, the walls, and everything in between. I lay in shock, cowering under one of the tables, wondering if it's over yet. I don't hear any sounds, but that doesn't mean it's over...

Twenty minutes ago, everything had been fine. It was Valentine's Day. My boyfriend decided to take me to a new fancy Italian restaurant that had just opened downtown. The waiter had taken our orders and poured us some wine. As he was walking away, shit hit the fan.

Out of nowhere a man in a ski mask ran into the restaurant and started shooting. Our waiter was the first to get hit. He head suddenly exploded and his body crumbled slowly to the ground. Everyone started screaming and trying to run, but most were gunned down before they got very far.

I exchanged a terrified glance with my boyfriend right before ducking under the table. Tony tried to follow my lead but got shot in the leg. He hollered out, falling to the ground. He clutched his calf tightly, trying to stop the bleeding. I started crawling towards him when suddenly two boots came into view right beside him. I heard the shot moments before a hole suddenly appeared on his forehead. I watched as his eyes glazed over and the life bled out of him. He toppled sideways.

I bit back a scream and backed away from his body. The boots disappeared. I stared at Tony 's body blankly as memories of our time together flashed before my eyes. I was jolted back to the present by a woman's pleading voice.

"Please. Please don't kill me. Noooooo, please. Not that...." The woman lets out a blood-curdling scream that ends as abruptly as it began. Her head suddenly rolls by my table. Vomit floods my mouth, but I bite it back. My eyes start watering, and I almost start coughing but finally get myself under control. I listen carefully for any sound. Nothing. I hear steps head back toward the front of the restaurant.

I cautiously stick my out from under the table. A man stops at the first table. He nudges someone with his boot. The person doesn't move, obviously dead. He moves to another body. Repeats the process. A moan comes from this man. Suddenly, the masked man swings a machete I didn't notice in his hand. The machete crashes into the man's skull, splitting his head open.

I duck back under the tablecloth, not wanting to see anymore. The man continues around the restaurant. He kills anyone still breathing. When he gets to my table, I hold my breath. The man pauses to inspect Tony, then continues past. I let out a sigh of relief. He must not realize I'm under here. I wonder if anyone else is doing as I am. If anyone else is still alive. Tears well in my eyes. I don't want to die. The man finally stops moving. I pray he doesn't decide to start looking under the tables.

"Come out, Jess. I know you're in here," a vaguely familiar voice calls out.

Holy fuck! He knows my name??

"If you come out now, it will be better for you. I promise I won't hurt you."

I struggle to remember where I've heard that voice before. My mind comes up blank.

"Goddam it! Come out now, Jess. Or it's gonna be very nasty for you!"

I continue cowering under the table, far too terrified to do as the voice demands. I hear a loud crash and realize he flipped a table over. I hear another, closer crash. It's followed by a scream. Blood splatters the tablecloth in front of me. I jump, rattling the table. Shit!

I try to crawl out from under the table, but it's too late. The table suddenly disappears from over my head as it's pushed onto its side. I turn and look over my shoulder. The man is directly behind me. He grabs me by my hair and pulls me roughly to my feet.

"You should have listened to me, Jess," the man says sadly right before his fist connects with my face. I pass out.

When I come to, I'm tied to a chair in the middle of an unfamiliar room. It smells of dust and mildew. I look down and notice I am naked except for my underwear. I try to move to cover myself, but my hands are bound behind my back. I look around but it's too dark to see anything. A bare, flickering lightbulb provides the only source of light. The corners of the room are very dark.

Suddenly, a man steps out of one of the corners and comes toward me. He walks slowly closer until I can finally make out his features. He looks familiar and it takes a minute, but I finally come up with a name. Howard. One of my ex-coworkers. I fired him over a year ago. The creep was lucky I hadn't pressed charges for sexual harassment. He had become infatuated with me and hadn't accepted the fact I didn't return his feelings. Everything abruptly comes back to me. The restaurant, Tony, all of those people he murdered.

"Why did you kill all of those people?" I ask, not really expecting a response.

"Because they were happy. They were in love. Why should they get to be happy? Why did they deserve to be loved? And I didn't? Fuck them!" Howard steps closer to me and runs a hand gently across the side of my face. I resist the urge to jerk my head away.

"Why wasn't I good enough for you, Jess? Why did you reject me? You made me lose my fucking my job. You made me lose everything!" He suddenly slaps me viciously. I feel blood drip from the side of my lip.

"I'm sorry," is all I can think to say.

"No, you aren't. But you're gonna be!" He pulls my head back by my hair bringing tears to my eyes. He draws his face closer to mine. I nervously glance at his lips.

"I'm not gonna kiss you, you fucking bitch!" He laughs as he lets go and steps away.

He walks towards the back wall. A light suddenly flickers on. Along the far wall is a work bench covered in various tools. He lightly runs his fingers across several of them before finally grabbing a hammer. He steps back towards me.

"What are you gonna do with that?" I ask with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

He doesn't answer. Just steps closer and raises the hammer over his head. Realization dawns as he brings it down towards my kneecap. I turn my head away as it connects. Pain blinds me, becomes me. I scream. It takes awhile for the pain to recede enough for me to think clearly again.

Howard is staring at me with a strange mixture of love and hate on his face. He walks back to the table and returns with a scalpel. He smiles as he runs his eyes up and down my body. Probably debating where to cut me.

"Please don't do this," I beg. He laughs.

"I haven't even started yet."

He suddenly stabs me in the side of my stomach. I scream as the blade pierces my skin. He yanks the blade out. It hurts even worse coming out. I scream again and pull against my restraints.

"Howard, please. I will do anything you want, I promise. Please, just don't kill me."

"Anything?" He thinks it over for a few moments.

"Anything! Please, don't kill me...."

"Okay. But I'm not gonna untie your hands. Understood?" I nod my understanding as he steps closer to me, stopping directly in front of me.

"And if you try anything stupid, I swear it will be worse for you. You will wish you had never been born."

"Okay, I promise. Just please don't kill me."

He cuts the rope binding me to the chair and beckons me to stand. He leads me out of the room and across the hall to another room. A huge bed lies in the middle of this room. He motions me towards the bed.

"Bend over the side of the bed!" he commands.

I slowly walk over to the bed and bend over it. He walks behind me and begins rubbing his groin against my backside. I whimper. He pulls away and something lashes violently across my backside. A whip. He beats me with it repeatedly until I can no longer stand. I collapse onto the bed, and he suddenly is rubbing against me again. I swallow down my revulsion and pretend to enjoy it. He unbuckles his pants and takes me repeatedly until I finally pass out from exhaustion.

When I come to again, Howard is standing over me carefully bandaging my side. I watch as he presses the bandage into place.

"Finally awake I see," he says happily. "I love you so much baby. We will be together forever."


"You must know that I love you. I've always loved you. Since the day I first saw you, I just knew we were meant to be together."

"You are a crazy motherfucker! Why won't you just let me go? Please?"

He snarls and reaches out suddenly, punching my stab wound. I scream as agony engulfs me.

"You fucking cunt! You tricked me! I thought you loved me, but you were just pretending last night weren't you?"

He punches me again, this time in the groin. I gasp. He pins my hands over my head and binds my hands above me. I struggle futilely. Maybe I shouldn't have called him crazy. He suddenly flips me over onto my stomach. He spits onto my backside and before I can comprehend his intentions, he slams into me. I scream out in agony as he pounds me repeatedly. Just when I think it will never end, he pulls away.

"That's all you're good for, ya know. You're nothing but a fucking whore! Probably even enjoyed that. Well, you ain't gonna enjoy anything else ever again...."

Two weeks later, authorities found a body in the woods outside town. A woman's body. The woman was raped and brutalized in every possible way. Her breasts had been removed. She had strangulation marks on her neck. Cause of death was unknown but probably happened around the time her heart was removed from her chest.

Howard smiled to himself as he read the article in the paper. He got up from the kitchen table and walked into his basement. He knelt down at the altar of a shrine he had built there. Pictures of Jessica hung over the shrine. He kissed the human heart placed at the base of the shrine.

"Oh, Jessica. My love. I knew your heart would belong to me one day..."


Back from the Dead

Hi, all. Not sure if I have any readers or followers out there anymore, but I'm finally back. It took me a long time to pull myself out of the pit I fell into two years ago. And then, when I finally managed to get through it all, it took time to find myself again. It took time to get to a place where I could do what I love again, write again. So here I am. Ready to pick up the pieces and get back to writing again.

Some of you may ask what happened and why I was away for so long. The truth is.... well, I don't think I'm quite ready to go there just yet. Let's just say I went to hell and back. I lost everything and had to put my life back together again. But I did it. Don't know how, but I survived my own personal version of hell. Maybe one of these days I will be ready to write about it, but not today.

So much has changed since I last posted. I figure I should at least tell about some of these changes, for any of you who may be interested in me as a person as opposed to me as a writer. Honestly, I don't even know where to start. I read over my last post and everything about my life now is so different. I moved back to Texas after that last post. I somehow managed to find my independence and support myself for once. No mommy dearest and no ex husband. Just me. I got a job and a car and my own place. I no longer have Midget. Instead, I have two dogs, two cats, and a hermit crab. I found true love, the kind you read about. I know, I know, sounds crazy. But it's true. Two years ago, I would have said true love doesn't exist. But it does. Trust me, it does.

That's all I have for now. My life is completely different, and I am no longer the person I was when I started this blog. I'm stronger and independent and learning to love myself for who I am. I'm finally in a good place to start writing again. I've decided to keep this blog, but I'm also starting another one. I've decided I want to write a blog about my life. I've been through so much and had so many devastating things happen to me and managed to get through it. Not sure if anyone will read it, but I'm writing it for myself. I need to let it all out and finally let it all go. I'm also starting a new novel, but I will post more on that later. 

Smell ya later-- B😉


Update on My Current Situation

Hey, guys! Anyone miss me? Lol. Just kidding. I just want to take a moment to post an update on my current situation. I just reread my last post, and it almost makes me want to cry. So much has happened since then. It feels like it's been years, although it's only been a few weeks.

Since my last post, many things have changed. I knew change was coming, but I didn't know it would be so sudden. Or so difficult. I have lost nearly everything. Right after that post, I was forced to move. I have stayed with several family members and friends. It's really shown me how few friends and family I have left. I am very grateful for the few I do have.

I have also been betrayed by a very close family member. I almost lost my kids in a terrible car accident. I lost my dog and everything I own. I even lost my Kindle, on which I was writing my current novel. But I'm still alive and kicking. I still have my kids. I am grateful for these things.

Most people in my situation would have given up hope by now. I am someone who hardly ever shows my true feelings. I never cry in front of anyone. The few friends and family that I have were shocked at finding me in tears on several occasions. It doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would. Sometimes you just need to let it all out or it will eat you up inside.

Other friends have told me how strong they think I am. How brave. Honestly, I don't feel brave. I feel alone and desperate. I feel stoic almost, it's really hard for me to explain. Numb. I don't know. I have had friends and family weep for me while I stand stoically beside them telling then what I have endured in the past few weeks. I honestly didn't do anything to provoke the harsh treatment I have received from someone close to me. I don't know why this all happened. Even though deep down I know I am not at fault, I still feel guilty. I feel like a screw-up. I feel worthless.

I am now in another state. Me and my kids only have a couple outfits, no money, no resources, and we are homeless. I am currently staying at a hotel. A local church has greatly helped me. They provided me with the room I am currently residing in. Through this time of hardship, I have finally found faith again. In God. In humanity. I admit, I was lost there for awhile. But I still have hope. I hope we find somewhere safe to live soon. I hope to continue writing and go back to work soon. I know everything will work out for us. How can I be so sure? Because it has to. I have nothing left.

Losing everything has caused me to be grateful for what I do have. My kids. They are the only thing important to me. They are so brave. People have said how well-behaved they are. How well mannered. I'm glad I apparently did something right. I am a good parent, and no one can take that away from me. It's been hard to stay strong and not to let them see how worried I am, but I have somehow managed it. As long as we are together, nothing can hurt us. Everything will be okay. Thanks for reading, and I will try to update this again soon. --B


My Truth

They say that the truth will set you free. This is my truth. This is my story. The story of my life for the past year. The hell I have somehow managed to endure. This is not a happy story, so if you are looking for a happy ending, read no further. I am not sharing this for pity. Nor am I asking for help. I just need to share this with someone. With anyone. It is eating me up inside, eating away at my sanity a little more every day.

The truth is that I write because it is the only thing keeping me alive. I have been through more than any one person should, and I've been through it alone. I have always found it curious that in your greatest time of need, your true friends become apparent. But what happens if you have none, or if the few you do have can't help? What should you do? I pray. I pray that no one ever has to feel the abandonment I feel. The hurt. The feeling of being completely alone and utterly helpless.

I personally think that the truth is a lie. It has never set me free. Not once. Not from pain, humiliation, suffering, misery, or anything else. Because the truth, in reality, hurts. No one really wants to hear the truth. They would rather wrap themselves up in the lies they delude themselves with. I am not one of these people. I am one of those few who are always bluntly honest, even when that truth is painful or lowers someone's opinion of you. I don't know if anyone will even read this or even care. I just need to get it off my chest, once and for all.

Almost two years ago, I left my abusive husband. I moved to another state and began a new life for myself. It was hard and sometimes felt impossible, but somehow I did it. I got a job, walked to work for six months until I saved enough for a car, I got an apartment through public housing, and I was doing okay for myself. For once, I was starting to feel happy again. To feel hope. Until the night that hope was shattered. With a single bullet.

One fateful night, something truly terrifying happened. A bullet smashed through my bedroom window, came within an inch of my nose, and embedded in my bedroom door panel. I really don't know how or why it happened. One minute, I was standing at my dresser, brushing my hair. And the next, I was on the floor. I didn't even hear the explosion until after I was on the floor for some reason. I remember thinking I was dead for a few seconds. A piece of glass had hit my temple, and I actually thought that I had been shot.

As I was lying there still too terrified to move, I heard my children yelling if I was okay. That pulled me out of my paralysis fast. I yelled at them, probably scaring them half to death, to get down on the floor and cover their heads. I crawled through my apartment until I was with my kids. Huddled in the stairwell with my kids panicked and unsure what was going on, I called the police. I do not know if they ever found the culprit. I was told it was a high caliber rifle, though. It was the most horrifying thing that ever happened to me.

I did what I think almost any mother would do. I fled. As soon as the sun came up the next morning, I packed what I could into my truck and left. I went to the one place I had sworn never to return to. To my ex husband. It was the only place I could go, or so I thought at the time. This was the worst decision I could have made. Over the next few months, I truly lost everything I had worked for. He sold my truck. He wouldn't let me work. He didn't even have his own place as he had previously claimed. He lived with his parents. It was hell.

A little over a month ago, he was arrested. I won't say what for. It really doesn't matter. He does not matter. I hope I never see that man again. He was a cruel, hateful man who never gave me anything but humiliation, misery, and grief. Since then, my life has really gotten worse. I have somehow managed to scrape by. Writing has really helped me cope with the hell I am living. I have had hardly any money, aside from a few freelancing jobs that barely paid anything. I have hardly any family or friends. No one seems able or willing to help.

I have tried to keep my chin up. I have tried to hold on to what little hope I have. But today truly was the icing on the cake. Literally. Today, my daughter turned six years old. And I couldn't afford to buy her a single gift. When she asked where her presents were, it broke my heart. I pray no other mom has to experience the pain I felt today. The sense of utter failure. As a mom and as a human being. But all is not lost. I still cling to my hope, although my sanity continues to wane.

I really hope no one has to go through what I have. It's not fair. I worked my butt off and got so far, and sometimes I wonder if the effort was even worth it. I'm living my own personal hell. But somehow I manage to cope. I have known far worse things in life, unfortunately. I know things can always get worse. So, I am grateful for what little I do have. I have my kids. I have my dog. And I have my writing. It's enough for now. I feel change is coming, and I pray that the change is good. Thank you for reading my story.     --B.


A Song That Reasonates Deep Inside

Have you ever heard a song that just spoke to your soul? Almost as if it is an exact copy of something you thought or felt? I have one particular song that does this for me. I would like to share some of the lyrics with you and what they mean to me. Now, I hope the title itself doesn't scare you off, for the meaning behind it isn't exactly what you would think. The song is called "Whore" by In This Moment. Here are my thoughts and the true meaning behind the song according to the band.

When the band released this song, it was with one goal in mind: to convey a message behind the lyrics regarding why this word was used. The frontwoman for the band, Maria Brink, created a message behind the title. Whore: Women Honoring One another Rising Eternally. She wanted to give a new meaning to the word that made it less derogatory.

This is what Maria herself had to say on the subject in an interview soon after the release of this song: "I am so proud and excited for the world to hear Whore! This is an honest and raw movement that needs to be heard! The message behind this song is taking back control. It is about taking the power from a disgusting and degrading word and turning it back around on the accuser. It's about self empowerment, love, and liberation."

Maria also told Steppin' Out Magazine: "Everything that the word 'whore' means, that song rebels against. That song is sarcastic. It's kind of about learning how to let go of the power that we let other people hold over us with their words with their belittling. Nobody can control us, nobody has the power.... kind of freeing ourselves from the vulnerable, weak parts of us."

"When somebody calls you something demeaning or hurts you," she added, "we're the ones letting them hurt us by letting their words be that powerful. It's about letting go. If you listen to the words: I am the dirt you created. I am your sinner. I am your whore, but let me tell you something — you love me for everything you hate me for. It's all reverse psychology."

This is another thing she said that I find particularly moving: "I can only hope to encourage at least one person to find the self worth and love they deserve to transcend out of a painful situation into a beautiful one. It is about finding our power and taking a stand."

Now, here is what the song means to me: It does encourage me to find the self worth and love I deserve. I have transcended above my situation, and I am finally coming out of my cage. As a woman, an author, and as a mother. I'm sharing more than I ever have with anyone without being afraid of rejection or ridicule. I'm starting to love myself more and to stop caring about other people judging me. Let them judge! I thank you, Maria Brinks, for sharing this song with the world. While the song alone is not solely responsible for the recent changes in me, I do like to listen to it when I am feeling down. It reminds me not to let others bring me down!

Here are the lyrics that reasonate most deeply inside me:

"You probably thought I wouldn’t get this far.
You thought I’d end up in the back of a car.
You probably thought that I’d never escape,
I’d be a rat in a cage, I’d be a slave to this place.
You don’t know how hard I fought to survive,
Waking up alone when I was left to die.
You don’t know about this life I’ve led,
All these roads I’ve walked, All these tears I’ve bled..."
-In This Moment "Whore"

This particular part of the song just means so much to me. I feel that for most of my adult life, people have harshly judged me. This is what I am not brave enough to say to them: 'You don't know me! You don't know what I've gone through or why I made certain decisions in my life. So how do you have any right to judge me?' I am slowly learning to step up for myself and finally share what's on my mind. For someone who grew up in an environment where nothing they did was ever good enough, it is slow going, though. Anyways, this was just my opinion on the song. Thanks for reading!   --B.


A Moment of Truth

It's been a while since I have shared any of my stories. I've been really stressed out lately. Sorry about that. I hope that at least some of you out there are still reading my posts, but I haven't been giving you much reason to here of late. So in order to appease you, I've decided to admit something to you guys that I have never shared before. Here goes...

The story I posted recently entitled "Dawn Darkens" is actually a piece based off true events with the names changed for the true people involved. While it is just a story, it is loosely based off my life about a year ago. Some of the events in that story are so close to true events, in fact, that I haven't been brave enough to share the story with my Facebook fans for fear someone will recognize me for my true self. I am currently writing an autobiography that contains the true events. Anyone who reads it when I publish will be able to easily see how close this story is to what really happened.

What happens at the end of "Dawn Darkens" obviously never occurred. What actually happened in my real life, you may ask? Unfortunately, I went back to my ex husband. Since then, my life has gotten gradually worse. I won't share exactly how, though. I'm not ready yet. While I am still currently single, I am still struggling just to survive with two kids and a small dog in this cruel world we have. I'm not saying the whole world is cruel, but life has been cruel to us. We are almost entirely alone, and it is a daily struggle just to keep us afloat.

On a brighter note, I would like to share that my dog seems to be finally pulling through. While she isn't out of the woods yet, she is drinking water and isn't puking anymore. Just this morning, she ate a couple pieces of dry dog food. I had gotten her some beef broth and Pedialyte, just in case I needed to force feed her, but it seems that it was unnecessary. I am just grateful that she seems to be getting better. I was scared it would be too much for my kids to handle after everything they have already lost. Thanks for reading! I hope to share more stories with you all soon! Until next time, B.


Busy, Busy

Sorry that I haven't posted anything lately. First, I was very busy with Easter. I have two small kids at home. I had to make sure the Easter Bunny came to visit them. We spent Easter Sunday dyeing eggs after discovering what gifts the Easter Bunny left. Then, we visited family and had an egg hunt.

Soon after getting home, though, I noticed my dog was still sick. She had an upset stomach for a couple days, but she's gotten noticeably worse each day. We are now on Day 4, and she hasn't eaten for days. She's hasn't had any water either. As a single mom, I don't have the funds to take her to the vet. I am beginning to fear the worst, at this point.

As a dog lover, I consider Midget to be a part of the family. Almost like another child. If anything happens to her, the kids will be devastated. I guess I am just posting this for any advice and prayers to be sent my way. Feeling deeply troubled, B.


Haven or Hell? Preview

In case anyone is curious about what I am currently writing, I am providing a sneak preview of my next storygame below. I am also in the process of rewriting my autobiography for publication. I have several short stories I am writing and plan to publish one day soon, as well. I am planning to update my website soon, and I will be attempting my largest and most complicated storygame to date as soon as this one is finished. Hope this can tide y'all over until I can post another story.

This game is called Haven or Hell? Here is a brief description:

In this story, you play as a young mother named Dana, who awakens suddenly in the first chapter to find a world far more terrifying than the worst of her dreams. It is up to you to help Dana survive her first encounter with a zombie. You must guide her through the strange new world she's been abruptly thrust into. Do you seek out your family members that live scattered around the state? Do you hide beneath your bed sheets and await your inevitable fate? Or do you seek out a safe haven for yourself and your son? This story is based on a novel I started years ago and never finished.

Prologue: A Husband's Final Sacrifice

Hank Flannigan cannot fall asleep no matter how hard he tries. The strange incident that had occured as he was leaving work earlier this evening was now weighing heavily on his mind. Not to mention the scratch on his arm was beginning to itch uncontrollably. He just couldn't stop thinking about the strangely blank and yet hungry look on the woman's face as she had attacked him so fiercely and without provocation.

He had been turning all the lights off at the site and making sure all the equipment was properly stored as he did at the end of every shift, when suddenly out of the darkness the strange woman had appeared. He had thought her lost and had offered to lead her back to the road. As he had been speaking, the woman's strange eyes had never left his face. Almost as if she didn't know what he was but was eager to play with her newfound toy, like a dog will regard a new bone its master has given it.

As Hank had stood there waiting for her response to his offer of assistance (and had been partially distracted trying to dig his cellphone out of his jacket pocket) the woman had suddenly advanced on him. If his reflexes had been a fraction of a second slower, she would have torn into his face instead of his arm. As it was, she had torn his jacket sleeve and caused quite a gash on the back of his hand, before he had taken control of the situation and backhanded her to the ground; something he was not proud of but still somehow had given him a sense of triumph. He had then hurriedly left the scene not willing to wait for the stupid woman to call the cops, which would have caused his already long workday to last even longer.

As Hank is laying there reminiscing the events that occured hours ago, he begins to feel a change take over him. Although he has no real sense of what is actually happening to him; as he is no follower of the horror genre in any way, shape, or form; he somehow senses that his ability to control himself is quickly slipping from his grasp. Suddenly, a hunger such as he has never felt before grips him so fiercely he almost cries out with the ache of it. He fastens his eyes on the form lying next to him in the bed. Knowing he wants to taste her like he has never wanted anything in his life, he revolts temporarily against whatever is taking control of his body. With his last human thought to protect the one person on the earth he loves more than himself, he concentrates all of his attention on the other form at the foot of the bed.

Chapter One: Survival

I suddenly awaken from a deep and peaceful dream to an odd sense of foreboding. Sensing that something is amiss in the room but not yet sensing any immediate threat, I silently yawn and wait for my eyes to adjust to the darkness engulfing the room. I ponder to myself why Hank's side of the bed feels strangely empty. Hank is a known deep sleeper who is almost impossible to awaken once asleep. As my eyes slowly begin to adjust, I sense something in the darkness that is completely unfamiliar. I can just make out the vague outline of someone sitting near the foot of the bed, and although my mind tells me this must be Hank, my subconscious is screaming at me that it isn't him and I need to run now!

With my mind preoccupied trying to figure out why panic is swiftly overtaking my other senses, I suddenly pick up on something that I have failed to sense before now; a sound. There is an odd, wet, slurping sound coming from the foot of the bed, where the shape I can't yet name is sitting. This sound is so disturbing I can't believe I almost missed it completely. It brings the panic to a crescendo that nearly causes me to scream aloud. 

Suddenly, the hall light flicks on. In the now partially lit room, I can finally make out the details of what is sitting down there at the foot of the bed, merely inches from my naked legs. The creature was obviously once the man I loved but is now so utterly altered from that previous being that my mind has trouble connecting the two at all, aside from it being roughly the same size and having similar facial features. The thing, for lack of a better word, has strange bottomless black eyes and a mouth that is currently dripping blood and gore. Despite the creature's gruesome appearance, it is not what my eyes are fixated on, but rather the form that is in its lap. A strangely familiar form, although it is now a misshapen heap of golden fur, skin, and bone. Entrails hang from the creature's mouth as it scoops more innards from the mass in its lap and stuffs another handful into its mouth. I know, without a doubt, this heap is actually the remains of my beloved golden retriever; yet my mind is refusing to acknowledge this fact.

While I'm still paralyzed in fear and trying to come to terms with what I am seeing, my thirteen year old son suddenly bursts into the room, yelling something about zombies on the news. I don't catch what exactly he says, and he has no time to finish or react as the creature lunges suddenly for him. My paralysis is immediately terminated as motherly instincts kick in to protect my baby from this new threat lurking within what was once my husband's body.

As the creature lunges toward my frozen son, I jump out of the bed and rush toward it. The creature doesn't sense me approaching at all and continues toward my son. I frantically yell for my son to hide in his room, which spurs him into action but also causes the creature to turn its sights solely upon me. As I finally get a closer look at what was just hours before my devoted husband, I notice the awkward, jerky way it moves and its flat, blank stare. There is no recognition in its gaze, rather it doesn't seem to think at all. And it seems like the creature has limited control of its limbs. Almost like when a circuit board fries, and the connection to the fuses is fried but not entirely broken. Before I have time to further study the creature in hopes of figuring out how to get past it, it makes a sudden lunge at me. As it lunges forward, I dart back, but somehow the creature manages to snag my nightgown. The momentum causes me to fall to one knee, and before I can recover, the creature jumps on me, forcing me flat on my back. Panic grips me as it starts clawing and biting at my face. I barely manage to hold the creature back.

Zombie, that's what Joey had said. This thing, this creature desperately trying to feed upon my tender flesh is a ZOMBIE...

What happens when your safe haven becomes a hell from which you can never excape? Find out by reading the completed version of this game, available soon! Thanks for reading!          --B


The Challenges of a Struggling Author

Hi again! Breezy here. Today, I would like to discuss a few of the challenges all authors face at some point in their career. I would also like to share with you some of the struggles I, myself, am facing as an author. Let's begin.

Five Challenges Author's Face:

1) Getting your thoughts and ideas down on paper. Many authors struggle with this. The problem is trying to get the words you are actually writing to convey a certain message. How can you avoid this? I think the most effective method is to just write it! Stop overthinking and overly criticizing yourself and start writing. You can always go back and edit it later. The most important thing is to get your thoughts or ideas down before you lose that train of thought.

2) Trying to make everything you write perfect. News flash: no one is perfect. As with above, the most important thing is just writing. Stop trying to make everything perfect. Write it, edit it, proofread it, put it away, then go back with a fresh set of eyes and repeat. Then, pass it on. Let other people give you their feedback before you publish. If you keep trying to make it better or thinking what if I changed this or added that, you will never get it finished. If it's good and you receive good feedback, stop worrying about it! Chances are it is just fine the way it is.

3) Not giving yourself enough time to write. We all do this. We say we are going to do something, then we never do it. We procrastinate! I'm not saying to need to write all the time. Or even everyday. Just make sure you put aside time each week to just sit down and write. Just writing for a couple hours every other day or so can help get those creative juices flowing. Make sure to limit all distractions. Turn of your phone, turn off the television, put down whatever you may be reading, and write. You will never make it as an author if you never write.

4) Not having ideas or having a blank mind. It's happened to all authors at some point. You sit down, stare at the paper or the computer screen, and your mind just goes blank. Don't panic! Allow yourself a minute just to breathe. Meditate even if that helps. Make sure to clear your mind and that you aren't concentrating on anything other than writing. Better? If you still can't think of something to write, try doing some simple writing exercises or research writing prompts. After writing on a couple easier topics, try again! Sometimes even writing something from a small writing prompt can lead to a great story. You never know until you try it!

5) Fear. I think this is the biggest issue all authors face. Fear of negative feedback, fear we won't be able to convey the message as we intended, fear it won't sell, and fear that our writing isn't good enough. Stop worrying! Write for yourself, first and foremost. Write because you love writing! Most importantly, don't force yourself to write something you don't want to. Write what you want to write; what you are passionate about. If you don't like what you are writing, how can you expect your readers to? Write because it's what you want to do, and make sure your passion is evident in your writing, otherwise your writing may just fall flat.

One of the biggest challenges I am facing is having too many ideas and not knowing which one I should start writing about. People have suggested I write which ever one resonates the most at that time, but sometimes they all beckon you. Sometimes you literally can't decide. What works for me? Stepping away from my ideas for awhile. I distract my mind by watching television, going for a walk, or reading a book. Then, I come back and make myself a list of pros and cons for each story. I choose the story with the most pros or the most benefits I can achieve by writing that particular story. I hope this article helps someone out there who may be struggling with their own writing. Have a great day, and thanks for reading! Catch ya later.  --B


Dawn Darkens Part Two

I pull into the driveway of the address John had sent to my phone. I had almost missed the house as it was the last one before a sharp turn. I shut my truck off and head to the front door, hoping it's the right address. The porch appears to hand built. It's small and wooden, leading to a small, dingy trailer. From the outside, it doesn't look overly impressive. I tentatively knock on the door. I hear John's voice from inside.

"Come in!"

I turn the knob and step inside, pulling the door closed behind me. Looking around, I'm taken aback by how clean and apparently well-maintained the inside is. It's obviously the home of a bachelor, though. The living room contains a leather couch with a Cowboys throw blanket across the back of it. There is a small end table covered with mail, a set of keys, and an assortment of loose change. The coffee table is covered with similar items, but appears to have been recently straightened up. I also notice an old grandfather clock in one corner and a big screen television across from the couch. Beside the front door is a small shelf holding assorted knick-knacks, most of which featuring the "Budweiser" slogan. John steps into the kitchen and glances at me.

"Be just a second," he says, turning back down a small hallway. I smile to myself at seeing the shaving cream covering his chin, knowing he shaved apparently just for me.

Stepping away from the door, I step into the kitchen that is connected to the living room. The kitchen is cluttered but mostly clean. I see chips and different boxes of snacks and junk food on the small kitchen table. A work shirt, perhaps the one he wore at work today, is thrown across the back of one of the chairs. John finally steps back into kitchen from the hallway, looking me up and down appreciatively. I suddenly feel nervous, and my heart begins to pound furiously.

"All set?" he asks, stepping past me and opening the front door.

"Yes," I answer, shyly stepping past him and walking outside. I head to my truck, parked just behind his.

I climb into my vehicle and wait for John, who is locking his front door. He walks across the yard and opens the passenger door. I crank my truck and immediately loud rock music fills the interior. John cringes.

"Sorry," I say with a grin. "I'm not used to people riding with me," I laugh, turning the music down until it's barely audible. I back out of the driveway, nervous about how the night will turn out.

Dinner goes smoothly. John and I seem to get along just fine. The conversation goes well. I'm not as awkward as I had feared I would be. I find John easy to talk to. When the bill comes, I grab it and slip some bills inside. After all, I was technically the one who had asked John out. John smiles at me as we stand to leave.

"Thank you. That was a very good dinner," he says.

"No problem," I say as we head back to the truck.

I drive back across town, not really being as talkative as I had been for the initial drive to the restaurant. I'm nervous and wondering if John will invite inside as I pull into his driveway. John steps out of the truck and turns to look back at me.

"You coming?" he asks with a grin, as if reading my mind.

I climb out of my truck and follow him up the driveway. He unlocks the door, and I step into the trailer. I stand there awkwardly for a few seconds as John locks the door behind me and heads down the hallway. I follow him shyly. He flips a light switch on in the bedroom at the end of the hallway. As he is pulling his shoes off, I make my way down the hall, passing a closed door and a bathroom before reaching John's bedroom. 

John is now stretched out on his back on the bed, staring at the ceiling. I shyly lie down next to him, kicking off my own shoes. I tentatively reach out a run my hand across his flat stomach, immediately turned on. He grabs my hand and holds it for a second, inspecting it.

"I wonder what your hands would look like if you painted your nails?" he wonders aloud.

"Well, I guess next time I will have to paint them for you," I say with a smirk.

"Next time, huh?" he asks with an arched brow.

"Yep," I say with more confidence than I feel.

"Come here, you," he says, pulling me on top of him.

I lean down and lightly kiss him. Mmm, tastes like heaven, I think to myself.

He suddenly deepens the kiss and flips me onto my back, pinning me to the bed under him. I feel his hands all over my body. I moan, wanting more. He stops almost as suddenly as he began, rolling back off of me and onto his back. He stares at the ceiling for a moment before finally speaking up.

"God, I want you so bad..." I lean over and kiss him in response.

"So, why don't you take me?" I asking, shocking even myself with my forwardness.

He pulls his lips from mine and stares into my eyes, perhaps wondering if I'm serious.

"Hell, we were both married, John. I'm old enough to make my own decisions. I want you, too. I'm tired of being alone. I want be with you, if only for a night. I hope you don't think that makes me a slut or anything. I've only been with one man for over eight years; my husband. I'm ready to be with another man, and I want that man to be you," I blurt out, honestly.

"Oh really?" he asks with a grin, pulling me closer. I sigh in contentment as he satisfies my request...

The next two weeks are a blur. I spend almost every other night at John's house. The more I'm around him, the stronger my feelings grow. I begin to realize I'm falling in love with this man. We keep our relationship on the down low, not wanting to lose either of our jobs as employees aren't allowed to date. People begin to suspect, however, with all the flirting we exchanged. I even gave him a card for Valentine's day along with a small box of chocolates. He seemed embarrassed and admitted he hadn't gotten me anything. It didn't bother me, but it set my mom off.

"Dawn, you need to find someone who treats you better," she tells me one day when I am visiting her. He's no good for you. And he's so old. He's my age, for God's sake," she says, in exasperation.

"You had me young, Mom," I say in my own defense. "Besides, I like that he is older. At least he has his life together. He has his own place, two vehicles, and he was married for 20 years. And I think that I love him," I admit.

"Oh, please. You don't even know what love is, Dawn," she blurts out. "And he's so ugly. How are in love with an ugly, old man like him? You could be with any man you want. Why him?" she goes on, not letting up.

"He gets me, Mom. And when I'm around him, I feel like everything is just perfect. Complete somehow. I can't describe it. I've never felt like this before..."

"Whatever, Dawn. Just don't say I didn't tell you so, when it ends badly."

God, why does she always have to be so negative, I think. Why can't she just be happy for me?

The next day, the daycare calls early in the morning to tell me they are closed due to the weather. It snowed during the night. I look out my bedroom window and am greeted by a sight I have never seen before. Outside is a winter wonderland! I hurry into the kids' room.

"Mike, Marcy, wake up! Look out of your window," I say excitedly. Being from south Texas, none of us have seen snow before, not like this.

"Snow!" Marcy squeals in pure delight. "Mommy, can we go play in it?"

"Yes, baby. As soon as we eat some breakfast. But you're gonna have to bundle up," I respond.

I spend the entire morning playing outside with my kids. It gives me such joy to watch them playing together in the snow. The looks of amazement on their tiny faces is priceless. As the time for my shift at work draws near, I take the kids inside and dress for work.

"Okay, babies. I'm gonna take y'all to Mimi's house while Mommy goes to work, okay?"

We load up into the truck. I crank it and put it into reverse, but soon realize the car isn't going anywhere. After ten minutes of putting the car into drive and reverse several times to loosen the snow, I finally am able to get out of the driveway. Being from Texas, I also am not used to driving in snow this deep. I drop the kids off with my mom and slowly make my way to the store. When I get there, only the manager and assistant manager are in the store.

"Where is everybody?" I ask.

"Called out. Said they couldn't drive in the snow," Steven answers.

"Well, why didn't you call me?" I ask. "You know I would've come in."

"We didn't need you. We've only had like two customers. No one is shopping in this weather," as he says this, I look outside and notice it has started snowing again.

My shift passes very slowly. After only two hours, my manager announces he is going to go ahead and close the store early. We aren't doing much business anyways. I make my way slowly and carefully outside to my truck, almost slipping in the wet snow. After several minutes of waiting for my truck to heat up and having to get out and scrap the snow from the windshield, I finally pull out of the parking lot.

I attempt to drive to my mom's apartment to pick up the kids. After circling her neighborhood for fifteen minutes and almost getting stuck twice, I finally give up. I pull out my cell phone and call my mom with the news. She is clearly upset, but there is nothing really I can do. I drive towards my apartment but soon have the same problem. Exasperated, I call John and ask if I can stay at his place, explaining the situation. He quickly agrees, and I head on over.

After that, John somehow begins drifting away. I hardly ever hear from him, and he rarely answers my calls and texts. To make matters worse, my mom loses her job and her apartment and comes to live with me. This means her boyfriend comes with her. I can't bring myself to turn her away, though.

One night, they both clearly have way too much to drink, and while my mom is the bathroom, her boyfriend puts moves on me. I grab my beer and head out to my truck. After stewing in anger for a few minutes, I pull out my phone and call John. Amazingly, he answers for once. I explain what happened and ask if I can come over. He agrees, and I head to his house, driving very carefully as I've had a few beers. Making it to his house without incident, I knock on the door. No ones answers. After a few more moments and knocking some more, I try the knob. It's unlocked. I open the door and let myself inside. The interior of the trailer is dark. I lock the door behind me and quietly let myself inside. When I reach the bedroom, I quickly slip my shoes off.

As I climb over John, trying not to wake him, he suddenly opens his eyes and grabs me, pinning me to his chest. He kisses me lightly, then asks what happened. I quickly explain everything.

"That's fucked up!" is his only response.

He makes love to me in the darkness of his room. I somehow sense a difference in him that I can't quite explain. The next morning, as I am leaving, I smile when I see my card on display in his living room, on his shelf of knick-knacks. Maybe I'm wrong, I think.

I don't hear from John again for almost a month. Everytime I see him at work, though, he openly flirts with me and acts like nothing is off. It hurts more than I can say. My mom daily tells me to just let him go and move on, but I refuse to let him go. You don't find love like I feel for him with just anyone. I also know he is busy moving. He is buying a nice house across town. And he is also busy with work, about to promoted to assistant manager of another store.

The next time I hear from him, he is complaining about having to drive six hours away to visit one of his sons. He is complaining because he has to get up early the next morning. Although I have to work the next morning as well, I offer to drive him. He gladly accepts my offer. I drive the kids to my mom's house and then drive to John's house. We make the six hour drive in mostly silence. John sleeps for most of the trip.

After visiting with his son, we drive back home. I finally admit to John that I am worried about his distance. He says that he's just been tired lately. And busy packing and moving. I accept his excuse, flimsy as it seems.

"I think I'm falling in love with you, John," I admit, staring out the windshield and afraid to look at him.

"Are you?" he asks, curiously. I turn and meet his eyes briefly before looking at the road again.

"Yes," I reply. He doesn't say anything else.

We arrive back at his house in the wee hours of the morning. We both have to work in a few hours. I expect him to invite me inside, as I am exhausted from all the driving, but I am disappointed when he steps out of the truck after thanking me and doesn't ask me in.

I rarely hear from him after that. Over the next two months, I end up getting a second job at a fast food restaurant. The bills are beginning to pile up with the added car payment and the extra mouths to feed. After two weeks of slaving away, rarely having a day off, I receive a letter in the mail. It informs me that my food stamps have been reduced due to me getting another job. Oh, great, I think sarcastically. Now, what the fuck am I supposed to do?

The very next day, I find another letter in the mail. It tells me my rent, which is based off my income and only $75 dollars a month, has been raised to $350 due to my new job. Knowing there is no way that I can afford that with my car payment, I immediately quit my second job, but it's too late.

Over the next two months, my life slowly begins to unravel. I soon get an eviction notice in the mail. Out of options and out of time, a huge fight soon happens between me and my mom. I tell her I am going back to my abusive, drug addicted ex husband. She argues that I should stay and try to keep the apartment. She swears she will get a new job and help out, but I know she is lying. After more yelling and scaring my kids, I finally load them into my car and drive down to the river. I tell them to wait in the car, while Mommy stands outside for a minute. I light a cigarette and stare into the water, thinking over everything that's happened.

I such a failure, I think. A complete and utter failure. My kids deserve so much better than this. There is no one who can care for them. If I died right now, they would go to foster care as neither my mom, my ex husband, or my in-laws could pass a drug test.

As my thoughts begin to consume me, filling me with self-misery, I think of John. No one loves me, I think. The one man I truly love, doesn't even love me. I desperately pull out my cell, but he doesn't answer. I knew he wouldn't. I call my ex husband and explain what is going on. He happily tells me I can come back home.

"I wouldn't even be in this situation, if you would just send child support, you fucking bastard!" I scream into the phone, hanging up on him midsentence as he tries to respond.

I realize I only have two options: I can return to my ex husband and be miserable the rest of my life, repeatedly trying leave and failing every time (this was my third attempt) or I can do the unthinkable. I climb back into the truck with tears streaming down my face.

"I'm sorry, babies. Mommy loves you. You deserve so much better than what life has given you. Always moving. Living with strangers. I'm so sorry, babies."

With tears now furiously streaming down my cheeks, I put the key into the ignition. I crank the truck and put it into drive. I drive straight into the murky water of the river. As my kids begin screaming, panicked, I climb over the seat and pull them into my lap.

"Shussshhh, it's gonna be okay. I promise." I hold them close to my breast, as I sob quietly.

The river quickly drags the car under. Water begins pouring in panicking my kids. I realize I made a fatal mistake. At the last minute, I attempt to save my babies. But I fail once again...