Posts tagged ‘death walks through’

Working on a cover for a collection

Now anyone who reads my stuff knows I have a lot of Death Walks Through tales. Well with fifteen completed tales gathered together I think I have a nice little book for the readers. At 42.5K it is short of a novel in length but 23 are talking over 100 pages of short stories with Death as a character. My take on the ghost story is of course different than the usual and I think I can reach more readers with a collection. Not all of the tales in the collection have been seen before and like with my Guardians of the Gate City collection I have added little bits from me, the author, explaining a bit about the tale itself and what led me to write them.

So if you are interested here is the first proof for the cover. I need to tweak it some but I think it will be a good one.

death-collection

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Excerpts from three soon to be published shorts

Yup I am busy publishing those backlogged stories.  Today I put up Secrets Can Be Deadly an Cha-cha-changes.  That gets Magic and Nightmares up to five tales in total, which is cool.  I have three more Death Walks Through Tales to go up and well that number is a lot more.  I have eleven up all ready, so this will bring that series up to fourteen!  Crazy don’t you think?  The tales are on the sad side this time around.  Here are the first pages of each tale

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Okay this first one is written a bit different for me.  I have the story going back and forth between two views…

I Can’t Love you Anymore

A Death Walks Through short story

By Lisa Williamson

 

Sara:

 

That night we fought, what about I cannot remember.  Something stupid I am sure, something that really did not matter but now it does.  When you left, slamming your way out the door, I stood in shock.  It took me too long to move and by then it was too late.  You drove off into the sunset in that old pickup with the missing tailgate.

 

You reached the road by the time I ran out the door but that did not stop me from running after you.  I know I thought if you saw me in the rearview you would stop and we could talk it out.  That I could say I was sorry, that I trusted you but you were all ready gone.

 

I went back inside, thought I would grab my keys and follow you.  After all there were only a few places you would go.  I knew if we just let ourselves cool down and talk we would go back to that special place that was just us.  No one telling us we were wrong for each other or that we should just move on.

 

By the time I got my keys and got into my car it was too late.  You were more upset than you let on.  They said you weren’t paying attention, that you didn’t see it coming and that it was instant.  So I should not feel the pain?  They had no idea that it was all my fault.

 

The police wouldn’t let me see you, kept me back as they brought you out.  Too bad they just did not leave me along.  I saw the sheet draped form as they slid you into the van.  The ring on your hand glinted in the blood red sun and I dropped to the ground, crying out your name.

 

The funeral was hard.  The world should have stopped but it didn’t.  The sky should have rained down like the tears on my cheeks, but the sun shone.  I stood there longer than even your family, was there when they lowered you into the ground.  My brother had to drag me away back to the home we shared.

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This next one is a bit more depressing but again I wanted to show a soul taking that final step…

No more the smiles

A Death Walks Through short story

by Lisa Williamson

 

Sighing, she turned from the window and went to bed. There was little reason to wait up. No one was coming, for no one really cared. The long hours alone were all she had to look forward to, for no one would be coming to her. No one wanted to hold her close, not for real. They looked to her for comfort, for wisdom and for someone to care for them, but when she asked for a little in return she got nothing, and nothing was what she expected.

 

Slipping out of the clothes she wore in the day, she slipped on a simple shirt. It was large and soft, old and thin from many washings. Though it could no possibly hold the scent anymore, she inhaled softly, her eyes closed. Once it belonged to one she thought loved her, thought cared if she existed, but now she knew better. The sad smile crossed her features as she lay once more in the large and empty bed.

 

A single prayer sent up for what, she had no idea. Maybe it was a chance or maybe just for a little peace, she didn’t care. She knew her days would never change. For it wasn’t her fate. Her fate was to serve and give, that was all.

***

And this third one  started out life as a totally different tale.  More a cursed fantasy tale but the characters took the tale in their teeth and it went a different way…

If The Shadows Could Speak

a Death Walks Through short story

By Lisa Williamson

 

She tossed and turned, dreams haunting what little sleep she had found.  Nothing could hold them back other than the sleeping pill lying on the table by the bed.  Opening her eyes she sighed and once more reached for the crutch.  The thing that let her have just enough sleep to function in the daylight hours.

 

Dry swallowing the bitter pill, she lay back and waited for it to take effect.  She hated the feeling that stole over her body, that dizzying loss of control.  If only she could sleep naturally but that little comfort had been taken away from her a month before, on the day he left, never to return.

 

She felt her eyes growing heavy and like every night her eyes slid toward her door.   The shadows were the deepest there, away from the windows.  She whispered, almost too softly for herself to hear.  “Goodnight, beloved.”  Her eyes slid shut, as her mind told her that the shadows nodded.

 

******

 

Watching her from the corner, he sighed inside the hood of shadows.  He was saddened by her state.  It was entirely his fault, he knew that.  If had had stayed, if he had paid attention to her fears, they would be lying together but in his arrogance he had not listened.

 

Sighing softly he stepped toward her, the shadows moving with him.  A month before life had been easy, had been normal.  Yes, he admitted, there had been odd moments but their life was closer to perfection than he had ever thought possible.   Now it was shattered past all mending.

***

I have one more Death Walks Through tale to make a cover for but I am stuck on what to do for Undying Tricksters.  I will put it up once I figure it out.

New cover for Death Comes Softly

Just finished up this tale and the cover that goes with it.  I lucked out and my hubby let me use him for the cover.

 

death-comes-softly

A new Death Walks Through story excerpt

I worked on a lot of tales over the weekend.  Here is an excerpt from one of them:

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Shadows On A Wall

A Death Walks Through short story

By Lisa Williamson

 

When a strong enough explosion happens those too close are vaporized in less than a breath.  Those victims go from living, breathing beings to shadows on a wall.  Their entire physical form is obliterated and the only sign that they were there is a shadow.

 

Though the bodies are destroyed the souls that once inhabited those bodies become lost.  Some were lucky and were trapped only a short time.  Families would come and release those they could.  Sometimes the souls would lose their grip as time wore away that final link to their past.  There are a unlucky few that have no family to release them and time has left those walls, those images behind to chain them to the place that they do not understand has disappeared.  These souls drift in the burnt out crater of what once was a beautiful city.  Eighty years ago they lost their lives but they did not have time to understand that they had.

 

Death’s realm is just between one life and the next.  So many trapped souls in one place was difficult for even Death to help.  One by one Death found ways to move along those trapped by that massive tragedy.  The misconception of the living was that he attended each and every death.  That He took your soul cruelly before the time you thought you should die.  Death is a kind being, he tries his best but sometimes he needs help.

 

***

 

Death stood on the rim of the crater and shook his head.  There in the twilight land between life and death lingered souls that knew not that they had crossed over.  Frozen unlike any others he had encountered in the centuries of mankind.  Humanity had progressed to new levels of destruction that made his job harder. Where once battles left him with a handful of souls to help this new form of war had trapped thousands in the moment of brilliant light and heat.

More excerpts.

With fall there are so many stories to work on.  New tales, old tales and unfinished tales.  With all the series I have going sometimes I mix up what goes where.  This new little tale will be in the Beyond Realities series of shorts.

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Finding Momma

a Beyond Realities short story

By Lisa Williamson

The child stood in the dark, the rain soaking down her hair and clothing.  She looked about like a frightened squirrel and dashed from under a tree to the bus stop shelter.  Fear and sadness was clear in the stance.  Fear grew stronger as ta voice floated out of the night.

“Little kitten running away in the dark.  Where does she think to go?  Who is she running to?”

Sarah froze for a long moment then ducked beneath the bench, curling into as small a ball of wet misery as she could.  Her tiny voice, barely whimpered, “Momma please find me.  Momma I need you.”  Tears slid down her face unheeded into the fur of the ragged teddy bear she clutched in white cold hands.

The eerie voice came closer and continued to frighten the small child.  “Kitten hiding in the dark, come to Sheila, come out now.  I have treats and toys for good little children.  Good little girls and good little boys.”

“Momma, where re you,” Sarah cried and shuddered more as the shadow filled the doorway of the shelter.  She pressed back against the glass, trying to escape the reaching claws.

Suddenly there was a growl and the shelter shuddered as lightening filled the night with flashes of roars of thunder.  Sarah let out a louder whimper, too scared to trly scream.  She felt the walls about her shudder and then the wall before her shattered outward, sending glittering glass into the night.  As the wall broke she finally screamed into the night.

***

And this little bit will be one of then next Death Walks Through tales

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Undying Trickster

A Death Walks Through short story

by Lisa Williamson

“No!  I refuse!”

Death stood with a lifted brow.  Most wanted to move on but came stuck.  A simple nudge helped them move past and onward.  This woman was one of hte angry ones.

“Why?” he asked, his oddly hollow voice echoing in the dark room.

She turned, the long fan of dark hair floating around her.  “I am not supposed to be here.  That bitch stole my form, forced me out.”  The anger crackled in the dim space that they stood in.  Her eyes held the glow of the righteous.  Something Death had seen many times over the years.

There were always a few who claimed they were ousted by another soul.  In all the centuries of his existence he had only met a handful who were truly pushed from their living body by forces other than nature.  He leaned back against a wall that was not there, crossed his arms and looked over the soul before him.

It was true that she held more definition than the other ghosts he helped.  If it had not been for the fact that they were standing in the realm between life and death he would say she was alive.  There was nothing wavering, lost or washed out about this woman.

Flicking his thumb he lit a cheroot and narrowed his eyes.  There, faintly behind her, was the silver cord that attached the living to their bodies.  Those 2who spirit walked had strong cords, those truly dead had no cord.  This cord was thick and pulsing with energy but with some type of clamp attached to it.  He stepped around the woman and walked its length.

As he neared the clamp the whoosh of feathers filled the quite.  “You overstep your bounds.  Release this soul.”

***

And in my newest series I have this tale

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Man’s Road

A Magics and Nightmares short story

by Lisa Williamson

The horizon moved up as she walked, the dawn was lightening the sky slowly from purple.  Stopping she scanned the sky, watching the eagle glide through the air, she sighed and turned her eyes down to  the dust demon skittering across the road.  Starting forward again she wrapped her arms around herself and plodded along.

Everything seemed so grey, dusty and lonely.  Walking was all she could do.  Following the road that man had made in this empty waste.  There was nothing to either side, no building to offer shelter so she kept moving.

The day slowly moved forward and still there was little to break the horizon.  The call of the eagle drifted down to her, urging her to keep going but she was so hungry, so thirsty.  It was hard.

Eyes nearly closed, she followed the black ribbon that slowly rose in the distance.  Briefly as the eagle circled she looked up and could see a building in the distance.  Her heart lifted and she picked up her plodding pace.  As she drew nearer she sighed.  It was a ruin, like all the others she had seen on her long walk.  Moving closer she decided to move toward it.

As she stepped on the weed covered pathway toward the house the eagle swooped down and cried out harshly at her, beating her away from the possible shelter.  The cry startled her and brought her from her daze long enough to see the sign posted.  The skull on top of the fence post and the remains of some animal that had entered the yard.  Shuddering she moved back to her path along the road and kept moving.  The blight had obviously hit here too.  There was no shelter to be found along this stretch of road.

She kept moving till the moon rose and then slowly stopped.  The eagle had come to rest on a bright spot of color.  A tree that had somehow survived the blight.  She tilted her head up to look at her companion.  The great golden bird, nodded and nipped free a fruit that hung from the branches.

***

From Echoes of Elder Times I have started this one

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Winter’s End

a Echoes of Elder Times short story

by Lisa Williamson

The winter settled in and seemed like it would never let go.  While those who lived in the far north knew that winter could linger long into what was supposed to be spring, since the brief war of Gods and Giants, old Mother Winter had not released her grip in almost two years.

The day of Ice, as the war was known, had lasted for an unknown time.  Man and all th lesser creatures had been frozen in place, with only those special few still moving about.  When the war was done and the ice slowly withdrew the world had changed.  Most of those living in the big cities did not survive the thaw.  Of those who had, fewer still survived the uprisings.

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And finally not sure if this will stay in the Mythos of Love series or not

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Angels From the Sky

A Mythos of Love short story

by Lisa Williamson

A figure crouched on the rooftop, eyes darting about, watching the crowds below.  It was nearly midnight but on this night it didn’t matter.  The new year would break soon and the people below were partying to fit the occasion. Is they knew just what was wandering the crowds the tone of anticipation would turn to panic in an instant.  Among the cheers and babbling, a single cry caused the shadowy form to spin about and start running.  Just as it reached the edge it leapt and fell.  A sharp snap filled the air as white wings opened and the figure flew away from the crowds, unnoticed.

 

Across the city away from the holiday revelers the night was different.  Most light were out, either smashed or shuddered.  While the partiers enjoyed the sounds of bands and freely flowing alcohol in these building huddles those who it was just another cold night to survive.  Michael dashed between buildings, chasing yet another pass through.

The past decade had found creatures from other worlds, other dimensions slipping into the city and most found a place in the underbelly, both living and dying in the same under passes and abandoned buildings  that the human runaway and forgotten lived in.  Society at large rarely was touched by the drop ins and when they were it tended to be by the darker denizens.

Michael was part of an interspecies taskforce.  Not acknowledged by the day world, he and a handful of others patrolled the night streets, policing the Fells and the Burrows.  He rounded the corner as a cry split the night.  He could see one of the gentler creatures surround by the E street Brawlers.  The Brawlers were a purely human gang.  They had been making their mark in the underworld by attacking any they thought impure.

A mixed band of street thugs, they allowed only those of Hispanic blood in.  Didn’t matter if you were Mexican, Puerto Rican or El Salvadorian as long as you weren’t mixed with black, red, yellow or white.  They had taken out all the other gangs for 20 blocks from the Barrio to the Fells.  Now that they found a source of creatures not human, they found a new platform.

Not an easy Saturday

Well I had planned on a lot of writing today but so far I have had to spend a lot of the morning out of the house.  So hopefully this afternoon I will get some work done on my ghost stories.  I have plans on what to do with Death Comes Softly.  This one is definitely longer than most of my ghost stories.

Here is a bit of what I did yesterday

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“Oh love, look at you,” his voice was hallow and faint.

She wanted to say something, anything but though her lips moved even in this moment no sound came out.

He nodded, understanding what she wanted to say.  “I know, love.  We will be together, but not just yet.”  He looked first to the shadowy man behind him and then to his twin, who seemed frozen. “Let Tish take care of you.”

Leaning against a nearby tree, Death smoked his long, thin cigarette.  The smoke curled around his face as the living woman looked directly at him.  Her eyes acknowledged his presence.  They were at a tipping point, one that could have her going two ways.  That she could see him was no real surprise to him.  She had come oh so very close to him during the past few weeks but she was not destined to come to him yet.

A quick, bright flash filled the clearing.  His counterpart was there now, stretching glowing feathers out, wings that he could see but the living could not.  “Why is he still here, D?”  The voice of the flashy angel-like being sounded trebled.  Where his was hollow, the Watcher tended to sound like it had a chorus following it about.

“Belief, what else?”

“Well he needs to go.  We have plans for this one.”  The tone was proprietary, like it had a right to the grieving widow.

Death snorted and shook his head.  “You know it doesn’t work that way.  He decides when he goes, not me.  And he isn’t going anywhere till all of him does.”

The Watcher turned from it’s contemplation of Carrie to face him.  “All of him?  You mean this one is one of those?”  There was a small curl to the upper lip.  The Watchers had taken on a lot of the traits of the most popular of the living religions.  This one must think of itself as an angel.  Death knew better but he wasn’t one to argue with those not under his domain.

“One of those?”  He lifted a brow and shook his head.  Well maybe this one would listen to him.  He tried yet again to get the Watchers to see into the heart of their so called charges.  “Damn, you do know she isn’t one of yours right?”  He dropped the butt of his cigarette to the ground.  It faded before it hit the grass.

***

As you can see there is a bit of a battle of wills going on between Death and the Watcher…Not sure if I will keep this or rewrite it but who knows right?