Posts tagged ‘fantasy’

Back with more work..or an excerpt from my first collection

Yup I thought I would toss up a bit of one of the short stories that only a handful of people have seen. My first collection, Gates, has not sold very well. It could be the price, it could be that the publisher did NOTHING when it came to editing and promoting or it could be that I can’t market anything even if I try, but I am sad it hasn’t.

The stories in this collection all have some type of gate between here and there or one reality to the next in them. They range from pure fantasy to horror to a love story to the end of the world. I have received two reviews where they commented about the editing and in an attempt to get them back I contacted the publisher. Looks like they will be holding onto them for another two years unless I can come up with 750 Euros!

So in attempt to try and make some money I thought I would post up excerpts from the tales inside this collection. This one is titled Axe in the Stone is a more classic fantasy tale about the change from one version of the world and the next.

***

Axe in the Stone

By Lisa Williamson

“Where did this come from?”

Sitting, buried in one of the stones of the forest clearing was a large war axe. The blade was embedded in the stone that Juliana usually used to sit and ponder her day. She flitted about the weapon with a concerned look on her face. It wasn’t the fact that there was a large piece of man forged steel sitting in the middle of her glade that bothered her. It was the blood that welled up from around the blade.

At first she had thought it was just left over blood on the blade but as she watched another bead welled up around it from the stone. She hissed as yet another bead came up.

“Man came into the clearing and left that thing.”

Juliana spun about and then smiled. “Hello, Oak. You saw who did this?”

The oak behind the woodland sprite nodded. “Yes. Man came in carrying that and looked about. Man then pulled back like he was going to hit Maple and then he struck rock and staggered off after the flash.”

The sprite looked puzzled for a moment. “After the flash?”

“Yes the flash as the thing entered the stone.” Oak grimaced. “Magic it was, man-magic.”

Juliana nodded, turning back to the strange thing in her grove. “It must be removed,” she said quietly but firmly. “The man must be found and made to remove the blade from the stone. I will not have iron in my grove.” Her eyes flashed with the power behind her statement.

As if called up by name another being entered the grove. He was taller than the average forest dwelling fairy. Almost man tall, he was an oddity in this wood. For he was not a fey at all but a being of another type; not human or troll or Elvin even, he was of older blood indeed. Before the fey had moved to the wood, before the human thought to enter with their weapons of iron there lived a race of beings that were a part of the wood around them. Each and every one of them had something unearthly about them. Even to those of the fey blood they seemed strange and powerful.

Erland was one such being. He liked to spend time in Juliana’s grove, speaking to the trees and the stones. The cry of the chair stone brought him into the grove when others were about. He walked past the flitting fairy woman and gently rested a hand on the stone. “I feel your pain brother stone. I will help you if I can.”

He turned to the fey and the trees. “How did you allow this to happen?”

“Allow? Allow!” shouted the fairy. “I did not allow anything. I was on my rounds when the human entered the grove.”

Erland looked at the fairy woman for a long moment and then turned to the stone once more. “You were right that the blade must be removed but the Man who did this can not do it.” He studied the iron blade with narrowed eyes. Colors swirled in his sight about the blade. “The magic was not his but part of the blade itself.”

Oak spoke up. “Is it one of the OLD blades?”

Juliana looked confused. “One of the what?”

Sighing Erland sat down on the air and pulled a pipe from his pocket. Flicking the end with his thumb he puffed for a moment before speaking. “What Oak is referring to is an ancient weapon made by a people that no longer part of this land. The Crafters they were called by my kind. They were a strange race, much like the Man you saw. But the major difference being that they made magical things as easy as you breath.”

Juliana settled on the ground and listened with huge eyes. “You mean they made such nasty things?”

The forest being nodded, “They did not make them to be nasty but just to make them. They never truly understood the uses that the things they made would be put to. They were innocents in a world filled with warriors. They would make something like this on a whim and give it to the first to pass by and ask for it.”

The little sprite woman shook her head. “How foolish. Did they think that they were safe doing that?”

“No little one. They did not think of danger. For they were totally peaceful beings. When the first of their creations were raised against them they were shocked.”

Juliana nodded, understanding coming to her soft eyes. “They paid a high price didn’t they?”

Erland looked at the small winged woman for a time before answering. “The first time one of their creations were used against them they thought it was a mistake. For they saw the other races as children and they chastised the child who had harmed them. It was a simple tool that had been used for the wrong purpose to their minds. They took the tool back and sent the creature who misunderstood its use far away.” He closed his eyes and puffed away at his pipe for a bit.

***

If you are interested in reading the rest of this tale you can pick up the book at many of the ebook retailers around the web.

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Final cover and an excerpt from another collection in the works

I have finished up a simple cover for Mythos of Love. While not as striking as some of my other covers, it is a good, working cover and hopefully people will take a chance on this book.

mythos-of-love Yup just changed the font and the color of the text and a bit of placement.  So it is finished and ready to go!

As for the next collection, I am tossing between releasing all the Worlds Apart short stories or the Beyond Realities short stories collections. Either of them will need a new story or three to complete. The stories out all ready as some of my older pieces of work. They will of course be edited, like the other collections, revised and commented on.  I have had my many short stories out for almost three years now so many of them will be coming down and only be available in these collections.

Okay I said I would put up excerpts. So how about a little from both of the collections to be I mentioned? While I have many more collections in the works, these two are fun, odd and different.

This first one is from Earthquake Unexpected. This tale will be part of the Beyond Realities collection and starts back home in NH. Like most writers I do place stories in places I know. This was inspired by a trip over a bridge during a windstorm and my mind went to its usual odd place.

***

Panting as the vehicle came to rest against the tree, she looked over at her daughter, who was tightly clutching her blanket. “Mommy?”

”Yes, sweetie,” Kelley answered, her voice shaking a bit.

”Why is the big man staring at us like that?”

”What big man?” Kelley looked about to where her daughter was pointing and gasped. There, just beyond the fallen tree, was a giant.

This was not a giant in the way of normal humans. He easily stood taller than the tallest tree still standing. He was covered in moss and dirt and there was a ragged beard on his chin. Mercedes was right, he was a big man and he was staring at them

The giant was staring down at them, as if trying to decide if they were real or not. His moss green eyes were locked on their truck and as she watched he tilted his head and reached for them. “Oh God,” Kelley whispered and tried to put the truck into reverse. The gears made a grinding sound and then the truck stalled.

As the engine sound died the tree giant started to move. Faster than Kelley expected he reacted down and picked up the truck, carefully lifting it over the tree and bringing it to his chest. He cradled the vehicle and its frightened passengers, turned and strode across the landscape, the ground shaking under his feet. “Mommy, did he cause the ground to quake?” The little girl seemed more relaxed than her mother. It could be the way the giant was holding the truck or just the fact that she couldn’t feel the shakes any more. It did not matter to the little girl. She looked about curiously.

”No, honey, I don’t think he caused the earthquake at home.” Kelley reached back to calm down Ruffus. The dog was terrified. The thing holding the truck smelled like a tree to him, but looked like a large human. He lay with his tail down and whimpering.

They all rode in silence after that, as the giant carried them away from the shaking forest. To where Kelley had no idea and she did her best to hide her confusion and fear. She reached out and ran a hand that only shook a little over her daughter’s bright hair.

***

Yeah I did it, I have a giant who might or might not be the cause of an earthquake in of all places, southern NH! I just could not resist and who knows where that tale will go.

Now the other collection, Worlds Apart, is a bit odder still. This collection is where I tend to put my even weirder tales. This little bit of excerpt is from the story Down the Rabbit Hole which was inspired by a Google group and a discussion about the end of the world:

***

The day when she finally gave in to the inevitable was when the wildlife around her started to tell her things. The first time a beaver spoke to her in her head she had thought she had finally gone mad. She had dropped to the ground, sobbed and shook like a child scared of the lightening in the sky, but after a good long cry she shook herself all over and then decided that if she was mad then she would enjoy it. It did not take her friend the beaver long to explain that she was not mad, but that she would never return to the world of her birth.

She sipped the tea in her cup till she drained it dry. Sighing, she pushed herself up from the ground. One thing that the land beneath the Rabbit Hole gave her was a body that was strong and resilient. Before, back home, she had arthritis and scars from a life lived hard, but here that had all faded. Something about the water, wind and the plants made her stronger, healthier and younger.

Crystal looked like a woman of middle years, with a touch of silver in the long strands of her rich brown hair. There were fine lines covering her skin, not the deep furrows she had back home. She looked more weathered than old. Deep inside a part of her fought with the belief that she should look as old as she was. She had reached into her fifties before she tumbled into the hole. As the seasons moved here, she had been alive hundreds of years.

***

I do plan to finish these two tales sometime in the next few months and then I will have the same issues I had with Mythos. Editing, revising, editing, finding a beta reader or two and then publishing. Expect more excerpts from my other collections to come and of course my other novels.

A little bit more

Yes I mentioned earlier this week I lost a ton of a story I was working on.  At the moment I seem to have three Mythos of love stories in the works.  I just can’t focus on one tale at time seems right?  Well it leads to a lot of different fun things.  Here you go, this is a litte of what I rewrote for Four Dragons Valley.

^^^

Morning comes early when you live in a cup valley with many animals.  Yvette was up with the sun.  Slipping on a old pair of sneakers, a ragged tshirt and cut off shorts she headed out to tend to her animals.  The dawn brought with it a energy that made her smile.  The rain had washed the valley clean and she could smell the fresh growth that always followed.  She knew that it was odd but her connection to this valley was more than she could explain to anyone if they asked.

 

Watching the sunrise was one of her favorite times of the day.  The colors that broke over the surrounding mountains, lifting the mist that hung there just before each dawn.  She would do a series of yoga stretches and then head out to feed her friends.  Even though she had a night of interrupted sleep and odd dreams she felt energized that morning and was through her chores in record time.  She strolled back and in decided to bring her patient breakfast.  She quickly fried up eggs and bacon, hoping that he was like most men she remembered.

 

Charlie was still acting a bit odd but he forgave her when she tossed him a piece of bacon.  Gathering the tray she headed down the hall to the guest room.

 

***

Obviously this little bit is totally rough.  I have more in the works and who knows how this romance will turn out.  My hero of the piece, Benjamin, is more than he seems and the heroine, Yvette has parts of herself she has yet to find

Why not do some fantasy romances for a while?

Yup I think that is where I am going.  Okay I will toss between my Death Walks Through series and the as of yet unnamed fantasy romance series of short stories.  Different than what I have been doing for sure.  I need to toss things up right?  And why not?  Nothing like keeping your readers on their toes.  Okay more keeping me on my toes.  So here is an excerpt from the story  I will work on after Blackbird (I hope)

***

Singer of the Blood song

by Lisa Williamson

 

Sitting in the quiet darkness, her eyes just a dark pool watching him.  Just him.  Silently supporting his talent with her presence. One true fan of the new voice.  She mouthed each word as he sang, as he spoke and she held her breath for the endless moment before the applause began.  She drank in the pleasure that lit his face and smiled when his searching eyes found hers.  Only two souls knew who the songs were sung for, who inspired the words.  And only two understood  the pain and deep love those words called forth.

 

As the crowd cheered and the stage door jills moved toward his perch on the stage, she moved back and deeper in the shadows.  She didn’t watch the young lovelies press against him nor did she listen to the promises they made.  The women tried to play the age old game but none of them would be going home with him this night.

 

Only she would be.   She stepped out of the club and turned to walk around the side.  Her car was parked in the back.  Where he could slip out and not be followed by  his new fans.  They had done this many times.  Playing the small clubs across the north eastern states had been both a joy and a learning experience for them both.

 

******

 

Ohanko sighed with relief as the doors shut behind him.  He found the night’s performance had pulled more  out of him than he expected.  Looking about he smiled when he spotted the sleek, black car, idling just a few feet away.

 

He picked up his guitar and headed toward it.  Inside he knew would be Kiele, his island flower.  She was delicate and loving, she was always there, waiting for him. As he slid into the soft leather interior of their one luxury he rested his head back and smiled.  “As always,” he leaned over and kissed her waiting lips.

 

She lifted her soft hand and gently caressed his tired face.  “Tough night, wasn’t it?”

Working hard or hardly working

Yet trying to work but dang it is hard with the storms passing by.  If you are smart you shut down your machine and sit out the thunder and lightening.  Of course usually storms move through quickly but yesterday not so much.  I did get some good stuff written on Blackbird though…a twist I was not expecting in fact.  I swear I don’t write these things, they write themselves by highjacking my fingers!  Well here you go..an excerpt from my work yesterday.

***

I opened my beak to beg her to change this spell when the thrust fluttered down next to me.  Her sweet voice was dripping with scorn.  “So you lie again, sister.”  She darted her beak down into the soft flesh of Mary’s hand, who pulled it back with a hiss of her own.  “Tell him the truth sister.  Tell him why you turned him into a bird.”

 

Mary growled softly at her sister and then sucked briefly on the wound.  “Fine Margaret, you want me to break his heart even more?  Was it not bad enough you let your Randal suffer his fate?”

 

“The truth sister!”  Margaret thrust her beak back toward me and quickly rubbed the blood from it onto my face.

 

I wanted to yell at Margaret, tell her to stop but something odd was happening.  The Mary I knew and loved was slowly leeching out of the face before me.  Whether it was the coppery blood in the air or maybe it was my mind growing sharper from the days as a bird the magic was fading.  The flawless skin faded away and Mary slowly aged from the young dewy maiden to a woman closer to the age of my parents.  “What foulness is this?”

 

“Nothing but the glamour being removed sailorman.”  Margaret softly told me and then a song of utter beauty filled the air about me.

 

The song was pure and full of gentle magic that I could feel.  Unlike the magic I had felt since I was transformed this was warm and soft.  I can only remember the pain from the twisting of my essence from the first spell.  The feeling of something being torn from my soul and a darkness that descended down on me was firmly set in my memories.  This song attempted to fill the void that I had been ignoring for the past three weeks.

 

“Margaret must you do this every time?”  Mary’s voice seemed harsh now.  “He is no more worthy of your sacrifice than your Randal was.  Just leave him to his fate and me to mine.   You will not regain your place this way.”

a bit of an excerpt from Hope Everlasting

Okay I should be putting up new stuff but till I get further along I thought why not just put up little excerpts from my stuff on sale?  So here you go!

***

Joe made a face.  Like most of those in the know he knew who Bethie was.  Back in 1930 there was a massive fire that burned down most of the Crown Hill neighborhood.  Though the papers claimed no one died, Bethie was one of the three missing women.  Their bodies had been buried quietly by their families and not in Woodlawn.  No, being as they were not pure human their bodies were carted across town to be buried near the Middlesex Canal.  The full name had been dropped by most of the current residents of the city but then that was normal.  The flood that covered half the city later in the decade had moved Bethie’s body from her grave.  Being disturbed was not a good thing.

The nonhuman blood in Bethie’s veins came from the Irish and Scottish fae that had followed their human counterparts into the Merrimack valley centuries before.  If her body had not been disturbed she might have stayed in the summerlands but the flood and the following construction led to something only a few understood.  A Banshee.

Now most Banshees are horrid, pallid creatures, looking only to spread death but Bethie was different.  Bethie, while more than willing to snack on some scum that came down to the Canal to do things best not thought of, she tended to only take those who were not native to the city.  And native to Bethie meant you had family living in New Hampshire at the time of the fire and flood.

Lucky for me I came from a long line of natives.  Not as long as Joe but my family was one of the first whites to settle here.  Joe’s family of course had been in this valley long before mine.  But the Crow and the Banshee, well they weren’t too keen on each other.  “You don’t need to come along you know.”  I said to him quietly as I put the old truck in gear and cut across Main.

Joe snorted and shook his head.  “Leave you to deal with the crazy one by your lonesome?  Please I may be a bird but I’m not a chicken.”  Laughing at the derogatory term that Crows used for many of the other winged shifters I nodded and we rode in silence toward Bethie’s lair.

Mixing reality with fantasy..or a new story excerpt

Yes I am actually working on this one.  Thanks to the convoluted way my brain works I have started a new ghost story.  This time it is from back home.  Not that I plan on actually naming places but that tale is becoming mixed up with my actual family, so it is both fun and scary for me to write.  Here is the first bit of it.

***

Under the Black Bridge

A Death Walks Through short story

by Lisa Williamson

 

“Sometimes legends spring from the smallest of things.  Children’s laughter is not something that normally one would associate with darkness but under the Black Bridge late at night can be heard the laughter of little children.  No child has been found when concerned adults go out to look but what they find, now that is a different story.”

“But I was there you know?  The day the train derailed over the River.  The passengers screaming as the water rushed in and it was a mad house.  Some of us dove into the river to try and save as many as we could.  Wasn’t the best idea being how strong the currents are in the river but they were dying you know?”

The shadowy man sitting across the clearing nodded as if he understood.  The end of his cigarette glowed in the gloom.

“There was only so much we could do but we did it.  After all that was the job.  To aid and protect.  We all take that vow when we put on the badge.”

“But they don’t tell you how to deal with it when you can’t do they Frank?”  The man’s voice was hallow but deep, understanding.

The tall blonde police officer shook his head looking out over the water toward the two black and cracked pillars.  “No they don’t.  That day was so hard on the men who could not pull out every body living.  To see those little ones so limp…” Frank’s voice broke then and his broad shoulders slumped.  “I tried, I did but they were gone before I found them in the last car.  Six of them all trapped in the wreckage.”

“There was nothing you could do, officer.  They did not suffer you know?”

Blue eyes flashed with anger as Frank turned back toward the other man in the clearing.  “How do you know that!  How do you know they weren’t afraid, that they didn’t gasp out their last breaths praying for me to come and save them?”

The shadow tipped back his hat and black eyes gleamed out.  “I know Frank, I know.”

****

This is the first time I have put someone in my family actually into a story.  I never got to meet my granfather, he died when my mom was a teenager but I know a few things about him.  I like to think that he was a big and sweet man.