Free Fiction Thursday – Iris & Ivy

Good morning, everyone! How’s your Thursday going so far?

In honor of Halloween next week, how about a ghost story? That’s tradition, right? To sit around a campfire (or a dark room) and tell stories designed to scare your socks off and make it impossible to get a good night’s sleep. Fun!

I hope everyone has a suitably spooky Halloween. In the meantime, enjoy “Iris & Ivy.”

 

Iris and Ivy

Annie Reed

Published by Thunder Valley Press

Copyright 2011 by Annie Reed

Cover art copyright 2009 by Ivan Bliznetsov at iStockphoto.com

Iris leaned her weary back against the inside of the front door to her apartment.  She felt as well as heard the latch snap shut.

Home again, home again, whoop de doo.

She closed her eyes and concentrated.  In her mind’s eye, she saw a faint green glow surround the lock.  She kept concentrating until the glow spread to fill the crack between the door and the jamb, like a bit of glow-in-the-dark weather stripping.

Satisfied the bit of threshold magic would hold, she opened her eyes and pulled off the  wig with its long, brassy red curls.  Her scalp itched.  She scoured her fingers through her own blonde hair until the skin on her head tingled.

Her face itched, too.  She’d caked the makeup on pretty heavy tonight.  Foundation and blush.  False eyelashes so thick they looked like furry caterpillars crouching on her eyelids.  Enough steel grey and dark brown eye shadow to make her look like the sexiest nearly-dead person trolling the dockside bars. She couldn’t wait to wash all the crap off her face so she could get back to being herself.

Changelings shifted their appearance with hardly a second thought.  All they had to do was see you, or better yet touch you, and presto chango, say hello to a brand new version of yourself, original model no longer required.  Non-changelings like Iris had to work a little harder to become someone else.

“Well?” she said to the not-quite-empty apartment.  “What did you think of that one?”

The wig she still held jerked out of her hand and floated in the empty air in front of her.  The elastic netting that anchored all those red curls filled out.

(read the rest of the story here)

Free Fiction Thursday – Hunters

Happy Thursday, everyone!  And happy first week of October.

Somehow it doesn’t quite feel like October yet.  The weather’s been too warm, the trees haven’t really started losing their leaves yet, and hubby’s still mowing the lawn.  The days are getting shorter, though; this morning it was still dark when I got up.  Pretty soon we’ll be putting up Halloween decorations — at least those that don’t stay out all year — and watching scary movies now that I’ve finally been able to satisfy my Avengers craving. *g*

So to get us all in the mood for the scary season, how about a little supernatural horror story?  I hope you enjoy “Hunters.”

Hunters

Annie Reed

 Published by Thunder Valley Press

Copyright 2010 by Annie Reed

Cover art Konradbak | Dreamstime.com

The first time Shelly knew she dreamed in technicolor was when she saw her own blood splatter across a rough brick wall.  The blood was deep maroon, each drop as big as her thumb, glistening and wet and oh so much of it.

Too much to lose and survive, even for her.

Maroon blood.  Grey brick. The stone cold certainty that she was about to die.  Over the years the nightmare had become familiar, if not welcome.  At least she no longer woke up screaming.

When Collin touched her shoulder to wake her, Shelly sat bolt upright with her hands to her chest, heart pounding.  Tonight the dream had been so real.  More than any other night?  She didn’t know, but she thought so.  She half-expected her fingers to smear her tee-shirt with that dark maroon red.

“You had the dream again,” Collin said.  It wasn’t a question.  He had been with her too long.  He knew her too well.

Collin brushed Shelly’s hair away from her forehead, leaned in and pressed his lips lightly against her pale skin.  Collin was good to her, watched out for her, but he couldn’t understand.  He didn’t dream.

“We’ve got a gig tonight,” Collin said.  “You gonna be okay with that?”

Thigh-high boots, leather skirt and a baby-doll, all in black.  Her stage costume.  So different from the faded, oversized, Reality Bites tee-shirt she wore when she slept.  Shelly tried to remember if she had been wearing the costume in her dream, but the details were elusive.  Rough grey walls, dank, musty dirt under her feet, the heavy pounding tread of something chasing her — that’s all she remembered.

That, and the taste of dying.  The dying part had been very clear.

(read the rest of the story here)