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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Echo’s Journal Entry #5

If this is your first time reading Echo’s Journal, please read the previous entries so you understand what’s happening in the story. I hope you enjoy it and leave a comment or suggestion when you’re finished. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

ECHO'S JOURNAL COVER

 

Journal Entry #5

I was anxious to start learning from Sarah. I also longed to spend more time closer to Gregory. But there was one huge problem, Aaron. He was directed by Rowan to keep me under constant watch. Aaron had the utmost respect and loyalty for my father. He’d follow any diktat without question.

Aaron’s constant hovering quickly became annoying. To make it more uncomfortable, he decided it was time to begin his campaign to become my consort.

Consort is a term reserved for royalty, which we were. My father was the doyen, the leader of our kind. He was the most respected, and feared. It was unusual for a man In his position to take a journey of such uncertainty as we were on, but he told stories of boredom with his lot.

“A leader must be willing to make sacrifices and show bravery to face the unknown. Otherwise, who will follow?”

The consort called for my father’s approval of the partnership and nothing more. If I objected, it was of no consequence. Here’s where my father’s indifference was advantageous. Although he approved of Aaron’s intentions, he never pushed the issue, much to Aaron’s dismay.

It’s not that Aaron was undesirable. His blonde hair and strong features turned many women’s heads. I wasn’t one of them. The blood in my veins didn’t warm when he was near. My palms didn’t ache to touch his skin. Each thought in my mind didn’t center on him every waking second of the day. Gregory did that to me.

With Gregory’s presence, Aaron’s pleas to my father became more urgent. It was difficult to hide my reactions to Gregory. If my father decided to push the consort with Aaron, I wouldn’t have a choice. My mission became to hide all emotions and attempt to convince Aaron his suspicions of my feelings were unfounded. That was not an easy task. I forced myself to endure hours of staying close to him. Those were very long days.

Sarah and Gregory no longer stayed close to our camp in the day time. The frequent battles of the war provided ample opportunities for his training. I wished to be with them, learning how to break out from the confinement of my lack of knowledge. My opportunity came sooner than I imagined it would.

Something was happening in our camp. Aaron became secretive, not that he shared much with me when it came to matters with Rowan. He was spending more time in private with my father and less time watching over me. At the time I didn’t care why, another mistake I suppose. I finally had the chance to join Sarah and Gregory and learn how to hunt.

When the three of us were together, the bond between Gregory and Sarah was evident. Staying under control of my urges was a constant struggle. His reaction to me made it easier. Distaste for my presence was evident each time we were together. There was no warmth in his eyes when he glared at me, and he continuously glared. He stood as far from me as possible, always remaining at Sarah’s side. He spoke few words in front of me, yet constantly whispered in her ear.

As time passed, my feelings for him shifted. When I questioned Sarah about his actions and my emotions towards him, she said it was a normal part of the process. He was adjusting to his transmutation. She was there when he woke and she helped him understand what was happening to him.

“There’s a natural bond with the first one you see upon waking, nothing more. He feels protective of me because of it. Trust of others doesn’t come easily for someone new to this life. He will warm to you with time,” she explained.

As far as my issues, I was finally acclimating to the part of me that wasn’t human. She said it was difficult because my coterie waited so long to expose me to this side of our lives. It could also have something to do with my human teenage hormones.

“Teenage girl emotions are unpredictable at best,” she said. “There’s no reason for any concern. It’s completely normal.”

My blind trust in her knowledge and friendship made the explanations plausible. I never questioned anything she said. That would come back to bite me in a big way, pun intended!

 

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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Echo’s Journal Entry #4

If this is your first time reading Echo’s Journal, please read the previous entries so you understand what’s happening in the story. I hope you enjoy it and leave a comment or suggestion when you’re finished. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

ECHO'S JOURNAL COVER

Journal Entry #4

Blood pulsed through my ears in angry bursts. My eyelids struggled to lift, but remained immobile. Voices carried through the air in hushed whispers.

“Rowan will be furious if he learns you sent her in here. We have to be careful or we’ll have our own war to deal with,” a soft feminine voice said.

“He speaks of breaking rules, but he is the most heinous rule breaking of us all. I apologize for my moment of weakness. It won’t happen again,” a husky mumble answered.

The voices were familiar, but the swishing in my ears prevented me from identifying the sources. Pain shot through my skull when I attempted to turn my head towards them.

“See that it doesn’t,” the woman said. “I can’t chastise you too much. I had a bit of a slip myself. The man is infuriating, but we must maintain control. I think he grows suspicious. We can’t have that, not yet. Now go check on our new companion. She may wake at any moment. It’s better if I deal with her alone.”

My mind struggled to remember what happened. The lack of control I had over my body was disturbing. I concentrated on one task, opening my eyes. Then I would have the answer to who was speaking. It sounded as if they were up to something, but their words became jumbled and I couldn’t remember most of what they said. It was weeks later that the memory of that conversation would return vividly at the most inopportune time.

Coolness pressed against my forehead. The skin where a few droplets tricked down my temple tingled. My lids finally lifted. Sarah’s face came into focus through the haze.

“What happened?” I asked.

“You got too close. The guards at the door were able to pull you out of his reach before any true damage was done.”

I pushed my elbows against the dirt floor, trying to rise up. The room spun. My body collapsed back down.

“You probably should stay put for a bit. You took quite a nasty bump to the head. That’s my fault actually. I had to knock you out, slow your heartbeat.”

I couldn’t believe Sarah hit me. She explained it was for my own good. The stranger had completed his transmutation and needed to feed. It didn’t matter to him who or what he fed from, just that he needed the blood. The men took him to the forest to feed on animals. It would hold him for a bit, take the edge off the lust temporarily.

Sarah’s words before I blacked out came back to me. My coterie didn’t explain to me what happened when you track someone. Why was I obsessed with that man, to the point where I would have killed to get to him?

“There’s a reason you pick up on certain scents and others aren’t as strong. Your first time is the most intense. Your body distinguishes the scent of one who will most satisfy your needs at the time. Once you acquire it, your body will stop at nothing to obtain what you seek. You lose all control. That’s what I saw in your eyes when you tracked him and came into the room.”

“Will it go away?”

“I don’t know. We usually get what we want. You couldn’t. He was too close to the end of his transmutation to feed. The problem is, now he’s latched to your scent. That might be a problem.”

Rowan was enraged when he learned what happened. He forbade all interactions with members from the other coterie unless I had a chaperone. Aaron, my father’s next in command, usually volunteered. He wanted to be my consort and my father agreed. I, however, had no desire to be with him. The tension among us grew each day.

I watched from afar as Sarah spent her days with the new arrival. His name was Gregory. Heat coursed through my veins each time I witnessed them interacting. My heart hurt for him and was happy she was helping him through the adjustment to this life. The rest of me desired to be the one close to him. It was disturbing how possessed I became.

As Sarah gave him instructions, his eyes remained on me if I was in sight, which was always. We were connected by an invisible force. My body sensed when he was awake or sleeping, hungry or hurt, saddened or frustrated. I never sensed happiness in him.

As days turned into months, I longed to spend time with Sarah. I missed our walks in the woods and the lessons she taught me. Our group became divided within our settlement. We still lived together, but there was little interaction among members of the groups. War broke out and food was in abundant supply. My body was weakened because I refused to take food my coterie offered. Sarah was right. I needed to learn for myself.

One day, I followed Sarah and Gregory when they left camp. They had disappeared early each day and didn’t return until nightfall. My curiosity peaked. I worked on controlling my urges to rip my friend to shreds each time I saw them together. I felt I could handle this excursion on my own.

I waited for Aaron to be called away by one of the other men. He saw Sarah and Gregory walk into the forest and knew my daily routines. I’m sure he thought it was safe to leave me for a bit. He’d pay for that mistake.

Gregory’s scent allowed me to follow from a distance, but Sarah most likely knew I was behind them all the while. After walking through thick brush and fields of long brown grass, the scent vanished. Moments later, it invaded my nostrils momentarily then dissipated just as quickly. I turned, looking through the spaces in the trees for them. A few leaves blew through the air as I smelled him again.

Laughter filled the air. Sarah came out from behind a bush, giggling at me.

“He may be faster than me.”

I walked closer to her. Gregory appeared as if from thin air in front of her.

“Close enough,” he said.

She leaned around his shoulder. “Oh calm down, she couldn’t hurt me if she wanted to, at least I don’t think she can. Has it faded?” Her hand rested on his arm. My fists clenched. “I’ll take that as a no,” she said.  “Maybe you should go back. I’m sure you left without Rowan’s permission and I wouldn’t want him getting angry with you,” Sarah said.

Gregory’s golden eyes remained on me. His nostrils flared when Sarah said my father’s name.  The restrictions of the past months was my prison sentence for existing. I was tired of him controlling me. His anger no longer drove my choices.  I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Everything shifted in that moment. Inner strength took over my body and mind, transforming me.

“I don’t care how my father feels about me being here. I’m taking control of what I do. I need you to teach me how to hunt.”

Gregory’s white teeth peeked out from behind his curved lips. He walked towards me. My pulse quickened, but I remained in my spot even though my body screamed from within to run to him, or maybe away.

Sarah grabbed his wrist to stop him. My eyes darted to her hand, but I fought the urge to react. I lifted my gaze back to her face.

“Excellent, I think there’s hope for you yet.”

I didn’t know then that this was all part of their plan.

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I hope you’re enjoying Echo’s story. Please leave a comment or suggestion of where you would like to see the story go from here. I have a few ideas of my own, but they usually change as the week goes on. I’m open to any suggestions my readers may have and look forward to continuing Echo’s story. Thank you for reading!

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Echo’s Journal Entry #3

If this is your first time reading Echo’s Journal, please go back and read the previous entries to help you better understand the story. Thank you for dropping by and please leave your suggestions in the comments.

ECHO'S JOURNAL COVER

Journal Entry #3

The veins in my father’s neck resembled a bumpy map of intersecting roads when he was angry. I had never seen it this bad.

“What were you thinking taking her out this late at night? And who the hell was stupid enough to change him? Was it you?” he shouted, pointing at Sarah.

She had the nerve to look bored at his outburst. My insides quivered just breathing the same air as him. As we approached camp only moments before, all members of both coteries met us with wide eyes and grimaces. They smelled him in the air.

I shrunk into the corner as Rowan and Drake, the leader of the other group argued.

“Sarah was doing you a favor. That daughter of yours needs to learn how to find food for herself. You and your group have done nothing to help her with this life,” Drake argued.

“My daughter and what I do or do not teach her is none of your business. Was it your idea she take her out in the night that far from camp on their own? She’s not ready for that.”

Sarah’s head snapped towards him. “You have no idea what Echo is ready for, what she can do. You haven’t given her a chance. She did great out there tonight. She was a natural tracker, once she got started.”

Rowan pointed his finger into her face. “I’m not speaking to you woman. Sit down.”
Sarah shook her head and rolled her eyes. “No one orders me to sit. Our coterie doesn’t work that way. You’d best remember that in the future.”

My jaw dropped as she stomped away towards the makeshift hut where they kept the stranger we found. Two men stood at the doorway keeping guard. Sarah crossed between them and disappeared inside.

Fire danced in Rowan’s eyes, and it wasn’t a reflection of the one that burned before him. I feared for my friend in that moment, but admired her at the same time. Drake cleared his throat.

“She has a point. Our women are as valuable a part of our group as our men. If that’s something you can’t deal with, tell me now. We’ll be on our way if it’s going to be a problem.”

My heart raced. I couldn’t lose Sarah. She was the only friend I had. The other members of her group were nice too. There was a lot of fighting amongst our men before they came, mostly about me. Their coterie brought a calmness to the group. It was interesting to witness. There was no predicting what would happen if we split.

“Could it have been someone from your group who changed him?” Rowan asked.

“Could it have been someone from yours?” Drake responded.

The men stared at each other, still as statues. Rowan pulled in a deep breath. “We’ll stay together for now. But if you discover it was one of your group that changed him, I suggest you move on before I get a hold of him, or her.”

Drake folded his hands in front of him. “May I suggest dealing with the matter at hand? There’s nothing we can do to alter the fact that this man is changing. We must focus on helping him adjust to the change,” Drake said.

“We wouldn’t have to deal with it if it never happened. There are rules for a reason. This puts all of us at risk,” my father replied.

“Yes, but…”

“But nothing, this discussion is over,” Rowan said before marching off towards the woods.

I jumped as loud crashes and banging carried through the cool night air from the forest. Leaves rustled against each other as a tree toppled to the ground. His strength was unsurpassed when rage flowed through him.

“That man is going to implode one of these days,” Drake whispered.

I waited every day for that type of anger to rise inside me. Rowan often told me how much I favored my mother. There must be something, besides my need for blood, I inherited from him. I hoped his temperament wasn’t it. I’d later find out I did have this part of him. It took time to develop and a reason to fight for it to surface.

“Why don’t you go check on our new addition?” Drake asked.

The excitement of our arrival and everyone’s reaction made me forget about his scent. As soon as Drake mentioned him, my senses refocused. The smell was different now, more potent, but just as delicious as before. My mind knew it was a bad idea to go near him, but my body didn’t care as it rose and walked to where he was kept.

The millions of stars that lit up the sky helped cast a subtle glow across the room. My eyes adjusted quickly and the area came into sharp focus, too sharp. Colors popped like never before. The vividness was indescribable. It was as if I had been looking through frosted glasses until that moment.

Sarah’s long blond hair veiled her face as she bent over wiping the stranger’s bare chest with a wet cloth. Red water trickled through her fingers when she wrung out the fabric over a basin next to him on the floor. The scabs from the healing wounds vanished. She continued to clean him until his perfect tan skin emerged. Ridges of muscle in his arms and torso pulsed with each breath he took.

Sarah turned to me. “He’s kind of cute. You sure know how to pick them.”

“What are you talking about?”

He wasn’t cute, he was gorgeous. But I didn’t pick him, I just smelled him.

She ran her hands through his thick dark hair, brushing it away from his forehead. Heat rushed through my body. My fingers clenched into fists at my sides. Sarah looked back at me and smirked.

“What’s the matter Echo? Feeling a little territorial?”

Every muscle in my body contracted. Thoughts of ripping my friend apart if she touched him one more time ran through my brain.

“They didn’t even explain this part to you, did they?” She shook her head.

“Explain what?” I asked through clenched teeth.

“They didn’t tell you what happens when you track someone. It’s a little scary the first time. I should have known they didn’t tell you. They haven’t helped you at all,” Sarah said.

Sweat rolled down my forehead. His tempting aroma engulfed me. I inched closer. Sarah stood with her hands raised in front of her.

“Stop! You need to know how this works. I know how you’re feeling right now, but it’s dangerous if you don’t understand what’s happening.”

My eyes remained on him. Her words meant nothing. She wouldn’t stop me from getting closer to him, to his smell, to his skin. I’d kill her if it came to that, though the human part of me hoped it didn’t. The other part that needed him would do anything to make it happen.

“Echo, don’t do this. Please don’t make me hurt you.”

His eyes shot open. Pools of indigo stared at me as he rose from the floor. Voices swam through my ears, but were muffled as if I was under water. He lunged at me and everything went black.

free_2298086[1]  It’s time for the readers to take an active part in this experiment. I’d love to hear any comments or suggestions at this point. I have some definite ideas that I want to work into the story, but want to know where you see this going. I may not incorporate suggestions immediately, but may find what the readers come up with is even better than what I have in mind. I look forward to reading everyone’s thoughts and continuing with Echo’s story. As always, thank you for reading!

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Echo’s Journal Entry #2

If this is your first time visiting, please go back and read the previous posts of Echo’s Journal. Thank you for dropping by.

ECHO'S JOURNAL COVER

Journal Entry #2

It took seventeen weeks to reach my full maturity, that of a seventeen year old. If you’ve done the math, you figured out that’s one week for each year. No one knew why I stopped aging at this point. The theory was that my mother was seventeen when she had me, therefore that’s the age I’d be frozen at for eternity.

Because I’m not a full breed of either my father or my mother, I was able to eat food or consume blood. My choice was, and still is, food. But it didn’t provide me with everything my body needs. If I went too long without blood, I felt weak, as if I was fading out. I despise this part of me.

Just thinking about piercing someone’s skin and sucking out the warm red fluid made my stomach turn. For a long time, my meals were provided for me. I often refused the blood, unless I got to the point where I couldn’t function. Then I’d only take the smallest amount to build up my strength again.

The coterie took special precautions and kept me under constant watch for a long time. Our group was all men. I don’t know if the reaction was overprotectiveness or distrust, but they were suffocating. I was a risk, an unpredictable variable. I wasn’t one of them. Not only was I half human, but I had the hormones of a teenage girl constantly running through me.

Then one day another coterie that had also come from England joined our group. It was easier to track the feeding in the new world and control those who were tempted to endanger our existence if we were together. The other coterie had some women. Things were about to get better, or so I thought.

I quickly made friends with Sarah who was changed at the age of nineteen. That was over two hundred years ago. Her golden hair and glowing pale skin made her look like a magical fairy. But the girl was fierce. She could fight better than half the men in our group and was wicked fast. To be honest, she scared me, a lot! I figured I better make friends because I sure didn’t want her as an enemy.

“I’ve got your back,” she would say. “As long as you don’t stab me in mine. Then all bets are off and you better hope I never find you.”

The men eased up on me a bit. But the one thing they insisted upon was that I practice finding my own food, with a chaperone of course. Sarah volunteered. She taught me how to find food I could eat in the forests. Despite her constant attempts to teach me how to track and hunt for blood sources, I continued to resist.

“I get that this is hard for you. It was hard for me at the beginning. Even after all these years, it still sometimes feels like my body wants food. Then I eat something and remember the hell I go through every time I forget. It happens every fifty years or so,” she said as we walked through the forest gathering berries.

Eating food for her is like drinking poison, only it doesn’t kill you. I’ve heard stories of those that wished they were dead the entire time the food worked through their system. The pain is excruciating.

“You’re lucky you have the option,” Sarah said.

I could hunt every day for a thousand years and not be as good as she was. Her speed and agility were astounding. But the most shocking part to me was that she never killed or changed anyone.

“If I kill, a food source dies. If I change, same problem. It’s self-preservation.”

There’s was something more to it, but I never pushed for obvious reasons, my self-preservation.

I finally relented and agreed to try hunting. For our first few lessons, Sarah showed me how to track and what to do when I found a palatable source. My senses were weakened because of the dilution of my heritage. It took me a long time to distinguish the scent of my group from human scent. The mixture of both in me threw me off.

One night, she decided to try a different strategy. The fog was dense and hovered over the forest floor among the trees. There would be a heavy concentration of humans in one area because they were all in their settlement for the night. They rarely wandered off alone in the dark. The heavy moisture in the air would hold the scent of the movements they made throughout the day and lead me right to them. This was a training exercise, not an actual hunt.

We set off into the forest after I quickly picked up on a familiar smell. A large yellow moon peeked through the branches of the trees, creating an eerie glow through the mist. The scent became stronger and my pace quickened. Sarah’s footsteps crunched the leaves as she followed me, but all I could think about was the mouth-watering odor flowing through the air.

A breeze brushed against my heated cheeks and carried a concentration of the aroma into my nose. Musk entwined with sweet fruit mixed with soothing lavender and undertones of an irresistible fragrance I couldn’t identify. My muscles tensed. It was inches from me now. A few more steps and I would find whatever drew me.

A strong hand grabbed my arm and halted me before I could step around the bush that concealed my obsession. I pull to escape from Sarah’s grip, not caring if my arm ripped from my body. She whipped me around to face her.

“That’s not for you. It’s almost finished.”

“What are you talking about? Can’t you smell that? It’s the most wonderful…”

“Echo, you can’t go any closer. I don’t know what’ll happen.”

“I just want to see what’s making that smell. It’s fantastic, don’t you think? I can’t believe I finally tracked a human.”

My body twisted quickly out of her reach and I stepped around the shrub. I gasped at what I saw in the clearing. Laying on a bed of dried pine needles was a naked man smeared with blood. Wounds on his neck and arms were scarred over. A few dark curls stuck to the sweat on his forehead. He groaned and rolled onto his side, curling up into a ball.

I stepped back, but couldn’t tear my eyes from him.

“What’s wrong with him? Was he attacked by an animal? Is he sick? He doesn’t smell sick. At least I don’t think he does,” I said.

“He’s not sick. He’s transmuting,” Sarah said.

My eyes widen. It wasn’t a human I was tracking after all, well not exactly. It was a human who was changing into one of them.

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In just a few weeks, I will be opening up the story for reader input. In the meantime, all comments and suggestions are appreciated. Thank you for joining me on this journey.

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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