This year hasn’t been good to me. I’ve been out with an illness that was supposed to be a minor nuisance but turned into nearly half a year of convalescence. I did finish “High School Dragons 3: Crowned by Fire” (more on that later) and just got it back from the editor. Getting it published asap is my highest priority. At the same time preparations for the Indie Authors’ Advent Calendar are underway (this year’s theme: dragons!), as well as the preparation of my NaNo novel. You see, I’m very, very busy.

That doesn’t stop me from participating in the Storytime Blog Hop again. This episode will also be featured in one of the two Halloween episodes of the “Alone in a Room With Invisible People” Podcast (FB page is here). Check it out, it’s awesome. So without further ado, my whimsical story for the hop. I hope you’ll like it. As always, remember to visit the other participants (list below the story).

Edda’s Second Chance

Edda didn’t want to leave the afterlife to become an invisible friend. Not even the reward, a day of being human again, excited her. She only agreed after securing another boon.

As a slave, sex toy, and food tester for a rich Roman, she hadn’t enjoyed life. Her only fond memory was of his face, as he realized she’d poisoned the wine.

Grinning at the memory, Edda slipped into a little girl’s room. Only in second grade, Suzie already was victim to severe bullying. Edda wondered how she might help.

It turned out to be easy. Suzie was still young enough to believe in her. So Edda scouted routes, kept Suzie away from the two bullies, and encouraged her to learn Judo, which did wonders for Suzie’s self-esteem.

Halloween rolled around.

Since Edda didn’t feel like having a day off, she and Suzie devised a plan. In human form, Edda hid behind trees and followed Suzie as she and her best friend collected sweets. As expected, the bullies showed up soon.

Edda jumped out of her hiding place, grabbed the boys’ bags, knocked them over hard, and pretended to attack Suzie. As discussed, Suzie grabbed her lapels, and threw her over her shoulder. Edda dropped the bags and fled. Suzie handed the boys their bags.

After that, they protected her, and Edda was assigned a new case.

James father came home drunk every night, and James prayed half the day that he’d be too tired to hit his mom. But that hardly ever happened. Edda did her best to hide the three year old, but James’ mother’s screams found him everywhere. Every night, the boy fell asleep crying, no matter what Edda tried.

One day, she hid him in the garage under the car, and James climbed into the motor compartment. Something ripped and squirted oil, so she convinced James to hide someplace else.

The next day, his father had a car accident which kept him in the hospital for months. Unfortunately that saved his life because the doctors discovered a heart problem.

During his absence, James bloomed, making friends and even laughing. His mother, too, looked healthier and happier—until the day her husband returned and the beating commenced.

A decision grew in Edda’s heart. She could barely wait for Halloween. Rising early, she hugged James and told him to hide in the garden shed at nightfall. He complied. Then, she called in her second boon.

When the moon rose, she turned into the Grim Reaper—scythe and all—and knocked at the door of James’ home.

The father opened. Already drunk, he swore and staggered. “No party here.” He lifted his meaty fist to slam it into her face. With a laugh, she lifted her head so he could look under her hood into the non-existent face.

He paled, gurgled, and clutched his chest. With his family hiding, there would be no help. Edda walked away smiling.

Maybe being an invisible friend wasn’t too bad after all.

 

Visit the other participants:

Very Thin Line by Rebecca Anne Dillon
Henry Moves House by Nic Steven
For The Ghost The Bell Tolls by James Husum
Never Alone by Melanie Drake
The Neighbor by Meghan Collins
Storytime Blog Hop by Raven O’Fiernan
Loney Lucy by Bill Bush
The Traveler by Barbara Lund
Evening by Karen Lynn
Man Of Your Dreams by Gina Fabio
The Undertaker’s Daughter by J. Q. Rose
The Road by Elizabeth McCleary
Family Time by Bonnie Burns
The Exeption by Vanessa Wells
Number 99 by Juneta Key
 
 

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Sometimes, we’ve got emerging writers participating that don’t (yet) have their own blog. That’s when one of the organizers or participants hosts the new writer’s story. Here’s one by Rebecca Anne Dillon, a student of Holly Lisle’s. She normally writes very long family stories. Enjoy her story.

Very Thin Line
by Rebecca Anne Dillon

In 1869 on All Hallows Eve, ten-year-old Jasper Remington is dressed in a ghost costume, and has finished trick or treating on the streets of Ohio. He carries his little hessian sack with pennies in it, heading home… but he never arrives.

A hundred and fifty years later on All Hallows Eve, he is wearing the same costume, carrying the same sack, and he’s knocking on doors, still trying to get more pennies for his sack, but no adult can see him. However, at one house he’s seen by the family dog, Lady Penelope, who begins whimpering and shivering. When he moves toward her, she hides under the chair in the hallway and refuses to come out.

In that same house, ten-year-old William Remington comes downstairs wearing an old white sheet with eye holes and a mouth hole cut out.

“Mom, here is my costume!” he says, “Can I please take Lady Penelope out trick or treating?”

His mother smiles. “Of course.”

But it’s a ghost costume… and when Lady Penelope sees it, she goes back under the chair in the hallway, and stays there until William leaves with his jack ‘o lantern candy basket. She refuses to go with him. So William leaves alone, and trick-or-treats alone.

He has just left one front door with more candy when he sees a kid in a ghost costume like his with a little burlap sack sitting on the sidewalk crying. William asks the kid, “Why are you crying?”

The boy says, “No one opens the door when I knock. And dogs bark at me, or run and hide. Like your dog. When she saw me, she ran under a chair in your hallway.”

William sits on the sidewalk next to the boy so he can talk to him. He asks, “What’s your name?”

And the boy answers, “Jasper Remington.”

William says, “My name is William Remington. I wonder if we’re related?” And suddenly he realizes that he can see a bit of the sidewalk right through Jasper. The more he looks, the more he can see through the other boy. He whispers, “Grown-ups can’t see you, and Penelope is afraid of you, because you’re a real ghost…”

Jasper gets very angry. He doesn’t want to be a real ghost. But he’s happy that this one boy can see him. Can talk to him. Because the more he looks at William, the more Jasper realizes that he can see through William, too.

Jasper pushes up against William, and both boys blend.

Jasper can feel himself breath in for the first time in forever. He shouts, “I’m alive!” And he locks William way down deep, so deep he’ll never escape.

Because on All Hallow’s Eve, life calls to death, and blood calls to blood. And on All Hallows Eve, the very thin line between life and death merges.

 

Also, please visit the other participants:
Edda’s Second Chance by Katharina Gerlach
Henry Moves House by Nic Steven
For The Ghost The Bell Tolls by James Husum
Never Alone by Melanie Drake
The Neighbor by Meghan Collins
Storytime Blog Hop by Raven O’Fiernan
Loney Lucy by Bill Bush
The Traveler by Barbara Lund
Evening by Karen Lynn
Man Of Your Dreams by Gina Fabio
The Undertaker’s Daughter by J. Q. Rose
The Road by Elizabeth McCleary
Family Time by Bonnie Burns
The Exeption by Vanessa Wells
Number 99 by Juneta Key
 
 

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I know you’ve been waiting patiently, and I appreciate that. I meant to publish the final volume at the beginning of this year but as you can read if you go to the older posts, that just didn’t work out.

But now, I’m finally able to sit again which means I’m working on the revision. During the time I spent on my belly (roughly from May till now), I translated the chapters I already had using dictation. That went fine, but revision is something that just doesn’t work with dictation. At least not for me.

After I stopped writing the first draft in November last year, I added sentences for the missing scenes so I’d know what needed to be written. Now I’m pretending that I already did write those scenes (7-8 in total) and started on the revision. Naturally I’m using my abbreviated version of How To Revise Your Novel for that since this book is a mess (unwritten scenes, missing clues that are needed for the ending, a superfluous character, and more).

But as my beta readers can attest you, I’m fast when it comes to revision (at least now that I’m more or less healthy again). Therefore I’m aiming for a release in late September. It’s a tight schedule, but I should be able to pull it off IF Murphy doesn’t throw some additional stuff my way (like the broken central heating that needed replacing and that is getting repaired today – grrr). So please don’t get angry should the book get delayed a little more than that. I’m doing my best, working as fast as I can.

As a thank you for your patience, I’m already showing you the cover and hope you like it as much as I do.

 

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Liebster Blog Award 2011