Monday, 20 February 2017

Monday Flash Fics - Horse Power


Horse Power

I slowly exhale as the truck drives away. I’m still not sure how I kept my cool. If I never find myself in the company of four angry men carrying rifles and guns again, it will be too soon. Anger flushes through me as I recall how they systematically searched my house, the stables, and finally the grounds, sure in the knowledge there was nothing I could do to stop them. Four of them against one of me. Still, they left empty handed. The last laugh is on me.

I hurry back to coral, a grin spreading across my face as I see the horses grouped together around a collection of hay bales, arranged to form a square on the frozen ground. I can’t remember ever seeing them huddled together so closely. They’re not usually this tolerant of each other either, but for once there’s no pushing and shoving or snarling at one another.

It was them who got agitated and thus warned us when the car approached, buying us the time needed to put down the hay. I didn’t believe our hasty construction would provide enough protection from inquisitive eyes, but with my beauties creating a solid wall of horse, Roger had been invisible.

Like the Red Sea they part as I approach. I step over a bale and look down.

“It’s safe, you can get up now.”

“Are you sure?” Roger looks up at me but makes no move to raise himself from the ground. He must be freezing. He’s been lying here for forty-five minutes at least.

“Yes. You can stop worrying. They were disgusted when they left. Apparently they’d been very sure they’d find you here and had no idea where to take their search next. I’d be surprised if we see them again.”

“They’ll kill me when they find me.”

It breaks my heart that he doesn’t sound angry or even afraid. All I hear in his voice is resignation, as if his fate has been sealed. And I’m not sure what to say.

“The horses….” There’s wonder in his voice. “They were so close. And they never touched the hay. They leant over the barrier and put their noses as close to me as they could without touching me. As if they knew I was cold. As if they wanted to keep me warm.”

I look at my horses, studying them one by one. I can neither remember nor imagine a life without them. I’ve always felt connected to them. Until now I didn’t realise the bond is mutual. And suddenly I know exactly which words to use. I cup his head with my hands and rest my forehead against his.

“You’re not alone.” I press my lips against his for a fleeting moment. “We’ll….” I gesture towards the herd before taking hold of Roger again. “We’ll always have your back, surround and protect you. Always!”

“But….” He falters. “They’ve got guns.”

“No buts. You’re safe here. We’ve got horse power.”

****


497 words this week, and compared to the past few weeks, a relatively bright story. I do hope you enjoyed it. Others flashes inspired by this story can be found on the Monday Flash Fics page. Please join us there.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Patience, Dublin Virtues #1 - Available for Pre-Order

 

And so it begins….

From today you can pre-order Patience, the first book in the Dublin Virtues Trilogy, from the Pride Publishing Website.

From February 28th the book will be available for early download from Pride Publishing and on March 28th it will go live with all other retailers.

If you follow the link to the Pride Publishing site you can read the first chapter of Patience.

I’m very excited and do hope you’ll end up loving Xander and Troy as much as I do.




The blurb

Patience is a virtue. But what if you wait too long?

While Xander Ekman’s dream of becoming a successful artist has come true, his love life has gone from bad to worse. Sick of the endless string of one-night stands, he accepts the challenge when his best friend, Erik, bets him that he can’t be celibate for a month. Now all he needs is a reminder to keep his distance in the heat of the moment.

Troy Moriarty doesn’t have time for love. He’s too busy trying to keep his recently opened tattoo parlor afloat. Besides, ever since the man who was supposed to be his business partner abandoned him to run the shop on his own, he has a hard time trusting others.

When Xander turns to Troy for a tattoo that will remind him to be patient, the attraction is instant. But faced with Xander’s month of celibacy, Troy’s trust issues, and a nemesis lurking in the background, their relationship may be doomed before it has a chance to begin.

Pre-order links: Pride Publishing | Amazon | Amazon UK



Monday, 13 February 2017

Monday Flash Fics - Going Back


Going back

The shivers running down his spine had nothing to do with the frost in the air or the snow on the ground. Roger forced himself to put one foot in front of the other. He only had to get to the end of this path and he’d reach his destination.

“I’ve nothing to be afraid of.” He whispered the words to himself under his breath, too afraid that saying them out loud would bring forth the ghouls his imagination conjured up with ever more convincing clarity.

His fear would be funny if it didn’t feel so real. It didn’t matter that he knew his mind had gone haywire; calling forth monsters lurking behind trees, and nightmarish creatures about to emerge from the mists.

“You’re being stupid.” This time he said the words out loud, immediately regretting his impulse when the words appeared to echo around him, bouncing off a force he couldn’t see.

Six months ago it had been so different. On that bright, sunlit day this path had been welcoming and safe. Peter had held his hand as they walked past the benches, all of them occupied by happy couples enjoying the warm sunshine and each other.

“Are you nervous?” Peter had asked.

“A bit.” Roger had refrained from sharing his real state of mind.

“It will be alright.” Peter had smiled at him. “I know I’ve made him sound like a bully, but he is my father. I have to believe he wants me to be happy, and that means accepting that you are now my life.

At the end of the path, once they’d left the benches behind them, Roger had seen the imposing, somewhat Gothic, mansion for the first time. Their visit with Peter’s father had been uncomfortable but okay, or so Roger had thought at the time. Three weeks later Peter had disappeared without a trace or a word.

Roooogeeeeer

Was he imagining things or did he really hear his name carried on the still air surrounding him?

When he’d received the email from Peter yesterday, Roger had gone through a range of emotions. Pure relief that his lover was still alive was soon replaced by anger at the months of silence, only to turn to confusion when the message ended with an invitation to visit the mansion again.

He came to the last bench and sat down, torn between the urge to flee and the need to find out what was going on.

Roooogeeeeer.

His doubts vanished. He did hear his name, even if he didn’t know where the sound came from or who—he shuddered—or what was making it.

He fisted his hands and closed his eyes forcing himself to calm down. He’d count to ten and then he’d finish his journey and get the answers he needed.

Ten. Nine. Eight.

He thought he heard a branch snap behind him but refused to be distracted.

Three. Two.

Something was pulled over his head. Roger opened his eyes to complete darkness before inhaling deeply and… losing consciousness before he could release the scream on his lips.

****

515 words. Wow. I can’t remember the last time I managed to stay this close to our (unofficial) limit of 500 words.

To be perfectly honest, I'm not entirely sure exactly what is going on in this story. But it should be fun investigating that further some day soon. 😊


More stories based on the same image can be found in the Monday Flash Fics Group