Share a Snippet 2018 – ROUND TWO!!

We’re at Day 45 of the 2018 Winter Writing Festival , and we’re starting to see the finish line approach!! Before we say goodbye to the Festival for another year, I’m eager to see another glimpse of the WORDS everybody’s been writing since we started.

Our first round of Sharing Snippets was really fun….so let’s all be brave again today and SHARE SHARE SHARE. In one of the comment boxes below, post a paragraph (or a few) or even just a favorite line that you’ve written sometime within the last few weeks.

Jump right in!!



109 responses to “Share a Snippet 2018 – ROUND TWO!!”

  1. Lille says:

    “I have researched some interesting candidates.” One says to the Other.

    Gliding his hand over the console, the Other continues with his task.

    “There is a particular female that may be of interest to you.”

    Still no response.

    One takes a small, silent breath in. “She is twenty-nine Earth years, single, has no family, only a few friends.”

    The Other looks up from his work. “Continue.”

    Ahhh…finally an acknowledgement.

    “Her birth language is English and she is knowledgeable in French, highly educated, in good health, no strong religious affiliations.”

    The Other closes his eyes and purses his lips.

    “You are certain about the family ties?” Looking up at One with a sidelong glance.

    “Only a few relatives involved in their own lives; nobody close.”


    “She was to be committed into a a permanent relationship but that is now dissolved. She works frequently.”

    “Fine. Set the process in motion and bring her into the storage array.”

    • Paula Huffman says:

      Nice, Lillie! The strangeness of the characters talking creates tension even though they haven’t said anything that’s directly threatening.

      I’ve been trying to post comments for everyone, but I keep getting CAPTCHA errors and it took me three tries to post my “snippet.” Probably my internet here. I will try again in a bit.

      • Lille says:

        Thanks Paula! I want the feeling of mystery of what is about to happen with 2 coworkers that are at odds. This is the opening of my story. So I am happy that you felt the tension.
        I also did have a problem with the captcha code.

    • Cynthia Huscroft says:

      Agree with Paula…sensing the tension and the indifference of Other…until Other’s interest is piqued.

      • Lille says:

        Thanks Cynthia! One is compelled to seek approval from the Other. I can’t remember how I came up with their names…..I wanted something anonymous, hidden. Then as the story unfolds it’s all about romance, but I tuck these two in here and there. They are way in the background, but hopefully, niggle at the brain of the reader.

    • Geena Gallardo says:

      I really love the hint of the other here with “earth years” and especially the use of the unique names!! The writing really flows well and I can really see the conversation in my mind! And in agreement with Cynthia and Paula!

  2. Lenee Anderson says:

    The pounding on the door echoed the pounding in my head. Morning sunlight, or possibly afternoon sunlight, burned the insides of my lids red. My head throbbed as though the door thumper hammed nails into my skull. Sprawled half off the huge tester bed, I groaned and muttered, “Go away,” into a pillow. My mouth was dry, my tongue furry, and the taste…
    The pounding persisted.
    With an Olympian effort, I fumbled back the bed clothes, rolled out, snatched a towel from a nearby table, and, cursing the bastard in the hall, staggered the rest of the way across the cold floorboards. I jerked the door open with a snarl.
    I stared into my own face. No. No, not quite.
    Where I had blue eyes, the sophisticated man standing on the threshold of my rented rooms had brown ones. Where my hair was gold as a guinea and untameable, his was brown and perfectly swept into an entirely fashionable style. His face a slightly different shape, more angular, classical, the skin smoother and much paler from too many hours spent indoors at the Inns of Court persecuting, or prosecuting rather, criminals in the king’s name. In age, he was older than I, nearly forty, while I was still a comparatively young man at thirty three, but it was I who looked and felt older.
    He was the eccentrically named Arthur Griffin Percival George, 86th Baron de Royce, my eldest and only surviving brother.
    “Good morning, Davie!” Arthur had a good look at me, sagging against the door, eyelids half shuttered, sheltering my privates with the old towel. I could have cheerfully punched that smiling face back down the stairs. “Shouldn’t you be at the Horse Guards?”

    This needs a lot of work.

  3. I wrote this yesterday. Probably needs some massaging, but I like it. 🙂

    Cat walked back to Rosswen, her satchel thumping against her back. This was the time of day she liked best. Some days the sun sank quietly behind the hills with no fuss, a few wispy clouds the only backdrop as the sky gradually faded to dark. Other times, like today, the sun fought its daily sleep, setting the sky aflame with oranges, yellows, purples before blinking out completely.

    She stopped for a moment to watch nature’s grandest show. Every once in a while she’d come across a tourist, walking the hills or having tea in the village shop, and they’d ask her how she could bear to live in such a remote spot, so far from the comforts of civilization.

    She could never put it into words, but it was moments like these. Glorious, beautiful, peaceful moments, when she felt at one with the land and the spirits of the ancestors who had dwelled upon it. She could never leave Skye. She might as well be a tree; she’d die without the sustenance the island gave her.

  4. Debbie says:

    Obviously, someone is missing a coat.

    Dad strides over to the van and leans into the passenger-side door. “Forgot to check under the seats again, huh?”

    The van driver’s a nice man named Bill. “Not the van we usually use, sir. That one’s in the shop.” He gives us a what-r-you-gonna-do-about-it shrug. “Jason wasn’t happy about that, which is why we’re late. I didn’t have time to do a thorough sweep.” Bill makes it sound like a military operation, like he’s responsible for checking for mines under the tires, bombs under the hood, and snipers atop the buildings en route—menace, wherever it lurks, whatever it is. Some days, that feels about right.

    Jason’s the last stop on the route, so Bill could get out of the van and help us if he wanted to. If we urged him to. But he doesn’t want, and we don’t urge. What’s coming next might play better without an audience.

    “You good to go?” Bill asks. The van’s already moving, so slowly it almost seems like Bill isn’t escaping, like maybe the world is rotating and somehow this patch of earth, where shit is about to go down, got left behind.

    Who knows if we’re good to go. Probably not. But Dad and I nod anyways (see above).

  5. Cynthia Huscroft says:

    Lenee, I could picture the entire scene in my head…the “snippet”…such vivid imagery!

  6. Cynthia Huscroft says:

    This was only the third day of my summer break. I was still on “school time” and woke up early. I went to my bathroom, washed my face, brushed my teeth, got dressed and headed to the kitchen. It looked like a rerun of the night before. Mom, Gram and Dad were all sitting at the kitchen table with their morning coffee…and talking. I poured myself a glass of juice and sat down to listen.

    Gram was saying, “You know we have to tell them.”

    It was apparent I had missed an important part of the conversation.

    Looking at Gram I asked, “Tell who?”
    “Matt’s parents.”

    “You’re going to tell them about Matt?! What exactly are you planning to tell them, Gram?’

    “I think they need to know that you, we, have been seeing him and talking to him. But more importantly about you and when you started seeing him…or,” she hesitated, “from the beginning when you felt like you were being watched. I plan to give them a call shortly and ask them if we might come by today.”

    My stomach was tied up in a knot. I took a drink of my juice and said, “We? Like all of us?”

    “I’m not going,” my father said. “I’m still trying to wrap my head around what happened yesterday and don’t want to have to talk about it with Matt’s parents. I’m not sure I want to talk about it with anyone right now.”

    He was still a little pale just talking about it.

    Dad picked up his coffee mug, said “I’m going to the garage and give the Chevy some TLC,” and walked out. That was where he always went when he needed to think something through or sort things out. Right now, I thought he had plenty of both! How had Gram put it…”consider alternative possibilities?”

    Gram looked at Mom, “Helena, you are coming, right?”


    “I’m going to give Mora a call right now to see what time would be good for them.”

    “Gram,” I said, “What do you want me to tell them?”

    “Just start from the beginning, JoJo.”

    “From the beginning….and even about the bike?” I clapped my hands to my mouth and looked wide-eyed at my grandmother. I thought, “There’s no way out of this one.”

    Mom looked at both of us, “What bike?” Her voice went up a notch, “The bike!?”

    I waited for Gram to say something, anything. I was really glad dad had gone to the garage.

    Gram didn’t say anything but instead picked up the phone and called the Dunns. “Good morning, Mora, I hope it’s not too early.”

    Apparently it wasn’t as Gram asked if we might come for a visit to “discuss what we’re taking to the festival”. The next words I heard her say were, “Thanks, that’s great. We’ll see you around twelve. We won’t be interrupting your lunch, will we?”

    Mrs. Dunn must have answered “No” because Gram said, “See you then!”

    After Gram hung up the phone, my mother said, “You’re not getting out of this one. What bike?”

    I was still waiting for Gram to say something. She did. I could tell she had used the time on the phone to plan what she was going to say.

    “Yes, Helena, the bike. And that’s all I’m going to say for right now. You’ll have to wait for the rest of the story until we go to the Dunn’s…and that’s only if I decide to tell them about that today. I don’t want to have to tell it twice. I would also like you to not say anything to Jon, just yet.”

    Probably a much larger “snippet” than you wanted!

  7. Paula Huffman says:

    Background: The POV character (Shannon) is a temp backing vocalist for a band. She’s in an uncertain relationship with the lead singer, Griffin. Caleb is the drummer and Delilah is the guitar player’s girlfriend. They’re getting into a limo after the guys were accosted by fans.

    “Yeah, right.” Caleb shoves past Griffin, swings through the car door and wedges into the seat beside me, pressing his body tight to mine. “You weren’t trying to protect her. You wanted to keep her all for yourself.”

    He turns to face me with a wicked smile and slides an arm around my shoulders. “Hi, New Girl. Glad you could be with us today.”

    Oh my God, Caleb Mayes has his arm around me. Girls would die for this moment. Many, many girls. Like, for example, the blonde with his name scrawled across her tank shirt. It’s a sobering thought. He may be the best darned drummer of our generation, but Caleb’s most definitely a player.

    “Thank you,” I say. “I’m glad to be here.”

    “Move, Caleb.” Griffin pokes his head into the door and gestures to the rear-facing seat. “Over there.”

    “You heard her. She’s glad to be here. Right. Here.” He pulls me closer for emphasis.

    “Other side.” Griffin narrows his eyes and points to the opposite seat. “Now.”

    “I don’t know, man. This is sort of nice. Is it too snug for you, New Girl?”

    Whatever I say here is wrong. I struggle for a snappy reply when Delilah saves me. Again.

    “Caleb, you’re too big to be a lap dog. Move yourself, please.” She points a finger at the seat across from us, in the far corner. “There.”

    • Dana Britt says:

      LOL, loved the lap dog bit, Paula!

    • Geena Gallardo says:

      This is great Paula! I definitely would want to be in her position too!!!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Love the dialogue!!

      Very interesting power dynamics here!!

      Thanks for sharing!

      • Paula Huffman says:

        Thanks, Elisa. I’ve tried something different with this manuscript. When I draft a chapter, I basically write dialog only, and come back later to fill in the rest. Not every scene works that way, because some simply don’t have enough opportunity for the characters to interact, but where it works, it has really helped me. I’m writing faster and the dialog is stronger, I think.It’s also helped me break through whenever I get stuck… which happens way too often! The dynamic with these characters has been fun, too. I hope it works!

        • I’ve found my first drafts flow much faster when I do this. For some reason, it’s much easier to add action tags and emotions after dialogue is in place, instead of vice versa.

          • Paula Huffman says:

            I’ve just discovered this trick, and you’re right! It is easier to add tags and internal reaction later. Part of that, I think, is that the subtle meaning behind character’ words sometimes becomes more clear as I write and as the conflict continues to develop.Thanks for the insights!

    • Cynthia Huscroft says:

      I have always had a thing for drummers!

      The “New Girl’s” thought – “Whatever I say here is wrong” – I get the feeling she was glad to be rescued by Delilah, again.

      • Paula Huffman says:

        Thanks, Cynthia! I love drummers, too, and especially this one. If all goes as planned, I’ll write his story, too.

  8. Geena Gallardo says:

    Because this was such a hit in the chat room the other day…I thought I’d share a snippet to introduce you to…well you will see. Hopefully, this doesn’t get my hand slapped. There are some naughty words below which I’m sure no one minds but thought I’d warn!:

    This can’t be part of the haunted house. I’m in denial.

    Up close I can see its teeth through the heart-attack inducing grin; razor sharp and ready for a meal. Its arm that scratched me is still raised, showing me the long and jagged claws attached to bony nobs still dripping with blood. My blood.

    The actors can’t touch you, right?

    In slow motion I see my blood drip to the floor, the splatter of it flattening to the surface ringing in my ears. A deep dark vibrant red that I wish was still deep inside my body.

    My eyes continue to travel down its body reluctantly…time all but ceasing at this moment. Whatever this thing is, it is completely nude and quite grisly. Its skin is pasty gray, stretching over its large rib bones. There are no nipples, belly button, or even a piece of hair to cover it.

    A-Plus for monster makeup.

    How did I not spot this, to begin with? Its freakishly large manhood is sticking straight out at me like a beacon with a gravitational pull directly to my eyes telling them, “Feast on me.”

    It is at least ten inches in length and the width is a size of a beer can. It tapers in half towards the top into two large mushroom shaped heads which move and sway independently like its Medusa or some shit. I can’t help it I shriek in misery but maybe slight arousal just from setting eyes on it. God, that is a sign I need to get laid.

    Okay, that is definitely real, no way that is monster makeup. My eyes can’t unsee that atrocity.

    My fight instinct kicks in finally, bracing myself against the pain I use the leverage of sinking against Blaise to kick my legs out and knock this thing right in his Medusa Dick.

    The howl that it let out is music to my ears, even Blaise flinches a little. Men.

    “Come on Davina.” Blaise doesn’t waste a second, he grabs my slippery hand and pulls me forward.

    “What was that?” I ask. “It scratched my damn shoulder!”

    “Just run!”

    “Bye Medusa Dick!”

  9. Our very human heroine and very vampire hero are still working out their new partnership’s dynamic :):

    A shade separated from the deeper pool cast by the stair bannister. Grayson’s lip lifted off a fang, judging me in general or my fashion choices in particular. Without his brother around to referee, he let the vamp tricks loose. His voice stabbed at me, dozens of tiny nicks like falling into the thorns on the rosebushes. “Where are you going?”

    “To work.” I dangled my key ring and skirted around him, headed for the back drive and my truck.

    “I’m coming with you.”

    “No thanks.”

    He reappeared a foot away, between me and the den entrance. “Yes. You’ve accomplished nothing but taking up space and annoying our neighbors. I’m done making excuses for our unsocialized temporary house guest.” His voice curled around the *temporary* part. “Whatever you’re doing, I’ll be coming with you from now on as oversight.”

    Bull. Brennan was the only Tabor answering complaints on behalf of my nosy behavior.

    As his irritation rose and red crept into his eyes, I picked my battles. “Fine, but you’re not oversight. You’re strictly the sidekick.”

    “I’m driving.”

    “Not. That Bore-Me Beige grandma-mobile of yours would kill my street cred.”

    He swept by me in a blur and then lifted an elegant hand, a set of keys hooked around his index finger. The overhead lights glinted on the familiar silver longhorn outline stamped into the key ring.

    I opened my fist, like my ring would magically transfer from his grip back where it belonged. “Give it.”

    Grayson’s response involved strolling away. Smug practically radiated off him, stronger than his spicy cologne. The door linking the kitchen to the garage squeaked its mockery at me as he left.

    I scrapped up my pride and followed my new driver.

  10. Hywela Lyn says:

    This is my current WIP – a ‘friendly ghost’ story set in Wales. In this scene the heroine is delivering a prescription from the veternarians to her neighboour who runs a horse farm.

    I stopped in my tracks and blinked. Ifor and the stable hand, Dai Griffiths stood as if mesmerised. The chestnut pony, which was supposed to be un-rideable, trotted sedately around the schooling area, with Ifor’s son, Huw, on her back. I shaded my eyes against the glare of the evening sun to make sure I wasn’t mistaken. As I approached, Ifor turned and beckoned to me to come and stand beside him. I obliged, trying to hide my amazement as the boy cantered the pony up and down, made a few circles and figures of eight, and then took her over a series of small jumps situated along one side of the school. It hardly seemed like the same pony I’d watched unseat Dai a few weeks earlier.

    “How on Earth did you manage to tame her?” I asked, unable to hide my admiration, not to mention my curiosity.

    Ifor nodded towards her and smiled. “Evening Miss Johnson. That’s just it, I didn’t do anything with her, the boy did it himself. I turned the mare out to grass in the bottom field and apparently he’s been going down there every morning and feeding and handling her before going to school.

    I shot a glance at Dai Griffiths, leaning against the fence with a bemused expression on his face. “She trusts him, see,” the man said in answer to my unspoken question. “That’s the only way to explain it,” He paused. “P’raps she’s one of those horses which prefer youngsters to adults, some animals relate better to children.”

    “We only discovered Huw was riding the pony the other day, and I can’t get him to tell me how long he’s been riding her or how he managed to gain her confidence,” Ifor added.

    “Well he seems happy enough,” I replied, and so does the pony for that matter.”

    Turning in our direction, the boy cantered up to the fence and patting the pony’s neck, drew her to a halt.

    “Hello Miss Johnson, did you see me jumping? How d’you like my new pony?”

    “Your pony now, is she?” Ifor said, and I couldn’t help noticing the twinkle in his eye.

    The boy said nothing, but put his arm protectively around the pony’s neck.

    “You seem to be doing really well with her,” I said, stepping back from the fence a little, as the pony snorted and tossed her head. I hoped Ifor hadn’t noticed my nervousness. I’d been wary around horses ever since a pony threw me as a ten year old girl, and I’d tried to avoid being near them ever since.

    And here I was standing next to a handsome horse dealer and breeder, of all people, and one who sent delicious shivers through me whenever he spoke. Well I was only doing a good turn, wasn’t I, I didn’t have to stay, and he surely wasn’t the only man in the area with a sexy Welsh accent.

  11. Elisa Beatty says:

    Crazy busy morning for me….I’m eager to spend some time this afternoon reading everyone’s snippets!! For now, here’s what I’ve been working on this morning.

    A litle background first: the story’s set in the Regency. It’s the sequel to the first of my Lara Archer books, Bared to the Viscount. (This one is Bared to the Heiress, and it should be out this summer!)

    Rosamund, the heroine, is a aristocratic heiress trying to negotiate her feelings for her village’s poor but wonderful vicar….while also trying to negotiate her father’s determination to marry her off to a peer of the realm. (Rosamund isn’t interested in marriage at all–she’s got a very different mission in mind for herself.) Just this morning, she fell in a river while trying to help one of her father’s tenants deal with a drainage problem. And now her father’s irritatingly arrogant houseguest, Lord Swansdowne, suddenly corners her in the library:


    “Ah, Miss Rosamund. Looking dry and lovely again. Such a charming dress. You are an ornament to the house. As you would be to even the noblest estate.”

    She did not even bother to smile at him. Did he think her a porcelain shepherdess or silver epergne? Ornament to the house, indeed.

    “Forgive me, Lord Swansdowne,” she said, deliberately turning her attention back to the shelves. “I am looking for books. On tile drainage.” Perhaps that last detail might make her seem somewhat less ornamental.

    “Ah! So you take an interest in the land?” he asked. “Well, I admire your devotion to your family’s manorial duties. You are well-suited to your role, Miss Rosamund, in every way.”

    Blast the man—he’d moved closer as he spoke, and she had to back away to the far side of the desk, where she made a pretense of straightening the pile of books she’d already put there, creating a small fortess between them.

    “Were you looking for some reading material, my lord?” she asked crisply. “The novels are over there.” She pointed. “On the far side of the room.”

    Swansdowne gave a laughing little smile, as though novel-reading were too trivial an occupation for a man of his exalted parts. “If I may speak frankly, my dear—it’s not a book I came seeking.”

    “This is the library, my lord,” she said, pulling a heavy almanac from the shelf and adding it to the growing wall in front of her. “If you seek some form of sustenance other than the intellectual, may I suggest a trip to the kitchens?”

    “Only if you would accompany me.”

    “I have no appetite.”

    He gave her a courteous nod. “Of course not. Nor, in truth, have I. At least not for anything the kitchens have to offer.”

    His eyes were most intent upon her, and a little drum of alarm began beating in her chest. His manners were impeccable, and yet—she’d spent enough time with London gallants to know when she was being hunted.

    She grasped the enormous almanac, clasping it over her chest like a shield plate, and moved backwards towards the door. “If you will forgive me, my lord, I have a great deal of reading to—”

    “Please, Miss Rosamund. Do not hurry away. I wish to talk with you, that’s all.”

    She took another step backward. “If something is troubling you, Lord Swansdowne, may I suggest you find my father, and have a talk with him.” Perhaps reminding the earl he was a guest in her father’s home would make him cease his uncomfortable attentions. “It’s really not appropriate for you and I to converse alone.”

    “Oh, but, my dear—I have your father’s express permission to speak with you this afternoon.”

    Her father’s permission? Oh, dear Lord, no. Her father would not give Swansdowne permission to be alone with her unless Swansdowne’s intentions were entirely honorable.

    And if his intentions were honorable, she wanted even less to do with him than if his intent was to steal a kiss.

    • Lenee Anderson says:

      I find this quite humorous! I like a haughty, stiff backed heroine. In reality, they’re vulnerable people and, also, so very easy to make fun of!

      • Cynthia Huscroft says:

        Feeling she’s a conflicted heroine:)

      • Elisa Beatty says:

        Glad you saw the humor…this is from a series set in a small country village, and they’re quite a group of characters! I always have fun when I hang out with them.

        And, oh YES, Miss Rosamund is most definitely conflicted….especially about that handsome vicar.

        Thanks, Lenee!

    • Geena Gallardo says:

      Wow Elisa. This is so well written. Part of me though roots for him! Is that bad??? I want more!! “Blast the man.” I just love this time periods form of seduction and courting and how defiant your Miss Rosamund is.

      • Elisa Beatty says:

        Thanks, Geena!!

        And Swansdowne is certainly charming when he wants to be (and handsome, and elegant, and accomplished), but I’m afraid he does ultimately reveal himself to be a world-class jerk.

        The vicar on the other hand….

        • Geena Gallardo says:

          It’s too bad, I love that he is trying just a tad too hard. Lol! 🙂 But I would love to see more of the vicar!!

    • Paula Huffman says:

      I love all of her internal reactions and how you’ve reflected them in her physical movement. Excellent deep POV! I could feel the tension between them and had the sensation of being herded into a corner myself as I read. She saw through his words and called him on them without actually saying anything direct. Fun read and a gutsy, sympathetic heroine!

      • Elisa Beatty says:

        Aw, thanks so much, Paula!!

        Part of the charm of Regency dialogue for me is how the demands of politeness require a lot of subtle indirection…

        It’s a chess match all the way through.

        The verbal clash that follows right after this made me very proud of Rosamund!

        • Paula Huffman says:

          You know, I’ve never read Regency. But after reading this, I’d like to try it! Masterful dialog. Let me know when this one comes out… or… I’ll probably see it in the newsletter, right?

        • Your dialogue is so polished and subtle yet clever. It always reminds me of that saying–“A lady can tell you to go to he** in a way that makes you look forward to the trip.”
          I can’t wait to read this series.

    • Love this! So well written and perfectly evocative of the period.

  12. Hywela Lyn says:

    LOL, I love that last sentence! I really enjoyed this excerpt!

  13. Panthera says:

    For those of you who don’t know, this story is about black panthers and black bears who were chased from their homes by those they call “the Evil Ones”.

    I stopped and sniffed the air to locate her. She was way behind us and the dogs were close to her. Sheena came back and we retraced our steps to find her. Breaking through the brush, we stumbled to a stop to take in the sight of Nita with her back to a tree. Several dogs were racing back and forth, in front of her harassing her. As we watched in shock, we saw her pick one dog up with her mouth and shake it until its back broke. While she did this, two others attacked her legs, tearing off huge chunks of fur. She did not even seem to notice as she shook one of her legs throwing the dog attached to it against a tree while hitting the other with her paw knocking it away. They did not move again. No sooner had she taken care of them than more attacked her.

    Coming out of our shock, Sheena and I attracted the attention of the remaining dogs. They used a technique of attacking from the rear while others kept our attention in front of us. For a while they kept us busy until we discovered what they were doing and changed our style of defense. This threw them off balance, and gave us the edge. We crouched down so that Sheena was watching behind me and I was watching behind her. We waited until one would charge us. Then we would spring on it, breaking its back when we landed. Quickly returning to each other’s side, we would start over again.

    Nita, getting rid of her attackers, started on the remaining dogs. It was not long before all the dogs had run off, or either did not, or could not move. Checking the wind, we found the Evil Ones were almost upon us so we took off running again.

    We ran until we could not run any more. Then we walked. When the sun had made its trip twice, and the moon was on its second visit since the attack, we collapsed from sheer exhaustion.

    There was no way we could check the place out before we dropped. Our energy was gone. Sheena realized one of us needed to keep watch.

    “You two sleep for a while and I will make sure that all is safe.” Her voice betrayed her tiredness.

    Concerned, I protested Sheena’s decision to stand watch first even though I knew none of us was in any better shape. “You are as tired as we are and need rest too.”

    “I will rest later. For now, you rest.”

    “What if something attacks us?” I asked. “You will be too tired to protect yourself.”

    “We cannot afford for all of us to sleep now. If I need help, I will wake you. Everything will work out the way it is suppose to. Now sleep and we will talk later.”

    Grudgingly, I gave up the argument and found a place near her to lie down.
    Nita and I fell asleep at once. My rumbling stomach woke me up. Before moving, I tested the air to make sure all was clear. Sheena sat on the limb above us still and other than some rabbits and mice, nothing else seemed to be around. I stretched, and then leaped onto the limb next to Sheena.

    “Hello sleepy head,” Sheena said, smiling at me.

    “Hello, are you ready to get some sleep now?” I asked.

    “Soon I want to spend a little time with you before Nita wakes up. Then I will sleep for a while.”

    “Did anything happen while I was asleep? I am afraid I slept without hearing or smelling anything.”

    “It is to be understood with what they did to you my love. Yes, something did happen. A Mountain Lion dropped by to check us out. Although he said he only came by to say hello.” Sheena replied.

    “A Mountain Lion!” I exclaimed. “Did he hurt you? Why didn’t you wake me?” I tried to check her over as I fired questions at her.

    “Whoa! Slow down. You are going to knock us off.” She scolded me. “No. He didn’t hurt me. He didn’t have a chance. I think he was going to make us leave his area until he caught sight of Nita. She heard him and stood up. When he saw how big she is, he could not leave fast enough. Did not even say what he wanted to.”

    “I am glad Nita is traveling with us. It seems I am unable to sense anything when I sleep anymore.” I said “Are you sure you are alright?”

    “Yes, I am fine except for being extremely tired. I had no trouble to stay awake after that.”

    That I can believe. Sheena, I miss our time together. I want you to know that.”

    I know my love. She said, as she looked smiling deep within my eyes.

    “Go my love and get yourself some sleep now. I will watch for a while now. May your dreams be peaceful. I love you.” I gave her a kiss and sent her to bed.

    • Panthera says:

      Guess this late into the story I should introduce you to the characters. Meela and Sheena are both female black panthers and life partners. Nita is a female black bear.

    • Paula Huffman says:

      What a great idea, Panthera! To me, it sounds like an adult story with animal characters, which is something unique. All of the people who enjoyed reading Warriors would appreciate this. Thanks for sharing!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      I really love the tone of this! As Paula said, it’s clearly a story for grown-ups, and the animals are taken deeply seriously *as* animals.

      Their loyalty to each other is palpable!

  14. Cynthia Huscroft says:

    Like Elisa, I like the tone of this.

    One of the lines I like in particular is how your characters mark time…”When the sun had made its trip twice, and the moon was on its second visit since the attack…” & the conversation between Sheena & Meela.

    • Panthera says:

      Thank you all. This is the second part to what is supposed to be a five part series of short stories. All of them involving the these characters or those they adopt into their lives. Part three and four have been in my mind for so long I don’t know if they will ever get written. Part five is only a vague idea.

  15. Laying under the slicker, Emi wrapped her body as best as she could around Marc to keep him warm. He had drifted in and out of consciousness since she’d talked to Jake. The blood had stopped dripping from his shoulder, but the jagged red marks she could see through his shredded shirt were still oozing droplets along their ridges. His distorted arm with its wrist still wrapped in a chunk of the bridle rein lay at a precarious angle out in front of them.

    “Where the hell are they?” she whispered more to hear a voice than expecting an answer from anyone.


    “Stay still. I’m here, Jake’s on his way.”


    Emi snuggled closer trying to give off as much of her body warmth to the injured man as she could.

    “It’ll be okay.”

    The sound of the truck in the distance slid her mind even further into survival mode. Easing herself out from under the coat, she stood picking up her rifle from the stump where she had leaned it within her reach. Four strides down the trail towards the corrals, she stopped, pointed the rifle skyward and shot three rounds in rapid succession.

    There were three short blasts from a truck horn in answer.

    She had told Jake they were about a mile from the corrals. The sound of voices and doors slamming confirmed help was on its way.

    Returning to Marc, she checked his pulse, felt his forehead and ran her finger down his cheek stopping above the shallow gash on his jaw.


    Crouched on her haunches, she spoke softly to the man she was going to marry.

    “They’re coming. Help is here.”

    • Geena Gallardo says:

      Wow, this tugs at my heartstrings. What an ordeal they are going through!!! I definitely didn’t want it to end so I could find out what happens with Marc!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      This is so lovely and emotional!! The bond between them is palpable, both in her concern and in his saying of her name even when he can clearly barely speak at all. sigh!!

      • Thank you, Elisa. This is a side of my protagonist that does not surface often and there are few who know this side of her. At least when it comes to her dealing with humans.

    • Cynthia Huscroft says:

      This snippet is wonderfully evocative of the emotions of the moment…and the love and trust that Marc and Em have for/in each other. Wanting to know what happens next!


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