Short Film Festival

We’ve all been home and watched everything on Netflix. Sometimes you just need something short. Sometimes you need something that isn’t a long series, or serious, or even a full movie. Have fun. Stay safe. Wash your hands. Don’t do anything stupid (like starting fires.) Be creative. Be calm. Get some sleep.

Yes, I love short films. Enjoy. ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Girl in the Woods: Part 18. Leaving Allegory, and Business at Home

Friday is here and that means another exciting chapter of Girl in the Woods, a serial novel I’m posting right here in 2016.

If you are new here please start from the beginning (CLICK HERE). This is a novel, not the usually stand-alone blog post. And remember no editors were harmed, or even used on this post. It is your sneak peak into the rough draft mind. Warning: Twists and Turns Ahead.

Girl in the Woods: Part 17

Leaving Allegory, and Business at Home

Morning Continued…


After she had dressed, Olivia woke Lenora from the sweet dreams of a young girl.

The only clothing the girl had was the whorehouse dress she’d worn the night before, a low cut dress of worn cheap gaudy fabric that was cut tight across the girl’s slight chest.

They were the same height but the girl was still thin and undeveloped. Her skin was pale and blotched with red. She had welts on her wrists that looked like a rope burns. It disgusted Olivia to think how the Mayor had violated this child.

“When you get to Meadow Creek you’ll get a complete new wardrobe. I’ll make sure you have the latest styles that all the girls your age are wearing. Lavender is the big color this year. You’ll look great in lavender velvet with a touch of cream colored lace. A short jacket with matching skirt and your hair in ribbons. In the meantime I’ll give you something of mine. “

Olivia gave the girl a of brown skirt and a trendy long blue wool jacket with small flowers embroidered into the fabric. Underneath the jacket went a white shirt of the softest cotton with a blue lace collar and matching cuffs. The buttons were gold stars. Lenore stroked the beautiful fabrics and stars in awe. Olivia belted and tucked the clothing so that it fit the slightly built girl.

“I’ve seen things like this in the fashion papers along with your picture. I never imagined in a thousand years I’d ever ever meet you and be wearing your clothes.”

“You need something else.” Around the girl’s neck she put a delicate gold chain with a single pink crystal suspended in the center of a delicate golden flower.

“I couldn’t take this. It’s too beautiful,” said the girl.

“It is my gift to you.”

“I’m just an orphan.”

“Me too.”

“You, an orphan?”

“Yes, my parents died in a horrible war. My brother and I were adopted by a wonderful crazy man who had no business raising children. And do you know what? I turned out just fine. You are a bright and beautiful girl. Today is the start of your new life. You’ll have friends and you’ll be loved. You’ll go back to school and even to the University.”

The girl started to cry. “I’m not a bad girl, really I’m not. I didn’t want to do those things with those men.”

Olivia held her close. She clung to Olivia. “Nobody will ever hurt you again. You not only have my protection but that of Prince Alexander.”

Olivia looked down from the window into the courtyard. Kings Soldiers were there. She felt a sudden panic. She knew it was just a reaction to her upbringing.

There had been a raid on the town. Alexander and Tom would be the only bait to get them all in one location. Illegal arms, money and magic were being transported to fund the rebels. The cult had to be shut down.

“Why didn’t we know about this?” asked Michael

Olivia understood the reasoning behind the decision. She later explained to Michael. He had grown up in a city and town of strong women. It offended him as much as it did her.

Alexander came in. Olivia was sitting with the girl showing her needlework stitches. It wasn’t what he had expected. This was a woman he called a cold hearted bitch not two days before. He noticed that Lenore was dressed in what looked to be Olivia’s clothing. The girl’s long hair had been pulled back in an elaborate braid with golden ribbons. Not a trace of make-up was left on her pretty young face. It was a scene of domestic bliss. It could have been a mother and daughter.

The girl stood up when she saw Alexander and gave a deep courtesy. Olivia stood as well and gave a slight bow of her head.

Alexander took Olivia’s hand. “May I speak to you alone?” They went to the next room, a small cold parlor. Tea was set out on a sideboard.

Alexander closed the door behind them and locked the door. Olivia didn’t react as he’d expected her to. In fact she didn’t react at all. She looked calm and collected, perfectly groomed and ready for a day of travel.

He noticed her eyes quickly scan the room as if looking for someone else, someone other than him.

“Well, good morning, again.” He said in his most cheerful morning voice, hoping he wouldn’t annoy her.

“Good morning.” she answered with a slight smile, but her voice was cool. “So, what did I do wrong today?”

“I’m not here to chastise you.”

Olivia said nothing. Despite her anger over the previous nights events, she didn’t have the stomach for a fight today. Alexander sort of reminded her of her father with his early morning cheerfulness that made absolutely no sense what so ever. She had learned to live with her father and she’d learn to live with Alexander.

“Dare Crow speaks highly of you. He said you were extremely understanding and gracious last night. He was impressed how you cared for Lenora.”

“Lenora is a remarkable girl considering how much damage has been done to her. She’ll go far with the right care and guidance.” She poured herself a cup of tea, then spoke, again with almost no emotion. “It was an interesting evening, to say the least, with both Jet Gilroy and Darious Crow.”

Alexander gently put his hand on her arm. “Dare told me he’d met with you last night. He said he was pretty rough with you. Maybe too rough.”

She shrugged stepping away from him. “We came to an understanding.”

He took the cup from her hand and set it on the table. Then he put his hand to the back of her head. “Hold on, I’m just checking on something. ‘He stroked the back of her head. Her hair was smooth and finer than he thought. He could tell she held her breath for a moment. They stood close, her chest almost brushing his own. He locked his eyes on hers knowing it would make her uncomfortable. “You have bump back here the size of an egg.”

“I’ll be fine.” She gently put her hand on his and pushed it away from her head. Then unable to fight it any longer she turned on him. “If anything like this happens again I’ll…”

“What will you do? Send Simon after me?”

“Take me seriously Alexander. I have neither the time nor the patience for the type of stunts Crow pulled last night.” She looked down. “Under any other circumstances I could have had him arrested for assault. But I assume he had your permission to hurt me and treat me like a criminal. Be happy I didn’t kill him.”

Alexander looked serious. “I am glad you didn’t kill him.” He’d had enough of her bravado. A little questioning by Crow shouldn’t have warranted a death threat. “After the chandelier dropped I suspected it might have been your doing. Dare told me you dropped it out of spite. Then he told me he’d lock you up in the darkest dungeon he could find if you ever did anything like that again.”

“He has no proof.”

“You could have blown up the entire room if you wanted to. Why didn’t you?”

Despite Alexander’s calm demeanor she bowed her head slightly. This wasn’t going to be easy. “Your highnesses, I rarely use my magic outside if own home. What I did was wrong and I take full responsibility.”

He crossed his arms as the corners of his mouth turned up slightly. He reminded her of her father. “Relax, you’re not in trouble. In fact I wish I’d thought of it myself.”

She looked at him in disbelief. “It doesn’t bother you that I’m a wizard.”

“Not at all, that is as long as you use your powers responsibly, which you obviously do, despite what Dare Crow thinks. By the way, Lord Mayor is under medical care this morning. Apparently he had a night of graphically violent nightmares.”

“His nightmares are no concern of mine.”

“He is under house arrest and will soon be taken to a prison in an undisclosed location.”

“Don’t expect me to feel sorry for him.”

“I don’t. Did you cause his nightmares?”

“He got what he deserved.”

Alexander just smiled. “Crow said you’re the best, that is at sending bad dreams to bad people.”

“It was for Lenora. He raped and tortured her. He took a part of her soul that she’ll never get back.”

“I know.”

“Are you and Crow going to punish me for the unauthorized use of magic?”

“No, Lord Mayor was overcome with guilt which caused him to go mad. I’ve ordered Dare to do the same. Do you do this sort of thing often?”

“Of course not. Why the game with Detective Crow? Why didn’t you just tell me up front who he was?”

“He wanted to check you out.”

“He checked me out alright. He expected me to go to bed with him.”

“Why does that not surprise me?” He said calmly, hiding his surprise. Son of a bitch. He should have known better than to leave her alone with Dare Crow.

“Don’t trivialize the situation.” Olivia snapped at him.

“I’m not trivializing anything. I needed to keep you and Michael out of trouble, so I asked Crow for assistance. He reluctantly agreed, and I stress reluctantly.” The words came out sounding shallow and plain flippant. Alexander wished he could start over.

“Pray tell, what sort of trouble did you think we’d get into?”

“Case in point, your actions last night at the reception. Why were you so hell bent on crossing the room to see Dare, thus getting the attention of Lord Mayor? Was it because you knew Dare wanted to seduce you or did you have legitimate business with him?”

“That question is totally unjustified. If Justin had been here, he would have been treated with respect. Had you been open and up front with me we could have avoided any trouble last night.”

You and Justin are opposites. If I’d met you without knowing who you are, I would have never guessed you were related.”

“Spare me. I’ve heard it all before. Day and night, fire and ice, summer and winter. Justin and I are of the same mind and the same heart. But, Justin is a stranger here. Had Justin rescued Lenora, Lord Mayor would have been missing his balls and half the town would have burned to the ground.”

Alexander stopped and smiled. No little delicate female here. “Universal Technologies has a strong presence in this country, thanks to your family. Your brother would hardly be considered a stranger.”

“I head up the International Division of Universal Technologies, which means all Universal business in this country. I thought I made it clear to you at Jake’s. ”

“Still, Justin is the main force behind most of the new technology. The message would have more credibility if he presented that technology to those who can be helped by it.”

“Who fed you that line of bull? I know the technology as well as Justin. As for creating and explaining the real life applications for that technology in the six country alliance, I outshine him on every level.”

“I don’t doubt your abilities, it’s just that Justin…”

“My brother is a foreigner with an accent so strong most locals can hardly understand him. His culture and values are strange, if not somewhat unnerving to most people in these parts. I’ve spent the past twelve years traveling this road and working with the people who live here. I know how the government works. I know how the local business environment works. The people we’ll be meeting with are my neighbors and friends. This is my home Alexander.” She pulled out her dagger and slammed it into the table. “ How dare you insinuate Justin is better for this job than I am.”

“I never said Justin was better than you.”

“You might not have said it out loud but I know you’re thinking it.”

He pulled the dagger out of the table and calmly handed it back to her. “Hear me out Olivia. I have never doubted your abilities, after all you are the head of one of the most respected, successful and well run organizations in the country. I suppose that’s why I’m so shocked at how insecure and angry you are.”

“Excuse me? In the past 48 hours you’ve done everything in your power to undermine me, strip away my authority and belittle me.”

“Where does all of your anger come from?”

Olivia wished he had been accusing, but his tone and expression showed quiet concern. She wasn’t ready to answer that question or anything else. Her fingers itched to grab her dagger again and throw it at something.

“I’ll tell you where my anger comes from. Last night, it was just like being back in the Crystal Mountains. Last night I was knocked to the ground, by a strange man who then proceeded to hold me prisoner all the while hurting me for not giving him what he wanted. I thought he was going to …” she stopped short of saying she thought she was going to be raped by another wizard with powers that she couldn’t control. A flurry of blue sparks flew around her feet. “No.” she whispered, making her hands into fists. “I have done nothing to deserve this and I will not tolerate this sort of treatment from you, Crow or anyone else. Do you understand?.”

A thought flashed in her mind of when Alexander had held her hand at the reception the night before. A dull painful realization came to the pit of her stomach that he really was just like her newspaper man. She thought of the words of Darious Crow “No wonder he thinks you’re a cold calculating bitch. Not like the perfect pink fluff he’s used to.” A sharp pain shot through her head. She closed her eyes for a second, then took a deep breath. “Damn it I don’t even like him. Stop the headaches.” She tried to counter act the pain with reason.

Alexander waited a few moments in silence looking at the woman pressing her hand to her forehead. He wondered about what seemed to be constant headaches. He said nothing, but watched her trying to control her pain. Horses and wagons could be heard in the courtyard below. He’d blown it with her and wondered if he could ever gain her confidence again.

“Olivia?” he asked out of concern. The sound of his voice jolted her out of her own thoughts.

“You promised I’d be safe.”

This was heart breaking. He’d never felt so bad about anything in his entire life. “I am truly sorry for what happened last night.”

She put her hand to her side and locked her eyes on his. “My reputation and success speaks for itself. If you are unable to accept that, I’ll leave you to finish this journey on your own.”

“Work with me on this,” he answered gently.

“Believe me, I want to work with you.” Another wave of searing pain swept across her skull. She took a breath trying not to show another display of weakness. He never answered the question of why he didn’t want to work with her. It didn’t matter. She had to prove him wrong.

“I know you do,” he said in a low voice, even quieter than before.

They continued to look in each other’s eyes, neither one looking away. Neither one giving up control. Olivia knew she had to submit. “Dear God” she thought “I never thought I’d be in this situation again, ever in my life. Damn you Alexander.”

“Prince Alexander, let us make a new start.” Then she spoke to him in the old language a greeting of solidarity. “I promise I will be your loyal ally and in time a true friend.” She offered her hand. He took her small hand. Her palm was ice-cold over the raised scar. He suddenly wanted to kiss her hand to warm it up but he refrained, instead firmly held it in both of his hands as a sign of friendship.

“Thank you. I’m looking forward to the rest of our journey.” He said gently, still holding her hand. “I promise you that nothing like last night will happen again.”

She was nothing like the amusing woman Simon and his other friends had described. Nothing like the woman in the interviews and articles he’d read. She was fighting him and defiant, yet there was fear in her. His thoughts were interrupted by voices outside the door. Tom and Michael laughing about something.

Olivia glanced towards the door then back to him. “Alexander, I have a request.” she said, gently sliding her hand from his.

“What is that?” he asked cautiously.

“Stop being an asshole. I’m serious.”

“So am I Olivia. So am I.”




Warm in Alexander’s bed, Candi lay cocooned in a warm happy drug induced state, wearing nothing but the diamond and pearl necklace he’d given her. It was a true feeling of perfection, better than a new dress, almost better than a new man.

Alexander had given her the keys and told her to take advantage of his library. Sure, like that was going to happen. She spent her time there in the big beautiful bedroom.

She purred as her lover kissed her face and mounted her. What for the third, maybe fourth time tonight? She didn’t care. She was floating in a warm sea of pleasure, oblivious to the demands of her mother and the burdens of being a Real Princess. She thought of Alexander for a brief second before sliding her hands through her partner’s golden blonde hair and pulling his mouth to hers.

He looked so much like King Florien. She reveled in the fact that her mother could only fantasize about a moment such as this – being so intimate with the men in the King’s family.

She laughed out loud as he brought her to climax. He came hard then lay next to her, his blue eyes almost glowing. God, he was so gorgeous, almost as pretty as she was. And he was so nasty. He did things to her she could never imagine Alexander doing.

“Can I still see you after I get married?” Candi asked in a childish voice.

“Sure, you can.”

“Did I tell you Alexander wouldn’t go to bed with me?” She did her trademark pretty pout, sticking out her bottom lip and furrowing her perfect brow.”

“Yes, you did tell me,” about a dozen times already. You can shut up now.

Candi ran her hands through his hair. “Alexander is such a prude. I can’t believe you’re related.”

“He doesn’t deserve a woman like you.”

“I love you Graham.”

He didn’t answer as he slipped another vial under her nose to inhale. She closed her eyes again and melted into the pillows, to a place where everything was pink and yellow and perfect.


Girl in the Woods

Check back next week for the next chapter in Girl in the Woods. To start from the beginning CLICK HERE.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Girl In The Woods: Meadow Creek (Part 7)

Serial Novel Girl in the Woods is a regular Friday feature for 2016.
For previous installments please CLICK HERE.

Part Seven: Meadow Creek

The day had been too long for the president of Universal Technologies. Olivia Snowhawk had left the capitol early in the morning, traveled all day, only to spend the entire evening in meetings and presentations.   It was almost midnight when she arrived home. The day was long, but it was good to be home, away from the politics of The Capitol. It was a relief to be back at her home office, around people who loved what they did and were good at it. The amount of talent she was able to recruit was impressive by anyone’s standards. She was proud of her business.

She lived alone in a big house on the edge of Greenwood, a 30 minute ride from the Universal Technologies headquarters in Meadow Creek. No domestics, family or friends lived full time in the magnificent house with her. She liked it that way.

Throwing her purse on the table, Olivia left her usual trail of her coat, bags, and jewelry. She reached for her earrings. One was gone. Damn it she thought. It had been one of her favorite pairs.

She thumbed through the mail. There was a note from an old boyfriend in Riverbend that made her laugh. “Daisy dumped me in a very public way. I admit I deserved it. She came to my office right in the middle of the weekly directors meeting, called me a cheating dog and slapped my face, then told me she never wanted to see me again. By the end of the business day, everyone, and I mean everyone, in Riverbend knew about it. You were right. I am a first class asshole.”

She finished his letter then picked up a magazine. There was her face, along with Simon and Annie on the cover – the power triangle behind Universal Technologies International. It was a formal portrait of the three. Blonde, brunette and a redhead. She looked pretty enough and Annie beautiful, which was sometimes hard next to Simon’s unearthly good looks. She took a breath and questioned her judgment on appearing at all. She liked being the center of attention, but until recently she’d made a point of keeping her picture out of the public eye.

Making her way to the kitchen Olivia scooped up a large black cat in her arms. He purred and drooled until she had to put him down. “Ink darling, you’re ruining my sweater,” she scolded. In the kitchen she uncorked a bottle of red wine and poked around for something to eat.

From there she went upstairs to her bedroom with Ink at her heels and a glass of wine in one hand and the wine bottle, a newspaper and the magazine under her arm. Dropping her load on the bed, she unstrapped her dagger from her belt and put it on her night stand. She dropped her clothes on a chair. A knee length wool jacket with a moss green on forest green fern pattern, over a lightweight black sweater and black leather pants with low heeled black boots that reached up over her knees She wrapped herself in her favorite robe, a soft cotton and silk blend of blue, embroidered with soft green ferns.


Rummaging back through her coat pocket she found her reading glasses and settled in an overstuffed chair by the window. It had started to rain, but the house was warm and a fire was blazing. Ink curled up in her lap.

Scanning through the local newspaper she was always aware of how she used the press to her full advantage, keeping them happy with information and invitations. She thought of the owner of the Meadow Creek Recorder. That was someone in the local press she’d gotten too close to. He’d romanced her and played with her emotions to get what he wanted.

“Stupid self-serving bastard.” She said aloud, and then downed her glass of wine. It was a good night to indulge in the rare luxury of feeling sorry for herself. She’d thought of revenge on the man but gave it up realizing at her age she’d been a fool to be taken in by his sweet talk and handsome face. She still had years of use out of her professional relationship with him – something she couldn’t afford to loose.

She opened the magazine and read the article about the leaders of Universal Technologies International in full. To no surprise it rang favorable. She’d met with the author, a man named Geo Goodnight, in her Meadow Creek office. She had told him that she’d come to this country because of the opportunities and because she loved the people. He flirted, she flirted back.

She showed Mr. Goodnight the latest and most amazing developments at Universal Technologies. He was thoroughly impressed beyond his wildest imagination. When she gave him a tour of her home he was equally amazed.

She refused to give much personal information, aside from the fact she and Simon had the same birthday and the fact that she usually met him at his house for coffee before work each morning. She refused to show him the upstairs portions of the house, including her bedroom, but kept him amused at the thought of one day seeing it. It would be a cold day in hell before she let him into her private lair.

There was some mention in the article of her appearance during the interview; every detail of what she wore down to her jewelry and shoes was mentioned. Of course there was great detail, maybe too much, about her hair, a dramatic new style for the so-called queen of fashion. A normal style, she thought, brushing a strand out of her face.

There were flattering images of her and flattering words. She was now entrenched as both a business and cultural icon in her new country. It was good to be respected for who she was now, not who she was suppose to be, not for who she was born to be.

The reporter had also asked her about her past. She told him little aside from the fact that she had grown up during the war, being shuttled from safe house to safe house. She mentioned that she and Alaric Shadowford had been childhood friends and that her twin brother Justin Snowhawk was most certain to be the next president of the Crystal Mountain Republic. Of course no interview would be complete without mention of her father, a war hero, and the eccentric and brilliant mind behind Universal Technologies. The reporter pressed for more details but she gave none. Like all expatiates from the Crystal Mountains she rarely spoke of home. It was a closed country and the plan was to keep it that way.

Twelve years ago today she decided to leave the Crystal Mountains forever. It had nothing to do with business or the war or family. She stared out into the dark window, into the rain. Her thoughts went back twelve years to the place she had escaped.

She had gone to meet a friend on an isolated hilltop to view the stars. Her friend wasn’t there. Instead her worst nightmare was waiting for her, escaped from the self imposed exile where he had been gone years earlier for raping and torturing her. He was there with a group of his followers, waiting for her.

She tried to protect herself but her own powerful magic failed her. She was beaten until she couldn’t stand. She thought they were going to kill her. Then it happened. Something she could have never imagined.

Alone with her captor, his beautiful face was close to hers, she looked in his hazel eyes that were almost reflection of her own. As he bent over her, his hair made a curtain around her face. He caressed her battered body, then lightly kissed her eyes and her lips as he whispered that he loved her and would never leave her. He gently undressed her and healed her injuries with his magic. “You are mine,” he whispered as he took her. She tried to fight back but he blocked her magic with his own and overpowered her with his physical strength.

Next he filled the room with yellow light and enchanted her with four spells binding them together forever with his obsession and love.

It seemed so simple and final the way he explained it to her. They would start a new empire together. They would live with passion and power. She would be his alone. Their children would be heirs to a new world.

A vision entered her mind. She was on the shores of a foreign lake, far away where a warm breeze kissed her skin. A tower stood in the distance, lights shone from the windows of a near by cottage, a beautiful palace was behind her. The dark haired stranger held her close to him, under the starlight on the shores of a distant lake and vowed his love to her.

“ I vow to you, here and now, that I will always love you. You are my heart and my soul. I will never love another. Nothing will ever come between us. I will always be here for you, now and forever. Nothing will make me leave you Olivia, not even death itself”.

The vision faded and she was back in the cold. She looked into the eyes of her captor and said, “I vow to hate you with all my heart and soul. I vow to hate you now and forever.” She hung on the edge of consciousness, trying to stay awake, starting at the man who had just enchanted her. Every cell in her body ached. Every emotion ran raw.

He saw her vision of the other man. Too stunned to respond he sat in silence wondering who would dare break his enchantments. But it was true. The unknown stranger, the imposter, was out there waiting for her.

He kissed her tenderly. “He can’t have you.”  

“You can’t do anything him or me.” She whispered.

Something inside him snapped. In a rage plunged his knife deep into her chest. “You can die if you think any other man will have you.” Leaving the knife in her chest, he left her to die, alone in the dark.

She heard his friend, someone she’d once known well say “Don’t leave her here. We can bring her with us.” Then her hearing failed and her mind went into a dark cold blackness.

As she lay close to death, feeling the heat drain from her body, she thought of her friends far away. If she lived, she would join them in their country and leave the Crystal Mountains forever.

Six weeks later, still recovering from her injuries, Simon was waiting for her at the border of her new country.


Olivia Starfire Snowhawk was now alone in her house in Meadow Creek. The only sounds were the beating of the rain on the windows and Ink’s soft purring. It was twelve years ago that day that she had almost died at the hand of a mad man. Twelve long years of exile and fear. Before she left her old home she’d told her father that she’d be fine, but she had lied. She would never be fine.

She lit a blue light in the small blue lamp by her bed. The blue lamp helped keep away the nightmares and the phantom that visited her at night. She glanced out the window and attempted to clear her mind.

Her twin brother Justin would be there in 3 weeks. She couldn’t wait. It had been hard living so far away from him. She’d finally meet Logan. She laughed thinking of what fun that might be. The man was a notorious flirt and so was she. She was also going to meet Prince Alexander for the first time, and no doubt Kitti’s idiot of a daughter as well. How was it that so many powerful and smart men like Alexander were such fools when it came to women? Anger rose in her as she thought about Kitti coming into her office the day before, demanding she sell her Lockford Mill. With any luck Candi would dump Alexander just like 3 other real princesses before her.

She could have been at Prince Alexander’s that night, making a scene in an eye popping dress and dazzling charm, but she wasn’t up to celebrating anything with Kitti’s daughter or Prince Alexander. “The poor bastard doesn’t know what he’s getting into.” She thought.

She’d stopped asking Simon why he didn’t do anything to stop it. There was nothing anyone could do about it. Alexander was a romantic but wasn’t the type to easily fall in love, at least not anymore from what she’d heard. From Ellie’s reports he wasn’t in love with Candi but resigned to the fact that he’d have to eventually marry her.   He had told Ellie that maybe one day he’d wake up to find himself content with Princess Candi. With any luck he’d find himself in love with someone else before the wedding.

Looking out the window she noticed a light in the woods. Her closest neighbors, Annie Hawthorne and Simon Oliver were still in The Capitol. Simon and Ellie had stayed to attend the party at Prince Alexander’s house. Annie was being the good daughter at yet another dysfunctional Hawthorn family gathering. She mentally checked the locks on her doors and windows. Under her breath she muttered a spell. She grabbed her dagger.

It was almost midnight. From the front library window she could see two men in dark clothing coming towards the house. They wouldn’t get in. When locked up the house was a fortress with unbreakable glass windows and impenetrable locks and security. They’d have to have her genetic code to get inside. Still, the house could be burned or vandalized.

She ran to call the sheriff, her friend Sean Crow, but the door of the library door slammed shut. She could hear them now at the front door, trying to get at the lock. They checked the outside of the house and attempted to break the windows. Without luck they tried to break the impenetrable windows again. She frantically tried to open the library door. She worked the knob, she tried spells. The door was shut solid.

The dark room lit up with a soft glowing light. She turned from the window and there he was, the wizard himself, the one who enchanted her, with his hands on his hips, smiling.

The sounds from outside stopped. The only noise was of her own heartbeat.

“Who are they? Are they yours?” she asked.

“They’re spies from Allegory or maybe the Lavender Forest. They’ve been taken care of.”

“Did you kill them?”

“You could have. Why didn’t you. Oh right. You don’t do that sort of thing anymore. No, but they’ll wish they were dead. Don’t worry about it.”

She looked at the wizard in front of her not taking her eyes off of him. She tried a spell to get him to go away but her magic failed her.

“Happy Anniversary darling. I brought you a little gift.” He put a magnificent necklace of diamonds and emeralds around her neck. He put his arms around her and kissed her in a slow lingering kiss.

“I hate you.” She whispered at him, her voice full of venom.

The necklace vanished, he pulled her robe open and traced his finger over the R shaped scar on her right shoulder, then cupped her breast in his hand. “I came here for a night of passion with the woman I love.” He leaned over and kissed her neck. She backed away. He grabbed her wrists.

“Come back to me.”

“Never.” She said.

“You’ve put a knife right through my heart. You know you shouldn’t do that.”

She said nothing then took a breath and braced herself for the punishment that was to come.

Middle School Teachers – The Truly Brave Souls

Not all Middle School Teachers are Drama teachers.

All Middle School Teachers are Anti-Drama teachers.

If you live with a child age 12-14 you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

And don’t forget to tell these remarkable teachers of strange-creatures-of-puberty-and-poor-judgment THANK YOU for being out there for our kids. It is a tough job for for the brave of heart and spirit.

The 4 teachers at my daughter’s small public charter school have all of my respect and admiration.

So your assignment for next week: Say THANK YOU to a Middle School Teacher. They are the brave ones, the wise ones, the tough ones.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman 

(Little known fact: Even the bravest of Vampire Hunters would not last a week doing the job of the average Middle School Teacher.)

These creatures can be very very scary. Thank your luck stars for Middle School Teachers!

These creatures can be very very scary. Thank your luck stars for Middle School Teachers!