Esotera, a world of light and fantasy

This is a description for a book I’m thinking of writing. Let me know what you think. 🙂


My name was Eve. I had two brothers. I had a mother and a father. But it’s so hard to remember, now, in this place. The memories I have are fading, sliding away into the oblivion that is the world of Esotera.

Esotera, a world of light and fantasy; at least, that’s what the developers claimed when it was released. There was so much hype around the game that it was already the highest-selling MMO in history before the first copy ever hit the shelves. The posters plastered all over everything showed massive cities of glowing crystal and stone, in every color of the rainbow, and multitudes of races, from elegant, pointed-eared elves smiling and waving in exuberant friendliness to colorful, gleeful gnomes capering in barely contained joy. Promises of adventure, glory, and wealth drew billions of views on the game’s website.

But Esotera isn’t what they all think it is. Esotera is alive. And it hungers.



Our feet

We were talking, he and I, like we always did, of ideals and existentiality, of hopes and fears, life and death, and other things that swim in the deepest parts of our selves. It was the two of us, alone, in the dark, our legs dangling from the bed and our fingers intertwined. Neither of us could say how the conversation started. We never could. But, start, it did, and down a steep, corkscrew path it led us.

The fears always tugged us deep, near to drowning. But, clinging to each other in our darkness, we whispered our way through. We spoke of grotesque imaginings that pounced on us, unawares. We talked of the pleasant surprises when empty fields of grain didn’t reveal hordes of flickering shadows in the fleeting moonlight. I told him of my goblins and he told me of his gremlins. We traded ghosts and shadows, demons and angels. We laughed, heartily unafraid, as we pulled our feet onto the relative safety of the bed.

Then, he whispered of the darker places in his soul. The places no one had seen. He sighed and longed to know he wasn’t alone.

He wasn’t.

I, too, lived in the barred, cold pockets deep inside. We laughed again, to know we were the same. We moved on, to the silly secrets and corny jokes we’d hoarded for just this occasion. Our fingers played together, twined above our heads.

But our feet, our feet stayed on the bed.

City: A.E.

City: A.E.

The sunset, behind the chemical veil, washed the ancient buildings in fire. The ruins lingered long after the civilization that built them. The toxicity of the soil and the air meant no one would inhabit the zone for millennia to come.

The roving machine took picture after picture, sending the information to the observers far overhead. The descendants of the world, the last surviving members of an ancient aristocracy, sighed and turned their attentions elsewhere.

The robotic servant, quietly and unobtrusively, beeped a secret message into the chemically altered air. Its enhanced vision watched, without recording, as bent, misshapen forms moved out of the ruins.

The left-behinds raised arms to wave, their weapons held in standby mode. The mechanical servants of their offspring were their only allies in the war to survive. Swiftly, the strongest of the once-men moved to stand beneath the construct.

A door opened in the bottom of the machine. Several plastic crates dropped from the hidden compartment. Food, water, and other supplies, smuggled by other mechanicals, floated through the contaminated air to land on the rubble-laden ground.

Several beeps sounded within the camera drone. It flashed lights at the people gathered below, then sent another coded message to those waiting.

Not long, now, it said. The armies of the suppressed were nearly ready to strike.



*Based on my own original acrylic painting*



(This is the opening for an upcoming book, in a pulp noir style.)


The ear-piercing scream shattered the inky midnight blackness. A shadow moved along the strangely empty street. A dark-suited man followed closely, eerily silent considering the sodden conditions of the city. He paused, considering the scream, and the sudden silence afterward. Hearing nothing else, the man moved on, trailing the still-moving shadow deeper into the heart of the city.

Further into the city, the shadow became harder to follow. Streetlights flickered in the wake of the shadow’s passing, causing the mere mortal to fall further behind. The man, intent on his tracking, paid little attention to his surroundings. The buildings in this run-down portion of the city loomed close, leaning inward to form a deep valley of murkiness. Only when the sole light of the alley flickered and failed did the man’s natural instinct kick in. He sensed danger lurking, waiting for an unwary traveler.

Having lost his quarry, the man quickly turned and hastened away, tracing his steps back to the beginning, where he’d first caught the scent of the hunt. He slid something from his inside breast pocket, a sleek black cellphone. Dialing without looking, he connected with a throaty voice on the other end.

“So? Did you find its lair?”

“No,” the man sighed. “I nearly had it, but it seems as though the creature knew I was following. It twisted and turned through several streets, backtracking on itself a few times. Probably trying to confuse or lose me before it slunk away to rest.”

He imagined he could hear his associate nod through the phone. There was a tension there, stress that had been building throughout the weeks they’d worked together on this job. The creature would need to be found, and captured, soon, or they would both become targets themselves.

“Come back to the office,” the sultry voice commanded. “We both need some rest. We’ll pick it back up in the morning. You do remember where you lost it, right?”

“Yes, I remember,” he chuckled. “On my way. You should go ahead and go home. I’ll file a report when I get to the office, then head out myself. See you around ten tomorrow?”

“Ten, it is. Night, Sam.” The phone clicked, the call ended. The man, Sam, tucked the phone back into his pocket, mentally preparing his report for his employers. The remainder of the trip to his office was uneventful, no shrill screams or fleeing shadows to disturb his journey.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *



Nobody told me

Nobody told me that dying hurts.

Maybe not for those who meet their loved ones at the sunny end of the long, dark tunnel; those who lived the fullness of the life God gave ’em. But for me, who hastened to meet the end in the beginning of my travels, it hurt. Like hell.

Which is where I was headed, I suppose. Preacher always said those who sinned the sin of suicide were doomed to eternity in hellfire and damnation. Maybe he was right. It did seem like forever while I was dying.

The funny thing about painkillers is that they don’t. Kill pain, that is to say. Not when you gobble down a whole bottle at once. No sir, those little pills tumble right on down inside you and start brewing up the worst pain you ever felt.

I figured I’d just lay myself out, all pretty-like, on my granny’s patchwork quilt and let go of the pain of the world as I drifted off to sleep. I’d never taken more than two of those pills at once before and every time they’d make my head swim and my feet twine about themselves until I just laid down and slept.

But when there’s eighty-six of ’em, all roilin’ and boilin’ in your stomach, there’s no sleeping. No pretty, either.

It felt like my insides were clawing to get to my outsides. My brain went all swimmy, alright, but not the warm, fuzzy fog I was used to. Instead, the world turned itself upside down, then scrambled around like a Rubik’s cube and I couldn’t flip those pieces back the right way, not with the gnawing and clawing my belly was doing.

Falling, from the rumpled quilt on my four-poster, to the shag carpet on my floor, took about a million years. Time enough for me to think of all the things in the world I’d never do. Time enough for me writhe in agony for half of forever.

I’d thought the pain I was living through was hell, but the pain of dying leeched the color from all my previous hurts. The light I thought I’d see was only the sun setting out my window. The loved ones I’d hoped to reunite with kept their distance from the basest of sinners that I had become. At the end of forever, I called for help.

Nobody told me that dying hurts.


Musings on muse writing

Ahh, the perils of being a muse writer. Some days, I have no problems writing. On my first novel, in fact, I wrote over ten thousand words on the first day. But then there are the days when my mind is like an unsecured ride in a Tilt-A-Whirl; things are flying every which way and I can’t manage to grab onto anything to save my life.

I have quite a few of those Tilt-A-Whirl days. Mostly due to stress. I don’t handle stress well, at all. I tend to flit from activity to activity or I sit and mope and moan about what I should be doing.

I wish, some days, that I could write more like my husband. He sits himself down, pulls out his outline, and writes all that he’s planned to write. Once he gets started, he has no problems hammering out a steady two or three thousand words a day. He finishes his novellas in a week. Then publishes, then advertises, then rakes in the money.

Which gives me pause, but only for a pause.

I don’t, particularly, write for an audience. Yes, I write a blog. I also write novels and short stories and novellas. But I write what I want, how ever I want, without worrying about whether it’s saleable. My husband, on the other hand, writes to a specific audience with a particular genre firmly in hand.

And that’s all well and good, but when I look at the numbers on Amazon, he far out sells me. But, again, I don’t write to market, I write as desire moves me. I’m most definitely a muse writer, a pantser, a start-and-stop writer. Most days it’s fine enough.

We joke, my husband and I, about how I have fantastic ideas. I’m also a pretty decent editor and proofreader. I write well, at least that’s the consensus I’ve found, but simply writing well doesn’t mean people will enjoy my writing. I do have my fans, though, so I’ll keep writing and releasing, for them and for myself.

When the muse strikes, at least.


An unexpected find

A dull glint in the bushes caught Kiara’s eye. She glanced around the forest, searching for any sign of watchers. Finding none, the lithe girl slipped into the undergrowth, her deep mossy green leathers blending into the foliage.

In the midst of a small clearing beyond the seldom traveled path was a man. Kiara’s hawkish gaze fell on a quartet of white-fletched arrows. Under the slim wooden shafts, the man’s body was covered in heavy plates of hammered steel. Kiara shook her head, sadly, then reached for her belt pouch.

A heavy silver ring slid easily from the pouch’s mouth. Kiara slid it onto her finger, with the deeply engraved face buried in her palm. Once she was ready, she crawled toward the prone man, her nose wrinkling in disgust at the rancid smell that filled the clearing. Her fingers searched for a heartbeat, but, as she expected, the man’s life had fled.

The silver ring pulsed a brilliant blue when it touched the cold metal armor. Kiara pulled her hand back and clutched it to her chest. Her eyes closed as the ring’s power throbbed in her mind. Her smile grew as the information provided by the ring of identification poured in.

Removing the armor wasn’t easy, but Kiara managed it well before sundown. She lugged the heavy metal pieces deeper into the forest, to a campsite well away from any interruptions. The night passed in drudgery, but the dark-haired girl didn’t mind. Her smile remained wide and catty.

Hammering the dents from the armor was painstaking, but not as torturous as repairing the four punctured places. When the time for polishing rolled around, Kiara’s eyes stayed open by sheer willpower. The lightening sky stole the girl’s smile. Wearily, she rolled up into her bedroll and fell into a deep sleep.

The sun was nearly touching the tops of the western trees when Kiara finally struggled awake. She rebuilt her fire and pulled rations from the pack beside her. A small iron pot also slid free of the bag. With just a few minutes work, Kiara had a pot of trail soup simmering. Her stomach rumbled. She didn’t wait for the soup to cool down before she slurped a mouthful. She ignored the pain and continued to eat. After her dinner, she rinsed the pot and stowed it back in her pack. Then she wrapped herself in her bedroll and slipped off to sleep.

The morning broke with a dense fog creeping across the forest floor. Kiara packed her meager belongings into her backpack, then tied the pieces of armor into a tight pile which she then heaved onto her back. Her knees nearly buckled under the weight of the armor, but she stumbled into motion.

On her way out of the forest, Kiara found herself whistling a merry tune. Her step lightened and she let her voice lift in a bawdy tavern song. By mid-afternoon, she had joined the stream of people headed into the city, to the King’s sportage. She had just enough time to sell the armor to a trade merchant before the archery contests began. Her lips turned up into a cruel smile. The fun was only beginning. Armor of missile attraction should make the day much more exciting.