Readers on Deadline (ROD #16)

Dame Rinda

Readers on Deadline (ROD) is a monthly Deadline Dame feature where we post an intriguing image and invite readers to be inspired and share the results in up to 250 words right here in the comments.

There’s a two week deadline, so entries will have to be in by midnight when Dame Rinda posts her next regular Deadline Dames post, which is midnight June 16th.   The Dames will pick the entry that most intrigues us, post that entry in the next month’s ROD  along with a link to that writer/reader’s site-if there is one.  And you get a prize!

( We’d like to add a request for our readers not to re-post pictures.  Some are stock photos and those are fine, but quite a few of them are used with written permission from the artist.  Thanks! )

Last month’s winner is Cat! Congratulations Cat! If you have a website, let us know so we can link you.

“Where am I going?” I was pissed off that I had to drive this hunk of metal. We could have stolen a Mustang, but we were supposed to blend in, so I was stuck driving this POS.

“Could you relax? It’s not like we’re late or anything.” Lio said, startled into a laugh, his voice floating to the driver’s seat.

“Explain to me again why the Portal transported us here, so far from our destination?” I snarled, glaring at the cows grazing the fields, pissed off that everything I looked at reminded me of her. The dark wings in my chest beat in time with the throbbing of the blood and anger in my veins, as I pictured her with that human.

“You’ve gone dark on me,” Lio remarked. My eyes locked with his in the rearview mirror.

“I can hear it, too.” I kept my eyes glued to the temporarily sunlit road.

“How does my soul sound?” he asked, hesitantly. I felt the pity temporarily dissolve the darkness in my chest.

“Cursed. We sound cursed.” My hands gripped the wheel more tightly. “Where the hell am I going?” I asked, again.

His arm came into view, his index finger pointing to the mountain in the distance, white smoke billowing from its peak, the village covered by dark clouds.

“What the hell is over there?”

Lio leaned forward, and glanced at me. “The human we’re supposed to save.”

I returned my eyes to that mountain. “But, humans can’t do that.”

“Exactly.”

I am SO excited about this next ROD image!! It’s by an extremely talented young photographer who shares behind the scenes footage of her photo shoots.  There is a ton of writing inspiration to be found in her work. I urge you to explore, purchase prints even. I’d like to have several in my office.  Her name is Michelle Monique. I expect we’ll see a lot of wonderful work out of her. :) (We’re using this image with written permission, so please don’t copy and post it anywhere.  Thanks!)

This months winner will receive a copy of Dame Rachel’s newest release!

MY SOUL TO KEEP

Kaylee has one addiction: her very hot, very popular boyfriend, Nash. A banshee like Kaylee, Nash understands her like no one else. Nothing can come between them.

Until something does.

Demon breath. No, not the toothpaste-challenged kind. The Netherworld kind. The kind that really can kill you. Somehow the super-addictive substance has made its way to the human world. But how? Kaylee and Nash have to cut off the source and protect their friends—one of whom is already hooked.

And so is someone else…

About Rinda Elliott

Rinda Elliott loves unusual stories and she credits growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and horror kept them amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, Rinda tried to separate her darker side with her humorous and romantic one. She published short fiction, but things really started happening when she gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, she loves making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with her husband and two children.

Please visit Rinda at her website/blog: http://relliott4.wordpress.com/

Comments

  1. Much inspiration! I will be checking out her site :)

  2. Not quite what I had in mind, this one almost wrote it self:

    Some mistakes can never be undone. I’d known we were heading here, I just couldn’t prevent it, I wasn’t strong enough, I wasn’t good enough, and because of my irresponsibility Barb was dying.
    The poison running through her veins had been left too long. She had not told me the full extent of her infection; staring in horror, I watched as it moved across her face. Her alabaster skin paled almost seemed to turn paper-thin, her lips moved but no words came out, her entire body shook. I had to do something, I could not—I would not, allow this to destroy her. She lay limp in my arms. I leaned forward, brushed a kiss against her head, smiling down at her.
    I had caused this, I should never have returned. We would have been apart; but, at least she’d be alive.
    “I love you” I whispered into her ear, “never doubt that—ever!” Barb’s eyelids fluttered open; she smiled up at me. The air caught in my lungs, and her gaze froze. She had figured it out. Barb struggled.
    I had one shot; the poison had to be removed. The cost? My life for hers, and I gave it willingly.
    I felt a single tear drip on my cheek, Barb screaming to the heavens to save me…that was impossible, we both knew it, I’d become fallen for her and now I gave my life for hers…..
    I smiled as the light dimmed and turned to black.

  3. wow thanks for picking me!
    And here’s my third try:

    I was clutching his jacket, God, I was clutching at him like I knew him, or worse. How had this happened?
    It had something to do with that burn on my face, the tattoo slithering under the layer of skin, moving from temple to cheekbone, fanning out like branches of a tree.
    “Please,” I whimpered, and cursed at myself inside my head. When had I ever been weak?
    He leaned down, and kissed my forehead, the fire on his lips spreading over my brow, sloping down both cheeks, over my mouth. I wanted to scream, but the fire burned all the way to my throat, clamping my vocal chords nice and tight. Drawing away, I saw his eyes – black like a shark’s- devoid of humanity. I would have shivered if I had control over my body.
    Rage consumed me. I wanted to kill him, this man I had so desperately hung onto, like he was my salvation. Revulsion coiled tightly in my lower belly, the contents of whatever I had eaten, whenever I had eaten it turning and crashing inside me.
    I knew what he was, and he wasn’t human.
    I wished Dallas were here, or Lio. I didn’t care who came to my rescue, as long as they did. I couldn’t rescue myself, not with the poison of the Wraith marking my cheek, causing me to hold the creature more tightly in a lover’s embrace.
    I didn’t want to die. Not yet.
    Not alone, without Dallas.
    Not alone.

  4. Powerful image! I can feel the inspiration but no actual words have quite sprung to page. Although there may be a wisp of an idea floating around in my head :)

  5. Adelina says:

    Wow. This pic is beautiful.

  6. Sandy G. says:

    “Do you know who I am, flower girl?” He asked her. She smelt sweet. Like honeysuckle and summer flowers.
    His words rang in her ears, as he brushed her cheek with his hand. His light touch had her down on her knees.
    “You are Deth,“ she said, not daring to gaze at the man in the black suit.
    Deth had only meant to warn her. Standing there with her scent muffling his senses, he could feel his control slipping. He had to let her go. Instead he found himself pulling her toward him, lifting her head to smell her hair. His body rigid, as he held her.
    His control evaporated slowly with each breath of her intoxicating scent. Deth lowered his head to face her – his pretty little flower girl. A breath escaped her.
    He captured her lips in a hard kiss. Deth’s control lost as a need to touch, taste, and smell the girl consumed him.
    He only stopped when he could no longer smell the flowers. Deth felt like he was waking from a dream, only to find himself in a nightmare. The pretty little flower girl lay limp in his arms.
    He had killed her with a kiss.
    Deth brushed his lips against the dead girl’s forehead.
    “I’m sorry,” he cried.

  7. Nikki Egerton says:

    He kissed me hard and I melted into him, raking my fingers through his hair and clinging to him, desperate to be closer, deeper. His fingers traced fiery swirls down my back and I shuddered as I recalled the gypsy woman’s words as she worked her craft: Don’t worry dear, it will only work if he is guilty. Then he will get what he deserves.
    I kissed him as if he were my last breath, as if my life would end with the kiss. My love, my life, I couldn’t bear it if he left me. He whispered promises in my ear and my heart sang. I forgot about the gypsy, forgot everything and wrapped myself around him, safe and warm in his arms until I felt the shifting beneath my skin. At the centre of my chest, where the gypsy had laid her hands my skin was tingling, a fizzing sensation like popping candy spreading over my body, shooting to the tips of my fingers and lifting the hairs on the back of my neck. No! I take it back, I thought, I don’t care what he did!
    I drew back, expecting to see his face a mask of pain and horror as the poison she had promised burnt out his lying heart, but instead he smiled down at me. “Oh you stupid girl” he whispered, “What have you done?”
    He lowered his face to mine and when I saw the razor sharp fangs I began to scream.

  8. His cool lips touched her forehead gently. He stepped back longing to stay with her forever. Canden new it was impossible for him to be with Drew. He new if he wanted to protect her he HAD to leave. Canden had to go before they found him with her.

    Canden said, “I’m sorry Drew but I wont let them hurt you.”

    “Let me come with you. We can run together!” Drew looked at him.

    He replied, “You would through your life away to be with me?”

    She smiled at him. “Yes, because I love you!”

    They stared into each others eyes. They turned quickly when they heard a sound coming from behind them. There were six men with guns running towards them. Canden said, “Run Drew!” She stood staring at him. He yelled again. “Hurry! Go!”

    Drew replied, “Not without you!” She held her hand out to Canden. He took it and they ran through the woods. They picked up the pace when the heard bullets being shot.

    They came to a dead end and were cornered. One of the men stepped forward saying, “Join us or she dies a slow and painful death.” He held the gun to Drew’s head.

    Drew looked into Canden’s eyes. “What does he mean by join them?”

    Canden didn’t answer her question. He could only looked at the gun. “Fine, just don’t hurt her.”

    The man looked at Canden. “Good. I’m glad you came to your senses.” Then he pulled the trigger.

  9. So beautiful she made his heart ache, she came to him. Her dress fluttered, leaflets of fog swirling around moon-pale skin.

    Every night, she came to him. Walked into his arms and lifted her face to his without saying a word.

    He folded her against his chest. Gently. Desperately. The feel of her, wrapped in his arms, was like holding a piece of his lost soul. She soothed the tattered and inflamed edges of his heart.

    He kissed her on the forehead. So gently. Her skin was soft as rose petals against his lips and he inhaled the scent of her. Jasmine and rain and the growth of green, living things.

    Down the corridor, something clattered. Men shouted and a siren began to blare.

    She was gone, as silently and swiftly as she had arrived. The warning lights began to flash and the siren was joined by a nasal, honking alarm. The manacles that bound his wrists and ankles to the wall glowed with faintly-visible runes.

    He didn’t know who she was. At first, he’d been certain she was his savior. That she had come to release him, rescue him.

    Now, he was equally certain that she was part of his sentence. What good was it to imprison a man for a hundred years if you did not remind him of the freedom he had lost?

  10. “You’ve got to trust me.” His breath brushed gently against my face.
    I gulped, my frantic heart pounding with a mixture of elation and terror. “I can’t.”
    Kay drew back slightly; his silver eyes bore into mine. “I’m still the same person.”
    But he wasn’t. Not anymore.
    His skin was too pale, too perfect and a dark shadow hid behind his eyes.
    “But—”
    He pressed his lips down on mine. My mind screamed warnings at me, but neither my heart not my body listened. I tightened my grip on his jacket, drawing us closer together. His hands curved round my face, fingers brushing along the tattoos on my cheeks.
    I gasped when he pulled away. God, I’d forgotten how much I missed him.
    Something pierced my neck.
    Suddenly, pain. Horrible waves of fire licked at my insides, frying my veins.
    “Kay…” I whispered.
    He took no notice, instead his hands clamped around me, one over my mouth to muffle my screams. Agony clawed at my body, tears leaking out my eyes.
    I was such an idiot. I should have known.
    My legs trembled, the world dissolving into spots before my eyes. I tried to raise my arms, to push him away, but they slid uselessly to my sides.
    Suddenly my knees smashed into the ground, mud splattering my clothes. I just managed to stop myself from falling face first.
    Raising my head, I saw a figure with a knife in each hand, facing a monstrous looking Kay.
    James.

  11. As soon as the leaves tattooed on my cheek twitched, I knew I was in trouble; or rather, someone else was.
    I turned to see him strolling toward me, the moonlight highlighting his dark hair silver. As if the tattoos were pulling the skin of my cheek upward, I smiled, twining a lock of hair around my finger.
    “Hello,” I said, voice laced with almost poisonous sweetness. My gaze met his, and he was powerless–completely under my command.
    A dopey grin spread over his face as he took the last few steps toward me. Before I knew what I was doing, my lips were on his, consuming him. His soul sang to me, and sighed as little tendrils of pure, shining life twined around my tongue, and slipped down to encompass my heart, making me almost feel alive again. Warmth filled me, the beating of my heart echoing in my ears like a thousand horses.
    Pure bliss.
    A sudden fire stabbed into my abdomen, and I let loose a bloodcurdling shriek, before falling to my knees. My hands flew to my side, where a crimson stain spread over the blue satin of my dress. I stared at my bloodied fingers numbly, then up at the handsome stranger.
    “Consider it salvation.” His husky voice made me shudder, immediately dulling the pain.
    He bent down to kiss my forehead, and my fingers instinctively reached for him as I closed my eyes. I couldn’t help it; the seducer had become the seduced.

  12. This is my first attempt at a prompt here. All have been great.

    “Don’t worry,” he whispers into my ear,”it will be okay.”
    I try not to flinch. His sweet brown eyes are wide and serene.
    How could I dim their light by saying truth?
    Instead of speaking, I clinch his shirt and pull him closer, allowing his warmth to seep into my chilled skin.
    The second stage.
    It won’t be long now, I thought. Remembering the images of so many before me. Souls wasting in rooms, blasted by heaters and lamps. Most covered by blankets. All looking around, desperately clinging to life. Nurses and doctors avoiding eye contact and trying not to show the truth.
    All will die. Freezing.
    He doesn’t accept it. His lips touch my forehead. I feel a momentary spark, a pleasant stabbing pain, like numb fingers returning to life.
    I smile, devouring his face with my eyes.
    His grip tightens.
    “I love you.” His breath creates a light mist.
    “I know.” I crack out of my dry lips. My skin hurts. Pulling on muscle already turning into ice. I try to move my hand towards his face, but it gets stuck midway.
    I want to cry, but can’t. Instead my eyes do it. Reflecting my agony.
    He leans into my frozen hand, like a child resting on rock.
    His eyes warm.
    I hold on to their image as my heart slows.
    Into the darkness.

  13. “Elisa…”

    The voice was faint, a mere whisper against my skin. I felt the veil ripple in invitation. Stay, or go? A choice was always there, always difficult, every time more so because I knew I might not find the strength to turn back.

    “Elisa…”

    I had to answer. I discarded my inert shell, paralysed and grotesque. I couldn’t even regret the accident now. True, it had robbed me of a healthy life by the throw of the dice, a slip on the ice. But it had also given me a gift, a curse. The veil between worlds, ripped. And him.

    “Elisa…”

    I stepped through the shimmering gauze and closed my eyes as the feeling of a supple body, my body forever young, enveloped me. Ah, the alluring poison of Everwhere. So sweet, so tempting. My fight against its pull seemed fruitless and foolish. I was an invalid in the normal world, why wouldn’t I just stay? Did it matter than in my tragedy I had managed what my persistence had failed – to pull my mother out of the years-long depression and make her fight again, live again, for me? Was it worth it, my life for hers?

    It should be. It was.

    I fell on my knees as the veil withdrew, leaving me naked, shivering and whole.

    “Elisa.”

    I opened my eyes and there he stood. A worse temptation than a healthy body and a new life.

    He smiled and bent down to kiss my forehead.

    “Welcome home.”

  14. The vines folded together pulling off the wall, toward him. The leaves weaving fast, pulling apart and away. Instantly, the vines formed the striking woman from his dreams.

    She looked at him, the faintest upturn of her lips. Her emerald eyes connected with his. “Frakk,” she whispered faintly. “It’s me, Eviennaa. Remember?” The connection, no, heartache was instant.

    Frank is his name, but the name she used… opened memories long forgotten. Finding each other now, not knowing all these years they where apart. The long walks through the endless, forest full of life. Hand in hand, heart over heart. Oh, the endless time they had together.

    Frakk slid forward whispering “Yes…” Watching Eviennaa leaning forward as graceful as flowers in the wind, hair of rich green vines trailing her creamy, smooth face. To be with her all eternity again.

    Within inches of each other he went to touch her, she pulled back slightly. “You can’t. He’s made it so we can’t touch… ever…”

    Frakk stopped his hand in the air. “You where to have fled. I was to find you roaming the fields again. Look what he’s done to you.”

    Eviennaa looked down at the green grass and purple flowers. “This is where I should be.” Looking back into his eyes. “With the nature of things.” Said as soft and salty as the pure crystalline tear trailing to her cheek, “You are alive and well. Live your days.”

    Frakk dropped his hand heavily to his thigh, “Now I’ve found you.”

  15. Reagan felt the prickles of awareness tingling across her skin even before his silent entrance among the swirling mists of the forest clearing.

    “Fancy a dance with the devil this evening luv?” A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. Eight hundred years away from the lowlands of Cailean’s childhood hadn’t lessened his rough Scottish brougue. Reagan longed to smooth her fingers over the sharp planes of his face and twine her fingers through his sable curls, but first he would pay the price for making her wait.

    Turning from the moon’s silver radiance, she schooled her face into a disapproving frown. “It’s after midnight m’lord and you are hardly the devil.”

    Cailen lifted his right eye brow at Reagan’s crossed arms, boyish humor dancing across the endless black of his eyes. “You be right about the hour mo chuisle, but to a spoiled Unseelie princess, we Reapers are nothing short of Lucifer himself.”

    Reagan scoffed as she toed the dirt and tried to keep her nose from rising.

    “Ridiculous humans with their endless dichotomies…” She paused before throwing her arms down. “And I am not spoiled.”

    Unable to contain his laughter any longer, Cailean encircled Reagan within his lean frame. “Of course you aren’t mo chuisle mo chroí.” He placed a tender kiss on her forehead as the rhythm of hoofbeats errupted in the distance.

    “The royal guard! They must have checked my rooms. Cailean, they can’t find you here. You must go, now!”

  16. Reagan felt the prickles of awareness tingling across her skin even before his silent entrance among the swirling mists of the forest clearing.

    “Fancy a dance with the devil this evening luv?” A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. Eight hundred years away from the lowlands of Cailean’s childhood hadn’t lessened his rough Scottish brougue. Reagan longed to smooth her fingers over the sharp planes of his face and twine her fingers through his sable curls, but first he would pay the price for making her wait.

    Turning from the moon’s silver radiance, she schooled her face into a disapproving frown. “It’s after midnight m’lord and you are hardly the devil.”

    Cailen lifted his right eye brow at Reagan’s crossed arms, boyish humor dancing across the endless black of his eyes. “You be right about the hour mo chuisle, but to a spoiled Unseelie princess, we Reapers are nothing short of Lucifer himself.”

    Reagan scoffed as she toed the dirt and tried to keep her nose from rising.

    “Ridiculous humans with their endless dichotomies…” She paused before throwing her arms down. “And I am not spoiled.”

    Unable to contain his laughter any longer, Cailean encircled Reagan within his lean frame. “Of course you aren’t mo chuisle mo chroí.” He placed a tender kiss on her forehead as the rhythm of hoofbeats errupted in the distance.

    “The royal guard! They must have checked my rooms. Cailean, they can’t find you here. You must go, now!”

  17. Argh! Can I delete the first post made? I’m terribly sorry for doubling up – was trying to correct a formatting mistake.

  18. Congrats Cat! Nice piece! Almost completely forgot about this…..

  19. Impossible Love

    Magic bounces off their bodies, binding them together in this moment, at this time. “Please Tarin, say you’ll be here.” Daria lifts her tear stained face, grazing his soft full lips. He swears by everything he holds dear as dawn draws near.

    I don’t wanted to leave her. I fucking need her, his heart pounds out.

    Groaning with need, he gazes back into the swirling depths of her indigo eyes. One more night’s passing, one more day’s dawning, and the curse remains.

    She shrugs her delicate shoulders and her gown slips away, pressing into Tarin’s hard chest as his hand slides up her arm, seeking her softness that waits.

    Shuddering with need, he leans to meet her seeking lips. “I want to stay.” Precious minutes tick by.

    Daria’s world is of the light, Tarin’s of the dark, they exist together for a few brief hours during the twilight, not day and yet, not night.

    As the dawning day shatters into life, Tarin’s grasping fingers lose their grip as Daria is ripped away, her scream lingers in his ears.

    “NO!” He cries as he sinks to his knees, pounding his fist against the cold stone floor, alone. He hangs his head as tears fall. The curse is like a cut, and with each cut, his heart dies a little more.

    The lovers’ folly doesn’t go unnoticed, the mages see it all. To move one to the other with wild magic is the answer, if the lovers find the clues….

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