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 July 14th. 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! )
The winner of last month’s ROD is Iris! Congratulations, Iris. Email your address for your copy of Dame Rachel Vincent’s MY SOUL TO KEEP. (Thanks again to Michelle Monique, the wonderful artist responsible for this image.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Image by Jascha Hoste.
And the winner of ROD #17 will get a copy of Dame Jackie Kessler’s SHADES OF GRAY!
AFTER THE FALL OF NIGHT
Jet and Iridium—best friends turned bitter enemies—teamed up to foil the evil plans of the rogue superhero known as Night, but in defeating him they inadvertently destroyed the secret Corp-Co transmitter whose frequency kept the metapowered heroes of the Squadron in line. Now these heroes have turned against New Chicago, ransacking the city they once protected.
Even worse, the powerful antisuperhero group known as Everyman has taken advantage of the chaos to fan the flames of prejudice against all superpowered men and women. Just when New Chicago needs them most, Jet and the small band of heroes who have remained on the right side of the law find themselves the targets of suspicion and outright hatred.
Things aren’t going much better for Iridium. When she springs her father, a notorious supervillain, from prison to help her fight the marauding ex-superheroes, she finds that Corp-Co still has some nasty tricks up its sleeve.
But when the most dangerous man alive, the sociopath known as Doctor Hypnotic, suddenly surfaces, Jet and Iridium will once again be called upon to set aside their differences. Yet in the process, deeply buried secrets will come to light that will change everything the former best friends think they know about each other and themselves.