Life Update

So technically I have two blogs through wordpress. This one was intended just for my fiction and another for my general blog posts. But then I realized that was a silly idea. So I’m going to forget about my other blog (jakbebop) and instead just post to this one.

So then, this is an update to this post about my new years resolutions.

Now that we are almost three months into the year, and about a month and a half since I made my goals I thought I would post an update as to how my goals were going. So, without further adieu :

Goal 1: To Read More

My goal for this year is to read 35 books, lower than last years goal of 50 (which I didn’t make). So far I’ve read 10 books this year, which puts me 4 books head of schedule according to goodreads.

The books I’ve read are:

  • The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham
  • Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
  • Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
  • Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan
  • Heir of Novron by Michael J. Sullivan
  • Iron & Blood by Gail Z Martin
  • Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
  • Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce
  • The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
  • Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce

So far I’m off to a really good start, but then again I always read more in the beginning of the year. My to-read stack is still pretty large, but there’s also Dragon Quest VIII. So hopefully I’ll keep it up. There are a lot of books I really want to read.

Goal 2:  To Write More

My goal for this was to write 500 words a week. And while I’m not sure if I’ve actually hit 500 words a week, I have been writing every week. I’ve managed three new short stories through Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenges. I’ve also written up the beginnings of another story that I haven’t posted online. Plus I’ve written up a couple of old story ideas. Getting them out of my old notebook and into my Evernote account. So that counts right? Either way, I’ve written a lot more in the past two months than I have… since ever I think. Outside of NaNoWriMo. It’s becoming a habit, wanting to write and actually going out and doing it, rather than thinking about it. And that…makes me really happy. And with everything else going on, I need that.

Goal 3: Bake More

This has been going pretty well. I’ve almost mastered Merry Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Cake which makes me very excited. And I made a recipe that’s been sitting in my queue for a long time, Chewy Honey Cookies. Oh man, they were so good! Like a cross between a sugar cookie and a shortbread cookie but with the flavor of honey. I could not stop eating them. Makes me really glad I can bring most of this stuff to my DnD group and have them eat it, otherwise I would put on so much weight!

I also made the best biscuits of my life for breakfast one week. They were perfectly flaky and soft and buttery. The layers! I wish I had taken a picture of them. The layers were so beautiful.

A couple other things I made didn’t turn out as great, but they were learning experiences so I’ll count that as a win.


So in Conclusion: I’m doing pretty well, I think. But the beginning is the easy part. Following through is the hard part. I’ll post more updates as the year continues.



Flash Fiction: The Wellspring

For Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge
“The Wellspring”
Doing a good thing sometimes means being evil
775 words, a little short but I didn’t feel like it needed to be longer


She was going to be damned for this.

People would curse her name for this.

Nevertheless she persisted.

Her fingers ached where they gripped the rock, bleeding where slivers of rock cut into them. Still she climbed.

The wind threatened to pull her from the cliff face, she gripped harder.

She looked above her, the top was close, it wouldn’t be long now. Her mind was blank, focused on putting one hand above the other. And avoiding what she was about to do.

After what seemed an eternity, she reached the top. The wind was weaker here, ad if it realized there would be no stopping her.

Her eyes grew large with wonder as she gazed upon the scene before her. Where the cliff and the hills surrounding it were dirt covered and barren, the top was teeming with life.

Greenery filled her vision. Flowers, bushes, fruit trees of every kind fought for space; growing around each other and even through each other. The air was scented with the perfume of hundreds of flowers.

And the power, it thrummed against her skin. she gulped and felt her knees go weak. What it would be to lay down and simply bask in the pure power that was the wellspring. The Source of magic.

A loud boom broke her from her trance. She looked behind, back to the lights she had come from. The bright colors of another magic powered explosion spread across the sky. They seemed small and dim from so far away. Dull compared to the green surrounding the riot of color surrounding the wellspring.

Her hand reached fro the small packet inside her coat pocket. So small, seemingly benign. But she knew the destruction it would create.

She walked into the greenery, her palms sweaty.

The leaves and wines seemed to caress her, welcome her into their domain, unaware of her task. The greenery should have a talk with the wind.

She didn’t have far to walk, which was good, her legs already shook with exhaustion from the hike and then the climb.

There it was, it was smaller than she thought it would be. No more than three feet across. Closer to a puddle. It’s waters shimmered in a rainbow of colors, it glowed slightly.

Small mushrooms grew around it’s edges. Vibrant in colors nature never intended  Infected by the magic of the wellspring.

She knelt by the waters edge, careful not to smash any of the mushrooms.

She reached a hand out, over the water. Tendrils of magic smoke rose up from the water, twisting towards her fingers. Just as it was about to reach her she snatched her hand away, afraid of what would happen if the smoke touched her.

She licked dry lips and reached a shaking hand into her pocket and pulled out the tiny packet of powder. Powder made from the heart of a murdered person. She tried not to think about who had to die to make this powder.

She stared down at the packet and thought of the words her brother hand told her before she left on the mission.

“Doing a good thing sometimes being evil Evvy,” He had said. His voice had been sad, but sure.

“Are we doing a good thing?” I had asked.

“This is the most good thing. People will die, yes. Lots of people. But the wars will stop. They have to, once there is nothing left to fight for. And that will save so many more people.”

“Yes brother.”

I closed by eyes, unwilling to think about what happened next. His soft sigh as her knife slid into his neck.

The water ripped as her tears fell, changing colors, from deep red, to blue, to green.

She would not fail her brother, her world.

Before she could think, she flicked the paper open and scattered the powder over the surface of the pool.

The effect was immediate  The bright colors disappeared in an instant, the water turning black and beginning to bubble.

The mushrooms crumbled and turned to dust ad the blackness, the death reached them.

All around her a ring of death grew. Leaves turned black and shrived as the magic sustaining them died. Fruit rotted and dropped to the ground in wet plops. Trees crashed over, their trucks rotted through.

The perfume of flowers turned into the stench of decay.

The death would spread, traveling from the wellspring down into all of the le lines converged under it. In less than a day all the magic int he world would be dead. And with it the wars that had plagued the world for centuries.

So she hoped.

Flash Fiction: She Broke Gods

For Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge
“She Broke Gods”(Title by thomasmhewlett)  1,509 words

No one is quite sure how it happened. Did man push too far? A disease, their consciousness disappearing, leaving only their power behind to rage out of control?

No one knows for sure but one day the gods, all of them went insane. Once benevolent, incorporeal beings who shared their power with man, they became crazed, suddenly obsessed with the one thing they didn’t have. A body.

Instead of sharing their man with man they instead took over man. Stealing their bodies, their memories, their life. Burning through it like a wildfire among weeds.Humanity struggled to fight the power they had been dependent on for so long, they did not do well.

But one god resisted the madness, one god who could help the humans fight back. Caedem, God of emotions. He shared his power with a select few, his ordained priests. The few who cold withstand channeling the amount of power needed to break a god.

But his priests were few and the gods were many. Eventually Ceadem, and humanity, lost. That was ten years ago.


The warehouse was covered in dust. Everything was after the mad gods destroyed everything.

Beams of sunlight through broken windows illuminated a large room that was mostly empty. A few broken boxes, a torn up couch.

One particularly large beam of light shown down upon a table that had three people sitting around it. Two men and a woman. The men drank and played some kind of card game while the women tinkered with some broken device, and unlit cigar hung from her lips.

All three were coated in the same dust that covered everything else.

The three were quiet, there was no need for words; until a loud screech from outside echoed through the warehouse and shattered the silence.

The two men looked up from their game, their eyes on the door, their hands on rifles leaning against the table. The woman continued to tinker with the machine in her hands, tightening some screws.

A shadow of a man appeared in the opened doorway, his face covered in shadow. The two men tightened their grip on the guns but didn’t move.

The man in shadow spotted the group and stumbled towards them, coming into the path of of beam of sunlight, revealing a young man, covered in the same dust as the three, but his hands were covered in blood. The two men lurch to their feet, bringing the rifles into view.

“Please!” He cried as he stumbled closer. “I need a priest!”

“You look like one yourself there boy,” The man on the left nodded towards the young man’s jacket, tight in the shoulders but still with Ceadems patch on the breast.

“I was never ordained,” He said quickly. “Its a matter of life and death, I can’t it back anymore!” His voice is full of desperation, sweat tracking rivers of dirt down his face.

“Hey Rani,” the man on the right calls back to the woman. She still refused to look up. “Didn’t you used to be a priest?”

“None of your damned business,” she replied back. She turned the object around in her hands as if looking for something.

The boy took a step closer but was brought up short as the men finally trained their rifles on him.

“Please,” He called again. “If you were a priest, were you ordained? Do you bear his mark.?”

The woman stops her tinkering, her hand drifting towards her neck, hidden under a faded green banana.

The boy took it as a sign of hope and took a step forward, ignoring the rifles pointed at his heart.

“You’re starting to get on my nerves boy,” she growls. Her fingers grips the machine tightly, the hard edges digging into her fingers.

“Please, if you were ordained then you can help me save her!”

“She made it clear she wants you gone boy,” The man on the left shoved his rifle right up against the boy’s chest.

“Yeah, git gone boy,” They force the boy to take a step back.

“There’s still time to save her! She’s my wife!”

“Boy–” The man on the left began.

“Wait,” A chair squeaked and the two men turned to see the woman, Rani, standing up and facing them, the machine abandoned on the table behind her. Hope blossomed on the young man’s face. “Why do you need an ordained priest, Acolyte?” She nodded towards the white background of Ceadem’s patch on his jacket.

The boy’s ears turned red at the term. “It’s my wife, she’s infected by a god, but it’s a weak one. We’ve been able to keep it at bay of but she’s grown too weak to stop it. But then I heard rumors of an ordained priest in this area, if it’s you, you can complete the ritual and save her!”

The young man gripped the bottom of his coat tightly, his eyes wide and pleading. She spotted a battered silver band adorning one of his fingers.

The two men looked back and forth at Rani and the boy, smirks on their faces.

Rani contemplates  chewing the end of her cigar. After what seemed like an eternity, she tucked her cigar in a pocket of her long jackett and crossed the room towards the boy. As she passed the two men they lowered their rifles and rested them at their side.

“Show me,” She stalked past the boy and headed outside.

The boy grinned wildly and raced again of Rani.

Outside she could hear the screaming.

It was coming from a very beat up truck parked outside.

And older man was leaning against the car, crushing what looked like a hat in his hands, his eyes darting back towards the bed of the truck.

As soon as he spotted Rani and the boy he leapt up from the truck, he looked Rani over his eyes watery and begging for hope.

The boy clasped arms with the old man quickly, gripping his arms tight.

“I’ve found her! The priest!” The boy shouted eagerly.

“Brin is saved!” The old man’s eyes welled with tears.

Rani guessed this Brin was the old man’s daughter.

“I make no promises,” she said walking around the truck. “It’s been a long time.”

“Still you must try,” The old man pleaded.

Rani said nothing as she peeked over the edge of the truck at the source of the screaming.

Lying there on a bed of thin blankets lay a young woman around the same age as the boy.

She writhed in pain, her dark blond hair wet with sweat, her wrists bound to the sides of the truck. A clumsy bandage was wrapped around one of her forearms.

Dark red lines covered every inch of the girls exposed skin, the god trying to take over. Based on the coverage she guessed the god had almost completely taken over. It would be close.

“Can you save her?” The boy asked. She jumped over the edge of the truck, landing heavily at the girls side.

“I’ll try,” she removed the banana from her neck, revealing the violet symbol of Ceadem. It was faded, almost lost against the dark tan of her skin. But as she knelt over the girl, it began to pulse brighter.

Once hand she rest on the girls, the other on her heart. She closed her eyes, remembering the words.

“Finorum est et Ceadem fil evornet Pallas findem…” Her voice was soft as the word wrapped around her like an old friend. She could feel the power flowing through her and into the girl. Her screams few louder.

“Finorum est et Ceadem fil evorent Pallas findem.” her voice rose with the girls screams. The veins began to pulse on the girls skin.

Vaguely she could hear the two behind her saying something but the power rushing through her ears blocked them out.

Her voice rose into a shout. “Finorum est et Ceadem fil eveorent Pallas findem!”

The girls body convulsed once and then was still. The red veins rising from her skin like smoke. All that remained of the broken god.

She leaned back on her heels and watched the smoke rising to the air, quickly fading in the wind, trying not to think about all the smoke she had seen before.

At the edge of her vision she could see the boy clamber into the truck and cradle his sleeping wife. Taking a deep breath she stood up and climbed back down. The boy and the old man ignored her, too busy with the girl.

That suited her just fine. She tied her bandanna back around her neck, the mark faded once more, and walked back to the warehouse.

The two men barely looked up as she took her seat again taking out her cigar and resuming her tinkering.

“All good then?” One of the men asked.

“She’ll live.” She dug around for her screwdriver. “Your turn next Joesph.”

“Alright.” The men grinned and turned back to their game.

Flash Fiction Challenge: Rebellion

For Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge
“Rebellion” 1,117 words

His voice was thunderous in the high ceiling room.

“We’ll show those demon scum! This little revolt of their will be their last!” The general slammed one meaty fist on the table, several goblets tipping over from the shaking. Dark wine stained heavily marked maps red. “Those dirty buggers should be grateful we let them live at all!”

“Here here!” Some men clapped while others raised their goblets in praise.

The general nodded at his men, clearly pleased with his speech and their reaction. He turned to a general sitting on the left of the table. “Now then, Captain Archibald?” The man looked up. He was a short man, round and with wispy whiskers that made him look rather like a mouse.

“Yes General? You have orders for me?” His voice was high and squeaky, just like a mouse. His hands fiddled with a piece of paper. His goblet was one of those tipped over by the generals earlier exuberance. He eyed the spilled wine regretfully.

“I want you and Captain Guran to take your legions to quell this annoyance. Such a show of force should be enough to squash whatever hop or ideas those little shits might have had.”

“Yes, General Capalan. I shall ready my men to leave at first light.”

“As will I, Sir.” Captain Guran was the youngest man sitting around the table by a good ten years. He lifted his goblet, newly refilled by a servant and downed it. He had already gone through several re-fillings. At least the wine was watered down.

“Excellent, I trust you will have no troubles with this little problem of ours?” The general eyes his captains, his cheeks reddened from wine. His fine blue lined jacket was stretched tight across his belly, the gold buttons straining.

“No problem at all General,” Captain Archibald squeaked.

“Shouldn’t take more than half a day.” proclaimed Captain Guran.

“Excellent, most excellent. Then I call this meeting of the Royal Calderon Army concluded. You are dismissed.”

The captains stood as one and bowed to their general, fist over heart.

General Capalan nodded and practically waddled out of the room, his lieutenant-secretary scurrying behind him.

I blew the ink dry on my notes from the meeting and snapped my folder shut, other lieutenant-secretaries doing the same in our little line along the wall.

“Come Lieutenant Ros, we have work to do!” General Guran drained his goblet one last time and strode out of the room, his long legs moving him forward quickly.

My eyes narrowed in annoyance and hurried after the man. When would he realize not everyone was as tall as he was? I hurried out of the room after him while General Archibald vainly tried to wipe wine off some papers. To save the wine or paperwork I had no idea.

“Must you drink so much, sir?” I asked when I caught up to him in the corridor. Long blue banners emblazoned with the hammer and fist of Calderon flapping along the walls. Someone had opened a window and let a draft in.

“Of course I do Ros, have to keep up appearances don’t I?” He ran a white gloved hand though his dark, slicked back hair. “Besides, my tolerance is much higher than any of those idio–.” He was interrupted by a loud belch that echoed down the corridor.

“You were saying?” I asked, eyebrows raised. He at least had the sense to look sheepish.

“I don’t think the bean soup from lunch agreed with me.” He patted his stomach.

“Whatever you say sir,” I pushed my glasses back up my nose, damn things were constantly slipping. We passed down a flight of sitar to the main level and made our way to the barracks where the soldiers of the 4th legion were stationed.

I opened my folder and reviewed my notes from the meeting. “They did not give us much time to  prepare, and now we will have to deal with Captain Archibald’s legion as well.”

“You worry far too much Ros, we will be fine. I have full faith in you.” The taller man grinned down at me. Despite his claims to a high tolerance, a flush spilled across his cheeks.

“Shouldn’t it be the other way around sir?” I muttered under my breath.

“What was that?”

“Nothing sir, just calculating the speed we will have to move at in order to reach our destination.”

“Ah, very good.”

We walked into the barracks, men jumping up from card tables, beds, and even the floor where cards and books were scattered to salute their officers, fist over heart.

“At ease men,” Captain Guran smiled at his men as they relaxed, some sitting back down at their table and picking up spilled cards. We were close in the 4th legion.

“Do we have new orders General?” Piped up one man, a corporal named Harold.

“We do, our orders are to travel with Archibald’s legion to put down this new revolt in the south.”

“When do we leave sir?”

“As soon as you lot get your gear and horses together!” His orders were said with a grin.

“Yes sir!” The men saluted and the room became a flurry of moment at the men moved out to gather supplies and ready horses and wagons. Soon Captain Guran and I were alone in the room.

We headed towards the back of the room where two closed doors sat. One led to my own private room, the other, to the Captains. We entered the captains room, locking the door behind us.

“It will take us at least half a day’s march to arrive at the location. But we will have to move faster than that if we want to arrive before Captain Archibald’s men.” I set my folder down on the captains desk. I scowled at it. It was covered in papers again. I had just organized it the day before. The man would lose his shoes if I didn’t keep track of them.

 “Will that give your family enough time to prepare?’ Captain Guran asked as he flopped into an overstuffed armchair.

“It’ll have to be.” I opened a small drawer that was almost hidden on the side of the desk and pulled out a small round mirror, it’s edges were lined with the curling script of demons.

“Well then, contact them and let them know now’s the time. Time for our little rebellion out into the light.” He smiled and poured himself a glass of water.

I stared into the mirror, releasing the strands of magic that wrapped around myself. I smiled as bones shifted and hair lightened until the face of a demon stared back. I smiled at my Captain.

Flash Fiction: “Wild Night”

Written for Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge:
Pick An Opening Sentence And Go
Thanks to Paige S. for my opening sentence

I woke up with scabs on my hands and blood in my mouth.

“Shit! Not again!” I yelled at no one in particular.

Carefully, I got to my feet, wincing when the abrasions on my hands met the dirt on my knees. I scowled down at them as if they were to blame for my current predicament.

I wiped at the blood on my mouth with a handkerchief from my pocket. (Ew, the blood tastes like old man) Looking at my surroundings trying I try to figure out where I ended up this time. Judging from the damp bricks and rotten fish, I was near the docks at the Eastern end of the city. The exact opposite end from where I had started the night.

“I’m gonna to kill Ingrid next time I see her,” I muttered, fishing my phone out of a grimy pocket. I was covered in the slime and dirt of the alley, I glanced down at my dark t-shirt, some substance marred the once white letters. “Some like it cold” it once read, another shirt ruined. I turned on my phone, the bright light blinding to my sensitive eyes in the pre-dawn darkness.

Three missed calls from Ingrid. Good! Let her be the one worrying for once. There were several messages from Jake too. My lips thinned, those would be ignored until later. I dialed Ingrid’s number, she picked up on the third ring.

“Eeeey Amaya! You’re still alive right?” she slurred. Great, she was still drunk.

“Yeah I’m still alive, no thanks to you. Mind telling me why I blacked out and ended up at the docks?” My voice was harsh.

“Ha ha you made it all the way over there?? That’s hilarious!” she cackled into the phone. I gritted my teeth.

“Ingrid, what happened? Sun’s coming up soon and I don’t know where my car is.”

“No worries Am’s, I’ve got your car. I’m driving towards you now,” she giggled. “It was a wild night!”

“Meet me in front of the bakery by the fish market, and once you here there you’re going to tell me everything!” I was practically shouting by the end but I wasn’t worried about anyone overhearing, I couldn’t hear any awake heartbeats at this block.

“Ha ha, K, see ya Am’s!”

“Bye Ingrid,” The phone clicked as she hung up. I had to hold myself back from screaming at the dark screen. Ingrid’s laid back attitude was going to get one or both of us killed one day.

I shoved my phone back into my pocket and headed out of the alley. I glanced around and was relieved to see no bodies lying around. I hadn’t killed in years, I really didn’t need to start now. Ingrid would know where the old man’s blood came from, probably.

The cool night air felt good on my face as I walked the streets towards the bakery. I tried to get my mass of black hair into some semblance of order but gave up when the knots kept catching on the cuts on my hands.

The walk was thankfully a short one. I was right about where I thought I was, just a couple blocks from the docks. The first ships already starting to pull in. The gulls were screeching as they smelled the catch of the day.

The back light was on in the bakery as I took a seat in one do the chairs chained to the ground, the bakers started earlier than the fisherman.

I didn’t have to wait long. Soon enough I could ear the roar of my Toyota truck careening down the cities empty streets. I winced as she came around a corner, trucks weren’t supposed to make turns that tight.

The truck screeched to a half direct in front of me, coming up on the curb. A very tall blond woman sitting in the drivers seat.

“Yo Amaya!” called Ingrid cheerfully from my truck. I grumbled a greeting back as I yanked open one faded yellow door and pulled myself inside. “Someone’s in a grouchy mood.” She said. The engine revved as she turned the truck in a u turn in the middle of the empty street.

“Someone woke up covered in slime and in an alley all the way across the city. Mind telling me how I got there?” I harrumphed out rummaging in the back seat. I always carried a bag of supplies in my car. It came in way more handy that it should. After a bit I found some wipes and a bottle of water. Success!

“Wellll…” she trailed off and became very focused on the road.

“What did you do Ingrid?” I sighed as I got as much of the dried blood off as I could. Even sober Ingrid never paid much attention to the road. It was the reason I always drove.

She made a face at me but continued, “So while we were at the bar I found this guy.”

“Old guy?” I asked, remembering the flavor of the blood.

“Yeah, he was in like his 50s? Anyway, Morrin had just sold him some Angel Dust, really pure stuff ya know? Where he gets it so pure I have no idea.”

“Focus Ingrid,” I growled. I had finished washing up and was downing the bottle of water with some aspirin I had found. A throbbing headache was starting behind my eyes. A guy high on Angel Dust, no wonder I couldn’t remember anything.

Angel Dust was the most popular drug on the streets right now. No idea what it was but it was supposed to make you feel light a Light Knight, like you could do anything.

“I know you normally don’t like drinking drugged blood but you were having SUCH a bad day since Jake did, you know” The truck turned down a more populated road, “So I thought I’d do something you cheer you up. And what better way than getting high on a high guys blood!” She flashed me a large blinding smile, street light glinting off her long, sharp fangs.

“That’s your idea of a good time Ingrid, not mine” I rubbed my temples, my headache was only getting worse. After effects of the Angel Dust most likely.

“Well you were pretty happy for a while after I convinced you to drink… Until you shouted that you were Batman and ran off, running along the rooftops..” she trailed off again gigging, her pale blue eyes bright and not looking at the road. She swerved suddenly to just barely make the turn onto our street.

I groaned and clutched at my forehead. “I did what?” I asked after the car stopped spinning. I guess that explained the cuts on my hands. “You mean to tell me I jumped the rooftops from the bar to the docks?”

have, I’m gonna have to tell Morrin, he’ll think it’s hilarious!” she pulled into the parking lot in front of our apartment and turned off the engine.

“You’ll do no such thing, now gimme my keys, I need a shower.” I growled and held a hand out. Ingrid sighed in mock defeat and handed me my keys. I didn’t doubt for a second that in a couple minutes she would be texting Morrin. Looking down at my keys my face burned a bright red, my batman key chain had landed on top. I really hoped everyone at the bar was too drunk to remember anything.

Ingrid stumbled after me as we entered the stairway leading to our apartment. The place was littered with trash and graffiti on the patched walls. It smelled like someone had peed in it recently too. I covered my nose and headed up the stairs. Sometimes having a supernatural sense of smell wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Ingrid followed behind me, humming some song that sounded vaguely familiar. I thought it might have been The Crazy 9’s.

I hurried past a couple passed out drunks on unlocked the door to the apartment. Once inside I practically flew out of my clothes and into the shower, letting the scalding hot water wash away the slime of the alley.

“Hey Am’s?” came Ingrid’s confused voice from the other side of the bathroom door.

“Yea?” I called over the sound of the water. I had finished washing already and was letting the warm water soak into my bones. There was nothing better than a hot shower.

say she was coming over today?”

I shut off the water and poked my head out. Tara was a friend of ours, human but generally pretty cool. “No, I haven’t heard from her in awhile, why?” Dripping water I grabbed my fluffy towel and quickly began drying myself off.

“Because she’s passed out on our couch,” Ingrid went quiet, “she smells like blood Amaya.”

I started towel hovering over a leg, blood? Was Tara hurt? I wrapped my towel around myself and opened the door to the rest of the apartment, steam escaping in large clouds. The fan in the bathroom hadn’t worked since we moved in two years ago.

Ingrid was standing at the end of the hallway, a worried look on her face and chewing on her thumbnail. She glanced at me and pointed at the sagging, paisley patterned couch.

I tugged my towel tighter, hair dripping on the worn carpet. I looked over the edge of the couch and there was Tara, asleep on out couch, face hidden under one flung out arm, her red curls falling out of a half hearted braid. Her jeans were dirty and she was barefoot, she looked like she had a worse night than I had.

And Ingrid was right, she smelled like blood, lots of it. I could just make out a dark red stain on what I could see of her blue t-shirt.

“Well she’s breathing normally so she’s not hurt.” I reached out a hand. As soon as I touched her she shrieked and leapt off the couch.

“Tara!” I shouted. “Tara! It’s me! It’s Amaya!” I moved around the couch.

“I’m here too,” called Ingrid as she crossed the room. Tara was huddled against the back waller, her eyes bloodshot and wild, her chest heaving, and, were those fangs!?”

I looked to Ingrid to see if she had noticed too. She gave me a sickly look. Someone biting Tara was so many kinds of bad. Like major, uber bad.

Ingrid and I slowly stepped closer to Tara, hands out and attempting to make soothing noises.

Tara’s eyes kept darting between us, not really seeing. Ingrid reached out a hand towards Tara who let out a loud hiss, showing off where clearly a set of vampire fangs.

Someone had turned The Paladin’s sister.