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Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Shadow 5


The cool air wafted around her body making her skin tingle uncomfortably and she knew she had to figure out some way to overcome the sensation of nakedness or she would never survive this night. She stepped into a shadowed corner and closed her eyes. She pictured the invisibility as another skin on top of her own, like a skin tight suit. 
The exercise worked and she relaxed. She opened her eyes and looked around calmly. The room was exactly as she remembered it down to the decanter of wine. She examined the serving table and realized what her mistake had been two night’s ago: there was no cup. The men must have dosed the cup before they brought it in, clever.
She stepped into the attached hallway and moved lightly toward the next hallway. She could feel the dust on the soles of her feet and realization gave her a bit of a shock. She hastily glanced back at where she had stepped looking for footprints in the dust, but noticed none. Next she looked at the soles of her feet and brushed any accumulation off.
She would have to be very careful if she didn’t want to be caught. She continued down the hall and came to an open door. She glanced in and discovered an empty bedroom. The next three doors proved to be the same. With annoyance she started down the hall again, but stopped with the sound of the back door opening.
She ducked back into one of the empty bedrooms and waited. She heard the solid footsteps of Dr. Bering and the shuffling clunk of John. She held her breath as they came into the hall and moved past her. She waited until they were well past before she began following. 
“Well, whoever she was she might be too scared to come out in public,” John was saying.
“If you can’t see her what does it matter. What we need to be listening for is reports of things disappearing where they shouldn’t,” Dr. Bering countered.
Marissa smiled. They had no idea what they had done to her and no idea that it wasn’t a permanent solution, but one that could change with a thought. Her smile faded as she kept her thoughts firmly on the invisible skin and Shadow persona.
“Well I guess I’d better get started with the first dose again,” John said with a sigh.
Dr. Bering stopped in his tracks and Marissa held back.
“Do me a favor and keep a few of the mice aside. I want to try giving them just the second dose,” he said excitedly.
“Skip the first? Are you sure?” John questioned.
Dr. Bering nodded. “Call it intuition. I just want to try it. We having nothing to lose except a few mice and it might answer some questions.”
“All right. Are you coming down?” John finished.
“No I have some work to finish. We need to find a new contact, remember?”
John nodded and turned right down a hall. Dr. Bering went straight and then entered another room and shut the door. Marissa frowned. She wanted to know what Dr. Bering was up to, but she couldn’t go through a closed door without arousing suspicion.
So she ended up following John. He went down the hall and then through a door and down a flight of stairs into what must have been a basement room. He left the door slightly ajar and she slipped in after him. The dimly lit room was filled with glass vials and flasks. There was a type of burner with liquid boiling on it and several vials filled with a reddish substance or a greenish substance. 
Marissa scanned the room for John. He was on the other side facing a series of cages. Each cage contained several mice and some had rats. Marissa shivered. The room was cool making bumps rise on her bare skin.
John reached into the open cage and pulled out a white mouse and then stopped.
“I know you’re there,” he said softly.
She froze in place. Was he talking to her?
“I smelled your perfume in the hall,” he said aloud.
Her perfume. She wanted to smack her forehead. She used scented oils and soaps when she bathed. She was certain he had smelled that. She would have to use more common scents when she bathed from now on. These thoughts coursed through her mind in an instant, but their progression stopped when another voice sounded in the room.
“You aren’t very good with your locks, John,” a seductive female voice said from near the vials.
Marissa watched with surprise as one of the vials moved as if on its own and danced in front of John’s worried face. If she hadn’t watched her own body disappear then she never would have believed it possible.
“I thought you were working on the antidote,” the voice said with a touch of annoyance to her tone.
“We are,” John replied shaking.
“I don’t believe you,” the voice whispered angrily. The vial snapped in two and for a brief moment Marissa saw the outline of a slim-fingered hand. “ This is not an antidote, but more of your cursed potion, John.”
John stood trembling against the cages. Marissa watched the whole scene play out from her spot in the corner, not knowing what to do.
“I gave up a lot to help you and Jarvis, John. You promised when I couldn’t change back that you would fix it. It’s been almost a year, John. A year that I have been invisible.” A knife appeared from the shadows.
Marissa almost gasped, but bit her tongue.
“We promised you an antidote if you performed some duties for us,” John countered, desperately watching the knife as it moved in the air.
“I have performed your duties,” she spat. “Now I expect payment.”
The knife tapped against an invisible hand. 
“If I don’t receive payment soon then I will have to eliminate the problem.” the woman pressed the knife against John’s trembling chest. “Don’t think I won’t, I’ve gotten used to not seeing myself.”
“You know what Jarvis will do if you harm me,” John countered desperately.
The knife trembled slightly. “You leave my daughter out of this or you’ll regret it,” she threatened.
“But the Lady is so accessible, Sarah,” Dr. Bering said from the doorway.
Marissa’s head snapped over to the corner where he had just entered. She silently moved out of his way as he strode over closer to John.
“Ah, Jarvis, nice of you to join us,” Sarah said playfully. “We were just talking about the antidote you promised me.”
“You haven’t finished everything we asked,” Jarvis said simply, “and now our contact at the palace is dead, by your hand no doubt.”
She snorted. “He was already dead, Jarvis, I just put the knife in his chest and made it look like a robbery. You really should be more careful with your test subjects. I’m guessing the mice and rats died too?”
Her words had a double meaning that all present understood. John nodded, sweat dripping down his face.
“Pity, I liked the rats,” Sarah answered nonchalantly. “Where is the antidote, Jarvis?”
“It isn’t finished yet, Sarah, I thought you had already figured that out,” Jarvis said snidely.
“I am tired of this game Jarvis,” Sarah threatened.
“And I’m tired of sending the same message each week that keeps your daughter alive,” Jarvis answered brusquely. “I have one more task for you, Sarah and then we’ll talk about the antidote.”
Sarah sighed. “What this time?”
“Find the woman they call the Shadow,” he said simply.
Marissa cringed back. It was time for her to leave. She inched toward the door.
Sarah sighed again. “There’s a reason she’s called the Shadow, gentlemen. That is like trying to find a vision or hallucination.”
“That’s a pity, your daughter is starting to shine like a beautiful star in Victoria’s court,” Jarivs said simply.
Sarah let out an explosive breath. “Fine, I’ll find her, but then I want your word that my daughter will be left alone.”
There was silence as Jarvis pondered the scenario. “Deal.”
Marissa slipped out. As she made her way back up the hall she heard Sarah’s last response.
“One more thing, gentlemen,” she paused and Marissa stopped on the steps. “I don’t wear perfume,” Sarah finished with a note of smugness.
Marissa dashed up the stairs and back through the house. The back door was thankfully unlocked. She hurried out and into the shadows where she stopped panting from her mad dash. She found her clothes and hurriedly put them on. Behind her she could hear the sounds of the men moving through the house.
She pulled the hood over her invisible head and slipped into the shadows and down the street.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Even more books

So I am all for the evolving of everything in life so that things get better for everyone, but there is one place that I just can't help but hope that things will not change too much: books.

I love books. I love reading books. I love writing books. There are billions of people who would agree with me. I have a noticed a disturbing change in the way we read books. The e-book industry is going absolutely insane as it should. I firmly believe that electronic books need to have their say in the marketplace and they deserve to be there, but I don't think they should take over completely.

There is something marvelous about holding a book in your hand and turning an actual page. I've heard all the commercials about the e-readers and stuff and I do think they have their value, even I want to publish e-versions of my books. Yet I do hope that actual books will continue to be published.

I guess the imaginative part of my brain sees the possibility of a future where electricity might not be readily available to all people and when that day comes I will hold on to my books. I will read them when the e-readers go blank.

So just a word to all the readers out there: don't take your e-futures for granted, buy an actual book once in a while and support your local library. :)

Another of my favorite authors is JRR Tolkien.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Showing that you care

I had noticed in my work and everyday life how important it is to show others that you care, and not just the people that you might see for a brief moment, but those that you work with and see every day.
It is amazing how far a little kindness can take you, just offering to do a little extra work one time or helping carry someone's bag to their seat.

It makes me wish there was more kindness in the world and how many problems would be fixed if there was. I made a goal to try my hardest to be kind to those I work with, even if I might not feel like it. I challenge myself to do this especially with those I care about the most. Instead of being impatient or annoyed I want to show them that I care.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Shadow 4


The following night Marissa stared at her image in the mirror. It was kind of frightening to see the dark clothes with the hooded cloak and no face. She smiled even more pleased with how well she could work. At this rate she could go anywhere in London and no one would ever know she was there, just a Shadow.
She removed the cloak and stared at the floating trousers and shirt. Then she carefully took off all of her clothing. Not one bit of her body was visible. Like this she wouldn’t be seen by anyone no matter where she was. 
Her thoughts drifted to the Minister who had been murdered. She was burning to know who had done this. Scotland Yard wouldn’t let a noble woman in on their investigation, so going there as Lady Marissa Edgington would not do any good. She stared at the blank mirror. Like this she could visit the Minister’s home and see if there was anything that could tip her off, but she hadn’t gone in the house. Her message had been given on the back step.
She thought about Dr. Bering and John. She could go there and polk around. She shivered at the thought of being naked in their house. She wished she could keep her clothes on and still be invisible, but this way no one would know she was there. The possibilities were endless.
Tonight would be the test to make sure she could stay invisible throughout an entire message pickup and delivery. She put her clothes back on leaving the black gloves she usually wore in her bureau drawer. She wanted to make sure he hands remained invisible as she worked.
Donning the hooded cloak she quickly made her way to the servant’s entrance and left her beautiful house near the park and flitted into the shadows toward a nobleman’s home. She had accepted this delivery from one of her contacts from her factory days. 
She smiled wryly thinking about how she had gone from poor factory worker to fabulously rich overnight when her father, a London noble bachelor, had died and left his entire fortune to her. The particulars of the transaction still bemused her and she had wondered if it was some horrible joke, but Lord Edgington had all the particulars about her childhood, youth and young adulthood.
Apparently he was planning on claiming her when she turned twenty-one, but he fell ill on a trip abroad and never recovered. He lived long enough to draw up the paperwork proving her noble birth and setting her up for life as Lady Edgington. Marissa was grateful to the father she had never known and she tried every day to be the Lady he wanted her to be.
She had spent the first few years trying to locate the mother who had given her up as a baby, but the woman had disappeared. Marissa smiled at the thought of her mixed heritage. It gave the ladies of the court enough to gossip about, yet Marissa had kept her behavior above reproach from the day that the lawyer took her from that horrible factory to today.
The years that had passed since had been wonderful, full of adventure and excitement, or as much of it as Sean would allow. Her thoughts turned to Sean. He was so worried about her nocturnal expeditions, but he didn’t stop her from going either. She wondered at his motives. 
She would always remember the expression of wonder and distain on his face when the lawyer brought her to the mansion on Warwick Square. She could tell he was just as surprised by the turn of events as she was. She also thought, with satisfaction, how that smug look of superiority had disappeared when she fell easily into the role of Lady Edgington like she really had been born to be a noblewoman.
It had been difficult at first, but her best friend had been her father’s library. The first few days she had spent hours devouring books on the aristocracy, nobles, etiquette, and anything else that would allow her to mesh into her new world. She hired tutors and assistants that taught her what to say and how to act.
It took less than six months for her to win Sean over completely. He could see how badly she wanted to fit into this new world that had been dumped in her lap and that she would do anything to gain the respect and trust of her peers at court. Marissa smiled. She still felt it had been the fact that she finally went to Sean with her hands in the air and asked him to teach her how to manage the vast estate properly.
Sean had looked at her with surprise and said, “You amaze me Marissa Edgington.”
“Why?” Marissa had replied.
“Because you act more like a noblewoman than most of the noblewomen I know. You have outdone yourself trying educate your mind for your new world and done it beautifully. And just when I thought you might stop you go one step further and ask how to manage an estate that even your father didn’t know everything about.”
“I see no reason why I can’t be involved in everything,” Marissa had replied a little snippily. “I do own it all.”
Sean had smiled. “Yes, and yet your still humble about it.”
His comment solicited a laugh from her and to this day she still smiled when she recalled the conversation.
She paused in the shadows of a building near the river. She heard footsteps coming toward her, so she slunk back into the shadows. The late night walker passed her unaware of the invisible observing eyes and moved on down the river walk. Marissa waited a few more minutes then continued down the street to the appointed house. 
The house belonged to one of the wealthier patrons of the arts. She had delivered messages for the owner before. She dashed across the street and slipped around to an atrium door and tapped four times, paused and then tapped twice. The man must have been waiting for her because the door opened almost immediately.
“Ah my shadowy messenger,” the man whispered cheerfully. “Tell the master of the theater that I have a new name for him to consider. I’ll meet him at the same location at the same time on Tuesday.”
“Any reply,” Marissa asked huskily.
“Only if he can’t make it,” the man said thoughtfully.
“Anything else?”
“No that is everything.”
“So I am to tell the master of the theater that you have a new name for him to consider. You’ll meet him at the same location at the same time on Tuesday,” she repeated back word for word.
“That’s correct. Thank you my dear Shadow.” He held out a bag of coins.  
Marissa reached out to take the bag noting with satisfaction that her hands were still invisible. She took the bag and left just as quickly as she had come. She made her way through the streets to the large theater that commanded the attention of most of the downtown traffic and headed for the rear entrance.
The man watching the back door saw her and nodded. She flipped two of the coins from the bag into his outstretched hand and slipped inside. This routine was completely familiar to her. She delivered her message and promptly left the theater.
She slid into the shadows and paused. She didn’t have any other messages and the night was still young. She longed to go to Dr. Bering’s house and see what she could discover. They weren’t expecting her for a few more days, not that she planned to return, but she was dying to know what they were working on so secretly and if they really did have something to do with the Minister’s murder.
Without realizing it she found herself moving toward the house in Cheapside. She shrugged and continued until she reached the back door. She hadn’t heard from any of her contacts that any messages were to be sent, but she also knew she wasn’t the only midnight messenger that worked in the city.
She slipped around to the back of the house and scanned for any possible openings that would hide her approach and entrance. There was a window on the second floor that would take a bit of doing to reach, but she could try. She was about to make the attempt when the back door swung open and John stumbled out followed by Dr. Bering.
They each carried a box and headed toward a small garden area.
“I still can’t believe they died,’ John said sadly.
“Perhaps it was too much. We can try a lesser dose on the next group,” Dr. Bering replied.
Marissa’s heart dropped as she listened.
“We have to start all over again with the first round and then move to the second,” John answered annoyed. “It will take another two weeks to get back to this point.”
“I still want to know what happened to that messenger we dosed a few days ago,” John wondered.
“We should have given the first and then the second. It was a gamble, but we haven’t seen or heard of anyone turning up dead with the symptoms,” Dr. Bering replied. “Maybe she’ll be luckier than Minister Herring.”
“I do hope so, but do you think she’ll come back?” John said cheerfully.
“If she wants to understand what’s happening to her, she will,” Dr. Bering said matter-of-factly.
Marissa held her breath as the two men started digging holes in the dirt. A split second later she had shed her Shadow clothes and stood invisible in her skin. Now she was determined to find out what was going on inside that house. She made sure she couldn’t be seen and walked toward the door. The men’s backs were turned completely away so she flitted to the door and slipped inside before they could notice.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Beauty of a Photo

I was just thinking about how beautiful pictures can be and how they can bring a sense of wonder and excitement into my mind. I am so fascinated by this beautiful world we live in and as I look out the windows when I am flying at the landscape below I think of the enormous variety of life and land that is below me.

I guess it is easy to be amazed by an amazing picture. Even the pictures on my computer desktop, the ones that come with the computer, fill me with a sense of longing and amazement. I wan't so desperately to see all those places, to experience the beauty first hand and to feel the peace and wonderment of the world we live in.

Oh what a wonderful world.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Blessed are the little children

So I had the opportunity to work in the nursery at church today. It was a fun experience and the kids were wonderful. I really wondered if I could do it and enjoy the experience and I was grateful for the chance. It was a neat experience to see the children learn the gospel on such a basic level and I was impressed with how the nursery leader worked with the children. It gave me hope in the rising generation as well as hope in myself that I will someday be able to teach my own children like that.

The children are beautiful and a gift from Heavenly Father, blessed are the children.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Shadow 3


She watched her body make the change with each thought or frame of mind. Only a second knock brought her fully back to the present.
“Marissa?” Sean called worriedly.
She marched over and opened the door. He looked penitent and she was chastised.
“I thought you were dead,” he accused. “Don’t do that to me.”
She pulled him into the room anxious to show him her new ‘ability’ but something in his expression stopped her.
“What is it?” she asked.
“We just received word. Minister Cherington is dead,” Sean said slowly.
Marissa could feel the blood leaving her face. “What?” she gasped. He had been her message two nights ago. She was probably one of the last people to see him alive. Her hand went to her throat. What if the first dose had killed him?
“How?” she demanded.
“Murdered, a knife in his chest. The servants found him this morning in his study. They think it happened sometime after midnight.” Sean looked at her his expression pleading. “Please tell me you’re not involved in this Marissa.”
She sat down dazed and relieved. “I don’t know.”
“Who did you deliver to last night?” Sean demanded.
She looked at him surprised. He had never asked for particulars before. He said it was easier not knowing where she went and whom she did business with.
“An old woman who lives down near the docks. It is the same and only message I deliver on Thursdays.”
“And the night before?”
She dropped her gaze. “A doctor down in Cheapside and…” she couldn’t finish.
“Minister Cherington?” Sean finished.
Marissa nodded. “But the messages had nothing to do with anything that could get him killed. He was paying for some sort of potion or medicine.”
“Are you certain?”
She looked at him uncertainly. She didn’t know for sure. She was horrified that her work might have cost a man his life, but then she realized her work didn’t do that. His purchase may have though.
“Sean I just deliver messages,” she argued.
“You deliver secret messages that no one wants anyone else to know about,” he countered.
“I’ve never delivered an order to have someone killed. I don’t work like that. Besides, no one know who I am,” she replied petulantly.
“What happened, Marissa?” Sean demanded coming to her side and placing his hands earnestly on her arms. “Why were you in such pain? I have to know. Are you sure they didn’t see you?”
“Yes, I’m sure. They want me to come back next week to deliver another message to Minister Cherington, but I suppose that is pointless now. I won’t go,” she replied.
He looked at her expecting more. She hung her head.
“I drank some wine the Doctor offered,” she said finally. It was actually John who offered it. She never would have taken anything from the doctor.
“Are you mad?” Sean exclaimed. “They could have put something in it!”
They did, she thought. “The decanter was in the room the whole time,” she argued. “I watch carefully. I wouldn’t have made that mistake.” But was the cup? She thought to herself.
Sean turned on her grasping her arms tightly and staring at her intently. “Marissa Edgington, if you die on me because of your own stupidity…” He left the sentence hanging and turned away from her.
Marissa stared at his back in surprise. He had never expressed emotion like this other than chiding her for her nighttime activities. At that moment she decide it would be too much to show him her new ‘ability.’
“I’m not going to die, Sean,” she said quietly. She was pretty certain about that. “I delivered that message two days ago. I’m certain his death has nothing to do with me.” But she wasn’t really certain.
           “But you can’t be sure,” Sean argued. He turned to face her again. “This work is too dangerous, but I know it is pointless to try and convince you to stop although I wish you would.”

“I can’t stop, Sean, not now,” she answered quietly. Her earlier temper was gone. She cared too much for Sean to fight with him about this now. “I promise I will be much more careful in the future.”
His shoulders slumped. “I suppose that is the best I can ask for,” he answered grudgingly. “I…I need a drink,” he said leaving the room.
Marissa watched him leave feeling guilty for not telling him why she had to keep doing her job. Now she could do it better than ever and no one would ever see her face.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Affects of Music on Creativity

This is all me, so don't quote me as having any sort of authority on this subject although I am certain there is plenty of authority available to quote on this subject.

I have noticed how certain songs can enliven my imagination and spur me on as I write. Some songs make me want to write heart wrenching parting scenes and some allow me to fight my way through a hoard of bad guys to the top of the mountain.

Music can play such an important role in our creative lives. It can help us do greater and better things or it can stop our creative juices completely. Some songs can inspire us and encourage us and some just leave us depressed and not willing to go on.

I just hope I am able to distinguish the music that will continue to inspire and bring that more fully into my life.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Desire

He stared longingly at the strange plastic cup that Mommy held in her hand and watched as she carefully scraped the sides clean and stuck the metal spoon into her mouth.

"Why won't she share," he thought longingly. "It smells so good and inviting. Just what I need right now."

But still Mommy continued to eat in front of him until the plastic cup was empty. He watched her put the cup aside and return to the computer screen. Words continued to appear on the screen all the while the remnants of that inviting scent wafted across the room propelled by the breeze from the fan.

With a sigh he give up and starts back to the bedroom to sulk in comfort, but suddenly the words he had been waiting to hear sound through the house.

"Jet, Grant, come," Mommy calls.

Excitement thrills through him as he leaps off the bed where he had just gotten situated and scrambles across the annoying laminate floor and into the living room. There she sat with the plastic cup in her hand and a smile on her face. His rear end can stop wiggling from excitement.

"Come here Jet," Mommy says.

He dashes over and plunges his nose into the cup, licking to his hearts delight. The pure joy of that delicious scent comes to life on his tongue. Heaven.

"Good boy, that's enough," Mommy says taking the cup and his treat away.

He watched the cup just as longingly as before, but this time the taste is in his mouth making it water even more. Oh if he could just get one more lick he would be content, but no, the container goes into the trash.

He turns dejectedly back to the bedroom.

"Next time the lazer eyes will work and that cup will fall to the floor and I will get as much as my doggy heart desires," he thinks as he props his head on his paws.

He closes his eyes dreaming of the day when the cup will be full of delicious food and Mommy lets him eat it all.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Shadow 2


Pain interrupted her comfortable sleep and she was jolted out of her soft, downy bed and fell in a heap on the carpeted floor. She felt like someone was raking knives across her skin cutting her to the very bone. It was early in the morning, but she wasn’t surprised to hear the light knock on the door.
“My Lady are you all right?” the concerned tones of her maid Eliza called through the closed door.
“Eliza, come in,” she called.
The door opened and a tiny gasp accompanied the footsteps. “Lady Marissa what happened?” Eliza asked.
She ran over and helped Marissa to her feet.
“I don’t feel well, Liza, I hurt all over,” Marissa replied. She knew if she went into detail Eliza would probably faint.
“Do you want a tonic or should I fetch the doctor?” Eliza questioned.
“No, just help me back into bed,” Marissa answered. “I’m certain it was something I ate.”
“Are you sure you don’t want the doctor, My Lady?”
Marissa opened her mouth to speak and the pain came again. This time it was like a thousand needles jabbing her all over. She cried out unable to stop herself. Eliza dashed out of the room and hollered for one of the servants to fetch the doctor.
She came back in pale and fearful. “Oh Mistress, what is wrong?”
Marissa gritted her teeth from the pain. “I don’t know, but I don’t like it.”
Other than the pain she felt fine and when this wave passed she lay back on the pillows, perspiration trickling down her forehead. She felt absolutely exhausted. A knock sounded on the door and her steward Sean entered. He nodded to Eliza and the young maid left the room.
“You’re not well, My Lady?” Sean asked with a bow.
“Don’t patronize me, Sean, you know very well I’m not well otherwise I would never have let Eliza call the doctor.”
“What seems to be the problem, My Lady?”
She glared at him. He had often warned her that her evening escapades might someday cause her problems. Apparently he was having a thorough ‘I told you so’ moment.
“If you’re going to stand there and gloat then you can very well leave,” she challenged.
Sean’s face became penitent immediately. He sat on the edge of the bed. “Marissa what have you gotten yourself into now.”
“I don’t know,” she gasped as another wave attacked. The pain was much less this time and it felt like needle pricks all over. “But I think it’s going away.”
“Why?” he asked.
“It doesn’t hurt as much, that’s why.” One more wave came and this time it was like someone scratching her skin, relieving an itch that she didn’t know she had.” “Perhaps we can call of the doctor now,” she suggested hopefully.
“There’s no need for that now, Lady Edgington, I’m already here,” the doctor said from the doorway. He came in and set his black bag on a chair and got his stethoscope out to examine her. “You were feeling pain, Lady?”
“Yes, but I’m certain it is gone now,” Marissa replied.
“Where was the pain?”
She sighed. “Everywhere.”
“Everywhere? How deep did it go?”
“I felt like it was going right through me.”
“What did you eat yesterday evening?” the doctor continued his examination.
“Roasted duck with baby potatoes and candied carrots. It was a special of the cooks. She’s made it many times before and most of the staff had some as well.”
As soon as Marissa finished speaking she remembered the wine from her previous evening. Surly that couldn’t be affecting her like this, but what if it was? The whispered conversation between the two men made her uneasy now. Did they us her to test some new poison?
Her stomach dropped into her toes and she broke out into a cold sweat. Sean was right after all. She was foolish to take on these jobs. She stopped herself. These jobs weren’t foolish, taking anything from anyone was foolish, pure stupidity.
“Well Lady Edgington, you seem to be in perfect health,” the doctor said as he finished his exam. “Your heart is fine, pulse is accelerated but that is common after experiencing pain. I would take it easy today, no strenuous exercise until you’re certain the pain won’t return.”
“Thank you doctor,” she said calmly.
The man put his instruments away and left her alone with Sean.
“You remembered something,” Sean said matter-of-factly.
Marissa thrust her lower lip out in a pout. “Perhaps,” she replied petulantly.
“Marissa what happened? I don’t usually pry into your night life, but this could be serious,” Sean said anxiously.
“It doesn’t matter now,” she answered brushing him off.
“It matters if I have to bury you tomorrow. I shall be very put out with you if you’ve gone and gotten yourself poisoned or something of that sort,” he stated angrily.
“I suppose we’ll have to wait and see then,” she said simply.
Her tone was a dismissal and she knew he knew better than to prod her further. He bowed in his usual stately manner and left, shutting the door just hard enough for her to know he was unhappy with her.
Dear Sean, she thought. She would be simply lost without him. He had watched over her since her father’s death ten years ago and she was closer to him than any other person on earth.
She leaned back against the pillows thinking about the previous evening. What had those men done to her? She was now deeply grateful that she had followed Sean’s advice and kept her face hidden. No one knew who she was; she was the Shadow.
Marissa spent the rest of that day relaxing in the conservatory with a book, but her thoughts were not with the story. She didn’t even argue with Sean when he announced he had canceled her evening social activities. She was more than willing to lay low, but one thing she wouldn’t give up was her night time job.
She had only one message to deliver that night and there would be no response. At the appointed hour she changed into her trousers and cloak and slipped out the servant’s entrance. Anyone who saw her would think she was a late working serving man.
She passed silently into the shadows and became a part of the darkness. The evening was particularly gloomy as the threat of rain hung heavily over the city. The house she went to was very familiar. She went there every Thursday at the same time to deliver the same message of hope and love to the same old woman.
She had never been asked to change or stop the message in the three years since she had started this work. It was her favorite delivery and the one that made all the others worth it.
It came from a young gentleman who had been forced into servitude to pay a debt incurred by his mother’s ill health. The creditor was an austere man who had a gentle heart, but he didn’t want anyone to know it. He was well known for his firm hand at business and most men were loath to do business wit him despite the fact that they had to.
The young debtor had been sent to the wealthy man’s country estate to work and the message Marissa took each week was how much the young son had paid off and that the boy was well. The old woman looked forward to hearing these messages as much as Marissa enjoyed giving them.
When her task was complete she returned to the house. As soon as she was in her room she pulled off the cloak. Catching a glimpse of her image in the mirror she gasped. Her skin was translucent, almost transparent.
She closed her eyes, not believing what she saw and reopened them. Everything was normal. She shook her head certain it had been a trick of the light, but a nagging thought remained that it wasn’t.
The next day her life was back to the usual and she had no late night deliveries, but that night she dreamed about Dr. Bering and John. When she woke she shook her head to clear the disturbing images.
Being the Shadow as dangerous work, but she also enjoyed a certain amount of knowledge that came with the job. She knew things about many prominent individuals in the city that no one else did. She smiled with satisfaction. She really was the Shadow.
She glanced down at her hands and gasped. They were gone! The previous evenings scare returned. She lifted the appendages, feeling them there, yet unable to see them.
She scrambled out of bed and ran to the tall mirror in her dressing room. Panic set in as she watched her body slowly fade into nothing until all that remained was a silk nightgown. Her hands flew to her face. She was still there and yet…invisible. What had those men given her? She was Lady Edgington a bright star in the English aristocracy, she couldn’t be invisible, she couldn’t disappear.
She looked back into the mirror and with relief saw her image return. Her jpale cheeks and trembling hands were now clearly visible. With relief she sank into a chair and put her head in her hands.
There had to be something in that wine and she was determined to find out what. Her messages between Dr. Bering and the Minister had consisted of something that had worked, but in the conversation she had overheard the second wasn’t ready.
She was now certain that they had tested that something on her, a potion that could make one invisible. She laughed at the idea. It had to be her imagination. The only was to be invisible was to be like her night job, a shadow.
She glanced in the mirror again and realized her face and hands were gone again. She pulled the sleeves of her nightgown up, watching the movement in the mirror and then pulled the gown off completely. Her body was completely invisible. The only sign that she was actually there was the nightgown hanging from her hand.
A knock sounded on her door and she immediately became visible. She hastily put on her nightgown back on and crawled into bed.
“Come in,” she called.
“I know it’s early, Lady, but I thought you’d want your breakfast,” Eliza said bring in a tray of food.
“Thank you, Liza,” Marissa replied distractedly.
Her thoughts were far from breakfast. She wondered what made it turn off and on. If she could control it…the thought excited her. She truly could be a shadow, or better she could be invisible.
“Ahh!” Eliza screeched.
Marissa was pulled back to the present. “What?”
“You hand, I couldn’t see it,” Eliza cried.
“You’re being sill Eliza, it’s right here. It was just under the covers,” Marissa held out her clearly visible hand.
Eliza stared at the hand wide-eyed. “My nerves can’t take this at this hour,” the maid mumbled.
“Go down and have cook make you a cup of tea,” Marissa ordered. “And relax for an hour.”
Eliza nodded and left the room shaking her head. Marissa made sure the door was closed and stepped in from of the mirror.
With a look of concentration she spoke, “I am the Shadow.”
At first nothing happened, so she concentrated more on what she felt and who she was at night. Slowly her body disappeared. She examined herself carefully in the mirror. Every bit of her five foot six inch body was gone even down to the silky brown, waist-length hair.
Delight filled her heart, but then panic ensued. What if she couldn’t change back? She was the Shadow by night, but during the day she was Lady Edgington. As that thought rested on her mind, she noticed her image reappearing slowly.
A knock sounded again and the change finished instantly. It was like two different people were inside her body. The Lady who was well know and frequented the social uppers of Queen Victoria’s court and the Shadow who delivered the most secret of secret messages at night; the seen and unseen.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Missionary Work

So my best friend gave an amazing lesson in church today about Missionary work and why we do it. It was awesome to be a part of this lesson. As she began the lesson I opened a tupperware container of homemade cookies and began eating them. (Prior to the lesson we had spent some time making sure the smell of cookies had permeated the room so everyone could smell it as they entered.)

Throughout the whole first half of the lesson I enjoyed these cookies. There were all sorts of cookies: sugar cookies, chocolate chunk cookies, and peanut butter cookies. They were good cookies and the fact that I had them and could eat them made me happy.

In the lesson we talked about why missionary work is so important and not just for missionaries, but especially for members. We have this beautiful gift of the gospel that we can share with our friends, neighbors and family members. It brings us joy and it can bring others joy as well.

Finally my friend asked the class if anyone had noticed me eating the cookies. Almost every hand in the room went up. Then she asked how many of them would like a cookie. Most of the hands stayed up. Then she asked how many had asked her for a cookie. Only one hand stayed up and she had asked before class started. Lastly she asked how many would take a cookie if I had offered it. The hands all went back up.

Then the point was made that few of our friends, neighbors and family members can see us with the gospel in our lives and see how happy we are with it. Many of them want that same happiness, but will probably never ask for it. Thus it is up to us to offer this precious gift to those around us and let them choose whether or not they want it.

I felt the spirit so strongly as this lesson progressed. What a testimony and what a point that it is up to us to share with others and let them make the choice of whether to partake or not.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

More books

So I've found some inspiration from a co-worker who wanted me to write a story with a specific set of circumstances. I hope you will enjoy it as it comes.

I mentioned a few days ago that I would recommend some other authors. One of my favorite authors for classic literature is Jane Austen. When I'm feeling particularly romantic or sappy I pull out an Austen novel and revel in the silly romanticism's and beautiful language of the English gentleman.

Unfortunately these journeys tend to leave me wishing for a time when ladies were treated as ladies and where ladies acted like ladies, although somewhat foolishly.

My favorite of these novels is of course Pride and Prejudice. I suppose because I feel like I can relate to Elizabeth on so many levels.

So that is my recommendation of the day. Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Enjoy, but don't stay away too long. :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Followers of Galashad Chapter 4

Here is the next chapter of The Followers of Galashad. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Shadow 1


She moved quickly from shadow to shadow keeping a constant vigilance of her surroundings. The dark, dirty streets and allies of London were always the perfect hiding place when one didn’t want to be seen and she didn’t want to be seen.
It took longer than she had anticipated, but finally she reached the designated doorway. She knocked twice paused and then knocked three times. The door cracked open and a pair of dark eyes looked out.
“I have a message from the Minister,” she whispered.
The door closed and she heard a series of chains sliding out of place. The door opened wide enough for her to slip through. The room she entered was dark and dusty and filled with a variety of odd things.
She barely glanced around before a gentleman appeared in the doorway across the room. He was thin and wiry, but hunched over slightly like he had been examining something too closely for too long.
“Dr. Bering?” she asked tentatively.
“Yes,” he replied. Her skin crawled at the nasal sneer in is tone.
“I have a message from the Minister,” she said. She smoothed the front of her trousers and pulled the hooded cloak more tightly around her.
“I wouldn’t have let you in if you didn’t,” he replied sarcastically. “Well, out with it.”
She swallowed her annoyance at his rudeness. “He said the first dose was successful, send the next one as soon as it is available. He also said the date was set,” she finished.
Dr. Bering turned thoughtfully. “It worked,” he mumbled to himself. A Satisfied gleam brightened his eyes and he left the room.
The girl shifted her weight uneasily. She didn’t like this place. Of all the houses she delivered secret messages to this one didn’t feel right somehow. Something was wrong here.
She heard footsteps in the hall and they were accompanied by the sound of a shuffling and clunk.
“It worked, John. I wasn’t certain, but it worked,” Dr. Bering said quietly.
She was certain he was unaware that she could hear him clearly.
“Did it really?” John replied. His voice was much kinder, gentler.
“They want the second one as soon as possible,” Dr. Bering replied excitedly.
“The second already? But it’s not ready yet. We still have to…,” John began nervously.
“It worked on the rats,” Dr. Bering urged.
Her skin crawled at the mention of rats. That was the one thing she hated about her job, moving in places that were infested with rats.
“I don’t know,” John said.
“I have an idea,” Dr. Bering said.
She didn’t like his tone. She heard them shuffle away. She didn’t wish to wait any longer, but her instructions were to wait for a reply and then return to the Minister’s house. Then and only then would she be paid.
She took pride in the fact that she was one of the few, trusted, underground couriers in London. If anyone wanted a message delivered without anyone else knowing about it they called for her. She smiled smugly. That was the other thing she was proud of, the fact that no one knew where she lived or that by day she was something completely different.
The footsteps returned and this time both men entered the room.
“Do you have a reply,” she asked a little snippily. She was tired of this place.
“Yes, here it is,” John replied holding out a piece of paper.
She stepped back tucking her hands behind her back.
“What’s wrong,” Dr. Bering demanded.
“I never take written messages, only verbal.” She thought they knew her rules, but apparently they did not. “There is a reason why they call me the Shadow, gentlemen,” she explained. “No one sees my face and the messages pass with no way to trace them. If you cannot tell me your message then I will return to the Minister with no reply.”
John looked at Dr. Bering with a sigh. “Tell the Minister that the second dose will be ready in two days, but he will need to wait for my summons.”
“Thank you,” she turned to leave making sure her hood was firmly in place.
“One more thing, Madam Shadow,” Dr. Bering began.
She half turned back.
“We need you to come here in two days at this hour to take the summons to the Minister,” he finished.
“And will you be paying my fee or will the Minister?” she asked with a smirk.
“The Minister of course,” Dr. Bering replied haughtily.
“If he does not agree I will not return,” she replied. She turned again to leave.
“Would you like a drink before you go?” John asked kindly. “It must be thirsty work roving through the streets of London at night.”
She wasn’t sure she trusted the men, but she watched as he poured a small glass of wine from a decanter. She accepted the wine, but smelled it carefully to make sure it wasn’t poisoned or tainted. It smelled normal. She took a sip. It was a good year, ’64 she figured. She waited for a moment, but nothing happened so she finished the glass.
John took it back with a kind expression. “Thank you, Lady,” he said kindly.
“Thank you for the refreshment,” she replied.
The men nodded and allowed her to leave. She slipped into the darkness and disappeared as quietly as she had arrived.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The First Day - A Very Short Story


            The tall, dark-haired girl approached the two-story building with trepidation and excitement.  Her whole world had changed or seemed to change in just a few short summer months.  Now here she was, a freshman in high school.
            The building that had seemed so ordinary in the summer when she registered was now filled with mystery, sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  The seniors scared her the most.  Would her brother tease her in front of his friends or would she be able to pass through the senior hall unnoticed and unscathed.
            She straightened the carefully chosen skirt and shirt, checked her hair and walked to the front door.  Clutching her violin in one hand and her backpack slung over her shoulder she opened the door and stepped inside.  The sounds of students filled the air with laughter, screaming, talking and groaning.  She paused at the entrance to the senior hall, and then taking a deep breath she quickly made her way through the jostling bodies.  “Past the first steps and up the second.”  She thought to herself.
            Trying hard to ignore the few catcalls sent her way she made it to the second set of stairs and began the climb.  All she had to do was make it to the top of the first flight and then around the corner and she was home free.  “Made it.”  She thought with relief as she reached the top step, but then something in the universe went horribly wrong.
            As she took the last step her other foot slipped and down she fell.  She only slid four or five steps but her backpack fell all the way to the bottom and she cringed with each twang as her violin bounced down the fated steps to the feet of four senior boys.
            Silence.  All eyes turned to where she lay sprawled on the steps.   She quickly got up, ran down the steps to collect her backpack and violin.  Then the snickers started.  Her face turned red.  She wanted to sink into the ground.
            “Hey there, Grace.”  She heard someone call.  A few others laughed.  She was completely humiliated on the first day of school.  When she retrieved her things she ran up the stairs and around the corner with tears brimming in her eyes.  She hadn’t even noticed the pain in her arm and side until now.
            When she reached her locker she opened it, shoved her backpack inside and sat on the ground tears falling down her cheeks.  She brushed them aside and opened her violin case to survey the damage.  All of the strings had popped out of tune, but luckily nothing had broken.  She sighed.  Then she felt a hand on her shoulder
            “Are you okay, Melanie?”  It was her friend Jenny.
            “Yes, I’m okay.  Thanks” Melanie replied with a pathetic smile.  “Just embarrassed.” The bell rang.  “Well, I gotta get to class.”  Melanie said and picked up the violin and her books and made her way back down the stairs.
            Several seniors shouted “Hey Grace” or “Hey, there’s Grace” as she walked through the halls.  When she reached the orchestra classroom she tried to sneak inside to a back chair, but as soon as she appeared through the door the room erupted in applause.  Several seniors shouted “Go Grace” while others laughed and called “have a nice trip, see you next fall.”
“News spreads fast.” She thought.
Looking around at her classmates and the laughter in their eyes she finally cracked a smile and laughed.  It was pretty funny to think about.  She had made quite an entrance for her first day of high school.  It was a day she would laugh about, but never forget.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Books

I have been in quite a writing spell lately. Now I know you're all probably wondering why I haven't posted anything yet. Mostly because I am still working on the novels. I find myself being affected by things that I read or hear about and then wanting to write either my own version or write about what I'm feeling.

I haven't started another blog story because I am currently working on two novels that have all the appearances of becoming trilogies or something like that. All of my energy is being spent working on these two books, but as soon as an idea pops into my mind for another blog story I'll start that too.

Once again I am open to any suggestions if someone wants me to try, just let me know.  We'll get the creative juices flowing. In the mean time I suggest reading The Chronicles of Narnia. They are always a good read. I have a few other authors that I really like. Perhaps I will suggest another one tomorrow.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Followers of Galashad Chapters 2 & 3

Here are the next two chapters of The Followers of Galashad. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mercy

Today was a weird day. I went to church, but I just couldn't pay attention. I wanted to be in church, just not in church in Fresno, I guess. Well I decided to re-read a conference talk on being merciful toward others and myself. It was by President Uchtdorf.

I think I should read this talk every day until I learn to have a pure heart filled with charity and mercy. It is amazing how the power of the spirit, the atonement can affect us so deeply. It amazes me even more to know that someone hundreds of miles away can be prompted to speak about something I need so desperately, something the world needs so desperately.

I just think of how much better our world would be if we showed mercy and forgiveness to each other. I say we, but I know that I need to work on this a lot.

It's just something to think about. I highly recommend reading this talk every day.

The Merciful Obtain Mercy By President Dieter F. Uchtdorf


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tomatoes

I know this seems like such a silly thing to write about, but right now I'm pretty pleased with our tomato plants. A few months ago my best friend and roommate decided to get some tomato plants and a few herb plants. We seem to spend more money on these things at the grocery store than anything else. So we went to our local stores and found some nice mature tomato plants, bought potting soil and pot trays and planted our garden.

It is such a simple thing, but it has brought an immense amount of joy and satisfaction to our culinary adventures.

Well we finally were able to harvest some of the fruits of our labors where the tomatoes were concerned. Maybe they did and maybe they didn't, but I swear those tomatoes tasted so much better than the store bought ones. It is probably just me, but they are so good and they continue to be delicious. Here is the largest one that we've had so far.


Now this may seem like a simple thing, but the first time we made home-made bruschetta with garden grown tomatoes and garden grown basil. YUUUUUMMMMMMYYYYY!!!!!

I am just grateful that we have been blessed with good fruits. :)


Friday, June 8, 2012

My Place in this World

I have been thinking a lot about settling down and buying a house. I am finding as I get older that I really want to stop moving and have a place of my own. The market is great, but I'm not sure where I want to live. If anyone knows a place that can fit the following criteria please let me know!

1. Good climate. Not too hot, not too cold. Preferably no snow.
2. Lots of trees. I  want a house surrounded with trees.
3. Country, but not. I want to be able to reach a target, major grocery store, and mall within 10 to 15 minutes, but still have enough land around me to have a cow, horses, chickens and pets (two dogs and a cat)
4. Good social scene, if I want it.
5. Beach nearby. Now this one is negotiable. I like being near the ocean it is always so peaceful to me, even in a storm.
6. Decent weather. Not too much sun and not too much rain. No snow. (I believe I mentioned that above)
 7. Nearby an airport, because I have to be able to get to work and I'd rather not drive more than 30 minutes if I can.

Those are just the basics. So if anyone has an idea where this place is (if it even exists) I would love to know. :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Followers of Galashad Chapter One

As promised here is the first chapter of my prequel novel: The Followers of Galashad.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Prequels and Inspriation

So I wrote a story several years ago. It is my baby of all stories, the first novel I have ever written. I want so very desperately to get it published, but no one really seems interested in it at this time. I keep hoping someone will read the synopsis and go crazy with excitement because this will be the next great novel. Unfortunately this is the reason I haven't posted it anywhere.

Well a few years later I decided to continue the story and I wrote another story. I liked this one a lot, almost better than the first (which is weird because sequels aren't usually that great and of course it falls in line with other part twos that always make me cringe with anticipation and annoyance with the author for letting tragedy strike and leaving me hanging). I was very excited about this second novel, but still I couldn't get it published because of course the first one has to come first. So there they sit, my two 'babies' hoping for that publisher who thinks I'm the next JK Rowling or Stephenie Meyer.

Then because I know that I can't stand it when I am left hanging I decided to finish out the trilogy and I wrote the third novel. I'm quite in love with the story (of course, it is my story) and I'm still hoping that someone will say 'yes, this is awesome! We'll publish it."

A year or so back I had the opportunity to enter a fantasy and science fiction writing contest. It is a novelette competition which I thought was awesome because I can't seem to keep my stories short enough, so I decided to write a short prequel to my above mentioned trilogy.

No I write pretty tame fantasy, I don't create strange creatures and monsters and my characters 'abilities' are usually within the normal relm of our world. So when I started the short prequel novelette I expected to stay within that range, but I did branch out more than normal in creating a background world for my trilogy.

I have to say that in the construction of the novelette I was truly inspired because things fell into place that made sense in the trilogy, but I didn't fully understand until the background was completely and clearly established. I wrote things in my trilogy that came to me as ideas, but when I completed the circle in the prequel they completed the circle.

I love to feel inspired in that way and I am grateful that I have been able to receive that inspiration.

So with all of this to think about I decided I am going to post the chapters of my prequel on my blog. Some of you have probably already read it because I posted the chapters on my HubPages account. Even if you have read them or if you are new, please let me know what you think. I am still trying to get my trilogy The Galashad Chronicles published and if there are enough interested parties perhaps someone really will say, 'hey this is good stuff, lets put it on paper.' :)

So tomorrow begins the adventure that started it all...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Catch-up

So I know I promised to write every day on my blog, but the last two weeks have been crazy busy. I usually do some catch-up writing so I have a post for every day, but I think I'm just going to let this one go. I have been working on two stories that have captured my attention, but neither are ready for posting yet.  Perhaps in the near future.

So on I trudge through the world (well in my case it is several worlds) working on projects of all sorts and thinking about the future. I am going to try very hard to keep up with writing everyday. I hope you are all enjoying my posts and I look forward to any comments for the future.

Thank you for following. :)