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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Shadow 27


“Is she all right?” Marissa heard Sarah ask in a worried voice.
“She just fainted. After all of this she finally acts like a proper woman,” Sean says sardonically.
Marissa eyes fluttered open in annoyance. She was lying on a couch in an ornately decorated sitting room.
“She certainly is a brave, young thing,” an older woman added.
“To a fault, Your Majesty,” Sean replied.
Victoria was there. Marissa groaned. Sean was at her side immediately.
“Are you all right, Marissa?” he asked gently.
“You said you were never coming back,” Marissa accused, avoiding his question.
Sean looked chagrined. “I could never leave you, Marissa. I love you too much to ever leave you,” he declared. “Besides, Sarah sent me a message in London telling me what you were planning.”
Marissa blushed and sat up. “You saved us both,” she said, looking around for her mother.
Sarah came over to the couch. “And your actions saved the Queen, Marissa.”
Marissa’s mind reviewed the events of the past few hours and with a blush she realized she was still in the invisible suit, but someone had wrapped a cloak around her.
“You’ve done me a great service Lady Edgington. How I can repay you,” Victoria said kindly, coming over.
Marissa quickly got to her feet and curtsied before her Queen. She looked from one face to another and then settled on Sean’s. He had finally declared his feelings and she knew that she would never be content without him. She loved him too.
“Order him to marry me,” Marissa told the Queen simply. 
“What could possibly be stopping him?” Victoria asked.
“He’s much too proper to ask me himself and he won’t act out of respect for my father’s good name,” Marissa grumbled.
Victoria smiled.
“Your Majesty, it’s time for you to return to bed. You’ll have no strength if you stay up any longer,” a stately looking gentleman said from the doorway.
“Well, I have been summoned my dears. The guard will escort you out and I’m sure they will have questions for you as well. Thank you again my dear,” Victoria said patting Marissa’s cheek. She moved on to Sean, glancing back at Marissa, and ordered. “Marry her. She needs to be kept busy.”
Sean smiled and Marissa blushed. They all bowed as Victoria left and then two guards appeared at the door. Sean spent the next hour explaining what had happened to the head of Victoria’s security and he in turn promised to have the police arrest Jarvis and John. Marissa felt worn out and ready for her own comfortable bed.
“Let’s get you home,” Sean said putting an arm around her slender shoulders. She could feel the bruises where Simon had grabbed her. “And I want a doctor to look at Sarah’s head where she hit the mirror.”
“I’ll be fine, Sean,” Sarah murmured.
“I think you should take a rest from the social scene of London for a while, Marissa. Maybe it’s time you vacationed at the country estate. I could join you in a few weeks after we wrap up this mess,” Sean said matter-of-factly.
Marissa gripped his arm, feeling the same sensation of loneliness at his suggestion. “Don’t leave me, Sean,” she said urgently.
He looked into her eyes and smiled. “It will only be a fortnight and then I’ll come out. That should be plenty of time for you to plan a wedding, don’t you think?”
Her eyes widened at his words. “Are you sure?” she asked hopefully.
“Marissa, I’ve loved you for so long that I can’t imagine living without you. It killed me inside to walk away from you and as soon as I did I knew it was a mistake.” He wrapped his arms around her waist. “It gave me time to consider just how foolish my ideas of what was proper were. If you’ll have me...if you love me, I want to marry you.”
“Oh Sean, I do love you,” she declared throwing her arms around his neck and kissing him soundly.
“And besides, Victoria commanded me to marry you. I can’t disappoint the Queen,” he murmured with a smile.

The End


Monday, April 22, 2013

The Shadow 26


The week before the royal celebration passed quickly, despite Simon’s constant presence. Marissa found herself being monopolized by his outings. She never had been a society girl, but Simon forced her and sometimes Sarah into the center of the social circles on the Isle. They attended dinner parties and dances, garden socials and games. Her holiday took on a busy schedule that she never would have tolerated in London.
Finally the night before the Queen’s celebration she begged for a quiet evening at home and Simon acquiesced. Marissa spent the evening going over plans with Sarah. The next day she told Simon they would be spending the day preparing for the celebration and he left them to themselves with the promise that he would arrive at 6:45 sharp to escort them to Osborne House.
Marissa spent the day with Sarah putting together their clothes for the evening as well as reviewing the social proprieties expected of them at court. Sarah shook her head in dismay at what she would be expected to remember, but Marissa told her to stay nearby and she would help her.
That evening they dressed carefully, Marissa put the invisible suit on underneath her dress. Sarah helped her with her hair and then carefully inserted the dagger so it hid among the curls. When they were finished they examined their figures in the mirror.
Sarah looked completely different with her blond hair curled and pinned up and an elegant dress accentuating her figure. Marissa finished off the look with some of her own jewels. She examined her mother with critical eye, straightening and tucking until Sarah looked perfect.
“These should have been yours,” Marissa said quietly, as she adjusted the emerald necklace.
“I never wanted them. I only wanted Jonathan,” Sarah murmured, touching the jewels. She turned to Marissa and touched her cheek. “You really are like him in so many ways. He was a true gentleman.”
“I wish I could have known him,” Marissa sighed.
She patted her hair one last time and they headed downstairs. True to his word, Simon arrived at 6:45. He exclaimed over their beauty and grace and Marissa had to check herself from rolling her eyes or making a snide comment. Simon handed them into the carriage and they drove off toward the royal house.
The lights of Osborne House sparkled cheerfully through the trees and the collection of carriages and servants at the main entrance promised a delightful but long evening. Marissa and Sarah were whisked inside to greet the royal family and give their felicitations to Queen Victoria. With a smile, Marissa noticed several middle aged gentlemen eyeing Sarah as they entered the grand ballroom.
She introduced her as Catherine Lawrence and let the men lead her onto the dance floor. Shortly she found herself in Simon’s eager grasp dancing along side her mother. She danced several with Simon and other young men attending and decided she would enjoy the evening thoroughly despite what would come later on.
She kept a careful eye on the large clock in the corner and shortly after ten started planning her escape. Around ten-thirty Victoria retired from the gathering and Marissa knew she would have to make her move soon. Feigning a bout of weariness she pleaded with her dance partner to let her rest a few and then carefully made her way to a secluded room.
In her earlier excursion she had searched out the best place for her to remove her clothing so she could become invisible. The room was ideal, since it was accessible by guests, but ill suited for anything but a secret rendezvous. She quickly removed the skirt and bustle and tucked them beneath a couch, followed by the bodice and corset, leaving only the invisible suit. She then removed her jewelry and tucked them into the folds of the hidden dress and focused on the Shadow persona.
No sooner had she done so than a pair of youthful giggles sounded outside the room and a young couple entered.
“Are you sure no one will find us?” the young girl asked nervously.
“We are quite alone, my dear,” the young man answered.
Annoyance washed over Marissa and she walked over to where the couple had started kissing. With a firm tap on his shoulder she hissed, “I can see you,” then left the room.
“Who was that?” the girl asked fearfully.
“I don’t know,” the boy replied, nervously.
“Well I’m not staying here any longer,” the girl humphed.
Marissa smiled and continued into the passageway that led to the Queen’s room. It didn’t take her long to find the long hallway and silently slip past the guards. She knew right where she wanted to wait and she hoped she wouldn’t have to wait long. She sat down in the shadows of a tall vase filled with peacock feathers and scanned the passage.
About ten minutes later she heard a quiet groan from the guards and saw them slide to the ground. She hoped they weren’t dead, but knowing the ruthlessness of the man she was certain they were. She continued to scan the shadows, waiting in silence.
Finally, in the dim light Marissa could see the blurry movement near the wall as it moved toward her. The invisible man really was here and Queen Victoria was just a few rooms away. She knew she couldn’t let him get any closer, but she was no match for a man’s strength. Knowing she had to stop him somehow she reached into the knot of her hair and pulled out the slender dagger Sarah had given her.
The blur passed right by her and with a quick motion she sliced at him cutting the invisible material and the man’s arm. With a muted cry the man swung around and knocked the knife from her hand and lunged for her. She flitted easily from his grasp using the bloody hole in his suit as a gauge.
“Well, well, well, it looks like I have a Shadow. I should have taken care of you the last time we met. I thought you weren’t planning on staying.”
“How could I miss such a lovely party?” Marissa said quietly. “Jarvis’ instructions were fairly clear.”
“He won’t be pleased that you discovered his note. I told him he shouldn’t write anything down, but he thought he was safe. Ha. Safe in a world where he has made people invisible,” the man says sarcastically.
“I never take anything in writing,” Marissa agreed.
The man lunged for her, but she moved easily out of his way.
“Come out of the Shadows, my dear, I’m dying to see your face,” he taunted.
Marissa kept her mouth shut.
“Fine then. I have work to do. It is time your little queen takes a permanent nap,” the man said with an evil laugh.
He started toward Victoria’s room and Marissa knew she had to stop him. She threw herself at his visible arm using all of her strength to knock him over. She could feel his muscles through the thin, invisible suit he wore. As they tumbled to the floor she was grateful she had taken the fabric from John’s lab and made her own suit. Their bodies hit the floor and she scrambled away.  She can now see the blood soaked material easily and the hand of the man holding the wound.
“Curse you, Shadow.” The man’s deep, angry voice gains a familiar ring. “You’re going to regret coming here.”
“I’m not going to let you get away with this,” Marissa answered firmly.
He laughed. “You can’t stop this. It is just the beginning of everything. No country’s leader will be safe from my men. We will sweep through the world eliminating anyone who opposes us and no one will ever see any of them coming,” he boasted wickedly.
“You’re mad!” Marissa exclaimed.
“I’m not mad, just a visionary. I can see a future without the ridiculous leaders who know nothing of the power they can wield,” he replied.
Marissa moved cautiously keeping the man’s bloody arm always in sight.
“Once I prove to the world that I can kill England’s Queen, no one will dare oppose me.”
Marissa noticed movement out of the corner of her eye. Sarah was creeping down the hall slowly, moving from shadow to shadow.
“This will never work. I will stop you,” Marissa declared.
“Actually, my dear Shadow, you are some of my inspiration. I wanted men who could live normal lives, men who wouldn’t be suspect, but could still do my bidding. It took me a while to finally realize that you had mastered John’s potion. You alone have been able to will yourself visible and invisible.”
Marissa gasped. How did he know?
“This is a valuable skill indeed. A skill worthy of none other than the amazing Marissa Edgington,” he cried triumphantly.
Marissa stepped back as she felt her invisibility slip. Suddenly the man lunged for her, pinning her arms to her sides and knocking her to the floor. They landed near a full length mirror and the man used his strength to hold her down.
“I am sorry that we couldn’t get more acquainted, Marissa, but you were too smart and suspicious to be of any use to me,” the man laughed wickedly.
Suddenly Marissa knew exactly who he was.
Simon Anderson’s face suddenly appeared as he pulled the hood of his suit back.
“You!” Marissa exclaimed. “It was you the whole time.”
“This really is my greatest investment,” Simon said cheerfully.
“This will never work. The guards are on their way.”
“And how can they fight someone they can’t see? They’ll be dead before they know it and so will your aging queen.”
“I will make sure you don’t succeed!” Marissa declared firmly.
Simon laughed at her. “Ha. You’re nothing more than a woman.” He brought his face close to hers and then roughly pulled her to her feet. He held her arms behind her in a vice-like grip that she couldn’t break. “But I can’t have you alerting the authorities, so I suppose I will have to take you with me. I’m sure you’ll learn to appreciate my place in the alps. It’s very secluded and lonely up there, but I’ll make sure you stay warm. Besides I will need some entertainment on those long cold nights” he said suggestively, running his hand familiarly down her side and thigh.
She was horrified at the thought of what he was insinuating.
“You are a beautiful woman, Lady Edgington,” he said, forcefully kissing her on the lips.
“Unhand my daughter!” Sarah called, from behind them. Marissa saw the vase just before it crashed over Simon’s head. With a cry of fury Simon turned on Sarah and shoved her into the f mirror, shattering it. Marissa moved away but he quickly caught her and dragged her back to see her mother. Sarah had slumped to the ground, shattered glass littering the floor around her.
“And you have outlived your usefulness, Sarah Clarence,” Simon growled.
He pulled a pistol from his suit and aimed it at Sarah’s unmoving form.
“No! Marissa screamed as the gun went off.
Simon’s grip loosened immediately and she broke away from him. She stared at Sarah’s unmoving body for several seconds before she realized there was no blood. Moments later Simon turned to face her. Crimson liquid spread quickly across his chest as he crumpled to the floor without a sound. Just a few feet down the passageway she could see a man holding a smoking pistol. It took her several moments before she realized who it was. Marisa stared in shock and disbelief and then crumpled in a swoon.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Cuteness embodied

So I have to admit that I am a sucker for adorable pictures of my little doggies. I miss them when I'm gone, but at least I have these reminders of just how cute they are.
Hi Mommy. Whatcha doin?

I just can't deal with it anymore.

Nobody will play with me. (depressed sigh)

Big paws, little dog.

I'm bored...and in about two minutes
I'm going to sit on your chest until
you play with me.

Yes, my nose is cold...well it's always cold,
but it feels cold right now.

All snug in his bed,
with visions of treats dancing in his head.

I'm bored.

General Grant




Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dear Editor

Dear Editor,

You think you're being mean or brutal or even harsh, but you're not. I love your comments and your common sense. You are making the Storm even better and I'm very grateful for your help.

Sincerely,

M M Mason

Dear S,

It's going to work out, I promise. And though there will probably be pain and suffering in the future it will be happy in the end.

Always Present,

Fate

Dear Prequel,

I know, I know, you're still waiting! Give me another month with the dryads and I promise I will return...well maybe two months, I'm changing domiciles AGAIN and things are a little crazy right now. Ok, let's be safe. Give me three months and then I promise we'll talk.

Stormily Waiting,

Author

Dear ^,

I don't even know how to use you or why you are even on my keyboard except to make interesting smiley characters, and even then I don't know how you would work.

Sorry,

:)

Dear Frog,

You're not a prince. Get over it.

Lips Sealed,

Princess

Dear Publishers,

I'm still waiting...patiently...ok, not so patiently. Please, someone give me something, anything...

Writer in Waiting

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Joys of Unpacking

There are no joys to unpacking.
Well maybe when you finally find the dishes and cooking utensils, but then again that means now you have to cook.
Nope, there are no joys to unpacking.
Well maybe when you find your sheets and blankets, but then again that mean you now have to make your bed and do laundry.
Yeah, still no joys to unpacking.
Well maybe when you find the box of office stuff, but then again that means you now have to pay bills and work.
Still not finding the joys to unpacking.

...Ah it's unpacked, feels like home at last.
Now that's the joy of unpacking.



Monday, April 15, 2013

The Shadow 25


Marissa froze in place, but remained silent.
“I was certain either Sarah would come or she would send you in her place. Tell me is she visible now or dead?” he asked, with uncaring coldness.
Marissa marked where he spoke from and moved silently to keep something between them. “She’s dead. John’s antidote did the trick,” she murmured, keeping her voice low. “I’d love to have to try some and see how well you do.”
The man laughed. He was moving toward her slowly. She scanned the dark room, looking for the blur of movement she had noticed when Sarah put on the suit. The dark room hid him well until she noticed the faintest shimmer of something to her right. She immediately placed the working counter between them.
“Well if Sarah is dead, then perhaps I can convince you to join me,” he finally answered.
“I doubt it.”
“I truly do not wish to harm the lady of this house, but I will if you refuse your assistance.”
“The lady is of no concern to me. I’m only checking on her per Sarah’s final request. I do have a little bit of honor,” Marissa said, her voice filled with condescension.
“Then perhaps I will focus on the Lady’s dear friend Catherine,” the man replied. Marissa could hear the annoyance in his voice.
“Do as you wish. I think it is time for me to return to London anyways,” Marissa said, keeping her voice even. She could now see the blur as he adjusted his position to block her exit outside.
“I hardly believe that,” he scoffed. “You’ve been a busy little mouse, poking your head where it doesn’t belong. How else would you know to be here at this time? Don’t try to stop me, Shadow, or I will end your miserable life.”
Marissa froze when she heard voices from the hallway.
“I know I heard something,” Angela, the housekeeper said quietly.
The outside door opened just as Angela entered the room followed by Charles, the butler. Marissa stepped out of their path. Angela held a candle up and scanned the room suspiciously. 
“See, there’s no one here,” Charles said.
“The door’s open,” Angela exclaimed.
They both went to examine the open door and Marissa stepped into the hall. Her nerves were tight. She knew the invisible man would be here, but having him find her and confront her made everything worse. She headed upstairs to her room. After searching it to make sure she was alone she allowed herself to become visible and changed from the suit into her dressing gown. She was brushing her hair out when Sarah knocked on her door.
“How did it go?” she asked, after Marissa called her in.
“I’m fairly certain where and when this man will strike,” Marissa answered. “He’s here on the Isle, as we knew he would be.”
“You saw him?”
“He was in the kitchen when I returned a bit ago,” Marissa said calmly.
“Here?” Sarah gasped.
“He was waiting for me. He knew I would come here and that worries me. I told him I didn’t care about the ladies of the house, but that won’t necessarily stop him from trying to harm either of us.”
“We will have to be extra careful over the next few days,” Sarah said.
“Sarah, how did you carry weapons with you when you moved around?” Marissa asked suddenly. “I won’t have the strength to confront this man, so I’m going to need something I can attack him with.”
Sarah reached up behind her head and swiftly pulled out a narrow dagger and held it out to Marissa. “It’s kind of a habit now. I don’t go anywhere with out it,” she said chagrined.
Marissa took the knife and examined it. The handle was short enough that it wouldn’t get caught in the pinned up curls and if seen it would appear to be a hair pin.
“Clever.”
“I used to have a pair, but I lost one on a job for Jarvis,” Sarah said sadly. “I’ll show you how to put it in and pull it out without stabbing yourself or cutting your hair.”
Marissa set the knife on her dressing table. “Thank you.”
“I’m worried about this plan, Marissa. Even with the dagger, you’re still no match for this man, especially if he is bent on harming the Queen.”
“We don’t have much of a choice. No one is going to believe me if I tell them an invisible man is going to try and hurt the Queen. Maybe if he is wounded they will see him and capture him.”
“Is your blood visible if you cut yourself?” Sarah asked. “I never noticed.”
Marissa looked down at her hands. “I don’t know. I suppose we should find out.”
She willed the Shadow persona in and waited until her hands disappeared completely and then she took the knife and cut her palm. Red liquid blossomed out of thin air and outlined her invisible hand. Marissa stared at it for a few moments before pressing a handkerchief against the wound.
“I guess that answers that question,” she said, returning to visibility.
“I’ll get something for the cut,” Sarah clucked. She left the room and returned moments later with a bandage and iodine. “You could have just pricked your finger,” she said as she cleaned the cut and wrapped it.
“I don’t plan to prick him,” Marissa said matter-of-factly.
“You should get some rest. I’m certain Simon will be wanting to take you somewhere else for the day.”
Marissa groaned. “This is definitely not a holiday. As soon as we are finished with our business on Friday, I want to go home.”
“It’s just a week away. You can put up with Simon’s attentions until then,” Sarah chided. “You did allow him to find you this lovely house and you have graciously accepted his overtures. What do you expect?”
“I expect I’ll eat humble pie when this is all over,” Marissa said petulantly.
Sarah smiled. 
Marissa got up from the dressing table and headed for bed. “I think I’ll have a headache in the morning,” she grumbled.
Sarah tucked her into bed and left her alone. Marissa dreaded the thought of having to deal with Simon’s attentions for another week and she couldn’t help wondering what Sean was doing and if he missed her at all.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

General Conference

So I have been listening to the talks given in General Conference this last week, since I was flying and was unable to watch them. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to and reading them.

I felt impressed to stop and write down my thoughts on Elder M. Russell Ballard's talk This Is My Work and Glory.

I too have felt the awe and wonder as I've stared down at the world from 19,000 feet and been humbled at the magnitude and beauty of God's creations. I love the fact that Elder Ballard helps us understand the power by which all things were and are created, which is the power of the Priesthood.

The council to nurture this power in our homes no matter what our circumstances is vital to our spiritual survival. In the talk he shares the story of a young girl who had a tomato plant and shared what the potential of that plant could be, but only if she nurtured and cared for that plant. The power of the Priesthood is the same; it must be nurtured and cared for.

We are also the same. We must strive to strengthen our testimonies and do the things that will help us grow closer to our Savior Jesus Christ.

I was also deeply touched in my listening yesterday when I read Elder Crag A. Cardon's talk The Savior Wants to Forgive.

He talks about how the Savior often forgave the sins of the people while he was on the earth and opened up my understanding of the Atonement.

"In this forgiveness we see the enabling and the redeeming power of the Atonement harmoniously and graciously applied. If we exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the enabling power of His Atonement strengthensus in our moment of need,14 and His redeeming power sanctifies us as we “[put] off the natural man.”15 This brings hope to all, especially to those who feel that recurring human weakness is beyond the Savior’s willingness to help and to save."

I am amazed and humbled by the power and depth of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that if I do my part he will forgive my sins. The Savior wants to forgive. What a profound truth!

Another talk that touched me yesterday was Bishop Dean M. Davis' A Sure Foundation. Where he discuses the Savior's invitation to come unto Him and build upon his gospel which is a sure foundation.

I was particularly interested in his description of the Loma Prieta earthquake that struck the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989. Since I fly in and out of San Francisco right now I was immediately intrigued at his mention of the quake. Then as he continued to liken that to building our testimonies and spiritual strength on the Savior how it will help us against the foundation of sad, dirt, and rubble that the world offers.

These are just a few of the talks that I have thought about and wanted to mention. I would encourage anyone who needs a spiritual strengthener to read, listen to, or watch conference. It will lift your spirit and strengthen your soul.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints General Conference, April 2013



Friday, April 12, 2013

Moving Hubs

So I wrote a whole hub about moving. Check it out here.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Future


Just a thought...

So as I have been working on my dystopian series I've been thinking a lot about the future. My particular future isn't nearly as bleak as the future presented in books such as The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or Empire and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card or The Great and the Terrible series by Chris Stewart. I think I'm glad for that, but at the same time I wonder just what our future will be like.

Will we really have a totally new governing system? Will our lives be ruled by outlandish laws and regulations? Or will we have a higher thinking system that ensures our happiness? I have my own set of beliefs where that is concerned, but I have to wonder what will happen between now and then. Hmmm...just a thought.




Monday, April 8, 2013

The Shadow 24


Sarah held up the invisible shirt for Marissa to examine. “What do you think?”
It seemed so silly to even respond when there was nothing there, but as Sarah shook the garment Marissa could see a shimmer of blurry movement. She reached out and grasped the material.
“I worked on it while you were out with Simon,” Sarah added.
Marissa sighed inwardly. They had been on the Isle for three days now and Simon had managed to monopolize most of those days. That morning he had come calling with a request to take only Marissa for tea in the village. Sarah had eagerly agreed to stay behind, wanting to finish the invisible shirt and pants before the seventeenth.
Marissa took the shirt and put it on over her own. Her upper body immediately disappeared beneath a strange blur. “You can almost see it, can’t you?”
“I noticed that as I worked with the fabric. It’s almost like it reflects the surfaces around it. If you are paying close attention you can probably see the shirt move.” Sarah held her hand up. “I finished the trousers earlier. Try them on and turn invisible. I want to see something.”
Marissa moved behind the changing screen and removed her dress, corset and underclothes. She put the invisible pants on and slipped the shirt over her head and then focused on the Shadow persona. Checking the mirror she moved out from behind the screen and navigated the room.
“Can you see it at all?” she asked.
“Not really. There are a few places in the good light that you can tell something is there, but in the dark or dimly lit areas you will be completely invisible,” Sarah replied.
“This is much more comfortable than traipsing around in your skin,” Marissa said with a laugh.
She returned to the dressing screen and changed into her robe. She held the invisible suit out to Sarah. “Try it on. I want to see what it looks like on someone who can’t turn invisible.”
Sarah took the clothes and changed. Marissa watched when Sarah stepped out from behind the screen. She focused on the invisible parts and marked her movement around the room.
“If Jarvis’ man is still visible and uses a suit like this, then we should be able to see him. We just have to look for the blur. It’s almost as if you can see the skin tone beneath, but it blends with the walls and floor around you,” Marissa said, with satisfaction.
“And because you can turn invisible it isn’t nearly as pronounced.” 
“This is good. At least we know what to look for.” 
Sarah returned to the screen and changed back into her dress. She carefully draped the invisible clothes over the screen so they wouldn’t fall. “It’s strange how it doesn’t make inanimate objects disappear, but human flesh does.”
“It must have something to do with John’s potions. They react with the body. I heard Jarvis talking with another man and he mentioned having to use hair in the material to make it disappear,” Marissa said thoughtfully.
“I  just hope he thinks I’m dead, otherwise he will use the potion to turn invisible and the antidote to change back,” Sarah said worriedly.
“We will just have to stop him and his man before he can. I just wish I knew why he was doing this.”
“He was getting paid a great deal to develop the potion. I heard him and John discuss their financier. He sounds like someone not to trifle with.”
“We know Minister Cherington wasn’t financing this experiment, but he was the contact at the palace. Their new contact has apparently given them the date and time on the paper I found.”
A knock sounded on the door and Marissa jumped. “Come in,” she called in a slightly shaken voice.
“Ma’am, this just arrived,” the maid said, with a curtsy. She brought a fancy envelope over to them.
Marissa opened it and pulled out a formal invitation.
“What is it?” Sarah asked coming over.
“It’s an invitation to a celebration at Osborne House for Victoria’s birthday.” Marissa looked over at her mother. “It’s set for May 17th and we are to arrive by seven in the evening.”
“It can’t be a coincidence,” Sarah said slowly.
“I highly doubt it. I think the Shadow needs to do a little bit of investigating tonight. I need to know more about this celebration so we can put together a plan,” Marissa declared.
“Just be careful, Marissa. We don’t know if Jarvis’ man is here and what he might do if he finds you.”
“I know, but we can’t go into this blindly either.” She reached out and touched the invisible material. “I’ll leave after dark.”
Sarah nodded and left her alone to consider her plans for the coming evening. Marissa thought about everything that had happened. She was stupid to have drunk that wine, but in the end she had her mother restored to her. Though she had lost Sean in the process she couldn’t regret the choices she had made.
That night after dark she slipped into the darkness of the park around the house and made her way toward Osborne House. It was a long walk in the cool evening, but much more pleasant than the London streets. When she finally reached the borders of the house she removed her shoes and cloak. She was grateful for the layer of protection the invisible clothes offered. It was much preferred to walking around in just her skin.
She watched the uniformed soldiers as they patrolled the grounds and easily avoided them to inch closer and closer to the house. Luck was with her when one of the kitchen helpers left a door open. She slipped inside and went in search of the maids. House servants knew almost everything that happened in the halls of any establishment and Marissa figured the royal family was no different. She finally located a likely pair of maids and followed them up a set of stairs.
“We need to make sure everything is spotless for the celebration,” the older woman said firmly.
“Yes, ma’am,” the second replied.
“Guests will be arriving between six and seven so I want the staff in place by five thirty.”
“Yes, ma’am.”
“The Princesses and Princes will arrive three days prior. Make sure their usual rooms are prepared.”
“How late are we expecting the guests to stay. The Queen Mother will tire easily,” the young one asked.
“I expect them to stay until after midnight, but the Queen plans to retire around ten.”
“I’m still surprised she is inviting anyone. She’s been so ill lately.”
“It’s not our place to question her decisions.”
“It’ll be mighty fine to see the fashions on the ladies from London.”
The conversation drifted from fashions to cleaning and Marissa decided that was all the information she would get from the two women. Victoria planned to stay until ten and then retire. If the guests were still in house then it would prove easy for one of them to slip away, change into the invisible suit, and attack the Queen.
She continued following the maids, memorizing the layout of the house. After a half an hour she had a good idea of where everything was. She spent the last few minutes scanning the hallway where the royal suit was situated. There were two guards posted at each end of the hall, but they could easily be incapacitated by an invisible assailant. Marissa decided this would be the best location for her to watch for the man.
Satisfied, she headed for the kitchen door she had used to enter. The staff had finished most of their preparations for the evening and retired, but a few still remained completing end of the day tasks. Marissa waited until it was clear and slipped out the door. The walk back to her house was quiet and she spent the time pondering what she could do to stop the invisible man.
Determined to discuss it with Sarah she made her way to the kitchen door and slipped inside. As soon as she did she felt the hairs prick on her neck.
“I thought you might come here, my dear Shadow,” the dark voice said from the corner of the kitchen.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dear Editor

Dear Storm,

I know I shouldn't have read all four of your books, but I was editing the latest chapter from my faithful (and totally amazing) editor and decided I wanted to just keep reading. After I finished the first book of course I had to read the second and well it just snowballed from there. Needless to say it's been a week (and four of those days were spent moving) and I just finished reading the last book. I have to admit that I am feeling very humble right now. I know for certain that there is no possible way I could have written you without some sort of divine inspiration. Now I just need some divine help in getting a publisher to show interest in you. Thank you for the wonderful journey. We shall meet again at the beginning...really beginning...as in prequel.

Amazed and Humbled,

Author

Dear Heroins,

I just want to apologize right now for all the horrible things I have put you all through during the last ten years. I have pushed you all to your limits and beyond and yet you've all come out beautifully and more heroic than before. Thank you for being the best part of my imagination!

Sincerely,

Writer

Dear Knight in White,

I haven't written to you before because you seem so distant in my future, but I'm feeling very close to you today, so you get your own letter. Hopefully I will get published soon and you can read all the characteristics I am certain you will possess in the valiant leading men of my books. I will do my best to develop all of the amazing characteristics of my heroins in myself so we will be a match made in heaven. But I will give you a fair warning, I tend to have lots of Eridale's impatience and a little...well more than a little of her temper. Even so I promise to love you deeply and fight just as dramatically for our future as my heroins have done for theirs.

Faithfully,

Princess M 
(Hey I can be a princess in my own mind.)

Dear Auto Edit,

Yes I know most of the names in my stories don't exist and you think there are many other ways I should be spelling those words. Just trust me, I know what I'm doing...most of the time.

Cinseerly,

Novelist

Dear Jason,

She's coming back and boy does she have a surprise for you!

Incredulously Yours,

M



General Conference

Yep, it's that time of year again. Time to be spiritually uplifted and edified. Unfortunately I missed the first three sessions of conference, but I was able to watch the last one online at my hotel and I decided I need to watch the first three. What an amazing, spiritual feeling, just listening to prophets and apostles speak to us in our day!

I don't have any specifics to go over with this post, because I was tired when I watched and I might have dozed a bit here and there, but I can't get over the feelings of peace and calm I felt from participating in just that tiny bit.

I highly recommend watching, it will probably be a total spiritual buzz. :) I love that feeling I get when I have been totally enlightened. It's like floating on the clouds amidst a fluffy, golden light of spiritual happiness.

LDS General Conference




Monday, April 1, 2013

The Shadow 23


Marissa went in search of Eliza to prepare her things for the month on the Isle. Although her purpose in going wasn’t really for a holiday, she would still have to make every effort to make it appear so. This also meant she would be expected to attend certain festivities and social engagements on the Isle.
The preparations took most of a day but Simon’s search for the appropriate house took much longer. It was near the end of the week when he finally announced he had secured the perfect location. He was determined to escort her on her journey and she hesitantly agreed. The following day Simon brought his extravagant carriage and oversaw the servants as they loaded Marissa’s belongings. 
They had decided that Sarah would also accompany her, continuing her pose as Catherine Lawrence. The two ladies dressed for a long day of travel and Simon handed them into the carriage with all the gentility and grandeur he could show. The drive to the train station passed quickly and they repeated the process until they were all settled in the private car Simon had requested.
Marissa settled back against her seat hoping for a quiet ride and some time to think about what they would have to do once they reached the house. Simon had other ideas.
“Miss Lawrence, Marissa has not told me much about you. How did you two become friends?” he asked Sarah.
Sarah looked over at Marissa nervously. “Lady Edgington assisted me several years ago and we became friends,” she replied.
“Where did you two meet?” Simon pressed.
“Catherine’s family owns a small estate in Canterbury,” Marissa said, joining the conversation. “We met on one of my excursions to the country.”
“I came to town to visit with my dear Marissa,” Sarah interjected. “She has changed my life.”
Marissa smiled. Indeed Sarah’s life would be very different from now on, Marissa would definitely see to that.
“I don’t think I’ve heard of the Lawrence family,” Simon said curiously.
“My father wasn’t a very wealthy man and my mother and I were left with a very small income, Mr. Anderson. We don’t come into town very often, but after Marissa’s intervention I felt it necessary to share my gratitude in person. My mother and I felt the expense would be worth the trouble,” Sarah explained.
“Lady Edgington is an impressive woman,” Simon exclaimed.
Marissa blushed. “Please, I simply did what needed to be done. I consider Catherine to be a dear friend now. I’m delighted she is able to accompany me to the Isle.”
“It’s my pleasure, Marissa.”
“There’s quite a difference in your ages,” Simon said slowly.
“Mr. Anderson, you certainly don’t expect us to admit our age in public?” Sarah said in a shocked voice.
Marissa was surprised at the intrusiveness of his comment. It was almost like he was digging for information. “I would certainly never admit my age to any gentleman except my husband and since I have none I admit my age to none.”
Simon smiled. “That was quite impertinent of me. I apologize to you both.”
Marissa leaned her head back. They still had several hours to go and she was already regretting the decision to tell Simon about the excursion instead of sending him a letter. Simon and Sarah chatted for several minutes before both falling silent. Marissa watched the scenery outside the window change with each passing kilometer.
As she stared she turned her thoughts to what she had discovered and tried unsuccessfully to piece everything together. When they arrived at the station in Portsmouth she was happy to leave the train and feel the cool sea air. Marissa let Simon oversee the transferring of their luggage to the ferry that would take them across to the Isle of Wight.
“He’s awfully curious about me, isn’t he,” Sarah said, coming up next to her.
“More curious than I am comfortable with, but I’m certain his motives are for my safety,” Marissa replied, dismissing Simon’s behavior.
“We will have to be extra careful around him.”
“Hopefully he won’t stay too long after we arrive at the house.”
“I think he’s planning to stay longer than you think, Marissa. He wants your undivided attention and this is the perfect opportunity for him to have it,” Sarah warned.
Marissa let out an explosive breath. “I miss Sean,” she murmured.
Sarah put a comforting hand on her arm. 
“Everything is ready to go, Marissa darling,” Simon said, interrupting their moment. “I’m certain you will love the house I chose.”
Marissa groaned inwardly and cursed herself for giving him the reins. She pasted a smile on her face and took his outstretched arm, allowing him to guide her and Sarah to the dock. The ferry ride was short and as soon as they arrived they were bustled into a waiting carriage. When they pulled up to the house Marissa looked out the window with trepidation.
To her surprise she liked the house Simon had chosen. It was in a quiet part of East Cowes attached to a secluded park. The house, though much larger than she would have chosen, was perfect for her taste and close enough to Osborne to make the journey much easier than her usual routes across London.
While Simon directed the servants she and Sarah toured the establishment with the excitement of young girls. Simon joined them in the sitting room adjoining the library.
“Everything is settled, Ladies. Shall we take a ride to the shore?” he asked cheerfully.
Marissa agreed. They might as well enjoy the countryside while they were here. Perhaps Simon would tire of the quiet scene more quickly and return to London. They headed out and spent the afternoon walking the northern beaches. That evening Simon joined them for a quiet dinner at the house.
“Well, Lady Edgington, Miss Clarence,” Simon began after dinner, “I will not trespass on your hospitality any longer. I will retire to my own establishment, but I hope to see you again tomorrow. Perhaps we could explore more of the island.”
Marissa’s eyes widened at his comment. “You’ve taken an establishment on the Isle?”
Simon nodded. “I decided a holiday from my business in London was just what I needed and of course I’d hoped to spend more time in your gracious presence.”
Marissa blushed. “Mr. Anderson, you are too generous in your speech. I never would have dreamed of coming out here if it was to take you away from your business. I only sought a refuge from my extreme circumstances.”
“Marissa you must realize that I would be completely lost without you. There is no ball or social that would tempt me while you are gone,” he declared.
“Mr. Anderson,” Marissa said, holding up a hand. “You give me more credit than I deserve. There is surly nothing in my behavior toward you that could merit such feelings on your part.”
“Ah, but love is not meted out by behavior. The heart makes its own decisions,” he said, taking her hand and kissing it.
“I am not one to give my heart so easily,” Marissa said gently.
“Then I shall simply have to work harder to win it,” he replied. “I bid you good night, my darling Marissa.”
He turned and left the room. Marissa slumped into the nearest chair with a groan.
“It looks like we are stuck with him, dear,” Sarah said from across the room. “He isn’t going to give up any time soon.”
“I know, that’s what worries me,” Marissa replied.
“He is going to fill up your days with all sorts of activities and we have work to do before the seventeenth.”
“I will deal with Simon. I just need your help figuring out what to do about our invisible friend.”
“You realize he will probably come looking for you here, Marissa. You didn’t exactly make it a secret where you were going and he was probably headed here anyways. Now that I have failed to show up at Jarvis’ house twice, they won’t hesitate to try you again,” Sarah said, her voice filled with worry.
“Hopefully your performance in London will be enough to deter him. Even if he thinks you are Sarah, you aren’t invisible and can’t help them any longer.”
“Unfortunately we look enough alike that Jarvis will probably know it’s me just from a description. He did see me when we first met.”
Marissa hadn’t thought of that. If the man knew Catherine was really Sarah the danger to them both was high. She dropped her head into her hands. Everything was a bigger mess now than before. She suddenly wished she had listened to Sean when she had first gotten sick from John’s potion.