Saturday, September 29, 2012
Everybody was all smiles when they entered the old cemetery…little knowing the horror that awaited them just up the hill.
Where the hell was Longstreet?
Gulping back her fear, she swung the iron at the apparition before it was fully formed, the red eyes having not yet appeared.
A howl of pain erupted from the demon as it disappeared in a poof of smoke.
“Longstreet!” she cried as she turned and ran for all she was worth down the hill. Within seconds however, she heard the sound of pursuit behind her, accompanied by a fierce growl.
Grabbing the iron tool in her right hand, she swung it blindly behind her, apparently connecting with her pursuer as another angry, painful wail ensued.
“Longstreet! This isn't funny Longstreet,” she cried out again as she once more heard the sound behind her. Just as she could see the low fence spreading out in front of her…she tripped!
Dropping the fireplace poker in her fall, Pepper immediately rolled onto her back, her arms frantically searching for the iron tool as Ol’ Red Eyes rose above her to the full of his seven foot stature, the glowing red eyes now blazing. Raising the head of the giant double-headed ax above his head, he let out a howl of satisfaction as Pepper closed her eyes for the last time.
Check out this special Halloween story! The newest story on an age-old legend!
Friday, September 28, 2012
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Trestle press has featured the newest Pepper and Longstreet on their blog! Click the link and check it out!
Trestle Press: Looking For A Halloween Story For The Kids? J.T. L...: The last place Pepper Jones wanted to be on Halloween night was a graveyard. Not wanting to let her friends down however, she agr...
Trestle Press: Looking For A Halloween Story For The Kids? J.T. L...: The last place Pepper Jones wanted to be on Halloween night was a graveyard. Not wanting to let her friends down however, she agr...
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Today we have a guest post from fellow Trestle Press author Mark Carver as he talks about his new release (due out in October) the Age of Apollyon!
Having just finished this novel myself, I can happily state that this terrifying supernatural thriller may just keep you awake at night!
So without further ado, here's MARK!
As the seeds for The Age of Apollyon were taking root in my imagination, I read Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In addition to being a fantastic story, that book opened my eyes to the breathtaking marvels of Gothic architecture. I’d always been a casual fan of cathedrals (who isn’t?) but after finishing Hugo’s masterpiece, I was determined to incorporate the Gothic church and all of its accompanying melodramatics into my own writing.
The Age of Apollyon doesn’t aim for the same heights as The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I never intended to write a massive, sweeping epic to ring throughout the ages – I just wanted to create a rip-roaring horror/action novel with all of the creepy, gothic-y goodness I could muster. So I chartered the Good Ship Google and set out on a virtual journey through dozens of cathedrals and churches, searching for the proper settings for my scenes. It was quite an endeavour, because I had to find several churches that fit descriptions I had already written. But with the power of Google Images and Wikipedia at my fingertips, I was able to find everything I was looking for.
A total of seven churches are featured in The Age of Apollyon. Not all of them fall under the umbrella of Gothic architecture, but they all contain rich history and dramatic atmosphere. Three of them, St. Peter’s Basilica at the
Vatican, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and the Milan
Cathedral, are quite famous, while the others are less well-known. And, I must
confess, not all of them emerge from the book unscathed. Yet each church plays
an important role in the story, and though I’ve never visited them personally,
I strove to capture what I imagined their unique personalities to be like. It
was a tiring ordeal that devoured countless hours, but it was the most fun I’ve
ever had doing research. Sometimes just staring (and drooling) over photos of
these architectural masterworks was enough to inspire entire passages of
My love affair with historic churches continues in the sequel to The Age of Apollyon entitled Black Sun, which I am currently writing at a feverish pace. These books aren’t only about churches and cathedrals of course, but for my money, it doesn’t get any better than a ferocious gun battle in a soaring candlelit sanctuary.
Or maybe I’ve just watched too many movies.
The Age of Apollyon will be available from Trestle Press in October. In the meantime, check out the official website, and “Like” The Age of Apollyon on Facebook.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Monday, September 17, 2012
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Although now put on hold indefinitely, I thought I would share my attempt at a Sci-Fi series, which I had intended as a blog serial. Just too much other stuff going on I guess lol.
Copyright 2012 by JT Lewis
The auditorium around her was silent…too silent.
Nervously sitting there, the dark-haired Asian girl contemplated her current situation, wondering if she should get up and leave.
Annie Chang didn’t like wasting time.
Having gotten up extra early to get ready for this interview, it now seemed like a colossal misuse of the day. The guard at the door of the building had looked at her ticket closely before leading her into the auditorium. Indicating her row, he had handed her ticket back to her, offering her a smile as he turned and walked back up the aisle. She walked down to the seat indicated on the ticket, noticing it to be the exact middle of the row as she sat down. That had been over a half-hour ago, and nobody else had as yet shown up.
She uncrossed and re-crossed her legs as her agitation continued to build. She knew there had to be better options than this…she just hadn’t found them yet.
Having graduated from the university three months ago, she had naively assumed she would be inundated with a multitude of high paying and mind reeling job offers, her biggest problem would be choosing which one to accept.
She had soon realized however that this was not to be the case. While she had indeed been offered multiple jobs, some of them even high paying, none of these offers came close to being…interesting.
She could rationalize that her unusual double major of psychology and computer science might make it hard to be pigeonholed into a position for many companies. She had grudgingly accepted that for now, knowing she could wait it out. It was however getting harder to rationalize this, especially considering she had to spend her nights delivering Pizza to make ends meet.
She couldn’t stand the smell of pizza anymore.
All of the waiting and sacrifice seemed to have been worth it yesterday however when a knock on her apartment door had revealed a courier with an envelope addressed to her only as:
Annie Chang MCS,BAPSY
The abbreviations of her college degrees after her name was a good sign, someone knew her background!
Inside, she had found a ticket, more or less like a movie ticket, only much nicer. It turned out that the ticket was an invitation to a job fair, to be held the next day. Further, it indicated that it had been issued ‘only to those with the unique potential needed for our upcoming project’.
Annie had been ecstatic!
Finally someone that recognized the unique skill set that she had worked so hard to develop . She had determined that she would go all-in for this interview, knowing in her heart she was the one they were looking for.
The thrill she had felt yesterday was now lost in frustration and building anger as she continued to wait in the auditorium. The fact that no one else had shown up further increased her angst, making her feel very gullible …was she the only one stupid enough to accept the invitation?
The tetetete of an old film projector starting up interrupted her thoughts as the lights dimmed in the room. An old black and white movie appeared on the screen in front of her, the picture jumpy and dirty looking.
Looking about to confirm she was still alone, she then moved her attention back to the screen where the title of the film now appeared.
The Circle Theory
Dr. Thaddeus Long, PHD
Annie sat up straighter, determined to follow through on what she now considered a farce. What the hell, she still had three hours before she had to start making deliveries.
“Welcome,” an older gentleman said as he appeared on screen, “I’m here today to try to explain to you in layman’s terms, my ‘Theory of Circles’ as it applies to our daily lives.”
Pointing his index finger at the camera, Dr. Long then made an exaggerated arch with his arm as he brought his hand to his face, pushing up his glasses before turning toward a chalkboard.
Drawing a circle on the board, he then pointed to it with the chalk as he turned back to the camera, saying, “This is you.”
“What the hell?” Annie said under her breath as she watched the old film flicker before her eyes. “Is this some kind of joke?”
Drawing another circle next to the first, he then repeated the exaggerated finger/glasses move before again turning back to the camera.
“This is your biological mother!”
Drawing a thick line between the two circles, he continued, “After you are conceived, you and your biological mother are connected by an umbilical cord…it’s your ‘thread of life’ so to speak.”
Finger/glasses again, “It is the strongest thread you will ever have, for you are totally dependant on her for everything at this point…your cells, your genes, even your nourishment.”
Taking up an eraser, he then slid it down the board, erasing the line between the circles. Pushing up his glasses again, this time with the eraser, he then added another circle, and drew a line from it to the first circle. Adding another less bold line from the mom circle back to the first, he then once again faced the camera.
Annie couldn’t help giggling when she noticed that the man on the screen now had a patch of chalk dust across his nose.
“After birth, most of you will have a mother and a father,” the man on the screen continued as he pointed from one circle to another as he spoke. “Notice however that the ‘thread of life’ that existed with your biological mother has now been replaced with a lesser thread. You are no longer dependant on her for everything, and normally there are now other people involved in your life.”
Adding additional circles, he then drew lines from them to the first. “Your family ‘circle’ may increase with additional siblings, which would look like this.”
Drawing a large circle around all of the smaller circles, Dr. Long then walked over and stood behind a podium, the circles still visible beside him. Taking a wooden pointer up in his hand, he unceremoniously slapped it on the board.
“This is your “Circle of Life.”
Slapping the board again at a line, “And these are your threads, your connection to the other people in your circle.”
Setting the pointer down on the table, the man then looked straight into the camera seriously, the chalk still visible on his nose as he repeated his exaggerated finger/glasses move.
“Your “Circle of Life” will vary throughout your life as you develop relationships with other people. Some in your circle will be closer than others, an indication of how often you deal with them in your life. Others may be farther away, but have a stronger thread, indicating your emotional tie to them.”
“Your gas station attendant would be fairly close to you, since you see him every week. But your thread to him is weak, since there is no emotional bond to him except when you are filling your car.”
“Conversely, a brother that lives in
, would be far from the center of your circle. His thread however, could be very strong, if you are emotionally close to him.” Indonesia
Moving his glasses up once more, he again looked seriously into the camera.
“Everyone has his own Circle of Life, and each one contains threads that tie that person to the others in their circle. Every time you meet someone, you join their circle, and they join yours. Additionally, no one ever leaves a circle once they have joined. A person that you may have met once twenty years ago, will still be in your circle, although the thread will be small and they will be far removed from the center of the circle.”
“You see,” Dr. Long continued as he clasped his hands together with interlaced fingers, “this is the basis for my theory. Every single person you meet in this life affects your life in some small way. When they have joined your circle, they are yours for life.”
A satisfied looked crossed the man’s face as he took up the eraser and started wiping away his drawings while the audience watched, once again pushing up his glasses with the eraser in the process.
There was a noise off camera as someone whispered, getting the man’s attention. Confusion crossed his face before he seemed to realize that the film was still rolling. Making his way back to the podium, he once more folded his hands and looked into the camera, now with even more chalk smeared on his nose.
“Thank you for allowing me to explain ‘The Circle Theory’ to you.”
He stood there for a few seconds like he was going to say something else before his eyes wandered to the guy off camera and he nodded for the camera man to shut off this camera. He ended up repeating the nod three times before the film finally ended as the screen filled with white. Annie could hear the film slapping against the projector as the reel continued to turn for several seconds before someone turned the projector off. The light level in the auditorium again raised as the screen went dark.
That had to be one of the worst movies Annie had ever seen!
Although she thought the theory was interesting, it looked like it had been put together by amateurs. She could create a better movie in an afternoon in her living room with her laptop.
“So, what’d you think of our DR. Long?”
Annie turned her head at the sound of the voice, finding a tall lanky man with horned rimed glasses sauntering down the aisle to her right. Walking past her row, he continued up the next until he was in front of her, offering his hand.
“Niles Johnson, glad to meet your Annie…May I call you Annie?”
Realizing that she was still sitting, Annie jumped up quickly and offered her hand in return.
“Yes…Annie is fine Mr. Johnson.”
Niles, please. We’re very informal here.”
“Where is here exactly?” Annie questioned, cringing at her boldness.
Niles exclaimed, “Right now we are in a rented auditorium, our regular office is on the west side of town. We didn’t want to scare away anyone by the looks of our building until they had a chance to meet us.”
“Not too good of a turnout I’m afraid…no one else showed up.”
Annie felt a flush of excitement run up her spine before rationality kicked in once more, she still had no idea what he even wanted of her.
“I’m not sure what you even do
Niles, why did you bring me here, just to show me an old movie?”
“Another good question…what do we do. We do Circle Theory Annie, or as we call it now days, Circles.”
Annie was confused, “You mean like the movie? You draw circles on a chalkboard?”
Niles as funny, and he had a good laugh for several moments before got down to an explanation.
“Dr. Long developed the Circle Theory in 1942, making the movie you just witnessed in 1946 after the war. He spent the rest of his life trying to find an application for his theory while those around him ridiculed him, dismissing him as a quack. He died in poverty in 1957, a broken man, never knowing what a magnificent breakthrough he had actually made.”
“It is an interesting theory,” Annie conceded, “interesting like pony’s are interesting…they’re cute and all, but who really wants to spend their life taking care of one when all you get out of it is crap.”
“Annie, you’re killing me!” he said good-naturedly as he caught his breath. “We are much farther along than poor Dr. Long. We have computers now that make his theories very workable. We are almost to the point of actually seeing the threads, though not quite. We can however theorize where they are, where they are heading, and who they are attached to.
Annie’s jaw dropped as she tried to rationalize what
Niles was telling her. “How can you…how can you see a theory, a few words muttered 70 years ago to express an emotional connection?”
“It’s hard to relay that information to you Annie, especially here. And of course, we have proprietary concerns until such time as you agree to come on board with the project.”
“I don’t know,” Annie was concerned, “It all just sounds too “out there” to be real. Who would care about it anyway?”
“The FBI, for one,”
Niles stated matter-of-factly, “We have funding from the Federal Government, enough to take it to the next step.”
“What’s the next step?” Annie asked, her mind drawing a blank.
“Well, in their case, they want us to look into the possibility of using it to predict criminal activity. By looking at their “threads” with our system, we can see who criminals associate with.”
“I don’t know,” Annie was worried, “What if a murderer fills my tank with gas sometime…are they going to arrest me as a potential murderer too?”
“That’s a very weak thread Annie, we would be looking for strong threads.”
“I can see abuse written all over this
Niles…I don’t know…”
“That’s why we need you, or someone like you. Someone that can analyze certain behaviors, and program the computer to recognize that behavior. You’re perfect for this!”
Digging into his shirt pocket,
Niles dug out a card and handed it to Annie.”
“Don’t decide now, meet me at this address tomorrow at 10:00, and I’ll show you around…you can decide after that.”
Annie gave it some thought, “Ok… I am intrigued, I really am, I just…”
“Wait for tomorrow, that’s all I ask?”
Holding out her hand, she shook
Nile’s with enthusiasm, agreeing to meet him the next morning.
Driving home minutes later, she mulled over what she had seen and heard.
“Really interesting,” she thought to herself as she entered onto the interstate. “It certainly would make good use of my skills,” she continued, looking at the clock on the dash.
“Crap!” she exclaimed as she saw the time, kicking the motor’s RPM’S up just a little. She barely had enough time to get home and get ready for her delivery job.
“Crap!” she said with disgust at the thought of driving around all night with the car smelling of pizza.
That was enough to make her give in and take the job anyway, consequences be damned she thought as she kicked it up again until she was five miles-an-hour over the speed limit.
“The hell with this!”
Friday, September 14, 2012
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
Today, I have the honor of a guest post from author Tayler Wright, talking about her novel, The Outbreak! Take it away Tayler!
Here is an excerpt from OUTBREAK!
The echoing sound of my car door slamming shut and my footsteps on the slick pavement were the only sounds reaching my ears in the nearly-deserted parking lot. I tugged my hood up over my head, trying to find some sort of relief for the unseasonal chill. I stuffed numbing hands into the pocket of my hoodie, hoping to at least bring some life back into them. The wind cut relentlessly through the fabric, wringing me with chills.
My backpack thumped against my back with each step, but the weight of it was comforting to me. It was like it was holding me down to the Earth.
I quickened my pace, wanting to reach my destination before I was frozen into a solid block of ice. Finally, the library loomed into view, but the windows were dark and uninviting. Lampposts were strewn here and there, casting dull light and ghostly shadows over the lawn.
You need to get this done, I thought to myself as my hand reached out and closed over the door handle. A few hours and you’ll be done and then you can go home. And maybe even get some sleep!
The door hinges squealed a little when I tugged the door open. Every other light in the main entry way was lit, dark splotches dominating every few feet. I kept my head down, nodding to the night security guard as I made my way up the steps to the computer lab one floor up.
It didn’t matter how many times I did this; the place always managed to creep me out at night, even though the computer lab was usually teeming with energy and laughter. Hell, some nights it was hard to find an open computer.
When the door swung inward, I was met by more darkness. The only thing lighting the area was the unused desktops. The room was warm, more heat pouring through the vents in the ceiling.
I twisted my way through the sea of empty computers, passing a kid sleeping on one of the couches. A text book was propped open on his lap, another nestled under his cheek, soft snores escaping his open mouth.
Shaking my head, I took a seat at one of the computers in the far back of the room. The chair had wheels on the bottom, so I rolled away from the computer slightly before I grabbed onto the desk and pulled myself back.
I typed in my username and password and waited for the computer to turn on. My fingers tapped a random rhythm and the boy’s snores drifted over to me.
I soon lost myself in my homework; most of the noises in the room faded into the background. It was the usual last-minute scramble to do all of the assignments I was pretending didn’t exist. Around fifteen minutes into working, the snoring stopped, only to be replaced by coughing. After a minute or so, I decided to get up and see if he needed help. The thought ran through my mind that maybe he was choking on his own spit, but then I figured he may just have been sick.
As soon as my butt left the chair, he stopped his incessant hacking. I sat back down and focused my attention back on my monitor.
Digging into my backpack, I unearthed my head phones. I jammed the buds into my ears and turned on some music; the sudden, eerie silence was more distracting than the music. The beat pulsed in my ears and my mind zeroed in again on my homework.
Two hours later, I was completely done and signed out of all of my student accounts. The other person hadn’t made a sound since their coughing fit, but I didn’t see anyone from where the sound came from. Once the screen flickered back to the login window, I pushed my chair back, slung my backpack over my shoulders, and stood up.
Pins and needles ran down my legs in waves. I shook and rubbed them out as best as I could and gave a few tentative steps forward. Once I knew I wasn’t going to fall flat on my face, I maneuvered through a sea of computers and chairs towards the glowing EXIT sign situated above the only door.
I used the light from the unused desktops to see my way across the room. Halfway to the door, I caught faint movement out of the corner of my eye. Looking over, I saw that guy from before struggling to get up off of the couch he was dozing on by the plethora of windows.
Finals week will be the death of all college students, I thought to myself. The textbook fell from his lap and hit the floor with a thud. I would’ve passed out too if I had to read a text book all night. Hell, I drool in class when my professors drone on and on about nothing.
He stumbled forward, tripping over one of the low, shin-high coffee tables.
“Dude, are you okay?” I asked, taking a few steps towards him.
The guy didn’t say anything; he just kept walking towards me, arms slightly outstretched, a faint moan escaping his lips.
He’s got to be drunk. Or just way too tired to care about where he’s walking.
I laughed and turned away, wanting to get out of there and get home to my warm, comfy bed. Just as my hand closed around the bar that opened the door, the drunk’s hand closed around my shoulder, pulling me back.
“What the fuck, dude?” I yelled, spinning around.
Through the dim light, a mixture of the full moon and the computer monitors, I could see that something was seriously wrong with this guy. His hand tightened around my shoulder, trying to pull me closer to him. His mouth opened up wide, almost as if he was going to bite me. He was one of those people I had seen several times in between my classes but had never spoken a word to.
“Whoa, dude,” I said, trying to pry his fingers off of me. “Back the fuck off.”
His grip only tightened on me, so I placed my hands, palm out, in the middle of his chest and shoved him away from me. The backs of his knees hit a table and he tumbled backward; his head hit a table, then the carpet with a thud, and air rushed from his lungs in a whoosh. A lamp toppled over and the bulb shattered, littering the floor and making the floor glitter in the moonlight.
He tried to get back up, moaning with the effort. His hands were grasping at thin air, trying to find some sort of leverage to pull himself up. Honestly, he looked like a turtle trying to get up off of his back.
Yep, definitely drunk.
I shook my head and turned away from him. I just wanted to get out of there, go home, and sleep for at least a few hours.
The drunk found his footing again, a loud moan escaping from his lips. I turned back around, only to see him lumbering over to me with more purpose. I stepped backward until I hit the wall behind me. He stepped into a chink of moonlight falling across the room and I couldn’t help but scream.
His skin was as white as paper, eyes the color of rotten egg yolks and piss. Blood and saliva dribbled over his bottom lip and down his chin in ropes. He gnashed his teeth at me, one of his front teeth falling out, his bottom two chipping away. Bloody hands reached for my throat, fingers tipped with cracked and bloody nails.
I was speechless. Whoever this guy was before was long gone now.
Zombie. It was the only thing to cross my mind that actually made sense to me.
All my life I had an obsession with anything dealing with the end of the world as we know it. Every aspect of my life had some sort of relations with what I, and other people like me, call dystopia. Each and every book I read, every videogame I played, and most movies I watched, all had some sort of apocalypse feel to them. Some even had a zombie or two thrown in the mix somewhere.
But NONE of that could prepare me for ultimately the real thing. I ducked beneath his outstretched arms and left that library as fast as I could, slamming the door behind me. But no amount of miles could truly get me far away enough from that monster.
For the people who actually know me and have read “The Outbreak”, the bulk of the novel’s setting will be extremely familiar. For those of you who don’t know me, then this post is about the places that inspired the novel.
I didn’t have to look very far for inspiration for the setting. Literally, all I had to do was look out my bedroom window.
The tower where Lily lives doesn’t actually exist. The land and her parent’s house, however, do exist. The land and house are precisely where I live now. The place where the tower should sit is adorned with a fire pit that my mother built herself using rock from the creek that is literally twenty yards from my house. It’s the way she built the fire pit that made me think of a tower: she stacked up the river rock and concreted them together. It wound up being around the height of my knees, and that was before she dug out the bottom a good four inches.
I mention walnuts a few times in “The Outbreak,” and that is because there are around thirty walnut trees around our house. And if you step on one of them the wrong way, you could possibly sprain your ankle.
This is the crossroads from the end of the book.
This is the hill they walk up while seeking shelter.
The “finale” house. (I’m not sure who actually lives here, but I took the picture from the road.)
You can find and follow Tayler @:
Thanks for sharing a little bit about yourself Tayler...and thanks for visiting us here at Did I Stutter!
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Today, I would like to introduce you to a new writing friend of mine...Sam Lang!
His new book is... A Vampires Guide to Sex: The Next Lesson!
Now THAT is and Author Photo!
Welcome Sam! What do you have for us today?
Thanks JT...Well...to be truthful, I have... "Something on my Mind"
You know how you get when you haven’t had something in a while. You start thinking about it all the time. Wondering, how will I get that? When will I get that?
That thing becomes an obsession.
I want it. No, I need it.
Luckily for authors, when we want something, all we have to do is write about it. Once the words are on the page, they are as good as real to us. That desire is fulfilled. We have gotten that thing we needed.
I wonder where my mind was at when I wrote A Vampire’s Guide to Sex: The Next Lesson?
The Next Lesson is my new story available now through all the usual suspects (Kindle, Nook, etc). It is a story of the human and vampiric drive for sex. That drive dominates so many of our lives. Why would it not dominate our death?
The first Vampire’s Guide explored a newly turned vamp’s quest to lose his virginity. In The Next Lesson, a young girl, enchanted by the glittering, handsome vamps of today’s deluded pop culture, learns some lessons of her own. Her life’s goal is to marry one of them, or at least bed one. There is plenty of steamy girl-on-vamp action, with a sprinkling of humor and a splash of blood.
If The Next Lesson leaves you feeling satisfied, and I think it will, please stop by my author page for a little cuddling and you can tell me you like me. Sam Lang's Facebook Page
Please purchase A Vampire’s Guide to Sex here http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005V0JCV2
And A Vampire’s Guide to Sex: The Next Lesson here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00970IALU
Thanks for visiting today Sam! The books sound awesome...and I DO wonder...Where WAS your mind when you wrote these?! LOL
Come back again anytime to visit us here at Did I Stutter!!!
Friday, September 7, 2012
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Monday, September 3, 2012
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Today I'd like to share an excerpt from the prequel to Murder! Too Close To Home...Betty! It's the love story of Gabriel and Betty Celtic, how they met, and how they fell in love!
It was starting to cloud up by the time we left, a small cause for concern since there was no top on the Jeep. Betty didn’t seem concerned in the least, asking if I would like to take a ride through a local state park. I readily agreed and we spent a long time driving the various roads throughout the park. She regaled me with stories of Sundays long ago when her dad would take the family for picnics and exploring the trails. From various other discussions I had had with Betty over the preceding months I knew that most of her early family life was anything but normal. Both of her parents had experienced problems with alcohol periodically, leading to job loss and some serious mental abuse of their kids. Her subsequent focusing on the one happy normal activity of her childhood was more then understandable, and more then a little sad.
Realizing I was getting hungry again, I suggested we pick up some sandwiches, to which she wholeheartedly agreed. We drove by Lenny’s and picked up a couple of
Stromboli’s and headed back out. I asked her where she would like to eat and she just smiled and told me she had the perfect place in mind, if I could trust her to make the decision. I had enjoyed every minute of the day so far and could think of nothing I would like better, and told her so.
It took about a half an hour of traveling, leading to a one lane gravel drive with trees and brush scraping the side of the Jeep as we inched along. I was definitely intrigued and Betty had an ear-to-ear grin going on so I just sat back and enjoyed the ride. The gravel drive had disintegrated into a dirt cart path by this time and my interest in our destination increased with every yard we traversed. The brush finally gave way to an open hay field, and there was an old barn on the property with the grey weathered siding mostly intact.
She pulled up to the barn, shutting off the jeep and asking me what I thought of her farm. In all of our conversations, I didn’t think she had ever told me about owning a farm.
She said a girl should always have a few secrets. Her and her ex had bought it on land contract a few years ago, but he had long ago lost interest in it. Since he wouldn’t come with her, she very seldom came out, and they had agreed to give it up due to their divorce. She had decided this was the perfect opportunity to come see it one last time with me, since I was a captive audience.
Pulling a blanket out of the back of the Jeep, we took our food and walked to an idyllic spot under a big oak tree at the end of a meadow about a hundred yards from the barn. She spread out the blanket and we sat down to a wonderful lunch of
Stromboli sandwiches and a bottle of wine that had mysteriously appeared out of the blanket. Minutes turned into hours but seemed like seconds as we whiled away the afternoon drinking wine out of paper cups and talking about everything; although I doubt I could relate to anyone exactly what we did talk about.
Throughout the afternoon the sky had continued to build its crescendo of dark grey and blue clouds in its unrelenting effort to grow itself into a hell of a storm. For our part we barely noticed as our conversations melded from one to another as in a symphony composed by collaborators on a deadline. Eventually we almost simultaneously became aware that something was happening; immediately stopping our conversation as we found ourselves looking up into the sky.
We were staring up into the tree as the lightning struck it full force; seeming to attach itself to the uppermost tip and work its way down to the trunk in slow motion. In what seemed to take minutes, the lightning danced down the tree while pieces of the bark were being blown off, the whole show culminating in a huge explosion of dirt and bits of wood as it finally went to ground.
Momentarily stunned by the show of light and sound, we came around as we were showered with the remnants of the explosion; immediately followed by a downpour of cold, wet rain. Quickly we grabbed up our stuff and took off on a dead run for the barn. We found ourselves yelling to be able to hear each other, our ears ringing from the explosive force of the lightning. My heart was beating a thousand beats a minute as we entered the barn laughing.
The next few moments were spent catching our breath and nervously laughing at how close we had come to death. When our breathing returned to normal, I took the blanket and wrapped it around Betty’s shoulders, the closeness of her tingling on my skin. Looking down at her, our eyes locked on each other, those beautiful pale blue eyes of my dreams.
She was shaking, “Are you still cold?” I asked, my eyes never leaving hers.
The rain pattering the metal roof surrounded us with sound as she quickly shook her head before reaching for the back of my neck with her hand and gently pulling my lips to hers.
Electricity crackled around us as a bolt of lighting struck the roof at that exact moment, surrounding us with flashes of blue as it made its way around the inside of the barn, dancing gaily along the beams before diving into the ground.
Looking back at Betty, she was smiling, whispering only “WOW!” as she pulled my lips back onto hers.
Thunder echoed around us as our souls joined as one, the electricity in the air and the close call of earlier feeding our passion for one another to a fevered pitch. Caressing each other passionately, we started exploring each other’s bodies with a fervor that up to that point in my life I never knew existed.
Building in crescendo as we try to satisfy the pent-up hunger for each other, our whole beings climax as a clap of thunder engulfs our noisy release of joy and emotion, rumbling the ground beneath us in apparent approval.
Long past being cold any longer, we lay naked on the blanket in each others arms, our souls also entwined, forever.