(Click through the slideshow below!)
(Click through the slideshow below!)
My sister brought another boy into the world today. Meet Abel Howard Huff!
I am the luckiest aunt. 🙂
(Click through the slideshow below!)
I guess it shouldn't surprise me that Heather (
In case you can't see how cool that art is, here's the digital version:
“So, do you like them?” Riley asks, beaming with pride over the stellar gift she’s gotten me for my birthday. Reece, Riley’s twin brother and my boyfriend, just sits back grinning. Of the two of them, he’s always less showy – never expectant of accolades like his sister.
I stare down at my custom Converses in awe, with their black paisley inner layer and red striped tongue. The skull head laces just add to their perfect design. They are everything I wanted and nothing I could ever justify buying for myself.
“I love them! Thank you so much, you guys.”
Riley hugs me quickly around the shoulders before hopping off the back of Reece’s truck where we sit. Reece simply squeezes my hand with a pleased smile on his face. Both actions are big efforts for the Pinkerton twins; they’re not ones for public displays of affection. In fact, to most people they appear standoffish. I’d been confused by their persistence to not come in physical contact with people myself when I’d first met them, but it all made sense when I’d found out they were shape shifters.
Reece explained that, “Every touch with another person or animal imprints their make-up on our soul, storing a million different characterizations in us,” which could become overwhelming for them to hold their own shape at times if they didn’t “use” the traits they’d picked up by touch.
For the most part they could shift on demand to anything they’d come in contact with, but if their library of faces grew too large, shifts could occur unexpectedly. Sometimes they spend a whole day shifting on purpose just to exhaust their collection of faces and make room for new ones. These kinds of days are always trouble.
There’s something empowering about taking on another being’s skin. Cloaked as someone else, they partake in all sorts of mischief – playing pranks on people, stealing things, all manner of questionable behavior. Reece says part of being a shape shifter is learning to tame the natural evilness within them, to appease the urge in less destructive ways so they don’t go around murdering people.
Most shape shifters don’t bother themselves with curbing the evil desire, but the Pinkerton twins aren’t like most shape shifters, or so they say. I’ve never met other shape shifters, never even knew they existed until I met them. So they’ve stolen a few things and scared the crap out of a couple of people – these things weren’t life threatening and I should be happy they’re able to withhold the natural urge to be far more criminal.
I swing my legs back and forth off the back of Reece’s truck and take in my new shoes, knowing they were probably stolen too, but I tell myself to forget it. In their attempt to do something good for me, they’d done something bad. I guess they canceled each other out.
With Riley dancing around the parking lot eager for our night of celebration to begin, Reece slides off the truck and extends his hand to help me down. I jump off, my yellow plaid skirt flying up and ballooning around me as I hit the ground. Reece makes a face like he enjoyed the show of panties. My face burns red.
“Where to first, Birthday Girl?” Riley asks, ready to lead the way.
I’m still shocked we are actually here, at the Harvest Fair, where hoards of people will be brushing against us with every step we take. Usually this kind of place is out of the question for the Pinkerton twins so I was terribly surprised when they suggested it, knowing I really wanted to go, but would never ask myself.
“Um… the Scrambler, then candy apples?”
“Sounds good,” Reece says, and I start towards the fair’s entrance with them on either side of me.
In honor of Halloween (and because I may not finish the short story I was working on to post tomorrow), I’ve decided to post a part of the deleted Halloween chapter from my current WIP. This chapter was deleted because essentially it wasn’t actually necessary and was heavily descriptive, not to mention exhaustively long. There were words before this scene and an entire walk through a Haunted House after it, making the original total word count for this chapter 7,384, which I later reduced to 4,055 words, and then finally decided to replace the chapter completely with the “Slumber Party” chapter which was already shared here (though it has changed just slightly since posting). Halloween still happens following the new chapter in the form of a Masquerade Ball where Teagan performs at McFeary’s Pub (where she works), though that is different from the original as well. Anyway… without further ado, the Hayride (Bryce’s POV).
P.S. I’m aware there are terrible grammatical errors, please overlook them.
P.S.S. And this was the song I was listening to when I originally wrote this entire chapter (for the tone). Hit Play now, while you read 😉
Teagan was looking over her shoulder anxiously as it started to pull away into a thin opening in the corn field. I poked her thigh to grab her attention and she jumped. I whispered, “Are you scared already? Nothing’s even happened yet.”
“No, I’m trying to anticipate the fear so it won’t be so alarming.” She returned to her stare and I chuckled under my breath. To her eyes it was pitch black where we were, there was no way she’d see anything coming no matter how tentatively she watched for it.
Suddenly the truck stopped in the middle of the corn field, in the middle of darkness. Teagan’s body sat up stiff, on alert, waiting for whatever was coming. There was movement in the corn stalks behind us, the sound growing closer. Other people in the truck started to frantically search the darkness for the source of the sound just like Teagan, some were already whimpering in fear.
Slipping through the stalks of corn were three male figures dressed in muddy dark clothes. Stage make-up of scares and gashes covered their faces. Their gruesome appearance was fairly believable to an untrained eye, but I was still the only one who could see them.
They were about five feet from the truck when everyone else finally saw them and the entire truck erupted in fear. Teagan wasn’t looking in their direction when the rest of the crowd became aware of their presence and their panic alone made her jump. She dug her nails into my knee as her head spun towards them and she was shaking with fear.
She leaned her entire body into me, even though we were already sitting up against each other. She’d given up her attempt to keep them in her site and ducked her head towards me as if not seeing them somehow made them go away.
The three men circled the truck poking and prodding at those who would be the most affected by their torment. The majority of them were women, I suppose because they are easier to scare than men. They saved Teagan for last and when it was finally her turn to be taunted she squeezed her eyes shut and grabbed a hold of my arm with more vigor then she’d ever touched me before.
I smiled to myself because this was already turning out exactly how I’d hoped it would – Teagan looking to me for security. As the truck started to pull away the three men slipped back into the corn stalks. Teagan released my arm and returned to her frantic search into the darkness. Her knee shook against mine nervously, I wanted to rest my hand on it to calm her down, but I knew it probably wouldn’t be okay to touch her that way.
After a short distance through the darkness of the cornfield the truck came to a stop at a bridge. The bridge didn’t even look stable enough for us to cross, but obviously this was for show. A tiny river ran beneath it, the moon reflected off of the water providing a low blue glow of light.
The driver of the truck acted as if something was wrong with the vehicle and hopped out to “investigate.” Several of the other people on the truck actually fell for the show and started mumbling their panic over the possibility of being stuck out here in the middle of no where. Teagan still didn’t speak and kept her stare focused on everything behind us, but she should have been focusing on the front.
Out from under the bridge four troll like creatures emerged, midgets in costumes obviously. They quickly circled the truck to bring down the driver and carried the four points of him above their heads back to the front of the truck. The driver whaled in terror and people on board were literally in hysterics. It took everything I had not to laugh. I couldn’t believe people were buying this, but then again so was Teagan. She wasn’t screaming like most, but she was still stiff, waiting for the worst to come.
At the far end of the bridge a giant wolf appeared, not a real one of course, but a rather tall man dressed as a wolf – one that could apparently walk on its hind legs. The little troll like people carried the driver across the bridge and passed him off to the wolf as a meal. When everyone saw the driver be “torn apart” absolute mayhem ensued. People shifted from their seats on the hay and onto the floor of the truck bed. They grabbed at each other for protection and one man jumped out of the truck as a “hero” and slid into the driver’s seat to get us out of there.
The whole show was actually really well done. I didn’t suspect an insider riding on board so even I was surprised when he started his heroic act. He shoved his foot on the gas to fly over the bridge and free us of the terror we had just faced. Teagan seemed less scared through the last ordeal, maybe it was because it wasn’t exactly realistic in her eyes. She has already made it clear she didn’t believe in werewolves.
Her knee finally settled down once we were steadily passing through the corn field, the majority of the people with us started to return to their seats more relaxed as well. We were riding for a while without incident and I was starting to wonder if that’s all it was. If so people didn’t get their money’s worth.
Teagan continued her search into the blackness and never said a word to me. It was as if I wasn’t really there until she was completely overcome with fear. She was trying to look out for herself instead of relying on me until it was absolutely necessary. I guess I couldn’t fault her too much for being used to that, being used to only have herself to rely on. I hoped one day though that she’d see she could completely rely on me.
The truck slowed as we approached a massive red barn. The entrance was open, an arched area just large enough for the truck to pass through. Slowly we rolled into the pitch black barn and once fully inside the truck shut off. In the same moment, the door to the barn slammed shut allowing zero percentage of night light to illuminate our surroundings. The panic amongst the riders was alive again, but more quiet for fear of drawing attention to themselves and whatever else might be in this barn with us.
Teagan’s knee started knocking against mine again, she sat stiff with her hands pressed into her thighs. Her eyes were open wider than I’d ever seen them like she was hoping opening them further might somehow allow her to see. The sound of something metal clanging together made everyone jump, it was menacing in the absolute silence. Then suddenly without warning something rocked into the back of us, moving the truck bed up off its wheels on our side. Teagan grabbed for my hand frantically and squeezed me harder than I would have imagined her little hands could. She held onto my bicep with her other hand and tucked herself into me. Heat lamps came on behind us simultaneously with the sound of a chain saw as the truck fell back flat on the ground. Everyone turned towards the scene behind us in horror.
A classic magician’s trick played out before our eyes, a woman dressed in a skimpy torn nightgown laid on a metal lab table. Hovering above her, a sadistic looking doctor stood with a chainsaw ready to cut through her. The two of them were already covered in fake blood to make the scene scary before it even started, but when the saw came down on her a shower of fake blood rained down on the truck. This was by far the most elaborate skit of the ride.
Teagan’s face was splattered with fake blood; her eyes were permanently open in shock. Her body shook she was so scared, but she didn’t scream which surprised me. Everyone else around us was going completely insane, rocking the truck as they struggled to get the furthest away from the “killer.” Little did they know that as one side of the barns lights would go out the other sides would come on and reveal another brutal show of terror. Teagan barely even paid attention to it; she was still too shaken with fear.
I pried my hand from hers and put my arm around her waist tightly. I spoke into her ear so she could hear me over the madness, “Remember it’s not real.” I brushed my finger in a blotch of fake blood on her cheek and forced her mouth open to taste it. “See it’s just corn syrup and red dye.” Of course blood would be the first thing to come to mind to prove the validity of it for me.
I did it completely innocently, but once my finger was in her mouth there didn’t seem to be anything innocent about it at all. Her eyes grew curious as she forcedly sucked on my finger and I started to panic. I shouldn’t have done it and for more than one reason. The first being how completely inappropriate it was and the second being how it made my mind wonder. I wanted to feel those lips against mine with a fierce need. The scene around us was coming to a close, but I swear it felt like we were in our own world. Like the chaos around us was blurred and distorted because all we saw was each other. I quickly pulled my finger from her mouth and tried to act cool as if it was all just to stifle her fear. She straightened nervously out of my grip as the truck jerked in motion again.
Peace – Sarah
Four things for ya’ll today 🙂
First and foremost, Happy Birthday to Anne (aka gracious_anne)! I hope it’s been fantabulous 🙂
Second, I have the next three days off of work and I’m ecstatic! Sure, tomorrow is going to be spent trying on brides maids dresses which I’m not exactly ready for, but it will be nice to see my sister and she’ll be trying on wedding dresses too so hopefully it won’t be all that bad. If pictures turn out okay, I’ll be sure to share. Plus, there are plans to go to a Haunted House Saturday with our neighbors and I really hope we actually end up doing so. It’s been too long since I’ve been to a Haunted House and the last time I went to the one we’re going it was AWESOME!
Third, what makes me even MORE ecstatic (and has been all week) is that I’m now part of a crit group along with Heather (aka edgyauthor (who was already my crit partner)) and Patricia (aka poseiwriting). We’re currently calling ourselves “The Ring,” though I’m not sure that will hold? Heather’s comment behind it sold me completely though… and I quote: “When people ask, “What, like the movie?” we can respond in our best creepy-voice, “No, SCARIER, because we’re WRITERS.”” It’s so true!
Anyway, I’m super stoked to have a solid support ring and hope that it only encourages me more to finally finish this darn novel and release it to them. Their excitement over just the synopsis means the world to me and I really hope to not disappoint in the end!
Fourth, yesterday Rachel Hawkins (author of the HEX HALL series) announced an ARC giveaway for DEMONGLASS (HEX HALL Book 2) HERE in honor of “Small Son’s” 5th Birthday. I entered (naturally) and you should too! The cover is awesome and I already read book 1 and LOVED it – one of my favorite books of the year honestly. You won’t be disappointed. The contest is only open to the US (sorry everybody else), but there are 5 ARC’s being given away and all you have to do is hit enter to win on Goodreads.
Alright, that’s all for the night. Now I really need to try and finish this Halloween short story so I can actually post it in the next three days for you guys!
Peace – Sarah
P.S. A really inappropriate plot bunny will NOT leave me alone these days. That ever happen to you guys? Something you DEFINITELY wouldn’t write following you around like a sick puppy?
There’s no doubt, I’ve always been a big chicken. But I’m one of those chickens that loves to scare the crap out of myself. I purposely endure scary things just because I live for the thrill. I push myself to the extreme at times to overcome my fear and while my efforts don’t always work, they do weaken the effects scary things have on me, or at least the longevity of such things scaring me.
When I was a child I couldn’t even watch a scary movie without it haunting me for nights on end. I’d sleep with my light on and make my sister go to the bathroom with me, sometimes I’d even make my mom or sister sleep with me. But even as a kid knowing all of this would happen, I still wanted to watch scary movies, especially in October when I could also go to haunted houses (the ultimate scare factor back then).
As an adult, I still live for this ritual. Every October I devote the month to scary things and testing my fear. This year is the first time I’ve included reading “scary” books to my routine, but like every year before I’ve spent a great deal of time watching horror flicks (new and old) and seeing what the effects of such acts have on me.
In truth, I still act like the child I once was with some scary things. Like, when I get in bed (no matter how hot I am) I cover my head or at least my ear as if the covers somehow protect me from the unknown while I sleep. I prefer to not watch scary movies at night because there’s always that idea that ‘nothing bad can happen in daylight,’ and sometimes I have to make Heath come to bed with me because I just can’t do it alone. In truth, I’m still as big of a chicken as I’ve always been, but the fear doesn’t last nearly as long as it once did. And instead of letting the fear linger, I can appreciate the quality of creating such films now to get past the fear they cause.
Most of my favorite horror movies have been remade in my adulthood, like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Nightmare on Elm Street, or Halloween. While I love the originals I have been overly pleased with the remakes, but then again we live in a time where technology and special effects are so realistic it seems impossible to not appreciate the remakes. Another thing I love about the remakes though is the additions to the old stories, the history that’s often revealed in the remake that wasn’t part of the original story.
For instance, in Rob Zombie’s Halloween I almost felt sorry for Michael. The poor kid was mentally abused and ignored and despite his built up evil intentions he still loved his baby sister, he just wanted revenge on all those who did him wrong. Now sure, he’s still a creepy f’ed up dude, but I liked seeing both sides of the killer.
Another great example of this extra history was the latest Nightmare on Elm Street. While I wasn’t pleased with the new Freddy (old Freddy was far scarier), I really enjoyed the kids figuring out the past, and how Freddy came to be the nightmare murderer that he is. Does it make his actions understandable? No. But do I like seeing how a twisted guy could go from crazy to murderer? Heck yeah! It was really well done and even managed to leave me with nightmares later that night, despite knowing the movie and having seen the original a million times.
For the most part there isn’t a scary movie I won’t watch, even if it’s not for the quality of the film or the story and just to see how badly it scares me. But there is one that I will absolutely never watch again.
– The Exorcism of Emily Rose –
The first exorcist didn’t scare me (much). The film quality compared to that of today made it seem less real and therefore wasn’t as hard for me to swallow (even if it was supposedly based on true events). But exorcism movies in general affect me differently than your average unbelievable scary character flicks because I believe in demons and so the idea that someone could be possessed (that I could possibly be possessed) scares the living daylights out of me. And Emily Rose’s exorcism was so horrific I could barely even watch the screen, even just listening to it terrified me. I can’t even watch a trailer for the movie it’s so bothersome to me. And now they’ve got some new exorcism movie out called The Last Exorcism. This is not a film I will test myself with. It’s just not something I want to attempt. The Exorcism of Emily Rose scared me so much I couldn’t sleep for almost a week. While I might be able to say from a film aspect that it was done really well, it was actually done too well and imprinted fear in me unlike any film before it and probably any film after it.
So LJ friends, what scares you? What exactly is it about Halloween that makes you enjoy it (if you do)?
Peace – Sarah