Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Death Watcher-Section 3

First, I apologize these snippets aren't very long. Between work, school, family, and editing I don't have a lot of time. Hopefully I'll pick up my pace soon though because this one is always in my head. 
Second, if you missed either of the previous sections go here: Death Watcher-Section 1 or here: Death Watcher-Section 2

“Jake…” I started, turning off the car. I thought about trying to outright lie to him again, but he would know. He always knew. Once again guilt clawed at my throat until it was hard for me to breath normal. Jake was one of the best men I’ve ever known and I’d gotten him involved in something I didn’t even understand.

I cleared my throat and tried again. “That man across the street. He was…well, it’s just that…I could tell he was completely impaired. He couldn’t even walk straight and when I saw him heading for his car, I panicked.” There. Some truth, some…not truth. Hopefully he would let it go.

“Raelynn, do you know why I broke up with you?” Jake asked, his voice a low timber in the too quite car. The sudden change of topic took me completely by surprise. My gaze snapped to his and suddenly the already small space now felt overwhelmingly suffocating.

In all honestly I didn’t know why he dumped me. I assumed it was just because he was so popular now and wanted to date around. But I never asked him, just accepted when he said we were over and happy to have been a part of his life. Having no air left in my lungs to answer, I shook my head. His eyes were so intense I felt a shiver rake my body before I could stop it.

“Because you’ve never let me in enough to be completely honest with me. Not really anyway. You would give me just enough to keep me around, make me think you trusted me, but you always kept your secrets to yourself. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t watch you struggle with whatever demons you wrestled and not be able to do anything about it.”

I would have laughed at his choice of words if I hadn’t been so utterly devastated. He pinned me directly and I couldn’t handle what he was saying. It was true. Too true, and there was nothing I could do about it. It was better to let him think I had trust issues than try to explain the very real demons that actually haunted my life.

He seemed to realize the conclusion I arrived at and sighed in defeat, sufficiently breaking my heart into smaller pieces than they already were. Tears blurred my vision as Jake reached for the handle of my car. This was worse than when we broke up, how was that possible? It felt infinitely more final and I hated it. Hated that I had to deal with this ugliness in my life alone still.

“I hope someday you find someone you trust enough to open up to. I’m sorry it couldn’t be me, but if you ever need a friend I’m always yours. Just don’t ever ask me to knock out a drunk man again,” he smiled, trying to break the tension choking the air. It would have worked if he hadn’t looked so desolate.

My heart screamed at me to call him back and tell him everything. Instead I watched him walk down the street and turn the corner, until I could no longer see his hunched form. The tears fell freely then and the aching in my chest was almost unbearable.

I knew Jake would find a way to get his car from school, or just get a ride in the morning and since he only lived three blocks from my house I didn’t need to worry about his safety. But I did. Something terrible happened today and I could only pray whatever would come next wouldn’t involve him.

That’s how I knew what I did had been the right thing. By not telling Jake what was going on I could protect him. It shattered me to let him go, knowing I was the reason we weren’t together anymore. But I would be okay. I would move on knowing Jake was safe. And that was worth the heartache.

I finally flipped down the visor mirror and fixed my appearance before I dashed toward the safety of my house. Just as I reached the door handle I had the overwhelming feeling I was being watched. Turning back I scanned the surrounding houses and streets and saw nothing. I waited for the cold, but I took its absence as a good sign. Still my stomach dropped like a stone and I quickly ran inside and locked the door behind me. What had I done?

*Copyright Jayne L. Bowden*

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Red King

I just wanted peace. Was that too much to ask for when I was locked in a cold cell? I didn't think so, but apparently the high-pitched screeching coming from the hall had a different idea.
“Out of my way, maggot! I can go anywhere I please.” I heard the loud metal of the heavy door swing open and lazily stood to my feet. A woman wrapped in the most beautiful red silk ever made came storming inside. Long, shiny, brown hair tumbled down her shoulders in perfect waves and her lips were painted the exact shade of her clothes. I heard a few timid catcalls from the neighboring cells, but no one wanted to elicit the wrath of the Red King. Well, no one except me.
“So, you’re the little tramp who tried to kill my love.” Shea. That’s what Canton said her name was. I met her fierce brown eyes easily.
“I assure you, that was a mistake. If I’d really been trying, he would be dead.” Not exactly true. I was trying to kill him, but she didn't need to know that.
“How dare you. Do you even realize what kind of a position you’re in right now? I could have you put to death this instant. Your pathetic attempt to steal what belongs to us has landed your entire guard in our dungeons. They would be utterly helpless if I dragged you out of here by your hair and slit your throat.”
“Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong. The Red King would never allow it. Apparently I’m worth more alive than dead to him.” I wasn't entirely sure why I was trying to provoke her, but I could see that it was working. “Don’t you find it odd he refused to have me killed after I came so close to ending his life? Why do you suppose that is?” Shea’s delicate fingers closed into tight fists at her side.
“My king’s actions are his own for now, but I trust he has a good reason. He can, however, be easily persuaded if given the right motive.”
“I can see why you’re so upset,” I told her as I crouched down in front of the thick, steel bars. “I would be too if my betrothed preferred his enemy’s daughter to his fiancĂ©.”
“You worthless rat. How could anyone prefer you to me?” I couldn't actually answer her question, because the truth was, I didn't believe it myself. The Red King had been spending a lot of time down here, but I knew it wasn't to be near me. He was smart, calculating and a heartless tyrant no matter what he pretended.
I refused to believe otherwise and be the downfall of my entire people like so many ancestors past. I would finish the job I came here to do, even if it caused my own heart to stop. It was a worthless organ anyway.
“Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. One thing I know for sure though; the look on his face when he heard you had come was not one of adoration and love. He couldn't have been more disappointed.” I barely finished the words before she screamed and ran toward my cell. I sprang up just before she could reach me and tensed my body for a welcome fight.
Instinctively I knew the men in the cells around me were also on their feet, having heard the entire exchange. I also knew, as Shea pointed out earlier, they could do nothing to help me. And I was glad for that. I wanted this fight, needed it.
I shot forward, faster than the pampered woman could react to, and grabbed her thin arm. Twisting it back behind her, I grabbed her other shoulder and slammed her back into the bars of my cage. I released her shoulder and slid my arm around her neck before her two personal guards could ply me off. I didn't actually care about hurting her; I just wanted to prove a point. I released my hold easily, desperate for what came next.
“Kill her! Now!” a red-faced Shea screamed. Her guards exchanged uneasy looks, but eventually decided their fate would be worse if they didn't obey the future Queen. Three more guards flew into the room with confusion written all over their faces, but it was too late.
I heard the click of my cell door and jumped up to grab the bars overhead. Using the momentum of the opening door and my swinging body weight, I pushed against the door and knocked the surprised man to the ground.
I landed on my feet just as Shea’s other guard swung at my face giving me barely enough time to dodge it. Grateful the other three were hesitating to jump in, per the Red King’s previous orders, I took full advantage of fighting the lone man still determined to get his hands on me.
Taking a moment to step back and assess the situation was a huge mistake on his part. I didn't hesitate a second before ducking into the man and thrusting my elbow into his nose, crunching bone and sending him flying into the wall by the door.
I whirled on Shea who screamed and dove behind the protection of one of the guards. It didn't matter to me though; my only thought was getting out of here. To do that I would have to take down everyone who got in my way.
Forcing the man closest to me to engage in fighting pretty much tipped the internal struggle they were having before, and two of them attacked while the other stood protectively in front of Shea.
My body felt alive with adrenaline and my senses clearer than they had since I was brought down here. I was meant to work, to move, not sit around like Shea and entertain people I didn't like. Female or not, princess or not, I was good at fighting. Something my father would never understand and the Red King underestimated, almost costing him his life.
I loved being able to defend myself, not having to rely on others to take care of me. I threw a pitying glance at Shea who obviously didn't know anything about dignity and courage, hard work and sacrifice. She didn't know what it was like to be desperate to help those she loved, and being powerless to do something. But I did.
I watched my people being hunted down until we were forced to flee the only home I’d ever known. That’s why I begged the Captain of my guard to train me without my father’s knowledge. That’s why I came to the Red City to kill the man I knew was responsible for so much of my pain. That’s why I have to get out of this place and complete the mission I set out to do.
Finally getting in a lucky shot to the kidney, one of the men hunched forward, giving me the chance to crouch and sweep my leg under his feet, knocking him off balance. Fortunately for me his head smacked against the unforgiving ground and I knew he wouldn't be up again soon. Unfortunately for me, I’d spent too much time getting him to go down.
The other guard I’d been fighting launched himself at me, catching me around the waist, and pulling me to the dirty floor. His weight knocked the wind out of me and while I struggled to suck in the air I so desperately needed, he wrapped his large, meaty arms around my body, successfully pinning my own arms to my side and causing little black spots to dance in my vision.
I stopped fighting to catch my breath and the man, assuming he’d gained the upper hand, picked me up and proceeded to walk back to my cell, obviously not aware of Shea’s orders to have me killed.
I used the moment to gulp down sweet oxygen, forcing it to my lungs and brain, only allowing enough time for me to be capable of fighting once more. Something warm and sticky trickled down my temple and I idly wondered if it was my blood or if it belonged to the man holding me.
Finally my vision cleared and I noticed we were two feet from my cell and my opportunity to free myself. I readied my legs to push against the sturdy holding, hopefully catching the man off guard and either causing him to drop me or better yet, lose his balance and fall to the ground with me on top of him this time.
“What’s going on in here?” a deep voice boomed from the doorway. Everyone froze at that voice. Despite the achievement of just having recovered enough air to fight, my breath again became labored and shallow. My heartbeat instantly quickened and my pulse raced underneath my skin.
The reaction was even stronger than fighting and I prayed the man holding me wouldn't acknowledge the owner of the voice and just let me stay hidden, safe from the eyes I felt searching for me.
Everything was playing in slow motion now. The man crushing me wisely loosened his grip, but wasn't smart enough to let go of me completely. He turned with me still in his arms and I kept my eyes averted from the man who commanded the entire room. Even my guard, shouting encouragements and instructions earlier, fell silent at his presence.
The three men I’d taken out were shakily rising to their feet with the help of the man who had stood watch over Shea. The princess had thrown herself in the Red King’s arms the moment he appeared and sobbed shamelessly on his shoulder. I felt the hatred for the spoiled princess increase tenfold, but still I refused to meet his eyes.
It had been three days since I’d seen him. Three days since the princess arrived and he’d taken my father out of his cell, leaving no more doubt in my mind what kind of a person he really was. I would never forgive him and I would never forget the hurt I felt from his betrayed promise to not harm my family. I knew I shouldn't have believed him and I hated myself more than anything for trusting someone I knew to be so evil.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone else enter the room. Someone so familiar the shock and surprise of his presence once again stole my oxygen. I lifted tear-filled eyes toward my father and let out a small sob of relief. I assumed he was dead, tortured into giving away our secrets and silenced forever. Instead he stood just as strong and proud as any King should, completely unscathed. I searched every inch of him; desperate to see for myself he was really okay.
“Thaila,” the same voice as before commanded. Reluctantly I tore my gaze from my father’s to finally meet the pair of blue eyes I’d been avoiding. Blue eyes that were so intense, I was suddenly grateful for the guard still holding me upright, even though I knew the action would ultimately lead to his suffering.
I felt bad for the poor guard, but the moment my eyes locked with the Red King's it was like no one else existed but us. I felt the heat from his gaze and was sure mine was just as hungry, despite how evil he was.
"Canton," I heard myself whisper. The guard holding me sucked in a sharp breath at my intimate use of the King's name, but I couldn't make myself care. I drank in every inch of his face even as I mentally prepared myself to do whatever was necessary to end this. The Red King had to die. And I had to kill him.
He didn't even glance at Shea before pushing her away and stalking toward me. I saw the devastating look in her eyes turn to pure hatred for me, and this time the pity I felt for her was genuine, even if her anger was misplaced.
“Are you alright? What happened in here?” he asked coming to a stop in front of me. The guard holding me fidgeted nervously, finally realizing the mistake he made in keeping his arms around me. He dropped them slowly, trying not to draw Canton's attention. I marveled at how much older he was than his King, yet how different they seemed in stature.  
“Sir, she was trying to escape,” he foolishly tried to explain.
Thankfully for him, those blue eyes were completely focused on me, anxiously awaiting my response.

*Copyright Jayne L. Bowden*

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Death Watcher-Section 2

Check out the next section of Death Watcher here:

If you missed the first part you can either go here: or check it out on 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Death Watcher

Check out my latest post on Writer Chics! It's a short story (not really that short) I wrote for the month of January.

Trying to survive high school is hard enough without having the disturbing ability to see "death creatures" coming to collect those who are about to die. But 17-year-old Raelynn Hanes has never had a choice but to watch on from the sidelines. Until one day when she decides to interfere with a collection. Suddenly she finds herself forced to make the most difficult decision of her life; who will replace the life she saved?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Difference Between Men and Women

It's funny how different men and women are. I'm not talking about your normal differences of physical features, emotional levels, or cliche roles. I'm talking about your basic psychological way of thinking.

Take for instance tonight. My husband invited some friends over to watch all the Fast and the Furious movies they could cram into one night. Not even four minutes (no joke) after the last person arrived they had the first movie going. I've pulled a six movie marathon before with one of my best friends and her sisters and it took us at least an hour before we started the first movie. There was some catching up to do, popcorn to make, drinks to hand out, and I'm sure a few other things that couldn't wait to be done before we got settled in and started.

After the first movie ended for my husband and his friends there was approximately two minutes before the next one was playing. Again I can't help compare to my girl's marathon where we each ran around doing different things in preparation for sitting through another two hours. Probably fifteen minutes there.

Next observation: Movie's playing and someone needs to use the bathroom. There is no pausing the movie to wait, it's your fault you have to go to the bathroom so you miss however long it takes you to go. Girl's would totally pause the movie or plan ahead and go during the fifteen minute break between movies.

To top it off, all three guys agreed the movies they were going to watch were super cheesy and kind of stupid. I thought maybe they were kidding, but when they finally called it a night my husband announced again that those were the stupidest movies ever made. At least with our girl's marathon we watched something cool that we were all interested in. Oh well, at least he had fun with his friends.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Please Not Midnight

I realize it's been a long time since I've posted anything on my own blog, and of course I decided to wait until 10:30 at night when I have a Sales meeting first thing in the morning. Oh well, that's life. I find it funny that I don't have a problem posting on my other blog, Writer Chics, but I can never think of anything to write on my personal blog. I guess I'll give a quick update with the progress on my book. I have been writing quite a bit lately and I recently decided to make my story into two books instead of one. Something I never thought I'd do. I wanted to write just one book because someone once told me that it's really hard to publish more than one book in the same series if you don't already have your name out there. Since I couldn't stand the thought of chancing half my story not getting published, I was determined to write it as one book. However, I've discovered I'm incapable of telling a "short" story and I've also decided to self publish my books, therefore canceling out the need to make it into just one book. I am really excited about these changes and can't wait to publish the first one, hopefully some time in the fall.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Funny Thing About Writing

The funny thing about writing is that one minute I enjoy it so much I can hardly stand it and I want to write all day everyday and the next minute I hate everything that I've written and swear I'll never turn it in to try and get published. Luckily the happy sunshine moments out weight the dark dreary moments but it's interesting to me that it fluctuates so drastically. Anyone else feel like that?