• Katja kneeled in the Parisian streets, shaking and weak from the pain in her head and heart. It had come a second ago—a vague vision from another decade, nearly forgotten by its sender and screaming with emotional turmoil. And only moments after she‟d fed. In the now decrepit walls of a place she once knew, she stared down at a child in despair. In the room where a man breathed his last and a young woman‟s sorrow grew, he lay weeping in a rage only the heart of all sorrow can know. Death and fear came off of him in waves as lightning shared the secret of the man inside the child—the man who would be her beginning and her end if she allowed it

    Amanda M. Lyons
  • As he sat up, he heard soft dripping sounds from the bathroom, little plips like water slipping over the edges of the tub and into the floor. The hairs on the back of his neck rose as he realized where he‟d last heard that sound. His muscles tight with strain from his earlier exertions, he stood and walked warily toward the half open bathroom door and the tub beyond it. Slipping quietly past the door, he saw that the curtain was drawn, and again the shadowed figure lay behind it. One long, slim, leg dangled from the end of the tub, beads of water gliding down its length and off the polished toes. At the other end he saw a mass of auburn curls, matted deep red near the porcelain of the tub. It was the dream and the vision again, more real now, too strong to deny. Shaking, he moved toward the curtain, gagging on the sickly smell of rust and roses, feeling the thin nylon glide between thumb and palm as he pulled it back to reveal his darkest nightmare and deepest regret. He could see the crimson water now, blood bubbles gliding over its surface and clinging to the legs dangling over the tub‟s edge. When he‟d pulled the curtain completely away from the tub and around to its opposite side, he saw her face. Her eyes were closed and he saw that her lids were bruised and purple against the translucent paleness of her face, drained completely dead white under the makeup she‟d brushed on before she‟d died. Staggering by the sight of her, he knelt by the tub and extended one shaking hand to touch her cheek. It all seemed as if he‟d walked into a horror film and once again he needed to prove to his mind that this wasn‟t real. His hand shook as he lifted it nearer to her flesh, waiting for the corpse, the supposedly dead and buried to move. He touched his quivering fingers to her face, feeling its claylike reality. The sensation caused an immediate shudder of revulsion and he fought not to vomit. Even as the moment came, the sight of her moving in the water startled him and he jumped away from the tub. It wasn‟t an obvious movement at first, only soft breaths moving in and out of her nostrils, but then her chest rose and fell with it and he quaked, feeling unstable where he knelt on the floor.Her eyes opened next and he felt the blood fall out of his face, wanting to scream but too afraid he would cause her to take some action, to reach out and touch him, proving well and forever that he was indeed insane. Scream and you might as well slit your own throat. He swallowed the scream like a rock and stared as her eyes moved slowly in their sockets, locking on him. Slowly, as if she‟d lost control of her muscles, she rose from the tub and looked down at him, smiling. Blood water slid down her bare body, over her neck, down her back and the smooth ridges of her breasts, to slip slowly down her thighs and down over her calves. A puddle spread on the floor, and as it extended toward him he struggled to his feet, skittering away from it. As he watched it spread, he shivered, weak as he started to cry frantic, horrified tears. Breaking down, he looked back up at her face and slipped to the floor once more, his knees incapable of sustaining his own weight. The smile grew wider as she strode to his shivering form, thrown on his side and struggling to rise. The blood water seeped into his clothes, making him sick, a drop of it trickling along the lobe of his ear and into it. And then she leaned down, holding those dim, stained curls of auburn out of her face and tucking them behind her ear. Her lips parted, blue beneath the strong crimson red of her lipstick, and she spoke into his ear with the chill breath of the dead. His eyes grew wide and horrified as she spoke, the hair on his neck rising, sending a maddening shiver of fear through him. “I‟ve returned, Raven

    Amanda M. Lyons
  • There she was, up on that bed pushing and pushing just as they’d practiced. She was dilated and the tension had been building to this moment all day. He had never been so glad to be a writer. It meant that he could be here and he could be at home, helping her as much as he liked after the baby was born. Wendy was sweating and bleary-eyed, focusing so very hard on the movement of her baby down the birth canal that it took her a moment to hear what anyone said to her. The pain was clearly unimaginable and he wished he could have taken some of it from her, but she’d insisted on a natural birth and that’s just what she was doing.“Are you okay, Babe?

    Amanda M. Lyons
  • A figure held his daughter in the rocker. In the dim light he couldn’t make out the features, but the sight of anyone he didn’t know sitting in Wendy’s rocker with their daughter was enough to scare the shit out of him. Judging by the shuddering movements of his daughter’s body it had frightened her too, had caused her to mewl. He wanted to charge forward and reclaim his daughter, but he didn’t know what would happen if he acted so quickly. What would he do if it hurt her? What would he do if it killed her? “What-what do you want? I’ll do anything just don’t take my daughter. She’s…all I have left

    Amanda M. Lyons
  • Billy sipped the last of his coffee from the mug and shut down his laptop. 1,000 words wasn’t great but it also wasn’t as bad as no words at all. It hadn’t exactly been a great couple of years and the royalties from his first few books were only going to hold out so much longer. Even if he didn’t have anything else to worry about there was always Sara to consider. Sara with her big blue eyes so like her mother’s. He sat for a moment longer thinking about his daughter and all they’d been through since Wendy had passed. Then he picked up his mug with a long sigh and carried it to the kitchen to rinse it in the sink. When he came back into his little living room and the quiet of 1 AM he wasn’t surprised to find her there over to the side of the bookshelf hovering close to the floor just beyond the couch. Wendy. Her eyes were cold and intense in death, angry and spiteful in a way he’d never seen them when she was alive. What once had been beautiful was now a horror and a threat, one that he’d known far too well in the years since she’d died. He and Sara both. He stood where he was looking at her as she glared up at him. Part of her smaller vantage point was caused by kneeling next to the shelf but he knew from the many times she’d walked or run through a room that death had also reduced her, made her no higher than 4 or 4 and half feet when she’d been 6 in life. She was like a child trapped there on the cusp between youth and coming adulthood. Crushed and broken down into a husk, an entity with no more love for them than a snake. Familiar tears stung his eyes but he blinked them away letting his anger and frustration rise in place of his grief.“Fuck you! What right do you have to be here? Why won’t you let Sara and I be? We loved you! We still love you!

    Amanda M. Lyons
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