Raven’s Dawn Part 22 #horror #thriller #Halloween

(I sincerely apologize for yesterday’s trick . . . Dawn did it.)

University of the Incarnate Word

The three students nervously sit around the table while Professor Soleman quietly cleans his glasses. All of the other customers have moved to the bar, the drinks and sports channel keeping their interest. Cheers rise from the crowd, but the televisions are out of sight from where the trio anxiously wait to find out if they are in trouble. None of them dare to eat the large sundaes that are melting in front of them, the colorful flavors slowly becoming a soup. Unwilling to talk first, they stare at the large aquarium that is in the center of the dining room. The glass cylinder runs from the floor to the ceiling and is filled with grasses that allow the fish to hide. Light bounces off the scales of numerous piranha that dart through the vegetation, their red bellies making it look like they dipped themselves in blood. Two catfish occasionally come out of hiding to search the stones for food, the pair going relatively unnoticed by their carnivorous neighbors. A larger creature can be seen lurking in a sunken log, but it never strays from the shadows. The only reason the students know that it is there is because of the occasional spray of bubbles that come out of the opening.

“There is some news that I want to share with all of you,” Professor Soleman states while taking a bite of his own meal. Dabbing at his chin with a napkin, he settles back in his leather chair and does his best to smile warmly. “I was going to talk to all of you tomorrow, but Coach Warner said that he saw Mr. Chambers in the lobby. That convenience store’s hot chocolate is certainly worth the late-night trip. It is a pleasant surprise to find Mr. Porter and your sister with you as well. After all, what I have to tell you is difficult to say and I’m glad to only have to do it once. By the way, Charlene has said that none of you have classes tomorrow due to current events.”

“Is there a reason you’re pussyfooting around the subject?” Thomas bluntly asks as he gets some courage. Pushing his food away, the young man does his best to show confidence that he does not feel. “If there’s something we should know then please tell us. We’re tired and would like to get some sleep. If you’re wondering why we’re out here then I’ll give you the truth and we can move on. This was a hot chocolate run was to give us a little more energy to finish our studying. Although, it seems like a moot point since we no longer have class tomorrow.”

“Your friends will no longer be attending this school, so I’m forced to disband the mythology club,” the teacher softly explains. Checking his watch, he licks his lips and lets out a slow breath to reveal his own fatigue. “It has been confirmed that Ms. O’Connor was in the fire and Mr. Garcon had a fatal accident. He fell on the ice and one of the other players accidentally cut his throat with their skate. Mr. Pugh has left for the remaining semester to help both families with the funerals. He has taken both deaths very hard, which isn’t surprising. Mr. Garcon and Ms. O’Connor were the ones helping him get out of his shell. As for Ms. Hall, she has dropped out and checked herself into a mental facility. Her own loss has taken its toll on her and she had a severe breakdown upon hearing about her friends.”

“That was rather sudden,” Apollo points out, his attention more on the piranha. Getting an idea, he pulls out his phone to check for messages. “Nothing from Bryce or Harvey, which is very strange. It isn’t that I don’t believe you, Professor Soleman, but I would have expected them to say good-bye.”

“Doesn’t sound like Bryce was in any condition to do so,” Aurora interjects as she tries a bite of her ice cream. The cold ripples through her mouth and makes her cringe from the unexpected headache. “That only explains her, sir. Harvey may be rather shy and introverted at times, but we’re his friends. He would have said something before leaving. Are you sure he left right away and this isn’t a misunderstanding?”

“I didn’t ask him when he came to me,” the professor replies, his tone changing to one with more of an edge. Looking from one doubtful face to the other, he cracks his knuckles and leans forward. “You have questions and concerns, which I understand. Unfortunately, I’m merely the messenger and I lack the answers. Even Charlene has been left wondering why Mr. Pugh has decided to leave so quickly. That isn’t to say that he won’t contact you later once he’s settled in back home.”

Thomas’s chair scrapes against the floor and he gets up to look at the nearby aquarium. “I think we should drop it. Tests are coming and we need to focus. At least I do since my grades are rather low. Chris and Jennifer are gone, but Bryce and Harvey might come back next semester, so we should make sure we’re here too. Honestly, I just want to get back to the dorm before everything hits me and I start crying. I’m having trouble accepting some of it and I’m probably not the only one. Thank Charlene for giving us tomorrow off and thank you for taking the time to talk with us.”

“Yeah, I guess we should get some sleep,” Apollo agrees, getting the sense that his friend has something else on his mind. Grabbing the cherry off his sundae, he pops it into his mouth and puts a hand on his sister’s shoulder. “You can stay in our room if you want. Not sure any of us will get much sleep.”

Wiping a few tears from her eyes, Aurora nods her head and gets to her feet, which nearly give out from fatigue and sorrow. She leans on Apollo to make sure she does not fall, but she swiftly shifts her to a chair since he is checking something on his phone. It takes him a minute to help her stand, the twins yawning at the same time. Her brother gets the sense that she is putting on an act, her breathing and pulse surprisingly steady for someone in her condition. Thomas hurries over to help with Aurora, allowing Apollo to get his keys. The trio seem to have trouble leaving, adding to the idea that they are confused and lost. Once they are sure about what they are doing, they say their goodbyes and leave Professor Soleman to finish his ice cream.

“I hope they sleep well,” the teacher whispers while he watches them leave. Gathering all of the food, he goes about taking random spoonfuls from each one. “I should really do what has to be done. She is becoming a lot less patient and irrational. Not a smart idea to run the risk of getting into trouble. Still, there’s no sense in letting sweets go to waste. I’m sure she would understand.”

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Goal Post: Did I Even Have Any For Last Week?

(Nearly forgot about this video going up on a post.)

Feels like this entire week was a blur, which was probably made worse by my son having Thursday off.  This was the same day I had my eye doctor appointment and that resulted in dilation.  Not fun trying to keep up with an 8-year-old when everything brighter than a firefly blinds you.  A lot of time was spent dealing with a personal issue that I can’t go into here.  Good thing I’m having a zoo day tomorrow, which will have the little guy in his homemade costume too.  Post about that will be tomorrow.

Technology

This is predominantly about the laptop, which came back and now I’m just waiting for the box to send it in for a refund.  Leaning towards a Lenovo since I’ve heard good things and have no interest in relearning everything for a Mac.  There’s also my iPhone updating and making things a mess, which isn’t endearing me to Apple.  The fonts are insanely huge and I can’t adjust them.  It keeps asking if I want to turn on some driving function.  The Twitter app reboots every time, so I can never start with the notifications from where I left off.  It’s just a headache that I didn’t need.

Going back to the laptop, I want to tell a story about SCAMMERS!

The day after my laptop came back, I got a call from Dell Tech Services.  At least that’s what the phone said.  This guy started talking to me about the malware on my computer and how he needed to walk me through removing it.  Keep in mind that I never took it out of the box, so it was uncharged and the OS hadn’t been set up again.  Every time I asked about the malware, he would say ‘It came from the Internet’.  I FUCKING KNOW!  It was amazing that they sent back a computer with malware, but I was too pissed to realize the issue.  He didn’t get very far and I gave him a time to call me back . . . Then, I remembered my one question: How could malware still be on the machine when the OS was scrubbed and reinstalled as well as the motherboard being replaced?  That shouldn’t be a thing, so I called Dell to ask.  Seems it isn’t possible and this bastard would have had me do something on my computer that was either pointless or damaging before asking me for money.  They bounce it off the Dell network or something.  The guy didn’t call back and I didn’t remember the name due to the rage.  This actually was the final straw for my body too and I gradually slipped into my first ‘intestine spasm’ in a year.  Stopped it before it hit the crippling pain level at least.

War of Nytefall: Loyalty

As of yesterday, I finished writing Clyde’s first adventure.  I ran into a few problems like a late decision that is supposed to be a bad one.  Since I write my characters flawed, they make mistakes and repeatedly do these ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’ actions.  This doesn’t always play well to audiences and I might have to work really hard to fix this up.  Unless it helps that the other heroes are complaining and Clyde simply says he doesn’t have a good reason.  It’s tough to explain, but he had a choice between ending something or making it worse.  He went with the second because he wanted a challenge and was feeling bored.  Totally in character for him at this point since he’s been thrashing everyone that’s faced him.  Part of Clyde is that he wants to be challenged and that’s typically something you see in a villain.  The villain came out different than I intended too, but he might change and mature later.

My wife might read this book and give me some feedback to help me along.  I’ve gone over it as I wrote, so all the scenes work and no massive rewrites will be necessary unless something is really off.  Keep in mind that all of my big series have been thought about, planned out, and worked on for years, so I hash out a lot in those early stages. It’s almost like my first draft isn’t really the first draft since I do so much beforehand.  Pretty sure most authors would argue with me on this one, but it’s how I operate.  Is it even possible to have a first draft in your head instead of paper?

Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age

After a few days of resting, I’m going to be going full force into this one.  First step is doing all of the December posts, except for the Tuesday and Thursday posts.  Not sure what to do on these days to help promote.  Was thinking of reviving Teaser Tuesday and Questions 3 for the month.  Only tough part is the teasers might all hold some spoilers and the question thing tended to bomb near the end.  Leaving the days blank doesn’t sit well with me because I need to really push things.  Only 2 of the guests posts remain incomplete here too with those being interviews.  Things are looking good, but I’m still really nervous about this one.

I will try to start doing a final edit on this book too.  Maybe near the end of the week or wait until after Halloween.  Since I’m still lacking a laptop, I can’t really sit down and go full blast on an edit.  Need to make sure I have the desktop free and nights are still a challenge.  Not really sure what I plan to accomplish with this edit either.  I did a few already and my wife just finished her read through.  My mom will be looking over it next once I get it on her Kindle.  The characters work, the scenes work, and the ending is as bittersweet as I expected.  Maybe I’m just having trouble letting go here.

Future Project

I’m trying to decide on what to do after I do the edit and December posts.  Might edit the 2 Bedlam books that are done even though they won’t be published next year.  There’s setting up a few things for next summer, which could take a few hours.  Part of me is tempted to dive into the next book, which is a one-shot spin-off for Legends of Windemere.  Another option is to sit down when a notebook and see if I can plan out a few more Ichabod Brooks stories even though he’s getting 2018 off too.  Next year is definitely more about the Dawn Fangs and the Legends one-shot.  Beginnings and endings one could say.  Not happy about the skip for Ichabod and Bedlam, but I need to prioritize.  Maybe I can do the outline for the last Raven story for next October too.  Not sure how to do that one, so I might wait until the current one is done and then see what people think.  Just feeling like everything is up in the air.

Goals for the week?

  1. Get celebratory pizza since I finished the first book of a new series.
  2. Set up December posts.
  3. Fiddle with a Sin story on my resting days.
  4. Zoo trip and Halloween preparing.
  5. Start editing Warlord of the Forgotten Age
  6. Do other stuff
  7. Biking
  8. Try to relax a bit.
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Intertwined (Tangled Moon Saga Book 2)

Olivia Stocum Romance Fiction

Book Two in the Tangled Moon Saga is now available: Amazon

Goodreads

wordpressDanielle Howard isn’t his, not legally, but Lothar Ludvitski, nephew of the High Councilor, will have her just the same. Danielle was once his student. He’d taught her everything she needed to know about being a werewolf. In return, she taught him how to feel alive. He isn’t giving her up. And it doesn’t matter what his uncle does to him.

Nick Shepard is Danielle’s Carrier, her genetic mate, but that doesn’t mean much in the end. It’s clear to him that Danielle will turn the world upside-down to stay with her Mentor. For Nick, there is more to life than whether or not Danielle wants him in her bed; like doing everything he can to ensure the survival of her species.

Vesper Ludvitski is raising twin werewolves alone after the violent death of her Carrier. Being without…

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Raven’s Dawn Part 21 #horror #thriller #Halloween

(YOU FOUND ME! CLICK HERE TO TIME TRAVEL.)

Girton College in Cambridge

“At least the food is good,” Apollo says with a smirk. He takes another spoonful of pasta, the homemade vodka sauce tastier than when it was fresh. “Thomas definitely knows how to cook and you could have always pushed for the restaurant. Honestly, you gave up far too easily, Aura. Then again, it would have been nice for the warning that eating under the stars meant sitting in a car.”

Thomas hushes his roommate and sips at his beer, the cold drink having warmed up from being placed too close to the heater. Going back to his binoculars, he watches the seven-story building that sits across the street. Having parked on the lower level of a crowded garage, he is fairly certain that they are blending into the scenery. To be safe, Thomas has kept all of the lights off, but the running motor still makes enough noise for him to be nervous. He considers suggesting that Apollo hide under a blanket in the back while Aurora sits up front with him. With a shake of his head, the young man points the idea out of his head since it would come off as a lame excuse to steal a kiss. Focused on solving the mystery of Dawn Addison, he refuses to be distracted by his libido and playful crush.

Feeling a sharp tug on his collar, Thomas looks back to find Aurora silently nodding to their right. There are several cars that have arrived in the parking lot and a flock of gulls are gathered around a dumpster, but none of it seems out of the ordinary. He stares in the direction and leans back enough to see her exact line of sight, but he cannot figure out what has his friend’s attention. Thomas is about to speak when she hits the button to make his seat flip back to its normal position. Head jarred from the unexpected movement, he hands the binoculars over to Apollo and goes back to nursing his beer.

“Professor Soleman is in one of the upper windows,” Aurora finally says after several minutes of silence. She holds up her phone to show that she is using the camera to zoom in on the building. “He has his back to us now, but I happened to see him as he looked outside. There has to be somebody else in there with him since he’s talking. Not that this proves anything since he could be hanging out with friends. Only reason I bring it up is that he has a house on the other side of town.”

“Maybe he has friends or family visiting and they came in late,” Apollo suggests while he opens a box of cookies. Rummaging in the dark, he searches for one that is not broken until he gives up and settles for two halves. “This is ridiculous. First of all, we can’t see anything going on inside. If there was anything strange happening then it wouldn’t be in the parking lot. Second of all, this place looks nothing like the pictures of the original Heaven’s Nest. At best this place could be an homage, but I doubt it. Who would name their hotel after one that mysteriously collapsed and killed hundreds of people?”

“Not to mention the murders and disappearances going on prior to that,” his sister adds while she continues watching the window. Spotting a shadow on the wall, she tries to zoom in, but cannot get a close look. “Well, he isn’t alone, which means nothing. You know, some of us have morning classes. Makes me wonder why I bothered to come along in the first place. I do such idiotic things when I’m hungry.”

“Is that Coach Warner?” Thomas asks, pointing at a man getting out of a battered car. He watches the hooded figure trudge to the entrance, the person moving with a limp and looking to be drinking from a brown-bagged bottle. “Hard to tell since I heard he hates to drink and he looks too short. Then again, that’s his car or at least what’s left of it. That has to be suspicious to you guys.”

The twins shrug and stare at each other until Aurora finally says, “Not really. If that is the coach then he’s got to be depressed. Most of the team is missing or dead, which leaves him calling grieving parents. Then there are people blaming him for the accident because they think he should have known that the ice was weak. Wouldn’t surprise me to learn that he’s drinking and trying to hide. The car could be explained by vandalism. A lot of students are angry about what happened. Still, no way to tell for sure and he could be going to the restaurant instead of Professor Soleman’s room.”

With a sigh, Apollo gets out of the car and puts his jacket hood up to hide his face, the thick lining keep warm. Gesturing for the others to stay, he casually walks to the corner and waits for the light to let him cross the street. Pretending to be in dire need of a bathroom, the young man hurries to the door and rushes inside. Thomas and Aurora wait with baited breath, moving only to enjoy more of the cold pasta and slightly warm beer. It takes a few minutes for Apollo to emerge from Heaven’s Nest and continue walking down the street. He ducks into a convenience store and remains by the windows where he picks out some treats to bring back to the car. To make sure he avoids an argument, he tosses the food in first and hands out hot chocolate with a smile.

“Coach Warner wasn’t in the restaurant, but I swear I heard Charlene and a few other teachers talking as an elevator closed,” Apollo reports as he settles into his seat. Turning on the lights, he pulls out of the spot and heads for the street. “No point in staying since we can’t see into the room. Let’s head home and get some sleep. I’ll agree that something strange is going on, but I doubt it has anything to do with us. After all, we’re a club about mythology and this is more for the future police officer club.”

“To be honest, it isn’t like there are any new gods and goddesses popping up,” Aurora mentions while stretching her arms. Seeing a cop car in the distance, she puts on her seatbelt and kicks whistles for the others to do the same. “Best not to add getting arrested to this night. Drop me off at my dorm and we’ll meet up for breakfast. Maybe lunch if I sleep too late.”

Thomas and Apollo grunt their approval, their energy steadily draining now that the excitement is over. The car is about to turn the corner when somebody walks out in front and slams his hands on the hood. To everyone’s relief, the screeching brakes stop the vehicle before it can run over Professor Soleman. Pushing his glasses up his nose, the teacher waves for Apollo to drive into the parking lot and take a spot near the entrance. Confused and tired, the students can do nothing more than follow directions and pray that they have not stumbled onto something that should have remained a secret.

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Monster Maker Fun 2017: Creatures Donated by Victoria Zigler & John W. Howell

The three following creatures have been donated by Victoria Zigler:

Reurple

These are purple and white flowers that are found in the Kukaru desert. Due to the sand being too loose for roots, these plants live in the few patches of water that can be found during the rainy season.  They stay above the surface with long stems that are covered in coiled thorns, which have two purposes.  One is protecting them from any animals that try to eat them.  The other is to sense when the atmosphere is changing and the dry season is on the way.  Locals watch the Reurples for signs of drought because they will start to wither by curling inward instead of outward.  Gradually, the flowers will curl into themselves and shrink as the water levels drop.  By the time the water has disappeared, the Reurple is a tiny ball of white roots that sink into the mud.  The plant stays dormant until the water returns and then they sprout back up.

Snoughle

Raised for meat and building supplies in the country of Umrard, the Snoughle is a type of pig.  The thing about this type of livestock is that it may resemble a pig with its snout and curly tail, but it doesn’t really act or taste like one.  These pudgy animals are very nimble and can jump ten feet in the air.  Even if a wall is higher, they are known to kick off the side for another leap until they clear the obstacle.  This is why all Snoughle pens have solid rooftops and thick doors since they enjoy eating fencing.  Another way to contain them is to have them bond to a person when born and turn them into a pet.  In this state, they are similar to dogs and will develop a softer body that allows them function as a warm living pillow.  In fact, they have been known to help cure children of colds and influenza by snuggling with them for an entire day.  This might seem odd considering they are eventually eaten, but a Snoughle is not killed for its meat and sturdy bones.  If you butcher a live Snoughle then it will taste sour and bitter.  Once it dies of natural causes, the body purges itself of impurities and various parts take on a variety of tastes.  Some are like bacon while others are like ham and the snout is said to taste like beef.  As far as the bones go, they are able to be ground into a powder and mixed with salt water to create a material that is stronger than concrete.

Quazel

Living in any forest that has at least three pomegranate trees, these mongooses make their homes in the branches.  They are very long and have short fur that is patterned to help them blend into the leaves.  A long, prehensile tail helps them climb, which they do very slowly unless they spot prey.  Their favorite thing to eat are birds that are attracted to the fruit, which is why they stay in the trees.  You can usually find at least four Quazel to a tree since they only need to eat once a week and are fairly social creatures.  Many times, you can find one in the top branches where it will watch for birds of prey and another near the base looking for ground predators.  While too small to physically fend off other animals, they have one impressive defense.  A Quazel will run into sunlit areas, which causes its body to take on a prismatic shine.  This rainbow light increases into a blinding flash that stuns predators long enough to make a full escape.  Because of this effect, these creatures are heavily poached for their fur and there are several groups dedicated to protecting them.

The following creature has been donated by John W. Howell:

Gruntitial

Living in hollowed out trees of the Bungalor Jungle, these birds are prized for their brightly colored beaks. The rest of this animal’s body is covered in drab feathers, including the three-foot long tail that fans out. Even their eyes are said to be melancholy and devoid of light, which is why people think of them as bland. All of this stands in contrast to their beaks, which are rainbow crystals. They use these sharp beaks to carve out the trees for food and home as well as mating dances that involve refracting light.  Poaching is a problem, but not as severe as one would expect.  It is said that whoever takes the beak of a living Gruntitial will be cursed.  You can take one from a body that has died naturally, but never attack the living. The death curse results in the people who took it and the ones who bought it being eaten by pigs.  Many are unclear how this always happen, but there is a species of wild boar that are typically found around Gruntitial trees.  The current theory is that these powerful animals will avenge the birds at any cost.

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Raven’s Dawn Part 20 #horror #thriller #Halloween

(Dawn & I are sleepy. CLICK HERE to see what happened yesterday.)

Colorado State Student Services Building

Aurora practically drags herself up the stairs after pulling two all-nighters at the lab, her only escape to get food and a quick shower. Her bag thuds on the ground behind her, the only things inside being her phone and a half-eaten sandwich. Having had no luck finding Bryce to talk with about Jennifer and Chris, she settles for her only option. Stepping out of the stairwell, she can already hear her brother and Thomas talking from their room. The door is wide open, but slams shut to muffle their voices. Aurora considers going back to her room even though it has felt like a meat locker during her last few stops. She is about to return to the stairwell when a door below her is kicked open and a couple begins arguing at the top of their lungs. Not wanting to push through the spat, she resigns herself to dealing with whatever crazy scheme Apollo and Thomas are working on.

Taking off her lab coat, Aurora walks down the hallway, but stops at the sensation of someone watching her. Gradually turning around, she catches a flicker of movement in a cobweb-covered window. Inching closer, she finds a moth trapped in the sticky strands that get tighter around it. With no spider to eat it, the insect continues to thrash until it falls to the floor and flaps its useless wings. Aurora bends down to pick up the tiny creature, but leaps back when a lizard darts between her legs to snatch up the meal. Hearing footsteps behind her, the tense woman gets out of the way of a gasping student, who is desperately trying to recapture his runaway pet.

Muttering about needing to drink less coffee, Aurora heads for the room and prepares to knock on the door. Hearing the argument inside, she sighs and settles for slowly entering instead of announcing herself. Her presence is ignored by the two scowling roommates, who have moved to their beds. Old newspapers are spread on the floor and there are printouts pinned to the walls, which once held amusing and raunchy posters. Aurora notices lengths of yarn running from one clipping to another, but there is no pattern to the connections. Scanning the room, she is disappointed in finding no sign of alcohol, which would help explain the tempers and mess that is before her.

“I take I you didn’t hear that Chris disappeared,” Aurora says as she lets the door close behind her. She freezes when two pairs of bloodshot eyes meet her arrival, neither one blinking for a few seconds. “Then again, I guess you have. Bryce wasn’t around, so I figured I would come here to talk about it. Kind of surprised that Harvey isn’t with you too. Unless you drove him away with whatever this is.”

“Let me explain it before you sabotage my argument,” Thomas snaps, throwing his pillow at Apollo. Hopping to his feet, he wavers until the sudden lightheadedness passes and he is no longer afraid of falling. “To be fair, we agree that there is something here. Not so much on what to do. Oh, this has nothing to do with Jennifer or Chris. Really confused on how the rink could have melted so quickly. Anyway, this is about your shared dream. Apollo finally told me a detail that got me thinking. Specifically, about who this mysterious Mrs. Addison is. To keep things to the point, it was a year after we were born, but there was a Dawn Addison who lived in New York City and had a golden eye. I showed your brother a picture and he says that this woman is exactly who is showing up in his dreams. Only she ran a hotel and had nothing to do with a school.”

Apollo holds up a picture and hands it to his sister before grabbing another article. “I’m arguing that we might have heard the name or seen something about her. The woman became an urban legend after her hotel called Heaven’s Nest collapsed. She was inside and wasn’t one of the few survivors. The place wasn’t very far from where we grew up, Aura, so it isn’t a stretch to think we’ve had more exposure to her than others. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but I can’t deny that this woman is in our dream. The resemblance is perfect and even the behavior matches the stories that tell of her being eccentric. After the accident, an office who was trying to arrest her for murder said Dawn Addison was like a living dream that had a flimsy relationship with reality.”

“That has to mean that she jumps into people’s heads!” Thomas blurts out as he picks up a pile of papers. He thumbs through them until he reaches an article that has a picture of Gemma Cooke in her uniform. “There’s too much weirdness here for it to normal. Dawn’s body was supposedly cremated, but nobody knows for sure. This woman vanished a few months after the accident if you can even call it that. Every explanation for the hotel collapsing has holes in it like no damage to the underground gas pipes and proof that the building was constructed to code. The materials were fine until the moment they abruptly broke with no warning whatsoever. Survivors even said that nothing was out of the ordinary until the floor went out from underneath them. It has to mean something.”

“Maybe that you’re either drinking too much or should consider writing a book,” Aurora replies while she takes a seat. Looking at the picture, she cannot avoid the fact that the woman is the same one from her dreams. “Say you’re right about Dawn Addison being in our heads. Why stay there for eighteen years? She hasn’t driven us to do anything other than jolt out of bed sweating. More than likely, our parents talked a lot about her and read about her, which we overheard. They were into spooky stories before we were old enough to speak, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they talked us about Heaven’s Nest around us.”

Refusing to admit defeat, Thomas goes to his wall and tries to find the article that he is sure will convince Aurora that he might be right. Unable to locate the page, he moves to the floor and checks to see if Apollo has moved his research around. Pausing to take a sip from his flask, the determined young man moves on to his computer and goes about printing out what he needs. His tongue sticks out as he searches for more information, each page falling to the floor until he remembers the tray. Grabbing the small pile, Thomas hands half of it to Aurora and the other to Apollo, both of them dropping the pages into a trashcan.

“Now, you two are just being mean,” he replies while reclaiming the printouts. Wiping some pencil shavings off the top page, he holds it out without getting too close. “There have been Dawn Addison sightings all over the place for the last eighteen years. Most of them take place in New York City, but there are others scattered about the state. Not to mention a few in Oregon, one in Alaska, and a handful on cruise ships around the world. They all talk about a woman with a golden eye that is there one second and gone the next. Even though it is so quick, people swear they’ve seen her. How are we to know that Dawn isn’t a ghost?”

“Because we’re sane and at least two of us believe in science,” Apollo calmly replies, his patience for the haunting story running out. Picking up his own research, he hands the thin stack of papers to his sister. “I’m thinking what you are. We might have heard about this woman when younger and she became our boogeyman. There’s nothing more to it than that because the supernatural doesn’t exist. Doesn’t matter if there’s a local place with the same name as the hotel.”

“Oh yeah, there’s that hotel and restaurant called Heaven’s Nest just off campus,” Aurora mentions with a chuckle. Her empty stomach rumbles at the thought of food, which causes her to blush. “Let me guess. Thomas wants to check it out to see if there’s a connection. Sounds pretty ridiculous, but I’ll agree to go along.”

“Great-” Thomas begins to say before he is silenced by a finger to his lips.

“Only because I’m hungry and you’ll be paying for the food.”

“Well, it’s kind of pricey.”

“Then, I’m not going.”

“Wait! What about a compromise?”

Ignoring Apollo waving his hands, Aurora grins and replies, “Very well. I’m willing to negotiate. Let’s hear your offer.”

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Questions for Luke, Nyx, and Sari Needed Follow Up

Covers by Jason Pedersen

So, I’m just doing this here in case somebody missed the Monday posts.  I’m gathering questions for all of the champions.  Each one will get a post in the middle of November to answer and help kick off the push for the final Legends of Windemere release.  So far, Luke Callindor has received a decent amount, but I think Nyx and Sari got lost in the shuffle.

If anybody wants to ask them anything then feel free to comment and I’ll add it to the posts.  Hopefully, these interviews work to start things off with a bang, but it depends a lot on interaction.  Thanks.

If you want the original posts:  LUKE CALLINDOR . . . . NYX . . . . SARI

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