Remember The Eyes Free Wednesday And Thursday

Just a quick reminder that Remember The Eyes, a paranormal romance will be free on Wednesday April 25th to Thursday April 26th at Amazon. Here is the back cover synopsis and a link to the book.

Eighteen year old Riley Abbott is about to meet the man from her past life dreams.

Riley has been having some weird dreams lately. But, that’s nothing new. Riley already has some pretty weird traits—telekinesis, astral travel and mind-reading abilities, to name a few. But, her dreams are so real to her, that her hands ache in the morning from pushing the heavy fruit cart down the path to the marketplace in her dreams. She even feels the kisses of the man that’s in her dreams.

Riley discovers that the dreams she is experiencing are past life dreams. She begins to believe this when she goes to University, and she meets Michael, a guy that when she looks into his eyes, she sees the man from her dreams, and she knows they have to be together. As their young love blooms, her dreams reveal to her that Michael could be in danger.

When another mind-reader, Brenda, won’t leave him alone, and threatens the lives of both Riley and Michael, Riley vows to do anything to keep him alive.


Idiot Reviews….And Then Some

While I appreciate getting reviews that are good…I know with the good must come some bad. However, some of the reviews I’ve gotten of late have been very bad…and they make the reviewer look like an idiot.

Back in February, I scheduled times for my books to be free on Amazon. The Bracelet, Remember The Eyes and Wildflower have all been free at some point. I still have a couple of days left for RTE and Wildflower, so I will be putting them up for free again.

Even with all the pathetically bad reviews The Bracelet got, it still continues to sell. All of them do. But, of course, there has to be some bad reviews in there.

It would be nice if the reviewers would hand out constructive criticism instead of taking your book and mashing it into the floor like a child having a temper tantrum. Take a look at this review below, because that’s what it sounds like to me. An adult having a temper tantrum on Amazon about something they most likely got for free.

In no way in this review was their any advice given to make it better. In no way is there a reason why the reviewer feels this way. Lame. And, it makes you (the reviewer) look like an idiot.

Here is one I just got for Wildflower. I have not changed any spelling errors, grammar mistakes, or otherwise changed this review in any way. This is the way it was presented on Amazon.

Do not bother to waste your time on this book. Its a poorly written terrible book! I could write a book of this caliber but I would burn it. I ALWAYS finish books I start and by about the 4th chapter I was ready to throw it against the wall. Not a new story line and certainly no twists in the story to make it interesting and the characters have ZERO depth to them. The main character just out of the blue has decided her spouse is cheating and this is before she goes after any evidence…..kinda like maybe she was blind and stupid and then the light bulb flickered. So she hires PI to investigate and get some really great pictures of the husband having tawdry sex with another women………and her is the killer……she was her 2 children to see these beautiful pictures…………..really???? so she does show the kids and the family is devasted. But no worries because she finds a fellow who she is interested and the get together. only problem is that she is a cougar cause the boy is her sons age. so chapter after chapter she whines and then whines some more and it just doesnt stop. and when I say the charactars have NO depth this is what I am telling you here. To me whining page after pager………seem the author does have a creative side to her and that is a must. This book reflected that because there were several different ways she could have improved and given them character AND depth. And you can probably guess the ending since I told you she lacks creativity……no big surprises, no big grand finale, they just accept the age thing and live happily ever after! oh…main charactars name is wildflower! sweet or cheesy……i am goin with, yep you guessed it,cheesy

Ok, for starters….this person bought a romance…of course the couple end up together at the end. It wouldn’t be a romance if they didn’t, now would it??? Also, the female character never whined at all. She just had a difficult time in the beginning with their age differences. No, she wasn’t a cougar…cougar’s seek out younger men. She didn’t seek out to love this younger guy…he actually sought her out.

Sandy, the female character, finds out that her husband of 25 years has been cheating on her pretty much their whole married life together…this reviewer found that unbelievable…why? Some men (and women) can hide their affairs from their spouses for their entire relationship.

Sandy shows the pictures to her children…her GROWN children, who could handle it. Younger children wouldn’t be able to. They were hurt by what their father had done. Obviously you, as the reviewer didn’t read that part.

And, the grand finale?? They were apart until almost the end of the book. It was only because of Sandy’s son that her and Nick got back together.

Really? Come on…if you’re going to review a book, at least watch your spelling, grammar (hardly any capitals in that review) and for goodness sake, finish the damn book.

By the way, yes…he called her Wildflower…if that’s cheesy, then go grab a bottle of wine to go with your whine…because you’re wasting my time and everyone elses with your lame reviews.

My Short Story Submission To The Toronto Star

As promised, here is the short story that I submitted to the Toronto Star newspaper for their contest.

However, the prize amounts were a wonderful thought. The contest was free to enter: first prize was $5000 + a correspondence course worth $3000, second prize was $2000 and third, $1000. All those prize amounts would have been great, but alas, I don’t think I have won. They were supposed to call by 5 PM on April 12th, but they haven’t called or sent out an email. The recognition of having my story be printed in the Star would have been fabulous. My name…in black and white.

I promised I would publish it here on my blog, so here it is. It’s called, Second Hand. I hope you like it.


Second Hand

I stood beside the mahogany coffin, wishing that I could have been at the hospital when my Grandma took her last breath. When I got the call from Mom that Grandma wasn’t doing very well, I’d hopped on the first plane back home. By the time I’d gotten to the hospital, she’d already passed away.

Grandma and Grandpa had always seemed old to me. When you’re little, and you meet an old person, their wrinkles and experiences make them seem older than what they are. Now looking at Grandma laying in the soft pink, satin-lined casket, I realized that she really wasn’t that old after all. She had only been in her late seventies when she passed.

I remember when I was ten, I asked Grandpa if he would take me to the pond that was just down the lane from the barn to do some fishing. He’d let me sit on his lap and steer the tractor until we got to the pond. I’d jump down, then he would hand me the fishing poles, our worms that we’d caught in the early morning dew, and the picnic basket lunch that Grandma had filled with all of our favourites. She’d always pack me a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich, and a ham and cheese sandwich for Grandpa. For dessert, she would always put in her famous butter tarts for us. They were creamy and sweet and free of raisins. Hers always had coconut in them instead. My favourite.

Grandpa would park the tractor underneath the shade of the old maple tree, leaving the picnic basket on the tractor seat. He would tip toe over to our spot, telling me that he didn’t want to scare away the fish. He’d always make me laugh when he did that.

There was a large rock on the water’s edge that fit both of us perfectly. We’d take off our shoes and socks, letting our feet dangle in the cool water. He would tell me not to kick about in the water too much. “They won’t bite if you keep swishing your stinky feet around in the water like that,” he said, a smile on his face.

I laughed. “My feet don’t stink. Yours do. Look, there’s a fish that’s gone belly-up from your stink.” I pointed at the shoreline at the bloated dead fish that lay there, sunny-side up. A few flies buzzed around it, which I tried to ignore. It kind of grossed me out.

Grandpa laughed, putting his arm around my shoulders, holding me closer to him. As he rested his left arm on my shoulders, I noticed the new shiny watch on his left arm. “You got a new watch. It’s nice,” I said. Grandpa turned his wrist slightly, showing it off to me. The gold band and clock face gleamed in the sun, the brightness making me squint just a little. “Where’d you get it?”

“Grandma gave it to me last month for my birthday. Do you like it?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said enthusiastically. It looked like it had been made for him, fitting his arm perfectly. “I do.”

Grandpa smiled, pulling his arm back, he put his fishing pole in his other hand. I sat there watching him, and watching the sun glinting off of the watch. It almost mesmerized me, it was so shiny.

We sat there for hours, never really catching anything. We’d talk about school, and girls. I told him that I like a girl named Lisa who was in my class. He asked me if I’d kissed her yet. I just blushed.

Occasionally one of the fish would forget that the worm-covered hooks shouldn’t be bitten. When that happened, Grandpa would take the fish hook out of the fish’s mouth, setting it free. Grandpa and I would always tell Grandma that we’d caught the ‘big one’, but that it had gotten away. She believed us every time.

“Let’s get out of the sun,” Grandpa said, standing up. “I’m hungry.”

He stood up from the rock, his shirt sweat-marked under his arm pits, along his collar and down his back. The sweat from his neck pooled in the crevice of his collarbone. He took out a blue plaid handkerchief from his pants pocket and wiped his brows and neck with it. “Sure, Grandpa. I’m getting a little hungry, too.”

We walked over to the tractor where we’d left the picnic basket. He handed the basket to me andlifted the tractor seat, revealing a compartment underneath. Inside was the pickiest blanket that I had ever felt. It was gray woollen, and rough against the skin. It was almost as if that blanket had never seen the hide of a sheep before. I hated that blanket, but Grandpa insisted that we sit on it so that I wouldn’t get my shorts dirty. I told him Mom didn’t care if I got dirty, but we had to sit on it anyway.

That day, even though Grandpa said he was hungry, he didn’t eat much. He only ate a few bites of his sandwich, and he gave his butter tart to me to eat. He never did that, since butter tarts were his very favourite. I asked him if he was all right, and he told me he was.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m ok. I think I’m just hot from the sun. It’s been beating down on us pretty hard.” The sweat continued to pour off of him, but he didn’t want to go home. “I just want to sit out here with you, fishing and talking about girls.”

As I ran my hand along Grandma’s coffin, I remembered how Grandpa had looked in his. It had been a long time ago, and yet, it seemed like it was almost yesterday.

Regret filled my heart when I woke up the next morning after our fishing trip to see Mom in tears. She sat at the kitchen table, Dad’s arm around her, trying to hold her together.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

Dad lifted his hand, gesturing for me to come over to them. I did reluctantly, afraid of what he was going to say, because clearly it wasn’t good.

“Son, something happened to Grandpa. He died last night of a heart attack.”

Tears filled my eyes as I recalled our time together the day before. “A heart attack?” I furrowed my brows, letting them know that I didn’t really know what that meant.

“Yes, he had a blockage in his heart, and it just sort of quit on him.”

I remembered how he had looked yesterday, his shirt drenched from his sweat, his brows littered with tiny beads of water that had leaked out of his skin. I thought it had been the sun like he had said, but maybe it was something more.

We went to see Grandma, and to make the funeral arrangements. During the wake, I remembered looking at Grandpa lying there in his casket. He looked so peaceful, his hands folded in front of him, his best suit on.

I saw his gold watch on his wrist, recalling how it had shined so brightly in the sun. I touched it, seeing what I saw that other day—the sun shining on it and the way Grandpa’s arm felt around me. I could even smell the faint smell of manure from the barnyard as we passed it on the tractor.

I looked over at Grandma, who was watching me. She smiled, knowing that I would miss my time with Grandpa. Now time stood still for him.

On the day of the funeral, Mom and Dad took me and my little sister up to say goodbye one last time before the men from the funeral home closed the casket for good. I noticed that Grandpa’s watch was gone from his wrist, and I wondered where it was. I tugged on Mom’s skirt. “Where’s Grandpa’s watch?” I pointed to his bare left wrist.

She shrugged her shoulders and said she didn’t know. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she led us over to one of the wooden church benches to sit down in.

I was concerned when the lid went down on the casket, knowing that I would never see Grandpa again. Tears welled up in my eyes. I thought I’d done this to him, causing his death because I wanted to go out fishing.

After the funeral, we drove Grandma back home. She was teary, but remained strong. She sat in her rocking chair beside the window that looked out over the veranda. She called me over to her. “Jack, I want you to have this.” She reached into her purse and pulled out a black box.

I looked at her, unsure of why she would be giving something to me at a time like this. I opened it, revealing Grandpa’s gold watch. “I saw you admiring it on Grandpa the other day. He said that you thought it was nice. I want you to have it. I’m afraid it doesn’t work though. I’m sorry about that.”

I looked at the watch as it sat in the black box that it had originally come in. I looked at Grandma, the tears that had been in my eyes now flooding out, overflowing down my cheeks.

“I don’t think I can accept this, Grandma,” I said. “I think I killed Grandpa. We shouldn’t have gone out fishing the other day. Maybe he’d still be alive if we’d stayed inside and played checkers or something.”

Grandma smiled, and put her arm around me. “Honey, you didn’t kill Grandpa. He ate too many things that were bad for him. He had high cholesterol and hardened arteries. It wasn’t because of you. It wasn’t your fault. He wanted to go fishing with you.”

I looked at the watch. The second hand was stuck on the seven, ticking, but not moving. I tapped the clock face a couple of times, but it didn’t budge. “If the watch didn’t work, why did Grandpa wear it?” I asked.

Grandma smiled. She pulled me closer, her arms encircling me. All I could smell were the peppermints that she always had in her mouth. “The watch never worked from the time that I gave it to him, but he wouldn’t take it to a jewellery shop to be fixed. He told me that he wanted time to stand still, that he hoped that we would have forever together.”

I kept that watch with me for years, carrying it around in my pocket along with the frogs and stones and other trinkets I would find. I’d wind it up, hoping that the second hand would free itself, but it never did.

When I stepped closer to Grandma’s casket, I laid the watch near her hands. “Time stands still for both of you now. Give this back to Grandpa. He’ll be looking for it.”

Wildflower Free March 30th-April 1st At Amazon

I don’t know why it took me so long to do the KDP Select program from Amazon. I don’t know what I was afraid of. I had really good success with The Bracelet and with Remember The Eyes, so I’ve decided to put Wildflower up for it’s free promo on the weekend.

What was nice about doing the free promo’s, it helped with getting the other books out there that were otherwise at the bottom of the pile. Remember The Eyes is the first book of three. The free promo gave the buyers of the free book, a chance to get the other two books that go with that one. Up until the free promo, those other books were practically non-existent.

Another nice thing is the lending program. If you are a Prime Member at Amazon, you have the chance to “borrow” a book for a month. Consider becoming a Prime Member to get your free copies of books that you would otherwise have to buy.

Wildflower will be free Friday, March 30th until Sunday, April 1st…and that’s no April Fools.

Enjoy an excerpt from the novel.



I parked my bike as close as I could, carrying my helmet in my hand. When my buddy Tanner saw me, he waved me in. No need to check his clipboard. Sean, Matt and I were always on the list.

Tanner was a guy who frequented the gym so we gave him a discount on his membership in return for entry into the bar whenever we wanted it. It usually pissed everyone off that was in the line up, but he didn’t mind, and neither did we. Of course, it would help if I genuinely wanted to be here tonight.

Inside, I put my helmet behind the bar and ordered a beer from Bob the bartender. I paid him, and he took my money. “Change?” he said, holding up the five dollar bill.

I shook my head, then scanned the room for Sean. I found him standing by a waist high table overlooking the dance floor.

“Hey,” he said, “Nice of you to join us!”

“Yeah, well, I don’t plan on staying that long.” The music was so loud tonight that I could feel every vibration in my chest. I’m sure a headache wouldn’t be long in coming.

“You opening tomorrow for me?” He was still trying to weasel out of opening. Even though months ago, I’d made him open three weekends in a row, he still didn’t get it. Again, I made him open for another three weeks. Maybe this time he would learn his lesson.

“No!” I said, crinkling my brow. “I said you have to open three weekends in a row, and I meant three weekends. You’d think after the first time, you would have learned your lesson.”

“It’s not fair.” If he’d been a child, I’m sure his lip would have been stuck out in a pout and his arms folded against his chest.

“No, what’s not fair is you taking advantage of my niceness all the time.”

He burst out laughing. “Niceness, my ass! What you are is ruthless!”

Pointing my finger at him, I stated, “And, don’t you forget it!” I finally smiled in response to his attempt.

Matt came up behind us and draped his arms over our shoulders. He pointed to three girls that were sitting on the other side of the DJ booth. He thought we might be able to score with them. There were two blondes and a brunette, nursing drinks and smoking cigarettes. I didn’t think any of them looked attractive.

Sean turned up his nose at the girls, and I really wasn’t up to ‘scoring’ tonight. Not with them, anyway. They looked a little too loose for my style. Sean reiterated what I was thinking out loud. “They look skanky. I don’t want skanky and sleazy. I want clean and easy.” He smiled wryly when he said that.

Oh God. I couldn’t believe that he just said that. He was pathetic, and I marvelled that he could get any woman at all into bed with him for even one night when he said shit like that.

In my boredom, I let my eyes wander over towards the bar, wondering if I could sneak away from these two assholes. Closer to the bar meant I’d be closer to the door.

I saw a woman sitting at the bar with long blonde wavy hair. She was sitting there easily, her legs crossed as she sat on the bar stool, her back to the dance floor. She was chatting with the bartender. From the back, it looked like the woman from the gym. Was it her?

I saw her one more time after that day in the park. When I saw her, it was at the gym and she was running the treadmill again. I was with Scott when I saw her. He didn’t need as much direction now as he did in the beginning. I was there more for encouragement than as an instructor.

I stared at her as she ran, her beautiful body glistening like dew on the morning grass.

“Yo, Nick, are you there?” Scott back-handed me in the chest.

Startled, I looked at him, and said, “What?”

“I asked you a question, but you seem a million miles away. You ok?”

“Yeah, sorry. I guess I was just daydreaming.”

“I just wanted to know if I was doing this right.”

He showed me the exercise, and I nodded my head. “Yeah, you’re doing it right.” I glanced over at her again, and this time Scott followed my gaze to her.

“My, she is hot,” he said in a sarcastic tone, then smiled and winked at me when I looked at him, my brows knitted together.

I didn’t bother dignifying him with an answer. Scott was a nice guy, but his sarcastic comment kind of irked me. Yeah, she is hot! You’d be blind not to see that!

Then earlier today, Sean caught me closing my office door. “You coming out tonight?”

I sighed when I saw him. “Yeah, I’ll come. But, only because it’s Matt’s birthday. I just can’t get into this bar scene.”

“You never want to go out and have fun anymore. You’ve turned into a hermit. You’re too young to stay inside.”

I shrugged my shoulders. Maybe he was right. Maybe I should be more like him and the other guys. Maybe I should be into the scantily clad women, and the women who can’t add 2+2. Maybe I should have one night stands like him, and give out fake phone numbers.

But, here I am, and for once, I’m actually glad that I came out to the bar tonight. The woman at the bar turned her head slightly, and she laughed. It was her! I was sure of it!

My very being was drawn to her. I caught every movement she made, loving the way she looked. I stared at her for awhile, until I could muster up my courage to go over to her.

She sat there, her drink in front of her, watching her friends out on the dance floor. Occasionally one of them would try to entice her to come out on to the dance floor with them, but she wouldn’t budge off her stool. She’d smile, and say, “No!” to them.

A very drunk guy stumbled up beside her, barely making it to the bar stool. He said something to her, but she turned her back to him. He sat there for a few minutes, looking like he was going to be sick, then he got up and left. He’d obviously had a few wobbly-pops before he got here. The night was still young.

Sean pointed at a bunch of girls that were looking in our direction. “How about those girls? They look nice.”

I nodded to him, but although I saw the girls, I wasn’t really looking at them. They were pretty, but that’s all. They definitely weren’t her.

“Come with me. Lets go talk to them,” he urged, pulling at me to follow him.

I went with him, but instead of stopping at the girls Sean was talking about, I went to the one woman that did matter. When he saw that I hadn’t stopped, he grabbed my arm. “Hey, come on, Nick! These girls are hotties!”

“Great. Go to them! You can have all of them. I’m going over here.” I pointed towards the bar. He had his sights on bimbos and hotties, but I wasn’t sure who he was looking at, because the only hottie in the bar is sitting at the bar.

She had her back turned to me, so I nudged her arm. She turned towards me. She had a bored look on her face, one that said she didn’t really want to be there. I couldn’t have agreed more.

But, even though I was trying to be nonchalant, I’m sure the look of excitement showed on my face. “Hi,” I said.

She smiled in recognition. She pointed, and said, “You’re the guy from the gym, right?”

“Yeah. My name’s Nick. Nick Thompson.” I held out my hand to her.

She took my hand in hers, and said, “Sandy Newton.”

There’s always that awkward moment when you first meet someone, especially when it’s someone that you really like, and sometimes the words just don’t come out right, or you can’t think of anything to say at all. She looked at me, and I looked at her, but the words just never came. We just smiled pathetically at each other.

“Can I buy you another drink?”

She softened her eyes and shook her head, looking at her almost empty glass. “I’m driving tonight.”

I turned to the bartender. “Two diet colas, please.”

When I handed her one, I said, “Me, too.”

She smiled, and accepted the cola. She took a sip, then leaned in towards me. I put my head down so I could hear what she had to say better. Her sweet perfume caught me right away. It swam into my nose like a fresh bouquet of flowers.

“You’re the first guy tonight that hasn’t used some corny pick-up line on me.” Her smile was beautiful, and I couldn’t help but bathe in her beauty. She continued, “One guy said to me, “Is that windex in your pants, ‘cause I can see myself in them!” She made a face.

I laughed, and told her that I don’t use pick-up lines, but that some of my friends do. They often get slapped for saying stupid things like that.

“Maybe if I wasn’t so nice, I would have,” she commented.

Using my head, I motioned in the direction of the dance floor. “Do you want to dance?”

She shook her head, and pointed her finger towards the dance floor. “I can’t dance to this shit. The music all sounds the same to me, and I hate that rap stuff. They seem to play it a lot here.”

“I’ll be right back,” I stated, touching her arm lightly. She held onto my drink for me as I turned to walk away. She was hard to leave, even for a minute.



Remember The Eyes Free March 16th-18th!

You can get your free copy of Remember The Eyes at Amazon starting today and running until Sunday.

Eighteen year old Riley Abbott is about to meet the man from her past life dreams.

Riley has been having some weird dreams lately. But, that’s nothing new. Riley already has some pretty weird traits—telekinesis, astral travel and mind-reading abilities, to name a few. But, her dreams are so real to her, that her hands ache in the morning from pushing the heavy fruit cart down the path to the marketplace in her dreams. She even feels the kisses of the man that’s in her dreams.

Riley discovers that the dreams she is experiencing are past life dreams. She begins to believe this when she goes to University, and she meets Michael, a guy that when she looks into his eyes, she sees the man from her dreams, and she knows they have to be together. As their young love blooms, her dreams reveal to her that Michael could be in danger.

When another mind-reader, Brenda, won’t leave him alone, and threatens the lives of both Riley and Michael, Riley vows to do anything to keep him alive.

“Remember The Eyes” Free Friday, Saturday And Sunday

As of Friday, Remember The Eyes will be free for the weekend at Amazon, available at this link at the bottom of the blog.

Here is a short excerpt from the book.

Riley and Michael are lured to the Recreation Center at the university, each thinking that the other had asked them to go there. Brenda, a psychotic student at the university, who is in love with Michael, starts waving a gun around, finally shooting Riley in the shoulder and arm. Brenda won’t let Michael go to get some help for Riley.

Riley has some special abilities. Riley has the ability to put up a shield, and the ability to astral travel (to step out of her body). She puts up a shield to protect Michael, and then she goes to get help. She astral travels to her friend Sandy’s room, hoping that Sandy will hear her.



I took hold of my crystal, feeling all of it sparkly energy run through me, giving me the strength I needed to accomplish this task. I imagined myself away from my body, and swooshed through the night air. It felt good to be in the coolness of the evening air. It was still light out, but things were starting to darken from my point of view.

Stars formed in front of my eyes. I had to hurry. I wouldn’t be much good if I were dead. I found Sandy’s room, hoping that she would be there.

When I entered Sandy’s room, she was reading a book. The radio was playing softly in the background, her feet swaying to the beat while she read. I put my hand on her head, not knowing if this would work or not, and said, ‘Sandy! It’s Riley! I’ve been shot! I’m at the Rec Hall! Get security, and the police! Please hurry, Sandy! There isn’t much time!’

I stood there for a moment to see if it registered with her. A perplexed look came over her face, and then one of recognition. She had gotten the message.

She dialled 911, and then security.

“Justin? Hi, it’s Sandy from Registration. Yeah, hi. The reason I’m calling is, could you check the Rec Hall for me? I just have this weird feeling that something bad has happened over there.” She paused a second, then said, “I don’t know, but could you please just check it out. I’ve already called the police.” Another second later, she added, “Thanks, Justin.”

I was losing the battle to stay awake. I put my hand on Sandy again, and said ‘Thanks.’ I swooshed back to my body, blackness nearly taking me over. I opened my eyes. Michael was still holding me, not wanting to let me go. He had pressure on my wound, but I was growing tired.

He looked down at me, his eyebrows furrowed. I put my hand to his face again and said to him in his head, ‘Help is on it’s way.’

He looked at me, caressing my cheek softly. I wanted to close my eyes, to feel the coolness of the outside again. I’m hot. “Stay with me, Riley! Don’t you dare go to sleep! Riley! Don’t go to sleep!” I could feel him shaking me, pleading with me to stay awake. I try to keep my eyes open, but I’m so tired.

I heard Brenda speak. “You know Michael, it doesn’t have to be that way if you come to me now. I can give you so much more than she could.” She tried to look seductive and flirty.

“No,” was all he said. I looked up into his eyes, and he looked down at me, smiling weakly, brushing my hair with his fingers away from my face. I don’t know if I smiled back at him or not. I had started to lose all track of time and place. The pain in my right shoulder and arm had ceased to exist. I felt like I was just hovering over my body, my life and my soul.

“Then you leave me no choice.” She pulled the trigger but the bullet bounced off, ricocheting off the shield and hitting the wall. She looked at us, perplexed. Anger overtook her and she aimed again. When she fired, the bullet bounced off the shield and hit the ceiling, bits of tile raining down upon us, but hitting my shield.

I looked up at the ceiling, and said quietly, “Thank you, God.” The shield was working, and I had gone to get help. The shield was protecting Michael, and he was all that mattered.

She pointed at me and screamed, “See! She’s a witch!” She shot again, and once again, the bullet went off in a different direction, landing away from us.

Then I heard sirens outside. Oh, thank goodness, the cops are here. Finally we could get out of here. Oh, thank you, Sandy. Thank you for hearing me.

Still, the darkness wanted to take me. I didn’t know if I could hang on anymore. I could feel my eyelids growing heavy again. I just wanted to sleep.

I heard the security guards keys in the lock, and the door opening. Brenda was still in her same position, the gun pointing at us. My eyes fluttered and I heard Michael cry, “Stay with me, Riley! Help is here! Stay with me!”

He looked at his hand that still covered my wound, marvelling at the amount of blood that soaked our clothes and the floor. The blood still poured out of me, and I was having a hard time breathing and staying awake. He quickly put his hand down and resumed pressure on the wound.

“It’s ok, Michael. I don’t really feel it right now. It’s just sort of numb now.” My eyes started to shut again, twitching a bit.

He shook me slightly again, willing me to stay awake. “Stay with me! You’ve got to stay with me! Don’t you fall asleep,” he urged.

The police charged in and got into position, surrounding Michael and I. I couldn’t concentrate, my shield fading. I had my crystal in my hand, but I was having difficulty holding on, keeping the darkness at bay. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion.

An officer shouted at Brenda. “Put the gun down, miss.”

“Michael, it doesn’t have to be this way,” she said with obvious despair, looking directly at him.

“Put the gun down, miss!” the cop said more forcefully this time.

“Please, Michael. Come to me. I’m the one that you want. Please,” she cried.

The officers moved in on her. Brenda aimed the gun at them, then again at us. She fired a shot aimed at Michael, but it bounced off my fading shield. I didn’t know how much longer I could keep it up.

The officer that had spoken to her before, fired at Brenda, shooting her in the outer arm, making her drop the gun. She screamed, holding her arm. She went down to her knees, the police rushing to her, apprehending her and the gun.

“Michael! You’ll live to regret this!” she screamed. Then to the officers, she yelled, “Get your filthy hands off me, you pig!”

Now I felt safe. Safe enough to let down my shield, and safe enough to allow the darkness to finally take me. I’d kept Michael safe from harm. I hadn’t given up.

My eyelids closed, and I thought I heard someone say, “Ok, sir. We’ll take it from here.”

I could feel myself leaving the protection of Michael’s arms, though I think he gave me up reluctantly. I looked at him, his hand in mine and I said weakly, “Promise me one thing?”

“Anything,” he said, tenderly.

“Remember our eyes.”

I don’t remember anything after that.


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