A little info

Hello all

I have been posting every other day I believe, new portions of my story. As the school year resumes shortly, those posts may get further spaced out. Do not worry, I have not forgotten to post, for those interested, I just have other things which take up my writing time.
Some parts are already written, however the area I am in now, is being written each night. I hope you are enjoying the story, and as always, please feel free to comment or question anything I have written. Thanks Y’all MLSteele

Part 7

Morning rolls around, and Linda wakes by rolling off her couch and into the floor. She looks up to see Ludvik standing in front of her holding coffee.

“Oh bless your heart. I need that to function.”She reaches up and grabs the cup, taking a huge drink.

Giving Linda a hand, “Would you like help up?” Linda returns  the cup of coffee in Ludvik’s extended hand.

“I think I can manage.”

Linda’s reminder on her phone goes off. She slowly gets up from the floor, and retrieves it from the table behind the couch.

“Oh, I forgot. Paige and Troy are due in today. They are traveling from my hometown, and staying with me for a few days, while Troy goes on a few interviews. I have been bugging them for ages to move up here with me, and when I did some work for a local hospital, I found out they were in need of someone with the special skills Troy has. I had Paige send me a copy of Troy’s resume, and they called immediately.”

A look of concerned crossed Ludvik’s face. “May I still see you, even though they are here?”

“Of course. As a matter of fact, we should all have dinner tonight. I’m a decent cook. I can cook a cozy dinner, and they can rest.They will be exhausted from travel. Would you mind spending another evening in, that is if you are free.”

“Let me check my calendar.” Ludvik opens his calendar and says, I think I can pencil you in. He turns his phone around, to show no events scheduled. Linda laughs.

“Are you hungry? I usually just have coffee in the morning, but I could fry you an egg and make some toast if you like.”

“Actually, I need to head home for a bit, I will be back in a little while. If you need me, just call or text and I will be here immediately.”

Linda looked a bit worried still, after yesterday evening. Ludvik walked over, and run the back of his hand down her cheek. “You look so lovely this morning.” He paused, then added, “I will have my brother stay in the lobby. I took the liberty of programming his number in your cell while you slept. Bjorn is his name, and he will be glad to help in any way he can.”

“Is he the one who brought the food and the movies?”

Ludvik turned a bit red as he remembered the porn Thor had slipped in the mix. “Yes, he is. He is a bit of a character, but he is honest, and a good guy. He will keep you safe when I’m not here.”

“You trust him, then?”

“I do, with my life.”

“I will too, then. Thank you Ludvik.”

“Thank you, for what?”

“For actually caring enough about a girl you just met.”

Ludvik then pulled Linda in close. We may never have sex, but I can surely kiss you. His lips then found hers.

Linda began busying herself with the task of getting her apartment in order. She stripped the sheets off the spare bedroom bed, and threw them into the wash, wanting to freshen them. She went through the room dusting the furniture, she wiped down the mirror and the metal bed frame, and lastly she steamed the floor. Next she moved on to the guest bath. It was fairly clean, just a quick wipe down with a wipe here and there, to freshen things up. She added extra towels. She also added new, soap to the shower, along with shampoo and conditioner. Then it was on to the kitchen and living room.

Several hours passed, as Linda rushed about getting thing in her apartment ready for her guests. She decided she should make a trip to the corner market, to pick up things for dinner, and for Troy and Paige breakfast. She sat making a list as she ate her lunch.

     Linda decides to send a message to Ludvik. “I’m just finishing up lunch, and fixing to head to the market. How is your day going?”

     “Sounds very nice. I will ensure Bjorn follows.”

     “How will I know what he looks like?”

     “You will have no problems, he is quite handsome. Some say, the ideal man for any woman.” Ludvik began to worry a bit, that Linda may actually fall for Thor, as most women who met him did.

“Okay then, I will look for Mr. Tall dark and handsome.” Linda giggled as she sent the last text.

     It was two o’clock and Linda knew if she was going to have dinner ready for everyone’s arrival at six, she could waste no more time. She collected her things, sent one last text to Ludvik, and headed out.

“Leaving now, see you at six, or sooner if you miss me.”

     Linda stepped from her home, into the hall, and immediately began locking the locks. She was met in the lobby, by a man, who to her was quite plain and ordinary. However, she knew he was Ludvik’s brother, by the eyes.

“You must be Bjorn? I’m Linda, nice to meet you.” Linda then cleared a hand of items she was carrying in order to shake.

“Very nice to meet you ma’am. I’m Bjorn. I have heard all about you from Ludvik.”

Linda blushed a bit, asking “Shall we go?”      Bjorn held the door open, and off they went.

Ludvik had left Linda’s and gone to Valhalla. He wanted to know what was being done to find Fenrir, and how a demon managed to find its way into Linda’s building. Mimir was waiting as he entered the gates.

“Good morning my boy, how are things?”

“They could be a bit better. Any idea how that demon managed to find Linda’s building?”

“We are still working on it Vidar. How are things with you and Linda? Getting better acquainted yet?”

“You know as well as I do, you watch my every move with her.” Vidar was a bit snippy with Mimir. Mimir, however understood. He felt the same frustration as Vidar. He also felt the same feeling of utter helplessness, at knowing how their world would end if Linda was found again by Fenrir and the prophecy was fulfilled.

“Vidar,” Mimir placed a hand on Vidar’s arm. “There are three strands to every string in life. You know that as well as I. First strand will lead Linda straight to Fenrir, and the fall of the protectors and the gargoyles. All of earth will be turned into a playground of those from hell. And Linda, she will die. That is for certain.”

“I know this” Vidar stated. I know all too well.”

“Ah, of course you do, and you know of the second strand. You know how it shows Linda going once again into Limbo, and Fenrir returning to the underworld. This is the one that keeps occurring.”

Vidar nodded, he knew this as well. He wandered if he would have the strength and willpower, to kill her. If it meant saving her from Fenrir, and the first fate. “And the final strand Mimir, what does it hold?”

“Alas Vidar, no one knows that is the problem. There are many possibilities that could occur.”

“In any of those possibilities, does Linda live? Does Linda get the happy ending?”

“Vidar it isn’t for any of us to say. What will occur only time can tell. You must protect her. When and if the time comes, you must kill her. You swore an oath. You can’t go back on that.”

“I know sir. I will do it if I must. It will be better than the alternative.”

“Right you are Vidar. Right you are.”

Mimir walks around to his sofa, and sits. He pats the seat beside him, beckoning Vidar to sit as well. “Now, about this evening, Linda is introducing you to her friends?”

“Yes sir. She is making us all dinner tonight.”

“Then I suggest you get a move on and quit wasting time here with me. You must keep her safe, and away from Fenrir. You can’t do that if you are here, and she is there. Besides, you don’t want her getting to close to Thor do you? You know he can have any woman he chooses. The less time he spends with Linda face to face the better.”

Vidar knew this all to well. Women flocked to his brother, not to him. He was rather unknown, and awkward around the opposite sex. All that is except for Linda.

“Yes sir. I will head back then.” Vidar seemed a bit sad to Mimir.

“Vidar”

“Yes Mimir”

“We still have the third strand. Don’t lose hope.”

Vidar managed a small smile, as he disappeared, leaving a shining blue light behind.

    

    

    

    

 

 

©2015 ML Steele

A Fish Story

I like to fish. I’m not a professional angler, but I like to wet a line when I can.

“Hey, wait, isn’t this is a writing website? What does fishing have to do with it?”

I hear you. Today, I’m going to demonstrate a way to relate a true story. Here’s something I wrote about a fishing trip a few years ago.

Okay – so here goes. You may laugh at appropriate points during the story.

Yesterday, I went fishing. This in itself is not unusual, except I usually don’t fish. Don’t have much time, money, or equipment to do it with. But yesterday, I bought a cheap (remember that word – you’ll see it again later) fishing pole and went fishing with some friends of my wife.

I was having a good time, eating picnic food and talking. They loaned me a PFD – since I’m not a good swimmer – and we set out on a boat. Well, more precisely, a boat about six and a half feet long and about three inches wide. No worries – still had fun.

My wife was telling me “what not to do” if I fell out of the boat. I kept thinking, “That’s all true, but what if I don’t fall out of the boat?” That wasn’t in my plans, you see.

So, we cast off, we being me and one of the other guys, with poles, bait, and a cement block for an anchor. And two paddles. Tried one spot – nope. Drag up the anchor, go somewhere else. Hmm … catfish. Not bad if you cook them right, but not what I wanted. Especially at less than eight inches. No worries – drag and go somewhere else.

Did I mention that I hadn’t paddled a boat in about 20 years?

About this time, the first of about 12 idiots in much larger high powered motorboat go blazing by under the bridge, where we were. I would like to note for the record that a tiny boat makes for a ride to remember – when the large wakes come in.

About that time, my rod bends double. I suppose the shrimp on the hook could have attracted something. Either that or I’ve just hooked the anchor line – again. So, I start reeling and reeling, and my cheap reel starts binding and the boat starts tipping about to the point where half an inch remains from the gunwale to the water – and I see a flash of scales and fins!

I’m thinking “Fish sandwiches!”

Pull and reel, pull and reel, pull and reel – it jumps out of the water a couple of times and my buddy in the back starts yelling a few things I can’t type here. And the boat is rocking back and forth. PFD’s are a good thing to have, just in case – I’m thinking.

We get a good look at it, and it’s a snapper, easily as long as my arm and really meaty – I’m thinking “LOTS of fish sandwiches!”

No ruler, mind you, but we both saw it. I get it up to the surface, and I ask DJ, “Where’s the net?!”

He curses and says, “What net??”

I look this hooked fish on the line in the eye – and the line snaps. A flash of scales and a fishy laugh, and he’s gone.

After a moment (or two or three) of disbelief, I say, “Well, darn.” Well – not exactly, but this is a family forum. “I’m out a hook – where’s the tackle box?”

He looks at me, and says, “Uhhh, it’s on shore.” Which happens to be a looooong way off. So, we paddle a loooooong way off, reprovision, and paddle all over creation.

After that we caught nothing but eight inch catfish.

Had fun, but that one got away.

And did I mention that today is my birthday, and that I *really* wanted fish sandwiches for my snack???

This is an example of a “tall tale.” Except, it really happened. I almost fell out of that little boat that wasn’t much longer than I was tall, three times. My line was snapped, and there was no net. There was saltwater two and a half inches from the gunwales of that little boat.

The guy I went fishing with that day had mentioned beforehand about this boat, but didn’t give details.I should have figured something was up when he pulled it out of the back of his El Camino.

When I got home, I purchased my own net. It’s in the garage, next to my tackle box and my rods. I didn’t put that in the story above, even though it’s as true as all the rest.

Notice that I repeated the phrase “fish sandwiches?” Reiteration of a theme can strengthen your writing theme. In this case, fishing. I like fish sandwiches, and you don’t get fish sandwiches without – wait for it – fish.

Every so often I would interject little asides like the “no paddling in 20 years,” which made things stack up more again the protagonist and create conflict. Never mind the fact that this time, the protagonist is yours truly. This was written using humor in an ironical sense.

I think one day, I’m going fishing again. I know a snapper that has a date with destiny and a hot charcoal grill. With butter, lemon, pepper and a light dusting of cilantro.

Happy writing.

-JB Steele

Part 6

Back on earth that evening, Ludvik arrived at Linda’s apartment at a quarter to six. He knocked on her door and got no answer, so he decided to walk down to the coffee shop to see if she was there. As he steps out of the elevator on the ground floor, his eyes light up as he sees Linda. However it doesn’t last long, as he sees what is on Linda’s heels. Headed straight in her building door is a demon.

Ludvik greets Linda, and quickly pulls her into the elevator. He hits the tenth floor button, and they lurch upward as the elevator begins to rise. Ludvik pulls out his phone with no explanation to Linda and begins speaking to someone in Norse. Linda picks up enough of the conversation to realize someone has discovered where she is living. One thought comes to mind…… Her mugger. Linda becomes frantic as Ludvik puts his phone away. She pulls out her pepper spray.

Down in the lobby, Thor arrives to find the demon sniffing around. He is pretty sure, it has only wandering in Linda’s building, by mistake. He pulls Mjölnir from his belt, and proceeds towards the demon.

Ludvik looks down and starts to ask, but even before the words leave his lips Linda blurts out, “I could understand some of what you said. I don’t know how or why, but I did.” She holds the can up as the doors to the elevator begin to open, preparing to spray. No one is there. A bolt of lightning lights up the sky, showing through the windows, on Linda’s level. Followed immediately by a massive rumble of thunder. Linda grabs on to Ludvik, to steady herself. She then corrects herself and is back in attack mode, with her can held high.

As Ludvik begins exiting the elevator, he receives a text. “The assailant is in custody. Ms. Dalton is safe.” He turns his phone, and shows Linda. He then texts a message in return, and hits send.

Ludvik puts his hand over hers and lowers the can.

After they enter Linda’s apartment, she asks Ludvik, if he would like anything. He says “No thank you.” He then says, “We can stay in if you would rather.”

Linda, still physically shaken from the incident which had just occurred, says “You sure you wouldn’t mind staying in?”

“Not at all. I could order take out, and maybe a movie?”

“That sounds like heaven, to be honest. Would you mind, if I took a shower, to wash off the day’s dust, and makeup? I won’t be a few minutes.”

“You go ahead take your time and get comfortable. I can order take out, and see what is at the box to rent. You have a T.V. and DVD player don’t you?”

Linda began to giggle. “Of course I do. It’s just not on display.”

Linda then walks over to the panels on the wall, and pulls them open, revealing a television, DVD player, and stereo system.

“Nice. I like you keep it hidden.”

“Thank you. I shall return, make yourself comfortable.”

Linda headed towards the shower. Ludvik walks into Linda’s kitchen, talking to someone on the phone. Linda assumes he is ordering the takeout, and collects her things and crawls into the shower. Ludvik waits to hear the water start, then he turns off the phone, and suddenly disappears with a flash of blue light.

“Hello brother, how are you?”

“I am well, how are you?”

“Doing quite well.” Thor then holds his arm up revealing a watch similar to Ludvik’s.

“Mimir gave you one?”

“Yes. He said on days such as today, it would be required. I am to be Linda’s shadow, so to speak from now on.”

“And the demon? You ended it?”

“I did. It took a bit of work, but I managed.” Thor threw a quick wink at Ludvik. “The demon never saw Linda, it was popping in and out of all the buildings around here, probably searching for her for Fenrir.”

“How can you be sure?”

“I can’t. But what can you do, outside of camp out on her doorstep?”

“I know. Which in a way, that is what you will be doing.” Ludvik gave a hearty laugh. “And Thor?”

“Yeah, Vidar?”

“Thank you.”

“Hey man, any time. You know I love hunting demons. It’s what I live for.”

With that, Ludvik disappeared.

About fifteen minutes passed, and there was a knock on Linda’s front door. Ludvik opens it, and who was standing there, holding the Chinese food Ludvik had “ordered” but Thor. He hands Ludvik the bag of food, and a few movies, and hits the road.

“Was that the food being delivered?”

Ludvik holds up the bag and the movies.

“Oh smart man, I like Chinese. And movies, did you go out for them?” Linda looked a bit concerned being left alone in her apartment, while showering. Especially after whoever it was had followed her.

“No, I didn’t go out your door. I had all of it delivered.”

Linda smiled, as she walked over and relieved Ludvik of the bag. “Shall I make us plates, while you get the movie on?”

By this time, the storm was in full swing. Rain pouring down, more lightning, and large rumbles of thunder, mimicking the one from earlier today. Ludvik pulls his phone out, and sends one simple message, “Thanks for the weather Thor.”

“Sure.”

“What would you like?”

Not knowing what had been delivered, he tells Linda, “I’m good with anything.”

Linda headed to the kitchen, leaving Ludvik alone in her living room, to deal with the movies. He began looking through the movies, Thor had brought. It seemed there was nothing but romance, and what was this? A porn? “Thor’s Big Hammer!” What was Thor thinking…. Ludvik decides to hide the movie behind one of the cushions on Linda’ couch, and retrieve it later. He couldn’t chance leaving again, not with her in the kitchen making their food.

Linda emerged bringing two similarly made plates of food. She smiled to Ludvik, then placed them on her coffee table and headed back into the kitchen.

She hollered out, “What would you like to drink? I have wine, beer, or soda pop. Or you could have water or milk.”

Ludvik came walking into the kitchen and said, “What are you having?”

Linda smiled and said, “I was going to have a beer.”

“I will as well.”

The two settled in and ate their dinner, as they suffered through a romantic comedy. Finally the movie had ended, and Linda asked Ludvik if he would like some coffee.

“I would love some.”

“I will go and put a pot on then.”

They head into the kitchen, and Linda begins making the coffee while Ludvik takes a seat at one of the bar stools at her island.

“So, you are not a fan of Romantic comedies either?”

“Not really, I’m sorry Ludvik, I hope that doesn’t hurt your feelings, seeing as you picked it and all.”

“Not at all. I realized they are not for me either, but I thought I would give that one a try, seeing it looked least awful of them all.”

Linda laughed. She then walked over to the bag of food, reached in, and produces two fortune cookies. She hands one to Ludvik, and she keeps the other.

“You ready?”

“Ready, for what?”

“Opening cookies. It’s a family thing. We open them at the same time, then swap and read.”

“Ok then, I am ready.”

“On your mark, get set, open.”

They both open their cookies, then quickly swap.

“You read mine first,” Linda urges Ludvik.

“You will meet a tall handsome stranger, who will sweep you off your feet, and give you all you want in life.”

“Hum… that sounds a bit unbelievable.” Linda thought two can play at this game. “No matter how are you try, you won’t get lucky with your current love interest.”

Ludvik didn’t smile though. This hit him hard and brought his reality back home. He then asked, “Is that what you think I’m trying for with you?”

Linda was stumped, and a bit embarrassed. “No, I was only kidding, because you were with mine. I thought we were just being silly.”

Ludvik then turns his slip of paper and shows it to Linda. And there in tiny block writing is the exact words he said. Linda feels awful.

“Ludvik, I am sorry, I honestly thought you were playing.”

Ludvik smiles at Linda, “it is okay. It just made me feel bad. I am not looking for that Linda, I don’t care if we never have sex. I like you, I like being with you.”

Linda blushes, “Oh Ludvik. I have something to explain. I’m still a virgin, and I plan on staying that way until I know I am with who I was meant for.” This seemed to bring Ludvik down even further.

“Shall I make us coffee? And we can go and watch another awful Romantic comedy.”

Ludvik managed a small smile, “Sure. I take mine with a bit of cream only.”

“Are you stalking me? That is how I take mine as well.”

Linda makes their coffee, rather large cups of it. “It’s Friday night, I figured we could stay up all night, watching movies, if that is okay.”

“I would love that, honestly. Just to sit and relax with you, it sounds like a little piece of heaven.”

Ludvik takes both coffees and heads to the living room. Linda heads over to change out the movie. When she finishes, their coffees are sitting on the coffee table, so she walks around to the opposite end of the couch. She plans on laying with her head snuggled in close to Ludvik, if he does not object. As she passes the pillow, she notices something behind her cushion, she goes in to grab it, and Ludvik shouts “No!!”

“What is this? Thor’s Big Hammer?” Linda’s eyes grow quite large at the cover of the video, she also turns redder than she has ever in her life.

“It is my brother Bjorn’s idea of a joke. I am sorry, I found it at the bottom of the pile. He thinks he is a comedian.”

Linda stood there, eyeing the video. “Well we could watch it, if you wanted.”

It was Ludvik’s turn to drop his jaw. “You don’t really want to, do you?”

Linda was a bit embarrassed. “I am curious, is all. I have never seen one, nor have I had sex, and I am curious, as to exactly what goes on.”

“No, we will watch a romantic comedy. This only shows the sex side of it. It does not show the love, and commitment that goes along with it. When you experience for the first time, let it be pure, and unadulterated. Let it be from the love you have in your heart, not from something you watched on a screen.”

Linda felt herself falling a bit more for this beautiful man.

 

 

©2015 ML Steele

Review – Things other than writing tools

Some asides

 

Let’s face it. Writing can be hard work. If it isn’t this or that, pondering your characters, plots, settings, or whether or not just to throw it out and start over, it can be rough sometimes.

For some people it comes easy a lot of the time (I’m looking at you, ML Steele) and for others it doesn’t (I’m looking in the mirror.)

So, what do I do when I’m in that whitewater zone of staring at either a blank screen or a blank page?

I stop. I get up. I get off the computer, or away from the paper. I take a break.

Composing is mental work, to be sure. Whether it is composing words, music, or artwork, that right-brain uses up glucose at a higher rate. I’m pretty sure that is the case for me, at least, because I’ve got to eat something after I write a lot of times. At the very least, I’ll drink something while I’m taking a break.

So, get some apples. Bananas, if you like them. Dried fruit. A bowl of oatmeal is good, too. I personally  like the raisin, date, and walnut packets from Quaker Oats. Those are good in pancakes with a little bit of vanilla extract.

If I’m not in the mood to eat something while I’m ‘on break,’ then I’ll drink hot tea. Or I’ll stir up a drink mix. Or I’ll do what I really shouldn’t and have a Coke and a smile. The last one is for Prime members, but I couldn’t resist.

Of course, there are all the other things people of well-meaning natures tell you: get plenty of sleep, don’t stress, exercise, take care of yourself, and all that. While all of that is true, sometimes inspiration comes at the price of no sleep, stress, lack of exercise, and things of that nature. That doesn’t make it any less aggravating to hear someone say that. Especially if you haven’t slept because a story idea is burning up your brain, and you’ve been up all hours of the night pounding it into your computer.

Still, if the idea is there, write it down. You never know what you’ll get for inspiration and you never know what you’ll get for a result.

In the meantime, have a snack. Get up and move around. Check on the kids or the animals. Leave a little corner of your brain on “auto-complete” and let it work as a background process.

Or, for the Linux guys, set a mental cron job to process the stuff your brain is working on while you sleep at night – if you sleep.

Then, when you sit back down at your keyboard, or at your writing pad, you’ll have a good chance of things flowing smoother.

And now, a quick word from our sponsors

I’ve always wanted to write that. It reminds me of the old time radio shows I like to listen to.

This little blurb is about the ads that you see on this page, and on the aStore link in the top row. When the site was being set up, careful consideration was made about whether or not to place ads on this space. This is a writing website, first and foremost.  There are ads for Amazon.com and eBay for those things that (are supposed to) relate to the act of writing. Sometimes they stray a bit, but generally they will stay with the content of this site. No car parts, beading supplies, construction equipment, or shoes are going to be shown (I hope.) Take a few minutes and click on the links or the aStore. Look around for a little while – maybe you’ll find something that you’ll make good use of. The aStore in particular was set up with the needs of writers in mind.

People have mentioned to me that they don’t want to use their credit cards online, and that is a valid concern. Some suggestions: make sure the browser address bar shows green or a padlock. The aStore is a regular virtual storefront, but it will translate to a secure session (meaning “https://” in the address) once a cart is loaded and checkout has started.

Also, from my retail experience, I would recommend Green Dot cards. These are reloadable debit cards that allow for shopping online. While I don’t have a Green Dot card myself (I use a Google Wallet card and a Paypal Business Debit card.) I’ve not heard anyone complain about it. They are safe and secure, and will provide a type of financial firewall to your personal banking.

Happy Writing!

-JB Steele

PART 5

Three o’clock rolled around, and it was quitting time today for Linda. She walked to her window, peeking out once again at the gargoyle. She smiled and waved to him. 

“See you tomorrow my friend, and hopefully by then, I will have a name for you.”

“See you tomorrow Linda. I have a name… but alas, you cannot hear me……”

Linda closes the window and the blind. She collects her things, and heads out her office door, closing and locking it behind herself. She meets Katie, and the two set off to get a little shopping done, before Linda is to meet Ludvik.

“Hey, you ready?” Linda asks as she stands in the doorway to Katie’s office.

“Sure, let me grab my brief case, and I will meet you out front.”

Linda headed out to the front of the building. She thought she would try and spy her gargoyle friend. Sure enough, as she looked up there he sat, not far from her. She smiled, thinking people might think her crazy if she waved, or spoke.

Katie appeared outside, about fifteen minutes later.

“Hey, sorry I took so long, I received a last minute call.”

“No biggie. You ready?”

“Yes, but what were you looking at?”

“The gargoyle. He seems to have popped up here overnight.”

Katie drops her keys, and bends over to pick them up. Her backside, facing the gargoyle.

“Oh come on baby, show me those panties. Bend a little farther. No, well I can help that. Njord, could you help me out here?”

Katie is wearing a knee length skirt. Suddenly there is a huge gust of wind, and her skirt flies up around her head, revealing her red lace panties.

“Good thing I didn’t go commando today,” Katie giggled as she pulled her skirt back down where it belonged.

Linda smiled, and looked up at the gargoyle.

The gargoyle was still there, solid stone. However he was who called the wind. Suddenly a flock of pigeons fly over, Linda watching. They relieve themselves on the gargoyles head. Linda can’t help but laugh, as she and Katie head out.

“Really? I didn’t hurt anyone, it was only fun. Yes sir, I will report to you when I return to Valhalla.”

Seven o’clock on the dot, and Ludvik enters the café. Linda arrived ahead of him, and is already seated her usual spot, towards the back.

Ludvik approaches Linda’s table, a smile on his face.

“Hello there.”

Linda looks up from her book smiling as well. “Hello back at you.”

“May I sit?”

“Of course.”

“Have you ordered food yet?”

“No, I was about to. You are very punctual. I like that.”

“What is good?”

“I was going to get a grilled cheese, and maybe some tomato soup to go with.”

“Hum that sounds interesting. I will try it too.”

Linda flagged down the waitress, and the two placed their order for food, and Ludvik a coffee.

Ludvik presents Linda with a small gift bag, as he sits across from her at the small table.

“What is this?”

“It’s just a little something, I thought you may need.”

Linda opens the bag, and inside is a can of pepper spray. It is unlike any she had seen before, but it looks very easy to use and says it is guaranteed to take down a grizzly bear, or the toughest mugger around. Linda laughs a bit.

“Thank you, Ludvik.”

“I know you emptied yours last night in the attackers eyes, so……”

Linda smiled as he seemed a bit lost for words.

They sit talking for hours, Ludvik telling Linda of his life where he is from and what he does for a living. She sits engrossed, hanging on his every word. As his hand touches hers, her eyes meet his. She feels the pull of sexual energy towards him. Something she has never felt before. She carefully retracts her hand. He smiles and picks up his coffee.

“Linda, when may I see you again?”

She looks at her watch and says,” Maybe later on today, we could have dinner.”

“Where and when?”

She snickers, and says, “I’m off work at five, so maybe we could meet about six.”

Very serious Ludvik states, “That will never work.” After a short pause, he adds simpering “I won’t be back until eight o’clock, provided there are no inflight delays.”

“We could meet at nine?”

Grinning ear to ear, “Eight forty- five, and I will meet you at your apartment.”

“Agreed.”

Ludvik, then looks at his watch, and says, “It’s already three am. I have an early flight.”

Linda adds, “Yes, I should be going too I am going to dread getting up at eight in the morning.”

“May I walk you home Linda?”

“Sure.” A smile touching Linda’s lips.

Picking up Linda’s book, “What is this you are reading?”

Linda began collecting her things and placing them in her knew backpack she picked up today after work.

“You didn’t notice when you retrieved them from my attacker last night?

As he hands the book back to her, “That would be rude, wouldn’t it, to nose through a woman’s book and read the underlined passages.”

At this Linda turns red.

“I didn’t read your notes. I just found it very intriguing that you were interested in thirteenth century Gothic architecture and the introduction of gargoyles to building. You seem to like it more than the romance part of the book.”

Linda places the book in her backpack, along with all her other things. The red fading from her cheeks, “Ever since they started erecting a new building outside my office window using similar architecture as what is found in my book, I find it fascinating. Yesterday, a gargoyle appeared. It was as if he popped up overnight.”

Ludvik gazes at Linda as she continues talking.

“You may find this rather odd, but when I noticed him I opened the window and said hello. I told him I would give him a name.”

At this Ludvik laughs a bit, but then he gets all serious again stating, “You know that gargoyles are protectors. If you have one so close, then he must be keeping an on you.”

Linda assumes he is joking, and states, “in that case, maybe I should name him Tom.”

Ludvik, looks at Linda confused. She smiles and say “A peeping Tom.”

Ludvik lets out a small chuckle, “Maybe something a bit more, noble for your protector?

Linda says, “You are very noble. In fact you were my hero last night. I could name him Ludvik.””

“You have the only Ludvik you need in your life, right here in front of you.”

“In that case I think I shall name him Thor. He looks so hot with his hammer in movies.”

At this Ludvik openly laughs!

“Shall we be off?”

Linda slings her bag over her shoulder, grabs Ludvik’s hand, and proceeds out the door.

The walk home was very quiet and calm, no worries for Linda tonight as she neared the turn into the alley. She had her strong protector with her. She also had her knew bottle of pepper spray. As Linda rounded the corner, she was able to see the light bulb had been changed in the very area her attack had occurred.

“Did you have something to do with the light bulb getting changed up there?” As she pointed to the light.

He turns looking down at her. He brings his hand up to her chin, his lips finding hers. Their first kiss is a surprise to Linda, a very good surprise. His lips are soft and gentle. Being so close to him, she feels as if her body is on fire. She feels something stirring deep inside of her, coming to life.

When his lips finally withdraw from hers, she stutters out the words, “I have been after them to fix that light for over a year.”

His lips then find hers once more. He kisses her for a long time as they stand in the street under the street light for all to see.

Finally they resumed the walk home. It wasn’t too much farther. Ludvik opened the door, and Linda walked through.

“This should have a passcode Linda, no one should be able to just walk into your lobby off the street.”

“With what I pay in rent here, I’m lucky I have four walls around me. Don’t get me wrong, it really is a very nice building, but I don’t see them going all out for new expensive security measures.”

She grabs his hand once again and pulls him up the stairs. He follows her, loving the physical contact of this woman. As they reach her door she releases his hand and begins unlocking all of her locks.

He smiles, “Well you are at least secure up here.”

She taps on the door, “solid steel. My dad, got it and added all the locks when I moved in here.”

Ludvik smiles and says, “Smart man.”

Linda unlocks the last lock, and opens the door. She flips on the light and sets her bag just inside the door, on the floor. She then moves towards Ludvik, to hug him. He pulls her into his arms, and his lips are immediately back on hers. He picks her up as if she were a mere flower, her legs wrap around his body, and he leans her against the wall as he kisses her mouth, his fingers in her hair. Her hands go to his shoulders, slowly run down his back, touching his muscular body.

Suddenly his phone goes off and they calm their selves back down.

He carefully sets her back on the floor and softly kisses her lips one last time saying, “Until tomorrow.”

Linda smiles and says “Later today.”

Ludvik smiles back as she heads inside, and begins locking the locks. She stands smiling, as she touches her lips, remembering his there. Then she heads off to bed.

*IN VALHALLA*

Ludvik or in Valhalla Vidar, arrived after receiving a message on his phone from his father. As he enters he is met by Thor.

“Vidar, what are you thinking? They can see everything we do. You were not returned to the realm of earth to sow your wild oats. You were sent to protect Linda.”

“I know. I can’t explain it. It is as if we have no control over ourselves……”

Thor laughs heartily saying, “Brother they are called hormones. It is a side effect of being a human. As a god we can turn those emotions off but as a human they rule our life.”

“You to have felt this?

“Almost daily when I walk amongst mortal women.”

“I can’t recall feeling this until now.”

“You did Vidar, however when you left earth, your memory left you as well.”

The brothers continue walking and chatting, until they are met by their father. Vidar greets his father simply by saying Odin. Odin responds by saying Vidar. They continue on to where The Protector waits.

As Odin opens the door Mimir, The Protector, says “Only Vidar enter.”

The three men followed his order. Vidar enters, as the doors closes. Mimir sprinkles what appears to be a spice, across the entry way of the door, shutting off the ability for others to listen in. Mimir walks over to Vidar, his hand going to Vidar’s back.

“Good job last night my boy,” as his hand rests on Vidar’s shoulder. Vidar, starts to remove the special watch from his wrist which allows him to stay a human, even in daylight. Mimar says “No, keep it for now. You may have other times in which it will be necessary for you to walk in the daylight.”

“Thank you my friend.”

“I placed Thor at Linda’s office window as you requested.” He added “All has gone well. Linda, she seems like a very nice human.”

Vidar smiles.

“You are quite fond of her, already?”

“Yes, I can’t explain it. It feels as if we have always known one another.”

“In a way you have. She was created for the thing you were sent to end. Fenrir. She is as old as you and he. She first appeared to us, when it was decided to magically bind Fenrir. Tyr lost his hand at that time. However, Linda’s protector didn’t realize we had captured Fenrir, and ended up killing her. It was quick, she went into limbo, then she was returned when Fenrir escaped and killed Odin. After that, before you sleighed him, once again she was killed. Then she began being reborn every five hundred years. We aren’t sure why this began. She would ultimately end up being killed in some way or other. We thought maybe it was because Fenrir is still able to return from hell. This time……… this time, when he is killed, he must be turned to dust using Gram. That is the only way to ensure his end, his never returning.”

“And Linda?”

Mimir has no answer. He shakes his head, and says, “I do not know until it occurs. No one knows, she is merely a human.

Mimir continues, “She will not have sex until Fenrir, mates with her. She is a virgin, and must stay that way for him. It is something instilled in her. Then and only then, will the prophecy be final.”

Vidar feels saddened, being born for the sole purpose of ending Fenrir. He can’t remember ever having felt anything even remotely close to love or an attraction. He only lived to end Fenrir. It was his drive, his meaning of life. Now, what he feels for Linda, can never be explored more than a kiss. Vidar pushes the thoughts of Fenrir having Linda in this way. The savage way he would take her. Was almost unbearable to him.

“Is anything more.”

Mimir suggests, “You could wear your watch tomorrow evening and surprise her. Arrive early and take her on a romantic date.”

Vidar smiles. “Thank you Sir.”

Mimir smiles and shows Vidar to the door.

 

©2015 ML Steele

Something a little different from my usual (JBS)

This one is a rough/first/trial draft of something I had started many years ago, forgot about in the trials of life, and recently found it resurfaced when I moved. I think I would like to finish it. At the time I didn’t have the life experiences to really write it. Now that I do, this one might coming down the line. Apologies for any grammatical errors – it is literally a snapshot in time.

Prologue

People had been glancing at the two of us most of the morning. She found several reasons to come to my desk, little reasons of no real importance. I did the same thing. She’d look up and I’d be standing there, quietly. Without a word, I’d go somewhere else. Anywhere else. When I got there, I’d work on something and feel a hand on my shoulder. I’d squeeze the hand, knowing instantly whose it was. A sad smile and she’d be gone. We tried not to be seen together, unless one of us found some little reason to come back to the other.

Everyone else knew something had happened. How could they have known otherwise? She and I were partners in every sense of the word. We were colleagues, friends, and now lovers. Our relationship had progressed from the first shy moment we met three years ago at work, from little jokes and teases, to genuine trust and affection, to love. Every step had progressed naturally, and neither of us had thought it strange. Our coworkers at the office watched this with approval, and so did the bosses. Most of those people, anyway. A couple of the higher-ups didn’t like it.

I got up and walked toward the coffeepot. Maybe the taste of the truly awful sludge would distract me. I got there and saw her standing with her back to me. Shocked, I just stood there, knowing she never drank those terrible dregs. She was moving slower than usual, with her head bowed, and I knew she hurt as bad as I did.

My arms automatically went around her, before I thought. She stiffened in surprise, and then relaxed into my embrace. Many times had we stood like this watching the surf, or lying together while we watched the stars. I held her as the trembling started, little mild fits of heartbreak, knowing my own heartbreak mirrored hers. I murmured little comforts in her ear and hoped that she wouldn’t break down. I knew that if she did, I would too. It hadn’t been easy recently. I had received word that I was being transferred to a new office at the behest of one of the bosses. I didn’t have to figure out which one. It was the same one who’d made a pass at her, months ago. His proposal, if you could call it that, had been quickly turned down. Maria and I looked long and hard for ways to keep me from having to go, but there wasn’t a way. I had to go.

We knew why he’d done it. He didn’t like the idea of fraternization at the workplace, but since he wasn’t the big boss, he couldn’t do much. . . until now. It had been set up and executed with all the skill and finesse of a jungle ambush. He wanted me out of the picture, so he could make another play. The other boss who didn’t approve, well, she’d helped him right along. They deserved each other.

Both of us had talked it over. We knew that with me on the other side of the world, our relationship wouldn’t survive. Oh, maybe it would, but it wouldn’t be the same. We had to have each other, hold each other, love each other. That wouldn’t have been possible from so far away. It had been with breaking hearts that we decided to call it quits. So many tears were shed, from anger and hurt, but we couldn’t think of a better way.

I stayed with her last night, saying goodbye. I knew I might never share her bed and her love again, and I didn’t want it to end. She knew that, and welcomed me. Maria didn’t want it to end either. We knew then that today would be so hard, but neither of us could call in sick. I couldn’t do that, because I’d be leaving in the evening and didn’t want to just sit around all day. I was already packed. She couldn’t, because of a recent flu bug had used up all the sick time she had. The only consolation, if you could call it that, was that I’d leave before she got off. She wouldn’t have to see me go, then.

Her trembling eased off, but mine was still there. I was so angry, at that boss, at the world, at my loss. She turned, snuggling into my shoulder, saying she loved me. That made me feel better and worse at the same time, but my trembling receded a little. I softly kissed her lips, not caring who was there to see it, and broke the hug. As much as I loved her, I couldn’t take it. I still kept her hand, though, and she understood.

I decided against the coffee, so I walked to the drink machines and got a bottle of apple juice. She came with me, since I was still holding her hand, and we shared a companionable silence. Distantly, my mind registered that the conversation level had dropped every time we were together, but then again, I understood. They cared for us, and I had been told more than once that they had been so happy when we got together. Apparently, the women in the office had been pushing her toward me, and the men had done the same for me.

A slight stir alerted me to the fact that the woman who’d help break us up had entered. She saw us standing together and started to come our way. I kissed my lover on her forehead, and stood erect as the boss approached. The now-empty bottle of apple juice seemingly fell of its own accord into a trashcan. I didn’t trust myself to say anything to the woman, so I simply stared at her.

She tried to act as though she didn’t know of any “special” circumstances, or as though the air of gloom wasn’t there. I could tell that she fed on it. She started to go on about not working like I should, no “sense of urgency,” and other things. I didn’t say anything, but modified my stare into a cold, clear, and penetrating gaze. I looked her in-the eye and very soon she figured out that I knew what she’d done.

She broke off and walked off in the opposite direction, hastily. I didn’t know where to, and didn’t care. Someone else broke off, too, and followed her. I turned back to my lover, but she wasn’t there. I sighed and turned to go back to my desk, to start cleaning it out.

As I started to do that, people figured it out. The office mom came over and hugged me, having seen everything and quite capable of figuring it out. She whispered in my ear that she was so sorry for both of us, and that she’d go find her and keep her occupied when I left. I nodded, unable to speak. I had a steady stream of visitors then, who tried as hard as they could to support me the best they knew. I was touched, so appreciative.

Soon, my time was almost up. I put my stuff into a bag, and closed the desk’s drawer. It didn’t look like mine anymore, just a piece of office furniture. I arose and walked to the head manager’s office. He was a good friend of mine, and I didn’t want to leave witl1out saying goodbye. I found him there with a miserable expression on his face. He stood, took my hand, and told me to sit down. He said he was sorry to see me go, and wished he could do something to keep me here.

Then he dropped a bomb.

He told me he found out about the transfer the two others had cooked up, and like us, had tried to find a way to nullify it but couldn’t. He did find a way to have fired, with prejudice, the man who’d drafted it but it would take time and he couldn’t do it himself or immediately. The woman I’d stared down would take time to get rid of. I gaped at him. He had in effect declared a vendetta on that woman and a jihad on the man. I didn’t know what to say, but I did feel satisfaction.

A knock on the door interrupted us, and he got up to open the door. The office mom came in with her arms around my lover, and prompted her to speak. She paused, unsure, but said she wanted to say goodbye. My friend raised his eyebrow.

A little exasperated, she snapped, “I want to kiss him goodbye, and I don’t want everyone watching!”

He nodded, as if he expected that, and he hustled out the door with the other woman. The door closed, and I looked at her. Suddenly, we were in each other’s arms, and so desperately we kissed, so passionately, I thought would drown in her; I could feel her tears falling and my own streaking down my face. Time passed, without any thought from us. ‘ The kiss ended, leaving me light—headed. She gazed at me, teary-eyed, and turned and ran out the door. I didn’t follow her. It was hard enough on me to see her in the same pain as me. I sat in the swivel chair, staring out at the bay. My friend’s hand on my shoulder brought me back. It was a few minutes before I could look up at him.

“I don’t want to go.” He nodded.

“I don’t blame you.”

“Tell her to wait for me.” Again, he nodded.

“I will. Cherie and I will look after her for you.”

I sat there, still. He stood there, not being my boss, until I was ready to get up. Soon, I did. I walked out of his office, and picked up my bag. He was right behind me. As I walked out onto the main floor, silence reigned. 1 stopped, and my friend stopped to my Ieft. I looked around, and saw her at my desk, surrounded by others. We held our gaze for a long time, until she turned away. I didn’t want her to watch me go, and I went. I heard her crying softly as she turned away, but I couldn’t stop. I made it out, barely, but the tears on my face wouldn’t stop.

I’ve got plenty of conflicts to resolve in this one, don’t I?

-JB Steele

© 1994-2015

Part 4

Linda stayed in her closet until morning, when at 9am her blaring alarm woke her. She had drifted off to sleep as the adrenaline and caffeine had drained from her body. She began trying to remember what had occurred on her way home, but try as she may she could remember nothing more than a mugger had tried to attack her.

Linda crawled from the closet, after placing the knife in the floor of her room. She stood and stretched her body. Being cramped up for so long in the tiny space made her muscles yearn to be stretched. She thought of her bag, as the blood returned to her long legs. When her legs felt sturdy enough, she went to check on it. Upon entering the living room, Linda quickly discovered her wallet missing from a hole in her bag. She assumed it had been ripped during the scuffle. Her book she had been reading must have fallen out as well. Linda figured since she takes the same route through the alley, and past the coffee shop she could look on her way to the office for her belongings.

Linda heads towards the shower. Once inside she quickly bathes and washes her hair. She steps from the shower onto a thick bath mat feeling a bit better, however her mind fog still has not cleared. She wraps a towel around herself and heads straight to her closet in search of clothes. Linda grabs a dark grey pair of dress pants and a light pink silk shirt. She adds charcoal heels and a tailored sweater vest. She heads back to the bathroom and quickly combs out her curly hair using her fingers, adding in product to tame her natural curl. She allows it to air dry, while she applies a bit of lip and eye color. She finishes off with a bit of mascara and a spritz of her perfume.

Looking at her watch as she picks it up from the jewelry tray, Linda realizes if she is going to stop by the coffee shop, she has to leave soon. She enters her living room, and grabs her brief case, keys, and phone. She moves into the kitchen and takes two twenty dollar bills from the coffee can which houses her secret stash of emergency money.

Linda opens the door, and steps through the threshold, out of her apartment, and begins locking all of the locks. As she turns to leave she nearly runs into a man. She looks up in his face and thinks to herself, he looks familiar. He holds a hand out to her and inside are her wallet and book from the night before.

Ludvik says, “I believe these were lost in the scuffle last night.” As his hand touched hers, part of last night’s events came rushing back. She realized he was who had fought off her attacker, and that she had met him earlier that evening.

“Thank you for returning them, and for last night. I don’t like to think of what may have happened, had you not come along.”

An Icy chill runs up Ludvik’s spine, as he recalls what he had seen upon touching Linda’s hand that first day. He knew exactly what would have been in store for Linda, had he not come along.

“He wasn’t able to open your wallet, so he shouldn’t know your address.”

Linda had not thought of that. She quickly opens her wallet and checks inside. Her cash, her license, and the emergency credit card her father had given her, before she left home for the big city, were all still tucked safely away in the pockets.

“Oh thank heavens, everything is still here, and it looks as if nothing was touched.” Linda pulled a $100 from her wallet, to thank him properly for returning her wallet and book.

Ludvik smiles and says “keep it. Thank you for the gesture, but I can’t in good conscious accept money for doing it.”

“Are you sure? I know it isn’t nearly enough for all you did, but it’s about all I have on me at the moment.”

Ludvik reaches up to Linda’s hand with his and closes his hand around hers and the money. “I mean it, keep it please.”

Linda felt a strong connection, as her skin came into contact with Ludvik’s. He smiled at her and released her hand, she then stuffed the money back in her wallet, and closed it. She slides it inside her brief case.

“And this?” Ludvik asks as he holds up Linda’s book.

“Yes, thank you again.” She takes her book from his strong cool hand, immediately checking to see if the slip of paper is still in the back.

As she thumbs through to the back, Ludvik holds a piece of white paper and asks “Looking for this?”

Linda blushes slightly, “Yes. I was kind of hoping you would still want me to call you.”

Ludvik hands the paper back to Linda. “Then call me sometime.”

Linda takes the slip of paper from his hand, opening it, and there is his neatly written name and phone number. She slides it into the back of her book, once again, and adds the book to her briefcase.” Can I at least buy you a coffee tonight?”

Ludvik smiles and says, “I will be there. What time?”

“I should be there by seven. I have to do some shopping after work, then I’ll grab a sandwich or something while I’m at the café for dinner.

“That sounds good to me, I will see you tonight.”

Linda begins moving towards the staircase saying, “Yes, see you tonight.”

Linda’s work day seemed to fly by, as she caught herself constantly thinking of the beautiful man. At lunch she grabs her wallet and book, and heads over to the mass of food trucks across the street.

Linda decides she will read for an hour while she nibbles on a something, maybe Thai today. Linda heads for the front door of her office building. On her way out she runs into one of the girls she goes out with for drinks with on occasion, Katie. Linda’s book falls to the floor along with the paper Ludvik had given to her.

As Linda goes to pick up the book, Katie says “I have it.” She bends over and picks the book up from the floor, straightens handing it to Linda. Katie bends once again, and picks up the paper. She turns the paper over and over in her hand, stating “Oh, your book mark is blank. I usually doodle on mine, or make lists.” Linda takes the paper from her hand, and there neatly written in black ink, Ludvik Vidar and the number, 555-5555.

Linda looks at her puzzled, and asks “do you not see the phone number?”

Katie looks at Linda as if she is nuts. “Are you feeling okay Linda?”

“Yes, maybe I just need something to eat, especially after  last night.”

“Let’s get you something to eat then.” Katie smiles and the two cross the street together.

Linda and Katie eat lunch together. Linda tells Katie of her eventful night. She spends extra time talking about the guy she met and how he saved her from being mugged.

Katie smiles and says, “A modern day knight in shining armor, eh?”

Linda giggles at Katie’s comment.

After lunch, the two women cross the street and return to their offices. It is such a beautiful day, that Linda decides to open her window blind. She twists the knob on the window opening it. She sees a new building has been erected, and sitting staring into her office is a gargoyle. She smiles, and pushes the window open a small amount to allow a bit of fresh air in.

The Gargoyle sat on his perch watching over the inhabitants of the city. Suddenly the blind in the window by which he was perched opened. A beautiful woman stood peering out at him through the closed glass. She opens the window, and began to talk to him.

“Well, hello there.”

“Hello back at you.”

“I am going to come up with a name for you.”

“I already have a name, all you have to do is ask, and I can tell you.”

Linda stands there staring out at the gargoyle for several minutes. Never hearing a word he says. Finally she tells him, “I really should get back to work now. Good bye.”

“Good bye for now.”

 

 

 

 

©2015 ML Steele