20 of 40 – Half way there

Ohhhh, we’re half-way there

ohhhh oh, livin’ on a prayer

Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear,

Ohhhh oh, living on a prayer….

Sorry, love that song. *ahem* So yeah, I’ve managed to consistently (with a few lost days here and there) make 20 posts in just a little over 20 days. I wish I could say I was half way to finishing my Camp NaNo project but alas…I find that bouncing between the three books (completely not the plan) has my word count all over the map but not necessarily on the fast track to getting any one of the books to total 50K words added.

Honestly, doesn’t bother me much because I’m writing again and that’s what feels good. I have one Camp NaNo badge and two or three November NaNo badges. I’ve got four published books, and at least two, maybe three that will be release ready this year. Mind you, those same three were originally slated for a couple of years ago, but my mojo went missing.  Funny how that works, or in this case doesn’t work.

But it seems to be back. I may have found my way home for sure.

Speaking of which, so I just wrote the final scene in book two. I want so badly to share it but it contains so many spoilers, lol.  I’m wondering, if I tell you now, will you even remember it once the books come out? I believe I’ have just one blog reader who has any of my books, no wait, maybe two, so really, if I share the excerpt here, I don’t run the risk of spoiling it for anyone.

Hmmmm, man. This is a bit of tough call. The scene is by no means polished which in and of itself should prevent me from sharing it. But it’s such a good one to me.

Nope, no…I’ll wait. Let me get it cleaned up a bit and then I’ll casually post it here. I’m telling you, this writing thing is like the best natural high, ever!

Have a great weekend, sending love and light,

Dana

19 of 40 – Another scene

This is more of an excerpt of a scene, but it lit me up as I was writing it…

“So how does all this work?”
“Well, okay. There’s The Source. It is the energy or whatever that created everything. In human science, Its called The Big Bang, in human religions, Its usually called God. Alright, so from that point where The Source came into being, evolution starts up not too long after. Again, modern human science calls them quarks. Those little bits of Source got together with other little bits, and so on and so on. Some form into matter, others form into what we consider to be living beings.  Time, while not being measured then, is passing and things grow, develop, change, and so on. You end up with parts of The Source developing all kinds of housings, then when those housings deteriorate, that bit of The Source is freed to find another housing. Are you with me so far?”
Victoria had a general grasp on what Warner was explaining, so she nodded her head and gestured for him to continue.
“Alright. Now, here’s where it gets a bit tricky. Used to be that when these tiny bits of Source wanted to return, they ascended whole, as they were. And that was all well and good until the larger configurations of The Source formed a version of conscious awareness. You may think of these as souls. As each soul evolved it believed itself to be a separate thing and didn’t want to be absorbed back into the whole. The Source, being self aware all along, understood this development and allowed these new souls to maintain their housings and ascend in tact. Hence the ancient, indescribable beings that dwell beyond our comprehension throughout the realm.”
“Oh. Have you ever seen one?”
“No. And from what I understand, I wouldn’t be able to process what I was looking at anyway. Maybe once I’ve ascended but who knows.”
“Uh huh. Okay, keep going. Man, this would make a great movie.”
“The special effects budget would have to be gargantuan. But anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. So evolution brings about bodies, the Soul’s now having evolved consciousness to the point of curiosity and craving, want to experience bodies. They developed a way to inhabit these configurations for the sake of having experiences. Next thing you know, you get the humans of today.”
“So, what you’re telling me is that none of us is really human, we’re just pieces of the Source out for a joy ride.”
“Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.”

(giggle…now, on to tonight’s writing)

Sending love and light!

Dana

18 of 40 – Another scene

Migraine Fairy is swooping in for a visit. I haven’t had any water today (the first in two, maybe three weeks I didn’t have any water, the third in two weeks that I didn’t get 64 full ounces). There’s also a tropical storm a’brewing in the Atlantic. Doesn’t take much, just the flap of those butterfly wings in Costa Rica and next thing you know, my head’s trying to blow up.

But that’s not what I’m here to share. Nope, I’m here because the voices came back today. Sitting in traffic on two separate occasions today, my characters rose up and spoke three scenes in my head.  Those scenes were on repeat and that’s how I knew it was real. Through the pain building in my head, they acted out the scenes with only minimal variations – their subtle insistence that I get the imagery and dialog committed to the draft. I felt whole – a sensation I haven’t had in a long time it seems.

I was able to capture the majority of the one scene tonight. It’s difficult to write through the pain, but write I must.  It is good, or at least I think so. I’d like to share it if I may…

     “I’ve been expecting you.”
“Oh, I bet you have.”
“Let me guess. You’ve come to exact your revenge for the death of your master.”
“Yeah, something like that.”
“Were you expecting this to be easy? That your righteous anger would give you the tools you need to defeat me?”
“No, I was thinking this sword and my excellent fighting skills would be all I needed to kick your sorry demon ass all the way back to hell.”
“Oh, language. You are speaking to an elder who happens to be your father. There should be a certain amount of respect in your tone and word choice.”
“Sorry, so not going to happen. I don’t respect you and as far as I’m concerned, Warner was more my father than you’ll ever be.”
“Little girl, your education is sorely lacking. Has no one told you how powerful I am?”
Victoria thought just briefly about the conversation she’d so hastily ended with Zanthia. Was she really serious about Victoria not being ready? So be it. She’d do the best she could or die trying. “Fuck you and your power.”

Victoria raised her sword, the movement so swift the blade left light trails in her vision. And then, the world went black. It was as if all the light was suddenly gone. She had the sensation of her eyes being open, but that was all. She thought for no apparent reason, “I’ve slipped between.” She was somehow no longer in her body, but she wasn’t outside of it either. She was for all intents and purposes, nowhere. It was an unsettling feeling, she wished she could feel something, anything, but there was just infinite black. Her thoughts, without the confines of her flesh and bone to hold them began to drift further and further away. Bits of her psyche, just casually floating into the the nothing. She couldn’t call them back but only sense them as they went on their way.
Then just as suddenly, she felt slammed back into her body as all sensation flooded back at once. She experienced vertigo and staggered, the weight of her body causing her surprised legs to react with muscle spasms and shudders.
“Uh oh. Look at what you’ve done.”
Victoria opened her eyes. Tiny’s body lay bloodied at her feet. Her hands were soaked in fur and flesh.
“I had meant for you to kill the child, but your damn brute of a hound got in the way. Oh well, murder is as a murderer does. That makes no sense, but it sure sounded poetic, didn’t it?”
Victoria consciously left her body, her vision taking in the scene from a foot or so above her head. She took in the room around her, a baby’s nursery in some upscale townhouse, who knew where in the city. The baby thankfully lay sleeping in its crib, chubby fist tucked into its mouth, clearly, beautifully breathing. This time, a bird’s eye view of Tiny’s huge Rottweiler frame, now with chunks missing, blood soaking into the decorative throw rug in front of the crib. Victoria’s father, Darian sat in a rocking chair by the window. Left leg casually slung over the arm of the chair, foot slowly swinging back and forth as if he’d had not a care in the world.
“You see little girl, you are flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood so if I want to ride you like a Harley on a warm spring day, I am powerful enough to do so without your consent or even knowledge. I hadn’t done so up to this point because I didn’t think you were foolish enough to ever come for me. I thought surely Zanthia and what’s left of her precious do-gooders would have taught you more about me. But since they were remiss in that portion of your studies, let this be your first, and hopefully only lesson.” He stood up and walked the few short paces between them. Victoria was still observing things from above, so when Darian bent down, slid his fingers through one of the raw openings in Tiny’s body, Victoria could do nothing to stop him from wiping the blood across her lips.

“You are my only child, but don’t think for a moment I won’t drive you mad, torture you for years, before finally killing you in order to prove my point. You are no match for me. You will never defeat me and you will never have the throne. Oh, look at the time. I must be going before the babysitter comes to check on the little hellion. Good bye Victoria. I hope we never meet again.” And with that, he was gone.

Okay, so there you go. Not a boat load of wordage, but considering I’ve felt so not in the mood to work on my Camp NaNo project, this felt like manna from Heaven.

Sending Love and Light,

Dana

9 of 40 – Let Someone Else’s Words…

move us ALL.

I write because I struggle to speak my truth. Want to know what I’m going through, how I see the world? Read my writing.

And on the flip side, words can bring understanding. Are you afraid of “them”…bet if you took a minute you’d find common ground and way less reason to fear and hate.

LISTEN TO / READ / SPEAK THE WORDS.  Seek out what’s not being said in yourself and in others.

I love you.

Dana

7 of 40 – another quick scene.

She scaled the wall in her usual spot, noting that none of her trip wires or other safety features had been crossed.  Slipping in the window was academic.  She made quick work of taking off her weapons and then her clothes on the way to the shower.  The clothes went into a trash bag from there they would end up in the incinerator in the basement.  She climbed slowly into the tiny shower, water blasting over her, so hot it was just shy of scalding.  She hung her head and let the water wash over her body.  An eternity later, she was sitting in the comfortable chair in the corner, her back to the solidity of the two outer brick walls.  She had reinforced them when she set up this safe house – nothing short of a missile could penetrate them.  This is where she slept.

She was just beginning to doze, the [gun] on the table to her right.  The sniffling at the door brought her fully awake, gun in hand.  She sat that way for a full count of ten before approaching the door.  Noting that none of the safety features in the hallway had been tripped, she relaxed and listened, the sound of the puppy’s sniffing became obvious.  “You have got to be kidding,” she muttered, opening the many locks and releasing the two spells.  The door swung open and the pitch black muzzle of the puppy pushed its way in, followed by its oversized body.  “Really?  You really followed me all the way up here?”

The puppy’s slow tail wagging and it’s presence at her door the only answer she would receive.  “How in the world did something so big get past the trip wire?  Are you a good trap sniffing dog?”  Yet another wag of the tail.  “Well, I bet you’re hungry.”  This time the tail wagging was more than enthusiastic and shook the entire body.  She let in the wobbly dog and followed it into the kitchen.

A quick rummage through the fridge produced some left overs from her favorite eateries in the neighborhood.  She pulled out all the meat and placed it on a plate for the puppy who snuffled her appreciation before taking everything in no sooner than the plate was in reach of her mouth.  The puppy gave a quick lick of the chops followed by what Victoria took to be a burp before shuffling off on a sniffing expedition of the entire apartment.  She didn’t have far to go, the apartment consisted of the tiny kitchen, small dinning area, a reasonably sized living room and the medium sized bedroom which Victoria had yet to sleep in.  There was a bed in there, but Victoria used it mostly as an office and weapons room.  Her clothes were kept neatly in a dresser she had found in the alley.

Part of book two, Demon Master. Sigh.

What’s good with you?

Love ya,

Dana

6 of 40

Another favorite part of a scene:

“Start talking.”

“Yeah, okay. What do you want to know?”

“Don’t be foolish. I want to know why you’ve been following me, who you are and is there any reason for me not to kill you?”

“Uh, well, don’t want you to kill me at all mostly because I want to live. I used to be a cop. A while back, there was this case. Some guy shows up dead but not just dead, carved up in these pretty patterns. Me and my partner get the case. We investigate and do all we can but of course, it ends up being a cold case. No one claims the body and we go on about our business. Then there’s these rash of shootings and cuttings. No one ends up dead, but it’s strange. So again, my partner and I start investigating. We can’t figure out what’s going on. We get told to move on, there’s more crime to deal with and that’s all well and good, but letting something go is not in my nature. I start reviewing old cases, spending a little over time at my desk making notes and such, doing research. I finally start to see a pattern though and I take what I find to my sergeant who tells me I’ve been working too hard and need a break. He puts me on administrative leave. Okay, I’ve got some time on my hands so I start investigating on my own. And what’d’ya know? I get lucky – I’m staking out the last crime scene when this guy shows up. He sneaks into the place. I follow him and low and behold, he fiddle farts around, sprinkles some shit on the floor and like magic, the blood stains disappear. I watch him get into a car, and catch another lucky break, the license plate is legit so I end up with an address. A few nights of following this dude around, and what’d’ya know again? I actually see dude kill this woman. Well, not kill exactly, he did something to her to make her pass out, this yellowish smoke puffs out of her and the next thing you know, she’s up and walking around as if nothing happened.

After that, dude gets harder for me tail. I can’t ever get close to him. I’d see him just out of the corner of my eye or walking around a corner then a day later, there’d be somebody showing up in the hospital with a weird cuts or gun shot wound. Your mother’s murder was my biggest break because it happened right up stairs from my mystery guy’s place. It appeared to be a closed case, we got your mom’s boyfriend for the murder, but he claimed he had no memory of it what-so-ever. No surprise there, he was so high when the cops arrested him we were surprised he was functioning at all. And we know your mom had you because all the neighbors we question kept asking where you were. I finally have a legitimate reason to question the guy, but he never comes home. He disappears, you had disappeared. Fortunately, he leaves behind an apartment full of clues. I start spending time casing the place you know. Waiting for either of you to show up. A whole year and my sergeant decides I could use more than some time off, he relieves me of duty permanently. Well now I have all the time I need to sit in front of your apartment complex waiting for one or the other of you to show up. And when you do, you’re damn near grown and my mystery man looks the same as he always did. So I start following you both. And just like before, I can’t ever keep up. You guys come and go like the wind, and all of a sudden, those strange shootings and stabbings start happening again, only this time, I know there’s two of you doing the damage.

It takes me a minute, but I found out where my mystery guy lived. I started just hanging out there and what do ya know? One night you guys both show up with some new dude. I manage to get in around the back, hide myself in the hallway, fully intending to bust in and demand some answers when I overhear you three chatting it up. Imagine my surprise when I discover you and mystery boy are some kind of supernatural ghost hunters; the other dude, who disappeared through the fuckin’ wall I might add, is your father and he just happens to be a friggin’ demon. You know, like a real devil, evil kind of demon. Next thing you know, you freak out and poof, both of you guys disappear. Another year goes by, there’s a crime scene but no body – guess where? That’s right, at mystery dude’s place. I just picked up your tracks about a week ago. Started tailing you and then you flippin’ shoot me!!”

Victoria had let him get it all out of his system. She was thinking the combination of Mei’s salve, John’s special ale, and the weirdness of the whole situation, had loosened a touch more than Stephen’s tongue. About now, Victoria could tell he was quite freaked out.

“Alright there big guy. Just chill out.”

“Chill out? Chill out?! I’d love to just chill out but instead, I’m sitting in a bar that has Superman’s cousin as a doorman, eating a cheeseburger with some supernatural assassin, and a freakin’ bullet hole in my shoulder!”

Yeah, he was definitely freaked out.

This one’s from book two – Demon Master.  That’s June’s NaNo project.  Can’t wait.

What’s good in your world today? Name your gratitude…

Love you,

Dana

4 of 40 – An April 2017 Camp NaNo Excerpt

I love this scene…

Even from that far away, the presence called to him; he knew the girl was in trouble and the decision to induct her was made.  It was now the only way he could save her life.

He entered the apartment.  The stench of blood never failed to raise the coppery taste of bile to the back of his throat.  Her mother lay curled in a crumpled heap in the bedroom just off the front door.  He wasn’t sure anyone would be able to identify what was left as human.   A few short steps further in and he saw the girl lying face down on the small couch.  Her clothes had been torn but not removed.  He breathed a small whisper of relief.  He had gotten there before the demon could defile her any further.

Said demon, a lesser demon but strong none-the-less was ridding the body and mind of the mother’s sometime boyfriend.  He hunched over her body, his back to Warner.  The high insectile buzzing of its thoughts gave Warner an instant headache–which of course, pissed him off to no end.

“Hey, stupid. “

“Meat.”  Oh yeah, this one was definitely not the brightest bulb in the lamp.

“Um, no, stupid.  That’s my new apprentice.”   Warner hoped the small talk would keep the demon from guiding the knife in Chad’s hand any deeper into the girl’s back. There were already three deep gashes running with blood.  It looked like the demon wanted to add at least one more.  Warner was slowly pulling his gun from its holster and easing around to get a good shot.

“No apprentice.  Meat.”

“No, not meat.  My protégé.”

The demon stopped moving.  It finally realized that it was in the presence of a hunter.

“You…kill me?”  He held the knife over the girl’s left shoulder blade.  The threat to end the girl’s life was obvious, but Warner wasn’t worried.  He had his shot. It helped that the stupid demon had picked Chad who was hopefully so doped up on heroine he wouldn’t even realize he had been possessed.  Chad’s body was horribly messed up from the drugs, even sober, Chad didn’t have the reflexes to dodge Warner’s bullet and no matter the supernatural strength of the being currently inhabiting his body, it was going to be near impossible to get that drugged up husk to move any faster than the bullet Warner was prepared to put through its ribs.  A killing blow to the demon’s life center, a serious bullet wound to the human host.  Depending on how fast the ambulance got there, Chad would live to do time for the murder of the girl’s mother.  Sad, but at this point, Warner didn’t have any sympathy.  He had heard the awful things Chad had said and seen the aftermath of the beatings he had delivered.  Warner wasn’t surprised that the demon had chosen Chad to do its dirty work.

“Yes, stupid.” He said as he fired, “I’m going to kill you.”  The bullet struck before the last word was from his lips.  The demon wailed as it died, its essence flowing from the wound in a sickly yellow fog that stank of sulfur.  Chad’s eyes cleared just a bit, the haze of his high creating a fuzzy film across his pupils.

“What the fuck man?  What the fuck?!”  Chad began to chant that phrase as he slumped to the floor.

“Chad, you’ve just been shot.  The police and an ambulance should be here in, oh, twenty minutes or so.  But don’t worry.  You won’t die.  Not yet anyway.  I predict though that detox and jail might be what finally does your sorry ass in.”

None of Warner’s words reached Chad’s brain.  He just kept uttering, “What the fuck?”

Warner thought briefly that the demon’s presence had sparked a ricochet.  It happens sometimes when the human possessed is of especially weak mind.  A demon’s sudden departure sets off ripples in the human’s brain.  Most ricochets lead their victims to madness and suicide.  Warner wished both on Chad as he stepped over him to pick the girl up from the couch.  He took off his jacket and laid it over her back before turning her over and lifting her into his arms.

She moaned from the pain but didn’t regain consciousness.  Warner offered a brief prayer then wove the spell that would take them to the Order’s infirmary inside The Academy.

In spite of WordPress’ changes being a nuisance, I’m sticking to my 40 day post commitment. Hope you enjoy :-).

Happy writing and as always,

Love,

Dana

2 of 40

Camp NaNo begins and it’s off to my back files to dig out my next manuscript for release prep. I tend to rebel during the Camps and will start with a piece that’s partially written and vow to add 50K words to what I’ve already done. So it’s still a 50K challenge, I’m just starting with bits and pieces of a story that needs finishing.

So, this month, I’m tackling my first foray into the world of demons and the first ever story idea that turned into a planned trilogy.  Introducing, Demon Protege.  Oh, spoiler alert, the next two books are titled, Demon Master, and Demon Reign.  Love the titles.

Anyway, taking a page from my friend Cassidy over at Wide Awake but Dreaming, here on WordPress (check her out, she’s my “Scrivener / How to Write an EPIC novel” guru), I’ll be posting a few excerpts to help fill in some posts in my commitment to doing a post a day for 40 days.  I’ll also be asking (BEGGING) those of you who have written in this particular genre before for tips, suggestions, and eventually, a Beta read or two. I have several fight scenes and a boss battle or two to write and quite frankly, I haven’t done anything like that since I was 11 or 12. I’m a tad rusty, lol, and times have certainly changed when it comes to writing compelling action scenes.

Cassidy, John (Shaven Wookie), Kent (Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha)  – I’m looking at you! I’ve read your work, you guys know how to put together some gripping action scenes.  Any advice you’d care to share, I’d appreciate receiving.

But for now, we start you off with this:

Nothing like finding out your dad’s the head of a clan of demons hell bent on taking over the world at the same time you get a gig as a demon hunting apprentice. Talk about a rough first day on the job.

That’s the blurb I wrote for the back cover of the book.  Makes me giggle. The tone of the book isn’t quite as humorous as that, but there are some comedic moments that pop up with my male lead in the second book.  I’ll be working on it during Camp NaNo in June.

So, alright. ‘Nuff of this bloggin’, time to get to novelin’.

Love you guys!

Have a great day.

Dana.

Hi Humans,

It’s Me, God (Akal Purakh, Allah,  Elohim, Goddess,  Ja, Jehova, Kaivalya, Krishna, Love, Olodumare, Om, Yahweh, Zeus, and whatever else y’all are calling Me these days. Thank you Wikipedia).

I wanted to stop in to ask you a question. Nothing fancy, this won’t be on a test or anything. Your answer won’t send you to Hell, I promise. There is some thing you do that perplexes Me, and that’s saying a lot considering I’m all knowing and what not. And you’d think I would know the why, but even in My infinite wisdom, there are still things when it comes to humans I just don’t get, so if you’ve got a minute, indulge Me. Please.

Oh, and another side note.  I didn’t authorize any biographies so those books you’re toting around claiming to be “MY Word”, yeah…not so much.  You see, I don’t talk to humans in a straight forward, “here, let me repeat that so you can write it down” kind of  way. I prefer a more free flowing type of prose so I speak in the world as it appears naturally around you. In the grass you see growing, the water as it rises and falls. Animal calls and the circle of life; evolutionary changes and such. I chat through all things in their natural state. Through life – birth, growth, aging; and Death – transition. So, you may want to put those books down, come out of those mega expensive, monster, concrete and glass caves you’ve built supposedly to worship Me in and spend more time OUTSIDE, WITH ME and listen.

But now, back to why I’m here today. What’s with all the hate and using your belief in Me to justify it? You do realize all this fear of the other, of different thoughts, beliefs, and such has NOTHING to do with Me.  That’s all you.  Humans came up with that and it is Humans who continue to practice it. I couldn’t care less because if you recall, I’m EVERYTHING. It’s all ME. How much sense would it make for Me to hate certain parts of Myself to the point that I want to harm, punish, or even kill them? Sure, you humans do that kind of thing all the time. But that’s you. Not ME. Own your bullshit and stop justifying it based on those books I was telling you about that I didn’t authorize nor contribute to. If it occurs in nature, then it’s all right with ME.

So seriously, what gives?

Sincerely and with THE LOVE,

God

This came to me while in that state between fully awake and asleep. I’m not claiming it to be a direct conversation, just some words as I heard them. All of my writing comes from voices in my head. Divine? Who’s to say.

Enjoy you day.

Love, Dana

The Other Side of the Bed – “I AM”

Previous snippets: One, Two

Jessie sat in the middle of the bed. A warm cup of her favorite peppermint tea warming her hands.  Her eyes were closed.  Sunlight streamed through the bedroom window illuminating the left side of the room with soft comfort.  The blank space beneath the bed glowed slightly.

Three meditative breathes later and the voice was there.

“I AM”

“Good morning.  Why are you here?”

“Bound”

“Can you not be released?”

“Bound”

“Are you evil?”

“I AM”

A vision of space, vast, empty, yet alive with the many molecules, atoms, and particles that make up everything in existence floated through Jessie’s mind. She felt overwhelmed. Three more meditative breathes, a sip of the tea from the mug, and a refocusing mantra.

“So, you’re just…”

“I AM. Existing. Bound.”

“Are there others like you?”

“Singular. Many. Bound.”

A sense of sadness became evident to Jessie. She watched the emotion, sipped her tea.

“You can’t leave here, that’s why you need a guardian.”

“Care. Help. I AM”

“Will you kill me?”

Silence. She wondered if it puzzled over the idea of death. If it had any concept in its existence that equaled that state of non-existence. As the minutes stretched on she thought to end the meditation, then the space behind her eyes filled with bright light.

“Care. Help. Exist.”

An image of her aunt Sylvia appeared in the light. Followed soon after by her voice. “We exist but not in this form. Energy goes on forever. Flesh does not. There is no good, or evil, there just is. And that which exists must gather energy to continue to exist as it is. When there is no energy to sustain that form, it returns to its original state.”  Sylvia faded with the light.

“I am.”

The sadness again. This time so big it made Jessie cry.

Later that afternoon, she sat in the library combing through city records.  The town was settled in the late 1500s.  The house she lived in, as close as she could find was built on the remnants of a property deeded to Samuel Crosgrove. His family lived and farmed there for three generations. His great grand daughter was accused of being a witch and was hung in the town square. She was twelve. The family moved away after that and the property was taken over by the church. In an effort to rid the town of evil, all the buildings on the property were burned, the ground blessed, and a church built.  The cemetery came soon after. There was little information after that until in the late 20’s when the church burned to the ground for no explicable reason. No one was hurt; it was two in the morning or so when someone noticed the flames. By then, the building couldn’t be saved. Shortly after that, the congregation sold the land to a developer who built a small section of homes for the few veterans around town who’d found it difficult after WWI to get settled.

There wasn’t any more information about the property.  But in other news, that enclave of homes seemed to experience a string of bad luck. Husbands, wives went missing. Children ran away from home, a lot. Dogs and cats both seemed to run away as well, ending up on other people’s porches, or in their backyards refusing to return to their rightful homes. People moved away, properties went unsold and were eventually abandoned. They fell into disrepair and were eventually knocked down to prevent squatters.

All except the house that Jessie now lived in. For whatever reason, that house had remained occupied. Usually by a single individual who took on hermit status as far as the townsfolk were concerned.