Poem: Running Through a Daydream

I wake up in the morning,

Throw my hair in a bun.

I lace up my sneakers

And head out for a run.

 

I’m out of breath

By the end of the block.

Still I push myself harder,

Never checking the clock.

 

All this time I spend running

My daydreams take shape.

I go into a world

One I cannot escape.

 

There are monsters and demons,

Zombies and vampires too.

A red-headed stalker

With eyes oh-so blue.

 

There are heroes and good guys,

Someone there to save the day.

It wouldn’t be a fantasy

Without them out to play.

 

There are castles and oceans

And skies with bright stars.

I see chaos and beauty

And love hidden behind by bars.

 

All these things that I see

As I jog through the world

Are created by one thing;

My twisted mind unfurled.

 

I can run on forever

In the madness of my mind.

And keep going and going

Until the end of time.

 

But, alas, I cannot

For my breath has run short.

It is time to head home

And rest up from the sport.

 

I’ll start again tomorrow

With my dreams set on high.

I’ll see where they might take me

And always reach for the sky.

 

Copyright 2017 T. R. Justus

 

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I can’t Write Normal

This weekend I was asked why I don’t I write something “normal” or something that isn’t filled with things that could never in a million years happen. I was asked this because the person would really like to read something I’ve written, she just doesn’t like those action/adventure, out of this world, fantasy, science fiction novels; whereas I do.

As much as I’d love to write something that she would really enjoy, my mind can’t seem to grasp the concept of normalness to fill the pages. Sure, I can start off on a new project with my mind set on making it your average, run of the mill book. The type where the guy gets the girl and they spend their lives proving their love to one another. My project might start out this way, but something happens and my mind switches to the abnormal very, very quickly.

The idea of my characters falling in love will almost always take a drastic turn for the dangerous side of things. They’ll hit a speed bump (literally) and run into monsters or bad guys or some sort of alien that drops down from the sky to ruin everything. (There’s a little inside on what The Day The World Burns is about.)

I thrive on the stories that are so packed full of fictional adventure that I’m not sure if I’ll make it out alive or not. My head enjoys the thrill of the ride while reading and writing stores or books that get your heart pumping. The ones that keep you on the edge of your seat with action and perilous tasks that leave you wanting more. I know romance novels and coming of age stories, and other types along that line are also filled with edge of your seat words and there might be a day where I find myself sitting down to write something like that. However, at this point in my life, I just can’t do it.

I can’t do normal when normal is boring.

Free Book: Crazy For Love

I thought it was time again to do a special promotion for one of my books, Crazy For Love. It will be free starting today and going through this weekend, ending on Sunday. Go ahead and download your copy for Kindle today and leave a review with what you thought of it.

This makes a great read for anyone who enjoys a good suspenseful page turner. You’ll follow a young man on his short journey of slipping out of the clutches of a female stalker. She fell in love with him so easily, she just had to make him hers. Nothing will stand in her way of making that happen.

What if…

I’m a bit of a believer of life after death. I tend to think that there’s more to be experienced in a different life once this one is fulfilled. Being a writer with an insane imagination, my mind took that thought and came up with a what if scenario for those who are imaginative and weird like myself.

If you’re anything like me and you come spend 90% of the day daydreaming and having little stories in your head, then you’ve lived a ton of lives in your own imagination. Now, let’s say those stories and random thoughts are more than that. What if they’re actually memories from a different life on a different planet or in some sort of parallel universe? What if  you’ve already lived a dozen or so lives before this one and your soul has travelled millions upon millions of miles to get where it is today?

I don’t know about you, but I’m not exactly sure that’s a good thing. In my case, half of the stories I think of and daydream about are terrifying. I’d hate to imagine living in a world with zombies, vampires, monsters, aliens, etc. In my head, I’m the main female character. I get in trouble a lot and wind up in sticky situations. If, by some chance, my stories are actually memories (I’m doubting they are) then I’ve lived a lot of scary lives. I’ve been kidnapped, I’ve fought aliens and demons, I’ve travelled the world through hell and back just to save the one I love. It’s adventurous and wonderful, yet terrifying and exhausting to think about.

I’m sure my thoughts are nothing more than thoughts. That my dreams are simple stories created by the mind of a person who craves the abnormal parts of life. But, and this is a very bit but, if there’s any chance that they are more than just dreams and stories, I’m a little afraid to find out where my soul might head to next. I hope she’s prepared.

Back again!

I woke up this morning and realized that it’s been a long time since I’ve ranted about anything on my blog. I guess I’m struggling with things to say, not that there’s nothing on my mind, because there’s an insane amount of craziness going on up there. I just kept putting it off and putting it off until this very moment right now.

So, this year, I’m going to get back in the groove of things and write more. I’m going to take time each week and update the world on whatever the hell I’m working on. As of right now, I have a number of projects I’ve begun and a few that are finished. One of which is a young adult, dystopian thriller set in the future where the population dwindles above extinction. Just to give you all a taste of what that entails, let’s just say that repopulating the human race is of dire importance so the government goes to great lengths to make sure it survives. That means plucking healthy people of proper breeding age and thrusting them into a life where that is not only necessary but demanded upon by the founders of the facility.

I can’t give away too much, but I will tell you all that I have been sending out queries for this one I’ve titled The Facility. It’s part of a trilogy that I will soon be working on the sequels to.

So, that’s it for the night. My heartfelt rant in a nutshell. See you next time!

Pirates of Hardwood

Chapter 28

Lightning took over the sky with thunderous roars erupting in their ears. The clouds weren’t threatening with rain or an oncoming storm. The wind wasn’t picking up nor were the ocean’s waves getting more intense. It was strangely calm during the bright flashes of light.

Sam continued her struggle against the tight grip of the pirate’s hand. She managed to free her right arm and dug her fingernails into the skin of his arm still clasping on. She clawed him enough to break the skin and blood began trickling down, but he still held on. She glanced to the sword fight for a short moment and her heart raced faster.

Darrick was able to block another blow coming from Flint. He held the sword with shaky hands, feeling weaker by the minute. He was short of breath and knew he wouldn’t last much longer. The gash on his arm still bled and the pain radiated through his entire body.

Flint stood strong, cracking his neck from side to side. He saw that his opponent was wavering and soon he would fall. Then he’d get the chance to make the last strike and Sam would be his forever.

He stepped closer to Darrick and took another swing which was blocked, “You’re getting tired, boy. You might as well give up and let fate take its course.”

Darrick shook his head, swung the blade wildly through the air, and said, “I’ll die before I ever give up.”

Flint laughed and stepped out of range so Darrick couldn’t hit him. Darrick sliced the air again with his sword, spinning around with his arms. Flint stepped back and Darrick missed once more, but this time Flint struck his back with the handle of the sword. Darrick cried out in pain and dropped to his knees. Flint kicked him down and the sword slipped from his grasp. Before Darrick could reach for it, another pirate kicked it away.

Flint laughed deeper and moved to stand in front of the boy, “It looks like you’ll be dying sooner than you think.”

Sam pried on the pirate’s fingers until his grip finally loosened. Before he could grab onto her again, she slammed her elbow into his gut and dashed away. She pushed through the crowd, moving away from the fight. She stole something from a fat man’s belt, he didn’t notice, and she got away.

Darrick stared at the shiny blade mere inches from his face. Sweat beaded on his forehead and he awaited what was to come. He searched the faces for Sam, only so he could see her one last time. She wasn’t there and he began to wonder where she went.

A loud whistle burst through the air, catching the attention of the pirates, including Flint. Everyone spun around and faced the cause of the noise. Sam stood on the railing of the ship, appearing strong and beautiful. She held something in her hand, pressing the barrel of it to the right side of her head.

The Only One

Look at me
I sit all alone
I stare at your face
And sniff your cologne

You might not know this
But I need you to be
The only one in my life
For me to feel complete

I am obsessed with your eyes
They linger on me so
As I stand above you
Never letting you go

I need you so dearly
More than trees need the sun
More than my lungs need the air
Because you are the only one

Pirates of Hardwood

Chapter 17

Midnight arrived. The steady rocking of the ship on the ocean eased Sarah and Rusty into a deep slumber. Rusty held her in his arms on the captain’s comfortable bed and their quiet snores filled the cabin.

Sam stared through the window at the moon’s reflection the water. Everything was quiet and serene. She couldn’t hear the crewmen working or anybody wandering above deck. The captain was elsewhere on the ship, he didn’t specify where exactly he’d be, but he wasn’t in the room with her.

She looked to her sleeping friends and took a deep, nervous breath in. They seemed so peaceful with their eyes closed and their minds taking them to a better place known as dreamland. As quietly as she could, Sam stood from the chair and tiptoed across the floor to the door. She wrapped her fingers around the knob and slowly twisted until the latch was released and the door swung open. She glanced at her friends once more before stepping into the empty corridor.

The hall was lit only by three candle sconces on the wall. The glass covers were cracked but they held together through the rocking of the ship. They lit the hallway enough for Sam to see as she quickly moved to the stairs to go above deck.

Darrick was out there somewhere, she was sure of it. She needed to find him and see that he was okay. Sneaking out in the middle of the night on a ship where she didn’t know her bearings wasn’t ideal, but she couldn’t just sit around while Darrick suffered because Flint was threatened by him.

The stairs creaked quietly under her feet as she ascended to the deck of the ship. She could hear men’s voices talking amongst themselves and giving orders to someone who never said a word. Sam clung to the wall and poked her head around the corner at the top of the stairs to get a look around.

Three men were standing by the mast drinking from a tall, clear bottle with brown liquid inside. Two others were standing at the bow of the ship, giving orders to a younger man she instantly recognized.

“Darrick.” She whispered, keeping her eyes on him.

They were treating him like a slave, forcing him to do the work they didn’t want to and were laughing about. They pushed him away until he stumbled into the railing and caught himself. Then the pirates walked to their friends by the mast and joined in the rum drinking.

Sam took this short opportunity to make a run for Darrick. She waited till the men weren’t looking, then stepped into the moonlight and speed across the deck toward Darrick.

Flint came out of nowhere, appearing before her like he knew she was coming, “What are you doing out here at such a late hour, darling?”

Sam opened her mouth to soak but her eyes were staring at Darrick. He noticed what was going on and was about to approach the situation. Flint had a gun and a sword attached to a belt at his waist which he had easy access to. He could take Darrick out in a second and Sam couldn’t let that happen.

“I was looking for you. I saw how beautiful the moon was on the ocean and wanted to see it with you.” She replied, speaking to the captain.

Darrick watched and listened. He saw how nervous she was and wanted to save her. He was at a disadvantage and would wind up killed in the process.

Flint smiled at Sam and said, “It is wonderful being at sea this time of night. The stars are even brighter out here. But they cannot match the beauty you bring to my world.”

Sam forced a smile to her lips and said, “Then let’s stare up at the stars and let the wonder if this night take over.”

Darrick’s heart was beating nervously as he watched Flint take Sam’s hand in his and walked to the railing in the opposite side of the ship. Sam glanced over her shoulder and caught Darrick’s eye. He needed to save her soon or else his time on the ship would run out.

The Pirates of Hardwood

Chapter 16

Sarah wrapped her arms around Sam, hugging her in a tight embrace. It had only been a few days, but she acted like years had passed since she last saw her friends. Tears ran down her already tear stained face as relief quickly fell upon her.

“I thought they were going to kill us.” Sarah said between sobs. “No one will tell us what’s going on or where the hell we are.”

Sam pulled herself away from get crying friend and replied, “I don’t really know any of that either, but I know we’re not home anymore. Something happened during that lightning storm and it sent us here.” She motioned to the room around them.

“I don’t understand how this is possible, though. Time travel doesn’t exist.” Sarah cried some more.

Sam shrugged and her eyes met with Rusty’s, “Where did they take Darrick?”

“I don’t know. They brought us up here first, then he was alone with that captain guy. By the look on his face I can tell he wants to kill Darrick.” Rusty stated.

“No, Flint promised he was going to let you guys out, all of you.” Sam said and moved toward the door.

Her heart was beating nervously and her hands began to shake. She needed Darrick to save her. She knew that he was the only one who could because of the way she felt for him. If something bad happened to him, she knew she’d be stuck with Flint on that wretched ship forever.

“Where are you going? We should stay here where it’s somewhat safe from those things out there.” Sarah exclaimed.

“Those things are called pirates and I’m not afraid of them. I’m only afraid of what’s going to happen to Darrick.” Sam retorted.

She wrapped her fingers around the cold metal of the door handle and twisted it. The rusted hinges squealed as she pulled the door open and peered out into the short hallway. The way was clear to the left and the hall was empty. She was startled and jumped back when she looked right and saw Flint walking toward her.

“What are you doing, my dear? Do you or your friends need anything?” Flint gently forced her back into the room and blocked the doorway.

Sam shook her head and smiled, “I was just looking for you.”

Flint smiled and asked, “And what do you need me for?”

“Umm,” Sam began but couldn’t think of a quick lie to cover herself.

“We were wondering when dinner was? The three of us are getting kinda hungry.” Rusty jumped in.

Flint passed Rusty a quick glare, then answered, “Shortly. I’ll have the chef prepare something for all of us.” He turned his eyes back to Sam, “Just stay in here until I come get you.”

She nodded and ran her fingers through her hair. Flint kept his eyes on her until he closed the door and left them alone.

Pirates of Hardwood

Chapter 14

Morning arrived. The fog hung low, covering the ship in a misty haze as the vessel rocked back and forth on the open sea. The crewmen were busy with their chores and some were signing a merry tune as they ate moldy bread for breakfast. A sweaty stink clogged the air around them, but each and every one of them were so used to the smell that they didn’t notice it any longer.

Flint and three of his closest men were down below in the brig, carrying out his promise made to Sam. Sarah and Rusty had already been released and taken above deck. They were reunited with their friend and were allowed to enjoy a hearty breakfast prepared by Flint’s chef. He enjoyed seeing the smile on his love’s face when she wrapped her arms around her friends.

Darrick was still locked in his cage, listening to his stomach growl, and glaring at the captain. He could tell by the look in Flint’s eyes that he wanted him dead. Darrick was a threat to him and the life he wanted with Sam. But Flint was a monster on Darrick’s eyes and one which needed to be destroyed in order to find a way home.

“Sam wishes to have you released.” Flint stated, taking a small step toward the bars. “I think it’s a foolish request, but I want my love to be happy.”

Darrick scoffed and rolled his eyes, “She’s not your love.”

“I don’t see her belonging to anyone else and certainly not you. Why would any woman as remarkable as Sam choose a pathetic boy like you when she could have a man as great as me.” Flint retorted.

“If you’re so great, then let me out of here.” Darrick said.

“You think I’m a fool, boy. You think I will just let you free and let you try to take Sam away from me.” Flint closed in on the cage and sent a steely glare to Darrick. “You’re the fool who won’t be around on my ship much longer. The first port we come to, you’re gone and the people ashore can decide your fate.”

“Why not just kill me now?” Darrick replied, leaning against the wall behind him.

Flint smiled and said, “Oh how I wish I could do that, but you see I need Sam to love me and by killing you now, I fear that she would resent me. I need you to stay alive boy, or should I call you slave?”

Flint and the few men standing around burst into laughter. Darrick’s heart started pounding faster and faster in his chest. He could only imagine how those pirates treated their slaves.