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.

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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.

Pirates of Hardwood

Chapter 13

Flint had a beautiful dinner prepared for the two of them. His chef went out of his way to cook a wonderful meal of chicken and vegetables the pirates acquired during their last visit ashore. A table for two complete with tall, white candlesticks had been set up in Flint’s cabin next to the window. The full moon shone into the room, casting a romantic glow on the table.

Sam sat across from him, poking at the white meat with the three pronged fork. She had barely tasted the steaming meal before her and hadn’t taken a sip of the red wine. Her mind was somewhere else. In a place where she wasn’t being forced to eat with the captain of a pirate ship while her friends were trapped in a cage. Her mind took her to a place where she was completely alone with Darrick. Even though the lust filled kiss with the captain was still fresh on her mind, she still wanted Darrick. There was a connection between them, something she wanted to feel again.

Flint took a bite of the cooked carrots on his plate, savoring the taste which was so rare to him and his men. He noticed the distracted look on her face and could tell she was not thinking about him.

“Is something the matter, my dear?” He asked in a soothing voice.

Sam kept her eyes on the plate of food and replied, “I’m fine.”

He shook his head and set his fork on the napkin beside his dinner, “You’ve barely eaten anything. What’s on your mind?”

Sam looked away from the fork between her fingers and glanced at the wood of the table. Tiny splinters stuck out from the old wood and a bit of wax was building up around the candles. She wanted her friends to be with her. She hated that they were Flint’s prisoners and wanted to do something about it.

“Sam?” Flint spoke up to get her attention. “Are you alright?”

Finally, she lifted her head and focused on his dark eyes, “Actually I do have something I want to ask.”

“Anything darling.”

“Will you let my friends out? They don’t deserve to be down there.” Sam asked, her nervous heart pounding in her chest.

Flint raised an eyebrow and leaned away from the table. He knew her friends could prove to be a threat to the love he held for her, especially the boy who held Sam’s heart. Flint didn’t care for how he looked at his woman nor for how she looked back at him. The boy would try to fight for her and Flint wouldn’t stand for that.

“I can’t do that.” He replied after a moment of silent thinking.

Sam let the fork fall from her grip and said, “But why? They haven’t done anything to deserve that. I haven’t done anything to deserve this.”

“Deserve what? How have I wronged you?”

“I don’t know.” Sam replied, “I was thrown through time and I’m stuck on a pirate ship in the middle of the ocean and I hate being on the ocean. I just don’t understand what went wrong in my life for me to be in this position. I just want my friends to be okay and not locked down there.”

“I understand.” Flint said, the leaned closer the table. “How about I let the girl out in the morning, savvy?”

Sam nodded, “What about Rusty and Darrick?”

Flint shook his head, “No, not them.”

Sam leaned forward and reached her hands across the table, outstretching her fingers for his, “Please.”

Flint glanced at her hands and slowly reached his out for hers. Her smooth skin felt like porcelain against his rough, calloused hands. He could see the pleading in her eyes and hear it in her voice. All he wanted was to make her happy, but he couldn’t let his guard down around his prisoners.

“I will let them out. They will be under heavy guard and if they do so much as try anything they’d regret, it’s right back to the brig.” Flint responded.

Sam couldn’t keep the smile from crossing her face, “Thank you.”

Pirates of Hardwood

Chapter 12

The kiss lingered on her lips as she followed Flint out of the room. There was a tingling sensation dancing across her skin, forcing her lips to tremble and her hands to shake nervously. She had never experienced a kiss as strong as the one she shared with the captain. It wasn’t as terrifying as her mind wanted her to believe. That feeling drifted from her mind the second she felt his warm lips upon her own.
Sam stayed one step behind him, walking past his men as they swabbed the deck. He took her to the stairs and each one creaked under their feet as they descended. She held onto the rotting handrail and let go of the damp wood after the last step. The crewmen below deck were busy stacking barrels of gun powder and a few cases of glass jars she believed to encase rum.
Flint lead her further below the deck of the ship until the smell of mold and mildew caressed her nose and she grimaced at the stench. The lighting was dim, only two small, round windows to let the sun’s rays shine through. The lowest level of the ship, the Brig as Flint had called it, was nothing more than a depressing prison home to a few pirates and three familiar faces.
Darrick was the first to notice her when she entered the prison. He stood up from the barrel he was siting upon and walked to the bars. He said her name quietly, but loud enough for her to hear his voice. Rusty and Sarah also spotted her and ran to the bars, begging to be let out. Sam glanced from her friends to Flint and stared into his calming eyes.
“Go ahead.” He stated, motioning toward the cell with her friends, “I’ll give you a few moments to see them.”
Sam nodded and said, “Thank you.”
Flint leaned in to her ear and whispered, “Just remember our kiss, my love.”
She let that short moment play in her mind again and shivered when their lips touched in her mind. It wasn’t a shiver of disgust, more of wonder and longing. A longing for what, she did not know, but she was willing to find out.
He let her walk by and move across the Brig to the bars of the cell. She stopped in front of Darrick and forced a smile to her lips.
“Are you alright? Did they hurt you or anything?” he asked, frantically.
“Yeah, what did they do to you up there?” Sarah spoke up.
“I’m fine.” Sam replied. “They kept me in the captain’s room and gave me food and everything.”
“Why won’t they let us out of here, Sam?” Sarah asked, her eyes pleading for an answer.
“I don’t know. But I just have a few minutes before he’ll make me go back with him.” Sam replied with a shrug.
Sarah’s eyes turned red as tears fell to her cheeks. Rusty grabbed onto her and she buried her face in his shoulder to cry. Sam didn’t expect any different from Sarah. She would cry over anything.
Sam turned her eyes to Darrick’s. His hands were latched onto the bars and fear was in his eyes. She reached out and put a hand over one of his. His skin was cold against hers and he was shivering. It was relatively colder in the brig than in Flint’s room and she realized all of them were shivering.
“He didn’t touch you, did he?” Darrick asked, quietly motioning toward the captain who still stood by the stairs.
Sam shook her head, “Just a kiss.”
“What? Why?”
She shrugged, “I wanted to come see you and that was the only way. He thinks I’m someone else, a girl he’s madly in love with because we look alike.”
Darrick shook his head and glared at Flint, “I don’t understand any of this. Why are we even here? Why are you out there alone without me to protect you?”
Sam raised an eyebrow, “You want to protect me?”
He nodded and turned his eyes back to hers, “You’re damn right I do, but I can’t being stuck in this cage while you’re surrounded by pirates.”
Sam moved closer to the bars, her hand still resting on top of his, “Then save me, Darrick. Find a way to get out of here and save me.” Her voice was filled with fear and her eyes were pleading for help.
The sound of boots clanking across the wooden floor interrupted them and Flint approached the cell. He grabbed Sam’s hand and took it away from Darrick’s.
“It’s time to go, darling.” Flint said, keeping a steely glare on Darrick.
“No!” Darrick shouted. “Let us out of here!”
Flint pulled Sam away from the bars, fighting with her a bit as she dug her feet into the floor, “I think it’s best if you rot in here for a while.”
He forced Sam to go with him, his arm wrapped around her waist, pressing her close to his side. She looked over her shoulder and Darrick was fighting with the bars.
“Save me, Darrick! Find a way, please!” she pleaded.

Pirates of Hardwood

Chapter 11

The ship rocked back and forth, splashing the salty water up the sides. The wind was steady and the air was warm. Sam could feel it coming in through the cracks around the window as she stared through it. She hadn’t seen land or another ship or boat since being forced on board with the pirates. She was beginning to wonder if they were lost at sea or if those scurvy people actually knew what they were doing.

The captain, Flint, had kept her locked away in his quarters with a guard to keep watch. She barely slept a wink on a bed that wasn’t entirely comfortable. She could smell the straw of the hay in the mattress and the sheets were itchy. She tried to close her eyes and what little sleep she did get, she found herself dreaming about Darrick. She wondered if he and her friends were still alive or if he was hurt. She enjoyed what little time they spent together and was looking forward to seeing him more. The captain had him locked away in some dinghy prison at the very bottom of the ship, she wasn’t sure if she’d ever get to see him again.

Above the room she was in, she could hear the men stomping their boot clad feet across the wood of the deck. They were shouting orders at one another, but their accents were too thick for her to understand their words clearly. She was waiting for the captain to return. He brought her a small slice of wheat bread for breakfast, then left her alone for a couple of hours. She wanted him to come back. Not to have someone to talk to, but to beg him to let her see her friends.
She turned away from the window and glanced to the painting on the wall. There was no doubt that the girl looked identical to her and she knew Flint was in love with her. She could see it in his eyes every time met with hers. He was grateful she was there, like he assumed his love life would start right where he left it with the Alissa girl he kept mentioning. Sam wanted no part of that love life and she was wondering how any woman would want to be involved with a bunch of dirty pirates.

The handle on the door squeaked and Sam’s eyes darted in that direction. Slowly, the door was pushed open and Flint stepped inside. He removed his feathered hat and closed the door behind him. His boots clicked on the wood beneath his feet, gradually getting muffled by the burgundy throw rug in the middle of the room. Sam stood from the chair by the window and turned her body toward him.

“I want to see my friends.” She demanded.

Flint ran his hands along the feather in his hat and smiled, “You don’t want to visit the brig, my dear. It is a dirty mess down there. Not a place for a woman like you.”

Sam shook her head, “I don’t care. I’m tired of you keeping me locked in this room and not telling me if my friends are okay. I need to see them.”

He stepped closer to her and said, “I can assure that they are alive and well. My men have fed them and gave them fresh water. There is nothing you need to worry about.”

She could feel the tears forming in the corners of her eyes, “Please, just let me see for myself and I’ll do whatever you want.”

Flint tossed the hat on the bed and smiled, “Will you kiss me?”

Sam was taken aback by his offer and it showed on her face. Her lips were quivering and her hands were shaking. That was the moment she had been dreading. The moment where that man threw himself at her and took the most intimate part of her life away from her. She wanted to see her friends, to see that Darrick especially was okay, but she didn’t know if it was worth doing what the captain truly wanted.

“I can tell by the look on your face that you’re afraid of me.” Flint said, calmly. “I don’t want anything more than a kiss. Those men on deck, they are the ones who would want more. I was raised a bit differently and I just want a kiss. Is that so much to ask if you want to see you friends.”

Sam took a deep breath and ran her fingers through her hair. There was something about his sweet, tantalizing words that were beckoning her to do as he wished.

“Just a kiss?” she asked, quietly.

He nodded, “One simple kiss.”

“Okay.” She replied.

Flint slowly strolled through the room, meeting her at the window. He stared into her beautiful eyes, brushed a few loose strands of her auburn hair from out of her face and took a deep breath. He placed his hands on her shoulders and could feel her body shaking. Inch by inch, he closed the gap between them and stole the kiss he had been waiting for since her arrival. He pressed his lips upon hers and the warmth of that kiss ignited a flame that hadn’t been lit in three years.