Alphabet Blogs

A is for Achluophobia, the Fear of Darkness

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The sounds of the forest slowly blossomed in her ears.  Crickets chirped.  Frogs croaked.  The wind ruffled the newly uncovered Spring leaves, sending them skittering over the ground.  Flies buzzed.  A faint scent of copper, musk, and fur hung in the chilly air.

She bowed her head forward, feebly lifting her hand to meet it, and gasped as pain arced through her body.  She held her breath until the pain eased, squeezing her eyes closed, and ran shaking fingers through her hair.  It was only when she felt the sticky wetness that she noticed the tang of blood on her tongue.

“What happened?” she croaked.  She forced her eyelids–suddenly heavy and unresponsive–open, managing only the barest of gaps through which she could examine her hand, and saw…

Darkness.

Her eyes flew open.  “No.  No,” she babbled.  “It wasn’t even dusk.  It couldn’t be… I was almost home!”  As she became more awake, memories flooded through her.  In a flash, she recalled her hasty, last-minute trip to the store and her relief that she would be home before… She ground her teeth together, unwilling to even think the word.  Then she remembered the streak of tan from the right, the jarring thunk, and her own scream before she could recall no more.

She swallowed, the blood in her mouth mingling with bile as it entered her stomach, and opened her eyes wider.  Shapes swam into view, misshapen and ominous, pressing in close to her.  She clamped her eyes shut again.  “Breathe, Lorene,” she reminded herself.  “Just like Dr. Saunders showed you.”  She tried to ignore the sharp ache in her chest, the thick pounding in her head, the terrifying absence of any sensation at all below her waist, and inhaled, counting steadily.

Inhale.  One, two, three, four.  Hold.  One, two, three, four.  Exhale.  One, two, three, four.  Hold.  One, two, three, four.

The tempo of her breathing involuntarily increased as her fear heightened.  She was injured, alone, and night had fallen.  She could feel the darkness stealing up on her, enveloping her, squeezing.  She had no doubt that if she opened her eyes again, her heart would beat its last as the darkness devoured her.  She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think.  Even now, she heard the night whispering to her, caressing her skin, daring her to surrender, to let let its black tendrils constrict around her until there is nothing left.

“No,” she whispered, tears washing tracks through drying blood.  “You can’t have me.”

A cold voice rose unbidden in her mind, vowing, “In the end, Darkness takes all.”

Blog Hops, Self Promotion

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop – Part One

Aloha, Bloghoppers!  Welcome to TotallyTawn, a place where you can get a glimpse inside my mind, and hopefully, share a laugh or two.  I want to thank Tof Eklund for including me in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, and ask that all of you to drop by and peruse his little corner of the web.

My blog contains everything from recollections of my favorite freight pilot memories to fictional short stories.  If you look hard enough, you can find my very first blog post, discover my favorite chick flick (300, although Skyfall is now a contender… I’ll have to write about that), and witness me indulge in a bit of self promotion every now and again.

I’ve been very busy for the past year working on my adult modern fantasy/action eSeries Darkling Drake; my children’s eSeries, The Pirate Princess and subsequent Mini-eSeries that will very soon be compiled and published in paperback, ebook and audiobook format; and even a BigWorldNetwork.com Valentine’s Day special, Love Never Dies: A Zombie Love Story.  I’m planning on continuing to contribute more stories to BigWorldNetwork.com in the future, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to publish my work and share it with all of you in such an innovative format.

I will post Part Two of The Next Big Thing Blog Hop in a week.  In it, I will answer a few questions about myself and my work, and have links to other bloggers that I’d love for you to meet.  If you would like to participate, drop me a line at tkmakela@gmail.com, and I’ll give you the 411.

Thank you for stopping by!

Other Stories, Self Promotion, Short Stories, Writing Contest

2012 Wrap Up

It’s hard for me to believe that I now have yet another year of blogging under my belt.  I have made many new friends, ventured outside of my comfort zone, and learned so much that I cannot judge 2012 as anything other than a fantastic year for which I am ecstatically grateful.

I have done the prerequisite year-in-review post for 2010 and 2011, but this year, I thought I’d do something a little bit different by sharing with you the short stories that I’ve written throughout the year instead of just my most popular or my favorite posts.  I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.  And I wish each and every one of you the very best in 2013!

The Jacket

A Mother’s Love

The Well of Souls

A Time To Reap

Undead No More

Flying Squirrel Cargo

Breathe

Otterbox

I am Werewolf – Hear Me Howl

An Exercise in Empathy

You can also read or listen to my eSeries Darkling Drake and The Pirate Princess, my mini-eSeries Pirate Princess Adventures, and my Valentine’s Day special Love Never Dies: A Zombie Love Story, while you’re checking out the amazing work of all the talented authors, narrators, editors, and artists at BigWorldNetwork.com.

Happy New Year!  With love and thankfulness – TotallyTawn

Short Stories

Otterbox

A friend challenged me to compose a complete story in 100 words or less which had to include the phrase “then Jen showed Tawn her otterbox.”  Never one to back down from a gauntlet thrown at my feet, I came up with the following micro-story.  Note: I did cheat just a little bit by not including the 6 word phrase in my total word count.  My entry comes to exactly 106 words.  Enjoy!

Giggling, the two girls scurried one by one up the gently swaying rope ladder to the rickety tree house. The wind had died down, easing the grownup’s fears that the structure – built by Jen’s grandfather – would not be carried away to Oz with the girls inside.

Eyes bright and breath labored in excitement, Jen secured the “No Boys Allowed” sign to the ancient green blanket they used as a door and turned with a conspiratorial grin.  Then Jen showed Tawn her otterbox.  Sunlight illuminated it through a gap in the roof.

Tawn gasped, “It’s beautiful! Can I hold it?”

Jen laughed, elated.