Here is the link to the audio version on my YouTube channel. As I mention at the start, I will have the miniature (print) book in my Etsy.com shop soon.
“Look for the Whole-Brain label…”
Well, the GRAND Opening was originally going to be the 4th of July but I decided I couldn’t wait. (I am still waiting for my official Sales Tax documents, but that’s only pertinent to sales within Texas.)
Please don’t injure yourself as you rush over to Etsy; so far there’s only one teeny-tiny book on the shelves. I plan for the second mini volume to be available tomorrow.
Buy the complete 6800 word/20+ page story NOW! Here at Smashwords.com, only $0.99!
Part 2 of 11
Aristolia Stewart Dunsmore let her pounding heart calm down a little…
…then she climbed back on the seat of the motorized bicycle and pedaled as fast as she could. The blasted thing had stalled out or she’d shut it off; she couldn’t remember. Not after the near miss with the speed demon in a low-slung car moments before.
“Yeah, all right, so I was on the wrong side of the road,” the teen said aloud. Ari as she preferred to be called, now crossed over to the proper side, naturally without checking the road behind her. “But that idiot…” she emphasized the id– so much she set off an unseen dog somewhere in the yard of the nearest estate. Its tiny yipping betraying its harmlessness. “Shut up, you pathetic dog-wannabe. Even you know,” she looked towards the barking as if she’d see the creature through the privacy walls. “You…a dumb dog, know how twisty turny the streets are inside this prison camp. Geez…it’s what stupid drivers like that pay for. The ‘Old world charm,’ or some B.S. like that. At least its not cobblestones.”
A full moon looking about to burst sat on the eastern horizon as Ari finally pulled up to the entry gate at the end of her own long driveway. She punched in the code and waited impatiently for the wrought iron monstrosity to swing aside. Patting her oversized leather jacket’s chest pocket to fill some time made a crinkle-crunch, crinkle-crunch. The pages stolen from hunky Kirk Paine’s house. She smiled. Ari’d known Bithia Paine’s library was off limits long before she lied her way into the house this night. The first time, at a party a couple of weeks ago, she’d entered innocently. Tonight Kirk’d left her alone in the entryway for a few minutes and she’d snuck back down a hallway and into it.
He caught her before she’d made it all the way back out. Startled, she couldn’t think of anything to say so did the first thing that would have come to any red-blooded teen girl’s mind if she’d been looking full into the face of the quintessentially tall, tan, blonde quarterback: Ari kissed him. Which startled both her and him. Thankfully it had given her a few seconds to realize, yes, she’d put his mother’s old leather covered book back on its shelf.
Ari’d read blog posts about how girls only had to hint that a man had “tried something;” it looked like the ultimate empowerment trip. Rumor had it Kirk’s girl-troubled past and a recent additional accusation had gotten him kicked out of his last private school. That stupid kiss just now might turn into insurance…against him revealing her latest and greatest trespass.
She knew well about “troubled” pasts; the collection of plaid private-school skirts in her closet testified to it. Funny thing was that last school of Kirk’s was her “only.” As in the only one nearby she had yet to be kicked out of; it didn’t count that she hadn’t run afoul of the public high school she and he were currently sentenced to.
“Why, Judge…” she’d say if need be, “moonlight makes a guy do such cray-y-y-zy things…” She laughed.
“That you, child?” a voice said. It came from the intercom set into the stone-facade of the mini-wall around the property. Castle Dunsmore as Ari called her adopted parents Uncle Ted and Aunt Nell Dunsmore’s brand new hulking house.
“Uh-h-h, yup. Just me, James. Stayed, uh-h-h, at the library…doing research. On my way in.” James was the limo driver for mega-preacher Ted (as Ari secretly called him). She was fairly certain James hadn’t seen her leave the house. The nearly-sixteen-year-old thought pretty highly of the old guy. Hated bending the truth with him, though on occasion had been known to flat out lie to her “Father,” Ted.
She walked the bike through the open space now the gate had opened all the way. Adopted great-grandmother, Nana Dru said it was large enough for a doublewide trailer. The teen then mounted up, started the small motor, and cruised slowly up the gently curving driveway towards the infamous dogleg turn. The builder couldn’t bear to cut down a centuries old tree of some kind. She rationalized aloud as she went, knowing she was well away from the intercom receiver. “I was in a library and I was doing research. Just want to help my new little sister. That’s all.”
Weeks prior she’d gone to a party at the Paine’s house on a “borrowed” invitation. Didn’t even have a little sister officially at that point. Ari only went to help out a twenty-year-old named Hennessey, whom she considered her big-sister. “Sisters helping sisters,” she’d explained to Nell and Ted when James returned from fetching her from that shindig afterwards. This time, for little Ebby, she’d done it all on her own. “Anybody gets in trouble? It’s gonna just be me…”
Besides, who hangs a “Do Not Enter” sign on a door during a party? The Paine woman practically begged me to try the lock by hanging it there that first time. All I did was look at a few of her dumb old books. Haven’t told anybody what I found, then or now, not even Kirk.
“So what’s a few more fibs?” Ari said, rounding the last turn towards her adopted parents estate, “if it helps a 7-year-old girl get well?” And if that one page can keep me from getting blamed? Sure Kirk’s mom is powerful, not to mention she’s the most beautiful woman in Polo Club or Doublespring, maybe all Texas. But now I believe the rumors about her; think I know how she does it. “Besides, I only took two…” she said out loud, defending herself to herself as she opened one of the garage doors then stowed her bike. Didn’t want her “casting” anything my way then, and hell, it’s “The Daily Conjuror,” so what I took two out of 365? That’s nothing. Looked like tons of them left.
“Geez, I just wanted to stay safe…”
END Part 2 of 11
Part 1 of 10
Bithia Wellington Paine was always in a mood. This one was simply blacker than most…
It was nearly spring, yet this Wednesday in early March it was dark by 6 p.m.. Finally parked inside the spacious garage the woman deftly slid the vintage Jaguar XKE’s shifter from first gear into neutral; killed the machine’s powerful eight-cylinder engine, and pulled up the parking brake. A reluctant silence fell. Her head drooped, then rested on the original 1970 wood steering wheel; she considered the close call she’d just had, hardly a stone’s throw from where she sat.
I could have hit that idiot. Who rides a bicycle or whatever that thing was on the street in the dark with no lights? Jeez– She cut herself off mid-thought, realizing Whose name she’d been about to utter contemptuously…even in her own mind. Wiser than many of her kind, Bithia knew Universal Powers of the Higher sort, at least, were never out-of-the-office or off duty.
She hit the button on the old-fashioned hand-held remote and the heavy wooden garage doors behind her started closing, quietly.
“One of these days I’m going to leave this thing running before I do that,” she said aloud as she got out. Her modus operandi meant she should have been relaxing already with her first drink, or a second; had already enjoyed the multi-million-dollar sunset view her killer real-estate instincts, among other darker skills, had provided her and her only child.
Noting the security keypad’s green glow, she shook her head in disbelief. Kirk. When will he take my ‘requests’ seriously? She’d told the seventeen-year-old countless times, she couldn’t afford to leave the crown jewel of Polo Club’s most exclusive neighborhood vulnerable like this. After all this jewel, her jewel, never quit proclaiming her professional acumen. Besides, if a break-in did ever occur the development would instantly lose some of its status as a “mighty rock walled fortress.” Her marketing team’s invented catchphrase promised that, and she needed to deliver, after all, her high-rolling residential clients were also neighbors.
She set the system to “Partially Armed.” Seeing the green turn amber, she slammed the door between the garage and the large laundry room. It didn’t give the satisfaction one of the heavy oak double front doors would, but it would put the kid on notice.
She sniffed the fragrant air. Homemade “Wednesday night pizza” was apparently still baking. “Good,” she said, dropping her keys in a small bowl on the cold marble counter. Only then did she notice the note on a small silver tray. Madam: Shaker full per your text. In bar freezer. Pizza ready upon request. (signed) Marigot.
Bithia’s heels clack-clack-clacked through the large kitchen and towards her bedroom suite, having detoured only once: to stop behind the marble topped bar.
She gripped the freezing cold glass loosely with one hand, leather briefcase-slash-purse in the other. “Kirk,” she called out, halfheartedly, more anxious to just get out of the killer heels and the spandex-free black suit and white blouse. Felt bound as tightly by all of it as she imagined any mummy had ever been wrapped. Chastising her son for his lack of safety awareness could wait. At least until she was barefoot and in yoga gear. Besides, they had an armed guard roving the partially wooded acreage.
Already well past her study, she heard a clunk or a thud; turned instinctively; sloshed some of the dirty Martini on the normally spotless floor.
“Damn.” She looked at the mess, then headed back. She’d failed to notice the open door. No one was supposed to be in there “unsupervised.” Neither her son nor the help.
She stood in the doorway letting her eyes adjust to the darkness within. Seeing her son’s back she simply cleared her throat. He whipped around. When he saw her his hand went to his face and he swiped the back of it across his mouth.
“What are you doing in here? Have you been in my herb drawers?” She reached around the corner and flipped the closest light switch. A low-level illumination came from some of sconces in the cubbyholes without books. Not enough to see clearly anything out of the ordinary on the seventeen-year-old’s face. Other than guilt. “You know you aren’t supposed–”
He rushed towards her and began squeezing past. As if reading his mind she’d dropped her leather briefcase and had a strong grip on him, effectively arresting the attempted escape of a teen boy who stood much taller, and who outweighed her by nearly double.
Now she had a sufficiently close vantage point. Could clearly see the remains of lipstick on his mouth and the matching smudge on the back of his hand.
END Part 1 of 10