Category Archives: Kris Norris

First Time – First Kiss

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Time for another First post, this month is First Kiss. I was using a specific WIP for these posts, but that story doesn’t have much opportunity for kissing. So instead, I’m going to use a snippet from the first full length novel I wrote.

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We walked out of the restaurant in time to catch part of the sunset, so we stayed on the boardwalk a little longer, neither one of us quite wanting to go home yet. At about ten-thirty Caleb’s phone buzzed. He pulled it out of his pocket and groaned when he saw who it was.

“Just a minute, I need to answer this.” Dropping my hand and turning away he said, “Hello.” No inflection, just a dull greeting. He talked for a minute, just a few uh-huh’s and yeahs before hanging up without saying good-bye. I didn’t say anything, not wanting to be nosy. “That was Greg.” Silence.

“Oh, what did he want?”

“Wanted to be an ass, mostly. Also, wanted to tell me my mom was on the warpath about something, so it would probably be a good idea if I came home soon.” He frowned. “I sound lame. My mom wants me home at ten-thirty on a Saturday.”

“You don’t sound lame,” I reassured him. “You sound like someone whose mother is somewhat…difficult.” I didn’t want to offend him, but from what he’d said, she sounded like a “mommy dearest” most of the time.

“Difficult is a nice word for her. I suppose I’d better start heading home.” We turned away from the water and began walking back towards town.

“Where are you staying?”

He told me the address.

“That’s not too far from my house, three blocks or so.”

“Excellent! That means I can walk you home tonight.”

I hesitated, only for a second, but he caught it. “You’re not going to blow me off again, are you?”

I didn’t even pretend to misunderstand him. “I didn’t blow you off the other night, or I didn’t mean to, at least. I just got, nervous, I guess about letting you know where I live.”

“Do I look like a serial killer?”

“Does any serial killer look like a serial killer?” I retorted.

“Yes, sometimes.”

Frowning I said, “True, but that’s not the issue. I just didn’t think it was a good idea to let some strange witch know where I live.”

“And now?”

“Now I think I’m throwing caution to the wind!” I giggled and grabbed his hand, walking past the street his rental was on towards my house. The closer we got to home the more nervous I was. Was he going to try to kiss me goodnight? Did I want him to? Yes, I definitely wanted him to. That much I knew.

As we walked up the drive, I noticed there were no lights on anywhere except the front porch; my parents must have gone out for the evening. Still holding my hand, Caleb walked with me up the front steps and didn’t stop until we were standing in front of the door.

Taking hold of my other hand as well, he turned me to face him. “Thanks for letting me walk you home this time. Think you’ll let me walk you home again?”

“Now that you know where I live, I don’t suppose there’s any reason not to.”

Smiling, he let go of my hands and put his on my waist, pulling me closer to him. He whispered, “I think I’m going to kiss you now, because I’ve been wanting to all day, and this time I’m gonna go for it. So, if you don’t want me to, tell me.”

I didn’t say anything, and he took that for the sign it was. He met my eyes for an intense second before leaning down and touching his lips to mine. His mouth was warm and soft and just as amazing as I had been imagining. I slid my arms up around his neck and ran my fingers through the soft curls at his nape as he kissed me more deeply. Eventually, he broke the kiss and we both pulled back, breathing a little heavily.

“As much as I don’t want to, I should go,” he said, a little unsteady.

“Okay,” was all I managed, my mind a little fuzzy from the kiss.

“I’ll see you soon.”

“Okay.” I’m an oratorical genius, I tell you.

He leaned down and kissed me one more time, quickly but so sweetly. “Bye, Gwen.” He turned and headed down the walkway towards the sidewalk.

I watched him walk away for a minute before unlocking the front door and going inside. I was greeted by my slightly tubby, gray cat winding between and around my legs. “Well, Nyx,” I said as I bent down to pick her up. “I think this is going to be a very good summer.”

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Jess Jarman | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir | Gwen Cease | Bronwyn Green |

Promptly Penned

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This week’s flash fiction post is a “Promptly Penned.” All of the bloggers use the same phrase(s) to inspire them, the phrases that inspired this are in bold.

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Why are you glaring at me?”

I’m hoping you’ll spontaneously combust. Or at least end up with a terrible headache.”

“Geez, who peed in your cornflakes this morning?”

“You did, Maggie! Don’t you remember?” Reaching the end of my rope, I threw my pen across my desk and stood up. “You want a list of everything you’ve done today, and just today, to make me want to inflict harm on you?” Advancing on her, I was satisfied to see Maggie cringe away from me. Good, I was done putting up with her crap.

“First, I’ve had to hear three, count them three, times about your phone call with your brother this weekend. And let me tell you, it wasn’t that interesting the first time around. Then, you used the last of MY creamer that was in the fridge, with MY name on it. You opened MY mail. And then you told our boss that I was the reason your report was late. Which makes no sense. I have nothing to do with that project!” At this point, I was breathing hard, having really gotten into the ranting frame of mind.

Maggie’s lips had taken on that pucker she gets, that looks like she’s sucking on a lemon. “Well, if you were to just focus on your job and not other people’s business, then maybe these things wouldn’t bother you so much.”

I was speechless, she was completely unaware of how much of a hypocrite she was. Not to mention how annoying.

“Well, Maggie, if you weren’t such a bitch, we wouldn’t have to talk at all.”

With that, I sat down and went back to glaring at Maggie with all the force I could muster. She tried to ignore me, but she kept glancing up and meeting my eyes. Each time she looked a little more frightened. Finally, I felt it. That little spark in my brain that meant I had reached my goal.

Before my eyes, Maggie was engulfed in a huge flame that reached the ceiling. As quickly as it had appeared, it was gone, leaving no trace behind.

As I was silently congratulating myself, by boss walked up.

“Jules, have you seen Maggie? I need to ask her some questions.”

Using my most innocent, wide-eyed stare I shook my head. “No Nolan, I haven’t seen her. Not since you stopped by earlier.”

And just like that, no more Maggie in my life. I breathed a contented sigh of relief, wondering who I should teach a lesson to next.

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Jess Jarman | Siobhan Muir | Kris Norris | Bronwyn Green |

Wordless Wednesday

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Be prepared for onslaught of pictures of my pups, Thor and Rosie.

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Jess Jarman | Bronwyn Green | Kris Norris | Gwen Cease |

First Time – First Argument

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This is another First Time post, this time focusing on a First Argument. I might be stretching this one a little bit, because I sincerely doubt this is the first argument any of these characters have ever had, but it’s the first in this story, and this is related to the First Meeting post which you can read here.

 

After a thoughtful moment Grandpa asked the question I had been dreading. “What did you see?”

Taking a deep breath to steady myself, I told them everything I had seen. The blood, the slashed and mangled body, and the fact that it was a young women. That part hadn’t registered with me at first, but replaying that horrible scene in my head I saw she had been beautiful. Before he got to her. Brown hair, as best I could tell through the blood. And her face had been untouched. Clean, actually.

At my descriptions, Gran’s lips pursed in anger. I’m not sure if it was anger at what had been done to the poor girl or anger at my having seen it. Probably a bit of both.

“Could you tell if it was a memory or a something the person was just thinking about?” That was my dad, always straight to the point.

“No way to tell unless it was a conscious thought. And it wasn’t.”

“Do you know who you got the vision off?”

“I…no. There were so many people getting of the ferry the same time we were. I was bumped from behind and ran into a couple of people in front of me because of that. But I couldn’t tell you what any of them looked like. It was just an ordinary crowd.”

Will pushed the plate of cookies towards me, knowing how much I loved them. I’m sure he was hoping to help cheer me up, but I couldn’t eat. The sights I had seen kept swirling in my head like a tornado of blood and gore.

“What do we do with this information?” Grandpa asked.

“What information?” Dad countered. “The information that my psychic teenage daughter saw what could have simply been a sick psycho’s fantasy when she brushed up against some unknown person in a large crowd? Maybe it was a scene from a movie that stuck with someone. Maybe it was…”

But before Dad could keep going, I interrupted. “It was real. I don’t know if it was past, present, or future, but it was real.”

Gran put her hand over mine. “How do you know that?”

“The rage and the…the…pleasure behind it. It was a feeling of pride, I think. Pride in the scene and the act. I think that’s how the vision got through my defenses. It was the strength of the emotions that allowed it to push through, maybe even helped it.”

“I repeat,” Grandpa said, “what do we do with this information?

Everyone looked at me, but it was Dad who spoke. “We do nothing with it. We don’t know that it means anything or even have any concrete details we can pass to anyone.”

“Dad,” I said quietly, meeting his stare with one of my own, “you know that’s not possible. You know that’s not what mom would have done. I have to go to the police.”

“Absolutely not,” Dad said. “There is no way I’m letting my teenage daughter tell the police she may have seen a crime scene in someone’s head because she’s psychic. At best, they’ll blow her off. At worst, they’ll try to lock her up thinking she’s mentally ill.”

“Now, we should talk about this,” Gran said. “Maybe she can tell them something useful.”

“And what exactly would that be?” I had never heard my dad speak to Gran in that tone of voice and apparently she hadn’t either.

“Don’t you take that tone with me, Robert Matthews,” she said. “I am still your mother, I don’t care how old you are.”

“Yes, you are. And I’m Francie’s dad, so I get to decide what’s best for her.”

“What about what Francie thinks?” Will asked, his quiet voice drawing attention from everyone. “She’s the one who saw it, she’s the one who has those pictures stuck her in head now. Shouldn’t she be the one to decide the next steps, if there are any?”

I smiled at him gratefully before meeting my dad’s gaze again. “You know I have to say something. What did mom always tell me? With great power comes great responsibility.”

“That’s from Spiderman,” he said with a sad smile.

“I know that. But the sentiment is the same and she meant it. Mom always said because I had this extra sense that allowed me to see what others couldn’t, I had to help if I saw an opportunity. What if that poor woman I saw on the table is still alive right now and I could help save her? How can I walk away from that?”

Dad leaned back in his chair and ran his fingers through his hair, making it stand up straight. “You don’t know what it’s like, Francie, to try to tell someone you have knowledge that you absolutely shouldn’t have. I saw your mother try time and again to tell people things they didn’t want to hear, it didn’t end well. Many times either they didn’t believe and she wasn’t able to change anything or they listened to her and became suspicious of how she knew what she knew. I don’t want that for you.”

“I know,” I said. “I know you want to protect me dad, but when it comes to this, you just can’t. This is my ability, my call.” Dad stared at me for a second with sad eyes before standing up and walking out of the room.

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Jess Jarman | Kris Norris | Bronwyn Green | Siobhan Muir | Gwen Cease |

Flash Fiction – God of Ocean Tides

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This month’s flash fiction song inspiration is God of Ocean Tides by Counting Crows. As much as I love them, I hadn’t heard this song before. I put it on repeat on my drive to work one morning and….bam! Inspiration.

Listen to the song here if you want to and the lyrics are here.

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How long had he been driving?  Ethan didn’t even know at this point. All he could remember were headlights and gas stations and billboards lining the dark highways. As soon as he had read the note, he’d jumped in the car and started heading south, knowing that’s where she would go. Where Maddie always went. It was sacred to her.

Her note had said only, “I’m leaving, please just let me go.”

As if he could.

Sometime around midnight he crossed through Tennessee, skirting around Memphis, barely noticing when he crossed the state line into Mississippi. Every mile bringing him closer to Maddie.

The sun was coming up when he reached the coast, throwing orange and pink across the shimmering Gulf. Ethan drove to the pier, only recently rebuilt, the one Maddie had shown him on their first trip here, the one she had played on as a child. The one where her grandfather had taken her fishing. The one she had fallen off when she was only three. As he parked the car and climbed out, he saw her standing at the end, a lone figure silhouetted against the rising sun.

Although she must have heard his footsteps in the quiet morning, she didn’t acknowledge him until he was standing next to her, leaning on the railing

“I asked you to just let me go.” Her voice was quiet but resigned. Like she had been anticipating him.

“I don’t know how you expect me to do that, Maddie. No reason, no warning. Three years, and I come home from my dad’s house to a note. What the hell?” Ethan had promised himself he would stay calm, but his voice was steadily rising. “Don’t I at least deserve some kind of explanation? Aren’t I worth that?” The last was yelled, out in the direction of the waves.

Taking a calming breath, he turned back to Maddie to see tears streaming down her face. “Why are you crying? You did this.”

The venom in his voice was almost impossible to stand, but in the end, it would make things easier. Steeling herself, she said, “I never loved you.” Maddie’s heart broke as she told the lie.

“I don’t believe you.”

“I’m sorry, but it’s true. I stayed because it was comfortable, but I can’t do that anymore. Please, Ethan, just go. Don’t make this harder than it has to be.” Refusing to make eye contact, she ignored the glare she could feel heating the side of her face. A few minutes passed in silence before she heard him spin around and stalk back down the pier.

As his car started and he sped off, Maddie’s tears flowed harder, if that was possible. Her hands drifted down to rest lightly on her soon-to-be bump. “It’s okay, baby,” she whispered. “It’s better this way. He never wanted kids. Now he won’t feel obligated and we can go be happy somewhere else.”

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Bronwyn Green | Kris Norris | Jess Jarman | Siobhan Muir | Gwen Cease |

First Time – First Meeting

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We have a new feature added to the blogging schedule this year called “First Time.” This will be a chance to showcase characters, either from a story already on our blog, from a new piece, or from a another WIP, doing something specific for the first time. This month’s theme is First Meeting. I chose something a little different for this month. While there is a first meeting involved, the two characters don’t know each other, even after they “meet.” You’ll see what I mean. This snippet is the opening from a young adult paranormal/thriller type story I’ve been working on.

 

Standing on the top deck of the ferry, I closed my eyes and let the wind whip my hair around my face. We were almost to the island and as much as I was looking forward to being back there, I didn’t want the ride to end. Finally, I opened my eyes to look around when a shoulder bumped lightly against mine. Just dad, coming to enjoy the view with me. He loved the island as much as I did, it felt like home to both of us. 

In silence we watched the island grow closer. The majestic Grand Hotel stood like a sentry, watching all the ferries on their way to and from the island. The green tops of the trees in the state park glittered in the sunshine and the blue skies overhead were cloudless and bright. Eventually, the boat made its way to the dock where the practiced hands of the crew parked it gently, so the passengers could disembark.  

We met the third member of our party, my best friend Will, on the bottom deck where he had chosen to wait out the ride. He wouldn’t listen when I said the fresh air would help his queasy stomach, so when we met up with him, he looked pale and sweaty. 

The three of us gathered our computers and duffel bags, the rest of our stuff was already at our destination and joined the throngs of people streaming onto dry land. Seemingly without thinking, Dad and Will took positions on either side of me to create a little insulation. The gesture was automatic for both of them, even though it wasn’t really necessary anymore. 

As I was stepping off the walkway onto the dock, I was jostled by the crowd and the world fell away. 

I was in a dimly lit large room of some sort, high ceilings and few furnishings. The only sound was a constant drip, but it was muffled and sounded far away. My vision improved as I walked farther into the room and I could make out a table, with a shape on top of it. I got within a few feet and realized the shape was a person or had been. Parts were missing, a leg below the knee, some of the fingers. What remained was sliced and torn and covered in blood. I could see blood dripping onto a tarp under the table, the source of the sound. 

In a burst of sunlight, I came back to myself and realized I was clinging to Will’s arm, my dad trying to lead us away from the crowd. On shaky legs I let them guide me to a bench and sat down to catch my breath. 

“Sweetie, are you ok?” 

It took me a second to find my voice so that I could answer my dad. “Just need to sit a minute. That came out of nowhere.” 

“What happened?” Will asked, looking concerned. 

“Not sure. Must have bumped into someone’s arm or something. I couldn’t block it, it cut through my shields.” 

“What did you see?” 

Looking around I noticed a few people staring at us curiously. “Not here. Can I tell you when we get to Gran and Grandpa’s?” 

“Sure.” 

Before I could stop them, they each grabbed one of my bags and added to their own loads. They were both so protective of me, especially after a vision. It was sweet but infuriating at the same time. As much as they wanted to help, they weren’t psychic. They couldn’t know what it was like to see into someone else’s mind.

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Bronwyn Green | Jess Jarman | Siobhan Muir | Kris Norris | Gwen Cease |

Flash Fiction – January 2019

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I feel like every time I blog, I start out by saying, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged…

This time is no different, so I won’t do that except to say, I think I’m finally starting to pull out of a major depressive episode I’ve been in for almost for a year, so I feel like I’m coming back to myself a bit. This is my first attempt at writing anything since I blogged last January. I hope it’s the first of many this year.

 

 

Walking into the room, I was assaulted by memories. Everything was different, but also, it was exactly how I remembered it.

“Kate, what are we doing here?”

I could hear Marie behind me, I knew she was asking me something, but I couldn’t pull myself out of my thoughts long enough to answer her. The shelves that used to be lined with books now stood empty, most of the contents strewn on the floor. Or gone, from what I could tell. That probably happened in the blast, I assumed. The hours I used to spend in here, reading titles off the spines, planning which book I would read next. All gone now.

“Hello! Kate! What is this place?”

Marie was getting more impatient by the minute and she was going to start yelling if I didn’t answer her soon.

Finally, I turned to my companion and met her anxious gaze. “This was my house.”

“Oh, for the love! Please don’t tell me we came here so you could keep looking for Matthew? I thought you finally gave up on him!” The disgust was clear in her voice.

“I have given up on him, I’m not looking for him anymore. I promised you that. It’s just…” I paused for a second to gather my thoughts. “A couple of days ago when I realize where our route was taking us, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to at least stop by here and see what, if anything might be left. It’s been almost a year, I figured it couldn’t hurt.”

Marie snorted delicately. “Right, hurt you or hurt us? If you get depressed again after this, I’m not dragging you out of here.”

I rolled my eyes at her. She wouldn’t let me forget the shape I was in when she first found me, practically comatose and waiting to die. What did she expect? My world had turned upside down, hers too. I’m still not sure how she held it together back then, and how she was now.

Looking around the room once more, I noticed a couple of books standing neatly on the shelves, the only items not on the floor. Dumbfounded I walked closer. They were my journals, of all things. I couldn’t imagine how they ended up down here, since I had always kept them in my closet, and that was where I had left them when I fled. Reaching up, I started to grab the red one, the last one I had.

“Don’t touch that.” I stopped moving at the voice, and the soft click of someone turning off the safety on a gun. “Don’t you touch a damn thing.” he said again.

Meeting Marie’s eyes, I could see she was terrified. With my hands in the air, to show I was unarmed, I slowly pivoted in place pulling back my hood at the same time. My ears hadn’t been deceiving me, I knew that voice.

“Matthew?” It came out in barely a whisper.

“Kate?” The surprise and confusion was clear on his face, I was the last person he had expected to see here.

Without thinking I ran to him and launched myself into his arms. He buried his face against my neck and I could feel him shaking as I hugged him.

“What are you doing here?” he asked, pulling back to look at me. “How long have you been here?”

“Me, what about you? Have you been here this whole time?”

“No,” he said. “I only came back through a couple of days ago, and thought I would check and see if there had been any sign of you. I didn’t really expect to find anything, or any one.”

Gesturing towards the shelf, I asked, “did you set my journals up there?”

He looked embarrassed, but nodded. “Yeah, I thought. Well, I thought they shouldn’t be hidden away anymore. Stupid, I know.”

The sound of someone clearing their throat reminded me that we had company.

“Matthew, this Marie. We’ve been traveling together, looking for, anything I suppose.”

He nodded at her in hello, but didn’t acknowledge her beyond that. “Have you seen anyone else?” Matthew asked.

“No. Marie found me about two weeks after the blast. Have you found anyone, Matthew? Anyone at all?”

“Not a soul.” The fear and confusion were evident in his voice.

Looking back and forth between my two companions I asked the question no one wanted to ask. “Are we really the last three people left on Earth?”

 

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Bronwyn Green | Jess Jarman | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir | Gwendolyn Cease