Rekindling An Old Flame: Redux (fiction)

This was the first Jess and Cindy story I ever wrote. However I originally wrote it in first person from Cindy’s perspective, so I never included it in the Jess and Cindy chronology. I’ve decided to revisit it. It takes place after Jess Waits.

Rekindling An Old Flame

Cindy surveyed the land before her. It was overgrown with weeds and the remainder of crops that had long since gone to seed. The farmland was going to need a lot of clearing. Even the old homestead was dilapidated and the barn was now practically in ruins. There was a lot of work that had to be done, and it looked like she was going to be the one that would have to do it, alone if necessary. She couldn’t believe her parents had let her grandmother’s farm go this way.

The city had broken her. After her parents had been killed in a freak car accident she decided to return to her old hometown of Lawrence and re-establish her roots there. In the Will, her parents had left both their house in town and her grandmother’s farm to be administered by both her brother and herself, which frankly had quite surprised her. She was surprised she was included in their Will at all. She thought they had disowned her due to her “lifestyle choices”. In the end, her brother and her decided to split them: Cindy would get the farm and he would get the house in town, not that he lived around here anymore. He thought he got the better deal, but it was the farm Cindy really wanted, even though it would need a lot of work. She assumed he would get everything. He was their golden boy after all. He had left town and become a successful lawyer in the city, married a pretty girl, and did all the right things according to their values, while she was the screw up who failed at everything she tried. Cindy went to college, and afterwards had become a teacher while also trying to be a writer, but she failed spectacularly at both of these things. Everything she tried, all it did was seem to confirm in her parent’s eyes that she was an absolute failure. Amazing lawyer Stephen and his screw-up sister Cindy; what a couple of siblings they were.

As she looked at the overgrown farm before her, a car coming down the road began to slow down. It was old lime-green station wagon that she recognised belonged to old Mrs Philips. It had been a while since Cindy had seen her and saw that she now had short grey hair.

“Is that you Cindy?” Mrs Philips asked in surprise as she stuck her head out of the car window. Cindy smiled and nodded.

“Yes it is.” She confirmed walking over to the car with her arms wrapped around her body.

“Well how are you? You’re looking good. Are you back here now?” Mrs Philips asked in an excited tone of voice.

“Yes I’m looking at fixing up the old farm.” Cindy told her. Mrs Philips shook her head.

“Well it’s about time! It’s a shame the state it’s got into.”

“Yes. It will need a lot of work.” Cindy agreed.

“I was surprised I didn’t see you at the funeral.” Mrs Philips said as she blatantly looked at Cindy for an explanation of why she wasn’t there.

“Yeh I wasn’t able to get there. But Steve was there and told me all about it.” Cindy told her. Mrs Philips nodded, though she was looking at Cindy like she couldn’t understand why she couldn’t make it to her own parent’s funeral.

“Yes it was good to see your brother and his wife Jennifer. Did you ever get married?” Mrs Philips asked. Cindy smiled again and shook her head.

“No I could never find the right person.” Cindy replied with her usual answer to that particular question.

“Not the marrying type I guess.” Mrs Philips responded rather perceptively while looking at her up and down.

“I guess.”

“Have you seen Jess yet? You two were as thick as thieves when you were younger.”

“Not yet.” Cindy responded looking away.

“Well I guess I’ll be seeing you! Take care Cindy!” she said.

“You too Mrs Philips!” Cindy called back to Mrs Philips as she drove off.

Cindy sighed. What would she do about Jess? They had grown up together and Jess was the first girl she had ever kissed. Jess had been her first girlfriend. She desperately wanted to see her again, but was also at the same time terrified. They once had big plans when they were together, but then Cindy went off to College, and Jess stayed behind and worked on her parent’s farm. Gradually over the years they had lost touch, and Cindy truly regretted that. Cindy didn’t know whether Jess was still dating other girls, or if she was now in a serious relationship. She really had no idea. She had dated a few other women in the city, mostly a succession of blondes like Jess. She guessed she was still trying to date Jess through other people who looked similar, or so her therapist had suggested.

Cindy grabbed what gardening equipment she had brought with her, tied up her long brown hair, and started hacking away at things on the farm. Over the next couple of weeks she spent most of each day clearing away the overgrown weeds. They were pretty exhausting days. Every night she went back to town to the family house feeling completely done. Steve had said it would be okay to use the family house while she was fixing things at the farm. It also meant he didn’t have to worry about the house being vacant, so it suited him as well. Every morning when Cindy went back to the farm, it looked no different from the day before. She had spent hours trying to clear the land, but it seemed to be having little effect. She wondered if she had made the right decision to come back here. Maybe she should have stayed in the city and let her brother sell the farm as he had originally suggested.

One night Cindy was relaxing after a particularly long day in the fields when there was a knock at the door. When she answered it her mouth dropped open, for there was Jess standing there. She hadn’t seen her in a long time and yet she looked no different. Her hair was still long and blond, she was wearing jeans, and wore a plaid shirt over a white tank top. Her hands were behind her back, as if she was hiding something.

“Well golly if it isn’t Miss Cynthia Steadman.” She said in a voice straight out of Gone With The Wind. Cindy laughed.

“Jess!” Cindy exclaimed.

“I brought you a little welcome home gift.” Jess said as she produced a bottle of Jack Daniels from behind her back. Cindy laughed again. Jack Daniels was the first thing they had ever got drunk on together. Jess had stolen it from her father’s stash and they got drunk and ended up making out in the living room, just as Jess’s mother walked through the front door. Thankfully her parents were more open minded than Cindy’s were. They were fine with Jess and Cindy being together as a couple, though her father never forgave Jess for stealing his whiskey.

“Well come on in!” Cindy said fully opening the door. Jess walked in sizing her up and then Cindy followed her into the living room. Jess sat down and produced some cigarettes. Even though Cindy no longer smoked, she took one and sat down beside her. Jess produced a lighter and lit both cigarettes. Cindy sat back in the couch and breathed out the smoke.

“You’re looking very tired, but wonderfully tanned.” Jess said as she got up and went into the kitchen. She came back with two glasses and began pouring the whiskey into them.

“I’ve been having some very long days at the farm.” Cindy told her as she was handed a glass.

“Well cheers!” Jess said as they clinked their glasses together and both knocked them back in one gulp. Jess then poured some more whiskey into the glasses.

“It’s good to see you again.” Cindy said to her. Jess looked at her quizzically with raised eyebrows.

“Well here’s the thing: a few weeks ago I heard you were back in town, and I half expected to hear you knocking on my door, but nothing happened. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised.” She said to Cindy as she took a drag on her cigarette.

“I’m sorry.” Cindy replied. “I wanted to, but I was scared.” Jess looked at her confused.

“Scared? Of what?” she asked.

“I wasn’t sure if you wanted to see me.” Cindy answered. Jess looked at her very seriously and nodded.

“Of course I wanted to see you. I’ve wanted to see you again for a long time! I even went to your parent’s funeral hoping you would be there, but you weren’t.” She said in an aggrieved tone.

“They cut me out of their life. I didn’t feel like they would have wanted me there.” Cindy explained to her.

“Did you know in the last few years both your parents started talking to me again?”

“Really?” Cindy asked. She hadn’t expected that.

“Yeh they always wanted to know if I had heard from you. I guess we all felt rather cut off from you. We should have formed a club. The Cut Off By Cindy Club” Jess told her. “Maybe they realised I could have been their daughter in law.” Cindy put her head into her hands when Jess said this. Cindy’s feelings towards her parents were still pretty raw, even after all this time.

“I didn’t know.” Cindy explained.

“Yeh that’s pretty obvious.” Jess responded as she filled their glasses again. “Is there any music around here?” She got up and began searching through various CD’s stashed around the room.

“I brought some music with me.” Cindy told her.

“Yeh I’m pretty sure it will all be dyke music huh? What have you got? Melissa Etheridge? K.D. Lang?”

“There’s some Indigo Girls there.” Cindy offered, and Jess looked at Cindy with her head nodding as if she had just confirmed her suspicions.

“I thought as much. No I want some real music!” Jess said as she put a CD on and some music came blaring out of the speakers.

“What is that? The Eagles?” Cindy asked incredulously.

“Yup.” Jess confirmed as she sat back down on the couch and put her feet on the table while trying to blow smoke rings.

“So what have you been doing since I last saw you?”

“Still working on my parent’s farm. Though I help manage it now. Also trying to uphold my position as Town Dyke.” Jess replied.

“I guess I relinquished that title after I moved away.” Cindy replied. Jess laughed for the first time that night.

“Yes.” she said nodding. “So you got a girlfriend now?”

“No. Over the years I’ve dated a few, but I never really connected with anyone. Well not like I did with you.” Cindy answered.

“I know how you feel.” Jess said blowing more smoke out of her mouth and looking at Cindy.

“So what do you do around here for fun?”

“Not a lot. Mostly I go to the bar on the outskirts of town and drink beers and play pool. Some guys try to come onto me, but I make it pretty obvious I play for the other team. Everyone around here knows anyhow.”

“And you haven’t been lynched yet?” Cindy asked her. Jess laughed again.

“This town may look much the same from when we were teenagers, but it has changed. People here are now a lot more open-minded than you would think.” Jess told her. “What about you?”

“Well I pretty much failed at everything I put my hand to in the city, so I’ve moved back here so I can fail at something else.” Cindy replied. “I’ve seen some pretty weird stuff there.”

“Well that’s the city for you.” Jess said. They both laughed. Cindy lit another cigarette.

“It feels strange being back here.”

“How so?” Jess asked.

“It seems so quiet and empty with my parent’s gone. I don’t feel like I really know anyone here anymore.” Cindy answered. Jess nodded her head in thought at Cindy’s words, looking slightly hurt.

“You should come with me to the bar sometime. There’s several people there you would know. Everyone wonders what happened to you. When you didn’t come back for the funeral that caused a lot of talk.”

“Really?” Cindy asked her. Cindy didn’t think anyone ever talked about her. She felt she was pretty much ignored by everyone when she lived here. People really only knew her because she was always with Jess, and Jess was the popular one at high school.

“Yes. So once you finish getting the farm ready, I guess you’ll be selling it?”

“No I’m planning to live there. I’ve decided to settle down here again.” Cindy told her. Jess looked really surprised.

“Really? Is Cindy the city slicker coming to live with us mere country folk again?” Jess asked sarcastically. “You’re really wanting to settle down here?!”

“I’m afraid so. I’m finished with living in the city.” Cindy told her quite seriously. Jess took hold of her hand. Her hand felt warm and familiar.

“It will be good to have you back here for good.” Jess said to her, her blue eyes looking into Cindy’s. Jess moved towards her and to Cindy’s complete surprise they began hugging. The next moment they were suddenly kissing one another like they had never stopped. Jess tasted of whiskey and cigarettes, but Cindy knew she probably tasted the same now.

“I’ve missed you.” Cindy whispered to her. Jess looked at her with tears starting to fall.

“Why did you never come back? I waited for you.” Jess replied reproachfully.

“I’m sorry.” Cindy said as she started to choke up with tears. “I thought you would come to the city with me. I always hoped you would turn up.” She held onto Jess while starting to sob.

“My parents needed me here. I thought you would come back after college and we would live together, but you never did. You stopped answering my letters. I thought you were gone from me forever.” Jess was beginning to cry as well.

“I didn’t want to come back here because of my parents. I had to get away from them. I had to get away from this town.” Cindy told her.

“You wanted to get away from this town? But I was here! Your parents really missed you too. You cut everyone off. And we were all left wondering why!” Jess said almost angrily while tears streaked down her face.

“I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to come back as a failure.” Cindy admitted.

“It didn’t matter what you came back as. So long as you were here.” Jess answered back.

They sat there looking at each other. Both of them were in tears. In their silence, all they could hear was “Peaceful Easy Feeling” playing on the stereo.

“I’m sorry. I know I did wrong. I know I’ve let you down. Can you ever forgive me?” Cindy asked her desperately, fearing the response. Jess sat there as if she was deep in thought looking down at the floor.

“You’ll stay here from now on won’t you?” Jess asked Cindy in a tearful voice as she looked up at her. Their eyes met again.  Cindy nodded and they hugged again, this time more tightly than before, as if they never wanted to let go ever again. They kissed each other, though this time it was long deep kisses. Eventually they collapsed on the couch holding on to each other as sleep overtook them.

The next morning Cindy awoke and they were still in each other’s arms. Jess was drooling onto a cushion in her sleep and Cindy had a nasty hangover. She had planned to spend another full day at the farm again today, but didn’t think she could face it. She gently moved so she didn’t disturb Jess and slowly reclaimed her arms. After getting up from the couch, Cindy padded to the kitchen and began to heat up some coffee. The living room smelt of stale cigarette smoke and booze. Cindy poured a coffee and opened the front door and looked down the quiet street. A moment later Jess appeared and, taking the coffee cup from out of Cindy’s hands, sat down on one of the front steps and lit a cigarette.

“So you going to the farm today?” Jess asked.

“No. I don’t think I’m up to it at the moment.” Cindy replied. She gave an understanding nod.

“I’ve been thinking. I looked at your grandmother’s farm a few weeks ago. It’s in a rather terrible state of disrepair. It’s an impossible task for just one woman, in my opinion. I’ve got some free time at the moment. I can help you get it ready. I mean you’re going to have to rebuild the barn, and the homestead will need some serious repairs, so you’re going to need at least one other person to help you.” Jess said looking up at Cindy and smiling. Cindy warmly smiled back at her and then went back to the kitchen to grab another cup of coffee.

Coming back had turned out to be a great idea.

Joanne Fisher

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Moving In With Grandma (flash fiction)

Moving In With Grandma

“I can’t believe your parents kicked you out of the house for being gay.” Melissa said as she carried Cindy’s bags. Cindy walked beside her also carrying several bags.

‘I can’t believe it myself.” Cindy replied. “At least I’ve got most of my stuff.”

“So where are you going to go now?”

“My grandma has insisted I move into the farmstead with her. She’s really furious Dad has chucked me out.” Cindy answered. Melissa suddenly stopped.

“Wait, are we walking all the way to your grandmother’s farm with these bags?” she asked Cindy.

“No, Jess is borrowing her dad’s pickup. She’ll meet us once we get to the main road.” Cindy explained.

“That’s cool. I wish I had a girlfriend like Jess.” Cindy smiled at her words.

“Hands off, she’s mine.” Cindy said.

When they got to the main road, there was Jess waiting for them. Both Cindy and Melissa loaded the bags into the back. Cindy and Jess hugged and then got into the pickup.

“Hey thanks for helping.” Jess said to Melissa.

“No problem.” Melissa replied. Then Jess and Cindy drove off in the pickup. Melissa waved at them as they left.

“You know you could stay at our farm with me. My parents wouldn’t mind.” Jess told Cindy.

“That would be awkward. Besides I thought it would be best to stay with family.” Cindy answered. Jess put her hand on Cindy’s.

“You are family.” Jess said as they drove to Cindy’s grandmother’s farm.

Joanne Fisher

This is another young Jess and Cindy story, though it takes place a few years later than the last one, and obviously things have happened…

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Contraband, part four (fiction)

Contraband

Part Four

Asran’s cohorts collected the foodstuffs from Brynla’s ship. As exchange for the food, Brynla was given use of a speeder to take the contraband supplies to the rendezvous point. E-5JF was left with the ship, while Brynla and Ennik were escourted through a secret smuggling tunnel to a hidden enclosure. There lay a speeder with an enclosed canopy and a laser cannon at the back. There was enough space in the speeder to fit all of the cargo they brought, just. Brynla got Ennik to pilot the speeder while she sat in the back with the cannon controls, she had already been warned they may encounter some Imperials.

Ennik piloted the speeder away from the city of Esgor. The terrain around the city was dry and dusty with small canyons and brown hills. They were making good time and would arrive at the rendezvous within a few hours. Suddenly a warning signal went off.

“Uh-oh. We have some company.” Ennik warned. Brynla looked at her scope and saw two red dots approaching.

“I’m guessing TIE fighters.” Brynla stated. “Try to maneuver the speeder down one of the narrower canyons.”

“Okay.” Ennik replied. He steered the speeder towards a canyon. Brynla looked around, and sure enough, she saw two TIE fighters approaching them.

Speeder you are in a restricted zone. Stop where you are or we will fire on you.” warned a voice over the intercom.

“Keep going.” Brynla urged. She aimed the laser cannon at one of the TIE fighters and fired. The pilot managed to evade the shots and then both TIE fighters opened fire on them. Luckily, the laser blasts missed them, and Brynla aimed at again at a TIE fighter and fired. This time she hit it, and the TIE fighter exploded into a ball of fire.

“Hang on!” Ennik said as he piloted the speeder into a narrow twisting ravine. The sole remaining TIE fighter followed while firing at them. Brynla returned fire, but each time the pilot managed to evade her shots.

“This pilot is good.” Brynla said to herself as she continued firing at it. Unexpectedly the ravine suddenly turned abruptly to the right, and the TIE fighter flew into the side of it and exploded. Brynla breathed a sigh of relief. “Good piloting Ennik!”

“Thanks boss!” Ennik cheerfully replied.

They traveled to the rendezvous with no further encounters. Once there, Brynla turned on the beacon and they both waited. A couple of hours later a couple of large beasts appeared to be approaching them. Looking through her macrobinoculars Brynla saw they were banthas being ridden by humans. As they got nearer, one of the riders dismounted and walked up to the speeder. Brynla got out of the speeder to face him.

“That’s near enough!” the figure warned. “Have you brought the supplies?”

“Yes they’re here. Do you want us to unload them, or would you prefer to do it?” Brynla asked.

“You unload them yourselves and leave them outside the speeder and we will collect them.”

“Sure.” Brynla replied, mystified by the odd request. Ennik and her could have helped them load the supplies onto their banthas, but they obviously didn’t want their help, so they unloaded everything while the others all watched them at a safe distance. “I suppose these are weapons the Alliance is providing you with.”

“No. They’re medical supplies.”

“Medical supplies?” Brynla repeated.

“Yes there’s a terrible sickness affecting the native inhabitants here. The Empire has chosen not to do anything about it. All they’ve done is quarantine the planet, but not helped provide any medical assistance for the native population. They’re just letting them die instead and they’ve blocked any help that’s been offered. These supplies you’ve brought will help save many lives. So thank you. But please keep a distance from us.” Both Brynla and Ennik did their best to keep as much distance as they could from them once they were told this news. After all the supplies were loaded, the others mounted their banthas and rode off leaving Brynla and Ennik on their own. The journey back to Esgor was uneventful.

Onboard their ship again, they left the planet Karagen behind them. Imperial customs checked them out again, but found nothing. After going into hyperspace, Brynla and Ennik sat in the ship’s cockpit watching the blue light stream by lost in their own thoughts.

“So what are you going to do with your share?” Brynla finally asked Ennik.

“I’m giving mine back to the Alliance.” Ennik replied.

“Why?” asked Brynla surprised.

“Because they need the money more than I do. We were delivering supplies to help save lives. I don’t think I should profit from that.” Ennik told her.

“Nice sentiment, but that doesn’t pay the bills.” Brynla replied acidly. For Brynla, if she gave the money back to the Alliance it would be an admission she was part of the Rebellion, and she wasn’t ready to admit that yet, not even to herself…

The End.

Originally this story was meant to be a single post but it ended up being longer than I realised.

Part One | Part Two | Part Three

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Answers (fiction)

Answers

Cindy was wandering along a path, not really noticing where she was going. Her recent miscarriage was the only thing in her mind at the moment. She chanced upon Hidnoot, the gnome who helped around the farm. He looked up at her sadly.

“I’m sorry to hear of your misfortune my lady.” He said.

“Thanks Hidnoot.” Cindy replied.

“Babradon wants to see you.” he told her.

“Okay.” she acknowledged.

It was several days before she got around to visiting Babradon. She assumed he just wanted to offer his condolences, as everyone did at the moment. After she went through the portal, she sat down beside him.

“Thanks for coming to see me.” Babradon said. “I’m sorry about the loss of your child.” As soon as he said that, Cindy broke down and began crying again. Babradon quietly waited for Cindy’s wailing to subside. “I need to tell you something.”

“What do you need to tell me?” Cindy asked after wiping away her tears.

“There’s a reason why you and your family line can freely walk through the gates to Faerie.”

“I thought we just had a special gift.” Cindy told him.

“It’s deeper than that. It’s because you all have fey blood in you.”

“What?” asked Cindy surprised.

“Somewhere in your family line, an ancestor probably, was someone from Faerie. A high elf I suspect.” Babradon revealed. “The Outer World these days is not a good place for the fey to reproduce. If you want to carry a child to full term, you are going to need help.”

“Help? From whom?”

“Beyond the forest is a wondrous city. When you’re able to journey again, I suggest following the forest path until you come to this city. You can ask the Elven Queen for help.”

“And she’ll help me?” asked Cindy doubtfully.

“I don’t see why not. She helped your grandmother carry your father to full term.” Babradon informed her. Cindy looked at him surprised.

“You said my family line all has fey blood. Does that mean my father could also see the fey world and come through the gate here too?”

“Yes he could, but he chose not to. I think he decided to live in a very narrowly defined world. The fey world scared him.”

“He threw me out of the house for being gay.” Cindy commented.

“Yes it was a very narrow world.” Babradon replied. “One thing: if you do ever decide to visit the Queen, take plenty of silver, true-silver if you have any.”

“Why?”

“For tribute.”

“How could I ever go there? What would I say to Jess?” Cindy asked.

“Tell her the truth. She’s been here. She’s seen Faerie.” Cindy’s mouth dropped open to Babradon’s news.

“When did this happen?”

“A couple of months ago now. I opened the gateway so she could come through. I thought it would be better for your relationship if she knew the truth.”

“How come she hasn’t told me?”

“Maybe she doesn’t know how, or maybe she’s still processing it. A lot of momentous things have happened in both your lives recently. Give her time.” Babradon counseled. Cindy nodded. She would need to think about all of this, and maybe being able to have a child hadn’t been taken away from her after all…

Joanne Fisher

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Dumb Vampires 2, part two (fiction)

Dumb Vampires 2

2

“She wasn’t pleased to see me.” Robert said. As he stood there, the man in front of him leaned back in his seat.

“I’m not surprised. She thought she had killed you, finally.” William replied, sitting in front of his huge oak desk. Behind him were shelves full of ancient tomes, some even in languages Robert didn’t know. “Must have been a shock for her.”

“I don’t think she’s interested in helping us. I even mentioned she could have Sarah back., but I don’t think she believed me.”

“I guess we should begin the process then. Maybe if we had a walking and talking Sarah to dangle in front of her, she may be more conducive to aiding us.” William stated. He picked up his phone. “This is Collins. Get the powdered remains of Sarah Williams ready.” He put down the receiver.

“Do you honestly think it will work?” Robert asked. William shrugged his shoulders.

“We can but try.” William answered. He then checked his watch. “Golly gee it’s lunch time! Do you wish to join me?”

“Sure. You going to the cafeteria?” William let out a grunt.

“No way I’m eating there. There’s a good sandwich bar a couple of blocks away. We can go and sit in the park and continue our conversation.” William suggested.

“Sounds good.” Robert replied.

They both left through the main entrance. Robert looked behind at the mirrored glass building they had left which had THE INSTITUTE in big black letters at the top of the building. It was always an impressive sight. They walked along the busy street.

“Believe me, getting Freya to help us is important.” William said as they walked together.

“Why do we need her anyway? Shouldn’t we be content to have her safely locked up in a cell?”

“She’s an ancient vampire, and we need all the firepower we can get. The Council has the Sorceress, but they aren’t using her. If we can bring enough pressure to bear on The Council, then that will force them to reveal the Sorceress. When this happens, we can attempt to steal her away from The Council. If we do that, we can prevail against them, finally. It’s all to play for.” William told him. Robert nodded.

They came to the sandwich bar. William got a pastrami sandwich, while Robert got a ham on rye. They took their sandwiches and coffees to the nearby park. They both sat on a park bench and watched ducks swimming on a pool of water. The leaves in the trees were starting to turn red.

“Where is she?” Robert asked after he had finished eating.

“I don’t know. It’s as though The Council has her in cold storage. Maximilian claimed he had found her, but that’s the last we heard from him.” William told him.

“He didn’t say where she was?”

“No, though that man always played with his cards close to his chest.”

“If he’s dead, can’t we bring him back?” Robert inquired.

“That’s the thing, our seers can’t find any trace of him. It’s as though he was destroyed completely. Not just his body, but his soul as well. Gone completely from the world as though he never existed.” Robert shuddered at the implications of William’s words.

“You suspect the Sorceress?” William smiled darkly and stood up.

“Yes I do. With that power at our fingertips we could change the face of this world, quite literally.” He looked up at the sky and sniffed the air. “I do so like New Amsterdam in fall. We should head back to work.” He started walking back in the direction of The Institute. Robert stood up and followed him.

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

I’m dealing with a deep depression at the moment, which is why my output has slowed of late. Hopefully I’ll feel better soon.

Index of previous chapters: Dumb Vampires

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Out and Not Out (flash fiction)

Out and Not Out

for Masercot

Sue had just been bowled, and I was up next. I waddled to the pitch in my pads gripping my bat in my left hand. Sue walked past me looking disappointed. Amber, our captain, was at the other end. She had made her fifty, but it was doubtful she would make a century now as she was rapidly running out of partners, in fact I was the last one, number eleven. As I got to the pitch, Amber walked up to me frowning.

“There’s only two balls left in the over Jo, so just keep them out and don’t run so I can face the next over.” She patted me on the butt and went back to her spot. I felt a bit hurt she had so little faith in me.

After I centered on middle stump, I took my stance and watched the bowler run up. Her first one was on the line of the stumps, but I managed to keep it out. The ball slowly went out into the midfield and the fielder lazily picked it up as if inviting me to run, though I knew Amber wouldn’t be interested. The second ball flew past me and frankly I wasn’t even good enough to catch the edge. The umpire called over and the fielders changed position for the next over.

As Amber was now on strike, I watched her face the new bowler. Amber hit the ball, but declined the run as she wanted to stay on strike. I knew we would only go if we were able to run two so she could still face the bowler, other than that I guessed she would be wanting boundaries now. The next ball she hit forcefully. It bounced once before going over the boundary ropes – four runs. Third ball she tried the same shot, but instead got a top edge. The ball went high in the air. “Crap!” I heard Amber scream. A fielder stood under it and caught it easily. We were all out.

Amber and I walked silently back to the pavilion. I reflected while it was nice the captain was also my girlfriend, I felt rather miffed she always stuck me in at number eleven in the batting order, I was sure I could handle being at number ten…

At least 0 not out was better than 0…

Joanne Fisher

Masercot did a post on baseball, so I’ve done one on cricket. I do miss playing cricket. As my largest audience is from the United States, I’m not sure they’ll get this one. Still the second largest is from India, so maybe it will balance out.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Dumb Vampires 2, part one

Dumb Vampires 2

1

Freya opened her eyes. She was in a rectangular shaped room, the walls a light grey colour. She was lying on a stiff bed. She slowly sat up and sniffed the air. There was virtually no smell at all, which she found disconcerting. There were lights in ceiling, as well as a camera. When she stood up and walked around, the camera followed her. There were no windows or doors. It was as though she was in a box. The room had an institutional look to it. She guessed she was deep underground.

“Well I’m definitely in The Institute.” she said to herself. The Institute: the one place she had always feared to end up. She would rather they had just killed her than for her to be here.

A slot in the wall suddenly opened up. A stainless steel cup on a small stainless steel tray appeared through it and rested on a small table. She could smell the blood, and instantly felt the cravings of her hunger. Unless you were a vampire, you didn’t know what the hunger for blood was like. Once you needed to feed, it became your sole imperative, over anything else in your existence. She went straight for the cup and drained it within a second.

Once she had drained the cup, one side of the wall instantly became see-through, and there he was, standing there dressed in a grey suit and wearing his black thick-rimmed glasses. He was smiling.

“There’s a lot more where that comes from.” he said. It was the man she knew as Robert Thompson,and also Alejandro Cortez. Doubtless he had other identities.

“I thought I killed you.” Freya said to him walking up to the now clear wall. Robert continued smiling.

“I guess I’m not that easy to kill, but then again neither are you.”

“I know you’re not a vampire, so what are you?” she asked him. He looked at her keenly.

“Let’s just say working for the The Institute has many benefits. It also has a great healthcare plan!” He said chuckling.

“What about the other agents I killed? Are they walking around again too?” Freya wondered.

“Angela Haynes is. She’s a good field agent. Been with us a long time now. Tom Mitchell, unfortunately, didn’t make the grade.”

“So I guess he remains dead then?”

“Well he was of little use to us in the end.” Robert admitted.

“So what are your plans for me? Am I going to be imprisoned here for ever?” Freya asked. Robert laughed again.

“Forever is a long time, but no, certainly not. We brought you here because we hope you will help us.”

“Help you? What makes you think I would ever want to help you? You have stalked me for many years. I would never help you.” She turned away.

“Not so fast. We have an incentive for you.” Robert told her. Freya stood there with her back to him.

“And that is?”

“We can give you Sarah back. I know you liked her. Work for us and you can be with her again.”

“Your colleague turned her to dust. There’s no bringing her back from that.” Freya replied.

“You’d be surprised. We have her dust. We know the process to bring her back. Just say the word and she’ll join you here.” Robert offered. Freya turned back around to face him again. She walked right up to the wall and stared at him intensely.

“You lie. I will never work for The Institute, just as I will never work for The Council. Both of you are two different sides of the same flawed coin. I hope you eventually destroy each other.” She turned around and walked back to the bed.

“The offer’s always there, should you wish to take it up.” Robert told her. The slot in the far wall opened again and the metal cup was removed, and then was instantly replaced with another full of blood. “While you mull this offer over, please enjoy another complimentary cup of blood.” Robert smiled again. The wall went opaque again. Freya wandered over to the cup and drained it. She had some thinking to do if she was ever going to get out of here.

to be continued….

Joanne Fisher

Index of previous chapters: Dumb Vampires

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Dumb Vampires, part 16 (fiction)

Dumb Vampires

16

Robert Thompson and Angela Haynes looked at the building before them. A large white villa in the hills above New Kingsport.

“So this house is owned by a Charles Davies then?” Angela asked.

“Yes, better known as Chuck. Let’s just say he is, or was, notorious for having his fingers in a lot of dubious pies. That’s how he’s made his wealth. Now he seems to have vanished off the face of the earth and yet his car has been seen regularly making trips to the city below picking up people and bringing them back here.” Robert replied.

“And I assume all the people that walk in there never seem to walk back out?”

“You would be right there.”

“How did you find this place?” Angela asked.

“The night Freya and Sarah disappeared, I managed to obtain all the video footage from the gas stations on the way to the city using my FBI badge. I assumed they would head to the city and I hoped the car they were in might stop at one of them. After reviewing the footage and seeing all the cars that stopped there, I searched for their owners. Out of all of them, he is the one that seems to have disappeared since then. No one has seen him alive since that night.” Robert informed her.

“Well done.” Angela told him. “Of course the fact that all the curtains are closed is a dead giveaway.”

“Shall we go in and see if they’re still there?”

“Sure. They should be sleeping now, if they are there.” Angela replied. Robert looked doubtful.

“Don’t count on it. If we’re expected, they may be staying up just to surprise us. Keep alert. Robert warned. They both moved forwards to the front door.

*

Freya peeked through the curtain and watched the two hunters talking outside the house. Once they started moving to the house she withdrew from the window. She turned to Sarah who stood beside her.

“We’ve got to hide now.” Freya told her. Sarah hid among the clothes in a large wardrobe, while Freya found her dagger and hid it in the inside pocket of her coat. She then leapt up to the attic opening and waited.

In a short moment the front door was forced open and she heard footsteps in the floor below. They seemed to go through the rooms one by one.

“Oh look! A pile of dead bodies. What a surprise!” The woman’s voice said. “Do vampires realise how much of a foul smell they make?”

“I don’t think it particularly worries them.” Said the man who was currently going by the name of Robert Thompson. Freya knew him as Alejandro Cortez, and a host of other pseudonyms. She then heard them walking up the stairs.

“I’ll check out this room.” The woman whispered.

“I’ll look in that one.” Robert answered. Freya heard someone walk into the room below. They walked around the room and then looked in the wardrobe. Freya jumped silently down to see Sarah suddenly launch herself at the woman hunter from out of the wardrobe. To Freya’s shock, the woman remained unfazed and quickly stuck a wooden stake into Sarah’s heart. Sarah turned to dust with a look of surprise on her face.

“No!” Freya screamed out. ”You bitch!” The woman turned in shock at her voice. Freya ran at her and deftly deflected the woman’s attempt at staking her. In one quick movement, Freya grabbed the woman’s head and snapped her neck. She fell lifeless to the floor. Freya collapsed onto her knees and sifted her fingers through the dust that had been Sarah. “Sarah no! We had so many plans…” she sobbed as she sat there. Tears of blood ran down her face. She heard footsteps come into the room.

“That’s two of my assistants you’ve killed now.” Robert stated.

“And they deserved it.” Freya shot back as she slowly stood up and faced him.

“The game’s up. Come back with me to the Institute. We’ll look after you. That’s all we want. You don’t have to die here.” Robert offered.

“No.” Freya replied. Robert look disappointed.

“Then I’ll have to kill you.”

“Come at me then!” Freya taunted. Unexpectedly, she then ran at him. He quickly got his stake into position and stuck it into her heart. Freya pulled out her dagger and pushed the blade deeply into his abdomen. With all her remaining strength she dragged the blade through his abdomen until it was through his other side. She then cut upwards. Robert shoved the stake deeper into Freya until she finally went limp and collapsed onto the floor. Moments later he collapsed too. Robert lay there bleeding out. He looked over to Freya’s inert body.

“Dumb vampires!” he said as everything went black.

The End.

Joanne Fisher

Index of previous chapters: Dumb Vampires

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Dumb Vampires, part 15 (fiction)

Dumb Vampires

15

Freya awoke. The sun had only just set. She knew they had to go soon, so she gently shook Sarah who was sleeping beside her. Sarah awoke wide-eyed and alert.

“What’s the matter?” Sarah asked alarmed.

“We need to get out of here. Now we’ve killed one of the hunters, more will come. The sooner we’re away the better.” Freya told her.

“Can’t we just try to get the other one?”

“No he’s probably guessed by now we’re here. He’ll either be gone or awaiting reinforcements. If he is still here, he will be extremely difficult to get to.” Freya advised. “It’s best we pack up and go.”

“We haven’t got a car.”

“We can always hitchhike.” Freya suggested.

“Okay.” Sarah replied. She got out of the bed and headed to the kitchen. Freya followed her. They warmed up the remaining blood and finished it off. “Do we hide the bodies somewhere, or shall we just let them be found there on the floor.”

“Just leave them for the hunters to find.” Freya suggested.

“Well if they’re going to find them, then I want to leave a message for the dick wad.” Sarah went over to the bodies and produced a pocket knife. Freya watched Sarah carving letters into Tom’s forehead. After she had finished, they packed up their few belongings and went soundlessly out the back window.

Once outside, they walked across the road and stuck out their thumbs to the passing traffic. They didn’t have to wait long for a car to stop for them. It was a red Jeep.

“Where are you sexy girls headed?” asked the driver. He was a man in his forties with short brown hair and a rather cheesy mustache. He wore a Hawaiian shirt and white shorts.

“We’re heading to New Kingsport.” Freya told him. He smiled.

“It just so happens I’m heading there to. Climb on in.” he told them.

“Thanks.” Freya said, as she and Sarah both got into the back seat. They drove off.

“My name is Chuck by the way.” He told them.

“Of course it is.” Freya replied.

“I’m sorry?” he asked.

“No matter.” Freya replied smiling. “I’m Freya, and this is Sarah.” Chuck began to wind down the window.

“So you girls got a place to stay in the city?” Chuck asked.

“We’ll probably just go to a motel.” Freya answered.

“Two pretty girls like you staying in a motel? No, I won’t hear of it! You’re welcome to stay at my place. I’ve got plenty of room.” Chuck told them.

“Thanks, that sounds great.” Freya replied.

“Yeah we’ll make it worth your while.” Sarah said smiling at him.

“We certainly will.” Freya agreed. Chuck smiled. He was in for a good time tonight, he thought.

On the way he stopped at a gas station. Freya and Sarah looked at each other.

“At least we’ve got somewhere to stay for a while.” Sarah stated.

“Hopefully…” Freya answered. She felt disquiet that they had stopped here, but there was nothing she could do about that. When Chuck got back, he was all smiles.

“Well off we go!” He stated. “If one of you wants to sit in the front with me, you’re welcome to.”

“Thanks, but we’re okay here.” Freya told him. “So what do you do Chuck?”

“This and that.” He answered.

“What about you two?” he asked.

“I’m a student.” Sarah replied. “Though it’s the holidays.”

“What about you Freya? Are you a student too?” Chuck asked her.

“You could say that.” Freya answered guardedly.

When they got to the city, Chuck drove to his house in the hills. It was a large wooden villa that had a scenic view of the entire valley. Below them New Kingsport silently glittered with thousands of lights. Chuck unlocked the door and walked in to his house. Freya and Sarah walked up to the doorway and waited.

“Come in you two!” Chuck told them.

“Thanks.” Freya replied as they both walked over the threshold.

“This is the lounge and here is the kitchen.” He told them. “Do you two want something to eat?”

“We certainly do!” Sarah replied. Both Sarah and Freya followed Chuck into the kitchen. He turned around to see them both advancing on him with their fangs out. He screamed.

Afterwards, Freya and Sarah sat on the couch. Sarah was resting her head on Freya’s shoulder while Freya had her arms around her. Sarah had the TV remote in her hand and was flicking through the channels. Both of them had blood dripping from their mouths.

“It should take them a while to find us here.” Sarah said.

“Yes my love.” Freya replied. She kissed Sarah on the forehead.

Freya was thinking about Chuck stopping at the gas station, which would give the hunter a car to track, and that would mean he would be here sooner than Sarah realised. That hunter followed her everywhere. He was relentless. No matter where she went, he would eventually turn up. She was tired of the constant chase, tired of the hunt, and realised she needed to take a stand. She needed to get rid of him, even if it cost her life, and Sarah’s. She looked around. This place was as good as any to make a final stand against the man who constantly stalked her. This would be the only way she could be rid of him forever…

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

Index of previous chapters: Dumb Vampires

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Don’t Fear the Reaper (fiction)

Don’t Fear the Reaper

One night there was an ominous loud knocking on the door. I opened it to find a large woman in a bright floral dress. I looked at her confused.

“Hello love.” she said.

“Do I know you?” I asked her.

“I’m Death. I’ve come to collect your soul.” she told me.

“Death? I thought you’d be a skeleton in a black hooded cloak with scythe in your hand.”

“You’d be surprised by how many people say that.” she answered.

“Actually I don’t think I would be.” I replied. To my surprise she walked past me into the house. “So how did I die then?”

“Your heart gave out out dear.” she said turning to me.

“Like my dad’s did?”

“Yes like your father. Now he was a fun one to collect. Not like you.”

“Not like me?” I asked hoping she would clarify that remark. She walked to my kitchen and opened my fridge up.

“Well with you it’s all eye rolling and sarcasm. No wonder you’ve died alone.” she commented. “Do you mind if I raid your fridge? All this reaping souls makes me hungry.”

“Death came to visit and raided my fridge?” I said out loud.

“Well it’s not like you’re going to need it anymore, especially where you’re going.”

“And where am I going?” I asked.

‘What do you mean dear?” she asked as she stuffed her face full of my food.

“Will I just cease to exist? Is there a heaven or hell, and if there is, which one am I going to?” Death just shrugged her shoulders.

“You’ll find out when you get there love. What you believe will happen to you, either you’re right or your wrong, and if you’re wrong it’s too late to worry about it now.” she told me while finishing off my roast chicken.

“Okay.” I replied uncertainly. She came back into the living room and looked at me.

“You ready love?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be.” I told her. She smiled at me.

“That’s the spirit dear! Now take my hand.” I took hold of her hand and to my surprise I found it was warm, and then we walked through the door together.

Joanne Fisher

This idea for a story just popped into my head…

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher