Posts Tagged ‘creepy’

Okay, so I’ve spent the last 4 months working my tail off on my YA Fantasy/Horror.  Phew. This weekend, I finally typed the end (yay). Although, I found a few logic flaws I had to sit down and try and rethink, luckily my hubby let me bounce some things off of him.

Now, I’ll be going back through to edit, apply crits from my critique partners, and rewrite some sections where the plot needs to change based on some things I had come up in later chapters.  I’ll also be concentrating on adding some more details with the setting, and making sure to up the creep factor (woohoo). LOL.

I’m hoping to have everything cleaned up and off for betas in the next month or so.  Then, after that, it’ll be put in the hands of Agent Lady.  Since this story is darker, I’m hoping it does well on submission (ahhh).

This story was somewhat out of my comfort zone. The fantasy elements, I had no problem with, but the horror elements took more thought and even though I’m finished, I know I’ll need to add a few more of them in when I do edits.

But, I loved the challenge of writing something outside my norm, it really tested me. Luckily, my FAB crit partners kept me on track and honest.  I know a few of them received emails from me asking questions about several scenes or trying to make sure that everything I had planned was going to work out. 

But yeah, it’s nice to write “The End!”

Now, I’ll be working on edits, while waiting to hear back from my editor on TFGF.  So much stuff (LOL). Already trying to wrap my mind around my next project (another dark story–well, at least if I get the research done).


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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read. Enjoy!

A strong hand shook me awake, and I glanced up to see my sister leaning over me.  “Kendall, listen, you’ve got to get out of here, now.”

Her bright blue eyes pierced mine as she tugged me out of bed.

“Shit.  What’s your problem?”  I glanced at my alarm clock.  “It’s two in the morning, Paige.”

My older sister knelt next to me.  “If you don’t leave, they’re going to kill you.”

Blonde hair cascaded into my face as I let her pull me to my feet.  “Who’s going to kill me?”

“Listen, the Federation stopped here earlier.  I heard them talking to Mom about you.”

My throat went dry.  The Federation.  Crap.  They’d been trying to recruit me since I was thirteen.  But my being underage had kept them from touching me, from using me in their games.

But now, at seventeen, I was legal. 

Paige jerked my duffel bag out from underneath my bed and shoved some of my clothes in it.  Then she turned to her dresser and pulled a wad of bills from her purse.

“What did Mom say?”  I met her gaze as she shoved the money into my hand.

“I told them they could have you, if they promised to leave your sisters alone.”  Mom flicked on our bedroom light.  She refused to meet my eye.  “It was either I send one of you, or lose all of you.”

Two grizzled men pushed past my screaming sister and gripped hold of my arm, dragging me toward the door.

“Stop.  Please!”  They covered my mouth with a gag and tied my hands behind my back.

People taken to the Federation, never came back.  At least not alive.  What had mother done? 

Tears burned my eyes as I watched Paige’s grief stricken face disappear from sight.  Then everything went black.


I struggled to open my eyes as my arms brushed against the coolstone walls behind me.  But when my lids fluttered opened, I noticed I was in a tunnel. 

Tiny red lights flickered along the ceiling and I knew the cameras watched my every move, broadcasting it for the sick fucks who bet on people like me making it through the Labyrinth.

High pitched alarms blared in the distance.  The games had begun.  Too bad they didn’t know who the hell they were messing with.  With a smile, I wiped the make-up from my neck.  My tattoo blazed in the darkness.  Flames licked at my fingertips as my magic shot forth.  I rushed forward where a shower of bullets came at me from a lone sniper in the corner.

I rolled to the ground, creating a shield around myself.  The ammunition fell to the floor in front of me. 

“My turn.”  Heat licked at my body as I thrust fiery orbs at the gunman.  He screamed as his flesh burnt on contact.  I wrinkled my nose against the scent of his charcoaled body.

“Shut down the Labyrinth,” a frightened voice came over the intercom.

I laughed.  “Too late.  The Federation is going down.  You really should do better background checks before you recruit people.”

Smoke filled the Labyrinth as I went path by path, taking out the workers who’d aided in killing people for fun.  All so they could place bets and watch our fear on TV.  Tonight, they’d get their fill.

When I came to the end of the maze, I kicked opened the door.  A helicopter loomed overhead, its spotlight focused on me.  “I don’t even think so.”

With a flick of my finger, I sent a fireball right for the gas tank.  I dove to the side as it exploded mid air, in a shower of hot metal and body parts.  I slipped into the shadows and raced towardNickletreePark. 

There, I found Paige waiting for me, a slow smile upon her lips.  “I knew you’d do it.”

I hugged her tight.  “Did you make the bets?”

“Oh yeah.  The monies already in the account.”

“And Mom?”

“Taken care of.  She’ll never betray us again.”  Paige grabbed my hand and jerked me to our getaway car. 

At last, we were free.  Free of our mother who’d sold us for various things over the years.  But most of all free from the Federation.  Never again would I have to hide my powers or be afraid of the dark.  No.  I was the one to be feared.   

Thanks for coming by. Please be sure to drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger


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Okay, so life has been out of control busy (ahh). Football started back up for my son 2 weeks ago, next week he has his first game.  And soccer gets under way next week as well, along with school.  So things in the Purdy house will be chaotic. My days will start 5:45 am, when I get up to go to work, and I won’t see my house until 8:30 pm.

My current WIP TLOM (hehehe—yep a hidden codename—so love them), is going really well. I’m close to ½ way through writing it (the YA Fantasy/Horror). I’m hoping to squeeze in a little writing time this weekend since I’ve been limited to my lunch hours at work.  I’m getting to some awesome scenes that I can’t wait to see how they play out.

OMG, and the other day on my way home from work I got these vivid images for another new story.  And then a brilliant title flashed in my mind.  *Gasps for air* and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. To and from work, my mind pours over characters, plots, details. So, I ended up blurbing it. And get this, it’s another darker story (YA Horror). This coming from a girl who normally writes the light, funny, YA stories.  Not sure what’s bringing on the dark, but I’m totally geeked about both stories.  However, new idea won’t be touched until I finish TLOM. 

Let’s see, I’m currently reading Graceling by Kristen Cashore and am TOTALLY LOVING IT.  And I’ve got Bloodlines by Richelle Mead waiting in the wings (just got it this week).  I keep seeing a bunch of awesome YA books I want to pick up, but will have to wait until my birthday in October (come on October, so can’t wait).

Oh and last weekend, I went to a Detroit Lions football game with my brother, dad, and nephew and had a total blast. We played the Patriots and totally spanked them (oh yeah).  I didn’t have my voice for most of the week do to all the cheering/yelling etc.

I hope everyone has a FABULOUS Labor Day weekend. I’ll be spending mine school clothes shopping at the mall.  The kidlets already have a list of what stores they want to visit.  And I’m noticing that they’re the more expensive stores (see this is what I get with my kids getting older).

But it’s fun going with them.

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I feel kind of like the Wicked Witch of the West—“I’m melting…” Or better said, it feels like I’ve been sitting in a sauna in the bowels of Hell this week.  So let’s see.  Heat.  Check.  No Sleep.  Check.  Cranky.  Double Check.  LOL.

Actually, my kids have been spending lots of time in the pool.  The only place to really get any kind of relief.  That and water gun fights (totally fun).  I get to sit in my air conditioned office at work, but I’d much rather be home, hanging with my family and animals—sweating.  In August we’re planning to head to the beach for vacation.  One week of relaxation (writing, swimming, no internet, campfires, fishing—totally fun).  Can’t wait.

I’ve gotten a chance to read some more GREAT books:  The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (totally awesome book—YA/Contemp), The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (can’t recommend this one enough—it comes out in September and you MUST BUY IT), I also read, City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (really good follow up in the TMI series—get to see more Simon (yay)), and I also just finished Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (YA Contemp—very cute and fun).

After several weeks of writer’s block, I decided to set the YA Thriller aside and step back to my YA Fantasy root.  The YA Thriller wasn’t calling to me, and my writing was so forced and horrible (eek).  But then, I got this really awesome title for a story stuck in my head, then a blurb followed. And then, I spent 2 weeks jotting down notes, making outlines, and well day dreaming about my story.  Soooo…I’m now starting chapter 5 of said new story (which we will call TLOM).  I’m so excited about it.  The characters.  The setting.  The storyline.  It’s a YA Fantasy with some horror/creepy elements.  And I’ve got some pretty cool plot twists that I hope work out.  Anyway, I’ve been averaging a chapter a day in my excitement (woohoo). Hoping to keep the pace up so I can finish it quickly.

I’ve had to change up some notes thanks to a secondary character who decided to show up.  Seriously, he’s taking over the plotline, making me rewrite my notes/outline.  Because he wouldn’t settle for just a quick cameo. Nooooo, he wants to butt in and share the spotlight with my MC.  But I’m having so much fun writing.  It’s been a while since I’ve felt this kind of connection with one of my stories. 

Well, I suppose I ought to get back to work! STAY COOL!!!

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Hey everyone! Today, I’m being interviewed by the Lovely Traci Kenworth. If you get the chance, drop in and say hi. Oh, and there’s an ecopy of Staking Shadows up for grabs for one lucky commenter!

((HUGS))–hope to see you there! Would love the company.

Link:  Traci’s Blog

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Congrats ladies…will email them over shortly!


Yay, Staking Shadows is now available in ebook form through Noble Young Adult

It should also be available soon on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and All Romance eBooks. Will update with links when it becomes available.

To celebrate the release of Staking Shadows, I’m giving away a free ebook to 2 commenters.  All you have to do is leave a comment and you’re entered.  Make sure to leave an email address in case you win.

I’ll draw the winners on July 5, 2011.


Summer “Sun” McKellar was twelve when her world was shattered by the appearance of the “soul-suckers,” a god-like hybrid with a vapid hunger for human souls. Within mere days entire towns were wiped out. But Summer was one of the lucky ones, or at least she managed to escape with her life—what was left of it.

Now, five years later, Summer is one of only a handful of survivors left on Earth. A place where night dominates and humans are harvested for their souls. By daylight Summer is the leader of a small band of survivors, while at dusk she becomes a hunter, with only one goal in mind; to take back her world one dead soul-sucker at a time. This routine serves her well until an enemy patrolman named Raven saves her life. He causes complications she never dreamt possible, making her rethink her strategy. For their chance encounter and the danger that surrounds it will ultimately force them to choose between loyalty to their own kinds or the forbidden…

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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!



Photo credit: Kakisky from Morguefile.com

Tiny dancers swayed across the dance floor, their multi-colored tutus gave me a headache. Already I felt the ballet moms’ eyes burning into the back of my head. They probably thought I was a perv. I mean, I was the only guy sitting in the dance studio. My balls itched, but I didn’t dare scratch them. Otherwise, they really might think I was playing with myself.

Classical music echoed across the room and I groaned. Why in the hell did I tell Katie Nigel I’d give her a ride home from dance today?

Because she has a nice rack.

“Okay girls, now move your hips like this,” Katie said.

My eyes bulged as they trailed up her long legs to her pelvis. Shit. I shifted in my chair, dropping my coat in my lap to hide the bulge.

Okay, breathe Damien. You’ve seen chicks dance before.

“All right. That’s it ladies. We’ll see you next Tuesday.” Katie smiled, swiping a strand of loose dark hair from her face.

High-pitched little girl voices echoed as they scurried out to their moms to put on their coats and tennis shoes.

Katie came out last and made beeline for me. “Damien, hey, I hate to be a pain, but do you think you could stick around for another fifteen minutes? I so need to practice my routine.”

I’d eat dog crap if she asked. My lips twitched. “Yeah. Take as long as you need.”

She held out her hand to me. “Want to watch?”

She had no idea.

I let her lead me into the mirrored room, my combat boots heavy on the wooden floor. Katie grabbed a chair from the corner and set it up at the center of the room.

“So why aren’t there any guys hanging around here?” I ran a hand through my blonde hair.

“Because we eat them up.” She rolled her eyes. “Trust me, all guys are the same. They hate dancing and gymnastics. You know if it doesn’t have a football or baseball in it…”

I shrugged. “I don’t mind ballet.” Especially if it meant watching Katie.


Katie smiled then dimmed the lights. Music with a heavy drumbeat pulsed in the air. She spun around me, her leg gliding over my head as she kicked up and out. My heart thudded as if it might burst through my skin. Her movements were almost ritualistic, the way they kept time with each beat.

She bent backward then twisted to face me once more. Her finger traced my cheek. God, if she didn’t stop, I’d have to make a quick trip to the bathroom.

Her lips turned up at the corners as if she read my thoughts. “See, you’re all the same.”


“I know what you’re thinking, Damien. Trust me. I know that look. You would follow me anywhere. Do anything I say. All for the chance to be with me.” Katie stopped moving. “The thing is, you don’t stand a chance. Because in the end, you’ll end up just like the rest of them.”

The rest of who?

Then the lighting changed and I saw the bones lining the walls of the room. The stench of spoiled meat made me gag. I tried to stand, but strong hands held me in my chair. Katie laughed, deep and throaty. Then her jaw unhinged, and rows upon rows of teeth gleamed like butcher knives.

I screamed, but no sound came out as she lunged forward. My flesh tore from my body, as she ripped into me. Warm liquid poured into my eyes. My blood.

“Damien, come on, get up. You’re going to be late for school.”

With a howl, I fell from my bed. Sweat drenched me.


She stood with her arms crossed. “I’ve been calling your name for the last ten minutes.”

It was just a dream. Relief flooded me.

“Listen, Mrs. Nigel and I are supposed to go to a purse party tonight. Do you think you can give her daughter Katie a ride home from dance class?”

I went still. “No. Absolutely not.”

Mom frowned. “You don’t have to be rude.”

“I’m not. I’ve got plans.”

“Since when?”

Since my effed up dream of being eaten alive by her. “I promised Matt I’d teach him some new guitar chords.”

“Fine. I’ll tell her no.” Mom stormed from my room.

She’d probably be pissed at me for the rest of the day. But I didn’t care. I threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. After I grabbed my book bag, I headed out the door to my blazer.

I pulled onto the main road then sped up in order to avoid getting stuck behind the school bus. As I turned ontoMonroe Avenue, I spotted Katie. She glanced at me, a smile forming on her lips. I jerked my head around and stared straight ahead. No way in hell would I ever look at her tits again. As a matter of fact, I considered talking to Mom tonight about transferring schools.

For a moment, I thought I heard her laugh.

It was just a dream,” I whispered. Wasn’t it?

Thanks for coming by. Please be sure to drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Miranda Buchanan

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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

Photo Credit:  November 1 106 by jdurham Morguefile.com

After the last of the tourists loaded into the covered wagon, I pulled the canopy tight. Sweat beaded on my brow, in the stifling July heat. My heavy dress and bonnet were one of several downsides to working for my parents at the “Oregon Trail Tours.” The hours sucked, the pay wasn’t great, and I had no life outside of helping out. Not that I minded, too, much. I liked the history, but a date every now and then would be nice.

“Everyone on board, Jasmine?” Dad turned in his seat at the front of the wagon.

I counted five heads. “Yeah, we’re all set.”

Dad took hold of the reins, and the horses began to move. The wagon rolled forward, hitting several ruts and jarring the passengers. I groaned.

I cleared my throat, and gave a forced smile. “Hi, my name is Jasmine. Welcome to the Oregon Trail Tours. Today, you’ll get to see what it was like for families to travel west. Along the way, we’ll reenact what might happen on a true wagon train. For instance, how the pioneers passed the time riding in the wagon, and you’ll have a chance to help take care of the horses.”

The blonde guy snorted. “Sounds like we’ll be doing your job for you.”

“Abe, that’s enough,” his mom said.

My face burned. Seriously, there should be an age limit on these tours. Like no morons under the age of twenty. There were two teen guys on this overnight. Of course they wouldn’t appreciate the westward movement.

With my skirt fisted in my hand, I continued. “We’ll take lunch this afternoon by the creek, so you experience what the settlers would’ve eaten. Then we’ll travel to where the teepees are set up on the plains. You’ll be able to unload your bags and get settled in for the overnight.”

“This sounds wonderful,” Abe’s mom said. She gave her husband’s arm a tug, but he was too wrapped up in his Blackberry.

“Sounds lame.” Abe nudged the boy next to him. “What do you say, Alex? Think we’ll get to see some hot prairie girls running around?”

Alex raised his hooded eyes, and grinned. “I don’t know. Depends on if Jasmine here decides to do laps.”

“Boys, enough,” the mom said again.

Would it be too much to ask Dad to hit a giant rut and knock them out?


We stopped a couple of hours later to make lunch, while Dad fed the horses. The scent of beans cooking over a fire and homemade bread made my mouth water.

Can it get any hotter?
My gaze drifted to the creek. Since everyone was preoccupied, I decided to sneak off for a minute. Untying my bonnet, my blonde hair toppled in my face. I swiped it back then made my way to the water. On the shore, I cupped my hand, scooping up cool liquid to my face. 
A loud splash sounded from beside me. My heart jumped. I glowered when I realized Abe had tossed a rock.

“Watch what you’re doing,” I said.

“I am.” Abe’s mouth twitched.

“You look warm, maybe I can help you cool off.” Alex leaned down, flinging water down the front of my dress.

“Ooo, wet t-shirt contest, Little House on the Prairie style!” Abe winked. “C’mon Jasmine, we’re from the east coast. Show us what you western girls are made of.”

I’d show him all right. Maybe if I shoved my size 6 ½ cowgirl boot up is butt, that’d wipe the grin from his face.

“Sorry, I can’t fraternize.” With that, I spun on my heel. Mom and Dad so owed me for this. Because there were like a thousand ways I could strangle the boys with a rattlesnake.

Mom quirked an eyebrow at me, when I offered to help get the food served.

“Why are you all wet?”

“Don’t ask.”


When the teepees came into view, I sighed in relief. I just had to get through a quick tour of the main area and dinner. Then I could ditch Abe and Alex. They’d spent the whole trip making snide comments, while their dad talked on the phone. The mom gave me sympathetic smiles, which didn’t help. And the old guy, who must be grandpa, grated on my last nerve with his “version” of history.

“Make sure the lanterns are on in the exhibits,” Dad said, wiping his forehead with a handkerchief. “I’ll send the visitors through in a few minutes.”

He didn’t have to ask me twice. I raced to the largest of the teepees. My fingers brushed against the switch on the lantern. I gasped, much like I did every time I came in here. The Native American figures stared back at me; a woman posed to grind corn. While a warrior in the back, had war paint streaked across his face. There were native artifacts like blankets, furs, dishes, weapons, and clothing scattered about for people to look at.

But it was the young warrior that always caught my attention. His dark eyes seemed to watch me. Okay, so it was weird to have a crush on an inanimate object. But he was hot for a statue. I gave a small wave then hurried from the teepee.

“You can go in and have a look around now,” I said to the tourists. The three adults headed up first, while Abe and Alex sipped water from canteens.

Abe raised his to me as if it to toast me. I rolled my eyes.

A while later the adults came back to sit around the fire. The boys, however, disappeared. Great! My eyes darted around camp. I needed to find them.

Voices carried from the teepee. With a groan, I moved to the opening to find them on the display side of the fence, messing with the tomahawks and the string of scalps hanging from the warrior’s belt.

“Hey, get out of there!” I grabbed the axe from Alex. “These aren’t toys.”

“It’s not like they need them anymore, they’re dead,” Abe said. He waved the scalps above my head. When I jumped to get them, he shoved me out of the way. “If you want to get tips from us, you better keep your mouth shut.”

He tossed the scalps in the dirt and they walked out, laughing. My eyes narrowed as I retrieved the scalps. I wiped them off as best I could, then hopped into the display.

“Sorry,” I said softly to the statue. I secured his treasures back on his belt then turned to go. Something snagged my skirt. I whipped around to find myself caught up on the figure. Reaching down I pulled the fabric from its hand and gasped. It felt warm. My heart leapt into my throat. For a moment, I thought the warrior nodded.


I awoke the next morning to screams, and leapt from my sleeping bag. Sunlight blinded me, as I hobbled from my teepee.

“My boys are gone!” the mom screeched.

“I’ll look around.” Maybe a coyote ate them. I chuckled at the thought as I made my way to the display tent. The lantern was on, but there were no signs of the boys. Then I caught movement from the corner of my eye. The warrior. He smiled at me. There, hanging from his belt were two new scalps.

For you, Jasmine.
Thanks for coming by. Please be sure to drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.





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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

The Room By:trublueboy

My eyes adjusted to the darkness, strobe lights pulsing like an erratic heartbeat. As I rounded the corner decapitated body sprung at me, holding its head in its hands.

“Ah!” I screeched, covering my face.

Geneva Watkins turned around with a sneer. “What’s wrong, Celeste?” she asked. “Too much like looking in a mirror.”

I narrowed my eyes. God, I hated her. Why the hell had Tony, who was supposedly my best friend, insist on asking her out. All she’d done since we got to the haunted house was say stupid shit to me.

Warm lips touched my neck and I leaned back, letting my boyfriend Jake, hold me. “Ignore her. She’s just jealous,” he said. “Besides, people like that, always get what’s coming to them.”

I craned my neck just enough so I could kiss him. “Explain to me why you agreed to let her in free too?”

He chuckled. “A favor for a friend.”

“As much as I’m enjoying your love fest, can we move forward?” My friend Tara giggled behind us.

My cheeks warmed, but I started to walk again. Macabre images filled each room we entered, massacre scenes with dismembered bodies, zombies jumping out of the woodwork, werewolves devouring campers. Everything gruesome. And each time something leapt from the darkness, I practically choked on my heart.

“Hold up a second,” Jake said, lifting his cell to his ear. He talked to someone on the other end, then hung up. “Listen, my dad needs me to check the animatronics. You and Tara finish up here and I’ll catch you at the end.” He kissed my forehead, and then disappeared through an “employee only” exit.

“Come on.” Tara looped her arm through mine.

“I wonder where Tony and Geneva went?” I said, ducking as a fake bat swooped toward my head.

“Who cares, Tony can handle himself. Besides, that girl’s a bitch.” Tara led me into what looked like a large bedroom.

My eyes fell on a huge bed, with sheets twisted around a pair of legs and a torso. A silver ankle bracelet caught my gaze. Oh God. There on the floor was a bloody head, mouth open as if it had been caught mid scream. Familiar blonde tresses, dripped crimson.

“Geneva,” I screamed, reaching for Tara. Shit, this wasn’t happening. “Run!”

Tara gripped tight to my arm as we raced through the haunted house. At last, we burst into the cool night air. People stared at us like we’d lost our minds, but I didn’t care.

“Di—did you see that in there?” I asked.

Tara started laughing. “We’ve got overactive imaginations.” She pointed at the back door where Geneva was stumbling out, Jake and Tony right behind her.

“Son of bitch.” Great, Tony had set me up.

“I’m going to get the car.” Tony chuckled.

“Yeah, I’m gonna head home.” Tara gave me a quick hug. “See you at school.”

Geneva hurried toward the parking lot. Her shoe fell off, but she kept walking. As much as I hated her, I rushed over to pick it up. My hand stopped mid-air. Inside the shoe, was a plastic mannequin foot. For a moment, all I could do was stare. Fingers trembling, I picked it up and ran after her.

“Geneva, you lost your shoe,” I said. God, this wasn’t real. I was losing my mind.

In a jerky motion, she turned and smiled. But she looked fake. Her eyes too wide, her nose too perfect. She held out her hand to take the shoe from me, and my fingers brushed against cool plastic.

“Thank you,” she said.

Backing away from her, I ran to find Tony. We needed to get the hell out of here. My thoughts turned to Jake, and how he must’ve done something to her.

“Tony!” I waved him down.

He stopped the car in front of me and opened the door.

“Don’t stop driving,” I said as I slid inside. “Just go until we can’t go any further.”

“What are you talking about?” Tony quirked an eyebrow.

“Geneva’s dead,” I said. “She’s a fricken piece of plastic now. I think Jake—”

“I know.” Tony touched my hand. “But we did it to keep you safe, Celeste. Jake and I won’t ever let anyone hurt you again.”


He smiled. “We’ve been watching out for you. You see, Jake’s my cousin and they needed new props for the haunted house anyway.”

Bile burned the back of my throat. “But you killed people.”

“They deserved it. They hurt you.”

A few minutes later, Tony dropped me off at my house. I wanted to call the cops, but what in the hell would I tell them? Hey, there’s some girl that got killed and now a mannequin is walking around in her place. Yeah, they’d have me shipped off to a nuthouse.

And I didn’t know what they’d do to me if I said anything. Besides, it wasn’t like Geneva didn’t deserve what she got. Shit. I sounded psychotic. Maybe this was just a nightmare. And in the morning, I’d wake up and have a laugh.


The next day I hurried toward my locker and shoved my duffel bag inside.

“Morning beautiful,” Jake said, wrapping his arms around me. He planted a kiss on my forehead.

“Morning.” I hugged him. Last night had to have been a dream. There was no way that my boyfriend would kill someone.

We walked into first hour history, with my least favorite teacher Mr. Isaac. I sat down right as the bell rang and the teacher turned to look at the class. Oh God. It was real. Mr. Isaac glanced at us with the same glassy eyes as the mannequin Geneva.

Tony plopped down in the seat in front of me, then turned around. He touched my cheek, while Jake held my hand.

“See, I promised we’d never let anyone hurt you again,” he said.

As I stared around the class, I realized that they were all plastic. “You—you guys did this for me?”

“I love you,” Jake said. “And Tony loves you. You’re ours to protect.”

And in some sick way, I suppose it made sense. But now, looking around the room, I realized that no one would every bother me again. In fact, I could live the life I wanted and never have to worry again. Because no matter where I went, Jake and Tony would protect me.

Thanks for coming by. Please be sure to drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Jennifer Fischetto

Mindy Buchanan


Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

Mexican Souveniers By: haak78

“Happy Birthday, dear Cassidy, happy birthday to you!” Everyone sang.

With a smile, I bent down and blew out sixteen leaping flames. My family and friends cheered. Okay, so the birthday party was a little lame, but I wasn’t exactly popular. At least my family showed up.

“Time to open presents,” Mom said, tugging me toward the table where the gifts were stacked up.

Mom’s first.

“Oh my god! You got me an iPod Touch. I can’t believe it.” I managed to give her a rib-cracking hug before moving to the next gifts.

I opened packages with clothes, jewelry, gift cards, and posters for my room, when I spotted one last present. A large box, decorated in green and red tissue paper.

Aunt Marge shook her head, encouraging me to open it. She watched my every move, as I slid my finger between the paper and the tape. Then came the cardboard box. I removed the stuffing, and found several wooden, Mexican dolls, sitting there.

Okay, not quite what I expected. In fact they were ugly as hell, but no way would I hurt her feelings.

“Thank you Aunt Marge.” I fake smiled.

A sigh escaped her lips. “I’m glad you like them. I’ve had them since I was your age. I needed to make sure they went to someone who’d take care of them.”

“Why don’t you bring your things upstairs, while I cut cake,” Mom said.

Once in my room, I set the gifts on my bed. Except Aunt Marge’s Mexican dolls, which I placed on top of my bookshelf. Out of sight, out of mind.


The next day, I pretended to stare at my science book, a diversion from Brittney’s feet kicking the back of my desk. God, I hated her.

“I hope you didn’t pay for those highlights, Cassidy. They look like someone took a piss in your hair,” she said, leaning forward to whisper in my ear.

Shyloh and Trina giggled. Shit. Why did they have to sit behind me today?

“I brought a sack lunch and saved the bag. If want you can use it to cover your head.” Brittney tugged on my hair and I shrank lower in my seat.

I wish someone would kick her ass. Or better yet, tear her up into little pieces and mail her back to her family. Then maybe school wouldn’t suck so much.

When the bell rang for last period, I raced from the room and headed for the bus. 

Mom met me at the door. “So, how was it?”

“Same crap, different day.” I frowned. “Why can’t you home school me?”

Mom touched my cheek. “Because, I need to work. But if you want, I can call the school and complain…”

Yeah, that’d help. Instead of getting picked on, I’d get my ass kicked instead. “Just forget it.”


“Damn it,” I said when I crawled from bed the next morning. Tiny splotches of red stained my carpet and trailed to my bookcase. And I knew that color. Candy Apple Cocktail, my fingernail polish. Which meant my sister ,Sarah, had been in my room.

Grabbing my fingernail polish remover from my dresser, I doused a cotton ball and scrubbed the carpet.

“Mom, tell Sarah to stay out of my stuff!” I hollered down the stairs.

Once dressed, I grabbed a bagel then headed for school.


The halls were crowded with the usual people. Jocks standing against lockers, cheerleaders trying to impress them. Quiet people like me, hurrying past hoping to go unnoticed.

When I got to my locker, I entered my combination, grabbing my books for first hour.

“Hey Cassidy,” Spencer Tylen said, leaning against the wall.

I glanced back to see where his “jock flock” was at. But they were gone. “Um-hey.” The earth must’ve ended because Spencer did not talk to girls like me.

“Listen, I wondered if you had a date for homecoming yet?”

God, was he serious? Okay, he wasn’t smiling or laughing. My heart thumped around in my chest like bumper cars at an amusement park.

He touched my arm. “So what do you say?”

“Yes,” I answered, trying to keep from screeching and jumping up and down.

Then he grinned. “Psych! You’re the third girl I’ve done this to today.” He hurried down the hall laughing. His friends came around the corner, giving him high-fives.

Tears burned my eyes. Guys like him deserved to be mauled by wild dogs. With no dignity left, I trudged to first hour.


By the time I got home from school, my mood worsened. I tossed my book bag on a chair and sat down by Mom to watch the news.

“Don’t you go to school with that girl?” Mom pointed to the TV screen where a picture of Brittney Forester was on the screen.


“She was murdered last night. They said that whoever did it mailed pieces of her back to her family.” Mom’s face looked disgusted. “Sick people.”

My skin broke out in chills. “I’m going to get my homework done.” I hurried upstairs, wondering what in the hell happened. It was too much of a coincidence. 

My gaze fell on wads of fur littering my floor, and tiny red marks across the carpet. I followed the trail to the bookcase where the Mexican dolls sat. No way. I sat on my bed, flipped on the TV and watched as the screen shifted to breaking news. On the screen was a picture of Spencer.

“High school senior, Spencer Tylen was killed this afternoon on his way home. Police are saying that he was attacked by wild-dogs. A search is already underway for these animals. If you see them please call…”

Just then the phone rang. “Cassidy, it’s Aunt Marge,” Mom called.

Picking up the phone, I said, “Hello.”

“I see you’re getting some use out of my gift.”

A smile formed on my lips. “Yes.” My gaze fell to the dolls. “They’re the best present I could’ve asked for.”

Thanks for coming by. Please drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.


Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

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