NaStyRoMo – Part 7.

Dudes, I’m glad this day is over, lol. It was hot, frustrating and very very long. Not terrible I have to say, but certainly not one I’d want to repeat. I hate working doubles at the restaurant, probably because I hate working day shift. But, I can’t work for the rest of the week so it was necessary. Anyway.
Firstly – I’d like to say that it’s 50 days to Script Frenzy. As a reminder – Script Frenzy is the sister project of NaNoWriMo in which you have to write a 100 page movie script in 30 days (April). It sounds intimidating, but really – it comes down to between 20 and 30K because the formatting takes up quite a lot of space. Freeware like Celtx makes writing and formatting easy. If you love writing and love a challenge, consider participating – I certainly will be.

Now, on with the show .

Bitten – Part 7.


Vaughn woke up screaming, crying, coughing as the howl that she had wanted to sing almost choked her.

‘Oh god,’ she thought as she returned to herself. ‘I was the wolf. I was there, in my memory, but I was the wolf…’

Crying and frightened she curled herself up in a bundle. ‘What happened to me?’ She thought, sobbing and hot. ‘What’s happening to me?’

There was a low whine and to her increasing horror she understood it immediately, as Romulus’s strong need to comfort her washed through her senses. “No!” she sobbed. “No, no, no.”

He whined again, the wave of security he tried to instil in her ten folding when he put his front paws on the bed and licked her face. More emotions washed over her and her delirious mind put words to them.

‘The Night demons aren’t real, be calm. They are not real.’ His gesture brought no comfort as she pushed him away, frightened.

“They are real!” She sobbed. “I can hear you, they are real!”

Another presence joined them as hands touched her shoulders and back. “Easy Vaughn,” Francis said softly – a note of fear and concern in her voice. “It’s okay, ssh…” When she didn’t respond, Francis carefully lay down beside her and held her close, speaking to her with her body instead of her words. The comfort and familiarity of her presence was too real to ignore and slowly but surely Vaughn felt her raw panic subside. She realized that she was still holding onto Romulus, her hand gripping his fur where she had pushed him away. It must’ve hurt, but he remained quiet, his golden eyes looking at her with a open expression she had never seen before. She sniffed and rubbed at her face, unable to stop crying but feeling quieter within herself. Against her back, Francis, her lover, stirred and rubbed some hair from her face.

“What did you dream?” She queried softly. “Are you alright?”

Vaughn carefully let go of Romulus, smoothing down his fur where she had gripped him and carefully turned around to look at Francis, at her calm green eyes and her worried face.

She remembered.

She remembered how, after that first night, she would repeatedly deliver her order late so that she could spend the night. She’d follow Francis out into the forest where the older woman would howl with Romulus and seemingly every wolf in the forest. She knew then that she should’ve been alarmed by the act – but it seemed so natural, so beautiful that she never questioned Francis’s behaviour. She couldn’t get over how wonderful it was to see the wolves accepting her and acknowledging her. Although Francis asked her, she never had the courage to try howling herself.

When she stayed over, they had to share a bed because Francis’s cottage was not equipped to accommodate two people in the winter. They flowed from being friends to lovers with a comfortable ease and things were good throughout the winter and spring…

It was summer now.

Vaughn looked at her lover, her heart heavy with fear and bewilderment yet, despite herself, she reached out and gently touched the woman’s cheek, tracing the line down her jaw to her chin and up again to her hair where she allowed her hand to rest.

“I know what you are” she said softly looking up into Francis’s deep green eyes that could see so much of her. “You’re a wolf, if not in body then in spirit.” She tightened her grip on her lover’s hair and drew her closer. “If you love me as much as you have made me believe these past few months, then I suggest that you tell me what happened in the forest. Who bit me, and what have I become?”



NaStyRoMo – Bitten Part 4

If I was doing NaNoWriMo, I’d be right on track for word count, lol. Not that that’s the goal, but I always enjoy to measure my pace. I’m a bit taken aback by where this is going, I haven’t had a character like Francis in ages. Thank you everybody for reading and again, to those who comment. J

I have to quickly add that I meant no harm in using Antonio’s name. It’s only in name; I make no assumptions on his person. It happened by accident that, in this chapter, his name played a bigger role because the character stepped up and said. “Hey, what about me?!” If I had known he would do that, I wouldn’t have used the name.

This is and remains a work of fiction.
Which, I didn’t check for errors before posting it (suffering fromm a late night’s work and too tired to focus properly).

Bitten Part 4.


She was listening to a conversation.

“I appreciate the trouble you’re going through Antonio, I realize that it’s at a great inconvenience.”

There was a low, familiar chuckle and she could almost see her boss run his fingers through his thinning, dark hair.

“Not so much an inconvenience as a mystery Francis,” he said warmly. “I’m sorry about all of this. You say Siobhan is ill?”

“She’s got a fever,” Francis replied quickly. “I didn’t feel comfortable to let her drive. I’ll keep her here until she’s better and then give you a call. She sleeps through most of the day.”

Antonio made a considering sound. “She’s a hard worker that one, I’m glad you two get on. I don’t like seeing people alone,” he paused. “Even if they say they want to be.”

She heard Francis snort, and wondered how she could’ve detected the sound. It was so far away…

“It might be a good idea,” Antonio continued, “just to get Mary to have a look at her. I don’t want people to think…” He hesitated, his voice turning embarrassed. “Well, you know what people say about you. I’d hate for more rumours to start, and I’d hate for Siobhan to be involved in more of them.”

When Francis replied, her tone held its usual calm but Vaughn could sense her anger. “People will say what they want to say Antonio,” she said, sounding tired. “Mary won’t stop any of the whispered words. It doesn’t bother me.”

Antonio’s reply was quick. “But, it bothers Siobhan,” he pointed out. “You chose this Francis, you’ve lived with it for years. The rumours, the isolation. Siobhan comes from a large city and as far as I can gather, she wanted to make a fresh start of things. She’s managed well till now, I don’t want to see her hurt.”

This time, Francis’s anger was clearer. “Are you saying I’ll hurt her?” she snapped. “God Antonio, she’s my… friend. She’s the first friend that I’ve had since… Well. You. The only friend. She chose to come to me. She chose to follow…” She hesitated, faltering. “I’ll take care of her, and when she’s better, then I’ll return her to you. Then she can make her own choices from there.”

There was an awkward silence.

“Well right,” Antonio said finally. “Just so we’re clear on things.” He sighed. “Look, I’m sorry Francis, I didn’t mean for it to come out the way it did. I know that you didn’t choose a lot of things in your life.”

There was a pause and then; “I know Antonio,” Francis’s voice was sad and quiet. “I’m sorry if I snapped. It’s just… a stressful time.”

“If you want,” her boss said. “I’ll take her down with me, then you don’t have to worry about her at all.”

Francis laughed softly. “I’ll worry anyway, this is partly my fault. Siobhan has nobody in town, rather let her stay here – with a friend. I’ll take good care of her, I promise.”

There was a pause that could possibly have been filled with either a hug or a brief, friendly kiss.

“I trust you,” Antonio said. “I’ll see you in two weeks. Tell Siobhan she can have a holiday till then, if she wants to come down earlier, just say – I’ll send a truck. Or come myself. Just take care of her Francis.”

Francis chuckled and again there was a brief pause. “I’ll do,” she said. “And thank you for everything Antonio, you’ve been a good friend even though I haven’t given you any reason to be.”

Her boss laughed. “Knowing you is reason enough,” he said. “I worry about you Francis, you’ve kept yourself apart from us for too long. You haven’t even come down for dinner in… Months. Denise asks about you often.”

“Tell her I’m well,” Francis replied quickly, with a smile, “and say that my absence has got nothing to do with her cooking. Now, don’t you need to start going? Your lackey will be wondering where you were.”

Antonio snorted, and there was a sound of a car door opening. “Alan’s boy?” he queried. “He couldn’t get out of here quick enough, could he? And your wolf’s not even around. It pains me to say, he’s his father’s child.” The car door shut as the engine to the Toyota started up. Francis was quiet for a long time.

“Yes he is,” she said finally. “Thanks again Antonio, I appreciate the trouble you’re going through.”

Vaughn missed the last reply if there had been one, and pretty soon the truck drove off, leaving the place quiet and peaceful. There was a soft sigh from the yard, and a low whine that told her Romulus had just joined Francis’s side. There was a pause, and then a soft. “I know, but it can’t be helped can it?” From Francis. The woman has always spoken to the animal as if he could understand every word that she said.

In her semi-delusional state, Vaughn couldn’t help but believe it. She allowed her mind to drift as she heard the soft commotion in the yard outside that old her Francis was taking care of her other animals, piecing together bit of her life that she had forgotten, remembering more conversations from her life here and the one she had left behind. She didn’t feel fear anymore, or worry. But, she felt the need to understand. The need to understand herself, and this woman that she was living with. This woman with her kind words and her gentle hands.

This woman with her wolves, and her mysterious past.

So, she waited for her and, when she finally came into the room, smelling of the world outside, of horses and goats and soap, Vaughn opened her eyes and pushed herself up beside the pain, to look at Francis and meet her green gaze. The woman seemed surprised by her action and hesitated before she reached the bed.

“Are you alright?” she asked. “What’s wrong Vaughn?”

She swallowed and had to lie back, her strength failing her. “What happened to your child Francis?” she asked softly – not bothering to answer the questions posed to her. “Tell me, please.”

She could see that her question shocked the woman as pain filtered across her pale features. She made to turn around, then paused and sighed before approaching the bed. She sat down on the edge, her hand finding Vaughn’s foot under the covers.

“Do you remember the legend,” she queried softly. “Of St. Francis and the wolf?”


What has come before…

She wanted to forget what she had heard in the post office, but the people’s words and their jeering tones stayed with her all through the day. She delayed going up to Francis to the very last minute and even then, drove the long rode up the mountain with dread. It felt as if she was seeing shadows everywhere and she was covered in sweat by the time that she reached Francis’s cabin. Normally she had to go inside the place or around the yard to find the woman but today, she was waiting for her on the porch, her face tight with apprehension. When the truck pulled up, Francis’ face lost some of it’s tension as she wrapped her blanket around her tighter and came down the cabin steps, greeting Vaughn before she even opened the door.

“I was getting worried,” she said by way of greeting. “You are never this late. Is something the matter?” Her all seeing eyes touched Vaughn’s face and for the firs time, she found that she couldn’t stand it. Dropping her gaze, she opened the door without warning Francis and stepped round the truck before the woman could greet her properly.

“I’ve had a busy day,” she said shortly. “I’m sorry to keep you waiting.”

Francis hesitated before she stepped closer and helped Vaughn take off the tarp. “No worries,” she said carefully. “Are you alright Vaughn? You seem tense. I realize that road’s pretty bad after this weekend’s snow.”

She couldn’t bring herself to look at the woman. “It was fine,” she said again. “As I said, I’ve just had a busy day. Where do you want these?”

She knew of course, she’s done this quite a couple of times and knew Francis’s kitchen probably as good as the woman knew it herself. Francis frowned at her, unconsciously pulling the blanket around her closer.

“The kitchen,” she said. “If… you’re in a hurry Siobhan you can just leave it on the porch. I’ll take it inside.”

Vaughn nodded her thanks, relieved that she was offered a quick way to get her job done and leave. Francis wordlessly helped her carry the boxes to the porch, stacking them up next to the door. Vaughn couldn’t help but notice that Francis limped more than usual, her leg obviously sore from waiting outside in the cold, but she numbly ignored her friend’s plight. She couldn’t wait to hand her the form to sign for the delivery and was about to get back into the truck when Francis took her arm, pulling her back. The older woman looked down at her in the fading light, her eyes darker than usual, her face sad and serene.

“What did they say about me?”

Immediately something inside Vaughn shifted and the tears that she had been holding back all day came forth, painfully and slowly as they ran across her cheeks.

“That you killed your child,” she said. “They spoke of wolves, not just one. Why would they say something like that Francis? What do they have against you? Is it the truth? Or a version of it? Why are you here?”

If Francis was taken aback by the questions, she didn’t show it. Instead, she blinked and grimaced sadly, her hand tightening on Vaughn’s arm.

“Come inside Vaughn,” she said softly. “It’s cold out here and… I don’t want to have this conversation here.”

She looked at her for a moment, then swallowed and closed her eyes, wiping away her tears as she did so. At least she was willing to talk, she thought, but she had not denied it. She didn’t know what would be the easiest option. To get in her car and leave, or to go into the house and find out the truth. When Francis pulled on her elbow ever so slightly, she conceded and numbly followed her into the warm cabin, leaving the boxes outside. As had become their custom, Francis first limped to the kitchen and poured them some filter coffee she had already made in anticipation of Vaughn’s arrival. The other woman watched her as she worked, her thoughts cold and numb. She had always envied Francis’s solitary life, caught up by the romance of it, of living on a mountain with not a soul to see for miles and to be content with it. Now, she was frightened of it or rather, the reasons the woman had for choosing to live her life so. It had never occurred to her that her isolation might not be voluntary.

Francis finished their coffee and took it to the living room without giving Vaughn her cup. Instead, she put it on the table next to the only two-seater couch that she had, a clear indication that she wanted her to sit there. Vaughn found herself rebelling against the idea, knowing that Francis wanted to sit next to her, but she felt that she had to in a sign of good will if she wanted to find out the truth. So, she sat down gingerly, and was surprised when Francis didn’t take a seat next to her, but rather on the chair closest to the unlit fire. The woman didn’t look at her immediately, but fussed with her blanket as she tucked her legs in underneath her. When she brought up her gaze, her eyes seemed ageless, her face kind as she smiled at her.

“Tell me Siobhan,” she said softly, “have you ever heard the story about St. Francis and the wolf?”

Caught by surprise, Vaughn shook her head, feeling a flash of anger. “I’m not here for a fairy tale,” she said heatedly. “I want the truth.”

Seemingly unaware of her anger, Francis shook her head and smiled as she took a sip of coffee. “Bare with me,” she said gently. “Please Vaughn, it will help you understand.”

Uncomfortable, and still upset, Vaughn nodded slowly and sat back, trying to remember how much she had loved it when Francis told her stories on their previous conversations. This was going to be different though, this was supposed to be a story of real life.

“St. Francis is the Christian saint of animals,” she began quietly, her gaze fixed, not on Vaughn, but on the world outside her window. “A Christian mystic of sorts who loved and respected the environment. There is a story that tells of, when he lived in Gubbio, how he had saved the town from a vicious wolf who had been terrorizing it for months, killing man and beast alike. Spurred by the people’s plight, St. Francis walked out of town one day to meet the wolf. The animal tried to attack him, but St. Francis, making the sign of the cross, spoke to the beast and called him ‘Brother’ besieging him to stop terrorizing the people.” Slowly, Francis’s gaze met Vaughn’s. “The wolf understood him and became meek as a lamb, lying at St. Francis’s feet before following him down to the village. St. Francis formed a truce of sorts between Man and Beast. The wolf stopped killing their livestock and kin, and in return, the people fed the wolf, caring for him as St. Francis requested.” She paused and seemed to wait.

Vaughn, unsure, took a sip of her coffee and frowned at Francis. “I don’t know what this has to do with all the terrible things people say about you,” she pointed out to which Francis smiled gently.

“Everything and nothing Siobhan,” she said. “You see, I believe that men are afraid of wolves because deep down, we are much alike. We are both running, always. The difference between us and them is that we run away from our problems, where as they run to face them.”

Vaughn swallowed, thinking about her own life. “And, what are you running from?” she queried softly, knowing that she had asked the right question when Francis broke her gaze.

She smiled, bitterly and made a sweeping motion with her hand.

“An… unwanted pregnancy,” she said, once again looking out of the window. There was a sudden scrape of nails on wood when Romulus appeared in the living room, his eyes glowing in the semi light. He glanced at Vaughn, and quietly went to lay down by Francis’s feet. Thinking of the story, Vaughn shivered as Francis continued. “In the weeks after I discovered that I’m with child, I had to sit down and re-evaluate my life. I had choices to make about the baby, choices about my own life and choices about this place, which had belonged to my grandfather and had been left to me after my own parent’s death. So, I chose to come up here at first just to see what the property still looked like and then later, after I quit my job, to stay here – thinking that it would be easier to raise a kid in a small town. Here I had hoped that I could leave things behind me and make a fresh start, allowing the child to start a life without prejudice or the stigma of his father’s actions.” She sighed softly, her gaze focused on the past and didn’t resume speaking, lost in what she saw.

Vaughn shifted uncomfortable and quietly horrified at what Francis was saying through the lines. She resisted the urge to hug herself and rather took a sip of coffee that tasted bitter in her mouth despite the sugar in it.

“If…” She hesitated as Francis’s vast green eyes fixed on her. “If you… didn’t plan the child. Why didn’t you just… you know…” She couldn’t say it, because even as she said it she knew that the woman’s answer would be. Sure enough, Francis smiled an ageless smile as she shook her head.

“All life is precious Siobhan,” she said quietly. “Every soul has a purpose.”

They stared at each other in silence. Unable to handle the distance between them suddenly, Vaughn shifted to the one side of the couch and carefully, hesitantly, motioned to the other side. Francis smiled, but didn’t stand up immediately, nor did she say anything. Knowing that it was up to her, Vaughn took a deep breath and braved the question that started it all.

“What happened?” she whispered softly. “What happened to your child?”

Francis looked at her, and with a shiver Vaughn realized that Romulus was looking at her as well. There was something in their gazes, something unified and unique. For a moment they appeared to be one soul looking at her from two bodies.

“I went into premature labour,” Francis said quietly. “If I had lived in town, they might still have been able to do something, or reach me in time. As it was, it was probably already too late by the time that I managed to contact the doctor. I couldn’t drive down in my state.”

When Vaughn blinked, she realized suddenly that she was crying, even though she had somehow expected Francis’s answer. Realizing her weakness, she quickly dropped her head and rubbed at her face. Romulus’s soft whine was the only indication that she had that Francis had moved right before she felt the couch dip as the woman sat down beside her.

“Shh,” Francis said softly as she carefully wrapped her hands around Vaughn, drawing her closer to her. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s…” Vaughn didn’t know what to say as she allowed herself to rest against the older woman. “It’s okay. I’m sorry Francis. I never doubted you I just… The rumours were so terrible.”

She felt Francis’s sigh and her slight shrug. “They always have been,” she said quietly, continuing her story. “The problem with moving here was that I was stepping into the shadow of my grandfather’s legacy of rumours. He had a reputation of his own, and it wasn’t necessarily a good one or an unfounded one. They called him Old Man Moss and he lived up here, like myself, with practically no human contact safe for the odd Samaritan that brings supplies.” Vaughn felt Francis’s body stiffen ever so slightly before she relaxed again. “The problem is that some things really do skip a generation and I… am my grandfather’s child. My sudden appearance here and my miscarriage proved to be dry kindle for the fire of human gossip. The terrible rumours started right after I returned from hospital. I seriously considered leaving then, not being in the right frame of mind to handle such talk. But, I had nowhere to go, and no real will to try and find another place.” She shrugged against Vaughn’s body and said no more.

Vaughn felt herself relaxing and carefully, gently, slipped her arms around the woman’s chest, hugging her close, taking in her familiar, comforting embrace and smell as the shadows slipped around them. Francis gently ran her hand through her hair, her touch soothing as it stirred feelings in the younger woman she had not expected to find in this night. When Francis’s hand left her hair and travelled down her back, she held her breath and pushed herself up slightly to look at the woman, surprised that – for a second, her own emotions were reflected in the woman’s gaze before her habitual serenity took their place, her eyes almost black in the dark room. Vaughn’s body shivered in anticipation as she started to lean forward, her lips already feeling the ghostly impression of the woman’s touch. To her elation, Francis didn’t pull away, her hand resting on Vaughn’s lower back as she closed her eyes, pulling her closer against her body. They were a spark away from touching, their warm breath mixing when, suddenly there was a whine and Romulus pushed Vaughn away, licking her face and whining.

She let out a startled yelp and pushed herself back, aware of Francis’s curse as she pushed her wolf away.

“Romulus,” her tone wasn’t angry, but desperate, surprised. “Please.”

The wolf whined his objection, but slinked away into the shadows, away from them.

Vaughn swallowed as she rubbed at her face, trying not to think of the tongue that she had felt in her mouth. Oh, lord what just happened? She glanced at Francis who seemed equally surprised. Or almost happened…

“Francis I’m…” She suddenly felt like slime, feeling as if she had taken advantage of the woman’s comfort and plight in order to pursue her own needs. “I’m so sorry.”

The whites of Francis’s eyes showed in the dark room as she looked in the direction that Romulus had gone. “It’s… okay,” she said, breathless. “I didn’t mean. I meant… He doesn’t understand. I’m sorry. It shouldn’t have… I mean.” It was almost more disconcerting to see the unflappable woman fazed. “There’s no need to apologize Vaughn.” She laughed suddenly, clearly. “There’s nothing to apologize for.”

Grateful for the darkness, Vaughn found herself chuckling as her cheeks flamed with embarrassment. And, here I thought I came here to run away from this. She thought.

Now in the furthest points on the couch, they didn’t look at each other, but sat in the silent darkness, the tension around them vibrating with a feeling close to hysteria. Deciding that it was easier to try and change the subject, Vaughn sat back and tried to regain her composure.

“I ah…” Words turned to knots in her mouth. “Ah, what I wanted to ask was… The rumours about the wolves? Where do they come from?” She swallowed, feeling her heart rate slow down. “Where did they start?”

Francis too seemed to have regained some of her composure as she grew more sombre. “That’s a question for another night,” she said slowly and stood up. “The one I would rather like to address now is, should you drive home in the dark?”


To Be Continued…

NaStyRoMo – Bitten Part 3.

Antonio Rich is not my favourite person at this stage. It’s all his fault that I’m now officially behind with my other writing, officially behind on my other projects, and officially, totally, committed to finishing this story before the 14th, lol. I should’ve warned you guys, I don’t do shorts. I’m trying to keep this one under 10K, but it will be a challenge. 😉 The characters have taken a life of their own, the story a path I had not expected.

And… I love it. I haven’t written anything original in ages. Years.

So, really, Antonio Rich is my new hero. He’s reminded me that I’m not just a Fan Fiction author, lol, and on the odd occasion, I can create characters of my own.

For your entertainment: Part 3.

Bitten Part 3.


She woke up feeling hot and feverish, her body aching and her thoughts sluggish. She was more aware of her surroundings this time, of the bed and blanket that covered her, of the window and the forest beyond. She looked at it, at the rough texture of the tree’s bark, contrasted so strongly by the vivid greens of the leaves they carried. She could almost smell the earth, the rich aroma of soil and living things.

She longed to walk underneath it, to feel her feet sink into the damp leaf covered undergrowth. She longed to run, to move and, still, always, to howl. The howl that would free her soul, the howl that would still her mind and heal her body.

The howl…

“Vaughn?” The gentle voice returned and this time, when she looked at her companion, she knew who she was.

“Francis?” She whispered as the woman stepped into view. “You’re Francis. I know you.”

The woman smiled gently as she sat down on the edge of the bed and touched her forehead. “Your fever is breaking,” she said more to herself than as an address. “That’s good. I’ve brought you some porridge, I’d like you to try and eat something. Your thoughts are coming back. That’s good.”

Thoughts and emotions.

When she looked at Francis, she realized that she loved the woman. Her kindness, her soft touch, her gentle voice. She did not know where it stemmed from but she loved her with all her heart. How is it that I can’t remember why? She thought. What happened to me?

She shifted as she tried to sit up and for the first time the previously undetermined pain found a source. A terrible ache shot through her shoulder and chest as she moved, causing her to whimper before she bit her tongue and closed her eyes. Francis moved over quickly, her eyes wide as she quickly pressed her down and lifted the blanket from her chest.

“Don’t move,” she said quickly, sharply. “You’re hurt Vaughn, I don’t want the stitches to tear out, I had such a job patching you up.” She grimaced at what she saw when her cool fingers lifted a bandage that was over her shoulder and neck. “Please, I’ll turn you in a moment, just don’t move by yourself.”

Vaughn frowned at her, blinking tears of frustration. “You said that I had been bitten,” she said. “By what. Your wolf? You have a wolf. Where is it? Where?!”

Francis bit her lip and sighed, glancing to the corner to something outside her view. “Romi is here,” she said. “And he is not to blame for this.” She was silent for a few moments before she grimaced and stood up again. “I’ll get your porridge. Tell me Vaughn, what do you remember?”

Feeling too weak to argue, she settled back and closed her eyes, her need to be in the forest growing stronger.

“Conversations,” she whispered when Francis returned to her. “I remember conversations…”

And rumours.

And love.

And a freedom that she had never felt.


What has come before…

“That woman is mad, stark raving mad.”

Vaughn shifted uncomfortably as she took the box from the Post Master and looked behind her to see one of the local towns folk glaring at her. Not sure if she should comment, she shifted the box to her hip and tried to move past him but the man, smelling of cigarettes and diesel oil in his blue overalls, deftly stepped in front of her and glared from under his cap.

“I don’t know why Antonio bothers,” he spat. “He knows as well as we do that it’s dangerous sending people like you up there.”

Realizing that she won’t be able to get away without commenting, Vaughn sighed softly and shrugged. “The road’s not that bad at the moment, considering the weather that we’ve had,” she pointed out slowly. “I went halfway up it yesterday. And I’m a good driver.”

There was a chuckle from behind her, and when she turned around she saw the Post Master smiling at her, though it wasn’t a kind look. “He’s not talking of that road Miss,” he said. “Nor your ability as a driver.” He glanced at the man in his ‘Mike’s Garage’ cap. “No, he’s talking about Francis Mosse. And, although cruelly put, he does have a point.”

Feeling uncomfortable, Vaughn shifted and glanced at her truck outside, wishing that she could leave before the conversation went to a place that she didn’t like. None the less, she felt a spark of loyalty. She had become Francis’s main delivery runner and, although she was hesitant to call it so, she suspected that she and the woman had become friends. Francis always asked her to remain behind for some tea or coffee, an invitation Vaughn couldn’t wait to hear, and they spend hours talking about philosophy and the many books that was scattered around Francis’s home. Her cabin had become a refuge to Vaughn, a place where she could find rest from the existent world and its pressures. When she was with Francis, she was the only person that mattered. She loved the way the woman could take a conversation topic and run with it, bringing in every element from history to humour and she loved, and sometimes feared, the way her green eyes could see into her soul. Although Vaughn wasn’t sure how true it was, it felt as if Francis could see very inch of her, know every one of her thoughts.

“Ms. Mosse, isn’t mad,” she pointed out. “She just likes being on her own.”

The man from Mike’s grunted and rolled his eyes at the Post Master. “A woman shouldn’t be on her own, not in this county.” he said. “Though,” he laughed. “Rumour has it she wasn’t before she came here. That babe certainly was proof of it.”

Vaughn blinked at him. “Babe?” she said stupidly and turned a questioning look on the Post Master. “Francis doesn’t have a child.”

The Post Master wanted to answer, but it was Mike’s mechanic who gleefully replied. “She would’ve had one, had she not fed it to her wolves.”

Her world swayed. “Fed…” Vaughn turned wild eyes to the Post Master. “That’s not right.” She wasn’t sure whether she was objecting to the story or to Francis’s action. Who would start such a terrible rumour?

The Post Master wasn’t looking at her, but at the mechanic, his eyes sad as he took a pencil from behind his ear and chewed it thoughtfully, perhaps an old smoker’s habit.

“It’s not our place to say,” he said quietly. “Really Alan, its all rumours.”

The man, Alan, snorted and pushed his way to the front, past Siobhan. “Call it what you want,” he said. “It doesn’t change a thing. That woman’s dangerous. Her kind shouldn’t be here and her wolves… Well. They are not welcome either.”

With their attention fixed on each other, Vaughn quickly exited the post office and all but fled to the truck. She drove out of the parking lot, only to pull over a few miles down the road, her hands shaking as she dropped her head to take a few deep breaths.

Was this the rumours Francis mentioned in the beginning? She thought quietly and pushed her hand against her chest, trying to still her beating heart. Was this what she meant?

She swallowed and looked up to the mountains around her, trying to make sense of what she had heard. Wolves? She thought. There’s only Romulus. And he is as harmless as she said he was… She swallowed again, her heart aching unexpectedly. Had Francis had a child?


To Be Continued…

NaStyRoMo – Part 2. Bitten.

Before I continue with the story I should point out a few things. One, I’m not giving this to my Beta to read, and although I have gone through it, I’ve noticed that a few mistakes crept into the previous post. There’s a reason I have a Second Reader on my cyber payroll. Secondly, I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but English is my second language. There might be some remedial mistakes in that you consider to be common sense, which, well, isn’t to me. Normally these are fixed by my Beta but, lol, again, I’m not using him this time. All I ask, is for you to be kind. lol. Or, you don’t even need to be kind, just be aware. 😉
On a quick note – Siobhan is an irish name, pronounced shevaughn. Vaughn is a nickname. 😉 I see there’s some confusion.

Now, on with the show.

Bitten Part 2.

What has come before…

She liked her the moment she saw her. She couldn’t help herself.

The people at the store had described her as “that crazy old woman on the mountain,” but – as she looked at Francis Mosse – she realized that they must be mistaken.

No older than her middle forties, Francis Mosse stood an average height, with dark, long black hair, flecked with gray, and green eyes that seemed to shine in the afternoon sun. She wore an old, hand knitted jersey with faded jeans and seemed almost puzzled at her appearance. She had not spoken yet, her eyes focused on Vaughn as she tried to find her place in the universe.

Vaughn mentally shook herself awake and smiled, shifting the box that she was holding to her hip so that she could offer her hand to the woman. She herself was shorter than average, with mousy coloured hair she chose to dye brunette and brown eyes to match.

“Hi Ms. Mosse,” she said cheerfully. “I’m Siobhan. I’ve come with your groceries. From Antonio’s.”

Francis blinked twice before she turned her attention to the truck behind Siobhan. She shuddered, but where Vaughn had expected a frown to be her next course of action, she smiled suddenly and took her hand.

“You’re early,” she said, her hands warm. “And new. Hallo. I’m sorry I’m…” She glanced behind her. “In the middle of something.” There was a lilt in her voice that Vaughn couldn’t place, not an accent exactly, but a way of speaking that marked her as unique. “Please, come in. Get warm. I just… need to save my work then I’ll help you.”

She turned without waiting for Vaughn to follow, leaving the door open. Vaughn followed her quickly and closed the door behind her, not wanting the let out the heat in the snug wooden cabin.

Francis Mosse lived a hermit’s life, a few hours drive from civilization. If one looked at a map, it didn’t seem as far as one would think, but the road was a dangerous one, only accessible by a 4×4, of the biological or mechanical sort. Siobhan used the latter, a trusty Toyota Hilux pick up that belonged to her employer. She knew from rumour, although she had not seen it, that Francis used the former in the form of a horse.

Two months before though, Francis and her steed had both had a NaSty fall and, although the animal was fine, the older woman had fractured her tibia. It made both riding and driving a very uncomfortable experience and she had elected to have her groceries and mail delivered until the season turned. When Vaughn started working for Antonio’s two weeks ago, people had been all to glad to give her the duty of driving up the mountain. She had expected a lot from Ms. Mosse because of their reluctance to come here, but so far all of her suspicions proved to be incorrect.

“You don’t have to keep standing by the door!” Francis called in from the room she had disappeared into. “Please, come in. I see you have my mail? You can put it anywhere on the floor.”

Feeling a rush of welcome, Vaughn quickly put the box by the door and bend down to untie her boots. They were covered in mud, a remnant from the bad weather that they had been having. Her boss had told her to come up early, anticipating more bad weather for the week to come when they were actually supposed to have come. She couldn’t understand why he hadn’t just phoned ahead and warned the woman.

“Do you want coffee or tea?” Francis appeared in the doorway, having tied back her hair, and once again looked at Vaughn, her green eyes bright with anticipation. “This is to say, you’ll have to drink it black or with goats milk.”

Vaughn couldn’t help herself. “You have goats?” she queried to which Francis smiled.

“Yes,” she said and went to the kitchen, moving with a slight limp. “And a few chickens. I’m normally very self sustained, but,” she shrugged and touched her leg, “things haven’t worked out this season and it’s too late now to try and fix it.” She smiled. “So, are you new here?”

Vaughn hesitantly followed her to the kitchen, realizing that this was where all the heat came from. It was a homey room, with an old weathered table and an Aga Stove on the side. There was a running fridge, though Vaughn couldn’t see how it worked because she’s seen no indication of any other power in the house, and a few other kitchen utensils. Francis kept a tidy work space and she seemed to know exactly where everything was. Then again, Vaughn thought, if you live alone in a place, you are the only one who could move things about.

Remembering that she had been asked a question, she quickly cleared her throat and smiled.

“Ah, yes,” she replied hesitantly. “I’m new. To Antonio’s and town. I only arrived three weeks ago.”

Francis, who had been pouring water from a kettle on the Aga, hesitated and glanced at her, amusement flickering across her visage. “I see,” she said and turned back to making their hot drinks. “Haven’t succumbed to rumour then have you?”

Not quite following her, Vaughn frowned and shrugged. “I haven’t heard any rumours.” She stated in general. “You mean, about you?”

Not looking at her, Francis smiled though it seemed sad, and brought her a cup of black coffee. “It’s a small town Siobhan,” she said quietly, her voice intense. “Everybody knows everything about everybody here.” She opened the fridge and took out a jug of milk. Pouring some into the one mug, Francis handed it to her, their fingers brushing slightly. Unable to help herself, Vaughn shivered and bit her lip, shrugging uncomfortably at the depressing mood that had filtered into the kitchen unnoticed.

“They don’t know anything about me, Ms Mosse,” she said to her cup. “And, I don’t know anything about you. Just that I have to deliver your groceries every two weeks.”

Francis looked at her and smiled, the depressing feeling lifting immediately when their gazes met. “Good,” she said and briefly touched her shoulder. “Then we can make a fresh start. First of all, you can call me Francis. None of this Ms. Mosse. My surname makes me sound like someone out of Wind in the Willows or Beatrix Potter. Second I…”

Something brushed against Vaughn’s leg, making her jump surprised. Her heart froze immediately as her gaze touched another’s, her brown eyes clashing with a pair of golden orbs staring at her. A dog, no… a wolf had moved in between them, every hair on its back standing up, a low, almost growl vibrating against her leg.

“Romulus!” Francis’ tone snapped with authority. “Go lie down. Down.”

Their gazes broke as the wolf dropped its head and turned towards the Aga. Vaughn took her first breath in what felt like ages, her wild eyes moving up to meet Francis’.

“Is that…?” She couldn’t say it, too shocked by what she saw. Francis’ eyes were kind as she nodded, glancing back to see that her wolf had gone to lie in front of the stove, still staring at them.

“A wolf, yes.” She said quietly. “I wanted to tell you, I have a companion. You shouldn’t be afraid of him, he’s just protective. He won’t do anything unless I ask him to. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t try to attack me, but he’s really a big softy once you get to know him.”

Vaughn couldn’t drag her eyes away from the wolf’s golden orbs. What kind of a life does this woman lead? She found herself thinking as she looked at the creature. And, what rumours were she talking of?

To Be Continued…


Okay Antonio, Okay. Lol. Stalking me all the way to my blog. I’ll do it. Or try to. Lol. I’ll write your short romance for the month of Romance. I’ll even try and make it supernatural and add a little bit of f/f fluff. I don’t know where this will go, I literally just typed it out in ten minutes. I’ll try to keep it short. I’ll try to finish it.

Lol. I’ll even try to make it readable.

Here you go:


She shuddered, her body aflame and her thoughts scattered like the stars in the universe. She’d have screamed if she remembered how to, but words have dissolved to senseless babble and none of them could describe the agony that she was going through. Everything was crushed inside her, her memories, her dreams, even her name, forgotten now under the pressure of the fever inside her. There was only one way, one sound that could bring release, one gesture to communicate, and relieve, her inner turmoil.

A howl. Clear and strong.

A howl…

A touch of cold dissolved the urge, bringing some of her thoughts together and a touch of pain made her open her eyes. She swallowed dryly and looked up into concerned green eyes, so vivid that it made her think of the forest.

“Ssh,” the green eyes said softly. “Just lie still Vaughn, don’t try to move. Not yet.”

Vaughn? She thought as she remembered how to think. Vaughn… My name. Siobhan.

She swallowed again and tried to reach up, wishing to touch the forest, to feel the cool beneath it’s canopy, smell the freedom that it offered her. “Please,” she found herself whispering. “May I have water?”

Water, a stream, standing in it under the moonlight.

The green eyes, so concerned, turned kind as the face nodded. She could see beyond her companions green orbs now, the slight touch of wrinkles in her face, her dark, greying hair. She knew that she should remember her but she couldn’t, even though her gentle touch was familiar and her voice brought so much comfort.

We’ve known each other for a long time… She realized as the woman carefully held a cup to her lips and lifted a head so that she could drink, the fever inside her throbbing against her temples as it manifested in a headache. What’s wrong with me?

The woman grimaced and glanced at her, clearly unsure of what to say. Had I spoken out loud? Siobhan thought suddenly. I didn’t…

“You don’t remember,” her words were clearly unsure and Siobhan couldn’t understand whether it was a statement or a question so she shook her head slowly either in answer or confirmation.

Her companion didn’t reply immediately, but stood up and out of her vision, only to return what felt like second later with fresh phial of water and a cloth to wipe off her forehead.

“I told you not to follow me,” the woman said sadly, “to just let it be but you couldn’t.” Her green eyes met her own. “Siobhan, you’ve been bitten…”

To Be Continued…

I have to go to work now, lol.