Titans Rising: Enemy of my Enemy {guest author}

 

Guest author Amber Albright

Trying to find a Titan is harder than it seems; that’s for damn sure. After hitting up the few offices that I knew about, I eventually found her in Paris. Shit, how many locations does one need?

Sighing, I walked to the large building that held the little moon Titan inside. I guess ‘little’ would be an insult, given her age and all, but who am I to pass on the opportunity to insult someone?

For our meeting, I wore a low-cut white pantsuit with matching shoes, and I trotted up the stairs to the entrance of the building. It was busy inside, with a bunch of people running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Maybe business was booming for Miss Titan. I chewed my gum, popping bubbles, as I entered the elevator, pressing the floor I needed. I guess I could have turned into mist and went that way, but if the Titan decided to get handsy, I needed all my strength.

The elevator dinged at the top floor as the doors slid open. I walked in like I owned the place, my heels clicking on her expensive floor. A woman stood from the receptionist desk, opening her mouth to speak at my sudden intrusion. I didn’t hear what she said as I raised my hand, knocking on the door.

The door opened almost instantly. A tall, platinum-blonde Titan met my gaze.

“Ate?” She spoke with surprise as she raised her hand, stopping her receptionist behind me. “It’s okay, Cherie.”

I didn’t give her a second glance as I pushed my way in. The office was large with a huge bay window off to the side. A couch and chair sat opposite each other, the same color as her hair. Off to the left, there was a desk with a computer and paperwork upon it.  She had a small bar along one of the walls, and she wasn’t alone. An equally-tall woman sat in a chair off to the back, and from the energy she possessed, it told me that she was another Titan. Eos.

Eos was the Titan of the dawn, and although equally pretty, her hair held more of a rustic red to it  compared to her sister’s. This could work for me if I played my cards right. Although I had hoped for one Titan, I could try to persuade two. Maybe. I turned back to Selene and plopped down on her fancy couch, throwing my arms behind me as I popped another bubble.

“Hello, cupcake,” I purred as I gave her a once over. “You’ve aged well.”

“I have better moves than you, dear,” she responded, nodding to her receptionist before closing the door.

“Good one, S. What’s it been? A century or so?”

Rolling her eyes at my comment, she proceeded. “Or so.”  She headed to the bar, speaking over her shoulder, “Pick your poison.”

Smirking, I popped another bubble, “Oh, honey, you don’t have my poison.”

She scoffed in a mock laugh. “Oh, I’m sure.”

I watched as she pulled out three glasses and opened a decanter of Scottish whiskey, pouring two.

She turned back, heading to her sister, handing her a glass. “Sorry, Ate, you remember my sister, Eos?”

My smirk dropped for a second as I responded, “I remember everything. And a little birdie told me, you guys do, too.”

She nodded briefly before tapping her foot. “Drink or not?”

I shook my head in response. “I’ll pass. I don’t plan to stay long.”

She shrugged and returned the third glass. She walked back towards the couch and me.

“What’s on your mind, and be specific.”

Standing from the couch, I walked over towards her desk, slowly dragging a single finger across it, while glancing at the paperwork. I saw nothing of importance. I turned back to her, clasping my hands in front of me.

“I have a proposition for you. As you both know, the Titans are free. Just as I know your dear old brother is back in his cell.”

She sighed at my words. “And? We were just on our way to see…” she stopped rolling her eyes as she made air quotes, “King Zeus.”

Hearing his name made my blood boil, but I composed myself so that they didn’t even notice the sudden change. Taking a deep breath, I slowly smirked at her comment.

“And do what exactly? Ask him for a favor? You know as well as I that he will give you nothing. What if I have something better in mind?”

Selene didn’t miss a beat.

“He has been reasonable before,” she paused, throwing back her drink, and headed to the bar for a refill. She stopped, checking to see if her sister needed one, and returned to her seat. “You have our attention. Go on.”

Folding my arms, I leaned against her desk “As you know, since your memories are intact, I was exiled. Banished. Erased. Now I could care less what happens to you, but that doesn’t mean someone else isn’t interested.”

She scoffed. “Someone besides Atlas?”

My smile slowly widened as I stepped forward.

“Yes someone older than even Atlas. Titans ruled long before the Gods and now look at you. Bending to their will. Answering their call. Time is up, S. The Titans want you back.”

“What’s the offer?” she asked as Eos stood close to her.

“Join Kronos. Help ruin Olympus with me, and then you don’t have to worry about your precious brother ever being imprisoned again.”

She tilted her head for a moment before responding, “I remember, quite clearly, how that went down last time. What’s different this time?”

Eos watched me for a second before grabbing her sister’s glass. After refilling both glasses, she returned to sit by her sister. I turned away from them heading, towards the window, placing my hands on the windowsill before turning back.

“Look at the world now. The Gods are weak. Complacent. They crave love, work jobs; they’re practically mortal. They haven’t fought in a war in centuries.” I paused, my voice turning cold. “And besides, the last time the Titans didn’t have me.”

Selene stood and headed over to the window, the air around her changing as she got closer. The look on her face alone told me I’d hit a nerve somewhere. She seemed livid, almost as if her face took on a darker shade. She placed her hand above mine, pinning me near the window.

“And you think you can make that much of a difference, little God?” she asked through clenched teeth.

If she was trying to intimidate or scare me, it wouldn’t work, but I played along with it. I smiled, backing slowly, shaking my head in amusement, like a child.

“Nope. But what’s about to happen is going to make the Titan war look like a piece of cake.” I paused, tapping my chin. “What’s the saying? The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Besides you forget. I. Remember. Everything.”

Selene’s voice raised as the nerve I was trying to reach starts to crack. “As do I, child.” She turned back to Eos, striding toward her, and snapped at me again. “I was outcast and isolated, too. Or are you that fucking conceited?”

I tilted my head toward her, stepping closer once more, my brows furrowing. “You see, that’s the difference between you and I. You’re doing nothing about it. You’re working for them. Helping them. It’s kind of pathetic. A Titan as their lap dog.”

My remark sent Selene over the edge, and the room began to darken as she started towards me. She stopped by her sister, grabbing her hand. “I haven’t done any help, that’s for damn sure! I simply thought a change in pace may be a good idea.”

I stood in place, folding my arms, as I stared at her. “You thought wrong, and you’re a fool to think they won’t turn on you, too. Think about it. Or would you rather ask for visitation rights for the rest of eternity?”

She snatched her hand from Eos, who was currently the only light source in the room, and stared back at me. The air in the room thickened from the two Titans I just pissed off, and I know there isn’t much more I can say. Shrugging, I dropped my arms as I placed my hands on my hips.

“The offer still stands, S. If you want it. I’m sure Kronos will find you sooner or later.”

I grinned coldly, once more giving a wave to both Titans as I morphed my body into fine black mist and exited through the window.

High Tide

The waves of high tide crashed in front of me. Droplets of the salty surf peppered my face and arms. The setting sun warmed my skin as the breeze whipped through my hair. I opened my eyes to the beautiful rouge, rosewood, peach and magenta that surrounded me. The birds called over head in search of their next meal. My thoughts ebbed and flowed with the rolling surf, my breaths long and cleansing. In the distance the sounds of children giggling as they played on the beach brought me back to the here and now. I uncrossed my legs and spun around in place so my feet dangled off the other side of the bolder I was sitting on. I grabbed my large mesh bag and hopped off the rock, slipping my feet into my sandals I had left in the sand when I began. While I walked to my car I dug in the bottom of my bag for my keys. Moments later I was at my car and my keys were found. I pressed the button on the fob and unlocked my car. I opened the driver door and threw my bag in before I sat down behind the wheel. I took another deep breath before turning the key. “Until next week, my love.” My weekly visit with the Prince of Tides was over and life would go on… until next week.

The Fairy Dance

fAIRY TUNNEL

Giggles echoed through the trees. The wind blows through the tunnel carrying fallen leaves with it. Shivers run down your spine as you no longer feel alone. Where were the giggles coming from? There was no one there. You spin around to see if someone is over the ridge and again, find no one. You decided to accept the fact that you are not alone. You speak into the air, “Thank you for allowing me to hear you.” With soft steps, you make your way through the tunneling trees. You think you see movement above you at the root level but it is too fast, or too small, to be seen. The giggles are in front of you now. You stop again but this time, you kneel. “I mean you no harm.” You say, then bow your head, but not your eyes. This time you are prepared. They are beginning to trust you as well and move slower. You catch a glimpse of a flutter. Are your eyes deceiving you? They are too small to be children. Very slowly you raise your head to the level of your eyes. Standing, no, floating in the middle of the road is five, 3-inch figures. They are out of focus, like a hummingbird, flying so fast you can’t see their wings or get your eyes to focus on them. They catch sight of you staring at them and are gone in the blink of an eye. The wind rustles the trees again and the moment has passed. The magic is gone and you rise, ever so slowly, wondering if you really saw something or are going insane. You shake your head and continue on your way, never to experience anything like it again.

The Weaver

 

The weaver sits in the middle of the circle of stone, the full moon beaming down on her, feeding her its power. Her task never-ending, to weave and mind, cut and start anew. Where one life ends, another begins. Does this life deserve another chance or should it end here forever? The interlocking weft was perfect as an eternity of practice would lead to.

”Ah yes, this one will be a good match for this soul, let’s interlock them here.” Another weft and another life begins. Arianrhod sighed and stretched and lightning lit up the sky. She seemed to get the most done when the moon was full. Tonight’s tapestry seemed to be perfection. Her wrinkled, old fingers moved with such grace and speed, in and out, through and through. Her silver hair whipped in the breeze as the mortal’s appearance over the horizon disrupted her work. She was caught off guard as no one ever dared approach her before. The human had a strange aura to her. And Arianrhod cocked an eyebrow. The mortal bowed as she reached the outer birth of the circle to the weaver.

“What are you and how dare you interrupt me on such an important night?” The weaver asks.

“I apologize my goddess, but I have questions and this is the only time you are on this plain.”

The goddess sighed as she knew the mortal was correct. “How can I help you? And what are you? I can see you are different.”

“Thank you, ma’am. I am a Druid, among other things, and I’d like to know about my, well, my life.”

“Excuse me? I do not share such things, I don’t care who or what you are. Your life is what you make of it, you ought to know that.”

“I beg your pardon, ma’am, but that is not true. You are responsible for the warps and loops we take. I wish to know if mine is always so… well, so knotted and tangled.”

The goddess took a deep breath, clearly annoyed. Just then, lightning ran across the sky again and the druid gulped. The mortal was pushing her luck, but she had to know. “Come here druid, let me see who you are.”

Taking a few more steps towards the goddess, the druid straightened her back and dared to look her directly in the eye. Her orange hair flourished in the wind and the moonlight reflected off the silver scar across her face by her left ear. The goddess took her in and returned her gaze.

“Fenella MacHugh, dear child. Why did I not know it was you? You would be the only mortal impudent enough to approach me.” The druid smiled, almost in pride at the statement. “I cannot tell you what you want to hear, but I can tell you your life will be long and very, very full and wondrous.” And with that, the weaver turned back to her tapestry and the druid walked away from the circle.

Rough Seas

The two sea hardened men stood on the docks admiring their crew whilst they unloaded the crates and barrels of goods. “There’s just something ’bout doin’ it the old fashioned way that gives the men pride,”  the captain said to the merchant. His blonde mane and beard speckled with grays whipped in his face as the wind blew through the harbor.

“I know what ya mean. Them big cargo ships just take all the care and connection out of it,” the merchant replied. The folds of his kilt also caught in the wind gave the two men a laugh as he mooned the passers-by behind them.

Up on the ship the crew worked diligently, flowing like the waves that rocked them. Unceasing in the eb and flow of unloading, yelling to each other through the rough and breaking air.

“Something about that one in the red shirt seems different though, is that a boy liftin’ them crates with the ease of a seasoned sailor?” the merchant asked.

“The little one with the cap on? Nae, that be a woman, and one me best sailors, too.” the captain replied as his chest swelled with pride. “She be a greenhorn just a few years ago but ye couldna tell now. She’s one me best men, and the crew loves her, too.”

“A woman! Doesna that cause issues with tha men, if you ken what I mean?” The merchant asked skeptically.

“Nae. Thought it might but they took to her really well. She be like a mother hen to ’em all, yet works as hard as me engine. She never complains about annathin’. No gillyin’ about how somethin’ is too heavy or too big, not the weather, nae the hours. She cooks a mean shepherd’s pie, too.” He laughed as he mentioned the cooking, “but don’t ask ‘er to cook ya nea else. She just might burn ya kitchen out.”

The merchant laughed and the conversation continued as the crew finished unloading the portion of the freight that was due to this port. One by one the crew slipped below deck as their jobs were complete and emerged with a backpack or duffel slung over their shoulders. They passed the captain and asked permission to go to one place or another and promised to return the following morning as they prepared for departure to the next port. As the woman approached she had a nervous look on her face but the captain knew what she was going to ask. Her tent poles stuck out of the bottom of her hiking backpack and told him right away she wanted to meet up at the next port, as she had asked before. “So which port will we be meetin’ you at this time, m’ lady?” Her anxiety shifted slightly. ”Ullapool, Sir.”, she replied with a nervous breath, her eyes searching his face as she knew what she was asking of the captain.

“Ullapool! That’s clear across the highlands from here!”

“Yes sir. I figure it’ll take about a month, and if I time it right as I have it mapped out, I should get there about the same time you do. Assuming you allow me this leave of absence and have a position available for me when I meet you there.” She said, in one long rehearsed spiel in an attempt to not let her captain interrupt her plea.

“I just don’t understand why you insist on running through the highlands like a stag ever’ so often.” You do so well at sea. If ya didna work so hard and so good I’d never let ya go!” The captain exclaimed, clearly exasperated with the crewman. “No other cap’in I know would allow such shenanigans!” He softened as he saw the pleading look on her face. She looked as though she was going to break down in tears at any moment and he quickly added, “ but cráite you, you ken how to soften a man’’s heart dinya now.” He sighed, “One day you’ll explain yerself, but go on befer I change me mind lass.” He dropped his head in defeat and shook it as he turned to watch her go. The merchant spoke up for the first time throughout the exchange and said, “Mùthaidhean, she’s got all y’all wrapped dunn she?”

“I’ve overheard enough to know a bit about her and where she came from. That combined with what she told me when I hired her, she needs this. She isna ‘confined space’ kinda gal. I dinna think I’d get as good work out’ve ‘er if I dinna let her go from time to time.”

“Really? What’s her story? She’s obviously American.” The merchant asked.

“That, my friend, requires a pint or two. Ready to go?” The captain sighed, clapping his hand on his friend’s shoulder.

“Aye, let’s go mate.” and they turned towards town, the crewmen feathered out before them. A small clump were surrounding the woman, pleading with her to not leave them again. “I just dinna understand why ya need to leave us again! Din ya love us?” The youngest man in the group pleaded.

“Aye Duncan, I do. But I love me more and I need this. I need my time in the hills. You’re from Skye, for God’s sake! Surely you can understand the NEED to be there from time to time.” she tried to explain to the boy.

“I only need to be there when me mother demands it,” he stated with disdain, “but yours is in America.”

She sighed, “How can you take the beauty and wonderment of your own country in such disgust?” Shaking her head at the boy.

“I dunno, you left yours and it’s pretty grand, too.”

“Touche’, but I left for far different reasons than yours, if you recall.” She replied flatly, putting the boy in his place. He dropped his head and felt ashamed for even comparing the two. “Yes ’em. I’m sorry, that was mean and uncalled fer, can you forgive me mum?”

“Of course I can. Just don’t be such an jerk next time, deal?”

“Yes ’em, I’ll try.” He replied sheepishly.

“Good boy, now off ya’ll go. Enjoy your night. I’ll see you in about a month. Work hard and don’t make me hear a bad report from the captain about any one of you!”

“Yes Ma’am,” they all replied as they shuffled off to the pub. She stopped outside the door, watching the men she had come to love over the past few years gather around little tables, laughing and drinking with few cares in the world. Their lives revolved around the boat, the merchandise and the captain. Little else mattered to them. A life she could only wish to have. Her past came rushing back like a storm in the middle of the Bering Sea. The boy had no idea how much he reminded her of her middlemost child. His spunk and curiosity. His true innocence of life’s hardships and how cruel it can be. She took a deep breath and slipped into the pub to a corner table meeting the bartender’s eye. He nodded in acknowledgment and sent a waitress over with a triple of scotch. She drunk it down in a matter of gulps and paid the waitress as she slipped back out into the growing darkness.

Heartbroken

 

My eyes burn, my heart aches. I have no words for how I feel. A punch in the gut, a slap in the face. Can I just sit on the sofa holding my children and cry? My mantra for the week is “She has new organs, she has a new body. It all works perfectly now as she dances at His feet”.

As a mother your worse fear is your children passing before yourself. When you you’re young, you know people die. You know your parents will pass before you do, when you marry, know that its a possibility of your spouse passing before you. They have words for those losses, that pain is expected in your life time. But no one can quantify the pain of loosing your own child. No words can describe it. Whether they pass before you meet them or 16 years after they are born. Its indescribable! I have lost two in utro and it hurts so bad I can still remember the day(s), the events surrounding them, the emotional turmoil knowing I couldn’t do anything to help my child. That even in the safest place in the universe they still died. This week my heart is breaking for another mom in my circle whom had to tell her daughter good bye. As believers, we know they will meet again, but for a mom, its never soon enough. I hurt for the life lost. I hurt for the smiles, the light, the wisdom this young woman shared with everyone she met. The Lord commissioned us to “Be My Witness” and that is what she did! Though every battle she faced, every struggle, every surgery, every set back, every triumph. She brought her community together in prayer and serving, in sacrificing of herself and teaching other how to be selfless. She was an amazing person I am blessed and honored to have known her and to have her teach me such lessons in faith and humility and how to have fun even in the worse of storms. Her smile lit up a room as she shone in the love and grace of the Father. Emily you WILL be missed by ALL!  Till we see you again my sweet, amazing friend! -RC

Wedding In Paradise

bora boraDusk had just enveloped the sleepy town of twin meadows like a warm blanket when the beautiful lawyer stepped out of the limo outside the Elks Lodge. Music played inside where the happy couple and their guests partied. She entered the lodge and was escorted to a small room past the restroom on the left where the young bride was seated. “Ma’am, the lawyer is here”, the gentleman that escorted me here said to the young woman whom was facing the wall.

She turned around slowly wiping the tears from her face and straightened herself. “I’m sorry I had to call you so late Belinda,” the bride said sheepishly, showing a gap-toothed, saddened grin.

“Its ok, hunny,” Belinda replied with a thick southern drawl, “what happened? You were so happy when I spoke to you earlier.”

“Brad disappeared before we cut the cake and when Scooter found ‘im he was up Nancy’s skirt in the men’s dressin’ room!” She said exasperated. “I thought he’d changed! I thought… He PROMISED he was done foolin’ around! That I was the only one for him! I’m such a fool!”

“Awe Mel! What an ASS!” Belinda supported(whats the word I’m looking for?) “so you want me to try to get it annulled?”

“Yeah. I wanna go on our honey moon trip alone and I don’t want to have to see his sorry ass when I get back, so I want it done ASAP so I can get the hell out of here!” Melody said, practically bellowing by now.

At that Belinda got up and walked out of the room towards the ruckus.

* * * * * *

Melody reached over from her lounge chair to grab the umbrella laden drink. “Thank you,” she said ginning unabashedly at the cute waiter in short shorts. He nodded curtly, turned and walked away. She took a sip and sat back in her seat enjoying the sound of the waves and the heat of the sun.

“You know’, Belinda said suddenly, breaking the silence. “this is nice and all, but I’m getting bored. Lets DO something!”

“Ok,” Melody laughed, “lets go scuba diving or jet skiing. You pick.”

Jet skiing!” Belinda exclaimed. “The thought of a wet suit right now is not appealing.” The girls got up from their lounge chairs, grabbed their towels and walked towards the docks owned by the resort.

The guys running the jet ski rentals were obviously cut from an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog. Melody laid the flirting on think as molasses, “well, hello boys,” she said in her southern twang. She propped her elbow on the counter in such a manner that her right breast nearly fell out of her bikini top. “MEL!” Belinda exclaimed, embarrassed by Melody’s behavior. “Sorry guys, she’s had a little too much to drink today. We’d like to rent a jet ski that I will be driving.”

It’s ok, we’re use to it,” the man on the left said in an Australian accent as he picked up two life vests and handed them to Melody. The man on the right took Belinda’s information and told it was included in their registration.

“Really?” Belinda said, astonished that Brad had actually planned for something like jet skiing when he made their honeymoon plans. “That’s awesome! Thanks.” Belinda turned towards Melody and saw the poor girl fighting with the life vests. She rushed over to her and helped her get hers on. The ladies got on the jet ski and took off across the water.

They didn’t return their stomachs were rumbling and it was nearing dusk. There were different men at the docks then when they left and Melody was sober. They rushed to their rooms and rinsed off the salty water and threw on sundresses before walking down to the seaside restaurant for dinner. The waiter, dressed in slacks and a flowered button down shirt like the rest of the waiters, sat the ladies in a window seat looking out at the ocean. “So Mel, have you figured out what you’re gonna do when you get home?” Belinda asked finally. The question, no matter how inevitable, had been weighing on her mind for most of the trip. “I mena, I know you don’t want to think or talk about it, but without the prenuptial signed, you have no house to return to.

“You think I don’t know that?!” Melody said, her voice strained as though she was trying to not scream or cry or both.

“Mel, I didn’t say…” Belinda was interrupted by Melody again.

“I have been trying to figure that out for the past three days! I very well can’t look at apartments or anything from Tahiti now, can I?” Melody stated exasperatedly. “I figure I’ll get a hotel room when I get back until I can find something.”

“Ok, that’s all I was asking hunny. I just wanted to make sure you were thinking ahead.” Belinda said quietly and quickly changed the subject.

* * * * * *

Two days later the ladies boarded the jet for the flight back home to Alabama. “Thanks for bringing me Mel,” Belinda said as they stepped on the plane. “I really needed that break.”

“Shoot girl! I’m just glad I didn’t have to go alone. Who knows what kind of trouble I would have gotten into if I didn’t have a chaperon!” Melody laughed aloud.

“True!” Belinda laughed. “If they even let you on the jet ski you probably would have drowned.” she said laughing even harder. They laughed and talk all the way home, much to their co-passenger’s regret.

 They shared a cab from the airport to Belinda’s apartment where they said their good byes for the week was over and life had to return to normal. But was was Melody’s new normal suppose to be? She had been with Brad since middle school and had been living with him for two years. Where should she tell the cabbie to go? She sat back and took a deep breath. “Take me to the Wesley motel on 5th Avenue please

The Birth of a Writer

I was always an imaginative child. A little too into my pretend for some, perhaps. An over-thinker and overachiever. I loved dance, singing, theater, anything that stirred my creative juices. I had an eye for photography and loved writing research papers so I thought I’d pursue Photo-Journalism in collage. When that didn’t pan out I began to feel lost. I had no outlet. I’d lay awake at night with stories running through my head and no where to go. One day, about a year ago, I was talking to one of my best friends about all these stories and how they keep me awake, excetera. Her reply was so simple, but life changing. She simply said, “So, write it down.” Someone believed in me enough to tell me to go for it! Do it! And I did! It felt SO good! And even better, my Alpha readers loved it and asked for more! I currently have two works in progress but this blog will play host to my short stories written from prompts or as part of challenges put forth by one of the writing groups I am in. I hope to write a short story weekly, but with three kids, a husband of 17 years and a semi-full time job, writing, unfortunantly, isn’t always my priority. Hope you enjoy, follow and share!     😉                           -RC