Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ Part 27

“So now you know why I think you’re better off,” said Tucker. “She has this effect on guys, by the time she’s done with them, they are like lost little pathetic puppies, just looking for anyone to love them.”
“She’s been nothing but honest with me,” said Jackson. “She told me she didn’t want to be in a relationship.”
“I know she did,” Tucker said as he stood to leave, “and then she kissed you at the party and went on two dates with you. Does that really sound like someone not looking for a relationship or does that sound like someone playing games with your heart?”

#

Jackson sat on the beach and poked at his campfire with a stick. He didn’t want to believe everything Tucker had told him, especially the part about Emberlyn playing with his heart. She had seemed so genuine and sincere. He had felt her kiss him back both at the party and in the woods. He had felt the electricity race through his body as they embraced and felt her pull him tighter.
“Maybe she’s torn?” Jackson said aloud to himself. “Maybe she wants a relationship, but she’s too afraid of getting hurt? What if I can show her that I’m not like that other guy?”
Jackson threw his stick into the fire and laid back on the sand. Most of him knew that Emberlyn hadn’t put a hit out on her ex-fiancée, but a tiny trickle of doubt began to worm its way into his thoughts. She did have a lot of money and his actions had caused her to lose her baby. If anyone deserved to have a hit put on them, it was that guy. Emberlyn probably was out of her mind with grief.
Jackson shook the thought away. No one deserved to be killed, no matter how big of a dirt bag.
He heard someone shuffling through the sand and sat up, his heart raced as he saw a female form walking towards his fire. He hoped it was Emberlyn, but as she came closer he saw it was Genna. His heart dropped with disappointment.
“Hey there,” said Genna. “I saw your fire and wondered if you might like some company.”
“Sure,” said Jackson, even though Genna wasn’t Emberlyn, he didn’t want to be alone with his thoughts any longer. “Have a seat.”
“Got any marshmallows?” asked Genna.
Jackson thought about the last time he sat in front of a fire with Emberlyn and roasted marshmallows. He shook his head. “Just me and my thoughts tonight.”
“You wanna talk about it?” asked Genna.
“Honestly, I rather talk about anything else than what I’m thinking aobut,” said Jackson.
“Okay,” said Genna, “let me tell you what Stella did at the club today. I could die, for reals.”
Jackson listened as Genna droned on and on about how Stella wore a bathing suit that was from last year’s season. Not only was it not the latest fashion, but Stella had “obviously” been eating carbs, because she had a muffin top.
“Didn’t she have an eating disorder?” asked Jackson, wrinkling his forehead. “She was in rehab last summer because she was anorexic, right?”
“She did, but she’s over that now,” said Genna, with a wave of her hand. “Just because she can eat whatever she wants, doesn’t mean she should.”
“I don’t think that’s how it works,” said Jackson, shaking his head. “Besides I think she looks a lot better. She used to be so skinny, I worried about her. Now, she looks healthy.”
Genna laughed. “So now you’re the expert on women’s bodies?”
Jackson shrugged and tried to hide his annoyance. He could only imagine how hard Stella worked to be okay with her healthy weight gain only to have Genna say she had a muffin top. “I’m saying I own a surf shop and have seen a number of bikinis and Stella is no where near fat. I’m proud of her.”
“Oh, Jackson, you are such a sweetheart.”
Genna reached over and kissed Jackson.
Jackson pulled back, his arms raised in a peaceful gesture. “I’m sorry, Genna, but I only want to be your friend.”
Genna cocked her head. “Jackson Hunt I know you have a crush on me. You’ve been crushing on me for over a year. What kind of game are you playing?”

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ Part 26

“How long ago was that?” asked Jackson.
Tucker shrugged. “About five years back I think.”
“So what do you know about the engagement?” asked Jackson, rubbing his jaw. He knew he was listening to rumor, but if it helped him understand just a little of what Emberlyn was going through, then it was worth it.
Tucker ate another orange slice and looked to the ceiling as if thinking of the details. “Well, I don’t remember his name, he didn’t really run in our circle at first, but they were wild about each other. They never left each other’s sides at her parties. They danced every dance and took moonlight strolls in the garden.”
“Sounds very romantic,” said Jackson, trying not to sound irritated.
“Look, the point is they seemed really happy and everyone who knew Emberlyn said she was madly in love with him. So it didn’t surprise anyone when they announced their engagement. What did surprise everyone is on the day of the wedding he left ran off with her assistant.”
“How very cliché,” said Jackson, feeling angry at this man he had never met.
“Right?” said Tucker throwing up his hands in digust. “That’s what everyone said, but that’s not even the worse of it. Emberlyn and this guy lived together in this immaculate house that had two stories this crazy steep floating staircase that led from the upstairs hallway down to the front door. So Igor …,”
“You mean Alister,” corrected Jackson.
“Yeah, Alister had to tell Emberlyn that her groom not only wasn’t coming, but had run off with her assistant. Emberlyn stormed out of the room, which was on the second floor, looking to confront the dude, tripped on her wedding dress, and fell down the stairs. Turns out she was pregnant with the jerk’s baby, but lost it during the fall.”
Jackson felt his heart drop to the pit of his stomach. Poor Emberlyn had lost both the man she loved and a child, she most certainly cherished, in a matter of minutes.
“She was in some kind of private hospital for a while, lucky to be alive,” Tucker continued. “No one saw her for a long time.”
“So what happened to the douche? Is he living somewhere happily ever after with the assistant?” asked Jackson. He wondered if the guy still lived in town and if Emberlyn had to see him being happy with the other woman.
“Another strange thing,” said Tucker, finishing the orange. “The guy and the assistant did get married but died in a fiery car crash on their wedding night.” He wrinkled his brow at Jackson and leaned in close. “There was no cause for the wreck. No other vehicle or car malfunction, it’s like it just flipped into the air and burst into flames without reason. The explosion on the driver’s side was so hot there was nothing left of the dude’s body. There was a lot of speculation that it was Emberlyn who arranged a hit on them.”
“She wouldn’t do that,” said Jackson, firmly.
“So says you,” said Tucker with a shrug sitting back, “and the officers in charge of investigating the crash. No evidence of foul play at all, said they must have hit a deer or something and the animal was able to run off. But she never really lived down the rumors and she’s never stayed with a guy for long since then.”
“Can’t say I blame her,” said Jackson as he sat back in his chair.
“So now you know why I think you’re better off,” said Tucker. “She has this effect on guys, by the time she’s done with them, they are like lost little pathetic puppies, just looking for anyone to love them.”
“She’s been nothing but honest with me,” said Jackson. “She told me she didn’t want to be in a relationship.”

“I know she did,” Tucker said as he stood to leave, “and then she kissed you at the party and went on two dates with you. Does that really sound like someone not looking for a relationship or does that sound like someone playing games with your heart?”

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ Part 25

“Don’t,” she repeated. “You can’t fall in love with me, because I’ll never return your love. I just can’t.”
She turned and ran down the road.
Jackson followed. “Emberlyn, stop! Let’s just talk about this.”
Emberlyn didn’t stop and as they rounded the bend, he saw Alister waiting by Emberlyn’s black car, with the door open. Jackson had barely gotten to the end of the old road when the black car speed back towards town.



Chapter 8


Jackson tossed his phone on his office desk in frustration after he checked it for the hundredth time hoping for a text from Emberlyn. He had sent her about a dozen messages apologizing for the kiss. He had just been caught up in the moment and he had thought she wanted to kiss him. Apparently, he had read the signals all wrong and now he felt like a complete jerk.
His phone buzzed and Jackson quickly picked it up, hoping for a text from Emberlyn, but it was only an e-mail from a merchandiser saying Jackson’s order had been shipped.
Jackson let out a groan of disgust.
“Bad day?” asked Tucker as he let himself into Jackson’s office.
“Bad move,” said Jackson, “on my part.”
“Jackson Hunt, the gentleman of all gentlemen, made a bad move?” Tucker sat down in the chair opposite the desk and rubbed his hands together. “Now this I have to hear.”
“It’s not that exciting,” said Jackson, rolling his eyes at Tucker. “I went out with Emberlyn yesterday and misread the signs. I kissed her and she ran.”
“Ran?” Tucker cocked his head.
“As in literally, ran to her car and drove away,” said Jackson. “Now she’s not returning any of my texts. She told me that wasn’t what she wanted and I didn’t listen. So I’m feeling like a grade A ass.”
Tucker leaned back in his chair. “I wouldn’t worry about it.”
“You wouldn’t?” Jackson twisted his mouth. “Of course, you wouldn’t, you go through girls like you drink water. Emberlyn’s different. I like her and not just in a romantic sense.”
“Jackson, everyone likes Emberlyn James,” stated Tucker “and I wouldn’t worry about it because I think you’re better off.”
“How so?” Jackson sighed and resisted the urge to check his phone again even though it hadn’t buzzed.
“This is what she does,” explained Tucker. He grabbed an orange off Jackson’s desk and started to peel it. “I’ve been going to her parties for a long time and she always seems to have some love sick fool …,” He looked up at Jackson. “… no offense.”
“None taken,” said Jackson a bit sarcastically.
“Anyway she’s got a guy on her shoulder one minute and breaking his heart the next,” Tucker continued. “I’ve never seen her stick with anyone. Rumor has it she won’t let anyone get close to her.”
“She did tell me as much,” said Jackson, “but why? We have good chemistry, she’s easy to talk to, and always seems to be at ease with herself and I swear, Tucker, she kissed me back. I felt a connection of the likes I’ve never felt with anyone I’ve kissed before.”
“It’s not your fault,” Tucker threw the peel in the garbage and started to section it off. “She was engaged once and it didn’t end well. Girls don’t get over stuff like that.” Tucker popped a piece of orange in his mouth.
“How long ago was that?” asked Jackson.
Tucker shrugged. “About five years back I think.”

“So what do you know about the engagement?” asked Jackson, rubbing his jaw. He knew he was listening to rumor, but if it helped him understand just a little of what Emberlyn was going through, then it was worth it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ Part 24

Starting down the road, Jackson hoped she would take his elbow again, but she didn’t. Jackson put his hands in his pockets and concentrated on the beauty around him. Even though he tried to look at the trees, flowers, and nature, his gaze kept falling on Emberlyn.
He heard the growl first and stopped in his tracks. He gently grabbed Emberlyn’s arm to keep her from taking another step. There in overgrown road stood a gray wolf.
Jackson pulled his other hand from his pocket and slowly stepped in front of Emberlyn. The wolf lowered his head and bared his teeth.
“I think it’s rabid,” whispered Jackson. “Help me find a stick.”
Jackson scanned the ground quickly, trying to keep both a watch on the wolf and find a weapon. A large branch sat a foot away. As Jackson slowly bent to reach the stick, Emberlyn stopped him.
“We don’t need that,” said Emberlyn, gently putting a hand on his shoulder.
She slid in front of him and shook Jackon’s grip from her arm.
“Emberlyn, stop,” hissed Jackson.
“You’re puffing up your chest, Jackson,” Emberlyn said calmly. “Trust me.”
She took a slow step forward and raised her hand palm up. A slight hum started to fill the air and Jackson was surprised to see it was coming from Emberlyn.
The wolf stopped baring its teeth and let out a little whine. The humming stop and Jackson could just barely make out Emberlyn talking, softly and calmly, but couldn’t make out the words. The wolf whimpered again and stepped toward Emberlyn, bumping his head under her open palm.
Emberly squats and gives the animal a good head scratch. “See there’s no reason to be upset. You’re a good boy.”
Jackson felt his mouth drop open as the wolf gave Emberlyn a lick on the cheek before running back into the woods.
“That was amazing,” said Jackson as he approached her.
Emberlyn shook her head as she stood and brushed the wolf hair from her hands. “Not amazing, just someone’s lost, scared pet.”
“That was no pet,” said Jackson, “that was a wolf! I didn’t even know we had gray wolves around here.”
Emberlyn shrugged. “People have wild animals for pets all the time…”
“You were so calm,” interrupted Jackson, “and amazing.”
He felt a rush of emotion as he gently brushed a stray piece of hair from her face. She looked up at him with her lilac colored eyes and bit her lip. He wanted to see what those lips tasted like himself and bent placing his lips on hers.
To his surprise she lifted herself up to kiss him back. Sparks ignited and traveled through his body, sending mini fireworks exploding throughout his body. He pulled her tighter, needing more of her, before she gently pushed him back.
“Don’t,” she whispered.
“What?” asked Jackson taking a small step towards her.
“Don’t,” she repeated. “You can’t fall in love with me, because I’ll never return your love. I just can’t.”
She turned and ran down the road.
Jackson followed. “Emberlyn, stop! Let’s just talk about this.”

Emberlyn didn’t stop and as they rounded the bend, he saw Alister waiting by Emberlyn’s black car, with the door open. Jackson had barely gotten to the end of the old road when the black car speed back towards town. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

*****December Birthstone*****

It is December! If you were born this month you are a Tantalizing Turquoise!


Turquoise  " The Stone Of Guidance"
I blend the energy of the Heaven and Earth.  I am the shaman’s stone who heals the spirit, and induces wisdom, trust and kindness.

See all of our lovely Turquoise Jewelry @ https://www.etsy.com/shop/AnnasLegacyGiftShop

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ Part 23

“I believe they all got out, the family and servants, everyone,” said Jackson. “Since they were witches, the fire gave them the opportunity to start a new life without anyone catching on to the fact that they don’t age.”
“Well, aren’t you the romantic,” said Emberlyn.
“I just like happy endings,” said Jackson.
“Did your mother read you fairy tales as a child?” asked Emberlyn.
Jackson nodded. “She did, almost every night. You see my father left us when we were really young and I think she wanted me to see there were good men in this world. Men that would fight for love.”
“She is a very wise woman,” said Emberlyn, “That couldn’t have been easy on her.”
“It wasn’t,” said Jackson, picking at some grass, “but I only saw her cry once. She worked two jobs and I never wanted for anything I needed. My grandma took care of me most of the time, when Mom was working.”
“So two strong women in your life. That makes a lot of sense,” said Emberlyn.
“How so?” asked Jackson with a cock of his head.
“Besides the fact you know how to dance a waltz that would put Gene Kelly to shame, you seem to be at ease around strong women. You don’t know how many men feel they have to puff out their chests and always be on point when their around me. It’s gotta be exhausting,” said Emberlyn, “but you’re not afraid to make a mistake or look silly.”
“That’s because I am the king of mistakes and I always look silly,” joked Jackson. “It’s part of my every day charm.”
Emberlyn laughed. “Well, it is charming, not that you’ve made a mistake or looked silly in my presence, yet.”
“Give me time,” said Jackson, “it’ll happen. I’m sure I looked pretty silly punching that guy in your garden, but I don’t think it was mistake.”
“It was neither,” said Emberlyn as she laced her arm into the crook of his. “It was very chivalrous.”
“There was a little bit of chest puffing,” admitted Jackson.
“Just a little,” Emberlyn giggled.
Jackson felt heat rise through his body as Emberlyn gently laid her head on his shoulder. She felt so perfect lying against him and he could swear he could hear his heart beating in unison with hers. A breeze made its way through the trees causing the leaves to rustle. Jackson couldn’t help but feel they were cheering him on, rooting for him to gently lift her chin and kiss her.
“We should get going,” said Emberlyn, breaking Jackson’s trance. “I’m sure Alister is waiting with the car at the trailhead.”
As Emberlyn stood, Jackson felt as if his whole body sighed with regret. The moment was gone and he reminded himself that she wasn’t looking for a romantic relationship. She just wanted to be his friend and he was setting himself up for another Genna-like crush, even though Emberlyn was nothing like Genna.
As Jackson rose, his mind flooded with all the things he liked about Emberlyn. How kind and generous she was. How she was a good listener and had a flair for finding the unusual beauty in places like an abandoned cemetery.
Starting down the road, Jackson hoped she would take his elbow again, but she didn’t. Jackson put his hands in his pockets and concentrated on the beauty around him. Even though he tried to look at the trees, flowers, and nature, his gaze kept falling on Emberlyn.

He heard the growl first and stopped in his tracks. He gently grabbed Emberlyn’s arm to keep her from taking another step. There in overgrown road stood a grey wolf.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Seasons to Celebrate!!

There will be no new episode of The Dark Heart this week because authors C.L. Collar and Jennifer McMurrain are celebrating their new anthology release in correlation with the WordWeavers writing group ...

Available on Kindle now! Coming soon to paperback!!

What turns an event into an unforgettable memory?
Is there an occasion you wish could have lasted longer? Which holiday is your favorite? Which season? Which event helped redirect your life?
Bartlesville WordWeavers have composed poetry, essays and short stories about significant life celebrations. Memories birthed some of the writings. Others reveal the author’s imagination. Some will tug at your heart or make you smile. Some may give you pause as you weigh the author’s thoughts.
This collection shares the talents of a variety of authors and makes a great gift for avid readers.
Profits from WordWeavers' anthologies help sharpen and encourage writing skills of its members.

The Dark Heart will return on November 29th, with double weekly episodes returning in January!! 

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ Part 22

“You sound like you don’t believe in witches,” said Emberlyn.
“Oh, I do in a way,” said Jackson. “I have a pagan friend who calls herself a witch, and I respect that. But I also don’t expect her to be casting spells or riding on brooms.”
“Well, no,” said Emberlyn, “brooms are very uncomfortable.”
Jackson laughed. “I reckon they would be.”
He read a few more stones and noticed a whole cluster of stones had the same death date. “I wonder what happened here. All of these people died on the same day.”
“A fire,” said Emberlyn and Jackson thought he could hear a crack in her voice.
He looked at her with concern and she gave him a sad smile. She pointed to two of the headstones. “Victor and Constance Ashwood lived here with their three daughters. The oldest daughter was coming of age and they were looking for a suitable husband for her. They had to be very careful, because the family was extremely private. They needed a man who would both love their daughter and live a low-key lifestyle, no matter how much money he received as a dowry. As was the custom of the time, they threw a ball on Halloween night.”
“And all the most eligible bachelors were to attend,” said Jackson with a half-smile. “Just like all good fairy tales.”
Emberlyn sat before the graves and Jackson sat beside her.”
“I assure you that this is not a fairy tale, but yes gentlemen from far and wide came to the house to seek the hand of the eldest daughter, knowing they would inherit a great sum of money one day if chosen. Most of the people from the city came out as well. They were curious to see how the Ashwoods lived. They were not disappointed. The ball was the most elegant party most had ever seen and of course the daughter was the most desired dance partner. One gentlemen, and I’m using that word lightly, was obsessed with the eldest daughter. Throughout the ball he would scarcely let her dance with any of the other men. The daughter did not care for the man’s ways and tried numerous times to excuse herself from his company, but he was so persistent she had no other choice but to ask her father to make the man leave.”
Emberlyn gently traced the etching on Victor’s headstone. Jackson sat beside her.
“So Victor did what any father would do and had the man escorted out. The rest of the party went on without a hitch and soon the daughter found herself dancing with a young man who caught not only her eye, but her heart in a single moment. Of course, she had to share her time with the other suitors, but the young man and the daughter planned a late night walk after the ball where they could get to know each other better.”
Emberlyn gave Jackson a smile. “The other guests of the ball knew the daughter had already made her choice. It was evident in her behavior. They said she was practically glowing after her dances with the young man. After the party was over and everyone had gone to bed, the daughter slipped out to meet the young man. Little did she know, the gentleman who had been cast out of the party earlier had his mind set on revenge. While she walked with her young man, the gentleman chained the doors shut and set her family’s house on fire, killing her parents, sisters, and everyone who worked in the home.”
“That’s awful,” said Jackson. “What did the daughter do? Did they catch the guy?”
Emberlyn shrugged. “No one really knows. Some say a servant of the house survived the fire, because he was secretly keeping watch over the daughter on her late night walk and therefore out of the house as well when it burned and that the three of them ran off because the gentlemen told the townsfolk he had to set the house on fire because the Ashwoods were witches. Neither the daughter nor the servant were ever heard from again, but all the money mysteriously disappeared from the Ashwood’s accounts. There is no record of the gentleman being punished for arson and murder, but some rumor say he died a very slow, painful death after he fell into a large vat of boiling sugar at a candy factory.”
Jackson scrunched his face. “Well that is not the way I want to go. What an awful way to die.”
“So is being burned alive with your family, I’d guess,” said Emberlyn, softly.
They sat for a moment, letting the story sink in.
“You know,” said Jackson, breaking the silence. “I choose to believe something else.”
“Oh yeah?” asked Emberlyn, raising an eyebrow.
“I believe they all got out, the family and servants, everyone,” said Jackson. “Since they were witches, the fire gave them the opportunity to start a new life without anyone catching on to the fact that they don’t age.”
“Well aren’t you the romantic,” said Emberlyn.

“I just like happy endings,” said Jackson.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ Part 21

“Amazing isn’t it,” said Emberly as she up looked at the trees.
“So should I be worried?” asked Jackson with a sly smile. “Are your guards around here somewhere, ready to pounce if I make a wrong move? This remote of a location, you could dispose of me without anyone being the wiser.”
“Now, why would I do that?” asked Emberlyn returning his sly smile. “You’re fun and the world is desperately low of fun people. When you stop being fun, I’ll have my guards dispose of you here, per your wishes.”
Jackson laughed and continued the joke, “Not sure those were my wishes, but I couldn’t think of a lovely place to be disposed of.”
“Regardless, you are safe today,” said Emberlyn. “It’s just the two of us.”
“So you’re vulnerable,” said Jackson with a sly smile, taking a step towards her.
“I assure you, I can take care of myself,” said Emberlyn, walking the rest of the distance, chin raised. “Even with the likes of you. Now come on, I’d like to show you something.”
She reached out her hand and Jackson took it.
“You look nice,” said Jackson.
“Thank you,” said Emberlyn, “I know it’s not the traditional wardrobe for a hike, but the path is an old road, so it isn’t much of a trek.”
“You’re not a traditional wardrobe kind of girl,” said Jackson. “I like it. I find it refreshing.”
“Why Jackson, that’s probably the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.”
“I hardly believe that,” said Jackson with a laugh. “I’m sure people say nice things to you all the time.”
“Oh, they do,” Emberlyn said with a sigh. “Doesn’t mean it’s the truth. People like to say what they think I want to hear. But I can tell your compliment is genuine.”
“Well, I’m glad,” said Jackson.
They walked along in silence for a while, letting the sounds of nature fill the air, instead of their words. Jackson was impressed that neither of them felt the need to break the silence with small talk.
“Here we are,” said Emberlyn with a smile.
Jackson looked around with astonishment as they walked into a very old cemetery sporting a couple dozen graves. The headstones looked worn and were surrounded by ivy and covered in moss. Large cottonwood and oak trees grew large in-between stones giving the Jackson the feeling he had stepping back in time.
“What is this place?” he asked.
“There used to be a house just up the road,” said Emberlyn. “Nothing left but the old stone fireplace and some of the foundation, but it stood for a very long time. These are the people who lived there.”
Jackson looked at the headstone and cocked his head. Each stone had a name, then death date, followed by an inscription. Most of the death dates were in the early 1900’s, but there were no birth dates or ages anywhere on the stones.
“Why are there no birthdates?” he asked, as he walked to each stone and read the etching.
“Rumor has it a witches coven lived here,” said Emberlyn. “Since witches live a very long time, it’s said they forgot the person’s actual birthday, but I would guess it had more to do with keeping their identity as a coven a secret.”
“They could’ve just lied,” said Jackson. “Back then, no one would have known better.”
“Witches don’t lie,” said Emberlyn, very matter-of-factly.
Jackson looked at her. “You say that as if you’ve met one.”
“Who says I haven’t?” asked Emberlyn with a smile.
“Yeah, okay,” said Jackson, “I’m sure you’ve met people of all walks of life, even those who call themselves witches.”
“You sound like you don’t believe in witches,” said Emberlyn.
“Oh, I do,” said Jackson. “I have a pagan friend who calls herself a witch, and I respect that. But I also don’t expect her to be casting spells or riding on brooms.”

“Well, no,” said Emberlyn, “brooms are very uncomfortable.”

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Mystic Stone Magic ~ Birthstone

It is November!
If you were born this month you are a
Creative Citrine!


Citrine  " The Stone Of  Happiness "
Magic wells of golden light within me reflect universal perfection, similar to Christ light.  I am one of the stones of abundance and have the power to impact joy to all who behold me.