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.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ Part 20

“Kids, today,” said Tucker with a shake of his head. “No work ethic.”
“Says the guy who plays on a yacht and calls it work,” teased Jackson, as his stomach rumbled, “Guess I’ll be having muffins for lunch today.”  
“Oh, no, that won’t do,” said Genna, coming up and placing a large stack of various clothing on the counter. “Let me pay for these and then I’ll go get you a bacon cheeseburger from Van’s.”
“Not necessary,” said Jackson. He looked at the stack of clothes. “This isn’t necessary either. Don’t buy form my shop out of pity.”
“I’m not,” laughed Genna, “I like these things. You’ve got a nice selection. Plus, I’m getting hungry, too. So I would’ve have gone anyway.”
“Okay, only if you’re going anyway,” said Jackson. He rang her up and Genna gave him the credit card, which was approved without a problem.
“Let me give you some money,” said Jackson as he reached for his wallet.
“I wouldn’t hear of it,” said Genna, as she waved him away. “One bacon cheeseburger with fries, coming right up.”
“You know I’m hungry, too,” said Tucker.
Genna glared at him. “Then get your own.”
Tucker raised his hands in a peaceful gesture as Genna gave Jackson a final smile before practically bouncing out of the store.
“See,” said Jackson, “weird.”
“Not weird,” said Tucker, his face a bit fallen, “girls do this. They see some guy with a wealthy, attractive girl, like Emberlyn, and all of a sudden he’s the catch of the day and everyone wants a serving.”
“So now I’m a fish,” said Jackson with mock hurt dripping from his words.
“Yes,” said Tucker, continuing his tease, “but you must be an elite fish to have the likes of Emberlyn James take interest. Her tastes are refined.”
“Again, I just taught her to surf and then we ate, that’s it,” said James.
“Where’d you eat?” asked Tucker.
“Alister brought us a picnic, we ate on the beach,” said James.
Tucker shook his head. “Still sounds like a date to me.”
“It wasn’t,” said Jackson, “but I’ve got to tell you I’ve never had a better day of surfing. It was odd. The ocean was like mirror it was so still and then all at once we got these phenomenal waves. It was amazing.”
“Sure it was the waves that were amazing?” Tucker gave Jackson a wink, before laughing. “Don’t answer, I won’t believe you anyway. I gotta run …,” He gave Jackson a look. “You sure we’re okay with the whole Genna thing, really was a bad move on my part.”
Jackson waved him off. “No worries, you did me a favor. Don’t give it a second thought.”







Chapter 7


Jackson looked at his note, written in fancy calligraphy, and double checked the directions. He had followed every step that Emberlyn had laid out in her handwritten note, delivered by a special courier. It was the first time he had had to sign for correspondence of any kind. Now that he was at the desired location, a dirt road that dead-ended into a large, thick patch of woods, he wondered if he was being punked.
Emberlyn strolled out of the woods, wearing a flowing dark violet dress with white little polka-dots and black flats, her signature white gardenia flower in her hair. She looked ready to stroll through the botanical gardens, not the rugged wilderness.
“You made it,” she said with a smile.
“I did,” said Jackson returning her smile, “although I’m not sure where it is. I never knew this forest was here.”
“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 you’re 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.”