Excerpt of Dark Moon Rising

dark-moon

From Pixabay

This morning I woke up with a sinus headache. I haven’t had one for a few months so it took me a minute to realize that lying down wasn’t going to make me feel any better.

The best I can do for that type of headache is to sit up and drink something caffeinated. So I am sitting here, sipping coffee, and editing Dark Moon Rising.

Here is little taste of the next story in EJ Hunter’s world.

Dark Moon Rising

Chapter Seventeen

Shelton, Washington
Albert
I woke suddenly, her smell lingering on the covers where she had slept the night before. The slight depression where she slept was still warm. I was still a dog, so I curled up in the depression. I could hear the soft sounds of Mari and Owen talking.

I let the warmth roll over me, then got out of bed. My mission was to find EJ, but I also had a secondary mission. I needed to hear what they were saying. It is hard to explain how a dog brain works. It is mostly smells and needs. But in the back of my head, my clan leader had made a spot where he could listen. I was a spy of sorts.

I slid under Owen’s hand and felt him rub my head and down my back. It felt so good that I wagged my tail back and forth.

“Adam said to come. We need to rescue EJ.” Owen rubbed my back again, more to calm his nerves than to calm mine.

I could smell the stubbornness coming off of Mari in waves. It smelled bitter with a slight touch of the ocean spray. I took another whiff at Mari’s shoes. She was going to the sea.
But Owen’s shoes smelled of desert cactus, dirt, and sage. Neither had the smell of the woman who could change into any wereanimal. I sat down and sighed. It was hard to think in this form. I waited and listened, letting my clan leader hear.

“The werecats have her. He thinks they want to experiment on her and she’ll end up in Loomis’ laboratory.”

There was a mulish tone in Mari’s voice, “Have you listened?” She hissed the question.

“To what I am saying? I had a vision. I need to go to the ocean clans and get allies… to help us.”

“What clans.” Owen snorted. “There are no sea clans. In fact there are barely any land clans except for us and the cats. You are going on a wild goose chase and even worse you are looking for a myth.”

I barked and when Owen gave me that look, I laid flat on the floor, my head hidden in my paws.

“You can go back to your Alpha,” by this time there was venom in Mari’s voice. “You can do what you always do and make fun of my abilities even though you came for ME.” She was shouting.

“Make your decision, but after breakfast I will be on my way. I’ll walk if I have too.”

Owen reached for her and then pulled his hands back to his sides. He clenched them. Mari tidied up the bed, grabbed her clothes, and slammed the bathroom door. We could hear the shower turn on.

Owen sighed. He called Adam again. “I can’t leave her here. Okay.” He listened again, “Okay.” He hung up the phone.

“Well, little buddy,” Owen sounded resigned. “Adam changed his mind. We are to follow Mari on this goose chase.” He picked up his clothes and stuffed them into a bag.
In the back of my mind, I heard my clan leader say, “Interesting.”

Research Center
Rafe Loomis
My boot heels made sharp loud noises as I marched down the hallway to my researchers. There was a method to my madness. When I reached the lab, the doctors would be shaking in their shoes. They were professionals but were prone to fear just like anyone else. I refused to be afraid. I was the one to fear.

I forced my steps to be deliberate, but inside I was dancing. The Queen of Cats had just called me. She had EJ and had demanded all the research we had done on the werecats. I hadn’t told her that the main reason the werecats couldn’t have children was because she couldn’t. As a liger, she was the scariest, most lethal, predator in her neck of the woods. She was sterile.

In my research of werecats I had learned of the queen’s use of mind control. The reason she could keep the clowder together was her ability to crush the opposition with her mind. Then she made them her advisers.

When she was unhappy with her subjects, she controlled their bodies as well. Anyone with a different viewpoint either left or became an unwilling sycophant. He admired this trait.

The werecats who were sent on missions from the clowder like Agent Foster did gain some independence. The agent was now in the tender mercies of his Queen. If he had gained immunity to his Queens influence, then would find himself at the tender mercies of me. I smiled.

So the Queen’s subjects couldn’t reproduce because she couldn’t reproduce. She put a part of herself in them and their entire species were lost. I wasn’t about to tell her.
I laughed out loud. Even the guards who were at my heels hid the shudders. The queen was at my mercy and I wasn’t merciful.

I opened the door to the lab and slammed it behind me, leaving the guards outside the lab door. The doctors jumped. Well, well, the scared doctors were trying to keep something from him. I would let this little rebellion run it’s course. It might help me in the end. Of course I had copies of all their research. I couldn’t have another Felony Flats incident.

“What have you got?” I asked. The doctors turned as one. Yes, the two of them had a secret.

One of them, I think it was Dr. Vandross, finally spoke, “We need more blood. The little bit we have doesn’t give us enough to find out why the blood looks normal.”

I laughed and felt delight when they shuddered. I would find their families soon, and then I would have more power over them.

“You’ll have as much blood as you want in a few days. Do what you can with what you have now. This new one, well, it can transform to more than one animal.”

I did a military turn and walked out the door, stomping down the hallway. I pulled out my tablet and checked the security cameras that watched my pet researchers. Yes, they were talking in the corner away from the microphone. I made a mental note to put another microphone in that corner.

Once we had EJ in a secure room near the lab, I would need better surveillance on both the werewolf and the researchers. It was better to be safe than sorry. I had learned that lesson too well.

Sorting Laundry

You can tell when I have been sick because the laundry piles overcome the closet and slide into the bedroom. I must be feeling better because I noticed that after a night of sweats, I was down to only a few shirts and sweatpants.

So the last three days I braved the 30 degree morning cold and threw a couple of batches of clothes into the apartment washing machines. I do want to give glorious commendations to my phone. I have a timer on it that tells me when the wash and the dryer is done. No, the washer doesn’t call me and tell me that laundry is done as in that one scene in “Two and a half Men,” although it would be a good idea.

I am still coughing and still have some mucous. I’m not as tired as I was two days ago, which means that I am ready to write again after I run a few errands. My fridge is only filled with crackers and soup. I’m also at the last can of dog food. A few months back Foxy had pancreatitis so I have to use a special dog food. Between the two of us, we are the disabled corps of Nevada.

I’ve been watching “True Detectives” first season because my brother recommended it. It has that Louisiana atmosphere of heavy swamps and voodoo feel to it. The music was good. Plus in many ways the way it is put together reminds me of “True Blood.” Unfortunately, my brother said that the other season didn’t drag him in, like the first season. I probably won’t spend the money to see the second. You see, my brother and I have similar tastes when it comes to the visual media. It might be because of mutual childhood experiences. Or not.

Since we are a little over ten years apart we are also in different generations. I remember the moon landing. He remembers “Doogie Howser.”

My doggy thinks I am not giving her enough attention. She is trying to jump into my lap. She scratches my leg as I try to write this rambling. So the rent needs to be paid, the clothes washed, the house cleaned, and the blankets that are full of virus and cold germs needs to be taken to a cleaner.

So my writings are mainly of the desert because I spent much of my young life and now older life there. It is different, much different than the swamps of Louisiana and the South. It still has its dangers that are real.

We can go insane here in the clear bright of the burning sun.

Paris, terror attacks, and knitting

Last night, I was getting ready to do a little Facebook time when I caught the beginnings of the Paris terror attacks. It was reminiscent of our 9/11 attacks. In this new terror attack, young men without masks went to several venues, killed people, and then suicided. The attack was claimed by ISIS.

I hope this time we will actually support France instead of just giving them lip time. “I stand with Charlie Hepdo” is all nice, but this time action is required. I heard the French President’s call to action, I hope it is heard.

So far we haven’t had a major attack of this nature, designed to crush a nation’s spirit, since 9/11. But then, we may yet. We have been adding a lot of immigrants to our nation who won’t assimilate. Go back. Look at history. What happened to Rome? What happened to other nations who were overrun by masses of people.

France has closed its borders. One of the gunmen was a “supposed” refugee that came to Greece and then France. How many sleeper cells do we have in our own nation?

It may sound like a cold war novel in the making. I do remember the underlying fear in the entire nation that the Soviet Union would “push the button,” the fear that we would have a nuclear war that would kill entire swathes of population in both countries.

When the wall came down and when the Soviet Union broke into pieces that fear dissipated. Our children and grandchildren have never felt this fear.

So I am feeling the beginnings of this fear. My stress relief is knitting. Foxy, my little dog, can tell that it is for her because I am holding it against her and hoping I didn’t knit it too small. I should be writing. I really should. The unrest I feel in the bottoms of my feet is disrupting my thoughts.

Therefore I knit and hope that “Rome” doesn’t burn.

Let your hair down

This morning, I put on a pot of navy beans to cook all day. When the beans start to get a little soft, then I’ll put in some bacon and onions. I am not sure what else. I might take a look on the internet for recipes. I will eat a bowl or two tonight, then put the rest in the freezer.

I like to have meals in the freezer for those days when I am too intent on writing to remember to make food or even eat. I used to have a schedule. At four to four thirty p.m., I would start dinner. My late hubby would be home after five p.m. It took about five to ten minutes for him to come home.

I would dish up dinner, we would eat, then he would take some time for himself (amateur radio or computer). Last two years he would be so tired that he would nap. It was that schedule that kept me well. Now I have to make my own schedules. It helps that Foxy needs to be fed at certain hours and she will scratch my leg if I forget.

This morning I was thinking of my writings– one of the hardest things I have ever done is allow myself to shine in my writings. I had spent my formative years hiding my true self. When I showed my true colors, I received some severe punishments. I thought I was a bad person. So in reaction to this upbringing, I spent my mid-years (late twenties to forties) tearing masks off myself and others.

I admit that it hasn’t been fun to find the worms at the heart of people. On the other hand, there are a lot of good people out there who do not show their charity in the normal way. These silent people are the engine that run charitable organizations or even their families. In my opinion, families are important for building a civilized society.

Anyone who is willing to raise children to be civilized and productive adults have my admiration. It was hard enough to raise myself and to support my siblings who still need it.

But to be a writer, I have learned bit by bit that I must open my inner world. I can’t close that door and hide it by using shortened symbolism. For one thing, people who read that type of story can feel that something is wrong, but can’t put their finger on it. Another thing, raw emotion is good and well, but doesn’t make for a good story.

Primal screams– I’ve had my share of pain given voice. The screams are so individual that no one else can decipher the meaning.

So I am learning to open myself and to control the primal scream that runs through much of my stories.

Let my hair down. Smile. Show those pretty teeth because here I come.

Burning and falling

Each day is another day without him. I keep touching that wound in my heart because I know from experience that if I keep examining it, then it will heal faster. This is not like a physical wound… where you keep from picking the scab. A spiritual wound is much different.

I have said before that the internet is a boon to introverts and writers. I am both.

I can scream my despair and sometimes my joy to the voice of my imagination and a little voice will speak back to me. It can be very comforting. In my experience there are people who lie to your face and look like they are telling the truth. Most people don’t bother to show that mask on the internet. Yes, there are deliberate lies floating around in the ones and zeros that make up the digital sea. But I have found that the majority of voices out there have found anonymity so they say what they want to say without the social constructs.

I am not saying that it is the greatest of outcomes. I do know that the lies are the ones you are telling yourself. You tell me your truth. I tell you mine.

I discovered yesterday that one of my new friend’s old friends is on the last legs of fighting cancer. I felt sadness for my friend because I am already past that point and am forging into a territory of living without– the smiles, glances, hugs, and love.

I was told once that we have the little deaths – dogs, cats, and other pets– so that we are ready for the ones that knock us on our ass. Its not true. If you love that other person and if they are a part of your daily life, then that death will always knock you on your ass.

So I pick at my wound. The twinges become less. I even have some new interests. I put up that hummingbird feeder and now one of the little ones have come to feed. I take Foxy, the chihuahua friend, for a walk and clean up after her. She sits at my feet and sometimes on my lap.

I am cross-stitching and writing. Plus I watched some folks playing pool and shooting arrows. Not at the same place of course. Although I might want to watch that… a new sport, if you miss a shot, then someone shoots an arrow at you.

Pain and writing don’t go together

First when my hubby was preparing for death, and I was denying it and fighting for his life, he told me that between Social Security and DFAS I would have enough for rent and utilities. I would have to come up with a way to get food and the other things I needed by writing.

Well, I am still in the process of Social Security. DFAS decided to rule against me. I am sure my hubby is spinning in his urn. They will probably be getting scrooged about now. The only group that came through and it is still not enough for my living expenses is Nevada State. May they have a glorious and restful Christmas.

The pain of losing him as my friend and support system has been overwhelming. You see, I have a lowered immune system because I take chemo to keep my disease, Wegener’s Granulomatosis, under control. It is a sneaky disease because it affects the medium to small blood vessels. In my case it affected the blood vessels to my kidneys causing them to fail. I have been living on Stage IV kidney disease for eleven years now. I have done everything right– stayed away from sick people or even normal people who get sick during flu season, keep washing my hands with purell and antibiotic soap, and taking my pills and vitamins. Still I am not in the hospital or hospice with staff cleaning my butt and driving me around. So why am I not working? I have a lowered immune system which means that even a healthy looking person can make me sick.

So this stressful situation with the loss of my mate has made it hard for me to write much on my novels. Yes, I have three in production, but I am stopping about halfway through. There are times when my brain just won’t do anything. It refuses– emotional pain turns into physical pain. I do have a lot of physical pain as well.

Before I got the memo that working was bad for my health, I tried to work two years after my diagnosis. I worked six months as a loan officer in a small office. My clients were over the phone. It took only that long before I started to show kidney failure– confusion, cramping in my legs and arms, vomiting, and overwhelming fatigue. My late-hubby got a job in Carson City, which saved my life. The rheumatologist put me immediately on cytoxan again because I was failing rapidly. He told me that if I worked that I would cut my life short. My grief tells me that I should have done it. But, my hubby was glad that I stayed home. He worried about me.

I am back in the situation with new doctors and having to justify why I can’t work in an office and talk to people on the phone. Besides the emotional pain, my joints hurt, my head hurts, my throat hurts, my ankle hurts and that is only because I have been around too many new people in the last three months.

It interferes with my writing. Interferes big time. Pain stops the creative process. Pain is now my companion.

We last left Cyn in her grieving place

It has been three months less ten days since I last held my hubby’s hand while he died. The first two weeks I was going through the motions of living. If my friends hadn’t introduced me to Foxy at the crucial moment, I would have retreated into myself and then left as well.

The last week as my emotions have started to come back, I have screamed and raged. I have cried for days. The floodgates have opened and I have been washed down into an ocean of tears. They tell me that it is good. I need to cry and grieve so that I don’t hurt this way five years from now.

Did I tell you that I am a fighter? I am tempted to run– run into the desert and scream at the hills. Throw stones. I want to scream until all my emotions are emptied out onto the ground.

In all of this turmoil, I have been ripped out of my home (it was a rental and I couldn’t afford it). I find that without the care of family I would be out on the streets. I can’t rent and I can’t buy… not until I get a few more income streams. I am a veteran and I am ill. I am nothing. I have nothing.

I found an old friend of my hubby’s on the weekend through one of the social media sites. I had been looking for him for weeks. He told me that he knew something was wrong when my hubby, who had been a friend of his since he was a teenager, quit emailing. I felt bad that I couldn’t find him sooner. But he knows now… he was in shock.

The good thing– the thing that makes me remember my now late hubby with joy is that he was a true friend and husband. He tried to take care of me in the end. It has gone well in some considerations and not so well in others. Still it is only three months less ten days since his death.