Author Archives: SSpjut

‘Betrayed’

The Exodus
(Book 2 The Remnant)

by Keri Westin

Chapter ‘Betrayed’

CLIFTON’S WOLF SLIPPED THROUGH the shadows, its pelt, like the men he followed, designed to allow him to move through the forest unseen. Careful not to walk where his paws might leave tracks, he drew close enough to the intruders that he was able to distinguish their individual scents before moving upwind.

Choosing a trail canopied by enough tree fall and bracken to keep the ground from being covered in snow, his wolf trotted north, keeping the lake on his left until he reached a crag high enough above the lake’s shoreline that he could observe and listen to his prey without being seen.

He didn’t need to confer with either Dakota or Kile to know that the men he followed were part of a mercenary team of assassins Innis’ son used whenever he needed to make his enemies disappear. Clifton also knew Morgan would have never sent them into pack territory without a damn good reason. He would liked to think it was because the Marshall was worried about his mother’s welfare, but knew better. A man like Morgan didn’t send killers into pack territory without first seeking the alpha’s permission, unless  he didn’t want anyone knowing his business.

No, there was only one reason Morgan would have sent his pet assassins into pack territory without permission. To make sure Innis McCray was never seen or heard from again. That Morgan had done so, had sealed his fate as far as Clifton was concerned. No one, not even Cain, was going to lay a hand on what belonged to him. But knowing why they were there, didn’t answer the question of how they even knew where to look.

The Pacific Northwest pack claimed over fifty thousand square miles of land, half of which consisted of mountains and forest. It would have easier to find a needle in a hay stack, than their cabin.  Unless someone had told them. But even if Morgan had somehow managed to bribe a pack member into revealing the location, no one, not even Cain, knew about Innis becoming infected with the virus. Only those Clifton and those he’d trusted enough to bring along to help with her training and protection.  And none of them, not even Mikka and Kile who she’d tried to kill during her escape, would betray her or Clifton.

So if not his people, then who? Who else knew about Innis becoming infected with the lycanthrope virus?

Rage reverberated deep in his wolf’s throat.

Kim Luo. Captain Jyun’s master gunner.

Fuck.

Because he’d been so goddamn focused on keeping Innis alive, Clifton hadn’t really had time to think of much else.  But now that he did, he remembered two things about that night. First, that Luo, being a shapeshifter, had recognized Innis attack on her for what it was – an emerging female werewolf out to kill anyone she thought a threat to her mate. Second, that she’d been sent to tell Innis that the pirate king had whatever it was Innis had hired him to find.

Clifton knew he should have followed Varloc protocol, and killed the Morphkind bitch. But he’d had more pressing matters to deal with, and let her go instead. Dell had warned him more than once that his tendency to show mercy, would eventually come to bite him in the ass. And now it had.

So now he had the why and the who. That left the little matter of why Luo had been sent to the governor’s mansion in the first place. As Innis personal assistant and her lover, there was very little that happened in her life, both professionally and personally, that Clifton didn’t know about. Learning that she’d gone to Jyun without his knowledge, made him nervous.

The only reason Innis would have kept her meeting something like that from him was if she believed Clifton would try to stop her from doing whatever it was she was planning.

The wolf raised its head. Below, six heavily armed men combed the beach, looking he now knew, for his mate. Further up the lake,  hidden where only another wolf could sense them, were Dakota and Mervin. Originally he’d told Kile to help the other two wolves deal with the intruders and send their dead bodies back to Morgan as a warning. But now that he’d had time to think about it, Clifton decided to have them brought to Wallace Falls instead.

Teaching young werewolves how to manage their beast wasn’t the only thing the pack used this area for. Before the Great War, many of the Varlocs built underground facilities where they could keep their families safe while training their soldiers, undetected by General Thorton and the governments biological anti-terrorist division, BATMD.

Though few of these underground bunkers were still in use, there a few, like the one at Wallace Falls, that were still in operation. Clifton decided it was time he and his people paid the training facility a visit.

Head back his wolf howled. Seconds later the forest echoed with the voices of others.

Careful to keep the Morgan’s men within sight, Clifton jumped to the forest floor and felt his mind explode with pain. His entire body shuddered as psychic waves of agony ripped through the neural pathways in his brain.

Lionel was dead.

Like the shock waves after an earthquake, the senior werewolf’s last moments spread through the collective mind of the pack, drawing each member into the drama of what he experienced as he died.

Limbs braced, Clifton’s own wolf trembled under the shared pain of its pack mates passing. He may have despised Lionel the man, but he was still pack. Still Cain’s second in command. Not only would his death leave a power void in the alpha’s life, but the packs as well.

As soon as the initial reverberation passed, Clifton shook out his coat and took off at a ground covering lope.

Cain couldn’t afford to leave the position his second-in-command vacant and he’d be demanding Clifton’s council on who that replacement should be.

Suddenly the time he’d planned to spend preparing Innis for her introduction into the pack, just got shorter.

What felt like hours later, Innis wolf raised it’s head, a familiar scent of cedar with traces of juniper berries wafted over the glands in its mouth and nose. His auburn pelt blending in with the surrounding forest, Clifton’s wolf stepped out of the shadows to  stand beside her, his shoulder brushing up against hers in a familiar way. Before she knew, she felt a surge of desire clear to the center of her.

Shit.  Innis had vowed never again to allow herself to become vulnerable with this man and here she was panting after him like some school girl.  Seizing control of her wolf, Innis broke the contact before the phenomenon jumping her neither regions had her doing things she knew she hate herself for later. As she did she could swear she felt Clifton’s wolf chuckling in her mind before he too turned headed back into the forest.

This time she needed no compulsion to follow. Having come to the conclusion that until she’d learned everything she’d need to return to Seattle safely, she would put on the big girl panties and behave and do as she was told. There would be plenty of time for rebellion later – once the wolf was hidden so deep, not even she would find it.

Expecting to return to the cabin using the same path as the one that brought them to the lake earlier, Innis found herself being led north into higher elevations, across rock slides where tracks were easily hidden in loose shale and dead tree fall. With every mile they climbed she could feel the temperature dropping. The wind chill factor bearable only because of her wolf’s thick, heavy pelt.

They traveled all through that afternoon and into the night, stopping only long enough to drink from well hidden streams he allowed Innis a few minutes of rest. Dawn had not yet made an appearance, when her nose told her they were close to the cabin.  Getting ready to step from the forest into the clearing surround it, she felt Clifton’s thought brush against her own.

Stay here while I get you something to wear.

Too tired to do more than draw back her lips with only a token of her earlier protests, Innis moved back into the protection of the trees. From there she had an unobstructed view of Clifton crossing the yard. His transition from wolf to man done with the the same flash of power and light she remembered accompanying her own change.  Then he was across the porch and disappearing inside the cabin with only the snick of the back door closing to indicate where he’d gone.

After nearly a full day in her wolf’s form, following Clifton’s over what felt like half the state of Washington, Innis was beginning to realize that there was a lot more to being a werewolf than simply changing into one.

Right now the pads of her feet were torn and bleeding, her body bruised and sore as a result of the countless times she’d tumbled down hillsides Clifton had crossed with nimble ease. And after the third near drowning in rapids full of life threatening debris, she was beginning to view her rebellious romp through the forest with an entirely new set of eyes.

Even more surprising, instead of punishing her for nearly killing her guards and escaping, Clifton had allowed her to run. It was only when she’d resisted his compulsions, that he’d shown any anger or aggression.

The sound of the cabin’s back door closing had her raising her head in time to see the man who she was beginning to realize was someone she didn’t know, step outside, his lean, muscular body clad in a red and blue flannel shirt, a pair of faded jeans tucked into the tops of military grade mountain boots. Stepping off the porch, a wool blanket hung over his shoulder, he began walking towards her, his movements as powerful in human form as they had been in wolf.

Moments later he was squatting in front of her. “There’s food and a hot bath waiting for you inside. You can either change here,” he said, holding up the blanket, “or up on the porch.”

Until yesterday, Innis had been able to fight off the change. So when it finally did happen, it wasn’t’ because of any conscious effort on her part. One minute she had been trying to escape, the next she was running through the forest on all fours.

Now Clifton was suggesting she change back and she didn’t have a clue how. Not only that, as tired as she was, Innis wasn’t sure she could.

She watched him rock back on his heels, porch light turning his gaze a dark bronze. “I know you’ve never intentionally changed before,” he said, seeming to somehow sense her fear, “but now is as good a time as any to learn.”

Tired, cranky and wanting nothing more than to be left alone, Innis snapped her teeth.

Clifton’s smile looked as tired as she felt. “Be that as it may darlin’, if you want to eat, you’ll have to change.”  Then he was standing, all traces of empathy gone. “Either that, or go in the cage. It’s you’re choice.”

Innis remembered the cage. Cold steel bars. Concrete floor. The rooms only natural light coming through a transom high in the outer wall. She hated cold, damp, dark, places. As a child she’d been terrified of having to go down into the cellar of her families home during tornado season. Even now, whenever anyone mentioned the tunnels beneath Seattle, all she could think of was that little girl huddled in her families cellar, terrified of the spiders, rats and other nastiness hiding in the darkness with her.

Tired beyond caring, her body a maelstrom of hormones,  her thoughts a tangled weave of anger, fear and frustration – Innis took the threat of being caged with all the consideration it deserved and lunged for Clifton’s throat.

If not for the blanket he threw over her head, Clifton might not have been able to block her attack before Innis managed to sink her teeth into his neck. Instead she felt her breath knocked out of her by the forced of being slammed to the ground, her head wrapped in wool as someone bound her feet with ropes that dug into her already sore legs.

Sonofabitch. There was no doubt about it. She was going to enjoying stabbing him in the heart, then laugh as she watched him bleed out

“Hard headed, isn’t she.” Innis recognized the voice. Dakota. One of the men brought in by Clifton to protect her after he’d discovered a plot within members of her own guard to assassinate her. A guard that had been hand picked by her son.

“She is that,” Clifton answered. “How’s Mikka?”

“She’ll recover. I put her in the cage while she heals. No sense her waking up and trying to kill the one responsible for putting her there.”

“Help me get her into the house.”

Innis grunted as she felt herself lifted off the ground, the scent of wild earth and rain filling her nostrils. Two doors and a set of stairs later she was lowered to the ground, the restraints binding her legs removed. Once she managed to shake free of the blanket, she discovered herself inside of a six by six cage, a cedar filled bed in the center. Too tired to do more than huff, Innis lay down, tucked her nose under her tail, and went to sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
*This Blog2Book  post is only a rough draft of the final product, with no guarantees that it, or any other chapters that I share, will appear in part or whole or in the order in which they were written. Nor is there any guarantees they will appear in part or in whole in the final book.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
©The Exodus 2015
(Book 2 The Remnant)
By Keri Westin 
*All rights reserved.
This work is the copyrighted property of Shawn Spjut (aka. Keri Westin), and in no part is it to be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form, without permission from the author. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the authors’ rights.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
This work is the copyrighted property of Shawn Spjut (aka. Keri Westin), and in no part is it to be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form, without permission from the author. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the authors’ rights.
© The Exodus (Book 2 The Remnant) 2015, Keri Westin; Reigning Press 
Advertisements

Reigning Press|September Newsletter Podcast

For those of you who would like to read the entire Newsletter, sign up now and get a FREE copy of

The Gathering, (Book One The Remnant)

Pressing News Podcast July 2015

Writer’s Journal

Leonid_Pasternak_-_The_Passion_of_creationCharacter Arch’s & What Do We Do About Them?
by SSpjut

I recently came across an article by Kyoko M entitled. Things The Dresden Files Taught Me About Writing. Well, being the Jim Butcher/Harry Dresden fan I am, I hopped over and read it. The gist of M’s post has to do with why Butcher’s ‘Dresden’ character is so likable – and I whole heartedly agree. Harry Dresden is your average ‘Joe’ who just happens to be a wizard and has as many hang ups as everyone else. Quite literally, the guy next door.

But here’s where I want to add my two cents worth – its the arch of Butcher’s character development that really does it for me. That and the fact Harry’s down hill slide into the dark arts isn’t because he chooses evil over good, its because he’s determined to do whatever it takes to save those he cares about – even if it means he pays the price. And lets face it, Harry always pays the price. (read more)

Writer’s Journal

Two Things I’ve Learned Writing A Novel

“To learn to succeed, you must first learn to fail.” ― Michael Jordan

Now that I’m almost finished with my second novel, I can admit there are two thing I ‘ve learned during the journey; write the first draft, and nothing is perfect.

Maybe its just me, but these were, and still are, the most challenging aspects of writing – be it novel, story, or otherwise.

Why so hard, you ask? Doesn’t every book have a first draft? – And shouldn’t an author wait until their MS is perfect, before sending it out to an agent/publisher, or self-publishing? more . .  .

NEW RELEASE

The Gathering

(Book 1 The Remnant)

The gathering full jacket promo 11

eBook available @

Amazon   Nook   Kobo  Smashwords  iBooks

                                  Chapter 1  

šThe wisp of flesh and bone hunkered down behind a stack of rancid slop buckets, eyeing the object balanced precariously on the edge of the half-opened manhole.  Twigs licked his lips. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen a cookie. Now he was looking at an unopened, unclaimed bag of them.

Ever so carefully he leaned out, his eyes sweeping the alley to either side, the noise coming from his stomach a reminder of how long it had been since he’d last eaten.  Yet with hunger gnawing at his insides, the boy knew it was suicide to try to grab the cookies before first making sure it wasn’t a trick. Just that morning Spider had reminded everyone to be careful about taking anything left near doorways or alleys.

Twigs chewed on his lower lip. Of course, he’d also been reminded not to get separated, which Twig had done the moment he’d come in here without telling the others where he was going.

The sudden rise of hair along his arms and neck had his heart pounding in his ears.   Something had entered the alley and was hiding near the entrance. Willing himself unseen, the young damphir’s eyes searched for who or what, praying the stench of garbage, raw sewage, and decay would not only mask his presence, but discourage them, it, from coming any further.

Time felt suspended as he continued to search the alley, his stick thin limbs shivering in sunlight that would all too soon be directly overhead, abolishing every shadow and hiding place, including his own. Sounds became more pronounced and images confused as he struggled to remain calm, every survival skill he’d learned competing with the all too real terror of becoming someone’s next meal. Hands he dare not wipe on the leg of his pants for fear of making any kind of noise, gripped the edge of the bucket in front of him, the knuckles white from how tightly he held on.

Then he heard the whisper of Dash’s voice in his head, reminding him the best way to slow a racing heart, how to quiet the fear and be still.

Breathe in. Breathe out. A cloudless sunrise. A bird in flight. The gentle lap of water on a sand filled shoreline. The sound of his family sleeping – their dreams undisturbed.

It wasn’t long before his heart no longer pounded in his head and his breathing, though not fully normal, no longer made him feel dizzy.

When he finally returned to the reality around him, it was to discover whatever had come into the alley was gone. Leaving him once again with the decision whether to snatch the package of cookies and risk being caught in a trap, or leave without them.

A few moments later the sounds of Twigs muffled screams quickly faded away as the pale hand of his captor slid the manhole cover back into place. An hour later and several blocks away, the grate of yet another manhole cover was seen sliding back, followed by the sound of an unopened bag of cookies being pushed out to rest precariously on its rim.

The Exodus
(Book 2 of The Remnant)

Coming 2015
©Copy Right  The Gathering (Book 1 The Remnant) 2014; Keri Westin; All rights reserved.

Mark of Shamash Web Promo 1

Cookies | Hellhounds | Cloaks of Invisibility

Cookies , Hellhounds & Cloaks of InvisibilityBack to the wall, his favorite Spiderman T-shirt tucked into the top of cerulean blue spandex shorts, Felix peaked around the corner separating the dining room from the kitchen, his thick-lashed, still-soft-from-sleep eyes scanning the room for signs of possible discovery.

The mission? To obtain one, no two, better make it three, mouth-watering, stomach-growling, gotta-have-still-warm-from-the-oven, chocolate-chip cookies.

Cookies whose vanilla and semi-sweet-chocolate aroma had less than ten minutes ago slipped beneath his bedroom door and woken him from a dream filled with his favorite cartoon characters. With  his cloak of invisibility in hand, Felix had eased out the door of his bedroom, past the nursery – where mommy was busy with the wrinkle-faced, smells-like-milk, looks-like-a-monkey, crying-pooping-peeing-all-the-time alien life form – and down the stairs.

Up until now, Felix could find no viable reason to keep such a creature in their home. Not with the way it cried at all hours of the day and night, occupied his special place on the couch next to mommy and, even if it wasn’t in the same room, could use its supernatural powers to command every adult within range of its voice to do its bidding.

Yet, taking into consideration this newest development – with mommy occupied with the alien, he, Felix, was free to do, go, say or be whatever he wanted – it might not be a bad idea to allow the creature to stay.  At least for a while longer.

Calling upon his own considerable powers, he shot strands of super-powered-spider-like cords of plasma to the back of the stool closes to his target. Then, with all the stealth of a true super-hero, swung-ran from the doorway to the stool, ducking down between it and the island’s taller-than-he-was wall, covering himself with a cloak of invisibly (like Harry Potter) to hide his presence.

A moment later the hell-hound Dodger stepped into the room, its heat-seeking eyes sweeping the area for any trace of Felix’s scent. Heart racing, body trembling, the boy held his breath. If discovered, there wasn’t the smallest doubt he’d be overpowered, covered in a slime powerful enough to deactivate even the strongest cloak of invisibility, then forced to endure hours of fur-shedding-wet-dog-smell attention.

He pulled the cloak tighter. Unless he was willing to forfeit the mission, discovery was not an option.

Closing his eyes, he sent the hound  an image of the  neighbor’s cat jumping over the fence into their backyard. Moments later, the kitchen erupted as Dodger skittered across the floor, bounced off the laundry room wall, and disappeared through the  plastic covered hole in the back door and out into the yard beyond.

Felix resisted the urge to run to the window to see  how long it would take for the beast to stop looking for a cat that really wasn’t there. But he didn’t. Experience had taught him where one hell-hound was, the other was sure to follow.

True to form, within moments a second beast, this one named Ruby, burst into the kitchen, hard on the heels of the first hound.

Felix waited a few more minutes before easing out from behind the stool, careful not to let the cloak slip from his shoulders. As long as he remained invisible, not even the alien, with all its super-natural powers, would be able to detect his presence.

Hand over hand, he began climbing up the stool, his bare feet searching for just the right purchase, leaf colored eyes fixed on a point several feet above his head. Inch by inch, little by little, he pulled, pushed and squirmed his way up, drawing on all his supernatural strength, fully aware that the window of opportunity given him was closing fast. Alien life-forms and overprotective hell-hound aside, he’d forgotten to go pee before beginning his ascent. If he didn’t capture the cookies soon, he’d either have to abandon the effort or wet his pants.But Superheros didn’t wet their pants or abandon their cookies.

He considered pinching himself  to keep from having an accident . . .  A familiar liquid warmth spread out across the front of his shorts. Felix lower lip trembled as he reminded himself, big boys, especially ones with superhero powers – Do.Not.Cry.

Taking several deep, shuddering breaths, he resumed climbing until at last he was draped over the stool’s seat. A brief rest, then a little more maneuvering  and he was able to get first his knees, then his feet under him – his tummy now level with the island’s shiny, black counter-top.

Trembling, his ‘accident’ all but forgotten, Felix pushed himself as tall as he could go, reached for the plate of cookies  and – found only empty air, the prize still inches from his fingers. Pools of moisture gathered in the corners of his eyes as the futility of the situation began to reveal itself.

But superhero’s – Do.Not.Cry.

They use their super-smart powers to figure out another way.

Felix swiped a hand across his eyes, scrunched up his face, and thought very, very, hard.

He could try willing the plate to himself.

Nothing.

What if he used the same trick on himself, as he had the hell-hound?

Still nothing.

What would Spiderman do?

Grinning, Felix thrust his hand towards the plate, released a web of plasmic rope, then watched as the dark filaments attached to the plate’s rim.  Giving the cord a gentle tug, he watched as it slide to stop right beneath his hand.

A minute later Felix mouth exploded with pleasure as, with one hand fisted around three-medium-size-discs-of-chocolaty-goodness, he used the other to hold the one he’d chosen for immediate consumption.

Mmm . . . just one more thing he’d be adding to the list of what made mommies so special.

By the time he’d licked the last of the evidence from his each of his ten fingertips, he was giving serious thought to the fact he no longer believed three cookies would actually be enough. Taking an additional three more for good measure,  he elbow-pushed himself off the counter, bare toes once again finding the smooth, flat surface of the stool’s seat, and froze.

It had taken both hands to crawl up here.  Hands that were now full of chocolate chip cookies.

Should he put the cookies back?

Not an option.

Drop them on the floor?

Possibly. But if the hell-hound got to them before he did, there wouldn’t be anything left for him.

Shove them in his pockets?

Superhero pants didn’t have pockets.

Twenty minutes later, his soft-little-boy features covered in tell-tale signs of hastily eaten contraband, Felix waited only long enough for his toes to touch the floor, before racing towards the bathroom, chocolate stained fingers and immature sphincter clenched against a re-enactment of the day he’d found his parents stash of Halloween candy.

“Felix!”

If he could just reach the potty . . .

“There you are . . . ”

An hour later, bathed and seated in front of the TV watching his favorite superhero cartoon, Felix refused to acknowledge the alien life-form imprisoned in the car-seat carrier next to him. If not for her, he, Felix, would not have had to go into the nursery and explain the stains on his face and shirt, thus delaying his ability to do business in the toilet, instead of his pants.

As punishment,  mommy had put him in charge of watching it while she, mommy, made more cookies. It seems the story about cookies, hell-hounds, and cloaks of invisibility, hadn’t gone over as well as he’d hoped.  But that was alright, because come tomorrow, he’d use his newest superpower and simply teleport them from the kitchen to his bedroom instead.

After all, being a superhero was hard work, requiring a minimum of at least, one, no two, no better make it three, chocolate chip cookies per day.

By SSpjut, 2014

All Rights Reserved

A Vacant Turn of Events

A Vacant Turn of EventsBy SSpjut

Jumping down from the trains dark interior, I peered through the steady downpour. Even as thorough as I’d been about masking my scent, I knew it wouldn’t take the Guardians long to know I was here. To my right I caught a glimpse of something dark slip beneath the shadows of the loading dock.

Good. I thought. The council had decided to get right to the point and not waste my time.

Tipping my head back, I let the rain cascade over my face, water tickling the hairs on my muzzle, the leather on my nose.  Each drop supplying me with what I would need for the battle. When I was finished, I turned and headed towards the gravel parking lot.

I’d chosen the open rather than the tighter quarters of docks and buildings to let my opponent attack me. Guardians might be faster than werewolves, but our natural ability to know when and where the enemy will strike often gives us the advantage. As a mage wolf, I was counting on it.

On silent pads I trotted across the lot careful to avoid puddles. Water is a powerful conduit and I wasn’t about to give the Guardian any advantage if I could help it. Between the gloom and the heavy rains I was forced to rely upon my sense of smell, hearing, and taste.

The pungent scent of pheromones told me more about the jaguar than the Councils earlier briefing. Approximately my height, next to one hundred fifty pounds, and female, not male. Interesting! They’d sent a breeder rather than a warrior to kill me. Interesting. Males tended to be less calculating and easier to predict. Female assassins on the other hand-made up for their lack of size through stealth and skill.

I’d calculated on the open space and the assassins knowledge of my impairment to draw the attack to the left, giving me the advantage and letting me use her weight and speed to help carry her up and over me.

I should have listened to my earlier intuition. Instead of landing where I wanted her, she twisted in midair,  throwing her body to my right. Then, like a battering ram she used her shoulder to propel me off my feet and onto my blind side, momentarily disorienting me, exposing the vulnerability of my belly to her claws.

But I hadn’t lived this long without learning a few tricks of my own. As she followed me across the gravel, razor-sharp claws extended, jaws wide, I shoved a foot into her open maw and growled ‘avativacn’.

Her eyes widened moments before the implosion.

Once I was back on my feet I shook off bits of rock and animal debris from my coat. Then,  picking up the obsidian remains of the Guardian with my teeth, I headed back to the waiting train.

Leaning over, Arturo pried the relic from between my teeth. “Staying or going governor?”

“Staying. It seems there’s been a recent vacancy in the Guardianship that may need filling.”

When I Ruled the World 

When I Ruled The WorldBy SSpjut

It was called Zelda’s. Third entrance on the left and the only one of its kind to offer true pleasure at a subterranean level.

An underground French bakery with just enough avant-garde to make me feel as though I was never less than the center of the universe and the ruling attraction of eighty-eight hundred square feet of confectionery bliss.

My days were full of catering to the imaginary diets of the wealthy, while my nights were spent indulging their every whim. I became both the confessor of their sin and the purveyor of their desire. I ruled my world like a god. For those who were willing to confess their carnal cravings of the flesh, I was the all-forgiving one. But to those who gave in, I was the monkey on their back, the needle in their veins, the addiction they could not live without.

Or at least I was until Bill showed up.

Bill of the tall and dark.

Bill who’s mouth-watering curves brought back memories of pre-dawn refrigerated trysts, turning even matrons of the staunchest dietary regimes into puddles of carefree ecstasy.

Bill who was a heart attack simply waiting to happen.

When Bill was placed under fluorescent filled lights, a person couldn’t help but find their senses undulated by spice filled bouquets of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and honey; aromas to make even the most resistant palette stand up and yell, “Help me Jesus!”

Bill . . . The epitome  of every dream, the impetus behind every longing. A mixture of dark chocolate, creamy butter, more eggs than should go into a single serving and enough cream cheese and Amaretto to satisfy the most frigid of desires.

Bill . . . The agony of my soul and the downfall of my world.

At least the one I ruled.

The one in which I had once been considered tall and dark. Me, who’s curves were whispered to be the essence of mankind’s wildest dreams. A ruler whose power to weaken even the most resilient of determinations, legendary.

I tried being gracious, sharing my place among the racks and glass enclosed displays with an attitude of evenhanded felicity.  I even went so far as to allow Mrs. Heilech’s dog, Melba, a taste of Bill’s mouth-watering, “Turkish Delight”.

But no! Bill wasn’t satisfied to share my generosity or remain regent to my throne.

He wanted it all. Every square inch of stainless steel, glass, deep-fryer and gas-powered oven.

His greed knew no bounds as he lured customer after customer into his den of iniquity.

Even to this day, had Bill but shown the least amount of remorse, I would have relented and not pulled the plug on his refrigeration unit. But he didn’t. And so the only evidence of Bill and his “Turkish Delight” is a sign saying, “Turkish Delight Cheesecake” $4.99 a slice,  and a 22″ springform pan.

%d bloggers like this: