Well, today is the day! The one day a year we all come together and celebrate our Independence! Yes, that’s right it is the FOURTH OF JULY! Where no matter where you are in this country, no matter how illegal it is you are going to shoot off fireworks! The day no matter what race, religion, sexual preference we all come together to blow shit up!

However, I always think of the song “INDEPENDENCE DAY” BY MARTINA MCBRIDE!

It is a country song, yet the words, the words are powerful! It tells the story of a woman that was beaten and battered for years that finally won her Independence by setting the house on fire with her husband in it! She may have gone to jail for her actions yet she did it with a smile on her face and protected her daughter in the process. She won her freedom that day the only way she knew how! This song simultaneously makes me makes me cry and gives me a sense of peace!

This song came out in 1993! It came to me at a time in my life where I thought I would never find my Independence! I was 16 and with nowhere to go living under a tyrannical abusive parent that I was sure would kill me before I was 18 and able to leave home. This song gave me hope for a future I had yet to see! A future I hoped and prayed would come sooner rather than later! Independence means something far greater to me than The fourth of July!

At eighteen I left and never looked back! I even said I would never come back no one believed me! Everyone in the small town I am from thought, that I would come running back in a few weeks or months with my tail tucked between my legs a miserable failure!

I never did! Yes, I stumbled along the way and I have been through a lot of educational experiences! Yet, what I found was breathtaking… I found me. I found the strength to carry on and  celebrate my own Independence Day… every day!

Every day that I don’t compromise who and what I am for someone else’s gain, every day that I don’t give in to others despite my reservations, every day that I love and cherish my kids, every day that I don’t raise my hands in anger, every day that I don’t make someone else feel like nothing for my gain that is my Independence day!

I feel for those still struggling and I hope and pray they find their way to their own Independence day minus the fire of course! Yes, we are celebrating out countries Independence from the British today but if you have found your own personal Independence you know as well as I do that it is a daily celebration! To be able to be free to be who you are with no persecution and criticism! To  live life happy that is the dream and that is my Independence Day!

What’s yours?


Do you remember your first steps, your first words, your first day of school?

How about your first love, that first moment, that first kiss?

I have been having a lot of dreams lately where I meet someone and I am as giddy as a school girl. The anticipation, the exhilaration you feel not being able to breathe until you see them again. Then comes the sheer heart-stopping breath-catching moment of that first kiss. Maybe I miss it.

I have been with my husband for almost two decades and he is the love of my life, and yet it saddens me that we will never have any firsts again! He asked me just the other day if I remember our first kiss and I lied and said no. I don’t know why I just did.

You know I was watching HITCH a few days ago and WILL SMITH’S character said a woman knows everything she needs to know about you in that first kiss. I believe it to be true. I have had many first kisses in my day but that last one, it took the cake! I knew from the moment our lips touched it was meant to be. The way our mouths fit perfectly together like two puzzle pieces that found each other after years of separation. A lifetime of kisses never prepared me for the heat that radiated through my body. The electrical current that zipped up my spine. The pure ecstasy in our first kiss. How the hell could I forget that kiss?

We ravaged each other following that first kiss like wild animals and I have never looked back. We have been together for a very long time and yet lately the sadness has set in that I may never feel the excitement of that first kiss again. Don’t get me wrong every kiss with him is special and I am always comforted by the fact that we still fit as if we were meant to be. Yet, the burning heat that used to course through me no longer exist. I have been so comfortable for so long in the security of my relationship that it took me this long to realize all the firsts I would miss. I guess that’s a good thing since I have been with my husband almost twenty years.

Honestly, I am glad of where I am in my relationship considering that my parents are serial divorces. Yet, I wonder if we will ever have any firsts again. I guess I will always have the memory of the way I felt, my blood pressure rising at the anticipation, the sweaty palms, and then the electricity of that first lighting bolt of that first kiss.

Do you remember your first kiss?



The words dripped like acid from her tongue. She had had enough of his drunken violence. Her left eye still swollen shut from his last drunken stupor, she only saw red out of her one good eye. She had been beaten and raped for most of her young life and yesterday when he had come home from a week-long bender leaving her to fend for herself almost starving to death in the process she snapped. It wasn’t good as he too snapped and almost beat her to death, for back talking. This man, this monster wasn’t her real dad. He was just the guy her mom happened to be dating when she mysteriously disappeared and left Savannah two years ago in the hands of this man.

He was so violent Savannah knew he must have killed her and disposed of the body somehow. Her mother loved her. She would never abandon Savannah unless something was wrong. She had tried to escape many times to find out what had happened to her mother and yet Rick had made that impossible as he had barred all the windows and doors years ago. The only way in or out of this house was with a key that he used to lock her in when he went out. The key now gleaming like a beacon around his neck.

Today she was 16, alone and scared she knew her escape was now or never. She didn’t want to kill him, she didn’t want his vile blood on her hands. She didn’t want to add to the memories already tarnishing her soul, and yet, she would if she had to. Even after all he had done to her over the years she still did not wish him dead, No matter how many times she had dreamed about just that. This was it she would get that key and leave one way or another today. She could almost taste her freedom a few feet away just on the other side of the front door.

“You stupid little bitch! Do you think I would make it that easy for you?  You wouldn’t dare use that gun on me!” Rick exclaimed. Savannah almost giggled at the dark red shade his face was turning. She had never seen him this angry before and if it weren’t for the fact that he was having trouble even standing as he was still drunk from the night before, she would be afraid of him. But not today, today she would escape his filthy clutches and finally have her freedom. Today she was not afraid of the poor excuse of a man standing in front of permeating the stench of stale liquor. Today she would be free of this monster even of it killed her to do so. One way or another today, she would finally win.

The gun in her hand was steady and the look she gave him was one of pure focus. He must of, sensed her determination because he began to stumble toward her with a look of pure hate on his face. Savannah didn’t budge as he loomed in front of her. The hammer being cocked on the gun broke the silence of the room. Causing Rick to pause in his pursuit of her. He stopped so suddenly that he actually tripped over his own feet and before Savannah could shout out a warning he went flying backward into the glass coffee table shattering it in the process.

As if in slow motion she watched in awe unable to turn away at the hideous sight. She cringed at the sound of his bones breaking as he went through the table and the audible pop of his neck as it snapped and broke. She knew he was dead before he hit the floor. Savannah waited for a heartbeat in the silence of the room before she raced over to snatch the key from around Rick’s neck. He was face up and she just knew that his cold lifeless eyes would haunt her forever. “Huh!” she thought. “Karma’s a bitch and so am I!” She tucked away the gun in the back of her jeans. Snatched the key and ran like the wind.

The bolt unlocking the front door as she turned the key was music to her ears. Tears welled up as she opened it wide and stepped out into the sunlight. She stood there for what felt like ages with the sun shining down on her and the gentle summer breeze wafting through her hair. She opened her eyes and stepped off the porch and onto the sidewalk. It took her two seconds to decide left or right down the street and out of the neighborhood. Choosing left she began running and the tears that had previously threatened to fall poured out of her. The faster she ran the more she cried. The tears were happy tears, she was finally free of her past and now ran toward her future carrying his pistol in her back pocket and clutching her favorite teddy bear as she went.


Some of my worst nightmares took place in a house. A house I have never seen before and yet it was familiar to me.

The house was huge and spacious. Nothing like I could ever have lived in, in my entire life. I have had many a dream inside this house. I can honestly say I have never been there and yet, this house is the star of many a dream. Most of which are horrible, terrifying dreams. Now, I am assuming the experts would say something like this house represents a childhood home or that I see this house as myself. Even google say it can be a representation of a childhood home or it can be something I have never seen before. One thing I have found in my research of “house” dreams was from the HUFFINGTON POST says “It could show you that you could be bigger. If you find more and more rooms in a big house, you may need to be more conscious of pieces of yourself not yet discovered.” I actually like this last interpretation as a writer I struggle to know if I have uncovered the last of myself or is there still more layers to come.

However, these dreams are always filled with a sort of terror that I would never even see in a movie. There is always so much going on that until recently I didn’t realize that I was in the exact same house over the course of several years. The dream always starts out great I am in my new home that I had just purchased and am elated that it is all mine. From the outside, the dream is never anything special but on the inside it is immaculate. With more rooms than I can count it feels as if it is fit for a Queen with hidden corridors and endless space. The plush carpeting that covers certain rooms all a different color to match the walls the antique wooden sconces on the walls. The marble flooring in the kitchen and entryways. The staircase that leads up to forever it seems and it is all dark cherry wood appearing as if from a time forgotten. The very first time I dreamed of this house the dream didn’t last very long it was a beautiful bright warm sunny day as it usually is when I dream of this home and as I was exploring my new dream home I discovered a secret room under the stairs.Since there were no doors to this room I was curious as to how someone would get into the room. I was on the ground floor and the steps were in need of repairs

The very first time I dreamed of this house the dream was very short lived.  It was a beautiful bright warm sunny day as it usually is when I dream of this home and as I was exploring my new dream house I discovered a secret room under the stairs.Since there were no doors to this room I was curious as to how someone would get into the room. I was on the ground floor and the steps were in need of repairs. There were huge gaps in between them big enough that you could peer into and see what lay beyond the stairs,  a scene straight out of any good horror movie. Cobwebs, covered the spaces and as I went to clean them I began to hear a low growling. Now these stairs were diferent  as there were walls built around them and there was a small landing on each floor signalling the next level of the home. Very small space, there were stairs and walls and nothing more.

So when the growling started I ran up the landing onto the next level into a tiny space. Once there I could here scratching in the walls as if whatever was growling under the stairs had actually followed me through the walls. It was trying to get out and I as usual was home alone and there was no one to help me. I climb back down and head for the door just as a skeltal hand reaches in between the rickety steps and tries to grab me. I trip and fall and twist my ankle so I can’t get away when a face appears in between the crooked steps. A sliver of terror races up my spine as it reaches out once more to try and snatch me.. I scream but nothing comes out I see the red demonic eyes of what can only be some sort of other worldly creature watching me, getting more pissed by the second that I am just out of his reach. He reaches through the steps with a swiftness I have never seen before and he smells of sulfer and death the bile rises to my throat as his stench singes my senses and I can even taste his fowlness on my tongue. He reaches out with a clawed green leathery hand and swipes at my face just as the tip of his middle claw grazes my nose I awaken on a peiercing scream that rouses my husband ou of his deep sleep.

As the bedroom light is switched on I am out of breath, my heart is racing, and I can’t stop shaking. The terror of my dream still riding me as if it had really happened. I was actaully able to speak of this happy dream turned nightmare the next day. I was still scared and somehow it took me a while to sleep well after this dream. It wasn’t the house or even the demon that tried to snatch me that terrified me. It was the pure terror and paralizing evilness I felt. It was like the longer the dream lasted the longer the more of my soul was getting pulverized by an unknown evil I have yet to face. That is what made this dream so terrifying, and it would not be the last dream where I felt the soul sucking devil in my dreams.

Always in this house too. Maybe there is something to the dreams or maybe I am the house and the terror I feel is just me being scared I will one day wind up as evil as my mother. Stay tuned to the other dreams I have in this home. Cause we are jsut getting started.


The first thing I did of the many, many idiotic things I did over the course of the next several months to try to forget about the fact that I had just given my child up for adoption. Was joining the Air force.

I only partially blame the recruiter as I never should have joined being so jacked up after the stuff I had recently been through. It was only of those instances that I thought if I ran far enough and fast enough I could possibly outrun my past. I ran so far and so fast I wound up running straight into the Air force and joined up. It was amazingly awful. The recruiter made it sound like it was the answer to my prayers, like a vacation in paradise. Now I knew even then I wasn’t that gullible to think there wouldn’t be some work involved. After all, it is the military for crying out loud. However, I was not mentally prepared for the psychological warfare.

The irony of it all is, that I was told early on that they break you down and then build you up into a fighting machine, and yet, I was already broken down. What then? There is nowhere to go but down even further!  I joined the Air Force to fight the good fight and win the war and yet I was not ready for the war they would play with your psyche! As my mind was already on the cusp of shattering there was no way it could handle everything boot camp threw at me.

It was dark and raining the night I landed at the Airport (first airplane ride ever) There was a group of us that were met by personnel that would shove as many of us as they could into a bus and get us to the base. Once there I stepped off the bus and into the driving rain. It was as if we were in some kind of movie and they were sneaking us onto the base in the dead of night. (I know I’ve seen this movie before it does not end well for the peons.) I stepped off the bus and a chill washed over me as we were immediately yelled at to get in line. I instantly regretted my choice to join. We were told that this was no camp. This was the US Air Force and between the darkness and the screaming the second I stepped off that bus I knew the next six weeks were going to be very scary.

Here we were a bus full of hopefuls all trying to better our situations. All being told the same lies about how great it was, how we would have so much opportunities. I’m sure if you make it out of basic there are great opportunities. If you make it out of the land mine that is basic training, alive! Or at least not be traumatized, however the moment I stepped off that bus in the rain around midnight the bitter cold seeping into my bones I knew that shipped had sailed. It was terrifying for someone that hadn’t really dealt with their issues. It will bring all that trauma to the surface and you will be nothing but a puddle of weeping sadness, and the military is no place to show weakness.They will play on it and break you.



It was tradition for children in the village to be born at dawn. That is why everyone found it surprising when I was born under the cover of darkness,  the witching hour they had called it. The stars were out and the moon was full when my delicate cries broke the silence of the night. Magical, my mother had called it and yet, with my eagerness to enter the world I became a target for ridicule and scorn. By my seventh birthday, my mother and I were banned from our tiny village with nothing to defend ourselves but the clothes on our backs and each other to lean on. My father having been killed five whole months before I was born fighting with bravery for land and food was not there when the thieves, and rapists, and witches and finally the demons came to steal away the lonely widow and her cursed daughter. Yet we were a fortress in our cabin in the woods we were impenetrable and had killed every last one of them. Maybe, I am cursed as everyone wants to corrupt me in their own sick way.

It was on my 16th birthday that the demons came and as I became enraged at the audacity of these nightmarish creatures a faint glow began to shine around the edges of my being. For the first time, I felt as if I were invincible, I was suddenly stronger, swifter, and my strength was overwhelming. I was able to rip that first demon’s head right off his acid producing body. The next one I just looked at and he exploded into a million pieces flinging his black oil like blood into the treetops. The third one died such a horrible death even I was scared of my own power. I just stepped right up to him and before I knew it I was a ghostly form passing through him shredding him from the inside out. I was in his body one moment, and the next I was pulling the remaining intestines off of me that hadn’t come off when he literally split down the middle and I stepped out of him. The rest of the hoard of demons were so scared they took off like lightening. I smiled a big smile as I stared up at the full moon on that dark night. Again, I thought of what the villagers had thought of on the night of my birth. “Ah! The witching hour.”

For the next few years my mother the one person that never abandoned me, the one person that loved me unconditionally, the one person that sacrificed her entire world for me helped train me to control the power now coursing through my veins. She never treated me as any different, a freak, or strange. Even though at this point we both knew I was so, not normal. She was my heart, my soul, my everything. Her heart gave out when I was twenty-five and no amount of power I had would bring her back. Believe me, I tried. Upon her deathbed, she revealed that she and I were not of this world. This world of humans, and that my father was not killed in a combat for land, he had been killed trying to protect me and my mother from her kind. The kind that killed without remorse, they rape without conscious, they cut you just to watch you bleed out on the ground like a dog. I come from a world, where there is no compassion only wars and hellish creatures. My mother, having been the product of said creatures stealing and raping a human, vowed she would never go back once she had escaped, met my father (the kindest human she had ever known) and found out she was having me.

She had somehow survived long enough to bring me into the world and raise me as a human. When I clearly wasn’t. I was angry with my mother at first at the betrayal I felt for waiting until she died to tell me. I became so angry I lashed out at the village that had made us leave so long ago, the disgraced duo. I terrorized them relentlessly. I seeped into their dreams at night and laughed a hair-raising laugh when they woke up screaming from the nightmare I had turned it into. I loved the fear, I craved it, I would breathe it in and roll around in it. Then, again, during the “witching hour” perched on the rooftop of a young girl pale and blonde, watching as the nightmare began to take hold of her. Savoring in the beads of sweat that popped up on her head and the sheets she began to twist and pull.   My mother appeared to me, a ghost in the midst of my torture. She scolded me for treating the girl in such a way and the tone of her voice had me bowing my head in shame. I released the girl and scurried down the roof heading for the woods and my home. I leapt from rooftop to rooftop looking back terrified that my ghostly mother was still following me. The hollowness of her eyes and her long dark hair waving slightly in the breeze was enough to give me a heart attack.

She came to me and told me a war is coming. The gates from our world would be broken and there would actually be a hell on earth. These humans would need protecting and it was my job to do it. I grieve for her every day but after that night, the grief lessened and I began to prepare for the war that would end all worlds. The rest of my childish ways fell away as I fully embraced adulthood and found my purpose in this world.

Now, here I stand overlooking that very same village ten years later watching as the very same humans that banned me so long ago now seemed to be comforted by the fact that I stand on my hill and watch them. I stand there long after the sun has set and the lights come in each and every house. I can feel the full moon on my back, the stars gathered above my head, and I can even smell the ‘witching hour” is upon me.

I stand there with my raven hair cascading down in waves as the warm breeze tries to carry it off. My strips of black leather, that cover just enough, yet, not enough. My black spiked boots (they gotta be spiked, better to stab someone with) and my red ruby lips, waiting, watching. My alabaster skin begins to glow that familiar fairy blue along with my eyes that glow the very same color when I can feel someone from my world, close by. I look down into the valley as the clock tower begins to signal that it is indeed midnight. The flood of creatures only hell can imagine race across the valley like gravel toward the village. I unsheathe both machetes from my back and smile my evil grin. “Time to play!” I think to myself. As I realize everything good that happens, happens at the “WITCHING HOUR”.





Mystic Red wasn’t the kind of town people actually stayed in. It was the town everyone vied to get out of once they graduated. It was the town that offered nothing and had nothing. That is why I am just as shocked as you are that I wound up here.  At twenty-five being the youngest in my precinct to make detective. I had been assigned a missing person case (my first case) that led me here. Where all hopes and dreams come to die. While I pushed and broke rules, even crossed state lines to find the young girl that had been abducted from her very own home. I wasn’t paying attention when my partner was killed while questioning some of the town’s people after accidentally stumbling upon a drug smuggling operation. Guilt-ridden and full of anger I took down this operation all by myself. The men responsible for Glen’s death are now serving a life sentence and yet I’m still here.

My precinct didn’t look too kindly on me getting involved with something in another jurisdiction and so I was put on probation, permanently! However, the local town’s people decided I was a hero and swiftly offered me the job of chief of police, and now it is ten years later. I still haven’t found the girl. The whole reason I came here and had my life turned upside down in the first place. I became obsessed with finding her, her vibrant emerald eyes still haunt me in the faded photograph that hangs on my wall. I am a disgraced cop with nothing to show for my years of service but a faded picture and a silent partner. Why not leave you, ask? Well, it’s simple I will not rest until I find out what happened to sweet Isabella. Yes, the likelihood that I will ever find her or her body is next to none as her trail ran cold shortly after I arrived in Mystic Red but she has become my reason to get up in the morning. The reason I put on my uniform and drive the three miles to town every day. My reason to live.

Upon my arrival in this town, I felt a sense of purpose, belonging even as if the town had been waiting for me all along.  Shrouded in mountains and trees bigger than my house I was intrigued by its beauty. Coming from “the big city” this was totally different territory for me. Even though only tragedy has befallen me since my arrival I still fell in love with this sleepy little town. I love my log cabin in the woods. My nearest neighbor miles away. It is so quiet I can actually hear myself think. Yet, I am surrounded by the demons of my past it is a double edged sword, this town. When I arrived it was as if I was suddenly under a spell. The spell of a town too mysterious to let me go. I watch the fog roll off the river every morning the reason the town got its name. The only place that I know of that has a red fog. It first appears suddenly over the lake then slowly makes its way inland as it pours over the town a thick ruby jeweled fog. It washes over the land and hovers off the ground like a bloodied blanket before finally dissipating into the atmosphere. No one can explain this nontoxic phenomena and yet,  I no one believes it until they actually see it with their own two eyes. Some say it is the blood of all the soldiers that died in battle long ago, some say it is a reminder of the ancient Indian’s that once lived here peacefully before the white man came and wiped them out. All I know is it is beautiful and mystical, hence the town name Mystic Red.

There hasn’t been a crime here, ever! Other than the drug ring that I busted there has never been a reported crime on record. I mean there is the occasional dispute between neighbor’s and their fence lines, or the occasional dog terrorizing the town, and let’s not forget the town drunk Amos, that is drunk and disorderly all the time. He even has his own cell at the jail to sleep it off in, but a true crime, never. A town of only 500 people I sometimes wonder why we have police at all, and yet, I am grateful for the paycheck. The house is free from the town, the set up I have is pretty sweet. Somedays I go all day without actually getting up from my chair at the office, except to pee, of course. However, my life is dull. At thirty -five I have never been married never had kids and at this point in my life, I see none of that in my future.I mean I am the only man in town under sixty and the women Yikes! Yes, there is a few my age some younger, however, none of them appeal to me. The only woman in town that was slightly attractive to me was Sara.She was sweet enough but I ruined that relationship with my constant obsession with a certain green-eyed girl. She now lives in Shreveport with Hank her high school boyfriend, they married just after our split nine years ago and now have three of the most annoying but cute kids I have ever seen.The rest of the women here well if you like buck teeth and uncombed hair, dirty tank tops with no bra, and too much make-up and not enough poise, then there are lots of options.  Here lately, I have been getting complacent in my everyday mundane life. What I wouldn’t give for a real-life homicide or at least a grand theft situation. The only bright spot in my day is my morning routine. I get up, jack off to my favorite porn, shower, brush my teeth, get dressed and head to work.

Some say I have become that man. The hard man, that is handsome with an unapproachable edge. The son of a bitch that is dark and brooding. “If only he could find a good woman”, I hear them whisper behind my back. Some say I have become so obsessed with that green-eyed girl that I have somehow fallen in love with her and no one else is good enough to tame this grouchy bear. I do look at her and wonder. What if? Did I become obsessed because I had somehow fallen for the girl in the photo with her haunting eyes? Or did my obsession grow into something else entirely? I look at her now and I can almost hear her whispering “why haven’t you found me yet?” I used to dream of her nightly. I would find her body in a different state of death. Each and every time she seemed to pierce me with her cold lifeless eyes judging me for not finding her sooner. I would wake soaked in sweat gulping in lungfuls of air. Trying to breathe through the guilt that rode me. After finally forcing myself to go to therapy in the next county so as not to let anyone here know just how insane I had become. The dreams stopped. After ten years I am finally in a good place mentally and emotionally. My obsession now at a dull throb instead of a lancing pain. Some would say I have given up the search, but I know in my heart of hearts that will never happen.

Today, however, today would be the day my life changed forever.  It would be the day this sleepy little town began to wake up and realize the horror that awaits it.  I arrived at work without incident of course, because nothing ever happens here! I say hi to Shelly my assistant and grab my coffee and donuts she always has waiting for me on my desk. Something tells me to go outside and for some reason sitting at my desk all day didn’t hold the same appeal it once had. “Shelly I am going outside to for a while call me if you need me”, I say as I walk out the door shoveling one of the sweet pastries in my mouth as I go. I climb back in my jeep and head toward the edge of town. The town line is my favorite spot it overlooks the lake that wraps itself almost all the way around the small community, and the mountains rise high in the back ground it is as if I am at the end of the world. This is the most peaceful spot in the area and for some unknown reason the place that takes the red fog longest to clear. It is beautiful in its magic and I am loathed to leave this place.

I quietly contemplate the rest of my day as I polish off the last doughnut and sip my now cooling coffee. When the fog begins to lift and I almost drop my coffee at the sight of what is on the other side. I slowly get out of the jeep hand automatically going to the but of my gun in the holster. It is nice to know you can take the cop out of the city but you can’t take the cop out of the man. “Excuse me miss are you okay?” I say as I continue to walk cautiously toward the young girl ahead of me in, the road. The gravel crunched underneath her bare dirt-encrusted feet. Which I suspect was once mud now dried, causing her feet to be encased in a block of filth. The contact with the loose gravel sounds like bones being ground into dust. The night gown she wore was faded and torn At a new length you could see the ruffle that once edged the bottom was now missing. Almost shredded in places, it too was splattered in a hard dirt. Her hair was something straight out of a horror movie with its dark tendrils falling in disarray covering her face and filthy. She had twigs and leaves in it as if she had been attacked by a tree. She walked along like a Zombie slow and shuffling with no apparent purpose in mind. Rail thin she looked as if she hadn’t eaten in a year. Her right breast exposed to the elements. I could see her bones through the skin that was not covered in dirt. I paused for a moment not knowing what to do, yet something was oddly familiar here. I didn’t know if it was the way she carried herself or if it was just the same feeling I felt all those years ago, the knight in shining armor raising his head, but hI felt as if I knew her. If that was possible, I hadn’t even seen her face and yet, the feeling of recognition overwhelmed him.I stumbled toward her like a blind man, as she came closer and closer still.

She began to sway and I caught her in my arms just as she began to fall. She fell into my arms as if she belonged there and I could now hear that her breathing was labored. I could feel her wheezing through the paper thin gown.A painful shock went through me as she reached out a skeletal finger to caress my face. I moved her hair away from her face and her eyes shot open, exhilaration coursed through me as I saw those familiar emerald eyes gazing back at me. “Isabella”, I whispered. “How? What? Where did you come from? I have been looking for you for ten years”, I rushed out panic setting in. I could see now that her eyes were more of a jade green and blazing with fever. She was hot to the touch and I knew she needed a doctor now. She began to speak just above a whisper, inaudible sounds another language perhaps. I didn’t know. All I knew is that if she didn’t get help, she may very well die right here in my arms.Her whispers became louder until I could finally hear her. “Isabella, can you hear me what happened to you?” I asked again voice almost panicking. “I, I ” she said in an exhausted tone. I rubbed her head and cleared my throat to an encouraging tone  It’s okay, your safe nowI will take care of you” I whispered with more strength than I felt. “I, I came from the mist… she pointed my eyes followed in confusion afraid the mist was still there.I looked back at her but she had passed out. The words seemed to have taken the last out of her.

She came from the mist. What was that supposed to mean?  She must be more delirious than I thought. I buckled her in safely and shut the door and called Shelly as he jumped into the driver’s side and turned the key. The engine roared to life as I did a u-turn in the middle of the road and headed back to town and the hospital. She was still breathing but the heat radiating off of her was worrying me something awful. I barked orders into the phone to Shelly telling her to get a bed ready at the hospital for the missing girl and dropped the call as she began to bombard him with questions. As I hit the road to the hospital I looked over to see that Isabella was awake again and staring at me and scared speechless.

“It’s okay, I’m not going to hurt you I am taking you to the hospital now!” I said in my most soothing tone. Ever the detective I began asking questions again. Terrified she may die before I finally get some answers. “I told you I came from the mist”, she said with such annoyance in her voice I was momentarily speechless. “The, mist?” I said looking at her as if she had in fact, lost her mind. She rolled her eyes and said, “Yes, the red mist. It is a portal to another world. I was kidnapped, ten years ago and taken to this place by the king. I was only able to escape because I fucking killed him!” She said the last with a venom in her tone so strong I was visibly shaken. “I,I am sorry for what happened to you,” I whispered. Not knowing how to proceed as she was clearly insane. “What is your name she,” she whispered still eyeing me cautiously. “I am Nick Sullivan. I have been looking for you for ten long years,” I whispered back. “Well, you didn’t do a very good job,” she said shooting daggers at me. “Besides, it is not your fault. You would have never found me. The red mist swallowed me whole.” she said so matter of factly that Nick got chills. They pulled up to the hospital without a word. I ushered her in and got her situated. I couldn’t believe she had shown up here after ten years. She was here back in the town where her trail had gone cold so long ago. She was getting checked out by a psychiatrist too clearly she had been through something awful and yet, I felt as if she really thought she was telling the truth. I could sense it on my tongue. Maybe she had had some kind of a break with reality. Either way, I  knew the case had just been reopened, and Nick Sullivan detective was back in business. Mystic Red was about to get its very first case.





My friends and I are slowly making our way through the throng of people in one of the many tiny corridors at the house party. With such dim lighting,  it feels as if I have traveled back in time to the days of mascarade balls and corsets, save for the red solo cup in my hand filled with Vodka.

We make our way throughout the house searching each and every room for that room. That room that everyone winds up in. The magical room of what I don’t know, but for the first time in my life I am part of the cool crowd and I am just going with the flow. Somehow we wind up outside almost at a loss as to where in the hell this “room’ is, if it even exists at all.

It is dark and has begun to rain yet the contrasting street lights make it much brighter outside than it was just moments go in the old Victorian with its secret passageways and haunted past. The modern cars lining the street are out of place in front of the home as it sits there shrouded in darkness beckoning me to discover its secrets.

Then out of nowhere, I see a light shining from underneath a hidden door around the side of the house. Must be some sort of eighteenth-century maids service entrance. As I get closer my reality begins to shift and I can faintly make out the lilting sultry sounds of a piano. I gather up what friends I had left that hadn’t gotten lost in the maze of the house and I show them the door. Someone produces a light from their cell phone and we all inspect the door closer. It is just a door. A weathered beaten down door that looks even older than the house if that is possible. Not even painted, the ugly brown wood seems to be warped in places and the only evidence that it has even been used is the single bolt lock on the outside. Now turned to bronze I am assuming from the same weather that has taken the doors youth. Nothing special this door, but the sounds coming from the other side is literally music to my ears.

I touch the door tentatively and it shows me just how old it is because pieces of it begin to disintegrate right before my eyes. What’s left of the door simply opens with one final creek before it hits the wall inside and splinters into a thousand tiny little pieces. I look at my friends and plaster on a bravery I know I don’t feel I step over the threshold and into the darkened room.

As if a thousand candles were lit suddenly there is light, even though it is still dim, dimmer in fact than when we were in the front part of the house I feel a chill wash over me. The room smells of tobacco and gin. Heavily laden with clouds of smoke and a perfume I didn’t know still existed. As I move through the room I know somehow “we are not in Kansas anymore Dorothy” I think to myself. I see thick crimson brocade drapes hanging on the walls from a time forgotten covering the walls. French furniture with rich and vibrant colors all appearing as if they belong in a museum. Leather couches the size of my car.  Crystal decanters filled with Port so fragrant you could almost smell the grapes from which they derived. It was beautiful in all its history.

Yet that is not what had me gaping in mock horror. It was the bodies. The bodies lying, sitting, and standing everywhere. Writhing on top of one another moaning in…exstasy!  There were countless men and women all in what I can only discern was period costume. Groups of them scattered about the room making love with an abandon so wild and free I was almost jealous of their obvious lust. Buxom plus sized women with their breasts hanging out. Nipples engorged from their suitor’s playful slap, fondle and suckle. The men all looked like maitre d’s  with their tux pressed just so, now wrinkled from their vigorous activities. Thier handlebar mustache’s slick with sweat and covered in toxic red rouge. I can smell the tonic they used as an after shave. Mingled in with the other scents in the room. The thrashing and screaming in pure unadulterated lust was almost overwhelming.

Their teeth clinking together like wine glasses as they kiss. Devouring one another mouths with a sickening pop, as they come up for air. I try to wrap my head around the scene playing out before me. I almost feel like a voyeur watching as the merriment continues without a hitch. As if I hadn’t just intruded in this live time capsule. The laughter rises to an unforgiving decibel as I watch. These women from a different time their hair now falling out of their makeshift buns. The tendrils that have escaped now curling in the wet heat of the room. Their rouge-stained lips now smeared, and in most cases, completely gone. Their cheeks now a rosy pink from being taken to the heights of passion. I spot the piano and notice for the first time the man is playing Beethoven’s fifth! Oh wait, is that actually Beethoven himself!

I can feel the passion in the room and I begin to sway to the hypnotic rhythm with a heated desire. I want to join in but I know somewhere in the back of my mind. I don’t belong here. I am too afraid to show my passion. I am not brave like these women. To let it all hang out so to speak and dive into the deep end, and this, this is the deep end. I look around the dark sultry room filled with the smell of sex and power and I know deep down inside if they notice me. I am in trouble. Then as if they read my mind one by one each head turned toward me and my friends. The intruders. A gleam in their eyes as if to say come, sit, join.

The music has stopped and I begin to back away. As if someone switched on a heavenly lightbulb the room is flooded with a blinding white light. I can see the look on their faces. Now contorted and almost, evil. They start to rise and as they reach out to me I can sense they are grasping for my soul. The room now stinks of foulness and stale alcohol. I can feel the drain on my body as I head for the door. I am in the den of iniquity and I know there will be a price to pay. I can feel their malicious intentions. I can feel their acid dripping off of me. A wickedness I have never known before. A bony finger rakes my arm and I scream a silent scream at the pain, that is the moment my alarm chose to cut through the dream and I shot out of bed with a “Thank God it was only a dream!”