Flash: Beware the Fingers of Gods

Lightning Dual Stock Photo

Image courtesy of Jennifer Ellison at

Lightening flashed overhead, like the finger of one god reaching out to touch the finger of another. If lightning were fingers of gods, did humans arc between them like static arcs between two human who reached towards each other without quite touching? Were gods forever separated, not quite touching, imprisoned in their starry constellations, like Lester and her?

Why could her parents not see how much they loved each other? Lester was perfect ever since they met online. Skylar was forced to sneak out of the house to meet him. She had envisioned them meeting face-to-face for the first time at sunset, her perfect in her Junior prom gown and Lester in a tuxedo like Jace wore. Kissing, him offering her flowers, and then dining in candlelight at Olson’s Steakhouse private room.

Her dream was far from reality. Wind tried to tear her winter coat from her shivering body. The booming thunder hurt the ears, while the flashing lights rendered her effectively blind against the night’s darkness. Skylar could hear the approaching rain, including popping hail. She dashed for the bus shelter at Second and Oak, where Lester had told her to meet earlier today. She had texted him on a friend’s phone at school, letting him know her parents had grounded her computer time and taken away her phone. She didn’t want to lose him and begged him to wait; her parents always changed their minds, so she didn’t expect the month-long grounding to last a week.

He responded with his own request, one chance to meet her before her parents locked her away in an ivory tower. Lester offered to climb a thorny rose lattice to ascend into the tower her parents were building, if only for a second to gaze upon the beauty he so far had only witnessed through the inadequate photos she furnished. How could a girl resist such poetry?

“Maybe I should ask Lester the question about the fingers of gods when he gets here.” Skylar mused. The bus shelter started to rattle as hail hit. The Plexiglas walls kept the wind shear down; her feet remained freezing as rain driven by wind snuck under the raised plastic. Hail bounced in through the front opening, but the driving wind came from behind so the ice pellets carried no sting.

Her hair lifted from the rear and a voice whispered, “What do you want the fingers of a god to do?”

She jumped, nearly outside the shelter. Behind her was a man she had never seen before. Gray touched his temple, his cheekbones were harshly cut, his eyebrows shaded black eyes. “Lester?” Skylar whispered. Her voice drowned in the winter thunderstorm.

“If that is what you will delight in calling me, I will accept to be called such.” The man twitched his black wool coat like a cape and made a stately bow.

Skylar shook her head in confusion. “No, no. Lester is in school like me. A freshman at the University.”

“I was such once.” The man’s voice soothed, and Skylar found herself relaxing despite her underlying fear. “Time is such an imperfect master. Does one cease to be what one was when one develops into other things, or does that original being still remain within, a part of one’s past, present and future?”

“I…I don’t know.” The man spoke like Lester wrote. In her heart-of-hearts, Skylar was assured this was her forever love. She needed to let him know she understood. The two days past her eighteenth birthday girl reached to the older man.

Clasping her hand with his own, he brought her hand up to touch his cheek like it was the most precious action in his existence. The man who agreed to be called Lester then kissed her palm with reverence. “Yes, for the soul remains as young as it feels.” Skylar’s coat sleeve slipped down, exposing her wrist to his questing lips. “And the soul shall be as old as it thinks.” A flash of lighting caught a hint of teeth before Lester bit down.

(words 675 – first published 11/27/2013; republished in new blog format on 5/8/2016)

Other Cool Blogs: Magical Words April 29, 2016

House Burning

Image acquired from the Internet Hive Mind, in particular “We Know Memes”

Ever heard of a Copula Spider? … yeah, neither had I under I read Melissa Gilbert’s April 29, 2016 post on Magical Words. A copula is a linking verb – with the worse offender being “to be” … or in editing the dreaded “was”.

Read about them in the blog (link below) and then burn them from your writing!

Side note, Melissa Gilbert’s publishes under the name Melissa McArthur.

Book Review: Ghost Story (The Dresden Files #13) and Cold Days (The Dresden Files #14)

Book Cover for Ghost Story

Book Cover from Amazon

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn’t doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin.

But being dead doesn’t stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has nobody, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own.

To save his friends-and his own soul-Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic…
Book Cover for Cold Days

Book Cover from Amazon

Cold Days by Jim Butcher
After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad. Because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard.

He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long. And now, her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter where she wants him to go, and no matter who she wants him to kill.

Guess which Mab wants first?

Of course, it won’t be an ordinary, everyday assassination. Mab wants her newest minion to pull off the impossible: kill an immortal. No problem there, right? And to make matters worse, there exists a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could land Harry in the sort of trouble that will make death look like a holiday.

Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent the annihilation of countless innocents, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own…His soul.


A Quick Aside
So I decide to publish book reviews about a couple recent Harry Dresden books and while looking up the links I discover a Kickstarter campaign for a Dresden Cooperative Card Game. If this is something you might be interested in, please pop on over to the Kickstarter site and see what it is all about. A happy coincidence which I hope brings some great fun to people.



MY REVIEWGhost Story (Book #13)

Life got busy and I stopped reading Harry Dresden for a while, partially because the stories felt repetitive.


“Ghost Story” was amazing to come back to after my hiatus from the series, and I may need to go back and reread some of my Dresden and pick up the novels I have missed. All my favorite characters, but changed because the connecting tissue of Dresden was expunged with his death.

But … wizards are bad at staying dead – Dresden never knew when to shut up and stop interfering and a little thing like no longer breathing is not going to keep a lifetime of habits, including saving the world, from continuing.


MY REVIEWCold Days (Book #14)

Happy Birthday Dresden, welcome back from the Dead, by the way you need to save the world today.

Another Harry Dresden knock-down, drag-out roller coaster ride. Cold Days start in the Winter court and you *might* think you can figure out the good guys form the bad, but attributing good and bad to fairies is never advisable and by the end of the book the reveals totally change the perspective on what, why, and whom does stuff in the fairy portion of the Dresden universe.

This book is a game-changer in the Harry Dresden world, and I am interested to see how the new knowledge about why fairies do the things they do will affect Dresden in his role as Winter Knight – but also in his role as a human being. Because even though good and bad don’t matter to soulless fairies, Dresden has meet angels and demons and his very-human soul is on-the-line while he saves the world in future books.

Flash: Inside Voice

Shopping Cart Stock Photo

Image courtesy of Suat Eman at

Herding cats would be easier, Cheryl thought as she tried to locate Scott while she pulled the grocery cart into the cashier lane. Maybe a leash would help she thought as annoyance got the better of her when she spotted him near the “As Seen On TV” display. She swore she would not be one of those mothers, but between juggling April who had finally outgrown the child seat and the list of errands she needed to get done before meeting with a client tonight — the “ideal mother” was beginning to be overrun by the “practical mother”.

He wasn’t breaking anything. Still, the store clerks already had a couple of messes to clean up from her foray this afternoon. Her line moved. Once the next person started unloading, Cheryl grabbed the moment to quickly retrieve her wayward four-year old.

Scott looked up as she jogged towards him. He shoved the Gentle Genie box back onto the display and tried to look innocent as he stood up. Ignoring the fact the box was now sandwiched between two MagicClean products, Cheryl instructed Scott “Come on, I’m at the checkout.”

Satisfied he was following her, Cheryl returned to the line in time to move forward. She glanced to make certain Scott didn’t get too distracted on the way back and started unloading the cart. Cheryl smiled as he picked up speed. One of his chores was to unload groceries onto the belt; he loved being old enough to help. Cheryl handed him a bag of diapers nearly as big as he was once he arrived.

She tried not to laugh as she watched him maneuver it over his head onto the shelf. While he was busy, she unloaded the glass jars of baby food and the fragile fruits. When he was ready for the next item, she handed her son a plastic jar of peanut butter.

“Yeah! I love peanut butter!” he shouted to the cashier as he put the peanut butter down too firmly. The jar tipped over and rolled a bit as the conveyor belt moved.

“Inside voice,” Cheryl admonished conversationally.

“But Mom!” He said in a stage whisper; his usual volume change after being asked not to shout.

She gave him a Macaroni and Cheese box. “Yes dear.”

“It is a really BIG inside!” He flung his arms wide since words and actions were basically the same for him, and the box escaped his grip.

Cringing slightly, Cheryl watched it sail past the other two people in line before hitting the cement walkway and skidding to a halt at the carpet edge of the woman’s clothing area.

Going to retrieve the bent, but thankfully unbroken box she admitted the boy had a point. The mega department-grocery combination store had a very big inside.

(words 464 – first published 1/30/2013; republished in new blog format 5/1/2016)