Finish The Story Blog Hop – Part 7

Teresa’s challenge details can be found here: Finish the Story # 8, 25 August 2018.

The rules:

  1. Copy the story below as it appears when you receive it (and the rules please)
  2. Add somehow to the story in which ever style and length you choose
  3. Tag only 1 person
  4. If you choose to not participate or finish the story, please comment/tag the original post here so we know.

Iain Kelly tagged me to continue this “story blog hop” and I resisted the temptation to finish it. However, I did not resist the temptation to make it weird.

Here’s the tale thus far:

PART ONE – by Teresa @ The Haunted Wordsmith

After serving thirty-five years in the military, Austin retired to a quiet little town in the middle of the Catskills. He had saved money every month since he enlisted so that he would never have to work another day when he left. His plan worked, but now he found life boring and uneventful. Every morning he walked down to Jennie’s Diner for coffee and a little conversation, then over to the library where he would whittle away the day. Three months of this routine and he was going stir crazy. That was until a strange woman asked if he had ever considered writing a book.

“I never really thought about it,” Austin said, flipping through a magazine.

“I have a story to tell,” the woman said, “and I have a good sense about people. You are the right person to tell my story.”

“Um, I’ve never written before. I wouldn’t even know where to start.”

“Well then, it’s a good thing I do. Meet me here tomorrow and we’ll start.”

She disappeared before he could even answer. He looked around, but she was nowhere. Austin shrugged. He would be at the library the next day anyway, maybe he would be able to ask more about what she wanted…and why him.

The next day, as the grandfather clock rang eleven, the woman tapped Austin on the shoulder.

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Meg: A Story of Deep Terror – Book Review

meg

Cover art for the 1997 novel, “Meg: A Story of Deep Terror” by Steve Alten

A few days ago, I came across something about a movie due in theaters in a few weeks called The Meg starring Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, and Rainn Wilson. It’s based on a 1997 novel written by Steve Alten called Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror. Yes, it’s about a shark, but an extinct species called Megalodon, something about the size of a school bus, but a lot meaner.

I doubt I’ll go see the movie, but curious, I found the first novel (in a series of five) at my local public library.

Not to sound cliché, but it is a real page turner. One of those “I can’t put it down” novels. Our hero is paleontologist Jonas Taylor, a former deep-sea diver and marine biologist who, after a brief encounter with a Meg fifteen years before, and having caused an accident that caused the death of two Naval personnel, has never been able to get into the water again. His ambitious, career-minded wife has written him off as a failure and is having an affair with his millionaire best friend.

In spite of the more “soap opera” aspects of the book, which fortunately are held to a minimum, the story is full of “pulse-pounding action,” and, as far as I can tell not being a shark, ship, or submarine expert, seems to be full of pretty accurate and well-researched material.

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The Accidental Traveler

snow

© Mara Eastern

He’d been surprised by the snow when he woke up this morning. It wasn’t in last night’s weather prediction, but as Marty McFly says every time someone watches “Back to the Future,” “Since when can weathermen predict the weather, let alone the future?” Then he chuckled to himself as he remembered why. Last night he’d fallen asleep on Friday, July 24, 1970. This morning when he woke up, it was Thursday, January 9, 1986.

Phil Morton was just a few days shy of his sixty-fourth birthday when he became unstuck in time and place. Fortunately, he was in good health both physically and mentally, so he was able to endure the shock and stress involved.

The first time it happened, he woke up at home less than a year in the past and for a whole day, he thought there was something wrong with his memory. How could he remember the first seven months of 2018 when it was only July 22, 2017? He had awakened in his own bed. His wife was with him. The grand kids were visiting. Everything was normal except he recalled living almost another full year that for everyone else, hadn’t happened yet.

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The Goddess Rises

persephone

© Severine Pineaux – Found at khabar-news.net

The twelve beautiful nude virgins danced joyously around the only tree in the field that was bearing leaves and blossoms. They had been appearing at the base of the tree for the past thirty days each dawn to dance, and then vanished each evening with the last rays of the sun.

The valley where the tree has always grown was forbidden to everyone in the land during this time, and yet young boys and men were known to slyly hide in the low peaks at the valley’s edge to watch, at first with crude telescopes and more recently with binoculars, gazing with lust at the alluring maidens.

Their only attire were the wreathes of wildflowers they wore in their hair, fresh every morning. They were seen neither to eat nor drink and never paused to rest for even a moment, but constantly maintained their dance as if it were their passion and religion.

“What do you think it means, Hadad?”

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A Brilliant Dawn

sunrise

Sunrise at Stanford University

“I developed the Erebus field primarily for Porphyria suffers so they could have greater mobility during the day but I think it will work for you as well.”

Marishka looked around the lab. Dr. Dawn Soto had been an undergrad at Stanford in 1977 when she was Marishka’s dorm roommate. Now she was the head of the university’s Advanced BioTech Research Department. It was a strange feeling coming “home” after so many years.

Soto had been looking out the window toward the east. The horizon was already becoming lighter and sunrise would be in just a few minutes. Then she turned around. Even with the harness and goggles on, Marishka looked almost the same as the last time Dawn had seen her. She was still twenty years old and Soto was turning sixty-one in March. The scientist dyed her hair, an admitted vanity in an era of post-feminism, but she wasn’t really trying to conceal her age.

Her friend’s skin and hair coloring were lighter, which she explained happens sometimes to African-American people of her…kind. Yet her skin texture was smooth, her voice clear, and in so many other ways, she was a perpetually young woman, though as she described it, only somewhat “alive.”

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The Goddess Stones

pachamama

Depiction of the goddess Pachamama

Everyone thought Rich and Francesia were crazy to spend their honeymoon hiking in a remote part of the Andes in Bolivia, but to them it was a thrilling prospect, that is until they got lost. The travel agent in Cochabamba strongly urged them to hire a guide, but the two had hiked some of the most remote areas of the Earth and felt they were experienced enough to go it alone.

Besides, it was their honeymoon and well…they didn’t want the company.

It was night again. They had rationed their food but it was almost gone. Rich gave the last of his water to Francesia an hour ago.

“We’re going to die up here, aren’t we?”

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The Lion and the Dolphins

Bacchus

Found at Wikipedia.com

“See, I told you he’d come back to this shore, Markos. He’s obviously a wealthy young man, perhaps enjoying some solitude away from the family business.”

“True enough you were right, Tycho. Easy prey. We grab him, then his family pays whatever ransom we ask for his safe return.”

“Not that he’ll be in precisely the same condition as we found him. He is a pretty one, a very pretty one.”

Markos, Tycho, and half a dozen other pirates were watching from behind some rocks near the cove where they had landed their boat. The young noble idly wandered along the shore as if day dreaming. A dangerous pursuit in waters known to be sailed by pirates.

“Here he comes,” whispered Tycho. “Get ready to have at him.”

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Living One Night At A Time

dark web

Image: Digital Trends

From the Unlife and Curse of Sean Becker

I can’t believe that kid Artemus knew all about this. Of course, because he’s a vampire, he may be a lot older than he looks, so “kid” might not be accurate.

We spotted each other about the same time in a public library branch in Las Vegas. I was browsing the stacks while he was surfing the web on one of the library’s public access computers.

Spotted might not be the right word, since appearance isn’t a very good indicator of our kind. It was like there was something in the air, more like a vibration than a scent. The last time I had this feeling was when I was in the presence of Moshe Cohen, the vampire who had created me. I didn’t know what that feeling was at the time, but the second I locked eyes with Artemus, I knew. So did he.

I was shocked and just stood there staring, but he got up and walked right up to me.

“Hey, brother. Why don’t we step outside and have a chat.”

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Where Giving Leads

homeless

Image: Munir Atalla / NBC News

“What the recipient of alms does for the donor is greater than what the donor does for the recipient.”

Vayikra Rabbah 34:8

Less than a year ago, Eddie Scholl had been living on the streets. When he saw the old man in the torn olive green coat and rainbow stocking cap standing on the street corner on a freezing November morning, holding a sign saying “Anything helps”, he reached for his wallet.

His last five dollar bill. He could use it to buy breakfast. Instead, he gave it to the old grey beard.

“Bless you, brother. Bless you.”

“Glad to do it, friend. Take care.”

Eddie walked on with the old gent still calling after him, “Bless you, brother. May God bless you.”

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