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Monday, 28 July 2014

What's a girl to do when she discovers her boss is a wanted man? British chicklit by @louise_wise



This 'emotional scene' is short and sweet. A Proper Charlie is a British book which brings together two different classes: the upper and and lower class. This scene shows how different the main character, Charlie, is from the man she's fallen in love with...
Charlie nodded. ‘Of course I will.’ She forced a smile. ‘I understand why you have to go.’ And she did, only she badly wanted him to stay. To stay and finish making love to her. To tell her he loved her.
She swallowed hard. Her world was miles apart from Ben’s. She bought her clothes from Primark, whereas he had his tailor-made. He ate the finest foods, while she dined on oven chips and fish fingers. He drove a fresh-off-the-forecourt Audi, while she drove a battered old Fiesta. She lived in a dingy block of flats, with junkies and single mothers, while he lived in a beautiful house with a swimming pool and a butler. She didn’t know the latter, but she could imagine it.
He’d probably feel embarrassed if he knew what she felt about him – or worse, pity.
‘What’s going through your mind?’
She blinked herself to the present. ‘Eh?’
‘You’ve been standing in a trance for the last few minutes.’
She flushed. ‘Ben,’ she began. But she couldn’t finish. ‘Good night,’ she said instead. ‘I sincerely wish you well with your family bust-up.’
He smiled. ‘Thank you. Families,’ he said, with a jerk of his head. ‘Who’d have them?’
Then he was gone.
‘I would,’ she answered the closed door. ‘I would.’
 What's a girl to do when she discovers her boss is a wanted man?





become a honey trap, that's what.

She's losing her job.
She's losing her boyfriend.
She can only afford to eat spaghetti hoops on toast.
She's called Charlie... or Charlotte, or ginger, ginge, Duracell,
carrot.
Yet with all these odds against her, she pushes forward to
take the lead story on her paper at London Core.
Shame no one knows. Shame she's the office general assistant and not a real journalist.
Shame it's on missing prostitutes and Charlie thinks pretending to be a 'tart
with a heart' will get her that story.
She doesn't just get a story.
She becomes the starring role.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Eli Edelmann never intended on making a living through mercy killing @greg_levin

continuing with July's 'emotional scenes' with
The Exit Man
by
Greg Levin


Sgt. Rush looked around the room, then at the exit hood, then back at me.
“I’m ready,” he said.
“Yeah?”
“Yes.”
“Is there any music you want to hear, or something you want me to read aloud while you are, you know, going under?”
“No. Let’s just keep things simple.”
“You’re the boss.”
“Thank you again, Eli. You have no idea how much this means to me. You just have to promise me you won’t let your conscience torture you on this. You are a good man, doing a noble thing.”
“I appreciate that, but don’t worry about me. I’m honored to assist.”
I wanted to say more. I wanted to tell Sgt. Rush how I admired him for having lived a purposeful and honest life. For having raised a happy daughter. For having endured his wife’s illness and death with courage and poise. And for having been such a good friend to my father for so many years. I realized, however, that expressing such sentiments would have been more for my benefit than for his. Sgt. Rush didn’t need me to deliver a living tribute or eulogy. He didn’t need to be reassured that he had been liked and loved and respected by the people he encountered on this planet. He felt no existential despair. He needed no soft words to send him home. He simply wanted to leave.
I checked to see that the long plastic tubing was securely hooked up to the release valve of the tank, and picked up the plastic bag.
“Remember, there won’t be any helium in the bag when I first slip it over your head. You will be able to breathe freely. Once I insert the tube into the hole and turn the valve, just continue to breathe slowly and deeply. It will be just like you are breathing oxygen, and you’ll drift off before you know it. Is that clear?”
“Perfectly.”
“Good. Are you ready to begin?”
“Yes.”
Sgt. Rush scooted back in his bed and propped himself up on a couple of pillows. I carried the connected tank and the bag to the side of the bed, close enough for the tubing to reach Sgt. Rush’s soon-to-be hooded head.
Here’s where I had earlier thought one of us might crumble. This is the point at which I had half-expected to suddenly come to my senses, or for Sgt. Rush to suddenly come to his. But it turned out to be the easiest part of the whole plan. A dream sequence. Distance and detachment, yet each of us locked into our respective role – doubtless that what we were doing was right. Beyond right. Bordering on obligatory.
Me: Focused and methodical as I slipped the bag over his head and attached the straps, tube and tape.
Him: Unwavering in his response to my final “Ready?”
No tension at the turning of the valve. No coughing as oxygen was ousted. No struggle as helium stole the show.
No panic as the number of living people in the room was cut in half.
Sgt. Rush, or, more precisely, the body he had borrowed for 62 years, lay slumped awkwardly on the bed, his head tilted to the left at a sharp angle, his torso leaning heavy in the same direction yet still supported partially by the pillows. After I removed the plastic bag and packed all the hood pieces into my duffel bag, I carefully un-stacked the pillows and guided the body into a position more in line with that of a man who had been napping rather than one who had been sitting up in bed to watch a program on a non-existent TV set. 
On my way out of the room I snatched the envelope Sgt. Rush had left on the dresser and slid it into my duffel bag. Just like that, I had been transformed from a rank amateur to a highly paid professional – nearly doubling what I had earned the entire year before in a matter of minutes. 
I turned to look once more at the body. I would miss the man who had exited it, yet I felt no remorse. On the contrary – I was overwhelmed by a strong sense of achievement. An impenetrable sense of… there was that simple word again…
Purpose.
Sgt. Rush had just been released.
He wasn’t the only one.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

@entrope brings you a sad scene that will make you cry...

The Camellia Resistance
by
A. R. Williams

The entirety of India’s death came back to her in a memory so visceral she heaved until she sat down on the cot in her cell and put her head between her knees.

It had been July. They couldn’t afford the environmental tax that went along with air conditioning. India had gotten them into a basement apartment, so at least it wasn’t sweltering. “Back when people used to smoke, they taxed cigarettes like this,” India would say and Willow would think back to the illegal movies they watched together, movies where it was socially acceptable—desirable even—to smoke. The men with their rugged hands held up to their face to light a cigarette, the women leaning back and looking indifferent. Not many people knew those days even existed, but India knew, so Willow knew too. 



“Now the government makes up for lost revenue by taxing environmental impact. But we are smarter, Will. We live down here.” India made it sound like they were playing at skipping school days. But there was no “smarter” that explained going to bed hungry, or why Willow wore her mother’s shoes, or why it was okay for Willow to crawl into bed with her mom after a bad dream.

“We’re different, pumpkin, that’s all,” India would say when Willow asked why it was okay for them to touch skin to skin inside the apartment, but they always had to wear gloves when they went outside. “Just about everyone else is so afraid of dying they never get around to living. One day, you and me, we decided not to be afraid anymore. Bring on the germs. We aren’t running scared.”

But there is fear and then there is watching your kid lose weight because there just isn’t enough of anything to go around. India left Willow alone with the black and white version of Count of Monte Cristo playing in the VCR and promised to be back in an hour. It was an hour and a half, but she did come home. She stumbled through the door like a drunk, but she hadn’t been drinking. She was dying.

As an eight-year-old, Willow didn’t know about social diseases and the lengths people will go to keep them out of their beds. She didn’t know about state-sponsored prostitutes that made good money and went through painful cell cleansing procedures to ensure that they were clean enough for the high-powered politicians and businessmen that purchased their time. She didn’t know about black markets, that the Ministry controlled the cleaners and if you weren’t already in the records, you couldn’t get one done. She’d never seen the machines, the needles in each arm, pumping blood out, bathing it in a series of chemical baths and light treatments before pouring it back into the body. And that was from the state-run clinics. In the illegal clinics, they used SaniCheck, diluted.

Amazon - Kindle
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After all, SaniCheck had proven safe in clinical trials, and it was readily available. For a little extra, they’d clean you twice as fast with twice as much SaniCheck, slip you back into the records and get you ready to work again if you made your money lying down.

So it didn’t make sense that India wouldn’t allow Willow to call the Health Ministry’s emergency line. Instead, India just coughed blood and cried blood and wiped it off of her skin when it broke through like beads of sweat. Willow held India’s hand. What else can you do when you’re eight? She died two days later. Willow pulled her from the bed into the bath, India’s limp feet dragging along the carpet leaving a faint trail of blood behind. Willow washed her mother with warm water, then dried her face and put makeup on her. There weren’t many ways India was conventional, but she never left the house without her mascara and Willow knew India wouldn’t have wanted anyone to see the softness around her eyes.

The men in hazmat suits burst through the door an hour later, their disembodied breathing filling the house with the whirring and clicking of automatic air purifiers. Willow was bare-armed, bare-handed, her pale skin exposed to the world and all the hazards therein. She was sitting on the edge of the toilet, studying the tub where her mother had been, when she overheard the two goons in their white blimp suits commenting. “Not a bottle of SaniCheck in the house. Not even the generic shit. No wonder the bitch died.”

Willow didn’t cry. She wasn’t even surprised. She knew what SaniCheck was. The teachers had it at school in dispensers at their hips. They took off their latex gloves, wiped their hands down with the stuff, then put on a new pair of gloves. They used designer gloves, with fingernails painted on them, and a slight tanned hue that almost passed for real skin.

But Willow saw the skin underneath: parched, flaking and old. Older than her teachers’ perfectly painted faces. Her mother’s hands were beautiful, even if Willow begged her mom to buy the latex gloves to be like other moms. India just laughed and kissed Willow on the forehead. Willow cringed. Other moms didn’t do that either.

Sitting in the Ministry’s jail, the memory was brand new, like it just happened yesterday, not almost twenty-five years ago. For the first time in her adult life, Willow understood what her mother had been trying to teach her about fear, about love, about accepting the good and the bad in the world and finding the beauty in both. Willow stayed bent over her knees and the motion sensors in the lab switched off the lights. The only sound left was the sound of Willow’s heart beating in time with the clock on the wall.

The Camellia Resistance

2044. Willow Carlyle is the youngest cultural epidemiology research director in the history of the Ministry of Health and is on the fast-track for further promotion until a night of passion shatters her carefully constructed life.

Marked and unemployed, Willow falls in with a band of dissidents. Everyone wants something. In the process of discerning friend from foe, Willow begins to unravel secrets that will shake the New Republic of America to its foundation.



About the Author

A.R. Williams is obsessed with language and myth, not just playing with words and making up stories, but with the real-world impact that our words have on the way we live. Words are the only puzzle that never gets boring, and writing is the only thing she has wanted to do consistently. Other interests, such as sewing and photography, become alternate means to feed the writing habit.

Ms. Williams feeds her obsession with curiosity: people, philosophy, technology, psychology, and culture. Living in Washington D.C. is a good source of inspiration. From the sublime heights of arts and achievement available for free at the Smithsonian to the bureaucratic banality of Beltway politics and scandals, it is a great city for fantasy, possibility, power, and consequence—ideal fodder for the fictional life. She lives between an ordinary external life filled with time cards, meetings, and deadlines; and an extraordinary imaginary world where anything is possible and everything is fueled by music.

Follow the entire Camellia Resistance tour HERE



* This tour is brought to you by Worldwind Virtual Book Tours*

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Continuing with emotional scenes in July's sad theme with @SarahDaltry


July's 'emotional' theme brings an excerpt from
 Orange Blossom


I unfold the note, but I can’t read it. All I can see are the last few words and they’re final. They’re a goodbye. It doesn’t make sense. He was okay. He was fine. We were going to the movies tonight. We are supposed to go to the movies. It seems so stupid, but I want to scream at him. I want to wake him up and ask him why he sat with me at breakfast and made it sound like there would be anything tonight. He knew he was going to do this. There’s no way he just stumbled upon those pills and decided not to go to class; he planned this. That means he knew – and he chose not to tell me. He chose to sit with me, to kiss me and smile, to make promises. He lied right to my face when all along he was going to leave me.
I think about the funeral we just had, about the dirt and the grave and the flowers and all the choices of fabric linings and I just scream and cry. I hit him, trying to make him wake up, but he doesn’t. Nothing happens, except his breathing gets even slower. He is dying right here next to me and I cannot do a goddamn thing about it. I can’t make it not happen and, when he takes his final breath, I will have to watch it and hear it and be alone with only his body.
“Why?” I ask him. “Why didn’t you at least take me with you?”
There’s no response, because he’s almost gone. I shove the note in my pocket and I wait. I don’t even know what I’m waiting for, but I wait. I wait for someone to save him, for Jack to wake up, for me to wake up because this has to be a nightmare. We’re getting married. He can’t die, because he’s going to marry me. I sit on my boyfriend’s bed with his dying body and I wait for something to happen that will make this not be real. I want to do anything to stop it, but I just sit there, because I can’t do anything and it paralyzes me.
I’m a mess when the paramedics come. There’s a small crowd forming in the hallway, but they’re like ghost people, phantasms floating as he’s placed on a stretcher and rolled out of the building. They aren’t taking vital signs yet and I want to remind them to do that. I grab a bottle of water from his fridge, in case he’s thirsty. One of the paramedics looks at me funny, but he says nothing. I want to ask them if he needs his coat, because it’s cold out, but instead, I let them hold me and push me outside, since my legs have frozen beneath me.
They want to ask me questions about what happened, but I need to be with Jack. “Please let me go with him. I need to hold him,” I beg, and a few of them talk quietly so I can’t hear what they’re saying. They start saying things about rules and laws and next of kin, but I ignore them and push my way to the back of the ambulance. “He needs me,” I insist, as if I can fix him when I’ve been here all along while he was dying. Not just today, but for a month or a year now. For all this time, Jack has been slowly dying and I didn’t do a thing.
 
THE FLOWERING SERIES

Flowering is the story of Jack and Lily. They’re college kids with their own issues, who manage to find each other. What starts as physical attraction and sexual awakening becomes so much more. Jack is troubled, with a past that makes it hard for him to see the future. Lily comes from a perfect world where she’s expected to play the role she was given. When they’re together, though, Jack becomes someone even he cares for, and Lily becomes whole.
This series is about growing up, about “flowering” into the person you become. It’s also about love and how it starts with one chance encounter and turns into a lifetime. Jack and Lily don’t have it easy, but they have each other. They’re not billionaires or rock stars or undercover agents; they’re just college kids looking to be a little less alone in the world.
Now complete in one volume. Includes the short stories, "Her Brother's Best Friend" and "Morning Glory;" the novels, Forget Me Not, Lily of the Valley, Blue Rose, and Orange Blossom; and the novellas, Star of Bethlehem and Ambrosia.

PURCHASE THE BOOKS

Sarah Daltry writes about the regular people who populate our lives. She's written works in various genres - romance, erotica, fantasy, horror. Genre isn't as important as telling a story about people and how their lives unfold. Sarah tends to focus on YA/NA characters but she's been known to shake it up. Most of her stories are about relationships - romantic, familial, friendly - because love and empathy are the foundation of life. It doesn't matter if the story is set in contemporary NY, historical Britain, or a fantasy world in the future - human beings are most interesting in the ways they interact with others. This is the principle behind all of Sarah's stories.

Sarah has spent most of her life in school, from her BA and MA in English and writing to teaching both at the high school and college level. She also loves studying art history and really anything because learning is fun.

When Sarah isn't writing, she tends to waste a lot of time checking Facebook for pictures of cats, shooting virtual zombies, and simply staring out the window.