By Moonlight. 4.2a

“Amongst the sea of stars, beyond the cloak of darkness, let the lighthouse lead the way.”

The whisper faded, as did the blinding light. She blinked once, twice, trying to refocus her vision. Yet there was only milky white stretching across her sight.

She was not alone, the presence of someone was all around; yet the keeper of this realm she was constantly thrust into to had still not been unveiled.

By some instinct, Shay curled her bare toes, and they were buried in a substance both soft and silty but also firm. Looking down, she lifted her foot and saw that the lightly tanned grains trickled between the spaces of her toes like heavy water, leaving only the very tops of each digit covered.

What is this? She asked, mostly speaking to herself, but an answer spoken aloud was returned to her.

Sand.”

She jumped, startled by the voice, which seemed to have bounced in from all directions. Looking all around she saw nothing and everything all at once.

With one flutter of her lashes, the milk white scene was instantly filled in with brilliant colors of all shades and shapes of all kinds. This sand was everywhere, as far as her eyes could see. And water, so much of it, blue-green, roared in from some unending horizon, taking giant laps at the sand before it retreated just as quickly and ferociously, leaving a moist trail in its wake. And then the cycle repeated again and again. The sound of the water crashing into the sand was like a great beast, but it was also like a sleep-song.

Her mind wandered then trailed off to flashes of memories that were not hers. Children playing in the sand, near the water, adults sitting nearby, in perfectly relaxed poses, staring off at some unknown, unseen point in the far distance.

And then a light touch on her bare shoulder. Soft, gentle, too quick to know if it were that a man or a woman.

She turned fast, but still no one in sight. But what was in her sight was a tower, spiraling up hundreds of feet into the air, piercing the azure blue sky above. Every few seconds, a flash of light from the very top circled back around toward where she stood. The tower itself was stark white with a midnight black swirl wrapped around it from top to bottom. At the very base, a closed wooden door.

Lighthouse.” This time Shay did not move or flinch. She wasn’t sure if was because she were becoming use to the voice or because she was hoping not to scare away its owner by her own movements of fear. Still no one appeared.

But one parting phrase, not spoken aloud, pierced her mind.

“In darkness, become Light.”

Then the whole scene folded in on her, as she tumbled far away and back into her own consciousness, where a more familiar voice called her further into awareness.

“Shay!” It was Ethan, his words filled with heavy worry, with a barely contained hint of fear, “Shay! Wake up!” She felt his strong hands grip then shake her shoulders, once then again. “…please,” he pleaded.

It was the desperation in his words that called her completely back into their world. Her lashes fluttered, and she was home. Back into a world living existing on the fringe of twilight and dawn.

But something had changed, some deeply rooted seed had been planted. Within her, within the air around her. She sensed it within the center of her being.

She focused and looked around. Faces began to appear in her vision. Ethan, of course, his forehead strained with worry. Dakken, his shadowed features twisted up curiously. Was that concern? Or some obscene enjoyment? And the children. Who weren’t really children. Somehow, Shalise understood this now. They were others. Not from the realm she was being pulled into at random, but definitely not from this reality.

“Welcome back,” as always, the pair spoke in unison. Each smiled, the boy, his darkly tanned cheeks lifted high, and the girl, her freckled face glowed with excitement. “You have learned a secret.” The spoke the words not as a question, but as a fact.

“Yes,” Shay answered. “I have. I have seen the world before this one. I have seen the beforetime. When the world still glowed with possibilities.”

She looked up at the sky overhead. Then used her own strength to stand. Her companions cleared back, giving her space. “The storm has cleared. We know our powers. Now we begin.”

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By Moonlight: A Post-Apocalyptic Fairytale. By Q. Lenise Lee. Copyright Lenise Lee Publications. All Rights Reserved.

By Moonlight 4.1c





Ethan knew that mercy was not in their spirits and, if he were ever captured by them again, they would keep him alive to bleed him out slowly, one cut at a time… over decades, centuries eons, if necessary… whatever would make him suffer the most, until his very last breath.  And then they would call him back to life, and do it all over again.

Q. Lenise lee
The clouds gathered in the distance, dark and terrifyingly alive with static and energy.

From below, Ethaniel and Shalise watched as the high blue sky disappeared behind the descending chaos. Dakken hovered nearby, a silent shadow beneath the long barren branches of the ancient elm tree. The children sat in the dust near a dilapidated car, rusted nearly to only strip metal and bolts.  They held hands and kept their eyes closed tight, as if in deep prayer and meditation.

A reckoning was upon them all.  Elder gods do not die, they are only reborn darker and more powerful. 
 
Ethan and Shay had nearly destroyed a very ancient, very powerful coven, and now those very same beings, crushed under the tons of rubble and ruin of their toppled home, had risen.  They were the violent energy pushing behind the storm pulsing closer toward the outnumbered outcasts.  

Mother and Father had kept Ethan as a son, had given him all the rights and cruel privilege of their abysmal ancestry, and he had turned on them, fiercely and without hesitation. And now his former guardians had returned, much faster than he had anticipated, angry and hungry for revenge.  Ethan knew that mercy was not in their spirits and, if he were ever captured by them again, they would keep him alive to bleed him out slowly, one cut at a time… over decades, centuries eons, if necessary… whatever would make him suffer the most, until his very last breath.  And then they would call him back to life, and do it all over again. There would be no end to his torment.
 
Shay had risked everything to save Ethan.  She could have easily left him to die in the dungeon, but it would have been the same as sentencing her own self to death.  They were linked, beyond physical bonds.  Their blood, their thoughts, their powers, their very lifeforce flowed as one.  She had never sensed so much, been so aware of the flow of energy all around her, until Ethan touched her that fateful night in the dive bar.  It was as if every cell in her body had suddenly awakened for the very first time.. She had felt every stripe of the whip the torturers had inflicted upon Ethan as if the sting had touched her own body each and every time.  The truth was clear and simple, Ethan and Shay were bonded for life, and beyond. If he died, then so would she.  And now, they were facing the same fate again.  She wasn’t prepared to fight again, and neither was he.  They didn’t understand what they were capable of together or the full extent of their abilities.  But they would have to learn quickly, time was not on their side.
 
Dakken was the coward of the group. He had sensed the trouble in the basement, when Shay had escaped and went to rescue Ethan.  He had heard the yells of guards frantically trying to subdue the couple.  He had felt the walls of the house tremble.  He warned no one; only disappeared into the twilight of the early morning, saving himself and not a single other soul. His true allegiance was to himself and his duty was, first and foremost, to his own survival, and for this he had broken a sacred oath to lay down his life for the dark ones that he served.  He had failed them, and now his life was once more in terminal danger.  The sentence for treason against the elders… death without trial. Instant. Painful. Humiliating. Death. Over and over again, forever.
 
The children were different.  They were the only truly innocent party here.  Or were they?  Where had they come from?  And how had they survived in the daylight and even during the nightmares of nightfall on their own for so long?  The thought again passed between Ethan to Shay, but there was no time to wonder about answers.
 
Time was up.   
 
The gun metal grey clouds flowed over and under each other, like quicksilver, or a snake filled with poison, alive and full of dark magix.
 
And then the lightning bolt flashed.  Bright and blinding.  Striking inches from where Dakken hid in the shadows of the tree.  And just like that, day was night, black and dangerous.  
 
Everything went dark around the couple, and then the howls started.  The screeches followed.  The darkness had called out to those who dwell within it.  The light of the sun kept them cramped in basements, buried behind dirt piles, hidden in the boarded ruins of buildings and other dwellings.. but now.. now that the sun was gone, they began to burst forth and pour into the chaos of the sudden nightfall.

Ethan and Shay moved closer and pressed their shoulders together. The pale skin of Ethan’s broad shoulder pushed into the warm flesh of Shay’s slim brown one.  On instinct, they touched hands and held tight to each other.  Electrified chaos began gathering all around them.  But they had defeated the dark once before. Together . As one force, united.  And they could do it again.
 
But how many times?  How many times would they have to become a whirlwind of power?  How many times could they do it?  Was this an infinite gift?  Or would their luck be up one day?
 
Snarls circled closer, ravenous sounds meant to inspire fear and wild pulses.
 
Shay and Ethan planted their bare feet deeper into the dust, powering up and readying themselves for the first attack.
 
And then…there was light.
 
Not a burst nor a flash, but a brilliant blue funnel of swirling light.  A column of illumination that lit up the dark and blew back the wild things that were roaming there.
 
Ethan and Shay stumbled back as they turned, startled, covering their faces from the powerful brightness, nearly as white hot as the glare of the noonday sun.
 
It was the children.  Engulfed in a blue flame, still hand in hand, eyes closed, they were the beacon of last hope.
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from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairytale by Q.  Lenise Lee
 
Copyright 2021 Lenise Lee Pubn.  All Rights Reserved.
 

From the Thought Diary of Shaylise Stafford

…I am being watched.

I can feel their presence, just out of view.  The corner of my eye catches movement.

I had not dreamed in many years.  Not since I was a young child.  Not until that night.

The night when everything changed.  The night when Ethan stole me away from my life.  The night when I realized that I was so much more than an unknown, barely surviving server in some gawd-awful bar.

This is a dream.  I have had so many times since then.  I almost have it memorized.

I am being watched….

From somewhere in the darkness, they are there.

This is a dream, I reassure myself.  But I know, at the core of all that I am.  This is not a dream.  This is as real as any other moment in my waking life.

I am wandering through an ocean of dark oblivion on all sides.  Yet, I am not alone.

They watch.  They study.  The observe and take note.  Some dare to come too close.  And that is when I sense them.

I am not supposed to know that they are there.  But I do.  My bones stiffen.  My muscles tense.  My mind’s awareness goes razor sharp.  I am aware of all things, everything, even them, all at once.

Somehow, I can see them also.  Flickers of shadows only.  But they are definitely within my visual perception.  And they are the unseeable ones, this I know on instinct.  They are never meant to be observed by mortals; their presence is only to be a mere passing thought.  A shudder, a chill.  A superstition to be shushed and shamed.  Never spoken of aloud, only by children, who have not yet learned the closed-mindedness of the adult world.

But I am no mortal.  I never had been.  Neither am I like them.  This worries them the most, I can tell.  I am something new.  Something they had not expected.  At least, not so soon.

It was Ethan who activated this dormant gene within me.  It was his sudden appearance in and disruption of my world that forced to me to become what I had always doubted and denied.  To become my truest self.  The self within the self.  The highest self.  Needed for a specific purpose, to win a very specific battle in an eons-long war.

His nearness.  Even before we had laid eyes upon one another, we were instinctively aware and bound to each other.  This is the call of fate.  The pull of destiny.

In a blanket of black, I wander.  Confused.  But not frightened.  I feel my breathing pick up pace, my eyes widen as I search deeper into the dark.  Something is coming.  Fast and furious.  The prickle in the air is electric.  And I know, as my heart sinks, I am not prepared for what approaches.  It is too soon.  I am not ready to face the fight coming my way.

And then, suddenly, my awareness lifts.  A new presence has arrived ahead of the enemy on the dark horizon.  A grey dawn quickly descends.  And I am in the land of the dark no longer.

Before I am yanked from the world of dreams and nightmares, where the true veil is lifted, four thoughts are planted in my mind.

Remember these things.

My eyes flicker open.  There is still some daylight left, and then the animals will be out soon, prowling the open night.  Hunting season.

Then I remember them… Where are the children?

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from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairytale by Lenise Lee

Copyright 2020 Lenise Lee Publications, All Rights Reserved

 

My words are

the beat of my heart

the movement of my spirit

the stirring of my soul

without them, I am in silence

within them, I am set free

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~Q. Lenise Lee

 

I feel.

Enthralled in rapture. Yet remain quietly serene.

Wanting to chase the rush of pure energy. Yet sitting perfectly still.

I hear.

The universe conducting a symphony before me, expounding on the dissertation of the secrets of the universe. Yet I calmly sip my coffee, distracted, while tapping a random beat against the curve of the mug.

I see.

All that is offered, infinity upon infinity. Yet my eyes are watching numbers across a fading screen.

Q. Lenise LEe

What does this all mean?

Moments uncertain

Destiny opens the path

Instincts awakens

Q. Lenise Lee

I walk thru the center of Creation

At the heart of Existence

And I live.

And I breathe.

(I breathe deeply).

And I am.

The spirit of the Universe surrounds me

Cradles me.

Nourishes me.

I am Loved.

I am Love.

All, and the All in All, is revealed.

I dwell within.

The Unfolding.

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~Q. Lenise Lee

 

By Moonlight : Interlude I : Hyperion and Theia

“Shall we assist them?”

They spoke, but not in a manner that any human could fully comprehend, and not in a language that any human could completely understand or speak fluently.  

They existed, but not on a frequency that mankind could dwell within for more than a flash of a moment, or what they perceived to be a moment.  

They constantly observed, with the children of men having only the slightest sensation of their presence.

They battled and waged great wars amongst one another and on scales so immense that the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve were only signaled of their occurence by way of unpredicted and grand celestial events.  

They also loved, more tenderly than any mother or father toward a newborn, and more passionately than a lover with a newfound kindred spirit.

Yet now, through all they had witnessed over the eons, since the dawning of all things, this moment had caught their fullest attention.  

Great members of the House of the Pantheons stood on alert, contemplating if intervention was needed – not only to save mankind but, more importantly, to save themselves.  

Man would continually evolve and regress and then return to a thinking, contemplating species only to tumble downward once more, as was his destiny, but the celestials were created to overcome such a barbaric cycle.  

However, here and now, this perceived moment could potentially be the beginning of the undoing of the many layers and ribbons that enfolded the fabric of reality itself.

Hyperion, mighty king of Sol, looked, more like motioned his celestial energy toward, Theia, his wife, mother of Luna and Gaia.  

She acknowledged him by casting forward a rippling wave of light energy of her own to touch the source of his being.

If they were to manifest into tender flesh, he would be in the appearance of a kind and jolly father, handsome and robust for his age; and she would be a startling beauty, too vibrant to be thought of as a mother and too enigmatic to be anything other than adored by all.

“We will wait,” was her quiet, calm reply.  “They must prove themselves worthy of our help.”

He nodded.  

She was correct, as always.  

His wife was the more rationale one, and he, the more radical of the pair.  

Where she was meditative and strategic, he was quick to action with pure emotion.

Still.

Still, Hyperion could not shake the feeling that on this particular point, she could be – dare he think it – wrong.

Perhaps not assisting the humans in this particular struggle could prove to be a mistake.

These two were different.  

They were more like gods than humans.  

Demi-gods, of course, but that was only a play on words and concepts most of the time.  

Quickly, he returned his attention to the seriousness of the situation at hand.

Every timeline from this point forward played out before him.

The pair were victorious in none.

And in the process of losing, they would destroy half of the earth and most of the lifeforms that dwelled upon her, by accident, time and time again.  

They were too inexperienced in this form of combat, and had very little knowledge as to how to truly harness, focus, and control the power that swirled erratically and chaotically within their genes.

Now bonded, they were like a nuclear inferno, with all of the correct fusions reacting all at once.

Poised to blow in all directions, consuming all things in its path.

“No, dearest,” he spoke to her in a loving wave, “you are incorrect.  This bonded pair has already proven much.” He continued as his memory replayed the couple’s individual lifelines.  “We have seen it, since their births, how they have already overcome many trials, traps, and adversities, and are still pulsing with a wonderfully bright beacon of purest light.”

He paused, awaiting a stern objection, but none came.

“Husband,” Theia replied, turning her glorious being in his direction.  To Hyperion’s shock, she was smiling, or what a human would describe as smiling, if ever a human could see her true face without being consumed.  “Finally. You see beyond passion. You see true reason. You see true purpose. And yes, I agree. My initial judgement was in err… on purpose,” she quickly added.  “We will intervene…but not just yet.”

Copyright 2018 Lenise Lee Pubn

https://www.copyrighted.com/work/ZF9QEfcqO3LX2PvU

By Moonlight 2.3 : Show No Fear

By Moonlight 2.2 : Offerings and Other Things

By Moonlight 2.1 : Fire and Ice, and Sun and Moon

By Moonlight 2.0 : Rise, Queen

By Moonlight 1.5: Shay, Into the Light

By Moonlight 1 : The Beginning

By Moonlight 3.1c

Danger, danger, everywhere. Ethan’s senses were ringing the alarm.

The slithering snake was not the only thing stalking their every step. On all sides of the pair, in all of the shadows, unseen eyes watched closely and waited with stubborn patience.

The energy he sensed was familiar. It was cunning and charming. Yet dark and consuming, like the Void. It was also extremely close.

Danger, danger, everywhere…but most especially over his left shoulder. And approaching fast.

Ethan turned just in time to see slanted eyes, their centers black like coal, peering from the inky shade falling from a tall, broad, and dessicated stump of what was once known as a tree.

“My prince,” the masculine voice was slick like silk and could be equally as seductively dangerous once it wrapped around one’s thoughts. “We searched for you everywhere.” The last word held a hint of untruth. “So surprised to find you…here…out in the open at such an hour.” There was a question hiding in that statement. What the shadowed entity wanted to say was : How is it that you are here out in the open at such as an hour?

Drek was his name and dark words were his given gift from the Void.

Ethan turned tightly on his heels and faced the masculine form standing in the shadow of the mighty stump, which was ashen and grey, in a hibernating slumber, awaiting the day of its resurrection.

Ethan did not fold his arms, but kept them to his sides, with the muscles in his arms and palms taut and ready to spring to defend Shay and himself against the slightest threat.

“I’m here,” Ethan spoke low and with power pulsing through the bass of his voice. His words and their tone were countering the seductive effect of Drek’s mystical incantations. Even a few words spoken by him were enough to seduce an army into surrender.

“So you are,” Drek spoke, pulling back the effect of his dark spell only by a hint. ” Both of you are.” The slanted eyes shifted ever so casually in Shay’s direction. “We thought we had lost her also. How wonderful that you are together. At last.” There was a smile creeping into his words. “So many wonderful things will rise from this union.”

The shadow of a strong leg motioned forward and, in a blink, Ethan stood in front of the shadow, blocking its view of Shay.

“One more step. One more word without my consent, and I will end you.” Ethan’s voice growled like gravel crushing beneath a heavy foot. “I am more powerful than you. Never forget that, servant.”

The rebuke and the force of its power physically stung. A sharp pang ripped down the length of Drek’s slim, athletic form, forcing him to retreat further into a sense of safety as he hid in the depths of the shadow.

The dark outline of full lips motioned to move then, remembering Ethan’s command, he merely nodded his understanding.

“Better,” Ethan’s eyes flashed silver then cooled to their usual ice blue gaze but he didn’t relax his stance. One lesson his adopted parents had taught him that he would always remember. Never let your guard down. A moment’s slip of that one rule of survival could mean a lifetime of regret. “Tell me why you are here. Keep your words silent and focused only within my frequency,” he instructed.

Great Prince, Drek communicated from his thoughts through the narrow mind connection that Ethan had opened between them, as you have spoken, I am your servant. I have been with you many years, since you first arrived in our castle, and will not abandon you now. I have come to continue in my allegiance to you. He silenced himself and awaited Ethan’s reply.

Lies and Deceit. Ethan was not fooled. But Drek had answers to questions that he and Shay needed for their journey. For now, Ethan would listen with attentive ears and a guarded mind. He would also unleash the fullness of his wrath the moment Drek became too much of a threat.

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Copyright Lenise Lee Pubn. All Rights Reserved.

By Moonlight : Interlude II

I began this journey in a dark place, and now I have taken chances toward a better, brighter one.

Once, not long ago, we – he and I – traveled only by moonlight. We lived only in its silvery halo.

Our paths began asunder, yet were destined to merge within the crown of the sun.

There are moments when I block out the world and stare at the core of myself.

In those moments, I realize it is I who has created that space and that energy, so that I can discover and fulfill my calling. So that I can hear and feel and be embraced by the True Name by which I must be called.

I know I must continue forward. Ever onward. Because there is no past. The present is only a mirage. Only the future is certain.

~From the Thought Diary of Shay

By Moonlight 3.1c

By Moonlight 3.1b

By Moonlight 2.0 : Rise, Queen

By Moonlight 1 : The Beginning

There is no past. The present is only a mirage. Only the future is certain.

Q. Lenise Lee 
from By Moonlight

Copyright 2019 Lenise Lee Pubn. All Rights Reserved

By Moonlight: Interlude III

She is his Queen. The drip of his pulse taps out her name. The pull of his heart seeks out her essence. His thoughts sync only with her ka, her spirit, the essential presence that is she. Woman who has stolen his will to be, to exist, to breathe. She who has lifted the dark bonds that once held him tight, imprisoned within the enemy of himself. By moonlight she appeared, dressed in the rays of cosmos, crowned by the starlight. At dawn, they walked hand in hand, moving against the cloak of the cosmos, in fear of none, in search of the All.

Rise, My Queen

from The Thought Journal of Ethan

By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairy Tale by Q. Lenise Lee

By Moonlight 3.2a

His hair had changed. Was changing. She watched as the short straight tips of his platinum blond turned ice blue. An intense contrast to the golden dawn filling the sky over his shoulders.

Shay reached thin fingers toward the crown of Ethan’s head and felt a sharp tingle strike at her fingertips. It was a noisy, slightly painful sensation yet she could not pull away. The motion of her hand was bound toward its destination. The air between them snapped and popped, the sound of a slight crackling touched the rims of her ears.

The closer her hand drew toward the electric blue hair, sharp and stiff, its strands reaching toward the bright heavens overhead, the more powerful the grip became that urged and tugged her closer. Not just her hand, but her full body now motioned into Ethan’s atmosphere.

He had become the embodiment of mysteries she had only heard whispers of.

The secret people spoke of with frightened looks on their faces, lines of worry upon their brows and fear circling at the centers of their eyes.

from By Moonlight 3.2, An Apocalyptic Fairytale

Q. Lenise Lee

Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.

By Moonlight 3.2b

Pebbles, smooth and multicolored, from the dusty ground raised up, hovering mid-air. Small patches of dirt were dragged from their resting places, and lifted into the swirling fray of debri. The old stump from the dessicated tree-thing nearby sounded as though it had began a deep and emotional song, and hummed from within its hollow. The lean blade of grass that had saved them stood stiff and tall, much taller. Had it grown? Had it produced offspring also? As Shay’s eyes instinctively moved in all directions around them, the grass-thing had reproduced itself, spreading out, thousands upon thousands of times in all places wherever the lens of her eyes touched.

A jolt of power summoned her mind back to Ethan. Waves of energy flowed through her fingertips, into the center of her palms, now spreading up the length of her arms and filling her body with a pulse more compelling than before. A song. Faint but familiar, like a soft, slow hum began in her stomach, matching the melody of the chorus sang by the tree-thing. Louder and louder, it moved and stirred, until the words finally burst from within and tumbled from her lips. Prince who became King.

At the pronouncement, Ethan turned. A pulsing, purposeful stare held Shay within its grip. This is the moment when all things changed. The moment Shay had been awaiting, unknowingly, all her life. The song she had forgotten. A memory long buried. It was a silent seed of anticipation, of a coming coronation. Come, now, awaken.

from By Moonlight 3.2, An Apocalyptic Fairytale

Q. Lenise Lee

Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.

By Moonlight 3.2c

These words, full of magic and energy, ageless and timeless, and with confident command, fled her lips.

Now, we escape the Void.

Now, we flee the dark.

We, two, Arise, at First Light.

The deep rumble of his voice answered her call, responding in turn, an oath solemn and true.

Now free, now flowing, infinite movement, All Eternity,

We, two, no longer fleeing, found

As cosmo unfold, pressing forward, exploring, unbound.

In Ethan’s eyes, Shay saw her glowing reflection. Dark hair encircled by a bursting crown of silver. She had changed also.

Alert. Her mind sharpened. Her dark eyes, with shimmers of silver swirling within their deep pools, looked up and beyond Ethan’s shoulder, watching a dark shadow shifting uneasily.

Strong fingers stroked her forearm, calming her powers back to standby.

“He is a guide,” Ethan’s smooth voice spoke, easing Shay’s mind. His voice, of one calling her to peace, stayed her energy. The unspoken ending – For now – also circled her thoughts. “For what awaits us.”

from By Moonlight 3.2, An Apocalyptic Fairytale

Q. Lenise Lee

Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.

By Moonlight 4.1a

“Prince who became King.”

Shay turned her head toward him.  A look of curiosity washing across her cinnamon complexion.  Without a word spoken, she had moved her question into Ethan’s mind.

You spoke those words to me a moment ago, he said, continuing their private conversation.

They were still making a long trail down the road that led through the center of the sleeping city.  Along the way, they passed a green rectangular sign hanging from a rusted metallic pole that poked high into the overhead sky.  Broadway.  That is what was printed on the sign in bold white letters.  Ethan had been schooled thoroughly in many subjects and had easily read the wording.  He conveyed the message to Shay, who had had limited schooling and had struggled with the first half of the signage.  He also told her that this road had once been a main concourse for the city; a large gathering place for all of its long-gone inhabitants.  She nodded in understanding.  They would talk much more on the subject in days to come.  For now, she only needed this small piece of information to know that this place had once been sacred to a people who had gone silent and whose children had scattered to the four winds.

Shay had chosen to keep their current conversation private because she still had no trust for the lean shadow slipping alongside them down the road, hidden in the dark shapes cast by the large piles of debris strewn by the roadside.

I don’t remember saying that, she silently whispered to him.  She was slightly disturbed by this.  A full minute had gone by where she had no memory of what had occurred.  It was as though her mind had seized her completed, and the essence that stirred within her stomach and chest – elders had spoken the word soul once or twice when she had inquired about it, and their brows were always wrinkled with fear and worry, dread at having said the name aloud – whatever it was that made her her had gone off elsewhere, to a place she could not recall or imagine but that she knew she had been during that moment.  I don’t remember anything at all.  What happened?

After you tossed the snake, you came back from the side of the road.  And you were different.  Your eyes and hair.  Your skin.  It all glowed.  Not like before, at the castle.  This was different.  Ethan paused and let his fingers slip down to the smooth, brown skin of her forearm.  He turned and looked deep into the hazel of her eyes.  Then you reached out and touched me and I felt a change work through me also.  You went into a trance and began to speak a verse.  You called me Prince who became King.  He stopped a moment, trying to give her time to process what he had said, hoping that it would spike a memory of the event.  Do you remember now?  Deeper into her eyes, he stared, not realizing his breath had stopped in hope of receiving answers to so many questions that had stirred up in him since that moment.

Shay’s eyes drifted off to the side, breaking their stare.  Her mind tried to reach and grab for any bit of memory.  But only faint sparks of blue and silver danced across her inner vision.  Nothing else returned.

“It is your destiny,” a dark voice, Drek’s voice, cut into the midst of their mind-bond, what the elders would have called a phaze.  “You are the end and the beginning, which is why they took you and kept you and tutored you…and tormented you…to raise you as one of their own.”

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from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairy  Tale, by Q. Lenise Lee

©2019 Lenise Lee Pubn.

In moments where the energy radiates BRIGHT, the call of Destiny sings

Q. Lenise Lee

The light of the morning reminds me of

Willpower

Grace

to Rise & Shine

above All Things

Q. Lenise Lee

Shay lept into the dark.

The pitch black that awaited her was blinding.  The swoosh of air jetting past her ears and the pressure against her cheeks were the only indicators that she was indeed falling.  

Fast and far.

Ethan’s tower had been much higher up than she had anticipated.  Ethaniel.  Not quite the cold-blooded monster she had envisioned him to be.  Pale, yes.  An uneasy coolness to his skin, absolutely.  But not a monster, this she knew for sure.  

The ground was much closer now, she could sense the sudden dread of its nearness.  Her stomach lurched at the inevitable end that was awaiting her less than four breaths from now.  If the oxygen had not already been sucked from her lungs the exact moment after she swung herself over Ethan’s balcony, she would have surely been screaming by now.

Three.  Her belly tightened.  Bracing for an impact she would never feel.  

Two.  Though she saw nothing through the cole blackness, Shalise felt her eyes close and tighten from the terror awaiting her.

One.  For some reason, her lips moved.  Prayer?  No, she knew nothing of it.  At least, not anymore.

Impact.

Her fall stopped so close to the ground that Shay felt stiff, dry blades of grass scratching at her forehead, cheeks, and bare stomach.

Was this what death was like?  An eternal sense of hovering within your final moments of life.

No.  She was alive.

The only reason why she knew this is because of the quick snatch of breath that flooded her chest as she was violently tugged backward and up into the air.

Something had caught her.  Something had saved her less than a moment away from certain demise.  Something that had grappled her tumbling body with such force that she could feel its claws still digging deep into the flesh of her mid-back.  

Wait.  Not claws.  The texture was too flesh-like.  Not warm, but not bone-chilling, as she imagined talons to be.

Fingers.  The nails were deadly sharp, enough to rip her skin.  Though she could not see the blood, she felt it crawling down the sides of her back.  

Up, up, up, her weakened body climbed.  It was like the entire scene was reversing itself.  The higher she was pulled, the less intense the darkness became.  Slowly, her eyes began to grab at points of reference. Once she spotted the gray slabs of stone that lined the walls of his fortress, a shudder racked through her, from shoulders to toes.  Fresh scratches opened across the flat of her stomach as she was dragged over the edge of the abrasive stone.

Finally, the fingers released their grip within the flesh of her back, and Shay was dropped into a crumpled pile at the center of the open balcony.

As Shay lay there, breathless and broken, she squeezed her eyes tight, hoping for a death that she had been wishing away only seconds before.  Finally, she opened them then released a weak, silent whimper.

Bare feet.  Muscled calves.  She dared not look up any further.  What was he?  Perhaps she was wrong.  Maybe he was a monster.  How else had he been able to save her?

“I can never let you go.”

Harsh. Raspy.  Booming.   Ethan’s voice.

He didn’t bother to force Shay up from her crumpled fetal position.

The feet moved away, with a regal stride.

She knew, he was right.  They were bound together, forever.

If he had a heartbeat, it was moving in sync with hers.  Like a stalking phantom.  She had sensed its presence within her chest as she tumbled down the side of the wall.

Wild.  Erratic.  Afraid.  For her.  For himself.

What had he done to her?  And why?

Out of the dark, into the light.  Shalise would never return to the life she had known.

from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairy Tale by Lenise Lee

Grabbing her hand within the grip of his much larger one, Ethan pulled Shay over toward the edge of the terrace.  She allowed him to position her body in front of him, while he placed his arms on either side of her on the ledge of the cobblestone balcony.  Upon looking out at the scene, she held back the shudder that threatened to rack through her.  This was the very first time she had ever seen Rat City from this point of view.   One glance and she received the confirmation she had been seeking.  They were no longer at the bar.  Instead, this compound stood far away, no less than a mile from the center of the urban wasteland.  How had she never noticed this place before now?  Probably because she had always been so focused on keeping alive and unharmed by keeping her attention trained no further than twenty feet in every direction all at once.  From this position, no more than one story high off the ground floor, she could see that his property was circled by meandering paved pathways lined with large fruit trees as well as wide hedges and bushes that exploded with crimson long-stemmed roses.  She also noticed many other details from her vantage point.  One of which was the devastated city scape that lay beyond the perimeter of her kidnapper’s fortress, which was surrounded by a very high steel gate.   It was then that Shay realized she was being held prisoner in a garden among ruins.  What cruel trick of fate was this?

“Your kingdom.”  As if to answer her unspoken question, the cool breath from Ethan’s whispered reply caressed the tip of Shay’s ear.

Ethan moved his hand from the stone railing of the terrace, and used it to brush Shay’s long, dark hair away from her right shoulder.  The feather soft tresses had dried in to lengthy spirals that his fingers ached to run through over and over again during lovemaking.  Without hesitating, he laid a kiss as soft as the wings of the butterflies he had once chased after as a boy on the curve of her delicate shoulder.  After several more, she turned toward him with such teasing slowness that he was sure she felt the same heated desire now filling the expanse of his chest and the growing bulge of his groin.  He thought she would loop her arms around his neck and bring him down to her for a searing kiss.  He thought he saw a glimmer of affection reflecting back at him in the onyx-colored pools of her irises.

He had thought all wrong.  With a sudden swiftness Ethan had not expected, Shay lifted her crooked arm then used the bony tip of her elbow to send a devastating blow to the bridge of his nose.  He had not anticipated the hit and had not been prepared to block it, so the shock of the crackling pain prevented him from immediately reacting to block her daring escape.  With cat-like agility, he watched in blinding rage as she hopped up on the edge of the balcony and tossed her legs over and, with one smooth swoop, disappeared into the blackness below.

You belong to me now…and forever, words whispered into her mind as she tumbled into her destiny.

Q. Lenise Lee
from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairy Tale
Part 1 : The Beginning

Part I : Last Chapter

Part II : Chapter I

Part II: Chapter II

The apple dropped from Ethan’s hand and landed with a soft thud against the carpeted floor.  Without giving her time to flee, he pulled the female into his grip then twirled her until her back was pressed flat against his stomach and chest.  The dampness of her wavy hair caressed the delicate skin of his nipples causing a low hiss of arousal to tumble from between his lips.  The sensation urged him to hold her tighter.  The need to feel every soft inch of her skin covering his own nearly overwhelmed him.  Their connection sent a sharp jolt zipping through the thick muscles of his tense biceps and flooded Ethan with the heat of a primal need to claim her here and now as his bonded mate.  Her shiver of fear only served to drive his lust to boundless heights – All Ethan could sense was Shay’s presence.  The only sound he heard was the beating of her pulsing heart.  The smell of her sweet innocence flooded his nostrils, drowning out any other scent.  The feel of her slick skin skimming across the tip of his tongue as he used it to lay a delicious path along the curve of her neck made his manhood instantly harden.

Danger.  Her instincts crept in again, on highest alert.

Another current, nearly as intense as his thirst to devour the feminine essence of his woman, disrupted his thoughts.  With great reluctance, Ethan pulled his lips from her quivering skin.  He had to wait until the cycle of the moon was completed before taking her to his bed.  The temptation to taste her, to arc his back and shoulders so that he could wrap his full form around her frame and consume her within his spiraling passion was dizzying.  Never before had his attraction to a female compelled him to disobey his masters.  No woman had every tempted his lust, his mind, his body and willpower…his heart…so thoroughly, nearly to the point of madness.  He was so close to succumbing to the pressure of wanting her so badly that Ethan had no choice but to push the female away from him with one strong thrust.

One moment she was shivering with erotic anticipation from being held so tightly within the bulging strength of his arms, and the next she was being expelled from his hold and shoved forward.  The motion was too sudden, causing Shay to lose her balance.  Just before she tumbled down hard, a pair of hands caught her by the waist and lifted her to a standing position again.  When her bare feet were planted firmly on the floor, one of the big hands that had just saved her from her fall moved in search of her fingers then twined both pairs together.

“Come with me,” Ethan said, as he gently pulled her across the room with him, “I have something to show you.”

from By Moonlight

I: The Beginning

An Apocalyptic Fairy Tale by Lenise Lee

“The queen is missing.”

Whispers from a fading dream ripped through her body, startling her from a restless sleep.  Sitting up in the middle of the stuffed cot, she used the back of her hand to swipe away a heavy layer of sweat and oil from her brow.  She looked down and saw that her hands were shaking.  Her breath was ragged and she could barely breath.  Her chest was heaving high with deep sobs that refused to release from her lungs.  Silent screams were the worst.  The burning behind her breasts was nearly unbearable, like the flare from a blowtorch was crisping her skin to shriveled shreds.  When she realized what was causing the pain, she immediately recoiled.  Her thin legs lifted from the edge of her shabby mat and yanked them back so that she could hug them to her chest and pin herself at the head of the bed.

With her back against the cool plaster of the wall behind the bed, her eyes watched the cause of her mania.  The last beams of daylight were slipped through the thin slit used for ventilation and slid across the tiny single room quarters.  Even the muted illumination of the pale orange was strong enough to cause a gnawing pain behind her eyes, forcing her to coward deeper into the darkness of the corner she was now trapped in.  She shut her eyelids tight and buried her head between her knees, seeking desperate relief from the glow spilling into the assigned room of the apartment building.  There was at least another full hour of torment to endure before the last drops of late twilight disappeared from the sky then sweet relief would finally come.

This was not the same world she had been born into.  Somewhere along the way, everything had flipped.  Night was day, and day was taboo – forbidden, dreaded, to be avoided at all costs…even lethal, like now.  After so many years of hiding in the shadows, even the darkest skin was white as smoked ash and the palest skin was nearly transparent.  A society of vampires?  Hardly.  A pack of ravenous heathens condemned to dwell in darkness?  Very possibly that is what they had all become.

For the next hour, while the last embers of sunlight slid into a merciful twilight, she fought off panic and tried to ignore wispy strips of pain ebbing across her skin.  The moment purple overtook gold in the eternal struggle for dominance of the sky, the first howls pierced the air.  Strangled high-pitch screeches fill the early night.  Time to move.  And move fast.


This was not the same world she had been born into.  Somewhere along the way, everything had flipped.  Night was day, and day was taboo – forbidden, dreaded, to be avoided at all costs…even lethal, like now. 

Q. Lenise Lee
from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairytale, Book 1

All things are possible for those who have the will to keep going

Q. Lenise Lee

There is no past. The present is only a mirage. Only the future is certain.

Q. Lenise Lee
from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairytale

Embers of sunlight spark and tumble forward over the horizon, flooding the land with waves of hope and wonder

Whispering sweet sonnets of wisdom to all who have come, to worship the arrival of the Bright One

The Secret Language is unveiled

Q. Lenise Lee
~from Keys to Awareness

The Bond – Chapter 2.1

When he had made the perfect knot in the tie, Jake stared at his reflection. So long ago but it seemed like only yesterday. A small smile tugged the corners of his lips. He ran a hand through his wavy, cinnamon brown hair. Today was going to be a big celebration; the biggest in his life, thus far. He needed to look perfect. No, better than perfect – flawless.

Read more

112913 / 1630

Shay

—–

“The queen is missing.”

I awake to whispers from a fading dream haunting my thoughts.  Remnants of that other reality ripple through my body.  The howls of the beasts roaming outside these thin walls have startled me from my sleep, but the world that I have just departed from beckons me to return to the comforts of its enchanted realm.  When I finally recall where I am and that the horrid world that I truly belong to surrounds me on all sides, my breath becomes ragged and my heart nearly fails me.  Heavy, deep sobs and sighs burst from within the tightness of my lungs.  Silent screams were the worst to bear, so I allow the dark depths of my loneliness and agony to fill the air all around me.  My cries are silenced by the sound of heavy banging from the other side of the wall behind me.  My neighbor must have become annoyed with listening to my strangled tears.  As soon as I grew quiet, so did he.

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All I Live For

googlesearch_c_to_originalphotographer“Theseus…Stop.”  Phaedra held her hand up, as if that one gesture alone had the power to make him halt his retreating footsteps.  As if by will alone, she could somehow undo his stubbornness.

When his thudding steps, clad in heavy leather sandals, would not pause but continued onward toward his fate…his inevitable doom, she called out to him once more.

“Please,” she whispered on the heels of a raspy breath that made her lungs ache.

He stopped, but refused to turn toward her.  It pained her to part with him under such terrible conditions.  No husband and wife should ever separate on the wake of a turbulent disagreement.  All she sought was to save his life.  To keep him living…breathing…walking…existing upon this earth with her, if only for one more day. Had she been able to convince him to forestall the start of his campaign for one more night of blistering love making, one more day of heated kisses…perhaps she would be able to erase the notion of marching into certain death from his mind completely.  She nearly laughed.  Her mighty champion would never abandon his honor or forsake his duties…not even for her…not even for their unborn child, still nestling in its mother’s warm womb.  The man Phaedra had chosen to wed, had given her heart and even her soul to,  would give every drop of his warrior’s blood, even his very life, if it would save his people from slavery and annihilation.

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Love’s Kiss

“Impossible,” she whispered.  The defiant word hung somberly in the warm breaths they shared.

     Though Marissa refused to speak her hope into existence, she finally understood the secret that bonded her spirit to Marcello with such startling intensity…almost at first sight

Stormy Night

Cminda Sameba, stormy day
Cminda Sameba, stormy day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A smiling face, halfway hidden by a fluffy pillow, looks up at me. Love beams bright in that one blue eye.  A sudden stream of tears washes away the endearing vision.  When my eyes open, the dream vanishes back behind the veil of thin air it was summoned from. I know I should abandon these wandering thoughts of you, but the memories refuse to budge.

Never consummated, always a seductive fantasy we danced and teased our way around.  Sweet kisses, cozy hugs, tender words spoken under moonlit skies. That was our story, and it was perfection.  

Kind people say that I should move on toward new horizons. They can’t see how the sun doesn’t appear as golden to me now that I’m perched up on this hilltop all alone.  Lonely in a room filled with lively souls. A feeling that no one else will ever quite understand until the experience is draped around them. Their symphony of laughs isn’t nearly enough to distract me from reminiscing about the quiet giggles we once shared.

I remember a joke whispered from your soft lips paused at my ear.  A small grin tugs my cheeks.  It is one of very few to visit me lately, and there is no promise of another in the near future.  Best friend. Confidant.  Amore. Hero. I miss you. 

The roaring thunder from another approaching storm calls me to sleep again. Again, with you constantly on my mind.

All Text ©2012 Lenise Lee Pubn.  All Rights Reserved.

On the mornings that I want to give up…

This morning happened to be one of those days.

Each time I start a new blog or begin typing a new post, I can never decide if I want to use this space as a confessional diary or free advertisement for my books.  Do I want to share every intimate thought or remain a faceless set of words on the screen?

I’m not a professional blogger nor can I ever claim to have any success whatsoever in that category.  Unlike the ladies and gents who have tons of followers, I’m only witty with people I have known at least a decade or more, and only philosophical with the same number of friends that I can count on one hand.

I’m not a great romance writer, and my critics can easily tell you that.  I’m constantly battling with myself between wanting to compose sweet romantic literature or erotic chick lit…I can’t seem to find a comfortable spot in either one of those categories.  In person, I’m über studious and practical – actually just stepped in the door from a trip to the library – and also very sly with flashing brown eyes that have gotten me into interesting trysts more than once…As much as I want my tales to have some enduring moral meaning, my wild streak always shows up to wipe away my characters’ wholesome nature.

So, all in all, I don’t have a happy home in the literary world.

Those were most of my thoughts as I opened my eyes this morning and blinked away the odd dream I was walking through. Dear girl, what in the world are you doing with yourself?  Give up and go back to that corporate nest you loathed so much…at least the pay was steady and they had a matching IRA.  On second thought, start a gossip column…write about what those ladies with that long dark hair are doing today…They’re always trending, so there’s tons of cash to be made.  You’re fooling yourself…No one wants to fall in love anymore, they just want to keep up with the you-know-who’s.

I rolled over and tossed the blankets over my head…not defeated, but not motivated either.  No second round of sleep in sight, because the birds wouldn’t stop singing and the neighbor’s dogs – as in, wow, how many dogs do you have now? – were hysterical for attention – again!  Get up and get that agenda together…Write a new short story about that cute scene I was thinking of yesterday? – Nope, those suck, people want to read about sex, not holding hands in the park…A quick poem to share how miserable I feel at this moment? – Nah, they suck, too, can’t seem to balance out that whole sensual-heartbreak rhythm that grabs people’s attention.

After moping about how purposefully unproductive I wanted to be, it finally dawned on me…I haven’t asked the right question.  That one question that gets me moving again, brings a bit of cheer to my cheeks, and compels me to give this crazy dream another try.  What do I want?

A couple of months ago, I prayed Mother Theresa’s prayer.  Catholic isn’t my official denomination, but I needed something to really revive me, to get me excited about living life again.  It’s a multi-day prayer and the book tells you that something extraordinary is supposed to happen at the conclusion of the novena. Oh, boy…did it.  The personal firewall I had spent yyyeaarrrss erecting around myself suddenly disintergrated…I’m mean like…Oh my God, what the *bleep* happened?  A barren landscape of no hope on the horizon, no inspiration, no motivation, followed by a long series of bizarre…why me? what did I do wrong?…events one after another.  When it rains it pours is no expression to be taken lightly. How about drenched with no shelter in sight.

Truthfully, I’m still recovering from my sudden absence of laughter and optimism.  Even as I continue to emerge, shaking off the ash and haze as I go, I’m starting to realize that I’ve been looking at these downfalls from the wrong angle. Each time, I rise much stronger and more insightful than I once was.  My personal tragedies and triumphs drive my storytelling to its peak…Every story that has zapped a reaction out of a reader has been one written after I’ve come crawling out of an emotional death valley.  As odd as it sounds, when I’m immersed in my wallowing spirit, I can somehow tap into a reflecting pool of eternal truths. The flow of the story becomes genuine…a sort of pseudo-autobiography floats to the surface…bits of truth playing against dabs of fantasy, and is deeply felt by both the author, the characters, and the audience.

So, toward the conclusion of another day of tapping out my heart as an indie author, my inspirational question still needs to be answered, one more time…What do I want?  Fame? Fortune? Awards? Fans?  All of the above? None?  After a cleansing breath, the serene truth is returned to me, one more time…I want to reach across an indefinite number of miles and connect with just one person – you, Dear Reader.  If I can spark even the dimmest flicker of kinship within your thoughts and your heart, I’ve done my job and lived up to my purpose in life…Until then…one more day, one more time to start over and get it right is almost here…LL♥

At First Sight

Giovanni, My Love by Lenise Lee

A Tale of Romance, Suspense, and a dash of international intrigue…After surviving a terrifying scene in a dark alleyway, Marissa Stiles is soon caught off-guard for a second time. Her heated encounters with an intriguing stranger set the stage for the unsuspecting woman to be lured into a curious game of cat-and-mouse…Marcello Rossi, a gorgeous man with stunning blue eyes and a heart-melting silver tongue, seems determined to charm Marissa into submission, but are his affections sincere or a deadly snare? Wherever Marco goes, a malevolent presence follows, and it has cast its cruel glare on tormenting Marissa…

Agent Marcello (Marco) Rossi has pursued a valuable treasure across international waters. His chase has led him onto a collision course for falling under the spell of a beautiful suspect. After saving Marissa Stiles from the hands of a masked villain, the covert soldier becomes inescapably distracted by a pair of lovely hazel eyes…One thought continually plagues him: Are Marissa’s seductive glances genuine? Or are they only a clever game of misdirection to keep Marcello from capturing his target?

First Sequel to ‘After the Sunset’ and ‘The Christmas Gift’

Read Excerpt from Giovanni, My Love 

Flame

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Like a moth drawn to a sizzling flame…Can I ever be free of him?…Unquenchable allure…in those deceptive promises of forever…What is it about you…that refuses to release me…from the spell of roguish blue eyes and soft rosy pink lips…that I want to forget…to taste in a spiraling kiss…all in the same breath…that tempt me continually as they drip with greedy need for my gentle curves…hunger for my butterscotch skin…Escape…then recapture…a seemingly endless cycle of wanting you desperately…running from your dangerous charm…circling round to wanting you with a renewed, forbidden passion…again…Let me go…take me back…Forgetting you…calling you close once more…Too much…Its always too much when our lives collide together in a blinding, infernal spark…secrets confessions from fingertips…so no one else will hear our weakness…I love you…I hate you…I love you more, he says…two hearts confessing undeniable obsession with our intoxicating, erotic…strangely blissful…misery…loves company…Never read this…Never see these words…Never know how much I crave you…to touch your consuming flame…to feel the sting of wretched desire…one last time…Like a curious, timid moth drawn to an inferno of dripping wet delights…Let me go, I whimper…take me back, he whispers…Love you…hate me…

©2012 Lenise Lee Pubn. All Rights Reserved.

Beautiful by Lenise Lee

I like to believe that I was born with an elegant and quiet strength.  These are personal qualities that I value and I have a habit of granting my female characters these same traits. But…what about those moments when I’m weak and unable to hold up a dwindling resistance? Everyone has a limit, an absolute breaking point when only the tender touch of another human being will help us rise from the shadows.  When and if we fall…who will be there to help lift us up again?

These were the questions I pondered while pulling this tale together.  It presents a teasing and seemingly simple scenario…Follow your heart or allow your mind to lead the way?  Both forces hold equally powerful sway on the decisions we make from moment to moment every day of our lives….Which will emerge victorious this time? Desire or obligation?

As a side note…I originally considered titling this novella ‘Broken’; however, since I strive to remain an eternal optimist, I chose the name that brought the biggest smile to my face‘Beautiful’with a faint hope that simply reading this word of praise would do the same for some restless heart on the other side of this screen…LL♥

Broken

falling

fading

fragmented

pieces of me scattering

dark

dim

despair

no silver halo to guide fragile eyes

Spark

Shimmer

Splendor

Dawn treading triumphantly along the golden horizon

Rising

Radiant

Reborn

broken no more, Hope Revived. Rescued.

Synopsis

Miyah has a choice to make…Her intimate attachments to the two men in her life possess the power to draw her closer to her heart’s desire or bind her from taking a chance on true love…Which destiny will she choose?

Excerpt

“And, of course,” a tiny dimple appeared in her chin as she spoke, “the first taste goes to the boss.”

Miyah carefully picked up one of the fancy treats and turned to Shawn.  A playful smirk ran across her mouth as she held the dessert near his face.  Her impish stare locked onto irises the color of white crystal surrounded by a halo of ocean blue.  Hot pink lips stretched opened and prepared to sink into the heavy whipped cream but, at the very last second, Miyah withdrew the cupcake from within his tongue’s reach.  A heavy laugh rumbled from the square chest underneath Shawn Dougherty’s white linen shirt.  The top buttons of his dress shirt were undone, and Miyah watched his Adam’s apple bob up and down with each deep chuckle he released. 

Shawn leaned forward again.  This time, the teasing woman didn’t disappoint him…

All Text ©2012 by Lenise Lee Pubn. All Rights Reserved.

I missed that mark again…

Over these past two years, I’ve spent considerable time contemplating this ‘mark’ I’m supposed to be hitting, and I keep coming up empty.  I’ve seen this word pop up a few times and it never fails to boggle my mind.  Perhaps this is the reason why artists make some of the worst critics for the creative works of their own hands.  As I sit back and allow my memory to float over various tales I have drafted — some published, many idling away on my flash drive — I come up dry every time I try to pin point this exact mark that I should be striving for.  Should I be in tune with the harmony driving the story or worried about if the characters have consummated their lusts fast enough to satisfy the roaming eyes floating across the screen?

Commercialism demands that an artist hit a specific peak to be considered successful; creativity, however, allows for growing pains and whole-hearted blunders…There’s deep meaning behind that badge of honor starving artist. After much thought — plus three websites, an abandoned tweeting account, and two blogs later — I’ve decided that I’m going to do my best never to aim for this elite mark, which dictates both the erratic pace and stifled visionary wellspring of our generational pop culture. Though I can’t say I am guiltless of trying to chase after this deceptive goal, which always seemed so far beyond my efforts, I have come to realize the soul-pinching effects of my error.  I’d rather allow the burgeoning and sometimes off-beat creativity dripping from my fingertips and the shades of colorful fantasy swimming through my mind guide my romantic tales than to willingly destroy the true author budding inside of me in vain pursuit of that ever-ellusive…mark.