From the Mind Journal of Shaylise Stafford

There is light
a flash
engulfing darkness
overwhelming stillness
absolute silent
Time is frozen.
I am frozen.
Or do I exist anymore at all?
I do not know
All I have is this thought
I am
I am here
somewhere
nowhere
everywhere
or
Am I the thought 
that someone else is having?
You are
You are there
and so am I
A pop
a flash
then there is light
blank soft light
Everyone is gone
but
I am not alone.

.
.
.
.
.

from By Moonlight: A Post Apocalyptic Fairy Tale by Q. Lenise Lee. Copyright 2021. 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.
.
.
.
.
 
 
from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairytale by Q.  Lenise Lee
 
Copyright 2021 Lenise Lee Pubn.  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.”

.

.

.

.

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

©2019 Lenise Lee Pubn.

Vitamin R -or- Use the Key

Miller_Place_Beach_at_Dawn;_Red_Sky (1)

what did i miss?

what word – phrase – pause – did i miss?

that would make everything – me – make sense.

pause

i’ve heard this – before – where?

why didn’t i notice – pause – then?

turn it off – pause – or turn it up?

shake off the deep – sleep –  pause

or fall further?

touch – the mirror – step through?

in the end (or the beginning)

I will be, what I will be.

dusk – or – pause – dawn?

invisible – to some.

mystery – to others.

never quite what I – am

ever imagined

all

would become – pause

closure

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