Author Feature – Educate Him by Sydney Aaliyah Michelle


Young, but not so innocent, maybe she can teach an old professor some new tricks.

I’ve always looked out for her, but she didn’t know it.
She came back into my life and made me want what I shouldn’t have.
Once she learns the truth, it will show her so much, but will she forgive me.

When everyone else in my life let me down, he made sense to me.
I returned with a plan in mind, but one night with him and plans changed.
The professor can teach me because I’m ready to learn.

Davis and Julia can’t deny their attraction despite the secrets of their past. Will it bring them closer together or reveal how forbidden their love is and tear them further apart?

Educate Him is an unconventional second chance romance by Sydney Aaliyah Michelle. If you enjoy a sassy, confident young woman, a smooth talking sexy professor, and a connection that reminds you why you love romance, you’ll love Sydney Aaliyah Michelle’s latest stand-alone HEA romance.

Click HERE to get your copy today!

An excerpt from Educate Him:

“What are you doing here, Jules?”
“I wanted to see you. We haven’t talking in a few days, and I just wanted to check in.” I laid my hands flat against the books; they offered comfort.
“You should have called.” He stared off toward his desk.
“Are you excepting company?”
“No. It’s been a long week; I’m tired and I have a headache.”
I stepped toward him, stood a few inches away, but he didn’t drop his hands.
“You should let me rub your temples.” I reached up, and he grabbed my hand and stepped away.
“You don’t even want me to touch you?” I asked over the grapefruit size lump in my throat.
“Jules, please just go.”
“No. Why?” I asked. “I just want to be near you. Why is that so bad?”
“It’s not bad, but I just can’t.”
“Why? What is it?”
“You wouldn’t understand.”
“Then make me understand.”
His eyes flashed, and he stepped toward me. I welcomed the warmth. His demeanor softened for a split second. I saw it. I felt it, but then it was gone, and he slumped back on the bookshelves with his chin to his chest.
“I can’t,” he said.
The words crushed me yet his tone scared me. I stood in front of him. He shuddered but didn’t look at me. I bent down, so I could see his eyes.
“Why?” I asked. “What are you afraid of?”
He lifted his head. He reached up and ran the back of his hand down my tear-soaked face.
I shuddered.
“I’m afraid if I tell you, if I show you what I am and what I’m truly like, then you’ll stop looking at me like that.” His hand dropped to his side. “I’d really miss that.”
“How do I look at you?” I asked. I knew the answer but wanted to hear how he saw it.
“Like I’m a king. You have the ultimate faith in me. I don’t deserve it.” His head dropped again.
“Then earn it,” I said, my tone stronger than I felt on the inside. Inside, I felt like I might crumble any minutes if he didn’t touch me.
“Oh, Julia … How?” He raised his head.
I spotted a glimmer of hope in his eyes.
“Keep it simple. What do you need me to do?”
His eyes grew dark as he approached me. I backed up into the bookshelf, and he placed his hands on either side of my head.
“Do as I say?”
I nodded. My heart raced, and I was sure he could hear it thumping like crazy. He placed his hand over my heart, and I drew in a sharp breath. His fingers tapped against my sternum.
“Look at me.”
I turned my head up and stared into his eyes. His hands rose and surround my throat. He didn’t squeeze, but panic set in.
“I’m not going to hurt you, Jules.” He pressed a little tighter. “I need you to trust me.”
“Do you trust me?”
I nodded.
“Say it.”
“I trust—” Before I finished the sentence, his lips were on mine.

Let’s learn a little about the author, Sydney Aaliyah Michelle:

Is what you’re doing now what you always wanted to do growing up?

Not really. When I was a kid, I always kept a journal and I loved to read and tell stories, but when I was a kid, I wanted to be a lawyer. I didn’t see writing as a practical career path. I went to law school and worked for a little over a year in Bankruptcy Litigation. Then I got the opportunity to go to China and I had time to write more.
Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What is your favorite book of all time and why did it speak to you so much?

The Great Gatsby is my favorite book of all time. It is such a drama filled, angsty romance with so many levels and layers. The way the setting is captured in words is nothing short of brilliant. Gatsby, Daisy, and Nick as characters are relatable and at the same time tragic and sad. I read the whole book at least once a year and I read some of my favorite setting passages when I’m blocked with writing good description around my own characters.

What’s an ideal weekend for you?

On one hand, getting 5,000 words is a perfect weekend for me. haha.
If I’m not working, enjoying a new restaurant for dinner or brunch. Hanging out with family and friends either at my parents house or out at a park is a fun. Sunday is all about relaxing and binge watching my favorite shows. I record everything and watch it on the weekends.

What’s on your bucket list this year?

On my bucket list for this year …I want to run a 10K and travel to one new place.

What writing advice would you offer an aspiring writer?

It all starts with getting the words on the page. I’ve heard a lot of people say, I have a great idea for a book. I ask them have they put that idea down on paper (or on a word document). If a whole book sounds overwhelming, I suggest they break it down into manageable chunks and write until it’s finished.
You have no idea what a sense of accomplishment it is to look at a document with 60,000 words and saying you wrote it.
Don’t write with the idea that you have to have it published. I wrote three full length novels before I felt confident to publish the fourth manuscript I wrote.
That first one is so embarrassing, but I take it out every once in a while and celebrate how far I’ve come.


Sydney Aaliyah Michelle is a Contemporary Romance writer, a voracious reader, tattoo lover, and movie fanatic who hails from Texas

After surviving 5 1/2 years living in China, she had the courage to finally pursue her passion and become a writer.

She identifies the sci-fi action flick “The Matrix” as the best representation of her life in the past. She is now blessed to be awake and doing what she loves.

She can recite the entire script from the 80’s teen comedy/drama “The Breakfast Club” and loves any and everything associated with the Avengers Movie, especially Tony Stark.

When it come to books, Sydney reads different genres, but some of her favorite writers are Stephen King, Alex J. Cavanaugh, J.A Huss, M. Never & Emily Bronte. Under the Dome, The Great Gatsby & Wuthering Heights are her favorite books.

Email Sydney at

Connect with Sydney Online:

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Goodreads Page
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Author Feature – Fantasy Island by Y.M. Sheree

“Forgive my fingers for when they find your body they will lose themselves.”
          – Tyler Knott Gregson

If you were given the opportunity to fulfill all of your fantasies, would you take a chance of a lifetime? Are you in need of a spark of excitement in your life again? With the possibility of winning a trip to Fantasy Island you realize that there is more to this island than just its name. Four unsuspecting winners of the contest are about to embark on an adventurous journey that will forever change their lives.
Meet the Contest Winners: Melody Edwards, Johanna Michaels, Makayla Washington, and Jacob Winters. Melody is a wife of three years who has found herself having self-image issues. Johanna, is cursed with not being able to sustain relationships. Makayla is the soon to be wife, yet she never seems to be satisfied with her life. Jacob, is the widower who longs for love again but unsure if anyone would be able to fill that void. Although, their reasons may vary they all have one goal in common: escaping reality. Can this luxurious island fulfill all of their desires or will it leave them craving for more? Fantasy Island is full of twists, turns, and sensual moments to keep you on edge….

Get your copy of the book today by visiting the links below:

Amazon Ebook     Amazon Paperback     Barnes and Noble Ebook     Barnes and Noble Paperback     Books A Million

Let’s get to know a little about our featured author, Y.M. Sheree…

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I think I would to live in another country. I was stationed in Germany for two years and it was beautiful. Maybe Greece or Rome.

What would you sing at Karaoke night?

I usually do Prince songs because I am a huge fan. I have sung Kiss, Darling Nikki, and When Doves Cry.

Do you like or dislike surprises? Why or why not?

I love surprises because I feel the person took out enough time to think about me to go to all the trouble to do so.

Tell us a little about your favorite scene from your most recent novel.

My favorite scene from my latest book Fantasy Island would be between Makayla and her partner. He shows up at the bridal shop with food to show her support as her friend and her partner on the job.

If you could offer any advice for an aspiring writer, what would it be?

Something I had to learn is that not everyone is going to enjoy what you write. That is okay because you should write because you of all people love to. Also do your own research on everything as far as publishing, cover artists, how to perfect your craft, editors and etc. I have numerous people who contact me on Facebook asking me questions and I try to help always. If I don’t know the answer I always find I for them. With that being said, when you get a team surround yourself with like minded people in this industry.

How did you come up with the idea to write Fantasy Island?

I came up with the idea of this book from watching the old tv show Fantasy Island but I put an erotic twist on my story. When I write erotica I try to touch on subjects that the world may think are taboo but deep down some individuals may want to try. I let them live vicariously through my characters.


Y. M. Sheree is an Army veteran who currently resides in Portsmouth, Virginia. She is a proud mother of two daughters, one a CNA and currently in College and the other is serving in the U.S. Army. A graduate of Colorado Technical University she has received two MBAs, one in Business Administration and the other in Project Management. While in High School a short story written about, King Author gained attention of the librarians. She switched her knight to a female and the damsel had been a male. Her best friend co-authored a book when they attended High School together.
While stationed in Germany, she tried her hand at poetry that she sent to a publishing company that turned her down stating her writing was journal entries and not poetry in 2009. Her spirit crushed she put her pen down and stopped writing until 2015. Mary B. Morrison challenged aspiring writers to write a book in ninety days on Facebook. Y.M. Sheree took the challenge as a hobby to pass her time not knowing that later on that year her first published work Purple Haze would release in October 2015. She now has three published books on and Barnes and, Purple Haze, Purple Haze 2, The Switch Up, and Fantasy Island.
In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, playing video games on her Xbox one, and she is a diehard Baltimore Ravens fan and Golden State Warriors. Known for writing Erotica she plans on being versatile and write in different genres.

Connect with Y.M. at the following links:

Y.M. Sheree’s Website    Goodreads     Pinterest     Instagram     Twitter     Author Go     Email     Facebook Page 1     Facebook Page 2     Facebook Group


Thank you, Y.M. Sheree for being my Friday Author Feature!

Curious who is up next? Please refer to the Upcoming Events to the right. 🙂

If you are an author interested in featuring a new book, feel free to fill out the contact form HERE.

#AtoZChallenge Visitors from Beyond – Mesmerized by the Mermaid



As a kid, I’d been enamored by mermaids so much (thanks, in part to the movie Splash starring Tom Hanks, and in part due to my love of swimming) that I’d used every birthday wish to become one. It’s only fitting, having just celebrated another birthday earlier this week that I let M stand for Mermaid! Incidentally, I have yet to sprout fins but if I do, you can bet I’ll be blogging about it!

“I thought I might find you here.” Adam handed his brother a cup so hot that steamed poured into the chilly morning air. Mark took it and mumbled his thanks. He held the cup close for warmth. He couldn’t remember how long he’d been sitting on the pier overlooking the ocean but the fact that the sun had broken into the sky was a pretty good indication that it was longer than he’d intended.

“I was hoping maybe you’d snuck off with that blond you were talking to last night,” Adam continued as he settled in next to his brother, “But I guess I should have known better.”

“What are you doing here, Adam?”

“I thought you could use something to warm you up.”

Mark shifted, feeling the stiffness in his back and legs from sitting so long. He was getting too old for this but he refused to admit it, least of all to Adam.

“We came to the beach to have a good time,” Adam said.

“You seemed to accomplish that last night.”

Mark could feel the tension from his brother. There was silence while Adam searched for an explanation but they both knew there was no point. Mark had liked Renee. She’d been good for Adam. Seeing him with someone else broke him in inexplicable ways.

“Renee and I broke up a week ago,” Adam said softly.

“I know.”

“Anyway, that isn’t what I came out here for.”

“I know why you’re here and you can save your breath. I’m still going through with it.”

“Mark, it was fun when we were kids but we’re too old for that shit now. Come on. One of these days you’re going to get yourself hurt. Stop playing pretend and join the rest of us. Have a good time for once.”

“It isn’t pretend. You remember the stories Dad told us when we were kids?”

“Stories,” Adam said, “That’s all they were, told by a drunk.”

“I saw it. And so did you. Why do you waste so much energy denying it?”

Adam let out a slow breath and looked out over the rolling waves. Mark studied his brother’s face, looking for some sign of the boy who used to believe as passionately as he did. Where did that boy go? What happened to summers by the beach when they’d devise plans and expeditions to track down the creatures of the sea?

“Doing this isn’t going to bring back Mom,” Adam said finally. He pushed up to stand a moment longer, teetering at the edge of the pier as if he might jump in.

“Go back to your new girlfriend or play thing, whatever she is,” Mark said, “and go back to your parties and your drinks. Become the man you hated for so long.”


“Save it, Adam. It’s done.”

“The others are asking about you. What am I supposed to tell them?”

“Tell them whatever you want.”

“And the blond?”

Mark said nothing because they both already knew the answer. As far as Mark was concerned, the blond didn’t exist.

Adam shook his head as he shoved his hands deep in the pockets of his leather jacket and walked away, leaving Mark alone with the coffee he’d never drink, and the fantasies about what lay beneath the water’s surface. In the distance Mark watched dolphins jumping and playing and envied their freedom.

Maybe Adam was right? Maybe he was getting too old to hang on to stories told by a drunken old fisherman about alluring creatures who were half human and half fish?

Except he couldn’t shake the image from his mind of the girl in the water who had once saved his life when he wasn’t more than five. Adam had seen it too even if he refused to admit it. And ever since that day, Mark had been plagued by dreams of her calling to him, begging him to return. It made sense to no one, not even himself, but he couldn’t escape the pull of the tide as he sat on the pier and waited.

Too many years had passed. He wasn’t a boy any longer. Slowly, he stretched his legs and placed the coffee cup to one side before getting up and splashing down into the calf deep water and wading over to the small boat.

His hands shook with anticipation as he made his way out into the depths of the ocean. If things went as planned, he would not return.

As he squinted toward the shoreline he thought he saw Adam waving but he brushed it off as imagination. There were some rifts that could never be repaired, even between brothers. The coffee cup sat abandoned on the edge of the pier and for a moment, he wished he’d taken it with him as a reminder of the life he couldn’t live.

He cut the engine and dove into the ocean before second thoughts took over. The icy cold water cut through his flesh and stole his breath away. He dove down again, forcing his limbs to carry him deeper, ignoring the burning in his chest when he ran out of air. His ears threatened to explode and his body resisted his movements.

But finally, he saw her. She smiled and waved to him, beckoning him closer, long dark hair swirling around her head.

Her arms pulled him into an embrace and dreams blurred into reality.

They were together, at last.


I can’t tell you what this year’s  birthday wish was because if I did, it might not come true… Yes, I still believe in wishes! Rest assured it has more to do with getting my stories into the hands of readers who will love them than condemning myself to an aquatic life. More realistic? Maybe. 😉


Thank you for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts. Each day I am posting a ‘snippet’ based on a paranormal creature that begins with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. I am using this as a fun writing exercise which I am hoping will also be enjoyable to read, but keep in mind that due to the fact that I must post a new snippet each day in April except Sundays, the posts may be a bit rough. I’ll do my best, however, in the limited time I have available to me. 🙂 Let me know your favorites or the posts you find most intriguing because I plan to develop those into a full story later in the year!

Check out the other participants in the A to Z Challenge.

#AtoZChallenge Visitors from Beyond – Lured by La Sayona

beautiful girl ghost, witch bride in a white dress holding a bla

According to Wikipedia, La Sayona is a legend from Venezuela, represented by the vengeful spirit of a woman who shows up only to men who have love affairs outside their marriage.

Technically, perhaps it should have been filed under S but I’m using creative license once again, this time with the alphabet.

** Warning ** This story contains adult themes. If you are under 18 or sensitive to stories of this nature, please don’t continue. Thanks!

Craig replaced the phone in the receiver and glanced at his watch.

“Shit,” he mumbled under his breath. He’d been so busy, he completely forgot to pick up a gift for his wife, Lea’s birthday. He was trying to decide how he could make a quick stop and still make it to the bakery to pick up the cake when Jenny walked in and handed him a stack of files.

“You feeling okay?” she said.

Craig sat back in his chair and took in the sight of her. She was wearing his favorite skirt again, the one that almost showed a hint of the lacy garter he knew he’d find underneath it. He tugged at his tie and wondered if she was wearing the matching black panties.

“I’m fine,” he said, “Just feeling a bit tired.”

“Oh, I almost forgot,” she said. She disappeared a moment and came back holding a small box wrapped in elegant silver paper with matching bow, “You’ll need this.”

He reached over the desk but instead of taking the gift, he grabbed her wrist and held it tight. He watched the look in her eyes darken and he wondered if he had enough time to lean her over his desk and do all the things he knew she liked. The scent of her perfume was making him heady with lust.

“You’re my lifesaver, Jenny.”

“I do what I can, Mr. Larson. You asked me to pick this up a week ago, remember?”

He’d completely forgotten, of course. When it came to Lea’s birthday, nothing stuck. When it came to the feel of Jenny’s smooth skin under his fingertips, however, he remembered every little detail. He inhaled deeply and closed his eyes.

“Craig,” he corrected. He hated it when she called him Mr. Larson.

“I hope she likes it.” Jenny tugged her arm free and smoothed her palms over her thighs. She looked a little shaken, like he’d had an effect on her and wanted to hide it. His fingertips itched with the need to tangle his hands in her hair as he kissed her breathless. He pushed up from his chair and crossed the short distance to reach her. She looked up at him with wide, brown eyes.

“Mr. Larson, I don’t think we should…”

He didn’t give her the chance to finish. He needed the taste of her on his tongue, his hands filled with her shapely bottom. She didn’t resist as he nudged her back until her legs hit the desk. As she sat on the edge, he was already freeing buttons on his shirt with one hand and gliding his palm over her thigh with the other, determined to find out what lay out of his sight.

“Mr. Larson, your wife is expecting you…”

“She won’t mind if I’m a couple minutes late.”

“But it’s her birthday.”

He pushed her hair over to expose her neck as he kissed and nibbled his way from her ear to her shoulder. When it came to Jenny, he had a hunger that would never be sated. She made little sounds as he reached around and unclasped her bra, eager to taste her nipple. He was so drunk on her that at first, he couldn’t understand why her palms were pressing against his chest. Finally, he stepped back, acknowledging her desire to stop.

“What’s wrong?”

“This isn’t very romantic.”

“That’s not what you said last time.”

“I’m sorry, I should have never…”

“Never what?”

“That weekend you took me on the business trip, you told me you were leaving your wife.”

“I am.”

“When, Craig? That was six months ago. We can’t keep screwing in the supply closet like animals. It isn’t right.”

“Well, I can’t leave her tonight,” he said feeling the irritation rise. Why were woman so damned demanding? “It’s her god damned birthday.”

Jenny had a look on her face like he’d slapped her but she pulled it together and started readjusting her clothes. So that was it then? He thought she would last a little longer than the last one before getting all needy on him. He’d given her a generous raise, enough that she’d gone and bought herself a brand new car. What more did she want?

He snatched the gift off his desk and his jacket from the back of his chair.

“Craig, wait. We need to talk.”

“There is nothing to talk about, Jenny. You made your feelings clear enough. I need to get home to my wife.”

“Craig… I’m pregnant.”

He stopped. He could feel the weight of her stare on his back. How could she even be sure it was his? He had a pretty good idea he wasn’t the only man in her life. Typical bitch resorting to manipulation to get what she wanted.

“Clear out your desk, Jenny. You’re fired.”

He heard her gasp but he didn’t stand there long enough to listen to her cry. He hurried out to the elevator, punching the buttons until the doors finally opened, welcoming him into their serenity. He tried to calm his breathing as he hit the button for the lobby. He didn’t even notice he wasn’t alone until the sound of her voice caught him off guard.

“Tough day?”

He turned around to the most stunning woman he’d ever seen. She could have stepped right off the runway of a New York fashion show. His gaze traveled the length of her body, reveling at her low cut blouse and long, lean legs. He was pretty sure he’d never seen her in the building before and he’d worked here long enough to catalog all the women worth knowing.

“You could say that. I fired my secretary.”

“So hard to find good help these days,” she said with a smile. The sound of her voice and the look in her eyes drew him in. He found himself smiling at her despite his earlier agitation.

“I don’t suppose you’re in the market for a new job?” he teased.

“You can’t afford me.”

“I could probably make a few cuts in the budget to accomodate your, um, high demands.”

She laughed and the sound of it filled his ears and made him hard. He hoped he wasn’t reading her wrong. She reached forward and hit the emergency stop button before the elevator had a chance to settle on the main floor.

“My employer makes certain I am well compensated for my special skills,” she said plucking the gift from his hand and holding it up, “You look like you have somewhere you need to be.”

“Nowhere special. It can wait.” He inhaled sharply as she stepped so close their noses nearly touched.

“Do you like to play?” she whispered in his ear.

“Baby, I’ll play with you any day.”

His cell phone vibrated in his pocket. Much to his dismay, the woman reached to grab and answer it before he could stop her.

“What the hell?” he said, trying to get his phone back. It was probably Lea wondering when he’d be home from work. She was having her parents over for dinner and probably felt the need to remind him to pick up the cake because she knew he’d forget.

He heard Lea’s on the other hand asking who was speaking and wondering where was Craig?

“I’m so sorry,” the woman said, “but your husband has been in an accident.”

“Shit. Give me the damn phone,” Craig yelled. “I am okay, Lea. I’ll be home soon, Honey.”

Whether she’d heard him or not, he wasn’t sure. The stranger disconnected the call, never taking her eyes off Craig.

“What the hell is wrong with you? That was my wife.” He snatched the phone and the gift and hit the elevator buttons, trying to make it start moving again. The elevator wouldn’t budge.

“She will miss you. As will your pregnant mistress. Those two will have a lot to talk about at your funeral.”

“How do you know…?”

The woman smiled before nudging him aside to activate the elevator again. At her touch, it came to life instantly except, instead of going down, it started moving up.

“I’m getting the hell out of this elevator,” Craig said poised at the door to leap at the first chance.

“What’s wrong? Don’t you like my games, Mr. Larson?”

“Psychotic bitch.”

“That isn’t very nice.”

The elevator came to an abrupt stop and Craig readied himself to exit. He couldn’t stand another moment being next to her. But instead of the doors opening, the elevator began freefalling. He grabbed the side.

“Goodbye, Mr. Larson. It’s been a pleasure.”

She smiled and gave him a little wave as he looked at her in terror, unable to form the words to speak.

Just before the elevator crashed, she vanished.


Thank you for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts. Each day I am posting a ‘snippet’ based on a paranormal creature that begins with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. I am using this as a fun writing exercise which I am hoping will also be enjoyable to read, but keep in mind that due to the fact that I must post a new snippet each day in April except Sundays, the posts may be a bit rough. I’ll do my best, however, in the limited time I have available to me. 🙂 Let me know your favorites or the posts you find most intriguing because I plan to develop those into a full story later in the year!

Check out the other participants in the A to Z Challenge.

#AtoZChallenge Visitors from Beyond – Jengu

Water fairy walking into the moon

According to Wikipedia, the Jengu is a water spirit in the traditional beliefs of the Sawa ethnic groups of Cameroon, particularly the Duala, Bakwei, and related Sawa peoples.

Obviously, I’ve taken huge liberties for the sake of my fictional piece.

The rowboat slid to a rest in the middle of the lake. Ben balanced the oars to one side and leaned back to reach the cooler and pull out a beer. He opened it but didn’t take a sip right away. Instead, he absorbed the sounds of nature as he watched the sun drip lower toward the horizon.

This was exactly what he needed. Taking a deep breath, he crossed his ankles and let the smooth cold beverage go down.

Today marked the anniversary of one month since his life had changed. One day everything had been normal and the next, he had come home from work to find a note from Sarah. She didn’t have the decency to tell him to his face that she didn’t want to be with him. She’d simply packed her bags and disappeared, scribbling a halfhearted note in her wake. It wasn’t until two days later when speaking with a mutual friend that Ben found out she had already shacked up with some guy from work. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to put two and two together.

Maybe he should have seen the signs but he’d been too busy planning their future to notice their present slipping through his fingers. He searched his memory for hints or clues. Had she been spending more late nights at the office? He didn’t think so. Did she sneak away in the evening when she’d claimed to be getting her hair done or going to the gym? If she did, she was damn good at fooling him. How could she have fallen out of love with him and in love with someone else so easily?

He dropped the empty beer can in the boat and dug his hand in his pocket, pulling out the diamond ring he’d picked out for her. The ring sparkled as it caught the late afternoon sun while he turned it between his fingers.

In only four weeks, he felt as though he’d aged a decade. Numbness filled him to the core and he walked as a shadow in his own life. Every once in a while, he encountered someone who would ask how Sarah was doing. At first, he told people they were no longer together but he had grown tired of feeling sorry for himself. Losing her had become an affliction he suffered. Now on the rare occasion when someone asked, he simply said she was doing fine and left it at that.

As Ben brooded over the broken fragments of his life and finished off another beer, the sun disappeared below the horizon. He didn’t even notice the dark clouds that gathered to the north. He didn’t acknowledge how much his boat had silently drifted on the smooth water’s edge. Occasionally he noticed a fish rise to the surface to snatch one of the insects skidding across the top. He closed his eyes and relaxed to the song of wind rustling the expanse of trees that surrounded the lake.

He was alone and that’s all that mattered. His body shook. The tears caught him off guard and he wiped his eyes with the backs of his hands before reaching around to grab another beer. Rain splattered down but he didn’t feel it. He opened his palm to the ring he’d been holding so tightly it left an indentation in his skin. With a deep breath, he pulled back his arm and tossed it as far out into the water as he could manage, hardly distinguishing the impact now that the rain poured down harder. He ran his fingers through his wet hair.

He could have sold the ring and got back some of what he’d paid for it but it wouldn’t have given him the same emotional satisfaction. Sarah had taken his heart and ripped it pieces. Money would never put it back together again.

But he’d outstayed his time on the lake. He grabbed the oars, suddenly seized by panic as he realized how far off shore he had drifted. The wind had picked up and the sun had given way to darkness. He had to strain to see through the driving rain. Which way had he come? Suddenly, he wasn’t certain. Although he’d spent so many summers on this lake, he felt disoriented.

Clutching the side of the boat, he tried to get his bearings. His thoughts scattered and for a moment he wondered if he hadn’t been brought to this junction in life by fate. Shaking off the chill that settled deep inside, he grabbed the oars and began rowing furiously, simply hoping that luck would bring him to land.

Lightning struck down, hitting him as he rowed. He collapsed, closing his eyes as he fell overboard and hit the water with a splash. Defeated by fate, he gave in and allowed his heavy body to sink. He thought of Sarah and the way she would laugh when he told her a joke and then he thought of nothing at all.

He felt fingers wrap around his waist pulling him and when he opened his eyes, he caught sight of the twinkle of diamond on the river floor. He thought he saw the face of a woman with long dark hair floating around her face. “Jengu”, he thought, “spirit of the lake come to claim me”. He gave in to darkness.

When he opened his eyes, he gasped for air. The storm had passed and in the east the first hint of dawn stretched over the horizon in brilliant oranges and yellows. He wasn’t sure how long he’d been unconscious or how he’d gone from sinking to the bottom of the river to waking on the shore but he had the unnerving sensation of not being alone. He rolled over to his side and caught sight of the ring partly buried in the grass a few feet from where he lay.

A soft breeze stroked his hair as he sat up. It seemed to wrap around him in an embrace, whispering his name, encouraging him to grasp life. He reached for the ring and sat watching as the sun emerged. A new day had dawned.

“Are you alright?”

He turned to see a young woman with auburn hair walking toward him walking a dog. The dog reached him first, covering him with kisses. When he looked up to see her worried face peering down at him with the backdrop of sunlight illuminating the world behind her, he felt a strange sensation fill him.



Last year, I only made it up to letter I in the challenge. Yay, as of this post, I have exceeded my 2015 accomplishment. If I make it halfway through the alphabet, I will feel successful!

Thank you for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts. Each day I am posting a ‘snippet’ based on a paranormal creature that begins with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. I am using this as a fun writing exercise which I am hoping will also be enjoyable to read, but keep in mind that due to the fact that I must post a new snippet each day in April except Sundays, the posts may be a bit rough. I’ll do my best, however, in the limited time I have available to me. 🙂 Let me know your favorites or the posts you find most intriguing because I plan to develop those into a full story later in the year!

Check out the other participants in the A to Z Challenge.