Archive for the The Written Word Category

‘HAIKON’ Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Setting/Adventures Module

Posted in Dungeons And Dragons, Self Publishing, The Written Word, Writer, Writing with tags , , , , on September 19, 2020 by darkjade68
Most Of The Concept And Design For My “HAIKON’ Dungeons & Dragons 5e Campaign Setting/Adventures Module Is Written & Complete… Meeting With A D & D Buddy Next Thursday To Brainstorm/Refine A Few Elements… Also Keeping My Eyes Out For An illustrator

For updates you can follow my D & D Twitter Account Dragon_Ryder7

‘Mady’s Storm’ (Novella) Chapters 13 & 14

Posted in Fiction, I Died Once, Mady's Storm, Novella, Self Publishing, Story, The Written Word, Writer, Writing on February 21, 2020 by darkjade68

mady-cover2

My Novella ‘Mady’s Storm’ Continued

Mady’s Storm

A Novella

by James Mahoney (DarkJade)

Chapters 1 & 2

Chapters 3 & 4

Chapters 5 & 6

Chapters 7 & 8

Chapters 9 & 10

Chapters 11 & 12

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Family

 

The nightmares still seem to haunt me sometimes…

I can still see the whole scene; I even remember the feeling of the water around me, and remember vividly the sound of the gunshots meant to kill me…

Even after this long….

Some stones left unturned?

I hope not.

I sit up, holding the blanket close to my chest.

I can see the streaks of snow falling, and my window is covered in frost.

The Christmas lights have really begun to sprout up all over the city…

Funny how much warmer people seemed to get towards one another the closer it gets to Christmas…

I think I’m going to like celebrating holidays…

At least maybe one day a year will remind me, and return me to those nights in front of the fireplace with my father.

A Fireplace…

I don’t want to be alone in my apartment on Christmas, I find.

No one should be alone on Christmas.

*

It was that night that I decided to get out of the apartment, and find myself a home.

I looked for a home outside of New York City.

After about a week, I had, at last, found the house I decided to be mine…

It was three stories high, and had a huge fireplace.

I moved in right away.

The kitchen was beautiful too…

I had visions of learning to cook big, delicious meals…

But instead, I had hired a cook…

Then a maid, and a driver…

I even sent a note to Rabia and his family in Africa,

Inviting them to come and stay with me for the holidays.

To my pleasant surprise, they were thrilled to come…

And before I knew it, I had a house full of people…

A huge Christmas tree, decorated brilliantly in the living room…

Perhaps I am building my own family right here in America…

And it feels…

Wonderful.

 

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Contribution

 

Before I knew it, “The Sam and Scarlett Charity Ball” had arrived… The one for the Children’s Hospital…

I show up at the ball in a white and black ball gown, black high heels, diamond earrings, and a simple, pearl necklace.

My long, dark hair is up, in a tight bun.

And a deep red lipstick stains my lips.

I feel… Elegant.

The wolves are definitely out tonight… But I don’t let it bother me…

Instead I sip my bright red punch, listening to many, many wealthy, business people talk about money.

Apparently it makes the world go round…

But I also meet many of the children’s parents, as the Children’s Hospital Director said I would.

They are so very appreciative, and I, fairly speechless, become so humbled by their warmth…

*

The benefit is a huge success so far…

Some 350 of New York’s wealthy and famous show up, and many of them give healthy contributions.

I am thrilled, and feel… proud.

I think my father would be proud if he could see me… Who knows, maybe he can.

But for every contributor, there is also those that do not contribute when they find out the event is in honor of a woman.

This era has much to learn about simply being human.

But I know better.

The dark haired, blue eyed minx from Virginia has done good…

But some won’t leave it at that.

Some can’t leave it at that.

“Hello, again, Ms. Monroe.”

It is the New York reporter that had followed me to Virginia, and wrote that terrible article in the paper about me…

Randy McCormick.

“Hello Mr. McCormick,” I say politely.

He shakes my hand with a manic smile.

“I thought you already got your story,”

“Oh… There are always new stories to be had, when there are interesting people around, like yourself,” he replies, baring his teeth.

“I see… Well, another time perhaps,” I speak as I walk away.

Surely I’m not going to let one little news weasel mess with this night.

Not on your life…

**************************************************

THE CHRONICLES OF MADY;

BOOK 1 – ‘I Died Once’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

BOOK 2 – ‘Mady’s Storm’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

‘Mady’s Storm’ (Novella) Chapters 11 & 12

Posted in Fiction, I Died Once, Mady's Storm, Novella, Self Publishing, Story, The Written Word, Writer, Writing on February 20, 2020 by darkjade68

mady-cover2

My Novella ‘Mady’s Storm’ Continued

Mady’s Storm

A Novella

by James Mahoney (DarkJade)

Chapters 1 & 2

Chapters 3 & 4

Chapters 5 & 6

Chapters 7 & 8

Chapters 9 & 10

CHAPTER ELEVEN

A Time of Giving

 

I sit alone in the dark of my apartment, looking out my window as the bright colors of the holiday lights flicker.

Christmas is almost here.

My father didn’t necessarily celebrate holidays.

No, for us everyday seemed like some sort of holiday.

Perhaps living in Africa was the holiday. It may have been easier, existing far from the material realities displayed in Europe, and in the States.

But it seems Christmas is more than that. It is a time of sharing…

A time of giving…

*

The Hospital Director, a tall, grey haired man, shows me around the different floors of the hospital.

I decided to wear a dark blue, professional skirt, and a cream colored blouse for the occasion, though the chill outside is particularly unbearable.

“We’re doing our best with the little amount of funds our hospital receives,” The director says to me.

We pass by several open rooms, where sick children can be seen in their hospital beds.

Several are playing board games with family members, trying to celebrate the spirit of the holidays.

My mind drifts back to Africa, where sights like this are common, sick children and their families huddled together in little rooms….

I feel a sense of belonging, a connection. It is as if I am no different…

I realize, in this moment, that humanity is not so different than in Africa. And my father had always helped the sick there.

“Most people that donate money towards hospitals, or medical research, do so within regular hospitals… Often funds go towards heart conditions, and/or life threatening diseases that usually have more to do with adults, than they do with children,” the Director explains. “Sadly, not much of it trickles over to the Children’s Hospital”

“I understand” I say “Well, I’d like to donate $100,000 to the Children’s Hospital,” I had my mind made up long before he mentioned any of this, but seeing these children made me offer more than I had originally planned.

I smile inside as the Director freezes, wide eyed and speechless “$100,000?” he asks.

“As soon as possible,” I continue. I open my purse, and hand him my card.

“Here’s the number to my Financial Adviser, her name is Brett Stevens. She’s very nice. She has been given specific instructions to wire your hospital the money, I’ll let her know the amount once I reach my apartment, then call anytime.”

“I don’t know what to say, Miss Monroe… Your generosity is overwhelming,” He replies.

“Your acceptance of the money and compassion for these children are enough,” I finish as I look into the room of a sick child. A young boy of four or five with gorgeous, golden hair, he turns his head and we lock eyes.

All at once I feel not only that I matter, but I am realizing that America is so much more than I once believed….

And that maybe I do have a purpose outside of being my father’s daughter…

“That being the case, we’d like to throw a Christmas Ball in your honor, if that’d be alright?” speaks the Director, breaking my stare with the child. “It will give you an opportunity to meet some of the children’s parents whose lives you’re affecting,” He explains.

“I‘ll agree to it, if you make it a Charity Ball…” I tell him as the idea pops in my head. “Perhaps we can drum up some additional donations, or charitable souls, and really get your research on track…”  I say as I remove one of my gloves, and the shake his hand.

Is this what it means to have money? Maybe the concept was completely different than I had ever thought, the power, much more altruistic and a responsibility than I had ever known.

My focus shifts to my surroundings then, and I grimace in response.

“Also, I don’t want to cross any lines, but you might consider painting this place using more reds, yellows, blues, greens and oranges…” I suggest as we head for the exit “Greys and faded pinks are very depressing I find… Not that I am educated in such things,”

“No, I believe you’re right… And studies are starting to say such things,” the Director replies excitedly.

It is like I cannot stop wanting to help, wanting to give….

“Also… I have a plantation in Africa…” I nearly blurt out “I’ll have them ship some professional photos of the landscapes there, for you to hang in each of the children’s rooms… Just let my Financial Adviser know how many rooms you have, we’ll put one in for each bed in the room.

Before the Director says anything, I speak again, “Africa is truly amazing… Every child deserves to experience it in any way that is possible.”

“Yes… Certainly,” the Director replies, but doesn’t seem too enthusiastic with the thought. People have their thoughts of Africa, I know. Why do you think I wanted to send Rabia back?

I say my goodbye, and walk out into the cold, winter wind. I turn my head a final time to look at the hospital silhouette in the dark, grey sky.

 

CHAPTER TWELVE

Questions

 

I sit alone again, a small glass of brandy in one hand, a cigarette in the other.

My mind drifts back to the money I donated to the Children’s Hospital.

For the first time, I feel there’s an actual use for my parent’s money…

Don’t get me wrong… I know that money doesn’t grow on trees…

And I know that my parents wouldn’t want me to give it all away.

So I won’t.

But I would like to give once in a while, which is why I brought on a financial adviser to help my money grow…

For that is something that I know absolutely nothing about.

A Career…

I’ve never had one.

I am still very young, it probably wouldn’t hurt to have one…

But what?

Lately the passing of my father seems to have hatched a whole world of questions…

And very few answers.

But what answers do I really need anyway?

**************************************************

THE CHRONICLES OF MADY;

BOOK 1 – ‘I Died Once’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

BOOK 2 – ‘Mady’s Storm’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

The Fallen

Posted in Life, Poem, Poetry, The Written Word, Writer, Writing on February 20, 2020 by darkjade68

the-three-levels-of-self-awareness-cover

The Fallen

Why do you hit so hard…

Ambition

Pain…

Anger

You’re wrong…

To hurt those hearts

They try to rise…

They’ve fallen

Be gone from my sight…

I want to be alone

I want you to be alone…

Slow it down

Feel what you’re doing…

Feel what you’ve done

Broken…

It makes me sad

DarkJade-

PICTURE CREDIT – Self Awareness

 

‘Mady’s Storm’ (Novella) Chapters 9 & 10

Posted in Fiction, I Died Once, Mady's Storm, Novella, Self Publishing, Story, The Written Word, Writer, Writing on February 19, 2020 by darkjade68

mady-cover2

My Novella ‘Mady’s Storm’ Continued

Mady’s Storm

A Novella

by James Mahoney (DarkJade)

Chapters 1 & 2

Chapters 3 & 4

Chapters 5 & 6

Chapters 7 & 8

CHAPTER NINE

Passion

 

Even though I am 23, I have hardly had any experience, nor interest in men.

But in New York, I received a quick education of them.

For the most part, I do not find them altogether useful…

At least not useful to me.

As I stand upon my apartment balcony, cigarette in one hand, brandy in the other, overlooking the vast and beautiful city lights below.

I think of my father.

He had shown me that good men do exist.

But I’m starting to have my doubts that any of them are here in New York City.

I decide it is best to not think of men, and just get ready for bed…alone

*

Red dress…

Black hair…

Warm hands…

Soft lips upon my neck…

Who was this man that had come to me in my dreams…

And what was he doing to my mouth, neck… body.

The image fades away, and I am awake, sweating heavily in my bed.

“Passion,” is the only word that leaves my mouth.

I’m starting to believe that I, as a woman, or at least as a human… am bottling up some sort of deep heated intensity.

And in New York, this could lead a young woman such as myself to an awful lot of ‘frivolous’, unadulterated, meaningless, ….interactions.

I walk to my bathroom, and find tossing cold water on my face cools me down a little.

The beads of water drip down my neck, and onto my chest.

“This will not do” I speak to myself.

Perhaps it is my soul that is hungry for something, not my body. Perhaps I need something other than sex to quench my thirst.

….Or at least, this is what I tell myself.

But what?

“Flying” I speak with a smile.

 

CHAPTER TEN

Airborne

 

I enter the plane hangar of a small New York airport, planes everywhere…

I decided to wear a mid-length, fairly slinky looking, black dress….

Maybe it wasn’t the best idea, as the many pilots that inhabit this place stop whatever they are doing as I pass by.

“Holy hell” One of them mumbles.

I smile slightly…

But, I take flying more seriously than that…

So, I quickly find a bathroom, and change into the Pilot gear that I had picked up for the occasion.

This toned me down quite a bit… And I made sure to get an outfit that was a tad large on me, using a belt to secure it to my hips.

This, at least, hid my womanly curves.

And would, hopefully, stop the jaws from dropping long enough to get one of these guys to take me up for a flight

*

I walk into the bathroom after the flight to change back into my ‘leave nothing to the imagination’ dress.

My mind drifts back to the plane ride…this time not over the illustrious plains of Africa, but over the tall, skyscrapers of New York City….

It was amazing…

But…

It wasn’t the same. No. I wasn’t the same.

Why would I be, though?… I lost my father.

Losing a parent is one of the hardest things a person must deal with in their life…

And some people have never even met their parents…

I feel lost…

And confused…

And sad…

And …lonely.

And these are the things I’m thinking about after an amazing flight over New York City?

…Therapy?

Not now… I’m not ready for that kind of emotional, sure to be traumatic, mind delving.

No…

For now…

I guess I will come flying once a week…

Hell… I might even buy myself a plane. I have the money.

**************************************************

THE CHRONICLES OF MADY;

BOOK 1 – ‘I Died Once’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

BOOK 2 – ‘Mady’s Storm’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

‘Mady’s Storm’ (Novella) Chapters 7 & 8

Posted in Fiction, I Died Once, Mady's Storm, Novella, Self Publishing, Story, The Written Word, Writer, Writing on February 18, 2020 by darkjade68

mady-cover2

My Novella ‘Mady’s Storm’ Continued

Mady’s Storm

A Novella

by James Mahoney (DarkJade)

Chapters 1 & 2

Chapters 3 & 4

Chapters 5 & 6

CHAPTER SEVEN

Back to New York

 

“I must find a way…” I say out loud waking from a half- sleep.

“Excuse me, Miss?” replies Rabia

“Oh… Nothing,” I respond, realizing I must have been talking in my sleep.

I then look over at Rabia who is smiling at me.

“It is time you went home to Africa,” I say.

Rabia’s face becomes serious.

“I will not leave you, Miss. Not now. Not ever.” he explains.

“I insist Rabia… This American world of merchandise, and soulless chatter, is no place for the likes of you,”

“Nor for the likes of you, Miss… If I may so,”

“You may say so… And you are most likely right…” I reply with a slight smile. “But I will not be returning to Africa.”

Rabia is taken off guard, and looks at me shocked, even slightly hurt.

“And your family and wife await you there…” I continue. “It has already been over a month since you have seen them,”

“But, Miss…” Rabia tries to interject.

“No buts… ”

So he falls silent.

*

I sit alone at a small table in a New York City cafe.

Watching the people go by in a grey swirl.

A day after our return from Virginia, Rabia boarded a plane for Africa.

So it was just me now.

I have still not found a hired bodyguard… But I do have this…

I look into my black purse, where there is a shiny silver revolver.

I had learned how to fire it well from my father.

I pick up the newspaper again idly, the picture of me getting off the plane with Rabia on the cover.

“WHITE AFRICAN PRINCESS ARRIVES HOME IN NEW YORK AFTER VISITING VIRGINIA, HER PLACE OF SECRETS”

As I feared, when I returned to New York, the story of the ‘Young Heiress from Virginia, and Africa’ was indeed the major headline.

But I would not turn tail and run…

No… I would face, and accept this shallow shell of a newspaper tale.

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

The Wolves

 

Sadly, more than anything else, the newspaper tale seems to have drawn out many men…

Fortune hunters…

Or what I refer to as ‘wolves’, more interested in my fortune, than they were my sordid, and colorful past.

This made my nights at ‘The Clockwork Tavern’ both entertaining, and a bit bothersome.

But at least I would never have to pay for a drink again.

A tall light haired man with a mustache, a cowboy hat, and a light grey dapper suit approaches me.

“Ms. Caroline Monroe?” he asks.

I do not reply.

“May I sit?”

“Why not?” I reply, and as he sits, I stand and start to leave.

“Mrs. Monroe…” he says quickly as he stands again “My name is Rex Taylor…” he says as he takes off his hat, and puts it over his chest.

I stop, and turn back toward him.

“Should this mean something to me?” I reply. After two weeks’ worth of ‘wolves’ hunting me, I’m not exactly receptive.

“My father bought your mother’s estate” he says like that explains everything.

I stare at him for a moment, and then approach him, and offer my hand.

Instead of shaking it, he kisses it… another wolf.

“Forgive me, Sir… Since the paper ran its story about me, I’ve had no end of ‘wolves’ hunting me for my fortune,” I explain.

“Are you sure it isn’t your dark blue eyes, dark hair and figure they’re after?” he says with a smile and a wink.

Is this some kind of joke?

This guy is a smooth one… And so I decide to play his game.

I move back and sit.

“Only wealthy one’s such as yourself.” I candidly reply.

“Touché,” he responds, bowing his head a bit.

“Well… Listen…” he says as he put his hat back on, “I’m in town for a couple days, and I thought I might take you out to dinner while I’m here,”

“Alright… When?”  I respond, surprising him.

*

I wined and dined with Rex Taylor, son to the millionaire Texas rancher, for a few days.

It was alright…It was okay.

But he quickly bored, and irritated me.

He was quite full of himself, after all… and he spent half of our time together hitting on the poor unsuspecting waitresses.

But this may have just been his way to attempt to make me jealous.

But I’d have to actually have cared to be jealous…

Soon Mr. Rex Taylor, and his ‘charming’ hat, and mustache, would head back to his home in Texas… Or was it Montana?

Defeated by a girl… That he never stood a chance to get.

And chances are, I’d never see him again…

Men…

**************************************************

THE CHRONICLES OF MADY;

BOOK 1 – ‘I Died Once’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

BOOK 2 – ‘Mady’s Storm’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

‘Mady’s Storm’ (Novella) Chapters 5 & 6

Posted in Fiction, I Died Once, Mady's Storm, Novella, Self Publishing, Story, The Written Word, Writer, Writing on February 17, 2020 by darkjade68

mady-cover2

My Novella ‘Mady’s Storm’ Continued

Mady’s Storm

A Novella

by James Mahoney (DarkJade)

Chapters 1 & 2

Chapters 3 & 4

CHAPTER FIVE

Leaving Virginia

 

Rabia and I left after the short visit, and settled into a hotel near the train station.

The next morning, I interviewed three men that had been recommended to me by a local agency that found men such as I required. ‘Protectors’, or what some called ‘bodyguards’.

These interviews went on for several days, one, two, even three men a day. But to no avail.

To be honest with you, the whole thing felt strange.

So I gave up, and prepared to head back to New York, which seems the place to be if one needed to be in America.

But not before running into Randy McCormick…A Newsman from New York.

Apparently, he was assigned to me because of my financial status…

I guess these kinds of things aren’t kept private in America.

And he’d followed me from New York, to here in Virginia.

Kicking back and watching my doings….

A creepy thing, a thing that definitely justifies me wanting to have some sort of protection at my side.

“Mrs. Caroline Monroe?” he says to me, as Rabia and I sit waiting for our train to the airport.

I do not react, nor respond.

“It’s Mady,” Rabia suddenly says, who seems as irritated as I am.

“Daughter of Scarlett Horris?” McCormick continues to question.

“And Sam Monroe… Yes,” I finally reply, looking off into the distance, hoping that with sheer will I can manifest our train to be quicker.

“Right,” he says, as he shuffles through his notes, “Part owner of the Monroe Diamond Mine in Africa, right?” he adds.

“What is it you require of me, Sir?” I ask curtly.

“Well… I was wondering if I might ask you a few questions,” he says.

If not now, then someday I would have to answer questions in regards to my past… So I decide now is as good a time as any.

“Continue,” I reply.

And so he does.

*

A few minutes later he had asked questions about my Stepfather who mysteriously disappeared in Africa eight plus years ago,

about my mother’s body that had at last been recovered from the lake she was put in,

and about my father… Surprisingly, these were the questions that bothered me most.

Now, I simply ignore him, even as he asks more and more questions.

Funny… I never did consider how the newspapers would come into play with my coming to America.

Or rather that they would at all.

An oversight that my father would surely have warned me about, if he was still alive.

Then again, he probably assumed I’d spend the rest of my days in Africa.

But no, he was the reason I went there…

And he is the reason I stayed and lived there.

I love Africa. But without him, the sun would not share its light…

And the majestic landscapes would merely serve as a reminder of what I had lost…

“Is that all?” I ask the newsman, standing as the train approaches.

“Uh… Yes… What’s next for you now, if I may be so bold?” he asks as I board the train with Rabia.

“If I knew… I’m not sure that I would tell you, Mr. McCormick…” I reply.

He laughs slightly as he slides his pencil behind his ear.

“Good day to you, Sir,” I say in parting. 

 

CHAPTER SIX

Memory

 

Mady and her father sit by the living room fireplace in his plantation home.

“Mady…” he says as he looks deep into the firelight.

“Yes, Father?” Mady replies from the chair across from him, looking up from her book.

“If anything should ever happen to me… Or…” with this he looks at her.

“Father… Nothing shall ever happen to you,” she replies.

“But if it does,” he continues.

“I will survive,” she responds confidently.

“Are you sure?” he adds.

“Yes father…” with this Mady rises from her chair, kneels down by him, and takes his hand

“You have shown me love. You have shown me beauty in its rawest form. You have taught me inner peace… something I never thought I’d ever have,” Mady explains.

“But Mady…” he replies.

“Father… I will survive… I will continue forward.”

I shall find a way…

 

I must find a way.

**************************************************

THE CHRONICLES OF MADY;

BOOK 1 – ‘I Died Once’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

BOOK 2 – ‘Mady’s Storm’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

‘I Died Once’ (Novella) Chapters 9 & 10

Posted in Fiction, I Died Once, Novella, Self Publishing, Short Story, Story, The Written Word, Writer, Writing on February 7, 2020 by darkjade68

cover

My Novella ‘I Died Once’ continued

*******************************

I DIED ONCE

by James Mahoney (DarkJade)

Prolog + Chapters 1 & 2

Chapters 3 & 4

Chapter 5 & 6

Chapters 7 & 8

 

CHAPTER NINE

The 13th Day

It was the thirteenth day after I had arrived in Africa. I remember it well, as I woke up screaming. “AHHHHHH! HE’S HERE! HE’S HERE! HE’S HERE!”

My father came crashing into my room and took me into his arms. I couldn’t control the tears. I didn’t even know a human body could cry that much. It was embarrassing, but I couldn’t seem to stop.

“It’s just a nightmare, Mady, I promise. No one is here,” he assured me. But I didn’t believe him, or rather, I couldn’t. “That’s it. No more sleeping out in this guest house. I’m moving you into one of the main house bedrooms,” he insisted.

“No, no. I’m okay,” I assured him. But I wasn’t. The truth was I had never been this shaken. It was like all the emotions of the last eight or so years of my life were all starting to flood to the surface.

“Come on,” he picked me up out of bed and carried me toward the house. It was pitch dark outside, but the sky was unbelievable. Ten million, zillion stars. By the time he got me in the house, the crying had switched to an occasional “Hhhhhehhh…. Hhhhehhh,” sniffling, shortness of breath thing. How humiliating.

He brought me to a beautiful room right next to his. “This is your room now. Tomorrow, you set it up however you like,” he told me.

“No, I couldn’t…” I tried to speak, but he interrupted.

“It’s yours. No more talking. Time to get some sleep.” With this he covered me up with a large, soft, white quilt. “I’m going to get you some water. I’ll be right back,” and he stepped out of the room.

I could hear thousands of crickets outside, or whatever they were. Africa was truly a beautiful place. I understood why he came here, but in truth, I never actually asked him why or how he ended up here.

He returned with the water in his hand and handed it to me. He then handed me a white pill. “Here, it will help you sleep.”

“NO!” I slapped it out of his hand. What am I nuts? He’s been nothing but nice to me.

He went and picked it up. “It’s not a drug, it’s an aspirin. I thought you might have a headache from all the crying.” He tossed it in the trash can and opened up the bottle he had in his pocket. He handed me another pill from the bottle. It said aspirin on it.

What a fool I am. I took it and started to apologize. “I’m so sorry, I…,” but he interrupted me again.

“They drugged the hell out of yah, didn’t they?”

I stared at him for a minute. “They tried. For the most part I was able to get rid of it, but on occasion they held me down.” This definitely upset him. He reached over and covered me with the blanket. “Is it okay if I stay up for a while? Watch the sun come up maybe?” I asked.

He smiled, “Of course. This place is enchanting. I’ll give you some space.” With this he stood up to leave.

“Father,” I spoke. This was the first time I had ever called him that. He turned back to me.

“What is it hun?”

“Uh, never mind.”

He smiled and left the room. I stared out the window. So many thoughts racing through my head. Too many, really. Fred would come for me. He’s surely figured out that I know he murdered my mother. I don’t want him to kill my father. I need to leave. I stood and went to the window, but I was in Africa. Where would I go?

 

TRAIN STATION

A man in dark brown cowboy boots steps off the train. He drops a cigarette and stomps it out with his heel. His boots make their way to a man of information. “Sam Monroe?” his gravelly voice questions the man.

“Sam, a very good man, a very good man.”

“I need to know where he is. I’ve got money, lots of it”.

The man with information pauses for a bit. “How much if I take you to him?”

The man in the boots sits down a long case with the word ‘Colt’ on it. “Plenty.”

 

CHAPTER TEN

Safari

So, my father finally figured it was time that I saw a bit more of the country, which in an ‘American in Africa’ terms meant a safari. I thought perhaps we’d fly somewhere. As it turns out, I love to fly. Must be a family trait. But this would not be the case. Instead, we would be taking that old beast of a Jeep that he had originally brought me here in. So we got together a week or so worth of clothing and supplies and headed out.

I slept for the first few hours, as we left sometime after 3 a.m., and I’m definitely not a morning person. When I awoke, we were having some crazy African rains, the like I’ve never seen. Once the sky cleared, the colors were simply overwhelming. The sky had turned sort of a blood red and yellow blend. It was mind staggering. When you breathed in, the senses were simply amplified by the damp terrain. It was truly miraculous.

The lions, giraffes, and gazelles were amazing, as was all of the wildlife, but the most impressive thing about Africa was the vastness. The sheer magnitude of the space.

 

SAM’S ESTATE

A stranger pays Sam’s estate a visit. “I’m looking for Sam Monroe. Can you tell me where to locate him?” he inquires.

“No Sir, I cannot,” replies the very nervous house man.

“Perhaps I can persuade you,” he says as he forces his way into the home.

 

BACK ON THE SAFARI

On the fourth day my father took me to an amazing mass of water, and as the African sunset fell, the waters looked darker and darker. As my father made a camp fire, and set up the tent, I sat out by the water for what seemed to be hours as millions of stars filled the sky. The stars in turn reflected upon the water. It was then that my mind shifted to some sort of dream state.

 

FLASHBACK

I was back at my mother’s estate. I was maybe three years old. The kitchen lady at the time had poured me some breakfast cereal, and one of those little plastic toys fell out of the box. I remember reaching my little hands out for it, “Mine!” The woman smiled and opened it for me. It was red?… or… blue?

Anyway, as she handed it to me, Fred walked in the room and smacked it out of her hand. “She doesn’t need that,” he said, as he got himself some juice.

Tears started to well up in my little eyes and it was like he sensed it, as he turned to look right at me. “Don’t even think about it, little princess, or by God, I will smack you.”

It was just then that my mother walked in. “Fred, why must you be so cruel to little Mady?” With this, Fred suddenly back handed my mother across the face, knocking her clear off her feet and to the floor. THUNK! I can still remember the sound of her hitting the floor.

“Don’t you ever talk to me like that, woman! You understand!”

My mother stayed down on the floor wiping blood off her mouth, and looked over to me. “Stay quiet now, Mady.”

And that’s what I did for the next twelve years, stayed quiet.

 

THE PRESENT

Suddenly, I was back in my body, in a full sweat, as my Father was putting a blanket over my shoulders. “Not hungry tonight, eh?”

I looked over at him. “He was a monster,” I said.

My father looked at me with a puzzled look on his face. “Who?” he asked.

“Fred,” was all I said.

“Oh, him. Yeah,” he replied, as he sat beside me.

“I always blamed mother for being with him…” I looked at him once more, “…but now I think, maybe she was afraid to leave.”

My father pondered this a bit. “Could be,” he replied.

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Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

‘I Died Once’ (Novella) Chapter 7 & 8

Posted in I Died Once, Novella, Self Publishing, Short Story, Story, The Written Word, Writer, Writing on February 6, 2020 by darkjade68

cover

My Novella ‘I Died Once’ continued

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I DIED ONCE

by James Mahoney (DarkJade)

Prolog + Chapters 1 & 2

Chapters 3 & 4

Chapter 5 & 6

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

Withdrawal

During our next days of traveling we didn’t speak all that much, but the sights and views of Africa were more than apt to sustain me. As my deep blue eyes stared outwardly, they seemed to widen, or at least it felt that way. Minutes became hours, hours became days, until at last we reached my father’s estate. I was starting to give up on referring to him as Sam, even in the sanctum of my own thoughts.

He seemed to have business with a dark skinned man that ran the place while he was gone, and so I adjourned to the room I was given, which was near a small lake. I seemed to be dragging a bit today, as my bag seemed quite heavy, and I knew that it was not.

Once inside, it was a very nice room and would more than do. It was at that point that I found myself in some sort of catatonic stagger making my way to the water’s edge, and then it happened. I collapsed, and lay in a flood of my own tears. Was it my mother’s death? Or sheer exhaustion from the journey.  I knew not. What I did know was I wasn’t going to let my father find me this way, as I’m sure he, too, was feeling the effects of this ‘sudden’ daughter. And so, I somehow rose to my feet, and made my way to the main house.

He was inside a smoking room with a short drink of whiskey at his side. “Well hello…” with this he rose to his feet and set down his paper. “…caught a nap did yah.” This struck me as a curious thing to say, as we had just arrived, but then, as I looked at the small watch around my wrist, I realized that I must have been lying by the water for some three hours and not realized it. I removed the watch and set it on the end table nearby, for I had no interest in time as of late. Time had stopped the moment I descended into my mother’s pool, and in truth, I had yet to have ascended.

He approached me with a smidgen of curiosity in his eyes. “What’s this on your face?” It was as if time slowed as he reached and wiped away a bit of dirt from the side of my face, as I had made a resting place of the ground by the water. I teared up. Now, I knew he didn’t know how to react to this, so instead he began to walk by me. I felt my heart sink, but then his hand took mine as he passed. “Come on, Mady, Tatenda has prepared us some food.” And so we went to supper.

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

Taking Flight

“You Must Seek the Truth, it is Inherent in you

From This Truth Will Come Love

From this Love, You will Fly Free”

THE CHRONICLES OF MADY MONROE-

The next morning I was awakened by the light, oh so bright. An African day awaited me. Outside I could hear the loud rumblings of some sort of engine. To my surprise, as I drew the curtains back in my room, I could see a decent sized four engine prop plane. Sam, err, my father, was all garbed out in goggles and a pilot’s hat and jacket, and was headed towards my guest house. I quickly threw my dark hair into a ponytail, which is no easy task with my wavy hair, and tossed on some khakis and a white blowsy shirt.

He came in. “Good Morning Mady,” he said. I waved back in reply. “It’s time you saw a bit more of Africa, as well as my diamond mine.”

“Alright,” I replied, not really knowing what to think.

“Come on,” he waved me outside.

Before I knew it, we had taken flight, and I was in the air.  My instinct was to close my eyes and stick my arm out the window, but I would have to settle for closing my eyes.

“So you really are a pilot,” I said.

He looked at me, “Yes.”

The plane was very loud, yet for some reason I didn’t mind its rumblings. I closed my eyes and just listened to the engines hum as we hit the sky.

“Look,” he said as he touched my arm.

I looked down upon the African plain and saw a whole flock of giraffes running, behind them a male lion in chase. I gasped. “Will he catch them?”

My father looked at me, “All he wants is one.”

It was beautiful to see, and yet, somehow, tragic. My eyes started to tear as we flew over. Wow, it seems as though everything makes me cry these days.

The sky in front of us was vast, filled with strips of distant clouds, surrounded by soft, misty blue skies.

I closed my eyes for most of the journey, as I didn’t need them to see. It became quite clear to me why I was here. The pains inside would do their best to keep hold, but they would not be victorious. Not here. Not now.

Soon we reached the site of the diamond mine, a huge hole in the side of a mountain. “There it is,” he said.

“Ah.” I replied. He then swung the plane over and around it, and headed off into a completely new direction. “We’re not landing?” I inquired.

“Nah,” he replied, a man of few words. The next half hour or so were filled with such sights. I can hardly put it to words. My insides filled with mysteries and questions that only the landscape could answer.

After a while, I found myself dosing off, and noting this, he turned back and headed towards his estate. Bleary eyed, I rolled my head towards him as I lay it against the seat. “So, what do yah think?” he asked.

“I tried to kill myself,” was my reply. With this his eyes widened.

“Well…” he managed. Why did I say that? What was I thinking? “…that is a thing,” he continued. A thing, yeah, okay. I turned and looked out the window. Suddenly, he put his hand on my shoulder, grasping it really, and so I returned my gaze to him, my blue eyes darkening.

He stared at me with his deep brown eyes and said “My god, I’m glad you didn’t succeed,” and with this, he was the one who teared up. All I could do was simply smile. Something I hadn’t done in a long, long, time.

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Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

“I Died Once” (Novella) Chapters 5 & 6

Posted in I Died Once, Novella, Short Story, Story, The Written Word, Writer, Writing on February 3, 2020 by darkjade68

cover

My Novella ‘I Died Once’ continued

*******************************

I DIED ONCE

by James Mahoney (DarkJade)

Prolog + Chapters 1 & 2

Chapters 3 & 4

 

CHAPTER FIVE

A Diamond Mine

The next hand full of days, I couldn’t say how many, were full of trains, planes, boats, and automobiles, and at last, dirt. Oh, and sky, oceans, and animals. Yes, lots of animals. I had arrived in Africa. South Africa, to be specific. I dare not be more specific than that, or I might offend a local.

As Sam, my father as it were, handed a dark skinned man money, our very minimal bags were placed into a vehicle, and the two of us were off.

Apparently, Sam owned a small diamond mine with some other men; however, he spent no time there, and instead hunted and traveled the surrounding lands. I suppose his life was an adventure, I dare say. Nothing like my own had been. This was a sort of second life for me. Strange to think, if my mother hadn’t died, I wouldn’t be alive. But I dare not ponder too much on that.

Sam seemed a fairly simple man. One that, in his rustic way, soaked in everything around him. Perhaps that’s why on occasion he’d ask me personal questions. He probably figured he should know a bit about me if I, too, was to be sucked in.

“Tell me about your life, Mady. Did you have any hobbies, or pets, or…” with this he looked over at me “…girl things that you liked to do?”

Yikes, girl things. How appalling, and yet, I tried my best to be polite. “Not so much. Mother took away my paints, as she felt it distracted me from more sensible things like clothing, makeup, and schoolwork.”

“I see,” he replied.

“As far as pets, I wasn’t allowed any. As she put it, ‘What would be the point?”

“Aye, she wasn’t the most cozy of women, I’ll give you that,” he said, which kind of surprised me. Him discussing anything to do with her and him, that is.

With this, I mustered up some courage. “Did you ever love her?”

He didn’t reply, nor look my way for quite some time, until, “LOOK OUT!!” Suddenly, he hit the brakes and all seemed to slow down as he threw his great musket across the front of me and placed my hand on the wheel. I tucked my head towards him, and he took a shot. BLAM!! In one shot he took down what he called a white rhino. It fell to the ground with a THUMP!  “That thing would have knocked this vehicle over!” he gasped, then looked at me. “Yes, I loved her.”

 

CHAPTER SIX

Dream State

BLACK AND WHITE SEQUENCE

A young, dark haired girl, maybe three, plays with a beach ball by the pool of Mady’s mother’s estate. As she plays, she is distracted by the sound of fighting within her home. The ball becomes loose and bounces towards the pool. The little girl pursues it and grabs it just before it falls into the water. The fighting continues.

She turns toward the house where she sees a man and woman fighting in the living room of the home. The little girl takes a step backwards, and is in the pool. As she falls, she lets’ go of the ball, and so, sinks slowly to the bottom. She stares upward through the water, but does not breathe. Not one bubble. Suddenly, a man is in the pool and pulls her out.

“Mady!! Are you alright!!?” he says frantically. The woman stands behind him and watches.

ALL TURNS BLACK

“I can’t stay here, Scarlet. I must go,” are the last words she hears before…

I’m awake. I find myself lying inside some sort of tent. I ascertain that it must be night, as the tent walls glow a wobbling yellow, like fire light. I grabbed a sweater and stepped outside. My father, er, Sam, had started a campfire and appeared to be cooking something. His back was turned to me.

“Boy, you really passed out,” he said.

“Mmm,” I replied, as I approached the fire rubbing my eyes. He looked at me while cooking something on a stick.

“Bad dreams,” interesting that he wasn’t asking. He was simply stating it like a truth.

“Perhaps,” I replied. Much silence went by,

save the clank of the tin plate as he dished me up some local meat and greens. “Thank you.”

The sounds of the African night were, well, torrential to the senses. But to the darkened soul, what else would they be?

It was at this point that he started to interrogate me again, or rather, make conversation. “So, pool, last breath, anything?” This surprised me, only because of the dream I had just had.

“Was my mother’s name Scarlet?” I replied.

He simply sat there staring at me. “It was, yes. You didn’t know your mother’s name?”

“No,” I solemnly replied. “Fred insisted on calling her Mrs. Holden,” as that was, er, is, Fred’s last name. Frederich Walter Holden the 3rd. Argh. “And she insisted that I call her mother.”

“Well, yes, Scarlet Violet Monroe, er, Vanderbelle was her maiden name.”

“What a tremendous name,” I proclaimed.

“Yeah, well, with a great name came a lot of pressure from her parents and her grandmother, Edith Donday Vanderbelle.” With this he seemed to almost growl.

“I see. Before you ask me a third time about not breathing in the pool, you might consider talking to me about something trivial.”

“Trivial?” he replied.

“Yes, like, where I got these boots, or…” I rose to fetch a glass of water, but he handed one to me first. “Thanks. …or why I never wear my reading glasses, and instead, set a book on my desk, and use the telescope from Uncle Henry to read them, whilst I sit in the comfort of my bed.”

He stood. “I don’t do trivial.” With this he cleaned up and headed for a blanket he had laid out on the ground for himself. I simply watched. Well, no wonder he left my mother. If he doesn’t do trivial, then he couldn’t have possibly “done”

her, as the whole of who she was, was trivial. I went to bed.

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Novella Available @ Amazon HERE