Last year, my OKRWA writing chapter held a fun contest where participants were challenged to write a 500 word story with a ‘monster’ as the romance hero. I’ll be sharing a few of those on my blog between now and Halloween. Enjoy!
FROM TAMRIE FOXTAIL
I wrote The Reaper’s Kiss as a short story for the contest. After I read the story to my husband he kept asking me questions about it. The answers to those questions led to my outlining a YA trilogy. I’ve finished the first draft of the first story and hope to have a final draft ready to submit in a few months.
The Reaper’s Kiss
The Grim Reaper stands outside my window. I don’t have to peek through the white eyelet curtains next to my bed to see his shrouded form. I don’t have to open my eyes and look for the shadowy outline made possible by the not quite full moon.
I don’t have to look for him because I can hear him.
His skeleton finger taps on the cold glass.
Local legend says that if you carve your name in The Reaper’s Tree—once known as The Hangman’s Tree and site of an accident that killed five people in the fifties—The Reaper will come for you before the next full moon. My boyfriend Daley and I carved our names there on Halloween night. Three nights later Daley’s brother heard a thud in the middle of the night. He went into Daley’s room and found him lying dead on the floor.
Tomorrow is the full moon.
I lie on my bed, eyes clamped shut. Now The Reaper taps on my window. His icy breath reaches me through the glass. I won’t look.
“Ivy.” I think I hear Daley’s voice. Impossible. I stood next to his grave this morning, tossing a single red rose on top of his casket.
“Ivy.” An icy finger traces my outer ear the way Daley used to.
I keep my eyes closed, shivering in the November chill as the blankets are tugged from my shoulders, sliding down my body.
A cold hand creeps beneath my t-shirt, the chill of it bringing my nipples to attention.
“It’s me, Ivy. I love you. You promised I was the only one.”
The cold vanishes, driven away by my first love. My only love if the reaper comes for me tonight.
I remember Daley’s touch, his fumbling, yet gentle hands; warm hands on a warm September night tugging my t-shirt over my head as we stretched out on his twin bed.
“I have protection,” he whispered, tugging at the snap on my jeans.
“Where’d you get a condom?” I asked, keeping my voice low. “You said I was your first, too.”
“I stole one from Jonah.”
I wanted to laugh, but didn’t want to draw the attention of his brother or parents.
My jeans slid over my hips. Daley’s hand stroked the inside of my thigh.
Warmed by the memory I give myself to my lover’s touch. He tugs my panties down. I kick them free. My legs begin to open, ready to welcome him.
It’s the touch of ice on my lips that make my eyes spring open. I stare into Daley’s sweet brown eyes; eyes now set in a skeleton’s grinning face.
Wrapped in my lover’s touch, The Reaper has come for me.
Check out Tamrie’s romantic suspense short story:
Daira Gleeson gave her heart and her virginity to Rory Trent when they were in high school. Twenty years later–reeling from her mother’s suicide and the death of her cheating fiance–Daira finds herself in possession of a cursed scrimshaw doll.
Now, Rory is back in town, wanting to pick up where they left off. But not only is Daira afraid he’ll break her heart, the doll’s curse has already caused harm to those close to her. If Rory leaves her again, he could pay with his life.
Someone is after the doll and willing to kill to possess it. Can the curse be broken in time to save those Daira loves…and to regain the true love she lost a lifetime ago?
Daira jumped when her front door opened. Rory stood there for a moment, then stepped inside and closed the door behind him.
“You should keep your door locked.”
“You’re supposed to wait for someone to open it.” Her words lacked the scorn she had intended.
He crossed the room, then took her shoulders in his hands and kneaded them gently. “You sounded frightened on the phone.”
“I’m fine. I told you, it was just a mouse.”
He looked at Lemon, sitting on the arm of the couch, washing a white paw. The corner of Rory’s mouth twitched. “The cat mustn’t be doing its job.”
He studied her with those sexy brown eyes. Tiny flecks of gold and green encircled the pupil. His fingers flexed, settling on her shoulders more firmly.
Why couldn’t she look away?
He leaned closer. She pressed her hands against his chest and turned her head to the side. His kiss landed on her cheek. His lips moved to her ear, taking a little nip. She drew in a deep breath as her nipples responded.
“High school was a long time ago,” he said, amusement threaded through his voice. “When are you going to give me another chance?”
She turned to look at him. His nose was an inch from hers. She struggled to keep her eyes from crossing. “You think I don’t want you to kiss me because you dumped me twenty years ago?”
“You mean there’s another reason?”
“Yes! You’re little more than a stranger, now. I don’t go around kissing strange men.”
His smile deepened. He leaned closer, the tip of his tongue tracing the shell of her ear. She shivered.
“I’m not a stranger, sweetheart.” His hands slid down her arms and moved to her waist. “I’m the man who took your virginity in the backseat of my car.”
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