Sunday, October 18, 2009

Flash of Bonfire and Hayrides

Okay, this Big Cat girl just adores pumpkins ~ ~

Hey, bold KitKats, for some bonfire-hot flash-ing, eagerly lope on over to Flash Fiction Sunday at Liquid Silver Sex blog... yep, piles of straw, Gem Sivad hosted... her comments are the mostest.
The Kougar’s flash is tame and was written on her last dregs of energy... so not true for the other sex-yum flashes.

“Come on, old man, let’s go make ‘em happy.” I pat my bay gelding’s neck, then check over his harness again. Even though he’s not draft stock, Ranger is a real trooper, willing to pull a wagon for the annual hayride at the town’s fall festival.
“Let’s go!” I wave my arm, hailing my designated group of six teenagers, already holding hands, and snuggling close in anticipation of making out once the light fades. Behind them the bonfire is a few crackling flames, but it will be roaring by the time we make the circuit around the state park’s good-sized lake.

I watch them scramble aboard, concerned about looking cool. Quickly, they all find spots among the piled hay with only a few dirty looks thrown at each other.
“Everybody settled?” I shout. A reluctant chorus of ‘yeah, Ms. Winthrop’ has me climbing aboard and lifting the reins. “You know what to do, Ranger.” I prompt him with a slap of the leather on his rump. He trots forward, too briskly. “Easy there, boy, we got a ways to go.”
“Not too fast,” Tom sings out, his meaning obvious.
“Get too frisky and I’ll let Ranger be too frisky,” I return.

Keeping one ear on the going ons behind me, I carefully watch the trail ahead. The late afternoon light spills golden through the partially bare trees and the leaves appear translucent where the sunrays catch them. I let myself enjoy the rich fecund smells of autumn mixed with the dry pleasant scent of the fresh hay. The busy rustling of the squirrels is familiar and soon the steady clip clop of Ranger’s gait eases my soul. For days now, a premonition has chased me like an unrelenting shadow. Something bad is about to occur. How, when, why, I don’t know.

I hope it’s not now. Not today. Not when everyone is having a good time. Though, when should anything bad happen? Never, as far I’m concerned, but that’s not life.
Ranger slows to a walk as we come to the part of the trail that slopes upward, almost midpoint. I listen to the sucking rubbing kisses, to the rolling shifts of bodies.
“Stop that,” Janice whispers. Someone slaps a hand. “No, don’t.”
Once Ranger crests, he moves into a ground-eating trot, eager to get to where I’ve placed his reward apples. I smile at him, glad he feels so youthful.

“No,” Melinda scolds. The next moment, I hear, “Are you a witch, Ms. Winthrop?” It’s Mr. Smart Aleck, know-it-all Ted.
“Yes,” I answer, “absolutely. Why do you ask?”
Ted pauses. “That’s what Dad says. He says you need an exorcism. You’re possessed by a demon.”
Guiding Ranger around a blind curve, I wait to answer, unruffled. “Is that so?” I call back. “Did he say what kind of demon?”
Another thinking pause. “No. But you should come to church and let Pastor Langley–“
“No, she shouldn’t,” Melinda interrupts loudly. “I like her the way she is.”
“It don’t matter,” Ted argues.

“Shut up you two,” Tom barks. A split second before it happens, I hear the horrendous crack of a large tree limb. Then I hear it for real. Twisting backward, I look up, seeing a dead giant limb hurtling down at us.
“Go!” I yell to Ranger, knowing he can’t move fast enough to save us.
Something that feels instinctive takes me over. I shoot my palm at the limb as though I have the power to stop it. To my amazement, it does appear to hover. I blink, not believing. But, why not try? Even it’s a fear-based hallucination.

As if I can maneuver it, I imagine the limb flying to the side and missing us. It hits, a huge crashing sound that resounds through the woods and startles the birds into flight. For several strides, Ranger bolts, but soon settles, halting as I pull back on the reins.
“Everyone okay?” I remember to ask, my insides like electrical sparks. Silence is my only answer for long moments as I look them over. Then... “You did it, you did it!” Melinda chortles. It didn’t seem possible.
Yet, I had done it. Somehow. Part of me wanted to go into denial.

Another part of me recognized the truth. I had altered the path of that falling limb. How?
“Head on back, old man,” I call out to Ranger. My thoughts move a mile a minute while my belly buzzes with a strange excitement.
Fractiously, Ranger moves forward, his step exaggerated. Yet, as we turn into the final curve, he eases his stride. Ahead of us, the bonfire is a bright flickering blaze and I know to the core of my being everything is okay. The premonition has lifted. Okay, that is, unless, Ted’s father insists on an exorcism. Mentally, I laugh.

Once I bring Ranger to a halt, everyone except Melinda clambers out faster than normal and heads toward the bonfire.
“Thanks, Ms. Winthrop,” she practically shouts, making up for what the others didn’t say. Leaning closer, she whispers, “Should we tell anyone?”
I think darn quick. “I wouldn’t recommend it,” I reply. “Just say it was a close call.” Already, I hear concerned voices asking about what happened.
Merlinda nods and winks, then hops down.
I take a moment, to watch the dazzling tower of the bonfire dance against the darkening sky, then raise the reins. A man suddenly appears.

I stop in mid-action. The man is no one I know, yet his approach is toward me. I cluck to Ranger and he sedately walks toward the unhitching area.
Reaching out, the man gently grabs hold of the reins close to the bit. My mouth hangs open as he turns, leading Ranger the rest of the way. Who is he to do such a thing, unasked?
My mind registers that he is damn good-looking, distinguished with a powerful tall build like an Old West Sheriff type.
Before I can hop down and confront him quietly, he has Ranger partially unhitched.

Without a word, he finishes.
Automatically, I retrieve the apples knowing Ranger will be disappointed if I don’t. Besides, he’s earned them. He could have kept running after he bolted. “Here, sweet boy.” I hold the first one out on my palm and he lips it up eagerly.
“Who are you?” I demand out of the side of my mouth, since others are near.
“I’m the man who knows who you are.”
Lightning strikes through me, so it feels. I stroke Ranger’s neck.
“Now, you know who you are,” he continues.
I have no answer. I feed Ranger another apple.

Authoress news and mews ~

The midnight hour lovin’ Kougar spent part of yesterday searching out her past Halloween blogs, WIPs and Flashes. Some of them may return, added to or revised in some way.... nope, flick of this Big Cat’s ear, the trick or treat fun never ends.
HALLOWEEN WEEKS BEGIN on Tuesday, October 20th, at Lindsay Townsend’s THE PINK BLOG and HAPPILY EVER AFTER... and the Kougar is psychic-certain *yuk-yuk* that Halloween fun will appear at SHAPESHIFTER SEDUCTIONS. Those shapeshifters can’t resist this spooky time of year.
THE ROMANCE STUDIO’s Halloween Event begins tomorrow... all sorts of book giveaways, videos, and their featured authors, including the Kougar, will be Halloween blogging at ~ ~
Plus! The Kougar wrote an Author Discovery for COYOTE MOON by Pat Cunningham, which she will post at various blogs and chat loops. Yesterday, the review debuted on The Fallen Angels chat loop since it was Siren-BookStrand day.

Now ~ FIRST! just for the big cool cats ~

Happy Courtship on another Earth

X-Serial Flash in Two Hundred ~ Sylva and Zeke’s story continues...

Part 295 ~

Sylva laughed to herself at the good-natured sibling one-upmanship. “So, who was better at playing pool?” she asked. “Oh no, you’ve done it now,” Marina sang feistily. “Your husband’s ego could take a beatin if he tells the truth.” Sylva playfully pressed herself closer to Zeke for a few moments. “Is your ego going to take a beating?” Hugging her close and tight, he laughed, a low throaty sound that shivered desire down to her toes. “‘Fraid I’m about to lose some virility points. Yep, sis won more, the last year we played like fiends. But, who can rope better?”

Zeke quickened their pace a bit, wanting to get inside before the storm hit. Marina and Grant could use the connecting walkways and return to their air car. “You can,” Marina crooned. “He used to make me run through the stand of trees near the ranch house when we were children, so he could chase me and practice roping. I figure his super lasso ability is due in large part to me.” Zeke chuckled again. “It is,” he agreed. “You, and your friends. That was the most fun. Chasing down all her little friends and watching the loop settle over them.”
Part 1 - 15 ~ see blog ~ January 15th Cometh, then Part 15... and before...
Part 16 ~ 294 ~ see the Kougar’s prior bloggies... or the Passionate Ink forum, the FREE READS page ~ ~ OR! Now available on The Romance Studio Forum, January through September 2009 flashes ~ ~ Click on the FORUMS
Thursday ~ Lindsay blogs ~ The Paranormal in my fiction ~ fascinating!
Wednesday ~ Favorite Halloween Movies? “My fellow Xrated Halloween authors and myself are sharing bits and pieces of ourselves on various blogs in honor of our spicy Halloween releases at Extasy Books.”

Saturday ~ Judah blogs ~ Romantic Getaways - Into the Heart of Africa... ~ “Need some time out and long to visit faraway places?”
Wednesday ~ Celia Yeary ~ Natural Born Scaredy-Cat ~ “Say what you will, but I am a big o’ scaredy-cat.”
Tuesday ~ Steph's Travel Log - Love & Denmark 1991 ~ A REAL LOVE STORY...
Friday ~ Courtney blogs ~ Xrated Halloween at Extasy Books.
My fellow Halloween Hooligans and I from Extasy Books have cooked up some especially spicy treats for you this Halloween Season.
Thursday ~ Danielle Thorne ~ My Creative Pumpkin Juices! ~ “It’s pumpkin time, and with that comes stories and folktales that run a shiver down your spine.”

Friday ~ Serena blogs ~ Devlin and Miss Josephine...
Wednesday ~ Crystal blogs ~ When They Can’t Transform ~ fantastic action excerpt!
Tuesday ~ the Kougar blogs ~ Halloween Purring Seduction ~ BLACK CAT BEAUTY
Monday ~ Francesca blogs ~ Romanticon Memories ~ sexy men included!
Saturday ~ Paris blogs ~ What if... ~ “What if you suddenly woke up to find that the world was inhabited by vampires and were creatures?”
For the next part of the Never-Ending Story ~ Phoebe ~ Dragons in Oz ~ “That’s all YOU know,” Kallyn muttered. “Stay there in the rain, auntie, and I hope you’re getting wet feet and swine flu.”~ RomanticSynonymous ~
MORE... Volcano’s Angelic Forecast for this week ~ Siren-BookStrand blog ~

No! Internet Two... Resistance is victory...

Have a Wonderful and Wild Halloween...
May your most romantic dreams come true...

Bonfire smooch from the Kougar...


Serena Shay said...

Wow, just a couple of weeks until Halloween. I've got to get on the stick and get my spooky blogs going! hehe

Savanna Kougar said...

Serena ~ yep, maybe it should be getting on your broomstick... I need to rev mine up.