Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Feature: Astraea Press Collaboration of Author: This is the second to last one enjoy....

Check out the second to last installment of the Astraea Press collaborative short story. Kim Bowman and Kay Springsteen wrote this part as well as the ending...Enjoy.

By Kim Bowman and Kay Springsteen

Deuce adjusted his hold, catching her before she slid off the chair. Ellea could hear his voice, strained and anxious, but her mouth wouldn’t allow her to answer him. A freezing, aching sensation had settled in her brain and she couldn’t move her mind forward past the barrier or retreat out of the recesses of Deuce's memories. She was stuck.
Clearing her mind again, Ellea pushed, located the brick wall, pushed harder. It had no give to it at all. There must be a way to get to the other side—if not through it then around it, or perhaps over...
"You are trespassing. Leave this place." The voice boomed in her head like a clap of thunder.
Ellea jumped. A feeling not unlike static electricity crept along her arms making the hairs stand on end.
Deuce’s voice was now far away and she couldn’t make out his words.
Crackles of electricity worked at her arms again, snapping and popping sounds surrounded her. She leaned into the wall. A loud crack sounded and electrical bolts arced through her mind. Still she pushed.
"Go back!" ordered the thunderous voice.
"No," whispered Ellea.

"Then take the consequences." Crack! She was slammed back hard. Pain radiated through her body, immobilizing her. She was stuck and she was panicking.
Especially when that face... That horrid black and white face of the devil llama swam into view. He was charging her, his yellow teeth bared, his eyes flashing red and black. He let out a hissing sort of hum, and the sound exploded in her ears. Flashes of colorful hues raced across her mind and then…nothingness.
Awareness returned slowly with a feeling of floating. If she didn't know better, Ellea would swear she was suspended in thin air. She couldn't feel her body! Had she been stricken with some sort of paralytic agent? How had she gotten here? Where was here? Colors and shapes swirled around her, fluid, yet unmoving. Every time she tried to focus on one of the shapes it drifted from her vision to be replaced by another.
Apparently, she was in a giant kaleidoscope.
She became aware of muffled voices but she couldn't pinpoint where they were coming from. She struggled to hear what was being said.
"Why didn't you warn her off before she got this far?"

Ellea started. That authoritative voice sounded like the thunderous warning she'd heard.

"I tried!" This voice was female and sounded...a bit familiar. "I can't reach her when she goes into that state."

Who were they talking about? What state? And who in the world were they? Where in the world were they? Where in the world was she? Was she still in the world?

Why were her thoughts so oddly disassociated from her brain?

Ellea concentrated on seeing her surroundings. The colors became more vigorous, with lively bursts of increased vibrancy to the rainbow hues. Tiny arcs of electrical energy leapt along the edges of color.

"You should have kept her away from this place entirely!" It was the male voice, full of censure.

"Don’t you think I tried?" The familiar voice.  "As soon as she knew a child was involved, her guardian instincts took over and she was determined to come here. Where is the boy? Is he safe?"

"For now. I wish I could have saved his mother, but it was too late for her. It wasn't easy getting him to suppress his power so he won't be discovered again."

They must mean Brian! Who were these people?

Ellea pushed through the colorful swirls of fog. She had to see who was talking. Why did the woman sound so familiar?

The male was close. He was lithe and fit, and from Ellea's vantage point seemed impossibly tall. His dark mane of hair flowed down his back, completely black except for the shock of white in front that framed his long face. Nearly black eyes were glaring at his companion.

“Wha—what happened?” Ellea croaked.

The woman spun around and gasp. “How did you get here? You’re not supposed to be here.” She turned to the man. “See what you’ve done.”

The kaleidoscope of color moved faster, making Ellea dizzy. She tried to sit up, but the colors seemed to force her down. The woman knelt, her golden hair brushing across Ellea’s arm. She had a beautiful heart-shaped face that held the most amazing pair of purple eyes. She wore a peasant tie dyed shirt and skirt.

“Now I’m going to have to erase her memory and se—”

“No!” Ellea swung into action, grabbing the woman’s hands before they rested against the sides of her face.

The woman yelped and tried to pull away, but Ellea held on tight. Looking over her shoulder to the man, the strange woman implored, “Help me.”

He lunged forward and wrapped his arms around the woman and Ellea was assailed with a feeling like she was falling. With the two strangers in tow, she tumbled and fell, spiraling down into darkness.

After what seemed like an eternity, Ellea slammed into something hard that knocked the air out of her lungs.  Slowly, a voice entered the recesses of her brain.


“Can you hear me, Ellea? Are you okay? Talk to me.”

Of course she could hear him. She just couldn’t answer him. Her eyes fluttered open and she focused on his face.

Concern and worry marred his handsome features. “What the heck happened to you?”

She sat up with his help. Her vocal cords seemed to relax and she had control of her voice. “I-I’m not sure. One minute I was listening to you, the next minute I was in a strange room with—”

Ellea jumped up and pulled her gun, scanning the room for the two intruders.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Deuce asked, ducking, slightly taken aback.

“Where did they go?”

Deuce raised his eyebrows and looked around. “Um…who?”

“The man and the woman. Where did they go? We have to find them.”

“There’s no one here but us. We were sitting by the waterfall.” He turned and raised his hand to indicate the spot, then dropped his hand. “What in the world? What happened to it?”

Two small arcs of electricity coiled and danced, hopping from rock to rock. Rocks that were now immersed in the same rainbow hues Ellea had seen when she woke up to the strangers’ voices.

Realization dawned and Ellea returned the gun to its holster seconds before lunging for the circles of light dancing on the waterfall. There had to be a portal connected to the waterfall and the lights had to be the two strangers trying to return to the strange place she had been.

“Help me! Grab them! They know something about Brian.” Ellea captured one of the beacons in her hand, but howled when sharp biting streaks of pain shot up her arm and fell back to the floor.

Deuce jerked her gun from the holster. “I’ll help you all right. I’ll blow whatever it is to smithereens.”

Just as he took aim, Ellea jumped up yelling. “No! They know where we can find Bria—”
An orange and blue explosion flew out the barrel of the gun, ripping into Ellea’s chest.


Kay Springsteen is the author or Heartsight and Lifeline Echoes. Kim Bowman has written Wayward Soul and you can find out more about these author or their titles by clicking their names.


  1. WOW! great action... love the pic too!

  2. I dunno how Bri does it. Of all the elements Kim and I injected into the story this week, the LAST thing I thought Bri would find was a rainbow waterfall.

  3. I have mad skills... don't question the Briness