Footprints

Blood Legends Episode One

“She had a way of bringing me undone.”


“Did you ever want to step into someone else’s feet?”

I tore my eyes from the gulls screeching above the waves that crashed against the jagged rocks, their wings beating against the briny air as they swooped the water’s surface looking for a meal. A faint smile played over my lips.

“Don’t you mean shoes?”

The breeze captured Scarla’s platinum locks as amber eyes settled on me. Her smile was as meek as mine, dissolving just as fast when she dropped her gaze to grab a handful of sand. My throat restricted. The wind instantly carried a chord of torment as I watched her.

“No.” She allowed the golden grains to fall from between her fingers. She raised her chin toward the sky and squeezed her eyes shut. “Thousands of footprints have marked this beach over just as many years; I’d give anything to step in any one of them.”

My stomach hollowed.

“But then you wouldn’t be here with me in this moment.” I reached to catch a tear as it splashed over her cheek, folding my palm against her smooth skin while my gaze melted into her. She was all I saw in a disintegrating world. She was everything. “You would rather be elsewhere?”

She leaned her chin into my palm, her lashes dewy when she met my stare.

“Yes, with you, Jett.”

“Where should we go?”

My gaze instantly fell to her lips when she smiled. Pale pink and plump. They reminded me of blossoms and lifted my heart in much the same way. She had a way of doing that. She had a way of bringing me undone.

“Florence.” She pulled away from my touch, combing a hand through unruly hair as it wisped across her face. Her white blouse rippled and clung to her breasts.

“Ah, you want to immerse yourself in some Italian Renaissance, Bella donna? Where should we start? The Galleria degli Uffizi?”

She laughed.

“That will do just fine, signor. We’ll spend our days exploring galleries, eating crostini di fegato and drinking chianti while we marvel at the architectural masterpieces. Afterwards, we will put on our best threads and go to the opera.”

I feigned a frown.

“The opera? Hmm…”

“What?” She gave me a gentle nudge. “I’m sure you can conjure up your inner-aristocrat for a few hours if need be.”

“Only for you, Bella donna.”

I shifted, positioning myself behind her on the sand and pulling her between my legs so that her back molded against my chest. I wrapped my arms around her, burying my nose near her ear and breathing in her scent. She stiffened, her voice barely audible over the sound of the rumbling waters.

“Do you think the virus has spread that far?”

I shrugged.

“If it has, we’ll get love-drunk on chianti at the opera with them. I hear the undead love high society.”

“That’s not funny.”

“I’m not laughing.” I pressed my lips against her temple. She tasted salty. Sensually salty. My voice was husky when I spoke next. “Can’t we just pretend a little longer?”

She arched her neck so that her throat stretched beneath the afternoon sun. Her eyes closed as she leaned further into me, reaching to claw her fingers through the dark hair curling at my nape. I wanted her now, but I knew this wasn’t the time nor the place for intimacy. We were alone on the beach, yet that could change at any moment. People were seldom friendly these days. Especially those that we call the hawkers.

My gaze drifted toward the horizon as I held her in my arms. If I could pretend on anything, it would be any place but here as long as she was by my side. It would be some place where the Vampiric virus ravaging the earth couldn’t reach.

They say everything happens for a reason. Yet, I could think of no justifiable reason for the horror our world had become. Almost overnight, the lives of millions of people worldwide had turned into a living nightmare. A harsh reality where those infected by the virus feasted on humanity during the dark hours. Now, it was the kindred that were fast staking supremacy over the earth; humans had become the minority.

My thoughts shifted to my daughter, Avila, who we’d left behind in our hidden cottage; the meager refuge we’d sought after fleeing the city when it became obvious that I could no longer help contain the rapid spread of the virus. We were among the lucky ones who got out just in time.

“We should get back to the cottage,” I said, knowing that she wasn’t ready to leave. It wasn’t often that we stole time away from the cottage. I’d come here for her. Sometimes, she needed to dream.

She squirmed in my arms, swinging around to face me. Her brows creased.

“Just a little longer? I want to trek through some footprints before we go back.” She motioned toward the sand etched with shallow prints. “Will you join me?”

I held her gaze, smiling behind the pain of all I knew she’d suffered and lost to the outbreak. She’d lost her little boy at the hands of a vampire. I shook my head.

“Go find your rainbow, Bella donna. I’ll wait here.”

“Okay.” Her eyes deepened against the blue of mine as her lips slightly parted and she leaned toward me. I groaned inwardly as the sweet taste of promises to come found my mouth with her kiss. They say that the eyes are the gateway to the soul. I think lips are the same for the body. She pulled away and leapt to her feet, casting me a grin. “I’ll be ten minutes. You can watch my rainbow from here.”

I scanned the beach again, pushing away the apprehension that shadowed my every waking hour.

“Stay where I can see you.”

My words were swallowed in the wind and the space between us as she walked toward the shore, but I knew she wouldn’t wander far from me. She was more than aware of the lurking dangers in the form of hawkers. They were the ones who polluted the daylight hours by terrorizing the survivors. The profane remains of humanity who relished the aftermath with unspeakable acts of violence. Thankfully, we hadn’t encountered any hawkers this far from the city. Still, you can never be too vigilant.

I watched Scarla for a few minutes as she stomped between prints, and looking back at me every now and then, smiling. She was safe enough that I took a breath and sprawled back into the sand. The warm grains cushioned my head as I closed my eyes beneath the sun, inviting the false sense of well-being its rays provided.

For the millionth time since the arrival of the V-Virus, I thought about the continuation of life. It isn’t until you are faced with endless death and chaos that you realize the earth will stop for nothing and no one. There are no free rides out of here when evil comes calling. No help lines to pull you from the brink of insanity.

A few moments passed and I became aware of the breeze gathering speed, catching clumps of my hair as the sand sprayed like sharp needles against my skin. Suddenly, I felt cold all over, the breeze blowing in a sense of dread. I sat up abruptly, looking back to the place I’d last spotted Scarla scouring the shoreline but she wasn’t there.

Scarla?

My heart thumped hard against my chest as I stood up and scanned the beach. I was confronted by a stretch of bronze sand in every direction as far as the eye could see, barren of life apart from the gulls that squawked and hovered above the waves licking the shore.

I could feel my head begin to spin as I called her name, but my words were instantly stolen by the wind as panic gripped me and my feet dug into the sand to seek out her footprints. Prints that I knew would haunt me for the rest of my days.


Also published by P.S. I Love you on Medium on 11/15/2019.

Footprints is an urban fantasy set in a post apocalyptic world, and is part of Kim Petersen’s Blood Legends world. Episodes set to publish weekly.


Blood Legends: Episode Two – The Hawkers Available in:

2019-11-22T16:30:00

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The Hawkers


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Connecting with your Higher Creative Self by Judy Sweeney


You often hear about people being in the zone. Painters being in another place, the paintbrush seeming to have a mind of its own; musicians so engrossed in the music they are creating. You only have to look at some of the great guitarists to see what I mean; writers sitting at the keyboard for hours without a break, not wanting to stop because the words just keep coming.

If only it was like that all of the time. Alas, that is not always how it is. Sometimes, we just sit and look at the screen, the empty sheet music page or canvas and nothing flows.

I am not a writer, artist or musician. I am a Clairvoyant and, in my work, I have to go to my highest self and above every time I connect to Spirit. The principals are the same. The following are some of the practices I use to centre and reconnect to my higher creative self.

  • Drink water, without hydration you cannot work to your highest potential.
  • Breathe. The breath is one of the most important and easiest tools we can use to open to our highest creative self.

Close your eyes and take in a deep breath, breathing in through your crown and into your heart.

Take another deep breath, in through your feet and into your heart. Take another deep breath in of love from the universe and feel your heart expand.

Breathe in love from the earth and feel your heart expand.

Breathe in the I AM love from the universe into your heart, breathe in the I AM love from the earth into your heart.

Feel your heart expand, the energy in your heart is your creative essence, let it expand.

Feel the love for the I AM self that is you, feel it, sit with it, be one with it and allow it to expand and flow through you to every cell of your being.

Opening your eyes when you are ready.


Affirmations are such a wonderful way of instilling self-belief.

  • I am a Creative Being
  • I know who I am and I know how I serve
  • I am open to my joy
  • I am peace and allow my joy to flow

Acknowledging Blocks

We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge. I also believe that we can change something by looking at the emotion that you are feeling. Sit with it, bring it into your heart, not your mind.

How does it feel?

What emotion are you experiencing?

Fear, anger, frustration, not good enough, fraud? All emotions are valid, even it they are not real.  i.e. you are always good enough etc.

Feel the emotion, hold it in your heart and say this until it lessens or goes away.

I CLEANSE YOU.   I CLEAR YOU.    I LOVE YOU

I CLEANSE YOU.   I CLEAR YOU.    I LOVE YOU

I CLEANSE YOU.   I CLEAR YOU.    I LOVE YOU


Prayer or Invocation

I always use a simple invocation before every reading, or healing. You can do the same thing. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out prayer it can be very simple. As I work with Spirit, I always ask for God and the angels to be with me. You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to, but I will say asking your angels for help is one thing that you can do and the angels love helping you.

You can say something simple like:

“Thank you, angels for being with me while I write

Thank you, angels for helping me through this block

I call on all the Angels of Creativity to be with me today.”


About Judy Sweeney:

Psychic Medium, Reiki-Seichem Master & Spiritual Teacher

Judy is a well-known Psychic Medium and Workshop facilitator who is now in the beautiful and tranquil Tanilba Bay, Port Stephens.

With the move to Port Stephens she will be concentrating more on her Reading and Healing work with a focus on Light Language.

Skype and phone sessions are available for my overseas, interstate and distant clients, or if you just can’t get to me in person. Distances makes no difference to the quality of the session as everything is done with Spirit and your higher self.

With a quirky sense of humour and many years’ experience, including reading at festivals, the Mind Body Spirit, New Age Shops and her private rooms, you are guaranteed a high degree of accuracy, empathy, integrity and confidentiality.

Judy’s Website: https://www.lightworkerworkshops.com.au



The Color of Green


“Whatever it is that you’re doing to make him react that way, stop it.” Jill blinked through a thick layer of mascara. She stroked back a long blond curl and shook her head. “If you stop upsetting him, then he won’t hurt you.”

Huh?

My jaw dropped, my stomach clenching as I looked at her. Words eluded me in that moment. I had finally found enough courage to confide in someone, to voice the horror of living with an abusive husband, and this was the response my mother-in-law dished out?

I clamped my jaw shut, pursing my lips as another feeling erupted and burned my cheeks. Shame. My eyes drifted down to my feet as I forced out the words. “But I don’t do anything to upset him.”

She crinkled her nose, her pencilled brows lifting as she scrutinized me. Her next words made me want to sink between the twisted carpet beneath my feet.

“Well, you must be doing something wrong. Lucas wouldn’t hurt you otherwise.”

She swivelled towards the kitchen benchtop to pop on the kettle. I watched as she pulled two mugs from an overhanging cupboard before setting them down and looking back at me. “It’s your fault, Ava. He’s always had trouble controlling his emotions. You need to learn how to behave.”

She paused and flashed me a smile. “Coffee?”

Coffee? Was she serious? As I fixed my gaze on her, I realized that she was. I tilted my chin as I circled strands of auburn hair over my ear and narrowed my eyes. At the same time, I became aware of the rage brewing in my veins. Her smile fizzled as I marched closer to her. I tore at the sleeves on my wrists to expose the bruises on my skin, thrusting my arms at her as I spoke through gritted teeth.

“This is my fault? My fault, Jill?” I said, as the heat of my tears stung my eyes. I tried to withhold the tears as I gazed down at her, watching as she barely glanced at the angry welts.

She shrugged. “Like I said, you need to stop upsetting him. It’s not his fault.”

My dark eyes narrowed down to slits as my jaw tightened. “Are you telling me that I deserve this?”

She avoided looking at me as she turned to busy herself with teaspoons and coffee jars. When she didn’t reply, I stepped closer to her.

“Jill?” I said, biting my trembling lip. “I asked you a question.”

Her golden tresses flipped across her shoulders as she whirled around suddenly, treating me to a heated stare. “I don’t want to talk about it, Ava,” she said, clasping her slender hips. “We don’t talk about these kinds of things. We just note it, learn from it and move on.”

“Move on?” I felt the fury overwhelm me. So, I mirrored her moves, gripping my hips and glaring. “Is that the answer that’s been evading me for so long? And how about your grand-babies? He’s already started venting his rage on Liam. Who knows how far he could take it…” my voice trailed and I shuddered.

The thought of my children suffering beneath my husband’s erratic bouts of violence was too much to bear. I knew I had to do something. This life was eating me up from the inside out, and it was guilt that formed the groundwork on which I stood.

Guilt. If I could give it a color, it would be green. And not the green offered of vibrant grasses swaying beneath a summer breeze, but the sludgy green that clung to the walls of a putrid pond. Green shadowed my every waking hour. It was that murky shade that relentlessly haunted me. Green for not protecting my children from the horrific scenes tainting their reality, and green for the strength I lacked. Most of all, though, it was the muddy tint of green that had replaced my convictions.

Jill waved a dismissive hand, snorting. Her gaze hardened as she looked me in the eye.

“He wouldn’t hurt the children,” she said, straightening her short frame. “You married him, Ava. This is the life you chose. Now, you must deal with it, just like I dealt with it. I didn’t go running to my mother-in-law for sympathy.” She took in a breath and hissed. “No, I toughened up and got smarter, and that’s what you need to do. Stop upsetting him and he won’t hurt you.”

I swallowed hard as her words sunk in. She tore her eyes away and made for the fridge. The revelation came to me in a flash.

“You were abused, too?”

I saw her tense before reaching for a bottle of milk and swinging the fridge door closed. When she didn’t answer, I moved up to her, noticing her fingers quivering as she set down the milk. She didn’t look at me.

“Jill, how bad was it?”

Her chin lowered along with her shoulders and she sighed. When she turned around, I saw the pain in her eyes.

“Lucas’s father was a good man.” Her eyes glazed and darted away from me. For a moment, I wondered if she would continue. She let out a breath as she began to speak again. “But sometimes, good people do bad things.”

“Like what?”

Her fingers knotted together, and she shook her head. “He’d always had a hot temper; anything could set him off. Me and the kids lived on our nerves and walked on eggshells. It was like Russian Roulette.” She gave a rueful laugh. “One day, I came home from work to find him…” Her voice faltered.

Her chest began to rack as she leaned heavily against the benchtop. I had never seen her so vulnerable. When she lifted her eyes to mine, they were glistening and my heart cracked. “He was interfering with Lucas.”

I gasped and reached out to her, resting my hand on her arm as I searched for the right words.

My words came in a whisper. “Wha — what happened?”

She jerked away from me as her voice hardened. “Anarchy — that’s what happened, Ava. And what followed was my near death. So, you see now, Lucas isn’t to blame for his behavior. He breathes beneath the treacherous shadow of his father. You must submit to the life you chose, be there for him and forgive his indiscretions.”

My mind went blank then, before a thousand thoughts spiralled as I struggled to understand. My eyes skimmed to the floor. Then, one thought materialised above the whirl in my head — The cycle of abuse stops here.

I could barely breathe when I looked back at her.

“I’m sorry for what happened to you and Lucas,” I said, shaking my head. “But that doesn’t excuse the way he treats me and the kids. Toxic behavior can be unlearned; it doesn’t have to carry on through the generations.”

Her lips contorted in a scowl. “Did you not hear what I said? He’s been through hell! His actions are not always his own. Ava, you need to understand this — he needs you to understand this.”

“No,” I replied, feeling the heat simmer below my skin as I siphoned courage from the fire. “That’s where you’re wrong. Every action is a choice. Every hateful remark, every slap, and every punch that he delivers is a choice he gets to make each and every time.”

I reached for my wedding ring and twisted it off my finger. Her eyes widened as I placed it on the benchtop beside the milk. Then, I levelled my stare on her and lifted my chin. “Love shouldn’t hurt, Jill.”

I stormed out of the kitchen as she chased after me, calling.

“Ava! This is crazy! What are doing?”

When I reached the threshold of my bedroom, I paused to glance over my shoulder at her ashen face. “I’m taking the kids and leaving,” I said, clutching the door frame. “I’m not you, Jill, and no amount of understanding his past will justify another minute of this life. I deserve more; my children deserve more and I’m doing something about it.”

She shrieked, but I didn’t wait around for her reply. I walked into my room and opened the closet where the luggage was kept, before pulling out items from drawers and hangers and flinging them into the bags. It was then that I felt something shift slightly within me, and for the first time in years, the murky green shrouding me lightened.


Originally published by P.S I Love You on Medium – November 8th, 2019.