Monday, October 21, 2013

Circle Jerking on Level 7 by Torie James @Writergurl216 @KMNbooks @breathlesspress #flashfictionbash #giveaway

The contest is closed and the winners of Torie James' giveaway are Jean MP for the Ebook and Rosemary Gemmell for the magnet! Congrats!

Karen: Torie James is an author at Breathless Press. Her debut novel, Timeless Night hit the book shelves in September and has fifteen five-stars ratings! In her flash fiction tale, Circle Jerking on Level 7, Avan's day takes an unexpected turn when she attends FearCon on Halloween. She's in for one hell of a night. 

Giveaway: An Ebook copy of Timeless Night  and an autographed magnet  of the book cover as well! (USA only for this prize.) Read on and find out how you may add these great prizes to your goody bag! 

Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter daily for extra chances to win one of the Grand Prizes!

Circle Jerking on Level 7 by Torie James
            Tick tock. Tick tock.
            Avan's day had been tricked out with odd happenings from the moment she woke up and rolled over, slapping the annoyingly shrill blast of her alarm clock with one hand. It wouldn't shut off but for 30 second intervals before it was screaming her way again. She finally unplugged it in disgust and threw herself into her morning routine. The small, airy loft apartment was nice but afforded no real space, so after her usual breakfast of bran, coffee and Oikos, she'd laced up her shockingly bright orange New Balance tennis shoes, flipped her long, dark hair into a messy bun and set out for the same jog, the same route she took everyday. She loved it because she could think, listen to her music and get pumped up with sheer adrenaline. But this morning, she ran up on two strange men she'd never seen before on her route.
            And talk about weird. Although this was Southern California and the day was crisp, it wasn't cold enough to warrant Beavis and Butthead there bundled up in gear better suited to Antartica than Anaheim.  Moving around them gingerly, earbuds in place while Shinedown blasted "The Crow and the Butterfly" into her head, she couldn't help but notice they didn't look right. Something about the shape of their craggy faces was not symmetrical. They both had baseball caps pulled low down on their foreheads and their skin tone was very pale, tinged with the lightest brush of baby blue? Nah. Just a trick of their clothing, the sunlight and its reflecting rays as they bounced off the odd patch of water puddles dotting the cement trail. She bolted off, giving them no more thought. SoCal was full of the strange and unusual.
            Moments later, a headache began pounding furiously at the back of her skull. She'd been getting them a lot, especially the last month or so. Time for a check up.
            Tick tock. Tick tock.
            Being a freelance photographer granted her the ease of not having an "office" to go into. It suited Avan, she loved her freedom and was more of a 'pick up and go' type of  gal. After returning from her jog, she'd grabbed a shower, dressed in a light pair of hip hugging royal blue yoga pants, a natty Star Wars tshirt and slipped her feet into a pair of sandals. Grabbing her trusted laptop, she walked the two blocks to the corner of St. College and Lincoln and settled down at her usual table at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf after ordering an ice blended Java Blast mix with four add shots.  Scanning her emails, she was was momentarily distracted from her surroundings but when she looked up again, saw something that had her frowning. The two hulks from this morning were sitting two tables away, still dressed bizarrely and staring hard at her. She also noticed the most gorgeous blonde woman she'd ever seen in her life with them. Dressed in the finest Prada had to offer, the woman flashed her a quick smile and spoke softly to the small boy at her side. He looked like friggin' Opie from the Andy Griffith show in his torn jeans and striped shirt, complete with a cute cowlick in his ginger colored hair. But the look he  gave her was no look any child would give an adult. It was dark, grim, angry and annoyed. She barely caught the words, "I hate this place. Let's just grab her and go. It smells and it's too frigging cold." falling from his mouth and thought she had had misheard.
            Tick tock. Tick tock.
            Her cellphone rang distractingly and soon she was engrossed in a convo with an editor friend who put the occasional photo gig her way. Tonight was FearCon at the Anaheim Convention Center and his usual photographer was out of town. Would she be interested in covering it? Yes, yes she would. By the time she'd finished getting the deets from him and looked up, they were all gone.
            Tick tock. Tick tock.
            The icy, uneasy feeling stayed with her all day and she could swear, no matter where she went, she thought she caught sight of that little boy more than once. But when she'd turn to look again, he was gone. The headache got worse and no amount of Tylenol was putting a dent in it.
            It wasn't until she got to the convention center, her photo bags slung over both shoulders and was inside the building that she remembered today WAS October 31st.
            Halloween.
            That explained that charged, disturbing atmosphere bugging her all day. People got stranger than normal on All Hallow's Eve.
            Tick tock. Tick tock.
            FearCon was a trip. Unlike other traditional conventions, the doors shut firmly after sunset and didn't open back up until dawn. Barring any emergency situation, it was a lockdown scenario. Once you were in, there was no out.  Just you and a few thousand of your closest non friends, vendors, actors, directors and fans congregating in a nightmare landscape that changed with every floor visited. Some people even opted for cosplay and were costumed accordingly. She lost track of the number of Freddys, Jasons, Michaels and Pinheads she saw. Snapping off roll after roll, she got some great shots of horror maven  Wes Craven, Guillermo del Toro and even chatted up the producers of American Horror Story.
            "Have you been to the 7th floor yet?"
            Turning away from the small stage that housed the cast of the new NBC show, Dracula, she was startled to see the beautiful blonde from earlier, those two monstrous figures flanking her. The guys from earlier. No sign of her little kid, though.
            "Uh, no." Avan paused, something seemed familiar but foreign at the same time. "Do I know you, lady?" She darted a quick look at both men, still dressed as they'd been from earlier in the day. They stared back at her. One even smiled. He had fangs. Oh nice. They looked almost real.
             "Do you think you do?" Was the cryptic response from Blondie before she threw out her next comment. "I think you need to visit the 7th floor. All your questions will be answered there." A flash of white teeth, a hint of Ciara perfume wafted over Avan.There it was again! A smell both comforting and confusing.
             A thundering round of applause tore Avan's attention for a moment as Rob Zombie appeared onstage across the hall.  When she glanced back again, the lady and her friends were gone.
            Tick tock. Tick tock.
            What the hell was going on? Truthfully, she was compelled to do it, to go to the 7th floor. Was this part of some elaborate scheme, some hoax cooked up by..who?
            She didn’t really have friends per se. She kept to herself. Okay, stop tripping balls, girl and get back to work. Maybe her next door neighbor’s nightly and indulgent ganja fest had finally gotten to her. Was she high?
            Screw it, she was getting out of here. Great plan, but only when she got denied outside access did she remember the rules for FearCon. Ah, hell.
            Drifting through the crowds of people, she felt sick, the nausea rising again. She was losing it. What was happening? Bracing against the smooth, glossy wall next to the set of elevators, she decided she needed some fresh air. The roof! That was the spot she heard a bunch of people saying had been designated for the smokers. Okay, so it wasn’t fresh air but at least there’d be a breeze or something.
            Before she could even push the “up” button, the doors slid open with a sibilant hiss and she stumbled inside, half tripping as another rush of dizziness swept over her.
            A foul taste in her mouth had her gagging suddenly, it was like sulphur and iron? Blood. Gross. Blindly, she groped towards the panel, jabbing her finger until the doors slid shut and the elevator hitched smoothly, going up, up, up.
            When the doors opened a  moment later, she tripped trying to get out. She felt cold, no, freezing and her heart was thumping the strangest rhythm. All coherent thought was sliding down a rabbit hole of shadows and it was as though from far off, she could hear screams.
            She heard her name but it was rolled over and pronounced with a guttural edge that reminded her of nails on a chalkboard.
            “AaaahhhhhVannn. AaaahhhVaaan. Noxxxxturna. Come home. AaaahhhVann.”
            A furious ringing pain exploded in her brain and had her curling back into the elevator, half crawling as she collapsed.
            She gagged once more, almost dry heaving onto the pair of small, white sneakers that suddenly filled her dimming field of vision. Forcing her sluggish, heavy head up she spied the little boy from earlier. The one from the coffee shop. His eyes glinted with demonic fury, shards of gold and crimson covered the normally white parts, his lips twitched into a grimace that turned into a slow smile, revealing a mouthful of sharp, pointed teeth as he walked into the lift.
            “‘bout damn time, sis. And boy, is Pops pissed at you, Avan. Nef, Abe, don’t just stand there looking dumb, although you both do it so well. Help her up.”
            Avan felt her arms being yanked up none to gently, her head lolling around to see the giant men from earlier as they hauled her up. Only...only...now their hats were gone and each bore a set of gleaming, ebony horns.
            Tick tock. Tick tock.
            “Where...where am I?” She was finding it hard to talk, her mouth felt odd. Her teeth rubbed the inside of her lower lip and she tasted blood.
            “Level 7. You know. Home? Jeeze, Av, you are stuck on stupid.” Small Fry snorted, shaking his head and throwing a pained look up at the lovely, tall and stately blonde woman Avan assumed was his mother. And as she watched the female’s form shifted from gorgeous human to something else entirely, her face and body melting into a thickly horned and spiked gunmetal gray. Only her blue eyes remained unchanged as she laid a now clawed hand on the “boy’s” shoulder.
            “Remiel, you know how it is. When you’re gone longer than your allotted time, you start to forget. And this was Abbie's first visit. It won’t happen again, I’m sure.”
            Wary confusion was giving away to a dim memory as Avan blinked and glanced down. Her own hands weren’t the usual almond colored flesh she remembered but a vibrant crimson with shots of amber streaking through. Her fingers were talons. As if by rote, she reached up to touch her head and felt the familiar and sleek bone of her own horns.
            And suddenly, she remembered.
            She was Avan Noxturna. Daughter of Lucifer, King of Shaol.
            The Devil’s Daughter.
            “Oh shit.” Blinking rapidly, she now recognized the “men” at her side. Her older brother’s, Nephel and Abram. The boy child was her oldest brother, Remiel. The female demon was her only sister, Efra’nya, or Effie for short. Once every 100 years, Lucifer allowed his children to visit “up-top” as they called it, for the span of 90 days, no longer. Only one at a time was allowed, something about keeping the balance as part of the agreement he had with Noname, The Great Creator. Crap, crap, crap.
            She covered her face with her hands for a moment and heaved a huge sigh. “I’m so sorry. How pissed is he?” She felt eerily alert.
            “Ah, all you gotta do is flash those huge brown eyes at him and I’m sure he’ll forgive ya, Avie, but can we please get to getting? I’d rather be circle jerking on Level 7 than spend another minute on this halfway house Noname calls Earth.” Remiel hitched up his stained Gap jeans.
            Level 7. The Seventh Level of Hell. Of home.
            Time to go back.
            Tick...tock.
            The elevator doors slid shut.           
The End
About Timeless Night:
In an epic battle of good versus evil, one woman finds herself the focal point of a magical feud. Sabrina thought she knew who she was until a knight of long ago returns to steal her heart.

If you could live forever, what would you choose to live for? I chose love...

A silent guardian, Alexander has walked the corridors of time in pursuit of an end to a haunting prophecy. Sabrina has lived a life surrounded by modern magic, unaware that the greatest and deadliest of powers reside within her own soul. If it only takes the light of love to ignite the stars, what of the decadent seduction of darkness? All roads don’t lead home and some myths only grow into legend.

Purchase a copy of Timeless Night at:

Amazon

 Giveaway: An Ebook copy of Timeless Night  and an autographed magnet  of the book cover as well! (USA only for this prize.) All you have to do is answer this question: What's your favorite Halloween costume? Don't have one? Just leave a comment. And don't forget to leave your email so Torie can contact you if you should win!  Good Luck! 
About the Author:

Torie James is a native Californian who lives in Anaheim with her family, numerous pets and an obsessive chocolate habit that needs to be fed or people get hurt. Her debut novel, Timeless Night, was released on September 20, 2013 by Breathless Press. If you'd like to keep up with her, you can track her down at any of the following.


11 comments:

Rosemary Gemmell said... Best Blogger Tips

Really enjoyed that story, Torie - and loved the twist ending!

Jean MP said... Best Blogger Tips

What a great story, didn't see that ending coming!
Favorite Halloween costume is a witch.
skpetal at hotmail dot com

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Torie,

Thanks so much for joining the bash! I didn't know where your story was going and what a surprise it was. Loved the twist. :)

My favorite Halloween costume as a kid was when I dressed up as a vampire. I won a contest for that costume. :) Probably why it's my favorite. lol

J Bur said... Best Blogger Tips

I was Snow White one year for Halloween. Thanks for the giveaway! janaleah64@yahoo.com

Shadow said... Best Blogger Tips

Sounds so good! This is one battle i cant wait to read about! :D Great sounding story!
One of my favorite costumes was dressing gothic. The costume wasnt that great, but my two cousins, siblings and aunt all dressed up goth too. I remember how fun it was. Its one of the last times we really celebrated a holiday together. We were up half the night. Visiting tons of towns, eating way to much candy and staying up playing happy potter game. lol It was awesome! I miss the holidays! Thanks for sharing!
shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

Torie James said... Best Blogger Tips

Super nice to meet you all! And thank you! I had fun writing it!

Cathy said... Best Blogger Tips

Enjoyed the story. I was surprised at the end.

My favorite Halloween costume was when I dressed up as a princess. My mother made the costume and it was really beautiful!

cnickol @ verizon dot net

bn100 said... Best Blogger Tips

That was suspenseful

Don't have a fav costume

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Celtic Chick said... Best Blogger Tips

Great story. Loved the ending.

Kelley

Cara Marsi said... Best Blogger Tips

LOVE the story. What a twist that I didn't see coming.

Emily said... Best Blogger Tips

I don't really have a fave costume, but this year, I was Mickey Mouse and my mom was Minnie. And we handmade the aprons for our costumes. Loved the story, great twist at the end.