Archive | November 2010

A Little White Lie – Part 18

The mission isn’t going exactly as Wil had hoped. He’s already lost a few men and he still hasn’t found Aurialonus. However, they have rescued the royal family and Wil got to have a cool knife fight. Things are looking up. Now, if he could simply find the wretched dictator, he’d be happy.

Wil looked around for Emory and didn’t see him. Ben didn’t appear alarmed, so he waited. Emory came back a few moments later, smiling smugly. A whispered conference with the king, who smiled and nodded, and the grin widened. He trotted up to Wil.

“Royal stables to the south. Twenty-five thoroughbred horses, all saddled by the grooms. They are still loyal to the family and as soon as I explained what we were doing, they were happy to help. The guards there are no longer a problem.”

He chuckled remembering the short, brutal battle that had taken place. Pitchforks and riding crops made formidable weapons in the right hands.

“Can all of them ride?” Wil asked hopefully.

Emory nodded, “Yes, sir. The king confirmed it.”

“Get them out of here. Ben, you’re with me. We’ve got to find Aurialonus.”

Ben’s lips snapped shut on his comments, knowing it would be pointless to interject common sense. He gestured for the others to leave.

“Contact base camp when you get off the palace grounds. They’ll meet you,” Ben told Lance.

“Good luck,” Emory said, suddenly worried. He looked as if he wanted to speak to Wil, but there was no time for him to find the right words.

Later, he promised himself, he would talk to Wil and try to explain. If there was a later. Sighing inwardly, he squared his shoulders and took point, leading the way to the stables across the gardens. The men in the garden were still out, but the gas would last only another ten to fifteen minutes. They hustled along, careful where they trod, even a gassed man would wake if someone fell on him.

Wil and Ben exchanged a look, which in Wil’s case could have meant anything. Ben’s was one of puzzlement. Aurialonus had never been the main objective, but Wil was determined. Probably his bizarre code of ethics again.

“How do you propose to find the lunatic? He could be anywhere.”

“He’s still here.”

“How do you know?”

Wil shrugged, moving his weapon to the other hand as he drew a cheroot from his shirt pocket and lit it. “Matter of pride. He’d never give up when he’s come so far. To him, the palace represents power. Even without hostages, he considers himself as King. He’ll stay.”

“What a putz.”

“Yeah, well no one said he was smart.”

They were picking their way across the ballroom; empty save for dead bodies. They had no light, but each man moved with confidence in the dark.

“Got to be a safe room somewhere, a bolt hole,” Wil wended his way toward the servants stairway at the back of the house. There was a veritable warren of these, he knew since the blue-prints of the castle were feeding through his cybereye.

A Little White Lie – Part 17

Things could have gone more smoothly for Wil and the others, but overall, this mission hasn’t been too bad. Yes, they’ve lost a few men, but they’ve found the royal family and it looks like our heroes may get them out alive.

The third man dropped his weapon, hands on his head. Lance yanked him to his knees, cutting his throat. The final fanatic grimaced at Wil, tossing his gun aside, drawing a knife, he invited Wil to fight.

It was a pointless waste of time, Wil knew it, but he loved a challenge. The man had earned a right to fight for an honorable death, and Wil adhered to an odd form of chivalry fathomable only to himself. Ben saw the look in his eye and started to round up the family members. With the help of Lance and Emory, he herded them out of the room.

Crouching in a fighting stance, the guard motioned Wil again as the lithe Marine sized up his opponent; shorter, but just as heavy, and well muscled. His confident movements showed Wil he knew what he was doing with the knife.

Standing with nonchalance before him, back straight, Wil presented an inviting target. He waited. A twitch in his cheek, a flinch of his right hand, and the soldier launched his attack on Wil, roaring like a lion.

Wil dodged the swinging knife, ducking under the other man’s guard. A sharp blow to the ribs sent his opponent reeling a few steps. Wil heard three ribs shatter. Breath coming in gasps, the guard prepared more carefully. His next attack was better planned as he took a running leap, his booted foot aiming for Wil’s midsection. Breaking stride, he dropped onto the lead foot, weaving an intricate pattern with the other; a powerful arc caught Wil behind the knee.

A lesser man would have been howling, his knee dislocated. Wil dropped and rolled sideways, using the momentum of the kick to propel him away from his attacker. Landing on both feet like a cat, he faced the soldier once more.

Lunging wildly, the guard rushed Wil, apparently deciding it was time to stop playing. Wil leaned backward, evading the whistling knife assault with ease. With a furious bellow, the man ran at Wil, attempting to tackle him.

A blow to one arm broke it, a knee to the chin shattered the jaw. Gasping and retching on his own blood, the guard fell to his knees, exposing his throat. In his good hand, he held out his knife, hilt first, asking for a quick death. He had earned it, having fought honorably. Taking the proffered knife, Wil drove it through his throat, severing the spinal cord. The lifeless body collapsed at Wil’s feet.

All the family were out now, lined up on the terrace, shivering from cold and fear, as Wil leisurely walked out the door. Ben had paired them up, an adult with each child.

One man stood alone, the king. Wil could have picked him out in any crowd, for he carried himself with pride. Despite his disheveled appearance, he looked like royalty. With a brief smile of thanks, he took his place in line giving his shoulder to his injured son.

The House Blog Tour

– Win a FREE Kindle! Read at the bottom of this post for details about how to win a FREE Wi-Fi Kindle ($139 value).

About the Author

Anjuelle Floyd is a wife of twenty-eight years, mother of three, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in mother-daughter relations and dream work.

A graduate of Duke University, she received her MA in Counseling Psychology from The California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco. She has attended the Dominican Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley, California, and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Port Townsend, Washington. She has received certificates of participation from The Hurston-Wright Writers’ Week and The Voices of Our Nations Writing Workshops.

A student of Process Painting for the last decade, Anjuelle has participated in The Art of Living Black Exhibitions 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 held at the Richmond Art Center, Richmond, California.

Anjuelle facilitates writing groups and provides individual consultation of fiction projects. She also gives talks on The Need for Family, the Writing Process as a Path Toward Self-discovery and Healing.

The House by Anjuelle Floyd

http://www.anjuellefloyd.com/books/the-house/

About the Book
On receiving the very thing she wants—a divorce and the power to sell their house—over which they have fought the past year—Anna Manning learns that Edward, her soon-to-be ex-husband is dying from cancer.

A faithful wife for three decades, and stay-at-home mother of four children, Anna endured Edward’s constant absence due to travel for his international real estate firm and numerous extra-marital affairs. With their children now adults, Edward has less than six months, possibly three, to live.

Anna takes him home to die in the house she has fought so vigorously to sell. But letting go of someone who has caused so much pain in your life doesn’t come easily. Edward has changed. There are Anna and Edward’s four children, three of whom who are married and struggling to endow their families with meaning and purpose.

News of Edward’s terminal illness provokes her to understand the present, rooted in a wellspring of the past and pouring into a future without him.

The House shows what happens when one adopts the belief that: All hold regret and are seeking forgiveness. Our salvation rests in the hands of others—most particularly the ones we love, and who have treated us wrongly.

Purchase the Book Online at:
http://www.anjuellefloyd.com/books/the-house/

WIN A FREE KINDLE!
To celebrate the release of her novel, The House, author Anjuelle Floyd is offering a (1) Kindle Wi-Fi (retail value: $139.00) as a part of her promotional blog tour. A WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED DECEMBER 1, 2010.

TO REGISTER ONLINE – http://bit.ly/TheHouseKindleGiveaway

For More Information

Visit the author online at http://www.anjuellefloyd.com
View the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/TheHouseBlogTour

CHARACTER SKETCH: Meet David Manning

Have you ever wondered how a writer comes up with her characters? Author Anjuelle Floyd provides a peek inside the profile of one of the Manning’s children.

David Manning was an interesting character to write. From the outset of the novel his actions of threatening to attempt to declare Anna mental unfit put me on notice.

David was hurting. The divorce of one’s parents splits open the ground of being upon which one stands both emotionally and spiritually. That Anna had requested the split signaled to David what he had worked so hard to deny and overcome–his father lack of marital faithfulness.

I recognized Anna’s strength immediately when she sought no retaliation. She instead expresses her hurt and frustration by asking where was he during Edward’s numerous absences.

Years ago I learned from a practicing attorney that any person can sue another person, not that David ever gets to that point.

And yet it is the threat, the idea that he would even consider such a move, by which he notified Anna through Henderson, that carries emotional weight. That David worked as a law intern in Henderson’s office hearkens back or rather forwards to Edward’s previous history with Henderson. Henderson Felterfield was at one time Edward’s attorney, and legal advisor. They were at best friends, at the least businessmen who respected each other.

Over time Edward’s extra-marital dalliances eroded Henderson’s respect regarding Edward’s role has a husband. And yet Henderson states quite clearly that he has been a good husband.

When Henderson Felterfield clarifies that any suit David attempts against Anna concerning her mental state will be bogus and moot. But Anna knows more.

We learn later that it is David who has wiped Anna’s tears and promised to take care of her when he reaches adulthood. He promises to give her a home wherein she is loved. It is no wonder that Edward, in the wake of Anna abandoning her efforts at divorcing him, wills the house to David.

Was Edward in giving the house to David taking it from Anna, or was Edward providing David with what he thought of hoped would satiate David in what would soon be the death of Edward? Or simply put, was this Edward’s way of saying, “I’m sorry,” to David?

The House – A Review by Dellani Oakes

The House by Anjuelle Floyd

Anna Manning wants a divorce. She’s asking for freedom from Edward’s philandering and emotional abuse he’s given her for over thirty years. After more than a year of fighting, he finally gives her all she wants—a divorce and freedom to sell their house.

But Edward’s changed, diminished, he’s dying and has nowhere to go. In an unexpected move that shocks her to the core, Anna decides to hold off the divorce and bring Edward home—to die. Edward’s illness and Anna’s decision cause each of the characters to reflect on their own lives, meeting their own personal demons and conquering them.

Anjuelle Floyd has a unique voice. At times, she confronts adversity, at others, embraces it. Her character studies astutely, but lovingly, reveal the inner workings of the human heart. Exposing them, she invites us to accept them for what they are. By the conclusion of “The House”, each of the characters has made the difficult transition from anger and denial, to acceptance.

“The House” is a beautiful, lyrical story of grief, acceptance and love. I highly recommend it and her other book, “Keeper of Secrets…Translations of an Incident” for those who enjoy exploring the human heart.

A Little White Lie – Part 16

Things aren’t going quite as well as Wil could have hoped. Already, he’s lost some of his team. He expected casualties, but not minutes into the operation. What he doesn’t know is that his fun is just beginning.

Billy walked in the opposite direction, going carefully and cautiously. A few minutes later, they rejoined Lance, whose arm was bound in flesh colored plastic.

“You okay?” Ben asked, concern for his man and the safety of the team foremost in his mind.

Lance nodded. “Good as new.” He flexed powerful fingers.

They moved forward together, preparing to enter the ballroom from the terrace. Taking up a three point position, they examined each door. Lance stopped to check for explosives. Ben waited impatiently for him to finish.

Strangely, no explosives were on the axillary doors. Only on the main terrace door did they find crude booby traps, hastily done by amateurs. There was no alarm, another puzzler. These people sure didn’t think in
terms of security.

Movement to the west side of the terrace caught Ben’s eye and he signaled a hold. He and Wallace dropped to the ground while Lance moved into the deep shadows under the eaves, easing himself parallel to the wall. A click and flicker of light revealed Wil’s stony visage and Emory’s diminutive shadow in front of him. The other three relaxed a little.

“Ben, you’re losing it. I made all kinds of noise to let you know we were here,” he muttered.

“Aurialonus?” Ben asked.

Will shook his head. “Pay attention, ladies,” he stepped forward, taking point bedside Ben. “On three.” They counted silently as Lance eased the door open. Swinging inward, it gently tapped someone who was curled up on the floor.

Startled dark eyes in a pale, frightened face jumped open, but the little girl made no sound. Finger to his lips, Lance leaned in. His hair glowed slightly in the ambient moonlight. He did a quick recon of the room, scooped up the little girl, and deposited her on the terrace. He held up five fingers, then one. Six men in the room.

Wallace moved the girl gently to the side between two statues, motioning for her to be silent and stay put. In an uncharacteristic gesture, he took a small poncho from his fanny pack and laid it over her shivering shoulders. A tiny, cold hand touched his briefly before the child settled down with a smile.

Wil was in first, Ben right after with Lance and Emory in the rear. The guards slept with hands on their weapons. Three by the inner door to the palace, one by each of the outer doors. The others must have gone into the hall. Careless, Wil concluded and highly beneficial to his team.

Ben stumbled over a guard, falling noisily against the wall. With a yelp, the man tried to jump up, hands caught in his weapon strap. It was enough noise to alert the others, all of whom leaped up, trying to fire. One yelled for the men in the hall. Ben’s knife ended the guard’s life, but the damage was done. Wil cursed as he dropped on the floor. Ben squatted behind the dead guard. Lance ducked back out the door, aiming into the dark room. Emory had time to flatten himself behind another statue, sliding down the wall.

The corridor door burst open, the sentries rushing, guns blazing, shooting anything that moved; two of their own men. A ricochet caught Lance in his damaged left arm and another random slug buried itself in Emory’s thigh. Not serious, but annoying.

Members of the royal family had the sense to stay low, but pandemonium ruled for several seconds until the team members sorted themselves out enough to kill the guards.

Ben got two, Lance shot a third and Emory threw a knife with lethal accuracy at a fourth. Six down. Two members of the royal family clipped a guard in the knees, bringing him to the floor, where they summarily pounded him unconscious. One prince was hurt, a poorly aimed shot had caught him in the shoulder. Not a crippling or mortal wound, Wil noted automatically. He calmly shot the gunman in the head.