Short Story Sunday – Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of Short Story Sundays. This week we have the next part to the paranormal romance short story The Stranger. Hope you enjoy!

The Stranger

A Paranormal Romance Short Story

Part 2

“I went jogging after work,” Sara murmured simply, as if that would explain everything. Angie glared at her friend until she continued. “I worked until seven, so it was dark by the time I got home and changed. I jogged down to Central before looping through the park to come back. One block away from here, something slammed into me. I was knocked clear off my feet. As my body slammed into the cement, something tore into my side.”

Sara was out of breath from speaking through the pain. Angie stared at her, torn between shock at what she went through and anger at the fact that she went jogging alone after dark knowing full well about the recent attacks. Angie held her tongue as Sara proceeded.

“It was painful and dark, but I could tell that whatever it was that attacked me, it was not a dog or wolf or anything like that.  It had only two legs… it was human.”

Angie’s mouth fell open in a gasp. It took a few moments for her to regain her senses and formulate words. “Human? Are you sure? How did you get away?” She could not believe it. What human would run around attacking and biting people? Well, there was that guy in the news a few years ago from Miami that was high on bath salts that bit someone…

“Yes, it was definitely human,” Sara replied, nodding as much as she could while writhing in pain on the floor. “Unless we’ve been invaded by human-like aliens. And I don’t even know how I got away. A loud bang came from somewhere and the attacker bolted. I basically crawled my way home.”

“Wow, I can’t believe you made it home in this condition! And a human attacker? Given the vicious nature of the attacks, it’s almost easier to believe that it was an alien.”

Sara tried to shrug, but winced instead.

“You have to tell the police exactly what you saw,” Angie stated emphatically. “Hopefully, it will help them find whoever the maniac is that is trying to eat people.”

A sharp knock on the door caused the women to shriek and jump. “About time,” Angie huffed as she peaked through the window to see the paramedics. She quickly ushered them in and stood aside as they assessed Sara’s injuries. “This wound needs some serious medical attention,” one of the medics stated. “Do you have any idea what caused this injury?”

Angie and Sara shared a quick look before Angie responded, “No, we have no idea.” The medic narrowed his eyes and opened his mouth to say something more, but a police officer walked through the open door.

“Evening,” the officer nodded at the medics and made his way to Angie. “Ma’am, I’m Officer Lang.”

Angie drank in the sight of him, the only bright spot in the whole night.  Officer Lang looked to be in his early 30s with short blonde hair, a straight nose, strong jaw, and the clearest blue eyes, which Angie thought could see straight into her soul. Sara, from her prone position on the paramedic’s stretcher, took one look at Officer Lang, smiled, and let the pain steal her into unconsciousness.

“Can you tell me what happened to your friend tonight?” Officer Lang asked as the medics wheeled Sara out of the tiny apartment.

Terrified for her friend, Angie made a move to follow the medics, but Officer Lang reached out a gentle hand to hold her back. “Do we really have to do this right now?” Angie asked, her voice nearly a whine.

“I understand your worry, but this will only take a moment,” Officer Lang soothed. “Then we will meet them at the hospital.”

“Ok, I guess. I don’t really know that much, just what Sara could tell me through the pain.” She repeated the details of Sara’s story as the officer jotted down notes on a small notepad. She was careful to avoid staring at his handsome face as she shared what she knew. She had to keep her wits about her.

“Thank you, Miss Sparks,” Officer Lang said as he tucked his notepad into the front pocket of his uniform. “Did the victim tell you the exact location of the attack?”

“No, she just said it happened about a block away. She was coming back from a run through the park, so I think it was near the intersection of Lake Avenue and Potter Street.”

“Well, that gives us a starting point, at least. I will have other uniformed officers canvass the area while we head over to the hospital,” Officer Lang said as he turned towards the door. “Thank you again for your help. Do you need a lift to the hospital?”

Surprised by the question, Angie smiled. “No, thanks. My car is right over there. I assume the paramedics were taking her to Memorial?”

“Yes, Memorial. I will meet you there. Drive safely.” With a smile, Officer Lang walked down the front steps toward his patrol car. Angie stared after him, noting with delight that his uniform hugged his frame and accentuated his ass. She always loved a man uniform.

Shaking herself from the naughty direction her thoughts were headed, Angie hastily shut and locked the door to Sara’s apartment and sprinted for her car. Once she backed out of the guest parking area and turned onto Lake Avenue, she glanced in the rearview mirror to see Officer Lang was right behind her. The sight brought a smile to her lips. She sure hoped he was single so she could ask him out once all this drama was over.

Writing is for the Birds!

Bird-watching is one of my favorite hobbies – when I’m not writing, reading, or marketing, of course! – which is why my writing includes fun facts about birds and other wildlife.

In my debut novel, A Life Interrupted, the main character, Sophie Martin, discovers a passion for helping injured wildlife after being forced to basically start her life over in Florida. The very first animal that triggered this passion was a Brown Pelican, a very common, yet awesome, seabird in Florida. Helping that juvenile Brown Pelican while it struggled in a tangle of fishing line opened Sophie’s eyes to a whole new world of science and nature that she never bothered to think about in her former life.

Brown_Pelican_(Pelecanus_occidentalis)_RWD1

In the as yet untitled sequel, which I am working on now, Sophie will work with a whole new variety of birds that she did not realize came to Florida for the winter. The sequel picks up in November, five months after her family’s big move to Florida from New York City, and the Island Rescue Center is busy caring for numerous migratory birds, including several American White Pelicans. The white pelican is the inspiration behind the second chapter in the sequel since that will be the first time Sophie ever sees one of these magnificent birds. The birds’ injuries are similar to the brown pelican’s from the first book – fishing hook and/or line from some fisherman who cut his line. It’s a common infliction to sea birds in coastal areas, one that Sophie hopes to raise awareness about.

White Pelican

Stay tuned for other wildlife that Sophie encounters in A Life Interrupted and the sequel!