My knees buckled. My heart pounded.
I looked around, trying to find an escape. Sloan, now under his wife’s spell, was on one side of me in the form of a werewolf. His wife was on the other. Somehow learning her true identity wasn’t as shocking. Still, I didn’t know which one would offer me an easier battle.
The air became heavier and the wind stirred the musty leaves on the ground as they rattled across the pavement in frantic, swirling gusts. A chorus of neglected cats yowled in the distance, along with the hoots of owls in the night.
I could not trust my lover in his wolf form and took my chances with the witch, and turned in her direction. Only three steps and the witch reached out and dug her long sharp nails into me, pulling me to the ground. I gasped as my knees and palms hit the pavement. I was pinned between the road and her claws.
I shoved against her as hard as I could and spat in her face, trying to free myself, but she was stronger.
She pushed me roughly against the pavement and something inside me snapped. A hot streak of anger rose up within me. I summoned every bit of strength. “You will not beat me and you will not win your husband back!” I screamed at her.
“You get what you deserve,” she said, sneering. “Fooling around with my husband. You… You’re nothing but a slut and a home wrecker!”
Her words stung me, even though I knew I shouldn’t care.
“Here, finish the job,” she commanded the beast.
The werewolf pounced on me and wrenched me onto my back. I kicked him, hoping to push him to the ground and gain time to run-a-way. The more I kicked, the more aggressive he became. The more I screamed, the more cackling the witch was.
My arms screamed at me as I tried to push him off me. Sloan nailed me to the ground and clutched my shoulder in his mouth, his teeth ready to pierce my flesh. My lover was going to kill me. Was this the fate I deserved?
I gasped for breath as blood rushed through my veins.
I had no choice but to use my long-hidden secret—my special power. I inhaled deeply, filling my lungs and my stomach with as much air as I could. I closed my eyes, imagining Sloan as a human. I concentrated, thinking about our powerful, intimate moments, and finally conjured the spell that would summon the clouds to eclipse the moon.
The next words exploded from my mouth. “I love you more than ever!” Slowly I opened my eyes. There was Sloan, back to his human form. He released his teeth from my shoulder and looked me in the eyes. I could feel his breath on my neck. I huffed. Did he really recognize me?
“What’s wrong with you? You were supposed to kill her,” the witch said to Sloan.
“Was I? I guess something went wrong. Happy Halloween, darling,” Sloan said to his wife and leaned closer to me.
“Sloan, no! Please don’t hurt me! Please let me go,” I cried and pushed him off me then quickly shoved myself off the pavement.
“Wait. Don’t run. I made my choice,” he stood up and followed my steps. His voice melted me down. I turned to him and looked into his eyes. A shiver ran down my spine, paralyzing my feet to the ground. He gently reached to my face and kissed my lips. I could not refuse him. Is this real? Am I losing my mind or am I losing my power?
I blinked, realizing I was no longer in danger of being mauled by a werewolf or under the spell of a witch… But I knew she was still there, watching.
The witch laughed at me. “So now you think you have him wrapped around your little finger,” she said. “Well, we’ll see.”
A primal urge rose up within me, and before I could stop myself, I closed my eyes and turned my head to the sky. The air grew thicker as I regained my power to bring the storm in.
“Yes, we’ll see,” I said, and watched the lightning strike her, leaving behind a puff of smoke.
Oh my God, did I make the witch disappear or was it fate?
The wind blew in my face, pulling me from side to side until I hit the ground hard, rolling. As I came to a stop, I heard the pounding of feet against the pavement approaching.
“Are you okay?” Sloan asked.
He reached out and helped me up.
“That was….” As I searched for a word to describe this event, I glanced up—and saw the clouds moving, about to reveal the full moon.
I looked at Sloan in fear, unsure of what to expect. Would he remain human, now that his wife was gone? Or would he turn into a werewolf again?
Sloan grabbed my shoulders, pulling me closer and whispered, “Happy Halloween, Sharon.”
I hope you enjoyed A Pinnacle Halloween Tale: Part 2! What do you think happened after the lightning struck Sloan’s wife? Or, when the clouds were moving? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
I had a lot on my mind as I headed home, walking in the fading light of the day. The twilight did nothing to improve my overall mood. The air was saturated with the heavy scent of autumn—decaying, musty leaves. Sloan crossed my mind and soul in every possible direction.
A cold breeze picked up, sending a shiver down my spine. I looked around, confused, startled--maybe more uneasy.
Then I saw it.
A huddled figure on the side of the road, up ahead.
What is that? I approached slowly, unsure of the figure. The nurse in me kept me going, pushing me forward, thinking that I may be able to help. I knelt down next to the figure. Oh my gosh, it’s Sloan. He looked different…odd, in a way! I was stunned. He moaned—deep, guttural. I became frantic.
“Sloan!” I cried. “Are you okay? What happened?”
“Get away,” he muttered. “Get away from me!”
I ignored him and tried to pull him up, but he pushed me away, sending me backwards, into the gutter.
I moved to push myself from the ground, but stopped. There was someone—or something—standing beside me. Slowly, I turned to look up at the figure.
“You!” The figure grabbed me. I could almost see the steam spurting from her ears. “All of this is your fault!”
“It’s your wife!” I yelled to Sloan.
“I know,” Sloan murmured. “I told you she is bat shit crazy. You need to run.”
I turned to look her in the face, terrified.
Perhaps she’s right, I thought. I am having an affair with a married man, after all. Maybe all of this is my fault.
But then a tiny voice in the back of my mind spoke up: You love Sloan, remember?
I climbed to my feet. “I hate you,” I yelled. “And I love him.” I motioned to Sloan, who still lay crumpled on the side of the road, moaning in pain. I couldn’t do anything to help him—not now, at least.
Sloan’s wife cackled, and my eyes grew wide. I watched in disgust as the woman before me grew hunched over, her chin extended in length, and her skin withered before my eyes. She was a witch!
“You two will be happy together, then,” his wife said. “I made him pay,” she added. “Look!”
I turned to look at Sloan. Finally I saw his face. There stood a bloodthirsty werewolf, drawn back on all fours and ready to pounce. A guttural growl escaped his throat.
He’s going to kill me, I thought. I turned to flee—but my path was blocked. I was trapped.
Tune in next week for A Pinnacle Halloween Tale: Part Two!
The year is flying by, and Halloween is already fast approaching. Like many others who celebrate this spooky holiday, I have dark and scary things on my mind…and a chilling short story at the tip of my pen.
We’re just a few weeks away from Halloween and I’ve already seen and read so many typical Halloween tales that I have horror and spooks coming out of my ears. As a reader of my blogs, you already know that I’m always on the lookout for interesting topics. And more so for Halloween. I want my story to stand out and I plan to do that with the characters from my very own novel Pinnacle Lust.
Yes, you bet. I am going to pull Sharon and Sloan from their world and put them in a terrifying setting that will send chills down your spine.
You may ask why I’ve decided to approach All Hallows’ Eve with such a foreign concept. After all, scary Halloween stories are meant to include characters built for these terrifying stories…not characters from a romance novel—right?
Perhaps that's the most frightening concept of all!
Okay, I admit that part of my reasoning for placing Sharon and Sloan in the midst of a spooky situation is because I’m curious how these two characters will look and act outside of their normal world. How will Sharon react when faced with a terrifying witch and her spell? How will Sloan respond when he’s turned into a horrid beast?
And I admit I enjoy the challenge.
Tune in next week for Part One of the Pinnacle Halloween Tale!
Yom Kippur. Last call for Jewish people to confess and ask for forgiveness.
I am in Portugal, looking for a synagogue in the area. Lately, I’ve been traveling a lot. Hence, the holidays have become more intimidating than joyful, leaving me feeling disconnected. I find myself doing things that I haven’t done before. It’s interesting how we change, how in time different things have different meanings to us.
Not long ago, when a painter was working on the entrance to my house, I asked him to please remove the mezuzah. As he handed it to me, I recalled how years ago my husband and my brother had installed it. I couldn’t remember which one of them said the blessing. It was a long time ago, on my wedding day. I doubted the scroll inside the mezuzah was still kosher. I carefully pulled it out. I was not wrong. It was dried out, discolored and even torn.
I left the silver mezuzah next to my candleholder and ignored it for over a week. Finally, I took the time and cleaned it, making it shine and sparkle. Still, the empty, polished mezuzah in my hands bothered me. Perhaps if this had happened at another time of the year things would have been different. I don’t know.
It was only a few days before Rosh Hashanah and I was in a need of a scroll. I called the local Chabad synagogue, hoping they sell mezuzahs and scrolls. I was able to get a new kosher scroll and actually the rabbi came to install the mezuzah himself. Wow…
Talk about a good deed, a mitzvah in Hebrew, before Yom Kippur? Clearly, both the rabbi and I did a big mitzvah.
So yes, we change. Over time, different things hold different meanings for us.
Yet, a mitzvah is not enough. At this time of the year, a better person will also apologize to his family and friends, and ask for forgiveness for any wrongdoing or misunderstanding during the previous year.
And so do I. If I have hurt you or harmed you in any way I am sorry—I did not mean to. Please forgive me.
I wish you, your family and friends a happy New Year and G’mar Hatima Tova.
More than likely you know a Jewish person, or maybe you even have a Jewish friend. I assume you’ve had the privilege to learn about the Jewish holidays.
Today, at sundown, the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah will come to an end. Yet Jewish people are only a few days into the 10 Days of Awe. What started on New Year’s Eve will end next week, on Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement and is considered the holiest day for every Jew. As commanded by the Torah, Jewish people are required to fast for 25 hours during this holiday.
And you, the gentile friend, may or may not know all of the above. Okay, I get it—I see you getting lost. I hear you stumble with your greeting or say the wrong thing. It’s the same for me. I don’t know enough about other religions, their holidays and their customs or greetings.
Let me try to help you out.
The most appropriate way to greet a Jewish person on Yom Kippur is to say: Easy Fast or in the Hebrew version, Tzom Kal.
G’mar Hatima Tova, is probably the most traditional Hebrew phrase. The English version has a similar phrase, May you be Sealed/Inscribed (in the Book of Life).
Happy New Year and L’Shana Tova are still accepted on Yom Kippur.
Don’t wish your friend Happy Holiday on Yom Kippur—simply because it is not a happy holiday.
Avoid asking your Jewish friend if they are going to fast—it is probably not a good idea to put them on the spot. Though many Jewish people will fast on Yom Kippur, those who choose not to will do it in a very modest way as not to tempt those who are fasting.
Keep it simple and respectful.
Happy New Year and G'mar Chatima Tova.