Tag: Elizabeth

  • Evelyn Reads A Cursed Legacy

    Rating: 4 out of 5.

    A Cursed Legacy is an urban fantasy novel authored by Kima Blaze. This is the third book from the A Rift in the Veil series and will only make sense to new readers after reading the first two.

    A Cursed Legacy by Kima Blaze

    These books have taken on traits of a television series. Every new book drives the overall story forward and foreshadows new elements that later come into play. However, the story is still focused on the here and now.

    Previously, readers were left hanging due to the Wendigo storyline, and this release successfully passes the baton. The feel from the last book is also maintained inasmuch as the story reflects the chaotic nature of the situation. Lizzie can’t seem to catch a breath, let alone plan, and that rings true given the situation.

    Overall, this is a great read if you’ve invested in the series already. The story has a satisfying conclusion to the most pressing plot lines left open from its predecessor and further sheds light on Blaze‘s grand vision.

    New to the series? I recommend you check out The Curse of a Name.

  • Dinner With an Angel – Part II

    Elizabeth walked up the three flights of stairs leading to her unit. She was dog tired, so much so, that her bones ached with every step. The pace of work mixed with that chaos filled weekend did a lot to wear her down.

    “If there was ever a way of reminding me that I am no longer twenty-one,” Elizabeth mumbled.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    Once at her door, she reached into her pockets and froze. On the other side, she heard clanging, footsteps, and other unusual sounds. It was not until Clara’s humming filtered through the door that she began to calm down.

    Elizabeth exhaled, pulled out her keys, and let herself in. Immediately, she was greeted by a whole slew of smells. Some were more distinct, like seared scallops, sautéed mushrooms, onions and garlic. Others were more subtle in comparison, such as the white wine, steamed fresh peas, and melted butter.

    Clara was at the kitchen counter, busy cooking up a storm. She wore an apron, although Elizabeth could not fathom where that item originated from. Clara faced a myriad of pots and pans, some that bubbled while others crackled with the sounds of frying food. Each was the source of these aromas, which magically invigorated her senses.

    Of course, it was the fridge that got her attention, the old one from this morning was gone. In its place was a significant upgrade. Clearly, Clara had not been idle during her absence.

    “Hello,” Clara said while looking up. “Help yourself to some wine.”

    “How did you—,” Elizabeth said.

    “It’s a bit complicated,” Clara said. “Let’s just say that I looked into someone’s soul and found an ally.”

    Clara continued to cook while Elizabeth approached the counter. The bottle was old. It even sported a wax seal that had been cast aside when opened. When she looked at the label and saw the date, her eyes bulged, and she dropped the bottle.

    Before Elizabeth could gasp, Clara caught the bottle. She smirked, placed it gently on the counter and returned to her cooking.

    “Nineteen-twenty-one?” Elizabeth spat out.

    “That was a great year… a lot of memories,” Clara said. “That wine is almost as old as me.”

    Elizabeth sat down and chuckled nervously. One moment, all hell breaks loose, and now, she comes home to find a thousand dollar bottle of wine? This was a bit much for her to take in. Still, why worry over things that were outside of her control?

    She poured herself a glass until it nearly overflowed and took a sip.

    “Wow! Some things do get better with age,” Elizabeth said.

    “You know, when I was growing up, seafood like this marked us as being poor. Those with money and status did not come to school with seafood or, god forbid, lobster,” Clara said. “Now this was the most expensive item that I could find at the store. Well, apart from the wine.”

    For a moment, Clara appeared to be daydreaming, back in a world where monsters did not exist. Elizabeth wondered how precious such memories were for those who had been through so much.

    “You can sit down,” Clara said. “Supper will be ready soon enough.”

    “Why are you doing this?” Elizabeth asked, unable to play along.

    Clara kept on smiling while she turned over the lightly seared scallops. Clearly, she was applying the finishing touches for this meal, and it looked like it would be mouth-watering.

    “You were right earlier,” Clara said. “Honestly, I was relieved that you brought it up. Still, tonight I learned that the soul could be redeemed, and that gave me hope. It also reminded me that I have much to learn.”

    So far, Elizabeth had no trouble following along, but was unsure if the soul comment was literal or figurative. She assumed this had something to do with her Firecracker, and that was probably the reason they were home safe tonight.

    “For now, I’ll need a place to crash, spread my wings, and find my way,” Clara added while she poured the mushrooms and scallops into a serving bowl.

    “I did say you were—,” Elizabeth said.

    Clara cut her off on purpose, a reversal that turned out to be enjoyable. She carried the scallops to the table, then returned to drain the potatoes.

    “What we have might end up being nothing more than a fling spurred on by events outside our control,” Clara said. “It may be nothing more than our baser interests at play. So I don’t want to push that just yet. We both need to come to terms with what happened and figure out how to move forward.”

    Clara had a point, although Elizabeth wondered how easy it would be to avoid those awkward moments.

    “Or was that half the fun?” Elizabeth wondered.

    Clara mixed in butter, spices, and milk to mash the potatoes. While preparing the dish, she looked up.

    “At the very least, we need each other. I need you to help me traverse this alien land. Without you, I’ll end up getting lost,” Clara said.

    “What do you think I need?” Elizabeth asked.

    Clara finished mashing the potatoes before answering, “You need me to watch over you for the next little while. A task I’ll gladly take on so you can sleep soundly knowing that no one will fuck with you.”

    Elizabeth cocked a brow. A small part of her had yet to realise that fear was real. Would anyone be able to sleep once they knew that vampires did, in fact, exist?

    Clara dropped the potatoes at the table, followed by steamed peas. She then walked over to Elizabeth and looked up into her eyes.

    “Just to be clear,” Clara said. “If you ever kiss me like that again. You’d better be prepared to go all the way. Understood?”

    “Got it,” Elizabeth said with a gulp.

    “Great,” Clara said with a wide smile before pulling out Elizabeth’s chair. “Time to eat! You can give me an answer when we are done.”

    “You already know,” Elizabeth said while sitting down.

    Clara chuckled and said, “I only hoped. Oh! Before I forget. Do you know what cryptocurrency is?”

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Adventures in Wonderland – Part III

    Given that all hell was breaking loose, Clara had no qualms about flying over the park. Since Edith had been in a foul mood, she expected to see signs of a fight. Oddly enough, it was all quiet on the western front, although there were still a lot of people fleeing. Those who lingered were further motivated to evacuate once they caught sight of a creature large enough to snatch a grown woman.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    Eventually, all that remained were constabulary moving forward in teams, unsure of what was going on. That meant itchy trigger fingers which would make the earlier bunch look like mimes.

    Clara purposefully chose to overshoot the scene and made sure to fly high enough to have a bird’s eye view. From up here, she made out Edith circling some sort of creature. She was not able to discern any details? Nor did she want to approach that thing either.

    Elizabeth was beginning to show signs of fatigue, namely a rising heart rate. Despite Elizabeth’s legs being wrapped around her own, there were limits to endurance. Either way, Clara had no plans of dragging her friend into the fray.

    Clara noticed a tall building near the periphery which was ideal as a lookout. Once they landed, Elizabeth took a while to steady herself; it seemed that her inner ear needed time to adjust.

    “If you see any of the constabulary approach,” Clara said lightly, “Call me.”

    Elizabeth was puzzled by the mix of terminology. Still, this request was impossible to comply with at this moment.

    “Your phone’s battery gave out,” Elizabeth said.

    “Horsefeathers,” Clara said. “Smoke signals?”

    Elizabeth chuckled at the thought, but in all seriousness, they needed a workable solution. Nothing obvious came to mind, but while smoke signals were possible, they were hardly practical. Besides, she had no desire to attract the fire department since they might first run across whatever caused this mess.

    “Your pistol—” Clara said.

    “My gun—” Elizabeth said at the same time.

    The girls giggled, and Clara took the opportunity to confirm that the rooftop exit was unlocked. The last thing either of them needed was for Elizabeth to end up stranded on the roof after discharging a firearm.

    “Use it only if necessary. If you do, ditch the piece, then hightail it out of here,” Clara said.

    As Clara took flight, Elizabeth scanned the area from behind the lip of the roof. From here, she had ample cover and a good view of most of the immediate area, a great place to keep track of the trouble going on in Wonderland.

    “Just need to remember that I should act normal once I get off this roof,” Elizabeth said.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Adventures in Wonderland – Part II

    “Pull over right there,” Elizabeth said.

    The cabby pulled over, confused about why they were back here. When he set the transmission to park and stopped the metre, the driver looked into his rear-view mirror and found a stack of twenties on the seat with the door wide open. He caught sight of her hightailing it down the sidewalk while holding onto an old piece of pottery.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    After closing the door, he shifted into drive in time to watch a series of squad cars screaming in from around the corner with their sirens blazing. He slammed his fists against the wheel and shoved the transmission back into park. He would be going nowhere soon, considering how they cut him off at both ends.

    “This is going to take a while,” he muttered.

    * * * *

    “I’m here!” Elizabeth yelled while running down the alley.

    She saw a little girl dressed up like a nun standing in front of Clara. She ran to within a few yards, slowed, then dropped to her knees at Clara’s side.

    Elizabeth was out of breath. Adrenaline coursed through her veins and clouded her thoughts. Why did this child seem so familiar? Perhaps she was a fragment from some long forgotten dream or a faded memory?

    “Good,” Angela said. “Get ready.”

    “For?” Elizabeth asked.

    Angela smiled warmly, and reached for the handle of the knife buried in Clara’s chest. Meanwhile, she placed her free hand against Clara’s chest to get more leverage.

    “This is not going to be pretty,” Angela thought.

    “It will be alright,” Angela said to Clara. “Now I’m going to pull the knife out, and this nice lady will pour some ambrosia into the wound.”

    Elizabeth was gripping the amphora with all her might. Clara coughed violently in response, which startled Elizabeth, who jerked out of the way. Doing so caused the glowing liquid to spill everywhere. Fortunately, after some adjustment, a large quantity of the fluid managed to seep into the open wound.

    “Not very graceful,” Angela said with a giggle. “But it seems to be working.”

    When smoke rose out from Clara’s wound, the damaged tissue began to heal. Her coughing transitioned to a light rattle, and before they knew it, her breathing was back to normal.

    Clara’s eyes did not open. Instead, she slumped further onto the pavement. When her wing made contact with the hard surface, she grimaced in discomfort but did not wake. Angela took Clara’s hand, smiled, and watched her elder sleep.

    “Those wounds were pretty severe,” Angela said. “So it may take a while for her to recover.”

    Of course, fate had other plans for them. A police car stopped at the mouth of the alley, and two officers jumped out.

    “Freeze!” One of the officers ordered.

    “Just what we needed,” Angela said grimly, but a grin soon made her face shine. “I’ll go deal with the bulls. You wake her up.”

    Before Elizabeth could object, the young one turned around, smiled, and faded out of existence. All that remained was her grin, an eerie homage to the Cheshire Cat.

    “She was probably dying to do a bit of haunting,” Elizabeth said and was immediately filled with guilt for using the world dying in front of a spirit.

    Despite their distance, Elizabeth noticed a measure of confusion on the officer’s face. A shame that it faded away so fast once his training kicked in. Meanwhile, his partner noticed the hesitation and approached. Since this one was armed with a tactical shotgun, the situation was not progressing as well as she hoped.

    “Come on, Clara,” Elizabeth said.

    When she tapped Clara on the cheeks, the officer trained the pistol in her direction. Apparently, the application of first aid to the wounded did not comply with this man’s definition of freeze.

    “Freeze,” the officer repeated. “Hands where I can see them.”

    Elizabeth thought about complying, but the commotion in the park was getting worse. That meant Clara was needed out there.

    She slapped Clara harder, ignoring the armed men as best she could. Clara did not react, so Elizabeth wondered just how far this needed to go.

    “Last war—,” The officer said.

    Angela materialised just ahead of the officers and did so with the flair of an artist. At first, her bones faded into existence followed by sinew, muscles, fat, and skin. She remained partially translucent throughout, which had a profound effect on the nearest officer. He stopped breathing, his heart rate rose, and his hands began to shake.

    “We heard you bulls the first time,” Angela said.

    His partner, however, was not fazed by the show and brought his weapon to bear. He was about to bark out an order, but Angela turned to face him.

    “You really don’t want to do that,” Angela said while her skin dried up, and shrank until she looked more like a mummified corpse.

    When she smiled, the sound of that leathery hide crackling echoed throughout the alley. That would have been more than enough to scare the shit out of the average moviegoer, but it was her cackle that really sold it. Despite the special effects, the man remained steady and focused. He pumped the weapon one time to eject the buckshot and chambered a slug that would wreak havoc at this range.

    “Come on, Clara,” Elizabeth said, now visibly shaking Clara.

    Other than a brief interruption in Clara’s breathing, she appeared to be blissfully unperturbed by the impending storm. Elizabeth began to panic. She knew that the situation would only worsen and doubted the cops would understand her non-compliance once Angela ran out of tricks.

    The first officer snapped out of it. Emboldened by his partner, he pointed the pistol at Angela who showed no concerns.

    “Really boys,” Angela said. “Am I going to have to give you the high hat?”

    Angela’s features morphed into that of a youthful child. Her hair then defied gravity, resembling that of someone submerged in water. While the effect did not phase the cops, the world surrounding them certainly reacted.

    The air grew cold, and while it was autumn, the drop in temperature was sudden, and dramatic. Frost permeated from under the child’s feet, causing the pavement to freeze while it spread. Once the phenomenon reached the first cop, his breath turned to ice which forced him to back away.

    “Clara!” Elizabeth exclaimed, and this time she followed through with a slap loud enough to echo.

    The weather disturbance was starting to get the attention of other officers in the area. Some looked on in awe, while others radioed in the sighting, sure to bring in some reinforcements.

    While the frost continued to spread, it also became more focused. When the second officer moved his finger onto the trigger, the weapon itself iced over. The metal became so cold that it forced him to drop his weapon.

    “Come on,” Elizabeth pleaded.

    Elizabeth knew this situation was about to blow. She sighed, which oddly enough alleviated her panic and was momentarily thankful for the small miracle. Without any better ideas, she leaned in and kissed Clara on the lips, unsure of its effectiveness or where that particular idea came from.

    Angela began to laugh maniacally, which corresponded with an exponential growth in the disturbance. Anyone near the expanse was now actively trying to keep away from it, while those caught in its wake regretted their decision.

    Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s kiss lingered on those lips until her partner reacted. Before she opened her eyes, Clara moulded her willing body against Elizabeth’s. The passion they shared grew in intensity, and for a moment, there was no one else in the world.

    That’s when a frantic officer decided that brute force would solve this once and for all. He emptied a clip into the young girl, and while every shot hit home, her laughter only intensified.

    Clara did not react. Such sounds were like old friends to her now. Alas, Elizabeth, fearing that the shots were meant for her, jerked back and in doing so, caused the broken wing to shift.

    “Ouch,” Clara said before she smirked.

    That reaction showcased how Clara and that girl were cut from the same cloth. From that, it was easy to figure out how Edith could have fallen for both. She also realised that Clara had been milking this…

    “Milking this situation to get a kiss?” Elizabeth asked. “You’re an incorrigible flirt.”

    Clara adopted an impish grin, then looked towards the spectacle. While the frost approached their position, she was not concerned nor worried. Once Clara spotted the amphora, she smiled, grabbed the vessel, and swallowed several mouthfuls of its golden contents.

    “You know,” Clara said when she stopped drinking to get some air. “I’ve always liked men, but when I’m around you, I really have to wonder why I haven’t given the fairer sex a try.”

    Elizabeth should have been concerned, but Clara’s demeanour had a calming effect. Those smart ass words disguised as flirting succeeded in getting Elizabeth to smile. Even though it was fall, she felt warm, desired, and certain that she could survive anything, including a nuclear winter. All she needed was this lady to watch her back.

    “Watch this,” Clara said.

    Angela’s eyes began to glow, while her voice rose in pitch until it shattered nearby windows. The banshee’s intense scream forced people to cover their ears. All the while, a solid wave of cold air pushed forward, enveloping vehicles and men alike. Once the wave dissipated, she was gone.

    The immediate aftermath was a sight to behold. The ground was covered in a thick layer of snow, while more fell lazily from the sky. Anyone far enough away, would have seen something akin to a life-sized snow globe.

    While those caught inside were less than appreciative, at least they were alive. Their skin and uniforms had turned white from the frost and appeared to be nothing more than breathing snow sculptures. Meanwhile those outside of the globe were left wondering what they should do next. Should they assist their peers or avoid drawing out that girl for another round of games?

    “Carrots must have attended the same lectures I did,” Clara said.

    Elizabeth stood up, while looking over the spectacle and gasped. By now, she was nearly numb to such acts of wonder. As judged by Clara’s demeanour, it would take a hell of a lot more than that to phase her.

    She then grabbed Clara’s hand and helped her up. The other immediately brushed herself off and spread out her wings to their full size. Despite having seen them before, the sight of those magistic feathered wings.

    “They taught you about ghosts?” Elizabeth asked.

    Clara nodded, smiled, and said, “Professor Stephens taught us this subject as part of his second year lectures. I figured there was an awful lot of detail for something that was not supposed to exist.”

    “But—,” Elizabeth tried to ask.

    Clara anticipated the question and added, “He taught us about the creatures of myth and legend. Ghosts were noteworthy because of the depth of knowledge shown, along with the steadfast denial of their existence.”

    That had been the professor’s way of toeing the line, while providing his students with valuable insights. Angela, just like Clara, had paid attention. It did not take much to figure out that a soul called down from the heavens was a ghost in all aspects but in name.

    “She used up all her power with that stunt,” Clara said. “She will wake up in her own world in a couple of months once she’s had the chance to regenerate.”

    Elizabeth wanted to ask a few more questions but thought better of it. Sometimes ignorance was bliss, and this was the perfect example.

    Clara was surprised to see the conflict growing within and proud of how well Elizabeth was doing. Instead of saying something, she winked out of existence and reappeared holding a shotgun and a couple of police issued pistols.

    She then proceeded to hand a weapon over to Elizabeth and chuckled when the other recoiled from the cold. The recipient briefly glared at Clara and stuck out her tongue in an effort to diffuse the situation.

    “You ready?” Clara asked, extending an arm.

    “What about the amphora?” Elizabeth asked, but then noticed it was already gone.

    Instead of retracting her question, Elizabeth moved in and held on to Clara. With one swoop of Clara’s wings, they were airborne, heading towards the park. They did make an effort to avoid the snow globe, and despite their being witnesses, no one made an attempt to stop them. An angry ghost was more than enough for one day.

    “Gabriel is not going to like this,” Clara muttered.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Adventures in Wonderland – Part I

    Just as Edith was about to strike, a shot rang out in the alley, but the round flew low and ricocheted off the sidewalk. Elizabeth stood at the mouth of the alley, her hands shaking, eyes wide. Clearly, this woman was shocked that the shot had gone off.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    When Edith turned back towards Clara, Elizabeth sensed someone brush up against her. She looked up at the voluptuous woman and during this tense time? When Elizabeth’s eyes moved up, they grew in size.

    “Shhhh,” Edith said. “It’s a long story and we don’t have time to explain.”

    Elizabeth’s mouth hung open, her mind unable to deal with conflicting truths. Edith smiled warmly and tore the weapon from her stiff fingers. The cool chill of the grave that Elizabeth felt from that brief exchange was enough to turn her skin to gooseflesh.

    “You with me?” Edith asked.

    “Uhhh?” Elizabeth managed to vocalise.

    How could there be two of the same person? Although, this one appeared to be about a decade older as judged by the silver streaks running through her hair. Elizabeth wondered if this one also had a pair of wings.

    “Close enough,” Edith said. She then trained the weapon on her alternate self and said, “You need to head home now. Fast as you can and get that amphora!”

    “Wha…” Elizabeth asked.

    Edith fired one round that rang out loud and clear. She then looked over to Elizabeth. Her eyes widened and her head motions to the street to indicate the arrival of an oncoming traxi.

    When Elizabeth didn’t move, Edith sighed and said, “Go! Be sure to bring it back here—and hurry.”

    This time when the shots rang out, Elizabeth was already waving down the cab. Edith fired every round to the best of her abilities, adjusting the angle of the shots as they struck until one flew true.

    When she expended the clip, Edith turned around and melted into the crowd before her alter-ego could spot her. They needed a diversion and now that was over and done with, it was time for Angela to step up.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Collision Course – Part VII

    Edith lunged forward, poised to plunge the blade straight into Clara’s heart. Her eyes focused on the precise spot to strike at the expense of anything else. That is, until a blur of blazing orange materialised from out of the ether.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    “What the—” Edith said, questioning her eyes.

    The apparition gained definition in both shape and form, but the girl maintained a modicum of transparency. The red hair, freckles, and acolyte’s uniform were all clues to this interloper’s identity.

    “Carrots,” Clara tried to say, inducing a coughing fit that sprayed liberal amounts of blood over the pavement.

    Edith questioned her next step, and the why of this situation was her first thought on the matter. She had not summoned this child, nor was there a reason that she could think of. Doubt set in and infested her thoughts, much to Clara’s relief. Sadly, that coughing fit had been severe enough to render her unconscious.

    Angela’s lips moved, but she was unable to vocalise. Frustrated, the apparition closed her eyes, calmed down, and materialised fully into this world.

    “What in heaven’s name are you doing?” Angela questioned.

    “I’m fulfilling my mission,” Edith said bluntly. Her features then softened before adding, “So I can get back to you.”

    Angela smiled before wrapping her arms around her lover’s mid-section. Given their age difference, this looked more like a mother being reunited with her long lost daughter. Edith dropped the blade and lifted the child. That single moment of intimacy was enough to feel whole, wanted, and alive.

    “So,” Angela said. “You think that killing the greatest love of your life will bring you back to me?”

    Edith jerked her head back and blushed. She never thought it possible that Angela would defend Clara, let alone show a mastery of insight on matters that Edith had yet to admit to herself.

    Angela giggled and gave Edith a quick peck on the lips, “You really thought I knew nothing of this, or even suspected?”

    “How did you?” Edith asked.

    “For one, you summoned me from the grave to fetch Clara. You could have chosen anyone else, like say the Reverend Mother,” Angela replied.

    “And?” Edith urged the other to go on.

    “I saw you two during the war,” Angela said. “That woman saved your life and endangered her own when she left behind her great coat to keep you warm in the dead of winter.”

    Edith always figured that Angela had stayed within the confines of her own world. She never once questioned why Angela was able to recognise her after aging twenty-years. For this to make sense, Angela would have had to visit the overlook and keep an eye out for Edith.

    Angela knew the thoughts running through Edith’s mind and said, “Yes, I saw that.” She then giggled before adding, “I wanted you to be happy. So why complicate matters?”

    “That… I was aware, yes,” Edith replied.

    “Just like I knew that your vigils over the mortal realm were for more than sightseeing,” Angela countered.

    Angela squeezed Edith’s neck and kissed her cheek. The senior of the two did not notice any waning in affection or emotion. In fact, the opposite was true.

    “Besides, I saw Clara fall to the mortal realm around the same time you did,” Angela said with a nod. “Happened right after that shockwave hit us.”

    “You mean?” Edith asked.

    “That she was telling you the truth?” Angela asked to confirm. “Yes, Gabriel confirmed it for me. Although that wasn’t the biggest surprise.”

    “Oh?” Edith asked.

    Angela kissed Edith passionately before pushing herself away and landed on the pavement. She then walked over to Clara, placed her wrist against the wounded woman’s forehead, and shook her head. She then turned to look out towards the alley’s entrance. In the distance, there were signs of panic building in the park and that meant their time was growing short.

    “You were waiting for me when I got home,” Angela said with a straight face.

    “I was home?” Edith queried.

    Angela nodded, “The incarnation of you who never became an angel. The one who finally managed to find release from all of that duty and honour that haunted you in life.”

    There was another Edith out there which meant there could be two Claras as well. That did a lot to explain the remnant she found back in the apartment.

    “I know you don’t really get what’s going on,” Angela said.

    The sounds of people in a panic were growing more pronounced. Edith turned her head to investigate and saw streams of people fleeing the park.

    “Your destiny awaits,” Angela said while she pointed to the commotion in the park. “I’ll take care of Clara, just like I did for you. Remember? Now go!”

    Angela’s smile was warm and compelling. She remembered seeing that beautiful child, even through the delirium induced by a near fatal infection. All the while, the sense of panic out there continued to grow.

    “I love you!” Edith said before running into the chaos.

    “I love you too!” Angela said with a smile.

    In the back of her mind, Angela hoped that Elizabeth would get back here soon. Otherwise, Clara would not have long in this world.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Collision Course – Part I

    “So that’s it?” Clara asked.

    Elizabeth nodded, Clara began taking in the building’s details. The first thing she noticed was the presence of a doorman who kept a vigil over the entrance. Still, she had to assume there were cameras or other forms of security. With a bit of thought, she could get past the doorman, but that might risk exposure.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    The last thing she needed was to draw in a swarm of constabulary. Clara was armed with what were sure to be illegal heaters, and the shotgun had a sawed off barrel. While it lost all effectiveness at range, it would do a number in close quarters.

    She shifted her wings, not accustomed to keeping them constrained for so long. While annoying, it was either that or cause a small panic once people realised that her wings were not props.

    Then she noticed the building was surrounded by alleys which meant there were fire escapes. The hunter smirked as a naughty little thought came across her mind.

    “You mentioned a broken window?” Clara asked.

    Elizabeth turned to face Clara before saying, “Oh yeah. Just down that alley.”

    The alley was big enough to accommodate two way traffic and was filled with large trash bins. At this time of day, the sunshine was on the other side of the building which meant this side was well shaded and would have ample cover when breaking into the apartment.

    “You’re sure?” Clara pressed.

    “Yep,” Elizabeth replied, her voice remaining calm and steady.

    “Good,” Clara said. “Have you ever used a peashooter?”

    Elizabeth’s eyes betrayed the confusion she had over this terminology. Fortunately, some long lost memory of a gangster movie rushed to the forefront of her mind and filled in the blanks.

    Clara was not sure if Elizabeth knew how to handle a weapon. She supposed the use of armaments did not come naturally to social workers. Although, technically Clara had been a nun, and that never stopped her from being trained to use a wide gamut of weapons.

    Clara smiled and spread out her arms inviting the other for a hug. When Elizabeth moved in to reciprocate, Clara slipped a pistol between them. It was obvious to the recipient that this was not the first time such an exchange took place.

    Right before Clara pulled away, she got on the tips of her toes and whispered into Elizabeth’s ear, “Clip is in, round is chambered, and there is no safety. Just squeeze on the trigger, and it will fire. But remember that the first shot will need a tighter squeeze.”

    Before Elizabeth could ask, Clara kissed her directly on the lips. Despite this being nothing more than for show, there was a lot of passion behind the act.

    “Not now,” Clara said as she pulled away. “Save it for the bedroom,” she added, while a uniformed police officer passed nearby.

    Once the officer moved out of sight, Clara grabbed the other by the hand, jaywalked across the street, and stopped just at the threshold of the alley. She then pushed Elizabeth against the wall with just enough force to make passers-by take notice.

    “I want you,” Clara said. “I can’t wait for us to get home,” she added with a wink, pointing suggestively toward the alley.

    Wry smiles on the faces of several passersbys hinted that they got the idea. Elizabeth did not initially make the connection, and memories of this morning in the bathroom only served to cloud the issue. Still, once everything came into focus, the suggestion made her face turn a bright red.

    Clara did not wait for an answer. She chuckled, smiled, and headed off into the alley. Elizabeth, led by her arm, followed her guardian angel.

    They ventured deeper into the alley until they came across a cluster of dumpsters. Clara hauled Elizabeth off to the side and leaned in for a kiss which permitted her to disappear from sight.

    “Keep your eyes mostly closed and pretend that I’m undoing your pants,” Clara said. “Then act like I’m about to play with your berry patch.”

    Elizabeth played the game well since she was no stranger to faking sexual gratification. She looked down both sides of the alleyway and saw nothing more than foot traffic. How fortunate that one person lingered in the hopes of catching some of the show.

    When Clara dropped to her knees, Elizabeth feigned surprise and closed her eyes until all she saw were silhouettes. As though a lover was actually between her legs, Elizabeth pushed her head back letting out a deep, contented sigh.

    Clara had been busy stowing away her jacket in order to release her wings, but when that sound registered, she became inexplicably aroused.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Luck of the Irish – Part III

    Evelyn hated riding in the boot of a car. Every bump or hard turn tossed her around the compartment like a rag doll. Still, this option was far better than making a run through the sewer system or waiting in that bar for someone to come sniffing around.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    When the car stopped, probably for a red light, her phone chimed. The imp checked her notifications and smiled. Evelyn hated having to wait to repay her debts because that meant someone had leverage over her. That had been a common thread throughout her life, and the last thing she needed was for that habit to start up again after death.

    “I’m ready to hit it on all sixes, and make this my declaration of independence,” Evelyn replied with a giggle.

    * * * *

    “Evelyn says that she is ready to give it her all to repay her debt,” Clara said.

    Elizabeth quirked a brow. How in the world could Evelyn’s sentence equate to that? Nevertheless they clearly managed to establish a line of communication. Just in time, too, because the phone’s battery was draining fast.

    “Now, I want you to ask her this,” Clara said.

    Clara noticed that the waitress was hovering nearby, so she leaned over the table and whispered the rest into Elizabeth’s ear, all the while giving her friend an eyeful.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Luck of the Irish – Part II

    Clara and Elizabeth sat facing one another in a booth while waiting for their order to arrive. This was an old style diner, one mostly found during the Second World War. This place featured a central counter, kitchen behind the back wall, and booths on the outside, adjacent to wrap-around windows.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    Clara was suspicious of the black liquid in her cup. Despite having a bowl full of sugar packets and cream, she doubted that this concoction would rival last night’s drink. Meanwhile, Elizabeth was dividing her time between her phone and whatever odd quirk that this blast from the past dredged up. She was tempted to ask about her love/hate relationship with the coffee but preferred to witness it first-hand.

    This morning, Elizabeth was not getting any enjoyment from catching up on the endless notifications she had amassed since her last check-in. Normally she would have loved to catch up on what her family and friends were posting on Bealzabook and Twitcher, but last night’s events made that all seem inconsequential.

    Nonetheless, she quickly responded to her closest friends and ignored the rest. Elizabeth found it odd that there were no notifications from her wife, although being on tour meant she was always in transit or performing. Before putting down the phone, she scrolled through her apps. There was a nagging sense that there was something she needed to do, but could not remember what.

    Meanwhile, Clara picked up the mug of coffee, swirling the contents as though they would crawl out of the cup like some lovecraftian creature. Once assured that the beverage was safe, she took a cautious sip. The reaction was both immediate and comical, doubly so coming from a woman old enough to be Elizabeth’s great-grandmother. This scene reminded her of a child tasting something bitter for the first time.

    “Tastes like this coffee has been burning over a flame all night,” Clara said. She then eyed the sugar packets and said, “So, teaspoons of sugar are now individually packaged and sealed?”

    Once the words registered, Elizabeth snapped out of her recursive loop. She then looked at the bowl of packets and chuckled.

    “Yeah,” Elizabeth replied. “Why do you ask?”

    “Well… Isn’t it wasteful?” Clara mused while tearing apart four packets.

    Elizabeth was about to explain how they were not all sugar, but that was a lesson better saved for later. Although, she did wonder if Clara would notice the taste of artificial sweeteners.

    “People can take packets with them when the order is to go, it is cleaner, and saves them having to refill the dispensers,” Elizabeth said. “Besides, the paper can be recycled.”

    Clara shrugged, taking a sip, and this time, her reaction was more subdued. Another four packets were sacrificed in an attempt to make this swill safe for human consumption. When she finished pouring in the sugar, she stirred the concoction and eyed the mound of paper.

    “All of that waste for sugar,” Clara sighed, and eyed the creamer. “Are those recyclable too?”

    Elizabeth was about to say something, but spotted something on the television. Despite the volume being muted, she managed to infer enough from the news headline and associated pictures to know what was going on.

    “Before we came here, you mentioned something about reality being shattered?” Elizabeth asked.

    “Ab-so-lutely,” Clara said unfazed by the change in subject.

    Elizabeth ran a search on her phone to confirm her suspicions. On her first attempt, she found a relevant Wiki page in addition to several news sites that were covering the story. Every page echoed what she saw and confirmed that Victoria’s parents were back from the dead.

    “What did Hecate say?” Elizabeth asked.

    Clara grabbed a creamer and shook it, unsure if it was worth a try. All the while, she mulled over her conversation with Hecate in an attempt to refine her summary.

    “When I died, Saint Peter talked about the chances of my becoming a goddess had I taken her up on the offer. He also mentioned that I could have ended up a chew toy for making the same deal,” Clara said.

    “Why the lack of certainty?” Elizabeth asked.

    Clara smiled while she pulled off the lid and sniffed the contents of the creamer, “He told me that our ability to choose throws a kink in determining the future.”

    “So our actions are not?” Elizabeth began to ask, but could not think of the word.

    “Predestined?” Clara said to confirm the other’s question. “No. Ultimately, every choice we make has an effect on how the world turns out,” she added while pouring in the cream.

    “How was it shattered?” Elizabeth asked.

    The milky white vortex in a sea of black was eventually stirred to a consistent tone of brown. Clara took a sip and paused, wondering if she could come to terms with her coffee.

    “An experiment designed to alter outcomes,” Clara said while deciding on the fate of this so-called coffee. “Instead of altering a key choice in history, they ended up resurrecting alternate timelines and merging them with our own.”

    “So…” Elizabeth said. “People who were declared dead years ago could be walking the earth unaware of their deaths?”

    Clara took another sip. While no amount of sugar and cream would make this a great cup, she decided that it would do.

    “A bit specific there,” Clara said with a grin.

    “I saw them after you saved me,” Elizabeth replied. “I thought they were ghosts, but every major news network is covering that story, in addition to related news bites.”

    Clara was about to ask, but she was reminded of another lingering priority. She casually retrieved the absconded phone from the inside pocket of her coat and tossed it at Elizabeth.

    “Can you reach Evelyn on that thing?” Clara asked.

    Elizabeth tapped on the screen and noted that it was in power save mode since it had an eight percent charge. Despite having a charger on hand, the cable she had was incompatible with this particular model.

    She ran through the contact lists line by line, discounting entries that were obviously from the previous owner. Elizabeth then skipped over any numbers that were out of state. That helped to eliminate most of the entries except for Firecracker.

    “Figures,” Elizabeth said. “She probably figured you wouldn’t be the one using this phone.”

    Clara laughed before saying, “Girl from the reign of the Sun King assumes that a gal from the Roaring Twenties is going to have trouble adjusting to modern technology. Smart cookie.”

    Elizabeth had never stopped to consider just how old her ex was. Once she put two and two together, she no longer questioned why Evelyn had been the best lay of her life.

    “Yes, she is,” Elizabeth said. She clicked on the contact to open the messenger app, then looked up to ask, “So what is it that you want me to say?”

    Clara leaned forward and said, “Tell her that I don’t want to be a dingle dangler, but I know who caused this off-time jive, and I’m curious if she’s interested in giving them the electric cure.”

    Elizabeth’s eyes went wide and vacant. Clara snickered, since she expected that particular level of confusion.

    “Relax. Write it out as I say it, so Evelyn will know that these messages are from me,” Clara said with a wink.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Evelyn Read’s The Curse of Sight

    Rating: 4 out of 5.

    The Curse of Sight by Kima Blaze which is a sequel to her earlier work, Curse of a Name.

    The first book in the series has a very gothic feel. The story is based around a family estate house with a dark past. It challenged the reader to question whether the characters were insane or cursed. Despite this story taking place in modern times, it harkened back to the days of classic horror.

    The Curse of Sight by Kima Blaze
    The Curse of Sight by Kima Blaze

    The sequel takes off exactly where the first book ended. What changes in this book is the uncertainty of the world surrounding the characters. At this point, the reader is well aware of the supernatural, but has only dipped their toes in Kima Blaze‘s world.

    This book dives into the author’s expanded universe, bringing more depth to established elements such as witches and shamans which had been only touched on previously. The ghosts tethered to Elizabeth are also back, giving more life to these haunted souls who died tragic deaths.

    This is a story worth reading, especially if you liked the first in the series. You’ll get to see more of this world as well as hints of what is to come. The characters feel real and human, and their choices will lead to unexpected consequences.

    This tale, however, does not have a satisfying ending like its predecessor did. To find out what happens, you’ll need to wait for the third book in the series. I can’t wait!

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