Hi there! HAPPY NEW YEAR! I know it’s been a minute! But I’m back to celebrate with you! I hope you are well and staying safe in these very unpredictable, crazy times. On the bright side…
It’s MLW’s (michelle leigh writes) 9th Birthday/Anniversary!!! Which I’ve decided to name Birthaversary. It’s crazy to think that 9 years ago, I decided to finally start sharing my writing. I have always been scared to admit that I was a writer. Now, I proudly include it as part of who I am. Even though I’m not posting all the time. Writing will never really leave me. And whether I ever make it my career, or make money from it or any of that, no matter what, I know I will always be a writer. And a storyteller. And a believer of magic. 🙂 I always come back to it in some way. It is my way of sorting things out. Overcoming things. Making sense of things. And healing. Well that and some damn good Therapy! 🙂 It’s 2022 people. I’m telling you get on that therapy train. It’s worth it!
Happy 9th Birthaversary Michelle Leigh Writes!!!!
I know I haven’t posted consistently much, but I will still be keeping this blog alive in order to share my writing when I feel to- mostly for the longer pieces. I already have so many Short Story Series on here for you to browse. Otherwise, I will be sharing most of my writing on my writer’s instagram more consistently. So please do follow! @michelleleighwritesvibes(I shared a lot of good stuff this past year! Check it out!)
As 2021 comes to a close I wanted to just review some of the creative projects I shared. I love to do this little reflection of my work before every new year. This way I can set intentions for the next year. MichelleLeighWrites is my blog baby. I don’t post that often but when I do, it is the host of my long form storytelling. A safe place for the written word. Here are some of my writer vibes this past year. 1.Vibe With Me Podcast– a YouTube playlist/podcast chit chat of 12 lessons I learned in 2020.
Making time to write isn’t always easy. I haven’t always been the best at it. Especially as of late with a new job and the craziness of the holiday season. However, I am proud of the things I did get to create. My hope for the new year is to further embrace the writer in me, the artist in me. And I hope that if you feel inclined to come along and read or listen to something here on MLW that you can relate to it. This is my heart. Happy New Year, my friends! Cheers to a new year of new projects. Some already in the works, and some probably not even thought up yet. 2022…let’s do this! Stay safe out there everyone! 🙂
I gingerly open my apartment door. Even though Greg had agreed to let this go, I know better. After Greg’s profession of love last night, my head was spinning in a million directions. Couple that with the crazy events of last night’s run in with the Black Hawk and I guess you could say I had a perfect storm in the making.
I close and lock my door as to not make it so obvious that I’m leaving. Immaturely of me, I knew I wasn’t ready to see Greg yet. Low and behold I made it out of my door way without seeing Greg. Keeping my eyes glancing back toward the door every now and again, I rounded the corner of the hall way and out to the sidewalk. As I turned the corner of the city block, I bumped full on into a hard, toned body.
“Oh, sorry.” I say spinning around and noticing a familiar face. I smile.
“Matthew, hey. It’s been a while! How are you?”
“Nevina…The Little Luna. I’m good. It’s been a minute. How are you?” he says with a sweet smirk.
“Good…Good. What are you doing in this neck of the woods?” I ask.
“I actually moved back to the city. The suburban life wasn’t for me,” he says with chuckle.
“Oh?” I say with a raise of my eyebrow.
“Yea I mean you know as good as I do, that the country…simple town where everyone knows their neighbor was more Amelia’s dream.”
There it is, I think to myself. One of us had to bring her up soon enough. Hearing her name still sometimes hurts.
“Yea. I remember.” I say as my eyes begin filling up. Water threatening to spill over.
“Hey, I didn’t mean to upset you,” Matthew says grabbing my shoulder in an effort to comfort me.
“No…no, it’s not your fault. I just- um I don’t get to talk about her much. Partly because I sometimes just can’t and partly because my parents are still a wreck over losing her. Rightfully so. They rented an RV and just took off to go explore the world on their own terms. I just think they can’t seem to allow themselves a minute to sit still. Because that’s when the pain hurts the worst. In the quiet day to day. The days she should have been a part of,” I choke out as my voice knots in my throat, my hand wiping away a fallen tear.
“No, I get it. It’s hard to believe it’s coming up on 5 years since we lost her.”
“Yea I know, even with the passing of time, the wound is still fresh. In a way I think it always will be.”
“For me too,” he says, his eyes falling to the floor.
I don’t know what it is. I haven’t seen Matthew in almost 5 years. I think after losing Amelia we all sort of looked inward to deal with it. Everyone deals with loss and grief in their own way, I guess. I certainly had my own way, that’s for sure. But even though it’s been a while I feel this overwhelming sense of familiarity. Déjà vu… or something.
We stand there silent for a few minutes. Stillness creeping in.
“Hey well listen, I have a meeting to get to… but it was great to see you. Let’s grab dinner soon, and really catch up?” he says breaking the silence.
“Um yea….of course. I’d like that.”
“Great, I’ll call you. Same number?”
“Ok cool…we’ll talk soon.”
“Definitely,” I say as we part ways.
What a blast from the past I think as I push the door open to my favorite nearby café. Stepping up to the counter, I smile asking the barista for a small iced pumpkin coffee.
“Sure thing,” she says with a smile as she grabs a cup.
I pay the woman and turn to see if my favorite table is free. My eyes meet Greg’s who smirks giving me an awkward wave.
Time to face the music I guess.
“Hey,” I say with a weird smile.
“Hey,” he says almost sheepishly.
“May I?” I ask gesturing to the empty chair beside him.
“Of course,” he says pointing.
As we both sit there awkwardly sipping on our coffees, I hate feeling like we’re strangers.
Finally I break the silent tension by saying, “So you’ve got the day off today?”
“No, I’m on the night shift from now on.” He says
“Ah,” I say nodding.
“What about you…slow day at the shop?” he asks.
The shop Greg is referring to is my auto body shop. It was originally my dad’s. I spent so many days of my childhood there, I took a liking to cars and auto parts. So much so that I studied engineering and auto mechanics in college. When my mom and dad took off to explore, I took over the business. It comforts me once in a while, to have a place where I am able to fix things.
“Um…no not exactly. I just um…needed a day.” I say shrugging.
“Yea I can imagine…it must get exhausting chasing after serial killers at all hours of the night,” he says his voice barely above a whisper as he leans toward me.
“God. I knew you wouldn’t let this go,” I say huffing as I sit back in my seat, creating a safe space between us.
“What do you expect, Nev. I can’t just sit back and let you literally step into the line of fire…night after night. Taking it upon yourself to right everybody’s wrongs.”
“Why not? Isn’t that what you do?” I say angrily as I raise an eyebrow at him.
“Yea… but I’m a trained professional Nev.”
“Oh please… you’re always saying how most of the cops at the station could afford to be a little more diligent. This guy has been haunting this city for nearly a month and what does the NYPD have to show for their little investigation…a few blurry images and some random sightings.”
“Wow…good to know what you think about my work.” He says huffing and looking away.
“It’s not a personal attack Gavin, I know you’re a good cop.”
“Then trust me to do my job,” he says looking at me with pleading eyes.
“You and I both know why this hits home for me…” I say glaring at him, my eyes starting to fill. Today sucks.
“I know…hey…I know,” he says taking my hand in his, as he laces his fingers through mine. He brings the back of my hand to his lips, placing a sweet kiss on it.
I guess being best friends with Gavin all these years, I didn’t realize how often he did this. It was almost like second nature to me. But this time, I felt a spark and a tightness in my stomach. And suddenly, I realized, something big was about to happen. A change I never ever knew would work its way into existence.
I pull my hand away gently, Gavin noticing, he coughs, nervously as he sits back in his seat.
“5 years…and now he’s back. I cannot let him kill any more women like he killed my sister.” I say trying to keep from fully falling apart in front of him.
“Nev, we don’t know for sure that this is the same guy.” Greg says his voice kind.
“Are you kidding me Greg? Open your damn eyes. Of course it’s him. But you know what I honestly don’t care who it is. I just want him taken care of. The police force did a nice job of covering Amelia’s death. Claiming she was just drunk and crashed her car. When you and I both know that bastard killed her, and then drove her car into a river.”
“Nev, look I get that this is hard for you. I was there for it all. I was with you. And I know her anniversary is coming up and this is all a lot. I just think you need to take some time to yourself. Allow yourself a minute to breathe. And just let me take care of this. When I joined the police force I swore to you that I would do everything in my power to help find out what really happened to Amelia. And I will. But I just need to play this the right way. If what you and I suspect is true. That her death was manipulated, than that means someone was working from the inside. And that person has a motive, a link that connected him or her to Amelia. To you. To your family. That’s why I play so close to the rules, because I won’t be suspected of digging into old files and getting to the real truth. We’re playing the long game here, Nev. I just need some time. And I need you to trust me.”
I look up at him sighing loudly. I take his hand in mine, “Greg, I do trust you. More than you know. Which is difficult for me to even admit, considering everything my family has lost. But as much as I love and trust you, these girls…they don’t have time. He’s picking women off left and right, every night. In a pattern. If you noticed.”
“Dark hair, dark eyes, tan complexion. Yea I’ve noticed.” He says his eyes meeting mine.
“I have to do something. This time I HAVE to do something. Because I didn’t get to help Amelia. I failed her. And I carry the weight of that with me, every day.”
“Hey…none of this. Is your fault.”
I turn away from him.
“Hey…none of it. You hear me,” he says pulling me in closer as our foreheads touch.
He is my safe space. He always has been. Even if I don’t say it often. Even though I know I can stand on my own. It’s nice knowing I don’t have to.
I breathe in a shaky breath, my mind starting to fog. My heart dancing in my chest. I’m completely confused by this sudden overwhelming feeling of wanting to just pull him in and kiss him.
But I don’t. And we sit there, in silence. Holding onto each other for what feels like forever.
“Hey…I want you to know I hear you. I hear everything you’re saying ok? And I promise you, I will get to the bottom of this.” He says starring up at me. “After all, why do you think I asked to be on the night shift?” he says with a smirk.
I smile as I blink my tears fall down my cheeks. Greg wipes them away with his thumb and I lean in placing a sweet kiss on his lips. He stills for a minute and then kisses me back and I suddenly realize what I’ve done. I, Nevina Luna think I may or may not be in love with my best friend. And the scariest part of it all is… I didn’t see this coming.
Oh well, this should be interesting.
TO BE CONTINUED…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
“Help! Help me!” I scream aloud. I could easily finish him off. But then he wouldn’t be brought to justice. This…this can easily be deemed self-defense. I could hear some nearby sirens. Why this city hasn’t been under total surveillance since these attacks started, is beyond me. Yet another fail on our law enforcement’s part. Protect and serve, my ass.
“Help me, over here, please!” I say waving my hands and running out into the street. I see the gleaming lights of a cop car.
The car comes to a speeding halt, blue and red lights swirling. The siren shuts as the car doors whip open.
“Luna? Is that you? What the hell happened? Are you ok?” Greg says rushing from the car. He and his partner run over. Ok to be clear….Greg is one of the good cops. And yes, I do believe in good cops. There are a lot of them. But there are also a lot of bad cops too. And those are the ones you have to watch out for. The ones that turn a blind eye to everyday crime. If Greg was in charge the world would be a safer place for women and for all.
“Oh my god, Greg, thank God it’s you! I was coming back from a party, and I heard screaming so I went to go see if I could help. It was the Black Hawk. He tried to…he tried to kill me,” I say as I fall into his arms. Greg wraps his arms around me tightly. Tenderly. Even in my fake hysteria he was a source of comfort. After all, I mean I did just stab a man. The adrenaline is real.
“Oh my god, Nev,” Greg says his eyes glued to me. Fear etched across his face.
“Greg, Greg…I…I stabbed him,” I say shakily, The Black Hawk’s blood all over my hands. “He lunged at me with that creepy rake tool and I just stabbed him. I was so scared, I didn’t know what to do.” My eyes welling up with tears, my body trembling. Gasps for breath. Thank you Professor Julie James for the college acting lessons. They paid off.
“Hey it’s ok. You’re ok. Where is he now?” Greg asks worried as his partner follows my gaze rushing toward the darkened alley way.
“Ok, Nev, stay here. Stay in the car, lock the doors. I’m gonna call for back up and head into the alley way.”
“What? You must be crazy! I’m not staying here alone. I’m coming with you,” I say as he gives me an angry glare.
I give him a glare right back. I’ll be damned if I sit back and wait.
He sighs, “Fine, but just stay behind me,” he says as he walks towards the alley, his flashlight and gun raised out in front of him.
“Gavin, over here,” his Partner calls.
Rushing over, all we see is a pool of blood where The Black Hawk once was.
“What? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” I say anger laced through my voice.
Gregory looks over at me, obviously confused.
He raises his walkie talkie, “This is officer Gavin, requesting back up to the alley way just off of Cloak Street and 6th Ave. We’ve had another Black Hawk attack. Victim was able to get away. But the Black Hawk is hindered with a stab wound, most likely on foot and armed.”
“Back up on its way,” the voice on the other end croaks.
“Let’s skim the avenue, see if we can track him. With that pool of blood, he’s gotta be leaving a trail,” Greg says.
Greg walks Nevina to her apartment door. His uniform jacket draped over her shoulders. He looks at her. His hands cupping her face, tenderly. His dark chocolate brown eyes deep with concern.
“Nev, are you sure you’re ok? I really wish you would have let me take you to the hospital to get checked out.”
“I’m okay. Greg. Really. He didn’t get to hurt me.”
“Swear to me?” he says looking at her.
“Pinky swear,” she says with a meek smile as she holds her pinky up. He smirks, wrapping his pinky around hers, and leaning in he kisses her hand, closing his eyes.
Don’t worry friends, the first thing I did when I got to the station was rid myself of that asshole’s disgusting toxic blood. I could tell the events of the night were weighing on him. I’ve always thought Greg was a softie. A heart too pure to deal with criminals on a daily basis. But that’s what makes him a good, and trustworthy cop. He cares. And in that kiss of my hand, I felt his fear. For me. I wish I could tell him not to worry. That I would be fine. That I’m the Black Nightingale. He doesn’t know about the prey that hunts back, but something tells me, he will. Soon. Especially after tonight’s events.
Greg sighs as he pulls Nevina into a hug. She lets out a sigh of relief, she hadn’t realized she was holding. Her arms wrap around him. He kisses the top of her head, breathing in her scent.
“Do you want me to stay with you tonight?” he asks.
“I think, I’ll be fine Greg, really. I mean your right next door too, if anything.”
“Nev…I get that you can take care of yourself, but this guy is still out there. And now he knows your face. I just…if he comes seeking his revenge, I don’t want you just at his will.”
“I am nor will I ever be…at his will,” I say pulling away from him.
“Nev, I didn’t mean it like that. I just meant that, this guy is a serial killer. He’s killed 6 women already. I just- I just want to make sure you’re safe. There’s strength in numbers, right?”
“I guess you’re right,” I say rolling my eyes and unlocking my apartment door, I step to the side, nodding for him to come in.
He smiles, “Thanks for humoring me, Luna,” he says with a smirk as he leans in placing a sweet kiss on my temple.
A lot of women might mistake this type of male affection as one of the romantic nature. But not me. With Greg, he’s been in my life forever. I’ve lived next door to him my whole life. Went to all the same schools, even college. Which is odd for best friends. And when we both got our own places we lucked out and found two in the same building. This man has seen me in braces, and head gear and all the other odd phases in between. Gregory Gavin is in no way attracted to Nevina Luna. Sure he’s good looking in the tall, dark and handsome kind of way. But I guess knowing him for so long, I’ve just never felt that way about him. We’re just friends, and I love him for it. Sure, we may flirt occasionally, but I assure you it’s all in good fun. It’s ironic, like we’re poking fun at the fact that people think that a man and a woman can’t be friends without there being some underlying hint of sexual attraction. Grow up people. If anything Greg sees me as his old childhood buddy.
I toss Greg’s police jacket on my couch as I click on the TV.
“I’m just gonna go take a shower, wash this day off me,” I say with a laugh.
“Yea of course,” he nods, “I’ll be here,” he says with a sweet smirk.
“K, uh, help yourself to a beer, or glass of wine. I have left over Chinese too,” I say pointing to the fridge.
“Oh bless your soul, I’m starving,” he says nodding.
“Go for it,” I say with a laugh, “I’ll be quick,” I say walking into my bathroom.
I turn on the shower, as I wait for it to warm up, I set to undressing.
“Hey do you want me to heat you up food too?” I hear Greg call as I step in the shower, “Yes please! I’m starving,” I call out as the water falls over my skin. Allowing it to relax my tense muscles.
Little did Nevina know, Greg had caught a glimpse of her undressing as he turned his head to ask her about the food. The incident instantly made him blush, as he turned away quickly. A smile finding its way on his face.
A few minutes later, I emerged from the bathroom, having scrubbed my entire body 5 times over. I was clean and refreshed and dressed in the coziest pajamas and fuzzy socks.
Greg had set up two trays, in front of the TV and a buffet of Chinese food.
“Ugh, thank you. You rock,” I say as he hands me a beer.
He smirks at me and plops down on the couch.
“Did you wanna take a shower too,” I ask.
“Um is that your way of telling me I reek?” he asks.
“Well, I mean…I did get Black Hawk blood all over you, so…” I say pointing to his shirt.
“Oh, shit, that’s right.” he says grossed out. “Sorry I didn’t even realize. I’m so damn exhausted.”
“I mean I’m just worried for you, you can shower tomorrow. Maybe just at least change your clothes. I should still have some of your clothes here from when your washing machine koncked out and you did your laundry here last week.” I say standing up.
“Oh that’d be so awesome,” he says standing up and following me.
“Here,” I say reaching into the bottom of my closet and tossing him some clothes. “You change, I’ll grab pillows and blankets for you.”
Greg and I sit, indulging in leftover Chinese takeout and beers. The news flashing a Special Report.
Both mine and Greg’s eyes meet. Curiosity peeking. I grab the remote, clicking the volume higher.
The newscaster is on the scene, near the alley way where the events took place.
Standing next to him is the young brunette girl that I had stumbled across earlier before my dance with darkness.
“I am here with this young woman who just had a brush with the killer himself. Miss what can you tell us about this man who has been terrorizing the New York City streets? ”
The woman is clearly exhausted, her eyes puffy and red, her body language one of fear and confusion.
“I…I was on my way home from work, I had to stay at the office late to finish up a project. I couldn’t get a cab this late at night so I was on my way to walking toward the train station. I wanted to get there quick so I took a short cut through the alley on the corner on Cloak Street and 6th Avenue. And that’s when I saw him. I just ran. And by chance I ran into this woman. She was so calm, confident. Like she knew what she was doing. Looking for him. It was odd. But she had this black bird-like mask on. Like a Nightingale or some kind of bird. She had this black leather, feathery outfit on. I don’t know maybe she was coming from a Halloween themed event or something. The city is always crawling with creatures this time of year. After we bumped into each other, she asked me where the Black Hawk was. At first I thought maybe she was an accomplice. But she said, she was a friend to women. And then she set off in the direction of the Black Hawk. I just ran. I was so scared. I feel so bad. I don’t know what else happened after that. But I knew I had to call the police. I hope the woman is okay. She saved my life.”
Uh oh. Shit. I think to myself. Here we go.
Greg looks at me. His eyes narrowing at me. His brow scrunching.
“Nev?” he says calmly.
I shut the tv off.
“Well, it’s getting late. I am exhausted. I think I’m gonna hit the hay. Night Gavin.” I say getting up and heading toward my bedroom.
“Nevina?” he says standing up from the couch his voice low. Stern. We usually call each other by nick names or by our last names. It’s something we’ve done since we were kids. When he says my full first name. I know something is up.
I turn slowly toward him.
“Where were you coming from tonight?” he asks.
“I went to a Halloween party.” I say shrugging.
“Who’s Halloween party?” he says poking around. His hands on his hips.
“A friend from work.” I say calmly. My eyes shifting to the side. Damn it, why is it so hard to lie to him.
“And you chose to walk home, alone, at midnight, through a dark alley?”
“Actually I was just waiting for my uber and then shit hit the fan. What’s with the third degree Greg?”
“That’s funny. An uber never showed up tonight.” He says his gaze turning into a puzzled glare.
“Well, considering I was fighting for my life, it probably came and went.” I say with a matter of fact tone.
“You’re the one, that woman is describing. You’re The Black Nightingale aren’t u?” He says.
“Greg as much as I would love to take the credit for helping that woman. She and I didn’t even cross paths.”
“And how else would you explain her spot on description of you?”
“A woman in all black on a night near Halloween….your right, so out of the ordinary,” I say laughing. “Besides she was traumatized she probably didn’t even know what she was saying.”
“You know Nev, I know you. And I saw what you had on tonight. It’s not something you would normally wear.”
“Yea. Hence….the Halloween Party.”
“And if not the Black Nightingale, what were you supposed to be dressed up as?”
“A sexy cat. Duh? I had taken my cat years off for a bit at the party, I must have Ieft them there.” I say touching my head in an attempt to check for them.
“Come on Nevina. Don’t lie to me. You come home at all hours. You’re always level 10 tired in the mornings. We’ve gotten a few reports from men about this Black Nightingale haunting the city streets. There has been a few blurry images of her that we were able to pull from neighboring cameras. Blurry or not, I’d know those legs anywhere. Besides you leave a trail of black feathers everywhere you go,” he says pulling a few from his jacket pocket and letting them fall gracefully to the floor landing at my feet.
“Ok then…arrest me,” I say holding out my wrists.
“Nev…” he says glaring at me.
“Don’t Nev me Greg, ok? If you are so sure that I’m The Black Nightingale. That I’ve been as you say- harassing men, then arrest me,” I say moving closer to him.
“I don’t want to,” he says his eyes burning into mine.
“But you have to, I mean your Mr. Perfect Policeman, right? You like to play by all the rules.”
Greg stares at me…a look I have never quite seen before.
“What are you waiting for?” for I say glaring up at him. Some type of tension hanging thick in the air. Our faces just inches apart. Greg sucks in a sharp breath. His eyes looking at me tenderly. I see something new in this flicker. A hidden secret perhaps? What is this newness? An odd feeling boiling in the pit of my stomach. I can’t tell if it frightens me or if I kinda like it.
Without thinking, Gregory grabs me and kisses me, his arms wrapping around my waist tightly.
I push him away instinctively, “What the hell was that?” I say confused wiping my lips.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that,” Greg says turning away and running his hand over his face.
“Greg…what was that?”
“I don’t know, I’m sorry.”
“You do know.”
“Nev…It’s just…I’ve…I’ve been in love with you for… a really long time.”
“You’re kidding?” I say dumbfounded, stepping back, in shock, my knees threatening to give out.
“No. Not kidding.” He says his tone lacking any trace of humor.
“How? Wh- When?” I stammer.
“All this flirting back and forth all these years and the fact that the thought never crossed your mind, is a telling sign. You obviously don’t feel the same, and I understand. I’ll just go.”
“No hey…Officer Gavin can you just slow your roll. This is all a lot. Ok can you just give me a second to process?”
Greg looks at her.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know. I guess I just never let my mind go there, ya know because we’re such good friends.”
“Look let’s just forget this ever happened.”
“Even the fact that you think I’m the Black Nightingale?”
“All of it,” he says “Good night Nev. Be. Careful,” he says looking at me with worry and a protective glare.
“I will, you don’t have to worry about me,” I say.
“I always do. Always will. You call me….if you need anything ok?”
“Thank you Greg,” I say with a small smile as he leaves.
TO BE CONTINUED…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
It’s happening again. He’s back. Somehow. And this time, it’s different. Because I’ve been waiting. I’ve been preparing. My gym sessions with Greg, boxing classes, karate classes, boot camp workouts, combat training, you name it. I’ve done it. And it all started with one self-defense class. My night hustle has been part of my training too. How many men can I leave petrified? I’ve lost count. Although I guess you could say that cat calling men are not as much of a risk as a full on murderer. But then again, NO man should ever tower over you, making you feel inferior. The Black Hawk may be back. But, this time, he’s not the only bird in town. He has no idea who he’s messing with. For every woman I save…the nights can rest a little easier. And soon enough he will be right where he belongs, on death row or in the ground. It’s up to me to right this wrong. To give all the women whose lives he stole, some justice. To save others from his preying eyes. His deathly stare and his rake of death. I will not rest until he is gone. For good. Ladies…it’s time we take back our nights. Our walks. Our jogs. Our freedom. You know what they say, if you want something done right, do it yourself.
Nevina puts on her black leather costume. She shuts off the news report on the television that is describing another brutal murder. She carefully sneaks down her building fire escape, like a thief in the night. Like so many nights before. Her quest to find her prey- The Black Hawk.
Nevina’s spiked black heels crushing leaves as she walks, the full moon shining down upon her. Her head held high.
“Ahhh, ahhhhh!!! Help! Someone help me!” She hears a female shrieking. She picks up her pace rushing toward the direction of the screams.
Suddenly I see a young brunette girl, with olive complexion and brown eyes, rushing past me, clutching her chest in fear. “Run, Run, he’s coming, The Black Hawk, I saw him!” she screams and then stills as she seems me.
“Wait…who…who are you?” she says backing away, her eyes shifting all around. “Are you his partner, or something…” she says stepping back nervously.
“No. I’m a friend. To all women. Go. Run. Find a safe place. I’ll take care of this. I say reaching into my pocket, I pull out a black hair comb, with a flick of my wrist it turns into a knife. Clever right?
The young brunette girl looks on stunned as she rushes off. I don’t blame her. It’s hard to trust anyone these days.
The news has reported that The Black Hawk’s murdered 6 women so far. The police have no leads. And his recipe seems, pretty slasher standard. Stalk women at night in dark, secluded places. Each attack he makes more violent and gory than the last. Rake through the face was just the beginning for him. He’s hunting women like prey.
Rounding the corner I see him, walking through a dark alley. Calm. Cool. Collected. In that smug designer suit. Who the fuck wears a fedora anymore? His eyes haven’t met mine yet. He hasn’t spotted me. So I have an advantage. He looks rather… disappointed. Almost as if he, failed his mission to slay yet another woman. I duck behind some tall trees, removing my mask, I toss it to the side. It’s show time.
I tuck away my knife beneath the sleeve of my leather jacket. Fluffing my hair, and adjusting my cleavage, I exit from behind the trees and bushes. Making sure my heels click, and my hips sway. After all, brunettes, olive complexion, brown eyes. Hmm, seems I’m just his type.
I see him. He stills. Turns. His eyes lock on me. The Hawk Mask is creepy. One of nature’s dark predators. Clever. I’ll give him credit. But a fucking mini garden tool. Give me a break.
He begins walking toward me, with swift, long strides. His weapon glistening in his hand.
My eyes dark. Focused on him. He freezes, suddenly confused. I begin walking toward him. My tanned legs glistening with oil.
Even in his mask, I can see his head move, looking me up and down.
“Oh, hey there. Oh am I supposed to go running and screaming or something?” I say coyly. Flirting with murder.
He nods, silently.
“Oh, but, I can’t run in these shoes, baby.” I say walking up to him, I touch his chest my fingers dancing up toward his neck, straightening his tie. “It’s a shame, I think you and I could have a lot of fun.” I say, my tongue sliding across my teeth, as I bite my lower lip.
See, I know I’m playing with fire here. But this misogynistic asshole seems intrigued. Sure he wants to kill me. But I can also sense his attraction. His eyes watching me as I circle around him. My hands sliding along his shoulders. Taunting him. He likes the chase, but this is somehow keeping his attention. Reverse psychology for the win. Ew, he’s probably one of those gross guys who likes role play.
He grabs my wrist swiftly.
“Someone likes to play rough, huh?” I say playing the part. Ugh why were 90’s slasher girls always so overly sexualized. I mean really come on.
Black Hawk, nods. I hear him, suck in a breath. He’s enjoying this. Freak. I bite my lower lip, looking up at him.
“You like taking control of women.” I say unbuttoning is suit jacket, sliding my hands up his chest. He stills. His heart beating, no pounding against his chest. He tightens his grip on my wrist, tucking his weapon away. My knife safely tucked away and velcroed to my other wrist. His hands grip my hips. As they slide across my silk slip dress, cupping my butt. His body pressed against mine. Gross. He’s liking this.
“Huh, well, do you wanna play a game?” I say, leaning into him, his neck slightly exposed. Taking it a step further, I place a dark black lip stain on his neck. He cocks his head back, and let’s out a groan.
“You like that, Black Hawk?” I whisper in his ear.
He nods, his touch becoming more intense. His grip harder, tighter. More aggressive.
“Hmm, great.” I say as I loosen his tie, unbuttoning some buttons on his collar. I place a few kisses along his neck and collar bone.
Using my feminine wiles to take notice of anything that could be a key feature. He smells like cigars and after shave. His body frame is fit, minimal chest hair, and from what I can tell, he has a tattoo over his heart. He grabs my hand before I get to fully read it.
“Off limits?” I say pouting.
He nods. Still silent. But I still can feel his heart pounding.
“You get off on feeling in control of women, right? You like playing God. Deciding which of us gets to live. Which get to die?” I say my flirting is on point. I have to say ya girl is SLAYING this interaction.
He nods. His hands sliding up my dress.
“Wait. Baby wait.” I say pulling away, pushing him gently. Pulling my dress down. Trying to cover up.
He stills, I feel his anger. He doesn’t like being led on, or told no.
“Oh no, have I upset you?”
“I didn’t mean to. I just. Ya know. I know I came on strong. But maybe we can just slow it down a bit.”
He shakes his head no.
“But I said no.”
“No one, says no, to me” he says finally uttering his first words. His voice deep, husky and without any trace of sympathy.
“Well, it’s not a no, it’s a not right now. We just met, maybe we just need to take it one step at a time.” I say pretending to stumble over my own feet as I back away.
He shakes his head no.
“Are you going to kill me now?” I say fearfully.
He nods yes, silently. Back to the silent treatment.
“Ok. Ok, wait…we were doing so well. Let’s play a game first. You like to play games right?” I say as I continue to back away from him.
He slowly follows. His glare, dark, evil. And oddly enough, kind of familiar. Could this be someone I’ve met before? In passing. Or if slasher film history would have it, could this be someone that I actually know?
He nods. Calmly as he advances. He reaches for his weapon once again.
“Ok, let’s play, a game.” I say my voice appearing shaky.
This could easily get out of control. But I remain focused. On course. My mission set in stone. He reaches me. Standing before me, he raises his rake, and I swiftly pull out my hair comb knife and stab him in the stomach before he could stab me.
“Now how about you run, and I chase you?” I say staring into his dark eyes as he falls to his knees, groaning. His rake falling to the floor.
TO BE CONTINUED…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
My heeled boots click clack on the concrete floor. It’s a comforting sound. Silver spikes up the back of the heel. My long legs exposed to the fall chill. A black short slinky satin slip dress, paired with a faux leather jacket with black feathers dancing along the lapel. For accessories I pair it with a pair of leather fingerless gloves donned with silver spikes, and dark black midnight lipstick. Who says you can’t look fashionable while hunting. Am I right? The final touch. The mask. Black. Bird-like. A Black Nightingale. The prey that hunts back.
Strutting about the New York City streets like I own it, you think men would take a hint. With a get up like this, it should scream fuck off. And yet they don’t. Far from it.
I still. Feeling his eyes on me. His hands just minutes away from touching my body. “Hey girl….you uh wanna need a reason to reapply that lipstick?” He slaps my ass forcefully. And I laugh to myself because well honey… he just doesn’t quite know who he’s messing with. One swift turn and kick. Right in the crotch.
“Ughhh…ahhhhh…oh fuck, girl what the hell is wrong with you?” he grunts, doubling over in pain.
“Oh, I’m sorry. You looked like you were asking for it.” I say as my knee retracts from his special place. Going around talking to women like that something tells me it’s not that special.
“Let me let you in on a little secret” I say as I lean into his ear, my voice holding a breathy whisper as I pull what can be easily mistaken for a tube of lipstick from my jacket pocket, pop the cap off and a silver shine emerges from the blade. I hold it flush against his chin, “You know what they say about The Nightingale, how it sings beautiful songs. This is me singing. For all women. The nights…they belong to us now. Be a dear and spread the word to all your pervy little friends, would you?”
Straightening my posture like the classy lady that I am, I saunter away leaving him rolling in pain and let’s be honest… fear. I know to some it may seem like overkill. An overreaction to a minor discretion. A cat call. Slip of the hand. I mean I should take his interest as a compliment. Flattery. Sense the sarcasm? The way women are treated as they walk the night is a load of bullshit. And anyone who tells you different well, they are just imbeciles. You don’t know how fucking fed up I am. Or maybe you’re starting to. Put your hands on a woman unwarranted and I will ruin you.
*Black Nightingale.* Credit
A series of images, pasted on a cork board. A map of New York City. Red X’s marking what could only be seen as hot spots. Dark Alleys, Train Stations, Parks, Jogging Trails. Nevina’s slender hand places her Black Nightingale mask on a nearby end table as she tosses her weapons down too. She lets out a sigh.
“It’s been a long night,” she says flopping down on her couch, and lifting her legs onto her coffee table. She clicks on her TV.
A newscast humming in the background of the dimly lit room.
“Just this morning an early jogger phoned in what she could only comment on as a gruesome attack. A young unidentified woman was found dead in Harrison Park. There are no concrete suspects at this time, but the NYPD did pull some neighboring camera footage and we see a man in a mask walking away. Officers are on the scene and working to bring whoever did this to justice.”
Nevina sits up, she raises the volume. Her eyes transfixed on the TV.
“He’s back…,” she says to herself. “The Black Hawk, he’s back.”
TO BE CONTINUED…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
Midnight. Rolling fog. Slight precipitation in the air. A light fall breeze. A young brunette woman, with olive skin and brown eyes is walking in the middle of a New York City park, heading home. The lamp posts, casting a halo like glow around itself in the fog.
Her outfit- rather modest. With the exception of some classy cleavage. Suddenly she feels an eerie gust of wind that stops her in her tracks. She shivers, pulling her jacket closed. She glances behind her…nothing out of the ordinary. She turns and is met with a sleek black suited gentleman in a bird- like mask.
“You scared me. Cool costume. But it’s a little early for Halloween, isn’t it?” she says with a laugh, as she starts to walk past him.
His gloved hand stops her, his fingers clasping her wrist tightly.
“Hey, let me go,” she says pulling her arm, trying to break free.
He pulls out a small garden tool. His head tilting to the side, ever so slightly. Silent. Controlled movements. Dark eyes. He slides the small rake teethed tool down her neck meeting her cleavage.
“Get your hands off me,” she says… “What are you gonna do…rake me to death? … Fall Basic Asshole, I bet you sip on pumpkin spice lattes in your spare time. Whatever this is, it’s not sexy. Its creepy.” she says pulling her wrist free, she walks away in a huff. Her footsteps quick.
She turns back one more time and he’s somehow vanished. Gone. She sighs, relieved. Turning to go on her merry way, she’s met with his masked face yet again, starring back at her,
“What the hell do you want from me Wall Street?” she says annoyed, her fear now really starting to kick in.
He brings his weapon swiftly through her chin, the small rake splitting through her face. Her eyes bulging out of her head. The dark red blood gushing out as she falls to the cold, wet ground. Kneeling down, the masked man pulls the weapon from her head, as it makes a violent thrashing, sticky sound.
He stands towering over his victim. Cocking his head to the side, ever so slightly. Like a predator hovering over his nightly prey.
He takes a silk brown handkerchief from his suit pocket and wipes his rake weapon clean, tossing it in the blood pooling near the young woman’s lifeless body. Securing it away, he straightens his tie and fixes his collar as he calmly walks away. Back into the night. No one around to witness his violent crime.
* “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” by Fall Out Boy begins to play.*
Nevina Luna and her neighbor Gregory “Greg” Gavin take turns knocking around a punching bag at their local gym.
“You’ve got it all wrong Luna…I Know What You Did Last Summer is such a better slasher film than Scream.”
“What?” Nevina says gasping as she kicks the punching bag he’s holding, he moves his face out of the way just in time.
“Ghost face really? He’s not scary. Now a guy with a hook for a hand. That’s creepy!”
“Oh ghost face is so creepy. I mean he’s not. But he is. I just think it’s the lurking and the stalking and the idea that he’s masked that creeps people out. That’s what does it for me, at least.” She shrugs as they move to the boxing ring.
Nevina comes at him with a right hook and Greg ducks blocking his face with his boxing gloves.
“Damn it, Luna. You’ve got one hell of a right hook.” He chuckles as he steps back.
She laughs. “You bet your ass I do,” she says as she throws him a sly smirk.
He looks at her. An uncertain look in his eye.
“What?” She says.
“Nothing,” Greg says looking away.
“Gavin what?” She laughs punching him in the shoulder playfully.
“You just…you have really pretty eyes, Luna.” He says seriously.
“Why Gregory Gavin are you flirting with your neighbor/best friend since forever?” she says dramatically.
“Now would I do that? What kind of man do you think I am?” He says laughing.
They share a laugh. “Come on I’m just messing with you, let’s go get some tacos. I’m buying,” Nevina says sauntering away.” Greg rolls his eyes at her as they follow her, with a longing look. A sweet smile on his lips.
“Hey are we still doing movie night tonight?” he asks.
“Yes for sure. You pick the horror film, I’ll bring the candy?”
“Deal,” Greg says smiling.
“But I do have an early morning so can we make it an early showing.” She says smiling at him as she bats her eyelashes at him jokingly.
“Yea, sure. Luna where are you always going?” he says puzzled as they head out of the gym doors and onto the sidewalk.
“Places to go, people to see, my friend,” she says smirking at him.
TO BE CONTINUED…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
Hey guys, I know it’s been a while since I last posted. I have decided to keep this blog going for when I wish to post long stories. I believe the kids are calling them Serials, these days. I’ve featured quite a few *NEW* Short Story Series on this blog since my last Collection Update, and I thought I’d do a new post including little summaries of each and the links to start reading them! In case you feel like diving into some dramatic love stories. So please, read at your leisure. 😉
These stories are for a more MATURE AUDIENCE- Reader Discretion Advised.
Summary: Lexie is a power house, a femme fatale with a rather dangerous job description. She is soon forced to balance her need for control with her ever cryptic view on love and happiness. As an overly intense affair comes to light with a handsome yet kind man named Carter. Their attraction and pull strong. Lexie is forced to face some harsh realities about who she is and what she really wants her life to be. Her feelings are growing and it isn’t something she expected. Falling from lust to love with a married man was not part of her plan. What scares her even more…he’s falling back.
Summary: Dean Sanders broke Lucy Michaelson’s heart years ago back in their home town of Oakland Valley, Minnesota. And since then she’s moved on- moved to New York, started her dream career. And so has he, or so they both thought. Everyone knew their story, knew their love was lost. But little does everyone know…there was always more to their story, more than Lucy ever let on. Follow their journey through awkward run ins and past memories- both good and bad.
Summary: Maggie is the crisp, clean, girl next door. Always playing it safe, always doing the right thing, risk is not a word she would use in her everyday vocabulary. But when she falls in love with Ricky- a man in the mob, she realizes that life is not always black and white. As danger creeps in, emotions heighten in this thrilling, yet sweet love story.
Summary: When Sage Renly finds herself running for her life, a mysterious stranger shows up in just the nick of time- Charlie Steinfeld. He becomes her ally and confident against her better judgement. It seems like their connection is unexplainable-almost as if it’s out of their hands. This is more than your typical two strangers finding each other by chance and falling in love, story. There are dark secrets hidden in the eyes of these characters, and as every mystery goes- there’s always more than what meets the eye.
Summary: Melanie Evans was so close to having it all, and then tragedy struck. Something that years later she still can’t overcome. There is only one person in the world who can help, who can understand her-Oliver King, her college sweetheart. And yet he is miles away- both literally and figuratively. When Melanie returns to her hometown, old memories stir up old feelings. So many different feelings. Will she be able to get out of her own way to achieve the happiness she’s dreamed of all along? Or will she stay in isolation and despair unable to let go of her painful past.
Summary: Liam Whitmore is a wealthy business executive who goes through the motions of working in his corporate world day after lousy day, making deals and kicking ass at it. However he often feels uninspired, and unable to do what he really loves. Until one day he meets a younger woman named Aria Lenz, struggling to become a dancer. Her simplistic yet driven nature strikes up a spark of inspiration in him, and he makes it his mission to get to know her. Little does he know, it’ll bethe hardest “transaction” he’s ever had to make. They’re worlds apart- will he finally get through to her, or will his fire fizzle?
Summary: Henley Hendrix is a badass who doesn’t let anyone tell her what to do. She has always had an intense and complicated history with her ex boyfriend Hunter Stone. Some may even go as far to say, that his love for her has always exceeded any normal standard. They have a painful past that she can’t seem to get over, but she also can’t seem to let him go either. While selfishly hanging onto their intimacy, in the mist of her on again/off again relationship with Hunter, Henley starts seeing a new, dark, mysterious Mr. Perfect. But everything isn’t always as it seems to be.
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits.*
*All short stories are of my own written content.*
It has recently dawned on me that today is MLW’s (michelle leigh writes) 8th Birthday/Anniversary. Which I’ve decided to name Birthaversary. It’s crazy to think that 8 years ago, I decided to finally start sharing my writing. I have always been scared to admit that I was a writer. But I’ve realized over the past 8 years that is part of who I am. Even if I’m not posting all the time. Writing will never really leave me. I always come back to it in some way. Being that I am celebrating MLW’s 8th birthday on January 8th, I wanted to do a little GOLDEN birthday inspired post to celebrate.
A GOLDEN BIRTHDAY is when the stars align and you turn the same age as your birthday – (8 on the 8th).
It is said to be lucky. So cheers to some luck this new year. We all know we could use it after 2020.
Happy Birthaversary Michelle Leigh Writes!!!!
I thank you for being my safe place. My heart. My memories.
And although I haven’t posted consistently much, I will still be keeping this blog alive in order to share my writing when I feel to- mostly for the longer pieces. I already have so many Short Story Series on here for you to browse. Otherwise I will be sharing on my writer’s instagram more consistently. So please do follow! @michelleleighwrites_blog (I shared a lot of poetry back in April for “Escapril”)
My most recent Short Story Series “Move” was finally finished in 2020 here on MLW. So I wanted to give that a bit of a shout out!
I created a December Series called Writer’s Wonderland over on my writer’s instagram @michelleleighwrites_blog. I’ve been a lot more consistent on that platform. I’ve been sharing a lot of my writing on there this past year! My Writer’s Wonderland consisted of sharing poetry, short story series read a-louds on instagram stories, Short Story Excerpts, and lastly as mentioned in my last post, I wrote a children’s audio book- CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ! 🙂
I also have my New Year inspired Short Story Series Collection HERE too! If you wish to stick to a bit of a holiday theme! 🙂
I’ve learned so much over this past year. I’ve done so much reflection, wondering, healing, and I’ve been so much more open to change. Because the truth is, this past year, we had very little control over what was happening in the world, and that made me really understand that we really only have control over how we handle things. How we react or respond. So breathe, pray, talk it out, feel what you need to feel, play your music loud, dance it out, binge watch all the Netflix, video chat your loved ones, eat the chocolate, drink the wine, laugh. Because the now is important. The present moment is important. However, I also feel it is important to note, that if your present moment isn’t a happy one, know that pain is temporary. Better days are coming. Cheers to a new year. I am sending love and light and many prayers to all of you out there for a safe, happy and healthy year. Stay safe, wear a mask!
And in MLW fashion…I leave you with an inspirational song…
Hi there. It’s me. Michelle. And I’m back. For now. LOL. I will update you on where I see the future of this blog going later this week. That is whoever is out there in cyberspace still reading this. Lol. Who knows. 🙂
Happy New Year! Needless to say it has been quite some time since I last posted. I’m sure we can all agree that 2020 was one very taxing and crazy year. A year filled with uncertainty, confusion and fear. However, in order to keep my sanity, I’ve turned to keeping my faith and keeping my gratitude for what I do have rather than focusing on the negatives of life. In these days of wearing face masks, relying on video chats for our main source of human interaction, and spending most of our time in doors, I find it is best to keep a positive outlook. It’s very easy to get caught in the never ending doom of the current state of our world. But what good would that do for our mental health? The mind is a very powerful thing.
Although my outlook may be positive, I do understand the severity of what is going on. And the sacrifices of those on the front lines are not lost on me. I just choose to find the good, because otherwise the fear and anxiety would swallow me up.
Stepping away from blogging regularly isn’t a new thing for me. I often go in and out of consistency. I find it just happens in the nature of being a writer and a creator. Inspiration isn’t always forthcoming. However, just because I haven’t posted in a while does not mean that, I haven’t been writing, that I haven’t been creating. In fact that has been quite an incredible saving grace for me this year. At the start of the pandemic I started journaling daily and I have really loved it! Having more time to write and create and try new things in that world as been really great.
And I had been trying to find a way to address the pandemic in a way that can still somehow allow us to hold onto life’s magic. So, I present to you my very first Audio Book.
This is a children’s Christmas story, entitled- Christmas Magic: A story of Santa, The North Pole Fairy & God. I wrote this a few days before Christmas and released it on Christmas day. Being that Little Christmas is tomorrow, I felt it was appropriate to still share here, since I hadn’t done so. And If you like it, please let me know in the comments below!
I hope you will gather your kiddos, or nieces/nephews or any littles you have in your life and allow them a listen! I hope it makes them believe in magic! It still does exist. 🙂