Finally….A Summer Update

The longer I’ve waited to post, the harder I’ve felt this has been. I went through having zero ideas, to so many ideas-good and bad. And here I am, just wanting to say SOMETHING. I’m a writer, who hasn’t really written in months. Is that normal? I suppose not.

Hi all. I hope someone is still listening. This has been a long time coming, and quite frankly I was hoping to come back with some fun, fancy, well-crafted story or work of art. But it’s just not coming, so instead, I’m going to just speak my truth. Hopefully you can relate.

It’s been quite a long few months since I last posted, and yes when I look back at old posts, I have definitely written many posts similar to this. Being a creative soul is thrilling and fun, until it isn’t. Creativity isn’t always guaranteed. I haven’t posted at all this summer. There are a lot of reasons why, but the number one reason is because well…I just haven’t felt inspired or motivated to do so. 

You know when your favorite YouTuber goes MIA for a while, because they just haven’t been happy with any of their content. That’s how I feel.

I hit these walls where I feel like my life is at a standstill and instead of doing something to change it, I internalize and my mind becomes a ball of anxious thoughts unable to move myself forward. A vessel just going through the motions. I have a really hard time being present in the moment. I’m constantly over thinking everything. It is the most daunting feeling. My mind gets clouded and unfortunately creativity gets pushed to the side. Which is bizarre because I know this is the time when I need it most, to pull me out of my slump. 

Creativity can be an incredible outlet for stress, but sometimes I just choose to ignore the issue and let days pass me by. Filling my time within mindless tasks.  

I wish I had some big revelation for myself. I wish I had some inspirational advice to share about how I’ve just been too busy living life to post, but unfortunately that is just not the case.

I have a case of the summer funk. And I honestly can’t wait for it to be fall. 

The air is crisp.

The fashion is cooler.

The colors are gorgeous. 

And let’s face it, there is a plethora of pumpkin.

Here’s to breaking the silence and powering through. 

I’m going to end this with a quote from one of my Writer’s Corners from back in 2015. It’s amazing how the words still hold truth for me:

“Giving up on that dream [of being a writer] is not in my line of vision. It can’t be. I don’t think my brain or sanity could take it. Too many stories to tell. So when the walls start caving in and you feel like you’re going to emotionally explode, get out of your head. And get out of your own way. And just do what you do best. Write. Because writers feel things deeper than most, and when we tell those stories, someone out there in the universe is going to get it, and feel gotten. Keep fighting, keep striving, and know that there is always a safe place for the written word here on Michelle Leigh Writes. Soldier on my friends.”- Michelle Leigh Writes * Writer’s Corner * “Get out of your own way”

 

**While you wait for new stories…feel free to browse my Short Story Collection HERE

 

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RED THIRST

parental-advisory-explicit-lyrics

Due to sexual content.

 

DREAM CASTING –

red thirstClara smiles as she catches her reflection in her vanity mirror. Smoothing out her fitted black velvet dress. She presses her bright red lips together making a smacking sound.
“Tonight, is definitely going to be a night to remember,” she says glancing at her clock which reads 12:30 AM in bright bold red. 

**3 HOURS LATER 3:30 AM**

Her eyes flutter open and instantly Clara is met with Black. Darkness. Small Space.
As Clara’s eyes are trying to adjust to her surroundings, she tries to move and realizes she can’t.
Both her hands and feet are bound by thick tape. She makes a move to scream but soon she feels tape is also plastered across her mouth.
Humming. Clara now hears humming. Moving. She’s moving.
Where am I? She thinks.
Her heart begins to pound quicker and quicker as the panic sets in. Beads of sweat pooling at the nape of her neck as goosebumps form.
She finally comes to the terrifying conclusion that she is in the trunk of a car, going God knows where, with God knows who.

**1:30 AM**

Clara hops out of a red taxi cab and spots the big red electric sign illuminating her destination- THIRST it reads. She smirks as she rushes over to grab a space on the long line, her spiky gold studded red heels clacking along on the sidewalk- a missing person’s poster plastered to the grown as she walks over it unknowingly.
As Clara takes her place in line, she takes a look around. Another missing person’s poster. This one she notices. Young men and women crowd the line, dressed all in black, the women all sporting bright red lipstick. Clara feels satisfied with her choice in wardrobe for the night. Suddenly Clara feels the eyes of those around her all shifting toward her. It feels like everyone is watching her. Do I smell or something? She thinks.
Clara steps up to the bouncer, and hands him her ID. Taking it he glances at her, then back at the ID.
“You’re a newbie, huh? he asks, his voice husky, his dark eyes staring into her with a fierce fire.
“I’ve never been here before, so, yea I guess,” she says skeptically.
“Are you here alone?” he asks his eyes flickering a deep dark brown as they wander over her.
“No I’m meeting up with some friends, not that it’s any of your business,” Clara answers getting annoyed.
The bouncer laughs, as a smirk is put in place.
“You and your friends are in for a real treat, Enjoy!” He says handing her back her ID and unclipping the red velvet entry rope-letting her in.
Clara takes her ID quickly and rushes into the bar, to escape not only the brisk fall breeze, but also the creepy bouncer.
The minute Clara steps foot into the bar, she realizes its standing room only, the lights flicker and suddenly her stomach flips. It’s just your nerves Clara. You always get a little wigged out when you’re in big crowds. The gang should be here any minute.
In the midst of her rambling thoughts a face comes into view. “Hi, I’m Ivy, are you here for the ceremony?” the pale, red headed girl with bright fire red lipstick asks. Her face invading her personal space a little too much.
Clara steps back instantaneously, as her brow furrows, “Ceremony…what ceremony?”
Ivy notices her confusion and laughs a laugh that kind of made Clara’s hair stand up on her arms.
“You must be a newbie… I mean new.” Ivy says her eyes scanning over Clara.
What is with this place, she thinks as she gives a small forced smile before making her way through the crowd towards the bar.
As she pushes through the sea of darkness, the red lights strung above flicker once again. As it seems all eyes turn to make Clara their focus, once again.
Clara suddenly feels very uncomfortable. She scans the room for her friends, but there is no sign of them anywhere. 
She checks her cell phone quickly. No sign of any messages.
I guess they’re running late, she thinks. You’re being paranoid Clara, relax. Have a drink. 
The bartender comes over. “Who needs a drink?” he yells over the crowd.
Clara raises her hand pushing her way closer.
“What’ll it be?” he asks his dark brown eyes locking onto hers.
“Um, I’ll have a Bloody Mary,” She says her eyes taking in his handsome chiseled features.
“Ok, do you want- O, A, B, AB, I may be able to scrounge up some O negative in the freezer if you prefer that?”
“I’m sorry?” Clara says her confusion growing along with her nerves.
The bartender’s gorgeous, tanned face falls.
“Have you ever been here before?” he asks.
“No.” Clara says uneasily.
The bartender leans in closer to her and whispers.
“Do you know what this place is?”
“A bar?” Clara asks with a small flirtatious laugh as she flips her hair behind her shoulder, leaning closer to the cute bartender.
“You should really get out of here. It’s not the place for someone like you,” he says his voice hoarse yet heightened, his brown eyes stern.
“You don’t even know me,” Clara bites back getting frustrated.
“Maybe not, but I can tell you’re a newbie and if I can so can the rest of them. I’m just saying you’ve been warned.”
Clara looks at him, her nerves spiking up again. She checks her phone. Nothing.
The bartender notices. “Oh that’s another thing, no cell service.”
Clara’s stomach knots, “What?” she says her eyes looking up into his.
“Oh what, you think they’d make it easy for you to call for help?” he asks. Clara’s eyes fill with fear.
And as if on cue. The lights go out and Clara suddenly feels hands wrap around her mouth and waist and pull her off into darkness.
She tries to fight it, but the strength of her opponent was overpowering, her nerves distracting her causing her to drive herself into a panic.

**4:00 AM**

Clara is wiggling and moaning in the trunk of a car as she feels the car suddenly come to a short stop.
Clara begins to panic as she hears the driver’s door creak open, feet shuffling through what sounds like gravel.
A hand pulls on the latch of the trunk, it opens and her panic begins to kick into full drive.
As the trunk opens fully the bartender’s face is backlit by a nearby street lamp.
Clara’s eyes go wide as her chest begins to tighten, her vision blurring. She’s about to faint again.
“Hey, hey, hey,” he says seeing her starting to go, as he lifts her out of the trunk.
He places her in the passenger’s seat, sitting her upright, he reaches for a water bottle in the back seat. He pours some on her face, gently slapping her cheeks.
“Hey, hey, wake up,” he says, pulling the tape off her lips carefully.
Clara comes to and sees his concerned face, and begins to scream, “HELP! SOMEONE HELP ME!”
“Shh, Shhh, they may hear you!” He says nervously checking his surroundings.
“Who? What are you talking about? Where am I? Why did you take me?” she says hysterically.
“If I didn’t they would have bled you dry,” he says reaching into his back pocket and pulling out a pocket knife.
Clara sees it and her body stiffens, her breath catching in her throat.
He flips it open and making eye contact with her, he kneels down and cuts the tape on her feet and then her hands.
Clara breathes a sigh of relief momentarily, as she rubs her wrists.
“I’m not going to hurt you, I just wanted to help you.”
“Why the hell did you tape me up and throw me in a trunk then!” she says looking at him, fire in her eyes.
“I had to make it look convincing. Otherwise they would know and they would still come after you.”
“Who? What is that place?”
The bartender takes out his phone and hands it to her.
“Play the video,” he says.
Clara looks up at him, confused. She gets out of the car and hits play. Her first reaction is one of pure horror as she covers her mouth.
On the screen you see people in hooded red velvet cloaks, in a candlelit room, chanting. As a line of blindfolded people stand, waiting for instructions. All dressed in black. The main countess, removes her hood as Clara sees her face, “Ivy,” she whispers.
“I saw her set her sights on you the minute you walked in. I knew after that, we didn’t have much time before the lights went out.”
Clara’s eyes meet his for a brief moment, and she could see the worry in his eyes. Her nerves begin to fade just slightly. She continues watching the video.
“Welcome, to our weekly induction ceremony. We trust you’ll have a bloody good time,” she says cackling, as she glances at her fellow cloaked servants, with a small smirk, they take it as their signal. Each rushing toward a blindfolded member and sinking their fangs into their necks as their chosen prey scream. Others pulling their blindfolds off and running for dear life.
“No one will hear you,” the Countess sings, cackling loudly, watching them scatter like cockroaches. She rushes toward her newest victim.
Red. Red everywhere.
Clara stops the video and covers her mouth, her eyes welling up.
“Is this, is this real?” she asks staring into his eyes willing some answers.
“Yes.”
“So what, they’re vampires?” She asks.
“No. It’s a cult. They’re a group of psychos who are obsessed with  the idea of vampires and do everything to simulate the vampire life. Including sucking other people’s blood.”
“And what… it’s just allowed. I mean why hasn’t anyone ever reported this place?” She asks completely overwhelmed.
“There hasn’t been anyone who survived long enough to do so.”
“What about you, are you like them?”
“NO. I just bartend. I’m completely human. And I like it that way.”
“So then why haven’t you reported them!”
“Because we have an agreement, I keep my mouth shut, pour the drinks, get paid, and they let me live.”
“Why would you take this job knowing what this place was all about?”
“When I came to interview for the job, I didn’t know what it was going to be. I took the job under false pretenses. And once I got here and found out what this was, there was no way out for me.”
“So after all this time, why help me?”
“I don’t know. I just felt like I needed to. I’ve been so scared to do anything before. But tonight I could see that you were scared and I wanted to help.”
“Well, I’m really glad you did, thank you.”
He gives her a small smile.
“How did you get this video?”
“Ivy sent it to me, to show me what could happen to me if I don’t obey by her rules.”
“But this is proof. Right here. We need to take this to the police.”
“They’ll call it a prank and not give two shits. And even if they did try to do anything, there’s so many followers, it would just regroup and start over, somewhere else. It won’t be long before they find out it was me who leaked the video, and they’ll come after me. And I won’t be able to protect you. They’ve sought you out already. You’ve been targeted.”
“Targeted?”
“She expects you as her prey, in her mind you’re a done deal. Precious blood.”
“Won’t they know you’re gone?”
“They think I’m bringing you to the red cottage.”
“What’s that?” Clara says her eyes scanning her surroundings. Not a cottage in sight, just an empty gravel parking lot, dimly lit by a few scattered street lights.
“It’s this secret place she reserves for her sacred prey.”
“Who?”
“Ivy, she’s pure poison. She’s the countess, she’s the one who started this whole thing. And she loves newbie blood. By newbie- they mean someone who is completely unaware of the true meaning behind this facade of a bar.”
“Newbie. So that’s why everyone was calling me that. I felt like everyone’s eyes were following me. I thought I was going crazy.”
“You’re not crazy, they were all watching you, waiting, sniffing you out, luring you into their trap.”
“Sniffing?”
“Oh yea, newbies carry a certain scent, apparently.”
“They really believe this shit?”
“That’s a cult for you.”
“This is insane.” *Clara feels her vision starting to blur.* “I I I feel like I’m gonna faint again,” she says reaching for him.
“Ok, hey, ok, you’re ok, take a seat,” he says grabbing her hands and guiding her back to the car. “Just breathe ok, nice and slow. In, and out. Look at me, Focus.” He says.
In that moment Clara was so grateful for this man she’s never met before. He saved her life and she didn’t even know his name.
“I’m sorry, I tend to faint when my nerves are set into over drive.”
“It’s ok, I figured that when you passed out before I put you in the trunk. Sorry about that by the way, I had to make it look believable. It’s been my job to take care of the chosen one and unfortunately that includes duct tape and a trunk.”
“I’d gladly take the trunk any day, if it means staying the hell away from those freaks. I’m Clara, by the way.” She says steadying her breathing.
“Nice to meet you Clara, I’m Christian,” he says smiling, his teeth perfectly pearly white, he extends his muscular arm, as she shakes his hand. His grip firm. His palms soft, but clammy.
“So you’ve done this before, this red cottage thing?”
“I’ve only worked here for a month. So, I’ve only had to do it twice. And both times, the chosen have proven worthy to join the cult, so they are now members, and no longer hunted prey. That’s the whole game. Kind of cat and mouse. Somehow they can sniff out the special ones. The rest just get used as blood bags, like you saw in the video. The chosen get taken to the red cottage, where Ivy preps them. She decides if they are worthy to join or be bled dry. Even though her senses are usually spot on, when it comes to true newbies, she says it can go either way and she needs to be sure if they are really ready for the vampire life.”
“And how does she decide that?”
“She gives you this test. Asks bizarre questions, tastes your blood. If it’s sweet you die because she knows she’ll enjoy taking your blood, if it’s bitter you get to live. So any precious prey that end up here, they better prey their blood is bitter.”
“What?”
“Does that even surprise you at this point, after everything you’ve seen?”
“This is inhumane. I have no words. These people are demented. I’m completely confused. I don’t know what the hell any of this really means.”
“Join the club. It’s not something anyone should ever have to know.”
“So what do we do now? What happens when they find out you didn’t bring me to the red cottage?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t think that far ahead.”
“So they can be coming after us, any minute!”
“We’re a few miles out, that’ll buy us time.”
“My friends, oh my god, I was supposed to meet my friends! What if they’re still there? I have to go back!”
“Are you insane!? Have you not been listening to me? Ivy will kill you,” he says grabbing her shoulders.
“Not if I play along.”
“You can’t fake bitter blood Clara.”
“No, but I can lure her away from her followers. Think about it without them, she’s just some red head with fake fangs and a cloak. I can take her.”
“You think so, you faint at every sign of danger.”
“I can do this, I have to. We have to put a stop to these freaks.”
“I don’t like this Clara. I don’t want you alone with her.”
“I won’t be, you’ll be with me, right? Ya know just in case I need back up,” she says with a nervous laugh.
“This is not funny.”
“I have to try. My friends are newbies too. I can’t let her hurt them. And you shouldn’t either. Now I know you saved my life. And I am so grateful to you. I am. But you’ve sat on this job, knowing about their world for a month. Knowing people have died.”
“I’m not proud of it Clara, believe me,” he says looking away in shame.
“I do believe you,” she says taking his hand in hers. Christian’s eyes flick up instantly to meet Clara’s. “Before you didn’t have someone willing to help you. It’s different now. I’m here and together, we can take this whole freak show down. But I can’t do it alone.” Christian stares at her for a beat, he sighs. 
“Ok…here’s what we can do…” 

**5:00 AM**

Christian stands above a seated, tied up Clara. Her legs taped together, her hands taped in front of her, resting in her lap. Candles lit amongst red silk curtains, and red velvet carpet.
Christian bends down to grab more tape, as he hears a car pull up, the headlights beaming past the small window in the corner of the dimly lit small cottage.
“She’s here,” he says turning to Clara as he rips another piece of tape holding up to her mouth. “I’m sorry but, I have to make her think you’ve been this way since I took you.”
Clara nods. Panic setting in.
Christian notices, he leans in and kisses her bright red lips, his free hand cupping her face, as Clara’s mind spins her lips follow his, her heart beat quickening.
“I won’t let her hurt you,” he says kissing her once more, before placing the tape across her mouth.
Christian stands as the door to the cottage flies open revealing a blood stained Ivy.
“Well well, we meet again,” she says walking in, her cloak draping across the floor as she saunters around Clara, breathing her in.
She leans down, placing her hands upon Clara’s shoulders, whispering in her ear, “My you smell good.”
Clara winces, pulling away.
“Did you tell her the rules Christian?”
“Yes Countess,” he says bowing and taking a knee.
Clara’s eyes widen at his obedience to this woman of hell.
Suddenly Clara begins to feel dizzy, her mind begins turning, thoughts flying through her head.
Did I just get played? Was this the plan all along, to lure me here and gain my trust? What do I really know about this Christian guy? Why the hell did I believe him? Why because he’s gorgeous? I just made the biggest mistake of my life. Clara begins to fade.
“Good, now, shall we get started,” Ivy says cackling as she turns to get the materials to start her personal ceremony,” Christian makes a swift move and reaches behind his back, he pulls out a gun and shoots Ivy in the back, the ringing pierces through Clara’s ears as she jolts. Ivy’s body goes limp, falling to the ground, blood pooling out of her.
Christian leans down, and feels for a pulse. He pulls out a walkie and speaks into it, “This is agent Christian Clark. I’m requesting an ambulance for a deceased female, and immediate back up at the old broken down parking lot in Fort Falcon. Also send units to the bar THIRST- address 166 6th street. Proceed with caution, subjects are armed, and dangerous.”
Christian rushes over to Clara’s side, her eyes are wide, her mind foggy.
“Hey, I’m sorry, I’m sorry you had to see that. Are you ok?” he says peeling the tape off her mouth and cutting her free. She sits there in a state of shock.
“Clara? Clara, hey, can you hear me?” he says holstering his gun and grabbing her face in his hands.
“You’re not blinking at all. Clara. Clara. Hey. You can hear me, I know you can. Hey come on back Clara. Come back to me. Clara. Clara, blink for me. Clara.”
Clara blinks and focuses her vision on Christian.
“You’re a cop?” she says completely confused.
“Yes.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I was under cover. I couldn’t risk it. I didn’t know if you were a part of it, or just a ploy to draw me out. I had to be sure you were telling the truth too.”
“So you lied, when you said that the police wouldn’t care.”
“Yes. I had to.”
“What about the two other newbies who joined the cult? The ones that you said you had to take here?”
“Also undercover agents. They’re working from the inside too. See I was only able to see certain aspects of the cult, they do things I had no clue about, we needed people to really infiltrate. The three of us had to really pull some major cons in this whole thing.”
“I can only imagine. So why have you waited so long to do this? Why not just bring Ivy in when she brought the first agent back here?”
“We had to gather more evidence.”
“That video wasn’t evidence enough.”
“Unfortunately no, with all the technology available online, kids these days can alter anything. They would have dismissed that video as a prank. We needed a witness. We needed you.”
“Me?”
“Well we didn’t seek you out personally, you just kind of happened to be in the right place at the right time. And you were actually someone who agreed that this place was a total freak show and needed to be destroyed. A few months ago, we started noticing a lot of people were going missing in the area. No sign, nothing. Other than the link that THIRST was the last place they were known to be. So we started investigating. When I got wind of what this place was. I knew I had to play it smart, give it time, build a case, and get inside the minds of these freaks. As much as I hated it, I wanted justice for all the lives they stole.”
“Did you find any of the missing people?”
“A few, unfortunately it was a little too late for some- they were killed, but many had joined the cult. I don’t know if it was because they wanted to or if it was strictly out of fear. That’s why we put two agents on the inside.”
“I feel like I’m going to throw up,” Clara says pacing as she grabs her stomach.
“Clara.”
“I need to call my friends. I lost my phone, can I-”
“Of course,” he says reaching into his pocket and handing it to her.
Their hands graze each other’s and Clara ignores it turning away as she dials. Christian’s eyes flicker to her, his eyes wondering her curvy body in her fitted black velvet dress. Her toned legs pace the cottage carpet, as her red spike heels scuff it up.
Christian coughs and looks away, giving her some privacy.
“Hello? Betty? Betty oh my god, where are you, are you ok?” Clara says frantically.
A blonde girl and some friends are being escorted by police out of the bar, “Clara, oh my god, are you ok? I’ve been trying to call you!”
“Yes, I’m ok, I’ve been trying to call you, are you with everyone else? Is everyone ok?”
“Yes, we’re all here, we’re ok too, but I swear you wouldn’t believe what just happened.”
“Trust me, I think I know a little more than you think, I’m on my way.”
“Can you take me back to my friends, they’re at the bar.”
“I really think you should go to the hospital.”
“She didn’t get the chance to hurt me. I’m fine, thanks to you.”
“Clara, I’ve lost track of how many times you’ve suffered panic attacks and fainted tonight.”
“Well excuse me, I’ve been scared out of my mind, what with getting tied and thrown into a trunk and brought to a vampire’s lair.”
“You’ve been through one hell of a mess, all the more reason to get checked out.”
“I will, after I meet up with my friends. Please. I just need to get out of here,” she says looking at Ivy’s lifeless body sitting in a crimson pool.
Christian hears sirens in the distance, they make their way closer. Soon the door opens to reveal paramedics and other police officers.
“Agent Clark, I’m Officer Megan Mullins, we’ll take it from here, why don’t you get this girl home.”
“Thank you,” Christian reaches out to shake her hand. “Come on let’s get you out of this hell hole,” he says taking Clara by the hand, and leading her out.

****
The ride went on silently, until Christian finally spoke.
“Are you okay?” he asks.
“I don’t really know how to answer that question,” she answers her eyes watching the streets pass by as she stares out the window.
“Fair enough,” he says pulling up to the bar, ambulances, officers in blue, detectives, witnesses, suspects hauled off in cuffs, create a scene of madness.
It all moves in slow motion before Clara’s eyes. Christian parks his car and hops out, slapping a police light on his hood. Walking around he opens Clara’s door as she sits in shock.
“Clara. Clara?”
“CLARA!” Betty looks from the inside of a nearby ambulance, she comes running.
Clara is kicked out of her haunting memories when she hears her friend’s voice.
“Betty!” she yells, hopping up, and rushing over to hug her.

**A FEW MONTHS LATER**

Clara enters her apartment, setting her keys and purse down on her side table, as she flips through the mail she just brought up.
Her cell phone rings, and she glances at the unfamiliar number, “Hello?”
“Clara?”
“Who’s calling?”
“Clara, this is agent Christian Clark. I’m afraid it’s that time, we’re going to need you to testify in court on the THIRST case.”
“I can’t say I haven’t been expecting your call.”
“Would you be free for a cup of coffee one day, I can prep you on what to say?”
“I think that would be very helpful, thank you. I’m free now, I can come meet you.”
“Um sure, yea that works, just text me the place,” he says sitting at his desk at the police station. He looks at his cup of coffee and drops it into the trash.
“Ok, will do. See you soon.”
“See you then,” he says smiling.

****

Christian sits in a small cozy coffee shop, as he waits for the beautiful brunette to saunter back into his life.
Clara walks into the shop and scans the room, her eyes clocking on Christian’s. He smiles waving her over, she makes her way toward him.
“Agent Clark,” she says with a sweet smile.
“Clara, hey, how are you?” he asks, standing to hug her.
Clara hugs him tightly, as they both linger for a beat, taking each other in.
“I’m ok, I’m really good actually,” she says they both take their seats opposite each other.
“Good. I’m glad. You look great.”
“Thank you, so do you,” she says smiling.
“So I know that I haven’t checked in much since-”
“Stop, Christian. Please. You saved my life. God knows what could have happened if you weren’t there. I know you’re an agent, out there busy saving the world,” she says smiling brightly at the gorgeous man before her.
God he is still so gorgeous, she thinks.
Christian smiles back, God she is still breathtaking, he thinks.
“You wanna take a walk?” Clara says.
“Sure, I’ll grab us some coffee and meet you out front.”
“Thanks,” she says heading towards the exit.

****

“So full disclosure?” Clara asks.
“Of course.” Christian says as they walk along the streets.
“I’m really happy you called.”
“Yea?”
“Yea, I haven’t really been able to stop thinking about you and that kiss,” she says staring at the coffee in her hands.
Christian stops in his tracks and looks at her.
“Full disclosure?” he asks.
“Of course.” She says stopping and facing him.
“I didn’t check in sooner, because I felt like I couldn’t. When I kissed you, I knew I felt something for you. I knew I wanted to know you the minute I saw you. I knew I wanted you in ways that would be unprofessional for an agent to want his lead witness in his case, so I kept my distance.”
“So what changed your mind?”
“It’s no longer, my case.”
“What?”                                                                                                           

“Officer Megan Mullins, did me a favor, and took it off my hands.”
“So you saying you needed me to testify and that you can prep me were all what- just excuses to see me again?” she says her eyes narrowing, a smirk playing on her lips.
“Not exactly, I mean, kind of. Yes I wanted to see you again and I saw this as my in. But I don’t need you to testify, Megan does. But yes I can still help prep you, if you’d like.”
“Sure, my place is just a few blocks from here, we can go there.”
“Ok, lead the way,” Christian says gesturing.

****
Clara unlocks her apartment door and steps aside, letting Christian in.
“Nice place,” he says walking in.
“Thank you, here let me take your coat,” she says hanging hers up on a nearby coat rack, as he hands her his.
“So I was thinking we can just go over the details of that night and write them down, then from there come up with a statement of some kind. Then I’ll just put you through the ringer, asking you all the questions I think they’ll ask you-”
“Christian.” She says her voice cutting through his last few words.
“Yea?”
“Do you honestly think, I brought you here, for legal advice?”
“I-” he stops and looks at her, a smile forming on both of their lips, as she walks toward him.
He quickly pulls her by the waist, letting his lips crash onto hers.
Clara’s hands cup his face, as she walks them backward forward her bed room.
Unbuttoning and tossing each other’s shirts.
They fall back onto her white cotton bed spread, as Christian’s kissing becomes deeper and deeper each time, an urgency playing on his lips.
He pulls away and looks at her, his eyes flickering with a deep desire.
She smiles pulling him to her and kissing him forcefully as he grips her hips. Kissing her once more, he playfully bites her lower lip, a little blood escaping.
Clara winces, with a slight laugh, Christian pulls away from her, “Sorry about that love, let me get that for you,” he says kissing her again, as he licks the blood off her lower lip.
Clara’s brow furrows for a bit, but she is soon enough distracted by his lips traveling to her neck. Christian’s lips dance along her jugular vein. His kissing becoming quicker, more forceful, harder, the sucking beginning to hurt. Bruise.
Clara starts to stir uncomfortably.
“Christian, Christian, Stop.” But he doesn’t.
She pushes him off her and screams, as his fangs come into clear view, in one swift move he sinks them into her neck, her blood covering her crisp white bed sheets.

**ONE YEAR LATER**

Clara jolts awake, and looks to see a concerned Christian in bed beside her.
“Don’t tell me- the nightmare, where I turn into a vampire during sex?”
“Ugh, yes,” she laughs covering her face, a large diamond ring shining in the moonlight on her left hand.
Christian starts to laugh.
“It’s been nearly two years. I’ve testified. We won. Everything is back to normal. It should be over. Why am I still having bizarre dreams, and more importantly why is it always you killing me? I don’t understand it, your the only person who makes me feel 100% safe. It just doesn’t make any sense.”
“Babe, you know what your therapist said, you went through a bizarre traumatic experience. The details are all mangled in your mind, it’s going to take time to work through all that. You can’t rush it. And remember your fears may be unrealistic, but they are valid. You once said there was a point where you wondered if you could trust me. I mean that’s understandable, we barely knew each other. You didn’t really have reason to believe me.”
“Well I’m so glad that I did,” she says smiling over at him.
“Yea?” he says smiling.
“Yea, because then I wouldn’t be engaged to the sexiest, smartest agent New York has ever seen,” she says pulling the blankets over as she climbs on top of him, straddling him.
“Oh really?” he says his hands sliding up her sides, causing her sexy red lingerie night gown to lift ever so slightly.
“Mm Hmm.” She says smiling, as his hands slide further around her waist.
Smirking, Christian sits up and kisses her.
He flips her over hovering on top of her, “I love you so much, and I can’t wait to make you my wife,” he says, placing a passionate kiss on her lips, her arms circling around his back. Christian adjusts meeting Clara’s body, moving her closer to him. Then as she lets out a breathy sigh, he places a kiss on her lips, his hands gripping her thighs.
Christian pulls away looking at Clara.
“What?” she asks.
“I vant to suck your blood,” he says in an exaggerated count Dracula cartoon voice as he jokingly bites her neck between fits of laughter.
Clara starts to laugh and shoo him off.
“I hate you,” she says giggling, as he stops and starts placing sweet kisses along her neck.
“You love me,” he says looking down at her, as he kisses her lips once more, sweetly.
Clara kisses him back.
“I do love you, you fool” she says in between all the many kisses that followed.              

“So are you gonna put on those spiky red heels you know I like so much?” he asks with a smirk.                                                                                                                                                      

“I think that could be arranged,” she says smiling.
Christian’s hands glide across her body, as Clara’s hands circle the nape of his neck, her ring glistening into the night and the rest of their lives.

 

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

 

Happy Belated Halloween!

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video Update

There are often so many areas of life we feel we need to be good at all the time. And often times we struggle trying to make that happen. It’s impossible. You can do anything but not everything. You can be anything, but you can’t be everything, to everyone, all the time. If you try to, you will break.

As the summer comes to an end, the self-bashing comes for not doing half of the things I wanted to. Summer is kind of like New Year’s Eve in that way, don’t you think? We make so many promises to ourselves and then life happens.

I’ve been really thinking about my relationship with video and film making. And because of this, I’ve learned a few things. I wanted to get really real with myself about this topic.
To back track just a bit, I have a Bachelor of Arts degree. I studied Mass Communications with a concentration in Film and Broadcasting. The dream-the goal- to write for television. And yet when I look at all the video projects I’ve actually finished…the total number is not many. Many unfinished scripts/ideas for scripts collecting dust too!

Back in college, I had to do a few projects- one was a music video which I did for The Civil War’s Poison & Wine and the other was a concept video which was about throwing away stereotypes- it was very abstract and I titled it “Tearing Down The Label Makers.” It’s crazy because I feel like the message holds even more relevance today. Then I worked on my thesis which as you may know was a documentary about a day/or days in the life of my Grandmother who had been struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. I did two versions of that for two separate classes- one was the full version, and one was an abridged trailer version entitled Vai Com Deus.

“Poison & Wine” Video Shoot-

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“Tearing Down The Label Makers” Video Shoot-

Tearing Down the Label Makers

Neither the music video nor the concept video have been uploaded to YouTube, although considering these two were my very first video projects I am still very proud of how they came out and the messages behind them. I’m seriously considering sharing them. Providing the actors give their permission for me to do so, actually I’m pretty sure I had them all sign release forms!

During my college years I also attempted to shoot a script I wrote called Dumb Luck. A lot of time and production went into that but, it never got finished and the footage has been difficult to revive since my college computer died on me and I’ve gotten a new one. I am hoping to revive that and get that up, it’s super raw,  and you can definitely tell I was just starting out but the story is juicy. We only got to shoot the montage sequence. But a few years ago I shared the script, if you’d like to read that…click HERE.

“Dumb Luck” Prop Pictures

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“Vai Com Deus” process-

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Since I graduated I’ve done a few little side projects that are actually finished- I shot a yoga video for my cousin, a poetry video for MLW- to name a few and a couple of vlogs. The vlogs are less planned and less cinematic of course.

Yoga Video Shoot (Behind the Scenes) (this is not available to watch,  even though she was happy with the result-the video was for a school assignment and my cousin didn’t want it uploaded.)

“Secret” Society Video Shoot/Vlogs (Behind the Scenes)

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Then there are more video attempts- there are bits of footage shot for a zombie horror short that my brother and I had been working on. We even got as far as building a timeline of the clips in editing, but then…life. Life came in, things got busy, I got distracted and something else needed my attention.

“Inhumane” process- (Behind the Scenes)

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Its 4 years now since I graduated and it seems that every time I get close to the idea of shooting something- I may do well for a brief time but then cue the rut.

The other day I was going through some old paperwork and things, trying to organize my room and I came across some old scripts and video treatments/storyboards. Both were horror related. One was the zombie short titled Inhumane, the other titled Head Over Heels (which I think would be a bad ass Halloween upload). And when I see these scripts and how the planning process was beginning it makes me want to get back into video. But then I hit a wall and the reality sinks in. There’s just no realistic way. For the past-I want to say 2 years- I have been well involved/invested in the engagements, weddings, bridal/baby showers of many people that are very close to me. And I have had to really dedicate my time and my funds to them. When I think about doing something short/simple- I think how I don’t have the actors, or the equipment, to do so.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, my brother is a photographer and he has a lot of equipment that I’ve used in the past. But I’m very weird about using it, mostly because he’s very particular about it, lol. And I get nervous I’ll do something wrong! And so because of that I am very weird about asking him for help. I feel like it’s a burden, especially now that he is newly married and he and his wife are expecting their first child. Even though he has been hounding me to get back into shooting Inhumane, I know he simply doesn’t have the time, we don’t have the people, and quite honestly there are just so many other things I’d love to shoot instead. #HeadOverHeels #MysteriousAttractionTeaser

I also don’t have the best sound equipment or the best editing software either so it’s kind of like a million things weighing against me. I think about how people would perceive the work I put out. “Didn’t she go to school for film and video? This sucks!” That’s how I feel they would judge it. Along with all the other worries, I fear I may not be good enough at it.

I know this may seem like I’m complaining and I’m not. I don’t want pity. I understand that life is fast paced and ever changing. I love being asked to be part of special moments in people’s lives. People who mean the world to me. But sometimes when everything seems to happen all at once it can be very overwhelming. And we all know that I can get overwhelmed pretty easily and my anxiety definitely tends to spike a lot more when too much change is happening.

I just think that in life you often have to prioritize and these things in my life have been coming one after the other and they need special attention. I’m the type of person who really wants to show up for you on your special day/during your special time. My relationships with my family and friends are everything to me. And so I give 150% every time. (Or at least I really try too!)

With my bank accountant taking some serious hits over the past few years, lol-so has my time management skills. I can multi task…sure…just ask my computer- I can have 8 different tabs open at once and hit all of them. But I can’t say with absolute confidence that I can multi task well all the time. I just end up overwhelming myself and needing to narrow things down. Focus on one thing at a time. Rightfully so…no? I mean how much wedding/baby events/day to day responsibilities can one girl take at once? Ya know? It’s a lot. But thankfully, thank god it’s mostly beautiful, happy stuff, all deserving of celebration. I will always be grateful for that.

Needless to say I know there are ways around this funk I’ve created for myself. I know that fear of inadequacy, lack of funds and time are a huge part of why video has taken a back seat. But I want to try and make some solutions to these problems.

Dear Michelle,

ACTORS ask people I know/ research sites that can help find actors willing to participate for low funds or pizza! Haha. Asking people you know, can be difficult, it doesn’t always work out. My film and video professor used to always tell us to have a plan B because people aren’t always reliable and it can break your heart when a project falls through the cracks. This I know first hand. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked family or friends to be apart of shorts and they cancelled on me because of work or life in general got in the way. It happens, I get it. But creatively, it’s heart breaking. Another thing to consider when filming is to keep the shorts abstract- quick cuts- simple images-

Avant Garde it- experimental film, experimental cinema- a mode of filmmaking that rigorously re-evaluates cinematic conventions and explores non-narrative forms and alternatives to traditional narratives or methods of working.

TIME make time- plain and simple. Plan it out, and stick to a schedule.

SPACE/LOCATION keep it local, go where you know- use people’s homes, lol.

FUNDS keep things simple/super low budget- use house hold items.

EQUIPMENT use equipment you have, or ask to borrow equipment in advance.

EDITING SOFTWARE use what you have and make it work.

FEAR“Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.” -A Cinderella Story. Your never going to not be fearful of new challenges. You just have to decide how bad you want it, and be brave enough to just do it, to hell with what people think! 

When you’re just starting out, or easing back into something Don’t Expect Perfection! If things are a little janky, it’s ok, it’s better to shoot footage than not try at all. And Vlogs do count. I’ve noticed I like vlogging when I have some cool things to do, I just have to get better at the editing turn around. Mini Vlogmas is still only partially edited. :/ As is the Gender Reveal Party Vlog for my brother and sister in law and a Family Trip Vlog to Great Wolf Lodge we took last Summer. I also shot a bunch of footage of a Polar Express Trip and my best friend’s engagement night. Really got to get back to editing!!!!

*Current Update– Since I last scheduled this post (which was a while ago back in the Summer when I was what I like to call bulk blogging) I have edited my butt off and have finished editing Vlogmas, The Gender Reveal, The Great Wolf Lodge Trip and The Engagement. I however am torn as to whether or not I should post them on YouTube/link them on this blog. I know have alluded to the fact that I would post them, I’ve mentioned it in many blog posts [including the Vlogmas announcement], however I am not the only person in them and I don’t know if others would appreciate their images being out on the internet. I know- why announce Vlogmas, take forever to edit them, and then never post them. The truth is I did do a small Vlogmas, and I did edit them, but I don’t feel 100% comfortable sharing videos of my family. I may just keep them as home movies for me, and my friends and family. But I am excited that I got so many of them done. That’s a win for me!

When things start to settle down on the wedding/baby front, I will start to save up for some new equipment. In the mean time, I just have to do it. Pick up the camera I do have and shoot something. Stop worrying about how crappy it might turn out and just dive in. I know I’ll feel better once I do. And the excitement and natural high of doing something I love will come back. I just need to do and stop second guessing, stop making excuses and just use the time I do have for myself wisely.

The reason for this long winded post is because I needed it. Sometimes you need to reflect on all the ways you let life pass you by in order to make you realize that you need to try a little harder to make your dreams come true. Be a bulldozer – and plow through the writer’s block, through the lack of inspiration, through the Summer Blues, through the funk that I’ve been in, and just go for it!

So here’s hoping to change my mind set! Wish me luck. No Scratch that- Wish me determination!

 

*All images and videos are my own.*

-<3-

 

Summer Time Changes- Let’s Talk

summer-tag-copy[1]I think it’s safe to say, Summer is here and kicking. The 4th is tomorrow and that right there is the epitome of Summer to me. The weather is hot, school is out and life becomes this different existence. Everything is slightly more laid back- or at least it’s supposed to be.

For me, Summer is a bit of an anxiety stressor. My job changes a little bit and I get placed in a new environment, working with new people for the duration of the summer. So that feels like an uproot, and something new I have to get used to all over again. Last year it was actually a really pleasant change and so this year I’m hoping for the same. I’m pretty optimistic that it will be and that’s a good feeling. 🙂

I also don’t do well in the heat so that’s another reason why Summer brings upon anxiety for me. Along with having this extra time during this season, there’s a lot of pressure to make use of everyday and do fun exciting things, everyday. Raise your hand if you’ve compared yourself to anyone on social media lately? #Guilty. I’m sorry I don’t have that kind of money to just be jumping flights, here and there. I have a lot going on in my life that I need to be saving up for, so unfortunately vacationing isn’t in the stars for me. And that sucks, but it’s my reality and that’s ok. Everyone’s life is different.

I think I’m learning to balance my boundaries. Sometimes I know I can push through my anxiety and sometimes I know I have to pull back and give myself a beat. And knowing that has made an incredible difference in my life. This notion is certainly a work in progress, but it’s coming along slowly.

It’s ok, to take breaks. It’s ok, to push yourself a bit, you will learn what you can handle. It’s ok, to say no. It’s ok, to strive for change. And it’s ok, to be afraid of that change, and still go for it anyway. My whole life I thought that I couldn’t use the words risk taker to describe myself. I’m taking that back. Recently I died my hair blue. BLUE! (No not my whole head…they’ll be a post coming soon!) But I have freakin’ blue hair right now and I’m just doing things I’ve been wanting to do for myself.  Different things. I’m just going for it! Sometimes I feel guilty, like wait that’s too much money or I should be here or there or doing this or that. But then I think wait- why can’t if do this for me? It’s allowed! There’s nothing wrong with caring about yourself or the things your passionate about. 

I’ve also been thinking about huge life changes lately. Some will take a while to accomplish, but the building blocks can start now. The other day I was told; “you seem optimistic and seem to be accepting change.” This was an incredible thing for me to hear from another person who knows me and knows how my life is and the things I struggle with. Change is literally the reason why I realized I have anxiety. Anytime change is upon me, my anxiety can peek. It doesn’t always, but if I’m anxious it’s usually because of some change happening in my life.

I’m at a point in my life, where I can see things a tiny bit clearer and the things I want out of life. The things I want for myself. And sometimes that means being a little selfish and doing my own thing. I hate how some may take offense to that,  because it is not intention. But I think that now is the only time I have to be selfish. Other people do it, why can’t I? And that’s not a dig at anyone, it’s just an observation. Once I’m older, and have a family of my own things will be very different. And my husband and my children will be my priority. So now this is my time to sort myself out so that dream of having that life when I’m older can eventually come true. I don’t want to sit back 10 or 15 years from now and regret not going after the things I wanted. I don’t want to resent my family. So this is the time to get my  mind right and just do my thing.

I’m trying to tackle the things that scare me. Granted, I have my days when I falter and I let that fear hold me back, or I allow the laziness of summer overcome me. But I’m keeping high expectations for myself this summer. There are so many things I want to accomplish on a personal and professional level that I am making strides toward those goals already.

I’ve always wanted to write a pilot script for this tv show I’ve had running in my head for YEARS-since high school. The show is written in shifts and on random papers all over my house-some are on my computer- it’s all over the place. I’ve never written a concise first episode. There’s no organization and I am all about organizing this summer. My planner and inspiration notebook are my best friends! So that ish, is getting written THIS SUMMER. I’ve started to do my research, surprisingly I know a lot of the things I’ve found out which makes me feel kind of good. But there was also a ton I didn’t know- things I’m still learning, still researching. Oh you mean I have an excuse to watch television. Awesome! 😉 Your never going to stop learning, ever. Life is full of lessons.

So there’s that big change happening. Which is huge for me, because researching my craft has always been scary for me. I can’t exactly explain it. It was, I guess something I loved so much, that I was scared that if I researched it I would find out how little I know, or how far from my dream I actually am. But my mind set is different now and I realize that I can’t get there if I don’t try. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it to where I want to be. I don’t know if I will ever get my dream of creating my own tv show. But the show is not ever going to leave my heart or my brain. It could be months, and then a story will pop into my head for one of my characters and I will have to revisit that world. Or a line will pop into my head and I will go-“Oh my god that would be the perfect thing for Travis to say to Sara.” (Shhh Spoilers!) 😉

I’ve been thinking more seriously about my next move. About my career long term. I love where I work right now. I know I haven’t given exact details of my work, but that’s because I truly believe in respecting privacy and I want to remain professional. But basically I do work in a school setting teaching creative subjects like writing, and film. And I think it’s been an eye opening experience for me. You really can learn by teaching.

I have a lot of creative projects I am tinkering with this Summer too. I’m not going to reveal them, because I don’t want to jinx them, or put extra pressure on myself to finish them all. I will overwhelm myself with an over extensive to do list, I know this. So let’s just say that my main creative goal is to get my pilot script written and keep learning more and more about writing and working in television.

I would love to track that process on here for you guys to see, but to also be able to reflect back on it and see how I progressed. I hope you’ll come along on this journey with me.

Happy Summer!

XO

Michelle Leigh

Move- Chapter 2

MOVE poster

Previously on MoveRead Chapter 1 HERE

Liam attempts to walk casually into a nearby quaint coffee shop.

She’s been here, he knows this. His eyes scan the room, searching for a glimmer of hope. Searching for her chocolate colored eyes.

Just because she’s been here before, doesn’t mean she’s a regular- nor does it mean she’ll be here today, one can only hope that coincidence is on my side, Liam, thinks.

Yes. You Facebook stalked Liam. You sunk low my friend, he thinks loudly as he gets in line to order something. Guess when you want something bad enough, you’ll do just about anything…

“Next,” the barista says as she smiles up at Liam.

“Hello, good afternoon,” he replies with a smile.

“Afternoon. What can I get you?”

“I will have (his eyes scan the menus posted on the walls behind her) the turkey club on rye, a bottle of water, and a regular small coffee.”

“You got it,” she says punching it into her register as she places the order slip on a conveyer line for the cook to read.

“That’ll be $15.72”

Liam reaches for his wallet.

 

*******

 

Walking away from the counter, Liam heads towards a table in the far corner to set himself up.

Strategic placing of course- from here I can see the span of the entire room, and there is a perfect view of the door, in case anyone rather interesting happens to come walking through, he thinks.

Liam begins eating his sandwich as he flips through his phone emails, replying to a few here and there.

Every now and again the door would open and his head would impulsively lift and look over.

No sign of his brunette beauty. Damn it, he thinks. This whole stalking thing is harder than I thought, he thinks, jokingly.

Liam checks his watch and starts to collect his garbage.

Lunch breaks always flew by for him.

Sadly, it’s back to the office, he thinks. I could wait here watching for her, forever.

Just then the door opens and in she walks. Her walk more of a stride, No a saunter. Her hips swaying from left to right. Her tight pink dress fitting her in the best possible way. Only some things someone who was intently watching could pick up on.

Liam freezes. His eyes glued.

Wow, she’s even sexier, the second time around, he thinks.

Aria steps up to the counter.

Liam cocks his head to the side, admiring a certain Latin enhanced part of her body. Internally and externally Liam blushes, knowing he’s usually a more discreet man.

“Hey Lynn,” she says with a smile at the barista.

“Aria sweetie, there you are! We were wondering if you switched coffee spots on us!”

“Are you kidding me! No one makes a better cup of coffee than you! It’s just work and school have just been crazy, I’ve literally been working, eating, dancing, sleeping. ”

Liam’s ears perk up to listen. Her voice like an electric jolt to his heart strings. Definitely striking some chords for sure. 

School? She can’t still be in college? He thinks. Can she? Liam scolds at himself, mentally.

His eyes look her over as he sits back down in his seat for a beat, pretending to answer more emails.

Liam’s gaze intensifies.

Aria walks to a table across from him and sits, she takes out a book and starts to read and she sips on her iced coffee, her muffin nearby for picking.

Liam’s heart begins to race, his palms starting to perspire.

He loosens his tie, as he leans back in his seat, his eyes not missing a beat. Admiring the fine art before him.

Watching her -she sweeps her hair to the left side, she props her chin up with her arm as she reads.

Her manicured fingers flip through the pages effortlessly as her brow furrows, then her lips curve into a smile as she continues reading.

Every movement more perfect then the last, he thinks.

Liam wants so badly to just walk over and talk to her.

But he knows how it would come off. Stalker.

So he waits, he watches, gathering evidence.

Next time it’ll be different, he thinks.

Until then, love, he thinks, as he gets up- exiting the coffee shop, his future feeling more colorful then usual.

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Hey readers! I realize this chapter took a while to get up and it is on the shorter side, and that’s mostly because I’m a little stuck when it comes to this story. I have so much in mind for the middle of the story but the beginning has been difficult to start. I’ve been avoiding and I don’t want to get in that rut. So I do apologize for the delay and I apologize if this is not my best chapter, but I think we’re just setting the stage, we’re just getting started here people. There’s been a lot going on in my life and also when it comes to Short Story posts, they take some time to write and get up and I’ve just been posting other things that take a little less time to “produce.” You may have also noticed my posting schedule has been kind of all over the place lately, again- I do apologize. I am going to really try and get back into a Monday/Thursday schedule this Summer. And I really would like to make some fun changes this Summer, let’s hope we can get some of them done! xo-Michelle Leigh

 

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

 

 

Move – Chapter 1

Colors stroke gently onto a white canvas, a hand holding the paintbrush with just the right about of force.

Up. Down. Side to side.

Blue. Yellow. Red. Green. Orange.

Long strokes. Short strokes.

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As the colors blend into fabric of the same shades displayed. Chiffon rippling about in swift, sensual movement.

Aria lets the music lead her every move, pointing her toes and hands alike, her skirt her dancing accessory. Elongating her frame. Her hair whipping back and forth, beads of sweat crawling along her forehead and neck.

She rolls her hips as she hits the last beat with a sharp move.

dancing

Looking up at her reflection she lets out a laugh and walks over to where her water bottle and towel lay.

****

Liam stares outside his office window.

Liam at work

He shifts his pen from finger to finger. His gaze steady. Lost in the New York City skyline.

Liam’s secretary peeks her head in.

“Mr. Whitmore?”

“Yes?”  He says snapping out of it and standing. He buttons his suit jacket.

“The event starts in just a few short hours. I’ve got your tux ready. Would you like to change now?”

“Yes, thank you Anne.”

She smiles simply, flashing a perfect smile.  As she brings in his tux, hanging it on the edge of the door molding.

She then places a bag on the floor near his desk.

“Your shoes, sir.”

“I can always count on you,” He says with a small, flirtatious smile.

She smiles brightly as she stands politely waiting for any other instructions.

“Can I ask you a question Anne?”

“Of course, sir.”

Turning back toward his office view, Liam says- “What do you see?”

“I don’t quite know what you mean, sir?”

His eyes shift toward her and he smirks.

“Looking out this window right here, what do you see?”

Anne looks in front of her, and gives herself a beat. Gathering her thoughts.

“I guess- I see- city life. Busy. Busy. Busy- city life.”

“That’s true but that’s all below the surface. Straight across. Baby blue skies, with a peachy pink. Cotton candy white clouds. The sun beaming through, just before night sets in. There’s still this mixture of soft amber, fire red, and citrus orange. I see hope. Hope that below the commercial bluster, there’s still actually substance somewhere in this world.”

Anne looks over at him, as he appears lost in thought.

“I guess that’s one way to look at it,” she says a bit thrown by his in-depth interpretation.

Liam smiles and snaps out of his daze once again.

“I suppose so,” He laughs. “Thank you Anne. The suit will be all.”

“If you need anything else, please do tell me, sir.”

“I’m quite fine. Thank you.”

Anne nods and exits the room.

Liam looks back at the sky, pondering.

****

A FEW HOURS LATER…

Liam Whitmore waltzes into yet another swanky New York Business Mixer.

His hair sandy and blonde with some hits of red-slightly messy but neatly styled, his beard in the form of a light scruff. Ocean blue eyes glide across the room, taking everything in. Owning his black, crisp, perfectly tailored tux, Liam walks in further. Silver blue hues from the disco lights cast a glow on everything, the music rises. The energy is electric.

Aria rushes into the kitchen, her appearance clearly in disarray.

“Please tell me he doesn’t know I’m late,” she says to a female co-worker.

She makes a wincing face, as Aria can already feel what is in store for her, she turns slightly on her heel, as she finishes tying her apron around her waist.

Her boss stands there with his arms crossed, his stance dominant, overcompensating for his shortness.

“Late again Lenz. Surprise, Surprise.”

“Mr. Lee, I am so sorry, I lost track of time…I was at school-”

“Excuses. Get out there and serve the champagne.”

Aria lowers her head and grabs a nearby tray of glasses and a bottle of the finest champagne and heads toward the ballroom.

Passing by Liam, Aria walks the room, her black and white uniform somehow appearing slightly more put together then when she first arrived.

With a silver tray in her hand she walks up to guest after honorable guest to ask if they’d like a glass of champagne.

As she turns her back, Liam walks past again.

The room is cast in a sea of suits and pencil skirts.

Something Liam didn’t quite understand.

Is this a work function or a party? He wondered.

From the center of the room, the DJ speaks into the microphone-

“Ladies and Gentleman it is time to, kick off your heels, hang up your hats and feel the beat. Please welcome the sexiest women in the game- The Crystal Queens!”

Liam’s eyes glance to the center of the room as three toned women find their positions and strike a pose. As the beat is lifted they begin to sway to the music, their dresses whipping and swirling about, moving with them.

Aria’s eyes become transfixed as she involuntarily begins swaying along in the audience. Her hips moving side to side.

Her intense glare; a burning determination. A passion for dance. Liam looks over as his eyes freeze. Taking in her curves as his eyes glance over her. His pulse quickens, as he loosens his tie slightly.

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Aria salsas in her place as she holds onto her tray, the champagne spilling over the sides.

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Aria makes a sharp move with her hips, swinging around quickly, she crashes into a hard toned chest. 

She gasps as the champagne glasses fall off the tray- breaking, champagne spilling everywhere.

Aria shrieks and turns, meeting the bluest eyes she’s ever seen.

“Oh! I am- so sorry,” she says trying to compose herself.

“No worries, love.” Liam says in his British accent as he steadies her.

Liam smirks as he stares into Aria’s rich chocolate brown eyes.

Her knees buckle and Liam steadies her once again.

Standing in each other’s embrace, their gaze holding.

love glare

Mr. Lee- the stark little man that he is, rushes over, an instant mug on his face.

“What have you done now? Go get a broom and clean this up! You are such a klutz!”

Aria breaks from her trance.

 “Yes sir,” she says starting to rush off.

Liam instinctively reaches for her arm, gently stopping her.

The touch igniting a spark that sends a shiver up Aria’s spine and a shock to Liam’s heart.

“It was my fault mate, I bummed into her. No need to treat a lady that way.”

The man cowers.

“Of course Mr. Whitmore, my apologies.”

“I’m not the one you should be apologizing to,” Liam says stepping back.

Mr. Lee forces a fake grin, “My apologies.”

Aria smiles plainly.

“Now please, a broom. Before someone gets hurt.”

Aria nods as her boss walks away.

Aria’s eyes lift meeting Liam’s.

“Thank you, you didn’t have to do that.”

“I don’t think he should have spoken to you that way, it was an accident.”

“Unfortunately I’ve already gotten used to it,” she says shrugging.

“That is quite unfortunate. Beautiful girl like you, should be cared for with the utmost respect,” he says his lips curving into a smile.

“Thank you. That’s very kind of you to say,” she says blushing as she tucks a piece of her hazelnut colored hair behind her ear, her eyes avoiding his.

Liam holds out his hand.

“I’m Liam.”

Aria takes his hand in hers, shaking it gently.

“Aria,” she says smiling.

“Pleasure to meet you Aria.”

“Likewise,” She smiles.

Their gaze holds.

“I better get that broom, I can’t afford another strike with the boss,” she says with a laugh.

Liam nods, not letting go of her hand.

Aria looks up at him.

Their eyes locked for what seems like an eternity.

He feels her pull her hand, and he realizes, “Oh, sorry love.” He says shaking his head as he laughs he lets her hand go.

She smiles.

“Thank you again”, she says giving him a small wave as she walks off.

Liam’s eyes were transfixed the rest of the night, wherever Aria went they followed. Any move she made, he knew about it. He enjoyed her movements, even the most simplistic ones, like chatting with a co-worker, sipping a glass of water…the way she spoke, he could tell she was an animated storyteller. He was already annoyed by other men speaking to her, even if it was just to get a glass of champagne refilled. Aria was too busy trying not to knock anything else over to even notice that she had captivated an audience.

 

That night Liam lay awake in bed.

Her smiling face flashes in his mind., her hips swaying, the feel of her hand in his, and the quickening of his heart when they spent their brief moments together.

He smiles to himself.

****

THE NEXT MORNING…

Aria runs around her apartment half-dressed and in a frantic hurry, as she grabs a pair of jeans shifting them up her legs and over her curvy bottom.

Her cell phone rings.

“Hello!”

“Hey I’m downstairs,” her best friend Allie says from her car.

“I’m coming right down, of course I didn’t hear my alarm, and overslept.”

“Don’t sweat it, I’ll get us there on time.”

Aria smiles.

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Aria and Allie walk into the dance studio.

Dropping her dance bag to the side, Aria takes her place in the room full of people.

A tall lean woman walks to the front of the room, and presses play on the radio. Aria and Allie stand on the dance floor, awaiting the beat to move them.

The instructor calls out- 5,6,7,8 and begins to dance and Aria follows. Her movements appearing almost effortless.

****

Liam walks into his office with two coffees in hand, as he passes Anne’s desk, and hands her one.

“Thank you Mr. Whitmore,” She gives him a gentle smile, her eyes sparkling.

“Eh, we’ve been through this! That’s my father’s name. Liam, call me Liam- Anne, please.”

“All due respect but, I can’t do that, sir,” she says smiling with a little giggle.

“Sure you can,” he says smiling as he walks into his office.

He glances up at a painting on the wall, and smiles to himself.

Sitting at his desk, typing away, he stops abruptly and sighs.

A knock is heard on his door.

“Come in,” he calls.

“Mr. Whitmore, would you like your lunch delivered, or will you be stepping out today?”

“Hmm. I’m probably going to have to work through lunch.”

“So Panera bread…you’re usual?”

“Yes please. Thank you.”

Anne smiles, going to turn away.

“Um Anne, do you happen to know who catered last night’s event?”

“Um…I believe it was City Sky Caterers.”

“Ok, thank you.”

Anne smiles and closes the door as she exits.

Liam types City Sky Caterers into his search bar.

He clicks through the catering website and comes up empty.

He sees – Like Us on Facebook and gets a light bulb idea.

Clicking on their Facebook page, he clicks through their pictures.

And instantly her smile stands out as he sees her posing in a picture with her co-workers.

Her name tagged as Aria Lenz. He clicks on it, opening to her private page.

aria lenz facebook

“Well- hello Ms. Lenz,” he says his lips curling into a smile, he loosens his tie, leaning back in his seat, admiring her.

He reaches over to his work phone, and presses a button.

“Mr. Whitmore?” He hears Anne’s voice come through the intercom.

“I’ve changed my mind, I think I will step out for lunch.”

“Ok sir, no problem.”

 

 

YAYYYY, new short story series…”Move” coming your way!

I hope you enjoy and read along!

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

Michelle Leigh Writes- Short Story Series Collection

Hey guys, I know it’s been a while since I last posted consistently and on schedule. But I’ve been trying to think of something really cool to post and everything I think of just falls flat. But I recently had a cool idea. I’ve featured quite a few Short Story Series on this blog and I thought I’d do one big post including little summaries of each and the links to read them! In case you feel like diving into some dramatic love stories. So please, read at your leisure. 🙂

Mysterious Attraction (12 Chapters-3 parts each)

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Start the series from the beginning- HERE

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.

A Broken Heart For Christmas (6 Chapters)

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Start the series from the beginning- HERE

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. 

Love Conflicted (12 Chapters)

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Start the series from the beginning- HERE

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.

On The Run (10 Chapters)

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Start the series from the beginning- HERE

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.

*Welcome Home (9 Chapters)

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Start the series from the beginning- HERE

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.

********

Also I am attempting to dive into a new short story series….I’m still working on the title (I have a bunch of variations that I can’t decide on) but here’s a quick little sneak peek at the 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 be the hardest “transaction” he’s ever had to make. They’re worlds apart- will he finally get through to her, or will his fire fizzle?

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits.*

*All short stories are of my own written content.*

-<3-