Optical Illusion Art

Do you remember the app ‘Paint’ on Windows 95? Well today I revisited my youth and tried my hand at these optical illusion pieces which I must say I’m pretty impressed with how they turned out. Lately, I’ve been battling with severe eczema and allergies the itching is very intense at times so for me this week it’s all I can do to keep my mind off this. Art for me is a creative outlet it keeps my mind busy and active in a positive way. I hope you enjoy what I’m sharing with you.

Love you. Mean it.

Brittany

Xoxo

An Introduction to 7 Deadly Sins To Dumping Someone For My Single Readers Out There

While I’ve written countless posts about everything wrong with society when it comes to love and relationships nowadays, I’d have my head in the mud if I hadn’t acknowledge one universal truth: sometimes you’re just not compatible with someone anymore. Being the happily married friend, I tend to get a lot of my single friends coming to me for advice on how to break up with someone or how to handle an issue when it arises in their relationships. While my husband and I are totally flattered that our single friends put our relationship to the status of #RelationshipGoals, these conversations are never ease to advise for. While emotions tend to run high I always remind them that there’s a right and wrong way to dump someone. 

What is the worst way to break up with someone? Of course, the truth is there’s really no right way to dump somebody. No matter how nice you are about it, someone is going to end up getting hurt. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some more gentle ways of breaking up with someone.

A lot of research one this topic found that the biggest factor of a bad breakup is, obviously, the way the breakup happens. Researchers discovered that college students were much more concerned over how their breakup happened rather than why it happened. Keeping that in mind, like the 7 deadly sins in the life, you should try to avoid these 7 deadly ways dumping someone. Because no matter how horrible someone is, they always deserve respect and dignity.

1. Doing It in Public

I’ve never done this, I always advise my single friends NEVER to do this because its just outright cruel, but I know people who did it anyway. So why do they do it? Probably because they heard breakup advice that actually encourages them to dump someone in a public place. The reasoning behind that logic is usually so that the person you’re dumping can’t do anything crazy. 

However, here’s my thoughts on that: if someone is going to go insane because you dumped them, they’re going to do it whether you’re alone or not. In the end, breaking up with someone in a restaurant or when you’re at a party is embarrassing. Through the years I’ve learned a breakup should be something private, not a huge thing for others to watch.  The only time you should dump someone when other people are around is if you’re genuinely afraid this person is going to hurt you. In which case, maybe just bring one friend that’s a respectable distance away from the talk but close enough to swoop in if need be.

2. Being Caught Cheating

One of my close friends was in a relationship with a girl that was hooking up with a former long time guy friend of mine for almost a month before ending the relationship. The entire group of our friends, except for my poor friend in question, knew it. This made Tom and I super upset, we gave them 2 weeks to come clean, before we spilled the beans. Luckily, the girl did right by my friend and dumped him before ending up with said former long time guy friend. We don’t speak anymore, but they ended up getting married. As for my close friend? He was extremely hurt but after he gave himself time to emotionally and physically heal, he found himself an amazing woman. He’s married and is about to have his second child. Any potential significant other who loves you will respect you more for not rushing into things until you’re ready.

The moral of that story is never to cheat if you want out! No matter how bleak things look, have more respect for yourself. It’s bad enough to cheat on someone in the first place (I’m sorry, but it is!), but getting yourself caught is even worse. It’s one thing to be told that you’re being cheated on and it’s quite another to watch the person you love cheat on you. This kind of breakup might be the worst kind. If you want to be with other people, break up with your partner before you cheat or you risk Carrie or Gary Underwood to find you and key your car.

3. Doing It Through MySpace, oh right, Facebook -Yep! As I prepare to hit the big 3-0 I reflected back on the immaturity of my teen years and realize I’ve done this, only it was 2005 MySpace. Looking back, I feel sincerely horrible about it too because in reality its one the worst ways to break up with someone via Social Media with no warning whatsoever. In my defense, I was young and felt really angry about something else I’ll mention later on in this article said “forget you” just by changing my status to single. Looking back on it, I can only imagine how horrible it must have been for my ex to find out he’d been dumped along with the rest of our mutual MySpace friends, I’m sure it was a major bummer. Thirty year old me is sincerely sorry for this, and if I have one regret it is not meeting up with him to do it properly. Single readers out there, don’t take a page out of my book in this respect – all it does it make you look like a coward.

4. Dumping Someone Via Text– Yep I did this too, with my now husband when we “went on a break” as teenagers. In my defense I’d been with him since I was 16 and being 19 years old telling him I needed space wasn’t easy. I didn’t want to see the hurt in his eyes so I did it through a text message. Looking back on that, the meaning behind that low blow was that I felt more confident doing it when I could write my words out rather than speaking them. Big mistake, especially if you genuinely love that person. There are some points in our life where we have to act mature enough to confront people in person – breakups are one of those times. Texting allows for way too many misunderstandings and hurt feelings. While, I found my amazing husband in the form of the very poor, heartbroken sap I did this to, I don’t encourage you to ever do the same.

5. Having A Friend Do It For You

Okay this is the king of cowardly ways to dump someone: having a friend do it for you comes neck in neck with changing your MySpace ( now commonly Facebook) relationship status. While I know it’s tempting to have someone else be the middle man, it’s not cool to involve a third party in something that should be private.

6. The Thing That Lead Me To Doing #3 on This List AKA Actually Kind Of Just Doing… Nothing. This ruins any change of salvaging your ex’s respect and may lead them to take my young and impressionable route. While I get it, sometimes when we get scared to actually break up with someone, we try to get them to go ahead and do it for us this is just pathetic because chances are your partner can feel the temperature change in the relationship and than gets anxious. I’ve had this done to me in my late teens and its the worst feeling ever! Honestly, it turns any self assured female into an emotionally erratic nutcase ( hey, not proud of it but I been there). What constitutes as this? When we start ignoring the person and acting like a jerk on purpose! That way, the person feels like the breakup is their decision. I get that maybe you think you’re doing them a favor, but it’s actually really a sick mind game. If you don’t want to be with someone, end the relationship. Don’t wait for your partner to do it for you. That just makes you both unhappy and really makes no sense.

7. Dumping Someone Before A Big Event

I have to contradict myself a little here: while I would never advise dragging out a breakup for a long period of time, there are some exceptions. Don’t dump someone a few days before a big event you’re both supposed to attend, like if he or she is going to be your date to a wedding or other major event. Chances are that person has already spent a lot of money on something to wear and maybe even changed plans around to go with you. If you want to end things a few weeks before the event, that’s fine – go for it. But if it’s a week to one day before the event? Try to hold off until it’s over… unless the person did something really awful.

I don’t envy singles in this messed up dating world, I also wanted to write something inclusive for those of my readers out there who aren’t married or have children. While I know there’s no easy way of letting go or telling someone they don’t suit you well as a boyfriend or girlfriend, you should NEVER do any of the seven deadly things mentioned above. The most valuable advice I can give you is to be an authentic version of yourself, you dated that person for a reason and at one point you found them irresistible so you owe it to that person to break up with them in the classiest way possible.

Love You. Mean it.

Brittany

Xoxo 

Five Things I’ve Learned From Losing A Childhood Friend To Addiction

There’s no single best way to cope with a great loss…

Monday, March 25th 2019 should have been a day to celebrate. My friend Joe would have turned 30 years old. Perhaps if things were different, in a perfect sort of world, I would have been out having drinks with him instead of writing this post. There’s nobody to go out celebrating with, there’s no voice on the other end of the phone to wish a happy birthday to and there’s nothing I can do to turn back the hands of time and have one more day where I could say: ‘I’m here for you, please don’t give up hope.’

Instead I lost him, three years ago to heroin. In fact, I wrote a whole article about disenfranchised grief and the isolation one goes through when losing a friend, relative, or loved one to addiction. We should have been celebrating a birthday today, instead I’m writing a tribute to his life and the five things I’ve learned from losing my friend to addiction.

“I’ve learned not everyone will understand the way I mourn”

This statement is probably the realist statement any surviving relative or friend of an addict can attest to. While after high school ended Joe and I drifted a bit, he was still a very important person in my adolescent life. The fact that he would pop up and then disappear throughout my early to mid twenties was irrelevant, whenever we saw each other it was like no time had passed. He was always one of my best friends, our bond never changed, just our priorities. Many people didn’t or still don’t understand how I can mourn for someone who I could go weeks to months even years at a time without seeing since graduating high school before they popped back up. My answer is that regardless, he was my friend and it’s my right to love him, miss him and wish things could have been different for him.

I’ve learned that in people trying to give me space, they often forget to say ‘I’m here for you if you need to talk‘ which is nice to hear.”

Addiction is a tricky animal as in when you lose someone TO it nobody really knows what to say. Many of my best friends didn’t reach out to me at all even after viewing my Instagram and Facebook tribute to Joe most of them hiding under the pretense of ‘well I wanted to give you your space to reflect’. Sometimes we the survivors of someone addiction took from us really want you to say, ‘I know today’s not easy, but I’m here for you if you want to talk’. People are so used to tip-toeing around the taboo subject of drug addiction that there’s a total disconnect in empathy for those left behind. I’ve learned that’s the way it is: I do not fault people for not knowing what to say to me but I appreciate those who try.

“I’ve learned that I have no tolerance for people who don’t realize Joe was so much more then his inner demons and addiction”

People often forget that behind every addict who lost their battle there was a person who the people left behind truly loved. My friend Joe died of a heroin overdose but he was so much more than a statistic. He hated pictures but was a great photographer, he hated school but he loved nothing more then hanging out playing Xbox with or sitting under boardwalk lights to talk about life with friends. He was low key but outgoing, introverted but social. He kept his close friends circle small but once you were in, you were in for life. He was smart, so smart he was destructive if not challenged. He was funny without trying to be, brutally honest and unapologetically so, but mostly he was loyal to a fault. He put on a grouchy front sometimes but if you were crying he’d hug you close in a minute and make you feel like everything would be okay. He got involved with the wrong people, he experimented with the wrong kind of things and he paid for it with his life. He was more than just an addict: he was a son. A brother. An Uncle. A cousin. A friend. I learned there there are people who will always see him as an addict who did this to himself, I find it really hard to talk to or relate to those types of people who refuse to look beyond the circumstances which led to his untimely demise. I understand there are people who will always judge Joe for what he did in the end rather than all the positivity he gave those he cared for. I try not to judge these people too harshly, but I’m only human it does upset me sometimes.

“I learned there’s no single way to cope with a loss so great.”

Grieving a childhood friend is a lot like being on a roller coaster. There are days where I can look back on memories I shared with Joe and laugh until tears of joy are streaming down my face; on the other hand there are days where I’ll remember something he said or hear a song we used to jam out to in Mike’s car and I’ll just start crying. On the one hand, you remember and reflect as that person had a huge impact on your formative childhood and adolescent years and on the other hand as an adult who’d gone so long without seeing him before learning of his death almost wonder if you have the right to mourn at all.

Last year on Joe’s birthday, I lit a candle for him, said a prayer for his soul, and cried for a good 45 minutes. This year on Joe’s birthday I said a prayer for him, but I also spoke to him out loud on my way to work and had a conversation with him. Sure, I was essentially talking out loud hoping wherever he was he could hear me but I popped on my Pandora put on the Black Sabbath station and listened to all our favorite songs we used to sing aloud to come on in a row-I’d like to think that was him saying he was thinking of me too and listening to what I had to say. Sometimes I feel Joe’s presence so loudly in my life even though he’s not here physically and others I feel a void, this sense of silence. I’m not sure how I’ll celebrate his birthday next year, for every year since he passed it has been different. Sometimes memories make me smile, sometimes they make me cry but they all make me lucky I knew him and had him in my life no matter how brief it was. I realized that the grieving process is an ever evolving and ever-changing cycle of cherishing the good times and mourning the loss of someone you’ll never get to experience making more memories with in the future again.

“I’ve learned that I really hate when people think I should be over it by now.”

Losing a close friend (especially under the circumstances of addiction) is the type of loss that you simply learn how to cope with. Miraculously, everyone thinks there’s a statute of limitation to the grieving process. I don’t really think people realize when they ask me how I can still be so sad when I haven’t seen him in years just how insulting it really is.

The answer to the question is really simple I will never be over the fact that I lost my friend to heroin. I will never be over the fact that although there was nothing I can do to change the outcome of what happened, that I don’t still wish there was something I could’ve said or did to have kept him still living on this Earth. I will never be over wishing I could have pulled him away from the people who influenced him to try harder drugs which lead to his untimely death.

I will never be over wondering what his last few minutes on earth were like: whether or not he was alone, whether or not he was scared, whether or not Mike and I’s faces were some of the last people he saw flash before his eyes before he passed away. I wonder if he wished he was sitting at a bar with both of us or either of us watching a hockey game and busting Mike’s balls for liking the New York Rangers instead of wherever he was when he took his last breath. I wonder if he wished in those last few moments of life that he can do it all over again and I wonder if he still would’ve made the same decision knowing the outcome would bring.

I don’t believe that Joe meant to hurt anyone by dying on that night or day in February, I do firmly believe he thought he was invincible. I do not believe anyone who truly knew him as a person could ever really truly be over the loss of his life. I also learned that many do not understand this because they do not understand him, they do not understand our bond, and they do not understand what he meant to me.

“I’ve learned that while I don’t like to believe Joe’s death was God’s Will, I am proud to see the loss of his life inspired many in our graduating class to get clean and stay clean.”

Bringing religion into a topic where addiction is concerned is very touchy. As humans on a daily basis we often sometimes struggle with what God’s will truly is. While I do not believe that God necessarily willed Joe’s life to end the way that it did I do believe his death was not in vain.

Since Joe’s passing, several members of my graduating high school class have reached out to me and expressed their genuine sadness in the loss of Joe’s life. They have also expressed to me that his death inspired them to seek help, get clean, and stay clean. For this I have learned that although I do not like to think of Joe’s loss of life as God’s plan perhaps it was the catalyst to save others from the same fate so that they could fulfill their life’s purpose before they died. Maybe Joe’s life purpose was to be a catalyst to change, no matter how painful that may be.

I like to think that Joe would have been very happy that he saved a life that he inspired those left behind to get clean and stay clean. Joe was very private with his battle I often knew when he wasn’t doing well because those would be the months and sometimes years in which I would not hear a sound from him. I knew when he was doing well because that would be when he would be very active in my life, calling and meeting up, laughing together like no time had passed. While Joe kept his struggles and his inner demons to himself I do feel like he would be very proud in knowing that he helped those around him to defeat their inner demons and live life to the fullest.

But mostly I learned that life isn’t fair and addiction doesn’t care who you are or what your social or economic standings are. It’s thieving, it’s cheating and unrelenting in its pursuit to destroy lives and breakup families and friends. I also learned that while these circumstances which addiction destroys life as we know it by taking those we love we have two options. We can choose to let it consume us in grief or emboldened us to live on carrying ourselves in a way that would honor their memory. I learned that mostly I am successful at choosing the latter.

I hope that in writing this very personal piece about what I’ve learned from losing someone I care for to addiction I inspire someone else who is struggling and drowning in the grief and loss to know they’re not alone. Whoever you are and whatever the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death please know that their life was so much more then a statistic and you can honor their memory by finding strength in each passing day to live and share your message to bring the taboo of addiction into the forefront and change people’s minds and hearts for the better. God love and God bless you all.

Love you. Mean it.

Brittany

Xoxo

March 22nd 2002: Revising the loss of a childhood friend and how it still affects me today.

Hi Fan Friends,

This will be a somber post, an honest post. I am revising an old wound from the past. As 17 years today I lost a close friend of mine. I still remember sitting in the guidance counselors’ office after I heard the news. I couldn’t cry quite yet because I didn’t even believe that it was real. Have you ever had one of those moments where the world seems to slow down into slow-motion and you feel like you’re going to wake up any minute? I thought I was dreaming. I just remember looking out the glass window of the guidance office seeing all the other people just laughing and running up and down the halls after the bell rang signifying the end of a class period.

Lost and sad were adjectives I’d use to describe my emotions as the moments ticked on. Thoughts like, ‘how could they be laughing and smiling when I just lost my friend? How can the sun even be shining when such an infectious smile can no longer be seen?’ Wracked my mind and left me feeling isolated in the days, weeks and months to come.

Its no secret that I took up a bit of a mantle in making sure that my friend Jessica was never forgotten for the rest of our school years but I’ve never really gone on record and talked about 17 years ago today because it was painful.

It’s still painful, to be honest. I don’t know, looking back, if I really properly grieved for her. While I never went to her services because I did not want the last memory I had of her to be in a coffin, I also wanted to remember her healthy and vibrant. I was much too young to really understand the impact that loss would have on me. Looking back I can honestly say, losing a friend before you even turn 13 is traumatic in a lot of ways: mainly in the way that it made me realize just how human and mortal we all really are.

The aftermath of Jessica’s death, affected my anxiety attacks which had gotten so bad that I would often wake up at 2 or 3 AM, nauseous, feeling like I was gonna throw up, and shaking from head to toe. These nights were fraught with me praying that I could fall back to sleep peacefully. During the daytime hours made me want to hug my friends tighter and do my best to be the very best person I could be, even on days I didn’t feel like it. Remembering how someone so beautiful on the inside and out, someone who was a genuinely good person and loved to do good for others can just be gone in a blink totally sobers you.

I often sit sometimes and talk with our friend Nate and we usually always wonder if we still would’ve been friends at this stage in our lives, the three of us. We wonder if Jessica would’ve become a vet because she really loved animals- not only did she love them she was really good with them-while both of us would like to think absolutely we would still be friends as we hit mile mark 30 one thing I know for certain that I can truly say is that I am a better person because she was my friend.

I pray for her every single morning when I wake up and I talk to her every single night before I go to sleep. I don’t know for sure if she’s listening but I like to think she is. I’d also like to tell a funny story because that’s the story she’d want told.

While walking to lunch one of the days it was no secret that Jess loved Lance Bass. For those of you who do not know who Lance Bass is he was a member of the very popular boy band *NSYNC. She always used to say if she couldn’t have him no other woman can. Nate and I would always laugh when she said this. Turns out no other woman really can have Lance Bass because after Jessica passed away a few years later Lance came out as gay. I laughed when I read the article, not because I’m homophobic in anyway, but because I thought ‘well Jess you got your wish no other woman shall have him’.

God rest, keep, and bless my beautiful friend in heaven Jessica Renee Gonzalez until we meet again. Jess, you were such an amazing person on the inside and out, may your fighting spirit always live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved you.

love you. Mean it.

Brittany

Xoxo

You Came To See A New Post

Instead you got pictures of Draco…

Today was the first nice day we’ve had here where I live in a long time. By nice I mean it was nearly 60 degrees, which may be considered cold depending on your part of the world but for here it is mild.

I had for all intents and purposes planned to sit and write an article on the difficulty of raids in Pokémon Go, perhaps a short story, or an opinionated piece but the sun was strong, the birds were singing, I had a half-day at work and hyper Jack Russell. So instead I walked with my fur baby.

Being able to reconnect with nature and spend time with my four-legged child is critical in my creative process. There are days I have so much to share and days where I have nothing more then photographs from a weekend spent off the grid. I also promised myself I’d write when inspiration struck. I’m keeping that promise, this blog is a labor of love it’s a little bit of everything that makes up who I am as a person.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: Some weeks, you get a gold mine, and others? Well others you’ll get pictures of my fur-baby.

Love you. Mean it.

Brittany

Xoxo

Skulls and Celtic Scenery

A Song of Life and Death

A poem by Brittany Schmidt

Life.

Life is.

Life is growing.

Life is learning.

Life is giving.

Life is taking.

Life is loving.

Life is laughing.

Life is celebrating.

Life is successful.

Life is setbacks.

Life is giving without take.

Life is heartbreaking.

Life is crying.

Life is mourning.

Life is learning to trust to God’s will and love.

Life in service to the Lord and his people is truth.

Truth is life well lived.

Death.

Death is.

Death is the shedding our earthly bodies.

Death is reflecting on our lives.

Death shows us how we’ve grown.

Death shows us how we’ve learned.

Death takes us from our mortal lives.

Death is defeated by a Savior who loves us.

Death is reuniting with God and Christ.

Through Christ, Death gives us new life.

Death is celebrating the graduation of our earthly life.

Life after death is success.

Life after death is no more heartache or tears.

Life after death is laughter and love.

Life after death is free of pain where we’re united with those we loved and lost never to be parted again.

In loving memory of those who went home to the Lord this week. Including my friend Rob’s Stepfather and my Uncle Fred’s Mother.

Love you. Mean it.

Brittany

Xoxo

A Slayer Slain: A Short Story

‘Otherworldly Vampire Slayer’ by artifice22

This short story popped into my head as a dream I had after binge watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on YouTube. I always wondered what would of happened when the Slayer dies, how she feels in those moment. Although not explicitly explored and divulged into the protagonist and antagonist do share a familiar bond which adds a complicated layer to the story. This story isn’t arguably the best one I’ve written but I wanted to share this story here on my blog with all of you because I’m still super proud of it. So here, without further ado, I give you a sample of my new short story ‘A Slayer Slain’

A Slayer Slain

A Somewhat Short Story

by B.M. Schmidt

(Please note that NO part of this story may be shared or reproduced without explicit permission from the author. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.)

Rory stood in a dark and overgrown graveyard; the black outline of a small church was visible beyond a large yew tree to her right. A hill rose above them to her left. Rory could just make out the outline of a fine old house on the hillside. There was a moment of peace, before she was ambushed and all she could think of was her brother. Her smart, funny, slightly arrogant brother Jared Whitmore. He had been missing for one month, two weeks and eleven days. The clues that lead her to this place would lead her to the clan that had him. Luckily she didn’t need to wait long as she fought.

In hindsight, Rory would have defeated the vampires if it weren’t for Jared.

‘Kick left! Punch right! Kick right! Roundhouse!’ Her instincts screamed.

Rory had no choice she stood alone,surrounded by twenty or maybe even thirty vampires. She grabbed her stake and hummed to keep herself sane as she ripped through two, watching them fade to dust but they just kept coming. She was nearly out of breath, it hurt to inhale as she ducked the one which tried to grab her.

“Where’s my brother?” She bellowed at each one before delivering the fatal blow and they all smiled at her as though they shared some heinous secret about Jared that made her want to wretch violently. There was no time. There was never enough time, their Mother used to lament that on days she’d need to run errands with two young, often bickering kids in toe.

As she fought, Rory thought back to when she and her brother would play cowboys and Indians and how she’d often let him kill her so he could be the make believe hero, ‘I’ve killed you traitor, now Rest In Peace!’ He’d shriek as Rory faked an over the top dramatic death and they collapsed into a heap of laughter together.

Quickly she pushed these thoughts aside as she used the wooden heel of her shoe to dust off another foe. With little grace, Rory back-flipped off of one of her attacker’s torso and landed behind a headstone, coming back around with her stake.

She swiftly cut the heads off five vampires. The putrid scent of blood and decay filling the air as she moved with a sense of urgency and purpose.

‘Twelve left.‘ Her mind told her. ‘Where could they have him?’

Rory ducked a swing and cut the legs off of another, stoping him from getting around as she stepped on his chest, piercing his heart and keeping her balance as he turned into dust. She was on autopilot. Decapitate. Stake. Decapitate. Decapitate. Stake. Stake. Stake. Damn it, broken shoe. Back with a vengeance. Decapitate. Decapitate. Decapitate.

They were nearly gone, there should only be one more. She could feel him, watching her, just outside of her line of vision. She rested her stake in her hip and headed over to her weapons bag, to fetch her battle ax.

“Very impressive.”

Rory whirled around to see a familiar face attached to her final foe sitting atop a mausoleum. Jared was standing a few feet away from her, arms folded, looking at Rory curiously. There was no menace in his face or stance. He was so very average-looking, nothing remarkable about his face or body at all. Just the white skin, the circled eyes she’d was horrified to see. He wore a pale blue, long-sleeved shirt and faded blue jeans.

“Jared, you’re-?” Her breath caught in her throat as she realized she was too late, they’d turned her brother into one of them. Forever. Her heart sank deep in her chest, too late, but could she destroy someone she loved and shared blood with? What of their parents would they be safe?

“I’m immortal now, with power beyond my wildest imagination…but there’s one little problem, Ror, you’re killing all my new friends and this isn’t a game of cowboys and Indians you want to play…this is real life Sis,” he said casually observing the deceased members of his clan as nonchalantly as though he were discussing the weather.

“Get out of here, Jar, I don’t want to have to turn you into dust.” Rory warned, dropping her axe. It sliced through the leather of her shoes and cut her foot, but she ignored it and sprung up a tree, and leapt on top of the mausoleum.

“Well, I don’t know about the dust, but I’m impressed again. You’re a skilled Slayer, Rory…who is your guardian ?” Jared asked.

Rory glared, “I didn’t learn a damn thing from my guardian .”

Jared stood, smiling again, “So you have one. Well, sister dearest. Let me show you how it’s done.”

The pair launched into battle, as Rory managed to kick him down, “No, let me go! Just go! It’s kill or be killed, Jared and –” she gasped in a breath as a searing pain went through her chest along with the deafening crack of her rib cage.

The vampire, Jared, grinned as Rory fell to her knees, “And you just got killed, traitor, Rest In Peace”

Rory’s eyes widened, she was definitely sick now. There was more pain coming, she could see it in his eyes. It wouldn’t be enough for him to win, to feed and go. There would be no quick end like she’d been counting on. Rory’s knees began to shake, and she was afraid she was going to fall.

Jared stepped back, and began to circle, casually, as if he were trying to get a better view of a statue in a museum. His face was still open and friendly as he decided where to start.

Then he slumped forward, into a crouch Rory recognized, and his pleasant smile slowly widened, grew, till it wasn’t a smile at all but a contortion of teeth, exposed and glistening.

With a steak in her chest so she couldn’t help herself- Rory tried to run. As useless as she knew it would be, as weak as her knees already were, panic took over and she bolted for the wrought iron cemetery grates.

He was in front of her in a flash. She didn’t see if he used his hand or his foot, it was too fast. Another crushing blow struck Rory’s chest driving the stake further into her organs- She felt herself flying backward, every breath she drew labored and painful that’s when she heard the crunch as her head bashed into the angel statue . The stone head and wings buckled, as some of the pieces shattering and splintering on the grass beside Rory. She entered shock, a point she was too stunned to feel the pain. She couldn’t breathe…not anymore…

Bless Mother…Bless Father…Bless Brother…Bless family and friends…those good and those bad…to God almighty my soul I commend’ Rory thought as her brother walked toward her slowly.

“That’s a very nice effect,” he said, examining the mess of porcelain and stone, his voice friendly again. “I thought this would be visually dramatic and ironic place for you to die. That’s why I picked this place to meet you. It’s perfect, isn’t it?”

Rory ignored him, searing blinding pain ripping through her and yet still she scrambled on her hands and knees, crawling toward the gates.

He was over her at once, his foot stepping down hard on Rory’s leg. She heard the sickening snap before she felt it, but then she did feel it, and Rory couldn’t hold back her scream of agony as she fought twisted up to reach for her leg, the adrenaline was the only thing keeping her alive so she dared not try for the stake nor did she want to look up at him- he was standing over her, smiling.

“Would you like to rethink your last statement?” he asked pleasantly. His toe nudged Rory’s broken leg and she heard a piercing scream it took moment before she realized it was her own.

“Wouldn’t you rather have stayed at home with Mom and Dad and not looked for big, bad Jared?” he prompted.

“No!” I croaked. “No, Jared, don’t I’m your-” And then something smashed into her face, throwing her back into the broken stone angels.

Over the pain in Rory’s leg, she felt the sharp rip across her scalp where the glass cut into it. And then the warm wetness of blood began to pool out of her and spread through my hair with alarming speed. Rory could feel it soaking the shoulder of her shirt, hear it dripping on the wood below from her stomach, chest and head. So much blood was lost now, she wished for death as even the smell of it twisted Rory’s stomach.

Through the nausea and dizziness Rory saw something that gave her a sudden, final shred of hope. His eyes, merely intent before, now burned with an uncontrollable need. The blood – spreading crimson across her off white shirt, pooling rapidly on the floor – was driving him mad with thirst. The boy she grew up with was gone, his own turning is what inspired Rory to become a slayer. To destroy who distorted and destroyed her brother. No matter his original intentions, he couldn’t draw this out much longer.

‘Let it be quick now,’ was all she could hope as the flow of blood from Rory’s head sucked her consciousness away with it. Her eyes were closing…

She heard, as if from underwater, the final growl of the hunter which had once been her younger brother. Rory could see, through the long tunnels her eyes had become, Jared’s dark shape coming toward her. ‘The casket need to be open’ she thought sending her last conscious thought to her brother, her killer and with her last effort, Rory’s hand instinctively raised to protect her face. The face that she was told a million times resembled her Mother’s…their Mother’s beautiful face which was smiling at her that morning …was her last coherent though as Rory’s eyes closed for the last time, and she drifted to nothingness…

Fin-

ah man that was dark, want to know a fun fact? I can’t stand scary movies but some of my best writing samples are horror and suspense. I blame my nightmares and an overactive imagination.

Love you. Mean it.

Brittany

Xoxo