So the question for April first is “Have I ever taken advantage of the Annual A to Z challenge to promote my book (for publicity, marketing, networking and the like)?”
Well I have never participated in the A to Z challenge to the short answer is No.
That’s it folks, short blog post for the April IWSG, see ya….
You didn’t think I would let you off that Easily, did you?
I have never participated in the A to Z challenge for two reasons. The first reason is I haven’t heard of it before this year. Nicohle Christopherson, a friend of mine, told me about it and tried to convince me to do it but I had to decline doing it this year. That brings me to the second reason. There are 24 hours in a day, I have a family, a full time job, and if I don’t write I will go insane. I have proven this as a fact time and again in my life. If you are a writer and you hold down a job then you technically have two full time jobs. If you have a family then every other ounce of free time is pretty much consumed. My family doesn’t get enough time with me as it is. I can’t ask them to see me even less by asking them to give me up for another month out of the year. My career as a Systems Engineer pays the bills at the moment so until my writing can overtake my income as a systems engineer, I can’t exactly quit that (I also went to college for Computer Information Systems so its not like i am stuck in a dead end job i didn’t want).
Rant over. As a reward I do have some bonus content. I have the first chapter of a serial out. This goes with the Templar Lone Wolfe saga. Meant to supplement Templar: Order and Chaos and Templar: Spirit Killer but won’t spoil the plot for those that haven’t read it yet. This Serial format story is called Children of Legend. Not sure if I will officially round all of this up and publish it yet but I will make it available on Blogs. It will also introduce characters talked about in the regular series and how some of the characters got their names. I work on these when I get blocked on something else so I can’t promise a regular schedule to these.
Children of Legend
Chapter #1: Unusual Children
March 31st, 2020-CE
It was a scene that should not be playing out in a first-grade classroom. The sound of a child gurgling and chocking. His raven-haired teacher, eyes filled with rage, held her pupil off the ground. Her hands around his neck, throttling him. His gold eyes bulged. Tears started to mix into his brown chin length hair. To the teacher’s right and his left stood another seven-year-old, her green eyes wide in horror. Torn between what to do to save her eldest friend.
A third seven-year-old stood defiantly, his blue eyes staring daggers into the teacher. He was not frozen in terror, “Let him go!” he growled, as best his high-pitched voice could manage, “Put him down or I’ll hit you!” He ran up to her and kicked her in the ankle.
The teacher’s response was to kick the blonde haired, blue eyed, boy. It knocked the boy down but enraged him further. He reached out to the air. He could feel a book but it wasn’t in his hand. He thrust his hand forward as if he were throwing the book. A heavy dictionary from the book case behind them flew across the classroom, much to his shock, and collided with her head.
The action worked and she dropped the boy to the ground where he laid there coughing and gasping. She spun around, “Who threw that book?” She howled in rage.
“Just another child,” the boy coughed. He said it to keep her attention off of his friends.
She turned around and grabbed his neck again. His face reddened as she tightened down. His mouth opened to yelp but no sound came out. Instead his mind screamed out in a telepathic projection for him, “Somebody help me!” His mind screamed. Everyone around him, normal and otherwise, heard the cry for help. Children in the other rooms all screamed and gasped. His two friends, the only other children in the room, stepped back in shock of such a powerful projection.
Her response was to squeeze tighter. He heard a small pop as his hyoid bone broke. Rage filled her dark eyes, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live!” She whispered.
Unable to speak, he unconsciously projected, “I’m a boy!”
“You’re a demon!” She hissed.
“Put him down!” A male voice barked. His gold eyes shot to the doorway to see another teacher standing there. His teacher ignored the male teacher until she could no longer ignore him. A punch to her jaw sent both the boy and the teacher to the ground. The teacher was unconscious and the boy was almost starting to follow.
Still unable to breathe, his mind again called out, “Jena, help me!”
Now able to act, the girl with green eyes and reddish brown shoulder length hair rushed to his side. She gently touched his neck, sending a comforting and warm, invisible stream of energy into his neck. His hyoid bone healed itself correctly, allowing the boy to gasp. The teacher soon followed up, “Get away from him!” The teacher stated sternly.
“No!” he coughed, “She is my family!”
* * *
The boy with gold eyes, his friend with blue eyes and blonde hair and Jena sat on a bench outside of the principal’s office. Jena had her arms draped around the golden eyed boy’s shoulders and watched as his neck turned different shades of blue and purple in the shape of two hands strangling him. His coughing had died down but his voice was still raspy and his breathing was still haggard. She didn’t want to touch his neck, afraid she would cause more pain in trying to user her empathic abilities to heal him, “Are you okay, Sean?”
The golden eyed boy nodded as the voices coming from the office behind them started to grow louder, “I’ll be fine.” He said. He glanced over to his friend who was still fuming with rage over what their teacher had done, “How about you, Curtis?”
“I’m fine, I just want to have another go at Ms. Leeks!” Curtis grumbled.
“Use your newfound power against her?” Jena questioned in response.
He glanced down at his hands, “I’m not sure how I did that. I was angry and I wanted to throw something at her. I could feel the book in my hand at that point. I thought I picked up a book and I thought I was throwing it from my hand. I never knew that I never had the book in my hand until it hit her in the head from a different angle.”
“Telekinesis,” Sean stated with a raspy voice. Both of them looked at him in astonishment before Jena smiled. He was gifted with two abilities just as the rest of them were. His second ability gave him insights into just about anything.
Curtis glanced down at his hands, “Cool.” He reached out, determined to grasp another item from the secretary’s desk across the way. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t feel the object from before. He glanced down at it again and asked, “Why can’t I feel it like before?”
“Maybe it was your emotional state?” Jena suggested.
“So, I can only wield this power when I’m pissed?” Curtis questioned.
“I know, it sucks,” Sean stated.
Curtis, however, beamed, “What do you mean? This is totally awesome!”
“Huh?” Both Sean and Jena stated at the same time.
Neither had a chance to react as they heard a crash of class from beyond the doors of the principal’s office.
* * *
Inside of the principal’s office Sean’s parent’s Dale Carter and Sylvia Carter paced while the principal sat typing on his laptop, “What are you going to do about this incident, mister?” Sylvia hissed at the male principal. Her straight red hair was starting to get disheveled as she paced furiously. Her green eyes carried more fire than her crimson hair. Sitting atop her black shirt was a triskal within a circle. It was an article of which she constantly clung to. Her leather jacket was open as the spring weather was starting to make it too warm for her to wear the jacket any more.
When there was no answer from the principal, Sylvia shot her husband with a venomous stare. The venom was not meant for him but it did get him to act. He placed his hands behind his back and his blue eyes pierced through to the man. His telepathy got him to sit up straight and acknowledge the pair of unusual parents. The mother was a network technician and the father was a former Marine and now a cook at the college, “Our son just had his life threatened by his first-grade teacher. What do you intend to do about it?” He asked sternly.
“We have called the police and have detained Mrs. Leeks. She is under arrest for aggravated assault,” The Principal answered.
“That’s not good enough!” Sylvia exclaimed.
“What would you like me to do?” The principal asked but his gaze was fixed at Dale, not Sylvia.
“Excuse me, Mister! I asked the question!” Sylvia hissed.
“Would you control you wife, Mister Carter,” The principal insisted.
“She’s not property,” Dale answered.
“Direct your responses to me!” Sylvia insisted sternly, “Now, what are you going to do to help my son?”
“We are going to offer council services to the three children in the room when the attack occurred; your son, Jena Beckhart, and Curtis Barton. We will also pay for a hospital examination and any treatment for any injuries that have occurred.”
“That’s not good enough!” Sylvia growled.
“What would make it good enough?” The Principal questioned in response.
She placed her hands on her hips and answered, “The trust that should exist between student and teacher as well as the trust between parent and staff is destroyed, what will you do to fix that?”
“We can have the teachers and staff take classes for sensitivity and anger management,” He answered.
“How about you resign?” She hissed.
“You hired that vile teacher! She didn’t like my son from day one and you were the one that hired her!” Sylvia protested.
The principal shook his head, “I refuse to speak to you anymore, good day Miss Carter.”
“We could go to the news about this incident,” Sylvia stated.
The Principal said nothing, he went back to writing a report on his laptop. Dale shook his head and said, “We will go to the news and to the school board with this if you refuse to help.”
The principal ignored both of them. Sylvia strode forward and slammed the lid of the laptop shut. He barely had time to pull his hands free of the keyboard. Sylvia wasn’t finished. She grasped the laptop in her hand and chucked it towards the window. The laptop sailed into the window, shattering it as it went through it. The Principal stood, enraged by what she had just down, “What the hell! Why you little—”
Quicker than what could be thought possible, Dale placed himself between the principal and his wife, “Excuse me sir, you cannot just ignore us! On top of that, NEVER threaten my wife or speak ill of her!”
“I should have your wife arrested for vandalism!” the principal growled in response.
“Do that and I will end your career, you will spend the rest of your life asking people ‘would you like fries with that?’ instead of administering staff!” Dale stated in response.
“She is making an unreasonable request,” He stated.
“You aren’t dealing with the situation that well,” Dale protested in response, “You should expect two parents that are nearly hysterical! If you want this to wait until everyone calms down, then you may receive calls from a legal team. You don’t want that; the district doesn’t want that and I don’t want to put my child through that! Sylvia is right; his trust in teachers will be shattered from this point forward! All the best councilors in the world will not be able to help that! The administration does have some responsibility in this. It may have been wrong for her to ask for your resignation but she deserves to hear that you have some responsibility for this situation!”
Sylvia hissed and turned around, “You take care of this Dale, I’m taking my don down to the springs. He needs some time with family!”
* * *
Sean sat in the back seat with a book in his lap. It was starting to get dark out so he couldn’t read it now. He couldn’t concentrate on the book anyway, his neck seemed to hurt too much from his recent experience. His mother glanced at him from the rear-view mirror as she drove down the highway. Her green eyes showed as much concern as they did sadness, “I’m sorry for what happened to you today. I wish I could take it away from you. What happened that caused the teacher to attack you like that? Did you do something to provoke the attack?”
Sean shrugged. His gold eyes focused on something far off in the distance. He was trying to figure out what could have caused the attack. It had been a few years now since he could hear the drone of voices in his head. It was a sea of voices; one way conversations in his head. They had nothing to do with him most of the time. They were one way monologues that had to do with someone’s day or what they were doing or their first impressions with something. A couple of years ago he realized that it was the thoughts of those around him. He tried to block them out the best he could but they still filtered in. Some of the thoughts he welcomed in, those like Jena who seemed to have similar abilities to him.
“She was thinking about something,” He answered after a moment, “I told her it was alright, she was probably overreacting.”
Sylvia’s eyes narrowed. She hoped her son would not take after her and after his father’s side of the family but it was becoming apparent that he was one of the gifted, as Dale’s side of the family referred to. Her side of the family always tried to bury their powers. They tried to pretend that they didn’t exist. Those that managed to blend in usually were “unusually talented” or had “intuitive instincts.” She was never one to blend in and thus she was one of the black sheep of the family.
“You read her mind,” She stated finally, “You know you shouldn’t do that.”
Sean nodded, “I know. I didn’t mean to do it. It just sort of happened. It all slipped out and the next thing that I knew she had her hands around my neck.”
“I’m not excusing what she did and I will make sure she gets punished for what she did. I am just letting you know that a lot of people exist in the world that do not have your talents. You should not use your talents on other people. Using your talents against people that don’t have your talents will scare them and they may attack you for it. I’m sorry you had to find that out the hard way. Just keep that in mind the next time you have the urge to look into the mind of another person,” Sylvia stated in response.
Sean shook his head, “You don’t understand. I didn’t mean to do it at all. I don’t mean to read anyone’s mind. I hear them all in my head all the time. It is an ocean of voices in my head. I hear them all the time. It is loud and I can’t block them out. I can’t get them to shut up!”
His words seemed to shock her. She didn’t know that he had been struggling to block out the thoughts of those around him. It sounded like his mind had the reach much further than her mind or her husbands. She glanced down at her speedometer in thought. She wondered if she might have been wrong about not letting her husband and his family train her son on how to control his abilities. It seemed now that his powers were totally out of control. He had no clue on how to block out or control his powers. She thought he would have learned something by now.
She forced a smile and said, “Don’t worry. I am sure something will change for you in the near future. For now, enjoy Relena’s company when we get to Colorado Springs. I am sure she misses you.”
The mention of his second cousin did seem to cheer him up. He smiled and nodded, “It has been a while since I saw her last. I wonder if she has been having fun?”