Please give a warm welcome to Bri Clark, joining us on her tour for Scent of a Witch!
By Bri Clark
I think we have all felt melancholy our lives. For me I'm feeling it in my writing and reading. I've said before I'm rebellious in almost anything. If I ever feel like I'm conforming I'll rebel. It's completely unconscious and often times landed me in bad or strange situations. Such as in my youth when I joined the National Guard, or when I went to jail, or all those boyfriends. My mom said once I went through boys like she changed her underwear. I told her to try going without any. In the moment I was just being sassy but now I see how there was a deeper metaphor.
Life for me has always been about adversity. I'm not good at stable...at comfortable. Though I crave it in my life, in the stories I read and write. There has to be a happy conclusion or I will not read another novel by that author. But when it comes down to it in real life I'm not used to that emotion of quiet contentment.
So my rant brings me back around to writing. Exactly a year ago I did a little exercise. I was feeling melancholy at the time. (Imagine That) Recently I came across it again and thought damn that has potential. I handed off my one page exercise to the amazing beta/editing efforts of fellow Ravenista Kay Dee Royal and she worked her powers on it and this is the outcome.
This isn't my usual style or genre for that matter but I'm feeling melancholy and this story is taunting me. The main character she lived most of her life a certain way and in the last few years has felt very melancholy.
So what say you...shall I continue. Leave your Aye or a Nay in the comments.
Jazmine took a long slow drag off a cigarette as she watched her quarry. The fact that she hadn’t smoked in seven years only added to the satisfaction the nicotine coursing through her ignited. Controlling her body was something she was capable of doing as a cough threatened to shake her frame from the foreign agents now polluting it. However, that would give away her location and she couldn’t be compromised.It was an ironic sort of amusement at how thoughts, vocabulary, and habits of the past fell easily into place for her. Taking another long slow drag she blew out the smoke then smothered the butt under the pointed heel. Dousing herself in perfume and popping four pieces of gum in her mouth, she pushed up her already ample cleavage, straightened the custom wig, and headed into the club where her target waited.
Each ring of her steps reminded her of how she found herself in shoes she swore never to fill again. The click of her high heels sounded loudest loudest in two places: police stations and hospitals. Two buildings Jazmine had visited too much recently. Every step forward brought her back to a world she swore off…calling on skills, she promised herself never to use again.
You can stop now. It’s not too late, a voice in her mind whispered. The wail of an ambulance drowned out her steps and reminded her of exactly why there would be no turning back .
* * * *In much more sensible boots, she’d walked confidently into the Meridian Police Department. After checking in at the desk, the clerk had buzzed her back. Martha was the cop on duty. A lovely woman Jazmine knew by name, one of the only conveniences of coming so often. She smiled at Martha. The woman couldn’t look her in the eye but nodded. A familiar cry sounded and Jazmine knew this time was different.
Dylan, Carols’s two-year-old son, sat sobbing in Detective Raymond Ellis ‘arms. His mother was nowhere to be seen. When the toddler saw Jazmine, he reached for her as if they were at home and he was waking from a nap. She held him. Without thought she pulled out his favorite car and a back up passy that lived in her purse, he calmed instantly. Detective Ellis gave her his favorite fleece blanket and within ten minutes he passed out, asleep.
“Where’s Carol?” she asked. Detective Ellis’ lips tightened and he rubbed his dark bald head. Raymond Ellis was an amazing man, a pastor, detective, and family man. She respected him immediately. Jazmine had an ability to look beyond what most people saw, and when she looked at Raymond Ellis, she instantly knew him as a noble man. As she noted the situation, the tense stature of his body, not the usual confident easy going aura, she had her answer before his lips relaxed.
“She’s been assaulted,” he answered, his voice almost hoarse. Even knowing hadn’t prepared Jazmine. She slowly sank into the chair in front of the detective’s desk. It felt as if her heart couldn’t beat. Like her blood suddenly turned into a sticky thick oil and clogged her arteries, the pain was so great. “Feelings are for civilians. Love is for people. You’re neither. You’re a soldier. You have no family. You have no friends. You’re the governments.” Her old drill sergeants/ whiskey and cigar coated voice echoed in her mind. That invisible numbing shield billowed; just waiting to be picked up and wrapped around her in its cold numbing folds. Then the scent of lavender arose followed by a giggle from the sleeping angel in her embrace. She kissed his forehead and then draped herself in efficient numbness. For once, all she was and all she’d become would work strictly from her own desires.
“Mrs. Coleman is in ICU at St Al’s. There’s brain swelling. One of her lungs collapsed. She’s on a respirator and..,and…” he couldn’t finish.
“She’s not going to make it,” Jazmine stated, her tone light, slightly accented, one the detective knew. His white eyes looked even more pearlescent as they bulged against his dark complexion.
“Dylan has a father yet you called me why?” With his lips pursed, he opened a manila folder, pulled a paper, and handed it to her. Dylan’s birth certificate.
“Mr. Coleman, it seems, withdrew his name from the birth certificate six weeks ago and Carol corroborated the request.” The full effect of just how diabolical Dylan’s father was slowly came to light.
“Mrs. Coleman has no other family and I know you are a registered foster parent, so I figured I could save this kid anymore pain and called you personally.” For once one of Jazmine’s rash hobbies turned out to benefit her. Three years earlier, before she had even met Carol, she registered and did all the necessary work to be a foster parent. Only her little Annie type fantasies had not turned out so well, and she never fostered a single child. However, an instinct prompted her to keep up with all the qualifications. Turns out as usual, it was right. Then why hadn’t she listened to it when after Brian showed back up on Carols doorstep after disappearing for a year.
“Where is Mr. Coleman now?”
“His credit card records show he boarded a plane for Denver, from there we lost him. That happened three days ago.”
“What are you going to do now?”
With deep chocolate eyes full of regret, he answered what she already knew, “Everything I can. Honestly, even if we could find him, there is no connection to her husband. The perp only took cash and left no witnesses or evidence behind that we can find. The man has to be depraved. From what we can gather he attacked her the minute she stood up from buckling the child in. Covered her mouth and drug her back toward the side of the apartment building. Then he assaulted her without the slightest restraint. The baby’s cries got the attention of some passerbys. Any longer and she probably would have been DOA.”
Swallowing a big boiling ball of hopelessness and despair for the situation of her best friend tasted sour going down. A feeling not foreign to her but one she had not felt in a long time.
With an accuracate speed as only, those that are either trained or born with, she formulated her plan. Lucky for her she was both. Plucked from high school at the ripe age of sixteen, Jazmine became the perfect candidate for the newly created military program . A super soldier, one the world had never known. Working with joint agencies and branches of the military, Jazmine had instrumented and done unspeakable events. Her greatest weapons, though, were not her training or her strength, it was her cunning diabolical methods for taking a target out. Her ability to be a chameleon but not in the sense the world knew. With precise observation and actual in-depth acquaintance with the target, she found out their greatest fear and then exacted it upon them.
Sitting was no longer an option with the first part of her plan to execute. But Jazmine of before, she might have cried and rocked Dylan as a sign of comfort. Then she’d go to Carol in the hospital and keep a vigil, arrange her funeral after the inevitable, file for legal custody of Dylan then assume life as a single mother. Only that Jazmine no longer existed. There probably would never be that Jazmine again.
The noble detective stared at her. With Dylan tucked under one arm she rose, looked him dead in the eye, and smiled. “Thank you for everything Detective Ellis. You have done all you can.” She turned to leave. The heels of her sensible boots clacked softly as she walked toward the exit.
“Jazmine wait,” he called. She kept walking. “Agent Nemesis?” he offered. She stopped and turned halfway arching a brow.
“I know who you are. I know what you used to do.” Taking two steps forward he retreated one back. She stopped satisfied he wasn’t lying. Only a man that found out something more than her personal file would retreat like that. Her respect for the detective grew. Only he didn’t know as much as he thought.
“And?” she asked.
“Why didn’t you stop it before it got this bad?” he asked.
“Because, Detective, I was told to be a good girl,” she answered, offering him the only answer she could and allowing the full venom that was Agent Kali Nemesis to infiltrate her voice.
Did I ever mention my obsession with names. Like for example when you look up Dark Celtic Goddess Kali is for "The Black One" and Nemesis is "Goddess of Retributions and Daughter of the Night."
By Bri Clark
Maeve da Paer has lived her life free from the restrictions of the world of sorcery and the Board of Witchery hidden behind the combined protection of her grandparents powerful clan magic—and a lie. Although her life has not been worry free, it is when all that desperation and grief cause her to cast her most powerful spell ever…a spell that will end the pain before it begins on the powerful All Hallows Eve.
Fionn Hughes, an immortal tracker, former heir to a powerful clan of time warlocks is on a mission to restore his honor—instead he finds Maeve da Paer. Following the scent of Gardenias and Honey Suckle, he discovers the last Scent Witch. It’s only after she almost takes off his ear that something more stirs, eventually changing his mission from one of duty to one of need.
What will Fionn do when he finds out Maeve plans to cancel out her own existence? Will he be strong enough to stop her?
About the Author:
Bri Clark is a real example of redemption and renewal. Growing penniless in the South, Bri learned street smarts while caring for her brother in a broken home. She watched her mother work several jobs to care for their small family. Once her brother could fend for himself, Bri moved on to a series of bad choices including leaving school and living on her own.
Rebelliousness was a strong understatement to describe those formative years. As a teenager, her wakeup call came from a fight with brass knuckles and a judge that gave her a choice of shaping up or spending time in jail. She took that opportunity and found a way to moved up from the streets. She ended up co-owning an extremely successful construction business. She lived the high life until the real estate crash when she lost everything.
She moved west and found herself living with her husband and 4 kids in a 900 square foot apartment. She now fills her time, writing, blogging, leading a group of frugal shoppers and sharing her southern culture. Her unique background gives her writing a raw sensibility. She understands what it takes to overcome life’s obstacles. She often tells friends, “I can do poor. I’m good at poor. It’s prosperity that I’m not used to.”
Bri and her husband Chris live in Boise. Bri is known as the Belle of Boise for her true southern accent, bold demeanor and hospitable nature.
Bri boasts several positions in the publishing industry. An author, professional reviewer, blogger, and literary strategist she enjoys all aspects of her career from the creation of story to the branding and marketing needed to make her books successful.