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16 October 2014

The Howl Thief begins...

I'll start by telling you this:
The italicized part below is something I've posted before, with just the tiniest of changes right there at the very end. For the longest time, I had no idea where this story was going. Then Magaly's Blooming Howls inspired me, and I thought a little more about who these two characters were, and where they were going. I can finally see the path they have to tread, and though it's a longer one than I can scribe in a few nights, I'll share the beginning with you here...

Eggs scrambled with spinach and mushrooms, a little salt. Peaches, sliced. Cottage cheese.
Check, check, and check.
Naylee will give me that face, the one filled with sweet happiness. I turn off the stove and scrape the eggs onto a plate.
A couple forks from the drawer, and -
There she is. Radiant. Bouncing into the room.
“Jorg! Look what I made!” Naylee giggles and holds up a ridiculous… sea slug? “It’s a sweater, obviously,” she laughs, unable to even attempt a straight face. I’m grinning back at her, despite being completely confused. The knitted thing is huge, and orange, and when she holds it up that high it blocks my view of her. Still smiling, I let her hand it to me. It could be a sweater, if I had no arms. I’m helpless. Naylee’s smile quiets. “Don’t worry,” she coos, “you can put it with the rest.” Relieved, I toss it to the top of the kitchen cabinets, where a collection of ill-fated knitting projects is accumulating.
“I’ll get the hang of these things one of these days,” Naylee insists. “I don’t know about that orange though. That might be a trim-only sort of color. A little goes a long, long way, ya know. Oooo! Peaches! Hmmm, you must like me an awful lot.”
That’s my Naylee. Teeny Queen of Distraction. My heart thumps. I reach for her waist, and I like the way my hand wraps from one hip to the other.
“Come here.” It comes out of my throat as a growl.
“Oh, scary! You know sexual dimorphism in humanoids isn’t supposed to be this distinctive, Jorg.”
“Mmmm, I love when you talk dirty to me, Naylee.”
She’s giggling again and just like that, I’m taken. Again and again.
“Hey there big man,” Naylee bats her eyelashes, “are you gonna feed me first or what?”
I pull her close, so gently, and ask her, so softly, if she’s really that hungry. A kiss on her cheek, then her lips.
“Not really, no,” she whispers back.
“I need you,” I admit.
“Oh please,” she laughs.
I had meant it, but that’s okay. I smile and kiss her again and play along. “My princess, my love, you taste like joy.”
I’m rewarded with a new round of giggles and accusations of romantic delusions. She’s right. She always is, she just doesn’t know it yet. I pick her up and kiss her again.
“Oh, you got me!” she squeals and smirks, “whatcha gonna do with me now?”
I carry her across the kitchen and into her gardening room. There’s a couch there, under the big bay windows.
“Naylee, may I?” I whisper in her ear.
“Yes please,” she says.
I set her down and lay myself on the couch. I’m careful - no need to break any more furniture throwing my weight around. When I’m settled, I tug her hand. She straddles me, her knees at my hips, and leans down for more kisses. I catch her again in my arms and hold her as close as I dare. The air around us seems to heat as we kiss. She rubs her body against me, sending hisses of urgency up my spine. Distantly, I feel myself rumbling and I grow stronger against her warmth. I open my eyes to take in this whirlwind of a woman - sometimes I have to see to believe - and a flicker of movement comes from the open room to my left. Releasing Naylee with my left arm, I grasp her tighter with my right and catch the little fucker in my left hand. My grip dwarfs his fist, and I give it a shove, sending him back across the room. Still squeezing Naylee with my right arm, I pull her in closer to that side. She’s taking advantage of my turned head and trailing little kisses along the side of my neck.
“You really need to do something about that,” Naylee says between kisses.
“I know,” I grunt. A blond scrapper of a boy is taking aim for my head again. This time when I catch his fist, I squeeze. First the bones crack - a very satisfying sound - then they crumble, and the boy disintegrates. I sigh. Naylee trails her kisses back up to my face, and I hold her with both arms again. And I’m -
Waking up.

Jorg blinked. His eyes felt strained, as though he hadn’t been asleep for hours. The sun was streaming in, highlighting the empty space on Naylee’s side of the bed. She must have gone to work already. Jorg grumbled and got out of bed. Strange dreams had interrupted his sleep, and waking alone wasn’t comforting. Nevermind the several centuries he had spent alone before meeting Naylee; he’d had three years to get accustomed to having her around, and he never liked her absence.
A plastic crash came from the bathroom, followed quickly by a muffled “Sorry!” Not at work, then. She must have dropped something. He frowned. Hopefully she hadn’t dropped a plant pot. No, it couldn’t have been that, he decided. That would have sounded like ceramic breaking.
Naylee cracked the bathroom door and poked her head into the bedroom. “Sorry Jorg, did I wake you? I dropped my lotion. Slippery stuff.”
Jorg smiled, happy to see her round, cinnamon face peering back at him. “I was awake,” he said.
She smiled back, relieved. She was always so worried about him. It was endearing.
“Naylee,” he began, “do you know anything about dreams?”
A frown played on her lips. “Not really. I never got into all that stuff. Why?”
His brow creased. “I had that strange dream again last night. It felt,” he paused, casting about for the right word, “it felt too real, I guess.”
The frown settled more firmly on Naylee’s face as she considered this. This was the third time Jorg had woken with those bleary eyes and that worried mien. 
He described the dream, skipping over the embarrassing bits, but it wasn’t much different from the others he’d had. They all started out normal enough, but that blond boy, that worried him. The boy felt separate from the rest of the dream, as if he didn't belong there. As if the boy were not wholly part of the dream.
As he spoke, Naylee came to sit next to him on the bed. When he was done, she thought quietly for a moment.
“There’s a dream reader,” she said finally, “on my way to work. They have a shop just a few blocks from here. I go by it every day. It looks clean, reputable. Maybe you should stop in there today and ask about a reading.”
Jorg knew the place. He’d seen it too. It was at the edge of the Rev - The Reverie, officially - where all the Dreamers lived. It wasn’t visited much by anyone who wasn’t a dream witch. Witches of any type had always seemed a bit too clannish for him. The dream witches hated the green witches, who hated the fire witches, and so on. That whole attitude annoyed him. Then there was the general seediness of those dream shops. They tended to attract people Jorg wanted nothing to do with.
But, Naylee’s suggestion made sense. He had the impression this dream was something he shouldn’t ignore. Following his hunches had gotten him out of many a tight corner; no reason to stop now. He agreed to check out the shop before going to work. He had a light day planned, anyway. Plenty of time.

The sun was making an unusually intense appearance in the San Francisco sky when Jorg walked to the edge of the Rev. The Dreamer’s shop seemed huddled into the first floor of a decrepit brownstone. “Dream Reader is IN!” the sign blared, giving the only indication that life existed on the other side of the blacked out windows. Sighing, Jorg, pulled the door open and squeezed his bulk through it.
The tiny room held an aged upholstered chair in each corner facing the windowed wall. One of these chairs held a dog. A border collie, Jorg thought. The dog lifted its black-and-white head and peered at Jorg, seeming surprised. Then it stood and stretched its way to the floor, and trotted through a curtain-covered doorway in the back wall. Jorg stared after it, not sure what to do next.
Jorg had just decided to sit in the other chair when a reedy man burst through the curtained door, arms wide and jaw flapping.
“Welcome!” the man said. He brought his hands back to together and wrung them, eyeing Jorg and clearly unsure what had just crossed his threshold. Jorg felt his face pulling into a frown, and carefully brought himself back to neutral.
“I need a dream reading,” he said calmly.


  1. ooh I am loving this story, I hope you will be continuing it so I might get to read more, would love to know more about Jorg, Naylee and this blond boy.

  2. Well. I simply loved it. Magaly has a way of inspire people, doesn't she? Looking forward to the next installment!

  3. Wow...hadn't seen this before so totally enjoyed reading it.....what a wonderful story you are building(and that's nothing to do with the fact that it has a border collie just like me ) :D XXX

  4. So, when can part 2 be expected?

    1. Hopefully within a week or so. I've got it all brewing in my mind, just need a day or two off work to get it penned. :)

  5. "It could be a sweater, if I had no arms." I've always loved the kind of fun detailed sarcasm you add to your stories. How I ADORE "satisfying sounds." And your transition from the mundane to the dreamily fantastic is brilliant. Wanna know what I like most? The fact that this is a beginning. I can't wait to learn about "the blond boy..." and about this world in general.

  6. Thanks y'all :)
    I'm going to work on this one for NaNoWriMo this year, so there *should* be regular installments coming.

  7. Stunningly beautiful story. Have a very happy and spooky Halloween!!!

  8. Anonymous13:57

    *squeals and giggles* I love this! Can't wait to read the next installment!

  9. There are many places my imagination says this could go... so I can hardly wait to see where yours takes it. Good luck on your NaNo! I know the arduous journey you're embarking on, as I've done it myself for several years now, and again this year.

    -the Artful White Fox
    Twinflame Studios

  10. Anonymous23:03

    Ah, NaNo, the gift writers give themselves, no? This was a good read. And I thank you for sharing it with us. I hope there will be more to share in coming days. Good Luck!

  11. My very first reading of you, and I am hooked!

  12. I am happy to hear you will pursue this into something longer. Excellent start.
    Curious minds want to know if the dog and the Dream Reader man are one and the same.

  13. First time to read you. I'm loving the little boy in Oliver, "more, please". Absolutely captured me. xoxo Oma Linda

  14. How fab to find this tease of a tale! Loved the pace & happily trotted along until the finish, wanting to continue reading, please write more of this, I am intrigued to see where it goes next!!

  15. Love these characters! Soooo ready to read more about them!!!