Coming from Silver on November 26th is Home and Heart, a novella for Christmas.


As well as my two leading men, Ben Elliot and Adam Prescott, H&H has some walk-on parts for two rather special characters — Teazle and Bracken. Teazle is a chocolate brown Curly Coated Retriever who at times seems more feline than canine, and Bracken was Golden Retriever with a wonderfully loving disposition and some charming idiosyncrasies. Bracken died far too young of cancer on the spleen but I promise none of that sadness is in H&H — there he is his happy eccentric self, just as he now is in the Summer Land


* * * * *

Deep in the Cotswolds in the heart of England, Ben Elliot settles in for a quiet Christmas house-sitting and caring for an elderly woman’s two dogs while she’s away. When her black-sheep grandson, Adam Prescott, turns up on the doorstep, Ben takes in the human stray as well. Destitute and betrayed by family, boyfriend, and Fate, Adam has lost all faith in others, and in himself.


Determined to help, Ben soon loses his heart to the other man and believes Adam has feelings for him, too. Then Adam’s ex shows up, offering him the world if only Adam will come back to him. Now Ben must choose whether to step aside, or reach for the only gift he wants this Christmas.


Very Short Excerpt:


Alternating sips of the hot soup with mouthfuls of bread and relishing the internal warmth the food spread through him, Adam waited until the other man slid a baking tray half-filled with frozen chips into the hot oven. “So,” he said, more loudly than he’d intended. “I bet you have questions. Ask them.”


“None of my business,” Ben replied evenly, not turning round. “How do you like your eggs?”


“Runny yolks. Are you saying you don’t have any problems with me being here?” Adam heard the belligerence in his voice, but it was too late to tone it down. “Because if you do, you don’t have to stay. I can look after the dogs.”


“No way.” Ben snorted. “I have a contract and I’m not breaking it. If you have a problem with that, you can just hop in your car and bugger off.” Their raised voices started a frenzy of barking from the conservatory, and Ben rolled his eyes. “It’s a safe bet one of the first things Mrs B says to me tomorrow will be to ask if Teazle likes you, so if you want to get into your gran’s good books, you better make friends with her first.”


“I don’t need your advice!”


“Fine.” Ben strode out of the room and Adam heard a door open. Then heavy paws clattered towards the kitchen. Two large dogs came barrelling in and Adam temporarily forgot his anger.


“Oh, you beauties,” he said, smiling in spite of himself. Barely over the threshold, the golden retriever dropped a shoulder and flipped, sliding towards him across the tiled floor, already on its back for belly-rubs. The curly-coated retriever was more circumspect. She scrutinized him before permitting him to make a fuss of her. Then she sat beside his chair and leaned her head on his thigh. “I think I pass the canine inspection,” Adam said smugly, enjoying Ben’s irritated scowl.

Continuing with the Amethyst Saga with more from Dylan’s POV, 1000 words using; a full moon, an iron gate, suitcase


As conferences went, this one was uncomfortable. The two families sat around the large table in the Cunninghams’ kitchen, and no one said a word. Dylan scowled out of the window. The full moon cast strange shadows, and they’d turned the old iron gate to the orchard into modern sculpture. His coffee had cooled, so he sent a trickle of energy through it to heat it up. Beside him, David flinched.


“Sorry,” Dylan muttered.


“Not a problem,” David said quietly. “Just took me by surprise, that’s all.”


“You can feel it when I use the gift?”


“Yes. Like a nail down a chalkboard.” He chuckled. “I’m more sensitive to—Damn it!” He screwed up his face as if in pain, and Dylan winced in sympathy.


“Davy?” His mother leaned closer. “Are you all right?”


“Yes, Mum.”


“This is getting us nowhere,” Ruth announced. “We wanted to send Dylan to Megan in Bath. I think they should both go.”


Colin nodded. “My sister has room enough, and she’s all for keeping Dylan out of the Institute’s way.” A murmur of agreement ran around the table, but David stirred uneasily.


“That might not be a good idea,” he said.


“Why not?” Colin demanded. “Seems like the perfect solution to me. They can pack a suitcase and go tonight. There are so many sacred places there, you’ll be well-shielded.”


“Exactly. They—” David stopped, lips pressed into a thin pale line. “It’s a-an obvious p-p-place— Sorry. I can’t!”


“It’s okay,” Dylan said quickly, shooting his father a glare. “Take it easy. Just nod or shake your head: the PI know Bath is a haven for Unregistereds?”


He nodded, looking as if he was about to throw up.


“Do they carry out sweeps?” Charlie asked. Again David nodded, sweat standing out on his brow.


“Stopping anyone wearing sunglasses on a dull day?” Put like that it sounded stupid, but the reality of it chilled Dylan’s blood. David nodded, his breathing uneven.


“Never mind sunglasses,” Charlie growled. “I bet they get hold of the opticians’ records for the names and addresses of whoever buys tinted contact lenses.”


David nodded once and lunged from his chair. He made it to the cloakroom by the back door and Dylan could hear him retching. His own stomach heaved in sympathy.


“Wait a minute,” Colin said, his voice suddenly cold. “If David’s had his memories blocked or wiped, how come he knows that?”


“Because he’s fighting it,” Dylan snapped impatiently. “He’s trying to break free. Knock it off, Dad. Davy isn’t the enemy here. You’re as bad as Paul for jumping to conclusions.”


“I’m not accusing the boy of anything,” Colin said curtly. “I just—”


“I should hope not,” Charlie interrupted. “Davy’s a victim, damn it!”


“Whoa, whoa,” the two women said in chorus. “Calm down, everyone,” Ruth continued. “Whatever was done to him, Davy is obviously trying to help us.”


“I know that!” her husband said. “But maybe they did more than block his memories. Perhaps they planted something, a command, an instruction.”


“You’ve been reading the tabloids again,” Colin growled. “It makes sense the Institute will be watching Bath, and every other place where there are long traditions of worship. Stands to reason after all. Unregistereds will think they’re safe there, all that holy ground hiding their power signatures or whatever they are.”


“We have a common goal,” Patricia said. “Keeping our boys safe and out of the Institute’s clutches. Perhaps we should remember that and do something about it, with as much of their help as they can give us.”


David came back into the kitchen then, white as a sheet and visibly shaking. “Sorry,” he mumbled again. Dylan steadied him with a hand on his shoulder as he sank back into his chair.


“But they can’t stay here!” Ruth protested. “It’s too risky!”


“And if the Institute is keeping an eye on Davy somehow, if he ups and disappears, that’s going to catch their attention like a shot!”


The argument broke out around them and for a moment Dylan thought David was about to pass out. He leaned towards him until their foreheads were nearly touching. His friend’s hair was growing back, a cap of golden velvet, and Dylan wondered what it would feel like to stroke his fingertips over the new growth. He shoved the impulse away.


“Listen,” he said, voice no more than a whisper. “What do you want to do? Stay or go?”


“I don’t know,” David said as quietly. “Maybe the Adepts do keep an eye on-on— Damn it! We need books, better ones than those you have. They’re mostly superstition. I can show you…” He paused, but nothing seemed to happen and he sighed his relief. “Perhaps I can help you with your t-tal—”




David gave a shaky smile. “Yeah. When we were kids we used to be able to pretty much guess what the other was thinking. If we could get that back, it might make a difference.”


“Yeah. But you’re blocked from your talents, so even if you could talk about it, how can you help me?”


David’s shoulders sagged, and he scrubbed wearily at his scalp. “Fuck it!” He stood up and thrust away from the table, his chair rocking back and clattering to the floor. “I have to break this!” He staggered and clutched his head. “God! The bastards—have to— They want—”


“Davy!” Patricia shot to her feet and reached for him but the table rose a foot in the air and slammed down. The Welsh dresser swayed, its drawers flew across the kitchen and plates, mugs, pots and pans became missiles. Everyone ducked for cover.




Dylan grabbed hold of him, held him close. “It’s okay,” he said quietly. “It’s okay. We’ll find a way.” David slumped in his embrace and the kitchenware crashed to the floor in a jarring cacophony.


“So much for blocking his bloody talent,” Colin muttered.


 * * * * *

Now clicky on these links for great Silver Flash Fics from top class authors:


Julie Hayes (m/m) http://julielynnhayes.blogspot.com

Catriana Sommers http://catrianasmuse.blogspot.com/

Victoria Blisse (m/f) http://www.victoriablisse.co.uk

L. M. Brown (m/m) http://lmbrownauthor.blogspot.com/

Freddy MacKay (m/m) http://freddymackay.blogspot.com

Lily Sawyer (m/m) http://lilysawyerbooks.blogspot.com/

West Thornhill (m/m) http://wthornhillauthor.blogspot.com/

Lindsay Klug (m/f) www.ichbineinteufel.blogspot.com

Ryssa Edwards (m/m) http://www.ryssaedwards.net/blog/

Elyzabeth M. VaLey (m/f) http://inadreambeyond.blogspot.com/


Terri Beckett’s foray into Amethyst and its characters…


Rebecca Hawthorne locked the door, turned the shop sign to ‘closed’, stretched her slender arms above her head and gusted a small sigh. It was nice that business was brisk for Hawthorne Herbals, but at times she longed for a little more time to herself. To walk up to the Chalice Well, and sit in the little herb garden she had helped design and plant — to climb the Tor and see the whole of the Summer Country spread below her like a patchwork quilt in shades of green and ochre… Just to be.


But someone had to pay the bills.


She left the shop proper and climbed the stairs to her living accomodation above. It was a moment’s work to remove the green tinted contacts and stash them in their sterile saline solution, then to rinse out her eyes with the infusion she had made up herself. Blinking, she looked into the bathroom mirror, seeing the unremarkable twenty-seven year-old face, framed with the short cap of silver blond hair, and the violet eyes that gazed back at her. Eyes the colour of amethyst, that no one outside her family had ever seen or ever could see. Eyes that marked her as clearly as a brand for one with the Talent — albeit an Unregistered. Her great grandmother had drilled it into her for as long as she could remember, that she must never come to the attention of the Institute. Never. “You are all  they hate and despise, child. They would break you and reshape you to serve their own agenda, and you must never allow that to happen.”


It had been her great-grandmother who had cared for her when her parents had been killed, who had sheltered her when her Gifts had begun to manifest and the colour of her eyes had changed. Great-Grandmother had brought her here to Glastonbury, seen to her education, and started the Hawthorne Herbals business, which Rebecca had been running since her eighteenth birthday. It was work she loved, and was good at, and she was highly regarded in the community for her healing gift, as well as her skills as a herbalist. Here in Glastonbury she was safe and protected from the eyes of the Institute — she didn’t know why it was that any kind of sacred ground rendered them blind. Glastonbury, with its long history of worship, both Christian and pagan, was a haven for her and any number of Unregistered. Like her, they were careful to conceal their telltale eyes, but her talent enabled her to recognise another of her kind. They knew and trusted her, though perhaps if they knew more about her great grandmother, they might have felt differently.


And now it was Saturday evening, and time for her weekly contact with Great-Grandmother. Rebecca seated herself at her dressing table, cleared her mind, and opened the channel that would connect them.


“Gram’ma.” And her great-grandmother’s face, dearly familiar, swam out of the mist in the mirror.


“Rebecca, my dear child.” The smile creased even more wrinkles into her face, but the amethyst eyes were bright and warm as ever. “Are you well?”


“You would know if I was not, Gram’ma,” Rebecca chuckled. “Yes, I’m fine, and the business is doing really well. I’ve got a new customer, the lady-custodian of the Chalice Well. Her daughter has a cancer, and the chemotherapy side-effects have really been awful  — I’ve been combining treatments that seem to help. Oh, and the Apothecary Rose you sent is flourishing. I wish you could visit so I could show you.”


“Someday, dear child.” They chatted easily about nothing in particular, and at last said their farewells. Rebecca turned from the mirror to go into her kitchen to fix her supper. And in her private office at the Institute, First Weaver Lillian Sinclair draped a black velvet cloth over the polished silver of her scrying glass and smiled.


* * * * *


Terri is a long-time friend and some time ago we wrote three mainstream novels in tandem [check out my other site HERE for Nettleflower, Tribute Trail and War Trail]. But for a while now she’s been having major issues which have kept her in a semi-permanent state of Writer’s Block. I’ve invited her into the Amethyst Universe so she can try her hand at short pieces that will eventually join my bits and end up in the whole story…

Here are 100 words based on this pic...


“I’m cold,” she said, her fingers like ice in his grasp. He tightened his grip, offering her comfort perhaps, and she was grateful. The rain hammered down, sluicing over their naked bodies, but the glowing path at their feet did not waver.


“All will be well, you’ll see,” he murmured confidently. “They’ll be waiting for you.”


“Are you sure?” she asked nervously.


“I’m sure. I’m taking you home.”


She looked back over her shoulder but could see nothing through the deluge. Could remember nothing but this — man? — leading her away from… something. “What was your name again?” she asked.




* * * * *


For more great 100 word interpretations of the above pic prompt from my friends in the FFF padded cell, clicky on the link to the Flash Ficcers Friday Blog for links to all the FFFiccers… These will vary from sweet to full on erotic in various combinations of m/f, m/m, and probably multiple hookups as well *g*.



More from my Amethyst Universe… Prompts used: key, paper, raw meat


Adept David Weston


I didn’t want to go further than our patch of the Forest. Not yet. Not until my hair had grown, at least. So I stayed around Dylan’s home and mine, and watched the wariness in our parents’ eyes gradually fade away. But I couldn’t hide forever, and a few days after my return Paul Grant turned up, wanting to know why Dylan hadn’t been around town. We were in the Cunninghams’ back orchard when Paul arrived, and his appalled expression when he saw me would have been funny if it hadn’t hurt so much. Regardless of Dylan’s assurances, the distrust in Paul’s eyes was painfully obvious. We’d been friends as children, not as close as Dylan and me, but good friends all the same. Now, despite my sun glasses, battered jeans and faded tee-shirt, my shaven head was enough to mark me as a potential threat as far as he was concerned. Dylan’s scowl didn’t help the situation.


“For God’s sake!” he snapped. “Dave is okay! I trust him, and I’m the one most at risk here. That should be good enough for you.”


“Sorry, but it isn’t. So he’s a PI reject–that isn’t going to stop him from running to them and shopping you!”


“I’m not going to shop anyone,” I said curtly. Luckily I had years of practise at keeping my temper, showing nothing of my true feelings. Somehow, I had to win him over. The support of Dylan’s friends could prove to be a key part of the mission First Weaver Sinclair had given me. “Least of all Dylan.”


Paul ignored me. “We knew him eleven years ago, when we were kids. They’ve had all that time to brainwash him. How come they’ve suddenly decided to chuck him out now? If he’s that much of a failure, it took them a bloody long time to find out he’s not up to their standards.”


“I’m a borderline case,” I said, squinting through the stab of pain in my temples.


“And you oh-so-conveniently can’t talk about it,” Paul sneered. “I don’t buy it, Weston.”


I didn’t hide my wince. “I’m sorry, Paul,” I said quietly, as sincerely as I could. “I wish there was something I could do or say to convince you I’m no threat to Dylan or anyone else. The Inst–” I broke off, took a deep breath and tried again. “The I-Inst-t–”


“See? That’s what I mean!” Paul pushed hard at my shoulder, rocking me back a pace. “I’m not saying you’ll do it deliberately, but they’ve messed with your mind! Why would they do that if they had nothing to hide? What if they programmed you? Planted commands you don’t know about, until they decide to activate you?”


“What?” Dylan began to laugh. “Are you serious? Are you actually listening to yourself? You sound like a raving loony spouting conspiracy theories!”


“I’m not a bloody robot, but Paul might be right,” I muttered. “Though I don’t know why they would.” A needle-sharp twinge reminded me to be careful with my choice of words. God, I wished I could contact Weaver Sinclair. She would be able to lift the block, find a way for us to turn this whole situation to our advantage. But I had been whisked out of my normal routine and isolated from everyone in the Institute, while Magister Constantine created a barrier in my mind only another Magister or senior Adept could remove. Or a Weaver. It had been imposed from without, and I could do nothing to weaken it from within. If I could, I would have done so the moment I was back in my old home. Paul’s reaction to me was no surprise, nor would he be the only suspicious one. “Whatever, I want this block gone as much as you do!”


“We’ll find a way,” Dylan said confidently. “There might be something in Great-Granddad’s books.”


“You’re never going to show him them?” Paul’s horror drove his voice up a few octaves to a squawk.


“You bet I am. Come on, they’re up in our attic.”


We followed him, of course. It was just like old times. Almost.


* * * *


The books were old, hand-written ledgers with foxed pages and frayed corners. Dylan took one off the shelf and I half-expected it to fall apart when he opened it, but the paper was in surprisingly good condition. So were the inked words: sharp and clean, with no fading at all.


Some of the ledger’s pages were devoted to smallholding accounts, but others were recipes of some kind–spells, I suddenly realised, along with the amulets, talismans and decoctions that went with them. Spells. The Institute didn’t sanction such things. They were little more than superstitions, after all, and the rest of the paraphernalia simply focus points. The recipes were another matter entirely, but would do nothing about my barriers. Disappointed, I closed the ledger and put it back.


“‘When the moon is full’,” Paul read aloud, “‘the patient is to take a piece of raw meat and go out into the garden. They should rub the meat on their wart and bury it beneath a rowan tree. Or if none are nearby, a hawthorn. When the meat has rotted away to nothing, the wart will disappear.’ This has to be a joke.”


“It’s not the meat,” I said absently, taking down another book. “Or anything else. It’s the—”


“Intent,” Dylan and I said at the same time. We looked at each other and grinned.


“Okay, okay,” Paul said, his smile growing reluctantly. “But only if you have weird eyes.”


“And haven’t had your talent shut away out of your reach,” Dylan added quietly, and wrapped his arm around my shoulders. “It must be like having a limb cut off,” he continued. I felt him shiver and his grip on my shoulder tightened. “We’ll find a way to fix you, Davy.”


“One way or another,” Paul finished, his gaze cold. “That’s a promise.”


* * * *


Would you like more Super Silver Free Flash Fiction of up to 1000 words? Then click on the links below…


Julie Hayes (m/m) http://julielynnhayes.blogspot.com

Elyzabeth M. VaLey (m/f) http://inadreambeyond.blogspot.com/

West Thornhill (m/m) http://wthornhillauthor.blogspot.com/

Catriana Somers http://catrianasmuse.blogspot.com/

Freddy MacKay (m/m) http://freddymackay.blogspot.com

Lily Sawyer (m/m) http://lilysawyerbooks.blogspot.com/

Pender Mackie (m/m) http://pendermackie.blogspot.com

Sui Lynn (m/m) http://suidlynn.blogspot.com/?zx=57a5d3d27a15dbfa

Victoria Blisse (m/f) http://www.victoriablisse.co.uk

Ryssa Edwards (m/m) http://www.ryssaedwards.net/blog/




The Game is on – John Jones, aka Aidan Whittaker, a negotiator with MI6, is currently on assignment in Tajikistan, close to the Afghanistan border. Overtly on a University-run archaeological site, he’s covertly brokering a deal with local tribal leaders. His undercover mission is complicated by the arrival of a couple of Americans; journalist Brent Babcock and his photographer Scott Landon. The two men are there to document the ancient Silk Road, but when Babcock gets wind of a hot news story, he starts asking awkward questions.


Scott Landon is a different kind of trouble for John. Fourteen years John’s junior, gay and single-minded, he wants into John’s bed. Not being prepared to jeopardize his operation, John rejects him, despite being drawn to the younger man. But then events around them spiral out of control. Will it be Game Over…?





John was so engrossed in the painstaking work of excavating the fallen tiles without disturbing the contents of the niches behind them, he nearly fell over when a strange voice said, “Hi.” He regained his equilibrium and glanced up over his shoulder.


“Hello,” Anahita responded, but John barely heard her.


“Ma’am,” the man said, smiling and tipping a nonexistent hat. He was crouched on the planks protecting the edge of the trench. Aviator shades hid his eyes, but his smile was wide and bright. Sun-streaked blond hair curled over his forehead and onto the collar of his blue T-shirt, both emphasizing his tan. He was in his early to mid-twenties, ridiculously good-looking, and not one of the students. A camera hung around his neck. Babcock’s tame photographer, then. And, irritatingly, he was on his own, no Babcock in sight, and no escort either. John scowled, unwilling to admit to the immediate attraction pulling at him, or the pleasant warmth of incipient arousal in his groin. It was an added complication he didn’t need and he couldn’t allow his libido to get in his way. His solution was simple; a prickly defense kept away all kinds of trouble.


“So where’s Babcock?” John demanded. “I thought he was supposed to show up again.”


“Uh, yeah, but something came up and he sent me instead. I gotta report back to him.”


“You shouldn’t be on site without an escort,” he said curtly.


The man’s smile didn’t waver. “Yeah, I know I need a watchdog.” It was a pleasant drawl, redolent of the American Southwest, and it did nothing to cool John’s blood. “I’m trying to find one. Scott Landon.” He held out his hand.


John planted his hands on his hips and ignored the offered courtesy. “Go over to the building and wait for Professor Preston. He’ll allocate someone to assist you.”


“Been there, done that,” Scott said cheerfully. “No one showed.”


“I expect he’s busy,” Anahita piped up. “I’ll go and see if I can find him for you.”


“Thank you, ma’am.” But he made no move to return to the offices and wait for Mike.




Scott didn’t know what impulse drew him to the trench inside the ruins, but he was grateful for it when the man straightened and turned to face him. He was tall, lean, and sun-browned, his almost-black hair worn a little too long and showing a few threads of silver at the temples, though he was probably under forty. Deeply set in high-cheekboned, hawklike features, dark brown eyes gazed stonily at Scott. Somehow the man managed to give the impression of glaring down his impressive, aquiline nose despite his head being on a level with Scott’s knees. While not strictly handsome, his was the most interesting face Scott had seen in years, and also the most attractive. Right now, however, that face was the personification of aloofness. A warm pulse of interest spread through Scott’s blood. Never one to pass up a challenge, he waited until the woman took herself off, then gave the man a thorough checking out from behind the mask of his shades.


“So,” Scott said brightly, “what do you have here?”


“A trench,” he bit out, his rich voice becoming more clipped. “Wait by the offices, Mr Landon.”


“Okay,” he said, not moving. “But please call me Scott. Mr Landon’s my father and it’s way too formal for me.” He widened his smile to an out and out grin, as charming and engaging as he could make it. “Hey, c’mon, you need to loosen up. I’m not like Brent, I swear. Can I come down there?”


“I do not need to do anything, Mr Landon,” the man said icily, “and no, you can’t. Go away.”


Scott sighed, and wondered what the man’s mouth would be like when it wasn’t pressed into a thin line. Of course, he might not be gay, but he wouldn’t be the first so-called straight guy whom Scott persuaded sexual experimentation was a good idea, though he might be the most difficult. Nor was the setting ideal for seduction. But, as Scott reminded himself, a faint heart never won tall, dark, and interesting.


* * * * *


Available for Pre-order ow, Release Date )ctober 8th

Pre-Order link HERE

Aaand here we go again with another 100 words from a photo prompt…


Clutching purse, dress and sandals, and trying not to injure herself on the window catch, Joyce made her escape. Not that anyone was chasing her, or persuading her to stay. No, they were far too interested in getting it on with each other.
Never again would she suggest a threesome with two men already committed as a couple.
Poised halfway out of the window, Joyce hesitated, taking a quick glance over her shoulder.
Shirts were off, pants unzipped — and they were a pair of very hot guys. Maybe she was being too hasty. She should stay — and watch…
                                                                                    * * * * *
For more great 100 word interpretations of the above pic prompt from my friends in the FFF padded cell, clicky on the links… These will vary from sweet to full on erotic in various combinations of m/f, m/m, and probably multiple hookups as well *g*.

Benjamin Russell : www.incubuschronicles.blogspot.com
Lisa Worrall : www.lworrall.blogspot.com
Bonni Sansom : http://bonnisansom.blogspot.com/
Lani Rhea : http://lanirhea.blogspot.com/
Katie Harper : http://katieharperwrites.blogspot.com/
Chris Power : http://chrispower.me.uk
Patricia Logan: http://naughtypassions.blogspot.com/
Sara York: http://sarayork.blogspot.com
Finless Daveejones : http://finlessbook.blogspot.com/
Muffy Wilson : http://muffywilson.blogspot.com
Gemma Parkers : http://gemmaparkes.blogspot.com/
Jp Archer : http://jp-archer.blogspot.com
Rhea Archer :  http://rheaarcherbooks.blogspot.com

I’m continuing my explorations of the people in my Amethyst world, this week using the prompts – star, candle, speaker:


First Weaver Lillian Sinclair


“Weaving is possibly the most specialised of talents, and the rarest.” The speaker paused briefly to take a sip of water, her brown-spotted and claw-like hand shaking slightly. Despite her age, her voice was firm and clear, carrying easily to the back row of the small auditorium. In her other hand was a black walking stick, its handle carved in the form of a raven. She leaned on it hardly at all. “As the Magisters have already told you, most of the Adepts’ abilities are easily compartmented in the paranormal range: varying skill-levels in telepathy, psychometry, telekinesis, supra-intuition, retro-cognition and the para-healing variants.


“You will discover that others, such as precognition, clairvoyance, clairaudience, are infrequently exhibited and,” First Weaver Sinclair paused again to sweep her stern amethyst gaze across each student’s face, and skim past the lone figure in the upper tier as if he was invisible, “frankly, not encouraged by the Psionics Institute. They smack too much of the occult, and the Institute does not approve of the occult.” The final six words were underscored by a hard rap of her cane on the floor. “The occult is unpredictable, unmanageable and untidy, three things the Institute Will. Not. Tolerate.” Three more cracks and afterwards the auditorium was so silent, a listener might hear dust motes fall to the ancient boards.


After another sip of water, the First Weaver drew herself up to her imperious five feet and half an inch, gathering her black jacket around her like a short cape. Like everyone she wore the Institute’s uniform of black slacks and tunic, lightened only by the tunic’s purple collar. Her jacket was her only concession to her age; she felt the cold more than most. “A Weaver can manipulate one or several of the four elements, earth, air, fire and water. It is another, older, name for certain aspects of telekinesis.” She did not mention that a very few courageous individuals insisted weaving sat firmly in the occult corner. The word ‘Elemental’ was as unwelcome as ‘occult’, and Lillian only used it in the privacy of her own thoughts. Thoughts she kept barricaded behind walls of adamant against intruders.


“It has been many years since the Weaving talent appeared among us,” she continued, and it was an official truth. Unofficially, Lillian knew better, but that secret she buried deep in her heart. “So if any of you can manifest a spark to light a candle, a droplet, a grain of sand or a slight draught, do not imagine you will automatically gain the coveted rank of Weaver. Should any of the telekinesis variants be your forte, it will be many years before you could hope to qualify for the Weaver assessments.


“Your induction lectures are now concluded. You may leave in silent order, and proceed to the cafeteria. You have one hour before your individual assessments begin.” Lillian didn’t wait for the neophytes to file out of the auditorium. She walked slowly offstage and made her way through the corridors to the Central Library.


Despite its name and the high book lined walls, this was more of a Common Room for the senior Adepts and Magisters, and at this time of the day it was usually empty. Lillian sat in her chair by the fire, her cane planted between her knees, both hands on the ebony raven, and waited.


Magister Constantine joined her some five minutes later.


“A promising bunch,” he said by way of greeting.


“Three or four, perhaps,” she answered coolly. “The rest are merely average.”


Constantine nodded. “We need more new blood.” He sighed and shook his head. “When the Institute first opened, we had more neophytes flooding to us on a daily basis than we could handle. Now, those twelve out there are all we’ve garnered in a year, and eight of them had to be coerced away from their families. I shudder to think how many Unregistereds are out there.”


“Probably not as many as you suspect. Our records show the upsurge of Talents in the general population is cyclical for some reason, and from the reports out of the Procreation Research Department, they are finding the same pattern.”


“Perhaps. Nevertheless, I’ve put in place the first wave of Seekers; the Pendle Hill area, the New Forest, Lindisfarne, the Scottish Highlands, Anglesey—”


“Pft!” Lillian stamped her cane on the floor. “What good will that do? Our star is declining! I told the Council years ago they’d chosen the wrong path. Coercion! Threats! Abductions and manipulations! Hearts and minds should be seduced, not threatened! Is it any wonder the Institute is hated and feared?”


“Better that than indifference!” Constantine snapped. “Too late now, in any case. We work with what we have, which means we gather in more neophytes and school them.”


“And use them as breeding stock,” she added scornfully.


“Yes! Because we cannot risk the populace turning on us! History has shown us what comes next—it’s called a Witch-hunt, First Weaver, and you and I would be the ones pressed to death, burnt at the stake, or hung. The rest of the Council are not prepared to let that happen. I would think, for your own sake, you’re working towards the same ends.”


The scorn in her eyes lashed at him. “Don’t be such a child, Magister Constantine. Look at me; I’m the hag, the archetypal crone. I’m well aware of my fate should a transmuted Inquisition arise.”


“Good. I’m glad to hear it.” He rose and walked away, moving a little too quickly for it not to be a retreat. When the door closed behind him, Lillian slumped back in her chair, resting her shaven head on the cushions. Oh, Davy, she thought. Be safe. Your talents are too valuable to lose… Though how her protégé was supposed to circumvent the Council’s plans now, she did not know. It would have been better if he was here, in the heart of the Institute, helping her subvert it from within.


* * * * *


To read more Flash Fic from Silver’s talented band of authors, click on the links…


West Thornhill (m/m)  http://wthornhillauthor.blogspot.com/
Pender Mackie (m/m) http://pendermackie.blogspot.com
Julie Hayes (m/m) http://julielynnhayes.blogspot.com
Lindsay Klug (m/f) http://www.ichbineinteufel.blogspot.com
Victoria Blisse (m/f) http://www.victoriablisse.co.uk
Heather Lin (m/f) http://heatherlin88.blogspot.com/
Freddy MacKay (m/m) http://freddymackay.blogspot.com
Lily Sawyer (m/m) http://lilysawyerbooks.blogspot.com/
Elyzabeth M. VaLey (m/f) <<<virgin!!!>>> http://inadreambeyond.blogspot.com/
Ryssa Edwards (m/m) http://www.ryssaedwards.net/blog/

I had a bit of trouble with this one… *g*


I should be flattered? Adam thought, resting his hand under the back of Zelda’s thigh. Triumph flashed in her eyes, curled on her mouth and she gazed down at him with the imperious confidence that never failed to enrage him. She really needed to take off her skirt for this? Does she think I’m that easy? He patted her shin and her smirk grew. Somehow he kept his smile in place. Oh, well, back to the role-play… “And madam wishes to try these pumps in a size 10?” he asked smoothly.


His supervisor nodded.  “Excellent salesmanship under extreme pressure, Banes.”


* * * * *

 For more fun 100 word interpretations of the above prompt pic from my friends in the FFF padded cell, clicky on the links…


Lisa Worrall : www.lworrall.blogspot.com 

Benjamin Russell : www.incubuschronicles.blogspot.com

Laura Harner : here

Sara York : http://sarayork.blogspot.com

Muffy Wilson: http://MuffyWilson.blogspot.com

Jp Archer: http://jp-archer.blogspot.com/

Lani Rhea : http://lanirhea.blogspot.com/

Rhea Archer : http://rheaarcherbooks.blogspot.com/

Katie Harper : http://katieharperwrites.blogspot.com/

Bonnie Sansom : http://bonnisansom.blogspot.com/

Place Holder Pic for Home and Heart - a Cotswold house

I’ve just learned that Home and Heart, my Christmas story, has been accepted by Silver Publishing, and I’m turning happy cartwheels. It was supposed to be a short story for their White Christmas submissions call, but it sort of over-ran the required word count, coming in at just over 28,000.


Home and Heart is set in Burford, a small country town in the heart of the UK’s Cotswolds…


It’s December, and Ben Elliot of Home-Safe House & Pet Sitting is looking after Mrs Bonney’s home and two dogs while the elderly lady is away for two months recovering from an operation. When her black-sheep grandson, Adam Prescott, turns up on the doorstep, Ben has to take in the stray human as well. Adam, hurting and betrayed by family, boyfriend and Fate, needs to have his faith in others restored, and Ben decides he is the one to do it.


Having gone through an acrimonious split with his boyfriend, Adam has no home, no money, no job and nowhere to go, except his grandmother’s house. The son of an abusive, violent father, there’s a lot of anger and resentment in him, demons he must exorcise. When he learns an unpleasant truth about his father, Ben helps him come to terms with it, and to find a new direction for his life – together, Ben hopes. But then Adam’s ex-boyfriend shows up, offering him the world on a platter if only Adam will come back to him.


Christmas may not be a time of celebration for Ben.

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