Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Story Behind CJT's Word Vamp

In creating my blog a few months ago, I’ve been asked how I came up with the name of CJT’s Word Vamp. It was from a dream that I had right after I started writing again. At the time I was busy filling notebook after notebook with my pieces. My dear friend and Co-worker, Alisa, suggested that I start a blog. I grew up being computer literate, but a blog was something I had really tried to avoid. Same thing with Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. I finally broke down on Facebook, and now check it periodically, but it isn’t something I look at consistently nor post to. Anyway, back to this dream I had. I was trying to come up with a name for my blog and possibly a pen name for myself. The dream has sat in my mind, dormant, waiting for the perfect moment to wake up so I could write it down and tell you the story behind CJT’s Word Vamp.

CJT’s Word Vamp

I was walking in an alley, it was late and the sun had already dropped below the edge of the city. Buildings stood stories high, staring down at me and making me feel minuscule. I had somewhere in mind to go, and was worried that I was going to be late. I was dressed to impress with a black blouse, grey skirt and heels, covered with a black jacket to keep off the chill, and a folder in hand. Running a hand through my fire red hair, then checked my watch, the time screamed at me to hurry, I began walking even faster, cursing myself for not wearing boots or calling a cab.

I could see a street light ahead and was making my way towards it when I heard someone call out, “Someone help me, please, help me!” followed by sobs. I turned my attention to the direction the call had come from and began making my way through the trash lined alley to my right. I’m going to be so late! I thought to myself as I rounded the edge of the building. The scene before me was harrowing. In front of me was a woman, beaten and bleeding, smelling of the trash around her, most likely a vagabond who had come here to find something to eat or a place to sleep that was a little more protected than the street or a park bench. Her clothes were in tatters, and covered in wet blood. Bruises were beginning to color her face; a large bruise on her right cheek and a black left eye were completed with fat lip that was swelling to an enormous size.

“God, what happened?” I leaned down trying not to get my skirt soiled. “Do I need to call the police or an ambulance?”

“No, I know I’m going to die, but I have to deliver a message to you.” Her voice had dropped from a high wail down to almost a whisper. I helped to prop her up against a trash can, she whimpered then began explaining to me her story, starting with her attacker.

“He blended in so well with the shadows, with his dark clothes, even his hair was black. I remember thinking to myself why would anyone dress like that in knowing that they’ll be out in the middle of the night. He stayed to the shadows, he did.” She coughed, tried to clear her throat, and started again. “He was well dressed, and he slowly approached me. He asked for the book I had taken. I told him that I had taken no book.” She looked at me, her striking blue eyes bore into mine, making me feel uncomfortable. I peeled my eyes away from hers and checked my watch. I was definitely going to be late.

“I had taken a book a few days before; I had nicked it from a street cart and ran. I needed something to keep my mind occupied. I always return them after I’ve read them, and this was going to be no exception to the rule. He came close to me, and leaned into my face. He seemed so tall when talking to me, but once in my face was actually quite short. I could look him straight in the eyes, even his eyes were dark as night.” She paused, as if trying to make her words sink in.

“Yes, yes, continue please.” I was growing impatient waiting for the woman to finish her story so I could continue on my way.

“Well, he leaned in and looked me in the eyes and said, the book you took two days ago. I know you took it and I need it. I need it back, Now! I told him I had no book. He began shaking me, hard, and telling me to speak the truth to him. When I still didn’t answer him, he then began clawing, biting, and hitting me- like I would think a rabid animal would do. I tried to scream but no words could come out. I felt fear so prominent that it suffocated everything else. He beat me, and then as he was turning away told me I would live long enough to give a message. He said the person who would come to my aid was searching for a new name and that I was to tell them that they should use the name CJT. I don’t know what it means, but be warned! I should not have called out, but the pain, the pain was too great. I know I’m going to die,” she tried to reach into her coat, her hand settling on something, I looked and it was a book, “I want you to have this.” I took the book from her, put it in my purse, and stood up.

CJT, it has a nice ring to it, I’ll admit that. I pulled out my cell phone and called 9-1-1. I gave the location of the woman and my name, telling them they could contact me once I was out of my meeting. A pen name was what I had been searching for. I had a very controversial book to publish, which indirectly was where I was headed- to meet a publisher.

I left the woman sitting against the garbage can, gave her the handful of ones that were in my jacket pocket and hurried away. I really hope that he hasn’t left or thought I stood him up. I told myself.

Only a few blocks now from my destination, my breath quickened. Excitement and nervousness coursed through me as I crossed the final stretch to the building. The door, locked, was intimidating. The name scrolled on the door read: Esquire Publishing, est. 1902. I lightly fingered the gold lettering. Stepping back slightly I knocked on the door, three solid knocks. My heart pounding in my chest in anticipation kept repeating the letters in my head. .C..J..T..C..J..T.. I knew this was the name I should use.

“You kept me waiting.” A strong voice came from behind me, startled I dropped my folder on the ground. He beat me to it and handed it back to me.

“Yes, I’m sorry, There was an accident I had to attend to on my way here. I should have taken a cab-” I was rambling, and noticing his look of boredom, I fell silent.

“Well shall we go in then? Or would you rather stand outside to discuss this ‘controversial’ book of yours?” His dark eyes held mine.

“Yes, please.” I managed to let out. This was much more exciting than I had thought it to be. I swallowed hard and prayed that he couldn’t hear my pounding heart as I followed him inside and through another door with the same gold lettering on the entrance that read: Sir Leramie Esquire, Pres.

He took my jacket and motioned for me to sit down. He removed his and put it on the coat tree next to mine, then sat down on the other side of the desk. I gingerly placed the folder on his mahogany desk and stared at him wide eyed. He looked splendid in his black suit. I drew in a sharp breath.

He watched me, almost curiously for a moment before speaking again.

“Your book, Mrs. Hirschi, you wanted me to look at your book.”

Stammering something incoherent I slid the folder across the desk to him. He opened the cover and stared at it. Managing to get my voice back I weakly began to explain to him, “I have included a hard copy manuscript as well as a CD with the manuscript in PDF format.”

“I see that you do not have your name on this, is there a reason why Mrs. Hirschi?” He asked staring across the desk at me.

“Nicole will do, and that’s because I’ve been thinking about putting a pen name on this one.”

“Hmmm,” he rubbed his chin in deep thought, “well, it had better be a good one if you want it to sell or be remembered easily.”

“I’ve decided that I want to publish this, that is if you decide to publish it for me, under the name of CJT.”

“That’s it? CJT?” His dark eyes probed mine deeply as if trying to look into my soul. I shifted uncomfortably and looked down.

“Yes, I know its short, but I think it suits me and the book as well.” He nodded his head in agreement and took out a fountain pen and wrote: Written By: CJT on the front page underneath the title.

“I will take a look at this and be in touch with you in a few days.” He stood and I followed suit.

“Thank you, Mr. Esquire, I-”

“Leramie, please, and no need to thank me, at least not yet.” He shook my hand, then pulled my jacket off the tree and helped me into it. I followed him back to the entrance taking in all of the antiques and wood work that I had somehow missed on my way in. “Have a good evening then, Nicole.” Again those soul searching dark eyes held mine for a minute. Finally looking away he opened the door and I saw my way out onto the street.

Knowing that I should probably get back to where I left the dying woman, gave me the motivation to turn away from the door and begin walking. Finding the exact place I remembered leaving her, I was surprised to see no trace of her anywhere. Not even a drop of blood could be found on the ground- I was using the light of my cell phone to check. Intrigued by her sudden disappearance I opened my phone to call dispatch back to see who had come to pick up the woman. When I hit the redial button, I noticed that my last number called was one of my girlfriends from earlier that afternoon. 9-1-1 was not present on my call list.

Feeling a little shaky, and ill, I rushed as quickly as I could back to my apartment and waiting husband. I took off my jacket and heels as I stepped inside the entry and sat on the bench next to the door.

“How did it go?” My husband asked from the other room, I could hear the voice of Jim Carrey in the movie ‘Horton Hears a Who’ emanating from the Television where he and the kids were at.

“Fine, just fine.” I called back. I didn’t make mention of what I thought had happened, and went into the bedroom to change.

I slept uneasy that night; dreams of the woman kept coming back and her voice saying CJT resonated through my mind. Deciding that I couldn’t take anymore tossing, I crawled out of bed and down into the office where my computer was. I began writing the story about the dying woman and what I thought I had seen. The eerie quiet in the house kept making my thoughts stop. I decided to get my I-pod out and listen to some music to stave off the feeling of being utterly alone. Opening my purse to retrieve my I-pod, I came across the book that the woman had given me. I knew I wasn’t imagining things!

I took the book out and began reading. I kept reading until it was finished, and when I looked up the sun was just starting to peek through the window. I heard my children rising and set the book down to prepare breakfast. After getting them off to school I sat back down at my desk and looked at the book again. The words danced in front of my eyes, re-arranging themselves before me. I opened my computer and began to type what I was seeing.

The next few days went by in a blur. I spent my time typing and was now looking at a promising new novel. I was drinking a cup of coffee and typing when the phone rang.

“Hello?”

“Nicole-” a soothing voice answered and immediately I knew who it was, “this is Leramie. I have reviewed your book and would like to setup a meeting to discuss my thoughts. Would three this afternoon work for you?”

“Yes, that will work fine.” I quickly jotted it down on my notebook.

“I’ll see you then. Oh, and please call a cab this time.”

“Yes, I will.” I heard the click on the other end and put the phone down.

I rode in the cab to Esquire’s Publishing and had taken my latest work with me to show Leramie in case he decided he was interested in the other book. I paid the cab fair and stepped out onto the curb and headed straight for the door. It was unlocked this time and the smiling face of a receptionist greeted me.

“Welcome to Esquire’s Publishing, do you have an appointment?”

“Yes, I’m here to see Mr. Esquire, I have a three o’clock appointment with him, my name is Nicole Hirschi.”

“Ah yes,” she nodded her head in acknowledgment, “so you are CJT. You are more than welcome to go straight to his office, he’s expecting you.”

Picking my jaw up off the floor, I went directly to his door and knocked. “Come In.” I heard him say and entered the tidy office.

Standing to meet me again, he quickly shook my hand and said, “Have a seat, Nicole.” I did as I was told and looked inquiringly at him.

“I’ve decided to publish your book, here is a contract with the terms, take a few days to review it then let me know if it is agreeable or not.” He passed the paperwork across the desk to me.

“Oh Thank You, Mr. Esquire-”

“Leramie.”

“Yes, Leramie, thank you.”

“I’m also curious about some of your other writing, are you working on anything else at the moment?” Well if this wasn’t just coincidence I wasn’t sure what was.

“Yes, I am,” I pulled my laptop out and pulled up my latest work. “I started this the day after my visit with you.” I told him, feeling quite proud of myself. After all I was up to almost a hundred and fifty pages.

He skimmed through the first few pages while I sat in silence.

“You have something here.” I smiled at him, “Where did you come up with this idea?”

“Don’t think I’m crazy, but I came across this book that seemed to change my perspective a little. Ever since I put it down, I have not been able to stop seeing letters forming into the story that I now have before you.”

“I think the title of this piece you are working on should be named, ‘CJT’s Word Vamp’, it gives the appearance that you are almost like a vampire feeding off of other author’s books then creating your own, in a sense vamping up their words to create something extremely enthralling!”

I left his office a while later, knowing that my book was being published and that I wouldn’t have to search for another publisher once the new one was finished.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

3WW for Dec 30th, 2009

He had no idea that by meddling in her affairs he was feeding a hideous beast that lay in wait, ready to ambush her when least expected.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Your Road Trip Out of Hell

The escape of time does nothing for me as I sit in silence and wait for that email or text message telling me that everything is fine. I promised myself I would no longer worry over you, and yet here I am still losing sleep due to your lack of response. Your words fill my mind day in and day out. I find myself seeing parts of you in every book that I read, in every piece that I write, and in every song that I hear. I feel another nervous breakdown nearing knowing that you are experiencing a moment in life that is more than anything I’ve had to endure at one time. Knowing my words will echo to deaf ears, I want you to know I’m here for you and so is my continued support- I’ll just keep praying that you get where you are going safely.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tis The Season...

This post was inspired by true facts that occured to me today, and also use of the prompts from 3ww which are: Bleak, Queer, and Hiccup. Hope you enjoy!

Tis The Season...


Frustrated with the hiccup that occurred in my early December plans of Christmas Tree hunting, I looked at the large snow covered landscape that now surrounded me. Three large snow storms had hit since I had first made my plans, and now I was looking at a wall of snow about four and a half feet tall with only eight more days till, as the kids put it, the Jolly Old Man comes again..

My husband sneered at me from the truck, “I don’t see why we can’t just buy a fake tree, every year we end up doing this, trying to get a tree the last minute and there is always just too damn much snow.”

He just doesn’t get it, a Christmas tree has to be a real tree, a fake tree is plastic and definitely not the same. Besides, I'm trying to keep a tradition going by taking the kids and letting them experience the fun of picking out the “perfect” tree, cutting it down and dragging it back to the truck. Once home, measuring it and cutting it to size, then of course, decorating it!

I shuddered as the memory skated by of our first married Christmas together and watching my husband string lights on the tree, around and around in circles, not even trying to get every branch. Ridiculous! He had no concept of how to decorate a tree, and still doesn‘t.

Climbing back into the truck, I instructed him to drive to the next pull off point. After stopping and arguing about where to go because where we were did not look too promising, I saw the snowmobile tracks across the highway headed into the trees. Climbing out I crossed the street and climbed onto the packed snow, my eyes peeled, searching for that perfect tree. After hiking for a little while and searching, I thought to myself, My God, I’m never going to find the perfect tree! 

Now a ways from the road surrounded by snow, something told me to look to the right. I turned didn’t see a tree that looked right and was about to keep going when something told me to look over my shoulder and to the right. I did as I was told and there stood a queer tree. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted that one to be the perfect tree. I back-tracked to where the road was closest to the tree.

I realized my mistake when I stepped off the snowmobile track into the bleak snow surrounding it and found myself waist deep. I struggled to pull my boots free, but found that the more I pulled the more my feet wanted to come out of the boots themselves. Grabbing a bush whose branches were protruding out of the snow, I was able to give myself enough leverage to move my feet back to the road again. I started again with grim determination to reach the damn tree since I was not about to go start looking for another one in waist deep snow.

I stomped the snow down, trying to pack it and make a walkway. A half hour passed and still I found myself only halfway from the road to the tree, Only another fifteen feet to go! In the end, determination won out because I was finally able to get within arms reach of the tree, and that would surely be enough for my husband to cut it down.

Pulling the kids out of their car seats, we bundled them up. I pulled my camera from my pocket, flashing pictures of them as they waddled on the snow packed trail. My husband upon seeing where I had ventured off into the bushes became suspicious. “Be careful hun, I spent most of my time over there in waist deep snow.” I called to him. He rolled his eyes and continued in. Pulling the tree out proved to be a much easier task for him than me getting into where it stood.

I prayed to God that the tree would look alright since I could not get close enough to see the back side of it. God decided to be kind to me today because once we got the tree home and setup in the stand, it ever so gorgeously displayed a perfect set of branches on all sides.

The hiccup was well worth the wait…

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It’s No Wonder At All...

It’s no wonder at all that most decisions are made without first thinking of the consequences that may follow. Caught up in our own mundane life we refuse to acknowledge that our actions may affect someone other than ourselves. Being affected by the decisions and / or actions of others somehow gives us the excuse to ignore rationality and to be offended.

It’s no wonder at all that we refuse to apologize for opening our mouth and spouting our senseless thoughts to the world when our nation allows for freedom of speech. A brain occupying the skull does not mean it is always well used. A thoughtless phrase or rumor spoken from the lips of a single person can destroy a lifetime of credibility.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Story Virus v.5

Ok so this is new for me, but I was tagged in a project with some pretty great writers. Let's hope I don't let the team down.

Here's the lowdown: This is basically a series of flash stories. I was tagged by the amazing Paul Phillips, and given the list of previous posts so I could continue this on. I will add to the story, then tag more people for them to keep it moving. It is a wonderful concept and a lot of fun.

Okay - so here is where the chain begins:
I, Spotchy

Then
Cormac Writes

Then
Lost in the BoZone

Then
David Barber's Fiction World

Then
Writing The Hard Way

And then
Not From Here, Are You

And Finally
I Can't Believe It's Not Better!

Now, here is my addition to the story!

Blanco took his cell out of his pants pocket and quickly began dialing. Ring, Ring.

“Kris here, who the hell are you?”

“Kris it's Blanco, hey we have a situation.”

“Blanco? Why is it that I only hear from you when you have a ‘situation’?”

“Damn it Kris! This is serious, The Big Bopper is on the loose and we need help.”

“Who’s with you?”

“Houston is, and we’re headed back to Universe Mall.”

“Tell that bastard, Houston, that I’ll have the team ready. He can drop by on his way.”

“Thanks Kris, I owe you one-” Kris had already hung up leaving him talking to no one.

“Kris said you can head over and he’ll have the team ready for you.”

“I don’t know how to operate the team!” Gary’s look of horror surprised Blanco.

“Well you better learn how and quick! Now hurry up, Kris doesn’t like to be kept waiting.” Gary watched Blanco hurry to his car and drive away.
Damn that Kringle, he knows I don‘t know how to operate the team, Gary thought as he caught a cab to the outskirts of town, leaving his mother sitting in Erica’s wondering what was taking him so long in the restroom.

The barn smelled of old straw and urine, and Gary fought the need to cover his nose with his hand. “Kris? Kris? Kris Kringle, where the hell are you?”

***

Now I tag the following People:
Outside-In
What Is But May Not Be
Bite Me
Mulled Vine

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Saying Goodbye

I had spent what seemed like hours trying to dig the hole and still seemed to be only half way there. Tired, hands blistered and bleeding, I crawled out of the grave to be and headed over to the truck to get a drink of water. I swished the cool water in my mouth then spit it out. Flies, already performing their lithe less dances had almost completely covered the body. I gazed down at the offender, he was my oldest friend. Death was inevitable at his age. His wheezing breath could no longer compete with his racing mind. I turned to back to the task at hand and grabbed the shovel from where I had left it.

Hours later the hole was finally large enough. Using the forklift I moved his body from the trailer behind my truck and lowered it into the earth. I put the scoop back on the blades of the fork lift and began filling in the hole. I crawled out of the forklift and looked at my handiwork. I knelt where I knew I had put his head and touched the soft soil covering it. “Shadow Dancer,” I whispered, “May you be the fastest race horse in heaven.”

Check this out Folks!

I am excited to announce that my friend Paul Phillips was featured today in Blink Ink! Check out his piece (it's one of my favorites). - CJT

Dressed to Impress

Friday, December 4, 2009

Chervona Ruta

I found this translation of a Slavic legend that was just too beautiful to pass by... This is an Eglish Translation done by 'Ludwig'. Chervona Ruta translated is "Red Rue" or more commonly known today as "Rue", a rare flower with a green exterior that when found bloomed and proudly displaying a red interior,  had magic properties and could make people fall in love. - CJT

Chervona Ruta

Just admit it to me.
You’re controlling my feelings.
Though my heart was in pain
With your spell it is healing.
In the forest you knew
Of the midsummer flower
That when kissed by the sun
Has a magical power.

Please don’t go searching
For the red bloom this evening
For the love that I have for you
Is true and free.
Just as the rivers
Of the mountains are givers
Of clean water;
You’ve given life to me.

As you visit my dreams
In the green glades of summer
You are coming to me
As you would to a lover
And you don’t need to give
Me a flower or a potion
I shall always be here
You have all my devotion.

Please don’t go searching
For the red bloom this evening
For the love that I have for you
Is true and free.
Just as the rivers
Of the mountains are givers
Of clean water;
You’ve given life to me.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Just To Feel Alive Again

This is based off of a picture prompt found on The Sphere

Just To Feel Alive Again

Why does every song, story, and poem remind me of you? I hadn’t realized how much a part of my life you had become. Now I lie awake and wonder why I can’t seem to get you out of my head. I know that I shouldn’t feel for you the way that I do, but something familiar tugs at the back of my mind telling me that I wish you were here.

Your recently added photos do not advertise a smile which leads me to believe that maybe you feel the same way too. I now find myself thinking about what it would be like to sit up with you and watch a whole night from sunset to sunrise just say that I’ve seen it with you.

I still can’t find sleep even though I’ve been trying to count sheep all night. Each time I close my eyes, I picture myself looking across the field to where I find you standing there waiving at me. Eagerly, I find myself waiving back a huge grin on my face.

When I open my eyes again and look at my hands, I feel sad. I often wonder if the spaces between my fingers would be where yours would fit perfectly. Cold nostalgia chills me making me burrow deeper into my blankets and wish your arms were around me. Its only then that I can seem doze for a little while.

I watched the black night turn light blue while sitting on my front porch this morning and wondered if I could take a picture and send it would you get it? I looked at the fading stars and wondered if they kissed you like I asked them to.

Each time I blink I find myself thinking of you. Why can’t I get you out of my head. I wish I could fly and taste the sky, maybe it would help bring me out of this dream and I could go a day with out wishing you were here.

As the tears breeched the flood gates in the morning sun, I knew I was alone. I felt them roll down my cheeks and could hear the soft thud thud as they landed on my black leather jacket.

When I think of you I don’t feel so alone. Please come home.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December - The Fun Way

The smell of the fresh cut tree that we had drug back to the truck and driven home with, is now filling our home, bringing in the holiday spirit.

The snowflakes falling outside our window remind us of how lucky we are to warm ourselves by the fire as we string lights around each branch bringing our Charlie Brown tree to life.

Plug in the lights and watch as our children’s eyes grow large with awe, as they think now about Santa.

The snowman we made this morning stares into the window with his charcoal eyes and listens as we tell stories of Christmas Cheer.

After bundling up to venture out for our December Parade, we head to the barn and hookup the team, climb in the sleigh for our annual hayride.

Caroling, laughing, and drinking our hot chocolate we wave to the crowded watchers who we’ll join when done to enjoy a little dancing to Jingle bell Rock.

Kids, You Gotta Love Em...

She knew he was awake but kept her back to him as they lay in bed. The alarm hadn’t yet gone off and she knew what he was thinking. He reached his arm around her and began to fondle her sumptuous breast when all of a sudden their little girl who had crawled into the bottom of the bed during the night gave a deadly kick to his shin then rolled over and began snoring again.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009