Welcome to Writerly Wednesday. Get comfy and see what this week’s guest has to share with us.
LM. Preston is an avid reader. She loved to create poetry and short-stories as a young girl. With a thirst for knowledge she attended college at Bowie State University, and worked in the IT field as a Techie and Educator for over sixteen years. She started writing science fiction under the encouragement of her husband who was a Sci-Fi buff and her four kids. Her first published novel, Explorer X – Alpha was the beginning of her obsessive desire to write and create stories of young people who overcome unbelievable odds. She loves to write while on the porch watching her kids play or when she is traveling, which is another passion that encouraged her writing.
Daniel’s father has gotten himself killed and left another mess for Daniel to clean up. To save his world from destruction, he must fight off his father’s killers while discovering a way to save his world. Time is running out, and Daniel must choose to either walk in his father’s footsteps or to re-invent himself into the one to save his world.
“Scared? You’re the one who ran from yoursafe, soft world to come here.” Daniel chuckled at Faulk’s wary expression.
The watercruiser moved easily through the murky waters, and Daniel and Faulk stoodquietly, looking out to the foggy, dark waters. The Minoites’ feeding frenzywas over, and the dawn came in quietly.
“What was that?”Faulk called out when the water cruiser was jarred, followed by a thump on the bottom.
Daniel growled.“Merpins! Wake them up. I’m gonna try to out run them. We’re almost to WillowsOasis.”
Faulk went overto the others and yelled out. “Wake up! Jade! Nickel! Get a weapon… anything.Oh God…one is climbing up the side!” He shot at the Merpin that was clawing itsway up the side of the boat. Its black, stringy hair, white skin, long curvedteeth, and predatory sea-blue eyes looked haunted with starvation. “Damn, Imissed!”
Daniel spiedanother Merpin clawing its webbed hand into the cruiser as its webbed feet hungover the railing of the cruiser. “There’s another one!” His stomach filled withdread, because he knew there were others to follow. Aggravated, he reminded himselfnot to speed too fast through this rough sea of rocks, and hidden reefs or theywould all perish and become the starving creatures’ meal. A shriek soundedbehind him. He saw Faulk and the creature in the midst of a stand off.
Faulk lookedstunned, mesmerized by the hungry, growling creature’s slanted eyes.
Daniel yelledout to Faulk. “Kill him! Aim for the head. Do it NOWFaulk!” He steered the water cruiseraround the protruding rocks where the Merpins sometimes slept.
Faulk snappedout of his daze as the Merpin lunged at him. He shot it, and the Merpin fellback into the water with his sharp green teeth exposed.
This isn’t over yet. Daniel swallowedhard.
Jade ran to theback of the boat. “There are two more in the back, but – I got them.”
Daniel heard onescream out from her shot, it’s piercing yell surrounding them. Daniel knew thedeath-cry of the creature would draw many others. He put in the command for thecruiser to release the knives on its underside, hoping that would deter more ofthe Merpins from climbing onto the boat for their breakfast. He was rewardedwith numerous screams from the Merpins that were already attached to the bottomof the water cruiser.
“Grab something!I’m out of rock territory. I’m gonna to pick up the speed. If you go over theside you’ll be breakfast,” Daniel warned before the cruiser speed increased.
The ship jerkedwith the pull of the engines. He navigated quickly through the rocks, carefulto not hit any. The cruiser dragged a distance before the bodies of the deadMerpins attached to the knives on the bottom fell and floated out to sea.
Jade backed up towardDaniel. He glanced at her and saw her eyes filled with horror.
“Crap! Get them.There are two of them … next to Nickel!” she yelled out at Faulk.
Nickel looked upfrom where he sat getting more ammunition out of the bags.
She aimed herdarts to kill the Merpins that were quickly climbing up the back of thecruiser. Daniel pivoted to see the sickening pale and greedy sea cannibal lickits lips at the anticipation of his capture of Nickel. Jade’s darts hit eachMerpin in the eye, and they fell back off the ship with a loud splash.
Faulk shot atthe three Merpins that were holding onto the back of the boat. One jumped overthe edge of the boat, and its webbed feet landed easily on the deck. Its clawedfingers and scaled torso bent over and sliced through the flesh on Faulk’s armin its attempt to take a bite out of him. Faulk roared in pain. He firedconsecutively and the creature’s lifeless, bleeding body fell into the murkysea.
“Nickel? Nickel!Hold on.” Jade called out as she ran toward him.
Daniel’s gutfilled with anger and fear. They’d cleared the rocks and were so close toWillows Oasis. The warmer waters should help slow the Merpins down. “Can’t helpyou! I gotta get us out of here.”
As he navigatedthem to safety, Daniel periodically glanced back to check on the others.“Faulk! Kill it. Jade use your poison darts with his fire.”
Jade went to herhip and grabbed her poison darts. The Merpin pulled Nickel, who fought andstruggled while screaming out. Daniel’s hand slipped off the wheel as he wentfor his gun and the cruiser jerked.
“No! Daniel, getus out of here. I got this!” Jade yelled.
Danielreluctantly grabbed the wheel and maneuvered just in time to evade a largerock. The cruiser lunged to the side, and Daniel held onto the wheel. Jadeadjusted her stance and ran toward Nickel with darts aimed high.
Nickel screamedout as he struggled against the Merpin’s grip. It dragged his lower body overthe side of the cruiser. Nickel held onto the side with fierce determination,tears of fear welling up in eyes.
Jade aimed forthe Merpin’s eyes and hands with darts in both of her closed fists. One, thentwo darts hit their targets. The Merpin cried out when it released Nickel, andfell screaming backwards into the sea. Jade’s remaining darts flew over theedge of the cruiser with it. Nickel pulled himself up and over the side of theboat. He shook his head and stood, tears from fear streaming down his face.
Faulk fired onelast shot, and the last Merpin slid down the side of the ship and into the knivesthat protruded from the back of the water cruiser. “It’s dragging on theboat!” He shot the Merpin off theknife’s edge, which held him.
Daniel warned,“Make sure they’re gone. I don’t want to drag any with us to Willows Oasis. Oneof those things could eat us whole if it got its claws lodged in us.”
They split upand checked the sides of the water cruiser, and spoke their confirmations oftheir safety.
Faulk came up tostand next to Daniel. “Man, I’m so tired I could pass out. After that – though,I don’t think I’m going to sleep for at least a week without one eye open.”Faulk shook his hands in disgust. “Those things were freakin’ ugly. Wedefinitely don’t have creatures like those on Earth.”
“Get used to it.This isn’t Earth,” Daniel answered.
Jade checked onNickel.
Nickel hastilymoved her hand from his face and sat down on the deck, turning away from her.“I’m okay,” he mumbled.
Jade strolledover to Daniel and stood on the opposite side of Faulk. “So, for my firstadventure, I’d say I did just fine – you know, being a girl and all. Don’t you think so, Daniel?”
Daniel groaned.“Your brother’s going to kill me. When we get to your father’s trove, you’restaying there.”
Jade put herhand on Daniel’s shoulder. “Not on your life. When are you going to tell mewhat’s going on Daniel? I know youdidn’t just come over to pick up Gabe. Something bad must’ve happened. Tell me!I have a right to know, you know. I mean, I smuggled that key out for you andeverything.”
He tensed. Thethought of telling her his father had been killed, made him feel uneasy. Shecalled his father ‘Poppy’, and his father doted on her like she was his owndaughter. He knew once she found out, she’d be hard to ditch, but he also knewhe could no longer keep the tragedy hidden.
Realizing he stillwasn’t ready to tell her, he answered, “Leave it. I’ll tell you everything when we get to yourfather’s trove.”
He knew her well enough toknow she wouldn’t give up to easy. She had fought Gabe and him for years toprove that she was just as strong and skilled in the ways of the Zukar as theywere. Gabe and he had indulged her little tirades for the most part, except onthose occasions where she got so obnoxious that they had to physically lock herin her room to keep her quiet. That didn’t last long, either, because Jade wasexcellent at picking all types of locking mechanisms. He knew if he told herwhat happened to his father, she’d want more answers than he had.
Interview with LM Presten
1. In threedays, all electricity is going to be shut off for a very long time. What items are you going to gather inpreparation for this event?
Flashlights, lanterns, laptop, chocolate candy, ipad.
2. Where did the idea for the work you arepromoting arise?
My son asked me to write a book about pirates.
3. What do you like to read?
I read many different genre, but I mostly read horror, young adult books, romance, chicklit and science fiction.
4. Tell us about the most exciting place you haveever visited?
Hawaii, and the world building in Bandits is based on it. The other exciting place I visited was Italy.
5. What is the most mundane, day to day, thing youcan share about yourself?
I like to get sucked into books I read and will have a read-a-thon at home on the weekends as a mini-vacation.
6. What scares you the most?
Zombies. They scare me to death and I used to have nightmares about them when I was a kid.
7. Tell us anything but keep it G rated.
I hold my family hostage while I read my stories out loud to them on long road trips.
Thanks again for letting me pop in your blog.
YA SciFi Author
PARTY BLOG: http://bookpartylmpreston.blogspot.com
EXPLORER X – Alpha (Buy Now, Amazon and All bookstores)
The Pack (Buy Now, Amazon and All bookstores)
Writing stories for and about kids that overcome the impossible…
LM has been a great guest this week. Thank you!
Feel free to copy the link and come back next Wednesday to see who my Writerly Guest will be.