DIVISION BY DESIGN

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FURY UNLEASHED – Meet Zebadiah Profitt

Disclaimer: Zebadiah Profitt is a fictional character. This photo falls under CC0 licensure.

If this is your first FURY UNLEASHED post, please read prior FURY UNLEASHED posts first, from earliest to latest. Thanks.

Mr. Zebadiah Proffitt. What can I tell you about Zebadiah, owner and operator of Kings Kennels? Wait. His last name is Profitt, right? So, if he’s owner and operator why does he call his business Kings Kennels? Well, because he thinks of himself as a king, that’s why.

But maybe it would better to ask his wife, Sarah, what she thinks about him. Yeah, what does she think about her wonderful husband? Well, she called him a monster. To his face. Does that give you a clue?

I’ll tell ya what, though, how in the world she managed to do it, is beyond me. She’s lived in terror for so long I can’t even fathom how that inexplicable droplet of courage made its way up from the depths of her soul, through the shattered rubble of her heart, all the way to the top of her throat, and out of her mouth. Oh, but she paid for that fleeting moment of bravery born of years cowering in endless, agonizing terror.

How, you ask? I’ll just let Zeb tell you himself. This was his reply: “Ha! I’m more than a monster. I’m the alpha of all monsters! Stronger and more powerful than any and all that inhabit this earth.” Yeah, he definitly thinks a lot of himself. And all the while, his gleefully evil eyes bore into hers and his hand clenched tightly around her throat. Did it matter that his young son witnessed this abuse of his mother, standing by frozen in mind-shattering, helpless, hopeless terror? Why, of course not. After all, the boy needed to learn how to be a man, didn’t he?

Yeah, that’s our Zebadiah. He doesn’t just raise dogs. He works them. Hard. To build up their muscles. He starves them to keep them ravenous and aggressive. He tortures them to make them vengeful. Then, when they’re good and ready, he puts them in the pit to tear his rivals’ animals to shreds, bit by bit.

A draw isn’t good enough. A win by show of greater strength isn’t good enough. His dog standing, head raised and proud, with chunks of flesh hanging from steel jaws and blood dripping from file-sharpened, razor-edged fangs while a mangled body lies forever still in a growing pool of blood at its feet. Now that’s what he calls a win!

What happens when Jo meets our evil villain with the soul of a demon? What happens when he meets her? Will an epic battle ensue? Or will subtlety and ingenuity rule the day? Do you know enough about our heroine to make that guess?

Next up, Tommy Proffit. That’s right, Zebadiah’s young son. All grown up.

FURY UNLEASHED – Meet Jake McDermott

 

If this is your first FURY UNLEASHED post, please read the previous FURY UNLEASHED posts first from earliest to latest. Thanks.

 

Meet Jake McDermott

Ah, Jake. Steel gray eyes. Dark chocolate, wavy, hair that’s a wee bit too long for an officer of the law. But, hey, he’s a small-town sheriff, so it’s no biggie. Former Navy Seal. He doesn’t really make a big deal of that, though. Rugged, tough, and wickedly handsome. He knows best and expects compliance. And according to Jo, he’s a small-town, local yokel, chauvinistic cop.

Poor Jo. He’s just the kind of man that sets her teeth on edge. And she’s going to have to work with him on her case. Oil and water. Cats and dogs. Get the picture? Fireworks and volcanoes. Sparks, sparks, and more sparks.

He’s everything she despises. Bossy, hot-tempered, hard-headed. So why does she keep getting this image in her head? This vibe? This intense emotion of sorrow and regret? An unbidden image and three exasperating words. Lost. Little. Boy. That doesn’t fit the man at all! Have her instincts gone wonky?

Oh, Jo. She’s in a quandary now. How in the world is she going to define this guy? He’s nothing at all like Nick. So, in which of her boxes does he belong? Rugged—tough—man? Or, tender—gentle—child? Well, she’d better figure it out quick if she wants to make it through her case with her sanity intact. Because he certainly can’t be both. Right?

Ready to meet some villains? Next up, Zebadiah Proffit.

 

FURY UNLEASHED- Meet Nicholas Bale

If this is your first FURY UNLEASHED post, please read previous FURY UNLEASHED posts first – from earliest to latest. Thanks.

Remember those two men I promised to tell you about? Well, here we go. First up, Nicholas Bale. Physically, Nick is a Chris Hemsworth type. You know who that is, right? Ever seen the Thor movies? Remember the one where he has short hair? Rangnarok, I think it was. Are you picturing it? No wait! He definitely does not have all those slashes and zigzags shaved into his hair. So, yeah, without those. Well, and he’s not quite as muscular, but pretty close. He does work out. Did I say pretty? Oh yeah, Jo certainly thinks so. Really pretty. She might not want or need a man in her life, but the girl’s not blind.

Nick volunteers for Stacy at the local animal shelter. He’s a compassionate and dedicated animal advocate. In fact, he’s so good with the animals that Stacy would love it if he would fill the recently vacated position of animal control officer at her shelter. He’s also a super sweet guy.

That’s not all he is. He’s downright gaga goo-goo over Jo. I mean, head over heels. When he looks at her he sees the future. He has it in his head that she’s his destiny.

I’m sure you can see the problem here. Jo is so not down with that! Remember I told you in my first blog post about her stance on romance and men? Well, let me tell you, once she decides which planet, it’s Elton John-time for him! And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time. See what I did there?

Elton John? Rocket Man? Get it?

Anyway.

Will she really send him to another planet? Or will she succumb to his advances? Will sparks ignite between them? Hmm, I wonder.

Next up – Jake McDermott. Unless you’re a criminal, then it’s Sheriff Jake McDermott to you.


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FURY UNLEASHED – Stacy Anderson

If this is your first time checking out FURY UNLEASHED, please read the previous FURY UNLEASHED blog posts first. Thanks!
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Stacy Anderson
Stacy is Jo’s BFF. Has been since childhood. Stacy is… Well, kind of a gossipy busybody, actually. Wait, don’t jump to conclusions. The girl has a good heart. She wants nothing but a spectacular life for her best friend. Aw, that’s so sweet. Who wouldn’t want a best friend like that, right? Well, I, for one, certainly would!
But Jo? Not so much. Well, that’s not exactly true. Jo loves Stacy with all her heart. So what’s the problem, you ask? Well, the problem is that their ideas of a spectacular life couldn’t be farther apart. Ah, now you’re getting the picture, aren’t you?
Stacy’s goal in life was to find the right man who could support her and enable her to live the life she always dreamed of. Notice I said, was? After several marriages, she finally found the right one!
I bet I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, golddigger, right? Someone who wants to priss around at leisure, sticking their nose into everyone’s business while lunching at the country club with a champagne glass in hand. Someone who wants to examine everyone else’s life and tell them exactly what they’re doing wrong.
Nah, that’s not Stacy. She doesn’t have a selfish or mean bone in her body. No, she wasn’t looking for a millionaire to provide her with her every materialistic wish and whim.
What was she looking for then? Well, I’ll tell you. She just wanted a man who could support them both comfortably while she conducted the work that has always been her heart’s desire. What’s that? Rescuing, rehabilitating, and saving abused and abandoned animals.
Yes, Stacy runs an animal shelter and a pit bull rescue. See why she needs a man to support her? Everybody knows there’s no money to be made in running animal shelters and rescues. Ha! No money to be made? Try, there’s lots of money to be lost! Animal shelters? Rescues? Can you say, MONEY DRAIN! But she doesn’t have to worry about that anymore. Dave, her husband, worships her, as she does him. A good man that only wants her happiness. So, animal shelter and rescue it is!
So what about Jo? Well, Stacy wants Jo to have a life like hers. I think you already know what Jo wants.
And it ain’t that!
Next up, one of the two men I mentioned in About FURY UNLEASHED blog post number one. Tune in next week to discover Nicholas Bale.
I am currently seeking representation for FURY UNLEASHED.

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About FURY UNLEASHED – A Work in Progress

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Meet Jo Moore.

No, not this dog! Although, there are quite a few of them in my book. No, Jo Moore is the protagonist of my novel. Well, it’s really Jolie Angelina Moore. Yep, you read that right. Thanks to her crazy mother’s obsession with the father of a certain pouty-lipped actress, she ended up with a variated name she despises. Not the actress, just the name.

Jo is an empath. That’s someone who can feel the emotions and pain of others. She also feels her own emotions more deeply than most of us. Tender-hearted and emotionally fragile, these are words some use to describe her. Well, she’s had about enough of that.

And another thing she’s had enough of is people trying to tell her she needs a boyfriend, husband, lover. WHAT!? No way and no thanks. Her fragile heart was broken when she was nineteen. Nineteen, you say? That was a long time ago considering she’s currently twenty-seven. She should have gotten over that by now. Right? WRONG! Remember when I told you she was an empath? Yeah, well, that means she intends never to go through pain like that EVER AGAIN!

So, what does she do about it? She joins the FBI. Not just the regular old FBI. A recently added division of the FBI. The Humane Law Enforcement Division (Note from me, the author: This is not a real division. I made it up! I write fiction, remember? Yeah, sad, I know. There absolutely should be one though. Don’t you agree?).

Can’t you just see the problems coming this poor girl’s way? Oh. My. God. An emotionally fragile empath working to bring down the world’s most heinous animal abusers. You’ve heard about them, right? You’ve heard what they say? Children who are animal abusers often turn out to be serial killers when they grow up.

You probably guessed it. She meets one. Face to face! Right when she’s ensconced in her first case. And boy is it a doozy! I’m talking about the dark, sadistic, underground world of a dogfighting operation. Talk about emotional trauma! But I digress. Anyway, back to the serial killer. She not only meets him but gets rather tangled up with him.

As if all that wasn’t enough on her plate, much to her dismay and through no fault of her own, two men come into the picture. A really sweet one and a really…  Let’s just say he’s the very epitome of the type of man she despises. You know the type. Rough. Rugged. Macho. Know it all. Um-hm, exactly the kind that sets her blood boiling. Would you believe she actually has to work with him? He’s the local sheriff, so she doesn’t really have a choice. Let me tell you, he drives her CRAZY!!!

 

Want to know more about Jo and the people in her life? Like, maybe these two men I mentioned? Check back for updates from time to time!

 

I am currently looking for representation for FURY UNLEASHED, featuring Jo Moore.

Old Dogs and Karma

 

December 30, 2018

An insistent knock on the door and the resulting persistent barking of my little doggy shocked me out of my morning reverie. “Who in the world could that be?” I wondered, as I placed my coffee cup on the nearby table. The blanket covering my body decided now would be a good time to play a prank and thought it would be quite funny to catch my feet by surprise, while I rose from my recliner to go put a stop to all the racket. I stumbled, but didn’t fall, thank goodness, and made my way to the door.

Now, a knock on your door may not be such a shock to you but in my neck of the woods, which is pretty much out in the boonies where people mostly keep to themselves, visitors are few and far between. There on my front porch stood my neighbor, with a very old dog in tow.

“Can you help me with this?” she asked. “I found this old dog lying in the bed of hay I made for my dogs. I think someone may have dropped him off, but I can’t keep him at my house. One of my dogs doesn’t like strange dogs and would eat him alive. Maybe you could keep him here until someone from the animal shelter can come get him.”

I knew right away why she came to me. Everyone who knows me knows I’m a dog lover and a bleeding-heart animal rights activist. I invited her in to wait while I attempted to contact the animal shelter. The poor old guy had already laid down on my porch and seemed content to stay there, so she agreed to come in. Unfortunately, we found out the animal shelter is currently closed and will not reopen until after New Year’s Day. My significant other, while he’s also a dog lover, doesn’t have a heart that bleeds quite like mine, and therefore, doesn’t roll with taking in strays for more than an hour or two.

Now what to do? I can’t leave this poor old dog to fend for himself. I made a spontaneous decision. I would ask my neighbor to walk with me to take him to my mother’s. My mother lives fairly close by and there’s already a dog-bed and dog-food in her garage that I had put there for my brother’s dog, who wanders back and forth between her own home and my mother’s.

So off we go. The old fella’s breathing is labored and he can barely walk. My neighbor had put a leash around his neck and was practically dragging him along. Instantaneously, the white-hot searing heat of anger crept up my toes and exploded out the top of my head. “How in the hell could someone do this to this poor old guy? How could someone who owned a dog for as many years as it appears this guy is old, just drop him off to fend for himself when he’s obviously on his death bed?” I raged. “Look at him! I don’t think he can even make it much farther!” I boomed. She agreed, wholeheartedly.

Suddenly a noise interrupts the temper tantrum. All heads, except Old Fella’s which is still hanging low from fatigue, turn toward the sound. A car engine. At that precise moment, a small gray truck approaches and pulls to a stop beside us. A window rolls down. “Do you recognize this dog?” I ask.

“Yes, it belongs to my father-in-law.”

“Oh my Gosh! He was found at her house.” I pointed to my neighbor. “We were just taking him to my mother’s. We thought someone had dropped him off and we were taking him there to stay until the animal shelter opens. I’m so glad you came along!”

“I don’t know how he got out. He must have found a hole in the fence or something. Let me turn around and I’ll come back and get him and take him home.” He drove away.

The old dog, no longer able to stand, laid down on the road to rest. The man returned with a woman beside him. Old Fella, hearing the motor return, raised his head slightly and then immediately lowered it again. The woman got out and stepped around the truck. “Hi, Riley,” she said. The dog simply laid still. No movement or acknowledgement, just laid completely still. The short distance we had walked had taken a huge toll. “He looks like he may be on his last legs,” I said. “Yes, he probably is. He’s 16 years old,” she said.

They picked him up and placed him in the back of the truck. The woman climbed over the tailgate and sat beside Riley, cradling his head in her lap. The man returned to the driver’s seat and they drove away.

I stood there, in the middle of the lonely country road, and stared after them. My anger, now diluted, simultaneously evolved into sorrow and happiness. I know, in my heart, that Riley probably left home to find a place to die. I know, in my heart, that he was all alone and his humans, occupied with the events of the holidays, probably didn’t even realize he was fading away. I know, in my heart, that the events that transpired today alerted them to the fact; and I know, in my heart, that he will now be taken care of and will not be alone during his last hours or days on this earth. Tears stream down my face.

Karma. They say she’s a bitch. Right now, at this very moment in time, I think she’s an angel.

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The Problem with Karma

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Someone really did a number on you didn’t they? Some colossal jerk. Perhaps a boss who never valued you even though everyone else could plainly see, and who constantly turned you down for a raise, or possibly someone you considered a good friend threw you under the bus over a few political differences, or that significant other that cheated on you from day one, or any number of things really. I could go on and on. “Well”, those close to you tell you, “don’t let it get to you, Karma will take care of it”.

They are right, you know. I’ve seen it time and time again. Karma does indeed intercede, at some point. Of course, sometimes she takes her sweet time about it. It simply can’t happen soon enough, can it? Patience, it’s a virtue…one I’m kind of short on. Oh, but when she does decide to visit that certain umm…person, how sweet it is! Yes indeed, when Karma comes a callin’ it’s a beautiful thing. Well, unless it’s you she’s calling on, but that’s a different story altogether and one I won’t touch upon now. No, this little rant is about the ones who did you (err, me) wrong!

Yep, Karma, it’s a pretty satisfying thing all right. There’s just one little problem though. It juuuust isn’t quite satisfying enough. Don’t know what I mean? Well, let me tell ya!

That damn Karma girl…a pretty bad chick, overall…always forgets one important aspect when she doles out the punishment. SHE NEVER TELLS THEM WHAT THE PUNISHMENT IS FOR! I mean, really, more often than not, the colossal jerk doesn’t even realize that Karma came a callin’! Oh, poor pitiful, umm…person. This bad thing is happening to them and they just don’t know why. Why, oh why, has such terrible luck befallen them? Oh, they just don’t deserve such cruelty…waaaaah.

YES YOU DO, asshole! You do deserve it, and so much more!Karma, tell them! Come on, girl! What’s wrong with you? Tell them! Tell them why they deserve it! Tell them what they did to you…err me! Tell them it’s payback. Tell them, tell them, come on tell them, dammit!

Ah, but she never does. And that, my good people, is the problem with Karma.

A Tear Trickles

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A ray of light piercing the windshield settles on his cheek bathing him in a golden glow.  I marvel at how much I love him.  The pain, spontaneous and instantaneous, like a knife stuck deep in my heart gripped by the cruel fingers of fate twisting and turning relentlessly, pitches me forward toward white-knuckled fists clinching a death-grip around the wheel.  As painful as it is, I know that the magnitude of pain I feel cannot even begin to compare to that which is revealed by the ethereal splash of golden light softly caressing his beautiful face.

 

In this moment it matters not that my love for him rivals the deepest fathoms of the Atlantic Ocean.  It isn’t my love that he longs for with every fiber of his being. I know this, and yet I also know that unlike the love he so longs for, the love I hold for him is constant and eternal.  I will never forsake him.  I will remain true until my dying breath, unconditionally.  Such is a mother’s love, or it should be.  It certainly is for me.

 

A young man’s first true love is a powerful and wondrous thing.  I have watched it and marveled from the moment the tiny seed first took root to the moment it’s multicolored and multilayered petals stretched and opened wide, basking gloriously in the life-giving light of love.  Now I bear witness as the darkness brought on by the clouds of sorrow and betrayal loom overhead.  I watch helplessly as those magnificent petals begin to shrivel and die as the life-sustaining light fades to black.  The love is gone.  Not his love for her, for it remains constant and unfailing.  No, it’s her love for him that has been wrenched so cruelly away.  However, unlike him, I know, and have known from the start, that it was never really truly there at all.  As lovely as it has been to witness his metamorphosis, I have dreaded this moment and knew it would arrive sooner or later.

 

A mother knows.  I have watched and seen all.  From the start I have seen the little signs that indicate that love is only one-sided. I have heard the irritation in the voice, watched the pulling away when hugs are given, noticed the eye rolls, heard the little insults.  I see and I know.  I like the girl.  I always have.  I admire her strength, her intelligence, her driving ambition.  Yet, I understand that my son was just a passing moment for her.  He was simply the one who was convenient.  There was attraction there, I realize that.  Attraction, however, isn’t love.  He was simply the one who would do just fine for all the important events of high school.

 

I understand all this, but there’s someone very important to me who doesn’t.  He doesn’t know what I know, and he cannot see what a mother’s eyes can see.  I observe the little flashes of hope that spring forth in his eyes as he tells me she still wants to be friends.  I ask him if he truly just wants to be only her friend.  He drops his head and says, No. My heart breaks as the light of hope extinguishes from his hazel eyes.  Thus is the source of my pain.  The pain that is deep, yet still paltry compared to his own.

 

Suddenly a shadow blankets the windshield.  A cloud so rudely interrupts the moment.  Uninvited and unwelcome, yet appropriate, I think to myself, as the illuminating golden glow and warmth dissipates from the face of the treasured one beside me.

 

A tear trickles silently down my cheek.

Go Find Alice

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Am I dreaming? Could I have fallen down the Rabbit hole? The world I knew has vanished and something unrecognizable has taken its place. I’ve somehow found myself in an upside down world. Will someone please tell SpongeBob and Patrick to release me from Opposite Day? Tim Burton, have you pulled me into one of your crazy nightmares?

Shhhh! Don’t scare the little white rabbit. He doesn’t know where to go. Look at him scurrying to and fro. His eyes are wild and dancing with fear. Shhhh! Come here little rabbit, I’ll save you. I’ll tuck you in my sweater pocket and keep you safe from harm. NO!!!! Don’t go there, little rabbit! I know the sign says refuge, but it really isn’t though. The Barons of Chaos have spoken. All that once was sacred is no longer so. Oh! No, little rabbit…why didn’t you listen?

Do you hear that? Ahhhhhhhh!!! Run! Run! It’s the Red Brigade! Hide! Hurry! We must not let them capture us! If they find us in these woods they will take us to their secret leader who will command them to destroy us from the inside out! They will force little bugs down our throats to wreak their havoc within. They will hack into our neurological pathways and find out all that we know! Once they have our knowledge they’ll pump us full of alternative facts until all signs of who we once were will disappear forever. We will be nothing more than members of the Red Brigade. No, we must avoid the Red Brigade at all costs!

We’ve made it to the town square! Someone’s speaking behind that podium positioned front and center. Oh, it’s the Mad Tweeter! He’s giving a speech to his loyal followers. He’s waving his little hands in the air! He’s pointing this way and that, back and forth! He’s yelling and screaming and working them into a frenzy!   He’s spotted us! He’s pointing his tiny finger right at us! The crowd has turned toward us and the hate is palpable! Ohhhhhhhhh RUN! They’re coming after us! Run, run for your life!

WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE FIND ALICE! I’ve gotta get outta here!

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