BUT I did write a new story called "Crouch" for The Darker Half that...if it's not "dark" exactly, at least gives me the willies. I'm actually pretty excited about it. I won't say that the paranormal element is the most original concept, but I do think the rest of it is fresh. So yay!
In other news, I added a new page to my blog called "Other Stories" (see above). Right now there's only one story linked there, but when "Crouch" goes up I'll add it to the list. The plan also entails my posting short pieces and stand-alone excerpts as blog posts and linking them to that page, so over the next couple of months you should see the list of free short stories steadily growing.
I won't give you a sneak peek at "Crouch" here because I don't want to steal any thunder from my friends over at The Darker Half, so instead I'll give you another excerpt from Awakening 2:
Lilly’s in a dark room in the castle. There’s a window there, but heavy curtains—blue with faded gold tassels—block out all but the tiniest sliver of daylight. Otherwise it would be too much for her newborn eyes.
She has moved restlessly from bed to floor to chair, finding each surface too prickly or too cold and hard or too abrasive, until she’s exhausted and lies in the middle of the floor in a fetal position, unmoving. It’s the best she can do, and the least noisy option. The small movements of her body when she breaths are enough to cause the fabric of her clothes to rub against the bedding or upholstery, the sound is loud and grating.
Sometimes she sits up and rocks in place. She wishes she could sleep. She’s only managed to doze for a few second here or there, a minute at the most, before her discomfort once again overcomes her exhaustion and wakes her up. She’s hungry all the time; her stomach clenches and twists in protest. The blood Torren brings her only sates for an hour or so before the hunger gnaws at her again. He has a good supply of it, but the discomfort of being in the same room as him…she would almost rather go hungry than bear his presence.