“Jack” – short story pt. 2

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Dad moved us into a cramped studio apartment on the fifth floor of the Cedar Dove apartment complex when he accepted his newest job opportunity. We’d made the drive, only two states over, packing our measly belongings into three suitcases before hitting the road. But that’s how we lived, out of suitcases, never putting down roots. Dad’s a rep for a pharmaceutical company. He trains hospital staff about new drugs and once he’s done, he’s stationed at a new hospital. He loves it, he calls our life an adventure. People must be jealous of all the places we’ve been, all the things we’ve seen, he’d tell me.
He comes home to find me sprawled on the couch that came with the apartment, flipping through channels on the small t.v. I watch his hands, he holds a small array of post cards. He’s always done this, collecting a post card from each place we visit and tucking it neatly in a small scrapbook. It’s always seemed like some sort of bread crumb trail to me. If we ever go missing, people will know the last place we were. I turn my attention glumly back to the t.v.
I hear the sound papers make when they brush together and know he’s flipping through the cards, picking the right one worthy enough for the scrapbook.
“How’d school go today?” Dad asks.
I shrug, though the movement is hidden by my loose fitting hoodie. “Fine.”
“Your tone says otherwise.” He sets the cards on the table near the door and crosses the room, taking a seat next to me. “Are you having trouble again?”
I chuckle at his phrasing, trouble. “Nothing I haven’t dealt with before.”
Dad clasps his hands together in his lap. “I could make a call…”
I sit up quickly. “Don’t do that, please. I’m fine.” His expression is unappeased, so I continue. “We’ll be gone in a few weeks anyway.”
The concern flickering in his eyes fades before he nods his head. “Alright, then.”
“I’m gunna hit the hay, early day tomorrow,” I say, retreating hastily from the room.
He watches me go, closing my bedroom door and even then I still feel him staring. I pull a bottle off my dresser and shake a couple of pills into my palm before swallowing them down dry. The only good thing about my dad’s job is I get great drugs.
I’m out like a light in two minutes flat.
-Collins

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“Jack” – short story pt. 1

Blog, bullying, characters, fiction, life, Short story, writing

It had taken the footballers of Cedar High School just half a week to discover the new kid and about fifteen minutes to make him feel welcome. Unfortunately by welcome I mean upend in the nearest dumpster. Did I mention the new kid is me?
Dumpsters smell like sour milk and mothballs and battery acid. The smell mingles in your mouth and stays there, especially when it’s constantly reintroduced. The only way I’ve found to get rid of it is cigarettes. The taste of dirt does wonders.
To say that bullies’ tactics are cliché would be an understatement. At this point, I would find it refreshing for some dumb jock to steal my gym clothes or give me a swirly. But no. Dumpsters are all I get.
It’s usually the footballers who like to upend me, but depending on the school, it could be the lacrosse team, or the basketball team, even the theater kids. I’ll admit, that one was a surprise, but at a school for performing arts, someone’s got to be on top.
I find myself leaning against the cool stone façade of my current high school, popping a cigarette between my lips and lighting it. I blow the smoke out through my nostrils and shrug my satchel into a more comfortable position across my shoulder.
A group of footballers sashay across the front lawn, several of them looking familiar. Sniveling idiots with leather on their shoulders and rocks in their heads. They cast me wry glances before turning toe in my direction. Luckily, the first bell rings and they decide against whatever they were going to do, chuckling as they head inside.
I can’t help the eye roll that happens as I take one last puff and crush the butt beneath my shoe.
Week two has given me enough time to memorize my schedule, my teachers’ names, and my locker combination. I haven’t bothered to make any friends, there’s no point. I spend lunch roaming the hallways, turkey sandwich in hand. A display case catches my eye and I notice it celebrates the Cedar Baron’s winning streak. The football team’s trophies and awards dazzle under the small fluorescent lights above, but those aren’t what concern me. Mounted in the middle of the showcase is a team photo. The name plate beneath gives away my tormenters’ names. Tad Drake, quarterback, Dillion Powell, receiver, Franklin Weal, Line man. I narrow my eyes at Tad Drake’s glowing face in the photo.
A girl trips over my foot and curses at me as she hurries down the hall. I don’t even have time to apologize as she’s fifteen feet away by the time I register what happened. The bell rings and I throw the remaining half of my sandwich into the nearest trashcan before heading to science class.  
The remainder of the day goes by without incident. Kids swarm the hallways, slamming lockers and buzzing about homework. I shove textbooks into my satchel and retreat from the building, using the chaos as my own cloak of invisibility from Tad and company. Feeling safe only when I’ve slid into a seat on the bus, I let out a sigh and turn my head to the window.
-Collins

Where do we go from here?

Blog, book, fiction, inspiration, Life, new, Uncategorized, writing

With the high of our publishing achievement guiding us, where do we go now?

The answer is complicated because we have at least 7 other projects in the works, but we’ve decided to focus on our paranormal novel titled The Collected. 

In the coming weeks we’ll be posting snippets and sneak peeks, so stay tuned!

Thank you for all the love,

-Turner Collins

Our debut novel Unit 17 is officially published!

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It is with much excitement that we announce our debut novel is available for purchase on Amazon! It’s been a long, winding, emotionally draining journey. Our goal for this year was to publish and we did it. 

Here is the link for you all. Please read, share, and love. We hope you enjoy!

-Turner Collins

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01LYJDI36/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1474251372&sr=8-3&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=unit+17+ebook&dpPl=1&dpID=51YNM4-c3uL&ref=plSrch

Prompted

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Hey, happy belated birthday to our blog, how exciting is that? Again, I’m late on the draw. But I will have you know I did a happy dance on the day.

So, just a few hours ago I asked a trusted friend for a writing prompt, help me get the juices flowing and all that, ya know? She gave me this:

“Explore the relationship between two people who are married or marrying but not for love.”

So I immediately put pen to paper…or fingers to keys, you get the drift. This is what came out. A little rough, but it felt good to be creative again! What do you guys think about writing prompts? I personally love them for times of writers block or to combat boredom. Let me know and enjoy.

-Turner

 

My future husband was as unfamiliar to me as a stranger on the street would be.
I didn’t know his likes, or dislikes. I didn’t know if he had a good childhood or about his college experiences. I’d never heard his voice nor felt his touch.
I did know that he was forty-seven, to my eighteen. I knew that his hair was only starting to turn gray. I did know that he was six feet one inch. He didn’t have any children and he had been married once previously, before she divorced him for a much younger man. I knew that he had at least fifty thousand dollars in his bank, seeing as that was how much it cost to buy my hand. But that was all his profile said. He wasn’t an unattractive man, which just confused me more. Why would a handsome, rich man need to utilize our services?
Not that I would complain, Andrew Marshall was rescuing me from my bleak existence in eastern Europe. In turn, he would be saving my little brother from a life of crime, and my mother from the tragedy of that. Not that she agreed with my choice, but she wasn’t against it anymore. Not once I pointed out all the things that would be better for it.
I on the other hand, was terrified. I’d never left my small home. I spoke English, but not very well. I was also a virgin, I’d never been in love. As a young girl I always hoped that a young, handsome man would ride up on his white horse and save me from my life. But that didn’t happen. Instead, my Papa had a heart attack, leaving my mother with a mountain of debt and a delinquent little brother who was lashing out. I had to do something. My friend Jasmine had done this exact same process and was now living in Los Angeles, she told me all about it. How much she enjoyed her older man and the life he could provide for her in America.
It was as if all the answers to my problems suddenly appeared in front of me, I didn’t hesitate. I set up a profile, using the same formula Jasmine did only a year before and within three months, I had an interested bidder. The company I signed up through takes a percentage of the price my suitor is required to pay. The rest goes to my family. After that, he purchases me a plane ticket and applies for all legal permits before I am whisked away from my home, bought, signed, and done. Within a few weeks, I will become Mrs. Tatianna Marshall.
Who she is, or who she will be…is a mystery to me.
I only hope she is someone her Papa would be proud of.
That’s the only thing I have to hold onto.
I’m about to be thrown to the wolves, god help me.

Debut novel cover reveal!

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We are so excited to share the cover of our ebook with the place where our writing began to take on real meaning: this blog. Thank you to all of you who have followed us along on our journey from outline to nearly completed ebook. We look forward to sharing the finished work with you in the coming weeks!

-Turner Collins 

Status update

Blog, book, editing, fiction, inspiration

So as of today, the editing of Unit 17 is finished. Let me tell you, we heaved a huge sigh of relief after that one.

Next on the agenda is ordering a cover and formatting, then after that is a dozen other details… 

But we’re trying not to get bogged down, we’ve come so far and the hardest part is over!

The beta reading stage will commence in the coming weeks and if any of you are interested in becoming a beta reader, please let us know in the comments.

We look forward to sharing our first finished work in the near future!

-Turner Collins