Prologue 5: Oren, Torina, Micah & Loren

With the release of Heart of the Raven looming, it’s time to meet the characters! But why just read a stale bio, when you can have a flash-fiction introduction? These take place the day before Heart of the Raven begins. Think of them as mini prologues. They will not appear in the book and this is the only place you can read them. Enjoy!

oren

January 10th
An old farmhouse
Somewhere in Northern Missouri

The house was old, empty and abandoned. With no electricity and no water. Truthfully, it was no worse than some of the dens Oren and his war coven had stayed in, but he’d been busy then, planning, arranging. He’d been occupied. Now all he had to do was sit and wait.

Oren stiffened as the sound of a car drew closer. He searched for a weapon and, finding nothing in the empty room, dropped into a defensive stance. The note Jorick left at the old den had been too obvious. The Executioners were coming.

The motor cut off and car doors opened. Oren narrowed his eyes and reached out with his mind to find three of them. He pressed further against their mental walls and one of them gave way. It was Loren. Through the teen’s thoughts he could see his companions: the bald, tattooed Micah and his own redheaded sister, Torina.

Oren relaxed. So the note had worked the way Jorick planned. Of course. Everything always worked the way Jorick planned it to.

His irritation disappeared when the door opened and Micah came through it, stomping dirty snow from his boots. Loren followed, and Torina inched her way in behind them, frowning and shaking the muck from her expensive heeled shoes.

Micah’s eyes landed on Oren and he bellowed, “Well look what we found, skulking in the middle of bum fuck nowhere.”

Torina was instantly animated. She pushed past her companions and stormed towards him, her manicured hands in fists. “Where the hell have you been? We thought you were dead!”

“Perhaps it would be better if I was,” Oren muttered, more from habit than conviction. He could see the tears that gathered in the corners of his sister’s eyes and thought about what Jorick had said.

“… Jesslynn is dead, your children are dead, but your sister is alive. If you don’t want to live for yourself then live for her. The time has come for you to pick yourself up from the ashes and start over. You have wallowed enough! Mourn Jesslynn, miss her, long for her even, but do not waste both my time and Torina’s by following her to the grave. Remember what you have left and be grateful for it!”

She raised a hand as though to slap him. Her fingers trembled and then she dropped her hand and shouted, “Don’t you ever do that again or I’ll kill you myself!”

She straightened her shoulders and spun away from him. Her eyes moved around the dark, empty rooms and she shuddered, “I’ve put up with some lousy dens, but this is ridiculous! The war is over! You can’t expect me to keep living in these rat holes! I’m used to better!”

“Who’s a spoiled princess?” Micah asked and snorted. She glared at him and he laughed. “We could go stay at pipsqueak’s house.”

Loren shrugged. “Yeah, I guess.”

Oren debated on whether to include them in his plans or not. He’d planned to take Torina with him, but the other two… Why not? Who else was there? His previous coven, the one he’d managed for years with his wife, was disbanded and scattered. Those that weren’t dead had no intention of returning, and those who were couldn’t. Loren and Micah were idiots to be sure, but they were idiots who’d gleefully joined in the fight, even when those he relied on were less enthusiastic.

He cleared his throat loudly. “Actually, we have some where to go.”

loren-micah-torina

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Cut Scene

Scissors

Scissors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am in the rewriting/rereading stage of Heart of the Raven and have added some new scenes. Of course, whenever I do that bits get deleted. Most of the time it’s just a few sentences and I can work the good ones in after a fashion, but I had to cut a chunk  between Micah and Katelina that just won’t fit anymore. However Micah is convinced that since he’s so clever (his words, not mine) that it’s worth sharing. We’ll see if you agree.

Micah spied Katelina suddenly and spun towards her. “Lunch! Where the fuck is that fruity prick?”

“I don’t know.”

He stormed towards her, shaking his fist. “You better not be protecting that son of a bitch after what he did to Loren!”

She was irritated enough and that did it. “Fuck you, Micah. The last time I saw him he was in Thadimus’ office trying to get his money back.”

Micah came to a stop and towered over her. “You knew he was here and didn’t fucking tell me?”

“Sorry, I had other things on my mind!”

“Maybe I should sign up to join the list of people you’re fucking so you’d remember!”

She punched him in the stomach and he flinched backwards in surprise. “I’m not fucking a list of people, you ass! And even if I was, you’d never be on it!”

He recovered with a snicker. “Of course not, Princess, I’ve got better taste.” He turned away and stormed towards the nearest building.

So now I have to ask: was Micah right? Was this cut scene worth the time it took me to post it? Or should it have just stayed in the dustbin?signature for white

And if you’re dying for more Heart of the Raven action, you can read the first unfinalized chapter via Vicki Hudson’s First Look  as well as the first chapters of other WIPS!

Interview with Loren


 

Hello! My name is Micah and I’m from Joleene Naylor’s Amaranthine series. Using state of the art-mumbo-jumbo-author magic crap, Jo usually has Katelina interview other authors’ characters but now we’re finally interviewing fellow Amaranthians. Even better, the questions come from you, the readers!

Micah: I’d say I was filling in for Katelina, but frankly she hasn’t done most of these damned things. That Executioner twit with the red hair has probably done half of them.

Loren: And I did it last week!

M: My point. Anyway, today I’m interviewing this pipsqueak named Loren who has no taste in super heroes, by the way.

L: Yes I do! X-men rules!

M: Fuggedaboutit. Hulk would pound their sissy faces in. But enough of that. We got some new questions for you. Eh, let’s start with Sharon’s, “What does he want out of life (or undead life) now? Where does he see himself in 10, 50, 100 years?”

L: Yeah, just start with the hardest one, thanks! Hmmm. I don’t know. I never really thought about it. I guess I’ve just been kinda floating around, waiting for something to, I don’t know, drop from the sky or something. Wow. I need to think about that.

M: Don’t think too hard, huh? Okay, we’ll move on for now. From Sue, who, by the way, also comments that she really likes you-

L: Really? You mean I have a fan?

M: Yeah, evidently. Anyway, she asks, “Does it bother you that you’ll be a teen forever?”

L:  Nah. If you’ve ever played video games you’ll know that it’s always the teenagers who save the world. And it means I can scope out more chicks. Old dudes like this guy look creepy checking out a seventeen year old, but I can get away with it, and older ladies love young guys.

M: Really? Like you know anything about that shit.

L: I’ve had girlfriends! I had one chick stalk me in fact, so there.

M: Yeah, yeah. Sue also asks, “Do the big boy vampires treat you as a lesser vamp?”

L: Eh, not really. Well, Jorick does sometimes, but it’s not just me. He kinda treats everyone he likes that way – like they’re little kids and he’s their dad.

M: Well hell, you are a little kid. You’re like what? Twenty?

L: I’m over thirty!

M: Oh, excuse me, ancient one. *snickers*. Ah, I been there. I used to be the new kid on the block, and don’t think they didn’t all remind me.  You just gotta start hanging out with someone younger. But we got more questions. This one’s from Donna – I like her. She’s got good taste in characters. You shoulda seen her comment last week.

L: *rolls eyes* I did.

M: Hey, I didn’t say anything about you havin’ a fan, huh? Now where was I? Oh, yeah, “You seem to always get stuck baby-sitting Katelina. Does that make you feel like the lesser of the group?

L: Nah, I don’t mind it most of the time. I mean someone’s gotta keep an eye on her, you know? It makes me the last line of defense. Like if something happened to Jorick or whatever then I’d be all that was left. So it’s actually kind of a big thing. I think it means he trusts me – not just for that, but not to do anything to her. He doesn’t just leave her with anyone.

M: He sent her with me.

L: Only because I was there. He wouldn’t let you spend time alone with her. Especially not after all that stuff you said last week about making her into a real vampire.

M: Yeah, well, offer still stands. Speaking of Katelina, Sue wants to know, “Do you wish you could have a girl friend like Katelina some day? Would you care if she was human or not?” Fuck, I hope it’s a less annoying one that Lunch!

L: *looks uncomfortable* Well, um, yeah, I guess. I mean, sure, a girlfriend would be cool. And nah, I don’t care if they’re human or not. Maybe it’s better that way. Then it makes you the stronger one, you know? You get to be all manly and save her and stuff.

M: You’re just a little soppy-sappy romantic, aren’t you? Here’s another feely question. This one’s from Donna again, “do you still miss your parents? You lost them at so young an age.”

L:  Yeah, sometimes. If they hadn’t gotten killed then things woulda been really different, you know? I think about that sometimes. Ashton never would have started hanging out with Jessie and those guys, so he never would have been a vampire, so he never would have had to turn me…

M: And you’d have never met me. Depressing idea, huh? Well, Sharon wants to know, “What do hate about life as a vampire?”

L: The no sunlight thing blows, especially in the summer. I grew up on the beach; you know, swimming and the whole nine yards, and now I can’t go out in the daytime. Sure, I can do it at night, but it’s not the same thing. Also the food. I’d kill for a twinkie, dude! Or some mustard flavored pretzels.

M: Mustard and pretzels? Are you kidding me? Is that a real thing?

L:  Yeah. You get them out of vending machines.

M: Yuck! The only place mustard belongs is on a fuckin’ hot dog. Seriously, you modern people!

L: You sound like Jorick.

M: You didn’t just compare me to that prick, did you? Coz if you did…

L: What? Huh? You’ll ask me another question. *snickers* Our author told you that you had to be good or she’d pull the plug on the interview, so I’m not scared.

M: Oh yeah, hide behind the author. You wait ‘til this is over. Last question from Donna, “Who frightens you more – Micah or Jorick?” I can answer that one: Me, coz I’m a scary sumbitch.

L: Nah. Not really. I think Jorick’s scarier.

M: What the hell? First you compare me to him and now you’re saying he’s scarier?

L:  Sorry, but he is. You’re all noise, but he’s quiet. Your kind just punches someone in the nose and walks off. His kind takes a machine gun to the post office.

M: Yeah, he is kinda nuts, I guess. But I’m still scarier. All right, and here’s the last question of the interview and it’s from Barb, “You wanted to fight in Oren’s war so badly, do you still think this was such a good idea? Would you have waited?” Hell yeah it was a good idea!

L: I dunno. Jorick was kinda right about some things-

M: What the hell?

L: It was a lot… gorier than I thought it was gonna be. Watching it on TV is one thing, you know? But actually being in the middle of it with blood flying and people screaming…

M: You’re killing someone for cryin’ out loud. Of course it’s gonna be gory!

L: Yeah, I know. I guess… I dunno. I mean, I was there for Ashton when they… when Jessie and them killed him but… It’s kinda different when you’re doing it yourself. I don’t regret it, well, except for what happened there at the end. *looks at Micah* Are we allowed to do spoilers out of the newest book?

M: I dunno. Our “esteemed” author didn’t say nothin’ to me about it. But if you’re worried about it then just leave it at that.

L:  I just don’t want to spoil it for anyone. I hate when someone tells you the end of the book ahead of time.

M: Okay, okay. Well, I guess that’s it-

*POOF* the amazing author enters*

Jo: We have one last question.

M: No we don’t.  *waves paper* I asked them all.

Jo: Juli was a late entry. Here *hands Micah new paper* now be good or I’ll kill you off.

*POOF* the amazing author disappears*

M: What the fuck? Oh well, I like Juli, so I guess. I was kinda wondering why she hadn’t asked you anything. “Do you ever think about what you want to do with your future? You’ve got unlimited time on your hands, what are some of the things you’d like do?” Hah! Looks like you’re not getting out of this one!

L: I don’t know. It would be kinda cool to learn to play the guitar. We could make a vampire band.

M: That’s been done. Ever hear of Lestat?

L: Yeah, but he sang vampire music. We could just do regular music. I’m just saying, it’s something. I’d also like to get the top score in every game I own. How cool would that be? They’d all have LorIzTheShiz in the top spot. That’s my user name-

M: And you think Jorick’s nuts. Okay, enough of this. Next week is the last of these interviews, and someone will be interviewing Kateesha.

L: Not me! She scares the crap out of me!

M: Ah, she ain’t that scary, but I don’t feel like doing it, either. I can’t imagine Lunch handling it, all things considered.

L: *snickers* That would be kinda funny.

M: yeah, it would, wouldn’t it? My money is on Jorick or the redhead. Either way, we’re outta here. Come on pipsqueak, I’m gonna show you who really is the scariest mo’ fo’ around here.

If you’d like to leave questions for Kateesha, please check out this blog and leave them in the comments section. Thanks!

  

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Interview with Micah


 *Profanity warning (it’s Micah, are we surprised?)

Hello! My name is Loren and I’m from Joleene Naylor’s Amaranthine series. Using state of the art-mumbo-jumbo-author magic, Jo usually has Katelina interview other authors’ characters but now we’re finally interviewing fellow Amaranthian’s. Even better, the questions come from you, the readers! How cool is that?

Loren: As I mentioned, I am filling in for Katelina because I wanted to. It’s about time I got to do one of these interviews. That Verchiel guy has hogged way too many of them. Anyway, today I’m interviewing none other than… *drum roll noise* Micah!

Micah: Ta-da!

L: *snickers* So, you ready to answer questions because there’s a bunch of them… though some of them are kind of similar.

M: Lemme guess, it’s chicks wanting to know if I’m single, right. Well, honeys-

L: Um, no. Actually it’s kinda like… well… it’s mushy stuff. Not like romantic mushy stuff, but-

M: Oh, just spit it out, kid!

L: All right. Like Sharon asks, “What are you hiding behind all that macho bull shit? Who hurt you?”

M: Ah. *regains composure* Pfffttt. Who says anyone hurt me? I’m just macho, you know? I’ve always been pretty damn tough.

L: Well you had to be. After your master just dumped you like that.

M: Well… yeah. I was tough before that, though. But yeah. Look at that. Some weak ass punk woulda just rolled over and whimpered in the corner, but not me. No sir, I got off my ass and fuckin’ figured this shit out myself. You can’t always rely on someone else, ya know? They just let you down and, fuck, even if they don’t they won’t be around forever, anyway. I mean look what happened to Benjamin. Everyone thought he’d be around forever but no, he got whacked-

L: Who’s Benjamin?

M: What the fuck? Are you serious? He was this – he was this crazy vampire who owned a motel. We used to go play poker with him sometimes and he’d fucking take big ol’ swigs of booze and spit the shit in a bucket. Talk about disgusting! Jorick and them stashed Arowenia at his hotel and when the bitch pulled her shit-

L: Ah, he’s the guy who got killed.

M: Damn straight. He’s the reason I joined up with this pansy ass war in the first place. I wanted to beat the fuck outta that bitch for it!

L: That kinda goes with Donna’s question. “Your personality is so different from Jorick and Oren, so why do you hang around with them?”

M: Hey, yeah it is! I don’t hang out with them – fuckin’ ex-Executioner dog and his boy wonder. Eh, I suppose Oren ain’t all bad. He’s had some shit, you know? But I was hanging out with Herrick and Des and Benjamin and them until this mess. Des and Oren were buddies – or actually Torina and Des were, if you get my drift, and so he was helping Oren out, and that’s how Benjamin got dragged into it all. Since then I’ve just been enjoying the ride.

L: Amy asks, “Do you remember anything from “before?” You seem to be a pretty complex guy (the anger issues, along with the intense loyalty), makes me wonder what your human life was like.”

M: You want a biography, sweety, come see me after class *winks* Eh, I was living over in New Jersey in a shit town fixin’ bikes at Lo Dog’s shop. Dog was pretty all right and he was fuckin’ huge, man. Seriously, one look at him and you’d have shit yourself, he was that scary. Then some money went missin’ and a course since it was me, Dog and Dog’s piece of shit son Trick workin’ there, you know who got blamed. Wasn’t nothin’ new, though so I said fuck this and left town. That’s when I ran into him and got turned into this.

L: Juli says, “I’m fascinated by tattoos. There’s always a story behind the ink. What’s the story behind your tats?”

M: Now there’s a decent question! Well, see the mermaid over here, Left arm? She was the first. Fuck, I was seventeen and drunk outta my mind, so this guy Carl I was hanging with says to me, “you got virgin skin, we better fix that” and drags me to his uncle’s house, right? Well turned out his uncle was a tattoo guy. Well, he used to be. Lost his license over some bullshit. Anyway, so he did her. He also did this one here, right above her. See, it’s two moons, right? Like the crescent moon here on the bottom, then the full moon here on top, and then you can’t see the fuckin’ new moon, so there’s nothing for it. But it’s like the phases of the moon, coz even back then, man, the night time was way better than the fucking day time. Then this thing over here on my right arm that looks like a fire ball? Yeah, so I was working at this bottling plant, right, bottling soda. Well there was this idiot there – Curtis – fuck, can’t believe I remembered his name. Anyway, Carl and I had split by then so this dude Curtis says he can lay ink. Yeah, well guess what? He fucking couldn’t. Made such a mess I had to pay someone to try to cover it up and this was the best they could do with it. Not that he was much better. Shit. Carl’s uncle was way better than that clown.

L: What about the one on your face?

M: That was the last one I got. Lo Dog and I went in on my birthday and got this. It was like a fucking statement, you know? All these guys got these tear drops and shit, meaning that they killed someone or did time in prison, or whatever, like that makes them tough or some shit? Just coz they got one don’t mean they ever really killed no one, and just coz someone ain’t got one don’t mean they ain’t fucking killed a dozen people. So I say look at this shit and tell me what it means. It don’t mean shit. It’s just a bunch of wriggly weird symbols that some tat guy came up with. Though if someone asks me about it in a way that pisses me off I fucking tell them it’s part of the cult I’m in. *laughs* shuts ‘em up every time.

L: This seems like a good place for Sue’s question, “Not only who hurt you but why are you always so angry?”

M: Fuck, honey, I ain’t angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry! Ha! *pokes Loren* You ever see that? Incredible Hulk. Now that was the shit.

L: I dunno. I like X-men better.

M: X-men? No way! Too much whiny bullshit!

L: No there’s not! And Wolverine is way cooler than some huge green guy!

M: Huge green guy? Man, at least get the name right! Fuck, you got a lot to learn kid! But come on, what’s the next question.

L: All right! Jonathan says, “I bet deep down you are sensitive. It’s okay, but appearances are important, right?”

M: Sensitive. Pffft. Yeah, my ass is sensitive. What’s with this? First I got anger issues and now I’m sensitive!

L: That’s because you are. Deep down you’re like a widdle cuddly teddy *dodges fist* Call X-men whiny bullshit again, will ya, asshole!

M: Just get on with it, ya’ whussy-wolverine-lovin’ nit wit.

L: There is nothing wrong with Wolverine! He’s awesome! From Donna, “You are so kind to Loren. Have you adopted him as a little brother?”

M: I’m gonna un-adopt him in about three point o. Ah, what can I say. The little punk needs someone to look after him, and that prick Jorick ain’t doing such a good job.

L: Eh, Jorick’s not that bad.

M: Says you. I say he’s a royal douche. His type always are; know-it-all jack asses who think they can scare everyone off just by lordin’ over their great ancient fuckin’ age and their status. *in high squeaky voice* “Oh, look at me! I’m a thousand years old and I got a shiny necklace! Whoo-hoo! Run in fear!”

L: You better watch it. If Jorick hears that he’ll kick your ass.

M: Him and what army, huh? What else you got, boy?

L: I have one more from Donna, “Micah, you tease Katelina so much, but let’s face it, if given the chance you’d want to be the one to change her, wouldn’t you?”

M: Ha! Why not? As I said, Jorick can’t even manage this punk *points at Loren* and we’ve all seen what he did to Oren. He’s got no idea how to raise a fledgling. Let me get my hands on Lunch for a month and I could turn her into a real vampire. You wouldn’t even recognize her when I was done, guaran-fucking-teed.

L: Uh, You better not let Jorick hear you saying that either.

M: *snorts* Like I said, him and what army? So that it, or what?

L: Yeah, that’s all of them.

M: Good deal. Then here’s where I say that we’ll see you next week when it’s Loren’s turn to sit in the hot seat and my turn to ask the questions.

L: Katelina’s not going to interview me?

M: Fuck no! It’s my turn, punk.

L: I’m not so sure that’s a good thing…

If you’d like to leave questions for Loren, please check out this blog and leave them in the comments section. Thanks!

  

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  • Tales of the Executioners

    Short stories from the world of Amaranthine; a universe of blood and darkness where vampires don't sparkle and night is eternal. Each is about a member of the Executioners squad; the special vampire "police" force. Members both past and present share stories of assignments, origins, and more.

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    Joleene Naylor

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