Greetings everyone and welcome to another installment of the WE ARE INFINITE stories and giveaway! I'm so grateful to be able to do this and to share stories that remind us all of connection and our intrinsic worth.
Now, before we dive into today's tale, let's have a quick refresher on what's happenin' 'round here:
1. Contest is simple: you send me (email@example.com) your INFINITE STORIES and I post 'em. I also promote them, so if you want to include a link to a novel you wrote, an etsy shop, or other such awesomeness, then by all means, include that in your entry! I want to share the love!
2. INFINITE STORIES are tales that remind us of connection: ghost stories, past lives, prophetic dreams, a moment that changed your life, how you found faith, how you found love, how you recovered from heartache, a friend who saved your life, a dog that meant the world, a cat that knew too much, a feeling that spared you or a loved one from pain, a feeling that hooked up a pair of friends for marriage, kids, and life. Anything and everything goes!
All the details about what I'm looking for and how to play are found HERE.
3. Each story enters you for the grand prize. What is it, you ask? Well it's Amazon cash, artwork, and a book!
4. Don't have a story you want to share? No problem! Sharing information about the contest also constitutes an entry for the grand prize! More details about that are right HERE.
5. More questions? Check out the FAQ or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And last but not least, don't forget to check out the always-accumulating-ever-impressive-oh-so-powerful WE ARE INFINITE STORIES INDEX, where all the contest entries will be linked for you to peruse anytime you need a reminder that you are never, ever alone!
Today's entry is one of mine. I love the chance to be publicly grateful for all the incredible ways the people in my life and the Universe at large has helped me out over the years.
I'll be posting my entries mixed in with others as the contest rolls on.
Deadline for all entries is FEBRUARY 8, 2015!
Much love, many thanks, and light and love to you and yours.
Several years ago, I was in a LiveStream watching an artist do their magical thing, and I discovered another one of the viewers was an author. Never one to miss a chat to talk craft with a fellow slinger of the words, I pinged him to say hello.
"Hi," he said back to my rather wordy, flirty, gin-fueled greeting.
Thinking perhaps I'd encountered a shy wallflower, I hoped to encourage him to bloom. "How are you?" I tried.
"I can't believe you're talking to me," he said.
"Why?" I asked, hoping I'd not accidentally encountered a mortal enemy from high school cleverly disguised as a total stranger.
"Because I read your work."
"Oh," I typed back, much relieved not to face down that high school quarterback or the leader of that pack of overly Christian girls I nearly ran over with a truck in junior year. To be fair, she started it. "Well, thanks. I'm glad you like it. What is it you do?"
"We can't talk like this."
"Why not?" I asked.
"Because you'd be so mad at me."
At that point, my curiosity was beyond piqued. "Why would I be mad at you? Did you leave me hate mail? Write a bad review? What I do isn't for everybody. It's okay. But if you called me names, I may take that as an invitation to spank you."
"No, it's not that. I'd never call you names." He was so serious, I was taken aback. "It's not that at all."
"What is it, then?" I asked.
The conversation completely died at that point, and I was worried I'd inadvertently scared a poor soul into a dark corner of the internet. So, never one to leave well enough alone, I hunted him down elsewhere and sent a private message. It was generally an apology and an overture. I sort of invited him out to virtual lunch.
To my pleasant surprise, he took me up on it. We began exchanging emails and chatting here and there, and I thought done was done. The friendship remained nicely arms-length, which isn't how I enjoy operating, (I'm a Southern extrovert who can fall in love in the grocery line. I am nosy and affectionately intrusive by nature.) but I figured things would happen as they needed to happen. It seemed to matter that he could keep his privacy and not, in fact, tell me why I'd be so "mad at him."
Don't get me wrong. I asked more than once. But he's very, very good at avoidance.
A couple months later, I took a trip down (farther) south to visit some friends. I went to a party, drank way, WAY too much wine, and somehow managed to get back to my friend's house, though I must confess, much to my shame and local law enforcement's undoubted chagrin, I don't have much recollection of how my drunk ass staggered onto familiar, fluffy bed territory.
But back I made it and into bed I fell and that night I had one of the strangest dreams of my life.
I was sitting in a basement I'd never seen before. Now, even my dream self thought this was strange. I remembered reading somewhere that we don't go to strange places or dream of strange faces, but there I was in Unknown Basement Land sitting on a leather sofa. There was a weird blue glow filling the room, like some part of it was underwater, though I didn't spend much time glancing around trying to find the source of the light. Instead, I focused on the table in front of me. It had an open movie case, a few books, and a very old phone. A big, heavy, rotary-dial thing, if you're old enough to remember what those look like. It was black with white numbers, and while I sat there, it began to ring.
Mumbling the equivalent of "When in basement Rome..." I lifted the receiver. I held the phone to my ear and said, "Hello?"
There was no answer, but I knew – absolutely freakin' knew – that my new friend whom I'd met in the chat room was on the other end of the line. I knew he was upset. I knew he was so upset there were tears. I knew he couldn't speak.
"Hey," I said. "It's going to be okay. Just talk to me, all right?"
There was still no answer, just a shaky sigh. "Come on. You can do it."
I heard a pained sound, a horrible, wretched sort of noise, and suddenly I knew that he couldn't, in fact, do it. He couldn't talk.
"What's wrong?" I asked, getting worried. "What's wrong with your throat?"
My friend made a gurgling sound that sincerely freaked me out. "Corbin?" I called. "Corbin, what's wrong with your throat?"
I woke up in a cold sweat, face-down in a pillow with the blankets all tangled and my head throbbing. I flailed to a window and threw it open, breathing in the November air. After I stopped shaking, I fumbled around the room getting my laptop plugged in and turned on.
It was early, but not that early, and when I saw Corbin online, I bit my lip and hovered my cursor over his name. My dilemma was clear: how do I ask somebody who clearly didn't want to talk to, in fact, talk? Did the dream mean anything important? Was it literal or metaphysical? A medical emergency or a symbolic affliction – a sign that something or someone was strangling Corbin's ability to express himself?
I didn't know, and if there's one thing I figured out a long time ago, the only way to find out the truth is to seek it.
I messaged Corbin, who responded back in his usual cheerful mode. We chatted about my trip and the party, and finally I couldn't take it anymore.
"So, I have a strange question," I typed.
"Oh?" he asked, and I swear, I could hear the sweat rolling off those two letters.
"You don't have to answer."
"You're making me nervous."
"I know. I'm sorry. Thing is... do you have any sort of... well. Is there anything medical going on with you?"
There was a very long pause. I don't think I breathed during it. "Medical?" Corbin finally replied.
"Yeah. You know. Medical. Sickness. Ailment? General malaise?"
"Well...LOL... it's sort of weird that you ask. There is something."
"Yeah," he typed. "I've got this thing going on with my throat."
After I screeched, alarmed my friend, told her it was fine, fell off the bed, and climbed back onto it, I typed, "Really?" in an oh-so-casual manner.
"Some sort of nodule on my voice box or something like that. It's no big deal."
"Huh," I typed, for sincere lack of anything else to say.
"Why do you... HOW did you know to ask?"
"Er. Well. I had a dream."
"You had a what?"
Another long pause. "Do tell," he said.
So I described the dream to him in as much detail as I could remember: the room, the furniture, the weird blue glow, the phone, and the conversation.
There was such a long pause that I thought we'd been disconnected. I bellowed for my friend to check the blinkity-blank-blank-mother-freakin-blinkin' router, and she responded in kind. She didn't throw my coffee at my head when she brought it in, but she did give me a, "YOU ARE TELLING ME EVERYTHING LATER WHEN YOU ARE LESS IN-DAMNED WEIRD" look.
"lol," Corbin typed. The lowercase was telling. He only forgot to capitalize when distracted. Or tense. Or worried. I stared at that little "L" until my eyes watered, and I waited.
"Well, that's. Um. You sort of just described my basement," Corbin confided in me.
I'm a pale person by nature, but I know I went whiter than my usual white. I went radioactive. "Oh?"
"Yeah. We have fish tanks. One wall's basically fish tanks. That's the blue glow."
"No shit," Corbin agreed.
"Now what?" I asked.
"I figured you'd know more than me about that one," Corbin joked. I got him talking about the procedure, his worries over it, and we kept talking, but it felt unfinished. I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was, but there was something still not quite right.
We got offline, and I went to explain myself to my friend. She took the news well. "Oh good," she said. "You don't make friends and influence people. You make minions and terrify 'em."
"Yeah, yeah," I grumbled. "Pass the damned half-and-half."
The day was spent nursing a hangover. I returned home, and weeks went by. Corbin had the procedure, and all was well. I figured my strange little trip over to his side of the metaphysical fence was a fluke. We kept talking and joking and getting into wit wars. Oftentimes it'd be three a.m., and I'd finally have to beg off to get some sleep.
One such night, I tumbled into bed at around four. I fell into a dead slumber and had another dream.
It was spring, and I was in a Towncar headed down an unfamiliar street. We rounded a bend, and I saw a large tree, a driveway, and a little white house. The car took me to the top of the driveway. I got out, walked along the sidewalk, and went right through the front door. There was a man in the house, but I ignored him. I didn't need to be told where to go. I went down a narrow, dark hallway, passing pictures as I went, and came to a door at the end. The knob was glass. I turned it and went into a room filled with light-colored furniture. In the bed was a narrow figure that I couldn't quite see. But I knew it was Corbin, and I wasn't afraid. I went over to the bed and sat on the side of it. I put my hand on his chest, just over his heart. It was covered in white bandages, as though a grievous wound had been inflicted and covered but hadn't healed.
"That hurts, doesn't it?" I asked. There was no answer, but I nodded as if there had been. "Well, let's just see what we can do about that."
I woke up more gently this time, and when I found Corbin online later and recounted the dream, this time I wasn't surprised to hear all the details I'd gotten right. I was afraid to say anything about the bandages and the heart. I was terrified it was literal; that there was a heart attack on the way.
As it turned out, I didn't have to say anything at all. Corbin did all the talking from that point forward. I learned about past, present, and future. I learned about pain and bad relationships and that he wasn't doing what he wanted to do with the words and the stories. He told me that's why he thought I'd be angry at him. It had to do with why my writing had affected him. "It's the honesty in it," he told me. "It's the hope and the love. I want those things. I don't think I have them."
"Well, then let's see if we can hunt 'em down, shall we?"
"You think that's even possible?"
I laughed. "Have we met? 'Cause I'm the chick who occasionally dreams of people and places she's never been so she can figure out why some guy she met in a chat room might think she was mad at him."
"Well, when you put it like that..."
"Say it with me now..."
Love, light, and dreams,
Kelly Wyre enjoys reading and writing all manner of fiction, ranging from horror to romance. She used to work in advertising but is now happily chained to her writing desk and laptop. She believes she's here to tell stories and to connect people with them. She's written several novels, novellas, and short stories and has no plans on stopping anytime soon.
Kelly relishes the soft and cuddly and the sharp and bloody with equal amounts of enthusiasm. She's a coffee addict, an avid movie lover, a chronic night owl, and she loves a good thunderstorm. Currently Kelly resides in the southeastern United States.
Meet Me at the Gates by Kelly Wyre
Outer Banks bookstore owner Hyacinth Silver Fox has a secret millennia in the making: her soul was magically entwined with another, and at night she dreams of every lifetime they've ever spent together. The rules of their magic are simple: Hydee always knows her lover, but he, or she, doesn't remember her. It's up to Hydee to find and make her soulmate see they are destined for each other, and this lifetime is no different, but there's one problem: her soulmate is Theo Monk, heartthrob actor and Hollywood's sometime-infamous badboy. Hydee's hope of reuniting is wearing thin, but she has no idea how dire the situation really is.
Because meanwhile in California, Theo Monk is losing his mind. Anxiety and paranoia rule his life, along with his on-again-off-again girlfriend and her entourage. When fear and frustration push him to an edge, Theo cuts and runs as far from his problems as he can without knowing Fate's giving him one last shot to unite with the only person who can help him. Hydee and Theo must save one another before hope runs out and Hydee's despair and Theo's fear keep them apart forever.