Spirits of Vengeance

I sit quietly and think of revenge.

The revenge I took against you for betraying me.

The revenge you then took against me.

There is more to come. I can feel it. My mind is already musing over the possibilities.

This is a dark cycle we are in. We are forces of destruction, you and I. Powerful creatures, bent on reducing our world to ruins.

Human no longer, but spirits of vengeance.

Written for: Weekend Writing Prompt #287 – Revenge | Word count: 72

NaNoWriMo 2022 Update – 20 Days In

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Here’s the second of my accountability updates for this year’s NaNoWriMo…

And things between days 10 and 20 did not go so well.

Day 11 I only added 1000 words to my total, but this wasn’t really an issue at the time as I was still on course to hit the month’s goal, which influenced my next decision. Days 12 and 13 were a Saturday and Sunday, and I’ve been trying to limit my screen time over the weekend in recent months. So, I made the conscious choice not to switch on my computer, and to be fair, I do write more in the week than at the weekends anyway. I thought I would easily make up the deficit. However, I then hit a snag. Technology failed me for 3 days, so no words added then either. That means 5 days straight and not a single word written. Sigh.

I had managed to close the gap by the end of Day 20, between where I was and where I would like to be, but I was still around 4000 words short of that target.

Unlike my first update, my contemporary romance novel is no longer the sole focus of my attention. Hitting that bump in the road knocked my concentration a bit, and so some of my other ongoing writing projects got a bit of time and effort spent on them. I do hope to return to the novel before November’s out though…

Hopefully days 20 to 30 will be kind to me…we shall have to see.

Are you joining in with NaNoWriMo this year? If you are, how are you finding it?

NaNoWriMo 2022 Update – 10 Days In

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Here’s the first of my accountability updates for this year’s NaNoWriMo…

And things are going surprisingly well after 10 days. I’m where I need to be if I’m to hit 50,000 words by the end of month. Interestingly though, my focus has shifted slightly compared to what I thought I would be working on this month.

My contemporary romance novel is still the centre of my attention, and I think it will be for the whole month, rather than turning towards some of my other ongoing writing projects. (We will have to wait and see).

I’ve found that not only am I am enjoying writing this story (no surprise there! – why would I be writing it if I didn’t like it?) but I am also enjoying editing it as I go along (something I don’t often do), whilst simultaneously planning some of the later unscripted chapters. This is not my usual writing process, but I am having so much fun flitting between the different aspects of crafting this novel.

Fingers crossed, the next 10 days will be as fruitful and enjoyable as these have been. I’m guessing that will all depend on whether I stay on target to reach my goal.

Are you joining in with NaNoWriMo this year? If you are, how are you finding it?

NaNoWriMo 2022

Last year, I promised myself that I would give myself permission to start a new novel for the challenge this year. However, rather surprisingly, I’ve taken the decision not to, even though I have completed a number of unfinished projects this year.

It wasn’t until the morning of the 1st of November that I made this call. Perhaps it was because I have started and finished a few stories in recent months, a novel (The City of Fallen Dreams), a serialised short story (Cemetery Blues) as well editing another novel (my Historical Romance Novel). Then there has been the stuff I’ve been posting over on Wattpad too. (In addition to The City of Fallen Dreams, there has been another seasonal short story, and the second volume of Chronicles of the Craft.)

So, if I’m not starting a new novel, what will I be doing?

I am once again opting for the NaNo Rebel path…I have put together a short list of WIPs to work on this month and hope to have at least one of them finished and maybe even edited by the end of the month. We shall see. But one thing is for certain, at the moment, I am enjoying finishing things…and I have an absolutely huge selection of WIPs to work through.

The first project on the list is One Christmas, a light-hearted contemporary romance, which I first started sharing on Wattpad a couple of years ago. It has since been taken down so that when finished it has a better chance of publication.

Then there are my Damon the Demon stories that I am extending into novellas. And the Historical Romance Novel mentioned above, is the first in a trilogy, so it would be good to get some words added to that. And should I need anything else to work on, I have an Andromache Jones Mystery that is calling to me again. So, there is no shortage of projects!

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? If yes, what are you working on?

I can be found over on the NaNoWriMo site by searching for my profile name: Sammi Cox. Hope to see you over there 🙂

Good luck to all those participating!

Laying The Dead To Rest…Again

Here’s the final part of my new Damon the Demon story, Cemetery Blues…Read from the beginning here.

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By the time they had returned to the cemetery, the witching hour had fallen. The bones were returned to where they needed to be. For the Jennings and Newcombe families, that meant re-interring them within their respective tombs in their family mausoleums. The identification was done with help from the owners, as everyone knew their own when they saw them. The tombs were then tidied up as best as they could be, and plans made to have the damage fixed and put right so that they would eventually be as good as new again.

Then it was time to go and see Shelly. On the way, they stopped at the tomb of Dr Moran. His services would be required that night, and he was eager to oblige.

When they arrived at the bone house where Shelly had been resting, a small crowd had gathered. A cheer went up. Jabez bowed appreciatively at this recognition. Tabitha curtsied. Damon nodded but refrained from any further acknowledgement. After all, he was only doing his job.

Inside, Littla Ada was holding the gloved hand bones of Shelly.

‘She’s been awfully brave, hasn’t she, Damon,’ the girl said.

With the other hand, Shelly wiped a tear that no-one could see from her eye. ‘I knew you wouldn’t let me down,’ she whispered to Damon, visibly emotional and relieved. ‘And you’ve brought Dr Moran too! How wonderful!’

‘Well, I thought, the sooner we get you fixed up, the sooner you can be back up on them pins.’ He grinned down at the skeleton.

‘How bad is it, doctor?’ Shelly asked.

Dr Moran lifted the Damon’s coat which was still draped over the skeleton, to evaluate her injuries. ‘Nothing we can’t repair. Don’t worry, Shelly, you’ll be up and about again in no time.’ To the others, he said, ‘Can I ask you all to step outside while I perform the surgery.’

They all did as they were bid. A few hours later, the doctor exited the mausoleum to give them the good news that Shelly’s surgery had been successful. However, she was exhausted after all she had been through, and he had taken the decision to keep visitors away while she rested for a day or two.

The crowd dispersed shortly after, leaving Damon, Jabez and Tabitha alone.

‘Well, that was an interesting few days,’ Jabez commented. ‘Hopefully I’ve fulfilled my obligation as your deputy and can now be released from any such commitments in future?’

‘Of course. Thank you.

‘We couldn’t have done it without you,’ Tabitha chipped in.

Jabez’s undead eyes sparkled with interest. He took up Tabitha’s hand and kissed it. ‘My fair lady.’

She grimaced. That was not what she had intended.

‘You better head on home,’ Damon said to the revenant, seeing how unhappy Tabitha looked. ‘And you look exhausted,’ he said to the witch. ‘It’s been a hard twenty four hours for everyone.’

They all went their separate ways, Tabitha muttering to herself as she went, promising to wash her hand before it touched and contaminated anything else. Damon returned to his mausoleum, feeling bone tired.

He made himself a hot chocolate and changed into some loungewear. Wrapping himself in his second favourite poncho (the first was still wet from the soaking the night before), he decided to sit on his porch and look out over the cemetery as he unwound.

‘Hello, Mr Damon,’ a voice suddenly said from out of the darkness at the side of the bone house.

Damon sat up sharply, recognising the voice of Mortuatus.

‘I’m sorry,’ he said in that strangely gentle way of his. ‘It was not my intention to startle you.’

Damon invited Mortuatus up on to the porch. He knew not to invite him inside, just in case he was a vampire.

‘I hear the bonestealers have been dealt with.’

‘Yes, that’s all sorted now.’ Damon sipped his hot chocolate. ‘What can I do for you?’

‘Well…you know…When we spoke earlier, I mentioned to you that I had returned to novel writing.’

‘You did.’

‘Well…’ Mortuatus sounded nervous. ‘I haven’t told anyone else yet. Just you…It’s been so long and I might be a out of practice. Anyway, I was wondering if you would do me the honour of having a read of manuscript and let me know what you think.’

‘Of course.’ Damon enjoyed a good tale. ‘What’s it called?’

‘A Story To Die For.’

The End

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol iii: Day 13: The Witching Hour

My thanks to everyone who has read, liked and commented on this story. Your encouragement has been well-received, I can assure you 🙂 And I have had so much fun writing it.

My thanks also to those who have joined in with the prompts. If you haven’t already, head over to the main prompt post (link above) and find the links in the comments to some truly amazing writing by some truly talented writers and poets. I’ve had as much fun reading these stories and poems as I had writing my own contributions.

And that’s it for another year. I hope you all had a Blessed Samhain,

Sammi x

The Bones The Bonestealers Stole

Here’s part 12 of my new Damon the Demon story, Cemetery Blues…Read from the beginning here.

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A couple of the ghosts joined the trio in the fight against the bonestealers that night. Fred and Cora Jennings, the son and daughter-in-law of Mr and Mrs Jennings, and Jack Newcombe, the ghost who had managed to give them a map of the building, had decided this fight was theirs and that they couldn’t in good conscience sit it out.

They sneaked into the shop from the rear entrance, having gained admittance to the yard behind via a gate in the cemetery’s perimeter wall. Damon made a note to have all the gates sealed from the cemetery side so that this could never happen again. Then, with his mind firmly on the task at hand, he gave Jack Newcombe the signal. The ghost entered the building and opened the door from the inside, allowing the more solid undead and the witch admittance.

The ghosts spread out through the building, while Damon and Jabez guarded the entrances. These bonestealers were not going to get the chance to leave before they had taken back the bones which did not belong to them. Tabitha, with her bag of magical tricks, waited in the shadows of the stairs.

When everyone was in place, it began.

The ghosts started flying at the bonestealers and screaming. They all jumped in terror. One woman fainted.

They herded them into the one room, five in total, and one fainter, and when they were sure there were no strays hiding elsewhere in the building, Tabitha stepped forward and released her first spell.

It was a sealing charm.

‘What’s she doing?’ one of the bonestealers asked, while another tried to open the window, his intentions clear. Even though it was unlocked it wouldn’t open.

‘I think you have your answer. No one is leaving until we say so.’

‘What do you want?’

‘Where are the bones?’

‘Umm…we don’t have any idea what you’re talking about,’ one of the men said.

‘I suggest you don’t lie,’ Damon said calmly. Then pointing at Jabez, he said, ‘Do you know what it’s like to be bitten by a revenant?’

Jabez stepped forward and grinned. One of the women screamed, and pulled one of the men in front of her. Over his shoulder, she said, ‘It was her. It was all her idea. She made us do it. We didn’t want to. Honest.’

They were well and truly spooked! The rest of the group backed away until one woman was standing on her own. She was pale and had wrapped her arms about herself defensively. Every now and then her eyes flicked over at Jabez to make sure he hadn’t crept closer.

It was to her that Damon directed his next words. ‘The bones. I won’t ask again.’

The bones were handed over without fuss or quibble. They were checked and double-checked to ensure they were all there, before Damon was happy to bring this confrontation to its conclusion.

To all of them, he said, ‘Keep out of the cemetery. If I catch you there again, you’re going to be the worst kind of sorry.’ He exchanged a look with Tabitha, who clicked her fingers to remove the sealing spell.

They watched as the bonestealers fled the building, carrying the still prone figure of the fainted woman between them.

‘Is the house empty?’ Tabitha asked the ghosts. They nodded in the affirmative. ‘Good. Then I think we are ready to teach these people a final lesson. Shall we step outside into the yard?’

When they were all outside, Tabitha faced the jewellery shop and raised her arms. Then she uttered some words Damon didn’t quite catch before opening a spell bottle and releasing a silver-blue smoke. They all watched enthralled as it swelled in size, so much so that it eventually enveloped the whole building. Then, in a blink of an eye, it was gone. In it’s place were piles of bricks, slate roof tiles, wooden beams, crumbled plaster and panes of glass. The building had been reduced to its constituent parts, all in silence. Whatever else was contained within in the building, such as furniture, photos, crockery, wiring, computers, and everything else, was gone.

‘They won’t be opening again,’ Tabitha said, dusting off her hands in satisfaction.

To be continued…

Read The Final Part Here

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol iii: Day 12: Spooked

Knowing the Enemy

Here’s part 11 of my new Damon the Demon story, Cemetery Blues…Read from the beginning here.

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‘Oh, look. It’s Damon and Jabez,’ one of the ghosts said. ‘Sorry about that, fellas. We thought you were them bonestealers after more of our mortal remains.’

Members of the Jennings and Newcombe families quickly explained to Damon and Jabez what they were doing. They ignored Tabitha completely, being “one of them live one’s, like the ones who took our bones”.

It transpired that the two families had both had their bones disturbed and rib bones had been taken. Fearing the return of the bonestealers, they had decided to join forces and attack them should they come back for more, but they hadn’t.

‘Please ask her to leave,’ Mrs Jennings pleaded with Damon. ‘I’m not at all comfortable being in the same room as a live one. It brings it all back.’

‘Now, Mrs Jennings, you know Tabitha. She’s here to help get your bones back.’

‘She is?’ Mrs Newcombe didn’t sound too sure.

‘Yes. She is.’

At that moment, Tabitha’s phone started to ring, making them all jump.

‘I’ll take it outside,’ Tabitha said and then slipped out the door. She returned a few minutes later. ‘Got them!’ she announced triumphantly.

‘Who are they?’

‘A high-end occult jewellery company called “Exquisitely Bonafide”. Bonafide sounds like bone. I imagine they were very pleased with themselves for that. More importantly, they have a little shop that backs onto the cemetery.’

‘Right. Let’s go,’ Damon declared.



‘Not yet.’


‘Because I think we are going to need a plan.’

‘She’s right, Damon,’ Jabez interjected. ‘Best do it properly, if we’re going to do it at all. Barging in there, reading them the riot act ain’t going to get anyone’s bones back.’

Damon conceded that Tabitha and Jabez had a point.

‘All right, then. Any ideas?’

‘I have a few spells up my sleeve.’

Damon looked at her sharply. ‘Is that wise?’

‘Damon! I saved you from being sacrificed last year with a spell or two. And don’t you forget it.’

‘I won’t…only…Janey and the snakes for hair incident was a little more recent.’

‘Your lack of faith in me is really quite hurtful.’

‘Not to mention rude,’ Jabez added. ‘You want to cast a spell or two, you go ahead, love. I don’t care if these bonestealers end up with a head full of snakes or get turned into toads, rats or worms.’ Jabez put his arm around Tabitha’s shoulder. ‘I like a woman who can do magic,’ he winked.

Tabitha casually shrugged her shoulders to dislodge the offending arm and stepped away, putting a little distance between herself and Jabez. ‘Right so. You lot get thinking. I’ll see you at sunset. I have a cauldron to stir and a potion to brew.’

* * *

Sunset came around quicker than Damon would have liked, but he had the bare bones of a plans and a lot of righteous anger to make up for anything he had forgotten about. Tabitha had her concoctions. They had also had a map.

During the day, one of the Newcombe sons had done a little reconnaissance. As a ghost, he managed to sneak into the building where “Exquisitely Bonafide” was based, and not be seen. So at least they now knew the lie of the land.

They were as prepared as was possible. There was nothing else to do but go and pay these bonestealers a visit.

To be continued…

Read Part 12 Here

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol iii: Day 11: Stirring the Cauldron

A Host of Ghosts

Here’s part 10 of my new Damon the Demon story, Cemetery Blues…Read from the beginning here.

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The message was sent. All Damon and Tabitha had to do was wait for a reply, which was probably some hours away given the fact it was still early.

They headed back to Damon’s mausoleum. He was in dire need of a hot chocolate. When they got there they found Jabez sitting on the steps outside.

‘Thank heaven’s!’ Jabez exclaimed getting to his feet. ‘I was beginning to worry something had happened to you over at Midnight Mansion. Where have you been?’

Damon looked at Jabez and sighed. ‘So you thought I may have been in danger and decided to wait to see if I could get myself out of it? Very helpful.’

‘Well…you don’t look any the worse for it, whatever happened.’

‘Actually, apart from Mortuatus giving me the willies, he was in fact, remarkably helpful. Come inside. We will exchange information over beverages. I’m gasping.’

All three of them went into Damon’s home. Like most bone house residences, only a fraction of the floorspace was to be found above ground. Given Damon’s job though, he made sure the upper room, usually reserved for tombs, was suitably kitted out for receiving visitors.

He indicated for them to sit around the table while he made three mugs of hot chocolate, which when ready, he placed before them. As they drank, Damon filled Jabez in on what they had so far learnt.

‘That’s not nice,’ Jabez commented when Damon had finished. ‘Not nice at all. Yet not a surprise, given what I found out from taking those witness statements.’

‘Go on,’ Damon encouraged.

‘Well, it seems a couple of folk have spotted some unusual activity over at the Newcombe bone house.’

‘What sort of activity?’ Tabitha asked.

‘Well, they weren’t specific and when I pressed them on it, they clammed up. Seems what happened to Shelly has really made folk nervous. And I don’t blame them.’

‘Neither do I,’ Damon agreed. ‘Right-so,’ he said, pushing away from the table. ‘I guess we are heading over to the Newcombes to see what’s what.’

‘Still need me?’ Jabez asked, his voice hopeful. ‘Or is my part in this now concluded?’

‘You’re coming with us, Jabez.’

The revenant sighed but had the sense not to argue.

They didn’t have far to go. The Newcombe mausoleum was only on the other side of the little copse known by the locals at The Wee Woods.

Once they got there Tabitha was again made to wait outside while Damon and Jabez made sure it was safe. Unlike at the Jennings bone house, the door here was properly closed. Damon gave it a shove with his shoulder, expecting it to require a bit of effort, but the door opened easily, and he fell inside, Jabez hot on his heels.

Not one, not two, but it seemed a whole host of ghosts, suddenly appeared out of nowhere, and began to attack them. Jabez screamed obscenities as Damon tried to reason with them.

Yet it was Tabitha that got the ghosts to stop, her presence taking them unaware.

‘What on earth is going on? It’s so busy it’s like a ghost town in here!’

To be continued…

Read Part 11 Here

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol iii: Day 10: Ghost Town

At The Bone House

Here’s part 9 of my new Damon the Demon story, Cemetery Blues…Read from the beginning here.

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The sky was beginning to lighten, and all traces of the storm, except for the damp grass and puddles, had gone. Tabitha was in no mood to go home and sulk. Instead, she offered her services to help Damon find out who had hurt Shelly.

Together they crossed the cemetery, heading to the Jennings mausoleum. When they arrived at the bone house, nothing looked out of place. That was, until Damon approached the door. It was slightly ajar.

‘Wait here while I check it’s safe,’ Damon said, insisting Tabitha remain on the path that ran in front of the row of monumental burials.

Tabitha rolled her eyes. ‘Even in death, guys still have to be macho, don’t they? You do know it’s the twenty first century, Damon. Forcing people into traditional gender roles is frowned upon now.’

‘Tabitha. You’re not exactly equipped to fight a horde of bonestealers, are you?’

‘All right. Point taken. Go if you’re going.’

Damon pushed open the door and was shocked by what he found; a level of desecration he had never before seen in this cemetery. Tombs had been smashed open, and the departed had been disturbed. The question was, where were the ghosts of the Jennings family?

‘Hello?’ he called out, but received no answer.

He retraced his footsteps back to the door and beckoned Tabitha inside.

‘Oh my! This is awful!’ Tabitha said. ‘How could anyone do this?’

Damon didn’t know how to answer that. Instead he said, ‘ Take a look around and see if you can find any clues.’

They began their search. Damon could see perfectly well in the darkness of the vault, thanks to his demon-ness. Tabitha used the torch on her phone.

‘Look at this,’ Damon said, handing over the scrap of paper he had found, half hidden beneath a broken fragment of stone. ‘It says, “Jack O’Lantern Lane”. What do you think it means?’

Tabitha’s face lit up. ‘I know exactly what it means, Damon. It’s the name of a wholesale occult supplier.’

‘And you know that because?’

‘Because I use them on occasion. And, I can’t tell you something even better.’

‘You can?’

‘Yep. I have a friend who works in their office.’

Damon’s face broke out in a smile. ‘Do you think-‘

‘I could ask them if they can find out who else they have on their books in the local area?’

‘You read my thoughts.’

Tabitha got out her mobile phone and started typing.

To be continued…

Read Part 10 Here

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol iii: Day 9: Jack O’Lantern Lane

Bad Business

Here’s part 8 of my new Damon the Demon story, Cemetery Blues…Read from the beginning here.

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Damon thanked Mortuatus and left Midnight Mansion as quickly as he could. The front door opened automatically to allow him out, and noiselessly clicked closed once he was outside. He breathed a sigh of relief and hoped he never had to step foot inside that mausoleum ever again.

In an effort to put some distance between him and Mortuatus, Damon decided to head straight for the Jennings bone house to see if he could discover why it interested the bonestealers and perhaps more importantly, what they meant by the source having run dry.

Yet he hadn’t gone far when Damon heard shouting.

‘Look. It was an accident. They do happen every now and then.’ That was the voice of Tabitha Stephenson.

The second voice, Damon did not recognise. ‘If you’re so accident prone as a witch, why don’t you have the sense to retire?’

‘That’s hardly fair.’

‘You’re the worst witch ever. Do I get my money back?’

‘No, as you very well know. Everything was set out in the Terms and Conditions you agreed to at the start.’

‘I did not agree to this!’

‘Well you should have read the small print, shouldn’t you? That, my dear, is on you, not me!’

‘Can you undo what you have done?’

‘No, and I wouldn’t even if I could. You don’t need a beauty charm. You need a lesson in civility. Here it is.’

‘Wait! You can’t leave me looking like this. Tabitha!’

‘Stop moaning. It will wear off. Eventually.’

Tabitha pushed her way through the curtain of weeping willow branches and found herself standing before Damon.

‘As if by magic, my best buddy appears out of thin air,’ Tabitha said, a little unenthusiastically. ‘I guess you sensed I needed cheering up?’

‘Another happy customer?’

Tabitha gave Damon a withering look.

‘What happened this time?’

‘I didn’t spot the beauty spell Janey had chosen had a teeny weeny, almost glyph-like drawing of Medusa in the margin.’

‘She’s got a head full of snakes?’

Tabitha nodded. Her face was grim. ‘It’s been a tough night, Damon. I’m not going to lie. Tell me something to cheer me up.’

Instead, Damon recounted the attack on Shelly, his deputising of Jabez and his visit to Midnight Mansion to see Mortuatus. It seemed everyone was having a bad night.

To be continued…

Read Part 9 Here

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol iii: Day 8: As If By Magic