Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Storytellers...

The Storytellers

By Laura Elliott

Four storytellers

One ancient demon

No way out…

Four women who call themselves The Storytellers have gathered one hot August evening to tell tales, as they have for years. But on this night, they unknowingly evoke the powers of an ancient Mayan idol that breathes real life into their stories. The Mayan idol isn’t the only ancient being awakened. A power-hungry demon is determined to see the women fail and become enslaved to him forever.

Now the women’s lives depend on surviving each other’s stories, defeating the demon and solving a centuries-old mystery.

If they survive until The End untold wealth is theirs. But some stories have a life of their own…


THE STORYTELLER: Tamara Stephens
She hadn’t thought about Hal for a long time. A very long time. Too long. There was a time when she thought about nothing else. That’s when she had to change her life. Leave the Caribbean and start fresh. But now, she wondered if this American life had been the right choice after all. It had cost way more to make it here than she ever imagined. Curaçao was far, far away. Another lifetime. She rubbed her round belly and remembered the first time she met Hal.
            She was easily thirty pounds lighter, a skinny thing at that. Diving was all she’d known and all she’d cared about. Treasure was her only concern and occasionally she’d scored big. She and her sister just docked after diving the SS Oranje Nassau, and discovered nothing of any great value, trinkets really. She cleaned the porcelain plates and little teacups that had been lost to the sea. Washing small treasures like these was one of Tamara’s great joys, especially at sunset after all the hazards of the deep had been conquered and the stories of the dive flowed as steady as the beer. Jerome had just fired up the BBQ on the boat when Hal walked up behind Tamara.
He put his hands on her hot shoulders and said, “That’s some nice swag you got there.”
Tamara jumped. She caught the teacup that fell out of her hand. Her face flushed but she felt certain the stranger wouldn’t know the effect he had on her as her face had seen too much of the sun to really show such things.
“Didn’t your momma ever teach you not to sneak up on a lady, honey?” Tamara said.
“When it comes to a beauty such as yourself, I ignore all the so-called rules,” the stranger who would become her husband said. His boyish blond hair fell into this crystal blue eyes and made Tamara ignore her tell-him-to-go-to-hell instincts. How many pretty guys were on the island? She took a long, calming breath considering this, sliding her eyes up his fine form. Something seemed different about Hal the moment she met him. He knew how to talk to her. How to get close to her.
            “I’m protective of my treasures, scallywag,” Tamara said.
            “As well you should be.” Hal arched a brow and peered at the cup in Tamara’s hand.
            “Dove the SS Oranje Nassau today I see.”
            She set down the cup and saucer she had been drying and gave him her full attention.
            “You’re lucky to have found anything down there as that wreck has been explored by every tourist in the water.” His eyes sparkled.
            Tamara went about her washing again.
            “The sea’s churned up a bounty these past few days. I’d love to show you some time.”
            “You have a name?” Tamara said.
            “Hal. Hal Villandre. And you are?”
            “Tamara Stephens.”
            “Miss Stephens, my pleasure.” Hal took her hand in his. Tamara melted at the sound of her name and the feel of his lips on the back of her hand. A sweet, gentle kiss. When he let go, his eyes caught all the colors of the setting sun. The rest of the night was a whirlwind of dinner and drinks and sex on the beach. Tamara believed in love at first sight. Hal and Tamara lived it. He had been the love of her life. Her one and only. But now, it seemed as though she’d spent a lifetime without him. Without all she held dear. Without Hal and diving and treasure. Without her island. The world ended for Tamara the day he disappeared. She didn’t recognize the life she’d been living.

I love writing about enchanted road trips, cursed storytellers, shadow worlds, and alien romance while eating lots of popcorn. After twenty-plus years as a freelance graphic designer/animator with clients including E! Entertainment Television and The Los Angeles Times, I left the real world behind and followed my heart into the world of fiction. Little known fun facts––I can’t kill a spider but would gladly kill the tomato-plant eating gophers in my yard if I could get my hands on them, I wouldn’t mind dying in a vat of salted carmel ice cream from Portland’s Salt & Straw, next on my dream list is a trip to Indonesia, I daydream of doing stand-up comedy when I’m not completely terrified of it. 


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