Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Motivation Monday: Finding Courage To Do What You Terrifies You the Most




Courage is not doing things when you are confident, or when you feel secure and you know that you will win. Courage is doing things when you are terrified. 

In order to grow as a person, you MUST do the things that scare you. Without moving out of your comfort zone, into territory where you feel that you lack the skill sets, or lack the talent to do the things that you've never tried before, or because you're afraid of failure, and the pain that comes with it.

But you have to take that risk.

Because in experiencing failure, we learn. We grow.


Life lessons only occur when we go out and do the things that scare us. That is how we become stronger, more resilient people. That is how we succeed.




So, how do we find the courage do to the things that terrify us?


We draw on inspiration from others. Watch motivational videos. Talk to supportive friends. Talk to supportive colleges. Talk to supportive family members. Doesn't matter who (or even where) they are, as long as they are there, in your life, being a cheerleader for you.


But what happens when you don't have anyone to push you forward?


Then you have no choice. You have to start with yourself. You have to cheer yourself on. And once you start, others will jump on the bandwagon and start cheering for you too. Because you will inspire them.

But how do you do this? How can you possibly start with yourself, when you don't feel courageous? When you don't feel strong or confident or sure of your skills?

It's simple, really, when it comes down to it.

You must tell yourself THAT YOU ALREADY ARE brave. That you already are the things that you wish most in your life to be.

You say these words, and soon enough, even if you don't believe it now, you will. And it will change your life. I know that it changed mine.

Especially if you don't feel it in your heart and soul right now. This is what you need to say to yourself, to gain courage and confidence and any other thing that you feel is lacking in your life. 

Repeat after me:

  • I am strong.
  • I am capable.
  • I am wise.
  • I am successful. 
  • I am determined.
  • I am courageous. 
  • I am focused.
  • I am an amazing person.


Say it every day, and soon enough, you'll start to believe it. Because it's true. You are all of these things, and more!

But, Cassie, does this really work? 


Yes. Yes, it does.

Let me tell you something.

I went through a very tough time last year. And saying those things to myself is what got me out of that cycle of suffering. Of repeating negative thoughts. Of dwelling on everything that went wrong, instead of focusing on what went right.

Stopping that internal cycle of saying negative things to myself by saying positive I AM statements instead, really works.

Silly? Can be to some. But it worked for me.

Sometimes, you have to say it to yourself before anyone else will. Once you start believing it, the support will come from others.

I know this because I went through it. I experienced it. Painfully. Acutely. I was arguing all the time with my family. They wanted me to go "get a real job" and to give up trying to sell my books.

I felt like a complete and total failure. My sales weren't where they needed to be, the money wasn't there for me to help support my family.

It was awful.

I had hit rock bottom.

With constantly being told that I was never going to get anywhere with this and that I should go get a safer career in a soul-sucking job, it wore me down.

I honestly felt like quitting. I was about to give it all up. Stop writing. Stop publishing. Stop pursuing my dreams.

And then, I watched a couple motivational videos. I was looking for ways to learn how to uplift others in my life, to help raise them up because I always feel best when I am helping someone else.
That is how I am wired. It's what makes me tick. And I figured if I can help others, I'll feel better, and maybe I won't be so down about things.

Honestly, it felt like the Universe guided me to them because I needed to hear what those people had to say. 

This month I watched a TON of motivational videos, and I learned a lot about myself, and how I work, and I found that I still had that inner strength I thought I had lost. This was all because I was inspired by other people that I had never even met in my life.

I was so inspired to grow as a person that I decided to challenge myself. And I mean really challenge myself for the first time in a very long time.

A few days ago, I announced that I was going to do something that utterly terrified me. 


I am going to finish and publish three books next month. One of which I have been sitting on for over 7 years because I was AFRAID of what people would think of it.

All three books are in various draft states. All three of them can easily be polished up, added to, and completed in 4 weeks. No problem.

And yet...it the very idea of challenging myself and putting those things out into the world scared me.

(It still does. But I'm not letting it stop me. I have to prove to myself that I CAN DO IT!)

Making that announcement was like taking a knife and cutting out my own heart and holding it up and out to the world and saying, "Hey! Here it is! This is all the strength I have left, but damn it, I'm gonna use it to keep moving forward and do the thing that scares me the most. Because I have to. I have to follow my heart. I have to reach my goals. I can make it happen. Even though I am scared to do it. I know I can do it. And I will."

And you know what happened?

The minute I told other people that I was going to do something that scared me, support popped out of the woodwork. 


Some of it came from places that I never expected it to come from. From people, I didn't even personally know! (Thank you Twitter Followers!)

Why?

Because following my goals, and struggling and moving forward in spite of the odds, inspired other people. And in turn, those people gave me the support and the strength I needed to dig deep inside and find the courage to do it.

Even though that courage and inner strength have always been there, I could not find it. I was looking for it in the wrong places.

But now I know.

Courage starts within me. Taking a leap of faith, digging up and drawing upon that brave soul inside of me caused a chain reaction of inspiration. It radiated out and inspired others and then it came right back to me, in an ever-growing wave of support.

It's an amazing experience. One that anyone can have. 


But, it is up to you. You have to make the decision. Today.

Make the decision to commit to doing the one thing that scares you the most. Because that is THE ONE THING that will make your life better. That is the thing that will move you closer to your destiny. That will push you towards being a stronger, more successful person.

Keep pushing your limits. Keep doing the things that scare you, and you will thrive in the challenge. I guarantee it.

And remember, if you fail, it's not a bad thing. It is a lesson to learn from. To grow from. To become stronger, and wiser, and richer from. It is a life lesson, and life lessons are priceless.





You can do it! I believe in you!



Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday Motivation: To Sell Your Book, You Must Be Excited About it!

I removed the account name because who this is from really isn't that important.
It's the poor message that he was trying to use to sell his product. 


Today I received the most low energy, passive-aggressive request in a DM on Twitter to go watch and support someone's movie and I was like...if you're not excited about your movie, why should I be? Why should I care at all?

He basically said that his people forced him to "spam" me with information and to feel free to delete it if I didn't want to be bothered like that.


THAT IS NOT HOW YOU GET PEOPLE TO BECOME YOUR FANS. THAT IS NOT HOW YOU MAKE MONEY!


The same applies to books: 

If you are not excited about YOUR BOOK (that YOU MADE and that YOU are trying to sell), no one else will be. SOLID SALES start with energy. Positive energy. That MUST COME FROM YOU.


To get people excited about your book, you must be excited to share it with the world.


Would you buy something from someone who was bored? Someone who was just there, but not really present in the moment? Who was like, "Yeah, I just have this thing I have to sell, I'm not really going to do anything to pique your interest, I just have to give this stupid pitch because my boss is breathing down my neck."?

No.

I can tell you from personal experience, anytime I had that attitude in a sales job, I failed. I barely met daily expectations.

But when I was pumped up, when I was selling something that I was TRULY PASSIONATE about, you betcha I met my sales goes. I met them and then some.

Back in my late 20s when I worked for Godiva Chocolatier (mmmm chocolate!). I was picked to take several huge heavy totes worth of products and sell it at businesses. It was a one day set up of a mini-shop in an office building, essentially, with coffee and samples and a ton of boxes of chocolates to sell.

I sold over $1,000 worth of chocolates in 4 hours. By Myself. 

HOW?

Well, that's easy. I was super passionate and excited about it.

I talked to every single person that came into the room where I had set up shop and helped them find something for Valentine's Day for their sweetheart.

Why?

BECAUSE I FUCKING LOVE CHOCOLATE! (Who doesn't? I mean, aside from those poor unfortunate souls who are allergic to it. You have my sympathies. You really do.)

All you have to do is talk to people, and be passionate about your book. It's really that simple.


You have to be open to meeting new people. You have to be open to finding out what they are looking for and help them get it. That's what sales are all about. And if you find out that the person isn't interested in the genre/type of book that you wrote, you can direct them to one that is. And they'll remember that! And when they run into someone that is looking for something in the same vein that you wrote, they'll recommend it to them. That's one of the key parts of Word of Mouth Sales!


How cool is that?


Look, I know way too many authors that can't bring themselves to promote their product. They feel self-conscious about it. It makes them uncomfortable to give sales pitches of the very thing they spent hours and hours and hours on perfecting before putting it out into the world. They feel like people won't like it, so why bother?They worry that if they do try to sell their work, that all they are doing is  bugging people, like that person who sent me the DM on Twitter.

But here's the thing:
You won't sell a single copy if you are not talking to people!


Seriously.

If I go to a convention and sit at a table, and I'm really not in the mood to talk to strangers, I will hardly sell anything. I know this, because I've had several days like that. My energy was closed off. I didn't want to open up and interact and exchange ideas and thoughts and feelings. The end result? I barely sold 2 copies of a book. It was sad, and I felt awful about it.

But when I show up at a convention and I'm feeling great and open and receptive to speaking to people, and it's very clear I'm happy to be there? You betcha that I move copies off that table and put money in the coffers.


It's all about your energy levels.


Being an excited salesman is a skill that authors need to have! We spend all of our time writing, so we know how to craft sentences that convey a feeling of excitement that is full of passion. (If you don't, that's OK! I can show you how! Just keep an eye on this site. More Motivation Monday posts are to follow.)

Even the most extroverted of souls have days where they just don't feel like interacting with others, and that is when they dig deep, find those talents and sales skills that they have honed, and kick back up that energy level and SELL!

Being a good salesman, and writing books that fly off the shelves and convention tables, or selling tons of copies of eBooks online, is not an innate trait that people are born with. Sorry. But it's not.
THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD become successful after failing and failing and failing, and learning lessons each time they fail. And they study. They study the people in their fields that became successful and learned how they did it, and take something away from those life lessons and then apply it to their own careers. And they keep working on becoming successful. And then, one day, they wake up to see the very results that they have been working so hard to achieve.
Why?

BECAUSE THEY NEVER STOP LEARNING.

They don't stop learning about sales. They don't stop learning about how to better interact with people. They don't stop learning about their trade. They don't stop learning NEW SKILLS that will push them forward and improve their work and move them closer to achieving their goals and making their ambitions come to fruition.


And that is something that we all must do if we are to be successful. 



Keep learning. Keep being inspired. Keep moving forward. And you shall succeed. It's as simple as that.


Watch this video. Seriously. I just got finished with it, and it's amazing. You'll never look at selling your book the same way again. Guaranteed. 


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Here's A NEW FREE CHAPTER from my Vampire Book Addicted to the Abyss!


Author's Note: This is an exclusive excerpt of a brand new chapter from my upcoming vampire book which is an expanded version of my Addicted to the Abyss serial. It takes all the great content from the series, fills in blanks in time, and lets the reader see everything that Jonah was up to prior to finding Mallory. 

Blackness enveloped me.

Nothingness surrounded me.

No thoughts, no feelings, nothing.

Peaceful darkness, pierced by glimpses of faces, of blood running down walls and sink drains, of people screaming or pulling away in repulsion. Of things that Should Not Be staring right through me, right at my very soul.

Everything a jumble of sights and sounds and smells and tastes and fuck it tasted so good.

Food. That’s all I thought about.

Go hunt, eat, sleep during the day. Go back out. Eat some more.

Keep moving. Always keep moving. Don’t stay in one place or they’ll catch you. That bad man, the one that hurt you, and that woman, the one that turned you into a monster. They’ll both find you if you don’t run.

Her brood, the others that she turned like me, but not like me because they didn’t think for themselves, they obeyed her every command. She wanted me to be like them, and I refused. That made her angry. So very, very angry.

I knew this because they kept whispering that to me in my head. They told me things; horrible things, things she was going to do to me when she found me. Things she’d do to HIM if I didn’t behave.

But…I don’t remember who HE is. I know I should, but I can’t. No face, no name, no memories of the sound of his voice. Just his scent.

Every once in a while, there was a familiar scent on the wind, coming from the north. A smell of home, of someone important. Someone who made my heart ache and sent me screaming in rage.
HIM.

HE hurt me.

I’m going to find him. I’m going to make him suffer for what he did. I’ll torture him, eviscerate and devour him body and soul, I’ll keep eating until there’s nothing left.

But, why do I remember what he smells like, and nothing else? It makes no sense.

Then again, the other day, I didn’t even remember what I sounded like until I spoke. It startled me.

It was funny and pathetic.

But that wasn’t the worst part. 


No. Not even close.

The worst part is what I dreamed of...when I had dreams.

Most nights I just collapsed at daybreak and everything was black until I stirred at sunset. But other nights, when the moon was nowhere to be seen in the sky; those nights, it came to me.

It visited me in my dreams. The Abyss; a dark black heart, beating in the basement of a large structure. Slowly beating, a single eye on its side, threatening to open and stare at me and swallow me whole and make it all. Go. Away. Forever.

Human flesh tendrils shot out of it, wrapped around the walls, devoured everything it touched, everything. People, walls, time. Everything. Nothing was spared its unending hunger. Nothing.

Its black blood oozed out of the bottom, collected in a pan or tank or something I no longer have a word for.

It knew where I was. It knew what I was.

And it whispered to me. Hateful things. Horrible things.

It wanted me to help it. Help it destroy. Help it decay and devour everything single thing living in this world. All of it.

That voice, that horrible whispering voice, it comes from my dreams into my waking hours, from that giant heart of death. It whispers to me all the time.

Kill.

Rip their hearts out, devour them whole. 

Make them suffer. 

Make them all suffer and cry and then eat them. 

They taste better when they’re scared. 

Don’t they, Jonah?

The Abyss; its writhing human flesh tendrils, black beating heart, and its eye. That terrible eye. Red and black. Glowing in the darkness. Destroying everything it looked at. Making it just, not exist. As if it never was there, to begin with. All it took was one blink and it could make anything disappear, forever. Erasing it from reality.

It terrified me.

It didn’t care about Mullo.

It never mentioned HER.

It just wanted me to kill.

And so, I did.

I killed and ate my fill, but it was never enough. Never enough. Always hungry, always wanted more. And all the while, I kept thinking that I wanted to go home. But I couldn’t remember why, let alone where that was.

Then, after a while, I lost his scent on the wind. And I forgot about home. About HIM.


I started enjoying myself. Stalking people, getting them alone, scaring them shitless, and eating them whole.

A small part of me, in the very back of my fucked up mind, knew it was wrong, but it tasted so good, and the high I got from eating my fill was wonderful. Energizing. Warmth flooded my body, eased the pain from the hunger, made everything all right. Felt so good. Better than sex. Better than anything I had ever done before. I kept wanting more and more and more of it until there was nothing left to look forward to then the next fix. My next meal.

Who would make a good snack?

Who would be good to devour whole?

It was a fun game; the selection; the chase; the kill. The feeding frenzy. I was nothing more than a piranha. A killing and eating machine. Cold-blooded like a shark, with a mouthful of sharp, daggered teeth.

My teeth…took a while to get used to that. When I got hungry they grew longer and razor sharp. After I fed they shrank back to normal. It wasn’t just the incisors, but all of them. All my teeth did that.

Thankfully, I learned how not to bite my cheeks, but I occasionally got too excited and bit my tongue. Still learning to deal with that.

Nights turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Seasons came and went. None of it bothered me much. Followed. Always followed. Broodlings about to catch up. Nowhere to run, they always find me. Always a few steps behind me. SHE was with them., like a black mass of living shadow; bitter cold, deadly, waiting to catch me and swallow me whole.

Didn’t want to leave the state.

Not sure why.

Felt like I was forgetting something.

Something very important.

Made my heart ache if I thought about it too much. Hated that feeling, that empty sadness of loss and regret. Made me want to rip my own heart out and bury it so that I could leave that hellish feeling behind. But, I couldn’t.

What was that?

Loneliness?

Despair?

Sorrow?

Don’t know. Not sure.

Hated it, wanted that part of me dead. Wished that I could forget everything sometimes. Would be easier than this waking hell of half-forgotten words, empty promises, false lies, the feeling of a memory just out of grasp.

Pretty sure there were times now when I just blacked out. No words, only feelings and scents and sounds and sights, like a filthy animal. Like her broodlings.

The blackouts happened frequently, more and more now. I wasn’t even aware of it happening until I snapped out of it. I hated that part.

I don’t know what kind of man I used to be before IT happened, but I’m pretty sure that he’d be mortified to learn that he ended up like this.

I tried not eating every day, but the urge became too strong. I grew agitated, pain settled back into my body like it was devouring my insides.

Maybe it was.

Shaking, weak, I was like a junkie going through withdrawal. I needed my fix, and I needed it now, or I was going to die.

I woke up, covered in cold sweat. It was tinged black…my tar blood was in everything now. Saliva, tears, sweat. It smelled like death. Like I was decaying from the inside out. But I wasn’t. At least, I didn’t think that I was.

Where was I again?

I popped open the trunk of my car, started walking.

It was mid-January. Cold. Snow everywhere.


The neon sign glared out into the crisp night. I walked towards it, salivating, wondering what type of person I would eat tonight.

It was a truck stop, off the freeway. Men, drivers of those big rig semi-trucks where hanging outside by their trucks, I could smell the desire for sex coming from them when I stood downwind. They wanted a fuck. And they wanted it bad.

Easy prey.

Wouldn’t be difficult to get them to come to me and go somewhere alone. Not at all.  They were starving for a rut like I was starving for their blood.

They were looking for quickies in their cabs or out back in the snowbanks.

I took off my shirt, tossed it onto the snow as I walked towards them.

I prowled past them, gave them a knowing smirk, let them watch me go and lean against the side of the building, unzipped my leather jacket, let them see I had no shirt on, just bare pale skin under it. Ran a hand down my stomach, lingered on my belt, stared at them as I unbuckled it. They ribbed each other and walked over, and I went and stood behind the building and waited for them to strut up to me.

The truck stop’s lights glinted in the snow banks. It sparkled. Pretty. So cold and pretty. Like stars.

Fuck. I was so hungry.

I hadn’t eaten in days.

I was shaking. They thought I was freezing cold and shivering. But I wasn't. No. I was shaking because I was starving. I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into their delicious flesh.

“Hey there honey, I can warm you up,” one said. He was big and burly, strong, muscular, taller than the others. I decided to eat him first.

“Sure. Sounds good. You look delicious.”

The others looked annoyed. I could take them all on, easy. Was hungry enough to eat them all, or so I felt.

“Come on, there’s enough of me for all of you, let’s head inside to the showers,” I said.

They grinned at each other. I could hear their hearts beat faster, excited. The musky scent of their sex grew stronger as they got hard at the thought of fucking me.

This was going to be fun. 


We walked into the building, sauntered over to the shower area. It smelled of mildew and urinal cakes. I didn’t care.

I was having a hard time keeping it together. Sweating, shaking, pain wracked my body, seared through the muscles in my back, burned in my stomach. Felt like I had swallowed broken glass.

I wanted to eat them all. I had to be patient, and it was killing me. The waiting. I felt like a junky trying to hold out before the next fix hit his veins.

No. I had to wait.

Waiting for them to get vulnerable before I attacked was part of the process. It was important.
The predator in me, that darkness, told me to wait. Be patient. Don’t strike yet.

I forced myself to relax.

No need to worry the sheep just yet. Don’t show your fangs. Take it easy.

“Close that door and lock it,” the big one said and the smallest of the men grabbed a chair and lodged it under the door handle. Guess there wasn’t an actual lock on it.

They just trapped themselves in here with me. Suckers.

They turned on several of the showers to drown out the anticipated noise they thought they would be making as they had their way with me. I smiled, a small upturned corner of my mouth. Sly. They mistook it for me being excited about sex. But that’s not what I was excited about. Not at all.

So hungry. So thirsty. Mouth dry, stomach on fire. Pain everywhere. Needed to eat. Needed to feed.

My stomach growled, they laughed.

“Hungry huh?” one asked. He was cuter than the others. Clean cut, just a little stubble, black hair shaved short, nice clothes. Probably made more money than his peers. I tried to remember to take their wallets after I was done, but I wasn’t sure if I would or not, to be honest. Once I started feeding, all bets were off. Sanity went out the window.

I was starting to see red and black dots in my vision. My breath was shallow. Saliva pooled in my mouth.

“Come on, I can’t wait much longer, I want to eat you, all of you,” I said and took off my jacket and pants and got on my knees. They chuckled and stood around me, all four men unzipping their pants and whipping out their hard-ons. Gay boy’s paradise, right?

There was a strange sensation, a pull at the back of my mind, a wisp of memory, of doing something like this before. I wasn’t as happy back then as I was right now. Not sure why. I got money for it. But hated myself for doing it. Curious that.

I shook it off.

Time to get ready to feed. Had to move fast before they reacted. One had a gun, another had a knife, one had a taser. The other carried pepper spray. I could smell the metal and chemicals on them. It was a new ability, along with seeing in the dark. I kind of liked it. It was useful.

I was greedy. They thought I was just excited, a little piggy fag out for a good hard fuck.

I let them take off my underwear, they saw I wasn’t hard.

“Hey, I can help you with that, if you’re too cold to get it up.”

 I smiled. “It’s not necessary. I’m doing this for you after all. You are paying me right?”

They exchanged glances that told me that no, they wouldn’t be paying anyone they did this to, but the big burly one said, “Sure, of course, sweetie. We’ll pay you when we’re done. Stan, help the man up,” he said and the shortest one got undressed and started licking me down there.

His warm wet tongue tickled me and I laughed. No amount of work on his part would get that thing up. It was useless now. Just a remnant of my past life, an atavism of being human. I didn't need it anymore, rarely ever thought about it. I certainly didn't have the urge to fuck like I used to, back when I was alive. Only when I ate too much, did it do anything at all. But usually, I forgot about that, just as soon as it happened.

I chuckled. How could I forget about sex? How stupid was that? Sex is a fantastic lure for food. 

“What’s so funny?” the man sucking on me asked, a confused smile on his face.

“Nothing. Ignore me,” I said and grabbed the biggest guy and yanked his pants down the rest of the way.

Had to act fast, before they could think. Got to get them naked and away from their weapons. Get them to get their guard down. Then strike. And bite. Hard. Make their hot blood gush out into my mouth and rush down my throat and sooth the sharp pain in my belly.

“Come on, I always wanted to do this under running water. It’s hot,” I said and pulled him towards the shower as it turned on.

He took off his shirt and threw it on the bench near the exit. The others followed suit and took off everything and left their belongings on the bench.

Perfect. Time to go for the kill.

As soon as they got close to me, I jumped on the biggest one and bit down hard on his neck and ripped the flesh back, pulling the skin and muscle off in one motion. He gasped, grabbed at me and I hopped off, chewing and swallowing fast as his blood poured out of him. The others cried out and ran for the door as he staggered towards them, eyes wide in shock, hand up to his neck.

I leaped on the back of the nearest one, twisted his neck. Broke it easy, and he fell. I ran to the one at the door, who was panicking and trying to open it, the fact that it was blocked by a chair on this side lost to him, and I grabbed his head and slammed it into the tiled wall. He collapsed in a jumble of limp arms.

The last on grabbed the gun and held it up, arms shaking. It wasn’t his gun. He didn’t take off the safety. He couldn’t get it to fire and kept pulling the trigger. Panicked. Out of control.

“Don’t come near me you freak!” he screamed.

“Shhh…it will all be over soon,” I said and walked up to him and yanked the gun out of his hands.

He whimpered and pissed himself and backed up against the wall, hands searching for something, anything to use as a weapon. He threw an empty shampoo bottle at me and I swatted it away. I stepped up to him, grabbed his still hard cock and squeezed. He grimaced.

“Don’t worry, I’m not going to rip it off. I just want to eat you. All of you,” I said and licked his neck. He tasted of cheap cologne, cigarettes, and sweat. The fear radiated off of him, it made him smell wonderful. “You smell so good. I bet you taste even better,” I said and grabbed him by the throat and pressed in, willing my nails to grow longer and sharper until they cut through his flesh and blood ran in rivulets down his skin.

I licked them off and shuddered, and I just lost it. I leaped on him, he screamed and I ripped out his throat, windpipe and all, with my teeth. He dropped to the floor, bleeding out, making a strange gurgling noise as he tried to keep screaming, but couldn’t.

I smiled wide. My teeth sharp, ready to rip into hot flesh, eat their muscle, drink their blood. All of it was mine. MINE!

It took me all night to eat them. I stripped off their skin and tossed it aside, lapped up the blood off the floor, and peeled off their muscles in segments, relishing the feel of the hot, slimy meat as I bit down into it and chewed. It settled smoothly in my stomach, made me feel like I was glowing. All the pain left. I stopped shaking and took my time eating my fill.

I finished off the big one and was a little bit through eating the second when the truck stop attendant got nosy and started pounding on the door.

“OK fellas! Time’s up. The morning crowd will be in soon. Can’t have them walking into a sex orgy now.”

I dropped the meat. Looked around. There was a window, a little high up, but I could make that jump now, easy.

I rinsed off the blood, fast and sloppy, not thorough but just enough, got dressed, took their wallets and the boot knife and then jumped up, grabbed the window sill with one arm, the window clasp with the other and opened it and climbed up out of it as the truck stop attendant threatened to call the cops if we didn’t open that damn door.

I laughed and hopped down. No one would be answering him now.

I dropped their wallets out back, after taking their money and credit cards. I could sell the cards to people on the street. No way I’d be using them. They could track me if I paid for things with them. That much I remembered.

Walked back the long way to where I left the car near a ditch a few miles back, retrieved my shirt from the snow bank, and got in. My clothes were stiff, the shower water froze.

I had gotten them wet. Forgot to dry off first before I put them on. Didn’t have time.

Not that it mattered. I couldn’t really feel cold anymore.

I had 800 bucks and a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. I tossed the knife in the seat, lit up a smoke and sat back and sighed.

I forgot.

I loved the taste of these.

It was familiar. Comforting.

I took the map out of the glove compartment, and drew a circle around the truck stop. Wrote the number four on it, with a smiley face and chuckled. Damn did they taste good. Wished I could’ve stuck around to finish them all off.

Oh well.

I put the map away, put the sheathed knife in the top of my boot and had another cigarette.

The sun would be rising in a few hours. I had time, so I waited for the cop cars to speed past before I turned the car on and drove away, passing by the truck stop and grinning.

That was a good night.

I was beginning to enjoy it. I was good at that, the hunt. Seducing prey in for the kill. It was fun. And satisfying.

But the fun was short lived.

My memories faded fast.

Forgot my name.

Forgot a lot of things. Everything, except how to hunt, how to kill, how to keep running.

And, I was being tracked, by several things. Not just HER. Not just Mullo. No. Others. Humans with guns. They wanted me dead. I was dangerous. A threat. I needed to be put down like a rabid dog. Part of me wished that they would just catch up with me so that I could kill them already. The feeling of being hunted was annoying.

Patience. They will find you in time, and then you can eat your fill.

I smiled at the thought and kept driving.


You can find the expanded version of Addicted to the Abyss in the novel of the same title, coming soon to Amazon Print and Kindle.