Tag Archives: writing

Set Yourself On Fire (Preview)

Started: 19.10.24

Finished: 20.06.12

Words: 843

NFF, 2021’s Halloween story


“You’re late.”

Charlie chuckled, “Oh, yeah, I’m so sorry.”

Bill chuckled as he watched the brunette punch in, before walking with him to the line, “Oh, c’mon, it could be worse.”

Charlie gave him an incredulous look, “How could it possibly be worse?”

Bill shrugged, “At least you didn’t pull the short straw.”

They watched as Anderson walked by, head hanging. He looked up when he saw the two men before letting out a heavy sigh, “Church Street.”

“Oof,” Charlie let out a low whistle, “Sorry man.”

Bill clapped him on the shoulder, “Good luck.”

Anderson let out a dry chuckle, “Oh yeah, cause luck will beat that priest.”

They watched as he walked to the lockers, shoulders slumped. He sighed heavily again before heading for the door.

“He’s been here 20 years, and they just send him out like that?” Bill shook his head as they took a few steps up in the line, “Poor guy.”

“To be fair, it’s not exactly like they could give him a severance package.”

Bill shot him a look, “What’s the matter with you?”

Charlie shrugged, “I just thought things would be different.”

“Funny,” they moved up a few more steps, “I would’ve thought you’d be happy.”

“What?” Charlies’ brows furrowed in confusion, “Why would I be happy?”

“Because you got your wish.” Bill noticed his expression and gave him a sly smile as they reached the front, “More of the same.”

“Alright,” Adam looked over his clipboard, flipping through a few sheets, “What do I have left…” He ran his finger down the page before nodding, “Ah, right. Bill, you’re off to Queen Street and Charlie…” he flipped the page, “you’re going to Main.”

Charlie scoffed, “Are you joking?”


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I post NEW short stories EVERY 2 weeks, and you can read all 100+ for JUST $10!

Feast Mode (Preview)

Written: 21.06.10

Words: 1,416

C2C, 2021’s Thanksgiving fic


“Out of the way!” Dean ran down the bunker stairs, holding the arm that wasn’t carrying six shopping bags out in front of him, “The feast has arrived!”

“And what hole-in-the-wall’s cold turkey entrée did you get this year?” Sam didn’t bother to look up from the book he was reading.

Dean silently mocked him, coming to a stop in front of the chair he was sitting in, “None.” He plopped the bag with the turkey in it on his lap, “I’m cooking.”

Sam raised an eyebrow as the turkey landed on him with a dull thud,You’re gonna cook?”

“Yeah!” Dean beamed at him before continuing toward the kitchen, the giant on his heels, “Why does that surprise you?”

“Well…” Sam set the turkey down on the counter, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, “You’re not exactly known for your cooking skills, Dean.”

“Pfft, so?” The blonde began putting the vegetables in the fridge, “You think just because I don’t do it often means I can’t?”

“No, of course not.” Sam slid himself down on one of the stools at the counter, “But I’ve seen you burn cereal, so…”


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Top 10 WORST Things About Telling People You’re a Writer

  1. Everyone you know used to write in college. Seriously, even the people who didn’t go to college used to write in college.

 

  1. *snottily* “Have you published anything?”

“Yes.”

*gets offended*

 

  1. “Oh, no, I meant what’s your real job?”

 

  1. “What do you write?”

*Tells them*

“Well I think you’d do better if you wrote ____”

 

  1. (After telling them your story plot/idea) “Oh, so it’s like (insert overly popular movie full of clichés)?”

 

  1. “Writing’s a good hobby, but when are you going to get a real job?”

 

  1. “I’ll totally read your book when it comes out!”

 

  1. “What do you mean I don’t get a free copy? But I’m your (insert personal relationship label)!”

 

  1. “That must be so nice! I’d love to sit around and daydream all day instead of going to work.”

 

    1. “Can you write me something (for free)?”

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The 100th

In order to celebrate the AMAZING milestone of reaching 100 stories, I decided to turn The 100th story into a CYOA (Create Your Own Adventure) gamebook!

For those who don’t know, a CYOA gamebook is basically just an interactive story. You’ll be reading along like usual, and then come to a point where you can choose between two options, and that will drive the story in different directions.

It might sound slightly confusing at first, but I promise it’s actually not hard!

This Supernatural fanfic has 3 plot lines to choose from:

– Cas struggles with confessing his love to Dean (Destiel-ish, C2C)

– Request 25 (Anonymous [Tumblr] asked for: can you do a thing where the reader comes back drunk and curls up on Castiel’s lap?)

– A drunk night with Dean (Funny, C2C)

Each plot has multiple endings, so make your choices wisely!

The game is FREE to play, and you can check it out here!

I’d also like to say a HUGE thank-you to all my supporters for allowing me to live my dream of sharing my writing with the world. Without you, I wouldn’t be here. You guys mean the world to me, and I hope we can continue to grow on this journey together. <3


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Tiers start at just $1!

The Front Line (Preview)

This is the last Unlearning Series installment that will be posted this year. The fics from now until the end of the year will all be holiday themed. But don’t worry! We’ll pick things back up with Fic #7 on Jan. 14th, 2022.

This is fic #6 of the Unlearning Series.

Written: 21.05.26

Words: 4,086

Sabriel, Destiel (Implied), C2C


“So, Big Bro’s missing?”

“Apparently.”

Gabriel nodded, jumping up to sit on the bed, “How long?”

“Since the wedding.”

Gabriel let out a whistle, “Damn.”

“Yeah,” Sam grabbed a fresh pair of clothes from the closet, beginning to pull himself into a pair of pants, “I know we had big plans for today, but-” he cut himself off as he tripped over one of the legs and fell to the floor, damn it.

Gabriel shook his head, “Don’t worry about it.” He snapped his fingers, eyes roaming over a now-fully-dressed hunter, “Just make sure you come back when you’re done.”

Sam snorted and got back on his feet, walking over to the bed to zip the duffle closed, “You’re gonna stay here?”

Gabriel shrugged, flopping back on the bed, “Well it is already paid for…” He shot a pointed look back to the hunter, “It’d be a shame if it went to waste.”

The giant rolled his eyes, “Sure.” He shoved his cell phone into his pocket, looking around the room, face growing serious, “Alright, I think that’s everything.”

“Good.” Gabriel sat back up, getting up on his knees so he was more-or-less eye height with the hunter. He wrapped his arms around his neck, pulling him in for a kiss, “I love you.”

“I love you, too.” Sam pressed a kiss to his forehead before backing up a few steps, swinging the duffle up onto his shoulder, “I just wish I knew where to start looking.” He ran his free hand through his hair, “He could be anywhere.”

“Hmm…” Gabriel closed his eyes for a moment, holding his arms out to his sides, before opening them, “Got it.”

Sam raised an eyebrow, “You found him? That quickly?”

“Well, no, not him. You guys still have that Enochian on your ribs. But I did find the car.” He popped a lollipop into his mouth, giving the hunter a victorious look, “And I think we both know if you find the car, you find Dean Winchester.”

Sam shook his head in amazement, placing another kiss to his head, “I knew I married you for a reason.”

“And here I thought it was because of my awesome bedroom skills.”

“Yeah, well, just because you can finish the marathon doesn’t mean you came in first.” Sam couldn’t help the smile that crept up his face at the offended look on his angel’s face. “So are you gonna tell me where the car is, or do you just expect me to guess?”

“Neither.”

“Neither?” Sam raised an eyebrow, letting out a sigh, “Gabe, come on. I know he’s not your biggest fan, but-”

“Ah-ah.” Gabriel held up a hand, cutting the hunter off. “Be careful.”

“Of course I’ll-” Sam cut himself off as he felt his feet leave the ground, what the…? He staggered backward a few steps as he landed on the ground with a thud. He looked around, and saw he was now standing outside a factory, Impala parked a few feet away. Sam shook his head and started toward the car, thanks Gabriel.


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Making a GIF (PHSH Effect #16)

Don’t be scared! Making a GIF is not nearly as complicated as you may think!

Well, okay, that’s not technically true. It can actually get complicated, but that’s completely dependant on what you want to GIF. Don’t worry though, because this is just a tutorial, I’ll be keeping things simple, and you can always practice and work your way up to complicated later.

In the interest in keeping things simple, I’ll just show you how to make the GIF I teased in the last tutorial.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - Making a GIF - This Is a GIF - photoshop, photoshop tutorial, PHSH tutorial, writing tips, indie authors, book help, book cover tips, photo manip, GIF

Also, real quick, ‘GIF’ stands for Graphics Interchange Format. So, the proper pronunciation is to say it with a hard ‘g’ sound, not with a ‘j’ sound. Now that you know what it stands for, I hope you will start saying it correctly, because now you don’t have an excuse. (Unless you say ‘jraphics’, but I’m gonna go ahead and assume you don’t)

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started!

Step 1.

First things first, set up a new document/work file in Photoshop, and make it whatever dimensions you want. Then, using the Type tool, type some words for us to GIF, and make sure you type them all on different layers. Since I’m showing you the GIF I teased last time, I typed out This is a GIF on 4 separate layers. But it can be any text you want. (Or it can even be a picture, but we’ll get to that later)

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - Making a GIF - Step 1 - photoshop, photoshop tutorial, PHSH tutorial, writing tips, indie authors, book help, book cover tips, photo manip, GIF

Step 2.

Next, go up to Window (in the top menu with File) and click on Timeline from the drop-down menu.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - Making a GIF - Step 2 - photoshop, photoshop tutorial, PHSH tutorial, writing tips, indie authors, book help, book cover tips, photo manip, GIF

Once you click on that, you should see a banner come up on the bottom of the window, this is called the Timeline. There should be 1 ‘frame’ with your layers already in it that popped up as well.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - Making a GIF - Step 2A - photoshop, photoshop tutorial, PHSH tutorial, writing tips, indie authors, book help, book cover tips, photo manip, GIF

Step 3.

Now that you have the Timeline open, you have to place each layer onto different frames. This is actually much simpler than it may sound. First step, is to take them off the first frame. To do this, simply go over to your Layers Panel, and hide the layers you don’t want visible in the first frame. (Click on the eye beside the layer to hide it)

The only thing visible in the first frame should be the word This.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - Making a GIF - Step 3 - photoshop, photoshop tutorial, PHSH tutorial, writing tips, indie authors, book help, book cover tips, photo manip, GIF

Step 4.

Now we have to make more frames. To do this, click on the Duplicate Frame button in the timeline. It is the button that looks like the New Layers button.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - Making a GIF - Step 4 - photoshop, photoshop tutorial, PHSH tutorial, writing tips, indie authors, book help, book cover tips, photo manip, GIF

To make this the 2nd frame, we are going to hide the This layer, and un-hide the is layer. You do this in the exact way you did to hide all the layers, but the hidden layer won’t have an eye next it. That’s okay, just click in the little square, and the eye and layer will appear, making the layer un-hidden.

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AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - Making a GIF - Step 4B - photoshop, photoshop tutorial, PHSH tutorial, writing tips, indie authors, book help, book cover tips, photo manip, GIF

Continue to duplicate, and hide/un-hide layers until you have 1 frame for each layer. If you get confused, look at the frames – you should be able to see in the frame preview that there is only 1 word in each frame.

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AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - Making a GIF - Step 4D - photoshop, photoshop tutorial, PHSH tutorial, writing tips, indie authors, book help, book cover tips, photo manip, GIF

Step 5.

Now that we have all the frames correct, we can check how the GIF looks. To do this, click on the 1st frame (to start the GIF from the beginning), and then click the Play button in the Timeline. Your frames should then ‘play’, and you can see if you need to fix/change anything.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - Making a GIF - Step 5 - photoshop, photoshop tutorial, PHSH tutorial, writing tips, indie authors, book help, book cover tips, photo manip, GIF

Step 6.

If you think your GIF is moving too slowly (or too fast), you can change the speed by clicking on the arrow that’s under the frame, next to the time, and then select the time you think will work best for you. Keep playing with it until you find a speed you need, and to check the speed, just Play the frames again until it looks right for your needs. (For the most part, I’ve found the default of 0.5 seconds to be sufficient)

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - Making a GIF - Step 6 - photoshop, photoshop tutorial, PHSH tutorial, writing tips, indie authors, book help, book cover tips, photo manip, GIF

Now that you’ve got the timing right, you may want to change the Loop type as well, so that it continuously plays, instead of just playing once. In the Timeframe box, under the frames, there should be a Loop dropdown. Click on the drop-down menu, and select Forever from the list. This will make your GIF play in a continuous loop, well… forever. (If the default is already Forever, you can ignore this step)

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Step 7.

Now that you’ve completed your GIF, it’s time to save. But wait!

You can not save a GIF in the same way you’ve been doing (Flattening then saving as a PNG/JPEG). Well, okay, actually you can save it like that, but then it won’t play.

If you want to save the GIF to actually play, you’ll have to go up to File, then find Save For Web in the drop-down.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - Making a GIF - Step 7A - photoshop, photoshop tutorial, PHSH tutorial, writing tips, indie authors, book help, book cover tips, photo manip, GIF

In the dialogue box that comes up, make sure GIF is selected as the format, and leave everything else the default.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - Making a GIF - Step 7B - photoshop, photoshop tutorial, PHSH tutorial, writing tips, indie authors, book help, book cover tips, photo manip, GIF

Then, click the Save button on the bottom of the box, and then from there you can give the file a name and save it to wherever you need to, like any other file.

And there you have it! You now know how to make a GIF! I told you it wasn’t that hard. And the cool thing is the steps are exactly the same no matter what you’re doing.

So, say you want to make a picture move. Let’s say you want to make a rocket ship take off.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - Making a GIF - Rocket Ship GIF - photoshop, photoshop tutorial, PHSH tutorial, writing tips, indie authors, book help, book cover tips, photo manip, GIF

The steps are exactly the same, except instead of using text, we’re moving a picture. And, it takes more frames. Also, because it’s just one picture (minus the booster flames), all I’m doing is moving the picture slightly between frames, so it appears to be flying.

Here’s what the PHSH work file looks like:

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - Making a GIF - Rocket Ship PHSH File - photoshop, photoshop tutorial, PHSH tutorial, writing tips, indie authors, book help, book cover tips, photo manip, GIF

Each time I moved the rocket, I placed a Guideline where the nose was, so I’d know how much to move it in the next frame. You can see here that I also changed the play speed twice. In the first few frames, it’s set at 0.2 seconds, and then after the ‘booster’ (flames) comes out the bottom, I changed it to 0.1 second, so it appears like the rocket sped up.

Go ahead and play with this technique – it is one of the more fun ones. You guys have until October to keep yourselves busy with GIF making, after which, I’ll be showing you how to create:

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Time to Change (Preview)

Written: 21.06.02

Words: 449

Sabriel (Implied)


“What’s the matter?” Sam skidded to a stop in the bedroom doorway, worried eyes scanning the room for his boyfriend.

He spotted him, lying on top of the bed, head dangling over the edge, “It’s too hot!”

The giant deflated in relief, “That’s it?” He shook his head and made his way into the room, sitting next to the ex-angel, “The way you were screaming, I thought you might’ve gotten stuck in the window.” Again.

“No,” Gabriel let out a dramatic sigh as he wiped sweat off his forehead, “How are you not melting?”

Sam shrugged, doing his best to keep the smile off his face, “My body has had time to adjust to temperature changes?”

Gabriel shook his head, “Being human sucks.


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The One You Love, The One You Hate (Preview)

This is fic #5 of the Unlearning Series.

Written: 21.05.24

Words: 1,502

C2C


Dean tossed the keys onto the table, kicking the motel door shut, I hate this part. He peeled his jacket off, hanging it on the back of the chair before taking a seat at the table, opening his laptop, why couldn’t you of stuck to regular demon things? Torturing for information, making a deal… why’d you have to go with draining a body? He shook his head as he started typing, I swear, when I find you this time, I’ll kill you. Bobby’ll just have to deal with it.

He started combing through articles, letting out a frustrated groan, no, no way! This can’t be right. All signs point to a Djinn. He leaned back in his chair, letting out a heavy breath as he scrubbed his hands through his hair, why would you be trying to frame a Djinn? You want just any hunter to stumble onto your trail, or are you just getting bored?

Unless… he turned his gaze to the wall, sweeping over the cut out newspaper clippings he taped up, brows furrowing, you wouldn’t be trying to cheat the system, would you? He got up, walking the few steps closer to the wall, Hell has been doing pretty bad, lately. But would you really put a Djinn on the payroll?


Check out the full story here!

I post NEW short stories EVERY 2 weeks!

How to Run a Blog

I’ve touched on some of these points already in previous articles, but I wanted to write this post to show you how to put them all together. Running a blog isn’t hard per se, it just takes some time and effort. It really just takes 3 steps to become a blogger, and though they may sound simple, the execution can be quite daunting, especially if you’ve never been self-employed.

But, don’t worry! I’m here with the below three steps to help make your transition a little easier.

 

Step 1: Come Up with an Idea

You can’t post articles, your opinions and advice about nothing, so first you have to think of what you want your blog to be about. It can be anything you’re passionate about. Lego? Cool! You think dinos would’ve been cooler if they wore fedoras? Sure, why not!

Whatever topic you pick though, it should be one that you can make multiple posts about. You can’t be a blogger if you only have 1 post. If you want to be serious about blogging and make it any sort of ‘real job’, you’re going to need to pick topics you can consistently post about, and come at with new ideas.

You can even pick more than one idea, if you just can’t bring yourself to choose. Like myself, I have different sections on my website for the different things I’m interested in: veganism, writing, and a new lifestyle section. I’m in no ways an expert on any of these topics – I never went to school and got a degree for any of them – I’m just a person who thinks (hopes) my experiences and opinions on these topics can help others who are on a similar path.

The point of your blog is to share things you’re passionate about, and maybe even help other people on their journeys, so you can make your blog about whatever you want. Find your reasons and topics, and go from there. Though, if you’re just starting out, I’d recommend starting with 1 topic, just until you get the hang of all the rest of it. Don’t want to overwhelm yourself when you’re starting out. Remember: you can always expand your blog to incorporate more topics/things later on, but it’s a lot harder (and looks worse) to let a part of your blog die.

 

Step 2: Get Organized

Now that you’ve got your idea, it’s time to think about how to put it into action. I suggest coming up with as many article ideas as you can and writing them down/keeping the list somewhere safe, so that you aren’t scrambling on posting day.

And, speaking of posting day: decide on a posting schedule. Most of the advice I had come across when I started out said to start out with posting just once or twice a month, until you get the hang of things. I thought that was way too little – after all, how was I supposed to drive traffic to my blog if I wasn’t posting regularly? – so I decided on posting roughly 5 times per month.

A month of posting for me looks like 2 articles, 2 short stories and 1 product review. The articles I try to rotate between the different sections of the website, so that I’m posting to each section ‘fairly’, and not giving more attention to one topic.

I realize posting five times in one month sounds insane, but when you break it down – 2 stories and 3 articles – it really isn’t that bad. I usually don’t count the stories as ‘work’ when I think about the website, because I’m a writer, and I’d be writing stories anyway. And yes, while I like all the topics I post about, it takes more work for me to write the articles than the stories. Stories I’m constantly coming up with, but articles require research and more planning so that I’m not just babbling on and on for a few pages.

Making posts coherent can be quite the task, especially when I’d rather be writing fiction. This is why, as said in my Time Management post, scheduling articles and making yourself a to-do list can be a huge help.

Not only will it let you make sense of all the ideas you just came up with, but it will also help take the pressure off yourself when you can see all the ideas planned out. This way, you won’t have to worry about the blog looking dead, and you won’t feel like you have to do everything right now. Having a set schedule (that you stick to) will also benefit your readers. Think of it like being punctual – if you post on a schedule, people will know when to expect you, and can then go ‘greet’ you (ie check your blog) consistently.

 

Step 3: Marketing

You can’t have people flock to your blog if nobody knows it exists! I know it sucks, but you have to market yourself. Post on social media and tell people why they should check you out. What new (or creative) ideas are you bringing to the table? Why should they change their routine to go see you? In what ways will you be making their day better (and feel like they’re missing out) by visiting your blog?

The truth is, people are selfish creatures, and don’t like change. Which is why you need to make yourself seem important enough for them to check out. Dazzle them with your new ideas, your polarizing opinions, or whatever you’ve got going for you. Be yourself, and people will flock to you. Even assholes get followers, so don’t fret!

This is (in my opinion) the hardest part about being self-employed. On the one hand, you don’t want to sound gimmicky/click-bait-y, but on the other, you want people to come to you, because you know you’re awesome. Unfortunately, it takes time to build yourself a following, and though it can be discouraging when you don’t get many (or any) likes/views on a new post, you have to keep going.

If you quit, you’re guaranteeing nobody will ever see your hard work.

Part of marketing is also learning how to monetize your blog. There are tons and tons of options out there, everything from Google Adsense to being paid by companies for dedicated posts, but as someone just starting out, I don’t want you to worry about that part.

You can worry about making millions once you have your blog established and a dedicated audience. No company will pay you to promote their product to no one, which is another reason getting good at marketing is a big help.

Do what you can with what you can, and a little pro tip: Don’t be afraid to pay for some ads! I know, I know, you may think that’s a cop out, or that you don’t have funds to do ads right now, and that’s okay! Just make sure you don’t discount paying ads as an option forever.

There are literally billions of people on the planet, and your manual posting can only reach so many.

Bottom line (and yes, I know it’s cheesy): keep going. Don’t give up just because it’s hard, or because it’s harder than you thought it’d be. Nothing worth having comes easy. Hard work does pay off. It just might take a little longer than you expect.


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Toes In The Sand

Written: 21.02.27

Words: 395

Wincest (ish)


“I can’t believe you talked me into this,” Dean shook his head as he pulled the car up the dark, winding dirt road.

Sam snorted, raising an eyebrow at his brother, “What do you mean ‘talked you into this’? I barely finished getting out the word ‘cottage’ before you jumped me with agreement.”

A faint smile crossed the blonde’s face at the memory, before regaining his stern expression, “Yeah, well, you could’ve at least packed the map.” He peered out the windshield at the barely-lit-by-headlights dirt road, “Are you even sure this is the right road?”

The giant rolled his eyes, tapping his chin as he pretended to think, “Now that you mention it, maybe we were supposed to turn the other direction and drive into the lake. I don’t know how I could’ve forgotten to mention we’d need a spy car to get there.”

Dean ran a hand through his hair as he let out a huff, “I just meant we’ve been driving down this road for what feels like forever, and we haven’t found the place yet. Isn’t it at all possible-” He cut himself off as the trees opened and they pulled up in front of a run down looking cottage “You’ve got to be kidding me.” He raised an eyebrow at his brother as he put the car in park, “This is the luxury getaway weekend cottage?”

Sam shrugged, getting out of the car, “I never said it was a luxury cottage.”

Dean sputtered as he followed his brother out of the car, giving the cottage a skeptical once over, “Y’know this is how most horror movies start, right?”

“Please.” Sam waved a dismissive hand at him as he grabbed the duffle out of the back, “You’re not exactly college age, anymore.” He ignored the offended look he was given as his brother grabbed the cooler and started toward the front door, “Besides, since when are you such a scaredy-cat?”

“I’m not scared,” Dean followed him up the creaking porch steps, “I just thought this weekend would be a little more romance, and a little less Camp Crystal Lake.”

Sam rolled his eyes as he unlocked the door, “Can you just give it a chance? This place will look totally different in the morning.”

Dean took another look around the dark, covered-by-trees exterior and snorted, if we make it that long.


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I post NEW short stories EVERY 2 weeks!