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The Trouble with Snowmen Release Celebration Giveaway

Giveaway Banner - Snowmen

To celebrate the release of my new romantic comedy “The Trouble with Snowmen” I have teamed up with two very talented people Jfay of Studio 3B and Don Vann of Vann Ink. I’m delighted to tell you about the fabulous unique one-of-a-kind prizes that the winner will walk away with!

  • melt my heart perfume picture1 bottle of Melt My Heart Perfume by Studio 3B

    Inspired by Dorlana Vann’s romantic comedy, The Trouble with Snowmen. Cozy up with the aroma of warm spices, musky incense and exotic woods. This signature scent was hand blended by Jfay in a small batch to ensure the best quality and aromas. Only the finest perfume oils are used as well as a specialty blended artisan perfume base with antioxidants and perfume fixatives that allow the perfumes to stay longer upon your skin. The Perfume is not diluted with water, so you are receiving 100% fine artisan perfume at full strength. The perfumes are tested for quality (no animal testing), only upon our willing zombies ; )  $25 value

  • Snowmen Pen Prize3A Signature “The Trouble with Snowmen” hand-crafted Pen by Vann Ink

    This pen was created and hand-turned by Don Vann (yes, he’s my husband)  of Vann Ink. The title of the book is on one side, and my signature is on the other. Refillable. Chrome hardware. $40. value

  • a_generic_white_10_us_noto_email_us-main__CB339934400_A $10.00 Amazon Gift Card

    So you can purchase more books!

  • The Trouble with Snowmen by Dorlana Vann1 eBook Copy of Dorlana Vann’s romantic comedy, The Trouble with Snowmen.

    The trouble with Snowmen is they never ever last forever.

Giveaway Runs September 1, 2015 – September 14, 2015

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents who are at least 18 years of age.

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT REQUIRED TO ENTER OR WIN.

(More Terms and Conditions are at the bottom of this page.)

Enter The Giveaway Here

 What is the “Trouble with Snowmen” all about?

The Trouble with Snowmen by Dorlana VannA case of mistaken identity sets the stage for opposites to attract in my new contemporary romance. Add a large scoop of humor and a pinch of paranormal and you get:

The Trouble with Snowmen

by Dorlana Vann

Book 1: Trouble with Men Series

 Snowmen drift into your life like they were sent from above. The relationship is great, rolls right along and builds. Everything seems perfect … until a little heat is introduced. Then they melt, leaving only their hat, their scarf, something to remind their victims of what they’d lost.

Urban cowgirl Haley Monroe is told that the fabulously hot guy who just dumped her was a snowman. Her friend, Maximilian, convinces her that the only way she’ll ever stop being played by snowmen is to become one. It takes a lot of drinks to work up the nerve, but Haley gets her sexy on and goes on the prowl.

Famous horror author Larry White drops everything to attend a midnight séance at Maximilian’s apartment where he meets Haley. By the way she’s dressed—and just propositioned him—he assumes she’s a hooker. Larry can’t pass up the chance to get inside her head, especially since prostitution is the character’s occupation in his next book.

After spending the weekend together, unexpected sparks surprise both Haley and Larry. The trouble is Haley is dead-set on snowmanning the unkempt “starving artist” she met at the séance, and Larry doesn’t think he could have a real relationship with a woman with a past, so they go their separate ways.

The real fun begins when they meet again and find out neither one of them were who they thought they were. Can they reignite the flame? Or will they have a snowman’s chance in hell?

The Trouble with Snowmen eBook is available at Amazon (Paperback available soon) for only $2.99

Soul Mate Publishing

Enter The Giveaway Here

Here are the terms and conditions:

  • NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT REQUIRED TO ENTER OR WIN.
  • Giveaway is open to U.S. residents who are at least 18 years of age.
  • Dorlana Vann and sponsors (Studio 3B and Vann Ink) are offering one prize package to one randomly drawn individual who enters during the entry period.  Winners will be notified by Dorlana Vann within five (5) business days of the drawing.  The winner will be announced on www.dorlanavann.me, www.Studio3b.etsy.com, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • The prize package will ship within two weeks of the drawing.
  • The odds of being selected as a winner depend on the number of entries received.
  • Sponsors and Dorlana Vann reserve the right to cancel or modify this promotion at any time.
  • By entering the promotion you agree that Sponsors and Dorlana Vann will have no liability, and will be held harmless from and against any liability or loss, including reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, for all matters related to your acceptance, possession, experience with, use or misuse of the prize or participation in the promotion.
  • Privacy Notice: All information submitted in connection with this promotion will not be used for any other purpose except for what is within the giveaway requirements.

Now available for Pre-order: The Trouble with Snowmen

Hi friends,

My contemporary romance/romantic comedy, The Trouble with Snowmen, is now available for pre-order on Amazon! I’m super excited (and nervous) to share my book! I will post the first chapter soon and keep in-touch about my upcoming giveaway.

The Trouble with Snowmen by Dorlana VannPre-order Here :)

To recap, here’s what it is all about:

A case of mistaken identity sets the stage for opposites to attract in my new contemporary romance. It has fun, new dating terms and concepts, outrageous shenanigans, a touch of magical realism, twists and turns, broken hearts, fashion, and of course, romance.

The Trouble with Snowmen

by Dorlana Vann

Book 1: Trouble with Men Series

Snowmen drift into your life like they were sent from above. The relationship is great, rolls right along and builds. Everything seems perfect … until a little heat is introduced. Then they melt, leaving only their hat, their scarf, something to remind their victims of what they’d lost.

Urban cowgirl Haley Monroe is told that the fabulously hot guy who just dumped her was a snowman. Her friend, Maximilian, convinces her that the only way she’ll ever stop being played by snowmen is to become one. It takes a lot of drinks to work up the nerve, but Haley gets her sexy on and goes on the prowl.

Famous horror author Larry White drops everything to attend a midnight séance at Maximilian’s apartment where he meets Haley. By the way she’s dressed—and just propositioned him—he assumes she’s a hooker. Larry can’t pass up the chance to get inside her head, especially since prostitution is the character’s occupation in his next book.

After spending the weekend together, unexpected sparks surprise both Haley and Larry. The trouble is Haley is dead-set on snowmanning the unkempt “starving artist” she met at the séance, and Larry doesn’t think he could have a real relationship with a woman with a past, so they go their separate ways.

The real fun begins when they meet again and find out neither one of them were who they thought they were. Can they reignite the flame? Or will they have a snowman’s chance in hell?

Soul Mate Publishing

Soul Mate Publishing

Read More about the series: Trouble with Men

Supernatural Fairy Tale: Thumbelina + Mermaids = Forbidden Beach

Supernatural Fairy Tales

Supernatural Fairy Tales by Dorlana Vann

Here is one the paranormal short stories from my collection: Supernatural Fairy Tales. The eBook is available on Amazon for only .99 cents – These nine Supernatural Fairy Tales are not retellings of the original fairy tales but were inspired by them. They are paranormal themed stories about vampires, ghosts, mermaids, witches, and more, in genres ranging from romance to thriller. And fair warning: they don’t always have a happy ending.

Forbidden Beach was a lot of fun to write.

Forbidden Beach

by

Dorlana Vann

I knew what lurked beyond the trees even before I opened the car door: the forbidden, barricaded beach. Even though I lived only a few miles away, I had never stood so close. Leaning against the car, the wind ruffled my hair as nerves tangled my insides.

“Aren’t you coming, Junior?” Pearl, my date, stood in the moonlight, hands on her hips, legs apart, making a perfect triangle with her skirt.

I shrugged my shoulders. “We’re not supposed to be here.”

“There’s no law against it.”

“Let’s go, you two love birds,” Clay said, shining his flashlight on us for a second before moving on.

“Don’t be scared,” Pearl said. “Just don’t step in the water, and you’ll be fine.”

I put my already shaky hands into my pants pockets. “I’m not scared!” It wasn’t that I needed to impress Pearl. I had only agreed to go out with her because no one else had said yes, but I didn’t want a mammoth, cowardly act stamped on my already unimpressive rep. “I just don’t believe it, that’s all. Have you ever seen it happen?”

“No, but my cousin, Fern, said he did. After a dare, one of his friends ran into the water and changed right before Fern’s eyes, and then the sea took him. He never saw him again.”

This reminded me of all the times my mother had warned me to stay away from the beach, to stay away from the wild Merfolk. “They took your father. Shameful, cannibalistic creatures, behaving like animals in that dirty ocean. Immoral and naked. Catching fish with their mouths. It’s shameful. It’s shameful. They took your father you know…”

“So, let’s go.” Pearl grabbed my hand, and I allowed her to lead me through the trees. The same salty air I had breathed my entire life now burst with intensity.

After we had caught up with Clay and Iona, we helped each other over the concrete barrier and down into the sand. I heard the soft roar of the dark waves, its movement the only factor separating it from the sky.

I vaguely heard the others talking behind me before Clay shouted, “No hard feelings, Junior. We just want to see if it’s true.” They laughed and pushed me until my feet sank into the wet, gushy sand.

“Don’t! Don’t!” I pleaded, already feeling the droplets of ocean spraying my face, before they gave one hard, final shove.

A wave pulled me with it, soaking my pants up to my waist. Fear pushed my voice to a scream. I screamed for help, screamed for the ocean to let go! Just as the water retreated, I lost my balance and landed on my knees. Sunken sand tracks, where the kids had run away, came into focus.

I scrambled to dry land before the next wave, trying to catch my senses. Tears filled my eyes as I remembered the pictures of the hideous beasts that I had been shown since grade school.

Standing up, I examined my legs and put my hands out in front of me, waiting for it to happen. The change. When I touched my mouth, my teeth felt normal, not long and pointed like a beast’s.

Relieved and unchanged, except for my belief that I would never be accepted by kids my age, I started to walk toward the road. A new sound in the darkness stopped me. I thought maybe they didn’t leave me but were hiding, waiting to watch me turn into a creature.

“I know you guys are there,” I said meekly, becoming increasingly concerned with the alien surroundings. I fought the urge to run. I would not let them win. And then a different, even stronger thought intruded; since I proved the myth untrue, I’ll be like a hero. No one would have to be afraid of the beach again.

“Nnnn…”

I followed the sound to a pile of drifted sand and tangled weeds. The closer I stepped, the more it sounded like a whimper instead of a snicker. My mouth fell open as my breathing picked up pace. I questioned what I perceived camouflaged in the debris. A woman?

Her long hair, wildly strewn out behind her, was mixed with the sand and seaweed. “Hey, are you all right?” When I noticed her bare arms and her bare chest, I turned away. “Immoral and naked.” My heart quickened because it knew I had to look again. I stared at her face, down to her neck, to her chest, and past her stomach.

No legs! A fishtail! A real fishtail!

Stumbling back to standing, I turned towards the sea. “Oh! Ohhhh…” I put my hands up to my head. What do I do? She was a Merfolk, but something was wrong with her. I couldn’t just leave.

I loosened my tie and started unbuttoning my shirt as I thought about how Mother would kill me if she knew. It might not have been against man’s laws to walk the beach, but it sure the hell was against her’s. I turned back around and gently placed my shirt over the mermaid’s shoulders, covering most of her exposed upper body that didn’t look monstrous at all.

She didn’t move, except for her labored breathing. As I stood, wondering what to do next, I noticed a two inch gash in-between her two bottom fins that seemed clogged with sand.

I ran to the water, cupped it in my hands, and ran back. I did this several times, cleaning the wound as much as possible. I pulled my tie over my head and then wrapped it around her fins, bringing the edges of the cut as close together as possible.

When I put a handful of water up to her lips, she gave a quick inhalation, sucking up some of the water. I staggered backwards and then shot to my feet. Running to the water, I shouted, “Hello? She’s alive, and she needs help!” But only the spirited, nocturnal seagulls soared overhead, their replies loud but unclear.

After walking back and forth a couple of times, I dipped into the water once again and took it to her. The mermaid’s eyes shot open, but I didn’t flinch. I let her drink.

“Thank you,” she whispered.

I nodded, a little surprised to hear her speak.  “Are you all right?”

“I think I just need something to eat.”

“Well, I can run home and make or… bring…”

“If you could just help me to the water, I can take care of that myself.”

“Oh,” I said, recalling what Mother had said about them catching live fish in their mouths.

“Please come be my guest so I can thank you for your kindness.”

I looked behind me at the ocean, allowing myself to realize how much I admired it. “I can’t, my mother… besides, I’m not like you. It wasn’t true, after all. I was in the water, and I didn’t change.”

“The sea takes no one who doesn’t wish to be there. You must desire the change. See?” She waved her hand over her tail. “I didn’t change into Landfolk just because I sit on dry land. I love the sea, and I want to return.” She held my stare as she said, “You must love the land.”

Or am I just scared? A soft breeze lifted me out of my thoughts, as she lifted her arms to me. I struggled, but managed to carry her until the waves splashed up to my shoulders. She sank and without a word disappeared into the darkness.

***

“Did you have a good time?” Mother stood in the foyer like she had been waiting there since I left. “I’m glad you finally got out of your—” Her smile distorted into a wide-mouth scream. When she pointed at my feet, my face grew hot. I didn’t have to look down to imagine all of the golden sand that probably clung to my pant legs and shoes.

She sat down on the stairs, blocking my escape to my room. In between gasps she said, “How many times have I told you never to go to that beach? It’s dangerous. Shameful, dirty beasts! Filthy-cannibalistic-naked-immoral-ugly creatures—”

“They’re not ugly,” I whispered.

Her face froze with a mix of horror and shock. “What did you say?”

I avoided her eyes. “I met one. I umm, I helped one. Her.”

“Swear to me right now,” she hissed, “you’ll never set foot on that wicked, wicked beach, again.”

At that moment, I realized how disgusted I was by her snobbish attitude. I also knew I would never be able to stay away from the ocean, away from the beauty of the Merfolk. “Why do you hate them? Because they’re different? You know, they’re not so unlike us. They can talk and are free to do…” At that moment, what really happened to my father became so obvious. “He chose the ocean, didn’t he? Father wasn’t taken!”

Tears of which I didn’t know Mother was capable began to seep from her eyes. “I should have moved us to the compound years ago just like the Worleys.” And then softly she sobbed. “But I had to wait.”

“Wait? For what? Father’s not coming back. Why would he? He’s free.”

“Don’t you dare disrespect me, Junior. You’re too young to understand the world. Merfolk are manipulative and horrific.” With wild eyes she looked around. “I have to protect you. Go pack! Now!” She stood up abruptly and pointed up the stairs. “Pack up your stuff. We’re moving in the morning and never coming back.” She screamed, “They can’t have you!”

I made my way up the stairs to pack for the compound. A compound so far inland I heard the air smelled of pine. A compound I could not leave until I was of age.

Early the next morning, I climbed out of my bedroom window and found my way back to the beach. It had lost all of its darkness and now glistened and pumped silver-blue waves as far as I could see.

“You came back.”

I almost missed the mermaid; her hair blended and moved with the water.

“I wanted to say goodbye. My mother is scared of what she doesn’t understand.”

“But you’re not,” her voice rose over the rumble. “I can see it on your face. You have fallen for the sea.”

“I don’t know.”

She held out her arms to me. “There is only one way to find out. Give yourself fully to the waves.”

I stepped into the water, thinking I would come back later and tell Mother goodbye, but the feeling of freedom already overwhelmed me. The further I swam the further away the mermaid seemed. I watched the tip of her tail go under and held my breath, plunging in after her. Immediately, I felt different. I was changing! My legs felt as one unified object. But when I gave in to the need to inhale, I choked violently. I coughed and gagged until finally I felt accepted.

My eyes had burned feverishly from the saltwater during the ocean’s initiation; now they could focus on the new surroundings. Brilliant and vivid fish that I had never imagined existed swam playfully around me as if they were celebrating my arrival.

To my surprise, a group of Mermen suddenly appeared. My heart thumped wildly. I started scanning their faces, searching for my father. I smiled, and they grinned. Then they opened their mouths, exposing daggered teeth. They came closer, surrounding me, licking me with their shameful, filthy, cannibalistic tongues.

The End

Short Story: Silverweed Muffins by Dorlana Vann

Below is the short story, “Silverweed Muffins”, which was inspired by “Little Red Riding Hood”, which in turn inspired my YA novel, Silverweed. I used some of the same background and plotlines for the book that I had used in the short story. In addition, when I drafted the longer version, I added a theme that I’d interpreted from the original Grimm Brother’s version of the fairy tale. And to me, “Little Red Riding Hood” is all about fear, the message being, “Don’t talk to strangers,” and “Don’t stray from the path.” So Silverweed’s theme ended up being: The real monster is fear. Here is the short story, I believe from 2008. Side Note: I don’t remember why I picked Swiss as the character’s name – it didn’t make it to the book though …

 

Silverweed Muffins by Dorlana Vann

 Swiss drove like mad in his little red car, down into the valley, down the narrow winding roads, and away from the gravesite, but he would never be able to travel fast enough to escape his guilty thoughts. He should have never shooed those birds away. He should have heeded his mothers other countless warnings of bad luck, dark omens, and words of wisdom that he had only seen as silly superstition. But now she was dead, and he was alone in the world, except for his ailing grandmother.

He sped into his driveway and made an abrupt stop, hitting the steering wheel as he finally allowed his required tears to fall. He was eighteen-years-old and thought he was too old to cry, at least in front of people. No one could see him now.

After awhile, he began to think about the last conversation he had with his mother. A conversation he put to the back of his mind because he didn’t want to believe she was going to die. His mother loved her legends and fairy tales, and at the time, Swiss figured she was just getting some of her stories confused with reality. Still, her last words fought to be remembered. “Protect your grandmother. Don’t ever talk to strangers. You must carry on the tradition by making her muffins and taking them to her every day … every day by noon, without fail. They must always be the silverweed muffins.”

His mother had delivered a basket of silverweed muffins to his grandmother every day, for as long as he could remember. When Swiss was ten, he’d asked his mother why she didn’t just make a whole bunch and leave them there. His mother had said, “This reminds me to visit her. If I didn’t go one day, perhaps I would fail to remember the next, and soon I would completely forget. Now we can’t go and forget to take care of grandmother, can we?”

As he opened the front door to his house, he was still thinking about his mothers last dying words, which was her last dying wish, the realization that he had inherited this daunting job depressed him even more. His grandmother had outlasted his mother, and could possibly outlast him, so this task would be his, forever. Make and feed her muffins every day…

He wasn’t as sure about what his mother had meant when she told him to protect his grandmother. She lived far into the remote woods away from civilization. She didn’t even have a telephone. No one was going to call her and scam her out of her money, if she even had any. Perhaps his mother meant, take care of, instead of protect. Just get her the muffins, he thought, that was all he was capable of doing that day anyway. Maybe later he could ask his grandmother about what his mother had intended.

Swiss stood in the kitchen and mixed the ingredients to the recipe he had known by heart since he was six years old:

 2 c flour

1 tbsp baking powder

3 tbsp sugar

1 egg

1 c milk

¼ c silverweed leaves

After he had baked the muffins, he put them in the lined red basket and covered them with a white linen napkin. This first muffin delivery venture wasn’t going to come close to the noon deadline his mother had requested. Oh well, he thought, as long as she receives her muffins today, all will be well.

He didn’t drive to his grandmother’s house as fast as he had driven away from his mother’s funeral. He actually turned on the music, hummed along, and had lovelier thoughts of happier times. He began to remember the trips he and his mother used to make to his grandmother’s when he was a child. It wasn’t just the visit that had been pleasant, but also the car ride. They would play games, their favorite being, I Spy.

Swiss’s thoughts turned gloomy when he remembered the last time they had played. He spied something red and his mother guessed, a car, a leaf on a tree, a bird, and so on, until finally she gave up. And then he told her, “I saw a little red man, right there beside the road. Didn’t you see him? He had horns like a goat and a long tail.” Curiously he didn’t remember her saying anything to the contrary like, “You saw no such thing,” or “You must have been mistaken.” No, she had said, “I didn’t see him.” And that was the last time they ever played the game, because neither one of them ever suggested it again. He had forgotten all about it, until that very moment. He shrugged off the strange mood it gave him; silly little boy’s imagination, that was all. His mother had filled his head with her foolishness.

There had been a furious thunderstorm the night before that left water standing in the ditches beside the road. Swiss’s grandmother lived in the dense woods. The road was barely a road much less paved, and he knew it would be a long drive of large puddles and fallen limbs. He didn’t want to tear up his little red car. So he parked it, put on his jacket and grabbed the basket of muffins. Dusk had already arrived and he did think twice about leaving the shelter of his car behind; the walk back would be a dark one.

Once he left the initial clearing in the woods, the night seemed to grow by a couple of hours. The chilled wind blew its breath on the back of Swiss’s neck, making him wish he had worn his jacket with the hood. When he began to wonder if he had become lost on the straight stretch of road, he stopped and turned several times. That’s when he thought he saw someone in the woods, right off the road. He figured it was merely shadows and the suggestive surroundings but decided he would walk faster at any rate. When he dared to investigate again, he was positive he saw someone, this time behind a slender tree. Glancing behind every couple of feet, Swiss walked as fast as he could trying not to let on that he knew he had a tail. But when it seemed this person wasn’t going to give up, he stopped and waited until he heard a rustling that was most likely his follower. He didn’t enjoy being scared, so if this person was going to attack him anyway, he would rather it was not an ambush.

“Hello?” Swiss turned around after a few seconds. “Excuse me, why are you following me?”

At this, a man stepped out of the bush, and Swiss wished he would had run to his grandmother’s instead of challenging a stranger. The man wore a cowboy hat and dirty boots. He looked big, rough, and hairy. In his left hand he carried a massive rusty ax.

Swiss took a giant step back and cleared his throat as he looked around for a weapon. He knew his basket of muffins wouldn’t do him much good, even if he had cooked them a bit longer than usual. Swiss stood as tall as possible. His voice didn’t hold much authority on its own, so he gave it a beat of deepness when he said, “You’re trespassing. Please leave this land immediately.”

“Trespassing?” the man said with the volume of a jackhammer. “I’m just doing my job, son.”

“And what job would that be?” Swiss was thinking, murderer, assassin, bear hunter…

 “I’m a woodsman.” He squinted his already hard to see eyes under the massive entanglement of hair on his face. “I cut down trees.”

“Why would a woodsman be following me?”

The man laughed a vigorous belly laugh. “Following you? I am not interested in your whereabouts.”

Immediately, Swiss felt a bit foolish. His total day had been eerie, which must have left him jumpy and paranoid. Swiss thought that perhaps there were more of these woodsmen about.

“Right,” Swiss said. “I’ll be on my way.”

“Need some help? You lost?”

“No, this is my grandmother’s property. She lives just down the way.”

“I see. What’s there in that basket?” the man asked and took a step toward Swiss.

“Just some muffins for my grandmother.”

 “Wouldn’t happen to be able to spare one, would you?”

Swiss didn’t doubt that the grubby man actually lived in the woods, as well as worked, and most likely starving. Besides, he had accused him of being a stalker. “I’m sure my grandmother can spare one.”

After the man was handed the muffin, he took an enormous bite and then picked it up to examine it. “Kind of odd tasting. What’s in here?”

“Family secret,” Swiss said and smiled. “Well, I must be getting on my way. My grandmother is waiting.”

Swiss walked on, checking behind him periodically to make sure the man wasn’t following him. He saw no sign and was satisfied after awhile that the man was who he’d said he was.

Finally, he made it to the clearing that started the yard. It was much brighter there, the full moon blared like a spotlight on his grandmother’s house. Trimmed hedges and flower gardens decorated the skillfully manicured grounds. Swiss thought about how his grandmother, being practically bed ridden, employed people to work in her yard. She also owned most of the woods for many miles and therefore must have hired the woodsman to cut down some trees on the path to her house.

He dreaded walking into the house that he once looked forward to visiting. It felt different now. Today it would be especially painful. She would ask about the funeral, be sorry she wasn’t able to make it, and make him relive the entire event. Not only that, he knew that this was only the beginning of many countless trips he would be taking to see her. Every day he would have to bring her the muffins.

He opened the door. “Grandmother,” he called, “it’s me, Swiss.” He snapped on the lamp in the living room and saw the familiar cozy furnishings draped with homemade quilts and afghans. The smell of cinnamon tea filled his nostrils as he walked into the kitchen and set the muffins down on the counter. He took a muffin out of the basket and set it on a small saucer.

“Grandmother,” he said again, wondering now if he had come too late, and she had gone to bed.

He hesitated at her bedroom door, not wanting to disturb an old lady and her sleep. Except his mother’s words came to mind: every day… every day. He tapped lightly on the door and then opened it.

The room was dark, but he could hear his grandmother’s grunts and snores from the back of the room. Aware of the light next to her bed, he made his way, muffin in hand, toward the lamp. He snapped it on.

At first the brightness blinded him. “I’m sorry I’m so late. It’s just that it’s been an aw—” He stopped with his mouth open, stared, and then heard the crash of the plate as it hit the floor. For there in his grandmother’s bed was a huge, hairy wolf. And the wolf was awake now, looking at him.

The wolf had big eyes, a big nose, and what big teeth it had. It growled, saliva gathering at the corners of its mouth like a mad dog. Swiss stood petrified, but only for a second, because the wolf then leaped out from underneath the cozy blankets. Swiss found his feet and scrambled backwards, but he couldn’t take his eyes off the wolf because it actually wore one of his grandmothers long pink nightgowns.

“Grandmother,” Swiss yelled, and then quickly scanned the room for any sign of her. Perhaps she hid under the bed or maybe in the closet. He didn’t want to even think of the obvious, but he didn’t have time to have a good look, because in the next instant, the wolf had lunged and pinned him to the hardwood floor.

Swiss shielded his face with his arms as the wolf tore at him with its claws, ripping Swiss’s clothing open like a candy wrapper. The sharp nails dug deep into his flesh causing Swiss to cry out in pain. His mind desperately analyzed the situation. He had two choices: keep fighting and prolong the agony or die a just as painful but perhaps quicker death. At the very moment Swiss had decided to move his arms and let the wolf finish him off, the heaviness of the animal lifted, and he heard it howl out in pain. He didn’t dare move. His entire body felt like it was on the spin cycle as hard adrenaline pumped through his heart. Finally, with large breaths, he sat up.

The wolf lay on the floor with an ax in its side. Swiss stood up, but not wanting to take any chances that the wolf would attack him again, he kept his distance.

Swiss flinched, ready to run, when the woodsman he had talked to earlier stepped out of the shadows and retrieved his ax. The red blood of the wolf poured out onto the floorboards.

“My grandmother,” Swiss managed to get out of his dry mouth. “Have you seen my grandmother?”

The woodsman frowned at him and then subtly motioned with his eyes for Swiss to look at the wolf.

When Swiss looked, his head did a spin and a swoon. There on the floor in the place of the wolf lay his grandmother.

 “I’ve been tracking her for years,” the woodsman said.

 Panic wrapped itself around Swiss’s reason. His whole world swirled around in his head. “I thought I saw… There was a wolf. My mind, in the darkness, my eyes… I’ve been so upset today.” He looked up at the woodsman who still held the bloody ax. “Why would you kill my grandmother?” He could feel anger and guilt rising to his face. Protect your grandmother. He had not been able to protect her for a single day. Don’t ever talk to strangers. What had he done?

“That was not your grandmother, son,” the woodsman said. He turned from Swiss and yelled, “She’s over here.”

Three men in army uniforms entered his grandmother’s room. Two of them carried a stretcher. They put it down beside his grandmother. The other man had on plastic gloves, and he touched her neck. “She’s dead,” he said, like he had solved a great mystery, and then placed a white sheet over her body. The first two men picked her up.

“Wait,” Swiss said. “What do you think you’re doing? Stop… STOP!”

They paid no mind to him but continued their job and placed her on the stretcher. They picked up the stretcher just as Swiss ran in front of them, blocking them from going any further.

 “Did you hear me? Put her down.”

The woodsman nodded to the men who had looked to him for answers. “It’s all right,” he said.

“Just give us a few moments.”

The men placed the stretcher back on the floor, and then walked out of the bedroom.

Swiss said, “I don’t know what’s going on. But I do know that you just chopped my grandmother with an ax. I’m calling the police.” But as he said the words, he did understand that all was not normal.

 “She is the property of the United States Government. Thirty years ago, she traded her citizenship for compensation and help. She’s werewolf, the real deal, and she needed help to stop killing people. After she signed her life over to us, the scientists found that silverweed kept the symptoms of the disease in check. Only, as soon as she was better she reneged on her deal and fled with outside help. I have been tracking her ever since. It seems I found her just in time.”

Swiss sat on the edge of his grandmother’s bed. None of it made sense, but yet, things began to make more sense than ever. The muffins. “Still,” Swiss whispered, feeling the sting of his slashes shouting something else at the same time. “She wouldn’t have hurt me.”

“She had no control once she changed. But I don’t think she has changed much over the years, though,” the woodsman said thoughtfully. “I always check out the stories where there’s been an animal mauling. Until a year ago, there wasn’t any that had signs of werewolf. But that’s how I ended up here. She must have missed a dose of silverweed. I’ve been watching her place for over six months now.”

Changed, Swiss thought. His grandmother changed into a wolf and then tried to eat him.

“I’m really glad you spied me in the woods today,” the woodsman continued, “If not, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to try those muffins. The taste of parsnips confirmed my suspicions, and since there was a full moon, I feared for your safety. I really hoped I’d be able to take her in alive.” The woodsman shook his head. “I’m really sorry about your grandma. You do realize that more than just your life was in jeopardy tonight. She was a wild animal, and there would have been no way to tame her, no matter how much silverweed she ate.” With that, the woodsman stuck his head out the door and told the men to come back in.

This time Swiss didn’t say anything; he just let them take her away.

“Here’s my number.” The woodsman handed Swiss a card. “You can have her in a couple of days so you can give her a proper burial.”

Alone in his grandmothers room, Swiss put his face in his hands and cried for the second time that day. He ached all over, especially on his right side. He reached down and held it. “Ouch,” he said, as lifted up his shirt to look. He saw his blood pooling at surface of a wicked bite. Swiss knew too well what it meant. His mother had told him countless stories of vampires and werewolves.

This meant he would share in his grandmother’s fate.

He thought that perhaps he should stop the man to tell him, and show him and ask what he should do. No, he already knew what to do.

 Silverweed muffins every day… every day.

 The End

Buy the YA novel – Silverweed: a supernatural fairy tale

Read about the Superstitions and the beginnings of Silverweed

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