We're delighted to roast our own sister hostess - Patsy Parker- today. Welcome to your party, Patsy, and congratulations on the release of 'Beyond Tomorrow'!“Oh come on, Mary,” Patsy wheedles. “Just step through and enjoy the ride.”
Belated Happy Release Day for Wednesday just gone,
Oliver baked you a cake!
Belated Happy Release Day for Wednesday just gone,
Oliver baked you a cake!
Mary pokes a finger in the gelatin-like substance, gaping as ripples spread through the thick mass. “Step through this crap! Who are you kidding?” She scratches her neck. “And these animal skins itch like crazy.”
“I’m with Mary on this one,” Mac gazes at the massive half-circle. “Time travel isn’t supposed to be possible and this whole adventure makes me nervous.”
“What’s to be nervous about? I’ve always dreamed of time travelling ” Unusually calm, Lyn rotates her shoulders and steps through – and vanishes!
“Now you,” Patsy gives Mary a push. Mary howls, grabbing hold of the archway.
Determination mounting, Patsy braces a shoulder against Mary’s back and gives a hearty shove.
“Omygawd!” Mary screeches as she too vanishes into the void.
“I’m not too thrilled about this…” Mac’s brows draw together in a frown. “How can we be sure what’s on the other side.”
“That’s part of the fun,” Patsy grabs her hand and leaps after Mary.
A kaleidoscope of color greets them as they roll and tumble in a vast circular slide, spinning and whirling before they fall through to the other side.
Mary is face down in the tall reeds moaning.
Lyn is brushing mud from her deerskin pants. “Well, that was certainly exciting.”
Mac is buried beneath Patsy, having landed first.
Patsy stands up, laughing. “At least my landing was better than Mac’s or even Mary’s.” She glances around looking concerned. “Hawk was supposed to meet us at the entrance to the portal.”
“Who or what is Hawk?” Mary struggles to her feet, grimacing as she pulls a prickly plant from her hair. She pivots in a slow circle, eyes wide as she studies the primitive landscape.
An animal squeals. A heart-stopping roar echoes through the forest.
“Wha…?” Mac gasps as another roar reverberates through the woods. “What was that?”
“Sounds like a cat,” Lyn murmurs. “A really big cat.” She turns to Patsy. “That sounded like a really really big cat.”
“Probably a saber tooth.” Patsy stares in the direction of the noise. “Better a saber tooth than a cave bear.”
“A cave what?” Mary edges behind Patsy. “Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought you said cave bear.”
“I did,” Patsy starts down a well worn trail. “I think the encampment is this way. Why else would there be a trail.”
“Well,” Mac huffs. “I think we should just turn around and go back where we came from.”
“Can’t,” Patsy says. “My information says the portal can only be accessed from this side by Hawk. He controls the device from here.”
An animal crashes through the underbrush, a massive one from the sound of it, escaping from some unseen terror. The reeds part and a dark feline head pokes through. Saliva drips from the massive canines.
“AAAAACKKKK,” Mac screams and falls, back-peddling with amazing speed.
“I bet that’s a saber tooth.” Patsy murmurs, eyes wide with astonishment.
Mary’s teeth chatter so loud they can hear them pop together. “Where’s Nibby when I need her.”
“You wouldn’t want to bring her here,” Patsy exclaims. “She'd end up as dinner for that creature.”
The cat hisses, barring its teeth in a sinister smile.
“What about us?” Terrified now, Lyn stumbles on an exposed root. “Seems like we could end up as dinner.”
A lone figure drops from a tree and lands in the pathway. Arrows fly faster than the eye can follow. The cat screeches with rage and then melts into the brush.
The figure turns. He is savage-appearing. Long dark hair surrounds a face covered with war paint. Corded arms, well developed abs and muscular legs draw their attention. His only clothing appears to be a beaded and fringed loin cloth.
“You ladies lost?” White teeth flash in a grin.
“Hawk!” Patsy exhales loudly. “Finally.”
“I’ve been watching since you ladies landed.” He turns and motions them to follow. “Thought you might enjoy a few minutes alone before we head to camp but I didn’t expect the cat to show up.”
“I’m so not sorry you showed up,” Mac gasps as she scurries to Hawk’s side. “I’m happy for the company.” Her eyes light with appreciation as they skim his almost bare form.
“Well, then,” he chuckles. “Let’s meet the others.”
A short walk later and the encampment comes into view. Hide tents and willow bark lodges line the edges of the clearing. A deer carcass simmers over a massive fire pit. Wild yams and onions bake in the coals while a luscious smelling stew bubbles in a clay pot. Whole grain flat bread bakes on the hot rocks.
“You ladies hungry?” Hawk arches a brow. “We only have organic here.”
Lyn sniffs, savoring the scent. “Smells wonderful!”
“Grab a plate,” Hawk motions to a side bench.
“Get it while it’s hot.” The community groups around them. Warriors pound on primitive hide drums. Reed flutes pipe a trilling tune. The crowd begins to circle the fire, stomping and strutting, dancing to the ancient song.
“Now this is what we came for,” Patsy claps her hands. “Back to the beginning.”
Women! They were another matter. Raids were a common occurrence amongst the tribes and even the flesh eaters habitually invaded the surrounding territories in hopes of replenishing their meager supply of healthy females. His mind drifted back to better times. His own woman had been the result of such a raid. She was from the hunter gatherers to the north, small of stature but strong and a hard worker. Grief wrenched his heart! His son! He would have made the boy a proud warrior among his people.
The savage reached down and grabbed a fistful of the female’s dark hair and wrenched her head up. Even in the murky light of late dusk, the contours of the woman’s features were unmistakable. The foolish woman from the others’ encampment! Mottled bruises and trickles of dark blood dotted her face and the bare areas on her neck and arms. His teeth gnashed together! She’d been fiercely abused!
Why was she here? And why did this scrawny underling hold sway over her? She was young, strong and comely and only a savage of some standing in the hierarchy of the flesh eaters would warrant such a prize. He had no such standing or he would be by the great fire arguing with the rest! The solitary campsite only served to emphasize the flesh eater’s tenuous hold on the female. If those in command cast covetous eyes on the woman, the insolent underling’s punishment would be severe—even to death. He should be afraid.
Once again he considered leaving her. A careless woman would not be a fitting mate for any self-respecting warrior. His brows drew together. She was proving to be more trouble than she was worth!
Her presence here was proof enough that the flesh eaters had attacked. How many others were taken or perished beneath the weapons of the brutal savages? Those that survived would face a pathetic existence burdened by the cruelty of the flesh eaters and the endless grueling labor. The thought saddened him greatly. They deserved a better fate!
P.L. Parker is a multi published author of paranormal fantasy romance novels with a twist. Her modern day heroines find themselves transported back in time to live in ancient lands where they encounter peril, romance, treachery, and ultimately, love. She enjoys creating fantasy romance stories in both the light and dark paranormal. You will be captivated by the engaging and unique stories found in P.L. Parker's novels.
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