Blog Archives

Arlene Lagos Author Website

Hello to all of my wonderful friends and fans!

Thank you so much for following me on this blog!  When I first started this blog, I never imagined that I would write more than one book!

Now I have four books and fourteen short stories published and I’m about to release a new children’s novel in December, “Outside The Circle”!

In an effort to place all of my work on one website, I have created an Author site.

Please follow me at http://www.authorarlenelagos.wordpress.com

for updates on new releases and projects!

I also have a new facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/authorarlenelagos

Thanks!

Giant Tales, Dangerous Days (Book 4)

Giant Tales, Book 4

Giant Tales, Book 4

Is global warming really happening or is does it exist in the imagination of people who aren’t in touch with the cycle of changes in the Earth’s atmosphere? Thirty-two creative fiction writers developed short stories by working with the concept of global warming and mysterious crowns. Enter into a new world where something has ushered in very hot days. Four more chapters of fifty-three giant tales: Global Warming, Dangerous Days, Crowns, and Another World.

West of Lucky 

My short story, “West of Lucky” is included in this Anthology.  In “West of Lucky”  A young woman follows a suspicious man into the forest and she discovers that he is from another world. This short story is about superstition and how it can cause someone to manifest things that aren’t really there. Clearly, the main character clings to her superstition as a way of life, which prevents her from seeing what’s really happening around her. People do all sorts of crazy things in the name of religion and belief. I wanted to take her beliefs and show how quickly they can turn fantastical.

33 Authors include: Joyce Shaughnessy, Tom Russell, Andy McKell, Todd Folstad, Sylvia Stein, Arlene Lagos, Mike Boggia, Randall Lemon, Glenda Reynolds, J.R. O’Neill, H.M. Schuldt, Gene Hilgreen, Mirta Oliva, Alli Vaughan, Lynette White, Connie Flanagan, Neil Carrol Ellison, D C Mills, Rebecca Lacy, Karen Beck, Shelly Heskett Harris, Lynn Johnston, Mary Agrusa, Karen Hopkins, A.A. Abbott, Craig Teal, Shae Hamrick, Robert A. Strobel, Victor J.M. Christensen, Tim Girard, Elaine Faber, and Randy Dutton

http://www.amazon.com

http://www.writers750.com

http://www.facebook.com/GiantTales

Giant Tales: Doors, Swamps and Pirates!

If you like flash fiction, then check out the Giant Tales Anthologies!  Look beyond the mystic doors, see what’s living in the misty swamp, and enter the world of pirates as these short stories take you away three minutes at a time! Over 40 authors from all over the world have contributed their time to writing these fabulous stories, you are sure to find more than a few that will take your breath away!

mystic-doors-subtitle-pdf-jpeg

Now available for purchase on Amazon.com for $2.99

The three-minute stories in this anthology, Giant Tales Beyond the Mystic Doors, are full of suspense, surprise endings, and fantastic thrillers, which will surprise you, alarm you, and take you to unexpected places beyond the mystic doors.

Sixty-one stories written by sixteen authors, each tale is sure to take you to a new place with new characters. Moving with surprise twists and turns, this work of fiction is a real page-turner.

Take an unexpected journey beyond the mystic doors where you will experience all new stories, fresh and first-rate workmanship.

In essence, the three-minute tales of fantasy and thrillers will keep you turning the pages for more.

Giant Tales, Book II

Giant Tales, Book II

Now available for purchase on Amazon.com for $2.99

These stories are full of suspense, of course, because visibility has become limited and danger could be several feet ahead. Adventure is found in a mysterious thick wooded swamp, a dark wet place where amphibians are about to jump off the page. Experience all new marshy carnivals. Hidden in this book is a collection of knowledge dripping with certain disguises and secrets in life—secrets that are revealed. Take a look at how climate change can affect people in ways you’ve never seen before. Feel the clock ticking when characters set out to find others in the slimy grimy Misty Swamp.
Come see how twenty authors did a remarkable job using the themes of corruption, a race against time, disguises, and a search for something lost. In this collection of short stories, you will find four chapters full of fun thrilling tales that bring forth all new entertainment.

51edzt+jaIL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_

Now available for purchase on Amazon.com for $10.44 in paperback

(Coming soon to kindle!)

An ancient curse is causing ships to sink in the Caribbean, and treasure is to be found. You’ll find roving adventure with desperadoes and voyagers sailing near uncharted islands in this collection of 3-minute tales from forty authors. If you’d like to hear a pirate tale, then this is the book for you.

Moving On

Gravestone_3_by_Kaitrosebd_Stock

It was interesting to watch him. The way he sat in the darkness of the lonely, cold house that was once our home. The way he picked up pictures and held them to his heart, trying to work up tears; but we both knew it wasn’t love he felt…it was guilt. Guilt for the way he treated me, the way he hurt me countless times throughout our marriage. The physical abuse was one thing, but the mental abuse was enough to push a woman over the edge.

If only he could see me, see that I am happy now; that we were poisonous together. Maybe if he could just see that, we could both move on. Sometimes I try to make sounds, or chant, or do something to get his attention but nothing ever works. Now it was just the two of us occupying the same space, unable to communicate. I’m not sure which seems more impossible, that I can see him or that he can’t see me. It’s comical really if you think about it. We always both secretly wished the other would go away so we wouldn’t have to deal with the burden of divorce. But this scenario was almost too much to bear.

Something inside of me felt the need to help him move on. Even though he was a lying, cheating, physically and mentally abusive turd, I felt bad for him. Perhaps that was the victim in me. You spend enough time with someone and you start to believe the things they say. You start to buy into the idea that maybe you are nothing and so you embody that idea until you’re desperate and thankful for the few crumbs of happiness your master gives you on one of their good days. He was so powerful before with his wild temper, his rules and his iron fists. But now, he was pitiful to watch. He seemed so lost and broken. It made me sad even after everything he’d done.

This morning he got all dressed up and I thought that perhaps today was the day that he would visit the cemetery. If he did, I knew that hopefully he would finally find some peace. Luckily, it was in walking distance, since he couldn’t drive.

Approaching the cemetery, my stomach turned inside out. Even now, even after everything he had done to me, I wasn’t sure if I could allow him peace. If I could face the truth, if I could witness him face it.  But, I had to be there; I had no choice. Somehow, we were still bound to each other and would be forever unless I was able to help us rid ourselves of the skeletons of the past.

As we got closer to the gravesite, the memories came flooding back to me about that fateful night; the screams that rang out through the streets, his fist pounding on the back of my skull, over and over again. The blood spilling out of my mouth and nose, my face pressed against the floor, as I recall the gun that I hid beneath the bed.  He grabbed at my ankles in an effort to pull me out as I squirmed underneath for safety, almost avoiding the kick to my spine from Harold as I fumble to un-tape the 38 special from the bed frame.

The two of us struggling for control of the gun, shots being fired followed by the smell of powdery smoke filling the air. Then more blood filled the room as it fell silent. Time stopped as instinct set in. What had we done? Shrieks of horror precede madness. Then there was the clean up, the burning of the evidence, the dumping of the body in the lake nearby. The classic trash bag wrapped body with a cinderblock tied to the ankles, sinking to the bottom.

Looking down at the gravestone, tears filled my eyes as I read the etching.

Harold Waters 1968-2012, survived by his loving wife Linda. His face turned pale, his eyes filled with horror as he fell to his knees at the realization that he was in fact, the one that had died.  They never found his body and perhaps my punishment for committing such a horrendous crime was to be haunted by him for the past year.  Tears filled his eyes now and for the first time, they seemed genuine.

“I deserved it. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me Linda,” he whispered.

“I forgive you,” I whispered back.

That was the last I ever saw of Harold.

 **********************************************************************

This short story is an entry into the October Skeletons contest for the Fiction Writers Guild on LinkedIn. The guidelines were 750 words that had to do with Skeletons, a tombstone and something impossible versus something possible. I hope you enjoyed it. You can read more short stories like this through our collection of works on Amazon under “Giant Tales Beyond The Mystic Doors” and “Giant Tales From The Misty Swamp”.  Our writers group is called writers 750 and the book is under the pen name of Professor Limn. There are between 15-20 authors with over 60 short stories per book. For more information, click on the short stories tab on this blog.

Giant Tales, Book I

Giant Tales, Book I

Giant Tales, Book II
Giant Tales, Book II

Call of the Sirens

In honor of “International Talk Like A Pirate Day” I bring you this short story

coming soon in the third book, Giant Tales: World of Pirates

sirens_cove

Water fills my lungs as I plunge further down into the frozen waters. The shore is but a few hundred yards, but I am no swimmer. Accepting my fate I stop kicking and let it take me to my watery grave.

Suddenly, I feel something wrap around my waist, then hands, then a huge tug. My head rips through the top of the water and I’m dangling from a human fishing pole several feet in the air; beside me floating in the tide is a ship.

“Not much o’ a swimmer be you?” said a man.

Blinking the water out of my eyes I focus on his face. He’s tall, muscular with dark black hair that flows sweetly in the sun. Covered in tattoos and armed with a sword, I knew right away he was a jack tar.

“You saved my life,” I gasp, coughing water out of my lungs.

“It would be rude o’ me t’ let a vixen like you wind up in Davey Jones Locker”

Pulling the rope towards the boat, he lowers me gently onto the ship, and then puts out his hand.

“Name’s Marcus. This be me ship and that man thar, climbin’ up t’ boat is me mate Angus”

Slowly spinning me around, he stops, then points to the island behind me.

“And that starboard thar be our island”

“You’re island? Impressive.”
“That’s right. Just me and me bucko Angus livin’ off t’ spoils o’ this place since t’ rest o’ t’ crew went t’ Davy Jones’ locker when t’ second ship capsized,”

“How awful. So you are here all alone? Just the two of you?” I asked.

“Aye, just t’ two o’ us. So, little lady, what might be yer name and what you be doin’ out here, bravin’ these waters?”

“My name is Anna. I’m a scientist. My crew and I were on an expedition to find raw materials, when we heard this enchanting music. It drew us right in, like we had no say in the matter.”

“Ah aye, t’ siren’s call. Always drawin’ men in and sinkin’ their ships just before they reach shore. Them beauties be devils.”

“I don’t remember seeing this island on any of my maps,” I said.

“No you won’t find this island on any map. It be t’ secret island o’ lost mates. Years ago all t’ rum runners, treaaye hunters and jack tars o’ t’ high seas stored their riches here. Now it’s just me and Angus port t’ inherit it all.”

Leaning in closely, pressing his body against mine, he whispered in my ear.

“Nobody will ever find ya here. It will be nice t’ have a beauty around t’ keep me warm at night.”

Playing along, I slide my hand down the small of his back until I feel the bottom of a revolver buried in the belt of his pants. Continuing to kiss my neck, I don’t move, but my eyes follow Angus as he strolls away towards the other side of the ship.

A gun goes off. Marcus pulls away at the sound, just in time for me to relieve him of his weapon.

“What was that?” he reaches for his gun.

“Looking for this?”

I point the gun at his head and watch as Serena appears on the aft of the boat.

“The fat man’s dead” she said.

“Who be you, Anna?” asks Marcus.

“Actually, you might know me better as Avielle, Queen of the Sirens.”

Eyes wide, Marcus gasps.

“I can see by the look in your eyes that my reputation precedes me.”

“I thought you were just a legend… A ghost story made up by other jack tars t’ keep us away from the island… No, you can’t be real!”

Sticking the gun in his groin, I lean in, grab his hand and place it on my bosom.

“Does this feel real enough to you?”

“What be my fate here?” he asks.

Leaning in again even closer this time, I press my hips into his, running my fingers through his soft black hair.

“Me and t’ lasss will be takin’ your ship, your island and your treayes…and maybe if you’re a real good lad, I’ll let YOU keep ME warm at night.”

With his hands now behind his back, I tie off the rope, leaving him to sit as Serena approaches.

“Serena, call the other sirens, let them know that it’s safe to come back home…and that I have a present for them.”

Turned to Stone

Unknown

I wasn’t always this way. Before the attacks, I was very out-going. Social events littered my calendar. There wasn’t a person in town that didn’t know me. My life was perfect, and then one day, it wasn’t.   The first attack happened on a Saturday in early December.  Not wanting to miss my bus to NYC, I stepped on the gas and sped up towards the station. The sky was grey and I remember feeling it weigh on me.

As I pulled into the parking lot, I felt dizzy; and then a rush of heat flowed through me.  My chest began to rise and fall as I struggled to catch my breath. Managing to get a ticket and board the bus, I found a seat towards the middle and sat there, leaning my head against the window and closing my eyes. Perhaps I was just tired, I thought, as the bus pulled out of the station.

The feeling of the bus vibrating on my back caused my breath to quicken again. Heat rushed throughout my body again as beads of sweat formed around my face. Out of nowhere, utter darkness came over me, as if I was going to die at any second. The eerie feeling that something horrible was about to happen caused me to jump from my seat at the next stop and depart the bus.

I ran to the nearest police officer and told them something was wrong, that I was having a heart attack or something. They immediately called an ambulance and brought me to the hospital.  They ran test after test to see if I was having heart problems, had a brain tumor, or was pregnant. After the tests were done, the doctor came in and sat down beside my bed. Tears rolled down my face as I anticipated the worst.

“You have what’s called Panic Disorder,” He said.

Rolling onto my side I clutched the pillow and buried my face in it. Four years as a Psychology major and I didn’t even recognize it.

It’s been a few years now and every day the depression gets worse. I’m paralyzed from living my life the way it’s meant to be lived because of fear. It feels as if I’ve been turned to stone, unable to move or enjoy anything.  The attacks were so bad that I had become Agoraphobic.

Pulling the window shade up, I glance out the window at the hot sun beating down on the burnt grass. It had been a nasty summer from what I heard, and I’d spent most of it inside. From the looks of my neighbors flower garden, everything that was growing there, long since died of thirst. Except for maybe that very beautiful patch of violets. Violets have always been my favorite flower. They remind me of my aunt who passed away about a month before the attacks came. She always smelled like violets. Running to the closet I grab my binoculars and press them to my face to get a better look. They were exquisite. How I longed to smell them again. To be reminded of my aunt whom I missed so much. If only I could make it outside for just a moment, maybe I could pick one and bring it inside. Shaking my head, I pulled the shade back down knowing it would never happen.

Walking aimlessly around the house I find myself getting on my shoes and heading for the door. What am I doing? I couldn’t stop. The desire to see the violets up close, to hold them, to smell them was so strong that before I knew it I was standing right over them. Kneeling down, I pressed my nose against them inhaling their sweet intoxicating smell. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I cried over my aunt’s death. For hours I sat there. The sun began to set and as I looked up at the pink sky, something inside of me felt calm like everything was going to be okay. Looking back at the door to my house I frowned; I don’t want to go back in. Turning my head down the driveway I felt the road calling my name. Slowly I stood up, picking a violet and placing it behind my ear. The warm summer air blanketed me as I began walking down the driveway and onto the sidewalk, destination unknown. Perhaps wherever I am headed to, I will find myself again at the end of the road.

images

Writers’ Challenge: August Violets

1. A violet or something purple

2. A terrible antagonist

3. Something living turns to stone, ash or dust

Theme: A sweet life vs. A terrible life

Discovery: Soothing Panic

Words: 750 or less

Giant Tales From The Misty Swamp

Four more of my short stories have been published in this incredible anthology and are now available for purchase on Amazon, check it out!

51+p3krNYzL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-63,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

Now available for purchase on Amazon.com for $2.99

These stories are full of suspense, of course, because visibility has become limited and danger could be several feet ahead. Adventure is found in a mysterious thick wooded swamp, a dark wet place where amphibians are about to jump off the page. Experience all new marshy carnivals. Hidden in this book is a collection of knowledge dripping with certain disguises and secrets in life—secrets that are revealed. Take a look at how climate change can affect people in ways you’ve never seen before. Feel the clock ticking when characters set out to find others in the slimy grimy Misty Swamp.
Come see how twenty authors did a remarkable job using the themes of corruption, a race against time, disguises, and a search for something lost. In this collection of short stories, you will find four chapters full of fun thrilling tales that bring forth all new entertainment.

Greela

Sitting in a room full of family and friends dying to get their greedy little hands on my recently deceased Aunt’s fortune, I carelessly pick the polish off my nails as the lawyer reads her last will and testament. Eyes bulging in anticipation, one by one their faces drop in shock as they realize that my aunt gave it all to charity.

Collectively, they stand up and storm out, cursing her name. My parents thought for sure they would get some of her money, but they didn’t deserve it. They were greedy and I swear only adopted me as a tax write-off. My aunt was a great woman, but she too was obsessed with money. She told me once that she wished she had the strength to walk away from it; looks like she finally did.

Surprised that I was even invited at all, I start packing up; sure that nothing has been left for me as well, but not caring either way. I had hoped she would have left me her cookbook, containing the secret recipe to her delicious mince-pie. As I am about to leave, the lawyer calls my name.

“Elaina, your aunt left a few things for you,” he said.

“Is one her cookbook?” I ask.

“Yes; and a few other things. She left you this bag of herbs, a note to read in private, and this…wheel,” he said.

Excited about the book I grab it immediately and thumb through it. The herbs smelled wonderful. The wheel was strange, as I had no idea of its purpose; but nonetheless, I put it under my arm and took off to my new apartment where I could read my Aunt’s last words to me, in private.

Opening up the letter it read:

Dear Elaina,

What I am about to tell you might frighten you, but you must believe what I say, and keep it to yourself as you are the only one I can trust.

Seventeen years ago, a horrible monster called Greela came to Earth from another planet and took human form. Her wants were simple; Greela survived off the flesh of greedy men. I came in contact once with Greela as she was at my back door ready to eat your uncle Ned.

Begging for pity, I promised Greela that I would find her food to survive on as long as she left my family alone. The Greela agreed and I’ve been feeding her since. I would comb the streets at night, following the greedy into bars, nightclubs and brothels and kill them. I would mash them up into a pie and feed them to Greela to keep her at bay; using the herbs to conceal the smell of human flesh.

One day, on my way to Greela’s layer, I found a magic wheel. The wheel whispered to me that it had the power to send Greela back to her planet forever. Thankful to whoever sent it, I used it to send Greela back; or so I thought. The next day, I found an infant hidden in the caves untouched. Thinking that Greela had taken on another form, I tried to send the baby back but it disappeared before my eyes. As legend has it, the child of a Greela doesn’t mature until its 18th birthday. We’ve been waiting for years to see if she will come back, but I grew sick and couldn’t wait any longer. I feared my days were numbered and since I have no children, I am passing on my gift to you. It’s been almost 18 years now since I found that baby. If it’s still here on our planet, you must try to use the wheel to send it back. Otherwise, I fear it will come for our family.

Love Always,

Auntie Beth

Instantly, I pick up the phone and dial.

“Hello?” said a man.

“Timmy? It’s your cousin, Elaina. I’m freaking out right now, can you come over?” I said.

“Sure Elaina is everything okay?” said Timmy.

“It’s kind of hard to explain over the phone, just please hurry up,” I said.

“I’ll be right there!” he said.

Crumpling up the note, I throw it into the fireplace and watch it burn, then grab the magic wheel and pitch it into the fire as well. Walking into the kitchen, I grab a slice of pie out of the refrigerator, put a candle on it and light it with a match.

“Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday dear Greela….”

undead__wendigo_by_lvl9drow-d5d0ady

 ************************

I’ve never written anything like this before. I was tasked with writing about a magic wheel, a herb and a Wendigo in 750 words or less. I had never even heard the word Wendigo before. So this is my first try at horror I guess? Hope you liked it…

Undead, Wendigo by ~lvl9Drow on deviantART

The Seeker Statue

They were horrible, greedy, lazy and cruel. They screamed at me for no reason, locked me away in my room for days on end and sometimes – and these were the really bad times – they even beat me. I was only fifteen years old and this was my ninth foster home. I don’t know what I do that’s so bad, but no matter where I get sent, it always ends up the same, them yelling and me running as far away as I can.  But every time I would run away, they would always catch me and then it was back to the home until they could find new parents to torment me; but not anymore, not after today.

Today I am leaving for good and I’m never coming back. Hiding up in my favorite tree in the woods behind our house, I gaze up at the stars through my telescope. The only decent gift I ever got from a neighbor who pitied me. Suddenly, I see something fall out of the sky and crash into a nearby field. Climbing down the tree I ran as fast as my little legs could carry me until I found the site.

NIGHTSKY2

There sitting in a large hole in the ground is a tiny golden statue the size of my palm. It’s of a beautiful woman with flowers in her hair. The inscription on the bottom of the statue reads, “Queen Mala of Thura”. Kneeling down on the ground I hold it in my hand and look up into the night sky.

“Oh Queen Mala, wherever you are, I wish you would find me. You seem nice,” I said.

Suddenly a giant gust of wind came out of nowhere and blew me right up off my feet suspending me in the air. A hole in the sky opens up and hurls me into a void of total darkness. When I finally stop moving, I am in a strange land surrounded by tiny people the size of my hand, standing around me, some flying; looking at me in a strange way. They’re speaking a language I didn’t understand.  A small woman waves a tiny wand and instantly grows to the same size as me.

“What is your business here?” she asks.

“I don’t know where here is ma’am,” I said.

“Where did you come from?”

“Massachusetts?”

“What planet?”

“Earth. Why what planet is this?” I ask.

But she didn’t reply.  Scared, I decide to tell her about the statue.

“I saw a golden statue fall out of the night sky. I picked it up and next thing I knew, I was here,” I said.

Her eyes grew wide as she drew closer to me.

“Where is this statue?” she asks.

mb_scene1_colour

Opening up my palm, I hand it to her. She turns to the others and holds the golden statue above her head. At first there is silence, then looks of awe, and finally they begin to cheer. A horn sounds and a tiny woman dressed in a golden gown with flowers in her hair arrives. Instantly, I recognize her as the woman in the statue, Queen Mala.

She too waves a wand and grows to the same size as me. She takes a necklace out of her pocket and places it around my neck.

“What’s this for?” I ask.

Suddenly, we both shrink down in size.  Everyone begins cheering and clapping in a roar of excitement. Frightened and out of instinct, I begin to run as fast as my legs can carry me.

“Child, don’t go, please! You needn’t run any longer,” she said.

Something about the softness in her voice was soothing and it caused me to stop, turn around and walk back toward her.

With tears in her eyes, she smiles at me, signaling for me to come closer.

“Many years ago, an evil Sorcerer tried to take over Thura; our sacred land. Unable to defeat us, he stole my child while she lay in her crib and banished her to another land. For fifteen years we have been searching for this child by sending out the golden seeker statue in hopes it would find her. The statue has a spell on it that if touched by the hand of my daughter, would bring her home to me. Last night we sent the statue out to the Land of Giants, to Earth.”

“So, this is, my home?” I said.

“Yes, my child. I’m your mother, Queen Mala, welcome home princess,” she said.

With a giant breath, I exhaled.

“It’s great to be back,” I said.

flower-480-jpg_195249

Giant Tales Beyond The Mystic Doors

As many of you know, I have been involved with a writers group of sixteen authors that have been writing short stories to be included in two anthology’s under the pen name, Professor Limn. I’m happy to announce that Book I, “Giant Tales Beyond The Mystic Doors” is now available on Amazon.com. Read below for more details and check out the link.

mystic-doors-subtitle-pdf-jpeg

Now available for purchase on Amazon.com for $2.99

The three-minute stories in this anthology, Giant Tales Beyond the Mystic Doors, are full of suspense, surprise endings, and fantastic thrillers, which will surprise you, alarm you, and take you to unexpected places beyond the mystic doors.

Sixty-one stories written by sixteen authors, each tale is sure to take you to a new place with new characters. Moving with surprise twists and turns, this work of fiction is a real page-turner.

Take an unexpected journey beyond the mystic doors where you will experience all new stories, fresh and first-rate workmanship.

In essence, the three-minute tales of fantasy and thrillers will keep you turning the pages for more.

from-the-dismal-swamp-jpeg-pdf

Stay tuned for the launch of the second installment of Professor Limn’s short stories in book two, “Giant Tales From The Dismal Swamp” coming soon.

%d bloggers like this: