Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Retread - Fan Fiction - Lost Laysen

Before writing this blog, I went to the blog site that claimed to have 101 Ideas that would make my blog hot. I went through the list but I was in a hurry, and there wasn’t anything that wouldn’t require time and more creativity than I wanted to give. Oops, did I just say that? I want to post a blog, but I don’t want to have to work too hard to get it done. Yep! I just said that. But you must understand, I just wrote a new “Sheila Murder” for my Murderous Imaginings Blog. The post Brutal Attack took most of the evening and required quite a bit of creativity.
          It’s not as easy as you might think to come up with a new scenario, a new victim, or a new way to end their life. Then there’s the graphics to go along with the story and the most challenging part, the formatting on blogger. Why that is such a task, I’ll never know, but it seems to take forever.
          So there you have it. I’ve spent all my creativity on the Murderous Imaginings Blog and have nothing left for this one. Does that bother you as much as it does me?
          Still, I wanted to post something here on Defending the Pen. It is my primary blog.
          So, I thought I’d post a copy of an old blog. My first attempt at Flash Fiction based on a short story by Margaret Mitchell. Lost Laysen. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
          That’s not being too lazy, is it?

February’s Romantic Friday Writers Flash Fiction Challenge is all about Fan Fiction.
Margaret Mitchell is a favorite author of many of us, and when I came across this short story by her, called Lost Laysen. I could not resist. 

This story was found in an old desk of a former beau, Henry Love Angel, along with other letters and photographs. Henry's son, with the help of Patsy Wiggins, founder of the Road to Tara Museum published the story along with the letters and photograph’s in 1997. This was a very special find because after Ms. Mitchell’s death, and per her wishes, all of her work including notes on Gone With The Wind were incinerated.

Synopsis: Lost Laysen by Margaret Mitchell
Courtenay Ross, a feisty, independent-minded woman, and the two men -- one a cool-headed, well-heeled gentleman, the other a hot-blooded, pugnacious sailor -- who adore her. A tale of yearning, valor, and devotion, Lost Laysen enthralls from its delightful beginning to its unforgettable end.

The scene I wrote is a 'new' ending with the characters of Courtney Ross, and Billy Duncan.
 I hope you will enjoy my tribute to her short story ‘Lost Laysen.’

Please note: This is a work of fan fiction using characters from Lost Laysen, which is trademarked by the heirs of Margaret Mitchell.
The characters were created and owned by Margaret Mitchell, and I do not claim any ownership over them or the world of Courtney Ross and Billy Duncan.

The story I tell here is my own invention, and it is not purported or believed to be part of Margaret Mitchell’s story canon. This story is for entertainment only and is not part of the official story line, nor has it been done for financial gain. 

I am grateful to Ms. Mitchell for her wonderful story about Lost Laysen, for without her story, mine would not exist.

A Fan Fiction Tribute to Margaret Mitchell’s

After days of nightmarish upheaval, tranquility saturated the night. The sea looked like black ink, and the reflected stars appeared as unsinkable diamonds. She stood against the rail. A light breeze billowed her gown. I spoke on approach so not to frighten her. 

“What’s wrong, Little Lady, you seem lost among the stars.” I tied to sound jovial.

I knew the answer but awaited her response. Her sadness was overwhelming, for she was remembering, and worse—regretting.

In acknowledgment, her lips formed a half circle. It was neither a smile nor a grin, and she continued her search of the sky. I recalled the first time we met, the first time I had witnessed her Cupid’s bow mouth curved into a full grin. The day she won my heart, three months ago, when she boarded the Caliban at Yindano for passage to Laysen in the Tongas. Laysen, the island that disappeared under the sea after a volcanic eruption, the very center of hell and she had barely escaped.

The stars blinked wildly as though showing off for her. I watched her scrutinize them and recalled how I found her in that bloody cabin barely alive. Four dead men lay at her feet, her soon to be declared fiancé, Douglas Steele, the devil himself—Juan Mardo, and two of his henchmen. 

Steele died protecting her, and Mardo had been killed by her hand. My own knife, the Amigo mio—Friend O’ Mine, she had put through Mardo’s heart, but she refused to speak of it. She became distant and disappeared to a place I could not follow, but I would not be defeated. 

When she was delirious and called out for Steele, I said words to her I had no right to speak. I caressed her fevered cheek and told her that she had to fight; she had to live for me. I promised my undying love, and while not one word was a lie, I told it all in the guise of Douglas Steele. It worked, and beyond the hopes of all who attended to her, she pulled through. But once she had her senses about her and realized that Steele was gone, she lost her desire for life. She became a shadow, and although I felt her ire, not one word of ill did she utter.

“Let’s go inside, you need to rest.”

 “In a minute.” 

Her dismissal stung, but I feared her mind had muddled and she would jump into those dark waters to join him—her true love. 

We stood with our own thoughts, and then I felt her eyes searching my face. I was not ready for her words. 

“I should’ve died. You should’ve let me go. It was my desire. I ‘m sure, it was... his. You had no right, none! Just as Laysen disappeared, so should I. I killed two men. My lovely heroic, Douglas. He wouldn’t have been here...if not for me.” 

Her body stiffened, her face flushed, and she lifted her chin. “But Mardo, that beast deserved to die; I’ll not regret that, never!” 

Then her shoulders slumped, “But Doug...he deserved so much, so much better than me.” 

No! I cursed under my breath and had to walk away. I ran my clumsy hands through my hair and paced the deck. She could not believe that. I could not allow her to think that! I calmed myself. I had no right, but I put my hands on her shoulders. Her tiny body trembled, but I held her gaze. Her big blue-grey eyes filled with unshed tears, and my heart split in two.

My mind screamed. I love you, lassie, I’m not good enough, but I love you!

I swallowed my pride. “I’ve an idea, a way to get you safely back to your family.”

“It isn’t possible, it’ll never be possible?” she shook her head. “I could never face them.”

“But it is,” I declared. “We tell them you suffered from shock, loss of memory, that you were discovered on an island near Laysen. You’ll never have to share that awful day...ever! Only you, the captain, and I will know the truth. I’ll escort you. Personally, and I’ll do the talking, no lie will ever leave your lips.”

She thought about it. She started pacing, mulling it over. Occasionally she would lift her head and look at me, studying me, wondering I suppose if she could trust me.

“You’d do that for me? Just as you pretended to be Douglas, and promised..." 

She could not even say the word--love. Was it so distasteful? Was I?

"You would lie for me, and then walk away?” She said.

“Ai’ lass, I would. I knew the day I met you; I was in your life to protect you. Never-to own you!”

I had fooled myself into believing she would be grateful, even allowed myself to think that she might love me. I had deceived—a fool.

Soft fingers caressed my weathered face. “My guardian angel.” She smiled, and on her toes, she stretched to kiss my cheek. Exceedingly blessed and agonizingly bereft, I was breathless.

“I couldn’t," she whispered. Her voice grew stronger, as she made her decision. "Living with that lie would end me. Thank you, but no. I’ll face the demons straight on. I’ll honor my Douglas, my heart.” 

Every time she spoke his name, it became more holy. Any hope left within me withered.

“I’ll go to Yindano, and teach as I intended. God allowed me to live and I’ll honor his choice.”

I nodded, grateful, but my heart shattered. Unbearable pain silenced me, because while I knew she was staying—it was not for me. 

She walked away, turned, and in the dull lantern light, I saw tears finally trailing her cheeks.

“God bless, you, Billy Duncan,” her words quickened my ravaged heart.

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

987  Words / FCA
Yolanda Renée © 2013

Romantic Friday Writers February Fan Fiction Challenge

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Question - How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/ finish a story?

Usually, that single accomplishment starts an avalanche of creativity, and I start planning my next story. The ‘high’ doesn’t always last though because shortly after I start worrying about whether or not it fits the bill, will the readers like it, then, the worst worry, how to market.


The awesome co-hosts are

Sunset before the rain!
March 6, 2018

Do worries ever steal your accomplishment 'high'?

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Goodbye Winter

I saw daffodils today!


Today my post is over on
Tick Tock: A Stitch In Crime Blog.
Featuring my story
Cypress, Like The Tree

It's all about
Stop by for a visit.

Also, the WEP Winners
have been announced.
Please stop by and
congratulate them.


In case you're interested

Whatever you do,
take a moment to enjoy the 
spring flowers.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

WEP - In Too Deep


It was a calm spring morning when my world came to an end. An early morning rain made the marigolds brighter, the forget-me-nots bluer, and the multicolored pansies gave the garden a rainbow of color. I was sitting in the sunroom enjoying a cup of coffee when the sound of sirens destroyed the serenity and announced a day of reckoning.


"Please, Mrs. Strong," the strain and impatience graveled FBI Agent Ronald Gray’s voice. "Just tell me about your husband," he pleaded. His tone was much less threatening than when we’d first been introduced. After being escorted to the Boulder police department by two surly police officers who refused to answer my questions, I was unceremoniously shoved into an interview room with the brusque Agent. His scrutiny made me feel as inadequate as a rat in a line-up of cats. A surlier man, I’d never met. He refused to answer my questions but kept demanding that I answer his.

"I don’t understand what you want from me. I haven’t seen John in two years. What can I possibly tell you?"

"Why. The world wants to know why Mrs. Strong. Why does a man kill innocent people? We deserve to know, why!"He slammed his fist on the table, and I felt the blow in my heart.

"John left this for you." The Agent slammed a letter down on the table. I read it, and that was the moment. There would be no more false bravado.


     You’ve always admired my penmanship. How do you like my blood red ink? Actually, my blood and written with a quill, can you believe it? Nothing but the best for you, my dear sweet wife.
     Well, you did it. You got away. Left the kids and me to follow your lustful heart. I hope he was worth it! No, that’s not true, I hope he beats you daily! Maybe took all your hard earned and hoarded money and left you high and dry. God, knows that’s a fantasy, a dream I have regularly. That and finding you.
     The finding you fantasy would’ve taken a book, but I’m sure you can imagine!
     But who knows? Maybe I’d have forgiven you. Now we’ll never know.
Enjoy the notoriety.
You’ve earned it sweetheart!

Always yours,

"Because of me?" I whispered. Tears streamed down my cheeks. "He did it because of me." I bowed my head over my arms and cried like a woman condemned. Hell would bring no more agonizing a punishment than the guilt that consumed me. The world went black.

At the hospital, I was all but catatonic. The doctors and my attorney refused to let the agent question me again. I slowly gathered my strength and agreed to talk to Agent Gray, but only on my terms. I wanted to go home, but no longer had one. Once the press learned of my location, no place was safe. I insisted on protection, and a new identity. The FBI saw to the changes, and I agreed to talk.

"You were married for over twenty years. What happened? What drove John to do this?"

"I can’t answer that question. I lived with the man for twenty years, and I can’t tell you who he was. I just know I could no longer live in the comfortable prison I'd allowed him to create for me. The children were adults. It was time. I found the courage."

"But why did you leave, why did it take you so long? We checked, there was no abuse. We talked to family and friends, they said you two were the couple everyone envied."

"We were, in public. For years I carried off the biggest fake out in history. I played the game. It made John happy, and when he was happy, I thought less and less of ending my life. It’s called survival."

"From what?" the agent asked in desperation.

"A man obsessed, controlling, angry. I’d left him before. But he always found me. We had children, they loved their father, even as they feared him. It was clear I’d never escape. If I did, it meant giving up my children too. Once they were adults, I could let go. I disappeared, changed my name, and prayed he’d never find me."

Agent Gray shook his head. "John left us a message too. He wrote, 'Ask Deidre. She knows the answers you seek. This is all on her.'" The Agent sighed deeply and asked the one question he’d been dying to ask for days. “Did you know?"

"Did I know?" I thought about his question. I stood, walked to the window and stared at the sky. "I knew it was a possibility. Ten years ago, John hears on the news that a gunman has killed twenty-five people from an elevated position and says, ‘I could see myself doing that, especially if you ever left me. I’d have nothing to live for.’ It was a threat, but one I knew in my soul he could accomplish.” I shivered. I couldn’t look at Agent Gray.

"I remember his grin. His self-satisfied nod, and his declaration, 'I could do it, and I would just to show you, you’ll never escape, and if you do. You’ll regret it until your dying day.'"

I wiped at the tears that seemed never-ending and caught the Agents eyes. "You tell me, did I know? Could I have stopped what happened based on that conversation ten years ago?"

Gray bowed his head. He couldn’t or wouldn’t look at me.

"If I’d reported him? Would you have listened?"

930 words / FCA

Yolanda Renée © 2018


I wrote this a few months ago. I hate that it's a reality.
Please, Lord, Bless the children . . .

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In Too Deep
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