Defender of the People ch7"Cowards die many times before their deaths." William Shakespeare
Sandra drove as fast as she could to the marine base in Quantico, almost fifteen minutes away from Nicholas' university. As the miles melted away, she wondered what on Earth was so urgent. Hotch sounded so worried? Agitated? Maybe even scared. Just the thought of the great Aaron Hotchner, scared, was extremely unnerving. The man on the phone didn't sound much like the boss she had come to admire, more like a spectre. It was hard to fathom. Sandra took a deep breath and tried to get into the mind set that she needed to be in to do this job.
She got to the base and through the security guards. She parked and rushed to the elevator as fast as she could. She pressed the button and was immensely relieved to see the doors open right away.
She stepped in, jabbed the button, crossed her arms and tapped her foot impatiently. Finally, the doors opened on the correct floor. Sandra rushed into the bullpe
100 Prompt Challenge ch6Aaron turned the page again. Here was a picture of Sandra, in a dark blue cap and gown, standing at a podium. It was a low angle shot, looking up at her from the audience. There was a weak breeze; her tassel blew slightly to the right.
Sandra smiled. "This was my high school graduation."
"You were Valedictorian?" asked Aaron.
Sandra nodded. "And you are too. So was your father."
"No, I was Salutatorian," said Nicholas. "Remember?"
"Oh yeah! That's right," said Sandra.
Pomp and Circumstance was playing. She walked to the front, to stand at the podium to give her speech. The wind blew at her tassel on her cap. Sandra pulled the tassel back into place and waited for the rest of her classmates to get to their seats. Their class president, Alicia Holcomb gave a quick introductory speech.
"Hello and welcome to the Commencement ceremony of the Cardozo Senior High School, class of 1992!" Alicia paused as graduates and family applauded. "Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance!" A
Surrealism StoryEverywhere I look, words dance, clocks float, disembodied lips talk without a direction to be found.
This land is an odd one. I walk along an invisible path. But when I look down, I see images of many different things--chocolate; surfboards; people-- no, these are corpses, floating down the stream. The water beneath them looks odd. It's not regular water, though it has the same coloration. I bend down to take a look. I see animals, alive or dead, I'm not sure; lips and eyes, both separated from the faces; big chunks of ice (Should those have melted?); and so much more. It's too gruesome, so I look away.
I hear something behind me. It scares me, so I begin running as fast as I can. But try as I might, I cannot escape it, whatever it is. I still don't know. But I keep running, even as it overtakes me.
Now I see it for what it is. A gigantic watch face, ticking away. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. I don't know how I know, but I begin to realize that this clock is
The Princess Rider ch4The two days of flying were both a joy and a curse. Evarinya was overjoyed to have him back. Being separated for one hundred years, not being able to see him, or hear his voice, that was a constant strain on her and her training. During one practice in particular, her longing for him was too big a distraction, much bigger and more poignant than usual. Evarinya and Wyrda were dueling in a clearing much like his favorite in Du Weldenvarden. Overcome with emotion, Evarinya stopped in mid run, allowing Wyrda to deliver a sharp rap to her back.
They were a curse because of the constant stress of flying over the Empire, especially when they had to skirt the Capital. They all had to close off their minds. Evarinya and Briam couldn't even be linked mentally, lest the king sense their presence.
They finally landed for the last time at the Burning Plains. It was absolute chaos. Wait. The aftermath of absolute chaos. Or so Evarinya thought as she and her love still sat on Briam's back, sur
100 Prompt Challenge ch5Aaron turned the page. Pictured here was a picture of a man in his finest military dress. The page was devoid of decoration. The man himself had sharp green eyes. His skin was slightly tanned. There were dimples on his cheeks, his red hair was trimmed neatly and he had freckles. He was also wearing glasses. His jacket was adorned with many medals.
"Who's that?" asked Aaron.
"You've seen pictures of him before. This is my dad," said Nicholas.
"What happened to him?"
Nicholas closed his eyes and paused. "It went something like this "
It was the night of October 15st, 1984, a cold London night. The fog was coming in; it was beginning to rain. Within minutes, it was a torrent. Anna Collins was sitting on the couch. The children, Nicholas, Renee and Sadie, ages ten, two and five respectably, had been put to bed. Anna had been watching the news fervently after the Brighton Hotel Bombing, trying to see if she could get any news about her husband, Sergeant Carter Collins, who h
100 Prompt Challenge ch4Aaron turned to the next page, which showed a picture of Sandra, apparently unconscious, in a hospital bed. Aaron saw Nicholas holding Sandra's hand with two of his own and he was crying. After this was taken, Garcia told them that she took the picture because the look on Nicholas' face was so intense, so moving, that she thought it needed to be immortalized. Sandra briefly froze; thankfully, the gesture was missed.
"What happened there?"
A slight pause. "I got hurt on the job," said Sandra. "You were outside with your grand parents "
"You can see her now," said the doctor.
The nurse led him in, and he went straight to her bed. He pulled up a chair and sat by her side. Nicholas took Sandra's hand and didn't let go. It was all he could do. He refused food and drink, rest, even the company of Aaron. He didn't pick up his cell phone either, not for work, not for his mom, not for anyone.
He'd been sitting there for half an hour when the door opened. Nicholas loo
100 Prompt Challenge ch3Sandra turned the page again. This time, the picture showed the silhouettes of two people, shrouded in darkness against the sunset. The two people were sitting on the edge of the pier. The colors were absolutely brilliant-- the bright yellow of the sun, the purple of the clouds, the deep blue of the sky above. On the side, there were some crutches.
"What happened there, Mom?"
Sandra smiled fondly. She traced the silhouettes with her fingers and sighed wistfully. "That was when your father and I got engaged." She smiled. "It was funny how it happened, actually."
Nicholas pulled Sandra along, laughing as they ran across the beach. The sun was high overhead.
"Where are you taking me?" laughed Sandra.
They ran a little more. Nicholas tripped and they both went tumbling into the sand.
Nicholas howled in pain. Sandra knelt by his side. "What's wrong?"
"My ankle!" He grimaced in pain.
Sandra looked at his ankle. "What did you trip on?!" His ankle was swollen, maybe t
100 Prompt Challenge ch2Sandra turned the page. This picture was of two people dressed up in costumes in front of a convention center. The people were dressed as Cat Woman and Robin.
Nicholas sat on the couch next to Sandra. "Oooooh, now that was a fun time!"
Sandra put her arm around Aaron's shoulders. "This is where your dad and I first met. Comic Con International in San Diego, 1996."
Sandra was in her hotel room with her friend Julia Levin. Sandra was trying to get into her Cat Woman costume. It was Saturday, when most of the celebrities were there. The costume was a simple one-- black cat ears, black spandex suit, black gloves, a black mask and black knee high boots with heels. "Hand me my boots, would you?"
Julia did. "I still can't believe you dragged me out here without a costume of my own!"
"You're the one who didn't think you'd need one!" Sandra zipped up her suit and went to work on her boots. "Man, these are tight!"
"You looking for someone?"
Sandra looked at Julia
100 Prompt Challenge ch1"Mom! What happened there?" asked an eighteen year old Aaron asked.
Sandra laughed as she turned a page in her scrapbook to reveal a page that showed a picture of the BAU team. They were sitting at the conference table laughing as the door shut.
"Oooooh, now that was funny! You were there, Aaron!" Sandra pointed. In the corner, there was a little Aaron, only five years old, looking abashed. "Let me tell you what happened."
The team had gathered in the conference room. Sandra knew it wasn't an ideal location for a birthday party, but she had to make do. All the team was there, even Seaver, though Sandra didn't know her well enough. Even Julia Levin was there, an old friend from her Academy days. Garcia had planned this party. They waited for her to come in. Apparently, she and JJ had cooked up a great surprise for Aaron.
Sandra knelt down beside Aaron (she'd just gotten a text from JJ-- "The surprise is ready.") and put on his birthday hat, one of the reall