The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions.

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! I have an important announcement this week.

Paula’s Eclectic Paradise isn’t going anywhere but it will be undergoing a major change. It’s staying on WordPress but changing hosts and getting an upgrade. The look will change as will my posts. I’ll still be posting my writing and my thoughts as I have been. But now there will be additional posts on projects, recipes, books I’m reading, movies I’m watching and the like. PEP will now fully be a lifestyle blog rather than a hodge podge blog as it’s been for the last year. This will likely be the last post in this form but definitely NOT the last post of PEP. I’ll keep you updated as I make the changes and should the URL change, I’ll post it here. I’ll see ya’ll next Monday.

This week’s question: What is the right amount of group work in school?
My answer: I’ll keep to my honesty here: when I was in school I hated group work. No matter what, I always managed to land in a group where one or two of us, always including me, did all of the work while the rest didn’t carry their weight. It was better in college, I landed in groups where we all carried our heft of the work. I hated the fact that everyone got the same grade no matter how many actually did the work. I think probably two or three group projects a semester are enough in the first 12 years of school and one a semester in college. Just enough to learn how to work in groups as it is necessary for adulthood. But anymore than that and it’s too much for the few that actually do the work and an easy way for those that won’t do the work to slide through.
What’s your answer?

This week’s writing: This one kind of came from nowhere. I’ll be continuing it at a later date.
He gasped as the pain radiated through his body from its entry point. He grasped the knife handle jutting out from his chest as his murderer stumbled back.
He managed to gasp out, “Wh-Why?”
“I had no choice!”
His blue eyes stared her down, even as they began to cloud over with pain.
“Choice? N-No choice? Being trapped somewhere and breaking into a house for shelter is having no choice. Murdering someone out of the blue is nothing like that!”
“I had to. If I didn’t, they said they would!”
“So, you decided to kill me instead of them! You could’ve warned me! I could’ve run or hidden away!”
He fell to his knees, blood loss making his head swim and her face swam in front of him.
“No! You don’t understand! They’re planning a ritual that would bring you back. But you would be possessed and go on a murderous rage! By doing it myself, I can prevent that ritual!”
“So instead of hiding away, I’ll die. Thanks for cutting my life short and taking that option from me.”
Gasping as he felt his life seep away, “I-I… I’ll never forgive you.”
He fell on his side, blue eyes staring sightlessly ahead as his life left his body.
She stifled a sob, “You still don’t understand! And I couldn’t tell you or it won’t work.”
She scrambled to move his body, removing the knife, still warm to the touch, into place on the altar he hadn’t seen when alive. She sat him up, closing his eyes and gently brushing his brown hair neater.
She stepped out of the pentagram carved into the stone beneath her booted feet before kneeling at the edge and opening her book.
Reading out the words she’d carefully practiced in pieces to ensure this didn’t happen too soon, she activated the ritual that would protect her lover from those that meant to turn him into a monster.
Nothing appeared to happen, and she feared she’d messed up the ritual and killed him for no reason.
Just as she allowed herself to cry, believing she’d truly killed him, his body jolted as he gasped, and his hand clutched his chest where the knife had been.
His blue eyes flashed opened and she stood on trembling legs, hoping he retained his memory. He stood, eyes cold as ice and face carved from stone, and stalked toward her.
She stood her ground, chest pounding, had the ritual not worked? It said he would retain his memory, his spirit and while gaining a boost of supernatural power only given to those returning to the mortal land, he wouldn’t be possessed to go on a murderous rage.
He stopped before her, eyes as cold as the ice they were the color of and she glanced up, fear edging her brown eyes. He raised a hand and brushed it along the side of her face, face still neutral.
She’d started to believe perhaps he just needed a jolt to his memory when his hand rounded the back of her head and his fingers tangled tightly in her black hair, pulling her head slightly back.
His eyes lit with rage and he snarled, “You just killed me! You couldn’t tell me what your plans were?!”
She attempted to shake her head, wincing when she couldn’t move from his tight grasp.
“No! The book said if I told you the ritual, it wouldn’t work. Only one of pure heart who had no wish to live immortally would survive the ritual.”
“You didn’t need to tell me the ritual itself, just that you had a plan to circumvent their ritual plans. You didn’t read the small print of the ritual, did you?”
Her arms trembled as they clutched said book tightly.
“I read everything, I swear.”
The rage disappeared, and his hand held the side of her face gently once more, eyes now neutral, “The one of pure heart cannot die with anger in his soul towards their soulmate who is committing the ritual. If so, they reawaken with immortality against their will and hatred in their heart towards their soulmate.”
She gasped, brown eyes filling with tears.
“The love is still there but we cannot be together until you can prove yourself and re-win my heart.”
She rushed out, “I can do that! I will do that!”
He tilted his head, hair falling across his forehead, blue eyes now full of sorrow.
He whispered, as his other hand came up to lay on her shoulder, “It cannot be you. I’ll be waiting.”
Before she had a moment beyond absorbing his words, his hands grasped her chin and the back of her head, quickly snapping her neck.
Her body fell with a soft thump behind him as he walked away from his deathplace, the ritual book now clutched in his hands.
He knew she would eventually be reborn and find him. The question was, what condition would he be in and how hard would it be for her new identity to remember and re-win his heart.
© Paula Crofoot

Writing Prompt: Cedar was a pleasing scent, reminding me of ski weekends at the cabin and the laughter of my cousins. But this wasn’t the cabin, it was a coffin, and the only laughter was that of my captor.

My Book of the Week: Do Unto Animals by Tracey Stewart. I haven’t quite started this book but I will be this week as it’s a non-fiction book about the lives of animals and what we can do to make their lives better. Considering my love for animals and my business, I continue to do research, continue my unofficial education to do my best work.

Monday Motivation: Nature is infinitely creative. It is always producing the possibility of new beginnings.

Found Dream

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: Joyride: Jennifer Hanson-Joyride Single

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