Middle Child Press: December 2013


Lady of the Bow, Ch5 ~ "Sí, mi señora"

A/N ~ Some of you will find the title a bit obvious.

Previously ~ Merlo

Despite having been ready to drop just moments earlier, Angélica found herself suddenly unable to fall asleep.  She stared at her ceiling, noting the eerie silence of the not just her room, but the whole house.  And though no one else was in her room, she somehow knew she was not alone.

What the hell was that about? she wondered.  I've never played like that before.

That's because you never wanted to a play like that before, a voice tenderly mocked.

Angélica blinked rapidly, but didn't sit up.

No, the voice mused.  You're not dreamingIn fact, you are wide awake.

Angélica's whole body stiffened, too frightened to "say" anything back.

You're not crazy either, the voice assured her with a slight chuckle.  Then again, crazy people aren't technically "crazy" either, but that's a different discussion for a different day.


Lady of the Bow, Ch3 ~ Merlo

A/N ~ Fun fact: Apparently in Spanish, "Merlo" is "blackbird" and "Arquero" is "Archer."

Previously ~ Blood in the Way

She didn't get to go straight to bed however; much to her chagrin, Angélica's mother summoned her to another fancy room no one used. Angélica warily peeked about herself as the maid dropped her off; she was less worried about her mother and more about her father.

"He's not here," Mrs. Moreno said, clearly amused. She was lounging on a chintz chaise, enjoying a porcelain cup of herbal tea. Angélica noticed right away that there wasn't an extra cup and was oddly thankful; it mean this conversation wouldn't take long.

She didn't even bother to sit down.  Eighteen years old and she stood like a stiff, awkward adolescent, waiting for her scolding.

"Ma cousine tells me you'd like to run your father's company someday," her mother smiled.  "I would support you whole-heartedly, of course, had it not been for that...unfortunate arrangement before we married."

Angélica tried not to flinch.  Why did you marry him then? she wanted to lash out.  You didn't see that as a red flag???

Instead, she wisely bit her tongue, waiting to see where her mother was going with this.

Lady of the Bow, Ch2 ~ Blood in the Way

A/N ~ Learn to pronounce Aztec names here.

Previously ~ Angélica

"Wow, chica...you bombed that."

Angélica stopped pacing the family library and furiously whirled on her heels to face her grinning 21-year-old cousin, Reyes Moreno.

She'd never liked this guy, but a part of her had to admit he'd had it rough.  His parents divorced before he could talk, and like Angélica and her sister, Reyes had been shoved off on nannies and tutors for most of his life.

Unlike Angélica, however, he'd grown up to become a huge asshole, aided in part by his boyish charm and good looks.

"Like...you totally tanked out there, chica," he mused insidiously.

It wasn't her fault.  She hadn't known her father would have people over.  Had she known her cousin and two business colleagues would be attending dinner, she would've practiced that damned Tchaikovsky piece until even Michele begged her to put the violin down.

Michele.  Had she known?  Had that ebony-skinned bimbo sold her out?

Lady of the Bow, Ch1 ~ Angélica

A/N ~ Our protagonist's an Afro-Latina named Angélica Moreno. Her first name is pronounced "Anhelica".

Previously ~ Violins, a Prologue

Houston, Texas, Union of First Nations
April 24, 2518

I hate the friggin' violin.

Angélica Moreno's first instinct was to drop-kick the loathsome creation and hop onto her computer, but she knew better.  Although she was eighteen and legally an adult, she still lived with her parents and relied on them for everything.  Her lessons alone were costing her father thousands of dollars a year, and he expected an evening performance at least once a week - no exceptions.

This week he'd chosen Tchaikovsky's damned "Mélodie No.3", which Angélica felt was irritatingly shrill and far too sugary for her personal taste.  But then again, her father had a thing for the romantic, and in classical European music, none were more romantic than the Russians.

Why couldn't I have been a guitarist instead?  Angélica ignored the impatient glance from her tutor, Mademoiselle Michele d'Auvigne, and started the piece again from the beginning.  I would have happily learned Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez".  Now there's a romantic!

Angélica stopped again as soon as she'd begun.  It was about the fourth time she'd stopped during today's lesson, despite explicit instructions not to stop during rehearsal.  After eight years of lessons, there was no way she was going to get through this.  Michele cleared her throat, as though to remind her of their little contract, but Angélica ignored her yet again.

Lady of the Bow ~ Violins, a Prologue

A/N ~ This is an original fiction project I began on my fanfiction blog, Dark & Twisty.  It's part of a writing challenge I issued to keep my creative juices flowing.

El Tajín, Mexico
November 20, 2413

El Tajín
"One night, in the year 1713 I dreamed I had made a pact with the devil for my soul. Everything went as I wished: my new servant anticipated my every desire. Among other things, I gave him my violin to see if he could play. How great was my astonishment on hearing a sonata so wonderful and so beautiful, played with such great art and intelligence, as I had never even conceived in my boldest flights of fantasy. I felt enraptured, transported, enchanted: my breath failed me, and - I awoke. I immediately grasped my violin in order to retain, in part at least, the impression of my dream. In vain! The music which I at this time composed is indeed the best that I ever wrote, and I still call it the "Devil's Trill", but the difference between it and that which so moved me is so great that I would have destroyed my instrument and have said farewell to music forever if it had been possible for me to live without the enjoyment it affords me."
~ Guiseppe Tartini, (1692–1770)
There was a saying these days in archaeological circles that the newer technology became, the older the discoveries.

Ironically, it wasn't the new which interested Aarón Jaramillo; it was the old.  Scholars in Mexico had long thought they knew all the great secrets of El Tajín until 2410, when Dr. Tenoch Licea discovered a new way to scan hundreds of thousands of meters below sea level with a satellite probe.  Once that technology came out, everyone from the mining and drilling industries to retired archaeologists took it and ran with it.

And though some mining and oil companies got lucky in Central Africa and Southeast Asia, the scholastic society across the entire globe found themselves questioning the history of humankind all over again.