I just pulled part 2 of my short story Wolf Girl. It’s still not working. I had sent in the revisions to part 3 to my authors group for critique and I am unhappy with the results.

Here’s the thing: This is the first short story of mine which actually got published. I was happy to finally be a published author, so I moved on. That was back in 2011.

Fast forward to present day. I’ve written a couple dozen more short stories, plus about six novels, none of which have been traditionally published yet. (I did self publish a collection of my short stories on Amazon, but nothing through a traditional publisher yet.)

As I mentioned in an earlier blogpost, I want to bring Wolf Girl up to my current standards of writing and present it here for your reading pleasure. I published part one in a post last week and part two on Monday of this week, with the intention of giving you the final part this weekend.

Enter my author’s group, God $^%#^$#@^ bless them. The group consists of about fifteen regular members who show up each week to read and critique each other’s work. Of the members, only about four regular attendees are male. This is a good thing for me because the women tend to bring to my attention all the faux pas in my writing regarding my female characters.

In short, when a guy is writing about a female character, he needs to check with other females to see if his character is believable. So I am indebted to the women in my authors group. But in this case, their input has caused me to pull my last blog post (part two of Wolf Girl) until it can be fixed properly.

On the good side: everybody agreed that the ending is good. It has a nice supernatural twist at the end which is both fun and a bit horrific.

On the bad side: Most of my group agree that few people will ever get to the end, because the beginning (and middle) are too dark and uncomfortable. The subject matter is about a young woman stuck in (yet another) bad relationship, involving both physical and sexual abuse.

The consensus is that most people will probably stop reading before they get to the end of the story, simply because getting through the middle of the story is just too unpleasant.

To quote a friend of mine from work, ‘Well Pewp!”

We (my fellow authors and I) discussed some of the specific issues with the story and possible ways around them, so that the reader is compelled to continue on, even in the face of such dark subject matter. I have some good ideas about that, but they also mean that much of what I posted in part 2 will need to be tweaked.

So I pulled that post. I will revamp it (once again) and post the revised version (what do you call the revision of a revision, anyway?) shortly.

Sorry for the inconvenience, but I hope it will make the overall story better.

Talk to you again, soon,

Dana (Danothy refused to put his name here…)

As promised, here is the first part of my revised short story, Wolf Girl. The formatting didn't come through, so I manually formatted the entry below. Smaller, bold text represents typed messages on the computer. Italics represents inner dialogue.

Fair word of warning: the subject matter is dark. This is, after all a horror story. Although I hadn't met him yet, in hindsight I realize this was the first story written by my evil twin, Danothy Grimm.

You've been warned. d.k.

I'm looking for an old-fashioned girl willing to love, honor and obey me. I'm 6' 1" tall, blue eyes, and brown hair. I can be considerate, generous, and quite romantic, but am dominant by nature. It's only fair to say that my last relationship ended badly because of a power struggle between us. If you seek a man who is chivalrous and protective of his woman, then reply soon. Perhaps your place is with me.     Werewolf.

Becky read the words on the PC screen
again. Should she reply or keep looking?
She'd spent the last half hour reading messages on the Board for
American Alternative Lifestyles (Baal) website. So far this was the only one to
catch her attention. It was also a bit disconcerting.

What kind of man writes an ad like that? Well, duh! he’s on the BAAL website, so he’s a bit kinky. But how much of his words are true and how much is bull-crap?

‘Dominant by nature’ and ‘power
struggle’ suggested another good ole boy who believed in slapping his woman
around whenever he felt like it—just like every other man in her life,
beginning with her father. If that was all this guy had to offer, then Becky
wasn’t interested. She already had Jerry to slap her around, thank you very

She moved in with Jerry fourteen
months ago (mistake #1). At his insistence,
she quit her job (mistake #2) and ‘let him
bring home the bacon’ while she took care of the house …and the laundry …and
the yard …and anything else he said needed taking care of, including him. Then,
when the newness of their relationship wore thin, he began settling arguments
with his fists.

You only have yourself to blame. You knew going in that he liked to play rough, hell, that’s what you liked about him. At least you did until he stopped playing.

Today she was using her right
eye since her left eye was swollen shut from last night. He'd been drunk again
and she’d nagged him about it. That was another of her bad habits—she said what
was on her mind, often without considering how it might piss him off. He wanted
her to ‘do him’ as he put it, but she flat out refused.

“I’m tired of being your
whore. You want sex? Try treating me like a girlfriend, rather than a cheap

Of course there had been hell to pay for her disrespect. He gave her a shiner and then proceeded to 'do her' whether she liked it or not. And, since she’d insulted him, he'd been even rougher than usual.

I should have known better. It wasn't the first time my big mouth got me in trouble.

She almost decided to skip the ad from
Werewolf and see who else might be interested in a new girlfriend, but kept
coming back to the ‘considerate, generous, and quite romantic’ part, plus the
bit about ‘chivalrous and protective of his woman’. It'd been a long time since
Jerry had been considerate. He’d been romantic in the beginning, but that faded.
She would never have called him generous and was convinced he wouldn’t even
know what the words 'chivalrous’ and ‘protective’ meant.

This guy’s in Indianapolis – only 20 miles away. Might as well be the moon, since I have neither a car nor bus fare. But if he finds me interesting enough, maybe he could come get me.

Noticing the time, she cursed. It was
nearly 4 p.m. and she had yet to start dinner, which had to be ready when Jerry
walked in the door at 5:15, or there would be hell to pay. So, with some
reservation, she typed out a quick note to Werewolf:

Your ad was intriguing. Are you up for a chat? WG27..

She attached one of her picture files,
the one where she wore a tight sweater dress and matching pumps. She was
pouting her lips and pleading with her big green eyes.

That should get his attention.

The picture was labeled NIKKI-01
and was one of the set she and Jerry had uploaded onto Baal last spring, back
when their relationship had still been more kinky than violent. There were over
a dozen NIKKI pictures (Her and Jerry’s aliases on this board were Nick and
Nikki—the perfect couple) the first series starting with -01, where she was
fully clothed to -06, where she had stripped off all but her fingernail polish.
They’d taken those on March 31st, his birthday and she was only slightly
embarrassed when he uploaded them to BAAL.

Since then, the relationship
had gone downhill, as had the morality of the subject matter in the more recent
pictures—they now numbered up to 37. Jerry had a whole folder full of those
kinds of pix on his PC. Most of them were taken from other websites, but many
were of her. She didn’t like to think about them, or on what other websites
Jerry might have posted them.

Tonight she’d signed on using
her other account – the free account Jerry didn’t know about. On it she was
‘WG27’, a woman from Columbus, Ohio. The free account didn’t allow her to post
pictures, but she could attach one to the note. She renamed the picture 'WG1'
so it couldn't be traced back to the NIKKI collection. Until she knew a little
more about Werewolf she wanted to reveal as little about herself as possible—she
didn’t want to hook up with another Jerry this time. The signature WG27
suggested that her initials were WG and that she was 27.

When creating the free account,
she had thought to use the initials ‘WW’ because she had always adored Wonder
Woman, even when she was a kid. Trouble was, she was nothing like the Amazon
princess, neither brave, strong, nor particularly intelligent—as her father
constantly reminded her all through her formative years. So she picked the
initials ‘WG’ for Wonder Girl, with the hopes of one day maturing into the
title of ‘Woman’.

I can also say the initials are for ‘Wolf Girl’. I bet Werewolf would like that.


The next time she logged on to
Baal—while Jerry was out, of course—she found a puzzling reply:

Nice try. I probably can't change your opinion of me, but at least I can prove I'm not a moron. By the way, great pic. That is definitely a girl I’d be willing to die for. Too bad it’s not you. Where'd you get it? ww.

Becky’s mouth fell open. This
wasn’t how things were supposed to work. He didn’t believe her. He thought her
picture was fake, that she was being deceitful.

“I’m the real deal, you dummy,”
she told the computer screen. “By your own words, ‘a girl you’d be willing to
die for.’ Don’t you dare pay me a compliment and then dismiss me.”

With her Irish up, she tried
again, increasing the stakes just a little:

What do you mean ‘too bad it’s not you’? You think I’m lying? It’s not like I’m a movie star or anything. If I was gonna send a fake pic, I’d find a more attractive model. I have six of these, btw, each a bit more revealing than the last. We took them on Jerry’s birthday last year. I’m attaching the next one, to prove I’m not lying.. If you want to see any more, you’re going to have to do better than ‘too bad it’s not you’.   wg

She attached NIKKI-02, renaming
it WG2, and sent the reply. In 02 she was in the process of pulling the sweater
dress off over her head. The bottom had risen just above her navel and her
white bikini panties barely covered a small patch of red hair.

An hour later, as she was about
to log off—Jerry could be back at any minute. No since pressing her luck—she
saw a response in her inbox. This note was a little more receptive;

Okay, you got my attention. If that’s really you, then I’ll get down on my knees and beg your forgiveness. You’re wrong, btw. The girl in those pix could easily be a movie star. That’s my problem; these pix look like they came from a magazine You wanna convince me you're legit? Send another one wearing your shirt backwards with mismatching socks. Then we'll talk. ww.

A smug grin formed on her face.
That might be a bit more difficult, but Becky thought she could manage it.


The next day was Saturday and
Jerry was home all day, so Becky bided her time. That night they had another
fight. It seemed fighting was all they did anymore.

Definitely time to get away from this one. He’s actually becoming worse than Dad was when I left. Why do men always end up acting like assholes?

Since running away from an
abusive home, Becky had been in a serious relationship twice before meeting
Jerry. Each one promised to be spectacular, particularly because she was
willing to stroke their libidos and indulge a man’s innate need to be in
charge. Roger had called her ‘his best girl’ and Steve’s nickname for her had
been ‘naughty little princess.’ Both had sworn their undying love at one point.

But, in each case, the
relationship went from romantic and sexy, to kinky and weird, to downright
abusive. She always ended up more of a victim than a partner. Either men felt
the need to lie about their feelings, or were just too stupid to know they
couldn’t possibly keep the sweet promises they made. After the romance died,
all they had left was violence and cruelty.

Jerry had seemed different.
Obviously less intellectual than her previous lovers, and with a much more
bizarre libido which she catered to without question, she’d hoped he would see
her as that one-in-a-million girl. The one he would cherish forever. When he
came up with the name ‘Nikki’ – the perfect girlfriend, she thought she’d
finally met a man worth staying with.

Instead, he turned out worse than the other two combined.

This time Jerry accused her of
stealing money from his wallet, which was ridiculous, since he always carried
it with him, but it gave him an excuse to slap her around. When he got tired of
that, he pushed her to the floor, where she lay quietly as he climbed on top.

Becky knew better than to
resist, even when it became obvious he was going to 'do her back door.'  It hurt like crazy, but she gritted her teeth
and bore the pain in silence.

I wouldn’t even mind it so much if he was actually enjoying himself. I bet he doesn’t even get off. He’s just hurting me to prove that he can. God, I need to find someone who knows how to treat a woman properly.

Half an hour later he slammed
the door behind him, off to spend the night with his drinking buddies. There’d
been a time when she’d have begged him to take her along, but not anymore.

He won't be back ‘til dawn. Time to get to work, and this time I’m looking for a man who is ‘chivalrous and protective of his woman’.

She got Jerry’s digital camera
out of the top drawer. It was one of his more expensive toys and she wasn’t
supposed to touch it. She had to pick the lock to get in—also not the first
time. After a few minutes with a bobby pin, she carried her prize to the

Grabbing one of Jerry's shirts
from the closet and two pairs of socks, she began to put the shirt on, then
stopped when she noticed her reflection. She stopped and appraised her

This is who Werewolf is going to see in tonight’s picture. I need to look my best.

The mirror showed a pretty young woman
who still had nice curves. Her breasts were too small to suit her; always had
been, though she'd never heard any complaints—not even from Jerry. Her legs
were shapely and her belly only pooched out a little. Her red hair hung in
waves, framing her soft shoulders, her girlish face... and that stupid black

Damn him! How am I supposed to attract another man if he keeps damaging the merchandise?

She giggled and pulled the
garment on over her slender frame. Jerry’s shirt was easy to put on, button up,
then pull her arms out of the sleeves and twist it around backward. Sticking
her arms back through the sleeves, she put a different colored sock on each

She pulled a chair over by the
mirror and set the camera on it, making sure it covered the bottom half of the
mirror. Then she sat on the floor, legs crossed in front so the socks were
visible. The shirt tail hung to her knees, so she bunched it up at the waist,
exposing most of her legs.

Now for the eye.

She tilted her head so that her
hair draped across the left side of her face. It might have looked sensuous, except
that it didn't quite hide the bruise beneath. Using her fingers, she combed
more hair over her bad eye. Then, reaching up cautiously, she snapped the

The first one didn't come out
right. No problem. She deleted it and tried again, and then again until she got
a picture she liked (dsr00173.jpg), then transferred it to the computer and
uploaded it onto Baal. She didn’t bother renaming it. After all, she was only
sending it to Werewolf.

Becky felt happy and excited. She
was taking the first steps toward a better relationship, a better life. Her
note reflected her good mood.

You gotta admit I'm not faking the pictures. Do I get to see a photo of you? For all I know, you may really be a wolf. As you can see, I am 4'10" and weigh about 100 pounds. You can probably tell from my red hair and fair complexion that I’m of Irish descent. Please reply and ask anything else you'd like to know about me. Tell me about yourself, too! I hope to hear from you soon,  Wolf Girl

After sending the message, she browsed
the other conferences on Baal and looked through the picture files to see if
there were any of Werewolf. There weren’t. She decided it didn’t matter anyway.

He could look like Quasimodo for all I care, so long as he doesn’t treat me like a punching bag.

She signed off as WG27 then
signed back on as Nikki to check any messages she may have received there—not
from prospective suitors, but from contacts she and Jerry had made over the
past year. There weren't any new messages of interest. Well, there was one
about a BDSM party being held in April. Jerry might be interested, but
hopefully she’d be long gone before then.

Moving her mouse pointer to the
‘Sign Off’ button, she noticed the “Who’s Logged On” column down the left side
of the screen.  A few names below hers
was ‘Werewolf’. Crossing her fingers, she selected his avatar and requested a
private chat.

[Werewolf] Hello Nikki, what can I do for you?

[Nikki] WW, it's Wolf Girl. I’m logged on as Nikki right now, but I created the WG account specifically to go relationship shopping. They’re both me.

[Werewolf] I'm still new at this chat stuff. How do I know you’re not some jerk pulling my leg?

[Nikki] There's one alias assigned to each user. No one else can use Nikki or WG27 but me. Just as no one can use Werewolf but you.

[Werewolf] I knew that, but how do I know that Nikki is also WolfGirl?

[Nikki] The first two pictures I sent were from the pictures on file with Baal. You'll find them listed as NIKKI-01, and 02. As WG27 I attached them to my note. I just took that last picture tonight and uploaded it about 20 minutes ago. It’s not on the board; it came straight from my camera.

[Werewolf] Okay, so why are you home on a Saturday night?

[Nikki] We had a fight. He went out to get drunk with his buddies.

[Werewolf] I noticed the shiner. Any man who would do that to a woman doesn’t deserve her. Tell me where I can find him and I’ll kick his butt. I’m serious.

 [Nikki] Feeling particularly chivalrous and protective, are we?

[Werewolf] No more than usual. Just say the word and he’s toast.

 [Nikki] It's not that easy. He as two friends, one of which is a deputy sheriff. Starting a fight with Jerry would only get you into trouble.

[Werewolf] Trust me. I can handle a little trouble. People like your boyfriend and his two cronies need to be put in their place. You say the word, and I’ll make sure they never bother you again.

Becky briefly envisioned a werewolf
confronting Jerry in a deserted street late at night. The werewolf growled and
Jerry cringed in fear. The thought brought the ghost of a grin to her lips. She
turned her attention back to the keyboard and typed.

 [Nikki] Thanks for the offer. I might take you up on that eventually. But I'd rather talk about you. Why are you at home on Saturday night?

[Werewolf] I'm not. I work as a night security guard. The computer here has internet access, and I get bored, so here I am.

[Nikki] How old are you?

[Werewolf] 26, how about you? I don't believe you're 27.

[Nikki] You’re right. I turned 22 about 3 weeks ago in February. How did you come up with the name Werewolf? You don’t howl at the moon, do you?

[Werewolf] ] Only when it’s full. Nah, to be completely honest, I’m a vampire, but the name Dracula was already taken. What about you? Does WG really stand for WolfGirl?

[Nikki] As far as you know, it does. Too bad, you’re not really a wolf, though We could’ve transformed together. Just think about it. Out alone in the woods at night, removing all our clothes so they wouldn’t be ripped during the change. Running around by the light of the full moon. But, I guess not, if you’re a vampire…

[Werewolf] ] No problem. We could still do that. Vampires can take the form of wolves, can’t they? I’m pretty sure they can. And, if not, then you could bite me, so I’d become a werewolf, too.

[Nikki] ] Sounds interesting. On a more mundane topic, are you married?

[Werewolf] I was. Divorced now, and I have no particular prospects, (with one possible exception 😉.) Working at night keeps me from having much of a social life. You?

[Nikki] Single, living with Jerry right now. Hopefully, that’s about to change. He's grown tired of me, and I won't be upset when he dumps me.

[Werewolf] If you're not happy with him, why stay?

[Nikki] Right now I don’t have anywhere else to go. Can we talk about something else? I don't wanna think about him.

[Werewolf] Sure. Sorry ‘bout that.

[Nikki] Can we get to know each other a little better? You can ask me anything.

[Werewolf] Well, what are you wearing?

She turned pink, giggled and then typed.

[Nikki] Mismatched socks, a flannel shirt (on backwards) and nothing else...

[Werewolf] Take it off.

[Nikki] The socks, too?

[Werewolf] Everything.

Becky blushed even deeper at the
thought. Of course, she could just tell him that she’d stripped; he'd never
know if she didn’t. On the other hand, the thought of cheating behind Jerry's
back was deliciously scandalous.

[Nikki] Okay. I did. It's chilly in here!

[Werewolf] Guess I'll have to take your word for that.

[Nikki] Well, I do have the camera...

They chatted for the next hour and a half, agreeing to 'meet' again that Monday at 8pm while Jerry was at his bowling league. Becky really enjoyed it. While she had sent him one more picture of herself without the shirt and socks, she had posed demurely, not wanting to appear too wanton. He had praised her picture, saying he would cherish it forever and did not ask for any more. In a perverse sort of way, given the nature of the website they were on, his behavior could be considered courteous, even chivalrous. She didn’t say so, but she found it refreshing.  Signing off, she already looked forward to their next chat, Wednesday at 8pm while Jerry was at his bowling league.


(End of part 1)

I'll post part 2 in a few days. Meanwhile, if you're interested in more of my stories, you can find a collection of my short stories on Amazon Kindle. Talk with you again, soon.

Dana (Danothy)

While querying various publishers with the first novel I feel is ready for prime time (it’s actually my sixth novel, but the first one I think is polished enough to send out professionally) I want to give readers a chance to sample my writing. So I’ve decided to give you a peek for free.

My Dead Heart
Wolf Girl, my first published story, is in here.

“Wolf Girl” is a short story I submitted to an anthology nearly a decade ago called Mon Coeur Mort (My Dead Heart.) If you’re interested, that book is available from Barnes and Noble, and Amazon, although the best price might be at Ebay. The publishing company, Post Mortem Press, was young and, in my opinion, very lenient with their approvals at the time, but I didn’t care about that–I was a published author! (yay!)

One of the nice things about the arrangement with PMP was that I would retain full rights to my story. That was a good thing, because now, years later, I read it and cringe (on the bright side, I’ve come a long way in ten years…)

So, I thought about posting the story here, so you can get a chance to see what my writing is like. The problem is that my writing skills have advanced quite a bit since then, so this story is perhaps not the best sample to provide.

What to do?

I finally decided to break one of the cardinal rules of writing (that’s right, because I broke this rule, I have given up all hopes of ever becoming a cardinal), which is to say, I have dared to… wait for it… revise my story.

(Cue the dramatic musical flare…)

So, in the next couple of days, I will begin submitting “Wolf Girl” in three parts, absolutely free for any and all to peruse, critique and/or fall madly in love with. I would particularly like to hear from anybody who has read the original story about how this version compares to it’s fraternal twin.

Fair Warning: The subject matter is dark (this is horror, after all.) In fact, I wrote this before I met my evil twin, Danothy Grimm, but it seems to be right up his alley.

Dan likes to make the reader think ‘This is truly evil. Why do I keep reading it?’ and then answer their own question with ‘Because I can’t put it down. I just gotta know what happens next.’

“Wolf Girl” is definitely a story that should have his name on it. So, on the one hand, if this story pushed you a bit too far beyond your comfort zone, no problem, I also have a lot of stories which are not nearly so intense.

On the other hand, if this is your idea of what a horror story is supposed to do, well let’s just say I’ve already written a sequel short story. I’ve also begun one novel, with ideas about a second and possibly a third, which are based on the characters from “Wolf Girl.”

Hope you like it.

Dana (Danothy)