My interview with Shadow – A Black Cat Character with A Past

 

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Cat model Lily via Samantha – https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com

Welcome to Kyrosmagica, Shadow – the black cat who features in my book – The Curse of Time: The Bloodstone.  I’m so glad you agreed to this interview opportunity today to help me promote my book which I hope to release this summer. You are such a handsome fellow and quite the gent I hear. Today, we’re going to discuss all manner of things and we will also have a #mentalhealthawarenessweek discussion about anxiety, depression, self-harm and eating disorders.

Tell me about yourself…

Purrrrr.… Thanks for being so welcoming Marje not everyone is so kind to cats. Luckily, I have a lovely owner Amelina who cares for me. I discovered her one day when I was playing in her garden; I peered in the window and I knew she was a special person so I stayed. I’m persuasive that way, one purr, and a stroke of my sleek black fur and humans can’t resist me!

When you say not everyone is so kind to cats does that mean you have had a rough life?

Oh, to answer this question I have to think back in time. The strangest thing happened to me one day. I felt this abundant change in my spirit. One minute I was chasing birds, playing with the mice in a field and then kapow, it hit me. I felt this overwhelming feeling of change. I felt different, overcome with these overwhelming feelings of goodness. But, the goodness felt alien, like it belonged to an earwig or something! The weird thing is in rare moments I feel like I’m someone else entirely and that someone else isn’t nice at all. One day, I experienced this intense moment of evil flooding my poor furry body, it only lasted a second but it shook me up real bad. I’m still trying to recover, my fur is all matted and ruffled.  Shadow shivers…

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Oh, my goodness that sounds horrible!Perhaps we better change the subject. Could you tell me why you’re called Shadow?

That is a very perceptive question. Shadow twitches his whiskers while considering it. I think it’s because I arrived in the Scott’s house when something good happened that revealed something bad. I represent yin, (shady side,) and yang, (the sunny side,) light and dark, but I am more yang – of sunny disposition – than ying. My tiny moments of ying disturb me…

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That’s deep…

Yes, life can be full of perplexities and this story is a fine example of that. I prefer the simple things in life… exploring, enjoying the sunshine, lying on the grass, hanging out in my garden, chilling, eating, playing, cuddling, purring, and looking adorable!

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What is it like living in the Scott’s household?

Challengingggggg! They are such a strange family. The dad is half dead; the mum is stroppy and Amelina has this sister called Esme whose not a sister but behaves like one. Esme always seems to be up and down in her emotions. Her ying and yang are out of control.  She is one confused girl and behaves like a prisoner to her own reflection. I listen to them nattering on… They all have a tragic story and mum, dad and Esme inadvertently tell me their individual stories. More about that in the book…. no spoilers! I know all of their secrets. I’m a snoop! Oh, and I nearly forgot to say Amelina has an aunt Karissa who owns a dog… UGH… a critter called Toby – most unfortunate. The bloody thing comes to stay, breaks things, eats all the time and causes havoc. The aunt drinks, tea, and alcohol too, and eats a lot, mainly chocolate unless she’s dieting. She’s always losing her glasses. Toby and her are quite a pairing!

My goodness sounds like you have to put up with a lot. Getting back to the stories – they sound shocking. Did one confession shock you more than the rest?

The dad’s and Esme’s are the worst. The dad because something has happened to him that is out of his control, (and seems to have impacted upon the whole family,) and I relate to that (after my weird overload of goodness episode,) and Esme because she self harms or did.

Self harm… that and other mental illnesses like anxiety, and depression, are a rising problem in our young people. What’s your opinion about it?

Kids nowadays have a lot of problems and it’s not their fault. I sympathise, I really do. The word pressure sums it up. Pressure to succeed, pressure to look good, (on Instagram, and other social media,) pressure to be thin, pressure to be popular, pressure to have the best-looking boyfriend/girlfriend, pressure to have money, pressure to get to the best Universities… the list just goes on and on.

There’s bullying too, and it isn’t just face to face like it used to be now its via social media too. It’s like there’s no escaping meanness, and rudeness. It’s so immediate, one little tweet, or nasty message via an Instagram shot can go to masses of your ‘friends’ in a mere second. So it’s not surprising that our young people often have mental health issues such as anxiety, eating disorders, depression and self-harm. In the worst case scenario some resort to suicide and that makes me so sad. No one should ever feel that way, there is always help out there. Talk to your mum, dad, a close friend you can trust, a sibling, a counsellor, an aunt, anyone who loves you. Just don’t bottle it up that’s the worst thing you can do.

I’d recommend this excellent site if you are experiencing mental health issues: https://www.betterhelp.com/start/

All youngsters should  own cats, Meowwww, cats are good for you. We have superpowers. Truly, we lower your heart rate, boost your immunity, help you relax – we release a calming chemical called oxytocin into your body, and that helps induce love and trust and make you smile. We increase your sociability, yes having  cats makes you more sociable, and stops you feeling lonely. Purrrrr. We have a stack load of medical health benefits too: we reduce the risk of heart disease, and heart attacks. We lower your triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Hey, we even reduce your chances of having a stroke. See we cats are superheros! Oh, and top of all that we reduce the carbon footprint, not like doggies like Toby who eat a ton. We eat small morsels, fish, and catch our own prey.

Shadow picks up his paw and licks it.

If you don’t believe me it’s all here: http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-owning-cat/

Is there anyone in Amelina’s life who has an eating disorder?

Yes, there’s this girl called Emily, who struggles with her desire to be thin, and to be loved. I don’t have that problem – I know that Amelina loves me. Also, I take a lot of exercise to keep fit and trim.  But, I have a huge heart so I cry real cat tears when I think about poor Emily and others like her.

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Does Amelina have a lot of friends?

No, not loads, she’s smart that way, she knows it’s not the number of friends but the quality of friends. Though, not all of them are to my liking… Except me, of course… (I’m her best friend.) She has three close human friends: Jade, Joselyn, and Ilaria. Jade is Amelina’s best human friend. She is arguably the prettiest but the most spoilt. She has this huge house, owns horses, and gets everything she wants. Joselyn is the worrier, (this girl needs a cat!) and Ilaria is the joker, but I sense the jokes hide something deeper. My favourite is Ilaria because I like a laugh. The four of them play in a band and write their own music. It’s pretty cool.

What about guys, does she have a regular boyfriend?

There is nothing regular about Amelina! She stumbled upon this guy called Ryder down a scary river pathway. I tried to follow her, but she shooed me away. The guy’s dangerous I don’t know why I know but I do. He has too much ying in his soul. I don’t trust him. He dresses all in black and has one green eye and one black. But sometimes that green eye looks red to me, like it is bleeding. Creepyyyyyyy. But, Amelina thinks he saved her, from what I can’t imagine, some prank probably.

Is there anyone else you’ve met through Amelina that has left a lasting impression on you?

Oh, yes, Kyle. Love him, he is Ryder’s best friend. He’s so snuggly and nice, I love to sit on his lap and purrrrr. Ohhh….

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If you could sum your owner Amelina in words what would you say?

She’s poetic, artistic, musical, kind-hearted, magical and brave but makes mistakes. She is a flawed human, poor thing! Miaowwww. 

Thank you so much Shadow for coming on to my blog today and telling us all about my forthcoming new book, The Curse of Time: The Bloodstone. I really appreciate it. 

It is my pleasure my dear. Any time…  Oh, before I go can I be cheeky and ask one question?

Yes of course you can Shadow.

It’s about Lily who models for me, can you set me up with a date? She looks real cute!

Of course I can Shadow, will do! I chuckle… imagine a date between yourself, (Shadow,) a fictional cat and a non-fictional cat, (Lily,) it could only happen in a writer’s life. Next time, (as long as Lily is willing,) we’ll have the date on Kyrosmagica… and she can tell us all about herself!

Shadow purrs a rich note of contentment in reply. 

All above photos of Lily (our black cat model,) courtesy of my lovely blogging friend Samantha Murdoch – photography credit her son Alex Marlowe.

Please visit Samantha’s blog to see her lovely cats and stunning crystals: https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com.

Samantha has recently started an Instagram account so please do click the link to see her lovely cats, (they are all supermodels,) and her crystals : Samantha’s IG account

She also twitters on here: Sam Crystal Cats – Twitter

 

Bye for now,

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My social media hang outs:
Twitter: @marjorie_mallon
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#BlogBattle: Week 59 – Voice

 

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It has been an age since I joined in #BlogBattle and I’ve missed it but I’ve been very busy editing my manuscript so I have a bit of an excuse! Anyway, this week the prompt word just seemed to speak to me: Voice. I have just the story in mind! It’s an idea inspired by my current WIP novel, The Curse of Time, which I’m currently sharing on Wattpad, (Prologue and first few chapters….)

My short story is a YA Fantasy…  with a touch of wacky humour. This short story takes a quirky look at what might have happened if the main character in my WIP: Amelina, had her missing dad return as a zombie!

The Knock At The Door – The Buried Voice.

I heard a knocking coming from the front door, a light tapping, but persistent sound. I ran downstairs. Through the frosted glass I saw a hazy silhouette. The knocking stopped. I opened the door a fraction and peered out.

I spied a half dead living body exhibit, a horror museum zombie. I staggered. This thing was gasping for breath, making terrible rasping sounds. His eyes were bleary, sad pools of stagnant misery. I clung to the door frame, seeking support, almost mimicking him. I wanted to run, to escape this visitor, but instead I let him in. I don’t know why I did. Somehow it seemed the right thing to do. One thought gave me comfort; I figured that if this stranger turned nasty I could run faster than he could. He hobbled into the house, each step a slow, painful shuffle. I pulled the dining chair out for him. He didn’t sit, he collapsed. I didn’t know what to do next. I hovered for a moment uncertain. His breathing continued to rattle in his rib cage, so I rushed off to get him a glass of water. When I returned he held the glass with his pinky extended, his hand shaking, the water spilling. He lifted the glass to his lips, drinking in gulps that tugged at my heart.

‘Amelina,’ he croaked, his eyes swimming out to reach mine.

The ocean currents of his sad lost eyes drew us together. The shock pummelled me with a force that I couldn’t begin to describe. His voice couldn’t say the words he longed to say, those syllables were lost on some faraway shore, yet I knew what was in his heart.

He had my name in his heart. Of course he had. I knew who he was, of course I did. That pinky told me before he did. He’d always had trouble bending that finger, ever since he’d broken it, mucking about on a family holiday in Cornwall.

I heard the sound of mum turning the key in the door; she didn’t have a clue what was coming. She was adrift in the sea and had no idea.

She walked into the hallway.

‘Amelina, I’m home,’ she yelled.

I didn’t reply. I couldn’t say a word. That pinky still had me transfixed.

Mum walked in and saw us. She staggered, and swayed.

‘What, the….. who… is….’

He lifted the glass with trembling hands and she saw the truth.

Poor mum. It was all too much for her; she swayed, and then fainted.

Mum was out cold. I didn’t know what to do. Zombie like dad took over; he picked up his glass and waved it in mum’s direction.  I got the parental message. Water. That’s when I heard it, this plaintive meowing coming from the patio. A black cat had his nose pressed against the glass. I rushed to get mum the water, passing by the patio door on the way to the kitchen I didn’t stop to think I let the strange cat in.

Before the water even reached mum’s lips, she came to, stirring. 

I gave the cat a bowl of milk. It seemed the thing to do. He supped it up as if he was starving. I gave mum the glass of water; she swallowed it down gulping back tears. 

By now Mum had clocked dad.  This second viewing couldn’t have been a pretty sight, but she braved it. She didn’t cry out. Instead the expression on her face almost hiccupped as if she was swallowing her shock, a bitter watery pill. She must have noticed the cat too but didn’t object. I expect she didn’t have the energy.

Much later that evening mum and dad were getting reacquainted. The reunion, if you could call it that must have been slow and painful. A chat with halting words, a slow shuffling to get to know each other again. I withdrew to my bedroom.

Nothing could quite match that first shock of seeing dad but what happened next came close. I saw a tiny person captured in my bedroom mirror. I thought I was hallucinating. So I tried to wipe her away with a flannel.

‘Hey, stop that,’ she scolded, ‘I don’t need a shower, you’re making me all smeary.’

I stepped back. This was crazy. First dad reappeared, then the cat fell in the door, and now I had a talking girl captured in my bedroom mirror. WTF. I recognised this tiny person; it was Esme, a girl from my school who’d vanished suddenly with no explanation.

I closed my eyes willing her away. I just couldn’t take anymore. Things like this just didn’t happen to an ordinary girl like me.

When I reopened my eyes, she was still there, frowning, as if I’d captured her and put her there, like I made it my habit to be her jailer. She scowled. I ran through the house and checked each mirror. She was in all of them. Every single one. Ugh.

I had scowling Esme on tap.

A dad, who kinda did the, kinda didn’t do the zombie dude scuffle.

And a black cat who craved attention.

Sometimes fate ladles out wicked blows. Our once happy family was a distant memory, and laughter became a cruel joke.

Now we’re an unhappy family of three plus a mirror girl and a strange black cat with a white handkerchief fur necktie. This cat dude knows how to dress. Yeah, he came house hunting in his Sunday best looking for loser owners. Our sad house remembered its past, shrunk, and became a reflection of our sorrow. Nothing was ever going to be the same, but one sad fact remained, the curse wasn’t trapped.

It lived.

© Marjorie Mallon. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Rules:

1000 words max
fictional tale (or true if you really want)
PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
Go for the entertainment value!
State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
Have fun!

#Blogbattle is a wonderful community of short story writers via Rachael Ritchey, do pop over to her blog to find out more:

#BlogBattle

If you’d like to continue reading The Curse of Time or perhaps would like to read the prologue too here’s the link to my Wattpad page:

Wattpad: The Curse of Time

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Hope you enjoyed my short story. Please do comment about my current WIP – The Curse of Time – here or on Wattpad, I’m looking for feedback – all opinions gratefully received.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

The 777 Challenge: The Crystal Cottage

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Thank you to Annika for nominating me to take part in the 777 challenge.

Here’s a link to her lovely blog so do go and check her out: https://annikaperry.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/the-777-writers-challenge/

I’ve been nominated for this challenge a couple of times before so this time I’m going to have to bend the rules a little. I thought I’d share with you the first few opening lines of my WIP Prologue for my Crystal Cottage manuscript. By the way the title of the novel is still to be decided upon so more about that to come……  I started off with the intention of calling it The Crystal Cottage, but now I’m not so sure, I have other more exotic ideas buzzing around in my head!!

Here goes, a snippet of the Prologue:

Few smell the roses, and myrtle, or hear the distant cooing of doves. They cannot see the splendour of what lies below, as they walk on unaware, taking the muddy river pathway or walking by the meadow, they sense nothing, hear nothing, lost in their own footsteps. Others cast a shadow as they stand, longing for a welcome but never finding it. The chosen few hear silent whispers in the breeze,  the trickle of water, and the vibrations of the earth below their feet. The cracks, and loosened stones are like a puzzle, a challenge, which shifts and changes with each passing day. Lingering because they cannot bear to pass by; they long to discover the nature of the hidden secret that awaits them.

I hope you enjoyed! I won’t be tagging individual people again. So I hope that’s okay Annika !

If anyone would like to share in this challenge please do feel free to join in. The more the merrier….

The Rules of the Challenge:

The 777 Challenge involves going to page 7 of your WIP, scrolling down to line 7 and from there share the next 7 sentences in a blog post. After that please tag 7 other bloggers to do the same with their WIP.

Bye for now.

 

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica. xx

 

Five Photos Five Days Challenge Day 1- Lost Dreams, Drug Oblivian

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I’m currently taking part in the 5 Photos – 5 days challenge after being nominated by Annika Perry – Annika Perry’s Writing blog.

I would highly recommend that you check out Annika’s blog.

Here’s the link : https://annikaperry.wordpress.com/

Firstly, the rules are as follows:

‘Post a photo each day for five consecutive days, and tell a story about each photo.  The story can be truth or fiction, poetry or prose.  Each day one must also nominate a fellow blogger to participate in the challenge.’

Here is my photo and writing for Day 1.

This is my photo of the one of the locked gates of Cambridge University. Somehow my photo of this beautiful gateway inspired me to write a very sad piece of flash fiction. The mind works in very mysterious ways, well mine does anyway! Forgive me for putting a dampener on such a beautiful setting.

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https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com

Lost Dreams

Heidi peered through the locked gate, in the distance she saw the neat manicured lawn, the suggestion of a life well lived. There was a brand new bike propped up against the wall facing away from the exit. Heidi wondered who the bike belonged to and why it had been abandoned by its owner. She sighed, climbed onto her own rusty bike and cycled away.

The next day she returned, but the bike was gone. Everything else was just as it had been before. Heidi stood by wistfully peering through the ornate bars. She saw a group of people coming towards the gate, a bunch of undergraduates no doubt. They opened the gate, and each of them seemed to individually register her presence with a quizzical glance. She wanted to stroll in, but she knew she couldn’t. If she did that would just make matters worse. They would see her as she was now, so she stayed outside the gate. Safe. Behind secure bars.

I know without any doubt that Heidi believed that she belonged within the walls of that forbidden garden. It wasn’t her fault, she’d say. Heidi’s downfall started at sixth form, everything started to slip. Leaving secondary school had seemed such a liberation to her but her departure should have come with a warning sticker. Beware: Sixth Form Can Seriously Screw You Up. To begin with the changes in Heidi were barely noticeable, but soon, the pressure built up. An outlet had to be found, a way for her to cope. She ended up at wild parties once a week, and when once a week wasn’t enough, every night became the norm. Then she started to experiment. Her motto became: it’s easy to anaesthetise yourself, pretend you’re okay, when you’re not. At first mum and dad didn’t notice but when her grades started to slip they woke up. Fast. Their perfect princess was no longer bringing home A’s the best she could do was a D, a D  with drugs, dangerous boys, and doubtful friends.

Of course the inevitable happened Heidi missed classes, came in drunk, she got kicked out of sixth form. No second chances. Then mum and dad did what they had to. They couldn’t cope, the stealing did it. I tried so hard to help, believe me I did.  We all did. I blame myself so much. We all do. Now Heidi’s lost. All her dreams are blossoming in that beautiful garden locked within sight but way out of her reach. She might be light fingered but she has no hope of stealing those dreams back. They’re gone forever. Who knows who she might have been? Where she might have gone? All she has now is dream words, I’ll be okay. A new false promise. Health Warning: Time To Fix Herself.

In my dreams I see my sister clearly. I picture envy. She’s leaning on that gate, but the gate isn’t supporting her. I see her ugly red marks, needle impressions and fingers shaking. She’s tugging at its unforgiving bars, raging, pulling them towards her. She doesn’t say a word but I can hear her pain, screaming. I can taste the loss in her throat like it is I who has swallowed the bitter pill of failure. I see her as she used to be, my perfect little sister, and I cry, cry because that is all I can do.  That is all I am left with. That gate is always locked.  The dream is never different.  Her hope lies crippled, planted like a false seed in that immaculate, well kept garden. Many view that ornate gate as a walkway to fulfil their dreams but it bars Heidi entrance, and reminds her of her own prison cell. Life.

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Today I would like to nominate two bloggers, rather than just one!

Lauren at https://courageisnotanoption.wordpress.com/

and Victoria Davenport at https://coffeewriterepeat.wordpress.com/

Thanks for dropping by.

Do pop by again soon, and leave a comment if you can, I’d love to hear from you.

kk

Kyrosmagica xx

Haiku Poetry Prompt challenge #49 Lock & Gab

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RonovanWrites Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt Challenge #49 Lock&Gab

Time for another Poetry Prompt Challenge from Ronovan Writes. If you haven’t joined in the fun well I would highly recommend you do!

Well this time I’ve added a link to a bit of my writing at the bottom of this post, as the prompts were just so me! All comments haiku and writing related would be most gratefully received. Or just come and have a gabber. Either ways I’d love a chit chat.

Oh, these prompts, what can I say? Ron really knows how to come up with great challenge words. Lock, I love it. It just conjures up mysterious, hidden places, and gab well there’s nothing like a good old chatter, unless of course monkey thinks it’s getting out of hand!

 

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Monkeys says

A hum in my brain

Gab on, Gab Off, now stop it!

Lock it up DARLING.

 

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Secret Key Sings

The bewitched attic

A gab about mystery

The secret key sings

I found these particular prompts very inspiring. I wrote about a secret key in one of my chapters of my first manuscript, here’s a link to my writing extract: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/writing-extract-the-mystery-of-the-talking-key/

If you like this tiny sample of my writing please do let me know. I’d appreciate that so much. Thanks. x

 

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.


Words good or bad, are my very own!

Thank you for stopping by, do come again, I love visitors.

kk

 Kyrosmagica. x

Writing Extract: The Mystery of The Talking Key

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This week amongst other things I’ve been working on Ronovan Writes Haiku Prompt Challenge, which I’ll be posting on my blog soon. Here’s the link to his prompt in case you’d like to participate.  https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/category/haiku-prompt-challenge/

Ron’s prompt words Lock and Gab triggered a memory out of an attic, an attic that exists in my first novel, or should I say manuscript as it is currently unpublished. This getting published business isn’t easy. You don’t realise just how hard it is until you try yourself. I remember ages ago one of my fellow writers saying to me that she had sent out boxes and boxes of letters to publishers and agents and every single one had come back in the negative. Well in my case, I’ve sent out in the region of twenty enquiries. This isn’t nearly enough. I read somewhere that you have to query at least one hundred people. I know this is probably true but I hate rejections they eat into your soul.

So I’m sharing this small writing sample with you to get your valuable opinions.  This is from a chapter later on in my novel, when my main protagonist Amelina goes exploring trying to look for answers to the puzzle of her life. She steals a key, which leads her to discovering an attic room with a hidden away secret.

If you like it please do say, and if there are ways in which it can be improved do comment, I really would appreciate it so much. Thanks. x

A tiny shaft of light trickled in alighting on a far corner of the attic. Amelina moved towards the light carefully trying to avoid the obstacles in her way. Nearly twisting her ankle climbing over boxes, and old suitcases, she saw a light shining like a torch on to a delicate hook, where an object was dangling. She scrambled towards it and saw that it was a golden key.

As she grabbed the key she heard a strange noise, which sounded like a shrill voice recording with a constant playback sound. The voice became louder and more agitated as she made her way out of the attic.

“Put me back, thief,” the mechanical voice said. It babbled on, “I was enjoying the sunshine streaming in. Don’t you know how cold it can be in the attic? A bit of sunshine cheers me up. How would you like to be surrounded by unwanted things all day and every day?”

Amelina couldn’t believe that the key was talking to her. She did her best to ignore the ranting voice, and started to climb out of the attic, but her progress was slowed down by a sheer drop that suddenly appeared. There was a tiny ledge to the left of her with just enough room for one small foot. She knew that if she didn’t balance perfectly on that ledge she would fall down the steep steps, and it was a long way down.

 “You’ll get me into trouble you will. Bring me back thief!” shouted the voice.

Amelina ignored the voice. She edged herself out of the attic, poised her foot on the ledge, and balanced like a trapeze artiste before jumping to the step below. Her heart was still racing, adrenalin bubbling up to the surface in short gasps when she turned the key and opened the door.

The key groaned and sighed deeply, “You’ve done it now. There’s no turning back.”

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

kk

Thanks for stopping by. x

P.S. I found the mysterious puzzle image at the top of this post on MorgueFile free photos. http://www.morguefile.com/