Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Her Time. Chapter Four: Destiny

Today is a bittersweet day. I'm publishing the final chapter of the latest in a series of writing collaborations we call the Progressive Story Project. Each story, told in a few chapters, is written by a number of bloggers, each building on the segments of the story submitted by the previous authors. The result is always a fun read.

I want to say again that I am so grateful to the friends who participated in crafting this current story. They each gifted me with their thoughts, their imaginations, their time and their words.

Progressive Story Project, a collaborative piece of fiction written by a number of bloggers | Developed by, run by and featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #writers #fiction

Here are the links to the previous chapters in this story. Be sure you're up to date before reading today's conclusion:
Her Time. Chapter One: Out of Focus
Her Time. Chapter Two: Leader of the Flight
Her Time. Chapter Three: Take Off

As always, for each segment in this chapter, I've listed the author of that portion in the top right corner.

Her Time, a Progressive Story Project collaborative piece of fiction written by a number of bloggers | Developed by, run by and featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #writers #fiction

Her Time
Chapter Four: Destiny

Kimberly of When I Grow Up

"Do you trust her?" 

The voice in his ear startled him. Michael had forgotten about the other woman who was now close at his side, so close that he could feel her breath on his neck.

"Of course," he said. "Almost from the day I met her, I knew we'd be together forever."

The woman, who he was now sure was Camryn's great great grandmother reached for his other hand. A sharp floral scent hit him. It smelled of spring. It was that flower that Camryn loved so much. He had always thought the smell overpowering. What was it called? He looked at the woman who so resembbled his wife and it hit him. It was a hyacinth which was also her name. Why had he never made the connection before?

Camryn and Hyacinth grasped his hands and they both turned and looked questioningly at him. Without even thinking he said, "Yes, yes. I am with you. Of course I couldn't let you do this alone." He still wasn't sure what "this" was, but knew that it was what he had to do. Perhaps he was under some sort of spell, but now that he had committed, he felt free, almost as if he could float on air.

The trio moved down the middle of the street, toward a faint light. He noticed a fog creeping in from the outside edges of the street. The woman began to sing.

Jenniy of Climaxed

Michael couldn't be sure what was going on, but he also couldn't leave his wife to do whatever this was alone. It was terrifying. Stark naked in the streets? Glowing lights? A crowd of chanting, yelling, stomping strangers and a long dead relative burned for being a witch holding his hand? If he hadn't seen it for himself, he would have laughed in her face had she told him. No wonder she'd gone sneaking around in the night.

Their song grew louder while the crowd followed and joined in. He still couldn't understand the words . . . it had to be a different language. That was the only explanation.

He heard a low bark and glanced beside them to see Shelby padding along as the fog thickened and drew closer. That dog . . . he'd always shrugged off the intensity of her connection to his wife even while knowing it was a bit out of the ordinary, so the least surprising thing of the night was her presence, and he found comfort in that. There was no way possible Shelby would be here walking along like this was any other night if something was seriously wrong. Shelby would know, and she'd protect Camryn at all costs. She always had. 

The four of them and the crowd behind them were drawing nearer to the light. He could now tell that it was coming from the cemetery in the oldest part of own - the one with the unmarked graves where the witches were rumored to have been tortued, burned and hidden away, unfit for Christian burials. It made sense, he guessed. All sorts of strong, capable women like Hyacinth had met their ends unfairly here. Perhaps they were meant to be recognized and laid to rest finally after all this time? But what did that have to do with The Flight? And Camryn's being the Chosen One? 

The trio (and Shelby) stopped abruptly in front of the cemetery gates, and he watched in fascination as the glowing lights he'd seen took shape and stood before him as women just as real as the ones holding his hands.

The crowd behind him kept their chanting but his wife and her great, great grandmother began moving through the growing group of women. He watched on in fascination just as bewildered as ever, but he wasn't scared anymore He should have been, but whatever was going on had given him the greatest sense of peace he'd ever known. 

All the while, Camryn herself was more driven than she'd ever been. The only problem was that she wasn't sure what she was being driven to do still. 

Espresso Layer Bars are simple to assemble, layering one flavor on top of another, then baked into chewy, crunchy bars. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert
Espresso Layer Bars
Espresso Layer Bars are simple to assemble, layering one flavor on top of another, then baked into chewy, crunchy bars. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Karen of Baking In A Tornado

Carly took another bite of her Espresso Layer Bar and looked up at her mother. "Go on, Mom."

Haylie looked at her beautiful daughter. Twenty one years old yesterday and just about to graduate college. She couldn't be more proud. "I really don't know much more, honey. My mother never told me because she never knew herself. I know you didn't know your grandmother, Carly, my parents disappeared before you were born. It's one of the reasons I keep her picture on the wall of the study."

"And that's why Camryn's picture sits alongside Hyacinth's," Carly added.

"Yes," Haylie interjected, "along with Hyacinth's".

"Hyacinth is my . . . ?" Carly asked.

"My 3 times great grandmother, your 4 times great grandmother."

"The trunk you mentioned in the story, Mom, it's the one in our attic now?"

"Yes. And some day it will be in yours."

"If your parents disappeared, how can you know all of this? Who told you?"

Haylie steeled herself, this part of the story remains the most painful. "When they first vanished, we were terrified, heartbroken, lost. The police did a lengthy and in depth investigation," she began, "in fact, as far as they are concerned, the disappearance of Camryn and Michael remains an open missing persons' case."

"But you know more."

"Years later your aunt and uncle and I did some DNA testing and ancestry research which lead us all the way back to the Salem Witch trials. We took a trip to Salem where a museum there dedicated to the trials had personal journals dating back to the 1700s. The name engraved on the front of one of them was Forsight. We knew that our 3 times great grandmother used this last name so we got permission to view the journal, apparently kept by one of her ancestors. That's where we learned what little we know about our family history, a recurring event intertwined in that history called The Flight, and that some of the women of our family are called upon, when needed, to be the Leader."

Haylie sighed and continued "I can't prove all of the details of the story I've told you today. We three, the children of Camryn and Michael, talked at length after that visit to Salem. We've added details we can't know of course, but based on what we have always known of our parents and their relationship, and what details we learned about our family history, this is exactly what we believe happened. All of us."

"Why are you telling me all this now, Mom?"

"Because you're 21. You're old enough to know. Camryn, my mom, was taken by surprise, even ended up in the hospital, that much is fact. If I disappear, or if I'm not needed but you're called on to be the next Leader of the Flight, I want you to know as much as I do and to not be afraid. Whatever the Flight is, whatever the Leader does, I can promise you this, it is noble and honorable and right and that your grandmother loved me with all of her heart. Wherever she is, she still does. And she will have nothing but love for you. Go with her or not, that's your choice, but know that she would never hurt you."

Carly stood up and wrapped her arms around her mother, hugging tight. "Thank you, Mom."

Haylie looked at her daughter with tears in her eyes. "And if it does turn out to be you, I want you to do something I wish I could do myself."

"Anything, Mom."

"Kiss my mom and dad for me. Tell them I am so grateful to them for my childhood, that I adore them, I always will." 

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Below is a list of the talented bloggers who joined me in authoring this story, along with links to their blogs ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Sarah of Sarah Nolan
Jenniy of Climaxed
Lydia of Cluttered Genius 
Kimberly of When I Grow Up
Jules of The Bergham Chronicles
Dawn of Spatulas on Parade
Diane of On the Border
Tamara of Part-time Working Hockey Mom
Rena of Wandering Web Designer and The Blogging 911 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Links to past Progressive Story Projects ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: Storm Past
2015: A Holiday Story (picked up where the original left off)
2017: Take Aim
2017: Skin Deep

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Espresso Layer Bars        

Printable Recipe

3/4 stick butter, melted
1 1/4 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup toffee baking chips
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1 cup espresso baking chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk.

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish.
*Mix together the melted butter and the chocolate graham cracker crumbs. Press into the bottom of the prepared dish.
*Layer the toffee baking chips over the crust, then continue to layer the ingredients, the macadamia nuts, then the espresso baking chips, then the white chocolate chips. 
*Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges are browned and the center is bubbly hot.
*Cool. Run a knife around the edges and slice into 24 bars.


  1. This was soooooo fun to work on! Thank you for including me!

  2. Karen as you well know, Salem is just spooky. TO me it is really scary, uncomfortable, I never want to go there again so anything happening in Salem in my mind is totally believable. 3 different kind of baking chips, have not seen espresso baking chips but will go on a hunt, not to Salem, because anything coffee is for me!

    1. Well, I grew up not far from Salem so it's more sad than spooky to me. Oh, and those baking chips are at Walmart.

  3. This. Is. Awesome!
    I'm even crying. Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to participate.
    This was so much fun!

    1. Thank you so much for adding your voice to this really fun project.

  4. Squeeeeeee. Espresso and a wonderful story!!!!

    1. Squeeeeeee, you're still able to comment! And yeah, I knew this treat was speaking your language.


    Great storytelling and boy does this recipe sound yummy!

    1. So glad you enjoyed the story.
      I hope you try the recipe, too.

  6. Replies
    1. I appreciate your having read all the chapters and am glad you enjoyed it.

  7. I was tearing up at the end, until I saw that your recipe was based on Magic Cookie Bars, then I REALLY cried because of being on Weight Watchers. But seriously, not an expected ending. I did enjoy how each author managed to drive the story forward and then the next author took it right over. It was nice. It was worth an Expresso Bar. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. Yes, I should be passing out Espresso Layer Bars to all of the authors.

  8. Oh, I see the espresso brownies, sorry, BARS, you were talking about! As for the story, i guess we're left with the mystery. Boy, am I glad this was fiction...

  9. A brilliant ending, and of course leaving what "The Flight" is to the imagination of the reader means we will come up with all sorts of odd things for ourselves. Like when Bill Waterson, author of Calvin and Hobbes, never explained "The Noodle Incident".

    1. Wouldn't it be fun to compare what we all imagine it's about. Bet we get many different stories.

  10. Oh wow didn't see that coming. This really turned out to be a beautiful story! (Rena)

    1. I really liked this one too. Thank you again for your participation.


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