Apr 29 2017

Z #AtoZChallenge Zeal of Zebras #Fiction #SFF

#AtoZChallenge2017 BadgeZ #AtoZChallenge Zeal of Zebras #Fiction #SFF @JLenniDorner

My THEME for the A to Z challenge 2017 is an ongoing speculative fiction story featuring telepathy.

Each letter post is titled and inspired by a commonly misused word or phrase.

The story started with All Intents and Purposes.

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Z #AtoZChallenge Zeal of Zebras #Fiction #SFF

Zeal of Zebras

Ora shakes her head. I’m leaving. Take his coat and follow me. If you waste time saving the monster’s life, I will send the Homeland Security Mind Task Force to get both of you.

She turns and walks away.

It’s that easy for her.

She’s more powerful than I am. She’s smarter than I am. But she has no heart.

I pick up the legs of my abductor. Cold and hungry, I drag him toward the safe room. Safe, ha, that word has never been so misused.

Maybe Ora is tricking my mind again, because everything goes dark.

I’m in Africa. There’s a zeal of zebras around me. One has a horn of gold and silver twisted together. The zebra unicorn tells me I have to wake up. A lion strolls over and smacks me across the face with his mighty paw.

Anah? Can you hear me?

That’s Mr. Bennett’s voice. He’s not a zebra unicorn. And why would he be in Africa?

Come on, Girlie, time to rise and shine. The lion sounds like the man who abducted me. Why?

Reality crashes in as I wake up. It hurts everywhere. Something is keeping me from moving.

Anah, calm down. I just dressed those wounds. Keep still.

I find Mr. Bennett sitting beside me. He adjusts the blanket I’m wrapped in.

My abductor paces nearby. “Good work on not dying. Bad work on letting Ora out.”

“She wanted me to let you freeze to death.” Did I expect a thanks for saving his life? “Where are we?”

Mr. Bennett shoves a thermometer to my ear. “We’re taking you to your parents.”

I smile. “I’m finally going home?” I take a deep breath, inhaling his cardamom cologne. It feels like I already am home. Journal assignments and staring at his birthmark, my own bed, a hug from mom, and dad’s hot cocoa — that’s what I want most in the world.

“No.” My abductor shakes his head. “You’re the most wanted telepath in the world. The HSMTF has your face up on every screen. There’s a price on your head so high that even I thought about turning you in.”

“Uncle Zahir, please, she’s been through enough.”

“I only said I thought about it,” he waves his hand dismissively. “No point in lying to an Eve Nine, is there?”

I look back and forth between the two of them. They look alike in most ways. How did I not notice that before? Is that part of the Umwelt theory? I didn’t see the similarities in appearance between my favorite person and my abductor because my reality was one is good and one is evil?

“We’re going to a safe place. It’s a Zoroastrianism worship site with telepathic shielding. Hopefully, she won’t find us there. I’m sorry, Anah.” Mr. Bennett looks away.

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Did you enjoy the month-long story?

For BONUS CONTENT, check out the JOURNAL OF ANAH post.

by J Lenni Dorner
Reference and Speculative Fiction Author
A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer
Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer @JLenniDornerFollow @JLenniDorner on Twitter please WhatAreThey on Facebook pages Networked Blog @JLenniDorner Linky Followers @JLenniDorner Bloglovin

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Coming soon:
#boutofbooks 19 is in May 2017 Z #AtoZChallenge Zeal of Zebras #Fiction #SFF


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  1. I have loved reading all your posts.
    Congratulations on finishing the A to Z Challenge successfully

    A Peice Of My Life
    Mrs.Dash has this post to share #APOM 26. Z for ZenMy Profile
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  2. Congrats on finishing the A to Z! Loved the story but I think I want more 🙂
    Janet Miles has this post to share April 2017 – #Atozchallenge – Yes it’s YMy Profile

  3. Congratulation to completing the challenge. Always a great feeling 😉
    I think writing a complete story during the challenge is a challenge all of its own, but you did it!

    The Old Shelter – 1940s Film Noir
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  4. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your story. A great theme for the A-Z.
    Sally Stackhouse has this post to share Cephalopod Coffeehouse: April 2017My Profile

    • FinnBadger on April 30, 2017 at 7:57 AM

    Nice work on your A-Z, I really enjoyed it.

    Quite a lot to digest in the Z episode. Now I want to know how Anah ended up blacked out and sore everywhere… and how Bennett found her in the end!

    Phillip | Z is for Zines Zoinks! I made it to the end!

  5. Wow! That didn’t go the way I thought it would. What happens to Ora? Thanks for a great story through A-to-Z 🙂
    Ronel Janse van Vuuren has this post to share A Writer’s Zen #AtoZChallengeMy Profile
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    1. She lives… in case I need to write a sequel. 😉

  6. Great way to fit all those Z words in to your post! I did not know a group of zebras is a zeal (although I do know a group of crows is a murder). Interesting twist at the end about the similarities between the two conspirators. Congrats on completing the challenge!
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  7. I missed a few days, so I’ll have to try to go back and read them, but interesting ending. And congrats on finishing the challenge.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author
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  8. This sounds like a thriller I would like to read. I will try to catch up with previous parts. Is there an e-book?
    Rajlakshmi has this post to share Travel Tales: Zig Zag Zoom #atozchallengeMy Profile
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  9. I liked the ending, but I’ll definitely have to catch up on what I missed. Intriguing world you’ve created. Congrats on getting to the end!
    Nick Wilford has this post to share A-Z Challenge 2017 – Z is for ZimpanoMy Profile
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  10. So the butler did not do it . . . . I knew that and I think a group of Zebras is called suspicious, you just can’t trust a walking barcode.

    Thanks for the visits it was very kind of you indeed and we now have a whole eleven months to think up something incredible for the next A to Z. I must try and get back to the blog a bit more once I have my big project in the garden finished.

    Well done on another successful A to Z . I guess there will be a reflections post again this year I hope they use the list again for that it is much easier to keep Track of what i’ve read.

  11. I’m here to pat you on the back for reaching Z! Great theme this year, and I appreciate the work you put into it. Oh, and please pass the cardamom cologne. It has to smell yummy.
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  12. Oh no a cliffhanger! 😮 Will you be writing more after the challenge? I really want to know how it all plays out lol!

    For my options in the poll: I’ve said yes I’d buy an ebook of it if it was made longer (I’ve really enjoyed the story so far but it feels like there is so much more to come) 🙂 And yes I would buy a sequel if you decided to write a whole series set in the telepathy world. 🙂

    Most importantly… Congratulations on finishing the A-Z Challenge! 😀 Are you doing anything to celebrate?
    Natalie Westgate has this post to share Zealous (Secret Diary Of A Serial Killer)My Profile
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    • Debs on May 2, 2017 at 5:45 AM

    I’ve enjoyed the world you’ve created and would really like to see the story developed or the follow-up written.

    Bunny and the Bloke
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    1. Thank you!

  13. Nice finish. Thanks for all time and effort you put into the Challenge this year. You did an exceptionally outstanding job and more.

    Arlee Bird
    Arlee Bird has this post to share Don’t Dream It’s Over (#BOTB) (#IWSG)My Profile
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    1. Thanks so much, Arlee! I’m proud to have contributed.

  14. Oh my. That’s an ending I didn’t see coming. Very cool way to tie it up.
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    1. Thanks so much!

  15. Hi Jay Lenni, Here to finish reading the story – great work! Did not see the ending coming. 🙂 Very scary prospect – heartless mind reader species of humans. Congrats on finishing the challenge with serious elan!

    Best wishes,
    Nilanjana Bose has this post to share Z is for…Zaghareet…and…Zellige….My Profile

    1. I managed a twist you didn’t see coming!
      I think I just earned myself a cupcake. 😉

      And it’s J. Just J. (I didn’t know about the superfluous “ay” — the history is around.)
      Thanks so much for the comments!

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