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    Bitter Reckoning Chapter 8, part two

    The waiting room in the Flagstaff hospital wasn’t crowded, just Tina and Rita and LoriAnn sitting quietly, a little dazed, sipping coffee and staring blankly at the muted television in the corner.

    They’d all been given breathing treatments for smoke inhalation by first responders, who’d arrived on site. At the hospital, each had been checked out and given water for dehydration; Martin had to be given an IV. Doctors determined Tina’s nose was bruised, but not broken. She had a few other bruises on her arms and legs, but other than that, she was in good shape. Rita was treated for some deep cuts on her hands from pulling debris off of Bette when she’d been buried under the collapsed gymnasium roof, and LoriAnn had been checked over, cleared for any physical injuries. Still, doctors had given her a mild sedative to keep her calm. At the moment Bette and Martin were still being looked at—Martin for his head injury and Bette for her head and shoulder injuries. Kit was back with them both, serving as a go-between for the hospital staff and the others who waited.

    Already Coconino County sheriff deputies had been by to get names and IDs, but no one had spoken yet or given their account of what had happened. Kit had asked them all to wait until Joe Kody, captain of the Navajo Police, arrived so that he could sit in on the interviews. She’d also asked one other thing of each of them as they’d sat in the cold snow watching the remains of the Maple Canyon School for Girls burn to the ground.


    “I can’t ask you to lie,” she’d begun as the seven of them had huddled together with their faces to the fire and their butts wet and cold in the snow. “But I will ask you to be evasive, at least to the point of telling some truth, but obscuring the full truth.”

    She held Bette against her while Tina held Bette’s hand. Martin was supported among the other three women, but had listened intently as they all did.

    “What do you need us to say?” Tina asked. She’d already anticipated this conversation in the short period of time they’d been watching the fire have its due.

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    1. So here it is…the end of the scary tale. As I’ve said in previous stories, I don’t like writing sex scenes. I guess because I’m an old woman who’s dead inside and I don’t feel it. So I did my best to draw on distant memories of what sex used to be like. Hahaha! Don’t beat me up too much, okay?

      I hope all the questions you had about the events in the story get answered in this chapter. If not, let me know and I’ll see if I can clear things up. When I revise the story out of the TLW universe and characters for possible publication, I’m going to even out some of the political message and make it more interwoven, make Tina’s character be a bit more “woke” by the end.

      And speaking of publications….today is April 1st. In one month, May 1st Bold Strokes Books will release the e-book of The Smell of Rain (the paperback will be available for pre-order and comes out May 15th). Because they now own copyright to the story, I will be required to eliminate all but 20% of the fan fiction version. This means on the evening of April 30th, I will remove all but the first chapter on LesFan. This means if you want to read it in its original version, please do so before then.

      Of course I would love you all to purchase the published version of The Smell of Rain. The characters have been reworked and have grown into very interesting women. You’ll be able to see traces of our TiBette still in them, but I’ve really worked to make these women unique. I’ve also added a layer of the “supernatural” to the story, but it’s very subtle. Also, I can’t tell you how much it means to me that so many of you purchased a copy of The Groves as the publication By the Dark of Her Eyes. Did you know it won the 2017 Goldie for Paranormal/Horror? If you haven’t read it, check it out.

      As always, I gotta take some time and work out my next story in my head before I can sketch it out and start posting again. But we have so many talented writers on the site that I’m sure you’ll all be busy reading away and won’t miss me too much. If you didn’t see…Pie is back, so grab you a hot piece of pie and enjoy! Yum, fruity goodness!

      Thanks again for your comments and support. PMs, tweets (@The_BenMac) or Facebook messages ( are always welcome. Also, you can check out my beautiful site that Jacky designed for me at

      Thanks again to all of you. These stories would not be possible with out you all. And if you have read By the Dark of Her Eyes, an Amazon review is always appreciated. The same goes for Rain when it’s out.


      • So once again I waited for this story to be finished, and waited for it seemed like forever😀 Anyway absolutely amazing as usual. OMG lady you can keep a person reading a story till the end. Thanks for your amazing story, can’t wait for the next one!!!

      • Hi BenMac.

        I’ve been silent for a while, but totally enjoying your newest story. As usual you bring such rich and unique content to the storylines that keep me intrigued. I’ve also purchased By the Dark Of Her Eyes (electronic version). I’m so into it that I can barely put it down. I read the story when you posted it on the site as Tibette but really enjoying it with the new characters; I love Alex and she’s so good for Brenna. I hope you plan to eventually publish Audio Books of your novels. Its my new favorite past-time especially on road-trips and when I fly to listen to books. Keep up the amazing work, and thank you for continuing to share your talent here with us.

        • Thanks Bat! I also saw you’d left an Amazon review as well. I appreciate that so much!! In terms of the audio books, that’s a decision that the publisher makes (in part on how many ebooks and paperbacks they sell). I’m not sure I’ll ever be a big seller to warrant an audio version of either By the Dark of Her Eyes or The Smell of Rain, but I’d certainly love it if I did.

          Glad you enjoyed this story, too!

    2. Says the woman who has written THE finest, sexiest, subtle sex scenes in this entire LF universe. Pls don’t put yourself down in that department because you rock.

      I’m sad to se this one go and cross all crossable body parts that you’ll be back soon because you are an amazing writer and the fact that you still spend time posting on this site is an honor to all who reads your stories.

      I still wish I could find me some Men In Black nuker to vipe out my memory just so I could experience Eternal Rocks Beneath all over again.

      In short cheers!

    3. BenMac, for a old woman who’s dead inside and isn’t feeling it, you wrote one fantastic sex scene.

      I agree completly with CestMoi on that subject. Don’t put yourself down

      For a scary story i have to admit i truly enjoyed it. Like i said earlier, i am not fond of that. But you made me addicted to your story. It had it scary parts but i did survive it.

      You are a incredible and gifted writer and i am so happy you share it with us on this site!

      Thank you for this story!

    4. You did it again – thank you for the another amazing story!

      A few words:

      1) You’re really underestimate yourself about sex scenes – you really great in it and in all other aspects of writings. Or maybe you just have phenomenal memory:) (joke). No, you just really great writer!

      2) B&T spending time together and of course last part about 89 road and Roy Shirley aka Harlan – just great! Thank god for Bette’s fast reaction.

      3) I very like that all your last stories – it’s not just romantic stories, but along with it it’s a stories about true problems in our lives. “Fracture” – violence against women, “Smell” – wars, refugees and women and kids with in. This story – about problems indigenous peoples in modern world.
      May i ask – you don’t consider, maybe one of your future story can be about gun shooting in the schools and free weapons problem?

      So, thanks again and of course waiting for the new stories from you!

    5. Hi BM:

      Wow, that was a great love scene to close with a flourish this magnificent story.

      These last weeks, I learned a lot when reading and comparing native Americans with other native groups.

      I really got scared sometimes after reading.

      Yes, there are so many talented writers here and very good ones, but there is only one BenMac, please come back soon.

      Thanks again for this wonderful story, and I hope to see soon this as your new book to be published.


    6. Fantastic story, super ending, so happy they will continue to work together and be as one. The sex scene was very well written, so don’t think you don’t have the skills, “you do, in spades.” Great job. The story scared me in spots but, never caused me to have bad dreams or nightmares. Just had to stay in at night, which is not a problem anyway. Getting around with a cane makes me a little slower, and don’t see as well at night, so I just don’t go out after dark. I’d like to see what happens next for them especially as a couple. Always love how you portray Tina. Is it possible to write a love story for them without horror, suspense, etc. Thanks for always writing about them and keeping this site in mind for publishing first. We always love your writing. You’re my number ONE. Have a great week, take care.

    7. BM, so I saved your last two posts for a Sunday binge. Glad I did, because one chapter is never enough from you. Scary twist at the end….niiiiice. The only thing I would’ve liked to have seen was the interaction between Kit and Joe Kody. It was obvious that it was his influence that moved the investigation along quickly.


      p.s., You ain’t so dead, woman.

    8. I agree with all the comments above: the scene was very hot! And your descriptions of lovemaking have always been an inspiration for me. But even more than sex-scenes I love your lovely depicting TiBette flirtation, smart pickering, subtle hints and tension-building. Maybe I am too getting old, but all the preliminaries are more interesing for me than the climax itself. And the philosophy behind the plot too!

    9. Damn! is all I gotta say.

      Finally was able to finish this story and definitely need a bit of a cold shower after that. Seems like you’ve got plenty of love scenes left in your tank, my dear.

      Congrats on the new publication! SO excited for you!

      No matter how many writers are around, you’re still one of my faves. Come back soon!

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