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Weekly Short Story Contests > Week 363 (May 24-30) Stories Topic: Butterfly

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message 1: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4214 comments You have until the 30th of May to post a story and from the 31st to around the 4th of June, we’ll vote for which one we thought was best!

Please post directly into the topic and not a link. Please don’t use a story previously used in this group. Only one submission per person is allowed.

Your story should be between 300 and 3,500 words long.

REMEMBER! A short story is not merely a scene. It must have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

This week’s topic is: Butterfly

Thanks goes to Garrison and Daniel J. for suggesting the topic!

The rules are pretty loose. You could write a story about anything that has to do with the subject/photo but it must relate to the topic somehow.

And most of all have fun!


message 2: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4214 comments Note: I will broadcast the message to all members soon!


message 3: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9054 comments I've been waiting a long time for a reason to write this story and now I have one. This synopsis is for a story called "Divas" and it goes like this:

CHARACTERS:

1. Piper, Divas Champion
2. Tori, Leader of the Supermodel Kitties
3. Stitches, Enforcer for the Supermodel Kitties
4. Calypso, Rookie from the Supermodel Kitties
5. Willem, Schipperke Referee

PROMPT CONFORMITY: The Divas Championship belt has a butterfly design on it.

SYNOPSIS: In a pro-wrestling organization where the female wrestlers are humanoid cats, Piper is defending her Divas Championship against Tori at a pay-per-view main event. Piper has held the championship for over a year on the platform of making her dreams come true and being a role model for young cats. During their rivalry, the Supermodel Kitties have made Piper’s life miserable by calling her “Piper-Diaper” and other childish middle school names. With Stitches and Calypso to serve as ringside distractions, Piper could very well lose her championship to Tori and disprove the idea that all dreams come true.


message 4: by Edward (last edited May 26, 2017 01:12AM) (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments It's been a pretty quiet few days at work, so here's chapter 27 of Karsten Pasternack And The Quicksilver Caduceus. Feedback welcome.
Title : Total Recall
Author : Edward Davies
Word Count : 1042
Rating : PG

The Followers of Hermes followed Simon into the citadel, stopping momentarily on the steps that led down to the prison cells to watch Patricia and Gavin kissing.

“Who is that woman with Gavin?” Gail asked, screwing up her nose in a disgusted way, “They’re being more than a little bit intimate, and I haven’t the first clue who she is.”

“That’s Patricia,” Tabalah sounded as if she were smiling, though without any facial features it was hard to tell, “I think she may have broken the spell on Gavin.”

“Who’s Patricia?” Pablo whispered.

Karsten rolled his eyes for what felt like the hundredth time.

“Do you think we might be able to get everybody’s memory back if Gavin’s has returned?” Karsten asked Tabalah as the group slowly descended the stairs.

“Maybe with the help of all these lavender petals,” Tabalah noted, “I can reverse the effects of my powers.”

“Then maybe we can all go home,” Karsten mumbled to himself, glancing at Gail with a heavy heart. What if when he got back home he never saw her ever again? He didn’t think he’d be able to cope with that.

“Definitely,” Tabalah nodded, not noticing the sadness in Karsten’s voice.

As the group approached the kissing couple, Patricia looked over at them and her demeanour completely changed.

“YOU!” she bellowed upon seeing Tabalah, “You did this to me!”

“I’m here to try and fix things,” Tabalah told her as Patricia marched towards her, “I think maybe with the help of the lavender…”

Before she could finish her sentence, Patricia swung an arm into Tabalah’s face, knocking her across the room. The group gasped as Tabalah flew across the room, hitting the wall and landing in a crumpled heap on the floor.

“What did you do that for?” Winfrith shouted at Patricia, “I don’t know who you are, but that is no way to treat someone who is trying to help you.”

“Help me?” Patricia fumed, “She’s the reason none of you know who I am! If not for her, none of us would be in this situation.”

“Look, lady,” Jessica wagged a finger at Patricia, “you need to calm down before you bust a blood vessel. We don’t even know who you are, so don’t try and blame your misgivings on us.”

Now furious, Patricia began to levitate off the ground, something which puzzled Karsten. Maybe her name, Nobleman, literally meant high born, so she could float in the air. It was a bit of a reach, but Karsten wouldn’t put anything past the 300. He backed away from the woman as the others stood their ground.

“What’s she doing?” Matilda asked, having managed to wheel her cart down the stairs, “Is she going to attack?”

“I don’t know,” Pablo replied, “I don’t know her, so I don’t know what she’s capable of.”

Patricia’s eyes began to flash as the air in the room swirled around her. Karsten was reminded of Gail and her weather manipulating abilities as the frightening woman levitated higher, clenching her fingers in a threatening manner.

“You need to be cured!” Patricia boomed, “That is why I brought you all here, back to the 300! I will not be forgotten! You will remember me, or you will die”

Karsten shielded his eyes as the lavender petals that littered the ground began to rise into the air and spin faster and faster. Tabalah didn’t seem to react to the petals.

“What’s happening?” Kasrten whispered to her, “Why is she doing that?”

“It’s okay,” Tabalah said just as quietly, “what she’s doing – it might just work. It might actually give everyone their memories back if he does it just right, but I need to help her.”

Tabalah sat down on the ground lowering her head and mumbling something undecipherable to herself. Karsten looked away from her and back at Patricia, whose hair was whipping increasingly violently about her sceptre-shaped head. As the two women did what they were doing, the lavender petals began to move further away from Patricia and Karsten and the others braced themselves as the petals began to fly towards them.

Karsten had closed his eyes when the petals began to fly, but now that he’d opened them he saw that none of the petals had come near him. Looking at the others, however, he was shocked that everybody in the room was covered in the petals apart from Tabalah, Patricia, Gavin, and himself. Karsten stared at Gail, wrapped in a cocoon of petals like an unborn butterfly, then flipped his head back at Tabalah.

“We have to get them out of those things!” he shouted, “They could be suffocating in there!”

“They’ll be fine,” Tabalah replied, “you just have to be patient, and have faith that what Patricia is doing will work. I didn’t think she had it in her to do this, but now that I can see she does, we might actually get out of this mess of mine.”

As Patricia continued to whirl her petals through the air, the petals that covered the Followers of Hermes began to crack and fall away. Karsten, Tabalah, and even Gavin watched with delight as their friend emerged, wiping the left over petals from their clothes, skin, and hair.

“Patricia?” Isador shouted, looking decidedly cross, “What in the world do you think you are doing? You could have choked us with those petals.”

Patricia looked over at her friends, lowering herself slowly to the ground. Once her feet finally made contact with the floor, she walked slowly to the group, beaming at each of her friends in turn.

“Do you all remember me?” she asked, “D you remember who I am?”

“Of course,” Jessica said flatly, “Why, did you think we didn’t?”

Patricia gave Jessica a friendly slap on the back, looking at each of the Followers of Hermes in turn, before focussing on Gail.

“Hey,” Gail said, “how’ve you been?”

Patricia’s eyes began to well with tears, and she finally threw her arms around Gail, hugging her tightly to herself.

“What’s going on?” Karsten asked, “Why are they hugging like that?”

Gavin, who had approached the group at the same time Patricia had, answered for the group;

Didn’t you know?” he said, “Gail is Patricia’s daughter.”


message 5: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9054 comments AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: Divas
GENRE: Anthropomorphic Wrestling
WORD COUNT: 2,132
RATING: PG for swearing and violence


(Part One)

Piper gazed at the butterfly-decorated Divas Championship belt in her paws with a sense of pride and joy. Holding this title was a dream of hers ever since she was a kitten. In her mind, dreams always came true and could never be taken away by oppressive forces. Her naivety was a source of sweetness for her adoring kitty fans as evidenced by the way they meowed and purred at her entrance. She did it all for them and she was determined not to let them down this evening during her title defense. With her black tank top, pink leather pants, and white boots snug against her white furry kitty body, she was ready to go. She kissed her Divas Championship belt for good luck before her music hit.

The arena darkened as the piano intro of “April Rain” by Delain caused the kitties and puppies in the audience to cheer and howl for their favorite wrestler. Once the intense guitars and drums sounded, Piper danced out to the isle to an even louder chorus of cheers. She high fived her tiny fans in the front row and gave a hug to an oversized Bassett Hound near the ring. Piper leaped on the apron and over the top rope with such athletic grace before prancing around the ring and parading her hard-earned championship. She even high-fived the Springer Spaniel ring announcer and hugged Willem the schipperke referee. Piper was certain this feel-good moment would last forever and showed it on her cute kitty face with a squinty-eyed smile.

And then the slow and sensual blue-eyed soul music of “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield echoed throughout the arena. The older dogs in the audience howled with lust while the tiny kittens booed their heads off. Coming out to the stage were three cats dressed in royal pink robes and little diamond-encrusted tiaras. Posing on the left side of the stage was the calico runt of the litter, Calypso. Posing on the right with her claws extended like a Marvel superhero was the fierce black and white Stitches. In the middle was the arrogantly strutting queen of the divas, Tori. Together this group was known as the Supermodel Kitties.

None of the boos in the arena could compare to Piper’s fiery stare down the ramp as the Supermodel Kitties pompously danced their way to the ring. For weeks leading up to this match, they called her “Piper-Diaper” and Photoshopped pictures of her in baby outfits. A tear formed in her eye at these traumatic thoughts and Calypso was sharp enough to catch it. She got up on the apron and flailed her paws next to her ears while sticking her tongue out at Piper.

The proud Divas Champion shouted, “Why, you!” before dashing to the opposite side the ring to deliver a drop kick. Calypso pulled the top rope down at the last minute and Piper crashed and burned on the concrete floor below. Calypso stayed on the apron and continued her nee-ner-nee-ner taunts while Tori and Stitches were scratching and biting the hell out of their victim. Willem barked and growled his warnings at a rapid fire pace, but the Supermodel Kitties refused to listen and resumed their taunting and beating of Piper.

Willem hopped over the top rope and did his best hyper barking while chasing the Supermodel Kitties to the other side of the ring. He gave a few more commanding barks at the now shaking cats before running back over to Piper and licking her wounds with his sloppy dog tongue. Willem spent the longest time tending to the cat’s wounds and she still wouldn’t wake up. It seemed as though the schipperke had no choice but to bark for paramedics on the ramp way.

The proud Supermodel Kitties wrapped their arms around each other’s necks and danced up and down chanting, “Piper-Diaper!” much to the dismay of the booing crowd. Calypso even had an animal diaper in her paws to illustrate such humiliation.

This charade would have lasted the rest of the night if it wasn’t for Piper nipping up to her feat and letting out a dreaded hiss. The Supermodel Kitties watched on with wide-eyed shock as Tori’s opponent leaped back into the ring and made a “come here” gesture with her paws. “You want some of this?!” Piper shouted. “Come and get it, you skanky hoes!”

A resounding “Ooo!” echoed throughout the arena while the stunned Supermodel Kitties’ jaws were on the floor. Cat wrestling was considered to be family entertainment, but Piper didn’t give a damn about her language at that point. She also waved off Willem when he tried licking her wounds again. With Calypso and Stitches slowly taking opposite sides of the ring, Tori was also in no hurry to get inside. But once she was, the ring announcer ran away without doing his job knowing how fierce this battle would be.

Willem barked five times at the ringside timekeeper, who rung the bell to signify the beginning of the match. Piper and Tori ran to the center of the ring and threw the sharpest claws they could at each other. Their violent hisses and howls added enough drama to this match to get the crowd to rise to their feet and cheer. The crowd really got going when Piper leaped in the air, wrapped her legs around Tori’s neck, and flipped the Supermodel Kitty on her back. Tori nipped up and got thrown by her arm across the ring for her troubles. This sequence of getting up and getting tossed continued for Tori until Piper applied a shoulder lock to her and kept the obnoxious brat grounded and howling.

It looked like Tori was going to slam her paws to the mat to signal a tap-out victory. And then Calypso got on the ring apron and mockingly cried at Piper. “Boohoo, I’m a big baby and I like to suck on pacifiers!” While Willem was rattling off his super-quick barks at the runty calico, Stitches reached through the ropes and swatted her knife-like claws into Piper’s butt. The champion howled in pain and jumped high in the air while holding her backside.

Calypso got down from the apron while Tori hopped to her feet and body slammed Piper to the mat. While the champ was down, Tori leaped off the middle rope and back flipped chest first into Piper, driving the air from the dreamer kitty’s already exhausted lungs. Tori then wrapped her arm around the champ’s chin and held her face in front of Calypso and Stitches for further humiliation.

The tiny calico pulled out a smart phone and recorded a video of Piper’s contorted face in what would be known as The Huh Challenge. Calypso mockingly said, “My name is Piper and I cry myself to sleep every night like a big fat baby! HUH?!”


message 6: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9054 comments (Part Two)

Stitches giggled while taking the phone from Calypso and doing her own Huh Challenge. “My name is Piper and my favorite thing to eat is whatever’s in the litter box! HUH?!” The two outside kitties high-fived each other and giggled some more at Piper’s expense.

Meanwhile, a single tear dropped from Piper’s eye as she gritted her fangs and tightened her claws. This was the BS she had to put up with on live television for weeks now. She growled at the thought of her opponents acting like middle school children instead of legitimate wrestlers. She growled even harder when the audience tried to cheer her back into this match. Piper needed this victory. She needed to show that dreams always come true no matter how high the odds were stacked.

Piper slithered underneath the chin lock, grabbed Tori around her waist, and threw her backwards on her neck. The Supermodel Kitty flopped around like a fish as she was thrown backwards again. And again. And again. Calypso and Stitches weren’t even paying attention to the action going on in the ring as they were too busy taking selfies. Piper glared like a hungry tiger at them as she bounced off the ropes and flew over the top turnbuckle. She landed perfectly on Stitches and ripped her apart with her claws like a Christmas present while Calypso watched on in wide-eyed, shaky-bodied horror.

Piper turned her fiery glare to Calypso and gave her a leonine howl and an ophidian hiss. The champion chased the Supermodel Kitty around the ring multiple times. She didn’t care about the exhaustion in her body from the main event match. She was sucking down air like a whirlwind as she saw nothing but red when she gazed upon Calypso. The calico brat was getting tuckered out herself, so she slid underneath the bottom rope and drew the ire of Willem, who trapped her in the corner and gave off more rapid fire barks.

The champ slid underneath the bottom rope as well, and this time she was sure to dine upon Calypso’s pencil neck. She could already taste the blood like a shark swirling its prey. Even though Piper didn’t have as many teeth as a shark, she would make every vampire bite feel like a bloodlust chainsaw attack anyways.

And that was when she felt something sharp jam into the back of her neck. The intense pain and black vision suggested Tori used a foreign object to get the upper hand behind the schipperke’s back. Once Calypso dived out of the ring and curled in a corner, Tori finished the job with a high-impact kick underneath Piper’s chin, knocking her out just long enough to be pinned for three seconds.

Willem tapped the mat three times and the match was over. Piper’s championship reign, just like her vision, had faded away with quickness. The only dream she would be living was the one in her subconscious theater, which only played horror movies that day. When her eyes slowly opened, her bruised and battered body made her feel like road kill. The unending pain was just as emotional when she awakened to find an animal diaper fastened to her crotch. The Supermodel Kitties danced around on the ramp, celebrating with the title and mocking Piper with more nee-ner-nee-ner taunts.

The never-ending tears in Piper’s eyes caused her vision to fade to black once more. She didn’t remember being helped to the doctor’s office. She didn’t remember the stitches she would require. Her emotions were robotic as she tried to process being humiliated by the Supermodel Kitties. She stared into space not wanting to think about the future or how her diapered sorrow was broadcast not only for the television audience, but also the internet troglodytes.

The more she stared into those white walls, the less of a choice she had in what to think about. She tried to shove it down. She tried to hold back the tears. But the tears kept rolling down like whitewater rapids. Her depressed howling couldn’t be helped. Her childhood dream was shattered like a pot of dead roses. Piper had the innocence of a child for most of her life. Now she made the roughest of transitions into adulthood and realized that nightmares were the norm in this world. The tears poured like an avalanche of cold emotions as she laid there all alone in the doctor’s office. With such a humiliating defeat, she was more than just physically alone in this world.

But if her childhood innocence taught her anything, it was not to cry because it was over. It was to smile because it happened. She loved that butterfly-decorated championship. It gave her some warm memories of being adored by the crowd. All the hugs, high-fives, and cheers helped to dry her ultra-wet, ultra-red eyeballs. They were the only things that got her through the hard training and violent matches. And now that Piper was contractually obligated to a rematch, she couldn’t let those beautiful fans down twice.

As she wiped the last of her tears from her furry face, Piper reached her paw over and picked up a scalpel from the bench. Tori cheated by using a sharp object similar to this one, so why shouldn’t Piper do the same when she wanted to win her Divas Championship back? But what would her fans think of her if she did such a thing? Would they ostracize her if she sunk to the Supermodel Kitties’ level?

In that doctor’s office, Piper had a decision to make. What was more important to her: the belt and all the money that came with it, or the fans that energized her every night and stayed loyal until the end? She had a long night of thinking ahead of her, but one thing was for certain her mind: “Those bitches are going to pay!”


message 7: by Madeline (last edited May 31, 2017 07:04AM) (new)

Madeline Lund (madelinelily) | 37 comments "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over it became a butterfly" - Chuang Tzu


AUTHOR: Madeline Lund
TITLE: Rosalie's Wings
GENRE: Violent Crime
WORD COUNT: 3,500
TW: Rape/Sexual Assault


*Thursday, May 11th, 2017*


“I understand why you went back.”

“I had to get my stuff and charge my phone so I could call my mom.”

“I know. I understand, but the defense will use that against you. What happened when you went back?”

“He asked me to sit on the bed so I did, and then —”


“You sat in the bed with him? The defense will tear that apart, Rose.”

“But I didn’t stay there. I —”

“That doesn’t matter. The fact that you went back at all…”

Rose feels herself shrinking smaller, sinking down, down, back into herself. The assistant DA’s harsh words become a low murmur as Rose’s mind forms a cocoon of self doubt and shame around her. You were drinking. You willingly went into his room with him. You willingly sat on his bed next to him. You went back the next day. You sat on the bed next to him again. You. You. You. What about him? What about what he did? Rose is a chrysalis submerged in meconium. The wings she has been trying so hard to create are failing her, and she feels death reach out dark, enveloping hands. If a butterfly cannot fully emerge from the cocoon you have to put it under a bush or other plant and let nature take its course, she thinks. You put it under a bush or other plant if you’re kind. Be kind. Don’t leave me in this harsh world made up of humans. Bring me to the woods and leave me for I am a broken butterfly and cannot form the wings to fly. In a few brief moments assistant DA Carrie Dodge had shown her how her cases would be torn apart by the defense and now there is nothing but Rose drowning in her cocoon of silence.

The other assistant DA’s voice breaks the shell of Rose’s cocoon. Rose realizes she has been gazing at her fingers as they repeatedly crumple and smooth the tissue she has mindlessly picked out of the box beside her. She looks up. Now she is a caterpillar, a baby just beginning. This assistant DA, Heather MacDougall, is asking her if she has had contact with the massage therapist after the massage.

“No,” Rose says. “No.”

No, she has not had contact with him. No, she did not go back to that massage place. No, she doesn’t have him on social media. No, she never did. No snapchat. No instagram. No facebook. No texts. No calls. No contact.

“But I don’t want to talk to any of them,” Rose hears the words escape her mouth, and she sighs, because she does want to talk to them. She wants to understand why they did what they did. And she did talk to two of them, at first. She talked to both the personal trainer and her former friend.

Everything is getting away from her again.

Rose brings herself back to reality and asks, “Where is Detective Brentwood?”

“He wanted to be here, but he had an emergency — something came up — and he couldn’t make it,” Carrie responds.

“Oh.”

“Cases involving alcohol and continued contact with the attacker after the attack are extremely hard to prove,” Carrie Dodge continues.

“Do you think these men will feel vindicated if there is a non guilty verdict?” The female officer investigating the massage case, Alice, adds.

“Some of our clients end up in the hospital after court,” Carrie Dodge states.

“It’s not like they show on TV,” Heather adds.

“I can do it,” Rose says. She looks at each person sitting at the table with her. “I can do it,” she says again, but then her head drops and she finds herself looking at the tissue box before her. “You don’t think I can do it,” Rose lets out in a feeble whisper.

“I know you can do it,” Carrie states loudly. “We all know you can do it. We don’t actually encourage anyone to go to court, Rose. I don’t pick up cases because I think they will win. I heard the pain in your voice.”

“Oh.” Rose keeps staring at the tissue box.

“Yes,” Carrie says. “I understand bad things happened, but you have to know how the defense will spin it and that they will use anything and everything they can against you. I understand — everyone in this room understands — but a jury might not. You can’t say how you felt or what you thought when they are questioning you. They can make it seem like it was a relationship with Nick because you hung out with him again and they can spin it to seem like your friend, Derek, made a move but then stopped when you freaked out.”

“My former friend. And that’s not what happened. I was not in a relationship with the personal trainer, and I did not want to have sex and he knew that, and Derek knew that was the worst thing he could do to me and he only stopped because I was able to fight back and win, and I had to fight really hard, and even then —”

“Rose, I understand,” Carrie says. “I do, but...”

“But it is a waste of time...” Rose looks at her feet.

“No,” Carrie states loudly.

“We have to tell you what the defense will do.” Heather’s face contorts in pain.

“I don’t want you to lose all the progress you’ve made in healing,” Alice says. “Think about how long it took you to come to us.

Alice’s husband and partner, Jack, stands up. “Sometimes I think we have the strongest case and there is no chance of losing,” he says. “And then the jury comes back with a non guilty and I just...” Jack smacks his forehead with his left hand and shakes his head.

“I’ve been doing this a long time, Rose,” Carrie says.


“Look,” Jack says. “I see it from your side, Carrie, and yours too, Rose. I have to look at it from all sides — yours, theirs—” he gestures at Carrie, Heather, Alice, and the advocate, whose name Rose still doesn’t know “— and his too — and I don’t know much about those two cases, and I can’t get a read on the massage guy, but he called me twenty minutes after I talked to the owner. She was concerned and called him after I left, and then he called me, and he called again a few days later wondering what was going on, and when I called back he had a lawyer and refused to talk.”

“He’s not even in the massage industry anymore,” Alice says. “Court is years of your life, Rose.”

“Look,” Carrie says. “You don’t have to decide right now whether or not you’ll press charges. I can scare them. I can have Detective Brentwood bring them in. They won’t admit it. They won’t say sorry. They may refuse to talk. But we can make them feel like they made you feel: powerless and not knowing what is going to happen next. And if they ask what is going on I can say it is an open investigation and everything is classified and then someday, if it comes to it, I can say you chose to close it.”

“You couldn’t be bothered,” Alice says.

“He knows,” Jack says. His mind was still on the massage guy. “And he knows we know.”

Jack sees it differently, Rosalie thinks. He wants to get the guy. He is on my side. But they all are. Aren’t they? Rose looks each one of them in the eyes and remembers that earlier in the meeting Carrie Dodge had said, “I want these men off the streets, but…”

But.

The word butts its way into her head and runs circles around her brain. Doubts and fears follow closely.

But the justice system is not kind to victims, the word says in her mind. But the defense can dig up anything and make it into dirt. But the defense will have access to your therapist records and go over every personal detail of your life before and after the attack, every trauma you’ve experienced, every mistake you’ve made, every dream and goal you’ve ever had, your deepest secrets, your greatest fears, your vulnerabilities and weaknesses, Rose, and you will know nothing about your attackers because they don’t have to talk at all because it is their constitutional right—

—But you can’t say any of that,
the word tells her. In court there are no “buts” about it. Rose looks up. Her eyes had been on the tissue in her hands. Everyone in the room is looking at her. She knows she has to say something. She looks at Jack and hears his voice again. He knows we know.

She looks at Carrie and says, “And now the two of them will know you know too…”

“Yes, Rose.”

“And maybe that will be enough for them to not do it again?”

“Yes, maybe.”

“But if they do repeat and that survivor finds the strength to come forward, you’ll contact me?”

“Yes. But you don’t have to close the cases now. We will investigate. As it is now I have concerns, but we will investigate. And I need to bring up one thing you said earlier and make it clear that none of this is a waste of time.”

“You’re doing everything right,” Alice says.

“I didn’t mean waste of time…”

“I know you didn’t, but I needed to comment on that wording. It is not a waste of time. You are doing the right thing by telling us. Reporting is always the right thing to do.”

“But where is Detective Brentwood?” Rose asks again. “He’s too busy…”

“It is not that he didn’t want to be here. He had — well, I can’t really say why he is not here — but…”

“A lot of bad things happen in that district?”

“Yes, Rose. Yes, they do.”


*Friday, May 12th, 2017*


In her bed, in her room, Rose knows she can find the words. She knows what happened is wrong, and she knows she can find the words to show how wrong what happened is. She sees the words. She reaches for them. But they are always just a little too blurry and out of her grasp. Sometimes she catches them for a minute, but then they flit away again.

When she had spoken to assistant DA Carrie Dodge on the phone earlier that day at work, she lost the words. Carrie Dodge took them all.

“Rosalie,” Carrie had said. “This is why I have such grave concerns about these cases. You cannot call the next day and tell me that when you went back to get your stuff from Derek, you didn’t stay in his room but left to hide in the bathroom until your mom got there. The defense can now use this against you and say you are changing your story.”

“But I said I didn’t stay there. I said —”

“Rosalie. It doesn’t matter. I have to document that you called me the next day to tell me that you left Derek’s room to go to the bathroom. It is like you think I don’t believe you...”

Rosalie can’t remember what assistant DA Carrie Dodge said after this. She held her phone to her ears, but the cocoon had formed again, and she couldn’t hear. She could barely see because her eyes were drowning in tears. The awkward and clumsy English teacher she actually considers a friend, Cochran, approached her and said her name — she recognized his voice — but she waved him away with her hand. She then sat in blind silence for several minutes before she told Carrie she understood and ended the call.

In her bed, in her room, Rosalie convinces herself that she will tell the DA not to approach cases that way. She tells herself that she will say that in the first meeting it is okay to say the defense will tear the victim apart but since it is the first meeting and the first time meeting each other it would be better to make sure the reports are complete and reassure the victim that they will do what they can to get the truth known. She tells herself that she will say that a victim should be referred to as a survivor or some other, more positive term than victim.

In her bed, in her room, Rosalie feels her wings beginning to form. She begins to find the words. “This isn’t court,” she whispers aloud to an imaginary Carrie Dodge. “This is a small room with a group of people who I think are trying to help me.”


message 8: by Madeline (last edited May 31, 2017 10:01AM) (new)

Madeline Lund (madelinelily) | 37 comments Rosalie's Wings (Part 2)

Rosalie shakes her head. Those are the wrong words. “Who are supposed to be trying to help me,” she whispers but then says, “No, those the wrong words too.” Who are trying to help me? No. Who are helping me? No. She doesn’t know what to do. Everything is wrong and she doesn’t have the words to fix it.

*Tuesday, May 16th, 2017*

She has more questions but also more hope after calling the detective investigating the two messy cases, the two cases Carrie Dodge picked up, the ones that she may not win. Well, she may win none of them. Even the college case she may not win, and the Dean of the school had documented the information given to her quite well. Rose wishes she’d been able to say everything that had happened when the Dean ran the school held hearing, but then she stops herself. She reminds herself that she can talk now, that she has a chance now. She whispers, “And all we can ever do is what we can with what we have in the moment.”

She has her voice now, and she has hope, and with those two powers she can fly. “No one will ever take my voice again,” Rose whispers. And how can you really win a sexual assault case anyway? she thinks. There is no winning, and —

“There is no healing from court.” The words echo in her head.

Who said that? Alice? Rosalie can’t remember. They all seemed to have said that at one point.

They are right though. Rose feels the thought creep into her mind. It whispers in her ear. Healing comes from within, it says. Healing comes from you.

When she calls the detective and explains what happened at the meeting, he says, “Carrie has to say that. She has to tell you how the other side will twist it, but I thought that meeting was more for that other thing that happened.”

Rose says, “I did too, but some things about these two cases were brought up and I didn’t get to say everything, and I tried to, but the lawyer, Carrie, the DA, the assistant DA I mean, she said she had the gist and we’d go over details later, but when I called her to say what I wanted to say she said it wasn’t a detail, Detective Brentwood, she said it was bad I called her the next day, and—”

“Okay,” the detective responds slowly. “I will make sure we go over everything again and add what you remember when we meet next. We can video it like last time. We’ll make sure the reports are complete. I believe we’ll be able to meet in a week or two. I’ve spoken to Daniel and have arranged to speak to Vargos and Dayton. So far everyone has been cooperative but when Vargos and Dayton find out why I’ve called them in they may refuse to speak. They may bring lawyers. I don’t know.”

“Are you going to talk to the first people told or witnesses? Evan or Aubrey or...”

“Carrie told me to only speak with Daniel. You were friendly with him at the time.”

“Why only him?”

“I’m only talking to the big players now.”

“I know not to talk to any of them, but—”

“Yes, I know you know not to talk to anyone, and I know you’ll tell me if anyone contacts you, and I told Daniel that — I always say that to everyone — and Daniel was cooperative, but I don’t know if he’ll talk to either of them or not.”

“But I didn’t know Daniel when the personal trainer—”

“In 2013?”

“Yes. I didn’t know him then.”

“Oh.”

The silence that follows tells Rosalie the detective is surprised.

“How did Daniel know…”

“It’s an open investigation and I’m not allowed to share details. I ask questions like what do you know about this date and this situation and go from there and that is what I did with him and I also asked about his relationship with you, but I cannot say more at this time.”

Questions and thoughts are swimming circles around Rose in her cocoon. Why did the detective only speak to Daniel? Why was Daniel a big player? Why was the detective only talking to the big players now? And it is not a game. Rose shakes her head. Why did Daniel seem to know that the personal trainer raped you? Did he put two and two together from knowing that you’ve been raped or did someone else tell him? Would he tell the personal trainer? How did Daniel know it was the personal trainer? “Someone must have told him,” Rose whispers. “People talk.” Rose brings her knees to her head and hugs them. “Why do I still have no control? Why do I have to live in the dark, God? Bring me to the light, please,” she says and curls smaller beneath her blanket. Rose closes her eyes. Daniel was cooperative, so he must’ve been honest and told what he knows about the former friend assaulting you and the personal trainer raping you, which for whatever reason he knows about, so this is positive. This has to be positive. You have to remain positive. “They said, ‘you’re doing everything right,’” Rosalie whispers as she shrinks further into her dark cocoon. If you’re doing everything right, why does everything feel wrong? the voice in her mind whispers. Why does the detective refer to the attackers by their last names? They do not deserve first names. College kid. Massage guy. Personal trainer. Former friend. She wishes for things to be different. She wishes she could find the words. She wishes she could find her voice and strengthen it and keep it and not let anyone take it again.

In the darkness of her cocoon, Rosalie hears a voice. Get up, it says. Get up. Open your eyes. You can do it. You can and you will.

Rosalie opens her eyes. She is lying flat on her back in the dorm room she lived in the fall of her senior year of college. He’s on top of her. He’s crying. His tears fall on her face. “I’m sorry,” he says. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”

Rosalie closes her eyes. She doesn’t want to be in that place again. “Go away,” she whispers. “Please, go away.”

Rosalie opens her eyes. She is curled in her bed underneath her blanket. She touches her cheeks, and they are dry. She touches two spots on the back of her head, but the bloody gash had long ago healed and the bruises had long ago disappeared.

In her bed, in her room, Rosalie finds her voice. “That was when it was taken from me,” she whispers. Carrie Dodge and Heather MacDougall don’t know about this incident, yet. The college incident — the most physically violent and life threatening of the incidents — was when she lost her voice, her spirit, her body, her mind, her heart, her life, her fire, her light. She lost her ability to fight. She lost her wings. She lost her power. “But I have it back now,” Rosalie whispers. “I can fight now. I can speak. I can fly,” she says. “I can and I will.”

you are light and you are fire and you are love and you are truth and you will not let anyone make you feel less than you are because if you let anyone walk on you and make you feel less than you are you will feel less and less and less until you become so small you become dust and lose your voice and you must never lose your voice because you need it to make wings and you need wings to fly and now that you have your voice you have your wings and you will fly above injustice and soar in the light and shine brightly like you do because you are a phoenix and you have risen from the dust they crushed you into and you are a butterfly and you have broken out of your cocoon and you will never lose your wings again


message 9: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4214 comments Thanks to all who have posted!
And if you still want to enter, the polls will go up semi-early tomorrow (think 11 AM or later if you request you want more time!).


message 10: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4214 comments There is still time to vote if you haven't done so yet!

https://www.goodreads.com/poll/list/1...

This poll will be open until after Monday. :)

(Note to self: I should do this more often just in case.)


message 11: by Madeline (new)

Madeline Lund (madelinelily) | 37 comments Edward wrote: "It's been a pretty quiet few days at work, so here's chapter 27 of Karsten Pasternack And The Quicksilver Caduceus. Feedback welcome.
Title : Total Recall
Author : Edward Davies
Word Count : 1042
R..."


Hi Edward!!! I want to read more about the Followers of Hermes please! Is it possible for you to share any more of Karsten Pasternack And The Quicksilver Caduceus? Thank you for sharing your writing.


message 12: by Madeline (new)

Madeline Lund (madelinelily) | 37 comments I would also like feedback about my story please!


message 13: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Madeline wrote: "Edward wrote: "It's been a pretty quiet few days at work, so here's chapter 27 of Karsten Pasternack And The Quicksilver Caduceus. Feedback welcome.
Title : Total Recall
Author : Edward Davies
Word..."


When it's finished (hopefully in about two weeks time) I plan on making an epub which I can share with people if they want to read it. Otherwise you can look back on previous weeks and all the chapters are there (unedited).


message 14: by Madeline (new)

Madeline Lund (madelinelily) | 37 comments Edward wrote: "Madeline wrote: "Edward wrote: "It's been a pretty quiet few days at work, so here's chapter 27 of Karsten Pasternack And The Quicksilver Caduceus. Feedback welcome.
Title : Total Recall
Author : E..."


Great! Thank you!


message 15: by Madeline (new)

Madeline Lund (madelinelily) | 37 comments Garrison wrote: "(Part Two)

Stitches giggled while taking the phone from Calypso and doing her own Huh Challenge. “My name is Piper and my favorite thing to eat is whatever’s in the litter box! HUH?!” The two outs..."


This should be a show. I can see it in my mind when I read it. Nice job!!!


message 16: by Madeline (new)

Madeline Lund (madelinelily) | 37 comments I forgot to vote, but people who submit stories do not vote, correct?


message 17: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9054 comments Thanks for the kind words, Madeline! I appreciate them a lot. :)


message 18: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Madeline wrote: "I forgot to vote, but people who submit stories do not vote, correct?"

You can vote, just not for your own story.


message 19: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4214 comments Edward is right. You can vote just as long as its not on your own work.


message 20: by Madeline (last edited Jun 09, 2017 07:17AM) (new)

Madeline Lund (madelinelily) | 37 comments Thank you! I'll remember to vote next time! I haven't participated in awhile, but I will again! I love this writing group and am happy to have some time to participate again.


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